Sunday, April 30, 2017


Remembering Richard "Racehorse" Haynes's Most Famous Cases

By Dianna Wray

Houston Press
April 28, 2017

Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, the famed Houston criminal defense attorney who could charm a jury like nobody else and cross-examine a witness so thoroughly it was just short of physical evisceration, died on Friday at age 90.

Now, we're taking a look back at the quick-witted lawyer who could and would do just about anything — whether that meant using a cattle prod on himself to show a jury that while it "hurts like hell, it’s not deadly,” threatening to put a nail through his hand to show that crucifixion wasn't actually that painful, or cross-examining an empty chair when the prosecution refused to produce a witness — in defense of his clients.

Haynes, born in San Antonio, got his nickname in junior high school over in Houston's Sunset Heights neighborhood either because he was the fastest runner in his class or because a football coach noticed that he seemed more interested in carrying the ball from sideline to sideline rather than advancing it on the field. But it seems like the moniker stuck because of, well, everything that came after.

He was definitely fast. Haynes served in World War II when he was still just a kid himself. In fact, he was only 17 years old when he helped storm a beach during the Battle of Iwo Jima. During the battle, he raced under enemy fire to save a Marine.

After the war, Haynes briefly considered becoming a doctor, but changed course after a week working in a hospital. Instead, he opted for the law, a profession where you could always appeal if you made a mistake. So he went to law school at the University of Houston and then went on to become one of the most skilled criminal defense attorneys ever seen in Texas.

Haynes had been practicing for more than a decade when he agreed to defend big-time Houston plastic surgeon Dr. John Hill, who was accused of murdering his River Oaks socialite wife, Joan Robinson Hill. After her death in 1969, her father, oilman Ash Robinson, contended that Hill had poisoned his wife, and petitioned the district attorney to charge Hill with murder. Hill was charged for causing her death by withholding medical attention and went to trial in 1971 with Haynes at his side.

After Hill's second wife testified that Hill had confessed to killing Joan via a dessert laced with bacteria that caused the infection that killed her, Haynes saw an opening and asked for a mistrial.

It was Haynes's most flashy case to date at that point, but he never got to see it through — even though he'd told numerous friends around Houston that he thought the doctor would beat the rap because he was actually innocent of the crime. He hoped to tackle it the second time around, but Ash Robinson opted not to wait for another trial to see Hill punished. Hill was shot at the front door of his River Oaks mansion in a contract killing before the second trial could get underway.

But that same year, Haynes took on another case, the one that made him famous. He agreed to defend Fort Worth oilman T. Cullen Davis, who was accused of murdering his stepdaughter and his wife's lover.

The 1971 case drew incredible media attention, partly because of the case itself and partly because Davis was at that time the wealthiest man ever tried in the United States. And despite the evidence, Racehorse's representation helped guarantee that Davis never saw the inside of a prison. The first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked, and Davis was acquitted in the second trial.

Later on Davis was once again arrested, this time for plotting to kill his wife and the judge overseeing the divorce. (Apparently Davis liked to do things in a big, thorough way.) Haynes once again defended him and once again, even though there was video and audio proof, Davis went free. Haynes said in interviews over the years this made it more difficult to work his magic in the courtroom in the following years because his name and tactics were so well known, but that didn't stop him from taking on more flashy cases that garnered plenty of media attention.

In 1981, Haynes followed up by taking on another seemingly unwinnable case when he defended Vickie Daniel. Vickie Daniel was a former Dairy Queen waitress accused of murdering her husband, Price Daniel Jr., who was not only the descendant of a political dynasty in Texas that traced its roots directly back to Sam Houston, but also the former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Price and his wife had a fraught relationship and he had cut her out of his will a few months before she had him served with divorce papers in January 1981. And then, a few days later, he came home and was shot to death, allegedly by Vickie.

It was the kind of case that most would have thought open and shut, especially since the pair were fighting and she apparently did shoot him, according to the court records. But Haynes dug in, claiming that Price was a "drunken, dope-crazed, wife-beating bisexual and pederast, a man whose smiling public face concealed perverse desires" who had come after Vickie when she shot him, according to D Magazine. The jury acquitted her.

Then there was Morganna, an entertainer who became known as the "kissing bandit" because, starting in 1969, she would rush onto baseball fields and kiss unsuspecting players. Morganna finally got caught and charged when she went after the Astros in Houston. Of course, Haynes represented her and came up with what could have been the most entertaining defense of his entire career.

In April 1985, the Astros were playing on their home turf in the Astrodome against the L.A. Dodgers when a buxom woman ran onto the field and planted two quick kisses on famed pitcher Nolan Ryan. Security was waiting for her, though — she'd done this many times before, ticking off the baseball top brass — so she darted for another player, shortstop Dickie Thon. She tried to make it to the Dodgers dugout, but was caught.

Morganna was charged with trespassing, and she came at the charge armed for bear with Haynes as her attorney. Haynes had a great defense planned out. He was going to argue, as he told papers at the time, the "gravity defense." In his view, Morganna had simply leaned over the stadium railing and then fallen, pulled down inexorably — and completely against her own will — by her enormous breasts.

Sadly, Haynes never got to argue this defense in court or demonstrate it — which is truly a pity since you just know that would have been one hell of a show and he was clear that he was going to demonstrate the effects of gravity by having someone, possibly the defendant herself, lean over and show that "seven of ten times," gravity won out. Instead, Houston Sports Association officials thought better of pursuing the whole thing and convinced city officials to drop the charges.

Through it all, Haynes had a flare about him that kept people watching. He also made a point of not carrying any enmity out of the courtroom, or acting like a jerk if he won. "You don't have to spit on the face of your enemy. Once you've conquest-ed your enemy, once you've won, you can shake hands and be a gentleman," he said in an interview a few years back.

Meanwhile, Haynes stayed married to the same woman for 60 years — his wife died before him — and had kids, lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and was more normal-sounding in real life, outside the courtroom, than most of his famously infamous clients.


The world has not come to an end

by Bob Walsh

Well, yesterday Trump got 100days under his belt. It is interesting, I think, to note what DID NOT happen. He has not begun wholesale deportation of Muslim, Mexicans or illegal aliens in general. Hillary Clinton is not in jail. Nobody from MSNBC of CNN has been arrested for sedition or criminal stupidity. The sun still rises in the east, even though it no longer rises out of Barack Obama's anal orifice. The world has not come to an end.

On a negative note, all of those liberal assholes that said they would leave the country if Trump won are still here. Too bad we can't use that as criteria to revoke their citizenship and deport their happy asses.

Life is hard, and sometimes unfair.


In historic decision, federal judge says Harris County bail system for the poor is unconstitutional

By Meagan Flynn

Houston Press
April 28, 2017

In a historic decision, a federal judge has found that Harris County's bail system infringes on the rights of poor people charged with non-violent offenses, granting a preliminary injunction against the county and forcing immediate changes on the county's bail system.

U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal issued her decision in a sweeping 193-page ruling, finding that the plaintiffs had a high chance of proving at trial that the county's bail system is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs—Civil Rights Corps, Texas Fair Defense Project and Houston law firm Susman Godfrey, representing all indigent misdemeanor defendants—had charged that Harris County's bail system punishes the poor and favors the wealthy because bail hearing officers fail to consider people's ability to pay bail, as the Constitution requires. Instead, plaintiffs claimed, they set bail based on an arbitrary bail schedule and often ignored recommendations to release non-violent people on personal bonds.

"Misdemeanor arrestees are often...people 'living on the edge at the point in their lives that intersects with getting involved in an arrest,'" Judge Rosenthal wrote in closing. "In Harris County, they may be homeless. They may lack family, friends, and [people in their lives willing to bail them out]. Some are, no doubt, of bad reputation and present a risk of nonappearance or of new criminal activity. But they are not without constitutional rights to due process and the equal protection of the law."

Here's how the new system will work under the preliminary injunction: Rosenthal has ordered that Harris County will be required to interview all misdemeanor arrestees about their financial conditions at the Houston jail and Harris County Jail. At the very first probable cause and bail hearing, if the person is eligible for release (i.e., has no other holds, isn’t charged with domestic violence or needing to undergo a mental competency exam), they are required to be released on unsecured money bond if they haven’t already bailed out the normal way. The difference is, normally to bail out, people have to pay up front; now, they’ll only have to pay if they don’t show up for court.

Judges can also order supervision tools such as GPS monitoring or drug testing if necessary. If the first hearing doesn’t happen within 24 hours of arrest, then the sheriff is required to release people from jail on a personal bond without any upfront financial conditions.

“It’s very encouraging that the courts are starting to scrutinize these practices, which for so long have caused so much harm to impoverished people but have escaped any real scrutiny,” said Alec Karakatsanis, the lead attorney for Civil Rights Corps. “I’m really encouraged by this ruling. It’s part of a larger movement going on around the country to give more scrutiny to practices that result in deprivation of basic human liberty.”

Rosenthal was faced with weighing Harris County's commendable promises to reform its bail system in future months against the harm that its current system does to people right now on a daily basis.

The county at various points asked Judge Rosenthal, unsuccessfully, to delay the lawsuit until the county could implement the reforms, such as hiring attorneys to represent people in bail hearings and to reform the bail schedule itself. And repeatedly, the county argued that misdemeanor defendants did not have the right to "affordable bail."

But Rosenthal ultimately rejected that argument, saying that the county had other options to ensure people show up for court beyond setting money bail at an unattainable amount. For example, she wrote, there were other tools for pretrial supervision, such as ankle monitors. Or, the county could still use money bail—but only make people pay the money if they fail to show up for court, which is the whole incentive of bail to begin with.

"Under Texas law, Harris County magistrates — the Hearing Officers and County Judges — may weigh the state-law factors to arrive at a high amount of bail," Rosenthal wrote. "But they cannot, consistent with the federal Constitution, set that bail on a secured basis requiring up-front payment from indigent misdemeanor defendants otherwise eligible for release, thereby converting the inability to pay into an automatic order of detention without due process and in violation of equal protection."

Harris County Attorney's Office spokesman Robert Soard says the county is reviewing the order and has not yet decided whether it will appeal. The county has already hired an appellate lawyer, Charles "Chuck" Cooper—who had been Donald Trump's front runner for solicitor general before withdrawing his name. He will assist the county in deciding how to go forward.


South Africa is lurching ever closer to conflict as its volatile Zulu president vows to seize land from whites

By Andrew Malone

Daily Mail
April 28, 2017

On stage in a stadium in Soweto, the township at the heart of the uprising against apartheid, South Africa’s president, in a green and gold leather jacket, was dancing a Zulu war jig.

A court order against ‘hate speech’ meant Jacob Zuma, a former cattle herder, was banned from singing his favourite ‘liberation’ songs, including Bring Me My Machine Gun and Shoot The Boer.

But, after listening to speeches in which a succession of obsequious cronies described him as a ‘giant’ alongside African leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Zuma delighted supporters at his 75th birthday celebrations a few days ago with fiery rhetoric instead — and in doing so sounded the death knell for the Rainbow Nation.

In front of more than 20,000 people — party loyalists and others bussed in with the promise of free food and ‘Zuma T-shirts’ — he warned the white population he was coming for their land.

As armed bodyguards, in black suits and sunglasses, scanned the crowds from the stage, Zuma attacked his white opponents, saying: ‘They are telling us that we will be breaking the law when we take the land — but they broke the law first by stealing our land!’

As cheers rang out, he added: ‘No normal person would sit idly by after his land has been stolen from him. Why should I keep quiet about the land issue? [Whites] hate me because I touched a raw nerve by talking about the economy that all should share in.’

He also attacked his critics among the black population, branding them ‘back stabbers and cowards’. Anyone opposing him was a ‘racist’.

Zuma had earlier informed the South African parliament that he planned to introduce a new law allowing land seizures to go ahead without compensation, saying all blacks should unite to ‘take back the land’.

Mzwandile Masina, a prominent member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), made his own incendiary contribution, warning that ‘we will crush’ anyone who stands ‘in the way of nation building’.

Whites, who comprise four million out of a total South African population of 50 million, should expect that things will be ‘very, very rough’ for them, Masina warned. He told the crowd that while the white population is small in number, ‘we are many’.

‘I want to say to our white counterparts in South Africa, they must be very, very careful,’ Masina added. ‘This thing of being shown the middle finger by white people because they have gained a new confidence must come to an end. We are not monkeys, we are people.’

Zuma’s decadence and defiance at his party earlier this month — which cost £1m to stage — comes as South Africa lurches ever closer towards the abyss of a Zimbabwe-style collapse and possible violence as black and white factions prepare themselves for conflict.

A man, wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Zuma on it, laughed bitterly when I asked him if he had come to the celebrations to support his leader.

‘My friend, I have three children I can barely afford to feed, there is no work, so how do you think I can support this crook,’ he hissed. ‘I only came to see if there was food.’

Expressing sentiments I heard repeatedly from other impoverished black South Africans, the 49-year-old added: ‘At least the whites (under apartheid) gave us jobs. Mandela tried to get rid of black and white and make us grey. This clown is dragging us down and down.’

To underline the scale of the country’s woes, 23 years after apartheid ended, business leaders have just taken out an extraordinary advert on page three of the South African Sunday Times newspaper, warning that the State has been ‘captured’. ‘South Africa is in crisis,’ it said, blaming Zuma for the ‘illegitimate acquisition of South Africa’s natural and financial assets’. The government was guilty of ‘propaganda, slogans, racism and lies’ to silence criticism.

The economy is undoubtedly in peril after government bonds were downgraded to junk status. Once a net exporter of food — as neighbouring Zimbabwe was before Robert Mugabe seized land from whites in a programme of ‘racial transformation’ — the country is now forced to rely on imports to feed the population.

Unemployment is 90 per cent in some townships, and riots — described as ‘service delivery protests’ by the ANC — are so widespread and frequent they barely get reported.

Crime is rampant — with more than 50 murders a day, many sadistic and barbaric — while South Africa is shamed by an appalling record on rape, with a woman sexually assaulted every 23 seconds.

Now, many have had enough. Black opposition leaders and a coalition called Save South Africa are staging protests, calling for Zuma to quit.

Certainly, Jacob Zuma does not inspire confidence when it comes to running what has long been regarded as Africa’s superpower. Born in Nkandla in 1942, the site of famous battles with British forces in the late-19th century, he was raised in a traditional village.

His father, a policeman and village chief, was an adviser to a local Zulu king. As a boy, Zuma herded cattle, collected wild honey and hunted small animals with a spear.

Aged 11, he was circumcised with a traditional stone implement after a period learning about Zulu tradition at camps run by elders in the bush. It was there, too, that he was taught about sex, a subject he has taken a close interest in ever since. ‘I was told to be a man among men,’ he said once.

Zuma left home at 16 with no qualifications and one year later joined the ANC, becoming a foot soldier for Umkhonto We Sizwe — Spear Of The Nation, the armed wing of the liberation movement which carried out a bombing campaign in a bid to end white minority rule.

He was arrested aged 21 for conspiring to overthrow the government and served ten years on Robben Island — alongside Mandela — in the infamous jail.

Upon release, he travelled to ANC bases in neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana, and became head of the ANC’s internal intelligence wing known as Mbokodo, or ‘the stone that crushes’.

When Nelson Mandela was released in 1990, after 27 years in prison, Zuma returned to South Africa and became deputy president under Thabo Mbeki, from 1999, until being forced out amid corruption allegations in 2005. He became the nation’s fourth black president in 2009.

Zuma has had six wives and 22 children and has been linked with numerous other women. In 2005, when he was accused of raping the daughter of an ANC friend, he denied the charges, claiming it was consensual and it was his duty as a ‘Zulu warrior’ to have sex with a woman if she wore a short kanga — an African wrap — and he could not leave her ‘unfulfilled’.

‘In the Zulu culture, you cannot just leave a woman if she is ready,’ he told the court. ‘To deny her sex, that would have been tantamount to rape.’

Despite knowing that the woman was HIV positive, in a country where one in three carries the virus, Zuma was unfazed by criticism that he hadn’t used a condom. ‘I had a shower afterwards,’ he said, cheerfully.

Eventually Zuma was cleared, but it is his financial rather than his sexual activities that are the cause of the greatest fears for the future of South Africa.

Zuma is now fabulously rich, with a personal fortune estimated at between £15 million and £100 million. How he has acquired this wealth is of particular interest to his opponents. He has been accused of taking huge bribes in an arms deal, and could face up to 783 charges.

The real evidence of just how far Zuma has come is at Nklanda, the sprawling palace he built using taxpayers’ funds near the rural home where he grew up.

In the style of a Zulu king’s kraal, he has homes here for four of his wives, reportedly connected to his own grander house by tunnels, as well as two helicopter landing pads, and an area for cattle.

In a scathing report last year by the public prosecutor, he was ordered to pay back some of the costs of upgrading the presidential palace, including the price of a swimming pool he claimed was needed for water in case of a fire. As Zuma’s wealth and power have grown, the parallels with the collapse of Zimbabwe are ever more striking. Military veterans, who answer only to Zuma and who served in the ANC’s military wing, have paraded on the streets. They formed a guard of honour at Zuma’s recent party.

Zimbabwe’s despotic president, Mugabe, also used ‘military veterans’ to seize white farms in 2000, tipping the country into years of decay by following the policies now being proposed by Zuma.

Not surprisingly, some white South Africans are taking extreme measures in response. Where once ANC guerrillas camped in the bush, plotting against white rulers, now it is white militias training at secret camps.

These are run by leaders of the Kommandokorps, a volunteer force who wear the brown military uniforms of South Africa’s old apartheid-era forces. On remote farms, recruits are being trained with pistols, pump-action shotguns and 303 rifles.

More than 2,500 volunteers, aged from 14 to 38, have been drilled. Their leader is Colonel Franz Jooste, a former officer in the old South African army, who fought what he calls ‘black terrorists’ in secret operations in Mozambique, Angola and Zambia.

‘We are in a heightened security situation,’ he told me. ‘We have to prepare for anarchy and how we can protect ourselves.’

The ANC is also training thousands of ‘national rural youth service corps’ at military bases. There are reports that volunteers on the two-year programmes have been promised land. (The ANC denies they are trained as soldiers, but admits they are ‘exposed to military discipline so they become better and more patriotic citizens’.)

So deep is the crisis that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the face of opposition to apartheid while Mandela was in jail, has joined anti-government protests, and described Zuma as ‘disgraceful’.

‘I am warning you that we will pray as we prayed for the downfall of the Apartheid Government,’ the 85-year-old says. ‘We will pray for the downfall of a government that misrepresents us.’

Former president F.W. de Klerk, who, in 1993, was awarded a joint Nobel Peace prize with Mandela, believes thieving from state coffers will spell disaster.

‘Corruption is a deadly threat to South Africa,’ he told me. ‘It has enriched the leadership group — but will make it difficult for the great majority of South Africans to escape from poverty. Most seriously, it has corrupted the values for which leaders like Nelson Mandela struggled.

‘President Zuma is dangerously stoking up racial animosities. The ANC claims that it does not want to repeat the mistakes of Zimbabwe — but it is difficult to see how it would avoid this if it proceeds with expropriation [land grabs] without compensation.

‘We hope that the world will condemn growing institutionalised racism against (white) minorities with the same vigour with which it condemned apartheid.’

Then, if all this were not grim enough, there is Julius ‘Ju Ju’ Malema, a former ANC youth leader tipped as a future South African president, before he fell out with Zuma and created his own anti-white party called the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Self-styled ‘Commander in Chief’ Malema has attracted millions of supporters. He has a penchant for fast cars and expensive Breitling watches and makes Zuma seem like a moderate. He has urged blacks to illegally seize white land ‘wherever they see it’.

‘We are not calling for the slaughter of white people — at least for now,’ he said in a recent speech. ‘The rightful owners of the land are black people. No white person is a rightful owner of the land here in South Africa and the whole of the African continent.’

Many believe the country is doomed — even the black leader of one opposition party.

‘Jacob Zuma is dangerous for South Africa,’ said Mumusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance. ‘He is running a project of destroying South Africa.’

A few days ago, the more apocalyptic warnings about South Africa seemed false as I watched blacks and whites enjoying the Easter break. But when I first visited Zimbabwe 20 years ago, I would never have believed the tranquil breadbasket of Africa would become an economic basket case and a place of horrors, nor that in 2008 I would see millions of worthless bank notes blow through the capital Harare.

And I have never forgotten an exchange with one of Mandela’s advisers after I moved to live in Johannesburg 20 years ago. He was shocked when I said I didn’t own a gun. ‘You’d better get one,’ he warned. ‘Africa is a rough continent — anything can happen.’

I didn’t buy a weapon then. I might now if I lived there. For, if Zuma and his cronies choose to follow this corrupt, ruinous and racially destructive path, it won’t matter who ends up president of this magical, troubled country. They will be fighting to be King of the ashes.


How the murderous Central American street gang MS-13 has built up a terrifying criminal stronghold in suburban Long Island

Associated Press
April 28, 2017

Late at night on Long Island, when helicopters thrum overhead and spotlights beam down onto lawns, many people here know exactly what's going on.

'You just think, '"Oh, God, whose child is it now?"' said Stephanie Spezia, a longtime resident of Brentwood, New York, a suburb in the heart of Long Island that is caught in the grip of a violent street gang with Central American ties, MS-13.

With MS-13 blamed for a trail of 11 corpses of mostly young people found since the start of the school year in Brentwood and Central Islip, the nation's focus has turned on how the Central American street gang built such a presence here.

The bloodshed in the two blue-collar towns has gotten the attention of President Donald Trump, who says the killings are the result of lax immigration policies that let too many criminal 'scum' slip through.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech Friday not far from a park where the bodies of four young men were found this month bearing MS-13's hallmarks: repeated slashes from a blade that left the victims nearly unrecognizable.

The government's goal, he said, was 'to demolish' MS-13.

Until that happens, though, some parents say they are afraid to let their children go to school. Teens say any perceived slight to a gang member, especially a refusal to join, can mean death.

After one high school warned parents not to let their kids wear anything 'gang-affiliated,' gang members started deciding on a daily basis what colors were off-limits, leaving students to guess what not to wear.

'Kids are losing their childhoods,' said Jennifer Suarez, whose 15-year-old niece was beaten and hacked to death in the street last year. 'You can see the stress on their faces as they get ready. It's like, you know, they're suiting up for battle.'

So how does a street gang with ties to Central America gain such an aggressive foothold in the suburbs of Long Island?

MS-13, or the Mara Salvatrucha, is believed by federal prosecutors to have thousands of members across the U.S., primarily immigrants from Central America. It has a stronghold in Los Angeles, where it emerged in the 1980s as a neighborhood street gang.

But its true rise began after members were deported back to El Salvador in the 1990s. There, the gang thrived and spread to Honduras.

MS-13 and rival groups there now control entire towns, rape girls and young women, massacre students, bus drivers and merchants who refuse to pay extortion, and kill competitors or youths who simply refuse to join.

That violence has prompted a migration of people trying to escape, especially children, who have streamed north because of a U.S. policy allowing people under 18 who arrive without parents to stay in the country temporarily with relatives or friends.

Since the fall of 2013, the U.S. has placed 165,000 unaccompanied minors. Long Island has been a frequent landing spot. Suffolk County, which includes Brentwood and Central Islip, has gotten 4,500. Neighboring Nassau County has received 3,800.

In a recent roundup of 13 suspected MS-13 gang members accused of murder and other charges, seven had entered as unaccompanied minors.

'There's no question that MS-13 is recruiting these unaccompanied children,' said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini. The youngsters 'don't have an established social network, at least many of them don't, and MS-13 is providing that network.'

'They're also using coercion,' Sini said. 'They say, 'If you don't join the gang, we will kill you.''

All told, nearly 200 suspected MS-13 members have been rounded up since September. Among the tactics Sini has employed have been stepped-up patrols, renewed cooperation with an FBI task force and helicopter sweeps of wooded areas where gang members have been known to gather.

Trump has promised to eradicate the gang in the U.S. through strict enforcement of immigration law.

'We are putting MS-13 in jail and getting them the hell out of our country,' he told The Associated Press this week.

'They are a bad group, and somebody said they are as bad as al-Qaeda, which is a hell of a reference. ... We are out in Long Island cleaning out the MS-13 scum.'

The tough talk has made some residents fearful of law enforcement as well of the gang. They say it's not about immigration politics but about making a community safer.

Residents of Brentwood and Central Islip, with a combined population of about 100,000, say the area of modest ranch homes, warehouses and strip malls has always been a diverse, welcoming place for immigrants trying to make better lives for their children.

Some longtime residents say law enforcement bears some of the responsibility for the gang's rise because it ignored the burgeoning problem for years.

Parents say 4,200-student Brentwood High School lacks the means to help young people who are often left alone after school because their parents work long hours. There are few social workers and guidance counselors, they say, and not enough security guards or cameras.

'They can't walk the halls without fear,' said Evelyn Rodriguez, the mother of 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas, who was found beaten to death last fall. Rodriguez said her daughter had been bullied for two years.

In the months leading up to her death, Kayla was involved in a series of disputes with members and associates of the MS-13, prosecutors said. Rodriguez said her daughter stood her ground and ended up dead.

Kayla and her lifelong friend Nisa Mickens, 15, were walking on a street near their homes when men with baseball bats and a machete jumped out and attacked them.

Nisa was found dead on a residential tree-lined street a day before her 16th birthday. After a day of searching, Kayla was discovered in a wooded backyard nearby. She lived a block away.

'People, they missed the opportunity to know a really great person,' said Nisa's father, Rob Mickens, who is running for the school board to help push for change. 'They would have loved to know her.'

Bertha Ullaguari said she noticed her 18-year-old son, Jorge Tigre, going from a good student on track to graduate from Bellport High to someone who was too afraid to go to school.

Then she got two truancy letters. When she pressed her son, he refused to tell her what was going on.

'Some bad things happened there,' Ullaguari said, her voice trembling. She had heard he had his tires slashed. There were rumors of gangs.

And then, about two weeks ago while she was driving with her daughter, they got a mysterious call. A girl on the line said Jorge was dead along with three others in a park 20 miles from his home.

'We nearly killed ourselves from the shock,' said Ullaguari, who is an Ecuadorean immigrant.

Jorge's body and the three others were found cut, their torsos exposed and hands bound, just steps from a playground.

'It could happen to anybody's child, anywhere,' Evelyn Rodriguez said. 'We all need to be aware of this, and we need stand together. Because I don't want it to be your child.'

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem appears to be another broken promise

During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump promised Jewish groups that he would move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” trumpeted Trump.

And just before his inauguration, when asked by a correspondent for Israel Hayom if he remembered his promise to move the embassy, Trump replied: “Of course I remember what I told you about Jerusalem. Of course I didn't forget. And you know I'm not a person who breaks promises.”

Trump already has Congressional approval to move the embassy, an act of great importance to Israel. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 which declared that (1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected; (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and (3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.

The State Department opposes moving the embassy because it would infuriate the oil-rich Arabs. And the Palestinian Arabs have vowed an “explosion” should Trump fulfill his promise.

Even though, like Trump, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem, they acquiesced to the State Department's opposition.

President Trump could already have issued an executive order to move the embassy. The State Department would not have to wait for a new building to be constructed because the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem can serve as our embassy until construction of the new building has been completed.

100 days in office but no marching orders for the embassy in Tel Aviv. Where is that executive order? Trump has gone from an unambiguous pledge to “we are thinking about it” to apparently forgetting about it.

Trump’s pledge appears to be another broken promise. And that broken promise will not cost him many votes because Jews make up only two percent of America’s population and 80 percent of them vote Democrat, no matter what.


Pot, including medical marijuana, has become a leading factor in highway crash fatalities in those states where medical marijuana and recreational pot are legal

By Howie Katz

Bib Jolly Politics
April 28, 2017

A report released Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility shows that more drivers are being killed under the influence of drugs in highway crashes than under the influence of alcohol.

In 2015, testing of the drivers killed in crashes revealed that 43 percent were under the influence of drugs, both legal and illegal, while 37 percent were under the influence of alcohol.

Marijuana was involved in more than 1/3rd of the drug-related crashes.

The increase in marijuana-related traffic fatalities is most notable in those states where recreational pot and/or medical marijuana have been legalized. “In Colorado,” according to the GHSA report, “marijuana-related traffic deaths increased by 48 percent after the state legalized recreational use of the drug.”

According to the Austin American-Statesman, “More than a dozen bills are pending in the Texas Legislature this session, aimed at lifting prohibitions on Texans who want to use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.”

Those who favor legalizing marijuana claim that it is an innocuous substance. That is a lie! Pot advocates also claim that the illegal market in marijuana will disappear once the drug is legalized. That is not true either!

In Colorado and Washington, states that have legalized marijuana, the Mexican drug cartels are still doing a thriving business. Because there are high taxes added to the price of cannabis in legal pot shops, many stoners are getting their pot on street corners where they can buy the weed for far less. And that is also where juveniles can get their pot.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to enforce the federal laws on marijuana which prohibit the manufacture, distribution and possession of the drug, particularly in those states that have legalized pot. Unless Congress changes the laws, the DEA could bring about an end to the legalization of marijuana.

Marijuana is not innocuous nor will its legalization kill the black market in pot.

The GHSA report should be a warning for those who favor decriminalizing or legalizing pot. I hope the majority of Texas legislators have the good sense not to mess with the state’s current laws on marijuana.


Since one third of scientists confessed to engaging in questionable research practices, might one not think the conclusions reached that pot is not harmful were predetermined by researches wanting a pro-pot outcome?

I have always questioned the studies which purport to show that pot is a beneficial substance, not a harmful one. Of course one could also say that studies showing pot to be harmful are bogus. It all boils down to what you want to believe about pot. But I’ll eat my beloved John Deere cap if those studies showing pot is not harmful were not conducted by pot smokers determined to justify their use of marijuana.

The following excerpt fron "Why We Cheat" by Ferric C. Fang and Arturo Casadevall, was sent to me by my former sheriff’s department colleague and old friend Jerry Doyle:

Not all people cheat, but it is "astoundingly common," and people are much more inclined to cheat if others around them are cheating:

"Although it is comforting to think that most people are essentially honest, cheating -- defined as acting dishonestly to gain an advantage -- is actually astoundingly common. In a 1997 survey, management professor Donald McCabe of Rutgers University and Linda Klebe Treviño, a professor of organizational behavior at the Pennsylvania State University, revealed that about three fourths of 1,800 students at nine state universities admitted to cheating on tests or written assignments. In 2005 sociologist Brian Martinson of the HealthPartners Research Foundation in Bloomington, Minn., and his colleagues reported that one third of scientists confessed to engaging in questionable research practices during the previous three years. ...

"Humans are surprisingly quick to cheat when the circumstances are conducive. In 2008 behavioral economist Dan Ariely of Duke University and his colleagues described what happened when they asked college students to solve math puzzles for cash rewards. When the researchers changed the experimental conditions such that the students assumed the examiner could not detect cheating, the average self-reported test score rose significantly. The researchers determined that the scores were not inflated by a few students who cheated a lot but rather by many students cheating a little. ...

"If cheaters used a simple cost-benefit calculation, one might predict that people would cheat as much as possible, not just a little bit. Yet in Ariely's study, students on average reported six correct answers when they got only four right, even though they could have raised their scores to a maximum of 20. In addition, no simple relation exists between the magnitude of the reward and the likelihood of cheating. When Ariely's team increased the cash reward, the amount of cheating actually declined. Ariely suggests that the students felt guilty when they cheated more or received larger amounts of cash through dishonest behavior. ... Another possibility is that the students thought they would be less likely to attract attention if they cheated only a little. ...

"In 2011 Ariely and behavioral economist Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School reported that people who score higher on psychological tests of creativity are more apt to engage in dishonesty -- a connection that is perhaps not surprising considering that creativity and tactical deception are both products of the neocortex. ... They submit that creative individuals are better at self-deception: they come up with more inventive rationalizations for cheating as a way of making themselves feel better about doing it. As Proust observed in Remembrance of Things Past, 'It is not only by dint of lying to others, but also of lying to ourselves, that we cease to notice that we are lying.' Or as George told Jerry on Seinfeld 75 years later, 'It's not a lie if you believe it.' Ironically, the creativity and intelligence that we regard as distinctly human might have arisen alongside our ability to deceive. We are who we are because we cheat. ...

"Unchecked dishonesty can promote the perception that one must cheat to remain competitive, ... and [certain] observations have led Ariely to refer to cheating as 'infectious.' ... Social contagion may help explain the high prevalence of cheating in relatively small groups of people. For example, 125 Harvard students were recently under investigation for cheating on the final examination in an introductory government course. (More than half these students were told to withdraw from school for up to a year as punishment.) It is statistically unlikely that nearly half the 279 students in that class are sociopaths given the low prevalence of sociopathy -- about 3 percent in males and 1 percent in females. A more plausible explanation is contagion. The widespread bending of the rules probably led students to conclude that collaborating with other students was okay. (The class was called 'Introduction to Congress,' so perhaps the students were simply identifying too much with the material.)"


A woman goes to the doctor, worried about her husband’s temper.

The doctor asks, “What’s the problem?”

The woman says: “Doctor, I don’t know what to do. Every day my husband seems to lose his temper for no reason. It scares me.”

The doctor says: “I have a cure for that. When it seems that your husband is getting angry, just take a glass of water and start swishing it in your mouth. Just swish and swish, but don’t swallow it until he either leaves the room or calms down.”

Two weeks later, the woman comes back to the doctor looking fresh and reborn.

The woman says: “Doctor that was a brilliant solution! Every time my husband started losing it, I swished with water. I swished and swished, and he calmed right down. How does a glass of water do that?”

The doctor says: “The water itself does nothing. It’s keeping your mouth shut that does it.”

Friday, April 28, 2017


Kim Kardashian’s now selling nudity, drugs, booze and high-risk sex to the youth of the world and making hundreds of millions of dollars in the process

By Piers Morgan

Daily Mail
April 27, 2017

I’m done with Kim Kardashian.

And her ghastly family.

Done. Done. DONE.

I just can’t stomach the sight or thought of any of these talentless, publicity-crazed, unctuously self-absorbed, vacuous wastrels for a single moment longer.

Not Kim, not Kendall, not Kylie, not Kourtney, not Kris, not Caitlyn – not ANY of them.

This feeling of utter, skin-crawling anathema towards all things Kardashian and Jenner has been creeping up inside my intestines for a while but it crystallized itself today in a blazing eruption of irritation and contempt.

In the words of Peter Finch’s news anchor character Howard Beale in the movie Network: ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’

What tipped me over the edge? Kim’s pathetic new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the world’s most simpering chat show host and chief celebrity sycophant.

Here was a true meeting of galactic level insincerity.

It was Kim’s first TV appearance since she was robbed at gunpoint in Paris last year, and she milked it like an over-eager farmhand in a field full of udder-bloated cows.

The tears rolled as Kim told an equally choked up Ellen: ‘I know it sounds crazy but I know this was meant to happen to me. I feel like I am such a different person. I feel like things happen in life to teach you things.’

Ellen handed over some tissues, her caring, sharing face belying what she was really thinking, which was ‘KERCHING! You keep crying baby, this is ratings gold!’

Kim announced she no longer wears jewellery, or posts photos of her cars, because she doesn’t want to draw attention to her wealth.

‘I was definitely materialistic before,’ she explained, in between her wailing sobs. ‘I’m so glad that my kids get this me, that this is who is raising my kids. I just don’t care about that stuff any more. I really don’t.’

For a second, I nearly believed her.

It would take a heart of stone not to see a mother weep as she talked about such a terrible experience and how it had reshaped her entire life.

But then I remembered it was Kim Kardashian we’re dealing with, so I went to her Twitter account to check how her new life of anti-materialism was going.

Her most recent three tweets all direct her 51 million followers to her ‘Kimoji’ merchandise website.

The No1 item, which is currently ‘SOLD OUT’, is her Ass Tray at $35.

That’s a cartoon image of her large naked bottom inside an ashtray.

Among other items for purchase is her Butt Pool Float at $98 that also features Kim’s naked bottom shaped like a swimming pool float.

Ms Kardashian is very proud of her bottom.

So much so that she’s spent the past week deliberately flaunting it for the paparazzi on a beach holiday with her female friends.

It’s been a deliberate marketing ploy to sell her bottom-related merchandise.

The only problem is that the real thing, as we have now seen, bares no relation to the perfectly proportioned, super-smooth, cellulite-free vision of glory she sells to the world via her Kimoji wares or the heavily-airbrushed photos she posts and flogs to magazines.

In other words, as with all things Kardashian these days, it’s one gigantic con trick. A façade aided and abetted by the world’s women’s magazine industry that wants us all to buy into the fakery and compel its readers to aspire to completely bogus body images with myriad expensive potions, creams and surgeries.

Other Kimoji merchandise includes hats and T-shirts with pro-drugs message like ‘Never Not High’ and ‘Lit Tie Dye rolling paper’.

Oh, and a peach heart emoji that says ‘PNP’. That’s a slang term used mainly by gay men on sex apps like Grindr to denote ‘Party’n’Play’. It means they are interested in having high-risk, often unprotected sex with strangers while taking drugs like methamphetamine and GHB.

On the hit reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kim is always careful to maintain an abstemious image – no drugs and very little alcohol.

But it would seem that once she’s hooked her young fans into THAT image of nice, decent purity, she then urges them on her social media sites to spend big money on stuff actively promoting a very different lifestyle.

It’s hugely profitable, and hugely cynical.

For a while, I enjoyed the Kardashian ride; I interviewed Kim and her sister Kourtney for CNN in 2011 and they seemed nice girls who worked hard and were doing no real harm to anyone. Their overly pious critics seemed to miss the point - which was that there wasn’t really any point to them. They were just having fun.

As a result, I’d defend them vigorously against those who said they represented everything repellent about the fickle, artless world of Z-list reality television.

Then it all started to turn a bit darker and my sympathies went south too.

Nice girl Kim married bad boy rapper Kanye West and began posting profanely captioned nude photos of herself flipping the bird. By doing so, she crossed a line from harmless fun to something altogether more crass and unpleasant.

Particularly when she claimed it was being done as part of some kind of stand for ‘feminism and liberating empowerment for women’.

What absurd, disingenuous horseshit!

I’m not a prude and I couldn’t care less what people like Kim Kardashian want to expose of themselves in private, if they do so legally.

But when you have literally tens of millions of young female followers hanging on your every social media post, you surely have a great duty of care to send them the right messages?

For the world’s young girls to think the only way to get on in life as a woman is to strip naked in public and flip the bird is not just wrong, it’s dangerous.

Nor should they be encouraged to spend large amounts of money on accessories promoting the joy of drugs, when so many of them are still at school.

Kim Kardashian wants us to think she’s turned over a new leaf, that she’s renounced her old materialistic ways. That, as a mother of two young children herself, she has learned how to behave in a responsible fashion.

But she hasn’t.

The truth is that she’s now using her massive global platform to actively corrupt our kids.

And she doesn’t hesitate to aggressively exploit her own children as often as possible to further promote her brand through sites like Instagram, whilst pretending to prioritise their safety and interests.

The rest of her family have all followed suit, willingly, greedily complicit in the same ruthlessly commercial game.

I don’t find the Kardashian machine funny or harmless any more.

It’s grown ugly; very, very ugly.

Kim Kardashian’s now selling nudity, drugs, booze and high-risk sex to the youth of the world and making hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

Do we really want someone like her to be the role model our young daughters look up to and want to emulate?

I don’t.

No, as I said at the start of this column, I’m done with Kim Kardashian and her ghastly family.

I want them gone from public life, expunged from the airwaves, thrown off the newsstands, and extinguished from the celebrity ether.

They’ve become a pitiful parody of stinking, sobbing hypocrisy that should no longer be encouraged or tolerated in civilised society.

It’s time to boot Kim Kardashian and her gigantic, surgically enhanced backside into the same obscurity from which she once crawled thanks to that infamous sex tape.

And I want you to join me in this campaign.

Again, back to the gloriously relevant words of Howard Beale:

‘You gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!” So get up out of your chairs, go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

I no longer want to keep up with the Kardashians.


Nor should you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry Piers, but you’re a day late and a dollar short. You should have seen the Kardashians and the Jenners for the filthy trash and phonies they are back when they first started their God awful TV reality show.


by Bob Walsh

The California prison system has a problem. They are operating under a court order and a special master to vastly improve the medical care of inmates. It is, however, hard to do if no one wants to work for you and if the administrative system is incompetently run.

The State I. G. has just issued a report detailing many problems within the system in general and at New Folsom Prison (technically California State Prison, Sacramento.)

I admit I have trouble understanding it. I know why they have trouble hiring staff at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison. It is in the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere. You can see the parking lot for hell from Tower 1. New Folsom is in a major metropolitan area, the weather is decent, there is a real, modern infrastructure there like shopping, movies, massage parlors, indian casinos. Everything you need to live a civilized life.

The doctors that do work there complain incessantly of inferior working conditions. Most are actively looking for work elsewhere. Their response to emergencies is lethargic. (Remember Emergency Medical Care is a specialty. Most prison doctors write prescriptions and transport orders. They don't really practice medicine personally.)

CSP Sac is a high security institution. The inmate population are violent, dangerous assholes. It has seven positions on staff for primary care doctors. Three of those positions are vacant. This is one of the prisons that is offering a 15% bonus for medical doctors in addition to the 9% general pay raise coming this year. The current average pay for state prison doctors is about $250,000 per year. This is as a rank-and-file employee who works essentially 8-5 m-f with significant pay for working on call shifts or overtime, for which time-and-a-half is paid. I grant you that isn't a ton of money, but neither is it chump change.


by Bob Walsh

From what I gather Florida City, FLA is either a serious crime-ridden shithole, or it is inhabited largely by complete morons.

Martaevious Santiago was 17 on Tuesday. His sister, Tedra King, walked up to him in the family kitchen and gave him a nice hug for his birthday, then turned and walked away. He pulled a (stolen) gun from his pants, aimed at the back of her head and pulled the trigger, splattering her brains all over the kitchen. He then told the cops that it was an accident.

It seems that half of the people in the Washington Park neighborhood where they live is either a shooter or a shootee. Young Mr. Santiago was himself shot in the leg just before Christmas. The circumstances are a little fuzzy. His younger brother, Martwan Santiago, 15, was shot four times last year. (One incident, four bullets.) He is now paralyzed.

Martaevious asserts the gun was given to him by a 14-year old buddy. That friend was arrested by the cops on a warrant not related to this incident.


by Bob Walsh

A female sergeant with the North Caroline Dept. of Corrections was murdered late Wednesday while on the job.

Megan Lee Callahan, 29, was working at the Bertie Correctional Institution in Windsor. She has been with the department for 12 years and was promoted to Sergeant about 14 months ago. An unnamed inmate is a specific suspect in the attack, a lifer who has been down since 2004 out of Cumberland County.


Drugged driving eclipses drunken driving in tests of motorists killed in crashes, with more than a 1/3rd of drug-related crashes involving marijuana

By Ashley Halsey III

The Washington Post
April 26, 2017

For the first time, statistics show that drivers killed in crashes are more likely to be on drugs than drunk.

Forty-three percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, eclipsing the 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for alcohol, according to a report released Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

Of the drivers who tested positive for drugs, more than a third had used marijuana and more than 9 percent had taken amphetamines.

“As drunken driving has declined, drugged driving has increased dramatically, and many of today’s impaired drivers are combining two or more substances,” said Ralph S. Blackman, president of the foundation, a nonprofit founded and funded by a group of distillers.

The report is narrowly focused on fatal crashes. It shows that among fatally injured drivers with known test results, 2015 was the first time that drug use was more prevalent than alcohol use.

Beyond that, however, it draws on other studies and statistics that create a complicated portrait of legal and illegal drug use nationwide. Every state bans driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The opioid epidemic — heroin use and the abuse of prescription drugs — is well established. In 2015, more than 33,000 people fatally overdosed on opioids, almost equal to the 35,095 people killed that year in all traffic crashes.

The number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after dying in a crash rose from almost 28 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available.

Though the dates when each state passed a law vary, that period coincided with more-permissive laws covering the use of marijuana.

Medical use of the drug is now allowed in 29 states and the District of Columbia; 17 states permit its use in some medical circumstances; use has been decriminalized in 21 states; and recreational use is allowed in eight states and the District.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised to reinvigorate the war on drugs, reversing an Obama administration policy that reduced prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

Although the liberalization of marijuana laws and increase in drug-use fatalities might lead to an easy conclusion, the report cites European studies that found marijuana use slightly increased the risk of a crash, while opioids, amphetamines and mixing alcohol with drugs greatly increased the risk of a crash.

Counterbalancing that assessment of crash risk is this stark statistic: In Colorado, marijuana-related traffic deaths increased by 48 percent after the state legalized recreational use of the drug.

“Drugged driving is a complicated issue,” said Jim Hedlund, a former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official who wrote the GHSA report. “The more we can synthesize the latest research and share what’s going on around the country to address drug-impaired driving, the better positioned states will be to prevent it.”

Unlike the blood alcohol standard of 0.08, which often can be established at the scene of a crash, testing for drug use is more complex, usually requiring a blood test, and the effect of drug use can vary substantially among users.

Surveys of regular marijuana users in Colorado and Washington state, which also has legalized recreational use, found that almost none of them thought marijuana use impaired their driving, while they believed drinking alcohol did.

The challenge to police in attempting to enforce laws against drug-using drivers is compounded because many officers lack training to identify those under the influence of drugs, and delays in testing may allow the drug to metabolize so the results do not accurately measure the concentration in the driver’s system at the time of the incident.

“As states across the country continue to struggle with drug-impaired driving, it’s critical that we help them understand the current landscape and provide examples of best practices so they can craft the most effective countermeasures,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of GHSA.


After 16 Hours of Emotional Debate, House Passes "Anti-Sanctuary Cities" Bill

By Meagan Flynn

Houston Press
April 27, 2017

On the eve of the vote on Senate Bill 4, otherwise known as the “anti-sanctuary cities bill,” more than 13,000 immigrants flooded House representatives’ offices with petitions, letters and photographs, pleading with lawmakers to vote no. In the morning, dozens gathered in protests inside and outside the state capitol, including Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. And as debate began, House members who themselves were once undocumented immigrants or were children of undocumented immigrants made passionate appeals, charging that SB 4 was an unnecessary, racist bill that would instill fear in Latino communities. Many of them cried.

Nevertheless, around 3 a.m., after more than 16 hours of debate, the bill passed 93-54, along party lines. Governor Greg Abbott will almost certainly sign the legislation, after designating SB 4 an emergency item earlier this session.

The bill allows police officers — including officers on college campuses — to ask about immigration status while arresting or detaining someone for any purpose. The policy requires law enforcement agencies to comply with immigration detainers issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, which ask local entities to hold onto people suspected of being in the country illegally until ICE can pick them up. Should any law enforcement agency adopt a policy that “prohibits enforcement of immigration law,” the sheriff or police chief can be removed from office and charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and the jurisdictions can be fined.

Democrats tried to add various amendments to the bill to shield immigrants from interrogations about their status at places like domestic violence shelters, preschools, homeless shelters and public school extracurricular events for their kids. They also tried to shield children from questioning. None of the amendments passed.

Immigrant groups decried the bills’s passage, while Democrats said it was a “dark day for the Texas Legislature.”

“Today we saw legislators scrambling to turn their anti-immigrant brand of race-based hate into laws that would criminalize families and children, and people of color in Texas," Karla Perez, an undocumented law student from the University of Houston Law Center and state coordinator with United We Dream, said in a statement. "The purpose of this legislation is clear in its attack of immigrant communities."

Public safety was at the heart of the argument for those both for and against the anti-sanctuary cities bill.

Politicians such as Governor Abbott have said the bill is intended to stop undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes, by handing over any undocumented immigrant charged with a crime to ICE. During his state of the state speech, he suggested SB 4 could have stopped Juan Rios from killing two people — but Rios had in fact already been deported three times by then. And Democrats and law enforcement leaders have countered that existing laws already give law enforcement the ability to cooperate with ICE and hand over arrested undocumented immigrants. According to a January 2016 Texas Tribune investigation, Texas jails comply with ICE immigration detainer requests 99 percent of the time (federal law doesn’t require them to comply with the requests).

Police leaders across Texas, meanwhile, including Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, warned that this bill would make communities less safe. Law enforcement officials and those in immigrant communities fear the law will have a chilling effect on undocumented immigrants, causing them to not report crimes or come forward as witnesses for fear that contact with police can lead to ICE detention and deportation.

"Broad mandates for local law enforcement to take a more active role in immigration enforcement will further strain the relationship between local law enforcement and the diverse communities they serve," Acevedo wrote in a letter to lawmakers. “This will lead to less cooperation from members of the community and foster the belief that they cannot seek assistance from police for fear of being subjected to an immigration status investigation."

In a lengthy speech, Representative Rafael Anchia asked members of the House why they were choosing to ignore the opinions of those in law enforcement in favor of political gain. He spoke for about ten minutes, uninterrupted, and retraced the Legislature’s and state’s track record on discriminatory laws or policies targeting Latinos that have been argued in federal courts. Asking lawmakers to understand the context surrounding the Latino community’s massive outcry against SB 4, he noted that that the voter ID law and redistricting bills passed in 2011 have been ruled not just discriminatory, but intentionally discriminatory, six times in federal court. He noted that, despite the fact that Latino kids have made up the majority of public school students since 2011, the Legislature made historic public education cuts that year, and later the State Board of Education attempted to “eliminate our history in textbooks and in the curriculum standards.”

“Then you guys come with this bill. In light of that entire context, how are we supposed to swallow this? How are we supposed to understand this?” he asked. “If it’s being fed to us about a way to keep our community safe, then why are we ignoring all of law enforcement that said this bill is going to make us less safe?

He continued: “If it’s not about ICE detainers, it’s not about [stopping] violent criminals, it’s not about law enforcement, then it feels like it’s about something else. …I don’t know how to synthesize this, how to consume this in any other way: If it’s not about all those other things that people say it’s about, then I ask you, what is it about? When we stood out there today, I saw children crying. I saw mothers trembling. If you have succeeded in anything, members, you have succeeded in terrifying an entire community.”

Representative Ana Hernandez told of once being an undocumented immigrant, and the fear that she and her family experienced even during a simple trip to the grocery store. Representative Victoria Neave, holding a picture of her undocumented father, told how he began his own TV and VCR repair business and ultimately gave her a better life. In the days leading up to the vote on SB 4, she had fasted in protest. She held up letters she received from SB 4 supporters telling her to starve.


Animal Breeder Group Opposes Bill Outlawing Animal Rape

By Craig Malisow

Houston Press
April 27, 2017

An animal breeders advocacy group wants changes made to a state House bill criminalizing beastiality, fearing that pet owners who innocently fondle Fido's junk might be thrown in the pen.

That's right: In one of the most tone-deaf, self-sabotaging, and just plain ol' crazy campaigns in recent memory, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance believes that a bill outlawing animal rape might really be some Orwellian conspiracy targeting dog-show judges and pet owners who want to "cuddle" with their furry friends.

Texas is one of only eight states without beastiality on the books. House Bill 1087 would make it a state jail felony, which carries a penalty range of six months to two years.

But one portion of the bill sent shivers up the spines of the Alliance folk — the bit that would outlaw fondling or touching "the anus or genitals of an animal, including through clothing." Apparently, the Alliance's first reaction to this was, "Wait a minute — sometimes I fondle my dog's anus!"

In an April 25 email from the Alliance's San Antonio Mothership to its dedicated members stated the following:

"It was recently called to our attention that every [American Kennel Club] and [United Kennel Club] dog show judge could be committing a felony in Texas, because they must feel male dogs' genitals to confirm that they are intact. Bathing pets, grooming, clipping and sanitary cleaning around genitals (male and female) are conducted at every dog show and could be considered 'fondling and touching.' Pet owners would be in violation when checking pets for parasites, bathing, grooming or simply cuddling with pets lying across your lap, chest or stomach."

It should be noted that the bill provides exceptions for "generally accepted and otherwise lawful animal husbandry or veterinary practice."

If you're thinking there might be something more going on here than meets the eye, you'd probably be right. The beastiality bill was initiated by the Alliance's sworn enemy — the Humane Society of the United States, which the Alliance considers to be somewhere between ISIS and that Sham Wow guy on the fundamental extremist spectrum. (We reached out to the Alliance, but have yet to hear back).

The group's site includes a page called "HSUS Unmasked," which doesn't really unmask anything, and they have taken issue with other humane society-backed legislation in the past, including a bill regulating commercial animal breeders. In that case, the Alliance believed that the bill was really the first step in a plot to outlaw "pet ownership."

This seems to be nothing more than a disingenuous attempt to stick a thorn in the side of an organization that the Alliance has a philosophical disagreement with. No one is encroaching on Alliance members' rights to spoon with their dogs, whether it be their own pets, or the four-legged merchandise they breed "responsibly." And no one wants to curtail a member's right to inspect his pet's anus, assuming he can get his head out of his own.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


by Bob Walsh

The National Rifle Association's California Chapter has filed a lawsuit this week against a number of the anti-gun owner laws approved in the People's Republic last year.

Among these laws was what is called the "bullet-button ban." This essentially bans the sale of new semi-automatic rifles that have an easily interchangeable magazine. Also banned were "high-capacity magazines" (in reality standard factory capacity magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds" even if they were legally purchased and legally owned prior to the ban. No compensation is offered for the magazines.

The NRA is planning a series of five lawsuits, each one focused on a specific recently passed piece of anti-gun owner legislation.


by Bob Walsh

There is a basic flaw in official corruption. People have to know that you are accepting payments for favors or you get no income from your "side business." If too many people find out, or if the wrong people find out, it is very likely to bite you in the ass. A case in point.

The feds are currently giving a lot of grief to three retired NYPD cops and a former Brooklyn D.A. as part of an investigation into the NYPD gun licensing division. Essentially these people were accepting payments to approve or expedite gun permits, which are not exactly easy to get in the liberal mecca of New York City.

Two criminal complaints were filed against the four people on Tuesday.

I am sort-of guessing that the problem is both wider and deeper than presented thus far.


Arkansas carries out first double execution in US since 2000

By Karma Allen

ABC News
April 25, 2017

Arkansas carried out death sentences for two inmates through lethal injection on Monday evening — the country’s first double execution in nearly 17 years.

Convicted murderers Jack Jones, 52, and Marcel Williams, 46, were executed just hours apart as Arkansas rushes to use its supply of a key lethal injection drug before it expires at the end of the month.

Jones was executed for the rape and murder of a bookkeeper in 1995 and was pronounce dead at 7:20 p.m. local time. Williams was executed about three hours later for the 1994 murder of a young mother.

It’s the first time a state has executed two people on the same day since Texas killed two inmates in August 2000.

Williams’ attorneys briefly stalled his execution after they raised concerns about how the prior execution was carried out.

They claimed Jones “was moving his lips and gulping for air” — which state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge denied. A judge issued a stay, then lifted it about an hour later, and Williams was executed. He was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m.

In the emergency filing, Williams’ attorneys claimed that prison officials spent 45 minutes attempting to place an IV line in Jones’ neck before opting to place it elsewhere. The attorneys, according to the filing, argued that Williams, who was obese, could face a “torturous” and “inhumane” death because of his weight.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson initially scheduled four double executions over 11 days in April, but a slew of procedural hurdles forced the state to change course.

Until last week, the state hadn’t conducted an execution since 2005.

The state carried out one execution last week, and it has one planned for Thursday. Four others have been blocked by courts.

Arkansas’ supply of midazolam, one of three drugs used in combination for lethal injections, expires on April 30, and the state said it has no source for additional doses.


The legislation would designate July 7 as a day to honor officers in Texas killed in the line of duty

Associated Press
April 26, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas -- The anniversary of five Dallas police officers killed during a downtown shooting would be commemorated as "Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day" under a bill tentatively approved by the House.

The measure approved Tuesday would designate July 7 as a day to honor officers in Texas killed in the line of duty. Law enforcement groups say nearly 1,900 officers in Texas history have died on the job.

An Army veteran opened fire on Dallas police during a protest march last summer. It marked the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In all, 12 officers were shot.

The Senate approved a similar measure in March.


Moody ISD student accused of urinating in teacher's drinking cup

By Kristin Hoppa

Waco Tribune-Herald
April 25, 2017

A 16-year-old Moody High School student was detained on three felony charges Monday, accused of urinating in a teacher's drinking cup earlier this month, Moody Police Chief Roger Kennedy said.

Moody police opened an investigation April 13 after Moody ISD administrators notified them of a teacher who reported the student had urinated in a teacher's drinking container that day, Kennedy said.

"The juvenile was accused of urinating in a drinking cup that belonged to one of the teachers and she didn't find out about it until after the fact," Kennedy said. "She thinks she (ingested) it but she doesn't know 100 percent, because according to her statement she made the comment that the water fountain always tastes funny."

Moody ISD superintendent Gary Martel said the high school principal collected statements from students and reviewed video footage from hallway cameras after students returned from the Easter holiday. The school disciplined the student April 18 in accordance with the district's student code of conduct, as police continued to investigate, Martel said.

"Two other students told (the teacher) what was going around, and she immediately emptied the cup," Kennedy said. "We did charge him with three different offenses."

Moody ISD Disciplinary Alternative Education Program officials detained the student Monday without incident, and he was taken to a juvenile detention center, Martel said.

Third-degree felony charges of assault on a public servant, harassment of a public servant and obstruction or retaliation will be sent to the McLennan County District Attorney's Office.

"Unfortunately, students will make poor decisions at times," Martel said in a statement. "These poor choices sometimes occur within our schools. They are considered as a joke, dare or something funny, etc. The district cannot keep all poor decisions from happening on our campuses but we will follow district policy so there are consequences and punitive results for those who choose to make bad decisions at school.

"We will continue focusing on the large majority of our students who are making great choices and being great role models each day.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Poor decision, my ass! This student committed a serious crime and the superintendent should not sugarcoat peeing in the teacher’s cup by labeling it a poor decision.


Details of illicit encounters, Facebook page revealed as Destrehan teacher sex trial opens

By Michelle Hunter

The Times-Picayune
April 26, 2017

The fast and furious relationship between former Destrehan High School English teacher Shelley Dufresne, 34, and her then-16-year-old male student began with simple flirting, a prosecutor said as her trial began Tuesday (April 25) in Jefferson Parish.

But the relationship quickly advanced to multiple sexual encounters inside her Honda Pilot SUV at locations in St. Charles and Jefferson parishes over the course of a month in late summer of 2014, said Assistant District Attorney Rachel Africk.

The illicit relationship culminated with group sex involving another English teacher, Rachel Respess, 26, at a Kenner apartment, an encounter documented by the teen with a lewd video he later braggingly showed to a locker room full of fellow football players, Africk said.

The video is just one of the details revealed as Dufresne's trial on two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile got underway in a Jefferson Parish court. Dufresne has pleaded not guilty. She waived a jury trial, and the case is being heard by Judge Danyelle Taylor of the 24th Judicial District Court.

Dufresne's arrest on Oct. 1, 2014, the first of three Destrehan teacher sex scandals since, shocked the New Orleans area and made international headlines. During opening statements, Africk told the court the teen victim wasn't forced to have sex with Dufresne.

"He thought, as a 16-year-old boy, that this was his fantasy, and he thought that this was pretty awesome, and he bragged about it," she said. But she said authorities are not in court because of the boy's decisions.

"We're here today because of Ms. Dufresne's decisions," Africk said. "The carnal knowledge statute places the onus on the adult."

Dufresne's defense attorney Kim McElwee attacked what she called an abysmal investigation by the Kenner Police Department. While Dufresne admits having sex with the teen in St. Charles Parish, none of their encounters ever occurred in Jefferson Parish, McElwee said.

Dufresne takes responsibility for her actions but she is not a horrific sex offender, according to McElwee.

"The sex offender laws at one time meant you knew somebody really harmed a child, not somebody almost 17 years old that took part willingly," she said, noting the teen broke criminal laws and has not been punished.

Fake Facebook page: 'Madison Mexicano'

Africk told the court the teen was a student in Dufresne's 11th-grade English class and had been in Respess' class the year before. Though Africk named the boy in court, | The Times-Picayune is not identifying him because he is the victim in the case and was a juvenile at the time of the alleged crime.

After the teen was checked out of school one day in August 2014, Dufresne sent him a personal Facebook message.

From there, prosecutors say Dufresne created a fake Facebook profile named "Madison Mexicano," with an image of the cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez as the profile photo. The cover photo for the profile included the phrase, "I love Mexican boys," a reference to the teen, who is Mexican, Africk said.

Dufresne began messaging him from the account Aug. 22, 2014, the first time the two had sex behind a daiquiri shop near a strip mall off Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Kenner, according to Lt. Clint Patterson, lieutenant commander of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office Juvenile Investigations division.

Dufresne and the teen continued to communicate by text message and by Facebook messenger, the prosecutor said.

"Those messages leave very little to the imagination as to what happened between (the teen) and Ms. Dufresne," Africk said.

Dufresne and the teen had sex multiple times, after football practice and after football games, Africk said. They had sex at Dufresne's Montz home and in parking lots and empty lots in Destrehan and Jefferson Parish.

Patterson testified that he recovered condoms used and discarded by the teen in a parking lot behind apartments on Brandon Hall Drive in Destrehan and in a lot near Carriage Lane and Dunleith Drive, also in Destrehan. He also told the court he identified similar condoms at the spot of the alleged one Jefferson Parish encounter, but he did not collect them because they were found outside Kenner police jurisdiction.

Threesome: Sex with two teachers

Rumors about the relationship had spread around the school and seemed to come to a head on the night of Sept. 19, 2014, according to authorities. That's when Dufresne was out for drinks at The Sport Pub and Grill, 3001 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan, following a football game, Africk said.

The teen was also there with other students, including one who questioned the truth of the boy's boasts that he was having sex with a teacher. That led to a fight outside, according to Africk. After leaving the restaurant that night, Dufresne and the teen went to Respess' apartment in Kenner.

"(The teen) and Ms. Dufresne have sex repeatedly, and at some point, Ms. Respess joins in, and they have a threesome," Africk said.

After Respess passed out from drinking, the teen took a lewd video of her, Africk said. Though authorities never recovered the video, investigators interviewed several students who saw the video, she said, calling the teen's actions reprehensible.

Gossip surrounding Dufresne and the student spread afterwards, finally reaching the ears of school officials, who contacted the Sheriff's Office on Sept. 26, 2014, the prosecutor said.

Though also arrested by St. Charles investigators on a charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, Africk noted that Dufresne later pleaded guilty to a "reduced charge" of obscenity. However, the judge in the St. Charles case ordered Dufresne to give a factual basis of the case in which she admitted having sex with the teen.

Poor investigation

McElwee, who is defending Dufresne with attorney Jim Williams, said in court the Kenner police department did not properly investigate the allegations of sex in Jefferson Parish. Patterson later testified that Kenner police "cut and pasted" information received from St. Charles investigators for the Kenner arrest warrant obtained for Dufresne. Patterson then conducted most of the investigation.

Kenner police never interviewed the teen nor did they take him around to try and identify the places where he claimed to have had sex with Dufresne in Jefferson Parish, McElwee said. Kenner police also never went to Respess' apartment to collect any evidence.

The prosecution presented wrong dates in the case, according to McElwee. She pointed out that the teen told authorities he first had sex with Dufresne on the night of the Destrehan High School football Jamboree, which according to the school schedule, actually occurred Aug. 29, 2014, not Aug. 22.

St. Charles prosecutors charged Dufresne with having sex with the teen Aug. 22, 2014, in St. Charles.

"Now the Jefferson Parish district attorney's office wants to say, 'No, no, no... she had sex in Jefferson Parish on Aug. 22," McElwee said. "That's just out and out not true."

Dufresne admits having sex with the teen in St. Charles Parish, and McElwee suggested the student used that to threaten his teacher. When he got out of line one day in class and she corrected him, the teen sent Dufresne a photo, McElwee said, presumably an incriminating image.

"At any moment, I can expose this, and you can go to jail, and you'll lose your life as you know it," McElwee said the boy threatened.

The lewd video of Respess was revenge because he'd had a problem in her class the year before, according to McElwee.

"He told the cop he got payback," she said of the teen.

As for the group sex at Respess' apartment Sept. 19, 2014, McElwee said no sex occurred because the teen "couldn't get an erection."

"I do feel a little weird saying that in court," McElwee said. "But he said that in his statement."

McElwee suggested that although he was a juvenile, the teen committed crimes in Jefferson Parish by making the lewd video of Respess without her permission while she was asleep, and by showing it to his football teammates.

"There have absolutely been no consequences for his behavior," she said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When will those hot-to-trot teachers ever learn that when they fuck one of their students, he is sure to brag about it to other students?


Houston's Oldest 'Rookie' Back on the Force

By Mike Glenn

Houston Chronicle
April 24, 2017

HOUSTON -- It was a bit of a deja vu for Wendy Caldwell when Police Chief Art Acevedo pinned on the badge at her graduation ceremony last month from the Houston Police Academy.

Almost 25 years ago, former Houston police chief Sam Nuchia welcomed her to the force after her first graduation. She worked five years as a police officer before deciding to stay home with her children.

Now, at 53, Caldwell's returns makes her the oldest person ever to graduate from the physically taxing six-month Houston Police Academy.

"Coming back after 18 years, it was, 'This is do or die. I've got one shot at this," the mother of two teenagers said. "It's not easy but I had to do this."

Houston police officials said they are glad Caldwell returned to the force. Caldwell, who originally graduated in July 1993, first served as a night shift patrol officer at the department's Central Division and later with HPD's mounted patrol.

"Her previous experience, knowledge and skill that she brings back to the department are a valuable asset and we're happy that she has chosen to once again join HPD," said Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge.

Caldwell was more determined this time around. She said she was also better prepared mentally for the academy.

"But physically, it was much harder. Not because of my age but because HPD has ramped up its (physical training) program tremendously," she said. "When you're 53 and competing with kids that are 20 and 30 years younger than you, it was pretty challenging."

When you're in your 50s, Caldwell said, it just isn't as easy to recover from an intense police academy workout session. In fact, Caldwell broke a femur bone toward the end of her training during an intense exercise called Red Man where cadets simulate a foot chase followed by a full-on fight with an instructor covered in red protective pads.

"I lived with Ben Gay and ice bags and ibuprofen," she said with a laugh. "Sometimes it was a 'Two Aleve and four Tylenol' day."

Several of her fellow cadets called Caldwell 'mom' during the training. They were protective and encouraging of their more senior counterpart, and could tell she struggled with physical ailments the entire time.

"They saw that I wasn't going to slack off and just skate through the academy," she said.

No regrets

Although learning the department's computer system was a challenge -- in "her day," every report was written by hand -- Caldwell said she had no problems in the academy classrooms or on the driving and shooting ranges.

She hung up her Houston police uniform to stay home with daughter Reagan, now 18, and son Dillon, 17. Her former husband also was a Houston police officer and Caldwell said she didn't want their children to spend so much time in day care.

"It was on my accord and I chose to leave," Caldwell said. "I don't regret it at all."

Caldwell ran a busy household when she left the department with children born a mere 15 months apart. She home schooled them for their first eight years until they moved into the public school system.

"I told people it was harder to be a stay-at-home mom than to be a cop," Caldwell said. "I honestly thought I'd never come back."

She still kept fit in her civilian life. Once her children were in public school, Caldwell developed what she called a "really serious tennis habit," and also played in a softball league with several law enforcement officers as teammates.

'Kind of a catalyst'

After 18 yearsaway, she had made her peace with being a former Houston police officer. Then her marriage fell apart.

"It was a kind of a catalyst," Caldwell said. "What are you going to do that's going to provide you with enough income to support your kids?"

What she went through is not that unusual, said Jill Hickman, who runs a company that, among other things, coaches women returning to the workforce.

"What took her out of the work place is very similar to what is bringing her back," Hickman said of family obligations.

Some women go back to work by choice while others do not have any other option and must earn a paycheck, she said. Women with younger children often decide to stay home because of the high costs of day care.

"They'd have to take three jobs instead of one," Hickman said.

Hickman applauded Caldwell's regular physical activity over the years. She encouraged women in her position to take every opportunity for self-improvement, such as enrolling in online courses if they struggle to leave the house because of small children. It will eventually pay off, she said.

"Where I am today may not be where I am tomorrow," Hickman said.

After her divorce last year, Caldwell began asking some of her law enforcement softball teammates about possibly returning to the Houston Police Department. The cut-off age to enter is 44, but because she had already served, that wasn't an obstacle. A break in service of more than five years, however, means officers have to complete the academy again.

"They were skeptical about whether I could do it. But I was still there week after week, giving it my 100 percent," she said.

Same badge number

Caldwell said her fellow cadets were far more mature than those from 1993. Several were combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and one had joined HPD after a full 20-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps. Still another was a former Army captain who had graduated from West Point.

"The hardest part was mentally getting over the fact that I had to do the academy again," Caldwell said. "But if these guys can do this, certainly I can."

Caldwell thought the leg break during the grueling Red Man exercise would have ended her plans to restart a law enforcement career, but luckily, the HPD brass allowed her to graduate with her peers.

She's on desk duty as her leg recovers, but looks forward to returning to the streets. When she left the force the first time, Caldwell asked the department not to assign her old badge number to anyone else.

"When I came back, I got my original badge number back -- 5645," she said.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Psychiatry expert: ‘scientifically there is no such thing as transgender’

January 11, 2013

OTTAWA -- A prominent Toronto psychiatrist has severely criticized the assumptions underlying what has been dubbed by critics as the Canadian federal government's "bathroom bill," that is, Bill C-279, a private member’s bill that would afford special protection to so-called "transgender" men and women.

Dr. Joseph Berger has issued a statement saying that from a medical and scientific perspective there is no such thing as a "transgendered" person, and that terms such as “gender expression” and “gender identity" used in the bill are at the very least ambiguous, and are more an emotional appeal than a statement of scientific fact.

Berger, who is a consulting psychiatrist in Toronto and whose list of credentials establishes him as an expert in the field of mental illness, stated that people who identify themselves as "transgendered" are mentally ill or simply unhappy, and pointed out that hormone therapy and surgery are not appropriate treatments for psychosis or unhappiness.

"From a scientific perspective, let me clarify what ‘transgendered’ actually means," Dr. Berger said, adding, "I am speaking now about the scientific perspective – and not any political lobbying position that may be proposed by any group, medical or non-medical."

"‘Transgendered’ are people who claim that they really are or wish to be people of the sex opposite to which they were born, or to which their chromosomal configuration attests," Dr. Berger stated.

"Some times, some of these people have claimed that they are ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ or alternatively ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’."

"The medical treatment of delusions, psychosis or emotional happiness is not surgery," Dr. Berger stated.

"On the other hand," Dr. Berger continued, "if these people are asked to clarify exactly what they believe, that is to say do they truly believe whichever of those above propositions applies to them and they say ‘no’, then they know that such a proposition is not true, but that they ‘feel’ it, then what we are talking about scientifically, is just unhappiness, and that unhappiness is being accompanied by a wish – that leads some people into taking hormones that predominate in the other sex, and even having cosmetic surgery designed to make them ‘appear’ as if they are a person of the opposite sex."

He explained that cosmetic surgery will not change the chromosomes of a human being in that it will not make a man become a woman, capable of menstruating, ovulating, and having children, nor will it make a woman into a man, capable of generating sperm that can unite with an egg or ovum from a woman and fertilize that egg to produce a human child.

Moreover, Dr. Berger stated that the arguments put forward by those advocating for special rights for gender confused people have no scientific value and are subjective and emotional appeals with no objective scientific basis.

"I have read the brief put forward by those advocating special rights, and I find nothing of scientific value in it," Dr. Berger said in his statement. "Words and phrases, such as 'the inner space,' are used that have no objective scientific basis."

"These are the scientific facts," Dr. Berger said. "There seems to me to be no medical or scientific reason to grant any special rights or considerations to people who are unhappy with the sex they were born into, or to people who wish to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex."

"The so-called ‘confusion’ about their sexuality that a teenager or adult has is purely psychological. As a psychiatrist, I see no reason for people who identify themselves in these ways to have any rights or privileges different from everyone else in Canada," he concluded.

REAL Women of Canada asked Dr. Berger for a statement on the issues surrounding Bill C-279 after the organization appeared before the review committee hearings on the bill.

Gwen Landolt of REAL Women told LifeSiteNews that after being initially refused permission to present their perspective on the bill to the review committee, the group was accepted, but found that all other groups and individuals who had been accepted to appear before the committee were supporters of Bill C-279.

"It can scarcely be an impartial review of any bill if only the witnesses supporting the bill are invited to speak to it," Landolt said.

Landolt explained that after passing second reading on June 6, 2012, Bill C-279 went to the Justice and Human Rights Committee for review.

At the review committee hearings, REAL Women of Canada presented a 12 page brief setting out the harms created by the bill, and pointing out that the terms “gender expression” and “gender identity," as written in Bill C-279, were so broad that they could be used to protect pedophilia along with other sexual perversions, if passed into law.

REAL Women provided the committee with evidence that post-operative trans-gendered individuals suffer substantially higher morbidity and mortality than the general population, placing the so-called “sex reassignment” surgery and hormone treatment under continued scrutiny.

They pointed out that a pioneer in such treatment, Dr. Paul McHugh, distinguished professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, stopped the procedures because he found that patients were no better adjusted or satisfied after receiving such treatment.

McHugh wrote in 2004 that “Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness” by catering to the desires of people who wanted surgery to change their biological sex.

“We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia,” he stated, adding that “to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.”

Landolt noted that the committee hearings ended in confusion over the terminology presented in the bill, and that even the bill's sponsor, NDP MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca), was not clear as to who is included and who is excluded in these terms.

"The definition for 'gender identity' proposed by Mr. Garrison is a subjective one that he defined as a 'deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex that the individual was assigned at birth'," Landolt said, adding that "The committee engaged in extensive discussions on the meaning of “gender identity” and “gender expression” without much clarification."

"As a result, instead of a smooth, orderly dispatch of this bill through the Committee orchestrated by Garrison, Conservative MP Shelly Glover (St. Boniface, Manitoba) and Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Delta-Richmond-East, BC), the committee hearings broke down in confusion at the final hearing on December 10th. The result is that the bill will be reported to the House of Commons as originally written without amendments," Landolt stated.

Following this state of confusion over terms at the review committee, REAL Women sought out an expert in order to provide the scientific and medical evidence relating to "transgenderism" and the other terms used in the bill.

Gwen Landolt told LifeSiteNews that REAL Women of Canada will be including Dr. Berger's statement in an information package to be sent to MPs before the bill comes to final vote.

"It is crucial that MPs know that this legislation is harmful, not only to those who think themselves transgendered but also to society, and should not be passed into law," Landolt said. "We must therefore write to our MP’s to request that they speak against this troubling bill."

Dr. Berger is certified as a specialist in Psychiatry by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is an elected Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also a past Chairman of the Toronto district of the Ontario Medical Association and past President of the Ontario branch of the American Psychiatric Association.

Berger has been an Examiner in Psychiatry for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for twenty five years, has taught as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and is the author of many published papers on different aspects of Diagnosis and Independent Psychiatric Assessments, as well as author of the book “The Independent Medical Examination in Psychiatry” published by Butterworth/Lexis-Nexis.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I just received this article from a good friend. I don't want to ID him because he'll be mislabeled as transphobic. Personally I’ve always maintained that transgenders are sicko psychos!