Texas Liberal

All People Matter

It Snowed In Houston On December 4, 2009—Vapors Rose Off The Houston Ship Channel

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As remote as it may seem with a recent streak of 80 degree days in Houston, it snowed here on December 4, 2009.

It does not snow very often in Houston. 

Above is a picture I took that day at the Houston Ship Channel. Snow was falling into the water, and vapors ( No doubt some measure toxic) were rising off the water.

Without forgetting the long and harmful history and present day reality of industrial pollution in Houston, it is the case that the mixing of the elements in both the daily weather and in man-made production are things as natural as the first facts of creation.

The so-called natural world and the man-made and industrial world have more in common than they have remote from each other.  And we long ago reached a point on Earth—for better and for worse—where there can be no full distinction between the natural and human made world.

December 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Bolivar Ferry Gibb Gilchrist In Houston Ship Channel Boat Yard For Work—Free Ferry Is Socialism

Where are boats in the Bolivar Ferry fleet sent when they need maintenance or repairs?

From the picture above that I took last week, I’d say they go to a boat repair yard in the Houston Ship Channel.

Above you see the Bolivar Ferry called the Gibb Gilchrist in a boat repair yard in Houston Ship Channel.

The Gilchrist is the yellow boat in the middle of the picture.

The Bolivar Ferry runs from Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula. It is a “free” service run by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Where are the cries of socialism?

I thought a real Texan could cross a few miles of Galveston Bay on his or her own and without help from a meddling government.

Where are the citizen-volunteers to fix the boat, instead of the tab taxpayers are no doubt picking up for whatever work is being done?

Here are facts about who Gibb Gilchrist was from the excellent Handbook of Texas Online.  The upshot  is that Mr. Gilchrist was once President of Texas A & M.

The Bolivar Ferry is a great ride. You can walk on and take a round-trip that will run about 50 minutes. You’ll see big ships and you might see some dolphins.

While you are riding the Bolivar Ferry, you are using a taxpayer-provided government service that enhances the common good.

July 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Man Fishing In Houston Ship Channel

Last week I was out and about driving in Houston.

In my travels I saw this man fishing in the Houston Ship Channel.

This was not far from the Turning Basin at the end of the channel.

While you see no ships here, you see the demolition yard behind the fisherman.

Maybe he lives near the Ship Channel and lacks transporation to go and fish elsewhere.

I don’t know.

In case this does not seem like a very good place to catch fish to eat.

I can only extend to him—and to each of you—my peace and blessings.

July 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

City Fish—Discovery Green Park & The Houston Ship Channel

Here are some city fish that I took a picture of a few days ago in Houston’s Discovery Green Park.

The fish are swimming in the water under the reflection of tall downtown buildings.

If you walk long the trails going along many of Houston’s bayous, you will almost always see some fish swimming about.

Here is a list of 20 fishing spots in our near Houston. There is no fishing allowed in Discovery Green Park.

Below is a picture I took last year of a fish that was swimming in the Houston Ship Channel. Based on my scientific examination of the picture, I think it lives by licking toxic residue off of rocks.

I don’t wager that this fish is very good to eat. But you sure have to give it some credit for being able to live in Houston Ship Channel.

Whenever things are rough, just think that if a fish can live in the Houston Ship Channel then we can get past hard times.

June 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Houston Ship Channel Is A Bunch Of Things At One Time—Everyday Places Make Life Work

Above is a picture I took of the Houston Ship Channel a few days ago from the top of the Texas Independence Monument at the San Jacinto Battlefield Park.

The Houston Ship Channel is at one time a natural landscape, a landscape imagined and crafted by people, and place of utility for shipping and industry.

Most places have more than one quality at once. It’s not so hard to see if we just look. There is nothing in everyday life that we don’t have the ability to understand.

Everyday life and everyday places are a source are hope, imagination and action in our lives.

We’ve just got to look around and take control of our interpretations and impressions of the world.

If we don’t interpret and imagine the world for ourselves and for the good of fellow everyday people, you can be certain that somebody who does not have our interests at heart will interpret and imagine the world for us.

June 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

Life Is Many Things At Once—Creation May Or May Not Be Worth The Violence And Disruption It Involves

Above is a picture I took in January of 2011 of Pioneer Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati is one of my home towns.

One thing I like about this cemetery is that it contains the remains of the Revolutionary War soldiers who were among the first wave of white settlers in Cincinnati.

Also here are the remains of the women who made everyday life work.

When we expand our view of history, we are most likely to get the all the facts right. We are most likely to include all that merit inclusion.

In this cemetery, I like the juxtaposition of the settlement of a newer America beyond the Appalachians with the men and women of an older time.

Yesterday I ran on the blog a picture of the big industrial Houston Ship Channel which had in it a number of nice colorful flowers.

Everything is more than one thing at once.

These multiple qualities can be living things, industry, conceptions of the past, conceptions about places, confluences of time, the living and the dead themselves, and whatever else that sails your ship.

I’m very mindful that a Native American population was present in Southwestern Ohio before the white man arrived.

There is violence and disruption with every act of creation.

It is not clear to me that every act of creation is worth the violence and disruption that helps make it possible.

May 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staying The Course

Here is a picture I took of a ship in the Houston Ship Channel.

As I sometimes say on a busy day, I’m staying the course.

While today is a perfectly fine day, ships moving forward on the Houston Ship Channel make the point that we can stay the course even in polluted waters.

We live in a big metaphoric world.

There are flowers in this picture of the Houston Ship Channel.

That is Houston for you.

A big subtropical industrial city where metaphor and the physical world give each other substance.

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Great Gift Ideas For The Holiday—Books On Texas Regional Art

(Blogger’s Note–This is a rerun of a post I ran last summer. I’ve made it current by suggesting you buy the above books as a holiday gift. The first time I ran this post it fell flat in terms of traffic to the blog. And here I was figuring there was a pent-up demand for Texas regional art of the New Deal era that was just waiting for a blogger to express it for the general public. Everyday life has value. These books give everyday life and everyday people they respect they merit by viewing how we live as a subject worth being painted and written about. I hope folks are having a nice holiday season and thank you very much for reading Texas Liberal.)

I’ve bought two art books in recent weeks that show Texans working together and respecting the land and culture of the Lone Star state.

These two books are shown above as they are being read by two members of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts.

On the left, Extinct–A woolly mammoth–is reading Alexandre Hogue–An American Visionary.

On the right, Cactus is reading The Texas Post Office Murals-Art For The People.

Both of these titles are published by Texas A & M University.

Alexandre Hogue lived 1898-1994. He spent most of his life in Texas and New Mexico.

From the excellent Handbook of Texas Online-

“(Hogue) is best known for his paintings of the Dust Bowl of the American Southwest during the Great Depression. Most of his work on this subject is from the 1930s, but the theme of natural balance-and the resulting environmental disasters when humans fail to respect that balance-is found throughout his work.”

Alexandre Hogue’s paintings offer a way of seeing Texas in a way that reflects something more than just doing whatever you want no matter the harm it causes others.

Below is Hogue’s 1939 painting The Crucified Land.

Again from The Handbook of Texas Online

“Post office murals capture the flavor of Texas through its most prominent symbols. Themes include regional history and early settlement. For example, the arrival of the conquistadors in West Texas is a mural theme in the Canyon, El Paso, and Amarillo post offices. Pioneer settlers appear in the murals of Mart, Big Spring, Brady, Wellington, and others. Included also are murals depicting various industries that characterize Texas, such as ranching (Fredericksburg, Amarillo); agriculture (Elgin, Farmersville, Longview); oil operations (Kilgore, Graham); and lumber manufacturing (Jasper, Trinity).”

Here is a list of Texas post office murals. Some of these murals are still around to view. Others are not. Check in advance.

Below is a picture I took from the Post Office of a 1941 Jerry Bywaters mural called Houston Ship Channel: Loading Cotton.

This painting is at a Houston parcel post facility and, regretfully, is not at the moment able to be seen by the public.

Texas can be seen from many different perspectives. You don’t have to accept a Texas where the land and the environment mean nothing, and where the little person gets no regard from the powerful other than a kick in the head.

See Texas in a more just and hopeful way, and then work hard to make your vision a reality.

(Here is a Texas Liberal list of books about Texas.) 

December 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

You Have To Stay Your Own Course

When the police state raids Occupy camps, the Tea Party and libertarians are nowhere to be found protesting an aggressive and violent government.

When finally a movement starts that opposes economic injustice, many progressives calculate if and when it will be safe to support it.

When a new Hispanic opportunity Council district is created in Houston after much fuss, hardly anybody votes.

When the GLBT Political Caucus in Houston gains influence on behalf of a just civil rights cause, the influence is used to back candidates who support right-wing economics.

The lessons are clear–Just like the ships in the Houston Ship Channel, you have to stay your own course even in polluted waters.

(Above–A ship in the Houston Ship Channel.)

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Boat Out Of Water

Here is a boat completely out of the water at the Houston Ship Channel.

I took this picture a few months ago.

That sure is something that they could get that big tug boat up so high.

October 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Welding—-Melting, Pressing, Hammering

Above is a picture I took of people welding a ship or a barge of some kind at the Houston Ship Channel.

(Photo copyright 2011 Neil Aquino.)

Here is a history of welding. At the bottom of that history are other welding related links.

Here is a definition of welding from Merriam-Webster

Join together (metal pieces or parts) by heating the surfaces to the point of melting with a blowpipe, electric arc, or other means, and uniting them by pressing, hammering, etc.

Sometimes we hear about concepts and themes of unity and connection. Such talk might conjure up images of peace and cooperation.

It is not always that way.

Sometimes things are brought together by—“melting with a blowpipe, electric arc, or other means, and uniting them by pressing, hammering, etc.”

September 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

View Texas In A Different Way—Alexandre Hogue & Texas Post Office Murals

I’ve bought two art books in recent weeks that show Texans working together and respecting the land and culture of the Lone Star state.

These two books are shown above as they are being read by two members of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts.

On the left, Extinct–A woolly mammoth–is reading Alexandre Hogue–An American Visionary.

On the right, Cactus is reading The Texas Post Office Murals-Art For The People.

Both of these titles are published by Texas A & M University.

Alexandre Hogue lived 1898-1994. He spent most of his life in Texas and New Mexico.

From the excellent Handbook of Texas Online-

“(Hogue) is best known for his paintings of the Dust Bowl of the American Southwest during the Great Depression. Most of his work on this subject is from the 1930s, but the theme of natural balance-and the resulting environmental disasters when humans fail to respect that balance-is found throughout his work.”

Alexandre Hogue’s paintings offer a way of seeing Texas in a way that reflects something more than just doing whatever you want no matter the harm it causes others.

Below is Hogue’s 1939 painting The Crucified Land.

Again from The Handbook of Texas Online

“Post office murals capture the flavor of Texas through its most prominent symbols. Themes include regional history and early settlement. For example, the arrival of the conquistadors in West Texas is a mural theme in the Canyon, El Paso, and Amarillo post offices. Pioneer settlers appear in the murals of Mart, Big Spring, Brady, Wellington, and others. Included also are murals depicting various industries that characterize Texas, such as ranching (Fredericksberg, Amarillo); agriculture (Elgin, Farmersville, Longview); oil operations (Kilgore, Graham); and lumber manufacturing (Jasper, Trinity).”

Here is a list of Texas post office murals. Some of these murals are still around to view. Others are not. Check in advance.

Below is a picture I took from the Post Office of a 1941 Jerry Bywaters mural called Houston Ship Channel: Loading Cotton.

This painting is at a Houston parcel post facility and, regretfully, is not at the moment able to be seen by the public.

Texas can be seen from many different perspectives. You don’t have to accept a Texas where the land and the environment mean nothing, and where the little person gets no regard from the powerful other than a kick in the head.

See Texas in a more just and hopeful way, and then work hard to make your vision a reality.

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hard Working, Imaginative, Polluted & Brutal

I visit the Houston Ship Channel sometimes because the channel is hard working, the product of imagination to have made the salt water sea reach 50 miles inland, polluted, & brutal in a way with huge ships and giant quantities of goods and chemicals of all sorts.

(Above–The Houston Ship Channel. Photo copyright 2011 Neil Aquino.)  

These qualities of hard work, imagination, polluted by the world, and brutal in ways we don’t always realize are what I am and what you are.

The world around us is what we are as individuals and as a society.

The world around us is hard-working, imaginative, toxic at times, and brutal.

Make the effort to see the world and what each of are as individuals for both good and ill.

A great book to read to learn about the Houston Ship Channel is Energy Metropolis–An Environmental History of Houston and the Gulf Coast.

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Man Wading In Houston Ship Channel—I Hope He Found Whatever He Was Seeking

A few days ago I was driving around the area of the Houston Ship Channel.

On my travels, I saw a  gentleman who was wading in the Ship Channel.

You can see the man in a white tee-shirt below the area of the auto demolition yard.

While I’ve seen people fishing in the Ship Channel, I have to admit I was surprised to see someone actually in the water.

All I can say is that if this man felt he needed to be in these waters that are well-known for being polluted, I sure hope he found whatever it was he was seeking.

(Photo Copyright 2011 Neil Aquino)

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Under A Cloud

Above is a picture I took of a ship in the Houston Ship Channel that is under a cloud.

We can stay the course in life even when we are under a cloud.

(Photo copyright Neil Aquino  2011)

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

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