Instagram Is Right To Want To Sell User Photos To Advertisers—If You Want To Talk About Empowerment Rather Than Selfishness, I Am Ready For The Discussion
A computer with Facebook up, and a turntable with a record ready to play, are new and old ways to communicate and broadcast to radio listeners from the studio of Cincinnati’s WAIF-FM.
I was in this studio yesterday appearing on the weekly broadcast of Trash Flow Radio.
KTRH 740 Host Michael Berry Says Senator Lindsey Graham “Gayer than Hell..”—We Are All Free To Express Ourselves
(Update 2/16/12–Mr. Berry has been reported in the media has being invloved in a hit-and-run outside a gay club in Houston. Read the story and reach your own views.)
“Lindsay Grahamnesty is on Fox right now. Acting gayer than hell as usual. He grates on my nerves. Liberal Lindsay. Squish.”
I’m appreciative of people like Mr. Berry who tell us exactly who and what they are.
There were a number of comments after Mr. Berry’s Facebook post that appeared to suggest a measure of agreement with his views.
“Posts like this are why I love you. In a non gayer than hell way of course.”
Or this view expressed by a fellow citizen of our nation–
“He needs to go. I can’t stand this man. Lindsay, is that like Pat- is he a man or a woman?”
People are free to believe what they want to believe, and they are free to express themselves.
I encourage all people to speak their minds and to be involved with the issues of the day.
So I guess none of us really have much to worry about from this point on.
Though the agreement still does have to be approved by both chambers of Congress.
I’m not happy with all the cuts and the absence of tax increases. How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?
Though this observer at Daily Kos says that deal is not nearly as bad as it seems to many liberals. I don’t read Daily Kos very often, but somebody on my Facebook suggested the link. I do whatever it is that people tell me I should do on Facebook.
All 970 of those people on my Facebook are close personal friends. (Feel free to send me a friend request yourself. I’ll take anybody!)
I’m not in a mood to be angry. I’ve got a trip planned in the next few days to help go and put my father’s ashes in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. It is going to be a nice trip.
I’m just not into always being riled up by the 24 hour news cycle. And why be steamed about the agreement when I know I’ll have plenty of time and plenty of blog space to be angry as we proceed.
I will however, because I can’t help myself, make 5 observations—
1. If we wanted a better deal, than we should have all voted and worked harder in the 2010 elections. Republicans control the House because they won the election.
2. As I said above— How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?
3. The response to losing elections and not getting the things you counted on from the people you supported is to keep working hard, and to apply more thought and imagination to what you are doing. You’ve always got to proceed.
4. The Republican opposition to tax cuts seems more like a religious belief than public policy.
5. We’ve got to really ponder the question that big money and greed has left this country in the hands of an oligarchy. We could not raise any revenue in this deal even as we were being told by Republicans that the future of the nation was at stake? Options like open protests and civil disobedience need to start being considered. We can’t simply be helpless in the face of powerful interests.
With this being the first day of August, I hope you’re having a great summer and that you are moving forward. Let’s enjoy the lives we have and be involved in public affairs. Let’s be both thoughtful and forceful.
Despite 3,882 followers, the Harris County Democratic Party Facebook page has been updated once since June 29. And that one time was to sell tickets for an event.
Does the HCDP have anything to say about anything here in the third largest county in America, and with city elections taking place in November?
Even if it is just a few sentences, I manage to update this blog nearly every day of the year.
While many good people care about the party and do get involved, sometimes it seems that the Democratic Party in Harris County is little more than a refuge of sorts for longtime loyalists who might now be 75 year old precinct chairs, a source of networking opportunities for a select group of much younger people, and a “flag of convenience” for candidates who at core operate for the benefit of large donors, and who often ignore the many in Harris County who could use some help but are mostly voiceless.
Do you recall any leadership from the HCDP during the recent Texas legislative session?
Can you recall the last time the HCDP got involved in generating turnout and enthusiasm for municipal elections in Houston?
Here is the link to the web site of the Harris County Democratic Party. On the front page of the web site they suggest that you “like” the HCDP on Facebook.
I’m not really certain though why you would do that. The party never says anything on Facebook.
Folks in Harris County deserve better.
Yet what folks need to grasp is that they themselves are going to have to demand more of the party.
We need to demand more of ourselves.
It is up to each of us as individuals to work collectively for a better Houston and a better Harris County.
This is work that we need to start right away.
My Brief Exchange With Harris County Judge Ed Emmett On Issues Of Election Integrity—Leo Vasquez Is Abusing His Office
Here is a posting offered up by Harris County, Texas Judge Executive Ed Emmett on his campaign related Facebook page yesterday evening—
“Early voting starts in just 9 weeks. Bev Kaufman, our County Clerk, and her staff are doing a great job responding to the disaster of losing our voting machines in a fire. Too bad some folks are trying to play politics with the situation.” (I added the link for this blog post.)
Here is the reply I posted to this comment on the same Facebook page——
“Judge Emmett–As you know, Republican Party officials in Harris County have not merited the trust of wide segments of the population when it comes to elections being conducted in a fully fair manner. You could offer some leadership within your own party as so-called Tea Party groups financed by billionaires seek to suppress minority turnout. It is in this climate that the voting machine issue has become an additional and connected source of concern. You are on record as saying partisan leadership of the registration process is not the best way to go. Your previous views are of greater value than what you have said this evening on Facebook. Thank you.” (Again, link added for this post.)
(Above is link to a Houston Chronicle article written by Judge Emmett about the idea of non-partisan leadership of county voter registration efforts that I included in my reply to the Judge,. )
Here is what Judge Emmett said in response as posted on my personal Facebook page.
“Actually, Neil, last night’s post was in error. Early voting really starts in 7 weeks and election day is in 9 weeks. I encourage everyone on all sides to not play politics with the voting machine disaster. Hopefully, that is consistent with my earlier comments.”
For what it may or may not be worth, Judge Emmett’s first post was deleted on Facebook and replaced with the following status update—
“Election day is 9 weeks from today. early voting begins in just 7 weeks. Lot’s to do between now and then.”
I may be struck by lightning for this, but I really don’t mind Judge Emmett despite the fact he is a Republican. I think he gets that a huge diverse county like Harris County can’t be run as some Tea Party- no government- white people’s republic. I wonder sometimes if he exerts a moderating force on a county Republican Party that might otherwise be even worse than it is already.
The thing is, I simply don’t trust Republicans in Harris County, or anyplace else, to do the right thing.
I especially don’t trust Republicans to count the votes fairly as they see—sooner or later—Harris County and all of Texas slipping away as election results finally start to mirror the demographic realities of our region and of our state.
I’m an ideologically motivated partisan. But you can bet that if I was in charge of voter registration in Harris County, I would work hard to make sure that all people could vote regardless of what party they supported.
If Judge Emmett can show leadership in the weeks ahead to help make sure that all eligible voters in Harris County are able to take part in early voting ,and are able to vote on Election Day, then he will merit the thanks of the people of our county.
It is not just about the voting machines. It is about Leo Vasquez working in tandem with a partisan Tea Party group. While I trust Houston Votes, they are not the point. Mr. Vasquez is abusing his office.
Election results that nobody trusts will prove poisonous to democracy. If nobody believes that our representatives are fairly elected, our democracy will not be able to go forward. There must be some bottom line of legitimacy.
Judge Emmett’s Democratic opponent in 2010 is former Houston City Councilmember Gordon Quan.
(Below–Judge Emmett taking oath of office in 2008.)
Houston’s commercial office janitors must negotiate a new contract for 2010. As part of the effort to gain public support for what will be a tough fight in a difficult economy, the janitors have set up a Facebook page.
Above is a picture from the Facebook page showing part of previous successful efforts for janitors to gain a contract in Houston.
Here is what the janitors say—-
“In the fall of 2006, low-wage janitors stood up for good jobs during an historic four-week strike for a better future for Houston’s families. Prior to the strike, most of Houston’s 5,300 commercial office janitors in Houston were paid just $20.00 per day and had no health insurance or any other benefits….By taking to the streets, these workers won a union contract that doubled their pay, gave them access to affordable health care, and created a path to prosperity, not only for their families, but for thousands of service workers. This contract expires in the spring of 2010…Today, the janitors are seeking a new agreement that will help Houston’s economy recover, building it stronger and fairer. The fight that Houston’s janitors are taking on is a campaign to preserve good jobs and health care for workers everywhere.”
Before she was Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker was a supporter of this cause. There is no reason to think she won’t be on-board with the janitors this time as well.
All work has merit and people deserve good pay and benefits for the work they do. We must work so that we can make money and live. Work is the hours of our lives.
We need to support the janitors and support all people fighting for the respect that hard work deserves.
People are easily distracted in this time of so-called social media.
It is as if I am no more than a leaf in the wind.
Though I was quite glad to hear from this person who I have known since 1980.
30 years is a solid friendship and stands in great contrast to a leaf in the wind.
There are many trade-offs involved with this technology many of use each day.
It is now too late in the evening to begin the post I had intended to write this evening.
Being flexible of mind—As we are told we must be in this globalized age—I will offer up this post you are now reading as a replacement.
Above is a photo taken by a Steffen Hillebrand of Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand.
That sure looks like a nice place to visit.
I wonder if I could connect to the internet at Abel Tasman National Park and if I could call someone from my cell if I were at that park.
Houston Mayoral candidate Annise Parker has asked me to be a friend on Facebook. I had not known that Ms. Parker viewed me as a friend. In fact—We’ve never met.
Should I take her up on her request? Why, sure! Ms. Parker has taken time from her busy day to extend me her warmest friendship.
I know that soon I’ll be invited to the Parker home for dinner.
Above is the Neda video of the young woman shot and killed during street protests in Iran.
Her full name was Neda Agha Soltan.
The video is graphic and disturbing to watch.
The New York Times blog on the protests in Iran has reports on Neda. You have to scroll down to find the reports. There is one entry with a link to what is said to be a picture of Neda’s grave.
Update 6/23—Here is a New York Times article about Neda.
Update 6/24–The latest from Iran.
Update 6/25—The latest from Iran.
A mix of traditional journalists with the resources of so-called mainstream news outlets, along with bloggers and people using Twitter have all been essential to reporting this story.
Hello Blog Reading Public!
I’ve purchased one of the small Flip Cameras because I’m going to film videos and post them on this blog from time-to-time. I have many ideas for these videos—Though as yet these ideas are not fully formed.
(Above–19th Century camera. This would be a bit bulky to carry around. Here is some history of 19th century photography.)
Over the next week, I’m going to think what I would like to say, do and film in my videos. I’m going to test the camera both inside and outside to see how it works in various settings and how well it records sound. Later this week, I’m going to go to Galveston, Texas, on the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and film my first videos.
(Below–A movie camera of a type still in use. It is an Arricam ST. This camera is a bit elaborate for what I plan to be doing. Think of the batteries it must take. )
Because I want to do the videos right, I’m going to post on a reduced basis for the next week or so here at Texas Liberal. There’s only so much time I can spend blogging while keeping my job and spending time with the excellent wife.
I’ll post a picture or something else short and easy. Despite these short posts, I urge regular readers to still visit the blog as often as possible. The higher my blog traffic each day, the better I feel about the collective judgement of those I share the planet with.
(Below–A disposable camera. Hopefully you’ll feel that this blog merits more than one use.)
Texas Liberal has averaged 1645 page views a day since the first of the year. I have the goal of being the largest individually operated political blog in Houston and in Texas. I’m also a featured political reader blogger at the Houston Chronicle. (And I post on things other than politics as well.)
( Below–This self-portrait of one Robert Cornelius from 1839 is said to be the first picture of a person ever taken. Will anything I do last 170 years?)
If you like this blog, please forward the link. A blog grows one reader at a time. Please also feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook. My name is Neil Aquino and I live in Houston. My profile picture at the moment is a boat stuck on land after Hurricane Ike.
Thank you for reading Texas Liberal. If you have any ideas for my videos, please offer a comment.
(Below–A Flip Camera just like the one I now have. I hope I do a good and creative job with my videos. Please visit Texas Liberal very often and see how I am doing.)
I’ve been tagged for one of these 25 things about me lists on Facebook. Vanity compels me to comply. I’ve not yet posted this on Facebook. It’s just that I need a blog post for today.
I like Facebook. It’s an easy way to keep in touch with folks. If any of the blog reading public would like to add a friend who is also one of America’s leading bloggers…..well, I can’t help you. But if you’d like to add me, my name in Neil Aquino and I live in Houston. Look me up and I’ll add you on. The more the merrier.
Here we go—
1. Anything good about me, or good in my life, is in large part due to my wife. Anything bad is my doing.
2. I’ve had four clear-cut best friends at points in my life. One is my wife. One was a grade school kid I’ve long lost touch with. One is just beginning the study of Chinese medicine in Portland, Oregon. I still exchange e-mails with her on and off. The final one is the only I can’t have a decent conversation with anymore. I’m appreciative of her friendship at one time in my life, but I don’t regret the inability to converse with her now.
3. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off giving up the blog and writing a letter to a friend each day. I give a fair amount of thought about the best ways to communicate.
4. I work hard to maintain friendships across the years and across what are now often great distances. I’m mostly successful with this. Yet I have room to do better.
5. When we keep up with friends, I feel we provide our lives with a measure of permanence that offers a rebuttal to death. We are saying there is a source of stability in an existence marked by things moving away from each other. Longstanding relationships also give a greater relevance to the ways we’ve spent our time in life. When you have a friend for a long time, it’s evidence that you made a good decision many years ago.
6. I feel you can define family in anyway you choose.
7. I wish I had the ability to be an artist of some kind. I’d like to be able to paint a picture. I’d paint a picture of people in a way that conveyed who they are. I’m lucky to have seen in person Copley’s painting of Paul Revere in Boston. Below you see that painting. It’s my favorite. In this painting, Mr. Revere is both a worker and a thinker.
8. I wish I had the time in life to be as creative as I feel I could be. I could gain a measure of that time by the better application of self-discipline.
9. I feel that both the material events in our lives, as well as the thoughts that we think, all need context. Nothing exists alone. We need to know what came before and what may come after.
10. I think one can merge the public and private aspects of life in ways that give greater meaning to both. The two should not be divorced from one another.
11. I often wonder how one can combine a strong desire to be alone with a need to communicate. Hopefully, I’m able to do this in a way that is neither (fully) stand-offish or involves being around to much. (Though in truth, I’ve not yet figured this mix out.)
12. I have a good memory. I recall some things with such clarity that I feel the events I’m thinking about are taking place again. This makes me wonder that if man is the measure of all things, than does not the abilty to retain and relive our memories challenge some of our concepts of time? The past is present in our thoughts and as a guide to our future actions.
13. If each morning we could take just a few moments to assess our lives and our goals for the day, that would be an act of creation and imagination we could accomplish each day.
We could create time and time again. We could do so in a way that builds upon what came before, so that even an act of creation comes with context. I want to have the discipline to be able to do this.
14. I’m not convinced our leaders really believe most Americans have a viable economic future. At least in relation to how we have lived before.
15. I’ve never spent a night outdoors and I never will unless forced to do so by a bad turn of events.
16. Just because your life is very good, does not mean it is entirely the life you want. Expressing this thought does not detract from the good things in your life.
17. I’d like to live on an island.
18. I feel at home when with the wife, when at the ocean in Galveston, Texas, when writing, and when reading. I also felt at home when I was at a bar called the Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. That place has long been torn down.
19. Much about the practice of politics bores me. I did not like most people I met when I worked in politics. Though the time I spent involved in politics was worth it.
20. I’m proud of the fact that my name has been on the ballot twice. Once as a candidate for Democratic precinct executive a Hamilton County, Ohio. I was the only candidate and won with about 15 votes cast in my little voting precinct. That was, I think, in 1992. I got a certificate of election from the county. In 1997, I ran for the Cincinnati Board of Education and won about 10,000 votes. I finished 9th of 12 with the top four being elected. I was endorsed by Stonewall Cincinnati and by a number of unions. Beyond being glad I had not finished last, I felt that I had done well in the voting.
21. The best non-fiction book I’ve read is S.E. Finer’s three volume history of government. The best novel I’ve read is The Remains Of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
22. I’d like to start volunteering somewhere. I have a place in mind.
23. I’m lucky.
24. I think we can balance a strong and autonomous personality, with the need for collective action in our political lives. What could be better than free citizens making the willing choice to work for common ends?
25. I’ll end where I started—Anything good about me, or good in my life, is in large part due to my wife. Anything bad is my doing
Hello blog readers. I had a plan for what I wanted to post today, but life got in the way and I’ll not have the time to do what I wanted. (Below–The sun rises and sets and time passes by.)
So please allow just a few random thoughts.
I wonder sometimes if the ease of keeping up with old friends via e-mail and Facebook makes it less likely we will try hard to make new friends. A new person seems a much less sure bet when the old people seem always near.
A dispute here in Harris County, Texas, where Houston is located, is about why Hispanic turnout was relatively low on Election Day. The best information I’ve seen on the subject can be found in this blog post at Para Justicia y Libertad.
New leadership seems needed for Harris County Hispanics. The old leadership has made little progress over the years. Also, the Harris County Democratic Party is not willing to do what’s needed to gain more minority voters beyond those most easy to get to the polls. The party has an idea of the voters it is willing to try and win. What it’s not willing to do is address questions of social justice when it can rely on, with mixed success, traffic congestion and hurricane preparedness as standard campaign issues.
I think you can find this type of situation in big cities across the nation.
I read a few days ago that the unsettled frontier democracy we associate today with Andrew Jackson, was always doomed to fall to the more middle-class and settled frontier vision of Henry Clay. We know that Jackson won the White House while Clay tried many times but failed. Yet you often never know until long after the heated battles of the day are over, as to who has really won the issues at the core of the fight.
Sorry for the absence of links. I’m on the fly today. Thanks for reading the blog and please visit often.
A few weeks ago I was asked to be a friend on Facebook by a person I don’t know. She’d noticed we had some friends in common on Facebook. She messaged me something along the lines of that if I knew such people, I was likely to share her political values.
The people we have in common on Facebook are liberal Texas political bloggers and a few others connected with Democratic politics in the Houston-area.
The conclusion this woman reached based on our mutual friends was solid. I accepted her friend request.
A few weeks later this woman asked me to join a Facebook group in support of a Laura Ewing for the Texas State Board of Education, District 7. I had never heard of Ms. Ewing. You can click the link to learn about Ms. Ewing, where in Texas District 7 is, ( It includes a good chunk of the Houston metro-area) and what the Texas State Board of Education does.
Since I had established trust for the person asking me to back Ms. Ewing, it was not much of a leap to join Ms. Ewing’s Facebook group. I’ve also listed her as a campaign I support as noted under my blogroll.
It was not just that I trust the person who made the suggestion I support Ms. Ewing. It’s also so that since Ms. Ewing is a Democrat, I can be reasonably certain she holds at least some views not so different from my own. Party identification is a shorthand to help voters navigate the complex set of issues that are at stake in any election.
The fact is that only so many voters are going to study what the Texas Board of Education is all about. Just tell me who the Democrat is, and I can move on to something else.
This does not mean I won’t vote for a third-party candidate—if one exists—or leave the spot on the ballot for this office blank if I find the Democrat running to be offensive. But for the most part, I just need to know who the Democrat is. I’m not going to be voting for any Republican in this age of a far-right Republican party.
Personal trust and party ID–These are good enough reasons for me to support Laura Ewing for the Texas State Board of Education.
Because He Made Me A Friend On Facebook, I Endorse Councilmember Peter Brown For Mayor Of Houston In 2009
As I’ve posted before on this blog, I’ll endorse any Democrat running for public office who makes me a friend on Facebook.
I do this out of a general tendency to vote for Democrats, a respect for the logical coherence of straight-ticket voting, a belief in the idea of political parties, and because , as the fact I’m blogging suggests, I want attention.
( As a blogger, I want to put forth my views, seek influence, gain attention, and obtain patronage. It depends on my mood as to which of these things I seek the most. While I think patronage may be hard to get, if Mr. Brown is elected Mayor I will ask him for a job as Houston’s lighthouse keeper. I need work that won’t get in the way of my blogging.)
Today I was made a friend on Facebook by Houston City Councilmember Peter Brown. Mr. Brown is running for Mayor of Houston next year.
While Mr. Brown will likely be running against other Democrats in the first round of voting next year, he’s the candidate I was likely to support in any case.
Now I’m certain I will support Mr. Brown. Please click here to view Mr. Brown’s campaign web page.
Mr. Brown joins Texas House District 29 candidate Kevin Murphy on my endorsement list. Mr. Murphy made me a friend some weeks ago.
I will add each campaign to my blogroll. I’ve created a new ” Campaigns I Support” list at the bottom of my longer blogroll.
Peter Brown & Kevin Murphy! Clearly the best!