Thursday, February 28, 2013

Seven California Sheriffs stand tall for the Constitution

Firearms Protection Act calls 2A a contract with Feds

Austin – Rep. Steve Toth (R-Woodlands) uses the reasoning that when Texas became a state, the right to keep and bear arms did not include the restrictions on firearms proposed by President Obama.

Click here to read the 23 proposals signed as Executive Orders by President Barack Hussein Obama and incorporated into proposed federal bills by certain Congressmen and Senators. 

Under the terms of the 10th and 9th amendments, according to HB No. 1076, “The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the state and people of Texas and the United States dating from the time Texas became a state.”

Freshly placed in the hopper, the bill would require penalties including conviction of a Class A Misdemeanor for anyone who tries to enforce new federal laws that infringe on a person's right to keep and bear arms.

The proposed law would also extract attorney's fees, costs of court, appeals and depositions from the government if any criminal or civil litigation arises.

Remember the last time we got in this hassle? It all started with a new state law that would allow concealed carry of handguns, and the Chiefs of Police, the Governor, and a number of other people in AUTHORITY were totally opposed...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sequestration: $1.2 trillion budget cut over 10 years...

"For those of you who have ever seen 'Blazing Saddles,' it is the scene of the sheriff putting the gun to his head in order to establish law and order," Panetta said in a speech at Washington's Georgetown University. "That is sequestration."

Puttin' on the World - in all the right places...

Alaska, Kentucky, Montana nullify O's gun laws

Cutaway: Bushmaster M-4 Carbine(click)
Legislators vote overwhelmingly to outlaw executive actions infringing on 2nd Amendment rights:

Alaska - 31-5

Montana - 56-42

Kentucky - 34-3

The nullification bills passed by legislative houses are introduced under the terms of the 10th Amendment, which reserves powers not granted the federal government by the Constitution to the states.

To track state nullification bills on gun rights, Obamacare, school regulation and other hot button issues, one need only click here... - The Legendary 

Are you the police? No, ma'am, we're musicians...

Doing life on the installment plan – Can we talk?

Here's how tough it gets, says defender turned DA
With 14 felonies, 7 for life, a 10-year term offer

Waco - “These people forget I was once there. I did that job for 13 years,” said Abel Reyna, recalling the bizarre facts of a case that still makes him shake his head.

In a case against a multiple offender in which the judge told him, when he appointed him, “I'm not asking you to do it; I'm telling you...,” he recalls, he saw a man glean a 10-year plea bargain by waiting out an array of 14 indictments, 7 of them for offenses that carried a potential life sentence, if convicted.

“I said, 'Okay, thanks a lot, judge.'”

Women tittered; men gave polite horse laughs. This was going to be good; they knew it.

“This guy would offend, get indicted, bail out, than re-offend, get indicted, bail out, and go on to offend again,” he said. “He told me, 'I live in a jungle. You are either a predator, or you are a prey.'

“I said, 'Okay, then, let's not mention all that in front of the jury.'”

The crowded bistro filled with Waco Tea Party backers burst into uproarious laughter. Sam's On The Square, located at the corner of 3rd and Austin Avenue resembles a high-tech 'ice house' on a coastal Texas highway, its roll-up garage doors glazed from sidewalk to ceiling, brilliant chandelier lighting and whirling brass fans contrasting with earth tones and dramatic sun-splashed views of downtown Waco in the pale glare of a mid-winter prairie sunset.

But it's pure Texas, replete with cold beer, hot tacos. The only thing missing is the Pearl Beer poster of hanging day at Judge Roy Bean's beer joint, “The Jersey Lily, Law West Of The Pecos.”

Guy has a perfect sense of timing, knows when to hit them with that one-two punch that will make them laugh, whet their appetite for the punch line they know is coming.

Then came the serious part of the narrative, the tale of how the offender calmly waited his chance for a bargain basement deal with prosecutors by demanding a lengthy and complicated jury trial, an ordeal of the foregone conclusion, for which everyone involved – including the judge – were making reluctant preparations.

People leaned forward in their chairs, their demeanor just a little more focused than usual as Abelino Reyna sequed into the most serious part of the tale.

Sheriff Parnell McNamara and DA Abel Reyna
As trial day slowly approached over a course of many months, he explained, first the offer went from 40 years, to 20, and just before the attorneys got busy picking a jury panel, the offer came from the DA's office.

Plead guilty to this entire array of malefaction, the offer went, and receive 10 years to do behind bars at the Texas Department of Corrections, Institutional Division.

You could have cut the deafening silence with a knife.

These are the people you knew were there, all along. They are God-fearing, tax-paying, hard-working – citizens!

They actually care who the District Attorney is, and how he does things. You can get them downtown on a Tuesday evening to talk about things like a burgeoning debt, school vouchers, the declining value of a dollar – and other weighty issues for which most people have no appetite.

The very idea of a life strategy of doing bad things to other people, with the foreknowledge that one will surely be apprehended, jailed and prosecuted, is, at best, incomprehensible to them.

Add in the notion that you can actually game the system by waiting around behind the bars of a county jail, and – well, you know – it does something to them.

At worst, it makes their blood boil, sets their teeth on edge, causes stomach acids to back up in their digestive systems, and leaves them in state of what W.C. Fields often described as 'high catoque.'

Mr. Reyna, a seasoned defense attorney turned District Attorney, hired by popular vote to run the law firm of The People of the State of Texas in the contiguous twin 19th and 54th Districts, let that sink in.

Then, he repeated his message, one more time.

“These people forget that I was once there. I did that job for 13 years...”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DA's war party hits the square in first skirmish

Abel Reyna - 'I finally got mad about it'

Sheriff, cops to sign pact to reveal confidential informants

Waco – Criminal cases are like milk, said the toughest prosecutor to come along in Six Shooter Junction in decades.

They don't get better with age, he told his “bosses,” the people who elected him to run the peoples' law firm.

“Time is the defendant's friend,” said the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney before a meeting of the Waco Tea Party held at a Heritage Square bistro within sight of City Hall and the Courthouse.

He started his rebuttal of criticism from the defense bar that his ways of disposing of criminal cases are so tough, he has needlessly filled the county's jails to overflowing and caused tremendous cost overruns.

People laughed at that statement.

Surrounded by key officials involved in the struggle to turn the situation around – Sheriff Parnell McNamara, County Commissioner Ben Perry, McLennan County Republican Chairman Ralph Patterson – he blurted out, “We've got guys in the back of patrol cars, saying 'Man, if I go down again, Reyna is going to give me life.'”

There was extended applause, even a few cheers.

It's true that sometimes it's as many as 3 months before his office obtains an indictment, and defendants often won't accept a plea bargain for many months while they languish in the county lockup.

“It's a whole lot easier to do your time in the county jail instead of TDC,” he pointed out. “If you get transferred down to Tennessee Colony, let's say, your mama ain't gonna come down there to see you.”

“People call me on my cell to complain, they say, 'I didn't hear about that...You keep it up.'”

And then he proceeded to tell the people what he tells those who call him on his cell number to complain.

And when he was finished, he gave them his cell number, told them to keep on asking the tough questions, answered a few questions – and called it a night, saying “That's what y'all elected me to do, and I'm doing it.”

Out front, on the sidewalk, he said, “I finally got mad. I finally got pissed off.”
On his arrival, asked if he knew that a local attorney, Jonathan Sibley, the son of veteran lobbyist and legislator David Sibley, is considering making a bid for District Attorney in 2014, he snorted.

Mr. Sibley recently appeared alongside two other defense attorneys in Commissioners Court to complain of limited access, too tough plea bargains, and Mr. Reyna's seeming refusal to sign visa applications for youthful illegal aliens from Mexico.

“What are they gonna use on me?” His voice took on the tones of derision. “Won't sign visas for illegal aliens...Got a Mexican DA in there...I got news for you. I pulled apps from 2003 that hadn't been signed. It wasn't a Mexican thing.”

Later, he explained to the crowd of nearly one hundred that a grant of a visa carries such social entitlements as food stamps, and that after 4 years, a person so graced is allowed to apply for citizenship, in spite of their illegal entry into the country.

“I think that is bad!” he shouted. The crowd reacted with more extended applause. It's not only bad, it is incomprehensible to Abel Reyna, District Attorney.

“I am not a kiosk or a satellite office for the immigration department.”

A prosecutor could lose his law license for offering to sign a visa application for an illegal alien in exchange for incriminating information. Should that come to light and the information prove to be bogus, the implications are obvious.

He will not make any such deals without knowing the names of the informants, something the Waco Police learned in court last week when he and his First Assistant Prosecutor elected to drop an organized crime indictment against 7 alleged offenders.

A detective refused to inform Michael Jarrett, the chief prosecutor, and approached the judge in an ex parte appeal to reverse his decision to allow the prosecution to know the name of the illegal informants.

He will meet with every Chief of Police and the Sheriff later this week and request an interlocal agreement that the names of any and all confidential informants be turned over to the prosecutors in all cases, with no exceptions.

“I'm not going to look at the front page of a paper and see my face and read a story about how I might lose my license to practice law because someone withheld some information.” He mentioned the case of Michael Morton, a Georgetown man who spent 26 years behind bars for the murder of his wife when exculpatory evidence to the contrary was on file in the District Attorney's office at the time.

There are three distinct categories of plea offers available in the offices of Abel Reyna, District Attorney.

First of all, “You shove a gun in someone's face, we're going to dance. You just bought yourself a ticket to the dance.”

  1. When a habitual offender is charged with his third offense, every prosecutor in his office is instructed to offer no less than 40 years, unless he or his top two assistants sign off on the bargain.

  1. All first degree felonies punishable by 15 years to life will receive an offer of no less than 15 years, unless he or his top two assistants sign off on the deal.

  1. In a case of burglary of a habitation, there are no deals. He and his staff will see you in court.

“I think that is the most intrusive case that can happen,” he said.

A software company is designing a system that will allow defense attorneys to sit at their desks and review entire case files electronically. Until then, all such files will be photocopied and given to the attorneys of record.

When it comes to defending the home under the doctrine of the Castle Law, which allows the use of deadly force to defend life and property, “Don't wait until you figure out who it is, just go ahead and defend yourself...If you are a licensed carrier, go ahead and pack your heat.

“I've seen some terrible crime scene photos, what happened to entire families...These days,” he shook his head. “...Just go ahead and defend yourself and worry about me and the law later.”

McLennan 'Not far from running a debtors' prison'

Taxpayer battles tax increase

Waco – McLennan County's jails are overcrowded because “There are a large number of people in jail awaiting trrial and the media portrays it as a bunch of violent criminals who would prey on society if not in jail,” said Randall Scott Gates in remarks to the McLennan County Commissioners Court.

“The reality is there are many who are charged with non-violent offenses, but are too poor to pay a bondsman. McLennan County, gentlemen, is not far from running a debtors' prison.”

An acitvist, citizen journalist, and former peace officer who still holds a certification, Mr. Gates estimated that “outside care” of prisoners housed in the Jack Harwell Detention Center will cost a whopping $6.5 million in the coming fiscal year. He called that a “two-fold injustice.”

Among his recommendations:

Fire the jail magistrate and assign the County Judge to perform his current duties.

Return budget making duties to the office of the County Judge

Discover why so many non-violent offenders are serving time, the extenuating circumstances of their crimes. He said that will be hard to do because “getting information out of this county is exceedingly difficult.”

Allow himself, and others, to address the Court during consideration of agenda items, with advance notice to department heads who would like to respond to questions or engage in dialogue about matters.

“If I don't know what I am talking about, any of those should make me look like an idiot in short order. If not, we may find a way to completely avoid a tax increase,” he concluded.

Monday, February 25, 2013

McLennan Court urges Medicaid Expansion

Condition precedent for Obamacare's onslaught

Waco – The road commissioners are being asked to support a resolution that would approve expansion of the Texas Medicaid program – with certain reservations.

It's a tall order.

Considered a condition precedent for instituting the Affordable Health Care and Patient Protection Act of 2010, the proposed measure is heavily opposed in the Texas Legislature.

Governor Rick Perry has flatly refused to implement any such expansion, and at least one bill would make it a felony crime for federal agents or inspectors to attempt to enforce any law or regulation that would force the same, if passed.

The McLennan County resolution calls for, “after considerable study, debate and forethought...our Support of Medicaid Expansion under the conditions and with the reservations outlined below.

“The McLennan County Commissioners Court would support an expansion of Medicaid which:

“Increases availability of and expands access to affordable, available healthcare for our citizens while ensuring a fair compensation to all our local health care providers for necessary healthcare rendered;

“includes a commitment of federal funding of 100 percent of the expansion for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter;

“does not place the burden of paying for indigent healthcare unfairly on Texas counties, municipalities, local hospitals or physicians; and which

“does not mandate new or increased responsibilities/costs on Texas counties, cities, healthcare providers, employers or our local taxpayers...”

Uh, yeah. Uh huh. 

Snitching rules sharply focused in local case

Shades of Deep Throat
“Rule 508” framed by 6th Amendment

Waco – In the bullets lettres world of crime drama, snitching is a film noir attraction, a human chess game of blind man's bluff played out on a blood-spattered stage in the darkened theater of cruelty.

The drama that occurs in courtrooms nationwide where they fight the battles of the war on drugs is as plain as day; it's as raw and horror-ridden as the Damon Runyan story about the gangster who made his rivals shoot craps with dice that had no spots on them, leaving he and he alone to interpret the worth of their rolls in a desolate basement where many people had been murdered.

It's as chilling as the Emmett Grogan tale about the people who paid $5 apiece to watch a snitch - a desperate, dope-sick heroin junkie - fire a syringe-load of battery acid scraped from an automobile's corroded starter terminal into a vein in his arm. Peeking at the spectacle around a corner as it was reflected by a mirror on a bureau, Grogan said the crowd of enemies watched in silence as the dude died, before he could even get the needle out of his arm.

No doubt people at the Waco Tea Party February meeting to be held at 7 p.m. tonight in Sam's on the Square at Third and Austin will want to know all about the reasons McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna called off an organized crime case against seven people over the future health and safety of snitches who came forward to help the Waco cops make their case.

First Assistant Prosecutor Michael Jarrett promised he would refuse to prosecute the case if the Waco police detective who worked the case continued to refuse to give him the names of the informants. Rule 508 says the prosecution has the privilege of knowing who the snitches are - and presumably what they got in return for their information. 

Judge Strother had conducted an in camera inspection of the materials and learned that the informants had not been direct witnesses to the act, that their information concerned matters peripheral to the incident. He ruled that the privilege didn't extend to the defense attorney.

It didn't matter to the cops and their lawyer. They said no, and when by Monday afternoon at quitting time they had not given their assent, Mssrs. Reyna and Jarrett dropped the indictments against them for engaging in organized criminal activity.

It's not about getting convictions, they both assured the Court – as well as the public.

It's about justice.

The Legislature has required that all evidence and testimony that is based on information gleaned from a confidential informant must be corroborated by and through other sources of information. Why? Sometimes a desperate criminal will lie – just haul off and flat-footed lie – about things that will put another person away for a long, long time.

Then, there's the matter of the Sixth Amendment. That's the one that guarantees speedy prosecution, the right to representation by an attorney, and this.

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the be confronted with the witnesses against him...”

It wasn't the popular thing to do, Mr. Reyna said in following up in his daily Facebook remarks. Not everyone understands. Some ignore the very basis of criminal evidence, including this:

     (c) The prosecutor should be aware that Sixth Amendment right to counsel issues raised by the filing of criminal charges may limit the availability of some investigative options, including:
       (i) use of the grand jury as an investigative technique;
       (ii) soliciting incriminating information from a charged individual; and
       (iii) contacts with the individuals or entities who have been charged.

  • American Bar Association Standards on Prosecutorial Investigations

Things change immediately and in a big way when a former defendant is no longer under indictment.

The man will available to take questions at 7 p.m., tonight at Sam's.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Anonymous responds to gun control proposals

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Highway 6 Jail not in jail standards compliance

Staff to inmate ratio grossly violated – guard
Sacked for cussing his boss, he tells it like it is

Former Corrections Officer Justin Spears
Waco – Jail officials at the sprawling Highway 6 jail complex are so desperate to make do with a limited budget in a department crippled by a huge debt service, they constantly move prisoners.

When jail standards inspectors visit from Austin, said Justin Spears, a corrections officer with a spotless 7-year record who was fired for cussing out a corporal this week, jail honchos at the McLennan County Sheriff's Office move administrative officers from the front office, into the jail. That makes the ratio appear to be acceptable.

Acceptable to what they are told,” said Mr. Spears. “You can't run a wing when they pull employees to work other areas or you have other things to do.”

When the inspectors are there, “As far as fudging numbers they move people around like crazy. I haven't seen them load up busses. I know when jail commission there. The act starts and they have guards from up front come to the wings to help run inmates around like they are supposed to so four guards can stay in the wing,but after they leave, that's over. It's accepted up there to leave the wing. It's normal for one person to be there. It's just how it is. It's certainly one of the most unstructured place I've ever seen, and when I started, I expected it to be structured, but CEC (Civigencics, Inc.) is worse, LOL.”

At normal times, there is one guard to every 196 men housed in a wing of the Highway 6 Jail, said Mr. Spears.

He also revealed that when corrections officers take a smoke break, regulations require them to leave the property completely. They drive around, their only contact with supervisors through radios. They are segregated by sight and sound from their actual responsibilities, and are actually completely off premises while officially still on duty.

Wait till they get in a wreck. Explain that one.”

Privately employed commissary attendants are often left in corridors alone with inmates returning from a visitation room.

Inmates are locked into GED classrooms with a civilian instructor. Though officers have a key, they are without direct access to protect the employee from prisoners who have plastic ball point pens furnished by the administration.

Them pencils would hurt you by there self.”

This is a transcript of the entire interview, conducted by Facebook text messages over Mr. Spears' cell phone.

What happened, Justin? What are you talking about? Seven years?
I lost my temper at work and cussed out a cpl pretty bad so they fired me.
A corporal. Are you a police officer, Justin? - The Legendary
I work at the or did lol at the county jail. I just let it get the better of me
T'is a morbid place, Justin, fraught with peril and very dangerous, to say the least. I am not happy to hear of your misfortune, but - you know - it could be the best thing that ever happened to you. Think about that. They may have done you a favor. - The Legendary
I'm happy. I've became over weight, drink to much, energy drinks, anxiety attacks, ready for my health and life back I've never seen people like that at a job or a more miss managed place in my life.
I know several ex-turnkeys - guys who traded up and became peace officers, investigators, undercover officers. I think it's too dangerous a line of work for what they pay. Get bitten, scratched, you're toast if the person is infected. TB is rampant in jails, then there's the ever-present threat of smoke inhalation. It's no picnic. How long did you work there? - T.L.
Care to elaborate on your experiences?
Seven years no write ups or problems
Wow. One little cuss fight and you lost your job? What did you tell the old boy?
It was bad. I cussed him out like I was a inmate. Its my fault. It was a build up of frustration.
Knowing the problem is half the battle, Justin. It takes a pretty well-adjusted person to know that - and admit it.
That place is a train wreck. There is never enough guards around to do what you need to do.
And yet their inmate to staff ratio is acceptable to Jail Standards. What kind of problems do you run into?
Acceptable to what they are told. You can't run a wing when they pull employees to work other areas or you have other things to do
Does that leave the inmates unsupervised? I think I might know what you mean. I've heard hints of this before.
Yea. I liked your interview with oh county commissioner mashek that was good
That was you correct
That was off subject but I know you have heard all this before.
I was the person you didn't see. You could hear me making some remarks and asking questions. The man you could see is R.S. Gates. He started off as a police officer at Hewitt, moved to being a turnkey, and wound up working for Truman Simon until Lynch took over. Then he quit. But he worked narcotics, C.S.I., dope dogs, stuff like that. - Jim
Joe Mashek showed every indication that he would stand up to the clique. He asked me if I could get him inside one of my video cameras, and I said yeah, all sizes fit. So I asked him for an interview and he thought it over awhile. What happened truly amazed me - and a lot of other people. - Jim
You still there? Guess it's past your bed time. Sleep tight, Justin. Good luck... - The Legendary
Was phone .haller at you later
Okey dokey. I want to continue this conversation some time. - Jim
I'm up ask away Well just message anytime. Take care
You got it amigo
You there, Justin?
Yesterday, you said you can't run a wing when they pull guys to go somewhere else, or you have other things to do. What does that mean? Does it goof up the inmate to staff ratio? How many officers are left on the job in that wing? How does it handicap procedures? Most important, how does it affect the safety and security of inmates and corrections officers?
OK you will have visiting going on they are out in a visiting room they walk back to there tanks. Well commissary lady is in run passing out stuff threw the bean chute. Well inmates are out visiting they walk back. I walked out there before three inmates out with her by herself.
Not good. Commissary lady is a private employee?
Yes sir
She could be taken hostage, her goods used as contraband, and the situation out of hand in a short, no?
I've worked there seven years and the GED teacher goes into a room by herself with doors that lock if they shut. Room has a phone they all have plastic pencils. No guard in there.
Do you have a key to get in there if she needs you?
When guards go smoke they actually leave the jail to go smoke and drive there car around the loop while at work.ridiculous
You can make plastic pencil into a shank with a Bic razor blade? Just like toothbrush?
Yea there is a key
It wouldn't take long to hurt the teacher or one another while you hunt someone with the key, though?
Are these the things you and the Cpl cussed each other over?
Them pencils would hurt you by there self
True story.
I cussed him cause stuff like this was going on and I was frustrated and he told me we need to handle more stuff our selfs. Just pissed me off cause its like what more do they want us to do. I just got tired of it all. To much movement and things going on at once.
Understood. So, did they ever give you a substantial raise from what they paid for a starting wage? How about health benefits? Scott&White? Is it true they load up buses and drive around during counts to fudge the numbers for inmate to staff ratio during weekends when they have a lot of overflow prisoners?
You get pretty big raise after first six months. But that's about it health deal is what it is always changing. As far as fudging numbers they move people around like crazy.I haven't seen them load up busses. I know when jail commission is there. The act starts and they have guards from up front come to the wings to help run inmates around like they are supposed to so four guards can stay in the wing but after they leave that's over. Its accepted up there to leave the wing it's normal for one person to be there its just how it is.its certainly one of the most unstructured places I've ever seen and when I started I expected it to be structured but cec is worse LOL.
Tell me about CEC.
I don't know a lot. inmates seem to like it. I hear stuff like they get smokes and run panels for the doors but if true I don't no
Who fired you? Kollinek? (Capt. John Kollinek, Jail Supervisor)
I guess I was wrong I'm not fighting it. I'm happy being gone.I guess its his decision
So one C/O when 4 is what's supposed to be on duty per wing. Did Cawthon (Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon) talk to you about this?
Trustees wing 96 inmates in one building two guards in there with them. There will be one guard out there a lot
How about if they opened up the downtown jail? Would those 300+ bunks make much difference?
Cawthon was there they asked if I wanted to say anything I said no. I cussed him bad it wasn't good.
I see. So you figure they will indicate misconduct on your part if you try to file for unemployment?
196 in wing divided by four 1 to 48 yes. Yea I'm sure but I don't think it will work but ill probably be working and won't need it
But they don't have a 1 to 48 ratio, for sure. They have something more like 1 to 196. or 2 to 96 in the trustee wing. They are actually that short-handed. Oh, I want you to get a good job. You must have been doing something right up until the wheels came off. I think the thing that impresses me the most is that to take a smoke break an officer has to leave the property entirely. That way, if anything goes wrong, he's totally unavailable unless he's summoned by phone or beeper, radio, something. Do those folks have handheld HT's, or anything like that?
Yea radios. wait till the get in a wreck explain that one
I think the work has become more than the current amount of employees on a shift can handle they need more jailers spots created
I heard that. They couldn't cover the CEC operation and the downtown jail with what they have. Would court room security be better if they they housed the inmates on trial at the downtown jail and brought them to the court room in the annex?
That sounds good
Did you fuss with your direct supervisor, the Cpl?
I just lost it and cussed him and went to working. Hey I'm out gnite. Take care. Haller at me later
Sounds like something I would do. You reckon all this stuff got on your nerves, wore you down? I know they have solid doors out there, but it's what's behind them that counts. Y'all don't feed them in a central location, but in their cells. But would you say there is a definite security problem or problems that don't come up to jail standards? How about fire safety? Smoke?
The place is a mess a train wreck and accident waiting to happen .they move them inmates like sheep
Would it be easy for the trustys to get shank-making stuff to the inmates? With only two guards on them, it looks that way to me. Any of those folks allowed to use tools, carry tool boxes, what not?Were you apprehensive as to your safety, the safety of others?
I never really was till this past two years. Old LT said I don't know why they are fighting so much. I'm like thinking duh you move people around like cattle and there stressed. Inmates alot of the time will regulate them selfs in a tank. Kind a natural order thing you constantly move them like this it causes anxiety and tension
My opinion though
Why do they move them that much? Is it a recent thing?
All the time I hear its a money thing
So, they send them to CEC? Or to other wings in the building?
Cec back and fourth
I roger the money thing. Anything you would like to add? I get the picture that it's a difficult assignment covered by too few people who are working in a very tight budget. Would you say I'm correct, fair in my assessment?
What are you plans for the future?
I'm just going to be a regular Guy work around normal people that aren't weird and have little man syndrome LOL. Hey I'm crashing later jim
Ok, partner. I really like talking to you. You a good old boy. I would like to stay in touch with you. - Jim Parks - Out
Chat Conversation End
Seen 11:34 PM

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Twin pillars of Texas Education at a crossroads

Sen. Dan Patrick (R--Houston), Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and a Priest

Public vouchers for private schools

Austin – Texas education is at the vortex of storm of controversy sparked not by sexual abuse, but by finance and power relations.

The sexual abuse and rape of any person – including children – is not really about sex. It's about power, aggression, and the hateful dominance of the helpless.

They object to teachings in World History and World Religion classes that the Holy Bible is literature, or anything other than fact. Numerous people have objected to teachings about Islam, a faith they find repugnant.

Conservative Catholics and evangelical fundamentalist Christians are set to do battle in this session's legislative caucuses and committees, clashes that will surely resound through the decades to follow.

Since the foundation of the Republic, the two underpinnings of education in Texas have been the Masonic Lodge and the Roman Catholic Church.

Both have suffered an onslaught of negative opinion due to sexual misconduct of their most trusted servants, the priests and teachers, administrators and board members who care for the children and look after their education.

Both are rocked with the scandal of trying to cover up their wrongful deeds, and both are paying the price in the nation's courts – to the tune of multi-millions of dollars.

When students and former students tried to expose the sick practices of the institutions, they were intimidated, threatened, and kept from the bar of justice by cops and courts willing to look the other way, lawyers who turned a blind eye, and a membership afraid of rocking the boat.

Quite a bit is known about the correction of certain Roman Catholic Priests whom the Church has found guilty of sexual molestation of youthful persons in their schools and at their altars. Two American Cardinals have made the information available to the press, according to the wishes of a conservative Pope Benedict XVI.

Not much is known of a similar situation in Masonry, which began as an excommunicated order or militant monk warriors who operated as the order of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ of the Temple of Jerusalem.

Accused of sexual depredations and trampling the cross, the Grand Master Jacques DeMolay and his lieutenants were suppressed, captured, confessed to their sins, and immolated alive at the stake one day in Paris. Most of the rest of the Knights Templar escaped, and they devised the system of Freemasonry to aid them in their getaway.

The Masonic Home and School of Texas suffered an onslaught of sexual predators from the seventies through the turn of the century, according to court records.

Though local police in Ft. Worth attempted to file criminal charges, the effort was diverted repeatedly, and finally, after 20 years, two pedophiles were eventually convicted for their crimes.

When a staff member who was himself molested while a student at the state's smallest independent school district filed suit on behalf of himself and 14 other students, he was summarily fired from his position, and his lawsuit dismissed.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs and the defendants, the officials of the Grand Lodge of Texas at Waco, and staff members who knew or should have known of the plight of the students, took their sweet time about settling the affair.

The terms of settlements with individuals so injured, and their answers to interrogatories posed in depositions, are all sealed in perpetuity by court order following an order to dismiss the suit signed in June of 1999, but it took until 2005 to arrive at the settlement agreements.

What is known are the allegations of complaint in Scott Bickle v. Dr. James Stewart, Masonic Home and School of Texas, and the Grand Lodge of Texas. (Cause No. 342-17926-99, Tarrant County) The explosive complaint filed in a state district court in Ft. Worth nearly ripped Texas Masonry apart at the seams, led to financial dealings of a shady nature, and shattered the credibility of dozens of Past Grand Masters.

The motives that caused this gentle fraternity led by President Mirabeau B. Lamar of the Republic of Texas to establish the first system of public schooling under a scheme that saw Masonic lodges build schools on ground floors of their buildings and locate their lodge rooms on the floors above was besmirched by these revolting developments.

In the late 19th century, the Grand Lodge of Texas opened a home and school for orphans of Texas Masons or grandchildren of Masons whose parents had been incapacitated.

Most Masons agree that the operation fared well until the administration of Past Grand Master Joseph Regian, a Metroplex undertaker who ran a large funeral and cemetery operation, when the policy shifted to include services to marginalized children who had fallen into trouble with juvenile authorities and who had no Masonic connection with family relations.

But the troubles with sexual predators had existed far in the past, preceding the experience of boarding and educating youthful offenders.

According to Mr. Bickle's lawsuit, “Prior to the sexual abuse of the Plaintiff and within a five year period, Defendants documented the sexual abuse of nearly two dozen children by two sexual predators likewise employed by Defendants. One of those sexual predators signed a guilty plea regarding charges brought on behalf of two of the children, while the other predator was arrested and spent time in jail related to charges being filed by the investigating officer of the Ft. Worth Police Department.”

The suit alleged that the negligence “proximately resulted in the abuse of the Plaintiff” and “resulted in no changes in administrative procedure by the Defendants...”

Dr. Stewart testified under oath as the director of the school that the establishment failed to become a licensed residential child care facility because it “would be very costly” and was not considered “desirable” by the defendants.

The suit alleges that the defendants defrauded Mr. Bickle, who was president of the student body, of his claims of sexual abuse and assault when he and his mother sued in 1995 for the same reason.

...Defendants owed Plaintiff (Mr. Bickle) a duty of fiduciary loyalty,” according to the attorney who wrote the petition, Timothy G. Chovanec.

They “sought to manipulate him through intimidation, misrepresentation and non-disclosure of their long and culpable history of child sexual abuse...” His continued participation in a lawsuit was harmful to the Home and School, they said, “...the only home known by the Plaintiff since he was a young child.”

In 1999, when he turned 18, he again filed suit. In that suit, he alleged that “Hiring and retention” of two pedophiles named J.D. Hausler and Jean Eller, and the failure to pursue their criminal prosecution to the fullest extent allowed by law, resulted in “breach of a recognized fiduciary duty owed the children and families...” and the “funds from the Masonic endowment fund and other trust properties.”

The use of those funds in an attempt to quietly settle the cascade of lawsuits that followed generated a huge amount of controversy.

The Grand Master called a meeting of the Past Masters of Texas lodges in 2005 to request permission to dip into the $50 million endowment fund to pay off the lawyers in private, but the members turned them down.

When it got late in the day, bus charter operators said they were leaving, that all who wanted a ride home to far-flung destinations in Beaumont or Amarillo, the piney woods or the Trans-Pecos, needed to get aboard, or be left behind.

As soon as those members cleared the Grand Lodge auditorium, the chairman claimed over the objections of remaining members that a quorum was present and attempted to reverse the earlier decision not to fund the settlement.

But it didn't stop there.

Stanley Patrick, a past master of Waco Lodge No. 92, is a retired Postmaster who relocated to the Waco area from his home near Houston to run postal operations there. He states his case without equivocation.

They lied,” he says.

Financial records show the board of the home and school borrowed funds to pay the settlements, and the Grand Lodge was by its constitution obliged to repay the loans of its subsidiary corporation.

Faced with the proposition that a runaway entity of its organization was bleeding the coffers dry because of their own past negligence, Texas Masonry voted the following December to close the venerable Ft. Worth campus, which was later sold.

It is now owned by ACH Child and Family Services, which is funded in partnership by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Tarrant County, and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Its mission: to provide care for abused children.