Well, it's been a relaxing, yet packed week for us. We got back from Galveston yesterday afternoon. With Mamask8z driving, we made good time. I focused on reading a book so that I wouldn't watch her driving and get nervous. I read "Fahrenheit 451", a book from 1950 with some eerie predictions about a future in which people are over-entertained and over-stimulated with TV walls, and firemen exist to hunt down people who own books, and set their houses on fire. At least there was a happy ending though. (snark)
The Butt Cherry Mamask8z has a story to write about something that happened on our vacation. Ask her about the butt cherry. I won't spoil it, but it's hilarious, trust me.
Escape from Pelican Island I had a bit of an adventure on my vacation. One day I had been a bit frustrated with my kids whining, and Mamask8z not wanting to do the things I wanted to do. So I decided to leave them at the condo while I took off on my own. I found an old book store to browse for awhile, then an antique/junk shop. I didn't buy anything.
I decided I wanted to go park somewhere and watch the ships in the bay, so I drove along by the harbor there, and ended up crossing the drawbridge to get to Pelican Island, the home of Texas A&M at Galveston. I figured I could go park at the college, then walk out to the beach to have a look, which I did. As I was walking, a siren went off and the drawbridge raised up.
A barge with a large crane scooted itself through the opening, but the crane was raised up so high that there was no way it would clear the power lines stretched high above, adjacent to the bridge, so I decided I would watch and maybe get the cell phone ready to record some video. The barge moved really slowly, and the crane boom started to come down. As the traffic started to back up on the bridge, I thought about how thoughtless it was of the barge pilot to just now think about lowering the crane while everyone was waiting.
Nothing in particular brought this about, but I did want to share something I wrote to clarify the issue of writing for local publications. These tips will help the average person write an effective op-ed or letter to the editor. Readers of Whosplayin can use this advice to submit their own pieces to this blog or send off to the Lewisville Leader, The Dallas Morning News, or any other publication.
On the agenda for Monday night's Lewisville City Council meeting is a request by Titan Operating, LLC for the Council to grant permission for its Ingram site wells to be nearer than 500 feet from City property. The action Monday night, if approved, would complete Titan's application process and allow the Council to hold a public hearing regarding their permits.
The Ingram site, as it's being called, is located on the Southeast corner of Valley Parkway and Corporate Drive. The location of the wells would be 402 feet from Memorial Park, which is a protected use under the City's Gas Drilling Ordinance. Under the ordinance, all property owners within 500 feet must give their consent. A simple majority of 3 Council members would be required to approve the consent.
In the City Council agenda for Monday night's meeting, city staff recommend denying the permission for the Ingram tract, but do not provide any rationale. However, the site is surrounded on three sides with homes, and the homeowners there generally oppose this location for the well.
This installment of Thoughts and Links comes from sunny Galveston, TX, where the family and I are on a week-long vacation. I'll be back soon with more in-depth regular content.
The national debt and the deficit that causes it are both serious problems that need to be solved urgently. But the ship has sailed, and the problem has a certain momentum that cannot be stopped as quickly as the simplistic right would like. Raising the debt limit is necessary because of policies that George W. Bush put into place, as well as the recession they caused. Starting wars and cutting taxes at the same time never balanced a budget. It's time for Congress to act like grown-ups and ignore the ignorant who call for us to default on our national debt. Yes, it sucks to have to increase the debt limit, but if we don't take action, we'll still be in debt, but it will cost much more and we'll be facing a full-on depression, and collapse of the financial system. Excessive military spending, and tax cuts for the rich are to blame for the problem.
TNMP is going to stick all of its customers with a $3.40 per month surcharge for 12 years - amounting to $489.60 over the life of the charge. This fee will cover the cost of smart meters that TNMP wants to install. I don't know whether the smart meters are worth it or not. Perhaps they could come in handy if it were possible to have time-of-day metering for consumers. But I just wanted to use this example to point out that there are plenty of ways for the government to affect the amount of money that stays in or departs from your wallet. Taxes are just the tip of the iceberg, but they're the visible part. The regulation or lack of regulation, or lax regulation of industry has a huge effect on our economy. In this one action, completed by people who are not elected by us, and not accountable to us, we just got hit with a charge that is more than my entire City of Lewisville property tax bill for a year. Where was the TEA Party on this? They were electing career politicians like Rick Perry who appoints his cronies to these commissions.
Lightseeker takes us on a quick tour of the Perry prayer tactic over the last 10 years to make a point: when you discuss his upcoming Prayer Summit, don't fall into the trap of yelling "church and state", at least not only and not first. Check it out: Talking Back to Perry's Prayer Summit.
The Three Stooges -- Susan Combs, Todd Staples, and Jerry Patterson -- staged an eye-poking, face-slapping, hair-pulling pie fight as the Battle for Texas Lieutenant Governor in 2014 broke out early. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs reports from the front lines.
This week on Left of College Station, Teddy returns after taking a hiatus from blogging to take a look at Governor Rick Perry’s far right radical social conservative appointment to the Texas State Board of Education.
Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about two books of New Deal Era Texas art that show Texans working together and respecting the land. This stands in sharp contrast to the current reality of Texas where greed, anger at people who are different, and exploiting public resources with no concern for the future are the order of the day. There are resources out there---in addition to your imagination and hard work---that offer Texans a path to a more hopeful way of everyday living.