Category Archives: 2013 Categories

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance prefers stew to bracelets and eating soup to throwing it as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff tries to follow the back and forth of the Republican attempts to prevent Harris County from sending vote by mail applications to all its voters.

SocraticGadfly had three “critical” RIPs of people in political, cultural and social news recently, most recently with Green Party activist Kevin Zeese, then before that with heterodox anthropologist and economics critic David Graeber and first with secular humanist leader Ed Brayton.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Dr. Peter Hotez gives a dozen reasons why he’s worried about releasing a COVID-19 vaccine through an emergency use authorization (EUA).

D Magazine eulogizes its founder, Wick Allison.

Eric Berger walks us through the process of forecasting and responding to a potentially devastating hurricane like Laura.

Therese Odell, daughter of a military family, cannot hold back her fury at Donald Trump’s words about people who serve in the armed forces.

Reform Austin provides an update on genetically modified mosquitoes.

John Coby is glad to see a racist assistant Attorney General lose his job.

Video of HPD Killing Nicolas Chavez Released

Four Houston PD cops were fired for the killing of Nicolas Chavez.

A well-prepared, yet, sickening video showing the various police bodycam vantage points of the Nicolas Chavez killing was released to the public  Thursday afternoon, with a play-by-play of the killing by the HPD Chief. The Chief and the cops union seem to have provided some points of defense for the fired cops, from a criminal case point of view.

It was not lost on me that the Chief (and therefore the City of Houston) took somewhat of a middle road in stating that at least two of the bullets shot into Chavez were “justified,” but that the final multi-cop volley of 21 shots were bothersome enough to fire the cops.

Of course, the cops union felt that all of the bullets were justified–even the last 21 shots. The Chief disagreed as the cops have been trained to use time as a means of deescalating a situation. I would think that allowing for more time in this situation would have effected a better outcome. The cops had already taken the time and used their training in attempting to do so.

I could go into what I think after watching the video, but I’ll leave that to the experts that I hope are utilized in explaining it to a grand jury. I just think that an already spent taser (left on the ground by one of the cops) that Chavez pulled toward himself using the wires that had already been shot into him would have done more damage to Chavez than to the cops based on what I’ve read about those contraptions. Therefore, 21 shots fired at will by four cops were not justified and such a violent reaction by the cops was not necessary.

The DA Kim Ogg has stated that the case will be presented to the grand jury once her people have reviewed the evidence. I hope it is presented well.

It is disappointing that it has taken over four months to get to this point. It would seem to me that the elaborate video presentation was more about defending the firing of the cops than about prosecuting a crime. The Chief has a knack for putting on a show when calling out crime and criminals to the cameras, but not in this case.

To watch the Chief’s presentation, click here.

 

 

Planned Parenthood Picks Anti-Immigrant Republican over Democrat

During these days of Trumpism (racism, hate, etc.), we need all the allies we can get. And other “progressive” groups have needed Latinos to be on their side, but apparently, they have their limits as to how much support they return.

Planned Parenthood (or their Texas PAC) has decided to endorse HD134 right-winger Sarah Davis, who was a vocal supporter of Senate Bill 4, a law which allows for racial profiling in the republican hunt for immigrants, over Democrat Ann Johnson. So, it’s obvious that PP wants a certain kind of republican ally when they say they want more republican allies.

Either that, or they’re hoping for a baby cagin’ contract from the state or feds, since it’s getting harder for them to run on their current business model because of republicans.

I was reminded of Margaret Sanger and her love of all things eugenics when she founded the organization. PP at the national level had disavowed Sanger and removed her name from the national HQ this summer because of her quest to “improve” humanity through selective breeding, as well as sterilization of groups of people to arrive at that goal.

What do you call racial profiling for the purpose of ridding undesirables from the US ? I’m pretty sure it’s the hate and racism we are all currently fighting against.

Some will argue about Planned Parenthood’s bigger purpose today:  Providing health care to those who need it, whether it be prenatal care, well-woman services, sex education, and yes, abortion. You know, the kind of stuff that we’re supposed to support. And that’s fine. But I draw the line at supporting bigots. I just thought that would be a general rule amongst progressives:  Don’t support bigots!

One would think such a group with an ugly history  they are still trying to overcome (Sanger and eugenics, in case you forgot) wouldn’t sell out entire groups of people to support their purpose, but they don’t seem to mind when it comes to Latin@s. And I’m pretty much tired of getting sold out by “progressive” groups, but told to shut up by these same people when we say “Abolish ICE” or “Defund the Police.” In other words, Planned Parenthood’s endorsement of an anti-immigrant republican is insulting to those of us who support progressive causes as part of some coalition-building effort.

Talk about selective progressivism on the part of Planned Parenthood.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance calls for a competent and compassionate response to Hurricane Laura as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff lauds Harris County going all in on expanding voting access, while noting the objections from the Secretary of State to the plan to send mail ballot applications to all registered voters.

DosCentavos points you to a post by researcher Angela Gutierrez regarding a Latino Decisions survey of Latino parents and the challenges they face as schools reopen.

SocraticGadfly talked about the Threes Sleezekeeters: — Abbott, Fallon, Springer — while having the latest updates and some prognostication on the SD 30 special election race.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Michelle Iracheta remembered Hurricane Rita as Laura was barreling in.

Jeff Balke breathed a huge sigh of relief at Houston’s luck in avoiding Laura.

Therese Odell watched the RNC so you didn’t have to.

Grits for Breakfast asks why the number of police shootings in Texas keeps going up.

Paradise in Hell channels Melania Trump.

Dan Solomon has some suggestions for ensuring that your vote counts this fall.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance is fired up and ready to vote as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at the updated voter registration figures, which have now topped 16 million in Texas.

SocraticGadfly tells anybody wanting a coronavirus vaccine, whether the highly optimistic expecting one this year, or the somewhat more realistic eyeing 2021 not to bet on it, unless you want a Trumpian-type vaccine free of normal FDA testing rules, and thus to stay serious, or get more serious, about the disease.

DosCentavos celebrates the first Spanish-language album by The Mavericks. Hint: It’s pretty good!

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Reform Austin notes that gun seizures are up at Texas airports despite travel being down.

The Texas Signal reports on state Republicans putting a quiet end to public redistricting hearings.

Paradise in Hell channels Donald Trump, Junior.

The newly-renamed San Antonio Report checks in on a pro-Post Office rally.

Grits for Breakfast gives the backstory on how Austin’s budget cuts for police came about.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with the postal workers of America as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looked at the potential effects on the partisan balance of the State House that may result from the nomination of State Sen. Pat Fallon to Congress.

From his secondary blog, which primarily focuses on philosophy, culture and other events, SocraticGadfly looked at the ethical and other fallout of Anthony Fauci’s Platonic noble lie this spring, when he told people masks didn’t work.

DosCentavos took the week off, but he does point us all to a piece by Latino Decisions, reporting that Latino voters are quite content with the Kamala Harris pick for VP.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Therese Odell goes off on the Trump sabotage of the postal service.

Paradise in Hell translates and edits Donald Trump.

Reform Austin warns of the bad effects of a Census undercount.

Dan Solomon brings us the twenty most iconic local TV and billboard legends.

Juanita checks in on Alex Jones.

Matt Angle documents the top ten ways that Texas Republicans have conspired to suppress the vote and undermine fair elections.

Sean Pendergast makes the case for not postponing the fall college football season.

DC Reviews: The Mavericks – En Español

For tried and true fans of The Mavericks, En Español has been a long-awaited work. Since their founding, The Mavericks have offered up some Spanish tunes belted out by their leader, Raul Malo, at their performances. More than a few times, fans have asked them when a Spanish-language album would be released. Well, it’s here and it doesn’t disappoint.

Their live playlist is so diverse that they are considered multi-genre (and Americana) with performances sprinkled with country, tex-mex, cuban, rock, jazz, and other rhythms, which says a lot about their collective musicianship. Whether it’s the dueling guitars of Malo and LA-born guitarist Eddie Perez, the tickled ivories of Jerry Dale McFadden, or the diverse drumming of Paul Deakin, or their sidemen, they can play anything–sometimes, at a moment’s notice.

En Español is an eclectic mix of Latin rhythms and American sounds that only The Mavericks could put together in an honest and sincere fashion. Songs of love and heartbreak abound on this collection, as well as Cuban folk and classic ones from another time.

Classic songs, such as La Sitiera, Sombras, Mujer, and Sabor A Mi are already well-known at their concerts and previous Raul Malo solo works. Yet, they’re given a new and bold flavor that fills ones ears and hearts.

The first single, Poder Vivir, a ska-ish-tinged song backed by the sweet accordion sound of Michael Guerra, has already been making the rounds on radio and various other platforms. In fact, it’s already reached the top of some Tejano music charts, which shows their ability to penetrate markets beyond their usual audience. Recuerdos features that signature Mavericks sound that has fans swaying at their concerts.

Another favorite tune is the danceable (for us Tex-Mex folk)  Julia Iglesias tune, Me Olvide de Vivir, along with the mariachiesque No Vale La Pena, made famous by Juan Gabriel and given quite the squeezebox assist by the legendary Flaco Jimenez and the trumpets of Julio Diaz and Lorenzo Molina. Another cover is a Spanish-version of Englebert Humperdink’s Man Without Love, Cuando Me Enamoro.

But it’s the haunting and heart-wrenching Pensando En Ti, backed by the requinto and the accordion, that will have one thinking about love lost and searching for a drink. Finally, they offer up some Cuban folk music with the Celia Cruz tune, Pinar del Rio, in case you haven’t danced enough.

NPR has a great article on some Mavericks history and the process of making this album, as does TejanoNation. My FB friend Hector Saldaña at the Express-News delves into it, too.

En Español is available on all platforms, but, since bands aren’t touring, drop them a few bucks and buy the album and their merch at their website.

Also, The Mavericks will be performing a live, pay-per-view concert at Nugs.tv on Saturday, August 22, featuring the new material from En Español. As I’ve always said, any Mavs performance is an experience, even from the comfort of your own couch.

Reviewing the DNCC – Day 2

Well, Day 2 was a lot more palatable.

It was good seeing Texas folks in some of the coverage, including Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of El Paso and State Rep. Victoria Neave of the Dallas area–both early Biden endorsers.

Although I wish Stacey Abrams had spoken longer, I liked Senator Chuck Schumer’s speech as it highlighted what Joe Biden is offering the people, which I think needs to be pounded into the brain of voters. Bill Clinton delivered some good lines that stabbed at the failure that is Trump. The heartstrings were pulled with Jimmy and Roselynn Carter’s speech, perhaps because of my own family memories of watching the DNCC, or the fact that they are up in years, now.

I was not too thrilled with the “empire” portion of the show. Bringing out military and intelligence folks to buttress the US’s drive for world domination, but in a kinder, gentler way, is not my thing.

Much like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez stated in her nominating speech of Bernie Sanders, I, too, was hoping for a different kind of foreign policy in 2020 that only Senator Bernie Sanders offered. Unfortunately, Democrats have this need to prove toughness during convention time, rather than promote peace between nations that should be our allies, if the poor and indigenous were not looked down upon by US interests backed up by the US military. These policies pushed by both parties, which are anti-democratic and labor-exploitive must end, or else, the challenges of violence-based, climate-based and economic-based migration will continue.

Joe Biden will keep the US war machine well-oiled and funded when our priorities should be elsewhere during this pandemic, or else the Lincoln Project wouldn’t be so supportive. And he will likely continue US-Latin America policy that has been detrimental to the poor and indigenous of those nations, while supporting right-wing regimes who allow foreign corporations to exploit their natural resources and workers. I mean, ask anyone which Latin American countries have the most mass graves, missing and dead climate and political activists and it will be nations led by right-wing monsters supported by the US.

Thankfully, Dr. Jill Biden saved the day with her presentation. It’s obvious that she would be a first lady who would be proactive and kind, rather than dead inside. No doubt the story of Joe and Jill Biden offers some humanity, rather than the current “blooper reel.”

I think the favorite part was the roll call of states who announced their delegate totals. My favorites were North Dakota and New Mexico, which featured Natives and Chicanos. Somos Indios, cabrones!

And for those that freaked out over Sanders being nominated, that’s all part of the rules and convention process. Those of us who voted for Sanders gave him enough delegates to qualify for nomination, thus, AOC and the UAW guy were asked to give the nominating speeches. Don’t worry, I blame those at the DNC who fail to explain the process for those watching because they think you’re ordinary voters who won’t bother to watch democracy in action.

By the way, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the nominees, officially.

Anyway, let’s see what Day 3 offers.

Reviewing the DNCC – Day 1

I think the only part of the Democratic National Convention (Day 1) in which I got teary-eyed was during the singing of the National Anthem and “America,” because I was hoping beyond hope that these tunes would actually mean something, again, in the future. Otherwise…

This first day seemed to be all about appeasing the middle, the right, and the white. That tried and true strategy that never works. Devoting 5 or so minutes to Republicans for Biden who basically stated that Joe Biden was not the big bad leftist portrayed by Trump didn’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. If anything, it makes me think that they’ll be quite comfy with the status quo that still enriched them during Dem administrations. The fact that Dems think that this is a workable strategy to gain white Republican votes still leaves me dumbfounded.

The use of Meg Whitman reminded me of her 2010 run for CA guv when she was considered the “cool republican” who suddenly turned on immigrants to the point where she supported the deportation of her undocumented housekeeper if republinuts gave her the nomination. All I saw was a reminder of bigotry and hypocrisy; but, that’s the kind of thing I look for in these kind of events. Let’s face it, after all of these years of immigrants being used as a political piñata by republicans, the Dems using them for votes leaves me disappointed. But, Dems refuse to learn.

Even more embarrassing was the use of Art Acevedo, the HPD head cop, in a racial justice discussion. He still hasn’t answered for HPDs killing of Nicolas Chavez, he refused to release bodycam footage of the killing, yet, the Democrats seem to think he’s part of the “racial justice” solution. What’s his answer? Crocodile tears and high-fiving protesters before gassing them and wrongly arresting them? I’m not the only one who was perturbed by this. Hell, Julian Castro has been doing some great work regarding police reform; why wasn’t he in this discussion?

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Senator Bernie Sanders were exceptional in pointing out the Biden agenda (which is what we all need to hear), especially Bernie. Bernie even did a better job on the issue of immigration and hate in his few minutes of speaking. And I’ll be the first to agree that a guy that looks like Bernie Sanders (old and white) should be stating these positions and not just brown folk. I hope Biden states them so eloquently.

Michelle Obama gave a great speech, as always, but I know I wouldn’t be able to say that being President reveals who you really are knowing my spouse deported 3 million immigrants and warehoused hundreds of thousands more (kids included). Of course, when it comes to remembering the “good ol’ days” of the Obama administration, I’m pretty much dead inside. Still, good speech.

Anyway, we’re all trying our damnest to be good soldiers despite the things that piss us off about those in charge of the Democratic Party. As Bernie reminded us, some of the issues we have fought for are now part of mainstream messaging (if not thinking) in the Party. It’s our job to keep those we elect accountable is what we’re told about democracy. Therefore, expecting better candidates does not end when the ticket is decided, either.

On to Day 2.

 

Local Dem Ballot Finally Done

The Harris County Democratic Party’s precinct chairs met this past weekend to discuss and approve the final two candidates to be placed on the ballot:  County Clerk and Harris Co Dept of Education Trustee.

Precinct Chair-slash-Blogger, Charles Kuffner, provided us an inside look to the happenings.

As I expected, Teneshia Hudspeth was unanimously approved and without any opposition. In the race for HCDE Trustee, though, there was some competition among the three candidates. According to Kuff:

Three candidates were nominated for this position: David BrownObes Nwabara, and Jose Rivera, as was expected. Brown led the voting with 38%, followed by Nwabara with 35% and Rivera with 27%. The rules say that a majority is needed, so we went to a runoff, and there Brown prevailed with a 53-47 vote. The closeness of the vote was appropriate for a tough choice, as all three candidates were excellent and well-qualified.

I was rootin’ for my friend, Jose, but he was a good Democratic sport about the result.

My work and passion for community will continue and I support 100% David Brown for HCDE Trustee for the Fall election. I would also like to congratulate Obes Nwabara on a spirited and great race as well. I am excited to see the energy and momentum of a new generation of leadership that is ready to work to ensure our community is equitable and accessible for all.

I’m pretty sure that Jose is not done and that someone with his deep history and connection to Democratic causes will be on the ballot (or for consideration to some sort of appointment) in the future.

That said, looks like the Democratic ballot is done. A comprehensive and Democratic list of candidates is available here.