Published Brownsville Herald 9/23/2007
As I read the internet comments and those in the local papers, it seems that the folks perceive that politicians have little or no interest beyond getting elected and increasing their power to control government spending and thereby the control of our lives. The main difference between the predominate parties is the focus. They both seem to be creating a problem or social ill that must be solved immediately or we will not survive. Many issues are important and need to be dealt with but none will end the world as we know it within one elected term.
In fact, over our brief two hundred plus year history, the years that have been most prosperous are years when one party had control over the Congress and the other the Administration.
Looking further back, the great empires fell into decline primarily because of an excess of direct government or religious control/interference over peoples’ personal lives.
Every time when we trade in our personal freedoms and choices one at a time to the government, it is one more step towards that decay.
Frequently, we become so keyed up with the government reducing our personal tax bite a measurable amount or getting a little benefit, we forget the cost. In my last column, I was so surprised by the report of a genuine reduction in the amount of tax collected by the biggest hand in our pockets that I overlooked “the rest of the story”.
As Bobby Wightman-Cervantes so accurately pointed out in his September 10 blog, the State of Texas reformed the overall school funding tax method so as to be more broadly based, and promised a 33% reduction in property taxes for the folks. BISD did reduce tax rates, but by my count, not the 33% promised. Additionally, BISD, along with the other taxing authorities, benefited mightily from the substantial property value increases.
Perhaps some will remember my columns in September of last year where I described the “Leaders, and ‘rulers’ who want power and control” where the message was that “…..we get what we deserve by not voting or voting for folks without examining and considering the candidate ….. we have been seeing what worse is!” and then proposed to “Recall them all” on September 10 where the thrust was …. “When things go wrong it doesn’t happen all at once, there are incremental changes that increase the scope and power of government and our representatives……..” and we are still watching that same cast of suspects!
During this coming political season there several of the political figures that have been described in the “blogesphere” and supported by the many “Letters to The Editor” as having been a part of the machine that has been responsible for the initiation of the “general public suspicion”. It makes little difference on the political spectrum whether these officials actually did what suspected only that it is the public perception.
As days go on the suspicion keeps growing to include another potential money pit, the Port / PUB Desalination Plant with a bill for Phase 1-A of $21,750,000. This $21 plus million was also engineered by the same Dannenbaum Engineering of the $21 plus million Port debacle. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that the former Administrator of PUB involved with the project is now the CEO of the Port? I also wonder who recommended Dannenbaum for them both.
A real working desalination plant would be a big boon for South Texas but at what cost?
The Report on the Lower Rio Grande Brownsville Desalinization Demo Project lists the entire bill for both phase IA and 1B of the project as a whopping $246,044.857. Who is watching out for the folks?
Education can not be left out and many of the regular cast at BISD have been there for some time and recently appeared to try to change the dates of election and terms of the trustees in order to select a polling time that would ensure the continuation of the power center.
When you consider the substantial funds that are influenced by the school officials in the name of education, the people must be confident that those funds are being put to the best use and that those uses are not determined in secret as they seem to be at present.
It also appears that we keep contributing more and more with little meaningful improvement to their clientele and the only response to the public inquiries is frequently “that information is privileged and cannot be released”. More and more decisions are made in executive session or at private meetings at restaurants than is conducted in a public forum.
There is a solution, and that solution is to find new candidates with a fresh approach that will protect our freedoms and not sell us out for power or personal gain. We must look to our neighbors or even into our own hearts to see if there is the courage to be a hero in the homeland, even for one term. Encourage those you trust and respect to step forward and then support them.
It is also important to become more informed about what is really going on by following the conventional news sources and by checking the internet blogs to get “the rest of the story” as either may stress an emphasis that could lead to an inaccurate understanding; then share your thoughts with your neighbors. No one has a corner on the whole story!
One can also join this peaceful revolution by becoming active in the political party of choice or one can become an activist for change.
Try becoming active in the local parent teacher organization and listen to the veteran educators as to what is needed. Become active in your local precinct and actively let your representative and the public know what you see as important personally and with your “Letters to the editor”.
We need more choices and freedoms not less! The balance has slipped entirely too far to benefit many of those who think they are the elites and the only ones with the answers.
Unfortunately too many of them have not had the right answers and when confronted ask for more taxes to implement the new real answer.
This coming political season may be a better opportunity than ever before because the folks have been so discouraged with one bunch advocating a smaller more responsive government. Even locally there has been a shift to more independent political choices in the face of the very well funded machine.
The traditional politicos at the federal levels are also feeling the heat. Congressman Barr of Florida even defected to the Libertarians.
The party of Lincoln that always advocated a smaller government and more freedom has been found to be increasing it and limiting freedoms. The focus is so far gone that there is serious doubt as to what the real objectives are.
Do we need a revolution
Published Brownsville Herald 9/23/2007