Letters to the Editor for 6-25-2015

Special to the PRESS

Dear Editor,

Why should the poorest county in the country give tax abatement to rich gas companies who have already determined that it is in their best interest to build LNG export facilities on the Brownsville ship channel?
We don’t need to encourage them to come here – they have already decided to do that on their own.

Why should the Point Isabel School District give tax abatement to companies that plan to produce toxic smoke and fumes upwind from Point Isabel Schools?

Offering tax abatement to these companies not only is a bad, almost criminal, idea, but it will actually increase the tax burden on the county property owners not getting “tax abatement” and who are already burdened with egregious tax bills by the most regressive taxing system in the country.

How do our elected and appointed officials rationalize increasing the taxes on thousands of small, poor property owners for the sake of a ruined, polluted environment and the promise of 80 new permanent jobs? If these plants are built and they were required to pay taxes without abatement the county and the school district would have enough new income so that they could actually lower taxes for all the rest of us. That would be only a tiny pay-back to the people of Cameron County for the destruction, depredation and pollution these so-called developments will inflict upon us.

Please contact the Cameron County Commissioners and the Point Isabel School Board and tell them not to give tax abatements to these anachronistic companies using 20th century technologies.

Vicki Scharen

Port Isabel


Dear Editor,

There has been a lot of bad news in the last two days, June 17 and June 18, in the USA Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President on the 17th. He said that Mexican immigrants were rapists, drug dealers, and generally the dregs of society Today on the 18th one of the real dregs of society, a white supremacist and racist named Dylann Roof, killed nine African-Americans at a church service in South Carolina.

Both Trump and Roof have benefited immensely from white supremacy. All white or Anglo Saxons have, including me — one of the most progressive, inclusive, and multi-cultural radicals that you will ever have the good fortune of meeting. My soulmate shares these views. Racism and white supremacy are one of the primary methods that the oligarchy that rules the USA now uses to maintain power. A person does not have to wear a white robe and hood or a swastika or even openly advocate white racial superiority to be a racist. Racism manifests itself in more subtle ways. The most prominent manifestations are various belief systems that seek to maintain the status quo or even to expand it. Racism in the USA usually uses the American flag and the Bible for its symbols.

Anyone who believes in American exceptionalism is a racist. Anyone who supports American imperialism is a racist. All religious fundamentalists, especially those who believe in a chosen people are racists. Christian fundamentalists are by far the most dangerous fundamentalist group in the USA because there are so many more of them than there are adherents of Judaism or Islam. In Israel fundamentalist Jews are the most dangerous group and in Muslim countries fundamentalist Islamists are the most dangerous group, but this letter is about our homeland the USA.

Anyone who supports our current system of economic distribution is a racist. All climate change deniers and other science deniers are racists. All Tea Party adherents and activists are racists. I know that there are people of all ethnic groups that support these things and certainty the lower Rio Grande Valley is overrun with fundamentalists who are not white, but a person does not have to be white to support racist agendas.

The oligarchy keeps increasing its control over our economy, our media, and our social values. It is encouraging to see resistance to the oligarchs agenda arise. We have to always keep in mind what we are up against and what has to be done. It is not possible to reform our current system because the oligarchs have perverted it too much to change it piecemeal. The current system will have to be torn to pieces and restructured so it benefits the vast majority of people and gives us a habitable Earth to live in. The environmental movement and the resistance to police killings in urban areas are hopeful signs. There will be many more hopeful signs in the immediate future.

Walter B. and Yolanda Garza Birdwell

Laguna Vista

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