Texas Outlaw Writers
By Texas Outlaw Writers
Texas Outlaw WritersNov 30, 2022
State of Disunion - Texas Outlaw Writers. The Outlaws dive in to the State of Disunion Address, Black History Month, and Texas' continued attack on public education.
The Outlaws meetup after a long holiday break to review the recent State of the Union address and how that looked for progressives (and how badly it looked for the GOP.) They take a look at Black History Month and how the police reform "conversation" is going with Tyre Nichols' murder by Memphis cops right in the middle of it. There are also a few words about the continued attack on public education in Texas (and everywhere else.) Some rough stuff, to be sure, but the Outlaws manage a laugh or two to keep from screaming.
"Zen and the Art of Remaining Upright" Texas Outlaw Writer James Moore reads his recent post. 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' changes meaning over the years, but the values remain the same
Texas Outlaw Writer James Moore reads his recent post.
'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' changes meaning over the years, but the values remain the same. What's a few wrecks and dead turkey across your face over a lifetime of freedom, always heading out toward the open sky?
Mike Shiloh warns the Texas Outlaws that Texas leading the nation in new renewable energy projects on top of being the #1 oil producing state - may not be enough.
Texas prides itself on being the #1 oil-producing state. They're leading the country in adding renewable energy projects. And yes, there can be tension between those factions, (but traditional energy companies are not going to leave money on the table when it comes to new technology.) But Mike Shiloh warns that it is not enough. Our appetite for electricity is insatiable.
Mike started out much like last week's guest (Mike Vance) - hanging out in Houston's comedy clubs, working his act and watching future comics hone their skills. This led to a reporting career in radio and then print. Mike started working with Harvey Kronberg at The Texas Energy Report. When Harvey wanted to branch out and create The Texas Quorum Report, Mike took over as publisher. The TER is on a "mission to cover the effects of politics, markets, government and general economies on the oil, gas, electricity, utilities, alternative & renewable energy industries of the acknowledged leader in world energy generation and management, Texas."
Mike confided in us that, "Energy... in Texas... kind of a big deal."
Mike Vance: A Texas Outlaw Writer, A Texas Outlaw Comic, a Texas historian, documentarian, and a radio and TV host.
Mike Vance was a government major at UT Austin and promptly used that knowledge to go into a career in stand-up comedy, acting, pool hustling and script writing. Still searching for something that would pay even less, Mike later founded an improv troupe and a politically correct country & western band. Mike was part of Houston's explosive 80s and 90's comedy scene, a member of the disorganized group known as the Texas Outlaw Comics. (Hey! They stole our name!) A tremendous history buff, he's become a go-to source on Texas history and knows more about Houston history than General Sam himself.
Though he has recently authored several lightly-read books, the biggest achievement of Mike's life to date was co-hosting an afternoon drive radio show with the Outlaws' own Roger Gray.
Life Along the Borderlands: A conversation with journalist and podcast producer Rob D'Amico. Rob talks about life along the Rio Grande & his recent hit podcast, "Witnessed, Borderlands."
Rob D'Amico produced the hit 'true-crime' podcast, "Witnessed: Borderlands" about a crooked West Texas sheriff (in partnership with the Mexican drug cartels) smuggling cocaine. The "War on Drugs" was just heating up to become something out of the wild, wild west. Guns, briefcases full of cash, daring smuggling runs, and a sheriff in a white Stetson hat - it all makes for a great story. Rob, an experienced writer and journalist, moved out to West Texas to get away from it all... promising himself he wouldn't limit himself to writing just regional stories. But he says that the stories are crazy good (or sometimes, just plain crazy) out in far West Texas. The Outlaws discuss his podcast, West Texas gentrification, the current politics of the region, as well as what's REALLY happening in terms of immigration and drug smuggling. These days, Rob is hanging out in the real West Texas ghost town of Shafter, Texas. Population: 40. Well, 41 now that Rob moved in.
Bonus: "The Borderlands." Texas Outlaw Writer James Moore reads his recent post, "The Borderlands." A look at the nightmare that is the current TX/Mexico border.
The Texas/Mexico border show is looking more and more like "Apocalypse Now II: Abbott's Border." It's a revolving photo op for right-wingers looking for anti-immigrant cred - more military vehicles, camo, and law agencies than you can shake a campaign poster at. And ain't it strange that none of the GOP legislators taking selfies on the Rio Grande have proposed any meaningful legislation to solve the crisis? Sure it costs a lot not to solve a problem this big, but in the end, it's a real campaign moneymaker. "...every executive order by Greg Abbott, regarding the border with Mexico, increases the risk of an incident even more horrendous than the current humanitarian crisis on our doorstep."
BONUS: The Saga of Jim Jordan's Jacket. James Moore reads his recent Texas Outlaw Writers post.
Sure, there are still some "We Only Lost the House by a Little Bit" parties going on, but Texas Outlaw Writer Jim Moore points out that it's not going to be all fun and games for Dems. He suggests that we buckle up for two solid years of Hunter Biden's laptop. On the other hand, it might be interesting to watch the GOP run around the rotunda like a bunch of chimpanzees throwing poo at each other. Just give Jim Jordan time to remove his jacket and roll up his sleeves.
Mothers Against Greg Abbott Are Still Against Greg Abbott - Nancy Thompson, founder of a different kind of MAGA says that their work has just begun.
Nancy Thompson founded a very different MAGA organization: Mothers Against Greg Abbott. Political observers across the state marveled at her work in organizing Democrats at a grassroots level rarely seen in recent times. She (and the team she developed) had a knack for political messaging (and resulting hard-hitting ads) that caused a stir across the state. She's perfectly aware that Greg Abbott ended up winning another term, but she's only begun to fight. She's now focused on raising money, building on the infrastructure that she created, and expanding her organization into other states. Sure, she might have to change that name. But she's not worried. Greg Abbott pissed off the wrong mother. Nancy Thompson inspires.
Texas Election Returns are (mostly) In - political scientist Dr. Michael Adams from TSU looks at the results with the Outlaws
The 2022 Midterm Election Returns are (kinda-sorta-mostly) in. The Outlaws hash out the goings-on with Dr. Michael Adams, director of the Executive Masters of Public. Administration program at Texas Southern University. Dr. Adams specializes in electoral politics, redistricting and voting rights. We talk about the (surprise!) absence of a national "red wave/red tsunami", and yet we mourn together how Texas remains stubbornly red. What will it take to change that? Will Beto's heroic grassroots organizing pay off for future Democratic campaigns?
Bonus: The Boys of Praha | Texas Outlaw Writers. Audio version of James Moore's article. In the span of 12 months and nine days, Praha, TX gave up most of its youth to WWII.
Jim Moore came across the story of Praha, Texas over a decade ago. He published a story in Stars and Stripes magazine about the Czech community’s sacrifice in World War II. The state of Texas caught wind of the almost forgotten history and erected a monument in the state cemetery to remember Praha’s nine lost sons. In the space of 12 months and nine days, Praha gave up most of its youth -- and nearly all of its future -- to confront unimaginable forms of evil on faraway continents. Jim says that he thinks of them more often than just on Veterans’ Day.
Texas Midterm Election: The Last Chance Rant with the Texas Outlaw Writers - Polls? Turnout? Candidates' potential?
The Texas Outlaw Writers take one last shot at the TX Midterm Elections. Join Deece Eckstein, Roger Gray, Myra Jolivet, Jim Moore and Chris Newlin as they rant and rave about the upcoming Texas Midterms. What do the latest polls show, and more importantly, are they worth the time to even read them? And what about this pack of sad candidates ("on both sides.") The Outlaws look at the hot button border issues, as well as the abortion, guns and education issues...
What do the Texas Midterm Polls Say? (and do they even matter?) Political and messaging strategist Keir Murray Discusses the the Midterm Outlook, and whether polls even matter anymore.
Keir Murray, communication and election consultant with KLM Public Affairs, LLC, discusses the upcoming midterm election in Texas. Having spent 20+ years in strategic communications consulting, he says that (for a variety of reasons) "Polling is largely broken." Pollsters often get
Bonus: Why I Went to the Woods, Too. Audio version of James Moore's post.
Outlaw author James Moore tries to outrun his angst over the Texas election. Will he find some peace as he travels from a southernmost state to a northernmost state? The leaves are changing, the forest is quiet, and the wind and rain from the lake is cold and bracing. Will it be enough?
What Would Texas Governor Ann Richards Think? Margaret Justus, founder of the Ann Richards Legacy Project talks about their new book, "The One Ann Only - Wit and Wisdom from TX Governor Ann Richards"
Margaret Justus of Justus Communications and founder of the Ann Richards Legacy Project talks about the newly released book, "The One Ann Only - Wit and Wisdom from TX Governor Ann Richards." Margaret, as former deputy press secretary for Gov. Richards, had a front-row seat during Richards' campaign and while she was Texas' favorite governor. There are stories to tell, and Margaret loves to talk about the Governor's legacy. Richards' humor and wit live on, and so does her service to Texas. If she were here today, what WOULD Ann Richards think about our current mess? Join the Texas Outlaw Writers as they share stories (and laughs) about The One Ann Only.
Bonus: The Guns of October. James Moore reads his reflection on the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Sixty years ago the Cuban Missile Crisis began. Those who lived through the 13 days, even as children, wondered if civilization was to be rendered non-existent through the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The U.S.S.R. had begun the emplacement of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile silos on the island of Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida’s coastline. President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation on Jim Moore's tenth birthday. He watched on TV and wondered if he was to ever live to adulthood. This story addresses that experience, and how the threat of those days has never ended.
Texas Midterm Election Preview with Harvey Kronberg of the Texas Quorum Report - TX political gossip from the insider's insider
Texas' most well-known political insider sits down with the Outlaw Writers to talk, gossip, and kvetch about the upcoming midterm elections. Harvey Kronberg (publisher of the Texas Quorum Report) tells us as much as he can. "We can only write 10% of what we know. If we wrote 20%, nobody would ever talk to us again, and 30%? There'd be contracts out on us." He worries that "politics is breaking out everywhere... most of it, bad." He and the Outlaws fret over Beto, Dan Patrick, and Ken "ha-ha! I'm still not in jail" Paxton. What's working? Who's breaking through? Which advertisements are scoring with the voters? They also examine how the political landscape in Texas is shifting... or not.
Bonus: No Bugles, No Drums. Author James Moore reads his recent Texas Outlaw Writers article.
Ten members of the Texas National Guard have died in the Texas governor’s multi-billion-dollar presidential campaign commercial called “Operation Lone Star,” and Abbott has offered them anonymity, not honor, for their deaths.
Will white, male evangelicals continue to dominate public policy? Josh Houston, a lobbyist for Texas Impact, joins the Outlaws to discuss the intersection of religion and politics in Texas.
Is Texas doomed to stay under the thumb of white, male evangelicals? The numbers tell an interesting story. Josh Houston works at the dangerous intersection between politics and religion as a lobbyist/strategist for the interfaith political outreach organization Texas Impact. He works with faith communities as they engage with lawmakers on issues that affect the “least of these” in our communities. The Outlaws take a deep dive with Josh on just how influential religious groups are (or aren’t) in state government.
BONUS: Somebody to Look Down On - Audio version of TOW post
In a country that began with slavery, we have never been able to end racial divisiveness. And electing an African American president didn’t resolve the issue. Race now seems at the center of our politics again. And as Jim Moore writes this week, it is an animating feature of our upcoming elections in Texas….
Meet the Outlaws and Preview TX Election '22. The Outlaws discuss Beto's chance of beating Greg Abbott, whether Dan Patrick can hold on, and they wonder why Ken Paxton is not in jail. Yet.
Come and meet the Texas Outlaw Writers in their premier TX Outlaws Podcast. Join Deece Eckstein, Roger Gray, Myra Jolivet, Jim Moore and Chris Newlin as they dive in to the upcoming Texas Election. Does Beto O'Rourke have a serious chance in defeating Greg Abbot? Will Dan Patrick weasel his way into another term as Lt. Governor? And why the hell isn't Ken Paxton in prison? The Outlaws are a bunch of Texas journalists, writers, and creatives who have gone from crazy and wild to Xanax and mild. They've toiled in broadcasting, written for some major newspapers and magazines, and a couple of them have published a book or three. You'll still find their bylines here and there, and maybe catch one of them doing some commentary on a cable news show, but they're all ready to enjoy this whole podcasting thing that the kids keep talking about. Join us weekly for a discussion on Texas politics, travel, food, culture and fun.
Bonus: The Least of These -TOW James Moore reads his recent post
Conservatives appear to be operating from some new-fangled Bible if they bother to read one at all these days. Just take a look at the immigration/trafficing stunts of late. Republican Jesus is not the Jesus that most of us are familiar with.
You've heard of the Jefferson Bible, right? You know Tom Jefferson, the good Christian founding father? Well, mostly Christian. OK, more deist than "traditional" Christian. Overall, Tommy J. believed rational thought should guide one's views of religion. He was an Enlightenment guy. As such, he decided to slice up the New Testament, quite literally, with a razor blade. He cut and pasted the Gospels, leaving only the "simple teachings" of Jesus while removing the miracles, mysteries, and superstitions. He didn't care for the resurrection story and redacted it, too. He thought his version would be a bit more simpatico with a world built on reason.
He left in most of the words of Jesus. “The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus Himself are within the comprehension of a child." -T.J.
Like some of the words from Matthew 25:“...‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ ... ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."
To view current GOP rage over immigration and the current actions taken against immigrants - the bussing, the chartered planes, the railroad cattle cars (can they be far behind?) - makes it apparent that today's GOP, too, has their own Bible. Very different than Jefferson's, the opposite really. The mysteries, the miracles - all back in (and taken literally.) The actual teachings... mostly gone. The Greatest Commandment ("Love your neighbor as yourself") is gone. Republican Jesus, it seems, has gone Old Testament on us, and he may be packing.
Jim Moore has covered issues along the southern border for decades. He doesn't see a lot of Republican concern for the Least of These.
Wounds of War: Jim Moore reads his recent TOW post
Sunday was the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It was a tragedy that multiplied itself by giving us two wars in the Middle East - Afghanistan and a bonus war in Iraq. Though 15 of the 19 Arab hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, the US would invade Afghanistan less than a month after the Twin Towers collapsed. We would later invade Iraq under the political lie that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction." In what would be a terribly botched and bloody withdrawal, the last military plane left Afghanistan at the end of August of this year. Within hours, the Taliban - the militant religious/political movement that the US considered ultimately responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks - would reclaim total control of the country.
The Afghan war would be the United States' longest war, outlasting the 20 years we spent in VietNam by about 6 months.
We keep hearing about war. Ukraine and Russia. The threat of nukes. Why was the US so long in Afghanistan? It seems ever present in the activities of humans. But why? Jim Moore reads his post from this week about how war has always seemed inescapable in American life, and especially for his friends.