Texas Liberal

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Refugee Crisis & Ongoing War In Dem. Republic Of The Congo

There is a terrible refugee crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I’m not well informed about this nation, but I do have this forum to help make the issue more well- known.

Our problems here at home are real and important, yet we are often blind the needs of problems of our brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, refugee camps have been burned and the people who lived in these camps have been cast adrift. As many as 50,000 people may have lived in these camps. In addition, 250,000 people in the D.R.C are fleeing fighting between the government and rebels.

This BBC article discusses the reasons behind the conflict.

From the article—

“For years, fighting has been fuelled by the country’s vast mineral wealth. DR Congo is about the size of western Europe, but with no road or rail links from one side of the country to the other. That makes it easy for all sides in a conflict to take advantage of any disorder and plunder natural resources. A five-year war – sometimes termed “Africa’s world war” as it drew in Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda – ended in 2003 with the formation of a transitional government and subsequent elections. But unrest has continued in the unruly east of the country and, as a result, some armed groups have refused to disarm or join the national army.”

The Economist reports that the European Union and the United States have sent top diplomats to the Congo to help resolve the crisis and to stop a recurrence of the terrible warfare earlier this decade on this part of the world.  

Here are some basic facts about Congo. Over 60 million people live in this nation and the life expectancy for both men and women is under 50 years. Can you imagine even more trouble for these people?

Here is Oxfam on the current situation in the Congo.

The very good Global Voices features bloggers who are discussing this issue. One on the scene blogger is a woman who runs the official blog of the Virguna National Park in Congo.

Maybe when we are done with the silliness of our election we can move ahead to a wider view of the world.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Harris County Coordinated Campaign Midtown HQ. & Republican Opposition Research Web Home

The Harris County Democratic coordinated campaign has a new Midtown Houston location. Above is a picture of the headquarters. This being August, you may not recognize the building from last winter.

The location is 3710 Travis on the corner of Alabama and Travis.

Here is the website of the coordinated campaign. You can find other office locations or give them a call to see what is up. Offices are going up around the county.

Also, The Truth About Texas Republicans, is a new opposition research web site about incumbent Republicans in the Texas State House and State Senate. Check it out.

You’ll see they are even worse than you thought. Look up some of your least favorite incumbents and spread the bad word on your blog or by word of mouth.

Below is an illustration of the Texas Republican Legislative Caucus in private session. 

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bay Of Fundy & College Station, Texas—Both Places Have Bloggers

What do the Bay of Fundy up in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and College Station, Texas have in common?


Like roaches, bloggers are found in all places.

Terri runs the Bay of Fundy Blog.

Above you see the tides that make the of Bay of Fundy famous. 

It goes from a lot of water to not so much water.  

Or maybe it is the other way around.

Here is some information on the Bay of Fundy.

Terri left a comment on this blog a few days ago asking why many of her readers come from Texas.

I don’t know.  Maybe it is because the Bay of Fundy is so diffferent than anything in Texas.

Though I am a great champion of the Texas coast. There is plenty to see from Beaumont all the way down to the border.  

Terri runs a solid shop and you’d do well to check it and see about an interesting part of the world.

A new blog out of College Station is Left Of College Station.

Left Of College Station started posting just this month. The blogger is an alternate delegate to the Texas State Democratic Convention taking place this week.

Good luck to Left Of College Station. College Station needs your message.

Below is a picture of the Texas A & M campus in College Station.  

Thank you also to the Texas blogger The Llama Ate My Flipflops for a blogroll link. 

I see she own some animals.   

Thanks also to Texas bloggers McBlogger and Somervell County Salon for recent links.

On a personal blogging note, Texas Liberal passed 200,000 views yesterday. Thanks to everybody who has read the blog and left a comment.


June 7, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Texas | , , | 8 Comments

TexBlog Pac & Progressive Texas Bloggers—Now Is The Time

TexBlog PAC has made its first endorsement.

The endorsed candidate is Diana Maldonado.

Ms. Maldonado is running for Texas State Representative in District 52. This is Williamson County.

Above is a picture of the Williamson County Courthouse. Click here to learn about this fine county

I don’t know much about Ms. Maldonado or the area she hopes to represent.

I can only process so much in life.

However, I feel confident that the people who made the endorsement knew what they were doing. Please click here to read about the TexBlog PAC Board of Directors

The bottom line, for me at least, is not the specifics of 150 House races. That would put me to sleep. The point is that a Democratic majority in the Texas House would make Texas a better place to live.

Gaining five seats would give Democrats a majority in Austin. 

Previous House majorities in Texas, both Republican and Democrat, have, at best, leaned to the right.

Demographic changes in Texas, and the view now held by many that Republicans have failed Texas and the nation, make 2008 and beyond the right time for a new course. 

TexBlog PAC has two main goals.

An immediate focus is to help elect a Democratic majority in the Texas House of Representatives.

A more longterm goal is to help establish blogs as a relevant force in Texas politics.   

When candidates can raise money through direct internet appeals and organize on-line with Facebook pages, why have blogs as the middle person?

For one thing, blogs have the ablilty to focus attention on unkown and lesser known candidates and causes.

For another thing, someone running a blog, is someone who might be willing to take the time and energy needed to help elect liberals and progressives to public office.

There is a value to independence and there is value to organization. It takes all kinds to make something work.    

Texas bloggers have a real opportunity in 2008.   

Now is the time—well, really earlier was the time, but the moment has not passed—for Texas liberal and progressive bloggers to work together to continue to establish themselves as meaningful in Texas politics.  

Fighting about the Clinton/Obama race serves no purpose.  

It is excellent that blogs such as the one you reading right now, Houston’s There….Already , Amarillo’s Jobsanger, and the very good new blog The Old Eighteen from the Dallas area, are ready to help lead the way to a great 2008.   

I can tell you that I’ll assist TexBlog Pac in any way I can.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Burma Cyclone & Links To Burmese Bloggers

Cyclone Nargis has killed at least 22,000 people in Burma. There is fear the death toll will reach 50,000.

5/9/08–The death toll is rising and aid efforts have been resisted by the Burmese government.

5/12/08—United Nations frustrated by relief obstacles and death toll climbs up.  

The country is also known as Myanmar.

(The photo is from the Agence French Presse.) 

A cyclone is the same as a hurricane. Here are many cyclone questions and answers.

The storm did the greatest damage in the Irrawaddy Delta area of Burma. Here is extensive information on that region. It is one of the most highly populated areas of Burma. 

The capital, Rangoon, has received extensive damage.

Here is video of the destruction

The Times of London writes about an added crisis from the storm

The features that made the stricken area vulnerable to this disaster — its low-lying geography and proximity to water — also made it Burma’s rice bowl. The cyclone has undoubtedly wrought terrible damage on the country’s agriculture. World rice prices are at a record high already, provoking food riots in more than 30 countries. Burma is a net exporter of rice, and the destruction of crops in the Irrawaddy delta will only add to upward pressure on international prices. The country may be unable to keep its promise to sell rice to other needy countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

There is concern the repressive goverment of Burma will obstruct foriegn-based relief efforts.

This BBC article discusses what aid workers in Burma will be looking for and trying to accomplish.

Here are three Burmese bloggers on the cyclone and the repression in Burma.  

Here is Burmese Bloggers Without Borders.

Here is Burma Digest.

Here is ko hitke’s prosaic collection.

This Saturday, a so-called referendum is planned by the government to help cement their dictatorial rule.

Hopefully this vote will be canceled and the cyclone will help open Burmese society. The Chinese government could help by pressuring its Burmese allies to move towards freedom.

Here is the most recent Reporters Without Borders update on Burma

Here are some basic facts and recent history of Burma.

Below is a BBC map of the path of the storm.  

Burma map 

May 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Sun Halo On Ethiopian Election Day Seen By Some As Sign & Links To Ethiopian Bloggers

On a day of local elections in Ethiopia last Sunday, a halo around the sun was seen by some as a sign from God or a miracle of some sort.

( Above is a painting in a church in an Ethiopian town called Bahar Dar.  Here is information about that town. It seems an interesting place to visit.)

Here is information about religion in Ethiopia.  

Some say that an Ethiopian sun halo in 1991 led to a change in government  

Here is a story about this most recent halo. Regretfully, the same corrupt bunch has been returned to office.

If I were running for office, and people believed a cloud formation had spelled out my name and this was a sign to vote for me, I would do all I could to encourage such speculation.

On the other hand, if people saw such a cloud formation as the Devil’s work, I would call for reason to prevail and for a campaign based on the issues.

Please click here for a story about a minister in Houston who says he has a Cheeto that looks like Jesus with his arms out and praying.

And here is a man who says he saw the image of Jesus in a frying pan.

This is all fine by me. It is not hurting anybody. Sometimes I’m a bit envious of people who feel they see these things. I don’t believe in any miracles. Maybe life is easier if you do. In any case, I’m not judgemental about this stuff. People are just trying to get by.

Here is a story about what was stake in Ethiopia in these elections. It seems democracy still has some ground to gain in Ethiopia.

Click here for a BBC overview of the current state of Ethiopia.   

Here is the Ethiopian Reporter newspaper.

Here is the Ethiopia page from the excellent Global Voices

( The bloggers below are not people who saw the sun halo as a sign. I’m taking this post as a chance to link to some of our blogger friends around the world.) 

Here is the Ethiopian blog Addis Journal.

Here is the blog My e-Shoe Box. 

Here is the blog Merkato.

Here is the blog Meskel Square. It is by a journalist who spent time in Ethiopia and is now in Sudan. 

Here is Abesha Bunna Bet. This gentleman is someone now living outside of Ethiopia.

Below is a picture of last Sunday’s sun halo in Ethiopia.

Here are the reasons a sun halo would occur.

 The sun over Addis Ababa on Sunday


April 15, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments