Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Joan Baez. . .from the 60's. . . . . OMG

George Harrison - Any Road

Used Car Dealer Mike Hernandez III, A Rank Amateur, Keeps Bothering Brownsville

Mike Hernandez III made money in Dallas selling and leasing cars. Whoop-dee-do!! Now, he's become an expert on what it takes to bring Brownsville out of poverty.

His organization, with the cryptic name, OP 10.33, through his spokesperson, Roger Lee, published platitudes about their approach to mentoring Brownsville.  

The eager, but ignorant, Hernandez, wasted $140,000 backing losing candidates for positions as Texas Southmost College and Port of Brownsville trustees.  He did send money to Trey Mendez, who was going to win anyway, in his TSC race.

The scorecard?  0 for 6.  An amateur, unskilled, without knowledge of the local situation.

Dumbass Hernandez III is not done.  He has more money to waste.  

He is currently suing local blogger Jerry McHale for hurting his feelings and has engaged a wannabe blogger, originally from Kyle, TX, but now living with relatives in McAllen, to promote his interests.

Good luck, Mike!  You know what you're doing. After all, you sold all those cars!

The Myth of McAllen's "Superiority" Over Brownsville

During the Fly Frontera fiasco of several years ago, Mayor Pat Ahumada told the city: "McAllen is eating our lunch." 

Indeed, McAllen-Miller International Airport has more flights than the Brownsville-South Padre Island Airport. Both, as airports, are dusty cow pastures, nothing to write home about.

Almost comically, many view McAllen and Brownsville as having some sort of sibling rivalry, while the reality is that Brownsville, actually, is on a plane with Laredo and El Paso in terms of historicity, geography and soul.  McAllen, along with Harlingen, Mission and, even Weslaco, might be favored by Winter Texans, for reasons well known to those Canadian and northern U.S. snowbirds, but, all of those towns are inconsequential, merely in the Brownsville orbit, but not of the same caliber.

A blogger wannabe, likely living in a generous relative's bedroom in McAllen, someone who, for the past year, has sent obscene sexual innuendo to my blog's comment section, sometimes 30 daily, aimed at my wife Nena, has tried lamely to put McAllen over Brownsville.  Jerry McHale posted his recent story to his blog, although, likely, most didn't notice.

Think of historical U.S. cities along our nearest coast; Charleston, New Orleans, Savannah, Richmond.  Are you drawn to those cities because they have a Bass Pro Shop or rich residents from Monterrey, Mexico?  Are you concerned about the total bank deposits in each city before visiting?

Historical cities with history, architecture and soul need not boast about the number of Walmarts within city limits.  Their character is obvious. Residents feel privileged to live there, happily listing their city on the return address.  

I felt that way about Seattle and feel that way about Brownsville.

Who Will Stand Up Against Rose Gowen's Tyranny in the May 2017 City Commission Election?

Commissioner Rose Gowen has not served the people of Brownsville. Instead, she has pursued a personal legacy, as the city commissioner who singlehandedly transformed this city into a Hispanic Austin, hip, navigating the town on high-end bicycles, eating tofu, kelp and oriental veggies.  

It's all been a facade, a fraud, a mind trip. Brownsville residents don't ride bikes in 95 degree heat, have zero interest in "Keeping Brownsville Weird," just want to have enough money to pay their P.U.B. bill and put food on the table.  

And yes, Rose, bike trails are nice, but not before sidewalks and drainage.  Austin already had those basics confirmed before building bike trails, in case you hadn't noticed.  My  hometown, Seattle, has gorgeous bike trails, but sidewalk and drainage issues were handled first, somewhere around 1900.

President Barack Obama's recent comments about Donald Trump seem to fit Rose Gowen:

It's bad enough being arrogant when you know what you're talking about, but it's really bad being arrogant when you don't know what you're talking about.

Our 2014 article that shared emails between Gowen and taxpayers concerned about the narrowing of business conduit E. 6th Street from 3 lanes to 2 to accommodate a bike lane.  Our readers described Gowen as  "arrogant," "rude," "drunk with power," and "ugly."  Gowen even signed one email disgustingly as "Ugh! Rose."

Brownsville needs better representation as City Commissioner At Large-B.  Will anyone come forward to challenge Gowen May 2017?

Brownsville Preservation Society Tacos + Tequila Event~12/10/16

Sunday, November 27, 2016

George's Last Impromptu Performance Before His Death

The City of Brownsville, Legendary Haven for the Homeless

Jeffrey Cutlip, the Oregon serial killer, loved living as a homeless person in Brownsville.

"The police don't hassle you at all," Cutlip once told me, while explaining his comfort zone here. He frequently slept in the bushes behind an adult day care center on Central Boulevard.  Sometimes at night, he would wander down for entertainment at the Crescent Moon, where he was treated graciously.  He so ingratiated himself into the community as to get his picture on the cover of a blurb for George Ramirez's Latin Jazz Festival as shown in the pic above.

Cutlip, Waiting for his Date, At a Brownsville
Cheezmeh Valentine's Day Event
During Brownsville's few really cold winter days, Cutlip would scour the parking lot of the Valley Baptist Hospital for a plastic wristband of a discharged patient, then seek the warmth of one of the waiting rooms.  As the security guard approached, Cutlip would extend his wrist beyond his long sleeve shirt, showing his wristband,  and the guard would simply move on.

When Cutlip casually revealed that he'd killed a woman in Oregon, subsequently escaping prison before coming here, I called 911.  Noticing I was on the phone, Cutlip slipped away, but I later spotted him at a bus stop.  My second 911 call was treated by the BPD dispatcher with an obvious "ho hum."  On the third call, the dispatcher said a detective "knew" the guy and he was "alright."

Cutlip, though, knowing he'd outed himself, went to BPD and said, yes he'd killed, not one, but three women in Oregon.  He is now back in prison in Oregon.

Under threatening Election Day skies, my son, Diego Lee Rot, and I, met Carl, a visitor from Dallas, who stood stoically, proudly, almost defiantly, just off Paredes Line Road, near Wendy's Hamburgers. Dressed in a blue bedsheet, perfectly tailored at the shoulders, with an upside down, blue-handled serving spoon attached chest-high, the man appeared as if an extra in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments. He looked incredibly Biblical.

"Hi. I'm Jim. May I ask your name?" I said, introducing myself.

"I'm Carl," was the softspoken response.

"Well, Carl. I'm intrigued by your outfit. Are you portraying Moses or some Biblical character?" I asked.

"Oh, no."

Well, where are you from, Carl? I asked.


What made you come to Brownsville?

"I came with some friends."

"How do you like Brownsville? I know it's hot."

"It was hot in Dallas, too. I try to dress for the heat."

"By the way, Carl, what is the purpose or the meaning of the spoon?" I asked.

"It's just for decoration," Carl replied.

When I got back to the car, my son Diego said: "That's the same man that was naked along the Interstate a couple days ago. Why don't you give him a couple dollars? It's hard living on the street."

"Carl, I don't want to insult you, but, here's a little something for your needs," I stated before returning back to my air-conditioned vehicle.

The guy at the left, panhandling at the intersection of the freeway and Ruben Torres Blvd.,  approached our vehicle menacingly when he saw us taking pics with our phone.  He screamed out "Fuck you!" at our driver's side window.

A few days later, a reader sent us his Brownsville PD mug shot.  He'd been arrested on several counts, including fleeing from arrest.  We've since learned he'd been sleeping nights on a mattress on the outskirts of Sunrise Mall near the Texaco station.

Couple and Their Dog Living Under
Awning at Casa del Nylon in 2012
In 2012, shortly after Tony Martinez and the City Commission purchased Casa del Nylon on Adams Street at the extremely exorbitant price of $2,300,000, we met a homeless couple living under the dilapidated building's awning.  Four years later, the man's wife and dog have died.  He has a new dog, but is still living under the building's awning.  He's asked me not to use his name in my articles.    

Since that time, the city has collected zero property tax on the building, but done absolutely nothing with it.  Abraham Galonsky, a Tony Martinez crony, finally sold the building, though, after many years of running a retail business selling "new" clothes and other items that had been in his upstairs storeroom so long as to become "vintage."

Is Brownsville a haven for the homeless, disenchanted and those who would rather panhandle then work?  Probably. We have a mild climate allowing these folks to survive outside without freezing to death.  But, also, we have generous people, who know what it's like to have very little and who eagerly, if naively, give to those they perceive as "needy."

Bandidos Motorcycle Club Three-Day Conclave Ends Without Incident

Bandidos Leader Jeffrey Fay Pike Arrested in San Antonio in 2015
After several days of touring the city in packs of 6 to 20 bikers, roaming down Boca Chica, Highway 48 and International Boulevard into Mexico, the rough and tough riders of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club have concluded their three day meeting in a huge field at the corner of Wayito Road and North Minnesota Avenue in Brownsville. 

Nena and I, intrigued by the handmade signs with "BFFB," followed by an arrow and the sheer number of motorcycles seemingly on the road, followed the bikers into an entrance, manned by four tattooed, leather-vested skinheads.

I politely approached one of the men checking I.D.'s at the entrance.

He rudely told me to "get in your car and move on!"

When I asked if he could just tell me the meaning "BFFB," he screamed:  "I SAID MOVE ON!!!!"

Since Wayito Road is a public right-of-way, I drove down along the edge of a fence.  Inside were hundreds of motorcycles neatly parked surrounded by Port-a-potties.  Men in leather vests, with "BFFM" stitched on the back, congregated in the empty spaces between bikes, accompanied by equally tough-looking women.  

When I positioned myself along the fence to try to get as many motorcycles in my Nikon L-820 as possible, I saw a man running toward me.

The totally illustrated man, with tattoos covering his neck, shoulders and arms, came out of a late model car with Arkansas plates.

"I hope you're not trying to take a picture!" he shouted.  

I explained that I'd never seen so many motorcycles in one place and was taking a pic for my grandson.  

"Get approval from the men at the entrance first!" he said firmly. 

"Could you just tell me what "BFFB" stands for?" I asked.

 "We're just a typical motorcycle club, that's all," he answered.

One more time, I asked:  "But what do the initials stand for?"

"Bandidos forever, forever Bandidos.  Now, if you want to know anything else, go to the guys at the front."

Noticing his fists were clenched and getting the vibe of his threatening demeanor, I got back into my car. It didn't seem like a good time to let him know that I'd lived in Arkansas thirty years, could "Call the Hogs" and personally knew Bill Clinton.

On the way out, I noticed license plates from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee.  

"Have a great party, assholes," I shouted, well out of earshot, traveling down North Minnesota Avenue.

I forgot to look for the number "13" on the vest of the Bandito from Arkansas.  That would have indicated he was dealing drugs.

The D.E.A. has been investigating, infiltrating and and arresting Bandidos for some time.  The club has also engaged in bitter battles with other outlaw biker gangs, one war over a stolen leather Bandito vest.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I Found Say McIntosh's Sweet Potato Pie Recipe Online

My Version of Say's Sweet Potato Pie
Getting home with a bag of H.E.B.'s sweet potatoes at .37 per lb., I looked for the recipe written for me on a scrap of paper by Robert "Say" McIntosh, forty years ago.  It used to be tucked into Nena's 1962 Betty Crocker Cookbook, but she'd discarded the book after losing her ability to read after a stroke.

None of the online recipes appealed.  I don't believe in adding vanilla or using an electric mixer on sweet potato pie.

Robert "Say" McIntosh
On a whim, I Googled "Say McIntosh Sweet Potato Pie Recipe." Seconds later, the KATV Little Rock website appeared with Say's recipe; no vanilla, no electric mixer, only sweet potatoes, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, eggs, condensed milk and butter.  

Say's recipe is wonderful.  He is, afterall, the "Sweet Potato Pie King," among other things, in Arkansas.

Say is famous for his barbecue restaurant and pie factory, opened in Little Rock in 1962, but also for his role as "Black Santa," bringing toys and gifts into the city's impoverished neighborhoods for decades.  With a work ethic inherited from his father, who was known in Little Rock as "Mr. Mac," Say has started his workday at 4:00 AM for more than fifty years.

In political circles, McIntosh has been referred to as a "black activist," always stirring the pot on behalf of his people.  In the 80's, both the Republicans and Democrats hired Say to get out the vote in the black neighborhoods, promising a $10,000 fee.  The Republicans paid up, but the Democrats said "the check is in the mail."

Mr. McIntosh, also an artist, drew a picture of Bill Clinton, his alleged black girlfriend and a young boy of apparently mixed ethnicity.  He made a thousand copies and placed them under the windshield wipers of every car at the capital parking lot in Little Rock.

His check was hand delivered the next day.

It was my pleasure to meet "Mr. Mac," Say's dad, who was the first black hire by Kroger in Arkansas in the 1940's.  He was hired as a janitor and retired 50 years later as a janitor, but he taught both his sons how to cook, barbecue and work for a living.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hail Trump! Making America White Again!

Medal of Freedom Winners Who Might Not Have Been Honored During Trump Presidency

SNL's Lorne Michaels
Many of today's Medal of Freedom winners may have slipped in on Dylan's "last fire truck from hell," before the tone and culture changes under the Donald Trump presidency.

As Nena and I watched the award ceremony on CNN today, it occurred to me that SNL creator Lorne Michael might not have been so honored  under a Trump regime.

Trump, more thin-skinned than his predecessors and less sophisticated, has not taken kindly to his portrayal on SNL by actor Alec Baldwin.

For 40 years SNL has mimicked, mocked and caricatured the vast parade of presidents and presidential candidates without mercy, a privilege our Constitution guarantees, a freedom of speech not enjoyed in Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia or Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Muslim Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
It's doubtful that the 7'2" Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the greatest scorer in NBA history, a champion at every level of basketball, a writer of note, but an unapologetic Muslim, would have been included on Trump's list of recipients.

Robert De Niro
Also honored, was actor Robert De Niro, famous for classic portrayals of mobsters, with toughness AND sensitivity, but also liberal politics and interracial relationships, that would likely have disqualified him for this honor in any of the next four awards ceremonies. De Niro's scathing rejection of Trump's bigotry was shared on this blog months ago(http://brownsvilleobserver.blogspot.com/2016/10/actor-robert-de-niro-comments-on.html).

E-Street Saxophonist Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen
Freehold, New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen, the "Boss," might have actually made a Trump list, considering his working class roots, but Springsteen's values, expressed in poetry and life, differ greatly from the bigotry, disrespect for women and handicapped, displayed by the President-Elect.

Actress Cicely Tyson, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan and Ellen DeGeneres may have made the cut in a nick of time.

We can only speculate who the nominees will be during Trump's time in office:  Former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Strom Thurmond, Ted Nugent, Former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, Food Networks Paula Deen, former Alabama Governor George Wallace????

Friday, November 18, 2016

Move Over B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Emilio Crixell. . . .Say Hello to Sister Rosetta Tharpe!

Springsteen's Thoughts on the Church and His Dad in Chapters 1-4 of "Born to Run"

The last few years Nena has typically read a book per week, with two to three or more hours daily turning the pages. The strokes, though, in the last two years, have taken their toll.  Her recognition of the written page is permanently or temporarily lost with typed words in English merely hieroglyphics to her now.

Since the idea of audio books didn't appeal, we decided to spend our morning coffee time reading together.

Bruce Springsteen's 2016 autobiography is our first joint effort.  Local literary aficionado Diego Lee Rot has ordered the audio version for listening at his work, so we have the makings of an informal book club.

Pensive Mr. Rot
Mr. Rot questions whether Bruce can keep up the astoundingly poetic style of the first four chapters, but I've peeked at other sections of the 528 pages and, it appears he does just that.

Bruce, on going to Catholic school:

Over the years as a St. Rose student I had felt enough of Catholicism's corporal and emotional strain.  On my eighth grade graduation day, I walked away from it all, finished, telling myself, "Never again."  I was free, free, free at last. . . and I believed it . . . for a while.  However, as I grew older, there were certain things about the way I thought, reacted, behaved.  I came to ruefully and bemusedly that once you're a Catholic, you're always a Catholic.  So I stopped kidding myself.  I don't participate in my religion but I know somewhere . . . deep inside. . . I'm still on the team.

On his alcoholic father:

I'd witnessed what I felt was surely the possessive face of Satan.  It was my poor old pop tearing up the house in an alcohol fueled rage in the dead of night, scaring the shit out of all of us.  I'd felt this darkness's final force come visit in the shape of my struggling dad. . . physical threat, emotional chaos and the power to not love.

On Jesus:

As funny as it sounds, I have a "personal" relationship with Jesus.  He remains one of my fathers, though as with my own father, I no longer believe in his godly power.  I believe deeply in his love, his ability to save. . . but not to damn. . . . enough of that.

I will stop my commentary there as my 4:00 AM typing has awakened my six year old grandson, staying overnight with us because of his cough. He notes that the Springsteen book cover looks like "real life."

"Grandpa, are you highlighting in the book and then typing those highlights in your article?"

Yes, Jack.  Guilty as charged.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blogger Wannabe Duardo Paz-Martinez Continues to Attack Nena

God's Gift to Women, Wannabe Blogger, Duardo Paz-Martinez
Continues to  Attack My Wife Nena
I met Nena in 1966 at her grandma's home on King Street, Brownsville. She'd been caring for her sister's boys, Rene and Javier.  Rene, bitten by a rat in that old shotgun house near the tracks, contracted spinal meningitis with brain damage.

Nena sent the two boys out to greet me on my first visit to see her.  Both extended their hands for a shake.  I was blown away.  I needed this woman in my life, I immediately thought, someone so skilled as to teach boys to handle themselves that way, especially one with brain damage.  Her grandma's home was one of several removed from the gullied end of King Street to make way for the Gladys Porter Zoo.

Nena had returned home for her stint with the U.S. Army, 1963-66.  She had been a secretary for Col. Worthen, processing general discharges for homosexuality.  She had a security clearance.  The Army offered her $10,000 bonus to reinlist, a lot of money in '66, but she declined.  She worked at Model Laundry.  I worked at Glen's Supermarket on Boca Chica where it meets Palm Boulevard.

A half century later, Nena, my wife of 48 years, shows unbelievable strength after 4 strokes.  In the latest episode, two weeks ago,  at Valley Baptist Medical Center Brownsville, a young woman asked me about organ or even tissue donation. I suggested she table her request.  Two days later, Nena walked out of ICU on her own.

Strong woman?  Tell me about it!  

In 1971, Nena and I were at a Dairy Queen in Dardanelle, Arkansas.  Nena was 8-1/2 months pregnant with our eventual son, AKA Diego Lee Rot.  When Nena witnessed a constable striking a teenager with his night stick, she opened the car door and intervened.

"Why are you hitting that boy?" she asked.

The constable struck him again and I had to pull Nena away.  The constable said: "I will arrest you lady!"

I took Nena to the local police station to file a complaint that was likely placed in File 13.

Now to the little bitch, Duardo Paz-Martinez, whose been issuing personal attacks against Nena and I for several years. 

Our son, Diego Lee Rot, 45
Duardo Might Not Enjoy An Encounter with
Our Son, Diego, Who Would Not Take Kindly To
Duardo's Insults to His Mother
In May 2015 I filed a harassment complaint with Google with respect to one of Duardo Paz-Martinez many irrelevant blogs. At the time, he had a dozen articles attacking me, Nena and our son, known locally as Diego Lee Rot.  Google, seeing the obvious, cancelled his blogging privileges within the hour.
Nena Barton.. .. Birthdate 10/30/43, married 

The day after the cancellation I received thirty obscene comments, mostly directed at Nena, how he would sex her, etc.  That anonymous, cowardly harrassment continued for over a year.  Each morning I awoke to thirty to fifty comments obviously from Duardo.  Yes, he's a piece of shit.

Most of these comments went into my Google spam filter.  Here are a few I sent to the Brownsville Voice, along with my personal comments:

This low-life, insecure punk, the "imp," as you refer to him, has been sending as many as 30 obscene comments about Nena to my blog daily since Google removed his fake blog over a year ago. He is a failed journalist, reportedly fired from the Brownsville Herald for writing fake stories. He has tried dozens of times to establish himself as a blogger, first of all in Harlingen, then Brownsville, but he's never developed even a modest readership for his fake stories with fake comments.

Even piggybacking on Jerry helps little. He is simply irrelevant. 

Of course, he sucks up to Mike Hernandez. He has no other options. He can't write well enough to elicit readership. He simply can't. 

Below is a tiny sample of the comments this untalented piece of human excrement has sent my blog recently:

Is she awake, Jim. Pose that pussy, lardass. (see the mistake?) ja ja ja she's anal!

I know you;ll post my comments if I include a grammar or spelling error, so whos the chimp hear? But go ahead and answer my request. Is there a photo of Nena's cunt in the offing? PENDEJO. I mean tell her to sprawl on the floor and throw her legs to the ceiling and get your face right in her throbbing pussy, fatboy. Your readership will rocket. heh heh

YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT! Stop using me in your stupid, fucked-up, lousy Blog! why do you insist, you piece of shit? GOP FUCK THAT OLD WITCH OF A WIFE, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!

Well, that's fair. Perhaps there is more to Nena than the Dead Look. As for you, well, you;re hopeless as a writer. If I care about what BROWNSVILLE thinks of me, I never knew it. Blogs are no accomplishment. There are now close to 500 million blogs online. I blogged when I wanted to, and didn;t when I didn;t want to. Any monkey can blog. Youre proving that. Stop using my name in your FAKE comments and thing;ll be better for all concerned, you lard-ass pussy!

He;s told you to stop throwing his name on here, Jim. You;re the one asking for it. Duardo doesnt need you. Fly on your own wings. he;s going after Nena cause he knows that;ll piss you off. Stop mentioning him, dude. 

Unlike you, Duardo is a college graduate with actual publishing credits. You and Nena are high school dropouts. Keep shaking the hornet;s nest, rube


I do stay away, but it is you who throws my name on your dead blog for readership, I suppose. I do not post the larger majority of the posts you attribute to me, but thats the Barton Style isn;t it? I am NOT on disability of any sort. In fact, my health is exemplary, according to my doctor. Unlike you, I have all my hair and can still do a fast 100-yard dash. Stop posting my name when something rankles you and I shall stop shaming you. I do not know Nena, but I do know that she would likely find me charming. I just do.

Free aging pussy at Paul;s Travel Trailer Park

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Colleyville Car Dealer Reaches Out to Duardo Paws-Marteenez For "Help"

Mike Hernandez III, part owner of  D&M Leasing, a self-proclaimed Brownsville benefactor, has experienced a so-far bumpy ride in his personal mandate to pull "Brownsville out of poverty by 2033."

Earlier this year Hernandez rented billboards, not only in Brownsville, but also, amusingly in Harlingen, to announce the existence of the almost clandestine OP 10.33, his Facebook site proclaiming amateurishly worded platitudes about saving Brownsville and supporting candidates who "do right."

Mike tried to make his dream come true by throwing $140,000 at six candidates for the Port of Brownsville and Texas Southmost College trustee positions.  Five of Mike's "horses" lost, while TSC board member Trey Mendez simply took Mike's money, ignored his bull shit and won.

Hernandez reached out to Ambiotec's Carlos Marin for help, further certifying to knowledgeable locals that he was a total ignoramus with respect to our region's heartbeat. Marin feasts on local government for his personal enrichment, but, of course, Mike, living in Colleyville, has no understanding of how Marin snatches every desirable local engineering project for his firm with his political contacts.

Jerry McHale
When this blog, followed by two others, unraveled Mike's plan for Brownsville, Cameron County, blogger Jerry McHale added his own critique.  Mike, in an obvious effort to silence, stymie, stifle and squelch criticism and free speech, emulated Donald Trump, by filing a million buck lawsuit against Jerry.

With varied approaches, the local blogs continued to chastise Hernandez for his bumbling, inept, unsophisticated interference in local elections, knowing full well that, if he wanted to toss money into the air, someone here would clutch his gift. Locals stare longingly at gift horses, but never at their mouth.

Duardo Paws-Marteenez, Sporting the "Bowl"
Haircut of 1940's Appalachia 
Hernandez, perhaps assessing some blame for his failures at the feet of his designated spokesperson, Roger Lee, accepted some love overtures from wannabe Brownsville blogger Duardo Paws-Marteenez.  Duardo or Putz, as he is known locally, although Bobby Wightman-Cervantes insists on referring to him as the "Imp," played reporter, asking Mr. Mike some questions about his operation.  Duardo gushed on his unread blog: "The OP 10.33 story is intriguing because it does seem to be the "noble" effort Mike Hernandez says it is."

LOL!  Hernandez would conquer Brownsville if it were populated by dumbasses like the Duardo!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Leon Russell's Passing. . . . . . .

From the editor: Back in 1972, Nena and I went to the movies in Danville, Arkansas to view the movie "Concert for Bangladesh," featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Ravi Shankar. Nena was 8 months pregnant.  Our son, AKA Diego Lee Rot, kicked like crazy during the concert movie.  

Leon Russell, who passed yesterday, sings one of his hits, preserved on YouTube and published below:

Detroit Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy Denounces Trump's Racism

From the editor:  NBA coaches, Greg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy and Steve Kerr, all denounced Donald Trump's racist rhetoric in interviews published Sunday.  The irony is that religious folk, including several who've run for political office in Brownsville, Cameron County, support Trump.  Obviously, these Latter Day Saints, West Brownsville Baptists and Catholics do not read or understand their Bible or Book of Mormon.

Detroit Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy

"I don’t think anybody can deny this guy is openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic and ethnic-centric," Van Gundy said. "We have just thrown a good part of our population under the bus, and I have problems with thinking that this is where we are as a country."
Van Gundy said the team was quiet on Wednesday and he believed it was because of a 32-point loss on Monday night. However, he added that center Aron Baynes told him it was because of the election results.
Van Gundy then delivered a ruthless rant, slamming Trump and people who voted for him (via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press):
"What we have done to minorities … in this election is despicable. I’m having a hard time dealing with it. This isn’t your normal candidate. I don’t know even know if I have political differences with him. I don’t even know what are his politics. I don’t know, other than to build a wall and 'I hate people of color, and women are to be treated as sex objects and as servants to men.' I don’t know how you get past that. I don’t know how you walk into the booth and vote for that.
"I understand problems with the economy. I understand all the problems with Hillary Clinton, I do. But certain things in our country should disqualify you. And the fact that millions and millions of Americans don’t think that racism and sexism disqualifies you to be our leader, in our country ... . We presume to tell other countries about human-rights abuses and everything else. We better never do that again, when our leaders talk to China or anybody else about human-rights abuses."
Van Gundy added, "I have been ashamed of a lot of things that have happened in this country, but I can’t say I’ve ever been ashamed of our country until today."
Van Gundy then addressed the population that voted for him, challenging evangelical Christians on "what Bible [they] are reading."
"And then you read how he was embraced by conservative Christians. Evangelical Christians. I’m not a religious guy, but what the hell Bible are they reading? I’m dead serious. What Bible are you reading? And you’re supposed to be — it’s different. There are a lot of different groups we can be upset at. But you’re Christians. You’re supposed to be — at least you pride yourself on being the moral compass of our society. And you said, 'Yeah, the guy can talk about women like that. I’m fine with that. He can disparage every ethnic group, and I’m fine with that.'"
Trump won Michigan, but Van Gundy said he was proud of Oakland County, Michigan, where he lives, for voting for Clinton. He said, "I’m going to walk into this arena tonight and realize that — especially in this state — most of these people voted for the guy. Like, (expletive), I don’t have any respect for that. I don’t."
Van Gundy is not the first, and he certainly will not be the last, professional sports figure to come out against Trump. However, you may be hard pressed to find someone deliver a rant as emotionally charged and upfront as Van Gundy.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dumbass Donald Trump Selects Racist Steve Bannon As Senior Staff Member

San Antonio Spurs Coach Greg Popovich on President Elect Donald Trump

Right now I'm just trying to formulate thoughts. It's too early. I'm just sick to my stomach. Not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but the disgusting tenor and tone and all of the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.

I live in that country where half of the people ignored all of that to elect someone. That's the scariest part of the whole thing to me. It's got nothing to do with the environment and Obamacare, and all of the other stuff. We live in a country that ignored all of those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. They'd be grounded for years if they acted and said the things that have been said in that campaign by Donald Trump.

I look at the Evangelicals and I wonder, those values don't mean anything to them? All of those values to me are more important than anybody's skill in business or anything else because it tells who we are, and how we want to live, and what kind of people we are. That's why I have great respect for people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, John Kasich, who I disagree with on a lot of political things, but they had enough fiber and respect for humanity and tolerance for all groups to say what they said about the man.

That's what worries me. I get it, of course we want to be successful, we're all going to say that. Everybody wants to be successful, it's our country, we don't want it to go down the drain. But any reasonable person would come to that conclusion, but it does not take away the fact that he used that fear mongering, and all of the comments, from day one, the race bating with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I've been living, and with whom I'm living.

The fact that people can just gloss that over, start talking about the transition team, and we're all going to be kumbaya now and try to make the country good without talking about any of those things. And now we see that he's already backing off of immigration and Obamacare and other things, so was it a big fake, which makes you feel it's even more disgusting and cynical that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up. To get elected. And what gets lost in the process are African Americans, and Hispanics, and women, and the gay population, not to mention the eighth grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on. That's what a seventh grade, eighth grade bully does. And he was elected president of the United States. We would have scolded our kids. We would have had discussions until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things. He is in charge of our country. That's disgusting."

I'm not done. "One could go on and on, we didn't make this stuff up. He's angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. That's ironic to me. It makes no sense. So that's my real fear, and that's what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that's necessary to understand other group's situations. I'm a rich white guy, and I'm sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can't imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it's just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all of that. My final conclusion is, my big fear is --- we are Rome.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's Embarrassing! America Dumbs Itself Down! Vladimir Putin Gets the Last Laugh!

"Good Verk Bois!"
America's hangover begins.  

Maybe we are not as tolerant, educated and diverse as we thought.

Rednecks rule!  Restore the Confederate flag!  

"The South shall rise again!"

Women are dogs, pigs.  Muslims are terrorists. Mexicans are rapists, murderers.  Disabled people are to be mocked.  P.O.W.s were weak for getting captured.  The press is our enemy.  

"Lock her up!"

Only dumb people pay taxes.

Build walls everywhere.  Put a wall between the U.S. and Canada and make Canada pay for it. Wall off Alaska and Hawaii and both coasts.

Laugh at us world.  We elected a dumbass! 

Blame Hillary for incompetence.  Blame the Clinton Foundation for prostituting itself.  

Blame us.  We did it to ourselves.  Our country's self-inflicted wound. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Plastic Bag Ban Rears Its Ugly Head on Walmart Online Grocery Website

In a simple twist of fate reminiscent of Pat Ahumada being hit in the upper torso with a flying plastic bag earlier in this millennium, my mailbox received a coupon from walmart.com/grocery.  What I viewed as junk mail, Nena regarded as a free ten dollar bill and instructed me to order a load of groceries online.

The flyer offered a code discounting the customer's first order by $10.  I registered as a new customer, giving my debit card information, address and phone number, also selecting "My Store," where the merchandise would be loaded into my care for free.

I also booked a time of pick-up, selecting Wednesday, November 9, 1:00-2:00 PM, designating the WalMart on Boca Chica as my pickup location since the Ruben Torres store was not listed on the website.

Trying to figure out things we "needed," and thinking of the pending day of thanks for all us pilgrims, I ordered Ocean Spray Whole Cranberry Sauce, turkey stuffing and some other odds and ends and hit submit.  My coupon was initially rejected.

Oh ok, the fine print says orders must be for at least $30.  

"How are we doing on shampoo?" I asked Nena.  I also added Afta Pre-Shave to bring the total to $30.29.  Still, the coupon was rejected.

OMG, the fine print on the coupon says the FIRST order must be for $50.  

Still I pressed on, trying to think of things that would actually fit into our already crowded pantry, when I ran into another roadblock, clearly presented on the WalMart Online Grocery Website:

Bag fee:

The store filling your grocery order is located in an area that requires a fee to be charged for grocery bags. If you do not want to pay this fee, you can choose to have your order delivered without bags.

Please deliver my order in bags. I agree to pay the per bag or order transaction fee of $1.00.

Holy Pat Ahumada!  Enough is enough!  

I presented my case to Nena that we could either have our groceries delivered loose or pay extortion to have our items bagged.  

Nena agreed the coupon was junk mail and I filed it appropriately.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Local Republican Tad Hasse Speaks Out on 2016 Presidential Campaign

From the editor:  This blog is open to alternate viewpoints expressed articulately.  The editorial below, by local Republican Tad Hasse, meets that standard.
Tad Hasse
I answered a Republican who justified his vote with the following:

I, on the other hand, *refuse* to put up with more divisive sleaze amounting to a felony criminal racketeering enterprise. That choice should have been simple enough to NEVER vote to protect and advance the interests of a white collar mafia. They do that in third world countries, but NOT in my America! If that isn't reason enough, read on.
Trump won the nomination because the Republican Party wasn't listening to its people, and the odds are good that he will win the election for the same reason. We cannot fix the system otherwise. 

Voting for government insiders is *insane*. It is like feeding some slob on the couch buckets of beer and fried chicken then complaining that there is a fat slob on the couch that won't leave and there is no beer and the chicken is all gone. 

There are a whole bunch of us, the vast number of Republicans who feel the same way and *that* is the reason we *are* Republicans. We are Republicans because we believe in more freedom through less government intrusion into their lives. We believe that the power of the country lies with its people, not its leaders. We believe that the beer and chicken are *ours* and that the government has no inherent right to grow fat on our beer and chicken, nor to order us how much to share with others. I am one of the irredeemably deplorables who stands for real change, not Obama change, and stand here to tell you that I am not afraid.

The "popular wisdom" is that Trump would be blocked by Congress. So what? When Congress works, it gives us things like Obamacare. It let China and Europe destroy manufacturing in the USA. It let, nay encouraged, out of control cost increases in higher education.It gives us a Tax Code that is most decidedly ridiculously complex and ultimately inequitable.It is giving us a system where there is no financial vertical mobility- only horizontal. It has stratified economic class and it is to their advantage to have done so.

Trump would have the same choice a first term Reagan had: If Congress and Trump can't agree, use the power of the bully pulpit to make the case to *THE PEOPLE* because if he wins the election it was because *THE PEOPLE* elected him.

I think it likely that Trump will face a hostile Congress FROM BOTH SIDES and I welcome it! It well past time to stand and tell ourselves and the world that this is America, the greatest, the most diverse and powerful nation ever to exist in the 4 billion years of our planet. This is not the evening of a fading empire that the globalists like criminal Hilary is trying to sell, but the morning of a new day awakening from a bad dream.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cover of Bob Dylan's "Shooting Star" by Babi Mendes

Hispanic Voters Control the Outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election

If it was the overwhelming majority of African-American voters who pushed Barack Obama over the top in 2008 and 2012, it may very well be Hispanic voters who decide the 2016 presidential election.  Ironically, Donald Trump may have lost the general election early in the primaries, on June 16, 2015, when he used these words to refer to Mexican immigrants:  

"They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Also, Trump's brain fart about building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and "making" Mexico pay for it was not well received in the Hispanic community certainly.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox commented: 

"I mean, it's a crazy, wild, stupid idea. We've been building such a strong partnership between Mexico and the United States. We exchange so much in trade, close to a trillion U.S. dollars....1 million people go back and forth at that border. Many, many Americans come into Mexico. Many, many Mexicans come in to invest, to trade with the United States."

Fox added later:

"I'm not going to pay for the fucking wall . . . .  And please don't take out the fucking full word."

Florida, likely the critical state is the 2016 election, is reportedly experiencing a surge of Hispanic voters, tipping the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton.  

To be fair, Floridian Hispanics are comprised of, not only of those of Mexican descent, but largely Cubans, who have faced a different set of immigration rules than Mexican Nationals.  The Cuban Adjustment Act, passed in 1966 and the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy initiated in the 80's have actually favored residency and a path to citizenship.  If Cubans are found at sea, they are sent back to Cuba, but if they make it to U.S. soil, they are allowed to stay.

While Hispanics may be influential in deciding Florida and Nevada, support for Clinton or opposition to Trump is not unanimous, even locally.

In Brownsville, Cameron County, a hardcore majority of Hispanic Republicans favor Trump adamantly. Daily, they repost on Facebook excerpts from Breitbart and Fox News, the Drudge Report or OnlineConservativePress.com promoting Trump or blasting Hillary.  They represent a minority view in the county, but are in sync with the state.

But, in 2016, with the country polarized into blue and red states, Hispanics control the election in several so-called "swing" states.  Yes, the outcome of the election in those states determines the winner nationally and Hispanics will tip the balance in those states.  Trump killed his chances 17 months ago.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

United Brownsville Tries to Stay Relevant Despite Financial Shortfall, Loss of Executive Director

United Brownsville Coordinating Board, 11/02/16
Moving tentatively from Fred Rusteberg's leadership into Irv Downing's more theoretical focus, the United Brownsville Coordinating Board seems somehow more entrenched, but less relevant, 

This month's meeting, held at the IBC Bank's second floor conference room Wednesday, was attended by representatives of all the contributing entities except TSC. (I suspect TSC will not continue their $20,000 annual "dues," as the current board of trustees is less naive than the previous one.)  The unelected group is financed entirely by Brownsville tax dollars or money from P.U.B. ratepayers and tuition monies from TSC and UT-RGV.  

Mike "Miguel" Gonzalez
A financial downturn, newly installed board president Irv Downing explains, led to elimination of the $80,000 executive director position, formerly occupied by Mike Gonzalez.  Mike had recently started using the first name, Miguel, but now, on his return to Kyle, Texas, will likely go back to being "Mike."

Downing explained that, with the elimination of the executive director position, much of the work was now being done by Laura Matamoros, the lone staffer still on the payroll.  The "United Brownsville Blog" has not had a posting since May.

Previously, eight local entities each contributed $25,000, for an annual budget of $200,000, but now seven entities contribute $20,000 each, supplemented by five anonymous "Private Sector Sponsors" at $5,000 each, for a total of only $165,000.  That shortfall, Downing explained, was the reason Gonzalez had to be let go.  He hinted that more private sector sponsorships would be pursued.

In terms of representation, none of the city commissioners or the mayor attended.  Tri-Chair Debbie Portillo's seat was empty. 

The weirdness of this group is that it discusses local projects as if it has some supervisory responsibility for them.  Issues like resaca restoration, curbside recycling, SpaceX, and even attracting new industry are covered as if under the group's purview.  

United Brownsville Chairman Irv Downing
Wednesday's agenda, obviously prepared by Chairman Downing, included a "Progress Report on Collaborative Initiatives."  Among the initiatives was a "Space Industry Work Group," but the chairman tabled that item because, as he stated, "the group had not convened yet."

In a previous meeting, Downing admonished the group to "not work in silos," that is independently, without collaboration.  As our our area moves into a more regional approach with a more expansive MPO, for example, United Brownsville seems stuck in its own isolated silo.


Grandson Jack in Market Square Walking with grandson Jack downtown is a challenge.  He frolicks, skips, cuts in front of you, runs ahead,...