Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FAROUK SHAMI NEGOTIATING PLASTICS PLANT FOR BROWNSVILLE

While reading mysa.com I saw this story.  The reporter and editor did not get the story quite  right.  The following is an e-mail I got from Shami's representatives on the issue.

"Thank you for your email. We are currently working on the bidding process of it. We met with a plastics company in Brownsville and last week they came to Houston to meet with us. Therefore, it is still a work in progress and we hope to close the deal as soon as possible. Once it is a done deal then I will certainly write a press release, thanks!"

DEPRESSION U.S.A.

ALEX IS NOT THE PROBLEM, IT IS THE COLLAPSED ECONOMY - TIME TO BUCKLE DOWN

The American people owe the world 13 trillion dollars. If you believe capitalism works you are a moron. We as a people have what we have not because free enterprise works - but because we borrowed the world into bankruptcy and financial ruin. The American economy did not run on the salaries of the American people, it ran on credit. Corporate America could not produce the revenues needed to meet the gluttony of the American people.

I know the American people - turning a blind eye to reality is as American as apple pie (actually a British dish). American’s are no more loyal to a losing team than they are to their own country. Patriotism is an American myth - Being an American is nothing more than being a glutton - nothing else matters to the average American. Total U.S. consumer debt: $2.44 trillion, as of April 2010 (Source: Federal Reserve's G.19 report on consumer credit, June 2010)

In the last two weeks I have logged many an hour speaking with executives at banks and mortgage companies. What I learned was shocking most so because it was obvious. I should have seen it. There is no way out of the banking crisis except to allow the banks to make one last effort to make a profit before the complete and final collapse of the American economy.

The world economy cannot afford another collapse of the US economy. There will be war, racial upheaval, and major civil disobedience. We have already seen rioting all over the world when countries cut back on subsidies to the people.

SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Years ago I noted that the rebates in the car industry along with the low interest rates would prove devastating to the industry. Once people come to believe rebates and low interest rates are an entitlement they will rebel before they give them up.

Today, a disabled Texas veteran can get a mortgage at 4%. Regular Texas veterans are guaranteed a rate of 4.5%. A conventional loan ranges from 4.6% to about 4.8%. This can change hourly. Let’s begin with 4.6%, because the Texas veteran loans are subsidized by the state.

You are a bank, how much profit can you make loaning money at 4.6 %. The 4.6% is not pure profit. From that profit they incur the cost of managing the loan, and the costs associated with foreclosures. This is why banks want to invest in derivatives. I will never fault anyone for wanting to make a profit. Profit is a good thing.

Chase bank has pulled out of the Texas Veteran Land Board programs because they are managed by citi-mortgage for the TVLB. In fact virtually every major bank no longer does business with the one source Texas veterans can go to for cheap mortgages. - internal regulations at citi-mortgage has left banks like Chase holding mortgage notes at 4% without the subsidy from the TVLB.

The banks no longer follow VA, FHA, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae mortgage guidelines. The banks are using stricter guidelines. I learned this when Wells Fargo refused me a VA loan and the chief lawyer for the VA had to write a letter and direct the banks to stop blaming the VA for why they are no longer giving out VA loans. The problem is industry wide. The banks are cowards and blaming the government. When asked to produce the guidelines the banks cut and run and will no longer return your phone calls.

This got me thinking - so I called in some contacts and was able to speak with several bank executives. This is why getting a loan has become a nightmare - I now have the story. When you have a credit score well into the 700's a loan should be simple - but it not - anything on your credit report will kill you. In 2001 I filed for bankruptcy. I voluntarily dismissed the bankruptcy. Everyone was paid 100% of what they were owed. I had to file to protect my assets from a bogus creditor. He went away real fast rather than face a BK judge. The fact everyone was paid, and my current debt is under $700.00, and based on the formulas I can afford a $200,000.00 home, means nothing. The banks are looking for any excuse they can find to deny you a mortgage.

SO WHY THE CREDIT CRUNCH - WHAT IS HAPPENING?

The US owes 13 trillion dollars to the world. The US controls interest rates. Do you believe the FED will raise interest rates in a way which causes the US debt to skyrocket? No, they will not. Interest rates will remain artificially low to limit its impact on the US 13 trillion dollar debt.

This means banks will never return to loan money for homes. Without mortgage money, the economy will never recover. Brownsville actually has a housing shortage. For a so so apartment, my friend had to reserve his apartment a month in advance. Unless the apartment complex is a complete dump, there is no room at the inn in Brownsville. There is no affordable rental homes in Brownsville. I am defining affordable as under $1,000 a month. People want to build homes and apartments, but there is no money.

Personally, I think the federal government should raise the interest rate on VA and FHA mortgages to 7%. This will encourage the banks to loan. This will never happen because the people will rebel.

The bottom line is the US , without causing the US national debt to go through the ceiling more so than it has already gone, cannot allow interest rates to go up. This will keep money tight, Without credit the American people do not spend. The low interest rates on mortgages have banks charging outrageous rates on their credit cards. People cannot afford 30% interest rates on their credit cards. My friends laugh at me because they will ask - how much more do you need to save before you can buy ......? In the last two years (actually have not bought anything in the last 6 months) I have paid cash for a new refrigerator, washer and dryer, 52 inch flat screen TV, computer, printer, an laptop. I did not pay one penny in interest on any of it. I either saved for the items or bought them on an interest free credit card at Sears. I maintain a $700.00 balance on my two credit cards so that I can maintain a good credit rating. My balance at Sears is 0.

BACK TO THE ISSUE

You cannot really understand the problem without the anecdotal stories - sorry.

Something has to happen which will cause interest rates to go up - and go up big time. This will destroy the world economy. The US cannot afford high interest rates. With 13 trillion in debt, a 1 point increase in what the US pays to borrow money could prove devastating. But with low interest rates banks cannot afford to loan money, which is needed to stimulate the economy.

There is only one solution - the government needs to set the minimum mortgage rate at 7% and the maximum credit card rate at 18%. This will never happen because the people will yell revolution if mortgage rates go up. The financial sector will yell financial ruin if they can only charge 18% on credit cards. BUT ALSO, the US cannot afford 7% mortgages because who will buy US debt at low interest rates if they can buy mortgage notes at 7%. It is an endless trap.

So the final result is, the US economy will linger and slowly collapse while bringing the world economy down with it.

I see a very bleak future. Our Founding Fathers understood a direct democracy does not work. The people cannot be trusted. Unfortunately President Obama and Congress care more about their reelection than they care about the American people.

I hope after the November election someone will announce against President Obama with a promise to do what needs to get done even if it means being a one term president. They need to take to the airwaves and tell the American people the hard truth. Capitalism has failed. It is time the national government start to manage the natural resources owned by the American people so that the profits can be used to pay down the debt. We need a guaranteed balanced budget, with all profits from government owned businesses being used to buy down the debt.

The only question is, is there someone with the courage to tell the truth, and will the American people listen to the truth.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ALEX APPEARS TO BE COMING IN ABOUT 50 MILES SOUTH OF BROWNSVILLE

By this afternoon Alex should be a hurricane.  As I have been saying, this high ridge over the southern US is guiding this storm.  It it weakens the slightest Alex will move further up the coast.  It it gets stronger Alex will move further down the coast.  In the last 24 hours it seems to have stabilized. 

People, use commonsense.  We need to be ready, but not act like 5 sandbags are going to save our homes.  I will say, I am certain to my detriment, that the sandbag distribution system is a con on the people and a complete waste of taxpayers money.  Really people, 5 sandbags are going to save your home. 

Years ago on line I bought a 100 empty sandbags on line.  My house is very elevated so I will never really need them.  They are buried someone in my garage.  But if I ever do need them, I will go to Boca Chica with friends and fill them.  A 100 might do some good, but 5 - really?  People love to play the fool.
SOMETHING AWESOME FOR BROWNSVILLE, AND A TRUTH HARD FOR THE IGNORANT

HBO Real Sports is running a story on the success of Brownsville’s children in chess. I do not know if this is something which has been out there for a long time, but nonetheless it is a great story to watch. The story profiles the two teachers who started the program and the students. The program started with the teachers and succeeded on the hard work of the students. In the end the success of the program is with the teachers and the students and not BISD.

Like any story done by an American journalist, at times it is suspect. To put some drama into it the reporter painted Matamoros as a place where a mother was putting the live of her children into danger so that she could afford a teacher for her children to make them better chess players.

But in the end the story is uplifting. It is well worth the watch. There is a political lesson in this story. The success came from the teaches and students NOT THE POLITICIANS. This teacher took the idea and ran with it. He understood politicians get in the way. Yes BISD has put up some money, but it was the teachers who took the bull by the horns on the issue and not BISD or its Board of Trustees.

There was a side note in the story about how UTB is recognized as having one of the best chess programs in the country - beating out the likes of Harvard, Yale etc - what the story did not say is if the chess players on scholarships at UTB are local or imports.


BISEXUALITY COMING OF AGE

“Her husband feels a sexual and emotional attraction toward men and women. While he fantasizes about Angelina Jolie just as his straight male friends might do, he is also attracted to Brad Pitt.”

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/06/28/bisexual.male.last.closet/index.html?hpt=C2

I laughed so hard when I read this because I have said this so many times. Angelina Jolie for bisexual men seems to be the ultimate goal. Brad Pitt is the weaker of the two.

You should get two things out of the above article - married for nearly 18 years and they are monogamous. Being bisexual does not mean cheating on your spouse. It just means when you see a hot man, some elevation occurs. It also means when you see a hot woman, some elevation occurs.

This man in the story is emotionally healthy on the issue because he faced his reality. He was lucky to meet a woman who understood sexual attraction does mean acting out sexually. I am certain she has been aroused by a hot man or 2 - but it does not mean she needs to act on it.

I have been using a term “closet syndrome” for some nearly 25 years. It is not limited to people in the closet with their sexual identity. It can apply to anyone who has a secret to hide. It could apply to someone who was sexually molested at St. Joes, and never dealt with what happened.

Closet syndrome people basically lie when they speak. They lose the ability to discern right from wrong. It is a consequence of being in denial about themselves. I know for a fact we have at least 2 closet syndrome politicians currently serving as elected officials. I suspect both are bisexual and not merely gay. This causes for an incredible amount of dishonesty in how they conduct themselves.

So ladies, if you truly love your husband tell him, “I am okay if you get a woody when you look at a hot man, it is natural, just do not act on it.” This will make for a better marriage and a more interesting sex life. Suppressing who you are and your sexual feelings is never a good thing. Sex for so many men and women fail not because they are not sexual, but because they are afraid to tell their sexual partner to touch them in a certain way.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BROWNSVILLE UNDER HURRICANE WATCH

As I noted this morning, this storm is being guided by the high ridge over the southern US.  By this afternoon, the center of the cone could be well above Brownsville.  But if the high ridge strengthens, the storm can move back towards Brownsville.  I have wood coverings ready for my windows and can put them up an hour before landfall. Just keep an eye on the storm.  You might take the link to the top left and send it to your friends and family so they can watch the direction of the storm.  Or just link them to the BV.  Again this storm is any one's guess.
ALEX AGAIN MOVING TOWARDS BROWNSVILLE

As I noted yesterday in the comment section, the landfall of this storm is being guided by a high ridge over the south.  The ridge appears to be breaking up.  The weaker the ridge gets the higher up the coast the storm will go.  Given its current movement, it would not surprise me if by this afternoon's update it is already north or Brownsville. 

This unpredictable high ridge is making this storm unpredictable.  I suggest everyone keep an eye on the storm.  I also suggest everyone begin to organize what they intend to do with all their items which are outside.  If you have been following this storm you know it is any one's guess where and when it will hit landfall.
ARE BLOGGERS JOURNALISTS OR MALCONTENTS? IT DEPENDS

Blogging has an incredible potential for exposing the ills of a community and moving society forward. This will not be true so long as the best Brownsville can do is bloggers who learned the trade of journalism at the Brownsville Herald. There have been exceptions in the past and will be exceptions in the future. How a story is approached should not be guided by the legal limits of drama and half-truths you can put into a story and avoid liability. The people, namely the readers, have become sophisticated enough to know that journalism is no longer a profession of just the facts, and bloggers are mostly malcontents with little regard for true investigation into the facts or getting the facts straight even when they know the facts.

Today most journalists and bloggers are the same - what ever it takes to get the limited readership to read their half truths and lies. This is not journalism - it is garbage.

The blogosphere has created an interesting problem for journalists. A good chunk of the reading public is no longer interested in facts - they just want deception which justifies their ignorance. Desperate to maintain a semblance of readership newspapers have taken on the stylings of malcontent bloggers.

SO THE QUESTION IS NOT JUST WHEN DOES A BLOGGER BECOMES A JOURNALIST, BUT WHEN DOES A JOURNALIST BECOME A BLOGGER?

This question is important because it goes to when you can and cannot be sued. As I have noted in the past, I believe the news/oped piece Juan Montoya did on BISD Trustee Joe Colunga, which got him and Sanchez sued, was a valid piece of journalism. The fact I would not have done it because I am hesitant to bring a politician’s child into the public eye, does not mean it is not journalism.

Knowing the law on the issue was difficult for me because so long as I wanted something from Sanchez’s insurance companies, I was not going to give them what they wanted - a way out of the Colunga lawsuit. That problem resolved itself when they realized they were defending a lost cause. I have now provided the insurance company with the needed case law to win the Colunga lawsuit, assuming it had not yet settled.

So what is the law?

‘In other words, von Bulow holds that the purpose of the journalist's privilege is not solely to protect newspaper or television reporters, but to protect the activity of investigative reporting.”

At the end I will provide the reader with the opinion from which all of these quotes originate.

So what is the journalistic privilege? It basically means you do not need to give up your source. For our purposes being a piece of journalism means, the plaintiff must prove the blogger acted with actual malice. Colunga could never reach that standard thereby entitling Montoya/Sanchez to a summary judgment as a matter of law.
Key to bloggers is the following: “Thus, "the critical question for deciding whether a person may invoke the journalist's privilege is whether she is gathering news for dissemination to the public." Again this case focuses in on journalistic privilege, but for our purposes what is important is being recognized as a journalist for purposes of being able to use the ‘actual malice” standard as a defense.

Now I am not going to go through the entire opinion. But another qualifier is, are you reporting facts or just some malcontent under the guise of investigative journalism just reporting garbage? You are not going to succeed in claiming to be a journalist when your blog seems incredibly adept at getting the facts wrong, or not caring about the facts.

The courts have opened a door to bloggers to give them an incentive to get the story correct. This is a good thing. But the courts are also making it easier and easier to sue bloggers. The courts have come to recognize that far too many bloggers believe blogging means destroying anyone who does not bow down to you. It does not.

Freedom of speech means nothing if in the end we lose it to malcontents who do not give a rats ass about what happens in our communities. No one can nor should control the morons who need the trash to feel complete. In the end the best form of regulation comes from the people. The people need to learn to read with an eye for critical thinking and commonsense. If you believe the FBI raided anyone’s office and the only source of reporting is a blog, you are a moron demanding false information. An eye for commonsense and a capacity for critical thinking is all we need in our readers to make a blog credible.

Because I believe in the blogosphere I am moving forward in Washington DC to have the federal courts deal with the issue that blogges who edit their own blogs cannot be held accountable for defamation. There is no language in any federal or state law which provides for same. The 9th Cir. created the rule, while the 7th Cir. has noted it cannot find the rule in the plain language of the statute. Without credibility the blogosphere dies. It becomes a place where bad people destroy innocent people and bad people go to feed their addiction to ignorance.

And for the record, there was never any gag-order. You would think someone who reads English would know removing past comments does not bar posting future comments.

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nj/Media-a0964-09.pdf

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TROPICAL STORM ALEX GUNNING FOR BROWNSVILLE - NOT ANYMORE

UPDATE:  As I noted the pattern appeared to be showing moving southward upon landfall.  The latest predictions have it coming ashore will south of Brownsville.  BV will keep an eye on the storm.

This storm has changed its course several times.  It appears to have a movement southward.  It would not suprise me if by tomorrow the center of the cone is pointing to Mexico.

Friday, June 25, 2010


GROWN UPS

Hilarious - absolutely hilarious - if you miss this film you will miss what is sure to be the best comedy of the Summer.  From nearly square one you are laughing.  I was surprised to learn it is not just a brain dead comedy.  It actually has a feel good story. 

The film starts when the primary characters are 12.  They have just won a basketball playoff game.  Fast forward 30 years and they all reunite for the coach's funeral.  The character played by Adam Sandler decides to rent the same lake house for the weekend where they celebrated their basketball victory. 

What starts out as a weekend of lies/deceptions among friends turns into a new beginning for everyone.

This  film is good for any child over 10, unless watching a 4 year old boy breast feed bothers you.  The jokes are endless.  But I think a lot of 40 somethings can relate to the story of how life takes control of your life and there becomes a point spending a mindless weekend on the lake is what you need to reevaluate your life and its direction.

"Mommy can I have some of her milk" will be a line which lives on for generations.
BROWNSVILLE IN CONE OF 1ST STORM HEADING INTO GULF
TODAY IS A LESSON IN POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Yes dears, I know - no drama readership drops. But the BV is also about understanding the process.

Tonight, I will post my review of "Grownups"
BUT FIRST - Laura Kaechele needs to find a friend to explain to her the more she speaks the worse she looks. She wants my readers to know she was a supporter of commissioner MZ - she actually was on MZ’s Facebook page and had a campaign sign on her lawn. Well I will not get into Facebook because that will only anger people - but really Facebook where people post pictures of everyone they have ever met in an attempt to show they have more “friends” than anyone else.

Here is Laura Kaechele’s logic - “I supported MZ, I was on her Facebook page, therefore it is okay I intentionally tried to mislead people about which children would be served by the Boys and Girls’ Club, without regard for the fact my actions would hurt Brownsville children, and I intentionally brought MZ’s personal life into the question.” Well, I guess I did add a little drama.

BUT SECOND - oh I forgot - oh well

Contrary to the mantra of the Republican Party “Let there be roads, schools, parks, law enforcement, national defense .... .” Life does not work this way. Yes it is true the government cannot just spend money and go into deeper and deeper debt. The deficit spending must stop.

The Republican Party and their base, along with most of the Tea Party people, are the cause of the deficit spending and disaster in Arizona. There are only two ways to fund government, taxes, or revenues generated by governmental entities. The Republicans and Tea Party people as a class, oppose both. Until either of these entities come up with a third way to fund government they will remain the enemies of the people. Now, does this mean I want people to vote Democrat. No - we all know how I feel about the Texas Democratic Party - a racist institution driven to maintain its old guard “Plantation Politics.”

The purpose of this post is to get people to start thinking in terms of real budgets based on real revenues which do not bankrupt the people. I am at a complete loss why we the people cannot simply come to grips with the reality that until we the people agree to allow our governmental entities to engage in profit making ventures the only way government is going to fund itself is through taxes.

I have no defense to anyone who says, look at the disaster of the port. Yes Virginia the port is a financial disaster. At this point in its history it should be paying millions of dollars annually into the pockets of the taxpayers under its tutelage. I have called for the sale of the port to private enterprise. As configured it is a failure.

Now, there is another option. We the people can demand through the electoral process that the port leadership and board process be changed. I will be honest, I have no idea whether this would be done locally, or at the state level. But if we do not sell the port, then we need to by law force an end to control by local yokels. A compromise would be a joint venture with an out of area management company which would have sole control over the port, but pay dividends to the Port of Brownsville taxing authority who would then redistribute the dividends to all of the local governmental entities within its taxing authority based on a per capita ratio of population, save the county. Now if 100% of the taxing area is within the City of Brownsville, then the dividends would be paid to the City of Brownsville. I would go so far as to say the law which allows for this could designate how the money is used - for example - first to roads and infrastructure, then to a convention center and new airport - you get the idea.

There has to be other ways for the city to generate revenues. Look people, quality of life projects have to go on the back burner for now, unless the project has the ability to generate revenues.

I have had mixed revues and feelings about Imagine Brownsville and United Brownsville. My initial reaction was this is good. Then I got involved with the committees. The committee I was on was designed to be a rubber stamp of preconceived ideas. The day I got endless e-mails about the next meeting with the time and place changing every hour I decided Imagine Brownsville was being managed by buffoons. I think back to the public meetings on the issue wherein people were asking for sidewalks. I remember thinking, do these people not realize they have volunteered for a dog and pony show? That is all it was.

It is hard for me to image Imagine Brownsville ever being a success. From its inception, while the concept is good, it was a con job. But now we have United Brownsville. If I understand Commissioner Gowen, United Brownsville is in endless meetings coming up with more goals. People who work by pushing endless meetings rarely accomplish anything.

I want United Brownsville, but its problem is - Brownsville politicians are driving the process - this means failure. Brownsville politicians will always stand in the way of progress for the advancement of their own egos.

This does not mean United Brownsville cannot work. It’s only hope for success is a strong leader willing to look the leadership in the face and say - enough is enough. That is not going to happen.

Nothing other than a lack of will prevents local businesses and community activists from coming together and creating their own version of United Brownsville. They need to define 3 projects which have the potential of generating revenues for Brownsville and the surrounding areas. The goal has to be only revenue generating projects.

This private entity can then use the local media and blogs to push these three revenue generating projects. Local business cannot keep on going to the city commission and demand support for the redevelopment of downtown. It is time they stop waiting for the welfare check from the COB and just do it. All over the US inner-city redevelopment began in most cases with the gay community. They went into areas with lots of crime and older homes in desperate need of repairs. When I first moved to Dallas, the Oaklawn area was a high crime area with the corner where the Centrum building now sits as ground zero for prostitution. The area was adjacent to an area known as little Mexico. Today you better be upper middle class or higher if you expect to live in the area. The gay community did not wait for the city leaders to lead on redevelopment of the area - they took the bull by his horns and just did it.

In Brownsville we wait and wait and wait in hopes the local yokels will act. Guys if you are going to continue to wait for United Brownsville to finish their endless meetings, you will be long dead before anything gets down.

Now I am confused, what is it? - government should take the lead and start to find ways to generate revenues without taxes, or the people should take the lead? It is not that simple. Capitalism work best when there is intense competition. The only chance United Brownsville has to work is if it is made nearly obsolete by a people’s initiative. The second it feels threatened it may finally step up to the plate and say - enough meetings.

The Port if managed by a professional company wherein they can only be fired if they do worse than the current yokel locals, could result in large revenues for Brownsville. The world needs to be mixed.

Our local leaders will never lead. The concept of leadership is beyond their limited skills. Their narcism is so overwhelming the idea of leading for the greater good is beyond their capabilities. Yes we have invested a lot in the Sports Park, but once the additional infrastructure is done to meet UIL requirements, enough - it is time to move on to other projects. Other than sheer ignorance how could anyone explain further expansion of the Sports Park while other needed potential revenue generating projects go ignored. Is it possible our esteemed local yokels have never heard of a diversified portfolio?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CNN MAKING NEWS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO

CNN is playing the oldest journalistic con job in the world.  They ask the chief Republican in the Senate is a filibuster possible when Supreme Court nominee Kagan's  name comes before the Senate.  The answer obviously has to be too soon to tell - regardless of who the nominee is.

But CNN needs to make non-existent news so they go with a bogus story.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/06/20/kagan.nomination.gop/index.html?iref=obinsite
A HODGEPODGE OF DISBELIEF, MEDICAID FRAUD, AND MY NARCISM BECAUSE ITS ME

LAURA KAECHELE

In a late night e-mail from Laura Kaechele she informed the BV she was unaware Sorry Charlie Atkinson reappointed her to the BCAC. So now we have city commissioners appointing people to committees without their knowledge or consent. What a system.

Also to sum up yesterday- the post was not about whether the BCAC should have awarded money to the Boys and Girl’s Club, it was about Sorry Charlie Atkinson’s and Laura Kaechele’s response to the controversy. In what Laura Kaechele claims to be an uncoordinated response, both deceptively pushed people into believing this club would serve Los Fresnos when in fact it would not, and both tried to push some nonexistent conflict of interest based on some alleged friendship MZ has with the architectural firm donating the plans.

The purpose of the post was the deception. What is sad is they simply could have noted such as Ben Medina did, “ The committee reviewed $7.3 Million worth of CDBG proposals.” which was more than BCAC had to give. It was a matter of trying to balance the various requests with the amount available for distribution. People would have understood this - but no Sorry Charlie Atkinson and Laura kaechele had to take the path of deception and MZ’s personal life. Also as a matter of policy BCAC members have no business going after city commissioners.

Brownsville will never ever move forward so long as this type conduct plays within Brownsville’s politics. This is why there needs to be accountability. It has nothing to do with Boys and Girl’s Club not getting funding. Why would good people run for city commissioner if they know they will have to face people like Sorry Charlie Atkinson or Laura Kaechele.

For the record, I want the spending to stop. As to the Sports Park other than that which is needed to meet UIL demands there should not be one more penny spent on the Sports Park. It is time for Brownsville to move forward on other desperately needed projects - the entertainment district, convention center, and yes a new airport with direct access to 77.

THE MEDICAID INDICTMENTS

Several months back, maybe even a year back, I discussed what I considered to be medicaid fraud in the dental industry. One reader took me to task for questioning the over use of braces for children on medicaid. It is way over used. In fact medicaid recipients run to the doctor all of the time over nothing. When I took my fall several weeks ago it took me 3 days to run to the doctor and then I went because my neck was stiff. I had a big knot on my head and did not care. I checked the internet and I learned that even if you have a concussion you just stay in bed and look for symptoms like a stiff neck before running to the doctor.

Now the Republicans will oppose me on this, but this is how you reduce the cost of medicaid to the states and the fraud. Medicaid patients should be seen in government run community clinics similar to the new VA clinic in Harlingen. But we cannot do this even though it means saving tax dollars because it would mean communism - which it is not. This is yet another example how Republican support for private business costs the taxpayers money they do not have.

ME, ME, ME, MEEEE AND A REQUEST FOR HELP

Divine providence has intervened and is forcing me to stay in Brownsville. For 4 months I worked on looking for a home in San Antonio. I am so tired of traveling back and forth to SA for my healthcare. Well in those 4 months with the exception of my pain management doctor, I no longer have any reason to travel back and forth to SA. Those days are gone.

During my adventures in house shopping I learned the seller’s realtor and the owners are dishonest in ways which make the Cameron County Democratic Party look like angels. I was in contract on one house with an approved mortgage when the owners made it clear I could not so much as send someone on the property to get an estimate for the repairs they lied about. By law they have to complete a seller’s disclosure. They failed to reveal that the spa in the pool was broken, the plaster in the pool had cracks, and the roof leaked. After they made it clear they would not allow me to get estimates for the repairs, I cancelled the contract. They paid me my $730.00 in out of pocket expenses rather than face suit for fraud. They actually put into an e-mal that their realtor told them they did not have to disclose the spa was broken.

House number two was nice enough. The inside was real nice - it had everything I wanted on the inside, but the outside was a dump. I knew I was in trouble when I was told the sellers did not have time to complete a seller’s disclosure. I made the mistake of paying for an inspection before seeing the seller’s disclosure - so I cannot now say they lied to me. The roof and air conditioner both need to be replaced. This was the final blow. I am done trying to buy in SA.

My problem is I live in a foreclosed home. The owner failed to use my rent money to pay the mortgage so the home was foreclosed on. Because federal law prohibits banks from evicting renters on less than 90 days notice, I have been given some time to move out. I wasted that time looking for a house in SA. To be clear my realtor in SA was top-notch - he was truly my advocate. I have every reason to believe my Brownsville realtor is also top notch.

So I have found a house. The only question is, can the lender move the mortgage fast enough to get me a closing before my move out date. My move out date is July 7, 2010. I might be able to get the bank to give me a 1 or 2 week extension. If I cannot then I need to find a rental home.

In Brownsville as far as I can tell there are very few rental homes available. Every home in Craigslist I have called on has been a scam by people just trying to get my financial information.

A CALL FOR HELP

In the event I cannot work a deal on the home I looked at this morning I need to find a rental home ASAP - if anyone knows of one - please let me know. I literally have been driving all over Brownsville randomly driving up and down streets in search of a for rent sign on a house - nothing - there is nothing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ATKINSON PROVES INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY HAS NO PLACE IN POLITICS

Let’s begin with a definition, influence peddling does not necessarily mean money is involved. It can be used in the context of questionable lobbying. This is how I use the term.

If someone comes to me via e-mail or a post and says, “I want your commitment that you will not use my name. If you can agree I will give you a story.” If I agree before they give me information, I will never reveal my source. But if someone provides me an unsolicited story and then asks that I not use their name, initially, I will not use their name. That may change if I come to realize the source was not in fact a source but someone playing dirty politics - then the name is coming out.

The BCAC Board Member who submitted yesterday’s post, with a request I not go public with her name was Sorry Charlie Atkinson’s appointee Laura Kaechele. (Guys I will reject all posts which try and link these two in any manner other than her being an appointee of Sorry Charlie Atkinson.)

In response to my teaser post, she sent me the following e-mail. “Interesting...but not so. I have never been contacted or influenced by any member of the commission or any non profit that applied. So looking forward to your article. Again..this committee is ADVISORY. The commission has the last say..not us.”

I will leave it to my readers to form their own opinion about whether or not Sorry Charlie Atkinson ever contacted her.

I have said many times I am about the process and not the end result. So today’s post is going to be about the process and the behind the scenes lies. I suspect the vote on the B&G’s Club would have been the same. So what is the story, the story is about unethical conduct at the BCAC. These appointees are to serve the community and not the desires of the city commissioners. Laura Kaechele needs to immediately resign. If she fails to resign then the city commission needs to take whatever action allowed by law to force the question.

To mislead the people of Brownsville, Laura Kaechele stated “The application was asking for 1.5 million dollars, when there was appox. only 800k to allocate amongst all these classified projects”

MZ immediately disputed this claim. Well I do not play the he said she said claim. So I decided I needed the opinion of someone who would know for sure. This is what Ben Medina had to say on the dispute as to available funds.

“Ms Zamora: The committee reviewed $7.3 Million worth of CDBG proposals and recommended funding for $1,660,788 of infrastructure, $533,028 and $1,359,703 of commitments. I do not know where the $800,000 was said and by whom, it was probably misspoken number”

Laura Kaechele was clearly trying to convince the people of Brownsville that MZ was requesting more money than was available to award. Such conduct does not serve the people of Brownsville well. BCAC members should not be making themselves party to the dirty politics of city commissioners.

Laura Kaechele was also trying to mislead the people of Brownsville by getting into MZ’s personal life. I can tell Laura that I have received information about her personal life which I would not disclose - why? - it would be a distraction from the story. Laura apparently chose to take the same path as Sorry Charlie Atkinson.

Let’s assume for argument sake only MZ is friends with someone at this architectural firm which is donating the plans. On this limited issue, what is the big deal? Businesses donate services to non-profits all of the time. Businesses donate services to local governments all of the time. It is part of the lobbying efforts to get business. On this issue no one has claimed there has been any exchange of money. No one has claimed promises of a future exchange of money. If we are going to take the position that no friends of city commissioners can donate services to the city or non-profits supported by city commissioners, then we are going to be in big trouble budget wise.

I find it interesting that the Sorry Charlie Atkinson posters, or maybe one of his many personalities, with one personality claim MZ should be soliciting donations to fund the B&G’s club and then with another personality try and destroy her for accepting donations from this architectural firm.

Next we have the issue of - will it be a Brownsville or Los Fresnos B& G’s club? MZ has explained in sufficient detail the possible need for a temporary name. I am not going to link to a host of documents and maps. If need be later I will. Why did Laura in her post continue to push the issue of “Los Fresnos” when the children who would be served would all be BISD students? Answer - dishonesty.

If she does not resign immediately from the BCAC the city commission should take whatever action it legally can take to remove her from the BCAC. We do not need the BCAC members using their name and position to mislead the people of Brownsville.

I have looked at the map and the following statement from MZ is true. “The property where the Club would be located is within city limits, as clarified in an e-mail I believe I forwarded to your from Javier Mendez of Cameron County. A few years ago, the property, which is owned by the county, was annexed by the City. It is frontage property has stipulated in the map I sent you. The frontage property falls within city limits. And you are correct, all those children in the area, within Cameron Park and within city limits, attend BISD schools. The Club would serve them all.”

This morning I posted through 2 of 4 statements which someone in a bad mood chose to post late last night. I allowed 2 of them through because they showed the desperation of the poster to continue with the lies. We cannot have good government so long as people like Sorry Charlie Atkinson and Laura Kaechele are part of that government.

Like I said in past posts, now was not the time to be asking for that level of funding with the budget being what it is. But MZ has not stopped there. The documents I have seen show great effort by MZ to find the money from other federal sources to fund this club for the boys and girls of Brownsville, not Los Fresnos. These type clubs save the taxpayers in the long run. Now is the time to help these kids, and not once they end up in the criminal justice system.

I would hope once this club comes to fruition, it would include counseling in nutrition. I see parents turning their 6 month old babies into junk food addicts because they do not know better. These type clubs can educate children in ways they will never be educated at home or in school. Brownsville desperately needs a B&G’s club. Again in the long run it saves the taxpayers money. But right now money is tight. I hope MZ finds the money for the project, but the timing could not be worse.

Given the importance of a B&G’s club in the Cameron Park area, and Sorry Charlie Atkinson’s desperate and despicable conduct to mislead the people of Brownsville on the issue, I can say without hesitation Sorry Charlie Atkinson does not give a rats ass about children. There was no reason for the way he handled this matter. Children are not pawns to be used by politicians or disposed of to serve a political end. Sorry Charlie Atkinson has proven he will do both of these things to get what he wants.

The city commission needs to take immediate action to investigate the actions of Laura Kaechele and the role Sorry Charlie Atkinson played in pushing Laura into misleading the people of Brownsville.

MZ was vindictive by demanding an AG opinion. She cannot get around that - but it is clear to see that vindictiveness came as a result of this unethical conduct at the BCAC and Sorry Charlie Atkinson. This does not excuse her vindictiveness on the issue. People get angry and show bad judgment. (Like I have never been angry.) The focus at this point needs to be the credibility of the BCAC and Sorry Charlie Atkinson.
THIS STORM IS WORTH KEEPING AN EYE ON

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TEASER - IS THE BCAC SUBJECT TO INFLUENCE PEDDLING FROM COMMISSIONERS? - A CALL FOR A BOARD MEMBER AND COMMISSIONER'S RESIGNATION

The story I am working on has independent verification from a non-BCAC Board Member and a non-commissioner, that something is rotten at the BCAC - it is time to clean house.
FROM A BCAC BOARD MEMBER

I am editing this comment because it contains a personal statement about MZ. I believe it detracts from the greater discussion herein.  I do want to say that MZ appears to be saying she fixed the Los Fresnos/Brownsville issue and that the BCAC was made aware of this.  But in the end if the comments in this post are accurate, then the name issue is irrelevant to the final result.

"Bobby,

I sit on the BCAC and want to remain anonymous. Here are the facts.

CDBG funds are federal funds. They are awarded to cities to be utlilized in low income areas that are identified by HUD. Melissa Zamora made a presentation to the Brownsville Citizen's Advisory Committee for the "Boy's and Girl's Club of Los Fresnos." They had to have this name because Brownsville lost it's charter (theft, etc.) and administratively they would be working under B & C club of McAllen if I remember correctly. The land proposed was county owned land in front of Cameron Park. Their grant included purchasing the property from CC and building a facility from the ground up. The architect for the project is Gomez & Mendez. ... . [what ia have edited out may be of major importance in terms of further evidence of conflict of interest. If what I have edited out is true, then we have yet another piece of evidence of poor judgment. I have seen some evidence of this claim on her facebook - but it is not black and white.] Conflict? maybe..but what is comes down to is this:
The application was asking for 1.5 million dollars, when there was appox. only 800k to allocate amongst all these classified projects. So..do you buy one steak and feed 1 person or do you buy the pound of ground beef and feed a family of four? In these lean times it's about serving the greater good. And the greater good would be for other non profits who have years of proven establishment to continue to offer services funded by the CDBG grant. Of three public hearings..3 persons from the public attended. I repeat 3! Why the uproar now? The meetings were announced and published in the Brownsville Herald and City Hall and City Offices. There were many other projects that did not get funded. Perhaps if the grant had an existing building in a HUD approved area and the grant budget wasn't 100% dependent on the award...maybe things would have been different. But in the end..1.5 million dollars just wasn't there for us to give.

As a commissioner MZ has two appointments to the BCAC. I don't recall anyone of the members fighting for her project. It was unanimous..no funding for the Boys and Girls Club of Los Fresnos. Chairman Jesus Quesada stated that at the meeting.

Please edit..arrange..however you'd like. Please keep me anonymous.
MIXED REVIEWS ON LOCAL TEA PARTY

It is no great secret that I do not trust or like the Sorolas. The local Tea Party is reporting the Sorolas are starting a petition drive to stop the city from issuing CO without our approval. I personally believe that the AG opinion on the issue is wrong, and that on this issue the City Charter governs the issue. It is how you phrase the question which confuses people. Yes, state law does trump local city charters. But that is the con job. If you have one provision which states that city charters will govern the issue, then that is state law which is directing the result. The problem is when you may have a conflicting provision which only applies if another state law has not already given sole authority to the city charter. I would love to see a lawsuit on this issue. It is time to stop the spending and debt.

If I get a chance to sign the petition I will sign it, but I will not go out of my way to sign it.

NOW, TEA PARTY GOES OFF DEEP END AND LOSES CREDIBILITY.

This is the problem with the Tea Party and most anti-tax anti-government Republicans. I agree the situation in Arizona is desperate. The other day a rancher was shot dead on his own land. This is not acceptable. I fully support deploying the national guard to stop this declaration of war against Arizona by the Mexican drug cartels, not Mexico. But my question is, why does the Tea Party declare that Obama has turned over parts of Arizona to Mexico when in fact it is the Republican governor of Arizona refusing to use her Commander in Chief powers to address the situation? Answer the governor wants the American people as a whole to pick up the bill for the defense of Arizona. She knows if she uses her Commander in Chief powers to defend Arizona she will have to raise taxes. This is why the Tea Party and the governor of Arizona have no credibility. Neither is willing to fess-up it is time for more deficit spending to defend Arizona. We know the Tea Party will never admit to such a reality. We know the welfare queen of Arizona, Governor Brewer will never admit it is time she raise taxes on the people of Arizona to meet the needs of the people.

Yes, and I will say it, only a racist at heart would use the headline “Reconquista Realized.” This implies that Mexico and the pro immigration movement support what is happening in Arizona with the drug cartels. It was racist at its core and reflects the author’s ignorance and lack of interest in the problem. Since the Tea Party is unaware of same, Mexico is also at war with the drug cartels. Further since the Tea Party is also unaware, many of the undocumented workers are coming to the US to get away from these criminals and the havoc these criminals are wreaking on their lives. To imply that somehow Mexico and the undocumented workers support these criminals reflects a deep seated racism which all rational Americans must oppose. And for the record, why the term undocumented workers versus illegal aliens. I will tell you since the Tea Party again fails to understand the issue. The last number I saw estimated that some 6 million undocumented workers either came to this country legally and in many cases remain in this country legally, but work without a permit. This is what we call knowledge, something which eludes the Tea Party.

You see the people of Arizona are the worst of the welfare queens - “help us, help us, we do not want to pay taxes for our law enforcement so please, please American people you agree to higher taxes and deficit spending to protect Arizona so that we do not have to pay with our tax dollars.”

Arizona needs to step up to the plate and raise taxes to pay for additional law enforcement. Until the Tea Party is willing to take the same position they have nothing to say on the issue except total BS. But I agree it is time the President send US troops at the expense of the federal taxpayers to take control of the border between Arizona and Mexico. I cannot help but ask, had the fence built in Texas along the natural border known as the Rio Grande, been built along the entire Arizona border would Arizona be a safer place today? It would be - but many of the voices in the Tea Party and the anti-tax Arizona welfare queens would not listen to reason - they wanted what they wanted and did not care about facts.

The Tea Party will continue to oppose federal deficits and taxes while refusing to be honest that they in fact support deficit spending and higher taxes for what they want. This is why we will never have a balanced budget. As a veteran who relies on the VA for healthcare I have called for a 20% cut in the budget for veterans care by ending the federal subsidy to the medical schools operated by the states. Not one Republican Senator supports my proposal. Why? Because they lie when then say they want a balanced budget.

So on the issue of deficit spending and taxes the Tea Party needs to shut up until they are prepared to say no more spending - even for their pet projects.

Here is an interesting article on the situation in Arizona - this author goes after Governor Brewer such as I do, but also calls for Obama’s impeachment. So while this author appears to be more balanced, he fails to acknowledge the issue of the costs to the federal taxpayer because Arizona refuses to raise taxes to handle their own law enforcement issues.

http://thebroadside.freedomblogging.com/2010/06/16/call-out-the-arizona-militia-impeach-obama/

Arizona is in the mess it is in because of the Republican base and the Tea Party. Politicians fear for their political future if they even mention taxes. Some 10 years ago Arizona should have been increasing the number of people in law enforcement. But the people of Arizona are welfare queens who believe in the book of Genesis it says “let their be law enforcement.” You get what you pay for. The people of Arizona refused to accept higher taxes to protect their communities. Now they cry out like welfare queens for other states and communities with tight budgets to pay for their mistakes. Shame on Arizona, its governor and the Tea Party driven to destroy the national security of the US all in the name of no taxes.

Monday, June 21, 2010

THE ZAMORA ATKINSON CIRCUS CONTINUES OUT OF SHEER STUPIDITY

First, I want to apologize to Ms. Zamora and my readers for an unfortunate comment I allowed through yesterday. I had just got done editing a comment which appears to have been from Sorry Charlie Atkinson for irresponsible comments related to her personal life, when I was being rushed to get out the door to go to Boca Chica beach. I wasn’t thinking and let it through. At this point it would be wrong to remove the comment.

The comment from Sorry Charlie Atkinson which I did block did end up posted elsewhere - which is sad. During the campaign I never posted any comments about MZ’s personal life. I took a lot of nasty hits which I never published through because I refused to publish these personal comments. Further, I have never seen any court documents or documents period which substantiated any these endless personal comments against her. People need to realize some people have only one thing to offer public discourse and that is distractions. Personal comments about MZ should be dismissed as distractions, which are in all likelihood falsehoods or exaggerations of a smaller truth. And yes Ren I did reject your latest comments against MZ.

Sorry Charlie Atkinson and MZ may dislike comments such as those made by Ren, but in their public display over the Sports Park and Boys and Girls Club, they are Ren. These two have the COB looking like a cheap circus with clowns rejected by the Clown College.

At the last meeting MZ smashed Atkinson on his misrepresentation of the Boys and Girls Club location and its name. I did an entire section of a comment on how Atkinson lost credibility over this issue. Atkinson is the type person who believes that if he tells the same lie enough times, people will begin to believe it. And with people like Ren around, Sorry Charlie Atkinson is correct.

Despite the fact that MZ won the argument at the city commission meeting on the issue and had her correct rendition of the facts posted here at the BV, she took the bait from another blog and lowered herself in to yet a further display of child like conduct.

In another blog Atkinson chose to pursue his tirade against MZ in an unprofessional manner while pushing his mischaracterization of the facts behind the Boys and Girls Club. Rather than let it go, MZ chimed in. I do not know if she posted directly to this other blog, or posted elsewhere and then her words were placed in this other blog as if she herself asked that her comments were posted. Either way, she should have simply let it go. It was stupid, child like, and totally unprofessional for her to respond as she did. When dealing with a Sorry Charlie Atkinson the best thing you can do is ignore him.

She could have posted to her many web pages a simple discussion about why the Boys and Girls Club is necessary and its benefits to the community. She could have gone on to simply state her efforts to get the club and how in fact when all is done and said it will be a Brownsville Boys and Girls club. But no, as someone who lacks even the semblance of professionalism or good judgment she took the bait and the low road.

To make matters worse she claims to be the only commissioner willing to keep things honest, and this is why she is requesting and AG opinion. This was insulting to the entire city commission. Sossi is a problem child at this point and will get this commission in deeper trouble than they are already in. What she should have done is try and get at least one other city commissioner on board with the greater issue of, can Sossi be trusted to be able to represent both organizations? This would have put the entire issue into another perspective which people can understand..

If things were not bad enough she ended her responsive tirade with a comment which can only be characterized as “I have not an ounce of credibility, look at me.” After starting this vindictive tirade over not getting the Boys and Girls club she now wants us to believe she is just trying to look out for the people and the fact the city is basically broke. That ship sailed honey - once you went begging for taxpayers dollars to build ad Boys and Girls club while we have massive deficit spending, you lost the right to claim you give a rats ass about the budget or the taxpayers.

I do not believe any right minded person can claim a Boys and Girls club is not good for Brownsville, but it is a matter of timing. This is not the time for anyone for any reason to be asking for money to fund anything which is not income generating. Quality of life projects while good for a community are rarely income generating. Yes, a disproportionate among of public money has gone to the Sports Park. But the park has the potential of being a money maker for the city. This is good MZ - it is time you learn something about economics 101 and how you fund government - it is taxes or revenue generating projects. I prefer the latter.

And for those who do not fully understand the income generating process - it is not just fees paid for use of the park - it is sales taxes generated when people use our hotels, restaurants and general shopping venues. It is jobs created when the hotels, restaurants and shopping venues have to give their employees extra hours to cover periods during such events as the soccer tournament. It is the exposure the city gets when all of these outsiders come to Brownsville to use the Sports Park.

Now I will say the management of the park to date appears to reflect Sorry Charlie Atkinson - we all remember the construction problems and the concert that never was, for example. There is not much we can do with Sorry Charlie Atksinson’s self destructive personality. If the Sports Park has an enemy, it is Sorry Charlie Atkinson. He does nothing but give people reasons to believe the Sports Park is an economic boondoggle. If he wants the Sports Park to succeed, I would suggest he resign and never speaks publically again.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

ZAMORA THROWS BROWNSVILLE UNDER THE BUS IN VINDICTIVE TIRADE

The fact I am doing a special Sunday post should tell my readers how important this issue is to me.

I do want to begin with there is a legitimate question whether or not Marc Sossi can be counsel to the city and GBIC at the same time. This I do believe merits some type AG or State Bar opinion. But I would not go public with such a request in a vindictive tirade.

Sorry Charlie Atkinson and Pat Almighty are one and the same person. They obsess with how to alienate people and make enemies. Sorry Charlie Atkinson seems driven to get in the way of the very progress he proposes. BUT, this does not justify Zamora acting like a spoiled rotten child to the detriment of the city.

I think the question about whether or not GBIC can loan BCIC money is not so much about the tax revenues issue, as much as it is a question about whether or not GBIC can loan money. This is why I think nothing will come of this so called AG request. Further, the AG opinion is just that, and opinion - basically of zero legal value in terms of binding anyone.

I have stated many times, I am a strong advocate of government finding ways to generate revenue without directly taxing the people. This does not include sales taxes - at least for now. I say at least for now, because I oppose the national sales tax.

I did not know that the general plans for the Sports Park area includes possible development of a convention center. This infrastructure is needed not only for the development of the Sports Park but also for the future development of the convention center. (For the record, if the land is already available for the convention center, I would support a bond issue now, while money is cheap to build the convention center, assuming it does not negatively impact our bond rating.)

This soccer tournament has the potential of being big for Brownsville. I would imagine Brownsville will see a hotel shortage during the tournaments. They are going to come not only from all over the US, but also Mexico.

But what really got my goat was how the Herald worked with Zamora to do injury to the city. The pettiness of Cavasos and Zamora over their personal dislike of Atkinson is reckless. The message Cavasos and Zamora sent to the outside world is, our own elected officials will work to undermine development to settle personal vindictive scores.

I would not want to be a city commissioner seen as working with Zamora - it could be and should be a death warrant on their political career.

Finally, the Herald true to form in its obsession to mislead the people, mislead the people in their headlines. The City Commission is not seeking an opinion as alleged by the Herald. The headline should have read, “Vindictive City Commissioner Declares War on Brownsville.”

Friday, June 18, 2010

PERRY STILL LEADS WHITE BY 8 POINTS WITH 8% UNDECIDED

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2010/election_2010_governor_elections/texas/election_2010_texas_governor
BEYOND WORDS - THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NEEDS TO REIGN IN AHUMADA, ATKINSON, AND ZAMORA - THE THREE STOOGES OF BROWNSVILLE - OH CAMARILLO FOR MAYOR


I was traveling Tuesday last and did not see the City Commission Meeting. I saw it last night until 2 in the morning. I was just overwhelmed with all of the nonsense coming from these three. Troiani seemed to keep rolling his eyes every time Zamora opened her mouth. He was clearly frustrated that this show of unprofessionalism continues.

Guys it is not that I believe there is absolutely no good going on with this commission. I will say Camarillo is the most stately of the group. He has a commanding understanding of local government. No one on this commission works harder for their district than Camarillo. I hope the business community will see the commonsense and grace he brings to the meeting and recruit him to run for mayor. I truly believe Camarillo can and will bring Brownsville into the 21st century with a leadership style everyone can work with, while promoting a more professional image of Brownsville.

Now, some people will say he is in bed with Juliet Garcia. I would say - not so. Camarillo appears to be incredibly astute when it comes to politics. Yes, maybe his support of Juliet Garcia’s agenda has resulted in higher fees at TSC/UTB. I think only now are people beginning to see the negative consequences of the fees. A lot of people saw it as a good thing to build a better TSC/UTB. I will not play the role of a Monday morning quarterback. The reversal on the impact fee issue does not bother me. The initial plan approved by the city commission was oppressive on small businesses, and misguided.

THE THREE STOOGES OF BROWNSVILLE

Atkinson as is always the case loses (ha!) credibility every time he speaks. He wants people to believe that Zamora and the mayor acted out of sour grapes, which they did, but then he dumps on barrels of sour grapes on top of their sour grapes. He is so controlled by his tunnel vision agenda for Brownsville he actually believed he was going to get away with characterizing the Boys and Girls Club as a Los Fresnos club. He just lied to the people and expected to get away with it. Atkinson demonstrated he is willing to lie and deceive to promote his sour grapes.

As I have said before I am not about the end result, I am about the process to the end result. Zamora proved that she will shit on Brownsville’s image and needs to settle a score and send a message. It seems with every week she proves she lacks the skills to lead, mediate, or reason. She has a lot to learn if she thinks she can just demand money goes to her projects or else. With the exception of a mayor with no political future on this planet she has managed to alienate the entire city commission from her ideas and agenda.

The mayor has an uneasy fetish for animals. This mayor has obviously never been to a zoo outside of Brownsville. The Brownsville zoo is a dump. Its handlers should be indicted for cruelty to animals. I would love for PETA to come to Brownsville to protest the condition of the gorilla exhibit. It is a disgrace and an indictment on humanity that this exhibit is considered humane. My personal view is the zoo should be shuttered.

Further, this mayor seems to flip his finger at the people when he says, “I do not recognize your motion.” This was outrageous. The only question which remains is, does this city have a hell chance of moving forward so long as this man is the mayor.

Now, it is true as pointed out by Atkinson the Herald makes matters worse by its misleading articles. But Atkinson is no better when it deliberately misleads the people about the location of the Boys and Girls Club Zamora wants to establish.

It is also true that the BCEC is not from property taxes, but it is still tax money. Further the idea BCEC will be paying for something means it does not impact property taxes is a myth. If 5 commissioners are seeking financial support for their project and the BCEC can only help with the Sports Park that leaves the unsatisfied commissioners then seeking money from the general budget to fund their projects, which means impacting property taxes.

The mayor to get what he wants kept on saying lets raise the money through bonds and a vote from the people. Gowen said it best - we need to prioritize. Look I support a gym in my part of town - I support a Boys and Girls clubs - but neither of these projects are income generators nor maintenance of existing projects - such as the roof to the library.

THE BOND PROJECT AND CAMARILLO FOR MAYOR

A bond project is not the answer unless the money is used for income generating projects. Income generating projects bring business to Brownsville and revenues. In short order they could pay for themselves. Everyone knows my two pet income generating projects - a new airport and convention center.

Brownsville leaders seem to be oblivious to NAFTA and CAFTA. I have to say the airport board seems to be doing a great job in trying to bring more flights to Brownsville. This gives me hope for Brownsville. When I read the hope for the airport it actually made me excited for Brownsville. The non-stop to Mexico City is about more than locals going to and from Mexico City for business. It is also about connecting flights from Central America by business people doing business in Brownsville with our port, for example.

Fred Drew speaks of a regional port authority. Given local politics I have always opposed this. I could get behind a regional port authority if the agencies which compose the authority have sole authority to appoint the board members. Further, the agreement would have to have language which requires that the majority of the board members have experience in trade, shipping, international law - you get my drift - I want professionals. The community members must meet a minimum level of education - a BS/BS, preferably a masters degree in anything. Finally, it would also mean no more Port of Brownsville Trustees.

I believe a properly guided United Brownsville can bring about a regional port authority. I am being patient with United Brownsville. I hope the thing Gowen discussed currently before United Brownsville will show United Brownsville will be good for Brownsville.

My other pet project is a convention center. Again this is something which the COB can lead on with maybe a 1/4 interest owned by the port or regional port authority and 1/4 owned by the county.

Both of these projects can and will bring in revenue to the COB and county -revenue which can and will develop downtown. If I knew I could count on this city commission to move forward on a new airport and convention center, I would not think twice about investing in a piano bar in the proposed entertainment district.

The news about the airport has me so excited, although not the new airport like I want, I have decided to live in both Brownsville and San Antonio. For now I will take an apartment in Brownsville for my time here, while keeping my home in San Antonio. In 2 ½ years I will buy into Palm Resaca retirement community.

Look, we need to support a bond issue, but for revenue generating projects only - not the zoo - not a gym - not a Boys and Girls club.

I know the business community gets the value of moving the airport to an area adjacent to 77 and a convention center. They need to lead by getting behind people who can see and understand this vision. I really want Camarillo to run for mayor. I think he has proven he can work with the business community in a commonsense way, while being an advocate for the people.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

THE PROBLEM WITH RUMORS THEY ARE RUMORS


Last week I received a letter from the Department of Justice wherein the lawyer for the Obama Administration called the claims of corruption at the port over the 21.4 million non-existent bridge, and the Limas/Amit Livingston affair to be fanciful. Now if indictments do come down, it would not surprise me one hand at the DOJ has no idea what the other hand is doing.

In a year where the White House wants to see more Democrats in the governor’s house, it would seem highly unlikely this president would support indictments against Democrats in Texas while his candidate Bill White refuses to even denounce the corruption. South Texas needs to make clear to Bill White and the Democratic Party, not one vote until they cleanup the criminal enterprise which is the Democratic Party.

But rumors abound that next week 7 indictments are coming down.

WHAT I SEE

I see a Christian establishment singing glory be to god in a cathedral filled with gold pagan idols with an alter surrounded with Easter Lilies and replica of Joshua (aka Jesus) on the cross oblivious to the fact there are millions of African, Asian and Latino children crawling to the alter. The steps of the cathedral are filled with dead children who died from dehydration and diarrhea because they never had a chance to live with clean water. The isles of the cathedral are filled with these children crawling to the alter and others simply dead in the isles. In the end I see one child making it to the alter and breaking off an Easter Lili to suck whatever moisture he can manage to extract from the Christian flower. I see this child die because the limited moisture in the one Christian flower was not enough to save his life. The parishioners continue to sing glory be to god, oblivious to the stench of dying children.

WHAT I SEE

I see a 12 year old girl begging her father to take her to therapy for her depression. When asked why she is depressed she states she is stupid and cannot learn. She is 12 years old and reads at a second grade level, and BISD continues to pass her on because passing her on is easier than teaching her how to read.

WHAT I SEE

I see a young boy crying in agony from an abscessed tooth and a powerless mother to find help for her son. I see this young boy in his coffin because the infection spread into his blood stream and killed him. I see a nation oblivious to the death of their children.

WHAT I SEE

I see a nurse reassembling dismember babies to insure no body parts were left in the murderous mother’s body. I see mountains of body parts from innocent babies discarded in the heap of narcissism which is American liberalism

WHAT I SEE

I see a child of a mere 12 years with a noose around his neck because dying is somehow less painful than dealing with his sexual orientation and a nation of bigots who prefer their ignorance over knowledge

WHAT I SEE

I see the doors of our court houses closed to justice, while the corrupt bankrupt our country and communities. I see lawyers and judges raping our communities to compensate for their own lack of self-esteem.

WHAT I SEE

I see husbands who beat their wives because they blame their wife for their desire to be with a man instead of their wife. I see these same men who become sociopaths who lie at every turn, and destroy our courts and every aspect of our society because their lie about being gay or bisexual causes them to lose the ability to know right from wrong. when they speak they lie.  I see a society which declares it is better that a man beat his wife, than allow that man to be himself.

WHAT I SEE

So I sit in despair and cry, not because of what I see, but because I remain powerless to change what I see.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A SUICIDAL CITY COMMISSION AND SPORTS PARK


Brownsville is blessed with the kind of weather needed to make a Sports Park a money maker for the city. No one who is interested in facts can dispute that sports tourism is good for Brownsville. And it is not just the sports tourism. On occasion a businessman or woman will come with their child for a sports event and discover Brownsville. Such visits could result in even more business for Brownsville as outsiders discover new business opportunities.

An argument can always be made for spending money - everything one way or the other benefits the city and in fact the county. Sports parks, gyms, pools etc actually reduce crime. This helps to save taxpayers money on the back end when the kids end-up in the juvenile system. Near my house a peewee little league has been practicing in a field. It makes me remember how lucky I was a local business was willing to sponsor our team. This gave me a life long love of baseball - although it eventually lead to me sneaking onto trains to get to the Mets games at Shea stadium.

I can write for pages about the benefits which come to a community from such facilities as the Sports Park - but that is not the question.

Senator John Cornyn loves to get on TV to complain about spending by the Democrats. He was silent about the spending when Bush II spent like a drunken sailor. But here is the reality, when President Obama proposed cutting NASA’s budget, Cornyn was “spending is good, deficits are good, screw our grandchildren let them pay for today’s reckless spending.”

Anyone who claims the Sports Part is not good for Brownsville is misguided. The Sports Park is truly a bright light in a city of extreme darkness and sadness.

But at this time all over the US the people are removing from office any politician who votes for more spending. Times are tight. I do understand that at some point the Sports Park will generate income for the city. Income generating projects are always good and better than taxes. The short term problems which may come from higher taxes are made up for in the long run when the entity becomes a profit maker. BUT, do we forget the port? - it has been mismanaged since day one and continues to be a drain on the taxpayers. The retort is always the same - it brings jobs.

While I may understand all the benefits of the Sports Part and believe they are good for communities like Brownsville, the taxpayers will not. They are simple minded and will just see more spending at a time they struggle to pay their bills.

They will also see a downtown going nowhere. I believe in Brownsville. I was elated over the latest news about the airport. Those managing the airport appear to be serving the city well. But the fact remains, its location stinks. In the morning it takes me some 20 minutes to get from the airport to 77. The city needs to find land to build a new airport adjacent to 77. Because I live in Southmost, I would prefer the jobs come to Southmost. There is more than ample land to build an airport adjacent to 77 and East.

So now see what I did, now is not the time to incur more debt and then I came up with my own pet project. This is how politics work.

I am not faulting the City Commission for their vote on the issue. I get the need for the Sports Park. Most people do not think of the total big picture, but Brownsville’s parks actually help to reduce crime because it gives the kids a place to go and play basketball, for example. But the voters do not get this. This vote will be a campaign issue against - Troiani, Longoria, and Atkinson. The problem these three face is simple - it is impossible in a campaign slogan to explain the true benefits of the Sports Park to the people. It is easy for their opponents to print campaign flyers denouncing the new debt.

What people do understand is something they can all see and believe in. Money is cheap at this time. While I understand there are issues related to our bond rating and total debt, if it can be done, now is the time for the city to borrow the money for a new airport and convention center. This would be a great project for Imagine Brownsville. Maybe the county, city and port can jointly own the airport. The city and county jointly built a bridge.

People can ignore the additional debt if they finally see a greater vision for Brownsville. A new airport, convention center, and Sports Park could easily generated the revenue to pay for themselves and the rejuvenation of downtown. But it is hard for the people of Brownsville to believe its city commission is anything but a bunch of self-serving politicos when they continue to see Iowa, the first street visitors to Brownsville via the airport see, looks like a street in a bombed out city. It is hard for the people to believe the objective of the city leaders is a better Brownsville.

So no I am not against additional debt if that additional debt is an investment which eventually will pay back dividends to the city. The Sports Part has such a potential. But we need something more - a greater vision. Other than a lack of will I see no reason why the port, the city and the county cannot join forces to borrow the money to buy the land for a new airport.

Harlingen’s lack of commonsense when they chose to place their airport in the middle of nowhere has benefitted Brownsville. But had they had the good sense to build the airport along 77 on the south side of town, Brownsville today would not even have an airport. For most people in Brownsville it is a shorter trip to the south end of Harlingen along 77, than it is to our airport. A new airport will certainly mean non-stop flights between Brownsville and other cities other than Dallas and Houston. It will also mean non-stop flights to Mexico City and other industrial centers within Mexico.

So my message to this city commission is, if you are going to have vision have a complete vision which includes a new airport and convention center. Although the mood in the country is no more spending and no more debt, the people of Brownsville can understand a campaign slogan of “Building a Better Brownsville.”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A COUPLE OF THINGS AND THEN BISD RENDON’S WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIM- AGAIN

Well the Sanchez litigation has finally come to an end. All parties, save Jerry McHale, have been permanently released from the current and future litigation for the acts alleged in the original lawsuit. Jerry has not been fully released because he promised that the day the gag order was lifted he would go haywire on me. Jerry unfortunately is operating under the guidance of Peter Zavaletta, who when he speaks he lies. I am free to renew the old claims against McHale along with any new claims he causes me to bring against him because of some unfortunate tirade.

Now I will be filing a federal lawsuit against the US government asking that the so called law which provides bloggers immunity for anonymous statements be held unconstitutional. In what may be the most bizarre legal ruling I have ever seen, the 7th Circuit found it could find nothing in the law which provides bloggers immunity as found by the 9th Circuit, but nonetheless it was going to go with the 9th circuit’s ruling. I suspect the federal court in DC will find the law is not unconstitutional because there is nothing in the law which provides limited immunity to bloggers. This will open the door to a lot of litigation against bloggers, while making the blogosphere a better place. So guys be careful with your little game of posting defamatory statemetns  as anonymous posters.

If Mchale is smart, highly unlikely, he will have learned a lesson. I told Montoya that I invite him to challenge any of my postings on facts or reasoning. This will make for good blogging. There is no reason to get into defamation to win an argument. This entire mess was the result of Montoya through Sanchez’s blog leading a defense of Gonzales and Rendon at BISD. As this post will show once I get to BISD, the Gonzales/Rendon supporters have failed because rather than get behind verifiable facts they use insults and defamation. As I have said before Quintanilla and Montoya may be the majority board members best advocates because every time they fail to support their claims with verifiable evidence Zayas and Cortes get to say - “look there is nothing to this.” There is something to it, and I am about to discuss that “something.”

As to Robert Sanchez, several weeks ago when I went to go see Robin Hood he was at the theater with his kids to see Shrek. He approached me and in what I considered a very important lesson for his children we shook hands and said no hard feelings. We actually had a very healthy conversation. His son Robert is old enough and smart enough to get my jokes about getting old and got a real good laugh listening to me and his father.

I will say publically what I said to him at the theater. I wish him the best with his business and family. I think he fully understands how certain people played him and that will never happen again. I think he will be a lot more careful about with whom he associates in the future. I would not think twice about helping to guide him in future political endeavors. I do believe he would be a positive voice for profit if he were on the Port of Brownsville Board. Sometime ago he published his goals as to the port and I found them to be very insightful about marketability of the port.

I have no idea as to the status of the Sanchez/Colunga litigation. I personally believe the Colunga suit should be dismissed. I do not like that his child was brought into the politics of BISD, but the story appears to have merit and needed to be told.

Along these lines now that I have no claims against Sanchez, I sent his attorney and Montoya the lead case which might allow them to get the Colunga case dismissed. Bloggers may or may not be journalists. If the story qualifies as a legitimate piece of journalism, any plaintiff who sues the blogger must prove that the blogger acted with actual malice. Jerry McHale will never have this defense. I do believe the Colunga piece for which Montoya and Sanchez were sued does qualify as a piece of journalism. Anyway Sanchez’s lawyer has the lead case which outlines all of the variables the court must consider in deciding whether or not the post was a piece of journalism. I do hope if this case is still pending and has not settled, Montoya and Sanchez win in getting the case dismissed. There was clearly a public interest component to the story.

In the coming weeks I will post a guide for bloggers. If we want to be taken seriously we need to raise to the level of journalists so that if we do get sued we have the defense of no actual malice. Bloggers can actually do satire in an effective manner. It takes skill - something I have yet to see from the local bloggers.

BISD RENDON WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIM - THERE MAY BE SOMETHING THERE

BUT FIRST, I want to begin with the joke who is Escobedo. After the hearing before the board he voted against upholding the denial of Rendon’s claim. In part Rendon was asking to be reinstated. Okay here is the scoop - Escobedo would have been there shitting his pants had one of the 4 majority members changed sides. Why you ask? Because it would have meant his business partner’s wife, Kathleen Jimenez losing her job. So you, see Escobedo’s vote was pure political bullshit. You can bet he would have voted to deny the claim if his vote was the needed vote to save Kathleen Jimenez.

BUT SECOND, Board President Aguilar embarrassed the entire board by his conduct towards Ben Neece. Lawyer Saldaña fearing the truth would come out threatened to take the matter behind closed doors if Neece in defense of his client mentioned the board members or even said majority board members.

Aguilar gave a solid campaign issue to those seeking to run against Zayas and Cortez. Why was Neece not allowed to argue his case? What did this board want covered up? Zayas and Cortez’s opponents need to take the video of Aguilar shutting down Neece and post it on a campaign web page. Question - “why the cover-up?”

Here is a news flash for the corrupt board which has nothing but contempt for the people (this goes to the entire board and not just the four) you are public servants. We the people have an absolute right to know the truth. The board members are elected by the people. Aguilar may think he is some banana republic small minded ignorant dictator, but he is not. He is a fool playing a fools game.

NOW TO RENDON: My view of Rendon has always been based on my one on one experience with his office while he was in charge of Special Services. He needed to be removed from that position. It was a political appointment in the same way Kathleen Jimenez was a political appointment. Caty Garcia always playing the role of the Board Clown while using her superior intellect argued that because the deficiencies in Special Services went back long before Rendon took over, the Board was wrong for getting rid of Rendon. Something is profoundly wrong with this woman.

But I have also always maintained his removal was politically motivated. Ben Neece had a few select things to say about the process which caught my interest. The fact Saldaña sat there panic stricken demanding Board President Aguilar shut Ben Neece down tells me there is something to what Ben Neece is arguing.

The issue for this hearing was, did BISD take adverse action against Rendon because he reported illegal conduct by a BISD employee to some type law enforcement or regulatory agency? Although the Board voted no on this question after puppet Springston announced there was no evidence to support Rendon’s claims there was in fact evidence - in fact very clear and convincing evidence.

Zayas took the time to frame the question as one involving a non-BISD employee. Central to the discussion was billing by a private lawyer by the name of Jonas. If I understood the argument, Rendon claimed Jonas was billing for time and services which could not have occurred because at the time he was incapacitated. If this were the extent of the complaint as alleged by Rendon then I would agree Zayas properly framed the question.

But this is where the complaint is valid. Rendon specifically complained, at least according to Ben Neece, that Saldaña, BISD’s lawyer, was allowing this fraudulent billing to occur. If in fact these facts are true, Rendon will and should win in court. But then of course this is Texas wherein the Republican Texas Supreme Court found that in Texas a whistleblower can be fired if after the fact the evidence shows BISD could have fired him for other reasons. Rendon’s case is a perfect example of just how wrong the Texas Supreme Court was in its ruling. It invites organizations like BISD to fire all whistleblowers so long as they can find other good cause to defend their actions.

This morning I will be asking Ben Neece to send me his full written statement to the Board. I will ask that he highlight with bold or a larger font any parts he believes will gain my readers’ interest. I will then post it to the BV.

The Board tried to shut down disclosure of what really happened behind the scenes. The Board seems to believe it can use rules and an unethical lawyer to run cover for them. I hope Ben Neece will allow the BV to be where the evidence comes out.

Now, this does not change my view of Rendon in terms of his competency as director over Special Services? He is not qualified for the job, based on my experience with him and his office. But I do believe that when a public servant reports possible fraudulent billing and his is fired for that and in fact the elected officials use their office to cover-up possible fraudulent billing, the whistleblower should be compensated.

What would be really sad is, in the end there is nothing to Rendon’s claims, but people are left to believe them because the BISD Board shut down Ben Neece for no better reason than to protect themselves.

Again I hope Ben will give the BV the privilege of posting his comments in their entirety.