Sunday, March 31, 2013

Me-TV Airs Episode of "The Fugitive" with Brownsville Connection

David Janssen as The Fugitive in Ill Wind
It's not too far-fetched that a man running from the law in the 60's could find himself harvesting vegetables along with other migrants.  Ill Wind, an episode of the TV show The Fugitive that ran from 1962-67, is staged "20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico."  While this 1966 episode doesn't quite capture the local culture, it does coincide with an actual hurricane threat that year.

In 1966 Hurricane Inez took dead aim at the mouth of the Rio Grande, then, turning sharply south at the last instant, hit the Yucatan.  Any lingering belief that fortunetellers could actually predict the future was shattered by Madam Palm on Hwy 48 having all her windows boarded up for the storm that never hit.  The next year Hurricane Beulah did actually hit with considerable force.

Friday, March 29, 2013

First Nail on the Hernandez Machine Coffin? Hernandez Politiquera, Margarita Ozuna Indicted

Herminia Becerra, Margarita Ozuna, Brownsville's Most Brazen Politiqueras

After this pic taken in front of the Abelardo Gomez, Carlos Masso, Erin H. Garcia adjacent tents, longtime politiquera Herminia Becerra(seated above) told me:  "No
one gets elected unless I say so."  Her partner in crime, the recently indicted Margarita
Ozuna is on the left.

After Margarita Ozuna found out who we were, she tried to dodge our camera

Vans bringing in elderly voters from adult day care and the high rise

Cameron Park  Election Judge Conferring with Abelardo Gomez camp
during election hours.  She tried to have Nena and I arrested for taking pictures of vans
bringing the elderly, mentally challenged and disabled to the polling place 
The van, allegedly on loan from Junior's Used Cars, that the Masso, Erin H. Garcia and Abelardo Gomez campaigns used to transport elderly, disabled and mentally-challenged
voters to Cameron Park.  The van became a mobile polling place as the driver would collect votes and deliver them to the polls.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

With the FBI on the Hernandez Ass Can John Villarreal Eke Out A Victory?

District 4 Incumbent John Villarreal
John Villarreal doesn't need the firefighters.  He kicked their golden goose to the curb by voting to reject their contract.  The paramedics can kiss his pale ass.  As for the teachers who endorsed his opponent, big shit!  They don't vote anyway.

All John needs to win the gentle struggle for commissionship in District 4 is the Hernandez machine.  Ernie and Norma Hernandez are John's godparents.  His sweet sister Joanna is engaged to Ernie's son.  No need to even blockwalk.  Don't say anything John.  Ernie, Norma and Erin have this one in the bag.  Loyal election judges are in place as are lookouts.  Mail-in ballot fraud may be unnecessary.  John will win in a walk.  Management at the adult high rise knows what to do.  There is no shortage of adult caregivers to drive the elderly, infirm, mentally-challenged to the polling places.

But wait!  Brownsville's newsman, Juan Montoya of El Rrun Rrun has something to report that may wipe the smug off Villarreal's face.  The FBI are hot on the trail of the Hernandez election stealing and are calling in their politiqueras to spill their guts.  Good luck feds with Herminia Becerra, the posterwoman for political corruption in Cameron County and the Democratic Chair Sylvia Garza-Perez' aunt.  For the last fifty years Becerra has proclaimed:  "No one wins unless I say so!"  Becerra proudly wears an Erin H. Garcia campaign official laminated name badge with the collar clearly saying "Ernie Hernandez 2010."  She will not go down easily.  She was the star of the Democratic Party celebration featuring newly elected District Attorney Luis Saenz who will not prosecute anyone for corrupting our elections.

John's opponent to serve District 4 is a political activist, retired nurse the age of his mother, Letty
Perez-Garzoria, who has spoken up more than Villarreal at City Commission meetings. Perez-Garzoria, softly articulate, but pointed in her criticism of Brownsville's autocratic mayor, Tony Martinez, feels her campaign is gaining momentum. But it is always an uphill battle against the Hernandez machine. Ask Ruben Pena. Ask Yolanda Begum. Ask the FBI.

Addendum:  Nena and I visited for three hours with the FBI after the general election.  They were interested in our observance of vote harvesting by the Masso/Garcia/Gomez campaigns.  When we restated things posted on "Mean Mister Brownsvile" the FBI lead reminded us:  "Jim, I read your blog."  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Brownsville Teachers Endorse Letty Perez-Garzoria for City Commissioner District 4

Fresh on the heels of endorsements by the Brownsville Firefighters Union and the Brownsville Paramedics Union, Letty Perez-Garzoria has now been endorsed by Brownsville teachers, more specifically the Texas Valley Educators Association or TVEA.

Ms. Perez Garzoria's opponent is incumbent John Villarreal, a polite young man who works with his father at La Milpa Tortilleria in Brownsville.  During his tenure as city commissioner, Villarreal seldom spoke at commission meetings, allowed District 4 to lose appointments to critical city boards and like the rest of the commission, allowed Mayor Tony Martinez to have his way in making highly speculative real estate purchases with taxpayer money while many city services suffer.

Perez-Garzoria, a retired nurse and political activist has frequently spoke out at city commission meetings on a variety of issues and respectfully disagrees with Martinez one-man rule of the city.

John Villarreal is closely associated with Ernie Hernandez.  His sister Joanna is engaged to Ernie's son.  Brownsville Cheezmeh has endorsed Villarreal. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gowen vs. Uresti, City Commission At-Large B . . . . . Elitist vs. Common Man

Roberto Uresti has been to more city commission meetings than the city commissioners themselves,  almost always there to convey an idea no one else has considered.  He is always respectful, usually smiling, never overdressed.  He may have a list of the addresses of dilapidated homes needing to be  repaired or torn down before they become crack houses or fire hazards or he may simply tell the commission thanks for responding to something he brought to their attention.  When Chief Financial Officer Pete Gonzalez offered that the city's budget had been trimmed to the absolute barest of bones, Uresti stepped to the podium and rattled off several ways for the city to save money off the top of his head.

Uresti has been rightfully criticized for improper sentence structure on Facebook.  Perhaps, like Samuel Clemens who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain, Robert just needs a good proofreader.  Clemens, you recall, claimed to "have nothing but contempt for a man who could spell a word only one way," as he was a notoriously poor speller.  Uresti lists studies in economics and business at Texas A&M on his resume' and is a retired BISD teacher.

Dr. Rose Gowen, a gynecologist(some say currently non-practicing) and the incumbent City Commissioner for District At-Large B, speaks up far less frequently at commission meetings than Uresti, usually simply acquiescing to whatever Mayor Tony wants.  Only health issues seem to pique her interest.  Maybe a role at the city's health department would be more appropriate.  Gowen also has the reputation for being the town's nanny, almost making New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg look libertarian.  Gowen is said to have once proposed that hot dogs and other unhealthy food items no longer be sold at the city's sports park.  Perhaps, she would also favor changing the lyrics of Take Me Out to the Ball Game  to "buy me some tofu and carrot sticks."

For many this race seems to be clear-cut:  Elitist incumbent Gowen who evidently feels some obligation to rubberstamp Mayor Tony's agendas due to his financial and organizational support of her campaign versus the energetic Uresti, a gadfly, community activist who may be well-served to use a proofreader for written public statements.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Will DA Luis Saenz "Cut Off the Head of the Snake?"

During the last county-wide election, the most visible operative for Luis Saenz was asked:  "Will Saenz, if elected, prosecute documented cases of voter fraud, voter abuse and the misuse of mail-in ballots?"  I'd been assured that the statute of limitations had not run out even on the reported violations during the Ruben Pena-Ernie Hernandez 2010 County Commissioner election, let alone the election just past.  Affidavits are notarized and witnesses stand available.

Candidate Maria DeFord and Chuck Mattingly had both been asked the same question and answered in the affirmative, although we never got a chance to see their resolve acted out.  Outgoing DA Armando Villalobos had given us his anwer during his years of non-service to Cameron County.

Ernie Hernandez
So, what was Saenz' answer to our question?   His campaign spokesperson gave me an interesting reply:  "Luis is smarter than most of us.  He's not going after the small violations.  He's going to cut off the head of the snake."  When I asked if he meant Ernie Hernandez, the rep said:  "What do you think?" as if the answer was obvious.  While pleased that Saenz would go after Hernandez once elected, the response to dealing with election law violations was disappointing.  Ernie Hernandez has been a principle fomenter of political corruption, election stealing in the county for over two decades.  He has also deprived many honest businessman of their due livelihood by using his political offices to unethically do business with all the local entities; county, city and BISD.  But, election stealing is what got Ernie elected in the first place along with his daughter Erin.  For Cameron County, doing things the same way will always get the same results.

District Attorney Luis Saenz
So, the biggest challenge facing newly elected DA Luis Saenz is to provide some impetus in someday having clean elections in Cameron County.  Saenz and newly selected Election Commissioner Chris Davis need to formulate a gameplan for the county's sake.  The Hernandez machine has permeated nearly every facet of the county election process with handpicked election judges, lookouts, politiqueras, with even management of the housing authority-owned adult high-rise cooperating fully with the Hernandezes.

Also on Saenz' plate is the illegal attempt to hire Ernie Hernandez' brother-in-law, convicted felon Robert Cadriel detailed in this report last year on MMB: 

"The next time we heard the name Robert Lopez was when Ernie Hernandez tried to ramrod his convicted felon brother-in-law Robert Cadriel into a job as a bridge guard with the county. Dumbass Cadriel failed the required civil service test with a score of 31 and then 33. Then, a female employee in Robert Lopez' Human Resources office took the test for Cadriel and scored in the 90's. Ernie's brother-in-law had a job. . . . for a day. When the hanky panky was discovered, Cadriel was fired. That very same day, Robert Lopez quit his lucrative county position to "pursue other endeavors."

All of the players for this attempt to circumvent civil service rules, illegally hire and unethically use political office for personal gain are still around to be interviewed by Saenz.  If he is serious about going after slimy creatures who slither in the grass, this is his opportunity to act. 

Melissa Zamora
So, for Luis Saenz, the challenge is to provide the county taxpayers with substance, not merely public relations orchestrated by newly hired spokesperson Melissa Zamora. Having a community liaison like the loyal Zeke Silva can't hurt but it won't cut off the head of the snake. That has to come by an active, vigorous, pro-active district attorney.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Repost: Rick Navarro Continues to Milk His Cash Cow, the City of Brownsville

From the editor:  Ricardo Navarro, a lawyer specializing in labor arbitration continues to rake in huge fees from the City of Brownsville working unwinnable arbitration cases involving city paramedics and firefighters.  Navarro is batting a bush league .092, losing 24 out of the last 26 cases.  Shed no tears for Navarro who gets paid whether he succeeds or fails.  Incredibly, dumbass city officials consult Navarro before pursuing arbitration.  The last two tiers of appeal before going to arbitration are Fire Chief Lenny Perez and City Manager Charlie Cabler.  Neither has a lick of common sense and foolishly choose time and again to waste taxpayer dollars fighting obviously unwinnable arbitration cases.  

Navarro's slickness is demonstrated in getting cases, not winning them.  In the Marco Longoria suspension case, Navarro was easily outlawyered by non-lawyer, ex-firefighter Louis Hebert, who outwitted Navarro at every turn.  

It's a beautiful scam, though.  The Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool(TML-IRP) sends the city commissioners to a training session that emphasizes holding down firefighter, police and paramedic labor costs.  The training emphasizes consulting labor attorneys at every juncture, setting the commission up to be played by lawyers like Navarro.  The training is subtly anti-union.  We do not know if the administrative group backs commissioners financially, but the "education" is obvious.  

Our inept city commission has squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees wasted on unwinnable fights, but there is a larger story.  The city is about to take a huge financial hit involving legal fees, interest and backpay in their total mishandling of the firefighter's contract.(That story will be coming soon.)


Rick Navarro Continues to Milk His Cash Cow, the City of Brownsville

Alan Ozuna, Lenny Perez, Ricardo Navarro
Rick Navarro, the attorney who routinely represents the City of Brownsville against fire fighters and police officers in arbitration cases gets paid for litigation, not victories.

"That's fair," an observer might say.  "Doctors get paid regardless of whether the surgery is successful.    Navarro can't control the results and he should get paid for his time."

"OK.  That's a fair analogy," someone else might counter, "but what if the doctor is performing unnecessary surgeries just to rake in the bucks?  Isn't that unethical?"

Actually, this is exactly what's happening.  While the city has a its own legal team of three, earning over a quarter of a million dollars annually, Navarro's firm is said to have likely been paid several million dollars in legal fees in the decade or so of losing arbitration cases for the city.

Mean Mister Brownsville isolated several factors contributing to the enrichment of the Navarro-Ozuna labor law team in a September 13, 2011 article and a December 4, 2011 followup article.  Here is a quote from the second article:  "One firefighter put it this way: "Lenny is a total pendejo with a Napoleonic complex. He has total distrust of staff that have skills and abilities exceeding his own." Fire Chief Perez and City Manager Charlie Cabler are known for stonewalling grievances that could be easily settled by skilled administrators."  What we were saying back then is that Lenny Perez's soured relationship with his men led him to vindictively allow situations to go to arbitration that could have easily been settled by reasonable men.  Since City Manager Charlie Cabler was the last option to resolve a matter before arbitration, his poor management skills contributed to the problem, inflating Navarro's legal fees.

Thus Navarro benefits financially from an adversarial relationship between the fire chief and his men, but also the acquiescence of Charlie Cabler in allowing even obvious, clear-cut situations to go to arbitration.  Navarro, of course, laughs all the way to the bank.

Just today(9/24/2012) I received a call from a union member advising me of a hearing to consider new rules for arbitration cases.  "Jim, Navarro is pushing for new rules that will send almost all matters into arbitration.  And who do you think will represent the city in those cases?  If this goes through, the city will be wasting even more money.  Of course, this is "good for business" for Navarro.  He is just playing our stupid fire chief.  We went to a meeting the other day with the fire chief and our new police chief.  Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said he didn't need new rules.  Everything is working fine.  Perez, though is so stupid.  He is brainwashed by Navarro."

So, in a time of tight budgets, threats of tax increases, mismanagement by city officials continues to squander tax dollars for unnecessary arbitration cases with one primary beneficiary:   Ricardo Navarro.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Letty Perez-Garzoria: Ready to Work for District 4

Letty Perez-Garzoria Going Against Not Just John Villarreal, but the Hernandez Politiquera Machine

Letty Perez-Garzoria
The contest Letty Perez-Garzoria signed up for is historically a losing proposition.  She has a lot of nerve going up against an Hernandez-backed candidate with the associated politiqueras and vote-harvesting at the ready.

As we learned in the last election, most, if not all of the election judges have Hernandez connections.  Erin Hernandez Garcia overcame a huge 500 vote deficit in the primaries against Yolanda Begum by calling in the machine, bringing in van after van of seniors, disabled and infirm while illegally monitoring their choices with van driver operatives.

Ms. Perez-Garzoria knows all this.  She has watched Ernie Hernandez and others abuse our city for decades.  As recently as two weeks ago, she and Rigo Bocanegra were going door to door in Brownsville's high rise for the elderly looking for signatures to certify her campaign when the management(city employees) notified Norma Hernandez of the development, prompting the machine to send in their goons.

Ms. Perez-Garzoria will not say a negative word about John Villarreal.  It's not in her nature.  That does not mean she does not see the stranglehold corruption has on local government, politics.  She faces an uphill fight.

Why the Firefighters, Paramedics Endorsed Letty Perez-Garzoria, Not John Villarreal for District 4 Commissioner

John Villarreal
Brownsville's firefighters and paramedics supported John Villarreal in his first election for city commissioner.  Youth, good looks, a degree from UTB and a polite demeanor were all considered pluses for John.

Three years later, both groups have changed their mind about John's fitness to serve in political office.

As one firefighter stated:  "I actually like John and respect the heck out of his parents.  It's just that we can't afford to have a commissioner not doing anything.  Brownsville and district 4 have too many needs and John Villarreal has done no more for Brownsville than his portrait that hangs on the wall of the city commission building."

Unfortunately for District 4, Villarreal has been more of a spectator on the city commission, seldom even making a comment, let alone taking a leadership role.  In his first city commission meeting, he allowed Mayor Tony Martinez to steal his first appointment to an important city board right out from under him without so much as a whimper from John, costing his district valuable representation.

Like the rest of the city commission, Villarreal has stood idly by while Tony Martinez has squandered 3.5 million taxpayer dollars on older properties downtown.  Why those properties were purchased has never been explained by these weak officials who always talk of transparency and openness when they campaign, but have no actual understanding of those terms.

The firefighters and paramedics have watched the city population grow during these years and seen the safety of local citizens put at risk while Brownsville's leadership has twiddled their collective thumbs.  National safety standards call for a city the size of Brownsville to have at least 14 ambulances.  Brownsville has only 5 and several are badly in need of repair.  Recently, a 911 call was received at the city's busiest station for a heart attack victim.  The ambulance simply wouldn't start.  That is not an isolated incident.  Think of how many ambulances and other necessary equipment could have been purchased with the taxpayer money John Villarreal and the city commission wasted on speculative real estate.

Letty Perez-Garzoria with Union Leaders
The two unions have endorsed Ms. Perez-Garzoria, a retired nurse, political activist, who is not afraid to challenge Martinez.

Perez-Garzoria addressed a roomful of supporters recently:

"Monopoly is not good in business and it is not good in government.  Tony Martinez has used his office to benefit his friends, his cronies.  He may have a plan, but that plan has not been shared with us.   We need people on the city commission who will ask 'why?' and not just go with the flow.

I make no promises except that I will work and I will listen.  I've not seen a magic wand that will revitalize downtown.  We have to face the fact that our city's business has moved to the north of town.  If private investors want to transform downtown, so be it.  

There is so much to be done in neighborhoods.  District 4 has extreme needs.  I don't believe in government doing everything for us.  I believe in volunteerism.  Where are the churches?  They can help.  

"I want to repeal the bag ban and refine the smoking ban to allow club owners to make a living for their families.  It is not the job of government to impose these limitations on citizens.  We are not required to eat what Rose Gowen eats or zumba our way from place to place."  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Scattered Thoughts: "Come Holy Spirit!", Martin Sarkis, Letty Perez-Garzoria, MMB, Maclovio Prepare for Duardo Paz-Martinez Legal Onslaught

Cardinals Vow Secrecy
Watching just a smidgen of the College of Cardinals coverage on CNN as the cardinals circled a presentation table while chanting the names of the saints, the concentration of each man in the ritual was obvious.

The hymn "Come Holy Spirit" was scheduled to be sung next, but I had to go.  I did learn that the cardinals write the name of their nominee on a piece of paper that is folded, first this way, then that and then held over the head.  The papers are collected and opened to make certain each cardinal has not voted for himself as pope.

While understanding the need for modesty, I wondered about the crisis of conscience that might occur if a cardinal genuinely felt he was God's choice, the best man for the job.  Would putting down the name of a lesser cardinal be "sinning against the Holy Spirit"?

When the votes are collected, they are counted to make certain all 115 cardinal's votes are counted.(Roger Ortiz would likely count 110, then 113 and then "find" two "lost" votes to finally total 115.)
Most American observers interviewed seem to favor the selection of a cardinal who understands some of the fundamental changes in society not yet reflected in the church.

Martin Sarkis
 The back-and-forth between BROWNSVILLE VOICE and El Rrun Rrun seems to center on whether Rosalio Rosales' currently listed address matches his voter registration.

In my brief conversation with Martin Sarkis, I got the impression that his primary concern was that Rosales submitted one address by the March 1 deadline, but then was allowed to go back March 4 and change that address.(With so much riding on filling out an accurate application, it seems candidates would take more care.)  City Secretary Estela Von Hatten informed Sarkis that Rosales had been certified despite his objections.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes also writes in the BROWNSVILLE VOICE: 

"The consensus is Sarkis is a Martinez plant. There is no way the Chair of the Cameron County Democratic Party is tied to Sarkis campaign without the consent of Tony Martinez."

Sarkis states, that while "he can work with anyone," he is no one's puppet.  He does seem to disagree with some of what Martinez has done as mayor.  The involvement of Garza-Perez is troubling as is the closeness to the Hernandezes.  Sarkis does know how many of us who like him as a candidate feel about the ethics of those individuals.  But, as he told me a few months ago:  "I received a call from Linda Dragustinovis, telling me to defriend Jim and Nena Barton.  I told her that the only people that ever told me what to do are my parents and they have passed."  He told us that after that exchange both Linda and Erasmo defriended him on Facebook.

So, while stating clearly how we felt about certain individuals in his campaign, there was no ultimatum given.

Letty Perez-Garzoria Declares District 4 "The Gem of Brownsville"

Letty Perez-Garzoria, City Commission,
District 4 Candidate
Here are some excerpts from Ms. Perez-Garzoria's Facebook page:

District #4 has it all ? That's a big 10-4!!! All the history, all the pioneer factor, all the social diversity , not to mention the amazing Community College System since 1926 ( an Arnulfo Oliveira brainchild) , later enlarging it's capacities to include the U.T. System ! The take away from this? .. Pick any of District 4's components and you will be in touch with her cultural , her historic beginnings , and the genuine warmth and hospitality of her good people! District #4, The Gem of the City of Brownsville !!!!! Good night folks, keep us in your thoughts and please share our message with your friends and family!!! Bendiciones a todos mis amigos de fb ! "Aun hay mas" (+ Don Raul Velazco)

Also, this from her page:

Why color the peacock? It is what it is ! Early voting April 29th,, General May 11! Please vote to restore balance on the city Commission ! More of the same???? U decide !
Who are the people on the city commission who seek re-election? The Tonyites ? Gowen and Villarreal ?? We don't need titeres (puppets). We need people who will stand up for the taxpayers! Why? When did we elect leaders to go into the real estate business favoring all his (Tony) compadres? These two commissioners have been in lockstep with Martinez from the get go ? Their supporters Martinez and Hernandez? Chiguaguas .. Always an abundance of a yes man or woman ? Y nosotros los contribuyentes pagando todos sus caprichos! Se merecen re-eleccion???? Un retundante NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Mean Mister Brownsville,
Maclovio O'Malley
Nena and I were able to grab a quick cup of coffee with Maclovio O'Malley, the acclaimed internet broadcaster at El Hueso de Fraile.    

Although smiling in the photo, the conversation got serious while considering pending legal threats from bully blogger Duardo Paz-Martinez.  In my case, I'm facing a pending lawsuit from Duardo for repeating a rumor that he was currently gainfully employed as a trailer park manager in Kyle, Texas.  

Nena reminded me that no botanist has discovered a turnip with a circulatory system and that seemed to calm me.   

Duardo is going over Cameron County tax records with a fine tooth comb.  He may soon be deputized by County Tax Assessor Tony Yzaguirre as a special tax collector.  He may not stop there.  Bobby Wightman-Cervantes may want to check the inspection sticker on his pickup and Jerry Mchale would be wise to have his union dues paid up.  

Democratic Chair Sylvia Garza Perez Throws Birthday Bash for Cheezmeh Leader Linda Castro Dragustinovis

Linda Castro Dragustinovis Poses 
At Party
At Home of Democratic Chair
The photo to the left was merely 1 of 83 taken of Linda Dragustinovis at her birthday party hosted by Democratic Chair Sylvia Garza-Perez at her home at 5134 Grace Ave. in Brownsville.   I've been unable to locate pictures of any of the other party attendees.  Perhaps, that was by request with some hesitation in being identified with the event.

Incredibly, Brownsville Cheezmeh, once considered a watchdog group is now inseparable with some of the most notoriously corrupt politicians in the county.  While in a telephone conversation two years ago, Erasmo Castro told me: "Jim, Erin is a piece of shit." what's left of the group now openly cavorts with both Erin and Ernie Hernandez and the unethical Democratic Chair, Sylvia Garza-Perez.  Erasmo found money to be made from the candidates, although the wins were few.  Ask Carlos Masso.

Money may have been part of Erasmo's master plan all along with the early watchdog leanings accidental.  After all, the group's first protest, Save TSC, was actually the idea of Mary S. Rey.  Linda simply took over the leadership.

The battle against the Fly Frontera scam was largely based on research done by BROWNSVILLE VOICE publisher Bobby Wightman-Cervantes who first identified the home of con man Carlos Quintanilla as the official web site location for the headquarters of the bogus airline.  Of course, Craig Grove, Dino Chavez, Zeke Silva and others provided evidence and gave presentations both at the city commission and the Amigo Land Events Center that helped sink the scam.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jerry Mchale's Ruminations About, Fascination with Death

Jerry Mchale

"And when I die, and when I'm gone,
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on,
to carry on."

When I Die,  Blood, Sweat and Tears

When a published author/intermittent blogger ran an unsubstantiated report that Jerry Mchale had jumped off the Isabella Causeway to see what a fake suicide felt like, some aspects of the phony story rang true.  Jerry is in touch with his own mortality.  It's not just that his father died recently, but that he hears his own clock ticking.  Mean Mister Brownsville shared this Jerry quote January 12, 2012 in a story that was actually about Bobby Wightman-Cervantes:

"My passing will be less significant than the splash precipitated by a seagull crapping over the ocean. I will return to my pre-birth state. I will be nothing. I don't know if a conscious supreme power presides over the universe. I do know that I don't figure in any one's plans. Within my limited comprehension of the incomprehensible, I believe that when you're dead, you're dead."

Jerry's thoughts above about death parallel what I was taught as a kid from the King James Bible:  

"His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."  Psalms 146:4

In other words, when you're dead, you're dead.  You can't think anymore.   Your body decomposes into soil over time just like plants, animals and other humans.  Theologians and holy men messed with this simple concept by telling us that good people and bad people have a specific, continued existence somewhere else.  These concepts are bullshit(Read my thoughts on God, The Bible, etc. here:

While religion has fictional characters like Santa Claus to keep us nice instead of naughty, they even made up one to torment us after death, Satan the Devil.  This former enemy of God now becomes God's chief enforcer in the after life, making things hot on those who disobeyed God.  God makes the rules,  assigns the penalty for non-compliance, but Satan runs the prison.  Most assume that Adolph Hitler is incarcerated there.  Many think Joe Paterno and Pope Benedict XVI may have long stints there for not protecting young children from sexual abuse.  Jerry Mchale has a long list of local politicos who may eventually be under Satan's supervisory control.  

I've thought about death as well.  Being mathematical, I've figured out the number of days I've actually lived.  Using the National Center for Health Statistics stats, I've figured how many days I have left according to the averages.  When I'm with my 3 year old grandson, I ask myself how much of this kid's life I will actually see. Will I see him enter high school, graduate or marry?   According to the current stats, I will miss all of those things.  Damn!  If only I would have been born in Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, Iceland, France, Sweden, Israel, Singapore, Canada, Spain, Norway, Austria, Netherlands, New Zealand, Martinique, Macau, South Korea, Germany, Belgium or 18 other countries with greater longevity, on average, than the United States.  

I'm not scared of dyingAnd I don't really careIf it's peace you find in dyingWell, then let the time be near
If it's peace you find in dyingAnd if dying time is here just bundle up my coffin'Cause it's cold way down thereI hear that it's cold way down thereYeah, crazy cold way down there
And when I die, and when I'm goneThere'll be one child bornIn this world to carry on, to carry on
Now troubles are many, they're as deep as a wellI can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hellSwear there ain't no heaven and I pray there ain't no hellBut I'll never know by living, only my dying will tellYes, only my dying will tell, yeah, only my dying will tell
And when I die, and when I'm goneThere'll be one child bornIn this world to carry on, to carry on, yeah yeah
Give me my freedom for as long as I beAll I ask of living is to have no chains on meAll I ask of living is to have no chains on meAnd all I ask of dying is to go naturallyOh, I want to go naturally
Here I go, hey heyHere comes the devil right behindLook out childrenHere he comes, here he comes, hey
Don't want to go by the devilDon't want to go by demonDon't want to go by SatanDon't want to die uneasyJust let me go naturally
And when I die and when I'm dead, dead and goneThere'll be one child bornIn our world to carry on, to carry on, yeah yeah


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sylvia Garza-Perez Brings Legacy of Corruption, Politiqueras, Arrogance to Democratic Chair

Sylvia Garza-Perez
Many in Brownsville and Cameron County breathed a huge sigh of relief when the infamous Gilberto Hinojosa, the former county chair for the Democratic Party opted to run for the state chairmanship.

"At least we'll get his sorry, corrupt ass out of Brownsville politics.  Maybe the Democrats can finally start cleaning things up," opined one local observer.

Many hoped the party under new leadership could shed the distasteful image of Hinojosa, the poster boy for influence-peddling, backdoor deals and corruption.

But, when the dust settled for last spring's county-wide elections, the voters chose Sylvia Garza-Perez over Jared Hockema and John Shergold by a wide margin.  Many scratched their heads not so much that Ms. Garza-Perez eked out a victory, but that she trounced her two opponents.  Did Cameron County voters choose ignorantly for the one candidate with a Spanish surname?

Garza-Perez is no stranger to local politics.  She worked in the Rose Gowen city commissioner campaign as a co-worker explained:  "Sylvia's job was to go out into the community and create enthusiasm for the campaign, finding people willing to hold signs, etc.  While she gave the impression that her charisma was generating excitement, we later found out that she was simply paying people with campaign funds."

An operative for the 2010 Ernie Hernandez county commissioner race against Ruben Pena had this observation during the closing days of the campaign:  "Late one evening, I walked into the kitchen of the home we were using as headquarters.  Erin and Norma Hernandez, along with Sylvia Garza-Perez were sorting out a large stash of mail-in ballots.  I called Ernie that night and told him I couldn't work for him anymore."

Tia Herminia
"Nobody wins unless
I say so!"
None of these allegations are surprising when you factor in that Sylvia is the niece of Herminia Becerra, known locally as the "Queen of the Politiqueras."  When I mentioned this last spring, I received this anonymous comment:

"Jim, I have some bad news for you. My aunt, Herminia Becerra, is consulting with an attorney as I send you this. You sir are about to get sued."

While Sylvia's lineage and work history is troubling enough, it now seems that she is not above showing favoritism among Democratic candidates.   Last spring, after winning her race for Democatic chair, she joined forces with the Erin H. Garcia campaign even though her opponent, Yolanda Begum, was also a Democrat.  

Now, it seems Sylvia Garza-Perez is prominent in the Martin Sarkis run for City Commissioner, Position 3.  While I certainly prefer Sarkis over Tony Martinez plant Debbie Portillo, Garza-Perez should not have a role in an individual campaign against another Democrat.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Brownsville Royalty Ride Roughshod Through Downtown

Ricardo (Everyone's DJ) Longoria
Jessica (SpaceX) Tetreau-Kalifa
Ernie (I Own This Town) Hernandez
Erin (Yes, You Kids Have to Go) Hernandez
State Senator Eddie (Vaseline) Lucio
Mayor Tony (I Buy Properties for Juliet) Martinez
Newly Elected Congressman Vela with Beautiful Wife Rose

Friday, March 1, 2013

Robert Uresti Throws His Hat in the Ring for Commissioner At-Large Against Rose Gowen

Robert Uresti
Retired BISD schoolteacher and Viet Nam veteran Robert Uresti has declared for City Commissioner, District 4.  Uresti narrowly lost a race for TSC trustee last spring.

Uresti joins Letty Perez-Garzoria in challenging incumbent John Villarreal.  Like Ms. Perez-Garzoria, Uresti is a frequent public commenter at city commission meetings and a community advocate.

CORRECTION:  Robert Uresti's Facebook page did indicate that he was running against John Villarreal for District 4, but I just got an inbox from his son, Robert, Jr. who told me he had decided to run against Rose Gowen as an At-Large candidate. . .


Self-Portrait by Josie del Castillo