Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Keys To A Successful Marriage

I’m glad to report that I’ve been married for ten successful years.

Above is a picture I took of my wife at the baseball game.

The keys to our successful marriage are found in this picture.

Here are these keys—

1. We always keep one seat between us.

2. We never look at each other.

3. In order to avoid conversation, we always have something to read.

Beyond a measure of distance, I think a marriage works when people are themselves—assuming they are not jerks by nature—and when people work hard to be nice to each other.

These things and a measure of good luck.

This is what I have to offer on this subject.

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments

Fundraiser For Houston Councilmember Melissa Noriega—A Temporary Reply To The Brevity Of Life

Houston City Councilmember Melissa Noriega is having a fundraiser on Thursday, February 18.

This event will be held between 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM on that day in the Cambridge Room of the House of Blues at 1204 Caroline.

Here is the Facebook page for this event.

I’ll not be able to attend this event because  I will be in Ohio that day. I will though send a donation.

Above you see a picture I took of Councilmember Noriega at a recent Martin Luther King parade in Houston.

There she is greeting the people.

I’m often reluctant to be friends in any meaningful way with politicians or with people connected to politics.

As a political blogger with some audience in a city where few take part in politics, there is a path a person could take to knowing people in local politics.

I did that once in life in another city, and I’m not sure I want to do it again. Relationships founded in politics are somewhat transactional in my view.

Life is brief and I want longstanding friendships that place loyalty at the top of the virtues that the friends involved value in one another.

Longtime friendships in a world where life is brief and brutal offer at least a temporary reply to the brevity of life.

Despite these things, I have struck up a measure of friendship with politician Melissa Noriega. I feel she is someone you can support with the confidence that the people of Houston are being well-served with thoughtful and compassionate leadership.

Here is Ms. Noriega’s City of Houston web home.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Is The Boy With The Cold Hard Cash Always Mr. Right?

A few days ago I heard the Madonna song “Material Girl”

(Above–A scene from the video to Material Girl.)

One line in the song is–“The boy with the cold hard cash is always Mr. Right.”

Do I agree with this viewpoint?

Should you agree with this viewpoint?

In my opinion, you should not concur with this stance.

We should like and love people based on their merits.

We should look hard past superficial qualities to see people as they are.

Life is brief and brutal. Let us like people for the right reasons.

Let us take today as a good day to take stock of the people in our lives and to assess if we are doing right by them.

January 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Ask Republicans In Your Life Why It Is Okay People Die Because They Can’t Get Health Insurance

Ask the Republicans in your life why they are okay with people dying because they have a pre-existing condition and can’t get health insurance, and why they are okay with people dying because they cannot afford health insurance.

How is that Republican friends and family members can think you have value, but that it is okay for others to die?

I know we often try to keep these issues out of our personal lives, but haven’t you had enough?

The chance for universal coverage is going away. And at core it is going away because many average people in this country sided with insurance companies and Republicans at the expense of basic compassion and decency.

Republicans so often talk about being accountable for one’s actions.

Let’s hold the Republicans in our lives accountable for the harm they have caused.

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 7 Comments

Punk Rock Brings Us Together—Encourage Your Children To Be Punk Rockers

A punk rock band in Massachusetts has both Hindu and Muslim members. This band is called The Kominas.

People don’t have to fight because they were born one way and not another or born in one part of the world instead of some other part of the world.

People can join up in bands together or do whatever it is they wish together.

Why should it be otherwise given the brevity and brutality of life?

From the Associated Press story about this band—

“Artwork from the Punjab state of India decorates the Ray family home. A Johann Sebastian Bach statue sits on a piano. But in the basement-cluttered with wires, old concert fliers and drawings-25-year-old Arjun Ray is fighting distortion from his electric guitar…For this son of Indian immigrants, trained in classical violin and raised on traditional Punjab music, getting his three Pakistani-American bandmates in sync is the goal on this cold New England evening. Their band, The Kominas, is trying to record a punk rock version of the classic Bollywood song, “Choli Ke Peeche” (Behind the Blouse)…Deep in the woods of this colonial town boils a kind of revolutionary movement. From the basement of this middle-class home tucked in the woods west of Boston, The Kominas have helped launched a small, but growing, South Asian and Middle Eastern punk rock movement that is attracting children of Muslim and Hindu immigrants and drawing scorn from some traditional Muslims who say their political, hard-edged music is “haraam,” or forbidden….The movement, an anti-establishment subculture borne of religiously conservative communities…The artists say they are just trying to reconcile issues such as life in America, women’s rights and homosexuality with Islam and old East vs. West cultural clashes.”

Here is the full story.

Here is the My Space page for The Kominas.

Punk rock is an excellent thing.

If you have a son or daughter, encourage them to become punk rockers.

At any age, it is good to know that there are people who feel the way that you do about the world.

Here are my greatest punk rock moments.

(Below—Newport, Kentucky’s famous Jockey Club on the last night back in 1988. It was great to be a young punk rocker in Cincinnati with the Jockey Club just across the Ohio River.)

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

My Wife Is Person Of The Decade And My Blog Is Blog Of The Decade

With my last post of 2009, I am selecting my wife as Person Of The Decade.

Below is a picture of my wife from the beginning of the decade. This picture was taken on our Wedding Day—March 25, 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada

And here is a picture I took of my wife just a few days ago—

The wife and I have made a great life together.

The wife is kind and intelligent. Here is a poem I have written about my wife.

She is easily the best thing that has happened to me in my life

Also, I am selecting my blog—Texas Liberal—as Blog Of The Decade.

Here is the Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List. This list is the best of its kind on the web and is the signature post of Texas Liberal.

I work hard at this blog. I’m glad of the fact that within the next few weeks I’ll reach one million page views since I started Texas Liberal in July of 2006.

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal and please pass on the link to someone you value. A blog grows one reader at a time.

I wish these honors came with some prize money. Maybe I will go to the ATM, withdraw some money, and hand it to myself.

December 31, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 9 Comments

I Was About To Write A Blog Post, But Then Got Caught Up In A Facebook Chat


I was about to begin writing a blog post a few minutes ago, when, instead, I became engaged in a Facebook chat with a friend of many years who now lives in New Zealand.

People are easily distracted in this time of so-called social media.

It is as if I am no more than a leaf in the wind.

Though I was quite glad to hear from this person who I have known since 1980.

30 years is a solid friendship and stands in great contrast to a leaf in the wind.

There are many trade-offs involved with this technology many of use each day.

It is now too late in the evening to begin the post I had intended to write this evening.

Being flexible of mind—As we are told we must be in this globalized age—I will offer up this post you are now reading as a replacement.

Above is a photo taken by a Steffen Hillebrand of Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand.

That sure looks like a nice place to visit.

I wonder if I could connect to the internet at Abel Tasman National Park and if I could call someone from my cell if I were at that park.

December 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We All Seek The 60 Votes Of Learning, Hope & Kindness To Defeat The Filibuster Of Ignorance And Anger

All of us are looking for the 60 votes of learning, hope, and kindness to get past the endless filibuster of ignorance, anger, and greed

We are corralling all our efforts and resources to get to the point where we can proceed.

We want to proceed so that we can have good lives and so that we can help others have good lives.

Each of us has a different path and strategy to get our 60 votes.

I read, take long walks, try to communicate my values with words and deeds, and work hard on my relationships in life.

You will have your own path and strategy.

Once one filibuster in broken, another may appear.

The forces of darkness and obstruction are relentless.

What is good is that the Senate of life is always in session.

We always have the chance to gain the needed coalition of people, deeds, and resources in our lives required to move the agenda ahead.

Let us move the agenda ahead each day that we are able.

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

There Is Hope, But Only So Much Hope—Cards To Send

The painting in this post was completed by a young cancer patient at the M.D Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

It is a Thanksgiving card. You can go to the M.D Anderson web site and buy this card and other things made by young people with cancer.

In this painting, I like the presence of some color on the leaves on the tree, and I like the red barn. I also like the bleakness of the scene. It is clearly a cold late autumn day.

The color offers some hope, but there is only so much hope.

I bought a pack of these cards at the M.D Anderson store here in Houston. This store is in the Uptown Plaza in the Galleria area.

I’ve decided to start writing some letters and cards to folks and I’m going to start with this illustration of a barn in autumn.

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

No Links, No Pictures, No Spellcheck—Just Communication

I’m not sure if the problem is with WordPress or my computer, but the blog is full of glitches this evening. I had some ideas for posting this evening, but I can’t add links or pictures. The spellcheck is down as well.

These must be the conditions our ancestors had to blog under while on the wagon trail or crossing the seas to reach the New World. (Though if you were brought here as a slave I don’t imagine you were allowed to blog at all.)

For many years people wrote letters to each other.

A letter is where you sit down with a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper. You use the pen or pencil to record on the paper what you are doing and how you are feeling to somebody you value in life.

Can you imagine the surprise you would feel if you got a letter in the mail?

I’ve thought sometimes I might be better off no longer writing this blog and just writing letters to friends. I’d write two or three letters a week to people.

Maybe you’d be better off to get away from the computer and keep in better contact with the people you value. Do you give the people you value in life the time they merit?

No–You don’t. I don’t either.

I’ve had the thought that I could write letters to people each week and post those letters on the blog. I’d cut out anything overly personal, but I’d have as blog posts things that are more thought out than what I currently post.

It is not that I’m not pleased with what I produce. It is simply that the demands of doing this each day are high. The blog might be a better production with fewer posts.

Imagine a world that was more quiet and more reflective. I feel that world just a bit by not having the ability right now to put anything from the outside in my blog.

If the pace of things were slower and we could apply more effort and thought to consider what we really think and feel—I think then we would all have better lives.

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Connection Can Be Found By All People & In All Places

Above is a picture of the confluence of the Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou in Downtown Houston.  

This is a place that was important to the founding of Houston 175 years ago.

Connection leads to creation.

You see there is a train passing over the bayous.

There is also a bridge for cars and for pedestrians at this place.

The building to the left is part of the University of Houston-Downtown campus.

Knowledge is connection to the world.

For 175 years this spot has been a place of connection.

Connection with people, places, things, the natural world, and information is a path many of us may wish to follow.

Houston is a hot almost Hellish place that is swept from time-to-time by hurricanes. 

Can you imagine what a hot disease-plagued swamp Houston must have been 175 years ago?

If connection can be found here, it can be found by anybody and in any setting.

Maybe isolation is sometimes the beginning of the road as one seeks connection.

From my own experience, I’d say isolation can be a very good starting point to connection.

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Door Is Open And There Is Plenty Of Light

Above is a picture of a bar called The Comet. The Comet is located at 4579 Hamilton Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati is one of my hometowns in life.

Stop by The Comet for a beer and for a burrito.

Often The Comet is busy, but in this picture it is empty.

It is good when we get a break from the demands of life and things are quiet.

When things are quiet, we can think.

You see that the door to The Comet is open and there is light both inside and outside  

We need light to see the right course.

The open door allows us to enter and find some refuge. It also allows us to leave and follow the light outside.

You can come and go as you wish—There will be light in either case. 

A bar does the most business in the evening. During the day business is slower and supplies can be received.

We’ve got to restock to have what we need to get through life.

I wish I could call my friends this evening and meet them at The Comet.

But I’m in Houston and the bar is in Cincinnati.

This is okay because I can look at this picture from Cincinnati and recall good things that have happened in my life.

I can be aware that I have many good things going in Houston.

I can look forward to the two times each year I visit Cincinnati and see my friends.

I’m glad for light. I’m glad for time to reflect and take stock. I’m glad for the past and for the present.

And though not pictured here, the evening and times when things are more busy and hectic have value as well.

It all adds up to a good life.

Take a good second look at places and things in your life that you feel you are well-acquainted with. It is possible that you may be able to see and consider these things and places in a new and useful way.

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Show Respect For Others By Communicating In A Clear And Concise Manner About Complex Things

Please take one minute to watch this video I filmed in Houston’s Memorial Park. In this video, I hold up a sheet of paper that reads “Show Respect For Others By Communicating In A Clear And Concise Manner About Complex Things.”

The video has sound. You can hear the motorcycle that passes by and the people talking on the motorcycle. 

I believe all people have the ability to understand complex things. It is a respectful course to follow to make the effort to convey to others what you feel and believe.

Behind me in the video is a flag at half-mast for the death of Senator Kennedy. A flag at half-mast conveys complex ideas of loss, care, loyalty, respect and patriotism. It is a simple symbol that conveys a great deal.

We all have the ability to communicate and to understand. We all merit the respect inherent in the effort to communicate and understand.

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Despite The Fact That World Is Often A Slaughterhouse, I’ve Been Able To Maintain Relationships With Family & Friends On Two Week Vacation

Despite the fact the world is often a slaughterhouse, I have been able to keep up with friends and family in my 15 day trip to Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky & Ohio.

A goal in life can be to maintain personal relationships without losing sight of the larger world.

Thanks to friends and family I’ve seen over the last two weeks and thanks to all my readers here at the blog.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Long-Term Friends Offer Temporary Response To Death And Give Life Context

I’m about to go to dinner here in Cincinnati with a bunch of friends I’ve had for 20 years and more.

Long-term friends create an illusion of permanence and offer at least a temporary rebuttal to the inevitability of death.

Also, long-term friends give context to life and give a greater value to what you have done in the past. When I’m with people I’ve been friends with for many years, I know that decisions I’ve made  over the years about how to spend my time and who to spend my time with, were in fact the correct decisions.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments