Tag Archives: Texas politicians

Fruitcake ratio unworthy of boast

Texas is a big state, with lots of people who call it home and lots of politicians elected to leadership positions.

Thus, it stands to reason that Texas would be home to an inordinate number of assorted fruitcakes, goofballs, nut jobs and, dare I say it, dangerous zealots.

State Sen. Bob Hall recently joined the High Plains Blogger nut job “honor roll,” with statements criticizing the vaccines available to inoculate us against the COVID-19 killer virus.

He is far from alone. My goodness, we have loons making national headlines daily with their preposterous statements.

Sadly, almost all of ’em are Republicans. Ye gads, man!

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler is my unofficial captain of the goofball squad. He is a “birther” who continues to question whether Barack Obama was qualified to seek and to serve as president of the U.S. Former Texas GOP chair Allen West is a close second in the running. He once called Democrats “communists.” Then we have Sen. Ted Cruz, the lunatic who continually inserts his foot in his mouth while proclaiming his intention to block every single initiative that comes from President Biden or Democrats in Congress.

I’ll stop with those three. The state’s roster of nut cases is too voluminous to continue. You’ll get my drift.

We love living in Texas. My wife and I established a good life here when we ventured from Oregon in 1984. Our sons have acclimated themselves well (I believe) to Texas culture; indeed, they both came of age here.

We have watched the state make a dramatic transition from a mostly Democratic state to a solidly Republican one during our time here. I don’t begrudge the rise of the GOP per se. What I do begrudge is the surrender of mainstream conservatism to the goofiness that prevails in so many quarters here.

I always presumed Texas pols were smarter than to be snookered by the cult leader who seized control of the GOP in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Silly me. What in the world was I thinking?


What about those Texas pols?

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As we travel around the country and we tell folks that we hail from Texas, I get a certain question in various forms.

It goes something like this: What is going on in Texas, with those politicians down there?

One of the issues that drives the question deals with what they call in Austin “constitutional carry” of firearms. Gov. Greg Abbott is going to sign a bill that enables any Texan who isn’t a convicted felon to carry a firearm with any permit.

That’s right. Any yahoo who wants to pack a pistol on his hip can do so. There you go. More guns makes us a safer place, the politicians tell us.

My answer to the question is that I do not understand what rattles around in the noggins of those who think of such idiocy. I am left to utter a four-letter word or two to describe Gov. Abbott, a politicians I for whom I used to harbor positive personal feelings. Not any longer, man.

The political climate in the state where my family and I have lived for nearly 40 years is giving me the willies.

‘Texas’ equals ‘crazy’ … in Norway

crazy texas

Am I the only Texas resident who’s a bit concerned that the word “Texas” has become a metaphor for “crazy,” “nuts” and otherwise “bizarre”?

Social media have gone aflutter with some stuff out of Norway, where publications have let it be known that “Texas” is now being used as a pejorative term in Norwegian.

Some of my Texas friends, notably native Texans, have blown it off. No big deal, they say. One of my friends takes it as a sort of backhanded compliment, meaning that them damn Euros are going to wish they were more like Texas when they get overrun by all the immigrants fleeing violence in the Middle East.

Well, let me state that as someone who chose to move to Texas in 1984 and whose life is now firmly ensconced in the Lone Star State, I find the description more than mildly worrisome.

Norwegians have hung a label on TexasĀ that shouldn’t make us proud.

As Erica Greider notes in her Texas Monthly blog, Norwegian print media have been using the term “Texas” by lower-casing the “t” in the word. The only folks I’m aware of who can get away with that would be Texas A&M University Aggies, who occasionally refer to their archrivals in Austin as being from “texas university.”

As Greider reports: “Here is an article from Aviso Nordland fromĀ March 2014 about reckless international truck drivers traveling through the northern part of the country. Norwegian police chiefĀ Knut Danielsen, when describing the situation, tells the paper that ‘it is absolutely texas.’ā€

Did you get that?

AĀ dear friend of mine told me that many Americans outside of Texas view our state in the same way as Norwegians. She gave me a pass, though, saying I “didn’t count” because I happen to be a native of Oregon. Bless you, my dear.

Still, I came here on purpose many years ago. My wife, sons and I like living here. One of my sons married a native Texan and they have produced a little girl — our precious granddaughter — who’s a native Texan.

I don’t want any of them, especially little Emma, to be stigmatized in this manner.

Yes, many of our state’s politicians have brought this ridiculeĀ on themselves — and our state.

The natives might not think much of it. Perhaps the rest of us think differently. Hey, those Norwegians are poking fun at the choices we made moving here in the first place.


'Gay conversion therapy' going strong in Texas

Texas politicians seem to think they’re the onlyĀ correct thinkers in a nation that seems to be going in the opposite direction.

An example? Gay conversion therapy, which is drawing opposition from medical professionals and politicians throughout the land, appears to be showing no signs of slowing down in Texas, according to the Texas Tribune.


Have mercy on us all.

Gay conversion therapy seeks to persuade people that they aren’t actually gay. Never mind scientific evidence that someone’s sexual orientation is built into their DNA the same way, say, their hair and eye colors are built in.

That hasn’t stopped politicians from suggesting that a healthy dose of religious teaching, which the critics contend is occurring, will get rid of someone’s homosexual urges. As the Tribune reports, “TheĀ American Psychiatric Association hasĀ condemnedĀ it, and experts say it can cause mental harm to individuals.”

Hey, what does a group of trained medical professionals know?

The Tribune reports further: “David Pickup, who practices reparative therapy in California and Texas, said he was upset by the presidentā€™s words last week and feels reparative therapy has been mischaracterized.

ā€œ’Words hurt sometimes, and some of our clients have been upset about his public condemnation of these things ā€” it has really hurt their feelings,’ Pickup said. ‘Reparative therapy is there for people who believe that for them, homosexual impulses arise not because of something genetic but because of emotional and sexual abuse.’ā€

State Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, has been trying to get a hearing before the House State Affairs Committee. She’s been stonewalled so far. Israel is hoping at least to get the subject on the table for some open debate.

Something tells me that with conservatives owning a supermajority in the House of Representatives and a strong majority in the Senate, the chances of at least a hearing are somewhere between slim and none.

Meanwhile, Texas will stand increasingly alone in standing by the notion that you can convert gay people into something they are not.


Abbott staying neutral in '16 GOP primary

Nice try, Chuck Todd.

The moderator of “Meet the Press” tried toĀ lure Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott into endorsing someone for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Abbott didn’t take the bait, saying he is “staying out of” the primary activity. Translation: I ain’t endorsing anyone, but I’ll support whoever the party nominates.


But then the thought occurred to me: The ’16 presidential field well could be chock full of current and former Texas politicians, and perhaps the son of a former Texas politician.

Look at the Lone Star lineup.

* Lame-duck Texas Gov. Rick Perry is making all kinds of racket about running once again for his party’s presidential nomination.

* Freshman U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz also is acting like a candidate in the making, delivering speeches to fundraising giants and making a nuisance of himself by showing up in front of TV cameras at any opportunity.

* Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who grew up in Texas, is a possible — some say “probable” — candidate.

* U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is the son of a former Texas member of Congress, Ron Paul, who has run unsuccessfully already for his party’s nomination.

Am I missing anyone?

Count ’em. That’s four leading politicians with Texas ties looking (possibly?) to run for president of the United States.

Yes, the GOP is mighty strong in Texas.