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The Tea Party Agenda For Our Nation—Is This What You Want?

What does the so-called Tea Party stand for? What is the Tea Party agenda?

A recent blog post by Tea Party follower David Jennings at his Houston and Texas political blog Big Jolly Politics gives a clear sense of the ideologically extreme Tea Party agenda.

Mr. Jennings regularly attends and offers up observations from meetings of Tea Party cells. His most recent report from the Clear Lake Tea Party here in Houston gives a clear sense of a radical, unworkable, and often un-American Tea Party vision for our nation.

Reporting on a talk given the Clear Lake Tea Party member named Robert Gonzales, who Mr. Jennings describes as the “founder” of this local Tea Party cell, Mr. Jennings offers up a list Tea Party priorities for the days ahead.

Here are some of these Tea Party priorities as reported by Mr. Jennings—

* “Reject Obamacare.”

Repeal of Healthcare Reform will allow insurance companies  to once again toss people off coverage because they get sick, and will allow insurance companies to once again impose lifetime caps on policies. Is that what we want to go back to in our nation? Read about Healthcare Reform for yourself. It does a lot of good. For the extreme right in this nation, the issue is not the good points or the weak points of Healthcare Reform. Instead, it is all about political ideology and scoring political points no matter the merits of the program. You see the same with the reflexive far-right rejection to the idea of global warming.  No facts of any kind matter in the discussion. Ideology and anger are all that counts.

* ” Reinstate Judeo-Christian Values. ….Prayer back in schools and hanging the Ten Commandments in public buildings…”

People can pray anytime they want.  People can live true each and every day to the religious values they hold. Are these values so weak that they must be posted in every building? This would be little different from how an insecure and fearful totalitarian state posts propaganda in every classroom and in every possible location. Where is the confidence in ideas that Christians hold as eternal?  Does Christianity need government support? Can’t people find the truth for themselves rather than forcing one idea of truth on an ever-more diverse nation? What will stop a future government from posting anti-Christian messages in public buildings at some point?

* ” English as the official language….”

It sure would be intrusive of government to tell people how they should speak.  Will the declaration of an official language come with a language police? Will private business places that advertise to Spanish speaking customers or Chinese speaking customers be subject to fines or some type of official sanction?  Will people inform on others who are speaking the wrong language? We could set up a whole new language enforcement bureaucracy.

* “….Deport all illegal aliens, post the army along the border…”

How would we find all the undocumented people in this country? Raids into private business places and into private homes? Informants?  Does the Tea Party think they will just turn themselves in to the authorities?  Does the Tea Party think family and friends will just allow these people to plucked from their homes without a fight? If all undocumented people are being deported, what would they have to lose by fighting back? Do we really want the army employed for domestic purposes? Will the army take part in the raids to track down the so-called illegals? Once our country is cleansed of the illegals, what domestic mission will our army next be given? How about enforcing the payment of taxes? I think the army would be very useful for that purpose.

* “Repeal property taxes.”

Those three words are the extent of what Mr. Jennings wrote as the Tea Party goal on this subject. We already have no income taxes in Texas. Due to Republican mismanagement, Texas has a budget deficit of over $25 billion. Texas is nowhere near first in the quality of education we offer our children. How is “repeal property taxes” a serious idea in any respect?

* “ Reassert states rights under the 10th Amendment: Eliminate funding for EPA, education.”

It is worth noting that states rights is found in the Tea Party creed in the same place as is eliminating EPA and education funding. This is the states rights doctrine. It is about separating ourselves from the nation as a whole. Yet the air in Texas can be so bad that even the Republican State of Oklahoma has complained to the federal government. Being a bad neighbor can infringe on the rights of others. People in Houston know how bad the pollution was before stricter environmental regulations.

Do you think we should eliminate education funding? Kids who grow up in Texas are going to have to compete for jobs with kids from the rest of the nation and from around the world. Adherence to the lost cause of states rights will be cold comfort when you are breathing even more toxic air, and you are not educated well enough to get a job.

This radical Tea Party agenda is held by only a minority of Americans. But in mid-term elections with reduced turnout, a minority can easily carry the day. The same can be said for local elections that draw less attention than a Presidential election. The Tea Party is holding meetings and organizing.  Far-right ideas are held by some of the loudest voices in the 24 hour internet/cable news landscape.

It is the choice of every freedom loving American who values the future of our nation to either get involved in public affairs or, instead, to allow your life to be defined by others. Is the Tea Party/Republican Party plan outlined above what you want to see for  yourself, for your family, and for your nation?

Copyright 2011 Neil Aquino

January 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Air Is So Bad In Texas That It Offends Oklahoma—States Rights Views Infringe On Our Neighbors

Pollution coming from Texas is so bad that it offends Oklahoma.

From the Houston Chronicle

“Coal-fired power plants in Texas are responsible for dozens of bad air days in neighboring states each year, according to a new analysis released by an environmental group Tuesday. The study, produced by the Sierra Club, attributes as many as 64 days with harmful levels of smog in Oklahoma to Texas’ coal plants. It also ties the plants to as many as 20 days of unhealthy air in Arkansas and up to 16 in Louisiana. “The coal plants are a real problem — not just for Texas, but the entire region,” said Jennifer Powis, a regional representative for the Sierra Club, which opposes the new push to build more coal-fired plants in Texas. The report supports earlier concerns raised by Oklahoma officials about the potential impacts on their state from the nearly 30 coal-fired plants either operating, permitted or proposed in Texas. The attorney general for Oklahoma asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency in May to require Texas to show that the new plants will not foul the state’s air before issuing permits for construction…..Oklahoma, for example, had 64 days that exceeded soon-to-be-finalized federal limits for ozone in one year because of emissions from existing coal plants in Texas. The proposed plants would cause another 11 days of dirty air north of the Red River, the study concluded.”

Oklahoma is no tree-hugger place. Yet the air coming from Texas is so bad that Oklahoma is angry.

Texas is fighting the Environmental Protection Agency over clean air standards and over greenhouse gas emission standards.

It’s all part of the so-called states rights kick that Governor Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and the state legislature are indulging in for temporary political gain.

We cannot not forget that no man is an island.

We can say we are going it alone, but all things are connected. Our bad air is harming people in other states. It is also, of course, harming people in Texas as well.

States rights is a philosophy that may sound good to some. But the reality has been that over our national history, this idea has been used to justify the worst civil rights abuses.

In this case, we see that states rights views are being used in a way to justify even more harmful activity.

I am in no way a reflexive opponent of industry.

Industry is needed to create the products we use in our lives. People need the jobs that industry provides. The technology that drives industry is an extension of our intellects.

A balance must be found between clean air and the needs of industry. The State of Texas has no interest in finding that balance. The State of Texas wants to press ahead with an extreme ideological point at the expense of others.

When even a very conservative state like Oklahoma objects, you have to wonder if we are going overboard with a my-way-or-the-highway view in Texas.

We are playing the music very loud all day long and our neighbors object. We are not the only people who live in the neighborhood.

Public Citizen Texas is doing a great job in fighting for clean air and an economically prosperous future for  Texas. Check out the Public Citizen homepage and see the great work they are doing.

( Below–Picture I took a few months ago on a cloudy day of industry in Pasadena, Texas.)

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November 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infestation?!—Zebra Mussel Found In Lake Texoma

The Texas Parks And Wildlife Department reports that a single Zebra Mussel has been found in Lake Texoma.

One Zebra Mussel can lead to millions of Zebra Mussels and to big trouble. They started in Russia and have spread throughout the world clogging up pipes and valves and sticking to things. Below you see a picture from Lake Michigan of  just what I’m saying.

Lake Texoma, a big reservoir, is partially in Texas and partially in Oklahoma.

From the TPWD release—For the fifth time in four years, an alert citizen has assisted Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) in their efforts to keep zebra mussels from invading Lake Texoma. On April 3 Brent Taylor, an employee of a private landowner on the south shore of Lake Texoma, reported to TPWD Inland Fisheries biologist Bruce Hysmith that he had found a suspected zebra mussel on a boathouse communication line under water. The find marks the first time the dangerous exotic species has been found living in Lake Texoma. It is known to occur at several other sites in Oklahoma. TPWD personnel confirmed the identification and inspected the boathouse but found no additional specimens. Hysmith immediately notified the local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Tishomingo, Oklahoma; local game wardens and area marinas to be on the alert.

Here is the full release.

I’ve written about zebra mussels before at this blog. Please click here for some more information and links on this topic.

Below is a picture of Lake Texoma and the Oklahoma shoreline side of the lake. I know it looks like any other lake in that picture, but I’m certain it is a nice place to visit.  Many people make use of the lake.

Lake Texoma is in a very Republican part of the country. Yet the lake was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and it will be government taking a lead role in fighting the further infestation of the lake by Zebra Mussels.

File:Lake Texoma.JPG

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Texas | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Best States For Obama & McCain

 

Barack Obama’s best state on Election Day was tropical Hawaii (Above–Hawaii). Mr. Obama won Hawaii with 72%. At one point in his life, Mr. Obama lived in Hawaii.

Also, Mr. Obama won 60% or more of the vote in California (61%), Connecticut (60%), Illinois (62%), Maryland (60%), Massachusetts (62%), New York (62%), Rhode Island (63%) and Vermont (67%). He won 93%  in the District of Columbia.

John McCain’s best state was dusty Oklahoma (Above–Oklahoma). The McCain/Palin ticket took 66% in Oklahoma.

Other 60% states for Senator McCain were Alabama (60%), Alaska (62%), Idaho (62%), Utah (63%) and Wyoming (65% ).

Overall Senator Obama won the popular vote with 52%.

I’m glad America followed the lead of Hawaii instead of that of Oklahoma.

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Texas Liberal Super Tuesday Live Blogging–Still Worth Reading Even Though The Day Is Done

Texas Liberal Live Blogging Of Super Tuesday Is Up & Running—(And Now That The Day Is Done, It Is Still Worth Reading!)   

Huckabee Wins W.V.—-6:00 PM 

Mike Huckabee got his Super Tuesday started right by winning the West Virgina Republican convention. He takes all 18 delegates from West Virginia.

What a shock that Republicans have winner take all primaries and conventions!

West Virginia was one the most Democratic states until George W. Bush won it in 2000 and 2004. It seems 71% of West Virginians live in a gun-owning household. I wonder if gun ownership entitles those folks to health insurance? 

John Kennedy’s 1960 primary win in West Virgina over Hubert Humphrey proved a Catholic could win an overwhelmingly Protestant state.    

Obama Takes Georgia—6:00 PM

Barack Obama has been called as the winner of the Georgia Democratic primary.

Georgia is 29% black. This means the Democratic electorate in Georgia has many blacks.

President Bush won Georgia with 58% in 2004. That means Georgia whites vote strongly Republican.

If Mr. Obama is nominated, by how much will Southern black turnout increase? Will Southern whites be open to a black candidate? CNN says Mr. Obama won 40% of the white vote in Georgia. But a Democratic primary is different from a General Election. 

Wrong To Bribe Voters, But Okay To Give Them Alcohol—6:15 PM 

Today I was reading America’s Three Regimes—A New Political History by Morton Keller.  

Here is what this book says about 18th Century Southern elections—

“…there was much treating of voters to drinks on Election Day—“swilling the planters with bumbo”—just as in English towns. But there appears to have been little overt vote buying of the sort common in 18th century English parliamentary elections.”

Seems like progress. I would not refuse a drink at the polls.

McCain Best In Connecticut—7:00 PM

John McCain has won Connecticut.

Mr. McCain had the endorsement of Connecticut Senator Joe Liberman. Mr. Liberman’s endorsement might help Mr. McCain with so-called “Independent” voters in November. It seems less clear this endorsement will help with the more conservative voters Mr. McCain is struggling to win.  

Unlike G.W.H Bush In 1980, Romney & Obama Win Home States—7:17 PM

Mitt Romney has won his home state of Massachusetts and Barack Obama has won his home state of Illinois.

It’s reassuring to win your home state

The first George Bush lost his home state of Texas to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Texas Republican primary. The margin was 51–47%. 

Hillary Clinton Projected In Oklahoma–Oklahoma 2nd Best State For Socialist Eugene Debs In 1912—7:25 PM

Hillary Clinton is the projected winner in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is one state Democrats will be avoiding in the general election campaign. President Bush won the Sooner State 60-38 in 2000 and 66-34 in 2004.

Oklahoma voters were not always so misguided. The great Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 16.4% of the Oklahoma vote for President in 1912. Nevada was the best Debs’ state that year. His national total was 6%. 

I have faith in the people of Oklahoma and I know they will wake up someday soon. 

McCain Winner In Tiny Delaware—He Could Be A Threat In Some Northeastern & Middle Atlantic States—7:50 PM

John McCain has won Delaware. This goes with wins already tonight in Connecticut and New Jersey. All three of these Atlantic seaboard states have voted for Democrats for President in recent elections.

If there is any Republican who could make a run at these places next fall it would be Mr. McCain.

Delaware was the only state to vote for the winner in every Presidential election between 1952 and 1996.  In 2000 and 2004 Democrats carried Delaware. 

Italy Moves Towards Elections—Rest Of The World Continues To Exist– 8:15PM

The center left government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi has lost its governing majority and an election seems likely within the next two months. Regretfully, conservative Silvio Berlusconi may return yet again as Prime Minister. Based on the last few Italian elections, it will be close.

No matter how focused we are on ourselves, the rest of the world still exists.   

Obama Is Alabama Winner–2nd Black Man To Win That Primary— 8:35 PM

Between 1932 and 1944, Franklin Roosevelt won at least 81% of the vote in the one-party Solid South state of Alabama.

In 1948, after Harry Truman desegregated the army, Strom Thurmond, running on a States Rights ticket, won 80% of the vote.

Now Barack Obama has won the Alabama Democratic primary. He is in fact the second black man to do so. Jesse Jackson won it in 1988.  

Obama Winner In Kansas—Governor There Possible VP, But She Most Likely Could Not Deliver Her State—9:24PM

Senator Obama has won Kansas. That state’s governor, Kathleen Sebelius, has been out working for Mr. Obama and has been mentioned as a possible running mate. But Kansas is so Republican that I don’t think she deliver Kansas on Election Day.

That would be just as John Edwards did not help in North Carolina in 2004, or Lloyd Bentsen did not help Democrats in Texas in 1988.

With the Electoral College map so tight, a potential running mate needs to be able to put a state in play. Kansas is not such a state for Democrats.

Romney says losing is “fun and exciting.”—9:38PM

Well, he did say “fun and exciting” and he was referencing the campaign—But I am paraphrasing to a degree. Romney said he is going to stay in the race past tonight. 

Governor Romney’s father, former Governor George Romney of Michigan, won exactly 3,830 Republican primary votes when he ran for President in 1968. So there is at least one threshold the son has surpassed.    

Obama First In Minnesota Caucus—I Think Paul Wellstone Would Have Been Pleased—10:09 PM

I can’t know for a fact, but I think the great liberal Paul Wellstone of Minnesota would have taken to the campaign of Senator Obama. Here is the link to Wellstone Action! They do a lot of good work for the liberal and progressive side of the debate. 

McCain Makes Lousy Surrender Comment—10:30 PM

I had the misfortune of watching Senator McCain on CNN today. He was saying that Democrats who favored a times withdrawal from Iraq were advocating “surrender.”

What does “surrender”mean here? Does Senator McCain think that Democrats advocate American troops in Iraq turning over their weapons to the militants and asking for mercy? That’s what surrender is.

Would a real man of honor make such a comment? No Democrat supports any type of surrender.      

Huckabee Somewhere Between George W. Bush and Pat Robertson–11:00 PM

Mike Huckabee has won Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia and Alabama this evening. He says he is in the race to stay.

Governor Huckabee has the string support of Evangelical Christians. Evangelicals played a large role in the nomination of George W. Bush in 2000. But Bush also had the support of low-tax conservatives and the Republican establishment. Governor Huckabee is no George Bush.

On the other hand, he is more of a candidate than was Pat Robertson in 1988. Mr. Robertson never won a primary and as a “message candidate” won only 9% of primary voters. Running the same year on the other side, Jesse Jackson won 29% of Democratic primary voters. 

So Mr. Huckabee is more than Pat Robertson was in 1988–Though that will not be nearly enough.

McCain in California And Missouri– Can Schwarzenegger Make McCain Viable In California This Fall? 11:36 PM 

All night we’ve been hearing McCain had not made the knock-out punch. Well, it seems to me he at least has everybody else on the ropes pretty good. These two late night wins are most helpful to Mr. McCain.

An even bigger question than who will win the California primary tonight, will be is the more moderate Westerner McCain viable in California in November. You can bet that subject is already on the Republican radar. Just forcing the Democratic nominee to campaign in California this fall will be a Republican victory.

I’m certain McCain supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger is already thinking it out. (While his wife Maria Shriver will no doubt continue her work for Senator Obama.)   

Signing Off With Obama’s Alaska Win—The Race Now Moves On Texas, Ohio & Other Points–12:08 AM

Barack Obama is the winner is Alaska.

  

The race now moves on to Texas, Ohio, and other points.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Chisholm Trail Info & Photo Of Chisholm Trail Room In Austin’s Driskill Hotel

Here is a photo of the Chisholm Trail room at the Driskill Hotel in Austin.  

You walk in to this meeting room and a big painting of the Chisholm Trail is on all four walls. 

The Chisholm Trail was used between 1867 and 1884 to get cattle out of Texas and up to access to transport and markets in Kansas.

It can also be known as the Chisum Trail.

Here is a history of the Chisholm Trail.

Here is information about Jesse Chisholm who, at the least, played a large part in establishing the trail.     

Here is a biography of former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York. Ms. Chisholm was the first black woman to serve in Congress.

Here is a link to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, Oklahoma.

Here is a link to a story about the harm done to Native Americans in Oklahoma by white settlement. 

Here is a link to the Fort Worth Stockyards. This is a fun place to visit for both kids and adults.  After Galveston, Fort Worth has been my favorite Texas city to visit in my nine years in Texas.

Here is a brief biography of former House Speaker Jim Wright of Fort Worth.

And, since you are at a liberal blog, here is the link to the good liberal magazine The American Prospect.

November 24, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, History, Pictures I Have Taken, Political History, Texas | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments