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

El_Paso,_Texas

Below is the most recent 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.

(Above–El Paso from space.) 

As I say each time I post the round-up—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.

We can also seek to impact society by consistently acting in a way that reflects our best values. Or by working on an artistic or creative effort that expands the range of thought and imagination we have in our society.

I repeat these thoughts so often on the blog because there is nothing more important I can say.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff looks at the partisan shifts in State Rep districts from 2008 to 2012.

We have enough money in Texas to fund our needs public education, expanding Medicaid, as weel as transportation and water infrastructure projectes. But our current leaders don’t see it that way. WCNews at Eye on Williamson shows that their adherence to ideology over what’s best for Texas is the problem, Transportation funding, the state budget, and ideology.

Two issues in the Texas Lege last week — one of them the regulation of payday lending operators — show bright potential for bipartisan legislation. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs is encouraged by the news.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know that Lamar Smith is a dim bulb going for same old Republican ‘ideas’ on immigration.

At TexasKaos, Libby Shaw asks if Ted Cruz has any decency. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Read all about it here: Senator Ted Cruz: Have You No Decency?

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about Houston Mayoral candidate Ben Hall. Neil is still posting at Texas Liberal every few days. However, Neil is most at work at a new website that will be up in April that will feature a photo essay focusing on the value of the things that are around us each day, a metaphorical history of the universe and the Earth, some poems, and a new blog on 2013 City of Houston election politics.

February 22, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Claims Of A First Thanksgiving In Texas—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the most recent 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.

With the round-up this week are a few facts about Thanksgiving in Texas. While we associate the first Thanksgiving with Plymouth, Massachusetts, there are some who assert that the first Thanksgiving in what  would be later become the United States  took place in El Paso in 1598.

From The Texas Almanac

“El Paso residents now claim the first Thanksgiving in North America. The modern event, first observed in April 1989, commemorates a day of thanksgiving celebrated by Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate and his expedition on April 30, 1598.”

The upshot is that this Juan de Onate and his expedition of discovery in what is now northern Mexico and the El Paso area endured the standard trials of Indian attacks, heat, and thirst, until it came upon the Rio Grande River where all the people and all the animals could finally have some water to drink and some food to eat.

(Above–A book about Juan de Onate. It seems he is relatively well-known in some circles. I’d not heard of him before.)  

A celebration of thanksgiving was ordered—

“A member of the expedition wrote of the original celebration, “We built a great bonfire and roasted the meat and fish, and then all sat down to a repast the like of which we had never enjoyed before….”

If you read the Texas Almanac article who will also learn of a claim of celebration of Thanksgiving in the future Texas that dates back to 1541.

I would imagine that feasts or celebrations of thanksgiving have taken place in one way or another for a very long time and in a number of places.

Please have a good and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Treat other people well.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff took a tour of Houston elections from the 1990s to see how they compared to more modern matchups.Following Rick Perry’s latest gaffes, Letters From Texas explains why the governor has become such a hopeless band nerd that the crazy girl who can’t get a prom date pities him.Darth Politico commemorates Veterans Day with a discussion about the history of red tape and veterans benefits. Emphasis on ‘red’.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out that Republicans in Texas are boxed in. They know know taxes must be raised to run our state’s government, but can’t bring themselves to say it, much less do it: Texas GOP’s cowardice.

On the same night Houston Mayor Annise Parker celebrated barely being re-elected, a few blocks away the HPD arrested seven Occupy Houstonians for refusing to move a tarp which the police called a tent. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs doesn’t think that’s a great way to start a second term … unless she plans on again representing the 1%, that is. Continue reading

November 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama To Visit Texas—How Will He Refrain From Laughing When Some Texans Demand More Federal Help?

President Obama will be Texas today.

The President is scheduled to visit El Paso and Austin.

(Above–President Obama at Texas A & M University in 2009. President Obama and Texans get along just fine–Unless some folks would claim that the photo is a fake.)   

Because the Johnson Space Center Houston was not awarded a retired space shuttle, and because the President has not declared a federal emergency over ongoing wildfires in Texas, some feel Mr. Obama does not like Texas.

This article on the President’s visit to Texas written by Maria Recio at McClatchy Newspapers has the following quote–

“You can almost make the case the administration has a vendetta against Texas,” said Republican Rep. Michael Burgess.

Congressman Burgess has also been going around talking about fictitious death panels as a part of Health Care Reform.

Why would anybody not like such a fine person?

The federal government has helped Texas with the wildfires—

“Current federal aid covers 75 percent of Texas’s costs for emergency response work, such as evacuations, equipment, field camps and meals for firefighters, police barricading and traffic control. The agency’s regional office in Denton continues to monitor the situation and work closely with Texas Forest Service and Texas Division of Emergency Management, FEMA officials say. In addition, firefighting teams from more than 30 states have provided state-to-state support for firefighting efforts in Texas.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry has asked why parts tornado ravaged Alabama have been declared disaster zones while  Texas has not been so designated.

From our Governor—

“You have to ask, ‘Why are you taking care of Alabama and other states?’ I know our letter didn’t get lost in the mail…” 

What a decent Christian man.

If it is all about a political grudge, why should President Obama help Alabama anymore than he should assist Texas? Barack Obama won 39% of the vote in Alabama in 2008. He lost Texas with 44% of the vote.

The President is not going to win Alabama in 2012.

Here is the bottom line—

Rick Perry and Texas accepted many billions of dollars of Barack Obama approved federal stimulus dollars. 

The federal government has helped Texas with the wildfires.  Tea Party supporters and other Republicans and others are free to form a battalion citizen volunteers to help Texans deal with the problems presented by wildfires. To this point, though the fires have been going on for some weeks now, I’m not aware of any so-assembled  citizen-volunteers.

* The Lyndon B. Johnson  Space Center was a gift to Texas from a Texas politician who looked up to Franklin D. Roosevelt as a hero. You’d think that conservative Texans would be demanding that the federally operated  Space Center be removed from Texas as an intrusion upon our states rights and sense of self -reliance.

It is not that I view Barack Obama with an uncritical eye, it is just that opposition to him in some quarters of Texas is so extreme that you can’t but help to be glad to see the guy in the Lone Star State. You’ve got to appreciate him for the enemies he has made.

The bad news for Texans is that these enemies, maybe 20% of all Texans, are the people who vote in Republican primaries. This angry minority is doing great harm to public education and public health in Texas.

May 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

March 12 Save Texas Schools Rally Gains Momentum—You Must Make The Decision To Take Action

Texans are fighting back against sharp cuts in public education and other essential state services that are being planned by Governor Rick Perry and the Republican dominated Texas legislature.

We here in Texas can be just as tough and organized as we are seeing in Wisconsin.

How are drastic cuts in education funding going to help Texas children prosper in the global economy? Isn’t it hard enough for young adults to get a start in the changing world economy?

(Above– The John B. Connally High School. J.B.C.H.S.  is part  of Pflugerville I.S.D. The slogan of P.I.S.D. is “Each Child. Their Future. Our World.” )

There will be a massive Save Texas Schools march at 11 AM and rally at noon the State Capitol in Austin on Saturday, March 12.

If you live in the Houston-area and Alief ISD area, there is a free bus you can take to the protest.

Here are facts about this bus—

What: Alief to Austin bus for Save Texas School rally at the Capitol
When: Saturday, March 12. 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Where: LeRoy Crump Stadium parking lot, 4214 Cook, Houston, TX (map)
Cost: FREE!
RSVP: Natali. Lacasa@gmail.com

(Below–Buffalo High School is in Buffalo, Texas. Buffalo is in Leon County. Buffalo is “Where  the mighty bison roam.”)


Here are details about others folks in Texas planning to help people get to the rally. There is another Houston-area location on this list.

Here is a list of  the very many school districts around Texas that will have supporters at the rally.

Here is a history of education in Texas from the excellent Handbook of Texas Online. You always have the option to learn more.

(Below—Amarillo High School is in Amarillo. Amarillo I.S.D. says — “Our mission is to graduate every student prepared for success beyond high school.”)

Regardless of if you attend the rally or not, there are steps you can take to fight for Texas kids and for a better future for Texas. Please consider the list below as a model for all sorts of citizen-action that you ,and the people you know, have the ability to complete.  Here is the Save Texas Education Funding site that is the source of this list.

(The good folks at Save Texas Education Funding want you to know that they are a non-partisan group and that they seek the support of all Texans.)

1.  Write to your legislators by mail or fax using a letter template

2.  Email your legislators using the same letter template

3.  Call your legislators (this will only take you 5 minutes or less per call)

4.  Contact the members of the Education and Appropriations Committees.  If you mail a letter to the Committee Chairman, you can include a sticky note asking the Aide to distribute a copy of your letter to all members of the Committee.

5.  Meet with your legislators

(Below–Ysleta I.S.D. is in El Paso. Ysleta is the “Star of Texas.”


6.  Sign Petitions & host Block Walks in your neighborhood to gather petition signatures

7. Attend the “Save Texas Schools Rally” in Austin on March 12th

8.  Attend the Legislative Day in Austin on Monday, March 14th (free bus transportation, lunch and training will be provided, but no children permitted to attend): http://www.texasedfunding.com/home/activities/legislative-meeting-day (Emailsusan.deigaard@gmail.com to RSVP by March 1st)

9.  Join an Email Distribution List for updates by emailing TexasEdFunding@gmail.com.  Join the Facebook group: Texans for Public Education Funding

10.  Ask your children to write letters to Governor Perry and Legislators

And Finally: Email everyone you know (even outside Texas) to inform them of the issues and ask for them to take the above actions as well.  Spread the word to Save Texas Schools!

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Also, don’t forget the protest against the state budget to be held at Houston City Hall at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, March 15.

We all have 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 you value, and even run for office yourself. It is up to you to do the work of freedom and to make progress for the future in our state of Texas.

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up W/ Southwest Mural By El Paso Artist Tom Lea

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

Above is a mural called Southwest that can be found in the entrance of the main El Paso Library. It was painted in 1956 by Tom Lea and his wife Sarah Lea.

Here is the link to the El Paso Public Library that discusses this painting. 

Here is a painting of Sarah Lea by her husband at the El Paso Museum of Art.

Mr. Lea lived 1907-2001. He father was a Mayor of El Paso. More information about Mr. Lea and more of his paintings can be found at this link to the Tom Lea Collection at the Henry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. 

The round up—

BREAKING NEWS: Natural Gas Development Brings “amazing and very high” Levels of Carcinogens and Neurotoxins to Barnett Shale area!Take a deep breath before you read this study because the findings will take your breath away! TXsharon at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXASbroke this story and the study evaluation by MacArthur (Genius) Award winner, Wilma Subra.

This week at Left of College Station, Teddy reports on why the anti-choice movement is not about abortionbut about the oppression of women. Also, guest blogger Litia writes about asking non-tradition questions about Texas A&M traditions; Litia writes a weekly guest blog for College Station about a liberal teaching in Aggieland. Left of College Station also coves the week in headlines.

Neil at Texas Liberalwrites that Socialist candidate for mayor of Houston Amanda Ulman should run a serious campaign or not run at all. There once was a solid base of socialist voters in Texas and the U.S. Who says that cannot some day happen again?

McBlogger takes aim at people who think that adjusting to climate change is just something that will unfairly hurt the poor. Continue reading

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round Up With Picture Of El Paso In 1903

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Below is the weekly Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The Texas Progressive Alliance is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

Above  is a picture of the streets of El paso, Texas in 1903. The picture is from the Library of Congress American Memory Project. Please click here for more details about the photograph. 

The round up—

President Obama, Bill White, and John Sharp are all in the same sinking DOMA boat. The Texas Cloverleaf comes off of hiatus to tell you why.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme cheers the impeachment of Judge Kent. Four articles passed without a single nay. Let’s hope the Senate is through with him by August.

BossKitty at TruthHugger finally signed up for Twitter to get updates on the Iran protests. What a day of drama and emotion it brought: Icons and Martyrs: All Day On Twitter Watching Iran. But he was really meaning to highlight the regressive influences causing upheaval in personal lives, especially in Texas: Immigration Policies and Gay Rights Contradictions.

Unlike Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign, Neil at Texas Liberal makes a promise he’ll keep — He’ll never cheat on his wife! Also, Neil sings the Damned’s Wait For The Blackout at the Houston Ship Channel.

Off the Kuff takes a look, then a second look, at the bills Governor Perry vetoed.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson knows in order to solve big problems it takes leadership. Who is willing to lead, who has enough LBJ in them?

Continue reading

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

   

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