The Texas Progressive Alliance welcomes the 2013 Legislature and hopes that it actually tries to make Texas a better place as it brings you this week’s roundup.
The GOP is for more of the same and demonizing the poor and less fortunate, the Democrats are for finding reality-based solutions that help everyone get ahead. WCNews at Eye on Williamson points this out Fairness and equality (are) missing from Texas economy.
There were a few under-reported environmental developments in Texas last week, so PDiddie at Brains and Eggs reported on them.
Over at Texas Kaos, Libby Shaw explains how Senator John Cornyn Threatens to Wreck Our Government. Check it out.
Neil at Texas Liberal posted that he left the woods for the safety of the city.
Texas History for the Week of January 6 – 12
|Actor Guinn Williams Jr. dies (1962)|
|Final bell rings for boxing promoter (1929)|
|Viceroy appoints Coronado to find Seven Cities of Cíbola (1540)|
|Revista Católica relocates to El Paso (1918)|
|Nazareth Academy opens (1867)|
|Big Brazos bridge opens in Waco (1870)|
|James Moreau Brown buys future site of Ashton Villa (1859)|
|Kickapoos rout Confederates in battle of Dove Creek (1865)|
|Prima ballerina Nana Gollner born (1919)|
|Legislature makes fence cutting a felony (1884)|
|Youthful Confederate spy executed at Little Rock by Union soldiers (1864)|
|Frontier icon Crockett loses election, heads for Alamo (1836)|
|Texas Academy of Science organized (1892)|
|Anson Jones commits suicide (1858)|
|Frank X. Tolbert dies (1984)|
|Houston honors philanthropist (1964)|
|Texas aviation leaders die in plane crash (1954)|
|Spindletop oilfield discovered (1901)|
|Black physician and civil rights leader born in Waskom (1894)|
|Black veteran honored for war bond sales (1945)|
|Texas troops captured at Arkansas Post (1863)|
|Confederate Navy sinks Yankee ship (1863)|
|Ambitious French colonization scheme fizzles (1841)|
|Unionist paper closes down (1861)|
|Vigilantes hang horse thief in Denison (1874)|
|Crusading El Paso newspaper folds (1886)|
OMG the Sunday Morning talk shows got to me again! America’s politics is nothing but a script written by bitter old men! Who are these bitter old men? Are they the Republicans who have been in politics for a very long time? Unlike younger Republicans, they have not updated their political stances in the last couple of decades and are less willing to compromise than their more youthful and practical counterparts. The problem with the “Old Guard” is that they are entrenched and are “owned” by special interests. Old Guard on both sides are polar opposites and operational governance is at a standstill!
Ah, the BRICK WALL of RHETORIC.
The CLASH of brick walls is destruction. Brick Walls crush each other because they are rigid. Rigid is great until it runs in to another rigid Brick Wall. The history of human civilizations is paved with crushed walls! Many times these crushed walls are no longer recognizable, because they have turned to dust and rubble. America’s politics is quickly turning into dust and rubble! The American Culture has morphed into the typical formula that “crushed” so many ancient civilizations and is no longer recognizable as the dream of it’s Founding Fathers.
Mitch McConnell is guilty of assuming he knows what a whole, diverse group of people, think, feel and will act. “All the Democrats want to do is spend”. “The Debt Ceiling is a hostage worth ransoming”. So, McConnell’s oath to Grover Norquist appears to supersede his oath to America! Any proposals by the Democrats and President Obama is poison to “Old Guard” handlers. The Senate Minority Leader deliberately does not put names and faces on the population he wants to cut loose fro those “DIRTY ENTITLEMENTS”, which happen to be everything described in the US Constitution. The balancing act between government responsibility to it’s people and it’s lenders has become heavy handed on the scale. One side wants the other side to be responsible for everything. That argument can be pointed in both directions.
But, of course, the OTHER side is just as guilty of painting a radical picture of their opponents. All Republicans want to do is exclude the disadvantaged. All Republicans want to do is protect rich corporations from accountability or liability. NO ONE considers cause and effect, no one considers the consequences of excluding ALL the rich or ALL the poor. No one addresses what has caused disadvantage in the first place …
George Will argued with Robert Reich, that in order to have the welfare state he said Reich and other liberals want, the Bush tax rates on the middle class would have had to been rolled back, taking the entitlement state off the table.
“There are only three liberals in the country, and you’re one, who are actively hostile to arithmetic and therefore, you know ,you cannot fund a state the liberals want, the entitlement state without taxing the middle class at least. And now you’ve given up that with the locking in as permanent law the Bush tax rates — that’s off the table.”
No one seems interested in Cause and Effect … what causes the mess we are in and how do we reverse the trend. If it is really reversible. America is drowning in the Economics of Poverty while it wants to throw all the consequences overboard to lighten the load for what is seen as the “Captains” on America’s lifeboat. Luxuries enjoyed by the wealthy are provided by poorly paid servers. If they throw them all overboard, there will be no one to row the boat.
I propose that “Both Sides” be required to work in the SAME ROOM and talk to EACH OTHER. Lay out all the issues each representative is faced with and tasked to do by their constituents.
I propose that the “Old Guard” be required to admit that the population of America has grown and the Baby Boomers are entering the “entitlement” phase of their lives. They have paid in to the “Safety Net” system put in place with Social Security and Medicare. BossKitty paid Social Security and Medicare taxes for almost 50 years. That is NOT an entitlement, it was an investment!
It appears that the Right Wing Brick Wall has confused the definitions! Social Safety Net vs. SocioEconomic Safety Net! The Brick Wall Tea Party dogma: No Taxes? No Deals? No Compromises! No nothin! Period. The Right Wing Brick Wall cannot consider the dangers of excluding the poorest from their ability to climb out of their poverty. The misconception the Tea Party has is that these “Blood Suckers” enjoy the free services and enjoy their “poverty” entitlements.
Listening to Newt Gingrich, on Sunday Morning Meet The Press Roundtable, shocked me by making a LOT of sense. Newt explained the whole Sandy Relief debacle in the House of Representatives. Why was there no media coverage about the extra “Pork” added to the Disaster Relief bill that had NO relevance to Hurricane Sandy Victims!
On the roundtable, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich chided his Republican colleagues for using the debt ceiling as a political leverage, saying that two other issues, the pending sequestration cuts and the continuing resolution to fund the government, were “much better fights than the debt ceiling.” Gingrich continued, “The debt ceiling guarantees a crisis. It guarantees that the markets will cave in on the Republicans. And the Republicans in the end will give up.”
Why do these guys sound so good and logical when they are no longer pandering to their owners? When they are separated from their handlers, they are really just people. When they are in Campaign Mode, they are nothing but ROBOTS!..
This predisposition that another group is so dependable is great … in a cartoon world! This is where “Stereotypes” come from. So, let’s say I will always act this way … because YOU will always act THAT way! Therefore, I will never consider your points, because you will never consider my points. Tea Party dogma: No Taxes? No Deals? No Compromises! No nothin! Period.
Whether you know it or not, you are conveniently stashed into a social/political cubby hole. Which stereotype YOU fall in to? You will never know, because a team of analysts have decided who and what you are. They feed their findings into a computer and design their ideal political robot to grab your emotions … and vote!
Let’s quit NON-action rhetoric. Drop the SCRIPT written by bitter old men who are nothing more than ‘Front Men/Women’ for special interest lobbies!!!
The RHETORIC that Democrats are SOCIALISTS! Republicans are NAZIs! And, everyone else is irrelevant because they are poor, powerless and don’t know Jack Shit!
Some of the facts that are being run over and ignored by the Brick Walls in Congress:
Freezing social spending would be a reasonable goal if America already treated its poorest citizens adequately, or even tolerably. It does neither. In fact, maintaining entitlement spending at current levels will still leave millions of people in abject poverty, with no possibility of social advancement or even basic comfort and security. The only difference between no cuts and cuts is the difference between more of the same and even more of the same.
Currently, an estimated 46.2 million Americans are in poverty. Nearly 44% of poor Americans are in “deep poverty,” meaning they subsist on below half the official poverty line. Median earnings for all Americans have consistently dropped for the past four decades, and inequality has exploded. Americans are working longer hours in worse jobs for less compensation. Socioeconomic mobility is on its way towards functional extinction. And needless to say, all of these trends are heavily stratified along racial lines. This is the status quo which Beltway progressivism is fighting to preserve, because it can only foresee a worse alternative.
As long as America fails to face the causes for all of it’s woes, toxic exposures to legal and illegal drugs, along with environmental pollution (water and soil), dysfunction will continue to accelerate America’s demise. America’s exposure to toxic substances have made us sicker and richer at the same time. America has sold this formula to other countries and cultures, so this shared disaster is an epidemic. The dysfunction is America’s inability to reduce toxic exposure because it is addicted to the money it brings in. This is the same business model of illegal drug cartels. It is nothing more than a money model. America’s version of this same model is more palatable because it makes it’s citizens believe they are participating in the decision making. When the citizens start suffering from the ill effects of reality, they are fed the placebo of a target group to blame. This is where the dysfunction reaches it’s peak and ordinary citizens start acting out and committing atrocities against each other. The clueless Washington Political Machine continues to play the same script and ignore the consequences of dismissing the causes for poverty and disability that has clogged America’s economic system.
This is absolutely remarkable that this neanderthal Republican publicly stated this nonsense. No wonder that Tea-Publicans are so clueless. They have been brainwashed by Fox and Koch and all the Corporate Jesus wannabes. WWJD?.
The West Bend Republican calls for an end to Kwanzaa, which he describes as a fake holiday aimed at dividing blacks and whites.
While outrage about the so-called war on Christmas has died down for another year, Wisconsin state Senator Glenn Grothman (R) has launched a new war on Kwanzaa, claiming it is a fake holiday invented by racist radicals who want to “divide America.”
In a press release entitled “Why Must We Still Hear About Kwanzaa,” Grothman ranted that Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by “left wing nuts” because “they don’t like America and seek to destroy it.” Grothman is comforted by his belief that “almost all black people ignore” Kwanzaa, but is deeply troubled by the fact that schools are teaching the holiday:
Irresponsible public school districts such as Green Bay and Madison (and who knows how many others…) try to tell a new generation that blacks have a separate holiday than Christians…But why do they do it? They don’t like America and seek to destroy it by pretending that its values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, don’t apply to everyone. Mainstream Americans must be more outspoken on this issue. It’s time it’s slapped down once and for all…Be on the lookout if a K-12 or college teacher tries to tell your children or grandchildren it’s a real holiday.
Oh My! Kwanzaa started by Maulana Karenga who said his goal was to “give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.” … as Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so that practicing Christians would not be alienated, then stating in the 1997 Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, “Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday.” Many Christian African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.
WIKI: Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States (and, more recently, Canada) but also celebrated in the WesternAfrican Diaspora. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba): Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.
“As with previous winners (like Fort Worth city council member Joel Burns in 2010, the Harris County Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign in 2008, and Carolyn Boyle of Texas Parent PAC in 2006), the Tar Sands Blockaders represent what progressive Texans strive for: correcting injustices through direct action. Sometime that takes place at the ballot box, sometimes in the courtroom, and once in a while it happens in the streets. In 2012, it happened in a handful of pine trees in East Texas,” said Vince Leibowitz, president of the TPA.
The Tar Sands Blockade began when TransCanada, the pipeline company constructing the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, began seizing property from East Texans via eminent domain to connect the pipeline, which will transport tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur. Despite the fact that the pipeline hasn’t yet been approved by the US Department of State, TransCanada and other operators have been busily cutting down swaths of forest, appropriating the land along the route as necessary, and when challenged by the small group of people protesting, responded with threatening measures and occasionally brute force.
When petitioning, lobbying, and public hearings failed to slow the construction of the pipeline, concerned citizens took to non-violent protests, risking arrest in order to demonstrate the will and demands of Texans concerned about the environment, about the nation’s continuing dependence on dirty fuels, and the collaboration of government officials with the corporate interests. A group of protestors climbed into a stand constructed in a grove of pine trees and halted construction for weeks.
As construction began in August, protestors began putting themselves on the line. Seven protestors were arrested in Livingston, Texas just before the Labor Day holiday. Even as a judge allowed TransCanada to seize a swath of farmland in Paris, Texas, more protestors chained themselves to construction equipment in rural Hopkins County.
Along with the property owner, actress and activist Daryl Hannah was arrested as the two women physically blocked a piece of heavy equipment and its operator from clearing land for the pipeline. Even as the number of arrests climbed past thirty, the protests grew. A few days before the November election, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was arrested at the construction site in Winnsboro. In Cherokee County, sheriff’s deputies pepper-sprayed protesters. All of this occurred while the legal battle went back and forth — in December, a judge granted, then vacated, his temporary restraining order on pipeline construction.
And the efforts to stop the pipeline continue today, even as pipeline construction proceeds apace. On November 29, Bob Lindsey and prominent environmental activist Diane Wilson were arrested by Harris County sheriff’s deputies outside Valero’s refinery in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston, where the pipeline will terminate. They chained themselves to tanker trucks outside the gates, were promptly taken into custody, and continue a hunger strike to this day that adds the humiliating and disgusting conditions of Harris County’s jail to the list of outrages.
With training and mobilization of additional protests and protestors scheduled for early January, 2013, there will be more to report on this action.
The Texas Progressive Alliance salutes those who have sacrificed so much of themselves to underscore the seriousness of America’s fossil fuel addiction, and how the system of corporate and political corruption has come to manifest itself in the controversy surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline.
Runners-up for this year’s Texan of the Year included the following…
— The emerging scandal of the Texas cancer research organization, CPRIT;
— The spectacular failure of Governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign;
— Attorney General Greg Abbott’s woeful losing record in court in his many lawsuits related to the federal government, including redistricting, voter ID, Obamacare, etc.;
— Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who defied conventional wisdom and was re-elected to the Texas Senate despite the best efforts of Republicans to deny her;
— The expansion of the Texas Congressional delegation to 36 as a result of the 2010 census and apportionment of extra seats based on population growth in the Lone Star State. New Texans in Washington DC include former Democratic state representatives Pete Gallego and Marc Veazey, but also — and unfortunately — ultraconservatives Randy Weber and Steve Stockman.
The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year as it brings you this week’s roundup.
Texas’ budget decisions have always been made with what is best for corporations, big business, and the wealthy at the top of the list. WCNews at Eye on Williamson says It’s time we had a budget in Texas that puts the people of Texas first.
The race to replace the late Sen. Mario Gallegos in the Texas Senate will have eight contestants. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs prognosticates.
Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about the silly Merry Christmas bill proposed by Texas State Rep. Dwayne Bohac. If Christmas and Jesus need a boost even here in Texas, then is it really Dwayne Bohac who will be coming to the rescue?
|Mayor of San Antonio indicted for misapplication of funds (1938)|
|Jury acquits traveling salesman of murder (1880)|
|Historian Gambrell dies (1982)|
|Anson Jones throws Duff Green out of Texas (1844)|
|Western crooner Tex Ritter succumbs in country-music capital (1974)|
|Roger Miller born (1936)|
|Bonnie sculptor born (1890)|
|Presidio County established (1850)|
|General Kiddoo nixes Contract Law (1867)|
|Orphans get new home (1874)|
|Another bad day for A. J. Dorn (1884)|
|Versatile writer dies (1992)|
|Landscape artist Ida Weisselberg Hadra born in Castroville (1861)|
|Texas radio station sets country music standard (1923)|
|Black cowboy Bose Ikard dies (1929)|
|Naval fleet commander relieved on eve of World War II (1941)|
|Cooke County hamlet springs back after Indian raid (1865)|
|First telegraph company in Texas chartered (1854)|
|Pioneer Texas scientist born in Germany (1818)|
2013 (MMXIII) will be a common year starting on a Tuesday in the Gregorian calendar. It will be the 2013th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations; the 13th year of the 3rd millennium and the 21st century; and the 4th of the 2010s decade. It will also be the first year to be denoted by four different digits in 26 years (since 1987).
WHEW – 2013
2012 represents enough trauma to last a decade. Good riddance! We’ve had enough from the Apocalypse of emotional trauma.
Doggedly ignoring all the RETRO shows and commentary, I prefer to put the events and attitudes from 2012 into the bottom drawer and lock it shut. I know a lot of good things happened during 2012, but they remain a raindrop on my dirty windshield as I look forward to the road ahead. My mind is running those windshield wipers to remove the dirt and bugs away from my vision.
Natural and UNnatural disasters plagued 2012. The Mayan Calendar and Nostradamus have had their say. I’ve been taught to be careful with my water and stashed enough food and toilet paper for several weeks, if not months. Because, Mother Earth will continue with her cycles whether I’m prepared or not. So, I choose to be vigilant with my resources. My global disaster scenario is focused on what humans continue to do to humans in the name of some GOD or PROPHET or CORPORATION. I truly do NOT believe that anyone’s understanding of GOD would condone how his or her creations are behaving. I truly do NOT believe that anyone’s understanding of GOD would condone how those same human creations are treating the paradise designed to nurture and sustain them.
Do you really think that GOD has a stake in Wall Street?
Do you really think that GOD has a stake in Petroleum Products, Weapons Manufacture, Bigotry or Tea Parties or Venomous Clergy/Politicians?
Do you really think that GOD is pleased with the way humans have warped the intent of a Supreme Being?
I support the notion that 2013 is the pivotal year for humans to realize that their actions have consequences beyond their immediate understanding. With all the Doomsday marketing, the one good lesson is for humans to pay more attention to their surroundings and understand there is no mommy to follow them and clean up their mess … anymore. Hopefully, if everyone can take responsibility for their own actions, we can put accountability and action back into the same sentence … maybe accountability can go viral. Maybe cleanliness will return to our thoughts and actions and we can stop contaminating the same environment that allows us to live. Maybe we can stop plundering the remaining resources Mother Earth uses to feed, house and clothe us and start nurturing our planet back to life.
The Mayans and many civilizations that preceded us have lessons that we have ignored. Each of those crumbled civilizations missed something crucial to their survival through arrogance and distraction. Political and Religious head games replaced common sense necessary for survival.
The modern world, and Western Civilization especially, has hurt itself by distracting it’s children from the common sense and understanding of the world around them, and how it works. Western Education has replaced common sense, and the rules of cause and effect, with political and religious head games, with emphasis on technology. The technical world has blinded the human symbiotic relationship with planet earth. Our urban children have no clue where their Big Mac comes from. Rural children cannot relate to how crowded and fragile communities exist in large metropolitan cities.
This disconnect between urban and rural, with the dependence on high technological devices and systems, has driven a huge wedge between parts of western culture. We have no idea how stuff works or where it comes from, we just know we must have it …. Corporations plunder this disconnect and encourage misunderstandings so they can target their products to specific regions and mindsets. Industry makes sure that the voting public is under their control by buying politicians, paying for gerrymandering districts so the elections are predictable and the politicians are in their pockets.
The weapons industry depends on an armed society for their profit. The pharmaceutical industry depends on real or imagined ailments for their profit. The petroleum industry has the world by it’s balls, because no matter what alternative energy source is agreed upon, almost everything we use has a petroleum base in it’s manufacture.
Still, there is always something the individual can do. Look at the world around you, respect it. Learn how it works. Respect the world that allows you to live and breathe. Understand that you are not the only living organism in your own body. Everyone contains a host of living organisms inside them. Everyone is 70% fluid, containing bacteria, viruses, bodies and antibodies. Understand that polluted water changes the symbiotic nature of what we are made of. Symbiosis makes us human.
Without understanding how we work and how the earth works and how we can work together for mutual survival, 2013 will be a short year for all of us.
Gaia philosophy (named after Gaia, Greek goddess of the Earth) is a broadly inclusive term for related concepts that living organisms on a planet will affect the nature of their environment in order to make the environment more suitable for life. This set of theories holds that all organisms on a life-giving planet regulate the biosphere to the benefit of the whole. Gaia concept draws a connection between the survivability of a species (hence its evolutionary course) and its usefulness to the survival of other species.
T’was-the-day-before Wrangle … and all through the blogosphere, not a creature was stirring. So here’s the roundup and the best of The Texas Progressive Alliance
WCNews at Eye on Williamson says that Rick Perry and the wingnuts’ latest privatization scheme to be exposed is just the latest instance of the scam that’s always been there for everyone to see.
The legal and moral justification for homophobia, as expressed by Father and Son Scalia, is relayed by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.
With Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina set to become the fifth Black post-reconstruction U.S. Senator, Neil at Texas Liberal posted photos and links about Mr. Scott and the four who came before him.
Texas History for the Week of December 23 – 29
|Scott and White becomes nonprofit hospital foundation (1949)|
|Black militia company organizes in Nueces County (1879)|
|“Santa Claus” robs bank but muffs getaway (1927)|
|Bob Lemmons, “the most original mustanger,” dies (1947)|
|Museum benefactors Kay and Vera Fuller Kimbell marry (1910)|
|Spanish captain’s arrival triggers construction of Presidio del Norte (1759)|
|The railroad comes to Texas (1852)|
|Early community incorporated (1838)|
|Houston and Texas Central reaches Austin (1871)|
|Kit Carson signs Sawtooth Mountain (1839)|
|First Communion service for Texas Episcopalians (1838)|
|Mexican raiders attack Luke Brite’s ranch (1917)|
|Independence Heights is independent no longer (1929)|
|Future Eagle Pass civic leader born in Hungary (1885)|
|Pro-Union Tejanos lynch secessionist judge (1862)|
|First commercial buffalo hunt in Texas (1874)|
|Texas Masons hold first meeting (1835)|
|Stephen F. Austin dies (1836)|
|Austin incorporates–the first such act with public health provisions (1839)|
|Eli Whiteley wins the Medal of Honor in France (1944)|
|Oldest Jewish house of worship in Texas chartered (1859)|
|Poet-horticulturist “Fruit Tree” Ramsey dies (1932)|
|Death of blues king Freddie King (1976)|
|First oil well in Ector County signals development of Odessa (1926)|
|Cartoonist publishes last regular work (1972)|
|Painter Frank Reaugh born in Illinois (1860)|
|Texas Folklore Society founded in Dallas (1909)|
|U.S. Congress approves annexation of Texas (1845)|