The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Monday, May 30, 2005

Quick Hits, Part Trois

I've got the laptop back (woohoo!), but you're still only getting one post for today. A three day weekend doesn't come by that often, and with the galpal back we're gonna take full advantage of it.

First things first, Ezra has a great post on Revenge of the Sith. He hits it right on the head. The money quote?

And you might think, by the way, that the Jedi's great hope would be able to see through cheap, crude attempts at manipulation. Nope. Palpatine's arguments would alarm a five-year old he was enticing with candy, but Anakin blithely buys his crap.

Radle at Odds With Council Colleagues

Two days after West Side voters swept Councilwoman Patti Radle to a second term, an elderly man stopped to offer his congratulations as she headed into the Guadalupanita Café for lunch.

The 57-year-old Radle — her long, white hair hanging loose — smiled as she took her seat at the rear of the cramped dining room.

But her good mood quickly soured when Radle began dissecting her latest confrontation with colleagues on the City Council.

In one of San Antonio's poorest and most heavily Hispanic districts, Radle — an Anglo, devout Catholic and longtime community activist — won three of every four votes in a landslide victory. But on the council, she'd just lost the kind of vote that normally passes with little comment, let alone opposition.

Earlier this month, five council members scuttled her nominee for the city's Zoning Commission, retired firefighter Eiginio Rodriguez, saying he wouldn't be objective enough.

Rodriguez is an ardent if soft-spoken water-protection activist whose involvement started several years ago with the proposed PGA Village project.

They might have worried that her appointee would do as Radle does in cases involving development over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone: vote no every time as a matter of principle.

The May 5 showdown lasted only 13 minutes and took place in a nearly empty council chamber. But Mayor Ed Garza, who voted with Radle, said the result was nearly unheard of and warned that it could set "a dangerous precedent."

Councilmen Roger O. Flores, Joel Williams, Ron Segovia, Carroll Schubert and Chip Haass derailed the nomination on a 5-3 vote.

Later, Radle seethed over her plate of tacos.

"You would hope you have somebody who falls on the side of protecting the aquifer, and (Rodriguez) does," Radle said.

Earlier, in an e-mail to her group of neighborhood advisers, she wrote: "So am I supposed to find someone who does not care about pollution of our water?"

The fight over Rodriguez took place on San Antonio's crisscrossing fault lines — protection of the city's drinking water source and development. At the same time, Radle and others saw the councilmen's move as a challenge to her authority to appoint District 5's representative to the Zoning Commission.

"Whether you agree or disagree with her politics, Patti has a right to select her nominee," said attorney Frank Burney, who chaired the Zoning Commission from 1991 to 1993. "That's a council member's prerogative."

And her overwhelming election victory, he said, demonstrated that her constituents trust her judgment.

You know, Patti Radle and I probably don't agree on a chunk of issues, but she is a honest voice on council and votes her district, which is all you can ask. And for those of you out there who think that this pro-business/developer theme is on its last legs, take a look at the five people who voted against Radle's appointment. Now Radle also probably picks too many frivolous fights, arguing about the use of the word manpower and interjecting personholes for the word manholes, but she's absolutely right about the continuing lack of transparency or failure to show up for crucial votes *cough*Washington Mutual*cough* that plagues City Council.

Education Items

Let's remember that the underfunding of education in Texas doesn't stop at 12th grade. Really, there are only two publicly funded universities in Texas that get their fair share of public monies... wanna guess which ones they are? Among other things, an engineering building at the alma mater (for those of y'all who don't know, the undergraduate engineering dept. at UTSA was selected a couple of years back as being one of the top 50 in the nation) is being held hostage by another petty Republican feud.

What else? How about the first two professional schools in a border county? That whet your whistle?

As PinkDome over at... um, Pink Dome so eloquently tells us-

If you are a minority of any kind and you enjoy the humiliation of always being nothing but a 'spic' or 'negro' go ahead and keep voting for the Republicans. They think you do great landscape work!

Another good post over at Pink Dome, astutely points out something that alot of Dems already know- that (some) Dems are absolute morons... emphasis on the some. Let's also point out before we get flamed over here at the jeff, that the Republican party has exponentially more morons than our side does.

Last, but not least, a weird story about what happens in small-town Texas politics.

Have a fun, safe Memorial Day, and for the few of you who have to work today- no rest for the wicked huh?

We're off to the Tower of the Americas today before it gets shut down for the forseeable future. I've only been there a handul of times myself, mostly on school field trips, even though I grew up only a couple of miles away from it. Gotta do this today since odds are I'll be out of town working one of those godforsaken 15 hours/day, 7 days/week jobs that happens every even numbered year when it reopens.

Take some time out of your day to say thanks to those family and friends who have served our country, and take a moment of silence for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"I only regret that I have but one life to give my country."
- Nathan Hale