(Editor's note: These tips are directed at the people of Oklahoma, but they apply to you, wherever you live.) Even though urban trees across Oklahoma are now going dormant, they still need care before and during the winter to remain in the best of health. “As difficult as this past summer was for our urban trees, the recent drought makes it even more important to prepare our trees for winters cold and to continue watering them during drier periods over the next several months,” said Mark Bays, urban forestry coordinator for Oklahoma Forestry Services. Bays emphasizes that recently planted and younger trees require the most care to ensure their health. Oklahoma Forestry Services offers the following tips to prepare urban trees for winter: Consider wrapping the trunk of some young trees. In Oklahoma, thin-barked trees like maple and redbud may be susceptible to sunscald and frost cracks because of the drastic temperature fluctuations in fall and winter. To prevent bark damage, guard the trunks of younger trees up to the first branches using commercial tree wrap. Leave the wrap on until March. Mulch around the trunk. Apply two to four inches of organic mulch near the base of the tree, but not against it, and under its branches to reduce soil evaporation, improve water absorption and insulate the roots against temperature extremes. Check your community recycling program, as some programs provide wood chips or compost free of charge. Recycle leaves. Instead of disposing of fallen leaves, shred them and consider layering them around each tree as natural mulch. Or, blend them into the yard with a mulching mower to retain nutrients. Prune conservatively. Late winter is often the best time for pruning many tree species, but it can be done when trees are dormant over the winter months as well. Common reasons for pruning are to remove dead branches and improve form. Always prune at the branch collar – the point where a branch joins a larger one – and don’t remove any branches without good reason. Give them a good drink. Slowly water each tree in the area from just outside the trunk to the extent of the longest branches. It’s important to make sure the water penetrates deeply into the soil rather than running off the surface. Water trees at the rate of 10 gallons per inch of diameter every two to three weeks throughout the winter unless you receive significant precipitation or snow during that time. The best time for winter watering is on warmer days, when the temperature is above 40 degrees. For more information about urban tree care, visit the Oklahoma Forestry Services website at www.forestry.ok.gov.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Is all the recent talk of secession mere sour grapes over the election, or perhaps something deeper? Currently there are active petitions in support of secession for all 50 states, with Texas taking the lead in number of signatures. Texas has well over the number of signatures needed to generate a response from the administration, and while I wouldn't hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union. Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States? Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War. On the contrary; the principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding. Clearly Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit as a last resort. Writing to William Giles in 1825, he concluded that states: "should separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers." Keep in mind that the first and third paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplate the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical. Do we have a "government without limitation of powers" yet? The Federal government kept the Union together through violence and force in the Civil War, but did might really make right? Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those "traitors" became our country's greatest patriots. There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents. That is what our Revolutionary War was all about and today our own federal government is vastly overstepping its constitutional bounds with no signs of reform. In fact, the recent election only further entrenched the status quo. If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it. Consider the ballot measures that passed in Colorado and Washington state regarding marijuana laws. The people in those states have clearly indicated that they are ready to try something different where drug policy is concerned, yet they will still face a tremendous threat from the federal government. In California, the Feds have been arresting peaceful medical marijuana users and raiding dispensaries that state and local governments have sanctioned. This shouldn't happen in a free country. It remains to be seen what will happen in states that are refusing to comply with the deeply unpopular mandates of Obamacare by not setting up healthcare exchanges. It appears the Federal government will not respect those decisions either. In a free country, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. When the people have very clearly withdrawn their consent for a law, the discussion should be over. If the Feds refuse to accept that and continue to run roughshod over the people, at what point do we acknowledge that that is not freedom anymore? At what point should the people dissolve the political bands which have connected them with an increasingly tyrannical and oppressive federal government? And if people or states are not free to leave the United States as a last resort, can they really think of themselves as free? If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free. (This is republished from US Rep. Ron Paul's "Straight Talk" column.)
Posted by Banjo Jones at 2:35 PM
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Service academy nominees from fightin' 14th Congressional District announced by Congressman Ron Paul
Lake Jackson, TX – Congressman Ron Paul is pleased to announce the following military service academy nominees from his congressional district: Brazoria County Gabriel Ryan Dawson, son of Brad and Kelly Dawson, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO and the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Dawson is currently attending Brazoswood High School in Clute, TX. Fort Bend County Samuel Christopher Ashey, son of Mark Ashey and Elise Ashey, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO and the US Military Academy at West Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Ashey is currently attending Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas. Congressman Paul is pleased to also announce that Ashey has already been offered an appointment by the US Air Force Academy. Cameron Mitchell Hallier, son of Kurt and Toni Hallier, has been nominated to the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Hallier is a 2012 graduate of Cinco Ranch High School, and is currently attending the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. Bradley Edward Learned, son of Albert and Mary Ann Learned, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO for the Class of 2017. Learned is a graduate of Cinco Ranch High School, and is currently attending the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Robert Michael Leyba, son of Robert W. Leyba, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD for the Class of 2017. Leyba is currently attending Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, TX. Philip Miles Mallinger, son of John and Kelly Mallinger, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD for the Class of 2017. Mallinger is currently attending Seven Lakes High School in Katy. Brian Patrick Perilla, son of Miguel and Kristine Perilla, has been nominated to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Perilla is currently attending Pope John XXIII High School in Katy. Maximiliano Brendan Salinas, III, son of Maximilano and Janice Salinas, has been nominated to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY for the Class of 2017 as principal nominee. Salinas is currently attending Seven Lakes High School in Katy. Galveston County Casen Ray Askew, son of James and Angela Newman, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO for the Class of 2017. Askew is a graduate of Texas City High School, and is currently attending the Northwestern Preparatory School in California. Austin Matthew Beale, son of David Beale and Tricia Lay, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Beale is currently attending Clear Falls High School in League City. Richard Claburn Bradshaw, son of Walter and Linda Bradshaw, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD for the Class of 2017. Bradshaw is currently attending Friendswood High School. Alexander Luis Scott Bryant, son of Deewitt and Helene Bryant, has been nominated to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Bryant currently attends Clear Springs High School in League City. Benjamin Broox Clements, son of Brian and Christina Clements, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO for the Class of 2017. Clements is a graduate of Friendswood High School, and currently attends the University of Texas at Austin. Abigail Noel Dickson, daughter of Richard and ChristyAnne Dickson, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO, and the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Dickson is currently attending Dickinson High School. Morgen Robert Hughey, son of Daniel and Kathleen Hughey, has been nominated to the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Hughey is currently attending Clear Springs High School in League City. Christopher Edward Jolibois, son of Keith and Kathleen Jolibois, has been nominated to the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Jolibois is a 2011 graduate of Friendswood High School, currently attending San Jacinto Community College. Ryan Aleksander Larsen, son of Chris and Wendy Larsen, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO for the Class of 2017. Larsen is currently attending Clear Springs High School in League City. Andrew Scott Lyle, son of Steve and April Lyle, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD for the Class of 2017. Lyle is currently attending Clear Creek High School in League City. Ashley Elizabeth Morgan, daughter of Gary and Susan Morgan, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO as principal nominee, and to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY and the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Morgan is currently attending Friendswood High School. Morgan Lucas Records, son of Russell and Sandra Records, has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO for the Class of 2017. Records is currently attending Clear Creek High School in League City. Joseph Gregor Taylor, son of Matthew and Michele Taylor, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and the US Military Academy at West Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Taylor is currently attending Friendswood High School. Brady Allen Wells, son of Dennis and Cindy Wells, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD for the Class of 2017. Wells is currently attending Friendswood High School. Andrew Dalton Woitena, son of Cliff Woitena and DeeAnn Powell, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD as principal nominee. Woitena is a 2012 graduate of Clear Springs High School, and currently attends Texas A&M University at College Station. Matagorda County Sivaatasi Joshua Mathias, son of Timothy and Suzanne Delarosa, has been nominated to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Mathias is currently attending Mount Vernon high School in Alexandria, Virginia. Victoria County Leo Cornelius Butler, son of Liesa Jo Butler and the late Leo Butler, Sr., has been nominated to the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO for the Class of 2017. Butler is currently attending Victoria East High School. David Zane Ledbetter, son of Aarron and Grace Ledbetter, has been nominated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and the US Military Academy at West Point, NY for the Class of 2017. Ledbetter is currently attending Victoria West High School.
Posted by Banjo Jones at 5:55 PM
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Washington, DC – Congressman Ron Paul, Chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, announced today that the subcommittee will hold a hearing on the topic of “The Federal Reserve System: Mend It or End It?” The hearing will examine a number of legislative proposals to reform, replace, or abolish the Federal Reserve System. “More and more people are beginning to understand just how destructive the Federal Reserve's monetary policy has been,” said Chairman Paul. “I hope that this hearing will kickstart a serious discussion on the need to rein in the Fed. 100 years is far too long for Congress to have taken a hands-off approach,” Paul continued. “The Fed continues to reward Wall Street banks while destroying the dollar’s purchasing power and driving up the cost of living for average Americans. This reckless behavior must come to an end” The hearing will be held on Tuesday, May 8th, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Witnesses to include: Panel I · Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) · Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) Panel II · Dr. Jeffrey M. Herbener, Chairman, Economics Department, Grove City College · Dr. Peter G. Klein, Associate Professor, Applied Social Sciences and Director, McQuinn Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, University of Missouri · Dr. John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University and George P. Schultz Senior Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institution · Dr. Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution, and former Vice Chair, Federal Reserve Board of Governors · Dr. James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Posted by Banjo Jones at 3:36 PM
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Over the years we've noted with wonder and awe the dedication shown by US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, at the annual State of the Union speech.
She seems to be everywhere in her quest for face time (and TV time) with whomever happens to be president.
Other people have noticed, too, which leads us to share this item we spotted today.
Posted by Banjo Jones at 3:14 PM
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Is time for journalists to declare who or what they believe in before they go about the business of gathering and reporting news?
Media critic Alan D. Mutter think so.
journalists not only possess valuable insights into the matters they cover but also have an absolute obligation to share their perspectives with the public after diligently gleaning all sides of a story in an ethical and open-minded manner.
For journalists to be able to report effectively on the news and its significance, we have to replace the intellectually indefensible pretense of objectivity with a more authentic standard that journalists actually can live up to.
The way to do that is to treat the public like adults by providing the clearest possible understanding of who is delivering news and commentary – and where they are coming from. Hence, the following proposal:
Let’s take advantage of the openness and inexhaustible space of the Internet to have every journalist publish a detailed statement of political, personal and financial interests at her home website and perhaps even in a well publicized national registry. Full disclosure would enable consumers to make their own informed judgments about the potential biases and believability of any journalist.
This standard will work as well for journalists and media outlets committed to down-the-middle reporting as those desiring to express a point of view.
A superb example of how detailed disclosure could work can be found at AllThingsD.Com, where co-editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg unsparingly bare their personal interests.
Posted by Banjo Jones at 9:46 PM
We've pretty much washed our hands of covering journalism awards, but this one stood out because it is illustrative of how lackluster the Houston Chronicle's news coverage has become in recent years.
The award of which we speak was handed out to Mike Reed, a reporter for the weekly chain of newspapers in Houston that are known collectively as "The Examiners." (Reed is pictured above, on the left, with his writing coach at her part-time day job.)
He was cited for his coverage of the apparent mess that is "Metro" and all that it entails.
In an e-mail that was issued to by a vice president of the company that owns The Examiners and 60 or so other daily and weekly newspapers in East Texas and Colorado, the below was stated:
One last thing, especially for those who don’t work in Houston. I think it’s appropriate to make sure we understand the purpose behind the top editorial award we give every year: The Tom Jacobs Community Service Award. Tom served as editor of the Pearland and Friendswood Journals before his passing a little more than a year ago (Nov. 12, 2009, to be precise). He was one of the kindest men you’d ever meet, but he had an incredible tone with his pen. He could make readers laugh, and he could make public officials squeamish. He knew how to stand up for his readers, and the priority of his newspapers was always to put the good of the community ahead of any one individual.
You can read more about the winner in the attachment, but I thought it would be nice to include a photo of the inaugural award, given to Mike Reed of the Examiner Newspapers for his incredibly thorough coverage of Houston’s public transportation system. Mike literally stayed three steps ahead of every media outlet, breaking story after story about some of the corruption in Metro’s plan for construction of a light rail through chunks of the Examiner coverage area. The results of Mike’s reporting were far-reaching, to say the least. The chairman and CEO of Metro offered his resignation; the federal government launched an investigation into Metro’s funding application; the state opened an investigation into bond sale practices; the district attorney investigated potential criminal misconduct of Metro officers for not releasing public records; and the new mayor of Houston fired all city appointees on the Metro board. Mike would probably have us tell you he wasn’t the only one reporting on this “circus,” but media across the city gave him credit for leading the way.
Mike is a humble guy, but he should know Tom Jacobs would be proud, as are the rest of us.
Congratulations to Mike and the rest of our winners.
This likely won't come as a surprise to some observors of the media scene in Houston, such as the gang at blogHouston, who have commented previously on Reed's relentless bird doggin' of Metro.
Posted by Banjo Jones at 4:14 PM
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
1. Ted Walsh - Horse Racing Commentator - 'This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother.'
2. New Zealand Rugby Commentator - 'Andrew Mehrtens loves it when Daryl Gibson comes inside of him.'
3. Pat Glenn, weightlifting commentator - 'And this is Gregoriava from Bulgaria . I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!'
4. Harry Carpenter at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race 1977 - 'Ah, isn't that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford crew.'
5. US PGA Commentator - 'One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them .... Oh my god !! What have I just said??'
6. Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on 'Time Team Live' said: 'You'd eat beaver if you could get it.'
7. A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked, 'So Bob, where's that eight inches you promised me last night?' Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too, because they were laughing so hard!
8. Steve Ryder covering the US Masters: 'Ballesteros felt much better today after a 69 yesterday.'
9. Clair Frisby talking about a jumbo hot dog on Look North said: 'There's nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this. '
10 Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on Sky Sports: 'Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis's misses every chance he gets.'
11. Michael Buerk on watching Philippa Forrester cuddle up to a male astronomer for warmth during BBC1's UK eclipse coverage remarked: 'They seem cold out there, they're rubbing each other and he's only come in his shorts.'
12. Ken Brown commentating on golfer Nick Faldo and his caddie Fanny Sunneson lining-up shots at the Scottish Open: 'Some weeks Nick likes to use Fanny, other weeks he prefers to do it by himself.'
(My longtime Baytown, TX, pal Jim Hill sent me this. If, for some reason, it's inaccurate, I apologize to the persons quoted. I will add that Jim, who's an artist who works in a chemical plant, would not intentionally misquote or spread ill will toward anyone. The guy volunteers his time to work with Texas prison inmates, so he's a good guy with a big heart. That is all.)
Posted by Banjo Jones at 8:22 PM
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
In a recent appearance on CNN with Anderson Cooper, I couldn't help but notice the congressman for the Fightin' 14th District (Brazosport & environs) is looking quite dapper, which is to say, better groomed than I remember, as well as healthier, more vital-looking and less harried.
What is going on? The guy is tan. No more Mr. Pasty Face.
In the embedded clip, he tells Mr. Cooper we are living in revolutionary times, that Keynesianism is in its death throes and that everyone is fed up with Washington.
On that last point, I do believe he's right. Point No. 1 and No. 2, I don't know.
But he's tan and has what appears to be a new suit. I would say that means he's fo' sho' running for President. What say you?
Posted by Banjo Jones at 11:44 PM