All posts by L. Wayne Ashley

Thanks for visiting!! My name is Wayne, and I live in Houston, Texas. I wouldn't consider myself a "diehard" liberal activist, but I definitely have a Progressive view on most issues. I'm a proud Millennial, and I feel like the voice of my generation in Texas gets overshadowed by the older, more established groups. This is my effort to change that. Please come back and read when you can.

The Ingressive Voices Podcast– Check It Out!!

So you may recall back before the elections that I announced that Texas Leftist would soon be wrapping up.  This is still true, for the most part, but I may not be done with the blog just yet.

But if you have enjoyed the content from Texas Leftist over the years, please consider taking a listen to my brand new Podcast called Ingressive Voices.  It is much of the same topics that have been covered from the blog, just in a new, and exciting format.  The episodes are far from polished thus far, as I still have a lot to learn about podcasting.  But I’m glad to have started out 2019 with something new, and I hope you’ll join me on the new journey.

You can find Ingressive Voices on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple, Stitcher, and most other places you may listen.

See you, er well… hear you there!!

UPDATE: HCSO Files Charges In Murder Case

After weeks of fear, confusion and uncertainty, some critical evidence has been revealed. Here’s the update, vja City Of Houston presser…

The Jazmine Barnes Homicide investigation has taken a new direction. Detectives are in the process of interviewing persons of interest. More details will be released as soon as possible. #hounews #JusticeForJazmine

Authorities now believe that initial reports and witness accounts describing a white male in their 40s were highly inaccurate, along implications of the suspect being connected to a supremacist movement.  New evidence suggest that the murder was instead due to gang violence. Texas Leftist apologizes for any mischaracterizations this may have caused. Regardless of initial misconceptions, this child still lost her life in a viscious attack, and her grieving family deserves support.

Details are still coming in.

 

Houstonians, Nation Search For Terrorist Killer of 7-year old Jazmine Barnes

On Sunday morning just hours before the New Year, one Houston family awoke with the same promise and hope that we all have for the coming year.   With a loving mom and sweet young children, they were excited to see what 2019 would have in store for them as they ventured out to run an errand in Northeast Harris County.

But, as reported by ABC 13, those dreams were quickly shattered…

LaPorsha Washington, mother of Jazmine Barnes, is revealing new details about the alleged attack that killed her daughter on Sunday morning.

Jazmine, 7, and her mother were shot as they were going to Joe V’s to get coffee Sunday morning. Washington’s three other daughters were in the car with them. They had just passed Walmart when a car pulled up.

Washington told ABC13 about her daughter’s final moments.

“As I turned around and looked back at the street, I heard shots start firing and they came through my window, broke my glass, and hit me in my arm. They sped off in front of us and the truck slowed down and continued to fire as he was in front of us. It was not fair. It was not fair. He intentionally killed my child for no reason. He didn’t even know her, he didn’t know who she was.”

After the shooting was over, one of her other daughters made the devastating discovery.

“She said, ‘Momma, Jazmine’s not moving. She’s not talking.’ I turned around and my 7-year-old was shot in the head.”

 

The horrific event occurred in the Wallisville area, near the East Sam Houston Parkway… almost the same location as a similar incident from 2017.  Though the cases have not been specifically connected as of yet, the murder of young Jazmine Barnes and the 2017 event both appear to display the elements of an act of domestic terrorism.  As of this writing, the killer has yet to be found and many in the Houston area and across the nation are in hot pursuit to find them… suspected to be a white male with a beard in their 40s.  The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is working on the case, and asking the community for any potential leads they may have.

Domestic Terrorism has been on the rise in the United States over the past few years, with much of these vile acts connected to the growing network of White Supremacist groups.  At the same time that such activity has been rising, American resources and policies to prevent and combat incidents of domestic terrorism have been lessened, or cancelled out, especially under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other officials in the Trump Administration.

Texas Leftist will update as facts on this case become clear, and be sure to tune in to future episodes of the Ingressive Voices Podcast, as we definitely plan to explore this issue.

 

 

 

Texas Vietnamese Community Worries As Trump Administration Threatens Deportations

From venerable institutions like Mai’s restaurant and Les Givral’s in Midtown Houston, to the bright bustling scenes of Saigon Plaza on the city’s West Side, to Radio Saigon piping across the airwaves of the Southeast Texas, the influence of Texas’ Vietnamese Community is a palpable and celebrated part of the Houston region’s diverse mosaic.  With a multi-generational populace over 80,000 strong since the fall of Saigon in the 1970s, most Houstonians today couldn’t imagine their city without them.

Which is why many Houstonians are disturbed to hear of the Trump Administration’s constant efforts to weaken and threaten immigrant communities.  Here’s the story from Charles Dunst and Krishnadev Calamur of The Atlantic

The Trump administration is resuming its efforts to deport certain protected Vietnamese immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades—many of them having fled the country during the Vietnam War.

[…]

The White House unilaterally reinterpreted the agreement in the spring of 2017 to exempt people convicted of crimes from its protections, allowing the administration to send back a small number of pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants, a policy it retreated from this past August. Last week, however, a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Hanoi said the American government was again reversing course.

Washington now believes that the 2008 agreement fails to protect pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants from deportation, the spokesperson, who asked not to be identified by name because of embassy procedures, told The Atlantic.

“The United States and Vietnam signed a bilateral agreement on removals in 2008 that establishes procedures for deporting Vietnamese citizens who arrived in the United States after July 12, 1995, and are subject to final orders of removal,” the spokesperson said. “While the procedures associated with this specific agreement do not apply to Vietnamese citizens who arrived in the United States before July 12, 1995, it does not explicitly preclude the removal of pre-1995 cases.”

In true Trump fashion, the Executive Branch is once again exhibiting behavior which blatantly Un-American. Thankfully come January, there will be at least one real-time check on these misdeeds, via the Democrat-controlled House Of Representatives.

But the fact that such vile can fly under the radar of municipal, county and state leaders is equally inexcusable. Texas Leftist is calling on Members of Houston City Council, former and currently serving state legislators, and our statewide elected officials to call out the Trump Administration for these hatefilled tactics.

It’s time for our political leaders to stand up and protect the great Texans in this community. If you can’t do that, you don’t deserve to hold office.

Could A ‘Green New Deal’ Work, Even For Texas??

If you ask most citizens their opinion on the state of American politics today, they’ll give your a variety of answers, based on their political leanings.  But one thing that may be in common with all of those answers?  They are not satisfied with how politics has devolved today.  From the Fringe-Right to the Far-Left, Americans are hungry for solutions.

Over the past couple of years, Republicans have had their chance to provide those solutions. With total control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency, the GOP and Trump Administration had two years to truly make a substantial difference and solve some of the most pressing issues American families are facing. Instead, they put profits over people, passed major tax giveaways and further lined the pockets of those that are already rich.

From November’s election results, Americans are clearly not satisfied with the “answers” Trump and Republicans have provided. But many are beginning to listen to voices like New York Representative-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose bold proposition for a Green New Deal is coming more into focus.  Here’s more on that from Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic

On Monday, speaking at a town hall led by Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez framed her chosen climate policy—the Green New Deal—through the lens of gallant American exceptionalism. “This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil-rights movement of our generation,” she said.

The Green New Deal aspires to cut U.S. carbon emissions fast enough to reach the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious climate goal: preventing the world from warming no more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. In a blockbuster report released in October, an international group of scientists said that meeting this goal could skirt the worst climate effects, such as massive floods, expansive droughts, and irreversible sea-level rise.

To actually make the target, though, the world must start reducing its carbon pollution immediately, and cut it in half by 2030. And we’re nowhere close. Global emissions levels just hit a record high, and even the Barack Obama administration’s most breakneck climate policy did not put the United States close to making its part of the goal.

The Green New Deal aims to get us there—and remake the country in the process. It promises to give every American a job in that new economy: installing solar panels, retrofitting coastal  infrastructure, manufacturing electric vehicles. In the 1960s, the U.S. pointed the full power of its military-technological industry at going to the moon. Ocasio-Cortez wants to do the same thing, except to save the planet.

The bold, Progressive plan for a Green New Deal is fundamentally simple… to pivot the current priorities of the US government from the rich oligarchy and back to the people.  By investing in guaranteed jobs, the United States could invest in its people and not only help save our planet, but fully remake our economy in the process.

To Republicans, this sounds like total lunacy.  Policies like Medicare for All and Free College Tuition, they say, would completely bankrupt the country.  But in 2018, when our nation already spends over $700 Billion on Defense like it’s a drop in the bucket, how tough would a shift in priorities really be?

So now to the true question… how possible would a “Green New Deal” be for states like Texas??

If you’re from Texas, it’s possible that you’re already halfway there.  The clean energy jobs of the future are thriving in the Lone Star State, as both Houston and Dallas- Fort Worth rank in the Top 10 metros for clean energy jobs in the United States, per a recent report by the Environmental Entrepreneurs group (E2).  The leaders of tomorrows Green revolution are already working in Texas today.

The other reason A Green New Deal could work for the state of Texas is pretty simple… need.  As a massive state where inequality has never been more stark between rural and urban areas, Texas is a state in search of solutions to grow and sustain our rural communities.  As discussed at the recent Symposium on Rural Texas by the Texas Tribune, technological and educational opportunities outside of the major metropolitan areas are struggling to keep up.  Knowing that the success of a Green New Deal would require harnessing the power of both rural and urban  communities, there’s reason to believe that Texas would be a great place to start.  As an energy powerhouse, Texas could lead the way to a prosperous, Green future while simultaneously building up rural communities.

Of course we know the reasons why Texas may be resistant to a Green New Deal, and they’re mostly political.  But now that Democrats have begun to find their footing in the Lone Star State, it’s quite possible that the Republican stifling of these ideas could soon be over.

Walking Back From Tribalism

The death of an American President is indeed a most curious time for the country. Of course the Presidency is the highest office in the land, and the only elected official that we all share, so it’s sensible that we would remember them, and reflect on their legacy in defining an era for our nation.

But each time this happens, it’s also immediately, maybe subconsciously compared to the present moment as well. Suddenly, we judge that era by the rules which are in place today, forgetting all the steps tile had to take in between to get us to the present. It’s a most peculiar form of time travel.

As Frank Bruni of the New York Times writes, this is absolutely the case at this moment, our National Day Of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush…

On Twitter over the weekend, the television writer Bryan Behar did something unconscionable.

He praised George H.W. Bush.

The former president had just died. In Behar’s view, it was a moment to recognize any merit in the man and his legacy.

Many of his followers disagreed. They depended on Behar for righteous liberal passion, which left no room for such Bush-flattering adjectives and phrases as “good,” “decent” and “a life of dignity.” How dare Behar lavish them on a man who leaned on the despicable Willie Horton ad, who nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, who did too little in the face of AIDS, whose privilege often blinded him to need.

They lashed out at Behar. They unfollowed him. And they demonstrated the transcendent curse of these tribal times: Americans’ diminishing ability to hold two thoughts at once.

Bush has indelible stains on his record. He also has points of light. At times he failed the responsibilities of leadership. At times he did right by them. He showed folly and he showed wisdom, cowardice and courage, aloofness and kindness.

Accentuating the positive, especially in the hours after his death, didn’t eliminate the negative.

Tribalism is a vortex that really leaves us so little room to be the complex, multi-dimensional people that we are. Whether it be arguments over President Bush 41’s record, or figuring out our current struggles in governing, we have to find our way back to creating space for common-sense solutions and compromise. Wounds from these political bunkers have grown so deep, it’s sometimes difficult for us to even speak to each other. 

Like being in a choir full of strong-willed individual voices, if none of them are listening to each other, the choir is not going to be very good.

And therein lies the first set of directions for how to get back to a healthier nation. We have to listen to each other, and maybe even remember that occasionally, good ideas can come from people that aren’t on our side.  All the time that Conservatives spend demonizing Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, that is time they lose learning about the Billions Of Dollars in new investment opportunities such a new deal could bring.

In this moment of reflection, let us hope that we can chart a path back to the listening, common sense solutions and compromise which have sustained America through the centuries, and healed us at our most fractious times.  We all know that a better, greater version of ourselves exists, and it’s time that we meet them again.

Point of Light: The Passing Of Bush 41

President George H. W. Bush’s record of achievement is unparalleled… from bravery in battle to political bravery during the height of constitutional crisis, from navigation of complex foreign relations to unprecedented champion of the disabled.

But above all, his example as a good man, devoted husband and loving patriarch continues to inspire us all.  Just as President Bush spoke of 1000 Points of Light in his inauguration speech, his incredible legacy will continue to shine bright in the hearts of Americans, and citizens of our great global community.

My sincere prayers to the entire Bush Family.