Texas Liberal

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Soldiers At Walter Reed Have A Duty To Support Themselves

As a resident of Texas and as an American, I know that you must be able to pay your own way and be able to fend for yourself. This knowledge is why I so greatly admire our soldiers at Walter Reed.

I admire our wounded men and women for taking the Texas and American creed of survival of the fittest to a new level. By receiving bad care in lousy conditions after suffering terrible war wounds, our soldiers are setting the example.

These brave troops know that in America you need to be able to support yourself. If you’ve made the decision not to be wealthy, you must then bear the consequences.

In America, generalized sentimental expressions of care by large numbers of people are the kiss of death. Millions of poor children already know that “family values” means drop dead. Now our soldiers are helping to spread the gospel of what “support the troops” truly means.

I have never felt so proud to be a Texan and to be an American. We are living out our values as never before.

March 8, 2007 Posted by | Politics | 1 Comment

I’m Voting For Melissa Noriega For Houston Council—Just Don’t Ask Me To Be Enthusiastic

I’m voting for Democrat Melissa Noriega on the May 12 special election to fill the vacant Houston City Council seat. But forgive me if I’m not excited by the prospect.

Spurred by a post in Half Empty, I visited Ms. Noriega’s website. There I found that Ms. Noriega supports safe neighborhoods, a healthy environment and effective government. That’s great. I’m glad Ms. Noriega is not running on a platform of crime, pollution and corruption. 

I get tired of voting for Democrats for Houston City Council who don’t have poverty on their radar. If this is an issue for Ms. Noriega, it is not on her website.

One of the few specifics Ms. Noriega lists is more police. Yet she does not specify how she would pay for more police and this is a position I could get from a Republican.

I’m sure Ms. Noriega is a fine person. It’s just that more than being a fine person is required given the problems Houston faces. Maybe we’ll hear more specifics from Ms. Noriega as Election Day approaches. I’m open to whatever she might add to her platform.   

March 7, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics | 1 Comment

I Stand With Care Bears And Against Brutal Economic Darwinism

My Care Bears calendar for the month of March wishes all people “Good Luck!.” I believe that this means good luck to everyone in Houston, in Texas, in America and in the entire world.

Good luck is an excellent message because luck is the single most important factor in determining our fates.

The spirit of “good luck” runs contrary to the Texas ethos held by some of so-called rugged individualism and runs against the brutal economic Darwinism practiced by many in Texas and in America.

However, the Care Bears understand the large role chance plays in human existence.  On the March calendar, Good Luck Bear is sliding down a rainbow. He has a four-leaf clover on his tummy. As he slides on down the rainbow he calls out “Good Luck!”

It is good luck to be born to in a prosperous country and it is good luck to be born to decent parents. It is good luck that something terrible and beyond your control has not happened and that you are alive to read this post.

Some say that “we make our own luck” or that we should lift ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps. These statements have some truth to them. It’s just that they don’t have enough truth to get one through life.

I stand with the Care Bears in wishing all people “Good Luck!”  

March 6, 2007 Posted by | Best Posts Jan.-June 2007, Uncategorized | , , | 7 Comments

Haiti & Galveston

A recent review in The New York Times Book Review led me to thoughts about Galveston, Texas. 

The book reviewed was called Toussaint Louverture. Toussaint Louverture was the leading figure in the fight for Haitian independence. The book is written by Madison Smartt Bell.

Here is an excerpt from the book as quoted in the review—  “within Haitian culture there are no….contradictions., but simply the actions of different spirits which may possess one’s being under different circumstances and in response to vastly different needs.” 

This was written about the personality of Toussaint Louverture, but also seems to be about Haiti and Haitian culture as a whole.

I thought about this explanation of contradictory things while visiting the island city of Galveston last week.

Galveston is changing. More wealthy people are moving in and the middle class is moving out. The poor remain.

I saw evidence of this while shopping in a Galveston supermarket. The store is being upscaled. The physical condition of the store has been improved and more wine, fancy cheeses and organic foods are being offered.

The Galveston I’ve known has seemed to be a poor place. Galveston has never fully recovered from the 1900 hurricane or from the construction of the Houston Ship Channel over 90 years ago.

How will a “new” more prosperous Galveston change the character of the island? Is it time to shake off the lingering effects of long-ago events or will a growing gap between rich and poor on the island become a new tragedy?

What “different spirits” and “different circumstances” will shape modern Galveston?

March 5, 2007 Posted by | Best Posts Jan.-June 2007, Books, Galveston, Texas | 1 Comment

A Hint Of Ancient Chinese Poetry & That A Mix Of The Abstract And The Solid Is Always A Winner

Houston, Texas is just one of my many home towns. Galveston, Texas is another home town of mine because I go to Galveston often to see the ocean. Also, I lived for 12 years in Providence, Rhode Island and for 18 years in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It’s important that we not forget where we are from and with that thought in mind I checked out some Rhode Island political blogs. A good one I found is called Rhode Island’s Future.

Blog author Matt Jerzyk recently made the following post—

When I think of heavy rains, I think of cleansing.  Do you think the rains today were a way to cleanse Rhode Island of the particularly nasty North Providence mayor’s race?”

That is a great post. It combines the abstract with the solid. It also borders on the cadence and themes found in some ancient Chinese poetry.

Here is a poem called Evening After Rain written by Tu Fu. Tu Fu lived from 712-770. I read this poem in a book I own called Crossing The Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems From The Chinese—-

Sudden rain this afternoon/saved my thirsty garden

Now sunset steams the grass/and the river softly glistens

Who’ll organize my scattered books/Tonight I’ll fill and fill my glass

I know they love to talk about me/But no one faults me for my reclusive life

Please take a look at Rhode Island’s Future to see what is going on in the Ocean State.  

March 3, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Politics | Leave a comment

Bloggers In Egypt Face Jail & Reasons For Caution On Attacks Of “Mainstream Media”

Far away from the freedom enjoyed by bloggers in Texas and in the rest of the United States, bloggers in Egypt are being put on trial for what they write and post.

A blogger named Abdel Kareem Nabil Soilman is on trial for his views on religion.

Other Egyptian bloggers are under government watch or pressure. Christian bloggers and pro-democracy bloggers have been harassed.    

The cause of Egyptian bloggers has been taken up by the group Reporters Without Borders.

I think that as a general matter, freedom for the so-called mainstream media and freedom for newer forms of information such as blogging, are linked. Egypt does not have a fully free press.

This is one reason I’m hesitant to take part in what I see sometimes as reflexive bashing of the mainstream media by some bloggers. (This does not imply I think newspapers are perfect. They are not.)

If freedom is lost by any form of media, it will also be lost across the board by all who work to inform the public.

The long-term goal for bloggers and more established media should be a partnership that serves the causes of news gathering and free involvement in public affairs.      

March 2, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Politics | 3 Comments

Poor Children Should Die To Ease Strain On Public Resources

The Texas Legislature is debating what to do about the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In 2005 the program was cut and many Texas kids were kicked off health insurance.

Some Republicans favor fully barbaric solutions while some Democrats favor less barbaric solutions. The solution that is never discussed is raising enough tax revenue for all Texans to live as human beings.

None of this is a surprise. Many Texas children serve no economic value. In fact, they are an economic drag if the state must provide them an education and health insurance.

There is nothing more a real Texan dislikes than somebody who can’t pull his or her own weight.

Prosperous Texans and their representatives in the legislature know that healthy and educated kids are potential rivals against their own children for college admission spots and the shrinking pool of good jobs.

What we see in Texas is simply a mirror of the American hatred of children. Children, like soldiers who can’t afford to purchase their own body armor for Iraq, are people who cost us money. It’s best that enough of them die so our public budgets not be strained.

March 1, 2007 Posted by | Politics, Taxes---Yes!, Texas, Ways We Hate Children | 13 Comments