Thursday, November 25, 2004

Audience participation

This was taken from Robert at Beginner's Mind :

(A) First, recommend to me:
1. a movie
2. a book
3. a musical artist, song, or album

(B) I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want.

(C) Then I want you to go to your blog/journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends to ask you anything & say that you stole it from me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Comic suggestions

The San Antonio Express-News has a fairly decent comics selection although it still leaves a lot to be desired.
By my count they have 45 regular comics features - 39 on the two-page comics section, two that have been pushed over to the Advice page, Dilbert that runs in the Business section and three that are relegated to the Editorial page - Doonesbury, Mallard Fillmore and locally-based Nacho Guarache.

Of these there are about a dozen that I read regularly even on a busy day and a few more I might skim if I have a little more time. They include:

For Better or For Worse
Rose is Rose
Fox Trot
Get Fuzzy
One Big Happy
Non Sequitur
The Piranha Club

If I have time I may also read:

Baby Blues
Jump Start
Sally Forth
Classic Peanuts
and Dilbert

And on rare occasion I may also skim:

Beetle Bailey
Wizard of Id
Mother Goose and Grimm
and Family Circus

Strips that can go away as far as I’m concerned include:

The Lockhorns
The Quigmans
Born Loser
Broom Hilda
Amazing Spider Man
Hi & Lois
Hagar the Horrible
Dennis the Menace
Fred Bassett
and Grand Avenue

If the E-N would clear off some of the dead wood from its comics page it could make room for some far superior strips. Here are a few of the very best that I try to read everyday online:

Big Nate
Rudy Park
Heart of the City

They might also consider adding a couple of liberal strips like:

The Boondocks
La Cucaracha

to balance out the right-wing troika of Mallard/Nacho/Prickly City that currently goes up against Doonesbury.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Privatization boondoggle

Wow, this is like stepping back into a time machine. The Kerr County Commissioners are bidding to purchase the juvenile detention center in Kerrville.

I was writing about this story 10 years ago when I was a reporter at the Kerrville Daily Times. Back then there was this company called Rehabilitation and Corrections Corp. or Recor that was proposing to build a private juvenile facility for $2.5 million and pay for it by bringing in juveniles from all over the region. At the time I was highly skeptical of the proposal especially since the state was saying it would not reimburse counties at the rates that Recor was planning to charge.
But privatization was the big thing back then and Republicans were touting it as the answer to every problem, so they went ahead with the plan.

I have no idea what all took place during the interim. Recor is apparently long gone - I can find nary a trace of them on Google - and now some group of investors have been left holding the bag. And now the county wants to buy the facility outright, something they probably should have done 10 years ago.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Bush Library

I visited the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station this weekend. It was the first time I had been there and I have to say it was pretty nice. I didn’t get to spend as much time looking at all the exhibits as I might have – what with a 15-month-old running around having lots of fun – but I saw enough to get the gist of the place and I will probably go back a number of times.

One thing that struck me in light of the criticism leveled at the recently opened Clinton Library in Arkansas is how unfair it is to expect a president to highlight negative things about themselves in their own library. Bush certainly did not. There was no mention of Bush’s role in the Iran-Contra scandal or his decision to pardon Casper Weinburger which brought an end to further investigation of the incident. There was no mention of his broken “No New Taxes” pledge or about the time that he got sick and vomited on the Japanese prime minister.

There was nothing but glowing, good news about the Bush years. Even the newspaper headlines that were featured as parts of the exhibit were clipped from the Bush-friendly Washington Times rather than the Washington Post. But that is his prerogative.

I tried hard in 1988 to see that there would never be a Bush Library, (I still refuse to refer to George Bush Drive in College Station as anything other than Jersey Street) but once that effort failed I was at least glad that he built it at Texas A&M – an ideal location by my estimation.