Texas Liberal

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I’m Certain I’ll Blog Again About Local Affairs In Houston And Texas Soon Enough

I could blog about local affairs here in Houston and in Texas on the blog today.  I imagine I will offer such blogging soon enough.

It is just that our leaders—and many of our fellow everyday citizens as well—are thieves who steal our time and our best energies with an endless load of idiocy, self-centeredness, and anything else that is annoying and a waste of time.

And so I’m just going to leave all that stuff alone for today.

April 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Diverging

Above is photo I took in Cincinnati in March of 2011. I took this picture a few days before my dad died in Cincinnati.

I made a post about the picture at the time, and noted that my father would soon be leaving the main track or be taking a diverging course.

I think about this picture often.

There are things I’d like to do differently in life, and ways I wish things were different in our society.

I now often envision these changes or transitions that I’d like to see as a switch from the main track to another route.

It seems like a gentle enough switch in this image. Just a slight altering of your course.

Yet in the end you’ll end up far away from where you started.

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

Everybody Is A Sinner

Here is a list of sins that will get you tossed into the pit.

I took this picture in a Houston park a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks to the young lady for her nice wave. I got the sense that she and the gentleman in the picture were used to having their picture taken.

What struck me about this list, beyond the mentioning of witches, was that it seemed to include the entire population.

Is there a single person who could pass complete muster by the standards on that sign?

If you’ve got no chance to avoid damnation, why bother to be good?

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Veteran Suicides A Major Problem—Before We Kill You With Neglect, We Tell You How Much We Care

Opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times recently wrote about suicides of  American veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here is some of what Mr. Kristof said—

“HERE’S a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands. An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began. These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq. Michael, then 22, signed up soon after the 9/11 attacks. Then Michael was discharged, DeBow picked him up at the airport — and was staggered. “When he got off the plane and I picked him up, it was like he was an empty shell,” she told me. “His body was shaking.” Michael began drinking and abusing drugs, his mother says, and he terrified her by buying the same kind of gun he had carried in Iraq. “He said he slept with his gun over there, and he needed it here,” she recalls. Then Ryan returned home in 2007, and he too began to show signs of severe strain. He couldn’t sleep, abused drugs and alcohol, and suffered extreme jitters….Michael and Ryan, like so many other veterans, sought help from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Eric Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, declined to speak to me, but the most common view among those I interviewed was that the V.A. has improved but still doesn’t do nearly enough about the suicide problem…Likewise, neither Michael nor Ryan received much help from V.A. hospitals. In early 2010, Ryan began to talk more about suicide, and DeBow rushed him to emergency rooms and pleaded with the V.A. for help. She says she was told that an inpatient treatment program had a six-month waiting list. (The V.A. says it has no record of a request for hospitalization for Ryan. While Ryan was waiting for a spot in the addiction program, in May 2010, he died of a drug overdose. It was listed as an accidental death, but family and friends are convinced it was suicide. The heartbreak of Ryan’s death added to his brother’s despair, but DeBow says Michael is now making slow progress. “He is able to get out of bed most mornings,” she told me. “That is a huge improvement…..”

Note that President Obama’s Veteran’s Secretary would not talk to Mr. Kristof.

It is no surprise that this is how we treat veterans in the United States.

The whole war in Iraq was based on a lie.

We did not give our troops the equipment they needed when fighting in Iraq.

We killed many thousands of Iraqi civilians to make clear our contempt for life.

We sent wounded veterans to Walter Reed where many of them got lousy care.

And now we let our soldiers kill themselves while Mr. Obama’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs won’t talk to the supposed liberal apologists at The New York Times.

Here is what my late father, Tony Aquino , a Korean War combat veteran, wrote about our wars and about the Cold War —

“One thing that I learned is that the young men who fought in our wars should never be forgotten…Another fact I learned…is that millions may serve but far fewer fight. So, in reality, for many who have served, war is a glory-and-gory myth that feeds on its own legends and publicity. …Another truth I learned is that civilians are combatants in war–embattled victims perpetually on a losing side….That brings us to the biggest deception: The need to be ready defend our freedom if we are to keep it. Those who say that freedom has a price are absolutely right, and wrong: International conflict today is beyond ideology. The only freedom American and Russian leaders offer their freedom today is the freedom to kill ourselves in the name of freedom.  This is not freedom, but allegiance to a suicidal death culture….Today, we are servile to our masters, mistaking economic well-being for true freedom, which is the freedom to live hopefully and not to die needlessly.”

I found out not long after Tony’s death last year, that after he got home from Korea he would wake up from nightmares and would break dishes around the house. Tony never got over fighting in that war.

And for what? For a war that is not officially over to this day? So red-baiters at home could score political points? To defend Jim Crow?

Of course our leaders are often killers. They kill time and time again, and they do so with the enthusiastic complicity of so many of our fellow citizens. Millions of Americans are sick and crazed with a love for violence.

The expression of great care for a group of people in our country is often a kiss of death.

No matter if it is children or our veterans, you can bet that we are in good part neglecting–or worse–those we say we value most.

Both at home and abroad, let this nation be most defined most of all by our love of violence and by our contempt for those who serve.

April 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Occupy Wall Street: Houston Is Up And Running

Here is the latest newsletter from Occupy Wall Street: Houston. OWSH is an affort to restart Occupy Wall Street in Houston. All are welcome. There are details about getting involved in the newsletter. I’ll have more to say about this in the days ahead.


Upcoming Events

Thu Apr 19, 7PM, Downtown Library Plaza (500 McKinney):Planning meeting for May 1 General Strike. Hosted by Occupy Houston, CARE and Critical Mass.


Sun Apr 22, 1:30 PM, Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Rd (in Tlaquepaque Market):GA

Tues Apr 24, 5PM, U.S. 59 and Dunlavy:Freeway blog. Ongoing, every Tuesday.

Sun Apr 28, 8:30AM, 711 Sabine St: Permablitz withTransition Houston. The group is dedicated to promoting sustainable living practices and selects at random one backyard per month to transform into a permaculture paradise. Full descriptionhere. Wouldn’t this be a great group to ally with and the permablitz a great way to do it?

Tues May 1: Occupy general strike. Details to come.

Thu May 3, Fri May 4, and Sat May 5, 8PM, Good Jobs=Great Houston, 2955 Gulf Fwy: LookOut Arts Collective presents Theatre for the 99%: 6 short plays about living in America. All performances are PAY WHAT YOU WANT!!! Occupier Caleb Travis is producing.

Sat May 5: Cinco de Mayo in the East End. Details to come.

May 9: Bank divestment action coincident with Bank of America’s annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, NC. Good Jobs=Great Houston will be joining us, but it’s OWSH’s action. Details to come.

Ongoing autonomous action: petition drive to require a referendum vote on the anti food-sharing ordinance. We need 28,000 valid signatures by the middle of July. Download the updated (as of 4/17) petition here.

Volunteers Needed

Thanks to Donnie Romaniello and Edwin Munoz for volunteering to represent OWSH at Theater for the 99%. We need one more person to to deliver a talk-back on May 3, 4, or 5, This is a unique opportunity to connect the arts and activist communities. If you’re willing to help, please emailowshou@gmail.com

Thanks also to Will Bermudez for working up a great looking logo design (see newsletter banner). We’ll vote on it at the next GA, and with a little luck, we’ll have a t-shirt design!

OWSH Kicks Off Freeway Blog

Occupiers Selene BallestasEdwin Munoz, their daughters Maya and Zoe, and Amy Price have staked out the bridge over U.S. 59 at Dunlavy and plan to hit it on Tuesday afternoons to deliver narratives of the 99% to Houstonians headed home from work. The current thread is “Divest from Bank of America.” The first message, delivered on tax day, read “Bank of America paid $0 taxes. How much did you pay?”

Houston, with its many bridges over freeways and heavy rush hour, is a great place to do banner hangs. All it takes is 1-2 willing spirits and a banner. If you can donate an hour or more of your time in the AM or PM, let us know and we’ll work with you to get your thread of the OWSH Freeway Blog spinning out into the city.

99% Spring Training in Non-Violent Direct Action

Donnie Romaniello

Last September, in response to the execution of Troy Davis, I attended a Day of Outrage Rally at Union Square in NYC. Surprised at the numbers in attendance I joined when they marched through the streets of Greenwich Village chanting, “We are all Troy Davis.” Not until later that night when at Zuccotti Park that I realized this was Occupy Wall Street. Over the next two months I came to Zuccotti on days I wasn’t working to stand with the Occupiers. Each time I went I was moved to the core of my being having waited forty years for something like this to come along.

This February I had been in Houston just ten days when I was in the Central Library. I heard drumbeats and chanting outside. I ran outside and asked the first person I could find, “Is this part of the Occupy Movement?” I was greeted by an affirmative answer. I had walked into the eviction of Occupy Houston’s four month encampment.

Last Sunday April 15, I took part in one of nearly one thousand trainings that took place last week across the nation as part of the 99% Spring Training designed to: 1. Tell the story of our economy, how we got here and what we can do about it; 2. Learn the history of non-violent direct action; and 3. Get into action on our own campaigns to win change.

From this three-hour training that lasted four, I left with an appreciation of two things. First, that we all have a story. Our stories are unique; they capture both the challenges and the possibilities in our lives. But they also reflect the times that we live in. Stories have been the centerpiece of the Occupy Movement since its inception. Since we are all leaders we need to tell our own stories and provide a space for others to tell theirs.

From the training I learned an overlooked fact regarding the Montgomery Bus Strike of 1955-6. Rosa Parks was not merely a tired woman who happened to refuse to move to the back of the bus. She was a trained activist from the Highlander Folk School who had been selected to initiate this act of civil disobedience. The Civil Rights Movement didn’t begin simply by chance. It began because its leaders possessed: A Vision that was big, transformative and inspiring – racial equality; A Goal – a boycott designed to last one day but lasted more than a year; A Strategy, an overall plan to organize and deploy their resources to achieve their goal; and Tactics, the actual activities to obtain a victory.

We in the Occupy Movement belong to an historical legacy of direct action that dates back to the 19th century Abolitionist Movement, the Suffragette Movement, the Worker’s Rights Movement of the 1930’s, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and more. We live in a moment with great potential for historical significance. This is a time when each of our stories can weave into a great leap forward towards a more just and equitable world.

Port of Houston Authority Loses $100 Million Annually in Tax Revenues

Last Thursday, TOP (Texas Organizing Project), Air Alliance Houston, and Neighborhood Centers hosted a Town Hall so that port community residents could weigh in on concerns pertiment to the Sunset Review process.Sunset Review is the assessment by the State Legislature as to whether a state agency should continue to exist. It can also be an opportunity for the Legislature to look closely at an agency and make fundamental changes to an agency’s mission or operations if needed. The PoHA is slated for Sunset Review during the 2013 legislative session.

Terry O’Roarke from the Harris County Attorney’s office shared that the PoHA refuses to operate its tax-free zones according to best practices, resulting in $100 million in tax revenue lost annually. He also reiterated alongstanding criticism of the PoHA, that it is a governmental organization that calls itself “quasi-governmental”, meaning that they act as if they exist to service the companies around the Ship Channel rather than to manage the Port, a public asset. Although Senator Mario Gallegos, who attended the Town Hall, pledged his support for keeping the PoHA a governmental organization, he could not vouch for the behavior of the rest of the Legislature.

The Houston Ship Channel will quite possibly be dredged deeper to accommodate the New Panamax class ships that will be sailing through an enlarged Panama Canal. But, although some local residents did mention the need to train area residents for new jobs that would accompany a Port expansion, most community members who spoke at the town hall mentioned environmental concerns as being of paramount importance.

To offer opinions or documents pertinent to the Sunset Review of the PoHA, contact the Sunset Commissionhere.



Got an item–an announcement, a proposal, a report–for the next GA? Send it toowshou@gmail.com before Thurs Apr 19 at 10 PM, and Facilitation will do their best to get it onto the agenda! Know of an Occupy-friendly event coming up? Email it and we’ll put it in the next newsletter.



Make Your Ideas Heard Outside of the GA

We’ve started a google group, owshOps, to facilitate planning. So far, we’ve begun discussing messaging–how do we help others connect the dots? What language would be most effective? What points do we want to emphasize and repeat?–and the Apr 9 divestment action. Until we get larger, this will be OWSH’s ONLY group, and it will be devoted entirely to thinking through how to make our actions as successful as possible.

To join, click here.

Agenda Items For Our Next GA

  • discussion: t-shirts. Voting on a final design
  • proposal: adopting a statement of non-violence
  • Theater for the 99%: status of participation. What more we need to do to support it.
  • proposal: participation guidelines
  • report back: banner hang
  • proposal: bank account
  • report back: 99% Spring
  • discussion: May 1 action
  • discussion: May 9 divestment action. Links with GJGH. Next steps.
  • Campaign planning. a) East End. What has Jamin found out re May 5? Next steps. b) Pay it forward. c) Coalition building. d) Our internet presence. e) Messaging. f) Other long term planning, focused on the calendar.

GA Passes Mission and Values Statements, Begins Writing Bylaws

OWSH now has a Mission Statement to help us explain ourselves to others, based on demands for economic, social, and environmental justice. We have a Values Statement, against which we can measure the wisdom our own decisions.

Bylaws have been started which, when finished, will provide a basis for operating smoothly. Right now, our bylaws address proposals, requiring that proposals be posted prior to consideration and that information regarding proposals be made available to OWSH members promptly.

Full text of all three items here.

April 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Anti-Immigration Initiatives Proposed For 2012 Houston Ballot—You Will Know Them By Their Fruits

Last week I ran on the blog the picture you see above and the text you see below–

Here are some folks who were using the forum provided by the Iraq veterans parade in Houston this past Sunday to promote two anti-immigrant ballot initiatives for the City of Houston 2012 ballot.

These folks are free to use public space to promote their cause.

Here is website of the group pushing the anti-immigrant measure. 

I’m not concerned with linking to this group. If this is what people want, then they can decide this is what they want.

Here is a recent report in which the Houston-area was found to be the most ethnically diverse region in the nation.

We can either move forward in an open and welcoming way that makes Houston a hopeful place, or we can choose another course.

It is many ways less a matter of public policy, than it is a decision as to what kind of people we are going to be, and how we are going to present ourselves and the world to young people.

It would be far more productive if our city was discussing progress, rather than going after immigrants and going after the sharing of food with the homeless.

In addition to making this post on my personal blog, I also copied the post at my space as a reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle.

Here are some of the responses I got at The Chronicle—

TexasLiberal, why are you afraid to tell the truth. Hardly anyone is against immigrants coming into our country, Yes, there is a very small minority of people that don’t want any immigrants allowed in the US and to me those people are wrong. Most people are against those who are ILLEGALLY coming here and sucking up resources, whether it is schools, health care, food stamps, etc. But at least they do come here rob/kill others allowed to sit in prison for awhile. Do you know the difference between immigration and ILLEGAL immigration?? It really is so simple that even a Liberal should know

I’m proud to say that I signed the petition, got all my family and friends to do the same. Something has to be done about them. Time to put America first. They don’t like their country…change it

Like any liberal truth is a problem for you. No one is suggesting going after immigrants. This is about illegals who are criminals since they are breaking the law by being here. It is time to force our city leaders to do what they are suppose to be doing and that is rounding these criminals up, putting them in prison, and then deporting them.

It is in fact fully reasonable to make a distinction between people here “legally” as we term it, and someone who came here in a way that the law does not allow.

It is fair to say that making such a distinction does not by definition make a person anti-immigrant.

And yet–of course–this is a nuance that gets lost in these type of anti-immigrant efforts.

Here are some recent updates from the Stop The Magnet Facebook page. Stop The Magnet are the folks running this campaign. You can see the articles they linked to by clicking the link in each line.

* Follow the money. These officials are selling out our country for profit.Mocking the blood of our fallen heroes. These people are soooo crooked they will need to be screwed into their coffins.

* “SOVEREIGN CITIZENS” this term coined to describe how illegals are exempted from certain laws. This article also mentions Perry’s contributions toward this new treasonous trend

* Illegal Alien Impregnates a ten yr. old girl who gave birth. (Idaho):

* Too many foreigners” …says Sarkozy

It can be said that the issues that are being proposed for Houston voters are about so-called illegal immigration, and yet here we read about French President  Sarkozy saying that France has “Too many foreigners.”

But this is all just about immigration reform.

As it says in the Bible

“7- 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20“So then, you will know them by their fruits.”

No good fruit can come from this tree.

A diverse and multi-cultural Houston and America are here to stay. Anybody fighting this fact has already lost.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I saw people of different races signing the petition. It’s not a simple matter of white, black or Hispanic.

It’s about fear and resentment in contrast to optimism, and against a future that is already on the way and that will make our nation a better place to live.

Since I ran a few Chronicle comments taking issue with my view, allow me to excerpt one that took my side–

“… The underlying animus in the anti-immigrant crowd is hate, which is a result of fear. Time and again in this country, in times of economic hardship, immigrants have been targeted. “Roundin’ up all them illegals and deportin’ ’em all back to Mexico” is unrealistic. It would also undermine law enforcement in that undocumented immigrants would fear reporting crimes, including serious ones…”

To this I would add that we have all in Houston taken advantage of the lower prices for goods and services that immigration has allowed.  In many cases, the immigrants who do this work are not paid.

If these anti-immigration folks are so concerned with immigrants and the law, why don’t they take up the cause of wage theft as well?

I don’t know if these issues will reach the ballot. I don’t know if they will pass or fail if Houston voters are asked to decide.

I do know that people who see a hopeful and welcoming future for the Houston-area and for our nation have nothing to fear from these folks.

Let’s face these anti-immigration folks with the full confidence that our vision of an inclusive Houston and nation has already prevailed.

We have nothing to fear from these people if we stay the course of freedom, inclusion and care for others.

April 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Power Outage Photo—Plato’s Cave

Right now there is a power outage at my home.

With this post, you see a photo of the darkness.

Centerpoint Energy told me this power outage involves 17 homes in the Houston-area.

I wish I could have beaten the odds to such an extent in the recent big MegaMillions drawing.

This darkness reminds me of the famous story of Plato’s Cave.

Once power is restored, I’m going to blame my friends for the light.

April 16, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

This Spot Is Marked

Here is a picture I took during a walk I took on Allen Parkway here in Houston 3 days ago.

You see that this spot is marked by an X.

Anything might happen at this spot.

April 16, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

An Expanded Thought Of The Day—We Can Govern From A Point Of Opposition

A few days ago I made a post t I called Thought Of The Day.

Here is what I said–

“It is easy to join a permanent opposition or to make common cause for a brief time with the enemy of your enemy. It is a more difficult thing to “govern” in the sense of offering a viable alternative to the powers that be even as you remain a figure of opposition.”

I’ve been thinking about the above idea and concept some more.

Here is what I have in an expanded thought of the day—

“You can consider yourself a “figure of opposition”–for lack of a better term at the moment– in a broad sense, without opposing just for the sake of opposing. There is a difference. Opposing for the sake of opposing means you hop into bed with the enemy of your enemy, and that your direction is set by others. Being a figure of opposition–because there are always people and ideas that must be defended from both those in power, and from the actions of our fellow everyday people–means in fact that you have the chance to “govern.” You can govern yourself. You can provide leadership. You can offer ideas. You can help set the climate that others must operate within. It is easy to reflexively oppose. It is a greater and more meaningful challenge to lead even from what we conventionally–and lazily– see as outside the traditional channels of power.”

I’m going to keep thinking–and acting– along these lines. I’ll have more to say in the days ahead.

April 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round-Up—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Of Us

Here is 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–The famous gusher at Spindletop.)

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 and justice is up to each of us.

I say this every week in this space. There is nothing more basic and essential I can tell you.

Here is the round-up—

Want to know where your preferred legislative candidates stand on the important issue of beer freedom in Texas? Off the Kuff tells you how you can find out.  

TruthHugger is disgusted with the candidate for the most corrupt Texas Governor list: Rick Perry Fairy Tales For Money Must Go, and that is a long list.  

BlueBloggin sympathizes with voting Texans who cannot believe their governor is saying oops… Rick Perry Makes Texas Look Stupid, Again. Continue reading

April 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

I Saw Houston Mayor Annise Parker—Then I Saw A Chicken

A few hours back I went to the blogger lunch that is hosted each month by Charles Kuffner. Mr. Kuffner writes the top Houston and Texas political blog  Off The Kuff.

The guest at the lunch this month was Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

Below you see a picture that I took of the Mayor at this lunch.

The Mayor has her hand raised as she takes a pledge to read Texas Liberal each day.

No–I’m making that up. I’m not sure why her hand was raised. She was making a point about something or other.

The Mayor was quite cordial and took questions for just over an hour.

In the days ahead I’m going to offer some thoughts about Mayor Parker, and issues related to moving forward in Houston.

My thoughts will be less about what the Mayor said at the lunch today, and more about the need for an effective and constructive progressive and liberal opposition in Houston.

Not an opposition that simply exists to oppose Mayor Parker when she veers more to the right than need be.

But rather a more long-term, consistent and hopeful force that helps change the political climate here in Houston, so that we don’t see again Council Democrats passing a law that criminalizes many acts of sharing food with the homeless.

An opposition can “govern” in the sense of offering hopeful alternatives to what we get from people in “official” positions of power.

An oppostion can “govern” in a fashion if it develops the capacity for disciplined and effective advocacy and leadership.

This is what I want to talk about the days ahead.

After the lunch, I took a long walk along Allen Parkway here in the city.

I’d say I walked for about five miles. This long walk gave me plenty of time to think about stuff.

While engaged in this thinking, I came across a chicken.

I do not believe there was any connection between Mayor Parker and the chicken.

Below is a photo of the chicken–

Here is a close-up of the chicken—

My Uncle Tom in Providence, R.I. saw these chicken pictures on Facebook. He insists that this bird is a Rhode Island Red.

Based on this Wikipedia entry, I think my uncle is correct.

As a former resident of Rhode Island, I’m very glad to have seen such a bird.

Thanks to both Mayor Parker and to the chicken for a good and productive day.

April 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Picture Emblematic Of The Idiocy And Laziness Of Much Of Everyday Life

I took this picture at the Houston Zoo a few days back.

The person who bought the ice cream or whatever in the  plastic dish that you see, was unable to get the used dish to the trash can that was just a few feet away.

I found this picture emblematic of the idiocy and laziness that is such a part of everyday life.

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

I Made The Sun Look Like A Flower

I took this picture of the sun a few days ago, and I made it look like a flower.

I don’t know why it turned out that way.

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments

Thought Of The Day

It is easy to join a permanent opposition or to make common cause for a brief time with the enemy of your enemy.

It is a more difficult thing to “govern” in the sense of offering a viable alternative to the powers that be even as you remain a figure of opposition.

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Wanting A Quiet Place To Think, I Went To The Houston Astros Game—The Right Mix Of Factors To Get Some Thinking Done In A Public Place

Wanting a quiet place to think where I could have some space, I attended the Houston Astros game this past Monday evening.

Above you see a picture I took in the second inning.

With the roof open on a warm spring evening, the game was a nice and relaxing spot for contemplation.

There was just the right mix of people around to look at and ponder, while at the same time enough room to have your distance from others. The game and the stadium offered all sorts of things to look at while not breaking your train of thought.

The Astros have in 2012 already had the smallest crowd ever recorded at Minute Maid Park for a game. With this being just April, there is plenty of time for that record to be broken again.

It is great to have a public place where you can think.

When I lived in Cincinnati, I enjoyed going to the River Downs horse track with my father.  There were always some people around, but the track was built for the larger crowds that attended horse racing years ago.

You’d sit off by yourself and look at the people. Across the way there were some hills. This was just as how you can see tall Downtown Houston buildings with the roof open at Minute Maid.

At the race track you would sit there and be peaceful, and every so often some horses would run past.

Below you see a picture I took at River Downs in 2011. There was no racing that day. You could go to clubhouse and place bets on races at other tracks.

That was a fine quiet snowy day.

What I look for in a public place  where I want to get some thinking done is the right combination of action, apathy, things to see such as trees or buildings or horses or a baseball game, and personal space.

I don’t want to be a hermit, but there is only a certain extent to which I want others around.

One to be fully engaged in the world is to make sure that you have some space.

April 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment