Trump supporters gather to protest O’Rourke presidential campaign kick-off

About 50 people gathered Saturday morning just blocks away from presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s three-city kickoff rally, protesting the Democratic candidate’s views on abortion, immigration, Middle East policy and other issues. Protesters – many of them carrying signs calling O’Rourke a communist and other derogatory terms – said they supported President Trump’s policies. Trump won less than 26 percent of the El Paso vote in his 2016 race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, the worst performance ever by a major party presidential candidate in the county. The counter-O’Rourke rally was in front of the Plaza Theatre and about two blocks north of the far-better attended O’Rourke rally. Some O’Rourke supporters passed in front of Trump supporters while en route to the candidate’s gathering until El Paso police closed off the roadway.

Young people, East Siders lead surge in El Paso voter registration numbers

A record 457,141 El Paso County residents are registered to vote for the Nov. 6 election, according to data from the County Elections Department. That’s up from 427,850 in the 2016 presidential election and 404,580 in 2014, the last midterm election. Click here to see mobile friendly version of map 
El Paso’s voter registration grew by 6.8 percent since 2016, faster than the state’s 4.6 percent growth rate. Preliminary figures from the Secretary of State’s Office show that only 18 of Texas’ 254 counties have had a higher percentage growth of registered voters than El Paso between 2016 and 2018.

Guns and showmanship – Seeing a Texas GOP debate watch party through the eyes of a study-abroad student

EL PASO, Texas – CNN reported that more than 80 million people tuned in to watch the Clinton-Trump debate on September 26, making it the most-watched presidential debate in history. It will also remain a day which will live long in my memory as my first real taste of a U.S. presidential debate watch. When I first arrived at the El Paso County Republican Party offices I was greeted with a man carrying a 12 gauge shotgun and a .44. Magnum marching Hilary Clinton around the offices. No, not the real Hillary, a masked version of the candidate.

Writer examines ‘America’s War Machine’

When veteran Washington, DC political journalist James McCartney passed away suddenly in May of 2011 from an aggressive form of cancer he left behind an unfinished manuscript about his decades-long reporting on the U.S. Military establishment. After his death, several friends approached his widow, former Washington Post journalist Molly Sinclair McCartney, and asked what would happen to the half-completed manuscript on Jim’s desk at their Florida retirement home. Related: Q & A with journalist Molly Sinclair McCartney on her book, ‘America’s War Machine’

“I don’t know,” Sinclair replied. Several suggested she take up where McCartney had left off and finish the book. So she did.

No guns in my classroom – Part III The banality of gun massacres in America

There have been three mass murders in the U. S. using legally obtained guns, virtually one massacre per week since I first protested the new Texas ‘campus carry’ gun law by declaring in June that I don’t want guns in my classroom. The unraveling TV coverage following each tragic event becomes horribly commonplace as if demanding a certain formula that at first builds a virtual three-dimensional sculpture of the killer, unwittingly glorifying him and his motive, followed by necessarily sketchy details about the victims, unwittingly relegating them to the grave, and then followed by an oddly similar string of police officials, politicians, and bureaucrats congratulating each other on the containment of the event and usually the death of the perpetrator. After all that, their statements of condolence for the victims and their loved ones ring strangely hollow. It always seems that no amount of subsequent grieving can ever be enough to make up for the injustice and pain caused b the murders, especially as the mass gun shootings blend into each other as naturally as one week following another. Related Columns: No Guns in My Classroom
No guns in my classroom — part II Gov. Abbott celebrates ‘campus carry’ with target shooting in Pflugerville
In the midst of the tragedies, there is always a parenthetical discussion in the media deploring the prevalence of guns in our society  — 300 million more or less in the hands of individuals — and the usual red herring morphed into a red whale that the prevalence of mental defectives in the nation and the lack of mental health care is to blame for the violence because guns are only inanimate objects subject to the will of the individual.