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Bolivar Ferry Gibb Gilchrist In Houston Ship Channel Boat Yard For Work—Free Ferry Is Socialism

Where are boats in the Bolivar Ferry fleet sent when they need maintenance or repairs?

From the picture above that I took last week, I’d say they go to a boat repair yard in the Houston Ship Channel.

Above you see the Bolivar Ferry called the Gibb Gilchrist in a boat repair yard in Houston Ship Channel.

The Gilchrist is the yellow boat in the middle of the picture.

The Bolivar Ferry runs from Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula. It is a “free” service run by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Where are the cries of socialism?

I thought a real Texan could cross a few miles of Galveston Bay on his or her own and without help from a meddling government.

Where are the citizen-volunteers to fix the boat, instead of the tab taxpayers are no doubt picking up for whatever work is being done?

Here are facts about who Gibb Gilchrist was from the excellent Handbook of Texas Online.  The upshot  is that Mr. Gilchrist was once President of Texas A & M.

The Bolivar Ferry is a great ride. You can walk on and take a round-trip that will run about 50 minutes. You’ll see big ships and you might see some dolphins.

While you are riding the Bolivar Ferry, you are using a taxpayer-provided government service that enhances the common good.

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July 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

View Texas In A Different Way—Alexandre Hogue & Texas Post Office Murals

I’ve bought two art books in recent weeks that show Texans working together and respecting the land and culture of the Lone Star state.

These two books are shown above as they are being read by two members of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts.

On the left, Extinct–A woolly mammoth–is reading Alexandre Hogue–An American Visionary.

On the right, Cactus is reading The Texas Post Office Murals-Art For The People.

Both of these titles are published by Texas A & M University.

Alexandre Hogue lived 1898-1994. He spent most of his life in Texas and New Mexico.

From the excellent Handbook of Texas Online-

“(Hogue) is best known for his paintings of the Dust Bowl of the American Southwest during the Great Depression. Most of his work on this subject is from the 1930s, but the theme of natural balance-and the resulting environmental disasters when humans fail to respect that balance-is found throughout his work.”

Alexandre Hogue’s paintings offer a way of seeing Texas in a way that reflects something more than just doing whatever you want no matter the harm it causes others.

Below is Hogue’s 1939 painting The Crucified Land.

Again from The Handbook of Texas Online

“Post office murals capture the flavor of Texas through its most prominent symbols. Themes include regional history and early settlement. For example, the arrival of the conquistadors in West Texas is a mural theme in the Canyon, El Paso, and Amarillo post offices. Pioneer settlers appear in the murals of Mart, Big Spring, Brady, Wellington, and others. Included also are murals depicting various industries that characterize Texas, such as ranching (Fredericksberg, Amarillo); agriculture (Elgin, Farmersville, Longview); oil operations (Kilgore, Graham); and lumber manufacturing (Jasper, Trinity).”

Here is a list of Texas post office murals. Some of these murals are still around to view. Others are not. Check in advance.

Below is a picture I took from the Post Office of a 1941 Jerry Bywaters mural called Houston Ship Channel: Loading Cotton.

This painting is at a Houston parcel post facility and, regretfully, is not at the moment able to be seen by the public.

Texas can be seen from many different perspectives. You don’t have to accept a Texas where the land and the environment mean nothing, and where the little person gets no regard from the powerful other than a kick in the head.

See Texas in a more just and hopeful way, and then work hard to make your vision a reality.

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

President Obama To Visit Texas—How Will He Refrain From Laughing When Some Texans Demand More Federal Help?

President Obama will be Texas today.

The President is scheduled to visit El Paso and Austin.

(Above–President Obama at Texas A & M University in 2009. President Obama and Texans get along just fine–Unless some folks would claim that the photo is a fake.)   

Because the Johnson Space Center Houston was not awarded a retired space shuttle, and because the President has not declared a federal emergency over ongoing wildfires in Texas, some feel Mr. Obama does not like Texas.

This article on the President’s visit to Texas written by Maria Recio at McClatchy Newspapers has the following quote–

“You can almost make the case the administration has a vendetta against Texas,” said Republican Rep. Michael Burgess.

Congressman Burgess has also been going around talking about fictitious death panels as a part of Health Care Reform.

Why would anybody not like such a fine person?

The federal government has helped Texas with the wildfires—

“Current federal aid covers 75 percent of Texas’s costs for emergency response work, such as evacuations, equipment, field camps and meals for firefighters, police barricading and traffic control. The agency’s regional office in Denton continues to monitor the situation and work closely with Texas Forest Service and Texas Division of Emergency Management, FEMA officials say. In addition, firefighting teams from more than 30 states have provided state-to-state support for firefighting efforts in Texas.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry has asked why parts tornado ravaged Alabama have been declared disaster zones while  Texas has not been so designated.

From our Governor—

“You have to ask, ‘Why are you taking care of Alabama and other states?’ I know our letter didn’t get lost in the mail…” 

What a decent Christian man.

If it is all about a political grudge, why should President Obama help Alabama anymore than he should assist Texas? Barack Obama won 39% of the vote in Alabama in 2008. He lost Texas with 44% of the vote.

The President is not going to win Alabama in 2012.

Here is the bottom line—

Rick Perry and Texas accepted many billions of dollars of Barack Obama approved federal stimulus dollars. 

The federal government has helped Texas with the wildfires.  Tea Party supporters and other Republicans and others are free to form a battalion citizen volunteers to help Texans deal with the problems presented by wildfires. To this point, though the fires have been going on for some weeks now, I’m not aware of any so-assembled  citizen-volunteers.

* The Lyndon B. Johnson  Space Center was a gift to Texas from a Texas politician who looked up to Franklin D. Roosevelt as a hero. You’d think that conservative Texans would be demanding that the federally operated  Space Center be removed from Texas as an intrusion upon our states rights and sense of self -reliance.

It is not that I view Barack Obama with an uncritical eye, it is just that opposition to him in some quarters of Texas is so extreme that you can’t but help to be glad to see the guy in the Lone Star State. You’ve got to appreciate him for the enemies he has made.

The bad news for Texans is that these enemies, maybe 20% of all Texans, are the people who vote in Republican primaries. This angry minority is doing great harm to public education and public health in Texas.

May 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2010 Texas A & M Maroon Out Shirt Is Pure Socialism

Above is a shirt design for an upcoming Texas A & M football game.

There is, I’ve just read, a yearly custom at A & M called Maroon Out that involves the design of a new Aggie t-shirt.

This year’s slogan is pure socialism. I love it.

“None of us are as strong as all of us.”

This slogan is fully appropriate as A & M is a public institution. It is owned by all the people of Texas.

They say that A & M is a conservative campus in a conservative state.

Maybe though Aggies are seeing the light.

We are at our best when we come together as a society to meet the challenges of the day.

I’m certain Aggies all over our great nation take Social Security benefits and make use all types of government services.

Here is a link to a post I did about the 1912 socialist platform. It is filled with crazy ideas like a minimum wage and a progressive income tax.

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Hank Gilbert For Texas Commissioner Of Agriculture—Why You Should Support Hank Gilbert

I support Hank Gilbert in the Democratic primary for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture.

(Above—A Texas Longhorn. The leading agricultural exports of Texas are live animals and red meat. Here are facts about Texas Longhorns.)

Here is the web home for Mr. Gilbert’s campaign.

The primary is March 2.  Early voting begins February 16. Here are facts about early voting in Texas.

Why do I support Mr. Gilbert?

Here is why—

1. Mr. Gilbert has extensive education and experience in agriculture. Here are some facts about Mr. Gilbert

“Hank earned his bachelors degree in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M, where he was the Student Council representative for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and was also a recruiter for the Agricultural Education Department. Upon graduation, Hank was hired to teach high school agriculture in East Texas where he worked for 13 years. Since leaving the teaching profession, Hank has continued to work with agricultural youth, both as a volunteer 4-H leader in his community and with the local FFA chapter. In 2005, Hank created the East Texas Jr. Invitational Livestock Expo in Smith County, Texas. To date, this show has awarded over $75,000 in scholarships to its participants to support their educational pursuits.2. Mr. Gilbert is committed to making the Texas Department of Agriculture a friend of the small Texas farmer. He will be aggressive in promoting Texas  agriculture to ever wider markets and he will advocate for organic and sustainable farming methods in our state.”

(Below–Watermelon is an important Texas crop. Here are facts about watermelon production in Texas from Texas A & M. A & M has an entire program about the growing and the study of watermelons.)

2. Mr. Gilbert will advocate for small Texas farmers. Mr. Gilbert will work hard to promote Texas agriculture to ever wider markets and he will support organic and sustainable farming methods in Texas.

Here is the link to Mr. Gilbert’s plan for Texas agriculture.

3. Mr. Gilbert is an energetic campaigner who will work to help elect Democrats throughout Texas.

Please consider voting for Mr. Gilbert in the 2010 Texas Democratic primary.

Here is a brief description of all the candidates running for Agriculture Commissioner from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Here is the Texas Farm Bureau.

Here are facts about Texas agriculture from the Texas Department of Agriculture.

( Aquaculture is a part of Texas Agriculture. Below you see the Channel Catfish. This fish is farmed in Texas. Here is the Texas Aquaculture Association. )

February 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Brazos Coalition Against War To Hold Protest At Texas A & M University On January 20

There will be a protest against President Obama’s policies in Afghanistan and Iraq next week in College Station, Texas.

The protest is called Where’s The Change. It will take place on Wednesday, January 20  from 5 PM until 8 PM at the intersection of Texas and University Avenues in College Station. This location is quite proximate to Texas A& M University.

( Above–The Ross Volunteers at Texas A & M University. Formed in 1887, this is the official honor guard for the Governor of Texas. This picture was taken by Melanie Sarzynski.)

It takes guts to have an anti-war protest in proximity to Texas A & M University. Those folks over there are often very conservative.

This rally is being staged by the Brazos Coalition Against War.

Here is what the Brazos Coalition says about the protest—

“The Brazos Coalition Against War is sponsoring a protest against the Obama Administration’s escalation of the War in Afghanistan and the continued War in Iraq. The Brazos Coalition Against War is sponsoring a major protest on January 20, 2010, which marks a year since Barack Obama’s inauguration as a President who campaigned on ending the foreign policy of President George W. Bush. However, the Obama Administration has continued the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, continuing the occupation of Iraq and escalating the war in Afghanistan. The purpose of the protest is and to demand that our leaders end the United States occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and that all military service members and civilian contractors are brought home. The protest will be held from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the corner of University Drive and Texas Avenue in College Station, Texas. Members of both community chapter of Brazos Coalition Against War and the Texas A&M student chapter will be in. The Brazos Coalition Against War, active for over three years in the Bryan-College Station area, includes individuals, students, and community groups opposed to the War in Iraq. The Brazos Coalition Against War website can be found on Facebook.”

Taking a lead role in this demonstration is fellow blogger and good friend Teddy Wilson.

Teddy writes the blog Left of College Station-–A Liberal Voice in a Conservative Community.

Please visit Teddy’s blog.

Teddy also hosts the radio program Information Underground.  This program runs from 5 PM  to 6 PM each Sunday on 89.1  KEOS in College Station.

Please click here to listen to recent broadcasts of Information Underground.

Teddy Wilson is the real thing. He is a great champion of liberal causes.

If you live anywhere close to College Station, please consider attending the rally on January 20 at 5 PM at the intersection of Texas and University Avenues.

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Houston Council Candidate Noel Freeman

Noel Freeman is running for At-Large position 4 on the Houston City Council. Mr. Freeman is a Democrat.

Above you see a picture of Mr. Freeman. He is in front of Houston City Hall. Mr. Freeman works for the Department of Public Works in Houston.

What was Mr. Freeman thinking while posing for this picture? He looks serious enough, but he might have been thinking of something silly.

I think Mr. Freeman was thinking about this truck full of puppies you see below.

File:Pupsinavan.jpg

Mr. Freeman first attracted my regal notice by making a friend request on Facebook. Blogging is an act of vanity and I’m glad for all attention.      

Mr. Freeman and I later exchanged messages on Facebook regarding the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library  in College Station, Texas. I’d mentioned I was thinking of visiting the library and Mr. Freeman said such a visit would be worth my time.

Reading about Mr. Freeman on Facebook, I learned he is a graduate of Texas A & M in College Station.  

Checking out his campaign web home, I learned he is a member of the Houston Area Stonewall Democrats.

I never get tired of telling people that I was a Stonewall Cincinnati endorsed candidate for the Cincinnati Board of Education in 1997.

Mr. Freeman is a former Republican who supported Barack Obama in 2008. He had a conversion. 

Below is how Michelangelo painted St. Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus.

File:4paul1.jpg

 Mr. Freeman addressed his political switch in a comment on the Houston blog Dos Centavos.

I’ve linked to Mr. Freeman’s campaign web home up at the top of this post. You can see what he is saying. Of course what Mr. Freeman is saying at his web home is what many candidates for office in Houston say.

Mr. Freeman loves Houston. Mr. Freeman is for safe streets. Mr. Freeman is for a strong economy in Houston.

And that’s great—I’m glad Mr. Freeman has these views.  

Regular readers here know I have a longstanding concern that the Democratic Party in Houston—and in cities across the nation— use minority voters without offering much in return for the loyalty at the polls. I’ve also said that the concerns of Houston’s many poor people are ignored at election time.   

I’d like to see Mr. Freeman please address these issues. What will he do to make the Democratic party in Houston more responsive to the needs and hopes of all Houstonians?   

Houston is a Democratic city. Many council races this year will be fought out between Democrats. I’d like to know what Mr. Freeman sees as the role of the Democratic Party in Houston. 

Politics is at core an act of imagination. You envision something that does not yet exist and you work to make it real. What does Mr. Freeman see as undone in our city? There people in our city who are not on the agenda at City Hall. What will Mr. Freeman do to get them on the agenda?     

I recently met Mr. Freeman for the first time. He seems like an okay guy. He said if I had any questions I should get in touch. All righty—I can do that. I’m going to place the link to this post on his Facebook page and see what he says in reply. I’ll keep the blog reading public updated on this matter.  

(Below—The Bush Library in College Station.) 

File:BushLibrary.JPG

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Art, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Texas A & M Backs Up Talk With Service In Iraq

 

I’m not a big fan of the Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas. I find its culture to be both aggressive and insular.

However, it must also be noted that A & M students are backing up what they say with service in Iraq.

26 year old Jeremy Ray of Houston, a 2006 A & M graduate, was the 14th Aggie to die in the Iraq War. He was killed last week by a suicide bomber.

If 14 have been killed, than many more must be serving. And no doubt a number of those serving have been wounded.  

Regardless of whether I agree or not with the War in Iraq, with a volunteer army we need people who are willing to fight our wars. The next war, assuming it is not with Iran, may well be vital to our nation.

It’s clear that Texas A & M students are willing to be of service.  

( Below is the A & M campus in 1883)

December 23, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , | 5 Comments