Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Terrifying Santa Face Breads Want To Kill Us In Our Sleep

Here are some terrifying Santa face breads that I saw at the supermarket a few hours ago.

I think they yearn for nothing more but to come to life and cut our throats as we sleep on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

December 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Give Yourself & Others The Gift Of Involvement In Public Affairs In 2012—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

At the end of this post is the most recent edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political citizen-bloggers in Texas.

TPA bloggers blog away even at the holidays.

We also wish for you and your family to have an excellent holiday season

For example, the family you see below is enjoying a fine Texas Christmas.

And , of course, Texans know that Santa is from Texas. Nobody else is aware of this fact, but I’m certain it is being taught in our schools by order of the far right-wing Texas State Board of Education.

Not all Texans celebrate the same holidays. Below we see Texas Governor Rick Perry helping light a menorah. Governor Perry is quite ecumenical in the sense he is willing to use the cover of any faith to obscure how he is running a terrible Presidential campaign, and getting all the government money he can for his own pockets as he slashes funds for education.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, a great gift  you can give yourself, to the people in your life, and to your fellow citizens, is the gift of your increased  involvement in politics and public affairs in 2012.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

The work of freedom and democracy is up to each of us. This work is a gift we can all give ourselves and our fellow Texans and fellow Americans.

Things are a little different from what they were this time last year. The Occupy Wall Street movement is strong across the nation. What a hopeful move in the right direction after the Tea Party year of 2010.

Find an Occupy effort near you by searching the web or on Facebook. If there is not one near where you live, start one yourself.

The stakes are going to be very high in so many ways in 2012. Like the elves in the picture below who are Occupying Santa’s workshop, we are going to have to fight and advocate for ourselves and for the 99%.

Here is the round-up—

SCOTUS has issued a stay and scrambled the 2012 elections again. Off the Kuff tries to make sense of it.

BossKitty at TruthHugger notes that it’s business as usual for Texas politicians to tilt the voter tables in their favor by gerrymandering: US Supreme Court May Like New Texas Gerrymandering.

Occupy went to Washington and comes to Houston on Monday, December 12. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs follows along. Continue reading

December 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Was St. Nicholas?

Who is the St. Nicholas who become our Santa Claus?

(Above—an 1898 painting called St. Nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocents From Death. Painted by a Russian named Ilya Repin.

St. Nicholas was a fourth-century Bishop of Myra. Myra was then in Greece. It is now in Turkey.

Not much is known of the life of St. Nicholas. He is said to have been generous to children and to the poor. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. Here is a link to a list of Saints.

St. Nicholas is said to have been born into a prosperous home. His parents died when he was a young man and he was left an inheritance. Nicholas used this inheritance to help a poor man support three daughters who otherwise would have been sold into prostitution to support the family home.

It was this gift giving that is the connection between the St. Nicholas of old and the Santa of the modern day. In the spirit of the gifts for the three children, people in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands began to give each other gifts at Christmas. Santa Claus is, after a few mutations, St. Nicholas.

It is said Nicholas brought back to life two or three boys who had been cut-up and tossed in a brine-tub by an innkeeper. The innkeeper was going to sell the boys as pickled pork.

It is claimed that God his or herself indicated to the people of Myra that Nicholas should be selected as Bishop.

Nicholas was renowned as a champion of the falsely accused. He saved the lives of three men who were going to be put to death based on a sentence that had been made on this basis of a bribe. That account is the basis of the picture above.

Many falsely accused people are put to death and placed in jail in the United States in the current day. Please click here to read about The Innocence Project.

Nicholas is the patron saint of prisoners and prostitutes. All people merit concern. Here is a list of the many groups that can claim Nicholas as patron saint.

St. Nicholas is said to have stopped a raging storm in Greece and in so doing saved the lives of many mariners. In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors.

Santa is about more than gift giving.  I don’t think St. Nicholas would have lined up at Best Buy at 5 AM the morning after Thanksgiving to get a bargain on a laptop.

