Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Houston Chronicle endorses Pat Van Houte for Pasadena Mayor

"A Fresh Start"

A very informative endorsement.

"Councilmember Pat Van Houte confronts challenges that others ignore. Van Houte has a record of standing up for the hard fight during her eight years on City Council... she wants to replace the term-limited Isbell and run a city government that's open to all of Pasadena instead of merely the well-connected. This means fairness in contracting, competitive bidding, soliciting community input and promoting transparency. Van Houte also said that she wants to reinstate a public transit circulator for senior citizens that the city had stopped funding. She hasn't raised a lot of money - Van Houte declines donations from city contractors - and her personality is more cautious librarian than charismatic populist. But there's no doubt that Van Houte as mayor would be a fresh start for a city that deserves better than its current bad press."

I will provide a link to the candidate blog post with this full endorsement to avoid the pay wall.

The link has the Houston Chronicle link as well as the google cache.

By the way, not accepting city contractor money, who traditionally fund city political campaigns, means the people need to step up. One opponent has well over $100,000 in his war chest, mostly a loan to himself, that he expects contractors to make good on if he wins. This is considered standard behavior.

Easter Lemming has provided support for the Pat Van Houte campaign.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Texas Progressive Bloggers Roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance has not been wiretapped by the UK as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff covers the big redistricting decision and what it all means going forward.

SocraticGadfly takes Rachel Maddow's big fluffery over Trump's tax returns (and Maddow herself) to the cleaners.

John Coby at
Bay Area Houston publishes Texas Lt Gov Dan Patricks response to the Texas masturbation bill. "I will beat this bill off with both hands!"

A whiff of the Eighties -- specifically Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone's vault -- accompanied Rachel Maddow's big reveal and subsequent letdown of Trump's tax returns last Tuesday evening, at least according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value said that Trump budget was a pornography of self-mutilation and cruelty for Trump supporters. APHV is part of

Easter Lemming reminds people that Pasadena, Texas has a chance to put voter discrimination behind them in this mayoral election. He is busy working for Pat Van Houte's campaign.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme marks another week of Republican hate cloaked in religion harming women, children and the poor.


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

Nipuni Gomes deconstructs Dinesh D'Souza.

Dan Wallach has some practical advice for buying “Internet of Things” devices.

The Lunch Tray implores a school food visionary to come to Houston.

The TSTA blog reminds us that vouchers offer neither reform nor choice to schools.

Beyond Bones identifies seven native Texas bugs that you don't want to touch.

Shari Biediger found it to be not too hard to cope with SxSW in Austin without Uber or Lyft.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pasadena, Texas has a chance to put voter discrimination behind it

The best chance Pasadena, Texas has of putting it’s voting discrimination past behind is electing as new mayor the current at-large council member who has been a consistent opponent of the illegal redistricting.

Pat Van Houte for Pasadena Mayor
Pat Van Houte has been an elected council member since 2009 when she ran on opposition to an expensive street upgrade that destroyed resident’s homes.  While there are seven candidates running for mayor she has the most city council experience and is the only one running on small donations and shoe leather. She refuses to take donations over $200 and also refuses to take donations from those who do business with the city. She surprised the city establishment when her grass roots campaign involving block-walking the entire city of over 130,000 residents defeated the well-funded traditional mayor-supported candidate for one of the new at-large positions.
Van Houte said she also would pull the plug on the city's efforts to appeal the verdict in the voting rights case.
"The judge spent a week and a half hearing from many witnesses, looking at a lot of information and made a decision. The city has spent almost $2 million on the lawsuit already, and I don't think it is in our best interest to spend more public money on this," she said.
In elected, Van Houte said she would work to improve communications with residents and make city government more open.
"There are many things on the city website that are outdated. We need to do a better job of keeping it up to date. Department heads need to understand that there is an expectation that they will provide good information on a timely basis," she said. "I also want to set up a basic application for city boards and commissions so that anyone who is interested    can apply and be considered and it would not be just who the politician knows getting appointed every time."
"Each person who has filed for mayor so far has government experience, but (for) the majority of them it's not at the city level," she said. "I have been in city government for almost eight years. I know who the department heads are. I know what departments do what and the processes of how things get done in the city. I know the backstory on many of the projects and things that we're doing. This is a stronger foundation going in, either to keep things going or to change things - having the background on it helps.
"As an elected official, I have always looked at each issue on its own merits," she said. "I don't vote as I do because the other people are voting that way. I don't vote based on promises to city contractors."

"I'm bilingual, which will help. It's better to be able to communicate directly with someone in their own language rather than they try to communicate in a language in which they're not comfortable or having to get someone to translate," she said. "I've made an effort to get around and see as much as of the city as possible and to know what the issues are in each neighborhood. I think I have seen more of the city than the other candidates."

There are seven candidates running for the mayor position and the current long-term mayor is term-limited. Pat Van Houte is favored to be in the runoff with her recent at-large election victory and continued scandals from the present mayor and his appointments.

The major difficulty she faces is the lack of funding with some of the Republican candidates receiving support from the city contractors and businesses on campaigns that started a year ago and the addition of a couple of last minute entrants into the race spreading the opposition.
For more information on her candidacy see her webpage:  
She also has a Facebook page: Pat4Pasadena
Quotes in this report come from an interview with Kristi Nix for the Pasadena Citizen, which also appeared in the Houston Chronicle and AP Newswire — Google cache.

This is cross-posted on Facebook and

Have you bought the GOP propaganda that our biggest problem is we are overtaxed?

The GOP propaganda that we are overtaxed. Those making over $200,000 have the lowest tax rate in 75 years while those making less have a much lower share of national income but higher taxes.
Effective income tax rate by year by income -

The top 1% before 1980 had 25% of the wealth before 1980 but now have over 43% of the wealth because of changes in income and taxes.

The only group doing better than the wealthy in terms of taxes are corporations. As their taxes decline, our taxes have gone up.

The biggest increase in federal revenue has been on employment taxes, where workers, but not the wealthy because FICA taxes are capped by income, pay for Social Security and Medicare. Now the wealthy want to reduce those benefits and divert the revenue elsewhere. This is next on Trump's and the GOP agenda after healthcare/tax cuts for the wealthy Congressional fight we are seeing over Obamacare.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sad for my country today

In Houston wearing an anti-Nazi pin brings out the Nazi sympathiser comments but they don't consider it sympathizing with Nazis, just supporting conservative GOP values. "I’ve noticed when I’m talking to parents at my daughter’s school’s pick-up and other mundane places that glances at my pin spark comment. Not about it, but usually in support of Trump. I’ve gotten remarks about the horrors of a $15 minimum wage, socialized medicine, the dangers of various Muslims, stuff about Hillary Clinton’s emails, and on and on and ad infinitum." It is like they feel accused of being one of the bad guys and feel the need to defend themselves. In their hearts, they know they are the bad guys.

Outside Atlanta, a Black family was celebrating a kid's birthday with a party in a park. Over a dozen hooligans decided to have some fun terrorizing the family by hurling racial insults and threats while driving by with big Confederate flags. Some had guns. They had no idea that was illegal. They found out with long prison sentences for aggravated assault, terroristic threats and street gang terrorism for some.

Trump announced a plan for a large increase in the military budget, which means big cuts in programs that actually help people. The opposition that gets reported is from those who think he is not going far enough in his increase. Trump will have to break the law to pass the military budget increase but that is fine with him.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Stay informed, follow Pat Van Houte for Pasadena Mayor

Because of slow action by Harris County and the City of Pasadena, Texas, information on Harris County and Pasadena election locations and hours and even district boundaries are so far available only on mayoral candidate Pat Van Houte's facebook page Pat4Pasadena and her website.

Gary Denton works on Pat Van Houte's campaign as well as blogging as Easter Lemming.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Texas Progressive Alliance Blog News For Feb 20.

The Texas Progressive Alliance will light a scented candle outside Ikea in solidarity with the confused people of Sweden as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff thinks that many opportunities to make gains in 2018 will exist for Texas Democrats, and they should plan accordingly.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos is amused by the Republicans hiding from their constituents. No wonder. The Party has been serving the interests of billionaires and oligarchs for decades, both domestic and Russian, apparently. No Republicans we are not about to move on. This is more dangerous than Watergate.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston supports Lillie Schechter for Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party.

The last few months have been perplexing, as we try to figure out life on the Trump train. UGH. But as Texas Leftist points out, some things are slowly coming into focus. After seeming to be free from consequences, we're finally seeing that the President and his Administration can be held accountable for their actions.

SocraticGadfly, on hearing about the death of Norma Jean McCorvey of Roe v. Wade fame, offers an extended take on her, the plaintiff in a simultaneous suit, and the state of abortion in America today.

Shadetree psychologist PDiddie at Brains and Eggs diagnoses President Trump as in desperate need of an intervention.

Easter Lemming Liberal News showcases Pat Van Houte's grassroots campaign (website) for Pasadena mayor which relies on small donations and prohibits donations from city contractors.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme warns that the disrespect the Republicans show are constitution is only getting worse. Now they want to actually write their hate and kleptocracy into the document, itself.

Neil at All People Have Value made note of the climate change art exhibit made by the construction crew on Memorial Drive in Houston. APHV is part of


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

Grits for Breakfast explains why indigent defense costs have risen as crime has declined.

The Texas Election Law Blog analyzes two significant election-related bills that have been filed.

Paradise in Hell notes that Dear Leader Trump is now 0.00002% closer to proving his claims about election fraud.

Raj Mankad wants to see multiple approaches taken to make our streets safer.

Julie Rovner takes a deep dive into four GOP talking points on health care.

Raise Your Hand Texas explains why voucher advocates are becoming irritable.

Eater Houston notes that several Houston restaurants will be raising money for the ACLU in support of their immigrant employees.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pat Van Houte For Pasadena Texas Mayor

Pasadena, Texas has long have bad government. One of the main problems is the influence of city contractors. The city contractors pour tens of thousands into the mayoral campaigns and are richly rewarded by the mayor for doing so.

Pat Van Houte was elected at-large city councilperson two years ago and has been persuaded to run for mayor. She has never taken money from city contractors and has been a consistent opponent of the present mayor. She has always run with small donations and constant block-walking since her first winning campaign for her local council seat. She now block-walks the entire city. She block-walks many times a week all year even after she is elected to get feedback from citizens and sent local problems to the action line.

She is the best candidate running in Pasadena and will be a huge change from how the mayor's office has been run. As an at-large council member who was elected two years ago she is favored, except for the money the city contractors will throw into supporting the Republican candidates, particularly the one who makes it into the runoff. This will be an interesting race.

Pat Van Houte For Mayor website.

Here is an article from The Pasadena Citizen, that was picked up by the AP, on the major candidates. There were two more last minute entries who have not held elected office before.

Notice - I am currently in charge of social media and Internet for the Pat Van Houte Campaign.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rants on Facebook - 1

John N Smith

 -1 This was not a private conversation but on a tour bus with others and it was recorded because both men were wearing mikes because there was a possibility that part of any conversation might be used on the show.

2 Even Howard Stern says he has never heard anyone say he likes to grab women by the pussy, especially because he feels he can because he is a star.

3. The witness on the plane flight is a known serial liar and it is doubtful he would have been flying 1st class on a domestic American flight as a British 19-year-old student at the time. He has also claimed to be a pimp for underage boys to British politicians, among other things.

4. Trump claimed a reporter was lying about her being assaulted and propositioned. Immediately 6 other people said they were there or were told about Trump's actions. Since there are over ten other women coming forward and many women who aren't, it is a he said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, etc. situation.

5. "Men should not be ashamed to be men or be apologetic for being a man." And you are not a man but a dick, much weaker than a pussy.

6. A long yahoo news investigation of Clinton's actions as Secretary of State found no evidence of any special favors, all of the meetings with donors would have been held anyway.

7. The Hillary Foundation, unlike Trump's, has been audited and releases public annual reports and does millions of dollars in good works. Trump has not donated any money to his foundation in over ten years and the main expenditures recently seem to have been buying portraits of Trump and paying off legal suits against Trump with other people's donations.

8 There is no public record of Hillary covering up her husband's "rapes and molestations."  I doubt if you know what a public record is.

9. Trump is the one who actually wrote an editorial in 2013 saying that closed borders were the past, we needed open borders now.

10. Trump is the one who doesn't know the constitution and is a threat to the Bill of Rights.

11. Immigrants to the United States, illegal or legal, commit much less crime per person than people born here.

12. "Diseases once eradicated will kill tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands." You are a paranoid sicko so naturally you think people from foreign countries carry diseases. Are you trying to preserve your "Purity of Essence"?

Friday, June 17, 2016

The big divide on guns

There are people I respect in other areas who I consider completely unhinged on guns.

One  example is a well known Libertarian filk songwriter. After the Orando massacre at a gay bar she said the problem was that the bar and patrons were not carrying their own guns. The problem of anyone being able to quickly buy a civilian version of a military assault rifle converted to semi automatic and having a large magazine she refused to acknowledge or consider a problem.

When I pointed out that the bar had an armed security officer who was immediately killed she blamed the stupid security officer and the bar for only having one.

She also blamed the FBI for not keeping track of "Jihadists" because surveillance of religious minorities even if born in America should be a priority according to this Libertarian.

I also found similar opinions among the leaders of the Sad and Rabid Puppies attacking diversity in the Hugo Awards and their followers. Some of these are talented in writing if on the wrong side of a culture war.

A few decades a very fringe idea that the 2nd Amendment was an unrestricted right for all Americans to have any type of gun started being pushed by a few of the radical right. It took over the NRA which had been a mainstream group supporting gun owners and manufacturers. It infiltrated the Republican Party which was beginning its sharp right turn with the influx of Southern conservative racist Democrats fleeing a party which supported Civil Rights. It entered the more conservative legal schools. And it made it to the Republican judges on the Supreme Court.

My position is clear. Weapons solely designed for killing people quickly and easily and on a mass scale do not belong in civilian hands. If you believe they do there is something wrong with your values.

I do not know how to get this attitude of gun rights over human lives back under the rock from whence it came. Sad and dangerous times.

Monday, June 13, 2016

William Safire - "Habitual Liar"

For some reason William Safire was a highly respected conservative opinion columnist at the New York Times after being Richard Nixon's speechwriter. He also wrote other columns on language and writing. He wrote a highly influential column, completely unsubstantiated, that Hillary Clinton had always been a serial "habitual liar" and corrupted everyone around her to lie as well. The column was never substantiated and was itself lies although Safire may have believed it. He never apologized or confessed that the column had been proven wrong. Later he was a leader in the allegations of Al Gore's "habitual lies and exagerations" and strongly supported George W Bush for president. Once Bush was president Safire spread the lies of the Bush administration that Iraq was a threat to Israel and the United States, the big lies it was violating the peace treaty and possessed illegal weapons of mass destruction.

Safire made a long career out of being a talented liar skilled with words whose favored tactic was accusing others of lying. The widespread belief that Hillary Clinton and Al Gore were completely untrustworthy can be traced back to him. His lies and the tactic of always calling liberals and Democrats and convenient outsiders serial liars were repeated by the conservative media and Republicans and repeated often enough to become "common knowledge". His numerous writings about Iraq led to a an illegal unnecessary disastrous war based on lies. The widespread belief that climate change is a lie caused by lying scientists can be traced back to his tactics used on Al Gore, the first well known popular figure to warn of climate change.

When you think of lies and the lying liars who tell them always place Safire near the top of the list.

My simply writing this history will be shocking to many, as corporate media and the Republican Party gave him the status of elderly beloved spokesman before his death.

More of Safire's misdeeds can be found in this column by Eric Boehlert.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Brains and Eggs: A-Skeered uh Soshulism

Brains and Eggs: A-Skeered uh Soshulism

Can Hillary gain the support of all the voters her supporters are smearing on the Left?

Bernie is doing much better than expected but seems to be having trouble driving up voting enough in the caucuses and primaries to be the nominee, once a fanciful notion but now close but falling short.

Once again voters in November may be faced with an utter disaster from the GOP on the right and someone many on the Left will say doesn't deserve their support from the Democrats.

This split cost Al Gore the election. Will it cost Hillary too?

Monday, December 28, 2015


A very smart political analysis and news site, better than most professional analysts and columnists.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It would be nice for mainstream writers to know what they are talking about when they write articles about science fiction

It would also be nice if the Sad and Rabid Puppies weren't so ignorant and deluded.

Eric Flint illustrates both of my points in this essay "DO WE REALLY HAVE TO KEEP FEEDING STUPID AND HIS COUSIN IGNORAMUS?".

"Fact One. There is no grandiose, over-arching SJW conspiracy to deny right-thinking conservative authors their just due when it comes to awards. It does not exist. It has never existed. It is nothing but the fevered dreams which afflict some puppies in their sleep.'

"Fact Two. There is no reflexive reactionary movement to drag F&SF kicking and screaming back into the Dark Ages when all protagonists had to be white and male (and preferably either engineers or military chaps). The very same people who piss and moan about diversity-for-the-sake-of-it litter their own novels with exactly the same kind of diversity they deplore when their opponents do it."

I'll ignore his third fact because I am not sure how much the Science Fiction Hugo Awards has drifted away from the popular base. I am sure it has but I think he may overstate it even as he admits it is complicated.

See the beginning of his essay for some of the problems with mainstream reporting.

I recently complained to another writer that his analysis was really, really not very good regarding the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies and the state of the Hugo Awards. It is nice that I can point to Eric Flint and George R R Martin and Jim C Hines and others as SFF writers who get it right.

Ending funding for Planned Parenthood in Texas will increase not decrease abortions and decrease healthcare

What services does Planned Parenthood provide?

• Annual exams that provide screening for cancer (cervical and breast), high blood pressure, and other chronic health conditions.

Birth control—and not just the screening and education and prescribing of it, but the ability to buy it at deeply discounted rates.

• Testing, treatment, and prevention education for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

• A substantial portion of HIV services in Texas prisons.

• Treatment for early-stage cervical cancer and precancerous conditions.

• Educational programs. Planned Parenthood educators provide age-appropriate, medically-accurate sex education to schools, youth groups, and scouting troops. They also provide continuing education for a wide range of health and medical professionals, members of the clergy, teachers, social workers, and others in care-giving professions.

But can’t other clinics provide these services? Journalist Andrea Grimes famously called clinics across Austin listed as alternate providers when the state legislature slashed women’s health funding. Her investigation proved that the list of “available” providers included labs that did not provide any care, clinics that did not accept Medicaid patients, clinics that did not provide well-woman exams, and a small handful of clinics that in theory, provided the care, but in actuality, did not have appointments available for months.

Has it improved? I searched the state website and called three providers ostensibly available in a 30-mile radius of my home. I got no answer at one, no available appointments at the second, and a single available appointment 9 weeks from now at a third. I stopped calling.

What about abortion—does he at least do what he says and end funding for abortion? There is no federal or state funding for abortion in Texas. There has not been since the mid-1970s. Abortion is hard to access in Texas, but when people do get abortions, they generally pay cash.

The laws that have gone onto the books restricting how clinics can provide care are what limit access to abortion. Defunding Planned Parenthood services that are not abortion will not do anything to stop abortion.

- Adapted from Andrea Greer article at Burnt Orange Report

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Reply to Eric

I edited my previous comment about the current Sad Puppy leader. No need for profanity.

My new comment on Eric Flint's proposal and clarification:

This controversy over popularity over quality has divided speculative fiction for at least 50 years and is built in to all awards.

Correia's original complaints at least to me sounded like the complaints about why wasn't the original Fast and Furious movie nominated for an Oscar.

On his second point, I would instead expand the novel category by genre, fantasy, hard science, young adult, etc.

I will have to think about short novel and series as separate awards.


His commenting system is either turned off or has an error. It gives a wrong error message on whatever I submit.