Sorry I missed it. Friday the 17th was the Feast of Saint Hyacinth, or San Jacinto in Spanish. The flowers on the crest of the University of St. Thomas, Houston, are a hyacinth, subtly symbolizing the 13th-century Polish ecclesiastical reformer, namesake of a major river in Texas and the site of the decisive battle in the War for Texian Independence. It's hard to tell what type of flowers appear in the lower-left quadrant of the UST shield, since they lack that distinctive purple, but they do have star-shaped blossoms.
Also hard to tell, if your news diet is limited to mainstream media, is that the US is right now complicit in one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in history. The cable news channels at long last seem to have awoken to this fact, which alternative media have been reporting for years. So the next time a Facebook friend posts some version of that graph showing which media sources are trustworthy, ask why those oh-so reliable founts of information spent so many months not even mentioning Yemen while telling us about every mole and freckle on Stormy Daniels.
Beto O'Rourke enjoyed a swelling enthusiasm for his effort to unseat Ted Cruz and go to Washington as Texas' new junior US Senator. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs collected favorable polling and mentions of television and Facebook advertising to revise his prediction to a much closer contest, while Kuff seemed to be feeling a little pessimistic about Beto's chances and speculated on some consolation prizes for Texas Democrats.
The TexTrib's Ross Ramsey has an analysis--reprinted at Progrexas--of Greg Abbott's attempt to expand gubernatorial power that would make even Pa and Ma Ferguson, among the most corrupt Texas governors in the state's history, blush. (With envy, not shame.) Retiring state legislator Byron Cook warned that the governor's move represented a constitutional overreach, aka power grab.
SocraticGadfly has some fun introducing Lupe Valdez to Aerosmith.
The Dallas Morning News had the best coverage of the Democratic statewides rallying around Texas last week, with the noteworthy development being the "upper-downballot" slate of candidates drafting off of Beto O'Rourke's blue wave machine.
The TSTA Blog sees through Dan Patrick's phony concern about teachers' health insurance premiums.
HuffPo noticed that former Congressman Blake Farenthold is continuing to disgrace himself.
There were many questions raised by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's visit to Houston last week, and the two best were asked in the headlines of articles written by Jeremy Wallace at the Houston Chronicle and Elizabeth Trovall at Houston Public Media.
Grits for Breakfast returned from summer hiatus with a comprehensive criminal justice news aggregation that included links to stories about worsening wait times at DPS TDL offices, probation tailored for youthful defendants, bail reform, red light cameras, "convict leasing," and a lot more.
With the death by suicide of another Harris County inmate—and a story by The Appeal about DA Kim Ogg's apparent change of heart on her 'reformer' branding--The Intercept broadens the question to Democrats generally: why aren't they doing more to help candidates who will practice criminal justice reform instead of just preach it?
Harris County officials were "in over their heads" when they struck deals for contingency fees with lawyers who would be litigating on their behalf against opioid manufacturers, says a Yale professor emeritus of law quoted at Forbes.
The Texas Observer's nine-part series on border water and climate change, "Shallow Waters" has part four posted, about the 15 aquifers shared by the US and Mexico at the Rio Grande border and how little both countries understand about them.
Better Texas Blog can't understand the arguments against paid sick leave. Austin became the first city in all of the southern US to pass a mandated paid sick leave policy, but Texas Standard quoted a Houston-based law professor predicting that the Lege will get involved after both the capital city and San Antonio approved ordinances enabling the employee benefit, exerting its eminence over "local control" again (as it has done with local anti-fracking laws, plastic bag bans, and so forth).
The ongoing Harris County flood bond election is noted by Save Buffalo Bayou with information about the new projects recently added.
Early voting on the bonds started Aug. 8 and continues through Tuesday, Aug. 21. The election is Saturday, Aug. 25. The $2.5 billion target is widely considered a small down payment on a $20-30 billion county-wide flood resiliency program that should emphasize buyouts, land acquisition and preservation, floodplain restoration and other non-structural approaches.
The Houston Justice Coalition has a full slate of events and media appearances this week.
The Houston Press reports on a local elementary school that believed starting the year off with a big sign that shamed girls was a good idea, and the Lunch Tray takes issue with a partnership between Houston ISD and Domino's Pizza.
BeyondBones warns of the Bananapocalypse.
And the Rag Blog's Ivan Koop Kuper bid farewell to Bayou City troubadour and the "mayor of Montrose," Don Sanders.
Sanders was at the forefront of the founding of Houston’s progressive, noncommercial radio station and Pacifica affiliate, KPFT-FM, in 1970 and was an on-air personality in the station’s early days.
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.