Monday, January 22, 2018

Mommy's Little Racist, Stephen Miller, Running Trump Immigration Policy

Stephen Miller Caricature
by Diane Barton
"If a dog's gonna bite, 
he'll bite as a pup"

Darrell Royal
UT Head Coach

At 16, while still at Santa Monica High School, Stephen Miller complained about Spanish language announcements from the principal's office, fellow students who had not "mastered the English language and the schools diversity.

"Osama Bin Ladin would be welcome at Santa Monica High School," asserted the burgeoning little racist.

After graduating from Duke U, Miller honed his racist skills as Communications Director for racist Alabama Senator Jeffrey Sessions.

At 32, Miller is Trump's youngest adviser.  Twice, in recent days, Miller has walked and talked Trump back from making a deal on D.A.C.A., reminding Trump of his largely racist 35% base.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Coast Guard Approves Rio Grande LNG Export Site at Brownsville, Says Space X’s nearby Spaceport Can Co-Exist

From LNG World News

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved the Rio Grande LNG project’s waterway sustainability assessment (WSA) declaring the project suitable for LNG marine traffic. The project was declared suitable for accommodating the type and the frequency of LNG marine traffic, the USCG filing says.

This recommendation is provided to assist in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s determination of whether the proposed facility should be authorized.

The review also notes that the Space X Speceport’s launch site, which is 5 miles away from the proposed LNG facility, could co-exist, as the risk of public impact from a projectile in the 10,000 to 100,000 ft-lb range would be just inside the tolerable region.

NextDecade, a company focused on LNG exports, developing the project said in November it could reach a final investment decision for as few as two trains with a 9 mtpa production capacity.

At full build-out, the facility in the Port of Brownsville would have the capacity to produce 27 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year out of 6 production trains. The project is currently going through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process, with NextDecade expecting to receive a notice of schedule in the near future. A final authorization is expected in the second half of 2018.


There's no joy in sparring with Cameron County Judge Candidate Robert Sanchez or defending against his juvenile attacks.

You never witnessed Muhammed Ali fight a handicapped person, nor does anyone care to read a word fight between a blogger and Captain Bob, an obviously impaired, unskilled verbal combatant with life problems much larger than his impending slaughter by Eddie Trevino in the March primary.

Yes, it's true. Trevino could not have searched Brownsville's downtown alleys at 2:00 AM and found a weaker opposition candidate than Robert Sanchez.  Trevino's candidacy on the Democratic side is essentially unopposed.

Captain Bob's inevitable primary loss to Eddie Trevino will be the tiniest, least painful loss on his horizon, not even close to the anguish of losing his children, his home and his business.

While no one wishes that last triad of defeats on Bob, the current trajectory of his personal life, lived so publicly, is on course for such tragedy.
Bob's Intermittent Girlfriend,
Amanda McDonald

As for the babbling Captain silencing Brownsville's bloggers, a document adopted in 1787 by the Constitutional Convention precludes that.

While not mandated or coerced, the blog that should be immediately silenced is Bob's very own Captain's Table.  The blog is a community joke, making Robert a laughingstock in the city of his birth.  No true friend would encourage him to continue.  

If Robert has a lawyer, that attorney should kindly explain to his client the legal jeopardy and vulnerability of his unwise, illogical rants on The Captain's Table.

Shut it down, Bob!  It will be the smartest move you've made this year!

Friday, January 19, 2018


From the editor:  We've largely ignored the inarticulate rants of Cameron County Judge Candidate Robert Sanchez AKA Captain Bob.  

To almost anyone reading his grammatically-challenged rants, he's unsuited for public office, seemingly without enough cognizance to function as an adult, father or business owner.(We sincerely hope he gets the help he needs.)

His latest rant threatens local bloggers, saying he will "stop them forever."  "Trust me," Sanchez promises.  "I will silence them."

Certain Bloggers must Go Away

Sanchez, holding a basket of his favorite fruit

"So when I become Cameron County Judge, I promise to rid the community of filth. I will promote Agenda Item to stop and eliminate certain bloggers from local blogosphere. Even though everyone has freedom of speech, there are three to four bloggers that have surpassed the freedom. I will be first County Judge in The United States of America to stop the filthy absurd nonsense of silly 60 year old devil following fools. These bizarre humans that spew hate and nonsense will be stopped forever. As Cameron County Judge, I and my fellow commissioners will police blogosphere for proper freedom of speech blogs. No more McHale following blogs that think they are cute and humorous. No more dis barred attorneys that want to dictate all court hearings. No more freaks calling their blogs with Brownsville’s name only to criticize all the citizens. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THESE NON BORN BROWNSVILLE HUMANS DESTROYING THE COUNTY. Trust me, I wil silence them."


We get asked frequently about grandson Jack's homeschooling and are pleased to give a progress report.

It's been one year since Jack's dad pulled him out of first grade and BISD with a letter to the principal of Skinner Elementary.

Jack in his classroom
That letter is the primary legal requirement in the State of Texas to homeschool your child, along with some very basic curriculum requirements.

During Jack's first year as a homeschooler, he completed the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade workbooks, but it's not a race.  

I ordered a separate set of 4th grade workbooks from a different publisher as Jack was being challenged somewhat at that level so no need to rush.

When assignments are too easy, students don't learn to apply themselves.  The fourth grade material is beginning to make 7 year old Jack work and think a bit.

For example, today, the assignment from the reading comprehension workbook asked the student to write an acrostic poem using the word "mouse."

"This might take me all day!"  Jack complained.

An acrostic poem is simply a poem where a word is written vertically along the left side of the poem with one letter of that word starting each line. 

"Forget about the whole line.  Just get a word that starts with that letter and go from there," I told him.  

After figuring out a subject he was actually interested in, he worked this one out in about three minutes, writing it out in cursive:

Minecraft is a game
Obsidian exists
Underground mines
Sending some creations
Ending it off

I don't know what that means, but it fulfilled the assignment.

Yet, Jack has educational gaps.  Today, in a lesson on antonyms, he only recognized old as an antonym for new, but not used as another antonym.

I realized that Jack didn't discern between a new car and a used one.  To him, cars are cars.  That's consistent with his life experience so far and his dad's values.

When I was Jack's age, we were in the era of planned obsolescence.  A '55 Chevy was obsolete the minute the '56's came out.  Most kids of that era, the boys especially, could distinguish the year and model of almost any car within 100 yards with the grill, fins, tail light configuration, etc. changing each model year.

Jack's dad, Diego Lee Rot, taught Jack to use a Korg Drum Machine.  Diego wanted Jack to show off a drum line he created, starting with a beat, then adding layers.  

"That's great Jack!" grandpa and grandma said.

Jack completed 8 pages in three different workbooks in two hours, our normal school day.

Grandpa doesn't believe in 8 hour school days and is working without a contract.


President Donald J. Trump
All the signals were there pre-election.

Donald Trump had run several companies into the ground over the years, filing bankruptcy, pulling the cash out, leaving investors high and dry, forcing vendors to sue to recover a tiny portion of the money due them.

Students at Trump University got nothing in exchange for thousands of dollars of tuition except a good life lesson in how easy it is to be fleeced.

Should it surprise anyone that the self-proclaimed artist of the deal can't make one to keep the government going?  A budget can't be flim-flammed by con artistry.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell came up with the exact bi-partisan deal Trump said he would sign, then, after after chatting with immigration hardliners, Trump flip-flopped.   

As an Arkansas pig farmer might say:  "The Prez boo-booed in his nest," or, put more delicately, "defecated in his shithouse."

Ol' Mitch was frustrated.  Standing beside him was Texas Senator John Cornyn, nodding his head as McConnell said:

"If the president would just tell us what kind of bill he will sign, we could do something.  Otherwise, we're just spinning our wheels."

The 35% of registered voters unified behind the president, frequently referred to as his "base," were not discouraged.  An unemployed Appalachian coal miner gave Trump an "11" on a scale of 1-10: 

"Donald Trump has done everything he promised.  If the fake news media would let him do his job, he could even get more done.  It's gotten so the only good thing on TV anymore is Fox and Friends and 'rasslin'."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Clairvoyance has long been an interest of mine.

When I was 13, my dad allowed a homeless family to stay in our home.

The father of the family approached me about visions in his head, claiming "You are the only one who could understand."

Even at that age, I recognized that as bullshit flattery and pushed back on most of what he said.

My dad happened to walk by as the man was claiming to see a demon.  He called Uncle Russ, a preacher, who, after talking to the man, assessed him as an "evil influence," ordering him out of our home.

Years later, now living in Brownsville, I stared with curiosity while driving past the home of Madam Palm on the Padre Island Hwy, just beyond four corners.

It was 1966 and many homes in Brownsville, including Madam Palm's, were boarded up for Hurricane Inez, kicking it up in the Gulf of Mexico.

Each night in bed, I put the radio to my ear tuning in to Radio Belize in British Honduras.  Nightly, a female announcer talked about the movement of Hurricane Inez, giving the current coordinates.  

With that distinctive British accent, she reminded us about requesting a free hurricane tracking map from the station, but she never gave the station's address.

The hurricane appeared to be on a direct course for the mouth of the Rio Grande, but, at the last instant, curved south.

Every time I drove past Madam Palm's house on Hwy 48, noticing the still-boarded up windows, I wondered about her actual ability to predict the future.  She should have known the hurricane would not hit and not waste money on boards and labor protecting her windows.

I pulled my '59 VW into the driveway and knocked on the door.  After a few minutes, an attractive young woman with long hair and dark eyes answered the door.

"Are you Madam Palm?" I asked.

She said:  "No, I'm her daughter.  She won't be back for a couple hours.  Do you need a reading?"

"Oh, no," I answered.  "I just wanted to ask a question."

"Maybe, I could ask you," I said nervously.

"Oh, you can ask me anything!" she said flirtatiously.  

"Well, if your mother knows the future, why did she have your home boarded up for Hurricane Inez.  She should have known it would not hit us."

The young women's eyes looked weird and glassy and her head jerked back violently:  "Oh, Jesus God!!!" she shouted.

She came back to normalcy, but did not answer my question.  Twice more her head jerked back involuntarily.

"Why are you here calling on a married woman?  Do you want to come in?  I'm cooking."

"No, I just wanted to ask that question."

The next year, 1967, Hurricane Beulah hit Brownsville hard.  Some did not board up their homes remembering the false alarm the year before.

Power was off in Brownsville for exactly one week and one hour.  Roofs were torn off.  Branches were down everywhere.  The mosquitoes were gigantic and in search of blood.



"The Lord works in mysterious ways."

William Cowper, Poet

As an agnostic, I'm not certain if God exists or not, have no idea how She thinks or what devices She would use to get Her Will accomplished.

Perhaps, in Her infinite wisdom, She's using a human agent to test our morality, faith and goodness, say, for example, someone like Donald Trump.

Could Donald Trump play the role of the stranger who corrupted Mark Twain's fictitious Hadleyburg?

Let's see.

Say you're from a rust belt state.  The old factory building is decaying, windows broken out, the jobs long gone.  Trump feels your pain, explaining why you're hurting; bad trade deals, illegal immigration, an open border, the EPA, the courts, etc.

Interspersed with that rhetoric,  Trump points out some "bad people" who are destroying your way of life; Mexicans who are rapists and murderers, Muslims, who are terrorists, Haitians with A.I.D.S. and Africans living in huts in shithole countries.

Will you now become a hater?  God wants to know.

Trump details one of the perks of superstardom, using women however you wish, grabbing them by the pussy, doing whatever you wish.  If they complain, you call them liars, threatening to sue.  

"Go for it!  You can do anything to women if you're a superstar.  Women love it!" Just remember:  She watches from above. 

Then, there is the subject of truth.
"What is truth? asked Pontius Pilate at least once.

Since Jesus is not in the room, Trump answers.

"You have your truth, but I have alternate facts, my truth.  My truth is right, because I say it is.  I'm the President.  You're not.
Do you get it?

"I think so.  You're always right because you're President.  I'm not.

"You're getting there, my friend," Trump responds.

"Also, if I say something is true, repeating myself over and over again, it becomes truth.  Any other opinion is fake."

God looked down at Earth, watching her agent Donald divide the sheep from the goats, sift the wheat from the chaff, the righteous from the unrighteous.

The Lord spoke to Donald thusly:

"Write the names of all the good, true and righteous in the "Book of Life."

Donald answered:  "Lord, what's a book?"

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


From the editor:  Nena and I, at our semi-advanced age, have this continuing discussion about the need for parental love.  

Nena still cries when she thinks, realizes that her mother didn't love her and her father was incapable of expressing whatever feelings he may have had.

Even more puzzling to Nena is that I had a nearly similar situation, but I'm not bothered by it in the least.

I left home at 16, largely because of a tyrannical father.  My mom, while not abusive in any way, actually permissive, was self-absorbed.

Yet, I admit that whatever I may have needed psychologically in terms of reassurance, support, belief, even guidance, that I may not have gotten from parents,  I did receive from an assortment of characters in my early life.

I frequently, intentionally use the phrase "stifle, stymie, squelch" that I learned from my unique Uncle Joe.  Someday, I will profile him.

Tonight, George Pringle is on my mind.  As much as anyone, George gave me self-confidence and taught me to think out of the proverbial box.  He had a Robin Williams level sense of humor, leaving everyone around him in total stitches.

A phrase he always used with me feigning mild disagreement:

"Jim, Are you serious or delirious,
psychotic or neurotic,
hydrocephalic or microcephalic?"

George Pringle, a 32 year old savant, separated from his wife, diagnosed as manic-depressive, taking regular electric shock treatments, playing boogie-woogie on the piano for hours to settle his mind, was my first boss.

He had printed business cards for ABC Maintenance, a janitorial company with no accounts.  The cards named George Pringle and Lanny Smith as owners, but Lanny had already bailed and, at 13, I was Lanny's replacement.

When we approached the manager of Kent Electric, a large office adjacent to an even larger warehouse, the manager called me "Lanny" because of what was written on George's business card.

George nervously explained the purpose of our visit.  We had a janitorial service and wanted to bid on maintaining their tile floors.

The manager, keeping a straight face, responded:

"Mr. Pringle, in case you haven't noticed, our office is not tiled.  We have a concrete floor."

George, always quick on his feet, responded:

"Yes, that's exactly why we're here.  We want to bid on tiling your floor and then maintaining it."

"OK.  Give us a bid."

George paced around the building for few minutes, scribbling something in a notepad, then handing something to the manager.(George, in making bids, always pretended to do mathematical calculations on a notepad while thinking about what he wanted to charge.  In truth, he'd made up his mind seconds after seeing the job.  Typically, his bids were low, underestimating the difficulty level of the job.)

As we walked back to George's car, he asked me:

"Have you ever laid tile?"  

"Me neither, but we're about to learn how."

That was the beginning of my "employment," just barely a teenager, with ABC Maintenance.  George wanted his business to start with "A" to be nearly first in the phonebook.  ABC, he explained was an acronym for "always be clean," a phrase he found clever.

We tiled Kent Electric, quickly honing our skills.  I discovered when we got to the edge, you could take a tile, butt it up against the wall, marking it for the exact cut needed.

George bid on jobs while I went to 9th grade classes at Meridian Junior High School.

We won the bid for janitorial service at Shaw Drugs in Renton, that city's biggest drug store.

We got at Shaw's after closing.  George had the key.  It was an old-fashioned drug store with a large soda fountain area fronted by metal stools.

George had made his own floor buffer/scrubber using a piece of heavy sheet metal, drilling holes to attach a 1/3 horsepower washing machine motor, two pulleys to reduce the speed and a scrubber brush.  It had not worked that well in early test runs.

The scrubber had no handle.  The operator had to totally bend over and hold for dear life on the quarter inch steel plate holding the motor, pulleys and round, wooden scrubbing disc.  He brought rubber gloves to protect against electric shock.

The drug store had large glass-enclosed cases that went down to the floor, making the slightest wrong movement with our homemade buffer a financial disaster.  

George told me to plug the extension cord into the wall when he gave the signal.  Leaning over, wearing rubber gloves, he braced himself for the power turn on.

As soon as I plugged in the extension cord I heard a scream.  The machine had veered directly into a glass case, but no glass was broken.

"Do you want to try it?"  George asked.

I put the gloves on and bent over while George plugged the cord in.  The "buffer" spinned fast, too fast, but I kept control by moving it slightly up and down.  I scrubbed one aisle after another with this amateurish prototype, totally bent over, holding steel immersed in sudsy lather.

Then, with clean mops, we rinsed off the suds, dirt and old wax.

We read some magazines while waiting for the floor to dry and then re-waxed.

"Whew!" George said as he locked the front door of the drug store.

"You were a big help tonight, Jim"

George paid me $1.25 per hour.  Good in math, I would calculate how, by employing me, George actually made more per hour than he would have without me, a subtle case for job security.  George would flip the dial for some faraway station playing boogie-woogie, blues or jazz as he drove me home.

'47 Dodge Coup
Pringle ran the business out of a '47 Dodge coupe with the back seat taken out.  That way the buffer, mop buckets, mops and wax fit could be loaded in the trunk all the way to the front.

George was a horrible businessman, but a great friend.  He lived with his rich parents in an eclectic home with round walls, door knobs hidden door knobs and an indoor swimming pool. In his parent's minds, he had "two strikes," a failed marriage to a crazy woman and a brief departure from sanity into a religious sect.  They thought I was a "good influence" on George.  Did they know I was 19 years younger?
'52 Kaiser Henry J

His parents drove a mint condition, two-tone Kaiser Henry J for years, but paid cash for an American Motors Rambler in 1962.  After a month of driving the Rambler, they described it as "trash" and went back to their Henry J.


Young Singer Wows Audience at Brownsville Event Center Monday Night

The opportunity to sample food from two dozen Brownsville eateries doesn't fully explain the popularity of the Taste of La Frontera event held at the Brownsville Event Center Monday night.  Many are there to see and be seen.

Obviously, candidates for public office mingle through the crowd, shaking hands or, like Lali Betancourt, face the incoming crowd like an official greeter.

Jerry Danache, a Matamoros attorney and member of the Tamaulipas Chamber of Commerce, graciously offered Nena and I seats at his table, introducing us to Carlos A. Rios, a young man contemplating a run for a local office.

TSC Board Chairman Adela Garza stopped by the table to say hello as did City Commissioner Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa.

I left Nena for a few minutes to stretch my legs and tour the room, running immediately into the always congenial Mariano "Bean" Ayala, head of the Brownsville Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

"Jim, can you believe I've survived two forms of cancer?" Bean asked rhetorically, pointing heavenward.

We shook hands with the Saenz brothers, District Attorney Luis Saenz and brother Mario and moved on.

Port of Brownsville Trustee Ralph Cowen beckoned while leaning against the wall:

"I started this event years ago.  I can't believe how its grown," he told me.  

"It looks like you've outgrown this venue," I responded.

"Actually, this is the biggest venue in town, unless we go outside," Ralph answered.

Dr. Antonio Vasquez grabbed my arm:  "Are you still writing?" he asked, words not exactly reassuring to a blogger.

Later, we ran into his wife, Judge Estela Chavez-Vasquez, getting what looked like a final fitting for her Charro Days outfit in the lobby.

"I don't believe we've ever actually met," said County Judge Eddie Trevino, the exact conversation starter he used at Cobbleheads  over a year ago.

"I've been following your efforts to homeschool your grandson," offered City Commissioner Ben Neece.

"I respect you for that.  I don't think I would have the time for that or the patience."

Candidate for State Representative, County Commissioner Alex Dominguez walked over to greet me warmly.  I wondered if he'd read my criticism for his gifting to an ultra-rich LNG firm a $383,000,000 tax abatement.

Even more surprising was the request of disgraced politico, former County Commissioner Ernie Hernandez:  "Jim, I'm running for Port Commissioner.  I'm available for an interview.  Call me."

Mommy's Little Racist, Stephen Miller, Running Trump Immigration Policy

Stephen Miller Caricature by Diane Barton "If a dog's gonna bite,  he'll bite as a pup" Darrell Royal UT Head...