Category Archives: History

Abbott’s Antics Lose MX Rail Line to NM

Greg Abbott has done it again with his border antics. After “sticking it to Biden” by jamming up trucks at the border which were delivering goods to the US with additional and failed inspections, Mexico has decided to re-route a rail line that would have benefited Texas to New Mexico.

A friend who is an ex-pat in CDMX alerted me to this during the weekend. Within a couple of days, other news outlets got ahold of the news and even Beto O’Rourke told his supporters about Abbott’s failure.

“We’re now not going to use Texas,” Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said at a conference Thursday in Mexico City, referring to a planned rail and ports expansion known as the T-MEC Corridor to connect the Pacific port of Mazatlan to the Canadian city of Winnipeg. “We can’t leave all the eggs in one basket and be hostages to someone who wants to use trade as a political tool.”

Clouthier’s message was clear: Mexico is angry about the chaos at the border caused by Abbott’s surprise order a few weeks back to force commercial trucks coming from Mexico to undergo additional inspections. While Texas officials didn’t uncover any contraband or undocumented migrants, they created hours-long delays that left fresh produce to rot and caused havoc with supply chains. 

Some economists question whether this project will actually happen, but it’s a pretty loud declaration by the AMLO government that it is not happy with its trading partner’s leadership. Others question why New Mexico since there isn’t a lot of trade that occurs compared to trade with Texas, but, why not? It’s not a bad idea to expand trade capabilities that will also ease bottlenecks that may be caused by an idiotic Texas governor whenever he gets a bug up his hind side.

Whatever happens in the future, this is about pointing out Greg Abbott’s continued failed leadership, especially at the border. Whether it is blaming migrants for the problems caused by his government, or destroying border economies in the name of border security, Greg Abbott never takes responsibility and neither do Republicans. South Texas is in play because Democrats ignore it despite border businesses being pawns for Abbott and Republicans.

In other words, keep saying it and maybe it’ll stick.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

There’s been a lot of good toe-tapping music dropping recently. Here are a few that hit my radar this week.

Destiny Navaira – Si No Fue Amor – Destiny is riding high on the release of her new album, Dime Como Se Siente. The album has a variety of genres, showing her versatility as well as the trust of her producers. Working out of Monterrey, Destiny stated in a recent interview with my friend AC Cruz (Podcast) that the move has opened doors for her that would not have opened if she had stayed in Texas. I’d have to agree that Monterrey has a great love for Tejano artists that spreads to all points. This new Tejano-styled ranchera is already a hit while keeping that Navaira legacy going strong.

Irany & David – Besos – Irany is one artist who caught my eye on Instagram with her accordion-playing abilities, but I had not really listened to her music. Well, this artist from Mexicali, along with her brother David, have dropped this really good ranchera and are showing that Norteño/Regional Mexican music can still be fresh and exciting. At 18, she has a long, successful road ahead of her, especially since she is on Pepe Aguilar’s Machin label. More on her here.

Oscar G – Porque No Te Importo – The alum of DLG University, all of the former David Lee Garza vocalists, dropped this tune recently. The Eagle Pass native and educator has continued his career in one way or another since his popularity was at a high in the 90s. He’s always a welcome attraction at DLG y Los Musicales reunion concerts. This new tune is simple and to the point, but it’s his recognizable voice that really brings it home. Enjoy!

Abbott’s Free Ride on a Welcome Wagon

Greg Abbott’s free ride program for migrants to points Northeast is getting accolades from the migrants and their supporters, according to Texas Monthly.

His side-show to stick it to Biden for trying to cancel Title 42, a health-related anti-immigrant policy, which buses migrants released by DHS to America’s front porch, is actually a welcome wagon.

Asylum-seekers’ trial locations are usually based on the region where they settle as they await the hearings—which could make the prospect of an expenses-paid bus trip out of Texas to D.C. appealing. Asylum judges in districts around the nation’s capital tend to grant refuge more readily than do judges in most of Texas’s thirteen immigration courts. In the Houston court, for instance, some judges denied 100 percent of asylum claims in 2021; a judge in El Paso denied 99 percent. By contrast, in a Baltimore court, where D.C. asylum seekers often appear, one judge denied just 10 percent of claims last year. 

and

The capital is also a more welcoming locale for migrants in other ways. D.C.’s mayor has affirmed the city’s status as a “sanctuary,” and a bevy of nongovernmental organizations and private citizens in the capital stand ready and eager to aid the migrants. Furthermore, immigration experts say most asylum-seekers arriving in the U.S. already have family living here, and many, especially Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans, might try to reach D.C., where there’s a large Central American population. Even those trying to reunite with family in New York or elsewhere on the East Coast might happily accept Abbott’s offer to bus them most of the way, a trip that otherwise would cost them around $350. 

Bottom line: When the Feds release migrants, they never pay for much of anything, including travel to their destinations. So, Abbott’s “volunteer” busing program is spreading the migrants around on Texas taxpayers’ dime. And groups like Catholic Charities are enjoying spending some of their own help resources at those end points of Abbott’s bus trips.

I’ve been wanting to take a trip to DC to visit the sites. I wonder if I’d get a free trip if I turn myself in. Abbott is one of those kinder, gentler coyotes, apparently.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Texas want Abbott to declare an “invasion” and begin the deportation of migrants to home countries. Because, apparently, Texas has money for this, but no money for schools, health care, and infrastructure.

The Center for Renewing America, a conservative think tank led by Ken Cuccinelli, a former Homeland Security official under Trump, has been leading the charge to get Abbott to declare an invasion, criticizing his border-security efforts as inadequate so far. And Brandon Judd, the head of the National Border Patrol Council — one of Abbott’s most visible endorsers for reelection — recently said Abbott should “absolutely” declare an invasion.

An angry bunch of white supremacists, huh? Unfortunately, there are enough Trump judges to back them up with no basis of law.

In other news, Texas Republican AG Paxton was trying to stop Title 42 from ending, but it looks like other states found a Trump fed judge in Louisiana, of all places, to stop its end, as Kuff tells us about it.

The lack of leaders pushing back against the right-wingers is a bit sad. Thankfully, the Mayors of Brownsville, TX and Tucson, AZ backed the Biden administration ending Title 42. Mayor Trey Mendez and Mayor Regina Romero stated:

“We support the Biden Administration’s decision to repeal Title 42 and uphold our legal and moral obligation of providing the fundamental right to seek asylum. It is the smart thing to do and it is the right thing to do. A fair and humane immigration system should be a priority for all of our leaders, not just those such as us who see the effects of a broken system every day,”

Because it’s about the broken system. And that never makes it into the news, like Republican racism.

Thoughts on Viernes-Sabado Edition-42322

Abbott Policy Is Killing People

There is a Texas National Guard soldier missing in the Rio Grande after attempting to save a migrant who was crossing the treacherous river to the US. This is the latest tragedy caused by Greg Abbott’s border militarization, which has included migrant deaths, soldier suicides, government corruption, and failed administration of this policy.

There is no logic to Greg Abbott’s border folly. The National Guard (and DPS and local sheriff’s offices enlisted by Abbott) block the border, force migrants to cross in more dangerous crossings only to have to try and save the migrants from drowning. It’s all theater by Greg Abbott and Republicans while endangering even more migrants and guardsmen.

On top of all of this, it is also costly as Greg Abbott has wasted billions of dollars on this failed operation which hunts brown people escaping violence and poverty.

Meanwhile, Ken Paxton is now suing to stop the Biden administration from ending Title 42, which is a health-related policy and not a migration policy. Funny how they like this COVID policy but whine over masks and vaccines. If only we had a Democratic President and a Democratic majority in Washington DC to pass immigration reform and stop the theatrics. Oh wait!

State-Sponsored Killing Is Not The Answer to Crime

I’m not here to defend any killers. But I am here to say how wrong the death penalty is.

As we await Greg Abbott’s decision on whether or not he will commute the death sentence of an innocent woman (Melissa Lucio) railroaded by bad police and DA investigations, yesterday we witnessed the state’s first vengeful killing of the year (Carl Buntion). To say the least, I am sickened by the political theater of the death penalty, whether it is by blood-thirsty DAs and cops or politicians that feel the need to be begged to do the right thing as in the case of Melissa Lucio. What should be about justice turns into revenge porn for right-wingers.

As a reminder, here are ACLU’s objections to the death penalty, chief among them is that this cruel and unusual punishment is NOT a deterrent to crime and a waste of resources. But it is a great opportunity for law enforcement and political theater, while victims of crimes are used as props. And the media gladly promotes it. That people think the local “crime stopping” group is anything but partisan is laughable.

The death penalty is not a solution to crime and it certainly isn’t a road to closure for crime victims. And because of the political theater that comes with this punishment, overzealous DAs have been known to push for the execution of innocent people. Almost 200 humans have been killed by the government wrongfully. This isn’t justice and it is treated by politicians as collateral damage.

This thirst for revenge needs to stop.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Apologies for being among the missing (online, that is) as I’ve been busy with a move lately. But there’s always time for music! So, here are some new tunes that got on my radar recently.

Joe Lopez y Mazz – Igual Que Ayer – The “King of Tejano” returns with a new single which will be part of a brand new album–the first album since his return to the stage. Lopez has enjoyed his return backed up by some of the best musicians in the business, including his 90s Mazz bandmate Brando Mireles on keyboards. And this new tune brings back memories of that heyday. Even the smooth guitar playing by Juaquin Cura has a “Jimmy” feel to it. Let’s hope the rest of the album is released soon because we really need new music.

Ricardo Montaner – El Dia Que Me Quieras – The Argentino-Venezolano crooner just dropped this classic Carlos Gardel tango, one of my favorites. Unlike Luis Miguel’s orchestral version back in the 90s, Montaner stays true to Gardel’s original sound. And that’s a good thing since his album is titled, Tango. I’ve really enjoyed this tune.

Monica Saldivar – Este Dolor – Saldivar dropped this new ranchera this week. The Grand Prairie native was selected in 2020 Best Female Artist at the Tejano Music Awards and deservedly so. Saldivar is one of the new talents en la onda Tejana. Check out her story here.

Isabel Longoria Resigns As Elections Chief

After County Judge Lina Hidalgo made it clear that she preferred someone else in charge of elections, Isabel Longoria submitted her resignation, effective July 1.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Houston Chronicle reported that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat, said she wanted a change in leadership and intended to replace election administrator Isabel Longoria. Shortly after, Longoria announced she would step down on July 1.

Her resignation came after Harris County Democrats called for a comprehensive post-election review, while Republicans — regular adversaries of the county’s Democratic leadership — simultaneously sued the county and demanded Longoria’s resignation.

Also…

Ultimately, the county commissioners court voted to bring in a third-party consultant to review the county’s elections operations and make recommendations for improvement for the remaining 2022 elections.

I guess that the consultant will work double-time so the office can be ready for November. That’ll be a nice vendor contract.

County Commissioner Adrian Garcia supported Longoria’s resignation and defended the creation of an election administrator’s office stating the current system allows for accountability. Also, that an elected official running the elections would have an unfair advantage in their own race.

County Commissioner Rodney Ellis expanded on the fact that Longoria had to face an “unprecedented amount of obstructions aimed at her office and Harris County voters.” That would include anything from frivolous lawsuits to SB1 to no guidance from the Secretary of State. Ellis also stated that the real threat to voting rights are barriers to voting and other voter suppression tactics.

Back when the office was created, I defended our Democratic majority doing so since we elected them, and despite opposition from the Tax Assessor-Collector to the idea. What I did prefer at the time was a lengthy discussion on how it should be created and run and that a national search be done for someone to lead the office. Someone who knew the new voting system and could hit the ground running. Something that would not have taken two years, as Garcia mentioned in his statement. And look at where we are now.

Like Kuff, I was happy with the choice of Longoria because I knew her as a hard-working, open-minded person who would get the job done, if given the freedom by all sides. So, I appreciate Isabel Longoria’s commitment to remaining for the next two elections in May, though, I do remind her that this is a right to work state and loyalty is a two-way street. Whatever errors occurred happened within the entire office, so, I hope that all those involved are held accountable. That’s if all the hubbub wasn’t “political,” right?

Something else I said about the creation of a “non-partisan” elections office that would take out the politics from elections is that these offices are always political, no matter who is in charge. And with republicans continually tossing around voting conspiracy theories, it will be hard for anyone to run this office. And that’s exactly what Republicans want. So, best to keep a Democratic majority at Commissioner’s Court.

Kuff has his take and smacks the local news a bit for basically misleading viewers on how the “missing” votes could have affected the outcomes of some close races without context on the data. As Kuff (and many of us who follow vote counts as hobbies) expected, no outcomes were affected.

The Joe Bravo Sabado Playlist – QEPD

The world of music lost a legendary performer this past week. Joe Bravo’s sixty-year career is emblematic of the ups and downs of Tejano music performers and Bravo experienced it all in his career. From a beginning working with El Zarape Records to a 90s hey-day comeback under the guidance of Manny Guerra, to once again working with the Legends of Tejano (Agustin Ramirez, Freddie Martinez, Carlos Guzman, Sunny Ozuna, and Carlos Miranda), he never lost his fandom or his unique voice. I remember meeting him at a performance at Chicano Park in Austin in the 90s–I even got his autograph. Such a gentleman. I was glad I got to see him perform a few weeks before the pandemic hit at the Freddie Records 50th in SATX.

So, here are a few tunes that I enjoyed beyond his huge hit, Que Casualidad. Actually, there are too many, but these are on my mind this morning.

And one of the last songs here recorded with Avizo.

The Other Side of the Stace Slate

My voting experience went pretty flawlessly at Tracy Gee on Day 1 of the Primary. The TDL was scanned, my information appeared, and I was given excellent instructions before heading to my station to vote. And I wasn’t even asked to remove my mask to prove my identity.

All in all, I think there were 89 candidates that I picked, though, some were unopposed. But those contested races did add up to a few minutes of clicking through the ballot and ensuring I clicked the right person. A few minutes. Not bad at all if you go prepared.

Now, some have asked who I’m picking in other races. Hell, I don’t live in those districts! But some are my friends and I know they appreciate the support. Others probably despise me for making picks, so, con mas ganas I’ll make a pick! More than anything, just vote…in the Democratic Primary! Find your sample ballot and your polling location.

So, here is The Other Side of the Stace Slate:

Congress, District 38 – Diana Martinez Alexander

SBOE, District 4 – Larry McKinzie

State Senator, District 17 – Titus Benton

State Senator, District 15 – Molly Cook

State Rep, District 131 – Alma Allen

State Rep. District 132 – Chase West

State Rep., District 142 – Candis Houston

State Rep, District 147 – Reagan Flowers

County Commissioner, Pct 2 – Adrian Garcia

JP, Pct 1 – 2 – Victor Lombraña (Sonia Lopez is also a good choice.)

JP, Pct 2 – 2 – Dolores Lozano

The Stace Slate featuring those for whom I could vote is right here.

The GOP Race for Immigration Agent

I’m sure we’ve all noticed the political ads for Texas Attorney General. Particularly the two brown-skinned people trying to prove they can be as bigoted as the white supremacists in the race. Eva Guzman’s ridiculous, gesticulating, anti-migrant ad is an affront to brown folks. Never have I seen such an awful display of self-hate and political opportunism to get a few votes from racists. Oh, but her family is “legal.”

What’s sadder is that none of the local Latino Dems or Latino group leaders have spoken up against her crap. Some are actually rooting for her is my guess. Like my mom would say, “Comen del mismo plato.” When you eat off the same plate as bad people, they will expect you to be bad, too. Or, at least, just turn away and ignore it.

