I just finished watching the debate between the Texas incumbents and Governor Rick Perry, and I have to say that Ms. Strayhorn almost literally sickened me with all of her talk about caring for the people, when most of her campaign funds have come from businesses that wanted tax breaks from her. She was the Mayor of Austin decades ago,a Democrat, and just like her fickleness over which party she belongs to, she also can't seem to keep a last name. She was known then as Mayor McLellan, and I really can't remember the specifics, but all that I know is many people here in Austin were very unhappy with her policies and performance. If she couldn't run a then small city like Austin, then how in the world does she expect to run a huge state like Texas?
As for Chris Bell, I think that he did the best job of the three because he was concise, knew his statistics, and is not for the Texas Trans-Corridor fiasco, which will take thousands of acres from farmers to build a huge slab of concrete throughout our entire state! He also spoke of the need to do away with the TAKS test. This seems like a wonderful idea, as it only puts undue pressure on teachers, students, and parents. The children also take these practice tests that are so similar that one wonders if they have really accomplished anything except memorization. Texas is now in 32nd place in education, I believe, or thereabouts, and was all of the way down in the upper forties just a few years back. Congressman Bell also wants to completely re-vamp our school system, and give our teachers raises. He is also for campaign funding reform, and after you read about Perry, you will know why.
As for Governor Rick Perry, he was the slimiest of them all! He, of course, is for the Texas Trans-Corridor; the company that got the contract is from Spain, and they contributed HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of DOLLARS to Perry's campaign. His meek reply to this was that some Texas contractors would also receive work, but I don't believe him for a second. Just two years ago, he was cheering for property owner's rights, and these farmers and ranchers voted for him. Now, he wants to take their land for the TTC. He wants to keep the TAKS test in place, and he stated that our children's scores have risen 20% in the past two years. What he DIDN'T SAY was that we are the highest in the COUNTRY in DROP-OUT rates, and that we were rated in the upper forties out of the fifty states about four years ago. I don't think that 20% is much of an improvement when Texas is one of the top 15 richest states. Many poorer states have better education than we do, and why is that? Ann Richards passed the Texas Lottery and had put in place that the money would be set aside in a Special Education Fund, solely for teacher salaries,and proper maintainance of Texas schools. Now, the money goes into a General Fund; who knows where it ends up. There was one other thing that irritated the Hell out of me. Mr. Perry said that Texas teachers had received raises. This is simply NOT TRUE! I just spoke to an Austin fifth grade teacher a month ago, and she hasn't had a raise in over THREE years! She is actually considering quitting teaching because she can't afford her living expenses, and they aren't very much. Perry is only interested in himself, and his cronies; FACE IT. He is a part of Bushco. Bush appointed him, and if we have to use the fraudulant voting machines, Perry will win once again, just like his mentor did in 2004 with Kerry. Our only recourse is to get out en-masse on November 7th, and let our wishes be known. If enough of us vote, I don't think that fraudulant machines will have a chance against us. Only 26% of the population voted in the last election, and voter's registration ends on October 10th,(Tuesday.)
Now, I like Kinky Friedman for his complete honesty, and even though he has used some terminology that is outdated, one has to remember his age. I believe the African-Americans, at the time of his youth were probably referred to as negros. As for his other comments, they were made on stage, in a comedy act. I wouldn't take it personally if Richard Pryor said, "honkie, or redneck" but most of the general public hasn't seen his act, or read his books, so they don't understand that these were taken out of context to discredit him. To take the entire focus of his comments and place them on one outdated term was a crappy move by Strayhorn and Perry. Bell, however, stayed out of it, and focused on the issues at hand, which showed viewers what type of person he really was. Friedman has some wonderful ideas about bio-diesel, and ethanol, which can be grown by Texas farmers, so everyone wins. It would also cut down on pollution, and since Friedman's against the TTC, the farmers would still have their land to produce the ethanol base; whatever it may be. The panel mentioned Friedman's comment concerning the Katrina evacuees that he called crackheads, and thugs. I, myself read an article in the Austin American Statesman concerning this issue, and it's no joke. As Kinky stated, the murder rate has gone up 20% since their arrival, and I read about one apartment building that is filled with evacuees, and constant criminal behavior. The crime there is so bad that they have to have an officer's car parked there 24 hours in an attempt to keep crime in check. Mr. Friedman's idea of sending 100,000 more officers to the high crime areas may not be such a bad one. It would certainly send a clear message that Texas DOES NOT tolerate violent, and criminal behavior. I don't think that we'd need quite so many, but I haven't been there personally to see the situation as Kinky has, so I cannot give an educated guess. Mr. Friedman also wants to legalize gambling, and put that money into a Special Education Fund, just like Ms. Richards did. I think that's a wonderful idea, as long as the casinos are in good taste, and are not near schools, and churchs; just for propriety's sake. The last important issue that Friedman brought up was decriminalizing marijuana in Texas. Personally, I think that this is an idea worth considering, as thousands of people are sitting in prison, while we foot the bill, for having a little weed on them. Prisons are for violent/sex offendors, thiefs, pedophiles, and criminals. Rehabilitation is for people with addiction issues. My best friend died in a car accident because she was driving while intoxicated. Alcohol, to me, is a much worse drug than marijuana. One can black out, get violent, and when they abstain, or try to quit, they can seize and literally die. I have seen it in person, and it was not a pleasant experience. The lady was rushed to the hospital, where they re-started her heart several times. She was hospitalized for over a week. Alcohol can actually kill you; pot can't.
It may be a tough decision for some, but to me one thing is very obvious. Governor Rick Perry is a parasite, and has got to go! If this means that former Kinky supporters will have to vote for Chris Bell in order to rid Texas of this greedy, selfish man who thinks that he's got it in the bag, then that may be the only solution, as sad as it may be.