Tuesday, June 24, 2008

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.

2 comments:

Mas Triste said...

Sorry Dude,

I beat you to the naming rights.

It is officially known as "The Great Brownsville Blogger War of 2008"

K

BobbyWC said...

Kurgan,

As I have said - journalist are as much to blame as anyone else - I think DPM knows this at heart and in part is frustrated with the ethics issue because he has seen it destroy his profession.

I will submit Rathergates are a dime a dozen. They are just no longer covered. Everyone including the big bloggers realized how much damage it did to the press's credibility.

My fear is unless we fight back, even in small markets, on the issue of ethics then the unethical people will control everything.

I simply do not believe anything I read or hear unless I can verify it otherwise. We cannot let this be the new norm. The end result will be the truth is not known and misinformed people will be forming policy. Does the Iraq war sound familiar?

Bobby WC