Texas Liberal

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What Google Searches Miss

I was looking up something on Google and typed the letter A. I saw that the word Amazon came up. Because my mind is weak, I then typed in each letter of the alphabet to see what word came up with each letter. Below is the list of what came up and in my view, of what should have come up.

Based on what comes up in these Google searches, it seems that many of us like to shop. It also seems that people like services that are free. 

A—Amazon

What should come up is Arthur Ashe. 

B—Best Buy

What should come up is Book. As in–Get off the computer and go read a book.

C—Craigslist

What should come up is Copley. As in, my favorite painting is John Singleton Copley’s Paul Revere. (Below)

D—Dictionary 

I can’t improve on that. Good to see people looking up the right word to use.

E—ebay

What should come up is Elusive. As in, the true origin of many products sold on ebay can be Elusive.  

F—Facebook

Well–I use Facebook enough so I guess I can’t begrudge folks. Feel free to look me up on Facebook—Neil Aquino—and send me a friend request. My current profile picture is myself wearing a suit and standing in front of a big ice sculpture.  If I had to pick a word for F, it would be Friend in any case. It is good to have Friends.  

G—Google

What should come up is Galveston, Texas. As in visit Galveston, Texas for a nice day at the beach or a nice weekend.

H–Hotmail 

What should come up is History. As in, it is fun and useful to learn History. Or, Alan Taylor’s American Colonies is a great History book.

I—Imdb ( I had to look up what this was. It is a database of movies and movie stars.)

What should come up is Island. As in, I wish I lived on a distant Island.  Or, I wish you lived on a distant Island. 

J—JC Penney

What should come up is Joy Division. Love Will Tear Us Apart is my favorite song.

K—Kohls

What should come up is King. As in Martin Luther King.  (Click here to see the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference list on the web.)

L—Lowes

What should come up is Liberal. It’s okay that it did not come up though since liberals did so well in the most recent election.

M—-Myspace

What should come up is Martin Van Buren. A founder of the American system of political parties, Martin Van Buren (below) is worth more study and thought than folks realize. (Please consider starting your studies on Van Buren by clicking here.)

Martin Van Buren 

N—Netflix

What should come up is Night Out. As in, forget the Netflix and have a Night Out at a restaurant and movie.  

O—Orkut (This is a social networking site run by Google. I had never heard of it. )

What should have come up is Optimistic. As in, I hope all people are able to remain Optimistic even in these hard times.

P—Photobucket

What should come up is Poetry. Here is a bit of  Chinese Poetry from the 8th century. 

Late autumn strips the distant hills

beyond the city gate.

A huge white cloud interrupts my dreams

and returns me to this world.

And you, old friend?

Flown silent as a crane.

Will you ever return

to your old home again?

Q—Quotes

Okay. I can go with that.  A great quote is  “A trifle consoles us because a trifle distresses us.”  This was by Blaise Pascal. 

R—Runescape  (This is some kind of online game. When I clicked on it, it said that 117,123 people currently playing. I guess no matter how in-touch you think you are, there is big stuff you are missing.)

What should come up is Roses. As in Roses are my wife’s favorite  flower and my wife is the best person in the world.

S—Sears

What should come up is Socialism. With the right in such a lather over the word, why not explore its meanings and see what it can offer in this time of free market failure.

T—Target

What should come up is Texas Liberal. Thanks for reading my blog!  

U—utube

What should come up is Universal. As in, before long we must have government funded Universal health care in America.   

V—Verizon Wireless

What should come up is Vanuatu. Vanuatu is a small Pacific Ocean island nation.

Below is a picture of the parliament building in Vanuatu….

 

…That was modeled upon the old Howard Johnson’s chain.

W—Walmart

What should come up is Wages. As in, raise Wages at Wal-Mart.

 X—Xbox 360

What should come up is Xenial.  Xenial means ” …the friendly relations between a guest and a host, or between a person and a foreign country.”  Xenial is a very good word to know. 

Y—Youtube

What should come up is You. As in, You are not the center of the world no matter how many products and services emphasize the word You.  

Z—Zappos (This is a an online seller of purses and shoes.) 

What should come up is Zebra. As in it is excellent to be able to run a picture of  Zebras on this blog. (Please click here to learn about Zebras.)

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Bernie Sanders Of Vermont–Socialist United States Senator

Yesterday I wrote that conservatives and Republicans were helping Americans consider socialism as an option for the first time, simply because the political is so often repeating a word that most Americans had never given much thought about . In yesterday’s post I said that today I would consider Vermont’s self-described socialist United States Senator Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders has held public office in Vermont since 1981. In 1981 he was elected Mayor of Burlington. He won that election by 10 votes. Burlington is Vermont’s largest city with a 20oo population of around 39,000. In 1990, Mr. Sanders was elected to serve as Vermont’s at-large member of the U.S House Of Representatives. Mr. Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate  from Vermont in 2006.

Here is Senator Sanders’ web home in the Senate.

Here is some description of Mr. Sanders from the 2008 Almanac of American politics—

Sanders grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, the son of a paint salesman who had emigrated from Poland; his mother died when he was a teenager. He became involved in radical politics at the University of Chicago, then came to Vermont as part of the hippie invasion of 1968 and worked as a carpenter. Four years later, he ran in a special 1972 Senate election….Sanders won just 2% as the candidate of the socialist Liberty Union Party. His rumpled, tieless, sincere persona helped him election as Mayor of Burlington in 1981…”

On the way to the Senate, Mr. Sanders lost his first statewide race in 1988 for Vermont’s one House seat. He won in 1990 in good part because of the National Rifle Association. The Republican elected to the House in 1988 voted for the semiautomatic weapon ban while Mr. Sanders opposes gun control.

Hence the saying that politics makes for strange bedfellows.

In Congress Mr. Sanders has focused on the cost of prescription drugs. He was the first to propose the 2001 personal income tax rebate that later was taken up by former President Bush and Congressional Republicans. He has opposed NAFTA and other free trade agreements saying the harm workers in the United States and in the countries who are our partners in these treaties.

Mr. Sanders strongly opposed the Patriot Act.  This is a view that put him on the same side as many libertarians.

Writing in The Huffington Post last December, Senator Sanders said he supported the following–

“A major economic recovery program which invests at least $400 billion in each of the next two years to create millions of good-paying jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and moving us toward energy independence, sustainable energy and energy efficiency.”

I think this idea, with a few hundred billion dollars tacked on, will sound familiar to most Americans at this point.

Here is what Mr. Sanders said in a 2006 article at Common Dreams.org about his focus and his success at the polls.

“He says his consistent electoral success reflects the widespread discontent with rising inequality, deepening poverty and dwindling access to affordable healthcare in the US. “People realise there is a lot to be learned from the democratic socialist models in northern Europe,” Mr Sanders said. “The untold story here is the degree to which the middle class is shrinking and the gap between rich and poor is widening. It is a disgrace that the US has the highest rate of childhood poverty of any industrialised country on earth….”

Mr. Sanders was willing to take on Alan Greenspan long before most were willing to do so.

 Here is a list of a number of votes that Mr. Sanders has cast in recent years.

Senator Sanders has shown  that one can be what many would consider quite far to left, and still be able to reach the high post of United States Senator. With the involvement of government in so many aspects of our economy in recent months, Mr. Sanders may well be able to say that the nation is moving closer to his ideals than to those of his critics and towards the critics of government intervention in the economy.

The people of Vermont know Mr. Sanders well after all his years of seeking office in that state. Now the nation is moving closer to the views of Mr. Sanders and his supporters in Vermont.  On the other hand, familiarity with George W. Bush and his radical free-market ideas bred only contempt with the majority of American people.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Books, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ron Paul Joins The Socialist Movement—Welcome Aboard!

So-called libertarian Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican from the Houston-Galveston area, is now happily part of the Obama Socialist movement. (Above are logos of the Socialist Party of Portugal. This is what party Rep. Paul would be a member of if he lived in Portugal.)

Here is the Houston Chronicle reporting on Congressman Paul’s adding of earmarks to the recent stimulus bill —“Rep. Ron Paul vehemently denounced the $410 billion catch-all spending bill approved last week by the House of Representatives. But although the libertarian-leaning Republican from Lake Jackson cast a vote against the massive spending measure, his fingerprints were on some of the earmarks that helped inflate its cost. Paul played a role in obtaining 22 earmarks worth $96.1 million, which led the Houston congressional delegation, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of more than 8,500 congressionally mandated projects inserted into the bill. His earmarks included repair projects to the Galveston Seawall damaged by Hurricane Ike and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.”

It’s easy to say you oppose the bill and vote against the bill when you know it is going to pass. What would have been the real test for Rep. Paul would have been to not  add any projects to the bill. If you know it is going to pass, you know that by adding projects you will be increasing the cost of the package.

I’m glad to see that big government is on the move in the United States and in Texas. People can whine and moan, but in the end they know that it is only government that can do big things such as fixing the Galveston Seawall and the Intracoastal Waterway after a hurricane.

With the support of people such as Representative Paul here in Texas, I know that this movement of big government will be very hard to stop even after the recession ends.

Also, in addition to Congressman Paul, let me please thank former President George W. Bush for messing up so bad that he made this all possible. I’ve been waiting really all my life for a government that works for average folks and now finally it seems we have that chance.   

(Below–The Intracoastal Waterway at Bolivar and entering Galveston Bay)

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Galveston, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

1920 Presidential Election—Who Was The Best Candidate?

Who was the best candidate in the 1920 Presidential election? 

The Republican nominee was Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio. Senator Harding, a deeply conservative and unimaginative figure, has long been regarded as one of our worst Presidents.   

No right-thinking person would have voted for Mr. Harding in 1920. The fact that 60% of the electorate did indeed vote for Mr. Harding only proves my point.

The Democrat was Governor James Cox of Ohio. Governor Cox’s record in Ohio did have its merits. He had regulated utilities, required lobbyists to register, built more up-to-date schools and advocated for a workmen’s compensation law.

A bad point about Governor Cox was that he had signed into law a bill that prohibited teaching students any language but English up until the eighth grade. This legislation was part of anti-German paranoia during WW I. The target of the law was the teaching of German in heavily German Ohio cities such as Cincinnati.

The Socialist was Eugene V. Debs of Indiana. Much of what Socialists proposed may have seem far-fetched at the time, but later became part of American life.

The 1920 Socialist platform advocated a minimum wage, an end to child labor, and rights for black Americans.

Mr. Debs had won 6% of the vote in the 1912 Presidential election and would win 3.4% in 1920. Not a bad showing for a third-party candidate.

In 1920, I would have likely voted for Mr. Debs. The election was a clear Harding victory. It would have worth the risk to vote for Mr. Debs and his greater social vision, at the expense of the more progressive of the major party candidates.

In fairness, it should be noted that President Harding pardoned Mr. Debs from jail. Mr. Debs had been put in jail by Woodrow Wilson’s Justice Department for his opposition to WW I.  Mr. Debs ran his 1920 campaign from prison.

President Wilson would not pardon Mr. Debs. President Harding was more humane and just in this regard.

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments