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/Borderzine.com)

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.

Freedom of the press cowers under fire in México

EL PASO — The June 20 shooting deaths of a journalist, his wife, and their 21-year-old son in their home in Veracruz, México, underscore the assessment by a Washington human rights organization that México no longer has a free press. Freedom House dropped México’s ranking to a “partly free” country citing the innumerable threats to the country’s media independence in the current climate of drug-war violence. México was listed as “partly free” in large part because of the self-censorship, violent and deadly attacks on journalists, and a feeling of fear that has taken over the nation. The murders of Miguel Ángel López Velasco, 55, a columnist for the daily newspaper Notiver and his son Misael López, a photographer for Notiver are more atrocities in an unrelenting series of criminal actions against Mexican journalists. Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights estimates that in the past 10 years 83 Mexican journalists have been killed or have disappeared.

Investigative journalism in decline in U.S.

EL PASO, Texas — The economic gloom continues to loom over the media industry. With major U.S. media companies dealing with decline in revenue and diving into bankruptcy, news publications have been forced to cut costs to maintain profit margins. Among the hardest hit are those staff in the newsroom, particularly those involved in public investigative and accountability reporting.  During this dismal economic climate, the expense to fund a potentially lengthy, time-consuming investigative story, the reluctance to engage potential legal consequences, and their possibility to be fruitless endeavors are often the reasons why media companies are still reluctant to keep funding investigative issues, media critics say. According to the American Society of News Editors’ annual newsroom census approximately 5,900 positions were eliminated during 2008, and 5,200 full-time newsroom positions where eliminated in 2009. This means the total employment in American print newsrooms has dropped by around 14,900 since 2000.