Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Lots of new music hit this week.

The Latin Breed – Come and Get It – Known for their ability to go from Tejano to R&B in an instant, the legendary Latin Breed lays down some amazing musicality with this funky tune. Give it a listen and enjoy the vocals of Ben Miranda and the hard-driving Latin Breed horns.

Los Palominos – No Le Digas A Nadie – They’ve been warning us that they were dropping a sure hit and they came through. Uvalde’s own Los Palominos released this first single, and Humildes classic, since their personnel change. One thing is for sure, they have not lost any of their commitment to the legacy sound that put them on the map decades ago. If anything, this recent musical styling brings back some 90s hey-day memories. Our friends at Tejano Nation have more.

Grupo Fuerte – Mucho Corazon – The Houston-area’s own, Carlos Maldonado y Grupo Fuerte, has a long history as a heavy-hitting conjunto. This rendition of a classic on their 25th Anniversary, with some nice pasaditas on the bajo sexto, the dueling saxes, and a great vocal, is what we needed.

Joe Lopez y El Grupo Mazz – Dame La Mano – This is another Tejano single which has been charting in Mexico radio and on online platforms from the King of Tejano’s latest album, Love From The Heart. Written by Lopez, the tune has more of an 80s synth sound that fits in with the current demand for new tunes. The entire album is definitely a must-have.

Thoughts on Viernes – 07012022

COVID-19 Still On The Rise

This week’s COVID numbers reached another disappointing level. Positivity is now just under 26% and the wastewater viral load pushed passed 630%. Among the popular folks announcing they were infected were County Judge Lina Hidalgo and a bunch of others, including two state reps. What’s disappointing is that none of them are telling people to mask-up. Frankly, I think we all know the symptoms that they tell us they’re going through. We need to be told how not to get it. Again! Other than staying home, masking up is probably the surest way to stay uninfected if one has to be in a crowd or at the workplace. So, do it. It’s not that difficult.

FYI – The medical community is worried. As Dr Luis Ostrovsky tells us, “We have to think that there’s much, much more COVID in the community than we think from the official numbers.” We’ve known the direction these numbers were going and without much warning or push from the political folks, people seem to have gone their merry way straight toward a dose of monoclonal antibodies or Paxlovid, or worse.

Anyway, stay safe, folks. And for goodness sake, put on a mask!

Forced School Prayer

It seems we’re definitely headed in that direction after the SCOTUS went out of its way to destroy the Establishment Clause and somehow explain that a coach who was praying in the middle of the football field with his athletes somehow didn’t encourage them to join in and that it was in private.

I tried school athletics in Junior High. During that time, we had some “out of town” folks show up to coach in our little town and they brought with them their preachy-ness. And if one didn’t participate, they were bullied. It got worse in high school and those athletes who managed to get teaching degrees and return to the town pushed the whole public prayer thing. I wasn’t about to be bullied for not praying, choosing instead to be bullied for not participating in sports.

Needless to say, I came out OK.

Uvalde, TX

As I expected, Uvalde, Texas has turned into a clusterfuck of massive proportions. Parents still are not getting information from state or local Republicans. No one seems to be questioning all the “border” money which has gone to local law enforcement in the area to pursue brown people and cause crashes during migrant chases. Hell, Greg Abbott’s policies caused the death of 50+ migrants because they wanted to avoid Abbott’s National Guard and DPS. In Encinal, TX, a Migra migrant chase caused the death of 4 and more injuries. In our area, another migrant chase caused injuries. And more migrants were found in the back of semi in San Antonio–all alive, thankfully. Greg Abbott has thrown money at many photo opportunities and has failed at ensuring the safety of well, everybody. If you haven’t noticed how these things interconnect, well, you’re doing it wrong. But, Democrats need to offer a hell of a lot more than being an alternative.

Vigil in Remembrance of Migrant Deaths Held

At FIEL HQ in Southwest Houston, a vigil was held to honor the 51 migrants who perished in a tractor trailer in San Antonio on Monday attempting to escape violence and poverty in their home countries and to seek a better life in the US. The message to the Biden administration and politicians was: Do Something!

While news media and those in political circles insist on making this about the human traffickers, the speakers at the vigil stated that it goes beyond the traffickers. It starts with a Democratic majority and President that has failed to pass an immigration reform, it includes the Texas Governor whose DPS, National Guard, and local law enforcement he has drafted failed at their job of stopping mass human smuggling while using hate speech to vilify migrants to appease his supporters. And it also includes the Mexican government who works under Biden administration orders to detain, warehouse, and deport migrants who cross over from Central American countries into Mexico. Together, these political systems force migrants to attempt crossing in the most dangerous of situations.

FIEL CEO Cesar Espinosa stated that among those who were being smuggled in a hot trailer were 22 Mexican citizens escaping poverty and violence.

The Mexican government has done little to nothing to stop violence in Mexico and corruption within individual state and local government runs rampant and uncontrolled. Unfortunately, most Mexicans escaping to the US will not qualify for asylum as they account for the least applications approved. But these 22 people tell us much about what is going in their regions. And, they’re coming. In other words, it’s not just about asylum applications. It’s about a broken immigration system that legitimately and illegitimately enriches those who enjoy the status quo.

Just a reminder: This is nothing new. Thousands have died attempting to cross rivers, deserts, and through armed resistance from military, law enforcement, and racist militias for years. And nothing has been done to ensure a safe journey for migrants.

It is time for Democrats to do away with the filibuster and pass legislation that protects migrants and creates a humane immigration system.

Inaction Claims Migrants Escaping Violence and Poverty

The media reports that at least 46 human beings were found dead and another 16 barely alive in a semi trailer in San Antonio. All were migrants escaping poverty and violence in their home countries, exploited by traffickers who continually exploit the US political weaknesses of Republican hate and Democratic indifference.

Gustavo García-Siller, the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Antonio, wrote on Twitter: “Once again, the lack of courage to deal with immigration reform is killing and destroying lives. We do not learn. God teach us to change.”

Scenes with stacked bodies will provide fundraising opportunities for Democrats and masturbation material for Republicans (because they get off on the suffering of others). Greg Abbott, in all of his racist glory, chooses to make a political statement blaming others, instead of taking responsibility for his bigoted border policies which force migrants to choose alternate, more dangerous routes to get to this side of the river. Failed policies that hand out money to local law enforcement agencies who love participating in migrant chases, rather than saving children in classrooms threatened by active shooters. No Greg Abbott, this is on the entire political system. Especially on bigots like you.

Yes, there is a lot of blame to go around. And when Democrats have a President and a majority which has done nothing on most issues, instead supporting the re-election of anti-immigrant, anti-woman, and religious zealot Democrats (Cuellar), the message is clear and the same old platitudes are ineffective.

As much as Democrats used Trump’s racist policies to get this majority, they have failed miserably to make change regarding migrant policies, choosing to continue draconian human rights-violating enforcement, detention, and deportation practices, all while expanding legitimate and illegitimate profiteering opportunities for equally bad people.

But most Democrats will remain willfully ignorant of all of this and continue to support the incumbent leadership which continues to fail, well, everyone. Those who will definitely not like my comments probably get a paycheck from political leadership that has failed. Go figure. Anyway…

Locally, we heard that Sheriff Ed Gonzalez finally told the Biden Administration he was withdrawing his name from consideration to be the ICE Director after Senate inaction on a confirmation vote. Way to go, Ed! You don’t need to be tainted by inaction and bigoted policies that our own Party fails to change or even challenge.

I thought I’d sleep off my lack of hope, but I still remain lacking in hope this morning.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to see a whole lot of arrests follow the January 6 hearings as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff wrote about the utter uselessness of DPS at Uvalde, and the ongoing effort to keep secrets about what did happen by those who were there.

SocraticGadfly has a pair of environmental postings. First, he extends a heaping helping of summer schadenfreude to all the Californians who moved to Austin and elsewhere in the last 18 months and are learning about real Texas summer. Second, he remains opposed to an Ike Dike both on its own grounds and as part of general boondoggling by the Corps of Engineers.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

The Texas Signal warns of the “endgame” for reproductive rights and abortion access.

The Observer reports that abortion activists are nonetheless still hard at work doing what they do. Texas 2036 worries we are not preparing for the kind of droughts that are to come.

Reform Austin points out how much of Greg Abbott’s border “mission” turns out to be arrests for marijuana possession.

D Magazine connects Texas’ anti-abortion laws to greater trauma with miscarriages.

Another Sad COVID-19 Report

It didn’t take long for Houston Health to change the local COVID-19 risk level from “MEDIUM” to “HIGH.” What was it? A week?

The COVID-19 positivity levels are now at 23.9% and the viral load in the wastewater is at 556% of the baseline. And they added this, but it isn’t really being pushed with urgency.

With cases and hospitalizations up, please consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status, and get tested if you have symptoms.

Consider a mask? Just freakin’ do it! If not for oneself, do it for the relatives you insist on hanging around with who may be at even higher risk.

Unfortunately, people are still having mass events with no mask required as if it’s 2019 and people are attending them. I’m seeing more people I know getting hit with COVID-19, some even suffering through it. I’ll say it again: Those who go around self-proclaiming “leadership” status are far from being leaders if they aren’t being an example to the community.

Anyway, mask up with a KN-95 or a KF-94, or something! We know what to do. Surely, we’ve gone unmasked long enough that we aren’t whining about being masked all those months, right?

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance is watching what the January 6 committee does with great interest as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looked at how location data can and probably will be used to enforce abortion bans.

SocraticGadfly jumps outside of politics to offer some thoughts on the future of DSLR cameras.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Juanita guffaws at the revelations about “True the Vote” grifter Catherine Engelbrecht.

Texas Monthly takes a closer look at the Alex Jones legal saga.

Steve Vladeck reminds us that many of Trump’s co-conspirators in his attempt to overthrow the government remain themselves in the government.

John Coby connects a former Republican candidate for State Senate to the insurrection.

The Dallas Observer would like for Buc-ee’s to stop selling gun-themed T-shirts.

The Houston Press previews the Dusty Hill estate sale.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Wow, I’ve missed a few tunes that are quite welcome in the Tejano sphere of things. Here are a few that ended up on my radar.

Joe Lopez y Grupo MazzAndo Que Me Lleva – The King of Tejano is back with a full-length album, Love From The Heart. The 12-track album offers up a mix of rancheras, cumbias, and ballads, boosted by the legacy sound that put Mazz at the top of the charts and touring schedules during the 90s hey-day. Although he’s put out a couple of tunes as singles, the one that really captured the legacy sound is Ando Que Me Lleva, with its powerful drumming and smooth accordion accompaniment. Give it a listen and listen to the whole album on YouTube before buying it.

Grupo Alamo – Confianza – One group that’s always captured my attention is Grupo Alamo from SATX. Led by accordionist Ernie Gonzalez and backed up by some amazing session players and fronted by DLG Alum Mark Ledesma (of LaDezz), they never fail at putting out some really good music. For good measure, the players include Grammy-winner Juan Trevino and current Mavericks squeezebox player Percy Cardona on Keyboards, which one really notices on this particular tune.

Santiago Jimenez, Jr. – Brincando Cercas – El Chief is back with a new album, Still Kickin’, and kickin’ and squeezin’ he is. Santiago offers up some classics played in his own way and backed up by Max Baca on Bajo Sexto and Noel Hernandez on the tololoche (upright bass). Brincando Cercas is a tune about a guy literally caught with his pants down when “en la movida.” It’s a funny tune and sounds great done in the traditional “singin’ ’round the fire” style.

Behind the Mic with Little Joe – My Friend AC Cruz has a new podcast up featuring the legendary King of the Brown Sound Little Joe Hernandez. After 60 years of recording and touring, Little Joe is still on the road. This podcast takes us through his career, his civil rights and labor advocacy, and even singing with Willie Nelson! Click here for the podcast.

Houston Back at Medium Risk for COVID-19

The Houston Health Department quietly announced that Houston is back at “Medium” risk for COVID-19, while this week the positivity rate reached 21.1%. Harris County still has us at “Yellow,” which they call controlled levels.

The best advice given by Houston Health is to “consider” wearing a mask if one is at high health risk. They have also stopped using “low” to describe the positivity rate, while pushing vaccines to help lower the numbers. The good news about vaccines is that children under 5 have been cleared to get the COVID-19 vaccines. Whether parents will do the responsible thing and get them vaccinated is to be determined.

Among the famous to report testing positive now is White House COVID-19 advisor Dr. Fauci himself. He’s experiencing mild symptoms and is on paxlovid, the anti-viral med approved to fight COVID-19. One story on the drug is that it is most effective on folks at high risk for severe symptoms based on health and age. That’s 50% of the people around the world. The hope is that better antivirals will be produced to help alleviate symptoms for all categories of people.

Well, all of this time later, people should know the drill. Masks help, especially the good ones like KN-95s and KF-94s. Staying away from crowds is even better. Encourage your bosses at work to get back into the masking groove to protect employees and lower workplace risk. Diving head first into a crowd of strangers unmasked is probably not a good idea. Sure, you might live if you’re vax’d and boosted, but why even get sick? Just be safe.

Expanded Trail On The West Side

I was quite happy to read that the Brays Bayou trail will finally be connected at the West Belt.

Officials on Thursday announced the start of construction on a 7.7-mile segment of trail along the bayou, from Braeburn Glen Park near Gessner and Interstate 69 to Archbishop Fiorenza Park at the Westpark Tollway and Eldridge Parkway. The $20.5 million project completes trail work along Brays and is the longest segment in the Bayou Greenways plan.

What’s exciting are the added options regarding which direction one can go when on this trail. Although, the trail will go through Chinatown and Arthur Storey Park, then snake west to Fiorenza Park, a stormwater detention parkland between Highway 6 and Eldridge, and beyond, there will be a connection to the Westchase Trail, which I use a lot for recumbent triking. That I’d be able to head west is a great option, though, heading east to the Medical Center is nice, too.

This project won’t be completed until the end of 2023, so, there’s no telling where I’ll be at that point in time, but I’m glad for the folks on the West Side of town who need this completed alternative transportation route. Walkers, runners, and cyclists will definitely enjoy it.