This started as an addendum to Monday night's angry post, but it has now graduated to its own entry.
Clarification: There was one particular premise in the last section of Monday night's entry that does not reflect my own beliefs, but a reader took it wildly out of context and tried to cram it back down my throat in social media. I have retracted that entire sentence.
Other than that one retraction, this update is not be construed as a take-back; I stand by my words. The meeting was a horrid mess, thanks to the combined efforts of both the Steering Committee and the Nominating Committee. However, my emotional reaction was wrongheaded. Monday night I was livid. By Tuesday afternoon, I had some perspective.
Bernadine Williams is once again co-chair of HCGP, I learned Tuesday. As expressed elsewhere in this entry, I sincerely wish her and the newly constituted Steering Committee success in growing the party and moving it forward. Despite the history of conflict between us, I'm convinced that those are her goals. I will not stand in the way, nor will I attempt to help.
Five years ago, I told some comrades that I envisioned a critical mass of Millennials taking over HCGP and providing new direction, as has happened in other counties and states. I was tired of our inertia (the "wheel-spinning morass" mentioned in Monday's post). I would have preferred that this new direction would include the old (yes, mostly white) guard, with all their combined experience and institutional memory, but perhaps they (myself included) were the inertia. Perhaps they (we) just had to go.
So yes, I remain upset about the way it happened, but perhaps it was necessary. Perhaps this rebellion will percolate up to the state level. I hope that the Green Party of Texas will be ready for that by the state convention in April. In light of the 2017 state meeting, I will be as elsewhere as possible.
NOTE: I have added a sequel/denouement to this piece here.
Farewell, Harris County Green Party. It was nice knowing you.
I didn't just walk out of the General Meeting tonight. I stormed out, kicking an empty chair dolly that someone had conveniently left between me and the exit. Just for good measure, I kicked it again, turned at the door, raised both my hands, and said, "Bye."
Someone I barely know asked as I hit the door, "What the fuck's your problem?" It occurred to me to re-enter and answer her question, but my problem could not be reduced to a short, tidy response. She would not have listened to the whole answer anyway.
The group with which I have been active for 18 years, more or less, has now ceased to function. That's only the beginning of my problem, the headline. It runs much deeper: HCGP didn't just die; it was killed, and the people who killed it have names, to paraphrase Utah Phillips.
And I have given—or perhaps recycled—my very last fuck.
Sorry about the past week of silence, faithful readers (all three of you). Nothing was happening that I could distill into a coherent entry, and I've been wicked fatigued for most of that time. Tonight, however, the Harris County Green Party has elections for half of its Steering Committee, including one co-chairperson, that could determine its future...or whether, indeed, it will have a future.
In this collection of Blogrolls, of particular interest to me is the Grungy story. Rice University's Marching Owl Band has already formally renamed its band hall in honor of my friend John "Grungy" Gladu, an active MOBster for the better part of 44 years. Grungy first "marched" with the band when he was a senior at Scarborough High School, when the MOB reached out to some area high school bands to provide some extras to satirize Texas Tech's gigantic marching band, which at that time was the nation's largest. He missed a few years when his then-wife Rebecca took a medical job in Hawai'i.
A Texas SBOE candidate called the Parkland high school shooting a "false flag" and the children survivors "crisis actors." Texas Freedom Network reveals the unhinged social media posts of District 11 Republican Cheryl Surber.
RG Ratcliffe at Texas Monthly sees Michael Quinn Sullivan's latest stunt--mailing a postcard to voters that looked like a legal notice--as something considerably worse than a dirty political trick.
It's not just Greg Abbott who's working hard (and spending hard) to defeat Rep. Sarah Davis in #HD134. Jessica Glenza at The Guardian writes about infamous anti-vaxxer Andrew Wakefield's full-court press to help ultraconservative lackey Susanna Dokupil win the Republican primary. (dbc adds: Whilst lunching at Mainely Sandwiches yesterday, after Manchester City finished thrashing Arsenal in the English League Cup final on ESPN, I saw an actual attack ad from Sarah Davis's campaign addressing the many oddities that Ms. Dokupil has exhibited. It's interesting, and perversely gratifying, to see a relatively pleasant Republican like Rep. Davis fight back and pull no punches.)
Harris County voters: If you feel an affinity for one of the two branches of the Corporate Party, and you feel compelled to vote in one of the primary elections, early voting starts tomorrow. If you don't feel that attachment, please consider the following alternatives:
Of all the blog posts and articles cited below, I most fervently recommend Brene Brown's. In addition, just to get a jump on this week, if you plan to vote in the Democratic Primary, here are some endorsements from
Nancy Pelosi energized Harris County Democrats and Mike Pence revved up Dallas Republicans at each party's respective fundraisers ahead of the GOTV effort for the primaries.
The San Antonio Current offers the city's voters their primary guide. And Grits for Breakfast is watching DA races in Bexar, Dallas, McLennan, and Smith counties.
The Lewisville Texan Journal covered the Democrats from Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Lewisville who met the voters and discussed the issues Saturday at the Barn in Highland Village’s Double Tree Ranch. The candidates discussed an array of topics, including gun control, the justice system, climate change, and funding.
Moderated by the party’s parliamentarian George Nassar, the event featured debates between 63rd state district candidates Richard Wolf and Laura Haines, 26th congressional district candidates Will Fisher and Linsey Fagan, county judge candidates Willie Hudspeth and Diana Leggett and county chair candidates Angie Cadena and Phyllis Wolper.
In the Texas Observer, Michael Barajas covered the social media storm of Texas public education supporters who "blew the whistle" on conservatives trying to engineer some Lone Star-styled voter suppression. The highly motivated bloc of Democratic voters (teachers and administrators) who've been on the front lines of the Lege's War on Education for the past several sessions made a mockery of the effort. #BlowingTheWhistle
Juanita Jean at the World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon passes along a couple of primary recommendations.
DBC Green picked up on "Bob" O'Rourke's duplicity regarding his promise (videotaped and YouTubed) to debate his primary opponents. At post time, that doesn't appear to be on his schedule.
Texas Rural Voices conducted an interview with D LG hopeful Mike Collier when he visited Caldwell recently. The first of that four-parter focuses on education and property taxes.
Off the Kuff questions the assumption that Republicans have the advantage for November in Harris County. And as with so many other hopeful Democrats, Ted at jobsanger wants to believe that Texas might really be turning blue this year.
SocraticGadfly has some First Amendment and other questions about the Mueller indictments.
Neil at All People Have Value said school shootings are an intended result of America's gun culture rather than an aberration. And Brene Brown speaks truth to bullshit on gun reform.
Texas Leftist shares news about the brave students of Houston's Austin High School, who protested the ICE detention of an undocumented classmate just months shy of his graduation. Is it truly the priority of our federal law enforcement to persecute high school students who have done nothing wrong? #FreeDennis
Texas Vox celebrates the closing of three coal-fired electricity plants in the state.
Paul Battaglio, Doug Goodman, and Meghna Sabharwal at the Houston Chronicle voice concerns about how nonprofits are handling sexual harassment allegations.
Jason Pittman and Anita Ledbetter at the Rivard Report explain how Trump's tariffs on solar panels will affect Texans.
In lighter blogging fare...
Jim Schutze at the Dallas Observer considers AG Ken Paxton as nothing less than an agent of Satan, and considers him representative of the RPT at large.
The Lunch Tray highlights a class difference in how parents treat junk food for their kids.
Stace at Dos Centavos is still sad that RodeoHouston doesn't have any Tejano Music on GoTejano day. But San Antonio is having one awesome music fest in March with the Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair Weekend. Because without Tex-Mex culture, politics is pretty boring.
Millard Fillmore's Bathtub reposted Phillis Wheatley's inspiring poem about George Washington to note Presidents Day, and reminds you to fly your flag.
And Texas expat Elise Hu prepares for the Year of the Dog.
Sema Hernandez posted a tweet that includes video of Rep. Beto O'Rourke fielding questions about, among other matters, a Democratic primary debate. I like most of what he says in the video: In particular, good on him for co-sponsoring a bill to sunset the Authorized Use of Military Force blank check for the Executive Branch, and for being genuine about not necessarily being every progressive's dream candidate.
That said, saying you'd be happy to debate, while your campaign does nothing toward arranging a debate, might be perceived as a craven dodge. O'Rourke is either quite sincere or quite adept at projecting sincerity. If the latter, he is indeed a consummate politician.
We've already mentioned how O'Rourke's possibly self-appointed street team has punked Hernandez's website (I haven't seen Hernandez or her campaign make anything of that) and that text message I received asking for my vote in November as if the March primary ain't no thang. I doubt that O'Rourke himself will take any ownership of these faux pas; if called on it he will probably deny any knowledge, and he may in fact not know.
If O'Rourke is the savior some of my friends think he is, and if he truly believes in voters making informed choices, he should show some courage and debate his primary opponents. A rookie politician by the name of Ted Cruz won the Republican nomination in 2012 by out-debating establishment candidates, including a certain Greg Abbott. Cruz had little to lose, but he won big by showing off his madd forensic skillz. By not sharing a dais with political novices Hernandez and Kimbrough, O'Rourke is silently saying that his own ideas may not stand up to scrutiny.
(Adapted from a Facebook status.)
Awright, I'm gonna say it.
You who are expending precious electrons on social media debating whether preserving the Second Amendment is more important than saving children's lives or vice versa: You are all correct. And at the same time, you are all wrong.
You may have all the right arguments on this particular issue, but if you don't present them in context, you're missing a lot. (Sadly, context often complicates matters beyond most people's comprehension.)
When you look at these events intersectionally, it's hard not to see parallels with the continuing opioid crisis. Every year, tens of thousands die from overdoses of chemicals they take to kill their physical or psychic pain. People ingest these chemicals despite the risk of death, because death would actually come as a blessed relief.
After all, life is beautiful and precious, but living is painful and expensive.
Meanwhile, Big Pharma is making huge profits from these people's pain and addictions.
Meanwhile, Big Defense is making huge profits from continuous war.
Meanwhile, Big Fast Food is making huge profits from people's addiction to grease, salt, sugar; Big Pharma also cashes in here from the resulting heart disease and cancer.
Meanwhile, Big Firearms is making huge profits from Americans' fear of the Other and the resulting addiction to weaponry.
Capitalism runs on the profit motive. The Corporate State, addicted as it is to Growth At Any Cost, & its media lackeys stoke our addictions by keeping us in fear. It creates the illusion of scarcity & inadequacy, creating need where there was none, to keep consumers striving to get their share. This constant state of anxiety activates your lizard brain, which says MUST GET THAT LIMITED QUANTITY OF FOOD/SHELTER/SEX BEFORE THOSE GUYS DO! This releases the stress hormones that make us reach for whatever will soothe us: food, liquor, drugs, guns, sex, video games, etc.
Capitalism has only one value: shareholder value. Capitalism doesn't give a flying fuck who dies, as long as there's money in it.
A lot of people in these so-called United States became politically active for the first time with the Occupy Movement. Vanessa Edwards Foster however, was not exactly a newbie. I remember hearing Foster say, when I first met her at Tranquillity Park, that the timing of Occupy Houston was fortuitous for her, since she was out of work at the time. She was much more of a regular at the encampment than I was.
Like several other Occupiers, Foster answered the call to Occupy the Ballot in 2012, running as a Green candidate for the US House in District TX-9. She received just under 1% in a four-way race without doing much visible campaigning.
It appears that the electoral bug has bitten Foster again: She is once again a candidate for the Congress, this time hoping to take Blake Farenthold's seat in TX-27. Or better yet, to throw out the seat he has occupied since 2011 and buy one he's never touched. Texas Leftist has her responses to the standard questionnaire.
The Texas Progressive Alliance reminds everyone that early voting for the primaries begins next week as it brings you this week's roundup.
In the interest of equal time, DBC reminds you that Progressives who don't identify with either the Democrats or the Republicans have the right and/or duty to avoid voting in the primaries. The precinct conventions for the Green and Libertarian Parties happen Tuesday evening, 13 March. County conventions are Saturday morning the 17th. Venues for both in Harris County are still to be determined.
Off the Kuff emphasizes that the bathroom bill issue isn't going away any time soon.
Stace provides some insight on the latest voter registration data from Harris County.
Socratic Gadfly notes that various activist groups can't get on the same endorsements page.
Neil at All People Have Value said it is okay not to give money to the rich. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
For all the press and hype which surrounds the leading Democratic candidates for Governor, Texas Leftist continues to wonder when the actual FUNDRAISING will show up. Less than a month from the primary, it’s past time to make some money moves!!
And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.
G. Elliott Morris interprets the state of the polls.
Durrel Douglas finds lessons from the Astros for Democrats.
Juanita would like to know when Rep. Blake Farenthold is going to pay us taxpayers back for that sexual harassment settlement money.
Paradise in Hell collects a list of things Mike Pence was surprised to learn.
The TSTA Blog casts a wary eye on the latest anti-education campaign from Empower Texans.
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!
Does anyone know a good voting rights attorney who will work for beer money? Because if I were a more litigious lefty, I'd be licking my chops at the prospect of a history-changing lawsuit. By suppressing any mention of political parties that, for whatever reason, do not hold primary elections, the Harris County Clerk's Office is effectively partisan in nature—and that's unethical at best, unconstitutional at worst.
Longtime HCGP apparatchik Alán Alán Apurim noticed something about the information presented on the HCCO's Harris Votes website. Well, to be more precise, he noticed what information is not on the site: that voters may exercise an option other than voting in a primary or abstaining entirely.
Apurim sent a message to the appropriate administrator at HCCO about correcting the oversight. From the resulting correspondence, it seems that the County Clerk's staffers need to be, shall we say, deprogrammed out of the notion that our political activities must remain confined to donkeys and elephants.
It did not entirely escape my attention that Houston finally threw a free downtown Mardi Gras celebration. However, despite the unusually warm weather conditions, I did not get downtown. Instead I spent a big chunk of Saturday in Montrose, in a deep soul-searching session with some of my Green comrades: identifying sources of internal conflicts, recognizing are own culpability, figuring out ways to respond better when confrontations arise, and describing the emotional toll the last few years have taken on us as we have striven to the continued existence of a progressive political movement.
Here's the blog post and news roundup from around the state...
Socratic Gadfly notes that various state Democratic activist groups can't get on the same endorsements page.
Houston Justice names five things Texas Democrats could learn from the Houston Astros.
In the Texas Senate District 10 D primary, the Texas Tribune finds the 2016 Clinton/Sanders feud still being contested.
Jonathan Tilove at the Statesman also covered the Dem primary for TX-21 and heard the same echoes of the national party debate between the liberal/progressive candidates—Derrick Crowe, Elliott McFadden, and Mary Wilson—and the centrist money leader, Joseph Kopser.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.