|The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/31 18:03:27 (641 reads)
From Peace Action Denton:
The 3,000th official US troop death of the Iraq war/occupation was reached on Sunday, Dec. 31. Also not to be forgotten are the estimated 650,000 Iraqi deaths.
In memorium and to ask for immediate US troop withdrawl, please join us at 3:30 pm on MONDAY, JANUARY 1 at North Texas Bl and I-35 (Denton). Dress warmly as the high is predicted to only be 50 F. (this is an earlier starting time than previously stated)
|The Nimrods Never Cease to Amaze Me
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/31 17:00:00 (4291 reads)
Craig Baker, a 46 year old man from Katy, TX was unhappy with an Islamic mosque / community center being erected on property next to his. When the Islamic association asked Mr. Baker to remove his cattle from the land, this illiterate racist apparently thought they were asking him to leave. So as an offensive response, he decided that hosting pig races and grilling sausages during Friday evening prayer was appropriate.
Only two problems:
1. Muslims don't hate pigs - they just don't eat them.
2. Though Baker now recognizes the misunderstanding, he plans to continue the pig races.
Earlier this month, Baker conceded that the Muslims probably aren't after his land, but he said he had to go through with the pig races because "I would be like a total idiot if I didn't. I'd be the laughingstock now because I've gone too far."
Well, Craig Baker, owner of the "Craig Baker Marble Company" you are a laughingstock, and your stupidity has landed you squarely in the national spotlight. For this reason, you are hereby awarded the December 2006 Texas Dim Bulb Award for Illiteracy, Stupidity and Religious Intolerance. You tried to offend, but you were too stupid to even do that right. Racing pigs is about your speed. You'll have a hard time understanding why you're receiving this award, which further reinforces your eligibilty for this dishonor.
In a further effort to show themselves to be horses-asses, Craig Baker and his neighbors have put up a patently offensive website, using a domain name similar to the Katy Islamic Association (www.katyislamicassociation.net instead of www.katyislamicassociation.com) You just have to view the site they've put up, which talks about terror attacks, and asks readers to contact the FBI if they see anything suspicious.
Read more on Yahoo News
Watch an ABC News affiliate KTRK's video
Read more in the Katy Times
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/31 11:57:14 (1284 reads)
Back in 1997 or 1998, I bought this domain name, whosplayin.com, with the intent of turning it into a musicians’ calendar website, to literally show who is playing at the various venues in North Texas and eventually the nation. I actually started programming it, but quickly realized that I wouldn’t have the time, and that other websites would take up that calling.
In the years that followed I would try several other Internet ventures involving the use of the web tied to databases, but my timing was always off, and I blew a lot of money and time on it. In my career as a web programmer, my day job has prospered, and I’ve helped my clients and my contemporaries make tons of money at their online businesses. One of these days maybe I’ll hit upon the idea that will allow me to retire early and spend my daytime hours on charity and politics.
Anyhow, after the music calendar thing tanked, I kept the domain name because I was using it for email. For the website, well – it was just awful. It consisted mostly of crude humor, and links to other websites that I commonly visited. It’s always been the homepage for all of my computers. I’ve also kept a small technical website there, which has not been updated in way too long – it is a Frequently Asked Questions page for WebSpeed – the application server product that I use in my day job.
A couple of years ago, I decided to install Xoops – an object oriented PHP-based system that allowed blogging. My wife and I decided to write periodically about our lives and our thoughts. Back then, although I was politically opinionated, I didn’t much consider this to be a political blog.
But thanks to the antics of George Bush, and his band of merry idiots in Congress, I was finally pushed over the edge in this past year, and began to write more and become way more involved in politics.
Overall, this corresponds with a huge increase in visits to whosplayin.com, which has become more popular. Back in January of last year, the website was only averaging about 233 visitors per month. As of the morning of December 31st, 2006, we’ve got 1361 visitors in December alone. Our record for the year was 1717 visitors in November, corresponding to the elections, where we got over 500 visits in one day alone, as people searched the site for information about the candidates and polling locations.
Here are some other interesting numbers:
Most hits in 1 month: November 2006 – 71,563 hits
Most pages viewed: August 2006 – 11,082 pages
Most bandwidth used: October 2006 – 1.00 GigaByte
Most website visits: November 2006 – 3,211 visits
Ad revenue earned since WhosPlayin started carrying ads: about $113. (Since I spend over $150 per month in service fees to keep the site running, I’m obviously not doing this for the money)
The website is most popular on weekdays, with traffic dropping off fairly significantly on weekends.
I should say that as high as the above numbers might sound to someone not familiar with web traffic, these are fairly small numbers, which I hope will improve over the coming year. For instance, my biggest client, a mortgage company for whom I’ve helped build an online system over the past 2 ½ years, sees nearly 30,000 transactional page views per hour.
The most popular postings over the year were:
1097 reads - Denton County Voting Locations - 2006 General Election
467 reads - My Household Sucks (a lot of energy)
420 reads - Amy Manuel for Denton County Commissioner, Precinct 2 - Interview
378 reads - Interview with John McLeod for State Representative - District 64
361 reads - Hutchison, Cornyn, Burgess, Marchant all vote for extortion of the working poor.
357 reads - Ionic Foot Baths - Might as well flush your money down the john...
268 reads - Ten Commandments, Flag Burning, and the KKK
243 reads - The Fair Tax Book – A Critical Review
228 reads - DonkeyFest 2006
227 reads - Why you should NOT re-elect Michael Burgess to U.S. Congress
214 reads - Tax Preparation Software - TurboTax and TaxCut - Both suck
208 reads - Tequila
204 reads - Rep. Michael Burgess Town Hall Meeting 7/15/06 - Part I
197 reads - Long Live the Chicks!
197 reads - Kay Bailey Hutchison - Exclusive Fake Post-Debate Interview!
195 reads - 2007 Congressional Schedule is Posted - 145 days in session.
One of the cool things that has happened over the past year is WhosPlayin’s increased ranking with Google, which has led to higher rankings in search engine results. We’ve had quite a few #1 rankings on Google for various terms. For instance, there’s Judge Don Windle, Denton County Probate Judge. When a person types “Judge Windle” in Google, the #1 result is from our photo gallery, showing him with his hand in the cookie jar.
An interesting thing that happened this year was that although I used to run this blog semi-anonymously, I decided to go ahead and be open about who I am. Partly due to the fact that our Congressman, Michael Burgess mentioned my website to me, after I introduced myself. This is also due in part to “Steve Southwell” for awhile in Google pointed directly to Whosplayin.com as the first search result. (Now it’s #4)
I used the blog to help several campaigns in the 2006 elections, none of which were successful, unfortunately. I was able to interview Amy Manuel for County Commissioner, John McLeod for State Representative, Sheila Ford for State Representative, and Barbara Ann Radnofsky for U.S. Senate. I also used the website to advocate for Tim Barnwell in his congressional race against Michael Burgess
One of the disappointments for this year was the lack of posting by people other than me. There was plenty of news that needed local commentary, but I just didn’t have the time. I’d like to have more people sign up and start posting. I’d also like to see more comments to the posts that we have. I’d like for this website to represent a more broad cross-section of the views of North Texans from all portions of the spectrum.
I look forward to using WhosPlayin in 2007 to cover more community affairs in Denton County. Join me.
If you’d like to help, there are several things you could do:
- Bookmark WhosPlayin.com, and visit often.
- Comment on the posts if you feel like it.
- If you run another website, add a link to us, and feel free to quote or link to any articles.
- Speak your mind! Post on a topic of your choice.
Have a happy and prosperous 2007!
-Steve (WhosPlayin?) Southwell
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/29 17:48:41 (860 reads)
I received this postcard from Dale Henry today, along with the hand-scratched and corrected date of 2008 on top of the 2006 campaign business card. I suppose it's an unorthodox way of announcing your candidacy, but I wish him well.
|The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/29 16:52:53 (1052 reads)
From Peace Action Denton:
As of this writing there are now
2,990 2998 (12/30) reported KIA in Iraq for a lie. The past month has seen an increase in military operations by both the Allied forces and the insurgents, with resulting increase beyond the average of approximately 3 KIA daily prior to that time. The 3,000th will probably be Friday or Saturday, Dec 29 or Dec 30
The plan is for a demonstration in support of the troops and against the war day to be held the day AFTER the 3,000th KIA is announced on the website http://icasualties.org/oif
The vigil is intended for 5pm-7pm in the area of North Texas Blvd and I-35, near the main entrance to UNT. (TAKE THE NORTH TX BLVD EXIT FROM EITHER DIRECTION ON I-35) Bernie will be coming up from Carrollton with his large VFP banners which we intend to display facing traffic on the N. TX Blvd overpass bridge to provide mass visual impact to the maximum number of persons.
Space will be limited there, so if a large number of people show up I suggest that they line the sidewalk(s) from the corner in towards UNT. North TX Blvd is a 20mph zone in that area with sufficient curves and corners that it should slow down even any potential hostile motorists, such as the guy at Burgess' office in Lewisville last summer.
If anybody needs sign making materials I have a few yard signs collected from the last election available for your use. Email David Honish or call David at 940-382-2790.
WEATHER? My mother did not raise any fools dumb enough to stand out in the rain. (Well at least not more than once, as we saw at the Old Courthouse Sq last March.) If there is rain let us postpone the event for a day, rather than risk anyone's health standing out in bad weather!
Wage peace, David Honish
|The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/24 21:40:00 (2053 reads)
From the "If it ain't fixed, break it" department: On December 18th, the Lewisville City Council passed an ordinance banning the use of wind turbines for the generation of electric power within the City of Lewisville.
Here’s how the Agenda item read:
19. Consideration of an Ordinance Amending the Lewisville Code of Ordinances Prohibiting the Use of Wind Turbines for the Generation of Electric Power Within The City of Lewisville.
Commercial windmill farms are becoming more common in Texas, generating pollution free electric power in larger and larger amounts. Typically these windmills, or wind turbines, are found in sparsely populated locations outside of metropolitan areas. There is, however, increasing interest in using private wind generators for producing electric power for individual home use. Published information about individual wind turbines indicates that such towers would range from 45 to 85 feet in height, but also express concerns about the noise made by the turbines. It is possible that future technology will provide a less intrusive way of harnessing energy from the wind, but until then the current technology would appear to provide more of a noise nuisance than benefit when used on individual lots within an urban area.
That the City Council approve the proposed ordinance prohibiting the use of wind turbines for the generation of electric power within the City of Lewisville.
OK, something just doesn't smell right to me about this. Did we really have a problem with too many wind turbines within the city limits? I sincerely doubt that "noise" is the issue here, since most of the city is in the extremely noisy flight-path of DFW Airport, or along the extremely noisy I-35 corridor. A light "whup, whup" sound in the background might actually be soothing, compared to the ambient noise levels in the city. I can certainly understand the sense that you wouldn't want to have these within tightly packed residential neighborhoods, but if that were the motivation, then why not just enact zoning regulations for them, with appropriate setbacks and decibel levels?
I've requested more information from the City, and will update this post when I receive it.
Most of Texas' wind farm generation comes from West Texas, and feeds the grid for consumption mostly along the I-35 corridor. Transmission congestion for the 375KV Texas power grid has throttled Texas wind generation quite frequently lately according to ERCOT records, with the generators producing more voltage than the grid can handle. Upwards of 30% of the power generated is lost via transmission. Relocating power generation sources closer to the point of usage requires less generation. Of all power sources, wind energy is the most environmentally friendly.
I think the city should reconsider this ordinance, and hear cases for wind generation on their individual merits.
WhosPlayin.com is powered by 100% wind energy.
|The Nimrods Never Cease to Amaze Me
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/23 12:16:00 (1069 reads)
One of our readers alerted me to this story about Privatized Immigrant Detention at Latina Lista
The T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas (on the outskirts of Austin, Texas) is a private detention facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America. It and a smaller center in Pennsylvania are the only two facilities in the country that are authorized to hold non-Mexican immigrant families and children on noncriminal charges.
What does this mean?
It means that at the Taylor facility of the 400 people "held" there, 200 are children. And all are families that can be held there for whatever length of time without due process conducted in a timely manner.
To top it off, as long as the men, women and children are held there, the facility's operator draws a daily profit - per person.
The children range in age from infants on up.
According to the lawyers who have visited their clients in the facility, the children receive one hour of education, English instruction, a day and one half hour of indoor recreation.
Jeans and t-shirts have been replaced with jail uniforms; children are issued uniforms as soon as they can fit into them and everyone must wear name tags, even the babies.
Lawyers are reporting that the families are receiving substandard medical care and becoming ill from the food being served them. Children are losing weight and people are complaining of migraine-type headaches.
Read the rest of the article here: http://latinalista.blogspot.com/2006/ ... -immigrant-detention.html
Dont' get hung up on semantics here about what concentration camp is. For most of us, pictures of Nazi concentration camps come to mind, but the most appropriate comparison may be the internment of the Japanese during WWII here in the U.S.
One of the more alarming comments that was posted:
The concentration camps are not just for illegal immigrants. They will be for everybody. Draft Dodgers (yes it is coming, read your news), political disidents, (ie. anyone who disagrees with the goverments stance, which is at 78% of the poulation).
There will be room for the homeless, the immigrants, people who still believe in the constitution and are not afraid to say so.
These camps have been built for years!
Follow these links and [be] prepared to be frightened.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQkR01QVOy8 This is an excellent video of a detention center. Look now, or you will get a chance later as an inmate.
You have been warned. One of the goals of the goverment is to keep us thinking about illegals vs citizens, red vs blue, democrat vs republican.
It is a hoax. We all better start seeing ourselves as the victims of global government. We are human beings, not numbers, not red and blue states.
The politicians all work for the same people, big business. They are in politics for themselves and do not care about any of us. Americans, Mexicans, Iraqis', republicans. We are all just cattle waiting to be herded.
Here's my take on this: While we certainly need to have immigrant detention facilities seperate from criminal corrections facilities, there are just too many problems with this:
- There is no room for corporations in law enforcement or corrections. Corrections Corporation of America is a company that should not exist. Law enforcement and corrections are a duty of government and are best performed by professional government employees with no profit motive.
- These families are being held indefintely without trial. They should either be deported or granted asylum or amnesty - whatever the law allows, but quickly.
- The children are not criminals. They deserve more in terms of education, recreation, and nutrition.
- The mere existence of these facilities provides an additional tool in the hands of an increasingly authoritarian government.
I feel like we need to organize some sort of protest over this.
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/19 21:46:39 (1474 reads)
Twas the night before Christmas here in the White House.
Laura was sleeping and the twins had passed out.
Their stockings and spike heels were strewn everywhere,
while I sat there thinking, 'It just isn't fair'.
Here it was Christmas and everything sucked.
Life really stinks when you're just a Lame Duck.
Nobody called, so I sat there alone
My polls are so low even Cheney won't phone.
No Angela Merkel, no Ehud Olmert
no Vladimir Putin, they all think I'm a jerk.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
the Secret Service rushed in to see what was the matter.
But I sent them away. "It was nothing.", I lied.
I didn't want them to see me, their President, cry.
Then I went to the window to see what was there
and what I saw outside just made me so scared.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gave the luster of midday to objects below.
When what to my bloodshot red eyes should appear
but a massive Blue sleigh, and it filled me with fear.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it wasn't St. Nick.
It was Nancy Pelosi, and with her there came
so many Dems, and she called out their names.
"Now Daschle! Now Clinton! Now Kerry and Gore!
Obama and Edwards! Get us out of this war!
To the top of the Ticket! Make the GOP fall!
Now dash John McCain! Now dash away all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
I watched my Legacy wither and die.
So up to the White House these candidates flew
with a sleigh full of programs, and entitlements too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The dancing and cawing of this Liberal group.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney they all came with a bound.
Then they stood before me, each tapping their foot
and their clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot
from the coal fired plants I said, "Build everywhere!"
I cried, "Leave me alone!" but they just stood there.
Then Obama stepped forward and looked down at me
He said, "I'm taking your job, or at least the VP's."
Hillary said, "You know, this once was my place,
and it'll be mine again when I win the next Race."
I think it was Kerry who called out from the rear,
"Take your Swift Boat and sail off with your Culture of Fear!"
Then Howard Dean screamed from the back of the crowd,
"You wouldn't listen before, but you're listening now!"
Dennis Kucinich, with his face filled with grief
held up in his hand a large funeral wreath.
And on it the names of the thousands of dead
and there was real pain in the words that he said,
"You've started a War, but you'll stay alive.
The same can't be said for all the children who've died.
All of their deaths now rest on your head
and you'll see their faces when you're on your deathbed."
For a moment I wondered if that could ever be true.
Am I really to blame for the all things that I do?
I thought about calling to Karl for help,
then I shook my head no, and I laughed at myself.
You see, I can't be blamed for the things that I've done
since you can never have Peace without bombers and guns.
So I called to my guards, "Send them into the night!
Merry Christmas to all, now get out of my sight."
Posted by mamask8z on 2006/12/18 16:23:24 (1648 reads)
I received this from a good friend of mine. I chuckled, I hope you will too.
This Year's First Christmas Joke
Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates. "In honor of this season" Saint Peter said "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."
The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He
flicked it on. "It represents a candle", he said.
"You may pass through the pearly gates" Saint Peter said.
The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."
Saint Peter said "You may pass through the pearly gates".
The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and
finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.
St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"
The man replied, "These are Carols."
|The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2006/12/17 23:29:04 (1391 reads)
Though I'm not a full-time journalist, I do attempt to publish only substantiated stories here, and not rumors. However, the cat is out of the bag that I'm following a lead about major safety issues recently found at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant.
Since I covered the Michael Burgess Town Hall meeting this summer, and he mentioned Nuclear power as being in his preferred list of options, I've wanted to do a few blogs to thoroughly explore the issue, explaining as best I can in layman's terms how nuclear energy works. I put out the first in my 3 part series about Nuclear Energy this summer, and have been sitting on part II waiting on some time after the elections to get more news resources and examples of the various types of safety failures I was trying to explain.
That's why it piqued my interest when I heard on KERA 90.1 FM (our local NPR affiliate) on Friday, Dec. 8th that inspectors had found 2 major problems in the nuclear power plant in Glen Rose: Firstly, that a water tank designed to flood and cool the reactor in the case of an emergency situation had been left dry, and apparently may have been dry for a period of years. Secondly that some of the chemical mixtures for the reactor had been improperly formulated.
Today, when I went googling for that story, I was unable to turn it up anywhere, so I sent an email inquiry to one of the local bloggers down in that area at the Somervell County Salon to see whether they had heard anything of this story.
I've been unable to find a report of it on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's websites for Comanche Peak:
Comanche Peak Reactor #1
Comanche Peak Reactor #2
This of course assumes that it was the NRC that found the problem. I suppose it could have possibly been the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration).
At any rate, I'll keep looking for information on the problem, and will publish an update when I find it. In the mean time, if anyone reading this knows where I might find a copy of the report or the citation, either confirming or discrediting this story, please contact me, or post a comment.
If I understand the problem correctly, this was a failure of the safety system that would have been used in the case that the reactor needed emergency cooling water to quench the heat and/or slow the reaction by using a chemical mixture that reduces neutron flux. I'm speculating to some extent because I'm not a nuclear chemist, nor am I familiar with the plant's design, nor have I seen the report - only heard it on the radio.
To put this in an analogy I think is fair, imagine going in to get a tire changed on your car, and you discover that lo and behold, your brake is totally missing on that wheel. Further, your car shows evidence that it's been missing the brake for years. All this time, even after taking your car to the shop for professional maintenance, you've been driving with only 75% of your braking power. Now imagine that instead of a 2 ton car capable of thousands of dollars in damage, and killing several people, you're driving a rig that has an output rated in gigawatts and kilotons, and is capable of killing thousands and costing billions in damage. If the story is true, it's quite disturbing.
In the event of a meltdown or containment breech at Comanche Peak, residents of Glen Rose would be the first to buy the farm, but depending on weather conditions, the DFW Metroplex could see mass casualties as well