Sunday, November 30, 2008

UPDATE ON THE ER SANCHEZ MESS

Only a complete and total moron would suggest that I could sue someone for calling me a tubby faggot. So the question is, if only a moron could make such a claim, why respond to it. This is a fair question. Because I knew I would have to deal with a post, which I rejected, claiming something even more moronic, namely, I will sue Sanchez for allowing ER to make what he knew to be a false claim. Such a statement would not be defamation per se, and there are no damages. In defamation per se you do not have to prove actual damages.

I cannot and will not explain my strategy for anything I do. My lawsuit against the city remains pending. I said I would file that lawsuit, and I did. Sometime in January we will have a hearing on a temporary injunction. I have my reasons for waiting until January.

At this point Sanchez knows ER made what he knows to be a totally false statement regarding my relationship with Sanchez. This is at least the second time such a thing has happened. As Ricky Recardo said "he has a lot of xplainin to do." The thing about Sanchez is, he will make his own noose. I am just watching it happen. Of course, McHale was all too willing to buy Sanchez the rope.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

ER GETS THE FACTS WRONG - THERE IS A SHOCKER

I do not want to get into a spitting match with ER, or Sanchez. I can say this, there is about as much truth in me threating Sanchez with a lawsuit for calling me Tubby Faggot, as there is in the Easter Bunny. But I will check with Sanchez's lawyers to see if in fact he is spreading this lie. We shall see if he posts on ER to deny the charge - a charge which Sanchez knows to be a lie. Sanchez, when will you get it, ER is not your friend.

Bobby WC
MORON MORON MORON

This morning I learned from Google that someone tried to access my passwords. All passwords have now been changed. Several months ago someone hacked my blogger account. Google ID the person and they were banned from google. They know who they are. People, every action taken by anyone has an IP address attached to that action. This stuff is easy to trace. Google is working on it.

To the moron, do you really believe child like intimidation can or will silence speech?

Bobby WC

Friday, November 28, 2008

BLACK FRIDAY WAS GREAT

UPDATE: WALMART WORKER KILLED IN STAMPEDE

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6529135

After months of waiting I finally got a new computer. It was worth the wait at Office Depot. $599.00 for 6gb of operating memory and 500 gb of storage. This one should last until the end of the world in 2012. LOL

I got to Office Depot at midnight. I was fortunate enough to sit next to someone with a knowledge of engineering. He had a good insight to the 3 big automakers failings. We talked for 6 hours. Office Depot did a great job. At 5:30 they went one person at a time on line and gave them a voucher for what they wanted to buy. The guy behind me got the last computer like mine.

When you went into the store you immediately got on line with your voucher. It did take 45 minutes to check out - but that is fine. My computer is super fast. I am happy.

No movie review tomorrow. Nothing playing worth seeing. BV will be back on Monday.

ENJOY YOUR SHOPPING




Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY TURKEY DAY

No post today, just enjoy the sleeping effect the nitrate in your turkey provides after dinner.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

JUDGE BANALES DISGRACED THE TEXAS JUDICIARY BY ENGAGING IN UNETHICAL CONDUCT AND MISLEADING THE PUBLIC AND PRESS AS TO THE LEGALITY OF HIS ACTIONS

"Additionally, in cases where a criminal defendant files a pretrial motion to disqualify the district attorney from prosecuting a case against him, the motion may not be granted without the defendant proving at a hearing that there is a conflict of interest that rises to the level of a due process violation."

In re Juan Guerra, 235 S.W.3rd 392, 421 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 2007, reh. den.)

This is exactly what happened. I have read Judge Banales order. It only gets worse with the more you read. There was no hearing. Counsel for Judge Leal, Judge Lopez, Mosbacker, Garza, and Lozano "raised an issue of great concern to the Court that requires the Court to reconsider its decision not to act on any pretrial motion prior to November 21, 2008." According to Judge Banales each of these attorneys raised the issue and asked for a ruling ex parte. It is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers to seek ex parte ruling, and a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for a Judge to consider matters ex parte, with limited exceptions, and then the orders are only temporary until the matter can be properly heard.

So now I have established that the Court of Appeals has previously held that a DA is entitled to a hearing when defense counsel seeks to remove them from the case. I have also established that the attorneys for the 5 defendants sought to remove DA Guerra. I have also established that Judge Banales did same without a hearing.

This is where he mislead the people and the press as to the legitimacy of his actions. In his order removing DA Guerra, he stated that he had supporting case law. Then he cited In re Juan Guerra, 235 S.W.3rd 392, 421 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 2007, reh. den.) You see Judge Banales understands the press better than the press understands themselves. He knew they would never check the opinion. The judiciary gets away with this stuff because the press is unwilling to do its job.

In the original Juan Guerra decision the court did say that in the limited case, and it went out of its way to say limited case, when the DA is the object of the Grand Jury investigation, and the Grand Jury asks the judge to appoint an Attorney Pro Tem to assist them, the judge can appoint an attorney Pro Tem because [1] the DA is the object of the investigation, and [2] the Grand Jury, not a defendant trying to hand pick the prosecuting attorney, requests the appointment of an attorney pro tem.

"When a lawyer is or may be a witness necessary to establish an essential fact, Texas Disciplinary Rule of Professional Conduct 3.08 prohibits the lawyer from acting as both an advocate and a witness in an adjudicatory proceeding." In Re Bill Martin Sanders, 153 S.W.3rd 54 (Tex. 2004) (For anyone interested in learning how these hearings work you can read the Sanders case) Judge Banales based his disqualification of DA Guerra on Rule 3.08. Judge Banales’ concern is DA Guerra is the alleged victim in these 5 cases.

If this is true and it raises to the level of a conflict of interest of a due process nature, then the defendant would be free to file a motion to disqualify DA Guerra. The Court would then consider the motion at a hearing. "the motion may not be granted without the defendant proving at a hearing that there is a conflict of interest that rises to the level of a due process violation."

My issue is not whether in the end upon a hearing we will have the same result, my issue is the lack of transparency by Judge Banales. This is a case which has caught the attention of the world. Judge Banales with full knowledge the world is watching how our judicial system works when a sitting VP and former US Attorney General are the objects of indictments, decides he is going to run roughshod over the laws and constitution. This has diminished the integrity of our entire legal system in the eyes of the world.

Canon 2A of the Code of Judicial Conduct

"A. A judge shall comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."
Based on what you now know can you say that Judge Banales actions "promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary." I still have not gotten to the Armando Villalobos mess part of this.

Canon 3B(2) of the Code of Judicial Conduct

"(2) A judge should be faithful to the law and shall maintain professional competence in it. A judge shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism.
Given the clear ruling in the original Guerra decision can you say Banales has been faithful to the law?

Canon 3B(8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct

A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person's lawyer, the right to be heard according to law. A judge shall not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications or other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties ... . "

Given the fact the decision to hear argument on DA Guerra’s removal based on a oral motion when the DA was not present in the court, can you say Judge Banales complied with this Canon?
Here is a little quirk, the judge who will hear the Motion to Recuse Judge Banales will have a legal duty to report to the Commission on Judicial Conduct Judge Banales violation of these Canons.

Canon 3D(1) of the Code of Judicial Conduct

(1) A judge who receives information clearly establishing that another judge has committed a violation of this Code should take appropriate action

THE VILLALOBOS CONNECTION

According to Judge Banales, Alfredo Padilla, the appointed attorney pro tem, is an assistant DA under Armando Villalobos. Villalobos currently prosecutes cases before Judges Leal and Lopez. This is an appearance issue. How are Judges Lopez and Leal going to feel about being prosecuted by an attorney pro tem who also prosecutes cases in their respective courts. And even if Padilla is removed from all cases pending before Leal and Lopez, there is the question of appearance that Judges Leal and Lopez would expect Villalobos to put pressure on Padilla to drop the criminal complaints against them.

This is a clear conflict of interest. So why did Judge Banales appoint Padilla? He wanted to make sure the indictments would be dropped. Would not commonsense have dictated that Judge Banales appoint an attorney pro tem out of Hidalgo county so that there would not be a conflict of interest?

For all of the reasons cited herein I am filing a complaint against Judge Banales with the Commission on Judicial Conduct. But I do know that without press coverage of same the Commission will do nothing. They only act when the press is watching.

I am also filing a complaint against Alfredo Padilla. He knows Banales has violated these rules of Judicial Conduct. He knows Guerra’s rights were violated. He as a lawyer has a duty report these violations to he Commission. He has not. Like everything else coming out of Villalobos office - it smells bad.

I can only hope the new US Attorney, regardless of what happens, will open an obstruction of justice investigation against Judge Banales and Alfredo Padilla. These indictments may very well all be bogus, but this is not how you go about getting them dismissed. Especially when the world is watching.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

BV WEDNESDAY'S EDITION TO BE HARD HITTING - I HAVE THE DOCUMENTS TO SHOW JUDGE BANALES HAS ENGAGED IN CORRUPTION IN THE WILLACY COUNTY INDICTMENTS CASE. I WILL BE ASKING THE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT TO REMOVE HIS JUDICIAL CREDENTIALS AS A SANCTION FOR HIS CONDUCT
BLACK FRIDAY HELP, AND A COMMENT ON WILLACY COUNTY

Today I wanted to post a hard hitting piece on Willacy County but my source failed to bring me the documents. Maybe tomorrow. This is my concern, Judge Banales knows he violated the rules of professional conduct when he discharged Juan Guerra from 5 of the cases. The lawyers who presented the motions know they violated the rules of professional conduct.

Here is my question, even if the indictments are bogus, and Juan Guerra cannot be the victim and prosecutor at the same time, does he not have a right to fair notice that the trial judge intends to remove him from 5 of the cases. What does it say about the Attorney Pro Tem who was appointed to replace Guerra. He knows the judge and the attorneys violated the rules of professional conduct, but yet stands there in open court and says - "I’m okay with unethical conduct."

This case deserves transparency. The local and national press get an "F" for their coverage of this issues.

BLACK FRIDAY

As a service to my readers you can go to this link and get a quick look at who has what on sale on Black Friday. You can begin now to plan your Friday madness. I have never participated in Black Friday. This will be my first. I shopped around and found an item I have been looking for, and the price is just too good to not get on line at midnight in hopes I will be able to buy what I want at the price I want.

http://www.blackfriday.info/

Monday, November 24, 2008

HAS OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM FAILED US, OR DO WE JUST LACK A MORAL COMPASS?

Parents across the US invest millions of dollars into the education of their children to insure that upon graduation from high school they can attend an Ivy League school. It has reached the point of insanity in some places. Parents who can afford it put their unborn children on waiting lists for daycare and preschool - because they are allegedly the right schools.

All over the US there are mega-churches spreading the word of Jesus, not Joshua. As I have said before there is no relationship between the teachings of Christian churches and Joshua. In the last 28 years we have seen a mega growth in Christian churches. What exactly have they brought to the table to make our society better?

Exactly where did all of the financial geniuses go to school who are now part of the collapse of our financial system? Ivy League schools - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia, to name a few. Can anyone say an MBA from these schools is worth the paper they are printed on? What went wrong with their training that brought us to this mess? Given their past performance, do we trust them again? We do not have a choice because they are in charge and they will do the hiring of future employees.

So what went wrong? I have no idea whether the indictments in Willacy county are valid. I am what every attorney calls the perfect juror. I can only make a decision based on the evidence and jury charge. My heart wants the indictments to be real. I want a message to be sent to all politicos and corporate entities that there will be accountability. But neither of these are evidence.

Americans are good at complaining - but when it comes to acting they run and hide. Today some may stand with Juan Guerra, the Willacy County DA, but the second it no longer serves their political ends they will turn on him. It is the nature of a weak people who fear real battles for change. When Juan Guerra in the future speaks out against some of the very people who now allegedly support him, they will turn and say - "he was a nut job who tried to indict the vice-president." Cowards they be, because they were raised to be self serving instead of standing on higher principles.

So in the end, I guess the problem is, even Ivy League schools fail to teach our children the greater higher principles which should guide them. The churches have failed because of instead of teaching positive moral principles they are sending everyone to hell for not doing as the church commands of them.

Maybe, it is time for parents to turn off the TV and video games and have a conversation with their children on the difference between right and wrong. Maybe it is time parents stop putting the responsibility for teaching their children positive morality on the schools and churches. Maybe it is time the parents take up the lesson by and through example.

Friday, November 21, 2008

WILLACY COUNTY UPDATE

(This is today's 3rd post)

FINAL UPDATE:

Judge Banales was unable to secure advice from the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court as to how to proceed given Juan Guerra's Motion to Recuse. Under normal circumstances a judge subject to a Motion To Recuse would forward same on to the Regional Administrative Judge for hearing. In this case it would have to go to the Texas Supreme Court for assignment of a judge, assuming the Texas Supreme Court does its job.

According to press reports everything is on hold until Wednesday next. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6125528.html I do not know if these indictments are bogus, but Judge Banales, along with all of the defense attorneys have turned this into a three-ring circus. They have shown the world that the lawyers and judges of the LRGV are so accustom to their corrupt ways of ignoring the law that it would not occur to them to play by the rules at least while the world is watching.

Had the defense attorneys simply followed the rules by filing their motions and getting a proper setting, we would not be in this mess. Judge Banales has brought shame to the Texas Judiciary and South Texas for his handling of this matter. His continued presence in the matter may only serve to prolong the inevitable - the dismissal of the indictments.

ORIGINAL POST BEFORE UPDATE

I will keep this post updated as things proceed. The latest I know of, which may not be the latest is Banales stopped the hearings to consult with the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. There is an unresolved question of law as to whether or not a Regional Administrative Judge is subject to recusal. While the statute is unclear the constitutional law on the issue is black and white. You are entitled to a fair and impartial judge in the first instance.

Juan Guerra has filed a Motion to Recuse Judge Banales. I have real concerns about whether or not Judge Banales is playing fair and following all rules of Due Process.

clerk here for the update.

http://www.examiner.com/a-1703964~Hearing_on_Cheney_indictment_turns_chaotic.html

Banales is making what is clearly a bad situation worse. There is no doubt that Guerra cannot be the victim and prosecutor at the same time. BUT, Banales seems to believe that Due Process (notice and opportunity to respond) has no place in his court. He ignored proper procedure when he held the first hearing, thereby making it look like the entire thing is a three ring circus. When he recused Guerra, and rightfully so, he ignored proper procedure by not providing Guerra an opportunity to respond. If the story is correct attorneys went to Banales ex parte (meaning with notice to Guerra to appear -and in a private hearing) and secured his recusal from the case. This by itself should be enough for Banales to have to remove himself from the case.

The indictments may all be bogus, but Banales' handling of the case is making it into a three ring circus. As to Judges Leal and Lopez, they know it violates the rules of judicial conduct to conduct ex parte hearings. Why did they authorize their attorneys to engage is said hearings? Their message to every lawyer in Cameron County is clear - if you are privileged you can obtain an ex parte hearing before Leal or Lopez. This in effect denies justice to everyone.It is sad how Banales and the lawyers are making a bad situation worse. Banales must recuse himself for his unethical conduct in this case. This case needs transparency - when a sitting judge grants orders ex parte there is no transparency

On the issue of the Order Recusing Guerra - the news media gets an "F" I first heard about this yesterday from a Raymondville reporter. There is way too much confusion on this issue. 5 News is reporting Guerra argued against them this morning. The press needs to get to the real facts - was there an order signed yesterday ex parte or not?

5 news failed to mention in its report Guerra's Motion to Recuse Judge Banales.
THE INCOMPETENT COL RAY, (I AM CONFIDENT OUR TROOPS BECAME SAFER THE DAY HE LEFT THE MILITARY) OUTRIGHT LIED TO HIS LISTENERS ABOUT THE OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE CASE - DAVIS RANKIN - TIME TO FIRE THIS BIGOT

(This is my second post for today: If the press reports are clear and helpful I will post a third comment on the Willacy County mess.)

Yesterday Col. Ray was implying to his listeners that the Supreme Court is going to hear the case against President elect Obama as it relates to his birth certificate. This is where the case is at this time. I could file a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court demanding they declare Col Ray a moron. They would set a schedule for when Col. Ray would have to respond.

The last numbers I saw on Petitions for Writs of Certiorari indicate less than 100 cases are heard of the some 8000 filed.

Col. Ray outright lied when he lead his listeners to believe Justice Souter has acted on this case in a favorable way. Justice Souter DENIED the Application for Stay. The clerk then set a briefing schedule in the same way he does with the other 8000 cases.
THE DE LEON CASE, AND THE WILLACY COUNTY INDICTMENTS CALL OUT FOR REFORM OF THE GRAND JURY PROCESS, AND WHEN A DA MUST RECUSE THEMSELVES

I will have an afternoon post on the Willacy County mess. I wanted to attend the hearings, but I have to be elsewhere this morning - sorry.

But for now, I want to address an issue which ties De Leon and Guerra together. The Court of Appeals rightfully so granted De Leon a stay because Villalobos is seeking to prosecute her while claiming to be the victim. I hope the national press corp picks up on this story. It only furthers supports my claim that the Democrats of the LRGV view corruption as a birthright. It should further come as no surprise that Judge Limas did not see a problem with the victim prosecuting the alleged wrongdoer. Judge Limas cannot be that incompetent. He simply considers the law as something to be ignored.

The press reports indicate Judge Banales has removed Juan Guerra from several of the cases in Willacy County for the same reason, you cannot be the victim and the prosecutor at the same time. The case of Judge Lopez bothers me a lot. I do believe the new US Attorney needs to open an aggressive investigation against Judge Lopez for what is a clear pattern of obstructing grand jury proceedings. It is a very dangerous situation when a judge believes she can obstruct grand juries with impunity. I have testified before grand juries three times. In a murder case, with a confession, the DA ordered the grand jury to ignore the evidence. The man was No Billed. In a perjury case the grand jury foreman threatened multiple witnesses for pursuing the perjury charges. When it was learned he was friends with the man who committed perjury the DA was forced to remove the grand jury foreman. Grand Juries are not independent, and are mostly a joke. When you add this to an out of control judge or DA, you have a situation for massive abuse.

Grand Jury reform is long overdue in Texas. Maybe these two cases will force the State Legislature to consider reform of the Grand Jury process, and creation of clear rules for when a DA cannot serve in a case.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

OBAMA’S PICKLE, and THE BIRTHRIGHT OF CORRUPTION IN THE LRGV

There seems to be a lot of talk that President elect Obama would be mistaken to ask the Department of Justice to investigate criminal activity by the Bush Administration. Some say it would appear petty and some say that it would create a distraction from the real problems facing the country, the failed economy.

I say bullshit to both excuses. If President elect Obama does not demand full investigations against Bush and his cronies for criminal activity, then he is sending a message that the Executive Branch of government is above the law. Nixon was not above the law, and he paid the price with the loss of his presidency.

Beyond that, why is the economy in shambles? Because no one believed they could be held accountable. ENRON sent a clear message to the Bush Administration that corporate America considered itself above the law. Bush responded with nothing in any meaningful sense.
If President elect Obama fails to bring criminal prosecutions against members of the Bush Administration as needed, then the message will be clear to his own people - you are above the law. The greater message will be, nothing will change.

This is how we got to the point of the politicos in the LRGV being corruption is a birthright. President elect Obama needs to argue to the American people that the criminal prosecutions are needed to insure everyone understands the law matters. He needs to argue that the current economic crisis is a consequence of years of corruption. Without criminal prosecutions the notion that being corrupt is a birthright of members of the Executive Branch of government will become imbedded in the culture of Washington.

Some will say this is all for naught because President Bush is going to issue pardons. Well, the question is, can a President issue pardons for unknown crimes? Can the President issue pardons for all actions taken while in his service whether known or not known at the time of the pardon? I would be shocked if even this Supreme Court would uphold such pardons. If Bush makes such an attempt Congress must respond with legislation banning such a practice. Yes there will be a constitutional challenge to such a law, but that is what the courts are for. And if necessary it could lead to a Constitutional Amendment. The country is ready to end the birthright mentality of criminal conduct by and among Executive Branch employees.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EDDIE LUCIO JR.’S INDICTMENT MAY BE VALID ON ITS FACE, BUT MAY FAIL ON THE EVIDENCE

(This is my second post today on the issue)

While I agree my headline is confusing, that is the system. A Motion to Quash will address one thing and one thing only - does the indictment state a crime if the facts as alleged are true?

"§ 36.07. ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM. (a) A public servant commits an offense if the public servant solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept an honorarium in consideration for services that the public servant would not have been requested to provide but for the public servant's official position or duties. (b) This section does not prohibit a public servant from accepting transportation and lodging expenses in connection with a conference or similar event in which the public servant renders services, such as addressing an audience or engaging in a seminar, to the extent that those services are more than merely perfunctory, or from accepting meals in connection with such an event. (c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor."

Given the fact this is a misdemeanor case I do not know why an indictment was even necessary.
That aside, based solely on the indictment and nothing else, I do not see how this gets past a full evidentiary hearing. You cannot indict someone for being a consultant. The DA is going to have to produce evidence that Senator Lucio encouraged people to hire him because of his position as a state senator. Even then I am not sure you get to a criminal act. I would hope the DA would have to tie something to Senator Lucio’s official role as a state senator. My question is, how was Senator Lucio able to influence these contracts based on being a state senator. It better take something more than being a state senator or else a lot of people are in a lot of trouble.

Rene Oliveira was hired at the 11th hour as a defense attorney in some high profile personal injury case several years back. He was hired for one reason and one reason only, to stop the trial. Because the Legislature was in session at the time, he was able to use what is known as a Legislative continuance to stop the trial. This is done far too often in Texas.

This would be a black and white case of where a State Representative was hired solely because of his position as a State Representative. In the case of Senator Lucio it is iffy at best. If Oliveira and other State Representatives can be hired on a regular basis as a way to stop a trial, and it is not considered a criminal act, how then can being a consultant without something more be a criminal act when done by a state senator.

I know some of you will be mad for my defense of Senator Lucio, but I call them as I see them. As more evidence comes out, I may change my mind. I still hope the national press corp will look at the Brownsville Navigation District case of the missing $21.4 million.
WHY THE WILLACY COUNTY INDICTMENTS MATTER EVEN IF THEY ARE BOGUS

If nothing else the indictments will get the news media looking at South Texas and its history of corruption. This in turn could lead to President elect Obama realizing the Southern District of Texas is in desperate need of a US Attorney from outside of Texas.

Without looking at the indictment, the evidence, and relevant laws, I am at a loss to understand the Cheney indictments. As to Al Gonzales, it is fully expected that President Bush will be issuing a pardon. If it were not for the fact former Senate Judiciary Chair Leahy (D) covered for Gonzales when Gonzales withheld evidence of perjury by a judicial candidate, the Democrats would have pushed for Gonzales’ indictment a long time ago. The Democrats got in bed with Gonzales too many times. So while there is no doubt in my mind, Gonzales could be indicted in other cases on charges of obstruction of justice, he will not. The Democrats will never sacrifice their own. So unless Leahy were to die, the new US Attorney will be right there protecting Gonzales, unless Bush issues the pardon, which is fully expected, thereby negating any coverup by the new US Attorney.

The more interesting indictment is that of State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. Michael Cowen unfortunately sent up red flags like flares from the Titanic. When your uncle works for the indicted individual and your father sits on a Board which many believe actively covered for Senator Lucio’s role in the missing 21.4 million dollars, you are basically telling the national press corp, "hey over here guys, we have something to hide." The reality is, there may be nothing to hide. It just does not pass the smell test.

As a community our hopes should be that the national press corp will stumble onto the Brownsville Navigation District story and the missing 21.4 million dollars for the non-existent bridge. There is no factual dispute Senator Lucio made money on the deal. There is no factual dispute that Senator Lucio’s defense attorney Michael Cowen’s uncle works for Senator Lucio. There is no factual dispute that when the DA used a forfeiture action to force Dannenbaum to pay over 1 million dollars to the office of the DA instead of back to the BND and the taxpayers, Michael Cowen’s father, a BND Board member effectively remained silent. As I previously posted on the BV, when the US attorney faced a similar case, he made the wrongdoer give the money back as restitution.

"United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle (r.) presents a $2 million check to the City of Houston through City Attorney, Arturo Michel. The money represents restitution that Republic Services Inc. has agreed to pay the City of Houston for recycling purposes after entering into an agreement to cooperate with an ongoing criminal investigation"

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txs/

Why did the BND Board Members not yell "hell no" when Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos took the money for his office, instead of returning it to the people by and through restitution?

Judge Lopez and the BISD La Pampa Affair remains in my mind a clear case of obstruction of justice. Texas provides for a grand jury referral. This basically means any citizen can file with the presiding judge over the grand jury a request that the grand jury investigate criminal wrongdoing. I filed all of the proper paperwork with Judge Lopez. It never made it to the grand jury. The issue was the criminal conduct related to the La Pampa Affair. To remind readers this was the case of the BISD Board Members accepting a dinner from a vendor while having what Texas law would call a meeting at La Pampa. I have been waiting for the appointment of the new US Attorney before asking for an investigation. I do believe the time is now ripe to take the matter to the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

"[F]our board members, including board president Enrique Escobedo, board vice president Herman Otis Powers Jr., Susan Galvan and Pat Lehmann were treated to dinner at La Pampa restaurant by Art Reyna, a representative of Vitetta, an architectural firm that specializes in school buildings"

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/board_73872___article.html/school_members.html

"We are a body corporate, Lehmann said, addressing Cortez directly. We are a team of eight, sir. We work as a team, but this is conspiracy. If you must pass judgment, then we are all guilty, sir."

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/board_73872___article.html/school_members.html


We all know the corruption in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is real beyond human comprehension. It is now time to pray that the national press corp will give us a serious look at and going over. In the end I do not know if any of the indictments issued in Willacy county are valid. But they certainly will force the national press to look at the political reality of the LRGV’s history of unrelenting corruption.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ALTHOUGH THE REPUBLICANS ARE LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FAILURE OF THE BIG THREE, THEY MAY BE THE WINNERS WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE

If you want to inform Ortiz, Cornyn, and Hutchison how you feel about the new proposed bailout click below.

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/headlines.tt

Years of being paid off by lobbyists has finally forced the Republican Party to face the reality of its failed policies when it comes to the big three auto makers. It is true many Democrats in auto manufacturing states also took the money, but those with the biggest held out hands were the Republicans.

Every time the Democrats tried to force an increase in fuel efficiency, the big three sent their lobbyists out to pay off the politicians to stop the legislation. The lobbyists and politicians were paid millions to block the legislation. We are now paying the price for years of abuse by corporate America, lobbyists, and politicians. What I would like to see is a list of every politician who took money from the big three, even if indirectly, and favors from the lobbyists to stop the legislation which would have forced better fuel efficiency.

Today we are faced with the question, with 25 billion in loans already extended to the big three, should the American taxpayer provide them another 25 billion in bailout money? I say no.

I read the other days the UAW said no more concessions. Oh really? - then no taxpayer money.

This issue could turn into a positive for the Republicans if misplayed by the Democrats. The blame falls squarely with the Republicans, but the American people oppose the bailout. If the bailout passes once President elect Obama is in office, the people will be infuriated with the Democrats and the Republicans will be allowed to claim the upper hand in the debate. This is sad because the problem was caused by the Republicans, with a pinch of help from some Democrats.

It seems to me the Democrats will never tell the UAW what they need to hear- major cuts in benefits for workers and retirees. It is not the responsibility of the government to tax our grandchildren to pay for the current wages of UAW workers and corporate executives.

I say let them file for bankruptcy and let the best company emerge the victor. The American consumer is not in a position to buy cars at this time. What is the point in keeping afloat failed companies which produce cars no one wants? What is the point of keeping an industry afloat to manufacture cars no one can afford to buy.

The government continues to fail to understand that the average American spent more than 6 percent more than they earned last year. Far too many Americans are all credit out. They cannot afford their current payments. With an influx of a trillion dollars into the financial markets nothing will change until we pay down our debt.

Maybe it is time to rethink the deporting of 10 million consumers because that is what Reputrican talk radio wants. Again, another failure of the Republican Party.

Monday, November 17, 2008

BISD’S FAILURE LEADS TO POSSIBLE REBELLION AT UTB/TSC

The Herald to my surprise covered a story coming out of UTB/TSC which effectively verifies that BISD and UTB/TSC are failures. Then to my surprise, in a blind editorial, the Herald begs for lower standards for BISD because of its unique location on the border. Apparently, the person who penned the blind editorial has never been out of Brownsville, and spoke with zero knowledge as to reality, when BISD is compared to other school districts.

Something I have been calling for, for months, appears to be happening at UTB/TSC. The Faculty Senate is taking a stand against the Garcia Administration. It seems without consultation Juliet Garcia and her lemmings decided to not hold the dual credit students to the same standards as the regular students. This has infuriated the Faculty Senate.

Important to the story is the fact UTB/TSC enrollment would have dropped by 529 students since 2004, had it not been the for dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is for students who are ready to take college level courses. This program was never designed for the average student. Somehow, Juliet Garcia has managed to get the various school districts to promote the program to students who are not prepared for college level courses. The only reason for this was to raise the enrollment numbers. This is yet another fraud on the community and taxpayers.

Apparently, the dual enrollment students, who include more than just BISD, are not making the grades. Last year when UTB/TSC was faced with record loses in terms of financial aid to its students, because of the record number of students failing, UTB/TSC started a program called SAP. The idea was to use SAP to get students back on the right track so that they would not loose their financial aid. Large numbers of students have failed to participate in the program, according to previous articles published in the Collegian.

There can be no doubt that the only reason to not include the dual enrollment students in SAP is to keep them on the enrollment lists. This is a fraud on the community. If they are not ready to take college level courses, then they should be removed from the program. This is the worst form of affirmative action there is. There is nothing more insulting to the community than a policy which states, if we lower the standards they will succeed. NO - there is never success in lower standards.

Since Hector Gonzales became the Superintendent at BISD, the high school TAKS scores have come down. He must go. There is no time to loose on this issue. We must raise standards at BISD and not look for pathetic excuses such as proposed in the Herald’s blind editorial on Sunday.
I understand we are a poor community. But you can go to poor communities throughout the world, where there is a policy of no excuses, and find students who are out performing American students, even in good school districts.

NYC school district is recovering from years of mismanagement. Their teachers are dealing with students who speak no English, such as BISD. The major difference is in Brownsville, Spanish is the only real language other than English the super majority of the students speak. In NYC they speak well over 100 languages other than English. Try managing that and see how far you go.
The students at BISD will not succeed outside of Brownsville until we raise the standards. I do believe the decision of school districts to teach to TAKS has been a major contributor to the failure of our students. If BISD students are not being taught to take notes from lecture, should it be a surprise that when they get to UTB/TSC they do not know how to take notes from lectures or their books?

I have done six week assignments in Dallas and Point Isabel. In both cases I was told that the students are not equipt to take notes during lecture. Okay - THEN TEACH THEM AND STOP MAKING EXCUSES. I lecture from an outline. I put the outline on the board (today I use power point). I leave several spaces wherein they the students must fill in the blanks. I am teaching them the skill of making an outline. They need this skill if they are to succeed in college.

I only give fill in the blank and short answer tests. A study guide in high school, if properly done teaches the skills of organizing your notes for test preparation. This is another skill we must be teaching the students. When students are forced to use their notes to look up all of the answers on the study guide they learn the material. They then have something to study. Again, these are skills which must be taught at the high school level.

It is time to fire Hector Gonzales. It is time to hire a superintendent who will put teaching back into the classroom. I propose the BISD Board create a citizens board which is composed of parents, educators, and UTB instructors. The goal is to identify what BISD can better do to prepare their students for UTB?TSC.

The following is a comment related to BISD. I am running late today. A morning appointment which should have had me back home by 8:45 turned out to be a nightmare. I did not know it takes 4 ½ hours for a transmission fluid change.

fyi http://www.bisd.us/html/Board_Agendas_08_09.html

Where is the $$$$$$$$$$$ going????????????
I will try and look into this BISD issue tonight

Friday, November 14, 2008

My general review of Quantum Solace is ehh. Neither story line was ever fully developed and at the end you were hoping the director would put in an explanation, but nothing.

Side before I continue: I do not believe in coincidences. On Friday I mocked Eddie Lucio III. While leaving the men’s room after the movie, a man comes barging into the men’s room clearly trying to hold his bladder, and in the process nearly knocked me down. It was none other than Eddie Lucio III. He was clearly in too much of a rush to notice. He did say excuse me.

Daniel Craig as in his first outing as Bond did a great job. Judi Dench was great. She delivered every line with precision. The problem with the movie is there was way too much action, no gadgets (guys no gadgets in a bond movie?), and two story lines which took forever to reveal.

One story line is Bond seeking revenge for the death of his love interest in the first Daniel Craig Bond film. The other story line - not sure - had something to do with come corrupt organization trying to buy a coup d’etat in Bolivia for water, oil or diamonds - I have no idea. The director could not decide which it was so he never tells you.

If you like watching Daniel Craig and Judi Dench performing their craft go see the movie. Otherwise wait until it makes it to the dollar theater.
DOES OBAMA’S EMPLOYMENT QUESTIONNAIRE ELIMINATE ALL VALLEY DEMOCRATS FROM AN APPOINTMENT IN HIS ADMINISTRATION?

Politicians will have to give up all of their campaign finance reports. I can see the horror on Eddie Lucio III’s face when he tries to explain his political career has been financed by Bob Perry, the arch enemy of the Democratic Party. This is where we separate out the men from the boys.
Daddy Lucio JR. never figured that his conduct would matter, after all he has the protection of the Texas Democratic Party, and the money from every dirty source imaginable. For the Lucios we can hope the rooster is finally coming home to roost.

How is Eddie Lucio III going to explain his father’s role in the missing 21.4 million dollars from the BND. Please Eddie - apply for a job - it may finally get the FBI to look into the matter. Eddie I am begging - please apply for a job. Who would ever consider Jr’s role in the BND mess a "possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the president-elect?"

Question 8: "Briefly describe the most controversial matters you have been involved with during the course of your career."

Question 63: "Please provide any other information, including information about other members of your family, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the president-elect."

Basically, what is happening is, the Democrats of the LRGV are realizing that outside the LRGV they have no one to cover for them. I would be shocked to learn that Juliet Garcia is interested in anything more than a transition role. For everything she isn’t she is smart enough to know she survives because the Herald keeps the truth from the people. She knows a review by the national press corp would reveal a world of mismanagement which would force UT to relieve her of her duties. The world would be horrified to learn of the racial discrimination she openly supports against the people of Brownsville by having the 95% Latino community as the only community in Texas taxed to fund the construction of a UT campus.

The rooster is coming home to roost. The question is, are these people like Eddie Lucio III, who want administration jobs, so stupid as to think that their role in the corruption in the LRGV will be ignored? Is he so stupid that he thinks his comments against gay rights is not already on file with all the right people who will have a voice in the Obama Administration?

Oh, they are also asking questions about Face Book. When I see adult males with Face Book pages I think of 12 year old girls all giggly over their first boy crush. Therapy people therapy.
Yes, the rooster has come home to roost.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

WHILE THE REPUBLICAN REORGANIZATION IS BAD FOR DEMOCRATS, IS IT GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY

Republican talking heads are debating the future of the Republican Party. Something I have heard over and over again is, they must capture the vote of the under 30 group. An issue for the under 30 group is social conservatism (which is not conservative by any means). The under 30 group opposes social conservatism.

I am enjoying Rush these days because he is in a free fall. He knows that Reputrican talk radio and Fox news with all of their bias had no meaningful impact on the election. It must be depressing to remain impotent while on Viagra. Yesterday he already claimed the recession is Obama’s recession. Rush and Hannity will not change. President elect Obama could turn the economy around, successfully end the wars, and Hannity will be saying "unbelievable, why did it take him so long?"

But there is a move afoot in the Republican Party to reexamine its purpose. For far too long the Republican thinking heads took on the Rush and Hannity of approach of claiming doom if Democrats are elected. What the Republicans failed to understand is, you have to stand for something more than saying if the Democrats get elected the world will end as we know it.

Independents control national elections in the US. Whoever controls the independents will control the White House. You will not secure the independent and young voters on your side so long you are obsessed with regulating the privacy of people’s homes and lives. This means the Republican Party must abandoned the Religious Right.

So my question is, if Republicans become true fiscal conservatives, while abandoning the false conservatism in social conservatism, can they take back the country?

I say yes, unless the Democrats equally adjust. The key for both sides is to keep an eye on the pulse of the independent and young voters.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

IN THE MIDST OF THE WORST ECONOMIC CRISIS SINCE THE DEPRESSION, WHERE ARE OUR LOCAL LEADERS - IN NEVER, NEVER LAND- TIME TO RAISE IMPACT FEES

Yesterday it was announced that the US Post Office will layoff 40,000 workers. This comes on the back of the DHL decision to layoff 10,000 workers. Yesterday we learned of several LRGV companies announcing layoffs. For the most part the LRGV has been immune to the worst of the crisis because we have a shorter distance to fall before hitting bottom, and our economy is not as tied to the banking and the financial markets.

Has anyone heard of any leadership coming from anyone as to how we are going to weather the storm. With gas down below a $1.70 a gallon, many of us are happy with the more than 50% savings we are experiencing since the high of $3.99 in July, If you do not have a job, gas at a $1.00 a gallon may not mean much.

I am amazed that at the national level Republicans are still pushing for deporting 10 million consumers. If you think things are already getting bad, wait until you take an additional 10 million consumers out of the picture. Again this is a lack of leadership.

So again, what can the local leadership do help easy the crisis. Some may be shocked by this, because it tends to go against the grain of commonsense, but I say it is time the City Commission hit the builders with at least a $4,000 impact fee. I know I have discussed this before, but maybe this time it will make more sense.

Whether it is the City of Brownsville, Cameron County, or BISD, all need your property taxes to survive. With foreclosure up, property values will come down. As property values come down so too will tax revenues. Lower tax revenues mean financial crisis at the city, county, and BISD levels. Just several weeks ago Dallas ISD was forced to layoff hundreds of teachers because of reduced tax revenues.

Four years ago when we put the Dallas house on the market it was appraised at 180 thousand. Today our best offer on the house is 80 thousand. The foreclosure situation in Dallas is bad. You can bet we have demanded the taxes be lowered on the house.

So why the high impact fee? We need to force people to buy existing housing. If we can force people to start to buy the foreclosed houses, and other existing housing on the market, then property values will initially stabilize, and eventually go up. Further, people will be buying homes which need repairs. In many cases, by forcing people into the used housing market we will begin the process of rebuilding run-down neighborhoods. This is generally good for Brownsville, and in the long and short run for the tax base.

At the end of the day when you increase the cost of new housing by $4,000 over night, you will force people to buy older houses. Yes, some construction workers will be laid off. The housing market is already way down. Some of these workers will end-up doing remodeling work. Maybe Brownsville needs to use some of its resources to better promote local businesses, such as remodeling businesses, instead of looking for another outside corporation demanding a handout.

SIDENOTE TO ANONY ON REJECTED COMMENT:

You use vulgar language to call me stupid because I have not figured out how to cheat the library out of the 25 cents for the color copies. Has it occurred to you that it would never occur to me to cheat the library?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BISD AND THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHMOST LIBRARIES NEED TO LEARN TO COOPERATE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN

Today’s post is going to be short. Yesterday I posted late and I imagine the morning readers are just now seeing yesterday’s post. The first thing I posted this morning is a copy of a Bill introduced by Senator Lucio, which if it passes should help address many of the issues about which I spoke in Monday’s post.

It seems to me that in Brownsville at just about every level there is no real meaningful cooperation between the various entities. There is only so much money. We cannot continually duplicate the other’s work. Another area is, the various entities need to support one another when possible.

On Sunday I was working with a child on a science project at the Central Library. Argelia Miller who knows me by face, because of course everyone has seen the movie Halloween, introduced herself to me. She along with a packed house of parents were there working on projects with their children.

I have suggested this before to no avail. Once the new BISD Board Members are in place I will suggest it to them. BISD needs to provide each library with two sets of all textbooks currently being used by BISD. It is very hard to work with the children as a tutor when you do not have access to the books. Another thing BISD needs to do is create a general access web link wherein parents or tutors can access information related to assignments. I know parents who have registered with the school can see similar information related to their child, but not all parents have done this. A general access web link would make it easier for everyone concerned.

We can fix many of the problems related to education if we just work together. More on this next week.

Oh, color copies at the Central Library are only 25 cents. The parent ahead of us was making color pictures of sharks for her daughter’s project. We made color pictures of tigers
SENATOR LUCIO INTRODUCED THE FOLLOWING BILL TO ADDRESS TRAINING OF TEACHERS AS RELATED TO SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS


S.B. No. 100


A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to professional development institutes for public school

teachers and paraprofessionals regarding education of students

with disabilities.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subchapter J, Chapter 21, Education Code, is

amended by adding Section 21.461 to read as follows:

Sec. 21.461. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTES REGARDING

EDUCATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. (a) The commissioner

shall develop and make available professional development

institutes for teachers and paraprofessionals relating to

research-based instructional services for students with

disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders.

(b) A professional development institute developed under

this section must address:

(1) disability-specific information necessary to

enable a teacher or paraprofessional to work effectively in the

classroom with students with disabilities;

(2) instructional techniques proven by scientifically

based research to be effective in teaching the curriculum required

under Section 28.002 to students with disabilities; and

(3) appropriate management of behaviors related to a

student's disability that may affect the student's performance.

(c) The commissioner shall adopt criteria for selection of

teachers and paraprofessionals authorized to attend a professional

development institute developed under this section. The

commissioner must give priority to teachers and paraprofessionals

who have a significant level of professional contact with students

with autism spectrum disorders.

(d) From funds appropriated for the purpose, the

commissioner shall pay a stipend to each teacher or

paraprofessional who completes a professional development

institute developed under this section. The commissioner shall

determine the amount of the stipend paid under this subsection.

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.

Monday, November 10, 2008

UTB/TSC AND BISD FAIL WHEN IT COMES TO SPECIAL EDUCATION

If you are the type person who loves to learn, can actually learn just about anything, but when it comes to output you fail, meaning demonstrating your knowledge, you may have some form of neurodevelopmental dysfunction. http://www.nldontheweb.org/levine.htm If you have this as an adult or you have a child who may have this, I strongly recommend you read, Mel Levines, A Mind at a Time. It will be like an awaking from a life long nightmare.

We are not going to solve the problems related to special education and mental illness impacting education in Brownsville until we address the underlying causes. A complete and total lack of education on the issue on the part of parents, educators, and administrators is the primary cause. Secondarily, I blame UTB/TSC for failing to adequately educate the teachers and future administrators on the issues. Thirdly, I blame BISD for not doing a better job using in service training to address these issues.

I started with a learning disability issue. The teachers are not doing their job in identifying the children in need. In the area of mental illness, middle school is a time when a lot of adolescents manifest symptoms of biologically based mental illnesses. Here is a good web link with information related to children. http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/schizophrenia_in_children


One of the most treatable mental illnesses is schizophrenia. If the child is seen by a pediatric psychiatrist, not a family practice psychiatrist, the disease is very treatable. 2-3 out of every 1000 children will develop schizophrenia between the ages of 13 and 19. http://books.google.com/books?id=vQ7kGql8Fl0C&pg=RA1-PA302&lpg=RA1-PA302&dq=frequency+adolescent+schizophrenia&source=bl&ots=VkUwvPX2cU&sig=odKsvANEoewwPjLro6PkzJmUfr8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result
If teachers were equipt with basic training they would be able to know when a child needs to be assessed. If the teachers know the kid is basically a good kid and then the child starts to act out for no apparent reason, then the presumption should be something is wrong. Maybe they were molested at home. Maybe they are being verbally abused by their mother or father’s new love interest. Maybe they are hearing voices. In schizophrenia the voice will subside if the child does as the voice is telling them to do. If the voice says, call the principal an XXXXXXXXXX - once the child does as she is told, the voice will go away. This is 100% controllable with medication. This is not so complex that teachers cannot separate normal behavior from aberrant behavior.

It is simply too complex of an issue to lay blame on one source for the failure of the education system in Brownsville. It seems to me at each level there is complete failure. The first level of course goes to the parents. It is up to the parents to bring to the attention of the school officials things they notice about their children. If a child spells tiger, trieg, we have a problem. And while I am concerned that a 13 year old boy cannot spell tiger, I am compelled to ask how did a child get to age 13 in BISD and no one noticed he has some form or variation of dyslexia? The parents should be the first to notice this, but unfortunately, far too many parents are ill equipt to identify learning disabilities or challenges being faced by their child.

A quick side note before I continue with special education. There are numbers and then there is reality. BISD can submit any numbers it wants to any state or federal agency, but those numbers will not change reality. The parents know their children are failing. Parents know their children are dropping out. Parents know that their children are reaching UTB/TSC and having to take remedial courses because they were not properly prepared at BISD. Parents know their children are failing the remedial courses and dropping out of UTB/TSC. In the end, reality checks the BS numbers being put out by BISD.

These numbers are going to get worse sooner than people think. Under new guidelines issued by the Secretary of Education the base drop out rate will be calculated by measuring the difference between the number of 9th graders going into high school and the number of 12th graders graduating. The Secretary of Education is not going to buy stupid excuses from BISD like, students are moving away. The Secretary is going to ask questions like, "okay, then why is the number only going down between 9th and 12th, and not in other groups like 6th and 8th?
Another stupid excuse is, well 10% or more are taking 5 years to complete high school. That’s cool. But here is where BISD’s lame excuse falls apart. In hypothetical numbers only - lets say 500 students who enter 9th grade need 5 years to complete high school. So if, 5,000 enter 9th grade then based on those who need extra time only 4,500 will complete high school in 4 years.

Those 500 are in 11th grade when then should be in 12th. This means you will have 500 more students entering 12th grade the following year who were not part of the original 9th grade class. These 500 should compensate for the new 500 who will be delayed in their graduation. My bigger point is BISD will not get away with their lame excuses when it comes to the Department of Education.

A good portion of the students dropping out are special education students. Part of the problem, which Sarah Palin pointed out, is the federal government is providing insufficient funding to cover special education. Also, and more importantly the State of Texas is failing these students. I’ve never understood if education is a state issue, (Texas Constitution mandates the state shall fund education) why is it the job of the federal government to provide funding.

I am providing a web link for anyone interested in general information related to special education.
http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/learning_disabilities.shtml So part of the problem can be put on the federal and state governments for a lack of adequate funding.

Another part of the problem is the parents failing to bring the problems forward. I grow bored with BISD officials and Board Members who want parents to go to the internet to learn the rules. The children most in need have parents who have no idea what the internet is. They have no idea they can go to the library for help.

This is an area where the City of Brownsville is failing its residents. The Library System needs to launch an aggressive program to bring the parents into the system and teach them how to use the internet, how to obtain an e-mail, how to register with BISD to have their child’s daily attendance and progress reports e-mailed to them. BISD and the City of Brownsville library system should have a partnership on this issue.

The next institution I blame for the special education problems facing BISD is UTB/TSC. They get an "F" in the training of future teachers when it comes to identifying who needs and in referring children for special education services. For all practical purposes UTB is doing nothing along these lines. Once BISD knows its teaches are ill equipt to address these issues, it should have in service training on the issue of identifying children with special education needs. On this issue BISD gets an "F:" The Board Members have broad policy making authority. They can mandate such in service training. We shall see if the new Board is willing to do its job on this issue.

Another problem facing special education students in BISD is a BISD Administration unwilling to do its job. The principals are being asked to perform miracles with no resources. If once a principal is able to identify the problem and bring the teachers under control, they are still left with trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose.

Later in the week I will continue this discussion with more information and ideas where UTB/TSC, the City of Brownsville, BISD and Valley Baptist need to form a partnership to address these issues.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Role Models is an A+ film. While it is not for children, nudity and extreme language, the film is nonetheless hysterical, heart warming, and a good time for all. This is the film where the audience is continuously laughing out loud. It is a must to stay at the end for the out-clip.

Basically two guys who work together end up having to do 150 hours community service with children. The organization is headed by a wacko recovering drug addict. Each of the guys is assigned a dysfunctional child. The film is about their journey to self awareness, while helping the children deal with their own problems.

At some level you can say the film is KISS meets Brave Heart. The two main child actors are remarkable and will definitely have futures in Hollywood. The white kid is A+ - there is one scene in a parking lot where I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee myself. The black kid is A++ - only because he is younger and his creative use of bad words just seem to work for him. The audience loved this kid. Oh, he has a thing for boobs.

Again this file is not for children - but it is clearly for any adult who knows how to enjoy a good laugh.
CHANGE.GOV

http://change.gov/ is President elect Obama's web page
ADDRESSING THE CHANGES AT BISD, BUT FIRST THE DRAMA OVER OBAMA’S TRANSITION TEAM PICKS

CORRECTION: My deepest apologies to Juliet V. Garcia. She is in fact the first Mexican American University President. This is her honor, and I was mistaken in stating otherwise. Diana Natalicio is 100% German American. Every source I checked listed her as a Mexican American until I ran her name with German. UTB was kind enough to provide me with the correct information. I am leaving the original post as is for one reason and one reason only. I made a mistake and I will not try and hide it.

Because I love professionalism and always reward it, I am posting what was sent to me in a private e-mail from a UTB Administrator.

"No problem, Robert. I had read the same thing about Dr. Natalicio many times, as well." This is UTB's response to my correction. This is professionalism for those of you who have never seen it.

Reading all of the garbage on Juliet Garcia being selected to be on Obama’s transition team in Education makes me think of a group of drag queens fighting over an overturned truck of sequence dresses. There is nothing to it. It is no shock that the woman heading of up the transition team on Education, Judith Winston, a Clinton operative, would turn back to someone who worked on the same team in 1992, Juliet Garcia. Educators all over the US are being tapped as advisors on issues related to education. The idea that the Herald or anyone else locally would have an inside source that Juliet Garcia is heading for the position of Secretary of Education is so laughable it only goes to support those who think of us as idiots.

Here are just some names being considered for Education. Please note who is not listed.

Intel chairman Craig Barrett, who since retiring as C.E.O. of the company has become a leading business voice pushing for improved education, serving on commissions and committees including the No Child Left Behind Commission. Naming him would be a huge win for the argument that schools need to improve in order to help the economy.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who in his post-Bush administration life is leading an anti-high school dropout campaign

Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan, who is seen as a compromise choice: innovative but plays fair with teachers unions

Governors are generally seen as safe choices, and the names I’ve heard are Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Tim Kaine of Virginia.

http://gothamschools.org/2008/11/06/obama-hasnt-picked-an-ed-sec-but-maybe-a-transition-team/

And not that facts matter, but here are two important facts. Juliet Garcia was appointed president of UTB in 1992. http://pubs.utb.edu/president/Bio.htm Diana Natalicio was appointed president of UTEP in 1988. http://www.utep.edu/aboututep/presidentsbio.aspx Juliet Garcia was not the first Latina. (See my correction - I was wrong)

BISD

The Herald reported that Pat Lehmann blamed his loss in part on an Anglo name. This is so racist it boggles the mind. Lehmann’s loss was tantamount to a tar and feathering. Otis Powers lost by a hair. The last time I checked Powers is also an Anglo name.

The new BISD Board needs to make its first order of business the firing of Hector Gonzales. I would not give him a nickel in severance pay. If he sues he will only destroy any hope of finding himself another job. Once he sues it becomes the right of BISD to publish all the reasons for his discharge. This would not help him find another job.

The Interim-Superintendent needs to be told he/she will fire Art Rendon (SPED - Special Education) or not receive the position of Interim Superintendent. Here are two posts from readers I believe to be insiders at BISD.

"Let us educate the new board members first. Clearly Escobedo will be no longer be on the prevailing side. I want the new board members to make informative decisions. They need to get a good look at the true budget and find out what kind of mess they are in. There needs to be a full accountability of the SPED department. They have frozen SPED positions, they do not have enough Speech Pathologists or therapists to cover the districts. They have the regular SPED teachers doing and being responsible for the Speech IEP's. They will not have any outside speakers, only in house staff development. SPED teachers have not been paid the stipends promised for the in service held in August. The list goes on and on, but the board members really need to become well informed before making drastic and possibly costly decisions."

"The special education department needs to be revamped. The administrator is clueless and so are the special ed supervisors. The special ed teachers are bombarded with students and are not supported. Some of the AA's have to go also, especially the one that walks like a zombie. Come on wake up this woman is detrimental to any cluster."

I grow tired with people who claim the Board Members have very little power. Every Board Member has a mouth. There is no rule which prohibits Board Members from holding public meetings to inform the people about the political garbage on goings behind the scenes. This is how you hold people accountable.

Special education children are at high risk for dropping out. BISD has nothing in place in a meaningful way to train and or educate their teachers or administrators in dealing with special education children, especially those with disabling mental health issues. When a principal is faced with such a situation, he/she quickly learns there will be no support coming from BISD central. He/she quickly learns they are ill equipt to deal with such a child. He/she quickly learns that the teachers would rather incarcerate such children then provide them the help they need to succeed.

In the context of the Oliviera child I have spoken about in the past, things are better, but not where they need to be. Because the principal turned out to be a professional, he did not take my comments personal and remained focused on the child. He faced the reality that neither he nor any of the teachers had the background or training to deal with special needs children. He has done everything he can to make the environment safe for the child. The problem is, BISD has sent him to put out a fire without water, a fire truck or hoses. BISD will be sanctioned for its past and continued neglect of this child, but not because of the principal.

The problem remains with Art Rendon. He is clueless. He actually believes you can wait until the house burns to the ground before you call the fire department. Federal law does not provide for getting around to providing the principal the resources he needs whenever. The child is entitled to an education today - not some day. BISD has nothing in place for dealing with emergency situations. They will have these things in place after they get sanctioned, again.

If Juliet Garcia is going to be advising on Education during the transition she needs to lead on the issue of special education. We need more money to do a better job in training teachers and administrators. We need funding to test adults for learning disabilities so that they have a better chance at succeeding when they get to the Community College or University. I will speak more to this next week.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

BACK TO CHARTER REVIEW, BUT FIRST, AN INSIGHT INTO WHY INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR OBAMA IS BAD FOR THE BAD GUYS- OH YEA - ALASKA

On Alaska, the pundits are all acting shocked that Senator Stevens, the convicted felon was not voted out of office. The pundits are either liars or devoid of any knowledge of how the system works. Had the Republicans of Alaska punished Stevens by voting Democrat they would have ended up with a Democratic Senator for 6 years. By voting for Stevens, when he resigns, and he will, Governor Palin will appoint an interim Republican Senator to represent Alaska. This insures the seat remains Republican. They were not voting for Stevens, they were voting to keep the seat Republican.

President elect Obama, with whom I am infuriated at this moment, has garnered the support of the world. The morons on Reputrican talk radio, and Fox News loved to say international support of Obama was evidence Obama was bad for the US. WRONG!!!!! Russia, Iran, North Korea and the terrorists all know the world now stands with the US. What more powerful weapon could we have than the world coving our backs. Lincoln said "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Well the world is no longer divided against itself. They are united with President elect Obama and the American people.

CHARTER REVIEW

In the last week or so we saw two important events at the City Commission level which demonstrated a need for some type protection for Directors within the City of Brownsville, who speak against the antics and incompetence of the city commission. The employees within the City of Brownsville work for We the People and not the city commission or mayor.

This city commission, with Il Duce Troiani leading the Nancy Boys along the way to their own self destruction, fired the city attorney Jim Goza for all of the wrong reasons. Now, I am the first to say Jim became worthless as a city attorney some time ago. Rather than stand up and do his job at the City Commission meetings he played on the fence. Yes it is true, had he done his job, they would have fired him, but then at least he would have been clearly fired for doing his job and the people would have been more likely to come to his defense. (Awkward sentence yes, priceless for all the right reasons - yes)

What we now have is Jim Goza being fired as a scapegoat for the mistakes of the City Commission on the baseball franchise. When it suits Il Duce Troiani he tells his fellow commissioners to follow him because he understands these things as a lawyer. Well apparently he was all wrong on the baseball franchise contract. His incompetence on the issue may not only get the city sued by the baseball franchise company, but also Jim Goza for the city commission blaming him for their mistake.

The second example, which is also part of the nightmare which is the Brownsville Sports Complex, is the mess over drainage. Several of my readers were angry with me because I put part of the blame on the back of the Director of City Parks and Recreation, Skip Keller. While it is true he is not directly involved, he still should have noticed the problems. And as one of my readers noted - he probably did - he probably yelled at all of the right people until he was blue in the face. So why was nothing done? Because had he gone public he would have been fired.

I am not calling for civil service protection for the various city directors. But we do need some type citizen review board to review any grievance these city directors may have when they are fired. The review board should have the right to reinstate the directors if they find they were fired for the wrong reasons. The mere existence of such a review board should be enough to get any city commission to rethink firing a city director for political reasons.

The various city directors cannot serve the people of Brownsville to the best of the abilities if they have to fear being fired for pointing out the incompetence of the city commission.

The Charter Review Committee needs to recommend such a provision for the protection of the various directors within city government. In the end the people will be better served.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

AMERICA SHINES, WHY PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA WILL RULE FROM THE CENTER - AND A WORD ON BISD


THE FOLLOWING IS ADDED TO THE ORIGINAL POST

I ask that you take a few minutes to listen to Dr. King's 1963 "I have a Dream" speech. I ca assure you if I were teaching at BISD everyone of my classes would be watching this video. WHY? Because I remember.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUtL_0vAJk

I remember as if it is happening at this moment the Anglo parents in Boston with bats in hand meeting the buses filled with black children on the first day of forced busing.

I remember the day Dr. King was killed.I remember watching the hoses being turned on black civil rights protesters.

I remember Kent State when national guard opened fire on our children for the crime of protesting.

I remember my mother telling the story of a restaurant owner in 1947 Texas telling my father he had to leave because my mother was dark skin.

I remember my sister telling the story of being told to leave a restaurant in the 1950's because my brotherinlaw is Mexican American.

I remember.

Because of my fear of jinx I am hesitant to point out the following. The 16th President of the United States, Lincoln, was from Illinois. The 16th US Senator elected President of the United States is Illinois Senator Barack Obama. By itself it may not matter. I just find it interesting that the 16th President freed the slaves, and the 16th US Senator to be elected president is black.

Not to bore everyone, but I need to repeat something I said yesterday. I hope those who opposed President elect Obama, for a brief second, before taking on their important roles as the loyal opposition, can sit back and say - what a great moment for America. It took 13 generations for the son of an African to go from slave to president. It is a great moment in American history.

It is a great moment for the American people. It is also a testament to the American people that after you take your moment to feel pride that the son of an African immigrant can become president, you can rightfully and more importantly dutifully so take on your role as the loyal opposition. This is what makes America great.

WHY OBAMA WILL RULE FROM THE CENTER

2010 will not just be a mid-term election wherein tradition dictates the Party in power loses seats. 2010 is the census election. This means which ever party takes control of the various State Legislatures will control redistricting. Every Democratic member of the new House of Representatives knows this.

Given this simple fact I would be shocked if a Democratic House goes on a left wing voting spree. President elect Obama and the Democrats will governor from the center - or risk losing control of the House when the Republicans take control of redistricting.

There is more to political analysis than the ability to form a sentence or the throwing of distractions.

I hope President elect Obama understands the only way to put Texas into play in 2010 and 2012 is to force the creation of a new Texas Democratic Party. As a Democrat you cannot win Texas without the Lower Rio Grande Valley. And you know what, we are not voting in record numbers because we can no longer vote for the most corrupt politicians in the US. LRGV Democrats treat corruption like a birthright. Yes the LRGV voted Democrat, but not with the numbers one would expect. This is why the Republicans remain in control of State government.

Obama, you must appoint a US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas who is not from Texas. He/she must promise they will fill the federal prisons with the Democrats from South Texas. It is time to end the corruption and give us the Latino community of the LRGV a reason to vote Democrat. Putting Texas into play in 2010 and 2012 is the best way to secure your own future for a second term.

BISD ELECTION

It is very odd to me that Lehmann and Powers really believed that they could make the parents believe that all is well at BISD. It is their children who are failing. It is their children who are being denied an education. It is their children who are flunking out of UTB/TSC. Are Lehmann and Powers so out of tune with reality that they actually believed the parents would not notice their children are dropping out?

The new Board needs to make their official first act the immediate firing of Hector Gonzales. There should be no exit pay. TAKS scores at the highschool level went down under Gonzales. His incompetence resulted in BISD being sanctioned for violating the rights of special education students. They have more than enough cause to fire Gonzales.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A FINAL PARSING OF THE POLLS, AND WHY THE LRGV DOES NOT VOTE

But first, on the firing of Jim Goza - you sleep with dogs you get fleas. Unfortunately for the city of Brownsville this City Commission is looking for a city attorney who will rubber stamp their antics and illegal conduct. Jim Goza was not that man - at least some of the time. To his successor will go the spoils of war - except what goes around comes around. In May after the composition of the City Commission changes the new city attorney could also find himself fired for all of the wrong reasons.

THE ELECTION

The following link is for following the election results for Texas.

http://enr.sos.state.tx.us/enr/results/nov04_141.htm

The following link is for following Cameron County election results.

http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/Elections/results.html

Not only in the State of Texas, but throughout the country early voting has been remarkable. As of Wednesday 2.7 million Texans cast early ballots in the 15 largest counties. This compares with only 2.4 million total in 2004.

http://www.statesman.com/search/content/gen/ap/TX_BC_TX_Early_Voting.html

In Cameron County 23.59 % of the registered voters cast ballots. Hidalgo County saw a turnout of 28.63%. Denton and Collin County are heavy Republican Counties. Their numbers are 48.61% and 51.75% respectively. Dallas and Travis Counties which are Democratic Counties saw turnouts of 42.05% and 49.06% respectively.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/burkablog/?p=1561

The question is why in a year when Democrats are slaughtering the Republicans is it that Hidalgo and Cameron County voters are not turning out in the same record numbers as the rest of the state? This is the year of the Democrats - there is no getting around this simple fact. The Republicans gave us the border wall war. One would think these two traditionally Democratic Counties would have large turnouts.

The answer is not very complex. I believe the majority of the people are at their limits with the corruption which LRGV Democrats treat as a birthright. I along with several people I know could not bring myself to vote for Sheriff Lucio for one reason and one reason only - he is a Cameron County Democrat. I think Sheriff Lucio believes he is in trouble, which he may not be. His political ad raising a private feud between Joe Cisneros and his brother was the most despicable ad I saw by any candidate in Cameron County. You have to be feeling the pressure to be that despicable. Anyway the other day I was at Palm Resaca, a retirement park, and became blown away by the number of people who told me they voted for Joe and Vaden for the same reasons. All of these people such as myself also voted for Obama. I do not know if Joe can win, but I think if he makes a strong showing, the Cameron County Democrats better start rethinking their policy that being corrupt is a birthright.

OBAMA

I am not prepared to call this election for Obama. When I look at the polls and the methodology behind the polls I become worried that there are so many unknown variables in this election that the polls are simply not reliable. If the crowds at the Obama events vs the McCain events are a valid indicator, Obama should win by a landslide.

There is another interesting bit of evidence which points to an Obama win, other than the polls. CNN has a great map of early voting totals. In states where people are registered by political party affiliation the early voting is broken down by political party turnout. The early voting in West Virginia and North Carolina, must wins for McCain, clearly show Democrats outnumbered Republicans by high percentages.

In West Virginia the Democrats outnumbered Republicans in terms of early ballots by 58,000 to 30,000. This cannot be good for McCain. In North Carolina the numbers are 1.3 million to 744 thousand. In both cases it is nearly a 50% greater turnout for the Democrats. Again, this does not bode well for McCain. Even in Louisiana twice as many Democrats voted early as Republicans. This election may be one where the polls are meaningless. Even with this data, I remain on the fence as to who will win. You see I do not carry the burden of having to be right. But I am too chicken shit to make a prediction.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/27/early.voting.map/index.html

If Obama wins, I hope those who opposed him, for a brief second, before taking on their important roles as the loyal opposition, can sit back and say - what a great moment for America. It took 13 generations for the son of an African to go from slave to president. It will be a great moment for American history. It will be a great moment for the American people. It will also be a testament to the American people that after you take your moment to feel pride that the son of an African immigrant can become president, you can rightfully and more importantly dutifully so take on your role as the loyal opposition. This is what makes America great.