Texas Liberal

All People Matter

What Gift Should You Get This Christmas For People You Don’t Like?

What should to get this Christmas for the people in your life that you don’t like?

The Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has some suggestions of books that you can give such persons.

Extinct recommends Fed Up! by Texas Governor Rick Perry as a literary lump of coal for that unspecial someone.

Fed Up! talks about how to get the federal government out of your life while you collect social security and as your Congressperson asks for earmarks to build yet more roads in Texas.

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat says Decision Points by George W. Bush would be  a real Christmas downer.

Decision Points is about offering excuses and rationalizations for things gone wrong, while at the same time putting forth a worldview of being responsible for your actions in life.

Cactus says a gift Going Rogue by Sarah Palin will ruin not only Christmas for the recipient, but it ruin New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day as well.

Going Rogue is a book by a person who does not read very much. The book tells about how rugged individualism shapes Alaskans even though Ted Stevens spent years in the Senate making sure Alaska got every federal dollar possible.

Now if on the odd chance you want to do something productive for the holiday, don’t forget you can give the gift to yourself and others, of your greater involvement in civic affairs. In this way you’ll be able to fight the likes of Rick Perry, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin.

Happy holidays!

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Give Yourself & Others The Gift Of Your Larger Involvement In Public Affairs—TPA Blogger Round-Up

At the end of this post is the most recent edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

TPA bloggers blog away even at the holidays.

That said, we do indeed wish for you and your family to have an excellent holiday season

For example, the family you see below is enjoying a fine Texas Christmas.

And , of course, Texans know Santa is a Texan. Nobody else is aware of this fact, but I’m certain it is being taught in our schools by order of the far right-wing Texas State Board of Education.

Not all Texans celebrate the same holidays. Below we see Texas Governor Rick Perry at the lighting of our state menorah. Governor Perry is quite ecumenical in the sense he is willing to use the cover of any faith to obscure  how the Texas state budget will be balanced on the backs of the poor in the 2011 legislative session.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, a great gift  you could give yourself, to the people in your life, and to your fellow citizens, is the gift of your increased  involvement in politics and public affairs in 2011.

In 2010, the so-called Tea Party out-organized and out-worked folks on the other side of the ideological aisle. The Tea Party/Republican Party is enjoying the holiday season right now looking forward to a Republican U.S. House of Representatives right after the new year.

We need to wise up and fight for each other and for a better world. Those elves you see below are not working to protect tax breaks for the rich. They are not going on about Muslims and immigrants. They are fighting for a better world and sticking together  even in hard times.

We’ve got a number of challenges ahead in both Texas and in our nation. You’ve got to decide for yourself that you are not going to let your state and your nation be taken over by right-wing extremists. You’ve got to decide that we can and will make progress.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff celebrates the DeLay verdict.

Bay Area Houston has a visual suggestion to the judge in the Tom DeLay trial regarding the sentencing.

Did employers or their representatives provide ‘assistance’ to their employees as they voted in La Joya? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme would really like to know.

Public Citizen over at TexasVox is getting ready for the sunset hearings on the TCEQ and Railroad Commission, coming up December 15-16, bylooking at a national report which gives Texas’ regulatory agencies a D-. Continue reading

December 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas—Denver, 1927

Above is a picture of Christmas on Sixteenth Street in Denver from back in 1927.

I bet downtown Denver was hopping back in 1927.

The picture is from the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress.

December 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Time To Check Your List—All People Matter

[christmas_pinup.jpg]

It is time to check your Christmas list to make sure that you have done all your holiday shopping.

It’s a bit easier for me because my in-laws and Jewish and Hanukkah usually wraps up before Christmas day.

Everybody please be careful on the roads and try to enjoy the remaining days of the holiday season.

Even if you not having some type of idealized Christmas with family or with many presents under the tree, you are still of great value in the world.

The good that you are able to do and the positive relationships you have are of great value.

Please have a nice holiday.

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—Xmas Mail At Corpus Christi, Texas Trailer Court In 1940

Image, Source: intermediary roll film

At the bottom of this post is the most recent weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

The picture is of a gentleman sorting Christmas mail at a trailer court in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1940.

Here is some history of trailer courts and trailer parks from the Affordable Housing Institute.

Here is a list of mobile home and manufactured home parks in Texas.

The picture was taken by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. I found the photo at the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress.

Here is a poem I have written about the main reading room at the Library of Congress.

The round-up–

The picture taken by RuTXsharon @ Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS helps you follow the money to see why Governor Perry and others want Texans to keep breathing toxic air.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is proud to give a hat tip to Houston – Annise Parker inherits a City of Progress.

The Stonewall Democrats of Denton County denounce Rep. Michael Burgess for his recent actions against openly gay Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennnings, at the Texas Cloverleaf.

This week on Left of College Station Teddy covers the dispute in Waco between the McLennan County Republican Party and the Hispanic Republican Club of McLennan County over whether or not the Republicans needs to reach out to minority voters. Also, the tradition of homophobia continues at Texas A&M and the Coalition for Life invites anti-choice and anti-woman Jeb Bush to speak at their annual fundraiser. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

While Houstonians took great pride in the election of Annise Parker as mayor, it was discouraging to see — despite his company’s multi-million dollar contracts with the city and his apparent misunderstanding of their value — that Stephen Costello was elected to city council over a good Democrat, Karen Derr.

Continue reading

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time To Put The “Mas” back in Christmas.

It is time to put the “mas” back in Christmas.

As defined by The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, “mas” means—carnival, a festival, a procession, a parade.

Above is a scene from a carnival in Brazil.

That looks like a fine way to say “Merry Christmas.”

Let’s get back to the true meaning of Christmas.

December 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cats Decorating Christmas Tree

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Above is an illustration of cats decorating a Christmas tree.

The artist was a Louis Wain. Mr. Wain lived 1860-1939.

Mr. Wain drew cats for a many years.

A recent article in the excellent New Scientist magazine says that dogs are smarter than cats.

I think that dogs are smarter than cats.

December 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real St. Nicholas—A Friend Of The Poor And Opposed To The Death Penalty

(Blogger’s Note—This is a post from two years ago that seems worth another posting. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.)

December 6 is the Feast Day for St. Nicholas. This is the same St. Nicholas who has become our Santa Claus.

St. Nicholas was the fourth-century Bishop of Myra. Myra was then in Greece. It is now in Turkey.

Not much is known of the life of St. Nicholas. He is said to have been generous to children and to the poor. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. Here is a link to a list of Saints.

St. Nicholas is said to have been born into a prosperous home. His parents died when he was a young man and he was left an inheritance. Nicholas used this inheritance to help a poor man support three daughters who otherwise would have been sold into prostitution to support the family home.

It was this gift giving that is the connection between the St. Nicholas of old and the Santa of the modern day. In the spirit of the gifts for the three children, people in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands began to give each other gifts at Christmas. Santa Claus is, after a few mutations, St. Nicholas.

Here is a link to the website of Adbusters. Adbusters suggests you should buy as little as you get away with at Christmas and offers often insightful critiques of consumer culture.

It is said Nicholas brought back to life two or three boys who had been cut-up and tossed in a brine-tub by an innkeeper. The innkeeper was going to sell the boys as pickled pork. It is not known how Nicholas performed this feat.

It is claimed God himself indicated to the people of Myra that Nicholas should be selected as Bishop. It is not clear what type of signal was sent.

Nicholas was renowned as a champion of the falsely accused. He saved the lives of three men who were going to be put to death based on a sentence that had been made on this basis of a bribe. That account is the basis of the picture above.

Many falsely accused people are put to death and placed in jail in the United States in the current day. Please click here to read about The Innocence Project.

Nicholas is the patron saint of prisoners and prostitutes. All people merit concern.  Here is a list of the many groups that can claim Nicholas as patron saint.

I notice “consumers” are not on the list. Caveat emptor!

St. Nicholas is said to have stopped a raging storm in Greece and in so doing saved the lives of many mariners. In Greece, he is the patron of sailors. Here is a link to a story about a United Nations treaty meant to protect the rights of the commerical sailors who help ship goods around the world.

Santa is about more than gift giving.  I don’t think St. Nicholas would have lined up at Best Buy at 5 AM the morning after Thanksgiving to get a bargain on a laptop.

One source for this post was The Oxford Companion To The Year—An Exploration Of Calender Customs And Time-Reckoning. It’s a great book

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Must Burger King Be Open On Christmas Day?

(12/25/09-Blogger’s Note—As of 11 AM central time on Christmas Day, over 200 people have visited this post. Most all of them have done so by asking a search engine question about if Burger King is open Christmas Day. So I can’t deny that some folks do want Burger King open on Christmas. Are the folks asking this question working themselves today? If they go to Burger King, will they thank the staff for working on the holiday? Maybe even offer a tip? My own view remains that places should be closed on Christmas Day and that workers should get a paid holiday. Thanks.)

(12/24/11–Blogger’s Note–This is still a very popular post.)

Must this Burger King on Houston’s Harrisburg Blvd. be open on Christmas Day?

Don’t you imagine that the people who work at Burger King would like to be home on Christmas Day?

