Friday, March 29, 2013

President Obama Says We Have Forgotten Newton

Yesterday, President Obama, surrounded by gun violence victims, said the American public seems to have forgotten about the massacre of innocent school children at Newton, Ct. last December. I guess he based this conclusion on the fact that the poll numbers for supporting the democrats gun control legislation is waning.

Well Mr. President, as usual, you have no idea what the American people are really thinking.  No one has forgotten about the terrible shooting in Newton.  No one.  What has changed, is that after the tragedy, and after you and your party decided to use the Newton shootings to sell your gun control policies, is that the American people now see that what you propose will NOT stop the madman shooter.   And the American people see that the laws your party is proposing are infringements on the U.S. Constitution.   No policy will ever stop a truly determined madman from killing people.  History has proven that and studies by your own party have stated that.

In the San Antonio Express News today, and it's mirror news paper, the Laredo Morning Times, there appears an article (Read full article) about the details of the Newton shooting and it's perpetrator Adam Lanza.  The article goes into some detail on what was found at the Lanza home.  This partial list comes from the list returned to the court on the executed search warrant.  (When ever a search warrant is executed, a list of property removed from the site must be presented to the court and the defendant)

On this list, includes the finding of 1,400 rounds of ammunition, assorted rifles and shotguns, three large samurai swords, eight knives, a bayonet, and a "powerful" rifle scope.  Since this list was placed in paragraph 2 of  a 35 paragraph article I assume the writers wanted to make these items the topic of the discovery.

Now, one of my biggest arguments in the entire gun control debate is that those who know noting about shooting or firearms are those that are put front and center in the debate by the media.  For instance, in the next paragraph of the article there is this quote from Newton Action Alliance (gun control group) leader Po Murray. "It's shocking that they had that much ammunition and firepower in their home, and that someone was legally able to purchase that amount."

This is the statement of a person who has no clue what today's American gun owner is about.  I don't own a lot of guns, but I have several, pistols, shotguns, and rifles   (Note: they are not accessible to thieves, so don't get any ideas you local burglars.)  So, I took an inventory of ammunition in the Wade arsenal, that is what gun grabbers call a persons ammo stash, and I found this:

1,700 rounds of handgun ammunition  some the dreaded hollow point, well in fact most of it, the dreaded hollow point.  And 100 rounds of shotgun ammunition.  None of the shotgun ammo is hollow point, in case you "experts" would like to know.  I also found that I have about 20 or so knives, I quit counting at 8, and I know there are a lot more scattered throughout the house.  And I am thankful to report that I have no samurai swords.

And if you read the whole article you will find that unlike Lanza, I own no X-boxes, no video games, and no copy of the book, "Train Your Brain to be Happy."  

Anyway, this post is all over the place, but the bottom line is this Mr. President.  We have not forgotten Newton.  What has happened is that people who are truly sympathetic to the survivors are finding out that you and your party are using these people for political purposes and to advance an agenda that is not what the American people truly believe.

Nanny Mayor Bloomberg quote: ""there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom."

Our favorite nanny, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted as saying, "there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom."

Now this is one of the most bizarre statements I have heard from a politician in a long time.  In a nation where "the people" are deemed to have the power, not the government, what gives him the right to think that he, or any other elected or hired public figure has the authority to "infringe on our freedoms" without due process of law?

It is this mindset that seems to be driving a lot of politicians these days, and no I am not only talking about democrats.  Both parties are infected with those that think they, and their supporters, are above the law of the land, the United States Constitution.

We, the American people, need to stop these folks like Bloomberg, for they are truly dangerous and present a threat to America.  Again, not a republican or democrat issue.

Where have politicians obtained the idea that they know what is best for the people, and that no matter what means they use, their ideas must be embraced and that they should never be questioned?  Just because you win an election does not mean you have supreme powers over the people.  You, as an elected official are put in place TO REPRESENT US, NOT RULE US.

I am going to use the example of the last trip to Austin by our city leaders, not to pick on Laredo politicians, because they are only doing what every other major political body representing cities in the country do when it comes to lobbying for state and federal money,

Since when did it become necessary for a city, you name it, to have to travel to a state capitol, and "bribe" members of the legislature into providing state funding for needed projects?  Since when did paying for food and drinks for state, and federal politicians become a necessity to assure that needed legislation is passed?  I know, well, state A does it, and city B does it, and if we do not do it, we will be left out in the cold.

Are our state and federal legislators now left to pick and choose which legislation they will vote for, and which funding they will authorize, be based on the quality of the booze and food at a "reception held in their honor"?  (Note the word honor really does not apply to those politicians who demand gifts to do their jobs)  I hope we have not fallen that far as a nation.

So, to our politicians,both state and federal, do us all a favor, and tell the cities they no longer have to throw parties for you to get you to approve funding and legislation.  Tell them you will pass the legislation and approve the funding based on the merit of the bill.  You know, like you promised when you took your oath of office.

PS:  Nanny Bloomberg, you really need to read the U.S. Constitution.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Laredo Civic Center Sale: LISD Has Lots of Cash

It looks like Laredo Independent School District (LISD) will move forward at tonight's board meeting and vote to approve the purchase of the Laredo Civic Center from the city.

I guess having $16 million in cash laying around in an "unassigned fund balance" comes in handy when you need to buy a building.

Just so you know, my complaint here is not that LISD is talking of buying the Civic Center.  I have not seen the plans of what LISD will do with the buildings and property.  I will reserve the comments on that when I know what they are going to do with the property.

My issue here, is that LISD and our other school district would have these massive fund balances on hand, beyond what they need to cover emergency expenses.  Folks, these fund balances are nothing more than a school district overtaxing it's residents.  Let me repeat this.  The school districts are "overtaxing" you and therefore have these massive fund balances.  Normally, a school district would have to float a bond issue to build a new auditorium or school.  But with a huge fund balance, the voter gets no say in the project, except through it's elected school board members, who are responsible for approving the high taxes in the first place.

So, like the President and his whine over sequestration, we should hold both of our school districts accountable when it comes to wanting to raise taxes for anything, be it for the general operating fund or a bond issue to build new schools.  (PS, UISD is studying whether to float a $300 million plus bond issue right now.)

We, including all media outlets and bloggers need to ask the school districts:  How much of this new revenue increase will be going to "fund balance rat-hole" that you can spend at anytime without our voter approval?

Monday, March 25, 2013

THEY'RE BAAAAAAAACCCKK: UISD Looking at $300 Million Plus Bond Issue

For those of us that were around in 2007, we remember the "voters soundly defeated" (quote from Laredo Morning Times article about 2007 bond issue), a $400 million bond issue that was proposed by the United Independent School District (UISD.)

Six years later, UISD is beginning the process of presenting another bond issue, this time for an amount over $300 million.  The district has hired Raymond Turco & Associates, to conduct a survey of district employees and residents to see if they will accept a new bond request in that amount.

If you were around, and remember the last bond issue, I believe there was talk of building a new "auditorium" for graduation ceremonies and the like (but we have the LEA for that) and a large indoor swimming pool along with a list of new schools to be built.  The voters overwhelmingly defeated the bond.

On a personal note, I remember UISD pulling out all the big guns for that bond issue.  They flooded the airwaves, newspapers and other media in attempt to get the public to pass it.  However, with a bad economy, and what many saw as wasteful spending in the bond, the people said no.

It looks like the district is scaling back on the size of the bond they "may" propose, to not include an new auditorium.  If the district can validate the new schools, I mean really validate them, then they deserve to be built.  However, with enrollment growth declining, the citizenry really needs to take a hard look at the bond issue.

It will be interesting to see the results of this survey.  UISD, be prepared to make the results public.

Oh, and remember, the school district and it's employees may not "lobby" for the bond to pass.  They may only provide information on what the bond issue will encompass.  Nothing more.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Starving Staffers: Another sequester repercussion!!

A burger plate at TKO San Bernardo, eat your
heart out DC staffers..........
U.S. Congresswoman, Debbie Wassermann Schultz (D Fla), says sequester has priced her and other congress folks staffers out of a meal at the nations capitol.

The Washington Times reports (full story)

Automatic federal cuts are bringing staffers to the brink of starvation, suggested Debbie Wassermann Schultz, at a recent House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
Restaurants on the House side of Congress are increasing in cost so much that aides are being “priced out” of a good meal, she said.

The story goes on to report that staffers can buy an 8 ounce bowl of bean soup for $2 at their cafeteria.  And that a serving of stuffed chicken, asparagus and mashed potatoes sells for about $7.  Now folks, I don't know about you, but if I am making $60,000 to over $100,000 per year, I would hope I could afford a meal that probably cost about $10 to $15 with drink and tip.  

Does the term "cry baby" come to mind?  Or how about "spoiled brat."  Yeah, I am going with spoiled brat to describe these folks.  

The reality is they have no idea what the American public has gone through with higher prices at the grocery store, more than doubled gas prices, electric and water bills going up.  And here this Congresswoman is, whining about a slight increase in the cost of food for her staffers.  Well Debbie, how about you give your staffers a raise.  You know to say $100 per hour.  You have no problem telling us what our minimum wage should be, so do us a favor, and increase your staffers to $100 per hour and let us know if that impacts your budget.

I digress...sorry.  But I do have a solution to the problem.  My new program:


(A plan to save Congress and the US Postal Service)
In order to help these folks eat, and we want them to eat because we want them to be able to write more laws that intrude into our lives,  I am proposing the following:

A.  Save all of your leftovers, including regular meals, dessert, and alcoholic beverages.  

B.  Box these leftovers up.

C.  Head to your local post office and address them to US Congresswoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz at the capitol.  Send them regular mail, it should only take 3 or 4 days to reach the capitol from South Texas.

The "Help Feed a Hungry Staffer" program will not only feed our starving congressional staffers, but it will help the United States Postal Service become solvent.  

I had sauerkraut and hot sausages last night for dinner, they are boxed and ready to go.  

Enjoy, and please stay healthy my dear staffers.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

More Targeted Sequester Pain

You know how our D.C. politicians are always talking about "targeted" cuts, or "targeted" tax increases, well the president and his cabinet have taken targeting a step further in that they now create "targeted pain."

The FAA has now announced that they will pull air traffic controllers from some small airports, including a few in Texas.  And that the FAA will also furlough some air traffic controllers.  Now that is my friends is "targeted pain" that will be sure to make local newspapers and create a sense of impending doom upon the newspaper reading public.  "Oh my God, somebody is going to get killed landing at an airport without air traffic controllers," will be the battle cry of the media.  And if someone does die in a plane crash at one of these airports, no matter what the cause, you will see the main stream media blaming sequester.

But, let's take a look at the real story.  The FAA budget for FY 2013 is a little over $15 billion.  In that $15 billion are the following lines:

Facilities and Equipment:         $2.9 billion
Research and Development     $ .2 billion
Grants                                    $ 2.4 billion
Total of money not used for air traffic controllers or staff saleries:  $5.5 billion

Now, if they really, really wanted to, the FAA could slash that 2% from one of these line items and no one would notice.  Of course that is the point:  NO ONE WOULD NOTICE.

Mr. President, you should be impeached if a plane crashes at one of these airports and it is blamed on the lack of air traffic controllers YOUR cabinet laid off, or furloughed.

Citizenship Fairness: From the SA Express News

I saw this is the San Antonio Express News this morning.  Probably one of the best letters to the editor  I have seen explaining why those in this country illegally should not be moved to the front of the line in becoming citizen of the United States.

A path, yes, but they must wait in line just like everyone else.  How hard is that to understand?

Citizenship fairness
Re: “Citizenship must be a part of the deal on immigration,” Another View, Sunday:
Your recent editorial trivializes the issue by ignoring two basic American values — the rule of law and equal opportunity.
The most symbolic American commitment to immigration is the Statue of Liberty; “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
It is freedom that is the basis of America's invitation. But the foundation of freedom is the rule of law, and the invitation is based on a number of immigration requirements grounded in law.
To grant citizenship every decade or so to those who have broken the law by entering the country illegally, undermines the foundation of that very freedom.
It is that freedom for which millions are waiting and waiting until they can immigrate according to law. To grant citizenship to those who have broken those immigration laws in essence denies equal opportunity to those waiting to come here legally.
The task of trying to deal with the status of millions of immigrants who have broken the law to come to America is a complex and difficult task for lawmakers who take the ideals of liberty, rule of law and equal opportunity seriously.
Editorials such as yours make that task even more difficult and confusing.

Read more:

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Morning With Tx. State Representative Richard Raymond

Today, I was on the Jay St John radio show (99.3 FM) along with our Texas State Representative Richard Raymond.

We had an interesting converstation about the current legislative session and what would most likely be the outcome of a couple of issues.

1.  School finance, it looks like there will be some money released from the "Rainy Day Fund" to the tune of $2 billion for the next two years, and an additional $500 million for the remainder of this year.

I will go along with the need for an increase as we have increased the headcount of students, but I still think we have problems, and they are not money problems in the school system.

As a side note, I told Richard that some Texas prisons are going to use cell phone blocking devices to eliminate the use of cell phones by convicts.  Not that I am comparing our kids to convicts, but I told Richard that it would be a good idea to allow schools to choose whether they might like to implement this technology.  For you parents out there, you can still call the office to get your kid on the phone in an emergency, and the blockers can be turned off and on from a central location, or locations in case of an emergency, or at the end of the school day to allow for parent to kid communications.

By blocking the cell phones, you would eliminate a HUGE distraction in school.  We need the focus from our students, and teachers.  Parents, don't whine about this....we went to school for years without cell phones and texting and survived.

We also talked about term limits, and the state wide office term limits looks like it may make the Texas ballots for a constitutional amendment.  When I asked about term limits for the representatives and senators, Richard said it was unlikely that would pass the house and senate.  I say, let our senator know we want term limits, and then copy Richard.

Anyway, Jay should start having more guest on his show, so tune in, and follow him on his Facebook page, under Laredo Citizens for Good Government.

Computer Owwwwieee

I was down a couple of days with a slightly sick computer.

Back in the saddle again....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manners - You know, how to respect others around you, OR NOT

My, my, how we Laredoans sure have forgotten our manners, that is if we had any in the first place.  Because of my observant eye catching hundreds,  if not thousands, of Mr. Manners violations over the last weekend, I will take it upon myself to offer some helpful hints in making Laredo a wonderful place to live.
As we go forward, some of you may not consider some of the items I will discuss as actual manners violations…..”Well, YOU CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HE.....opps, let me cool off and put my good manners hat on again.  Your opinion is valued, and you will have your chance to respond in the comments section.

Big violation number one:  To the pig headed lady who stood in front of me at the Jiffy Mart, while checking out,  talking on her cell phone, and not paying attention to the cashier who was trying to tell you you owed more money….You are a manners violator.    Next time, turn off your phone, or hang up before you check out.  This goes for the mini-marts, grocery store, gas station, anywhere others may be in line waiting for you to get your pig head out of the way so they can go about their business……Opps again, sorry.

Mega violation number two:  This one has popped up before, to you lazy slime balls, sorry, lazy individuals who fail to put their grocery cart in any one of the 10 cart racks at the HEB at Del Mar and McPherson, you should have your car doors hit with a hammer by the witness while you repeat the phrase, “I will put my shopping cart in the rack” 200 times.  Get outta my lot you lazy slobs…sorry, my bad, again.

Mega violation number three:  At  the Clark St. Wal-Mart this Sunday, at around 8 a.m. while shopping for ammunition, I notice there must have been over 100 shopping carts full of miscellaneous products that were apparently picked up during a shopping spree by many stupid, uneducated fools, who either do not have any idea how much the things piled in the cart are going to cost, or has such a small bit of brain matter, that they forgot why they put the stupid thing in their cart in the first place, then  take them out at the check stand and leave them with the checker.  OK, you non-rocket scientist idiots, it cost the store money to put those products back in the shelves, that is, if the product is not damaged too much to restock.  This cost that the store incurs in restocking all these items is passed on to the shopper.  Even for those who know, how much money they have with them, and what they want to buy are forced to pay for these non-rocket scientist, can’t add two plus two idiots.  PS, to the plastic bag ban gang……just wait and see how much more often this will occur when big lazy Suzy, the stupid non-rocket scientist won’t buy another reusable bag to fit her extra bags of cookies into, and she leaves it on the counter.

This violation can cause me to go into cardiac arrhythmia, or whatever it is that gets your heart beating a million times per second, and your face to turn redder than the Texas A&M dog’s (Revillie) bandana.  To those employees who are supposed to be waiting on you (name the place) who are reading, texting, or talking on a phone, or cell phone.  I wish I had the money to pay the bail bondsman, and court cost for all the times I would like to take the electronic device out of the hands of the offender and smash it into a million pieces, and then smile in a condescending manner and then ask the employee,  “What up dude (dudette)?

And this last one is by no means the last attack on manners I see in Laredo, but I am tired, and the arrhythmia thing is starting to kick in.  Anyway,  to you that hold a space in line (especially in front of me) for your friend(s) at Luby’s because they cannot get there on time, and then they have to see, smell, touch, and ask questions about every item from the salad bar to the wrapped butter bowl. Then decide to pay with a debit card that has expired.  All this time I am patiently waiting behind you with a piece of fish that is re-growing its scales and the tartar sauce is starting to go rancid.  You then decide you don’t want the liver that I have had to smell for the last 30 minutes of your buffet ballet, but would rather have the lasagna.  To you, and your ilk, I say, NO MORE LUBYS FOR YOU, at least until you go into the place with some idea of what you want and why.

I await with the great courteousness your comments.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ray Garner: New Police Chief at Laredo PD

Last night, in a unanimous vote, the Laredo City Council approved the recommendation from City Manager Carlos Villarreal that current UISD Police Chief Ray Garner be hired as the new Chief of Police at the Laredo Police Department.

I have met Ray several times during my time in Laredo and always found him to be a knowledgeable and positive individual.  It will be interesting to see him deal with the Laredo Police Department, one fragmented with 3 separate police unions/associations.

I only heard part of Ray's presentation to city council, so I can't, at this time comment too much on that topic.  However, I will say that a 10 minute presentation does not make the man. So, I expect, any one of the three candidates would have made a good chief.  But, Garner got the nod, so LPD, it is time to back this new chief, give him a chance and hopefully those problems we hear about on the low key will be mitigated somewhat.

Chief Garner, good luck.

PS, Chief, go down a few post on this blog and read my post:  Open Letter to New Police Chief

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chickens Have Feelings Too: Or NOT....

Last Friday I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (no link, so trust me on this one) that was about a company who had invented a replacement for the egg.  The title of the article implied that these folks had found a way to make eggs without the chicken.

Being the curious person I am, and from the mid-west where I visited many different farms over the years, I wanted to know more about this break through product.

After the first couple of catch lines in the article, it tells the real story about a company who has created nothing more than an egg substitute.  But the article did say that the company believed that their product would reduce the number of real eggs needed, therefore freeing millions of chickens from bondage.   You know, freeing chickens from being all cooped up in, you know, CHICKEN COOPS.....

Anyway,  I think we already have such a product for sale today, or maybe not, as I eat the real things, not the substitute.  Well, I probably eat the substitute when it is used in a recipe of a prepared food that I might buy.  But I was happy to see that the egg, the one that comes from chickens, is still the gold standard.

But after I finished reading, I wondered if the real intent of the article, which was obviously a well placed advertisement for the egg substitute,  was to have people really believe that, one, a chicken actually cares about his/her lifestyle, and two, that just by reading the headline, the reader might believe the company created a real egg, shell, yolk, white and all.   I said to myself, "Surely not, no one is that ill informed."  Then it hit me.  This article was aimed at those who really, truly believe, there is a big monetary difference between a product labeled "organic" and one that is not.  You see these folks seem to believe anything that comes from farmers that have modernized their operations to include pesticides, fertilizers, and mass food production systems are making food that will kill them.  Hence, they want foods grown using the old style farming, where bugs eat the crop, you get the leftovers, use cow-@#*&  for fertilizer, and sell it as organic.  And raise your cows and chickens on the open range, so they will be happy, right up to the point they are slaughtered for human consumption.

As I have stated in other post, those that buy "organic" are the farmers/growers best friend.   Just look at the produce at the local HEB, and see the difference in the outward appearance of the fruits and vegetables that are labeled organic and not.  I know, I know, the organic fruits and vegetables say they were not subject to pesticide and chemical fertilizer use during growing, blah, blah, blah.  Maybe you will get lucky and get to eat a worm in your apple.  Then you will  have really experienced the organic revolution.  The truth is, that the pesticides used make the fruits and vegetables less expensive and at no loss in nutritional values, or safety.  What, you don't wash your organic vegetables or know what they use for fertilizer?

Anyway, give me a real egg, with a real shell, and cook it in bacon grease, over hard please.  And that, along with the bacon used to make the bacon grease, and some toast and jelly is a real breakfast my friends.

PS, if you are still worried about the chickens, and their feelings, go visit a chicken processing plant, or a mid-west farmer who has decided to cull his chicken heard of a couple of hens for a family get together.  You know how they kill a chicken on the farm?  They wring its neck until the head pops off.  Then they wait for the chicken to quit running around, ah, like a chicken with its head cut off, and then pluck (worst smell ever) it, and cook it. 

I would bet the cooped up hen would tell the soon to be de-headed "range" chicken, "I'll stick to layin eggs, you go ahead and enjoy your romp around the yard.  Just beware of family picnics."

Friday, March 15, 2013

National Football League, Is it time to add another F to NFL?????

I know, Tony Gonzalez is not a running back and no longer
with the Chiefs.  But it is my blog, so, I get to pick the pictures.
Well those folks who want to add another F (Flag) to the National Football League are at it again.

This time (read story here) they want to make it a foul for an NFL running back to intentionally hit a defender with his helmet.

Emmit Smith, of Cowboys fame, says the NFL is crazy.

I happen to agree with him.  At some point,  the NFL is going to impose such stringent safety measures on its game that the older fans will no longer watch the games.   Could be the NFL, or the new NFFL (National Flag Football League) will attract a new, softer, gentler, more forgiving fan base that will enjoy watching 350 lb. men, and women of course, run down the field until a defender puts a vicious, teeth rattling, bone crushing, pull on the little pink flags the offense will wear on their belts, signifying what used to be called a tackle.

I cannot wait until a middle linebacker goes into celebration mode, and flexes his/her muscles and growls loudly while holding up the pink flag snatched from the belt of the punishing running back.

Of course the new NFFL will have to ban a few words/phrases that announcers are currently allowed to use:

teeth rattling
hit so hard all you could see were spit bubbles coming out his mouth
and many more.

(Feel free to add your own future banned words or phrases)

Yes NFL commishes, please add this new rule.  I want to see more penalties, more reviews.  I want to see and hear more from the referees during the games.  Of course you just might free up my Sundays and Mondays where I will no longer be watching TV.  Now, that might be a good thing.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sequester: More Foolish Spending

How stupid does the President think we are?  Obviously pretty stupid.  Well, in his rant about the end of the world coming via sequester, the President, and our local US Congressman should have mentioned that they (remember money comes from politicians, not taxpayers) are giving $50,000 to the Sullivan, Tx. Police Department.  (Read Full Story from McAllen Monitor Here)

Now, at first, this seems like a small pittance of the federal cash pile, but one must take a closer look at the recipient just to see how much money this really is.

Sullivan city, located in deep South Texas (the valley) is a booming metropolis of 4,900 people.  Now, I am not really sure how many police officers that Sullivan city has, but it cannot be more than 3 to 5 that are paid a salary.

The real question here, does it make sense for our U.S. government to give money to local police departments for border security, when they are furloughing real border patrol and C.B.P. bridge personnel?

Of course not, and it is just another indicator that the President of the United States is doing everything he and his cabinet can do to inflict pain of the people to score political points.  Impeachable offense, YES.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

St John: Has He Gone To The Dark Side?

Has Jay St John gone over to the dark side?  Has spending so much time with Sergio Mora (Past Laredo Democratic Chairman) infected him?

Jay recently posted a story about how Laredo will be impacted by the sequester.  Jay seems to agree with U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar that Laredo is going to really, really, be hurt by the sequester.  In that part, I agree, Laredo will be hurt, but it will be an "intentional" hurt implemented by President Obama, his cabinet, and obviously his horn tooters.

The President, and his cabinet, had the authority to decide what would be cut in each agency.  Yet, they decided, for purely political advantage, that they would make the cuts as painful as possible for the American people, then deflect the blame to the Republican party.  The ultimate goal, taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2014 mid-term elections.  Now, even the main stream media is saying the President's hype was way overboard.

Anyway, back to Jay.  Jay, say it ain't so.  Tell us you are going to seek a Sergio remove those liberal ideals from your brain (insert your joke line here.)  Jay, you even implied you are for a plastic bag ban....this is how I really know you have entered the dark side.  Your prognosis is not good without treatment.

Monday, March 11, 2013

OSHA: A Great Place for Targeted Sequestraion

Occupational Safety & Heath Administration
If ever there was a need for "targeted sequestration," this agency and it's minions are deserving of the swordsmanship of the forced reductions in manpower and capital.

Side note:  Notice how the word sequestration rhymes with castration.  Sweet isn't it!!!!

In a suburb (where I used to live actually) an AT&T repairman was killed in a violent robbery attempt in which he was struck in the head and later died (Read full story here).

Those wise government officials at the OSHA decided AT&T should be fined $7,000 for not providing the worker with a "panic button" that would have alerted authorities that he was injured.

I do not know what kind of fantasy world these government officials live in, or what they watch on television, but I know of no such panic button, other than the one sold in the commercials where a woman screams "Help, I fallen and can't get up."  And in reading the story, of course many facts are not presented, it appears that the man was hit in the head, and later died from the blow.  My bet is, since he had a cell phone, and a laptop, that the man was unconscious and unable to call for help, so the panic button would be useless.

What is sad now, is that AT&T will have to defend itself against this ridiculous charge and fine.  And that cost my friends is passed on to you.

We can only pray for the budget swordsman to locate these OSHA folks and slash their powers.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Believe In Conservationism, Not Environmentalism

I took this photo at Lake Casablanca a couple of years ago.
With the renewed interest in the RGISC in banning plastic bags in Laredo becoming a topic of local bloggers, and recent revival of those who wanted to save a retention pond (aka:  wetland) at a development near the airport and Lake Casablanca, I thought it time to lay out some of my personal beliefs on land use.

I am a conservationist.  Meaning, I believe in the willful conservation of land and buildings for future generations of people and wildlife.  Note, I said willful.  I would love to see Laredo shoot for a wildlife preserve, just like they have in Rio Grande Valley.  This area is not only great for locals, but brings in lots of tourist.  I think this city council has missed the boat on focusing only on "my district" issues.  Meaning, well, we cannot have a wildlife refuge in your district, and not in mine.  Never mind the fact that council then prices the city out of opportunity to enhance the city as a whole.

Anyway, my belief is simple:  Property rights trump group rights, unless the property owner is doing something so bad that the community is in "real" danger.  Imagined or made up dangers do not count.  Then it is up to the courts to decide the outcome based on law, not hyperbole.

On the other hand, environmentalist use terms such as, BAN, TAKE, HALT, END, and others too numerous to list in order to advance their agenda.  They believe things like a multi-million dollar project (you name the type) should be stopped in order to protect a bug they think may be near extinction.  How they can know that has always baffled me, as the human race has never mapped every bug, animal, plant, or fish on this planet.  Oh well, I digress.  So, instead of allowing a project to move forward, they HALT it for months or even years until it is either ENDED or moved at an enormous cost to the citizenry.

Environmentalist could care less about property rights.  Environmentalist care nothing about business.  They love to take a liberal line that the rich are ruining the planet and that corporations are killers.  Yet, their own leaders live under the umbrella of  huge corporations with the same internal power struggles.

So, my fellow Laredoans, and bloggers, I believe in saving land and buildings for our future. I do not believe in "consensus science."  You know the science that says well a bunch of us think this or that will happen, so it must be true.  In science, FACTS ARE FACTS.  Until they are proven, they are just a hypothesis   If someone, be it a city council, a preservation group, or whoever, wants to TAKE land or a building from someone, be prepared to pay the market value, if the owner "agrees" to sell.  Otherwise, move on.

And finally,  I just don't think the government, nor environmentalist,  have the right to tell me how to use/take my land without due process.  Nor does the United States Constitution.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

They're Back: RGISC wants to ban the bag.

Well, I guess since Austin just banned single use plastic bags, the RGISC (Rio Grande International Study Center) does not want to be left behind and is, again, calling for a ban on single use plastic bags.

I hope you readers take the time to really investigate bag bans that have been in effect for some time, and just how ineffective they are in reducing trash.  The only economic impact is to the retailers bottom line, and the wallets of the consumer.

But locally, in todays Laredo Morning Times:

While in front of the Laredo Citizen's Environmental Committee, he RGISC and City of Laredo staffers claimed that a bag ban will clean up Laredo and save the city lots of money on trash clean up.

The RGISC also reported they got some money from a grant to buy reusable bags (for the poor folks I guess) and to advertise for a bag ban.

Here are some questions for the RGISC:

1.  How many people will get free re-usable bags for shopping with your $6,000?  My guess, is at 7 to 8 bags per family, and at $1 each, about 750 families.

2.  With over half the population of Laredo being classified as "in poverty," how do you expect the poor to add these re-usable bags to their home budget?  And don't forget the time and cost to wash the bags regularly.

3.  What will you tell the public when they still see all the trash on the streets, in the creeks, and other plastic hanging on the trees?  Will your response be "We need more bans?"  (Remember, the TxDOT study that found only .6% (six tenths of one percent) of the trash along Texas highways were single use plastic bags.

4.  What will you tell people who reuse their single use bags for trash disposal, litter box cleaning, storage, or any of a hundred other uses people find for these bags that they will now have to BUY bags for such use.

5.  How do you address the increase in folks visiting the hospital for contaminated food illnesses, and possible deaths?  More bans?

These are just a few questions that I have heard people ask.  We await your answers RGISC.

According the Laredo Morning Times, the RGISC just completed a public opinion poll that ask Laredoans if they support a ban on single use plastic bags.  According to the RGISC, 48% of our citizens were in favor of the ban, and 15% were not sure.   I guess that leaves only 37% of us against the ban.  I would like to see the questions that were asked of those polled.  I wonder what percentage of those polled were poor and on food stamps, as they will be impacted the most.  I wonder if the poor were asked some of these simple questions:

A:  Do you know if a ban takes place, you will be forced to buy your own bags for groceries, shopping at the mall, shopping at the mini-mart near you?   Ask now, do you agree or disagree with the ban?

B:  Do you know if a ban takes place, only .6% of the trash on Laredo streets will go away?  Ask now, do you agree or disagree with the ban?

C:  Do you know if you use the re-usable bags, you MUST wash them regularly or you and your family could get sick?  Ask now, do you agree or disagree with the ban?

D:  Do you know the stores will make money off you when you purchase these reusable bags for about one dollar apiece?   And that they most likely will not reduce the price of their products at all, even though they are no longer paying the cost of the plastic bags?  Ask now, do you agree or disagree with the ban?

E:  Do you realize that if you have to make a quick stop at the store, and have left your reusable bags at home, you may have to buy new bags at one dollar apiece to get your groceries home?  (If you leave them in your hot car, the reusable bags grow germs faster)  Ask now, do you agree or disagree with the ban?

My guess, none of the above questions was asked in the survey.  My guess is also that the survey conducted was not scientific in polling the people by economic means.

I will wait on that to be proven wrong.

Below is a statement an link to a study discussing the health impacts of these "re-usable" plastic bags:

The study, by Jonathan Klick of University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Property and Environment Research Center and Joshua D. Wright of the George Mason University School of Law, found that in jurisdictions where plastic bags were banned saw ER visits increase by about one-fourth, with a similar increase in deaths compared with neighboring counties where the bags remained legal.

Basically people were schlepping leaky packages of meat and other foods in their canvas bags, then wadding to the bags somewhere for awhile, leaving bacteria to grow until the next trip, when they tossed celery or other foods likely to be eaten raw in the same bags.

Washing your bags reduces the risk, but let's be honest: who does that? 

To quote the study:

We find that the San Francisco County ban is associated with a 46 percent increase in deaths from food borne illnesses. This implies an increase of 5.5 annual deaths for the county.

City council, don't fall for the easy, ineffective ban on plastic bags.  It will not solve the littering problem, it will not save the city money on trash mitigation, and it will do nothing more than add Laredo to a list of cities that are reacting to an over zealous group of environmentalist whose only solutions to community problems involve the banning of things they do not like.

City council  if you want to clean up the littering problem, work on instilling some pride in this community that will prevent people from littering.

Laredo, Wake Up and tell me what you think.

Open Letter to New Police Chief

Dear New Chief:

I have a few suggestions for the Laredo Police Department that would improve response times to calls for service and make life easier for local citizens.

1.  Sub-Stations:  Reduce the number of sub-stations to north (off Mines Road) and south (centralized in south of 359 hwy).   Man these stations for 16 hours per day with civilian employees.

2.  Instruct the citizens of Laredo that the police will no longer dispatch a police officer on the following types of calls for service:

a.  Non-injury accidents on private property.
b.  Theft/burglary of a home/business of less than ???? dollars.  (you figure out the number, as we know detectives do not actively investigate minor thefts.  They do not have the time)

Start with these types of calls and move forward in looking at other calls for service that could be eliminated where there in no police actions taken.

3.  Have citizens report minor accidents and thefts directly to sub-stations or by phone to the sub-station (number location can be provided by dispatcher), or online.  Most of these calls for service are never investigated, and are only processed for the citizens insurance company.

By doing 1,2, and 3, patrol officers time will be freed up to respond to real calls that require a police action, disturbances, large thefts, major accidents, and others.

Then, you need to instruct your patrol officers on how to really do pro-active patrol versus just handling calls for service as they come across their computer screen.  Maybe, they could start with issuing citations for people who run red lights in front of them.  I see it all the time.

There are many things that these officers can be doing other than handling minor issues that will never see a detective or further follow up occur.

NOTE TO CITY COUNCIL:  Don't start whining about your district not having a sub-station.  Most of these so called sub-stations are nothing more than parking lots.  This city is not that big (land mass) and does not require 7 substations.  Kansas City, Missouri, much larger than Laredo only has 6 sub-stations with 4 times the population, and 10 times the land mass.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sequester Part II - Crying Wolf, a New Art Form

President Obama speaking to 6th graders.  Maybe he believes
the American people are no smarter than 6th graders and have
no clue how a budget works.

Well here it comes.  This morning's Laredo Morning Times reports that we can expect "peak" wait times at the bridges to be up to "two to four hours," and holiday wait times to be "five to six hours" long.  Even our local US Congressman, Henry Cuellar is spouting the official line, that sequester will hit everyone from small business to schools.

Folks, I ask you, have you had to make any budgetary adjustments over the last four or five years, with the food, gasoline, electric, sewer, and water prices increases we have seen?  Did the tax increase of about 2% that hit most of us on Jan. 1 cause you to change your budget?  Maybe not for some of you, but I guarantee that most of you had to make some kind of adjustment.  Maybe cut out a Starbucks, or maybe a fancy lunch once or twice a week.  One less shirt or pair of pants bought this month.

Yet, our President and his minions, cannot for the life of them think that the federal government can cut any money from their budget.  NONE.  These folks are so self centered that they think taking a dime from them will result in the end of democracy as we know it. (Dem's are ending democracy in other ways)  And to prove that point, the federal government  under the direction of the President of the United States, have been instructed to make sure that these minuscule budget cuts will hurt the American people where ever, and when ever possible.

The NY Times reported that an administration email has been sent to a federal agencies instructing them to make sure that the sequester cuts "are as painful as the President said they would be."

Friends, in my entire life (over 50+ years), never have I seen a president try to punish the people of this country to make a political point.  How can Henry Cuellar, or any Democrat agree that the American people need to be punished in order to prove that the federal government cannot do what you, as an American citizen have been asked to do in these tough financial times?

I am sickened by this childish behavior.  There is no excuse.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sequester,The Smoke Screen

You will hear more about sequester than the next GDP report.
Or at best, you will hear the sequester caused the low GDP

The most talked about word in government circles since "pork" has to be sequester, well at least for the next couple of weeks.

What is sequester?  Read for yourself.  I personally like numbers 2 and 4.  Remove, seperate, hold and control excess spending capabilities of the enemy (Congress and the President.)  

Politically, and this became clear to me last week, the sequester is a smoke screen that the President has deployed to keep Americans focused on Congress and not the economy.  Last week the Commerce Department upgraded the last three months of 2012 GDP (Gross Domestic Product-How much money the total economy generated) growth rate to % 0.1.  It had been reported at a %0.1 decline from the preliminary report. What this means is that if the next GDP report is an negative number, which many analyst believe it will be, the media will not invoke the "recession" word.  In order to have a recession, you must have two consecutive quarters of negative GDP.  

With the President's tax increases taking place on Jan. 1st, there is less money in the GDP pool.  There are numerous reasons for this, and I will not go into them here.  However, all one needs to know, is that sequester is a Presidential smoke screen, and it is not the end of the world as we know it.

For him to act like a child whose mommy took away his toys because he was abusing them (spending too much money,) is at best, sickening.  For him to scare people who should not be scared, for him to hope for the worst, for him to not want to make sensible cuts, but cut where it hurts most, is in my opinion, childish, and representative of the traits of a person who could care less about America as long as he himself is held in adoration.

If this country cannot cut 2 1/2% of the federal budget, then we are doomed.  It really is that simple.  

What say you?