Then there’s Little Brown Bush who actually has the support of the bigoted Border Patrol club. The same club that serves as the BP’s mouthpiece whenever they need to blame someone else for their abusive behavior against migrants, or when their agents accidentally fall into a culvert. Bush’s ad is toned down as he makes it about cartels and drives a four-wheeler at Trump’s border wall. He does the smart thing and lets the BP dudes (in uniform) do the anti-immigrant talk. Are they getting overtime for this?

If ignoring (and supporting) the bigots amongst us is how we get “representation” then I’m out.

As Ross Ramsey at the Trib tells us,

A Texas attorney general is a civil lawyer, mostly concerned with regulatory, tax and administrative law. But to listen to the candidates, you’d think the state’s top lawyer was some kind of cop.

Sure, they’ll file lawsuits against Biden border policies, but they only prove how bigoted Texas is. Republicans who whine about migrants certainly don’t protect us from anything, especially photo ops at the border.

QEPD Vicente Fernandez

I have a confession. I wasn’t that big a fan of Chente as many, many others have been. I was born to parents who grew up and loved the music of the other grandes before Chente: Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Javier Solis, and Tony Aguilar.

Aguilar was the last one from that group who passed away in 2007. After the first three were gone, my Pop didn’t think much of Fernandez, choosing to keep listening to the vinyl he had of the others. (Pop thought he was too much of an Elvis figure and he didn’t like Elvis, either.) Mom, on the other hand, was more accepting and watched Chente’s movies and listened to his music on the radio until her passing in 2016. As well as whatever chisme was being produced by Mexican stars and chisme shows. I chose Pop’s path and kept on listening to other grandes, but I was known to throw out a grito at a few college parties when Chente’s Volver Volver came on the stereo.

Both, though, boasted about catching the other grandes in concert during the matinees at the movies in which they starred and sang. Mom even attended a Tony Aguilar concert in Philly (The Spectrum) with my sis’s family in the 90s, although, Aguilar didn’t take his horses for the jaripeo portion of the concert. So, I understand the impact these performers can have on people.

Still, there is no doubt that Chente was an iconic figure for Mexicans, Chicanos, and Latinos all the way up and down the Americas. In Texas, even the king of Country George Strait was a huge fan and recorded his hit El Rey a while back. Tony Bennett even called him up to do a duet of Return To Me. But for Mexicans in the US, he was something special. Gustavo Arellano at the LA Times wrote a great article about Chente and his impact on those who crossed over the river for a better life.

The star and his fans conquered el Norte by adhering to rancho libertarianism, a philosophy that celebrates bootstrap individualism in a way that makes Ayn Rand seem like a commune-dwelling hippie. His tunes documented the pain and pride he and his fans experienced through life. There were never any excuses offered for hardships — just pride in being able to beat them down.

Latinos became the largest minority in the United States as Chente and my dad’s generation became older. My generation went from hearing Chente as the forced soundtrack of our weekends — he remained on the radio even as we begged our parents to let us play Nirvana or 2Pac — to a nostalgia act. He, like our parents, moved on into the realm of myth, until no longer quite human but living relics.

And that’s how it’s been for the generations that followed.

I’ve been watching human reaction to the death of Chente. Along with the various heartbreaks experienced these last couple of years, his death only exacerbates the feeling of woe while celebrating a long life. Even this less than fan has been listening to his tunes since waking up Sunday to the sad news and watching old interviews. And while watching the human reaction, whether on the news, in social media posts from LAs Walk of Fame, or while watching the homage in Guadalajara, it touched a nerve for me. Another, possibly the last, of los grandes is gone. His son, Alejandro, Tony Aguilar’s son Pepe, and some others whose careers are just starting are left to carry the culture and perhaps expand its reach.

Chente leaves quite an impact on society because he was enjoyed by multiple generations. Was he perfect? Hell, who is? As Arellano reminds us, there are some whose lives must be considered in totality as a means of having some perspective. And Chente is one of those big star lives that must be considered because we were privileged to all the chisme and truths being put out by chisme shows on Univision while enjoying his career.

He may be gone, but his art is still available for all to continue enjoying.