Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Back in 1981, I was walking the streets of Mexico City in search of the Nicaraguan embassy. It was lunch time. The street traffic came to a complete standstill. It was the first and only time in my life I experienced human gridlock. We just stood their packed in like sardines. As I looked to my right I recognized a volcano in a picture in an office. I then looked up, it was the office of Lanica Airlines. The then national airline of Nicaragua. As it turned out they were able to fix my visa and change my date of departure to Managua.

On that day, the gridlock worked to my advantage. In today’s world the gridlock in Congress, local government, and the press, is such I see no solution or upside. Every time I hear Congress has a lower approval rating than the President, I shake my head in disbelieve. This morning most of us are waking up to dryer roads only to realize those potholes are bigger than ever. And as we all know, the City Commission has no game plan to address the deteriorating roads in Brownsville. The problems in Congress and at the local governmental level is in part the result of a press which long ago abandoned its part as the investigators and overseers of government. The Herald desperately needs a legal consultant to help report on legal proceedings.

It is anyone’s guess what will happen at the Herald. In my own dealings with the President of Freedom Newspapers, I was impressed he personally called me to apologize for the actions of the Brownsville Herald, and in the end sent a handwritten note along with a settlement check. (People it was small - but compensated me for my time fighting the Herald to get my money back) He seems to believe the people really matter. I thought I was the only one who still used handwritten notes. This truly impressed me. In terms of substance, to me the handwritten note is far more valuable than the check.

People matter - Congress, the Brownsville City Commission (actually most local governments in the US) and the press seem to believe the people do not matter. When the people who give you your reason for existence do not matter, it should then be no shocker the people will reject you.
Congress and local government will not change. The gridlock which has brought these institutions to a standstill is like a super glue of special interests which will not let go. Our representatives in these institutions, save one or two, are so controlled by lobbyists, there is no hope they will ever be able to see past the gridlock created by the lobbyists. The people are simply irrelevant.

The press, because they live off of profits instead of taxpayer money, are in a free fall of self destruction. Most journalists and news editors still live in their closets of delusions of grandeur and are in complete denial that the people are actually driving their future. "How dare the people not buy our dribble."

I am mind boggled that CNN remains in the air. Lou Dobbs has to be the most openly racists journalist in the history of nationally televised news. Yesterday in a matter of a minute or two during his news summary he went from admitting the FDA has no knowledge of the source of the salmonella outbreak, but then went on to say it is tied to Mexico, he then indicated his displeasure with a court ruling related to illegal aliens using social security cards, and then went to his displeasure with McCain’s and Obama’s respective positions on illegal immigration. All three stories are legitimate stories, but when you begin with blaming Mexico for a health crisis in the US, while agreeing the FDA has no evidence as to the source of the problem, and then immediately go into two other stories which many of your viewers will relate to Mexico, it is clear you are trying to inflame hate and bigotry towards Mexico and Latinos.

No legitimate journalist could possibly work for CNN, so long as Lou Dobbs has his own program on the network. CNN could not find it in itself to report news in a way mainstream American would watch, so they decided to use Lou Dobbs to bring in the audience of the most ignorant Americans they could find. This is not good. CNN’s solution to the collapse of American journalism is a threat to the very social fabric which hold our society together. Hopefully, sooner than later just one reporter while on live TV will denounce Lou Dobbs and CNN’s embracing of this racist. On that day CNN may have a chance at a new beginning.

Until the people take the position that they will vote all incumbents out of office, Congress and local governments will continue to ignore the people. The people of Brownsville are actually very good at voting incumbents out of office, when they are informed. As to the press, they only survive if we buy their product. So they have to change if they want to survive. I have no idea what is going to happen at the Herald, but the personal touch used with me by the President of Freedom Newspapers is encouraging. While I consider boycotts of advertisers wrong, I personally do not buy from any advertiser who advertises on CNN, unless I have no other choice.

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