Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Welcome To Texas Liberal

Texas Liberal is a blog of politics and political history.

My name is Neil Aquino. Here is my profile.

I can be reached at naa618@att.net. 

Additional focuses of the blog are books, art, poetry, personal relationships and, also, sea life and marine mammals. 

( The picture above is of the Houston Ship Channel. A narrow channel can lead to a wide sea.)

The signature post of this blog is the Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List.  This list is the best of it’s kind on the web.

Another good post is my reciting the words to the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts on Galveston Island, Texas as a ship passes behind.

I live in Houston, Texas and I do sometimes write about political issues in Houston and in Texas.

I also often write about my former hometown of Cincinnati, and about the great beach city of Galveston, Texas.

I define liberalism as a role for government in the economy to help make life more fair, and a broad acceptance of people regardless of who they are.

This is why it says “All People Matter” at the top of the blog.

A blog grows one reader at a time. If you like what you read here, please consider forwarding the link.

Texas Liberal began regular posting on July 25, 2006.

I also blog at the Houston Chronicle as one of eight featured political bloggers, and on Where’s The Outrage? which posts out of North Carolina.

Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.


  1. Very nice start. A blog is starting to take shape. Check out my blog if you have an opportunity. If you like to listen to my radio show, check out my podcasts.

    Where’s the Outrage?

    Comment by ecthompson | October 4, 2006

  2. If “all people matter” does that mean Bush and ‘right-wingers’ (whoever that encompasses) also matter?

    btw, matter to whom?

    Comment by Lazaro | October 14, 2006

  3. Checked out your blog, liked it though we seem to be polar opposites on some of these issues, I will add you to my links section if you don’t mind

    Comment by Lazaro | October 14, 2006

  4. Yep—All people matter. I’ve added you to my links as well. Thanks for reading my blog and for posting comments.

    Comment by neilaquino | October 14, 2006

  5. I couldn’t find your email, so I had to post a comment to catch your attention. I was hoping to ask a few questions about your blog and an upcoming trip to Houston I have planned for later this month.


    Comment by Ashley Cecil | January 7, 2007

  6. From Maury Sullivan, could not find contact email:

    Special Session, a KLRU Weekly Statewide Public Affairs Show Hosted by Emmy
    Award-Winning Filmmaker Paul Stekler, Returns for Second Season

    Austin, Texas ‹ KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, in association with Midnight Films,
    announces the return of the statewide series, Special Session, hosted by
    Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and University of Texas Radio-Television-Film
    Professor Paul Stekler. The series debuts at Sunday, February 4, at 11 a.m.
    on Texas PBS stations (check local listings).

    Each week, journalists, politicos and other notable Texans take on the
    issues and politics confronting this year¹s 80th session of the Texas
    Legislature in this Lone Star Emmy-nominated half-hour series. Special
    Session will air on PBS stations in Amarillo, Austin, College Station,
    Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio and Waco. In
    Austin, Special Session will air Sundays at 11 a.m. on KLRU and Wednesdays
    at 9:30 p.m. on KLRU2.

    Produced in Austin, Special Session will interweave documentary and
    discussion to stay one step ahead of the legislation destined to affect our
    lives long after the legislators head home. The first month¹s programs will
    feature a look back at the late Gov. Ann Richards (including a short
    documentary using never-seen-before footage), former state Comptroller John
    Sharp looking back on the school finance plan he helped pass last year, and
    the impact of human service cuts across Texas.

    ³Getting the chance to cover a session of the Texas Legislature again, in a
    series like Special Session, is a political junkie¹s dream,² said Stekler
    whose credits include ³Last Man Standing² and ³George Wallace: Settin¹ the
    Woods on Fire.² ³We get to cover issues in-depth, travel around Texas, talk
    to some of the most interesting political observers in the state, and keep
    current, with a show to air every week for the duration of the session. It¹s
    also a real challenge, something very different than producing long form

    Special Session is one of several locally produced, award winning programs
    that KLRU airs. ³KLRU is really excited to be able to work again with Paul
    and his team of nationally recognized filmmakers to create a show about one
    of the most interesting political arenas in the country,² said Bill
    Stotesbery, CEO and General Manager of KLRU.

    Each week Special Session will tackle one of the state¹s most pressing
    issues. The show will also feature a look at the media, Lobby and those who
    make the Legislature work from Stekler¹s unique perspective.

    For more information about Special Session, visit klru.org/specialsession.
    Each episode will be available for video-streaming at that site after its

    Special Session is a production of KLRU in association with Midnight Films.
    Funding for Special Session is provided in part by the Bernard and Audre
    Rapoport Foundation, Public Strategies Inc., The Meredith Family Foundation
    and the Nowlin Family Fund at the Austin Community Foundation. Additional
    support is provided by Garrett and Cecilia Boone.
    ABOUT Special Session Production Team:

    Paul Stekler (Host/Executive Producer) has produced many of PBS¹s most
    honored documentaries on American politics including ³George Wallace:
    Settin¹ the Woods on Fire² (Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film
    Festival), ³Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style,² ³Vote for Me:
    Politics in America,² and ³Louisiana Boys: Raised on Politics.² His films
    have won numerous Emmys, Peabodys, and DuPont-Columbia Journalism Awards.
    Dr. Stekler is also the Director of the LBJ School¹s new Center on Politics
    and Governance.

    Diane Zander (Series Producer) is an Emmy Award winner for her work on the
    Chicago PBS documentary Moving Stories. She makes documentaries while
    teaching media production at the University of Texas at Austin. Her latest
    documentary, ³Girl Wrestler,² was broadcast nationally on PBS¹s ³Independent
    Lens.² A summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern University, she received
    her MFA in film and video production at the University of Texas.

    Megan Field (Series Producer) most recently did independent producing and
    research for ³Frontline¹s The Choice,² while also working on a film on the
    Bush family for German ARD-TV, which aired in France, Germany, Austria and
    Switzerland. Megan was the associate producer and assistant editor on ³Last
    Man Standing.² Previously, she served two years as the Co-Conference
    Director of the Austin Film Festival. She is a graduate of the
    Radio-Television-Film program at the University of Texas.

    Sandra Guardado (Series Editor) won an Emmy for her work on ³George Wallace:
    Settin¹ the Woods on Fire.² She was the Editor and Co-Producer on ³Last Man
    Standing: Politics, Texas Style.² She is also an editor on a new series
    entitled State of Tomorrow about higher education and innovation set to air
    statewide in Texas starting in February.

    Deborah Eve Lewis (Series Cinematographer) has shoot all of Paul Stekler¹s
    recent films, including ³Last Man Standing² and ³Spit Farther!.² Their next
    project is a feature length documentary about the late Governor Ann
    Richards. Her last narrative feature, ³Afraid of Everything,² premiered at
    the Sundance Film Festival.

    About KLRU

    KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, reflects, celebrates and inspires Central Texas through
    creative excellence,community engagement and lifelong learning. Although
    primarily a television station providing locally produced and quality
    national programming, KLRU is also a non-profit organization helping to
    build a stronger community through educational workshops, community outreach
    projects and public events. Get more information about KLRU at klru.org.


    Comment by Maury Sullivan | February 2, 2007

  7. Texas Liberal… love your posts. Thanks for the link in your blogroll. Stay liberal and proud!

    Comment by dailymuse | February 20, 2007

  8. Hi, I was browsing WP blogs, and I just wanted to stop by and say I enjoy yours and I added it to my blogroll. I write for Houstonist, which you should check out if you haven’t already.

    Comment by Alex | May 7, 2007

  9. Texas Liberal: “I’m committed to advancing liberalism in Houston, in Texas, and across the nation. My blog will speak to that goal.” Of course, if that goal is reached, a lot of people with divergent views will be quite discontened. Of course, that should not dissuade you from holding and advancing your views, but I am curious to know your thought process concerning the people that disagree with you: how they and their feelings should be handled in your opinion. The reason is that the conservative movement in this country exists almost entirely as a backlash against the liberal advances made from the Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson administrations. The conservative movement has no real ideas of its own, but rather was created by the failure – or should I say unwillingness – of the left to acknowledge and deal with dissent. (This is ironic because the left that prides itself on being the dissenters that challenge the status quo actually does an even worse job of listening to opposing views when THEY are the status quo, and the best example of this is our university campuses.)

    Realize that where the left has a broad based agenda based on a consistent ideology, the conservative opposition is actually a loosely organized band of gripers, most of whom oppose the left because of a single issue or at most a few of them, whether it be guns, illegal immigration, abortion, private property rights, safety (whether it be national security, defense or law enforcement), etc. The liberal strategy (where they have a strategy that does not involve calling the other side uneducated bigots that do not even deserve representation or a voice in the process) is usually limited to trying to cherry pick an issue and then creating the appearance of trying to address it. I will grant you that the right does the same, but what else are they going to do: they have no issues or ideas! While I understand that some things are not negotiable, the abject persistent failure of the side that actually has an agenda to come up with something real that would satisfy these people is not so much a failure as it is a refusal. It may not be that the left itself does not like the other side, but it is definitely the case that individual members of the various groups of the left do not like members of the various groups that oppose the left. To be quite honest: some of these civil rights types just plain flat out don’t like white people. Some feminists just plain don’t like men. And all one has to do is look at the controversy over John Edwards hiring Amanda Marcotte to see that some secularists just plain don’t like religious people. In that respect, the bigots on the left are just as big an impediment to us coming together and solving our problems as those on the right are, because asking a Christian to vote for John Edwards after he hired a woman who said “What if Mary had taken the morning after pill after God impregnated her with his hot sticky Holy Spirit?” is akin to asking a black person to vote for Ronald Reagan after he kicked off his presidential campaign with a pro – states rights speech in the same Missisippi town where Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney civil rights workers were murdered. Saying that “well, if a person really cares about what the Bible says about the poor they wouldn’t care about such a thing” doesn’t cut it, because 1) who are you to tell someone what they can or cannot be offended by and 2) why should such a person believe that John Edwards takes seriously what the Bible says about caring for the poor when he doesn’t take seriously what the Bible says about blasphemy? Unless the thought process with the left changes regarding the people on the other side, your goal will be achieved only long enough for the other side to get angry enough to push back. And please remember that even though the current pushback is running out of steam, it is A) more due to the corruption and incompetence of the Bush administration than any merit on the part of the Democrats and B) this pushback began with the election of Nixon and is approaching its 40th year! Even now, your current situation is not as rosy as it appears. While Bush’s approval rating is 29%, Congress’ is 14%! If Congress does not get our troops out of Iraq, the Democrats will have an angry left to deal with in 2008, and if the GOP nominates the right candidate (which fortunately for your side they seem determined not to do) you could find yourself in 2008 in a worse position than you were in 2000: with a basically competent and ethical conservative President with no ties to the Bush administration elected with a clear electoral and popular vote majority, and perhaps even a Republican Congress! Even the war is a rock and a hard place. If Democrats don’t stop the war, why should the anti – war moderates and Republicans keep supporting them? Then again, Democrats stop the war, well why should the anti – war moderates and Republicans keep supporting them? The war is very good for the Democrats while it is going on, but after it ends the same crowd: the conservatives and the veterans – will NEVER forget the antiwar Democrats just like they still haven’t forgotten Viet Nam. As big as a mess as the war is, when it ends it is going to be an even bigger mess, both in Iraq and at home. Now realize that when we left Viet Nam, the media (which was dominated by anti – war sympathies) were able to ignore the harsh fate that befell the people who were then either murdered or brutally subjugated by the Viet Cong, and that allowed them to go around patting themselves and each other on the back for the moral superiority of allowing a Soviet – backed regime to take over that nation. I am not saying that they were wrong to oppose the war, just that they were insulated from having to deal with the consequences of their position. But now that we have the Internet, talk radio, etc. the right and the military will remind the American people ad nauseum of the absolute carnage that will break out in Iraq the second that we start pulling out. And when that happens, what will you say then? That we should have left Saddam in power? That will go over real well! I am just letting you know of the challenge that the left will have when they get back into power, and wondering if you think that they will be able to meet it, or if they should even try.

    Comment by healtheland | July 19, 2007

  10. Healtheland—Thank you for reading the blog and for your comment. I think conservatives have done well over the last 40 years because they do have ideas. Not great ideas and some overly simple—But it’s more than just simple reaction.

    The war in Iraq is a huge mess. Nobody has a good solution. That’s why I hardly ever blog about it.

    People will always say that don’t approve of Cogress.

    Mr. Edwards does seem to care about the poor. To the extent that you can ever be sure about what any of them say.

    I think liberals will gain when people realize they need health insurance and see that their wages are stuck for a long time.

    Thank you again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 19, 2007

  11. Neil:
    Could find an e-mail for you so I will make my request here. Can you change your blogroll link to my blog to http://www.bluebloggin.com. I recently moved off of wordpress.com and would appreciate the correction. Thanks.

    Comment by nytexan | September 5, 2007

  12. I *heart* the Texas Lib blog!!! Thank you for the Shamu answer…I knew asking twice a week would help 🙂

    Comment by BDeHoyos-Perez | September 16, 2007

  13. Hi,

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Are you Andreas Viklund or Neil Aquino, Swedish or American? Can you contact me please?

    Thank you
    fan of this site

    Comment by fan of this site | December 31, 2007

  14. all people matter. the right the left the wrong. if we talk there is always a common thread that can be found. unless you are from cincinnati, cincinnatians dont matter.

    Comment by bill brady | January 5, 2008

  15. Thoughts of impeachment.

    On January 15 US Rep Wexler on the House Judiciary Committee which has control of whether or not impeachment hearings will take place called for them to begin. There seems to be a little up-tick in activity and interest but mostly not apparent in the mainstream. For more information about his effort: http://wexlerwantshearings.com . Why not at least have hearings?

    Comment by Harry | January 18, 2008

  16. Harry—I’ve never felt impeachment was a productive way to proceed, though I am happy to provide a forum for links to promote the idea. Please keep reading the blog and thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 18, 2008

  17. Howdy Texas Liberal,
    I’m a transplanted Texan living outside of Philadelphia. Jos76, whose blog you featured on gay marriage, turned me on to your blog. How nice to see a fellow liberal Texan. I miss accents and Mexican food, but actually enjoy shoveling snow, until I have to do it in late March.I will enjoy coming back and reading. Best regards from Philly…and yes, I am still a Cowboys fan.

    Comment by thehostess | March 7, 2008

  18. Hostess–Added your blog to my blogroll. Thanks for your nice comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 2, 2008

  19. Greetings from Vermont, the bluest of the blue states; proud home of Pat Leahy and Bernie Sanders. I may have the opportunity work in Texas in the next few months for a year. I’d have the flexibility to live just about anywhere in the Houston-Dallas-San Antonio triangle. I know and love Austin and the Hill Country. (I rode my bicycle across the state; El-Paso to the Sabine in 2001…just had to get that in!). My wife is very nervous about moving to the home of our current commander in chief because she is convinced that outside of Austin, the entire 28% of the country that approves of W lives solely in the Lone Star State.

    My question is, where are the pockets of blue in the sea of red we always see on CNN? I’d appreciate knowing of smaller towns or communities that have a progressive bent to them. I’m not trying to be elitist here. I’m open to all points of view in any discussion, but would like to live in a place where organic food is not viewed as anti-american and Obama stands a least a chance of carrying the county.

    Hope this doesn’t come across as snobby and soooo East Coast, but I’d appreciate any guidance.

    Comment by Will Forest | September 6, 2008

  20. hi. this is a comment for an older post you made. i would like to know who took the photograph of the sea elephant in your marine mammal of the week post.
    nice site, as well. thanks.

    Comment by jon epworth | September 21, 2008

  21. Jon—Odds are I got off of the Wikipedia entry on manatees. Thanks for reading the blog.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 23, 2008

  22. Will—Sorry to slow to reply to this. I’m sorry I don’t Texas well enough to have a good reply to this but to say there are good people to found in all areas of Texas. It’s just that sometimes you have to look. I’m not sure you are going to find anything that reminds you of Vermont in Texas. Good luck to you and the wife.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 23, 2008

  23. All People Matter

    nice title for ur blog

    Comment by _adi | February 17, 2009

  24. Hey, this is a great blog. How can I subscribe?

    Comment by tracybarnett | October 26, 2009

  25. The only problem with Texas is too many Texans live there. I spent two years in hell, Houston, left or right the rest of the contry doesn’t need or should care about the views from the self-centered people in the country. Only ones to put your state in front of your country. YA ya you can be your own country. Remember your not, the south does not claim you, you don’t own Colorado and the Alamo was Sam Houstons fault. If Andrew Jackson was in charge or Sam got off his ass to help it would never of happened. It’s meaningless history as far as the rest of country is conserned. I have lived in 8 other states. I’m not looking for you to comment back for I don’t care what Texas thinks of me as I’m should you shouldn’t care about my opinon.

    Comment by scott graham | November 12, 2009

  26. scott your holding back too much. i will agree the problem with texas is texans. the fking wingnut perry is turning out to make gwb look like a kittycat

    Comment by bill brady | November 13, 2009

  27. Liberals are trying to ruin this this Great Country! But, it’s not going to work. We are not going to let Obama & his kind spread our wealth around & tax & regulate us to oblivion. Why don’t you liberals go to Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela?

    Comment by Joey1 | February 9, 2010

  28. Gray matter and great blog

    Comment by Tophoman | March 5, 2010

  29. I’m the Texas Publicity Chairman for the Sons of the American Revolution.
    I’ll soon start sending out this Public Service Announcement to Houston-area media.

    You may be interested


    How many veterans of the American Revolution are buried in Texas? The answer may surprise you. Are you the distant son of one of them? Do you think you might be? You can get answers to your questions by going to a meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution. Everybody’s invited. There’s a chapter not far from you, and they are ready to welcome visitors.

    I’ll send that message to every African-American media outlet in the Houston area.

    In the State of Texas, there is not a single black SAR member. In the Sons of the Republic of Texas, to which I belong, there’s just one.

    This situation is long overdue for change.

    I’ll appreciate your support,


    Comment by joe allen rice phd | May 23, 2010

  30. Great site Neil!

    Comment by Theresa Pye | June 25, 2010

  31. Glad to find this one..and thanks Neil for your ingenuity in building this page. Am 44yrs. and a college student/full-time worker/laborer., with a high interest and admiration for History and Politics as well. So many things are happening and taking place in the U.S./World. Wishing the Best for Mr. Bill White as Texas new Governor!!! Is time for Mr.P to go home…where ever that is????

    Comment by John Garcia | August 11, 2010

  32. Ms. Pye–Thank you.

    Mr. Garcia–Thank you as well. Hopefully Mr. Perry will defeated soon. Please keep up with the hard work and the commitment to learning.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 14, 2010

  33. All people do matter. I am tired of feeling that his country has been hijacked by the “Moral Majority”. It is appalling that outright bigotry against hispanics (and other minorities) is accepted in this country and that it has become even more pronounced due to the economic situation in this country very well caused by the Bush administration. Now that Obama is trying to clean up Bush’s mess I find it convenient that the same Republicans who found plenty of cash to dole out ridiculous tax breaks and invade other countries, now talk about how we cannot afford helping those in need in this country. They also blame many the problems of this country on illegal immigrants, primarily Mexicans, the vast majority of whom come to this country to work hard at jobs our citizens won’t do. The reality is that the majority of their children will grow up and become productive members of society and many contribute a great deal to this country. Who knows, maybe the “Anchor Baby” you bash today will grow up to be the heart surgeon who saves your life 40 years from now. Very likely, as in the history of this great nation all immigrants from different races, creeds, and color have assimilated and produced fine citizens that we all claim as “American” heros.

    Comment by Bill D. Carrera | August 30, 2010

  34. Mr. Carrera—Nothing I can add to your great comment. Thanks so much for visiting the blog.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 31, 2010

  35. Thank you and keep up the great work. It’s good to know that even thought we may not be the most dominant voice in Texas, there is a large community in the State who has not fallen prey to the “better than thou” hypocrites who have hijacked this state’s government and represent Texas as a state full of bigots and rednecks on the national scene.

    Comment by Bill D. Carrera | August 31, 2010

  36. I found this blog by accident and found it interesting, idealistic, but irrational. My favorite part is the comments of Bill Carrera. Every statement made is hilarious to say the least. First the “economic situation” didn’t start until Pelosi took over in 2007. It amplified when Obama took over and had a filibuster proof house and senate. There was not one thing the Republicans could have stopped in the last 2 years. In terms of Texas, hispanics are the majority. There are more hispanics in Texas then any other group. If the illegals are so wonderful, why does it not matter that to be here in the first place they broke the law? That is like saying,” sorry officer for robbing the bank but I became a law abiding citizen the next day so don’t do anything”. Illegals have to be taken care of like no other group in America’s past. They (for the most part) don’t pay taxes, don’t obey the law (or they would be here in the first place), don’t pay into Social Security or any other welfare program but collect it (a lot of it, 75 cents of every dollar in taxes collected by state and federal government goes to social programs, welfare, star, food stamps, etc…), don’t carry health insurance but know to go to an emergency room for all their needs for free, don’t carry car insurance so everyone else has to cover uninsured coverage, don’t speak the language so now countless amounts are spent making things bilingual, don’t make their children speak the language (high property taxes teaching Spanish speaking only children in public), demand instate tuition if not free tuition to colleges though, again, they don’t pay taxes. I can continue for hours. Illegals are the number one problem in the US and Texas without a doubt and because this is an inarguable fact that some don’t like, you use the word bigot or redneck. A little advice for the future.
    1. don’t use emotional words in an argument (wrongly) just because facts don’t lean your way
    2.different creeds, races, and colors have assimilated and produced fine citizens but the key word is assimilated. You don’t hear about Chinese immigrants though they outnumber Mexican illegals the last 2 years. wonder why?
    3.(most important) Whenever someone goes on about fairness, they are usually trying to get something they didn’t EARN but others did.

    Comment by MK | October 28, 2010

  37. It is refreshing to see this site and we need more like them! I get tired of everyone not having a seat at the table and having legislation passed that impacts those of us without a voice. In this “Lovely” state of Texas I recently had my Domestic Partner Benefits discontinued. My partner works at St. Josephs Medical Center in Houston which was recently purchased by IASIS Healthcare of Tennessee. They decided to take these benefits away even though they were being used by employees when the Hospital was bought-out. I don’t understand why a state that boasts how great we are compared to other states, would allow a company ,from another state, to come in and treat its citizens in this way. This company receives payments from Taxpayer funded Medicaid/ Medicare programs and then turns around and takes benefits away from its employees. We will all have to choose a facility for a procedure at some point in our lives. I think most consumers would choose a facility with happy and satisfied employees. If you check out the St. Josephs Medical Center Houston Website, It states that it was voted, BY EMPLOYEES, to be one of the best places in the country to work. I am curious to see if this is still the case when the next survey is completed!

    Comment by James McAllister | June 30, 2011

  38. Mr. McAllister—Thanks for your kind comment about the blog. Companies treat people any way they want unless regulated by government to do otherwise. This fact of life is even more so in Texas and in most places elsewhere in the nation. People are going to have to decide that they want something different and work to make that change happen. It is up to everyday people.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 4, 2011

  39. Please note Wilder not first black govenor….Google
    P.B.S.Pinchback….black reconstructing gov lousiania. 1872

    Comment by thomas morris | March 14, 2012

  40. I haven’t had a chance to look over all your posts yet but my family might be moving to Texas (Dallas area) and as a liberal I’m terrified, lol. I’m no stranger to living in “red” states but it seems Texas is more over the top in there conservativeness than most other states. Hopefully, if we do end up there we won’t be too out if place.

    Comment by blogblogettyblog | June 19, 2013

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