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Thursday, November 3, 2011

revolutionary concepts?
The students walked out in cities around the country and joined us marching in solidarity with Occupy Oakland's General strike, where they shut down the banks, their port, and blocked traffic in their streets.

"The greatest contribution the occupy movement has made thus far has been to inspire us to imagine solutions at the scale of our problems. This is a revolutionary concept. Instead of working towards what we believe is possible, it has called upon us to work backwards from what is necessary. The rapid growth of the occupations, the broad public support for the movement, and the incredible amount of media attention it has garnered suggest that we as a people recognize the need to revolutionize our political system and our economy." -Max Berger

Occupy Together, Occupy Everywhere. Join us November 17th. This movement is ours. What comes next is up to us.
The greatest contribution the occupy movement has made thus far has been to inspire us to imagine solutions at the scale of our problems. This is a revolutionary concept.
"Nobody's asking rich people to give money away. We're asking them to pay their dues in the form of equal taxes. Nothing more, nothing less. Today the super rich are paying less than ever before and campaigning for more tax breaks. It's laughable if it wasn't such a crime." -Dr. J

Everybody has a piece of advice for the protesters at Occupy Wall Street. They should put their clothes on. They should stop raising their fists. They should fact-check their handwritten signs. They should appoint leaders who can give pithy quotes to reporters. They should get with an electoral program. Nicholas Kristof even offered to help them out with a neat list of demands, in case those holding signs saying “We Are the 99%” just needed to have the unfairness of the carried interest rule explained to them. [...]

It’s not that the demands being suggested by OWS’s volunteer policy advisors in the blogosphere are not worthy ideas. At a time when we desperately need to rein in financial speculation and change the incentives on Wall Street, a financial transactions tax is a terrific policy proposal. Dean Baker has been talking about it for years. The thing is, we on the left don’t have a scarcity of policy ideas. We are positively bursting with them. Create a housing trust fund! A national infrastructure bank! And, yes, sure, eliminate the carried interest loophole so fat cats don’t get a bigger tax break than working people. (Some even have more radical ideas, which are quite sensible too.) But at best, we get a polite hearing for these ideas, which then fade away or are hopelessly watered down. We simply lack the power to put them into practice.

What do the powerless have left to do when the powerful have taken everything else away from them? Protest.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. -- John F. Kennedy

Yes, the revolution is coming. And as you have long been told, it won't be seen on your television (due primarily to corporate media corruption, greed, and fear). It WILL however be Facebooked, Tweeted, blogged, streamed, uploaded, shared, and experienced live in Houston and many cities across the country and even around the world, in the streets by the other 99%, unfiltered by the powers that be.

No television coverage that makes any sense whatsoever to those who mostly watch Dancing With the Stars and/or Fox News ... unless the police again try to provoke civil disobedience into violent confrontation, like they did in New York and like they have done in Houston previously.

Violence always gets televised. Let's not let that happen.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oily Awkward Bunnies

THEN in Texas- When I was 5th grader growing up in Texas back in the early 80s we were separated into two groups (boys and girls) and given sex education. The information flowed and continued on into our 6th grade year (to our delight) and by the time I got to Jr. High I had learned:  I was horny, what genital warts were, and that "no glove" meant "no love..."
We all learned this...
I'm sure abstinence was mentioned in the videos but we were there to explore every angle of the issue, not to be preached to. Our spirituality and morals were always respected and protected, but in a classroom setting you have to dissect the subject matter. You have to learn. The films they showed us and the information that was put out, caused a genius reaction amongst us. It sparked something new, it opened the doors so we could go home and bring up the subject with our parents for the first time without embarrassing them with unnecessary questions about wet dreams. (They were covered in the films and so much more...)
NOW in Texas- Conservative Christian lawmakers have taken those films away from our 5th grade classrooms. They claim we as a state can't afford sex education in Texas, even though they are the ones who have denied Federal funding for it as recent as this month.
Because the last thing Texas educators need is money!

​Condoms, birth control -- who needs 'em? Just don't have sex, Texas says to its horny teens. Just hobble that unbridled desire coupled with a limited understanding of consequences and say 'No, I'm saving myself for marriage.'
That's pretty much the message, maybe paired with an infographic demonstrating where the penis goes. Nah, that's too pornographic.
If you've ever been a teenager, you know it doesn't work. Especially here. Our kids are reproducing like oily, awkward bunnies. We're the third-worst for teen birth rates for girls 15 to 19, and the ever-lovin' worst for total teen births. They're expensive too: Teen moms cost $1 billion a year.
So it's dismaying to see that the state has, once again, chosen to turn its nose up at federal funding for sex ed, choosing instead to believe that our little princesses will not succumb to temptation. 

But even the Alabama Department of Public Health -- not exactly a liberal bastion -- found a way to use nearly $800,000 to educate its populace on safe sex practices. In Texas, only a couple of school districts and the University of Texas system have taken advantage of the money.

Instead, they applied for an abstinence-only grant. Tough to tell if Gov. Rick Perry weighed in this time around, fearing, perhaps, that engaging in real talk with our teens would tarnish his otherwise impeccable Christian conservative credentials in the Republican primary.

Sunday Funnies

All Hallows Eve Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance wants more treats and fewer tricks as we bring you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff has some updates on the state of play in the redistricting lawsuits.

McBlogger finds Texas House speaker Joe Straus finally discovering that he fudged the numbers on the budget (profanity warning). And when McB offers a profanity warning, you know it's pretty salty.

As Michelle Obama appears at a Houston fundraiser hosted by hedge fund billionaire John Arnold, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wants to know what the difference is between Democrats who cozy up to Wall Street and Republicans.

Now that Rick Perry has flamed out, CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders if the batsh*t crazy crowd will prevail with Herman Cain?

Darth Politico takes a break from their Austin Film Festival coverage to offer some Star Wars-themed advice to those enemies of the Occupy Wall St movement, and offer solidarity with those who have been arrested: The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

The DOJ stated the GOP redistricting plans in Texas had "... the intent of limiting the voting power of Hispanic voters". WCNews at Eye On Williamson has that and more: Texas GOP's attack on Hispanic voters.

Lightseeker explains why the banks have no grounds for raising their fees now! Check out the details at TexasKaos.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered his views on who liberals and progressives can support in upcoming Houston municipal elections. Neil's view is that Green candidate Amy Price leads the pack for City Council, while incumbent Mayor Annise Parker does not merit the support of those on the left.