Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Relationships Of Various Kinds Are The Start Of Things—3,000 Blog Posts Is A Lot Of Work

Earlier this week I reached 3,000 posts on Texas Liberal.  This is post # 3,003.

3,003 blog posts is a lot of work.

I thought it would be good to note 3,000 blog posts with pictures of many of the friends I saw on my trip to Cincinnati last week.

I’m also appreciative of the many folks I’ve met in Houston and elsewhere in Texas through this blog. There are very many good hopeful people in Texas.

Everything starts with relationships and with the acknowledgment that all things are connected.

From the very beginning of things, the elements of existence have moved in concert and in reaction to each other.

Our relationships are with other people, with the natural and man-made world (to the extent the natural and man-made world are separate), and with our own values, thoughts and aspirations.

And in any other way that I’m missing here and that makes a hopeful difference to you.

Everything you need to understand the world is around you each day. These things are accessible with effort and imagination.

Thanks for reading Texas Liberal and—as Ronald Reagan often said—Stay the course.

September 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Image Of President Obama Trampling The Constitution—Bill Clinton And FDR Are Glad To See It Happen

I really enjoy this image I found on Facebook of Barack Obama trampling on what appears to be a torn-up copy of the Constitution.

There is also money strewn about. I guess that is to indicate Mr. Obama’s carelessness with tax dollars.

Around Mr. Obama are all the Presidents who served before 2009.

The Founding Father Presidents are beside themselves at Mr. Obama’s actions.

They miss the days when the Constitution protected slavery.

Abe Lincoln is mad.

I wonder what Mr. Lincoln would think today about all the states rights appeals we are hearing for the right.

Andy Jackson is engaging in angry finger-pointing.

Ronald Reagan looks a bit confused.

That part at least is true to life.

And Joe Whiteman is despondent and alone on the bench —and no doubt unemployed— as Mr. Obama stomps on our liberties and tosses cash around like it is worthless.

Applauding Mr. Obama’s terrible actions are Bill Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt and what looks to be Teddy Roosevelt.

These folks want to take us back not just before the Great Society and the New Deal, they want to take us back all the way even before the Progresssive Era of Teddy Roosevelt.

That way we can have dead rats in our meat again as Upton Sinclair detailed in The Jungle. 

I think Lyndon Johnson is smiling as well.

Richard Nixon does not seem very glad about this disregard of our Constitution. You’d think Mr. Nixon would be cheering right along.

This illustration made my day.

A great way to learn about the Presidents is from the Miller Center  at the U. of Virginia. 

The National Archives has great web resources to learn about our Constitution.

Many conservatives sure do get into a tizzy over Barack Obama.

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stay The Course—Concern Yourself With The Substance Of The Message And With Your Own Hard Work

Above is a picture of myself from Occupy Houston on October 29.

I found the sign I am holding at the Occupy site.

I often use the phrase “Stay the Course” in my personal conversations.

I use the phrase because I recall that Ronald Reagan used it to his benefit.

We should set a goal and then we should stay the course to reach that objective.

I like everything written on that sign.

You’ll notice the misspelled word on the sign.

I don’t care.

I know that spotting misspelled words on signs made by Tea Party backers is something of a sport for some folks on my side of the aisle.

I think this is often done to make fun of the person holding the sign instead of critiquing the view that person is espousing.

If those folks holding up the misspelled Tea Party signs were so dumb, how come they outworked us and beat us so badly in the 2010 elections?

Calling other people dumb does not make it better when you have been whomped at the voting booth.

People may be a lot of bad things. They may be ill-informed about the issues of the day. Or they not be very nice at times.

But people are not stupid.

If you say somebody is stupid, you’re saying you are better than them in some basic organic biological way.

I’m not for that kind of talk.

That sign I’m holding is a great sign.

Let’s worry about the roots more so than the branches.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Galveston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website. 

Poke around the web and Facebook and find an Occupy effort near you.

Or start one yourself.

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conservative Leader William Rusher Dies—Let’s Learn From Someone Who Sometimes Got The Better Of Us

Conservative political leader William Rusher has died at the age of 87.

Mr. Rusher was a columnist and activist who played a prominent part in the gains of  American conservatism over the past 50 years. Mr. Rusher played a leading role for many years for the important  conservative magazine The National Review.

