Canal Water Review

"To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing." Hypatia "Yeah. That pretty much sucks canal water." cwr

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Laugh out loud at spam?

Spam. I hate it with a passion. I get it by the truckload and spend more time deleting it than I care to think about. Some of it is my own fault. I made the mistake of posting some email addresses on the organization website so that people could contact us for more information or to make comments. The addresses are aliases which go to my real email, so the spam filters don't stop the spam sent via those aliases. New spam filters on the aliases have helped a bit, but nothing seems to eliminate it all.

That means that I have to check my email on a website first, delete all the items that I can identify as spam, and then download my mail. It's tedious and frustrating.

So don't ask why I accidentally found Aunty Spam's website today, but do follow me over to the link she provided to Spamusement. I laughed so hard I nearly choked!

Now maybe I can look at my spam in a new light as I delete it.

Note to spammers: I also work with an anti-fraud task force. I can't tell you how much I laugh when I turn one of you turkeys over to the FDA or the FTC.

Friday, February 25, 2005

A Modest Proposal

Two in a row, more or less. The Courier Online (is this also a print paper?), which tells about Congressman Kevin Brady's (R-The Woodlands) attempts to sell Social Security reform. What caught my eye when following the link to The Courier's report is this:

"The important thing is for people to remember this is not about seniors, this is about preserving social security for future generations," he [Brady] said. "For those over 55 don't worry we've got you covered."

Now this is not the first time that the continued security of those over age 55 has been pointed out. The President has so assured us, at least since the State of the Union Address, and so have many others.

But, just at this moment, the comment is particularly galling.

  • Does this mean that anyone over age 55 has now presumably been bought off by the promise of security, so they should, therefore, butt out of the discussion?
  • If one is over age 55, does one no longer have standing to debate the merits of the various proposals being put forth?
  • If one is over age 55, is one required now, having been handed 30 pieces of silver, to turn a blind eye to the lies that are being used to promote the idea that there is a crisis that will happen if we do nothing?
  • If one is over age 55, does that mean that he/she should not care what happens to future generations, since, you know, our generation is, like, covered?

I suppose I could rant on about what this might mean, but, instead, I have a modest proposal: Why doesn't everyone who is over age 55 just butt out of the discussion? That would include the President, Alan Greenspan (for sure), and who from the Texas delegation?

Born before 1950: Butt Out

  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (1943)
  • Rep. Ted Poe (1948)
  • Rep. Sam Johnson (1930)
  • Rep. Ralph Hall (1923)
  • Rep. Joe Barton (1949)
  • Rep. Al Green (1947)
  • Rep. Michael Conaway (1948)
  • Rep. Kay Granger (1947)
  • Rep. Ron Paul (1935)
  • Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (1940)
  • Rep. Silvestre Reyes (1944)
  • Rep. Randy Neugebauer (1949)
  • Rep. Charles Gonzalez (1945)
  • Rep. Lamar Smith (1947)
  • Rep. Tom Delay (1947)
  • Rep. Lloyd Doggett (1946)
  • Rep. Solomon Ortiz (1937)
  • Rep. Gene Green (1947)
  • Rep. Eddie Berneice Johnson (1935)
  • Rep. John Carter (1941)

Born After 1950: Keep Talking

  • Senator John Cornyn (1953)
  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling (1957)
  • Rep. Louis Gohmert (1953)
  • Rep. John Culberson (1956)
  • Rep. Kevin Brady (1955)
  • Rep. Mac Thornberry (1958)
  • Rep. Michael McCaul (1962)
  • Rep. Chet Edwards (1951)
  • Rep. Henry Bonilla (1954)
  • Rep. Kenny Marchant (1951)
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (1955)
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (1955)

What do we do with those on the cusp, born in 1950? Are they in or out of the discussion, depending upon when the President first promised security to everyone over age 55? That would put:

  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee out (1-12-1950)
  • Rep. Michael Burgess in (12-23-1950)

I guess that would necessitate a benign wave of the hand to both Brady and Hensarling, that they, the young whippersnappers that they are, should carry on. They, after all, have a dog in this fight and we old fogies clearly don't. If it would stop the President from telling more lies (and spare me that smirk), it might almost be worth losing the voices of most of the remaining Democrats in our sadly decimated Texas delegation.

Since, however, I'm pretty sure that nothing will either either the lies or the smirk, I'll have to be content that this modest proposal will share the fate of others in our history. Never mind!

Oh those Internets!

After some weary days of meetings, crunching numbers (my least favorite activity, since I really only just sort of pinch 'em), and the flu (even though I did get a flu shot), I have been catching up on the news and some favorite blogs. A link from Burnt Orange Report took me to 100 Monkeys Typing and a totally delightful report about about a town hall meeting held by Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-Athens/Dallas) in Kaufman County.

Aside from the fun in reading the rather pointed questions from the audience about Social Security reform (and the apparent heat being felt by the Congressman about trying to sell this boondoggle), I enjoyed the quality of the report. It provided information about the Congressman's presentation (including notes about "couldn't see figure"), a few direct quotes, and then those questions and answers, complete with description of audience reaction. I really got a kick out of the note that Kaufman County Commissioner District 3 took his business card back from our intrepid reporter after he asked a question about the comparison of a $2 trillion cost now versus a $10.4 trillion cost later.

Over at Daily Kos (they get so many hits, Google it if you want), there are several diaries working through issues related to Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert with collective efforts by that community of readers and diarists to gather specific information about Gannon/Guckert's activities. The investigation is one that is not really happening in the corporate media but needs to be happening, since it relates to questions of national security, journalistic integrity, and the widening credibility gap between the White House and just about any person with a brain. This effort has led to some clear identification of matters to be considered further--and others that are clearly dead ends or apparently irrelevant. It has also resulted in the development of a new tool for online activism when investigating issues (but, of course, I can't find the link right now).

Over at TPM, Joshua Marshall is encouraging his readers to supply him with original documents and other reports in his ongoing research on congressional action on Social Security reform--and he gets them. In a recent post, he quoted the email reports of not one, but two, readers who physically walked over to an address that had been the center of some discussion about cozy interrelationships and reported on what they saw.

This is the power of the internet (and, by extension, blogs), that issue investigation can proceed from many fronts with many individuals with diverse interests and abilities contributing their bits and pieces of information and expertise in order to create some greater whole. It is also power that original reporting will happen in ways that the corporate media will not bother to address, either from lack of interest or lack of courage.

Thank goodness the interest--and the courage--to pursue truth is out there, alive, well, and doing good stuff. It cheers me up immensely.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

"Canal Water Approved" sites

I've updated my blogroll a bit. I visit these sites fairly regularly.

Altercation is a professional site done by Eric Alterman over at MSNBC. I, of course, like the liberal take on things and enjoy his writing style. Alterman spends a bit too much time promoting his books for my taste, and I'm not much interested in his take on music, but he otherwise hits the high points of current issues really well.

Burnt Orange Report focuses on the Democratic party and its politics, some state level issues, and some national issues. While BOR has been on my blogroll for some time, they've recently opened up their group of posters, now including Vince Leibowitz. Leibowitz' enthusiasm and activism are inspirational--and quite charming. I do believe I love that man.

Eschaton is another "veteran" of my blogroll. I check Atrios' comments daily, if not more so. While his style is not always easy, his knowledge is helpful to those of us who have no clue, especially in matters economic. I look to Atrios to point me to the "sore points" in our nation's psyche.

Texas Music is out of alphabetical order. Must fix that someday. "My" Jack is so unreconstructed, so unrepentant, so politically incorrect--at times--but he is, I believe, a man of dedication and commitment, not to mention honor. I don't always agree with him, but I love his writing and would be proud to adopt him as another son. Mama would harangue him about the ACLU thing if she weren't more concerned that the boy just stay safe.

I go to the newsmap two or three times a week to see what's going on. The map gives me a sense of what the major stories are; often I find something that I have missed while perusing blogs and my home news page. (Hmm, how else would I know the the Christian Science Monitor is suggesting that the solution to the SS crisis is to do nothing? The rationale is that economic projections 75 years out are just so much guesswork. And there are 731 "related articles" on this subject, making it a semi-large story.)

Off the Kuff is a new addition to the blogroll, but not to my list of "must sees." I check Charles Kuffner's entries more than once a day, since he often updates throughout the day. Kuffner is good for Texas issues with emphasis on Houston, although he doesn't mind weighing in on national issues when the mood strikes.

I hesitated about including the Panhandle Truth Squad, since I only check in with them once in a while. They focus quite heavily on the Amarillo Globe News and its many sins, but their forays into state and national politics can be quite interesting. I should check them out more often, I think.

The People's Republic of Seabrook has long been a favorite of mine, especially for its quirky take on news and politics. Even if you can't agree with Jack Cluth's politics (and I generally do), you have to love his frequent mailto:Dumb@$$ Hmmm, maybe I'm not so happy after all. Jack appears to have taken over my computer: Every time I type Dumb@$$ the computer insists on inserting a "mailto" link. Bad Jack!

On the other hand, I would just have to love anyone who would make this her blog's catchphrase:

I'm a psychologist working in HIV research and treatment in the inner city. Don't talk to me about "compassionate conservatism."

I check Respectful of Otters comparatively infrequently, but the posts are comparatively infrequent (the most recent appears to be from December). Even so, the posts are insightful, well-researched, and well worth the wait.

My final addition today is Talking Points Memo. I first found Josh Marshall when he blogged about Tom Delay's intervention in Texas redistricting. I have been reading him multiple times daily ever since then. While Josh occasionally becomes obsessive about a single issue (as he is now about Social Security), his insight into Washington is beautiful to behold. And those obsessions often make a difference. When Josh Marshall is pissed, people do seem to listen.

I could add more, but it's time to get back to fighting off alligators.

Hood Robin

If that's the reverse of Robin Hood, then that's what I'm talkin' about.

The problems that we are now facing because of the large tax cuts instigated by President Bush have long galled me. The argument used in making the tax cuts was that "it's our money, so we should have it returned to us." The rationale for having larger tax cuts go to wealthier Americans was that "they pay more taxes, so they should get more back." It's certainly true that the money given back through tax cuts was "our money." That's where taxes come from. My pocket. Yours. It's certainly true that some people pay more taxes than others. I work for a non-profit; my salary is low (really!); I pay less income taxes than a whole lot of people.

But the problems caused by those tax cuts have been quite serious. Not only do we have a ballooning national debt, we have a declining dollar, severe restrictions on spending for domestic programs, and no way out that I can see for a health care system in crisis.

Now we come to the discussion of Social Security. It gives me a total headache. Without the knowledge or the desire to involve myself in all of the math involved, I still think it's a boondoggle. Just another way to take a swipe at poor folks and line the pockets of the rich. The arguments in favor of privatizing Social Security is that it is in crisis, that we are fast approaching the day when less money will flow into the system than will be paid out, that private accounts will give the individual more control over their future benefits as well as giving them something to leave as a legacy for their descendants.

But there is apparently no crisis. In 2018, we'll reach the point that was planned for and understood in 1983--current income for the program will be less than current outlays, SO the program will have to dip into its savings account: The Social Security Trust Fund. That's the money that we--you and I--have been paying into the program all these years, more money than was actually needed to keep the program going, just SO that there would be a surplus in 2018 and we'd have enough money to keep paying benefits at their promised level.

That surplus exists now as part of the national debt. The government has borrowed that money to pay for other things, like war or tax cuts or even health care. But the government has always--until now--promised to pay it back. Even now the Constitution still requires that it be paid back.

But the President is out and about the country now saying that there is no trust fund, that 2018 is the year in which SS goes bankrupt. It would appear that the only reason that this could happen is if the government defaults on its promise to pay back what it borrowed.

So now the light finally comes on in my feeble brain: The money that was used to give tax cuts, more to the rich because "they paid more taxes," is going to be paid for with money that was paid into the system (to save for the rainy day in 2018) by poor folks, middle class folks.

How can I say that? You only pay SS taxes on the first $90,000 of earned income. If you earn more than that, you don't pay FICA. If you have unearned income (investments, capital gains) you don't pay FICA on that. It's just us working folks that paid all that money into the Trust Fund.

So we pay, they get the tax cut, and we lose Social Security. If that ain't Hood Robin, then maybe it's just plain Robbing Hood.

I'd say that that sucks canal water, but it's way worse than that.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Kerry's "Kid's First" Act

Senator John Kerry has introduced legislation (S.114) to expand health coverage for the nation's children. The Boston Globe discusses the legislation and Kerry's strategies for passage.

Kerry said the bill fulfills a pledge he made on the campaign trail, where he vowed to make such legislation the first bill he'd file as president. He has signed up 300,000 ''citizen cosponsors," recruited via his campaign e-mail list. Kerry said he is planning to ''gin up energy" for his bill through speeches around the country.

I am pleased to be one of those citizen co-sponsors. Here is Senator Kerry's request for you to be one, too.

Dear Friend,

Please join me in co-sponsoring the Kids Come First Act on

A sick child is always a worry. A sick child that you can't get help for is a parent's worst nightmare. Helping the 11 million children who have no health coverage isn't even on the radar screen of the Bush administration and the Republican leaders in Congress. But, we're going to put it there.

It is totally unacceptable that, in the greatest country in the world, millions of children are not getting the health care they need. That's why I have introduced the Kids Come First Act . Here's why it's so important to do something now:

  • 1/4 of children are not fully up to date on their basic immunizations.
  • 1/3 with chronic asthma do not get a prescription for medications they need.
  • 1/2 of uninsured children have not had a well child visit in the past year.
  • 1 in 6 has delayed or unmet medical needs.
  • 1 in 5 has trouble accessing health care.
  • 1 in 4 does not see a dentist annually.
  • 1 in 3 had no health insurance during 2002 and 2003.

In the Senate, I am working hard to convince my colleagues to co-sponsor this vitally important bill. But, the most important co-sponsors - the ones who can help push this legislation through a Republican Congress and the Bush White House - are the hundreds of thousands of grassroots activists in the community.

To date, over 470,000 Americans have signed our Kids Come First petition. We're closing in on our immediate goal of 500,000 before President Bush makes his State of the Union Address on Wednesday. We'll build from there until we stand one million strong. We've got to put getting our children the health care they need at the top of our national agenda. It won't be easy, but we will never relent until we find a way to put Kids First.

A summary of the bill can be found by following the links under the "'Kids First' Act" section of his Senate web page (scroll down a screen).

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Bush budget, cuts in low places

The president's budget is out, and it's a doozie. Aside from taking whacks at "inefficient" and "unproductive" programs, it shows some clear ideological preferences--and just a touch of ye olde shell game. This is what I can tell so far:

  • Byrne-grant task forces are said to be cut by 90 percent, making any action by the Texas legislature all but moot.
  • My issue, despite a positive mention in the State of the Union Address, receives a mere $10 million increase. Experts say that we need (nationally) $197 million just to maintain current services. (Did we not just note that cost shifting is alive and well in Austin? Why should DC be any different?) And, BTW, we're going to need $15.4 million in your state tax dollars to make up for this little federal budget problem.
  • Social security reform isn't even in the budget.
  • Additional funds for the war in (supply name) are not in the budget.
  • Medicare reform is not in the budget.
  • Medicaid is slashed by some ridiculous percent. Makes one wonder why no reporter back in 2000 ever made the connection between the tight-fisted, uncompassionate Texas Medicaid program and any potential action by the former-governor-future-president. But, we'll also need some huge addition in your state tax dollars to take care of indigent health care in Texas if this Medicaid cut goes through. (Gotta have state dollars because a lotta counties sure don't want to take care of their poor folks.)

Guess we'll all be feeling some pain from this one. OTOH, abstinence-only education got a nod from the President for a $38 million increase. We know how well that works, now, don't we?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Trends affecting Texas taxpayers

Friday's issue of Texas Government Insider, an electronic newsletter published by Strategic Partnerships, Inc., lists several trends that affect Texas taxpayers:

Here are some of the most important, ever moving current trends to watch. These are significant trends that will certainly have an impact (one way or the other) on Texas taxpayers. . . .

  • Tuition increases at almost every institution of higher education
  • A major focus on economic development in Texas
  • Hundreds of bond elections throughout the state at local levels
  • Some of the largest transportation efforts ever mounted
  • A concentrated focus on educational institutions and educational programs
  • Health care costs being pushed to local governments
  • Less state funding for prison operations
So which ones make your blood run cold? SPI promises to publish more trends in later issues. I can hardly wait.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

All my children

Like sisters, children are where you find 'em. Didn't have any sisters to start out with, didn't have any kids either. But you pick some up along the way, if you keep your eyes open. Some, of course, you don't expect. Like when you have to mother your own mother.

My stepdaughter lived with us off and on when she was growing up. During her last period of residence, she came with a cat. Naturally, she left without the cat, and we were stuck with it.

The cat had to be the most neurotic creature I have ever seen. I love cats. I've lived with several in my life. This one was just plain weird.

She spent the first year of residence teaching us what not to do. She communicated her wishes with various bodily emissions. Strip the bed to clean up after her a few times and you would learn: Use only Fresh Step cat litter; don't even think about looking for something cheaper.

She spent the next year teaching us what to do. She liked to have her meals on time, so someone really had better be walking in the door by 5:30 or there'd be hell to pay.

She would never sit on your lap, never let you go anywhere near a good belly rub, but she did like to be brushed. The only problem, of course, is that she never stood still for the brushing, constantly weaving and and moving out of range of my arm. Once she realized that my arm wasn't that long, she'd come just close enough to let the brush touch her, but never close enough to make it easy for me.

She did not like to be held. Over the years, she adjusted enough to being picked up that she wouldn't actively fight it, but at the first opportunity she would leap out of your arms. No cuddling from this one.

Except in the last couple of years. At some point, she formed an attachment to My Prince that allowed her to sit on the arm of his chair. After some months, she began to just sort of lean against his leg. Last year, she actually got into his lap. And, once she started, she did not stop. She became a constant presence in his lap or on top of whatever he was working on.

Sadly, this cat had been declawed. Not just the front claws--the back ones as well. She could never go outside of the house. For years, her routine was to spend the morning on the south side of the house, looking out the windows. In the afternoon, she would move to the north side of the house and lie next to the sliding glass door. Other cats might come to visit, but she could only see them through glass.

She never seemed to be interested in getting out of the house; we didn't have to shout "watch the cat!" any time we went out the door. Except in the last year. My Prince reported that he had found her walking in the back yard. I refused to believe it. He had apparently left the patio door open just enough for her to squeeze through. She must have had a wonderful time, walking on grass, looking at the world in a new way. But he gave a shout, and she ran back to the house.

Feeding this cat was always a challenge. She was more than a picky eater. She was a two-year old. She liked ice cream and ranch dressing. If we had hamburgers, she wanted a hamburger. She ate cheese. She wouldn't touch milk unless it was left over from cereal. If this sounds like we fed her improperly, then please note that she didn't handle most cat foods very well.

We were constantly cleaning up the barf. She threw up everything: dry food, canned food, treats. But not hamburgers. Not ranch dressing. It was always such a thrill to walk through the den, barefoot, and feel that cold, icky barf under your foot.

Because of her chosen mode of communication (bodily emissions), we had to make some adjustments in our living. We could not leave the bedroom door open lest she crap on the bed. So it stayed closed. Which meant that the steam from the shower eventually led to mildew in the closet. Clothes and shoes were ruined, and we still could not open the door.

For the same reason, we also had to keep the couch and chair in the den covered in plastic. Over the years, there was a running battle between the cat and My Prince to see who would win: would he manage to keep her off of the furniture, or would she she pee on whatever he put there to keep her off of the furniture? Generally she won. I, however, am smarter than the cat, so I just put boxes on top of the plastic. She couldn't find any place to squat after that. But we also got really tired of moving the plastic and boxes whenever we wanted to sit in the den. For the past year or so, we haven't even bothered.

This cat was a challenge to be sure. Eventually the whole family was urging us to get rid of her. They were all aggravated with the stepdaughter that she wouldn't take her cat back and let us live our lives in peace. But we couldn't bear the thought of harming the cat. She was an innocent in all of this. I really think that something must have made her be so skittish early on, some trauma, some lack. And she was beautiful--in a mongrel, splotchy sort of way. All you had to do was look at her face and see those green eyes and be lost.

We never quite knew how old she was, but as best we could all figure, she was somewhere between 18 and 20 years old. Ancient for a cat. No wonder she started making little groaning sounds a couple of months ago. And then in December she started wobbling. Not much, just a lack of balance when she would try to jump on the table or something. She started sleeping in weird places--like her litter box or next to her food. We found her in the bathroom a couple of times, although we'd never known her to go in there unless she were checking up on us.

Yesterday, she lay down next to her food, and she didn't get up. I had to go home for a bit in the middle of the day and was shocked to see her. I tried to give her food and water, but she couldn't take it. I petted her. She could move her head enough to make sure that I scratched under her chin. She even purred a little. I left to come back to work. When I called home later and asked how she was, all My Prince could say was "She's in heaven." It's what he had planned to say to his daughter to help her accept the fact that the cat had died. I didn't expect him to use those words for me, but they nearly did us both in.

Poranji was a mess. She was a trial by any definition of the term. But she was a sweet and loving cat. And the gentle touch of her paw was always a reminder that there was one creature in the world who needed you to love her even when she wasn't being loveable.

I can take my house back now. Toss the plastic. Remove the boxes. Open the doors. Begin to repair the damage. But I'll miss the little thing.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Drinking Liberally

I've often been intrigued by the "Drinking Liberally" logo on Atrios' site. Today I actually followed the link to see that there are now 50 chapters of Drinking Liberally across the country, including one in Austin. It meets every Thursday at 6:30 (til) at the Dog and Duck Pub (406 W. 17th St.). Julie Baxter and Shelly Brisbin are the hosts.

The event kinda sounds like fun. It's always nice to get into an echo chamber with other like-minded folks and gripe for a while. But I don't really drink.

Even before I had to think about interactions with medications, I limited myself to one, maybe two, scotches a year. (Well, if you're gonna drink, why mess around; drink something real. Beer is just another word for water, and putting "mixers" in good alcohol prolly means you shoulda stuck with Coke anyway.) The predisposition to alcoholism became, at some point in my life, a wee bit too clear, so I decided not to run the risk. But, oh how I did love my little glass of scotch when I allowed myself to have it. The enjoyment was only slightly marred by the constant mental lecture I had to give myself about not ordering a second glass.

I rather think I won't pop over to the Dog and Duck anyway, since there are memories there. I used to go the Dog and Duck with the Chairman of my Board of Directors whenever he came to town. He was British and thought the atmosphere was "like home." I'd have a lager and lime, just to fit in with the ethnic tone of the place, and he's have to finish it. The Chairman was, as you might expect, somewhat reserved in his conversation. It took quite a while to get to know even a little about him. It took me two years to realize that he had a killer sense of humor, but his humor was so dry that you really had to think to keep up with him. He was a good chair and did a lot for our work. About six months after he left the board, he was murdered.

He owed his dealer (his lover's dealer?) about $200 for marijuana. The guy showed up and demanded money. The Chairman declined. The dealer killed him.

I was surprised to think that this very intelligent man was smoking dope. That was another item that I gave up long before I gave up alcohol. I guess I just thought that everyone else had outgrown it, too.

I was even more sickened by the reason that his killer gave for killing him, when he really didn't have to. Turns out he thought the Chairman was just too stuck up. The ignorant sod had no clue that British folk tend to act just a wee bit differently than Americans.

I think that Drinking Liberally is probably a lot of fun, but I guess I'll just have to miss the fun. Now Eating Liberally--that I could go for.

Consumers lose their voice

Today's American-Statesman carries an editorial about the Consumers Union's decision to stop its day-to-day lobbying in Texas in order to focus on national issues.

The nonprofit organization, which fought valiantly on a number of fronts for decades, has lost too many battles in Austin. Its leaders feel it is no longer effective in a Legislature dominated by business interests. That's sad commentary on the state of government affairs in Texas.
Too right. On a good day, those of us who espouse unpopular or tough issues are just grateful if the big guys don't notice us. Once in a while, we might even have common cause (politics makes strange bedfellows), so that we could even get a bit of a boost from the big guys. But woe betide us if we were on the wrong side of corporate interests in this state. Consumers Union was sometimes the only friend we had out there--and I have to admit being just some relieved any time I saw a CU lobbyist walk into the same hearing room.

Consumers Union lobbyists might not have won many fights at the Capitol, but they were usually heard — and always respected. Their presence at the Legislature will be missed more than most Texans realize.

Again, very right. We often take the good things in our lives for granted without fully understanding where they came from and who fought to make them happen. It is all too fashionable for some folks to automatically expressed outright hatred for the American Civil Liberties Union, but they are dedicated to defending the very document those same folks hold in such high esteem. (Well, maybe they only really like the second amendment, but the other nine are core values in our society whether they realize it or not.) By the same token, folks will look at Consumers Report for guidance on buying a washing machine or car without even realizing that the folks who publish the magazine are looking at policies that affect consumers as well as products.

Fortunately, it would appear, CU will still be working on issues related to prescription drugs. That's a far bigger issue than just making a quick run down to the pharmacy to pick up some pills. We should be grateful that CU is still on the case. I am.