Monday, October 31, 2011
Waco - Waco City Attorney Leah Hayes has tendered her resignation following a dispute with real estate operators and newspaper executives about release of public information.
According to Waco City Manager Larry Groth, "She's turned in her resignation at the end of the year."
In an ongoing disagreement that has been brewing for more than a year, Ms. Hayes and her staff insisted that such public information as arrest and offense reports, affidavits of probable cause in support of arrest warrants, and bail information is subject to a 10-day delay for review by the City Attorney's office.
Actually, Section 552 of the Texas Open Records Act, a part of the Texas Local Government Code, specifies that all such documentation should be turned over to the public "promptly."
There is a provision for a 10-day review period when an item is the subject of ongoing litigation, but only under specific circumstances and not as a blanket policy.
Work product of investigations such as polygraph exams, lab work, ballistics and finger reports, witness statements and other sensitive information such as litigation, real estate transations, personnel actions, medical records, mental health commitments and juvenile arrest records are excepted.
Ms. Hayes withheld information about the $16.5 million redevelopment of Parkside Village, a blighted low income housing project that extends from the 1200 to the 1400 block of N. 9th St. in the Brook Oaks neighborhood. At the same time, she allegedly showed the redevelopment plans to other real estate and construction executives.
Mr. Groth reversed her policy and showed the plans and other information to the staff of the local newspaper.
The Waco "Tribune-Herald" editorialized against Ms. Hayes' policy, which led to a hubub among members of the City Council and the Mayor.
That was way back in 1988. No one has bothered to investigate during the intervening years.
Recently, when “Zeta” News magazine's executive director called for reopening the case, as well as one in which Mayor Hank Rhon was charged with possession of 88 prohibited firearms, no one bothered to do much about that, either. There was a lack of evidence, even though Adela Navarro Bello published a complete inventory of the weapons and an additional 18 pages of evidence of crimes committed under the color of official authority by the Mayor of Tijuana.
Her courage netted her the 2011 Courage in Journalism Award, bestowed by the International Women's Media Foundation in Washington, D.C.
"We kept wondering, ‘How many lives must be lost?' Francisco was putting his two children in the backseat of the car before he was gunned down. The kids got out of the car and started crying and running. It was one of the saddest moments in the history of Zeta," said Ms. Navarro. "There was talk of closing the paper, but we wanted to do our work."
After learning that she received this year's Courage in Journalism Award, Navarro said she felt that "Zeta isn't alone. We have allies. This is an important message to the people of Mexico."
"I've been poisoned with the truth. I can't stop," Navarro Bello said. "We aren't afraid to write about the drug cartels and run the names of people who are hurting our society. We tell the police who they are. That's the kind of journalism we do. We go everywhere and cover everything. We won't remain silent."
The long form - nuts, bolts and baloney
If this is all it takes to bring on a declaration of martial law - well, uh...
(click here for the minority report)
Sunday, October 30, 2011
WOULD SOMBODY PLEASE PLAY THE JUKEBOX?
Well, you know, on Louisiana 1, somewhere between Thibodaux and Fouchon City, in a big grove of oaks right beside the canal, there is a place called "Twist and Shout," not too far from another place called "Hubba Hubba."
And I pray to my Creator that those places are still there because, you know, some of this stuff makes me feel like I need to run take a shower - or something. Yeah.
IN THE SPIRIT OF 1836, END THE FED
We need the following:
1. A wave of price inflation caused by the FED
2. A subsequent recession caused by the FED
3. A depression caused by the FED
4. A wave of outage in response to the FED
5. An endless series of criticisms of the FED
The City - Some wore business suits, but most affected the men-in-tights look of Robin Hood and his band of merry men as about 1,000 howling celebrants of the Occupy San Francisco clique hit the streets to party down for Halloween.
Activist film maker Michael Moore visited the impromptu camp ground in the plaza near the Embarcadero named for that maestro of the federal bulldozer, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Director M. Justin Herman.
In a city where nuns dressed in their habits sponsor charity garter snake races on St. Patrick's Day and Chinese New Year is marked with a blocks-long dragon that comes out of the Chinatown sewers while thousands upon thousands of firecrackers explode in doorways to ward off the evil spirits of the previous year, any day is a day for a parade.
Local newsmen noted that many police officers stood by to keep order during the afternoon's festivities, which dragged on into the late night, but they fired no tear gas canisters at the Marines.
And the floggings will continue until morale improves. - The Legendary
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Killer of 'Young Marine' calls murder accidental
Waco – S.J. Guthrie Park is a groove in the ground lined with concrete, an attractive accent to an inner city neighborhood of well-kept homes that closely resembles a sun-splashed suburban setting.
The creek branch cuts across the streets at an oblique, shaded by native oak and pecan, hackberry and ash. The trimmed lawn and transplanted ficus trees are encircled by broad foot paths.
A painted wooden signpost points the way to an arched masonry pavilion with an interesting star-shaped roof pattern of four ridges and four valleys, an elaborate jungle gym, barbecue pits – all the amenities of a beautiful pocket park – proudly heralded by neatly lettered slats that show a visitor the way to each element of the setting.
That's how things look by day.
At night, according to a local resident out for a walk with his two little girls who were riding their bicycles - a man wearing a camouflaged golf cap embroidered with the words “Vietnam Veteran” and the service ribbons associated with that conflict - at night drug sellers and their prey, the addicts, come looking to peddle their deadly wares, make scores and meet up for business. They park along the curb on E. Edmond Ave.
Asked if this is the kind of place where high school boys come to fight, he shrugs, points with his chin at a parked car where a man and woman sit nervously, hypervigilant, watching, and says, “No, not really. You see them come down here and park over there – kind of late in the evening. That's when they sell the dope. All around here.” He gestures with his shoulders, his eyes, indicating the entire neighborhood.
Suddenly, the man and woman in the car parked at the curb crank the engine, get the vehicle underway, and leave in a hurry. Earlier, they had asked about the camera.
“You gonna take pictures of us?” the woman asked. Told no, the mission was to photograph the park, the crime scene, in an attempt to try to come up with as accurate a picture of the place as possible, she asked “How come? You an investigator?”
No, I said, I am a journalist. When I handed her my card, she asked, nervously, “What's this?”
“It's my 'Are you gonna be okay card,'” I said.
“What's this mean?” she asked, meaning the card.
It means it's my calling card and I use it to find out if you're gonna be okay, I answered. She tried to hand it back, but I made no move to take it from her.
The man, who was at the steering wheel, said, “I don't know what it means,” when she tried to hand it to him. At first, he demurred, then he tucked the card in the center console.
“What does Legendary mean?” the woman asked, her tone bordering on belligerence.
It doesn't mean anything if you don't signify anything by it, I replied.
Okay. After dark, it's all Indian country when it comes to S.J. Guthrie Park. Roger that. Understood. We read that five by five.
This is where two carloads of kids showed up on March 7, kind of late in the evening, to rumble about – something or the other.
One boy died. A 9 mm bullet pierced the right parietal region of his skull. He was covering his mother's body with his own as five bullets shattered the driver's side window and door of the vehicle.
Nathan Romo, 17, was a football player at Lorena High School, a Young Marine, part of an organization chartered by the Marine Corps League to keep kids from 8 to high school age interested in “academic achievement and the history and traditions of the United States and the U.S. Marine Corps.”
Three stated core values are “leadership, discipline and teamwork,” according to a website devoted to the subject.
Chartered in 1965, the Young Marines got recognition in the “Recruiting, Retention and Reservist Promotion Act of 2000” for providing “significant public relations benefits.”
A stated policy is “To advocate a healthy drug free lifestyle by continual drug prevention education programs.”
Members strive to “Remember that having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency” while learning survival skills such as hiking, scuba diving and rappelling.
So, why did Nathan Romo's body wind up there, in a place like that, kind of late in the evening – against the peace and dignity of the People of the State of Texas?
It sounds very complicated until you stop and consider that there were two adults present when the killing took place, one of whom has been convicted of murder. The other adult present was Nathan Bono's mother, Patricia West, a woman whose driver's license had been revoked and had just gotten off work at an area restaurant.
Nathan used to drive her to and from work. On the way home on that late March evening, they made a stop at the park so Jacob Gutierrez could fight Trey Nino.
Willie Contreras, 29, the convicted murderer, drove his nephew Trey Nino to the park to fight with Jacob Gutierrez.
According to testimony from Kalin Ketcherside, he and Gutierrez had been drinking. He told jurors he heard his drinking buddy arguing with Trey Nino, Willie Contreras' nephew, on the phone. He said he didn't believe they would really fight.
According to Ms. West, the gun fight began after they had been parked, confronting for a few minutes the passengers in the truck driven by Mr. Contreras. That's when they put the truck in gear and the fight started.
As Willie Contreras' truck rolled toward theirs, shots rang out. Her son covered her body with his where they cowered on the floorboards of the car.
According to news reports, she wept while giving her testimony.
Detective Charlotte Matthews advised Willie Contreras of his right to remain silent and that anything he said could be used against him in a court of law.
According to documents he signed and initialed at the Waco Police Department. Mr. Contreras understood that he could have an attorney present and to represent him in court, Det. Matthews testified.
During her questioning, she told the jurors, Mr. Contreras changed his story. At first, he said he had no gun.
Later, he led her and other investigators to the place where he stashed the 9 mm semiautomatic pistol he admitted to firing “About 11 (times) I think. Earlier in their conversation, he had tried to blame the shooting on his nephew, Trey Nino.
He told detectives in a video statement that he held the pistol down as he pulled the trigger.
“...I was shooting like this down, towards the ground...I was at the rear...I wasn't trying to shoot nobody.”
His attorneys made a motion to suppress the statement. They said Det. Matthews obtained his cooperation through deception and trickery by offering him favorable treatment if he would tell her what really happened.
19th Criminal District Criminal Judge Ralph Strother denied the motion.
Judge Strother charged the jurors with the choice of verdicts of either criminally negligent homicide, or murder. Defense attorneys argued that Mr. Contreras acted negligently “with respect to the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur.
“The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.”
If they had a reasonable doubt that Mr. Contreras acted to “intentionally and knowingly cause the death of an individual, namely, Nathan Romo,” they were instructed to deliver a verdict of criminally negligent homicide, the penalty for which is a term of not less than 6 months or more than 2 years in state jail.
Instead, the jurors found that he acted intentionally and knowingly, and thereby sentenced him to not less than 5 years and up to 99 years or life imprisonment in the penitentiary.
Mr. Contreras consented to an interview with The Legendary, but according to McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch, “Interviews are not allowed at the jail.”
Staff at the Jack Harwell Dentention Center have politely refused to file a request to place this writer on the Mr. Contreras' visitors' list before late next month.
Offered the opportunity to answer my questions in writing, Mr. Contreras wrote, “How are you. Well im sorry I can't add you to My visitation until the 20th of next Month and By that time I should be in T.D.C.J. Also I don't know how to read and Write to Well that's Why I Would rather you come and see Me hope to see you soon but if you have other plans please be sure to inform Me.”
In an earlier letter, he wrote, “How are you doing, Well I hope your story does help My case out and benefit Me in My appeal trial because I Was Wrongly convicted My case Was actually an accident so I Would be More than happy to give you a interview so fill free to come see Me anytime.”
Several decades will pass before he is eligible for parole.
None of the pictures attached to this article were taken inside the 19th District Courtroom or inside the McLennan County Courthouse.
Friday, October 28, 2011
New York – Lawyer Jill Filipovic opened her bag in Dublin hotel room, only to find a TSA inspection card with the hand-written notation, “Get your freak on girl...”
The inspector had found a “personal item,” a small vibrator, and made note of it. Ms. Filopovic tweeted that she “died laughing in my hotel room.”
TSA brass said they will have the inspector's job for “this type of behavior” and had “reached out to the passenger to personally apologize for this unfortunate incident.”
Ms. Filopovic wrote on the Feministe blog, “I would much prefer a look at why 'security' has been used to justify so many intrusions on our civil liberties, rather than fire a person who made a mistake.”
Now, more than ever
Oakland – A two-tour Marine veteran of the Iraq war, Scott Olsen was working days and marching nights at Occupy Oakland protests when a tear gas projectile fired from a policeman's shotgun cut him down.
He hovered near death from the swelling of his brain caused by a fractured skull until early today, when he began to breathe on his own without the assistance of a respirator. Doctors have upgraded his condition from critical to fair.
His parents and many friends arrived at the hospital to keep a vigil at his bedside as he struggles to remain alive. His injury will still require a cranial operation, according to neurosurgeons who are treating him.
The shooting has prompted a review of the Oakland Police Department's policies and performance, according to that city's acting Chief of Police and Mayor.
Violence rocked the city earlier this year after a police officer shot and killed a man who had been arrested for disorderly conduct as he lay face down with his hands restrained behind his back.
The best of the best of American journalism since 9/11, picked by the editors of the PBS program, "Frontline."
Click here for the line-up. These are the top stories of the decade that shaped America's perceptions of the national effort to meet the challenges of the first major attack on American soil since the War of 1812. It was just one attack - and a principle battle - in a long and costly war in which the enemy is stateless and operating without a formal declaration.
Mr. Boehner said he would not rule out closing tax loopholes to raise revenue while Ms. Pelosi did not reject a plan to measure inflation in such a way that would cut cost of living allowances in Social Security benefits.
Both urged the Supercommittee to agree on a plan before the Nov. 23 deadline to trim the budget before automatic triggers begin to dictate across the board cuts in sensitive areas such as defense.
“It’s going to be very difficult to get to an outcome, but I am committed to getting to an outcome,” Speaker Boehner told reporters in Washington. “I am not surprised we are having some difficulty because this isn’t easy. It’s time for everybody to get serious about this.”
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Washington - Republican operatives labeled less than serious an offer to cut the federal budget by $3 trillion.
The plan included $1.3 trillion in new taxes.
"I don't think it was seen as a serious offer," a GOP aide familiar with the private discussion within the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the supercommittee, told the Los Angeles Times.
"You have to wonder if this is about positioning instead of about moving to resolution," committee member Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., told The Washington Post.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
MSN Money - 'Why U.S. should spread the wealth'
...Workers were helping to increase the size of the pie, but income did not trickle down, and their share of the pie was no larger than before...
There are some glaring signs that the Occupy Wall Streeters are making some headway in the opinion of the nation's economic thinkers. It brings up the age-old double dicho regarding the government's true role in a capitalist society.
Is government a business, or is government the means by which business may be done?
Today's lead article on MSN home pages is a re-print of a Mark Thoma article from the Oct. 14 edition of “The Fiscal Times” that holds the wealthy not only don't pay their share of taxes, they should. Why? Because the Bush tax cuts failed to prove the old business school adage that “A rising tide lifts all boats.” (click here for Mr. Thoma's article)
It didn't happen that way, after all.
Not even close, according to Mr. Thoma.
The result is that productivity has gone on the chopping block while a harsh and hostile economic climate attacked America's all-important markets for housing, education, transportation and the money it takes to finance those top three big ticket items – the home, the education and the car.
“America sacrificed equity for the false promise of efficiency and growth, and society is now more unequal than at any time since the early part of the last century,” his lead statement reads in the opinion piece appearing today on millions of computers world wide.
It's as simple as the wise statement made by Henry Ford when he said it would be utter folly to employ men to make his cars and then fail to pay them enough that they could buy, pay for, and drive one of them.
Simple, yes, but oh, how true. True enough that one of the world's largest and most productive corporations chose the subject for the day's lead article on its home page.
“For example, the Bush tax cuts were justified, in part, by the assertion that equity had overshadowed efficiency in tax policy. Taxes on the wealthy, and the inefficiencies that come with them, were much too high, it was argued, and lowering taxes would cause output to go up enough to lift all boats...In fact, there's little evidence that the Bush tax cuts had any effect at all...,” Mr. Thoma wrote.
The date is important. October 14 is that inauspicious day before the #OccupyWallSt protests went global and coast to coast with cries to “End the Fed” and tax the rich, redistribute the world's wealth and reverse a disturbing trend that seems to call for a very small class of super rich and a huge class of have-nots headed straight for a brave new fuedal system of lock step serfdom.
It makes for interesting reading.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just nine percent (9%) of Likely U.S. Voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent. Sixty-three percent (63%) view Congress’ job performance as poor.
In a conference call, U.S. Representative Bill Flores told about 3,000 constituents from the natural gas-rich four northernmost counties of District 17 that America's economic future depends on a minimum of 10 new conservative Senators winning seats in the elections of 2012.
The freshman Representative answered each question regarding balancing the budget, cutting deficit spending, putting Americans back to work and holding the line on taxes in the same way.
To get any “traction” in the Senate, the GOP needs to seat a minimum of 10 new conservative Senators.
In his 10 months of service as a Congressman, he has seen bill after bill that would grow jobs in the oil fields go down to defeat and wind up in (Senate Majority Leader) “Harry Reid's trash can,” the Bryan oil man said.
In the holding action going in to 2012, he proposed that the new conservative House majority continue to defund EPA operations to the point where the bureaucracy has little reasonable chance of frustrating efforts to put a crimp in America's energy posture through environmental regulations.
“The EPA and the administration seem to have Texas in their crosshairs,” he concluded.
The evidence is plain enough to see. A half dozen bills to open new areas of the Atlantic coastline, Florida's offshore and the eastern Gulf of Mexico went down to a grubbing defeat through the inaction of the Democrat-controlled Senate. Ditto to plans to drill in the Alaska Natural Wildlife Reserve of the Northern Slope.
The first term Congressman, a veteran of the domestic oil and gas drilling business in Texas and Louisiana, explained to his auditors that the part of the wildlife preserve that would be drilled through horizontal techniques is an area “about the size of D/FW Airport.”
Hundreds of thousands of jobs hang in the balance, everything from pipelining to cooking on offshore rigs, throwing chain on drilling floors, driving trucks in west Texas, and building oil tools in Houston. Nineteen thousand of those offshore workers are from Texas, and that hurts the economy.
Five hundred Texas jobs bit the dust with the surprise move by the EPA impose new regulations on Luminant Energy's 5 coal-fired electrical generating plants.
“No one in Texas thought they would be involved,” said Mr. Flores in answer to a caller's question. Thirty Texas Congressmen have signed a letter asking the EPA to reconsider.
A Department of the Interior slowdown in approval of oil and gas drilling permits has idled thousands upon thousands of workers, some 19,000 in the Texas offshore oil fields.
The Bakken oil and gas play in North Dakota and Montana has given that state a 3 – 4% unemployment rate, good news in the recession that seems to drag on like a case of late spring flu.
The only relief in sight is the Keystone oil sands pipeline from Alberta to Houston, something that would put 700,000 to one million people to work.
In summing up, he made some promises to his constituents from Hood, Somervell, Johnson and Bosque Counties.
In terms of personal sacrifice in the deficit fight, “You'll see me introducing legislation in the next couple of weeks to cut Congressmen's pay whenever deficit spending exceeds certain levels.”
He likened the concept to times when as chief executive officer of his own operation, he was the first to take a pay cut in hard times and the last to get a raise when the turbulence was behind the company.
When it comes to flat tax and fair tax – something he compared to a national sales tax in reality – he said, “First, we need to fix the tax system we have today – make it fair, simpler, to get the economy on its feet, and then talk about the new forms of taxes.”
Exploit oil and gas properties on public lands owned by taxpayers first so they get the benefit of their own energy wealth, then ship American jobs overseas only when it's necessary to get the oil and gas needed to run the country from foreign oil fields.
Rally conservatives to fight a proposed 3% withholding tax on any business with a government contract. A lot of those businesses are small businesses, and their margin of profit is too slim to allow the government to withhold that much of their cash flow without succumbing to the competition of much larger organizations.
Pass a balanced budget amendment and get it ratified. The idea is to limit Congressional spending to no more dollars going out than there is revenue to cover coming in. The fine details, procedures in war time, national emergencies, are yet to be worked out, but he says he will support and vote for anything his colleagues craft in the interim. The problem is serious enough that the solution to it needs to be inscribed in the U.S. Constitution and ratified by the state Legislatures, according to Bill Flores.
Cutting spending is a cultural problem, no less than Congressional gridlock, he says. The U.S. Postal Service is so hidebound in its ways that easy fixes are impossible due to the lethargy of a bureaucracy so long in place and fixed in its ways that business techniques don't even make any sense to the managers who run it.
He supports Congressman Darrell Issa's bill that would call for an elimination of door to door mail delivery and the innovation of cluster boxes. It would lead to an estimated saving of $3.5 billion a year.
So, how do you get those 10 new GOP faces in the Senate?
Time and money, said Mr. Flores. You spend both liberally. Add in a little shoe leather, and it can be done.
Send money to your favorite conservative Senatorial candidate in the state of your choice.
Make phone calls from your Texas phone on behalf of the conservative candidate of your choice in another state. Their campaign staff will be glad you volunteered, and you don't have to leave home.
Travel to that state in the last critical weeks and days of the campaign and walk the blocks – house by house – asking for the vote for your candidate of choice.
Explain to people in that other state how important it is to folks in the Lone Star State that they see it your way and give the conservative candidate the nod.
These are some selections from the first three editions of the "Occupied Wall St. Journal" published from Liberty Square, New York, N.Y. (click here)
Then he withdrew a postcard from the inner lapel pocket of his suit and said you could fit his new flat tax and job growth plan on a piece of paper of that size.
Closer inspection shows it's a humdinger for the rich and the corporate community, a bummer for the wage earners, and photo op for the media.
But wait, there's more. Mr. Perry will appear later today at the South Carolina state capitol to announce the endorsement of the Speaker of the House.
The flat tax plan is an either/or proposition for wage earners. They could choose between a 20% flat income tax with a $12,500 deduction, no inheritance tax and no capital gains tax, or they could opt to stick with the present tax code.
Corporations would get a lowered income tax rate of 20% and an immediate cut rate of 5.25% if they choose to repatriate their operations to American soil, a transition to a territorial tax system that taxes only in-country income, and a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank and Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley. He also promises a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and capping federal spending at 18% of gross domestic product.
Wage earners would get an elimination of income tax on Social Security benefits and an opportunity to manage a personal Social Security account.
We have not lived Constitutionally for years, decades in fact. Only Congress can declare war, yet Congress has abdicated that responsibility and handed it over to the Executive who now sends troops wherever he wants on the planet. This has been happening for at least 30 years, probably longer.
The Supreme Court has desecrated the notion of Constitutional rights by declaring that Corporations are persons who should have Constitutional rights (and fetuses are not).
Since the "war on terror" began, our government's answer to terrorism is to treat everyone like terrorists and totally ignore the Constitution. Habeas Corpus has been ignored for over a decade now. The 4th Amendment has been ignored even longer.
- Wm. B. Travis VIII
Monday, October 24, 2011
Houston - Tomorrow morning the Harris County Attorney will go into Commissioners' Court and ask for the authority to hire a law firm to sue the title holder for 60 million real property loans in the U.S.
County officials have not taken up the cudgel in favor of homwowners and tax payers.
Their intention is to recoup millions of dollars in recording fees that mortgage packagers have avoided paying.
The controversy is at the heart of lawsuits nationwide in which property owners fighting foreclosure claim the bankers have no standing to foreclose because they have no clear idea, or at least cannot prove, who really and truly owns the properties.
According to Robert Soard, executive assistant to the Harris County Attorney, estimates show there were more than a quarter million deeds of trust recorded in Harris County during the years 2002-2011, listing a Virginia-based mortgage tracking company named Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
A creature of the big banks, MERS is the owner of record, it says, no matter how many times the loan has been sold and re-sold. Too big to fail banks own the majority of shares in the corporation, which they formed in 1995 in order to “streamline” the mortgage banking process. Shareholders include Bank of America, Chase, CitiMortgage Inc., Wells Fargo Bank, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Harris County has a different opinion. Each time an assignment of a deed of trust is recorded, the County Clerk's office charges $16 for the first page and $4 for each additional page of the document.
If the Dallas law firm of Malouf & Nockels LLP is able to obtain and enforce a judgment against MERS, Harris County could recoup as much as $10 million, assuming each deed of trust has two or more assignments. With penalties, the figure could go as high as $100 million, Mr. Soard told Houston newsmen.
By packaging as many as 10,000 such assignments of deeds of trust and selling them to investors who in turn re-sell them again and again, the banks are able to avoid paying the recording fees to counties.
Nationwide, the MERS system has saved its shareholders an estimated $2.4 billion in recording fees, according to a former CEO who stated the figure in a 2009 court deposition. According to the corporation's website, MERS is “inoculated against future assignments” having to be recorded because it is the lender of record in any case.
Harris County is not alone in its efforts to recoup the filing fees. Malouf & Nockels has filed suit on behalf of Dallas County. Mr. Malouf has filed court papers seeking to “pierce the corporate veil” and discover the true ownership of MERS. If a judge orders it, banks which are part owners in MERS will be ordered to share in payment of the filing fees.
Bexar County is looking at filing a similar suit, according to the District Attorney, who wishes to see that the filing system “comports” with a method that guarantees “the protection of purchasers and sellers of property.”
A similar suit is pending in Hidalgo County where a Mesquite lawyer named Theodore Lyon, Jr., is preparing to file a federal lawsuit alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
“By recording with MERS as opposed to recording with the counties, they've defrauded the counties of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Mr. Lyon said.
There are 700,000 physicians in the U.S., and these physicians cause 120,000 accidental deaths per year. That’s an accidental death rate of .171 per physician.
Now on the other hand, there are 80 million gun owners in the U.S. and perhaps 1500 accidental gun deaths per year. That’s an accidental death rate of .0000188 per gun owner.
Therefore, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners! In fact, I’d recommend if you aren’t really sick, that you should go to the Temple Gun Club Range and shoot or just stay in bed with your gun. That is a whole lot surer way to recovery than going to a doctor—unless of course, he happens to be a gun owner too.
While I thought that story was funny, there is actually a serious side to the assertion that guns are good public health policy. Oh, the anti-gun movement will convey an impression that firearms in the home are a leading cause of accidental death and injury. In fact, Centers for Disease Control statistics indicate firearms are pretty far down on the list! Deaths and injuries from swimming pools and falls from ladders are a lot more common. There is well-documented evidence too, to show that firearms in the home and carried concealed amount to net health benefits. The National Crime Victimization Survey by the Census Bureau indicates that a minimum of 65,000 crimes are stopped or prevented annually by armed citizens, usually without a shot fired. Thirteen other studies estimate far more crimes are actually thwarted by citizens with their own firearms. Based on that evidence, I think every law abiding gun-owner deserves a break on his life and health insurance simply for owning a gun—more if it’s loaded and you’re packing!
Seriously, to ignore the data—to focus only on the many fewer deaths caused by firearms, accidental or criminal, is like the physician mentioning only undesirable side effects of a drug that occur, but ignoring the good effects for most people. Imagine how the drug commercials would change—no more dancing through the tulips with clear nasal passages. Instead you’d have a version of Scrooge watching his own funeral procession. Disease would become the acceptable norm, and you couldn’t accept the “risk” of being healthy. If that kind of perverse thinking sounds too familiar, it is because politicians actually use it all the time.
General George S. Patton said, “The lowest form of life on earth is a politician. The lowest form of a politician is a liberal.” (Actually, he said liberal Democrat, but I’m being as nonpartisan as I can). Anyway, I do agree the lowest form of a politician is a liberal. A liberal is someone who holds you up at gunpoint, without giving you the courtesy of letting you know he’s doing it. You see the liberal politician doesn’t show you his firearm, but it’s there: in back of every legal mandate or property seizure; in every tax and every coercive move by the government to take from you what’s yours, including future opportunities and potential—all ostensibly for the good of others, but mainly for the good of the political class in the interest of keeping power. When a liberal politician talks about gun control, it isn’t about guns but about control. Because he knows the Second Amendment is in place in case he ignores the others. To paraphrase Scripture, ‘If you would spoil a strongman’s house, you must first bind up the strongman.’
Remember the two young lunatics at Columbine? They broke at least 20 different gun laws that might have landed them in prison for decades, even before the shootings. Liberals will tell you though that we should have passed more laws rather than enforce the ones we’ve got. Their “logic” so-called is that guns cause crime, and laws—that is, words on a paper alone, prevent crime. Yeah, just like pencils cause misspelled words! Like a recipe on the kitchen counter will bake your cake.
The majority of Swiss households contain a fully automatic rifle with ammunition. Firearms are available to nearly every resident of Switzerland, yet the violent crime rate is low. In this country, crime rates are actually lower for regions, such as the Rocky Mountains and North Carolina, and for population groups, such as older males, where gun ownership rates are highest. Concealed carry laws in Texas did not result in shoot-outs at every 4-way stop sign. Of more than 163,000 licensees in Texas in 2002, only three were even arrested in connection with a homicide in a two-year period. Alligator attacks are more common in Florida than crimes committed by citizens licensed to carry concealed weapons. Liberals denounce the gun culture, as if it is a culture of violence when in fact, it is the culture of responsibility and self-reliance and safety. A culture of violence exists alright, but it has more to do with dysfunctional families, drugs and warped media images and the secular pop-culture, than it has to do with Charlton Heston raising his musket high over his head at an NRA Convention.
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). His newly released book, Horse Sense for the New Millennium is available on-line at www.WesRiddle.net and from fine bookstores everywhere. Email: Wes@WesRiddle.com.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Jose Guerena served two tours in Iraq as a member of a violent organization – the U.S. Marine Corps – and came home from his war victorious.
In his home, he lost the War On Drugs on a bright May morning in the year 2011.
He lived the final moments of his life – which lasted for 26 years – with his rifle in his hands.
According to the Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, under whose command the SWAT team that gunned the Marine down in the entrance hallway to his home near Tucson, the safety was engaged on Mr. Guerena's AR-15 when the bullets cut him down.
His wife and 4-year-old child were in the home at the time of his death.
They were hiding in a closet.
The SWAT team was there to serve a no knock arrest and search warrant. They were looking for marijuana.
There was no marijuana to be found in the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Guerena. They had a large amount of cash money in their home.
Newsmen quoted Sheriff Dupnik of Pima County about the matter. He said Mr. Guerena was a known member of a violent organization.
Richard Mack, former Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, is on record saying it might be time to review the shooting policies of the SWAT team – in fact, the entire “war on drugs.”
Apparently, Mr. Guerena was a man who could be considered innocent.
Innocent of what?
He was innocent of the allegations of complaint contained in the affidavit used to obtain a warrant of search and a warrant of arrest from a local magistrate in Pima County, Arizona. He had no marijuana.
He was innocent of living with his rifle in his hands, innocent of attempting to defend his wife and child, innocent of serving in a violent organization known as the U.S. Marine Corps, innocent of possessing a large amount of cash money in his home, and innocent of any charges yet to be voiced against him by a magistrate.
At the moment of his death, Mr. Guerena was an innocent man.
No officer of the law had at that time proven any violation of the law had occurred.
No actual charge had yet been lodged against the name of Jose Guerena of the United States Marine Corps.
No grand jury had returned a true bill of indictment.
In a speech before cheering students at the University of Iowa, U.S. Representative Ron Paul, an independent candidate running for the Presidential nomination on the Republican ticket, said of Mr. Guerena, the dead Marine, “He had nothing in his house. What are we doing to ourselves?...Right now, I fear for the destruction of my liberty and your liberty from domestic threats.”
Semper fi, Mac. You did the right thing, Jose Guerena.
The American standard of living has fallen farther, faster than at any other time in history since the Great Depression.
Real median income is down 9.8% since the fall of 2008; Americans have lost about $5.5 trillion in asset value – about 8.6% of their wealth.
How would one know when the Federal Reserve continues to print money and paper over the reality of a total, across the board loss in equity?
Take a look at the S&P average in terms of the price per share expressed in the worth of gold.
Prices are below the lows of 2009.
The reality is that America's central bankers have authorized the U.S. Treasury to print $3 trillion in worthless paper currency. Add to that figure $700 billion in Troubled Asset Recovery Program funds and $2 trillion in quantitative easing through buying Treasury Bonds.
According to a top security analyst, “The worst part is all that new money will end up in the hands of people who caused this crisis in the first place.”
The likely result? Social unrest is rampant and getting more so every day. “What's scariest to me is to see how this anger is manifesting itself in the occupy Wall Street movement. These folks are blaming capitalism for these kinds of problems. But this has nothing to do with capitalism. Paper money was Marx's idea...
“This isn't how America should work. The rich and the powerful in New York and Washington, D.C. shouldn't have the right to impoverish the rest of us simply to bail out their backers and their cronies.”
Saturday, October 22, 2011
New York – Colon cancer claimed the life of the aged heir to the Saudi Arabian throne, paving the way for an ultra-conservative who favors Islamic clerics to the top spot in the order of succession.
Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz, 85, died today in a local hospital. He had for more than 40 years served as the Minister of Defense, noted for spending enormous sums – hundreds of billions of dollars - on weapons systems and national defense. He had of late retreated from making major decisions, deferring to other princes in the royal family, according to the U.S. Department of State.
Though Prince Sultan Aziz led the war effort to remove Iraqi forces from the principality of Kuwait in 1990, he, like other members of the royal family, disapproved of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Diplomats worldwide are saying they fully expect him to be replaced as heir apparent by Prince Nayef, the Interior Minister who has named second deputy prime minister in 2009, the traditional post reserved for the third in line to succeed the monarch of the House of Saud, the ruling family of the nation where Islam was born 1,400 years ago as a result of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Prince Nayef is considered by knowledgeable government sources to be a close supporter of ultra-conservative Islamic clerics.
Lloyd's insurance market in late September abruptly dropped a lawsuit that named the prince as a key backer and financial contributor to charitable organizations which allegedly supported the training and living expenses of the mostly Arabian crew that carried out the 9-1-1 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an aborted attack on the White House, which resulted in the crash landing of a flight in the Pennsylvania countryside.
The insurance organization, which specializes in transportation contracts, sought to recoup its losses paying off the damages sustained by property owners, airlines, passengers, and victims of the attacks. Having filed suit in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, the attorneys announced less than a fortnight later that they were dropping the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Friday, October 21, 2011
The Privileges and Immunities Clause (U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, also known as the Comity Clause) prevents a state from treating citizens of other states in a discriminatory manner. The text of the clause reads:
“The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.”
In the federal circuit court case of Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (C.C.E.D.Pa. 1823) Justice Bushrod Washington determined that the protections provided by the clause are confined to privileges and immunities which are, "in their nature, fundamental; which belong, of right, to the citizens of all free governments; and which have, at all times, been enjoyed by the citizens of the several states which compose this Union, from the time of their becoming free, independent, and sovereign."
In his explanation of the scope of the rights protected by the clause, Justice Washington included the right to travel through states, the right of access to the courts, the right to purchase and hold property, and an exemption from higher taxes than state residents pay. The Corfield case involved the rights of an out-of-state citizen, rather than the rights of an in-state citizen, and Justice Washington's opinion did not suggest that this provision of the Constitution addresses how a legislature must treat its own citizens.
The law will take effect on January 1.
The last major regulation the board considered to meet requirements of AB32, a greenhouse gas reduction law passed by the State Assembly in 2006, the regulations will require a return to 1990 carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2020. Cap and trade is supposed to cover 20% of the goal.
The other 80% is to be adjusted through limiting the amount of carbon in fuel, requiring more energy efficient vehicles, and mandating renewable energy and efficiency requirements.
Ms. Nichols is the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board
Surrey, British Columbia - A joint committee of Canadian and American lawyers representing survivors of American rendition to overseas prisons and confinement of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay leveled an indictment for torture against President George W. Bush yesterday.
Canadian law enforcement officials responded with “resounding silence,” according to the self-appointed special prosecutors.
Mr. Bush, who attended the second round of trade talks between the European Union and Canada at Surrey, is accused of violations of the Convention Against Torture, an international treaty which Canada has ratified and incorporated into its domestic penal code.
“The United States has refused to prosecute Mr. Bush or other top officials, so other countries must uphold their own legal obligations to act,” said Matt Eisenbrandt, legal coordinator for the Canadian Centre for International Justice, and Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, in an article that appears today in “Embassy” Magazine, a Canadian publication.
In a 69-page draft indictment, the attorneys cite evidence contained in 4,000 pages of information that allege a “multi-faceted torture program.”
They charge Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney with “holding detainees in secret CIA sites around the globe, extraordinary rendition, and the torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay.”
The indictment is based on “Mr. Bush’s own admissions about his authorization of waterboarding and other forms of torture that he and his administration euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
The indictment furthermore details “prolonged stress while detainees were forced to stand with their arms shackled above their heads; using collars to bang detainees’ heads and bodies against a wall; beating; kicking; confinement in boxes; forced nudity for periods ranging from several weeks to several months; sleep deprivation through use of forced stress positions, cold water and loud noise; exposure to cold temperatures; prolonged shackling and threats of ill-treatment to detainees’ families.”
The Canadian Attorney General offered no response to the indictment.
“Under Canadian law, the government has both the right and the obligation to hold a torturer on its soil accountable. If the government were following its own laws, it would have supported the survivors by issuing an arrest warrant upon Mr. Bush’s arrival in Canada...
“There was nothing but resounding silence from the attorney general,” the attorneys wrote in the “Embassy” Magazine article.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Don't expect a re-tread of Herman Cain's 9 ,9, & 9 proposal from Governor Rick Perry.
His idea of creating jobs includes a flat tax and barn storming the 50 states to develop support for a balanced budget amendment.
No details are available yet. That comes some time next week, said Mr. Perry, but the the balanced budget amendment would force the tough choices on a year-by-year basis while the flat tax would ensure a marginal income tax for all income levels across the board.
Said Governor Perry to the pizza Godfather in Tuesday's GOP debate, “I’ll bump plans with you, brother – and we’ll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again.”
Al Arabiyah unconfirmed news report:
Former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month uprising against his rule overran his hometown of Sirte, Libya’s interim rulers said.
“We announce to the world that Qaddafi has been killed at the hands of the revolution,” Abdel Hafez Ghoga, a spokesman for the National Transitional Council said.
“It is a historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Qaddafi has met his fate,” he added.
Al Arabiya reported that the body of the deposed Libyan leader had arrived in Misrata and was placed in the Tunisians’ Market.
Al Arabiya said it would be allowed to film the corpse. The network was citing its correspondent. Al Arabiya and other networks earlier broadcast a photograph that the interim government confirmed was the body of Qaddafi.
Qaddafi’s death, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.
“He [Qaddafi] was also hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”
Washington – An amendment that would block federal agents from encouraging gun smuggling to break up drug cartels' dealing in weapons passed the U.S. Senate by a unanimous vote.
The amendment offered by Texas Senator John Cornyn would prohibit the type of tactics used by the BATFE in Operation Fast and Furious unless agents “continuously monitor or control the weapons.”
Thousands of firearms were lost in the operation, which the Justice Department has halted, resulting hundreds of pistols and rifles obtained by smugglers with government approval showing up at Mexican crime scenes.
Mr. Cornyn called the measure “just the first step towards ensuring that such a foolish operation can never be repeated by our own law enforcement.”
ATF agents troubled by the operation came forward and blew the whistle to Congressional investigators after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry lost his life in a shootout near Tucson in which two of the weapons authorized for sale to smugglers were recovered.
President Barack Obama said, “We will find out who and what happened in this situation and make sure it gets corrected.”
Certain investigators call the ebb and flow of supply and demand for weapons and illegal drugs just a part of the geopolitical chess game that is played out between the United States and Mexico on a daily basis.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Use of pepper spray deemed outside guidelines
Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna can accept a charge of using pepper spray outside the guidelines of proper procedure and forfeit 10 days vacation, or he can opt out for a departmental trial.
Internal Affairs investigators made a finding that the police commander sprayed mace in the eyes of several women penned in by the kind of orange mesh used to keep people out of danger at construction sites during an #OccupyWallSt protest on Sept. 24.
According to New York City's manual for use of pepper spray, it should be used only for a suspect who is resisting arrest.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Bottom line - GOP knows we are in trouble
Las Vegas - Throughout two hours of bickering, bantering and brouhaha, the 7 front-running conservative candidates for President of the United States of America kept returning to the same theme.
America has an economic problem. The government is deeply in debt to predatory lenders; people are out of work with no hope in sight of finding employment; social issues such as health care and government controls over what is not really government's role to play is crushing the life out of the greatest industrial economic engine in the history of the world.
What to do?
Representative Ron Paul says it's time to cut foreign aid across the board, even to Israel. Spending billions upon billions of dollars on right wing dictatorships that surround that tiny nation has backfired, he said. Besides, “There's nothing in the Constitution that says we should do it...Foreign aid is taking money away from poor people and giving it to rich people in poor nations.”
Cut defense spending by 15%? Mr. Paul responded by saying that “We have an empire we can't afford...I say it's time to come home.” He can't understand why America should keep troops in such far-flung locations as Korea, Japan, Germany and the mideast.
Governor Rick Perry called for defunding the United Nations to the enthusiastic approval of an audience that had roundly booed him throughout the evening's program because of his stand on Governor Mitt Romney's supposedly hiring illegal aliens to do his yard work, and a reported 60% rise in illegal immigration during his tenure as Texas Governor. He shouted down Governor Romney's reply to the accusation that he hired illegal aliens.
Said Mr. Romney after he finally regained the floor, "You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. If you want to be President of the United States, you're going to have to allow others to speak."
It was an interesting aside in view of the recent announcement by Immigration officials, who said they have deported a record number of illegal immigrants during fiscal year 2011 – 397,000, up from 2010's figure of 392,000.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, said the new figures represent more deportations and prosecutions in three years than did President George W. Bush's administration in two terms.
Offenders are allowed to plead guilty and accept deportation without the formality of a court proceeding.
Mr. Perry's ill humor was not unlike that of Senator Rick Santorum, who for the entire length of Mr. Romney's 30 second rebuttal to a statement about illegal immigration shouted the same question over and over. When he finally ceased his obstructive harrassment, he told Mr. Romney, archly, "You're out of time." Moderator Anderson Cooper displayed visible signs of anger, then regained his composure and insisted that Governor Romney be allowed to answer the original question.
Mr. Perry promised to bring forth a new program on taxation and government spending later this week while he continued to insist that America's economic problems may be solved by using domestic sources of energy.
“We've got 300 years worth of energy right under our feet and we've got an administration that is blockading our future...Let Americans have energy independence,” he said.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich raised signs of approval in the Venetian Hotel ballroom audience when he insisted that it's ridiculous to expect a Super Committee of Democratic and Republican Representatives and Senators to arrive at trillions of dollars in spending cuts or force the nation to endure an austerity program that will be triggered automatically.
Everyone beat up on Herman Cain's 9, 9, & 9 plan. Mrs. Bachman called it a value-added tax; Governor Perry compared "apples to oranges," according to Mr. Cain, and the rest of the wrecking crew working so hard to strike out President Obama showed little respect for scrapping the federal tax code in favor of an across the board 9% federal income tax with only one deduction available, a 9% corporate income tax and a 9% sales tax - all in addition to state income, sales and excise taxes.
According to the Tax Policy Center, 84% of Americans would pay higher taxes, especially those who earn $30,000 per year or less. Only the extremely wealthy would realize any tax savings.
When it comes to anchor babies, Representative Michelle Bachman insisted that she is not in favor of altering the Constitution to prevent babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants from becoming citizens automatically. She said she is looking for a statutory solution to what she sees as out of control spending driven by social programs that act as magnets for illegal immigrants looking for employment, health care and education.
If elected President, she would “enforce” English as the official language of the United States of America. Her comment brought the house down with wild applause and cheering.
None of it would be worth talking about if people were working, accumulating property and wealth, and could make some reasonable assumptions about their expectations of a future that is looking more and more bleak by the day.
Conservative leadership is ill-mannered, loud and rude to each other and the world around them. It's a sign that something is wrong and people – especially conservative politicians looking to make their mark on history - are very insecure about that.
Las Vegas – When it comes to conservative politics, one should never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
However, by Texas beer joint standards, some of this stuff is guaranteed to get your butt stomped. Those who choose to tune in to Fox at prime time will get another dose of it tonight, direct from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Consider the behavior of the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum. This presidential non-contender insisted on interrupting Governor Rick Perry repeatedly when he tried to answer his question. He must have asked, then repeated his question a half dozen times. Even the moderator at the Fox News debate admonished him.
Pretty unusual for an electronic lynching, which is what the technicolor event had become as Santorum the agitator proceeded to answer his own question, rudely interrupting a favorite son of the Lone Star state who is merely stating what is obvious to any chili-headed denizen from the prickly pear prairies to the piney woods.
How you got here doesn't matter at all. The fact is, you arrived as soon as you could, and that settles it. As Rick Perry will tell anyone who will listen, education is a pretty good sign that a man or woman won't become a burden to the fiscally conservative taxpayers of the Tea Party.
Give 'em all a Lonesome Star on me, Mr. Bartender. I'll pay you by and by.
Folks whose moms and pops waded that river and walked that cactus and mesquite-strewn road to the land of the Big PX, then stuck and stayed and graduated from a Texas high school, get to pay the same amount of tuition as those whose birth certificates say their mamas dominoed while graced with American citizenship, a green card, or some other document that proves they are human beings endowed by their Creator with a right to be themselves – native Texans.
I have spoken.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, that well-known member of what the pastor of First Baptist of Dallas calls a “cult,” says that in-state tuition rates for the sons and daughters of illegals who attend public colleges in Texas amounts to a “subsidy,” a $100,000 “discount.”
Oh, well, that's one way of putting it.
And then the studio audience, described by various liberal news persons as “heavily infused” with Tea Party types, cheers and applauds wildly. Kind of reminds me of the kind of pep rally any self-respecting Texas high school knows how to put on in any gym anywhere on any autumn Friday morning. Beat them Bulldawgs bloody, y'all.
When Mr. Perry states what is obvious to anyone who ever walked a mile in his pointy-toed cowboy boots on Texas soil, namely, that if you endured a Texas education reading textbooks approved by those who sit at the right hand of God Almighty to see to it that our kids don't get any fuzzy-headed liberal stuff that is not approved by the right-winged state board that grants the nod to purchase of books supplied to all students for no extra charge other than the hard-earned dollars of the taxpayers, you should pay the same amount as anyone else - they boo and holler and shout him down.
English professors at The University at Ostentatious say the Globe Theater received most of the purple-toned lines in “MacBeth” and “King Lear” with much the same sentiment. So, it's not anything new, after all.
It's cost him the front-runner spot in the polls, this thing of being the first Governor in a series of more than a dozen states to follow Texas, our Texas in the in-state tuition option for kids of illegals who have the gumption to get accepted at the University or A&M – or any of the fine state universities supported by Texas land grants.
His approval rating stood at 32 percent on the day when he was first confronted by the fact that a near-unanimous vote by the Texas Legislature put the law on his desk back in 2001 - and he signed it.
Nestor Rodriguez, a professor of sociology at the University at Austin, said “Among Republicans, immigration can be a very salient issue. He is making himself vulnerable in his political party.”
A Republican consultant, Bettina Inclan, told newsmen that at least the Governor has one thing going for him. “At the end of the day, Perry is the only presidential candidate who has real experience in dealing with a diverse Latino community.”
Instead of wanting a build an electrified fence, as Herman Cain the pizza godfather joked, and Rep. Michelle Bachman demanded, he wants to “put boots on the ground” and ferry the troops in by helicopter.
What Texas politician from LBJ on down wouldn't advocate air mobility by egg beater? I mean, what's all this fuss about helicopters boil down to, anyway? They build them right here, in Texas, in Cowtown. Lyndon got elected Senator in 1948 riding around in a variety of the infernal things – every one of them bought and paid for by Brown & Root.
Which gets us back to the logic of the beer jeer debate on low-brow perceptions. The kids of folks who got their feet wet and got here by other than legal means get the privilege of paying the same price – dollar for dollar – as the brats of any Dr. Pepper-swilling dame from Big D, the Domed City, North Zulch, or Terlingua.
It's no free ride, any way you slice it...
Oops, did I mention the blade? You know, they gave Marcel Ledbetter that beer joint for way less than that. I know that happened over there in Mississippi. That's where they had some kind of hassle over who gets to go to school – way back there.
Please forgive me, y'all. I am not the man what carries the football.
Just stopped in for a brew.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Meridian – It was one of those nightmare scenes that happen suddenly, way after midnight.
At 1:37 a.m. on January 18, 2002, a Canadian Pacific train derailed outside Minot, North Dakota. Thirty of its cars ruptured and sprayed 240,000 gallons of deadly anhydrous ammonia into the atmosphere.
The caustic vapor – which quickly bonds with the moisture in a person's lungs and causes pneumonia, drowning the victim - immediately started making people sick. One died, more than 100 were hospitalized, and emergency workers were at a loss to let the estimated 10 to 12,000 residents affected know they needed to evacuate the area.
According to a railroad accident report, “Damages exceeded $2 million, and more than $8 million has been spent for environmental remediation.”
Rescue workers told the National Transportation Safety Board investigators about how they sat helpless in their vehicles, watching stricken citizens as they tried to crawl to safety.
The accident happened just west of town in a housing development outside city limits. Sirens designed to warn Minot's residents of fire, flood or tornadoes were unable to reach those in danger because they are aimed at areas inside the city.
The town's radio station was manned, but by only one employee of Clear Channel Broadcasting, the giant corporation that operates about 1,200 local radio stations by remote control from a satellite dish farm in San Antonio.
The employee was not answering the phone, so it was impossible to get in touch with him so he could break in on programming and warn listeners of the danger. Calls to corporate headquarters yielded the touch tone tag so familiar to those trying to get in communication with large organizations too busy to take calls.
As a result, the six non-religious radio stations in Minot controlled by Clear Channel made no mention of the emergency.
They finally located the television station's news director at home, in bed, long after the emergency developed.
By then, the town's residents, all of whom had been assured by 9-1-1 operators that local radio and cable channels were making announcements to tell people not to go outside, were on their own.
Things haven't changed much since then, at least not in Meridian, Texas, where the venerable FM station, KOME FM, has been off the air for many months since the local emergency management department rebuilt the Bosque County broadcasting tower to a new 300-foot height using a $250,000 federal grant from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.
A property of a mutual fund and money management outfit, Luther King Capital Management of Ft. Worth, the 25,000-watt station had to take down its antenna and move its transmitter so work on the new 300-foot tower could be completed.
“They have never put their stuff up on the new tower,” said Dewey Ratliff, emergency management director. “I don't know why.”
Reached for comment after several hang-ups by receptionists, a Mr. Jerry Schlaegel said, “Right now, we are unable to transmit.” Asked why, he said, “I would rather not say.”
Mr. Ratliff explained that the grant was arranged in part because Bosque County has a commercial radio station capable of transmitting emergency announcements. He had a mechanism in the county's office he could use to interrupt programming and put out the word over the air.
He leased the station space on the tower and in the transmitter shack for the purpose.
“The main reason why I was wanting to enter the lease was so they could be an emergency broadcast system. They gave me internet access to say what I wanted to say...They lost that internet access to the tower, so I lost my access...They're still paying rent. I checked; we still get a monthly check.”
Happily, the county has a contract with a Florida outfit named Emtel, which enables Mr. Ratliff to get on line and send out phone calls or text messages to cell phone users to alert residents of any emergency problem.
On October 14, 2011, Transportes Olympic, a Monterrey N.L.-based trucking business, became the first Mexican company to receive Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) authority to operate beyond U.S. commercial border zones under a new cross-border trucking program. The FMCSA permit was issued following Transportes Olympic's successful completion of the U.S. agency's pre-authorization safety audit.
The new program established between Mexico and the United States is reciprocal and mutually beneficial. Three U.S. trucking companies - Plastic Express (CA), A&R Transport Inc. (IL), and Stage Coach Cartage & Distribution LP (TX) - have already been granted permits to haul international cargo in Mexican territory...
...Simple. The modern financial system is a complete joke. Money is conjured from thin air, backed by false promises from bankrupt governments. Then there’s the fractional reserve swindle, centrally planned interest rates, government-produced inflation, manufactured statistics, insane credit and sovereign debt bubbles, etc.
It’s a total fraud… and like any good con, it depends on just that: confidence.
So what to do…?
If you live in a broke western nation, whatever you do, don’t store your gold in a bank safety deposit box. Bankers are unpaid government spies, so you might as well hang a sign up that says “please seize my assets”.
(click here for a full report)
PIECES of EIGHT...
Ya' take a chisel, mate, and ya' cut that dollar four times with a hammer blow. That give ya' eight bits, no? Two bit, four bits, eight bits - a dollah...?
Still don't get it? Ya' gonna be doin' some shippin' over before ya' see any a' that there Liberty, ya' unnastan' what I'm sayin'? Ya' don't unnastan', now be the time to be findin' out what I'm a'talkin' about, ovah heah, shipmate...
3. What do American history and the Constitution identify as the "dollar"?
Reference to history clears away the confusion of present-day politics, by showing beyond cavil that the "dollar" is a specific coin, containing 371.25 grains (troy) of fine silver, and nothing else.
a. The "dollar" in the Constitution. Both Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 of and the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution refer explicitly to the "dollar" - in the one case, permitting "a Tax or duty * * * not exceeding ten dollars for each Person" the States saw fit "to admit" prior to 1808; and, in the other, guaranteeing trial by jury "[i]n suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars.” The Constitution does not define this "dollar.” But, in the late 1700s, no explicit definition was necessary: Everyone conversant with political and economic affairs knew that the word imported the silver Spanish milled dollar.
Indeed, had not such an understanding been catholic, powerful contending forces might never have agreed to support the Constitution at all. For example, the traditional interpretation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 is that it elliptically refers to the slave-trade, and represents a compromise between pro- and anti-slavery forces that was vital to ratification of the Constitution. Self-evidently, those in the pro-slavery faction would never have accepted the "Tax or duty" phrase unless they already knew that the "dollar" identified as the measure of the "Tax" had a fixed value, and what its value was. Otherwise, by monetary manipulation aimed at increasing the purchasing-power of the "dollar,” anti-slavery forces in Congress might have eliminated the slave-trade altogether.
Similarly, the proponents of the fundamental right to jury-trial in the Seventh Amendment would never have accepted the "dollar"-limitation on jury- trials unless they already knew that the "dollar" had a fixed value, and what its value was. Otherwise, monetary manipulation might have eliminated common-law juries altogether. Yet both these groups also were aware of the doctrine that, if Congress had discretion to change the value of the unit of money, there could be no legal limits to the changes it might make. Therefore, their support of these provisions inferentially establishes what a literal reading of them straightforwardly suggests: to wit, that the noun "dollar" refers, not to a mere name applicable to whatever Congress whimsically might decide thereafter to call a "dollar,” but instead to a particular coin so familiar in American experience as to be beyond political transmogrification.