Friday, April 30, 2010

Local Auto Executive On Glide Path For Recognition

Hispanic Republican Club Takes A Stand On Border Security

Duke Machado could not hide his pleasure.

A little bit after lunch, the phone on his desk rang and Mr.
Bud Kennedy of the "Ft. Worth Star-Telegram" told him to
stand by, he would be calling back in 10 minutes to
interview him about his organization's unusual stand on
border protection.

Mr. Kennedy called back right on schedule and spent 45
minutes probing the Machado personality, his history and
political views, for a lengthy news feature that will appear
in his newspaper's Sunday editions.

It is a rather unusual development, to say the least.

You see, Duke Machado and his associate, Bert Hernandez,
have scheduled a rally at 7 p.m. in Waco's Heritage Plaza
outside the City Hall to protest the protesters who are
rallying in 70 cities across the nation in outrage over a
new statute just signed into law in Arizona.

The basics: If you are apprehended for some other offense,
arrested, and a state law enforcement official such as a
city policeman or state trooper discovers you are an illegal
alien, the court will place a hold on you immediately. You
will be held pending a decision by Immigration authorities.
Either they will deport you back to Mexico, or they will
turn you loose, but then you will have to make bail for the
other offense.

It's something that is rankling Hispanics deeply.

Not so the membership of the Hispanic Republican Club of
McLennan County.

Mr. Machado is a native of San Marcos, Texas, an Air Force
veteran who worked on cruise missiles during his enlistment
in the Air Force. He is a self-described "car guy."

What he means by that is he is the General Manager of Gloff
Ford in Clifton.

Mr. Hernandez is a veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces,
a Green Beret who served in Vietnam and other hot spots
around the globe before he came home to Texas and became a
car guy.

He is the General Manager of Bird-Kultgen Ford in Waco. Mr.
Hernandez came to this nation as a lad of 13 when his
parents emigrated from Mexico. After a lengthy process,
they were all naturalized as U.S. citizens by taking an oath
in U.S. District Court to defend the U.S. Constitution
against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

How did Mr. Kennedy find out about the rally and the
Hispanic Republican Club of McLennan County?

Why, he read all about it in "The Legendary" at this
blogspot address,

It's that kind of year, this midterm election year of 2010.

One friend calls another with an idea. They in turn contact
yet another friend who gives them some approval and
volunteers to help - and they're off to the races.

It's all done with phone wires, iPods, cell phones, internet
hook-ups and weblogs. Before the day was over, the Waco
TEAParty was on board and raring to go.

Reportedly, the Waco city officials weren't all that easy to
work with until Mr. Machado and Mr. Hernandez pointed out to
them this little thing called the First Amendment to the
United States Constitution.

It says you have the freedom to express yourself and to
peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress
of grievances.

Their grievance: As Hispanics, they feel the federal
government is failing in its constitutional duty to protect
and defend the borders. It's quite abusive, they say, to
have to compete with illegal alien workers who are employed
by companies who insist that Americans will not do the work
they pay the illegal aliens to do.

After all, there is a lawful mechanism in place to address
that situation. It's called a work visa and you get one
when your employer has demonstrated a need to the government
that he must recruit workers outside the national boundaries
and that the company will employ them as full time workers.

"Illegals need to get on one side or the other, and stay
there," Duke Machado said, stabbing the air with his
forefinger for emphasis. There is no doubt that he is
stabbing the ground on either side of the Rio Grande on an
imaginary map only he can see as he talks.

"They can't have it both ways."

He and his associate, Mr. Hernandez, who does double duty as
a Woodway police officer, will provide a public address
system and microphone for people to voice their opinions.

"I don't want people who are pro-amnesty to go up and give
their opinion," said Mr. Machado. "Let them go to one of
the other rallies. They're having May Day rallies to
protest the new Arizona law in more than 70 cities across
the nation."

It's going to be an anti-May Day May Day rally in downtown
Six Shooter Junction. And that's that.

For now.

Major media are invited and will likely be watching with the
unblinking eyes of their mini-cameras.

When you stop to think about it, it all makes good sense.
After all, Mr. Henry Ford often recruited workers from other
nations such as Poland, Germany and Czechoslovakia.

He sponsored his employees for a work visa. To retain that
visa, they were required to attend classes in English,
civics and American history in preparation for that pesky
State Department examination. When they passed, he gave
them a send-off at his Dearborn, Michigan headquarters that
was very symbolic.

Each graduate would climb stairs that led to the bottom of a
huge concrete container prominently labeled "Melting Pot."

His River Rouge Assembly Plant took in raw materials from
ships that plied the Great Lakes and shipped finished
automobiles, ships, airplanes and other automotive products
to customers around the globe. All materials were
manufactured on the spot - steel, cast iron, glass, copper,
rubber, glass - you name it. Mr. Ford made it right there
in Dearborn. He paid them $5 a day - a sum unheard of.

As their names were called, each new graduate would climb
out of the melting pot and descend to shake Henry Ford's
hand and receive their diploma.

The next day, they would be sworn in by a U.S. District
Judge. They were then citizens of the greatest nation in
the world. Y'all come. Heritage Square, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Angry Union Honcho Demands Equal CEO Taxation

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka led thousands upon
thousands of protesters in a march down Wall Street this
afternoon at quitting time.

Calling for bankers and corporate CEO's to pay their fair
share of taxes, he made an angry speech and demanded that
Congress extend unemployment benefits, put 11 million people
back to work by taxing the corporations and banks that
benefied from the TARP bailout, and fund green energy

"Let's make our voices heard all the way down to the bull,"
he shouted into the microphones.

As the crowd moved out and began to march, it was apparent
that the number of people marching was massive.

The rally was organized by the National People's Action
Committee, a project of the AFL-CIO.

Conservatives Plan Anti-May Day May Day Rally in Waco

Plan to hit illegal immigration forces at City Hall

Conservative Hispanics plan to hold an anti-May Day rally on
Hertitage Square at 7 p.m. Saturday - rain or shine.

Espousing the idea that Hispanic values are actually
conservative values, Duke Machado of GOP Is For and
Bert Hernandez of Hispanic Club of McLennan County plan to
have an open microphone rally to allow people to voice their
opposition to political forces who oppose state laws against
illegal immigration.

This week Arizona signed a law into effect that will allow
police officers to arrest and book any illegal immigrant
they apprehend in that state. The plan is to turn the
violators over to federal authorities for deportation.

Protestors smeared refried beans on the windows of the
capitol building at Flagstaff while the legislators hammered
ou the details of the new law. Bright and early next
morning, the Governor signed the bill into law.

GOP Congressional Candidate Demands Changes

Bill Flores insists on Term Limits, Pay Cuts, Realignment of
Priorities and Transparent Appropriations

The Republican candidate for House of Representatives District 17
called for a major shakeup in the way Congress does business.

Here are the changes Bill Flores proposes.

Congressional Pay vs. Public Pain - Congressmen should not get a
pay raise if Social Security recipients don't get one. They
should get a net pay decrease when unemployment is exceptionally
high, as it is now.

All Laws Must Apply to the Federal Government - Congress has
exempted itself and most federal government employees from many
federal laws and programs.

Term Limits - As determined by the voters, Congress should have
term limits. The Fouding Fathers never intended for
Representatives and Senators to have a life long career in the
halls of Congress.

Servant leadership - We should not have to remind Members of
Congress who they work for. . . after all, as my Mother used to
tell me often, "we all put our pants on the same way."

Replace Earmarks with a Transparent Appropriations Process -
While there are important fiscal arguments against the use of
earmarks, there is also a more important philosophical one. The
unrestrained use of earmarks by Members of Congress is primarily
for their own reelection, not for the public good.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New law gives state cops the right to jail illegals

Arizona Governor Signs Illegal Alien Bill Into State Law

Early this morning, a state made history by second guessing
federal authority to secure the nation's borders with
Mexico. That power has been reserved by the U.S. Constitution.
- The Legendary

A Hispanic response to news reports:

By Duke Machado

It is not clear to me as a Hispanic if it is constitutional
for Arizona to pass a law making it a state criminal offense
to enter on its territory as an illegal alien.

Furthermore, it's not clear to me if it is constitutional
for state authorities to arrest an alleged illegal alien and
turn them over to federal authorities for prosecution.

However, when someone mentions closing the border,
Republicans fear backlash and Democrats fear loss of
opportunity. If it's possible to remove one's personal and
human attachment, it's a simple decision. In order for our
country to survive and flourish, we must have controls on
certain factors.

One of them, and I believe it's the most important, is the
control of our nation's borders.

When we go to bed at night, we lock our doors, set the
alarm, pray to God for His protection and take comfort in
the fact that we have done all we can to protect our
families from intruders. Just as we protect our homes, we
must protect our borders.

Would we accept unauthorized entrance into our homes?

No, we wouldn't. If people began breaking in, we'd call the
police to come to our aid, catch the intruders, and
hopefully give them the justice they deserve. When an
intruder is caught, they go to jail. There's a consequence
for their action.

So now the people of Arizona are fed up with having to deal
with the results of inaction by the Federal government.

Illegal immigrants kill people in their own homes and locals
are not taking it anymore. They wanted the leadership of
their own state to protect them from these intruders, since
they couldn't rely on the Federal government to come to
their aid. I can't blame them.

The natural step is to put forth actions to protect the
people of Arizona from not only physical assaults on their
person, but also the financial destruction associated with
the high cost to sustain the influx of illegals. How can any
American citizen side with the notion that we must be
politically correct when addressing a very real, dangerous
situation like border control?

If a Hispanic American has issue with it, they need to
reconsider and just look at what happens to countries who do
not secure their borders. Is it so easy to illegally enter
China? What about Russia?

Now, many Texans are talking about following the path of
Arizona. The real question is whether the new law is
constitutional. Only after our Supreme Court justices have
ruled on this, can we be sure of the validity of the law.
One thing is for certain; the tide is turning, and people
are looking for solutions to this issue. Would I support a
Texas law similar to Arizonas? I wouldnt violate the
Constitution for starters, but securing the borders is only
half the battle.

Once you go down that path, you have to have a plan for what
to do with the illegals trapped in an immigration purgatory.
Here's the real question. What do you do with the family
whose father is not legal, whose spouse and children are
legal, but will not survive without his income once he is

Answer that one. Make sure it is a simple process and treats
people with respect, and you've got it. - Duke Machado,
President, Hispanic Republicans of McLennan County

International "Draw A Picture of Mohammed" Day!

Cartoonist poses method to give Jihadists myriad targets

Have you heard about the Seattle cartoonist who has proposed
a way to give the Islamic hardheads so many targets they
won't know where to send another bomb-strapped virgin to
blow up the world?

The news is all over such on-line news organs as "The
Huffington Post" and "The Guardian."

If everyone draws a picture of Mohammed on the same day,
the Islamic terrorists won't know who to target.

At least, that's the proposed strategy.

Congress, of course, has it own ideas.

Would you believe that 17th District Democratic
Representative Chet Edwards joined 402 of his colleagues and
voted 403-11 to impose "sanctions, accountability, and
divestment" upon multinational corporations and governments
who persist in buying Iran's crude?

That's what some people do do.

That's what Representative Edwards did did.

The motion calls for the formation of a conference committee
with the Senate to study its bill, a measure that would
prohibit the U.S. government from purchasing goods from
companies that are subject to sanctions under an existing
law passed in 2008 and expand sanctions on foreign companies
investing more than $20 million in Iran's oil and gas

At least those 403 brave souls mustered the courage to vote.
An additional 3 registered themselves as merely "present,"
while 11 members of the House voted against the motion.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would only
cost $550 million between the years 2010 and 2014 to
administer the programs of watchdogging the watchdogs to
prevent any such attempts at getting into cahoots with the
Iranians and buying their oil.

It seems everything in our global economy has its price tag.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Texicans Look On In Horror At Earth Day Debacle

Bad news on the bayou sends business into a tail spin

Black gold can make a man a fortune;
black gold can make a man a king.
Black gold is the Devil's treasure;
roused from the grave and crude is he.
- old-timey song from the awl patch

Earth Day. The news was not good.

Thinking men sat in offices sprinkled across the southwest,
the afternoon sunlight streaming through their windows, and
thought, "Now what?"

A $600 million loss, the world's record-setting ultra-
deepwater drilling rig - Transocean's Deepwater Horizon
leased to BP - sank on Earth Day in mile-deep water off
Grand Isle, Louisiana, just a little before lunch.

Suddenly, the crew got snake bit. Hundreds of thousands of
pounds per square inch of pressure driven by natural gas and
crude, brine and surface tension came to bear on casing pipe
and the Kelly.

It blew drilling mud, seawater, strings of pipe, drill
collar and drill stem out of the hole, sparked a fire that
burned out of control for a day, then twised the entire huge
structure, something as big as two football fields, off its
dynamically positioned moorings and sent her to Davy Jones's

It blew 11 men off into the Gulf. They're lost.

At an estimated rate of 336,000 gallons of sweet light
crude, in a month's time, the raw hole on the floor of the
Gulf will have spewed as many barrels of crude into the
water as the Exxon Valdez spilled when the drunk ran her up
on the reef.


Who knows? Who cares?

You might say it's over the common man's head. A deep
subject, no doubt.

The bottom line is that there is no real predictability to
be obtained in divining the cost of fuel over a projected
period of two to five years, the length of most contracts
for hauling, drilling, harvesting, earth moving or anything
else old boys do for a living, thereby providing jobs,
paying taxes, contributing to their communities.

Take it away and it's agreed around here from Kilgore to
Odessa, New Orleans to Tulsa - money gets too tight to
mention, yeah.

Nor has there been any predictability attached to the
subject of what it costs to run a truck down the road since
a certain day way back in 1969 when the Islamic nations
began to nationalize oil fields overseas and conduct a low
grade and slowly intensifying campaign of terror and
retribution against the infidel.

Their doctrine: With the sword in one hand, the Koran in the
other, subdue the unfaithful, either convert them or put
them to the blade, as commanded by the Prophet. There is
but one God; his name is Allah and Mohammed is His Prophet,
saith the Muslim.

His word is his bond; he never wavers. He refers to
Americans, Israelis and any other adherent to creeds and
practices that thwart his intentions as "The Great Satan."


So, what happened in 1969?

The same thing that happened in 1963 when President John F.
Kennedy reversed his earlier pledge to independent oil
operators like H.L. Hunt, Sid Richardson, and Clint
Murchison to preserve, protect, defend and uphold Lyndon
Johnson's Oil Depletion Tax Allowance - the same one first
introduced way back before World War One and sweetened in
the Revenue Act of 1926. The reduction caused them to have
to cut their earnings by anywhere from 15 to 30 percent

There was no happiness in Big D. They told JFK not to come
to Dallas on his good will mission of November 22, 1963.
Said there was no good will to be obtained there.

He didn't listen.

The powers that be in the Congress had struck down the Oil
Depletion Tax Allowance for domestic producers who
previously had been allowed to take 27.5 percent off their
gross revenue from petroleum and natural gas produced from
wells in the U.S.

The rate of allowance went to 20 percent in 1970.

Suddenly, Libyan dictator Muammar Quadaffi's oil fields and
their produce were worth a lot more money in 1969 dollars.

He stole it all back, fair and square.

What Patton and Rommel, with an assist from the British and
the Italians, had fought so hard and long to obtain or
retain, Quadaffi took with a flourish, thereby setting in
motion a slowly developing and terrible chain of events that
has led to such acts of terror as the 9/11 attacks, public
beheadings of American contractors and technicians, terror
sniping attacks on Washington, D.C., and bombings of
underground trains in London and Madrid.

Come 1974, the depletion allowance came under further attack
from President Jimmy Carter.

The result, a deeper cut to 15 percent, tightened
restrictions on downstream cost depreciation. The bottom
line: People sat in their gas guzzlers designed to burn
ethyl that retailed for less than a half-dollar a gallon,
sat there in line for hours to get a lousy $10 worth of
$1.25 a gallon gas.

That took effect in 1975, so, guess what? The Arab world
through its OPEC trade association imposed an "oil embargo"
that severely limited the amount of crude shipped to
American shores for refinement.


There is a severe shortage of refinement capacity. You
can't build new refineries without extensive EPA regulation
and that expensive regulation goes hand in hand with the
fact that you still have the same number of refineries to
service a nation of 300 million that you had for a nation of
200 million roughly 40 years ago on the first Earth Day.

Okay, let's say you're an oil executive. Brush some lint
off the sleeve of your bespoke tailored Savile Row suit,
settle down in your executive swivel chair and give this
some thought in your corner suite high over the city of

Why stick your neck out for a population whose political
leadership is essentially hostile to an industry that
supplies the motion lotion to do just about everything from
getting the kids off to school on time to hauling Santa's
bounty and the groceries, beans, bullets, band-aids and
boots to a nation of consumers.

There is plenty of cheap product available at a price
shipped FOB to the refineries of Houston, New Jersey and
California for much cheaper than you can raise American
crude above the wellhead.

As long as that situation persists, there is little hope
that the American economy will right itself and take a new
tack of energy independence, a balanced national budget,
lower taxes and a less intrusive grade of government

The American people will continue to bear the cost of doing
business by paying huge taxes in support of the deficit
spending required to keep a couple of carrier battle groups
on station - one in the Mediterannean, the other in the
Indian Ocean - and fleets of frigates and destroyers in the
Red Sea and Persian Gulf. This is in addition to divisions
of U.S. Marines, Army troopers and squadrons of Air Force
strategic and tactical planes traveling out of western
Europe, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Something has to give.

How about the cost of producing and refining American crude
for consumption by American families and companies and
exporting the rest to those who can afford it?

It's an idea that is gaining a foothold in conservative
political circles hour by hour, day by day. Haulers,
construction honchos, bankers and local government officials
are starting to look at one another and say, "Hey, get the
numbers crunchers in here and find out the benefits of this

Economists, statisticians, petroleum engineers and public
policy types are combing the universities and doctoral
programs looking for the econometric information that will
support or disprove the foregoing, the computer models that
have been devised to learn precisely the same.

It's a matter of survival in world gone mad and ready to go
to the brink of destruction over - what?

A gallon of diesel, a barrel of crude?

Man, it ain't nothing but a thing to an old country boy from
Texas. You just deal with it. What else can you do?

They want to present it to the Republican State Convention
at Dallas.

The Legendary will be there to watch the sparks fly. Can't
wait. I was born in Oak Cliff one hot summer's day in 1949.
My mother said the lions roared all day long at the zoo over
on Marsalis Avenue. I believe her.

It's been that kind of life.

And it's going to be a long, hot summer with lots of shoe
leather burned up on the sidewalks and asphalt of a big old
state with as much petroleum reserves as any OPEC nation.

Yeah, it's like a whole other country.

I'll buy that. How about you, fellow Texican? Man, we
stole it fair and square - way back there. Ask Andrew
Jackson and Sam Houston. They'll tell you.

Is it worth fighting for it? Damn right it is. Look how
many of them want to get an elected position running things.
Gotta be something in that.

What will the liberals say?

Oh, they'll think of something. It won't be good. It never
is. Why waste time talking to them? Let's tell the man and
woman with kids, a mortgage, a ten-year old car and a lot of
bills to pay.

Like my old buddy, the coon hunting trucking company
operator said - told me the other day, "What are the Ay-Rabs
gonna do about it? Shoot oil at us? We stop spending
money, that's all they've got over there. Can't eat the
durned stuff."

Like everyone else in business, he needs to know what fuel
is going to cost him five years down the road.

Now, that will make a mule skinner get down off his wagon
and talk to you if nothing else will.

Giddap! Hyahh!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Darren Yancy Tells It Like It Is - calls spade a spade

Texas needs more insurance competition - new forms of energy

How do you cram the facts of a complete reversal of public
policy into a two-minute rebuttal in a candidate's debate?

You don't.

That's why Senate District 22 Candidate Darren Yancy sat
down with us Thursday night to review some of the laws
changed by Kip Averitt when he was a Representative, David
Sibley when he was a State Senator, and George "Dub-yah"
Bush when he was Governor.

His anwswers are straightforward and surprisingly candid.

It's all about something we've all known for many years, but
didn't talk about all that much. Now it's time to make a

The Legendary: Does the action of a lobbyist running for his
old legislative seat represent something as bad as

"He has been representing special intersts...He (Sibley)
spent 10 years in the Senate and 10 years as a
lobbyist...How after 10 years you come back and reconcile
that upsets a whole lot of people."

L - Do the changes the triumvirate of Averitt as a
Representative, Sibley as a Senator and Dub-yah as Governor
made represent a new posture in Texas business?

"It can certainly be argued that a lot of those bills were
not in the best interest of small businesses and consumers."

L - You could come back and do a better job than Mr.
Birdwell and Mr. Sibley because of your background as a
BBA...a venture capital specialist and an insurance and real
estate broker.

"There are a couple of different ways. First off, I have a
vision, and that vision for Texas is economic
dominance...and the way you do economic dominance, you take
the sector that's brought us to the forefront and that's the
energy sector, that's oil and gas, and we've got nuclear,
coal...We could be an exporter to other states. That
economic engine is going to drive other industries,
chemicals, plastics...That will create new sources of
revenue and we can eliminate unnecessary taxes.

L - What are some of the economic stumbling blocks you see?

"The first thing we have to get rid of is SB 14. That's the
law that allows insurance to use credit as a scoring
mechanism for insurance rates. But it's not regulated...In
my opinion, it's just a way to gouge consumers."

L - Insurance carriers, he explained, pull a credit report
on consumers who have to insure autos, homes and titles.
Based on the credit rating, the carriers set the rate of
premiums to be paid.

"I think one of the things we're going to have to tackle and
tackle soon is HB 5. That's the business franchise tax.
It's basically a gross revenue tax. The mistake they made
by passing that on business is they went in and they said,
okay, you pay on your gross to do business here, but it's
taking out a lot of our large industries. You know, J.C.
Penney up in Plano is considering moving out...If we don't
make that change, we're going to lose those industries.

"We've got to lower those taxes; we've got to get that
economic engine going...We've got to cut taxes. We've got to
lower spending."

L - In what areas?

"We can look at consolidating some departments. Combining
the State Board of Education and TEA. We can look at the
Texas Department of Insurance. I can't say the staff we
have at the Department of Insurance is what we need.

"We need to take a look at the Brazos River Authority and
the Trinity River Authority. Are they really spending money

L - Mr. Yancy mentioned that that BRA has drawn several
million in bond funds that have not been spent on the Morris
Sheppard Dam at Possum Kingdom.

"That's an example of mismanagement of a public project."

L - You said that you aren't sure all the numbers are being
crunched properly in the studies that have led to the ($35
billion) State Water Plan. You aren't sure they've been
applied correctly. Can you tell me why you feel that way
about that?

"Yeah, you can look at the Morris Sheppard Dam at Possum
Kingdom Lake. There's a project that hasn't been managed
properly. There's arguments on both sides of the aisle as
to why that's been done. But I think the fact that it got
shut down is a clear example of mismanagement.

"We know that we've got at least $3.8 million that was
allocated but not spent in bond funds. That's not the proper
management of funds.

"There's a specific example of a project that impacts the
flow of water down the Brazos, that impacts the communities
involved. Then there's the way the upper Brazos has been
managed. There's a significant amount of sluice that is
coming from the quarries on the river. I'm not saying I want
the quarrying to stop...I'm saying that those companies
should be cleaning out the sluice that winds up in the
bottom of the lakes...Mr. Averitt, when he chaired the
Natural Resources Committee, I'm sure was aware of it. Why
wasn't he on those companies to have the situation

L - The BRA is defending against a lawsuit filed by Brazos
Electrical Co-Op for breach of contract. The Morris
Sheppard Dam, completed in 1942, supplies 24 megavolts to
the power grid, something the Co-Op pays a half million
dollars per year to buy for remarketing to consumers.
Though the dam and its hydroelectric power station have an
operating permit from the Federal Electrical Regulatory
Commission, the BRA management has chosen to shut down its
electrical power generators because they do not consider
them cost effective.

L - The outlook on insurance here in Texas. Obviously, it's
got a large impact on the national economy...What can you do
to straighten the situation out and make it better?

"There has been a lot of improvement over the past few years
with the allowance of the Department of Insurance for
companies in Texas to use their own forms (of customized
policies). We had a serious stand-off back in the early
years of the decade over black mold and it almost caused a
number of companies to pack their bags and leave the state.
Jose Montemayor, who was insurance commissioner at that
time, allowed companies to come in and compete. So now what
you have in Texas is a number of new companies that have
improved the competitive outlook.

"What we have in Texas is that we're a catastrophe state
what with wind damage, hail damage and hurricanes...It
drives a lot of our property rates up. Hurricane Ike that
came through a couple of years ago, it cost over a billion
dollars. That's gonna flow up through the rate system...And
there's nothing you can do other than to continue to bring
more companies in."

L - On electrical regulation, what's your take on the Enron
debacle, the shake-up. Really, it's a very complicated
thing; it's impossible to explain in a two-minute rebuttal
in a candidate forum. But what could you do as a state

"Enron was an unexpected and certainly unpredicted and
unforeseen consequence of what energy brokerage could be
done in Texas. I don't think anybody intended that to

"We need to continue to diversify our energy profile. We
know that Waco is bringing in coal-fired plants. Glen Rose
is about to build two new nuclear plants, and they're the
new and smaller-sized plants. We need to continue to exploit
the one thing we have plenty of, and that's natural gas.
But we need to continue to develop wind and water-powered
forms of electrical generation.

"That was the thing that I couldn't get over with the Morris
Sheppard Dam at Possum Kingdom. Here you have a clean form
of energy and you go and shut it down? It doesn't make

"You have to continue to bring in alternative energy
companies that have new technologies and get them to market

"I represent a company now that has a proprietary biofuel
program. We need to look at that. Agricultural land that is
not as profitable as it should be could be supplemented with
wind farms that return marketable electrical power to the
power grid."

L - Is there a way to slow down the increases in insurance
rates? We have a State Farm come in and ask for an 8.8
percent increase in July, then ask for an additional 4
percent after the first of the year due to reinsurance
costs. Losses due to bad investments in life insurance,
property and casualty plans are allowed to be passed on to
rate payers. What do you do?

"The danger is in the fact that it's a balancing act. Let's
say State Farm says we lost this much so we need 8 percent
to offset that. The board says we think 4 percent is more
like it. The only way to remedy that is to continue to
bring in new competition. If they pack up and leave, you
have a deficiency and you wind up like Florida...

"We are seriously on the verge of becoming a self-insured

"In Florida, because they are a hurricane-prone state, they
wound up taxing and controlling the profitability of
carriers. Allstate pulled out. State Farm pulled out. What
they have done is they have created a state company and
that state company writes a majority of the coverage in

"And here's the problem. The first time a catastophe comes
along and creates a shortfall, every auto, home and property
policy is assessed a penalty to make up the losses."

C'mon, Governor. I can read English, too, honest!

By Duke Machado

Governor Rick Perry is patronizing Hispanics by
communicating with us in Spanish.

Yesterday I got an email from Jonathon McClellan. Subject:
"Tejanos por Rick Perry," his All-New Special Facebook site
marketed to people with Hispanic surnames.

As the current internet phenomenon takes root in Republican
circles, it is not unusual to see several "invites" per day,
mostly promoting forums, debates, and candidates. This
particular invite was unique in that it was requesting a
visit to the new "Tejanos por Rick Perry" Facebook page.

Naturally, it was a simple "click this link" and're there.

The first thing you notice is that the entire site is
written in Spanish. The description of the site reads "Esta
es la primera vez que ponemos algo en espanol en facebook.
Cualquier cosa que quieran saber..manden un mensaje," which
simply translated says "This is the first time we have
written something in Spanish on Facebook. If there's
anything you would like to know...send a message."

At the time I became a Fan, there were 12 total members.
There was only one post on the Wall...from the moderator,
Alejandro Garcia.

To be quite frank, the thought of the All-Spanish Republican
Governor's site came across as an attempt to appease
Hispanic voters. The slippery-slope syndrome seemed to be
following closely and the thought of placing mandates on our
schools to provide all-Spanish books, restaurant menus and
anything else that could potentially cause a hindrance for
non-English reading/speaking individuals began rushing
through my mind.

Have you seen how many languages owner's manuals come in
now? It's easy to understand why Sony would print their
owner's manual in several languages, but they sell their
product around the world. We (Texas) has a "product" as
well. Our product is a state that upholds its constitution,
protects the people and creates a strong economic
environment for its citizens to thrive. Our product is
precious and is only available to those who become a citizen
of this state and pledge allegiance to it.

The Hispanic issue has been lingering for decades as a
reminder of what happens when one Party is allowed to
mislead and deceive a people. True, the Democrats have
pandered to Hispanics and the results...Obama is our
President. Now, many Republicans are beginning to awake to
the reality of a Hispanic Majority in Texas and at the same
time, realize the majority of them are

Back to this Facebook page...

The decision to create an all-Spanish site for Gov. Rick
Perry goes against everything my grandparents taught me.
They preached every night about the need to get good grades
and learn as much as we could. They spoke to each other in
Spanish, but when they spoke to us, it was in English.

I decided to post a comment.

"Not sure I like seems like something the
Democrats would do to appease Hispanics."

This was removed.

Guess they're not interested in hearing from HISPANICS.
Makes one realize why we are in this situation to begin

Duke Machado
Duke Machado, President, Hispanic Republican Club of
McLennan County
(254) 214-9368

The Hispanic Republican Club of McLennan County is dedicated
to the advancement of Conservatism throughout the Republican
Party, with a focus on building bridges into the Hispanic

Obama: "Family Security Matters" Polls Hugely Negative

Few have no opinion; most fear a diminished U.S. role in world

According to subscribers to a conservative Washington homeland
security think tank, most people believe America is no longer
feared or respected in the world.

A poll published by Family Security asserts that 81
percent quizzed generally agreed that "because of the White
House's foreign policy initiatives, America is no longer trusted
by allies, feared by enemies or respecteed as it used to be."

Only 13 percent did not agree with the question, 4 percent said
it does not matter and 2 percent said "I don't know."

In a follow-up poll, the overwhelming majority of 86 percent said
they don't think America is as safe from terrorists under the
Obama Administration as it was under the guidance of George W.
Bush. Only 12 percent said yes and 2 percent had no answer.

The website - - states the mission
of the organization is: "to inform all Americans, men and women,
about the issues surrounding national security; to address their
fears about safety and security on a personal, family, community,
national and international level; to highlight the connection
between individual safety and a strong national defense; to
increase civic participation and political responsibility; and to
empower all Americans to become proactive defenders of our
national security and community safety."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Low sparks, even more tame dialogue follows issues

Senate District 22 hopefuls debate at Toastmasters event

David Sibley laid it out short and sweet for voters at a
Burleson debate Tuesday night.

"My life was pretty good until about a week after filing
deadline," he recalled after the lone Democratic candidate,
Baylor political science Professor Gayle Avant made the
remark that of the four candidates vying to fill the
unexpired term of Senator Kip Averitt, he was the one who
had sacrificed the most to take his place in the election

That was the week that was, when Senator Kip Averitt
announced he was "a walking heart attack" and in no
condition to stand for re-election.

Immediately, Mr. Sibley and Waco attorney Chris DeCluitt,
board chairman of the Brazos River Authority, launched a
"Keep Kip" movement in which the Senator was nominated by
Republican voters as the candidate for re-election.

A former city councilman, Mayor of Waco, state legislator
and State Senator, Mr. Sibley gave up a very lucrative
public policy practice of law lobbying the legislature for
such concerns as State Farm, numerous power companies, the
Brazos River Authority, P. Lorillard Tobacco, and trial
lawyers associations. He told the very small crowd of about
50 people in the massive Burleson High School Auditorium
that if elected, he will come back to the Senate with 11
years of seniority, the 13th ranking member in seniority in
that chamber.

He would have his choice of committee assignments.

He was narrowly defeated - by one vote - in a contest to
replace the Lt. Governor during his earlier tenure. If
Governor Rick Perry should move on to greener pastures and
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst steps into the Governor's
office, he would have as good a chance as anyone to become
the next most powerful member of the Legislature, the Lt.
Governor, President of the State Senate.

Mr. Sibley fended off criticism from candidates Darren Yancy
and Professor Avant concerning his efforts in deregulating
electrical power, insurance and telephone services.

"I took the power away from a monopoly," he recalled.

At the time, electricity cost about a dime a kilowatt hour,
he recalled. Now he pays .08 per kilowatt hour.

He responded to Professor Avant's complaints about .13 per
kw hour electrical power by saying "If your electricity
costs you more, it's because you're not shopping."

All candidates including Col. Brian Birdwell, a disfigured
burn victim of the 9/11/2001 attack on the Pentagon, agreed
that in the future, painful cuts in the budgets are coming.

As to unfunded mandates and other federal encroachment on
states' rights, he said he recalls and cherishes his oath as
a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

Voter photo ID?

"Does anyone here not have a photo ID in their pocket?" Mr.
Sibley asked the crowd. "I'll do everything I can to make
sure that thing passes."

Unfunded mandates.

"That too often is the easy way out" for Congress and the
Legislature, said Dr. Avant.

Nullification of the Obama Care bill?

"I doubt if anyone stormed Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima for
nullification," said Mr. Sibley.

Burleson insurance and real estate broker Darren Yancy
persisted in his criticism of the massive program of
deregulation carried out in the House of Representative by
then Representative Kip Averitt, legislation co-sponsored by
Mr. Sibley in the State Senate and signed into law by then
Governor George W. Bush.

He said he foresees trouble in the $35 billion state water
plan. "I'm not sure all the research is being properly
applied...I'm not sure that all the numbers have been

Everyone agreed that redistricting would be a disaster if
counties like McLennan and Johnson are split.

"I think it's abhorrent you're splitting communities of
interest," Mr. Sibley declared.

How would he fight the federal government if it chooses to
impose unconstitutional taxes, or force the purchase of
goods and services?

Mr. Sibley said a balanced budget would to the job.

Professor Avant said the first entity to take an interest in
the matter would be the U.S. Supreme Court.

"This is not a federal race," Mr. Yancy said. "This is a
state race."

He recalled numerous state laws, bills that originated in
the Texas Legislature, that usurped the power from the
people and put it in the hands of corporations.

But the worst of all, he said, was the one that gave in-
state tuition privileges to illegal aliens at state-
supported colleges and universities.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chet Edwards Draws Fire From Demos and Republicans

Left and Right both object to budget, clean air posture

Conservatives object because he is not particularly in favor
of a budget resolution.

Liberals criticize him for his hankering to return to the
Bush-Cheney approach to the Clean Air Act.

Congressman Chet Edwards, D-Waco, is balancing the fine line
of the traditional conservative Democrat as he makes his way
through the general election campaign season.

Conservative opponent Bill Flores pitched fire at him today,
challenging him to say if he will be fighting for a budget

"Every day families set a budget and stick to it, especially
in hard times," said Mr. Flores, a retired oil executive
from Houston who now makes his home at College Station.

"It is time for Chet Edwards to stand up, show some
leadership, and demand that Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats
take some responsibility and pass a budget. Texans would
hope that as a senior member of the House Budget Committee,
Chet Edwards would demand that the House not abandon their
responsibilities and instead pass a budget."

Mr Edwards is on record saying a budget resolution is a
"Concurrent resolution, not a law, setting out the
congressional spending priorities for the next five fiscal

Mr. Flores countered, saying, "Perhaps the Democrats are not
passing a budget because they are embarrassed about the
wasteful spending and tax increases in the first two Obama-
Pelosi budgets that he supported, increasing the federal
government by 44 perent at a time when family budgets were

On the other side, liberals castigated Mr. Edwards'
cosponsorship of legislation that would roll back the Clean
Air Act and overturn some of President Obama's "most
important achievements on clean energy."

Said the on-line organization Move, "President Obama
is giving clean energy jobs a big boost by enforcing Clean
Air Act limits on global warming pollution that were ignored
by President Bush. But Rep. Edwards's bill would overturn
all that and force Obama to adopt the Bush-Cheney policy."

Video Honchos Talk Local Woman Out of Closing Shop

Industry Association Shows "Videos Tonite" It's Possible

At the end of the day, the numbers just weren't adding up.

Deborah Crockett, a Clifton business woman who has operated
Videos Tonite here for the past decade, couldn't make ends
meet due to bad checks, clients walking away with rented
goods, increases in taxes and expenses.

She isn't alone. Nationwide, video rental store owners are
bolting, cutting their losses and running.

It's because competition is squeezing mom and pop operations
out. Such outfits as Blockbuster, Red Box and NetFlix have
made renting a video so inexpensive that the originators of
the business, the more traditional stores, just can't

Deborah got on the phone. She made the industrial honchos
share her pain. She told them what the end result would be.

It all adds up. When a hundred of the "bricks and mortar"
people with similar businesses make the same decision -
well, do the math.

It gets expensive, no matter what level of the pyramid you
may occupy.

That's when the distributors, people like Ingram
Distributing out of Lavergne, Tennessee, began to cast
around for a way to keep people like Deborah in business.

Using their relationship with Ted Engen of the Minneapolis
trade association Video Buyers Group, they were able to
negotatiate a brand new deal that should relieve some of the
competitive pressure.

It's a new deal and it involves a new 28-day marketing
window for the kind of video stores that offer personal
service and the home town touch to the needs of customers
who are waiting for the release of that one special movie or
video game that will make their season complete.

Let's say you want to be first to see a certain release when
it's available on DVD.

No problem. You call your home town video store and say so.
They have your phone number on file and you will be the
first to know when the disc becomes available. Industry
giants can't do that. You can't rely upon a kiosk operator
or an internet-based distributor to take that level of
interest in the invidual customer.

It's called "Available Here 1st."

"There's still people who want to be able to come in and
rent a movie and have it for three days...everybody gets a
chance to see it...By the time you've paid $5 for it on your
cable station, you can rent it from me and keep it for the

"I will also deliver movies when people are sick or have any
kind of health crisis...I know what they like...No, grandma,
you really don't want little Joey to be watching that unless
you want to explain certain parts of the body.

"That's where a Red Box or a machine doesn't know...We have
to go by certain standards and rules."

Here's how the deal works between the studios, the
distributors and the bricks and mortar stores.

The window between theater exhibitions and the video stores
had shrunk considerably. Add to that the pressures of the
satellite, cable internet distribution and kiosk rental
companies, and what you have is no gap whatsover.

After all, who built the business? Who created the demand
in the first place?

You got it. It was people like Deborah Crockett who rented
a store front, invested in inventory and logistic tracking
software, hired the help and insured them, paid the sales
taxes and put up with the day to day headaches of a small

The result is that two decades later, everyone in the
country has the same privilege that once only people like
Howard Hughes or President Nixon enjoyed. A home exhibition
of a first run movie after dinner.

It's almost like expanding the Beverly Hills zip code to an
entire 50 states, when you stop and think about it.

Mr. Engen and his wife Linda, who publish the trade organ
"Vid News," helped negotiate an agreement between
distributors and rental stores that allows them to have 28
days of breathing room between the time a video becomes
available to them and it is released to Redbox and Netflix.

Warner was the first studio to sign.

Fox and Universal followed suit in regards to rental kiosks.

Netflix presents a strong possiblity to sign a 30-day window
agreement between the street release date and the date the
property becomes available to that organization.

The end result: Debra Crocket is going to continue to rent
videos at her Avenue D location in Clifton.

All she needed was a little breathing room.

Now, she's got it.

How long a trial period will she give this?

"Probably through the summer. Through the whole summer movie list."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Republicans to Host David Sibley Meet and Greet

Voters will get a chance to meet and ask questions of ex-
State Senator David Sibley on Friday at the Olive Branch on
Austin Avenue.

Mr. Sibley is a candidate for the unexpired term of Senator
Kip Averitt, who resigned his position recently due to ill
health. Calling himself "a walking heart attack," the
Senator formerly chaired the Natural Resources Committee.
He was the honcho behind the reauthorization of the massive
new State Water Plan.

Though he received the Republican Party's nomination for the
general election, his demurrer forced Governor Rick Perry to
declare a special election for the unexpired term on May 8.
He is opposed by Burleson insurance and real estate broker
Darren Yancy, Col. Brian Birdwell of Granbury and Baylor
Political Science Professor Gayle Avant.

He has 11 years of seniority in the post and lost a secret
ballot election to Senator Ratliff for Lt. Governor when
Rick Perry vacated his seat to become the Governor 16-15.

Should Governor Perry vacate his position for any reason,
the current Lt. Governor would move up to the Governor's
post and Mr. Sibley would be in line to become the next Lt.
Governor in the same way he nearly did before.

The office of Lt. Governor is said to be the most powerful
legislative in the Texas state government.

Since that time, he has been a lobbyist for such concerns as
the Brazos River Authority, numerous electrical power
providers, phone companies and insurance carriers.

Time: April 23, 2010 from 7pm to 9pm
Location: Olive Branch
Street: 330 Austin Avenue Waco,TX
Organized By: Ryan Meredith

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What it is? Le Jass Hot! In April Showers At Gloff's

High School jazz band blasts it out at the Ford station

The band is playin' dixie - double-four time.
Oh, but the horns, they blowin' that sound...
Way on down south,
way on down south London town...
- Dire Straits

When the drummer stepped into the bass on the downbeat and
began to rap out the tattoo of "Sing, Sing, Sing" on that
floor tom so eloquently tuned to B-flat, you knew these kids
mean business.

Then the trombones and saxophones swung into the marching,
charging war tune that sounds like the testimony of a ball
turret gunner on a B-17.

It was on.

With enough horns to put Bill Basie or the Bennie Moten
Kansas City Swing Band to shame, Clifton High School's Jazz
band socked it to a crowd of more than a hundred under
intermittent showers Saturday night at the venerable Gloff
Ford dealership.

Sales Manager Duke Machado explained that it's all part of a
new community outreach program designed to bring the
community out and get them together to get the good news -
whatever that may be.

Saturday it was tunes like "Blue Rondo a la Turk," the
baffling composition of the Dave Brubeck Quartet that shifts
back and forth from the Turkish tabla rhythm of 9/8 to a 4/4
blues segment and back, again, to the rhythms of the
minaret, the fez and the finger cymbals before another eight
bars of Beale Street's finest from the one to the four to
the five, with side trips to the seven and the eleven, then
back to Istanbul for more that of wild stuff.

They gave the Van Morrison classic, "Brown-Eyed Girl," a
smooth work-out for big band, then sequed into such
perennial favorites as Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia" and the
Ohio Players' "She's A Brick - House!"

Kids scampered in and out of the crowd, playing football on
the parking lot, gnoshing on hot dogs and popcorn. It was a
slice of the only truly American musical idiom other than
blues and rock and roll - jazz played on the pentatonic
scale with syncopation, style and finesse of the dancers
down in Congo Square and the sophisticated stylings of The
Duke and Mr. Eckstine, Erroll Garner and such luminaries as
George Gershwin and

DVD's of the concert will be distributed to proud parents of
boys and girls in the band for no fee whatsoever.

Watch this column for more updates in the future.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, let's settle down for some
more of that American dream.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Judge Jamie Zander Rejects Notion of Debate

He says it will do no good, just wants normalcy and routine

...A rich boy goes to college and a poor boy goes to work...

- some outlaw troubador whose name I don't recall

Judge Jamie Zander is a constitutional officer and the
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, of Bosque County.

He does not wish to be interviewed, nor does he want to
engage in a debate with his opponent.

"I don't have all that much education," he told The
Legendary. He is suspicious that someone is trying to point
that out to the public.

He doesn't think a debate would help him at all.

¿Quien sabe?

The truth is that the judge does have quite a lot of
education. It's the kind that helps a man do his job and do
it in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, the Texas State
Constitution, the Rules of Criminal and Civil Evidence and
the Codes of Criminal and Civil Procedure as promulgated by
the statutes passed by the Legislature and the rules set by
the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Texas Justice Court Training Center has made sure of
that. It's an agency of the Court of Criminal Appeals, its
training program something that is required by the Code of
Judicial Conduct.

The Judge has passed all his classes.

That's what The Legendary calls education.

So, sue me.

I don't have much education, either.

It's a pretty tall order, but he gets the job done, as he
did when he was for many decades the Chief of the Clifton
Volunteer Fire Department.

In his tenure as Judge, he has had but one complaint lodged
against him before the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct.
They asked him for clarification on what, exactly, he did.

He asked a lawyer about a matter of procedure that came up
in his Court. He asked the County Attorney.

He believes in that. It's the only legal advice he will
give complainants, defendants, plaintiffs or those who have
been sued in his Court.

It's engraved on a narrow red plaque suspended from the wall
above his head.

"See A Lawyer."

The Commission wrote him back after a review of the facts
and said they could find no fault with his procedure. It is
the only complaint that has ever been lodged against him.

Now, there's a man who wants to take his job away from him.

Walt Lewis.

He doesn't want to be interviewed, either.

He wants to make statements about how "good old boy
politics" is fouling the judicial atmosphere and other
matters relating to Justice Court, Precinct 2.

He refuses to expand on his statements until June.
Sometimes, it's June. Other times, it's July. He hasn't
quite made up him mind about that, as yet, either.

"We're still formulating the issues," he told The Legendary.

Nevertheless, he has made several bold statements about
irregularities in the procedures followed in the Court.

Nothing specific. He wouldn't want to be premature.

Like Richard Nixon's tactics when he revealed he had a
secret plan to end the war, he's behaving the way Lyndon
Johnson said Nixon behaved.

"Well, that mean old man. He knows how to end this war, but
he won't tell us how," President Johnson said.

Saith The Legendary, "I said that."

I'm allowed. Look it up. It's called the First Amendment.

Judge Zander has no such concerns. He wishes to speak off
the record. Yes, that's true. Why?

Because it wouldn't do him any good to do otherwise, he

Fair enough.

The Legendary asked him what he did the previous day. That
was Wednesday.

Certainly, it's a matter of record - no secret there.

First order of business was to take one of the babies to
school. It's the first thing he does each business day.

He said he went to the Court, then drove to the Courthouse
to drop off the receipts at the Treasurer's office. He also
dropped off paperwork and bookkeeping records required by
law so the Auditor can complete the record.

Since he had no court sessions scheduled, he left the
administrative details of fielding complaints, filing
petitions and accepting fees to his clerk.

Now what?

He went to the rodeo grounds to teach youngsters how to keep
from getting their fingers mashed in a lariat and losing a
digit to the weight of a cow, a steer, or a calf.

"When they reach the end of that rope, something's got to
give. If that finger or that thumb is in the way, you know
what's going to happen."

It's something any ranch kid needs to know - and how. It
takes all ten fingers to get that job done and he's still
got all his.

He was quick to let me know that he also saddled the horses
and hauled them to the grounds.

I don't know for sure, but I'll bet you ten dollars he
trained those horses. He's that kind of cowboy, judging
from the cut of his jib.

It was a slow day, but something tells the Legendary that he
was never out of arm's reach of a telephone.

The judge, smiled, reached into the breast pocket of his
immaculate roper shirt and withdrew his phone.

It's that kind of job.

Had someone died a suspicious, unattended or violent death,
he would have had to go there and see the circumstances,
order an autopsy, and fill out a death certificate to turn
over to the County Clerk.

It calls for a ruling on the spot.

"I just do it and go on about my business," said. He has
never stopped to consider if there are more deaths from
natural causes in periods of extreme cold or heat.

It's just not part of the job.

He does keep a stack of photos available to show people the
results of trying to mix alcohol and guns. It's a grim set
of pictures of a man who chose to end his life with a .44
magnum. He was drunk.

He shows those pictures to people who drive drunk. Some of
them are kids.

Had law enforcement required it, he would have been
available for a hearing over any of the numerous matters
that come up - affidavits of probable cause, arrest and
search warrants, magistrations. That's the correct word for
we have always called "charging" a defendant or "arraigning"
an accused offender.

The law is very precise in these matters. The Judge knows
that. He has quite a lot of education, though he won't say
he does in just so many words.

Any hassles he's had stem from changes in the administrative
rules of Court that he learned of at the Center's seminars
for Justices of the Peace.

There's this pesky verb, he says - "shall." It means what
it says. It doesn't mean maybe, or we have never done it
that way before or around here we do it this way.

It means you shall do it this way if you want your criminal
causes and the civil petitions filed in your Court to
withstand the scrutiny of appeals courts.

In his case, an appeals court means County Court At Law,
District Court, the 10th Court of Appeals and the Texas
Supreme Court or Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

It's serious business, the matter of magistration of
criminal cases. A defendant must be informed of his rights
and they are numerous. He has a right to see a lawyer, the
only recommendation the Judge has ever made. He has a right
to terminate an interview at any time. He also has the
right to reasonable bail, something the Judge sets at
magistrations each morning at the County Jail.

There you have it. No debate. No interview. No story.

The Legendary is just as happy as he was when he darkened
the Judge's door.

We parted friends.

One final question: What does he think about Walt Lewis?

"I respect him. I respect him because he married my best
friend's widow and raised his kids. For that, I respect him
and I always will."

It was the most productive non-interview The Legendary ever
pried out of a man.

Hell of a good story, though there is no story.

Aw, shucks.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

TEAParty In Meridian a Pleasant Noontime Interlude

Are you better off than you were $4 trillion ago?
- protest sign seen on the Courthouse Square

Tea Party celebrants marked their first year in Bosque
County Thursday, April 15, carrying signs that asserted
their core beliefs:

"Give me liberty, not debt

"This is not Obama-Nation

"Liberty or Tyranny - Hands off my money!

"Wake Me Up When The Nightmare Is Over"

At a noon rally at the Bosque County Courthouse, they heard
speechmakers denounce a rise in "Marxism" that, they said,
threatens to engulf the nation and strangle it.

Said Thomas Jefferson, that is, perennial conservative
candidate Walt Lewis wearing his disguise, "A government big
enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take
away everything you've got."

Darren Yancy, Republican candidate for State Senator in
District 22, read the words of the specific charges made
against King George III in "The Declaration of

When he reached the part that denounced the monarch "for
imposing taxes upon us without our consent," the crowd
cheered wildly, as they did when he said of U.S. economic
power, "I think everybody here would say that America is the
political center of the world...

"If you don't love it, leave it. We're not apologizing for
it any more."

He said also that "A Marxist attack on God and the right to
bear arms has rekindled the great American spirit. 'Give me
Liberty or give me death!'"

County Judge Cole Word said "I made a vow when I took the
oath as County Judge that we would never forget 9/11 in
Bosque County."

He recalled the formation of Bosque County back in 1856 when
the founding President of Baylor University, Reb Baylor, a
man who served as the first Chief Justice of the Texas
Supreme Court, instructed the Sheriff on how to open the
first session of the newly formed District Court of Bosque

"He told him to say 'Oyez, oyez, oyez. The District Court
of Bosque County will now come to order.'"

Under his breath, he said, the judge added "God bless
Texas," and the Sheriff thought that was part of the
ceremony, so the Sheriff repeated that, too.

"God bless Texas."

In opening the event, Beverly Moss, the mistress of
ceremonies, had reminded the throng of about 80 people that
"The liberals in this country think the brain trust is
inside the Beltway."

She told of a mythic proposal by a "country boy" in which
the economy was saved when 40 million Americans of an age
were ordered to retire, which solved the unemployment
problem immediately. They were ordered to buy new cars,
something that bailed out the auto industry and boosted the
banking business. Furthermore, they were required to pay
off their home mortgages, which handled the financial

Finally, these newly retired people had all members of
Congress pay their taxes.

The crowd burst into merriment.

Ms. Moss introduced a local singer named Karen Thomasy who
recalled that the state song, "Texas, Our Texas," was
written by a music teacher named William Marsh - a native of
Liverpool, England, who got here as quickly as he could -
won a contest in which entries came from each State
Senatorial District in 1924. Col. John Philip Sousa of the
U.S. Marine Band once said of it that it was the best state
song he had ever heard.

She read the words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the pedestal
of the Statue of Liberty.

Col. Brian Birdwell Recalls 9/11 Pentagon Jet Attack

When the rescuers came to get him out of the smoking rubble
of the Pentagon, he was burned over 60 percent of his body.

Each time they reached to get a grip on his hands or his
limbs, the grasp of his rescuers made his skin come off in
sheets of charred tissue. He was only 15 yards away from
the spot where the 80-ton jet crashed into the walls - right
outside the men's room door, as he recalls.

The most horrible sensation of all was stumbling around in
the dark after the airliner crashed into the building at 530
miles per hour, Col. Birdwell said. Aside from the
overwhelming pain, the disorientation was staggering. They
had to start the IV of saline solution and the morphine drip
in blood vessels in his feet, as he recalls.

Of freedom, Col. Birdwell praised the people of his nation
in their free spirit.

"We're honoring the men and women who kept it that
way...because the men and women of America do not require
adult supervision."

The crowd applauded wildly at that remark.

He recounted it all for an audience of about 80 people who
gathered on the courthouse square in Meridian for "Tax Day,"
the Tea Party celebration of one year of protesting
Washington's inside-the-beltway mentality.

One of four candidates vying to fill the unexpired term of
Senator Kip Averitt, Col. Birdwell is a Hood County native
who lives now in Granbury.

In response to allegations of felony violations of election
law, Col. Birdwell said, "That's all totally false."

He said he is familiar with the documents presented by a
lawyer who has requested a ruling from the Secretary of

"There isn't any truth to it," he said.

Former senator David Sibley has made a case that Col.
Birdwell has not been in Texas as a resident the full five
years required for eligibility to run as a candidate for
State Senate.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Day - Chet Takes First Swipe At Bill Flores

He claims Flores is the chosen one of the GOP National Committee

Incumbent District 17 Representative Chet Edwards opened up
his general election campaign the first day with an attack
on his opponent.

In a brief video released in numerous venues besides the
YouTube directory, he told viewers "Now that the general
election campaign is underway" he wanted to let them know
that "...Mr. (Bill) Flores has been recruited by Washington
insiders to try to buy our congressional seat, even though
he has never voted in an election in our district - not even

Mr. Flores raised almost a million dollars for his primary
battle to get through his runoff with Rob Curnock - more
than half of it from his own contributions.

The latest figures from the Federal Elections Commission
show that Mr. Edwards has one of the top fifty campaign
warchests on hand at $1,309,661 as of December 31, 2009.

Many rumors have it that Mr. Flores is the chosen of the
Republican National Committee, the choice of big oil
interests willing to spend massive amounts on advertising
now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that corporations
have the same rights as individuals to finance political
advertising as an extension of the First Amendment right to
free speech. He is the retired CEO of Phoenix Exploration,
a Houston firm he guided to a spot in the corporate
hierarchy of owning massive amounts of offshore mineral
rights in Louisiana and Texas. He negotiated a $250 million
buy-in by the Carlyle Group to bump the company's worth up
to $350 million overnight.

He moved to the College Station area from his home in
Houston to take over the operations of the Texas A&M
University Alumni Association at his alma mater. From
there, he launched his bid to oppose Mr. Edwards in

Mr. Flores sent e-mail messages to people who had contacted
his campaign during the primary battles. He thanked them
for "helping me win" and made reference to the "personal
attacks" that Chet Edwards is leveling at him in the media.

4 Candidates For State Senator To Debate At Burleson

Tuesday event sponsored by Toastmasters at high school

The four candidates vying for the unexpired term of State
Senator Kip Averitt are invited to debate Monday at

The election is scheduled for May 8.

Toastmasters International, a club of men and women who
improve their public speaking skills through feedback and
constant practice, will host the event at the Burleson High
School auditorium at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20.

There will be a meet and greet event first at 6 p.m.

They have invited Gayle Avant, a Baylor professor of
Political Science; Brian Birdwell, a retired Army Colonel
from Granbury; David Sibley, a lobbyist and former State
Senator; and Darren Yancy, an insurance and real estate
broker with extensive experience in raising venture capital
as an investment banker.

The winner of the special election will fill the unexpired
term of Mr. Kip Averitt, a multi-term legislator who
resigned after receiving the nomination in the Republican
Primary due to health concerns. Republican voters insisted
on giving him the nomination following the formation of a
"Keep Kip" movement by Waco attorney and Brazos River
Authority Board Chairman Chris DeCluitt and Mr. Sibley, a
lobbyist for the BRA and many electrical utilities as well
as insurance carriers.

The County Republican Chairmen of the 10-county district
will nominate candidates for the general election.

There is much interest in the race because Mr. Averitt's
career included the chairmanship of the Senate Natural
Resources Committee. As such, he was the author of the
State Water Plan and wrote much legislation as a member of
the House of Representatives regarding deregulation of
telephone, electrical, insurance and transportation
utilities. These bills were co-sponsored by Mr. Sibley
during his tenure as a State Senator and signed into law by
then-Governor George W. Bush.

The four candidates vying for the unexpired term of State
Senator Kip Averitt are invited to debate Monday at

The election is scheduled for May 8.

Toastmasters International, a club of men and women who
improve their public speaking skills through feedback and
constant practice, will host the event at the Burleson High
School auditorium at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20.

They have invited Gayle Avant, a Baylor professor of
Political Science; Brian Birdwell, a retired Army Colonel
from Granbury; David Sibley, a lobbyist and former State
Senator; and Darren Yancy, an insurance and real estate
broker with extensive experience in raising venture capital
as an investment banker.

The winner of the special election will fill the unexpired
term of Mr. Kip Averitt, a multi-term legislator who
resigned after receiving the nomination in the Republican
Primary due to health concerns. Republican voters insisted
on giving him the nomination following the formation of a
"Keep Kip" movement by Waco attorney and Brazos River
Authority Board Chairman Chris DeCluitt and Mr. Sibley, a
lobbyist for the BRA and many electrical utilities as well
as insurance carriers.

The County Republican Chairmen of the 10-county district
will nominate candidates for the general election.

There is much interest in the race because Mr. Averitt's
career included the chairmanship of the Senate Natural
Resources Committee. As such, he was the author of the
State Water Plan and wrote much legislation as a member of
the House of Representatives regarding deregulation of
telephone, electrical, insurance and transportation
utilities. These bills were co-sponsored by Mr. Sibley
during his tenure as a State Senator and signed into law by
then-Governor George W. Bush.

Sibley Mounts Legal Challenge To Opponent's Election

Lawyer to present proof Birdwell committed felony in filing

A lawyer for former State Senator David Sibley will present
proof to the Secretary of State that an opponent committed
felony perjury.

In his application for the special election to be held on
May 8, records show, Col. Brian Birdwell of Granbury claimed
he has been a Texas resident for the five years previous to
the election to fill the unexpired term of Senator Kip

That is required by Texas elections law to establish
eligibility for the office.

Documents on file in both Texas and Virginia put the lie to
the claims he made on his application to be placed on the

According to an attorney for Mr. Sibley, Gardner Pate of the
Austin firm of Lock, Lord, Bissell & Liddell, a Virginia
fishing license, voting records from both Texas and Virginia
and the voters registration applications from both states
prove "...Birdwell became a legal resident of the
Commonwealth of Virginia in 2004 when he registered to vote
in Virginia on Feb. 2, 2004, and by doing so, voluntarily
gave up his legal residence in Texas...Birdwell was not a
legal resident of Teas for the five years immediately
preceding the upcoming May 8, 2010 special election."

Furthermore, voting records from Virginia show that Mr.
Birdwell voted in Virginia in both primary and general
elections from 2004 to 2006. Upon his return to Texas in
2007, he registered to vote in Hood County and participated
in city and county elections, constitutional ballots, and
both primary and general elections in 2007 through 2010.

Though Texas law does not disallow voting privileges for an
individual serving in the military in another state,
"However, an individual serving in the military may
voluntarily give up his Texas residence by his actions," Mr.
Pate wrote in his application for a ruling from Secretary of
State Hope Andrade.

Mr. Birdwell "gave up his Texas residence in 2004 when he
registered to vote in Prince William County on Feb. 20,

In the application, signed under penalty of felony
prosecution, Mr. Birdwell said he intended to make Virginia
his official residence and did not re-establish his Texas
residency until 2007 when he returned to Hood County.

Lieberman calls for nuclear option against Iranians

He contemplates a bid for the Oval Office as an Independent

Calling Sarah Palin a spokeswoman for disaffected Americans,
independent Senator Joe Lieberman said he will likely run
for President on neither of the mainstream parties' ticket.

He also called for America to match the Iranians' saber
rattling tactics with a stolid assurance that this nation
will answer their threats with a solid plan to deploy
nuclear weapons if the President orders such an attack.

Why? If the Irnanians acquire nuclear weapons, plans for
peace between Palestine and Israel would be put in the past,
an afterthought and a footnote to history.

He said it's his opinion "because the clients of Iran,
Hezbollah and Hamas, strengthened by an Iranian nuclear
umbrella, will turn more ferocious, not just against Israel
but first against their enemies among the Palestinians,
which is the current leadership of the Palestinian

As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Mr.
Lieberman has great influence over such matters.

He said he opposes the Obama doctrine that the U.S. would
not use nuclear weapons to respond to an attack with
biological or chemical weapons if the attackers do not
possess nuclear weapons.

He prefers the "appropriate ambiguity" of the past U.S.
posture on the matter.

"We're in a war not with some nebulous group of violent
extremists. We not in a war with environmental extremists
or white extremists. We're in a war with violent Islamist
extremists and terrorists. The people who attacked us on
9/11 were not just violent and extreme, they were motivated
by an ideology of Islamist extremism which took the religion
of Islam and essentially transformed it into a radical
political idology."

The first rule of war is simple enough, he added in the
exclusive interview with Newsmax's Washington Bureau Chief,
"know your enemy."

He said he can no longer blindly follow a single party line.
He must follow his inclinations, his conscience fed by
manifold sources of information.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flores beats the socks off of Rob Curnock in Runoff

Flores set a wide margin in early voting and the trend held

With all counties reporting but Somervell, Bill Flores
claimed the nomination of the Republican Party to run
against incumbent Chet Edwards within an hour of the polls

Early voting figures reported at 7:15 p.m. showed the
retired Houston oil man ahead by 58 percent to 42 percent.

Within 15 minutes, the margin was 63 percent to 37 percent,
a figure that changed only very little over the course of
the next hour when the Associated Press called the race at
8:05 p.m. with 11,860 votes for Mr. Flores reported in 35
percent of all precincts for a final figure of 65 percent
over 35 percent.

Mr. Curnock is a former sports anchor man for Waco's KWTX
Channel 10. He operates a video tape service in that city

"I am honored and humbled by the trust that the voters have
placed in me. Tonight we have taken an important step
forward in returning limited government principles for our
country and fixing the damage that Congress and this
administration have created. Going forward, I will reach
out to every Texan in this district who wishes to see our
country return to fiscal conservatism, protect our social
values, and adhere to the Constitution.

"I am deeply thankful for all of the people who supported
us, tens of thousands of them across these 12 counties.

"I am more energized than ever to run a vigorous, issue-
based campaign that will defeat Chet Edwards in November,"
Mr. Flores said from his victory celebration in College
Station, where he lives following his recent retirement as
CEO of Phoenix Exploration.

A first-time candidate for public office, Mr. Flores will
face the veteran politician, a former Texas Representative
and Senator and 10-term member of the U.S. House of
Representatives. He is rumored to have more than $2 million
in his campaign war chest.

Mr. Flores is reported to have raised more than $800,000 in
his drive for the nomination and has spent all but about
$60,000, according to campaign finance figures. Records
show that he donated more than half of the funds to himself.

Jurors Acquit Father of Burglary Charge in Assault

Home invasion stemmed from his rage over alleged offense

A district court jury refused to convict a Laguna Park man
in a case of burglary of a habitation Monday.

Tried in the 220th District Court at Meridian, the
indictment alleged that Charles Albert Sundy forced his way
inside the home of Jason and Teresa Marr with the intent of
assaulting a young man he believed has assaulted his
juvenile daughter.

A co-defendant, Christopher Koehn, paid a $500 fine and
served three months in the county jail after arranging a
plea agreement and admitting his guilty plea to criminal
trespassing in the same incident on January 2, 2010.

As testimony unfolded, jurors learned that on August 2 of
2009, Mr. Sundy received a telephone call in which a person
told him a young man who had allegedly assaulted his
daughter had entered the Marr home to visit with their
juvenile daughters.

The alleged assault is still under investigation, according
to knowledgeable sources.

Had he been convicted of the second degree felony of
burglary of a habitation with intent to cause bodily harm,
Mr. Sundy would have been subject to not less than 2 nor
more than 20 years in the penitentiary and a $10,000 fine.
As a person who has never before been convicted of a felony
crime, he is eligible for probation and completed a pre-
trial application to receive a suspended sentence if the
jurors assessed his punishment at 10 years behind bars, or

According to his defense attorney, Abel Reyna of Waco, Mr.
Sundy gained access to the dwelling through the permission
of a child who was unauthorized to act for the actual

There was no evidence he forced his way inside the home, he

Mr. Reyna is a Republican candidate for District Attorney of
McLennan County. He opposes incumbent John Segrest, who has
held the position for many terms.

He heaped praise upon the five-man, seven-woman jury.

"I thank the jurors for their careful consideration. They
really did look at the facts and they really did take care
in their decision," he said, following the verdict. "I just
want to thank them for their service and because they did
such a good job."

Mr. Reyna noted that during their deliberations, the jurors
called for evidence to be brought to the jury room twice.
They wanted to look at crime scene photos and they had
argued over the testimony of the investigating officer as to
whether there was a forceful entry of the dwelling.

"There was no evidence of damage to the door or the
threshold," said Mr. Reyna. "You see, he had gone there to
confront the young man - to talk to him. When he got back
to the kitchen area, he lost control and assaulted him."

He acknowledged that photos showed extensive property damage
to the kitchen, the room where the alleged beating took

Mr. Reyna is the son of Mr. Justice Felipe Reyna of the 10th
Court of Appeals, which sits at Waco. Justice Reyna was at
one time a deputy probation officer and later District
Attorney of McLennan County.

In an earlier interview, his son Abel Reyna, the criminal
defense attorney, said that if elected district attorney,
his clients will always be the people of the state of Texas,
and no one else. He is campaigning on a promise to become
involved in the community, to establish a presence among the
people and bring justice to their neighborhoods as a working
prosecutor who actually tries cases and not the kind of DA
who makes plea offers all day long.

Elected Officials Fear Voters - Reject Jail Proposal

They order bond issue election in November at cost plus

County Judge Cole Word was disappointed. When asked, he said

Three out of four commissioners rejected the notion of
issuing certificates of obligation to build a new jail.

They voted to order a general obligation bond issue election
on November 2.


Prevailing interest rates of three to four percent are
guaranteed to go up. Materials will increase in cost
exponentially as economic conditions deepen and money gets
too tight to mention.

Though he looked cool and collected in a starched white
shirt and freshly pressed slacks, he was clearly dejected.

Issuing certificates of obligation would have guaranteed
financing a new $9.75 million County Jail at the demand of a
state commission that can and will close down the lockup
because it fails to meet standards in many areas. Work
could have commenced in the fall at the latest.

The new delay will dictate not only greater costs, but
further delay in construction, quite possibly for as long as
a year. The increase in debt service and the cost of
materials has been conservatively estimated at anywhere from
$750,000 to $1.5 million.

It's nothing new. The jail problem not only does not go
away, it has persisted throughout his eight-year tenure as
County Judge.

The voters and elected officials of Bosque County have
persistently resisted any effort to to remedy the deplorable
situation. They say purchase of gravel and other road
building materials comes first, that it's a much higher
priority than the treatment of accused and convicted
criminal offenders to see to it that their constituents have
safe roads and bridges to travel back and forth to their
farms and ranches.

First, there is the problem of overcrowding. The Sheriff's
Department finds it necessary to ship prisoners to
neighboring counties at the cost of an average of $43 per
day at a cost of $1,720 per day if state regulators close
the jail down completely. If that condition persisted for
20 years, it would result in a public expense of $14,3
million - four million dollars more than it would cost to
build and finance over a 20-year period a 96-bed jail that
does comply with state standards.

Secondly, the roof leaks and when it does, it causes the
smoke, fire, and escape alarms to malfunction, a condition
that the Texas Commission on Jail Standards will not
tolerate. Inmates who riot just about always set fire to
paper, their mattresses, cardboard, just anything that will
burn so they will be sent to the recreation yard or the
central dining facility. There, they have an easy shot at
retaliating against despised prisoners through violence.

Then there is the flooding problem. The building is located
in a one hundred-year flood plain in the Bosque River
bottoms. When heavy rains begin to saturate the rocky
ground of downtown Meridian, the water flows through the
underground stony strata and thence to the river. The
Bosque is coming through, building or no building, and the
sewer lines begin to back up, commodes overflow and sinks
fill with filthy water. The risk of such dread diseases as
infectious hepatitis begins to rear its ugly head.

Here is another problem.

Inmates who want something or are angry about their
treatment are often known to plug up the sewer lines

Sheriff Anthony Malott tells horror stories about bringing a
visitor into the jail and being confronted by an inmate
trusty with a butcher knife in his hand as they stroll past
the tiny kitchen that feeds inmates two meals a day. It
doesn't look good, to say the least.

When he took over as sheriff, he had inmates wire brush and
clean up filthy steel commodes. Guess what happened. Some
of them came completely to pieces because they were patched
together with JB-Weld.

It's agreed. Everyone from the Commissioner on Jail
Standards at Austin to the high sheriff at Meridian thinks
the Bosque County Jail is a hell hole nightmare dungeon.

After all, it was built of tilt wall slab concrete in 1978
by two Hispanic laborers on probation and a contractor. At
the time, there was no Commission on Jail Standards, only
minimal administrative rules and none of the current health
and safety regulations that exist today.

When later the jail was modernized, the rules of the
commission were only a small part of what they are today.

It's nowhere near safe to be there. It's the kind of place
from which a man or woman needs to stay totally aloof.

And there's yet another problem. Since state standards
require female prisoners to be segregated from males by
sight and sound, they are all housed in neighboring lockups
at Hillsboro or Glen Rose.

This means the local sheriff's department has no hen house

It all adds up to one main problem.

Inmates are not supposed to run the jail. Their methods are
unsatisfactory, to say the least. Setting fires to
manipulate jailers to do something or the other is a total
no no when there is no means of escape.

Carbon monoxide poisoning caused by fire kills in a fraction
of a second.

Here is the rub of the green.

Inmates in custodial detention are to be treated as a
special population, their human rights protected, their
needs cared for - or else. The authorities with
constitutional obligations to run the jail lawfully will be
called to account as to why that mission was not fulfilled -
usually in federal court.

Federal courts are much more expensive than building jails
under unfunded mandates. Much more expensive.

When defied, federal district judges and their brethren on
appeals courts - appointed for life by the President of the
United States - have very expensive notions as to how to
handle recalcitrant local officials - elected or not.

"We're just one slip and one fall away from some inmate
owning a pretty good sized part of this county," Judge Word
said following the commissioners' rejection of a very
transparent public planning process involving a citizen
committee that worked with architect Jeff Heffelfinger of
Ft. Worth to design the proposed facility so soundly
rejected by men who are facing re-election.

"They keep coming back to their basic point," the judge
said. "They want the public to have the final say so in an
election. And, hey, I can't say I blame them."

And that problem with public perception of a solution to a
problem that won't go away is the one that won't go away any
time soon.

A member of the committee that studied the design criteria
and assisted with site selection on a high and dry parcel of
land in the local industrial park, Dr. Tom Bratcher,
recently told The Legendary that the job could have been
completed five years ago at a cost of about $3.5 million.
The County Republican Chairman-elect, he is the head of a
Baylor University doctoral program in the mathematical
science of statistical analysis.

The ultimate problem is this.

If the registered voters reject the general obligation bond
issue, then the county is still locked in to the problem of
providing a safe and healthy environment for the confinement
of prisoners under custodial detention while awaiting trial
or execution of sentence.

To propose a new scheme, the same criteria previously
rejected by voters may not be used. It's prohibited under
state law.

A new proposal must be either larger, or smaller in scope.

In Coryell County, the commissioners held out for voter
approval of a general obligation bond issue. When the
election failed, they were forced to ship prisoners to
other counties. They raised taxes to pay for that, but
now they cannot build a new jail becuase they are at the
taxing cap imposed by state law. They're stuck.

Said Dr. Bratcher, "We expected them to be good stewards
the peoples' money and I'll be damned but they ignored
peoples' wishes...They didn't want to take the responsi-

"I sacrificed my home life and my work on that committee.
It was a complete waste of time. It's my opinion they
have put us in an untenable position."

In six town hall meetings they committee staged at various
spots around the county, he recalled, straw polls showed
the voters preferred to have the commissioners' court issue
certificates of obligation. The only County Road Commissioner
who heeded the expressed wishes of the citizens' committee
the voters was Kent Harbison of Precinct 1, said Dr. Bratcher.

The floggings willl continue until morale improves.