Minarets Allowed At This Blog—Muslims Should Send Me Tourist Dollars They Would Have Otherwise Spent In Switzerland
Voters is Switzerland have banned mosques in that country from having minarets.
Here is what a minaret is—“Minarets (Turkish: minare, from Arabic manāra (lighthouse) منارة, usually مئذنة) are distinctive architectural features of Islamic mosques. Minarets are generally tall spires with onion-shaped or conical crowns, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure.”
I guess voters in Switzerland have not learned from the historical example of other European nations full of white folks that directed restrictive laws at adherents of a specific religion.
Unlike what we now have in Switzerland, minarets are permitted on this blog.
All people are welcome at Texas Liberal.
Muslims—Please send your tourist dollars here rather than spending them where you are not wanted in Switzerland. E-mail me and I’ll direct you where to send the money.
This was a terrible vote in Switzerland. The great majority of Islamic people are no better or worse than any other people. They should be allowed to go about their lawful affairs without unjust restriction.
The New York Times reports that 36 million Americans are using food stamp programs. Here is a portion of the what the story on this subject says—-
“It has grown so rapidly in places so diverse that it is becoming nearly as ordinary as the groceries it buys. More than 36 million people use inconspicuous plastic cards for staples like milk, bread and cheese, swiping them at counters in blighted cities and in suburbs pocked with foreclosure signs….Virtually all have incomes near or below the federal poverty line, but their eclectic ranks testify to the range of people struggling with basic needs. They include single mothers and married couples, the newly jobless and the chronically poor, longtime recipients of welfare checks and workers whose reduced hours or slender wages leave pantries bare….While the numbers have soared during the recession, the path was cleared in better times when the Bush administration led a campaign to erase the program’s stigma, calling food stamps “nutritional aid” instead of welfare, and made it easier to apply. That bipartisan effort capped an extraordinary reversal from the 1990s, when some conservatives tried to abolish the program, Congress enacted large cuts and bureaucratic hurdles chased many needy people away.”
I made a point to use the part of the story that talks about the role former President George W. Bush and Republicans played in making the program more available. I was not aware of this and it was not what I expected to read.
I don’t have any illusions that President Bush and the Republicans who ran Congress for much of his time in office were very nice folks, but sometimes in life you get surprised.
Of course, you never know what people’s motives are.
A book I read some years ago about the history of public benefits for people in need was Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare by Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward.
Below is an assessment of this book by an Alice Chang. Ms. Chang is an activist and author in Oakland.
“I believe that Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward’s Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare, first released in 1971, is perhaps one of the most important books to read for anyone trying to understand the relationships between welfare policy, poverty and coerced labor. Piven and Cloward expose how welfare policy not only does not give poor people “relief” from poverty, but forces them to accept low-wage, exploitative, dead-end jobs. In fact, Piven and Cloward suggest, poverty policy and practice have historically been coupled with labor practice to accommodate local employers’ demands for cheap labor, particularly in service work and in agriculture. Poverty policy is designed and implemented to serve two basic functions. In times of economic downturn, welfare can be expanded to prevent or quell uprising by unemployed masses. Or, in times of relative economic and political stability, welfare can be contracted to expel people from the rolls, thus ensuring their availability to do low-wage work for local employers. Piven and Cloward describe this second function of welfare policy as ‘enforcing’ low-wage work, and the term is just as useful today in describing the use of so-called ‘welfare-to-work’ policies to coerce working poor people into ever more exploitative low- and no-wage jobs.”
The paragraph above is from the web home of the AFL-CIO. It is from a page on the website called–Books, Films, Plays, and Lessons that Change Lives.
36 million people in a lot of folks. And that is not all the people who would qualify for this program under full enrollment.
I hope President Obama soon takes a more active role in addressing the economic concerns of Americans.
It would be good to hear the President speak about how he thinks Americans will find work in a time when technology is helping employers shed jobs, working people have little money to spend to help fuel the economy, and other nations in the world are entering the global economic mainstream.
Here is this week’s Texas Progressive Alliance Round-up.
The Texas Progressive Alliance is a confederation of leading political bloggers in Texas.
(Above—Annibale Carracci’s The Butcher’s Shop from the early 1580’s. It has little to do with Texas except that folks eat a lot of meat in Texas and that this painting can be found at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth.)
A good thing about having a blog is that you get to know other bloggers. While I’ve met some bloggers I don’t like, there are also many nice folks I’ve formed friendships with as I’ve written Texas Liberal.
These are folks who run solid blogs and who merit you giving them a good look.
Sarah V. in San Antonio writes Wandering Off. Sarah is a military wife who enjoys roaming around Texas and elsewhere with her family and sharing pictures of her travels with the blog reading public. Sarah is both friendly and insightful.
Jobsanger in Amarillo is one of the best political bloggers in Texas. He writes column length posts nearly every day about the great issues of our times. His posts are always well-reasoned and represent the voice of a true liberal.
angrystan is a blogger comrade from Austin. Stan is originally from Louisville, Kentucky which makes him pretty much my neighbor. I lived for many years just up the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Stan’s been wondering how I’m doing with my new Apple computer—I guess I could tell him I’m getting the hang of it. Stan has offered me any help I need in figuring out the new computer.
I must thank The Field Negro in Philadelphia, PA for making Texas Liberal a recent “Blog That I Am Feeling” over at his shop. The Field Negro, like Jobsanger, is a real blogging pro. (To the extent one can be a pro at something that pays little or nothing for a lot of work.) The Field Negro churns out something of value each day because he has strong beliefs he wishes to share with the you— the blog reading public.
And, of course, I’d be remiss not to include my brother Perry Dorell who writes Brains and Eggs here in Houston. Perry is a genuine real-McCoy Texas populist liberal. He and his wife Sue are also good friends with this blogger. Perry is a statesman of political blogging in Houston and for all Texas. (This means he has been blogging a long time.)
There have been other relationships I’ve made being as a blogger. I’m sorry I’ve not included them all. But I’ve hit my limit for blogging today and I’ve got to move on to other things.
The Texas Cloverleaf clues you in on why you can’t breathe in Denton County — gas drillers!
WCNews at Eye On Williamson has some thoughts on Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ interim charges — including topics like feral hogs, blogging, and transportation.
I’d enjoy having this pulpit in my home. I’d love to give a sermon from that pulpit.
Even better might be that pulpit hooked up to the back of a truck. I bet could draw some crowds.
What would I say? I’m sure I would come up with something.
At the beginning of the sermon the pastor refers to the parishioners as “shipmates.”
We are all indeed shipmates.
Here is a review of Moby Dick from a modern reader. People still read this book.
Look at this fine event held each year in New Bedford, Massachusetts—
The Moby-Dick Marathon, a nonstop reading of the novel, will celebrate its Fifth Annual read, starting Wednesday January 3rd at 12 noon and ending Thursday January 4th at about 1 PM. The dates celebrate the anniversary of Herman Melville’s departure from the port of New Bedford aboard the Fairhaven whaleship in 1841. About 150 readers will take part, including several in non-English languages. If interested in reading, contact Laura at 508-997-0046 extension 34 or firstname.lastname@example.org“
That sounds like a good event to attend.
An informative book I’ve read about whaling is–Leviathan–A History of Whaling in America by Eric Jay Dolan.
Here is the link to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. On that site there is information about other things you can do in New Bedford.
New Bedford was the capital of American whaling.
I went to New Bedford a few times as a kid growing up in Rhode Island. But is has been so long I just can’t recall the town. I bet there is plenty of history well worth spending some time to see and investigate.
For so-called Black Friday after-Thanksgiving shopping, why not go shopping for fish in South Korea?
Above is the Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea.
It looks to me that you will find many good deals, helpful service, and a wide selection at this fish market.
Maybe you have a coupon for sea cucumber that you have forgotten.
Below is another picture of the offerings at the Noryangjin Fish Market.
It is possible that you can get a good after Thanksgiving deal on squid and on octopus.
It is good to have some fish to eat, but with overfishing we could push many of these creatures to extinction.
The pictures in this post were taken by a Gael Chardon.
The Census is coming up in 2010.
The Census angers the political right because the Federal Government conducts the census, and because the government uses the Census to determine how government money is allocated.
Census forms will be mailed out in March of 2010.
Please fill out your Census form and send it back. Such an act is indeed a measure of good citizenship.
As you can see in the picture below, the Census Bureau has some jobs to hire for next year. I got the flier you see in the picture in my door a few days ago.
Maybe you need a check for a few weeks. A job with the Census might help you out for a time.
Don’t listen to screwballs telling folks to ignore the Census.
Filling out the Census is what our laws require. Doing so helps us better understand our nation and sends needed government help where it will be most useful.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
What is George W. Bush doing up there?
Are you not thankful he is gone?
This is a nice Thanksgiving scene.
The title at the bottom of the picture says–“Home To Thanksgiving.”
Is your life like this scene?
Don’t worry—Life was not really like that for the people in the drawing.
I wonder how many hours of work it took the woman in the drawing to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner.
Big shopping day ahead the day after Thanksgiving?
Scramble for those discounts before we all discount each other out of work as the rich get richer.
Here we have another image of Thanksgiving that does not ring so true.
People know it is not true.
We can’t forget what has been done in the past, though we should also be mindful of advances in human rights and human dignity in our history.
It is good that we can know the past and still seek to move ahead.
At least if you are not a Native American.
There are all types of pilgrims in the world.
People are looking to understand the world and to find the best way to live.
Please have a good Thanksgiving.
Use the day both to relax and to give some thought to life.
Thursday is Thanksgiving Day.
I hope you have a good Thanksgiving however you spend the holiday.
You don’t have to spend the day with family.
Maybe you don’t have family.
All people matter and the circumstances of your life have meaning and are of equal value to how others are living.
I take Thanksgiving Day seriously.
It is a day we can use to reflect.
I’m thankful that each new day is a new chance to do our best in a difficult world.
I’m thankful for complexity, contradiction and clarity.
I’m thankful for the capacity to think, learn and create.
I’m thankful for the ability to communicate.
I’m thankful for the people in my life.
I’m thankful I have ancestors who were Massachusetts Puritans and other ancestors who were from Southern Italy.
I’m thankful that the lives of other people have value.
I’m thankful for the ability to see and do right as I see right.
I’m thankful for the Earth and all existence that allows us to live. I’m thankful for the Earth in its natural state and for how we use the Earth so that we can live.
Please have a good Thanksgiving.
In the picture above, I have sought to recreate what it must have been like for a Puritan ready to board the Mayflower.
Such a person would have packed a bag, put on his Pilgrim hat, left home and headed over to the port for the long voyage ahead.
I feel the picture above shows exactly what that departure must have looked like back in the 17th century.
It is as if you were there.
When the Pilgrims reached Cape Cod, the Mayflower Compact was signed to provide a framework and guidelines for the task ahead.
At the bottom of this post is the text of the Mayflower Compact.
As is well-known, the arrival of the Mayflower was not good news for the native population.
As well-known as this fact is, it always merits repeating. Where we live today was quite possible land once occupied by someone who did not wish to leave.
As our day-to-day lives go on, it easy to forget the larger context in which we exist.
Here is the link the excellent C-Span broadcasts about Mayflower Compact author William Bradford. If you click the video archives link on the left of the screen, you’ll be able to learn about Mr. Bradford and what it was like to live in Plymouth after the arrival of the Mayflower.
If you know history, you will have a better understanding of who you are and why the world is as it is.
The Mayflower Compact—-
- In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King,Defender of the Faith, etc.
- Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620
Houston Mayoral candidate Gene Locke puts his campaign signs everywhere.
Above are some that have popped up like mushrooms.
( Here is a link to a U. of Illinois horticulturist writing about how the limit the spread of mushrooms on your lawn. Gene Locke could stop of the spread of his signs by simply being a good citizen of our community.)
The signs in the picture may well be legally-placed. However ,the Locke campaign has signs on highway overpasses all over the city.
I saw such signs last week on 45 South headed to Galveston.
I saw them again today on 45 North headed to the airport.
I wish I had a picture of the highway signs, but it did not seem a good idea to take pictures while driving on the highway.
Though if you have been on our highways in Houston, maybe you have seen these signs.
Such signs are illegal and will cost taxpayer dollars to remove.
It is not just that Mr. Locke has campaign signs where they should not be, it is also that he consorts with gay bashers.
Is there anything decent and hopeful about the Locke campaign?
If there is, Mr. Locke has kept it well-hidden.
If only he would keep his campaign signs well-hidden.
With the round-up this week are links to some Texas-specific Thanksgiving recipes. With these links, you can make up a Texas Thanksgiving menu for you and yours—Wherever you live!
(Above—Texans enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving. I’m sure Disqo Disco at the Fallout Lounge in Dallas is a hopping place.)
Southwest Flair Magazine offers up a so-called Texas-sized Thanksgiving menu. As you might suspect, this menu is quite inclusive.
Texas Cooking.com tells you how to cook a turkey. I imagine that one would cook a turkey much the same way everywhere, but maybe there is a special Texas touch. If so, here is your chance to learn this touch.
Texas Cooking.com also has instructions for a stuffing made with Texas oysters. Regular readers of this blog will know that the Texas coast is my favorite part of the state. I would indeed enjoy some oyster stuffing.
I suppose a proper Texas Thanksgiving would offer up a pecan pie. I have maybe one or two slices of pecan pie each year. But I’m not a native. Maybe native Texans eat pecan pie with every meal. A blog called Homesick Texan has a pecan pie recipe.
There you have it folks–All you need to know for a fine Texas Thanksgiving.
TXsharon continues to follow the abuses of Aruba Petroleum in a Barnett Shale backyard and Wednesday the Wise County Messenger picked up the story. It’s all on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.
WhosPlayin posted an interview with Neil Durrance, the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Michael Burgess in Congressional District 26.
A guest post from the ReEnergize Texas blog is the pick of the week over at Texas Vox, where we were quite disappointed that the Georgetown city council snubbed students over nuclear power. Continue reading
I got the Swine Flu nasal vaccine today.
I might be programmed like a Cylon!
Well—If it is a plot under the orders of President Obama, I’m already a Godless Socialist.
I would have never gotten the vaccine under President Bush. His version of the vaccine would have turned me into a right-wing nut.
This is from the link above about the nanochips—
“I am not an expert in biophysics by any means, but someone who is qualified in this field proposed the idea that a nanochip in a “swine flu” vaccine could interact with heavy metals such as mercury and aluminium, also in that same vaccine in large quantities, to turn your body into a type of receiver for electromagnetic waves….These electromagnetic waves sent at certain frequencies from various points (HAARP facilities?) could activate the heavy metals inside your body, influence biochemical and physical components and alter your emotions.”
Swine Flu may have peaked in many parts of the nation, but this may only be a prelude to a another wave of the affliction later this winter.
I don’t want you to get the flu. I want you to wash your hands. Here are some tips on proper hand washing from the Centers for Disease Control—
When washing hands with soap and water:
- Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
- Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
- Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” twice through to a friend!
- Rinse hands well under running water
- Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet
There are many good hand washing web sites if you look the subject up.
The Swine Flu may seem to be abating wherever it is you live, but it is very possible it may come back.
Please take steps to avoid the Swine Flu so that you do not get sick.
(Blogger’s Note–Time for the thaw a turkey post. It’s updated a bit, but is for the most part a rerun . Thawing a turkey does not change very much over the years. )
Thanksgiving Day is almost here and you need to know how to thaw your turkey.
Thanksgiving Day in 2011 is Thursday, November 24.
You do have the option of a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
Above are some PETA advocates. They are dressed as PETA Pilgrims.
As for myself, I’ll be having turkey–unless I have something else instead— and I would like the turkey thawed correctly.
These turkeys below are thawed, but are not quite ready for the table.
Follow these guidelines so you do not poison your family and guests.
If you feel that the government is always lying to you, thaw the turkey your way and take your chances.
From the USDA instructions—
Fresh or Frozen?
- Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
- Buy your turkey only 1 to 2 days before you plan to cook it.
- Keep it stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.
- Do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not handled properly, any harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply very quickly.
- Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
- Keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it.
- Turkeys can be kept frozen in the freezer indefinitely; however, cook within 1 year for best quality.
Do not play around with this stuff. Do not make others sick.
Here is more of what the USDA suggests—
Thawing Your Turkey
There are three ways to thaw your turkey safely — in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven.
|In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
|4 to 12 pounds||1 to 3 days|
|12 to 16 pounds||3 to 4 days|
|16 to 20 pounds||4 to 5 days|
|20 to 24 pounds||5 to 6 days|
Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.
|In Cold Water
Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound
|4 to 12 pounds||2 to 6 hours|
|12 to 16 pounds||6 to 8 hours|
|16 to 20 pounds||8 to 10 hours|
|20 to 24 pounds||10 to 12 hours|
Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.
In the Microwave Oven
- Check your owner’s manual for the size turkey that will fit in your microwave oven, the minutes per pound, and power level to use for thawing.
- Remove all outside wrapping.
- Place on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak.
- Cook your turkey immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate your turkey after thawing in the microwave oven.
I was unable to convince these seagulls that I meant no harm while walking on the beach in Galveston three days ago.
It is not that I talked to them or sought to reason with them.
Though I would try if I thought it would help.
They just flew away from me because I was within 10 feet of where they were walking around on the beach.
Signals get crossed or people are not willing to listen—- And good, or at least neutral, intentions make no difference.
I went to the Annise Parker web page today to see if she had moved ideologically to the left in her campaign for Mayor now that she has released a poll saying she has a 13 point lead on Gene Locke in the Mayoral runoff election.
I thought that maybe being ahead in the polls would free her up to speak a little more truth than she has so far in the campaign.
Ms. Parker’s campaign has been touting Ms. Parker, a Democrat, as a so-called “fiscal conservative.”
It is obnoxious and disheartening that a Democrat is making this claim in a majority Democratic city.
If I want a so-called fiscal conservative, I’ll vote for a Republican. Given the absence of a Republican in the runoff in our majority-Democratic City of Houston, maybe what folks in Houston want is a government that helps people and that has a place in people’s lives.
While visiting Ms. Parker’s web home, I checked out the list of supporters her campaign team has complied.
Below is the link to that list. (You’ll have to cut and paste it–Sorry. I’ve got this new Apple computer and it is giving me fits. I can’t get links inserted into the blog that you don’t have to cut and paste. I’m sure I’ll figure it all out with time. Maybe.)
My blog is on the list!
I have indeed endorsed Ms. Parker. It is correct to put my blog on this list.
Though if you read the post, it was not a fully flattering endorsement.
Nor is this more recent post 100% supportive of Ms. Parker–
The comment beneath the 11/15 post is one of my fellow Houston progressive bloggers suggesting that I was smoking weed while writing the post.
Ha!–Nope. Maybe just drinking some carrot juice.
I give the Parker people credit for putting my blog on the list of supporters.
Maybe they are thick-skinned—That is a good trait to have.
Maybe —To paraphrase the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign—in their hearts they know I’m right.
Maybe it is a small joke on me. You can’t click though to my blog from the Parker site. So as far as anybody knows, I’m 100% on-board.
I hope it is to some extent a joke at my expense.
Better than playing a joke on others, is a joke at one’s own expense.
All the world is a stage.
I just hope that Ms. Parker recalls I was a supporter even before the first round of voting two weeks ago.
I’m looking for an appointment as city alligator commissioner. I’m hoping the city will give me a boat to cruise up and down the bayous and a net to catch the gators.