An El Pasoan’s personal reflections on the Ottawa attack

By Roberto Perezdiaz

Canada’s governmental openness is at risk. Many comments I have read online under the different headlines on the internet indicate many Canadians do not want to see the implementation of the draconian security measures the US has put in place. Although I’m reflecting on the “Attack on Ottawa” the day after (10/23/2014) the deadly events on Parliament Hill it would have been a forgettable day as I prepare to return to El Paso to vote and other “chores.” I write, reflecting it was three weeks ago Irasema and I were in Ottawa for a Border Conference at Carlton University and stayed at a hotel a short walking distance from the National War Memorial and from our café across the street watched a couple of changes of the memorial guards. I bet in the winter it is very hard duty for them to march out there, observed Irasema. I wonder if they wear those kilts in minus 20 plus weather, I said, as we have already experienced 36-degree days.

El Paso's City Hall demolition. (Ken Hudnall/

Los Chihuahuas – It’s a culture war

EL PASO – The promising post-Ray Caballero generation of local politicians that was swept into local leadership finally has a name to attach to its ultimate crowning political legacy and achievement: Los Chihuahuas! Is it their “Star on the Mountain” or their epitaph as they scatter from the City Council to distance themselves from the fiscally disastrous decision to bypass the tax-paying voters of El Paso and authorize the baseball stadium with the concomitant destruction of perfectly good buildings also built with taxpayer funds? How far can they run where the long arm of Stephanie Townsend Allala’s subpoenas won’t reach them? She is the one who will earn and deserve another “Star on the Mountain” of El Paso. Standing up for responsive transparent government is very necessary here (as well as many other cities) and she took this on for all of us who were and still are abhorred by our city council and mayor’s antics to vote in this “project” with mainly her own resources.

El Paso’s culture war (Cont. 3) – Voters must defeat the bond propositions at the polls Tuesday

EL PASO – Betraying their responsibility as democratically elected officials to represent the will of the citizens, El Paso’s City Council members have declared war on El Paso taxpayers by signing off on an unauthorized multimillion dollar baseball stadium that will transfer taxpayer money to the group of developers behind this coup d’état. I again paraphrase Henry David Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience that: Never have so few in the name of so many done so much harm. This action by the Central Committee composed of GPL (Gullible Political Leaders) or maybe consciously complicit usurpers of the public trust, constitutes a brazen breach of their status as representatives of the will of the El Paso citizens who elected them. With this betrayal, they lost all – I repeat all – credibility. The most serious ethical line they crossed, and it may be a legal line, was that by approving this baseball stadium boondoggle they attempted an end-run around the legal requirement to present any increase in tax rates to the voters.

El Paso’s culture war (cont.) – A culture war of El Paso against itself

EL PASO – It’s a culture war! It’s a culture war at several levels, the most serious one has been brought about by GPL (Gullible Political Leaders) caving to the developers who are imposing their vision of El Paso’s future upon this city without the consent of the governed. That is the main idea behind Henry David Thoreau’s refusal to pay his taxes, I quote my previous paraphrasing: Never have so few in the name of so many done so much harm. This baseball stadium boondoggle is ipso facto confirmation of my assertion of a culture war against El Paso. The majority of El Paso’s residents are Mexican/Mexican Americans.

El Paso's City Hall and the Insights Museum are part of the buildings that would be demolished to give space to the new stadium. (Luis Barrio/

Wake up El Paso: It’s not a new baseball stadium; it’s a culture war

EL PASO – I won the bet. El Paso was the loser, along with my friend who bet Mayor John Cook would do the right thing and veto the proposed baseball stadium. The words of Henry David Thoreau in his Essay on Civil Disobedience, which I paraphrase, come to mind: Never have so few in the name of so many done so much harm. Thoreau went to jail for refusing to pay the tax to finance the war against Mexico. He realized it was a blatant land grab to extend slavery and enrich a few in Congress and members of the board of the South Carolina Railway Company that wanted a cheaper rail line to the Pacific Coast.