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Liberal Sources To Learn About Events In Egypt

Protests in Egypt are ongoing.

It is always of value to get the liberal viewpoint on the great world issues.

(Above–The Nation.)

Below are some liberal sources to read about events in Egypt. The link is either to a specific article or to a package of writings about Egypt.  In any case, it would be of value to explore the sites linked to in this post.

The American Prospect is monthly magazine of liberal opinion and policy. I have a home subscription.

The Progressive has been fighting the good fight for over 100 years.

Mother Jones did a great job on coverage of the BP spill. Now they are working hard to report on Egypt.

The Nation is one of the oldest liberal voices in the U.S.

Salon is an online magazine writing extensively on Egypt.

The Atlantic has something of value to say.

Talking Points Memo is a blog/online magazine that merits frequent reading.

This is by no means a complete list. If you have a source you value, please leave a comment.

None of us have enough time to read everything that we would like to read. Still, we can take a few moments to support the media outlets that do the hard work to support our beliefs and goals.

As I mentioned above with The American Prospect, I subscribe to one of these publications. Please consider offering your financial support to these great sources of investigative reporting and astute analysis of current events.

It is up to all of us to do the hard work of freedom. We can’t rely on others to get the facts out to the public. We have to offer our help and support.

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February 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

When You Want Active Government & More Regulation To Combat A Corporate Disaster Oil Spill, You Are Agreeing With What Liberals Have Been Telling You For Years

If people want President Obama and the federal government to provide a more aggressive response to the Gulf Coast oil spill…

…And if people want more regulation of offshore drilling and more regulation of companies that pay shareholder dividends while they are polluting the oceans….

….Then let’s be clear about what people want.

What people are seeing in the case of the BP oil spill is the case for an active government that regulates corporations for the good of the public.

These are the points that liberals and progressive have been making for years.

Do you really think corporations will ever do the right thing unless they are forced?

Here is a link to President Obama’s five minute weekly speech for June 5. This week’s speech was made from Louisiana and is about the spill.

June 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Houston Mayor Annise Parker Is “Happy” With Houston Economy Even As Many Live In Poverty—She Says It Is The Best Economy In The Nation

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a Democrat, has offered up the City of Houston budget for the fiscal year ahead.

(Above–Mayor Parker)

Here is a Houston Chronicle story on the proposed budget.

In her remarks on the budget, Mayor Parker said the following—

“I’m happy that our economy is still better than that in any other part of the country, and that decisions that we’ve made over the years have kept us from the financial straits that many other cities are facing,”

That is an interesting viewpoint.

There are facts on the Houston economy and related social conditions that the Mayor left out of her assessment.

For example—

The Census Bureau estimates that as an average between 2006 and 2008,  20.5% of people in Houston lived in poverty against a national average of 13.2%.

The same data shows a child poverty rate of nearly one-third of all children.

Houston has attracted national attention for the number of people we have without health insurance. Yet while Mayor Parker has spoken out about clean air standards and NASA job cuts as federal issues that impact Houston, she had nothing to say about President Obama’s health care reform. This reform will extend coverage to millions of Americans–most of them employed but without coverage–including many people in Houston

Houston has a high dropout rate. While the numbers are disputed, as many as 47% of kids who enter Houston high schools do not finish within 6 years. Even if the numbers are not this bad, they are still bad. Is this graduation rate, and the bleak economic prospects for dropouts, part of a strong economy?

There is often high student turnover in Houston classrooms as families move from one apartment to another looking for the lowest rent.

This is an economy Mayor Parker is “happy” about? Is an economy that has higher rates of poverty than many other places one “that is better than that in any other part of the country?

What passes for liberalism in Houston often seems to ask nothing more of Mayor Parker that she be progressive on some social issues and that she talk about clean air and making Houston more “green.”

While these things matter, so do economic issues.

You can get a sense of where the Mayor is coming from her campaign web site.

Here is what Ms. Parker says about the economic history of Houston–

“Houston was built by innovators and entrepreneurs – from the oil and gas industry and the Port of Houston to NASA and the Texas Medical Center, the city’s largest provider of jobs.”

There is truth in what the Mayor says. It is also true that Houston was built by any number of low wage—and in some cases no-wage—workers. This low wage economy is still very much a part of Houston today.

In the past, Ms. Parker has advocated for Houston janitors looking for fair wages and she has advocated for better banking services for the poor.

Where is this Annise Parker? Where is the Annise Parker who started in politics as a fighter for human rights?

Better yet, where are the liberals and progressives in a Democratic city demanding that the needs of all people in Houston be part of Mayor Parker’s agenda?

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Herbert Is A Consistently Liberal Voice

A consistently liberal voice is editorial opinion columnist Bob Herbert of the New York Times.

Here is what Mr. Herbert recently wrote about the conduct of persons at a so-called Tea party rally—

“A group of lowlifes at a Tea Party rally in Columbus, Ohio, last week taunted and humiliated a man who was sitting on the ground with a sign that said he had Parkinson’s disease. The disgusting behavior was captured on a widely circulated videotape. One of the Tea Party protesters leaned over the man and sneered: “If you’re looking for a handout, you’re in the wrong end of town.” Another threw money at the man, first one bill and then another, and said contemptuously, “I’ll pay for this guy. Here you go. Start a pot.” In Washington on Saturday, opponents of the health care legislation spit on a black congressman and shouted racial slurs at two others, including John Lewis, one of the great heroes of the civil rights movement. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was taunted because he is gay. At some point, we have to decide as a country that we just can’t have this: We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress — epithets that The Times will not allow me to repeat here.”

Mr. Herbert  is one of the few national commentators who often writes about the concerns of the poor.

“The people suffering the most drastic employment reversals in this recession have been those who were in the lower-income groups to begin with — the young, less well-educated workers, especially black and Hispanic high school dropouts, and certain categories of service workers, such as food preparers and building cleaners. Blue-collar workers were also hammered, especially those in the construction industry. This is not to say that the middle class has not been hurt badly by the recession. It has been. In last year’s fourth quarter, the group with household incomes of $40,000 to $49,000 had a jobless rate of 9 percent, close to the disastrous national average. The $50,000 to $59,000 group had a 7.8 percent jobless rate, and households earning $60,000 to $75,000 had a jobless rate of 6.4 percent. The point here is that those in the lower-income groups are in a much, much deeper hole than the general commentary on the recession would lead people to believe. And none of the policy prescriptions being offered by the administration or the leaders of either party in Congress would in any way substantially alleviate the plight of those groups. We talk about the recession as if all of its victims were suffering equally, and all will be helped by some bland, class-and-category-neutral solution. That is so wrong. As the Center for Labor Market Studies explained in its report: “A true labor market depression faced those in the bottom two deciles of the income distribution; a deep labor market recession prevailed among those in the middle of the distribution, and close to a full employment environment prevailed at the top.” Those who believe this grievous economic situation will right itself of its own accord or can be corrected without bold, targeted (and, yes, expensive) government action are still reading from the Ronald Reagan (someday it will trickle down) hymnal.”

Mr. Herbert is worth your attention.

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Regardless Of Massachusetts Outcome, We As Liberals Must Become Harder And More Realistic About What We Are Facing

In the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, people are going to have to decide if we are going to live in a nation run by racist Tea Party mobs, or in a country where there is hope for the future and some measure of progress.

I don’t have a vote in Massachusetts.

All I can say is that if we live in a country where populism means the rich get richer and insurance companies dictate public policy, then we must work harder than we’ve been working so far.

Win or lose in Massachusetts, it is clear to me that liberals and progressive need to become harder and tougher people.

Our political fights today are quite often about good and evil and we must be willing to see it as such.

Our political fights have often been about good and evil. Why would it not be so today?

None of this means that we lose who we are.

It is simply clear enough that winning a big national election victory is not nearly all that is required.

We must do more. We need a clear-headed view that bad people do bad things and we have an obligation to try and stop what they are doing.

We have an obligation to make our nation and our world better.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Folks Sometimes Say There Is No Difference Between The Political Parties, Yet This Is Not True

People often say there is no difference between the two major political parties in our country.

The health care vote in the House last night shows that this is not the case.

While counting on Democrats can be frustrating for liberals, think of the difference it will make in people’s lives to have greater access to health insurance.

Great legislation like Social Security or Voting Rights comes along only so often. But when it does arrive, it helps people for years and years.

Liberals rarely have the upperhand in our Federal Government. Yet the impact of liberal legislation is lasting.

We were promised hope and change by Mr. Obama. In this very important matter of health care reform, hope and change is exactly what appears to be on the way.

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

I Was Accosted By Angry Weirdo Because I Was Reading Ted Kennedy’s Book

This afternoon I took a walk in Houston’s Memorial Park while reading a book. I often read while I walk when on the Memorial Park walking/jogging trail.

The book I read today was Ted Kennedy’s recently published autobiography. It is called True Compass–A Memoir.

One-third through the book so far, it is a title I can recommend. While an autobiography must often be taken with a grain of salt, there is a measure of candor. The Kennedy story is so well-known that readers can fill in some of the gaps on their own. 

More to the substance of what is gained by reading this title, it is interesting to learn how the Kennedy’s lived as a private family. As I get further along, I’d like to understand better how Senator Kennedy was able to maintain friendships with Republican Senators. Did he do it because it made him more effective as a Senator? Or did he really find a way to look past what in my view are frequent acts of evil by these people?  

Also, it is simply interesting to know what Senator Kennedy thought of the people and events he had seen over his life.

Here is the New York Times review of this book.

As I was walking in the park with my book, another man who was walking asked me what I was reading. This happens sometimes. 

This person was maybe in his 50’s.

I don’t mind talking to people, but what he asked me was—“What are you reading? About sex?”

I looked at him for a moment. I was uncertain why he thought I was walking around reading a book about sex.

When he asked me the question he did not know what I was reading. I think it would have been fine with him if I had been walking around the public park with a sex book of some kind.  

I showed the cover of the book. I said I was reading about Ted Kennedy.

This gentleman sure did go on when I told him this fact. He said “That’s terrible!” He went on about people being murdered for reasons of politics and about election fixing and on and on and on until I walked fast enough and far enough to be out of earshot.

He still might be going on.

I hope I had a hand in ruining this guy’s day.

Again, Senator Kennedy’s book is enjoyable and useful. Today it was useful in annoying a wacko.   

Here is the link to liberal magazine The American Prospect. It is always the right time to learn more about liberalism and to recommit yourself to liberalism.

Here is a post I wrote with links to facts about Senator Kennedy’s life and links to information about some of the causes he supported. 

September 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Democrats Parker, Locke & Brown Must Earn Support Of Liberals, Progressives & Democrats

Recent stories in the Houston Chronicle detail tough conditions for people in Houston and all of Harris County.

These stories have reported…  

High rates of domestic abuse….

Houston leading the nation in teen mothers….

and

Low rates of health insurance in our city and area.

All these concerns are directly connected to the economic distress that is inherent to much of Houston even when we are not in a recession.

You’d think that with all three serious candidates for Mayor of Houston being Democrats, that these issues and concerns about poverty in our city would be part of the discussion as we approach Election Day.

The three candidates are Annise Parker, Gene Locke and Peter Brown. 

Health care reform is clearly a local issue and it is an issue currently on the table in Washington. When you’re a Democrat and you’re running for Mayor of a city of two million people, you’d think the prospect of health care for all would be a matter you’d address.

How can liberals, progressives and people in Houston who need some help count on any of these three Democrats when they are silent on such a big question?

Don’t believe the lie that City of Houston elections are non-partisan. Party identification can’t be made known on the ballot, but candidates are certainly free to identify themselves with a political party during the campaign. All three of the main candidates are Democrats.

If Republicans in Houston want to vote for one of these Democrats they are clearly free to do so—But these folks are Democrats. 

Ms. Parker, Mr. Locke and Mr. Brown are making calculations about who matters based on who they expect to vote in November. Other people, no matter how much in need they may be, don’t seem to count.

Liberals, progressives and loyal Democrats need to be sure they are not pushed aside in a race that they should in fact be defining.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up With Ted Kennedy Links

File:Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy in Hartford, February 4, 2008.jpg

At the bottom of this post is the latest Texas Progressive Alliance weekly round-up. The Texas Progressive Alliance is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. Immediately below this paragraph are a number of links I’ve compiled to recall the life and work of Ted Kennedy. These links are from a post I made just a few days ago, but that I feel deserve another go-round.     

The Kennedy links—

Here is the link to Senator Kennedy’s official government website

Tedkennedy.org is a good memorial site.   

Ted Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the Senate for 46 years. Here is the link to the Art & History page of the U.S. Senate web home. If you look around, you’ll learn a lot. It’s a site to bookmark and visit many times.

Health care was Senator Kennedy’s leading cause. Here is the White House Health care reform web home. President Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress must keep faith with Senator Kennedy’s lifelong work for health care for all. 

Here is the web page of Physicians for A National Health Program.  This group supports single payer national health insurance. This is the public option that has been in the news.

Here is Senator Kennedy’s obituary in the New York Times.

Here is coverage of Senator Kennedy’s passing in his hometown Boston Globe.

The American Prospect and The Nation are good liberal magazines. These magazines are strong resources to learn about many of the causes Senator Kennedy fought for and to renew your own commitment to political liberalism. 

To win the fights still to come, we need leaders like Senator Kennedy and we need the hard work of average citizens.  

The TPA round-up—

From TXsharon at Bluedaze, EPA testing has now confirmed wells are contaminated with various substances connected with gas drilling–proof that hydraulic fracturing contaminates our drinking water. Even Motley Fool supports the FRAC Act and says industry is “crying wolf.”

Should Texans care about NJ? The Texas Cloverleaf examines why the GOP thinks we should.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says a ‘Wise Latina‘ kicks Republican butt once again.
Continue reading

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 5 Comments

Links To Learn About Ted Kennedy And The Causes He Supported

Here are links to help recall the life of Senator Ted Kennedy and to look ahead to the battles still to be fought and won.

(Above–Ted Kennedy running for the Senate in 1962.)

Here is the link to Senator Kennedy’s official government website

Tedkennedy.org is a good memorial site.   

Ted Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the Senate for 46 years. Here is the link to the Art & History page of the U.S. Senate web home. If you look around, you’ll learn a lot. It’s a site to bookmark and visit many times.

Health care was Senator Kennedy’s leading cause. Here is the White House Health care reform web home. President Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress must keep faith with Senator Kennedy’s lifelong work for health care for all. 

Here is the web page of Physicians for A National Health Program.  This group supports single payer national health insurance. This is the public option that has been in the news.

Here is Senator Kennedy’s obituary in the New York Times.

Here is coverage of Senator Kennedy’s passing in his hometown Boston Globe.

The American Prospect and The Nation are good liberal magazines. These magazines are strong resources to learn about many of the causes Senator Kennedy fought for and to renew your own commitment to political liberalism. 

To win the fights still to come, we need leaders like Senator Kennedy and we need the hard work of average citizens.  

( Below–Senator Kennedy in the 1990’s.)

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liberalism Thrashes Conservatism In Live Action Video

The video above, which runs just under two minutes, shows in dramatic detail the recent victories of liberalism over conservatism in our politics. It also discusses policy gains that we as liberals can hope to see in the upcoming months and years. These are gains we can hope to see if President Obama and the Democratic Congress follow the correct course.

This video features Franklin D. Roosevelt  and George W. Bush.

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Let’s Win It For Paul Wellstone

With the big day almost here, let’s not forget the great liberal Paul Wellstone.

Senator Wellstone of Minnesota died six years ago, but his deeds and ideas live on. I think Senator Wellstone was the one politician I have had true faith in for all the years I have followed politics.

Here is the link to Wellstone Action!

Hopefully, the Republican who took Senator Wellstone’s seat will be defeated tomorrow.

In any case, we can hope that the better days Senator Wellstone worked so hard for are finally here.

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar & White Liberals—The Line Between Good And Evil

 

Recently I read the Paul Laurence Dunbar novel The Sport of the Gods. This short book, published in 1901 as Mr. Dunbar was dying of tuberculosis, is about a black family that has moved from the South to Harlem. As you might suppose, it is a bleak tale. 

Mr. Dunbar, who died at age 34 in 1906, was once termed by Booker T. Washington as the “Poet Laureate” of the Negro Race.    

Mr. Dunbar was known as a “dialect poet.” He added black “dialect” to his poems. This was not “proper” English. Mr. Dunbar did this to gain acceptance as a poet. Mr. Dunbar did not always want to write in that form, but found it difficult to find equal praise for his poems in standard English.

This is what happens when your work is defined by people, who, whatever they might claim, do not at heart care about you as a human being and do not care about your aspirations in life.

Sometimes in life you have to work very hard to find your audience. 

Click here to read and hear Mr. Dunbar’s poetry in various forms. This link is provided by the University of Dayton. Dayton, Ohio was the hometown of the poet.     

In Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow–The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore by Eleanor Alexander, Mr. Dunbar is shown as an abusive man towards his wife, the poet Alice Ruth Moore. Ms. Alexander is a professor at Georgia Tech.

This book was reviewed in The New York Times in 2002 by Professor Paula Giddings who teaches at Smith College.  

From the review—“… Dunbar, whose alcoholism was compounded by what appears to have been a bipolar disorder that eeirly mirrored the society around him. The result was effusive expressions of sentiment, melancholia or violent outbursts—all of which found their way to Alice….Dunbar’s drinking and ranting got worse and even spilled over to public acts of humiliation and violence. In January 1902, four years before his death…he beat Alice within an inch of her life. She left him and, ignoring his ardent entreaties for reconciliation, never saw him again.”

As I read The Sport of the Gods, I often recalled the book review I had read five years earlier. Whatever the stresses in his life, and they were terrible stresses I’m certain, what could justify Mr. Dunbar beating up a woman? 

Are the literary merits of The Sport of the Gods and other works by Mr. Dunbar obscured or diminished by the way Mr. Dunbar behaved? 

While reading the book I also thought about how racial conditions played a large part in the anger of Mr. Dunbar went largely unaddressed for all the years of the New Deal and beyond. This was many years after Mr. Dunbar’s death. These conditions went on and on and still go on in many respects in our cities.

Here is information from the Library of Congress about racial discrimination in New Deal programs.

Most of the white liberals I would have likely voted for had I lived in that time where content enough to look the other way at the aparthied of the American South. FDR wanted Southern votes. So did Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson and John Kennedy. ( Which is not to say that Mr. Truman or Mr. Kennedy did not make some gains in this area.)

Do these facts diminish the liberal accomplishments of the New Deal era and its aftermath?

Personally, I’d say yes. People’s lives were wasted living in an unfair country while people who claimed to care about fairness and justice did nothing or next-to-nothing.     

And while Mr. Dunbar’s work stands on its own, I can’t deny I was aware as I read Sport that Mr. Dunbar was guilty of the some of the same abuse he was writing about.

That said, we must never lose sight of the humanity and the frailty that is at the core of each individual in the world. I’ve yet to meet a person with totally clean hands.   

December 6, 2007 Posted by | Books, Poetry, Political History, Relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Japanese Whale Hunt & Other Marine Life In The News

There has been much marine life in the news in recent weeks.  

Japan is undertaking a new whale hunt for “research.” It will be the first so-called legal hunt of Humpback Whales since 1963. Theoretically, the number of Humpbacks is now high enough to sustain a hunt. 

It seems a restored population is in fact bad news for these whales. It is indeed hard to get ahead sometimes.    

Here is a link to information on the Humpback Whale.

The photo is a Greenpeace file picture of previous Japanese research on whales.

Japanese whaling fleet 

Here is a story about a firm in Tokyo that offers “whale curry” as something for you to eat. Another product of the research no doubt.  

A Minke Whale found its way far into the Amazon River. Local people tried to save it by splashing water on its back when it swam into shallow waters, and by attempting to use boats to push it back to the ocean.  These efforts were not successful.

Here is information about the Minke Whale.

This BBC story relates that rivers and lakes that become brown after being clear may in fact be much more clean and natural. What was keeping some European and North American waterways clear was acid rain that was killing off what would otherwise turn the water a more healthy brown.  

Here is a story from Practical Fishkeeping about an attack by billions of jellyfish on the only salmon farm in Ireland.

The jellyfish involved were Mauve Stinger Jellyfish.

Close to where I live, the former Texas A & M at Galveston floating classroom ship Texas Clipper has been sunk near South Padre Island so that it might become an artificial reef. This is reported by The Galveston County Daily News.  

Here is a link to the Galveston County Democratic Party.

Here is a link to the great liberal magazine The Nation. I’ve linked it here to articles discussing the merits of the Democrats running for President in 2008.

Please consider becoming involved in politics and becoming a fighting liberal!    

November 27, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, Politics, Sea Life | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Malcolm, Martin & Liberals Like Myself

Politically-minded individuals take different routes of historical knowledge and personal experience to establish their ideological commitments.

For me, reading about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X was a major part of the political individual I am today.

Experience I would later gain matched some of what I had read. 

A point Malcolm X often made was his distrust of white northern liberals. This is what I am in many ways. I’ve lived in Texas for the last nine years and above the Mason-Dixon line for the first 30 years.

Here is a quote from Malcolm on the subject of white liberals— 

“I’ve been up north and you don’t know how to deal with it…He’ll sit there and smile in your face. You’ll go down to see them in the office, and they’ll serve you cookies and tea, and shake your hand and pose for a picture with you. And at the same time, keeping Negroes in ghettos and slums.” 

This quote matches well-enough my experience in Cincinnati city government. I worked for a black member of the City Council who was in some respects to the left of other council members both black and white. 

From the perspective of that office, you did not worry so much about Republicans and conservatives—They were what they were. It was so-called progressives and liberals who would say this and say that, but who at heart were not really engaged in the work of justice and meaningful change.

Martin Luther King came to this view later in his life than did Malcolm. Yet King did indeed come to this view. He saw the liberal as often more committed to order than to justice. He was disappointed by the slow liberal response to President Johnson’s war in Vietnam. 

King always retained his commitment to integration. Malcolm’s changes after visiting Mecca are well-documented. Yet their critique of the liberal remains of value to this day. 

On a personal level, none of this means I try to be something I’m not. I am what I am. Nor does it mean that the repeated failings of the black political establishment should go unnoticed. It’s also so that many white liberals risked their lives or expended considerable effort on behalf of the Civil Rights movement. 

It simply means that I try to understand why I hold the views that I hold. I know my beliefs come from many sources. Self-understanding is a path to effective communication with others. It is also a tool for effectively critiquing one’s own thoughts and actions. 

June 11, 2007 Posted by | Best Posts Jan.-June 2007, Cincinnati, Martin & Malcolm, Political History, Welcome To TexasLiberal | , , , , , | Leave a comment