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Houston 2013 Martin Luther King Day Events—Let’s Have The Honor Roll March With Books In Hand Instead Of The ROTC With Rifles


Martin Luther King Day for 2013 will be Monday, January 21 2013.

(Above–A picture I took at an MLK parade in Houston in 2011.)

What 2013 Martin Luther King Day events will be taking place in the Houston area?

Here are some listings—-

The big parade will be the Martin Luther King Grande Parade which begins at 10 AM on King Day.

Here is the web site for this parade.

Here is how the parade route is described on the web site— Originate In Mid-Town @ San Jacinto St & Elgin Street N/B On San Jacinto To Webster St.

There are two King parades in Houston each year. The folks who organize the parades have long been in a dispute that reflects no credit on anybody. The parade I have linked to above is the larger of the two parades and is the one  I go to each year.

While this is the best of the two King parades, a yearly disappointment is the participation of school ROTC groups displaying fake rifles at the parade. I have no problem with the young people who take part in the ROTC. But the fact is that King hated war and would have been sad to see young people with weapons—fake or otherwise—at a parade in his honor. It would just take some imagination and new thought to have honor roll and other academic and vocational standouts march in the parade instead of young people brandishing arms in celebration of a man of peace.

Another event in Houston that will mark King Day will be held at noon at the Children’s Museum of Houston.

There will be a Peace Day rally at the Children’s Museum along with a choir, oratorical events and other activities.

Houston radio station KROI has a list of King events for Martin Luther King Day weekend. They list the other King parade which also begins at 10 AM. That they don’t list both parades is maybe evidence of the ongoing contention between the parade organizers. Also frustrating  is that both of these parades begin at 10 AM. Why not have them at different times for people who would like to see both events?

Here is a King Weekend event at Rice University

“The Rice Black Student Association will hold its annual candlelight vigil and program Jan. 20. The outdoor vigil will begin at 7 p.m. in Rice Memorial Center’s Ray Courtyard, followed by a program at Rice Memorial Chapel.” 

The Houston Public Library will having events marking King Day.

Here is an event taking place in Galveston on Sunday, January 20—

“Galveston Historical Foundation’s African American Heritage Committee and Old Central Cultural Center, Inc. will honor winners of their annual essay contest at 3 p.m., Sunday, January 20th at Old Central Community Center, 2627 Avenue M. The event is free and open to the public with a complimentary lunch provided to attendees by Clary’”

Here is my 2013 Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List. It is the best such resource on the web.

If there are events in the Houston area that I have missed, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to add them to this list.

January 16, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Holding Meeting On Next Steps

Occupy Houston is holding a meeting later today about the next steps of the movement here in Houston.

I won’t be able to attend, but you should try to attend if you are able. There is so much to be hopeful about as we move ahead.

Here are details of the meeting—

Nov. 19th from 2- 4:45pm in the Program Room of the Houston Public Library

Come out to this discussion where we will be addressing 3 main items:

1) Causes of the economic crisis
2) Finding concrete solutions
3) OccupyHouston – what comes next? – sustainability of the movement

A conference room capable of holding 200 people has been reserved for this public discussion (from 2 – 4:45 pm in the Program Room of the Houston Pubic Library).

Let’s come together to learn about and address these issues!

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

November 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

What To Do When Visting Houston For The Final Four—Some Excellent Suggestions

The college basketball Final Four will be played in Houston. The event begins on Saturday, April 2 and ends on Monday, April 4.

(Above–Basketball. Here is a useful history of basketball.)

What should folks visiting Houston do while in our city for the Final Four?

I have some suggestions.

1.  Thank every person you see in Harris County for helping to pay for Reliant Stadium. Even if the money comes from car rental and hotel taxes, it is still money that belongs to the people of Harris County.  Our county has a big budget shortfall right now that will involve vital services being cut. Still, even if some folks can’t  get mental health counseling anymore , we at least have plenty of taxpayer subsidized sports facilities.

People at the games are free to start chants in favor of socialism as they enjoy the Final Four.

2. Arrive in Houston early and attend the Harris County Green Party fundraiser to be held at 8:00 PM on Thursday, March 31 at Bohemeo’s. Bohemeo’s is located at 708 Telephone Rd. in Houston. We deserve other options than just the two major parties.

3. Visit our newly renovated Downtown Houston Public Library. The library had plenty of books for you to read.

4. April 4th marks the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. ( Please click here for the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List on the web.) The well-known Rothko Chapel features a sculpture outside the building that honors Reverend King.  The Rothko Chapel is located at 3900 Yupon Street.

(Below–Rothko Chapel. Photo by Argos’Dad.)

5. Drive 50 miles down the road and visit Galveston, Texas. There is a lot of history in Galveston and there is plenty to do. Galveston is working to recover from Hurricane Ike and your visit will be most welcomed. One of the very best attractions in Galveston is the free Bolivar Ferry. This boat trip runs about 25 minutes each way between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula.  You can park the car and walk on board. Or you can drive on and explore Bolivar.

(Below–View from the Bolivar Ferry. Picture taken by myself.)

The Bolivar Chamber of Commerce thinks the ferry is wonderful. I’m glad to see this Chamber favors the Texas Department of Transportation money that keeps the ferry free to all.

In any case, provisional on your ability to drive in a civilized fashion if you are renting a car, and contingent on your willingness to tip well given that you have enough money to attend these basketball games, welcome to Houston.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bomb Found At Spokane Martin Luther King Parade

A bomb was found Monday along the Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Washington.

(Above—The Houston Public Library Mobile Express vehicle at the 2011 Houston Martin Luther King parade.  Learning is a lot better than trying to kill people.)

The bomb were discovered and defused before the parade began. The bomb was discovered by Spokane city workers.

These city workers saved people’s lives. While attacking public employees is all the rage at the moment, we should recall that government employees help us in many ways, and that Martin Luther King died while fighting for public sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee.

The bomb had a remote detonator. The FBI says that the bomb had the potential to do a great deal of harm.

While no person has been arrested for this crime, it does seem conceivable that this was an act of right-wing domestic terror.

My friend Errington Thompson at the blog Where’s The Outrage? has also posted on this subject. Errington’s post has an extansive list of act sof  violence committed by the American right since 2008.

I’m glad to be a contributing blogger at Where’s The Outrage?

Right-wing hate speech in an ongoing threat in our nation. While most people draw the line at violence, it just takes a few extremists for bad things to happen.

For a sense of Martin Luther King represented, please check out my Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List.

January 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Needs Jobs When We Can Have Machines And Free Content And Outsourcing?

Above is a picture of the machine that one uses to check out books at the Houston Public Library.

You’ll not imagine this, but real human beings once did this work.


That is crazy talk!

We’ve got machines and free content and outsourcing now to take the place of the antiquated notion of jobs.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

Outside The Houston Public Library

Here is a picture I took of the plaza in front of the newly renovated Downtown branch of the Houston Public Library.

I took this picture from a third floor window.

The library is a fine example of how government makes a positive difference in people’s lives.

September 28, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Taxes---Yes! | , , , | 3 Comments

Galveston & Rumors About Galveston—After Hurricane Ike Post # 3

Here is After Hurricane Ike post #3.

Today is the first full day I have power at home. It’s nice to make these posts at home instead of at the Downtown Houston Public Library. Though I very much appreciate the resources available at the library.

Today I was able to buy perishable groceries for the first time in over a week. In the days leading up to the storm I figured that power would be going out. As indeed it did. So I just bought water and granola bars. 

Now I have fruits, vegetables and milk at home. 

Here is the link to the Houston Food Bank.

Many are still without power. Life cannot be more normal again in Houston until people have power. Still, I bet there are some, if just the smallest number, who have used the time without power to renew a relationship, read something they might have never gotten around to reading, or to think out a problem.

Everybody needs power back and I know what a frustration it has been for so many, but I hope that for at least some it has also been an opportunity of a kind.

I got a comment on another post today from someone without power for a few days now in Columbus, Ohio in the aftermath of Ike.

The Houston Chronicle today offered up an unhelpful editorial about the failure of Galveston city leaders to as of yet devise a good plan for evacuated residents to come back and see their homes. As I said yesterday on this blog, Galveston officials seem overwhelmed. They need outside help.

I hope the Governor’s office or somebody with insight into the problems Galveston is facing, has offered assistance to Galveston city leaders. Galveston is a poor city of 50,000 people. They have just the resources and talent that they have. Hurricane Ike is a disaster of a scope beyond what Galveston on its own can manage.

Fellow Houston blogger Brains & Eggs has posted about rumors of many bodies being washed out to sea from Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula. I don’t believe these rumors. Some maybe died this way. But not hundreds or thousands.

Here is a report on how bad things are in Galveston right now.

Another Houston blogger, Julie Pippert, wonders about pollution from swamped refineries and chemical plants that may have sludged into Galveston Bay as a result of the storm.  

Julie, of course, is crazy. I recall all the ads on TV a few years ago saying how expansion of the Port of Houston would enhance the environment. All that ship traffic is good for the water. I say that whatever ends up in Galveston Bay is for the best. Mankind will be gone soon enough and Galveston Bay will have millions of years to recover.

Below is Bolivar Peninsula after Hurricane Ike.  

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Galveston, Houston, Texas | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

After Hurricane Ike Blog Post From Main Branch Of Houston Public Library

Greetings from the Downtown Main branch of the Houston Public Library. The people’s tax dollars are working well as I have a computer from which to make a blog post. I have 51 minutes left in this session before my time is up. Other citizens must be allowed to use the computer.

We can share even in times of trouble!

This is my first after Hurricane Ike blog post.

People sure do want government help when they need ice, or are asking if staying at a hotel during an evacuation will be covered by FEMA. 

Or when they need a computer at the Downtown Public Library. 

Our power has been out since Friday night. That was the night of the storm. I am writing this on a Tuesday afternoon. 

I know the absence of power is a great hardship for some. It’s been okay enough for us. We have a small battery operated TV. Late last night we watched this sit-com called Still Standing. The well-meaning but goofy dad told a boy that his teenage daughter had a crush on him. Needless to say, the dad spent the rest of the hour making it up to the girl.

The show would not be so funny in most contexts. But after three days of hurricane coverage it was funny enough. Anything that did not involve somebody suffering was good. 

The wife and I had plenty of food and water ready to go as Ike approached. Yesterday I had a marshmallow and peanut butter sandwich and a banana and peanut butter sandwich for dinner.

( The guy next to me just rubbed his eyes after touching these dirty keyboards. I bet he gets pink eye.)

My wife has been working since the day after the storm. I have not worked since the storm. I miss my wife when she is gone.

When she gets home at night I hand her a nice warm bottle of water and a granola bar. We turn on the camping lantern that is strong enough to light an entire room. Then we fiddle with the tiny TV to see what channels we can pick up. Just because we picked up a station the night before, does not mean we can pick up the same channel the next night.

(As a prank I try to convince the wife that the curfew is lifted and that she can go out after nine. I’ve yet to fool her.)

We’ve had water all the time. We have many bottles of water. The city water from the tap has been working as well. Not for consumption since the city has been telling people to boil water, but for toilet flushing. We had water saved up in buckets for that purpose. Yet it has been a relief not to have to worry about that issue. As long as you can flush your toilet everything else is okay.

I sure have not missed hearing about the presidential campaign. I’m making a point not to check on it in my hour session here at the library. I’ve been reading the paper, though averting my eyes at any campaign report. What a dumb campaign it is. I hope that when I am fully back in the world Senator Obama will have a 15 point lead. I hear also there has been some type of financial collapse on Wall Street.

Problems everywhere.

My parents in Cincinnati lost power from Ike as well. They are back up and running though.

The big issue from Ike is how people are doing in Galveston, Bolivar, and the Beaumont area. I’ve got my check book in my back pocket and I’m going to stop at the United Way office on my way home and offer a donation. I heard they were taking donations. So is the Red Cross and other agencies.

I’m also concerned for folks in Houston and elsewhere who are losing wages from not being able to work.

I’m down to my last 19 minutes and I want to check my e-mail. I hope people are doing as well as they are able to do. Good luck to all. I’ll likely come back to the library tomorrow and offer another post. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Galveston, Houston, Texas | , , , , , , , | 9 Comments