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February 19th, 2003:

Texas blogging

Aziz asks:

Mainly out of simple curiosity, who else is a Texas (political) blogger? Liberal or Conservative, I’m interested in compiling a list.

I think that’s an excellent idea, and I hope Aziz doesn’t mind if I crib it from him. I’ll even put up a link on my sidebar for this.

Here’s what I’ve got so far, from Aziz, his comments, and the bloggers I know of. To qualify, a blog has to be at least somewhat about politics. I don’t know what the threshhold is, so this is totally subjective by me. If you’re on/not on this list and think you shouldn’t/should be, let me know and I’ll make the appropriate update. As an Extra Added Bonus, I’m including an Expats section for known former Texans.

1117 Democrats for Truth
A Century of Crap
A.D.’s Rug Gallery and Hotbed of Liberalism
A Little Pollyanna
A Skeptical Blog
A Perfectly Cromulent Blog
A Violently Executed Blog
Aaron Pena
Alamo City Crossfire
Alan D. Williams
Alice in TV Land
All Things Conservative
alt 7
Amanda Strassner
Appalachia Alumni Association
Arvin Hill
Austin Bay
Austin Lowdown
Awnry Young Texan
B and B
Back Roads of San Angelo
Barefoot and Naked
Beast’s Belly
Ben’s World
Betamax Guillotine
Border Ass News
Both Worlds
Brains and Eggs
Brazoria County Democrat
Brazos de Dios Cantina
Brazosport News
Bryan in 22
But That’s Just My Opinion
By the Bayou
Canal Water Review
Capitol Annex
Carefully Selected Garbage
CateyBeth’s Corner
City of Brass
Civic Dialogues
Clean Up Texas Politics
Coastal Politics

Come and Take It
Common Sense
Corked Bats
Cry Freedom
Dagney’s Rant
Daily Jimbo
Daily Texican
DeLayWatch From The District
Denson in 2004
Dos Centavos
Easter Lemming Notebook
Easter Lemming – Liberal News
esoterically dot net
Etc and So On
Ethel the Blog
Ethical Werewolf
Express-News Watch
Eye on Williamson County
Eyes Left
Father John
Firebrand Freedom
Fort Bend Democrats
Frothing at the Mouth
Get Donkey!
Grant Davis
Greg Wythe
Grits for Breakfast
Ground Zero for Tom DeLay
Hanging Fire
Houston’s Clear Thinkers
Houston Strategies
I Blame the Patriarchy
Ill-Sorted Ephemera
In the Pink Texas
InSane Antonio
Insane Troll Logic
Inside the Texas Capitol
Jessica’s Well
Jim Hightower
Joe Deshotel’s Capitol Weekly
Junkyard Blog
Just Another Blog
Keath Milligan
Kevin C
Kim du Toit
Latinos for Texas
Liberty’s Blog
Lone Star Rising
Lone Star Times
Lubbock DFA
Michael Hatley
Monkey-Brained Musings
Mouse Words
Musselman For America
No More Apples
No More DeLay
Occasional Markings
Oil Patch Democrats
On the Lege
One Hundred Monkeys Typing
Owen Courreges
Panhandle Truth Squad
Peppermint Tea
Phantom Professor
Pink Dome
Political Asylum
Political News & Analysis
Prairie Point
Rachel Lucas
Ray in Austin
Real Live Preacher
Rhetoric & Rhythm
Rick Perry Versus The World
Rightward Reasoning
Rio Grande Valley Politics
Rob Booth
Roman Candles
Safety for Dummies
San Antonio Election 2005
San Antonio Politics
Save Texas Reps
Saving String
713 State
Shiny Special One
Silence is Consent
Skeptical Notion
Socratic Gadfly
Somervell County Salon
Something’s Got To Break
South Texas Law Prof
Stone Bridge
Tex Prodigy
Texas’ Favorite Prostitutes
Texas Civil Rights Review
Texas Legislature Observed
Texas Politics
Texas Viking
Texas Women’s Coalition
The Agonist
The Bayou City Perspective
The Burnt Orange Report
The C-Blog
The Fat Guy
The Fire Ant Gazette
The Gunther Concept
The Key Monk
The People’s Republic of Seabrook
The Red State
The Scarlet Left
The Supreme Irony
The Trailing Edge
The View from the Left
The View From The Nest
The View v.2
This Blog is Full of Crap
This Is Not A Compliment
Tholos of Athena
Trans-Texas Corridor Blog
Trivial Pursuits
Truth Serum
Urban Grounds
Very Opinionated
Virginia Postrel
Voice in the Wilderness
Watching Parking Meters
West Texas Voice
Winding Road in Urban Area
Winter of Discontent
Wood County Issues
Yellow Doggerel Democrat

And, of course, me.

The expats that I know of:

Angry Bear
Arguing with Signposts
Boi from Troi
Boots and Sabers
Bull Moose
Grammar Police
Half the Sins of Mankind
Kesher Talk
Little Red Cookbook
Max Power
Nick Schwellenbach
Ones and Zeros
Path of the Paddle
Perverse Access Memory
The Raitt Stuff
Secure the Blessing
Strategeric Thoughts
The Poor Man
Tres Chicas (Lauri)
Xpatriated Texan

Again, if you are or know of someone I’ve overlooked, please let me know.

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Bevo has a blog. It’s about cows.

UPDATE: Removed all of the subsequent update notices because this entry was taking too long to rebuild.

Pteropundit">One for the Pteropundit

Scientists are trying to figure out why there are a bunch of dead robins in Central Texas. The leading theory is…well, see for yourself:

Pesticides, a common killer, were ruled out. So was West Nile virus because the mosquitoes that transmit the disease have been zapped by cold weather. Tests run by two laboratories were inconclusive.

Now scientists are wondering whether the birds succumbed to a junkie’s fate — overdosing on alcohol-spiked berries or hallucinating on fruits plucked from exotic bushes in the back yards of suburbia.

“The bird gets stoned,” said Cliff Shackelford, an ornithologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which has been investigating reports of dead robins along the Interstate 35 corridor since mid-January.


Each year millions of robins born in southern Canada, the Great Lakes and Northeast make the trek to Texas, settling for the winter in areas with the most abundant food.

Die-offs happen periodically, due to bacteria flare-ups and the stresses of migration.

But this particular death spell was more pronounced because of the size of the robin population, which was pushed higher this year by the harsh winter gripping the North, state wildlife biologists said.

With more competition, some robins gorge on foods that in a normal year are not as prevalent in their diet. Some of these plants cause the same side effects that college freshmen get after downing too many tequila shots, Shackelford said.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prove this hypothesis:

There is no equivalent to the blood alcohol test for birds, since their digestive system processes berries and alcohol rapidly.

“I don’t know what other tests we can do,” Shackelford added. “When they keep coming up negative, we don’t have the resources.”

And while it is a common belief that birds get drunk on berries that repeatedly freeze and thaw — a process called fermentation that converts sugar to alcohol — some scientists question whether the fruit is a high enough “proof” to kill them.

“The evidence that there is enough alcohol in the berries to kill them is not there,” said Jesse Grantham, a biologist and director of bird conservation for Audubon Texas.

“They think grapes, berries, alcohol … the birds are drunk. I’ve never seen a study saying birds are dying of alcohol intoxication”

Grantham said the cause is more likely that the birds are feeding on non-native ornamental shrubs that contain toxins that American birds weren’t designed to stomach.

Examples include Chinese tallow, fire thorn (Pyrocantha coccinea) and chinaberry, he said.

“Most of the die-off is in suburban areas where people plant ornamental shrubs,” Grantham said. “There are some hazards to planting non-native species in your yard.”

Where are Grissom and Willows when you really need them?

City Council to consider anti-war resolution

Despite more pressing matters facing it, the Houston City Council will be considering a resolution to oppose an invasion of Iraq.

Six of the council’s 15 members support some form of a resolution on possible U.S. military action and some of them say the body should at least have the conviction to discuss it.

Mayor Lee Brown said through his chief of staff, Stephen Tinnermon, that neither of the two councilmen’s draft resolutions had enough votes to pass and he did not want to put either on the agenda until they did.

Councilman Gordon Quan’s draft called for the council to go on record “opposing unilateral pre-emptive military action against Iraq.”

Such action, it said, would cost billions of dollars when the American economy is struggling and cities are suffering fiscal crises.

Councilman Carroll Robinson’s draft supported withdrawing U.S. military personnel from the Middle East, Europe and South Korea and redeploying some to nations willing to accept them.

The draft proposed using the savings for domestic priorities, specifically a universal health care plan, prescription drug plan for senior citizens and education.

The Coalition for Justice Not War, working to get an antiwar resolution on the council agenda, supported Quan’s draft, said Ken Freeland, coalition spokesman.

“The best support we can give the American armed forces is to keep them out of an unjustifiable war in the Middle East,” Freeland said.

Look, I’m not in favor of this invasion, either, but I firmly believe that it’s none of the Council’s business. Yes, I know, other city councils have adopted similar resolutions. I think they’re equally misguided. City councils are about city business. Period.

If individual council members want to speak out on this issue, they’re free to do so on their own time. Were any of them at the anti-war protest last weekend? Not as far as I can tell. This just strikes me as posturing, and even though it’s for a position I favor, I still don’t approve.

A few things about me

Awhile back, Scott suggested I add a bio of some kind to this page. Well, in honor of my birthday, this post is it. If you’re curious about some possibly interesting but mostly obscure facts about me, then please click on the More link.


Happy birthday to me

Today is my 37th birthday. I’m exactly the same age as Justine Bateman and exactly one day older than Cindy Crawford. Probably the most famous person to share a birthday with me is Copernicus, who would be 530 years old today, but there’s also Eddie Arcaro, Lee Marvin, John Frankenheimer, Smokey Robinson, Jeff Daniels, Falco, and Prince Andrew.

Among other things to happen on this date, on February 19, 1848, rescuers reached the Donner party. There’s a fun fact to bring up when someone offers a toast on your birthday.

UPDATE: Thanks to TalkLeft, I see that February 19, 1942 is the day that FDR gave the executive order to round up Japanese-Americans and place them in detention camps. Lovely.