Texas Liberal

All People Matter

I Had A Dream Last Night That I Was Prime Minister Of India

I had a dream last night that I had been selected to be the Prime Minister of India.

In the dream, there was some type of dispute between various factions within Indian politics about who should be Prime Minister.

I was a compromise candidate.

It was one of those dreams that seemed true to life.

It took me a few seconds after the alarm went off to realize I was not Prime Minister of India.

I was disappointed for about five minutes after waking up.

I think I’d make a good Prime Minister of India. I might need a few hours of briefing, but after that I’d be up and running.

If I were Prime Minister of India, I would stress that the Indian nation is founded on the idea of full equality between the Hindu, the Muslim and all people. The Indian nation is not Hindu by defintion as the political right in India has maintained in recent years. (It is good to know that the people of India rejected this narrow view of what India is at the polls earlier this year. My only regret is that I will not get the chance to govern India, and to offer my ideas on Indian nationhood to the one billion people of this great country that I have ruled in my dreams.)

All people count the same in India and in all places on the Earth.

This entire day has been something of a drag after waking up to a reality so far away from my dream.

I hope tonight I dream I am in Hell so tomorrow will seem extra good.

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

Does Anybody Out There Have Any Notion What Is Wrong With My Computer?

Does anybody have any notion what is wrong with my computer? Or browser? Or whatever it is that is wrong.

A few days ago the font as I see it got smaller on my blog, my Facebook and my personal e-mail box.

Since this began, I can no longer add links to the blog or add pictures. The spellcheck is also down on the blog.

This is frustrating about the pictures because an alien ship hovered over me as I was stopped at a red light today and I have some great photos on my iphone.

If only I could load them onto the blog.

I’m sure there is a way I could figure out the problem by e-mailing WordPress support or poking around the tools icon on my A T & T internet.

Yet doing those things seems tedious. I’m not very apt at that kind of stuff.

I’d rather just eat piece of pie or watch TV than deal with computer problems.

Maybe one of you out there in the blog reading public has an idea of what the problem is, and could just direct me to a solution.

Thank you in advance.

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 7 Comments

No Links, No Pictures, No Spellcheck—Just Communication

I’m not sure if the problem is with WordPress or my computer, but the blog is full of glitches this evening. I had some ideas for posting this evening, but I can’t add links or pictures. The spellcheck is down as well.

These must be the conditions our ancestors had to blog under while on the wagon trail or crossing the seas to reach the New World. (Though if you were brought here as a slave I don’t imagine you were allowed to blog at all.)

For many years people wrote letters to each other.

A letter is where you sit down with a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper. You use the pen or pencil to record on the paper what you are doing and how you are feeling to somebody you value in life.

Can you imagine the surprise you would feel if you got a letter in the mail?

I’ve thought sometimes I might be better off no longer writing this blog and just writing letters to friends. I’d write two or three letters a week to people.

Maybe you’d be better off to get away from the computer and keep in better contact with the people you value. Do you give the people you value in life the time they merit?

No–You don’t. I don’t either.

I’ve had the thought that I could write letters to people each week and post those letters on the blog. I’d cut out anything overly personal, but I’d have as blog posts things that are more thought out than what I currently post.

It is not that I’m not pleased with what I produce. It is simply that the demands of doing this each day are high. The blog might be a better production with fewer posts.

Imagine a world that was more quiet and more reflective. I feel that world just a bit by not having the ability right now to put anything from the outside in my blog.

If the pace of things were slower and we could apply more effort and thought to consider what we really think and feel—I think then we would all have better lives.

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Connection Can Be Found By All People & In All Places

Above is a picture of the confluence of the Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou in Downtown Houston.  

This is a place that was important to the founding of Houston 175 years ago.

Connection leads to creation.

You see there is a train passing over the bayous.

There is also a bridge for cars and for pedestrians at this place.

The building to the left is part of the University of Houston-Downtown campus.

Knowledge is connection to the world.

For 175 years this spot has been a place of connection.

Connection with people, places, things, the natural world, and information is a path many of us may wish to follow.

Houston is a hot almost Hellish place that is swept from time-to-time by hurricanes. 

Can you imagine what a hot disease-plagued swamp Houston must have been 175 years ago?

If connection can be found here, it can be found by anybody and in any setting.

Maybe isolation is sometimes the beginning of the road as one seeks connection.

From my own experience, I’d say isolation can be a very good starting point to connection.

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Door Is Open And There Is Plenty Of Light

Above is a picture of a bar called The Comet. The Comet is located at 4579 Hamilton Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati is one of my hometowns in life.

Stop by The Comet for a beer and for a burrito.

Often The Comet is busy, but in this picture it is empty.

It is good when we get a break from the demands of life and things are quiet.

When things are quiet, we can think.

You see that the door to The Comet is open and there is light both inside and outside  

We need light to see the right course.

The open door allows us to enter and find some refuge. It also allows us to leave and follow the light outside.

You can come and go as you wish—There will be light in either case. 

A bar does the most business in the evening. During the day business is slower and supplies can be received.

We’ve got to restock to have what we need to get through life.

I wish I could call my friends this evening and meet them at The Comet.

But I’m in Houston and the bar is in Cincinnati.

This is okay because I can look at this picture from Cincinnati and recall good things that have happened in my life.

I can be aware that I have many good things going in Houston.

I can look forward to the two times each year I visit Cincinnati and see my friends.

I’m glad for light. I’m glad for time to reflect and take stock. I’m glad for the past and for the present.

And though not pictured here, the evening and times when things are more busy and hectic have value as well.

It all adds up to a good life.

Take a good second look at places and things in your life that you feel you are well-acquainted with. It is possible that you may be able to see and consider these things and places in a new and useful way.

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Painting Of Judge Ito—I Watched The OJ Trial Each Day It Was On

Above is a painting of Judge Lance Ito. Judge Ito presided over the famous OJ Simpson trial in 1995.

The painting was completed by Kota Ezawa in 2002.

I watched the OJ trial each day it was on. I feel no shame in admitting this fact.

The trial was serious, absurd, a television mini-series and an event.

I recall that many thought the OJ trial was beneath them or irrelevant.

I recall it as a reasonable enough mirror of our nation and as interesting to follow.

October 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

I Imagine Both Republicans & Democrats Think Senator K.B. Hutchinson Is Silly

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson just can’t seem to decide when to quit the Senate to work full time on her primary challenge against incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry.

One day she says one thing and another day she says another thing.

I’m somewhat apologetic for even blogging on this subject because it has a shooting fish in a barrel quality—Here you have a malignant figure acting in a ridiculous fashion.

What does one expect? 

Senator Hutchinson is likely always either harming someone with her bad works in the U.S. Senate, or doing something dumb.

Still, this dance is so silly and so absurd that I feel it merits mention. There is nobody on any side of the political aisle in Texas who can feel Senator Hutchinson is acting in a way that reflects well on herself.

I hope Senator Hutchinson’s indecision goes on for days and weeks to come.

Many people are laughing at her.

October 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Your Ship Will Arrive

Above is a picture I took a few weeks ago of ships waiting to enter Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel.

Your ship in life may come in if you assist its navigation with love, friendship, hope, learning and imagination.

You can set your own course for your ship in life.  

You can set your own course and still have many others on board your ship.

You might have to wait for your ship to arrive. But as you see in the picture above, even a ship that must wait will gain entry to a safe and productive port.

October 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Senator Snowe Followed The Right Course

I’m no great fan of Republican “moderates” or of any type of Republican.

But Senator Olympia Snowe followed the right course today when she voted in favor of a health insurance reform bill today in a Senate committee.

Maybe my longstanding distaste for Republican moderates is displaced at this point.

Maybe at this point there are so few of them that I should simply admire them for the ability to hang on. It is possible they are doing the country a service by at least offering an option to the Republican Party of something other than full craziness.

October 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 6 Comments

No Kidding—Children Understand More Than Many Adults Are Able Or Willing To Grasp

Here is a shocker—Babies and small children understand more than many people imagine.

Maybe the only way to grasp this is to not have children–I have none– and see the idiocy and condescension with which many parents and adults address kids of all ages. 

I don’t know if this is because these parents are lazy or because they lack imagination.  Both I suppose. Maybe parents resent the presence of someone who they fear might have a real future.

Maybe the daily brutality and neglect with which we treat poor kids in our society seeps into people’s homes as a dislike of all children. Even people’s own kids are seen as not meriting full effort. 

From New York Times health columnist Jane Brody–“Keep in mind that preverbal children understand far more than they can say. One of my grandsons was a late-talker. When he wanted something to drink or eat, he went to the refrigerator or pantry and pointed. Our job was to ask, “Do you want water, milk or juice, cereal or raisins?” and wait for his response. When we guessed right, we reinforced the verbal message by saying, “Oh, you want cereal.”…Count the steps as you go up or down. My twin grandsons’ math skills flourished long before they could speak in sentences because they live in a third-floor walk-up. At whatever age your children start talking, let them know you are interested in what they are saying by repeating and expanding upon it and asking them to repeat what they said if at first you do not understand them.”

I don’t have kids and fair portion of my life is over. Why should I care? It’s just as how I’m willing to pay taxes for the benefit of other people’s kids, while so many parents won’t pay up for the good of their own children or other people’s kids.

And yet–I get tired in life of seeing kids who clearly have some smarts and who have questions about the world, being so poorly served by the adults in their lives.

If you have kids, please make the effort required to teach these kids. The future may well be one of disappearing jobs and rising oceans. Folks without the needed skills to do well are going to be out in the cold.

Beyond that—People with strong verbal and communication skills have better lives all around. They have better relationships and they learn more about the world.

So many parents just seem to be lousy parents.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 8 Comments

Who Are The Democrats Running For Houston City Offices In 2009?

Who are the Democrats running in our upcoming Houston city elections?

This can be hard to figure out because many candidates for Houston city office shy away from party identification. It seems as if they are trying to trick voters.

Folks will tell you our city elections are supposed to be non-partisan. It is true that party ID is not listed on the ballot. However, none of this means that individual candidates or county parties cannot address the subject.

What political party a candidate supports matters at all levels of government. City budgets reflect public priorities and, as such, moral values. Issues such as housing and health need to be addressed in Houston. City workers must make decent wages. 

Public office provides a platform for officeholders to address topics such as poverty and the environment. It matters who has access to this platform. 

It is a clear statement of values whether someone voted for Barack Obama or John McCain last November. I don’t want elected officials who feel Sarah Palin should be Vice President of the United States. 

I want the values and policies I support represented at City Hall. Elections should offer real choices. 

The Harris County Democratic Party has a list of city candidates. This list is not fully useful in trying to determine who is a Democrat. The Harris County Democratic Party list tells who is a “sustaining member” of the party.   

This is fine as far as it goes. But candidates such as Noel Freeman for At-Large Position 4 and Richard Sedita in Council District G are Democrats even if the party feels they have not given enough money to be listed as such. The Democratic list offers no clues beyond who has donated.

The Harris County Republican Party has a party identification list for candidates running in Houston in 2009. The listings are based upon what ballot a candidate took in the 2008 primary season. This list also has the party ID for candidates in local school races and for candidates running in the smaller cities and towns of Harris County.    

The Republican list is more helpful than the Democratic list.

There is also a slate of Progressive candidates running in Houston for 2009. These candidates merit a look. 

Where there is more than one candidate from the same party running for the same office, you may need to do some studying. 

Just because a candidate says he or she is of the same party you generally support, does not mean that person has an automatic right to your vote.

These things said, party identification is a useful starting point when deciding who to vote for on the upcoming Houston ballot.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Columbus Day—Symbolic Execution Of Christopher Columbus

[ image: Removing the arrows from their target]

It is Columbus Day.

Not all people like Columbus Day.

Growing up in Rhode Island you would get a Columbus Day parade. This was because we had so many Italians in Rhode Island.  

Here in Texas, Columbus Day is not such a big deal.

Here is the historian Howard Zinn’s take on Christopher Columbus.  It is not very flattering.

Mr. Zinn wrote A People’s History of The United States.

In 1998, a group of indigenous Hondurans carried out a symbolic execution of Christopher Columbus for crimes against humanity.

They shot arrows at a large picture of Columbus. The photo above shows the event.

See how they have his hands chained up? Ha!

Now that’s entertainment.

I’m not sure Columbus Day is very much worth celebrating.

Though I’m not certain I felt the same way as a school kid getting the day off.

Here are some facts about Christopher Columbus and his voyages.

( Below–A Flat Earth as painted by George Grie. I’m holding back a view on the true shape of the Earth until I have more evidence.)

October 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up W/Picture Of Providence Hurricane Barrier

At the bottom of this post is the weekly Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The Texas Progressive Alliance is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

Above is a picture of the hurricane barrier that protects Providence, Rhode Island. I took this picture last year. I lived in Rhode Island for 12 years.

Little Rhode Island is as good a place as is Texas. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.  

The round-up— 

The Texas Cloverleaf reviews proposed changes to the city of Denton’s charter that will be on the November ballot.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notices Rick Perry has had a busy week what with channeling Glenn Beck and messing up a wrongful execution investigation.

TXsharon of BlueDaze had a hard time keeping up with all the fracking, moving, shaking and gasping for toxic air in the Barnett Shale this week so there is a BS recap that includes a recently released URGENT alert for all current and former residents of DISH — formerly Clark — Texas to complete and submit a health survey.

Bay Area Houston wonders what $640 a frickin hour buys you in the Houston mayor’s race.

If a Republican holds an online event, will they properly provision for the people who want to join it? McBlogger’s pretty sure they won’t and isn’t terribly surprised that they blamed it on the nefarious actions of others.

At Texas Vox, Citizen Andy fills you in on the Senate incarnation of the climate change bill. Waxman-Markey, meet Kerry-Boxer. Continue reading

October 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

American Politicians Who Have Won Nobel Peace Prize—Maybe Award For Mr. Obama Will Make World A Better Place

  

President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

While it is easy enough to ask what Mr. Obama has done to merit the prize, maybe it will serve as a spur for the President to pursue a more peaceful course in world affairs than he otherwise would have. 

Our right-wingers here in America will complain about the prize, but Mr. Obama could cure cancer and they would still complain.

Given the power of the President of the United States in the world, why not roll the dice and see if the Nobel Prize can be used to make the world a somewhat less barbarous place? Mr. Obama certainly seems more open to a peaceful world than did George W. Bush.

Mr. Obama is not the first U.S. President or the first American politician to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the first sitting President to win the award since 1919.

Here is a list of American politicians who have won the Nobel Peace Prize—    

In 1906, President Teddy Roosevelt won the Nobel for his role in ending the war between Japan and Russia.

One-term Republican New York Senator Elihu Root won the prize in 1912. As Secretary of State under Teddy Roosevelt, and as Senator, Root help negotiate and arbitrate a number of international disputes.  

Woodrow Wilson  won the Peace Prize in 1919 for his part in creating the League of Nations.   

It was bit more rocky , though with some successes, for the League after the Nobel. As for President Wilson, the fight over the League led to his suffering a stroke and to a bitter end to his Presidency.  

Vice President Charles Dawes was a 1925 co-winner.  Mr. Dawes had done work to ease tensions between Germany and France after WW I. While that clearly did not work out over the longer haul, it made an impression at the time. Mr. Dawes was Vice President under Calvin Coolidge.  

Another one-term Republican Senator, Frank Kellogg of Minnesota, was the 1929 Peace Prize winner. (The photo above is of Mr. Kellogg.)

As Secretary of State under Calvin Coolidge, Kellogg was a force behind the Kellogg-Briand pact. Kellogg-Briand was signed by 64 countries and was about the renunciation of war as an instrument of policy by these nations. It did not have much effect at the time, but why not try?  

1931 co-winner Nicholas Butler, was Teddy Roosevelt’s running mate on the 1912 Bull Moose ticket. Butler won the prize for his international work on behalf of Kellogg-Briand.

Former Tennessee Senator Cordell Hull was the 1945 winner.  Secretary of State under F.D.R, Hull played a major role in creating the United Nations.

Former President Jimmy Carter was the  2002 winner. President Carter has dedicated much of his efforts since leaving the White House in 1981 to conflict resolution, election monitoring and disease eradication 

Al Gore won the prize in 2007 for his work to combat the effects of climate change.

( Below—Al Gore.)

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The View At Lunch—You Are Not Likely Carving Out Enough Time For Yourself

This was my view at lunch yesterday.

I ate lunch at Brady’s Landing Restaurant. At Brady’s Landing you can see the Houston Ship Channel. This is second time I’ve eaten at Brady’s in the past month.

It is good to eat with others and to talk with others. It is also good to eat by yourself and to have time to read and collect your thoughts.

Different things are relaxing and useful to different people. I find that water and ships help me think.

Behind the restaurant, there is an observation area where you can see the ships and ship channel. 

No matter how good your relationships in life, you need to carve out time for yourself.

If not, you might lose your mind. 

If not, you’ll not think things out to the extent you are able.

You know more and are more capable than you realize. You just are not getting enough time by yourself. 

If anybody from Brady’s reads this, why not comp me a lunch? This blog gets 1450 hits a day.

Here is a previous Texas Liberal post about the need for time alone.

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments