Texas Liberal

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A Rick Santorum Sign

Here is a Rick Santorum sign I saw today in Cincinnati. It’s the only Santorum sign I’ve seen so far. The Ohio primary is this upcoming Tuesday.

It is disturbing to see such a thing out in plan view. But this blog does not shy from reporting even the most shocking truths.

February 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Norwood, Ohio White Castle Has Multiple Catches Of The Day

The Montgomery Road White Castle on Norwood, Ohio had multiple catches of the day today.

Both fish sliders and clam strips were on the menu.

I have not enjoyed either offering so far on my late winter Cincinnati vacation. But I might get the clam strips at some point soon.

Anything goes when you are on vacation.

February 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Rick Santorum And Hillary Clinton Are Of One Mind—Super Tuesday Update From Ohio

Rick Santorum sided with Hillary Clinton to allow convicted felons to vote. The TV ad shown in this post is proof. Why else would would Hillary Clinton be shown with Rick Santorum if the two had not once had an affair?

Or at least voted the same way on many issues when both were in the Senate.

I saw many ads today for the Ohio presidential primary on Super Tuesday. ( I’m in Cincinnati at the moment.) A number of the ads were paid for with Super Pac money, as part of the great free speech victory of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.

The picture is somewhat tilted because I was shocked by what I was learning. I was jolted. I’d thought Rick Santorum was a real conservative.

According to the ads I saw today, it is in fact Mitt Romney who is the true conservative.

I’ll keep Texas Liberal readers up to date in the days ahead from the Stupid Tuesday campaign here in Ohio.

February 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

It Is A Great Sunny Day In Cincinnati

It is a great sunny day today in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I took this picture an hour or so ago from the Northern Kentucky side of the Ohio River.

Hope you’re having a great week and thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

February 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Ladder Of Success In America Is Often Placed Out Of Reach

In America, the ladder to success is often out of reach.

With so many policies in our nation favoring the most wealthy, one might even say that it is willfully placed out of reach.

Here is an article on some of the difficulties of advancing up the social and class ladder in American from the radicals at The Economist.

And on the same subject from The Huffington Post. 

This blog is a big believer in working hard, and in doing things for yourself and in close concert with those who share your ambitions.

Yet the truth also is that hard work does not always pay off in America.

That is if you can even find a steady 40 hour job rather than part-time or temp work.

(Photo copyright 2012 Neil Aquino)

February 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—I’d Rather Take My Chances With Occupy Houston Then Suck Up To Some Elected Official Wasting My Efforts

At the end of this post you will find the weekly posting of the  Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

Above you see two pictures from the Occupy Houston strategy and planning meeting held last week. Thanks to Burnell McCray for taking the pictures at the meeting.

I can’t tell you if Occupy Houston will end up making a difference in Houston or not. Though I do think the national Occupy Wall Street effort has had great success in putting wealth inequality and corporate power in the center of the national debate.

All I can say is that I’d rather roll the dice with my fellows at Occupy Houston, then have my picture taken with some politician at a fundraiser, or engage in some other pandering with elected officials who are happy to take my time and resources, but who don’t give much back in return in terms of hopeful progressive actions.

The next Occupy Houston strategy meeting will be held on Sunday, 3/4 at 1 PM on the 6th floor at 2990 Richmond. Here is the Occupy Houston website. There is a Facebook page as well.

Here are details of a 2/28 Occupy Houston event. 

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

As the participants in the meeting you see above understand, 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 to run for public office.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

Here is the Round-Up—

Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones resigned her position to run in the GOP primary for SD25 after finally coming to the realization that her argument that we can’t really know where the capital of Texas is located was completely lame. Off the Kuff provides the commentary.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is really getting worried at how America’s religious culture and the GOP are pushing America backwards into the previous century with barbaric personal intrusions. Virile GOP: American Women Are Property Again and Population Control, Climate Change and Zealots describe how these are taking place.

Nothing will change with school finance in Texas until we change our elected officials. That’s what WCNews at Eye On Williamson tells us in this post: We must “Re-Fund” public education in Texas. Continue reading

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Respecting Women & Pro-Life Policies For Texas Republicans Involves Forced Sonograms And Denying Cancer Screenings

In Virginia a forced sonogram bill in which the state would be permitted to violate women against their will has been stopped.

However, here in Texas–despite all the tough talk about intrusive government– such a law is already on the books.

From the Texas Tribune

“The original Virginia bill that garnered so much national outrage required doctors to perform a sonogram in advance of the abortion, using a transvaginal ultrasound if necessary, to determine the gestational age of the fetus. After originally championing the bill, (Governor) McDonnell walked it back under pressure, working to produce a revised version that assures that women seeking abortions won’t be subject to a vaginal ultrasound. Women will be offered the chance to review the image of the fetus on a belly sonogram, but aren’t required to look at it.

The Texas law is more strict: It requires women to have a sonogram at least 24 hours ahead of an abortion, and the doctor to play the heartbeat aloud, describe the fetus, and show the woman the image, unless she chooses not to view it. Although the Texas law doesn’t specify what kind of ultrasound — belly or transvaginal — abortion providers say they almost always must use the transvaginal probe to pick up the heartbeat. “

In Texas women are at risk from a predatory state government, and from a conservative movement that is always on the prowl for a new conquest in the war against women.

Of course the attacks on Texas women don’t stop with the forced sonogram bill. Not content with forced intrusive procedures by order of the state, Republican legislators and Republican statewide officials are moving in for the kill.


From The Texas Observer

“Texas health officials apparently have chosen to end their participation in the Women’s Health Program, which pays for health screenings for tens of thousands of poor Texas women. Tom Suehs, who heads the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, formally ruled …that Planned Parenthood can’t receive funds from the Women’s Health Program. Federal officials have previously said that state officials couldn’t cut out specific providers. So the state’s decision to exclude Planned Parenthood because it’s an abortion provider could end the Women’s Health Program in Texas and deprive thousands of poor women of services such as Pap smears, cancer screenings and contraception.”

Texas conservatives say they like small government. Yet they pursue some of the most invasive and intrusive polices imaginable.

Texas conservatives say they are “pro-life.” Yet they pursue policies that kill people.

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Occupy Houston Protest On Tuesday 2/28 For The 99% And For Free Expression

There will be an Occupy Houston Protest this upcoming Tuesday, 2/28. The focus of the protest is the ongoing national official repression of the Occupy Wall Street movement. This protest will address specifically events in Houston as detailed below.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.  There is also an Occupy Houston Facebook page.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Here are details of this event—

Stop the Suppression of the Occupy Movement

Tuesday, February 28 Hermann Square Park

No Rubber Bullets, No Beatings, No Tear Gas, No Mass Arrests, Don’t Suppress OWS!

Please join Occupy Houston in answering the Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement.

On Tuesday, February 28th, Occupy Houston will be standing in National Solidarity to give voice to our concerns over the suppression and to show that no matter what, WE WILL STAND TOGETHER. Even though the Occupy Movement has faced police brutality and harassment, mass evictions, excessive criminal charges, infiltration, and even been labeled as domestic terrorists, we are not going away. We will strengthen our bonds within our communities and with each other. We will push forward in our struggle against the corporate corruption of our democracy. On Feb 28, we stand together in solidarity and prove You Cannot Evict An Idea Whose Time Has Come.

Schedule of Events

2:00 Houston City Council Public Comment- Sign up, before 1:30 pm on Tuesday, to get on stack and voice your objection to the suppression of the Occupy Movement. The number is: 832-393-1100.

“We object to…”
1. The City’s alterations of the Hermann Square Park scheduled hours targeting & limiting Occupiers’ rights to free speech & assembly
2. Police Harassment of Occupiers
3. The City’s excessive charges that are deliberate attempts to intimidate into silence the peaceful protestors of Occupy
4. The lack of cooperation from the City with #OH’s right to use public space to peaceably assemble, day or night
5. Ask the city to not be involved in this National effort to suppress the Occupy Movement

4:00-5:30 Gather
Gather at Hermann Square Park in front of City Hall.
Don’t forget your signs.

6:00 Rally
Get on stack and use this time to show what Occupy means to you.

Focus Topics;
What lit the spark for you to become involved with Occupy?
I Occupy because…
I support Occupy because…
I am the 99% because….

“Movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization.”

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Call Back Yesterday And Bid Time Return

Above is a gravestone I took a picture of last week in Houston.

I like the rawness of the thought expressed on the marker.

On my Facebook, Jennifer Peebles, Deputy Editor of the Texas Watchdog, said the text on the stone was a line from Shakespeare’s Richard III.

Jennifer was correct. I had no idea.

Here is a list of notable lines from Richard III. 

February 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Climate Change May Raise The Prospects Of East African Drought And Famine—American Conservatives Do Not Care

A recent article in New Scientist said that changing weather patterns have increased the chance for recurring drought in East Africa. 

(Above–Oxfam photo of a family gathering firewood in drought-stricken Kenya in 2011.)  

From New Scientist

“Last year’s drought occurred because both of the region’s rainy seasons failed. We already know that the trigger for the failure of the “short rains”, between October and December 2010, was La Niña – a cyclical meteorological event caused by a pulse of cool water rising to the surface of the eastern Pacific Ocean. But efforts to work out why the “long rains” that occur between March and May fail have drawn a blank – until now.

Bradfield Lyon and David DeWitt of Columbia University in New York examined records of the long rains and found that they have been much more likely to fail since 1999. That year also marked a sharp rise in sea-surface temperatures in the western tropical Pacific Ocean, while further east the ocean cooled.”

The story goes on to very clearly state that the reasons for the prospect of recurring drought in East Africa are by no means the definite result of man-made climate change. The article says that studies are now ongoing to see if the droughts are naturally occurring, are influenced by human activity, or are caused by some combination of these two factors.

(It should also be noted that some of the problems of famine in Somalia have been caused by Islamic insurgent groups stopping shipments of food.)

The thing is that here in the United States one of the two major political parties won’t even allow all the needed research to take place, and won’t even consider the prospect that man-made climate change is for real.

And if a bunch of people in Africa die so we don’t have to change our lives in any way, or so we can retain the ideological purity of the Republican Party—Then I guess that is the way it goes.

Many American conservatives have reached the point where they see bike trails as a United Nations plot.

A recent Oxfam report says that global response to the 2011 famine drought in East Africa was very slow in starting, and that many lives were lost as a consequence.

Here is a BBC series of reports about famine in East Africa.

Here is a New York Times page of a number of links and articles about climate science.

Here is how to make a donation to Oxfam for famine relief.  I just made a small donation as it seemed the thing to do to back up my post.

Another thing we can all do in the United States is to ask our political leaders to at least be open to the prospect of climate change, and to support the necessary research to determine the facts.

We are not the only people in the world. What we do impacts others.

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I Learned In My Punk Rock Days That Action Was My Own Responsibility

Recently I came upon a collection of fliers promoting shows at the great Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky.

The Jockey Club, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, was the best punk rock club in all the midwest. It closed in 1988. There is a Jockey Club Facebook page you can join.

You can read a series of Jockey Club recollections in Stories for Shorty. I have an entry in this book that was published by Cincinnati’s Aurore Press.

One of the best things about our punk rock scene in Cincinnati is that we did stuff ourselves.

We made our own fliers, staged our own shows, formed our own bands, we printed fanzines that had interviews with touring bands and we had our own radio show on a local station. I co-hosted a punk radio show on Cincinnati’s WAIF-FM 88.3 for three years.

This was—and still is—the way to go. Working by ourselves and working together, we made our own scene no matter how moronic and narrow the world around us might be.

Whether it is getting on the Mayflower to exercise your beliefs in a new place, Occupying something in the name of economic fair play and a more just society, finding the internal resources to fulfill a creative vision, or working with others who share your thoughts and hopes to make something of value—It is in the end your responsibility to do the work to accomplish what you hope to accomplish.

This does not mean that luck and circumstance do not matter. These things matter a great deal. It is possible that you will get sick or be hit by a truck.

Yet in the end, here is what I would say—

Make and print your own fliers, start a blog, form a band, occupy something, be part of your local and national scene, take responsibility for your own future, generate your own content so somebody else does not generate it for you, help out those on your own side of the aisle, and don’t just hang around when there is work to be done. The ways to get these things done may change over the years, but the underlying concept does not shift.

February 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Saw The Emancipation Proclamation Today–The Work Of Freedom And Progress Is Up To Each Of Us

This afternoon I went to the Civil War exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences.

I saw the original Emancipation Proclamation that has been on display in Houston for 6 days. Today was the last day the Proclamation was being shown to the public.

The remainder of the exhibit is at the museum through April 29. It is well worth your time.

I don’t have any pictures of the exhibit as you were not allowed to take pictures. The photo above of the original Proclamation shows well enough what I saw.

The original is kept by the National Archives and Records Administration. If you poke around you can find a National Archives app for your mobile device that offers up a famous old document each day.

Here is a transcript of the Proclamation. 

Depite the promise of freedom offered by the Emancipation Proclamation, Jim Crow replaced slavery in our nation for a century after the Civil War.

Today the same people who fought racial progress to the least breath, oppose President Obama as much or more so for who he is and what he represents as they do for any of his policies.

Things do sometimes change for the better and you can always appeal to the best impulses of our fellow Americans.

On the other hand, evil is for real and the work of progress and freedom is up to each of us.

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breakfast at 4:30 AM—A Helpful Waiter, A Book To Read And A Good Start To The Day

Due to an unsual set of circumstances, I was out and about this morning around 4:30 AM.

It sure is nice and quiet at 4:30 AM. I think I’d enjoy being out at that hour more often.

I decided to stop at a 59 Diner along the 1-10 east feeder road for breakfast. I ordered what was termed the “Texas Sampler.”

You see the Texas Sampler above. It was a very fine breakfast.

Here is a history of breakfast from the Breakfast Panel. The Breakfast Panel appears to be a lobbying group advocating the consumption of breakfast. It is currently funded by the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers.

All righty.

Here are some health ratings for a variety of cold cereals.

With my breakfast this morning you will see that I also had a book to read.

I was reading Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser. This book argues that city living is best in a variety of respects including access to economic prosperity, and an environmental impact less than that of suburbs.

I’ve included above a link to a review of the book and to the author’s website if you want to know more. A strength of the book is that it is not ideological, and offers critiques of policies that might be associated with both the  right and  left.

The waiter today at the 59 was very good even at such an early hour. He was a pro.

Commanded by the spirit of Franklin D. Roosevelt on this President’s Day, I left a good tip for my fellow working person on the job on a holiday at 5 AM.

Below is a picture of the 59 at 5 AM this morning. I think I was there just before the morning breakfast traffic.

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—The Same Message Each Week Because You Already Know The Underlying Facts

Below you will find the weekly posting of the  Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working 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 to run for public office.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

It’s true that I say much the same thing each week with the round-up.

This is because the facts of the matter are clear enough. You don’t need me or anybody else to tell you that Rick Santorum is a right-wing extremist.

(Above photo of Mr. Santorum by IowaPolitics.com.)

What we all do need is some encouragement to get involved when evevrybody is so busy with day-to-day life, and when our public affairs seem to be run by big money and malicious people.

Everybody has the ability to at least make an effort.

Here is the round-up–

Meanwhile, Off the Kuff ran the numbers for those maps that were proposed by AG Abbott.

While we may have plenty of jobs in Texas, many don’t pay very well, which has led to a chasm of income disparity. WCNews at Eye On Williamson make clear that economic inequality in Texas needs to be addressed.

Sex Ed 101 by Louie Gohmert featured lectures on both caribou and human sexuality last week. Read on, if you dare, at Brains and Eggs, but have some anti-nausea medication close by just in case. Continue reading

February 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Michael Berry Has A Right To His Views And We Each Have The Right To Assess Michael Berry

Blogger’s Note—-Below is a post I made last September about comments that did not seem very nice about gay people made by former Houston Councilman and current right-wing KTRH talk show host Michael Berry.  (The picture above is of Mr. Berry at the microphone.) In my September post I said that Mr. Berry was making a clear expression of his views.  This is a right that we all should have as Americans. Mr. Berry has been in the news in recent days for alleged involvement in a hit-and-run incident outside a gay bar in Houston.  Here is a link to a report on this matter from Houston TV station KPRC.  The KPRC report has video that the station asserts is of Mr. Berry inside the gay bar. The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston Police are looking into the incident again after an initial determination not to press charges.  I don’t know what exactly took  place the night of the alleged hit-and-run, or why it may be that Mr. Berry was in the bar if what KPRC says is correct.  I’d ask folks to read the stories  about the concern and to reach their own views.  Just as the post below may tell a story about Mr. Berry’s nature, the facts of this more recent development may also offer insight into the life of this well-known  public figure in Houston 

Here is what former Houston City Councilmember and current KTRH 740 AM radio host Michael Berry had to say on his Facebook page today  about Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham–

“Lindsay Grahamnesty is on Fox right now. Acting gayer than hell as usual. He grates on my nerves. Liberal Lindsay. Squish.”

I’m appreciative of people like Mr. Berry who tell us exactly who and what they are.

There were a number of comments after Mr. Berry’s Facebook post that appeared to suggest a measure of agreement with his views.

For example–

“Posts like this are why I love you. In a non gayer than hell way of course.”

Or this view expressed by a fellow citizen of our nation–

“He needs to go. I can’t stand this man. Lindsay, is that like Pat- is he a man or a woman?”

People are free to believe what they want to believe, and they are free to express themselves.

I encourage all people to speak their minds and to be involved with the issues of the day.

The facts are out there for all to see and consider. We can decide to make clear our own views to the contrary, or we can allow people such as Mr. Berry to have a free run.

February 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 10 Comments