Texas Liberal

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13th Annual March To Abolish The Death Penalty In Texas On 11/3 In Austin—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

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 you see notice of the 13th annual March to Abolish The Death Penalty here in Texas. Here is the website of this march.  This march will be in Austin on November 3rd.

It is not difficult to imagine that innocent people are put to death in Texas or that many of our political leaders in Texas would not care very much if such a thing is happening. Our political leaders in Texas do all sorts of brutal things.

Here is the website of the Texas Moratorium Network that is working to end the death penalty in Texas. Here is the Facebook Page of the Innocence Project of Texas.

The everyday citizens who are working hard against the death penalty remind us that 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.

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—-

Off the Kuff has a Q&A with Democratic SCOTX candidate Michelle Petty, who is running against one of the Court’s least ethical members.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger wants all Texans to have all the Texas Voting Information they need, so this will stay at the top of the blog’s homepage until November 6. Meanwhile, she is disgusted that our Cowardly Congress Kicks The Can Again, and is overjoyed to see more corporate manipulators exposed, in Do You Hear Me Now?

Three Wise Men forecasts the 2012 presidential and Senate elections.

With Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein scheduled to be in Houston and San Antonio from October 4-7, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs found it necessary to once again slay the persistent urban legend that Ralph Nader was responsible for Al Gore’s defeat in the 2000 election.

We’re facing another legislative session that will be harmful to the majority of Texans unless we act now. That’s why WCNews at Eye on Williamson is pointing this out now: Here we go again.

Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw explains why the GOP is obsessed about voter fraud. Hint: the best way to get away with something is to accuse your opponents of it.

Neil as Texas Liberal noted that you have the right to take pictures of bridges and infrastructure and anything in plain view so long as you are not tresspassing. Neil said that business and government are teaming up to deny the basic freedom to observe and make note of the things that are around us in a so-called open society.  

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme observes that Greg Abbott, likely gubernatorial candidate, goes all Christian Taliban by promoting bible verses in school.

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October 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

March To Oppose The War On Women In Texas And Across The Nation In Austin On April 28

Above you see the flier for the War on Women march to be held in Austin on April 28.

Here is the website for this march.

You see that the flier references the Texas forced sonogram law.  This law is state-mandated rape.

Here is the text of a letter I co-wrote asking Amnesty International asking that organization to investigate the forced sonogram law.

There is also a local event as part of the lead-up to this march.

Here are details of this event—

Nationally and locally, legislators have launched an assault on women’s reproductive rights and access to health care. In Texas this has resulted in as many as 300,000 women losing health care due to political ploys in Austin, and our state politicians voting to force women to undergo humiliating vaginal probes before making reproductive choices. 

In Houston, join us for a discussion on the state of women’s rights in Texas and nationally, the upcoming War on Women march in Austin (http://www.wowtex.org/) and how we can fight back.

Rodeo Room, Second Floor of University Center, University of Houston Main Campus. Wednesday, April 25 at 7 PM. 

Here is the Facebook page for this discussion.

The work of freedom is up to each of us and the fate of all people is connected.

We’ve got to look out for one another and fight for one another. That is the only way we all get a fair deal in our nation.

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

President Obama To Visit Texas—How Will He Refrain From Laughing When Some Texans Demand More Federal Help?

President Obama will be Texas today.

The President is scheduled to visit El Paso and Austin.

(Above–President Obama at Texas A & M University in 2009. President Obama and Texans get along just fine–Unless some folks would claim that the photo is a fake.)   

Because the Johnson Space Center Houston was not awarded a retired space shuttle, and because the President has not declared a federal emergency over ongoing wildfires in Texas, some feel Mr. Obama does not like Texas.

This article on the President’s visit to Texas written by Maria Recio at McClatchy Newspapers has the following quote–

“You can almost make the case the administration has a vendetta against Texas,” said Republican Rep. Michael Burgess.

Congressman Burgess has also been going around talking about fictitious death panels as a part of Health Care Reform.

Why would anybody not like such a fine person?

The federal government has helped Texas with the wildfires—

“Current federal aid covers 75 percent of Texas’s costs for emergency response work, such as evacuations, equipment, field camps and meals for firefighters, police barricading and traffic control. The agency’s regional office in Denton continues to monitor the situation and work closely with Texas Forest Service and Texas Division of Emergency Management, FEMA officials say. In addition, firefighting teams from more than 30 states have provided state-to-state support for firefighting efforts in Texas.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry has asked why parts tornado ravaged Alabama have been declared disaster zones while  Texas has not been so designated.

From our Governor—

“You have to ask, ‘Why are you taking care of Alabama and other states?’ I know our letter didn’t get lost in the mail…” 

What a decent Christian man.

If it is all about a political grudge, why should President Obama help Alabama anymore than he should assist Texas? Barack Obama won 39% of the vote in Alabama in 2008. He lost Texas with 44% of the vote.

The President is not going to win Alabama in 2012.

Here is the bottom line—

Rick Perry and Texas accepted many billions of dollars of Barack Obama approved federal stimulus dollars. 

The federal government has helped Texas with the wildfires.  Tea Party supporters and other Republicans and others are free to form a battalion citizen volunteers to help Texans deal with the problems presented by wildfires. To this point, though the fires have been going on for some weeks now, I’m not aware of any so-assembled  citizen-volunteers.

* The Lyndon B. Johnson  Space Center was a gift to Texas from a Texas politician who looked up to Franklin D. Roosevelt as a hero. You’d think that conservative Texans would be demanding that the federally operated  Space Center be removed from Texas as an intrusion upon our states rights and sense of self -reliance.

It is not that I view Barack Obama with an uncritical eye, it is just that opposition to him in some quarters of Texas is so extreme that you can’t but help to be glad to see the guy in the Lone Star State. You’ve got to appreciate him for the enemies he has made.

The bad news for Texans is that these enemies, maybe 20% of all Texans, are the people who vote in Republican primaries. This angry minority is doing great harm to public education and public health in Texas.

May 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thousands Protest At Texas Capitol Against State Budget—It Is Always The Right Day To Make Your Case

The photo above is from a rally held at our Texas State Capitol yesterday.

Thousands of concerned Texans marched to oppose the brutal State of Texas budget being considered by the Texas Legislature.

The Texas budget is in a shortfall because of the recession, and because of poor tax policy and public policy decisions made in recent years by the Republican-controlled legislature and by Governor Rick Perry.

Republican State Senator Steve Ogden, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, admits that Republican fiscal policy in Austin has been a significant cause of the current shortfall.

The marchers at the Capitol yesterday voiced a number of concerns that are of relevance to all Texans.

From the Texas Tribune

Organized by Texas Forward, the “Save our State” rally attracted citizens from around the state representing the Texas State Employees Union, Communication Workers of America, Texas Organizing Project and religious groups. Their concerns ranged from overtaxing the poor to the current version of the state budget, which proposes closing nursing homes and cutting education spending by $8 billion. “Our elderly will be on the streets. There will be no care for them. They are trying to disrupt our teachers and take away our schools books,” said Pam Neal, a protestor and office manager for the United Transportation Union. “It’s an attempt to dumb us down so that we will become subservient and low class citizens.”

It is always the right day to fight back. It is always the right day to make your case before the public. It is always the right day to be hopeful and to move forward.

Texas is better than what the Republican supermajority in Austin is planning for our state.  We care more about each other than Rick Perry imagines we do.

(Thanks to my friend and Top Texas Blogger Steve Whichard for his permission to use the photo at the top of this post.)

April 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Statewide Save Texas Schools Rally In Austin On March 12—Texas Progressive Alliance Blogger Round-Up

Blogger’s Note–3/1/11–Updated post with new facts about the rally.

Here is the most recent edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up.  The TPA is a confederation of the best political citizen-bloggers in Texas.

With the round-up this week, are the dates of two upcoming protests against the drastic budget cutting and vindictive culture war legislation being enacted  now in our Texas legislature.

On Saturday,March 12, a Save Texas Schools rally and march will be held at the State Capitol in Austin. This event will begin at noon. There is hope that this will be a good-sized protest with people coming to Austin from all over the state.

On Tuesday, March 15, there will be a Texans Day of Outrage protest at Houston City Hall. This event will take place at 4:30 PM.

Be certain to pass on word of these rallies to your friends and neighbors.

There has already been a rally at the Capitol against harsh immigration measures that some in the legislature are proposing.

Texas librarians have also rallied at the Capitol against sharp cuts in state assistance to libraries.

I’m certain this is a very incomplete list. If you are aware of an upcoming event anywhere in Texas, please leave a comment.

It is likely the pace of protests will pick up as the legislature begins to seriously consider bills and to take important votes.

It is up to each of us to do the hard work of freedom. Do you want to be out-worked and out-organized by the Tea Party/Republican Party yet again?

Let’s get to work now. Not just for the issues being discussed in the legislature at the moment, but also for the fights ahead and for 2012.

We can flood the Capitol just like we are seeing in Wisconsin. We can fight back and make progress.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff examines the Perry/Combs slap fight over Amazon’s decision to leave Texas rather than pay taxes.

Letters From Texas reports on a note that a pregnant woman sent to Texas state Senator Leticia Van de Putte, as the Senate prepared to pass the sonogram bill, and as the woman prepared to leave for the hospital to deliver her baby. Surprise #1: the woman is against the bill. Surprise #2: so is her father. Surprise #3: her father is another Texas state Senator.

This week the Legislative Study Group released an updated version of the “Texas on the Brink”, Eye On Williamson had this to say: for Texas to get off the brink, we must fight for the impossible.

A gaggle of Houston bloggateers met with Metro’s CEO and board membersand discussed the many changes the transit authority has completed in the past year. PDiddie from Brains and Eggs was there and filed a report. Continue reading

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Are Going To Have To Get Involved Yourself—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the most recent Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

With the round-up this week is a picture I took on Thanksgiving Day of the Texas State Capitol in Austin.

Life took me to Austin this past week.

A lot of brutal things are going to happen in that building in the months ahead.  The 2011 Texas legislative session offers little more than prospect of drastic cuts in the already thin social safety net, and, on social issues and immigration issues, nothing but far-right measures and extremism.

I’d like to make a point with this blog post that I’ve made a few times in recent weeks—It is up to you to get involved.

You see what happened in the election earlier this month. Crazy and sometimes hateful people were more enthusiastic and better organized than were others in 2010.

Nobody is going to do the work of freedom and democracy for you. You should please consider volunteering, blogging, running for office, starting a blog, writing a letter to the editor, talking to your friends and family, donating money  and whatever else you think might be of value.

You have to decide that you’re going to do something about the way we are headed in Texas and in  this nation.  It is up to you.

The round-up—

Off the Kuff examined the effect of straight ticket voting on the city of Houston’s ballot propositions as well as the touching of our junk.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders how the Cameron County Judge’s race can get any weirder. Who won and how did things get so messed up?

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy takes a look at the bills concerning immigration that have been pre-filled in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. LoCS also once again covered theweek in headlines.

WhosPlayin posted a two-part series following air quality complaints in a neighborhood in North Texas near Barnett Shale gas wells and facilities. Continue reading

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Why I Enjoyed My Nighttime Drive From Austin To Houston

Last night, from about 10:30 PM until maybe 1:30 AM, I drove back to Houston from Austin. My wife is out-of-town visiting family and I had Thanksgiving dinner in Austin with a friend. I took Highway  290 to get to Austin and back.

I enjoyed my ride home.

Here is why I enjoyed this ride—

1. I had three hours alone to think.

2. It was mostly cloudy. I liked looking at the light of towns and cities in the distance reflected by the clouds. I’m not saying people are always best in the abstract, but it is good to have a mix of actual human contact and a more remote consideration of the human condition.

3. I was glad not to be robbed or to stumble upon a robbery-in-progress when I stopped at an all-night gas station at midnight to get something to drink.

4. I was able to contemplate the road I was driving on as agent of communication between people. The road is an extension of our natural desire to go other places and to see other people.

5. Consistent with the point above , I thought about how the road was built by people, yet how it also bended to the topography.  Terms like “natural” and “artificial” don’t really have clear meanings in many ways.

6. I liked the intermittent flashing lights on the electrical towers, radio transmission towers, and cell phone towers. Though these towers often stand isolated in remote places, they are in fact necessary to facilitate all sorts of communication between people.

7. I felt active and alert while driving and thinking, yet I felt removed from the world out in the night at a late hour. I found this to be a good state of mind.

It is helpful to have breaks from the routine of life. Such breaks can allow for reflection, for new thoughts, for the updating of long-standing ideas, and for renewed commitment to ideas that are of personal importance or that are of personal interest.

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tax-Hating Texan Commits Act Of Terrorism

I’m watching television coverage of the act of terrorism committed by the tax-
hating Texan who smashed a plane into a building in Austin, Texas. This building contains offices of the Internal Revenue Service.

The terrorist left a note indicating his hate for the IRS. In this note, he calls for other people to commit acts of violence.

When you smash an airplane into a building, you’ve committed an act of terrorism. It makes no difference if you are a Muslim or a tax-hating Texan.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

U. Of Texas Board Lays Off 3,800 at UTMB in Galveston—Island Sinks Deeper Into Misery

The board of the University of Texas have voted to lay off 3,800 employees from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  

(Above–The UTMB campus.) 

Happy holidays!

And good luck with the hurricane recovery.

UTMB suffered $710 million in damages from Hurricane Ike. The state claims that only $100 million was covered by insurance. So what? Governor Rick Perry can find a bailout to rebuild what was damaged.

According to the Houston Chronicle, 8,000 of the 12,500 UTMB employees live on Galveston Island. Maybe 55,000 people total live on that island. So that’s a lot of folks with some big trouble. Or who will have to move off the island to, maybe, find hospital jobs in Houston.

The UT regents said that the U. of Texas medical school would remain in Galveston. That’s what they say.

Many people associate Austin with liberalism. When I think of the place, I think of a miserable state government, and now these job killers at U.T. Austin has done pretty well by these institutions. The rest of the state has done less well.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Galveston, Texas | , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Political Notes

Here are some Texas notes political and otherwise—

The website of the Harris County Democratic Party still leads off with the good news of the announcement of Bill Kelly as chair of the countywide coordinated campaign. I’m certain he’ll help lead Democrats to victory this fall.

It will be good when some news of events is posted to go along with the $500 a plate breakfast promoted under Mr. Kelly’s appointment. I hope Mr. Kelly gears campaign efforts to as much inclusion as possible.   

The new chair of the Travis County coordinated campaign stated right off the bat  with the goal of registering 50,000 new voters. It will be good to see the goals established by Mr. Kelly.

Two polls now show Texas Democratic Senate candidate Rick Noriega well with in range of incumbent Republican John Cornyn. I feel this is about party preference right now more so than any real insight into Mr. Noriega or Mr. Cornyn.  Many Texans are ready to move on from the Republican Party.

The difference between the forward-looking Mr. Noriega and the deeply right-wing Mr. Cornyn should help sell the change in party identification with Texas voters. Learn more about Mr. Noriega by clicking here.

The Galveston Beach Patrol treated over 100 jellyfish stings last Sunday. I find nature good to read about and watch on TV. I’m scared of it in person. I don’t go in the water at any beach I visit. The water is full of creatures. 

Flooding the area with vinegar where you’ve been stung and being careful in removing the tentacles is important in treating these wounds. Click the link below for more.

Here is some good information about jellyfish from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

May 16, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Galveston, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Chisholm Trail Info & Photo Of Chisholm Trail Room In Austin’s Driskill Hotel

Here is a photo of the Chisholm Trail room at the Driskill Hotel in Austin.  

You walk in to this meeting room and a big painting of the Chisholm Trail is on all four walls. 

The Chisholm Trail was used between 1867 and 1884 to get cattle out of Texas and up to access to transport and markets in Kansas.

It can also be known as the Chisum Trail.

Here is a history of the Chisholm Trail.

Here is information about Jesse Chisholm who, at the least, played a large part in establishing the trail.     

Here is a biography of former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York. Ms. Chisholm was the first black woman to serve in Congress.

Here is a link to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, Oklahoma.

Here is a link to a story about the harm done to Native Americans in Oklahoma by white settlement. 

Here is a link to the Fort Worth Stockyards. This is a fun place to visit for both kids and adults.  After Galveston, Fort Worth has been my favorite Texas city to visit in my nine years in Texas.

Here is a brief biography of former House Speaker Jim Wright of Fort Worth.

And, since you are at a liberal blog, here is the link to the good liberal magazine The American Prospect.

November 24, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, History, Pictures I Have Taken, Political History, Texas | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

LBJ Library & Museum In Austin Should Charge Admission

I went to the Lyndon Banes Johnson Library And Museum in Austin last week.

The LBJ library is a good place and I’d recommend a visit to anybody. The staff was nice and you’ll learn a lot.

Still, my view was that the museum was not up to date in terms of interactive and modern exhibits and that much of what was on display looked like it had not been changed or updated in some time. My feelings were confirmed when I saw that the LBJ Library is the only presidential library not to charge admission.

I did see that some renovation was being done in front of the building and that the museum is running a new temporary exhibit about LBJ’s time as a Senator and as Senate Majority Leader. The Senate exhibit was in fact more interactive and modern than the rest of the museum.    

I did put $10 in the donation box and spend $26 at the gift shop. 

The LBJ library should charge an admission of a few dollars and modernize. That would make a good place even better. That, or the National Archives, the folks who run the library, should kick in some more money.

Or, since the building is on the campus of the University of Texas and UT must benefit from having the library, maybe UT could divert some money from the football team to help modernize the library. 

That would be an act consistent with the spirit of Lyndon Johnson.  

November 10, 2007 Posted by | Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , | 5 Comments

Photo Of Texas State Capitol I Took From Austin Skyscraper

Here is a photo of the Texas State Capitol building I recently took from the 22nd floor of the Chase Building in Austin.  At least I think it was the 22nd floor.

Though I’ve lived in Texas nine years now, I don’t feel an emotional attachment to our State Capitol building. I feel our State Capitol building has been on the whole a location of misdeeds and wrongdoing.

In frankness, though I am first and foremost a political blogger, I do not find much of what takes place in the Capitol building to be of interest. This does not mean I ignore our State Capitol. It simply means I limit my intake of Texas political news because there are only so many ways you can read that people are being cheated. 

Still, I do believe a better day in Texas and in all places is possible. You have to believe better things are possible or you’re finished as a person anybody would want to get to know and have as a friend.

Some people think a better day in Texas will come when ongoing demographic changes in Texas return the legislative chambers of the Capitol back to Democrats.

I think the better day will come when the people of Texas finally decide they want to act upon their more decent impulses and cast aside the aggression and economic Darwinism that have long defined Texas.    

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Pictures I Have Taken, Politics, Texas | , , , , | 6 Comments

1980’s Austin Punk Rockers “The Dicks”

A great 1980’s hardcore band was The Dicks from Austin, Texas. I saw them at least once, and I think twice, at the Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. 

In 1983, they played on a bill with Fang at the Jockey Club. What a lineup!

The Dicks album I have is “Kill from the Heart.” I have the vinyl album and someday I’ll play it again.

I can still hum “Rich Daddy” and “No Nazi’s Friend.”  

The Dicks were politically to the left. I liked that at 17 and I like it today.

And they put on a great show. 

The picture above is from 2005.

In the show I saw, the singer was wearing a dress.

Punks grow older like everybody else.

I’m proof of that fact. 

I’m glad The Dicks are stiil around in one form or another.

Please click here for my greatest punk rock moments.

I’ll be hosting a giant punk rock blast in Cincinnati on August 15, 2009.

October 13, 2007 Posted by | Cincinnati, Music, Texas | , , , , , | 2 Comments