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Cincinnati Tea Party Cell Drinks From Cracked Cup

Above is a picture I took today of a bumper sticker for a Tea Party cell here in Cincinnati.

The sticker reads as a libertarian con job. Unable to ever win more than 1% running as libertarians, they are trying something new.

I guess if social issues matter to you, the Cincinnati Tea Party would have you go elsewhere.

You knew the Tea Party had a lot of crackpot ideas. Based on the image above, it seems the very cup they drink from is cracked.

Why would you put a tea bag in a cracked cup?

The hot water leaks out and scalds people with drastic budget cuts to education and needed social services in these hard times.

The Cincinnati Tea Party cell would no doubt tell you that they have many good ideas on how we should conduct our public affairs.

Yet they are unable to even design a bumper sticker that makes sense.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

Candidates For Governor Of Texas Debate Education–An Eyewitness Report

I attended the League of Women Voters of the Houston Area Texas Governor’s race debate held on Sunday, October 3 here in Houston.

The debate was held at the Harris County Department of Education building you see pictured above. As you will note in the picture, this education building is named after Ronald Reagan.

That would be funny if the joke were not on all of us.

Three of the four candidates for Governor of Texas took part in this debate.

The three in attendance were—

Democratic nominee Bill White.

Green nominee Deborah Shafto.

Libertarian nominee and scary person Kathie Glass.

Not attending the debate was incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry.

Governor Perry does not believe that the people of Texas merit the chance to see and compare all the candidates in one place and at one time.

The focus of the debate was education. There was a warm-up panel of three Harris County school superintendents to discuss education issues in Texas.

So the event was really something of a double feature.

(Below—Double Feature.)

The three local superintendents all agreed that educating kids is a challenge. They all agreed that kids must take many standardized tests, but that they sought to educate kids beyond the tests. They all agreed that money is tight. They all agreed that they agreed.

A top Houston and Texas education blogger is Martha Griffin who writes musings.

As for the debate, here are some observations—

Bill White spoke to the fact that anybody born in the U.S. is a citizen. This was in response to a question about if the children of undocumented persons should get government services.  Mr. White’s stand is clearly the correct Constitutional view.

Deb Shafto said she would be willing to raise taxes to support education. This is a good position that puts the long-term interests of Texans ahead of short-term politics. Texas has one of the worst drop out rates in the nation.

Angry Kathie Glass said that the number of immigrants coming across the border represented an “Invasion.” If you hold this to be true, it seems to me you’d be justified to do just about anything to repel an “invasion.”

(Below–Invasion.)

Mr. White did not at any point mention poverty or the large number of poor Texans. He may have alluded to the fact of poverty, but he made repeated and clear mention of the middle class. The middle class does indeed need a government that is on their side. Yet at the same time, it is frustrating that in a state as poor as Texas, the former Democratic Mayor of a city with a near 50% child poverty rate did not discuss attacking poverty as an important way of improving education. We need a root and branch approach to education because as it says in Job 18:16

“Their roots will dry up, and their branches will wither.”

Ms. Shafto said that she has been a union member and that she supported teacher’s unions. She said that while she has seen these unions at times pursue things she did not fully agree with, that people have a right to organize and that teachers unions are often good advocates for education.

Extreme Ms. Glass said that she would get rid of truancy laws and that if kids as young as 14 wanted to drop out that they should be allowed to do so.

That is just what she said.

Mr. White said the cost of attending our Texas state universities has gone up a great deal while Rick Perry has been Governor. This is a correct assertion by Mr. White and it is not clear what Governor Perry is going to do about this problem.  Maybe if the Governor had been at the debate, his views on the matter would be more clear.

Ms. Shafto used the analogy of a “jump ball” in basketball to describe how Texas teachers are competing for bonuses. I enjoyed this metaphor. As Sojourner Truth knew, we must sell the shadow to support the substance.

(Below–Jump ball)

Far Out Ms. Glass said that local government control of schools was okay, but that Austin should stay out of the picture to the extent possible.

Yet if the issue for libertarians is the place of government in our lives, local government is still government. If any level of government can be trusted to run something as important as are our schools, why can’t government be trusted to handle a number of responsibilities? Libertarians live in a fantasy world.

All in all, the debate served a useful public purpose. I urge folks to consider all the candidates. In my view, either Mr. White or Ms. Shafto would do a good job for Texas. I will be voting for Mr. White because he will be a far better Governor for the future of Texas than Mr. Perry. 10 years of Rick Perry so far is more than enough.

(Below— The debate stage. This is an approved LWV picture. I followed the rules and did not take any pictures inside the debate hall.)

October 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ron Paul—Brutal In His Views For A Long Time

Houston area Congressman Ron Paul , the author of the book pictured above, has been in the news of late for various things.

Congressman Paul is running for President, he is a raising a lot of money from his brutal economic Darwinist libertarian supporters, he is a champion of pork barrel politics and ( to his credit) he wants out of Iraq.   

Congressman Paul has been practicing his brand of politics for a long time.

He first ran for the U.S. House in 1974. (Losing to Robert Casey.) Dr. Paul soon after won a special election to fill Casey’s vacant seat for that term. (Mr. Casey had taken a federal appointment.) Dr. Paul lost the seat in 1976, but was returned to the House in 1978.

In 1984, Rep. Paul lost the Republican Texas U.S. Senate primary to the terrible Phil Gramm. Rep. Paul won 16% in that election.

In 1988, Dr. Paul was the Libertarian nominee for President. He won .5% of the vote nationwide. In this he defeated Lenora Fulani by three-tenths of a percentage point.

Dr. Paul  was elected to the House for a third go-round in 1996 and is still serving.  

A government-hating, kick the little guy when he is down, pork-barreling, professional politician, Representative Paul  is the hero of that sliver of the population that supports the most savage of dog-eat-dog economics. Not surprisingly, as in any cult, these people are enthusiastic for their leader.

(Do you think health insurance for all will come without government involvement?)

Come Election Day 2008, Representative Paul will be an afterthought.   

October 8, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , | 34 Comments