Sunday, December 30, 2007

Alvarado not the Poster Child

Not long ago Carol Alvarado was ensconced in a huge bonus scandal, as Mayor Protem she was handing out illegal payroll bonuses like they were candy.
Houston Mayor Pro Tem Carol Alvarado temporarily stepped down Monday pending the outcome of a grand jury investigation on four of her office employees who were suspended in a bonus scandal, KPRC Local 2 reported. She will remain on City Council.Alvarado's announcement came the same day a report was released that said employees Rosie Hernandez, Florence Watkins, Christopher May and Teresa Orta improperly received more than $130,000 in bonuses in 2005.The Office of Inspector General said its investigation revealed "sufficient evidence to conclude that the four employees, in fact, received incentive bonuses and/or salary increases that were not approved or obtained in accordance with existing city policy and rules." The matter has been referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office for review."The OIG (found) violations of city law. Those employees violated laws of the city, ordinances of the city, which prohibit employees of the city from using their official position to advantage themselves or others," Houston Mayor Bill White said.
White said that there are actions under way to prevent similar abuses in the future. Administrative functions of the mayor pro tem's office will be reduced, he said.
Typically in Houston City politics, getting caught red handed isn't enough to keep from getting re-elected. This is why cities like Houston have term limits and Alvarado is a poster child on why cities have enacted term limits. Ms Alverado doesn't like it much. While Anne Linehan comments on seems to think Alvarado's legacy and service.

No one can say Ms. Alvarado lacks self-esteem. But she should look on the bright side -- Houston's loss is the state's gain. And she left a lasting mark on Houston, since the mayor pro tem's office will never be the same. That's called a legacy!
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Unclear is how Ms. Edwards' stances on HPD (increasing manpower = police state!) and the homeless (they should be allowed to bathe in the libraries!) will enhance Houston's quality of life.

Anne also notes a Houston Chronical op-ed piece authored by Ms. Alverado where she whines about losing her job. I've never been a been a big fan of term limits, but the service of Carol Alvarado does present a good example of why they might be a good idea.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Say it ain't so.

ClemensWhile, I wrote earlier about my thoughts on this. GaryVarvel expresses our sentiments well

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Puppy Blending

Looks like Glenn is up to his old tricks again

The Patriots Go for History Tonight

This one Texan and Galvestonian is still a New England sports fan. I noticed that the New York Times tries to put a negative spin on a great football team and year.

If the Patriots win Saturday night, they will be celebrated for having constructed the greatest regular-season in history, a model of dominance in a league designed to thwart it. A loss in the playoffs would not mean the season would be forgotten; it would surely be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

“Believe me,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “If we go 16-1 this year, no one’s going to be happy about that.”

Here's looking forward to a 19-0 Season.

Republicans Crank Up Attacks on Ron Paul

Is it me or are the attacks on Ron Paul from the Republican blogosphere cranking up to a new and higher level. Republicans unlike democrats don't often eat their young, but there is a certain viciousness the newest round of attas. I stumbled across a post from Kevin McCullough that seems to align Ron Paul with George Soros.
The truth is Ron Paul's denial of the Global War against Islamo-fascist Terrorists runs in concert with Soros' "Hate America First" brigades. Plenty of opportunity on many levels to join forces and root for America's failure against our foes.

Paul even opposed Reagan on Grenada...

Yup! He's Soros' man, MoveOn's kind of "GOP", and someone who will take the support from wherever it will come to him from - be it white supremacists, Holocaust deniers, 911 Truthers... or the covert operatives of George Soros or MoveOn.org...

Its kinda funny that he could associate RonPaul with the likes of Soros or any other extreme leftist. He isn't alone with the attacks Greg with Rhymes with Right makes an angry toned post and even calls him a candidate of hate;

Screw you, Congressman. You are no Christian. You are no patriot. You are, however, a disgrace to the state of Texas and to the nation as a whole.

These words will be remembered by every Christian in your district, and will be used to guarantee that not only will you fail to win the presidency, but you will lose your congressional seat as well.

At issue is the quote Ron Paul used in a Foxnews interview with Steve Doocey. Paul used a quote from Sinclair Lewis "When fascism comes it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross" in a response about Huckabee's Christmas ad.

The Ron Paul candidacy is a refreshing change from the wheeling dealing scheming big budget Republicans like Tom DeLay. Ron Paul scares traditional good old boy Republicans. With him there is no political favors, or pork there is no compromise. You can love Paul or hate him, but all understand he isn't for sale. Traditional Republicans must find this disturbing. In what was traditionally a Republican Congressional district, was given over to Nick Lampson. Greg might be better off paying closer attention to his own deteriating district rather than defending ours.
I can vote for an atheist just as easily as a fellow Christian -- provided they are right on the issues. Given that Ron Paul is wrong on them, he will not get my vote -- and I'll drive two miles south and campaign on behalf of a good Republican who is working to replace him in Congress, Chris Peden.

We happen to be pretty happy with our Congressman Thank You! I heard the original broadcast and listened through a couple of times and I still don't find the hatred and viciousness that Greg describes. One is free to check it out for themselves.


I am amazed that Ron Paul has energized so many supporters. I've been handed his brochure several times and keep running into young folks who insist on letting me know about the wonderment of Ron Paul. Whether or not Ron Paul makes it as the Republican candidate, The party needs to back away from the old Delayism and start adopting a more libertarian platform. Yup, it is the Libertarian ideas and the rejection of big government republicanism that is the real reason for the emotionalism. Whether or not Ron Paul gets the nomination isn't as important as the libertarianism he espouses, His ideas need to become more mainstream into the Republican party if it is to succeed. Party regulars understand, this is why Ron Paul is so disturbing to them.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Shots Heard Around the World

On June 28th 1914 Bosnian, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie was assassinated by Serbian, Gavrilo Princip. This triggered the series of events that resulted in World War I or the Great World War. There were 40 million casualties, 20 Million dead in that war. Today Baltics are still recovering from another Serb Bosnian conflict. Princip did his unholy deed with a couple of rounds from a .380 handgun.

Yesterday Benazir Bhutto was killed by a lone assassin. No one knows how this is going to unfold. He life and dreams could inspire the young people to a gentle revolution or her martyrdom could trigger an explosion of violence that will drag us all into another world war. In a part of the world where moderation is concidered extreme. We can only wonder what chain of events was unleashed by this event.

It has been said by some gun enthusiast that handguns aren't really very powerful weapons, but in these cases they have been proven very powerful in their effect on changing the direction of history.

Prayers for Bhutto's family as well as her nation.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." - Linus Van Pelt

Merry Christmas one and all

Thanks Bigolbigun of TexasCHLForum Fame

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Glow in the Dark Cats



Glow in the dark cats, I guess that somethings shouldn't be done just because they can be.
Laurence Simon isn't impressed much either

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Roger Clemens Getting a Bum Rap.

I don't have a clue, but Grits for Breakfast has some thoughts about this.
Texas baseball great and seven-time Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens was the biggest star and most often mentioned player named besides home-run king Barry Bonds in the "Mitchell Report." Clemens' lawyer said the pitcher's name was included based on uncorroborated testimony from a "troubled" informant, who himself faced federal charges and was seeking leniency from federal prosecutors. The informant apparently is "Brian McNamee, a former undercover police officer who worked with Clemens while he was the Toronto Blue Jays strength and conditioning coach and later with the Yankees. McNamee allegedly injected "the Rocket" with steroids he said Clemens obtained from some unknown source in 1998.

Having just looked through the massive 400+ page Mitchell Report (pdf) looking to ascertain McNamee's role, it really does seem as though his testimony is the only accusing voice against Roger Clemens. Unlike several other players named, the report provided no canceled checks or other documents linking Clemens. McNamee previously denied to the press and, at first, to investigators, that Clemens used steroids, then changed his story after he was repeatedly threatened with prison.
Its tough to watch a legend we've respected for so long take such a hit, but maybe ole Grits has a point. He does make a good case.

Ronnie Earle to Retire

Wonder what Tom DeLay will get him for his retirement gift? He still has a year left to wreak havoc.

Earle’s term has one year remaining, and his resignation will bring to an end to his three-decade reign in which he battled some of the biggest names in Texas politics.

Earle has been criticized by DeLay and other Republicans, who say some of his prosecutions of elected leaders are politically motivated.

"This is a no-brainer for him. He never had any intention of finishing off his revenge on Tom DeLay and is scared to death of being Nifong-ed while still in office,” DeLay spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty said in a statement, comparing Earle to the disgraced district attorney in the Duke lacrosse team rape case. "Good riddance to another corrupt DA."

But Earle points out that he prosecutes Democrats as well as Republicans.

DeLay and the Republican fundraisers who were indicted with him are still awaiting trial in Austin.

I'd wager there will be no trial.

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Run Earley Run

Charles L. Earley is going to be the Libertarian candidate for the Texas District 23 State Representative. I assume that Craig Eiland is running as the Democrat Candidate, I have no idea if he will be challenged by another Democrat in the Primary. So far I haven't heard if the Republicans have found anyone up to the challenge.

Killing Zones

24-year-old Mathew Murray was feeling persecuted, He was told he didn't have enough of God's love to be a Christian missionary. To prove he had what it takes he decides to go out and take out a few Christians and go out in a blaze of Glory. Maybe he was thinking the church people would be sheep ready to be herded to slaughter. He should be able to march in and mow them down securing his name into history. One brave lady stood in is way and stopped what otherwise could have been a scene of complete carnage. Cal Thomas does a great job of putting this all into perspective.
It is Assam and not the shooter who received — and deserves — most of the media attention and praise. Calm and collected at a news conference, Assam detailed her movements and decision-making after hearing shots in the parking lot outside the church. She was especially attentive to possible danger after learning of the earlier shooting during which two people were killed at the YWAM facility several miles away. After hearing shots in the church parking lot, Assam said she walked about 100 yards through a hallway, hid herself and when Murray walked in, emerged from hiding and confronted him. “I was just asking God, bottom line, this is all you,” she said. “It was so loud. … It was scary. But God was with me. I asked him to be with me. And he never left my side.”

Assam is a former Minneapolis police officer who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon. She said she had been praying about what to do with her life and had volunteered to help with security at the 10,000-member church. She said, “I wasn’t going to wait for him to do other damage. I knew what I had to do.”

Jeanne Assam is a true hero, there are many people alive today because of her clearness of thought and courageous actions. There are some political heros also, those who made it possible for folks like Ms. Assam to legally carry a concealed weapon. There are states where its very difficult for folks like Ms. Assam to legally carry. Some places don't allow carry into a place of worship.

Killers — ones with mental disorders, or terrorists — look for places with large gatherings to amplify their acts. That’s why in recent years they have selected targets ranging from the World Trade Center, to Columbine High School, to shopping malls and now a megachurch. On the rare occasions when an armed person has been on the scene before police arrive, such acts have been stopped before further damage could be done. When no armed person has been present, by the time the police show up the killing is usually over and the gunman has shot himself.

The point is that gun laws will not deter criminals with evil intent and police can’t be everywhere they’re needed. But killers can be stopped by law-abiding citizens with guns. As the Supreme Court considers its ruling on whether the strict gun laws in the District of Columbia are constitutional, it might remember Jeanne Assam and her courageous, proper and for now legal response to a lawless act. Though four were killed at the two locations and several others wounded, many more owe their lives to Assam, who should be the new poster woman for those who wish to preserve the right to keep and bear arms.

Well said, Cal.
Ed Morissey summarized it so well,
After the Virginia Tech shooting, people asked whether a CCL holder could have made a difference once the shooting started. Jeanne Assam answered that question on Sunday.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Selecting Cancer Patients

Our main medical facility here in Galveston is the University of Texas Medical Branch otherwise known as UTMB. UTMB provides Lifelite Services has a Trauma Center and has a Shriners Burn Center associated with the facilities. It is partially state funded so the indigent get services. Like most state funded institutions UTMB never seems to have enough money. Last year they had to lay off over 300 people and they got no more money this year. Although it is a state funded hospital it isn't cheap. One of the reasons UTMB is expensive is that those who pay is subsidize thpse that don't. After a while something has to give. UTMB figured it out. Cancer treatment is expensive and illegal aliens aren't paying into the system.
The University of Texas Medical Branch is considering a policy that would deny cancer care to indigent, undocumented immigrants — an unusual and controversial move for a state-funded institution.

Medical branch officials are forming the policy as they strain to stretch dwindling state dollars for uninsured patients and while illegal immigration ranks among the most divisive issues in the nation.

Turning away undocumented cancer patients undoubtedly would pull the oldest medical school west of the Mississippi into a fierce contemporary debate about the legality and fairness of treating undocumented immigrants with tax dollars when millions of uninsured legal residents can’t afford health care.

It also will force the institution to face thorny questions about simple compassion and the limits of a physician’s duty to treat the ailing.

“Certainly it’s not a decision we’re taking lightly,” said Karen Sexton, vice president and CEO of hospitals and clinics at the medical branch. “We are in the process of looking at cancer patients and the demand and the resources we have, and thinking through how to decide who gets care.”
Well they can always go North about 50 miles to one of the Houston hospitals, I'm sure they will appreciate the extra unpaid business. I hate seeing this but it is the result of a growing problem that our Federal government caused and refuses to address.