Can our returning warriors just survive or really return to life

Published 9/24/2011
I recently had an opportunity to see, first hand, how one of the premier Veterans Administration hospitals in the U.S. treats our injured servicemen.
I found myself in the Michael E. DeBakey – Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Houston.
For the past few years I have been afflicted with a skin disease on my legs that was extremely painful and made serious infection possible.
I had, over the past four years, been seen and studied at three different hospitals in Brownsville and San Antonio.
After an extensive search, The DeBakey Veterans Administration Hospital was recommended as the best choice and fortunately, as I had served in combat during the Vietnam War, I was found to be eligible for admittance. Read more…

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Thanks
Fred Drew

Chuck Berry still with us

Chuck Berry, the father of Rock and Roll will be sharing his unique sound with us on New Year’s Eve. See him at B. B. King’s Blues Club in New York,
Sat, Dec 31
8;00am booked and @ 11:00 pm > order soon.
He began in the 50’s with his unique sound in an Alan Freed Show.
He is now in his 80’s and still sharing his unique sound, so see him now as this genuine piece of Americana may not be with us much longer.
e-mail me for ticket information fred@the-drews.com

Fair migration is crucial

Published Brownsville Herald July 18, 2011

I have been re-reading many opinions related to immigration issues and listening to many that on other issues I usually agree with. One in particular is the excellent article some years ago in The Brownsville Herald titled “Immigrants still wanted in hard times.” Mr. Ruben Navarrette hit the nail on the head when he said that “what Americans should know by now, even if some are reluctant to admit it: Immigrants were an undeniable and indispensable factor in the nation’s economic growth over the past decades.”
Many blame foreigners for many of our social ills. Such isolationism and scapegoating frightens me enormously. These perceptions frequently have preceded wars and some of the most embarrassing reactions in our history. Who wants to see a re-enactment of the incarceration of the Japanese in World War II or similar obscenities toward other national groups?
There are calls to close our borders to all “foreigners” and install martial law in the name of security. This scares me because our national survival depends on the infusion of new peoples to our “melting pot” and to continuously remember how our country was formed in the first place. Most new immigrants improve our work force with new enthusiasm and reinforce our understanding of how bad it could be, with stories of what caused them to come here seeking a better life and new opportunities. Read more…

A new opportunity

Published Brownsville Herald July 4, 2011

Today is the 235th anniversary of our nation’s independence. It commemorates the day when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence from kingdom of England.
The declaration had been prepared by the “Committee of Five”: John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert Livingston of New York, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, the principal author.
On July 4, 1776, an estimated 2.5 million people lived in the new United States; today our population numbers about 311 million.
Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts and such.
Our founders created a “government instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” It was designed that the government would obey laws empowered by “We the people.” The folks would be sovereigns in a nation that would work in our best interest. It was definitely not the intention to create a nation ruled by professional politicos whose primary interests are selfpromotion and personal benefit. In today’s federal government aiming for one size and style for all, subsidies, programs and entitlements are created in Washington and enforced on everyone in the country, uniformly, whether or not they are needed or even work.
Lobbyists, politicos, program vendors, etc., are the real beneficiaries and rarely are they uniformly satisfied.
The nation that was conceived following our Declaration of Independence was defined as a confederation by the Constitution, which specifically limited the powers of our representatives in the Congress to reserve power to the individual — the community — then the states. Read more…

The election is coming

Published Brownsville Herald June 20, 2011
In the television news shows and talk shows, we are faced with all kinds of discussion from the talking heads and those who seek to gain from government, advocating change in the rules that govern and guide us all. These rules, comprising the U.S. Constitution, have been changed rarely over the past 235 years, but still there have been changes that we felt were wrong and corrected. Some changes went comparatively easy, like the prohibition of alcoholic beverages, and some required violence like the abolition of slavery that nearly saw the end of the United States.
Our nation is now on the brink of destruction as a result of the rules our leaders have used to shape government to their own benefit.
They have legislated different understandings, then sought court interpretation when they didn’t work.
Occasionally judges’ interpretation of the Constitution has changed, and with it the rules under which we must live.
Throughout the United States people are unhappy with the government as it affects them and are looking to change the politicians in order to change the rules. They’re even examining the Constitution and the form of government it has brought. Is it fair on its surface or has it been misused? Read more…

TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS back on the road

Remember “Crimson and Clover” see
TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS, with MARK FARNER, FELIX CAVALIERE’S RASCALS
Saturday, July 9th 2011
and
MIAMI MEADOWS PARK, Miami Township, Ohio(Cincinnati)
Friday, October 7th 2011
HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO Biloxi, Mississippi
Check back for other appearances

Gerrymandering 2011

Published Brownsville Herald June 6, 2011

I have watched “redistricting 2011” with growing concern for our elected representatives. This political circus goes to great lengths to convince people that the outcome of an election is determined by our “masters” — the politicians who are the only ones who know what is good for us. It would appear that both sides care not a whit for what the voters want; they only want more power.
The situation as I see it is that the national Republican Party (not unlike Burger King Corp.) wants to ensure more congressmen (franchisees) who will follow the company line, so as to gain market share/power. The national Democratic Party (McDonald’s), which historically held the largest congressional market share for 30-plus years is trying to hold on to the congressmen/franchisees it has, especially those with seniority (bigger stores) that give extra power because of congressional rules. Read more…

A better future is possible

Published Brownsville Herald May 23, 2011

On May 14 Tony Martinez was elected mayor with a resounding majority of all the votes cast. All the other candidates together did not garner as many.
It is very apparent that the community wanted new leadership with fresh clear ideas to move the community out of the rut of suspicion, the smell of possible corruption that wafted through City Hall.
We are captive to a criminal reservation to our south with little hope of relief in the near future.
Perhaps our new mayor is a sign of better things to happen.
There also are hints that changes at the federal level may be coming around. Read more…

Join port birthday bash

Posted on 9 of May, 2011 by in Common Sense

Published Brownsville Herald May 9, 2011

You should visit the Port of Brownsville during its 75th anniversary celebration May 13. I cannot emphasize how important the port is to the community now and how valuable it could be to the whole region in the future. Because of that importance I suggest that anyone who lives within 65 miles north, and south as well as 100 miles along the Rio Grande, attend the celebration and consider how your business could benefit by the facility.
Look around and think how the businesses already can help save costs in your current business, or how you can evolve your business to provide services that can be used by port residents. Read more…

Good news at the port

Published Brownsville Herald April 25, 2011

Over the years I have been critical of the Port of Brownsville. We are now coming up on the 75th anniversary of the port and I can finally see the evidence of change for the better.
This started with an invitation to attend the 75th anniversary celebration at the port on May 13 from Commissioner Martin Arambula.
The Port of Brownsville has collected taxes even though it supports the whole region, while nearby Port Isabel, a much smaller operation, has been able to operate at no cost to the community, as have many other very large facilities such as the Port of New York, which will not have to tax its owners, New York and New Jersey, even to replace the World Trade Center.
I recently stated that a port business entity should not be a taxing authority and drain on the constituency. To my surprise Mr. Arambula responded in part:
“The BND tax rate is $0.048 per $100 of assessed valuation. We have lowered the rate every single year for the past 16 years. The goal is to completely eliminate it.”
I must applaud this kind of thinking! Things may really be improving! Read more…

Is ‘World Order’ possible?

Published Brownsville Herald April 11, 2011

In the press we are watching a human story of votes changed because one leadership wants more government programs of largess benefiting certain congressional districts to be included.
This is part of the reality of daily political life and after an indoctrination of some weeks it seems normal. The idea of sticking to one’s ideals becomes weaker and weaker, not just in Congress but at the state level and even in local councils and boards.
At this time in America there is a substantial movement toward a large socialized government that provides all of the people’s needs, allowing no private ownership of companies and ruled by an elite cadre of experts. At the other extreme is a movement toward a “new world order,” a world government ruled by another bunch of elite experts — or are they really the same goals?
In the middle are those who believe in capitalism, private ownership of property and businesses with the opportunity to pursue success and happiness as was described in the Declaration of Independence.
Neither the declaration nor the Constitution guarantees it, but only the opportunity to make choices that might bring great success or abysmal failure. We can even define success as we see fit. Read more…

Yet another illegal war

Published Brownsville Herald March 28, 2011
President Obama recently started another illegal war. We’ve already had several such wars in Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly secretly elsewhere, that are drawing a great price in our dead children and the financial costs that have already pushed our poor financial condition to the brink.
The president has taken the further acts of war by just sending forces against Libya, stirring up another war so he can be a war president, too.
Congress has been trying to get our fiscal future in order. Is that over? It appears that in the flash of brilliance that recently hit Washington, our “rulers” might actually have moved our nation closer to a crisis that we might not recover from. Read more…

Politics 101 opens classes

Published Brownsville Herald March 14, 2011

Last weekend exploded into some real community politics that I thought was being washed from our community by changes at the polls. However, it seems that the “the government has to do it for me” attitude still prevails in our community and there are those that want to become the “middle men” in the process to advance heir own interests in spite of what the electorate wants.
One instance erupted at a meeting held at Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.’s office, at the unreasonable time of 8:30 a.m. last Sunday! It was billed as a factfinding meeting, to consider the concerns of those Texas Southmost College trustees who had voted against a revamped partnership between the UT System and the community college.
Some observers perceived that Sen. Lucio, Rep. Eddie Lucio III and State Rep. Rene Oliveira had summoned TSC trustees Trey Mendez, Adela Garza and Chairman Kiko Rendon for some oldfashioned arm-twisting. Read more…

Free trade does not kill jobs

Published Brownsville Herald February 29, 2011

The best possible circumstances all result from free trade; the worst result from nanny government control. Those in favor of socialism often mis-describe, or just misunderstand, international trade.
A September letter to the editor from Jesse Dorsett asserted that if President Lincoln were alive today he would have added to his quote, “If you love labor, if you value the work of the American worker, then you have to hate free trade. …”
Shortly after I retired from a career with the U.S. Customs Service, where I was involved in enforcing our trade requirements, I taught a practical program in international trade at the University of Texas at Brownsville. During that program we examined and dispelled many policies such as the need to severely restrict and control trade to protect jobs.
Further, I cannot support any concept based on hate and have found that folks capable of attaching such an intense hostility find it difficult to accept reason and support acting out as a solution.
The most dangerous enemy to labor in this country is government control and standardization; not free trade! Read more…