I don’t figure they are going to staff the place with Jewish folks and Muslims.

I suppose if Burger King is paying workers maybe three or four times normal pay to work Christmas—That would at least be something.

I doubt that is how much the staff will be paid.

All work has value and work done by employees at Burger King is honorable employment.

I know people need money and want all the hours scheduled on the job that they can get.

I know some folks may not have money for a fancy holiday dinner.

Yet, must so many places be open all the time?

When do people have the chance to rest and reflect?

You see it is snowing in the picture.

It snows in Houston every few years. It snowed a few days ago.

The snow gives the Burger King sign a festive holiday look.

No–Not really.

And there will be no festive holiday for folks at Burger King on Christmas Day.

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 19 Comments

Have A Holiday That Keeps You In Touch With How Things Were–And Still Are

The photo above is of a Downtown Houston department store I was in today.

I walked around Downtown today. I often visit Downtown.

This holiday season—-Clip a coupon from a newspaper, walk around and see stuff, visit a department store, and give a few bucks to a charity of some kind.

Have a nice holiday that keeps you in touch with the way life once was, and in fact still is in many respects.

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Please Have A Good And Safe Holiday

I used this picture last year on Christmas. The scene in much the same this year as well.

Please have a good and safe holiday. If it is not quite the holiday you have hoped for, find some definition by which it will still be a good holiday.  Please enjoy the day that you have. There will be plenty of time for trouble and worrying after Christmas.

December 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

Christmas Tree Over Bar Entrance—Philadelphia 1938

digital file from intermediary roll film

Above is a photo of a Christmas tree over a bar entrance. The photo was taken on Market Street in Philadelphia in 1938 by Paul Vanderbilt.

I found the photo on the Library of Congress American memory web page.

Here are some photos of Market Street in the current day.

Here is a history of Market Street in olden days .  Here is more information on Market Street.   

Below the tree you see an advertisement for Guckenheimer Whiskey. Here is information on the Guckenheimer distillery and brand. It is an informative link.

December 22, 2008 Posted by | History | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Don’t See Why Santa Can’t Be Black Or Why We Can’t Have Hindu Elves

I don’t see why Santa can’t be black. Or why Santa can’t be any other kind of person. How about a woman Santa who is loyally supported by Mr. Claus?

If you Google around, it’s hard to find much but white male Santas. And forget finding elves that are anything but little white guys. 

Below is what people who live near the North Pole look like. Does Santa not hire the locals? 

Santa and his elves can be anything you want them to be.  I’d like to see a workshop of well paid elves that reflect the full diversity of people who celebrate Christmas around the world.  With maybe a few Hindus, Muslims, and Jews for good measure. We have folks over in China making American flags. You don’t need to observe Christmas to work in Santa’s workshop.  

I don’t have the computer skills or the art skills to make these images of a more diverse and just Santa’s Workshop. Maybe that is a task somebody could take up this holiday season. 

Fictional people can be anything. We don’t have to follow how it has been done before. We can do things in new ways and offer people new images and new ideas.

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 5 Comments

Holiday Gift Of A Pen Makes For Good Blog Notekeeping

 

My longtime friend, T.R.B, who lives in Ohio, sent me a pen for Christmas.

It is a nice leather pen with a printed pattern on it. 

She said in her note—“You are probably doing more typing than hand written text, but always nice to have a pen handy.”

While it’s true I type the blog on a computer, I do use a pen to write down notes and ideas for the blog. I keep a notebook near the computer for that purpose.

I will now use the pen I got from T.R.B for my blog notekeeping.

This is most helpful because up until now I’ve been using the above pictured bucket of sidewalk chalk for my notetaking.

Below is a picture of Reed Pens from ancient Egypt as seen at the Louvre.

In the government of Ancient Egypt, according to S.E. Finer in the first volume of his History of Government From Earliest Times, well-trained official scribes  were a cornerstone of Egyptian administration.

From the book—In short, everything in the administration revolves around writing. In the Egyptian view, administration and writing documents are one and the same and a ‘scribe’ in an official….there are scribes who are personally assigned to overseers of the individual administrative departments….the well-known principle that what cannot be verified through documents does not exist applies to the Egyptian administration…. Because of this, business letters often include the observation, ‘And you should keep my letter so it can serve as evidence for us on another occasion’.    

Both longtime friends, such as T.R.B, and the study of history, provide the context we need in our lives to help understand what is taking place around us.

   

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Books, History, Relationships | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Photo Of Christmas Tree With Menorah—All People Matter

Happy whatever it is you observe from the Texas Liberal home to your home.

As it says at the top of this blog—All People Matter.

December 25, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments