Monday, December 21, 2015

No Indictment in Waller County


Gun Lobby. Possession of guns solves so many problems.  I guess that's why we have always authorized the sale of weapons to Middle Eastern countries.


Dear Obama Hater - You just wasted a decade of your life.


Violence comes from self-hatred.  We need to work on that.


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December - This morning - Texas! #confusedrose





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Washington State Bar suspends some ethics opinions because of antitrust concerns

Dec 21, 2015, 6:15 am CST


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Jack Meier Gallery presents Generations opening reception

Generations / Kent Schaffer
Photo by Kent Schaffer
Jack Meier Gallery will present Generations featuring recent photographic works by Kent Schaffer and Zack Schaffer.
Fascinated with people and their stories, Kent Schaffer has traveled the world to capture and preserve moments in the lives of people that he has met along the way. His latest work will center on the tribes, countryside, and back alleys of Morocco; the orphans and ancient temples of Burma; and the mysteries or romance in the streets of Paris.
Zack Schaffer was born and raised in Houston. A passion of film would lead him to attend the Berkeley Digital Film Institute, where he would later graduate. In 2011, he co-founded Digital Moon Productions, based out of Los Angeles.  Zack has a passion for capturing not only moving images, but still photographs as well. His job in the film industry would allow him to travel more, allowing him to add to his portfolio and perfect his craft of viewing the world. The majority of Schaffer’s photographs is taken in black and white and focus on people and landscapes. Showing how people have chosen to interact with the world, whether being intrusive or not, are shown through his photographs.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display through February 4.

EVENT DETAILS

WHEN

1.14.16 | 5:30 pm

WHERE

2310 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005

PHONE

TICKET INFO

Admission is free.



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Judge nixes suit against prison food vendor which claimed that menu change posed a safety threat

Dec 18, 2015, 2:40 pm CST


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Kayla



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Millionaire lifer sought $50K contract hit on judge, offered $25K to kill prosecutor, charges allege

Dec 18, 2015, 12:25 pm CST



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Texas Judge Refuses to be a Part of Traffic Ticket Scheme, Blows the Whistle on Policing for Profit





judge-quits-says-he's-done-collecting-revenue-for-cops
Calvert, Texas – Retired municipal court judge David Viscarde has recently come forward to expose the use of quotas on speeding tickets. In an exclusive interview this week, Viscarde told WFAA that the police department and the local courts were involved in a revenue collection scheme where officers had quotas for speeding tickets, and judges were pressured to rush the cases through the courts.
Viscarde was a volunteer municipal court judge for over 15 years.
When I first became a judge, we had one reserve officer. That’s all he did on Friday and Saturday every other weekend. He’d write 100 citations,” Viscarde said.
“Their municipal court is their cash cow,” he added.
Viscarde explained how the pressure put on judges in the area caused him and many others to quit.
The pressure to collect revenues in Calvert — and probably other small towns in Texas — is excessive. And what happens is, you got judges like me who say they’ve got better things to do with my time. ‘Thank you very much, and God bless you, I’ll move on,’” Viscarde said.
He also revealed that Police Departments from many small towns in the area of Texas funded their entire budgets with speeding tickets. According to Viscarde, some towns would not even be able to have a police force if it weren’t for the speeding tickets. In the town of Calvert, for example, the local government refuses to pay for a prosecutor, and would be unable to actually take speeding tickets to trial if a defendant wanted to fight back.

In some towns, there are more pending cases than there are people. In the town of Hearne, there are only 4,400 people, but 12,000 municipal court cases pending. In Calvert, there is an average of 5 pending cases for every person in the town.

“The mindset of most small towns — including Calvert, and I can only speak for Calvert — is, ‘After all, we’re only Calvert, who’s going to know?’ The problem is, I knew,” Viscarde said.
WFAA reported that none of the towns in question had ever been audited. Below is the interview with WFAA.

John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/judge-quits-speeding-ticket-quotas-blows-whistle/#8ZfPRd3iWxlb5SUE.99

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The Bolkiameister Meisterbolkia: Sultan of Brunei Criminalizes Any Celebration or Association of Muslims With Christmas

by jonathanturley
Chancellor_of_UBD,_Hassanal_BolkiahUnknownIt often seems like some countries like Saudi Arabia are the first to respond to any slight or barrier to Islam in other countries, but routinely deny such accommodations for other religions in their own country. The latest such hypocrisy was shown by the Sultan and Muslim clerics in Brunei after the country criminalized celebrating Christmas. Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah previously was denounced for introducing the medieval Sharia law system to his kingdom. He has now ordered that anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas could face a five year jail sentence. While Bolkiah cuts the same comical figure of Burgermeister Meisterburger, he is not a bit comical for those who reject Islamic extremism.
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The Brief: No Indictments Yet in Sandra Bland Case


Vigil at the Waller Co. sheriff's office in Hempstead, Texas for Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who died in the jail days after arriving in the area to start a new job, on July 17, 2015.
Vigil at the Waller Co. sheriff's office in Hempstead, Texas for Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who died in the jail days after arriving in the area to start a new job, on July 17, 2015.

The Big Conversation

A grand jury in Waller County did not indict anyone Monday in the case ofSandra Bland, whose July arrest and subsequent death focused national attention on the circumstances of her initial stop and her treatment after she was taken to jail.
The special prosecutor in the case, Darrell Jordan, told the Tribune's Johnathan Silver on Monday night that the decision not to indict included county jail employees. He also said the grand jury would consider other charges in January. "It's not over," he said.
The Houston Chronicle reported that earlier on Monday, members of Bland's family had said at a news conference in Chicago that they did not have confidence in the grand jury. Afterward, an attorney for Bland's mother told the Chronicle, "It's exactly the type of thing we had a concern about, the fact that they were going to do exactly what they did."
Bland's mother has a separate wrongful death suit pending against the Department of Public Safety, Waller County and other individuals, including the trooper who pulled over Bland. It was announced last week that the trial in that suit would happen in January 2017.

Trib Must Reads

In 2015, Water, EPA Dominated Environment News, by Kiah Collier — From a slew of new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules to undrinkable water at the Texas-Mexico border, these are the top environmental stories the Tribune covered in 2015.

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Saudi Arabian Reformist Calls For An End To Political Repression . . . Saudi Court Responds By Jailing Him And Banning Him From Writing

by jonathanturley
200px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgSaudi Arabia's medieval legal system is back in the news with another attack on free speech and free thought. A Saudi reformist writer, Zuhair Kutbi, has been jailed for four years and banned from writing for his calls to reform the Kingdom. Kubti had called fellow intellectuals "cowards" in failing to stand up for reforms. Rather than engage Kubti in debate over its alleged racist and repressive elements, the response of the Kingdom was to jail him and ban him from writing for 15 years.


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From left: Donald J. Trump, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the boxing promoter Don King in 2005.
Rise of Donald Trump Divides Black Celebrities He Calls His Friends

By MAGGIE HABERMAN and STEVE EDER

Some of Mr. Trump's African-American friends and acquaintances say they are mystified by the candidate's sweeping attacks on minority groups. Others say he is misunderstood.



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OK, Take Your Time, Can You Identify That Man Who Robbed You?

by jonathanturley
paul-wayne-terryPolice say that it was not hard to track down Paul Terry, 27, who allegedly forced his way into an Oklahoma man's apartment and robbed him at knifepoint. The victim described one of the two attackers as having horns and the words "F**k Cops" on his forehead. That tends to stick in the mind of most officers on the beat.

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Extremist Jewish Leader Calls For Ban On Christmas Celebrations in Israel and Denounces Christians As “Vampires”

by jonathanturley
We have been discussing the criminalization of Christmas celebrations by the Sultan of Brunei. Now, as if to show that Muslim extremists have no monopoly on crazy, Benzi Gopstein, who heads the far-right Lehava organisation, has called for the same prohibition in Israel. Indeed, the statement of Gopstein and those of the Muslim clerics in Brunei seems almost indistinguishable.

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