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Excellent News Source & MoreGood Evening. It is a rare event when I can send the same email message to four absolutely different mailing lists. Plus some CCs. Will wonders never cease? As some of you know, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, singer, songwriter and mystery novelist "Kerrvert" Richard "Kinky" Friedman (served in Borneo) of Kerrville, Texas, is planning a run for Governor of Texas. I went Googling for information on how to sign his petition, since he needs 45,000 signatures of registered voters in order to be placed on the ballot as an independent. Well, I ran across a terrific website for Texas news headlines. I am not exactly sure what this website is all about, but they seem to have leading stories from newspapers all over Texas, stretching back about a week. This is a big site. Anyway, I wanted to recommend it to everybody.Incidentally, I met Kinky in person at the Peace Corps Convention in Austin in 1995, and we chatted about some of his more risqué music. His latest books include GUIDE TO TEXAS ETIQUETTE, OR HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN OR HELL WITHOUT GOING THROUGH DALLAS-FORT WORTH and KILL TWO BIRDS AND GET STONED. His books will keep you laughing for hours. Laura Bush, oddly, is one of his closest friends, and Kinky has entertained at the Bush White House.Season's Greetings! Roberto in Mount Misery, Texashttp://www.quorumreport.com/sl_print.cfmDallas Morning News - December 3, 2003
WATER GROUP GETS HOSTILE RECEPTION AT HEARING
Ranchers, businessmen, retirees and local leaders spent hours warning state officials not to agree to what they said is an ill-conceived profit scheme that could dry up a remote and rugged region that already lacks enough water for its own future needs. The turnout, some said, was the largest in a decade for a public gathering in the sparsely populated region.
click here for moreAustin American Statesman - December 3, 2003
STATE NEGOTIATING WATER DEAL IN CENTRAL TEXAS
The Texas General Land Office is finalizing a deal that would ultimately put the state in the business of selling water to communities along Texas 130, the Interstate 35 bypass that promises to ignite development along its path.
click here for moreJewish World ReviewNov. 18, 2003 / 23 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764
The next celeb governor? Author-humorist Kinky Friedman ponders politics
By Art Chapmanhttp://www.jewishworldreview.com | (KRT) Kinky Friedman - novelist, humorist, essayist - thinks he might want to be the next governor of Texas. He isn't announcing yet. He doesn't want to peak too soon.
"But if Lance Armstrong and Willie Nelson stay out of the race, you're probably talking to the next governor of Texas," he said by phone from his ranch near Medina in southwest Texas.
He quickly added, "Don't forget, man's ability to delude himself is infinite."
Friedman, who writes regularly for Texas Monthly, has always hovered around the edges of Texas politics, mostly as an observer, usually as a critic. Yet he never dared to enter the arena, except for that time he ran for justice of the peace in Kerrville on a platform of opposing war with neighboring Fredericksburg.
He was able to maintain the fragile peace, but he lost the election.
The scars have apparently healed."I'm not 100 percent sure I do want to do it," he said of the gubernatorial race. "I have cut off my dreadlocks and made a few other sacrifices.
"Right now, I aspire to inspire before I expire," he continued. "When I think of the last political leader who inspired me, it was JFK. The current crop of politicians have singularly failed to inspire people, especially young people."
Friedman has adopted a number of campaign slogans already. And like any polished politician - which he says he's not - he can spew them effortlessly and on cue: "Let's see what happens together," "How hard could it be?" and "If you elect me the first Jewish governor, I'll reduce the speed limit to 54.95."Friedman says he would redefine the office of governor. He relates the power of the office to that of a chili cook-off judge.
"It's not a powerful position," he said. "He can commute a death sentence, or declare a county a disaster area, but all the heavy lifting is done by others. That's why I ask, 'How hard can it be?'"
Friedman says he has some Cabinet members in mind. He would like Willie Nelson to take over a post helping small farmers, and he would like first lady Laura Bush to handle a statewide literacy program.
"It really would be a feather in my cap if I could get Willie Nelson to be a part of the Texas government," he said.
Asked if he was serious, he shot back, "Some things are too important to be taken seriously, and this is one of them."
Friedman, 58, went on to point out that Texas perpetually ranks poorly in education and health care, and that ranking is "crazy for a state as powerful and independent as Texas."
"That's really the joke," he insisted, "not my candidacy."
Friedman claims he will be "above and beyond" politics. When asked if he is pro-life or pro-choice, he always answers that he is pro-football.
It is a popular stand in Texas.
"I'll do away with political correctness," he offered. "It stifles independent thought and spirit. It is not the Texas way."
He will be the "nonbureaucratic candidate," he said. He invokes a Ronald Reaganism to explain his mission: "The other guy's got the experience, that's why I'm running."
Friedman said the best governor Texas ever had was the first one. "It was Sam Houston, and when he was elected they found him drunk under a bridge sleeping with Indians."
For a man who is unsure of his candidacy, Friedman has amassed a trove of sound bites, one-liners and funny quips. As a humorist, he already has some of them cataloged, but he is also clearly smitten with the idea of leading a campaign.
"Serious is not the right word," he said of his impending candidacy, "but I am committed."
It's all unofficial, he added. He hasn't hired a press secretary just yet, and he hasn't resigned his post with Texas Monthly, something he'll have to do when and if he officially announces his candidacy.
"The thing is," he said, "Texas makes it very difficult to get on the ballot as an independent. In California, anyone can run, but in Texas it is very hard."
Independent candidates for governor must declare their candidacy by Jan. 2, 2006. They must then apply for a place on the ballot within 30 days after the spring primary runoffs.
To get on the ballot, they must raise signatures from 45,540 voters who didn't vote in either primary, a number that is 1 percent of the votes cast for governor in the November 2002 election.
"We'll have some fun with it for a while," Friedman said. "I don't know what will happen. We'll see if it dies a quiet death, or if it's the dog that catches the car."Art Chapman is a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Comment by clicking here.
© 2003, Fort Worth Star-TelegramDistributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services>--------------------------------------------------------"Well," said Judy, "at least I prefer the kind of asshole you are on sambuca to the kind of asshole you used to be on the other stuff. Sometimes, even when we were in bed together, you acted like you didn't even know who you were with.""After cave trip, everybody happy -- Burma Shave."Downtown Judy made a little moue of distaste. She took a rather desultory sip of cappuccino. I lit a cigar and let the sambuca do the talking."Once, many years ago, when I was in the Peace Corps in Borneo, I spent several months in a place where so-called civilized life couldn't touch me. I lived among the Punan tribesmen, a nomadic group of pygmies who roamed the dark heart of the jungle eating monkey brains and killing wild boar with blowpipes. I felt at peace within the power of their primitivity."Once every twenty years or so a Western concept deflected upon this tribe like an errant moonbeam looking for a lover. Their only contact with Western ideas of any sort had come through the rare interlude with the lost missionary or the rogue mercenary. The only English words that created even a glint of recognition in their brown eyes of innocence were Elvis, Jesus, and Coca-Cola.""Elvis, Jesus, and Coca-Cola," said Downtown Judy."Yeah. Sort of a timeless trinity. Like the Old Man, the Boy, and the Spook. I mean, Michael Jackson, Mickey Mouse, and Madonna might be nipping at their heels, but Elvis, Jesus, and Coca-Cola will always be the big three."Kinky FriedmanELVIS, JESUS, AND COCA-COLA (mystery novel set in New York City)Highly Recommended!KINKY FRIEDMAN FOR GOVERNOR OF TEXAS!"He Ain't Kinky! He's My Governor!"*****