Texas Liberal

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Texas Progressive Alliance Snub Met With Buddhist Writings


Once again Texas Liberal has been passed over for membership in the so-called Texas Progressive Alliance.

The TPA is group of liberal/progressive blogs. A few days ago it announced a new round of members. Many new blogs were listed, but my shop did not make the membership list.

Admittedly, I may not merit inclusion. As McBlogger poster Mayor McSleaze once wrote, I am a “douche bag” who runs a “shitty” blog.

Mayor McSleaze may well be correct on both counts.

Also, I can’t get mad because I’ve recently been reading Buddhist writings called The Dhammapada.

The book says— “He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me”—Those who dwell on such thoughts will never be free from hatred.

What can you add to that? Who wants to be angry?

The good news, for me at least, is that I’ve not been passed over everywhere. I’ve got one of five featured political blogs at the Houston Chronicle and I also blog at Where’s the Outrage? out of North Carolina.  Where’s the Outrage? is the home of the Dr. Errington Thompson podcast. 

I view the TPA as a group of fine Texas progressive blogs. The addition of BlueBloggin and Texas Cloverleaf makes it even more so. I’m glad that I was one of the early Texas blogs to include both those shops on my blogroll.

As long as you’re at the blog, please take a look around. I think you’ll see I run a solid shop. I welcome your comments and I hope you’ll come back.        

September 18, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Texas | 7 Comments

Turning 40—My Excellent Wife Wearing Wedding Dress And Holding Bowling Ball

This is the final part of the Texas Liberal series I’ve called Turning 40. 

The best day of my life was March 25, 2000. This was the day I got hitched in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We were married at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino by a man in a purple robe. I believe he was intended to appear as some sort of medieval wizard as that would have been consistent with the theme of the hotel. We had around 50 guests.

The reception was held at the Orleans Hotel. Instead of dancing we had bowling. Please see above the picture of my beautiful wife in her wedding dress, showing off a bowling shoe and holding a bowling ball. 

My wife is my best friend and is the best person in the world.   

September 18, 2007 Posted by | My Wife Is The Best Person Ever, Turning 40 | 8 Comments

Low Pay For Houston City Workers Recalls Death Of Jerry Hines Jr.

City of Houston workers are some of the lowest paid big city municipal workers in Texas.

This information comes from a new Houston city employee effort to raise these poor salaries.

HOPE is an employee union affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and also with the Service Employees International Union.

HOPE has set the website Houston, We Have A Problem to draw attention to the situation.

HOPE points out that many city employees work in sewers and on dangerous roads. From the website—

A new study on city worker pay revealed that Houston‘s city workers make substantially less than their counterparts in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio and other large U.S. cities. The study, commissioned by the City of Houston and conducted by the Mercer consulting firm, found that Houston city workers make up to 21 percent less than the median of workers in these other cities. Many of the occupations in the survey are vital to the City’s quality of life and involved difficult, dirty work.

None of this is a surprise to people who recall the death of Houston city employee Jerry Hines Jr.


Mr. Hines died last January after being hit by a car as he was helping a motorist on an icy highway. According to media reports at the time, Mr. Hines was only making around $17,000 a year.

After the death of Mr. Hines, I e-mailed a letter to Houston Mayor Bill White and to Democratic members of Houston City Council asking why pay for a city employee was so low. The responses I got back either blew me off or defended the low pay earned by city employees.

The Mayor and Council Democrats must take action on this issue.

September 18, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Taxes---Yes! | 1 Comment

Southern Elephant Seal, A Submarine Of Blubber, Is Marine Mammal Of The Week


The gigantic Southern Elephant Seal is the Texas Liberal Marine Mammal of the Week.

The Northern Elephant Seal, which lives off the waters in a range between Baja California and Alaska, is a smaller creature and is considered a separate species.

Confuse the two and you’ll risk as being seen as ignorant in polite society.

The Southern Elephant Seal mostly lives in the seas around Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and Tierra Del Fuego. It also occurs in Australia.

Male Elephant Seals can weigh up to 11,000 pounds. Females reach 2,000 pounds. The Southern Elephant Seal is the largest seal in the world.

These creatures can dive up to 5,000 feet deep and on the way down might well stop for a snack of fish or squid. Elephant Seals can stay under water for up to two hours. 

Two hours! Like an immense submarine of blubber.

At sea, where they spend much of their lives, Elephant Seals are mostly solitary. I bet they get a lot thinking done that way.

On land, they fight and mate. At least the males fight.

The Southern Elephant Seal was hunted first by aboriginals in Australia. By the 19th and 20th century, this seal was hunted more vigorously for the oil in its blubber and for food. Commercial hunting was ended in 1964. 

It is estimated that 750,000 Elephant Seal are alive today.

Click here for more posts on sea life.     

September 18, 2007 Posted by | Sea Life | Leave a comment