Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Did I Ever Tell You the Time I Wrestled a Bear?" My Final Post


My dad used to tell us crazy stories when we were kids. Sometimes they were so over the top that we didn't know whether or not to believe them. He once told us a story about wrestling a bear. We didn't believe him. 

Turns out, it was true.

I've been lucky enough to have a lot of stories to tell myself since starting this blog.

Over the last few weeks I've been struggling with how to properly end The LionStar Blog. I am moving on to another stage of life and career and as a result, I am leaving The LionStar Blog behind me.

Its not the easiest thing to do. I've quit a couple of times before. But the previous times it was after an election and usually out of frustration. This time is different. The change is not only professional, but its personal as well.

This year has been a year of change for me. And like most change, it wasn't always comfortable and welcomed, but change comes whether you want it to or not. Ultimately it was a wonderful change that signaled a new beginning.

The message I wanted to convey in a final piece on The LionStar Blog is one of gratitude. I am truly grateful for the fact that for several years now, you have come to read my blog for information and analysis. I didn't always get it right of course. I was wrong many times along the way but I like to think I was batting around .800, which are Hall of Fame stats any day of the week in baseball.

Whether it was by a PC, tablet, or cell phone, via Facebook, Twitter, or my URL, I was able to connect and engage in a dialogue about local policy with thousands of El Pasoans every day. Not many can say they did that.

Hard to believe but I'm proud to say that The LionStar Blog left a footprint in this town. Not a big one, maybe not a deep one, but a footprint nonetheless. I never planned on influencing policy, shaping an election, or breaking the occasional news story. Thats not what The LionStar Blog was supposed to be. It was just supposed to be a place were I could post summaries of forums and occasionally get up on my soapbox for a rant or two.

The pictures, videos, and audio recordings were never part of the plan. I never intended to put so much work in to this little project. It just sort of happened.

Like a romance. Unplanned, unintended, and out of nowhere. But it felt like a good thing so I went along for the ride.

I was originally anonymous when I started blogging. I wanted to be able to write what I felt without having people try to pressure me or intimidate me. I was accidentally outed by Sito Negron at Newspaper Tree when I wrote a column about Cesar Chavez. That was ultimately a good thing because I learned that I would only have credibility if I were able to lay my analysis with no net underneath. Any blogger with a set a brass ones doesn't need to be anonymous.

And yes, along the way I've had my share of people who have tried to pressure me, push me, pull me, sweet-talk me, and intimidate me in to, or out of, writing something. Thats when you should what you're made of.

I've had the chance to interview every major elected official in this town. I've interviewed almost every candidate who's run for anything in this town over the last few years. I've interviewed the homeless, celebrities, Senators, and even Cabinet members. I've interviewed Republicans, Libertarians, Green Partiers, and of course members of my own beloved Democratic Party.

I've been a local source for media outlets in town, in Austin, around Texas and in DC for info on candidates and issues. Trust me when I tell you that its a little overwhelming at first when they come to you for local information. But I like to think I made my pop proud. He got a kick out of my blog even though he didn't really understand the power of the internet at the time.

For the most part, people hate me. And I'm okay with it. Trust me, I take more than my share of lumps. And I doubt most of you would be able to take the amount of crap people say and write about me as easily as I have over the last few years. Sometimes its just a front. I'm a human and of course some of the stuff stings a little. But it comes with the territory.

If you don't want to get hit, then don't get in the ring.

But if you enjoyed reading my blog, I thank you for reading it. If you read it because you hate me and just wanted to see what I was talking about on that particular day, I still thank you.

So it comes full circle. David K started the local blogosphere and he's the last one standing. As he should be. Batman always needed the joker, and the Yankees are no fun without the Redsox. But David K and I, despite being from totally different worlds and opposite ends of the political spectrum, have never been enemies. Hell David K and I once made up a fake candidate for County Judge just to have fun with the media.

He doesn't even live in El Paso anymore but he still knows more about local politics and policy than most people that go and cast a vote. You have to respect that. And I do.

So no big finish here on The LionStar Blog. Just a big heartfelt thank you.

But before I go, here's a couple of fun facts about The LionStar Blog:

My first piece was about Anna Perez. She was with the County Attorney's Office then and a candidate for El Paso County Commissioner. She's going to be a judge tomorrow. Things really do come full circle. The last campaign sign my dad ever put up was for Commissioner, then candidate Anna Perez. He held the sign for me while I hammered it in the ground off of Montana. And I'm actually writing my last post on Commissioner Perez's dinner table this evening.

My first interview with an elected official was with City Representative Eddie Holguin at the 2008 Texas State Democratic Convention. He was a Hillary Clinton delegate then. A few years later and he is now poised to run for House District 76 if he so chooses. And he's probably still waiting for the rest of the Clinton Super-delegates to come in.

My last interview was with Congressman-elect Beto O'Rourke. I've always enjoyed interviewing O'Rourke and there's a reason. O'Rourke is a challenge. As you know I relate a lot of things in politics to boxing, but my dad related it to baseball. Whenever I do an interview I typically like to “back them off the plate” as my dad used to say. Throw something hard, inside, and near the head. It sends a batter a message. So I do the same thing with questions. No matter how hard, fast, or inside the question, O'Rourke never backed off the plate. Even when political wisdom said he should've.

So that's it people. I'm reminded of a line from Forrest Gump when Bubba dies. Forrest says “If I'd have known that was the last time I talked to Bubba, I'd have thought of something better to say.”

Well I can't really think of something better to say right now other than the echo of my roots.

Si se puede! La causa sigue!

And of course, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!

18 comments:

  1. Thank you Jaime!

    1%

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  2. Best blog in town. Best blogger this city has seen. You really should have been honored or recognized for your work. Its a shame that you weren't. People are going to miss it now that you're not going to be around Mr. Abeytia.

    Long-time Fan

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  3. I never really followed politics until I heard your radio show and started reading your blog. I always thought you belonged on television. You made something boring in to something interesting. You'll be missed.

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  4. That's it? That is the final blog? Jaime you disappoint me. You're going out with a whimper. :(

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  5. I agree with the last Anony post - whimper, whimper, whimper. Where are the fire works? Where is revelation of which politic or politico organization you will be working for going forward. Yeah very disappointing final blog.

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    Replies
    1. Criticized to the very end. I'm glad this effin thankless project is done now. Geez there's no pleasing people.

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  6. you will be missed.Thanks.Now write a book on el chuco politics. you got the goods.

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  7. Good luck with all your endeavors, it's sad for political junkies like myself to lose the best source of information about local politics.

    BTW, on a totally unrelated subject, check out "Django Unchained", not a weak performance from anyone.

    Chris

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  8. No worries. Give it a month and we will see a post saying that he back. Jaime will use a family member as a reason to return like the other times he has wanted to leave.

    We'll see you soon.

    Gabe Nila

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  9. This asshole takes time to be a dick but obviously reads your blog. What a loser. Well done. I hope you end up doing radio again some day. Don't listen to Gabe. El Paso needs more voices like yours. We already have enough of voices like his.

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  10. I'll miss your blog, Jaime. It was one of the first and last things I checked every day. Well-written, well-researched, and well, just a damned good blog!

    As for the jerks who have to get in the last licks - screw 'em! You were the one with enough balls to do the writing, they're the pencil neck geeks hiding behind 'anonymous'!

    Good work, and good luck on your next step in life!

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  11. Sir,

    Reading your blog should be the at the very top of the list on how to get young El Pasoans involved in local politics. Your blog was always on the top of my most visited sites list and even though you will no longer write, I will still visit for the vast amount of information available. You did a great job writing and your dedication to it is extremely admirable. You even had your own spin off blog in Max Powers,even if its not as good. Best of luck to you sir and I hope to see you around Socorro soon.

    Jesus

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  12. I've never commented on this blog but I want you to know I read it every day and usually a few times a day. You are without a doubt the best blogger around. Funny, interesting, intelligent, and entertaining. I never knew what was gonna come next. You spoke to my class at UTEP once and you inspired me to learn more about the Chicano struggle. Its a real shame you are done blogging but I hope you do television or radio some time. You were the best source for good political information and this town needs that. Good for you Jaime.

    Carolina Hernandez

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  13. El Paso has lost an institution. No one misses other bloggers when they don't write. But people will miss you. Thank you for what you have done for El Paso kind sir.

    A Republican Loyal Reader

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  14. You did a great job and I will miss reading your blog. Even as a Libertarian, I found your blog very informative and exciting to read. I'll be keeping my eye out for you Jaime!

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  15. Im not gonna kiss your ass with a bunch of fluff...thanks for your efforts...even though I think youre a prick.

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  16. Jamie, I used to be forced to listen to khro at work all day many years ago, I hated it. I must say though your show was not as bad as that indignate jototillo hector. Atleast you seemed to have some huevos and some honor. And yes every once and a while I did check out LS. You'll probably be back but in the mean time stay your own man and kiss as little ass as possible!

    American Conservative!

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  17. It's sad you're stopping to write here. I actually have this blog bookmarked (which I don't do too often) and check it out every once in a while. Hope you'll be back.

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Commenting is a privilege. If you write something bad, at least have the huevos to put your name you cowards. Comments without a name will not be approved. Say what you want, but at least own it! NOTE: "Anonymous" postings, or postings without a name within the comment, will not be approved, even if they are harmless.