Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Texas Progressive Alliance 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.

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.

(Above–Cover from the 1987 James Michener historical novel Texas. Here is a review and some reader opinions of this book.)

I run these words each week in this space. This is because there is nothing more important that I can tell you.

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

Here is the round-up—

BossKitty at TruthHugger is amazed how blind America’s elected leaders are to the reality of climate changes. Headlines have described catastrophic climate and weather events, one after another for the past decade. Each year seems to break another record, at least in terms of human recorded history. So 2012 gives Americans a chance to elect responsive and responsible leaders. On Fire, Out of Food, Out of Water, Out of Power shows the reality Americans are facing. Who can we elect that will step up to save our future?

The great equalizer in any society is education, that’s why the regressives hate it so much. WCNews at Eye on Williamson points out that the GOP attack on public education will continue next session.

Off the Kuff notes that while Democrats want to talk about solutions in Texas, Republicans want to talk about things that will benefit themselves. Continue reading

August 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Punk Band Pussy Riot Jailed In Russia For Engaging In Freedom Of Expression—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Of Us

The Russian punk band Pussy Riot has been sentenced to two years in a Russian prison for exercising free speech and engaging in political protest.

This past February, Pussy Riot staged a performance inside of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. This performance was directed at the linked repressive power of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Here is an overview of current politics and demographics in Russia from the BBC.

Pussy Riot has made a practice of staging political concerts in unusual places around Moscow. Above is a Pussy Riot demonstration earlier this year in Red Square. (Photo by Denis Bochkarev.)

After the appearance in the church was posted online, band members were arrested and charged with hooliganism and inciting religious hatred.

The Russian Orthodox Church had the option here to forgive those that trespass, but instead made the call to continue to ally itself with the corrupt and undemocratic power of Vladimir Putin.

Why is so often the case that powerful religious officials cannot get past a sense  of perpetual victimhood and so often choose to make common cause with the most retrograde political forces?

Top clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church said that they forgave the band, but still supported the prosecution.


Amnesty International has written about this case and has called for Pussy Riot band members to be released.

The excellent website Global Voices has written on this issue.

It may seem there is no point to addressing an issue in Russia from where I am in Houston, Texas.

Yet the universal values of free speech and democracy merit our concern no matter where in the world they are under assault.

This case is also a reminder that free speech and freedom from unjust incarceration are hardly matters only for people outside the United States.

Here in our torture-industrial-prison state, no freedom is safe from the forces of big money, a bought government, and millions of mean-spirited and intellectually lazy fellow citizens.

The good news is that we all have the ability to fight back and that very many people all around the world care about these concerns.

As Pussy Riot well understood, the work of freedom is up to each of us.

(Below–Pussy Riot on trial.)

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

I Am At Home When I Am In Motion—Every Place Has Value

I am very much at home when I am in motion.

Here is a picture I took a few days ago on the commuter train from the Chicago suburbs into Downtown Chicago.

On a train such as the one I was on when I took this picture , or when I am driving, or when I am taking a walk—-I have many productive thoughts.

The place where we return each day after our work—or where we return after a vacation—has many virtues.

Being in motion also has many virtues.

When in motion we see new things and we are energized.

The Earth is constant motion around the sun.

Without neglecting the fact of the underlying brutality of this wicked society— everyday and every place has great value.

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Big Feature Of Existence Was Set Right At The Big Bang—Samness And Difference

The only point at which there was sameness was before the Big Bang.

Ever since that point, there have been differences.

This is so even though the different things consist of the original matter expelled by the Big Bang.

Right away the nature of being was set.

There was a common point of origin and an existence made up of many different things.

This is useful for understanding everyday life.

It is not difficult to grasp the fact that common origins, differences and contradiction are at the center of things.

Nothing other has ever been the case.

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

Sun Shower Through Impressionist Windshield

Here is a sun shower as seen through an impressionist windshield.

This picture is from two days ago in the Chicago suburbs.

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

These Geese May Fly North Or South—I Am Flying To Texas

It is time to fly home to Houston from Chicago.

Here is a picture of some geese flying a few days ago in a Cook County forest preserve.

I don’t know if these geese were flying north or south. Maybe they are staying in place for the winter. It must be tough to know how best to migrate with the Earth heating up.

In any case, my plane this afternoon is headed back to Texas.


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

Call It The Sears Tower If You Wish—Though It Does Have A Proper Name

Here is a picture of the Willis Tower in Chicago. This picture is from this afternoon,

The Willis Tower is the black building. It is the tallest building in Chicago and one of the tallest buildings in the world. You can go up on top of it and look around.

The Willis Tower is the former Sears Tower. The name was changed a few years ago.

I think I heard at least four different folks say today that they’d never call the building anything other than the Sears Tower.

I don’t care what anybody calls it other than to say the correct name of the building is the Willis Tower.

And I thought we were all supposed to be willing to adapt to change to be able to succeed in our globalized economy.


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

Big Map In Chicago Tribune Building

Here is a picture from the lobby of the Chicago Tribune building in Downtown Chicago. I took this picture this afternoon.

I enjoyed this big map of our hemisphere.


August 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Cloudy Day In Downtown Chicago—Great Day For A Boat Ride

It was cloudy in Downtown Chicago today.

It was a great day for a boat ride on Lake Michigan.

The boat I was on when I took this picture leaves a number of times each day from Navy Pier in Chicago.


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

Bubble Gum Cigarettes—For The Children

Here are some bubble gum cigarettes that I saw for sale today at the Navy Pier in Chicago.

Anything is okay so long as it is “for the children.”


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

A Great Day For Racing Even Though They Often Treat The Horses And Jockeys Quite Poorly

It was a great day for racing yesterday at Arlington International Race Course in suburban Chicago.

Here are some horses approaching the finish line and two photographers present to record the event.

The New York Times has recently written a series of articles detailing practices in horse racing industry-wide that endanger horses and jockeys.

And yet I went to the track anyway. I’ve been going to horse tracks for many years and in many states.

If you stayed away from everything that annoyed you, you’d never leave home.


August 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Romney & Ryan Set For All-Out Attack On Everyday Americans

Tax-avoider Mitt Romney—who has engaged in business practices that have led to the death of American workers—has selected Ayn Rand-extremist Paul Ryan as his running mate.

If elected, these two will to execute a Rand-inspired social engineering plan that will slash the social safety net for children, veterans and seniors, and will alter so-called entitlement programs to make sure that American working people will never receive the benefits they have contributed to all their working lives.

What steps will you take to make certain these vicious proponents of Social Darwinism won’t get the chance to remake America with their depraved ideas?

August 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Chicago River At Night

Here is the Chicago River at night in Downtown Chicago. I took this picture last night.

Chicago is a great place to take a vacation.

Here are some facts about the Chicago River.


August 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

At Wrigley Field Right Now

I’m at Wrigley Field this afternoon.

Chicago is playing Cincinnati.

I’m sorry that each of you can’t be with me here this afternoon for a blog day at the baseball game.

Today is mini foam finger day at Wrigley Field.

In addition the foam finger and the action on the field, I intend to purchase a frosty malt.


August 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago Stock Exchange Room In Art Institute Of Chicago

Here is the old Chicago Stock Exchange room that has been moved to the Art institute of Chicago.

I took this picture yesterday.

There were a few minutes I was in the room by myself. It was great to have the chance to look around without anybody bugging me.

Some folks would walk in the room and not have a clear sense of what it was. They’d walk out a moment later without checking it out.

Sometimes I get so tired of people that they annoy me no matter if they are around or if they are not around.


August 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment