Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FLDS wins a little battle in the UEP trust fight

They might win a big one after Monday. I had a "heads up" this was coming. It makes you wonder how people know.
The Salt Lake Tribune - "The order, signed by Justice Ronald E. Nehring, sets a deadline of Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. for responses to the petition filed by attorneys for members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The order also extends the trust's right to repurchase heifers sold from the Harker Farm in Beryl, part of the United Effort Plan Trust, until a ruling is made on the petition. That sale was to be final on Dec. 31.

In a petition filed Monday, the sect asked for a stay of all proceedings and orders in the trust case and requested a schedule be set to hear claims that members' religious rights have been violated in the court-sanctioned reformation and management of the trust."
Anti FLDS forces seem to be losing their grip on the process which is being transparently manipulated by judges that of course, are supposed to be impartial, but aren't.

But we'll see after Monday, the deadline for response to the FLDS request.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Iran heats up again, and again, and again...

I haven't touched on the subject, mostly because hand wringing over something I cannot do anything about, is not my style. Here you see police literally getting kicked by protesters and on the run in front of them. That's a clear sign people are willing to die in large numbers to get what they want:
FoxNews - "The report said 10 people killed during Sunday's fierce clashes in the Iranian capital were members of 'anti-revolutionary terrorist' groups, apparently referring to opposition supporters.

The other five who died were killed by 'terrorist groups' in a 'suspicious act,' the report said, without elaborating.

Iranian security forces stormed a series of opposition offices on Monday, rounding up at least seven prominent anti-government activists in a new crackdown against the country's reformist movement, opposition Web sites and activists reported."
In addition to being something I mostly can't do anything about, it's half way around the world. But it's getting ugly over there again. We need to be aware of it. We need to pray that God's light shines in through all of this destruction.

Whatever comes out of a potential revolution, it probably won't be a "pro western" government, but it might not be a western "scape goating" government either, which would be better. It stands the good possibility of also being better for the people of Iran. Let's hope, but more than that, let's pray.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

I get the boot (UPDATED) & miss Church for the first time

I have been forbidden, to enter my church or come to it's grounds:
"Dear Hugh,

We, the elders of Covenant OPC, are agreed that we must ask you not to attend any worship services, classes, or any other church events, or go onto the church property, effective immediately, and until further notice.

These are our reasons: 1. Your words posted on your blog on 12/23/09, 'It won't be long until my passion spills out into the aisles of my own church, and I can't tell you what will happen then,' have been understood as extremely threatening to some in the church, and they have caused real fear in their hearts. In reading your words in context, the session does not understand them as an intent of physical violence; however, they are so incredibly inflammatory that it has raised even more serious concerns about you. You sound like a very angry man. We have a responsibility to protect the well-being of the flock, and we will take whatever actions are necessary to do that. 2. Our boundary with you has been that you do not talk with church people about your views about polygamy. By sending your email to the church list, in violation of presbyterian government, you effectively (if perhaps unintentionally) violated that boundary by virtually insuring that more church people would search and find your blog. 3. Our reason for having welcomed you to attend services was that you might grow under the preaching of the Word under the oversight of church leadership. Your words and actions indicate that you have rejected that oversight. That being the case, we have even greater concern about your stated agenda to spread your false teaching, and we must do whatever we can to protect our brothers and sisters from it.

Hugh, we hope and pray that this will not be a permanent requirement, but that you will repent of your errors and publicly repudiate them. As a first step we would like to have from you in writing immediately an explanation of the words from your blog quoted above. Second, if that explanation is satisfactory to us, we would be willing to meet with you at our regularly scheduled session meeting on January 11, 2010, to discuss our decision with you, to pray for you, and review your status. Please let us know if you would like to meet with us then. Again, though, we insist that you do not attend any COPC functions before that time.


Pastor Carl Durham, Mike Breen, Chris Liff, and Andy Selle

The Session of Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church"
Let me explain the excerpt then:
"Your words posted on your blog on 12/23/09, 'It won't be long until my passion spills out into the aisles of my own church, and I can't tell you what will happen then,' have been understood as extremely threatening to some in the church, and they have caused real fear in their hearts."
"Spill(ing) into the aisles of my church," means only that the discussion, would move to that physical location. I can't control others, I don't know what will happen when the discussion is public and at church. Only in my wildest imaginations would I ever think that it would become threatening to anyone. I am not, a violent man. I would not come to church armed in any way. I am not skilled in the martial arts, nothing would happen at my initiation. Any encounter would have to be initiated by another person. All responses on my part would be verbal.

The session ignores the rest of the post in which I condemn John Brown, who took matters moral into his own hands, violently. The session ignores my condemnation of the "Freemen." The session is in fact ignoring my absence from the Thursday Night Christmas Eve service. I thought I would give a chance to cooler heads, to prevail. While saying that in context they didn't see it as implying violence, but turning around and saying that I am an angry man, I don't think the session is being truthful.

In addition, the visits to my blog, which have now started by the congregation, did not start until A.) The session ignored me, again. B.) The session emailed everyone and told them essentially, where to look. In fact NO one in Vermont, from the church, visited my blogs until AFTER the session told them the INTERNET was the best place to look to discover the source of the controversy. (Elder Michael Breen acknowledged this to be a fact.) Additionally, the session through Andrew Selle, fully knowing my intent to send the letter out TWO DAYS in advance of sending that letter, only plead that it was "Christmas Time" in an effort to stop me, and offered more delays. Had this been against Church Law so to speak, then it was really an appropriate time to tell me that, but it was not said:
Dr. Andrew Selle - "It is a time when we invite those outside the Kingdom to taste the joys of knowing Christ. Do you not see that such a communication at this time would bring discouragement to the Body? and in so doing would undermine our evangelistic efforts? In the end, I'm not afraid for the church, yet I care for these concerns mentioned above, and I hope you will, too. At the least, I hope you will see reason and let this sit until the new year."
I have reviewed all communications with the session prior to my sending out the letter via email. No one warned me that it was a grave violation, only the pleading that I be nice at Christmas time. Not once has my inquiry about the topic coming up in session as Pastor Durham seemed to promise been answered. The session is covering up their neglect, and by doing so, making it worse.

UPDATE - One of the elders sent the following:
"I am writing on behalf of the Session of COPC.

While we find your answers to our email somewhat reassuring, we must repeat our request that you not attend any activity at Covenant Church until this matter can be satisfactorily resolved. We have several members who have indicated that they don't want to come if you are there. We believe our request of you is necessary for the peace of the church, and that worship may not be hindered.

Would you please confirm, at the earliest possible time, your intention to comply with our request not to attend Covenant Chruch [SIC] tomorrow. Thank you."
I then got a call from another elder whose talent seems to be experience with "Exit Interviews."

I've no sympathy with either in the current narrow context. I have heard from neither prior to this evening and it seems as if they are rotating from "unsuccessful" people in the interpersonal arena, to other ones in the hope that they'll match up better.

I've no respect for the request of nameless brothers or sister in Christ that won't come to church for fear that this post represents a threat of violence of some sort. I suggest if they are still reading at this late an hour, that they call the elders and withdraw their complaint. No such threat of violence exists.

In my conversation on the phone I was not kind. I would have to characterize my dealing with that elder as angry, something at this point, that I do not regret. I was lied to. It has been held up to me that continued exposure to the teaching and preaching at COPC would cause me to see the error of my ways. The elder calling me expressed that they thought there was "no hope" of changing my mind and thus no reason to meet with me and discuss it.

"Which is it" I wanted to know? Was I being placated with language of the faint hope of discussion or was I intractable and unable to change? Either view made the other offering a lie.

I asked WHAT argument was offered to me that was in the view of this elder, convincing. He could give me none.

I offered the two arguments extended by seminarian Stewart Lauer, and pointed to the fact that the word on which "Woody" (Stewart) hung his argument in fact meant quite a different thing, offered to prove it by examination, and this elder refused to look. He also would not discuss what it meant for a reformed seminarian to declare that Christ quoted scripture from the Old Testament, and then chose to change those words meanings and appealed to a sort of progressive revelation where God "Finds" meanings that didn't exist before.

His conclusion was that we weren't going to debate it. (From a how to fire advice article)
US News - "Don't enter into a debate. Your decision is final, and while you hope the employee understands it, the time for back-and-forth is over. Let the employee know your decision and then cover logistics, like returning keys and other property, the final paycheck, COBRA, etc.
Sound familiar?

How do you convince someone when you refuse to debate? How do you hold them responsible for correct teaching if you won't explain it? He also did not want to know that Luther or Augustine agreed with me. It seemed to make no difference that the father of the Reformation would not be welcomed as a member.

POST SCRIPT (December 27th) Not that faithfulness is measured by church attendance, or even that I would suggest genuine belief is signified by it either, but I had not missed church all year. That occurs to me as I am sitting here at home this morning, and not in church on the very last Sunday of 2009.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Year Revolution

The focus of this blog, will be shifting slightly. Really, what more is there to say on the FLDS/YFZ matter? Nothing I can predict. The CSPD connection to the FBI and the call and the caller awaits press interest. To them, it is "timely" or "topical" and as every delay occurs in what might be the oldest misdemeanor case (still being actively pursued) in El Paso County Colorado, they do get MORE interested. It would seem to our "news hounds" (who like sleeping on the porch) that this degree of delay is, interesting. Once more a reporter has feigned some interest in why a woman who is charged with one of the most minor misdemeanors has an attorney who has successfully delayed the charges against her from 2008 to 2010. How do you plea bargain nearly nothing to anything but nothing? But they're going to wait until it happens.

The shift will be towards legalization, and to that end, I may fold up and throw away the "Vermont Polygamy" blog, and merge it into this one. Two major story lines were a bit much to ask of one blog, but now it seems I have only one major story line, and it isn't our friends in the American Southwest. Does this mean I am abandoning them? No. But there's not much to tell really.

The FLDS trial story goes like this: They did it. DNA proves it. Americans are afraid of/hate polygamists as it strikes at the core of their egalitarian ideal. They want it to be about abuse, sexual deviancy, repression and perversion. They want it mostly to be "icky." So the state of Texas proves paternity with DNA, ogles mutually with the jury the age difference, the inequity and the excess they perceive in the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint practice of polygamy, they leer at young bodies pawed over by older men, and the larger the age difference, the longer the sentence. The trial and the sentencing are supposed to be about legal pedophilia which is really statutory rape, but they turn into disaffected former member rants about religion and female/male roles and polygamy. The horrified voyeuristic jury goes out to deliberate, and wishes only they had the option to kill the defendants. It's not going to change, it isn't going to get any better.

For their part, the FLDS seem to be running up trial balloons of potential defenses and lining the court record with book marks to be used later in appeal. I feel bad for every FLDS male caught up in this mess. A failure to reverse the verdicts on appeal will result in Allan Keate dying in jail. Your Modern Pharisee loathes prisons, and has a Biblical reason for that loathing. In my experience, prison is an ungodly punishment (never being ordered by the scriptures), it is dehumanizing to guard and guarded alike, and The Bible recoils in horror from the concept of prisons, equating them to hell itself.

The biggest stories coming down the pike are whether or not Rozita will be delayed again, what will happen with Allen Steed, what will the new wrinkle be in the Michael Emack trial, how will the evidence challenge go in February for Warren Jeffs? Judge Conn is a real Judge, perhaps a tad too liberal for my tastes, but he's not a cartoon judge like Barbara Walther. He writes well, he is honest, almost admitting the court lost something or lost track of it in his last ruling. He is disdainful of tricks such as Arizona acting as a proxy for Texas, and claiming that they "don't foresee using YFZ evidence."

So I'm on to legalization. Oddly, it is fellow polygynists who are some of my worst enemies in this regard. A conversation recently with an unnamed member of the FLDS yielded a rather startling insight, provided I understood that member correctly. They don't WANT it to be legal, they want an exception for religious reasons, which may ultimately explain some of the legal maneuvering, or lack thereof. If I understood it correctly, they'd just as soon it stayed against the law, but that the law recognize that those who practice it for religious reasons be given a pass.

It makes a sort of odd sense. Honestly, I don't see how you can BE a Latter Day Saint of any stripe, and not embrace the "principle." The most disturbing fact about the FLDS to the LDS is, that the FLDS are more faithful to the teachings of Joseph Smith than the LDS are, and the LDS are very uncomfortable with them for that reason. For the FLDS, if I am hearing it correctly, they don't see any reason to defend the practice among those who are not FLDS. It should be for religious reasons ONLY, and as with all credible religions, the FLDS see themselves as the "true" religion. I don't see why that should surprise us. They're not going away. Attempts to make the FLDS conform to standards that society sees as "good and moral and righteous" won't work. It's wrong in the first place (unconstitutional) and fundamentalists don't change. This is something theological liberals, agnostics and atheists don't get.

On my side of the street, among Christians (sorry Saints), there is a militant desire to not only practice polygamy, but to have it be a private contract. There's more hope here than with the above mentioned FLDS/LDS offshoot point of view. Most non Mormon Christian polygynists want to run the clock back about 100 years, and simply have marriages be an agreement between private parties with the state playing no role at all in who thinks who is married to whom. That's a pipe dream.

As we watch the most massive expansion of Federal Government in our history, we have to be honest. Obama Care is going to want to know everything about you. Register you as married, not married, living together, match DNA on everyone, parent and child, license who can have children and so on. Oh yes, that is coming. So if anything there will be more and more demanding interest in your family situation than before. When there was no national health care, maybe you could have gone for private civil contract as marriage. It was dicey because of the income tax system. After the Obamanation of Nationalized Health Care, you can forget that noise.

A national health care system will want to "save money" by tracking genetic diseases. They will establish paternity at some point regardless of what you want them to do. Just like at YFZ that will be used to prosecute some "crime," which if nothing else right now, is polygyny itself. Those of you who want to keep marriage off the books, you've lost that battle. I'm sorry. I sympathize and would have preferred that myself.

Here's why you should LEGALIZE polygyny. For the near future, you don't have to actually take advantage of the legal registration of your marriage, but the fact that it is legal, will take the heat off you. There is a creepy FBI connection that keeps getting larger in the YFZ case, particularly if some connections are solidified with the prank caller. The FBI seems to be in love with sex crimes these days, looking for creepy stalkers, old men and pedophiles. Whether right or wrong, they're looking to score in that regard. There are only two degrees of separation between FBI task forces on sex stings, and Rozita Swinton. They seem to be looking in on every high profile case of sexual abuse they can find:
ABC News - "Government documents released today show that the FBI assisted Santa Barbara, Calif., officials in their attempt to get cooperation from a person who could have been a key witness in the 2005 case child molestation case against Michael Jackson: the boy who accused the pop star of molesting him in 1993."
Freedom of information act requests were filed apparently, before Michael was cold, and now we know the FBI was up to their necks chasing down Mr. Jackson. It seems they are looking through every peephole.

Don't take it the wrong way, I'm hardly defending the Gloved One. It's just interesting to see what the FBI is, um, interested in. The only way to make them disinterested is to legalize polygamy, then they have no reason to peer through the keyhole of a man living in a house with five women. Right now, they have. Tony Alamo and Michael Jackson and the FLDS tell us they're going to keep right on doing it.

If you are a "private practitioner" of polygyny, let me warn you about what happened in Texas and how it affects you. When you are investigated for whatever crime you are investigated, bigamy and polygamy will be on the menu. You may try the strategy that FLDS men did. It won't work. What happened in Texas was Child Protective Services simply threatened to terminate parental rights. "Ok," you say, "My wife is a GOOD woman, and it won't matter if the state sees me as a father or not, my wife will stay loyal." Then she will be charged with something. Contempt of court for not testifying, bigamy herself, and so on. Now we have a mom in jail, a non Dad, and an abandoned child. It worked it Texas, and it will work with you, and it's now in the FBI playbook. They'll pass it along to each local jurisdiction and repeat as often as necessary.

Don't forget Project Megiddo. I'm sure the FBI hasn't. I see them acting on that template even today. They see religious polygynists as essentially breeding grounds for right wing terrorism, and frankly, the rhetoric I have been treated to by some of my brethren makes me wonder if they're not right about that. I can see some of my acquaintances holed up like Freemen in Jordan quite easily. I KNEW Randy Weaver, and liked the guy, he's not what you think he is, but he is just a tad too militant. He made himself a target, so did "Freeman" leader LeRoy Schweitzer, who is in maximum security prison until 2018. Fighting the "man" may be a romantic notion, but you usually fight the law, and the law wins. If you want to be a modern day John Brown, knock yourself out. A married man is to be concerned with pleasing his wife. Getting thrown in jail for idealistic reasons, isn't attending to that duty.

So it must be legalized. To that end I have ramped up rather unexpectedly my quarrel with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and I'm making an appeal. FIND SOMEBODY to champion the cause. I've offered myself several times. I'm going to be living in a home with four legislators in it, and I'm in walking distance of the Capitol in Vermont. I'm a registered lobbyist FOR the cause in the state of Vermont. I could register in New Hampshire, and very soon, Washington DC will be a tempting target for legalization, having merely to clear the hurdle of congressional review for their own "Gay Marriage" law. I could devote full time to this pursuit and could easily spend $100,000.00 just running around between legislatures in various states and pigeon holing various legislators. I've collected less than $100.00 and am only registered in the State of Vermont to lobby. You can look here at what attending only one "event" entails.

Make up your minds out there, because I have no need of self styled John Browns and unlike the FLDS who I will continue to champion, I'm not just doing this, for them. Unless they can manufacture some ecumenical love for legalization, ultimately, they're just today's "cause célèbre" and there will be others. The moving finger will write and move on past them.

I have the distinct feeling that a long "fish or cut bait" moment is rapidly approaching in my life. It won't be long until my passion spills out into the aisles of my own church, and I can't tell you what will happen then. I can guess that I will go underground, debating it for the record within the church, or I will be cast out of that church altogether. Frankly, I will be content to go underground and leave the battle to others. For the near future though, it's legalization, to some degree the internal church debate, and regular seasoning of FLDS information, as it hits the fan.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Piccarreta loses 3, wins 1

Judge Conn had hinted earlier that he thinks Sam Brower and Dan Fisher have responded adequately to the defense. Your Modern Pharisee has stated earlier that Michael Piccarreta was probably overreaching, but what do you do? Do you NOT ask? A good defense counsel asks for all he can ask for, until he's told no. But Carolyn Jessop? She is not out of the defenses reach:
More to follow soon, I haven't finished reading the order. The prosecution is ordered to turn over impeachment material. This whole issue could come up again.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Site News, TIA, MRA, RIND, Me.

Your Modern Pharisee may have gone "TIA."
"A Transient Ischemic Attack (spelled ischaemic in British English) (abbreviated as TIA, often colloquially referred to as 'mini stroke') is a change in the blood supply to a particular area of the brain, resulting in brief neurologic dysfunction that persists, by definition, for less than 24 hours. If symptoms persist longer, then it is categorized as a stroke.

A cerebral infarct that lasts longer than 24 hours, but less than 72 hours is termed a reversible ischemic neurologic deficit or RIND." (Wikipedia)
Less that 24 hours right now, and I'm trying to line up a MRA which through my insurance company, Aetna, requires "prior physician authorization" or I pay for it and then argue with them later.
"Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a group of techniques based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to image blood vessels. Magnetic Resonance Angiography is used to generate images of the arteries in order to evaluate them for stenosis (abnormal narrowing), occlusion or aneurysms (vessel wall dilatations, at risk of rupture). MRA is often used to evaluate the arteries of the neck and brain, the thoracic and abdominal aorta, the renal arteries, and the legs (called a 'run-off')."
I'm 55 and I have had some odd sensations and symptoms in the past week. Last night around 11pm they got a little weirder and I dithered back and forth about going into the ER until the numbness I was experiencing started to show up in several places at once, all on my left site.

Pants on.

Pants off.

Mutter, mutter.

Dither, dither.

Then I had marginal numbness on the left side of my leg and into my toes, down the outside of my left arm, and in the middle of my cheek into my lips. Not entire numbness mind you, a sort of numbing, as if I had been shot with Novocaine and it was wearing off.

Maybe I pinched a nerve in my neck.

Maybe not. The Doctor on duty assured me I had done the right thing. As a perpetual cynic with regard to all things Doctors tell me "I should have done" that involve my insurance paying, I'm still leaning "Maybe not," but we'll see.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

33 Years. That's life.

Only an appeal of the method by which the evidence was obtained will give Allan a chance to see the outside of a prison:
The Eldorado Success - "Allan Keate, 57, was sentenced to 33 years in state prison by Schleicher County jurors moments ago. He was found guilty Tuesday on a charge of Sexual Abuse of a Child. Under Texas law Keate could have received 99 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The jury deliberated just over 5 hours before reaching their decision."
I know murderers, plenty of them, who get less time.
CNN - "As her minister husband lay dying from a shotgun wound to the back, Mary Carol Winkler wiped the blood bubbling on his lips and apologized, according to a statement read Friday in court.

'He asked me, "Why?" and I just said, "I'm sorry," ' she told police in the statement. 'I told him I was sorry and I loved him.'

Winkler, a 32-year-old mother of three, gave the statement March 24, two days after prosecutors say she shot her 31-year-old husband, Matthew, in bed in the parsonage of Selmer's Fourth Street Church of Christ." October 3rd, 2006
I guess if you're sorry, that makes it not so bad. Mary Carol Winkler? She's out of jail, and has full custody of her three daughters. She did, after all, tell her dying husband she loved him.

Oh wait, her husband was a man. Death, was too good for him I guess. Allan's a man too. I guess that explains everything. And Mary's husband? He was involved in RELIGION. So was Allan. Those evil bastards. Probably both men believed that religious stuff too.
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Keate's Sentence up the the Jury Now

Frankly, I don't think it looks good for Allan.
The jury was apparently "shocked" to know he had also married of his daughters young. The state made the punishment about his religion, and about polygamy.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And the point is?

Polygamy needs to be legal:
The Eldorado Success - "Law Professor John J. Sampson testified that Allan Keate was legally prohibited from marrying the victim."
Which means two things. Allan could "marry the victim," but could not as a polygynist. For that he's going to spend the rest of his life in jail?
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Keate Guilty

From the Texas Attorney General's office:
"Allan Eugene Keate found guilty of sexual assault of a child in Eldorado, TX. Keate in custody pending punishment."
Found here.

Next up? Michael Emack, January 25, 2010, "sexual abuse of a child."
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Verdict Soon

At least, that's my prediction.
They are in deliberations.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

The Prosecution rests

DNA evidence has been presented that almost certainly established paternity in the eyes of the jury and then:
"Law professor John J. Sampson of the University of Texas then testified that the alleged victim was not married to Keate. Sampson said he is a tenured professor and that he operates a children's rights legal clinic where he and two other lawyers supervise law students that advocate on behalf of children.

Sampson then said that he had reviewed evidence in the case and expressed his opinion again that the alleged victim was absolutely not the legal wife of Allan Keate." - The Eldorado Success.
The case seems to be pretty simple. Keate is the father, this is his child, this is his mother, they are married, she's too young. Randy Wilson preserved his appeal options by moving to dismiss, which I would have denied, had I been the judge, but Randy has to do his job.

Whatever defense there is, will commence tomorrow morning.
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Michael Piccarreta goes Public, he "smells a rat." Judge Conn will look at YFZ Evidence Exclusion.

Are you sure it's not a Fish(er)?
The Mohave Daily News - " 'I smell a rat,' Piccarreta said. 'Elissa Wall has received so much money. I want to show that she's biased against my client.'

(Judge Steven) Conn said he will take the motion (to depose Dan Fisher and Sam Brower) under advisement."
This is a sign of growing confidence on the part of Warren Jeffs' attorney, who normally plays his cards very close to the vest.
"(Judge Conn) will also set another hearing in February for another motion to exclude evidence seized during a 2008 raid on a FLDS compound in Texas. Other motions to be addressed is a deposition of Carolyn Jessop, a well-known critic of the FLDS, and a motion to list expert witnesses that Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith plans to call at Jeffs' upcoming trial."
Michael Piccarreta stands a good chance of getting everything he wants in terms of depositions. If he does not, start striking witnesses from Warren's case.
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Walther Threatens to Sequester Jury?

The only available place to do so, in Eldorado, is described as a "hole in the wall."
A source tells me that yes, there had been some report of unfortunate conversations/communication involving one/some of the jury. I imagine they will seek to behave themselves.

Judging for the speed of the last conviction, and judging from the report that Walther cautioned against visiting "Blogs" and judging from question 14 of the Jury questionnaire, Walther would not be so much concerned about them visiting THIS site, but "those other ones" who have Allen Keate tried and convicted.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Something is up at the Keate trial (UPDATED)

Something with the jury. (Rumor to follow) First:
The Polygamy File/Brooke Adams/Twitter - "Texas jury in Allan Keate case is in recess until Monday after hearing some testimony from Rebecca Musser, according to Steve Anderson."
And then:
"(T)he judge is interviewing each juror individually in chambers before dismissing them. (The) question: Is something amiss?"
Just when you thought it was going to get dull.

The pattern of jury surveillance in the various trials has been to clean them up to keep the prosecution safe. I honestly don't think Walther cares if there is someone on the jury that hates the FLDS, unless she thinks it might taint the verdict later.

It could just be that Barbara is telling them to behave over the weekend.

RUMOR - The rumor is someone shot their mouth off about something after being selected as a juror. In Eldorado, that kind of news would get around very fast.
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South Carolina's First Lady, Jenny Sanford, doesn't want to be, anymore.

Jenny Sanford, files for divorce:
The Palm Beach Post/AP - " 'This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family,' Jenny Sanford said in a statement.

A spokesman for her husband, Gov. Mark Sanford, had no immediate comment. The divorce complaint was filed Friday in Charleston County Family Court.

Jenny Sanford's announcement came after a week of wrenching twists in her relationship with the governor. A legislative panel rebuked him for his conduct, he told reporters he still wanted to reconcile with his wife, and she said in a television interview that it was a simple decision to not stand with him as he publicly confessed the affair.

'Certainly his actions hurt me, and they caused consequences for me, but they don't in any way take away my own self-esteem," she told ABC's Barbara Walters. 'They reflect poorly on him.'

Her divorce complaint did not mention money, property or custody arrangements for the couple's four sons."
And another Christian Morals oriented couple in Politics and in society in general, who think women, can divorce men.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

A landslide of filings in Arizona

Michael Piccarreta gets busy:
First to Matt Smith he says "oh no, YOU have the burden of proof" in the evidentiary hearing that will be occurring.

Then he says "oh no Matt, this is not another interview of Carolyn Jessop" and then he challenges Becky Musser, Carolyn Jessop and Richard Holm as expert witnesses:
"Carolyn Jessop has written a whole book in which she characterizes Mr. Jeffs as a bad man and the FLDS as a bad religion. She, of course, characterizes herself as intelligent, wonderful and almost perfect. The defendant does not believe that any of this admissible but, at a minimum, the defendant needs to know how much, if any, of this type of evidence he will need to met at trial."
It is amazing how much the defense seems to be on it's heals in Texas, but so much in charge in Arizona. The difference must be the judge.
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

We have a jury

No word on it's composition:
The Eldorado Success - "La(w)yers for the prosecution and defense agreed moments ago to a jury panel of 36 members. Judge Walter called for a 30-minute recess after which both sides will be allowed to strike 10 members from the panel. Given that a jury must have 12 members and 2 alternates, it appears that a jury will be seated this evening."
IF there were 13 FLDS members among the 36 (which I doubt) the jury will contain a member of the FLDS.
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In Memoriam, Barbara Jessop

Brooke Adams has the news:
From Twitter - "Barbara Jessop, whose husband Merril oversees the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Texas, passed away from a stroke today in Eldorado."
We all go through that door.
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Attorney General Abbott to question Jurors

(UPDATE: Jury Selection Recessed until 9am tomorrow) Not only was the showing a surprise, but the AG will conduct juror interviews, showing that perhaps Texas doesn't think this will be a slam dunk or that a sympathetic juror might slip through. Maybe he's just trying to get the trial moved.
The Deseret News/AP - "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made a surprise appearance Tuesday at the trial of a polygamist group member, to question potential jurors in the sexual assault case."
Here is the questionnaire, courtesy of the Eldorado Success:
"1) How long have you lived in this county?
2) have you ever served in any branch of the military? If yes, what branch? If yes, were you honorably discharged?
3) Please list the organization to which you belong, in which you participate, or in which you have ever held any office. For example, service clubs, governmental bodies, unions, professional organizations, volunteer activities, educational groups, political parties or political groups.
4) Have you ever served on a grand jury?
5) Have you ever been called as a witness in court or given a statement in any legal proceeding?
6) Do you have any close relatives or friends who are at the present time, or in the past employed by any state or federal agency, district attorney, lawyers, judges or employed in any job within the legal profession. If yes, list the names, relationships and occupations.
7) Have you ever had any legal training?
8) Have you or any close relatives or friends ever been the victim of a crime?
9) Have you ever been a witness to a crime, or ever been questioned by a law enforcement officer about a crime?
10) Have you ever filed a complaint against someone with law enforcement?
11) have you or any close relatives or friends ever been charged with or accused of a crime?
12) Have you or any close relatives or friends ever worked in law enforcem4ent, such as for a police department, county sheriff, highway patrol, or the attorney general?
13) Have you or do you have any close relatives or friends who have ever worked as a probation officer, parole officer or in the prison system?
14) Have you ever participated in 'posting' or 'replying' on any internet sites or 'blogs'? If yes, please list the name or 'handle' you post under and specifically which sites or 'blogs' upon which you post or reply.
15) Have you participated in any activity related to the care, transportation, feeding, housing, or clothing of any members of the FLDS?
16) Have you had any contacts or dealings with any person you understood at the time or now understand to be living at the YFZ Ranch in Schleicher County, Texas?
17) have you had any contacts or dealings with any person you understood at the time or now understand to be a member of the FLDS?
18) Please state your religious preference. State which church or synagogue you attend, if any."
AG Abbott is concerned it would seem, about the bloggosphere. See question 14.
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Canadian Pastor cleared of Hate Crime against Homosexuals

It should never have gotten this far, but it did:
Citizen Link - "Former Canadian Pastor Stephen Boissoin has been cleared of hate-crimes charges over a 2002 letter to the editor that expressed a biblical view of homosexuality.

School teacher Darren Lund filed the charges with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The commission ruled that Boissoin had to stop expressing his views on homosexuality in public.

On Friday, a Canadian court overturned that decision. Boissoin was grateful."
I'm sure the enemies of the Church will continue to try.
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Attorney General Abbott shows up for Jury Selection

Nothing like showing the flag:
The Eldorado Success - "Abbott's presence in the courtroom would seem to indicated the importance he is giving the Keate prosecution."
Nothing like having your boss stare over your shoulder. I guess he wants the jurors to see him.
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Judge Rucker was the "Recusal Ruling" Judge

It was Judge Dean Rucker:
The Eldorado Success - "Judge Barbara Walther told defense attorneys that she referred their motion to disqualify her to Judge Dean Rucker, who serves as the Presiding Judge over the Seventh Judicial District of Texas. She said that Judge Rucker notified her this morning that he would not appoint another judge to hear the motion to quash the grand jury indictments of 10 YFZ defendants."
It appears that the Success will be giving "blow by blows," for those of you who wish to keep up.
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Up until midnight, Stalin's trains must run on time. "Git 'er Done!"

Why no news all day yesterday on the various motions before the court?
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "Judge Barbara Walther, known for marathon courtroom sessions, presided over a joint consolidated motion by the defense attorneys for 10 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Monday in the same makeshift courtroom where last month Raymond Merril Jessop was convicted of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Schleicher County jury.

Keate is the second of the 10 to go to trial on a charge of child sexual abuse based on evidence acquired during the state's historic raid in April 2008 on the Yearning For Zion Ranch, the 1,700-acre community near Eldorado operated and inhabited by members of the polygamist sect.

Attorneys for the sect members argued Monday that the indictments against their clients should be quashed because the Schleicher County grand jury that issued the indictments did not have enough Hispanic members to represent the community profile in accordance with the accused men's civil rights. Walther denied the motion in a hearing that ended a few minutes before 11 p.m."
There is a complete dearth of information in the press on who the Judge would be that would rule on the motion to recuse, according to "Ron" who supposedly is an attorney and lives in Houston:
" 'That motion will be denied counsel" only takes about 3 seconds to say."
I have heard from a variety of sources, some fairly reliable, the names of two judges. That of Judge John Hyde and later a poster I don't know anything about claimed it was Judge Dean Rucker who ruled on the motion to recuse Judge Walther.

Bill over at "Free the FLDS Children" says Judge Walther just ignored the motion, but the San Angelo Standard-Times article says no, but doesn't give any detail:
"An earlier ruling by another judge denied a motion to disqualify Walther on the basis that she might be called as a witness in the grand jury challenge. The FLDS legal team, led by Jerry Goldstein, had argued that Walther should not be allowed to hear the motion against the indictment because she had a role in selecting the grand jury commissioner."
3 seconds? Apparently the court needed more, Ron.

At some point someone on the defense is going to raise the issue of the quality of the decision based on the "ram it, jam it, 'git 'er done" sort of pushiness that Walther is exhibiting. There are complex issues in all of these trials and they are in a lot of ways, unprecedented, but Walther proceeds by imposing deadlines and limiting testimony.

It has been remarked that it is a bad strategy in Iraq or Afghanistan to name a withdrawal date for our troops, and instead we should wait until the job is done. "Git 'er done" is a dangerous methodology when thoroughness is needed. "Git 'er done" is generally the mentality of a bull in a china shop.
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Monday, December 07, 2009

What's taking so long on Walther's Recusal?

Rumor has it that the judge presiding over Walther's possible recusal is one used last year.
District Judge John Hyde. It didn't take him very long in the case of Annette Jeffs.
The Abilene Reporter-News June 24th, 2008 - "Midland-based state District Judge John Hyde, presiding via teleconference, rejected the motion, noting that Jeffs' attorneys had filed their motion too late -- after the hearing had already begun."
Maybe this is where some have gotten their idea of "timeliness."
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68 Years Ago, December 7th, 1941



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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Their mouths are open graves

Hat tip to the "Blog Prof:"

I have rarely seen something so disgusting. Does not the scripture say, "Choose life, in order that you may live?"
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Friday, December 04, 2009

More on the possible recusal of Walther

I've had time now, to review what happened today:
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "The hearing to quash the indictments, meanwhile, was fraught with confusion and tension.

The hearing began at 10 a.m., and Goldstein had barely finished saying the defense lawyers weren’t all present when the judge said the court would be in recess till 11 a.m.

One of the attorneys had car trouble outside of Sterling City, Goldstein said.

Walther walked to her chambers while Goldstein continued to ask about a previous motion for continuance, so the hearing could proceed at a later time.

His question went unanswered."
Walther is a rude autocratic unjust jurist. She's done this before, walking out on proceedings, usually on a Friday. Remember Memorial Day Weekend?
The San Angelo Standard-Times (May 30th, 2008) - "Judge Barbara Walther left the courtroom this evening without signing an order to restore custody of the children to their parents."
This brutal witch forces witnesses and attorneys and distressed plaintiffs up against a whole holiday weekend to deal with the consequences of her actions. Well it's about time someone started slapping back.
"Then Goldstein dismissed all of the defense’s witnesses until 2 p.m., much to Walther’s surprise.

'Who dismissed them?' she demanded to know when the hearing resumed at 11 a.m.

'Counsel,' Goldstein replied, referring to the defense."
The only phrase that comes to mind at the moment, is someone has grown a pair. The defense is tired of being shoved around, and has become aggressive and assertive. Translated this seems to be "I'm an officer of the court Judge Walther, you left the court room without dealing with my motion, I did as I saw fit, wanna make something of it? Hmmm?"

Of course you can't say it that way, but that would be my take on what he really meant. This is what he said though:
"Goldstein said he meant the court no disrespect but said he had no choice

He said he was ashamed of having called so many witnesses and then having them wait until 11 a.m. and then having them wait for the state to present its case, so he dismissed them until 2 p.m."
But let's hear what he really thought:
"I was goaded into excusing the witnesses," Goldstein said.
Now he goes for the "witch slap:"
"Just as the prosecution had begun to question its first witness, Goldstein stood and asked again whether the judge had heard his motion for continuance."
This is downright confrontational, and Walther says she did hear, and denied the motion.

Well Judge, if you deny a motion, you owe it to the person whose motion you denied, to TELL him. We all have had encounters with controlling depots who enforce power by turning away, mumbling something and walking out. Goldstein his having none of it:
"Goldstein approached the bench with his motion to disqualify the judge."
So basically, the defense says; "You wanna play rough? We're now playing rough.
"The judge who will hear the motion was not named during Friday’s hearing, but Walther told the defense 'in anticipation of your motion' another judge was on standby."
Ever the control freak, aren't we Judge? I don't know procedure, but I rather doubt a judge can pick the judge to judge her own recusal. She knows the name she says, but "won't tell." How petty.

Either that or she doesn't know the name and she's just being snippy and is taking shots on the way down, acting like she's in control of something, that she's not in control of, or at least, shouldn't be.

At one point Eric Nichols is quoted as saying "Oh give me a break."

What did these people expect? That this is a "slam dunk?" That the constitutional questions aren't real? That Walther's behavior isn't dictatorial and grounds possibly for dismissal from the case? That this wouldn't be asked, credibly, during the trial? That the defense wouldn't assert itself? Well, it's happened. Deal with it. It's not going to stop either.
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Disqualifiying Walther?

This is what I would call the first big and REAL move on the part of the FLDS that will have immediate effect, if successful:
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "The defense claimed the judge’s role in selecting a grand jury commissioner to choose the grand jury that issued the indictments interferes with her role in judging the case at trial.

The defense, represented by lead attorney Jerry Goldstein, also argued that the grand jury composition underrepresented Hispanics, with only one on the 12-person jury in a town that is 37.5 percent Hispanic.

The 12 men are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the polygamist sect that operates the secretive Schleicher County ranch. Most of the indictments allege child sex abuse associated with the sect’s practice of men taking multiple 'spiritual wives,' some of whom are alleged to be younger than the Texas age of consent.

The first of the men to go to trial, Raymond Merril Jessop, was found guilty in November of child sex abuse, a second-degree felony, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The second, Allan Eugene Keate, is scheduled to go to trial Monday, when jury selection was scheduled to begin.

Jury selection was postponed to Tuesday to allow the disqualification motion to be heard. The hearing convenes at 11 a.m. in Eldorado."
We shall just have to see, what we will see. This will set the basis for further appeals if the motion is denied.
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Warren Jeffs again asks Elissa (Redacted) Wall for "Impeachment" material.

Michael Piccarreta cites Romley v. Superior Court 1992 and says Elissa Wall is hiding behind her victim status.
Once again, the state spreads the "redacting" fig leaf of white out over her name, but allows the usage of her book Title. This alone makes it self evidently right that the defense should have access to this material.
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What would Jesus say, about Dubai?

Actually, since you have to see God as all knowing, throughout all time, certainly this picture (among others) was in Christ's mind as he spoke these words:
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish." Luke 14 (KJV)
From Breitbart:
"Next month's opening of the Burj Dubai tower, the world's tallest building, will bring Dubai's era of exuberant expansion to a juddering halt as hundreds of other building projects are already mothballed."
There's just something about tall buildings, and man's pride.

The Chris Muir cartoon is tangential, but apropos.
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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Jon Stewart on the Global Warming Fakery

From the Daily Show.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Scientists Hide Global Warming Data
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

The Daily Show's stock continues to rise, as a rare haven for honest liberal thinking.

And humor.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Same Sex Marriage fails in New York

Vermont and New Hampshire are the only two states in the Union with laws legalizing "Gay Marriage" that have been ratified as some extension of the will of the people:
The New York Times - "The 38-to-24 vote startled proponents of the bill and signaled that political momentum, at least right now, had shifted against same-sex marriage, even in heavily Democratic New York. It followed more than a year of lobbying by gay rights organizations, who steered close to $1 million into New York legislative races to boost support for the measure.

Senators who voted against the measure said the public was gripped by economic anxiety and remained uneasy about changing the state’s definition of marriage."
Granted, no measure has survived popular referendum as we learned in Maine and California. In both cases it does well to note that 2-4% of the electorate changing their minds to be at least "tolerant" would be all it would take to clear that hurdle.

20 years ago it would have been well into the double digits, in terms of the margin of rejection. It's a matter of time.

Vermont and neighboring New Hampshire remain the best places for pushing legislation and/or court cases legalizing polygamy.
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