Texas Liberal

All People Matter

500th Texas Liberal Post—Each Post Worse Than The One That Came Before


This is the 500th Texas Liberal post. While not a big deal for you the blog reader, I’d like to comment. 

500 posts is not a lot for some blogs, yet it is still quite a bit of work.

I enjoy blogging and I’m thankful to have the ability and the time to communicate with others.  

Three important things we have in life are our relationships, our values and the ability to communicate.

Since the beginning of October I’ve run just under 400 page views a day according to my WordPress stats. That’s good I’d say. I appear to still be moving up in traffic. My goal is 1000 page views a day at some point in 2008 and to take it from there. 

If you like Texas Liberal, please forward the link to somebody you think might feel the same way. The internet may seem like mass communication, but you build an audience for a blog one–by one–by one. 

There are a few of my entries I’d like to link to that I feel, for various reasons, have some merit. ( At the bottom of this post I’ll mention some other strong blogs. It’s no fun without other blogs.)

Malcolm, Martin & Liberals Like Myself is a brief overview of how I came to my outlook on politics and society. It describes why I’m often not at ease with people who might in some respects appear to be natural allies.   

My Excellent Wife Wearing Wedding Dress And Holding Bowling Ball is a great post because it involves my wife. My wife is the best person in the world.

 A Very Good Phone Call With Melissa Noriega is my favorite post about Texas politics. I went from skepticism about Houston Council candidate Noriega to an ongoing dialogue with someone who is now a friend and a sitting Councilmember.   

Colonial Loyalists As Modern Conservatives With Bonus Tarring-And-Feathering Picture is a good post from the number of entries I’ve made on Colonial America.  

Texas Fish Kill As Andy Warhol Painting is my favorite post on sea life. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage posting about sea creatures. In this post, I simply enjoy the three illustrations of the fish.

As Liberal As I Am, If Hillary Clinton Is The 2008 Democratic Nominee I’ll Give Her My Strong Support lays out some of my views about the 2008 campaign.

I Tipped The Kid Who handed Me A Burrito $5 Because I Felt He Shared My Outlook And Might, With Time, Share My Values  is a post that I hope suggests we can always be of help to good people.   

People Have A Right To Define Family As They Wish is the post I’m most proud of on the blog. Every day I get search engine traffic from someone googling the term “define family” or “what is family.” I feel maybe this post has helped somebody.   

Posts I’ve written have been linked to by Crooks and Liars , SlateThe Agonist, rebecca’s pocket and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune . I’ve been picked up by BlogBurst a number of times and those good folks have landed me at USA Today, The Austin-American Statesman and the Reuters News Agency. 

Blognet News/Texas and Lefty Blogs are most helpful. And, of course, so is WordPress. I can’t say enough good about WordPress.    

I have one of five featured political blogs at the Houston Chronicle and I also blog at Where’s The Outrage?

Where’s The Outrage? is the home of the Errington Thompson podcast. 

My thanks to Dwight Silverman at the Chronicle and Errington Thompson at WTO? in North Carolina for these opportunities. 

Friendly bloggers and good blogs can be found at, among other places, Jobsanger, Brains & EggsLast Row, Blue Bloggin’ , Who’s Playin? and Panhandle Truth Squad.

South Texas Chisme does a very good job of conveying a lot of information in an efficient way while keeping a sense of humor.    

I’d also like to note two blogs, on the opposite side of the aisle from myself in some respects, that were nice enough to recently place me on their blogrolls.

Bloggin’ All Things Brownsville is well-conceived and well-executed. I’ve had to find a voice for my blog. I think BATB knew what she was doing from the start.

And—Thanks to my friend Tito for the link from Custos Fidei. That link is, I think, another example of how people often sense they have something in common despite clear enough differences.  

Also, closer to my side of the aisle, The Field Negro out of Philadelphia is well-tuned to my sensibilities. Thanks to that blog for the link.

Thanks George and Bill in Cincinati for all the comments and thanks to Citizen X for reading the blog. Thanks to many long-time friends who read the blog.      

Thanks to super-smart Alex Ragsdale at the U. of Houston and thanks to her good friend Will who is studying at Georgetown. Both are bright young folks who will do great things.    

Most of all—Thanks to everybody who has read Texas Liberal and thanks for the comments. As I mentioned up top, please consider sending this link to others as I work to grow Texas Liberal.

The illustration is of some type of pygmy Mastodon. The Mastodon is the state fossil of Michigan.

November 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Cincinnati, Colonial America, Good People, Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Martin & Malcolm, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever, Politics, Sea Life, Texas, Welcome To TexasLiberal | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Two 1000 Year Old Norwegian Poems About Spring


Here are two 1000 year old Norwegian poems about spring. They have an anonymous author. They are called Two Spring Charms.


Now it is late winter.

Years ago,

I walked through a spring wind

Bending green wheat

In a field near Trondhjem.


Black snow,

Like a strange sea creature,

Draws back into itself,

Restoring grass to Earth.   

The picture is of the Trondhjem Bridge.  It seems a more modern spelling is Trondheim. Here is a link to information about that maritime city. It sure looks nice. Here are some facts about Norway.

Here is a link to a blogger who used to live in Texas but now lives in Norway. The blog is called Tales of a Texpatriate.

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Poetry, Texas | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why Have A Blog?

Sometimes I ask myself why I have a blog. Texas Liberal takes time and effort. Is it worth the time and effort?

For anyone who runs a blog, or is considering starting a blog, the reasons for doing so will be specific to the individual.  Here are my reasons—

1. To communicate—I think it’s basic to human beings to have ideas and knowledge they wish to commuincate to others. A blog is a way to accomplish this goal.

Is it the best way? That’s up to you. You might be better off writing letters to friends and family or communicating your ideas and values by volunteering for a cause. 

Blogging can be selfish. You have to decide if the time you’re spending on the blog is worth what you could otherwise do with your time.  

 2. To Oppose— As I’ve said, your reasons to blog will be personal. For me, this new form of expression offers a chance to stand in opposition to traditional structures of power that in my view have often let people down.

I also feel why have this new form of expression if the purpose in the end is to simply integrate yourself with the powers that already be? 

None of this means that I don’t get on board for some causes.  Many things in life are good and I try to support them when I’m able.

However, for reasons that don’t matter much here, opposition is where my personality and my feelings about the world often take this blog.

Here is a link to Reporter’s Without Borders Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents.

(None of this matters much if you’re not running a political blog. What I’m getting at here are a few political blogs I’m acquainted with that don’t seem to be much more than extensions of the Democratic Party. That’s fine if that’s what you want to do. It might even be helpful in many ways. It’s simply not what motivates me as a blogger.)    

3. Because it is enjoyable to have a blog— Unless you are somehow saving the world, or at least helping a lot of people in some way, why have a blog if it is not fun? 

4. To build an audience—I think you’d have to be pretty humble not to care how many people are reading your blog. While I’ve never gotten around to putting a more specifically detailed counter on the blog, I do check the number of page views I get as determined by WordPress. So far for October, I’m at just a shade under 400 page views per day. ( If you’ve reached this post by a search engine, please click here to get to the top of the blog and consider becoming a regular reader.)

While I’ll be working to grow the blog, it is satisfying that for whatever reasons something like 300 people a day are visiting Texas Liberal. 

It’s totally up to you what size audience you are looking for from your blog. You might be happy enough that anybody at all reads it. Such a view might be a sign of good mental health.  

5. To create something of value and interest —If a poem or a movie can be a work of art, why not a blog? This is not to say Texas Liberal is a work of art. It is though, I hope, creative in some ways. You can define your blog any way you choose. It’s natural to want to be creative.   

6. To run drawings of the pre-historic Terror Bird—It’s your blog. You can do what you wish.   

If you start a blog, give it time to find the voice you are truly looking for. It can be difficult to be creative and informative in the way you’re hoping to accomplish without making posts you feel did not work out as you had guessed.

Yet if you stick with it you’ll likely attract some readers, be of use to somebody who is looking for what you are saying and make some new friends along the way.

October 23, 2007 Posted by | Art, Blogging, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment