WorldPeace, Scaredy Cats and Sam Attlesey
At the end of his article (below), Sam tries to speak the mystical name that will soon be repeated around the world but he just can't do it. Old Sam is just a scaredy cat.
In the movie 2001, the first homo-sapiens are confronted with a black rectangular obelisk. The group members are panicked. They stand and circle the black stone, chattering and jumping and challenging. Slowly they move closer and closer increasing the anxiety within the group. Then, finally, one brave apeman reaches out and actually touches the stone and the odyssey begins.
The most feared idea in the world is peace and WorldPeace. This fear in society is so great that many high profile men of peace have been assassinated.
Now, another advocate for peace has taken up the banner of WorldPeace. But this is not a pacific man; this is not an uneducated man; this is not a monk or priest even though he has an understanding of the foundations of religious bureaucracies and true spirituality and God; this is not a man who accumulates material possessions but one who understands the power of capitalism; this is not a solitary man but a father, husband and son; this is not a perfect man but a common man; this is not an idealistic man but a practical man interested in increasing the peace as opposed to imposing an impossible perfect peace.
As I read the following article, my anticipation intensified as I wondered if Sam was going to discuss the forbidden word; if he, a man of words, would dare to be the first to acknowledge the power of one word - "WorldPeace".
But after arriving at the end of the article, I just smiled a knowing smile and shook my head.
In two days, it will be Christmas. In two days, all the radio and TV stations will play continuous music of joy, and love and Peace on Earth. Then all will quite down for a few days as people reflect on New Year's resolutions in response to this year's events.
There are three numbing events in the experiential memory of living Americans; 1) December 7, 1941, 2) November 22, 1963, and 3) September 11, 2001. At the same time, high above the earth orbits the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon. High above the earth the world society has placed a platform from which mankind will springboard into the stars and begin to colonize and seed the universe.
The United States of America is undeniable proof that all the nations and all the races and all the religions of the world can coexist in peace. And in the sky a man made star circles the earth and denies the unfounded notion that there can never be peace on earth. That star is the International Space Station "WorldPeace Star" (currently referred to under the generic name "Alpha"). On certain nights, fathers and mothers can take their children outside and point the ISS WorldPeace Star as it passes overhead and tell them that the hope of mankind, WorldPeace, has been set in the heavens.
"WorldPeace": an idea whose time has come. WorldPeace in the sense of a more sane, less corrupt and just world as opposed to a perfect society. A journey of a thousand years begins with a single word: WorldPeace.
It's OK Sam. The revolution will not be televised.
The next governor of Texas
December 23, 2001
Holiday present: Democrats may make comeback
By SAM ATTLESEY / The Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN – Political greetings and a few stocking stuffers to boot.
As candidates gear up for the 2002 campaign, Democrats already have something to look forward to.
There will not be a George W. Bush on the ballot in Texas next year. That alone is enough to give some Democratic stalwarts hopes that their party can win some statewide races next year.
The once-dominant Democrats hold no statewide offices. And the party's demise largely began when Mr. Bush first ran for governor in 1994.
In defeating popular Democratic incumbent Ann Richards, Mr. Bush was one of nine Republicans to win statewide office that year. Democrats won seven.
With Mr. Bush in the Governor's Mansion and his poll numbers climbing, Republicans won all 10 statewide races on the ballot in 1996.
With Mr. Bush seeking a second term, he and GOP nominees won all 14 statewide contests in 1998.
And then in 2000 with Mr. Bush on the ballot as the GOP presidential nominee, Republicans won all eight statewide races on the Texas ballot.
Mr. Bush won't be on the ballot, but already several statewide candidates have started embracing him and pledging to work with the Texan in the White House.
Stocking stuffer: The 2002 elections may well be marked by familiar names not being on the ballot as well as family names being on the ballot.
The election cycle following the once-a-decade process of redrawing political boundaries usually produces a high turnover of elected officials. Next year won't be any different.
Already several veteran and powerful lawmakers have called it quits.
Veteran Republican U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm isn't seeking re-election. And House Majority Leader Dick Armey has announced he will not run for another term in his North Texas congressional seat.
Those familiar names won't be on the ballot, but those who are running are forming something of a family affair.
Denton County Judge Scott Armey is almost a certain candidate to replace his father in Congress.
Veteran Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Ennis is running for re-election, and his son, Brad Barton, is running for a newly created congressional district that is centered in College Station.
And U.S. Rep. Ken Bentsen, D-Houston, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Mr. Gramm, is the nephew of former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen. Lloyd Bentsen was the last Democrat elected to the Senate from Texas.
Stocking stuffer: Speaking of names, how about this one – SAM TEXAS.
Yes, that's the name of a Republican candidate for the state Senate.
Sam, who is from Houston, of course, is running in a heavily Democratic district in Harris County.
"Vote for Sam Texas. He will get the job done. I'd rather fight than quit," the candidate says on his campaign website, which features a picture of a couple of boxing gloves.
On the website, Mr. Texas describes himself as a "legislative aide, political consultant, political lobbyist."
"I also help and/or direct those citizens that have trouble with bureaucratic red tape. For the past 15 years, I have helped people who are afraid of the government," Mr. Texas notes.
Sam Texas. What's next? George Goliad? Sam Jacinto? Alice Alamo?
Happy ho, ho, ho everybody.
Sam Attlesey is deputy chief of the Austin Bureau of The Dallas Morning News.