Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Keeping Relationships Together As Existence Moves Things Apart

A longtime friend will be visiting me for a few hours today in Houston. His name for the purposes of this blog is George from Cincinnati.

George from Cincinnati is seen above as he was 20 years ago. He is the kid in the glasses behind and to the left of the older gentleman. The older gentleman was known as Shorty.

The kid to the left of George in the white shirt was Scott. Scott is dead now which is a source of regret. I’m certain that Scott and I would still be friends were he not dead.

George from Cincinnati and I have been friends for maybe 25 years. When you ponder that the very laws of existence compel objects to move apart from each other, there is a lot to be said for a long term friendship.

Such a relationship is an example of keeping things together. 

(Below–Existence racing away from us.)

File:NGC 7331 - Peris.jpg

The New York Times recently ran an article saying that good friendships might be more beneficial for you than even family ties. Here is that article.

From that article—-

Exactly why friendship has such a big effect isn’t entirely clear. While friends can run errands and pick up medicine for a sick person, the benefits go well beyond physical assistance; indeed, proximity does not seem to be a factor.

It may be that people with strong social ties also have better access to health services and care. Beyond that, however, friendship clearly has a profound psychological effect. People with strong friendships are less likely than others to get colds, perhaps because they have lower stress levels.

Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.

The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.

“People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone they can turn to,” said Karen A. Roberto, director of the center for gerontology at Virginia Tech. “Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

In Favor Of Leticia Van de Putte For Texas Governor

About two weeks ago I ran a guest post from Texas blogger Ted McLaughlin in support of Kinky Friedman for Governor of Texas in the 2010 campaign. Here is that post. 

Ted lives in Amarillo and writes the excellent blog Jobsanger.

This post was then picked by Mr. Friedman’s web home. Mr. Friedman should give Ted a call and thank him for his support. Ted is the real thing.

Running a blog post in favor of Mr. Friedman’s candidacy does not mean I support Mr. Friedman. As I’ve written in the past, I don’t really like Mr. Friedman or some things he has said.  

Still, I have no problem with giving people a hearing. This blog will take a short essay in favor of any Democratic candidate in Texas. 

Texas Liberal has averaged 1560 page views a day for 2009 and I’m also a featured political reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle.   

An objection to my post about Mr. Friedman was made by Austin blogger Rachel Farris. Rachel writes Mean Rachel.  Ms. Farris said that she was going to write a post in response

Ms. Farris and I have, against the odds, come to engage in occasional correspondence on Facebook and in a few e-mails to each other.

It is surprising we correspond because my first guess about Ms. Farris was that she was a Twitter-loving, “snarky”, Austin liberal of the type I often find annoying and out-of-touch with real life outside Austin.

On the other hand, I’m pretty certain that Ms. Farris first viewed me as a nut.   

Now that we’ve exchanged some e-mails, I see that Ms. Farris is only half as bad as I first surmised, while Ms. Farris now understands that even a freak has lucid moments. 

I look forward to the day that I meet both Ted and Ms. Farris in person. 

Because, as my friends often say about me—“To know him is to seek a restraining order.”

File:Leticia Van de Putte DNC 2008.jpg

Ms. Farris wrote a post suggesting that Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio would make a good Governor and that she should run in the 2010 Democratic primary. 

(Above–Nancy Pelosi stares at Senator Van de Putte.)

Below is what Ms. Farris wrote. It is called Political Snowbirds: The Case for Sen. Leticia Van de Putte for Governor.      

Are the property taxes in Florida on the upswing? If so, it might begin to explain why Texas Democrats are currently staring down the barrel of two primary candidates (three if you count glory campaigner Mark Thompson) who most accurately could be described as political snowbirds. Wikipedia defines snowbirds as Northerners who seek winter warmth somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. In the case of Former Ambassador Tom Scheiffer (really, Texas?) and The Artist Formerly Known as an Independent, Kinky Friedman (Purple Drought – one of his classic little-known hits), the two are hoping to bask in the warmth of the new Texas Democrat. Oh, and to become Governor of Texas. Do we know how to pick ’em or what?

On second thought, don’t answer that.

One or both of these men have spent a little too much time in the humidor. The Texas Democrats that picked up Texas House seats, flipped a Texas Senate seat, and voted for Barack Obama are not looking to elect someone who’s running for Governor as a retirement plan (try my self-employed dad’s approach – bank on the heart-attack). And, as much as the establishment fantasizes about one or both of our milquetoast big spenders luring the disenchanted Republican vote, we can’t lose sight of what happens after they become Governor. We’ve learned that one the hard way.

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June 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment