Friday, January 29, 2010

Waste to Fuel? Bacteria engineered to eat Junk and Crap Fuel (and Sugar!)

Just infect your garbage and the fuel rises to the top!
Yahoo News - "(B)iologists in the United States say they have invented a genetically-engineered version of a humble bacterium called Escherichia coli that could provide a cheaper, more effective alternative.

It feasts on the simple sugars found in wood chips, straw and other biomass waste and secretes molecules of fuel.

'We incorporated genes that enabled production of biodiesel directly,' lead author Jay Keasling of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California said in an email to AFP.

'The engineered E. coli secretes the biodiesel from the cell, which means that we don't need to break open the cell to get the diesel out. This saves substantially on processing cost,' Keasling explained.

In addition, 'the biodiesel is insoluble in water, which means that it forms a separate phase when it is secreted from the engineered E. coli -- it floats to the top as any oil would. This also saves on processing costs.'

The study, published in the British science journal Nature, is a 'proof-of-concept' piece of research.

It did not detail any potential environmental impacts or estimates of costs.

Keasling, though, said the findings were significant enough to warrant commercial products within one or two years, provided further increases on yield are met.

The researchers further engineered E. coli to secrete enzymes that would degrade hemicellulose -- an important component of cellulosic biomass -- into its component sugars.

'The importance of this development is that the organism can produce the fuel from a very inexpensive sugar supply,' said Keasling.

More than 7.6 billion litres (two billion gallons) of biofuels were consumed worldwide last year, and demand continues to increase."
And Tastes Good Too!

When do they start? It seems as if they are saying you can throw your refuse into a pond, seed it with these little monsters and skim diesel off the top.
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(UPDATED) Arizona Says Officially: We will NOT use any evidence from YFZ

In a move severely damaging their case, and signaling they DON'T expect to win an evidence challenge, Arizona has given up YFZ evidence:
This has several effects, one is that the FLDS lose an avenue of appeal. Texas Gains (not Arizona) the advantage of not being shot in the back on YFZ evidence, by Judge Conn. Sheriff Doran will not go under oath in Court, neither will Brooks Long. There may be a dismissal of Arizona charges against Warren in the offing. Maybe not. That will have to wait.

I am told that there is an appeal already filed in the case of Raymond Jessop.

This is both good, and bad news. FLDS supporters or sympathizers would have welcomed a ruling on the evidence in Arizona. This will not happen now.

However, there is a wording at the end of the "stipulation," which says "at this TIME." This may mean that Judge Conn will go ahead with the hearing, so there will be no "later time." I'm sure all of this will come out soon.

Correction: It says, "At Any Time," meaning that the State is renouncing all intent to use YFZ evidence.

Still, I'd watch for them to try to "back door" the evidence in some other way, such as trying to use the trial records in Texas, or perhaps Michael Emack's "no contest" plea. This is where not being a lawyer really puts me in the dark.

Nevertheless it seems that various government entities REALLY don't want Long and Doran under oath on a witness stand. Why would that be?

All of this is very curious, because back on November 24th, Matt Smith and essentially said "let's dance" when it came to the evidentiary hearing, now he says "don't bother."

UPDATE: I am told if Judge Conn SIGNS the stipulation, the hearing is off. Apparently, he must agree to this stipulation.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


He just said:
"What keeps me going....."

Yeah, the crowd is wondering what keeps you going too Barry.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Delay, Delay, Delay Machine back up and Running for Rozita?

According to Douglas County, whose computers have been down most of the afternoon;
Rozita's case was "vacated" for tomorrow. The individual answering the phone could not tell me if that meant her case was dismissed, or if the probation revocation hearing had been reset for another time.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bring it on, part II

Just to give you an idea of how obsessed these people are, and how badly they need a devil, I will refer to a blog that I really prefer that you never visit.
Sometimes though, you're not completely useless, you can always serve as a Bad Example.

Some observations. In the above thread I am mentioned numerous times. The number of inaccuracies are rampant.

First, though these are no in particular order of importance. I knew Randy Weaver, to paraphrase slightly, I am no Randy Weaver. I find him a fascinating character and I emphasize the word "character" and deliberately endow it with double meanings.

I doubt Randy Weaver remembers me by name. I helped arrange for financial transactions with Randy after Ruby Ridge as part of my job. By this time Randy had won his case, and a lot of money in the process.

My evaluation of Randy is as follows:

He is in essence a good time party boy with strong political beliefs. The evidence of my eyes and personal experience is that the constant salutation assigned to Randy; "White Supremacist," is not apropos. He was a small time gun dealer in Idaho who was targeted as an example. Had he been arrested quietly in town, no one would have died, and Randy would have been in and out of jail by now, and we'd never have known who he was. Instead, Randy was ambushed in the woods on the way to his house, and the ensuing lethal misunderstanding made him something of an Icon.

I had a chance to observe Randy over several days during about a month to two months worth of time. I had a chance to interact with him for several hours regarding business. I was able to extract personal information from him, that he is ordinarily very reluctant to give. All of this occurred in 1996. In other words, Randy trusted me and did so in a short period of time. That's part of my tool box or skill set, it's what I do.

Later Randy went to a party of all the clients of that business over a one or two month period of time. It was a "get to know you" function for that business. That business had a motivational/organizational consultant on retainer who was in attendance and who is more African than our current President. There was alcohol on hand, and someone had brought cigars.

All night long, Randy and the consultant sat together smoking and laughing and drinking. You almost wanted to say "get a ROOM." It's hard for me to see Randy as a "White Supremacist," at least, that is not his primary motivation in my experience. I personally think he was a crook of a minor variety that got off the charges because his family got shot up in a Law Enforcement gross over reaction and attempt to make an example out of him, and his family. I often use my short relationship with Randy as an illustration of public perception vs private reality.

I will say this: I knew Randy, you probably have never met the guy. I'll play my trump card of knowing him over your sound bite use of his name any day. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a racial supremacist or a Nazi. Period. I have in the past made the mistake of commenting at a Nazi site not KNOWING they were Nazi's and I got out as fast as I got in.

Two. My wife is off limits you idiots. Leave her alone. Don't even comment on her. This is a warning. Should ANYTHING you say or do spill over into the reality of her life you're in deep yogurt so to speak (one of my father's favorite pet phrases). My wife ranks as the best thing that's ever happened to me personally, outside of salvation. I regard myself as literally owing my life to her. She is an intelligent but private person. She holds NUMEROUS degrees. She speaks SEVERAL languages. One of her degrees is from a school of near Ivy League reputation. Many of the personnel working at the White House over the last 30 years graduated from the same private institution. She was in her youth, a near Olympic caliber athlete. Absolutely none of what I just said is an exaggeration. It is spot on true as well as the following: She is none of your business and doesn't want anything to do with you. She is entirely aware of what I think and do. I love her deeply. Leave her alone. I will be on you LEGALLY like a heat seeking missile if you let your casual remarks and stalking bleed over into her life. That goes for any family member. I have used none of their names except for my jailbird son. None of them have aligned themselves with me publicly. My passion is not their passion. That has nothing to do with whether they agree with me or not. Some of them do, some of them don't.

The Christian (Protestant) Reformation began in disagreement over doctrine. It is right and proper for us in the Reformation tradition to disagree over sincerely held beliefs. I am in fact in closer alignment with the father of the Reformation, Martin Luther, when it comes to my stance on polygyny. I have reached a public phase of my dispute with the denomination with whom I fellowship. I have been very disclosure oriented with regard to that dispute. It is my belief they violate their own procedures through secret meetings and secret accusations. There is no declared requirement of belief on the institution of marriage for membership in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and as such it would have no more declared impact on my sincerity of belief than a dispute over Baptism.

The various Presbyterian Denominations are not AUTHORITARIAN in their Governance like the Roman Catholic Church for instance. Right or wrong, there is no mechanism for dispute of what constitutes Orthodoxy for the rank and file parishioner in the RCC. This is quite different in the OPC. Hence, I contend that I have been wrongfully withheld membership and am now wrongfully barred from the church by it's leadership. I am however obedient in that I have not attended since directed not to attend.

I expect to lose the conflict. I have always expected to lose the conflict should it ever have become public, as it now has. I have always harbored the faint hope that I might be accepted as a member with the understanding that the denomination I was in, did not agree with me. This looming loss provides for me, certain options that I would not have as a member of the church. None of those "options" should be seen as me contemplating or threatening or encouraging an illegal act.

Last, I do not now nor have I ever had a Criminal Record. I have never violated any law except for traffic regulations. I have never seen the inside of a court room as a defendant except in the civil matter of my first marriage (divorce) or as a defendant in a traffic violation. I have never been arrested. I have seen the inside of a jail ONCE in California because that is where they kept their fingerprint scanner. I have had my fingerprints taken on numerous occasions as part of passing criminal background checks. I have successfully passed those criminal background checks in Florida, Idaho, Montana, Vermont and California. I am on file as licensed in Montana and Vermont under the exact and same name I used here as part of the address of my blog. I have twice in my life been a registered lobbyist.

Rozita Swinton is on the doorstep of transitioning from public figure, to private figure. Her court appearance this coming Wednesday is her last regularly scheduled one intended to tie up loose ends from her 2007 guilty plea in her false reporting crime in Castle Rock in 2005. I doubt anything earth shattering will come out of it. Unless someone discovers something NEW about her in connection with some other investigation or unless Texas ACTUALLY decides to charge her with something, she's off the table pretty much. Her name will get mentioned here from time to time, as it is relevant but the FLDS know enough about her now, and her past connections and they'll pursue her, or they won't. In the final analysis, it's not my ox that got gored.

Don't suppose, you toads, that you can lay a finger on me, or my wife without trouble raining on you so hard that you will need the Super Dome for a hat. All the trouble I will cause for you will be of the entirely legal variety and done to you by an attorney, in court.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

No new tricks up Michael Emack's sleave, he goes No Contest

Michael Emack pled "nolo contendere" but preserved his right to appeal, answering a question on my mind:
The San Angelo Standard-Times - Judge Barbara Walther of the 51st District Court asked (Michael) Emack if he understood what the plea allowed him to do.

'I believe it helps me maintain my dignity,' Emack said.

He also said he understood that it allowed him to appeal. The court recognized that Emack reserves the right to appeal only in certain cases.

One case regards the lawfulness of search warrants that law enforcement personnel used to raid the Yearning for Zion Ranch outside Eldorado in April 2008 on the basis of what later turned out to be a hoax call of a girl claiming she was abused inside the community."
I had wondered about this. If you plead "no contest" can you re-open the case if the evidence is disallowed later and the answer is "yes." Depending on how long those appeals take, Michael may be out about the same time they get processed through our legal system. It apparently took making a special stipulation to reserve that right for Mr. Emack who will get seven years.

He also gives up his "right to remain silent" among others which I don't know exactly how to take. The waiver stipulation worries me:
"(Judge Barbara) Walther had Emack agree to a 'waiver of stipulation of the evidence,' saying that the evidence was accurate and could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt."
I honestly don't know. Does this now constitute a form of testimony that can be used in other cases? Namely, that the evidence is "accurate?" Judge Walther is not a great jurist, but she is not a stupid woman either, and I'm sure the prosecution had influence on what it would accept from Mr. Emack. Greater legal minds than mine (there are quite a few) will chime in on this development and reveal what it means to it's fullest extent.

As always, it happens late on a Friday. For now it seems though, that Michael avoids the meat grinder trial, the publicity and the "perp walk." If the appeal goes badly, he won't spend too much more time behind bars than he would if it's successful.

This also means that in general, procedural issues with regard to appeal have been covered by the first two trials. There was no "grand stand" left to make at this trial, that wasn't made in the first two.

There is this fascinating tidbit as well:
"Emack has a pending bigamy case against him, and he said he intends to plead no contest to that as well for seven years to be served concurrently with his sexual assault sentence.

(Michael's) defense lawyer, Abilene attorney Randy Wilson, will reserve the right to appeal that bigamy case, stating that Emack intends to be a part of a joint motion of FLDS members that will challenge the constitutionality of Texas’ bigamy statutes."
Interesting. Plead out so that you can challenge the constitutionality of a bigamy law. My work may be done soon.

The constitutionality angle will burn the candle at one end, the evidence challenge at the other. Eventually, if the evidence challenge fails, but the constitutional angle does not, it will be argued that Texas married young women right up to the point of the raid, that were of similar and younger age than the informal brides of the FLDS. I suppose the argument would then be, "I wasn't asking to do anything wrong, I was just forbidden to do what was my right by the state of Texas." Texas can hardly argue it doesn't want young girls having sex, when it's marrying them off. All they can say is they don't want young girls having sex with older men who have another wife, and that will be an unconstitutional restriction.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brooks Long and David Doran are issued Criminal Subpoenas

Along with Bill Loader and Allen Pashano.
They can be found at the Mohave County Site. They were issued by request of Michael Piccarreta and are for February 17th, 2010.

Allen Pashano is the Mohave County Sheriff. Bill Loader is a retired probation officer from Arizona.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Douglas County says no, "Charges against Rozita have not been dropped."

There is a revocation hearing set for January 27th, 2010.
Douglas County - "Charges against Ms. Swinton in Douglas County were not dropped and there is a pending Probation Revocation hearing set for January 27."
I have a tendency not to like David Foley, as he is on the "other side," but that's superficial. He grand stands a bit, but he hasn't been wrong yet. The money says whatever Douglas County does, will be inconsequential. You have to figure if they just let it slide, not giving Rozita any jail time, it becomes someone else's problem, namely, El Paso county. The time is set for 1:30 pm.
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Marty Braemer "Borrowed" Money from the Fort Plain Little League?

I now have corroboration.
The dispute is over whether or not he "Borrowed" the money, or just took it without permission. I stress that Marty could offer a convincing denial. The best way to be convincing of course, is that you didn't do it, and Marty may not have.

Allegedly from one side of the story, Marty is supposed to have said he did not think "borrowing without permission" was "embezzling."

The other side of the story suspects he had some form of permission. I have emailed Marty Braemer several times on the story, he will not comment.

The original tip of the iceberg appeared in "Upstream." Dan Weaver should get the credit.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm just sayin' (UPDATED)

This may seem like an odd topic for me to comment on, but it's not.
Upstream reports:
"(S)omeone absconded with money from the Fort Plain Little League during 2009."
At this point, I have to warn two things. It's a rumor that the money is missing, but it's a fairly official and reliable rumor that I don't have first hand.

The other thing? I've pinged two people in a position to know, one of them being the "prime suspect," and they haven't answered.

The Fighting Fundamental Forums have speculated on who they think it is. I caution, this is by no means certain. I'd say there's at least a 50% chance it's someone else, but their candidate is one of the people I pinged, and he's a past president of the Fort Plain Little League. He might at least be in a position to know something.

UPDATE: Former Pastor of Fords Bush and Fort Plain Little League Former President Marty Braemer is the suspect.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Confronting the Church on Marriage, Part V

The following is cross posted at "Vermont Polygamy." When we last left off, I promised to take up this discussion, interacting with Hebrew Language professor Stewart "Woody" Lauer on the topic of "Elder Monogamy," and his surprise admission. That was last year, then several stories I had been following blew up, and dominated my time.
Sorry about that, it is hard for me at least, to maintain burning intensity of interest on several fronts at once, I don't know about you, but that's me.

I had written the following for public consumption about 6 years ago, and had sent it to the session of my church in April of last year, who then sent it along to Dr. Lauer. It is the argument based on the supposed argument that Elders are to be monogamous. It's a sort of "AHA!!" contention that is offered to polygyny proponents by monogamy only proponents. I lay aside the contention of some that the Greek word "mia" is mistranslated for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that calls our translations into so much disrepute that we would have to all go learn Greek and Hebrew to continue the discussion. I'll accept, at least for the sake of discussion with the OPC, Dr. Lauer, and the COPC session that it means "Husband of One Wife."
"Elders are to be husbands of one wife" Again, "dicto simpliciter." This is a condition of office, not a rant against polygyny. Again, take a deep breath. The argument using this verse employs the notion that it is an ideal to be striven for. Credible, until you realize you've just said women are sub creatures. Besides it's virtual proof that there were polygynous couples in the early church. Otherwise why say anything about it?
Remember this is a talking point, designed to get the conversation going. There is a great deal more to talk about on the polygyny side of the argument, and perhaps we will get to those other points. The most significant contention I make here, is conceded outright:
Dr. Lauer - "I agree with the last two sentences, above."
I've highlighted what he agrees with. First some housekeeping. I hadn't noticed in 6 years that I said something incredibly silly that NO ONE has ever picked up on. "Polygynous couples?" That should be families, not couples but the concept of the adult component of family being a "couple" is so deeply embedded in our culture, that I said it, repeated it, didn't pick up on it, and no one did for all that period of time where I have used that form of the argument as a "foot in the door" when discussing polygyny.

Dr. Lauer concedes without a fight that one of the major contentions of many "monogamy only proponents," that "polygyny is not mentioned in the New Testament and not present in the early church" is completely false. They were there, that's it, and from my point of view at least, the practice was so unremarkable that it's only mentioned in passing. Indeed, if you were to ask of a Disciple why they never mention polygyny as part of a claim they didn't, because they were downgrading the practice, you'd get a really weird look, like "we didn't mentioned beards either, dummy."

All of what I am doing here, has now come to light in my church over the issue of membership. After months of stonewalling me on membership, I went to the congregation and said "they won't let me join" and the church responded with an email in which they said the following:
"(Our refusal to allow Hugh to join) involves (him) both believing and publicly advocating, especially via the internet, a position that that is so seriously sinful that no church throughout all of Christendom accepts it."
Which makes you wonder if they even read the response they contracted with Dr. Lauer, to write.

The position was "so seriously sinful" that Paul, the apostle, whose writings are the ones on which we base doctrine and church governance, didn't think it was even important enough, to mention. He doesn't mention it in the face of SPEAKING to congregations in which he looks out over the church, identifies and sees (and knows) men who are in church, with several of their wives in tow.

In the past a friend (now deceased), of mine and I had remarked to one another, if we ever got past the first rung of church elders, and reached the "intelligentsia" round, very quickly many of the arguments routinely raised and fervently held to, would be dropped. That drop was audible. Dr. Don Dean and I have had discussions with prominent theologians who admit in one way or another, privately, that our arguments are not unsound, they just won't sell in the church. In Dr. Lauer's response through the session of COPC a number of such concessions occur. This is one of them.

It is in fact powerfully convincing that polygyny is an acceptable practice when it's going on right in front of Jesus, his disciples and the growing church in the New Faith. It's going on, and the disciples and apostles say NOTHING whatsoever about it except that Paul seems to be saying "If you have a polygynous man in church, don't make him an elder."

Woody goes on to say that it indicates disfavor, but that is frankly impossible. Again now the first part of my contention comes back into play.
Dr. Lauer - "(I)t is clear that the apostles (representing Jesus officially; 1 Cor 14:36) viewed it with disfavor, disqualifying the man from office. This official, negative attitude toward the practice on the part of the Lord’s apostles cannot be dismissed so lightly."
There are some, who employ the phrase "it is clear" because it is precisely the opposite, it's not clear.

Dr. Lauer is easily refuted. If those disqualified from the office of Elder are viewed with "disfavor," then he is saying women are viewed with disfavor. (Elders as husbands unpacked, means among other things, elders are to be men.) Any other man that qualifies for office on marital status can be disqualified also because they are not "apt to teach." Paul himself says that teaching is a gift:
"Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?" - 1st Corinthians 12:29 (ESV)
This is extremely simple logic. Some of the qualfiers for office of Elder in the church have to do with morals, and indeed, on the face of it, it could very well be that being polygynous is being morally compromised, or at least "morally not quite the best thing." Elders are not to be drunks for instance, but Paul mixes up his list naming things that are merely things Elders should and should not be, but otherwise acceptable, and things that no one should be, particularly elders. A man not gifted by God to teach is not to be an Elder. A woman, no matter how she is gifted, is not to be an elder. Neither are viewed with disfavor, it does not logically follow that a polygynous man is viewed with disfavor. We know from other passages of scripture that drunkenness is a bad thing, there is no such corresponding scripture for a much married man.

Though the this post is short, and Woody's answer is short, it is what you do when you're trying to avoid an uncomfortable truth. Unless you change your position on the subject, you give it a short shrift and blow past it. This is what Woody does, but not before showing us a very important fact.

Polygyny is mentioned in the New Testament. It is NOT commented on, in that context, as a negative. The most important theologians in the church, Christ, and his immediate Apostles say nothing whatsoever about polygyny being wrong or substandard, even though polygyny is right in front of all them, among the believers. The most that seems to be said is; "Don't make them, and women, and people who can't teach, Elders."
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Douglas County Drops charges against Rozita

I don't know how you can "drop" a charge that a person has already plead guilty to, but according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Rozita isn't going to face the music in Castle Rock:
The Gazette - "As part of the plea, authorities in Douglas County have also agreed to drop charges stemming from a similar false reporting incident in 2005, (DDA Frederick Stein) said."
Mr. Stein also characterized the verdict as "fair." What's he going to do, say he was taken out back, had his arm ripped off and he was beaten nearly to death with it? It's one of those "Too Heavy, Too Light" questions.

There are a number of errors in the article, not the least of which is Rozita's age (she's 35 now) and her middle name is misspelled. She snuck in through a side entrance after El Paso county lied and stated her case had been "called off" that day.
"Swinton was barely audible in the courtroom as she said a few words during the 30-minute hearing to indicate that she knew she was waiving her right to a trial."
Her attorney had the audacity to suggest that she did a good thing:
" 'I believe the phone call in Texas resulted in the prosecution of some people who were sexually assaulting young women,' Foley said. 'If anyone felt that Ms. Swinton was involved in that, that’s a good thing.' "
He's portraying his client as a heroine, and daring anyone to sentence her to anything, and perhaps reminding Texas that he may know something.

I was apparently wrong about her employment status, though she has hobnobbed about the country a bit over the last year and a half, she still works it would seem, for State Farm Insurance.
"Foley said the case took longer than most misdemeanor cases because of his client’s medical issues. She was evaluated by doctors in advance of the plea and prosecutors had their own experts review those reports.

Foley described his client as 'a real sweetheart' who has held a job with an insurance company for the last 10 years. He said she declined comment on the case."
And she is to stay in Colorado:
"(Rozita) is not allowed to leave Colorado without the court’s permission."
An attempted murder, that's one way of looking at it, attempted murders actually, over about 500-600 people at YFZ, had it ended similarly to Waco. A real sweetheart alright.
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Jerry Strickland says David Foley is full of Smoke (and YES, Rozita will serve NO time)

We're not finished with the investigation, says the Texas Attorney General's office:
"Jerry Strickland, spokesman for the Texas Attorney General, told the Houston Chronicle today that the state's inquiry 'into Rozita Swinton and other aspects of this case is ongoing.'

Swinton, of Colorado Springs, was considered a 'person of interest' in connection with calls to a hot line alleging abuse at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' ranch in West Texas."
Oh, I believe David Foley, as he has not lied to me yet. How long does it take, JERRY? It's been almost TWO YEARS.

This interesting little tidbit is also included:
"Swinton was also sentenced to 45 days in jail but given credit for time served, so she faces no further jail time."
She didn't show for trial, Foley entered her plea (apparently) and she won't be showing up in jail.

The Salt Lake Tribune added this detail:
"The judge also limited her to one landline telephone and one cell phone and ordered her to give both numbers to the district attorney's office."
I wonder if she will continue to be able to use a computer, to access the internet? According to her "MySpace" pages, she was on yesterday.

Still unanswered? What happened to her deferred sentencing arrangement in Douglas County for her 2007 conviction of false reporting?
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Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap - Rozita Swinton Pleads Guilty (UPDATE, will apparently serve no time)

The trial day shift was a technical matter, or a ruse, in any case, she has pled guilty. It also appears from the AP story on the subject, that everything is linked to Texas dropping any interest in charging Rozita:
Deputy District Attorney Frederick Stein, El Paso County Colorado - "Ms Swinton entered a guilty plea which was just completed 10 minutes ago. She plead guilty to a charge of false reporting to authorities and received a 2 year deferred sentence with several conditions."
This is also being reported by KRDO:
COLORADO SPRINGS - "35-year-old Rozita Swinton avoided trial by pleading guilty on a charge of false reporting (today).

Swinton made multiple fake calls to police in Colorado and Texas. She was accused of making a phone call to police in February of 2008, claiming she was a girl named Jennifer and was hurt and trapped in a basement. Police went door-to-door searching homes for hours, looking for the girl. The call turned out to be a hoax.

The judge deferred sentencing for 2 years, but he is still requiring her to serve 45 days in jail

Police turned their focus to Swinton, when Texas Rangers traced a call to her, following the raid of a polygamist compound in April of 2009. In that case, a girl named Sarah told a social worker she was trying to escape the religious sect. Swinton has not been charged in that case."
I have contacted Douglas County to see how this affects her deferred sentencing agreement there. It may be that in delaying Rozita's trial as long as it has been delayed, that Douglas County no longer cares. I'm not sure how those sorts of things work, but hypothetically if her "deferred sentencing" in Douglas County stated "Don't Get Into Trouble" for 4 years, and those 4 years were up, she could then become convicted in El Paso County, and keep her Douglas County deferred sentencing agreement intact. The story errs in assigning the date of "April 2009" to the raid, which occurred in April of 2008.

It turns out that Rozita may not even go to jail, despite what it says above:
KKTV - The attorney for Rozita Swinton entered the plea on her behalf (this) morning to false reporting charges. In February 2008, Swinton started calling Colorado Springs police, telling them she was a 16-year-old girl trapped in a basement. The calls triggered a massive and frantic search in the northeast side of the city. Swinton allegedly also made calls to TESSA, a local group that helps domestic violence victims.

- Swinton was handed a 24-month deferred sentence. She received 45 days jail time but the judge gave her credit for time previously served in treatment.
Also it would seem that she did not even show up.

The Associated Press had this take on the story:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- "(David Foley), attorney for (Rozita Swinton) says Texas authorities don't believe she had any 'criminal involvement' in telephone calls that triggered a raid on a Texas polygamist group.

Rozita Swinton of Colorado Springs was once considered a 'person of interest' in connection with calls to a hot line alleging abuse at the polygamist compound in Texas.

(According to her attorney), she won't face charges in that case. A spokesman for the Texas attorney general didn't immediately return a call.

In an unrelated case, Swinton pleaded guilty in Colorado Springs today to misdemeanor false reporting. The judge ordered her to get medical treatment but did not specify her condition."
It appears that we were just waiting for the Dirty Deal in Texas to be done.

What happens to the evidence that Texas took? Rozita's computer and cell phones?

I have been roundly ridiculed for connecting the cases, but it now seems that Texas has been talking to David Foley on Rozita's behalf. This is so dirty.
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Coakley can't recognize Terrorism when it happens RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER.

Democrats. Hat tip to "Legal Insurrection."

A reporter in a country with an ostensibly "Free" press is pushed to the ground by one of Martha Coakley's thugs. Does she reprimand him? Of course not.

We will not be a free nation much longer if these sorts of Senators who don't think there are terrorists in Afghanistan are in charge.

I understand now. Martha can't recognize terrorism even if it happens right in front of her.

Heck, she can't even spell the name of the state for which she already holds elective office.
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Called Off (UPDATED) Rescheduled for FRIDAY (the 15th and then back to today)

She plead guilty. no word on if it was just another delay, plea deal or outright dismissal.
Up until yesterday afternoon, El Paso county was saying the trial would be today at 9am MST (one hour from the time of this posting).
CallOffs for Wednesday January 13, 2010
CaseNumber AppearanceDate DefLastName DefFirstName Division
C021 2009M 007121 1/13/2010 Donovan William B
C021 2009M 007122 1/13/2010 Donovan William B
C021 2007T 014782 1/13/2010 Hill Jeremy B
C021 2009T 010055 1/13/2010 Hill Jeremey B
C021 2009M 005177 1/13/2010 Hill Jermey B
C021 2009M 005956 1/13/2010 Medina Loretta B
C021 2009M 003671 1/13/2010 Waller Travis B
C021 2008M 002726 1/13/2010 Swinton Rozita C
Sometime late yesterday or yesterday evening, the "Call off" appeared on the El Paso county "Call Off" list for January 13th. At the moment of this posting, that would be a "tomorrow" list, though that will change to "today" sometime later this morning.

You have to remember, she was caught, by the POLICE, RED HANDED. The documents in that trial, of this "friend of CSPD" were sealed then.

UPDATE - See above, she plead guilty. All blog reports were accurate representations of what was from the El Paso county website, and also confirmed by phone calls. It appears Frederick Stein and David Foley colluded a bit to throw off potential spectators and media coverage.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's a MIRACLE!! Rozita's "Pre Trial" conference actually TOOK PLACE, Trial Tomorrow

According to El Paso County, Rozita's court dates are now actually taking place.
Trial is set for tomorrow. A warning to anyone who is trying to attend that trial. The Judge is Daniel Scott Wilson, write that down. The courtroom is "Room C." I am told there is construction going on over there and they may move the trial to another room. If you're planning to attend, show early, ask questions, have the judge's name.

Representing the State (last time I checked) is Deputy District Attorney Frederick Stein. Representing Ms. Swinton, "Exclusively CRIMINAL" Defense attorney David Foley.
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Michael Emack gives up on his Neighbors, no new trial for Raymond

The next FLDS trial, will be in San Angelo.
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "In a pretrial hearing on Thursday, the prosecution, headed by attorney Eric Nichols, and the defense, led by Abilene attorney Randy Wilson, agreed to the change of venue from Schleicher County. The prosecution had pushed for the change of venue for the previous trials of FLDS members Raymond Merril Jessop and Allan Eugene Keate, but the trials were held in Eldorado."
Whatever value the FLDS has assigned in the past to being at home, they've given up on now. I guess you have to figure 33 years is bad enough, and it can't get worse going to Tom Green county.
"Earlier in the morning, (Barbara) Walther denied a motion for a new trial for (Raymond) Jessop, who was convicted of child sexual assault in November. A defense attorney argued that the Schleicher County grand jury selection process was unfair to Jessop."
We do get a view though, of another appeal angle. Regardless of what was agreed to by the defense regarding the composition of the jury, they clearly took umbrage and now they're griping for the record. I'm not going to pretend to know the ins and legal outs of procedure, but this process has stunk up the place, it only works if you don't care how you "get 'em" but just want to "get 'em."
"Gerald Goldstein, who stood in for Mark Stevens as Jessop’s attorney, was displeased that Walther presided over the hearing because she was involved in the grand jury selection process.

'This should be heard by a different court,' Goldstein said at the beginning of the hearing."
Some FLDS arguments I am sure are exotic and far fetched. That is normal for a vigorous defense. I'm sure that attorneys have touched bases for all forms of appeal during the trial and will be trotting them out out one by one or in a bunch.

I don't think it's possible for trials to go so seamlessly for the prosecution when there were so many well known question marks about the raid in the first place. Walther makes a better driver, than she does a judge.

Nice that they got this out of the way, before Rozita's first appearance.
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

If you were thinking of showing up at Rozita's pre-trial conference tomorrow, don't.

At the last minute it has been moved from 9am tomorrow:
Frederick Stein/El Paso County District Attorney's office - "The pre-trial readiness date has been moved to Jan 11th at 9:00 am at the request of the defense and the prosecution. The trial date on Jan 13th remains the same." 4:14 MST.
I really don't think they want anyone showing up. Who knows, maybe they'll move it back now, at the last second. It's not on the "Call off" list for El Paso county and wasn't the last time either.

Once again, there is every evidence to suggest this is the oldest misdemeanor case in El Paso County that is being actively pursued. This means it's also approaching the record for "most delayed" as well.

There's only one question in both instances really.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Rozita's Pre Trial Conference on Wednesday

It's been nearly two years since Rozita Swinton was arrested while driving around Colorado Springs, faking distress, and being a little girl.
Her pre-trial conference for that misdemeanor is Wednesday. It has not been "called off/postponed."

History tells us it will be again, and that no prior notice of this "call off" will be given. I will have to chase the prosecuting attorney for the county again, until he reveals that fact to me, that is, if history is our guide.

I remind you, there was an active channel of communication between the FBI in Texas, and the Colorado Springs Police Department. Messages from an unnamed FBI agent in Texas were passed via email or cell phone to Agent Steve Smith, who then wrote them down on paper, gave them to a detached duty member of CSPD on his "Task Force," a Lt. Sean Mandel, who then took them into CSPD. I talked to these men, they acknowledged the existence of this back channel.

The unanswered questions are:

WHY was there this elaborate off the record back channel communcication set up?

Why was this back channel being used prior to Rozita's arrest?

What was the nature of the Task Force Lt. Sean Mandel of CSPD was detached to, from CSPD to the FBI?

There is also the matter of CSPD employment of Rozita, through Lt. Magdalena Santos (980D) who was head of the "Internet Sex Crimes" wing of the "Sex Crimes Unit" of CSPD.
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Let it snow, let it snow let it STOP ALREADY!!

Global warming in Vermont, I love it.
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Morning, not in Church and my Christmas Present.

Just dripping with liberal silliness, but still, I just had the best cup of coffee I have EVER had in my life, so they get their say.

And yes, I like those murdering little monkeys too (chimps are dangerous).

For Christmas I hinted, and finally had to come out and say "I want THAT coffee grinder" to my wife. She hates coffee.

I got a pretty good "Mr. Coffee" IDS77 Coffee Bean Grinder, and used up most of my ground coffee in between now and then. So today, January 3rd, I got up and used my Christmas Present. On the last day of 2009, I went up to Green Mountain's home office, which is just up the street, bought my favorite grind (so far), a "Tanzanian Gombe Reserve, Medium Roast," but this time in whole bean form.

I brew with distilled water which all coffee experts say "never do." It turns out at least for these taste buds, that stronger coffee in a neutral medium tastes better. You can just keep dialing up the strength and all happens is your coffee headache comes on with the first two sips of your second cup. That's cool. One good cup is generally enough in the morning.

So, continuing on my research path of "Hugh's Favorite Cup of Coffee," I washed and assembled my IDS77 model grinder, and put the $17.00 wonder to work. I fine ground it, enough for a very strong 8 cups, poured in the water and let 'er rip.

Breakfast was poached eggs on microwave baked potato, fresh diced onions and Monterrey Jack cheddar in between tater and eggs with a medley fresh ground pepper.

Oh. Wow. What a cup of coffee. What's even better is I think I did it wrong, and can do it even better the next time.
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Saturday, January 02, 2010

The WCF is not the final word. Who says? The WCF!!

I have renewed my written insistence that the local body of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church admit me as a member in a letter sent via email today:
The OPC uses the American revision of the WCF, it would seem, since it is numbered in Arabic numerals, and chapter 25 deletes a reference to the pope being Antichrist.
"There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God."
The original, and the revised version of the WCF Chapter 25, says this:
"The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated, as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth, to worship God according to his will."
Thus per the WCF, there is error in the WCF, and by your allegiance to it, you say there is error in the OPC and in it's local representative, the Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Vermont.

I am, and have been appealing to this principle of WCF Chapter 25. For this to be faithfully adhered to there can be no artificial restriction on time or subject of discussion with regard to any article of the WCF. Granted, there are those articles that if rejected would cause a man to be no believer at all, but then their interest in the church should wane. For all other articles and chapters of the WCF, there must be the possibility of discussion. Marriage is not an issue central to salvation. If it was, King David burns in hell along with his wives as do most of the Kings of Israel and Judah. They reside there with the Lawgiver Moses and with the father of the prophet Samuel as well as Israel himself, and Abraham.

I wholeheartedly agree that if I am shown to be at variance with WCF, there is cause for discussion. Discussion I contend, has yet to take place. Carl and I spent most of our time in fellowship discussing other topics, and at the slightest pressing of the issue, which would have had to have been in a public place among unbelievers, he became reticent.

The session has met with me only once and only to gain an appraisal of my point of view. There is no record of conversation between the session and I, or any member of it, in a face to face setting with the express topic of marriage, monogamy and polygyny on the table.

The sessions only interactive response with any argument I have made is actually that of "Woody" Lauer. My reply to Woody in June of 2009 remains unanswered. Indeed, the session has corresponded with me since that time, most notably in July, but made no interaction with my responses to Woody, most notably my refutation, complete and utter, of his contention that Kings were directed to be monogamous and his appeal to the nuances of the Hebrew word "Rabah" and it's stem and aspect.

In the cases of the first use of "rabah" in verse 16 of Deuteronomy 17, the "stem" and "aspect" of the word are the same as in the case of it's use with wives in verse 17. It is the "Hiphil" stem and "imperfect" aspect. This renders the two constructions parallel. Furthermore, there are some other uses of the same stem and aspect that are worth looking into. Genesis 16:10:
"Moreover, the angel of the LORD said to her, 'I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.' "(NAS)
Or Genesis 17:2:
"I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly."
Genesis 22:17:
"...I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies."
Genesis 28:3:
"May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples."
This simply cannot be a word that is confined to the use "make more than one." As it is used, in the immediate context, and others, the Hebrew "rabah" in the Hiphil stem and imperfect aspect means "a bunch." It may mean "a really big bunch." It is in fact conceivable, by stretch of the imagination, that the 1000 consorts of Solomon were actually not too many. This is consistent with Nehemiah chiding him only for foreign wives.

If interpreted to mean "more than one wife" which is distinctly inconsistent with "rabah's" usage elsewhere by Moses in other books, the interpretation would have the effect of limiting a King to one horse. The sentence construction again, is parallel. Whatever is said about a wife, is also being said about a horse. If a King is not to have more than one wife, he is also being said to be forbidden to have more than one horse. If a King lives in a way that is instructive to the rest of the populace, then indeed we are to have only one wife, as the King would, and indeed, only one horse. This would make animal husbandry problematic, and getting horses a really big problem because in this same passage we are told that a King was not to go down to Egypt again, for the purposes of multiplying horses. Why not say "don't have horses at all?" which would be a far simpler instruction. This is only one example of well documented answers I gave to Woody's letter to the session, which was intended for me.

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church also takes this position:
"Members are received into a local Orthodox Presbyterian congregation by the session on the basis of their credible profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. While members are exposed to the Reformed faith from the pulpit, from the teaching ministry of the church, and from the sincere convictions of their elders and deacons, they are not required to receive and adopt the Confession of Faith and Catechisms as a standard for membership....

All church officers-ministers, ruling elders, and deacons-are required to receive and adopt the Confession and Catechisms as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Bible, and to approve of the government, discipline, and worship of the Church."
This helps the church to be unified and all of one mind. Officers are, by the way, allowed to take exceptions to the Standards, within reason. This allowance somewhat distinguishes the Westminster Standards from the Scriptures (on which we are NOT allowed to take exception!).

To hold me to a standard the rest of the denomination does not share, and to hold me to that standard without discussion, both are sins. I renew my insistence that I be accepted as a member of COPC in Barre Vermont.
Hugh McBryde
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Friday, January 01, 2010

The Failure of Church Discipline and the Failure of the Reformation

It occurs to me that the reformation is failing, because church discipline, isn't working.
In my chosen denomination, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, it is viewed that "the church" in Christ's description of church disciplinary procedure is the leadership. In a Presbyterian church, conservative or liberal, that body is the session. Ok, let's go with that. First though, let's look at the text of Matthew 18:
"If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church (ἐκκλησία-ekklēsia): but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
The Greek word for church (ἐκκλησία ekklēsia), really doesn't lend itself to a leadership gathering but more towards the whole church. That's the first point. The second is this procedure does not lend itself to tight control over the congregation by the leadership. Anything decided in private can be appealed to the most public configuration of the church and it's leadership, if it is indeed meant as it would seem here, that when you lose the one on one, the two or three on one, you take it to everyone. Since the word can mean the ENTIRE Church, such as the "Church Universal," it can mean a decision can be appealed to the whole of a denomination. This can only be undertaken when individual bodies are responsible to one another, hence, in part I would think, Presbyterian governance, and why I prefer it.

Taking the narrow interpretation favored by church and denominational leadership, that "the church" Christ refers to in disciplinary matters, is THEM, the leadership, there is still this uncomfortable reality. What if the session, who is the church in this formulation is held by someone, either in the session, or being accused before the session, to be wrong. It could be the accused, the accuser, a minority member of the session. Let us go to 1st Timothy 5:
"Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."
The problem would be, that you could conceive of the session as of a Presbyterian church as a constituted court, as described in 1st Corinthians 6, but when that court behaves badly, who is the judge? The court? In the case of session misbehavior, either by one or all of them, the only place for such judgment is the church, because in misbehaving, one would expect that most of the time, they would cover their own misbehavior. 1st Timothy 5 then becomes a "never use" procedure, which I constantly refer to as the "emergency stop" of the movie "Spaceballs." (If you ever saw it, you remember that the "emergency stop" was labeled with a tag that said "never use.")

So of necessity then, the court of last resort in the immediate area of the church, is the church body itself, at the very least, because the issue of Elder misconduct is the province of the church as a whole. The discipline of the Elder, is to be public, for the specific reason that it serves as a warning to all. The church will publicly deal with it's highest leaders, and punish them publicly which is a statement that no man's power exceeds the rules of the church. The rules of the church as both Christ and Paul laid them out.

It may be that "going before the church" is going before the session, but if the session is questioned, as it is in my recent encounter with them, the battle goes before the church. Herein is the problem, because the denomination (and most of them for that matter) teach THEY are the court of last resort, not the congregation, and the congregation, eager to be uninvolved in the matter, assent to that. In trying to take the issue to the congregation, the congregation viscerally rejects hearing the case, and becomes angry, and the session becomes indignant, and then starts massively bending rules, such as deciding in private, receiving anonymous accusations and then employing the sword of civil authority, to enforce their views. How can this be the public process of Matthew 18 where accusers go in person, the courts of 1st Corinthians 6, which are to be used instead of the shame of public ones and the center ring keel-hauling of the elders? It's not. But that's the way things have gone.

The result of this is moral failings are not aired out in public, which is consistent with "confessing your sins one to another" and doctrinal questions don't get dealt with. Doctrinal failing on the part of an individual is "heresy." The session Polices membership, assigns the name heresy to doctrine, the member cannot be a member, or is thrown out of membership in private tribunals, and there can be no questioning of doctrine. We get then Westminster Confessions of Faith thrown in our faces, and while the Bible is supposed to be the final word, the real final word is the WCF vision of what the Bible says, and it can never be questioned, or you sin, and you're thrown out and the congregation doesn't want to hear it.

Why then haven't we reformed anything lately (Semper Reformanda)? Because you can't get anything past the guard dogs of the denomination, and the denominations as a whole, would prefer to sleep. The snarling reaction of my congregation this week which essentially was "I don't want to be involved," proving why we, as conservative reformed people, are dying out. Some estimates are that there are less that 700,000 in the United States and some of the larger denominations in this country are actually comprised of ethnic Koreans, evangelized and convinced, who have moved to this country. That's about 10% of conservative reformed Presbyterian membership all by itself. We stay perpetually stuck in the confessional mode, swearing to authorities like the WCF. Functionally speaking though, if anything is wrong with the WCF or various other reformation era catechisms or confessions, there is no way to change them unless what we do is destroy our faith, as theologically liberal denominations have done.

None of what happened this week was really a surprise. The minor details of exact procedure and speed of action could be said to be mildly surprising. I knew for instance, that the church would "Go G" on me, I just didn't know exactly how. I was fully expecting to be served, at work, with a restraining order. It just worked out a little differently than that.
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