Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Anti-Immigration Initiatives Proposed For 2012 Houston Ballot—You Will Know Them By Their Fruits

Last week I ran on the blog the picture you see above and the text you see below–

Here are some folks who were using the forum provided by the Iraq veterans parade in Houston this past Sunday to promote two anti-immigrant ballot initiatives for the City of Houston 2012 ballot.

These folks are free to use public space to promote their cause.

Here is website of the group pushing the anti-immigrant measure. 

I’m not concerned with linking to this group. If this is what people want, then they can decide this is what they want.

Here is a recent report in which the Houston-area was found to be the most ethnically diverse region in the nation.

We can either move forward in an open and welcoming way that makes Houston a hopeful place, or we can choose another course.

It is many ways less a matter of public policy, than it is a decision as to what kind of people we are going to be, and how we are going to present ourselves and the world to young people.

It would be far more productive if our city was discussing progress, rather than going after immigrants and going after the sharing of food with the homeless.

In addition to making this post on my personal blog, I also copied the post at my space as a reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle.

Here are some of the responses I got at The Chronicle—

TexasLiberal, why are you afraid to tell the truth. Hardly anyone is against immigrants coming into our country, Yes, there is a very small minority of people that don’t want any immigrants allowed in the US and to me those people are wrong. Most people are against those who are ILLEGALLY coming here and sucking up resources, whether it is schools, health care, food stamps, etc. But at least they do come here rob/kill others allowed to sit in prison for awhile. Do you know the difference between immigration and ILLEGAL immigration?? It really is so simple that even a Liberal should know

I’m proud to say that I signed the petition, got all my family and friends to do the same. Something has to be done about them. Time to put America first. They don’t like their country…change it

Like any liberal truth is a problem for you. No one is suggesting going after immigrants. This is about illegals who are criminals since they are breaking the law by being here. It is time to force our city leaders to do what they are suppose to be doing and that is rounding these criminals up, putting them in prison, and then deporting them.

It is in fact fully reasonable to make a distinction between people here “legally” as we term it, and someone who came here in a way that the law does not allow.

It is fair to say that making such a distinction does not by definition make a person anti-immigrant.

And yet–of course–this is a nuance that gets lost in these type of anti-immigrant efforts.

Here are some recent updates from the Stop The Magnet Facebook page. Stop The Magnet are the folks running this campaign. You can see the articles they linked to by clicking the link in each line.

* Follow the money. These officials are selling out our country for profit.Mocking the blood of our fallen heroes. These people are soooo crooked they will need to be screwed into their coffins.

* “SOVEREIGN CITIZENS” this term coined to describe how illegals are exempted from certain laws. This article also mentions Perry’s contributions toward this new treasonous trend

* Illegal Alien Impregnates a ten yr. old girl who gave birth. (Idaho):

* Too many foreigners” …says Sarkozy

It can be said that the issues that are being proposed for Houston voters are about so-called illegal immigration, and yet here we read about French President  Sarkozy saying that France has “Too many foreigners.”

But this is all just about immigration reform.

As it says in the Bible

“7- 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20“So then, you will know them by their fruits.”

No good fruit can come from this tree.

A diverse and multi-cultural Houston and America are here to stay. Anybody fighting this fact has already lost.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I saw people of different races signing the petition. It’s not a simple matter of white, black or Hispanic.

It’s about fear and resentment in contrast to optimism, and against a future that is already on the way and that will make our nation a better place to live.

Since I ran a few Chronicle comments taking issue with my view, allow me to excerpt one that took my side–

“… The underlying animus in the anti-immigrant crowd is hate, which is a result of fear. Time and again in this country, in times of economic hardship, immigrants have been targeted. “Roundin’ up all them illegals and deportin’ ‘em all back to Mexico” is unrealistic. It would also undermine law enforcement in that undocumented immigrants would fear reporting crimes, including serious ones…”

To this I would add that we have all in Houston taken advantage of the lower prices for goods and services that immigration has allowed.  In many cases, the immigrants who do this work are not paid.

If these anti-immigration folks are so concerned with immigrants and the law, why don’t they take up the cause of wage theft as well?

I don’t know if these issues will reach the ballot. I don’t know if they will pass or fail if Houston voters are asked to decide.

I do know that people who see a hopeful and welcoming future for the Houston-area and for our nation have nothing to fear from these folks.

Let’s face these anti-immigration folks with the full confidence that our vision of an inclusive Houston and nation has already prevailed.

We have nothing to fear from these people if we stay the course of freedom, inclusion and care for others.

April 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Anti-Immigrant Measure Targeted For 2012 Houston Ballot—Going After Immigrants And The Sharing Of Food With The Homeless Instead Of A Hopeful Agenda For Houston

Here are some folks who were using the forum provided by the Iraq veterans parade in Houston this past Sunday to promote two anti-immigrant ballot initiatives for the City of Houston 2012 ballot.

These folks are free to use public space to promote their cause.

(Though under the new Houston-anti food sharing law, using public space to feed the homeless will in many cases now be a criminal offense. Here is a link to a form that will allow you to volunteer to help repeal the anti-food sharing law.) 

Here is website of the group pushing the anti-immigrant measure. 

I’m not concerned with linking to this group. If this is what people want, then they can decide this is what they want.

Here is a recent report in which the Houston-area was found to be the most ethnically diverse region in the nation.

We can either move forward in an open and welcoming way that makes Houston a hopeful place, or we can choose another course.

It is many ways less a matter of public policy, than it is a decision as to what kind of people we are going to be, and how we are going to present ourselves and the world to young people.

It would be far more productive if our city was discussing progress, rather than going after immigrants and going after the sharing of food with the homeless.

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

Sanctuary City Legislation On The Way From Rick Perry—Police State Powers To Go With The Forced Sonograms

Texas Governor Rick Perry will be adding so-called sanctuary city legislation to the ongoing special session of the Texas legislature. 

From the Houston Chronicle

“Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday added a ban on “sanctuary cities” to the agenda of the special session..despite opposition from outnumbered Democrats concerned about issues including racial profiling. As approved in the recently ended regular session by the Texas House, which has a GOP supermajority, the legislation would bar local governments from preventing law enforcement officers from inquiring into the immigration status of people they detain. The proposal stalled in the Senate because of a rule that generally requires a two-thirds vote of senators to consider a proposal. …The rule, however, is not in place for the special session…Police chiefs and sheriffs who have come to the Capitol to oppose the idea have said it would burden already-stretched local officers with enforcing federal immigration laws and hamper community policing efforts that rely on building trust to encourage people to report crimes.”

Will this bill go after Texas business owners who hire undocumented persons? What penalty will there be for average Texans who have taken advantage of the cheap labor and services offered by undocumented persons?

There will be none of that you can wager.

What we will have instead is the bullying of the weakest amongst us that seems an essential part of the character of the Texas conservative.

This legislative session has been all about diminishing the lives of Texas children and of the poor in Texas.

What we now have as well is the expansion of police state powers with Americans citizens subject to questioning on the basis of skin color.

Such an expansion of the powers of the State of Texas would be consistent with the recent enactment of the forced sonogram bill. The forced sonogram bill mandates that women getting a legal abortion in Texas must also receive a sonogram and, also, be forced to listen to details of the results of the sonogram.

In Texas it will soon be okay for the state to force unwanted medical procedures on free citizens.

Just imagine the libertarian and right-wing screaming if Democrats forced unwanted medical procedures on American citizens.

After passage of a sanctuary city bill, it may well become legal for the state to demand the papers of American citizens for no more reason than a hunch or a guess.

This sure is some small government for you.

It seems that any public policy, no matter how intrusive, is okay if it suits the ideological extremism of Governor Perry and the Texas Republican Party.

(Top Texas politcal blogger Charles Kuffner has also written on this subject.)

June 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Circumstances Of Houston Police Officer Kevin Will’s Death Leaves Individuals With A Choice About How To Respond

The circumstances behind the on-duty death of Houston police officer Kevin Will leaves individuals with a choice.

Officer Will was killed by a man who, according to reports, is in the United States illegally and who was driving drunk.

People can go on with the reflexive hatred and anger such we see from this reader comment on the Houston Chronicle online in reference to the driver who allegedly killed Officer Will–

“They should auction on Ebay the opportunity to beat him to death with a baseball bat during halftime of next years Superbowl with all proceeds going to the Officer’s family. I’m sure I wouldn’t win but I would dang sure bid!”

I think sometimes that people who say things such as this are glad when a news event takes place that allows them to express so clearly who they are as an individual.

Or, instead of dwelling in anger, we can find a bipartisan immigration policy that does not turn our nation into a police state were we go around informing on people and checking people’s papers.

I don’t romanticize bipartisanship. It simply would be the reality of how a new immigration policy would have to be crafted.

One thing I’ll note as interesting about immigration discussions is the failure on the right to recognize the role of business places and individual consumers in immigration issues.

Employers want cheap labor and people want cheap goods and services. We are all part of the reason that we have so many undocumented persons in our city.

Top Houston political blogger John Coby has more on the role of the private sector in our immigration situation.

I’m sorry about the loss of Officer Will. My hope is that his death leads us towards progress in our lives and in Houston, and not towards even more anger and vindictiveness.

June 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

The Tea Party Agenda For Our Nation—Is This What You Want?

What does the so-called Tea Party stand for? What is the Tea Party agenda?

A recent blog post by Tea Party follower David Jennings at his Houston and Texas political blog Big Jolly Politics gives a clear sense of the ideologically extreme Tea Party agenda.

Mr. Jennings regularly attends and offers up observations from meetings of Tea Party cells. His most recent report from the Clear Lake Tea Party here in Houston gives a clear sense of a radical, unworkable, and often un-American Tea Party vision for our nation.

Reporting on a talk given the Clear Lake Tea Party member named Robert Gonzales, who Mr. Jennings describes as the “founder” of this local Tea Party cell, Mr. Jennings offers up a list Tea Party priorities for the days ahead.

Here are some of these Tea Party priorities as reported by Mr. Jennings—

* “Reject Obamacare.”

Repeal of Healthcare Reform will allow insurance companies  to once again toss people off coverage because they get sick, and will allow insurance companies to once again impose lifetime caps on policies. Is that what we want to go back to in our nation? Read about Healthcare Reform for yourself. It does a lot of good. For the extreme right in this nation, the issue is not the good points or the weak points of Healthcare Reform. Instead, it is all about political ideology and scoring political points no matter the merits of the program. You see the same with the reflexive far-right rejection to the idea of global warming.  No facts of any kind matter in the discussion. Ideology and anger are all that counts.

* ” Reinstate Judeo-Christian Values. ….Prayer back in schools and hanging the Ten Commandments in public buildings…”

People can pray anytime they want.  People can live true each and every day to the religious values they hold. Are these values so weak that they must be posted in every building? This would be little different from how an insecure and fearful totalitarian state posts propaganda in every classroom and in every possible location. Where is the confidence in ideas that Christians hold as eternal?  Does Christianity need government support? Can’t people find the truth for themselves rather than forcing one idea of truth on an ever-more diverse nation? What will stop a future government from posting anti-Christian messages in public buildings at some point?

* ” English as the official language….”

It sure would be intrusive of government to tell people how they should speak.  Will the declaration of an official language come with a language police? Will private business places that advertise to Spanish speaking customers or Chinese speaking customers be subject to fines or some type of official sanction?  Will people inform on others who are speaking the wrong language? We could set up a whole new language enforcement bureaucracy.

* “….Deport all illegal aliens, post the army along the border…”

How would we find all the undocumented people in this country? Raids into private business places and into private homes? Informants?  Does the Tea Party think they will just turn themselves in to the authorities?  Does the Tea Party think family and friends will just allow these people to plucked from their homes without a fight? If all undocumented people are being deported, what would they have to lose by fighting back? Do we really want the army employed for domestic purposes? Will the army take part in the raids to track down the so-called illegals? Once our country is cleansed of the illegals, what domestic mission will our army next be given? How about enforcing the payment of taxes? I think the army would be very useful for that purpose.

* “Repeal property taxes.”

Those three words are the extent of what Mr. Jennings wrote as the Tea Party goal on this subject. We already have no income taxes in Texas. Due to Republican mismanagement, Texas has a budget deficit of over $25 billion. Texas is nowhere near first in the quality of education we offer our children. How is “repeal property taxes” a serious idea in any respect?

* “ Reassert states rights under the 10th Amendment: Eliminate funding for EPA, education.”

It is worth noting that states rights is found in the Tea Party creed in the same place as is eliminating EPA and education funding. This is the states rights doctrine. It is about separating ourselves from the nation as a whole. Yet the air in Texas can be so bad that even the Republican State of Oklahoma has complained to the federal government. Being a bad neighbor can infringe on the rights of others. People in Houston know how bad the pollution was before stricter environmental regulations.

Do you think we should eliminate education funding? Kids who grow up in Texas are going to have to compete for jobs with kids from the rest of the nation and from around the world. Adherence to the lost cause of states rights will be cold comfort when you are breathing even more toxic air, and you are not educated well enough to get a job.

This radical Tea Party agenda is held by only a minority of Americans. But in mid-term elections with reduced turnout, a minority can easily carry the day. The same can be said for local elections that draw less attention than a Presidential election. The Tea Party is holding meetings and organizing.  Far-right ideas are held by some of the loudest voices in the 24 hour internet/cable news landscape.

It is the choice of every freedom loving American who values the future of our nation to either get involved in public affairs or, instead, to allow your life to be defined by others. Is the Tea Party/Republican Party plan outlined above what you want to see for  yourself, for your family, and for your nation?

Copyright 2011 Neil Aquino

January 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

All Freedom Is Connected

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will soon be repealed.

This will mean that gay Americans are now one step closer to equal citizenship in our nation.

However, the Dream Act, which would allow young people brought to the United States as children to become citizens if they go to college or join the military, was rejected.

While the repeal of Don’t Ask is a great victory, we need to be mindful of the fact that the freedom of all people in connected.

There is no point in making young people suffer for the actions of their parents.

The work of progress is never completed.

The end of Don’t Ask is a reminder that victories can be won.

The failure of the Dream Act is a reminder of the tasks ahead.

This work and these tasks are the responsibility of every American.

(Flag photo by Jared Preston.)

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

In Support Of The Dream Act

The Dream Act now before Congress would allow undocumented persons who entered the United States at age 15 or younger to gain a chance at citizenship by either joining the military or by going to college.

While this bill does have some bipartisan support, it is not clear it will pass in the lame duck session.

The House has approved the Dream Act. It is now stuck in the Senate. President Obama has said he will sign the bill.

One hinderance to passage of the bill is the broken promise of Republican Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

While in the past Senator Hutchinson supported Dream Act type legislation, she no longer does. It seems Senator Hutchinson’s fear of a far-right Tea Party primary challenger in 2012 is more important than anything else in her mind.

America is a nation of immigrants. I know this is almost a cliché at this point—But it is still true.

Either we are a welcoming and confident nation or we are not.

It is not the fault of people brought here as children that they are not legal citizens.

It is not the fault of immigrants that some of our Anglo fellow citizens, who seem amongst most bitter and angry of Americans today, come from families that have over the years not been able to take advantage of free land taken from the native population, of the exclusion of blacks from opportunity because of slavery and Jim Crow, and of the refusal until the mid 1960’s to allow many Asian people to emigrate to the United States.

Maybe we would have more opportunity in this nation if these folks had over the years allied themselves with fellow working people instead of with segregationists and red-baiters and with the states rights crowd.

I’m for the Dream Act. I’m for welcoming people to our nation who know what America is truly about.

Call your Senator and ask that they support the Dream Act.

December 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

In The End, We All Go Back To Where We Came From

Above is a picture I took today here in Houston of the grave of Vidal Ramirez Garcia.

The grave says that Mr. Garcia was a private first class in the army during World War II.

I don’t know anything about Mr. Garcia. But it seems that he was a man of Hispanic origin who served the United States in a time of war.

Today we hear stories about people who have been in the United States for many generations being told to go back where they came from.

In the end, we all back to where we came from.

We have a choice as individuals.

We can go on about if the President is from Kenya and blame immigrants for our own problems, or we can be welcoming to our fellow human beings as they seek a better life in a tough world.

This is the choice we have.

This does not mean we can’t have laws regarding immigration or that those laws should not be enforced.

What it does mean though, is that we allow anger to guide our public policy we lose any chance of being a decent people.

November 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

The Fact That Texas House Speaker Straus Is Jewish Is An Issue With Some Conservatives

There is a fight taking place about who should be the next Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

The incumbent Speaker, Republican Joe Straus, was elected two years ago with the help of Democrats in the House.

With Republicans gaining many seats in this month’s election, some Republicans are calling for someone they feel would a more conservative Speaker to take the office from Mr. Straus.

Speaker Straus is Jewish.

Not surprisingly given the people involved in this contest , the fact that the Speaker is Jewish is becoming an issue in the race.

From TV Station KENS in San Antonio

“….a new series of attacks is coming from the Religious Right, with Straus’ religion used against him. On his blog, Texas Capitol Reporter Harvey Kronberg reports that robo calls have begun in parts of the state. The voice on the calls tells people to support a “true Christian speaker.” Joe Straus is Jewish. Furthermore, the Republican Liberty Caucus has come out in support of North Texas Republican Ken Paxton (R-McKinney), citing a New Testament Bible verse in its original endorsement. That verse has since been removed from the group’s officially posted endorsement.”

The Jewish Herald Voice is concerned. This newspaper has written about Jewish life in Houston and in Texas since 1908.

Jews have a long history in Texas.

From the excellent Handbook of Texas Online

“No aspect of nineteenth-century Texas history is without the involvement of committed Jewish Texans. Adolphus Sterne of Nacogdoches served as alcalde, treasurer, and postmaster in 1826, Albert Moses Levy was surgeon in chief in the revolutionary army in 1835, Jacob and Phineas De Cordova sold land and developed Waco, Simon Mussina founded Brownsville in 1848, Henri Castro founded several towns, Michael Seeligson was elected mayor of Galveston in 1853, Rosanna Osterman funded significant religious and charitable activities through her will, Sid Samuels and Belle Doppelmayer were in the first graduating class at the University of Texas in 1881, Olga B. Kohlberg started the first public kindergarten in Texas in 1893, and Morris Lasker was elected to the state Senate in 1895. Jews also established themselves in Beaumont, Brenham, Corsicana, Gainesville, Hempstead, Marshall, Palestine, Texarkana, Tyler, Port Arthur, Wichita Falls, Baytown, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, New Braunfels, McAllen, Alice, Amarillo, Columbus, Wharton, Giddings, Navasota, Crockett, Lubbock, Longview, Jefferson, San Angelo, and Schulenburg.”

A great book to learn about Jewish History in Texas is Lone Stars of David–The Jews of Texas.

An ongoing exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science  is called Forgotten Gateway—Coming To America Through Galveston Island. A portion of this interesting exhibit is about how Jews were often denied entry into America through Galveston for no other reason but that they were Jewish. The program runs through February 20, 2011.

The photo below is of the Beth Yeshuran Jewish cemetery in Houston. The large grave in the middle of the photo is that of Private Nathan Pizer. Private Pizer was a United States Marine who was killed in action in France during WW I.

Jewish folks have long served our nation.

It makes no difference what religion anybody is when it comes to who can serve in public office. We must remain vigilant. So-called states rights views, now all the rage in Texas and elsewhere , have long been associated with intolerance and injustice.

We can either fight back against this un-American behavior, or we can see the years of our lives wasted by extremists who refuse to acknowledge the outcome of the Civil War.

Political independents who often vote for candidates of both parties need to please consider what they will be getting from Texas Republicans over the next two years.


November 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Candidates For Governor Of Texas Debate Education–An Eyewitness Report

I attended the League of Women Voters of the Houston Area Texas Governor’s race debate held on Sunday, October 3 here in Houston.

The debate was held at the Harris County Department of Education building you see pictured above. As you will note in the picture, this education building is named after Ronald Reagan.

That would be funny if the joke were not on all of us.

Three of the four candidates for Governor of Texas took part in this debate.

The three in attendance were—

Democratic nominee Bill White.

Green nominee Deborah Shafto.

Libertarian nominee and scary person Kathie Glass.

Not attending the debate was incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry.

Governor Perry does not believe that the people of Texas merit the chance to see and compare all the candidates in one place and at one time.

The focus of the debate was education. There was a warm-up panel of three Harris County school superintendents to discuss education issues in Texas.

So the event was really something of a double feature.

(Below—Double Feature.)

The three local superintendents all agreed that educating kids is a challenge. They all agreed that kids must take many standardized tests, but that they sought to educate kids beyond the tests. They all agreed that money is tight. They all agreed that they agreed.

A top Houston and Texas education blogger is Martha Griffin who writes musings.

As for the debate, here are some observations—

Bill White spoke to the fact that anybody born in the U.S. is a citizen. This was in response to a question about if the children of undocumented persons should get government services.  Mr. White’s stand is clearly the correct Constitutional view.

Deb Shafto said she would be willing to raise taxes to support education. This is a good position that puts the long-term interests of Texans ahead of short-term politics. Texas has one of the worst drop out rates in the nation.

Angry Kathie Glass said that the number of immigrants coming across the border represented an “Invasion.” If you hold this to be true, it seems to me you’d be justified to do just about anything to repel an “invasion.”

(Below–Invasion.)

Mr. White did not at any point mention poverty or the large number of poor Texans. He may have alluded to the fact of poverty, but he made repeated and clear mention of the middle class. The middle class does indeed need a government that is on their side. Yet at the same time, it is frustrating that in a state as poor as Texas, the former Democratic Mayor of a city with a near 50% child poverty rate did not discuss attacking poverty as an important way of improving education. We need a root and branch approach to education because as it says in Job 18:16

“Their roots will dry up, and their branches will wither.”

Ms. Shafto said that she has been a union member and that she supported teacher’s unions. She said that while she has seen these unions at times pursue things she did not fully agree with, that people have a right to organize and that teachers unions are often good advocates for education.

Extreme Ms. Glass said that she would get rid of truancy laws and that if kids as young as 14 wanted to drop out that they should be allowed to do so.

That is just what she said.

Mr. White said the cost of attending our Texas state universities has gone up a great deal while Rick Perry has been Governor. This is a correct assertion by Mr. White and it is not clear what Governor Perry is going to do about this problem.  Maybe if the Governor had been at the debate, his views on the matter would be more clear.

Ms. Shafto used the analogy of a “jump ball” in basketball to describe how Texas teachers are competing for bonuses. I enjoyed this metaphor. As Sojourner Truth knew, we must sell the shadow to support the substance.

(Below–Jump ball)

Far Out Ms. Glass said that local government control of schools was okay, but that Austin should stay out of the picture to the extent possible.

Yet if the issue for libertarians is the place of government in our lives, local government is still government. If any level of government can be trusted to run something as important as are our schools, why can’t government be trusted to handle a number of responsibilities? Libertarians live in a fantasy world.

All in all, the debate served a useful public purpose. I urge folks to consider all the candidates. In my view, either Mr. White or Ms. Shafto would do a good job for Texas. I will be voting for Mr. White because he will be a far better Governor for the future of Texas than Mr. Perry. 10 years of Rick Perry so far is more than enough.

(Below— The debate stage. This is an approved LWV picture. I followed the rules and did not take any pictures inside the debate hall.)

October 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tea Party Candidate Proposes Internment Camps For Undocumented Persons

Book Of The Day-–Samuel Slater Bobblehead is reading The Age Of Reform–From Bryan To F.D.R. by the great historian Richard Hofstadter.

It is quite industrious of Samuel Slater to read such a learned book.

The link above is to a Hofstadter reading list and reviews of some of his famous titles. An education in American history would be greatly assisted by reading Richard Hofstadter….And by learning about Samuel Slater!

Link Of The Day A Tea Party backed Republican running for the Florida House of Representatives has proposed internment camps for undocumented immigrants. The candidate’s name is Marg Baker.

Nothing in our society is so bad that it cannot be proposed and cannot come true.

Texas Link Of The Day-The Dallas Morning News offered up an article about the use of social media by the candidates for Governor in Texas. This article features an insightful quote from my fellow Texas blogger Matt Glazer of the Burnt Orange Report.

Here is the campaign web home of Bill White for Governor.

Blogger’s Note—Because I have some other projects I want to take on, I’ll be offering up shorter and more formulaic posts for the remainder of August. These posts will still be quite good and will merit your visiting the blog each day. Yet at the same time, shorter posts will allow me the time to accomplish other objectives. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Progressives And Progressive Groups In Houston And Across Texas Speak Up And Mobilize In Advance Of The Upcoming Arizona-Style Immigration Bill In The Texas Legislature?—I Would Not Bet Very Much That They Will

Leading members of the current Republican majority in the Texas legislature say that an Arizona-style immigration law will be at the top of the agenda of the next session of the Texas legislature.

The Texas legislature will convene again on January 11, 2011.

From the Houston Chronicle—

“Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, chairman of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, said he expects a “huge push” for immigration reform. “If the Legislature were to choose an Arizona-style path to go down, then I do believe that the emotions will run very high,” he said. It is important, he said, that lawmakers have public hearings and review the issue before deciding a course. “We need to be very cautious. We need to be mindful of all of the concerns among the public. But, above all, we would be mistaken as a legislative body were we to choose to ignore the issue entirely in favor of other issues,” he said. “The voting public here in Texas has made it clear that immigration is one of its top concerns, and, as such, I think legislators of both parties are obligated and have a responsibility to address the issue.” (Texas House Speaker Joe) Straus spokeswoman Tracy Young said, “Speaker Straus agrees with Gov. (Rick) Perry that the heart of the issue is the immediate need to focus on border security and the safety of Texans, and that the federal government should do its job.” Legislators next year will face severe budget problems, divisive redistricting, school funding troubles and reviews of major state agencies, including the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality and the Texas Department of Insurance.”

Here is the full Chronicle article. The article makes it clear that the Tea Party is calling the shots for Texas Republicans.

It’s funny in a way because you can tell here that Senator Carona, Speaker Straus and Governor Perry really don’t want this fight.  Those guys would sell out their core voters in a moment to keep the cheap labor in Texas and to avoid national controversy that could upset the business climate in Texas. These cats are bought and paid for by corporate money.  These top Republicans also know that whenever Hispanics do get around to voting in strong numbers in Texas, they will remember  who treated them as human beings and who treated them as criminals. Texas is one of four majority-minority states in the union and the future here is not with the Tea Party.

This is part of what makes the Tea Party folks in Texas so angry all the time. They know that any victory they gain in Texas is just delaying the inevitable change in what it means to be a Texan.

That said, Texas Republicans have announced months in advance that they will be going after people of Hispanic origin in our state.

The core issue is not immigration. It is about race and culture.

Will progressive forces in Houston and in Texas now speak-up mobilize to meet this challenge? We’ve been given plenty of warning.  A threat to the freedom of one person is a threat to the freedom of all people.

How about the Texas NAACP? Maybe they can get some money to start an effort of all-races solidarity from the “corporate advisory board” listed on the side the Texas NAACP web home. I’m sure Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Dell would like to help.

How about the Houston NAACP?

How about the folks who saw the election of Annise Parker as Mayor of Houston as a victory for human rights?

Here is the web home of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

The rights of all people are connected.

How about Mayor Parker? Mayor Parker got her start in politics fighting for human rights.  What would Hispanics owe the Mayor if she remains silent when her voice is most needed?

Mayor Parker’s campaign web page has a whole list of local progressives and progressive groups that could help lead the fight against an Arizona type immigration law in Texas.

What about Democrats on Houston City Council? Wouldn’t be it something if they met in caucus on a regular basis and offered a vision for Houston’s future?

That sure would be something.

Will the Hispanic community mobilize in the face of this threat?

Will folks on our side of the aisle speak up or will they remain silent?

I’m betting that for the most part silence will carry the day.

If we can easily ignore a nearly 50% child poverty rate in Houston, I figure we can ignore pretty much anything.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mexican Pastries Running Unchecked Across Texas Border—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the weekly Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. The round-up can be found at the end of this post.

With the round-up this week, I’m including a picture of Mexican pastries running unchecked across our Texas and southwestern border.

These pastries don’t care about our laws.

They are putting American pastries out of work.

I sometimes see the landscaping crews employed here in Houston buying these pastries as they go to work in the morning.

I wonder who is employing these folks?

Are they being employed by other Mexican people and Hispanics as part of a plot so that our nation can be overrun by immigrants?

Or are they being employed  by native-born people who want landscaping work done as cheaply as possible and who would never think of asking their own kids to do this work?

As long as we want cheap labor and have lazy children, Mexican pastries are going to be putting American pastries out of work.

I say more power to the Mexican pastries. Mexican pastries were here long before Hostess Fruit Pies and Twinkies.

Here is the round-up—

WhosPlayin has election results and commentary for Lewisville, Lewisville ISD, and Flower Mound.

Neil at Texas Liberal posted a picture of the Mayflower landing in West Texas. Under Texas State Board of Education guidelines, you can teach kids just about anything as long as it is false.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme applauds South Texas for supporting their schools. Tea Party tax brats take note.

Indemnification language exposes industry known threats to safety, public health and environment from hydraulic fracture. On Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS. Continue reading

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Where Is Houston Mayor Parker On Arizona Immigration Law?—Where Are Houston Hispanic Political Leaders?

The new immigration law in Arizona has prompted a strong response across the nation.

Under this new law, American citizens could be asked by law enforcement officer to prove that they have a right to be in Arizona.

Based on your race, you could be asked for your papers by a police officer.

President Obama and Attorney General Holder are deciding if the federal government should sue Arizona.

The Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, Chris Coleman, has ordered a ban on city travel to any event in Arizona.

Meghan McCain, daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain, has said she opposes the law.

There were protests against the law in Chicago that lead to arrests.

However, regretfully, we have heard little of substance from Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

This silence is despite the fact that Mayor Parker began her rise to the Mayor’s office by championing the human rights cause of justice and fair play for gay folks.

And this silence is despite the fact that at least 40% of people in Houston are Hispanic or Latino.

My fellow Houston blogger Stace Medellin of Dos Centavos is also waiting to hear more from Mayor Parker on this important human rights concern.

Congressman Duncan Hunter of California says he would support deporting Hispanic children born in the U.S. This even though being born in the U.S. makes you a citizen.

Republican Texas State Representative  Debbie Riddle says she will propose a law similar to the Arizona law.

In an election year—In a political climate where Tea Party people are running around with all sorts of far right-wing views— we don’t have the luxury of silence.

Mayor Parker, who knows as well as anyone that people can be deprived of human rights and basic justice, needs to speak up.

Beyond the Mayor, where are Hispanic political leaders in Houston?

I’ll tell you where they are.

They are sitting in low-turnout districts happy to have a clear path to re-election, hoarding campaign war chests, and doing nothing of substance to increase Hispanic turnout in Houston, Harris County, and Texas.

If this low turnout makes Hispanics more vulnerable to being accosted for the crime of existing—So it goes.

The freedom of all people is connected. Yet many of our local Democrats in Houston would have folks go it alone against the forces of intolerance and against police state tactics.

The good news is that there will be a march in Houston on May 1 in favor of the human rights of immigrants. Please click here for the details.

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three Observations On Arizona Immigration Law Where People Can Be Asked For Documentation As If We Live In A Police State Run By A Dictator

In Arizona, U.S. citizens can be asked for their papers if a so-called law enforcement officer has an alleged reason to believe that a person is an undocumented resident of the state.

(Above–Writing this post about the new police state law in Arizona allows me run this nice picture of the Grand Canyon. Here is the link to the National Park Service Grand Canyon web page.)

This has been all over the news. Here is a New York Times story about the new law with some of the details.

From that story—

“…Ron White, 52, said he felt a sense of relief that something was finally being done about “the illegals” — whom he blames for ills like congregating on the streets, breaking into homes in his neighborhood, draining tax dollars and taking jobs from Americans..“I sure hope it does have an effect,” Mr. White said of the new law as he packed his car with groceries. “I wouldn’t want to show proof of citizenship, but I also don’t feel it is racial profiling. You are going to look different if you are an alien, and cops know.”

You don’t want to be caught looking different in Arizona.

I have three observations about this new law.

1. The people of Arizona have no doubt been happy enough to take advantage of low-wage services offered by  undocumented folks.

2. As we all know—though you can’t say enough—our land here in America was taken from the original inhabitants in what was little more than a genocide. None of the yahoos who ran all over Indian land had to show any documents.

3. If President Obama had signed a law allowing for police officers to ask for the documents of people legally in the United States, he would be called a fascist or a Hitler by the right. However, when far right-wingers actually do enact such legislation, that is okay with conservatives.

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 7 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 139 other followers