Texas Liberal

All People Matter

You Need Not Spend Thanksgiving With Family—All People Matter

Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s a day we are supposed to spend with family, eating a large meal, and watching football. If that’s what you do, good for you. You’ll get no argument here. (Despite my dislike of football and the concussionsand long-term disability suffered by football players.)

However, for many, Thanksgiving is a different holiday than the popular image of the day.

Some spend the day with friends instead of family. Some are alone.

Maybe you don’t like your family or maybe your schedule and/or  budget does not allow travel to where your family lives. Maybe you’re alone at this point in life.

Whatever Thanksgiving is for you, it’s your choice or your circumstance. Many popular notions and conceptions are as unrealistic as the menu above. How many people are serving pumpkin bread in the shape of a pumpkin? Or mashed turnips?

Each year my wife goes to see her family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. For scheduling reasons, I’m unable to go with her to Chicago or to my parents home in Cincinnati. Most years I’m fortunate enough to get an offer from a co-worker here in Houston for Thanksgiving dinner. I politely decline.

Instead, I drive down to Galveston and have a day at the ocean. I eat at some seafood house. It’s always packed and I’m always the only person there alone. I survive just fine. People are too busy stuffing themselves to notice I’m alone.

One year I did not go to Galveston. Instead, I went to the House Of Pies on Kirby Drive in Houston. I had just purchased all three volumes of Robert Remini’s life of Andrew Jackson. I had a lot of reading to do. I sat in that restaurant for maybe three hours reading about President Jackson. It was a wonderful day.

In the House Of Pies that day were gay couples and folks of all types. There were all sorts of people in, I’d wager, all sorts of personal situations.

All good relationships between people have value.

All people have value.

Whatever Thanksgiving brings your way, make the best of it. Life is not like what is shown on TV commercials and TV shows. Life is what it is. You have great value.

Have a very good Thanksgiving.

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

No Kidding—Children Understand More Than Many Adults Are Able Or Willing To Grasp

Here is a shocker—Babies and small children understand more than many people imagine.

Maybe the only way to grasp this is to not have children–I have none– and see the idiocy and condescension with which many parents and adults address kids of all ages. 

I don’t know if this is because these parents are lazy or because they lack imagination.  Both I suppose. Maybe parents resent the presence of someone who they fear might have a real future.

Maybe the daily brutality and neglect with which we treat poor kids in our society seeps into people’s homes as a dislike of all children. Even people’s own kids are seen as not meriting full effort. 

From New York Times health columnist Jane Brody–“Keep in mind that preverbal children understand far more than they can say. One of my grandsons was a late-talker. When he wanted something to drink or eat, he went to the refrigerator or pantry and pointed. Our job was to ask, “Do you want water, milk or juice, cereal or raisins?” and wait for his response. When we guessed right, we reinforced the verbal message by saying, “Oh, you want cereal.”…Count the steps as you go up or down. My twin grandsons’ math skills flourished long before they could speak in sentences because they live in a third-floor walk-up. At whatever age your children start talking, let them know you are interested in what they are saying by repeating and expanding upon it and asking them to repeat what they said if at first you do not understand them.”

I don’t have kids and fair portion of my life is over. Why should I care? It’s just as how I’m willing to pay taxes for the benefit of other people’s kids, while so many parents won’t pay up for the good of their own children or other people’s kids.

And yet–I get tired in life of seeing kids who clearly have some smarts and who have questions about the world, being so poorly served by the adults in their lives.

If you have kids, please make the effort required to teach these kids. The future may well be one of disappearing jobs and rising oceans. Folks without the needed skills to do well are going to be out in the cold.

Beyond that—People with strong verbal and communication skills have better lives all around. They have better relationships and they learn more about the world.

So many parents just seem to be lousy parents.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 8 Comments

Despite The Fact That World Is Often A Slaughterhouse, I’ve Been Able To Maintain Relationships With Family & Friends On Two Week Vacation

Despite the fact the world is often a slaughterhouse, I have been able to keep up with friends and family in my 15 day trip to Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky & Ohio.

A goal in life can be to maintain personal relationships without losing sight of the larger world.

Thanks to friends and family I’ve seen over the last two weeks and thanks to all my readers here at the blog.

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

An Expansive Idea Of Family In Colonial Virginia

I’ve been reading  Albion’s Seed—Four British Folkways In North America. This book was written by David Hackett Fischer.   

Here is what I read today in this book about the definition of family in 17th Century Colonial Virgina–

“The word family tended to be a more comprehensive term in Virginia than in Massachusetts. Virginians addressed relatives of all sorts as “coz” or “cousin” in expressions that were heavy with affective meaning; but the term “brother” was used more loosely as a salutation for friends, neighbors, political allies, and even business acquaintances. It is interesting to observe that an extended kin-term tended to be more intimate than the language of a nuclear relationship. The reverse tended to be the case in Massachusetts.”   

Fully understanding that this idea of family did not extend to slaves, there is a lot to be said for this concept  of family. It’s an idea we can update for the current day.  The broader the definition of family, the happier your may be. We are all connected in this life. The people in our immediate nuclear family may or may not be the people we really want around us.   

Here is my post “People Have A Right To Define Family Anyway They Wish.” This is a signature post of this blog.

Here is some good history of 17th-century Virginia.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Books, Colonial America, History, Relationships | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Candidate Families—Props To Be Used

Sarah Palin gave an interview to People Magazine and allowed two of her children to be pictured on the cover of the magazine.

But I thought the McCain campaign said the Palin family was off-limits. Except, of course, during Republican Convention week when the Palin children were seen by millions.

The Obama campaign has also said family is off-limits. Except, of course, when the Obama campaign wants to use kids for its own purposes. Then you get a lot of family from the Obama campaign.

Bringing back the brooch

Do you think Sarah Palin will work hard to help end child poverty or work hard to get health insurance for kids who don’t have health insurance? What are the chances of that? Here is a story about funding Governor Palin cut for unwed teen mothers. Why should we care about the Palin children when Governor Palin does not care about other people’s children?

Below is the prop room at the National Theater in Mannhiem, Germany. I think the Presidential and the Vice Presidential candidates keep their children in a room like this for when they are needed.

I’m not likely to bring up the Palin children on this blog as the campaign progresses. I don’t feel it serves my purposes to do so. Yet as Republicans have pursued brutal anti-family policies for many years now and have had no problem defining family for others, I don’t see why the families of these people are off-limits. Isn’t being a “Hockey Mom” a big part of why we are supposed to like Sarah Palin?

It’s all about family.

For that matter, Senator Obama opposes gay marriage as well.  Maybe his opposition is just a matter of politics. But since he feels other people’s most intimate and personal relationships are a matter of politics, why should those most close to him be immune from scrutiny?

We know that in the end it will be about who can be used, or not used, and in what way. Using people is a fully bipartisan practice.

My wish is that these people would run on issues more so than family. I don’t care how they define family. Yet this does not seem to be the world these men and women want to make. They use family as it suits them.

September 6, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I’ve Been To A Half-Gay Wedding

While I have not been to a gay wedding, I have been to a wedding in which one of the participants was gay.

This was in Cincinnati, Ohio somewhere between 15 and 20 years ago.

Gay people can get married—even in Cincinnati—as long as they marry someone of the opposite gender.

That’s the catch.

Gay marriage is an excellent idea because people should have the right to marry the person of legal age that they choose to marry. Life is brutal and short. Why create barriers between people?

The groom was gay at the wedding I was at in Cincinnati.

An issue behind the wedding was, as I understood it, getting health insurance for one of the married couple. Though they were close friends as well.

Good enough!

I was not formally invited to this ceremony.

I just happened to run into the bride the day before the wedding and she said I should come. I knew her from around.

If you’re lucky, you had a point in your life when you could walk down a city street and know people. I guess I’m too old for that at 40–or maybe Houston is an inhuman place where people drive around a lot– but it sure was fun in my early 20’s.

I think anybody at all could have come to that wedding. That’s good.

People who include are good. People who exclude are jerks.

The couple was married in the above-pictured “Temple of Love” in Cincinnati’s Mt. Storm Park.

As I recall it, this detail is a bit hazy, they were married by some kind of “priestess.” I recall the ceremony being conducted by a woman in some sort of white flowing robe-like garment

Temple of Love is just what that thing is called—-

“Mr. Strauch designed the Temple of Love in 1852, which still stands as an outstanding landmark to Mt. Storm today. The white columns of this Corinthian style pergola, which can be seen on the east lawn, was once the cover for a reservoir that supplied water to Mr. Bowler’s seventeen greenhouses, gardens, orchards, and a waterfall and swan lake on which seven black swans swam.”

The flower girls were men in dresses. They handed out flowers and kissed guests on the cheek.

Now that’s good clean fun!

Later that night there was a reception in a loft in Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine neighborhood.

I ate squid and drank wine. I remember eating a lot of squid.

I got married in a Las Vegas hotel by a guy in a purple robe. For the reception we went bowling.

Please click here for the excellent photo of my wife in her wedding dress holding a bowling ball. My wife is the best person in the world.

People should be able to have the relationships they want.

People can define family any way they wish.

Any type of wedding ceremony is good. People can express their feelings in whatever way suits them.    

(Please click here to see how the gay lifestyle is taking over Galveston, Texas)

Below is a picture of Over-The-Rhine in Cincinnati. As you can tell, it is an older community. There is nothing of merit about the persistent poverty in this neighborhood. Yet I would not trust the forces of gentrification as far as I could toss them. I won’t pretend I have the solution to making Over-The-Rhine a better place. 

 

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati, Good People, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever, Politics, Relationships | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Photo Of Vermont Snow & Yeti Scalp With Links To Bloggers In Vermont & Nepal

My Cousin Kim in Plainfield, Vermont has sent me the above picture of recent snow in her town.   

Notice the rustic barn or barnlike structure in the photo.

Here is information about organic farming in Vermont.   

Here is information about Plainfield, Vermont. 1286 people are said to live in Plainfield.   

Here is a blog from Vermont called Non-Toxic Kids. It is about not giving kids toxic toys and about all of us living in a more sustainable and decent fashion.  The blog owner seems like a nice lady. She cares about her kids and other people’s kids.

Here is Down On The Farm from South Peacham, Vermont. I wonder what it would be like to live on a farm. What a different life. There are so many ways to live in the world.

Here is a Vermont politics blog I enjoyed reading called Norsehorse’s Home Turf.

Below is a photo of what is said the be the scalp of a Yeti or Abominable Snowman. It is kept in a Buddhist Monastery in Nepal. 

Here is a link to information about bloggers and blogging in Nepal. 

Here is United We Blog For A Democratic Nepal

Here is a blog from Nepal called The Radiant Star. 

Here are some basic facts about Nepal–

  • Population: 26.3 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Area: 147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles)
  • Major language: Nepali
  • Major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism
  • Life expectancy: 61 years (men), 62 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Nepalese rupee = 100 paisa
  • Main exports: Carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
  • GNI per capita: US $270 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .np
  • International dialling code: +977

 Here is an overview of Nepal from The BBC. Those folks have had a rough ride of late. 

January 5, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Let's Help Our Blogger Friends Around The World, Politics | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Since I Like Everybody After A Few Drinks, I Tipped Bartender Well In Exchange For Miserly Whiskey Shot

Though a shot of whiskey I ordered last night here in Cincinnati was very miserly—scrooge-like really—, I tipped the bartender well. I felt doing so would be most consistent with the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Also, I pretty much like everybody after I’ve had a few drinks. I can’t sustain a negative thought for very long if I’m drinking. That is one of a number of reasons I drink only so often. 

At the least, a more open personality would cut into my reading time.   

I called my sister-in-law around 11:30 last night. Or was it midnight? I guess I could be accused of drunk dialing at that point. No problem though—for me at least— because that’s behavior I’ve been on the receiving end of and I approve of it fully.

If somebody wants to be friendly,  I’ll take it and be glad somebody thought of me. It’s always the right time to be friendly.

I told the sister-in-law not to tell the wife I was calling at that hour. I’ll see if she kept her mouth shut when I call the wife and the wife’s family in Chicago after I finish writing this post.

I hope everybody reading this has had a nice Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2007 Posted by | Cincinnati, Relationships | , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Called My Veteran Father To Remind Him Old People & Veterans Are Despised In This Society

I called my father today for Veterans Day. My father, now 77, was a medic in the Korean War. He also saw combat.

Dad was not home so I left a message. I told him our society despised old people and veterans because they are often not economically self-sufficient. 

Dad called back to say that he saw most people as “simply indifferent.”

I suggested that if what he was saying was true, that apathy was a bigger insult than dislike and as such, as I said, he is despised. Dad said that view might have some merit.  

Veterans Day has brought my father and I toghether.

Here is the Washington Post report that broke the story of poor care at Walter Reed.

Here is an Anderson Cooper report on homeless Iraq War veterans.

Here is a USA Today story reporting that one in four homeless people are veterans

Here is a link to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

November 12, 2007 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

You Don’t Have To Spend Thanksgiving With Family

  

Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s a day we are supposed to spend with family, eating a large meal and watching football. If that is what you do, very good for you. You’ll get no argument here. (Despite my dislike of football and all the concussions and long-term disability suffered by football players.)

However, for many people, Thanksgiving is a different holiday than the popular image of the day.

Some spend the day with friends instead of family. Some are alone. 

Maybe you don’t like your family or maybe your schedule or budget does not allow travel to where your family lives. Maybe you’re alone at this point in life.

Whatever Thanksgiving is for you this year, it’s your choice or your circumstance. Many popular notions and conceptions are as unrealistic as the menu in the picture above. How many people are serving pumpkin bread in the shape of a pumpkin? Or mashed turnips?

Each year my wife goes to see her family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. For scheduling reasons I’m unable to go with her or to my parents home in Cincinnati. Most years I’m fortunate enough to get an offer from a co-worker here in Houston to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. I politely decline.

Instead, I drive down the road to Galveston and have a day at the ocean. I eat at some seafood house. It’s always packed and I’m always the only person there by myself. I survive just fine. My observation is that people are too busy stuffing themselves to notice I’m alone.

One year I did not go to Galveston. Instead, I went to the House Of Pies on Kirby Drive in Houston. I had just purchased all three volumes of Robert Remini’s life of Andrew Jackson. I had a lot of reading to do. I sat in that restaurant for maybe three hours reading about President Jackson. It was a wonderful day.

In the House Of Pies that day were gay couples and many people of all types who did not appear to be related. There were all sorts of people in, I’d wager, all sorts of personal  situations.      

All good relationships between people have value. 

All people have value. 

Whatever Thanksgiving brings your way, make the best of it. Life is not like what is shown on TV commercials and TV shows. Life is what it is. Have a very good Thanksgiving.         

November 12, 2007 Posted by | Books, Galveston, Houston, Relationships | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments