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Houston, Texas Has Heat Wave, Drought, Ozone Alert & West Nile Disease—This Is The Rick Perry Texas Miracle

Above is a picture of the front page of today’s Houston Chronicle.

I took the picture outside on the hot and parched Texas grass.

It sure is hot.

The newspaper above reports that Texas farmers and ranchers have suffered major losses due to the current drought in Texas, while at the same time Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry denies the existence of global warming.

While nobody can be sure that one cause of the terrible weather in Texas for the past few months has been global warming, it is quite possible that this is indeed the case.  However, of course, Rick Perry won’t even consider the very idea that this is possible.

No letup in the Texas drought is predicted in the months to come.

Three other stories in the Houston Chronicle today detail record heat in Houston, mosquitio spraying by Harris County out of concern that tropical West Nile disease may occur in the area, and the fact trees are dying in Houston due to the drought.

Here are facts about West Nile Disease. 

Also, an ozone alert has been declared for today in the Houston area. 

In Texas, the air quality is often so bad that it offends deeply conservative Oklahoma. 

Meanwhile, out on the Presidential campaign trial, the Republican field is bashing the EPA. 

In the end, people are just going to have to decide what kind of future they want. If you want Rick Perry and how he governs Texas for your future, then that is your call to make.

And–since I have you here–please also note that the Texas Miracle Rick Perry has been touting as his economic record, involves one in four Texas children living in poverty and the highest rate of uninsured children in the nation.

Rick Perry has called for prayer to end the drought. His prayers and the prayers of his supporters have not been heard in this regard. Under Governor Perry’s reasoning for why we are being afflicted with terrible weather, maybe the State of Texas is being judged for harsh treatment of the poor and neglect of those in need.

(Below—It is very hot in Houston, Texas. Both photos in this post copyright Neil Aquino 2011.)

August 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Still No Rain In Texas—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-up

Here is the most current weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political blogs in Texas.

Along with the round-up this week, I can tell you that despite Governor Rick Perry’s call for prayer over this weekend to end the statewide Texas drought, that it is not raning here in Houston. I’m not aware of any significant rain in Texas.

This does not mean that prayer has no meaning. Prayer brings solace and meaning to many people. Maybe what is the case is that the prayers of a state that is inflicting such misery on the poor at the moment in the proceedings of the Texas legislature are not being heard.

If Governor Perry thinks prayer can end the drought, maybe he should consider that our actions as a state are the cause of the drought.

The round-up—

Having previously declared himself out on supporting President Obama’s re-election campaign, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs finds even less to like aboutthe rumored candidacy of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez for US Senate. Less, as in nothing.

Letters From Texas poked fun at the… um… hard turn John Sharp’s web domain has taken, in which somebody has… ah… erected quite a different focus. But most of the week was spent on more serious concerns — the West Texas range fires.

The first statehouse redistricting map is out, and Off the Kuff has a look at it and some alternatives to it.

Libby Shaw at TexasKaos tells us that When Middle Schoolers Serve in Congress there is price to be paid.

Neil at Texas Liberal noted that Rick Perry has asked Barack Obama and Washington for help with Texas wildfires. While everyone impacted by the fires merits help, it sure is something that Washington-basher Rick Perry feels he must turn to the federal government to solve Texas problems. Where are the Texas Tea Party citizen-volunteer disaster relief teams to help people in need?

Like many of you, the crew at McBlogger is feeling the pinch of higher gas prices. What’s really causing it and what can be done about it may surprise you. Continue reading

April 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Yard Sign In Favor Of Prayer

It is hard to imagine in a religious place like Texas that prayer needs to mount a campaign.

However, based on the yard sign you see above, prayer needs some help.

I took this picture in Houston about two weeks ago.

It is great if people wish to pray. More power to folks who wish to pray.

I hope that what folks pray for is that we be more kind to each other, and that we be willing to help each other instead of turning on each other when times are difficult.

Prayer is no substitute for being a good person.

November 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments