Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Being Homeless Is Becoming A Crime In Houston, Texas

The City of Houston has expanded the so-called “Civility” ordinance.  This law restricts where in Houston homeless people can sit and sleep on sidewalks.

Any city has the right to regulate conduct which is disruptive and dangerous. The homeless should certainly not be exempt from such regulation.  Still, in Houston “civility” seems only to be a matter of law for homeless people.

I don’t want to go out on a limb—But I’m pretty sure we have plenty of uncivil people of all economic classes in Houston. Yet it is only the very poor we are passing laws against.    

September 14, 2006 Posted by | Houston | 1 Comment

Star Trek II—Wrath Of Khan Is An Excellent Liberal Movie

One of my favorite movies is Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is an excellent liberal movie.  

We all know the Enterprise crew is a model of diversity. The Enterprise was diverse before big corporations embraced diversity as a tool to cheat people and pollute the Earth with a kinder face. 

In Star Trek Two: The Wrath of Khan, the scientists at the lonely space outpost fight to guard their important experiment from military control. They are willing to die for this principle. 

A theme running though Khan is “The good of many outweighs the good of the few…..and of the one.”  This is the premise Mr. Spock uses to explain why he has given his life to save the Enterprise.  What an excellent liberal Mr. Spock would make! 

Fans of Star Trek, and all other people, should take part in liberal politics. Star Trek, with the exception of the last series (which was not very good), always had a liberal message.

The distant future is unknowable—-But we can all work to make the here-and-now a better place and time.

September 13, 2006 Posted by | Liberal Movies | 1 Comment

Libertarians Of All Kinds Are Unhelpful People

I’ve been reading Coast Of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003, by Kevin Starr.

Starr writes about the migration of some Californians to remote northern counties in that state. He says:

Beginning in the 1960’s, the top tier of California had become increasingly the refuge of those fleeing the cities. First it had been the hippies and the marijuana growers; now it was the larger and larger number of whites escaping the racial complexity and perceived dangers of the cities….”  

One wonders how really different the personalities and ideological leanings were and are between the marijuana growers and the white-flight types.

The so-called counterculture of 1960’s always seemed to me as libertarian as anything else. Regardless of what might at first appear to be political differences, aging hippies and younger white-flight families leaving cities have plenty in common.

One of the things they have in common is taking to the hills instead of trying to help make our cities and our society better.

September 12, 2006 Posted by | Books, Lousy People | 2 Comments

Kinky Friedman—Just Another Texas Bully

Kinky Freidman is the worst of the four major candidates running for Texas governor in 2006. This is quite an accomplishment. Two of the other candidates, incumbent Republican Rick Perry and independent Carol Keeton Strayhorn, are also awful.  

Mr. Friedman is running as a non-politician. He says his lack of political experience is good.  Yet recent nasty comments about Hurricane Katrina victims in Houston show Mr. Friedman as the very model of a Texas politician. He is all about kicking the little guy when he is down.

Instead of proposing to assist hurricane victims, Mr. Friedman termed people displaced by Katrina and still living in Houston as crackheads and thugs. Mr. Friedman thinks the State of Texas should give Houston $100 million for police to help manage the increase in crime in the past year. For $100 million we could actually help poor people in Houston acquire skills to get jobs. But why help people when we can crack skulls instead?

The cigar-chomping testosterone-drunk Mr. Friedman is just another in a long line of Texas bullies appealing to the worst instincts of the electorate. 

September 11, 2006 Posted by | Lousy People, Politics, Texas | 3 Comments

Many Hurricane Katrina Victims Plan To Stay In Houston.

The Houston Chronicle reports that a majority of the poorest Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans plan to stay in Houston.  Some Houston residents are upset with the increased crime displaced Katrina people have brought. You can’t blame them for being upset.  

Yet it is also true that both Louisiana and Texas have long been indifferent to the poor.  Maybe what both states should do, in addition to telling hurricane victims that at some point they must get to work, is to raise the tax revenue required to treat all residents decently. It is time for Texas and Louisiana to finally become modern first-world societies.    

September 9, 2006 Posted by | Houston, Hurricane Katrina, Taxes---Yes! | Leave a comment

Liberals Know Hugo Chavez Is No Damned Good

Many of us on the left have wanted to believe that President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is something he is not. A hope existed Mr. Chavez would become a worthy champion of world-wide opposition to the policies of George W. Bush. Even our good friend Cindy Sheehan allowed herself to photographed with Mr. Chavez’s arm around her. 

The real deal is that Mr. Chavez is a friend of dictators and that he threatens democracy in Venezuela.

Mr. Chavez is a close buddy of Fidel Castro. Mr. Castro is by any measure a dictator and an enemy of freedom.  Mr. Chavez recently had a cozy meeting with President Mohammad Khatami of Iran. Mr. Khatami’s view that Israel should be destroyed must be taken at face value.  Mr. Chavez seems to working towards making himself President for life.  

One must admit it has sometimes been cathartic to listen to Mr. Chavez insult Mr. BushAlso, the opposition of the wealthy in Venezuela to Mr. Chavez is a point in his favor. If the poor of that country had not been treated so rotten over the years the current situation would be different. 

Yet the bottom line is clear—-Hugo Chavez is no friend of the true values of the left. He is a dictator in the making and he consorts openly and proudly with the worst and most murderous leaders in the world.  

September 8, 2006 Posted by | Lousy People, Politics | 1 Comment

Nothing About Any Election Is Set In Stone

As November approaches, the number of vulnerable Republican-held House seats is said to grow. This despite repeated claims Republican-led redistricting had “locked” up the House for Republicans.  

After George H.W. Bush beat Mike Dukakis in 1988, it was said Republicans had an Electoral College “lock” that Democrats could not break. Yet Democrat Bill Clinton won the White House in 1992 and 1996.  

Circumstances change and people change their minds. Nothing is ever locked in any election. It does matter who draws the lines—and the 2006 elections are still weeks away—but to say defeat is set in stone because of how the lines are drawn is neither productive or true.

September 7, 2006 Posted by | Elections, Politics | Leave a comment

English As Official Language Will Never Work

Some think English should be the official language of the United States. The reality in communities across the nation is something much different.  

The City of Houston recently sent residents a pamphlet about how to prevent plumbing blockages and sanitary sewer overflows. The pamphlet is written in both English and Spanish. Houston city officials understood that to stop people from putting bad stuff in the sewers; it would require actually communicating with the people who live here.  

Right-wingers can go on and on about English this and English that. The bottom line is that millions of people in the United States speak Spanish. We must have options for interacting with these folks beyond demonizing them or ignoring them. 

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Houston, Immigration, Politics | Leave a comment

Private Vice Becomes Public Policy

In his 1797 farewell address, George Washington said public virtue cannot succeed in a climate of private vice. In a very different time, Lyndon Johnson echoed the same sentiment in a speech to southern Baptists in 1964.

In the years between Washington and Johnson, this concept evolved for the good. President Washington had in mind a more limited idea of the behavior of individuals of a certain class. President Johnson was talking about public policies for the good of millions of Americans of all colors. These policies would be pursued by government in an age of mass politics. 

In 2006, we know that private feelings have a strong impact on public policy. The private greed and fears of our fellow citizens finds ripe expression with George W. Bush and the Republican congress. 

The best impulses of people today are not reflected in current public policy. Yet despite these disappointing times, liberals should not forget that millions of Americans share a personal belief in a just and fair nation and in a government that works to help people. 

We will bring about this better nation with strong faith in our beliefs and with hard work.  

September 5, 2006 Posted by | Best Posts 2006, Books, Politics | Leave a comment

New Moon Boondoggle To Aid Ungrateful Republicans

NASA has commissioned the building of a new space ship. It is going to be called Orion. Orion is to be built by Lockheed Martin. It is part of the new manned lunar project. The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates the overall price of this moon boondoggle to be at almost $230 billion by 2025. The manned space program is corporate welfare for aerospace firms.

The Johnson Space Center will be running Orion. The Clear Lake area of Houston is where the Johnson Space Center is located. Clear Lake votes Republican despite the local impact of the government-funded space center. 

This blog supports big government. I am firmly behind most Congressional pork. However, I must admit some reluctance over this project. It means yet more money for defense contractors. Many of the individual recipients of the booty will be ungrateful Republicans. These same Republicans have no trouble at election time voting to stick it to poor people and working-class people. 

Democrats and liberals must regain control of our government and spend the money our way and on our friends and supporters.   

September 3, 2006 Posted by | Houston, Politics | Leave a comment

Right-Wing College Football & Wild Cheerleaders

The college football season begins today. As you might imagine, this is a big deal in Texas. Two big right-wing schools play each other this evening. The Citadel is at Texas A & M to play the Aggies. Can a way be found for both to lose?  

I will say though that mentioning college football gives me another chance to work the word “cheerleaders” into my blog. That will keep the search engines directing internet users searching the term “cheerleaders” or “wild cheerleaders” or “ college cheerleaders”  in my direction. 

Hey cheerleading fans—Vote Democratic! Vote for liberals! Republican tax cuts for the rich have hurt hard-working Americans and the Iraq War is a disaster.

September 2, 2006 Posted by | Cheerleaders, Texas | 1 Comment