S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Texas Women & Claims to Fame

Lone-star stars win Five Grammys! - Fellow Texans, The Dixie Chicks won a total of five Grammys in a comeback that has wonderful irony for our current president Bush. ABC News carried a good Grammy overview from which I quote,
The Dixie Chicks completed a defiant comeback on Sunday night, capturing five Grammy awards after being shunned by the country music establishment over the group's anti-Bush comments leading up to the Iraq invasion.
The Texas trio won all the biggest categories, including record and song of the year for the no-regrets anthem "Not Ready to Make Nice." They also won best country album, which was especially ironic considering they don't consider themselves country artists anymore.

Beautiful singer & Texan - Carrie Underwood won a Grammy last night. Gaining fame as an American Idol, she won for Best Female Country Vocal, "Jesus Take the Wheel," according to The

What is it about Texas women? They have the reputation for being good-looking, bold, funny, ambitious, smart and strong. They are also occasionally thought of as having big hair, knowing how to sing and how to curse, how to be the governor of Texas, or how to handle the president. Ma Ferguson was governor in 1924, and Carol Keeton Strayhorn wanted to be governor last year. Famous women surround our current president. First Mom Barbara Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, former Counsel Harriet Miers, and Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes come to mind.

Starshine gone, Molly and Ann lost to cancer - Texas has now lost some of her very best women, but the country still has Texan George W. Bush as president, lamented "catalyst" at Oddball Observations. And it is true. Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards and Molly Ivins are no longer with us. The death of Molly Ivins made many Texans and non-Texans very sad. To quote from the post,
President George W. Bush was gracious in his comments about both deaths.
But both women had nothing but scorn for the man Molly called "Shrub."
So two wonderful Texas liberals are dead. And the country is left with a failed Texas conservative President.
How sad.
Young women in Lone Star State to get protection from cancer - HPV vaccine may help prevent Texas women from getting cancer, if Gov. Perry has his way. But some female conservative state legislators are looking into ways to prevent the Governor's vaccination order. They include State Senator Jane Nelson and State Rep. Dianne Delisi. The story is in the (2/5/07) Dallas Morning News.

(Lone Star) "Astronaut Charged With Kidnap Attempt" was the headline with more than I wanted to know about the NASA astronauts' triangle. The first story I read about the incident was carried by - Feb 6, 2007. One of my favorite Texas women bloggers, Fayrouz in Beaumont, on Feb. 8, 2007, wrote a great post about the story that frames the tragedy much better than I could ever have articulated. I quote from her post headlined, "Meet Indian-American Astronaut Sunita Williams":
After the weekend, I was about to write about the achievements of Sunita Williams. Then, came the unexpected news of Lisa Nowak and her diaper story that dominated our TV screens. When I first read the story, I thought to myself, "Oh dear, this can't be RIGHT." Then, I thought to myself again, "Wait, that makes NASA astronauts as human as us. Cool. Now I don't feel bad about not becoming an astronaut."
This was definitely the last thing NASA needed. Like any family, NASA has its share of people who don't get along for some reason or another. Like many families, the NASA family keeps up appearances very well. Unfortunately, this weird incident may make it harder for the brightest among us to get into the space program.

Women from Texas were featured in several of my South by Southwest blog posts. Examples include:
  • Women are good communicators - July 12, 2006
    Watching the current NASA mission makes it clear that
    women are deeply involved in that effort, from the ground and in space. They are good communicators. I am currently listening to the female voice of NASA, who explains the images the TV audience is seeing, the work that is happening during the mission, and what will be coming up next. On the ground in the ISS control room, two women are currently in charge. One is the Flight Director and another is the "CapCom." In space crew members Stephanie Wilson and Lisa Nowak have also shown themselves to also be good communicators. Today they will be the robot arm operators.
  • Hear Ye, Hear Ye - Reporters & the Middle East - February 1, 2007
    Her light goes out - My favorite columnist, Molly Ivins, has died. Like many powerful Texas women, Ivins was educated in the East. Smith College and the Columbia School of Journalism were where she honed her skills, but much of her talent was in-born. I began reading her regularly in the 1970's when she co-edited the Texas Observer, all Texas' liberals' favorite rag. It was just in time. I needed the comic relief because that was around the time I joined the League of Women Voters and began writing about our locale's bizarre County Commissioners. One of her best friends, Governor Ann Richards got her political start as a County Commissioner in Austin. They were so alike. And now they are both gone. Our state is poorer for that. The sad headline reads, "Molly Ivins, 62, Dies; Writer Skewered Politicians" - New York Times by KATHARINE Q. SEELYE. I quote from her excellent "obit" piece:
    Molly Ivins, the liberal newspaper columnist who delighted in skewering politicians and interpreting, and mocking, her Texas culture, died yesterday in Austin. She was 62.
    Ms. Ivins waged a public battle against breast cancer after her diagnosis in 1999. Betsy Moon, her personal assistant, confirmed her death last night. Ms. Ivins died at her home surrounded by family and friends.
    [re Texas Observer]. . . Indeed, rarely has a reporter so embodied the ethos of her publication. On the paper’s 50th anniversary in 2004, she wrote: “This is where you can tell the truth without the bark on it, laugh at anyone who is ridiculous, and go after the bad guys with all the energy you have.”

    My favorite's last column was published only three and one-half weeks ago - And it shimmered with pure dedicated "Molly." A fierce and funny wordsmith, she challenged all us "bubba's" to get out there and do something about our current president (OCP). And she promised to return to the subject of the war in Iraq in her future columns - "living in the now" as she always did to the very end of her days. Ivins' final column is titled, "Bubba, we -- yes, we --have to stop the war now" - Fort Worth Star-Telegram by Molly Ivins. It will not be the last time she is quoted; it is an honor to quote her today:
    The president of the United States does not have the sense that God gave a duck -- so it's up to us. You and me, Bubba.
    I don't know why George W. Bush is just standing there like a frozen rabbit, but it's time we found out. The fact is that WE have to do something about it. This country is being torn apart by an evil and unnecessary war, and it has to be stopped. NOW.
    . . . This will be a regular feature of mine, like an old-fashioned newspaper campaign. Every column, I'll write about this war until we find some way to end it. Every column, we will review some factor we should have gotten right.
    . . . It's up to you and me, Bubba.
    We need to make sure that the new Congress curbs executive power, which has been so misused, and asserts its own power to make this situation change.
  • What Molly Ivins Might Have Thought - February 5, 2007

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My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about snow storms.


Margaret said...

Have you heard the Dixie Chicks latest album? I really like it. I was never a big fan before. But I really like the lyrics on this new album.

Carol Gee said...

These chicks sing with guts and gusto, much like the old folk singers of the "Searing Sixties." I like them, too Margaret.

moville said...

I glanced at the NEw York Times' comment on the Dixie Chicks' big night: it came four years too late. It's a shame that gadflies can't get attention precisely at the time when their dissent is the most glaring and lonely. That's how you begin to get others to think--what a concept. Now, it seems that the Dixie Chicks are preaching to the choir--most people now realize this war was a bad mistake.

Great "Texas roundup" post. Keep up the good work!

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