Saturday, October 29, 2011

Will African-American Texans Vote Republican? Probably Not Based On These Billboards.

Four new billboards have hit East Austin, as well as South Carolina and Ohio, reading slogans such as "G.O.P. is the new black" and "Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican". Ooooohhhh boy.

Austin resident Amy Hayes questioned the billboard featuring Dr. King.

"I think a Republican back in 1968 was a little different than being a Republican now," said Hayes. "It's just a different party now." 

Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder calls the sign featuring Dr. King disrespectful. "Martin Luther King was about civil rights and social justice," said Linder. "That's not the current Republican party."

What even is the Republican agenda anymore? It has become a complete mindfuck, a ridiculous, oxymoronic, hypocritical, nonsensical, fear-mongering freak show of greed and hysterics. A party that stands on a platform of limited government rule, except when it comes to immigration, defense, women's health, and drug policies.

Linder says it will take more than billboards to change African-Americans' opinions about the G.O.P. "Unemployment, health care, police brutality -- those are our issues," said Linder. "Address those issues, regardless of party, and we'll vote for you."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rick Perry Still Contends That Obama's Birth Certificate May Be Fake

Keep at it, Rick. Whatever keeps you out of the Oval Office.

Today, and for the third time, Perry readdressed the (incredibly wrong) idea that President Obama might not be American-born.

From the Huffington Post:
When asked if he believed the president was born in the United States, he said, "I have no reason to think otherwise." Asked why he didn't give a definitive answer, Perry replied, "Well, I don't have a definitive answer, because he's never seen my birth certificate."
Perry said in the CNBC interview, "I'm really not worried about the president's birth certificate. It's fun to poke at him a little bit and say, how 'bout let's see your grades and your birth certificate." Perry's own transcript from Texas A&M University, obtained by The Huffington Post, shows that he seldom earned anything above a C and includes a D in Shakespeare and a C in gym.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Willie Nelson Occupies

The greatest Texan of all time "stands with humanity."

Willie and his wife "don't mind paying our share."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Texas Takes On Teen Pregnancy...Again

Kudos to State Representative Valinda Bolton, who spoke at the 2nd Annual Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Conference at the capitol on Thursday. Representative Bolton is the new Executive Director for the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and qualified at that: She has been working as a non-profit consultant her whole professional career, and has been a widely known and well-respected domestic violence and family issues expert around the capitol. 

Texas has the third highest teen birth rate in the nation, and the second highest rate of repeat teen pregnancy. Current policy still dictates that abstinence-only sex education is taught in high schools across the state, despite Texan teens desperate pleas for a more comprehensive (realistic) sex ed.

Teen pregnancy is a public health crisis, costing Texas taxpayers more than $1.24 billion a year in public healthcare and child welfare expense. Beyond monetary costs, it keeps young adults ignorant to the facts about sexual health and is inherently shameful of a sex-positive lifestyle. Education of any type fuels analytical discussion, discovery of identity, and critical thinking. Forcing outdated and unrealistic sexual and moral expectations on young adults curtails their ability to make important decisions in their own right and become adults.

The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy believes "through the use of evidence-based, effective curricula and programs, as well as access to age appropriate preventative healthcare available to teens regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, or ethnicity, we can reduce the teen pregnancy rate in Texas." But that involves huge policy overhaul in the school systems, which requires the support of people. It's time for us to accept that teenagers may have sex, despite the propaganda - and our only recourse to protect them is through thoroughly educating them about both consequences and contraceptives. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Dust Bowl Returns To Texas

A 72 mph dust storm roiled through Lubbock, Texas today. The Associated Press reports that the 8,000 foot high dust cloud dropped visibility to between zero and less than a quarter of a mile. "It went from light to dark, just like that," Lubbock convenience store clerk Alma Williams told the AP. "I've never seen anything like it. It really scared me."

With forecasters predicting that the worst drought on record will last well into next Spring, this biproduct storm foreshadows (bam!) a look into what climate change has in store for Texas. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Four Mentally Disabled Texans Found Chained In Philadelphia Basement

I am so appalled by this that I am just going to quote the Houston Chronicle:
Three people have been charged following the discovery of four malnourished mentally disabled adults chained to a boiler in a locked northeast Philadelphia basement room that was too small for an adult to stand up straight and also reeked of waste from the buckets they used to relieve themselves, police said Sunday. The 29-year-old woman and the men, who are 31, 35, and 41, have the mental capacity of 10-year-olds, police said. They were taken to a hospital for treatment and listed in stable condition. Little said the victims, whose names were not released, appeared to have no physical problems other than malnourishment.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the four captives apparently came from Texas, lived for a year with at least one of the captors in West Palm Beach, Fla.; then arrived in Philadelphia around Oct. 4. Interviewing the victims has been difficult and it was not clear whether Texas was their home or just a stop on their odyssey as prisoners.
Charges of criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and related offenses were filed Sunday against Linda Ann Weston, 51, and Thomas Gregory, 47, both of Philadelphia, as well as Eddie Wright, 49, officially listed as homeless but originally from Texas. Listed numbers for the defendants could not be found Sunday and it was unclear whether they had attorneys. Police are investigating the possibility that the suspects were trying to make money through access to the victims' Social Security or disability checks, police said. It wasn't clear how they know the victims.
This to me is just one microcosmic example of how low Americans will stoop in order to steal money. What a disgusting example of greed. From the bankers on Wallstreet to the homeless from Texas and Philadelphia, I am appalled by how the desperate need for money has made taking advantage of less fortunate people the status quo.  

The exterior of the apartment building on Longshore Avenue where police found four adults being held chained. via The Philadelphia Inquirer

Friday, October 14, 2011

Summer's End

Well, not really. But it looks to be the last 90 degree day for awhile, so we're saying goodbye to the swimming holes today.
Hamilton Pool, here we come.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Texas A&M, Rick Perry's Alma Mater, Filled With Mean-Spirited Conservatives

Though I'm sure many students at Texas A&M are bright, promising, kind people, they need to admonish their inherently privileged classmates who are at school to learn analytical thinking but are completely mising the point.

Texas Aggie Conservatives, a student organization at Texas A&M University, has started a petition requesting that the governor immediately call a special legislative session to end in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants attending Texas' public colleges and universities and criticizes Perry for allowing taxpayer dollars to support illegal immigrants.

“It is outrageous that Texas A&M, because of Gov. Perry, is awarding those who violated the law with in-state tuition and financial aid,” said Steven Schroeder, chairman of the Texas Aggie Conservatives. “The Texas government, especially in these troubling economic times, should not be subsidizing the higher education of adults who cannot legally work in the United States."

Conservatives still don't get it. If you are six years old and brought by your parents here from Mexico, put into public school because it's free (and decent), learned the language because you were submersed in it, and adhered to the laws henceforth, you are not an willful illegal immigrant who broke any rules. You are a victim of your parents choices, and Mexico is no longer home. Child-illlegals grow up unwillingly as Americans and had no decision in law-breaking matters. Why would we punish them? Send them back to a country they've never known, a language that might not be their first? These are kids we are talking about. 18 year olds - did they just jump over the border on their 18th birthday, quickly fill out a college application and start school? They've been here for years, and their legal issues are actually their parents. Why do conservatives continue to punish people who struggle to make life easier or better? Isn't that the elitist notion of all? Is it simply impossible to empathize with someone whose opportunities are so lacking that they have to break international law in order to make life just a little bit better?

Texas Aggie Conservatives, do yourself a favor: GO READ A BOOK.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Return of the Rains

Good job Rick Perry: the praying paid off. It's finally rained in Texas after 3 and half months of sunshine. I had to see it to believe it, but not that its here, I feel okay about reporting the forecast: more rain.

Several South Central Texas counties, including Travis, Hays and Bastrop are set to see scattered to numerous showers and strong thunderstorms that are expected to produce one to two inches in the Austin area. The strongest thunderstorms are anticipated in the Rio Grande Plains, where wind gusts could reach 40-50 miles per hour.

Stormy weather is supposed to continue through Monday, with the chance of rain increasing to 60 percent on Sunday.

If you're reading this from somewhere other than Texas, you may be curious as to why I'm treating it like such an event. When you watch the Earth around you burn and die a slow, painful death while the leader of the state denies that anything is wrong with the climate, rainfall feels like hope, or at least a chance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rick Perry Has Money, Duh

Full fundraising reports are not due to the Federal Election Commission until Oct. 15, but Rick Perry has reportedly raised over $17 million in his quest to beat Obama next year. Why not use some of that to put out the new fires in Bastrop?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, reportedly raised between $11 million and $13 million in the third quarter after raising about $18 million in the second quarter.

Jeez, even the pizza candidate sounds better than these knuckleheads (UPDATE: NO. No that's not true.).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rick Perry Is Blantantly Racist

According to The Washington Post, Rick Perry used to take friends, colleagues, lawmakers, and supporters to go hunting in his family's camp. The name, painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at the entrance reads, “Niggerhead”.

That's right. "Niggerhead".

Writes The Washington Post,
Over the years, civil rights groups and government agencies have had some success changing those and other racially offensive names that dotted the nation’s maps. But the name of this particular parcel did not change for years after it became associated with Rick Perry, first as a private citizen, then as a state official and finally as Texas governor. Some locals still call it that. As recently as this summer, the slablike rock — lying flat, the name still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint — remained by the gated entrance to the camp. When asked last week, Perry said the word on the rock is an “offensive name that has no place in the modern world.”
Except on his personal land.

"My mother and father went to the lease and painted the rock in either 1983 or 1984," Perry said. "This occurred after I paid a visit to the property with a friend and saw the rock with the offensive word. After my visit I called my folks and mentioned it to them, and they painted it over during their next visit. Ever since, any time I ever saw the rock it was painted over."
Perry's version of events differs in many respects from the recollections of seven people, interviewed by The Washington Post, who spoke in detail of their memories of seeing the rock with the name at various points during the years that Perry was associated with the property through his father, partners or his signature on a lease.

Of those interviewed, the seven who said they saw the rock said the block-lettered name was clearly visible at different points in the 1980s and 1990s. One, a former worker on the ranch, believes he saw it as recently as 2008.
So Perry isn't bothered the fact that he and his family used to use the word and may in fact still. And just think America: there are people in this country who want to elect this man directly after our first black President. Knock ourselves half a century back in time.