TV or Not TV?

September 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

By Lynn Ashby                                             26 Sept. 2016

THE TUBE – “All new! Fantastic drama! Laff riot!” The TV networks are telling me all the wonderful new shows coming this fall to replace last year’s wonderful new shows that lasted two weeks. Here are some programs to avoid, and, no. the local news shows are not re-runs, they just seem repetitive.

Channel 1 News – Every show begins with: “Breaking News, but first an even more breaking story!” Texas Board of Education prohibits Christmas carols after discovering choir books containg, ‘Don we now our gay apparel.”

What Ailes Us – Gripping drama set in the Fox Newsroom as the Boss chases anchorwomen around his desk while panting: “I can make you or break you, Honey Lips!”

PBS Nightly News – Show presents Cannibal Comedians – fact or fiction? Notes from a Peruvian pottery-maker’s funeral and: Why don’t we have more viewers?

21 Trump Street — The Donald demands to be admitted as the 51st state.

PBS Business News — Tote Bags are the new Gucci.

Comedy Central – Live broadcast of House Committee’s 47th investigation of Benghazi.

Family Feud – Jeb Bush explains why his parents asked him to change his last name.

60 Minutes — An inside look at a club sandwich, Scott Pelley interviews the widow of the Unknown Soldier, and: North Dakota – do we need it?

Nothin’ But News – Five shootings, two house fires and a high-speed police chase. Sen. Ted Cruz announces his presidential campaign for all campaigns in all nation, “Especially my homeland, Canada.”

CNN – Interview with someone who thinks coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane should be limited to just 23 hours a day. Russian President Vladimir Putin announces he’s seeking U.S. citizenship so he can vote for Donald Trump

Hollywood Time – “Roots” Kunta Kinte changes his name to Barack Obama and moves to Chicago.

Network News — Clinton campaign patents “Make America Hate Again,” global warming deniers hold their convention in Port Waco. Putin and Trump announce they are opening an antique and interior decorating shop in Montrose.

Let’s Make a Deal – Hillary Clinton denies that, if elected, she’ll rent out the West Wing to the Saudi royal family.

10 Most Wanted – Astros look for a new bullpen.

Orange Is the New Black – Convicted Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton is assigned a prison number, but still gets to put an R by it.

Channel 3000 News — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick receives 2016 Texas Demagogue Award, and retires the trophy. Hackers get into Sarah Palin’s computer and find she used Windex on her Windows 10.

MSNBC – Mad Money’s Jim Cramer: How to Make a Fortune. Tonight’s guests, two drug lords, crew of a pirate ship and executives of the Clinton Foundation.

Movie: “Things That Go Trump in the Night” – The Donald explains that, building a wall along the border, will create thousands of jobs for Mexicans. (English subtitles)

Texas Tonight — Gov. Greg Abbott calls out the Texas State Guard “to defend our state from a foreign military invasion” after discovering Old Navy is opening an outlet in Marfa.

The Rachel Maddow Show – Liberal talk show host has a special about Fox News’ sexual harassment lawsuits entitled: “Hahahaha!”

America’s Got Talent – Unfortunately, not here.

The West Wing – Is rented out to the Saudi royal family.

Dancing With the Lone Stars – Rick Perry dances the Oops with two left feet

Vladimir Putin learns the Czech Republic has changed its name to Czechia, mistakes it for the breakaway province of Chechnya, and bombs the bejesus out of Prague. Trump calls it “an honest mistake — those African countries all sound the same.”

Beat the Press – Americans show their fury in news they don’t want to know.

Fast and Furious – Detective Fast and Sgt. Furious discover that Black Lives Matter is not a new element in the periodic table.

Film Night – “Back to the Future IV” Marty and Doc go back to 1900 to update Texas school books.

Dancing With the Czars – Vlad and Donald finish last and are exiled to Siberia.

Eight Is Enough – Rollicking comedy about an SUV driving north from Matamoros.

Plato Socrates, Frontier Philosopher – In this episode Doc Plato explains to Gen. George Custer why only the Washington Redskins are allowed to scalp tickets.

Movie – “Tapes of Wrath: The Hillary Clinton Story”

Presidential Debate — Cancelled for lack of interest

 

Ashby is remote at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

WOODLANDS® WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL

September 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

 

25 Varieties of Wildflower Seeds to be Distributed at Festival on Saturday, September 24

 

THE WOODLANDS, TX (September 16, 2016)The Woodlands® Development Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC), will host The Woodlands Wildflower Festival, a free, popular community tradition on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 10am – 2pm at Town Green Park in The Woodlands Town Center. The Woodlands Development Company is the host of The Woodlands Wildflower Festival. CHI St. Luke’s Health is the presenting sponsor. BrightView Landscaping Services is a participating sponsor while The Woodlands Township is the park sponsor.

 

Visitors at The Woodlands Wildflower Festival will enjoy environmental exhibits, community booths and nature-related items. Free giant inflatable rides, petting zoo, face painting, balloon art and music will also highlight the event. Lovable mascot of The Woodlands, Puffy Pine Cone®, along with mascot friends including Bridgeland Bill® from Bridgeland®, The Woodlands’ sister community being developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation, will make special guest appearances from 11am – 12 noon. Two food trucks – Cousins Maine Lobster and Papa John’s Pizza – will be available at the event. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

 

The official Wildflower Festival poster and recycled bag, selected from the annual Wildflower Festival contest, will be on sale at the booth of The Woodlands Lions Club. Proceeds from the sales benefit Lions Club charities. The Lions Club provides community and national services for youth and senior citizens including programs for the blind and visually impaired as well as programs for hearing and speech.

 

Residents will be able to collect 25 varieties of free wildflower seeds, distributed by local businesses in The Woodlands. The wildflower seed sponsors and the seeds they will distribute are:

 

  • Baby Blue Eyes – Ray Larson Real Estate Group with RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring
  • Baby’s Breath – Kurk Homes – Custom Builders
  • Black-Eyed Susan – The Becky Drake Team with RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring
  • California Poppy – The Hanson Team – Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene
  • Catchfly – Interfaith of The Woodlands
  • Cornpoppy –The Brownstone Group with Keller Williams The Woodlands & Magnolia and Cherry Creek Mortgage
  • Cornflower – Community Insurance Associates -Kenny Speight Agency
  • Cosmos – Buckalew Chevrolet
  • Crimson Clover – The Woodlands Dermatology Associates
  • Drummond Phlox – Avanti Senior Living – Vision Park
  • Dwarf Red Plains Coreopsis – CHI St. Luke’s Health
  • Gloria (Pink) Cosmos – Boni’s Dance & Performing Arts Studio, Inc.
  • Johnny Jump Up – Black Walnut Café
  • Lemon Mint – The Woodlands Cleaners
  • Mountain Garland – Ed Jones “Just Happy to be Here”
  • Plains Coreopsis – Woodforest National Bank
  • Rocket Larkspur – The Woodlands Township
  • Scarlet Flax – BrightView Landscape Services
  • Scarlet Sage – Great American Title Company
  • Showy Primrose – Henry J. Daniels & Jason Stanfield
  • Sweet Alyssum –Cadence Bank
  • Tail Poppy Mallow – Harvard Risk Management
  • Texas Bluebonnet – The Woodlands Development Company
  • Toadflax – The Woodlands College Park Leo Club
  • Yellow Cosmos – The Woodlands Lions Club

 

For more information, visit us at www.thewoodlands.com and like us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

About The Woodlands®

The Woodlands is a 28,000-acre master planned community located 27 miles north of downtown Houston. Throughout its 42-year history, The Woodlands has led the way among master planned communities that practice environmental preservation. It is home to over 112,000 people, and more than 63,000 people work in the community. The Woodlands is one of the top-selling master planned communities in Texas and the nation. The Woodlands was named the 2015 “Master Planned Community of the Year” by the Greater Houston Builders Association. For more information, visit www.thewoodlands.com. For additional details, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

About The Howard Hughes Corporation®

The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Our properties include master planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other unique assets spanning 16 states from New York to Hawai‘i. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC with major offices in New York, Columbia, MD, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and Honolulu. For additional information about HHC, visit www.howardhughes.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements accompanied by words such as “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “enables,” “realize”, “plan,” “intend,” “assume,” “transform” and other words of similar expression, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s expectations, estimates, assumptions, and projections as of the date of this release and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth as risk factors in The Howard Hughes Corporation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly and Annual Reports. The Howard Hughes Corporation cautions you not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. The Howard Hughes Corporation does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or circumstances that arise after the date of this release.

 

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SHIP WITHOUT A FULL DECK

September 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

 

 

Fasten the mizzen mast! Splike the nimrods and be quick about it, mates. Why this nautical mood? Because Sept. 17 is (or was, depending when you are reading this) Texian Navy Day! What’s that? Pilgrim, back in Newark you knew Texas had an army – the Alamo, San Jacinto and Salvation — but the Republic of Texas also had a navy. In fact, we had two and it’s a reason we don’t celebrate Diaz y Seis. Well, some don’t. To re-tell the tale: The Republic of Texas created a navy which fought the Mexican Navy up and down the Gulf. President Sam Houston, being an army man, hated the navy and refused to pay its costs. He once declared the entire Texas Navy to be pirates and called on other nations to arrest the lot. By the time Houston left the presidency for the first time, in 1838, the Texas Navy was down to one unsailable ship, two lieutenants, two midshipmen, a doctor, two pursers, two seamen who were both deserters from the U.S. Navy, and the ranking lieutenant was cashiered “in consequence of a repeated inebriety.” Texas’ next president, Mirabeau Lamar, liked the navy and restored funds to build a fleet.

This brings us to the night of Feb.11, 1842, on the Mississippi River off New Orleans aboard the Texas Navy Schooner (TNS) San Antonio. The ship had rescued the crew and passengers from a sinking American ship, touched in at Galveston briefly and was ordered to go to New Orleans to let off the shipwreck survivors and pick up supplies. So it did. Ah, New Orleans, every sailor’s heart beat faster at the prospect of a night on Bourbon Street. The ship pulled in, and began loading supplies. Beef (a dime a pound), bread (a nickel a loaf) and potatoes (a dollar a bushel). That’s all. The diet on Texas ships was inexpensive to the taxpayers, but not too varied for the crew. It is now night, when the ranking officers set off for the bright lights of the big city, leaving the crew aboard for the very good reason that, once ashore, most would never come back. A man can stomach only so much beef, bread and potatoes.

Some passing boatmen slip aboard a few bottles of booze for the crew. Down in the hold the sailors imbibe and start griping. Topside, Marine Sgt. Seymour Oswald ac­costs Lt. M. B. Dearborn and demands shore leave for himself and some friends. No soap, or gruel, Sergeant. They get into an argument and Marine Lt. Charles Fuller, the ranking officer still on board, pops up on deck to see what’s happening. Things are getting touchy, so Fuller resorts to the usual solution to shipboard problems: he calls out the Marine guard, Sgt. Oswald, commanding. It usually works, putting the cause of the problem in charge of the solution. Only somebody forgot to tell Sgt. Oswald. He begins passing out weapons, not only to the Marine guard, but to his fellow sailor mutineers. He keeps a Colt pistol and a tomahawk (the Texas Navy was uniquely prepared for Indian attacks). Under the guise of reporting that the guard is ready, Sgt. Oswald ap­proaches Fuller. Oswald cracks the officer smartly on the head with a tomahawk. Fuller grabs his own pistol, Oswald fires his. The Marines rush topside. So do the mutineers. Bang. Stab. Shoot. Fuller falls dead and the crew attacks his body with cutlasses and muskets. Two midshipmen, Alden and Odell, rush to protect Fuller and are promptly wounded. Lt. Dearborn is “knocked down the cabin hatch and the companion drawn over him.”

Oswald and his cronies lower a couple of boats and head for the fun, but the battle has attracted the notice of sailors aboard a nearby U.S revenue cutter, the Jackson. The U.S. sailors investigate and find poor Lt. Dear­born down below, yelling for help. The U.S. sailors and the New Orleans police quickly round up the Texas mutineers and toss them in jail. When the San Antonio finally leaves port, it only has two of the mutineers aboard, In­ternational extradition snags between the U.S. and the Republic keep the others in jail. The captain decides not to hold the court martial immediately since the sight of crewmen dangling from the yardarm might put a damper on his recruiting in New Orleans (the ship had some unexpected vacan­cies). Fuller is also left behind — buried in the Girod Street Cemetery.

President Sam Houston is upset when he receives the news. (“This subject is the first in my recollection which has occurred in any port of a foreign nation.”) and finally gets most of the other mutineers back to Texas, although the ringleader, Sgt. Oswald, has escaped and is never heard from again. The head of the Texas Navy, Commodore Edwin W. Moore, gathers all concerned and puts them aboard the good ship TNS Austin, and heads for the high seas. The state’s case is hampered by the fact that the San Antonio and its entire crew disappeared in the Gulf. In any event, Moore convenes the case. Frederick Shepherd, after some questioning, turns state’s evidence. He gets off but is killed three weeks later in a battle. Benjamin Porn­pilly, who died in prison, had already confessed his part in the mutiny. F. Williams is let off with 50 lashes while William Barrington and Ed­ward Kenan get 100 each. But Pvt. Antonio Landois and Cpl. William Simpson of the Marines and Seamen James Hudgins and Isaac Allen are sentenced to the yard­arm. On April 26, 1843, at high noon, they were strung up. Prayers were said over each of the departed, who were then buried at sea. As for Lt. Fuller, his body stayed in New Orleans until 1936 when he was brought to the Official State Cemetery in east Austin. New Orleans needed the Girod Street Cemetery. They had to widen Girod Street.

 

Ashby mutinies at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

MORE LIKE STINK TANKS

September 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

This multi-million dollar glass and steel beauty in the heart of Washington’s prime real estate used to be my office building. But you wonder how a greedy, opportunistic dirt bag like me could hit it big? It’s a long story (maybe 5 years with good behavior) and began when my newest get-rich-quick scheme failed after Ted Cruz admitted that, way down deep, he’s shallow. His presidential campaign collapsed and I was left with an empty victory banquet hall, an unpaid band and gallons of liquor I called Cruz Booze. My next endeavor was to sell franchises to the Roger Ailes Feminine Empowerment School. That bombed, but it left me with 1,000 copies of “Fox News for Dummies.” I was told that’s redundant. My student loan program didn’t work out after I discovered students didn’t have any money to loan me.

That’s when I sought out my financial adviser. It was a Sunday afternoon, so visiting hours were in play.        “I’ve lost everything,” I sobbed. “Even my Dippity-Doo dippity didn’t.” He picked up the phone and tapped on the glass. “I’ve got a bunch of 3-D glasses you can have.” I shook my head. “You’re right. 4-D is the hottest thing. You could sell flood insurance in Baton Rouge, or is it too late? OK, I’ve got it. Pollsters say they have never seen anything like this: Voters don’t like, don’t trust and may not even vote for either Hillary or Trump. You could make a fortune by betting on George H.W. Bush. Everybody loves Poppy. No, wait. He tried being president once. It didn’t pan out. Here’s my best shot. Think tanks. Every trade group, lobbyist and anyone who wants to get their snout in the U.S. Treasury has a think tank in Washington to put academic authenticity on bribes. Give your group some meaningless but patriotic title like Americans for a Better America or Prosperity for All. Who can oppose God & Goodness Associates?”

I moved to Washington and quickly discovered competition was going to be tough. There are dozens, no scores or hundreds of think tanks, and they must be doing well, regardless of their predispositions. The left-leaning Brookings Institution’s annual budget has doubled in the last decade to $100 million. (One of its “scholars” received $353,145 in wages and other compensation in 2014.) The right-leaning American Enterprise Institute is spending at least $80 million on a new headquarters here, not far from where the Center for Strategic and International Studies built a $100 million office tower. While everyone knows there is a huge amount of cash flowing around Washington these days for lobbyists (mostly defeated Congressmen), there is also big money for think tanks which are Ivy Towered sleaze. Much of this cash comes indirectly from the American taxpayers. It goes like this: I daily get emails from what I call the Old Boy Network, made up of retired military. The site simply passes on articles, speeches, etc., and lately many of them have warned darkly of China’s growing sea power. The U.S. is falling behind, and what we need is another aircraft carrier. It is never pointed out that we already have 10 of them, and no other country has any, except for France, which has one.

Now we find that a company with a military-industrial complex, let’s call it Huntington Ingalls Industries, hired a think tank, we’ll call it the Hudson Institute, which launched a major offensive with learned reports by experts, testimony before Congress and op/ed pieces written by “Admiral J.J. Flotsam, (ret.) member of the Group of Experts,” with little if any way to trace the money back to Huntington. Nor is it noted that nuclear-powered aircraft carriers cost about $11 billion each, and – you’ll never believe this — the one and only builder of aircraft carriers is Huntington.

My next move was clear: I got a well-heeled client, Pioneer Transportation, created America’s Traditional Defense Associates and started hiring obscure professors to write learned papers filled with military jargon (USPAC, sub-automatic counter-puffs and Magnetic Tipped Thermoquads). The reports, op/ed articles and released testimony before the House Subcommittee on Spending Taxpayers’ Money, noted at the bottom of the page that the professor was a tenured member of the U.S. Council of Intellectual People and past-president of the JJGP. Unfortunately, Congress was not interested in allocating funds for pack mules. I had no better luck peddling government subsidies for AstroTurf fertilizer or for a submarine base in Salt Lake City.

Then things turned around. There was no shortage of experts who would turn out either supporting or oppositional studies, research papers or charts for anything. For testimony before Congress, I found a bevy of “outside consultants” — honor graduates from Trump University. I called their testimony “pay-for-say.” Depending on the client, my think tanks were called Lawyers for Perjury, Consultants for UNFESCO (no one asked), Friends of Smog and Anarchists United. Incidentally, it is not only Congress that receives a deluge of one-sided information from ersatz scholars. Regulatory agencies like the FCC, CDC and FDA are targets, too. Press reports show that currently millions and millions of dollars are being spent in Washington by cable companies (net neutral) and Big Pharma (obscene drug prices). Their hired guns are registered lobbyists and their hidden evil twins, think thanks. How pervasive are they? We know that when Congress was debating drug prices a few years ago there were six lobbyists on Capitol Hill for each member, each lobbyist armed with think tank studies.

You, as a thoughtful citizen, are wondering how you can peel back these deliberate layers of obfuscation, meaningless titles and mysterious motivations. It’s easy. The next story you read on a newspaper’s op/ed page (that’s opposite the opinion or editorial page), written by an unknown expert pushing something, treat it as an advertisement, because that opinion was bought and paid for. You are also wondering what obfuscation means. Finally, you’ve been wondering about my ankle monitoring bracelet.

Ashby thinks at ashby2@comcast.neti

 

 

 

 

“Namesake Celebration” at Hotel Crescent Court

September 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Travel Blog

Crescent PoolWhether setting the stage for a romantic rendezvous or a girlfriends getaway, extravagance ensues once guests step foot in spacious, elegantly-appointed Metropolitan Suites — enclosed by four sets of french doors opening up to wrought-iron Juliet balconies, bathed in gorgeous natural light.  After toasting to the sophisticated city escape with a chilled magnum of Veuve Cliquot, travelers are treated to a captivating evening from the breathtaking, 17th-floor vantage point of The Crescent Club, providing a “through-the-windows” tour of the city. Beloved Crescent ambassador Les Clefs d’Or Concierge Bill Kennedy guides guests through fascinating Dallas history while the hotel’s award-winning chefs showcase a five-course meal complete with fine Texas wine pairings.

Following the two-hour exclusive experience, arts enthusiasts head to the bustling Dallas Arts District, steps from the hotel, to take in a show at the renowned Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Meanwhile, the “suite life” continues back at the hotel, where guests lounge by the sparkling rooftop pool (the ultimate urban oasis), sip cocktails while people-watching Dallas’ elite social scene at Beau’s, the lively lobby lounge, or indulge in a massage at the immersive, 22,000 sq. ft. spa and fitness center. Echoing the exclusivity of a country club with sophisticated amenities, the stylish hotel is the gateway to an unforgettable Dallas escape.

“Namesake Celebration” • Starting at $1,499/two-nights* • Bookable now – Dec. 30, 2016

  • Two-night accommodations in a spacious Metropolitan Suite, touting a wet bar, powder room and wrought-iron Juliet balconies
  • Chilled magnum of Veuve Clicquot provided in-room upon arrival
  • Exclusive Crescent Club dining experience complete with a five-course tasting menu paired with fine Texas wines
  • Two tickets to the renowned Dallas Symphony Orchestra located in the bustling Dallas Arts District — steps from Hotel Crescent Court

Visit www.crescentcourt.com for more information and to book your stay.