Texas Liberal

All People Matter

There Is Nothing Contradictory In Believing In Autonomy And Dumb Luck At The Same Time

Above is a picture I took in Downtown Houston earlier today.

You see that there is a green light at the traffic light, but that there is also a barricade stopping folks from moving forward.

We are told by some that we always have the green light of autonomy and of our own hard work.

Yet there is also the barricade that many face of circumstance and bad luck.

I belive in autonomy, hard work, circumstance for both good and ill, and luck.

I don’t see why anybody thinks these things are contradictory.

All these things are part of everyday life.

Everything we need to understand about the world around us is found in everyday life.

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Role Of Luck And Circumstance Means That We All Need Help And That We All Must Help Ourselves

I was walking around a few days back here in Houston and saw the scene you see above where one tree was still living and another tree right next to the living tree was cut down.

Who knows why stuff like that happens?

It does not remove any of the meaning from life to say that the only reason one tree made it and the other tree did not was simply blind luck and circumstance.

Acknowledging  the role of blind luck and circumstance does not mean that we don’t have to work hard in life, and that we are not in good part responsible for the outcomes we get in life.

What making note of such factors means is that we have a role in helping others, and that a government that gains legitimacy only by the consent of the governed has a role in helping people who are also willing to help themselves.

July 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are Our Options When Troubled Water Swamps The Bridge?

I’m sorry to offer what may seem a pessimistic thought, but sometimes it is simply the case that troubled waters sometimes swamp the bridge.

It is so that there might be other ways around. Or maybe you have time to wait for the waters to recede.

You might decide it is okay for you to stay where you are.

Yet it may also be so that you simply have to cross and you are not able.

A core belief of liberal and progressive thought is that sometimes circumstance gets the better of a person.

At this point we can possibly offer a way across if we have the means to do so.

We might even be able to help build a better bridge across for the next time.

At least we might be able to do so if the funding for bridge construction has not been not cut off.

It could also be though that we have nothing to offer other than consolation and support.

I took the picture you see above a few hours ago in rainy Houston.

Here is Johnny Cash singing Bridge Over Troubled Water. 

July 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Upstream

With this post is a picture of a barge laboring upstream on the Ohio River.

I took this picture yesterday from the Eden Park overlook in Cincinnati.

The river is a few feet above flood stage at the moment, and it is difficult for barges to go upstream. There are strong currents in the river.

All of us are going upstream in one way or another.

Without forgetting the role of circumstance in life, since it is beyond your powers to control a flooding river, and without forgetting that it takes a team of people to run a ship, you will simply have to press on against strong currents.

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Because There Are Stairs Does Not Mean There Is A Way To Move Up—Maybe You Can Build Your Own Staircase

Just because there are stairs, does not mean you have a real chance to move on up.

(Below–Galveston Seawall.)

(Below–Downtown Houston.)

(Below–The Alki Beach area of Seattle.)

(Below–Galveston Seawall.)

(All photos copyright Neil Aquino.)

any people work very hard and yet they just can’t seem to advance.

Here is a series of articles from the liberal political magazine The American Prospect discussing the difficulties of the middle class in the U.S. and offering ideas on how to make the situation better.

There are many ways in life we might feel that the chance to move up is somehow frustrated or blocked.

In these cases, you’ll just have to try to build your own staircase.

For example, I met my need to communicate my ideas to others by becoming a blogger.

I don’t mean to neglect the role of circumstance in life.

It is a fact of life that sometimes the staircase of existence has been knocked loose or leads no place but underwater. A lot of talk about pulling yourself by your so-called bootstraps is junk. Life is sometimes rigged for the good of the few and at the expense of the many.

One good way to build a staircase for yourself is to have some help. Help might come from friends and family. Help might come from the government in the form of assistance for education or with a grant of some kind.

Maybe you can build a staircase that others will use as well.

Without forgetting that sometimes stuff is just not going to work out, you still need to make use of the life that you have.

The good thing is that things in life often work out for the best, and that there are many people out there who share your goals and who are willing to help.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment