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RumpToons No: 210

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 11/07/2020 - 11:05pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 210!
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Why some El Pasoans say they chose not to vote in the presidential election

Borderzine - Sat, 11/07/2020 - 5:57pm

Some El Pasoans decided not to vote in this year’s highly contested election for a variety of reasons, among them because they said their vote in heavily Republican Texas has little consequence.

“Living in Texas, if you are not going to vote for the Republican party, then you might as well not vote with the winner-takes-all style of the election that the U.S. has,” said Nikolaus Frank a nineteen-year-old college student. “That’s one thing that made me not care because I just know Texas is not going to turn blue.”

The United States has an Electoral College where states elect the president based on the popular vote. In other words, the popular vote does not elect the president, but the Electoral College does. For example, four years ago, Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton won the popular vote by some 3 million votes, but then-candidate Donald J. Trump won the election based on the Electoral College vote. Texas has 38 of the 538 Electoral College votes.

Each party selects its own group of electors, each state then empowers these electors who represent the candidate who won the most votes, the presidential candidate who reaches at least 270 electoral college votes wins.

Julien Esquivel, a 21-year-old college student, echoed Frank’s sentiments: “As the overall popular vote doesn’t matter and Texas has always been red, I don’t see a point. However, if electoral points were split, and not a “winner-take-all,” I definitely would vote. As long as the winner takes all is in effect by states, not every vote matters.”

While El Paso solidly supports Democratic candidates, Texas has not voted blue for a president since Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford more then 40 years ago. Since then, the state has been consistently a Republican supporter.

This trend in the Lonestar state discouraged these voters from voting for either candidate regardless of their political beliefs.

El Paso had a 54% turnout of registered voters where the Democratic party is heavily supported, according to ElPasoMatters.org. The El Paso County elections office reported a 256,182 voter turnout of the 487,942 registered voters.

Esquivel said he strongly believes that presidential candidate Joe Biden is more than qualified for the job.

“I would strongly prefer Biden as his priorities towards COVID control and climate change are my two most important areas of concern,” Esquivel said. “Biden, who has worked in government for years and served as vice president to one of the most popular presidents in modern history, is fully qualified in my opinion. Trump, on the other hand, has no knowledge or skill sets that would qualify him for the position.”

Alejandro Becerra, 24, and Sarah Dominguez, 22, also said they supported Biden, but also chose not to vote.

Biden won El Paso with 168,801 votes, according to the El Paso County office’s unofficial election results. El Pasoans also voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in every other category, including U.S. senator.

“If I had to choose, I suppose I rather see Biden, he has had much more experience and can relate to us as citizens in a way… even though Biden doesn’t sit right with me, I can’t see someone as Trump run this country another four years,” Becerra said.

“I feel like Trump has kind of defined Republicans for me and everything I hear from him is mostly negative. So that’s why I feel I lean more toward Democrats but not because of actual political reasons more so from social media and the comments I hear,” Dominguez said.

The two also said their votes would not make a difference in the election or on how the country would be impacted. “I’m just one small vote … with Joe Biden and Trump, they make Biden kind of sound like he is losing it in a way and that he isn’t all there, and then Trump they always make him sound like a bad person, so to me it’s pointless to vote,” Dominguez said.

As ballots were being counted, news outlets were saying that every ballot needs to be counted especially in states like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, where their results can make the difference in who will be the next president in this narrow race where razor-thin margins are the norm.

Neither candidate is ideal for voters like Nikolaus Frank, who does not support either candidate running for office.

“I honestly don’t know which one’s worse, they both have several rape accusations, they’re proved to be racist throughout the years, which someone can write that off as just a generational gap but still they’re going to be representing the country,” Frank said.

While Frank does say that he identifies more with the Democratic Party he finds a two-party system to be ineffective and corrupt, especially when looking at his two options.

“I don’t really believe in voting for the lesser of two evils. I just think they’re both terrible people and can’t see myself endorsing or supporting either one of them,” Frank said. This belief has created some tension with his family, during the election season.

Frank’s mother was upset with him because of the family’s view on the importance of voting. His grandparents from Mexico used to have to pay to vote, but always chose to do so due to the belief that it was the most important thing they could do.

“I wouldn’t say it’s part of being American, my mom, the way she expressed it to me, it’s part of trying to make a difference as an ethnic minority in this country, and I understand that 110%. But like I said, I don’t really think my vote would really make a difference.”

The COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in discouraging Becerra and Allyson Palombo, 29, from considering voting this year. El Paso has seen record-breaking cases in the virus with more than 20,000 active cases.

“I decided not to vote this year due to the ongoing issue with COVID, and putting myself at risk for a single ballot,” Becerra said.

Fear of catching the virus did not discourage El Pasoans from voting. The city broke early voting records. Precautions were taken at the polling sites in El Paso as far as maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and providing finger covers when voting.

Palombo said: “I would have voted for the Republican Party. However, as of right now, I in fact did see both candidates unfit to be president. With so much hate towards Trump, I did not feel comfortable voting for him.”

“Although I do care for who runs this country, I believe my single ballot wouldn’t make a difference in the millions of votes. All in all, election day to me is just another day,” Becerra said.

“At this point, I do not have a preference. As chaotic as the world has gotten, something needs to change. I just wasn’t sure which party could help make that change,” Palombo said.

Categories: Local Blogs

Feeling disoriented by current events? It’s called ‘zozobra,’ and Mexican philosophers have some advice

Borderzine - Sat, 11/07/2020 - 5:42pm

By Francisco Gallegos, Wake Forest University and Carlos Alberto Sánchez, San José State University

Ever had the feeling that you can’t make sense of what’s happening? One moment everything seems normal, then suddenly the frame shifts to reveal a world on fire, struggling with pandemic, recession, climate change and political upheaval.

That’s “zozobra,” the peculiar form of anxiety that comes from being unable to settle into a single point of view, leaving you with questions like: Is it a lovely autumn day, or an alarming moment of converging historical catastrophes?

As scholars of this phenomenon, we have noted how zozobra has spread in U.S. society in recent years, and we believe the insight of Mexican philosophers can be helpful to Americans during these tumultuous times.

Ever since the conquest and colonization of the valley of Mexico by Hernán Cortés, Mexicans have had to cope with wave after wave of profound social and spiritual disruption – wars, rebellions, revolution, corruption, dictatorship and now the threat of becoming a narco-state. Mexican philosophers have had more than 500 years of uncertainty to reflect on, and they have important lessons to share.

Zozobra and the wobbling of the world

The word “zozobra” is an ordinary Spanish term for “anxiety” but with connotations that call to mind the wobbling of a ship about to capsize. The term emerged as a key concept among Mexican intellectuals in the early 20th century to describe the sense of having no stable ground and feeling out of place in the world.

This feeling of zozobra is commonly experienced by people who visit or immigrate to a foreign country: the rhythms of life, the way people interact, everything just seems “off” – unfamiliar, disorienting and vaguely alienating.

According to the philosopher Emilio Uranga (1921-1988), the telltale sign of zozobra is wobbling and toggling between perspectives, being unable to relax into a single framework to make sense of things. As Uranga describes it in his 1952 book “Analysis of Mexican Being”:

“Zozobra refers to a mode of being that incessantly oscillates between two possibilities, between two affects, without knowing which one of those to depend on … indiscriminately dismissing one extreme in favor of the other. In this to and fro the soul suffers, it feels torn and wounded.”

What makes zozobra so difficult to address is that its source is intangible. It is a soul-sickness not caused by any personal failing, nor by any of the particular events that we can point to.

Instead, it comes from cracks in the frameworks of meaning that we rely on to make sense of our world – the shared understanding of what is real and who is trustworthy, what risks we face and how to meet them, what basic decency requires of us and what ideals our nation aspires to.

In the past, many people in the U.S. took these frameworks for granted – but no longer.

