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At Core Far-Right Houston Councilmember Helena Brown Is Wasting Our Time—A Woolly Mammoth’s Perspective

The Houston Chronicle reports that far-right Houston City Council Member Helena Brown may have altered the time sheets of her City Hall staff so they would not be paid for all the hours they worked.

From The Chronicle

“Houston City Councilwoman Helena Brown subtracted hours from employees’ timecards in apparent violation of federal law, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle. The first-term councilwoman shorted an employee by more than three hours in a day in several cases. At least six times, Brown deleted enough hours from employees’ reported workweeks that it cost them overtime by bringing their weekly total under 40 hours.”

Ms. Brown had previously  said that she would not allow her staff to work a full work week so that the city would save money on benefits for these staffers.


I was not going to write Ms. Brown and this issue because it is so depressing and so stupid.

Ms. Brown is a far-right extremist elected in a low turnout race.  I expect little of her. There are so many hopeful things that we can respond to in life. And yet here are these people elected for no other purpose it seems but to harm the public welfare. I get tired of it.

Ms. Brown thinks the United Nations is directing City of Houston policy.

Also, many Top Houston and Texas political bloggers have written about this issue already. Brains & Eggs, Dos Centavos, Bay Area Houston and Off The Kuff  all have something useful to say about Ms. Brown. What could I add?

But as I thought about it, I recalled that I have my own Helena Brown material. I do try to use my own stuff.

The blog reading public merits no less.

Below is a picture I took of Ms. Brown last April reading a proclamation at a parade in Downtown Houston honoring Iraq War Veterans.

(The woman in the red dress to the right of Ms. Brown is my terrible State Representative Sarah Davis. Ms. Davis has done all she can to work with Rick Perry to decimate educational and environmental funding in the  Texas state budget. Ann Johnson is running against Ms. Davis in 2012 to represent Texas House District 134. Here is the link to send Ms. Johnson a few dollars.)

How about that flag shirt Congressman Al Green is wearing!

The Chronicle story was not the only news about Ms. Brown this week.

The Houston Press ran a story about Councilmember Brown and a man named William Park.

The Press says that this Mr. Park is an advisor to Ms. Brown who exerts a great deal of influence on Ms. Brown and her right-wing agenda.

Here is the Press story.

Read it and make of it what you will.

Here an excerpt from the Press story—

“Park circulated business cards…with the City of Houston seal. The cards advertised Park as Brown’s “chief adviser.” City Attorney David Feldman later stopped Park, saying the city emblem couldn’t be used on a volunteer’s business cards.”

I found this interesting because I once briefly met Mr. Park. Councilwoman Brown and I ran into each other at the Iraq veterans parade. We had met once before.  She said she’d like to to meet with me again sometime soon because she felt that I had not accurately characterized  her in previous posts I’d written. Mr. Park was with her and he gave me his business card.  I recall Mr. Park as a tall man with a cowboy hat. (Ms. Brown and I  never did have that conversation.) 

Below is a picture of the business card that Mr. Park handed me that day. The card is being shown here by Extinct. Extinct is a Woolly Mammoth and is a member of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts.

You see that this may be one of the business cards that Mr. Park was handing out after he was told to stop using the City of Houston emblem.

I really don’t know where we get all these people.

Extinct says that it never has been any different.

A Woolly Mammoth is very good at taking the long view.

He says that trouble never stops coming, and in the end the issue will be did you make your case in the time that you had and with the resources at your disposal.

All we can do is stay the course.

July 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas Liberal Panel Of Experts Reads Asian Poetry From Across The Ages Every Chance They Get—Not A Word Is Wasted

It has been sometime since the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has been seen on the blog.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering what they’ve been up to in recent weeks.

They’ve been reading books of Asian poems written many years ago.

What else did you think they’d be doing?

Extinct has been reading Japanese Death Poems–Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death.

Being a Woolly Mammoth, Extinct is always interested in reading about death.

Here is a poem from Death Poems written by a man named Gasan in 1885–

Blow if you will,

Fall wind—the flowers

Have all faded.

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat is reading Crossing The Yellow River–Three Hundred Poems From The Chinese.

As you can tell from the picture, Hamburger has studied Crossing many times.

Below is a poem from Crossing called View From Heron Tower. It was written by a Wang Chih-huan who lived 688-742.

The white sun is hidden by the mountains.

The Yellow River empties into the sea.

Climb up one floor:

You’ll see a hundred miles more.

Cactus is reading Written on Water—Five Hundred Poems from the Man’yoshu.

Cactus likes to read about water for a change of pace from the day-to-day life of a cactus.

Below is a poem from Written that was authored by a Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaro.  This poet lived in the late 7th and early 8th centuries.

Far above the roar

Of the rapids of the stream,

About the peak of graceful Mt. Yutsuki,

Hover heavy clouds.

Samuel Slater Bobblehead is reading Songs of the Kisaeng–Courtesan Poetry of the Last Korean Dynasty.

As always, Samuel Slater Bobblehead is quite industrious in his reading.

Below is a poem from Songs called Who Caught You? It was written by Kungnyo. Kungnyo lived in either the 16th or 17th century.

Who caught you, fish, then set you free

Within my garden pond?

Which clear northern sea did you leave

for these small waters?

Once here, with no way to flee,

you and I are the same.

The poems in these books waste no words. They convey both ideas and feelings from across many years.

No wonder the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts enjoys these books to such a degree.

(Below–The Yellow River in Qinghai Province. Picture by Andre Holdrinet. This is not as serene a place as  it may appear. There was a big earthquake in this province in 2010 that killed many people.  Here are facts about the the Yellow River.)

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Just Kids Wins National Book Award—Woolly Mammoth Reflects On Life And Loss

As I noted a few days ago, Extinct, a Woolly Mammoth, is the newest contributor to Texas Liberal.

Extinct has been reading of late  Just Kids by the performer and artist Patti Smith.

This book tells the story of Ms. Smith’s youthful friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe.

Mr. Mapplethorpe, a well-known photographer, died of AIDS at age 43 in 1989.

As a Woolly Mammoth, Extinct knows all about the passing of time and about the value of longtime relationships.

Longtime friendships offer a measure of reply to death.

There is at least an illusion of permanence when someone knows us as we change with the years.

There is also memory.

The depth of memory when we know a person very well after many years allows us to transcend the passing time.

Just Kids was recently selected as the winner of the National Book Award.

I suggest that you read Just Kids. Just Kids is an instructive book about life, relationships, and death.

Extinct feels the same way about this book. Extinct has seen a lot of life and death.

November 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments