Politics and Sunday Morning Spirit from Houston, Texas on Super Bowl week

Texans: big enough to be decent, generous, and kind

Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet; welcome the stranger

Trump! Think and seek knowledge and wisdom BEFORE acting

Against these there is no law: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance

Constitution of the United States: alive, relevant, and applicable

Super City; all are welcome

Common Courtesies = High Value

Bear witness

Speak truth to power

Do you like a bully? Don’t be someone who sucks up and kicks down

We are all immigrants on this continent

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

One size does NOT fit all

Life and Liberty is precious – EVERYONE’s life and liberty

Some of the best lawyers in the country work in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government – CONSULT more of them, Mr. President

Photography winners from Student Conservation Association

http://www.thesca.org/connect/blog/winning-photos-capture-conservation-summerfall-2016

I have some fond memories of my service hours for SCA on the Battleship Texas.  That old ship is still struggling to stay afloat near the Houston Ship Channel. This year’s SCA photography winners make me want to join up again!

 

Urban planners, city workers, airport architects, heads up!Highways Can Help Pollinators Return to Health

In the face of rapidly-declining honeybee populations, farms across the country are under threat. In California, officials are now pioneering new methods to boost the health of the honeybees and bu…

Source: Highways Can Help Pollinators Return to Health

Storms a-comin’

The wind is howling, and the wind chimes are singing in Houston this morning. Storms a comin’! Still feel the same excitement that I did in the 1960s when this weather visited this quasi-coastal city.

I’m thinking about what Mark Carey wrote in his “Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History” – “People experience climate differently. *** Clearly, cultural analyses of climate can illuminate as much about broader historical processes as they can reveal about climate and weather.” (pg 37-41 in The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History.) Seeing the world through weather is seeing like a scholar, like an historian, like a person who is alive and awake.

 

 

 

“Born Suspect” lecture – UH Law

Last night, a few dozen gathered to listen to Cornell William Brooks, the President of the NAACP deliver a lecture entitled “Born Suspect: Tragedies of Racial Profiling.”

Brooks made it clear that the problem is not the police, and the problem is not communities of people of color, the problem is us all.  Until we are not bunched up as stakeholder groups of special interests, each viewing the “other” as “other” rather than neighbor AND until we stop viewing our neighbors and fellow humankind from such a distance, using shields and body armor and military weapons and thick tinted glass windows and shades and suspicion, until such a time, there will be profiling and stereotyping and the repetition of the resulting tragedies.

Brooks characterized different decades in our U.S. history according to the habitual distance between the neighborhood pedestrian and government authorities.   The answers, he suggests, are not in top down policies, but in local and state level hearts and habits.

I thought about a dear friend, a police officer, who joined the police on the inspiration of his childhood experience growing up on the South Side of Chicago.  The police who walked the sidewalks knew him, talked to him, reprimanded him, coached him, encouraged him.  Does that still happen today?  Brooks mentioned a program of the NAACP partnering with police training academies. I wonder if there exists funds, enough manpower, enough willpower to track such programs to measure whether those departments experience less violent encounters on the streets than do similar departments without the program?  Every management expert knows that what is important to a society gets measured and managed.

Whether we agree on everything or nothing, what are we DOING to serve our neighborhood, our town, our city, our county, our state, our  country, our world?  One thing is sure, if we try nothing at all, we have zero chance to succeed in problem solving.

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Anyway, here are a few pictures from the event at the University of Houston Law Center.

The people featured are Cornell William Brooks, Professors Laura Oren and Ellen Marrus, Elwyn Lee, Dean Leonard Baynes, and others.