Monday, September 15, 2014


The Nueces County Commissioner’s Court voted 4 to 1 to demolish Memorial Hospital.  County Commissioner Oscar Ortiz voted against. 
Since the opening on the discussion on the matter County Commissioner Joe A. Gonzalez (JAG) appeared to many to be both quisling and selling out the interests of the majority of his constituency – from the  simple people of the Westside (God’s pocket) to the interests of the disabled Veteran, from the invalids and sickly elderly to the honest taxpayer.  He not only voted with the POWERFUL against the WEAK, but smirkly pontificated (as if subconsciously desiring to visibly flaunt his callous apostasy) about why he felt he knew what was better for them than they themselves.  Metaphorically speaking, his head had ballooned and he  appeared to be speaking from heights of  political delusion not practical reality.  But a simple pin awaited that would pierce his flatulency and fabricated airs back to mother earth – the pin from God’s pocket.
The simple people of the Westside crowd present stood in the shadows of the room – as they always have in the past and in the present.  They (who rarely leave the pocket of their barrio) had left their trabajo (work), their familias (families) and hijos (children) somewhere else to be there and follow their team to the courthouse as their parents before them had followed the late Dr. Hector P. Garcia and other bona fide leaders.  This time they were there to see their “hero” and “representative”   Commissioner Joe A. Gonzalez (JAG) who has marketed himself as “Commissioner 24/7” defend their collective voice and confidently fight for the preservation of el hospital de la gente (the People’s Hospital).  Instead Commissioner JAG flipped and willowed and then hopped like un conejito to the other side – that is, the enemy’s.  He defected and betrayed and paraded his pro-establishment credentials before them and broke their Corazon (heart) as they saw him try to rationalize the act of violence and slaughter being considered against their community.  JAG meat-axed, bulldozed, bullied with his insensitive airs the very thought of saving Memorial Hospital.  Sadly, he glorified the cause of greedy builders with ubiquitous claws and so-called economic scientists with gory bloodshot eyes who wanted to shell the Westside like a past war had done to Iraq. Because to those in power saw them – los del Westide (from the Westside) --  as unimportant.  “JAG had crossed the tracks and forgotten his roots like the typical politico sin palabra (who does not keep his word),” David Noyola chatted with the troops.
The late Dr. Hector P. Garcia was no longer with them – only JAG who had made promises to keep the spirit of Dr. Hector P. Garcia alive.  But JAG or “Commissioner 24/7” was no longer one of them – uno de ellos.  He dashed their dreams and hopes of the little people, and then “like a puppy dog” (as one observer put it) sycophanted to Political Boss Al Jones (who stood prominently in the room) and to the marching orders of County Judge Loyd Neal.  And Neal from his elevated chair seemed to be looking down on them as if from a balcony as if billowing his coldness, insensitivity for the people of God’s Pocket and urging on JAG to approve the shelling of a sacred building worth 30 million (owned by the taxpayers) on God’s pocket.    
But the voice of righteousness and accountability struck from thin air aimed at JAG’s apostacy. “Tu no eres uno de nosotros ya” (“You are not one of us anymore,” responded former County Commissioner David Noyola from the audience as he held on tightly to his medical device, “You do not live on the Westside I do.  You don’t represent the interests even partially of esta comunidad (the community).  You have no idea what they want.”  Commissioner JAG’s eyes filled with panic and tried to make a comeback but stumbled as traitors to their cause often do when disappointed young and old eyes  stare straight at their hearts and disingenuous souls.  JAG tried to justify the turning over of public land, property owned by taxpayers, to a Corporate giant -- Christus Spohn -- for slaughter.  But JAG, as Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s daughter Cecilia Akers who had made a trip from her home in San Antonio, had forgotten the resounding truism of the founder of the GI Forum: “ OPPRESSION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST  MY PEOPLE CAN NEVER BE JUSTIFIED.” 
Attorney Rene Flores (a native of the Westside) spoke in the audience section.  He and others condemned the madness and reckless urgency of attempting to move Memorial Hospital’s resources to Spohn Shoreline – adding, it was in the direct path of a hurricane and the site was inconvenient and congested with traffic.  Community activist Ray Madrigal (and former candidate for Governor) also followed challenging the Board of Spohn and their socially distant CEO Pam Robertson to invest its millions in building a new hospital not on congested, sardined shoreline but in the heart of Corpus Christi where Memorial sits.  The crowd applauded as many realized the authenticity and idealness in their dream of dreams.  But the pleas from residents of God’s pocket had been puffed into a distant sea by the callous and insensitive agenda of County Judge Loyd Neal and commissioners Mike Pusley and Joe McComb and the quisler JAG 24/7.

Then the final vote came from the commissioners: 4 to 1 voted to wisp away the health needs and concerns of the “little people” into a distant sea.  These outsiders had their own plan.  Commissioner Ortiz stood as the sole vote of dissent.  For Commisioner Ortiz, was not a big-headed boob like JAG, and had taken the normative stares of the people from God’s Pocket earnestly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Dear Taxpayer,
Whether it is at birth, sometime in between or at the end of life, at some point you or someone in your family will need health care. And when that time comes, you want the very best for Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad, yourself and your children.

In 1942, the Baptist Foundation donated approximately 18.5 acres of land for the construction of a hospital facility to address the health care needs of Nueces County. In 1944, Nueces County taxpayers built Memorial Hospital. In 1946, and 1952 the taxpayers of Nueces County invested again in Memorial Hospital by expanding services and adding beds and in 1964, a second building adjacent to Memorial Hospital was constructed and the name was changed to Memorial Medical Center.

In 1967, at the recommendation of esteemed County Judge, Robert Barnes, the taxpayers of Nueces County collectively invested in health care in a special election by creating the Nueces County Hospital District to oversee county health care services. This action included the creation of the Hospital District Board of Managers to manage the investment for the Taxpayer and the authorization, by law, to levy an ad valorem tax.

The revenue generated by the self-imposed ad valorem tax has made it possible to expand, renovate, and/or re-equip MMC in 1975, 1982, 1989, and 1993 representing millions of investment dollars by the taxpayers of Nueces County. As a result of this investment, Nueces County taxpayers today rely on a hospital complex easily accessible from all parts of the county and neighboring counties as well as a Trauma 2 Level designation.

This investment by the taxpayers has yielded positive returns for 70 years. No other hospital in Nueces County can make this claim. Keep in mind, the taxpayer has always owned the County Hospital. Why would you, the Taxpayer, want to give away this kind of investment to a corporation with a corporate office in Dallas, Texas?

The recent proposal by Christus Spohn to demolish the County Hospital on Morgan and move all services to their Shoreline unit has sparked controversy throughout Nueces County and the neighboring communities.

The Hospital District Board is almost ready to send the proposal to demolish the County Hospital to the Commissioner’s Court for a final vote and their stamp of approval and for all practical purposes it will be a “done deal” as has been predicted from the onset. But is it really a “done deal” or can Nueces County voters reverse the devastation that will result if indeed a corporation is handed our tax dollars to spend on expansion of their physical plant which is in the direct path of potential hurricanes and gas releasing accidents at the refineries? Do we really want patients to breathe the black dust from refinery row or to be ill and in the direct path of a destructive hurricane?

Why would we allow a corporation to demolish our investment, abscond with ad valorem tax revenues and relocate the Level 2 Trauma Center to their Shoreline unit? Should the medical health care of a community be determined by 5 men and a corporation? As taxpayers, we must protect our investment. If the County Commissioners Court wants to give away an investment paid for by the taxpayer, then the taxpayer should have a voice in the decision. This can only be done by putting this issue to a vote. The Commissioner’s Court should call for an election in lieu of the taxpayers having to petition the Court for a vote.

Instead of talking about demolishing MMC and naming a clinic after a local civil rights leader, let’s talk about reclaiming our investment and ending all agreements with Christus Spohn, and using our local tax money to build a first class medical/teaching campus and upgrading the Level 2 Trauma Center to a Level 1. Let us make Corpus Christi/Nueces County the place to go to for quality health care.

Instead of giving away our investment, let’s talk about creating a teaching medical hospital facility campus to meet the present and future needs of Nueces County and the Coastal Bend communities in the areas of medical services, JOBS and higher educational opportunities in the affiliated medical health science fields. Health care is one of the fastest growing industries in South Texas and encourages the growth of affiliated medical services.

A teaching medical hospital facility campus would consist of:
1) MMC Hospital with a free standing 24-hour Clinic. Ambulance cases will go directly to ER, and a Clinic triage will determine if the patient needs to go to ER or whether they can make an appointment to return to the clinic the next day.
2) Specialty Rehabilitation Hospital for Veterans and patients continuing to need critical medical care and rehabilitation services after being released from the hospital and/or ICU. The Veterans Specialty Rehabilitation Hospital will include an outpatient dialysis center. South Texas does not have a Veterans Hospital and research reflects that 98% of veterans need specialty care rather than hospital care. Corpus Christi does not have an outpatient dialysis clinic for patients that use a trach for breathing assistance and g-tube for nutrition.
3) An affiliated medical health science educational component includes Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Physician’s Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Social Workers, EMTs, Intern/Resident programs, etc. At the present time, TXAMU-CC, TAMUK, DelMar, Moody High School, and area businesses are spending lots of money focusing on affiliated and medical health science professions training programs and degrees. An affiliated medical health science educational component would provide students and interns/residents with a place to obtain a certification or degree(s), practice public health and complete their clinical practicum programs while providing support to the medical services at the MMC campus and other medical facilities in and around the Coastal Bend.
4) Chronic Health Diseases/Diabetic Clinic with a fitness center. If we as a community want to decrease the incidence of chronic health diseases and diabetes in our community and save lives and money we must invest in a clinic, fitness center and educational facility to achieve the goal.

The tipping point is NOW…..As residents of Nueces County, are we willing to continue to tax ourselves and support a bond program to build a world class medical/educational facility here in Corpus Christi? Are we willing to demand that our County Hospital not be downgraded to a Clinic? Or will we stand by while the Commissioner’s Court approves the demolition of our county hospital and gives our tax dollars to a corporation whose home office isn’t even in Corpus Christi?
                                                                 -- ALICIA GALLEGOS GOMEZ

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Corpus Christi, TX -- The CALLER-TIMES lied to us about MEMORIAL HOSPITAL by stating it was TOO OLD – i.e., (the mouthpiece for a self-serving POWER ELITE led by Political Boss Al Jones (ceo of American Bank). Like an old broken record they played their propaganda to “poison the well”, to “poison the minds” of the average John and Mary who were not privy to the true facts of history. Even Spohn’s CEO (Pam Robinson) at a Northside meeting reinforced the perpetrated lie: “Memorial is like a human being that has been devastated by diabetes and over 80 percent of its organs have been damaged – Memorial has outlived its usefulness”. However, soon after, she was challenged by Homer Villarreal (founder of El Defenzor newspaper and former co-host of a KEYS radio program) who happened to be in the audience. 
Political Boss Al Jones’ machine and cronies have capitalized on the populace’s ignorance of historic oral and written history TO GO AFTER PUBLIC DOLLARS. Catholic Bishop Wn. Michael Mulvey recruited the infamous political schemer (who sits on Spohn’s Board of Directors) to lead the political onslaught on this historic health institution (that is one of its kind; it receives public dollars for the indigent and to serve the outlying areas of Nueces County).
Has an act of violence been committed in the Westside, in imposing an agenda that will not adequately serve the indigent, and/or on the population of the city (South, North, East, West) that find themselves with a debilitating illness or injury when “time to treatment” is critical? Of course. As one attorney put it: “An entire inner city’s social and economic ecosystem is being ruthlessly destroyed and it mirrors the agenda of a monster, a bully and a liar.”
The truth is that SPOHN SHORELINE IS OLDER (than Memorial) – it has been suffering from structural fatigue for a number of years and has leaky floors and bathrooms in addition to piping that have led to gems spreading at an alarming rate and thus contributing to contamination, according to one professional repair business who worked on the facility.
Bishop Wn. Michael Mulvey is responsible for providing input into the strategic plan of Spohn Hospital in that it is an international Catholic hospital. Yet in this case, inside sources allege that political boss Al Jones made a proposal to the Bishop and staff, a proposal to place the health care institution (Spohn) in a quasi-monopolistic position in the region. The key aim of Spohn is the same as any voracious corporate institution: to reduce Memorial hospital to a speck in the map of area – i.e., an small HEB-size clinic is being proposed as an alternative. No residency center, no trauma center, no psychiatric unit, no burn unit, no pharamacy – these will be the negative consequences. Not even certified doctors will be seeing patients in every case – doctor’s assistants and nurses will staff the “watered down” venture. Yet, Spohn will claim it has met the agreement (and collect from the county) – i.e., collect for minimally serving the indigent.
Bishop Mulvey has anointed the ruthless unslaught on the poor. The secular benefit: Less services to the poor, equate to more Net Gains (or profits) for the Catholic Corporation. The ecosystem issue: “Many businesses and workers in the Memorial area will lose their jobs, their entire lifesavings, their homes, their businesses. To reiterate: Bishop Mulvey has sided with the “Al Jones’ machine” and shunned the poor and working class Catholics. The bishop has craned his neck to welcome Political Boss Al Jones’ vision of a horizon full of financial gains and exploitative possibilities. But there is a backlash surfacing. The same trend in Europe of disenchantment with the Catholic Church that led to one out of every two Catholics to change religious affiliation is occurring in Corpus Christi to some degree. At one time (or during the early history of the city and county) ninty-nine percent of the population of the Hispanics were Catholic; no longer. 
The question has been asked: “What separates Memorial Hospital from all the other Spohn hospitals?”. The answer: it gets public funds from the county to help the indigent every month. It also gets state and federal public dollars to help those underserved and down on their luck. This boat load of public dollars (paid by the taxpayer) is the target. They want to destroy memorial – to eliminate any competition or alternative options; and then rebuilt a structurally unsafe hospital like Spohn Shoreline.
Other questions linger from taxpayers: “Yes all this stuff is available on line, such as Spohn's agreement with Nueces County. The fact that it is the Counties Hospital being lent to Spohn is getting lost in the message. Is the taxpayer going to own the replacement clinic Spohn builds? Who is going to own the new Spohn facility?”
One local attorney’s post on Facebook suggested an end to the issuet: “Tear down Christus-Spohn Shoreline Hospital, not Memorial Hospital. Shoreline is older. Shoreline has a worse location for a hospital as there are no major highways near it, nor is it as centrally located as Memorial. The land is worth more on Shoreline and will sell for more. The new annex to Shoreline Hospital will further block the view to the bay. And, evacuation of Memorial will not be as necessary in the event of a hurricane. The choice is clear.”

Thursday, July 24, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX -- Catholic Bishop Steven Mulvey’s sides with political boss AL JONES (and CEO of the “independent bank” known as AMERICAN BANK) against the poor in Nueces County and the predominantly Hispanic Westside community in reference to the DEMOLITION OF MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. AL JONES (who has been a central part of many of the construction schemes from DESTINATION BAYFRONT to WHATABURGER FIELD to the AMERICAN BANK CENTER) sits in the Christus Spohn Hospital Board and seems to have been given free rein by the Bishop to break the spirit of both needy Hispanic Catholics in the Westside and the indigent of Nueces County. The legacy of adequate health care at Memorial Medical Center championed by Civil Rights Leaders in the past and present is now targeted by a political vehemence that breaches all sense of propriety. The AIM: to demolish this 360-bed facility with a level 2 trauma center and a residency program to a dot, a speck in the map of Corpus Christi; the intent is to replace it with an HEB-size clinic. The CEO (Pam Robinson) said: “Well, at least we gonna name the HEB-size clinic after Hector Garcia.”
County Judge Loyd Neal has been linked with the Al Jones machine and thus supports both the razing and tearing down of the health structure in the Southside. However, Neal is up for re-election and the risks to go out for a full $400 million bond would alienate many of the taxpayers against him. Al Jones aim is to go after the public dollars awarded to the indigent and outlying areas. The law requires that any county with over 250,000 residents create a county hospital or equivalent plan to serve the indigent and the outlying areas of the metropolitan region. Thus, what separates Memorial Medical Center from other hospitals is that it has “public funds” (the county commissioner’s award thousands of public dollars to the health endeavor of serving the indigent). Al Jones (CEO of American Bank and who sits on Spohn’s Board of Directors) has never been shy about being in the center of construction schemes whose life blood is going after public dollars.
Christus Spohn is an international Catholic Hospital who lobbied to take over Memorial Medical Center in the late 1990s. The local bishop (in this case, Mulvey) is in charge of being in the strategic planning and marketing of the hospital – and approving it. In the past, former Bishop Edmond Carmody claimed “compassion” was the “word” that separated Spohn from other hospitals in the area (which was marketed in TV commercials and billboards); current Bishop Mulvey, says it is “HOPE”. But the shady agendas and contradictions linger. In the last two decades or so, the Catholic Church in the area has intensified its political agenda charged with the stench of Darwinism. The elite of the Catholic entity has sided with extremist Republicans (who have even removed Cesar Chavez from public school books) and Corporate bottom-line fanatics (cutting services for the indigent) and even Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (to discourage civil and criminal suits against pedophile priests). Some insiders who provide technical and legal pro bono legal work for the Catholic church have pointed out off record: “The pedophiles scandals have taken a toll on the financial treasury of the church. Millions have been paid out to hush scandals and criminal indictments. Citizens Against Law Suit Abuse deters victims from suing to some degree priests who harm children. Even the Kenedy Foundation and Kenedy Trust funds have been tapped into to trouble shoot for area dioceses.”
Former CEO Bruce Holstein told this publication that MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER was structurally safe for the next 90 years or so. He was interviewed in 2010. Mr. Holstein also pointed out that Spohn was already in financial dire before 1996 when it agreed to provide for the “indigent” in return for public funds from the Nueces County Commission and additionally funds from the State of Texas and Federal Charities. The contradiction is today was the former CEO of Spohn (Holstein) was more concerned with the safety of Spohn Shoreline which he claimed was suffering from structural fatigue. The internet also shows a company that brags how it went in to fix some of the licky areas of liquids and gems that were supping down into other rooms and causing health concerns at Spohn Shoreline.
The local paper – Corpus Christi Caller-Times – has been disingenuous in its reporting. It has claimed that most of memorial hospital was built in the 1940s. Actually, most of the building and its replacements of old structures (such as the East Wing) were erected close to the late 1960s. On the other hand, Spohn Shorelines has structural pieces that date back to the 1920s. “It would be reasonable to say that if any hospital should be demonished; it’s Spohn Shoreline,” the host of a TIMEWARNER Access TV show said.
