Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Trinity River Toll Road Funeral 6-8-14

Here is some of the history leading to this celebration:
Looking northwest where Toll Road was planned for with Sylvan Bridge in the background.  Photo taken in 2007 when this was a very popular park. 
It will now be one again!


Monday, August 26, 2013

1963 Washington Civil Rights March & 2006 Dallas Civil Rights Mega March

This week we are celebrating the historic events of 50 years ago in Washington, D.C. on 8-28-63, when about 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  They heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his brilliant "I have a dream" speech.

Much of the publicity has said the 1963 march was the largest Civil Rights march in U.S. history.  That certainly was true until 2006.  However, on 4-9-2006, that record was broken in Dallas, Texas with the monumental Mega March to address immigration reform and the civil rights associated with the needs for such reform.

The Mega March gathered on Ross Avenue in Dallas, in front of and to the east of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, planning for a 1:00 PM start.   However the crowds were far beyond all planning.  Congestion was intense.  At about 12:45 PM Dallas Police directed the march to start to relieve that congestion.  I was walking up Ross from the other direction to arrive in time for the 1:00 PM start when I was met by the front of the March.  All six lanes of Ross remained filled with people walking for the next 4 hours, or longer.
Dallas 4-9-2006 Mega March start from Guadalupe Cathedral
The 1.3 miles of street from the Cathedral to Dallas City Hall remained filled with marchers till past 5 PM when the last of them walked past the Cathedral.  Meanwhile at Dallas City Hall this was the crowd in the over-congested area:
Dallas City Hall Plaza looking northeast 4-9-2006 at about 2 PM
The following photo was taken long after the two above, at about 4:00 PM looking northeast up Ross Avenue.  This continued for about another hour.
Looking northeast up Ross Avenue about 4: 00 PM on 4-9-2006
Estimates of the crowd were usually agreed at 500,000 but some went as high as 600,000.  The lowest estimates were 350,000. 
Does anyone know of another U.S. Civil Rights march that was larger?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Federal Debt, Blue and Red Patterns

How can anyone concerned about the future of our nation ignore the taxation and debt patterns for over 40 years in the US?
U.S. Federal Debt as Percentage of GDP since 1969
Some argue that Congress was the major factor in these deficit changes. 

Notice how the changes happened immediately once Reagan and Bush II began their presidential terms.  That damage was much hard to repair and improvements only happened more slowly once Clinton entered office, and hardly at all once Obama entered office due to the economic disaster we faced.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Comparing states voting for Romney with states voting for Obama

Comparing states voting for Romney with states voting for Obama
(Right-click on image and click on "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

The above chart was made using the 9/24/12 electoral map by Karl Rove that can be found at .  This map is probably the most reliable in that the states indicated are probably strongly dedicated to the candidates they are allocated for. The other data came mostly from Census Data found on the US Census site. 
  1. Murder and Forcible Rape data came from  using selection # 308 on that page and the Excel file at that selection.
  2. Educational expenditures by state were secured from the Excel file at Item # 262 at
  3. Educational achievement by state was secured from the Excel file at item # 233 at
  4. Median income for each state was secured from by going to "Annual Social and Economic Supplement" on that page and the "Income of Households by State Using 2-Year-Average Medians"
  5. The information on which states still allow physical discipline in public schools came from
  6. Finally, the information on Food Stamp usage by state comes from
Additional ideas are welcome as to variables that should be explored in this effort. 

Bill Betzen

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Voting Rights Act Revived in Texas: 3 maps

The 2011 Texas Legislature redistricted three maps to shift the previous decades massive population growth into new legislative districts.  This was done for the Texas House and Senate, and for the US Congress with four new seats added to the U.S. House from Texas. The maps created were so discriminatory against minorities that they were immediately challenged and repeatedly declared discriminatory by the courts.  Most recently, on 8-28-12, a three judge Federal Court in Washington affirmed that judgement. The maps are now on the way to the Supreme Court.  Study the three reports below, one on each map. Form your own opinion.  What should the decision be?  
Anatomy Chart on Texas House Map PlanH283
(Right-click on image above & hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)
The chart above is for Texas House map PlanH283 for the 150 Texas House districts. The study of this map was done with a bar chart due to the large number of 150 legislative districts. It more easily illustrates the gerrymandering pattern of discrimination, a pattern that has the same components in each map. Each map has an area that is designated as a "Maximum Win" area and a "Maximum Loss" area. In the bar chart above, the area highlighted with yellow is the Maximum Loss area.  The green area is the Maximum Win area. Notice the consistent fact that Anglo districts dominate the Maximum Win areas in every map.  Minority districts dominate the Maximum Loss areas in every map.  How can that be an accident?
Anatomy of Texas State Senate Map PlanS148r
(Right-click on above image and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

In both the Texas State Senate map above and the Congressional map below it was easy to document the "gaps" that existed. In the Maximum Loss area there were no Anglo districts. In the Maximum Win area there were no Minority districts.
Anatomy of Texas Congressional Map for U.S. House Map PlanH283
(Right-click on above image and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)
These maps are perfect examples of gerrymandering. They should find their way into the next generation of government class text books in Texas.
These maps are also online at,, and

Questions are welcomed and encouraged.

Hopefully the above information will help in spreading the word as to the debt of thanks we owe the Legislators of 2011 who designed these maps. They have created maps that will help assure everyone involved, including the judges, that the Voting Rights Act should have a long life.

Such maps must NEVER again become law and go into use. They reflect the painful history of racism that, with the current creation of these maps, obviously continues to afflict Texas. These maps should only be used in text books as examples of the gerrymandering damage that can be done to democracy if voters are not vigilant.

I've joined the League of Women Voters to work together with them in maintaining our democracy and the right to vote. (There are now over 18 men who are members in Dallas.  Everyone is welcome to join!)  It is an honor to work with them to continue their noble history of achievements on behalf of our nation, and democracy.  Join your local League of Women Voters and support democracy!

7-14-13 addendum: It appears maps very similar to those above will become the law in Texas now that the Supreme Court has kicked out critical protections in the Voting Rights Act. This is a painful and uncertain time in the history of our nation.  Will the necessary work be done?

Bill Betzen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The REAL 47%!

The real "47%" are Romney supporters.
(Right click and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

The original of the above map comes from  It appears that Romney was speaking about his own supporters based on an electoral map from the Karl Rove web site:

Obama voters are more generous.

Dallas Fort Worth giving and voting patterns in 2008
(Right-click & hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

On 9-17-12, on the front page of the Dallas Morning News Business Section, the larger map above of the DFW area was printed.  Inserted into it by zip code were the giving levels according to 2008 tax returns.  The darker green areas are thoses areas giving the highest percentage of their income to charity. This map can be found online at .

The smaller inserted map is of the 2008 presidential election returns for the same DFW area. This copy of those 2008 election returns comes from  Notice the correlation between high rates of giving and voting for President Obama.

Generosity was not a quality mentioned by the other presidential candidate as he spoke of what he called "the 47%" who will "always" vote for President Obama.  He described them in his view as people "... dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them."  Generosity was not mentioned. He needs to see the above graphic.