Texas Liberal Panel Of Experts Reads Asian Poetry From Across The Ages Every Chance They Get—Not A Word Is Wasted
It has been sometime since the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has been seen on the blog.
I’m sure you’ve been wondering what they’ve been up to in recent weeks.
They’ve been reading books of Asian poems written many years ago.
What else did you think they’d be doing?
Extinct has been reading Japanese Death Poems–Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death.
Being a Woolly Mammoth, Extinct is always interested in reading about death.
Here is a poem from Death Poems written by a man named Gasan in 1885–
Blow if you will,
Fall wind—the flowers
Have all faded.
Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat is reading Crossing The Yellow River–Three Hundred Poems From The Chinese.
As you can tell from the picture, Hamburger has studied Crossing many times.
Below is a poem from Crossing called View From Heron Tower. It was written by a Wang Chih-huan who lived 688-742.
The white sun is hidden by the mountains.
The Yellow River empties into the sea.
Climb up one floor:
You’ll see a hundred miles more.
Cactus is reading Written on Water—Five Hundred Poems from the Man’yoshu.
Cactus likes to read about water for a change of pace from the day-to-day life of a cactus.
Below is a poem from Written that was authored by a Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaro. This poet lived in the late 7th and early 8th centuries.
Far above the roar
Of the rapids of the stream,
About the peak of graceful Mt. Yutsuki,
Hover heavy clouds.
Samuel Slater Bobblehead is reading Songs of the Kisaeng–Courtesan Poetry of the Last Korean Dynasty.
As always, Samuel Slater Bobblehead is quite industrious in his reading.
Below is a poem from Songs called Who Caught You? It was written by Kungnyo. Kungnyo lived in either the 16th or 17th century.
Who caught you, fish, then set you free
Within my garden pond?
Which clear northern sea did you leave
for these small waters?
Once here, with no way to flee,
you and I are the same.
The poems in these books waste no words. They convey both ideas and feelings from across many years.
No wonder the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts enjoys these books to such a degree.
(Below–The Yellow River in Qinghai Province. Picture by Andre Holdrinet. This is not as serene a place as it may appear. There was a big earthquake in this province in 2010 that killed many people. Here are facts about the the Yellow River.)
A few days I ago I drove the office of the League of Women Voters of the Houston Area so that I could get some election related materials. The Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has been pondering the upcoming election, but felt they needed additional information to make the best choices.
The League of Women Voters has many resources to share with the voting public. I’m including with this post photographs of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts reviewing these materials.
Below is Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat checking out the Harris County sample ballot that was provided to me by the League. Hamburger is dwarfed by the ballot. The ballot is even larger than this because it is printed on the other side as well.
You see that the Harris County sample ballot is printed in both Spanish and English. On the other side it is printed in Vietnamese. No matter how much the so-called Tea Party wishes otherwise, our city, county, state and nation are becoming more diverse each day.
Another of my expert panel, Cactus, is seen below reading 2010 Voters Key from the League. This booklet has the names and contact information of very many elected officials in Harris County. There are also facts here about the duties of each office. I think Cactus really enjoys this publication. Though so far Cactus has not said one way or another on the matter.
The final member of my expert panel, Samuel Slater Bobblehead Doll, is studying the LWV Voters Guide. This excellent guide features all the candidates for office offering their qualifications and responding to various questions. Samuel Slater Bobblehead enjoys reading this document from cover-to-cover. Here is the pdf file of the Houston voter’s guide.
The League of Women voters is of great value. They compile facts to help folks decide who to support at the polls , they sponsor debates of local candidates, and they put on events year-round to help inform the public.
Please make use of the League wherever it is that you live.
Some of the big news in Texas in this past week has been meetings of the Texas State Board of Education to determine what can be taught to school kids in our Texas schools.
Far right-wingers, in control of the board, are purging textbooks of facts that disagree with their world view.
While Texas conservatives very much want you to have the right to bear arms no matter where you go, they are less open to the right to arm yourself with knowledge.
( In the picture above, I illustrate how history is now being taught in Texas. In the picture you see that the Samuel Slater bobble head has just walked off the Mayflower in West Texas–that is why there is a cactus–-and is being greeted by a Care Bear. You can teach any crazy thing in our schools now as long as it is false.)
These folks want to take Thomas Jefferson out of our schools. Please click here to learn about Thomas Jefferson. The good news is that the federal protection of the First Amendment allows me to tell you about Thomas Jefferson no matter how much some of individual states of our Federal Union want to lie about our shared history.
Some of the best blogging about this issue has been done by leading Houston-area blogger Martha Griffin at her blog Musings. Martha was at the hearings and is an expert on education in Texas and about education issues nationally.
From this history—”During the latter half of the nineteenth century the educational system in Texas still operated on a sporadic and localized basis. Some Texans regarded education as a private matter and resented any state involvement. Private and church schools continued to play key roles in the educational development of Texas and in some areas offered the only choice of formal schooling. Schools short of funds often faced problems of low supplies, inadequate facilities, and poorly trained teachers. Since the days before the republic some government officials had called for guidelines specifying the qualifications of teachers.”
I suppose we have made some progress since that time. Maybe. Sort of.
Here is the round-up—
This week at Left of College Station, the spring semester ends and Teddy has made it through another twelve hours of classes. He wasn’t too busy to take a look at the developments in the campaign for TX-17, and how the Republicans are attempting to nationalize the midterm elections.
TXsharon of BLUEDAZE: Drilling Reform for Texas took some EPA officials from D.C. on a Barnett Shale tour last week.
WhosPlayin has the final results from the Texas DSHS investigation of blood and urine for residents of Dish, TX; the conclusions are not by any means an exoneration for the industry because of significant limitations to the investigation. Read more »
When The Mayflower Landed In West Texas—In Texas You Can Teach Schoolchildren Nearly Anything At All
As many know from following the news about the Texas State Board of Education, it is okay to teach Texas schoolchildren nearly any type of wrong information.
Far right-wing ideologues have taken control of the Texas Board. As a result, kids in Texas are not getting a clear view of the facts as they really are in the world.
Why would employers want to hire people educated in such a way?
Above is a picture illustrating how the landing of the Mayflower is taught here in Texas.
Here is the lesson as I am nearly sure it is being instructed—
In Texas, you can teach our kids anything at all. It’s like a Wild West of education.
You can teach anything you want so as long as you don’t get to close to what is actually the truth.