Latinos For Texas Blog

2005-Oct-31

White House Attempts to Suppress News of Indictments with Radical Judge Pick

Filed under: — sabas @ 9:39 am

In typical White House fashion, when the news is not good – distract and divert.

In an attempt to distract and divert recent news coverage of criminal charges that go straight to the heart of national security and the integrity of the president, the White House just named a radical judge as a Supreme Court nominee.

This morning, the White House named Judge Alito as Supreme Court nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Conner. Judge Alito was the lone dissenting judge to vote that a woman must get the man’s consent before terminating a pregnancy. Fortunately, the other judges on the court disagreed. However, I’m sure more of his personal-agenda rulings will be uncovered in the days ahead.

And this is exactly what the White House wants. By nominating Alito, this, of course, will create a fight that will be sure to turn news coverage away from the possible criminal actions of lies and deceit to conceal the truth about their reasons for going to war.

After all, when President Bush took the White House, he indicated that he wanted to “restore honor and integrity” to the White House.

Unfortunately, lying to the American people about connections between Iraq and 9/11 while thousands of young soldiers – fathers, mothers, brother, and sisters – die in Iraq, is neither honorable nor truthful.

2005-Oct-28

Lewis Libby Indicted

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:52 am

ABCNews Breaking News

headline:
LEWIS LIBBY HAS BEEN INDICTED ON OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, FALSE STATEMENTS AND PERJURY CHARGES IN THE CIA LEAK INVESTIGATION

have a great weekend!

2005-Oct-27

Humanity for Horses

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:32 am

The following is an editorial published in today’s San Antonio Express-News. Disgusting is the only thing that comes to my mind.

Editorial: Bonilla attempted to thwart majority

Web Posted: 10/27/2005 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News
Americans don’t eat horses, just as they don’t eat dogs.

Yet foreign companies slaughter horses in three facilities in the United States and ship their meat abroad for human consumption.

Two of those horse slaughterhouses are in Texas, and gruesome they are.

The mayor of Kaufman, where one of them is located, this fall urged senators considering an amendment to ban horse slaughter in the United States to take that action. She said her community suffers greatly because of the environmental hazards resulting from the industry.

This is no kind euthanasia.

With little regulation, horses are shipped without food and water, run through a gantlet where they may or may not be stunned unconscious and hoisted by one hind leg. Then their throats are slit like chickens.

Both houses of Congress, by wide margins, passed an amendment that blocks the sale of horse meat for human consumption by eliminating federal inspection of the meat, the Associated Press reported.

Texas law already forbids the sale of horse meat for human food.

However, according to the AP report, in a conference committee to work out differences in the House and Senate legislation, San Antonio’s Rep. Henry Bonilla, chairman of the agriculture subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, tried to thwart the will of Congress, as well as the people of Texas, by unsuccessfully maneuvering to have the amendment removed.

This tactic is absolutely outrageous. Apparently, the economic interests of the foreign companies outweigh the interests of citizens in the communities where this takes place and the humane issues involved.

The purpose of a conference committee is to reconcile issues on which the two houses of Congress disagree. A single lawmaker, behind closed doors, should not thwart the will of members of both houses.

San Antonians should let Bonilla know what they think of this act.

Not only is it anti-democratic, it also protects barbaric behavior.

2005-Oct-26

The Psalmist on Fitzmas

Filed under: — kevin @ 7:06 am

I saw this last night. I love it. Psalm 37: 12-16.

The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that their day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy,
to kill those who walk uprightly;
Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

2005-Oct-25

Poll: Majority of Americans now feel Iraq war was wrong

Filed under: — sabas @ 12:12 pm

After 2 1/2 years of combat, no Bin Laden connection and/or capture, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, nearly 2,000 American deaths, over $200 billion of U.S. tax dollars, and a White House trail of lies and deceit, a majority of Americans are finally coming to the realization - Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

According to a poll published in The Wall Street Journal, for the first time, a majority of Americans believe the Iraq war was the “wrong thing to do.”

For those of you just now waking to reality - good morning…better late, than never.

Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:17 am

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has left this earth much better than she found it.

2005-Oct-24

KKK says vote yes on Prop 2

Filed under: — kevin @ 1:36 pm

If anyone was ever in doubt, the country’s most notorious haters are really against proposition 2 here in Texas. Here in Austin, we’ll get to see their hate on display:

The city has given permission of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a rally on Saturday, November 5. The group says they want to have a pro-family values rally in front of City Hall that afternoon to get voters to vote against gay marriage.

The city has reserved the Austin City Hall’s south plaza on Lavaca and Cesar Chavez from 1-3 pm on Saturday, November 5.

In an e-mail to the city for permission, a representative for the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan wrote: “Our speech will not be inflammatory, but we all know the reputation of the name of the KKK, so we expect anti-Klan demonstrators to be there who may become violent. We certainly don’t want any of our people hurt nor any city officials. We just want to come and encourage people to vote for Christian Family Values and against legalized homosexual marriage in the state of Texas.”

Well, actually Mr. Grand Dragon, marriage between two people of the same sex is already illegal. And secondly, thanks for the publicity. You’ll end up helping those who support equal rights.

Idiots…

2005-Oct-23

SA E-N Says No to Prop 2

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 1:00 am

Editorial: Gay marriage ban a misguided policy

Web Posted: 10/23/2005 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News
Of all the issues on the Nov. 8 ballot, Proposition 2 is the most divisive, the most certain to inflame passionate responses among proponents and opponents.

It has come to be known as the “gay marriage amendment,” although voters will not see that term on the ballot.

While vaguely worded, however, the amendment is intended to ban gay marriages in Texas, something the state already did when it passed the Defense of Marriage Act in 2003.

By merely reinforcing a law already on the books, the amendment would be redundant. Worse, it would discriminate against gays in Texas.

We urge voters to reject Proposition 2 on the Nov. 8 ballot; early voting begins Monday.

Supporters of the amendment contend that banning gay unions strengthens marriage, shielding it from a growing threat.

Marriage does appear to be in trouble in Texas, but it is hard to see how gays have jeopardized the sanctity of the union between a man and a woman.

According to a recent survey by the Associated Press, Texas has a divorce rate of 4.1 per 1,000 people, almost twice as high as the rate in Massachusetts, a state where gay couples are allowed to wed.

The real threats to modern marriage are social problems, such as alcoholism, unemployment and spousal abuse.

In addition, the vague wording in the proposition — the state would be prohibited from recognizing any legal status “identical or similar to marriage” — might create legal problems by undermining relationships such as common-law marriages.

“It’s unclear, if the amendment passes, whether it could be used to bar civil unions,” Michael Ariens, associate dean and professor of law at St. Mary’s University, said.

The amendment also could impact employee benefits.

“It could affect the manner in which a gay couple deals with issues of retirement, particularly insofar as the state is concerned,” Ariens said. “If a private company wants to extend benefits to same-sex partners, they can. But I just don’t know how far-reaching this amendment would be on that issue.”

Because it could create unnecessary legal problems in a misguided — and discriminatory — attempt to strengthen marriage, voters should reject the amendment.

Check BOR for other papers saying no.

2005-Oct-21

Colin Powell’s Former Chief of Staff Blasts Bush Administration

Filed under: — sabas @ 11:52 am

If you weren’t entirely convinced yet that the Bush Administration lied about the reasons for going to war and is too inept to manage any future catastrophes, Colin Powell’s right-hand man, Colonel Larry Wilkerson, will certainly convince you.

In a rare public rebuke of the secretive Bush administration by a former insider, former State Department Chief of Staff, Colonel Wilkerson blasts the Bush Administration for collusion and ineptness. What makes Colonel Wilkerson’s criticisms particularly damaging to the White House is that Wilkerson is a distinguished military veteran with first-hand experiences of the inner-workings of the White House.

Colonel Wilkerson said:

“What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld,” he said. By cutting out checks-and-balances, “we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, and generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina.” If there is a nuclear terrorist attack or a major pandemic, Wilkerson continued, “you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that’ll take you back to the Declaration of Independence.”


As for the Republican foot-soldiers, he says:

They “truly abandoned their oversight responsibilities” and said past presidents had also circumvented the national security structure. But, he said, “the case that I saw for four-plus years was a case I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process.”

This humble blogger has to ask, is this the administration that we really want running our country and responsible for our sons and daughters in the Iraq War?!?!

2005-Oct-19

SA’s E-N on Prop 1

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:44 am

Editorial: To enhance rail safety, approve Proposition 1
Web Posted: 10/19/2005 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News

Bexar County received a wake-up call about the dangers of freight train traffic in populated areas last year.

Three people were killed and 49 injured after a rail car carrying chlorine gas was punctured in an accident near Nelson and Old Pearsall roads.

The incident occurred in a sparsely populated area, but could have easily happened in the city. In another 2004 railroad mishap, 5,600 gallons of diesel were spilled and three men injured near Brackenridge High School.

By voting for Proposition 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot, Texas voters can jump-start a mechanism that will reduce the risk and help economic development efforts as well. Early voting begins Monday.

Proposition 1 would amend the Texas Constitution to create the Texas Rail Relocation Improvement Fund. If voters approve the amendment, lawmakers plan to find revenue for the fund in the next legislative session.

“We’ll get input from the public and then figure out a way to pay for it,” said Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, who sponsored a resolution to put the amendment on the ballot.

The fund would be used in a public/private effort to move freight rail traffic out of densely populated areas.

In addition to enhancing public safety, relocation of freight rail lines would reduce the time automobiles spend idling at railroad crossings, reducing air pollution and traffic congestion.

Additionally, the relocations would enable railroads to carry more freight and reduce the number of 18-wheel trucks on Texas highways — a benefit that would be particularly important in areas such as the Interstate 35 corridor, where NAFTA has created heavy truck traffic.

Proposition 1 is an important step forward for modern Texas and has the support of public officials ranging from Gov. Rick Perry to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

We urge voters to cast ballots for Proposition 1.

2005-Oct-18

Just say NO to vigilantes!

Filed under: — kevin @ 9:47 pm

LFT received notice today that a group of central Texas progressive organizations and individuals are signing a letter to the Austin City Council in hopes that they will pass a resolution condemning the Minutemen and re-affirming our city’s commitment to justice, peace, equality, and all the good stuff that makes Austin great. Tonight at our meetup we voted to join the already impressive list of groups in support of this resolution.

Now that’s democracy in action!

If you live in another city and wish to propose a similar resolution, or if you are a member of a group here in Austin or central Texas and you want to join your name to the list of supporters, contact us at info@latinosfortexas.com.

Here is the text of the letter: (more…)

Michael Chertoff: “return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions”

Filed under: — kevin @ 1:41 pm

Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff apparently doesn’t know the difference between national security and immigration. Here is the text of an AP report:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.

“Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the ‘catch and release’ enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.

“It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year,” Chertoff told a Senate hearing.

Thousands of “Mexicans who are caught entering the United States illegally are returned immediately to Mexico. But other parts of the system have nearly collapsed under the weight of numbers. The problem is especially severe for non-Mexicans apprehended at the southwest border,” Chertoff explained.

“Today, a non-Mexican illegal immigrant caught trying to enter the United States across the southwest border has an 80 percent chance of being released immediately because we lack the holding facilities,” he added.

“Through a comprehensive approach, we are moving to end this ‘catch and release’ style of border enforcement by reengineering our detention and removal process.”

Chertoff’s remarks in favor of returning “every illegal entrant, no exceptions” appeared to conflict directly with the US policy toward illegal Cuban migrants.

Though Cubans picked up at sea are returned to their country, those who reach US soil by air, sea or ground are allowed to stay and work — a fact Cuba says encourages dangerous illegal emigration attempts.

See, national security means going after terrorists and people who want to hurt us. Stopping immigration just increases the amount we have to pay for basic goods and services. Silly Michael.

2005-Oct-16

What’s on the ballot? Proposition 1

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 2:59 pm

As this November’s Constitutional Amendments election nears, please look to our blog for some info on what’s on the ballot.

**LFT is also gearing up to help No Nonsense in November defeat Proposition 2, so send Mario an email and come join us to help defeat discrimination in Texas.**

Check out Kuff and the BOR, too.

Proposition 1 – HJR 54 “The constitutional amendment creating the Texas rail relocation and improvement fund and authorizing grants of money and issuance of obligations for financing the relocation, rehabilitation and expansion of rail facilities.”

Worth noting:
•Replaces the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the Staggers Rail Act of 1980 which deregulated the U.S. railroad industry.
•The fund would leverage assets to issue bonds to finance the relocation and improvement of privately and publicly owned passenger and freight rail facilities for the purposes of:

o Relieving congestion on public highways;
o enhancing public safety;
o improving air quality; or
o expanding economic opportunity.

Arguments for:
• Would move freight transportation off highways.
• Could encourage the creation of a “transportation district” promoting new business along lines.
• Relocating railroads could be used for the placement of commuter rail lines or highways.
• Decrease in hazardous materials moving through densely populated areas.
• Fuel efficiency.

Arguments against:
• Private sector investment.
• Increase public debt - Approx. $100 million debt service per $1 billion in bonds per year.
• Outside the realm of TxDot responsibilities.

Nays:
House— Alonzo; Burnam; Coleman; Davis, Y.; Dunnam; Dutton; Farrar; Hardcastle; Hartnett; Hodge; Jones, D.; Jones, J.; Keel; Laney; Leibowitz; Moreno, J.; Moreno, P.; Noriega, M.; Pickett; Quintanilla; Reyna; Riddle; Ritter; Thompson.
Senate—none.

STATEMENTS OF VOTE
When Record No. 398 was taken, I was temporarily out of the house chamber, meeting with constituents with respect to water district legislation. I would have voted yes. – Gallego
When Record No. 398 was taken, I was in the house but away from my desk. I would have voted yes. – Krusee
I was shown voting no on Record No. 398. I intended to vote yes. – Leibowitz

My Kind of Christians

Filed under: — kevin @ 7:57 am

Here is an email I received from a friend. The writer here is Rick Ufford-Chase, the moderator of the PC(USA)’s General Assembly (the national governing body of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.). For the record, I’m a deacon at Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church. Our motto is, “Deliberately Diverse and Fully Inclusive.” A refreshing change when all we hear about in the mainstream media are religious bigots and extremist politicians who pander to them.

Friends,

June 26th, 2002 was the last time I spent the night here at the shelter for migrants in Altar, Sonora, Mexico. It seems hard to believe that it’s been almost three and a half years. That night, I was with a group of seminarians from Chicago, and a dozen or so migrants from southern Mexico and Central America. We North Americans heard their stories, and then after they had drifted off to the dormitory, the rest of us quietly opened our bedrolls, spread our sheets and blankets, and carried their stories to bed with us.

We had heard about their families and their harrowing tales of hiking in the desert. Their desperation became real to us as they shared that the two gallons of water each had carried with him had disappeared all too quickly, finally becoming a few precious swallows that nothing short of a miracle could make last through the miles that still lay ahead. They had stories of hiking hard for three and four days, getting picked up by a car arranged by their smuggler, and being apprehended by the Border Patrol a few miles short of the safe house in Tucson where they were headed. Their stories evidenced a grim determination, a resolve that nothing would stop them from trying again and again to reach for a steady wage to send money home to their families.

And then, everyone else slept that night while I sat on the floor in the dark and wondered what God would have me do. That was the night I first discerned a call to stand for the position of Moderator. I felt called to lift up these stories, and to implore Christ’s church to respond.

Now, forty months later and after serving the church as Moderator of the General Assembly for almost sixteen months, here I am again. This time I’m accompanied by a different group of people.
(more…)

2005-Oct-14

Support Nononsense, defeat Amendment#2

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:45 pm

Ok, first a little personal view, then the logistics of blockwalking and campaign helping.

I must admit a part of me wants to see people hoisted on their own petard and, ya know, get a little taste of their own medicine, if i can add some metaphors together.

See, as you might know, there are no gay married folks in Texas. So, the time-and-money-and-focus wasting people pushing Amendment#2 are, in fact, only able to actively hurt straight people who are in consensual relationships alot like a marriage, but who are not in fact married.

ya know, suburban, urban, and ex-urban dwelling people, aging from 20-80+, who get together with someone else, but because they have already assets and perhaps children from previous relationships or for whatever reason, dont want to get married, but would like to take care of each other and be there when their Other needs them. These are the people who could be hurt by Amendment #2, and its nonsense.

Even the AustinAmerican Statesman can see this does nothing to protect marriage. As a newlywed myself, with a great imagination, i find it hard to conjure the role that any un-married or married couple (gay or straight) will play as primary destroyers of my and my wife’s relationship, without the deep involvement of me or her.

ok ok, enough soapbox. so first a request: if any supporters of amendment#2 pass thru this site, please leave a comment as to how you made your decision.

and now on to the logistics,
LFT, with NoNonsenseInNovember, are gonna go blockwalking in Austin on the weekends of Oct 22 and 23 and again OCt 29 and 30th. please get involved by emailing mario@latinosfortexas.com or attending our upcoming meetup.

if you would like to organize a way to help the NoNonsense campaign inyour part of Texas, please visit the NoNonsenseInNovember site, or email me (mario@latinosfortexas.com) and i will get you in touch with the right people in your area. There are staffers and up-and-running organizations all over the state.

adios
mario

Leninger attempts to buy another election.

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:11 am

Everyone loves polls and the E-N is running one on their homepage - Should Texas ban gay marriage? Vote here. You can also post your opinion here.

Also included in the daily is an article on who is funding the anti-equal rights folks.

Can you guess? He loves the Rickster, um I mean he owns the Rickster. He loves school vouchers and milk.

Read the article.. (more…)

2005-Oct-13

Mr. Pastor, Your Taxes Please

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:43 am

The E-N is running a story about the Restoration Project (a state-wide group of mostly conservative preachers) and its political advocacy around Prop 2 or HJR 6. The Texas Freedom Network has filed a complaint alleging that the group is campaigning in support of Prop 2 and therefore should pony up the names of funders. Um, have we heard this story before?

The question is whether or not these pastors know what the amendment actually says.. the article states that when Laurence White, pastor of Houston’s Our Savior Lutheran Church and founder of the project, was asked if his group endorsed the gay marriage amendment, he said “No, certainly not.”

So he’s not in the business of discriminating against consensual adults and only wants to do voter reg? I am confused or is he?

From another article:

Touted as “Citizenship Sundays” by Rev. Laurence White, chair of the Project, the drives seek to register 300,000 voters who will “vote as Christians… not on the basis of their party affiliation or their economic status or their ethnic background,” he told the Houston Chronicle.

White, pastor of Houston’s Our Savior Lutheran Church, could not be reached for comment by press time.

While organizers maintain their mission is nonpartisan and not aimed at helping any candidate, critics say the Texas Restoration Project is a tool to register voters to help re-elect Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, in 2006.

If you want to play, you need to pay…. taxes.

2005-Oct-11

Chris Bell dice “Don’t Mess with Ethics”

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:55 pm

In a reminder that Tom Delay is just a scapegoat (ahem, ahem) for all the GOP corruption in Washington and Austin, Chris Bell unveiled his new ethics plan today. From his press release:

Bell proposed banning procurement lobbying, banning pay-for-play, imposing reasonable limits on campaign contributions, restructuring the Texas Ethics Commission, banning phony “issue ads,” banning contributions during special sessions and the subsequent veto periods, closing the lobbyists’ revolving door, and adopting non-partisan redistricting reform.

“The recent indictment of Tom DeLay is important, but we need to move toward real progress,” said Bell. “I want to turn the conversation from how bad one man is to how good we can all be. The culture of corruption is about a heck of a lot more than Tom DeLay.”

For more info on the Chris Bell campaign, check his eponymous website. For the record, I think CB is a heck of a public servant…but, I prefer the ballsy, no-bull type. Give me a Screamin’ Howard Dean over a Cardigan-wearin’ Mr. Rogers type any day of the week.

2005-Oct-3

It’s not Alberto Gonzales

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:30 pm

Not that there was a great chance anyway, but what do folks know about Harriet Miers? Any old Texas stories?

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