Texas Liberal

All People Matter

While Circumstance Matters, It Is Best Not To Allow Others To Construct Your Reality

Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island

Galveston Seawall

Downtown Houston

Alki Beach area of Seattle

Galveston Seawall

Tony Marron Park in Houston  

Serpentine Wall leading to the Ohio River in Cincinnati   

(All photos copyright Neil Aquino.)

Just because there is a staircase does not mean we’ve been offered a chance to move on up, or that there is a way out of a place we don’t want to be.

I suppose in some cases you could see these staircases as offering a way out. At least if you can swim through strong currents to reach the staircases.

While context matters and sometimes we are in a circumstance not of our own making, it is best—with help from others since we need not be alone—to make a world of our own construction instead of allowing someone else to define our world and our options.

The good thing is that we can strive for a society where people work together to find a way out of places that may seem to have no exit, or that appear to lead no place at all.

August 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Houston, Texas Has Heat Wave, Drought, Ozone Alert & West Nile Disease—This Is The Rick Perry Texas Miracle

Above is a picture of the front page of today’s Houston Chronicle.

I took the picture outside on the hot and parched Texas grass.

It sure is hot.

The newspaper above reports that Texas farmers and ranchers have suffered major losses due to the current drought in Texas, while at the same time Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry denies the existence of global warming.

While nobody can be sure that one cause of the terrible weather in Texas for the past few months has been global warming, it is quite possible that this is indeed the case.  However, of course, Rick Perry won’t even consider the very idea that this is possible.

No letup in the Texas drought is predicted in the months to come.

Three other stories in the Houston Chronicle today detail record heat in Houston, mosquitio spraying by Harris County out of concern that tropical West Nile disease may occur in the area, and the fact trees are dying in Houston due to the drought.

Here are facts about West Nile Disease. 

Also, an ozone alert has been declared for today in the Houston area. 

In Texas, the air quality is often so bad that it offends deeply conservative Oklahoma. 

Meanwhile, out on the Presidential campaign trial, the Republican field is bashing the EPA. 

In the end, people are just going to have to decide what kind of future they want. If you want Rick Perry and how he governs Texas for your future, then that is your call to make.

And–since I have you here–please also note that the Texas Miracle Rick Perry has been touting as his economic record, involves one in four Texas children living in poverty and the highest rate of uninsured children in the nation.

Rick Perry has called for prayer to end the drought. His prayers and the prayers of his supporters have not been heard in this regard. Under Governor Perry’s reasoning for why we are being afflicted with terrible weather, maybe the State of Texas is being judged for harsh treatment of the poor and neglect of those in need.

(Below—It is very hot in Houston, Texas. Both photos in this post copyright Neil Aquino 2011.)

August 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Labor Day History And Facts—Labor Day In 2011 Is September 5

Labor Day for 2011 is Monday, September 5.

All work merits respect. We should treat all working people with respect. How we treat our fellow working people is a mirror of the extent to which we respect ourselves.

A good way to treat working people with respect on Labor Day is to tip at a time-and-a-half rate if you eat out or ride in a taxi or do anything else that normally merits a tip on this upcoming Labor Day. People workng on Labor day merit the same time-and-a-half rate of pay that you would expect for working a holiday.

( The picture above of people working at sea was taken by Danny Cornelissen for the portpictures.nl website.)

Here is a history of Labor Day from the U.S. Department of Labor.

From that history–

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our countryMore than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.”

File:Construction worker.jpeg

Here is the web home of the AFL-CIO.

Here is an American labor movement history timeline from the AFL-CIO.

Here is a series of article from the liberal magazine The American Prospect about where American workers stand today, and what can be done to improve how working people are treated in our nation.

Here is a history of women in the American labor union from New York State United Teachers. 

Here is a history of black Americans and the labor movement.  

The history of labor in the United States is your history. Work is the time and effort of your life. We need the wages and benefits we earn at work to be able to live decent lives.

There is also an International Labor Day.  International Labor Day, or May Day, marks the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. Please click here to learn more about the Haymarket Riots and the Haymarket Trial.

Respect for working people involves understanding that the goods you buy must be sold for a fair price if the people who make and sell those goods are to receive a decent wage and good benefits. Selling goods at a fair price also helps your own employer stay in business.

Respect for working people does not stop at the American border. Cheap goods we purchase in America are often produced by underpaid and poorly treated workers in other nations.

Labor Day is, for many at least, a time to get a break from work.

It is also a time to reflect upon what it means to be a working person at a time when the rights of workers—to the extent they exist at all—are under ceaseless strain.

( Photo above by Holger Hubbs.)

August 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Forward To Hearing Myself Talk

As noted on the flyer above, I’ll be appearing with some other Houston-area bloggers at the Texas Democratic Women meeeting to be held Monday, August 22, at 6:30 PM.

You can see for yourself the rest of the details should you wish to attend.

I’m really looking forward to hearing myself talk.

I wonder what I’ll say.

August 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Green Party Candidate Amy Price On The Trail For Houston City Council At-Large #4

Green Party Houston At-Large candidate Amy Price spoke at the Meyerland Democratic club just a few hours ago.

Amy is going to unseat incumbent C.O. Bradford.

Here is Amy’s website. Take a look and learn more.

Please consider donating to the Price campaign and getting involved.

August 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 5 Comments

All Flesh Is Grass—The Garden Where My Father Once Lived

This is where my father and his family once lived on Potter Street in Providence, Rhode Island.

My father lived 1930-2011.

I took this picture last week.

My father’s house is now gone and my dad is now dead.

There is now a community garden at this location.

Here is what it says in Isaiah 40:6-8-

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

All flesh is grass.

With a garden now where my dad once lived, you can say this is true in both a literal and figurative sense.

The things we most value have a season and they have no season. They are transient and they are eternal. They require a careful tending and they grow wild.

August 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—Automobile Of A Proud Texan

Here is the weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers who are working hard for a better Texas.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and even run for public office.

With the round-up this week is a picture of the automobile of a proud Texan. I took this photo while out and about on the streets of Houston.

The round-up—

There’s still redistricting going on, as Harris County tries to redraw its county commissioners’ precincts. So far, the main thing they’ve done is attract a lawsuit from Latinos who say they have retrogressed the one Latino opportunity district. Off the Kuff has the scoop.

The Response had better than expected attendance, a very diverse crowd, and the event’s sponsors made a sincere effort to have the event be all about one man (not the governor of Texas). Having praised it, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs then proceeded to rip it. Wide open.

Our economy is in bad shape and is unlikely to get better any time soon. WCNews at Eye On Williamson tells us the reason why: The politics of the economy are upside down. Continue reading

August 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Rick Perry On Gay Marriage—Perry Not Man Enough To Stick To His Guns On His Core Issue Of States’ Rights

Here is what Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry said a few weeks back about New York State deciding to permit gay marriage—

“That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” 

However, after being pressed on the issue by his far-right evangelical allies, here is what Governor Perry said on the same topic a few days later

“I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me,’ and that it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed…”

Here is how Governor Perry addressed gay marriage on p. 13 of his book Fed Up!-

” If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas. If you don’t like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don’t move to California.”  

Yet at the same time, Governor Perry is on the record  supporting a Constitutional  amendment “.. that defines marriage between one man and one woman…”

What happened to Governor Perry’s view that the states should decide about gay marriage?

Rick Perry can’t stick to his guns on his alleged core issue of states’ rights even in the very first days of his presidential campaign. He buckles under pressure from the extremist far-right.

Given the number of views and flip-flops we’ve seen on just this one question, how many other times in the months ahead will we witness Governor Perry changing his mind and ditching his beliefs when it serves his political ambitions?

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rick Perry Set To Run For President—Decide For Yourself If Perry Should Lead Our Nation

Texas Governor Rick Perry is set to run for President.

This blog has made a number of posts about Governor Perry. At the bottom of this post, I’ve assembled some of the best posts in one place for your review.

Rick Perry is a far-right extremist.

You won’t be surprised that the writer of a blog called Texas Liberal feels this way about Governor Perry

However, I feel that Americans of many ideological viewpoints—including those who see themselves as moderate Republicans–will find that Rick Perry is simply too extreme to lead our nation.

I urge all Americans who care about our nation to study Governor Perry and to reach their own conclusions.  The work and responsibility of democracy are tasks that we all must complete for ourselves.

Here are a number of Texas Liberal posts about Governor Perry and his record—

7/18/11—Rick Perry’s Fed Up!—The Last Warning sign To The Danger That Lies Ahead.

6/15/11—Texas Governor Rick Perry Refers To Himself As A Prophet.

6/8/11— Rick Perry Calls For Prayer As He Afflicts The Poor And The Sick.

4/22/11– Rick Perry Correct To Call For Prayer To End Drought.

4/18/11—Rick Perry Asks For Help From Washington For Texas Wildfires–Where Are The Tea Party Disaster Relief Teams?

2/20/11–Texas On The Brink Report.

2/8/11—-Governor Perry And Extremist Texas Republicans Target History And The Arts.

2/3/11—-Texas 48th In Children’s Health

1/21/11—Texas Budget Deficit Reflects Republican Mismanagement And Poor Citizenship.

11/18/10- The Air In Texas Is So Bad That It Offends Oklahoma.

9/28/10—Since He Won’t Debate, What Type of Empty Chair Should Be Set Up For Rick Perry?

9/17/09—Governor Rick Perry–A Friend Of Acorn And America When He Finds It Useful To Be So. 

4/27/09—Despite Seccession Talk, Texas Governor Perry Asks For Federal Help On Swine Flu.

4/16/09—-Texas Governor Rick Perry Talks Treason

(Below–Rick Perry with Acorn in 2005 as he signed a housing bill.)  

August 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Strong Protest At Senator John Cornyn’s Office In Support Of Good Jobs, Investement In America, and Increased Taxes On The Most Wealthy

The good Americans you see in the picture above were protesting today outside the Houston office of Republican U.S.  Senator John Cornyn.

These loyal Americans were demanding tax increases for the most wealthy, good jobs, and a federal budget that invests in America. They were out protesting because they know that the work of freedom is up to each of us.

Our Tea Party/Republican Party foes never rest in helping the rich get richer, and in making sure that hard honest work does not pay off for everyday Americans.

These protestors were part of the Good Jobs=Great Houston Coalition.

Here are the member groups as of so far in the Good Jobs coalition.  You can click on the logo of each group to learn more about what they do.

It is up to each of us to be involved in our future.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and even run for public office.

August 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Flying Today

Assuming a flash mob is not assembled via social media to strip the airplane of valuable metals that can be exchanged for video games, porn, and painkillers, I’ll be flying back to Houston today over our vast second world oligarchy of casinos and taxpayer subsidized sports stadiums.

I’m flying out of T.F Green Airport in Rhode Island. The photo is of a plane at Green Airport today.

August 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Rhode Island State House—A Grand Structure In A Small State

Here is the Rhode Island State House.

I took this picture today.

The Rhode Island State House is a grand structure in a small state.

August 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Always Concerned With The World’s Troubles

While I am always thinking of the needs of the blog reading public, and always thinking about all the world’s troubles and all the problems in Houston — I have to tell you that this afternoon I’m enjoying this fine lunch that you see pictured here on the shores of Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.

August 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments


My father, a Korean War combat veteran who died last March, was recalled today with a rendition of taps and a brief service in his native Rhode Island.

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Long Time Dead Buried All Over Rhode Island

There are long-dead people buried all over Rhode Island.

This old burying ground with colonial time people buried in it is adjacent to the parking lot of the Marriott I’m staying in this week.

These colonial dead are watching over all the rental cars and hotel shuttle vans.

August 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments