Texas Liberal

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Some Observations On Debt Ceiling Agreement

An agreement to raise the debt ceiling has been agreed upon that may resolve the issue at least through the projected Mayan apocalypse at the end of 2012. 

So I guess none of us really have much to worry about from this point on.

Though the agreement still does have to be approved by both chambers of Congress.

I’m not happy with all the cuts and the absence of tax increases. How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

Though this observer at Daily Kos says that deal is not nearly as bad as it seems to many liberals. I don’t read Daily Kos very often, but somebody on my Facebook suggested the link. I do whatever it is that people tell me I should do on Facebook.

All 970 of those people on my Facebook are close personal friends.  (Feel free to send me a friend request yourself. I’ll take anybody!)   

Paul Krugman is not very happy about the deal. 

I’m not in a mood to be angry. I’ve got a trip planned in the next few days to help go and put my father’s ashes in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  It is going to be a nice trip.

I’m just not into always being riled up by the 24 hour news cycle. And why be steamed about the agreement when I know I’ll have plenty of time and plenty of blog space to be angry as we proceed.

I will however, because I can’t help myself, make 5 observations—

1. If we wanted a better deal, than we should have all voted and worked harder in the 2010 elections. Republicans control the House because they won the election.

2. As I said above— How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

3. The response to losing elections and not getting the things you counted on from the people you supported is to keep working hard, and to apply more thought and imagination to what you are doing. You’ve always got to proceed.

4. The Republican opposition to tax cuts seems more like a religious belief than public policy.

5. We’ve got to really ponder the question that big money and greed has left this country in the hands of an oligarchy. We could not raise any revenue in this deal even as we were being told by Republicans that the future of the nation was at stake? Options like open protests and civil disobedience need to start being considered. We can’t simply be helpless in the face of powerful interests.  

With this being the first day of August, I hope you’re having a great summer and that you are moving forward. Let’s enjoy the lives we have and be involved in public affairs. Let’s be both thoughtful and forceful.

Below–Prudence Island is in Narragansett Bay.  Just because I’m not mad at the moment, does not mean I won’t be working hard for liberal values in the weeks and months ahead. Photo by junior75.)

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Should Abe Lincoln Have Given Jefferson Davis Everything He Wanted?—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Us

Should Abe Lincoln have given into everything that Jefferson Davis and the South wanted in order to solve a great national problem?

President Obama has likely compromised more than he should on the debt ceiling debate. And yet still it is not enough for Republicans.

Mr. Obama may not be another Lincoln, but today’s Republican Party of States Rights and mindless government bashing would have fit in just fine with the Confederacy.

Just how far backwards are we going to go in this country?

President Obama got it right tonight that we as citizens need to take action ourselves.

Call your U.S. Representative and your two U.S. Senators and demand a solution that involves sacrifice by all and that does not exempt the most wealthy from having to pay a fair share.

But don’t stop there.

Every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and even run for public office.

President Obama’s call for citizen-action  may be the most important thing he said in his debt ceiling speech.

Take up the President on his suggestion of getting involved, and keep up the involvement for the fights ahead.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

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Here is the message I have sent to my terrible Congressperson John Culberson-

Rep. Culberson: God Bless President Obama and freedom. You states rights extremists have always been about obstruction and treason. Stop holding our nation hostage for the benefit of the rich, and out of hatred for the multicultural future of our great nation as represented by Barack Obama. Thank you.

July 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Debt Ceiling Standoff Reminiscent Of Cuban Missile Crisis—An Interesting View Of The Cuban Missile Crisis

The debt ceiling talks have begun to remind me of the Cuban Missile  Crisis.

(Above–Soviet missiles in Cuba. Big trouble back in 1962.)

Which side will blink first?

(Here are facts about the Cuban Missile Crisis.)

As for the debt ceiling negotiations, I hope President Obama does not sell us out with benefit cuts and domestic spending cuts that make life tougher than it is already. The wealthy have the resources to pay more taxes. If the debt is such a threat, then everybody needs to be part of the solution. Though the real issue–jobs– is ignored by both major parties. 

A great book for an interesting take of the Cuban Missile Crisis is Humanity–A Moral History of the Twentieth Century by Jonathan Glover.

This book examines the brutality of the 20th century and the competing impulses of good and evil in indviduals and in larger society.

It is not a cheery book.

From the 2000 review of Humanity in the New York Times—-

Glover draws hope from the recurring breakthroughs of moral resources and from the happy episodes in which they conspired to avert disaster. During the Cuban missile crisis, Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy were reminded of the human cost of the nuclear brink they were approaching, Khrushchev by memories of two world wars fought on his soil, Kennedy by a graphic briefing of the aftermath of an atomic bomb. And each understood they were in a Hobbesian trap. Kennedy had just read Barbara Tuchman’s ”Guns of August” and saw how the leaders of great nations could sleepwalk into a pointless and awful war. Khrushchev, thinking like a game theorist, wrote to Kennedy: ”You and I should not now pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied a knot of war, because the harder you and I pull, the tighter this knot will become. And a time may come when this knot is tied so tight that the person who tied it is no longer capable of untying it, and then the knot will have to be cut.” By identifying the trap, they could set the shared goal of escaping it. In the teeth of opposition from many of their advisers, both made concessions that may have literally saved the world.”

Here is a link to the first chapter of Humanity.

I believe that there is good and evil and that people make choices about how they will proceed in life. At the same time, I think we are often trapped in circumstances not of our own making, and that we are not always in control of our choices in life.

I don’t see any fatal contradiction  inherent to these views. It is unlikely that existence itself could come to term without a foundation of conflict, contradiction, and competing elements. These aspects of creation echo in the decisions made by leaders in times of crisis, and in the everyday lives that you and I lead.

We can admit the reality of contradiction and conflict while at the same time choosing clear and hopeful courses of action.

We can take part in the issues of today while looking at the lessons of the past.

We can move forward in a difficult world.

July 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Did Not Vote For Barack Obama So We Would Cut Social Security And Medicare—Contact The White House

Discussions over raising the debt ceiling are ongoing.

(Above–Barack Obama at a campaign rally I attended in Houston in 2008.) 

All I can say is that I did not support Barack Obama in 2008 so that we could see cuts in Medicare and Social Security.

We’ve gone more than far enough with tax cuts for the wealthy and sacrifice for everybody else.

Isn’t this society tilted enough towards the wealthy and powerful?

I’m not sure what else I can say. People know where they stand.

We’ve got to understand the nearly-irredeemable nature of our conservative opposition at this point in our politics, and we’ve got to make the decision that we are going to make progress in this country.

Contact the White House and tell President Obama not to sell out everyday Americans.

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 5 Comments