Monday, November 30, 2020

The Weekly Wrangle from Far Left Texas

The election is over ...

... winter has arrived ...

... and my Latinx voter post is still incomplete.  In the interim, the TexTrib has a seminar I'll be watching in order to germinate any last thoughts.

To note the last day of Native American Heritage Month, I introduce the topic of land acknowledgement, via Ali Velshi.

Former independent presidential candidate Mark Charles has also spoken about this.

The land that I have lived on previously belonged to (among several others; the following most prominently) the Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan, Karankawa, Atakapa-Ishak, and Hasinai peoples.  The most significant of these to me are the Hasinai, for which my Order of the Arrow lodge (BSA) is named.  They essentially named Texas -- or Tejas, their word for 'friend'.

As with Columbus Day, the Anglo celebration of Thanksgiving just past is a particularly difficult time for Indigenous Americans.  And as with Black Americans, the history of the United States is not well- or fully told in our schools or our texts; much of this learning comes from sources outside the mainstream.  And a lot of it -- such as the Holocaust, to use one example -- is denied by those who have the capacity to know better, or rejected on account of '(white) American exceptionalism' or related nonsense.  I consider the awareness of this knowledge, and its denial and rejection, to be a small part of there being no possibility of returning to 'normal'.  Those who don't like -- or resist -- change are going to be very unhappy for the rest of their existence.  And their resistance will make an already unpleasant set of new realities even more so for the rest of us.

Probably nothing will bother me more, however, than those who see and understand the new realities, but their investments in the status quo -- not just financial but emotional and political and intellectual -- dictate to them and to us that change can only occur incrementally and slowly.

We're already long past that point. (steps off soapbox)

On to the Wrangle, beginning with a few election post-mortems:

TXElects challenged the conventional wisdom that Tarrant County turned blue this year.  Kuff examined recent presidential results in the counties surrounding Travis and BexarThe Texas Lawbook reviewed appellate court races for the Houston area.  Reform Austin looked ahead to 2022 for Texas Democrats, and Patrick Svitek at the TexTrib did the same for the TXGOP.

Suffering is not something Texans can overlook.

Many are doing their part to help.

Some are not.

Here's the latest developments regarding COVID-19.

Catching up on criminal justice tweets and blog posts:

Perhaps because of Gamaldi's influence, the HPD oversight board scores as the "least robust" of all of Texas' major cities.  Grits for Breakfast wrote that Texas prison understaffing has reached dangerous levels, and calls for the Lege to close and consolidate some units.  Dylan McGinnis at the HouChron investigated the rebidding of a contract for the City of Houston to avoid using unpaid prison (aka slave) labor.  And a (legislative) gun fight is likely to break out next year in Austin.

I'll have some environmental news in the next Wrangle at the end of this week.  Here's a few items from the lighter side.

Socratic Gadfly had two snarky Thanksgiving-related posts; first, he came up with some suggestions for new names for the Washington Football Team. Second, he gave a smackdown to the cult of Whataburger.

D Magazine posted the detailed story about the helicopter crash that took the life of guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn, on the 30th anniversary of the tragic event (back in August).

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