Oh look, dbc has posted another blog entry with a provocative and somewhat misleading header! Was Saturday's big climate march really all that bad? Certainly not. But it could have been a lot better.
Friday I expressed some concerns about the People's Climate March, deliberately set some low expectations, and looked forward to having those expectations exceeded. In that respect, for me anyway, the march succeeded. It also had a lot more progressive/radical bite to it than the March for Science. But in terms of opportunities missed, in terms of its effect on Greater Houston, in terms of the call to resist the regime, this one left a strong taste of nothingness in my mouth.
So apparently this is happening this coming Saturday. As with last Saturday's March for Science, Houston will be one of many cities taking part in the Circles of Resistance Climate March. Unlike the Science March, I don't foresee this week's event going mobile. There just isn't a place nearby to march to.
UPDATE: Organizer Stefania Thomas has posted on the message board referenced below that "...there will be a march in the area as well as an awesome rally with great speakers and live music." I'll take that.
As of this moment, 48 hours before it starts, the Climate March will take place at Clinton Park, just outside Loop 610 in the northeastern quadrant, near the Port of Houston. The location was changed from Charles H. Milby Park, just outside the Loop in the southeastern quadrant. Before that, the plan was to hold it in Hartman Park, also southeast of the Loop, in the Manchester district within sight of the Valero refinery.
I'm not the only climate-concerned individual in these parts who's a bit flummoxed by the changes in venue. Other participants have expressed exasperation over them on the Facebook event and on a message board. Since Manchester is the focus of T.E.J.A.S. and its Toxic Tours, I was all in favor of holding a march and rally there. These protests can't always take place in the more affluent parts of town; gathering in frontline communities makes it easier to unite with the people most directly affected by refineries and chemical plants. Plus, it will benefit folks from the Heights, Greater Montrose, West U, Bellaire, etc., to see where and how their fellow Houstonites live along Refinery Row.
Yesterday I added an introduction, regarding the recent federal rulings on Texas legislative districts, to the weekly Texoblogosphere recap. Today Texas Leftist sent me, in email form, this entry on that very topic.
L. Wayne Ashley's post contains a link to the same Dallas Morning News article that mine did. It also contains helpful screenshots of district maps from District Viewer, illustrating how several Congressional districts were cracked and packed to dilute ethnic minority votes.
When I was looking for a background story to link to yesterday, I clicked into this one from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It wasn't what I needed, since it doesn't specify which federal court handed down the decision. But I like that it included this quote:
Probably the biggest political news from Texas, with the most and longest long-term consequences, is the federal court in San Antonio finding that our Legislature violated federal law in the post-2010 redistricting. This is the third such finding in recent weeks. Of course, no Republican legislators will go to prison for diluting the votes of millions of Texans of Color. Contrast that with a friend of mine about to start a federal prison term for selling synthetic weed years ago, after receiving a legal opinion that the substance was legal, in violation of no one's civil rights.
The Texas Progressive Alliance Marched for Science in celebration of Earth Day this past weekend. Here's the lefty blog post roundup.
Off the Kuff analyzed the Texas Lyceum poll of attitudes towards Trump and 2018 races.
Easter Lemming remarks on the great Houston Chronicle endorsement for Pat Van Houte for Pasadena mayor and tells you a bit about city election political funding.
SocraticGadfly writes about — with photos — Earth Day 2017 and climate change reminding readers that time is running short, and that a carbon tax, a strong carbon tax, must be the baseline of any solution.
Back a week early from his fishing trip, CouldbeTrue at South Texas Chisme draws a bead on the TXGOP letting the lobbyists roam free range in the Lege.
Texas Leftist comments on the "cracked and packed" gerrymander of Texas House redistricting schemes that were struck down again by the courts.
Ted at jobsanger, like too many other devoted Clinton supporters, keeps driving the wedge deeper between that faction in the Democratic Party and the Sanders coalition. Presenting the opposite point of view, the Houston Communist Party watched Bernie Sanders describe how his 2018 strategy for Democrats should terrify Trump ... but is likely to enrage Blue core constituencies. And following on that, Ally Boguhn at Rewire wants to know why the DNC is supporting an anti-choice Democrat.
The popular political drama from the last decade The West Wing turns out to be a lousy model for the Democratic Party, observes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.
Txsharon at Bluedaze wonders aloud how far Apache Corp.'s harassment and intimidation in Toyahvale (near Balmorhea) will go. And Texas Vox reports that the EPA will hold a public hearing via teleconference today. Let them know how Trump's war on regulations affect real people.
The Lewisville Texan Journal has city council and school board races on its ballot and early voting for the May 6 election begins this morning. That's true across Texas for your local elections, too, and don't forget: you still need your photo ID, or be prepared to sign an affidavit attesting as to why you don't have one.
While on vacation in his hometown of Cincinnati, Neil at All People Have Value found the Grim Reaper supporting Trump at the March for Science in that city ... and Abe Lincoln speechless. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
More Texas news and blog posts!
As we commemorated the 181st anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto this past weekend, the Rivard Report has two articles about the recently-revealed plans to restore Alamo Plaza, one from the historic preservation view, and one looking forward to connecting the plan with the goal of having a vibrant public space.
Even with Greg Abbott's support, the "bathroom bill" still faces an uphill battle in the Texas House, writes Peggy Fikac at the San Antonio Express News.
Better Texas Blog looks favorably on school finance bill HB21, and the Houston Press notes the TXSBOE's softening of creationist language in the science text standard.
Texas Watch describes HB 1774 and SB10 as the "Blue Tarp" bills, reducing incentives for home insurers to pay claims in full and on time.
Somervell County Salon sees 'strike two' called on Sid Miller's Hogpocalypse bill, and and the TSTA Blog isn't having it with Dan Patrick's spin on the budget.
Michael Li compares the 2011 and 2013 statehouse maps in the wake of the Fifth Circuit ruling that the 2011 map was passed with discriminatory intent.
Dan Solomon introduces us to Student Body Armor.
Paradise In Hell attended the Ted Cruz town hall (which Cruz did not).
Lone Star Ma presents an Earth Day-themed reading list, and DBC Green Blog asked the March for Science to please give his Earth Day back.
Lisa Gray eulogizes longtime Houston preservationist Bart Truxillo, and Save Buffalo Bayou has the details of Terry Hershey's memorial service.
And Purple City says goodbye and leaves us with a few of the ideas it didn't get to finish exploring.
Houston's March for Science did not completely suck. The turnout was sizable for a demonstration in Houston: I would estimate 3-5 thousand science fans of all ages. Those in attendance brought eye-catching, nerdily LOL signs and T-shirts: e.g., "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitant" and "Girls just want to have fun(ding for their research)." But the speeches from the steps of City Hall were mostly mediocre at best, missing the point entirely at worst.
The point, supposedly, is that government funding for the sciences is in jeopardy from a science-hostile administration and Congressional majority. With all the organizers' noble aims at a non-partisan event, the speakers missed multiple opportunities to point out the adversary and tell the assembled thousands what they might do to overcome that adversary.
As I mentioned a while back, I've been workin' on the website, but not all the live-long day. It has not been easy or simple work, mainly because NationBuilder's web editing interface is janky. But it does give one a sense of accomplishment when one completes a task. By May Day, I fervently hope, we shall accomplish the task of switching harriscountygreenparty.org (aka hcgp.org) to the new platform.
Part of the jankiness involves the sudden and unpredictable loss of style attributes. I can open the HTML window, set a bunch of subheaders to style="font-size: 12pt;", save the changes, make some more edits, and out of the blue the font-sizes revert to 10-point. How in the name of Tim Berners-Lee does that happen—multiple times in one editing session?
Jankiness aside, NationBuilder is important because of its interactive architecture.
Work on the site progresses. Just before the Art Car Parade, with help from Harris County co-chair George Reiter and treasurer David Wager, I have set up two different donation pages: one for one-time donations, one for monthly sustainers. I have also performed a thorough link test. So most of the important components of the site are good to go, and I informed George of that fact yesterday.
I had hoped to have all this work done at the website switched over to NationBuilder by the beginning of this month. Not meeting that deadline is only a minor disappointment, but really, the sooner, the better.
Having the new site in operation is one of the most important steps toward lining up our proverbial ducks for next March. The precinct conventions scheduled for Tuesday, 13 March 2018, mark the beginning of the battle to regain ballot access in Texas. Even now, we are laying the foundations for getting thousands of Greens to show up.
While we're maintaining our focus on next March, we Greenfolk have some annual meetings in the nearer future. As briefly mentioned here, the Green Party of Texas will meet in or near Corpus Christi the weekend of 10-11 June, precise venue to be determined. Then 13-16 July brings the Annual National Meeting in Newark NJ.
Sorry, dear readers. I fully intended to post something about a trip three of us Houston-area Greenies made to Jefferson County back on 6 April, but I never got around to it. The mission was to facilitate the organization of Green Party chapters in Jefferson, Orange, and neighboring counties. A lot didn't work out as planned, but that's not always a bad thing.
Three of us took a day trip to Nederland (actually, more of an evening trip): GPTX co-chair Laura Palmer, Southeast regional coordinator Janis Richards, and your blogmaestro. The plan, which our contact Debra Killian devised, was to assemble at the Hughes Public Library there for a 6:30 organizational meet & greet. The library closes at 6 pm on Thursdays, but Debra, who is tight with the librarians there, had arranged to have a key available.
Green Congressional candidate Hal Ridley, Jr., was waiting for us outside the library. For several years, Hal has de facto been the Green Party of Orange County, Texas. Before we arrived, he called to inform us that the library was closed, and that Debra was not on the premises. So, playing by ear, we decided to sit in the breezeway and shoot the breeze. Nederlanders drove their vehicles (mostly pick-ups and SUV's) into the parking lot and walked around the building to get to the softball fields. Half a dozen of the motorists arriving actually walked toward us, and we made some new Green-friends.
There's plenty to raise eyebrows in this week's TexProg assemblage: in particular, a couple of items of electoral interest.
First, Mr. Kuffner gives us something to ponder: Will anyone challenge Beto O'Rourke for the US Senate nomination? Indeed, will the Texas Democratic Party establishment recruit a more middle-of-the-road candidate? Count me among those who foresee a contested race.
Second, this is certainly not the first time retired rock DJ Dayna Steele has revealed her partisan affiliation, but it is the first time I have seen her express aspirations toward elective office. Steele was not my #1 favorite rock DJ in my teens, but I admired her competence and reliability, especially when she was frequently filling in for other jocks who called in sick.
Off the Kuff contemplates a contested Democratic primary for the Senate in 2018.
SocraticGadfly, with apology and hat tip to T.S. Eliot, offers up some snarky Trump poetry.
The Texas House will give a committee hearing to their version of the 'bathroom bill' this week, in a nod -- or something more -- to the concerns of rural and exurban members, representatives of those Texans least likely to encounter a transgendered person anywhere, much less a public restroom. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wishes tolerance and love was something taught in the state's churches on Easter.
The Lewisville Texan Journal reports that the TCEQ has tentatively approved an expansion of the landfill in Farmer's Branch, adding 100 acres and allow it to rise 675 feet above sea level.
Texas Vox sees El Paso Energy renewing its attack on solar customers.
Prior to the Tax March this past weekend, jobsanger bar-graphed three national polls that show a majority of Americans still want to see Trump's tax returns.
Neil at All People Have Value attended the great big Houston march and rally to demand that Trump release his taxes. We must oppose Trump each day. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
John Coby at Bay Area Houston attended a Resistance meeting and heard former Rock Goddess Dayna Steele talk about her pending bid for US Congress, challenging Brian Babin in CD-36.
And Grits for Breakfast shares the song by Just Liberty that pays tribute to HB 81 (the decriminalization of marijuana bill).
More Texas news and blog posts!
The Waco Herald Tribune takes note of the fact that Trump's border wall could leave some Americans on the 'Mexican side' of it.
With six weeks remaining in the legislative session, Ross Ramsey at the TexTrib finds lots for representatives and senators still to fight over.
The Texas Observer finds two Democrats in the Texas House voting to phase out the franchise tax, squeezing billions of dollars out of a state budget that doesn't have any dollars left to spare.
Andy Hailey at the WAWG Blog reminds Democrats again that simply complaining about the opposition does not incentivize voter turnout, which will be vital in 2018.
On the eve of his child custody court fight, Jonathan Tilove at the AAS' First Reading blog hears Alex Jones suggesting Obama's daughters aren't his. (Performance art, indeed.)
The Texas Election Law Blog sums up the latest voter ID ruling, and Gerry Hebert and Danielle Lang do the same from their perspective as private plaintiffs' counsel in the lawsuit.
The TSTA Blog reminds us that retired educators need more than kind words and fond memories, and Raise Your Hand Texas highlights the dangers of special education vouchers.
Megan Hix at Burkablog gives a preview of the forthcoming movie about the disastrous Texas City harbor explosions seventy years ago.
Big Ups to Cort from dbc
Cort McMurray laments the "Erasing Texas History Act."
Anastasia Hansen explains Houston's German heritage.
Scott Elliff imagines a future day at a fictional Texas county courthouse.
And the Houston Press reveals the excuse an Aggie football player had for exposing himself to two female tutors: he had a case of "jock itch."
Despite what they tell you, Houston does have a spring season. It actually has two, early spring and late spring, with a subtle transition between them. The two seasons run from February through April. Among other phenomena, the two springs bring us bluebonnets, azalea blossoms, the shedding and re-leafing of live oaks, the beginning of baseball season, and the ultimate expression of all things H-Town, the Art Car Parade.
Amazingly, some people invited me to events that competed directly with the parade Saturday. I have a healthy imagination, but I can't imagine why anyone in this big small town would schedule an event at the same time as the Art Car Parade—unless it's The Event for People Who Hate Art Cars and Want to Be Anywhere Else but Downtown. I have loved them since they first became a Houston thing in the 1980s.
This entry is a bit of a hodgepodge. I deliberately did not include photos of many "iconic" Art Cars, several of which have retired anyway. I included more photos of the Zebra Krewe than perhaps I should, but the ZK has expanded into a whole flotilla of vehicles from the three they had in 2016. All told, I snapped more than 200 photos, and have included about 25 of them for your perusal here. The others are all on my Facebook timeline or my Google Photos gallery.
If you have no other ecclesiastical obligations, and the kids have found all the eggs, do come by First UU Church, Houston, at 10:45 am Sunday. My choir will deliver a short musical program celebrating social justice. There will be absolutely no direct references to Jesus of Nazareth or the Resurrection. Amen.
Tomorrow I plan to post some of my favorite photos from those I took at the 30th Annual Houston Art Car Parade.
And now (as Rev. Daniel would say) for the roundup:
Off the Kuff has a bunch of updates about various Texas voting rights-related lawsuits.
SocraticGadfly took note of the centennial of American entry into World War I and noted why, in detail, we never should have gotten involved.
The 59-Tomahawk Tweet Trump sent to Syria isn't paying off in polling dividends just yet, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, and jobsanger sees the Syrian bombing as a publicity stunt.
Neil at All People Have Value commented on the Republican universal access plan for basketball. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
Texas Leftist thinks the GOP is cracking up.
John Coby at Bay Area Houston takes a swipe at the Harris County Republican Party.
In Lewisville, the Education First High School Year Exchange and their good works are acknowledged by participants in the Texan Journal.
More blog posts and news from around Texas!
The Texas Observer, on the scene at the #Megamarch for immigrants rights in Dallas yesterday, saw Joaquin Castro and Beto O'Rourke and thousands of others.
Meagan Flynn at the Houston Press recorded five highlights from the 15-hour debate over the state budget in the Texas House last Thursday.
Texas Freedom Network's Dan Quinn celebrated the defeat of Dan Patrick and school vouchers in the House, but despaired that the assault on women's health goes on.
Raise Your Hand Texas introduces us to Mr. Voucher III: The Frankenvoucher.
PoliTex (the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's blog) rounds up a few Lege items, including one state lawmaker whining about politics stalling his effort to outlaw abortions in Texas.
Texas Watch names the all-stars on the fantasy sports industry's lobbyist team.
Burkablog reported on Hillary Clinton's keynote speech at the Annie's List fundraiser luncheon in Houston, where she gave unqualified support to Trump's missile attacks in Syria.
Former Sanders supporter (and Trump voter) Digital Heretic joins the chorus of those denouncing the Syrian Tomahawk strike.
Paradise in Hell has a few choice words for former Baylor basketball coach Dave Bliss.
Lila Mankad explains why the Legislature should let cities regulate plastic bags if they choose to.
Michael Li has the latest updates in the Texas redistricting litigation.
And CultureMap Houston and Houston Streetwise collected some snapshots from the Art Car Ball and Parade.
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.