Sunday, July 31, 2011

Obama announces debt ceiling plan deal with GOP

Washington - In a press briefing Sunday night, President Barack Obama said that while it was not the deal he wanted, a compromise debt hike plan he reached with Republican Congressional leadership at about 9 p.m. will “allow us to avoid default and end the crisis Washington imposed on the rest of America.”

A vote could come as soon as Sunday night or early Monday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tipped off their hands as early as Saturday as to exactly how the arrangement would be made in speeches delivered in the well of the Senate. Following a series of test votes that were masquerading as "quorum calls," the two let the American people know the status of negotiations, which were then stymied by Tea Party reluctance to even discuss new sources of revenue and the Administration's total opposition to cutting entitlements.

According to a summary of the bill provided by Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office, the plan immediately cuts discretionary spending by $917 billion over ten years, and raises the debt ceiling by $900 billion. There are no tax hikes included.

The debt limit increase is expected to last until February. Like the Boehner plan that was tabled in the Senate on Friday, the current plan requires a vote on a balanced budget amendment after October 1, but before the end of the year.

In February 2012, the president can request another debt limit increase of $1.5 trillion, if either a newly created Joint Committee authorizes spending cuts greater than the hike, or a budget amendment has been passed by the states.

"Debt commission" part of last minute deal

By Ray Grimm,
“Economic Policy Journal”

Want to create a “Super Congress” that could fast track the debt limit deal, cut entitlements to the bone, and eliminate mortgage payment deductions and 401k tax abatements?

No problem, says this author. You just manufacture a “crisis,” create a new committee – six members from either house and six from both parties - call it a “debt” commission, and give the common, garden variety Congressmen the ability to vote the issue up or down only.


That's what you call a bloodless coup against the U.S. Constitution. Such a deal.

- The Legendary

...Debt ceiling negotiators think they've hit on a solution to address the debt ceiling impasse and the public's unwillingness to let go of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security that have been earned over a lifetime of work: Create a new Congress.

This "Super Congress," composed of members of both chambers and both parties, isn't mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but would be granted extraordinary new powers. Under a plan put forth by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his counterpart Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), legislation to lift the debt ceiling would be accompanied by the creation of a 12-member panel made up of 12 lawmakers -- six from each chamber and six from each party.

Legislation approved by the Super Congress -- which some on Capitol Hill are calling the "super committee" -- would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn't be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who'd have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law. A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits. Negotiators are currently considering cutting the mortgage deduction and tax credits for retirement savings, for instance, extremely popular policies that would be difficult to slice up using the traditional legislative process.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made a Super Congress a central part of his last-minute proposal, multiple news reports and people familiar with his plan say...Obama has shown himself to be a fan of the commission approach to cutting social programs and entitlements...

GOP, White House still working on debt deal

Washington – Key Republican Congressional figures and White House officials haven't given up hope of working something out before Tuesday's debt limit deadline.

According to negotiators who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the talks, a deal is starting to take shape that would see a reduction of spending of $2.4 trillion in two stages, a plan to raise the debt limit by $2.4 trillion and require Congress to sent a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification.

Officials "appear to have misread" the public in Greece

Severe rollbacks in wages, pensions and benefits looks like this when you bail out a nation's economy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

AWOL Soldier plotted attack on areas outside Ft. Hood

Waco - The AWOL soldier apprehended with bomb-making materials, guns and other tell tale goods at a Killeen motel shouted the name of Major Abu Nidal Hasan at his arraignment before a federal magistrate in Waco.

There is much concern among security officials that individuals are plotting attacks against military targets or the civilian areas outside the gates of such installations in retaliation for the death of Osama bin Laden.

Some evidence exists that lone wolf attackers fighting for either the cause of radical Islamic forces, or in defense of fundamental Christian identity could turn civilian areas into battle zones, as has been seen at the World Trade Center on 9/11, or in Oslo earlier this month.

PFc Jason Naser Abdo aroused suspicion at a Killeen gun store when he bought an unusually large amount of gun powder, behaved rudely, and asked ignorant questions about the highly volatile mixture, prompting an ex-cop and Marine sales clerk to alert police, who soon learned he was AWOL from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and wanted on an arrest warrant for child pornography.

Purchase of baubles, bangles contrary to policy

Continued scrutiny shows irregular procedures

Waco – Each year the McLennan County Commissioners' Court presents county employees with service pins for long term service.

As it turns out, the jewelry items – pins which are decorated with diamonds for longer terms of service – are obtained from a jeweler doing business from a Waco residential property that is homesteaded to an owner aged over 65.

Virginia White does business as Robert Cox Jewelry at 3225 Brannon Dr., a property appraised at $114,610 and taxed at the rate of $1,315.80 with current exemptions. The total tax burden on the property is $3,176.47.

The business has no advertised telephone listing, no way for members of the public to learn of its merchandise or services.

Ms. White sold an employee in County Judge Jim Lewis' office 39 of the pins at a unit price of $204, for total cost of $7,956 and an additional 32 diamonds at $42 each for a total of $1,344. The grand total – tax free - is $9,300.

Contrary to the county's purchasing policy, the purchase involved the issuance of no purchasing order number, no purchase order, and no consultation with Purchasing Officer Ken Bass. A requisition for the items is marked with the notation that the purchase order number is “N/A.”

Furthermore, no effort to obtain other bids were carried out to determine if there was a better or cheaper source of the same items.

When questioned last week by Commissioner Joe Mashek, the judge could only recall that “someone in my office” handled the matter.

He referred to the transaction – at just less than $10,000 total – as a matter of “housekeeping.”

But a check of the record shows that this is all contrary to purchasing policies previously adopted by the Court. According to a taped discussion held earlier this summer, purchasing policy published on the the county's website and in the County Handbook shows:

“Purchase Between $1,000 and $9,999: Will receive a minimum of three informal verbal quotes when deemed economically appropriate and is in the County's best interest to do so. Purchase must have prior approval of the Commissioners' Court.”

In an acrimonious exchange between County Judge Lewis and Commissioner Mashek last Tuesday, July 26, an argument erupted about whether a road commissioner should get a purchase order number to replace a radiator hose on a county vehicle. As it turns out, a check of the published policy shows this:

“Purchases $999 and under: Will receive verbal quotes when deemed economically appropriate and is in the County's best interest to do so. Purchase does not require prior approval of the commissioners' Court. Departments must send a requisition to the Purchasing Department to initiate a purchase.”

In a taped discussion regarding the purchasing policy, Judge Lewis and Purchasing Director Bass are to be heard discussing a “budget amendment” in which $2,000 was moved to the account of the County Court at Law earlier in this budget year. After the request by then County Auditor Steve Moore had been approved, the purchase order was issued for the item slated for purchase.

The Court passed a motion unanimously to review purchasing policies at their next meeting.

Correspondence between the purchasing director and the Court shows that on May 31 of this year, “The Auditor's Office would like Purchasing to convert to using Blanket Orders.”

An explanation is included that says a reserve order “does not encumber any funds. The New Financial System does not have a PO Reserve feature.”

The concept is defined in this way. “A blanket order is defined as an order which allows multiple delivery dates over a period of time with predetermined prices. It is normally used when there is a recurring need for expendable goods. Hence, items are purchased under a single purchase (P.O) rather than processing a separate P.O. each time suplies are needed.”

Mr. Bass recommended that departments turn in requisitions estimating the amount of expense for “no more than 1 week.”

“In an emergency, purchasing will initiate a purchase from a phone call with the understanding the department will follow up with a written Requisition.”

There is no real Tea Party - John Dean

Remember the young White House staff counsel who informed President Richard M. Nixon there was a cancer named Watergate growing on his presidency? He's still around. He published this article in the legal website Justia just yesterday.

According to a Gallup Poll, 28 percent of Americans identify with the tea party and, in some states, a majority of likely Republican primary voters support the tea party's stated goals of slashing government spending and regulation. In Washington, roughly 80 tea party Republican House members are blocking an increase in the U.S. debt ceiling without trillions of dollars in spending cuts. - The Legendary

By John Dean

The debt-ceiling debate, better described as an extortion ploy by the Tea Party-controlled Republicans of the U.S House of Representatives, has raised a question: Who, exactly, are these largely anonymous troublemakers? When I did a little digging, I realized that I know these people all too well. Indeed, I had actually written about them before they morphed into their current form. They are, in fact, both old and new authoritarian conservatives.

These authoritarians are a notoriously nasty crew. If you have not noticed, they are delighted with what is happening in Washington, the chaos they have created. Actually, they are thrilled that they have been able to turn the Nation’s Capital upside down, as they actively work to screw up federal government in the hope of literally destroying it.

If you look closely, it is obvious that most of these Tea Party people have no real idea about the potential consequences of their actions, and they do not care to inform themselves. These are people who will pick a fight for the sake of picking a fight, refusing to compromise about anything that conflicts with their collective agenda, just because that feels to them like the right thing to do.

Who Are the Tea Party People?

They call themselves the Tea Party patriots, apparently seeing themselves in the tradition of the American colonists who resisted Parliament’s Tea Act tax in 1773 by dumping three boatloads of tea in the Boston Harbor, rather than returning it. The Tea Party’s effort to find a historical connection, however, does not work.

There is no real Tea Party, by any definition of the term “party.” This is merely a label, a colorful (albeit historically-distorted) rebranding of the GOP’s right wing. The Tea Party is really a new amalgamation of radical conservative groups who have been around a long time: evangelical bible-thumpers of the religious right; extreme anti-abortion and anti-women’s-rights groups; those who want guns (if not well-stocked arsenals) in every home and office with annual tithes to the National Rife Association; the sons and daughters, as well as a few grandchildren, of the John Birch Society loonies (who knew all along that Dwight Eisenhower was a communist); people who oppose any inter-marriage of races, and, God forbid, same-sex marriages between those they see as perverts; groups who would end the separation of church and state; and people who get most of their political information from right-wing radio, the Fox News Channel, the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, their prayer groups, or a few select right-wing Internet sites. Ironically, few in this movement understand that those who provide the money that is spreading the messages that are manipulating them probably believe them to be fools for following an agenda that is not in their best interests...

Yes, indeed, Bill, I do remember that crazy, lost weekend

New York - There she was, clad in flowing green robes, bearing a torch for God knows what reason, striding across the waters of the harbor and headed straight for me. (Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.)

Little old me!

Yes. At least. I say! Quite, Bill. Quite. Yes.

At any rate, my traveling companion and I have found the Elephant burial ground, located not too far from here, and have been busy carving scrimshaw into the ivory we gleaned from the muddy banks of the bayou. Let me show you my wares, cuz. Private showings by appointment in a quaint little shop located in La Zona de Tolerancia, just the other side of the Rio Bravo here in suburban Nuevo Laredo. (click here for an audio sample of local attractions)

- The Legendary,
Traveling mayor of Snook, Texas

Now, then, about this here tea party. What it is, y'all?

Friday, July 29, 2011

The lady or the tiger-Credit market in perilous waters

Markets display wild reaction to debt refinance bill

New York – Interest on 10-year t-bonds plummeted, stocks fell and mortgage derivatives opened 15% off the pace.

Traditional fixed income investments are in the crosshairs as Congress negotiates a new financial posture in the world of money.

The truth: the collapse of 2008, which government figures released yesterday show was much worse than ever before understood, set off a cascade of financial disaster from which the nation, and the world, is yet to recover. It's a truth politicians just can't seem to face.

Those who make their money off the worth of securities are having no problem with that.

Standard & Poor announced there is a 50-50 chance it will downgrade the nation's Triple-A bond rating to Double-A, which means much, much higher interest rates across the board.

The numbers are stark – and scary.

Within four years, 61% of all the marketable Treasury debt held by the public will mature. Thus, over the next four years, the U.S. Treasury must either repay or refinance more than $1 trillion in existing debt each year – not to mention additional deficit spending of at least $1.5 trillion. For us to avoid a default, the U.S. Treasury may have to borrow or refinance as much as $10 trillion in the next four years. That would double the amount of U.S. Treasury bonds currently trading in the world's markets.

This week's inept political actions in the U.S. Congress only exacerbate the problem.

There is little doubt that the government's strategy will involve monetizing personal wealth and the means of its acquisition. Fixed income investors have no choice but to put their savings in more stable currencies such as Swiss Francs – or the like.

House raises debt ceiling by close vote, 218 - 205

BULLETIN: Immediately the House of Representatives passed the Boehner debt ceiling measure, Senate leadership laid it on the table, where it will languish while Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) work on a compromise version of Senator Reid's bill, which raises the debt ceiling by a much higher figure than Speaker Boehner's bill, much influenced by Tea Party freshmen newly elected to the chamber. - The Legendary

Washington – In a surprisingly close vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved raising the nation's debt ceiling by nearly $1 trillion.

No Democrats voted for the measure while 17 Republicans voted against it and 10 members were recorded as not voting.

The measure will require a $1 trillion reduction in federal spending over the next 10 years and that both houses of congress send a balanced budget bill to the states for ratification.

Senate to table Boehner plan, negotiate a new bill

Washington – The House Speakers plan to raise the debt ceiling by almost $1 trillion and reduce the deficit by a similar amount while requiring both houses to send a balanced budget amendment to the states will come to a vote at 6:15 ET following remarks the Speaker.

House members voted to suspend the rules and allow a modified version of the plan to come to a vote. One may read it by clicking here.

When it is passed, the Senate will immediately table the legislation, and negotiations will begin between Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The negotiations are expected to last through the weekend to arrive at a version of Senator Reid's bill. A version of it may be read by clicking here.

Following a day of grueling debate that reveals a bipartisan split between the parties, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas spoke for about 15 minutes against the Boehner debt reduction plan.

She gave the GOP's objections to the method of shoring up the nation's full faith and credit and avoiding a default on the national debt.

Primarily, the Republicans object to increasing the debt so soon on the heels of the passage of a costly health care plan, the National Health Care Reform Act of 2010.

“We have fundamental differences in the principles of how we should run our government,” Sen. Hutchison said. “I believe there is common ground between these plans. They are not the same plans.”

She endorsed the cut, cap and balance features of the Boehner proposal.

The Senator objected to the Reid plan because it will raise the debt ceiling $2.7 trillion to avoid a need to repeat the renegotiation of the national debt until after the Presidential elections of 2012. That's no good reason to raise the debt ceiling by a record amount, according to Sen. Hutchison.

Employers will not be able to add new jobs because they won't be able to predict the costs of doing business, primarily interest rates, said Sen. Hutchison.

Speaker's debt reduction plan to come to floor today

Washington – Rules Committee members are at present debating a suspension resolution to allow a revised debt increase bill to come to the floor later today.

House Speaker John Boehner modified his plan to increase the debt limit by nearly a trillion dollars while at the same time cutting federal spending by the same amount over the next ten years.

An amendment will be added to require both houses of congress to send a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution for ratification by the states.

Rules committee members said the Speaker has found adequate support among GOP members reluctant to support the measure without the balanced budget amendment to pass the bill.

An up or down vote on the measure was postponed yesterday when the Republican leadership could not muster the votes necessary to pass the bill without a required balanced budget amendment.

'Overly aggressive' deal to halve fuel use by 2025

Washington – President Barack Obama announced a deal characterized by Detroit automakers as “overly aggressive” to halve greenhouse gas emissions.

With a target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, the under-the-hood changes will begin in model year 2017 to better today's fuel consumption of an average 27 miles per gallon.

The president said the changes should reduce American oil consumption by about 40%.

“Just as cars will go further on a gallon of gas, our economy will go further on a barrel of oil,” Mr. Obama said.

He characterized the new agreement on fuel standards as one that “represents the single most important step we have taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Automakers estimated an $8,000 saving on fuel costs over the life of a vehicle, an economy that would result in filling the tank once every two weeks instead of every week.

Michigan lawmakers called the higher proposal "overly aggressive," after automakers had said they'd work to get vehicles averaging 42.6 to 46.7 miles per gallon. Green groups, meanwhile, had pushed for a 62 miles-per-gallon target by 2025.

Ex-Cop, Marine saw something suspicious in AWOL GI

Killeen - Greg Ebert just didn't like the way the guy acted, his rude demeanor as he shopped in the gun store.

Add in the fact that the guy arrived in and left by taxi; it just didn't add up to good news.

When he paid for his purchases, a magazine for a semiautomatic pistol, three boxes of shotgun shells and the large quantity of gunpowder, he asked, “What's smokeless powder?”

Mr. Ebert thought, “If you don't know, then why are you buying it?”

As an ex-Marine and an ex-cop, the whole thing just bothered Mr. Ebert, so he contacted an acquaintance who still works at the Killeen Police Department. Through the taxi company, the police tracked the guy to an area motel, where they found out that Pfc Naser Jason Abdo is wanted on a warrant for child pornography out of the Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, Provost Marshal's Office.

He is AWOL.

A search of his room yielded a bomb in a back pack, “suspicious materials” the police declined to identify.

Was he plotting an attack on Ft. Hood or its civilian surroundings? Police aren't saying. They expect a U.S. Magistrate in Waco will charge him with possession of bomb making materials when U.S. Marshals transport him to the Federal Court House.

Guns Galore is the gun shop where Major Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged with carrying out a deadly attack on unarmed GI's at the Soldier Readiness Center in November, 2009, bought his handgun and ammunition. Another patron shot himself at the store earlier this month.

Killeen Chief of Police Dennis Baldwin told newsmen the character of his briefing could have been a lot different had it not been for the quick thinking of the man behind the counter at the gun store and an alert staff of police investigators.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No debt limit increase vote on Thursday, July 28

Washington – After hours of postponement, summoning “reluctant” Republicans to the Speaker's office, and other forms of stalling, the leadership passed the word at 10:30 p.m. ET.

There will be no vote on a plan to raise the debt limit by almost a trillion dollars while at the same time cutting federal spending by an equal amount over the course of ten years – at least not during this 24-hour time perio.

“The Speaker does not have the votes,” a laconic message displayed at the bottom of the House of Representatives' C-Span screen announced.

Senate will defeat any debt bill passed by the House

BULLETIN: The scheduled time for a vote on Speaker Boehner's compromise debt limit and spending cut plan came and went at 6 p.m.

House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi got the last word in and yielded back her time; then the Republican leadership made a motion to postpone the vote on the controversial plan at 5:40 p.m. ET.

Mrs. Pelosi said, “Fifty-one percent of the American people support the balanced approach favored by the President; only about 19% of Americans support the plan presented here.”

It was not clear if the Speaker had arranged the number of votes needed to pass a plan hammered out in negotiations with the Tea Party following President Barack Obama's outright rejection of GOP efforts to negotiate with Democrats on the matter.

(click the paragraph for a cogent analysis of the situation)

Washington - If Speaker John Boehner finds the support to pass a measure to raise the debt limit and cut spending by an equal amount, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to immediately call the bill to the floor of that chamber and defeat it.

A vote on the plan that would increase the U.S. Borrowing limit by up to $900 billion while cutting more than $900 billion in spending over the next decade will come to a House vote at 6 p.m.

The matter is far from settled, according to knowledgeable observers.

It is still not clear if the Speaker will be able to muster enough support to pass his plan as 50 Republican representatives remain undecided, 17 will vote against it, and 9 are leaning that way.

Mr. Boeher will need 216 votes to pass his bill and can afford to lose the support of 24 Democrats.

Said Senator Reid on the floor of the upper chamber today, “It will be defeated” when it comes to an immediate vote if passed in the House. “No democrat will vote for a short-term Band-Aid that would put our economy at risk and put the nation back in this untenable situation a few short months from now.” (click here for the minority report on this matter from de islands, mon - off sho')

Baubles and bangles bought without purchase order

Reporting by R.S. Gates
Story by The Legendary Jim Parks

Sparks flew in Commissioners' Court last Tuesday when Commissioner Joe Mashek of West questioned a large purchase authorized by County Judge Jim Lewis.

A jewelry purchase of more than $9,000 prompted Commissioner Joe Mashek to ask questions regarding Judge Jim Lewis' decision to buy service pins for county employees without a purchase order number or by following the purchasing procedure of going through the County Purchasing Officer for authorization.

The judge referred to the matter as one of “housekeeping.” Commissioner Mashek wanted to know if he had checked with other vendors and compared prices for the merchandise. The judge said he did not handle the matter; a person in his office made the arrangements on his instructions. He said he is “99% sure,” but did not know for sure because it happened some time in the past.

Commissioner Mashek followed up by asking if there is a purchase order number attached to the “ratification” request to authorize the purchase, which he had already approved.

The judge responded by saying from now on, Mr. Mashek can go through the purchasing office if he needs a radiator hose for one of his trucks. Mr. Mashek responds by saying he gets purchase order numbers, as outlined in McLennan County purchasing procedures.

The court approved the “ratification” by a vote of four to one, with Commissioner Mashek abstaining.

