Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Four Books Of Asian Poetry

(Blogger’s note—This is a post I first made in March of 2011. It did not get much traffic at the time. I’m certain though in the past 15 months that interest in Asian poetry has grown a gret deal. Right? Sure. So I’m reposting this for today.)    

It has been sometime since the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has been seen on the blog.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering what they’ve been up to in recent weeks.

They’ve been reading books of Asian poems written many years ago.

What else did you think they’d be doing?

Extinct has been readingJapanese Death Poems–Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death.

Being a Woolly Mammoth, Extinct is always interested in reading about death.

Here is a poem from Death Poems written by a man named Gasan in 1885–

Blow if you will,

Fall wind—the flowers

Have all faded.

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat is reading Crossing The Yellow River–Three Hundred Poems From The Chinese.

As you can tell from the picture, Hamburger has studied Crossing many times.

Below is a poem from Crossing called View From Heron Tower. It was written by a Wang Chih-huan who lived 688-742.

The white sun is hidden by the mountains.

The Yellow River empties into the sea.

Climb up one floor:

You’ll see a hundred miles more.

Cactus is reading Written on Water—Five Hundred Poems from the Man’yoshu.

Cactus likes to read about water for a change of pace from the day-to-day life of a cactus.

Below is a poem from Written that was authored by a Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaro.  This poet lived in the late 7th and early 8th centuries.

Far above the roar

Of the rapids of the stream,

About the peak of graceful Mt. Yutsuki,

Hover heavy clouds.

Samuel Slater Bobblehead is readingSongs of the Kisaeng–Courtesan Poetry of the Last Korean Dynasty.

As always, Samuel Slater Bobblehead is quite industrious in his reading.

Below is a poem from Songs called Who Caught You? It was written by Kungnyo. Kungnyo lived in either the 16th or 17th century.

Who caught you, fish, then set you free

Within my garden pond?

Which clear northern sea did you leave

for these small waters?

Once here, with no way to flee,

you and I are the same.

The poems in these books waste no words. They convey both ideas and feelings from across many years.

No wonder the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts enjoys these books to such a degree.

(Below–The Yellow River in Qinghai Province. Picture by Andre Holdrinet. This is not as serene a place as  it may appear. There was a big earthquake in this province in 2010 that killed many people.  Here are facts about the the Yellow River.)

May 31, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

2012 Harris County And Houston-Area Democratic Primary Results—A Lifeless Party In A Corrupt System

The Tea Party and others on the right did not force local Democrats to oust Judge Steven Kirkland based on smear tactics, nominate a hopeless perennial candidate for Harris County DA, nominate yet again a person who wants to impeach Obama for a U.S. House seat in Fort Bend, almost nominate anti-gay campaigner Dave Wilson for a county commission seat, and give mean-spirited Keryl Douglas more than 40% of the vote for party chair.

And these were the actions of the 5% or 6% who bothered to vote. Is this the core of the Democratic Party in the Houston-area?

These results in our huge Houston-area validate the Green and Occupy view that the two-party system is corrupt and dying.

I’m not sure what the answer is—though I do think there is a solution out there—but this stuff is not viable if we hope to make progress in Houston, in Harris County, in Texas and in the nation.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.  Without forgetting the role of circumstance and context which is key to progressive thought, we have to take control of our own futures and of our political system.

The turnout and the results yesterday were shameful. Our local Democratic Party is a lifeless outfit in the corrupt two-party system.

May 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

New Paleontology Hall To Open In Houston On June 2—Pictures Of The New Hall And Picture Of Girl With Dinosaur At Creation Museum In Kentucky

The new paleontology hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science will open to the general public on Saturday, June 2.

The hall has been open to museum members for the past few days. I’m a member of the museum and I took the opportunity to visit the new wing.

Above you see a picture I took at the hall. That creature was an Eryops.

Here is a story about the new exhibits from The New York Times.

I thought the place was pretty good. It was full of fossils and big skeletons of dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts.

There also seemed decent enough information posted about each exhibit for folks who wanted to learn more and who wanted to make sure that kids had some understanding of what they were seeing.

It seems inadequate to take a child anywhere and not to make an effort to explain what is taking place.

Though it happens all the time that parents take kids out into the world, and make no effort to explain to the kids what they are seeing.

This may help explain why so many people are ignorant.

The creature shown above was a Placerias. It ate plants.

A great book to learn the history of life on Earth is Life–A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth by Richard Fortey.

Another very helpful title to learn the history of life on Earth is Prehistoric Life–The Definitive Visual Guide to Life on Earth by DK Publishing.

Prehistoric Life  is a colorful, informative and energetic book that is good for both kids and adults.

At the bottom of this post is a picture I took last summer of a girl with a dinosaur at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Petersburg is not far from Cincinnati.

The Creation Museum is a very well done museum that wants to convince you that the Earth is 7,000 years old or something like that.

Plenty of people believe in God and evolution at the same time. I bet most religious people know that dinosaurs and other various kinds of life were around hundreds of millions of years ago and even longer ago.

I bet that a number of people who would  tell a pollster that the Earth was created 7,000 years ago, don’t in fact fully believe what they are saying.

If they do and if this is what they teach their kids—So be it.

That will be less competition for jobs in the sciences for kids who are taught real science.

In any case, the new paleontology hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science will be open to all on June 2.

May 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2012 Memorial Day Service At Houston VA National Cemetery

This post has two pictures I took a few days ago at the Houston VA National Cemetery. It seemed the right thing to do to visit this place over Memorial Day Weekend.

Here is what my father—who died last year—wrote based on his combat experience in the Korean War—

“One thing that I learned is that the young men who fought in our wars should never be forgotten…Another fact I learned…is that millions may serve but far fewer fight. So, in reality, for many who have served, war is a glory-and-gory myth that feeds on its own legends and publicity. …Another truth I learned is that civilians are combatants in war–embattled victims perpetually on a losing side….That brings us to the biggest deception: The need to be ready defend our freedom if we are to keep it. Those who say that freedom has a price are absolutely right, and wrong: International conflict today is beyond ideology. The only freedom American and Russian leaders offer their  people today is the freedom to kill ourselves in the name of freedom.  This is not freedom, but allegiance to a suicidal death culture….Today, we are servile to our masters, mistaking economic well-being for true freedom, which is the freedom to live hopefully and not to die needlessly.” 

There will be a Memorial Day service at the Houston VA Cemetery. At the bottom of this post are the details.

The best way we can mark Memorial Day is to recall and thank those who served, thank those who have worked over the years for peace, and work each day ourselves for a society in which we never again go to war based on a lie as we did in Iraq.

Here are the details about the Memorial Day observance in Houston—

A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive.

This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce that retired Navy Reserve Captain Richard L. Halferty will give the Memorial Day address. Halferty serves as the Chief Operating Officer for H.M.S. Telecom LLC., and has extensive experience in logistics, contingency and emergency planning.  Halferty served in the United States Navy Reserve for over 38 years retiring as a Captain in 1986.  He currently serves as Chairman, Korean War Veterans, Lone Star Chapter.  Among his military awards are the Navy Commendation Medal, China Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Reserve and the United Nations Medal.  Continue reading

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Hate Campaign Against Harris County Democratic Chair Lane Lewis—Texas Democratic Primary Is Tuesday May, 29

Above you see hate literature circulated by a Keryl Douglas who is running for Harris County Democratic Chair against incumbent Lane Lewis.

I’m sorry even to mention this issue.

But it may not fully be out there that this is the type of campaign that this Ms. Douglas individual is running.

With the Democratic Primary to be held this Tuesday, May 29, people might be focusing on the some of the contested races for the first time.

You see here that Ms. Douglas is running a campaign in no way consistent with the best values of the Democratic Party. If in the unlikely event she were to win, how could she lead the party after having conducted such a campaign?

Here are three other Democratic primary races in which I feel compelled for various reasons to make an endorsement. I feel a liberal or progressive could be comfortable enough with these choices.

I support Lissa Squiers in U.S. House district 7 to face incumbent Republican John Culberson.  Ms. Squiers is energetic and progressive.

I support Sean Hubbard to represent the Democratic Party in the race for the open U.S. Senate seat. Mr. Hubbard offers Texas Democrats the best hope for the future, and has run a reasonably progressive campaign  within the context of two-party politics.

I support incumbent  Steven Kirkland in the 215th Harris County District Court primary. The only reason that well-qualified  Judge Kirkland has an opponent is because he is gay. Judge Kirkland has done nothing to merit a primary challenge. With so many judicial seats held by Republicans, why did not  Judge Krikland’s opponent  seek to win one of those Republican seats instead?

Fellow Houston and Texas blogger Charles Kuffner has the best rundown of the Democratic primary candidates here in Harris County, and about other contested Texas Democratic primary fights as well. 

Fellow Houston and Texas blogger Perry Dorrell has written about the Green Party slate in Harris County and in Texas at his blog Brains & Eggs.

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progessive Alliance Round-up—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Of Us

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

I say this every week in this space. There is nothing more basic and essential I can tell you.

Off the Kuff sincerely hopes there’s an uprising among parents and educators over the way public education was treated last session, but he’s still waiting for the campaign rhetoric to match the reporting about it.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger was moved by an award-winning documentary and saw the connection to the current state of mental health in Texas and everywhere else. Here are Lessons of the Weeping Camel for Texas 

BlueBloggin had not anticipated how long America would engage in war. Enough men and women have been exposed to combat, cruelty and death to populate a small country. Americans must be prepared for When They Come Home – Critical Update.

There aren’t many Democrats earning the endorsement of PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, but the most important one of the 2012 primary cycle in Harris County is Lissa Squiers for Congress. And Sean Hubbard for US Senate. Oh, and Rachel Van Os for state party chair (election to be held at the state convention in Houston in June). And maybe a few more coming in the week before Election Day.

This week in GOP infighting: should Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst win his bid for the US Senate, picking his replacement will be a proxy war between Rick Perry and Joe Straus. WCNews at Eye On Williamson has the rest of the story in The Tie-Breaker.

Libby Shaw puts Repug redistricting in prospective in her latest posting: The Gerrymander Cowards. Check it out at TexasKaos.

Neil at Texas Liberal posted a picture of a cigarette machine that he saw last week in Houston. If you can imagine, the cigarettes cost $10 a pack in this machine.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog strongly supports Gene Wu in the race to succeed Scott Hochberg in HD-137 

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that Texas is #1 — in workplace discriminationcomplaints.

May 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Tip At Time-And-A-Half On Memorial Day—Self-Respect And Respect For Fellow Working People Are The Same Thing

Memorial Day weekend is coming up.

There will be a lot of people out and about over the holiday weekend.

Though, of course, the purpose of the holiday is to recall our soldiers who have died in our wars.

While out and about enjoying your holiday weekend, please be mindful of the people who are working over the weekend and on Memorial Day.

Treat them well and tip them well.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday.

Tip people the same time and-a-half-rate that you would expect to be paid for working a holiday.

If you normally tip at 15%, tip at 22.5 % on the holiday. If you normally tip at 20%, tip at 30% on the holiday.

If you are not paid a fair wage on a holiday, that is not the fault of the person helping you on Memorial Day.

Self-respect and respect for fellow working people are the exact same thing.

Sometimes I go to the convenience store up the street on holidays.

When I do, I buy the folks working a $1 lottery ticket to thank them for working the holiday.

We’ve got to look out for each other and treat each other well.

It is up to each of us to look out for each other and treat each other well.

May 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Latest Occupy Wall Street: Houston Newsletter

Here is the most recent edition of the Occupy Wall Street: Houston newsletter. OWSH is a strong effort to reboot the Occupy Wall Street effort here in Houston. Here is the Facebook page of OWSH. Please read the newsletter and see if you would like to help in some way.

Upcoming Events
Thurs May 24, 7PM, Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Rd:computer privacy and freedom skillshare with activist Patrick Gibbs. Bring your laptop if you’ve got one!
Thurs evening June 7, time and location tba:Poster making party. Getting ready to hit the TX Dem convention in style. Bring your poster board, paper, markers, etc.
Fri June 8- Sat June 9, time tba, 1001 Avenida de las America, George R. Brown Convention Center: TX Democratic Party state convention. We’re looking to ally with a local group/s either on wage theft or the sonagram bill. If our allies agree, we’ll hit the con on Friday morning, as the delegates are first coming in. Details will be set by the next newsletter.
June 11, 3-4:30, Silverman Law Group, 917 Franklin St., 4th Fl:legal observer training. This is a training for Spanish-speakers only. Please RSVP to Daphne Silverman at 713-229-0687. There’s only room for 10, so sign up now!
July 4, Take Back Your Capital, Austin: Some details on their webpage, others tbd, but Occupy Austin is working hard to make sure that any occupier in Texas who wants to come has a way there. This is our chance to show that Occupy is alive and well in the Lone Star State, and to connect with other Texas occupations.

Ongoing


2nd Friday of each month, 8:30PM, Domy Books, 1709 Westheimer Rd, back courtyard (enter through Cafe Brasil):On June 8 we’re showing “The Corporation”.Reviews call it “the most astute and flat-out persuasive political documentary of the new millennium.” Come see for yourself!


Twice monthly. First Sunday of the month, 1:30 PM, Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Rd (in Tlaquepaque Market). Third Tuesday of the month, 6PM, 1732 Westheimer Rd, Empire Cafe: GA.


Tuesdays, 5:30 PM, U.S. 59 and Dunlavy:Freeway blog.


Autonomous action:join the OWSHopsgoogle group and help plan our actions outside of the GA.

Autonomous action:petition drive to require a referendum vote on the anti food-sharing ordinance. We need 28,000 valid signatures by the middle of July. Download the updated (as of 4/17) petition here.Update: so far, very few sigs have been turned in. This weekend, Free Press Houston is holding their annual Summer Fest at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Standing outside of the fest and catching folks as they go in should be a great place to collect sigs.

ALEC and Politics by Playbook
Corporations get to rewrite state laws at the expense of the 99%.

by Donni RomanielloAt the heart of OWSH’s commitment to economic justice is the undue corporate influence on legislation at the expense of everyone and everything else. Standing center stage but hidden behind the curtain of non-profit charity status is the American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC. Founded in 1973 to “promote a conservative agenda,” ALEC bills itself as a “non- profit…think-tank for state-based public policy issues.” In reality it is a bill mill churning out hundreds of “model bills” on a variety of issues each year that always benefit the revenue streams of corporate big business.
And although it claims that promoting the Constitutionally mandated system of Federalism is one of its core goals, ALEC has managed to turn the concept on its head. Federalism allows individual states control over most laws that affect the day to day interactions of people and corporations, which ideally turns the states into laboratories of public policy. But ALEC develops laws in Americas corporate board rooms and shops them wholesale to the states, a top-down approach to legislation that runs counter to the intent of Federalism.ALEC has released over 800 “model bills”. They cover a wide range of subjects, from worker and consumer rights, to tort reform, to energy and environmental issues, to voter rights. Its most infamous bill is Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant SB-1070, approved by ALEC’s legislative and corporate members in 2009. Another ALEC bill is the “Stand Your Ground” or “Castle Bill” self- defense law that underpins the legal defense of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Florida.ALEC’s membership includes 2000 legislators from all 50 states and about 300 corporate members. In 2010 its Public Sector Board of Directors was
comprised of 20 Republican and 3 Democrat legislators.  Its corporate members include oil, tobacco, insurance and big banks, a veritable Economic Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.Legislators pay annual dues of $100. Tthe price tag for corporate members paying anywhere from $7000 to $50,000. In recent years dues from “public” members amounted to slightly more than 1% while more than 81% of ALEC’s income comes from corporate contributions. With this money, ALEC sponsors Legislative Task Force meetings, a State and National Policy Summit and a posh Annual Meeting.

Because the “model bills” ALEC writes often address technical legal doctrines like assumption of risk, the determination of fault in tort cases, or who pays the cost of a jury in personal injury cases, they rarely attract the interest of the average person because of their legalistic nature and can slip through a state legislature quietly. Currently, ALEC has countless bills in the making.

In a political system in which access and money are the primary modes of influencing lawmaking, ALEC stands front and center. Describing the purpose of corporations joining ALEC, with its large costs of sponsorship, Task Force Chair Dennis Bartlett stated, “Our members join for the purpose of having a seat at the table.” Bob Edgar of Common Cause stated, “This is proof positive of the depth and scope of the corporate reach into the democratic process.” This reach into the legislative process includes off-the-rack legislation designed to make state laws ever more favorable to corporate interests.

The OWSH Newsletter will present a series of articles on ALEC, its impact on the 99% and its impact on Texas and its state legislators. Next Week: ALEC in Texas.

Permablitz with Transition Houston

by Amy Price

Cons: the planning coud’ve been farther along when we arrived and the materials to be used better thought through.
Pros: accomplished something real, instant gratification, met good folks, learned something, fits with OWSH’s mission to promote an environmentally sustainable society.
Overall: I’m so doing this again.

This past Saturday, I joined about ten other folks forTransition Houston’s last Permablitz of the season. In a Permablitz, volunteers grab any useful tools they have on hand and show up for a group gardening experience. The landowner provides the raw materials, some of Transition Houston’s gardening gurus help draw up a plan, and volunteers donate the muscle needed to transform a lucky lottery winner’s backyard into a space that better follows permaculture practices such as minimizing grassy areas. (You know how Houston floods? Like, a lot? Part of the reason is our oceans of semi-permeable lawn.) The project goes on hiatus during our Africa-hot summer.

We started trickling in just before 8:30, feasted on breakfast provided by the homeowner and the Transition Houston regulars, then trooped onto the grounds to begin dithering over some design elements. Despite a late start, an unplanned trip to the hardware store and work stoppages to explain basics to folks like me who don’t know much about gardening, we actually got a lot done. By the time we stripped off our gloves at 12:30 we had extended one large bed to a brick walkway, planned where some young citrus trees would be planted in the fall, rerouted an existing stepping stone pathway, and installed a raised bed for a vegetable garden. There’s plenty of planting left for the homeowner, but all of the heavy lifting is done.


]The light post-blitz lunch consisted of leftover breakfast goodies–including wedges from a cultivar of grapefruit that can only be obtained from a friend of one of the gardening gurus–and a cake celebrating the 13th birthday of one of our blitzers. Sitting serenely in the beautifully landscaped backyard of what might well be a 1%er, given the posh Kirby Drive address, I felt a flash of unease. Why had we donated our time to somebody who could certainly afford to pay for the work? And was I OK with that?

Yep. Once you’ve participated in three Permablitzes you can toss your name in the lottery to be blitzed. Our hostess, besides being a hard worker with a friendly and down-to-earth way about her, is by all reports a giving and good-hearted person. That counts more for me than most any other category I might put someone into. What’s more, she clearly appreciated the sense of community that the work engendered. There is something undeniably powerful about throwing in with a bunch of people you don’t know to accomplish a common goal, sweating together, finishing, and seeing that what you’ve done is tangible and good. I was so impressed with the experience that I started the lottery process…and I don’t even have a place to put a garden.

Which means that come November, when I’ll be eligible for my own Permablitz, it could be a really good time to be my friend.



Got an item–an announcement, a proposal, a report–for the next GA? Send it toowshou@gmail.com before Thurs May 31 at 10 PM, and Facilitation will get it onto the agenda! Know of an Occupy-friendly event coming up? Email it and we’ll put it in the next newsletter.



OWSH Allies with HPJCHouston Peace and Justice Center has agreed to be our fiscal sponsor, which means that we’ll soon have a bank account and a way of collecting tax-free donations.We learned that HPJC is primarily an umbrella organization for justice-oriented activist groups in Houston. At their encouragement, we’re going to apply for membership at their August board meeting. This promises to be a great way to network with other orgs in Houston and might afford us resources to support work that matters to both HPJC and OWSH.

Our Next GA

This GA will be devoted to long-range planning. Topics will include

  • Pay it Forward project. We’re starting to learn about installing urban gardens from Transition Houston and other groups. We’re also going to contact the folks at the Houston Green Building Resource Center to see what we can learn about making homes more energy efficient. First we learn, then we’re ready to spread the knowledge!

Our Next GA (Cont.)

  • Oct 6, 1st anniversary of Occupy in Houston. We’re planning a volunteer festival to help activate folks by connecting them with orgs that need volunteers. It’s going to be AWESOME.
  • Occupy solidarity events.What’s coming up in other occupies that we can help with here in Houston?

May 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

An Everyday Shovel On Display At The New York Metropolitan Museum Of Art—Everyday Life Has Great Value

Above is a photo of a 19th-century shovel that can be found in gallery 774 of the American Wing of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There are a number of shovels of various kinds in the collection of this museum.

There is a great deal to be said for the fact that a common tool of a working person is on display in a world-famous museum.

Everyday life has great value.

Everyday life, everyday relationships, and everyday work are a center of the power and the value of our lives.

Respect for our everyday lives is the gateway to respect and concern for the lives that others lead.

Respect for ourselves and respect for others are two sides of the same coin.

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Four Endorsements A Liberal Could Be Comfortable With For Harris County And Texas In 2012 Democratic Primary

Voting is ongoing in the Texas Democratic primary.

Early voting runs through May 25. Primary Election Day is May 29.

I have early voted here in Houston, Harris County.

Above is a scene from outside my early voting location. Democracy is often a mess.

Here are four races in which I feel compelled for various reasons to make an endorsement. I feel a liberal or progressive could be comfortable enough with these choices.

* I support Lissa Squiers in U.S. House district 7 to face incumbent Republican John Culberson.  Ms. Squiers is energetic and progressive.

* I support Sean Hubbard to represent the Democratic Party in the race for the open U.S. Senate seat. Mr. Hubbard offers Texas Democrats the best hope for the future, and has run a reasonably progressive campaign  within the context of two-party politics.

* I support incumbent  Steven Kirkland in the 215th Harris County District Court primary. The only reason that well-qualified  Judge Kirkland has an opponent is because he is gay. Judge Kirkland has done nothing to merit a primary challenge. With so many judicial seats held by Republicans, why did not  Judge Krikland’s opponent  seek to win one of those Republican seats instead?

* I support incumbent Lane Lewis to remain as Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party. Mr. Lewis has drawn an opponent who has responded to campaign disputes with threats of lawsuits against active Democrats. She is not fit to run the Harris County Democratic Party.

Fellow Houston and Texas blogger Charles Kuffner has the best rundown of the Democratic primary candidates here in Harris County, and about other contested Texas Democratic primary fights as well. 

Fellow Houston and Texas blogger Perry Dorrell has written about the Green Party slate in Harris County and in Texas at his blog Brains & Eggs.

May 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Showing Of Political And Social Art In Houston From 6/8 Through 6/10

There is an upcoming art show for politically  and socially minded art here in the Houston area.

This show will run from Friday, June 8th through Sunday, June 10th.

The show runs from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM each day.

Here is the Facebook page for this show. 

The show is taking place at Winter Street Studios located at 2101 Winter Street in Houston.

At the end of this post are further details about this event.

I will be attending. Maybe I will be able to find some good pictures to take for the blog. Maybe I will find something to purchase.

It can be difficult to find a venue to express your views and outlook in a hopeful forum, and in the company of sympathetic people.

Hopefully this event will be such a forum.

Hopefully this event will also expand the voice and the reach of the artists who are taking part.

Here is more—

A 3 Day Political and Social Art Show by Kallinen Contemporary. All artists welcome to sell, trade or barter their politically and socially conscious art as they wish. $25 entry fee for 1st piece of art and $10 for each additional piece. No size or quantity limit. Profits go to benefit the National Lawyers Guild defending Freedom of Expression in Houston’s courts. For more info Kallinen Contemporary at 713-320-3785 email attorneykallinen@aol.com Solomon Kane 832-244-3814 email sk_artist@yahoo.com Art Libre Colectivo (John Paul Hartman/Amerimou$) at 832-884-6169

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Houston Area 2012 Memorial Day Events

Memorial Day 2012 is Monday, May 28.

Here is my annual posting of Memorial Day facts and links.

As always, there will be a number of events observing Memorial Day in the Greater Houston area.

The leading event in our area each year is at the Houston VA Cemetery. At the bottom of this post are details of the 2012 events from the website of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Fort Bend County will be observing Memorial Day in Fulshear.

The George Ranch in Richmond, Fort Bend County will be having a Memorial Day observance on Saturday, May 26 that will take a historic look at how America’s wars have impacted Texans.

The Galveston County Daily News regularly updates a list of Memorial Day events in Galveston County. Here is the  most recent listing.

Here is a link to Memorial Day weekend events in The Woodlands.  These planned events in The Woodlands seem a bit more festive than reflective.

The Woodlands Memorial Day weekend events involve “Fireworks. Live Music. Vendors. Street Performers. And more….”

I guess we would not want to think about death or anything that would detract from shopping.

My late father was a combat veteran of the Korean War. Here is a small portion of what he wrote a number of years ago about war—

“One thing that I learned is that the young men who fought in our wars should never be forgotten…Another fact I learned…is that millions may serve but far fewer fight. So, in reality, for many who have served, war is a glory-and-gory myth that feeds on its own legends and publicity. …Another truth I learned is that civilians are combatants in war–embattled victims perpetually on a losing side….That brings us to the biggest deception: The need to be ready defend our freedom if we are to keep it. Those who say that freedom has a price are absolutely right, and wrong: International conflict today is beyond ideology. The only freedom American and Russian leaders offer their  people today is the freedom to kill ourselves in the name of freedom.  This is not freedom, but allegiance to a suicidal death culture….Today, we are servile to our masters, mistaking economic well-being for true freedom, which is the freedom to live hopefully and not to die needlessly.” 

We can honor those who have died in our wars without buying into our violent culture that often values war over peace, and without forgetting that we sent our soldiers to a war in Iraq that was based on lies.

If there are events in the Houston area I am missing, please leave a comment and I will add that event to this list.

Here is the Houston VA observance—

A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive.

This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce that retired Navy Reserve Captain Richard L. Halferty will give the Memorial Day address. Halferty serves as the Chief Operating Officer for H.M.S. Telecom LLC., and has extensive experience in logistics, contingency and emergency planning.  Halferty served in the United States Navy Reserve for over 38 years retiring as a Captain in 1986.  He currently serves as Chairman, Korean War Veterans, Lone Star Chapter.  Among his military awards are the Navy Commendation Medal, China Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Reserve and the United Nations Medal.  Continue reading

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Of Us

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

I say this every week in this space. There is nothing more basic and essential I can tell you.

Here is the round-up—-

Off the Kuff finished his interview tour of Texas with a conversation with Domingo Garcia in CD33.
 
BossKitty at TruthHugger will not weigh in, whether or not the truth was actually served in court, when a black woman fired a warning shot into a wall. Firing a gun in irresponsible ways is natural in Texas. But Florida has contradictory laws that allow courts to pick and choose who gets punished for similar irresponsible behavior. You can decide for yourself how good a job of it they do. Continue reading

May 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2012 Is May 28—Memorial Day Facts & Links

In 2012, Memorial Day is Monday, May 28.

(Here are some Houston area 2012 Memorial Day events.)

This post has some history on the origins of Memorial Day and, also, links appropriate for Memorial Day

( We’ve been fighting wars for a long time. Above is an engraving by Amos Doolittle of  the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775.)

Here is a brief explanation of the origins of Memorial Day—

Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.

Here is a much more detailed explanation.

Here are pictures of each of the dead along with their ages and hometowns for U.S. Soliders who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We often talk about how much we care for these troops, yet we really have just gone on about our business as they have fought and been  hurt and killed.

(This representation of a disagreement between Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison is a reminder that sometimes U.S. troops were called upon to do harm to the native population. Tecumseh died in the War of 1812.)

Here is a list of minor and major wars in American history.

Here are numbers of American dead and wounded in our wars.

Here is the article that broke the story of mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. Another case of how the care we say we have for our veterans does not match up to the reality.

Here is the Veterans of Foreign Wars home page.

Here is Iraq Body Count. This organization counts the number of Iraqis killed in the Iraq War. All people have equal value.

( Below—A strong peace movement serves any nation well.)

Here is the activist group Peace Action. This group has been around since 1957.

Here is a list of Medal of Honor winners for great bravery in American wars.

Here is information on women in American wars.

Here is the National Association of Black Veterans.

(Henry Hulbert, below, was a winner of the Medal of Honor in WW I.)

Here is information on the Revolutionary War.

Here is information on the War of 1812.

Here is information about the Civil War.

Here is information on World War I.

Here is information on World War II.

Here is information about the Korean War.

Here is information on the Vietnam War.

Here is information about the War in Iraq.

Here in an article from Salon about possible American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

War crimes take place in all wars and are committed by all sides. It is not a contradiction to acknowledge this fact and still respect the great majority who served honorably. At the same time, it is disrespectful to the concepts of democracy and human rights to ignore these facts.

The National World War II Memorial in Washington is excellent to visit…..

As is the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington.….

And the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

I once  called my father— who fought in the Korean War—from the Korean War Memorial and asked him about the historical accuracy of how the troops were sculpted. He said based on my descriptions, it was an accurate portrayal. ( Photo below of Korean War Memorial in Washington.)

I’ve been able to visit Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu. Many of our dead from wars in the Pacific are buried here. This is one of the most important and impressive locations you can visit in Honolulu.

I’ve also visited Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

I once toured the Normandy American Cemetery and Monument near Omaha Beach in France.

Below is Arlington National Cemetery. I was fortunate to once visit Arlington on Memorial Day weekend and see the American flags at each gravestone.

Both those who fight our wars, and those who work hard to make sure that we do not need to go to war, are of essential value to our nation.

May 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

An Empty Hall

Above is a picture I took last week of an empty hall.

You can (barely) see that something is showing on the screen in the hall.

This scene made me think about blogging, or about any venture in which you make an effort and hope folks will show up.

Though the fact there is something showing on the screen despite the absence of an audience, makes the point that you have to proceed in any case if you feel you have something worth communicating.

May 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers