Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

File:Flag of Corpus Christi, Texas.svg

Above is the city flag of Corpus Christi. I like it because it has a sea bird on the flag. Corpus Christi is a great place to spend a weekend. Here is a link to all the many things you can do in Corpus Christi.  

Below is the most recent weekly round-up of Texas Progressive Alliance blogs.

How would Republicanshandle a pandemic? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme knows. They’d hunker down. Get out their guns and shoot anybody with a runny nose.

After a record 3 weeks without a post in his six years of blogging, Easter Lemming has a very brief round-up of the Pasadena elections.

Off the Kuff writes about the resolution to impeach Judge Sharon Kelleras submitted by Rep. Lon Burnam, which received a committee hearing last week.

Vince at Capitol Annex tells the sad story of how a fundamentalist “historian” and evangelist who believes that hurricanes are God’s punishment on society for tolerating gay citizens will guide the writing of Texas’ new social studies standards. If you thought Darwin versus Don McLeroy was a train wreck, wait until it is the treatment of American Indians, what labor unions have done for America, Islam, women’s suffrage, 9/11, the free enterprise system, and the civil rights movement versus David Barton. First one who catches one of the new “experts” complaining about too much information about minorities in textbooks wins a prize!

WCNews at Eye On Williamsonposted this week on the latest transportation funding scheme the Lege came up with … a “transportation bank”: Texas Transportation Revolving Fund?.

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May 9, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics, Texas | Leave a comment

No New Post Today—Personal E-Mails Stacking Up

With the exception of this brief note, I’ll have no new post today. I have a number of personal e-mails that have been stacking up for weeks and it is time to respond to folks.

Thanks for reading Texas Liberal and please visit the blog as often as you feel able to do so.

May 8, 2009 Posted by | Blogging | Leave a comment

1569 Views A Day For 2009 And 600,000 Total—Thank You Blog Reading Public

For 2009, I set a goal of 1500 page views a day for Texas Liberal. In 2008, I had 912 a day.

(Above is a picture of the Ohio River I took from the Eden Park Overlook in Cincinnati two years ago. Cincinnati is my home away from home.)

So far for 2009, I’m averaging 1569 page views a day.

Also, yesterday Texas Liberal went over 600,000 total page views.

I’m also a featured politics reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle.

Thanks to the blog reading public for the support and for your comments.

If you like this blog, please forward the link. A blog grows one reader at a time.

(Below–Galveston, Texas. Another home away from home.)

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May 4, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Cincinnati, Galveston | , , , | 3 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up With Bonus Jobsanger Link

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Below is the weekly Texas Progressive Alliance blogger round-up with a bonus link to the great Texas blog Jobsanger

Above is a picture of Downtown Tyler, Texas. Please click here to learn more about Tyler.

They grow a lot of roses in Tyler.

The round-up—

BossKitty at TruthHugger finds Texas Agencies ‘undersight’ totally unacceptable. Texas Agencies that toss ‘seemingly viable’ programs to the wind and provide no follow up to insure integrity are the fault of Texas legislators. Consolidation of some Agencies, specifically Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (TDMHMR), eliminated follow up after merging with Department of Aging and Disability Services. Follow the bread crumbs: Texas To Students With Disabilities, Educate Yourself or Become Slave Labor.

The House passed its budget! Somewhat surprisingly, as Off the Kuff notes, it doesn’t suck.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that the Obama administration is doing the hard work to solve problems at our border. The right wingers, on the other hand, see only brown and white.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points to the most recent nonsense from our member of Congress in TX-31, John Carter and right-wing extremists.

Justin at AAA-Fund Blog explores the possible Rice ­-Baylor College of Medicine merger.
Continue reading

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics, Texas | , , , | Leave a comment

Am I A Real Texan? What Makes Someone A Texan?

In addition to this blog you’re reading, I’m also a featured politics reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle. At that space, I’ve often been criticized by readers for not being a native Texan. They say I’m a carpetbagging Yankee.

Here’s how the subject was addressed by a Chronicle  blog reader who goes by the name typical_white_man——-“TexasLiberal=Yankee nit-wit! The whole piece is worthless because as 5genTexas so aptly provided the definition for treason, which the YankeeLiberal (there is nothing Texan about this idiot!) was clueless.”

This reader was writing in response to my post that Texas Republicans are talking treason.

Am I a real Texan? What makes a real Texan?

Let’s see—

I was born in 1967 in Worcester, Massachusetts. I did not live there long.

Between 1968 and 1980 I lived in Providence, Rhode Island. Below you see a picture I took last year of the Providence hurricane dam. Just as I could tell you about Hurricane Ike, my father could tell you about the 1938 New England Hurricane.

While living in Rhode Island, I was a Rhode Islander.

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Between 1980 and 1998 I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. Below you see a picture of Cincinnati I took from a city park maybe two years ago. (Here is a story on the damage Hurricane Ike did in Cincinnati last year. My parents were without power for a time.)

While living in Ohio, I was an Ohioan.

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From 1998 until the current day I’ve lived in Houston, Texas. Below is my windswept rainswept Hurricane Ike photo of a flooding Buffalo Bayou to show that I do live in Houston, Texas.

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What am I while living in Texas?

You got it!— I’m a Texan!

It does not matter that I spent 13 years in New England or that I lived for 18 years in the Midwest.

All that I need to be a Texan is to live in Texas. I’ve been a Texan for 11 years.

Texas has 24 million people. No one thing defines all these people except the fact that they live in Texas. Definitions of what makes someone a “real Texan” or a “true Texan” are sure to leave many people out.

All I’ve got to do to be a Texan is live in Texas.

A better way to identify people would be to see them as individuals. This is better than creating a definition based on one’s own inevitably limited and erroneous assumptions of what defines a certain place. (Here is my autobiography in 220 words.)

If what you see below is your image of a Texan, you are free to have that thought.   But when you try to impose that notion on others, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to ride off into the sunset.

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April 22, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Houston, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance of bloggers is hard at work serving you the blog reading public. Here is the latest round-up of TPA blogs. 

(Above–Pecos, Texas.)

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is now saying that the economic downturn has landed full force in Texas. Spared from the worst job losses during the first 6 months of the current recession, Texas is shedding jobs at an alarming pace. Wcnews at Eye On Williamson looks at the trends and offers a sobering assessment of the hard-line-let-’em-crash mentality of Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas GOP.

Off the Kuff points to a bill by state Rep. Dwayne Bohac to demonstrate that the push for voter ID really is about vote suppression.

If Republicans really cared about election integrity, then why do we still have non-auditable electronic voting machines? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know.

BossKitty
at TruthHugger sees an opportunity to get a degree in the dark arts in If Texas HB-2800 Passes, I Want A Masters Degree In VooDoo.

In a post that took some work and came out well, Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about what Google searches miss. Also, Neil read the bird sermon of St. Francis to a dancing duck chicken.

Continue reading

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics, Texas | , , , | Leave a comment

Comment Moderation Turned On

I’m sorry I’ve reached the point where I feel this is best, but I’ve turned on the comment moderation function for the blog. I’ve had to do so because I’ve been getting a number of terrible racist comments of late. 

I favor an open approach to comments and I hope the good folks who comment here will take no offense. I’m sometimes away from the blog for a number of hours and there are just some things I can’t have up at my small corner of the internet.

Almost all spam to the blog is caught by the system set up by WordPress. I can’t say enough good about WordPress.  

I will approve the great majority of comments I get here. So if you don’t see your comment right away, please just give me some time. 

It’s only your proverbial few bad apples that have made me turn on the comment moderation after almost three years writing this blog. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn it off soon enough.

Below—Mean nasty commentors—represented by bad apple—being eaten up by comment moderation— as represented by stinging bees.  

Here are many facts about apples from the University of Illinois.

Here are facts about bees.

 

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Blogging | , , , , | 8 Comments

TPA Roundup With Link To Spring Breaker Jobsanger And An Oyster Shooters Picture

Here is the weekly Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. In addition to all these great bloggers, let me also add to a link to the great Amarillo blogger and TPA member Jobsanger. Ted, who writes Jobsanger, is not on the round-up this week because he was booking his spring break tickets.

Here is the link to Jobsanger. Ted’s blog is celebrating three years of operation and you should visit him and see what he has to say. 

Ted is a little older than many of the other spring breakers so he still thinks that Fort Lauderdale is the place to be. But look at the picture of Fort Lauderdale beach below. Not many people there.  Ted will have to drink his oyster shooters all by himself.

Below is a picture of some oyster shooters. Looks icky but Ted loves them.  

Here is the weekly round-up

Mayor McSleaze McBlogger returns from his holiday to post his thoughts on developments in the Wall Street infotainment industry.

Vince of Capitol Annex took a new look at the latest creationist attack on science in Texas classrooms in Bill Would Make “Strengths and Weaknesses” Teaching Of Evolution State Law.

State representative Wayne Christian has filed a bill that would scare Texas citizens from filing ethics complaints against elected officials, notes JohnCoby at Bay Area Houston. Continue reading

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics, Texas | , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Bloggers Take Phone Call With Houston Mayor Bill White

A group of Texas Progressive Alliance bloggers recently interviewed Houston Mayor and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate for Texas Bill White.  The interview was conducted on a conference call. I was on the call.

Like all the bloggers on the call , I was wearing a huge diving suit–

God knows what people are doing while on the phone.

The Texas Progressive Alliance is a confederation of Texas political bloggers from the Democratic and left side of the aisle. Quite often, members of this group find themselves in agreement. (We’ll focus on agreement here.) 

Mayor White, while no doubt serving what he saw as his own purposes, was good to make the time to take the call.

The call was organized by well-regarded Houston blogger Charles Kuffner. Charles takes it well that sooner or later I’ll be passing his daily blog traffic and I respect him for that. Thanks to Charles for setting up the call. 

The call was recorded so, I guess, that we can’t claim the Mayor said something he did not, and, so the Mayor can’t claim we all speak Klingon to each other when gathered in a group.

Below is the transcript of the call in Cuneiform

     

( Thanks to Perry at Brains & Eggs for chiseling out this transcript.) 

I asked the Mayor a question about the impact of cuts at the University of Texas Medical Branch hospital in Galveston.  Mayor White has expressed concern about the lack of beds in our area for the uninsured after these cuts, and has said that our local teaching hospitals need to find enough insured patients to help pay the bills given the demands placed on the system by the uninsured. 

This situation might prompt the Mayor to advocate for Universal Coverage. Below is part of what the Mayor says on his campaign web home about health insurance–

Increase the number of insured Americans — We should expand enrollment in existing programs and develop new plans like three-share programs that allow employers, employees, and public funding to each contribute to the cost of affordable premiums for basic care

I don’t know that increasing the number of Americans with coverage is the same as universal coverage. Given how many Texans lack health insurance, I would call upon the Mayor to give further consideration to his views. 

Regarding UTMB related concerns, Mayor White said he had just testified to the state legislature on the matter. He said, in essence, that no progress had been made on resolving the problems. I do believe the Mayor is sincere when he says he would like to find some solution. I hope he will continue to address this issue. 

(I don’t have the exact quote from the Mayor because I’m not a reporter. I do seek though to be an honest broker and this is pretty much what he said.)

I was glad to have this chance to speak to the Mayor. Normally we only get a chance to talk when I go to his house and yell questions at him from beneath his second-floor window.  He does open the window and respond, but I can’t hear him when his neighbor’s dog barks. 

I look forward to more of these calls with candidates for office in Texas. Next time I promise I’ll turn down the TV in the background. It’s just that the call took place at the same time as a Good Times marathon on Nick At Night.    

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reading About The Panic Of 1873 In Front Of The Enron Building

This video is called Reading About The Panic of 1873 While In Front Of The Former Enron Building. It is the second video on the blog. This video is about three minutes long.

Please click here to see the first video on this blog.

I view the ability for average person to make a video as an updated kind of folk art. Here are various definitions of folk art. One idea of folk art is people without any artistic training creating something with the tools they have at hand.

All people are able to express themselves in some creative way.

Here is information about the impact of the Panic of 1873 in New York. This article discusses what the 1873 crisis had in common with the current economic distress. 

There were issues of banks and credit and greedy speculation.  

Here is a good essay about the impact of the Panic of 1873 in Illinois.    

Here is the Panic of 1873 for kids from PBS.

The book I read from in the video is The Age of Lincoln by Orville Burton. 

Here is a chronology of Enron events from USA Today

Here are a series of articles about Enron from the Houston Chronicle.

Here is a history of Enron from the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

In the video, the sun is partially on my big head while the other portion of my head is in shadow. This makes my head somewhat like this drawing of the Earth—Part light and part dark. Here is an explanation of daylight.  Here is an explanation of night time on the Earth.

Thanks for reading Texas Liberal. Please feel free to offer a comment. If you like the blog, please forward the link. A blog grows one reader at a time.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Books, History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

In Galveston Today—Extinct Fish, Sea Monsters, Mermaids, Merbabies And Neptune

What do I hope to see and film in Galveston today when I go down to the island with my new Flip Camera to film some videos for this blog?

(Update–Here is the video I recorded in Galveston.)

Extinct sea beasts ( Here is information on prehistoric fish.)  

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Sea monsters  (Here are drawings of all types of sea monsters) —

Mermaids ( Here are mermaids from the American Museum of Natural History.) —

Mermaids with merbabies (Yep–That’s a real painting. By an Arnold Bocklin who lived from 1827 until 1901. Check out this one.)

And, of course, Neptune himself  (Here is a measure of information on Neptune.) —

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Here are some things you might also see if you visit Galveston.

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal. Without the blog reading public, what is a blog?

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Art, Blogging, Galveston | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Big Texas Liberal Blogging Announcement & Innovation

Hello Blog Reading Public!

I’ve purchased one of the small Flip Cameras because I’m going to film videos and post them on this blog from time-to-time.  I have many ideas for these videos—Though as yet these ideas are not fully formed.

( Update–Here is the link to the first video I recorded.)

(Above–19th Century camera. This would be a bit bulky to carry around. Here is some history of 19th century photography.)

Over the next week, I’m going to think what I would like to say, do and film in my videos. I’m going to test the camera both inside and outside to see how it works in various settings and how well it records sound. Later this week, I’m going to go to Galveston, Texas, on the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and film my first videos.  

(Below–A movie camera of a type still in use. It is an Arricam ST. This camera is a bit elaborate for what I plan to be doing. Think of the batteries it must take. ) 

Because I want to do the videos right, I’m going to post on a reduced basis for the next week or so here at Texas Liberal. There’s only so much time I can spend blogging while keeping my job and spending time with the excellent wife. 

I’ll post a picture or something else short and easy.  Despite these short posts, I urge regular readers to still visit the blog as often as possible. The higher my blog traffic each day, the better I feel about the collective judgement of those I share the planet with.

(Below–A disposable camera. Hopefully you’ll feel that this blog merits more than one use.)

Texas Liberal has averaged 1645 page views a day since the first of the year. I have the goal of being the largest individually operated political blog in Houston and in Texas. I’m also a featured political reader blogger at the Houston Chronicle. (And I post on things other than politics as well.)

( Below–This self-portrait of one Robert Cornelius from 1839 is said to be the first picture of a person ever taken. Will anything I do last 170 years?)

If you like this blog, please forward the link. A blog grows one reader at a time.  Please also feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook. My name is Neil Aquino and I live in Houston. My profile picture at the moment is a boat stuck on land after Hurricane Ike.

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal. If you have any ideas for my videos, please offer a comment.  

(Below–A Flip Camera just like the one I now have. I hope I do a good and creative job with my videos. Please visit Texas Liberal very often and see how I am doing.) 

February 24, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Galveston, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Excellent Blog Discussing World Elections

I’veng thought to myself that if I could blog for a living I would write a blog about different elections around the world.

I can’t blog for a living and just doing this blog is taxing enough.

No worries though!

I’ve found a blog called World Elections. This blog looks at various elections across the globe and uses color charts to illustrate various points and voting patterns. The most recent post on World Elections as I write this tonight is about elections in Sardinia. Other posts are about—among many other places—Iraq, Boliva and Switzerland. 

(Above is a picture of Sardinia. What a dream come true it would be to vist a place like that. Here is some information about Sardinia.) 

Please review World Elections and help give this blogger the large audience he deserves. I think–though I’m not fully sure– that this blogger is based in France. Maybe he will allow his blog reading public to stay with him at his castle or chateau.

( Here is information about what a chateau is and below is a picture of one in a rural area. It seems that the lord of the manor lives in a chateau. I did not know that. )

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Brilliant Young Person Writes Movie Review Blog

A brilliant young person here in Houston, who I’ll call Eric, has begun a new blog.  Eris is 20 or something like that.

The blog is called Cinematronica. It’s difficult to keep up with a blog to the extent of writing a movie review each day, but so far Eric is sticking with it. He puts a lot if effort into the blog.

Eric writes about a wide variety of movies as his intellect and intrests range far and wide. 

I know Eric reasonably well and I can tell you he is a smart young man of very high character. Please check out his blog as often as you are able. You’ll be glad you did and so will he.

Above is a movie poster from the 1930’s written in Czech. I have no idea what it says.

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Blogging | , , , | 1 Comment

Top Texas Blogger–That Being Myself–Joins Denton County, Texas Democratic Party Facebook Group

At the request of Denton County citizen and Democratic activist Judith Ford, I’m pleased to announce the I’ve joined the Facebook page of the Denton County, Texas Democratic Party!

Ms. Ford is precinct chair for precinct 224 in Denton County. Her blog is called Castle Hill Democrats. Ms. Ford reads this blog often and I sure do appreciate it.

I’m pleased to be part of this Denton County group and I encourage everyone on Facebook to seek it out and join up.

Here is the link to the Denton County Democratic Party.

Here is information on Denton County. It is in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and over 400,000 people live there. Above is a picture of the county courthouse.

I have two friends in Denton County. Ms. Ford and Stephen Southwell. Stephen writes the leading Texas political blog Who’s Playin? 

Hello Denton County!!!!!!!

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics, Texas | , , , | 7 Comments