Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Voted Against Term Limits For City Of Houston

I voted. I know that by looking at the sticker a poll worker applied to my shirt pocket. At least the "sticker" (heh) reminds me when its low-bid not-very-sticky stuff doesn't send it straight to the floor again. Must have been a "brother-in-law contract" for the stickers, as my late father used to say.

And never forget what I used to say was the slogan behind this city seal: "Houston — come here to be railroaded! (Or get plowed.)"

If by chance you haven't voted yet, and you live in Houston, here's an alert...

You know, without a doubt about the HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance), City of Houston Proposition 1, which has already passed City Council and (if I understand correctly) is on the ballot because some cranky judge ruled that it had to be approved directly by city voters.  Please vote FOR it.

But I'll bet you don't know about City of Houston Proposition 2: it would impose term limits on all city elected officials, both duration (maximum 4 years) and number of terms (maximum 2). I urge you to vote AGAINST it. If you're voting, you already have a powerful term-limiting document in your pocket which gives you the power to decide whom to re-elect and whom to term-limit. This proposition would wrest that power from your grasp and automate the process; that's about as antidemocratic (small-'d') as it gets. I do not know which political slimeballs a) are convinced they cannot get elected often enough without this change to the city charter, or b) fail to see that forcing the electorate to shake up the whole slate of government officials and replace them with a bunch of newcomers every few years is a terrible idea, but as we lack the authorization to boil the slimeballs in oil (and besides, gulab jamun are much tastier), I suggest you vote AGAINST City of Houston Proposition 2.

See to find your early voting polling place and an early voting schedule. Or vote on Election Day, Nov. 3, at your regular polling place (NOT typically one of the early voting locations!). Final reminder: bring your !@#$%^& photo ID! Republicans did this to you, but you can't vote without it, so bring a Texas DL with your current address on it.

(I surely do miss the helpful election website that Scott Hochberg used to put up before he retired from running for office; we all have to compensate the best we can for that loss... of the site and of Rep. Hochberg, who was the Rep. you longed for if you supported responsive representative government. Thanks, Scott, for your years of service!


  1. I do think the Texan meanies are sensing the blue wave that'll overtake Texas in 2-4 years. All they can do is pass restrictive sharia like laws and regulations that will moderate the liberal tide. All you "Molly Ivins" Texans can do is oppose them in every way, just as you appear to be doing.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

    1. Ah, Shirt, the most famous quotation from the honored Mahatma Gandhi! Don't we all wish we had the strength to repeat after him... and mean what he said!

      Molly was such a person. I never met her in this life (goodness knows I read most of her columns and all but a couple of her books), but she died so untimely that all I can do now is imagine her in my mind's eye, casting those smiling eyes from that plain face and quietly telling us, "Your time will come. Hold fast!"

      The problem with being an unreconstructed liberal in Texas is that the "blue wave" is always "2-4 years" in the future, and never gets nearer. People like me gathered, oh, say 15 years ago and talked about how Texas would be ours in a decade or less; what we underestimated was the craftiness of the mean fucking bastards determined to keep their grip on government and culture even as their numbers dwindled. They've done an excellent job of preventing anything resembling genuine democracy from taking hold in Texas. It has still not arrived here.

      I just watched an episode of Rick Steves in which he tours... get this... Iran, and dialogues with people on the streets of several big cities, watches some religious ceremonies and more mundane goings-on, and generally plays the role of de facto diplomat that fits him so easily. (You talk about a genuine liberal, Rick is one of those, unapologetically so!) What struck me about his and his film crew's work is the thing they captured about the Iranian people that no one here ever mentions in a classroom or even on a TV show: the sheer ease with which the Iranians wear their culture, their clothing, their religion (strict beyond anything we've ever experienced), etc.

      This is what comes through: that ease, that comfort. Our problem with their culture is that it is so different from our own... not that it is inaccessible to any rational person, because it's obviously very accessible to them. The reverse may be true as well; Iranians may find American culture and life utterly beyond their reach... but I'm not so sure of that. In any case, as Steves emphasized, now is a good time to start a dialogue with a people so different from ourselves; we could very well talk ourselves out of a war we most certainly need to avoid. For that one brief show, I felt optimistic, but with people like John Bolton in the American sphere, I'm not at all confident we can do it. Sigh!



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