Texas Liberal

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Inside Of Old North Church

Here is the inside of the Old North Church in Boston.

One if by land and two if by sea.

August 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Site Of Boston Massacre

This is the site of the Boston Massacre.

What can I tell you? That traffic island and the area around it is where the Boston Massacre took place in 1770.

Photo copyright 2011 Neil Aquino.

August 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Governor Francis Inn In Warwick, R.I. Serves Seafood Casserole With Ritz Cracker Crust

The Governor Francis Inn in Warwick, Rhode Island serves a seafood casserole with a Ritz cracker crust.

I had this fine meal earlier this evening.

I looked up Governor Francis. He was Governor of Rhode Island 1844-1845. He also owned a great deal of land in Warwick.

Many things in Rhode Island are named after old time people.

August 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Mississippi River Continues To Roll

The Mississippi River continues to roll.

The photo in this post is of the Mississippi rolling along as I saw from my airplane window just a few hours ago.

It is good to know that there are things we can count on in an uncertain world.

August 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Vacation Reading—Taking Rick Perry To Rhode Island

With a plane to catch soon and  time in Rhode Island ahead, it is time to select what book I’ll be reading while on the road.

I’d headed to Rhode Island for a final observance of my father’s life.  He spent much of his life in Rhode Island.

Tony Aquino lived 1930-2011.

I often get a great deal of reading done on airplanes and on vacation.

I’m considering this trip a vaction because I’m certain that this is how dad would have wanted me to imagine the trip.

For this vacation, I’ve picked books relevant to Rhode Island, Cincinnati and Texas—The three places I have lived in life.

I have The Cultural Life of the American Colonies by Louis B. Wright.  This book was published in 1957.

I don’t much about this book, but it is just the type of stuff that I often read.

Another book I have is The President Makers 1896-1919—The Culture of Politics & Leadership In An Age of Enlightenment by Matthew Josephson. This book is from 1940.

This is the 2nd book I’ve read by Mr. Josephson.  He wrote about the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. In the President Makers I’m currently on the chapters involved the Presidency of Cincinnati’s William Howard Taft.

The final book I’ll bring along is Fed Up!–Our Fight To Save America From Washington by Texas Governor Rick Perry. This great work was published in 2010.

Fed Up! may provide me with a few quick blog posts while I’m traveling.  Also, since I’ll be wearing a Houston Astros’ baseball hat for much of the trip, maybe I’ll read the book while wearing the cap and make loud comments about seccession and bitching about how George W. Bush was not conservative enough.

It’s going to be a great trip and I’ll be posting from Rhode Island. Thanks to everybody for reading Texas Liberal.

August 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Basic Facts About Somalia And East Africa Famine—-Please Consider A Donation For Famine Relief

I made a small donation this morning to Oxfam for famine relief assistance in Somalia and East Africa.

Here are some facts on this disaster as it relates to Somalia from the New York Times-

“The Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory.The group is widely blamed for causing a famine in Somalia by forcing out many Western aid organizations, depriving drought victims of desperately needed food. The situation is growing bleaker by the day, with tens of thousands of Somalis already dead and more than 500,000 children on the brink of starvation.”

Though this crisis is in some part man-made, it also has a lot to do with a lack of rain in the area. Issues of famine extend beyond Somalia. And while in Somalia there are impediments being placed on the work that can be done to ease the famine, progress can still be made if relief groups have resources.

Not as visible as disaster as the Japanese tsunami and in a more remote part of thew world, donations have been difficult to come by for this crisis.

The link above also has a list of aid agencies taking donations.

There is always a lot going on in the world and there is always a lot of trouble. At the same time, there are often many people willing to help if they are aware of the problems.

The BBC has a full section of online reports detailing the scope of famine in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Here is a BBC article dealing with some of the specifics of this famine.

From that article—

“The UN says East Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 60 years, with more than 10 million people threatened by starvation in four countries – Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. It has been caused by the lack of rains and the failure of governments to adequately finance agriculture and irrigation schemes….To make matters worse, al-Shabab forced most Western aid agencies out of the areas they control in 2009, severely hampering the aid effort in much of Somalia.”

It is true that this part of the world has had famine issues in the past, and that some of the problems could have been avoided if better policies had been in place. Yet these views are of cold comfort to the person with no food. Most people impacted by the famine have had no hand in causing the famine.

I ask folks to please consider learning more about this famine problem, and to consider a donation to help alleviate the disaster.

August 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Observations On Debt Ceiling Agreement

An agreement to raise the debt ceiling has been agreed upon that may resolve the issue at least through the projected Mayan apocalypse at the end of 2012. 

So I guess none of us really have much to worry about from this point on.

Though the agreement still does have to be approved by both chambers of Congress.

I’m not happy with all the cuts and the absence of tax increases. How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

Though this observer at Daily Kos says that deal is not nearly as bad as it seems to many liberals. I don’t read Daily Kos very often, but somebody on my Facebook suggested the link. I do whatever it is that people tell me I should do on Facebook.

All 970 of those people on my Facebook are close personal friends.  (Feel free to send me a friend request yourself. I’ll take anybody!)   

Paul Krugman is not very happy about the deal. 

I’m not in a mood to be angry. I’ve got a trip planned in the next few days to help go and put my father’s ashes in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  It is going to be a nice trip.

I’m just not into always being riled up by the 24 hour news cycle. And why be steamed about the agreement when I know I’ll have plenty of time and plenty of blog space to be angry as we proceed.

I will however, because I can’t help myself, make 5 observations—

1. If we wanted a better deal, than we should have all voted and worked harder in the 2010 elections. Republicans control the House because they won the election.

2. As I said above— How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

3. The response to losing elections and not getting the things you counted on from the people you supported is to keep working hard, and to apply more thought and imagination to what you are doing. You’ve always got to proceed.

4. The Republican opposition to tax cuts seems more like a religious belief than public policy.

5. We’ve got to really ponder the question that big money and greed has left this country in the hands of an oligarchy. We could not raise any revenue in this deal even as we were being told by Republicans that the future of the nation was at stake? Options like open protests and civil disobedience need to start being considered. We can’t simply be helpless in the face of powerful interests.  

With this being the first day of August, I hope you’re having a great summer and that you are moving forward. Let’s enjoy the lives we have and be involved in public affairs. Let’s be both thoughtful and forceful.

Below–Prudence Island is in Narragansett Bay.  Just because I’m not mad at the moment, does not mean I won’t be working hard for liberal values in the weeks and months ahead. Photo by junior75.)

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments