Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Houston Wanting to Give Handouts Now...

Apparently the idea of big government using public money for paying the personal bills of certain people is spreading like a rash. Now Houston wants to use taxpayer money to help people pay off credit card debts and help qualify for a mortgage. Is this what we can look forward to with democrats in control of the purse strings now? Why can't I get the government to pay off my credit cards as opposed to someone who made bad choices? Sure glad I don't live in Houston anymore.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chronicle Definition of Modest

At first when I saw this headline I thought it was going to be another Houston Chronicle story about the plight of the illegal alien while American citizens have it rough as well. However this story talks about a pastor from Ghana and his wife who are having a hard time sending money home. The opening paragraph reads;

"Elizabeth Anane-Sekyere works 13-hour shifts, six days a week. Her husband pastors a small church for modest pay. Together, they’re paying for a mortgage, three college tuitions and a growing 16-year-old."

Okay, those are long hours and that's admirable. However I'm not sure what the Chronicle means by small church. See, she and her husband work for the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. According to their website they have churches and schools all over the world. Now, I looked up the Houston address on the Harris County Appraisal District website. It is classified as a religious institution so it is tax exempt. A look from above shows it to be a fair sized establishment. Now, to be fair I have no idea what the church pays, but these facts make the harp strings a little hard to tug.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rest in Peace Cancer Diva

Today the Houston Chronicle sadly reported on the death of a popular blogger. Terry Hayes authored a blog about her life as a cancer survivor termed Cancer Diva. Her blog not only chronicled her life with cancer but also provided help and support to others living with the disease. As a fellow blogger I extend my condolences to the friends and family of the Cancer Diva Terry Hayes. Rest in peace!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Victim Without a Clue

I hate to say this about a kidnapping victim, but she really is clueless. I'm glad she got out of the trunk and was okay. However she must spend way too much time in that mansion watching television and not out in the real world. A woman in the affluent area of River Oaks in Houston was clubbed and dumped in a trunk. The woman escaped. Turns out, three convicts have been charged with the kidnapping. These guys were in prison where, according to the article they planned a kidnapping/ransom scheme. The victim is quoted as saying;

"I think about it every day," the woman said. "I just want women to know that it was random, it was for ransom and, in this economy, it could happen to anybody."

Uh, ma'am. These guys are criminals! They didn't plan this because they fell on hard times and needed money to feed their families and clothe their children. They did it because they are predators and they targeted you because you live in River Oaks!!!! I don't think you're going to see a spike in kidnappings like in Mexico.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shelton Drama Doesn't End

Remember the Shelton mess? First, 19 year-old Elizabeth Shelton is drunk and driving on the freeway while her boyfriend is hanging out the window. Drunk Elizabeth hits a box car from behind and winds up killing her boyfriend. Elizabeth is the daughter of Harris County Juvenile Court Judge Pat Shelton. Their defense was that little drunk Elizabeth didn't cause the accident that killed the young man. It was the driver of the box truck that little drunk Elizabeth hit from behind. The classic 'blame the victim' defense. Fortunately the jury didn't buy it and convicted Elizabeth. She served a few months in jail and is currently on probation. Aside from the relatively light sentence we thought that was the end of it. Well, we were all shocked when little Elizabeth's poor decision making skills made it back into the news. She along with the family of her dead boyfriend are suing the driver of the box truck she hit from behind for damaging her Lexus Utility and "mental anguish."

Now, the third chapter of the Shelton family mess. The accident reconstruction "expert" hired by the defense hasn't been paid for his services. So he is suing defense attorney George Secrest who in turn is saying little Elizabeth's daddy Judge Shelton is responsible for the $25,000 (or more) bill. Of course the judge's lawyer is saying the bill is exaggerated. Don't lawyers and experts work out a price before the service is delivered? Oh well, in a way who can blame the Shelton party for not paying. After all, they hired Joseph Hinton to tell a jury that little drunk Elizabeth isn't responsible for the crash or the death of the young man. How much should it really cost to pay someone to tell others what you want them to hear?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Taking Things in Tenaha, TX

At first when I read this story even I thought "uh oh!" However, I read it again and tried to read between the lines. As often, the Houston Chronicle doesn't tell the entire story either through omission or simply because they don't know. The concept of the story is sure to outrage any decent person. The concept of small town cops stopping out-of-towners and taking their property. However when I read the story again somethings stand out that make me think there is more than what the story tells you.

"Linda Dorman, a great-grandmother from Akron, Ohio, had $4,000 in cash taken from her by local authorities when she was stopped while driving through town after visiting Houston in April 2007. Court records make no mention that anything illegal was found in her van and show no criminal charges filed in the case. She is still waiting for the return of what she calls “her life savings.”

Okay, it's not against the law to carry $4,000 in cash, but why is she carrying $4,000 in cash? Take a look at the map here. How is Tenaha, TX, a direct route from Ohio to Houston, TX? Could it be she likes the back roads for the scenery? Or could she be avoiding the main highways for some reason? I like how they point out how Ms. Dorman is a great-grandmother but don't mention her actual age. This woman can be a great-grandmother and she's wanted by the federal government. The writer wants you to picture some centurion in a walker being hassled by the police. The article says no charges were filed but her cash was seized. What does the report say? Was a drug dog brought in? Did it hit on the car? Did the drug dog hit on the cash? Sometimes when drug residue is found on cash, it is seized. Plus she was stopped in 2007, is the case still pending?

Attorney David Guillory "is suing officials in Tenaha and Shelby County on behalf of Dorman and nine other clients who were stripped of their property. All were African-Americans driving either rentals or vehicles with out-of-state plates."

The photo caption says that between 2006 and 2008 "roughly" 140 people were subject to property seizure. Yet, only 10 people are suing the city of Tenaha and Shelby County. If these officers are indeed robbing people as the lawyer claims, why are only 10 out of 140 people suing? Plus the article points out the race of the people suing. What is the race of the other 130 people?

"In Shelby County, the district attorney made legal agreements with some individuals that her office would not file criminal charges so long as the property owner waived all rights to the valuables."

Then why sign it to start with? Make them prove their criminal case.

In exchange for (respondent) signing the agreed order of forfeiture, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office agrees to reject charges of money laundering pending at this time,” read one waiver, dated April 10, 2007."

Details of the case?

"The property owners named in the waiver had just signed over $7,342 in cash, their 1994 Chevrolet Suburban, a cell phone, a BlackBerry and a stone necklace."

I'm not saying Shelby County is not doing the right thing. I'm not defending them. In fact, Shelby County has made poor decisions in the past. I'm only questioning the reporter's angle and wanting more information before I make judgment. Let the lawsuit go forward and make all the cards come down on the table.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chronicle Looking For Discontent...Again

The Houston Chronicle just seems to go looking for discontent.

First, they find people jealous of the Fort Bend deputy sheriffs who got a bonus from a mysterious donor.

“I just think it is weird. Why are they giving them money?” said Dianna Batres, 21, as she finished getting her hair done at Royal Styles beauty salon. “My boyfriend was like, ‘What if it is a drug dealer?’ ”

Does this brat stop and think about what she says before she says it? If I were her boyfriend I'd be embarrassed.

Second, they go find some Harris County deputy sheriffs who expect new Sheriff Garcia to part the waves with his hands. In other words, they need to learn patience.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Two Updates

Updates on two previous posts;

The Fort Bend Deputies can keep their bonuses. Now all the naysayers can shut the hell up and life go on.

The Houston Police Officers are suing Marvin Driver and Quanell X. Awesome! Quanell must have seen this coming because he has police-hating, ACLU attorney Randall Kallinen representing him. I'm sure I mentioned in the past the ACLU have argued that false complaints against police officers should be 'protected speech.'

"Randall Kallinen, attorney for Quanell X on the defamation case, said the lawsuit is simply retaliation. ''This is another attempt by the police who use whatever means necessary to silence a police critic,'' Kallinen said."

I honestly think Randall Kallinen is mentally ill. How can he argue with a straight face that police should have none of the protections afforded civilians? In Randall's twisted mind police should be falsely accused, and abused because they deserve it. I bet Randall has a very high opinion of himself and looks down on public servants. I would love to remind Randall that police officers are human beings with feelings and don't deserve to have their lives ruined by false allegations. However he would disagree citing his contempt for police officers.