Category Archives: Uncategorized

Galveston Listed as Dead

The reports of our death have been greatly exagarated! A blog 24/7 Wall St. Claims that Galveston is one the 10 dead cities in America.

This Texas city was one of the largest ports in the US a hundred years ago. It was also the location of one of the greatest natural disasters in American history. In 1900, a hurricane killed between 6,000 and 8,000 people. In the decades after the hurricane, Galveston became a major tourist center due to its location on the Gulf and proximity to several larger Texas cities. Galveston was also a major military recruitment center during WWII. The cause of Galveston’s demise is unique. It had become something of the Sodom and Gomorrah of the southern US. There was a large gambling industry there, some of it illegal, which was controlled by criminals. In the late 1950s,Texas state authorities successfully attacked local organized crime. The regulated tourist trade could not replace the illegal business. Galveston’s port and hospitality industries had begun to improve, but where trampled by the effects of Hurricane Ike in 2008. The event destroyed a large part of the city’s tax base, and set back the tourism industry once again.

The Houston Press explains our sentiments:

Galveston is upset. Not so much about being called “the Sodom and Gomorrah of the southern US,” but on being called dead.

Ike came in and kicked our butts, but Galveston is on mend and remains a thriving beautiful town.   It is diverse and a place where the wealthy and the not so wealthy live a good quality of life.  We will never have a lot of population growth, but we are an island after all, there is only so much room.  Galveston is still a small town at under 50 Thousand.  But we have so much to offer both those that live here and those that visit. My guess is that Douglas A. McIntyre has never even been to Galveston.

The Daily Galveston Daily News sums up a few facts that people have gathered:

Island financier Shrub Kempner was not party to the e-mail exchanges, but he did have a comment about the website article.

He said: “What’s important to realize is that Galveston has a far better jobs-to-population ratio than any American city other than Huntsville with its large prison community.

“We have some 30,000 full-time-equivalent jobs in a city now housing less than 50,000 permanent inhabitants. That’s a ratio that economic development people slaver over.”

He said McIntyre was right about the declining population but wrong about the city’s economic engines.

“The University of Texas Medical Branch alone has some 11,000 jobs, the port and tourism several thousand each and also the island’s financial industry, which everyone usually ignores,” he said.

“To say the city is dead is nonsense. It’s just silliness. Most people elsewhere would give a part of their anatomy for our jobs situation.”

Council Responds

Galveston City Council’s official response to 247wallst.com’s ranking of the city among “America’s Ten Dead Cities” was contained in a press release that listed the positive aspects of life on the island.

Among its observations were:

• Galveston hosts about 5 million visitors annually;

• These visitors generate an $800 million economic impact to the island each year;

• The Port of Galveston is bustling with grain, cargo and cruise ship operations;

• Next year, two new cruise ships, the Carnival Magic and the Carnival Triumph, will call Galveston home and dock along the island’s waterfront;

• Galveston is ranked as the fourth-busiest cruise port in the nation and generates $1.1 billion in direct spending in Texas;

• Contractors are working to restore University of Texas Medical Branch buildings affected by Hurricane Ike and, by the end of 2010, almost 1,000 contract workers will be employed helping to rebuild the campus;

• The medical branch’s Blocker Burn Unit, world renowned for its innovations in the treatment of burns, is undergoing a $10 million renovation; and

• The class size for the medical branch’s school of medicine is back to capacity, at 230 students.

Blog Tax

Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a business license.

In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.

“The real kick in the pants is that I don’t even have a full-time job, so for the city to tell me to pony up $300 for a business privilege license, pay wage tax, business privilege tax, net profits tax on a handful of money is outrageous,” Bess says.

It would be one thing if Bess’ website were, well, an actual business, or if the amount of money the city wanted didn’t outpace her earnings six-fold. Sure, the city has its rules; and yes, cash-strapped cities can’t very well ignore potential sources of income. But at the same time, there must be some room for discretion and common sense.

Instapundit notes:

Reader Trent Nix thinks it’s about more than money:

“One thing that you didn’t mention on Philadelphia requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a “license” is that it has the side effect of giving the city a weapon to use against those pesky anonymous bloggers. If you don’t pay, they have empowered themselves to go after you, attempting to ensure nobody is going to lob any grenades behind the veil of anonymity.

The losers who put this nonsense in place should have their pictures plastered everywhere as enemies to free speech. City politics tend to be the place where the nexus of stupidity and vanity are at their greatest.”

This is one of the reasons that I don’t have tip jars or advertisements, or sponsored Amazon Links.  Not much money involved and despite claims from other bloggers. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to keep a blog running. Not at this bandwith yet.

The blogosphere isn’t what it use to be

Everything changes, and anything as dynamic and shapeless as the blogosphere can only be expected to change and adapt.  The blogosphere was once a network of excitement, where ideas and thoughts were unconstrained. Brilliant thoughts spread virally with links and services like Technorati and Bloglines measured the impact of our words.  The Rathergate exposé led by Powerline and  Little Green Footballs, was the blogging community’s  finest hour, when they exposed a corrupt 60 minutes 2 as corrupt and biased.  The blogs by exposing CBS’s and Dan Rathers fraud had stopped the MSM from stealing the election.  

It was fun being a part of all of this, blogs had earned a certain respectability.  During the Hurricane Ike mass evacuation,  Blogs became the go to means to find out was happening.  The MSM didn’t have the means to get to the evacuation points to  find out how people were doing, and where the problems were. The MSM were coming to us to find out what was happening. Even this humble blog was referred to by the MSM.

So what has happened? Why have blogs moved out from such prominence? I think it’s a number of factors,  Many blogs have moved on. Little Green Footballs is now a host for guest bloggers, who are now a collection of leftist. Other bloggers have simply gone away. Other Blogs have gone comercial. individual bloggers compete for readership with conglomerate blog sites such as the Huffington Post.

What does it all mean? I don’t know. I’ll continue to post on a regular basis, but today its not about the blogosphere. Its about the reader who stops by and happens to read an article or perhaps leave a comment.

Thank you dear reader for stopping by, I hope you find something interesting, entertaining, or pause for thought.

Eating Gulf Coast Seafood

Doug Suttles says he would eat Gulf Coast seafood. I’m not sure that his appetite will be enough to restore the Gulf Coast fishing industry to its former self.

When asked by a reporter whether he’d eat the Gulf’s bounty, Suttles didn’t flinch.

“I absolutely would,” he told reporters after joining a flight over the Gulf to track the oil, which he insisted has dissipated dramatically.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of testing done by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the state agencies and the FDA and others. They’re not going to open these waters to either sport fishing or commercial fishing if it’s not safe to eat the fish,” he said.

“I have a lot of confidence in those agencies and I trust their recommendations and I would eat their food — the seafood out of the Gulf, and I would feed it to my family,” he said

Maybe he was asked the wrong question, Should he have been asked,” Would you serve Gulf coast Seafood to your pregnant wife or small children?”  While we haven’t seen much oil here in Texas, and I have no qualms about eating our delicious shrimp and other seafood, I will ask where the oysters are from before I devour platefuls of Half shelled oysters, or offer Redfish to my young nieces.