Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Exploration Green in Clear Lake - Major Events Coming This Spring!

Check out the article in the Bay Area Citizen this week. Exploration Green, the re-purposed Clear Lake golf course, is becoming a recreation/park, conservation and environmental improvement and flood detention area. 200 acres of green space in the heart of Clear Lake suburbs.

An important Exploration Green Town Hall Meeting is coming up Feb. 27, when local residents can get a status of plans, provide input and ask questions. hen on April 12, the Clear Lake City Water Authority and Exploration Green Conservancy will hold a Groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of the first excavation to create the holding pools for flood water and the development of park amenities and environmental conservation in the area. Read more in the Bay Area Citizen.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Exploration Green recieves an award!

From the Bay Area Citizen:
Exploration Green and the Clear Lake City Water Authority have been notified by the Houston-Galveston Area Council that Exploration Green is receiving the H-GAC’s Parks and Natural Areas Award for the comprehensive planning of the flood control, recreation and conservation area in the Clear Lake area.
The volunteers at Exploration Green should be very proud of this award. The volunteer are making plans for the  former Clear Lake Golf Course and have put in long hours of service to the community to transform the old golf course into a park for Clear Lake residents. 

Congratulations to the volunteers of Exploration Green.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Stockman to Leave House to Run Against Cornyn for Senate! You go, Stevie!

Seeing the looming ethics issues in the House, Steve Stockman today pulled out of the House District 36, to run with other much more competitive opponents to John Cornyn in the U.S. Senate Race.

http://cms.texastribune.org/2013/12/09/stockman-files-run-against-cornyn/

Without a doubt, Stockman's many ethics issues as documented by the Houston Chronicle made it clear he was headed for the big fall.

Bye Stevie... Guess maybe it's time for another reich wing extremist!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Maybe Pope Francis Really Is Pro-Life!

"Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality," the pope wrote. "Such an economy kills."


A prime quote from the Pope in the first lengthy writing of his papacy — also known as an "apostolic exhortation" — Francis says such economic theories naively rely on the goodness of those in charge and create a "tyranny" of the markets.

Pope Francis has released a sharply worded take on capitalism and the world's treatment of its poor, criticizing "trickle-down" economic policies in no uncertain terms.

Pope Francis Denounces Trickledown Economics, a WaPo article, summarizes the apostolic exhortation.

Three cheers for Pope Francis for this pro-life stance!  I agree completely, as does Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. To be truly pro-life you must care for the weak to help them live healthy, secure lives.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kennedy Vision Ended by NRA-Supported Rifle Purchase

Lee Harvey Oswald got a deal on his $19.95 mail-order purchase of the rapid firing rifle using a coupon from the NRA's Rifleman magazine. Not only that, the NRA was a player in an effort to make more effective bullets he used to shoot JFK.

(A)30-year gun control lull came to an abrupt end on November 22, 1963, with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald had purchased his rifle, a Mannticher-Carcano, through an ad placed in the NRA's American Rifleman magazine. The ad read:
LATE ISSUE! 6.5 ITALIAN CARBINE. Only 36" overall, weighs only 5 1/2 pounds. Shows only slight use, lightly oiled, test fired and head spaced, ready for shooting. Turned down bolt, thumb safety, 6-shot, clip fed. Rear down sight. Fast loading and fast firing.
On March 12,1963, Oswald mailed the ad's coupon and a postal money order for $21.45 ($19.95 plus $1.50 postage and handling) to Klein's Sporting Goods Co. in Chicago. The gun was shipped via parcel post the same month.
According to journalist Robert Sherrill in his 1973 book, The Saturday Night Special, the NRA not only facilitated Oswald's gun purchase, but also aided in the development of the ammunition that would make this notoriously inaccurate gun more effective. During World War II the United States seized huge numbers of the rifles. When the government later decided to give a quantity of the guns to Greek anti-Communists, it worked with the NRA at Maryland's Aberdeen Proving Grounds to develop higher-quality ammunition that would improve the gun's accuracy. Some of the ammo eventually made its way onto the U.S. market and into Oswald's hands. When NRA Executive Vice President Franklin Orth told this story to a Senate staffer in the 1960s, he added, "Please don't tell anybody because we don't want to be hung with having been involved in producing the ammunition that killed the President."16   
Quoted from "Soldiers to Lobbyists" by the Violence Policy Center: http://www.vpc.org/nrainfo/chapter1.html.

Internet and weak control laws today make it just as easy to buy weapons, now automatic, extremely rapid fire assault weapons. And as we have since JFK's assassination, today we all suffer the tragic results cheap easily obtained guns forever.

For Bay Area Houston, our nation and the world, we lost Kennedy's optimism, support for public service and vision to advance space exploration. Today's negativism, government shut downs and space malaise are evidence of the ever-widening crack begun on Nov. 22, 1963. The tragic results last forever.

JFK: We choose to go to the Moon......

Fast forward to 8:30. John F. Kennedy's full speech at Rice University calling for a mission to the Moon.The budget was $5 Billion/year at that time.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Ethical lapse for NASA's Congressman

This is just what NASA needs, their Congressman mired in ethical lapses and unable to raise campaign funds. Maybe the real Republican Party will put up a reasonable challenger to this lunatic. From the Sunlight Foundation:

By reattributing the source of some $15,000 in campaign contributions from relatives of congressional staffers to the staffers themselves, the campaign of Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, has raised more questions--and a potential violation of campaign finance laws--than it has answered. 

Federal election law prohibits contributions from government employees to their employers, including members of Congress. Violators face fines and potential prison sentences of up to three years.

I don't think this is a simple "oops" moment for the campaign. Both violations, knowingly donating money under someones name other than your own, is a very serious offense. If the staffers donated their own money, over the $2500 limit and reported it as coming from relatives or others, that can be a very serious violation, and that is what this looks like.

They also note that Stockman hasn't been the cash magnet:

Despite his outspokenness, his campaign has had trouble raising enough money; as of its most recent filings, it listed $163,010 in debts and obligations.

Wow. That means if the Republican Party wants to take back their party, they have a chance right here in teabag county. I hope they do.

Vice President coming to the Port of Houston

You can't discount the importance of having a high ranking official visiting our Port.


Houston Community Newspapers/Bay Area Citizen: Taken Over by tea party??

With 24 community newspapers across the Houston region, over 460,000 circulation and almost a million weekly readers, you would think Houston Community Newspapers would attempt to provide its readers balanced information and not fall in line with the extreme right wing tea party. You, like me, would be wrong.

For many years, the local Bay Area Citizen center in Clear Lake area was edited by an independent woman who clearly sought to provide a balanced set of articles, editorials and letters to the editor. A year or two ago, she was replaced by a new multi-paper editor, Jim Molony, who kept his former HCN paper(s) Pearland Journal, and took over the Citizen as well as the Friendswood Journal. Not sure when he took over the Pasadena Citizen and Deer Park Broadcaster, but he controls them also.

Instantly, the newspapers shifted from a balanced approach, slamming to far right wing propaganda from a variety of extremist think tanks and tea party.

This week, looking over the Bay Area Citizen and its website, the following list of tea party right wing trash was published, and not one piece from the wide middle, let alone the left of center where 40% of local Bay Area Citizens cast their votes in partisan elections.

How does the local weekly paper look in your community?  Falling off the right wing cliff?

If you happen to see Jim Molony in your neighborhood, ask him why the local papers have become so overwhelmingly biased to the tea party. Or give him a call or send an email. It is certainly time to stop paying subscriptions or even reading these papers.

Jim Molony
Editor
(281) 378-1930

 
 
 
 
Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va. (www.fff.org).    Preventing war with Iran is top priority  The best way to keep Iran from building a nuclear bomb is for the Obama administration and its nuclear client Israel to stop threatening the Islamic Republic. 
 GOLDEN OP-ED: Liberty Lost  Liberty is lost when it’s seized by government or freely relinquished in response to false pretenses and misleading promises.
 Cruz: Obamacare is not working. It’s time to start over
 
US Rep. Olson  Olson introduces articles of impeachment against Eric Holder
 Cruz: Bring transparency to the Federal Reserve, vote to audit the Fed
 Cornyn: Navigator program should stop immediately
 Cornyn: Demands dismantling Of Obamacare navigator program
 


Monday, November 11, 2013

Rafael Cruz: The Texas Wacko Bird


Boston Globe: CAMBRIDGE — As the lights rose, Ted Cruz held center stage, dressed in black and kneeling at a bedside. The first-year student at Harvard Law School delivered his lines with the emotions of a man gripped by anger, fear, and worry for his reputation.

“Do you understand that I have many enemies?” he thundered. “There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit. Do you understand that?”

Cruz, then a devoted amateur thespian, was playing the role of the Rev. Samuel Parris in “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller’s allegorical play about McCarthyism.

The lines — and the part — seem prophetic today.

In the US Senate, the Tea Party Republican from Texas has continued to seek out a spot at center stage. His enemies — and he has many, including some in his own party — characterize him as power-hungry, self-righteous, driven by single-minded political piety. He even mounted what detractors called a groundless witch hunt, against the presidential nominee for secretary of defense.

None of which, to his former Harvard Law classmates, is surprising.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Barbaric Economic Terrorists

J.J. Watt said the Texan fans who cheered Sunday when Matt Schaun was injured, were "barbaric." Undoubtedly, he and the nation noted again a virulent barbarism spewing from the radical right homeland in Texas.

The nation, and even corporate leaders like Larry Fink of Blackrock Corp, wonders what happened to our democracy and the effects of economic terrorists like Ted Cruz and his pack of Tea Party radicals on the confidence of the rest of America.

Having failed with the Great Recession, is that increasingly toxic Texas fringe and fellow travelers such as Sarah Palin, not going to be content until there is a national perhaps global economic collapse?

What can be scarier than U.S. Senator Rafael "Ted" Cruz at a microphone, a Harvard-educated lawyer and Princeton-educated radical oddly in  a hunting coat on a Sunday afternoon, cheering on a wild-eyed mob throwing stolen fences against the White House?

Perhaps it's a pack of four senior GOP candidates running for the most powerful elected office in Texas, competing, one-upping one another, to be the most anti-immigration, anti-Hispanic candidate in a Texas Municipal League forum. So caustic was their verbal maneuvering to be the most radically right wing, the debate ended because the crowd got up and left. Pleased with that extreme impact on the audience, Dan Patrick (a classic Texas right wing nut) summed it up, "The fact that you have all these people squirming, it struck a nerve."

It's true, the Tea Party intense desire is to strike a national nerve, and in their anti-American logic, all the better if it would trigger a broad based economic collapse enabling a post-modern, post-government state of nature where everyone really would need automatic weapons to protect themselves.

A locked up country awaits their next act.         Barbaric indeed!

In space no one can hear you laugh

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rally Against the Shutdown of NASA/JSC - Tuesday at 10 am

Come on out! Show Your Disgust for the
Government Shutdown/Lockout
What: NASA Workers and American Federation of Government Employees
Local 2284/NASA-JSC Rally and Informational Picket

When: Tuesday October 15, 2013 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Where: At corner of 2101 NASA Parkway and Saturn in Houston, directly in front of National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center sign
 
Please spread the word.

Strength In Numbers

Thanks!

Mail Address: Local2284@aol.com

"Trouble brings experience and experience brings wisdom"
 
 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

TeaParty Hypocrisy Aside, Senate and President Obama are Ready to Support Federal Employees

President Obama said yesterday that the only legislation related to the shut down and CR that he's willing to sign now is a law to give NASA and other federal workers retroactive pay for the time furloughed, stopped from performing the good work they do. WUSA TV yesterday

The Senate may actually vote on the retro pay today, and most assuredly will support the federal workforce  that has been the pawn in the Cruz-controlled TeaParty/GOP SHUTDOWN strategy designed to create pain nationwide. FedSmith.com

Now everyone should ask U.S. Representatives (Republicans) why they insist on throwing away tax-payer provided funds to pay federal employees to not perform important work for the nation.

Boehner Temper Tantrum Video

The dumb and dumber of the Tea Party Congress. Back pay

There was only one thing the Tea Party Congress can do that is dumber than shutting down the United States Government and that is paying federal employees for not working during the shutdown they created. This is beyond stupidity.

On a vote of 407-0 every single tea party member of Congress voted for back pay for furloughed workers just so they could justify their own paychecks. This had nothing to do with placing furloughed workers in the middle of their decision to hold the government hostage. It had everything to do with protecting their own $175,000 salaries and health care.

The remaining members of the real Republican Party should hang their conservative heads in shame. Who could possibly think that paying employees for not working was "conservative". Who could possibly think that holding the country hostage because they lost the vote on a bill was "conservative". One of these days the real Conservatives will retake their party from the lunatics call the Tea Party.

Because what they are doing is not right.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Two Laws Moving in Congress to Pay Furloughed Feds Retroactively - Call Them Now!

This from Bloomberg -Law: Federal Workers Would Receive Back Pay For Shutdown Under New Measure

Note: Word is the House version of this law (HR3223) may be voted on in the U. S. House of Representatives Saturday. Contact your local reps, Steve Stockman 202-225-1555 and Randy Weber 202-225-2831 and Sen. (ad hoc Speaker of the House) Ted Cruz 202-224-5922, early Saturday to let them know the 3,300 local federal space workers would like to stop the shutdown and get paid for the work they were ready to accomplish.

By Louis C. LaBrecque
Oct. 1 –About 800,000 federal civilian employees who have been told not to report to work because of the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1 would receive retroactive pay for the duration of the shutdown under legislation introduced in the House Sept. 30 and the Senate Oct. 1.

Under the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act–which was introduced in the House as H.R. 3223 by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), along with a group of 32 original co-sponsors, including both Democrats and Republicans–all federal employees would receive retroactive pay for the duration of the federal government shutdown, regardless of individual furlough status.

The legislation is necessary, Moran said in a joint Oct. 1 statement with some of the House bill’s co-sponsors, because federal employees who are furloughed during the shutdown will not get paid for the duration of the shutdown unless Congress specifically authorizes retroactive pay.

The lead sponsor of the Senate measure, which at press time had not been assigned a bill number, is Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). The text of the House and Senate bills is identical.

Congress ‘Failed to Do Its Job’

“Nearly a million federal workers could lose their pay because Congress failed to do its job and keep the government up and running,” Moran said in the joint statement from the House members.

“Leaving the question of retroactive pay for furloughed employees, already shouldering much of the burden of sequestration, up to this highly divisive Congress is deeply concerning. Today’s bipartisan proposal shields family pocketbooks from partisan politics and reaffirms our commitment to our federal employees,” he added.

Interview with Mike Sullivan, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector

I had the opportunity to visit with Mike Sullivan, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, along with other bloggers in the area. Thanks to Justin Concepcion for his effort in setting this up.

I have to admit, I walked away with a very positive feeling about Sullivan's office especially the attitude towards registering voters. The days of lawsuits and controversy concerning the voting rolls, voter intimidation, and other voter issues seems to have ended. His attitude is more of "how can my office help to register voters" instead of working to suppress the vote. Sullivan mentioned that 3 inherited lawsuits due to the policies of his predecessors, Leo Vasquez, and Don Sumners, have been resolved.

When he started his term, he did not see eye to eye with the lead of the Voter Registration Department, who eventually resigned and took a job with the County Clerk, Stan Stanart. This paved the way for Sullivan to design his own office and policies. He stressed that his office was going to work hand in hand with any organization that wants to help register voters. Training for volunteer voter registrars has returned to being held across the county instead of at the Harris County office at inconvenient times. Unlike his predecessor, Sumners, he has exceeded the minimum training sessions established by the State resulting in over 1300 volunteer voter registrars servicing the county.

I complain a lot. Some might say that is an understatement, but I was impressed with Mr. Sullivan's accomplishments with the office and his attitude towards voting in the county.

Now....a meeting with County Clerk Stan Stanart.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Republicans have lost their party

Senator John McCain, once the most respected Republican in the Senate, has lost his status to a freshman wannabe legislator, Ted Cruz. It is embarrassing. Maybe he needs to jump ship while he has a ounce of dignity left in him. McCain may not make the big jump to the Democratic Party but becoming an independent might be best for him and the party in general.

There is no Republican Party in control anymore. Cruz has been leading Boehner around by the nose like a lost puppy. The teabaggers of the house has painted Boehner in a corner. He created these people. He deserves being teabagged over and over and over again and he will lose his job in 2014 in the primary.

Maybe one of these elections the true Republicans of the Republican Party will return to the polls and vote for conservative, rational, people instead of the crazy wacko birds of the teabagger party.

We can only hope.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Clear Lake Feels Economic Punch from Federal Furloughs at NASA


Houston Chronicle

The tables were empty Tuesday afternoon at the Mediterranean Chef restaurant near the Johnson Space Center, closed because Congress failed to authorize funding to keep the government running.

"I've never seen it like this before," said restaurant owner Nidal Ayoub. Ayoub said 80 percent of his business is from the 3,200 workers furloughed from JSC and from visitors at the nearby Space Center Houston museum, a nonprofit tourist attraction.

Likewise, not a single customer was to be seen at Moreno's Mexican Food and Bar next to the Space Center Houston entrance. "We are very affected by it," waitress Blanca Cuellar said. The restaurant depends on NASA employees as well as the thousands of tourists who visit the museum, Cuellar said. The museum's tram tour includes part of JSC.

Fifty-five years to the day after President Dwight Eisenhower signed the law creating NASA, the agency furloughed 97 percent of its 18,250 workers Tuesday, among about 800,000 federal employees furloughed nationwide.

In Houston, only a skeleton crew remained at Mission Control to protect the lives of the astronauts orbiting in the International Space Station.

No one in Washington seemed willing to predict how long the government shutdown would last. But Bob Mitchell, the president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, predicted a solution would be found before the area economy sustained serious damage.

"Probably the amount of time means there is going to be very little if any impact on the community," Mitchell said.

He said the bulk of the aerospace work is done by contractors with about 11,000 employees in the bay area. Mitchell estimated that few contract employees would be furloughed.

Bills aren't stopping

Bridget Broussard-Guidry, 47, is one of the Johnson Space Center employees temporarily without work while waiting for Congress to act. Broussard-Guidry, a financial management specialist for NASA, said she and other furloughed workers would cut back on spending because they don't know how long they will be out of work.

Employees also are worried by the lack of a guarantee they will be paid for the forced furlough, she said.

She has enough savings to last about a month, but many co-workers don't have as much of a cushion, especially single mothers. "The bills aren't going to stop because the government shut down," Broussard-Guidry said.

Many packed their belongings as they left the office Monday, not knowing when they would return, she said. "It was sad."

Broussard-Guidry is head of the local union at the space center, the American Federation of Government Employees Local 2284.

She plans to immediately compile an email list of union members and begin a campaign to pressure Congress to end the furloughs and pay workers for time they were forced off the job.

"They can't keep using federal employees as pawns," Broussard-Guidry said.

The furlough also worries workers like Alece Kibler, a waitress who depends on tips at the Mediterranean Chef. The NASA employees who regularly show up for lunch weren't there Tuesday. "Our lunch is what supports us," she said.

See the Houston Chronicle for the rest of the story at www.houstonchronicle.com

Comment:

Please tell our local congressional representatives to stop their kamikaze approach to change a law that has was passed by the House, Senate, signed by the President and even found Constitutional by the Republican-led US Supreme Court. Call them and tell our local business leaders at BAHEP, Chamber of Commerce and local business to call Congress to stop insisting on a shutdown.

Steve Stockman: 202-225-1555 DC 281-478-2799 local
Randy Weber: 202-225-2831 DC 281-316-0231 local
Ted Cruz: 202-224-5922 DC 713-653-3456   local

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Furloughed NASA Workers, Head to Coffee Oasis for a Free Cup of Joe

Coffee Oasis, long a gathering place for thoughtful people, is offering up free coffee today for furloughed federal employees, suddenly without an income. Come on over and plan how to force our congressional representatives to do let NASA do the important work its supposed to do.


See you at Coffee Oasis at 4650 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

 

The Government Shutdown





An Offer of Support for Our Fellows