Saturday, December 17, 2016

Get over it and move on!

I recently responded to a Facebook post and thought it appropriate to consolidate my response into a blog. Seems that we are not allowed to post any lack of excitement over the incoming President of the United States without getting told to "Get over it and move on!"  So here was a partial response.  

I love my country to much to not speak up about what is happening. Outside of the confirmed hacking incident that occurred. Our President Elect has known ties to Russians in possibly more ways than financial and he and his appointee are definitely a  threat to America for that matter. I swore to protect my country from enemies both foreign and domestic. I will not be silent to "get over it." I have accepted this horrific outcome, but my opposition will not end. Me and 65 million Americans will not sit idly by while our country is destroyed by enemy foreign government sympathizers.

I have swallowed the jagged pill of Trump winning election. What concerns me is his direct ties to an enemy government and his appointees, who are not only contrary to American values but also connected to Russia. I worry that our country is being sold out. A reality that those that voted for Trump or did not vote will realize in 2017. This is on the hands of the 62 million that voted for Trump not the 65 million who were against a Trump presidency. The fact that I have to worry about their actions disgusts me. Trumps intentions were made known long ago. And as far as minorities coming out and showing support for Trump, it doesn't matter how much tokenism or window dressing he displays. But I digress, I accepted the reality he will be President in 2017. But I will not be naive to the fact that we are not under attack from within. I will not be silenced with rhetoric that liberals are sore losers. People can chose to look away and be blind and hide under this idea of "cumbaya" all they want. I will not. This country is more divided than ever before. And it's not because of anything Obama did, It started because of who he is, an educated Black man. It will continue to worsen because of who Trump is, a rich xenophobic white ideologue who believes he and his alt-right are superior. Plane and simple. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dismal turnout plagues Odessa, Ector County

On the surface, Odessa and surrounding Ector County would seem to be fertile ground for Hispanic political activity. It has a surging Hispanic population, which now makes up 58 percent of the county. The region boasts a long history of voting and civil rights activism going back to the 1970s and 1980s. While studies link low levels of voter turnout to lower income levels, the median income among Hispanics in Ector County is 27 percent higher than the state average.

So promising are the demographics in the Permian Basin that Democratic lawmakers pushed for the creation of a “Hispanic opportunity” congressional district including Odessa and Midland in the most recent congressional redistricting fight. The measure failed to make the final map, but state leaders took notice of the region’s growing Latino community and its potential influence.

Continue Reading at the following link:

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Last day to register to Vote TX

Hello my friends. It's me Art Leal.  I just want to remind everyone that this is the most important election of our lives.  I want to encourage you to register by October 11th and vote on November 8th.  If you need assistance let me know.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thoughts on Leadership

Thoughts on Leadership
by Art Leal

I originally published this blog on October 24th 2010. Republishing

Why do some people continue to look for (or insist) that there exists a Hispanic Leadership structure? Everyone is asking who leads the Hispanic community in Odessa Texas. You have many who believe they are the leaders by way of stature. There are even those that are self appointed or self proclaimed. You should know that no one commands the entire Hispanic community. But at the least, the absolute least, are those leaders by way of virtue.

So if you are looking for leadership, look for leadership within yourselves. Find what motivates you and pursue it with verve. Stand up for what you believe in and don't be afraid to take a few hits. Be an advocate for your brother and sister and don't look down or away. Face your fears and challenge the status quo. Ask questions and offer ideas. Don't be afraid to try something new. Stay true to your faith in God and always do what is right not what is popular. Understand that you will not always be liked, and accept that you will be hated by some. But most of all be genuine. Be yourself. When you do that then you have found what your are looking for.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mission Espada

Just a photo from my San Antonio missions tour. It was amazing! You can see more on my Flickr album.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 Cesar Chavez March - Odessa, Texas

3rd Annual Cesar Chavez March
Odessa, Texas

Download official flyer here.
RSVP at Facebook event page: 2016 Cesar Chavez March

Sunday, March 13, 2016

2016 GOTV Message

My 2016 GOTV message.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Be an informed Voter!

Regardless of your political opinion, please know that the whole majority of political posts shared on Facebook are nothing more than propaganda meant to promote or detract from any given candidate. Watch debates, listen to interviews, and make decisions for yourself, rather than relying on soundbites and out-of-context quotes being spoon-fed to you by biased sources. - shared from a friend

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

Art Leal and PTS: I shall fear no Evil

On January 8, 2016 the discredited milblog site,, posted an inflammatory article directed at me regarding an interview I gave KMID.TV regarding a "leave behind card" for businesses that I would "potentially frequent" and who allowed open carry.  The card  makes reference to a few of key points.

  1. An unknown person to me is or has entered the establishment and is openly carrying a weapon,
  2. that I am unable to assess their intention,
  3. that I am identifying myself as a Combat Veteran that is dealing with PTSD,
  4. And reiterating that confrontation with armed unknown individuals is stressful and uncomfortable
Lastly, it states that I will never be back.

Immediately after release, the above reference milblog site was tipped off and in a "shoot first, ask questions later" fashion, shot off an article immediately suggesting that it was politically motivated because I was a Democrat.
It says that Art is a combat veteran who suffers from PTS and that he won’t be back to the business to spend his pennies because the sight of a gun triggers his PTS. I’m sure that the business owners are relieved that he won’t be back in Art Leal’s case. See Art is a Democrat politician who clearly has an agenda – to pander to the anti-gun nuts. I’m guessing that there are a few of those in Texas.

The above was the first assertion.  But this wasn't enough.  Secondly, the author wanted to cast question into my service record, so suggesting a FOIA was all it would take for bloggers to take the bait and like the followers they are immediately begin a campaign to besmirch my character and service.  Some of the bloggers were even calling it a "call for fire order" and called for the immediate attack on my social networks. (I have a words for that: Keyboard Warriors) It was shared on several similar groups and blogs.  The milblogger bullies even went so far as attacking the local DAV Chapter, the local VFW post, the Permian Basin Marines, and a past nonprofit group that I served as a board member.  This kind of unbecoming conduct I would never expect of a respectable Veteran with professional decorum or a site that dedicates itself to Veterans.  The site may have started with good intentions as project to expose Stolen Valor but has become more a hate hub.  The site discredits itself all on its own.  But I digress.

The article itself is really just a bully's rant. He goes on:
It seems to me that Leal is just being a Drama Queen. Yes, he’s a combat veteran, in a very remote sense, but using that for his own political purposes doesn’t help the rest of us when he uses it to be a big crybaby. These guys are as bad as vegans who use their dietary choices as the first topic of conversations with new acquaintances. I’m not a big advocate of “open carry”, but bed-wetting Art Leal and his phony microagression doesn’t do anything useful for anyone except advance his own name-recognition and not in a good way.
He continues to stir his followers arousal by posting a few screenshots; me holding a long rifle at a Medal of Honor dedication ceremony, me participating a the Annual Cesar Chavez March wearing a Brown Beret, and an screenshot of a post where I metaphorically told a "War Story" about a memory I had after viewing a newsfeed post on facebook.  All this was served perfectly to a slew of likeminded milbloggers.

I would have liked to have seen some of the comments be more civil and have had a decent adult interaction, but sadly, all of them were derogatory in nature and were picked up as SPAM by my facebook settings.  And yes, all of them were banned from sending further communication to my Facebook page.  But, it didn't stop many of them,  I have always kept my email and cell number public so I had plenty of email and text messages.  Here is the thing, I don't directly respond to bullies.

So the truth is that I support 2nd Amendment rights and I support concealed carry.  This was emphasized at the end of the story.  I am not afraid/scared of guns.  I wasn't speaking for all veterans.  I wear my Veteran caps to represent that I personally am a Veteran.  The story did not say I was representing the DAV.  I was representing myself and anyone, Veteran or Civilian, who may feel stressed by an unknown carrying a gun.  And by their request, I am a verified war veteran by the country's largest Veteran Organization. I should mention that based on the comments and messages I received, I would definitely be worried about some of these bully milbloggers carrying a weapon.

So what became of it all?  Since January 1st, when Open Carry became law in Texas; It would seem that many licensed CHL holders who would have celebrated and began open carrying their hearts out.  But what seems to be trending is that many business establishment have on their own banned open carry.  I have yet to pass out one card.  Was it a waste of $13.99?  I think not.  Backlash or not, a message was shared that not everyone is okay with Open Carry.  And as far as PTSD? PTSD is real.  Not all individuals with PTSD are the same.  Considerations should be given to any individual who has PTSD, even more so if they are a Veteran.  I am not an expert on PTSD.  I can only speak for my own personal experiences. So for whatever reason businesses are choosing to place 30.06, 30.07 or both signs on their businesses...Thank you.  I appreciate your efforts toward a safe atmosphere in your establishment for your patrons.


I came across this video and I have to share it here.  Not just because the site and the milbloggers he is addressing are the same individuals that questioned my service because they didn't agree with me politically but because it is the truth.  Calling out legit guys doesn't do the cause well, and makes you look bad.  Enjoy the video.