Saturday, April 29, 2006

Kuff's World

Charles Kuffner has a new blog hosted by the Houston Chronicle, called Kuffs World. The Chronicle made a good choice. Chuck is the best when it comes to explaining what is happening at the precinct level, and at pulling out details of whats going on at the state legislature. Chuck was also a big help to me when I got started in bloging, He got me to produce a feed, and was one of the first to link to me.
The Chronicle is doing a fine job earning its reputation as the "number 1 blogging newspaper".

Friday, April 28, 2006

Good Coffee

I am in Massachusetts this week. some things are different here than in my adopted home in Texas. The weather is colder, the roads are different, and the tastes and appetites are different. They also think a little different up here.

As I sit at my computer in my room, I am sipping on a large cup of coffee, Dunkin' Donuts coffee. While Starbucks' coffee shops are popping up on street corners all over the place, that just isn't happening here. They have Starbucks here, but they aren't all over the place, like they are in Texas or in much the rest of country.

I am not sure of the reasons for the success of Dunkin' Donuts and the apparent failure of Starbucks, but I think it may have to do with attitudes and traditions of the New Englanders themselves. Massachusets was the last state to adopt a "right turn on red light" rule and a seat belt law. They don't like change much here. Dunkin' Donuts has been with New Englanders for most of their lives. Starbucks is the West Coast newcomer. I think the biggest reason is imagery. Starbucks is thought of as an indulgence, Dunkin' Donuts is a staple. Stopping for coffee and a doughnut is a tradition here, especially on a cold winter morning.

Which place do I think is best? The coffee is about the same, and although Dunkin' Donuts has less selection than Starbucks I like Dunkin' Donuts frozen conncoction more. The little Starbucks' pasteries pale in comparison to Dunkin's muffins donuts or apple fritters. Its the service though that makes Dunkin' Donuts the better place. They add the cream and sugar for you, and its an efficient in and out.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Cyclone Monica

When is a hurricane not a hurricane? When it is a cyclone of course. Cyclone Monica is a biggy, larger than either either Katrina or Rita. Brendan Loy has more.

Mom

I don't often write about people that are close to me. I was raised to respect others privacy too much to do that. How we are raised shapes who we become.

Mom raised 4 boys and a daughter. There were others along the way that she also helped raised. They also called her Mom. Others called her Teena. She touched a lot of peoples lives, and almost always in a positive way.

My mom taught me lots of things, Two things she taught her children mostly through example are, how to handle adversity and how live fully, because there are always good times in life and there are hard times. Coping with with both is how one lives to their fullest.

We lost Mom yesterday and these days are when Mom's lessons are so important. She is a part of me and others whose lives she has been a part. She lives on in all of us.

It's her strength that she has given me that I have to face the next few days. I know that although she resides in a better place now, part of her still lives on within me.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Shop Naked

Banjo Jones fusses a bit about about a small billboard in Brazoria County that pronounces that one should "Shop Naked" following with the web url of the advertiser. Banjo doesn't like it.
The "Shop Naked" campaign is pretty daring for Brazoria County (which is "Where Texas Began") but one that is ill-fitting.

How are you supposed to explain to your elementary-age child what "shop naked" means?

I suggest everyone tell Gulf Coast Auto Park to immediately pull this billboard campaign, which is an affront to decency.
I say BOYCOTT Gulf Coast Auto Park til they do the right thing.

Must everything be sexualized in this culture?
When this same sign was posted in Kemah on 146 I found it a little humorous, It reminded me of the pajama blogging scandal . Maybe its because I don't shower with my clothes on, I just don't see the big deal. If an elementry-age student were to ask me what "shop naked" means, I would just have to explain. "That one can buy a car online, and not have to get dressed to drive to the car store". Maybe I just see things too simply.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A plea: "Mr. Hu - Tear Down This Firewall"

Via Instapundit:
Tom over at Skeptipundit asks that Chinese President Hu Jintao tears down the "Great Firewall of China". It seems a reasonable request concidering the shopping list.
President Hu is very interested in taking advantage of the global marketplace - he is spending a few days in Washington State visiting Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks and is traveling with a large contingent of trade negotiators, hoping to strike billions of dollars of business deals for China. Later in the week he will be heading to the White House to meet President Bush where the message should be that with the free movement of capital and goods in the global marketplace comes an imperative for the free movement of ideas. The people of the world must be able to speak to, and listen to the people of China, and until that happens, relations between our nations cannot develop normally. Lets hope that our president decides to deliver this simple, clear message: Mr. Hu - Tear Down This Firewall!
Bush isn't Reagan, but freedoms will mean more to the oppressed than expencive coffee, and overpriced crappy software. He should speak those words loud clearly and publicly "Mr. Hu, Take down this firewall,"

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Crappy Coffee

Nahh, my coffee is just fine. I ground the beens and brewed the pot, it is as usual wonderful nectar. The Phillipinos believe they have might have a better way.
The Philippines has recently discovered it produces one of the world's most expensive and coveted kinds of coffee.

But it comes from an unusual source - the droppings of a nocturnal, cat-like animal called the palm civet. Civets, related to the mongoose, are usually seen as pests in the Philippines and hunted for their meat. But their droppings are worth their weight in gold.

Known locally as alamid, civets are carnivorous but they also have a taste for the sweet, red coffee cherries that contain the beans. The beans pass through the civet whole after fermenting in the stomach and that's what gives the coffee its unique taste and aroma.


Coffee beans processsed from the back end of a civit. Yuck
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gasoline Ethanol and Methanol.

Gasoline prices are now about $2.75 a gallon and rising. We can expect prices to continually rise well over $3.00 a gallon before our long summer ever start. There is lots of blame being thrown around. OPEC of course is a favorite. Crude prices last week broached 67 bucks a gallon, and there seems no end in site. Some of us see the emerging market in China as a primary cause of increasing crude prices. Then again popular today are the oil company conspiracy theorys.

Our government and her regulation agencies is probably most responcible for this round of price increases. About his time of year refinerys start manufacturing government mandated summer blends. Every city, region and state has its own formula. Slate has a nice post explaining the summer blend programs.
Refineries brew their summer blends by removing hydrocarbons that are more prone to evaporate in hot weather. These chemicals, called volatile organic compounds, react with airborne pollutants in the summer sun to form ozone, one of themain components of smog. From June 1 to Sept. 15, the EPA mandates that pumps in 12 high-ozone urban areas—such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Baton Rouge—deliver gasoline that meets special low-evaporation standards. Several states have voluntarily adopted the rules, and 15 have enacted their own seasonal-blend regulations on top of the EPA's. For example, pollution-conscious California has mandated that service stations must start selling its summer blend in May.
Switching over every year causes some shortages usually resulting in a bump in prices about this time of year as they switch over to the summer fuel. This year the bump is more like a mountain. One of the reasons is that that legislation has all but mandated that the additive MTBE be replaced with ethanol. MTBE is made from the ingredient methanol is used as an oxygenate is being replaced with Ethanol or grain alcohol which is mostly made by fermenting corn grain and distilling it. MTBE did have some potential water contamination issues, and ethanol is a homegrown renewable fuel. A pretty sexy sounding idea, replacing the nasty sounding MTBE with farm grown moonshine. A payoff for big political contributer Archer Daniels, and promising higher corn price for farmers.There is only one problem. Where to get the extra ethanol?
The existing ethanol plants were already running at capacity, while methanol operation were being shut down. So while crude prices are already increasing, shortages of ethanol are skyrocketing the prices even more.

All of this is would would be of transientory interest, but for the larger issue of energy independance. President Bush mentioned both methanol and ethanol as key in becoming energy independant. Ethanol is made by brewing carbohydrates and distilling it. In this country the raw materials is corn in South America sugar cane is used. The amount of corn we can raise is limited to the farmable acerage. Ethanol consumption puts pressure on food and livestock feeds driving the food cost up. Reason has a good discussion about the economic side effects.

Pimentel, unlike the USDA study, also considers the effects of growing more corn on the natural environment. For example, he estimates, "To produce 1.7 billion gallons of gasoline equivalents (only 0.8 percent of total gasoline) using ethanol we must use about 2.2 million hectares of land; if we produced 10 percent of U.S. gasoline, the land requirement would be 22 million hectares." In other words, today about 5 million acres of land that might otherwise revert to nature is being used to grow corn to produce ethanol. The new ethanol mandate could raise this to 10 million acres. It is a fair question whether or not that really is the environmentally friendly thing to do.

Pimentel also claims that the demand for corn as a feedstock for ethanol raises the price of corn, which means that beef producers must pay more for their feed. Therefore, more expensive corn raises the price of beef to consumers by about $1 billion dollars.

One justification for adding ethanol to gasoline is that it boosts octane ratings and causes it to burn cleaner, thus preventing air pollution. But does adding ethanol to gasoline prevent smog? It may have done so at one time, according to Ed Stork, former director of Mobile Source Pollution for the Environmental Protection Agency; but now, says Stork, "There is no point in pouring ethanol into the fuel mix anymore." Why? Because modern automobiles burn modern reformulated gasoline much more cleanly.


Methanol is currently mostly manufactured from mostly natural gas. We have large proven reserves, and even larger not-quite proven reserves. Methanal can also be created from coal, wood or just about any other biomass matereals. Including the cornstalks that that the ethanol process doesn't use. Its not that ethanol is a bad replacement but relying on it soley doesn't contribute much to energy independence.
The United States uses 380 million gallons of gasoline a day. If we were to replace that entirely with ethanol we would have to harvest approximately four times as much agricultural output as we currently grow for food production. Now it is true that we don’t need to replace all of our gasoline, at least not in the short term. Replacing half would make us substantially energy independent. Furthermore, future processes might eventually wring out higher ethanol yields per acre. Surplus ethanol from Brazil or other tropical nations could also be imported. Nonetheless, relying on ethanol alone would require putting under fresh cultivation an amount of land greater than what we now use for food production. This would cause many strains. So if we are to use alcohol fuels to achieve energy independence, a broader resource base is needed. This can be provided by methanol, which can come from both a broader array of biomass materials and also from coal and natural gas. Methanol production from coal is particularly important, since coal is America’s, and the world’s, cheapest and most prevalent energy resource. The United States could power its entire economy on coal for centuries, and large reserves also exist in allied countries. Current coal prices stand in the range of three cents a kilogram, much cheaper than agricultural products, so methanol can be made from coal at low cost. By mixing it at various rates with ethanol over time, we can increase supplies, reduce prices, maximize environmental benefits, and vastly increase the flexibility of our alcohol economy. Insisting that future vehicles have the capability to burn both alcohols is thus critical.
Dr. Robert Zubrin maps out a path to energy independance that makes sense won't screw up the economy, and actually could work.
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Friday, April 14, 2006

Jim is Back

Jim of Smoke on the Water is blogging again. Check it out.

TABC Arrest a Drunk Program on Hold

The TABC has decided to suspend its program to go into bars and find drunks to arrest.

The state's alcohol authorities have put a temporary halt to the arrests of drunks in Texas bars.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Administrator Alan Steen notified a legislative committee this week that the agency is suspending the controversial program known as Operation Last Call for further review.

The problem is, these idiots are only doing so because they being pressured by the legislature. Steen goes on to defend the program.

"I still feel strongly that this is a sound program with positive implications,'' Steen wrote in Tuesday letter to state Rep. Ismael "Kino'' Flores, chairman of the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures. ``However, I have asked our Enforcement Division to delay these operations until the hearing before your committee next week.''

The program suposedly about preventing drunk drivers. The strange thing though is that many of the arrested were at hotel bars where the patrons were registered as guest.

If there were ever an agency that needs an adminstration change and has too large of a budget this is it. This is the type of thing that happens when you have a legislature that throws money away.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Trans-Texas Corridor Land Grab Comming to Houston

In the name of fairness ,the Spanish owned will be grabbing up lots of land in the Houston area also. In cooperation with the Port of Houston (another notorious land grabber) Trans-Texas Corridor is expanding into the Houston Area. Can't let the Ranchers in the boonies to the west have all the fun.

Texas highway officials said Monday they are seeking proposals to build a leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor from North Texas to Mexico, with connections to the Port of Houston.

The route, designated I-69/TTC would be the second segment in what Gov. Rick Perry proposes as a statewide network of corridors, each up to 1,200 feet wide in places, with separate toll lanes for trucks and cars, tracks for freight and passenger rail and space for pipelines and power cables.


Corridor is such a misnomer. It should be called a web. The TTC is much like a spider web branching out and enabling a strangle hold on all communities and landowners within its grasp. The great Texas Land Grab continues, all with Governer Perry's blessing.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Kappa Weekend 2006

Comming home from work today I noticed piles of road barriers staged at the side of the road and in the median on 61st Street. A sure sign that another Kappa Weekend is about to arrive. The barriers are Galvestons way of making the visitors feel welcome. Blocking roads and limmiting access is our way of way of accepting 100,000 visitors and moving traffic! The shutting down of bussinesses is the topper making everyone, visitor and residents, even more miserable. One surely must wonder if it was a primarly white folks weekend if everyone would as hospitable. Never the less, the partyers I'm sure will have a great time, and the great Texas Beach Party will surely be a success. The weekend will be from April 21 -23.

Primary Runnoff Today

As folks go to the polls today I wonder if people will remember those pain in the butts that called us with their recorded messages.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tension in CD22

Since Tom DeLay has announced bailing out of his congressional seat, Republicans in the district feeling the pressure. They are reelling from the embarrassment of losing a leader, and getting someone to replace Tom. And they are angry, angry at the Democrats who kept pushing at about his possible ethical transgressions. The stage is set so Nick Lampson decides to have a speach and show of force at the Sugar Land City Hall steps. An almost riot breaks out.
We do not want a Democrat in this area," said DeLay supporter Vera Kuhn. All the while the Democrat struggled to talk above the roar. "I think it shows the kind of thing DeLay said he doesn't want, and this is coming from his camp," Lampson said. "I have no comment on who organized this," said DeLay supporter Leonard Cash. Turns out, DeLay's campaign manager is largely responsible. He admits sending an e-mail urging DeLay supporters to give Lampson a parting shot that wrecks his press conference. When asked if he had written an e-mail that read 'Let's give Lampson a parting shot that wrecks his press conference', "We absolutely were interested in bringing out Republican activists to that press conference and letting Mr. Lampson know they don't appreciate him being a liberal from Beaumont. That is my e-mail where I was contacting Republican activists," said Chris Homa, DeLay Campaign Mgr. While it was mostly a war of words, several women at the event in support of Lampson said that they were pushed and shoved by male DeLay supporters. One woman says she was assaulted by two different men, and that she's considering filing charges


Although things apparently settled down before things got out of hand, and no one was seriously hurt. It could have been much worse. Tom DeLay's critics have accused him of bullying and arrogence. This public display did nothing to refute the tactics. Most of the area Republicans will admit it was a bad call, but the incident does unscore the anger that Republicans are feeling over Tom's resignation.

Chris Elam offers some excellent advice.

I'm sorry. I apologize if I have offended anyone by speaking out so strongly. But today's actions were a bad idea. Bad for Tom DeLay's reputation. Bad for the reputation of Fort Bend Republicans. And bad for the notion of letting Lampson just wither away into oblivion as we draw into November.

Sure, I wasn't there. I don't know who pushed who. I don't know who hit what. I don't know what was said about your wife, or your momma, or your faith, or your heritage.

But I do know that it wasn't at all necessary for there to be a counter-protest organized by the remains of the DeLay campaign. Tom DeLay has quit. Tom DeLay has moved out of our community. Tom DeLay has stepped aside to let someone else fill his place. That person isn't going to be Nick Lampson, not by a longshot.

Look folks... I know the emotions are high! I know it SUCKS to see a GOP giant like DeLay resign his office. I know you are feeling charged up, ready to stick it to the libs, ready to fight for your principles...

But there are other ways. More important ways. Less distracting ways.

I know most of the people who were rallying against Lampson. They're good people. They have the best interests of our party and our nation at heart.

But I think this was a waste of time, and it has backfired horribly. Cindy Sheehan-like protests and attention tactics aren't what our party should be about, and we should learn from her QUICK fall from grace, just how much the public really cares about such demonstrations.

While Juanita posts an email from Lampson's campaign that displays civility and respect from both sides at once.

We are extremely grateful for the many Republicans who emailed and called our campaign to apologize (even though it wasn't their obligation to do so) and say they really did not like what they saw from the DeLay staff yesterday. Sometimes, it's easy for those of us on the Lampson staff to get caught up in the back and forth with the dirty politics with the DeLay campaign. But this is the kind of positive outpouring that reminds those of us on staff that Nick is right, and we can reach out to folks on both sides of the aisle with civility and common sense. That's what separates our campaign from the bullying tactics and backroom dealing of Tom DeLay and his cronies.


At least some folks in both partys are showing some clas.
Greg in TX CD22 brings up some of differences within CD22 district Republicans.
Harris County (primarily Clear Lake) is the center of Republican politics in TX22. And as a Brazoria County resident, I feel much more connected to Clear Lake than Fort Bend County. Besides, the Harris County section of TX22 has a greater population than the Fort Bend County section.

Fort Bend Republicans are desperately trying to hold onto this seat. Their ugliness is based on two factors: (1) The fear it may go to Harris County; and (2) The fear it may go to Campbell even if it stays in Fort Bend.

I don't know why the establishment Republican Party in Fort Bend supported DeLay despite his obvious ethical and character shortcomings. The establishment party feels wounded by DeLay's announcement that he will resign. That is why they went on a rampage at the Lampson event. The Fort Bend establishment still attacks anyone who doesn't accept their "wisdom".
Some don't get it.

Basically, Lampson set up in front of the microphones and started talking about why he thinks Tom DeLay should have resigned earlier this week to allow Gov. Rick Perry to call an immediate special election.

He got about three sentences out when a bunch of folks with red, orange and green signs and a bullhorn swooped in, pushed up on either side and directly behind Lampson and started exercising their First Amendment right to deny Lampson his First Amendment right to say what he had to say.

One conservative Sugar Land Republican who opted not to attend the festivities told me the reasoning behind this display of, um, politics in action.

It’s a political gang thing, he essentially said. Lampson thought he could campaign smack in the middle of DeLay turf. And it was up to the Sugar Land Conservative Cripps to welcome Mr. Rogers to the Hood.

The implication is that Democrats don't have a right to come into Republican territory is outragous.

Republicans should look at this whole situation with lots more optimism. DeLay was in trouble, his leadership in congress was gone, and he was never going to be as effective as once was. Whether or not Tom is guilty of the the charges in Austin, no one should be able to honestly believe this is a man of high moral charactor or that he truly represented his constituancy. While some feel that Tom was a true voice of conservative politics. He was a leader in creating huge budgets without the money to pay for it. I believe that Tom's conservative support was going to be eaten away by a Libertarian Bob Smithers. Republicans now have an oportunity to select a candidate that they can feel proud of. Hopefully, one that doesn't have a bunch of lobbyist on a leash, one that believes in serving the people and not proclaiming to be the govenment, one that isn't constantly pushing the edge of ethics laws.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Blocking a Quote.

I figured out how to shade and put an outline for quoted material. So the site looks a little different now.
blockquote {
background:#dee;
border: 1px solid #36a;
padding: 2px;
}
Just put that little bit of code in my Blogger template and shazzam!! It make it a little clearer that quoted material is quoted from somewhere else.

Trent Lott about Busting Pork

It looks like Porkbusters is getting to Trent Lott

"I'll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I'm getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina."

Damn bloggers are expecting Congess to spend taxdollars with accountability.

Katie gets a New Job

Katie Couric quits NBC and signs on with CBS. Sounds like a pretty good deal for her. Her early morning schedual has got to be rough.
After 15 years at "Today," she reportedly is giving up a higher offer to stay at NBC in exchange for CBS' $13 million to $15 million a year, although she is trading up from 6 million viewers to 7.7 million.<
15 Million? Just to read stuff off a Teleprompter. A pretty good gig if you can get it. Some say its her desire to do some real journalism. If this is so, why would she agree to do 60 Minutes?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In the Wake of the Tom Delay's Resignation

Tom Delay's resignation caught many of us by surprise, and almost everyone has something to say about it.
Greg of Rhymes with Right has a lot to say and wonders about who will run in his place.
... but a big part of the equation is going to be who the candidate who replaces him turns out to be. The DeLay loyalsists -- the many folks who have had signs out in the since before the primary race -- will back whoever the choice is. But will we be able to draw back the 1/3 of GOP primary voters who were disenchanted enough with Tom DeLay to vote for one of his opponents -- either the pair of non-entities or Tom Campbell (the relative unknown).
Greg also notes that voters are going to be disapointed when they don't have any input into the selection of the replacement candidate.
John Hindraker of Power Line believes that Tom may be a victim,
It's too bad, I think. DeLay was an effective leader, albeit too liberal in recent years. It's possible, of course, that he did something wrong along the way. But there is no evidence of that in the public domain; as I've often said, the politically-inspired prosection of DeLay by Travis County's discredited DA, Ronnie Earle, is a bad joke. As far as we can tell at the moment, DeLay appears to be yet another victim of the Democrats' politics of personal destruction--the only politics they know.
Peculiar to see Delay being acused of being too liberal, but maybe John was disapointed in Delay's participation in pork projects, his unwillingless to take control of a huge budget, as Glenn Reynolds the Instapundit puts it:
I'm not sorry. His "no fat in the budget" remark lost me, and I was never much of a fan.
Charles Kuffner at Off the Kuff is surprised but gives ole Tom a parting shot,
Wow. I never expected him to do anything but go down fighting. I'm in shock.
...
Geeze, what a wussy.
I don't believe ole Chuck is all that dissapointed though.

It's morning and Tom DeLay is still quitting. How sweet is that?

Jack Kluth is celebrating.

I’m usually not one to dance on the grave of someone’s career, but you’ll have to excuse me if I make an exception for Tom DeLay. I’m going to wear out my dancing shoes on the fresh turned earth celebrating the demise of perhaps the most corrupt politician of our time. It’s just too bad that the denizens of District 22 couldn’t be roused from their moral slumber to do this sooner.

Life is good, isn’t it? Yes, it certainly is….

Ding Dong, the witch is dead….

Rob is gloriously cynical
In my dark moments, I think that maybe the Birchers and the left-wing moonbats are on to something. Maybe there really is a criminal group that actually runs the country and all these politicians we see are just actors playing roles. Watch the Sopranos enough and you start to wonder what the difference is between La Cosa Nostra and the Congress.
Laurence Simon says good bye.
Sayonara, you crooked bug-killing fuck.

Kevin Whited notes a good Job by the Galveston Daily News.
And so the Chron is scooped by Time and the Galveston Daily News in its own back yard. Impressive!
and in a Libertarian mail list a candidate comments:
Oh dang...



I have truly mixed emotions.



Sure DeLay is an ignornant, hateful, power-crazed, bible-thumping,

right wing lunatic; but he was also a sponsor of the Fair Tax.



It's sort of like watching my mother-in-law drove off a cliff in my

brand-spankin'-new Jaguar.
Every one is entitled to opinion, Mine is: The charges against him are politically motivated. Its lousy that he got drummed out the way he did. I won't miss him at all though and am glad the arrogent SOB is gone. His own words have shown how he holds the taxpayer / voter in disregard. "I am the government" and "No fat in the Budget" are too of Tom's classic. Good riddance! now maybe the Republican Congress can do what we elected Republicans to do.

Tom Delay Quits.

Tom Delay is throwing in the towel and giving up his seat in Congress. The plan is to have the Republican executive committee anoint apoint a new candidate. It doesn't seem right that they can just slip in someone at the last moment. This might be good news for Bob Smithers who could be the only Conservative with any name recognition on the ticket. I hope the folks in Virginia enjoy their new arrogent neighbor. Now the big question is "Who will replace Delay on the Ballot?"

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Drunks at Bars

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commision's (TABC) campaign against drunks at bars is receiving lots of critisim. And they seem surprised, and they don't like it. The Dallas Morning News (registered site) reports.

Public intoxication busts of bar patrons by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission elicited a blast of indignant – even vicious – e-mails and calls from citizens Friday – to the agency, to journalists, and to elected officials who pledged to look into the arrests.

"I'm getting all those same e-mails, the Nazi, Taliban, Gestapo e-mails," said commission spokeswoman Carolyn Beck. "I don't really understand the hateful outrage. I don't understand, 'Die in a fire.' "

That e-mail traffic came after news reports about a stepped-up liquor-law enforcement program that has included arrests this month of patrons sitting drinking at establishments in Irving. Among those arrested was an Arkansas man who drank several beers at a hotel restaurant before he retired for the night to his room in the same hotel.

The fact that Carolyn Beck doesn't understand the outrage, suggest that she really should find another job. She is totally clueless about the people she is suposed to be serving. She is not alone in being without a clue. John Whitmire is concerned about what the drunks 'might' do.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, was instrumental in getting the increased staffing, as a member of both the powerful Senate Finance Committee and the Criminal Justice Committee, which oversees the alcohol commission.

Although he agreed hearings are merited, he defended the principle of in-bar citations.

"Even though a public drunk is not planning on driving, that could change in an instant," he said. "There is certainly potential danger."

Mr. Whitmire said lawmakers should examine whether the agency, which is funded by fees it collects, is motivated to stricter enforcement by fiscal concerns.

As Glenn Reynolds aptly replies.
Even though a Senator is not planning on taking bribes from the underage-goat-sex lobby, that could change in an instant. Best we lock them all up now.
Convention and hospitality interest are very concerned.

Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he's gotten calls from hundreds of people concerned about the crackdown. Two groups — one with almost 25,000 people and another of several thousand — have said they're not considering Dallas as a convention site because of the stepped-up bar surveillance, he said.

"This seems designed to be a setback ... for new tourism and expanded conventions," said Douglas Harman, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. He said that so far, his bureau has had few calls about the crackdown.

Bob Lander, president and CEO of Austin Convention and Visitors bureau, said they've gotten several calls from people who want to know what's going on.

Jones said that it's not just meeting planners who are concerned, but individuals don't want to risk getting arrested.

"Someone who might have one drink or two drinks, they're afraid that they can't drink at all if they come to Texas," Jones said.

If anyone would like to let your State Rep and/or Senator You can find how to contact them by entering your address at www.capitol.state.tx.us/fyi/fyi.htm. Complaints about the agency's enforcement of the law can be directed either to lawmakers or to the commission, at complaints@tabc.state.tx.us, and let them know what you think.