All Trails Lead To…Houston!

tomball trail riders courtesy of yourhoustonnews

Picture from yourhoustonnews.com. Click for source.

Well, it’s that time of year again and we are all gearing up for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Have you got your boots ready? I’ve got mine.
Last year, I shared my experiences about what it takes to get a steer ready for a livestock show.

This year I want to discuss a different road to the rodeo. If you don’t get out of the Houston metropolitan area much, you may not realize that this week thousands of trail riders from 13 different groups are making their way to our fair city. Ultimately, they all camp out together in Memorial Park on Friday (February 27th). They then join bands and floats to parade through downtown Houston on Saturday (February 28th) to officially kick off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo season.
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A to Z with C.S. Lewis: Z is for Zeitgeist

CS LewisZeitgeist is a German word that means “spirit of the age.”  The zeitgeist of Periclean Athens was self-knowledge (supremely embodied in the thought of Socrates), while that of the Middle Ages and Victorianism was hierarchy (Dante) and progress (Tennyson), respectively.  As for the darker zeitgeist of modernism, marked by relativism and subjectivism, though Lewis did not embody it, he understood it better than many of its most ardent supporters.

In a sense, all of Lewis’s books offer a critique of modernism, but the one that does so with the deepest insight and the greatest prophetic power is The Abolition of Man.   In this brief book, which bears the rather intimidating subtitle of “Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of School.” Lewis predicts (with woeful accuracy) what the outcome will be for a society that trains its youth in accordance with the principles of aesthetic subjectivism and moral and ethical relativism. Continue reading

The Specter of Neo-colonialism Returns to Nicaragua

Nicaragua canal

After a long history of imperialism, dictatorship, and revolution in Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega (the same man who led the Sandinista charge against the US) has opened the doors to a new imperialist power. China has been invited to build a canal that would rival the Panama Canal, realizing a Nicaraguan dream put on hold by imperialist powers over a century and a half ago.

In mid 1800s, both the United States and the United Kingdom wanted to build a canal through Nicaragua. It was the logical choice. There was an existing river that ran from the Atlantic Ocean across to a large lake on the western side of the country, leaving only a small stretch of land to carve through to break through to the Pacific. It was relatively close to the United States and close to existing trade routes at the time. However, the two countries could not agree on who would control the canal, with Nicaraguan control never being considered. The US and UK signed the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty in 1850 which  resulted in neither country committing the resources to building the canal, as the treaty prevented either one from claiming sole control over it.

After the US built the Panama Canal, there were fears of competition from a future canal in Nicaragua. Continue reading

Welcoming the Year of the Goat

Gong xi fa cai! (Wishing you joy and prosperity in the New Year!) Yes…it is the holiday season when folks in Asia and the Asian diaspora come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Considered to be the most widely celebrated holiday in the world, we will be welcoming the Year of the Goat on February 19, 2015.


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