Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Testing Testing Testing

I’ll be in Los Angeles soon on vacation. I’d like to make some posts from Los Angeles with the WordPress app on my phone. It has been a few months since I used this app and this post is a test.

The picture is of Houston Mayor Annise Parker from the monthly blogger lunch today.

Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

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March 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Instagram Is Right To Want To Sell User Photos To Advertisers—If You Want To Talk About Empowerment Rather Than Selfishness, I Am Ready For The Discussion

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I read today about the prospect of Instagram selling user photos to advertisers.  This caused an uproar on the web. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
 
(Above–You get what you pay for.  This is a picture I took in Downtown Houston last week.)
 
I don’t see how a for-profit company that people often use yet refuse to pay for, owes either privacy or even simple respect to so-called customers.
 
Use of Facebook is a transaction in which we offer our lives, relationships & thoughts as a commodity to a corporation that logically expects to make a profit. I get more than a fair deal from Facebook.
 
This blog is written on WordPress. I don’t pay for the service. WordPress runs ads on my posts to help meet the costs of the business. I don’t see any of the revenue that these ads generate. Why should I? WordPress has been providing me with a “free” service for over six years so far.
 
If you want to discuss a worker’s uprising in a nation where hard work increasingly does not pay off, or the fact that the web and associated technologies are bringing about intrusive private sector and government tracking of our lives—I’m happy to discuss all that and I’m set for big changes in our nation. I’m firmly of the left and I’m ready to be part of moving our nation to the left.
 
However, I’m less open to the view that the fruits of other people’s labor and ideas should be offered for free, and yet at the same time we don’t like the terms of the exchange. There is little ideology or belief of any kind behind this type of thinking other than selfishness.
 
If folks want to talk about real empowerment rather than selfishness, I am ready for the discussion.
 

December 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Two Short Videos—The Creative And The Practical Are One In The Same And Draw Meaning And Substance From One Another

1. While politics and democracy are sometimes called the “art of the possible”, I feel these things are at core acts of creativity and imagination.

2. In political life, and in the larger sphere of our democratic freedoms and responsibilities, something is imagined as a desirable outcome and steps are planned to reach that goal.

3. Thought comes before action.

4. Also, in my view of politics and democracy, all people have the ability to understand complex things. People have more ability than they realize.

5. It is, of course, not a given that people will make the effort to try and understand complex things or that outcomes in a democracy will be positive outcomes. Believing in democracy can require a measure of nihilism.

6. What you can do about possible bad outcomes in society is do your best to be a part of society and the democracy.

7. With our minds, with effort and self-discipline, and with technology that is accessible to many, we can convey our beliefs in both a creative and practical manner. There is no contradiction between the creative and the practical.

8. There are few contradiction of any kind. Though to say this does not imply that we cannot hold strong beliefs.

9. At the top of this post are two short videos that I filmed in Houston. In each video I list a few points I’ve observed about democracy. It would not take you more than two minutes total watch both videos.

10. I made the videos with my little Flip Camera and have posted them on my blog that I get for free from WordPress.

The things we need are around us and they are accessible with effort and self-discipline. Every time is the right time to talk about freedom and democracy. All people can understand complex things and all places have value and meaning.  Good outcomes are never a given and people are often brutal. The creative and the practical are one in the same and draw meaning and substance from one another.

June 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Happy To Pay WordPress Some Money

A few minutes ago, I paid WordPress, the service that hosts this blog, $59.97 so that I can continue to post videos that I make onto the blog.

I’m not fully sure what exactly it was I was buying, but it seems to be required to be able to post videos.

Here is my latest video.

$59.97 a year is getting off cheap when it comes to the service WordPress provides.

WordPress allows people to have a basic blog for free. They offer a number of different templates for you to write your blog. You just can’t beat what WordPress does for folks.

When I’ve had technical questions, the WordPress staff has been quick to reply, polite, and helpful.

WordPress is great. I’m happy to give them some money, and I’d strongly recommend WordPress if you re thinking of starting your own blog.

People think that stuff should be free just because it is on the web.  If a business can make a go of it by not charging anything–Then good for them. But the fact is that employees of a business need paychecks and benefits.

I’m glad to pay up for WordPress. I would pay a monthly fee or some other type of charge if that is what would be required to help WordPress keep going.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Comment Moderation Turned On

I’m sorry I’ve reached the point where I feel this is best, but I’ve turned on the comment moderation function for the blog. I’ve had to do so because I’ve been getting a number of terrible racist comments of late. 

I favor an open approach to comments and I hope the good folks who comment here will take no offense. I’m sometimes away from the blog for a number of hours and there are just some things I can’t have up at my small corner of the internet.

Almost all spam to the blog is caught by the system set up by WordPress. I can’t say enough good about WordPress.  

I will approve the great majority of comments I get here. So if you don’t see your comment right away, please just give me some time. 

It’s only your proverbial few bad apples that have made me turn on the comment moderation after almost three years writing this blog. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn it off soon enough.

Below—Mean nasty commentors—represented by bad apple—being eaten up by comment moderation— as represented by stinging bees.  

Here are many facts about apples from the University of Illinois.

Here are facts about bees.

 

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Blogging | , , , , | 8 Comments

1000 Views A Day In February—Thank You Blog Reading Public

 

Thanks to you, the blog reading public, Texas Liberal received just over 1000 views a day in February.

This according to my WordPress web traffic counter.

Thank you to everybody who reads the blog.

I set a goal for this blog was 1000 views a day. If I can sustain the traffic over another couple of months, I’ll set a new goal.

Where and when does it end?

Who knows?  

It could all tank tomorrow. You never can tell.  

It is good to feel I am communicating in some way.

Communication is important.

The creature above is an Elasmotherium. It was a kind of half-horse half-rhino type beast.

March 3, 2008 Posted by | Blogging | , , , | 2 Comments

1000 Views A Day Last Week—Thank You Blog Reading Public

 

A goal I set for Texas Liberal this year was to reach 1000 page views a day. I’ve not reached that goal as of yet over the long haul, but I am glad to report that thanks to readers such as yourself, I did last week hit 1000 views a day for a full week’s time.

I have the goal of 1000 and when I hit that target I’ll set a new goal.

I know some folks place more stock in unique visitors when counting blog traffic. I figure if someone comes to your shop and finds more than one thing of interest, then you have done pretty good with that person. 

All the ways that people count blog traffic have both good points and flaws. I just use my WordPress counter which gives me views and not unique visitors.

In any case, regardless of the traffic, it is good to have a forum with which to communicate and I appreciate all visitors to Texas Liberal.

An additional note–This Thursday I’ll be live-blogging the Democratic debate in Austin between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. I’ll be doing so on this blog and at my space as one of seven featured political bloggers on the Houston Chronicle web page.

The illustration above is of the Ichthyosaur. Here is a good web page with information about this pre-historic sea beast.  

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Sea Life | , , , | Leave a comment

500th Texas Liberal Post—Each Post Worse Than The One That Came Before

 

This is the 500th Texas Liberal post. While not a big deal for you the blog reader, I’d like to comment. 

500 posts is not a lot for some blogs, yet it is still quite a bit of work.

I enjoy blogging and I’m thankful to have the ability and the time to communicate with others.  

Three important things we have in life are our relationships, our values and the ability to communicate.

Since the beginning of October I’ve run just under 400 page views a day according to my WordPress stats. That’s good I’d say. I appear to still be moving up in traffic. My goal is 1000 page views a day at some point in 2008 and to take it from there. 

If you like Texas Liberal, please forward the link to somebody you think might feel the same way. The internet may seem like mass communication, but you build an audience for a blog one–by one–by one. 

There are a few of my entries I’d like to link to that I feel, for various reasons, have some merit. ( At the bottom of this post I’ll mention some other strong blogs. It’s no fun without other blogs.)

Malcolm, Martin & Liberals Like Myself is a brief overview of how I came to my outlook on politics and society. It describes why I’m often not at ease with people who might in some respects appear to be natural allies.   

My Excellent Wife Wearing Wedding Dress And Holding Bowling Ball is a great post because it involves my wife. My wife is the best person in the world.

 A Very Good Phone Call With Melissa Noriega is my favorite post about Texas politics. I went from skepticism about Houston Council candidate Noriega to an ongoing dialogue with someone who is now a friend and a sitting Councilmember.   

Colonial Loyalists As Modern Conservatives With Bonus Tarring-And-Feathering Picture is a good post from the number of entries I’ve made on Colonial America.  

Texas Fish Kill As Andy Warhol Painting is my favorite post on sea life. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage posting about sea creatures. In this post, I simply enjoy the three illustrations of the fish.

As Liberal As I Am, If Hillary Clinton Is The 2008 Democratic Nominee I’ll Give Her My Strong Support lays out some of my views about the 2008 campaign.

I Tipped The Kid Who handed Me A Burrito $5 Because I Felt He Shared My Outlook And Might, With Time, Share My Values  is a post that I hope suggests we can always be of help to good people.   

People Have A Right To Define Family As They Wish is the post I’m most proud of on the blog. Every day I get search engine traffic from someone googling the term “define family” or “what is family.” I feel maybe this post has helped somebody.   

Posts I’ve written have been linked to by Crooks and Liars , SlateThe Agonist, rebecca’s pocket and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune . I’ve been picked up by BlogBurst a number of times and those good folks have landed me at USA Today, The Austin-American Statesman and the Reuters News Agency. 

Blognet News/Texas and Lefty Blogs are most helpful. And, of course, so is WordPress. I can’t say enough good about WordPress.    

I have one of five featured political blogs at the Houston Chronicle and I also blog at Where’s The Outrage?

Where’s The Outrage? is the home of the Errington Thompson podcast. 

My thanks to Dwight Silverman at the Chronicle and Errington Thompson at WTO? in North Carolina for these opportunities. 

Friendly bloggers and good blogs can be found at, among other places, Jobsanger, Brains & EggsLast Row, Blue Bloggin’ , Who’s Playin? and Panhandle Truth Squad.

South Texas Chisme does a very good job of conveying a lot of information in an efficient way while keeping a sense of humor.    

I’d also like to note two blogs, on the opposite side of the aisle from myself in some respects, that were nice enough to recently place me on their blogrolls.

Bloggin’ All Things Brownsville is well-conceived and well-executed. I’ve had to find a voice for my blog. I think BATB knew what she was doing from the start.

And—Thanks to my friend Tito for the link from Custos Fidei. That link is, I think, another example of how people often sense they have something in common despite clear enough differences.  

Also, closer to my side of the aisle, The Field Negro out of Philadelphia is well-tuned to my sensibilities. Thanks to that blog for the link.

Thanks George and Bill in Cincinati for all the comments and thanks to Citizen X for reading the blog. Thanks to many long-time friends who read the blog.      

Thanks to super-smart Alex Ragsdale at the U. of Houston and thanks to her good friend Will who is studying at Georgetown. Both are bright young folks who will do great things.    

Most of all—Thanks to everybody who has read Texas Liberal and thanks for the comments. As I mentioned up top, please consider sending this link to others as I work to grow Texas Liberal.

The illustration is of some type of pygmy Mastodon. The Mastodon is the state fossil of Michigan.

November 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Cincinnati, Colonial America, Good People, Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Martin & Malcolm, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever, Politics, Sea Life, Texas, Welcome To TexasLiberal | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

   

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