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I Do Take Newspapers To Recycle Bin, But I Admit I’m Not Convinced They Really Are Recycled

I do take my old newspapers and other paper products to my local recycle bin.

(All people should take a daily newspaper at home.)

(Above–My local recycle bins.)

Yet I admit, I’m not convinced what I drop off really gets recycled.

I can’t get past the notion that it all gets hauled off to the city landfill.

I know I’ve read stories about stuff like that happening. When I worked for a city councilmember in Cincinnati, there was another councilmember who was just convinced that waste product was simply dumped in the landfill.

I don’t feel I’m prone to believing conspiracy stories, but I’m just not sure what I leave to be recycled really gets recycled.

Anybody have any thoughts on this subject?

September 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 7 Comments

Biggest Pig On Earth

A sign above this pig at the Indiana State Fair last month said that this was the largest pig in the world.

I’m sorry, but I don’t recall the specifics of just how big it was.

All I can tell you is that the sign at the Indiana State Fair said that this was the biggest big on Earth. 

Hard to imagine that people are allowed to read this blog for no cost at all with features of this quality offered to the blog reading public.

Here are facts about pigs from Veganpeace.com.

September 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Dogs Playing Poker Paintings Over 100 Years Old—An Example Of Getting It Right

Above is one of the famous of the Dogs Playing Poker painting.

People make fun of these paintings, but they were created over 100 years ago and are still in people’s minds.

I’m not certain that any blog post I write will still be around in 100 years. Most of us won’t create anything that will still be around in 100 years.

The Dogs Playing Poker series has 16 paintings in total. They were painted by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge in the early 1900’s. They purpose of the series was to sell cigars.

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge lived 1844-1934. Here is information about his life.

I don’t know if Dogs Playing Poker is great art, but it has passed the test of time. The pictures make people happy and don’t hurt anybody.

Anybody who can create something that lasts and that makes people laugh has done something right.

In 2005, two of the original paintings sold for $590,000.

Here is a gallery of paintings by Mr. Coolidge.

Below—His Station And Four Aces.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 16 Comments

So-Called Democrat Gene Locke Solicits Republicans—Locke Seeking To Trick And Bamboozle Black & Republican Voters

Houston politics blogger Martha Griffin has a post up this evening at her blog Musings reporting that Houston Mayoral candidate Gene Locke, a so-called Democrat, has solicited Republican Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman to annoy citizens of Houston with robocalls.

From Ms. Griffin’s post—“This is the same Beverly Kaufman who is on record as being against the pre-clearance portion of the Voting Rights Act. Pre-clearance is in place for nine Southern states that have a history of discrimination or suppressing minority voting, including Texas.”

Here is the link to the entirety of Ms. Griffin’s post. Ms. Griffin has an audio of the robocall that you can hear.

In the call Ms Kaufman talks about the support Mr. Locke has gained from “conservative business groups.” Ms. Kaufman makes it clear in the call that she is a Republican.

Mr. Locke assumes black voters in Houston will support him for Mayor because he is black—But black support may not be enough to reach a runoff. To get the extra votes he feels he needs, Mr. Locke will engage in low-down tactics

He’ll sell out his core supporters in a heartbeat.

Mr. Locke thinks black folks in Houston are stupid. He thinks he can trumpet the support of people who don’t at all share the beliefs of his most important voters, and that people won’t catch on that he is a fraud.  

People will indeed catch on to the fact that Mr. Locke is seeking to trick and bamboozle them on Election Day.

If you’re a Republican, please recall that Gene Locke is a Democrat. He is looking to trick and bamboozle you as well.

How can anybody trust this man to stick true to any belief? He is loyal only to his own ambitions.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

Yom Kippur 2009—It’s On!

Yom Kippur for 2009 has begun.

It began at sundown on Sunday, September 27 and ends at nightfall on Monday, September 28.

(Above—Sinagoga Beth El in Sao Paulo, Brazil.)

What is Yom Kippur?

It is when Jewish folks atone to God for misdeeds they may have committed. Many Jews fast on Yom Kippur and attend services.

Here is how Yom Kippur is described at Chabad.org.

Chabad.org has many facts about observing Yom Kippur.

Here are more facts on Yom Kippur from Judaism 101.   There is a lot of information here about Judaism written from a more conservative Orthodox position. The owner of this site is up-front about this fact. The owner of the site, Tracey Rich, seems to have put work and thought into the project.

(Here is a link to a Texas Liberal post with facts about Jews in Texas.)

My wife is Jewish. She is fasting and will attend services.

What must she atone for?

It is none of my business. 

We are all allowed a private awareness or viewpoint on our shortcomings. We are all allowed to communicate this awareness with our Maker or in any other private fashion consistent with our beliefs and good conscious.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Military Option Must Exist For Iran Nuclear Program—Israel And Iraq War Are Separate Questions

A military option must be on the table as President Obama considers how to respond to Iran’s secret nuclear program. 

I say this as someone on the political left who opposed the Iraq War and who is always for diplomacy over war.  

When you have a country with a president who denies the Holocaust, fixes elections, represses his own people and conducts a secret nuclear program, that’s a problem.

It is even more of a problem when that country is run by religious crazies and is close enough to a nation full of Jewish people to launch missiles and bombs at them. 

Those of us on the left need to view Iran as a separate question from objections we have to various Israeli policies and our longstanding opposition to the War in Iraq.

President Obama will first use diplomacy to address this question. Diplomacy is always the best path and President Obama was elected with the hope that we would now begin to find a path other than war to solve our problems. 

If diplomacy does not prevail, I support in this case whatever actions must be taken to prevent Iran from obtaining and possibly using nuclear weapons. History tells us that when nations make threats about wiping out Jewish folks that these threats must be taken at face value.     

Here are some basic facts about Iran from the BBC.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up With History Of Jews In Texas

At the bottom of this post is the weekly Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The Texas Progressive Alliance is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

Along with this week’s round-up is some history of Jewish folks in Texas. 

(Above is the original synagogue of Galveston’s Congregation B’nai Israel.  This building was constructed in the early 1870’s. B’nai Israel is still in existence in Galveston. It is the oldest reform congregation in Texas.)

Here is a history of Jews in Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online.

From that history—

“Jews have been a part of the warp and woof of the Lone Star State since the period of Spanish Texas. To the untamed future state came Jewish seekers of fortune and freedom. Heirs to the Spanish and European forms of Jewish ritual practice, the Jews of Texas adapted their seminal faith to the new ambience… Though some abandoned their roots, most were tenacious in the nurturing of their heritage. Before 1821, Jews who openly practiced their religion could not legally live in Texas, a Spanish colony where only Catholics could take up residence. …(However) by 1838 Jews were living in Velasco, Bolivar, Nacogdoches, Goliad, San Antonio, and Galveston. Their settlement pattern was repeated numerous times: first the formation of a cemetery-benevolent society, followed by a synagogue, formal or informal. Jewish cemeteries were established in Galveston in 1852, Houston in 1854, San Antonio in 1856, Victoria in 1858 and Jefferson in 1862. The first chartered Jewish congregation in Texas was Congregation Beth Israel, Houston, founded in 1859.”

Here is a link to a sermon called “The Uniqueness of Texas Jews” given by Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl of San Antonio’s Temple Beth-El.   

Here is the Texas Jewish Historical Society which is located in Austin. 

The TPA round-up 

Halliburton was fracking for Cabot and…Oh Oops! We Spilled Some! TWICE! Deadly Hydraulic Fracture Fluid! Ironically, industry just released part of their $80 million propaganda campaign asking people to submit “Eureka” moments. From TXsharon at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Congressman “Deer in the headlights” Pete Olson (R-TX) gets called out at his town hall meetingand the police are called in! John Coby at Bay Area Houston posts the deets.

The Texas Cloverleaf wonders when police departments will enter the 21st century. A San Antonio lesbian couple sues in federal court over blatant harassment in their own home.

This week at McBlogger, Mayor McSleaze took the time out of his life to educate you people on some things going on around the country.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes Rick Perry won’t admit execution might have been a mistake. To be a Republican is never to say you’re sorry. Continue reading

September 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Long Should One Wait At The Stay Sign?

I encountered this Stay Sign in Houston a couple of days ago.

I stayed for a couple of hours as people honked behind me.

Rules are rules.

I hope don’t encounter this sign again when I am in a hurry to get somewhere.

September 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Hyatt Hotels In Boston Outsource Housekeeping Staff For Much Lower-Paid Replacements—Governor Threatens Boycott

Hyatt Hotels in Boston have fired longstanding housekeeping employees and replaced them with outsourced and lower paid staff.

( Above–Boston is a great place to visit. But please do not stay at a Hyatt in Boston until they do right by the people who have worked hard for the company.)

From a September 18th post in the USA Today blog Hotel Check-In— 

It all started on Aug. 31 after the morning shift, when Hyatt Hotels’ corporate headquarters laid off the entire housekeeping staffs at the Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Cambridge and Hyatt Harborside Hotel, according to the Globe. Citing the tough economy, the existing housekeepers – some of whom at worked at the hotels for years – were fired. Hyatt then hired new workers from an out-of-state staffing firm, according to the story. And in a point now being disputed by Hyatt, the Globe also said that the housekeepers had to train their replacements after being told they would fill in for vacations…. Fast forward to this past Thursday. Several hundred hotel workers came out to rally against the firings in front of the Hyatt Regency Boston, chanting “Hyatt, shame on you,” according to the Globe..US Representative Michael Capuano and state Senator Anthony Galluccio called for a boycott of Hyatt, according to the Globe’s piece. “Maybe they should have just taken the chocolates off the pillows, I don’t know,’’ Capuano told the people assembled, according to the story. “If we let them do this, another hotel will do it, and then another business, and on and on.’’… The controversy kept snowballing today, with even the Harvard Business Review scolding Hyatt in its blog post headlined, “Lessons From Hyatt: Simple Ways to Damage Your Brand.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has threatened a boycott of Hyatt Hotels  by state employees on official business. 

Hyatt provides jobs for people and most of us need jobs. But we can’t get by in a nation where loyalty and good work has no value. Hyatt should bring back the dismissed workers. If wage cuts must be made, then deal with the people who have had a hand in making Hyatt a successful hotel chain.

When will American business places realize that if they hope to make money, that there are going to have to be workers and consumers who have good paychecks and steady work?

When will American consumers realize that a focus on price at the expense of everything else will lead only to a downward spiral of wages and benefits?

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Noel Freeman For Houston At-Large Seat #4—I Wish I Had Something I Could Put On My Car For Mr. Freeman

I support Noel Freeman for Houston City Council At-Large # 4.

I support Mr. Freeman even though he is not as far to the left as I am.

Mr. Freeman offers a solid mix of experience and personal qualities that will well- serve the people of Houston.

Please click here to learn more about Mr. Freeman’s campaign.

Mr. Freeman has been an employee of the City of Houston since 2004. He has worked in the Public Works and Engineering Department and, also, in the Office of the City Engineer.

From day one on City Council, Mr. Freeman will bring a strong understanding of how to assist citizens of Houston in dealing with city government. He will offer comprehensive knowledge of infrastructure issues facing Houston.

In 2009, Mr. Freeman completed studies for a Masters in Public Administration from Norwich University. Mr. Freeman has a Political Science degree from Texas A & M. Mr. Freeman served in Operation Desert Fox as a member of the U.S. Air Force. 

Mr. Freeman was for many years a Republican. As he reflected on the politics of our nation and on his views about public policy, Mr. Freeman became a Democrat. He lists himself on his Facebook profile as a “Moderate Democrat.”

There is something to be said about a person who thinks things out and changes his views. It’s not just that Mr. Freeman came to a point closer to where I am on the ideological spectrum—Though he still has plenty of room for a further shift to the left—it is that Mr. Freeman thought stuff out, saw the facts, and was open to changing his mind.    

A mix of concern over fixed-principles along with open-mindedness is a great combination in a person and in a political leader. It is a sign of personal strength.

These personal qualities along with his knowledge of how Houston works make Noel Freeman an excellent candidate for Houston City Council.

Wanting to show my support, I called Mr. Freeman’s campaign office a few days ago looking for a bumper sticker. The gentleman on the phone said they were not doing bumper stickers for the campaign.

Okay–But I sure wish I had a way to express my support for Mr. Freeman on my car. If Mr. Freeman or someone in his campaign happens to read this post, could they help me out with that?

I’d put a big magnet sign on my car door if they had something like that. Whatever. Anything that does not peel the paint. I’m on the road an average of 40 miles a day and plenty of people would see the car.  

Please click here to learn more about Mr. Freeman’s campaign.

(Below–Car with many bumper stickers. Not my car.)

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

I Was Accosted By Angry Weirdo Because I Was Reading Ted Kennedy’s Book

This afternoon I took a walk in Houston’s Memorial Park while reading a book. I often read while I walk when on the Memorial Park walking/jogging trail.

The book I read today was Ted Kennedy’s recently published autobiography. It is called True Compass–A Memoir.

One-third through the book so far, it is a title I can recommend. While an autobiography must often be taken with a grain of salt, there is a measure of candor. The Kennedy story is so well-known that readers can fill in some of the gaps on their own. 

More to the substance of what is gained by reading this title, it is interesting to learn how the Kennedy’s lived as a private family. As I get further along, I’d like to understand better how Senator Kennedy was able to maintain friendships with Republican Senators. Did he do it because it made him more effective as a Senator? Or did he really find a way to look past what in my view are frequent acts of evil by these people?  

Also, it is simply interesting to know what Senator Kennedy thought of the people and events he had seen over his life.

Here is the New York Times review of this book.

As I was walking in the park with my book, another man who was walking asked me what I was reading. This happens sometimes. 

This person was maybe in his 50’s.

I don’t mind talking to people, but what he asked me was—“What are you reading? About sex?”

I looked at him for a moment. I was uncertain why he thought I was walking around reading a book about sex.

When he asked me the question he did not know what I was reading. I think it would have been fine with him if I had been walking around the public park with a sex book of some kind.  

I showed the cover of the book. I said I was reading about Ted Kennedy.

This gentleman sure did go on when I told him this fact. He said “That’s terrible!” He went on about people being murdered for reasons of politics and about election fixing and on and on and on until I walked fast enough and far enough to be out of earshot.

He still might be going on.

I hope I had a hand in ruining this guy’s day.

Again, Senator Kennedy’s book is enjoyable and useful. Today it was useful in annoying a wacko.   

Here is the link to liberal magazine The American Prospect. It is always the right time to learn more about liberalism and to recommit yourself to liberalism.

Here is a post I wrote with links to facts about Senator Kennedy’s life and links to information about some of the causes he supported. 

September 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Amanda Ulman, Socialist Candidate For Mayor Of Houston, Should Run A Serious Campaign—Or She Should Not Run At All

(Blogger’s Note 11/5/11–What I said here about Ms. Ulman’s campaign 2 years ago is valid again for her 2011 campaign.)    

Amanda Ulman is a Socialist candidate for Mayor of Houston.

It is useful for voters in Houston to have the option of a socialist candidate. Republicans have put the idea of socialism back in the public’s mind after a long absence. Nobody was thinking of socialism before the Republicans started calling Barack Obama a socialist.

Though it has been many years, socialist candidates for public office were once able to win between 5% and 10% of the votes in elections all over the nation. Once in a while they would even win a race.

In 1912, Eugene V. Debs took 6% of the vote nationwide as the Socialist candidate for President of the United States. There is nothing to say that candidates running as Socialists could not at some point in the future win support in our nation.

If Ms. Ulman is going to run for Mayor of Houston, as she did also in 2007, she should be serious about what she is doing. Otherwise, she will be easy to dismiss as a kind of joke.

As far as I can see, Ms. Ulman does not have a web site. How can a credible campaign in this day and age not have web site? Ms. Ulman is missing a cheap and easy way to get her message out.

I can tell Ms. Ulman that as Election Day approaches, people will start putting her name in search engines as they see her name on the ballot.

Two years ago, when Texas Liberal got much less traffic than it does today, I got something like 1000 hits in the days leading up to Election Day for a post I’d written about a candidate for Mayor of Houston named Outlaw Josey Wales. (Sadly, Mr. Wales is not running in 2009.)

Every time I write about a candidate for public office, I get a large spike in my blog traffic for that post in the last few days before the election. People see who is running for the various offices and they research these candidates. Often traffic about that candidate’s post goes up for a few weeks before the election as people early vote.

With a web site, Ms. Ulman could write about how her Socialist beliefs are relevant to governing Houston. What is more socialist than a government run police department or fire department?

Ms. Ulman could talk about the local relevance of issues like the need for universal health insurance or a more fair distrubution of income. The three “serious” candidates for Mayor of Houston, all Democrats, seem not to care very much about issues facing the poor—and about economic issues facing working people of all kinds—here in Houston.

While Ms. Ulman may not be able to raise much money, she could stand on busy street corners with a sign that simply said: Amanda Ulman–Socialist For Mayor Of Houston.

I realize she might not want to do that by herself in the current political climate. Still, voters would could least attach a real human being to the idea of socialism and would see that at least one fellow citizen of Houston holds socialist beliefs.

Has Ms. Ulman contacted the editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle and of the various community weekly newspapers in Houston asking for an interview? Has she asked for time on all of the T.V. and radio community affairs programs? Has she produced a cable public access message that is being broadcast? Does she have a Twitter account?

Ms. Ulman could represent a real choice for voters frustrated with the big money donors and lack of attention to so many serious issues that seems to define campaigns for Mayor of Houston. Maybe Ms. Ulman could be the start of a real core of socialist support in Houston. You never know.

Ms. Ulman should run a real race or she should give it up and stop harming her cause by not being serious.

Here is a series of articles from The Nation magazine about ideas for socialism in modern America.

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Move Along–Nothing To See Here

It is a busy day and I don’t have time to update the blog today beyond this brief note.

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal!

September 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

If Legalized Gambling Will Cure Our Ills, Why Is Unemployment In Nevada 13.2%?

If legalized gambling is the cure to all our ills, why does Nevada have an unemployment rate of 13.2%?

(Above—Nevada’s Cathedral Gorge State Park.)

The national unemployment rate is 9.7%. Nevada is second in the nation in unemployment after Michigan.

There has to be some other solution as to how we will find work in the so-called new economy. We can’t just have working people losing money gambling, and casino and other gambling employees relying on the fleecing of fellow working people.

Here is information about unemployment rates around the nation from the Labor Department.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

You Are Able To Discuss Any Topic—Not Just Dumb Stuff

Yesterday I went to the dry cleaner. I’ve been going to the same dry cleaner for the 11 years I’ve lived in Houston.

During my visit yesterday, the dry cleaner lady made a comment to me about the new music director of the New York Philharmonic. The dry cleaner lady is the only employee at this shop. She and I get along well.

( Above–Ureli  Corelli Hill. Mr. Hill was the founder of the New York Philharmonic.)

I’m no expert on the New York Philharmonic, but I had heard a report about this gentleman, Alan Gilbert, on NPR. This being the case, I was able to conduct a conversation on the topic with the dry cleaner lady.

It is good that two people could have spontaneous discussion on this matter. Often all people talk about is dumb stuff.

Let us all please have more conversations about things other than pop culture and half-informed opinions about sports. People are capable of more than they realize. Soon enough you will be nearing the grave and you may realize that you missed out on a lot of things in life.

Here is information about Alan Gilbert.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

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