Monday, March 31, 2008

MENTAL ILLNESS, SPECIAL SERVICES AT BISD - YET ANOTHER FAILURE

The other day I met this guy at the gym who does in school suspension at one of the middle schools. We got to talking - there is a shocker. He told me his biggest frustration is teachers who send the kids off to in school suspension without considering why they messed up. He noted he will get kids who have been beaten by the parents, whose parents are sitting around drunk all night, or maybe whose parents are suffering from mental illness and the child has no skills to cope with the parent’s mental illness. Rather than find a solution to these problems teachers choose to send these children to in school suspension. This is yet another example of BISD failing the children. In school suspension is not going to make the parent’s mental illness go away or provide the child with the necessary coping skills.

What is more important here is, if the parent is suffering from mental illness or any of the other matters I mentioned then there is a good chance the child is also suffering from mental illness, which could be as simple as depression or anger. This is an area wherein BISD Special Services should be very active and they are not. Even when they are made aware a child is suffering from depression and anger there is a good chance they will do nothing, even in light of TEA complaints against BISD. It is as if Special Services at BISD does not believe mental illness is real.

I work with a lot of parents. I am amazed with the patterns of depression I am seeing among the parents and children. I am convinced it is genetic. I was speaking with a remedial math teacher at UTB/TSC about several of my students who go from doing complex FOILING of radicals to not being able solve 5-4. You get a blank stair as if they are autistic. She responded with "yes I see that all of the time." I have no idea what the problem is.

When I first began to tutor adults in the GED is when I noticed the problem. I went to several of the Education professors at UTB who specialize in teaching math and they all refused to respond to my e-mails. I then tried some of the Special Ed professors and nothing. About a year ago I began to notice in several of the children of these adults the same thing. All of a sudden they go blank and appear to be autistic. I also noticed identical patterns related to depression. Holding the pencil like they are dying - putting there heads down - ignoring your existence (this is very frustrating when dealing with an adult - but when you do not know if there is a medical reason for the behavior you proceed with caution.) What is most disturbing is when you see it in family after family and in their kids once they hit puberty.

For all of the above there has to be a genetic component. I do not profess to know what it is. I do know this, even if it is genetic you can teach the child or adult to recognize the symptoms and tackle them. I know a child who upon approaching age 10 became impossible to handle. By age 11 she was ready to commit suicide. Dallas ISD made it clear she was just a bad apple. The parents knew better.

She was eventually diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome - a form of autism. Dallas ISD had no one on staff who knew anything about Asperger’s Syndrome and refused to hire outside help. The child ended up in a private school. She was taught how to recognize the symptoms of her disease. She is now on a full scholarship to one of the best universities in the US. My point is, diseases are manageable - even mental health related diseases which are neurological.

To go back to the in school suspension instructor I met at my gym. Sending children who have personal problems to in school suspension is not an option. We have to get to the point of understanding there is something more happening than just a bad kid. Parents suffer from real mental illness. The children are bringing a lot of baggage to school along with their own depression. BISD’s solution is to label them bad kids and move on. This is only happening because no one is in charge at Special Services.

I am also concerned with the patterns I am seeing between the parents and children. It is not too often that a teacher gets to work with the parents and children alike. This is the only way a teacher will ever see the similarities. I have ideas about his, but that is another day. I will say this - when teachers see the problem and refer the child for Special Services maybe the people in Special Services need to consider assessing the parents as well as the children. I know there is a cost factor, but the child becoming a drop out or criminal also has a cost factor. I am convinced if we can identify these problems, based on the example of the Asperger child, the children can be taught to manage their depression or neurological deficiencies, or deal with their parent’s depression.
HAVE YOU EVER MET THE PUBLIC - THESE ARE THE SAME MORONS WHO THINK YOU CAN TALK TO DEAD PEOPLE AND WATCH JERRY SPRINGER - THINK - AND THEN THEY GET TO VOTE

This morning I had intended to speak to the issue of Special Services at BISD and its total failure as a part of BISD. I have seen things which make me puke. But that will be tomorrow. I am still recovering from a stormy night on Boca Chica.

This weekend a group of my friends and their kids spent Saturday night into Sunday at Boca Chica. It was fun. The rain, thunder and lightning, and winds made for a sleepless, but fun night. I was thinking most of the night about my investment in extra long spikes for the tents. My friends who used some of them for their tents were very happy with the result. The winds blew hard all night. This is why sleep was a near impossibility. The thunder and lightning, and rain added adventure to the night. The kids loved the coyote tracks we found around the campsite in the morning.

The morning was great. I love the smell of bacon in the morning while camping. It took a while to feed the crew, but it was worth it. Some of these kids and parents had never camped in their life. It was an interesting first adventure. Watching the metrosexual men trying to bathe in the water was fun. Like there was any chance of washing the sand off. I told them to bring lots of bottles of tap water for bathing.

Many of my friend’s kids hate when they hear I will be at the beach cook-out. Why? I cook, I bring a ton of things for the kids. I have just about every food, topping, and play thing they could ever want. I am the clean the beach guy. Every child knows my rule. When we get to the beach they are going to fill a small kitchen garbage bag with garbage left by the pigs who were there before us. Most kids can do it in 5 minutes. These bags are small. Many see this as work, but I see it as a lesson in keeping the beach clean. They all know if they get caught throwing garbage on the beach the psycho monster will come out.

To make matters worse for the kids I have several bags for basic garbage and then separate bags for cans and plastic. I do not get mad if they use the wrong bag. I am just happy they are putting their garbage in a bag.

This weekend the beach area at Boca Chica looked like the city dumps. I blame the people first and foremost. Second I blame the county. Why does the county not post signs along the beach explaining why keeping the beach clean is important. Why do they not have more trash cans. There were none anywhere in sight where we were camping.

Look, I agree the public should know better. But hey - have you ever met the public - these are the same morons who think you can talk to dead people and watch Jerry Springer.

The people are never going to be responsible. Unfortunately this puts the burden on the county to post several large signs along the beach reminding people that it is wrong and illegal to leave trash on the beach.

Friday, March 28, 2008

TSC-RUBIO - TEXAS SUPREME COURT ISSUES A RELATED OPINION

The below is from a Texas Supreme Court case which came down this week involving whether or not someone convicted of a felony can hold public office. Obviously this relates to the Rubio case and his run for TSC. I do not know all of the facts about the Rubio case - but in light of this opinion he has an uphill battle. His one chance appears to be convincing this court, that the crime in Mexico would have been a misdemeanor in the Texas. If the intent of the Texas Constitution was to apply to Texans, it seems odd to me that someone convicted of a felony in Oklahoma would be barred from holding office in Texas when the same crime would only be a misdemeanor in Texas. Other than this argument I do not see how he wins his case.

Another argument is Article I, § 29 of the Texas Constitution. Years ago in one of its acts to protect a corrupt defendant in a civil case the Texas Supreme morons found that because Article I, § 29 of the Texas Constitution is self executing, meaning no court order required, any violation of a person's rights in Texas never happened, because such an act would be void - not voidable. You see if one of these Supreme morons were to shoot you dead because you sneezed without their permission, you would not be really dead because under Article I § 29 they could never have violated your rights in the first instance.

My point is, if Rubio's conviction does not comport with the rights conferred on Rubio by the Texas Bill of Rights, then the conviction does not exist. His attorneys can e-mail me and I will forward all of the case law as my donation to his compaign.

What the hay here it is:

"The State has no power to commit acts contrary to the guarantees found in the Bill of Rights. TEX. CONST. art. 1, § 29. Section 29 has been interpreted as follows: any provision of the Bill of Rights is self-executing to the extent (Page 149) that anything done in violation of it is void. Hemphill v. Watson, 60 Tex. 679, 681 (1884). When a law conflicts with rights guaranteed by Article 1, the Constitution declares that such acts are void because the Bill of Rights is a limit on State power. Id" (Emphasis added)

City of Beaumont v. Bouillion, 896 S.W.2d 143, 148-149 (Tex. 1995)

Here is yesterday's opinion

"This constitutional provision states that: “Laws shall be made to exclude from office . . . [persons] who have been or shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes.” Tex. Const. art. XVI, § 2. An individual convicted of a felony is thus ineligible to hold public office whether the conviction comes before or after the individual’s election to office. See id.; Tex. Elec. Code § 141.001(4) (individual convicted of a felony ineligible to hold public office); Tex. Local Gov’t Code § 87.031 (felony conviction operates as an immediate removal from office); Op. Tex. Att’y Gen. No. H-20 (1973) (“The term ‘other high crimes’ includes any offense of the same degree or grade as those specifically enumerated, namely felonies.”). Section 87.001 of the Local Government Code, on the other hand, broadly states that an officer may not be removed from office for acts committed before the officer’s election.

This section expresses what is sometimes called “the forgiveness doctrine,” the idea being that pre-election conduct does not disqualify one from holding office the same way post-election conduct does. The doctrine’s rationale is that the public has the authority “to forgive the misconduct of an elected official” following a campaign in which all the facts would presumably become known. In re Brown, 512 S.W.2d 317, 321 (Tex. 1974). The public’s power to forgive, however, is not without limits. It does not extend, for example, to felony convictions because a convicted felon is not qualified to hold public office, with or without the public’s consent. Tex. Elec. Code § 141.001; Hayes v. Harris County Democratic Executive Committee, 563 S.W.2d 884, 885 (Tex. Civ. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 1978, no writ). Thus, when the acts in question are themselves disqualifying under the constitution, they cannot be forgiven by the electorate. In re Bates, 555 S.W.2d 420, 428 (Tex. 1977); In re Laughlin, 265 S.W.2d 805, 808 (Tex. 1954); see also McInnis v. State, 603 S.W.2d 179, 180 n.2 (Tex. 1980)."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

ROUND THREE - SOLUTION - SELL THE PORT OF BROWNSVILLE - OH WAIT - YOU CANNOT SELL THE CASH COW OF THE SUCIO LUCIOS AND COMPADRES

Charge it to the grandchildren - Charge it to the grandchildren - This is Pat Almighty’s solution to the budget crisis facing Brownsville. With the national economy collapsing because of the government’s and people’s attitude they can charge everything to our grandchildren, Pat Almighty decides to join the club and mortgage our grandchildren’s future. Why learn a lesson when you can just join the ranks of those who failed before you?

Our roads do need to get fixed. But with 50% of the budget now going to pay off existing bonds, how does it make sense to charge even more to our grandchildren? It does not. A true leader leads even if it means being thrown out of office. The budget crisis is only going to get worse. Fees earned by the city from one of the international bridges are down. Property tax revenues are sure to go down as property values decrease due to the mortgage crisis. Sales tax revenues are going to go down as spending decreases due to a loss of jobs, maxed out credit cards, and fewer consumers with money to spend.

Unfortunately our roads can wait no longer to be repaired. If we do not charge the repairs to our grandchildren, the only other option is a property tax increase. The easiest way to raise property tax revenues is to sell the Port of Brownsville, and then redirect the property taxes being paid to the BND to the City of Brownsville for road repairs. If that is not enough, then it is time the politicians throw themselves on the tracks and call for a property tax increase. Now, before people claim many seniors cannot afford a property tax increase, remember, seniors are exempt from any property tax increases. Their property tax rate is frozen in place.

This is simple. First we demand that any candidate for the BND commit to the sale of the Port of Brownsville. We must make this the sin qua non to them getting our vote. If they will not agree to the sale of the port, they will not get our vote - period. When the BND was created it was never intended to be a permanent drain on the people. Board after Board has not only mismanaged the port, but they cost the taxpayers 21.4 million dollars in lost bond money. If the BND Board will not vote to sell the Port of Brownsville, then we the people must demand that our local representatives introduce legislation in Austin to mandate the sell of the Port of Brownsville. A private company certainly can do a better job managing the Port of Brownsville, than any of the current or previous public Boards.

This is the easiest and smartest way to raise revenue for the City of Brownsville. Any profits from the sell of the Port of Brownsville can be redistributed pro rata to people by and through their respective cities, and the taxes which will no longer be assessed against the property owners within the BND can be redirected to the City of Brownsville for repairs of our streets.
Now Nancy Boys, Sorry Charlie Atkinson, Phoney Tony Troiani, Shorty Boy Dick Longoria, you other clowns, and Pat Almighty - you have a viable option presented for your consideration - will you consider it - no - why? Because it does not make you money.

Will the Lucios or Oliviera seek to introduce legislation to force the sale of the Port of Brownsville? No - this cash cow for their clients is just too much to give up. We are so screwed
PAT ALMIGHTY, FISCAL STUPIDITY, AND A NATION WITHOUT COMPASSION OR A MORAL COMPASS

I am convinced that compassion is something we as a society have deemed a fool’s emotion reserved only for people chasing windmills. At every level of our society, I see how the people run to support any half cocked idea which relieves them of accountability or compassion. At the end of the day, I believe in accountability, which is why I blame the people and not the politicians or the churches.

I do believe most churches are in substantive doctrine the anti-Christ. Most, not all, Christians churches obsess over judgment, hell, controlling personal behavior and money. They focus on teaching judgment morality, instead of teaching positive morality - such as compassion, accountability, responsibility.

The politicians thrive on fraud and self preservation. Anything to avoid doing their job or leading is the primary focus of just about anyone in elective office. Can any one tell me anything anyone running for TSC Board or BND really believes as to the real problems facing each of these institutions. To a candidate it is about bogus inflated resumes, and "I have business experience." BFD. But then I blame the people - they do not demand that the candidates ever say anything of substance. At this point I am supporting no one for any of these positions.

We as a nation are facing a financial crisis which many believe will lead us into a depression or near depression. Millions of Americans have no way of ever paying off their credit card debt. If enough default on the debt, we all know that the corporate welfare advocates in the Republican Party will move for a bail-out. I say let the credit card companies and mortgage companies fail. It is time there be accountability for the reckless conduct by the financial market and the people who were so desperate to get that new X-Box for their over indulged child they were willing to charge it.

But we will not allow for accountability - we will do what we as greedy devoid of compassion and a moral compass Americans do best - we will charge our grandchildren for our debt. The politicians in the interest of self preservation will charge the bail-outs to our grandchildren and great grandchildren. This is sad - it is pathetic and makes me want to puke on the people.

With every responsible person in the country now understanding how endless charging created this financial mess we as a nation are facing, the best Brownsville can produce is Pat Almighty and the Nancy Boys, who appear to have not heard the news - charging your needs to your grandchildren is immoral and evidence of someone devoid of compassion and a moral compass.

According to the Herald 50% of Brownsville’s revenues go to servicing debt. This must stop. While there are many good reasons to fight the proposed $53 million bond issue for Public Works - fiscal sanity should be the first. Repairing our roads is a day to day obligation of the city - it is not a capital improvement which could result in an economic benefit to the city.

At this point, if Brownsville had anyone leading the city, they would stand before the people and say "we have a choice we can repair our roads by raising property taxes and fees, or we can charge the cost of the repairs to our grandchildren." Honesty - how silly - honesty from Pat Almighty and the Nancy boys - silly, silly me. I do not know how people sit in on the City Commission meetings without nose pins to cover-up the smell of pure shit Pat Almighty and the Nancy Boys represent.

When 50% of your income is going to pay debt, you do not take on additional debt unless that debt can be paid for through the capital improvements financed with the debt - a convention center or new airport could generate enough additional revenue to pay for the debt incurred to finance these projects.

A second reason to oppose the use of $53 million dollars of new debt for Public Works is, Public Works is overseen by a highschool graduate. Who other than a complete and total moron hires a highschool graduate to oversee $53 million dollars? People - anyone who supports this bond issue loses the right to complain when the money goes missing and is mismanaged.

How about responsible government - to fund day to day operations of the city a real leader raises property taxes. To fund capital improvements which could generate revenues for the city and in fact pay for themselves should be funded with bonds. If you use the bond option to fix the roads as a substitute to raising taxes, then there will be no bond money to build a convention center or new airport, both of which could and should generate additional revenues for the city.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WEARING CAPRI PANTS SHOULD BE A FELONY AND THE ADVENTURES OF PAT ALMIGHTY, AND SHORTY BOY DICK LONGORIA

Some mornings I just do not know what to talk about. I have things on my mind, I just cannot decide which has the most value. Sometimes levity is an important reprieve. I considered talking about making the wearing of Capri pants a felony, but then I thought some of you like 250 pound women with hairy arses and hair growing up their back who wear hip-hugger Capri pants with a belly shirt - so who am I to judge. I am convinced these men are really closeted gay men because most of them are walking Adonises. They just cannot admit what they really want is gay bear, so they turn to the next best thing, a 250 woman with a hairy arse and back. Ladies, even I use Nair for men to keep my back from looking like a jungle.

Then I thought about combining something moronic Glenn Beck said yesterday with the issue of compassion raised by Ed on Aim Low, but then I thought that would take too long to write - maybe tomorrow.

Today I will address Pat Almighty and Nancy Boy Longoria’s respective ideas related to solving the budget shortage at City Hall. Pat Almighty’s plan is simple - let’s create another bureaucracy, and taxing authority to tax for public works issues so that the money does not have to come out of the general fund. Of course he does suggest lowing our property taxes which go into the general fund and then redirecting them to the new taxing authority. So what is the difference if it is the same money? The new taxing authority allows Pat Almighty and the Nancy boys to hire a bunch more highschool graduates to manage the operation. This is basically more money being wasted on more personnel. It is buying their future by hiring their friends to mismanage more of the people’s money.

It is also a fraud on the people. Pat Almighty has figured that people will be more likely to approve a property tax increase if the money has to go to public works. PAT LET’S BE CLEAR - not a penny more of our money so long as you and the Nancy Boys are in office. You have proven you are too stupid and ignorant to manage our money when you decided to hire a highschool graduate to oversee the multimillion dollar budget over at Public Works.

Now to Nancy Boy Longoria (word has it Phoney Tony Troiani became frustrated upon learning Longoria was coming up short - I think their love affair may be in trouble). I will be the first to go after bad cops. Longoria wants to fix all of our problems by denying firefighters and police officers the right to negotiate their wages. On balance I feel like Brownsville has one of the best law enforcement agencies in Texas. In Dallas they are so underfunded and underpaid that they no longer have patrols. This invites crime. We do not want this in Brownsville. It is what we will have if "Shorty Boy" Longoria gets his way.

Firefighters and police officers put their life on the line every day to protect us. I only want the best and most qualified in these positions. Courage "Shorty Boy" Longoria is going to the people and saying - we must raise taxes if we are to keep you safe. Courage is not dividing the city by denying our firefighters and police officers a fair wage and benefits. Hey "Shorty Boy" isn’t Ricardo for Richard and the nick name for Richard, Dick? Going after our firefighters and police officers have earned you the new nick name of "Shorty Boy Dick Longoria"

THE END

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CONSUMER WARNING - ESPECIALLY FOR SENIORS - PASS THE WORD

People in the LRGV are now receving phone calls from the number 281-890-3338 - it comes up as Operations Division. They are telling seniors they must pay money or lose their medicare. Please tell every senior you know that if they see this number to not answer the call.
READER SPEAKS OUT ON CITY HIRING - GO READER - THE FISH WAS AT MICHOACANA

hey.. stick to the subject matter. we, the people, need to let these politicians know that we will not stand for this compadrismo any longer!!! when we have a Director level vacancy in the city, they need to go out and advertise the position!! they need to try to recruit qualified, experienced individuals from other similar sized cities!! They need to keep the citizens abreast of the hiring progress via a Human Resources Director's report to the City Commission each week. They need a transparent means to select these critical Director positions in our city. They need to be able to justify who they hire. We are currently without an Assistant City Manager and we currently have an Interim Purchasing Director. The commission can start with those two positions. Are they advertising them on the Texas Municipal League website? A weekly update would be nice. As for the Public Works Director. The only way that they can legally get away without hiring a Professional Engineer is to have a licensed engineer somewhere in their organization (which they don't). Therefore, we are operating illegally on every public works project that carries a pricetag of more than $20,000. Newsflash for our elected officials---every project costs more than $20k!!!! OH, and by the way, it's La Michoacana...Now was the red snapper from La Michoacana or from Gordons???

Editor's Note: Where in the law does it say an engineer is required - I am not saying you are wrong - I want to research the issue and see if the city can be sued to force them to hire an engineer.
TAKING TO TASK UTB/TSC INSTRUCTORS WHO ONLY GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS OF TEACHING, BUT WHO REALLY NEVER TEACH

If you are here this morning waiting to learn the names of some local gay men masquerading as breeders, ask yourself, "what kind of pathetic person am I." I said out - I did not say what I was outing for.

I will speak of two UTB/TSC professors who occupy space in the classroom with students but who do anything but teach. One I will mention one by name because he is also a BISD Board Member. I think his lack of interest on BISD’s Board is reflective of his lack of interest in the classroom. The other, I will not mention by name - he is not a public figure. Everyone on campus knows who he is, but the attitude is, until he retires the students just have to suffer.

Joe Colunga Jr., last summer appeared in a classroom at UTB/TSC under the guise he was to teach remedial writing. Three of my students all received a "B." I love a "B" So what is the gripe? I have not had my coffee yet, but soon.

The purpose of any course, and especially a remedial course, is to teach - to help the student along. In Colunga’s classroom you have an instructor who basically shows up - gives some unclear assignment, and then sits there and twiddles his thumbs. On rare occasion he will remind his students of his existence. On even rarer occasions he might actually give feedback to a student. His students basically show up day after day not knowing where they stand or what they need to do to improve their writing.

These are not only community college students they are remedial students who have made a decision to basically repeat their last year of highschool as a condition of being allowed to proceed with their formal education. In these students you have a sense of commitment to their education, which you will not find in most 18 year olds who just go to UTB/TSC because that is what you do after highschool.

The remedial students need to know they are progressing. They need to know there is more to a grade than showing up and being polite to the instructor. These older adults need to know UTB/TSC is a place of learning and not just another bullshit lesson in life. Most gave up on life once, while in highschool. We should not be telling them that the same uninspiring teacher who helped push them to drop out of highschool in now going to be their university instructor.

Joe Colunga Jr., unfortunately has perfected the art of taking the step out of the life of the remedial students, which is translating to other problems down the road. The only thing he is teaching his students is the art of bullshit and not caring is an option in life. This is not the lesson remedial students should be learning at UTB/TSC. He also appears to believe this is the lesson to be learned by BISD students. Can anyone think of any accomplishment at BISD by Joe Colunga Jr.?

The other person who fills a classroom but teaches nothing is an anatomy professor. He has been at TSC for 30 years. Every advisor knows who he is, and every advisor knows most students are just screwed when they have to take his class. On his last test he had to give a 20 point curve just so some students would receive a passing grade. If you must give a 20 point curve just so some of your students can pass, you either have morons for students, or you do not know how to teach.

In the case of all three of my students, I was able to drill them on 28 pages of notes. I drilled them as a group and individually. My students knew 95% of everything in the notes - notes which were a combination of class notes and the text. A lot of anatomy is based in Latin. Spanish speaking students have an advantage in learning anatomy. Sudoriferous gland - sweat gland. So my question is, if they knew 95% of everything in 28 pages of notes, how is it they need a 20% curve to just pass? A lot of students just had to drop because even with a 20% curve they still failed.

What angered me, and why I decided to write this piece, was the comment "If you people would just study you would pass." Maybe the problem, such as with Colunga, you the instructor just gave up on the students and only appear to go through the minimum motions of instruction and never really engage in instruction. Maybe you have not updated your tests in 20 years which results in a lot of questions over material which was neither covered in the classroom nor the text. Maybe it is time you align your classroom notes with the current text, instead of using the same notes you took in your anatomy class 40 years ago.

I know a lot of the students are just going through the motions of being there. I have taken on those students. It is time we now take on the instructors who appear to be only going through the motions, and buying time until their burial on their couch.

Monday, March 24, 2008


MY FAVORITE BLOG AND MEAT MARKET - IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

Just a joke, I was going to review the meat market only and then I decided to guide people over to a new blog, which has become my favorite because it reminds me of my youth and allows me to think outside the box of "gotcha politics."

Tomorrow I will be outing two people. There is a truth out there which needs to be told. I am so tired of our children being sacrificed as a necessary evil to protect incompetence.

Every morning, for now, I begin with http://ed-stapleton.blogspot.com/ . His writing is greatly influenced by the classics. I do miss the days when I would spend endless hours in the library reading. In law school the professors use to joke that I would spend more time in the library than Richard Nixon. I remember when I took the junior level course in political theory and the instructor offered to turn over to me to teach the the section on Marx and Hegel because I had actually read more of each of these theorists’ works than he had. I politely declined. I think when we are getting older we yearn for yesteryear not because we are afraid of dying, but because we realize how life took control of us, and we abandoned our desire to read the classics and expand our minds.

La Michoacana meat market is in the old Sam’s shopping center on the corner of 77 and Price. They started in Dallas, which is how I know them. I have not yet tried the meat here, but in Dallas it was reasonably priced and superior to most grocery stores. Maybe because I grew up buying meat at the butcher is why I prefer a meat market, who knows, but if the meat is good, I much prefer being able to choose my own meat.

They also have a fish market. They do not sell gulf shrimp, so I went over to Gordon’s on 48 for my shrimp. For under 5 dollars I bought the most incredible whole red snapper. I was more than full. I grilled it on the stove top with onions and tomatoes. The head meat is the best.

I also bought some marinated chicken thighs without bones. They were for the beach yesterday - but the weather called off that party. This week I will try the chicken thighs. The rib-eyes looked good. Maybe later in the week I will go back.

PUBLIC WORKS

I posted a comment in the Herald related to Ahumada's decision to seek bond money for the roads. I complained about turning a multimillion dollar budget over to a highschool graduate. Two sources in public works called me this morning to tell me it is the hot topic over at public works. They have no confidence in Santana Torres. I wonder if the SS Officers in the City of Brownville are going to order another piss test of all the public works workers, the way they did after the last comments I made on the issue. My sources will not and cannot be silenced with piss tests -

Saturday, March 22, 2008

HAPPY EASTER

BECAUSE I AM TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED - YOU WILL HAVE TO CLICK

http://home.att.net/~solos_holiday/2008/_011/egg.htm

http://home.att.net/~solos_holiday/2008/_011/egg.htm

PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN


The above link will give you everything you need to protect your kids on line. We all know how I feel about censorship. We cannot shut down the internet to protect children and sensative eyes - but responsible parents can use the above link to make sure their children are not seeking or readings things not appropriate for their children's eyes. I hope parents will take advantage of this inforamtion and find it as a better alternative to the government coming in and regulating the internet.
People, I do not plan on publishing on the weekend - this is a limited thing as I design the web page.
Now, earn your keep - how do I make it possible for people to clink on the KONO 101.1 icon and have it go directly to the music?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

MUTANT POLITICOS

"The Hills Have Eyes, the Incestuous and Nuclear Politics of Cameron County: The Cascos/Cisneros Affair."

The following is from the Herald’s March 20th afternoon posted story related to the Cisneros affair. "In an audiotape that surfaced Thursday, local developer Abraham Galonsky is heard urging Cisneros to take action or "they" could retaliate against him.
Galonsky doesn't identify the sources allegedly at work against the commissioner but is heard telling Cisneros that his job with the county's Precinct 2 could be in jeopardy."

"The Hills Have Eyes" is actually a fun film about mutant people whose mutations are the consequence of incestuous relationships, and nuclear fallout. Such is the story of Cascos/Cisneros. Let’s go back to fateful day Zavaletta announced for DA. He said there would be no favoritism. By chance on that same day the story broke that Cris Valadez’s home was receiving free electricity from the BPUB. Here was Zavaletta’s chance to say "No favoritism, I will seek the indictment of Cris Valadez and he can take his defense to a jury." But he did not - (here is the incest) Why? Zavaletta’s accountant is none other than - wait - wait - here it comes - Cascos. And who works for Cascos - wait- wait - wait - OMG Valadez. And who was Valadez’s buddy on the BPUB - Zavaletta Sr. - It is all incest people - not a moral or honest person in the group.

It is a crime to threaten a public official with blackmail to influence a vote. Raise your hand if you think there is a chance in hell Villalobos will ever allow that case to go forward. The only hope for a full and complete investigation is for the Texas Rangers to take the investigation. They are too busy already investigating the Livingston matter to devote more time to the House of Villalobos. So, let us all accept that investigation is going no where. Unless Villalobos is removed from office for public corruption over the Livingston matter, which I am 100% certain he will be - before he starts his second term. They are close - very close. When was the last time Villalobos looked Lucio in the face and asked "are we still cool?"

This battle between Cascos and his moron buddies and Wood and his moron buddies has gone nuclear. The fallout is taking its toll on everyone associated with both sides. It is fair to say Cascos is a one term County Judge. We can only hope he does not use his remaining time as the County Judge to do more harm to the county than he already has - if he cared about Cameron County, which he does not, he would resign - silly me - resign - "Silly Rabbit - Tricks are for kids."

Resign - what the hell? (Hey - don’t yell at me - Cascos is in charge - he is the top mutant and this mess is happening under his inept leadership) Why did Mark Yates loose his job over the contract mess, but Valadez did not loose his job over the BPUB theft matter? I know it was the District Court judges who let Yates go - but the issues are the same. It is about protecting those who do your bidding, and not about public trust or serving the people. (How do you think a mutant buffoon came to be hired to the BISD’s superintendent?) And just because some people believe that Valadez would have voted against the developers does not make this mess okay. Cascos had 24 hours to fire Valadez over the BPUB mess and he did not. With any luck Valadez will squeal like a virgin puppy going into a hard core prison cell, and take Cascos down with him.

People I know I am being hard - but I ask you - with how all of these people are connected is it possible they did not know about the threats towards Cisneros? Why was Valadez protected as it related to the BPUB theft charge? Both Zavaletta and Villalobos sought to protect Valadez. So what is the incestuous relationship between Zavaletta and Villalobos which had them both running to protect Valadez? A bad business deal - a lovers fight? There is a story there people, you just have not dug deep enough.

Now back to Cisneros - time card or no time card - if I understand the matter as a salaried employee he has an obligation to work a minimum amount of hours. If he fudged time cards which are designed to insure he works the minimum numbers of hours, then he should be fired. The fact someone tried to blackmail him to influence a vote does not make fudging his hours okay. Most taxpayers in Brownsville would love a job where you can show up to work if you feel like it. No such public service job exists.

If he was cheating the taxpayers, Wood should fire him now. I would remind Wood how long it took Zavaletta to give up DeLeon to protect his ass from prison. If there is something there Wood and you are covering for it, let me give you some advice - you know why the guy who pulls the trigger always gets life and his co-criminal gets the lethal injection? Because the shooter is smart enough to squeal first. Apparently, Zavaletta knew enough about the criminal law system to be one up on DeLeon on this one.

Cameron County, BPUB, and the City of Brownsville are so screwed. Our leaders are all the product of incestuous relationships and nuclear fallout. Beware people, because the "Hills Have Eyes" and they will eat your young, rape your daughters to perpetuate their breed, and take no prisoners, you are not safe. Lock your doors and pray for "El Milagro de Rio Bravo."

Why does all of this matter?- because corruption and abuse of office invites blackmail, and blackmail invites 21.4 million dollars out the door leaving the taxpayers with nothing.

DEFENDING REPUTATION

ONCE A MAN HAS LOST HIS REPUTATION, WHAT DOES HE HAVE LEFT OF VALUE? NOTHING

This morning’s piece was to be entitled the "The Hills Have Eyes, the Incestuous and Nuclear Politics of Cameron County: The Cascos Cisneros Affair." But you will have to wait until tomorrow.

For me the most valuable thing a person owns is their liberty. Inherent in liberty is reputation. You can be a billionaire, but without a positive reputation it would seem to me you are poor. For me, I know of nothing more valuable to a person than their reputation.

This morning we learned that the Herald, Zavaletta, and DeLeon have all been sued over the release and publication of names of people who were never charged with a crime as it related to abuse of children. The abuse of children is considered such a heinous crime even among criminals, those found guilty of same are isolated from the general population of prisoners because they would be killed otherwise.

An issue in this case is whether or not Freedom Publications (Herald) is immune from suit for publishing the information. The most famous court case on the issue (generally) is known as the Pentagon Papers. I do not remember if it was the Washington Post or New York Times who published the papers, but in the end the Supreme Court found that even confidential papers related to the military were subject to publication under the First Amendment.

In my view the press has been afforded way too much protection by the courts, when it comes to destroying the reputation of innocent people. The reasoning afforded by the courts, has never carried any weight with me. I do not know how publishing false or misleading information aids in the dissemination of information needed by the public, or promotes meaningful public discourse.

The Texas Constitution provides even greater protection for reputation than the federal constitution. Although never argued, the original intend of the 10th Amendment in part was to afford the greater protection to the people provided by the various state constitutions. It would be an interesting case. But then I will say, I just got done consulting on a case wherein the Texas Supreme Court assigned a new court of appeals after the initial court recused itself. The Texas Constitution puts into the hands of the Governor the exclusive authority to assign the new court of appeals. The Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court is so opposed to the Texas Constitution that he put in writing his position that the Texas Constitution does not apply to him. My point being, anyone waiting for the Texas Supreme Court to enforce the Texas Constitution, is a fool.

In this case, I think Zavaletta and DeLeon have destroyed what was left of their reputations. I think the Herald has once again found its reputation in the community diminished. I hope the courts will take the time to rethink the balance between Freedom of Speech, and a person’s reputation. Once a man has lost his reputation, what does he have left of value? Nothing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

CHINA, BAD DOG BAD


People I cannot make this up. My friend was horrified last night while at Walmart shopping for a chew toy for their dog. He was with his 15 year old daughter. He is not happy. I got the picture from their web page because I am too stupid to transfer it from my cell phone.
If this is not enought, I say look at the review on the product. I could not make this up in a million years. I will not repeat the review for fear of offending more than I already have. It will be your choice to click below.
Do you think the Chinese maker of this product was clueless? What about Walmart? I have no problem with these type products - but not in the pet department for my daughter to see and then become all embarrassed

NANCY BOYS FAIL AIRPORT

IT IS TIME THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TAKE CONTROL OF THE CITY AND WORK TO BUILD A BETTER TOMORROW FOR BROWNSVILLE

For me a major turn-off is looking at a resume of someone who has served on endless boards. Boards rarely accomplish anything other than allowing their members to claim the so called public service as a way to boost their resume. A long resume of board service normally will turn me off as a supporter.

What I do like is seeing where a candidate has actually gotten their hands dirty and done something for the community. Boards are so much easier for people. They do not have to show-up at the meetings, and if they do they are normally a BS session which does little to nothing to help the community.

This brings me to the Airport Board. If there is a Board which is a waste of time and energy it is the Airport Board. For 30 years they have mismanaged the direction of the airport and Brownsville has paid a big price. Now, we all know appointment to the Airport Board is kind of like doing time. If want to be on more influential boards, you first have to do your time on the Airport Board.

Several months ago I informed my readers Southwest was opening Harlingen to their entire market. By May 10th you will be able to book through to anywhere Southwest flies. I will be taking a trip to Washington and New York. Washington will actually just be a day visit - I get in early to Washington, and then have a very late connection to NY. More than enough time for a quick meeting.

Anyway, Southwest will cost me $289.00, Continental will cost me $375.00. Is there much of a decision for me to make? No. Also, if I fly Continental it costs me an extra $50.00 when I get to NY - the cost of a taxi to the train station and then the train out to Eastern Long Island round-trip is about $50.00. Southwest flies into Eastern Long Island. I hate the fact that for the third trip in a row I will be flying Southwest. Continental has chosen to not compete with Southwest.

Our airport cannot accommodate the expansion needed to allow our airport to survive. Continental will have to decide, it will compete with Southwest or leave the LRGV. If we loose Continental, we loose for good. This will be bad, real bad for Brownsville.

We are not going to attract other air carriers so long as our airport appears to be nothing more than a thatched shack in the middle of a 3rd world county. I cannot even talk about the fact Iowa remains a bombed out road which welcomes visitors to South Padre with a roller coaster ride as their cars fall in and out of the endless potholes.

Time is short for expansion. Boca Chica cannot handle the expanded traffic which will come with an airport with multiple airlines. The traffic as it is has me rarely heading out to 77 on Boca Chica. I use any number of back streets as a faster way to get around town. The expansion of 511 is not going to solve the issue either. It is not where the population can be found. Further, with current traffic congestion, for people who live in North Brownsville, and Rancho Viejo, Harlingen’s airport is actually closer in time than Brownsville’s.

Now I know I am kicking a dead-horse, but it is time the business leadership in Brownsville take control of the issue and demand that the inept Nancy Boys and Pat Almighty begin the process of buying land off of 77 for a new airport. On East and 77 there is more than enough land for a new airport. With leadership it can be a joint venture with Matamoros. We can also build a jointly owned convention center. It is time for leadership. We all know it is not coming from the Nancy Boys or Pat Almighty, so it is time the business community come together and develop the idea of a new airport. A private citizens’ airport board can accomplish this. The city’s Airport Board is worthless - it is a place where people do their time until there is an opening on a more influential board and not where people serve to bring a better tomorrow to Brownsville.

People - the Nancy Boys and Pat Almighty are too busy being morons to care about Brownsville. Our only hope is for the community to take the lead by organizing and demanding that the business community support the community. The Nancy Boys and Pat Almighty have chosen to hire a highschool graduate to manage a multimillion dollar budget for Public Works. Does anyone believe at this point the Nancy Boys and Pat Almighty can be trusted to make competent business decisions for our community?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

THUMBS DOWN - MUNOZ AND ROSAS

NOT THAT MY TWO CENTS MATTER, BUT THIS IS WHY I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ELICEO MUNOZ OR GILBERTO ROSAS

Eliceo Munoz is running for the BND. Because of corruption by Board Members, and mismanagement the people are out 21.4 million dollars. Why? Back door dealing - plain and simple.

Just before Eliceo Munoz was thrown off the BISD Board he was urging BISD to buy a warehouse at the airport. He had a complete set of numbers on how much it was going to cost BISD to do roof repairs to their existing main warehouse versus purchase of the new warehouse. Question, who cares about a warehouse? It is not about the warehouse - it is about what it represents. The owner of this warehouse clearly approached Eliceo and provided all of the numbers. Why would I trust such a deal? Why would Eliceo Munoz feel a need to just out of the blue go out and find warehouse space for BISD? This is how 21.4 million dollars went missing at the BND. Board members have no business conducting themselves in this manner - period. If BISD needs additional warehouse space then it is for the Director over Facilities to initiate the request to the Board and for the Board to develop some type public bidding project, assuming the warehouse is really needed.

If you want these type back door deals to continue at the BND, then I propose you vote for Eliceo Munoz. And when another 21.4 million goes missing, I am sure everyone who voted for Eliceo Munoz will be all too willing to take responsibility for their vote.

Gilberto Rosas running for the new 444th Judicial District Court, represents everything wrong and evil with the judiciary. I have consulted on cases in his court. Every attorney in town I know considers him to be a two-bit bully who ignores the Texas Family Law Code and has nothing but contempt for the constitution. Think for a second, why did the attorneys basically refuse to fund his campaign if they are happy with how he conducts himself. Some gave out of fear, but only out of fear of retaliation if they did not.

Gilberto Rosas is an appointed IV D judge. He basically handles the attorney general child support cases. That is all. Unfortunately he routinely takes away the rights of fathers although the fathers have not even been sued on the issue. In this country, something lost on Rosas, you have the right to know why you are being sued and the right to defend on the issue. He does not care - he simply strips parents of some of their rights, because he is a two bit bully.

In Brownsville it is all too common for fathers to pay the child support directly to the mother. The mother will lie to the Attorney General about the payments because they have to - they also lied to the welfare office. To keep these women from being charged with welfare fraud Rosas, contrary to the plain language of the law, will not allow fathers to introduce evidence of direct payments. He will then throw them in jail, and the women who engaged in welfare fraud walk free. If this is what you want in a judge, I say vote for Gilberto Rosas.

Monday, March 17, 2008

MARKETING SPI

"A Quiet and Liberating Beach, SPI - your alternative to Cancun on the Gulf of Mexico."

Rethinking the marketing of South Padre is what the leaders of SPI should be doing at this moment. On March 8 the travel station profiled SPI as a party island where college kids go to get drunk and watch wet t-shirt contests. This is not the image I would want for my business. While I did not make it out to SPI this past week, two of my nephews told be it was slow compared to seasons past. In fairness, the weak economy can be blamed for some of the slow down.

In April several of my out of state family members will be making their 2nd trip to SPI this year. They were here during that incredible warm spell in January. For three years now they have replaced Cancun with SPI. Why? SPI is more like Cancun when I use to travel back and forth on a regular basis. The last time I was in Cancun there were still only 5 hotels on the Caribbean side of the beach. You see, SPI is quiet, and inexpensive. Even with a paid time share available in Cancun, it is still cheaper to spend the week at SPI.

SPI in many ways is like Fire Island, off the coast of Long Island. There is one bridge. Access to most of the island is by boat only. The difference is, developers have developed that part of Fire Island which is not accessible by bridge. Many areas are accessible by private boat or ferry only. People can rent houses in small isolated areas which are accessible by private boat only.

Every year thousands of people flock to boat camping areas. For a set fee you can docket your boat in a slip and camp. For those who do not have on board showers, there are public showers and bathrooms. There are picnic areas for cooking, or you can just cook on your boat. It is really a nice little set up. For a fee a service will refill the water tank on your boat and empty your sewage tank. If you decide you want a night out you can take a water-taxi to one of the small towns and go for an overpriced and bad tasting meal. (I’m not big on the fancy food found on Fire Island)

Some of these boat camping spots hold 150 boats in separate slips. It is amazing to see. People have portable satellite dishes - you name it. They sit on the dock in front of their boat, under an umbrella, reading a book, while the kids are off across the island to the beach. It would no big deal in many areas to create a pathway between the bay and beach. Where my family likes to camp there is a hamburger joint half-way between the bay and beach. For this type facility, I am convinced people would boat all the way down from Corpus.

SPI has an unofficial nude beach - 10 miles north of beach access 6. Now for all you pathetic types be advised most of the patrons are over 70, or a handful of gay men. I admit I go about 4-5 times a season. I have been a naturalist all of my life. I love sitting reading a book and cooling off in the water. Rarely if ever is anyone else within 50 yards of one another. You know you are a naturalist when you can sit and chat with a group of 10 or so of other naturalists, all over 70(men and women), and never feel uncomfortable. I will tell you there are at times pathetic men (God guys use the internet) who will cruise up and down the area in hope of seeing a breast or a penis. Most people know who these pervs are and cover-up when they see them coming. It is not a shame issue, it is not wanting to be made to feel being naked is sexual.

Anyway, SPI needs to make rules concerning this area, and possibly even charge a fee for access to the area. It infuriates most responsible naturalist when parents pull up besides them and unload a bunch of kids. Most of us just cover up and move further down the beach. SPI needs to designate a 2 mile area of no children allowed. With simple rules, and a special ticket you get when you enter beach access 6, SPI can market the clothing optional beach to the world. This will bring additional business to the hotel district. They will need to stay somewhere. Someone could even make money running a shuttle out to the beach. On Fire Island, there is an area such as this. People pay to take the ferry across the bay, or travel by private boat. People, I will close this part at this time with this, some people are uncomfortable with their bodies and feel a need to sexualize it or feel shame, naturalists do not. Try walking around your house naked for a week or two and then learn the liberation of being a naturalist.

Fire Island even has an adult entertainment area which is accessible by ferry or private boat only. I like to say Sayville is where the fairies go to take the ferry to Cherry Grove. It is historically the gay area, but is now about 75% gay and 25% breeders (just a joke). Straight people like to go for the female impersonator shows, and male dancers. (The straight husbands can sit with their wives and watch the show, and no one is going to think twice.)

Back to my point. Those responsible for marketing SPI need to rethink what they are doing. A lot of older Americans do not want a beach resort with is party, party, party. One brother of mine who will visit again in April loves to just sit on the patio at Pirates Landing, eat boiled shrimp and drink Margaritas -simple, and quiet. Not every beach resort needs to be loud music and endless partying.

I am curious to know what would happen if SPI took out full page adds in Chicago and NY with the headline, "A Quiet and Liberating Beach, SPI - your alternative to Cancun on the Gulf of Mexico." This next trip my brother intends to take his family and granddaughter on one of the 3 days trips into Mexico. They will base at SPI, while taking advantage of Mexico.

Just my marketing ideas to help promote SPI.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

IOWA AND DUMB AND DUMBER

IT IS TIME TO GIVE IOWA TO NORTH KOREA AS AN ACT OF CHARITY, OR AS A SECRET WEAPON WHICH WILL DESTROY NORTH KOREA

Iowa, the state which gives us corn syrup, which is killing our children, red tide when its fertilizers pour down stream into the Gulf of Mexico, exorbitant milk and meat prices, and of course the mess over Florida and Michigan delegates to the Democratic Convention. Exactly why do we need Iowa? I say give it to North Korea - they need the corn, and maybe Iowa can be as destructive of the North Korean government as it has been to the Democratic Party.

I heard a man today on the news saying he cared more about the $5.00 a gallon he is paying for milk, with 4 kids, than what he is paying for gas. Instead of corn being used as feed, it is being used as ethanol, which has done nothing for the environment or to lower our dependency on foreign oil. Since I drink soy milk, I was unaware that milk locally goes for $4.50 a gallon.

Obama and Clinton both deserve what they are getting over the mess with Florida and Michigan. Neither of them were willing to defend our democracy and the right to vote when it came to defending Florida and Michigan. They both bowed down to Iowa with their poisoning of our children and the Gulf of Mexico. When poor people complained about the price of milk and meat, because corn was being diverted to be used as fuel Obama and Clinton said, "Let them drink Brownsville’s water." They were both so obsessed with power, the right to vote, and the nutrition of children were dismissed as irrelevant.

The world has been waiting for the next leader of the US to appear out of the nightmare created by Bush II. What they now see are two incredibly selfish and incompetent buffoons fighting for something neither can win, the White House. The anger among Obama supporters for Clinton, and Clinton supporters for Obama is very real. I cannot see how either side can bring healing. On leadership, I see no evidence of leadership coming from either candidate.

This battle is a test of leadership for both sides. Clinton acted like some 8 year old school girl playing pathetic games by trying to manipulate the super-delegates into believing she is best qualified, when in the spirit of leadership offered Obama the VP position. Obama is correct, when you have won the most states, the popular vote, and the delegate vote, you are not really in second place - HILLARY. A leader would have done it quietly behind closed doors.

Obama, like a master manipulator is playing the race card like a master chess player. It is there alright - you just do not see it in an overt way. How do we elect a mixed race president, white/black, without noticing he is partially black? Blacks are voting for him first and foremost because he is a Democrat. A Republican with similar orator skills would probably only garner 20% of the black vote. The second reason they are voting for him is because he is black. I do not have a problem with the second reason. If he represents the interests of the black community and he can win, why not vote for him? But let’s stop pretending it is not happening. Let’s stop throwing everyone under the bus who speaks the obvious. Obama is playing the race card in a very insidious way. He plays like it does not matter, (when 90% of the black vote is going to Obama, it clearly matters) and then seeks and destroys anyone who speaks to the issue in a fair and honest way.

Maybe the cowardness of Obama and Clinton to take down Iowa when it would have matter is a good thing. It has allowed us to see just how incompetent both of the candidates are. The world is looking at the US in despair. They know Obama and Clinton are ill prepared to handle the great international issues of the day. They both have secured F’s in handling their campaigns. When the world is laughing at you over a pathetic campaign how can you expect to garner their respect as an international leader?

The world’s hope for a better tomorrow now lies in the hands of John McCain. Obama and Clinton blew it because they put their obsession for power over the best interests of the people. I guess I can blame Iowa for this mess, but in the end, it belongs in the hands of the people. We choose to play the affirmative action game and move forward two of the least qualified candidates. Biden and Richardson on paper were and remain imminently more qualified to be president than dumb and dumber, (I will not order them here because I do not know who is dumb and who is dumber.)

The good news is the next president will be a one term president. Hopefully, in 2012 the Democrats will have learned a lesson and offer to give Iowa to North Korea, and recruit and fund the campaign of qualified candidates, regardless of race, gender, age - etc. There are some female and black governors out there doing a great job. Hopefully they will seek office in 2012. It is not that it cannot happen, it just must happen with qualified candidates.

If I were John McCain I would start to run a very presidential looking campaign and ignore Obama and Clinton. They are destroying themselves. McCain needs to stand above it and look presidential. The independents will turn faster than Obama can say "Smile and be Happy."

(side note - I have rejected some posts which were more questions directed at me about the blog - nothing personal. I have not added other blogs because I have not had time. Hopefullyt this weekend I will work on the design of the blog.)

INSPIRING FUTURE SCIENTISTS

CATCHING YOUR ATTENTION, AND INSPIRING CHILDREN TO STUDY SCIENCE AND MATH

My options today are dribble, dribble, dribble or to comment on hearings I watched last night until 12:30 a.m. I have the most uneventful and boring bedroom in gaydom. Okay, I will share my late night tv watching experience. Side note, when I was in NY this weekend my family was making fun of me because they all love going to Cherry Grove, a gay area on Fire Island. My last visit to Cherry Grove exposed me to a lesbian walking around naked with chains hanging from her nipple rings to the ring - well let’s just say south of the border. There were men dressed in black lace hissing at people as they walked by. And then, let’s just say the scene between Barny and Fred will stay with me until my death. My family and cousins were laughing at me because they seem to enjoy Cherry Grove, and I find it frightening. I must say they are a bunch of sickos. Sorry, I just get off on things - BUT I HAVE CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION.

Bill Gates was being challenged to provide Congress with ideas to inspire children to enter the sciences and math. I was taken aback by the lack of thought he has put into the problem. He was incredibly briefed on the problem, but really had no real solutions. He had some great ideas on how to improve the instruction, but not on how to inspire children into the sciences and math.
I will submit the problem is the system as designed discourages children and adults from seeking careers in science and math. I will speak to the public schools in a minute. I know of an anatomy professor at UTB who appears to be lecturing from notes which are 15-20 years old. Many of his terms have become antiquated. His lectures do not match up with the text readings. He will assign chapter 4 to read, but the material he is lecturing on is in chapter 12. The problem is, he has changed textbooks, but not his lecture.

This type laziness causes students to become discouraged. They simply find it easier to study something else than science. UTB/TSC is desperate for Freshman and Sophomore instructors who can inspire our community to not only want to study science and math, but to succeed. Unfortunately, what is happening at BISD, only makes it all the more difficult to inspire students to study science and math.

Gates raised two issues. First, he said, highly qualified science and math teachers who are successful at teaching should be paid more than other teachers. I agree. As a social scientist myself, I must concede my skills rarely if ever contribute to job creation or innovation.
He also raised an issue with NCLB, which is never if ever discussed. I do not even know if Gates understands his proposal already is part of NCLB. Our Colleges of Education are a joke. Unless they are willing to change, it is time we shut them down. While working on my Masters in Education at UT Arlington, if anyone taught me a thing about instruction, I missed it. I did learn about the concepts of learning styles and multiple intelligence. No one appears to be teaching how to apply these concepts in the classroom.

NCLB allows all school districts, including BISD, to hire anyone with a Masters degree in their teaching field who has passed the state’s competency test in their respective teaching field. No training in education is required. I would hope that after 13 years of public school, 4 years of undergraduate training, and 2 years of graduate training, someone with a masters has learned a thing or two about learning. I could be wrong.

The unions are the biggest obstacle to reform in how we teach. They are about protecting bad teachers and the status quo. It is time we consider electing Board Members who support giving priority to candidates who have a masters in their teaching field and who have passed the Texas competency test for their teaching field. What we have now is not working, so why not try something new.

Back to the issue of inspiring children to want to learn science and math. Bill Gates raised the issue of the inter-disciplinary approach to science and math. This is not new. It is just not favored. During a 6 week assignment of teaching World Geography in Dallas, I mixed the use of "Around the World in 80 days" with 9th grade algebra. Weather and winds are something you study in world geography. When I went to the algebra teacher for help in mixing the two so that my students could learn how to calculate the impact of wind on the speed of a hot air balloon traveling between different parts of the world, I was told no help would be forthcoming. I incorporated the algebra on my own.

My idea allowed for engaging the students and providing a real world application of the math they were learning. The idea was rejected outright. This is the problem. We will never engage BISD students so long as instruction is done with hand outs, instead of hands on application. It is not a difficult concept to understand - it is just not favored.
I am curious how students would respond to applying their knowledge of math and computers to create a video game? I’m curious to how students would respond to combining physics and math to create a simple race car, or robots?

But then of course the handout is so much easier as a teaching tool than inspiring the student. Change will only come when we elect a school board which consists of people who have a masters degree and believe in taking advantage of the NCLB option of hiring people with a masters degree in their teaching field. People with a master degree in science or math will have a lot of experience in application of their respective fields of study. This is what we desperately need in our schools if we are to inspire our children to study math or science.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

OBAMA/CLINTON KILL SPEECH

THE REAL WATERSHED MOMENT IN THE OBAMA/CLINTON RACE IS NOT RACE AND GENDER, BUT THE DEMISE OF FAIR AND HONEST SPEECH

People seem all googly-eyed over the prospect of a woman or black being elected to the White House. Yes, this election is groundbreaking. Obama’s ability to win in states like Iowa show just how far this country has come. My question is, how is this watershed moment in American history evidence of the expansion of our liberty if questioning how Obama and Hillary came to arrive at this moment in history means people being decried or labeled sexists or racists?

Adelfa Cajello, someone I personally dislike and consider a racist, raised a simple historical fact about black and Latino relations in Dallas. The older generation Latinos will not vote for Obama because he is black. She noted that when the blacks came to power in Dallas, they dismissed the needs of the Latino community and this created deep feelings of resentment. This is a historical fact. But yet, Hillary was bullied into distancing herself from Adelfa Cajello. How do we solve the racial divide between blacks and Latinos if we cannot even speak of its existence? I can say with shame, every senior citizen Latino I know voted for Hillary because they will not vote for a black man.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said the following:

"You’ve got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate," Rendell told the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in remarks that appeared in Tuesday’s paper." http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08043/856727-153.stm

He was not taken to task the same way Adelfa Cajello was taken to task. Which in and of itself raises a racial issue with how the press handled similar statements by a white male and female Latina differently.

Chris Mathews has been taken to task for suggesting Bill Clinton receiving oral sex from Monica is the only reason Hillary is in a position to run for the White House. Right or wrong it is a fair analysis. Yesterday Geraldine Ferraro was taken to task for suggesting that Obama is only where he is because he is black. She suggested that a white male with the same qualifications and charisma would never be in a position to make a real run for the White House. A year and a half in the State Senate, two years as a US Senate and all of a sudden he is the number one Democrat for the presidency. Hillary decried Ferraro for her comments.

Ferraro went out of her way to point out that the only reason she was recruited to be Mondale’s VP is because she is a women. My point being, why are honest comments being decried and discouraged? Answer, this so called watershed moment in American history is in fact bringing about less freedom, in terms of speech.

Joe Biden was taken to task early on for making a comment about Obama which suggested he was the first clean cut black to run for such high office. Biden’s statements were taken out of substantive context. They in part did reflect an old and unacceptable mentality among Democrats, but also reflected a truth. Obama is the first Obama - his message is not racial, although I believe he is racial.

This is what effectively separated him from other well spoken highly qualified black candidates of the past. I will submit the only reason he is where he is, is because he is black. Where Ferraro failed was to better qualify her comments. A white man could never be Obama. It is because he is black, and not speaking in racial terms that makes him different and appealing. A white man who is like Obama in every way, not speaking about race, would mean nothing. A black man not speaking about race is everything.

So my question is, in the course of being all googly-eyed about the prospect of a woman or a black man taking the White House, are we turning a blind eye to the limitations which this watershed moment is putting on our speech. If speech is being controlled can we honestly say this is a watershed moment in the extension of freedom in the United States? No, we cannot not. Such as 9/11 was turned into an excuse for taking away our freedoms, this Obama/Hillary so called watershed moment is being used to limit honest and frank speech. How sad, how very, very sad.

UTB/TSC A COMPLETE FAILURE

UTB/TSC MUST CHANGE OR OUR STUDENTS WILL CONTINUE TO BE DENIED A MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITY AT AN EDUCATION

UTB/TSC as most of the readers know is a partnership, wherein TSC (namely the taxpayers in Brownsville and a few other cities) finances the construction and expansion of UTB. It is a partnership agreement based on fraud. It is a partnership agreement which should be voided.
I have graduated 3 different universities 4 times, and the Defense Language Institute in Monterey California, Russian. In each case I completed my studies in the allotted time for each degree. I have taught for Houston Community College. I know the difference between a community college and university. They are not the same.

We all know BISD is a complete failure. A local incompetent and corrupt Board coupled with the TAKS has produce years of near illiterate and poorly educated students. I know a student who completed the 12th grade last year, but failed the math TAKS too many times. Although he completed 12th grade and passed all of his courses he did not graduate, over the TAKS issue. He has tried to pass the GED and he cannot. Think about this, completed the 12th grade in BISD and cannot pass the GED test. This was less than a year after completing BISD.

I raise this issue because it goes to the need for a real community college. Far too many of the students graduating BISD are not ready for even a community college. The majority who are, are going away to college and not attending UTB/TSC. To be fair several of the top graduates from BISD are attending UTB/TSC, but not many.

In the past year we learned UTB/TSC was to lose millions in federal funding because of the neglect by Juliet Garcia as it relates to the Freshman and Sophomore classes. She instituted the SAP program to try and get these students back on track. Only a real sap believes SAP will work. According to the Collegian far too many of the students are failing to even get on board with SAP and will be dropped from the university rolls.

Last year I spoke of the problem in the math lab. The students were doing anything but math. I can now report the teachers are now required to supervise in the math labs. I can also report grades are being fudged, and students are being allowed to retake tests in hopes of keeping them from failing. I actually have no problem with retakes - my problem is the failure to address the lack of competence at the administration and instructional levels.

The Juliet Garcia administration continues to ignore the simple fact, TSC is not a university. The students coming out of BISD need a community college. A small community college must base its instruction on the reality associated with the students being delivered over to TSC by BISD. If you have a math instructor who gives 90% of his students a D or F, you have a problem Houston. He may be the nicest person in the world, but he cannot teach. Yes, in large measure the problem is the students, but at some point we must face the reality, there is also an instructional problem.

At the university level it may be acceptable for an anatomy instructor to place 50 bones on a table and have the students list them in order - no multiple choice, no list from which they can choose to help jog their memory or help with the spelling of the various bones. I can tell you at UTB/TSC in a Freshman course the instructor simply places out the bones or a bunch of microscopes and the student is left on their own to remember all of the spellings without so much as a general list to jog their memory.

This would clearly be acceptable at a university. At a community college it is not. At a community college, maybe a multiple choice exam would make it too easy. But giving the students a list of 100 bones from which to choose to help jog their memory when trying to identify 50 bones is not giving away the test. This is the difference between a community college and university.

The numbers which will come out of UTB/TSC by the Fall will be dismal. Things are only getting worse. Juliet Garcia refuses to accept it is time that the Freshman and Sophomore course be adjusted to reflect TSC is a community college, and not a university. She will never change because she fears it will cause a stigma on UTB. The obvious solution is to end the partnership. Fear that UTB may suffer a stigma does not form a basis to sacrifice our local students. The quality of students entering UTB will not change until we change BISD. We all know BISD will not change until the people stand before the Board meetings shouting resign week after week after week.

True to form Cascos and Ahumada remain silent. The concept of leadership eludes both of these consummate politicians who live by the first rule of law of all politicians - "even children are to be sacrificed to protect my own ass." Both fear Juliet Garcia focusing in on their incompetent leadership, so they remain silent.

TSC has an election coming up. I known Herrera is the enemy - not because Juliet Garcia appointed him, but because of his own words. He stated he was looking forward to building the university. As a TSC Board Member his focus needs to be TSC and not UTB. I hope his opponent uses Herrera’s own words to insure he is defeated. Unfortunately we know nothing of the people running for the TSC Board.

The other day one took out an ad in the Herald. I know his resume, but I know nothing about how he feels about the UTB/TSC partnership or if he believes it is time to void the partnership. I have no idea whether he favors separating TSC courses from UTB courses. I have no idea if he favors lowing TSC tuition. Herrera may be the enemy, but lets make sure his opponent is not even worse.

To end this, TSC is not going to begin to solve its problems until there is an Assistant Dean over Academic Affairs for TSC whose job it is to review the courses and redirect them to be taught as community college courses, instead of university courses. It would be part of this assistant dean’s job to review every instructor at the Freshman and Sophomore level and begin the process of booting out those who are not competent instructors. (Community colleges have instructors, not professors) The university would be free to keep them on board. They simply would not be allowed to teach TSC level courses.

Monday, March 10, 2008

FAILED LEADERSHIP EQUALS CHILD ABUSE

CASCOS AND AHUMADA JOIN THE RANKS OF CHILD ABUSERS AND GET "F's" WHEN IT COMES TO LEADERSHIP ON THE ISSUE OF BISD'S FAILURE AS A SCHOOL DISTRICT

The quality of local education directly impacts economic growth. Most fail to understand it is not just a local issue. Corporations find it hard to relocate to communities with second rate schools. The professional employees simply will not agree to transfer to a community without quality schools. Whether it is UTB/TSC or BISD our schools get an "F"

My regular readers are aware of the ongoing saga of a child at Hanna who has been neglected by Hanna administrators and BISD officials. After endless complaints by the father and endless lies by the Hanna administration, upon the BISD Board learning that both Superintendent Gonzales and the Hanna administration were now facing TEA investigations, something appears to be happening. The child is getting some help.

The administration at Hanna actually told the parent he needed to understand that there are 3000 students at Hanna. My response is - So? What is it with our society that when someone says they cannot do their job we simply respond with "ok, I understand? These same people who realized that their conduct over the course of a year was tantamount to child abuse, under Texas law, actually asked the parent to drop all charges.

BISD has been labeled a dropout factory. Here is a parent who has been proactive for a year to get his child help. It took a year of complaining and complaints at both the federal and state level to get this Board and Superintendent Gonzales to say "hey maybe we should do our job." He has another child about whom I have spoken. He sought testing for this child before the school year even started. He was lied to by the vice-principal at the elementary school. After a TEA complaint, the vice-principal repeatedly failed to submit the proper paperwork to the right parties to get the testing done. Superintendent Gonzales has a firm policy of no follow-up. He simply dumps TEA complaints on the laps of the cluster assistant-superintendents, who in turn give them to the principals, who in turn give them to the vice-principals, who in turn appear to do nothing.

In this child’s case just two weeks ago the parent finally received the tests results. The child qualifies for special assistance. It took this parent 7 months to get BISD to do its job. Both cases are going to the civil rights enforcement section of the federal Department of Education. If this is how parents who are proactive are treated, what happens to the children who have no one acting as their advocate? Remember the principal's response "we have 3000 students at Hanna."

Leadership is about taking courageous positions on difficult issues. County Judge Cascos, through his failure to publically demand accountability at BISD, has made it clear it is easier for him to tax the people of Cameron county to put their children in jail, than to demand accountability at BISD. Some will say my comment is a stretch. Why? If a parent sits idly by while their child engages in destructive behavior we would blame the parent. Cascos is the most powerful leader in Cameron county. BISD is a failure. Superintendent Gonzales, through his willful neglect of the children is a child abuser. (People I cannot help your dislike for Texas law, but when you neglect a child you are a child abuser - complain to Oliviera and the Lucios if you do not like the law, not me) Cascos, like his compadre in ignorance and incompetence, Pat Almighty Ahumada, remain silent because they do not want to shake the boat.

These self-serving politicians fail to understand that when it comes to BISD the boat has sunk and our children are drowning. Cascos and Ahumada, to protect their own butts, are turning blind eyes to our children drowning. When you ask them how they can sit there and watch children die every day from drowning they respond. "Well if we challenge the BISD Board they will challenge us and that is not in our best interests."

So how do we fix this problem?

Tomorrow, I will carry this conversation over to UTB/TSC

Thursday, March 6, 2008

SEARCHING FOR A BND CANDIDATE

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES WE CARE ABOUT IN THE UPCOMING BND ELECTION?

Let me begin by stating I am surrendering the weekends to El Rocinante. He publishes enough to keep everyone reading, without me adding to the discussion. I would be remiss to begin this discussion without mentioning Dannenbaum. Should it be an issue? I would caution against any candidate who tries to use Dannenbaum, without something more, to get elected. It is done - it is over with. Electing someone based solely on a statement that Dannenbaum should be made to pay, will get us a Board Member with no vision and no agenda other than personal power.

Now there is a legitimate issue of whether or not a new Board should pursue enforcement of the original settlement agreement, assuming the current Board has not already waived the BND right to seek specific enforcement of the original settlement agreement. If a lawsuit seeking enforcement of the original settlement agreement is still possible, do we really want to go down that path? Will your opinion change if the BND can sue for punitive damages if they can show the original agreement was willfully breached or entered into by fraudulent inducement by Dannenbaum? Or maybe, it is just time to let it go, and move on. It would be nice to get fair and open discussion from both sides of the issue.

If it is time to move on and let it go, in what direction should the port sail? Do we want to expand container service? Does the candidate have the experience and plan needed to bring more container services to Brownsville? Do we have the infrastructure, roads, bridges, rail etc to handle the kind of container service the candidate is claiming he or she can bring to the port. CAFTA has the potential to bring a lot of business to the port. Does the port have anyone on board who even understands the CAFTA market?

Do we want more ship dismantling companies to move into Brownsville? Is this in the long term best interest of the port? This is a non-consumer product. If the world recession is headed our way, like so many economists tend to believe, is the port at this time best served through non-consumer business, or the type consumer business which would come with more container service?

What would make me happy is to have people address the various issues I raised, or add other issues which the reader believes are important to who we should or should not elect to the Board. I invite the candidates to argue their case. If not the candidates, then their supporters.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

APPEARANCE AND PUBLIC IMAGE

DOES THE HANDLING OF THE MARK YATES AFFAIR CREATE A PUBLIC IMAGE PROBLEM FOR POLITICIANS, WHILE FEEDING THE PEOPLE'S LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN POLITICIANS IN GENERAL?

The intent of the discussion is not so much about Villalobos-Zavaletta - who was the better choice? This is only being used as a vehicle for a discussion as to how actions by public figures create public image problems, regardless of intent, or wrongdoing if any. For the readers who are going to come at me and say let the election go, I respond - again it is not about Villalobos-Zavaletta - it is about public image in general of all politicians local, state and national.

As everyone knows at this point, Marks Yates accepted a plea bargain which basically holds him accountable for his actions. After he meets certain requirements of the plea bargain he will be left with a clean record. His attorney misleads the readers by saying Mark Yates did not plead guilty. I raise this because I do not want this to be an issue in the discussions. In a plea bargain, a defendant rarely if ever pleads guilty - they plead "no contest." This means they are not contesting the charges. The judge then finds the defendant guilty, and in this case defers adjudication (not deferred adjudification) subject to Mark Yates meeting the requirements of the plea bargain. Based on my limited knowledge of the facts, I suspect the agreement was fair. I put this on the table so as not to confuse the issue - public image.

Given the timing of the deal, can reasonable minds believe the deal was political? I will leave it to my readers to make their respective arguments as to why it was or was not political. Second, for argument’s sake only, let’s assume the timing of the plea was 100% coincidental - how does the timing, albeit perfectly innocent, impact how people will feel about the justice system in Cameron County? The question is not about whether there was wrongdoing, but whether reasonable minds could conclude there is an appearance problem.

Extend this beyond the DA’s office. The City of Brownsville hires a high school graduate to oversee a multimillion dollar budget for the Office of Public Works. According to the City of Brownsville they could not find a qualified civil engineer so they hired a high school graduate. According to the City of Brownsville no qualified college graduates applied for the job. Does this create a public image problem for the leadership within the City of Brownsville? Can reasonable minds conclude chronyism played a factor in the decision to hire Santana Torres to be the new Director of Public Works?

My final question - what can we as voters do to encourage elected officials to care about the appearance of chronyism and the appearance of back door dealing?

REVISITING BLOGGING

SOMETHING MORE FOCUSED AND NOT SO EVERYDAY

Blogging has many purposes - it can be a basic informational blog which provides a lot of important community information, such as BATB (sad the Herald cannot do the same), some blogs try and find a nitche (legal) Valley News and Gossip, some in an artful way attempt to raise our awareness to the author's concerns. El Rocinante may be viewed as obscene by many, but what I find more obscene is the people's silence to so many of the concerns raised by El Rocinante. I am wierd that way - I find a child dying from an infected tooth to be more obscene than a talking penis.

I will be imposing rules with the intent of promoting the purpose of the new Brownsville Voice. I find that which upsets people most is asking questions which force them to face an unfortunate truth. I hope to ask a lot of such questions. What I find interesting about people is, they assume because the answer forces them to face an unfortunate truth, then their position automatically becomes untenable. If people can simply face the unfortunate truths about their candidates or policy positions they can better address the weaknesses of their candidate or policy and make them/it better. This is why real discourse serves the needs of the community.

So along these lines I will censor comments which are cheap shots, unless they come from me, defamatory, or simply a distraction from the issue. The goal is discourse not endless, but "you're ugly so your opinion is stupid," which may be true, but nonetheless fails to address the issue.

Things which will promote the discourse are: your facts are wrong here are the correct facts. Even assuming your facts are correct your analysis is wrong because - I agree with your analysis of the facts, but what is the big deal - this is actually good. You get the idea - each of these will tend to extend the discussion. The more directions the better, as far as I am concerned.

Be aware - I may put out an argument I think is stupid or wrong - but I will be doing it to stimulate discussion. Discussion promotes thinking - I am convinced if we think we can begin to approach solutions to our common problems.