Friday, July 31, 2015

Hell has frozen over: Ballpark Vote — a change in position

Earlier today (Friday), I posted that KAMR’s story exposed another sneaky move buried in the Local Government Corp.-City Council-Downtown Amarillo Inc. contract for the downtown parking garage. The promoters of the Wallace Bajjali-DAI plan have placed a requirement that downtown Amarillo be “blessed” with parking meters in addition to the multi-million parking structure.

The purpose is pretty clear: People are either going to pay for parking downtown on the street or in the garage, come Hell or high water (of which we have plenty lately).

Let’s put aside the pro and con arguments of the garage and parking meters. Instead, let’s look at some underlying points:

Another Wallace Bajjali-DAI City Council sleaze move exposed

I don’t normally use KAMR, Amarillo’s Channel 4 NBC affiliate, as a source for my blogging. In this case, however, the station’s story Thursday did the community a real service by exposing another sneaky and sleazy move by the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc. downtown development gang.

The comments under the story on KAMR’s Facebook page are the ones to look at because, interestingly, no one commented on the story on the station’s own website. That aside, the revelation adds to the screams for a deeper more thorough investigation into the entire downtown development planning process, the role that former city councilors/commissioners have played and for exactly whom Melissa Dailey is carrying water.

This one provision alone should be the proverbial “straw that breaks the camel’s back” to kill of the entire Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc.-inspired debacle.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Globe-News to Amarillo: Shut Up!

Short and sweet: On the heels of the Amarillo Globe-News’ decision to cut off comments, as is its right of course, the out-of-town owned propaganda organ has decided Amarilloans are too stupid to make decisions about the future of their town. The headline on the editorial on Wednesday says it all.

“Editorial: Parts of downtown development cannot be debated.”

Oh, yes it can. And thanks to ABC 7 News/KVII, the members of the public who could not attend the Tea Party-sponsored presentation but had internet could watch a live stream of the event. This was the event that had UTSA Prof. Heyward Sanders joined the other rational voices in deconstructing the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc.-Amarillo Globe-News plan for downtown development.

As part of incredible public service to this community, ABC 7 News/KVII hosted a town hall last week, moderated by prominent journalist Mark Hyman. The public service in The Panhandle Spirit continues with the posting of that meeting here.

Meanwhile, here’s a message to the Globe-News quoting Archie Bunker, “Stifle yourself.”

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Spread the Word

Now that the Amarillo Globe-News has disabled comments, it’s hardly worth going to its website. EXCEPT, the paper keeps propagandizing on its news and opinion pages. I suspect the reason was so much push back from commenters who joined me in calling out the lies and deconstructing the spin.

I have done several posts that deconstruct the Globe-News content and, to the extent possible, will continue to do so. I would like to ask a favor of all of you who are reading the posts, either directly or after being directed from my two Facebook pages. Please feel free to comment and please share these as far and wide as you can. We must neutralize the insider propaganda machine. Remember one of my favorite quotes, from “Markings,” by the late United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, “The madman shouted in the market place. No one stopped to answer him. Thus it was confirmed that his thesis was incontrovertible.”

Deconstructing the AGN propaganda

I will continue to be relentless in calling out the Amarillo Globe-News for propagandizing and acting
without the slightest speck of journalism ethics. If you look at the last few posts to this blog, you’ll see I gave no quarter.

So, again, Sunday, the paper’s editorial attempts to sway opinion — as is its right — with a sleazy tactic of condemning something in total ignorance and undercutting it with “information” that wouldn’t survive critical thinking.

The editorial refers to the public forum Monday featuring University of Texas at San Antonio Professor Heywood Sanders, author of a book entitled “Convention Center Follies;” the book questions whether convention center projects engender economic, or in Amarillo’s cases, downtown development. Propagandist-in-Chief Dave Henry, carrying the water for Mr. Conflict-of-Interest Les Simpson, asserts that Sanders’ information should be discounted a priori (Hey, Dave and Les, that means ahead of hearing the information). The Globe-News believes that two guys with a consulting firm whose business is built on fostering the building of convention, sports and other venues carry equal weight to a professor. In other words, the Globe-News is telling you to discount an academic with no dog in any of these fights and accept the word of guys whose livelihood depends on cities suffering from an edifice complex.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Amarillo's cancer: What's the cure?

I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time. And, I believe I am putting myself at personal risk, as much or more risk than since The Amarillo Independent did a story with KVII in 2008 on a molestation accusation involving former Potter County Commissioner Joe Kirkwood. At the time, several people warned me that the Potter County sheriff’s office and possibly the Amarillo Police Department could be used against me. Given the recent events involving law enforcement in Amarillo and elsewhere in the United States, it’s clear that anyone, but especially a person of color, can be one punch, fist strike, baton blow or one Taser jolt away from death. And for no legitimate reason. That said, this isn’t a condemnation of the good and honest law enforcement personnel, although the blue wall of silence puts the good ones at risk for speaking out.

But the recent events in Amarillo are indicative of a more metastasized cancer in our community than some bad cops. So, bear with me as I connect the dots.

To understand the sources of this cancer, it’s necessary to understand Amarillo’s media landscape.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fighting against the truth

The Amarillo Globe-News, without notice or explanation, shut down comments on its website a couple of days ago. Then, Friday, it posted a story outlining the situation.

The Globe-News quoted the publisher, Les Simpson, thus, “But allowing those on our website to call out people by name and make accusations against them — sometimes criminal — isn’t fair and won’t be tolerated in the future unless you put your name by it. And even then, comments that make factual claims that aren’t substantiated may be deleted even if the author is known.”

I truly believe this arises out of some of the solid and scathing deconstruction of Downtown Amarillo Inc., Les and the whole hotel-garage-ball park thing. Les has a huge ego and he and his allies are fighting to preserve this three-legged deal. Of course, if he has more invested than ego, he may have more motivation to stifle dissent. And none of this discussion on the Globe-News site was at risk until the composition of the City Council changed and put the Wallace Bajjali plans at risk. So, let’s see if Les plays this fair and square.