Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don't you feel bad now?

Now look at that precious face! And to think this bird is cooking in that hot oven of yours getting all juicy and all ready to make a nice Thanksgiving dinner.

or you could do like my good friend Josh Blue up in Boston and they're saving a Turkey's life today by eating Steak. I think he's channeling his inner Texas myself.

All of you have a Grand Thanksgiving Day and be thankful for all you have, all you don't have and be content. If we'd all be more content with the simple things of life, we would be happier and relaxed folks.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Joie de Vivre is having lagniappe in your Gumbo then going to the Fais Do Do

This morning I'm celebrating my cajun heritage in preparation for some friends coming over to see "Janis". The artist who created Janis is coming as well. I hope everyone loves Janis as much as I do.

I've got Recycled Cajuns playing in the background with the smells of andouille sausage and file in the air.

After we have good food and good company, we're heading out to the Oasis to listen to Seth Walker, one of my favorite musicians whose based here in Austin. He's actually from North Carolina(looks at Ted) and you can see where he gets his blues heart from. I'm hoping the Time Machine is there so I can go pick up my good friends Becks and Bobbers so they can enjoy our last time there.
Becks, ya have your dancing shoes on cos I'll be there to pick you up around 7:30pm tonight!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Always a Soldier

** (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
The Memorial Wall taken at
the Ceremonial and Commemorative Site in Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Exeter, R.I.

A Moment of Thanks to all those who served and are still serving our country to make us safe and free.

We call them Vets but they're always considered soldiers to me. They gave willingly and graciously and with honor. Today I have many thanks to them for giving me the freedom to be able to have the freedom of speech and my own opinions to have this blog.

Thank You Ladies and Gentlemen for serving our Country.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Justice or Fairness?

When you work in the juvenile justice field, you find yourself seeking justice for the victims....but then as you get to know the juveniles, you find yourself seeking fairness in the justice which is hard to come by.

I've come across a story of a young man who made a bad decision in how to make money. Roddy Pippin had not been in trouble ever but he was having a hard time finding a job and fell into an "easy" way to make some money: Cattle-rustling. No, this story isn't set out in the 1800's. It is a modern day story none other place than Texas. Now Roddy is a baby-face kid and was doing Jesse James work. Perhaps he had no intentions of doing it forever...or maybe he just got caught up in the money. Whatever the reason, he continued till he got caught. He got caught and gave up the names of his 8 other accomplices who were all older than him. But guess who got the harsher sentence? Roddy. He was given 4 separate two-year state jail sentences which totaled 8 years. For him to receive a sentence like that and not allow them to run concurrently?? But for him to not at least have a chance at probation?? I think Roddy's mother even offered to pay back restitution over a period of time...but NOOOOOOOOOO...this was North Texas plains where staunch republicans wear 20 gallon hats, carry their guns on their hips, spit tobacco and make polite talk to the women while they gawk them down.

You say...well Roddy will get parole right?? Nope. You see, state jail sentences in Texas are as parole. But there was hope. Well apparently, Roddy applied and finally he got shock probation and they let him out to serve the rest of his time on a monitor at home. Two sweet years later, Roddy has been revoked and sent back to prison due to some technical violation of which has not been made known.

Now you wonder why I'm even talking about this....the issue at hand right now is Roddy has a severe case of diabetes that none of the prisons could medically take care of him when he was in there last of course, he and his family are concerned that he will not get the care that he's been getting out here in the free world. Well, you say, he shouldn't have violated his terms...but THAT is my question....I've seen parolees/probation be revoked for things that should not send someone back to prison....instead the officer could have attempted to find solutions in the community to help rehabilitate. Because Prison does NOT rehabilitate. And isn't that what we want??? These people to come out NOT wanting to commit crimes??

Now I'm all about justice. But more importantly I've learned that Justice does not include Fairness.

So I haven't gotten off the fence on this issue yet...not sure until I learn "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey says. But if Roddy was sent on a technical issue....I'm pretty sure which side I'll be on.

***EDIT I know how to get traffic here...just post about criminals in Texas.
Ok so facts are slowly coming in and making more sense HOWEVER I still don't agree with what took place. Make sure you who read this and want to comment that I really am NOT focusing on Pippin's medical condition. That's his lawyer's fight not mine.

My ONLY concern here was how I thought the plea bargain he agreed to was not appropriate.
Now so for the record:
Pippin committed possibly 40+ crimes of stealing cattle(I dont actually think there is cattle rustling crime anymore on the Penal Code books) so basically a bunch of state jail Felony's. For those of you who don't understand penal code lingo, here is the State Jail Felony code that most likely applies to Pippin:
(4) a state jail felony if:
(A) the value of the property stolen is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, or the property is less than 10 head of cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic fowl as defined by Section 142.001, Agriculture Code, or any part thereof under the value of $20,000, or less than 100 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $20,000;

So many of the charges were dismissed, most likely due to insufficient evidence or just part of the plea bargain...which left Pippin agreeing to pleaing guilty to 4 separate counts of Theft State Jail Felony which led him to receiving 4 two-year sentences to be served after the other.

After Pippin served one of the two-year sentences, he applied for a received shock probation for one of the sentences apparently due to his medical condition.

While on shock probation, he made a video of which the DA is making allegations that he made it out of his area he was allowed to be. Pippin's lawyers rebuttal says they didn't as they made it on his mother's land which was his area.

His shock probation time ended so now he had to turn himself into the jail so he could be transported back to prison for his other 2 terms. Now his lawyers are pleading his case again for shock probation in December again based on his medical condition.

He was not given the chance at probation or restitution because the ranchers who are the victims of the crimes did not agree to this. And this was a recent letter as well so it keeps being brought up but they still say no. MY POINT is simply WHY NOT? Now if while Pippin has been out on Shock Probation, he wasn't given the opportunity to pay restitution, you can't blame him for not paying it.

And I don't care that he's been going to church all this time. I know criminals and offenders do this ploy.

My only issue is if he did at least one of those two year stints and didn't get into any trouble while out on his 2nd term on Shock Probation...why shouldn't he be given the chance to finish both of the other terms in the free. If I were his probation officer, I'd be giving him tons of assignments and making him be accountable; starting with community service in something that I THOUGHT he needed to be a part of. I'd make him have a job and put aside savings to show me so if at some point, the ranchers were willing to take restitution, they would have it.

Funny thing is, my juvenile probationers used to call me Hard Ass...but they knew I was fair and gave them a shot at doing the right thing after they fucked up.
I'm done with posting about this now and will be posting new today. I just found it funny how new people showed up here and I rarely get a hit on this thing.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

God is Great, Beer is Good, (some)People are Crazy

This Ranger friend of mine loves this song and sings it almost unconsciously when he's around...but with the past week of tragedy, it really just fits. But I have to say that amidst when tragedy occurs, those around come to the rescue and do the right thing. My Red Sox groups that I've become friends with are like that. We formed a bond...we have something very passion in common. So when one of our own has trouble and we can do something, we try.

It's what happened when at Ft. Hood this week an enlisted soldier who for reasons still unknown took the lives of other enlisted soldiers and one civilian who worked to help enlisted soldiers. That story was the Headlines in papers and television crews across the nation. But what happened next is REALLY the news.

You have officers risking their lives for others, people making bandages and stretchers out of whatever they could to help those wounded, you have hundreds coming to the hospitals to give blood even if they didn't know any of the victims, you have soldiers going to visit the wounded soldiers in the hospital even if they don't know the soldiers, and before you know it, each community that the fallen came from will rise up and have a benefit in that person's ask how can I know this?? I'm watching and reading and seeing every single day someone new doing something to help.

so in reality that song is partially's only some of the people are crazy and cause us pain....the rest of us clean up the mess they made and restore our faith in humanity and God.

Cos it's what we do.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Superman Ain't Got Nuttin on Mighty Mouse

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Thursday afternoon just north of Austin there were hundreds of those preparing for deployment at the Ft. Hood service center. Families worried about if their loved ones will return from Iraq or Afghanistan. What no one was expecting was to receive 'that phone call' before their loved one left.

So my previous post, I didn't put the 'news' that was reported which we later
found out untrue probably due to reporters not doing a thorough job...but the shooter is still alive but in a coma, unable to tell us WHY.

So far, 13 have died from this tragedy....rumor is the wounded who number over 30 are still not out of harm's way so we could see possibly the death toll to rise. I'm praying not for that to happen.

I'd like to shift the focus on those who Acted during this terrifying incident. Sgt. Kimberly Munley who was a police officer for Ft. Hood Police Department. Married to a Army guy in North Carolina and with a 3 yr old daughter...she may be from North Carolina but she acted in the stereotypical Gutsy Texan Gal way. A brief description but you really need to read about her cos she's a role model for all young girls and women who aspire to work in the field of criminal justice to let them know that size does not matter. She stands about 5'2" but a former co-worker of hers in North Carolina calls her Mighty Mouse because apparently, Kim was no stranger to running to danger.

Slowly stories of heroic acts are coming to light but an overall synopsis of the scene was people were ripping off their shirts to make bandages and tourniquets, breaking table legs off to create stretchers, covering civilians with their bodies, etc.

I'll be posting on the victims as their stories are being told as well. Such a sad sad tragedy. It's already hard to comprehend why someone goes on these sort of rampages and what drives them...but what's difficult for those in the military to accept right now is one of their own turned on them...innocent people who were just working for their country doing what they loved.
The answer Why...may never be enough

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Who's Studying the Studiers?

Sending out Prayers to all those who lost their loved ones today...and Prayers to all those wounded and getting treatment. Rumors flying around. Assumptions are being made. These facts remain: 12 lives (one of which was a civilian police officer) were killed in cold blood by this man and 31 were injured. He acted alone. This man was a Major in the Army and one of our psychiatrists who helped our soldiers in mental health issues. He was born an American. He was not wanting to be deployed.

News reports are saying he's been 'on the radar' for the last six months....due to some internet postings about suicide bombs and threats.

Recently there was a serial killer (registered sex offender) arrested accused of killing about a dozen people as they found bodies in this house. Also, a father and upstanding father in a church killed his family then himself.

I work in the criminal justice field and have been for over 20 years. I try to not be cynical...but it's hard.

EDIT: It had been reported the shooter was dead. But apparently the sick psychiatrist lives and is in stable condition. He was shot 4 times by the same officer...and yet he still lives?

I am not cynical I am not cynical I am not cynical

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Don't Wait Till I Die

**picture pulled off of NESN site

Eric Hurley writes an excellent piece on giving Pedro his due...and Petey's quote is as typical as Petey can be

"I'm pretty sure my name will be mentioned,” Martinez said of his legacy before his Game 6 start against the Yankees in the World Series. “I don't know in which way. But maybe after I retire, because normally when you die, people tend to actually give you props about the good things. But that's after you die. So I'm hoping to get it before I die. I don't want to die and hear everybody say, 'Oh, there goes one of the best players ever.' If you're going to give me props, just give them to me right now."

Eric details how Petey has transformed himself from a pitcher to fear due to his fastball to a pitcher who likes to pinpoint where he's throwing. Eric says "His motto has gone from “I dare you to hit this” to “now you see it, now you don’t.” I like this.

I don't care how Petey left Boston. I really don't care about the fiasco when he allegedly 'threw down' Zimmer. And the whole pointing at the head situation is SO over rated and overhyped up.

Cos you GOTTA love Pedro...he's a comedian of sorts. Of course, he was joking about giving him props before he dies and all....but WAS HE?

But one thing for sure, Petey knows us. He KNOWS us Red Sox fans like the back of his hand. How you ask that I know this??? Well the following comments were made when asked about Red Sox the Peter Abraham's article

"They're special fans and they will always have my respect."


"I know they don't like the Yankees to win, not even in Nintendo games."

DAMN SKIPPY (to quote a fellow Sox fan)

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's the Cliff Chase Lee Utley Show

Lee doing a great job...not as good as Game 1 but so far so good....and Utley? 2 Homeruns so far.

Top of the 8th Phillies on top 8-2 no outs. men on 2nd and 3rd. If Joe Buck don't shut the hell up....ok now 8-4. No Outs. I'm holding on to a prayer the Phillies will too.