Business men chide McLennan Court on payroll

Three area business men who have long met payrolls called the McLennan County Commissioners' Court to task earlier this week for approving a purchase "ratification" for $58,000 to return the newly purchased payroll system to a 24-week pay schedule.

The payroll system had been earlier set up on a system of 26 pay periods, something which Commissioner Lester Gibson said his lowest-paid employees found inconvenient because their checks would be an average of $85 less as a result. They would still make the same yearly salary, but their pay would be diminished by the adjustment. The Court had purchased the services of a software company to alter the system because of difficulty auditing the pay accounts for the accuracy of overtime claimed.

All three expressed outrage and said they were personally angered as taxpayers and business men, both by the methods used to account for pay amounts, and by the need to spend an additional $58,000 to fix a system that they say is not really broken.

Lone Wolf attacker in Oslo, or part of a network?

A special report provided by Stratfor

By Scott Stewart

On the afternoon of July 22, a powerful explosion ripped through the streets of Oslo, Norway.

A large improvised explosive device (IED) in a rented van detonated between the government building housing the prime minister’s office and Norway’s Oil and Energy Department building. According to the diary of Anders Breivik, the man arrested in the case who has confessed to fabricating and placing the device, the van had been filled with 950 kilograms (about 2,100 pounds) of homemade ammonium nitrate-based explosives.

After lighting the fuse on his IED, Breivik left the scene in a rented car and traveled to the island of Utoya, located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) outside of Oslo. The island was the site of a youth campout organized by Norway’s ruling Labor Party. Before taking a boat to the island, Breivik donned body armor and tactical gear bearing police insignia (intended to afford him the element of tactical surprise). Once on the island he opened fire on the attendees at the youth camp with his firearms, a semiautomatic 5.56-caliber Ruger Mini-14 rifle and a 9 mm Glock pistol. Due to the location of the camp on a remote island, Breivik had time to kill 68 people and wound another 60 before police responded to the scene.

Shortly before the attack, Breivik posted a manifesto on the Internet that includes his lengthy operational diary. He wrote the diary in English under the Anglicized pen name Andrew Berwick, though a careful reading shows he also posted his true identity in the document. The document also shows that he was a lone wolf attacker who conducted his assault specifically against the Labor Party’s current and future leadership. Breivik targeted the Labor Party because of his belief that the party is Marxist-oriented and is responsible for encouraging multiculturalism, Muslim immigration into Norway and, acting with other similar European governments, the coming destruction of European culture. Although the Labor Party members are members of his own race, he considers them traitors and holds them in more contempt than he does Muslims. In fact, in the manifesto, Breivik urged others not to target Muslims because it would elicit sympathy for them.

Breivik put most of his time and effort into the creation of the vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) that he used to attack his primary target, the current government, which is housed in the government building. It appears that he believed the device would be sufficient to destroy that building. It was indeed a powerful device, but the explosion killed only eight people. This was because the device did not bring down the building as Breivik had planned and many of the government employees who normally work in the area were on summer break. In the end, the government building was damaged but not destroyed in the attack, and no senior government officials were killed. Most of the deaths occurred at the youth camp, which Breivik described as his secondary target.

While Breivik’s manifesto indicated he planned and executed the attack as a lone wolf, it also suggests that he is part of a larger organization that he calls the “Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici (PCCTS, also known as the Knights Templar,) which seeks to encourage other lone wolves (which Brevik refers to as “Justiciar Knights”) and small cells in other parts of Europe to carry out a plan to “save” Europe and European culture from destruction.

Because of the possibility that there are other self-appointed Justiciar Knights in Norway or in other parts of Europe and that Breivik’s actions, ideology and manifesto could spawn copycats, we thought it useful to examine the Justiciar Knights concept as Breivik explains it to see how it fits into lone wolf theory and how similar actors might be detected in the future.

An Opening Salvo?

From reading his manifesto, it is clear that Breivik, much like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, believes that his attack is the opening salvo in a wider campaign, in this case to liberate Europeans from what Breivik views as malevolent, Marxist-oriented governments. These beliefs are what drove Breivik to attack the Norwegian Labor Party. As noted above, it is also clear that Breivik planned and executed his attack alone.

However, he also discusses how he was radicalized and influenced by a Serbian living in Liberia whom he visited there. And Breivik claims to have attended a meeting in London in 2002 to “re-found the Knights Templar.” This organization, PCCTS, which was founded in 2002, is not related to the much older official and public chivalric order also known as the Knights Templar. According to Breivik, the PCCTS was formed with the stated purpose of fighting back against “European Jihad” and to defend the “free indigenous peoples of Europe.” To achieve this goal, the PCCTS would implement a three-phase plan designed to seize political and military power in Europe. In his manifesto Breivik outlines the plan as follows:

  • Phase 1 (1999-2030): Cell-based shock attacks, sabotage attacks, etc.

  • Phase 2 (2030-2070): Same as above but bigger cells/networks, armed militias.

  • Phase 3 (2070-2100): Pan-European coup d’etats, deportation of Muslims and execution of traitors...

Hot, ain't it? - The Legendary

Norway: Lessons from a successful Lone Wolf attacker is reprinted with permission from Stratfor

Rain? There is a bare possibility if storm tracks here

With a cotton crop in danger of burning up, a near-record heat wave pending and an extended drought in progress, folks are keeping a weather eye on Tropical Storm Don.

For the latest weather report, click here.

For a minority view of the same, without having to look out the window for hints and clues, click here.

Boehner to GOP and Tea Party – "Get your ass in line"

Washington - The House scheduled a vote for today, Thursday, July 28, on a compromise plan hammered out by Speaker John Boehner.

The plan has been revised to bring a total of $915 billion in savings in federal spending over 10 years, an increase of about $65 billion over the initial version, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Mr. Boehner's proposal now meets his pledge to match dollar for dollar any debt ceiling hike with dollar-for-dollar spending cuts.

The drama to be seen is whether ultra-conservative Tea Party members of the chamber will get in lock-step with their GOP colleagues.

It will be a major test for whether the GOP caucus can push through the Boehner measure in the face of an expected unified Democratic opposition. Republicans hold 240 of the 433 votes to be cast and need 217 of their members to support the plan for it to pass. Two House seats are currently vacant.

Participants who requested anonymity in a caucus meeting held Wednesday said the Speaker told the rank and file, “Get your ass in line.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Al-Qaida leader urges Syrians to join war on Israel, U.S.

Dubai – Syrian protesters should direct their fury toward the U.S. and Israel, said the successor to Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

He accused the two nations of prosecuting a war on Islam in the name of fighting terror.

On a website often used by Al Qaida to air invectives launched by its leaders, Mr. Al-Zawahiri said, “America, which cooperated with (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad during his whole regime, claims today that it stands with you when it saw him floored by the earthquake caused by your fury.”

The video, which was dated in June at the time of his being named to succeed bin Laden, who was killed by Navy commandos in May after a 10-year manhunt, went on to say, “You are standing with your bare chests facing tank and artillery shells and helicopters,” he said of the Israeli Defense Force along its border with Syria, “America’s partner in the war on Islam in the name of fighting terror.” Both Israeli and American targets should be attacked, Mr. Zawahiri said.

The statement received much attention in Israeli newspapers such as “The Jerusalem Post” and “Haaretz,” as well as the army's radio channels. (click here for the good news)

Women of our world are beautiful and made by God to behold. As strange as it may be, that seems to be a part of the root of the problem with these radical fundamentalists who would like to kill us just because of exactly which woman may have given us birth. It is a minority view amongst people of the Islamic faith. The word is Arabic for peace.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. - The Legendary

The national debt service deadline is only a week away

They're selling off everything that isn't nailed down inside the yellow tape that marks the crime scene that is Wall Street.

The only thing that isn't down is gold, which is making a meteoric climb into the stratosphere...

Gallup – Rick Perry would start at second place today

A Gallup poll shows Governor Rick Perry would start in second place if he announced he is a candidate for President today with 18 percent of the vote compared to Mitt Romney's 23%. Michele Bachmann would trail the duo at 13 percent, Ron Paul at 10.

If either Sara Palin or Rudy Giuliani entered the race, they would claim 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively, leaving Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Bachmann tied at 11 percent.

GOP "wants to destroy government" - Mrs. Pelosi

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

...but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

- William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”

Bleu en bleu en bleu en la scala Africane - Rehab

Dig this churnin' urn of burnin' funk in deep low drive

Tough talking undertaker vows 1 term in Senate

Belton - U.S. Senate candidate Glenn Addison has a plan to get the moochers off welfare and Medicaid.

The solution, he says, is to tighten the criteria that lets able bodied people who can actually work and make a living loaf and live off the labors of others.

“We have so many people who are moochers.” He reminded his audience of the teaching of the Apostle Paul. “If you don't work, you shouldn't eat.”

A self-described “conservative who likes tea,” he says the entire structure of the way the federal government does business must be changed.

But you can't do it all at once.

“If you take those little piglets off the mother sow's teats, that's when the squealing will begin,” he told a meet and greet gathering in downtown Belton.

The moochers would all come out to vote.

In the year 2014, every conservative in the U.S. House of Representatives would be gone, replaced by tax and spend liberals.

Over a period of 4 years, his strategy would be to reduce the ranks of welfare chiselers and medicaid clients who are really able to work by 1/3 at a time.

Besides, when the Texas Legislature cut Medicaid funds to balance the budget, the federal government retaliated by cutting its Medicaid contribution to Texas' indigent health care. “The whole system runs by blackmail.”

Why the urgency?

He says, “I believe the future of our country is at stake, and I wouldn't be running if I didn't. I was raised to pay cash.”

Hailing from the piney woods at Magnolia, west of Conroe and the Woodlands in Montgomery County's suburbs north of Houston, Mr. Addison cites the Levite interpretation of Mosaic law, as quoted in the Old Testament book of Leviticus.

In those days, if a house had mold and fungus that made its occupants sick, the priests would prescribe a purification procedure. If it didn't work, you had to tear the dwelling down and start over.
“The structure of government must change,” he told a throng of about two dozen people.

That's why he pledges he will serve only one term in the Senate. Furthermore, once declared the winner of the election, “I will immediately close my campaign fund...I won't need it any more.”

Quite simply, “We have to return the time when we had citizen legislators, not career politicians.”

He won't even apply for the Congressional pension plan or the Cadillac health care plan.

Recalling the 1939 Hollywood epic, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,” a motion picture which starred James Stewart as a crusading first-term Senator, he outlined a course of action that he says will set the nation back on the right track.

Fifteen years on his local school board has shown him the federal government has usurped powers nowhere to be found in the articles of the U.S. Constitution.

Education should be left to the states. Period.

He wouldn't abolish the U.S. Department of Education. He would only fire all 4,500 of its executive level bureaucrats and keep but one director whose sole job would be to write a check to each state – once a year.

The next goal would be to repeal any federal legislation that deals with classroom instruction pre-kindergarten through high school graduation.

Protection of the borders is a red letter issue in his book. Because of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, “We are not protecting our national sovereignty.” By law, federal troops are not allowed to become involved in internal matters; these problems are left to police agencies.

He wants to change all that. If a military unit spots undocumented aliens making illegal border crossings, they should be allowed to detain the suspects anywhere inside a half-mile or one-mile band that skirts the border.

Use the provisions of Article V of the Constitution to amend and repeal strictures that are making it hard on American business and citizens. As in the provision that dealt with how to count the slaves, how to apportion the vote in the Congressional Districts, the limitation was that no amendment “which shall be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the fist and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” Thus did the founding generation phase in any chages to be made to their system. It was necessary to get the job done. Without the provision, the slave holding states would have never approved of the Constitution and sent it on for ratification.

Texas and other states can expect to have no competitive edge in attracting former American manufacturing entities back from overseas unless the states are allowed to regain control of health and safety regulation and environmental strictures.

“We're exporting far too many of our jobs to other countries.” Eight out of ten items found in department and big ticket stores, “don't say Made in USA.”

First of all, corporations don't pay taxes, he reminded the crowd. Nevertheless, cut corporate taxes 25% across the board, and if a manufacturer assembles a product 75% of the parts of which are made in America, there should be only a 10% corporate tax on the finished items.

When a manufacturer re-opens a rusting plant idled by global competition, allow a 10-year moratorium on the corporate tax levy on the factory.

So, he summed up, he is not an attractive candidate to the vested interests or the special interest groups. He will only be in office for one 6-year term.

How does he hope to raise campaign funding?

Quite simply, he is asking for donations in denominations of $5, $5 of which he will return by Christmas of the year he takes office if the contributors are not satisfied. He will accept much higher contributions, but he will only return $5 to the dissatisfied.

He asked that his supporters host meet and greet gatherings in their homes, in restaurants and meeting rooms. Expense is minimal and the potential for exposure is vast.

How is it working?

In a recent candidate forum held in Houston, he received 43% of the audience's approval in the straw poll taken afterward. In San Antonio, he was runner-up with 36% of the vote.

All seven candidates for the Senate seat of Kaye Bailey Hutchison will appear in Waco on Saturday, August 13 at the Hilton on University-Parks Dr.

To see how he stands on hot button issues like pro-life, immigration, education and defense of the nation's borders, go to his website at - “where Glenn gets specific.”

Call 281-789-7748 to volunteer to host a meet and greet.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Constitution Day to circumvent state curriculum law

Have you ever heard of Constitution Day?

If you haven't, there's a reason you're hearing about it now.

“We have a hard time getting the Constitution in the schools,” said Judy Brady, Central Texas Tea Party Chairman.


About half the two dozen people attending a monthly meeting at Belton's Bodgega Bean coffee house on the square agreed. There seems to be a state law that prohibits teaching about the U.S. Constitution in the public schools.

Does that mean the teachers are prohibited from making it part of their curriculum, or that outsiders can't come into the classroom and share their knowledge about the basic law of the nation?

No one seems to be all that sure about that. They just know when they approached the local school districts about the issue, they were rebuffed in the name of the law.

“We can leave a copy of the Constitution on the table...We're not allowed to teach it,” Mrs. Brady insisted. “We are not allowed to advise the teachers. I suspect that the parents are as illiterate about the Constitution as their children.”

Any education of the nation's youth is left to be done in the home, she and her colleagues explained.

That's why the Tea Party is planning a Constitution Day picnic in a local park for the weekend of September 17, commemorating that day in 1787 when 39 very brave men signed the document at Framer's Hall, Philadelphia, and sent it to the state legislatures for ratification.

The three articles that outline the powers and duties of the Congressional, Executive and Judicial branches of the government, its amendments and the procedures of choosing electors, all are the subject of an essay contest.

For more information, punch in in your web search engine, call any of the phone numbers displayed there, and learn all you can about this mission, that of teaching the children why and how their federal government operates.

Coalition revolts against Speaker's plan for debt crisis

Washington - Cut Cap and Balance Coalition members denounced a plan by House Speaker John Boehner to postpone spending cuts while at the same time raising the national debt ceiling.

The key difference between the coalition's plan and the Speaker's is that the Cut, Cap and Balance Budget Pledge signed by 39 House members and 12 Senators calls for $111 billion in federal spending cuts during fiscal year 2012. Mr. Boehner's plan calls for first year cuts of only $7 billion during the first year of the plan.

According to former Congressman Ernest Istook of the Heritage Foundation, the sum of $6 billion is less than one day of federal spending, well short of the “substantial” standard imposed under the Cut, Cap and Balance plan.

President "wouldn't take yes for an answer" - Speaker

Livid with anger, his countenance pale and grim, President Barack Hussein Obama strode out of a darkened East Wing of the White House like an enraged ghost and admitted he could not make a budget deficit deal with the Republicans.

The nation is headed for default on a national debt of $14.3 trillion which Congress will not increase as a matter of routine, as it has so many times before in a perfunctory fashion. Those days, according to the nation's chief money man, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, are over. The lower chamber of the legislative branch simply refuses to raise the nation's debt ceiling, a lever which has never before been thrown in the annual scramble of give and take to finance the budget.

The president said, "This means we will not be able to pay our bills." He seemed to be visibly shocked.

In one last ditch attempt to compromise on a Senate proposal that would reduce the budget deficit by $2.7 billion over 10 years through spending cuts only - and no increase in revenues - he said, "We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare."

In a tight-lipped address to the nation, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner said "The president would not take yes for an answer."

In a nationally televised rebuttal, he said he had given "my all" to work out a deal with the man whose name, even this deep into his first term, still sounds strange to American ears, President Barack Hussein Obama, a Harvard-trained attorney who worked as a "community organizer" on the South side of Chicago before taking a seat in the Illinois state Senate, then won a seat in the world's most exclusive private club for millionaires, the United States Senate.

A world of financial creditors, market punters, tax payers, triumphant Tea Party activists and frightened disability recipients who suffer from terminal diseases, awaits the moment when the other shoe drops following this moment of high fiscal drama.

It is not a situation unprecedented to behold.

The Roman Republic descended into the chaos of its former self when such fiscal posturing in the Senate of that ancient federalistic and tripartite government led to precisely the same type of uncertainties, chief among them a lack of confidence among its columns of Foreign Legions that the Senators who mustered them would be able to pay their salaries in that far-flung world empire. In that atmosphere of constant crisis, the former republic soon became an imperial system of dictatorship ruled by a single junta, led by a single personality, financed by coin minted through fiat.

Whither the United States of America? The world waits and watches. All hands, prepare to testify, but keep the powder dry. God save the United States of America!

Great Caesar's ghost, I say.

All hail U.S.S. Constitution.

- The Legendary, a well-known sea lawyer and brig barrister

Atlantic Charter's influence on post-war welfare state

Wes Riddle’s Horse Sense #098/512 "Aspects of the Republican “Dialectic”

This article is reprinted from "Digital Commons@ Liberty University"
(click here to read the entire piece)

There are a number of aspects unique to the American republican dialectic--the association or interaction of ideas, forces and arguments that conflict and compete in American politics. These run through American history and through every political party system. The aspects are ideological, which means they can be (and are) part philosophical, part practical, and part cultural...

...Since 1932, however, one might add to the list beneficence of the welfare state. While properly regarded as being outside the American republican dialectic as conceived, it now plays an important part. Indeed, a host of special interests now align with both parties, two sides against the middle-class, in order to redistribute wealth to favored causes and constituents. This aspect is not related to functions of government in the Constitution; rather, it stems from Franklin Roosevelt’s Atlantic Charter, an extra-constitutional agreement with Churchill made in 1941 that declared the right to “freedom from want.” ...To the extent that it might have implied Constitutional sanction, it would have to be through temporary depression-era and wartime emergency powers. But like the deficit spending that fuels it, the welfare state never wants for emergencies. It moves from one “war” to the next. If a Great Depression or world war is not present to justify extreme measures, a war on poverty or drugs does almost as nicely.

The Atlantic Charter shaped American foreign policy throughout the post war world until the fall of the Soviet Union, and continues to influence domestic policy in the UK, western Europe and the U.S. Here is a recording of Sir Winston Churchill reading the major provisions of the agreement signed on board H.M.S. Prince of Wales at Placentia Bay Naval Station, Newfoundland, in 1941.

Wesley Allen Riddle is a retired military officer with degrees and honors from West Point and Oxford. Widely published in the academic and opinion press, he serves as State Director of the Republican Freedom Coalition (RFC). This article is from his forthcoming book, Horse Sense for the New Millennium scheduled for release in September (iUniverse, Inc., 2011). Email:

Monday, July 25, 2011

We don't need no stinking badges!

The minority report from Oak Cliff...

Commissioners to ponder tax abatement extension

Draw of $70,000 against original $215,000 grant promised
Some of the jobs "created" were for
Canadian workers

Waco – Due to delays in relocating key employees to Waco from Canada, Tri-Van Truck Body is asking the approval of McLennan County commissioners' Court to extend a 5-year tax abatement and grant for the creation of 43 new jobs.

The original term of the agreement was from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2012. The term would be extended to December 31, 2013.

Using a base line of 0 jobs in 2007, the agreement called for the company to spend $1,000,000 in improvements to the real property on Gholson Rd. and $500,000 in personal property improvements in addition to the creation of the new jobs in order to receive an incentive grant totaling $215,000 in cash.

If commissioners and the Waco City Council approve, the Waco Mclennan County Economic Development Corporation will pay the next draw against the incentive grant and extend the tax abatement, which called for a 50% reduction in property taxes the first year, 30% in year 2, 20% in year 3, 10% in year 4, and 5% for year 5.

In another proposal, County Attorney Mike Dixon has crafted an assumption agreement that would allow a similar arrangement to be transferred from Woodfall Equipment, a corporation doing business as Phoenix Equipment Company, to TUC, which bought the assets Woodfall acquired from Genie Industries, Inc.

The agreement between the economic development corporation allows a 40% tax exemption for five years on a 15,000 square foot building constructed on property located on Panther Way with an assessed valuation in 2005 of $1,271,393.

In addition, using a base line of 125 existing jobs, the company would be extended an additional 10% tax abatement for creating, filling and maintaining 20 new jobs if two-thirds of the new hires actually live in Waco.
Draw of $70,000 against original $215,000 grant commitment

Waco – Due to delays in relocating key employees to Waco from Canada, Tri-Van Truck Body is asking the approval of McLennan County commissioners' Court to extend a 5-year tax abatement and grant for the creation of 43 new jobs.

The original term of the agreement was from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2012. The term would be extended to December 31, 2013.

Using a base line of 0 jobs in 2007, the agreement called for the company to spend $1,000,000 in improvements to the real property on Gholson Rd. and $500,000 in personal property improvements in addition to the creation of the new jobs in order to receive an incentive grant totaling $215,000 in cash.

If commissioners and the Waco City Council approve, the Waco Mclennan County Economic Development Corporation will pay the next draw against the incentive grant and extend the tax abatement, which called for a 50% reduction in property taxes the first year, 30% in year 2, 20% in year 3, 10% in year 4, and 5% for year 5.

In another proposal, County Attorney Mike Dixon has crafted an assumption agreement that would allow a similar arrangement to be transferred from Woodfall Equipment, a corporation doing business as Phoenix Equipment Company, to TUC, which bought the assets Woodfall acquired from Genie Industries, Inc.

The agreement between the economic development corporation allows a 40% tax exemption for five years on a 15,000 square foot building constructed on property located on Panther Way with an assessed valuation in 2005 of $1,271,393.

In addition, using a base line of 125 existing jobs, the company would be extended an additional 10% tax abatement for creating, filling and maintaining 20 new jobs if two-thirds of the new hires actually live in Waco.

U.S. Rep. learns VA cemetery won't allow God or Jesus

Houston - U.S. Representative John Culberson, R-TX, infiltrated the honor guard at the Houston VA Cemetery and learned that the cemetery director will not let honor guardsmen use the words "God" or "Jesus" in funeral rituals without first clearing it with the grieving families of the veterans.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Private jail to “borrow” McLennan County prisoners

FOR SALE: Crossbar hotel with plenty of striped sunshine. Auction will begin bright and early Thursday, July 28, when qualified bidders...

Waco - Jail contractor CEC, Inc., will receive 180 prisoners from the local county lockup, according to a knowledgeable confidential source.

The planned move is intended to allow the New Jersey-based corporation to “make parole.”

According to the source, “CEC has the same old 300 they have always new contracts...which means that we have around 250 empty beds to use.” That's in addition to the 326 empty beds in the downtown jail, which was at one time contracted by CEC as a lockup for federal prisoners.

That facility stands empty, awaiting multimillion dollar remodeling and refurbishment to its lock systems, smoke and fire detectors.

When the company began to operate the year-old $50 million Jack Harwell Detention Center, located adjacent to the McLennan County Jail on Highway 6, the Commissioners' Court and Sheriff Larry Lynch elected to allow the contractor to transfer the prisoners to the new jail.

So far, the only thing the move has netted the taxpayers is the obligation to cover the interest carry on the bonds. Even though they are revenue bonds issued by public service corporation created by the County Commissioners' Court and not approved by the voters as General Obligation Bonds, taxpayers are still liable for the financial burden..

Apparently, there are some problems with staffing the deadbeat operation next door to the County Jail on Highway 6.

“CEC has posted a sign out front, 'Hiring Jailers' again,” our source wrote. “They cannot keep employees. Most come to work for the Sheriff's Department if they are qualified.”

There is increasing agitation in the ranks of the corrections staff over the issue of privatization. “If they privatize us, there will be no one to compete for jailers with higher salaries. Everyone starting would be at a controlled $8.50 an hour.”

Nevertheless, the executives of the department continue to help arrange Personal Recognizance releases – at no charge – for inmates who have not the ability to pay bond fees.

It is the responsibility of an inmate to arrange their own release on bail, our source says. If they are not charged within 48 hours, prosecuted or at least indicted within 90 days by the DA, they are to be released under the provisions for a speedy trial guaranteed in the Texas Constitution.

But Chief Deputy Randy Plemons and the top-ranking jail staff have a proactive personal Linkrecognizance release program to accelerate the process of getting offenders released without having to post bail fees, even though there is an overabundance of jail space in three separate lockups scattered around Waco.

“They also waive the PR bond for a lot of repeaters that do no have the money to pay...PR bond out illegal immigrants on their charges so ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will send them back to Mexico. Then the outlaw doesn't show up for court, a warrant is issued, the outlaw sneaks back into Texas and gets caught again. The process starts over. Whatever happened to serve their sentence, then get deported?”

CEC has abandoned its operation of the Johnson County Law Enforcement Center – and other pubic facilities - due to similar problems of maintaining staffing and attracting contracts to house prisoners. They walked away from a bespoke speculative penitentiary operation built by an economic developemnt authority in Hardin, Montana, because of precisely the same problems.

But CEC's problems have been nowhere near as severe as GEO, formerly known as Wackenhut.

The Boca Raton-based company has multinational security and detention operations, many of them performed for the CIA.

They got hit with one of the largest judgments ever in a wrongful death suit, a jury award of $47 million in a case tried in 2006.

A Laredo inmate, Gregorio de la Rosa, was held in the Willacy County lockup operated by Wackenhut when other inmates slowly beat him to death with a mace improvised from a padlock in a sock only a few days before his scheduled release on April 26, 2001.

His attorney, Ron Rodriguez of Laredo, alleged in the lawsuit that while the beating took place, private corrections staff from Wackenhut stood around “smirking and smiling.”

After the death, Wackenhut officials first lied about the beating, then tried to conceal evidence that it occurred.

In upholding the judgment, the 13th District Court of Appeals at Brownsville said in its opinion, “We find that Wackenhut's conduct was clearly reprehensible and, frankly, constituted a disgusting display of disrespect for the welfare of others and for this state's civil justice system.

GEO's problems don't stop there.

Littlefield, Texas, will hold an auction to sell a private jail built with an $11 million bond issue for the operation of GEO. The Bill Clayton Detention Center will go to the highest bidder on Thursday, July 28. The city still owes an estimated $5 million on the speculative development, which has stood empty for many months.

The small community near Lubbock has lost more than 100 jobs as a result, jobs their city government gambled on getting for an underemployed population.

The State of Idaho withdrew its contract for GEO to house prisoner in the Littlefield private jail after the suicide death of an Idaho man named Randall McCullough. He was incarcerated in a solitary confinement cell for more than a year following a fight with a corrections staffer, an offense for which he was never prosecuted.

In despair, he committed suicide, as did six others in facilities scattered out over the west.

In a similar development, the corporation lost its contract to operate the Dickens County Jail where inmate Noble Payne took his own life.

In both cases, Idaho corrections officials determined that GEO staffers were negligent in their surveillance and supervision of the inmates.

In announcing the move to sever its contract with GEO, Idaho Department of Corrections Director Brent Reinke said an audit of the facility showed repeated abuses of record keeping that shows the staff falsified their reports to show they were in attendance and watching the inmates when all the while they were at locations far remote from the jail.

Raise the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling? Ho hum.

TEA Party budget cutting strategy will likely pay off

A bipartisan report on the likely result of failing to raise the nation's debt ceiling shows that emergent conditions would fail to materialize immediately.

Laissez faire analysts predict that a process of monetary equalization will take place as the result of the end of monetization of U.S. Treasury debt combined with a Congressional refusal to generate new debt over and above a statutory ceiling imposed last fall of $14.3 trillion.

“Without a debt ceiling increase by August 2, the government will wake up August 3 unable to pay approximately 44% of its bills for August. The overwhelming majority of those bills are simply disbursements of funds for government programs, without which this would be a richer, freer country. Interest on the national debt due in August is not a big item...

“In the meantime, in the weeks and months that follow August 2, something unexpected would happen... something nobody in government wants you to know. You'd find out how much you don't need the government.

“For example, you'd find out that the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Interior, Agriculture, and a few others are completely unnecessary and a total waste of money. They'd spend only a couple hundred billion dollars out of a $3 trillion budget, but it would be a huge start on the way to showing you how unnecessary government is. Once that ball got rolling, it'd get harder and harder to stop.”

Dan Ferris, author of the financial newsletter, “Extreme Value.”

Extreme value theory is a branch of statistics dealing with the extreme deviations from the median of probability distributions. The general theory sets out to assess the type of probability distributions generated by processes.

Extreme value theory is important for assessing risk for highly unusual events, such as 100-year floods. The statistical models were pioneered by a gentleman who was working to define the probability of the weakest fiber in any given cotton thread and use the data to manufacture a stronger product.

It is often used to assess risk in day-to-day market fluctuations.

The Legendary just turned 62

I'm an Oak Cliff boy from out off Illinois Avenue, a 1949 model. Standing here on the corner of Space and Time, my Spanish horsehide jacket scarred and smelling of black coffee and unfiltered cigarettes, all I can hear is the rapid changes of guitars tuned good and firm feelin' women. It must be something in the air.

There is this character named Mr. Jones who seems to shuffle through the narrative, pausing long enough for cameo appearances, then tip tapping on his way wearing shades and funny hats in search of some kind of Temple. After all, every song is a prayer and every building is a temple, as they say on the hill. To remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, one need only raise one's voice in song, you see, and bounce one's voice off the facades and countenances of the temples. Selah. So mote it be.

At times, others join the chorus and the prayers become more fervent. Therefore, do I rejoice.

Mr. Jones' stature is thereby increased and he assumes mythic proportions among men. Selah. So mote it be.

I shall pray for my mother now and at the time of my death.

- The Legendary

Political antagonists settle defamation suit

Waco – Former Justice Felipe Reyna and a Longview doctor resolved a defamation suit with lightning speed late last week through the services of a mediator.

In a take nothing settlement agreement, both parties agreed to bear their own legal expenses and defendant John Coppedge, M.D., of the Texas Bipartisan Justice Committee countersigned a statement in which he asserted he “regrets any misunderstanding.”

In the lawsuit, former 10th District Court of Appeals Justice Reyna alleged that certain statements made by the committee amounted to defamation of character because they allegedly implied that he had made decisions from the bench based on a personal bias and that these faulty decisions cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

In the settlement agreement, Dr. Coppedge said he “never intended to suggest that Justice Reyna ever decided any civil or criminal cases for any reason other than his good faith belief that his decisions were correct applications of the law to all the facts in those cases.”

The assertion is important because to prove a defamation suit filed by a public official, malice or malicious intentd, or both, must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Such suits are very unusual because the truth is an absolute defense against the charge of defamation, libel or slander.

The bipartisan justice committee backed the successful candidate, District Judge Al Scoggins of Ellis County, in the March 2010 Republican Primary.

The settlement agreement filed in 414th District Court says “nothing contained herein shall be construed as an admission of liability by any party, all such liability being expressly denied.”

Judge Reyna added that the record “reflects that the majority of his rulings did not favor plaintiffs in civil cases nor defendants in criminal cases and that his opinions did not improperly cost tax payers a lot of money.”

Should any further disputes arise in the matter, both parties have agreed to “attempt to resolve the same with Nancy Huston, the Mediator who facilitated.” The agreement goes on to say that if any litigation should arise, “the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover attorney's fees as well as cost and expenses, including the cost of the mediation.”

Both Justice Reyna and Dr. Coppedge wished each other and their families the best in the years to come. Abel Reyna is the District Attorney for McLennan County, a position Justice Reyna once held.

Judge Reyna declined to comment. His attorney did not reply to telephone messages.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dead at 27 - Amy Winehouse, blueswoman...

Even when she was drunk on her sweet patootie, this chick's voice had a range and timbre that was el perfecto to wail on the blues. Gone, but not forgotten.

She joins a number of virtuoso blues performers who entered the pantheon of this tricky idiom - the blues - at the age of 27.

Enigmatic cartoon du jour...a huge success

Behold, the new frontier now shuttle days are over

NASA's new goal - visit and return from an asteroid - Time frame: 15 years

Houston - Landing on an asteroid is difficult because you'd bounce off — it has virtually no gravity. A NASA spacecraft might have to harpoon it. Even then, astronauts could not walk on it because they'd float away.

We are talking jetpacks, tethers, bungees, nets and spiderwebs, here. This way, explorers could float just above the surface of it while attached to a smaller mini-spaceship.

The mother ship? Oh, well, now, that would require solar panels the size of football fields...

Scary development in the cotton patches of Arkansas...

Weatherman interviews lawman on concealed carry rules

Retired Deputy U.S. Marshal Parnell McNamara and KWTX weather man Rusty Garrett on six shooter concealed carry rules

Along with brother Mike, Marshal McNamara headed up a task force that tracked down and arrested serial murderer Kenneth McDuff. The pair were falsely accused of tipping off news media to a raid on the Branch Davidian compound, a raid that was no doubt prompted by a bill languishing on Governor Ann Richards' desk that would have legalized concealed carry of handguns in Texas. It became a campaign issue in the next election contest with George W. Bush, who vowed he would sign the bill as one of his first acts if elected.

He, Chief Deputy Randy Plemons and Barney Witt have announced their candidacy in the McLennan County Sheriff's race following the announcement that Sheriff Larry Lynch will not seek re-election.

In 50-minute meeting, no debt deal in sight...

House Speaker John Boehner's office on Saturday morning chided President Barack Hussein Obama for opposing any proposal that does not raise the $14.3 trillion plan by enough to resolve the issue until after the November 2012 election, accusing the president of playing politics.

"We do not know what size or shape a final package will take, but it would be terribly unfortunate if the president was willing to veto a debt limit increase simply because its timing would not be ideal for his re-election campaign," a Boehner aide said.

The Boehner aide said the speaker would "reiterate again today that in order for a bill to pass the House, it must include cuts greater than the debt limit increase."

And the floggings will continue until morale improves.

- The Legendary

p.s. I do believe this 'un done gone off his medication, or somethin'.