Spohn has hired political consultants to launch its campaign to disenchant taxpayers with Memorial such as Katy Kiser (who is a political consultant for a few candidates running countywide). Ms. Kiser is being referred to as the “hired guness” jestingly by the clique that surrounds AL JONES and his voracious cronies. At the North-side Meeting at the Oval Williams Center sponsored by Spohn, Ms. Kiser acted as the Master of Ceremonies. She and her team commissioned an Anglo white male in his late 20 or early 30s to turn off the microphone of residents with strong adverse opinions against Spohn’s agenda (which wants to superimpose a master plan on the public), a public consisting of both the Westside and Northside and outlying areas. The Spohn representatives (upper middle class Anglos) seemed ill at ease and far removed from the population they were addressing.
Spohn CEO – Pam Robinson – compared SPOHN MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER to a human body that has lost 80 percent of its organs. “Eighty percent of Memorial Hospital is unusable and has outlived its purpose,” she said. But soon after, the founder of EL DEFENZOR newspaper (during the audience input phase) pointed out she was incorrect in her facts. Homer Villarreal (El Defenzor), who has meticulous historical records of the structure in question, pointed out that the land that Memorial Hospital sits on was donated to both the city and the county by the Baptist Foundation for the indigent. Villarreal, who was commissioned by the former CEO of Spohn (Bruce Holstein) to provide input, especially in reference to Spohn Memorial in 2009-10, shared that most of Spohn Memorial is actually newer than Spohn Shoreline. “If we were to follow your logic Ms. Robinson, then it’s Spohn Shoreline that should be demolished and not Spohn Memorial” (Sordidly, Political Consultant Kiser’s hired “muscle” assistant ran immediately after the remark was made to turn off Mr. Villarreal’s microphone). While the microphone was off, Mr. Villarreal added: “It makes more sense to combine both Hospitals in the Westside and not risk Spohn losing its Level 2 Trauma Status … How can you transport a factory overnight to another location. It seems irresponsible.”
Homer Villarreal, concluded: “Bishop Malvey has disenchanted many of his flock by politicizing the Catholic elite and furthermore has displaced its elemental spiritual mission. Bishop Malvey’s take now is clear: the less health care for the indigent and the poor, the more net gains or profits for his Corporate allies and friends. The disenchantment among the indigent and working class Hispanic Catholics with the Church’s politics is at an all-time high. How can we continue to follow a spiritual leader of our church if it means death to our cultural way of life and health needs. What happen to the Supreme Court ruling of Brown vs The Board of Education.”
Villarreal extended: “How can we support a callous and insensitive agenda targeting our own families? Malvey continues to support Al Jones as a member of Spohn Hospital Board and such an arrangement is clearly disconcerting -- supporting a man with such conflict of interest. Most construction campaigns and schemes have historically ended up doing business with Al Jones; the bank that Jones leads (American Bank) is benefiting. It is time to begin to pull the weeds that have grown in our backyard and the Nueces County Commissioners Court begin to court other hospitals besides Spohn to consider serving the indigent more judiciously. “
The Northside Meeting revealed the calculated poison of Spohn and how its CEO (Pam Robinson) has kept the taxpayers in the dark. They have gone as far as to hire a political consulting company to superimpose an elitist plan and agenda on the masses. “Where is the accountability and transparency and the ‘HOPE’ Bishop Malvey harps on for the indigent? It is an agenda that keeps the poor and the indigent and the profoundly sick thinking rich and eating poor and receiving inadequate healthcare. It is religious Darwinism,” Villarreal said.
The day after the Northside meeting cited, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and the ultra-conservative radio show (hosted by Jim Logo) viciously censured residents and community activists who disagreed with the agenda proposed by Spohn (and Al Jones his cronies). A malicious and darted attack was executed by partners of both the Catholic Bishop and Spohn on mostly humble Hispanic Catholic residents who democratically decided to exercise their right to speak up for adequate health care of their families and communities. “How can we possibly get anywhere with a Bishop and church that hires political consults and recruits ethnocentric radio personalities to tongue-lash those that disagree with an agenda that is profaning their communities,” Villarreal concluded.
[Homer Villarreal, founder of El Defenzor and El Pueblito Newspapers, is related to the first appointed bishop from the area to serve in various dioceses in Texas – retired Bishop Reymundo Pena. The first Catholic Church in Robstown known today as St. Anthony (back then in the early 1900st was known as La Mision De San Antonio) was built by his great grandfather Antonio Pena – the church was later named in his great grandfather’s honor. Villarreal’s ancestors suffered great trials and tribulations after erecting the First Catholic Church in the larger Nueces county. A few of his relatives homes were burned down by rival Anti-Catholic and Anti-Mexican American groups during the early years of the pioneering history.] ...join

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MONSTERS OF OREGON -- Oregon policians using the pension fund to invest tobacco industry

see MONSTERS OF OREGON (an editorial)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Bighamian “Benjamin” Mostafa, 59, passed away on April 14, 2014 at his corner store – Tim’s Market. He was born in Iran and during his teen years immigrated to the United States to attend Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville), and went on to complete a degree in chemical/petroleum engineering. He fell in love with America and realized it was a wide open horizon of opportunities.
He moved to Corpus Christi, Texas specifically to apply his entrepreneurial spirit. Like a meteorite he lit up the heavens with his generosity and munificent business practices. He became both a wonderful role model and reference person for the community. He also encouraged other immigrants to invest and settle in Corpus Christi and the region: “This is truly a land of opportunity” was his sales pitch. He founded businesses that addressed the needs of the working class community: Tim’s Market (1600 Ayers), the defunct Hamid’s Grocery (in the Northside), Amerikas Auto Sales, and involved himself in the real estate market. He found create ways to keep the money circulating in the communities he served and offered priceless advice. He identified a void in the market that traditional banks and other lending institutions did not address adequately. He cashed payroll checks and provided loans for hard working families. He provided many creative worthwhile occupational projects and even odd jobs to residents from carpentry to masonry to painting to keep the industrious spirit alive. He reinforced the struggle for survival in those that orbited his immediate world. It was chiseled in his belief system to give back a percentage of his profits to those in need. . . Eventually he became loved by a multitude. He became the apex of success as a small businessman among the working class and low-income Hispanic and Black communities. . . He engaged in benevolent endeavors: he donated the “Old Harlem Theatre” in the Northside (years ago) to the Coleman Foundation and sponsored many sports teams and aided many struggling families to find a normative correct way to survival amid the challenges of a tough economy. He was awarded a plethora of awards by non-profit and benevolent organizations.
April 14 seemed like a normal day; but it became one that was far from that: a little after 1:00 p.m. he was tragically targeted by deviant forces of desperation, a desperation which he saw daily in declining sectors of the community: yet he had faith it could be ameliorated. When his passing was announced by the media. Many in the surrounding community seemed to have heard a bell toll. They tipped off their caps; collective prayers were recited; a rush of residents circled the site. A reoccurring theme was -- Bighamian “Benjamin” Mostafa could be as soft as a misty cloud due to his “big” heart yet as strong as steel when it came to his faith that even the most dilapidated community could prosper if given time and the proper caring. History will note his contributions as a trailblazer; his memory is a testament to the fact that “hard work always pays off!”.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Editorial:  PART 1 OF 3

Nueces County, TX – The late District Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell, one of the most respected professionals at the Nueces County Courthouse, took his own life (via a gunshot) – but leaving a written last will and testament bestowing all his lively possessions to  Albert Fuentes (his best friend).  A few critics opined that Sheriff Jim Kaelin for the most part both hijacked and monopolized the investigation into Judge Greenwell’s death targeting a few key members of the Albert Fuentes’ family. 
Even after Judge Greenwell’s body was cremated – his “ashes” set off a political wrangle unkindly maneuvered by a few Republican politicos.  Sheriff Jim Kaelin in a telephone interview with the editor of this newspaper made it seem like he was taking care of “one of their own (a Republican?)” (emphasis added) and he legitimized it by stressing it was clearly in his jurisdictional turf.  But some critics pointed out initially that Kailin used the crisis to aggrandize his political image and more specifically to personally label those involved: i.e., the “wrong-doers”, the “vindicators” and the legitimate “mediums of information.”  In other words, Kaelin had postured himself to be the ultimate authority in the “ins and outs” of the exploration.
Sheriff Kaelin launched a full-blown investigation (a cooperative prearrangement with other entities) both implicitly and explicitly making Albert Fuentes (and a few members of his family as persons of interests).  One media entity claimed that Judge Greenwell was under duress and possibly being extorted. 
“EXTORTED!!!” – this word was enough to make the story go viral and generate a quasi-nationwide media frenzy.  The systematic “demonization” of some members of the ALBERT FUENTES’ FAMILIA had begun.  Kaelin reported that huge “sums of money” were being channeled (or ending up in the hands) of a two specific persons.  One member of the Republican party at the time referred to Sheriff Kaelin as “OUR KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR!”. 
After Sheriff Kaelin had frozen his target (the FUENTES FAMILIA), the negative focus target was further amplified.  The volume of the “demonization” was raised when District Judge (of the 105th) Angelica Hernandez place a phone call to late Judge Greenwell’s brother residing in a northern state claiming the Fuentes family was composed of thugs and drug users and trouble-makers.  Her objective: to acquire power of attorney from a surviving relative.  According to the surviving brother, the same judge had claimed that a “millionaire” by the name of Mike Scott was very generous and was going to assist in organizing an impressive funerary observance.  According to sources, Sheriff Kaelin offered him, the surviving brother, a one-way flight to attend the observance. . . Later, when the Fuentes found out about the surviving brother’s ordeal, offered him (i.e., the Judge’s brother) a place to stay as well as a return ticket.  When all was said and done, Judge Hernandez (and the political clique) involved ended up with Judge Greenwel’s “ashes” and held their own victorious rituals. 
After a failed and long-winded attempt to find links of “extortion” linked to key members of the FUENTES FAMILIA, Sheriff Kaelin called a press conference and announced the results of his investigation:  Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell had taken his life it appeared due to “financial debt.”
Time cycled by but the political obstacles and accumulated negative stigmatization persisted against the FUENTES FAMILIA.  A few law enforcement officers who reside in their general area still continue to haunt their daily course of living.
It was not until recently that the ALBERT FUENTES FAMILIA  recently agreed to meet with the editor of these newspapers (El Pueblito and El Defenzor) and express their main concern: “The spirit of Judge Thomas ‘Tom’ Greenwell has not rested in peace.”   Albert Fuentes shared two notarized letters addressed to Judge Hernandez requesting the “ashes” (of the late Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell) be returned or the whereabouts of the “ashes” (if they have been scattered in a specific location) be known.  Albert Fuentes plans to put an inscribed bronze marker at the hollow location.  There has not been any fruitful response from her.

[Notes: The Fuentes family is far from the negative portrait released by Sheriff Jim Kaelin to the media.  Many members of the Fuentes family are professionals. They are a close-knit family that took in Judge Thomas “Tom” Greenwell as sort of an adopted family member.  One of  Albert Fuentes’ uncles (Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes -- a musician and artist -- who has long hair and is free spirited in nature) was unjustly harassment over a prolong period of time; it resulted in health issues.  The younger family members of the family idolized Judge Greenwell and referred to him merely as “Thomas” or "Tom".  Photos of Judge Greenwell can be found pinned everywhere -- from the portrait of La Virgen De Guadalupe to the kids' rooms.  The beloved Judge Greenwell was a reference person and role model. . .Daily prayers for Judge Greenwell are ritualized daily by the family in an attempt to placate the toll of the restlessness that took place during the Sheriff Kaelin inquiry. They feel Judge Greenwell's spirit is not at peace. They want to bring closure to the whole foul event -- they want to erect a memorial in his honor: for his history as a human being to live on in the community.  They feel Judge Greenwell's history has been squashed and quasi-erased by the politics cited in the article. There was a point where Sheriff Kaelin seemed to have become so irate and desperate when he felt his hypothesizes were proved wrong.  Kaelin went as far as to question Albert Fuentes’ girlfriend in the following manner: “Did Judge Tom Greenwell pay for the pampers of that baby?”]

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The "BLOOD BATH" FOR JUSTICE OF THE PEACE (and a look at the sideline figures).

Nueces County, TX – The political primary elections are over in Nueces County, yet the confrontational strategies still baffle many voters and devoted observers.  The most heated race was the one for Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Pl. 3.  The incumbent JP Robert “Bobby” Balderas was facing an aggressive newcomer – that is, Eric Cantu (owner of LONESTAR WRECKER SERVICE).  But there was an array of variables in the back region of the campaign that the general masses did not zoom in much during the course of the process.  The reason: it has been a tradition in most campaigns that the “real stuff” (strategies) are formulated and planned out meticulously in backrooms of privacy – i.e., in the sheltered “war-rooms” ; in the clandestine hangouts where the bona fide political “pow-wows” take place; the germ of native intentions.
It was really a campaign between two admirable individuals who are rising stars as “King” and “Queen” makers in the Nueces County region:  Attorney Joe Flores versus Clarissa Gonzalez.
Attorney Joe Flores put out immediately that newcomer Cantu seems to have been out-spending incumbent Balderas three to one.  However, it has to be stated honestly that sometimes “political dollars” can take a clandestine bypath in a labyrinth of interests that serpentine into a muddle.  Political loyalties can be bought at least temporally via financial incentives.  There is a Mexican saying that reinforces the mentioned: “Con dinero baila el chango” (For money even a monkey will dance). 
Cantu was facing an entrenched political incumbent with roots in the various entities of the municipality and county.  And political sages have pointed out for years that if such incumbents exist the odds will be in their favor to achieve victory.  Thus, the newcomer, many a time, in order to use “catch up” tactics chooses to resort to what are known as adversarial marketing strategies (which many a time due to expediency are labeled “Negative Campaigns” and/or “Mudslinging”. 
A quick perusal of the political literature associated with campaigns reveal that the incumbent usually (in most cases) will unreservedly object and wistfully will question: “Why can’t my challenger run solely on his own merits?”.   The concern cited is usually done for one reason:  to secure his advantage in the game.  So thus and so, one may ask: “What is the advantage of a newcomer over an incumbent?”.
Political activist and former county commissioner David Noyola shared: “If it can be classified as an ‘advantage’, the newcomer does not have a track record in office; the incumbent does – and thus no incumbent can a record and be as purely perceived as ‘Cesar’s wife’ so-to-speak.”
Though, JP Balderas and his supporters in the regional TV program known as SOUTH TEXAS CROSSFIRE (hosted by Attorney Joe Flores) began to apply the elemental initial rule in a classical campaign of defining your rival – that is, defining the political challenger as well as yourself (before the other side does).  JP Balderas via an analogy was compared to a well-functioning “lawnmower” by the host of the show  -- i.e., Joe Flores).  “There is no need to replace it, if it ain’t broke.”  Additionally, the newcomer Cantu, on the other hand, was masterly classified as “inexperienced” by the key leaders of incumbent JP Balderas campaign.   
Soon after that newcomer Cantu via a FACEBOOK posting (that supposedly went out to thousands of persons) began to do his own stigmatization of JP Balderas – as a “do nothing” bureaucrat (emphasis added).  Cantu accused JP Balderas of “tail-coating” on Nueces County Commissioner Joe “JAG” Gonzalez’ network and recognition.   Cantu went as far as to state jesting at the time: “Who is Robert “Bobby” Balderas? Does anyone really know who he is?’.  The initial confrontational sparks of the campaign made some take careful notice – in anticipation of other exchanges.
It grew more intense.  The exchange on the media (radio and T.V. and some print media) became vicarious gratification (secondary excitement) for some fanatics much as “public hangings” did in  the days of a yester history.  This was not a football game nor a wrestling game, but a political match between a well-known and respected incumbent Justice of the Peace being challenged by a young successful entrepreneur, an entrepreneur who had erected a vast assortment of political signs in the respective region and enrolled a crazy quilt and hash of young people to distribute his literature. 
But on the sidelines were also two politically savvy persons -- each advocating and strategizing for his/her own candidate:  Attorney Joe Flores (supporting JP Balderas) and Clarissa Gonzalez (supporting Cantu).  It was a battle of wits and maneuvers and machinations that the average political citizen did not give much attention to during the vying to come out first at the finish line.  It is rumored that both (Joe and Clarissa) forked out their own funding to some degree to amplify their strategies.  They used psychological warfare tactics against each other (i.e., false or exaggerated things about Clarissa’s personal life surfaced bafflingly; Flores, was portrayed as too “satirical” and “dehumanizing”.
As the early voting approached Cantu’s secret weapon –  fired up Clarissa Gonzalez (after a hefty and meticulous review of his rival’s campaign contributions over a handful of years), came across a damaging entry. “The guilty by association” tactic was adopted.  Cantu’s campaign collectively put out that his rival had received a five hundred dollar contribution from a convicted felon (child molester – who ran by the name of Rudy Rubio); additionally, the same Rudy Rubio had been indicted the week prior to the Cantu’s accusation on another crime involving both rape and kidnapping of a twenty-some year old women.   
The accusation had been timed perfectly – in a hypersensitive period: right before early voting.  JP Balderas had been redefined by challenger Cantu as a person that “associates with felons and takes contributions from felons.”   But as all tactics, once harped on too long become a bore.  Other creative reinforcement that keep the audience enjoying the onslaught have to be resorted to at some point, many political strategists have suggested in their literature and primers.
JP Balderas tried to issue a public “apology” on KZTV for accepting the funds from felon Rudy Rubio, but it backfired in that the same television station was lured to focus on a statement made by he himself on a Tejano radio station: “…be careful.  Something might happen.”   Cantu, in turn, asked JP Balderas to step down – interpreting the remark as a threat.
Cantu reinforced his campaign by forking out hefty dollars to buy radio space on the Lopez radio station known as MAGIC 104.9.  At the noon hour the 15 minute radio spots were sold as “Comentarios” (Commentaries).  At 12:00 noon on the station, Clarissa Gonzalez was one of the primary voices for the Eric Cantu campaign.  With laser precision she tried to hammer down JP Balderas’ credibility while additionally reinforcing his association with a Child Molester who had contributed funds to his campaign.  At 12:15, Balderas followed on the same station with his procured 15 minutes – at first, he brought in political activist Josie Suarez to take over after his introduction (later Thomas “Tommy” Holbein replaced her).  Holbein brought in a slew of persons whose vehicles had been allegedly mistakenly towed by Cantu’s Wrecking Company.  At 12:45, Susie Luna (founder of Grassroots Marketing) again advocated for Cantu – her portion of the program was known as “Grassroots Radio.”  Finally after Holbein accused Cantu of cheating on his girlfriend (which seemed to be more of a defense mechanism after being mortared with incriminating records from his past) , Cantu bought an additional radio spot on the same station – from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 naming it “La Ultima Palabra” (The last word).
Consultant and effective radio “mouthpiece” (Clarissa Gonzalez) for the Cantu campaign said during the campaign: “We have an entrenched incumbent with deep roots in the bureaucracy that does not make this campaign easy.  Our job’s objective has laser focus.  JP Balderas messed up during his tenure and we will do our best to amplify it.  We will beat on the drum so loud that most of the voters will hear our denunciation.”
JP Balderas who had coordinated his campaign with a marketing company in Austin decided to change course after the blunder and coordinated with local political media coordinator – i.e., Attorney Joe Flores.  Flores told El Pueblito: “I was brought in twelve days before the election to try and balance the ship and steer towards victory by using the opponent’s own words.”  Flores added: “I also help put together a series of commercials coupled with grassroots contact with the Democrats.  Victory was achieved.”
JP Balderas injected: “Money does not always buy an election.”  Cantu outspend Balderas according to an initial review of financial reports and other ceremonial tallies.

“There was no single method that works for everyone.  It was like a chess game,” Flores explained further. “The open-minded advice of using social media was well received by JP Balderas -  a mixture of all media in the end helped Baldera’s keep his base, a base that did not abandon him to the end after being re-courted.”