Friday, December 17, 2004

poetry envy?

After reading Poeticus' rave reviews of the Denver/Boulder
poetry scene, I'm wondering why we don't have anything
like that in a city the size of Dallas. It's not just the fact that
we have no venue here that features poetry three times a
week. From the way P tells it, the atmosphere in the Den/Bo
scene seems friendlier, more populous, and basically more
energized than the DFW community.

What do we need to do to make that happen here? Does our
poetry scene need a kick in the ass, or what?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

the spoken (and written) word

Yes, this is a shameless plug. When you have the time, take
a few minutes to check out my non-blog poetry website,
Jack T. Marlowe's Ink & Blood: Poetry & More.

In addition to my own poems, you'll also find writings
by several guest poets (you can submit your poems for
inclusion, as well). The site also features a calendar of
Dallas - Fort Worth area spoken word poetry events,
including the open mic readings of the Oak Cliff Circle
of Poets and the Irving Poetry Society (among others).
You'll even find plenty of cool links for poets and other
writers on the site. Something for everyone--almost.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

your tax dollars at work (or not)

A quote, for your consideration:

"The family is responsible for its own welfare,
education, moral training, conduct, and property."
--from the Texas GOP Party Platform, 2004

One wonders: if families are expected to be responsible for all
of the above, why aren't corporations held to the same standards?

According to the Dallas Morning News (November 23, 2004),
an Enterprise Fund was created by Governor Rick Perry, with
the stated intention of improving Texas' eonomy by increasing
tax revenue and generating jobs. The fund provides money (our
tax dollars, folks) for corporations to relocate to Texas, under the
premise that they would create thousands of new jobs.

In the past 16 months or so, at least $1 million in grants have
been handed out to these companies, with Governor Perry's
assurances that more than $6 billion of corporate money would
be invested in our State, and that 15K new jobs would be created.
At the time that the Dallas Morning News article went to press,
only 275 jobs had been created. Out of the numerous contracts
that Texas has signed with the recipient corporations, only five
companies actually committed themselves in writing to create
jobs; the number of jobs promised amounts to only 8,500.

According to an AP story published in the Houston Chronicle
(November 18, 2004) the number of unemployed Texans was
618,500. Of course, the reported figures for unemployment
statistics are misleading--there are large numbers of workers
uncounted due to no longer being eligible for unemployment
insurance benefits. There are also many who are now taking
part-time work as a last resort, due to a lack of adequate full-
time jobs. Even if the reported figures were accurate, however,
the tiny number of jobs created by Governor Perry's Enterprise
Fund is laughable. Sad, but still laughable.

Here's some more statistics that Texans might find interesting--
if not apalling. According to the
Center for Public Policy Priorities
in Austin:

"...only eight states have more low-income working families than
Texas ...the State ranks close to the bottom in providing such
essential services as affordable health care and adult education."

"Texas has the most restrictive limit on unemployment insurance
in the nation, denying benefits to 73% of the state’s unemployed,
or more than 650,000 workers."

"Texas falls just shy of last in providing adult education. The State
has the second highest number of low-income adults without a high
school or GED degree (450,000) and it ranks 49th in the amount of
state dollars it allocates to adult education and literacy."

"Texas doesn’t fare much better when it comes to health insurance.
Over 53 percent of low-income families have an adult without health
insurance—the worst rate in the United States."

--from an online
CPPP press release

Congratulations, Governor Perry, for taking such good care of
the State of Texas, whose voters entrusted you with so much.