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THE UIL REALIGNS By David McNabb
by DallasBlog.com    Fri, Feb 3, 2006, 01:27 AM

Two-time defending Class 5A Division II state football champion Southlake Carroll is negotiating a home game with California power Concord De La Salle for 2007 said Dragons.  And the UIL is doing some realigning.  Some area schools are happy - others maybe not so happy.

Click here to read more ...

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DFW CHAPTER OF CAIR ALERTS MEMBERS ABOUT RISING ROW OVER DANISH MOHAMMED CARTOONS
by Trey Garrison    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 08:50 PM

Violence, threats and protests by Muslims have erupted from Europe to southwest Asia, while on the other side a number of Western newspapers in France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany have reprinted the cartoons as an act of free speech solidarity.

According to reports, the rage in Europe and the Islamic world over the 12 cartoons, one of which shows Islam's founder wearing a bomb-shaped turban, is getting worse.

Locally, Muslims aren't happy about the cartoons, but they are seeking to find a positive way to respond to the issue.

"Our stance is that (the portrayal of the prophet Mohammed in the Danish cartoons) is it is a complete fallacy. There's nowhere in the Qur'an that he ever promoted killing and terrorism. That is a complete inaccuracy," said Saffia Meek, office manager for the local CAIR chapter. "Then the fact that (the newspapers that have published the cartoons) are trying to defend it with free speech. But there is a limit to free speech when it harms people, promotes misinformation and mistrust. How would Christians feel if someone were insulting Jesus?"

Rather than engaging in negative criticism over the issue, Meek said the DFW chapter of CAIR is using the incidents overseas as a means to educate non-Muslims about why Mohammed is so sacred to Muslims, and about Islam in general.

CAIR is adding open houses and open lectures at local mosques and making speakers available to groups interested in learning more about Islam and American Muslims. For more information, visit their website.

Meanwhile, in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, a retired, influential Vatican prelate declared the caricatures a "scandal." Cardinal Achille Silvestrini wrote in that paper that the deliberate mockery of religious beliefs is offensive, and should be curbed. He argued that the widespread acceptance of a freedom to offend and to insult an entire religious group, is an "abuse of free speech."

Below are two samples of the cartoons that have run in European newspapers.

moham01.jpg

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DEMOS TO BRING JOHN EDWARDS TO DALLAS
by Carolyn Barta    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 07:39 PM

Looks like the Dallas County Democratic Party will be bringing John Edwards, former vice-presidential candidate and potential candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination, to town. A source tells us April 18 is the likely date for a series of appearances by Edwards that will include a rally and some fundraisers. The rally will be to designed to pump up local Dems after the primary and create some excitement going into the general election. He'll raise money for local candidates and for his own leadership PAC, One America Committee.

One way a potential presidential candidates builds support is by forming a leadership PAC to fund travel, build a network of supporters and demonstrate fundraising prowess.  According to a mid-year 2005 report online from George Washington University, of eight Democratic prospects, Evan Bayh's All America PAC had the most money at $1.1 million.  John Kerry's Keeping America's Promise Inc., and Hillary Clinton's Hill PAC were next with more than $700,000 and Edwards barely behind them with just under $700,000.

On the Republican side, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee was the leader with $1.9 million in his Volunteer PAC -- way ahead of eight other GOP prospects who have established leadership PACs.

Edwards had a lot of support in Dallas when he sought the 2004 nomination, including his chief fundraiser, lawyer Fred Baron.

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T.O.=TROUBLE IN JONES/PARCELLS PARADISE? by Norm Hitzges
by DallasBlog.com    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 05:46 PM

226177-208549-thumbnail.jpg
Terrell Owens
Is there a potential for a Jerry Jones-Bill Parcells head butting on the horizon?

What might cause this? …..TERRELL OWENS!

Click to read more …

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MOST CARTOONS AREN'T FUNNY...
by Bill DeOre    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 05:30 PM

...At least as far as editorial cartoons are concerned. Don't trust me on this one...Tom Toles, editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post could write a book on the subject after his January 29th offering.

Toles' depiction of a dismembered soldier portraying U.S. military readiness sent the Joint Chiefs into a dimension of anger yet uncharted. It moved General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to blast the offending cartoon in a letter to The Post saying the drawing was "beyond tasteless"... Toles' response was "I thought my portrayal of it was a fair depiction of the reality of the situation"... OK...

I guess that's supposed to bring us to the right or wrong of the situation. The cleanest answer is they're both right.

Although few readers see it this way, Toles' cartoon has done a marvelous job of elevating consciousness and promoting conversation about a ticklish and unpopular subject. After the air clears and each side has had their say, the readers of the many followup responses are the real winners.

Two big buzz words in the world of editors and cartoonists are 'taste' and 'sensitivity'. These are common terms used by editors to reign in their cartoonists when they believe the offending artist has gone too far. I was regularly reminded that I was being "saved from myself".

Newspapers as a rule these days don't like to take the heat for what someone might consider tasteless or insensitive. I've never really understood this as readers and viewers seem more compelled than ever to be taken to the edge either by words or art. As a matter of fact, with the direction most newspapers are headed today, you'd think they'd want to titillate more readers with the use of edgy cartoons. Readers really aren't that fickle, they look at you because they love you or because they love to hate you.

All in all, Tom does a pretty good job. I may disagree with everything he draws but I'll defend his right to draw it with my life. 

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REP. JOHN BOEHNER ELECTED HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 04:48 PM

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio defeated Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri on the second ballot to win the election to succeed Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas as House Majority Leader.  On the first ballot, the vote was 110 for Roy Blunt, 79 for John Boehner, and 40 for John Shadegg of Arizona.  Boehner defeated Blunt on the second ballot with a vote of 122 to 109 as the Shadegg support shifted to Boehner.  Blunt was a close ally of the outgoing Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and reportedly most of the Texas delegation supported Blunt.

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EVEN CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE UNHAPPY WITH PRESIDENT’S SPEECH
by Tom Pauken    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 01:54 PM

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Robert Novak
Our own Scott Bennett didn’t think all that much of the President’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening. Not surprisingly, neither did our Viewpoints columnist, Ken Molberg. One of our regular bloggers, longtime Republican activist Sandy McDonough, came to Bush’s defense and praised the President’s address.

Now, conservative columnist Robert Novak reports that even conservative members of Congress were disappointed in what the President had to say. Here are Novak’s comments in a column headlined "Bush’s talking points are losing their edge":

"While jumping up on cue to cheer during the speech and delivering rave reviews afterward in the Capitol's Statuary Hall, conservative members of Congress were deeply disappointed by George W. Bush Tuesday night. It was not merely that the president abandoned past domestic goals. He appeared to be moving toward bigger government.

The consensus on the Right was that President Bush's fifth State of the Union Address was his worst. Republican members of Congress agreed privately that he was most effective at the beginning with his familiar message of why U.S. forces cannot abandon Iraq. The problem for these lawmakers was the rest of the 51-minute presentation, which was filled with unpleasant surprises.

With polls showing the president's approval rating persistently anemic (as low as 39 percent), the speech aimed at a kinder, gentler Bush. But beyond atmospherics, the policy initiatives staked out new directions in the sixth year of his presidency that raised questions. Is this the real George W. Bush? Is he really his true father's son and not Ronald Reagan's?"

To read the entire Novak column, link here.

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NEW OPINION POLLS SAYS GETTING MOST OF OUR TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ IS TOP PRIORITY
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 01:25 PM

In a poll conducted from January 26th to January 29th for the Wall St. Journal and NBC News, the Hart/McInturff polling firm asked the following question:

If just one of the following goals for America could be achieved in the coming year, which one would you choose?

At the top of the list (by a wide margin) was the goal of bringing most of the American forces home from Iraq. 35% favored that goal for 2006. Next highest on the list was dealing with the cost of healthcare and coverage for the uninsured which 20% of those polled listed as their top goal for the country.

Here is the entire list and ranking of goals for America in 2006 from the Hart/McInturff poll:

  • Bring most of the American forces home from Iraq .... 35%
  • Deal with the cost of healthcare and coverage for the uninsured .... 20%
  • Stimulate economic and job growth .... 17%
  • Simplify the Medicare prescription drug program for seniors .... 11%
  • Reduce the federal deficit .... 8%
  • Reduce taxes .... 7%

The poll results are not good news for President Bush as he continues to defend his stance on the War in Iraq.

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SCHUTZE'S DEPTH TAKE ON THE D.A. RACE
by Trey Garrison    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 01:18 PM

I don't know about you, but a week ago, I wouldn't have known anything more about the district attorney candidates than I do about the U.S. Olympic luge team. No, scratch that. I do know a little about luge, which is more than I can say about the D.A. candidates.

Then a few days ago, while painfully enduring watching local news coverage, I learn about Dan Wyde,, who if you believe the TV "reporters" quoting two people who have a vested interest in his defeat (i.e. his Republican primary opponents) is the kind of racist that would make former KKK Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd proud. I wouldn't know. Mr. Wyde could be a dark-hearted racist or a pure-hearted saint - all I had was TV reports to go on. I may as well have been using Dora the Explorer's map to navigate a transatlantic flight.

Then just days later, the daily newspaper endorses candidate Vic Cunnigham without, as Caroline Barta astutely notes, having provided any coverage of the race to date at all. Vic Cunningham may indeed be the man for the job. He may also be Ruprecht the Monkey Boy for all the coverage we've had. I don't know.

So now finally Jim Schutze weighs in with a full story and backgrounder on the D.A. race in this week's Dallas Observer, and we learn some interesting facts. We learn that Dan Wyde may not be the racist boogeyman that news reports have made him out to be, and that, at least among the Republican candidates, he may have the most substantive ideas.

"But, of them all, (Dan Wyde is) least prone to pander on crime-fighting, most candid about what the DA really needs to do to handle a huge caseload, like not accepting so many bad cases from the cops."

We learn that the daily's decision to forgo Toby Shook because of a need for a "clean break" from the fake drug scandal under Bill Hill's watch is really a non-starter ... for the Democrat candidates as well as the Republican ones.

And we learn that Jim wants a bass boat. I'll pitch in a few bucks. The enlightenment was worth a donation.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIG D
by Trey Garrison    Thu, Feb 2, 2006, 12:54 PM

Even as we at DallasBlog celebrate the start of our fourth month bringing you news and views from Dallas and the Southwest, today we celebrate the City of Dallas' 150th year in business.

On this day in 1856, Texas granted Dallas a town charter, and nothing has slowed us down since. The town grew to be the most populous in Texas by 1890, boasting more than 38,000 residents. Today, more than 1.2 million people call Dallas home, and of that fully one-third of them appear to be in front of me on Central Expressway on my afternoon commute.

Happpy sesquis... sesquicen...cesquin... Happy 150, Dallas.

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