Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tea Party Hillbillies......Me Thinks Not

The Laredo Morning Times, some politicians, and the mainsteam media believe this cartoon represents the Tea Party membership.
I wonder who at the Laredo Morning Times really understands what the Tea Party is really about.  I know by their posting of the above political cartoon on Saturday that the editor that picks the cartoons to post has no clue.

First, I found the cartoon offensive in that it portrays the Tea Party as a “white” hillbilly looking figure.  This only reaffirms my belief that liberals (insert LMT editors if you like) really believe what they read in their own papers.  I have been to local Tea Party rallies, and there is only a handful of us “white” guys.  The rest of the crowd resembles Laredo. Many in the Tea Party are military veterans, some combat veterans.  Go figure.  Now as far as hillbilly goes, lots of Tea Party members come from the south.  But the south is not the hillbilly region that New York/Minneapolis liberals believe it is.  We have schools, wear shoes, and even speak multiple languages…and I would bet that there are some Tea Partiers who have graduated from those big, fancy, shiny, Liberal schools in the east.   Heck fire, there might even be some Tea Partiers in San Francisco, the home of the uber-lib.

Now that we know there are Tea Party members of all races and creeds, and that they reside everywhere, it is time to address what the above cartoon implies.  Well to the LMT it is obvious that it means that the nasty old, hillbilly looking, dumb, stupid Tea Party is holding up our much admired United States legislators and the president from passing a compromised debt ceiling increase, which may or may not raise taxes and cut some spending.  And this is not only the obvious view of the LMT, but the mainstream media alike.  And many of our legislators, both democrat and republican, agree that the Tea Party is not following their long established rule of compromise.

Well let’s just look at how well we are doing under that umbrella of compromise that has been around for decades.  We are broke as a nation.  We cannot pay our bills.   Our money is as weak on the international market as it has ever been.  Our unemployment is at record highs.  We are still losing jobs.  Our employers are sitting on huge piles of cash and not hiring because of all of the uncertainties that are emanating from Washington. Compromise has provided subsidies of inefficient and politically targeted businesses as well as business that require no such subsidies to succeed.  Compromise gave us a tax code that requires large and small business to spend millions on interpretation.  Compromise is the process that allows our government to manage your personal lives more and more each day.  Compromise is the tool that will be used to force the United States to shed its sovereignty and become a “better” world citizen.

Yep, compromise, a word that is on the lips of most politicians, most newspapers, and many of our country’s citizens.  To them, compromise, no matter how bad the deal is for the United States, stands alone as the most important aspect of the deal.  Explain to me the justification for compromise in taking money out of the social security trust fund and using it for the general fund of the United States.  I am sure there were those that said no way, and those that said we must.  Who was right?  Yet, the compromise was made, and here we are today.

In the case of the United States of America, and its future, I agree with the Tea Party.  We must not continue to weaken the greatness of our country because of this notion called compromise.  We must not enfeeble the future of our country by compromise.  We must take immediate action to repair that which has so easily been compromised away over the decades.   We must embrace NO until the word compromise no longer means lowering the principles of the founding fathers when they established the United States of America.

This better represents what the Tea Party is about.  This is a painting of the final signing of the United States Constitution.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Open letter to ALL business owners:

It is poor customer service to allow your employees to have the music blaring at your business.  Especially you folks in the food service.  You really need to tell your employees that if you play music, it should be BACKGROUND music, not a disco club.  I really hate walking into a place where I am meeting people for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just drinks and have to tell the employees to turn down the music so I can talk too my friends without yelling.

Tell your employees the music is NOT for their entertainment.  Turn it down, and save customers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

OH OH.... Man Made Global Warming is a Big Hoax - More Proof

Of course we now know this photo was faked as was the phony story of dead polar bears floating in the water.
And the supposed scientist who wrote the story was fired from the university he worked for.
The Misanthropist got a blow from NASA yesterday.  Check out this story (link).  Looks like Al Gore and gang will have to find some other crisis to use as a money leech.

James Taylor
Endpoint Analysis
New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism
Jul. 27 2011 - 3:23 pm

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.
These last two paragraphs sum it up nicely:

In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth’s atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict.

When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a “huge discrepancy” between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are.

Laredo History and Historical Buildings

Local blogger Que Fregados (link on sidebar) has a great story on the Bender Hotel in Laredo.  It is a must read as another old Laredo landmark is being restored.

But speaking of history and preserving history I want you all to look at some photos I took at a small museum in Independence, Kansas.  This is the area where my mom and dad grew up, and it is rich with history. 

Independence was the home of the first organized professional baseball game played under lights.  Mickey Mantel played in Independence for the New York Yankees farm team in the early 50's in the Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri baseball league.

Independence is also home to the real "Little House on the Prairie" as well as the home of Sinclair Oil Company (remember Dino). 

That history and much more is collected and on display in their city museum.  Sad, that Laredo, with a population over 250,000 with a city budget over $500 million, and several very rich families and companies,  cannot produce a museum.

Anyway, look at the photos and you can see what can be done through donations by a community that cares about their history.

These are just a few of the exhibits.  There are two floors of these types of exhibits.  It would take a couple of days to really view all the stuff in this museum and read the stories.

From Sinclair Oil....
This log cabin was discovered in an existing home that was being torn down.  The owners who were tearing down the house, which was built over this cabin, donated it to the city.
This is a recreation of the inside of a typical prairie home in the 1800's.  This is the inside of the above cabin.
This leather skin was worn by Dustin Hoffman in the movie "Little Big Man."  There was a man in town who was a big Hollywood agent and booked movie stars for movies.  His last name is Halsey...can't remember first name.

This is a recreation of an early 1900's grocery store.

This room had dresses and other clothing from the early 1900's

A re-created school room from the early 1900's

As you can see, it doesn't take lots of money...just commitment.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Home for Time Wasting

Oh Oh....look out Starbucks...I just pulled into Scholar's Cafe...pretty nice.  And a lot quieter (music is not blaring).

Does poor leadership lead to poor business practices? You bet they do

I know this is a little late, and that I have mentioned this earlier.  However, I want you to look at this from a management point of view.  How are our county employees managed?  This is not about those who are hired as department heads or supervisors, but this about those we elect, and how they are performing.

First, and again, let me say this whole process of reviewing department heads in public is nothing more than an ego trip for the commissioners.  This is a chance for the minions to have to bow at the alter of power.  It would be fitting, if after the review, the commissioners signified the keeping or firing of the department heads by an up or down turned thumb.  Similar to the Roman leaders tell the gladiators whether to allow a fighter to live or die.  I am sure we can find robes for all the commish's.

Now, take a minute and read the attached portion of the LMT article published last week.  Note the red highlights.  I will continue to analyze below.

2 department heads fired after annual evaluation
By Andrew Kreighbaum  
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 6:07 AM CDT
Webb County commissioners shook up the leadership of several departments Monday, beginning with the firing of two directors.

At the urging of Commissioners Jaime Canales and Jerry Garza, the court voted to terminate county engineer Fitzgeraldo Sanchez and building maintenance director Raul Elizondo.

Sanchez has been a frequent target of criticism at Commissioners Court meetings for delays in the paving of roads and other projects.

Elizondo came under fire from Canales for what he said was disrespectful behavior towards elected officials and his own staff.

The court took the actions during a special meeting for annual evaluations of 24 county department heads.

It was the fourth year in a row the court has held a special meeting to provide feedback to staff.

Commissioner Rosaura “Wawi” Tijerina brought up several complaints from elected officials and county insurance representatives over how Elizondo had handled requests for improvements.

Elizondo answered that he was simply stretched thin and many officials do not like hearing the word “no” — even when the county is short on funds.

He said the department’s $187,000 budget is less than what it received in 1999.

Since that time the county has added 26 new buildings, he said.

But Canales said Elizondo’s perception problems extended even to his own employees.

“Respect should be earned,” Canales told Elizondo.

“I simply believe that you have lost the respect of your people.”

Canales said he met with several staffers from building maintenance at his home after taking office and heard multiple complaints about management.

Elizondo protested that he tried repeatedly to reach the commissioner to discuss his responsibilities and any concerns the court had.

But Canales said he was waiting to see if Elizondo would take any corrective actions of his own accord.

Now that you read this, do you see what I am talking about?   I know this is a newspaper article, and a lot can be left out.  So dear readers, to make my point, which is a lesson in management, I am making the assumption that what is said in the article is true.

Lesson 1.  Bad managers only listen to one side of a story.  
                      It is pretty obvious that Canales only heard the employee side of how Elizondo operated.  He did not even have the curiosity to respond and meet with Elizondo.  Was this a political or managerial decision.  No matter, poor leadership.

Lesson 2.  Bad managers invite employees to places where business is not normally conducted to discuss personnel issues.
                      Did it not strike a bell with you when you read that Canales met with employees at his house?  Again, was this a campaign issue or personnel issue.  Makes me wonder.

Lesson 3.  Bad managers do not understand workload or work processes of the business they are managing.
                       It is pretty obvious that a budget of $187,000 which was less than spent in 1999 with 26 fewer buildings to manage might be a problem.  Now, if I had that information, I would at least want to talk with the department head to understand the issues.  According to the article, Canales did not find that as an important issue.

Bottom line is, this is a pretty poor job of management by Commissioner Canales, if the article is true and accurate.  But, again, what do you expect from elected officials in Laredo?

Me, I expect more, but obviously the majority of voters don't.

Rumor, or Truth ?????

I heard, and since I know who it came from, I am pretty confident in the source, that Laredo City Councilman Mike Garza is going to run for Webb County Commissioner next go-round. 

That will make a pretty hefty salary for Mike, working at UISD and Webb County.

Webb County ...... The hits just keep on coming......

This is why I love the Laredo just get some great takes on what the current news is in Laredo.

Read (links supplied on right side of blog) LaSanbe, and LaredoTejas for interesting points on the newest scandal at the Webb County Courthouse.

It involves money that was presented to Webb County to distribute to those in need of assistance when paying their electric/gas bills.  It looks like another case of very poor oversight by those elected to administer the county government.

Does  anyone at Webb County understand what the term "metrics" means?  Do our county leaders not ask how or how much money is being spent on specific projects?  What do we pay them for, if they don't even take time to look at what is going on in the government?

My guess is they thing their $60k plus salaries are for them to drive around the county and work on their next elections. 

Maybe if a couple of them were recalled, we might see something change.

Sunrise at Casablanca

Here is one of my favorite Laredo photos I have taken in the last year.  An HDR of Lake Casablanca, when there was water.

PS, the golf course is not taking water from the lake.  They drilled their own wells and are using that to keep the course watered.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sanctuary Cities? Or NOT!

If I remember correctly, Laredo and cities all along the border were against the "Sanctuary Cities" legislation last session.  I remember the chiefs of police saying that it was not the job of city police departments to enforce the US immigration laws.

And yet....they do.  I have read many instances over the last few weeks of individuals arrested in Laredo, McAllen and other areas "being turned over to ICE" by local police departments.  They would not have been turned over to ICE if the police had not inquired about their immigration status. 

So, what makes that OK and not the legislation that was being proposed?  Or was the vocal opposition just that, vocal opposition that meant nothing.

Mom to go to jail because a possible drunk driver ran over her son!!!!!!!!

What kind of society are we creating where the state can lock up a mother because her child was struck and killed by a hit and run driver, who most likely was drunk?  Read the story and watch the video. 

From Yahoo News:
A Marietta, Ga., mom who was convicted of jaywalking after her 4-year-old son was run over and killed in a hit-and-run said on the Today Show that the worst part of going to jail would be the separation from her two remaining kids.

Raquel Nelson was convicted of homicide by vehicle and reckless conduct by a jury and faces sentencing tomorrow. She can receive up to a three-year jail sentence, six times the stretch that Jerry Guy--who admitted to drinking before running over Nelson's son, A.J.--served.
"I think to come after me so much harder than they did him is a slap in the face because this will never end for me," she said. "It's three years away from the two that I have left."

Nelson also said that the jury had "never been in my shoes," because each of them answered that they had never taken public transportation before. Nelson, who doesn't have a car, was three-tenths of a mile away from the nearest crosswalk when her bus dropped her off at the stop across the street from her apartment with her three children. She decided to cross with her kids rather than remain outside any later at night, she said. (You can read more about her case here.)
"We are just hoping as a family that [the judge] is compassionate and lets my niece remain with her other children," Nelson's aunt Loretta Williams said. Nearly 75,000 have signed an online petition in support of Nelson.

Click on this link to view the video:

I for one am sick and tired of reading where parents or grandparents are being punished by cities and states for crimes resulting from what we used to call tragedies and accidents. 

In Laredo for instance, we have seen a mother arrested for child abandonment when a 12 year old boy who wandered away from her in the parking lot at the mall.  We have seen a grandmother arrested for child abandonment when her 3 year old grandchild got out of the house and walked down the street.  A person who saw the child called the police and when the officer arrived he put the child in the police car.  The grandmother who had been searching for the child, went to the officer, where she was going to ask for help in finding the kid, and she was arrested.  There are many more such incidents.

In this case, how can the state prove that if the mom had gone to the proper crosswalk that the drunk driver would not have run over the child.  Idiotic.

Why are we doing this?  Have we as a country gone crazy in thinking that accidents cannot happen?  Is the court system to be used for everything?  I wonder if I had grown up in this type of environment how many times my mom could have been arrested for my actions as a little kid. 

And finally, what purpose does it serve the community for this mother to be locked up?  Who will take care of her other kids?  Has her family not suffered enough because of the death of her son.  What punishment can make that worse?  Is the tragedy not enough of an example for the community to make parents think and do what they can to prevent such things from happening.

Let's fix these stupid laws.  Let's return to common sense and remember that accidents happen.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What would we be today if today's government was in place in 1791

  As I was sitting at Starbucks ($2.25 iced tea) I read an article where Dow Chemical is going to build a $20 billion chemical complex in Saudi Arabia in partnership with Saudi Arabian Oil.

From the Kansas City Star:
The companies said Monday that work on the long-awaited Sadara Chemical Company venture will begin immediately. It should start operations by 2015.

The complex, located in Saudi Arabia's Jubail Industrial City, will include 26 manufacturing units producing chemical products and plastics for use in the energy, transportation, infrastructure and consumer products industries.

Dow and Saudi Aramco say it will be one of the world's largest integrated chemical facilities. It will cost $20 billion, including funding from export credit agencies and financial institutions.

Now, I wonder what our local Laredo frac-a-sterics would think about something like that being built here in Texas.  I would bet that they would be up in arms wanting to stop such an obvious Mother Earth mutilating enterprise.   Of course such a plant was probably never considered for construction anywhere in the United States because of the permitting and political process in building such a venture.  The $20 billion cost there would probably equate to $40 billion here due to our extra fees, lawsuits and other business stopping courses of action. 

These types of stories, and personal experiences in corporate America, lead me to my long standing belief that US companies fled the United States in the late 70’ s through today, not just because of wages, but because of environmental actions and the endless array of litigation that U.S. based companies must endure.

Here is a question for anyone.  Would the United State be where it is today if there were the same government agencies in place the day the United States Constitution was ratified (1791)?  Would we have embarked on westward expansion?   Would the industrial age in the United States have been allowed to happen?  Or, would the U.S. have taken a back seat to Europe or China?

I read this article this morning while doing some quick search on the current life expectancy of United States citizens.  It was an article written in 1993 titled, The Environment Since the Industrial Revolution, written by Harry Lee Smith[i].  It is relevant to the above story in that our environmental regulations are a big part of the flight of manufacturing plants and development firms from this country.  If you are hooked on a misanthropist desire to return to expensive power sources like windmills and the sun, then you should read this article and try to tell me how industrialization, advances in chemicals, and the free American spirit and economy have harmed us so badly we must attempt to ban or over regulate those things that allow us to enjoy our current lifestyles.

This final paragraph says it all for me.

 The extraordinary and unprecedented improvement in our quality of life during the past 200 years can be attributed to individual freedom, technology, industry, and economic growth. Let us not sacrifice the system that has given us longer life and better health to unwarranted fear of the very processes of that system.

[i] Mr. Smith is a free-lance writer in Atlanta. This is an edited version of a piece that originally appeared in the March-April 1991 issue of the Cato Policy Report, published by the Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

Webb County Review Process

Am I the only one who finds the Webb County Court's process of reviewing department managers in an open forum?  I know this has been going on since I moved here in 1992, but isn't it kind of like watching a reality TV show? 

Maybe that's what the commissioner's want, more face time where they sit "above" everyone in judgement.  Kind of egotistical don't you think?

Of course, this is what we expect of elected officials from anywhere.

PS, it has nothing to do with open government.  If that was the case, ALL government employees would be reviewed this way.

Great Turnout at the Big White Elephant

Looks like a few thousand folks showed up at the Great White Elephant (the Laredo Energy Arena) for the Sister Cities Conference.

These crowds just keep growing.

PS, name a place in Laredo you could have had that many people in one place with more than adequate parking?

Keep up the good work Mr. Speaker

Isn't it amazing that the president is the one who is holding up the debt deal.  Say what you want, but it is the president's insistance on a deal that will last past the election.  Both houses agree that cannot be done.  So, it is the president who is holding things up.

PS, To all those who like to use the term "The Party of NO", how does that compare to the liberal support of those legislators who "flee" their states so they do not have to vote.  Should we label them "The Party of Cowards", or "The Party of Quitters"?

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I am reprinting this from the Crittters and Crayons blog.   The C&C blogger has a heart as big as Texas, and I urge you to do what you can to help this family.


For Katie: The Angel With A Warrior Spirit

Kaitlin Mary was born on a Wednesday. She breathed and cried for the first time on July 13th, 2011 just after noon. Her mother carried her for thirty-eight weeks. She was born small, weighing just 4 pounds and an ounce and she stretched her legs to fifteen and a half inches. She is called “Katie” by her father and mother, her older sister, and the many, many other people who love her.
She was born an anencephalic baby.  She was born. But, she was expected to die. Doctors told her parents her newborn affliction was “incompatible with life”, a woefully clinical euphemism for what it really means. And, also woefully inaccurate. You will see that she is full of life.
During the months leading up to birth, most parents excitedly plan their newborn’s first photo shoot, what matching outfit will be worn home, or maybe what nursery decor will welcome their healthy baby.
Dawn and Michael made funeral arrangements. They selected a casket. They put the coroner’s number on speed dial. They ensured a priest was on stand-by so their daughter could be baptized. They explained to their five year old, that her baby sister will be born, but that she will go to Jesus quickly. They picked out a welcoming outfit. And then they picked one to bury her in.
Katie was sent home with her parents, barely weighing four pounds, about the size of a gatorade jug. The doctors let her go without much accompanying instruction despite her intense ailment and low birth weight because of the fatal prognosis. Her parents wanted her to ascend from home. They had the paperwork to fill out. They had their neighbor-Sheriff’s number to notify upon Katie’s passing. They had what they needed.
But, she lived. At this writing, Katie has celebrated nine birthdays, one for every 24 hours she keeps fighting.  Everyone hopes for more. But, they trust that God will take Katie when she is ready to go. She’s just not ready yet.
Anencephaly is a serious birth defect that has left her without parts of her brain or skull. It’s a neural tube defect (NTD) which means that it occured during the first month of pregnancy, probably before Dawn even knew she was pregnant. Katie’s neural tube didn’t close all the way. Most anencephalic babies are born without the front part of the brain (forebrain) and the thinking and coordinating part (cerebrum).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Image of An Anencephalic Child
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year, about 1 in every 4,859 babies in the United States will be born with anencephaly. Low intake of folic acid before getting pregnant and in early pregnancy increases the risk of neural tube defects like Katie’s. And, for reasons that are not well understood, hispanic women are at higher risk of having an anencephalic child.
Katie was born with a fleshy notch on top of her head, which is really part of her brain encasing.  Her parents dress it frequently and cover the protective bandage with a modified pink preemie cap to keep her head warm.  She was also born with a cleft palate.  This gives her difficulty in achieving a latch when eating from a bottle but it does nothing to quell her determination to do so.  She is a vigorous eater and she fights for milk the way she fights to breathe.  One of Katie’s eyelids failed to separate as well.  This lends further to the asymmetry of her face with a bump protruding where her left eye should be.  All of these facial anomalies might seem to form a disfigured baby to callous eyes.  But, the truth lies in the accepting vision of the small children who come to see her.  They see that she is small like a baby doll.  They see she is alive.  They see she is adored.  Anything unsightly perceived  beyond these three truths is an ugly distortion.  Katie is beautiful.
There isn’t a known cure or standard treatment for what ails her. Almost all babies born with anencephaly will die shortly after birth.
Except for Katie.
Katie behaves in a way that defies expectations. She was expected to die in the hospital within hours of delivery with little or no abilty to respond to stimuli. But she does more than exist. She responds.
Katie yawns…

And she clutches…..

And she smiles…..

It may seem unlikely that her smile is authentic. Even healthy babies aren’t supposed to be able to do that yet. But, if you have seen her, you know that she does. When Dawn bends down and kisses her tiny face, Katie’s mouth opens and upturns in what can only be the genuine smile of a baby in love with her mother.
Michael and Dawn expected to give birth to a blind baby. Developmental books inform that healthy newborns have poor eyesight but that they can see their mother’s face from the breast. When Dawn cradles her baby close, and nuzzles her little nose, Katie opens a healthy, blue eye and she sees her mother. Watches her. Searches her. Some might think it unlikely that she can respond. But, this baby is a testament to unlikelihood. She is a miracle.
There have been many people close to the family who have reached out. A legion of women has been bringing meals to them for weeks and will continue until their vigil ends, and beyond. In April, local crafters who heard about the family’s impending struggle auctioned their wares to benefit the family and offset medical and funeral expenses. Later that month, a large group walked in honor of Katie for The March Of Dimes- March For Babies. A photographer volunteered to capture professional images of the family to help preserve these sacred seconds. And, a group of women rallied behind the family and formed Katie’s Fighters.
Led by pillars and dear friends to Dawn:  Amy H., Danielle and Amy G., the group runs the Katie’s Fighters Facebook Page. It’s a page that is only as old as Katie and already has over 300 fans. Katie’s Fighters wants to spread the word about anencephaly, the need for more research and to help the family chronicle Katie’s struggle with photos, updates and prayer. The group has formed a support net around the family and is ready to catch them if they falter, become weak or need help. Amy H. is the central point for anything that needs to be coordinated outside of Katie’s immediate care. She, with the help of a few loyal friends, manage the website and protect the family from having to do anything other than just be with Katie.
The friends and extended family who have come to help Michael, Dawn, Lina and Katie are truly amazing. But, there are not words to describe the strength, love and resolute faith of this family.

Michael and Dawn take turns sleeping every day that Katie is with them. There is brief family time where all four are up in the morning to eat breakfast, but then it is time for one parent to sleep. One must be awake and holding Katie when she faces her most difficult battle.

The family is grounded in deep faith that this experience, tragic as it appears from the outside, is still a blessing. They believe this trial, crippling for most, is something they can handle. They are firmly rooted in their trust that God would not give them an insurmountable challenge. He has given them a sad and immeasurably painful one. But they are determined to survive the unsurviveable through faith.
Dawn says her faith in God has not suffered. Rather, it has been strengthened. She never expected to have this precious time with her daughter. But, she does and she thanks God for that, too. She also says that Katie has been an inspiration for many people to renew and revive their waning faith. This tiniest of newborns has given families pause to consider their priorities in life and where their children fit in. She has made families closer and a community tighter. In just nine short days, Katie’s life has already been filled with meaning and purpose, qualities that an unfortunate many fail to achieve despite whole bodies and long, unfulfilled lifetimes.

Their daughter, Lina (short for Angelina) is one of the most remarkable girls you could ever hope to meet. She exudes a maturity beyond her years and an understanding and acceptance that she has gained far too soon. When small children see her sister, and ask about Katie’s “little boo boos”, Lina is honest and direct. “No, she has big boo boos.” And, she holds her sister’s miniature hand and kisses her with compassion and love. She is strong. She is like her parents. She is like her sister.
Many people may find it hard to imagine the resilience that this family has shown. No parent should have to bury a child and few could face such a task with the same dignity and calm. But, Dawn has a sage perspective that is simple and profound. It all makes sense because of one tiny blanket.
Dawn made a pink satin blanket to swaddle her daughter. It’s soft underside is green and patterned with ladybugs. She made it with the intention of burying her daughter in it. She never imagined that this blanket would swaddle her warm, breathing, smiling, watching, grasping, fighting, beautiful baby girl for more than minutes or hours.
When Katie’s hardest battle is over, her warrior spirit and small body will be comforted and warmed for eternity in a blanket her mother made for her, that is now filled with the full energy of unexpected memories, undeterred faith, intense gratitude, the ripples of her movement, and transcendant love.
It is a sad story but with happy parts if we can only look for them by following Michael, Dawn and little Lina’s example. When the rest of us feel weak from fear, sadness and overwhelming empathy, and when we look at our own children and we weep for joy that they are whole and safe and here, we can find solace, ourselves, in that pink and green satin blanket.
It is the tiny blanket made with love, through the tears of a mother mourning her daughter before she was born, but who who felt her cherished heartbeat for so many unpromised days, that will embrace and comfort us all.
If you are interested in helping Katie’s Family through donations, services, or fund-raisers, please contact Katie’s Fighters
Via email at:
Or via Facebook at:
You can learn more about Anencephaly at the following link:
Current Fund Raisers:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly Tidbits

Here are some local faces I found at Jarvis Plaza.....

·         Tomorrow, July 19, 1953, a date that will live in history, is the day I was born.  No gifts please, unless you know me, and know where I hang out.  In that case, cash is fine.

·         A "Hispanic" Tea Party Chapter in the valley.    FINALLY.  The Tea Party is not about race, political party, anything other than those who believe in the US Constitution and limited government.

·         Too bad for US Women's soccer team.  Good for Japan, they needed the good news.

·         Your task this week, check out all the other local bloggers sites.  Please comment on them as that helps them understand how many people are reading.

·         Republicans, hold the line.  Do not budge on tax rate increases.  Get the cuts in writing.

·         Question of the week:  Why is it important to know the ethnic make up of the United States?  Why do we need to know there are 45 million Hispanics, or 37 million African Americans, or 13 million Asians composing the 300 million Americans?  Why is that breakdown important to anyone?

·         If money is the measure of whether a child will receive a “good” education, why are the Catholic schools able to turn out better students for less cost?

  • Sounds like Gov. Perry will be a U.S. presidential candidate in about 3 weeks.  GOOD.

Al Gore and Reality....not three words you normally see occuring in the same sentence

You gotta love Big Al vs. Big Oil and Big Coal.  By the way, who is funding ol' Big Al?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I can't say it any better than "The Dailey Bayonet"

Here is an article from the Hippie bashing Dailey Bayonet.   Be sure to read about the enviro gang originally liking shale gas until they realized it would hurt their pet projects.

Gas Up
Last week we featured a video with Ethan Hawke and other pretty people pushing the anti-fracking narrative.
Greens are terrified that shale gas will prove so popular it will end their inefficient pipe-dream renewables programs.  See what this gas industry analysis says, and you can see why Big Green is so desperate to find something, anything it can use to make shale gas a demon:

“You have one energy that represents today more than 20 percent of the energy mix, and solar today is close to zero and will represent maybe 1 or 1.5 percent in 20 years from now,” said Jean-Jacques Mosconi, Total head of strategy.  The trouble is that a new “golden age of gas,” as the International Energy Agency dubbed it, has created massive over-capacity in a key rival fuel for power generation. 
“The economic viability of a lot of the renewables are getting killed because we have too much gas in the world right now,” said Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs.  “It’s made a lot of these other projects like solar and wind struggle in terms of their economic viability, and coal too.”

Gas power plants can be built at a fraction of the cost of nuclear, and the reserves found so far are eye-poppingly huge.  The US alone is estimated to have 862 trillion cubic feet of the stuff.  Turn up the thermostat and call me Lucy, that’s a lot of gas
Another benefit of shale gas is that it doesn’t require toxic materials like solar panels, and it doesn’t shred birds or drive people nuts from noise.  With modern scrubbing technology, it’s a pretty clean burning fossil fuel option.

In fact, it’s such a good fuel that greens used to like the idea of shale gas:
Given its greenhouse gas benefits, environmental activists initially welcomed shale gas. For example, in August 2009 prominent liberals Timothy Wirth and John Podesta, writing on behalf of the Energy Future Coalition, hailed shale gas as “a bridge fuel to a 21st-century energy economy that relies on efficiency, renewable sources, and low-carbon fossil fuels such as natural gas.”

The same year, environmentalist Robert Kennedy, Jr., head of the Waterkeeper Alliance, declared in the Financial Times, “In the short term, natural gas is an obvious bridge fuel to the ‘new’ energy economy.”

That sound you hear is hippie teeth grinding. If they’d thought it through (heh), they would have seen that it represented a threat to their favorite energy placebos and never supported it.  But they did, and the internet never forgets.

So far, the ‘best’ weapon hippies have against shale gas is the misinformation that fracking somehow affects water.  It’s a straight-up fabrication that even EPA director Lisa Jackson can’t support.
Shale gas will inevitably end the current fad of subsidizing inefficient renewables for the simple reason that businesses and consumers will punish any politician that keeps raising energy prices when an affordable alternative exists. 

Transformation to shale gas will happen, but it will happen against a background of howling screams from the green left who want anything but affordable, abundant energy.

More on Frac-A-Steria

To my Frac-a-sterical friends.  On the Safe Fracking Coalition FB page, they put up a Bloomberg article on study conducted by the City of Fort Worth, Tx.  Read their article and you will see that at 5 out of 388 wells there was concern about air quality.  But read this article and you get a different picture.  Note the bean serving protesters in the middle of the article.  Priceless.

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Updated Friday, Jul 15 at 9:07 AM

FORT WORTH - Fort Worth residents finally have some answers about possible pollution from drilling in the Barnett Shale. 
No other city has so many gas wells so close to so many people.

Fort Worth spent about $1 million in badly needed gas well revenue to measure emissions from all the drilling and processing. The long awaited study by the Eastern Research Group did not reveal any "significant health threats." It also concluded the city's 600-foot setback for wells is adequate.

Fort Worth's new mayor, Betsy Price, said the report's conclusions brought a sense of relief. 

"We've all been sitting on pins and needles waiting to see," she said. "I hope it makes people feel better." 
She called the report the most comprehensive study of its kind, and said it should relieve fears about pollution from gas drilling.

Maybe it will for some, but fear and suspicion remain. Outside Arlington City Hall Thursday night, a group worried about drilling industry pollution donned Gov. Rick Perry face masks and served up beans. They were illustrating their claim that the state is sacrificing their health to big business.
"Air quality now is worse than it was last summer," said Jim Schermbeck, of Downwinders at Risk. "We're not making any progress."
Schermbeck and others came to address members of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, begging them to put tighter restrictions on gas well emissions.
"If you can't figure this out, step aside and let the EPA protect us," one mother told the TCEQ.

They pointed out that the Fort Worth study on air quality did find that drilling activity pumps an additional 20,000 tons of emissions into the air each year. The study found that five sites exceeded regulatory thresholds, but that almost all the pollutants have low toxicity, with the exception of small amounts of benzene and other toxins.

"Is it perfect? Certainly not," Price said. "We haven't had a chance to go over it in depth yet, but at first blush, it looks good."
The Eastern Research Group will formally present its findings to the Air Quality Committee at 3 p.m. July 18 in the pre-council chambers at Fort Worth City Hall.

Frac-A-Phobes show elevated symptoms that lead to Frac-A-Steria

Frac-A-Phobia is only a symptom of Frac-A-Steria (Hysteria, get it).  Looks like the Safe Fracking Coalition’s moderate case of Frac-A-Phobia has elevated to the most serious Frac-A-Steria.  Checking out their Facebook page, you can see that now the oil and gas industry are brainwashers, negligent, arrogant, slimey, and dirty. 

Local blogger, LaredoTejas, calls them brainwashers because a company had a coloring book to illustrate fracing.  Kind of like the Global Warming/Climate Change/Misanthropologist coloring books showing that man is killing the planet. 

And it looks like the coalition supports the comments of Mark Ruffalo who said "This is an industry that is the dirtiest, slimiest, most arrogant, and negligent that you can imagine."   Ruffalo made this comment on Al Gore’s Comment TV Network, on the Keith Olberman shown.  You remember Kieth, the guy who was fired from MSNBC.  Pretty hard for a liberal to get fired from MSNBC, but he did.  So now he is on the Nobel prize winning Al “The World is Burning Up” Gore network.

Yep, my friends, those folks at the Safe Fracking Coalition are really looking out for your interest by only seeking the truth about the fracing process.  Experts on fracing: a movie star and a fired TV host =  Priceless.

Again, to the Safe Fracking Coalition:  Tell us what you really want to happen.  Answer these questions:

A.       Do you want the fracing process to end nationwide?
             1.  Or do you just want to regulate it to death?
B.      Are you afraid the newfound shale gas/oil plays will produce enough cheap/reliable energy that the renewable energy fad may come to an end?
These are some of the questions you need to answer.  Because we now know you are way beyond wanting safe drinking water.

GE Profile™ 30" Free-Standing Gas Range with Baking Drawer — Model #: PGB918SEMSS  "Why do they hate natural gas?"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why I am not for tax rate hikes on the rich. A respone to LaredoTejas's blog.

I love the fact that there are several bloggers in Laredo of varied opinions.  I think I am the most conservative of the group, and that is just fine with me.  Although, at some point some reinforcements might come in handy.

Anyway, here is a partial post from blogger Laredotejas.  He seems to want to make you believe that I am for cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  While I am not for entirely gutting these programs, they do deserve some refinement and upgrades, including possibly raising retirement ages, and fixing some of the fraud problems. 

Wade Watch: Tom Wade supports continued tax breaks for the Rich

 Whew, it was about time that Tom Wade spoke out about something. I hadn't had a chance for any new entries under "Wade Watch" but now that drought is over. In his re-launched website, "Wakeup Laredo", Wade, as expected, defends the continued tax breaks for the richest in the country. As do most republicans, Wade would much rather see cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security than to force the super-rich to just one Lear jet each.
Well, for one thing if Wade's a regular at Starbucks we can be sure he's not suffering financially. I guess that makes it that much easier to "stand up for the rich". The Tea Party and the republicans and generally have somehow hypnotized that standing up for the rich and against the poor equals "taking our country" back. It's a shame to see how robotic some of the ultra conservatives are. Day in, Day out, they repeat, over and over, whatever FoxNews or Rush wants them to say. Don't these people have any "real" principles as Wade proclaims. I wouldn't regard standing up for the more fortunate necessarily a "principle" so much as a way of trying to associate yourself with the rich.......even if it's as a lowly cheerleader.

This constant whine about class warfare is just that, whine.  We all know that higher earners pay a much higher percentage of the federal government revenue than those in lower income brackets, many of whom pay NO federal taxes.  It has been that way for a very long time.  The Tea Party and Republicans understand math, and can comprehend the idea of percentages.  Maybe we need some remedial math courses for some of the class warfare democrats.  You know, how to show that those that make the most money pay higher percentages of their income. 

Why do I defend those that want to keep the tax rates the same?  How about this little fact, we have not had tax revenues of more than 20% of GDP for any length of time since at least 1960.  This is true even though w have had much higher tax rates in earlier years, in fact, we once had a marginal rate of 91%.  Despite higher tax rates, tax revenues still tended to trend around the level of 18% of GDP.  There were short periods when revenues went up to 20% of GDP.  So, we can safely state that the long-term average for actual tax revenues is 18% to 20% of GDP. ( Again, percentages….hope I am not losing you)

This next line is one that really states what my argument is all about:  Higher tax rates can raise revenues to a point until taxpayers change their behavior and then revenues fall back to the long-term trend line.

What does that mean to all taxpayers?  People/business asks for, and then receives loophole tax subsidies from their favorite politician.   Don’t believe me, look at’s new section and you will see where General Electric, a corporation that earned over $152 billion in 2010, and paid NO income tax.  NONE.  And to add to that: (from CNN Money website this little tidbit):  But there's still cause for optimism. GE's order backlog for core industrial products like turbines and locomotive engines stands at $175 billion, and could grow if plans for a $53 billion high-speed rail project ever win Congressional approval.     

GE’s corporate tax rate is 35%.  But they paid zero and could profit billions more if your tax dollars are spent on inefficient high speed rail projects that are being proposed.

So you see, no matter what the tax rate, people/business will find a way around them through loop holes and moving out of the country.  Which reminds me, ever wonder why so many companies left the US with their manufacturing jobs? 

Again, raising tax rates on big business and the ultra rich is a fool’s game.  It only causes more of a shift in actual tax pain to the middle class because the loop holes don’t apply to them.  Again, for those who don’t understand government workings, let me explain.

Government (all levels) base their budget on projected revenues and if those projected revenues are at X$, then the government will budget X$.  But when X$ is less than budgeted, the government’s (democrats for sure) first reaction is to RAISE the tax rate to raise revenue.  But it is a proven that the upper level of taxpayer and even some middle taxpayers change their habits or look for loop holes that allow them to pay less.  So as governments keep raising rates, they keep about the same revenue percentage stream and see only increased payments from those who cannot afford the loop hole finders.  So it becomes a never ending circle of increased rates without increasing actual revenue and that increase tax rate will still be paid by the small business owner and those that earn the big money will just find more loop holes and pay less taxes.  That is my point, and why I don’t want to see rates adjusted up, but down. How?

First, look at government spending.  It is growing beyond our incoming revenue.  Now, when we spend more than we take in, we get deficit spending.  That is what has been happening since the 1960’s.  Even with GDP increasing, the government just keeps spending beyond what they take in.  And when your government debt equals or exceeds your GDP, you are in real trouble, as we are today. 

So, the first way to fix our financial problem is not RAISING TAX RATES, but cutting our spending.  It makes no sense to raise taxes on those who can get around them via loop holes or just move out of the country and then have those that provide the most jobs pay higher rates because they cannot afford to move, or hire high dollar loop hole finders/creators.

What I would like to see, are you ready LaredoTejas, is the removal of ALL subsidies (tax loopholes) in the federal, state, and local tax system.  Of course you and I know that will never happen, as these are the real giveaways that politicians survive on.  It is not pork barrel spending, but tax loopholes that keep on giving.  And it is a problem in both parties.

Just think if we made everyone (and I would still accept a poverty line) pay taxes, everyone’s rate would go down dramatically.  There is no arguing this point.  It is a fact.  But, when you have entrenched politicians in place who want to pass out favors for re-election monies, what you get is lots and lots of tax loop holes.  But it is a political process of you do me a favor (loop hole) and I do you a favor (contribute to campaign).  Then of course there are the strong lobbies against the killing of loop holes.  Attorneys, accountants, and other loop hole finders would go out of business.  I say go out of business as did the oxen pulled cart.  But these folks have the money and connections to will be spent to assure them that the middle taxpayer keeps on paying more. 

This is why I am against class warfare, and why I am for the Tea Party.  They get it. 

PS, I will be at Starbucks tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. if you want to come by and share a cold glass of black iced tea.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Tidbits

·         Frac-A-Phobe defined:  Frac-A-Phobes are those that want to do anything they can to kill the natural gas industry in an attempt to limit fossil fuels to everyone.  Frac-A-Phobes are by definition misanthropist.  They are those who want awards for supposed justice.  Those moms and dads locally that have concerns because of misleading movies like Gasland are not real Frac-A-Phobes. 

·         Some upcoming blogs I will be posting soon:

                   Using racism to bait your base.

                  What, the schools are still open and no teachers fired!

·         Looks like the local blogs are not touching the pro-fracing editorial in today’s Laredo Morning Times.

·         I miss BT Blues blogs and the photographs.

·         I should be at a baseball game tonight.  I was last year.  Can’t wait for the new ballpark and team.  PS,  every once in a while you can catch a game on TXN network.  That is the league our team will be part of.