Monday, June 30, 2008

APPYING SOCIAL BENEFIT TO CAPITAL GAINS -

This is not what I wanted to talk about today, but it will do. Tomorrow I will be looking at DA Villalobos’ approach to the criminal investigation of Zavaleta and De Leon. I am becoming increasingly convinced he is setting up the investigation in a way so that he can blame the judges for ending the investigation. According to the Herald, which could be wrong, he has made a mistake that not even a first year law student would make. The last time I saw this was when Travis County DA Ronnie Earle empaneled the jury in the criminal trial of Kay Bailey Hutchinson and then informed Judge Onion he was not ready for trial, which forced Judge Onion to order the jury to find Hutchinson not guilty - more on that later the week.

Social benefit is a concept which is part and parcel intricate to socialism. The concept is simple - if there is a social benefit it is good, if there is not, then it is bad. I will concede that which has a social benefit can be debatable at times and may be subject to some type analysis related to the social norms of the time.

A big part of the economic debate currently ongoing between Democrats and Republicans is how to tax capital gains. Capital gains is basically the increase in value of an asset from the day of purchase to the day of sale - stocks are a good example. http://www.investorwords.com/706/capital_gain.html

In many cases I would tax capital gains at 30%, and the remainder at 0%. What is the difference? Not all capital gains create a social benefit. Americans make billions of dollars every year from capital gains on assets which contributed nothing to investment in real research and development (RD) and new products.
People who work the stock market know basically within a month or two when retail stocks will reach their low. It is actually quite predictable. They will buy low, and based on previous years performances will sell during the month retail stocks traditionally hit their high. The profits will be taxed at 15% in most cases. Exactly what benefit did society receive from this investment? Nothing.

Part of the problem with solving the oil and gas problem is we tax capital gains from investments in oil and gas the same as we do in retail stores. Investors, especially institutional investors will choose investments based on returns, and not based on social benefit. But if we were to remove capital gains on investments with social benefits, then investors might be more willing to invest large sums of money into the RD with knowledge that if it pays off, there is an automatic additional 15% tax savings on the original capital gains.

An example would be if I invest $100,000 into RD for a new car battery which would allow me to drive 500 miles without recharging it and which can be recharged in 15 minutes at a special recharging station, and the company in which I make the investment succeeds in marketing said battery, under my scheme I would not be taxed on the capital gains when I sell the stock for $500,000.00. For me that is an additional $60,000.00 in my pocket. A similar $400,000.00 capital gains for the sale of retail stock under my scheme would mean a tax of $120,000.00.

What this scheme does is reward investment in things which bring about new technology or new jobs. Retailers trying to raise capital to build new stores would be allowed to sell true capital stocks. Manufacturers trying to build a new factory would be allowed to sell true capital stocks. Meaning, stocks which are designed to raise capital for real capital development. As it is now, billions of dollars are invested everyday into speculation as to the artificial value of Target’s stock and that of other companies. No real capital improvement comes about as a result of said investment.

The social benefit scheme of taxation for capital gains, taxes capital gains from real capital investment at zero, and capital gains from non real capital investment at 30%. This scheme would promote real investment in our community because it rewards new jobs, and technology. Imagine you can invest $100,000.00 into building an new refinery and that in 5 years you can sell that stock for $250,000.00, tax free - would you? Yes you would. A cautionary note - I would make the capital gains on the second sale of the same stock at 15% with a progressive increase to 30% over time.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

NO NEW POST TODAY, BUT KURGAN AND I ARE HAVING A FUN HE SAID PAT SAID CONVERSATION OVER AT ED'S PLACE

http://ed-stapleton.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 27, 2008

"WANTED" SHOULD HAVE ITS POSTER HANGING IN THE POST OFFICE NEXT TO THE OTHER CON ARTISTS WANTED FOR CHEATING THE PEOPLE

Even though I am going to give "Wanted" a really bad review, I have to say 90% of you will probably like it - so just ignore everything I have to say. The best line of the movie was the last line, and not because the film was over. Oh, again, the standard for this summer’s films appears to be a male butt scene.

I really hate when critics use terms like predictable or improbable. It is a movie you stupid morons, it is suppose to be improbable. But when improbable is the only thing keeping the film going, it becomes a distraction. In this film the direction of the film, and the so called surprise is so predictable you are forced to ask yourself if the writers had ever read a good murder mystery.

I guess they figured the mind numbing endless pointless violence being demanded by the audience which would love this film is such that maybe the audience would be too stupid to figure out the twist even though they all but tell you the twist in the first ½ hour. If you are surprised by the twist in the film, then you really have no skills of observation.

I love Angelina. I have never seen a film of hers I did not like. The mind numbing violence in the film was such I nearly walked out about a ½ into the film. Use of mindless violence, cheap mimicking of the "Matrix", and endless extended car chases, leaves the viewer wondering if the film has a point. The reality is, if the film ever did have a point I never saw it, unless blind loyalty to an unknown was the point. If this was the point, then I understand why they had to use endless mind numbing violence to keep the audience’s attention.

But like I said, ignore everything I said and just go see the film - you will probably like it. I am not the type guy won over by fancy words and painted pictures. Sometimes substance is more important then a well placed comma. Those who measure substance by a well placed comma, rarely have any substance to add to the discussion and use the well place comma as a distraction from their own failures. This film may have a lot of well placed commas, such as Angelina’s final bullet shot, but there was just no substance behind the shot. A bad script cannot hide behind cheap theatrics, or well placed commas.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE FUNNY FROM THE COUNTY COURT HOUSE

THE BAD

The coffee shop concession in the Cameron County court house is evidence of what happens when hopelessly corrupt and incompetent people take control over the county. Well, the last couple of days has seen me visiting the court house a lot. Yesterday I noticed something which shocked me beyond comprehension. I saw a man drinking a soda out of a glass bottle. According to the security people I asked, the source of the glass is the coffee shop. The security people along with the clerks I asked about it said that Commissioners Court is fully aware of the problem, but do not care.

Someone’s friend is running the coffee shop and the hand full of dollars they are making off of Mexican sodas which come in glass bottles is just too important to give up for the safety and welfare of the judges, district attorneys, and visitors. While the safety of the general citizenry is important, it are the judges and district attorneys who are most at risk for injury by a criminal defendant or litigant.

So what is the big deal. Oh, I don’t know. I am a criminal defendant. I know I am going to be arrested today after my conviction and send to jail. I am a Republican or lunatic if you will. I decide to attack the DA with a broken glass bottle. Where did the bottle come from - the coffee shop owned by a friend of a County Commissioner. Integrity eludes these morons. I may not like individual judges or DA’s, but that does not mean I do not respect the dangers they face every day because of their service to the community. As a community we owe it to them to demand that action be taken to protect them from the morons on Commissioners Court. We must demand that glass bottles be banned from the court house.

THE GOOD AND FUNNY

I have dealt with clerks in court houses all of the State of Texas. The most professional and nicest are those in the Cameron County court house. They are always friendly and helpful. One thing I like a lot is, if they do not know the answer they have no problem getting out of their chair and walking to whomever and get the help they need. This is professionalism and we should be grateful for their service.

When I work directly with people, I tend to find ways to make them laugh so as to remove any sense of anxiety. I am known to be quite demanding. Yesterday a supervisor who had been helping me with several matters at the court house said, when I make him laugh he goes home and makes his family laugh. It is true - how could he not go home and tell his family of the stories of his dealing with me and not get a good laugh. Try it some day people - Make every person you meet during the day laugh at least once - and see what happens.
VILLALOBOS NEEDS TO TAKE JUDGE LOPEZ ON MANDAMUS AND THEN SEEK SANCTIONS AGAINST DE LEON AND HER ATTORNEY

(EDITORS NOTE: I know I promised the petition. I have it in my computer in pdf format - I just have no idea how to upload it to google - willing to take ideas from the more technologically adept people - like maybe a 5 year old)

Judge Lopez proves once again the law will have very little if anything to do with her actions. Her decision to grant Yolanda de Leon a TRO to prevent the grant jury from seeing essential evidence of her alleged crime in my book is tantamount to an obstruction of justice.

In the petition at page 5 paragraph 15 the irreparable injury alleged is to her business reputation and the loss of business. This in her mind constitutes an injury to property. Before getting into the case law let’s look at this logically. I am an accountant, I have embezzled my client’s funds. Would not presenting evidence of said embezzlement to the grand jury hurt my professional reputation? Could you imagine everyone running to civil court seeking an injunction against DAs to prevent them from presenting evidence to the grand jury based on nothing more than they will loose business if they are indicted?

In this case, the evidence does not even have anything to do with Yolanda de Leon being an attorney. Her alleged actions were not taken as an attorney, they were taken as a private person, without regard for her profession. It would be like a doctor alleging, if you present the evidence that I ran over the guy when I was drunk then people will not hire me to be their doctor. Why such privilege for Yolanda de Leon?

Beyond this the courts have already rejected her argument. To help Villalobos along I am providing the name of the case he can use to get an immediate stay of the TRO from the court of appeals. In Re Graves, 217 S.W.3rd 744 (Tex. App. – Waco 2007)

The case law as to why you cannot get a TRO for injury to business reputation is as follows:

"The holding in Hajek follows from the principle that a temporary injunction that constitutes a prior restraint on expression comes before a court with a "heavy presumption" against its constitutional validity. Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415, 419, 91 S.Ct. 1575, 29 L.Ed.2d 1 (1971). In Keefe, the United States Supreme Court vacated a preliminary injunction that enjoined an organization from distributing leaflets criticizing the applicant's real estate business practices. Id. at 419-20, 91 S.Ct. 1575. The Court stated: "No prior decisions support the claim that the interest of an individual in being free from public criticism of his business practices in pamphlets or leaflets warrants use of the injunctive power of a court." Id. at 419, 91 S.Ct. 1575; see also Pirmantgen v. Feminelli, 745 S.W.2d 576, 578 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 1988, no writ) ("[P]rior restraints against leafletting or the distribution of pamphlets is particularly suspect.")."

"Although the specific damages sustained from defamation and business disparagement-related activity is often difficult to measure, it is nonetheless well established that this type of harm does not rise to the level necessary for the prior restraint to withstand constitutional scrutiny."

Brammer v. KB Home Lone Star, 114 S.W.3rd 101, 107 (Tex. App. – Austin 2003)

Judge Lopez has enjoined Villalobos from publishing the evidence to the grand jury, which is, prior restraint.

Yolanda appears to reason in her petition that publication to the grand jury of the so called list which got her in trouble is illegal and therefore the court should enjoin it. Her reason is it is illegal to publish the list, therefore it would be a criminal act to publish it to the grand jury.

Publication of child pornography is also a crime. I guess it is then a crime to present the evidence of child pornography to the grand jury as evidence the accused either looked at the child pornography or distributed it, thereby making securing an indictment impossible.

It is never illegal to publish to a grand jury evidence which is incident to a crime. Judge Lopez knows this, but the triviality of the law was not going to get in her way. If she has an ounce of integrity left in her body she will sua sponte void the TRO and then formally recuse herself. Until then the DA needs to file a mandamus to have the TRO voided.

The report in the Herald that Judge Lopez recused herself is simply false. Accuracy does not seem to be something the Herald is good at. Judge Lopez simply asked that a visiting judge be assigned to hear the temporary injunction. For reason, she did not check recuse, as was her option, she checked other.

Please I do not want to hear comments of - oh now you like Villalobos - no - I just have no use for judges who ignore the law and attorneys who use those judges to promote their own ends.
OBAMA IS A MORON - A FAKE - AND THE ULTIMATE PANDERER POLITICIAN OF OUR TIMES. DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE HANGING THEIR HEADS IN SHAME

CORRECTION: JUDGE LOPEZ DID NOT RECUSE HERSELF AS ALLEGED BY THE HERALD - SHE SIMPLY ASKED THAT A VISITING JUDGE HEAR THE TRO - THE HERALD WHERE ACCURACY IS A RARE EVENT

(Editor’s Note: I am up late because MZ broke the story earlier about the De Leon TRO. The TRO is the most abused remedy in the State of Texas. Judges simply ignore the law and issue them like they are a matter of right. They are not. I will do my best to review the TRO Application today and then comment later or on Friday. For a Judge to sign a TRO and then to recuse herself is beyond outrageous. I am no friend of Villalobos - but for mandamus purposes - I won a stay which resulted in a judge voiding his TRO - if Lopez was disqualified in the first instance, then her TRO is void. Maybe it is time to add obstruction of justice to the charge)

My politics back to high school are readily documented to be that of a classical socialist. This is why I view things in terms of principle and not people. In classical socialism the community is more important than the individual. Hence, I am loyal to principles and ideas, not people or parties.

Barack Obama has put the death nail in what credibility can be said to be left within the Democratic Party in terms of human rights. Yesterday he announced that he stands with the 4 minority right wing radical justices on the Supreme Court in terms of supporting the death penalty for people who rape children. It is almost beyond surreal how far adrift the Democratic Party has gone in terms of human rights.

Before getting into other aspects of this, I must ask his supporters - you have a man raping a child, he knows that he can be put to death if the child identifies him and he is convicted. Does this man simply leave the child there as a victim or kill the child to keep the child from talking? Obama is a moron - a fake - and the ultimate panderer politician of our times. Democrats should be hanging their heads in shame

One of the things which really upsets me about the so called left in the Democratic Party is these racists are supporting Obama for no better reason than they believe he is black and his election will somehow move the country forward. First and foremost he is not American black who understands the plight or has lived the plight of the American black. He has no familial ties to being black in America. His father was Kenyan, and he was raised by white grandparents in white neighborhoods and went to white schools. Just how ignorant has the left become in the Democratic Party?

If they truly want to elect the first black president, they need to consider voting for McCain, assuming McCain is smart enough to put Michael Steele on the ticket as his VP. He is a moderate Republican who has lived the life of a black American, and who grew up listening to the stories of what it was like to be black in the South as told by his parents and grandparents.
There is more to being black than appearance. Obama is no more a black American than was Eddy Cantor. (Look him up or get an education).

Electing Barack Obama will do nothing to resolve race relations in this country. People will still see him as black. When he fails, they will blame it on him being black. Obama has done and said nothing to even recognize race is still a problem in this country. When challenged to stand with the left wing voice within the black community he threw them under the bus. He still refuses to even admit there is a problem between blacks and Latinos. On the gay community he has made it clear - faggots have no rights. The nomination of Barack Obama was the ultimate act of racism and bigotry in which the Democratic left could have engaged.

No matter how much you dislike McCain - and the legitimate reasons are overwhelming, is there any defense to Barack Obama? I am not suggesting McCain will be good for America, he will not, but that does not excuse Obama.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

IGNORANCE IS ALL WE SEEM TO HAVE SOME DAYS - ON THIS ONE I BLAME THE HERALD - BUT PEOPLE - WHAT DOES FRIENDLY MEAN TO YOU?

I was just reading in the Herald web edition about a man being sued by DHS even though he had already agreed to sell his land to them for an agreed upon price. The Herald states DHS claims it is a friendly suit.

Definition Friendly Suit: "Action authorized by law, brought by agreement between the parties, to secure a Judgment that will have a binding effect in circumstances where a mere agreement or settlement will not. For example, a claim in favor of an infant or another lacking legal capacity to enter into a binding contract can for that reason be settled only through the entry of a judgment "

http://www.answers.com/topic/friendly-suit?cat=biz-fin

Obviously DHS gets an "F" in explaining this in advanced to the gentleman. If he needs an attorney at all it would be a real estate attorney to confirm the friendly suit only seeks to confirm the otherwise agreed to previous agreement. It is simply then a matter of signing an agreed judgment.

I guess what gets me is, everyone commenting on this all of a sudden became experts on the matter, while failing to even consider the meaning of "Friendly." The Herald screwed up the story in true fashion by not explaining this to its readers. The reporter should have asked DHS whether they explained this to the gentleman, or if there was just a misunderstanding. But then with no editor, and a publisher who is not doing his job, the reporters are left to report incomplete stories which leave their readers misinformed.

The commentary on this issue is just further evidence of how people just believe what they want to believe without ever actually reading what has been said and making sure they understand what has been said - namely - the meaning of friendly.
BUT THEN SINCE IT IS NOT THEIR MONEY THEY ARE SPENDING, BUT THE TAXPAYERS, CAN WE EXPECT THEM TO BE SMART

Judge Ben Euresti will have the honor of deciding the constitutionality of the city ordinances I claim to be impermissible prior restraint or void for vagueness. At the end of this piece I have copied the entire ordinance as it relates to conduct in the event anyone wants to read the entire thing.

Before I get into the parts which I believe to violate the Texas Constitution, I want to discuss the issue of disorderly conduct. This is an area wherein Jim Goza really needs to sit Pat Almighty down and give him a hard lesson in the law. The rule actually says: "disrupt the orderly conduct of business by the commission."

The city either needs to include a definition within the ordinance as to what "disrupt orderly business" means or adopt the legal definition for "disorderly conduct." What Jim Goza fails to understand is the difference between punishing speech which leads to disorderly conduct, and prohibiting speech in advance which could lead to disorderly conduct.

Article I, section 8 of the Texas Constitution, provides: "Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege, and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press."
The city can shut someone down if their speech tends to lead to disorderly conduct. They simply cannot prohibit specific speech in advance.

The two relevant parts of the legal definition for disorderly conduct are as follows:

§ 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;
(2) makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;

The key word in both is AND. It is not enough to use abusive language - language has to also tend to incite an immediate breach of the piece. The City either needs to define "disrupt orderly business" or adopt the legal definition of disorderly conduct. Otherwise Pat Almighty can make the standard his personal random and arbitrary tool for silencing speech. This will not only get the city sued, but Pat Almighty personally for violating the speaker’s right to speak.

There is also an interesting oddity in the ordinance. The ordinance provides for speakers to give written statements to be included in the official record, if they so choose. This is fine. My question is, can the written statement be stricken because it addresses Pat Almighty or a commissioners directly?

Another interesting oddity is the appearance of two conflicting provisions related to exhibits used by people making presentation to the City Commission.

c. Placards, banners, or signs are not be permitted in the commission chambers or in any other room in which the city commission conducts a meeting. Included in this prohibition are various hats, caps, visors, and t-shirts, which may represent sentiments as alluded to, regarding placards, banners and/or signs.

d. Exhibits, displays, and visual aids used in connection with presentations to the city commission, are permitted

My question is, does the City Commission consider words of their citizens to be presentations? If so then it would seem to me that I could bring a poster with pictures of potholes for examples, and use it as an exhibit to demonstrate the incompetence of the Public Works Department when it comes to repairs. Is this what they intended or is it yet another example of a poorly drafted ordinance?

By previous post I discussed why the subject ordinances are unconstitutional. In Texas prior restraint is absolutely barred. When preparing the lawsuit it occurred to me that the judge may not even have to enjoin the city from enforcement. It seems on technical grounds the judge can find that the self-executing provision within Article I, Section 29 already makes it a legal nullity and that it does not exist in the first instance, and therefore no injunction is needed. This would be a very powerful ruling in favor of Article I, Section 29.

For now I am challenging 2 sections: "f. All remarks and questions shall be made to the mayor and city commission as a whole, and not to individual commission members." This is a clear statement prohibiting speech. It is silly beyond comprehension. In substantive effect what is the difference between. "Pat Almighty I think you are a two bit bully," and "why is this City Commission doing nothing about the fact Pat Almighty is a two bit bully?" The latter addresses the commission as a whole. The difference is a thin skinned mayor city commission acting like children, who are prepared to use taxpayers money to defend their childlike conduct.

I am also challenging the language from (2)(d) which is as follows: "The mayor has the responsibility and duty to rule a speaker out of order if the comments made are of a personal nature, or in any other manner disrupt the orderly conduct of business by the commission."

I already discussed the disorderly conduct problem. Again the ordinance provides for a direct prohibition of a type language before it occurs. This is prior restraint and unconstitutional. Secondly, what does personal mean? It is so vague that the city is sure to get in trouble with Pat Almighty making the decision.

In my mind personal would be, "have you ever cheated on your wife mayor?" It has nothing to do with city business. But his conduct as mayor has everything to do with city business. So is a comment - "why are you a two-bit bully in the manner in which you conduct these meetings?" personal or to his professional conduct as mayor. Regardless of what personal means - it is still prior restraint and unconstitutional in Texas.

Smart money would have the City Commission suspend these provisions after advice of counsel at the next City Commission meeting. Smart money would have them accept my offer to abate the lawsuit, subject to the provisions being suspended, until the ordinance can be rewritten in a fashion which does not offend the Texas Constitution. But then since it is not their money they are spending, but the taxpayers, can we expect them to be smart.

Sec. 2-26. Meetings and agendas

(d) Public input during meetings.

(1) Conduct.

a. Conversations between or among audience members should be conducted outside the meeting room. Attendees should refrain from conversations while commission is in session.

b. Cell phones. Attendees must refrain from the operation and use of cellular telephones, pagers, etc. or any mechanical devices that may disrupt city commission proceedings.

c. Placards, banners, or signs are not be permitted in the commission chambers or in any other room in which the city commission conducts a meeting. Included in this prohibition are various hats, caps, visors, and t-shirts, which may represent sentiments as alluded to, regarding placards, banners and/or signs.

d. Exhibits, displays, and visual aids used in connection with presentations to the city commission, are permitted.

e. Only city commission members and city staff may approach the dais. If a handout needs to be presented to the commission, it should be given to the city secretary (or her staff), who will make the distribution. It is preferable that the item to be distributed be given to the city secretary prior to meeting time. A copy of the item should be made available for the city secretary's official record.

f. All remarks and questions shall be made to the mayor and city commission as a whole, and not to individual commission members.

(2) Public comment.

a. Any person who wishes to address the city commission must register with the city secretary 15 minutes prior to the start of any regularly scheduled commission meeting by submitting a completed public comment form. This form must be used by citizens and filled out completely in order to address the city commission.

b. In accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, the commission cannot take action on or discuss any subject brought up during public comment. However, the mayor, or any member of the city commission, may add the issue to a future commission agenda or refer it to the proper city department for action. Commission members shall be allowed to respond to comments when they deem it necessary.

c. The total public comment portion of the agenda shall be limited to 15 minutes. Groups coming to address the commission must select a representative in order to conserve speaking time and reduce repetitive or redundant comments. A majority vote/consensus of commission may extend this time.

Should any person wish to address the city commission regarding a particular agenda item, he must wait until the appropriate agenda item is called and read by the city secretary. At this point, the mayor may acknowledge the request for commentary or question.

Once acknowledged by the mayor, each person shall come to the designated microphone, and state his name and address and restrict his/her comments to the subject being announced. The mayor or city commission may allow the speaker to exceed the three-minute time limit if the information presented is of value to the discussion and does not unduly prolong the meeting. As deemed necessary, a majority of the commission may allow a speaker to continue after the mayor has announced the end of the speaker's time.

d. If a speaker's comments will be longer than three minutes, the commission encourages that written remarks be prepared and provided to each member through the city secretary, with one copy made available to the city secretary for her official record.

The mayor has the responsibility and duty to rule a speaker out of order if the comments made are of a personal nature, or in any other manner disrupt the orderly conduct of business by the commission.

If the mayor does not act promptly, any member of the city commission may require the mayor to immediately rule the speaker out of order.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE IS ON LINE

you must request that it be removed

http://www.license.shorturl.com/
CITY OF BROWNSVILLE LAWSUIT UPDATE

I am waiting on Jim Goza to inform me if he will agree to receive the lawsuit on behalf of the City of Brownsville. If he fails to inform me of same by this afternoon I will have the constable serve Charlie Cabler, the city manager, as provided for by law. I hope some local counsel or 3 will file an amici brief in the case.

THE BLOGOSPHERE DEBATE

I know many of my fellow bloggers hate when I say this, but you have to be suffering from delusions of grandeur if you believe the local blogs are impacting local politics. Fernando Ruiz who is consistently one of the loudest voices of the people at the city commission meetings does not even read the blogs. On any given day there are about 150-200 individual people reading the political blogs. Given Brownsville has a population of 170,000 people, it is fair to say no one knows we exist.

Independent of this reality the American news media has effectively collapsed in part over the issue of trustworthiness. I am about ideas and principles - not people. If we as bloggers refuse to out our fellow bloggers when they are engaged in unethical practices, then we are no different than those who rationalize their coverups for the politicos. You cannot call for transparency when you yourself will not live by the same rule.

The only thing worse than covering for fellow bloggers is to suggest disclosing unethical conduct by fellow bloggers somehow hurts the people and helps the politicians. It is a double standard. Yes people find it odd that one day it appears I like someone and the next day I do not. These people are missing the point. I am about ideas and principles not people. With the exception of a possible husband and a handful of family members, my loyalty is to ideas and principles and not people. Odd yes, but it is who I am. Otherwise I would have to be a double standard and transparency would be an issue of convenience and not principle.

SMOKING BAN MAY BE GOING TOO FAR

I was living in Dallas when this same debate occurred. The restaurants did not all close down when the smoking ban went into effect. The world survived. Given the price of gas, I doubt many people are going to rush to some other city for dinner.

Nonetheless, I am not sure that the city should not include some provision for a handful of restaurants being allowed to apply for an all-smoking restaurant permit. I would never go to such a place. I have a hard enough time breathing as it is.

I am not trying to bad-mouth any place in particular. I am just using these two restaurants wherein it appears their patrons enjoy smoking and I think some type provision should be made for these people on a death wish. JR’s on Paredes Line Rd. , and the Icehouse are two places where I would never eat. I intended to take my brother-in-law to the Icehouse for his birthday. I decided to visit the Icehouse in advance to test the food. I had heard a lot of good reviews. Well I never got past the front door. I was so overwhelmed by the smoke I could not get into the place. But I am told a lot of people really like the place smoke and all. So my question is, why not give them a place to eat and smoke?

Very few restaurants would opt for an all smoking designation. I am not concerned that there will be a rush for such permits. The city can require they post signs out front that the restaurant is all smoking. They can ban children under a certain age. It is about choice. It would never be my choice to go to JR’s or the Icehouse because of the smoking, but why deny smokers a place to go. (Personally I have been wanting to try their shrimp - I just cannot get past the door.) If too many restaurants apply for the all smoking designation, then the city can consider a complete ban.

While I believe a handful of restaurants might benefit from an all smoking designation, in the end people like me will be more willing to go to a place like the Icehouse once the city passes the non-smoking ordinance. Since Dirty Al's burned down I have not been out for shrimp. If the Icehouse is as good as they say, and it becomes smoke free, my money will find a home in the Icehouse.

Monday, June 23, 2008

UNTIL THE MAINSTREAM NEWS MEDIA CAN FIND A WAY TO SHOCK US INTO THINKING, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE WILL JUST TUNE OUT
THE LENSE OF BIGOTRY THROUGH WHICH WE SEE EACH OTHER WILL NOT GO AWAY JUST BECAUSE WE CHANGE LAWS OR MAKE NEW LAWS

By age 50 you cross over to that point in your life wherein you are settled in for the last lap or three. It is not a bad thing - it is actually quite refreshing and liberating. But it also means you have history behind you. One of my favorite things to do when I am cleaning is to listen to the old Edward R. Morrow recordings from London during WWII. Journalism was different back then. Even the Herald was a different paper. I like going to the library and reading the old papers from the 40's and 50's on microfiche. It was a different time and grammar and structure mattered.

The reporters walked the streets in search of reliable sources. You did not find them hobnobbing with politicos in hopes of getting an official leak. Journalists today are lazy, and unreliable. Journalist care more about being liked and the invitation to the next big party than getting to the real story. They are worse than the politico who takes gifts, because they claim the politico is influenced by the gift while denying the need to be liked by politicos or accepting invitations to their parties has any influence on the way they report.

The other day Fox news put up a picture of Governor Perry 4 times with the designation (D- Texas) Accuracy means nothing to these people. Lou Dobbs is always getting in trouble for citing sources from racist organizations. His excuse is always the same - when we realized who they were we withdrew their comments. The problem is - he believed the comments because they supported his racist mentality.

Journalist, bloggers, commentators and people are all basically the same. We tend to look for anything which supports our preconceived ideas. In most cases our minds are shut to anything which is contrary to the result we wish to accomplish. While this disappoints me in people and bloggers, I expect more from journalists and nationally recognized commentators. I personally believe public universities and schools have become a joke, and I would never send my child to either. As such we can never expect any semblance of intellect from a graduate of a public university or school. Yes this sounds elitist and it is. But conversely, I believe you can take these same people and bloggers and put them into private schools which emphasize critical thinking, ethics, and analytical model building and you will get a better person.

When Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas came out with his book he explained that he blamed affirmative action for why people never saw him as an accomplished student, and instead always saw him as black. Unfortunately, nothing has changed since he graduated law school. The lense of bigotry through which we see each other is pervasive in our society. So called, but false, conservatives hailed Thomas for his honest words concerning affirmative action.
These same so called conservatives are now denouncing Michelle Obama because in her senior thesis as an undergraduate she stated that the entire time she was at the university she was always viewed as a black person and never as an accomplished student. How is this a great revelation when Thomas says it, but evidence of being anti-white when Michelle Obama says it?

While Thomas was correct in his position about affirmative action causing people to only see him as black, he was wrong to assume that things would change by abolishing affirmative action. Affirmative action was an excuse to see him as black - without it they still would have only seen him as black.

The lense of bigotry through which we see each other will not go away just because we change laws or make new laws. Some people cannot be changed. Some people just hate because hate is all they know. Some people only know deception and lies because they cannot compete intellectually with their adversaries. But some people can be changed. If we are willing to have frank and honest discussions about these matters people will begin to see that the problem is with the lense through which they see people.

Along these lines journalism has failed us. How journalist have handled Obama is just an example of the many problems facing journalists. The complexity of the race question has been reduced to poll after poll. We should be talking about Clarence and Michele and their respective experiences and ask - have things changed? Everyone understands the news media is in a free fall towards self destruction. I would submit the blogosphere has crashed and burned. Locally most blogs only have between 150 to 200 regular readers. Since I have not been able to install blogger analytics I am not sure of my exact readership. In a city of 170,000 people, an audience of 150 to 200 people is tantamount to no readership.

My friends do not read the blogs, newspapers, or watch the news because most simply do not believe a word they read or hear, so why bother. The blame for the total lack of credibility belongs to everyone equally on the left, center, and right.

The problem we have is, we have no hopes of solving major problems such as the oil crisis, because nothing we read or hear can be considered trustworthy. So basically - people are tuning out.

Our best hope is any newspaper or news outlet firing all of the journalist and starting over with new people who will not hobnob with the politicos and simply go back to reporting the facts instead of snippets which make the editor or their sources happy. In the end without editors who are going to reject stories until the journalist gets all of the questions answered, the news media will continue to devolve into chaos. Intelligent people know that trustworthy is not something you associate with journalists, commentators, or bloggers. If this void of integrity in journalism lasts much longer, the worst of the worst will control the radio waves, the news media, and the blogosphere. No one will believe a word they say, but conversely the truth will never be told to the people.

The bottom line is- people who hate read hate blog, people with low self esteem read attack blogs which never focus on the substance of the issues of the day. These people seem to feel they can raise their low self esteem by hating others. Basically, just because people are reading the blogs does not mean they are having an influence. Sometimes an open minded politico might read something and say - hey he is right and then bring it to the table. People with rare exception are only attracted to what they already believe - so there is no real influence. Until the mainstream news media can find a way to shock us into thinking, more and more people will just tune out.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

AND THE SOAP OPERA IS ON - LET THE RACES BEGIN - ENJOY BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT - DISTRACTIONS AND VENDETTAS

IS VENDETTA PEREZ IN BED WITH CHILD MOLESTING PRIESTS AND EXTORTIONISTS OR JUST ON A VENDETTA?

Sometimes things are funny, my brother Charlie had just called me when I became aware of Vendetta Perez volley against me. I take it as a sign of honor that someone would take that much time to go into my background to destroy my reputation, while never once denying the claims I made against them. It is called a distraction and a vendetta. I read entire sections of the rant to Charlie and we both got good laughs. What Vendetta Perez, and the lawyer who helped him gather the information fail to understand is - people in the end will look to the substance of what has been written and form an opinion. I have zero concern that anyone will take this very seriously. They will assign its place in history with the same vendetta driven manipulations he put out about Adela Garza. Smart money would have said let it go, but then smart is not something you associate with Vendetta Perez. His wife needs to put him straight and tell him to let it go - this is my softball shot - the hardball will take no prisoners.

He says he is protecting his wife - the fact of the matter is all he is doing is prolonging how long people will be talking about this and thereby exposing his wife to more needless questions. On my blog I rejected every post which tried to bring his marriage into question - I never questioned his marriage - I questioned his integrity - it does not shock me that to distract from the question of his integrity he hides behind his marriage.

Here is a simple fact. When Chris Davis posted through a comment by Commissioner Atkinson suggesting Vendetta Perez was gay, he did not respond. This was a clear challenge to his marriage. He did not care they questioned his marriage. I questioned his motivation for his actions - vendetta against Adela Garza - This hit him where he cared - so he responded and like a little weasal hid behind an innocent woman and child.

I and I alone came to Vendetta Perez’s defense and charged at Atkinson like a bull in a glass shop. When Sanchez referred to Zavaletta as Peter Pan - I and I alone charged him on the issue like a bull in a glass shop. I and I alone am the only blogger who defended each of these gentlemen’s marriages by going after such comments. My comment as to Vendetta Perez was to question the totality of who he says he is, and not his marriage. My published track record on the issue, as opposed to any other blogger who cannot say the same, is to oppose such conduct.

I guess what irks me on this issue is, for 25 years I have marched and fought for gay rights. My first march was in Dallas in 1983. For 25 years I have fought and fought hard. I was ridiculed at work and called bobbett all of the time. In law school two professors told me if I took their course I would be failed because faggots were not welcome. In court in Hidalgo County Darryl Hester found no wrongdoing when a lawyer called me a fucking faggot and had to be restrained while swinging at me. I have been spat on by lawyers. I have had lawyers thrown lighted cigars in my face in the presence of judges. (In that case the judge just screwed the lawyer’s client in exchange for me not filing criminal charges on his friend - the women got about half the child support to which she was entitled) - I withdrew from the case before any final orders were signed and informed the commission on judicial conduct of what happened. I guess what I am saying - when it comes to calling people gay or questioning someone’s marriage on the issue - I am the only blogger with a track record of protecting people on the issue - either in court or in a blog -

I say to Vendetta Perez and his supporters - stop using his wife as a cover for his unethical conduct. I will not take lightly anyone questioning my documented history on the issue. It is not my problem that some people are still so ignorant that they believe Roman’s effeminate ways makes him gay. I know enough, based on knowledge, that being effeminate does not mean you are gay or being a muscle bound brute with a deep voice makes you straight. For the record, the latter are the biggest nessy bottoms you will ever meet. So do not impose your ignorance on me.

To continue with something simple. He makes a big deal that given my background I can never win the lawsuit against the City of Brownsville as it relates to prior restraint. In 1995, before the Texas Supreme Court I won my first mandamus - an emergency appeal against the judge. Grigsby et al. v. Coker, 904 S.W.2d 619 (Tex. 1995) (orig. proceeding) - Mandamus on impermissible gag order. - This means prior restraint. I will stand on my proven track record and reject the legal advice of a 20 something who has a social science degree from UTB, which means a glorified highschool, and who has never held a real job or put himself on the line for his country or people.

The entire question begins with, Vendetta Perez printed article after article destroying Adela Garza’s character while failing to inform his readers he was working for her opponent, Dr. Silva. Now to be frank, if anyone believes anything Vendetta Perez says after such an incident, then do not read my blog - you are too stupid to understand reality. You will note he never denied this basic allegation. Instead he went into my background and manipulated facts and in some cases lied. Suing him, would only punish his wife - and for sure she is an innocent victim of Vendetta Perez. I am tempted to sue, not for money, but to get a jury verdict - but the only person who will feel the pain is his wife. I do not believe for one second he was thinking of his wife or his child, other than as an excuse or cover, when he posted his comments.

The most comical statement is the following: "You have to realize "Cervantes" that I was trying to assist you as a Dallas family-law attorney Mike McCurley tried to "help" you to seek mental help. I wanted you to go to the commission meetings and make sure all of the commissioners understood your argument against prior restraint." (Just curious, what information could he possibly have to think they did not understand the prior restraint issue. Look at the tape guys - Ahumada walked out of the executive session twice. During the meeting the camera guy focused in on Longoria when Ahumada interrupted a speaker. Longoria looked at Ahumada as if he was nuts - I think they got the message without the help and advice of Vendetta Perez. His assignment of self importance is a bit overstated - Troiani a licensed attorney certainly needs help from Vendetta Perez in understanding the law)

I do not read words, I read context and paragraphs. Sentences within a paragraph are to be related to one another. So the first couple of times I am reading the above paragraph I cannot make heads or tails of what does Mike McCurley have to do with prior restraint. I do not know if it is an attempt to mislead or if Vendetta Perez is just running loose like a drunk in a glass factory.

Vendetta Perez wants to hold himself off as some objective reporter - I will make that assumption. Based on that assumption it does not shock me to learn that Vendetta Perez would stand with someone who went into state district court, namely Mike McCurley and used the court to extort millions of dollars from would renowned pianist Van Cliburn. Mike McCurley threatened to produce for the press videos of questionable sexual acts between Van Cliburn and his former lover if Van Cliburn did not pay over millions to McCurley and his client. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-67775210.html

Obviously Vendetta Perez considers people like McCurley to be credible. If my readers find that people who extort money from wealthy people to be credible, then I lost that battle before it began. Also what is McCurley’s relationship to me - based on what you read you think he was some type family law attorney trying to help me. He was a hired gun to take me down. Vendetta Perez fails to tell you that. After the State Bar of Texas was forced to deal with McCurley’s attempt to extort money from Van Cliburn he was fired by the State Bar. He does not tell you that either.

He also fails to tell you McCurley hired a psychiatrist to diagnose me in absentia based on McCurley’s representations of me, and not based on ever having met me or having reviewed any of my medical records. This is what Vendetta Perez would call fair. If any of my readers believe such conduct is fair then I say you can move to Communist China where those who engage in political dissent are diagnosed mentally ill in absentia. Those type readers and Vendetta Perez would do well in Communist China.

Vendetta Perez begins his piece with a claim that he held in his response to give me a chance to retract misrepresentation, but yet he did not identify any of these so called misrepresentations. He never ever e-mailed me and said retract the following misrepresentations. The way it works is, if you want someone to retract a misrepresenation, you send them a letter or e-mail demanding same. He never made such a request because he could not.

The following is a point blank lie from Vendetta Perez. "In interesting points on the Indian’s meetings, I chidingly (sic) notified Bobby Wightman to make sure he knew the public comment section rules had not been changed it." Never ever happened. I learned of his comments when I read his blog. Remember he made these vendetta type comments after I outed him. On my blog I explained my position on this. No commissioner in his right mind, unless he is taking advice from Vendetta Perez, would put repeal of an ordinance on the agenda before consulting counsel during an Executive Session. Obviously Vendetta Perez believes a commissioner would do that, but I do not. He simply does not understand how city government and litigation works. So long as there is a majority willing to roll the dice on the litigation, the remainder have to go along. They are jointly the client - it would be a breach of ethics for one or three commissioners to come out against those who favor the litigation. It could be used as evidence against the city. Again Vendetta Perez does not understand ethics and ethical concerns. Again he speaks of things about which he has no knowledge.

On the flag issue, I made clear on my blog immediately after the Commission meeting wherein I raised the flag issue that the city was on solid ground when it comes to proper etiquette on the flag. His statement that I did not know the rules is just bizarre. I was the first and only person to post them to a blog.

http://brownsvillevoice.blogspot.com/2008/06/flag-debate-veterans-versus.html

http://brownsvillevoice.blogspot.com/2008/06/it-is-sad-and-unacceptable-that-city-of.html

The problem is, he does not read - he has a vendetta to get out so he fails to read I am not talking about the etiquette, I am talking about respect for those who have died defending the flag and at a time of war showing respect for them by elevating the flag to a higher level than the state flag.

Oh what happened to Mark McDonald who wrote the Observer piece - I am smart enough to only speak to reporters on the record - this means the interview was recorded. After McDonald was forced to admit to the Observer lawyers he fabricated entire sections of the article, he found himself working for someone other than the Observer. My brother denied nearly everything McDonald claims he said. On the issue of my family history - this was a bizarre theme McDonald created before the interview started. I made it clear to him my family history is meaningless to me. I also made it clear to him that when he tried to tie me to the famous author Cervantes that no one could possibly claim a linear link because Cervantes had one daughter who did not carry his name. When he asked me what sustains me and I said "faith." He laughed. The answer did not fit the bizarre picture he was trying to paint. Like I said, once the lawyers were all done with reviewing the evidence McDonald went to go work for someone else.

The State Bar issue is important. First, as to the case Vendetta Perez references with Judge Garza - (who for the record was well documented as opposing all dissent against the judiciary) he fails to state that as a result of the federal lawsuit, the State Bar dropped all charges. In my book that counts as a win. They found that my speech against the judge was protected. The issue was my comments about a corrupt judge. Now lets understand how corrupt Judge Garza was when it came to silencing claims of corruption against the judiciary. According to Vendetta Perez , Garza said the following: "Wightman attacks an ongoing state disciplinary proceeding." Judge Garza concedes there is an ongoing proceeding, but then according to Vendetta Perez goes on to say there is no evidence the State Bar intends to enforce the rules. This is how corrupt Judge Garza was - he admits there are ongoing proceedings, but then to get to a political result finds no evidence the State Bar intends to enforce the rules. Judge Garza had zero tolerance for dissent against the judiciary. It is of no shock to me Vendetta Perez would agree with zero tolerance in terms of dissent against the judiciary. Or is it he did not care about the facts, because he needed to have his vendetta against me for exposing his unethical conduct towards Adela Garza.

The second issue with the State Bar - lets be clear - when they sued me to have me disbarred they sued me on day 1, served me with the lawsuit on day 7, and secured a summary judgment on day 10. My answer to the lawsuit was not even due in court until 21 days after the first Monday following service. Does it shock anyone Vendetta Perez would find this fair? No - because he had no interest in the facts - he is about settling a vendetta. Does he tell you the judge I allegedly accused of wrongdoing dismissed the appeal? No because Vendetta Perez would not see this as a conflict of interest, given how we know he handled Adela Garza.

Why was the State Bar allowed to do what they did? People do not know that State Bar is controlled by the Texas Supreme Court. A man by the name of Daryl Jordon was at the Tower meeting in Dallas. Daryl Jordon has donated millions of dollars in free legal services to the Texas Supreme Court as it relates to the defense of the Texas Supreme Court’s policy of taking interest from lawyers’ clients’ accounts, without due process, and using the money to fund indigent representation. Did you know that - that if a lawyer is holding your money in an interest account you the client are not entitled to the interest. It is automatically garnished by the Texas Supreme Court for use in indigent care. (Or so it was 6 years ago - maybe things have changed)

Anyway the Tower meeting was a well documented meeting wherein Daryl Jordon, other State Bar attorneys, sitting judges, and public officials detailed a conspiracy wherein then Regional Administrative Judge Pat McDowell (he regularly attended the Tower meetings which dealt with how the Dallas Diocese would handled all of the child molesting lawsuits) was going to grant the recusal of the trial judge in the case. The jury had already awarded more than 100 million dollars in damages in the case. The goal was to have the trial judge removed from the case so that Pat McDowell, who was advising the Bishop, along with State Bar attorney Daryl Jordon, could then assign another judge who understood he was to grant a new trial in the case and thereby void the judgment.

I came to represent the whistle-blower in the case, Frank Sharpe. He had boxes and boxes of documents which could have taken down everyone at the Tower meeting. Frank is a mathematical genius who has a hard time communicating with people. I represented him in an emergency mandamus against the judge who aided in the conspiracy to steal his documents. Like so many other mandamus, I won that emergency appeal against the judge. In Re Frank Sharpe, (2001 WL 15974 (Tex. App. Dallas)) (January 8, 2001)- Trial court abuses discretion when it signs orders after it loses plenary jurisdiction

This opened the door to my suing the parties involved in the theft of the documents. The case was on the verge of trial. Daryl Jordon along with a lot of judges and other high profile lawyers were going to be destroyed if the case went to trial. On the even of the trial I was sued on day 1, served on day 7 and summary judgment granted on day 10. If you want to know the truth of the matter, my ex and still best friend John Marks was with me in the court room and I let out a sigh of relief.

I was no longer a prisoner to the most corrupt contemptuous profession in the world. The case remains in protracted RICO litigation. Every major law firm the State of Texas tried to hire to defend what happened has declined the money. This is why the State represents itself. I refused an offer to drop all RICO charges last year in exchange for them allowing me to apply for reinstatement. You see, I have no desire to return to the most vile profession in the world - I just want the truth to be told. Only with the truth being told do we have a chance to destroy the most corrupt profession in the history of mankind.

People, if I took myself seriously, which I do not, would I use Curious George as my moniker? As I have said before and will say again - the blogosphere has very little impact on anything. I am not trying to save the world. Sometimes as activists we can succeed. My track record shows I have succeeded in the area of prior restraint and in going after judges. A record which Vendetta Perez does not have. What we do know in the case of Adela Garza, he did not tell his readers his articles were based on his work for Adela Garza’s opponent, Dr. Silva. That is incredibly unethical. If after the Adela Garza mess, you can find a word of credibility in the writings of Vendetta Perez, then I lost the war with you before it began, and I invite you to only read his blog.

Ladies and Gentlemen I hope you have enjoyed the drama, and I am certain Vendetta Perez will continue with his drama - so I hope you will enjoy the show as this soap opera will continue. It is sad though he fails to see how this attorney who is helping him is manipulating him to his own political demise. It is sad that all he did here was to give his wife’s coworkers yet something else to harass her about at work. There is no doubt in my mind she is a loving and fine person and mother. She deserves better. Unfortunately, I think he will continue this to her detriment.

It comes as no shock to me that Vendetta Perez would get in bed with child molesting priests and people who extort money from world renown pianists because they are gay. Or is it just that he did not care who he got in bed with and with blindfolds on charged to his vendetta?

A small but significant summary of my track record.

PUBLICATIONS and PUBLISHED OPINIONS

Contributor: American Government Policies & Politics 3rd Ed. 1991
Harper Collins Publishers: Neal Tannahill and William Bedichek

Texas Lawyer: Good Intentions, Bad Ideas, August 30, 1993, pp.12-13

Flores v. Banner, 932 S.W.2d 500 (Tex. 1996, orig. proceeding)-
Mandamus on Objection to Former Judge

Grigsby et al. v. Coker, 904 S.W.2d 619 (Tex. 1995) (orig. proceeding) -
Mandamus on impermissible gag order.

Flores v. Velasco, S.W.3d , (Tex. App.BDallas, 2001 - WL586897), (sitting judges who become former judges during course of litigation are subject to objection)

Keyser v. Kroger, 800 F. Supp. 476 (N.D. Tex 1992)- Non-subscribers to workers' compensation system are subject to the prohibition against retaliation

In Re Frank Sharpe, (2001 WL 15974 (Tex. App. Dallas)) (January 8, 2001)- Trial court abuses discretion when it signs orders after it loses plenary jurisdiction

In re: Ann Thompson, (1998 WL 290219 (Tex. App. Dallas)) (June 5, 1998) - Indefinite order of abatement is an abuse of judicial discretion)

UNPUBLISHED

In re: Claire Hopkins, (Tex. App. Ft Worth)(Sept. 18, 1998) Stay Order issued pending mandamus - Medical Liability Improvement Act does not apply to unfair debt collection practices.

Flores v. Canales, (Tex. App. Dallas) (June 10, 1996)(Stay Order issued pending mandamus voiding trial courts TRO for want of jurisdiction in Election Contest)

Keyser v. Kroger, (Tex. App. Ft. Worth , 1994) Summary Judgment reversed on Special Exceptions

This does not include all of the appellate briefs I have written for attorney all over Texas.
GET SMART - THE NEW STANDARD FOR SUMMER COMEDIES IS ONE MALE BUTT SCENE

Today I will review "Get Smart." But first, try checking out the link to Brownsville Art. There is a lot more to do in Brownsville than to just go see movies. If anyone knows of a link which provides a directory to the various events in Brownsville please let me know so that I can post it.

The BV cannot be the BV if it does not promote other voices and links. I know who I am willing to promote at this time is a bit controversial, but no one can say it is based on how the editors of the links promote the BV or speak of me. For the most part the links I provide do not promote the BV and many of them hardly have a kind word when they speak of the BV or me personally. I am confident in my voice and do not feel threatened by competing voices. It is the diversity of voices and ideas which make us strong as a nation and people.

GET SMART

When I first got there I thought jeeze - only a bunch of old fogies like me - no young kids to appreciate Maxwell Smart or Agent 99. But then by the time the movie started most of the audience was probably under 30. The younger audience seemed to enjoy the movie a lot. I liked the fact they appreciated a lot of the jokes. Oh, the new standard for summer comedies is at least one male butt scene.

If you are looking for something which does not require use of your brain cells, and you liked the original "Get Smart" I say it is worth the $8.50. Overall, I enjoyed it - I think you will too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

BEING SAFE IN FEDERAL PRISON HAS TO BE BETTER THAN BEING A DRUG ADDICT ON THE STREETS

Many people are salivating over the conviction of Saul Ochoa. The only thing I know about the Ochoas is Benny gave me a good deal on a speeding ticket about 2 years ago. Saul’s family says they do not know the man who is addicted to drugs and now a convicted drug dealer. My view of dealers is different than that of users. I personally believe anyone who sells drugs to children should get life without the possibility of parole. But I would be softer on an addict/dealer who has not dealt drugs to children.

In state court he would probably get a slap on the hand or just have the charges dropped. In federal court because he was a public official, he will get the book. I can hear it now - betrayal of public trust - yadayadayada. I do not know the extent of his dealing. It would certainly influence how I would sentence him. For now though, I want to focus on the addiction issue.

Some jail time is in order, but would justice be better served with rehabilitation? - if possible. Actually on drug rehabilitation I am not a strong advocate. You cannot coerce people into changing. The concept behind most drug rehabilitation is someone else is going to help you overcome your addiction, instead of you just facing it and saying no more. I have known a lot of people, clients, family (a nephew found it easier to hang himself in jail rather than deal with his addiction) and friends. I have never seen drug rehabilitation work.

For a second I want to go back to Ochoa’s family. Where were they as he was going through the addiction process? I suspect they kept on changing his diapers - poor baby. The reality is, his family was probably his biggest enablers. Families are always the enabler. I remember a brother blaming the police for picking on his son when the son got caught selling. I can go on and on and on about a brother and his bizarre conduct when it comes to drugs.

People tell me all of the time on this issue, "you do not understand pain." Oh really - I was diagnosed with myofascitis 31 years ago, and told this week it has now spread into my arms and legs. There is no treatment for the pain. You just live with it. On most nights I am reduced to holding on to walls and chairs to keep from falling down. If I know I am going out at night, I stay in bed for a good 4 hours before going out so that I will be able to walk with minimal pain. I have had a headache for 31 years. I have a bottle of pain killers which is over a year old. They were given to me for a bone graph in my jar. The original seal remains in tact. I do not do pain killers.

When you have myofascitis pain killers give you a false sense of hope. I guess if I hate someone enough I could joke about them dying, but I could never joke about someone, anyone deserving myofascitis. It is a lifetime sentence of chronic pain for which there is no cure Nor treatment. Some physical therapy at the gym helps a bit.

So my question is, why can some people be strong and others weak? I am not sure if there is a biological component to who can remain strong and who cannot. I know depression is real. I know it hurts. I know people turn to drugs, or other addictive behavior, or violence. I cannot tell you how many gay men I have represented for spousal abuse. They blame their wives for their feelings.

But in the end we have choices. I believe living away from my family was the best medicine for my myofascitis because I had no one to feel sorry for me or make excuses for me. I have been forced to stand on my own.

I suspect Saul’s family, such as now, found it easier to make excuses for him, than to tell him - deal with your problems and stop making excuses. I just ended a dear friendship on a similar issue. I do not change the diapers of adult men- that would make me an enabler and a source of the problem. Friends do not enable friends.

I would hope that if Saul can demonstrate to the judge by September that he understands that he has to do this on his own, and a family which is acting as enablers are not his friend, the judge shows him some mercy. I hope Saul will use his time in jail between now and September to find honesty in his heart to know how he got to this point. Until he learns to love himself and respect himself, he will always be a drug addict. If he continues to use his family as his diaper changer then maybe the judge should do him a favor and give him the maximum sentence. Being safe in a federal prison has to be better than being a drug addict on the streets.

And oh, by the way, "I found GOD" would get the maximum sentence from me. Nothing wrong with GOD, but substituting one addiction with another is not the answer.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING A POINT IF THERE IS NO POINT

(Editor's note - brought to you at 4 am because Buster and Keaton decided daddy had no right to be alseep)

What is the point of having a point if there is no point? An odd question, but this is how I feel about the press and commentators. Maybe the press has always been worthless and I just never noticed. Or maybe, the press has become so self absorbed with its view of the world, and in the process covering nothing, that it no longer has a point.

Back about 1971 or 1972 a teenage girl by the name of Karen Kimberly fought Newsday tooth and nail to be its first papergirl. I remember the battle. We had been friends for a long time. She won her battle and it was like a new world was discovered by teenage girls. People read papers back then - they mattered. Another friend of mine’s mother would cautiously look out her window every afternoon waiting for me to pass as I delivered Newsday to all of her neighbors, but not her. Newsday was a liberal paper, the Press was the conservative paper. She was not allowed to read Newsday. She would come out and ask if I had an extra copy or mom’s copy she could read until my return trip home. News mattered and opinion and spin of the news matter, back in the day.

So what has changed? Some people blame the internet and bloggers. Being all it takes to be a blogger is to set up a google account, I doubt the blogosphere has really made that big of a difference. We are pretty good about breaking some local stories and organizing local, national, and international news into a summary, but in reality we fail when it comes to being a major influence. Yes a few people have managed to turn a profit as bloggers, but only a few. And those few, oddly enough, are really no better than the now failed general news media.

News and opinion whether in the mainstream press or blogosphere has become stale - it is like a drug which no longer gives us a high because our bodies have become acclimated to the effects of the drug. We keep on going back to it in hopes for another high, but never seem to accomplish that sense of satisfaction which we use to get when we first took that first toke.

Again I ask, what is the point of having a point if there is no point? It is like we have become wandering souls in search of a purpose in an ink well long gone dry. We are thirsty for something, anything which will make us feel satisfied again. Perhaps it is time we look inward for the source of that emptiness and stop looking to the press or blogosphere for our fix. We have become lazy and complacent. Could you imagine a teenage girl today fighting for the right to deliver a newspaper or a middle aged women sneaking around behind her husband’s back to be able to read a newspaper.

I am not saying we should not read the print media or blogosphere. All I am saying is, What is the point of having a point if there is no point? Until we can answer this question, we will continue to search for that next fix which will never come. It is time we become less self absorbed and actually open our eyes to our surroundings. We may find our souls desperately trying to get back into our bodies in hopes they will again have meaning. Maybe then, another Karen Kimberly will come along and fight the fight to be the first girl paper carrier, or another Mrs. Griffin will step out her door and ask to sneak a peek at the afternoon’s news.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

BETTER DEAD THAN RED OR AS THE CITY OF BROWNSVILLE PUTS IT - BETTER RED THAN HONOR THE DEAD - AND RED TIDE

CITY COMMISSION MEETING

(Editor's note: This is Wednesday post - I wanted a head start of Better RED than Honor the Dead" Also check out my Tuesday afternoon post on the Herald)

Those who watched it know it was pretty much uneventful other than they all got along fashionably and professionalism prevailed. My only frustration was the same I felt several commissioners felt - Ben Medina loves to wing it - sometimes he does not answer important questions directly - the commissioners need to do a better job to pin him down to a yes or no.
I cannot wait to hear what is up with the airport. I hope it is true that what ever it is will put Brownsville on the map.

RED SHIRT FRIDAY

This was our city commissions' response that the flag be flown higher than the Texas Flag. I had never heard of this before - The idea of a Red Shirt to honor the military in my view is insulting. Then I researched the issue and realized the entire idea is a political statement against the war and not a true means to honor the troops. I am a Cold War Veteran - I was a Russian Voice Intercept- I would listen in on the Soviets and transcribe whatever was being said by a tank commander for example. Had you told me you were going to honor me with a red shirt I would have slugged you. In my day the phrase was Better Dead than RED.

As it turns out the red is to represent blood from the war. http://getmyredshirt.com/history.html Soldiers are above the politics of war. We take orders - we do not give orders. To a soldier the merits of a war is not his/her concern. I cannot think of anything more insulting to the 4000 plus Americans who have died in this needless war than to designate a day to honor them which is in fact in protest to the war. Many of the dead died believing in the war. Many died opposing the war. You honor them by using a neutral shade like white or the colors yellow or blue- but RED is an insult.

US Military Dictionary: red

adj. redder, reddest 1. used to denote something forbidden, dangerous, or urgent: the force went on red alert.

2. Red informal, chiefly derogatory communist or socialist (used especially during the Cold War with reference to the Soviet Union): the Red Menace.

n. also Red informal, chiefly derogatory

a communist or socialist.

better dead than red or better red than dead

http://www.answers.com/topic/red

I realize that the City Commission did not want to give in on the issue of the flag, so in a cover for their contempt for the flag they insulted 4000 plus veterans who have died in this needless war. I will be damned if I wear red, because better DEAD THAN RED.

It is sad that this city commission chose to celebrate the color of the Red Menace instead of honoring our dead by elevating the flag to its rightful place. When this nation is at war, which it is, it is tradition to elevate the flag - but in the City of Brownsville it is BETTER RED THAN HONOR THE DEAD

Today the Red Menace is considered Communist China - they are actually manufacturing many of the weapons being used to kill our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan - How does Longoria as a teacher not know this?

RED-TIDE IS COMING - IOWA HAS SCREWED US AGAIN

This is going to sound a bit insensitive, I guess, but it is relevant nonetheless. A red-tide is coming to the Gulf of Mexico. When it will hit or whether it will hit South Texas I do not know. What if anything we can do about it, I do not know. What I do know is, red-tide is caused in part by the nitrates in fertilizers. In terms of the Gulf, it comes from the Mississippi. The fertilizers run into rivers which feed into the Mississippi. It all originates from the grain belt of the mid- west.

The mid-west is under water. The various local and state and federal government made no provisions for reducing the amount of nitrate which would eventually feed into the Gulf by mandating safe storage of fertilizers. Millions of pounds of fertilizer sitting in barns or storage facilities are now dissolved in the Mississippi and heading for the Gulf. In short order this will create the environment needed for red-tide. I know the science about how red-tide is created, I just do not know the science about how long it will take.

Experts certainly can predict this at this time. They should be able to predict how long it will take for the red-tide to be created, and based on that time frame and the predicted currents, where and when it will hit. This is a public health issue on which Cameron County should take the lead.
BROWNSVILLE HERALD UPDATE - AND COMMENT ON CITY COMMISSION

The president of Freedom newspapers called me today. First let me say, he is a graduate of St. Joe’s and started at the Brownsville Herald. He informed me among other things that the final decision as to who will survive and who will not at the various LRGV newspapers owned by Freedom has yet to be decided. Apparently it is going to be some type consolidation of management.

After I was able to confirm for him that someone in the local office was lying to him when they told him I had been taken care of, he assured me a check will be issued to me directly from Freedom Communications. He understands that once someone lies to the president of the company it is pretty futile to expect them to do their job in the near future. The overall impression I got was - changes are coming to all the Freedom owned newspapers in the Valley.

I am very busy with work so I have half caught some of the ongoing City Commission meeting - without any drama they had a great discussion on the Events Center. Atkinson asked an interesting question - if they are booked 3 years out, are they charging enough? That is a question which needs to be answered. Longoria raised another valid issue of a hotel in close proximity to the events center. Troiani raised the issue of do we really need to change how events are booked if they are already booked three years out? All without drama
OPERATION HOME FRONT IS HELPING DISABLED VETERANS WHILE THEY WAIT FOR THE VA TO QUALIFY THEM FOR DISABILITY

Here is my original story on the issue from a month ago.
Maybe Rick Noriega is down 17 points in the last poll because he has refused to visit the LRGV and speak up for veterans other than badmouthing Cornyn with half-truths. For the record Cornyn is worthless on veterans issues - but that does not excuse Rick Noriega
SUDDEN DEATH DUE TO HEART ATTACK, BUT FIRST A WORD ABOUT THE CITY COMMISSION

COMMISSION MEETING

Although I made it clear in my previous posts I will not attend the City Commission meetings until after the city has repealed its prior restraint ordinance, or a court has declared it unconstitutional, one is still asking if I will be there. I have no desire to fuel the fire. Also once the matter is resolved I will attend meetings and speak generally to issues I feel like are important to the community. You will not hear me mention my victory on the issue. Gloating is for little people - the issue here is simple - allow the people to speak for the 15 minutes and just smile.

Now I hope Jim Goza explains to Pat Almighty that if he interrupts the wrong person he may just find there is an attorney in waiting to sue Pat Almighty and the city for violating the speaker’s First Amendment right, as incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendment (to be technical). I am not sure about damages, but § 1983 certainly applies to this case. I just hope calmer minds will prevail and we can all move on.

TIM RUSSERT, JOHN RITTER, AND MOM - SUDDEN DEATH FROM CARDIAC ARREST

John Ritter died at age 54 from sudden death due to heart failure. Both my mother and Tim Russert died at age 58 from sudden death due to heart failure. While I cannot speak to Ritter’s or Russert’s medical history, the week before my mother died she had the most complete cardio work up available in 1977.

John Ritter and Tim Russert had access to the best healthcare money could buy, and more than enough money to afford it. I do believe Ritter’s wife sued the doctors for failure to diagnose. I do fault the doctors in part because of their arrogance. I understand that sometimes the tests miss things. The tests are only as good as the technicians performing the tests. My problem is with the doctors who are not even willing to consider the idea that the tests were not done properly or they just are not accurate. What I tell people is, if youR doctor tells you are okay when you know you are not, see another doctor. Doctors could save lives if they would just learn to say - "I don’t know."

I also believe the medical community contributes to the failure of so many people at the gym. When I meet a new doctor and he tells me to loose weight the first thing I say is, "can I see a competent doctor?" My medical records say why I cannot loose weight. My liver was damaged by a medication I received from the VA. I also tell them to look at my blood work - my cholesterol and triglycerides are incredible now that I am back on all the proper medications and supplements.

At my gym I always tell people they will fail if they are at the gym to loose weight or look like a model. The most important benefit the gym gives you is what it does for your cardiovascular system. You cannot see this from the outside. I see people at my gym who do an hour or longer on the treadmill and remain obese after months of trying. This is who they are. I always tell them, if you know you are eating healthy just keep on doing what you are doing - you are doing fine. I also tell people to make sure they belong to a gym with a strong steam room. It is very relaxing and has to help lower your blood pressure. It is a nice little reward after the work out.

I hear it all of the time - "but my doctor says if I drop to a 1000 calories a day I will loose the weight. I eat on average 1500 to 1800 calories a day. Weight loss is not in my future. I do on average 3-4 hours of cardio a week and 3-4 hours of free weights a week. My body is what it is.

This is where doctors drive me nuts. I see people at the gym give up all of the time because they are not losing weight. Doctors need to stop telling people that diet and exercise will make you loose weight. There are no scientific studies to support this myth. Unless you are shoving pizza, fried chicken, and hamburgers down your throat everyday and then all of a sudden start eating healthy, you are not going to loose any real weight.

My advice is, if you know you are eating healthy, and you know you are exercising for real - be happy with the little extra plump in your step - it is natural - the doctors are morons. I control my triglycerides with 6 fish oil capsules a day. I went from having my triglycerides at 3000 down to 180 on fish oil.

I do not know why these two men died at such young ages. I do know the doctors completely missed in the case of my mother. I do know I exercise almost everyday - even when my arms and legs are in incredible pain. I may now have confirmed blockage in key arteries, but I know I exercise my cardiovascular system almost everyday. I cannot image how much worse it would be had I given up just because I could not loose the weight the doctor insisted I loose. In spite of the doctors I did not give up - and I am all the better for it.

So to everyone out there who is overweight - first get on fish oil for the triglycerides. Have a full lipid panel done on your blood so you know where you stand in terms of your cholesterol and triglycerides. Most of all never give up because you are not losing weight. 15 minutes on the treadmill is not much, but it is better than 0 minutes. My gym has individual TV’s for each treadmill - I put in my earphones and 60 minutes and 3 miles later I am done. Just do not give up and you will get to the 60 minutes. Your heart is counting on you. It is not about losing weight, it is about having a strong cardiovascular system. This is what doctors should be stressing and not weight loss.

Monday, June 16, 2008

UPDATES ON THE CITY OF BROWNSVILLE AND MY POSSIBLE RUN FOR BISD - WITH A VENDETTA TWIST AND OUTING

Unfortunately some people love to comment on things about which they have no knowledge. So I have decided to give a little lesson in how city government works. Contrary to the view of one, the City of Brownsville does not come to a stand still when it receives a demand letter threatening litigation. When you pin a cat into a corner, you tend to not get the result you are looking for.

As to my demand on the city, it was designed to allow the city commission to get through next Tuesday’s meeting. The city attorney cannot act on his own. City commissioners are not going to act until they are advised by their attorney, namely Jim Goza. This is where a basic knowledge of how city government really works is important before making stupid petty vindictive comments. Under the rules Jim Goza or his trusty sidekick will not even advise the city commission on my demand until Tuesday during their executive session. Given this simple basic function of how the city works, how is it possible that anything would even appear on Tuesday’s agenda when the city commission has yet to be advised on the matter?

Further, if you go back to my original demand letter, I left the door open for the city commission to respond to my demand after having been afforded an opportunity to be advised by their counsel. Again only morons try to put a cat into the corner. My entire approach recognizes the manner in which the city government works. You have to wait for a meeting so the commission can be advised before they can act. It would be reckless for a commissioner to put anything on the agenda concerning repeal of an ordinance before first being advised by counsel. A simple letter from Mr. Goza that a commissioner will put on the agenda a repeal of the offending ordinance is all it will take to stop any litigation at this time. It will have to be passed at the next meeting of course. Again what is the point of pinning a cat in the corner, and then complaining when you get scratched.

Anyway since, one, has no knowledge of how the city government works, I thought a lesson would be in order.

BISD RUN -VENDETTA ROMAN PEREZ AND SERGIO ZARATE

Brownsville seems to have a new edge on dirty politics. I may or may not like Cisneros politics - but I know I do not like what happened to him with the video. I hope he pursues whomever did the videotaping and whomever paid for the videotaping. I think it is in every citizen’s best interest that we support Commissioner Cisneros along these lines, politics aside.

But dirty politics does not end with the City Commission. I do want to run for BISD. But like I said I will need a team which understands grassroots politics to help me. I am looking. I have not raised any money or officially announced. I have not spent money. I have met with several senior citizens to get their take on my campaign, and what I have learned is they just want to know if it is true Obama is a Muslim, which he is not. I was never able to get the conversation beyond Obama and presidential politics - it was very, very frustrating.

With me when it comes to Roman Perez, I am not sure I believe him when he says his name is Roman Perez. The point being I am not sure I believe a word he says.

On May 13, 2008 he made the following comments about Sergio Zarate "Item 30 of Tuesday night's Brownsville City Commission meeting brought up a name that is unfamiliar to this blog...Sergio Zarate." "What troubled me about the process was the name of Sergio Zarate. I do not know who he is but it seems to me he had extra pull in discerning who received the contract."

http://rgvusa.blogspot.com/2008/05/who-is-sergio-zarate.html

Although on May 13, 2008 Roman the Vendetta Perez stated he did not know of this Sergio Zarate. On June 13, 2008, all of a sudden he is praising him and now claiming they met in April.
"Sergio Zarate falls into that category. I met him for the first time at a Brownsville Union Coalition forum in April."

http://rgvusa.blogspot.com/2008/06/something-good-at-brownsville-parks.html

By itself none of this would matter except that I am concerned that for the second time he is trying to play two different candidates for public office without an ounce of concern for conflicts of interest. Vendetta Perez the hermaphrodite (it is no longer a joke once everyone knows you are married assuming that is not a lie) has floated the name of Sergio Zarate to replace Susan Galvan. He now tells me Galvan is not running and that I might consider another easier target than a run for an open seat.(An open seat is always the easiest target) Again I do not know if any of this is true, I am just repeating what he has said. It seems to me he either has convinced Zarate to hire him to work on the campaign or is trying to get Zarate to hire him to work on his campaign at the same time he is soliciting information from me about my campaign and trying to give me advice, which I would never take anyway.

Again with Vendetta Perez who knows when he is telling the truth about anything. Who chooses a name for themselves like vendetta unless their personality is that of someone who goes on vendettas. I would submit his near psychotic obsession with Adela Garza, and the Atkinson family.

I tried to make it clear to him in a polite way I have no interests in playing endless games of 50 questions in endless e-mails. He has this notion that if you respond to him in an e-mail that makes you friends. Every time he would use the term "my friend" it would send chills up my spine because I felt like I was about to have a stalker following me.

Anyway I specifically told him in an e-mail I had no desire to give him advice about whether or not someone was threatening him. To Vendetta Perez this means, "okay here is my question." When I tell you no, and you persist, I consider that licence to go public with the discussions - especially when it goes to trustworthiness.

According to Vendetta Perez he was advising Dr. Silva against Adela Garza. Now I ask you my devoted readers, would you have considered that relevant when reading his endless tirades against Adela? According to Vendetta Perez, Dr. Silva was well aware of what he was doing and considered it perfectly acceptable. Again I have no way of knowing if he is telling the truth - but if he told me the truth it spoke volumes about Dr. Silva’s character. So I say to Sergio Zarate - if you are in bed with the hermaphrodite Vendetta Perez proceed with caution because if I do run I will make it an issue as to your character. For now I presume you are an honorable man, and I am just dealing with the delusions of Vendetta Perez.

According to Vendetta Perez, he was either a partner or employee of James Zavaletta when he did some editing work on Adela Garza’s political web page. In his stories he cannot seem to make up his mind if he was a partner or employee. To James I do not know if any of this true because when it comes to Vendetta Perez, I do not believe him when he says his name is Roman Perez and he is married. James your side of the story will be unedited if you choose to respond.

Anyway apparently James and Vendetta Perez are no longer working together. Something happened when Vendetta Perez chose to help Dr. Silva against Adela Garza. I have no reason to believe James had any advanced notice of Vendetta’s actions. In my book when you have a client who has hired you for work related to a political campaign, you do not even accept the phone calls of her opponent. According to Vendetta Perez all he did for Adela was some simple editing.

He also claims that everyone but me with whom he has discussed this matter has told him he acted perfectly ethical and Adela has no reason to be mad at him. I would like to meet these sociopaths. You are reporting as news reasons not to vote for Adela Garza at the same time you are working for her opponent and that is not unethical? At least James Zavaletta had the integrity to let us know he was shutting down commentary until after the elections because he was involved in the process.

So here is the so called threat Adela Garza made on the phone to Vendetta Perez. I do not know if any of this is true - for all I know Adela Garza never heard of Vendetta Perez

"Roman, This is Adela Garza. I just got some very disturbing news today.....I am very disappointed in you guys. I feel that I was your customer..... If you were going to switch sides, you should have told me. What you all did was unethical at the very least...You should have stated loyal to me...We'll take care of it. I am very disappointed in you guys. Very disappointed."

I read nothing into this other than - she will tell people not to hire James Zavaletta or Roman Perez - his take on it was "If felt very godfatherish." Now that is melodrama. As a queer I know melodrama - it is in our genes. But again I do not know if any of this is true, and I have no confirmation of anything from Adela Garza.

If I take Roman’s story as he told it, he was incredibly unethical by not informing his readers he was advising Dr. Silva at the same time he was reporting as news and opinion his opposition to Adela Silva. This type dirty politics has to stop. What happened to Adela and Cisneros was wrong. I take pride in the fact I will always standup for the victims whether I know them or like them. Wrong is wrong - Vendetta Perez is now out of yet another closet - are there more?

That will depend how far he pushes people with his endless vendettas and unethical conduct. I do not care one iota people are gunning for me - my life is an open book - hey you can come take a picture of me naked on the beach - but given the dirty politics of this town sooner or later someone is going to pay to follow Vendetta. It will not be me because that is not my style and I would find it abhorrent, but sooner or later someone will if he pushes them far enough. Since I have nothing to hide, and I know my butt looks good on camera, have it with me.

I have to ask you guys - the official picture I use to insure people know the post is from me and not someone trying to pass as me is "Curious George." Why "Curious George?" Because I am hopelessly curious and always getting into mischief. We choose names which reflect who we are. Who chooses Vendetta and Hermaphrodite as the moniker which they want people to think of when they read their writings? The moniker we choose for ourselves reflects who we are.