Texas Liberal

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Fall Is Here—Please Enjoy All Seasons Of The Year

(Blogger’s Note 9/23/11 –I made this post last year and have updated it just a bit for this year. It looks to me like it took some work, so why not use it again? Thanks for reading Texas Liberal. I hope you enjoy all seasons of the year.) 

September 22 is the first day of fall.

(Above–The 1890 painting Autumn Rain by Julian Alden Weir.)

What exactly is fall?

Here is a definition.

From that defintion–

“The autumnal equinox marks the first day of the fall season. On this day, the Sun is again directly over the earth’s equator, and daylight lasts 12 hours in the Northern Hemisphere and decreasing. This day is typically recognized as September 22 in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the first day of spring is recognized on September 23.”

Though I imagine we all get the idea no matter the specific definition. Even if it is our own idea that we get.

The seasons mean different things to different people and the seasons mean different things depending on where you live.

Here are facts about why leaves change color from the United States National Arboretum.

The seasons may mean something totally different from what we take them to represent in everyday thought.

Martin Luther King once said this—

“The sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.”

Metaphor gives life substance.

Above is a picture taken by Wing-Chi Poon of the Lost Maples State Natural Area in Texas.

This park is in Bandera and Real counties in Texas.  It is yet another resource provided by government for the good of the general public.

I turned 44 a few days ago. I don’t suppose that it is yet the autumn of my years. Maybe it is mid to late summer.

For those who don’t want summer to ever end—No need to worry.

Climate change is real and it will stay warmer more and more as the years pass by.

Summer is my favorite season. I like the heat and the long days because I feel they are the most conducive to creativity and optimism.

Though, of course, fall has many virtues.

In the last few years I lived up north in Cincinnati, fall made me apprehensive because the short cold days of winter that were approaching struck me as depressing.

Now that I am in Texas, I would enjoy at least a few crisp autumn days.

This makes me yet another person to observe that we only know what we are missing until after the fact.

Houston is often very hot and first day of fall does not mean so much. It’s greatest meaning may be that hurricanes rarely strike this part of the country after the third week of September.

How should we note the first day of fall? Should we conduct a sacrifice?

No. I think that would be somewhat severe.

Instead, let us mark the new season by being kind to others.

I think that would be best for all seasons of the year.

(Below—Autumn at Tsaritsyano Park in Moscow. Picture taken by Корзун Андрей.)

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Republican Presidential Debate Crowd Boos A Soldier Serving In Iraq—Rick Santorum Says Dumbest Thing Ever

Here is what we have learned from the Republicans running for President in 2012—

* The chief of the Federal Reserve should be roughed up if he visits Texas according to Texas Governor Rick Perry.

* Texas-sized use of the death penalty is a cause for cheering.

* Letting the uninsured die is a cause for cheering.

Booing soldiers serving in Iraq is okay if they happen to be gay.

The Republicans are telling us all who and what they are.

What are you going to do it about it?

The work of freedom and democracy is up to each of us.

If this what the American people support in 2012, then we will all know where we stand in this country.

Also—Did you catch in the Republican debate that Rick Santorum said the following

“Any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military.” 

That may be the dumbest comment ever made by a candidate for public office.

That is something I would like to see Mr. Santorum try to enforce.

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 6 Comments

New Phone App Will Help Americans See The Amount Of Forced Labor In What We Buy

A new phone app will help Americans see how much forced labor was involved to make the things we use each day.

From CNN-

“Was your smartphone made in a sweatshop? Were those diapers made by slaves? Were children in another country forced to put that stitching in your designer jeans?  Consumers will be able to find out after the debut Thursday of a new app and website that measure the forced labor in everyday products.  Created by the U.S. State Department and a watchdog group, the free app and website will make consumers aware of their “slavery imprint.” “This is a new way to create awareness about the issue of modern slavery and empower consumers,” said Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.”

Here is the website of State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

While at the website, I signed up for e-mail updates.

Government has a role in informing consumers about the things they purchase. In this way, consumers can make decisions with as much information as possible.

I’m certain I buy things that are made with forced labor. I imagine we all do.

The good news is that we can address this problem and change how goods are made.

Government has a role in protecting the workers who make the products we buy in the United States. In a connected world, we cannot  just wash our hands of the consequences of our decisions.

As mentioned above, Luis CdeBaca runs the State Department Trafficking office.

The Trafficking office reports to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs. Her name is Maria Otero. 

The U.S. Department of Labor has produced a report about which nations in the world use child labor and what types of products are produced by child labor. 

A Republican state senator in Missouri proposed earlier this year that Missouri role back child labor laws.

While this proposal did not pass, Republicans are going after many of the protections that American workers have in our nation.

It is good that our federal government is involved in important work of addressing forced labor and human trafficking. Such work helps consumers at home, and helps working people all over the globe.

It is work that shows the United States living up to the promise of freedom for all.

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments