Texas Liberal

All People Matter

If Life Begins At Conception, Why Did Not Pro-Lifers Demand That The Unborn Be Counted In The Census?

If life begins at conception as advocates of the so-called right-to-life position assert, why did not these folks demand that the unborn be counted in the Census?

March 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Houston Mayor Annise Parker Should Expand Her Focus To Health Care Reform—She Often Talks About Other Federal Issues

Above you see Houston Mayor Annise Parker encouraging folks in Houston to fill out their census forms.

Very good.

Here are details of testimony offered by Mayor Parker about EPA clean air standards that impact Houston.

All right. We should hear what the Mayor has to say on this issue.

Here is a link about an agreement the Mayor is going to sign in an effort to help promote  trade between Houston and Mexico.

Okay. This is a concern for Houston.

Here is a Houston Chronicle editorial discussing that fact that one in three people in Houston have no health insurance.

Have we heard anything about support for federal health care reform from the Mayor or from Democrats on Houston City Council?

I’ve not heard anything.

Here is a list of press releases from the Mayor since she took office. The issue of health care reform is not addressed by Mayor Parker on this list.

President Obama and Democrats in Washington could use the support of the Democratic Mayor of the fourth largest city in the United States.

A strong statement by Mayor Parker might cause other local leaders around the nation to speak up. Such a statement might serve as notice to the many citizens of Houston who do not vote in city elections that the concerns of all people are of importance to Mayor Parker.

Sometimes when you suggest that local officials should take up issues being discussed on the national scene, you will hear in reply that the focus needs to be on what matters to local voters.

Though at the same time, I’m certain Mayor Parker would be happy to tell folks that Houston is an international city.

Houston is a global city when that is the concept suits people in power. On the other hand, it is a city where we need to focus on flooding and roads when that idea of Houston suits people in power.

Here is a City of Houston web page called Green Houston. It is all about making Houston a more environmentally friendly place to live.

Here is what Mayor Parker says on this Green Houston page—

“The City of Houston is working harder than ever to make Houston green. We have made a lot of progress, but more is needed. We need the help of every citizen of Houston to do their part. I would encourage everyone to take a little time and explore this web site to learn what they can do to make Houston green.”

Great–I’m all for it.

Mayor Parker could order up a Health Care for All page or a Living Wage for Houston page.

Mayor Parker can direct her focus to any issue she wishes. There are many people in Houston who could use the Mayor’s help and advocacy.

Maybe with the Mayor setting the example, more people in Houston would fight for themselves instead of just accepting the fact that things around here are often very rough.

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Census Bureau Has Jobs—Filling Out Census Helps All People

The Census is coming up in 2010.

The Census angers the political right because the Federal Government conducts the census, and because the government uses the Census to determine how government money is allocated.

Census forms will be mailed out in March of 2010.

Please fill out your Census form and send it back. Such an act is indeed a measure of good citizenship.

As you can see in the picture below, the Census Bureau has some jobs to hire for next year. I got the flier you see in the picture in my door a few days ago.

Maybe you need a check for a few weeks. A job with the Census might help you out for a time.

Here is the link to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Don’t listen to screwballs telling folks to ignore the Census.

Filling out the Census is what our laws require. Doing so helps us better understand our nation and sends needed government help where it will be most useful.

November 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Please Fill Out Your Census Form—Some Of You Are Just Crazy

Predictions are that a lower percentage of Americans will fill out Census forms in 2010 than did so in 2000.

From USA Today—“Turbulent political and economic times roiling the nation are expected to diminish initial participation by households in next year’s Census despite a $326 million marketing blitz that far outspends previous Census campaigns….Mounting mistrust of government, rising identity theft and record numbers of foreclosures could discourage people from mailing back Census forms next year, according to the Census Bureau… A Census analysis shows that about 64% of households are likely to mail in their forms without additional prodding from Census workers — down from 67% in 2000. That could mean 4 million more doors to knock on.”

(I’m sorry, but I can’t include the link due to ongoing blog and browser troubles. The story appeared in the October 20 USA Today and was written by Haya El Nassar.)

As for people in hard economic times, please realize that the Census helps areas that are worst hit by the bad economy to get federal aid. It will only help yourself and your family to fill out and return the Census form.

As for you right-wingers, please obey the law and complete the Census. If the government wanted to track you down,they could do so in any case. You folks are so often all about law and order and respect for authority and all that stuff, until it is you that has to follow the law and do what is expected of you.

October 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

President Obama’s Rural Policy

A couple of weeks ago I did a post on Barack Obama’s urban policy. I was glad that after many years of neglect, a President seemed to have America’s cities as part of the agenda.

Yet though I have always been a city dweller, I am also concerned for America’s rural areas. I feel folks in rural America have been used by the Republican Party, just as Democrats have often taken city voters for granted. Depopulation of rural America, and the long-term decline of agriculture as a way of life, have severly impacted this part of our nation.

(Above–A sign welcoming visitors to Francesville, Indiana. The Fall Festival will be held in Francesville on September 18, 19 and 20 of this year.)

Here is  the link to the Rural Assistance Center. This resource has a great deal of information about rural demographics and the well-being of people living in rural areas. It’s main focus is health care. There is also a definition of what exactly constitutes rural America. You can plug your address in and see if you are a rural resident.

Here is a chart from the Census Bureau noting the decline of the American rural population from over 90% in 1820 to under 25% in 1990. If you poke around the Census web home, you’ll find all sorts of facts about rural America.

In the book How Barack Obama Won by Chuck Todd, a table lists 21% of American voters as rural in the 2008 election. While all people merit help and concern, it should be noted that these voters are not monolithically Republican. Rural voters selected John McCain over Barack Obama by a margin of only 53% to 45%.

Iowa and Vermont are rural states that Mr. Obama carried last November. It is hard to imagine that Mr. Obama could have won states such as Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana without at least a fair amount of  rural support.

I don’t discuss the politics here to show that rural folks are somehow “better”  or more open to a black man as President than urbanites such as myself might think. I say it only to suggest that just as many Republicans live in big cities, America’s rural areas also diverse and complex regions worthy of our respect and care. We should not make assumptions about any group of people. 

On his White House web home, (Which, as much as we may be hopeful about our new President, is a kind of propaganda), some of President Obama’s rural policy goals are listed. Here is that link.

Here are some goals for rural America as discussed by the White House—

Strong Safety Net for Family Farmers: Fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. Implement a $250,000 payment limitation so we help family farmers — not large corporate agribusiness. Close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around payment limits.   

I can’t say I know much about farms, but this makes it clear that people in all parts of the United States need the help of government.

Support Small Business Development: Provide capital for farmers to create value-added enterprises, like cooperative marketing initiatives and farmer-owned processing plants. Establish a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America.

Many of us have had the experience of driving through a small town and seeing a shuttered Main Street. I can only imagine that a new and successful small business in a rural center would be a boon to the entire area.

Improve Healthcare:Work to ensure a more equitable Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement structure that often gives rural healthcare providers less money for the very same procedure performed in urban areas. Attract providers to rural America by creating a loan forgiveness program for doctors and nurses who work in underserved rural areas. Promote health information technologies like telemedicine.

These health care issues are concerns in all parts of America.

As a lifelong resident of the city, I’ve long felt that cities and rural areas have a great deal in common. Here in Texas, it would be great to see an urban-rural caucus in our state legislature that could explore shared public policy goals.

It remains to be seen if President Obama is serious about his stated objectives in rural America. Let’s hope and insist that his care for this issue is sincere.   

(Below–A farm near Stockbridge, Wisconsin.)

February 3, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Books, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment