Tuesday, March 31, 2009

THE FIRST CANDIDATE FORUM MADE A MOCKERY OF THE PROCESS

I really felt bad that I did not post a reminder for people to attend this event. This afternoon I received several e-mails an a post I rejected on the issue. Everything I was told appears to be true, at least according the Herald.

This is from the Herald:

"The event was marred by a controversy over $100 donations that the hosting group sought from each candidate to print a handout carrying their photographs and short biographies and to buy appetizers and punch.

The photographs and short biographies of At-Large B candidate Roman Perez, and District 4 candidates Roberto Uresti and Argelia Miller who did not donate the $100 were omitted in the handbook. Miller's name was entirely omitted.

The controversy was further complicated when it was learned that Perez secured the printing of the handout free of charge to the hosting group from former Commissioner Ernie Hernandez Jr., who has a printing shop.

Perez left the forum before it began. Uresti said he was told that he could pass out literature for the group to advise people of the forum in lieu of the donation. He also didn't attend. Miller had jury duty, but said it seemed unfair that her name was not included at all."

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/city_96445___article.html/university_candidates.html

This forum was hosted by UTB/TSC Democrats. What has me so angry is the morons believe they are helping the community by charging $100.00 to the candidates to have their name, biographies and picture placed in a handout. These forums should be used to give the candidates maximum exposure regardless of ability to pay. What is worse, the morons did not even pay for the handout. It was donated by Ernie Hernandez.

This mess is so typical of why politics is such a mess in Brownsville. I would like to know who the faculty advisor is to this group. He or she has to be a first class moron without an ounce of commonsense of human decency.

I know people are going to think I am being hard on these students, but this is the real world - not make believe. Candidate forums are for the people and not a place for ineptly managed student organizations to make money.

The reason I rejected the anony post is because the post was typical of the problem with politics in Brownsville. He/she was alleging a possible violation of the law in terms of the Texas Ethics Commission. He/she ended the post with a "no one will probably do anything about it." Yes and the first person to do nothing about it is none other than - "anony." Stop bitching and put your name on the complaint and do something about it. I have zero respect for people who throw rocks from behind the crowd and expect the people on the front lines to take the hits.
TEXAS COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS CHIEF JUSTICE KELLER BELIES JUSTICE

She is actually making the following argument concerning her defense before the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. "She has also argued that the charges violate her constitutional right to counsel because the state refuses to allow her current attorney, Chip Babcock, to represent her at taxpayer expense."

Justice Sharon Keller has participated in opinions wherein her court has found your attorney falling asleep during trial does not violate your right to effective counsel. Now in a civil proceeding, she is demanding that the taxpayer pay for her defense. It is not enough she is demanding the taxpayer pay for her defense, she is demanding that the taxpayer incur the expense of one of the most expensive law firms in Texas.

She will never win this issue. For now, I would recommend that every criminal defendant in Texas with a court appointed lawyer file a mandamus with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals demanding that the state pay for their counsel of choice, preferably someone who bills $500.00 an hour.

What sparked the story in the Dallas Morning News is, Justice Keller is claiming poverty, while having failed to disclose nearly 2 million dollars is assets. Remember people this woman gets to decide your life and death. Where is the Texas Republican Party demanding her resignation - silence dead silence.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/033009dnprokellerasets.3df3149.html

The good news is, after years of complaints that the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct is joke, they have become very aggressive in going after judges, including district court and appellate judges. Judges are now being sanctioned for inappropriate language in their opinions and during hearings.

We may get lucky and finally be able to clear out a few bad judges in Cameron County.

Monday, March 30, 2009

THE CAMPAIGN - A LITTLE ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE CANDIDATES AND A WORD TO THE WISE

Tuesday's Post


First I want to say congratulations to all of the candidates with signage. I am certain my list is not complete, but I am particularly happy with the underdogs. I have seen a lot of signs for Ms. Miller, Ms. Zamora, and Mr. Sorola. I do not drive all over town so there may be a lot more signs for other candidates I have not seen. I am taken with the number of signs I have seen with Ms. Miller’s name. Maybe she will make it to the runoffs after all, she obviously has the ability to raise money - kudos to Ms. Miller.

The Ayala/Gowen race is interesting to me because based on signage Gowen wins hands down. I have not seen one sign by the other candidates in the race.

Here is my big issue with the campaign. We all want better candidates. The current city commission has failed the people of Brownsville. I have reject garbage on each and every candidate. People finally got the message and have stopped trying to have same posted to BV.

I am very frustrated with a lot of the garbage I have seen posted at the Herald and elsewhere. The people posting this garbage in my view have no right to complain when we elect the bottom of the barrel. Why should good people run for office and expose themselves to such garbage?

In every race, save maybe the Ayala/Gowen race, on the issues the candidates have different positions. To be honest with you I have no idea what Ayala or Gowen believe about anything. I also find Ms. Gowen’s implication that somehow a city commission can improve healthcare in Brownsville to be reprehensible. A city commissioner can do nearly nothing on this issue. It is a con issue.

It is on the issues which people should be focused. Try and decide how you feel about any given issue, Impact Fees, Board Wall, Weir Dam, then find out how the candidates feel about the issues. At that point your choice should be easy - just go with the candidate whose ideas best meet your own. Unfortunately, far too many people will vote based on the mudslinging.

The worse mudslinging so far is coming from the Cisneros camp. In my view when people have to sling mud at the level being slung by the Cisneros camp it tells me his supporters are low-life’s and have little confidence in their candidate. I do believe there are a lot of good people out there rejecting the mudslinging and intend to vote for Zamora or Sorola.

To close this out, all I want to ask of my readers is, ignore the mudslinging and vote based on the issues. If you choose to vote based on the mudslinging you will just end up voting for the person who does the best job at slinging mud. This is not how intelligent people vote.

To all of the candidates - keep on walking. I have a lot of respect for candidates in these door to door type campaigns. To my readers, the candidates are walking their tails off. If you see them on the street, even if you are not going to vote for them - given them a honk of encouragement.

One last thing to the candidates - do not give up - the light at the end of the tunnel gets closer every day. If you are frustrated from a lack of money, no fret - remember Ernie Hernandez outspent Pat Ahumada big time, and Ernie lost. Keep the faith and be loyal to yourself.

Oh here is an issue, I forgot to report that last week the Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case of the Police union vs. the City of Brownsville. Should the city settle or keep the appeal going? This is a legitimate campaign issue. I am sure the police unions want to know each candidate's position on the issue.

On Thursday I will have the latest on credit fraud in city hall.
JUST A COUPLE OF THINGS ON MY MIND, THE MAYOR, BISD, AND JUDGE MIGDALIA LOPEZ

THE MAYOR:

Just let it go - With the clarifications from DA Villalobos about the impact the conviction of the mayor will have on his service, it is now clear the mayor will serve out his term. We are looking at two years to complete the trial process and appeal. Until then, the mayor is free to stay put. Why should he resign? He has two years to bring the weir dam to fruition. If he succeeds no one is going to care about the conviction, assuming it happens. All people will ever remember about Mayor Ahumada is that he brought the most important economic development in the history of Brownsville to Brownsville. So again, I say let it go and move on. So long as the City Commission has us focused on the mayor, wherein we remain powerless at this point, we will not be focused in on the City Commission.

BISD:

Tuesday night the Board will consider findings against Gonzales. Maybe they are just preliminary findings - who knows - the announcement is not actually that clear. See item # 35.
But here are two interesting items- 26 and 28 - It appears $186,300.00 is being added to the budget for Special Services to pay for outside psychological services. Yes, everything is fine an dandy in Special Services. A child for whom I demanded ADHD testing in September has now been put on medication. Special Services ignored every complaint by the parent. The ARD meetings are a waste of taxpayers money. A pediatric psychologist treating the child identified the problem and has prescribed the appropriate medicine. So maybe, just maybe, BISD has to hire outside experts because their in house staff are morons incapable of doing their job.

In September I gave the principal at Oliviera a hard time for the mismanagement of this child. I can tell you this child has no strong advocate than the principal at Oliviera. He has turned out to be a god sent for the child. The problem remains 100% with Special Services. For months the parent has been demanding an evaluation for ADHD - Special Services said no hell no or simply does not know how to conduct such an evaluation - Now, months later, the child is on the medication and in 24 hours the parent saw a more focused child. This delay is sad beyond human comprehension. The father has asked that I prepare a formal complaint to the TEA. Again the problem is not with the staff at Oliviera, the problem is with the incompetent management of Special Services.

JUDGE MIGDALIA LOPEZ

This so called jurist has been in the news a lot lately. I did not know until I read it in the Herald, the Commission on Judicial Conduct has opened an investigation against Judge Lopez for her TRO issued for De Leon. In my case they have opened an investigation against her for her mishandling of my grand jury referral related to the BISD La Pampa Affair, and the Willacy county mess.

This is where it gets interesting. Did Judge Lopez tell the judge in her expungement proceedings, related to the Willacy County indictment against her, that the Commission on Judicial Conduct has opened an investigation against her related to the indictment, and the claim she abused the grand jury process?

She certainly would have had a duty to inform the judge of same, otherwise the appearance is she is trying to destroy evidence being sought by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. This not good.

The other thing is the contempt the judge overseeing the expungement hearing has demonstrated for the judicial process. If you have been following the story, a private citizen who took out an ad basically alleging wrongdoing by Judge Bañales when he dismissed the indictment against Judge Lopez, was dragged into court and ordered jailed when she refused to answer questions about her political ad.

I have done a lot of successful expungement hearings and have never called a witness. This got me thinking so I went to the statute to see what could possibly cause someone to believe they need a witness to win an expungement. I found one provision related to expunging the record related to a dismissed indictment.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 55.01(a)(2)(A)(ii) the court finds that the indictment or information was dismissed or quashed because the presentment had been made because of mistake, false information, or other similar reason indicating absence of probable cause at the time of the dismissal to believe the person committed the offense or because it was void;"

Under this provision I can see maybe calling a witness to prove mistake, false information, or other similar reason indicating absence of probable cause at the time of the dismissal to believe the person committed the offense. But it is not conceivable that the witness would be a private citizen simply speaking out against the dismissal of the indictment. The witness would have to be some who is tied to the evidence presented before the grand jury.

This was a black and white violation of Blanca Rosas constitutional right to speak against the corruption within the judicial branch. While she cannot sue the judge, because judges are immune from suit even for criminal conduct while on the bench, she can sue Migdalia Lopez, and Noe Garza Jr., for conspiring with the judge to violate her civil rights.

Many people do not know, but judges seem to feel that they can run roughshod over the rights of parties not represented by counsel, or witnesses not represented by counsel. The DA in Willacy County should have filed a Motion to Quash the subpoena on Blanca Rosas. During the hearing to quash Noe Garza Jr., would have been required to state the based for the witness. He had none, other than to intimidate Ms. Rosas for her political speech. You will not find the ACLU coming to her defense - the ACLU is embroiled in its own controversy trying to silence their own Board Members and staff.

When a witness is asked a question a common objection would be, "Object relevance?" A judge should then order the asking counsel to state the relevance of the question. If he/she cannot the objection should be sustained. I can assure you judges find what I just described to be nonsense.

When the judge holds the witness in contempt for refusing to answer the question, the lucky witnesses find a lawyer and sue the asking attorney, and their client for conspiracy to violate their civil rights. Brownsville has yet to have its first case along these lines, but somehow I am certain it will arrive sooner than later.

The one time this happened to me and my client in Dallas, the Administrative Judge personally ordered me released from jail and the appellate court immediately removed the judge from the case under a mandamus request I filed. The law matters - but it is hard to enforce the law when you have attorneys too cowardly to stand-up to a hopelessly inept and corrupt judiciary.

I will be informing the Commission on Judicial Conduct of Migdalia Lopez’s attempts to expunge the evidence they are seeking. I am not saying she has done anything illegal, but in the event she did not inform the trial court of the investigation, it is better to be safe and report the events.
Here are the articles related to Migdalia Lopez.

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/attorney_96298___article.html/judge_trial.html

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/lopez_96261___article.html/attorney_rosas.html

Ignorance runs the agenda of morons - more on this later in the week - also more credit card fraud within the City of Brownsville

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I found this movie in the $5.00 bin at Walmart. What I loved most about this movie is, at the moment you think it is over, it is just beginning for about another 20 minutes of great drama. The female lead is a lawyer who wins a high profile controversial criminal trial. Some kids angry the defendant got off break into her house. Upon the police investigating they learn her husband is not who he says he is and is in fact AWOL from the military.

A court marshal ensues for his crimes in El Salvador, as alleged. The movie revolves around the behind the scene politics related to how the abuses came about and who really committed the abuses. In many ways this is very current in terms of detainees in Cuba. How do you try a case when politics and policy mean keeping key evidence out?

This film is sure to please everyone.




I found this in the $5.00 bin at Walmart. An immigrant with ties to Egypt is arrested upon his return to the US from South Africa. He is sent to a country wherein the CIA overseas torture by foreign nationals.

What I liked most about this movie is, rather than simply condemn the practice, which I condemn, the writers chose to allow for a policy debate on the issue. One part of the film is very real. US Senators will sacrifice an American in a heartbeat if it is in their bests interests while working with the Executive Branch.

The movie becomes a question of morality. When do you stop the torture because you believe the person is telling the truth?

I highly recommend this movie.
HOUSING MARKET STRONG IS SA

Best Zip: 78228
Location: San Antonio (West Side/St. Mary's University area)Metro: San AntonioAnnual listing price change: +9%Average listing price: $116,652 Days on the market: 134 days
San Antonio, the second largest city in Texas, is best known as the site of the battle of the Alamo. The city also has a Six Flags Fiesta Texas amusement park and SeaWorld San Antonio. St. Mary's University in San Antonio is the oldest and largest Catholic University in the state.

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/zip-codes-with-the-biggest-listing-price-gains.html

Friday, March 27, 2009

bv will have a later morning post - maybe about 11 am

Thursday, March 26, 2009

TO REMOVE MAYOR AHUMADA THE CITY COMMISSION MAY NEED TO AMEND THE CITY CHARTER

Brownsville is a Home Rule City. This gives Brownsville effective control over how it is run unless there is an express limitation as to its powers by law.

"The City of Alamo is a home rule city governed by its city charter. A home rule city looks to the legislature only to ascertain whether the legislature has limited the city's constitutional power. Garza v. Garcia, 785 S.W.2d 421, 422 (Tex.App.--Corpus Christi 1990, writ denied). "A grant of power of removal from office is strictly construed and whatever is not given in unequivocal terms is withheld and not implied." Id."

City of Alamos v. Garcia, 960 S.W.2nd 221 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi, 1997)

As Home Rule City Brownsville through its City Charter decides when the mayor can be removed from office. I reviewed a lot of city charters and many of them have provisions which say Recall and Removal. Brownsville’s City Charter only provides for recall.

Now there will be a lot of online experts quoting the Texas Local Government Code. The code as to removal from office does not apply to Home Rule Cities.

I have searched the City Charter for anything which provides for removal of the mayor or city commissioners . I can find nothing. There may be something there - I simply cannot find it. So for those of you who find joy in me being wrong here is the City Charter - see what you can find. Let me know and I will post it.

http://www.cob.us/docs/citysec/CityCharter.pdf

Here are some other quotes of interest from the above case.

"Texas courts, in recognition of the autonomy and separate powers of municipal legislatures, "will not interfere to protect a person from removal from office by a man or body of men to whom the power to remove is given by law." Huntress v. McGrath, 946 S.W.2d 480, 484-85 (Tex.App.--Fort Worth 1997, n.w.h.) (quoting Callaghan v. Tobin, 40 Tex.Civ.App. 441, 90 S.W. 328, 330 (1905, writ ref'd)). The courts will, however, be able to review a city council's (or commission's) actions for abuse of discretion and due process. Garza, 785 S.W.2d at 422."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DEBATING THE MORAL DILEMMA OF WHAT TO DO ABOUT MAYOR AHUMADA


The weir dam project if it ever comes to fruition will become the defining moment in the economic development of Brownsville. So here is the question, do we loose the only real advocate of the weir dam project, Mayor Ahumada, by and through his indictment and subsequent conviction, or do we turn a blind eye to the check scandal? I am so torn over this issue. I have always been a black and white person in terms of you do the crime you do the time - no exceptions. No issue of alleged public corruption has ever torn at me in the same way as the Ahumada affair. He does not want me on the jury, during the innocence and guilty phase. He may want me on the jury during the sentencing phase. I believe he is guilty. I also believe he was so busy trying to help the city, particularly in terms of the weir dam and economic relations with Mexico that he let his business go.

What has me torn is, once I open the door to leniency for Major Ahumada, how then do I demand justice down the road when dealing with others? I would have no defense to a claim of "you are being selective in who you want to prosecute." I am simply at a loss.

On Wednesday night Mayor Ahumada was by all accounts the people’s advocate. He knew his business and advocated for the best interests of the people. The same cannot be said of Camarillo or Cisneros. The one most likely to pay the big price is Troiani. Mayor Ahumada made a clear record to show how Troiani was obfuscating the issue of rate increases. The PUB representatives get an "F" for their failure to be clear on this issue. It allowed Troiani to try and hide behind their lack of clarity. In the end in two years if the Commission has to vote a rate increase, it will be on Troiani’s back and he will be voted out of office.

In life everything is a negotiation. From my perspective to start high, so you have room to negotiate down. Only an idiot who is pushing for the maximum possible fee would start where he wants to end up. I think this city commission will find itself defending their actions sooner than later. The TV record will tell the truth - Troiani obfuscated the truth and Camarillo and Cisneros were all too willing to join the club in putting the added expense on the people - some of the poorest people in the United States. A Badge of Shame go to the three of them.

Back to the mayor - you do the crime you do the time. What choice do I have without creating a slippery slope? We need to allow the jury system to work and respect whatever the jury finds.

Monday, March 23, 2009

TWO YEARS WAITING FOR AN IMPACT FEE - ARE WE THERE YET?

The following is set for a special city commission meeting on Wednesday:

1. Public Hearing and ACTION on FIRST READING of Ordinance Number 2009-1217-C
an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1990-1217 by adopting the maximum allowable and
actual water and wastewater impact fees; providing that this ordinance be cumulative;
providing for severability; and providing for an effective date.(Ben Medina – Planning)
Two years ago candidates running for public office promised a realistic impact fee. To be played the fool once is bad enough. Will we be played the fool again? My position on impact fees is pretty clear.

I am so, so tired of all this corporate welfare. With all of these corporate bailouts, while corporate executives continue to earn millions of dollars a year, I am in near disbelief how silent this country has become. Where is the outrage? The people have turned a blind eye to the financial raping of their children and grandchildren while corporate America continues to pay bonuses to failed executives.

The issue of impact fees is Brownsville’s little tea party issue. Is it possible Brownsville can just draw the line on one issue? I hope the candidates make this an issue. In my view anything less than the full amount being recommended is unacceptable. I would hope all of the candidates show up at the meeting to express their position on the issue.

Friday, March 20, 2009

KNOWING

SORRY NO PHOTO BUT THEY ARE ALL BLOCKED FROM DOWNLOADING

I am at a total lost to explain the bad reviews so many critics gave this film. The best I figure is the critics are the type people who have to dish everything which does not meet their approval. They have to be the type people who lack imagination or creativity, because this film was very creative and different.

I think what I enjoyed most about the film is the fact it is what I believe. I read Chariots of the Gods in 1973. I had long been exposed to pre-Columbian pottery which raised questions of flight by humans. My personal view has always been long ago there was very advanced civilization on the planet Earth. Whether it originated here or not I do not know. I do believe something happened to destroy that advanced civilization. One does not have to believe in Atlantis to conceive of the idea that some form of advanced civilization existed a long time ago.

For the me the great pyramids and associated science came out the remnants of that great civilization. One only need look to the history of the Dark Ages to know knowledge can be lost. Hell just look to the 8 years of Bush II - science was abandoned.

The film begins in 1958, when children bury a time capsule. They are told to draw pictures of the future 50 years ahead. One child draws numbers which have meaning. The first number predicts 911 and the number of dead.

The film mixes reliable science and theoretical science with biblical references. I love this kind of creativity. The remaining of the film is Nicholas Cage discovering why his son and the granddaughter of the woman who originally wrote down the numbers are connected. The end of the film was great. I think based on the audience reaction everyone loved this film.

This film is definitely for family. This is another positive about the film. Young children will see the film completely different than the parents. The film was made to be enjoyable at a simple level and a more complex level.

AMERICAN AIRLINES, THE ELECTION, AND THE PATHETIC DANIEL CAVASOS

American Airline executives turn to the Brownsville Herald to read community reaction to its new service to Brownsville, and learns like Iowa road, those in charge are pathetic morons incapable of understanding image. The executives then ask themselves, will they need to hire extra security to deal with Brownsville.

My regular readers know my complete disbelief over the City of Brownsville’s complete refusal to fix the bombed out Iowa street. It is the first image travelers to SPI have of Brownsville. It tells every visitor to Brownsville that the city is run by idiots who have zero understanding of imagine.

The horror show AA executives observe at the Herald only reinforces the idea that the City of Brownsville is hopeless when it comes to politics. There is an article on the up and coming city elections. There is a nice little article on one candidate, Melissa Zamora. While I understand that every city has complete nut jobs running around, one would think the Herald would not allow them to advertise for free on their pages.

Rather than the online discussion be about the issues and Ms. Zamora’s position on the issues, it devolved into a complete and total embarrassment for the City of Brownsville. Daniel Cavasos, publisher, is like Dr. Gordon in an old Ronald Reagan movie I saw the other day. Dr. Gordon used an accident as an excuse to cut of Ronny boy’s legs. There was nothing wrong with his legs. Dr. Gordon just needed to punish him for being immoral and enticing Dr. Gordon’s daughter into liking him.

This is Daniel Cavasos. Brownsville refuses to buy his trash, so he uses the online discussions to punish Brownsville and make us look like lunatics. You see people, in the new world of advertising dollars, every time someone clicks on it is caching money. If you create a drama for the lunatics they will keep on clicking on, thereby padding the numbers.

In the process AA executives reading the story are forced to asked themselves, did they just agree to do business with a town of lunatics. Hopefully, sooner than later the people of Brownsville will demand the end of the Brownsville Herald which appears to only be able to make money by advertising the worst of the worst in Brownsville when it comes to its people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SOME UPDATES AND A BLOG WORTH CHECKING OUT

I am working on a story which I believe will interest all of my readers. It appears it may be Monday before I see the information which confirms the story. I have every reason to believe the story is real. I just want to be able verify same through a primary source.

BISD

Well I checked the file at the court house today to see if any orders have been entered. No official orders have been entered. There is just an entry in the docket sheet that BISD's Plea to the Jurisdiction was granted. I will keep on eye on the file with updates.

Many people may not know but a man killed in the Mexican bus accident, Roger Burns, was a part of the problems in Special Services. He was not a part in a bad way - but his case exposed problems within Special Services. I hope BISD does not use his death as a way to cover for the problems.

THE FOLLOWING IS A BLOG FEATURING BROWNSVILLE ART

http://brownsvilleart.blogspot.com/

I found this blog while researching if anyone in Brownsville gives group art lessons to young adults. I am still looking for someone if anyone knows of anyone who gives group lessons once a week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

IT WAS A GOOD CITY COMMISSION MEETING- SEE GUYS IT IS NOT THAT HARD

First, my hats off to everyone who worked hard on the American Airlines deal. In my opinion AA’s offer is very generous. People who may oppose this type deal need to remember the impact the business has on Brownsville. It means more jobs, it means AA housing a flight crew in Brownsville every night - could be an apartment or hotel. It means more people using Brownsville’s hotels and car rentals. It means more restaurant business. This is good for Brownsville.

The other day I thought it odd when I saw an AA jet on the Fly Brownsville ad in the Herald.

IMPACT FEES

Over the years I have read so much garbage on impact fees posted by people with zero knowledge of the process. The presentation was very helpful. I finally understand how the money can be used.

So here is the vote as I saw it last night - Mayor Ahumada and Charlie Atkinson for the fees - Anthony Troiani and Carlos Cisneros for the developers. Did anyone see any clear indication how the other commissioners will vote?

I will say Cisneros has it all wrong. It will not put electricians out of work. Higher impact fees will promote the hiring of electricians and plumbers. The new construction housing market in Brownsville is nearly dead. With the cost of an old construction home at nearly 50% cheaper than a new construction home, people are just not going to be buying new construction homes for a while. I admit higher impact fees will delay the recovery of the new construction homes.

But here is the kicker - the more people who buy older homes the more people will need to hire electricians, and plumbers, and more for remodeling. Today I called on a foreclosed house for a friend. It is a fixer-upper. It was on the market for 6 days. It sold today. Had my friend bought this house he would have spent a lot of money at Home Depot or Lowes. Every fixer-upper means money for Home Depot or Lowes. Some of these foreclosures need new air conditioners. Someone has to do the work.

Brownsville is at a cross roads wherein it can use the economic down turn in housing to promote the revitalization of its older neighborhoods. In the process it will promote business for Home Depot, Lowes and everyone in the business of remodeling.

Charlie Atkinson said something real true - the cameras are rolling. It is up to each commissioner to convince the people why higher impact fees are good or bad. This is a great election issue. I hope we will see a clear difference between the various candidates on the issue.

Monday, March 16, 2009

HODGEPODGE - CITY - HURRICANES

Sorry I missed Monday - I had to take my sister over to the dentist in Matamoros real early and we did not get back until 3 p.m.

The election seems to be very slow. If anyone knows about any scheduled events please let me know. I will post notice of same here at the BV. Early voting is a little more than a month away. This is going to be a fast election. We need to see action soon, lest the people fail to realize there is even an election.

The only interesting things I see going on at the Tuesday City Commission hearing are an announcement about what happened at the meeting with DHS concerning the wall, and a workshop on Impact Fees. The Herald is reporting that an announcement concerning American Airlines may be pending. They are looking at service to Dallas.

I think it is sad that the Commission was unwilling to put on the agenda an introduction of the candidates. The City Commission belongs to the people and not to the Commissioners. I think the decision to not introduce all of the candidates is evidence of their pettiness, which is exactly why the incumbents need to be voted out of office.

HURRICANES

This weekend I will be trimming two trees in my backyard. Now is the time to prepare our homes for the hurricane season. Now is the time to put out on the curb all of the brush you want to get rid off. But I know reality, people will wait until the first hurricane is in the gulf and then demand that the city do emergency pick-ups before the hurricane.

I partly blame the city for this problem because the city should have a week designated in March wherein it encourages the people of Brownsville to prepare for the hurricane season. People need to be reminded to trim their palms. I can see three branches on my trees which I believe will break during strong hurricane winds. One tree is under electrical wires. Now is the is the time to trim the trees and take the brush to the dumps.

Which brings me to another issue - if you have truck take your own brush and bulk trash to the dumps. The city may not get to the pick up before the hurricane hits. The only place your bulk trash is going to blow is into your cars and windows.

People - it is not the city’s job to get us ready for the hurricane season. Yes the city is run by morons who could not conceive of designating a week in March to encourage preparation, but is nonetheless still the responsibility of the people to take control of their own property.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


BREAD PUDDING - CIRCA 1950 BETTY CROCKER, WITH BOURBON SAUCE

This is the original recipe with one modification.

Toast 8 pieces of thin white bread. Cut in half, and then thirds for a total of 6 pieces.

Heat to scalding 2 cups of Vanilla Silk Light Milk (original is regular milk) There is a big difference in taste between the Silk milk and regular milk- The Silk milk makes it creamier and gives it a hint of vanilla.

Heat milk to scalding (when it begins to boil up) then poor over cut up toast in large bowl. Mix well to insure all of the toast is soaked.

After it cools add 1/4 cup butter melted, ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs slightly beaten first, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup seeded raisins, ½ tsp cinnamon; ½ tsp nutmeg - mix well

Pour into 1 ½ qt casserole. (About 7 ½ " square) Bake until silver knife inserted in pudding comes out clean. Serve warm or without Bourbon Sauce.
Bake

Temperature: 350
Time: Bake 40-45 minutes
Amount 6 servings

Note: I do this for parties and typically double everything and then bake same amount of time. I use a 9x13 dish
Bourbon Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons bourbon (whiskey) or to your taste

In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add sugar and beaten egg, whisking to blend well. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon to taste; let cool. Whisk and reheat before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.
For Children: substitute 2 tsps real vanilla - not the artificial junk

Friday, March 13, 2009

THE BALLOT ORDER FOR CITY COMMISSION RACE

The following is the order for a place on the election ballot:

COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 3

Carlos A. Cisneros
Melissa Zamora
Moses Sorola

COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 4

Roberto Uresti
Edward C. Camarillo
Argelia Miller

COMMISSIONER AT LARGE "B"

Roman Perez
Rose M.Z. Gowen
Carlos C. Ayala, Jr.
Alberto Velez

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SOMETHING ELSE ON THE CITY COMMISSION ELECTION, A THANK YOU FIRST, THE ISSUES, AND THEN SOME FREE ADVICE

A THANK YOU

The people of Brownsville owe a big thank you to Estela Von Hatten and her staff for a job well done in screening and approving all of the candidates for City Commission. It is a thankless job. The primary goal is to insure the democratic process works. You want to make sure every candidate has every opportunity to prove up their signatures, while making sure every signature is valid.

THE ISSUES

I would love for my readers to help develop a list of issues which they believe are important to the community. With the budget crunch coming in September, I want to know which candidates would support an independent audit of City of Brownsville personnel as a means to clean house of all of the dead wood? My second issue is, are you prepared to make a university education a prerequisite for all top level management positions? These are just two issues. Everyone is free to add to the issues.

A LITTLE HELP FOR THE CANDIDATES

To help the candidates along I am providing some information. The bookkeeping process can be a nightmare. I recommend every candidate study the following form.

http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/forms/coh.pdf

You should make a form of your own with all of the information for each category. You should keep track of this information on a daily basis. It should be the last thing you do at the end of the day. As to the part wherein you record donations, make your own form. Make sure every donor whose donation must be reported provides you all of the information you need to complete the form you submit to the state.

A common mistake in this day and age of the Internet is, people donate money but do not provide the required disclosure information. Make sure your online questionnaire for donations requires the donor provide all of the requisite information. Do not be afraid to be honest with them by disclosing the information is required by the State of Texas.

Also consider reviewing the following.

http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/whatsnew/elf_filing_info.htm

It is never wise to be your own treasurer, but you should always double check the work of your treasurer.

"CHANGING A CAMPAIGN TREASURER. If you wish to change your campaign treasurer,
simply file an amended campaign treasurer appointment (form ACTA)." Page 3 of

http://www.wacoisd.org/publications/CTAinstruct.pdf

The Texas Ethics Commission has a video you can watch to help you along.

http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/whatsnew/video_training.html

For my regular readers - sorry today’s post was not hard hitting. This campaign is important and I just want to provide the candidates as much helpful information as possible.

Now if any candidate has a question, I will answer it online such as I did here. There is no fee, I am just willing to look up the answer. I will only provide cut and paste information with a link. In the end it will up to each candidate to decide for themselves what they must do.

On the left side of the web page, if at least ½ of the candidates have a web page I will post the links for everyone to see. I will list them by district, then at large, and in the same order as they will appear on the ballot. If you want your web page listed, just let me know.

WHATS FOR DINNER TONIGHT?

Baho - last cold night of the year -

http://www.cocinadelmundo.com/paises/nicaragua/car/5774.html

Tomorrow (Saturday) I will publish my Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce - it is an old fashion recipe from the 1950's Betty Crocker Cookbook
BISD UPDATE - GONZALES AND RENDON SEE MAJOR UPSETS


My readers should know I woke up very sick around 3 a.m. and was unable to make the hearing.
I went back to bed about 4 a.m. and did not get back out of bed unto after 9 a.m., went out for a cup of coffee, and then went back to bed until after 2 p.m. All of my information is second hand, meaning the Herald.

Before I get to the negative on Gonzales, I want to say "Euresti let stand Gonzales' whistle blower claims against the district"

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/gonzales_95760___article.html/district_euresti.html

So before Gonzales opponents go, ha ha Gonzales, remember he will still have a chance to prove up his whistle blower case, at least for now. The judge could later throw it out on other issues such as no evidence, or just cause for suspending Gonzales.

The court found it had no legal authority to intervene in the employment contract disputes. This law is basic. As the Superintendent, Gonzales certainly knew this. Okay, maybe he didn’t, does that not then raise a fundamental question as to his qualifications to be Superintendent. Anyone who reaches the point of Superintendent knows that you have to go through the Administrative process first before going to court on an employment issue. So why did he do it? because he needed to deceive the people with a lawsuit which makes it appears he is a victim.

On the whistleblower issue, the good old Republican Justices on the Texas Supreme Court have found that if BISD can find any legitimate reason for Gonzales’ discharge it will not matter that it appears they in fact suspended him because he blew the whistle.

This is where Gonzales went wrong - instead of protecting his own interests with a veiled threat of going to law enforcement, he should have done a press release with his attorney stating he would appear outside the office of the FBI with an affidavit in hand stating his claims. He should have then turned over copies of that affidavit to the press before walking into the office of the FBI.

This would have shut down the BISD Board immediately. He played his cards wrong, and now he appears to be a looser.

If the BISD Board is in fact protecting someone, I hope Gonzales will reconsider his strategy and finally go public with his claims which include going to the FBI as I indicated above. If there is corruption as he indicates, it is time the people are told the truth. I am not buying Gonzales’ demand of transparency from the Board, while he and his minions are making pathetic excuses as to why Gonzales is not going public with his claims.

As to Rendon, I am not sure what happened. The Herald is reporting that Judge Euresti found no jurisdiction over his employment claims, for the same reasons I stated above as to Gonzales. I am not sure what happened as to the Open Meetings Claims. I will try and get to court tomorrow afternoon and see what Judge Euresti wrote about his rulings on the Docket Sheet.

On the breach of contract claims, which the court has dismissed, BISD is free to seek full recovery of all attorneys’ fees. The Board has a legal duty to demand that Gonzales and Rendon pay 100% of the attorneys fees incurred by BISD. Because the claims included both breach of contract and tort, the court may have to segregate out what it cost to defend against the tort claims. You are not entitled to attorneys fees in tort claims.

When I learn more I will let my readers know.

It is funny how bad conduct comes full circle and bites you in the ass. Had BISD asked Judge Euresti to find no jurisdiction at all over Gonzales’ claims because he had no legal or equitable interest in the Rendon suit, Judge Euresti would have granted same. This is known as in personam jurisdiction, which the parties can waive. When Judge Euresti refused the initial request for a TRO for Gonzales, and Rendon’s had expired because Neece choose not to have it renewed, BISD knew they had Euresti on their side. It then became a question of, why chance getting a different judge when BISD already knew they and Judge Euresti on their side, in terms of the law.

Gonzales and his attorney went forum shopping for Judge Euresti based on the ill signed original TRO for Rendon. In the end BISD took advantage of Gonzales’ unethical attempt at forum shopping by waiving their defense that Gonzales has no equitable or legal interest in the Rendon suit. They knew Judge Eursti had learned his lesson about the ill signed original TRO.
Bad motivation will always lead to bad results.

A word on Judge Limas - Judge Limas was the judge who allowed Amit Livingston to walk out of court after his conviction for murder. That one decision cost Judge Limas his career as a judge. He lost his reelection bid. Every judge in Cameron county is cognizant of how the people held Judge Limas accountable for his conduct in the Livingston matter.

The election was not about electing Cornejo-Lopez, it was about sending a message to the Cameron county judiciary - enough is enough. Judge Euresti did the right thing today. He got rid of the lawsuits over which he had no authority. He kept the whistleblower lawsuit.

The interests of the people were protected in both decisions. Now it is time to demand that Gonzales comes forward with evidence so that we the people can know it is real and demand accountability. But Gonzales cannot demand transparency on this issue from the Board, while he hides behind his lawyers and minions with pathetic stupid reasons as to why he cannot go public.
I had to reject a post because it went off into things which may be worth investigating, which I might, but had nothing to do with this subject. This is the part which I am willing to post.

Zamora, Sorola, Cisneros.I firmly believe Cisneros is out. The citizens of Brownsville will remember Cisneros and the whole on the clock county controversy. Zamora is a fresh face, sure there may be baggage, but over all good reputation as does Sorola. Sorola has a solid
background, and has kept his nose clean.Camarillo, Euresti, and MillerEuresti and Miller are seen on the blogs and Public Television. Their presentation is not professional and polished, and Camarillo does have a better outward presentation.It has been known to all who hang out at the VICC on Friday's at El Gallo's golf group, that Ayala was his golden pick, and Leo Gara would not be running. El Gallo really doesn't have anything up his sleeve, he does want the best for Brownsville, it's unfortunate however that those he supports eventually loose their heads in their positions, and pull away from El Gallo

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO SORRY CHARLIE ATKINSON

My real post for Thursday is below - CALLING THE CITY COMMISSION RACE - SORT OF

But here is some fun.

A Brownsville child while walking around the Sports Park comes across City Commissioner Sorry Charlie Atkinson. The child ignores Sorry Charlie. Sorry Charlie yells at the child, "do you not know who I am?"

The child responds, "no sir and I do not care to know who you are."

Sorry Charlie angry at the child’s disrespect responds, "I am going to punish you for not knowing the great City Commissioner who built you this Sports Park. So that you never forget my last name you are now to tell me 20 words which begin with the letter "A."

The child speaks the following words.

"Ample, arrogant, alcohol, avarice, asinine, aggressive, alarming, atrocious, abysmal, abusive,
anal, annoying, anxiety-ridden, awful, abominable, appalling, antagonistic, angry, anonymous, - oh yea I am forgetting one word - asshole"
CONGRATS TO ALL OF THE CANDIDATES, AND CALLING THE ELECTION SORT OF

In the interest of good sportsmanship the City Commission should invite all of the candidates to the next meeting and publicly thank them for running. I have a lot of respect for anyone willing to go through the process and subject themselves to the endless rumors and garbage which will be thrown at them.

The key to good analysis is learning how to keep out personal bias, while sticking to known variables which predict a winner. To win an election you must have money, a political machine, and name recognition. Two of these three variables is what it takes to get you out of the gate.

Carlos Ayala and Dr. Gowen have at least two maybe all three of these variables. Based on this simple fact I predict with 100% certainty the two will face each other in a run-off. The only exception to this prediction is, if something real bad comes out about one or the other candidate, then I predict one or the other will win out right. The other candidates in the race have at most one of the three variables and one is never enough.

I predict a run-off between Cisneros and Zamora. 60-70% of the female vote will turn out for Melissa Zamora. This will be enough, coupled with whatever % Sorola pulls to insure a run-off. Sorola cannot win. The anti-wall people will work for either Cisneros or Zamora to the injury of Sorola. Sorola has really burned his bridges on this one. If the anti-wall people choose to side with Zamora, this coupled with the female factor, I predict Zamora will win the run-off. The key for Zamora is to convince the anti-wall people that Cisneros was all too willing to compromise with DHS, and as the facts now inform us, he was wrong. Remember in a run-off Zamora will have the benefit of Gowen campaigning for a strong female turn-out. You might say Zamora will benefit from Gowen's coattails.

Camarillo, Uresti, and Miller: This is the one election I predict a possible outright win for Camarillo. It is easy for me to say Camarillo must go because of his reversal on impact fees, and his actions while a student at UTB in helping Juliet Garcia nearly bankrupt the students with higher fees. These facts in this election will not matter. Neither of his opponents have money or a political machine to back them.

Further on the impact fee issue all Camarillo has to say is "I was right. Had I voted to keep the higher impact fees there would be even more unemployed construction workers than there are now. " This will resonate with people. In my previous postings I have made clear I think he is wrong. But my opinion on the issue of impact fees is worthless. I know and understand why me or anyone else trying to explain to people why higher impact fees are good for their property values will fall on deaf ears. Camarillo’s response is a lot easier to understand, so it will win votes.

If it were just Uresti v. Camarillo, I might be willing to say an interesting race to watch. Ms. Miller has changed everything as a female. If a large enough percentage of women blindly vote for Ms. Miller as a female, that will be enough to hurt turnout for Uresti. Further regardless of what you think about Camarillo on impact fees or UTB, he is involved in his district. He is very visible in terms of being there.

What I or anyone else may personally think about any individual candidate is meaningless in terms of analysis. Most people who vote will vote blindly. All of the garbage I have rejected about all of the candidates will never be known by most voters. A prediction must be based on what the voters know, not on what I know or I think I know.

A lot of women will look at the ballot, not know what to do, and just pull for a female. Ms. Gowen will help this effect along. She will have a public voice, unlike Ms. Miller, and people will begin to think "no women on the city commission." I believe if Ms. Zamora can get the anti-wall machine behind her campaign she too will have a voice enhanced by Ms. Gowen’s own campaign.

Sorry guys, but this will not be the year of the men. I predict all run-offs will have at least one woman. I can imagine some of the posts now - so and so is illiterate; so and so is a sociopath; so and so is everything under the sun. Again this will not matter because the average voter will have no knowledge of any of these complaints. You predict an election based on what the voters know, not on what you want them to know.

Also, I am not demeaning women based on my analysis. People vote based on race, party label, name recognition, so why not gender? Actual knowledge about the candidate all too often has nothing to do with why people vote for one person or another. Voting for someone because they are a woman is just one of so many variables people consider before they vote.
Candidates for Brownsville General Municipal Election - May 09, 2009

The following list was put out by the Office of the City Secretary at 3 p.m. today.

City Commissioner District 3
Carlos A. Cisneros (I)

City Commissioner District 3
Moses Sorola

City Commissioner District 3
Melissa Zamora

City Commissioner District 4
Edward C. Camarillo (I)

City Commissioner District 4
Roberto Uresti

City Commissioner District 4
Argelia Miller

City Commissioner At Large B
Carlos C. Ayala Jr.

City Commissioner At Large B
Rose M. Gowen, M.D.

City Commissioner At Large B
Roman Perez

City Commissioner At Large B
Albert Velez

There will be a drawing for a place on the ballot, on Friday March 13, 2009 at 10:00 a.m., at City Hall in City Commission Chambers, located at 1001 E. Elizabeth St.-Second Floor; Brownsville, Texas.
CITY COMMISSION ELECTION UPDATE

UPDATE: as of 12:45 the Office of the City Secretary was still verifying signatures. There is nothing nefarious ongoing. This is hard work. They need to make sure every candidate has an opportunity to prove the signatures, while making sure all signatures are correct. For me this delay means people are working hard to get it right the first time.

This may change later in the day, but there still is no official list of approved candidates for city commission, so my source tells me. The last I was able to confirm from the Office of the City Secretary was, they are still confirming signatures.

Well, I woke up late and have several meetings this morning so no other post other than this update. I will check with the Office of the City Secretary around 10 a.m. for an update. Maybe by noon I will have a regular post.

I am only posting this because it is funny. Also I would love to see someone change up the name to a local politician or national politician.

Niño Cubano > Va un niño cubano caminando por la calle, se cruza con Fidel, y al ver > Fidel que el niño lo ignora, le pregunta: > ¿Oye niño, sabe tu quien soy yo?' > El niño le contesta:'No señó, no se quien e usté, ni me interesa sabe' > Fidel muy enojado le dice: 'Pue como castigo po' no conocé al comandante > Castro, ahora mismo tiene que decime 20 palabra que comiencen con la letra > 'C' para que mas nunca en tu vida se te olvide mi apellido que e Castro' > Y el niño le dice: > Compañero > Comandante > Castro, > ¿Cómo y > Cuándo > Carajo > Comeremos > Carne > Con > Cerveza > Corona > Como > Comen lo > Cabrones > Comelones del > Comité > Central > Comunista > Cubano...?' > > > > Castro se le queda viendo asombrado. > Y el niño concluye: '... qué? me falto alguna? Culero!'

Monday, March 9, 2009

UPDATE: CITY OF BROWNSVILLE COMMISSION ELECTION

My sources at City Hall tell me there are late filers waiting for confirmation their applications are complete. It looks like we have several more candidates for the City Commission race. It is good to have choices. I will update later.

I am learning at 9:30 p.m. that the City Secretary is shutting down the confirmation process for the evening. All the rule requires is that you file by 5 p.m. I do not know how many people for whom they are trying to confirm complete applications, but I am being told that the City Secretary is stating that a final list will be available by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

It is a good thing so many people want to run.

A promise, Tuesday's post is hard hitting.
CARLOS AYALA TO TAKE ON DR. GOWEN

"Continuity and the need to stay focused is critical in every operation," he said. [Ayala] "I don't want my children and grandchildren to pay for lack of vision," Ayala said, pointing to Brownsville's yet untapped industrial potential and the need to aggressively market the community.

http://www.spoke.com/info/p6Iw6Gl/CARLOSAYALA

Since I have posted an introductory piece on the other candidates, I have decided in fairness I must post one of Carlos Ayala.

In terms of round one, this may turn out to be the most interesting race. Carlos Ayala will have an uphill battle on the female vote. Probably upwards of 60-70% of the women will vote for Dr. Gowen, unless some trash comes out on her in campaign material or the Herald. I am not too worried about the blogs, because people whose parents are not brother and sister basically dismiss the trash on the blogs.

A lot of people who vote for one candidate over another do so without understanding what that candidate can and cannot do while in office. A lot of people may vote for Dr. Gowen believing she can have an impact on their healthcare. Yea, not going to happen.

Where I believe Carlos Ayala will have the upper hand over Dr. Gowen is experience in city government. He brings a lot to the table on the issue of public works. This is a very hot issue in Brownsville. He also has a lot of experience with government budgets. Come next budget, Brownsville is going to be hurting. There is no money. This is why I liked Dr. Gowen’s recognition that money in the budget must be redirected. I do caution, however, anyone with experience in government knows just how hard it is to redirect limited funds. It is no easy task.

What I will be looking for in each of these candidates, especially since it is the only race wherein I will be allowed to vote, is, how do they intend to handle the budget shortfalls which are sure to come by September, and how do they intend to address the ongoing problems in Public Works?
I commit to my readers to try and cover this campaign using only primary sources, or sources I know I can trust. While it is true I may investigate claims posted by anonies or which I receive by e-mail, I will not use that information until I can confirm same.

Good luck to both candidates, and guys keep it focused to the issues and keep it professional.
And again, thanks for running.
CITY COMMISSION UPDATE

Estela Von Hatten was kind enough to provide BV, with the following information. Things may change as the day progresses.

Individuals who have satisfied the requirements for a place on the ballot for the Elections of May 2009:

1) Appointment of Treasurer, 2) Application for a place on the Ballot, 3) 100 registered voters-verified on signature petitions

At-Large Commissioner B............. Carlos C. Ayala, Jr.; Rose M.Z. Gowen, MD
District Commissioner 3............... Carlos A. Cisneros; Moses Sorola
District Commissioner 4............... Edward C. Camarillo; Roberto Uresti

Saturday, March 7, 2009


What I know - not for children - not an action film - requires critical thinking skills to enjoy

My review:

For me the most interesting part of this film is not knowing if the audience’s approval of the ending is a good thing or a bad thing? This is a film which requires a lot of critical thinking. I need to find a teenager who saw the film and ask them if they understood all of the historical references. There are a lot of historical references and characters in this film. If you saw the film did you understand the reference to Gunga Din? I am still thinking about it.

This is not a real action film. The film addresses moral decay in society. The Watchmen are semi-retired super-heroes. Watch refers to clock watch not to look at. This is important to remember so you understand the references.

The Watchmen are sort of called back into action. In the end the question is sort of like that faced by Truman - do you drop the nuclear bomb to save lives in the end?

This film is slow and methodical. It has to be to be able to fit in all of the symbolism and historical references. I was quite surprised at the end when the audience indicated their approval. There were a lot of young people in the audience and I was not sure they would fully appreciate all of the symbolism. Maybe they did not and they just enjoyed it as a slow going super-hero film.

Pay close attention to Rorschach. He is the one with the bag mask. Pay close attention to the changes in his mask. He is the character who takes principle about justice to an extreme, and is therefore viewed as over the edge - perhaps even psychotic. This is important to the film because he is in stark contrast to those who believe nothing is so black and white and sometimes people with a higher sense of morality must be tasked with making the hard decisions of when sacrificing a few is a necessary evil to protecting the majority.

I very much enjoyed this film. This is the type film which you remember every time you have a philosophical discussion with friends. If you go see this film and leave with a sense of certainty about right and wrong then I say, how sad. Not even Dr. Manhattan is that certain of right or wrong. His flea comment is quite telling. I am certain the personality types who feel like they have to always be right will be offended by Dr. Manhattan’s philosophical position on right and wrong.

If you have seen the film, try teh Newsday poll.

http://www.newsday.com/services/newspaper/printedition/friday/partii/ny-etleadmovie6057998mar06a,0,7207607.story

Friday, March 6, 2009

WHEN YOU RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE YOUR NAME BECOMES PUBLIC

I have decide to go forward with this post for one reason and one reason only, at least I might be able to provide a full story. It has been brought to my attention a disciplinary history, as an educator, against a one Roberto Uresti. Facts matter to me, so I will tell people not to over react to the news until we know all of the facts. Everyone knows I believe nothing is so black and white. BV is fully open to Mr. Uresti providing an explanation which I will post unedited.

http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECONLINE/virtcertdisplay.asp?spid=910627&mode=C#enforcement_section

It may be as simple as a different Roberto Uresti.

I thought about saying nothing until I knew more, but I know if this is not already out there being posted elsewhere, it will be soon. At least here I can ask my readers to try and learn all of the facts before passing judgment. I am not saying the facts are good or bad. I am just saying, if Mr. Uresti is willing to provide an explanation then we should consider that explanation in the context of the times, and its relevance to being a city commissioner.

Now I know someone will claim I am defending Mr. Uresti. I am not. I just refuse to condemn a man, especially someone willing to put themselves out there for public service, without knowing the entire story.

The entire story may not be good. Let’s see if he responds.
JUST WAY TOO FUNNY
BISD UPDATE

As to the Antonio Juarez case pending before federal judge Hanen, no changes - neither side appears to be taking action in the case.

As to the case before Judge Ben Euresti, March 12, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. should be the beginning of the end for one side or the other. All parties, plaintiffs and defendants have motions pending which will be heard on March 12, 2009.

There may be an interesting twist to the cases. Ben Neece in the Amended Petition filed for Art Rendon references a letter from someone with the Texas Supreme Court Disciplinary section. He suggests the letter acts as intimidation against Rendon and his counsel. Apparently someone filed a complaint and Ben Neece received some type letter concerning the complaint. A complaint does not mean wrongdoing. As to this issue I am leaving it here. It was all very confusing.

The Amended Petition is so confusing and filled with meandering argument and discussion I was getting a headache and simply stopped trying to understand what Ben Neece and Star Jones were trying to argue. I will say this, the State Bar (which is under the control of the Texas Supreme Court) has no business threatening anyone with sanctions while a case is pending.

Questions of law and facts are for the trial court, and not the State Bar. There are times when the State Bar should oversee acts in a pending case - attorney refuses to accept service - attorney point blank lies - but on questions of law and fact, the State Bar oversteps its place when it gets involved during the trial process.

In his Amended Petition filed for Rendon, Neece appears to state Rendon is no longer suing the Trustees individually. He clearly states they are being sued in their official capacity only. This means they are not being sued at all. It means BISD is being sued.

On page 7 of the petition at ¶ VI(i) it states "The Plaintiff requests that the court declare that Trustee Defendants are in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act, TEA Regulations and BISD Policy and of their Contract with Plaintiff."

But then on page 12 ¶VIII b) (i) the petition states "Plaintiff has dropped his claims of breach of contract against Trustee Defendants therefore the Education Code is not implicated."
¶ VIII b) (ii) states basically the same thing.

If he is not suing on the contract or TEA violations, why then ask the court to declare that the Trustees have violated same?

The entire lawsuit reads with these conflicts.

Throughout the lawsuit Neece alleges Rendon is suing for TOMA violations and therefore Rendon does not need to complete the administrative process. But then he goes on in paragraph after paragraph to allege defamation. Is it TOMA or defamation? Is it TOMA or breach of contract?

On the TOMA issue I have stated in the past that I am not familiar enough with TOMA to form an opinion. Here Ben Neece did make an interesting argument which I think is correct. The court has jurisdiction to find TOMA violations and void all actions taken in violation of TOMA. This has nothing to do with the Education Code and completion of the Administrative process.

But here is the kicker, just because some judge finds TOMA was violated, does not mean Rendon was defamed. It is a separate issue. Neece is clearly trying to muddy the waters by trying to manipulate Judge Euresti into finding a TOMA violation equates to everything which was said is false or a breach of contract. No, a TOMA violation means the Board failed to follow TOMA - nothing more nothing less. If a violation is found, the court then must void the actions taken as a result of the TOMA violations. The Board is then free to reconvene under TOMA and get to the same result. Rendon may win the battle, while still losing the war.

I do not know if there was a TOMA violation. It is not clear to me the Board voted on anything which the court can now void. The court can only void an affirmative act by the Board. I guess, but I do not know, the court might be able to find TOMA was violated but that there is nothing to void because no action was taken against Rendon.

As to the firing or demoting of Rendon, all the Board through its counsel has to stipulate to is no action will be taken without compliance with TOMA, and the issue becomes moot.

As to Hector Gonzales, who knows? BISD is basically alleging immunity and the court is without jurisdiction over the parties. If BISD is correct, then Ben Euresti will simply dismiss the lawsuit. If Judge Euresti fails to dismiss the lawsuit, BISD is free to take it on an interim appeal. What I find interesting is, Ben Neece has seen the light on the immunity and administrative issues and dropped most of the claims in the original lawsuit. Why hasn’t Hector Gonzales’ attorney seen the same light?

Unless the March 12, 2009, hearing gets cancelled, I suspect the hearing will bring to light a lot of information no one really wants out there. People on all sides will be leaving the court very unhappy.

I would remind Judge Euresti he decides whether or not he has jurisdiction over the parties and whether or not Gonzales has alleged a legal or equitable interest in the Rendon suit to justify intervention. This is one reason I do not like any interference by the State Bar. If the judge knows the State Bar is watching he may be inclined to find ethical violations out of fear he will be sanctioned as a judge for not sanctioning unethical conduct by the lawyers.
No judge should be put under that type scrutiny. But this does not change the fact Judge Euresti has an independent duty from the arguments of counsel to decide if he has jurisdiction over the parties, and to sanction Gonzales and his attorney for forum shopping if he finds Gonzales has no legal or equitable interest in the Rendon case which justifies Gonzales’ intervention.
Only March 12, 2009, will tell the result.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

DR. GOWEN ANNOUNCES AGAINST GARZA, WE NOW HAVE TWO GOOD ELECTIONS GOING

"Gowen believes that by working together toward common goals and redirecting expenditures to the highest priorities, the city can overcome challenges and create good jobs, fix streets and drainage, and improve the health of the community.

"I will strive for more cooperation and collaboration among our institutions, especially every local health care institution," she further said."

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/gowen_95505___article.html/city_community.html

As a woman she will win a large portion of the female vote. When you combine this with the anti-Garza vote she gets close to a clear win. What I really like is she is educated and can bring to the table an issue which will leave Garza clueless - healthcare. Oh, did I say she is educated. I want to see them together at a candidate forum. It should be cool, real cool.

I love ideas, I really love her honesty in stating resources must be redirected, as opposed to promising the world with no way to pay for it.

"Gowen believes that by working together toward common goals and redirecting expenditures to the highest priorities, the city can overcome challenges and create good jobs, fix streets and drainage."

This is good. I hope there isn't some garbage out there which causes me to change my mind about this race.

A word to people who indicated they may run and who have decided not to run. Thanks for even considering the idea. I think it takes a lot more courage to not run once you realize you may not be able to win because of a lack of resouces, than to run for the sake of running and enhancing your own ego.

So now we have two good races. Who is up to challenge Cisneros?
A TERRORIST ATTACK WAITING TO HAPPEN

I have always been curious about whether or not there are safety mechanisms on airplane doors.
"The man, who remained unnamed late this afternoon, reportedly ran into the first class section of American Airlines Flight 1343 and opened the exit door, according to an airport advisory."

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2205888/

So you just open the door at 25,000 feet? I will no longer sit near the door or the emergency windows. Who is in charge of safety?
ROBERTO URESTI TO CHALLENGE EDWARD CAMARILLO

On Wednesday I left out the fact that Roberto Uresti has in fact qualified for a place on the ballot against Edward Camarillo. I believe this race has potential in terms of throwing the incumbent out of office for a variety of reasons.

The people most likely to vote probably watch the City Commission meetings. This gives him name recognition separate and independent from the fact he is active in his community. A second variable is he is the type candidate who will walk his district to get the vote out. This makes a big difference. Third, there are a percentage of people in the district so completely fed-up with the city commission they would vote for a bologna sandwich over an incumbent.

There are also the undecided voters. As in every election the question is, how do you get the undecided voter to vote your way. This election provides the voters a clear contrast on several issues.

Smart money has Uresti pointing out how he is different from Camarillo. It is easy for people to vote one way or the other when they have a clear contrast between the candidates. What is not smart is getting in arguments over points of law or any other area wherein you are not an expert. People do not vote based on micro issues. People will vote one way or the other based on broader ideas and a clear contrast between the candidates.

Richard Nixon once said his biggest mistake ever was not running his own last campaign. He is correct. Candidates who look to others to tell them how to run their campaign rarely win. The people have to know you are who you are. Roberto Uresti’s biggest mistake will be taking advice from people who are looking to settle a personal score with Camarillo, or the city commission as a whole.

I am convinced Roberto Uresti is a clear contrast to Camarillo. He needs to stay true to his positions, while not arguing points for the sake of arguing points. Nothing will sink a candidate at a candidate forum faster than having to admit they are misinformed. If he wants to argue a legal issue, he better clear his position with a lawyer. If he wants to argue a budget issue, he better clear his position with someone who actually knows and understands how the city budgetary process works. On these type issues Camarillo has the upper hand because he has the entire City of Brownsville staff at his disposal. He does not have to wait for an Open Records Request to be processed.

In sum, if Robert Uresti keeps it simple by highlighting how he is different from Camarillo, he may be able to win the election. If he instead takes the advice of idiots demanding he sling mud, he might consider how well that served Zavaletta in the DA’s race.

Good luck to Roberto Uresti - and thanks for putting yourself out there for public scrutiny. The BV voice will be rejecting all comments as to all candidates which seek to sling mud and not argue the issues. We can all be assured though, the Herald will take what ever money is offered by any candidates, mud slinging aside. This is sad because it serves no one except the Herald.
WHY IS IT OUR ELECTION ADMINISTRATORS ALWAYS KEEP THE PEOPLE IN THE DARK?

The following is from the City of Denton web page concerning the May municipal elections.

Home > My Government > City Manager's Office > City Secretary's Office > Municipal Elections
Municipal Elections

A municipal election will be held May 9, 2009, to elect city council members to the four single member districts. The calendar for the May 9 election is as follows:

Feb. 7* First day to file for place on the ballot
March 9 Last day to file for place on the ballot 5:00 p.m. deadline
March 16 Last day for write-in candidate 5:00 p.m. deadline
March 17 Last day for a candidate to withdraw
April 9 Last day to register to vote in May 9 election
April 27 Early voting by personal appearance begins
May 1 Last day for applications for early mail ballots
May 2 Additional early voting day 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
May 5 Last day to vote early by personal appearance
May 9 Election Day polls open 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
May 19 City Council meeting to canvass election returns
June 13 Run-off election if needed (tentative)

http://www.cityofdenton.com/pages/munielections.cfm

I cannot find anything of a comparable nature on the City of Brownsville web page or the web page for Cameron County Elections Administrator Rogelio Ortiz. With every election cycle I file the same complaint, and nothing ever changes. It is clear the elected officials do nothing about the incompetence of the Brownsville City Secretary or the Cameron County elections Administrator on this issue because keeping the people in the dark is what is expected of these two officials.

It seems to me a competent County Elections Administrator would host twice a year an election fair which informs people how they can get involved. We all know no elected official wants this information out there for the average Joe. The less the average Joe knows the better for the elected officials.

If the same dates apply to Brownsville, Monday next is the deadline to get your name on the ballot for the May elections. As of this time, there have been no announcements in the Herald of any real opponents for the three commissioners up for reelection. Several people have expressed an interest, but yet no one has officially filed - based on a lack of press reports of same. We are only a month and ½ away from early voting. It seems to me short of someone with a lot of money, or one of the three commissioners up for reelection getting himself arrested, the election results are a foregone conclusion.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

MAYOR RESPONDS TO DOG RESCUE - I TEND TO BELIEVE HIS VERSION OF THE STORY - WHAT HAS BECOME OF THE HERALD?

The story on Mark Sossi was just so misleading it blew me away that it was cleared for publication. The story on the fee for using the Sports Park was so incomplete and misleading I cannot believe it was cleared for publication. For the record, I support the city charging any sports group which charges their members. Why should the taxpayers be solely responsible for maintenance of the sports park? It is one thing to charge the public, which I would oppose, yet another to charge private sports clubs, which I support.

For the record, any political figure is welcome to use BV to set the record straight. Life is not about agreeing on everything. But we should at least be able to agree we want the people to have the facts.

You can find the original of the Mayor's response here.

http://www.bebo.com/mayorpat

To the Editor:

Your story titled "Mayor Responds to Dane in Distress" was so inaccurate and pathetic, no wonder people do not want to get involved with pets or humans that are in need of assistance.

Your reporter should have taken the time to speak with witnesses and the Channel 5 crew (not channel 23 as I mistakenly reported), Rita Garcia and cameraman Ricky Rodriguez, who called me to help with what appeared to be an injured dog with the owner not available to help by all accounts at the scene of a very frantic situation. We all believed the dog had a broken leg, because he was frantically trying to get up, but could not and appeared to be in a lot of pain. When I got there, I concurred with Channel 5 and the bystanders' assessment of the need to contact public safety to help rescue the pet that by all accounts could not get up because his whole hind leg was hanging down from the balcony and jammed between the iron balcony railing and the walkway.Your article states I climbed the balcony, which I did not, but was given access to the apartment by the owner who invited me in and explained the situation that, unbeknownst to anyone watching the dog in distress, the dog was 14 years old, arthritic and on pain medication. It also became obvious that the owner of the dog was home but was totally unaware of the situation that his dog was lying in his feces and was trapped between the iron balcony and the walkway or his dog's frantic efforts to withdraw his entire leg that was trapped and hanging from the balcony. Once I got to meet the owner, I accepted his assurance that the dog was fine and his invitation to show his paintings, along with a tour of his apartment. Then I went down to explain the situation to the rescue personnel and citizens that had gathered to express sympathy and concern for the dog's safety and welfare. The Herald report also mentions other incidents, which really have nothing to do with the current incident and are also reported inaccurately by leaving out important information. Would the Herald reporter rather citizens not get involved and ignore situations to help someone in need? No wonder our society is so dysfunctional and some so inhumane towards animals that they act out by being abusive towards pets and people. In this March 4, 2009, news article, two unrelated incidents are referred to, which leaves an inaccurate perception when I adopted an injured blue heeler from the animal shelter and was later accused of stealing, but when the trial drew near I was asked to produce proof of ownership and did. The D.A. dismissed the overzealous charge against me by a now-former Health Director who acted inhumanely towards this pet by denying it medical treatment for 10 days and refusing to allow me to provide it. Then the Herald’s referenced the November 7, 2007, incident where a dog had actually been hit by a car and I was called to rescue it. The owner of said dog refused to respond to all efforts for help when I left phone messages or my card with a written note to claim their dog. Because I could not ignore the dog’s need for medical attention, I had him hospitalized for a week. Once released the dog was placed in foster care, but again the person previously believed to be the owner did not respond to our requests to claim his dog and abandoned the home, along with the dog, to avoid paying his rent. The dog was slowly nurtured to health and three months later the previous owner suddenly wanted to reclaim the dog but made no attempt to reimburse us for the hospitalization nor care and maintenance for three months, but convinced the police they had a right to the dog when, by law, after 30 days of abandonment they had lost the right to reclaim the dog. Knowing this, we fought for the dog and the inhumane owner did not show up in court, because they had no le
POPULISM MAY BE THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM

"A political system is essentially a set of arrangements by which some people dominate others." Political Thinking, Glenn Tinder, 1974.

For me there is nothing more dangerous than when politicos follow the demands of the people. Who are the people? They hate earmarks unless it is for a bridge in their community. They hate Congress, unless it is their congressman. They hate government, unless they are demanding the government tends to their needs. They are so poorly educated that they cannot make the connection between taxes and government services. They are so narcissistic that they believe that the only government spending which is acceptable is that spending which meets their agenda. The people cannot and will not conceive of the notion that maybe, just maybe, they have a neighbor who based on their experiences sees the role of government differently.

Populism for me always has been and always will be mob rule. It comes about when politicos are too cowardly and too intellectually inept to stand up to the people and say - "this is the way it must be." The funny thing about populism is, it tends to bring about tyrants who then gain the favor of the people because that same lack of intellect which formed the demands of the populous, now becomes their prison as they worship the tyrant because the tyrant now does all of the thinking for the populous.

Even our Founding Fathers understood this. With the exception of a handful of communities around the country, direct democracy is dead in the US and in fact never really existed. One of my pet peeves is when a person calls me and asks me a legal question. I give them a straight up and down answer. The response is always the same - "but my girl friend told me that her aunt’s coworker did get the right to castrate her husband for cheating on her." This is the people.

What is the point in electing people to form policy and lead us if it is our intent to tell them they are doing it all wrong all of the time. I am not saying we should not dissent - it is of course my favorite pass time. What I am saying is, our dissent should not guide them. If we elect intelligent qualified people (please I get it not an option in Brownsville) we should trust them to guide us. We should protest when we disagree with their actions. But they should never be guided by the demands of the people. They should be guided by facts, by science, by widely held principles of economics - for example.

Remember who the people are - they talk to dead people. They listen to Rush, Hannity, and Beck. The other day I was discussing one of the latest lies by these three being send out for consumption by their moronic loyalists. According to them President Obama is going to force every doctor to do abortions of face loss of medicare and medicaid monies. A bold face lie, which these morons will believe. They have no interest in science or facts, so you can sell them snake oil every time. And the three Amigos know the populous will but it every time.

As shocking as it may sound not every doctor has training in performing abortions. Not every doctor just has the equipment sitting around his/her office for performing abortions. Not every doctor has malpractice insurance which covers abortions. And on and on and on -

Really, do you want the Herald guiding the populist movement in Brownsville. This morning’s article on Sossi as the city attorney was written by two-bit never amount to anything reporter who never met a complete truth worth printing. The Herald is fully aware that the Court of Appeals found that the Commissioners are entitled to health benefits. But they wanted the people to believe otherwise so that Cavasos can sell newspapers to idiots.