The gnawing sense of distress and disorientation many Americans are feeling is a sign that at some level, they now recognize just how necessary and fragile these structures are.

The need for community

Another Mexican philosopher, Jorge Portilla (1918-1963), reminds us that these frameworks of meaning that hold our world together cannot be maintained by individuals alone. While each of us may find our own meaning in life, we do so against the backdrop of what Portilla described as a “horizon of understanding” that is maintained by our community. In everything we do, from making small talk to making big life choices, we depend on others to share a basic set of assumptions about the world. It’s a fact that becomes painfully obvious when we suddenly find ourselves among people with very different assumptions.

In our book on the contemporary relevance of Portilla’s philosophy, we point out that in the U.S., people increasingly have the sense that their neighbors and countrymen inhabit a different world. As social circles become smaller and more restricted, zozobra deepens.

In his 1949 essay, “Community, Greatness, and Misery in Mexican Life,” Portilla identifies four signs that indicate when the feedback loop between zozobra and social disintegration has reached critical levels.

First, people in a disintegrating society become prone to self-doubt and reluctance to take action, despite how urgently action may be needed. Second, they become prone to cynicism and even corruption – not because they are immoral but because they genuinely do not experience a common good for which to sacrifice their personal interests. Third, they become prone to nostalgia, fantasizing about returning to a time when things made sense. In the case of America, this applies not only to those given to wearing MAGA caps; everyone can fall into this sense of longing for a previous age.

And finally, people become prone to a sense of profound vulnerability that gives rise to apocalyptic thinking. Portilla puts it this way:

“We live always simultaneously entrenched in a human world and in a natural world, and if the human world denies us its accommodations to any extent, the natural world emerges with a force equal to the level of insecurity that textures our human connections.”

In other words, when a society is disintegrating, fires, floods and tornadoes seem like harbingers of apocalypse.

Coping with the crisis

Naming the present crisis is a first step toward dealing with it. But then what is to be done?

Portilla suggests that national leaders can exacerbate or alleviate zozobra. When there is a coherent horizon of understanding at the national level – that is to say, when there is a shared sense of what is real and what matters – individuals have a stronger feeling of connection to the people around them and a sense that their society is in a better position to deal with the most pressing issues. With this solace, it is easier to return attention to one’s own small circle of influence.

Uranga, for his part, suggests that zozobra actually unifies people in a common human condition. Many prefer to hide their suffering behind a happy facade or channel it into anger and blame. But Uranga insists that honest conversation about shared suffering is an opportunity to come together. Talking about zozobra provides something to commune over, something on which to base a love for one another, or at least sympathy.

Francisco Gallegos, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Wake Forest University and Carlos Alberto Sánchez, Professor of Philosophy, San José State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Categories: Local Blogs

The Effect of Writing on Popular Culture

El Paso News - Sat, 11/07/2020 - 3:28pm
By Mark Pumphrey, November 7, 2020 For most of my childhood years, I was a complete television child. I would come home from school, flip on the television, and watch one show after another until the time I went to bed at night, stopping only when my mother made me get up off of the… Read More The Effect of Writing on Popular Culture
Categories: Local Blogs

The Something Burger

Max Powers - Fri, 11/06/2020 - 8:19am
I read - as I am sure you all did too - about Rockstar Burger getting its TABC licensed suspended. Normally, I would not give a shit. BUT, there is something kinda funny about it. It appears Dee Margo's campaign manager, Trisha Enchirito, moonlights as spokesperson or is also part... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

HAWT to Lukewarm Takes

Max Powers - Wed, 11/04/2020 - 1:33pm
Quickly- Veronica Carbajal - She did not make the run-off, but she did not have the money that Dee had, and yet just 4 points shy of making into the next round. Beto O'Rourke - Damn. What can you say? Whatever magic he once had, it is definitely lost now.... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

The El Paso Political Civil War of 2020

El Paso News - Mon, 11/02/2020 - 7:40am
Editor’s note:El Paso News has joined forces with El Paso Politics – which makes for a stronger and agile news source. El Paso Politics is published by Martin Paredes, who has over 20 years of knowledge and experience of El Paso politics to include its social, cultural and historical contexts. To his credit, Martin broke… Read More The El Paso Political Civil War of 2020
Categories: Local Blogs

Your Voters Are Smarter Than That

Refuse the Juice - Wed, 03/04/2020 - 11:34am
If I lived in El Paso and was paid a pittance to live in Austin and drink beer for about 140 days last year... and tried to slip a stranger into a an open seat... I'd be pretty damned: Embarrassed... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Poor Max - Nobody Believed Him

Refuse the Juice - Tue, 03/03/2020 - 10:18pm
As Claudia sails to a win... which was easy to guess given the districts voting history... and Vince goes to a runoff easy win... Where is Max Grossman and all of his anger? Only getting angrier. More analysis tomorrow. Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

I'll be back - Soon

Refuse the Juice - Thu, 02/27/2020 - 7:28am
Sorry folks, but I have been knee deep in other projects and real jobs. I was planning on taking a break until the primary is over anyhow, so it all kind of worked out. We'll talk after the primary and... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Texas will not join El Paso any time soon

Refuse the Juice - Thu, 01/30/2020 - 8:50am
In the days leading up to the special election held on Tuesday of this week regional and national media were happy to suggest that the State House District 28 seat would be a bellwether election. The seat would flip from... Brad Kanus
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I'll try to post more often...

Refuse the Juice - Tue, 01/28/2020 - 12:44pm
I'm busy and rather uninspired these days.... It was nice to Grossman lose in court. Maybe he can start paying you guys back for his frivolous lawsuits. He's spent $2 million of yours to protect ego... I mean the nonexistent... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Annello to be challenged... I think

Refuse the Juice - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 8:50am
You might remember that Rep. Annello rode into office on the back of Susie Byrd who basically browbeat people to the polls while lying about Jim Tolbert being sought by an armed posse of Texas Rangers. You might remember the... Brad Kanus
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Svarz Remains Bizarre

Refuse the Juice - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 8:17am
I awoke today to the news that Rep. Peter Svarzbein was hired as Bloomberg's deputy state director for his campaign operations in Texas. Really? That's who Svarz is going with? Or did he just need the paycheck? Let's examine. First... Brad Kanus
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Max's logic is lost again

Refuse the Juice - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 2:19pm
If you get Grossman's emails you'll see he's been on a tirade against Claudia Ordaz. Apparently Ordaz spent money communicating with people who were to be impacted by a literal toxic dump opening on top of them. I guess, communicating... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Who are you voting for District 6?

Refuse the Juice - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 9:13am
Click HERE to see the ballot. I don't know any of the people. However, one of them will eventually vote repeatedly to raise your taxes while you blame the guy who vetoed such tax raises. It's important you pick someone... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Let's catch up...

Refuse the Juice - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 10:04am
Had a little break there. Between hunting and National Eating Day, I was booked. So what happened while I was gone? Looks like your congressperson wants the city to buy El Paso Electric... The same city that has to grab... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Why I didn't comment on EPE

Refuse the Juice - Wed, 11/20/2019 - 10:38am
If you were asking that - good question. When the sale of the publicly traded company made news I had an interest in what was going to happen. I also had conversations with people who had many questions as to... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Ms. Tamayo - the fighter you probably don't need

Refuse the Juice - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 8:04am
The lovely Ms. Tamayo filed to run for the District 76 house seat on the actual first day you could sign up (November 9th). I'm a fan of her eagerness and a bigger fan of her campaign staff not letting... Brad Kanus
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Trump Administration Finally Wins a Sanctuary City Grant Condition Case

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 12:17pm
Trump Administration Finally Wins a Sanctuary City Grant Condition Case


Source: Trump Administration Finally Wins a Sanctuary City Grant Condition Case

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Reason Magazine Immigration Feed
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by Dr. Radut