Portions of Mr. Rusher’s obituary from the New York Times are worth considering.

From the Times–

“Mr. Rusher championed postwar conservatism as a mainstream political movement that first tasted national success in the Republican presidential nomination of Barry M. Goldwater in 1964, and fulfilled its dream with the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980.”

Mr. Rusher was a vocal conservative who trumpeted his cause when his views were not widely held. He stuck with his beliefs and realized great victories.

“He and two colleagues founded the draft-Goldwater movement in 1961. With other prominent conservatives, he opposed the re-election of Richard M. Nixon in 1972 because of the president’s overtures to China. He started a third party that faltered in 1976, and was an adviser in Reagan’s presidential campaign four years later.”

Mr. Rusher was willing to go against his party for his beliefs. You have to be willing to chart your own course.

“… in 1975, Mr. Rusher explained how (a third-party) might work. “The only practical solution, therefore, is for conservative Republicans (broadly represented by Reagan) and conservative Democrats (most of whom have in the past supported Wallace)” — a reference to Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama — “to join forces in a new majority party, designed to win both the Presidency and Congress and replace the G.O.P. in toto as one of America’s two major parties.”  In 1976, putting his ideas into practice, Mr. Rusher and several colleagues founded the New Majority Party. But it collapsed that summer at a convention in Chicago after a rival group pushed through the presidential nomination of Lester G. Maddox, the former governor of Georgia and an avowed segregationist.” 

Mr. Rusher was right that there more conservatives than people realized. And he thought big. The emergence of the Tea Party has not replaced the Republican Party, but it has, for the moment at least, changed how Republicans operate. Mr. Rusher saw that one of the two major parties could be challenged.  Of course, as we are dealing with the American right, the nomination of Lester Maddox in 1976 is a perfectly apt cautionary tale right up the current day.

“…He ended his syndicated column in 2009. “Undoubtedly,” he wrote in a farewell, “the most important single factor in the growth of conservatism has been the realization, on the part of individual conservatives, that their views were shared by others, and constituted collectively a formidable national influence.”

This is just so important. Winning elections and swaying the political debate can hinge on committed everyday people thinking things out and taking action. This was one way, along with the support of billionaires, that the Tea Party made an impact in 2010. It was a sense that things could different that helped Barack Obama win in 2008. In my view, there is no ideological majority in the United States. There are many factors that impact elections. But one of the most important things, and one thing every person can control, is what effort individuals make for their beliefs.

Here is the National Review on Mr. Rusher.

There can be no doubt that conservatives and the far-right have won many battles in the half-century since the early 1960’s. Just as liberals and progressives have won many battles. There are many battles ahead and we all have the ability to take part and move forward. Let’s take to heart the lessons of a man who sometimes got the better of us.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Keith Haring—Ways To Dispose Of The Dead

I went to the Keith Haring exhibit at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center today.

The exhibit is very much worth visiting.

Mr. Haring lived 1958-1990.

Two days after the death of my dad, this exhibit seemed like a proper mix of intellect and aesthetics, and of good cheer and death.

Many Haring drawings dealt with AIDS. In a number of his works, Mr. Haring showed a justified contempt for Ronald Reagan due to how Mr. Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis.

The museum said you could not take pictures of Mr. Haring’s art. At the same time, the exhibit celebrated Mr. Haring’s start as a graffiti artist, and talked about him being arrested for chalk drawings in public spaces in NYC.

Everything becomes a product.

Death is a product. You can buy different funeral packages that help you dispose of the dead person in your life in varying ways.

The picture above is from the book I bought today of drawings completed by the deceased Mr. Haring.

One way we dispose of the dead is to remember them in a way that suits the needs and wants of the living.

Please click here to learn more about Mr. Haring.

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Houston-Based King Street Patriot Tea Party Cell Wins Ronald Reagan Award—Prize Is Well-Deserved

The so-called King Street Patriots have won the 2011 Ronald Reagan Award at the recently concluded Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.

(Above–Ronald Reagan in 1980 campaigning in South Carolina with Senator Strom Thrumond. Mr. Thurmond is seen here to the left of Mr. Reagan. Senator Thurmond was a 1948 Dixiecrat candidate for President.)

The King Street Patriots are a Tea Party cell based here in Houston.

CPAC is a national confederation of extreme conservative activists. At the 2011 meeting, libertarian Houston-area U.S. Representative Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll.

Rep. Paul is the libertarian who loves earmarks.

Consistent with the views of portions of the American right, Rep. Paul invited an economist with ties to group advocating southern secession to testify before the House committee he chairs.

In what way did the King Street Patriots (KSP) Tea Party cell reflect the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan?  Why did this group merit the award?

Did the King Street Patriots equal Ronald Reagan’s neglect of the AIDS crisis even as thousands died?

Well…even though the Tea Party position of repeal for Healthcare Reform would cause Americans to lose needed care and to die, this is not why KSP won the Reagan prize.

Did the King Street Patriots match the Gipper in doing to harm to our environment? Remember Mr. Reagan’s nature-hating Interior Secretary James Watt?

Well…even though the Tea Party had a part in electing a Republican leadership in Texas that has pursued environmental polices so bad that even conservative Oklahoma complained to the EPA about the bad air drifting over from Texas, this is not why the King Street folks took the Reagan award for 2011.

Did the King Street Patriots live up to Mr. Reagan’s legacy of making an important 1980 campaign appearance in Philadelphia, Mississippi—near the location of brutal crimes against Civil Rights workers in the 1960’s–and saying “I believe in states rights.”

You got it.

The King Street Patriots won the Reagan prize for their efforts against non-existent voter fraud in majority-minority Harris County, Texas.

As many Southern whites regress to the solid one-party politics of a shameful past, Republicans and allied Tea Party groups around the nation are working hard to put up obstacles to voting by likely Democratic voters.

With Harris County and Texas undergoing massive demographic change, Republicans are afraid that they will lose control of the county and the state.

As much as I don’t like what the so-called King Street Patriots are doing, they are doing things the law permits. We are not going to change the minds of people in these Tea Party cells. They have a right to act in any manner within the law no matter how offensive and wrong.

The real issue is for folks on our side of the aisle to meet the challenge and to make progress. Progress is always possible.

Voter registration drives of likely Democratic voters should be taking place year round. Lawyers should be in place to defend these registration efforts. Our fellow citizens need to know they will backed up when they go to vote.

Democratic elected officials, along with the civil rights and progressive groups, must work together with the same common purpose we often see on the right.  Everyday citizens must be invloved in doing the work of freedom.

It is up to each of as individuals to make the decision to work collectively for the causes we value.

*************************************************************************************************************

Some resources on the topic of voting—

Here is information on voting in Texas.

A new book on the subject of voter fraud is The Myth of Voter Fraud by Lori Minnite.

Here is a Green Party history of voting rights in the United States.

Here is the web home of the Harris County Democratic Party. Ask them what they are doing to make sure all people in Harris County are being allowed to vote.

And don’t forget–You are your own best resource for the change you want to see.

(Below–1867 drawing of newly freed black men voting. Women would not get the vote until 1920. And of course, near-total resistance to blacks voting went on well into the 1960’s.)

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 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

How Not To Conduct A Conference Call—People Want To Communicate

I was just on a conference call where two candidates running for public office here in Texas invited political bloggers to hear what they had to say.

(Above–Telephone from 1931.)

I won’t say who these folks are because I want them to win the election.

However…..

…Please allow me to offer some tips on how not to conduct a conference call when you are asking for support.

1. Do not start the call with everybody on mute. It was clear from the start that the idea on having folks on mute was done for a reason. Whatever that reason was, it could only be frustrating and insulting to people who dialed in and who thought the call would be an open forum.

(Above–Someone who merited being placed on mute.)

2. Do not express the concern that opening the call to all might be “unruly.” Democracy is unruly. If you find a conference call with a friendly audience daunting, just what will you do in a tough campaign?

3. When you finally do decide to open the call after nearly 50 minutes of us listening to you, please don’t cut off the call in a rush because some folks are a bit long-winded.

( Above–French army using remote phone in WW I.)

4. If you convey the impression that you don’t want to listen to people, the impression you will convey is that you don’t want to listen to people.

It is best to be open. As you can guess from this post, I did not find this conference call to be open.

People want to be able to communicate with one another. People want to be able to express what they think about things.

Who thought it would be a good idea to not let bloggers express themselves?

Here is a history of the telephone.

Here is the video of the excellent Kraftwerk song The Telephone Call.

Here is the video for Blondie’s Hanging On The Telephone.

(Below—Lady Gaga and Beyonce are on the telephone.)

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ulysses Grant And The North’s Victory In The Civil War Must Remain On The $50 Bill

Some folks want to replace Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill with Ronald Reagan.

This is wrong.

(Above—$50 bill from 1929.)

General Grant fought for the freedom of the American people. On the other hand, Ronald Reagan worked for evil states rights positions of racial and social injustice.

Why else but to do wrong would have Mr. Reagan have kicked off his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi?

Philadelphia is where the three Civil Right workers–-Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman-–were killed in 1964.

Mr. Reagan began his campaign in Philadelphia to signal to white Republican Southerners and other racists that the era of Civil Rights was over as far as the White House and the Presidency were concerned.

Mr. Reagan won a temporary victory for injustice with his election in 1980.

Yet good people know that justice is eternal and that wrongdoing cannot prosper forever.

Just 20 years after Mr. Reagan left office, our nation elected a black man named Barack Hussein Obama as our President.

The sacrifices and the outcome Civil War settled the fact that the federal government had dominion over the states, and that the rights of all Americans are the chief concern of our federal government.

Beliefs outside this hard-won conclusion are un-American.

(Below—Civil war dead at Gettysburg as photographed by Matthew Brady.)

April 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Analysis Of Upcoming Sotomayor Debate—You’ll Have To Learn About Supreme Court On Your Own

File:Reagan with Robert Bork 1987.jpg

Below is analysis and a transcript of upcoming debate over the appointment of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

“Blah Blah Blah.”

She’ll legislate from the bench. She’s an activist judge. She’s a liberal.

Blah Blah Blah.

Same stuff every time.

(Above–Robert Bork with Ronald ReaganMr. Bork was, thankfully, rejected for the court.)

President Obama has said he’s looking for a mix of real-life experience and knowledge of the law for the Supreme Court.

It’s seems that this is just what he’s found.   

I’m not saying you should not read about Judge Sotomayor. You should. Here’s a good story to get started.  

Here’s how Business Week magazine sees her record on business issues.

What I’m saying is  that instead of following the moronic debate that will end with Judge Sotomayor being confirmed, one could learn about the history of the court and gain some context beyond the same old junk.  

Here’s the Supreme Court web home.

Here’s a review of A People’s History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons.

Here’s a review of The U.S. Supreme Court–The Pursuit of Justice edited by Christopher Tomlins.

Here’s a link to learn about some important cases in Supreme Court history.

Here’s a list of all 110 Supreme Court Justices to date.

You won’t learn this stuff in school, on CNN or with a Twitter message. You’ll have to learn it on your own.

In many respects, the best sources remain books, a good daily newspaper and your own hard work.

(Below–The great Chief Justice Earl Warren.)

File:EarlWarren.jpg

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Specter Switch—Republicans Unable To Get A Hold On Senate Since 1929 Crash

File:MLKjr and Specter.jpg

The switch of Arlen Specter from Republican to Democrat leaves Republicans with just 40 Senators in the 100 seat Senate. After Al Franken is seated in Minnesota there will be 58 Democrats and 2 independents who mostly vote with the Democrats in the Senate.  

( Above–Arlen Specter with Martin Luther King. Please click here for the best Martin Luther King reading list on the web.)

This weak Republican presence in the Senate is not out of line with Republican membership in the Senate since the 1929 stock crash. Beginning with the 1930 election, the first after the crash, Democrats have reached 60 or more seats in the Senate 11 times. Mr. Franken’s seating will make that 12 times.

The peak of Democratic control was the 76 seats won in the 1936 election.

(Below–Charles McNary of Oregon was leader of the very small Republican Senate minority after the 1936 election.)

File:Charles mcnary.jpg

The Republican high since 1930 is just 55 seats. This mark was reached in the elections of 1996, 1998 and 2004. The last time Republicans were as strong in the Senate as are Democrats today was after the election of 1920 when they had 59 seats. The Senate at that time had only 96 seats as Alaska and Hawaii were not yet part of the union.

Democrats have won more than 55 seats in the Senate 20 times since 1929 in contrast to the inability of Republicans to win as many of 56 seats since that year.

( Here  is the link to the web home of the U.S. Senate. There is a lot of information to be found at the Senate site. Here is a link to the divisions by party going back to the beginning of the Senate in 1789.)   

The last time Republicans reached 60 seats was the election of 1908. Republicans won 60 seats that year in what was a 92 seat Senate.

Democrats have had two main periods of dominance in the Senate since was 1929.  In the years between and including the first election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, and his final election in 1944, Democrats never fell below 57 seats.

( Below—Republican Robert Taft of Ohio was Senate Majority Leader at the time of  his death in 1953.

File:Robert a taft.jpg

In 1958 Democrats won 65 seats and in 1978 they took 58. In between those years, they never went lower than 54 and seven times eclipsed 60.  

(Below–Mike Mansfield of Montana was Majority Leader of the Senate 1961-1977. That is the longest tenure in that position.) 

File:Mike mansfield.jpg

Republicans have only had two stretches since 1929 where they’ve won control of the Senate in consecutive elections. 

In the Reagan years, Republicans ran the Senate after the 1980, 1982 and 1984 elections. After the Republican Congressional landslide of 1994, Republicans won at least 50 seats each election up to and including 2004.  Though after the 2000 election Republican control was ended when Jim Jeffords of Vermont switched to the Democrats giving Democrats a 51-49 edge.

( Below–Howard Baker of Tennessee served as both Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate.)

File:Howard baker jr.jpg

A qualification to all this could be that many Democrats in the years of Democratic control since 1929 were Southern Democrats who often voted with Republicans. True control of the Senate often eluded the more progressive elements of the Democratic Party.

There is truth to that qualification. But it must be said that the New Deal and Great Society programs that conservatives would like to undo were passed in these years. Civil Rights legislation also passed in these years though it took a long time and required the principled support of some Republicans in the Senate.

Today’s strong Democratic majority has moderate members, but nothing like the segregationists of the past. 

For 40 years, since the Sunbelt driven election of Richard Nixon in 1968, we’ve been hearing about the supposed realignment of American politics towards Republicans. Well–Where is it?

( Please click here to read about the Senate’s art collection.) 

Today’s Democratic majorities and the states that Barack Obama won come from all around the nation. In the South, Mr. Obama won North Carolina, Virgina and Florida. Senator Specter’s switch only adds to the 80 years and counting slump of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate.

( Coming soon -A look at membership of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1929. The story is much the same as it has been in the Senate.)

(Below—Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia has seen a lot of Senate history since he entered the Senate in 1959.  He is the longest serving Senator ever.) 

File:Robert Byrd Majority Portrait.jpg

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Art, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Congressman Ron Paul Is Second Elected Republican To Talk Treason

Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas is the second elected Republican in the Lone Star State to talk treason in recent days. (Photo of Rep. Paul, in front of our flag, above.) (Here is a map of the areas represented by Rep. Paul.)

Here is what Rep. Paul said—

“[Perry] really stirred some of the liberal media, where they started screaming about: ‘what is going on here, this is un-American.’ I heard one individual say ‘this is treasonous to even talk about it.’ Well, they don’t know their history very well, because when you think about it… it is very American to talk about secession. That’s how we came in being. Thirteen colonies seceded from the British and established a new country. So secession is a very much American principle….”

Rep. Paul terms himself a libertarian, even as he asks for $398 million in earmarks from the most recent federal budget, but he is an elected Republican in our Congress. 

Last week Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry said Texas could consider leaving the union if it felt oppressed by the federal government. The federal government has of late been oppressing Texas with hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funds 

Is the Republican Party of Texas loyal to our union or is it not? What do they think Ronald Reagan would have thought about this disloyal talk? 

A recent Rasmussen poll reports that 18% of Texans would vote to leave the union if they had the chance. Another 7% are not sure. That is 25% of folks in Texas would would support or consider supporting leaving the union.   

What share of Texas rank-and-file Republicans hold this view? It seems that at least 40% or so of Texas Republicans must hold this view. I doubt it is Democrats that support this position of treason and blind anger.

It’s not just Texas. National Republicans had little problem with putting secessionist Sarah Palin within close reach of the White House. 

If Republicans and conservatives want to equate our elected President Obama and our elected Democratic Congress to taxation without representation, they are free to do so.

What I will do, as will liberals and Democrats across the nation, is salute the flag of the United States of America.

 

National Republican Party leader and conservative leader Rush Limbaugh has defended Governor Perry’s views on treason.  Given Mr. Limbaugh’s wide following with conservatives, one would be fair to conclude that the option of tearing the nation apart is a mainstream Republican view. 

Ideally in our democracy, competing political parties would offer differing views on the issues before the nation and the people would decide which views they feel are best.

But if Americans have cause to question the loyalty of one the two main parties, and have reason to question the loyalty of the conservative movement,  then we may reach the point where Republicans and conservatives can no longer be seen as legitimate participants in the national political debate.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shirtless Presidents

Barack Obama— 

 

John Kennedy—

Teddy Roosevelt—

Gerald Ford(The jumper on the left)

Ronald Reagan—

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Am Of Two Minds About Barack Obama

I’m of two minds about Barack Obama

(Above–Many minds of various kinds.)

In one line of thought, I’m so relieved Mr. Obama has won the election. I feel President-elect Obama ran a disciplined campaign, and is now conducting a tight-ship transition. I know he may be as liberal a candidate ever to have to won the White House. I have some faith that he is at heart a good person. I am hopeful for good leadership in these tough economic times.

Yet I also hold another view that Mr. Obama is a politician who will use people to his own ends. I fear he is yet another Democrat who will use liberals and take them for granted. 

At a deeper level, Mr. Obama will remain constrained, if that is the right word to use in a democracy, by the realities of American political life. He is also constrained by the realities of who holds power in America.

As a liberal I don’t need everything I hope for from the Obama administration. What I am looking for is a respectful hearing for liberals, and for policies that make sense for the times we live in. I’d say that the times we live in require a role for government in the economy, universal health care, and protection of the environment.

One thing that I’m paying attention to as we fight the recession is, when it is over, will the same people who helped cause the trouble still command of so much of our national wealth? 

Another thing is will Mr. Obama ever speak frankly to the American public about the need to live within our paychecks, while at the same time serving as a real advocate for working people?    

Change will be about shifts in who pulls the strings in our nation, and will involve truthful talk about our future.  

I trust Mr. Obama for the moment. But as Ronald Reagan said about arms control agreements with the Soviet Union–“Trust but verify.”

December 2, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | 2 Comments

McCain Campaign Treated Palin Like A Dumb Trophy Candidate

One thing I never call people is stupid. I don’t think people are stupid or dumb. They might be ignorant, but they are not stupid. In a democracy we assume that the average person has the ability to understand what is taking place.

If ignorant, the chance always exists that uninformed people can be brought up to speed. Hope remains. Think of all the people who voted for George Bush in 2004 and then voted for Barack Obama in 2008. These are people who caught on.

The other thing is that when you insult somebody you had better be sure they will not get the last laugh.

A lot of people seem to think Sarah Palin is dumb or stupid. The people who seemed most sure of that fact were in the John McCain campaign. She did a few bad interviews at the beginning of the campaign, and they put a muzzle on her the rest of the way. They did so even after she did well in her debate with Joe Biden. 

The McCain campaign should have taken her off the trail for a few days and treated her with respect. I’m glad they did not, but that is what would’ve been best for the McCain effort. She could have been coached on issues. Her talents as a communicator would have taken care of the rest.

Instead, they just wanted her to be a woman who did the heavy lifting of motivating the base while the man-in-charge went around looking for the main prize. She was a trophy candidate. 

I wish Sarah Palin was dumb. Then I would not worry about her anymore. She may be ignorant and mean-spirited, but she is not dumb. People often said that Ronald Reagan was clueless, but most times Mr. Reagan got the best his foes.  

Sarah Palin is a disciplined quick-learner. She calculates her next move every step of the way and knows just what she needs to know to advance on the next level. It might flatter liberals to think that folks who believe that people and dinosaurs lived at the same time are stupid. Sure–They are so stupid they kicked our asses at the polls for years.

Sarah Palin is smart and dangerous. Her abilities merit nothing but our respect and close watching.

You might win a fight by being better informed than your foe. Or by laying better plans or by working harder. But if you think that you are simply smarter than the other man or woman, you are likely in for a surprise.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 4 Comments

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