Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Occupy Wall Street Type Protests Being Held Across The Nation—Dissent A Part Of Our Nation Since Earliest Colonial Times.

(Update– 10/06/11–Here is my post on the Occupy Houston event today.) 

Above is the art for the Occupy Providence event that will be held later today.

This art includes the great religious dissenter and the founder of Rhode Island—Roger Williams.

I’m glad to say I’m a descendant of Roger Williams and that I lived in Rhode Island for 12 years.

Here is the Occupy Providence page on Facebook. 

I’m also very glad for my 13 years so far in Houston.

Here is the Occupy Houston page on Facebook.

Here are details about the Occupy Houston event to be held this upcoming Thursday, October 6. 

This event and march begins at Market Square Park in Downtown Houston at 8:30 AM. I will be there. I hope you will be there as well.

The concern that many Americans have about the corporate takeover of our nation, and about the fact that hard work often does not pay off in our nation anymore, is shared by people all over America.

People just want a fair deal for an honest day’s work.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website. 

Here is an Associated Press story where the Occupy Wall Street folks say they are in it for the long haul.

Here is the link to the Roger Williams National Memorial Park. 

A book I own but have not yet read is Liberty of Conscience—Roger Williams in America by Edwin Gaustand.

Below is a photo I took of the Roger Williams Memorial Park earlier this year. People lived in crude shacks.

Rhode Island was founded in the 1630’s by people seeking religious liberty.

The spirit of dissent and of liberty is part of the American fabric from the earliest colonial days right up to the present day.

Let’s follow the Occupy protests and let’s be a part of this movement.

The Occupy protests may or may not lead to something bigger.

We can be hopeful. We can be informed. We can be involved.

The work of freedom and democracy is up to each of us.

October 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Door That Serves No Apparent Purpose

In the spirit of my post a few days back about staircases to nowhere, here is a door that does not appear to serve a clear purpose.

I took this picture two weeks ago.

It is late and I have a busy day tomorrow so I don’t have any metaphor to offer up as to the meaning of the door.

This door is part of the hurrricane dam that protects Downtown Providence, Rhode Island.

Here is a post I wrote about this structure back in 2008. 

Hopefully the dam will not be required to deal with Hurricane Irene as it moves up the east coast.

(Photo copyright 2011 Neil Aquino.)

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Rhode Island State House—A Grand Structure In A Small State

Here is the Rhode Island State House.

I took this picture today.

The Rhode Island State House is a grand structure in a small state.

August 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Anthony S. Aquino

Anthony S. Aquino lived September 20, 1930-March 12, 2011.

Tony was a third-generation Italian, a Rhode Islander, a combat veteran of the Korean War who saved many lives as a medic in that war, a committed liberal, a reader of books and newspapers, an award winning reporter, and my father.

Just like the boats and ships in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, Tony would want for me and for all of us to stay the course.

So that is what we will do.

At the top of this post is a picture of Narragansett Bay at Providence, Rhode Island. This is a scene Tony would have known well.

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Chafee For Rhode Island Governor—He Offers Adult Solutions To Tough Problems

I have a number of home states. Regular readers know that I often write about Ohio as well as Texas.

(Above–The Rhode Island State House in Providence.)

In addition to these great states, I also lived in the Great State of Rhode Island between 1968 and 1980. So please allow me to offer up an endorsement in the Rhode Island Governor’s race.

Independent  Lincoln Chafee  is one of the few politicians this year, or in any year, offering an adult solution to a tough problem.

Mr. Chafee, a former Republican Senator for Rhode Island who was defeated in 2006, has said that tax increases are needed to address Rhode Island’s budget deficit.

This is such a break from the relentless anti-tax drumbeat in America that puts lowering taxes over the public good.

For those concerned that Mr. Chafee was a Republican, it should be noted  he was the only Republican to vote against the Iraq War and that he endorsed Barack Obama in 2008. Since he is running as an independent, elected Mr. Chaffee will not result in a Republican victory.

Here is the web home of the Chafee campaign.

In contrast to Mr. Chafee’s leadership ,  the Democrat in this race, Frank Caprio, has told President Obama to “shove it” for not endorsing him this race.

In tough times, honest and steady governance is needed.

Lincoln Chafee will provide such governance for the people of Rhode Island.

If people think that they can have good services without taxes, they are wrong.

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Photo Of Providence Hurricane Dam

Above is a picture of the hurricane dam in Providence, Rhode Island. It was built in 1966.

I took this picture in Providence two weeks ago.

Hurricanes flooded Downtown Providence in 1938 and 1954.

A storm surge came up from Narragansett Bay and swamped the city. 

Here is information on the great 1938 New England hurricane.

Here is information about Hurricane Carol in 1954.

Here is a story in the Providence Journal discussing how effective the dam would be if a big hurricane came today. The story tells how the barrier would work in a storm. 

Here is a Journal series on Rhode Island’s overall readiness for a hurricane. 

As a kid, I always enjoyed seeing the hurricane dam. I found viewing the dam recently to be just as fun at 40 as it was when I left Providence in 1980.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | History | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living In Harris County, Texas Has Made Me Hispanic

The Harris County, Texas Clerk’s office reports that nearly 150,000 voters with Hispanic sounding surnames are likely to vote in the county in 2008.

Houston, where I live, is in Harris County.

I’m pretty sure I’m one of those so-called Hispanic voters. My last name is A-Q-U-I-N-O.

I once worked with someone in Houston who after knowing me a year blurted out “You don’t seem Hispanic at all.”

Right she was—I’m Italian. At least I am everywhere except the Harris County Clerk’s office.

Or when I get an occasional piece of junk mail or a phone solicitation in Spanish.

My wife and I once went to Italy. Over there they thought she was the Italian. Really she’s Jewish. The dark curly hair tricked the Italians.

(Above is a picture of my homeland—Naples, Italy. I’m glad to report that the wife and I once made it to Naples.)

Growing up on the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island, I recall many teachers who would trip over the pronunciation of my name at the beginning of the school year.

Uh-queen-o is how you say it. (The little cruds I went to school with never tired of pointing out the “queen” part. In Houston I’m a Hispanic Italian. In Providence I was a straight queen.)

The East Side had fewer Italians than other parts of Providence.  So I had clueless teachers and kids who could not help but comment on my name, despite the fact I was part of the largest single ethnic group in the city.

My elementary school and middle school years were in Providence. I went to high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. The high school I went to was 95% black.

Nobody took me for black.

My father once told me to trust people with many vowels in their last name. He meant Italians, but I’ve expanded it to include anybody who fits that bill.

(My wife, who is in fact the best person ever, has kept her two-vowel maiden name. You can’t have everything)

I was in a store last week. I noticed on the name tag of the man ringing me up that he had every single vowel in last name.

All of them!

I praised him for this. I said–“Man, you have every vowel in your last name. That’s great.”

He said, “You noticed.”

I think he was proud of the fact.

Justly so.

I asked the ethinicity of his name.

He said “Persian.”

I said, “Iranian?”

He said yes. He was friendly about it all.

Of course he was friendly—His name was loaded with vowels.

The man seemed somewhat hesitant say Iranian because America is at odds with Iran right now.

Iran is defined as the enemy.

If Iran is the enemy, why did that guy have so many vowels in his name?

I’m not Hispanic. My wife is not Italian. That man at the store was no enemy.

When other people define who you are or what you are, they will most likely get it wrong.

December 30, 2007 Posted by | Cincinnati, Houston, Immigration, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever | , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments