Texas Liberal

All People Matter

The Airplane Trip I’m Taking Soon Has Value—Let Us Do Our Best In A Complicated World

I’m going to take an airplane trip in the next few days.

I’ll be flying on the type of plane you see above. That plane is a Embraer ERJ 145. ( Photo by n4451.)

Why will I be taking this airplane trip?

Because I’ve made the call that the money it costs to buy the ticket, the time it will take to make the flight, and the time I’ll spend in the place I am visiting, are worth the costs.

This is not to define what we do with our lives as no more than mere financial transactions. The power of money should conform to needs of people, not the other way around.

A nation governed on an opposing principle is a nation governed illegitimately.

Every decision we make has some basis. We have the ability as individuals to determine why we should act in one way and not in another. We have the ability as individuals to use our resources of money, time, and energy in the way we see fit.

Yet if the basis of our decisions extends no further than our own interests, we are giving up the best aspect sof our individuality.

As individuals, we have the ability to be with others in hopeful relationships, and to work with others for shared goals.

Every action has a cost. This is good. This helps assess the value of the way we spend our lives.

There is, of course, another question. Does the trip I’ll be taking merit the impact my flight will have on others I do not know?

On one hand, my ticket will help pay people’s salaries.  On the other hand, the airplane will emit pollution.

I don’t have the answer to the worth of this trip in this context.

I don’t have all the answers.

To say you do not have all the answers is not to abdicate responsibility for your actions.

Rather, it is a commitment to think life out to the extent you are able.

The things we need to assess the value and worth of our actions are all around us.

Our relationships, our thoughts, an airplane and other accessible technologies, our energy, our time, other people, our imaginations.

Let us do our best in a complicated world.

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Should I Switch To An iPhone Or A Palm Pre?

File:Ammersee 29.01.2006.jpg

Should I buy an iPhone or a new Palm Pre phone?

When leaving home I take with me, as a general matter, my very basic cell phone, a few pens, a small notebook in my back pocket and something to read.

If I go to lunch by myself on a day off from work, or when at lunch at work, I use the time to read my book or magazine and mark down anything I wish to recall in my notebook. I use my cell phone to call and check in my wife.

I don’t reject technology. I make calls on my cell. I use a Flip Camera to make videos for this blog. And, as you might guess, I use a computer to write this blog. I don’t have a laptop. I write the blog from my personal computer at home.

I gave some though to if I should switch my phone to one of these new-fangled phones. I came to the view that it would not work for me. As represented by the picture above, I’m fragmented enough.       

I don’t need to check the internet when away from home. I don’t need a phone full of applications to further distract my attentions. I don’t have time enough to read the books and magazines I already own.

Fragmentation in contrast to a more cohesive whole is not a good thing. Look at the fragmented ice in the picture. How could one walk across that ice to get from one place to another? You’d just fall into that cold water and freeze and drown.  

It’s not just the fragments in the picture that are telling—It’s the setting sun as well. If our time is so divided, how can we get something of substance accomplished before it is dark?

I might get a rebate from the so-called service provider—my cell phone company is Sprint and they provide lousy service for the most part— when I buy one of these phones, but how will I get a rebate on the hours of my life?

Excessive fragmentation is bad in our lives. It is also bad for the rain forest.

New Scientist Magazine reports that Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforst is being destroyed in large chunks that are leaving only small fragments left for trees, flowers and animals to survive.

From the article—

THE ongoing degradation of the Amazon rainforest has obscured the plight of its smaller sibling: the Atlantic forest in Brazil, which is a biodiversity hotspot. Once covering about 1.5 million square kilometres, the rainforest has been reduced to about one-tenth of its original area in the past 500 years, a new study has shown….of the remaining forest, about 80 per cent is split into fragments of less than 0.5 square kilometres. The average distance between these fragments is 1.4 kilometres, making it difficult for animals to move from one part of the forest to another.

Here are some facts about the Atlantic Forest.

Below is a painting by a Johann Moritz Rugendas of the cutting down of trees in the Atlantic Forest. This painting was completed sometime between 1820 and 1825. You see that the darker skinned people are working and the lighter skinned people are either sitting down or up on a horse.

File:Rugendas - Defrichement d une Foret.jpg

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Post #1000—Little Is So High Or So Low That It Is Unwelcome

This is the 1000th Texas Liberal blog post. That’s a lot of work.

Is blogging a good use of time? How we use our time is many respects a roll of the dice. Hopefully, when the bell tolls, you’ll be glad with the things you did.  

We’re having a big party to celebrate my blogging milestone. See above the top name entertainment at the party. It’s a wild night. Salma Hayek was nice to give of her time.

What? You did not get your invitation? It must have been lost in the mail.

Texas Liberal knows no boundaries—high or low—when it comes to serving the blogging public.

Did you know the National Enquirer reported last week that the Palin family kids have been engaged in any number of misdeeds over the years? The Enquirer was one of the few magazines restocked at Walgreen’s after Hurricane Ike last week. I read all about it. Here is the link to the Enquirer.

They have a new Sarah Palin scoop that is pretty good. They have the name of her lover.

No–It is not John Edwards.

I hope these stories, if true, are able to be worked into the campaign in a way that hurts the McCain/Palin ticket.

It’s all about family values. That’s what Governor Palin says.

Despite the tawdry nature of this post so far, Texas Liberal remains able to meet your intellectual needs.

Check out here the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virgina. They have complete information on all the Presidents. It is very well done.

Or click the link for a review of Alan Taylor’s American Colonies—The Settling of North America. This is one of the best books I have read in recent years. Read it and you’ll not just have a sense of what life was like before the American Revolution, you’ll have a sense of why the American political and social landscape is as it is today.

I have used both these sources a number of times for this blog.

And please never forget–Texas Liberal has the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List on the web.

Here is the one post I’m most glad I’ve written. It’s called People Have A Right To Define Family As They Wish.

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal.

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Though Only 3% Of Water Is Fresh Water, We Can Still Make A Go Of It

This afternoon I came across the fact that only 3% of the water on Earth is fresh water.

I’ve seen that number before, but forgotten about it. 

It’s amazing that so many people and so much life is sustained by 3% of all water.

Sometimes, I feel that only a small percentage of my time is really useful to me and to others.

I know it is important that we sleep, go to work and go grocery shopping, but those things are not really what I want to be doing with so much of my time.

This is so even though sleeping, working and grocery shopping are not always that bad. And I am sometimes of use to others at work. ( At least I hope I am.)

And no matter what else, I know how lucky I am to have time with my wife, time with friends and family, and time to read, think, and work on my blog.

Still, I get frustrated once in a while that life is not fully what I wish it was.

Yet if six billion people can live off of just 3% of the world’s water, I suppose I can make a good go of things with the limited resources of time I have in my control.    

Here is the link to the UNESCO fresh water resource page. Water, like time, has great value.

The photo above is of Lake Laddjujaure in Sweden.

May 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments