Texas Liberal

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The One-Two Knockout Blow Of A Hurried Pace Coupled With Indolence

Many would agree that the pace of our lives is often faster than we would wish. We all have a lot do to and it seems that the demands placed upon us only grow. ( Except for people unlucky enough to lose their jobs in the recent months of layoffs. Those are people with a different set of pressures in life.)

Yet at the same time we cannot keep up, there is the fact that the average American watches more than 4 hours of television each day. (Please click here for disturbing statistics and facts about American television viewing.) 

And that is just TV watching. What about the time we spend playing video games and surfing the web? It’s as if we have not enough time and extra time all at once.  

I’m not a reflexive critic of television. If you went back in time and told most people who have ever lived, that instead of getting up at 5 AM to milk cows and hauling water from a stream a mile away, you could instead sit down for hours and watch a box showing games and stories—Well, I bet they would have thought that was some kind of paradise.

Yet it seems the point we’ve reached in our lives is that we get the first blow during the day and early evening when we face the demands of work and family, and then we allow the second blow of the ease of mindless relaxation to knock us down for the count until we hit the sack for the night.   

Maybe it could be said that each night television knocks us out of the ring of thought and action. (Below is the painting Dempsey And Firpo painted in 1924 by George Wesley Bellows.)

There is hope however. Though it is Jack Dempsey shown below being punched out the ring, he still won the fight over Luis Firpo. Let’s pick ourselves off the couch and think about what we do with the hours of our lives.   

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Art, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No Good Paul Bettencourt Keeps The Faith With His No Good Supporters

Harris County Tax Assessor Paul Bettencourt is leaving public office for the private sector. This even though he was reelected for a full term just last month.

Mr. Bettencourt, a Republican, could justly be called a quitter. Yet I find that in his no-good way, Mr. Bettencourt has kept the faith with his no-good core of supporters in the Harris County electorate.

Mr. Bettencourt, though our county tax collector, made his name in large part by encouraging people to challenge their property tax assessment.  Mr. Bettencourt is also responsible for maintaining the county voter rolls. Not surprisingly, in this capacity he worked hard in 2008 to purge voter rolls of a number of likely Democratic voters.

Mr. Bettencourt was not popular in some circles because he was honest or because of some unbreakable compact with the citizens of Harris County.  Mr. Bettencourt was popular with some because he appealed to their worst instincts.

This final act of contempt by Mr. Bettencourt is consistent enough with his tenure as Tax Assessor.  He kept the faith by holding the office for Republicans at least until the 2010 special election for the completion of his  term. 

Just as he was elected to do rotten deeds, Mr. Bettencourt left his office in a rotten fashion. If only politicians who promise to do good were as faithful to goodness as Mr. Bettencourt has been to rottenness.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Lousy People | , , , , , | 1 Comment