Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Throwing money at an unsurmountable public debt

In 2011, Exxon/Mobil shares rose 20%, profits surged 35% to $41.1 billon 
Real debt is truly $20 trillion

Huddie Ledbetter's 'Bourgeois Blues'

“I call that burden the wages of sin because the effort to cover our country's current expenses with debts that will be borne by generations of Americans is simply evil.” - Porter Stansberry

The celebrated $1 trillion platinum coin

A Financial Analyst's view

Washington – Granted, the official net public debt of the U.S. is more than double what it was when Barack Hussein Obama got himself elected President. ($5.03 trillion)

Increased since 2008 by $5.5 trillion to $11 trillion, it's 80% of the gross domestic product, but the truth is, if you add in the stuff that's not even on the balance sheet - $5 trillion in obligations such as Fannie Mae's or Freddie Mac's, and $4.8 trillion in debts carried by various government departments – but upon which we the people pay the interest carry - you're looking at a $20 trillion anvil chained to the ankles of future generations, as yet unborn.

That's not the end of the story.

There is no end to it, but here goes.

Americans have paid nearly $200 billion interest for these obligations – and they aren't even on the federal balance sheet.

No one has the slightest idea how many trillions of dollars in debt the Federal Reserve has created – out of thin air – to manipulate the market rate of interest lower during this period.

One thing for sure, it appears that there is an unlimited source of credit based on the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, and it means one thing - and one thing only.

All of us will certainly experience a lower standard of living, much lower, in fact, than that which the average person experiences on a daily basis at present.

An investment banker estimates that if a 4 percent interest rate were applied to this figure, it would take $34.3 trillion to repay what we the people owe right now.
Tomorrow? Next year?


But it's not that big a deal, according to M.I.T. Economist Paul Krugman, author of a “New York Times” column called “Conscience of a Liberal.”

The problem of the national debt could be easily solved, thusly:

“There's a legal loophole allowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination the secretary chooses. Yes, it was intended to allow commemorative collector's items – but that's not what the letter of the law says. At any time, by minting a $1 trillion coin, then depositing it at the Fed, the Treasury could acquire enough cash to sidestep the debt ceiling – while doing no economic harm at all.”

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Tee. Hee. Hee.

Ready to rumba?

Murder shows its ugly face, Plateau to Crosstimbers!

Onion patch and truck at Wynne State Farm 

Bryan – It's quite a lick, driving from the Edwards Plateau on the edge of the blackland prairie, across the Brazos, and thence to the Crosstimbers at Huntsville.

John Ray Falk, Jr., convicted murderer
Throughout the day, storm clouds rolled in moody shelves across a troubled sky flecked with forks of blazing lightning, then dumped gigantic gulps of cold rainwater in huge silver sheets across a thirsty land.

In transit to see about the execution of a black murderess who has killed elderly white women three times in her life, one learns that after more than 50 days and an estimated expense of a half million dollars, a Brazos County jury won't be getting the case against a previously convicted murderer who bowed up in the onion patch and held the reins of the riding boss's horse while his companion drove a City of Huntsville truck in a murderous assault.

The prosecutor objected to a requirement imposed by 278th District Judge Kenneth Keeling that jurors find that the accused capital murderer “should have anticipated” that his actions would cause her death.

This finding would have been in addition to three other elements of the case that would justify a verdict of death by lethal injection:

  1. Falk engaged in a conspiracy with Martin to commit felony escape.
  2. When Martin slammed into the horse with the stolen truck, he intentionally and knowingly caused Boss Canfield's death.
  3. The murder was committed in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit felony escape.

Wynne State Farm
The judge reasoned that if any of the four elements failed to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the jurors must acquit the defendant and proceed to consideration of a verdict of felony murder, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment.

Unsatisfied, the prosecutor made a second appeal, this time to a higher court, and the trial judge threw up his hands and hollered.

You can't ask a fair and impartial jury panel – one chosen from an adjacent jurisdiction on a change of venue - to wait nearly two months after hearing evidence and testimony on so weighty a matter as the capital murder of a corrections official, to wait even longer, Judge Keeling ruled.

He declared a mistrial. The People of the State of Texas will have to file their case against Mr. Falk again if they want to seek justice in the matter. They spent $150,000 for the testimony of expert witnesses and an additional $300,000 for attorneys' fees – so far.

According to witnesses who worked in the city's grease pit on the day of the murder, Boss Susan Canfield did a flip off her mount and landed on the roof of the utility truck in a glancing blow that broke her neck and left her face bloody.

She gurgled, choking on her life's blood as she lay dying, said one man, as he and others promised her they would pray for her immortal soul. Moments later, her life ended as her broken body gave up the ghost while an ambulance crew rushed her to a local hospital.

John Ray Falk, Jr., who was serving a life term at the Wynne Farm near downtown Huntsville for a 1986 murder committed in Matagorda County, had just moments before struggled with Boss Canfield for possession of her saddle carbine after she emptied her handgun at he and his co-defendant Jerry Duane Martin, also a convicted murderer serving a life term at the trusty farm. As he held the reins, the horse spun madly in frightened reaction, and the riding boss never saw what was coming.

Their escape in the truck they turned into a murder weapon was short-lived. Corrections and police officers soon had them in custody as they attempted to flee up I-45 where it passes the city maintenance barn and the Wynne Unit's truck garden.

They now both reside at the Polunsky Unit, which houses the men's death row. Mr. Martin has yet to see his day in court.

The state is seeking the death penalty in both cases.

She hath murdered thrice; twice by hammer, once by knife...

As to the execution of Kimberly McCarthy, the mother of a child fathered by Aaron Miles, the founder of the New Black Panther Party for Self Protection, her execution was postponed in an eleventh-hour reprieve granted by a state district judge until April 3 because defense attorneys argued white jurors outnumbered black by 11 to 1 in her second Dallas County trial following the 1997 stabbing murder of a septuagenarian psychology professor, her next door neighbor.

Evidence shown at the penalty phase of both trials showed that Ms. McCarthy has murdered three elderly white women, once by claw hammer, again by means of a meat tenderizing hammer, and lastly by knife.

The delay in execution of her sentence will presumably give the defense a chance to make a final appeal to the courts in a challenge of the array of the jury panel.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crack addict wife of a Black Panther to get the needle

BULLETIN: Judge Larry Mitchell ordered a stay of execution based on attorneys' challenge of the jury array. Eleven of the jurors who convicted Ms. McCarthy are white. Only one is black. An execution date of April 3 is now scheduled, according to TDC Communication Officer Jason Clark.
The executioner watches from behind the slanted mirror at left
Murderess attacked with knife, hammer

Huntsville – Kimberly McCarthy isn't expected to survive the night now that the U.S. Supreme Court declined without comment to hear her final appeal.

She will probably get a lethal dose of sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride after the warden at The Walls Unit reads her the death warrant.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles declined to consider her case, and the final say so is in the office of the Governor. Rick Perry is not known to issue commutations, pardons, or reprieves for persons in Ms. McCarthy's position.

Ms. McCarthy will be the first woman executed in 10 years in Texas, the first in in the nation since 2010, and a milestone on the path to a total of 500 condemned murderers executed in this state since the high court reauthorized capital punishment. The death toll stands at 492 executions in Texas since that time. 

The convicted murderess received the death penalty after prosecutors showed evidence during the punishment phase of her second trial – the first conviction and death sentence was overturned in a U.S. District Court because of procedural errors made by her defense counsel and the State District Court – that she had previously murdered two other elderly white women. 

In 1997, she attacked her next door neighbor in Lancaster, a psychology professor retired from a Dallas community college named Dorothy Booth, whom she hacked to death with a knife. She then cut off her left ring finger to get a diamond ring she pawned for $200. After that brutal act, she drove the dead woman's Mercedes-Benz to a crack house to get more of her drug of choice.

The murderous episode began when she knocked at the door to borrow a cup of sugar, according to her statement.

When apprehended, she told the arresting officer to give her some more crack, and she would confess to what she did.

She bludgeoned her previous victims to death with hammers - one with a claw hammer, the other with a meat tenderizing hammer she found in the kitchen. Her occupation prior to her conviction and incarceration at the Mountain View Unit at Gatesville was as an occupational therapist and home health care worker.

Ms. McCarthy served two years in the late 80's for forgery.

She is the mother of a child fathered by a founding member of the New Black Panther Party.

He is so feared that following expiration of a first term as a member of the Dallas County Homeland Security Advisory Committee, the Commissioners Court disbanded the committee, rather than authorizing his reappointment to a second term.

His chief political sponsor is the controversial and abrasive personality known as John Wiley Price, a race baiting black man from Oak Cliff who has for many years during his tenure as an elected official cursed white people in high and voluble tones during meetings of the Court. Mr. Price is the subject of an on-going FBI investigation into alleged corruption in a public office.

The execution is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Legendary will be there with camera and audio deck to record the impressions of people milling around the death house door.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hounds trailing spin-win gambler who fled on bond

Waco – Convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity last May, Raed Alzreiqi filed an appeal bond, then absconded when appeals judges remanded his case to the 54th State District Court.

Today he is the subject of an international manhunt.

At the time, his attorney Doug Henager remarked, “My problem with all of this is that out of all the people involved in all of this, he is the only one who is being prosecuted.”

Jurors ruled that Mr. Alzreiqi was part of a criminal “combination” of two or more other people that knowingly broke the law by providing cash payments for winning results on computer betting machines instead of merchandise not worth more than 10 times the amount of the wager. Clerks who worked for him and police officers who played the games while in observation of his operation testified that they never saw anyone select the kewpie dolls and stuffed animals offered as booby prizes for winning wagers.

Charitable, religious, or fraternal organizations are allowed to make cash payments under the gambling laws and organized criminal activity statutes.

When he failed to appear at an August hearing to determine if he wished to continue with his appeal, and if he is indigent and requiring an appointed counsel, Judge Matt Johnson ordered a bond forfeiture, a judgement nisi, and issued a capias warrant for his arrest.

His bond is $250,000.

Chapman's Bail Bonds service owner Terry Chapman is offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 to learn his whereabouts so he may be apprehended and returned to Waco to answer the charges.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

CCHL - 'Is it everything law enforcement wants?'

...Nobody gets everything they want...

Milwaukee – State legislators made budget cuts that forced County Sheriff David Clarke to lay off and furlough 48 officers for this fiscal year.

His response to taxpayers?

“I need you in the game,” he said in a controversial 30-second radio spot that has some folks popping their fingers and saying, 'Right on,' and others calling for a check on violence and the potential for bloody murder.

“With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back...Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there.”

It's all part of an ongoing debate that has raged throughout the dairy state for several years over concealed carry handgun licensing, open carry, and the duty of the average citizen to get proactive in his own defense.

Statists are against the concept. They argue there is no need for an ordinary citizen to take up arms. Among their ranks are many police officers and chiefs of police.

Libertarians are very much proponents. They say it's a God-given right to match deadly force with deadly force. It's the central tenet of the “Castle doctrine,” which allows such a response to deadly aggression in the home.

A sample of the kind of rhetoric from those who stand in opposition:

“I feel like this is such an irresponsible thing for our chief public safety officer of a county to do,” said Jeri Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort. “I think he owes this community an apology. And if he really believes that he's not capable of providing for our public safety he should get a different job.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Anonymous response to Obama's gun control orders

Department of pass the law to learn what's in it...

FDA regulators have proposed these graphic warning labels on cigarette packs

Whopping smoker's penalty found in Obamacare's murky depths

Washington – It's called “shaping,” and it's all the rage among behaviorists, statists, and other proponents of the nanny state.

If a social engineer has a goal in mind, the strategy is to increase the pain of certain types of behavior to a point of diminishing returns – a give-up point at which the actor will relinquish long-held beliefs and convictions in favor of an entirely new way of thinking and reacting to daily stimuli.

The result: A massive social shift from drinking to not drinking, drugging to abstinence, or smoking to (cough, cough) “Would you mind not smoking?”

Like RagĂș spaghetti sauce, it's in there, buried somewhere deep in the Affordable Health Care and Patient Protection Act of 2010, a smoker's penalty for unreconstructed users of tobacco smoking materials that could cost a 55-year-old smoker $4,250 in penalties over and above his premiums, a 60-year-old $5,100.

True, everyone will be covered, but not everyone will get the best rate – especially if they engage in the risky behavior of smoking tobacco, which health experts estimate causes as many as 450,000 deaths per year from its complications.

There are no extra charges for the overweight patient, the diabetic, or those who suffer from heart arrhythmia.

Those who are covered by employers' programs may join smoking cessation programs to get a break from the crushing expense of providing their own mandatory health insurance, something required by the new law, derisively nicknamed “Obamacare.”

One is reminded of the legacy of Sir Walter Raleigh, the English explorer who brought tobacco from the new colony of Virginia to the Court of the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I.

It is said that on one of his infrequent visits to his ancestral home, an elderly manservant became confused when he saw plumes of smoke curling out of Sir Walter's pipe. He doused the nobleman with a pail of water.

Raleigh left a small tobacco pouch in his cell at Bloody Tower on the day of his beheading by order of King James.

Inscribed upon it: “Comes meus fuit in ilo miserrimo tempore...” - the Latin for “It was my companion at that most miserable time.”

The floggings will continue until morale improves! 

GOP entreated to reject the politics of stupid

We seem to have an obsession with government bookkeeping. This is a rigged game, and it is the wrong game for us to play. - Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana

Charlotte, NC –  Mitt Romney miscued when he told supporters in a private meeting that President Barack Obama was buying the vote with entitlements.

It's the new mantra, designed to salve the burning sensation of a conservative party that got beat by its leaders talking down to the people whose support they most desperately needed to win a crucial national election.

The new chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Bobby Jindal joined Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey in calling for an end to GOP obsession with fixing the mess of the federal budget.

“We can disagree without being disagreeable,” he emphasized. Talking down to people you want to vote your way is no good. “It's done a lot of damage to the brand.” 

The remarks came at the winter meeting of the Republican Party, held yesterday in this New South hub city.

Telling people their vote is bought just won't work. You first have to show that you like people if you're asking for their vote.

“They way we do that is treating people with respect.”

Is Jindal thinking of a presidential bid in 2016?

Anyone who is at this point needs to “have his head examined,” he replied.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

13 States consider bills blocking gun controls

Waco Sheriff vows -
No enforcement of new gun laws

According to the Tenth Amendment Center, Texas is only one of 13 states whose legislatures will consider laws making federal infringement on gun rights a felony crime.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara told an Austin newswoman on camera that he will refuse to enforce any new gun laws passed by Congress or ordered by President Barack Obama.

It was a campaign promise he made many times during the Republican Primary race and during the run-up to the General Election.

Turn me on tonight - I'm radioactive - radioactive...

A scarecrow, a yellow moon, and pretty soon...

Come on into my kitchen, it's gon be rainin'

Ranger XP-45 by XP Airguns (click here)

Basically, it's just an air rifle...

because it's gon' be raining outdoors.” - Robt. Johnson
(click here to listen to something The Legendary knows)

There is an uncounted, largely untapped supply of meat wandering around North America.

Eurasian boar stock have been released by disgusted hog farmers in protest of unsustainable market prices caused by inflation and high transportation and fuel costs for many years, to feed free range on American prairies and woodlands - far and wide.

Gone feral, they soon develop the black hair and tusks they quickly lose when raised on concrete in factory feed lots.

There is no season on feral hogs, and they are unprotected by game laws. Hunting them requires no license, and land owners are eager to be rid of their destructive presence. They are hard on white tail deer habitat, and their rooting destroys the ground where game birds flourish.

Subsistence hunters rely on shooting them with rifles, or trapping them in cage traps that do not injure them. This way, they may be fed and finished to the liking of hungry families  with plans for a later slaughter, or sales to butchers.

If ammunition becomes scarce, there are large bore air rifles with deadly accuracy available for prices ranging anywhere from twelve hundred to five thousand dollars. Smaller calibers capable of firing tranquilizer darts may be obtained for as little as a couple of hundred. Some hunters prefer to put the hogs at bay with dog packs – pit bulls are considered de rigeur – and then stroll in to cut their throats with long, sharp knives.

Think twice before you give away our rights...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jail roof fixed, smoke alarms on hold pending cost

$1.2 million revamp unfinished

“Smoke good, fire bad...” - Frankenstein

Waco – Frankenstein was wrong. Fire still bad  -  smoke even worse...

It's not fire that kills; it's the smoke. Inmates who riot routinely set fire to smoldering items such as bedding and paper, plastic and styrofoam - items that generate very toxic fumes when they burn.

They want out, and they often are willing to risk their own lives and the lives of their fellow inmates to risk the chance. What a way to go.

After nearly three years of vacancy, the 300-plus capacity old Courthouse Annex Jail is still on hold, even though the roof does not leak and all systems are go.

The burning question is this. Does the smoke evacuation system come up to the standards of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards?

To find out, the Court learned from Building Supervisor Sammy Sykora, they will have to hire a test and evaluation firm, a system engineer, and an alarm engineer in order to study the problem and certify the results.

Mr. Sykora told the Court that it's unclear if the smoke alarm and evacuation system has ever been tested since its installation by HVAC contractor Lochridge-Priest, way back in the now-murky days of yesteryear of 1978.

“They never test them with the inmates in there,” he explained. “With the jail being empty...”

It could be a risky gamble to just haul off and call the inspector.

The test is straightforward enough. You release a series of smoke bombs into the indoor areas of the jail. If the automatic evacuation system kicks on, the fans blow and the louvers open up within a certain amount of time, the next phase of the test is even more crucial.

Once the all-clear comes, and it's time to put the inmates back in the lockup, will the smoke detectors cause the system to re-start automatically within the next 15 minutes? If it does, like the ricochet biscuit that doesn't bounce back and hit you in the mouth – you go hungry!

Time is of the essence, since it only takes a few seconds to die of carbon monoxide poisoning, a deadly gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but kills very quickly.

Arson is a murderous practice, on either side of the bars.

Mr. Sykora and a commission inspector recently performed an informal test using smoke bombs that showed the detectors and automatic fans and louvers still work correctly, but the system itself is made up of fans and other components they don't even make any more.

“You can't even get parts for it,” he said of a return air fan that “balances” the intake and exhaust system designed to make a complete turnover in the indoor atmosphere within a specified period of time.

Who knows if they used the amount of smoke that is a standard of the commission's real testing? If anyone knows, it's not Sammy Sykora, he assured the Court.

The economic conundrum facing the Court is simple enough.

The jail is still operable under a permit that was voluntarily suspended when the County government made a decision to upgrade a leaky roof and other components of the building.

If the smoke evacuation system fails the test, taxpayers would be stuck with the bill to replace it, anyway.

“We need to find out the cost,” said Interim County Judge Scott Felton, a retired banker with experience in true cost accounting.

Following Mr. Sykora's presentation, County Auditor Stan Chambers demonstrated by the numbers that it costs about the same amount to house prisoners in the Highway 6 County Jail as it does to pay CEC, Inc., to house them in the for-profit Jack Harwell Detention Center.

Factoring in transport and health care, the fixed costs of housing overflow inmates at the corporate jail are only slightly lower than than the variable costs of housing them at the county's lockup. Judge Felton pointed out that contractually, the County is obligated to send overflow prisoners to the Jack Harwell Detention Center, which was built with funds raised from a revenue bond issue backed by the full faith and credit of McLennan County - without voter approval.

The variable involved in operation of the County Jail is the rate of inflation experienced on any given day, according to Mr. Chambers.

One may click here for an edited audio report of the Court's discussion of the smoke detector system by clicking here.

It's an item that has presented a recurring budgetary headache to the McLennan County budget. The matter of housing overflow prisoners, particularly on weekends when judges have sentenced offenders to do their time on minor offenses, has driven the cost over budget by as much as 300 percent for the item.

The Courthouse Annex Jail was contracted to CEC to operate as a lockup for federal prisoners, but the corporation vacated the contract in favor of housing overflow prisoners at the Jack Harwell Detention Center in exchange for paying a monthly fee to not use the downtown annex jail.

It prompted a serious debate at budget planning time when after two weeks of negotiations, the Court had only come up with spending increases and no budget cuts.

Freshman Precinct 4 Commissioner Ben Perry stimulated some debate when he showed the Court a way to avoid a tax increase and still cut spending while saving popular programs former County Judge Jim Lewis had suggested fall under the axe.

One may read a previous report on Commissioner Perry's proposal and hear an audio presentation by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GOP moves O's line in the sand by 3 months

Budget deal would avoid U.S. credit crunch
Washington - House GOP leadership emerged from a two-hour closed-door meeting with the news that they will move a possible collapse of government operations back by 3 months by delaying a decision on the debt ceiling.

The move came in defiance of President Barack Hussein Obama's insistence that he won't have a monthly confrontation over whether the government can pay its bills - or face the prospect of draconian cuts to Pentagon programs through automatic triggers imposed when a bipartisan conference of Congressional leaders failed to reach an agreement on spending cuts in mid-2012.

Waco cops jail accused after surety goes off bond

Woman has accused him of arson murder

Waco – Delvin “Dee” Maddison is back in jail for the charge of engaging in organized criminal activity after a bail bond surety went off his bond.

Carrie D. Woodlock
He and others were originally arrested on the charge in August, 2012.

Mr. Maddison is the subject of intense accusations by a former lover named Carrie D. Woodlock who has alleged he set a blaze that claimed the lives of Ashley Dawn Rogers and two of her children in Feburary of last year at a trailer park on N. 19th St. in Bosqueville. 

He has repeatedly denied her allegations, at one point blurting out to officers seconded to the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Warrants Task Force that he did not set the blaze. He made similar protests in this Youtube video:

In the video, he accuses an individual named Myron Schanck of the deed, calling him by his street name, "Shogun."

Said Officer Steve Anderson of the Waco Police Department, "I think this was a surety off bond. It wasn't anything new." He was one of the officers who apprehended him in August, along with retired Texas Ranger Matt Cawthon, who now serves as Chief Deputy of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office. He was seconded to the fugitive warrants operation as an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division at the time of Mr. Maddison's August arrest.

According to the indictment, Mr. Maddison and others borrowed or somehow got control of a man's vehicle, then refused to return it.

Ms. Woodlock alleged in an exclusive interview with The Legendary that he spent the night before the day of the fire, which occurred at 6:30 p.m., with her at an apartment she shared with a man who worked nights as a security guard.

She said Mr. Maddison dealt drugs someone “fronted” him during the night, then spent the day buying her presents. He left in the afternoon, then returned with another man she cannot name who, she said, needed to wash his hands.

One may read an entire series of articles about the matter by clicking here:

Texas Sheriff set to ignore Obama's gun orders...

View more videos at:

Sheriff looking for some answers on using old jail

Waco – Sheriff Parnell McNamara told The Legendary he has been unable to learn why he can't use the lockup at the McLennan County Courthouse to house overflow prisoners.

According to the County Auditor in Commissioners Court sessions at budget time, cost overruns to the “outside care” budget at $45.50 per prisoner per day paid to the for-profit New Jersey corporation CEC, Inc., to house inmates at the Jack Harwell Detention Center ran to 300% over plans for fiscal year 2012.

Officials of the State Commission on Jail Standards said the lockup at the Courthouse Annex has an operating permit, that County officials voluntarily withdrew prisoners to make costly renovations simultaneous to remodeling a Visiting Judge Courtroom on the first floor of the building that seats about 500 people for jury selection and large docket calls.

One may hear an edited audio discussion of a discussion that took place five months ago of the estimated costs of renovation of the jail by clicking here:

An elevator brings defendants in custody straight to that courtroom from the floors above without requiring a trip across the catwalk that connects the third floor of the Courthouse with the holding cells. Jurors and spectators may enter directly from a door on the alley between the two buildings where a magnetometer is located for security purposes. Presently, jurors, witnesses, defendants, lawyers and judges must enter the building at the eastern door of the Courthouse, ascend to the third floor, goes across the catwalk, then descend to the first floor of the Courthouse Annex building by another elevator.

State Criminal 19th District Judge Ralph T. Strother ordered a change of venue in the capital murder trial of Albert Love, partly over security concerns. He is the second of five defendants allegedly associated with the Chicago-based street gang called the Bloods who were originally charged in a gangland assault rifle slaying of two men and the wounding of two others at a subsidized housing project named Lakeside Villas in March of 2011.

Prosecutors have dropped indictments of two of the defendants due to a lack of key evidence. Rickey Cummings received the death penalty following a tense courtroom drama last fall in which members of the victims' families stared down relatives of the assailants in the crowded third floor rotunda of the courthouse.

Visibly shaken jurors were forced to walk a fine line from the courtroom to the jury room during breaks. Deputies admonished news photographers to be extra careful about catching images of the jurors in their lenses, on pain of the threatened ejection of every member of the media who uses a camera.

Deputies walked escorted jurors to a school bus in the parking lot, which whisked them away to a remote location where they parked their cars, and the Judge received armed protection as he walked to his vehicle at the close of each day's hearing. Prosecutors and defense counselors will pick a jury for the upcoming trial at the Williamson County Courthouse at Georgetown in the coming months.

The item of using the lockup is on today's County Commissioners Court agenda under the heading of a work session.

It has been placed on the weekly agenda for nearly three years, a constant point of inquiry for members of the Commissioners Court, who ask nearly every week about progress on the renovation project, but receive little or no information from contractors and building supervisors who work for McLennan County.

As late as two months ago, County Judge Scott Felton told the Court he thought the only thing left to do was to fix the drains on some showers and finish a touch-up painting project.

One may listen to an audited audio report of a discussion of that matter by clicking here.

In a subsequent meeting last Tuesday, he told the Court that there was no information available about the matter, and the moment passed.

Former Sheriff Larry Lynch denied The Legendary access to the jail to take pictures of the renovation job, but allowed a reporter from the “Waco Tribune-Herald” to visit, along with a photographer.

Reached for comment, Sheriff McNamara said, “I don't know why that's taking so long. It seems to me like it's taking an awfully long time.”

He stressed a need for good communications with the members of the Commissioners Court, members of which approve his department's budget.

The matter of outside care of prisoners and the Sheriff's Department budget prompted a proposal of a tax increase for fiscal year 2013, a measure slapped down and the proposed tax increase halved by the Court. They eliminated the position of County Budget Director and the two-man department and passed the duty to the County Auditor's office, which is under the supervision of the State District Judges who preside in the courts of McLennann County.

One may hear a budget cut proposal voiced at the time by Precinct 4 Commissioner Ben Perry by clicking here:

Survey: 25% of Marines would fire on Americans

Battle lines are forming over this proposal...

A key section of H.B. No. 553, the proposed Texas Second Amendment Preservation Act:

SECTION 2.  Chapter 46, Penal Code, is amended by adding
  Section 46.16 to read as follows:
        Sec. 46.16.  Second Amendment Shall Remain Inviolate;
  Offences; Penalties.
        (a)  A person who is a Peace Officer, State Officer, or State
  Employee commits an offense if the person, while acting under color
  of the person's office or employment, intentionally enforces or
  attempts to enforce any acts, laws, executive orders, agency
  orders, rules or regulations of any kind whatsoever of the United
  States government relating to confiscating any firearm, banning any
  firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing
  any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm,
  taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the
  registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore.
        (b)  A person who is a public servant commits an offense if
  the person, while acting under color of the person's office or
  employment, intentionally enforces or attempts to enforce any acts,
  laws, executive orders, agency orders, rules or regulations of any
  kind whatsoever of the United States government relating to
  confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size
  of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition
  that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or
  ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm
  or ammunition therefore...

One may click here to read a list of the 23 Executive Orders proposed by President Obama regarding registration and reclassification of firearms in contravention and abrogation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution: