Thursday, August 31, 2006
I feel like I've had a ton of bricks hit me. That should make the DeLay diehard fans happy; they always hated me for running against him to give voters a choice on the ballot. It forced their guy to campaign and work harder in his district -- even though that is was what democracy is all about.
But there are some genuinely nice people out there, praying for Henri. I care about him more then any politician, indicted or un-indicted, for sure.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
We have focused so hard on terrorism we have forgotten that more peoples’ lives are adversely affected by mother nature than Al Qaida – Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,500 people, about half the number of people who died on 9 11 and substantially more than those killed in the London and Madrid subway bombings.
A major earthquake in L.A. or San Francisco would kill many more. The Christmas Tsunami killed over 250,000 in Asia less than two years ago. Are we prepared?
I don’t think so. In Houston we live downwind of a nuclear power plant, yet I have not heard of any emergency plan if there is an accident. But I have heard of people with zero terrorism expertise (but good political connections) being put on bioterror committees and the like. How that makes us safer is beyond me.
We need to be as focused on disaster relief from natural disasters as we do from potential terrorism. FEMA should be removed from Homeland Security for that reason since HS focus is on prevention and FEMA’s is on recovery efforts –totally the opposite focus of each other.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
One investor told me last night that the election in Mexico will shake lose a lot of investment from money leaving the country -- and much of it will come to Texas. He’s already bought land for it. I see money pouring into our area from around the world.
The buzz is that the Houston real estate market is going UP for at least the next two years while the rest of the country is going DOWN. We have no bubble in the Greater Houston area – people are moving here because it is still inexpensive to get property or live on the coast. And our population is doubling the next two decades!
In between all of this running around, I took our cat Louis the XIV to the vet for a shot. He is a black and white tabby who is getting old and his system needed a cortisone shot. The dogs went wild thinking that THEY were getting to GO somewhere, so it is always a zoo to keep them from running into the garage and jumping into the van. If you aren’t thinking two steps ahead of them, it is chaos. Henri weighs over 100 lbs and Lexie bounces off the walls, so taking them to the vet is like a mini version of the Ringling Brothers circus. Louis XIV loves the dogs and will put his nose in their ears. The other cat, Minou, is small and will not let a dog near her. They seem to be lobbying for a vacation lately by trying to get into the car if I leave a door open.
I feel bad for the people going through the bombings and killings in Iraq. It appears that a religious war has begun that is killing thousands of people. Sunni’s are having to move out of Shia areas and vice versa. It is re-segregation. Iraq was a secular state and women could dress western. Now it is becoming another Iran, run by radicals in each group -- and women have to cover up or face the nut jobs running around. It is a step back. It reminds me of the story of opening Pandora’s box.
It has been a busy summer, despite the intense heat. Let’s hope our quiet hurricane season stays that way. I am not up to another Hurricane Katrina/Rita repeat…I don’t think any of us are …
I’ve discovered a product that could be extremely useful when the next storm does come that could save damage in every building. Since we live on the coast, it’s only a matter of when, not if. More of that later, when I’ve got the deal signed…
Monday, August 21, 2006
I haven’t said much about Congress District 22 because it has been such a circus event to watch and there is not much to say.
Bottom line: The 22-year incumbent I ran against (Tom DeLay) bailed out after winning the primary – leaving the ballot spot empty. It’s like one side of a team leaving the field when after a series of wins because they were afraid to lose the game.
When the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, struck down DeLay’s attempt to substitute another candidate, he withdrew from the race anyway. So why did he run in the primary if he was not going to finish the job? He should have stayed out of the primary if that was the case – since anyone winning it would have won in November because of the make up of the district.
None of us who ran in the primary are eligible to be a write in. I wouldn’t be one if I could -- the odds of Ms. Sekula Gibbs or anyone winning a write in are closer to zero than my last vote count.
The curious thing is that few Republicans seem to realize that their guy has left them without a dog in the fight. You can’t blame the Democrats for something your own guy did (well, they can but that is like blaming the gun for shooting your foot off when it was you pulling the trigger).
When I bumped into Ft Bend County Judge Hebert (a Republican) at an art event in
Saturday, August 19, 2006
NASA MAKES A GREAT MOVE
I have criticized them in the past, but NASA just made a novel, and very smart move.
For the first time it has contracted with the first private space companies to provide transport services to the international space station. The assumption is that private business will get us into space at far less cost and still make a profit.
It costs billions to launch one Space Shuttle. It took a measly $20 million to get SpaceShipOne, a vehicle built by entrepreneurs and visionaries like Burt Rutan, Paul Allen and Richard Branson to the edge of space (winning the X prize). Beef that up some and you have a space vehicle.
This is the beginning of private business getting into space business. NASA’s allowing it to happen while it focuses on the moon and beyond is a big step in the right direction. It will unleash the entrepreneurial genius of our private sector with faster, better, cheaper technology.
Transportation is the first link in that process. Once we have new vehicles that put people into space, a whole new level of business --space business. It offers huge potential benefits on a number of levels. Cheap transport into space will open up space manufacturing of new drugs and computer parts, satellites, and who knows what else.
Congratulations NASA for a smart move. It’s nice to know that their HQ is in my Congressional district. I loved flying so much as a kid that I had my pilot's license at 17...
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Not a single hand was raised. I expected more than that.
So I talked about ways to prepare for the unexpected. One item I pointed out was that NONE of our local (regional, state, etc) governments had said anything about having potassium iodide available in case there is a radiation leak from the South Texas Nuclear plant, which is only sixty miles from Houston. Several people seemed to be ready to go get some.
Our leadership has stirred up strong feelings overseas. I think it will increase the chances of more strikes on U.S. targets, although I am not convinced that the liquid explosive threat was real. It would look pretty strange --and obvious-- to see several people trying to mix smelly chemicals on board a flight. It doesn’t sound practical. But the next one could be.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
As a 2006 GOP primary candidate, under the law I am ineligible to be a write in for the same seat in the same year (the same applies to the other two GOP primary candidates). Only someone who didn’t run in the primary could be a write in. But anyone who jumps into a write in campaign really is in a no win situation.
The true is when the incumbent Mr. DeLay bailed out, he ceded the seat to the Democrat and former Congressman Nick Lampson, since they have a lock on at least 41% of the district. In chess, it’s check mate.
Ironically, the man who set about to secure a GOP lock on power ended up setting up his own seat to be one of the first to go into the Democrat column.
Had DeLay given it up before the primary, any other Republican elected in that primary in March would have almost an automatically won. However, by staying in the primary, then bailing out when forced to stay on, Mr. DeLay has screwed his own party and created a Democrat seat in Congress that could remain so in 2008 since CD22 demographics make it look like the UN.
The real issue is who will be around in 2008 to run. A cast of thousands on the GOP side vs. 1 Dem incumbent in a demographically diverse district….
Monday, August 07, 2006
Mexico’s is still going through what the U.S. went through in 2000 – a contested Presidential election. The sore loser is Obrador, who might have a chance in the next six-year term if he handled this delicate situation without shutting down Mexico city as he is doing. Until Mexico and its southern neighbors can generate jobs, our immigration crisis will continue, wall or no wall. I didn’t see Obrador generating any jobs. Let’s hope the winner will. It will take our help.
In Israel _ A direct hit by a Hezbollah rocket killed 15 in Israel – the deadliest. Imagine the damage if they could actually aim those rockets. That will be the next development if this continues. We now know that 9 11 was triggered by our presence in Lebanon in 1983, when bin laden saw the broken tower after the suicide bomber killed over 240 U.S. troops. I still remember that event since I was traveling there for the Fortune 500 at the time.
I did a video in the 90’s warning about a potential nuclear 9 11. This latest clash, if not handled quickly in the right way could plant the seeds for the next 9 11, which could be far worse than the original.
The extremists seem to be coming out of the woodwork (and not from just one religion) and that is not a positive trend for our future security. Lebanon could generate thousands of bin ladens. Anger is boiling over. Anger overrides logic in the age of nuclear power.
I still can’t believe we are electing people who have no experience in these parts of the world that affect our future prosperity and security. Global chaos is not good for the USA, and not a trend that guarantees success and security…
Positive Quote of the Day:
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior
teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
-- William Arthur Ward
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
We just got back from New Orleans, a quick vacation before my wife starts law school --and a chance to survey what has happened since Katrina hit. By chance, we drove over the day the 5th circuit was hearing the appeal on Congress District 22 which I had run in – the issue before it: whether Mr. DeLay can jump off the ballot or not. We drove past the court on the way to the hotel. It is a beautiful courthouse.
The French Quarter was busy with tourists but in Chalmette FEMA trailers sat in front of dead homes. I could smell MOLD when we drove into the area. But there were signs of life and it seems to be slowly coming back. Conventioneers were drinking and weaving about the French Quarter. They filled the bar at our hotel, the Monteleone. By luck we ended up with a nice suite with a river view.
And now there is the potential of a Hurricane Chris bearing down on us in the Gulf Coast again next week. I was glad to leave New Orleans low lying areas behind.
On the global front, the Israelis and Hezbollah are continuing their fight. While Israel has the right to defend itself, the air strikes have also been a setback in the global public relations war when large numbers of civilians are hit. The interesting part is that an administration that has not put the UN first is now putting the UN first. My, times have changed.
In the House of Representatives, the term “French fries” and French toast are back on the Menu. My, times have changed.
I have been covered up with work since the Congress campaign ended. Tonight, I rented a video on the rise of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Hopefully, his days are numbered. Times have changed...