Here is a brief account of St. Nicholas from AmericanCatholic.org.  

One source for this post was The Oxford Companion To The Year—An Exploration Of Calender Customs And Time-Reckoning. It’s a great book.

(Below–A statue of. St. Nick in Myra, Turkey. Photo by Lindi44.) 

December 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Seawall Santa—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the weekly posting of the  Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.  TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

(Above–A patriotic Galveston Seawall Santa. I took this picture last year right before Christmas. It was 83 degrees that day so he must have been very hot.) 

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

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

Here is the round-up–

 Off the Kuff provides a little perspective about redistricting and the political outcome of the ongoing litigation over it.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson says it’s time for a new direction for the Texas Democratic Party: A tremendous opportunity to create a new Democratic Party in Texas.

McBlogger says that Judge Jed Rakoff threw a big wrench into the sweetheart deals some of the banks have been getting from the SEC. Continue reading

December 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Patriotic Ocean Santa

Here is Patriotic Ocean Santa.

I saw him on the Galveston Seawall three days ago.

He sure must have been hot in that suit because it was 82 degrees three days ago.

Please have a nice and safe holiday. Please be kind to others.

(Photo copyright Neil Aquin0)

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Give Yourself & Others The Gift Of Your Larger Involvement In Public Affairs—TPA Blogger Round-Up

At the end of this post is the most recent edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

TPA bloggers blog away even at the holidays.

That said, we do indeed wish for you and your family to have an excellent holiday season

For example, the family you see below is enjoying a fine Texas Christmas.

And , of course, Texans know Santa is a Texan. Nobody else is aware of this fact, but I’m certain it is being taught in our schools by order of the far right-wing Texas State Board of Education.

Not all Texans celebrate the same holidays. Below we see Texas Governor Rick Perry at the lighting of our state menorah. Governor Perry is quite ecumenical in the sense he is willing to use the cover of any faith to obscure  how the Texas state budget will be balanced on the backs of the poor in the 2011 legislative session.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, a great gift  you could give yourself, to the people in your life, and to your fellow citizens, is the gift of your increased  involvement in politics and public affairs in 2011.

In 2010, the so-called Tea Party out-organized and out-worked folks on the other side of the ideological aisle. The Tea Party/Republican Party is enjoying the holiday season right now looking forward to a Republican U.S. House of Representatives right after the new year.

We need to wise up and fight for each other and for a better world. Those elves you see below are not working to protect tax breaks for the rich. They are not going on about Muslims and immigrants. They are fighting for a better world and sticking together  even in hard times.

We’ve got a number of challenges ahead in both Texas and in our nation. You’ve got to decide for yourself that you are not going to let your state and your nation be taken over by right-wing extremists. You’ve got to decide that we can and will make progress.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff celebrates the DeLay verdict.

Bay Area Houston has a visual suggestion to the judge in the Tom DeLay trial regarding the sentencing.

Did employers or their representatives provide ‘assistance’ to their employees as they voted in La Joya? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme would really like to know.

Public Citizen over at TexasVox is getting ready for the sunset hearings on the TCEQ and Railroad Commission, coming up December 15-16, bylooking at a national report which gives Texas’ regulatory agencies a D-. Continue reading

December 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes People Hold On To Things For A Bit Long

Here is a picture I took in Newport, Kentucky last February of people who were give up on Santa Claus. Christmas had been over for about two months when I took this picture.

I meant to run this picture  months ago, but have only gotten to it now after we are deep into spring.

Is Santa still  up at this home? I’ll be in Newport again in a few weeks and maybe I will check and see.

Or maybe I will not.

In any case, people sometimes hold on to things much longer than they should.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Holiday Lighthouse Reflects Competing Tendencies Of Our Existence

Above is my holiday lighthouse.

Each year I take the lighthouse out of the closet and put it on top of my television.

If you turn on the switch, the lighthouse makes a foghorn sound.

It makes sounds of bells, waves, and seagulls.

Also, Santa and his reindeer fly around and around the lighthouse.

The holiday lighthouse is meant to welcome you for the season—And to warn you away.

In these respects, the holiday lighthouse is reflective of competing tendencies in my personality.

You may also have contradictory or competing aspects of your nature.

Please don’t shy away from these aspects of who you are.

Contradiction and conflict are an essential part of our human nature, and of the structure of all things.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Don’t See Why Santa Can’t Be Black Or Why We Can’t Have Hindu Elves

I don’t see why Santa can’t be black. Or why Santa can’t be any other kind of person. How about a woman Santa who is loyally supported by Mr. Claus?

If you Google around, it’s hard to find much but white male Santas. And forget finding elves that are anything but little white guys. 

Below is what people who live near the North Pole look like. Does Santa not hire the locals? 

Santa and his elves can be anything you want them to be.  I’d like to see a workshop of well paid elves that reflect the full diversity of people who celebrate Christmas around the world.  With maybe a few Hindus, Muslims, and Jews for good measure. We have folks over in China making American flags. You don’t need to observe Christmas to work in Santa’s workshop.  

I don’t have the computer skills or the art skills to make these images of a more diverse and just Santa’s Workshop. Maybe that is a task somebody could take up this holiday season. 

Fictional people can be anything. We don’t have to follow how it has been done before. We can do things in new ways and offer people new images and new ideas.

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 5 Comments

St. Nicholas, A Death Penalty Foe, Revived Boys Who Had Been Chopped To Bits By An Innkeeper

 

December 6 is the Feast Day for St. Nicholas. This is the same St. Nicholas who has become our Santa Claus.

St. Nicholas was the fourth-century Bishop of Myra. Myra was then in Greece. It is now in Turkey.  

Not much is known of the life of St. Nicholas. He is said to have been generous to children and to the poor. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. Here is a link to a list of Saints.

St. Nicholas is said to have been born into a prosperous home. His parents died when he was a young man and he was left an inheritance. Nicholas used this inheritance to help a poor man support three daughters who otherwise would have been sold into prostitution to support the family home.

It was this gift giving that is the connection between the St. Nicholas of old and the Santa of the modern day. In the spirit of the gifts for the three children, people in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands began to give each other gifts at Christmas. Santa Claus is, after a few mutations, St. Nicholas.    

Here is a link to the website of Adbusters. Adbusters suggests you should buy as little as you get away with at Christmas and offers often insightful critiques of consumer culture.

It is said Nicholas brought back to life two or three boys who had been cut-up and tossed in a brine-tub by an innkeeper. The innkeeper was going to sell the boys as pickled pork. It is not known how Nicholas performed this feat.

It is claimed God himself indicated to the people of Myra that Nicholas should be selected as Bishop. It is not clear what type of signal was sent.

Nicholas was renowned as a champion of the falsely accused. He saved the lives of three men who were going to be put to death based on a sentence that had been made on this basis of a bribe. That account is the basis of the picture above.

Many falsely accused people are put to death and placed in jail in the United States in the current day. Please click here to read about The Innocence Project. 

Nicholas is the patron saint of prisoners and prostitutes. All people merit concern.  Here is a list of the many groups that can claim Nicholas as patron saint.

I notice “consumers” are not on the list. Caveat emptor!  

St. Nicholas is said to have stopped a raging storm in Greece and in so doing saved the lives of many mariners. In Greece, he is the patron of sailors. Here is a link to a story about a United Nations treaty meant to protect the rights of the commerical sailors who help ship goods around the world.           

Santa is about more than gift giving.  I don’t think St. Nicholas would have lined up at Best Buy at 5 AM the morning after Thanksgiving to get a bargain on a laptop.

One source for this post was The Oxford Companion To The Year—An Exploration Of Calender Customs And Time-Reckoning. It’s a great book.

December 5, 2007 Posted by | Books, History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments