Tag Archives: Texas

Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple

Blood Simple (1984):

John getz

John getz

This is a comedic film noir about people who can’t do anything right and are mostly confused. It’s an early low-budget Coen Brothers flick, set in sweaty, insect-infested Texas, starring a young Frances McDormand (Joel Coen’s wife). Perpetual hateful loser Dan Hedaya plays her cockolded husband, and perpetual country boy John Getz plays the befuddled country boy boyfriend (look for his deviated nasal septum while he’s sleeping, as McDorman joins him in bed about a quarter of the way in to the film). Perpetual fat slob M. Emmet Walsh plays a fat sweaty private eye who plays both ends against the middle. McDorman gets in a good kick to hubby’s balls when he invades the love nest, that prompts hubby to put a contract out on the two, with the sweaty Walsh as the contractor. Oh and there are some dead fish, and shots in the dark. If you think you see a dead person’s chest move, you may be right. Not exactly my cup of tea, but not a bad flick.

The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film festival.

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Texas oilsters frack themselves

fracking
Fracking takes your basic livable boring hometown and creates some real interesting water, air and moving earth. More or less permanently. Why would the flipping oil millionaires do that to themselves? oh, wait, it’s the poor part of town:

“Fort Worth has been fracked to capacity,” resident Don Young told DeSmog Blog. “There is no turning back. Some days the air is so bad you can’t see downtown.”

Chesapeake Energy began offering $300 and a pizza party for owners of mineral rights in predominantly poor and working class African American neighborhoods in 2003 and encountered little resistance, DeSmog Blog reported. Now Fort Worth has around 2,000 wells.

Residents have been sickened by vapors from drilling operations, found their neighborhoods suddenly ruined by noise and fumes, and had their water sucked up by drilling operations in the middle of severe drought. Five sites were found in 2011 to be emitting pollution above state limits, according to a study commissioned by the Fort Worth City Council, and most of the 388 sites studied released visible emissions.

Right next door to Fort Worth, the Dallas city council is considering letting fracking start up in town with a vote likely to come next week, capping a three-year fight over the future of fracking in the city. Until recently, Dallas had rejected attempts to frack in town, but that stance seems to be over. Current debate is over the distance required between wells and homes or wells and other wells: 1,500 feet or 1,000.

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Keystone XL Pipeline opens the eyes of conservative midwesterners

“Republicans could give a rats ass about the people out here.”


The proposed XL pipeline is a giant toxic Love Canal across America’s heartland. The Canadian corporation that wants to build it is bullying landowners in its path, threatening the use of condemnation proceedings, and the sheeple aren’t taking it lying down:

The effect of it today is to place people like Randy Thompson on an unfamiliar side of the divide between conservatives and environmentalists; and business and liberal political activists. He even testified this month against TransCanada as a witness for Henry Waxman’s minority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I’m a little ashamed to say that maybe if it hadn’t come across our land, I wouldn’t have gotten involved,” he told me. “I’ve gained a great deal of respect for people who do care about our environment I’ve become much more aware of environmental issues. I have to admire them for being concerned about our environment.”

“Republicans,” he said, by contrast, “could give a rats ass about the people out here.”

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Texas/Oklahoma Heat/Drought

July in Oklahoma was the hottest month in any state, ever.
http://www.newser.com/article/d9p0641o1/fourth-hottest-july-on-record-as-oklahoma-sets-national-record-texas-has-hottest-july-ever.html
I hope Senator Inhofe is staying cool, while citizens of his state drop over dead (9 confirmed, 7 more yet to be confirmed http://m.newsok.com/death-toll-from-oklahoma-heat-reaches-nine/article/3589347?custom_click=pod_headline_health while others watch their farms and ranches wither and die. Haven’t heard anything from the Senator lately. Oh, wait… Here he is raving about the EPA trying to stop climate change: http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/inhofe-epa-china-india/2011/07/24/id/404677

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Hail cannons, lightning rods, elephant repellents, and Texas schools

hail cannon

“What’s the white powder you put on your lawn every week, neighbor?”
“Elephant repellent…works pretty well, doesn’t it?”

I just heard about the hail cannon… a 20-foot tube/sound chamber that makes a huge bang every four seconds, supposedly disrupting hail formation in the sky above. Costs 50,000 bucks…and of course you need a radar system to detect suspicious clouds, and additional cannons every 750 feet or so, and a computer system to control it all, plus the expendables, maintenance, etc…
hail-cannon old
These monstrosities were invented a couple hundred years ago, and are better suited to defending castles a la Monty Python than to preventing hail…there is no scientific basis for them, and no proof that they do anything but enrich those who manufacture and market them. Billy Mays wouldn’t even have touched them. Yet there is an active and even thriving hail cannon industry, in the US and abroad.

A comment:
Anti-science forces in our society, paid for by large multinational corporations interested in preserving profits, have succeeded in slowing our response to tobacco toxicity and global warming/climate change. Smaller business ventures (and politicians and religions) have also traded on ignorance, fear, superstition, and the psychology of uncommon events to “sell” us costly, irrational and often dangerous “products” which supposedly “prevent” rare but calamitous events. The lightning rod immediately comes to mind: a simple yet costly device, somewhat dangerous to install and maintain, which is completely unnecessary for most homes, would likely not work anyway, and may even attract lightning. Yet, the “prudent” sucker purchaser can rightly claim that since the installation of this item, no lightning has struck his home, wrongly attributing that to the rods. In logic, post hoc, ergo propter hoc. If lightning does strike, inevitably some problem will be found with the installation or maintenance, excusing the failure, and reinforcing the need to “upgrade” to an even more expensive product. See Herman Melville, The Lightning Rod Man”:

“Of life-and-death use. But my workman was heedless. In fitting the rod at top to the steeple, he allowed a part of the metal to graze the tin sheeting. Hence the accident. Not my fault, but his.

The propagation of ignorance, as opposed to the dissemination of knowledge, is today a burgeoning activity and a profitable industry. At Stanford University, Prof. Robert Proctor has dubbed it “agnotology” and made it the subject of his research:

A prime example of the deliberate production of ignorance cited by Proctor is the tobacco industry’s conspiracy to manufacture doubt about the cancer risks of tobacco use. Under the banner of science, the industry produced research about everything except tobacco hazards to exploit public uncertainty. Some of the root causes for culturally-induced ignorance are media neglect, corporate or governmental secrecy and suppression, document destruction, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness.
link

failpunt
How do Texas schools fit in? it seems that Texas may allow their high school students to accumulate 4 credits in sports, out of the 26 required for graduation. This would be a 100% increase from the previous athletic allowance of 2 credits. Yeah, that should help.

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Texas Republicans want textbooks rewritten to exclude liberals

newt.gingrichJust when you thought “conservatives” couldn’t get any crazier, Texans prove you wrong. Oh, and in case you misapprehend what’s going on here, what will happen to the old books, you know, the ones with real history in them?????
BookBurning

AUSTIN — Texas high school students would learn about such significant individuals and milestones of conservative politics as Newt Gingrich and the rise of the Moral Majority — but nothing about liberals — under the first draft of new standards for public school history textbooks.

And the side that got left out is very unhappy.

As it stands, students would get “one-sided, right wing ideology,” said Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, chairman of the House Mexican American Caucus.

“We ought to be focusing on historical significance and historical figures. It’s important that whatever course they take, that it portray a complete view of our history and not a jaded view to suit one’s partisan agenda or one’s partisan philosophy,” he said.

The standards, which the board will decide next spring, will influence new history, civics and geography textbooks.

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