Monday, September 15, 2014
EDITORIAL: COUNTY COMMISSIONER JAG SELLS OUT GOD'S POCKET (demolition of Memorial Hospital issue)
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.