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Trump to Mexico: The border wall just got 10 feet taller

El Daily Post - Fri, 02/26/2016 - 6:02am

That was one of the messages that Donald Trump got in Thursday night during a Republican debate that the Associated Press describes in the following account as a Texas brawl. As is the case with most of what the GOP front-runner says, it’s hard to know how literally that statement about the wall getting taller […]

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Clinton talks about race; Sanders hews to his class message

El Daily Post - Fri, 02/26/2016 - 5:55am

The Democratic candidates have dramatically different strategies when it comes to addressing the issue of race. Hillary Clinton speaks bluntly about white privilege and bigotry while Bernie Sanders describes society’s problems in terms of class and income. CHARLESTON, S.C. — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have a similar agenda when it comes to issues of special concern […]

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Fox to Trump: You’re crazy! Sandoval says ‘No thanks.’

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 5:40pm

Vicente Fox rips Donald Trump during television interview with Jorge Ramos MIAMI — In a scathing takedown of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, former President Vicente Fox told the television station Fusion that Trump is a “crazy guy” and urged Hispanics in the United States who support the billionaire real estate tycoon and reality TV star […]

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Biden’s message: Anti-Mexican rhetoric is not what U.S. is about

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 4:20pm

He was in Mexico City Thursday and made it clear that most Americans consider the dominant Republican talking points on immigrants, especially Mexicans, to be, in the vice president’s words, “dangerous, damaging and incredibly ill-advised.” U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that some U.S. campaign rhetoric about Mexico and immigrants has been “dangerous, damaging […]

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Categories: Local Blogs

On the Risks of Developing Renewable Energy

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 4:06pm

Investing in renewable energy sources is no easy task, particularly if a competitive power market is still being set up, as is the case in Mexico. Today we will take an eagle’s eye look at the main risks renewables companies face in this nascent market. Market risk relates to the potential for losses due to market […]

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Categories: Local Blogs

Kidnapping in Mexico: far more than meets the eye

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 2:40pm

Clashing numbers.  This week, there has been a very public spat between the government and a well-respected specialist NGO, Alto al Secuestro, about kidnapping numbers. According to official data, 107 kidnappings were reported across Mexico in January. Alto al Secuestro claims the correct number is 146.  According to that organization, the authorities made several significant methodological changes: no […]

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Categories: Local Blogs

Is culture to blame for indigenous Mexico’s health care problem?

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 2:35pm

The government sees the inferior medical attention plaguing Mexico’s indigenous communities as a result of cultural factors, not discrimination. Critics wonder why those cultural factors aren’t taken into consideration to provide the right kind of health care, instead of being blamed for not providing enough of it. It’s a fact — confirmed by international organizations […]

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Who’ll slow Trump? Rubio and Cruz get one more chance

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 2:30pm

If Donald Trump performs well in the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries, many pundits view his march toward the Republican nomination as unstoppable. Tonight in Houston, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz get one final chance to change their fortunes as the Republicans stage another debate. LAS VEGAS — With Donald Trump’s grasp on the Republican presidential nomination tightening, the billionaire businessman’s […]

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Categories: Local Blogs

The CFE is screening us from solar power, but not for long

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 2:08pm

Solar power and other renewable energy companies are finding that Mexico’s reform of its electricity sector is not all that was promised. That’s because power utility CFE is still getting political support that is effectively limiting competition. Consumers will have to wait to get access to low carbon electric supply options Mexico’s potential for solar power installations […]

The post The CFE is screening us from solar power, but not for long appeared first on El Daily Post.

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Feldman: Obama could taunt the Senate just as FDR did

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 12:29pm

With the Republicans announcing they will refuse to consider any Supreme Court nominee Barack Obama might nominate, the president could emulate Franklin Delano Roosevelt and put forth a candidate to “trap” the Senate. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval could be that man.  U.S. President Barack Obama insisted that his post to Scotusblog on Wednesday about his criteria for a U.S. […]

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All aboard? Mexico-U.S. aviation agreement is taking off

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 9:49am

Once ratified, a historic agreement between Mexico and the United States will  change air travel between the two countries — for the better, most agree, though there are skeptics. Here’s how it will work, and what it means. In December 2015, representatives of Mexico and the United States signed the first aviation agreement between the […]

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Mexico’s Pemex needs cash — and that can mean a sell-off

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 8:22am

It wasn’t so long ago that the very idea of selling off its pipelines and oil terminals was unthinkable. But Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, is running out of cash, and it has to do something. With oil prices stuck near a 12-year low and output in free-fall, speculation is mounting that Petroleos Mexicanos will […]

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Marco Rubio is still holding up the U.S. ambassador to Mexico

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 7:56am

And the Obama administration is getting more and more upset about it. Now it’s Secretary of State John Kerry who’s going after Rubio for “punishing” not just the nominee, Roberta Jacobson, and Mexico, but the United States. WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has veered into presidential politics by rapping Senator Marco Rubio […]

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Univision fought with Trump, now it will register Latino voters

El Daily Post - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 6:30am

Univision criticized Donald Trump for his anti-immigrant rhetoric and settled a lawsuit after cutting its business ties with the real estate mogul. This week, it is announcing a voter registration drive whose goal it to register 3 million new Latino voters. Last summer, Univision went to war with Donald Trump after he called Mexicans drug dealers and rapists […]

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Closed for the Week

El Paso Politically - Tue, 02/16/2016 - 10:43am
I'm taking this week off from blogging. I'm having an early spring break with an old buddy in town. See you next week.
Categories: Local Blogs

No Three-Legged Monkey

El Paso Politically - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 6:01pm
I'm following up about my Ash Wednesday post. The bottom line is really simple: There won't be another Three Legged Monkey situation in this neighborhood. Nobody will lose a business and people will not be out of a job. As I stressed, the solution is just being good neighbors.
Thanks and kudos go to the El Paso police (led by one of my heroes, Leslie Canada) who really stressed good neighborliness. They told people what they as law enforcers could do and couldn't do about noise complaints especially with so many establishments in the neighborhood. They assured the neighbors that they would enforce the law. They also will reach out to the local bars to give them tips for keeping the noise indoors and not letting a decibel escape outside.
Thanks also goes to Jim Erickson, the President of the Five Points Business Association. He and other FPBA members who were at the meeting said that they really wanted to work with neighbors. Robert and Christina Estrada, who own Joe Vinny and Bronsons, told the audience how they want to be a community establishment. They aren't looking for customers from around the city. They are looking to be a community gathering which they already really are. Kudos to them for beginning the great Renaissance in the Five Points/Manhattan Heights/Newman Park neighborhood. 
Thanks especially to the neighbors who are willing to work with the Business Association, the police and the city do get better parking for patrons.
If any establishment wants to be a bad neighbor, they deserve to go under. I think most want to be in business and keep making this area proud.
Categories: Local Blogs

Ash Wednesday

El Paso Politically - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 11:57am
In an online Time Magazine article, Pope Francis’ Guide to Lent: What You Should Give Up This Year, Christopher J. Hale writes:

"In his annual Lenten message, the pope writes, 'Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.'


"Describing this phenomenon he calls the globalization of indifference, Francis writes that 'whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.' He continues that, 'We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.'"

I often look at the palatial estates occupied by two maybe three people around El Paso and wonder whether some of that wealth could be spent housing others. It is not that those who own such mansions are doing anything illegal. It's what Francis is saying about indifference. We've become such an Ayn Rand culture that we forget what it is to be a community and share things in common even simple things like air and water and food.

Too often I hear of special privileges for some at the detriment to their neighbors. This evening a new neighborhood association will meet at the police station on Raynor. They have assembled because a tavern in their neighborhood (the Pershing Inn) apparently believes that they are entitled to play loud music until three o'clock in the morning. I don't know if they have a right to have loud concerts until such early hours. I suspect that they don't and that a number of city officials including the police have turned a blind eye to the situation. I do know that the owners of the Pershing Inn are obviously indifferent to the needs of their neighbors. Would any of us blast our neighbors with high decibel noise into the wee hours of the morning? Of course not. We are good neighbors. The needs of our neighbors matter to us.

Whether one is a Christian or not, Lent is a good time to reflect on our indifference and then try to make a difference in the lives of others who are not as fortunate as ourselves. We must all remember that we share one inevitable trait in common: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." That dark night into which we all must journey by itself should give us compassion for the needs of others.

Categories: Local Blogs

Just Don't

El Paso Politically - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 3:47pm
Here's my advice about tweeting, texting, posting on Facebook, etc., during City Council meetings and in executive sessions: Don't. Just don't. Whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, legal or illegal, don't. In this day and age of social media transparency, your messages are never confidential. 

Mayor Leeser and El Paso want to attract good businesses to El Paso - businesses that provide good paying jobs - private sector businesses. When companies are thinking about relocating or expanding, they want confidentiality. They don't want to make employees unnecessarily anxious and they don't want to tip their hands to competitors. We want these businesses. They are good for El Pasoans. Think of all of the young El Pasoans who get solid training for better jobs and then can't find them because private sector businesses are afraid to relocate or expand to El Paso. 

Of course, there is another reason to turn off those cell phones if you sit on City Council. Too often in the recent past they have been used to pound on a perceived opponent. Rather than listening to each other, Council members are trying to score political points publicly. The meetings are no longer about solutions and policies, they are about politics.

So again, don't tweet, don't text, don't post on Facebook. Just serve the people of El Paso.

Categories: Local Blogs

Ed Archuleta for Interim City Manager?

El Paso Politically - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 4:50pm
Photo from elpasoinc.com
Here's the word on the street: Some prominent El Paso business people think that Ed Archuleta would make the best Interim City Manager if Tommy Gonzalez leaves. Certainly Mr. Archuleta comes with all of the qualifications and credentials to do a good job. He led EPWU for many years and was recognized nationally for his leadership and accomplishments. He served the El Paso Independent School District on its Board of Managers which navigated the school district through some very difficult times. He is currently doing some innovative work at UTEP. As an Interim CM he would be there for a limited time without having to be affected (or is that "infected") by the palace intrigue.

I do not know whether the talk is just wishful thinking or not. However, it does make you stop and think.

Categories: Local Blogs

EPEC Should Have No Role on a Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council

El Paso Politically - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 4:34pm
Thanks to a discussion begun by Rep. Peter Svarzbein, the Council tomorrow will consider a resolution to establish a Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council. (Item 28.1 on the agenda.) 

As stated in the back-up materials for this item, the background is: "The City of El Paso currently has no citizen advisory board relative to renewable energy. With the decreasing costs of providing alternative forms of energy (i.e. solar) to the general public, this board would explore current (national and regional) trends for municipal adoption of renewable energy programs, and how to incorporate best practices." 

You can read the summary, resolution and presentation HERE.

The one defect in the proposed composition of the Council is the inclusion of "a single technical advisor from the local electric utility as a non-voting member."

Given the fact that "[a]t least five board members appointed by the City
Council will be required to demonstrate a knowledge of, or experience in at least one of the following areas: engineering, architecture,energy management, utility infrastructure and sustainable building practice," why does the Advisory Council even need a technical advisor from the local electric utility?

El Paso Electric is being untruthful when it asserts that rooftop solar is not paying their fair share for infrastructure - either generation or transmission. In fact, they are reducing the need for generation stations. First, EPEC uses a small percentage of their generating stations yet feels a need to continue to build expensive power plants. (Is it because they are planning to sell more energy back to the grid and make you pay for it?) Secondly, EPEC continues to invest in outdated natural gas power stations which are water guzzlers. The mining of natural gas through fracking is destroying ecosystems, aquifers and wells, causing earthquakes and releasing methane gas, a climate warming molecule more powerful than carbon dioxide. This is not renewable energy. EPEC's business models are like the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. They don't belong in this modern age.

Rooftop solar actually adds value to the grid. Yet users receive no more than a few cents for the electrons that they produce while the electric utility sells those same electrons for a nearly 500% profit! 

Now El Paso Electric has taken their rate case before the Texas Public Utility Commission. They want to charge all of us more AND they want to put solar users in a separate rate class and charge them an excessive amount for the fewer electrons that they buy from the utility. By the same logic, shouldn't EPEC charge customers with energy saving appliances more than others? Simply put, EPEC wants to eliminate its competition: the solar industry. They are part of a national cabal of petroleum, gas and coal producers who want to stop the solar industry. 

Bottom line: given the fact that the El Paso Electric Company wants to destroy the renewable solar industry in El Paso, they should have no part in a Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council.

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by Dr. Radut