mark-mena-facebook1The problem with arguments that have no substance is that they readily fall apart when challenged. Many of you have probably noticed an individual by the name of Mark Mena who has been arguing against those on social media that have something negative to say about the El Paso ballpark. Politics always has multiple opposing sides on every policy initiative. Each side of the argument generally has substance in their arguments although they may be opposite of each other. However, there are those that offer no substance and instead will argue for propaganda purposes. Mark Mena is such an individual.

The problem with individuals like Mark Mena is that they interrupt policy discussions with unrelated arguments. For what reason, I can only guess but it is likely that it is nothing more than an attempt to make themselves relevant through interruption. Much like a child consistently interrupts an adult conversation just to be noticed.

Last week, El Paso Times business reporter Vic Kolenc posted an interesting and very important question on his Facebook wall. In the question, Kolenc asked simply; “why the city can’t just move computers and rewire instead of buying a new computer”. Kolenc was referring to the musical chairs debacle with Cortney Niland. The question is very important because if a computer and microphone already exists for Cortney Niland then why is buying a new computer required in order for her to sit next to Ann Morgan Lilly.

Although much innuendo has been disseminated about the expense of purchasing a new computer to accommodate Niland’s movement on the dais, the fact is that other than being told that it would cost about $6,843 the community has no other information. These are the types of questions that the news media should be asking instead of echoing what they are told by the city.

In response to Vic Kolenc’s Facebook post, I added a comment letting him know that he posed an excellent question and I also let him know that I had submitted an open records request for more information about the costs involved. Mark Mena chimed in a couple of hours later ignoring Kolenc’s original question and instead distracted away from the question by posting a comment about the alleged behavior of another individual sitting at the dais.

It is these types of unfounded allegations that is the impetus for my blogging.

Whether intentional or not, what Mark Mena and others like him do is spread disinformation and deflect from important policy discussions. I cannot tell you if Mena is intentionally creating propaganda or just spreading it around but the fact remains that it interferes with public discussion and discourages political discourse.

In response to Mena’s unsubstantiated comments, I pointed out that Mark Mena had turned a discussion about the cost of moving equipment at the city into one of an alleged behavioral problem. I pointed out to Mena that it smacks of propaganda and damage control and that it makes we wonder why people feel the need to defend Cortney Niland.

Mena’s response to my comment was that he was “just stating that the problem is Limon”. Of course, as a propagandists that understands his argument has no substance, Mark Mena adds that my “blog is a mouthpiece for the constant insults directed at the majority of council”, and adds as a question if I reside in Florida. Never mind that neither of those two points he was attempting to make have anything to do with the discussion at hand on why it would cost so much to move an existing computer at the dais. It was not surprising to me, however, because I already knew that Mark Mena had no substance with which to make a coherent argument. Of course, though, I had to point it out to him.

Therefore I responded by reminding him that his whole argument about Lily Limon being the “problem” had no facts with which to back it up with. To date, no one has provided any facts to back up the assertion that Lily Limon is the “problem” in the musical chairs debacle. The only “evidence” provided so far are self-serving he-said, she-said comments by two individuals involved in the debacle.

I, on the other hand, provided two very specific facts to back up my assertions about Cortney Niland’s roles in the musical chairs debacle. The first fact is the public chastising issued by Oscar Leeser, the presiding officer at the dais, to Cortney Niland for her behavior at a recent city council meeting. The second fact I provided is the fact that the news media has reported that Cortney Niland has relented and is moving back to her appointed seat at the dais.

It shouldn’t surprise me, but it still does, that some individuals in the US, who are supposedly educated, would insinuate that because I do not live in El Paso I am somehow excluded from my First Amendment right to comment on political issues across the country. Of course, I pointed that out to him.

Mena’s response had, again, no substance and was just regurgitation of his previous words. His first response was to ask me if I am a “voter in El Paso County?” Obviously, Mark Mena has no understanding whatsoever about the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. I hope that he is not teaching civics, government or even in the educational system because he would be a detriment to the children that would be subjected by his obvious lack of knowledge on government and rights. Of course, he goes back to his original unsubstantiated arguments in what I think is his belief that if he writes something as many times as he can it will eventually become true.

Clearly understanding that the only thing of substance Mark Mena has to offer is the propaganda points that he has picked up I challenged him to write a point-counterpoint piece that I would publish on my blog. I gave him an opportunity to make his argument, either of the two he original posed – the issue of Cortney Niland or my right to opine about El Paso politics.

I think Mark Mena clearly understood that I had called his bluff and in attempt to save face, publicly he responded to my Facebook invitation with a “sounds good”. I sent him my email address and a request that we divide the two arguments and initially focus on the Niland/Limón one first. I wrote that I was hoping that he could send me his article by Friday so that I could run it yesterday. That was last Thursday. According to Facebook’s system, Mark Mena saw my message on Thursday at 10:34am, El Paso time.

Unsurprisingly Mark Mena hasn’t responded to my invitation. He clearly understands that his propaganda has no substance and he wants to keep the façade going for as long as he can.

The reason I am pointing this out today is twofold. The first is to show you how propaganda is perpetuated into the community’s consciousness by individuals’ like Mark Mena making unsubstantiated comments. These comments eventually create the illusion of being fact-based because no one challenges them for what they are – propaganda.

Cortney Niland understands that she has a serious public perception problem that could jeopardize any future political office she may choose to pursue in the future. Her only recourse at this point is to create an illusion in order to diminish the damage.

The second reason is although I am frequently accused of being one-sided and agenda driven I am always open to allowing the other side of the argument the opportunity to state their case on my blog. Nobody has been willing to step up; instead, they attempt to create the illusion that my arguments are one-sided or agenda driven. The real reason is that the propagandists know that propaganda immediately fails when challenged by the facts. Mark Mena amply demonstrated this through his silence when I gave him the opportunity to defend his position on my blog.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

12 replies on “Why Mark Mena Represents the Failure of El Paso Progressives Propaganda”

  1. mark mena is a joke. his dad is sal mena. yes, that sal. the apples dont fall far from the tree. why even converse with him ?

    1. Hey William, for the 100th time my name is Mark, not Sal. You want some directions so you and me can have a talk. Insulting a family member shows real class.

  2. Martin, Martin, Martin you can’t be calling out guys who comment on newspaper articles on your blog. You’re bigger than that. He’s just a guy rooting for his team (Niland it seems) and while it may come off as crazy, it’s to be expected. You made him into something he’s not by devoting precious space to him on your blog. In effect – he wins.

  3. What you don’t get is the big picture. Mark Mena “gets” the concept of the big picture and the implications of our actions now to bring better future for EP…you don’t comprehend the whole invest in yourself to grow philosophy because you live in Miami where they’ve already succeded in doing that? You are just a useful idiot that doesn’t live here anymore and is paid to keep progress here down so the home builders can build 25k homes and profit on selling them for 150k. You deserve a special place in hell hypocrite!

    1. Hey William let me know when we can have a talk. My name is Mark, not Sal. Pretty sad when you have to insult a family member. Grow a pair and let me know when we can sit down and talk.

  4. I’ve dealt with Mark Mena and he is a character. This is a great post Mr Paredes. It shows that those people operate with no logic.

  5. Martin, you’re gonna insult me because I didn’t get back to you? Insulting my education and profession? I totally understand you have every right to type whatever you want but making it personal? I have never backed down from any issue and I would welcome the chance to debate you further. My job requires a great deal of my time and I am a single father. One thing that is a fact is that Lily Limon is the common denominator for the problems between Niland, Ann Morgan, and herself. Have you ever attended a City Council meeting with the current representatives? How do you know that there isn’t a decorum situation with Lily Limon? I hope that in the future there can be respect given on both sides.

    1. Mark, I am pointing out that when I gave you the opportunity to defend your position you responded in complete silence. I was clear in my message to you that I wanted to run the pro-con piece on Monday. Knowing that you were active on social media and not having heard from you I made the only logical assumption – that you were backing out. In regards to your job I made a comment about hoping you were not in the educational field. When I made the comment I did not know you were in a teaching environment. However, now that I know I find it even more egregious that, through your numerous comments on various sites, you insinuate that I do not have a write to opine about El Paso politics because I do not “live” there or “vote”. You make use of your First Amendment rights yet you believe I should be excluded from them. I sincerely hope that your beliefs on the right to express an opinion isn’t passed on to students because that would be a real shame.

      The invitation to participate on a pro-con written debate is still open. You have my email address if you choose to submit one. There is no time table now so, if and when you submit one I’ll schedule it. If you choose not to it won’t matter because I’ve already stated my opinion on this matter.

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog,

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