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Where Are The Noblemen?


Where Are the Noble Men and Women?

Noble –  possessing, characterized by, or arising from superiority of mind or character or of ideals or morals : <a noble ambition>

What does a noble man or woman look like?

While talking with a man today, I asked him what he thought about Texas being an independent nation versus continuing as a subject of an abusive federal government. His answer was pretty typical, “Oh, I’d be fine with either.” He immediately expressed his opinion that at least under the status quo there is some level of “things are working OK”.

That’s when I brought up a short list of the tyranny of the status quo: the continued devaluation of property and earnings through fiat currency and the FED, our every communication being captured and held for use against us, never ending crisis and calls for entangling Texans in foreign affairs that are none of our business and which cause peoples around the globe to hate us, and the use of every faction of the centralist government to nullify the policies and laws Constitutionally established by vote of the people of Texas. Then I reminded him of the abject failure of elected officials of Texas to “stand and fight” against the federal tyranny.

I bet several TNMers can predict how this gentleman responded.

You guessed it, he said, “Oh, I am with you brother! I am in agreement with everything you just said.”

Where is the noble man?

Where is the man or woman who has the character superior to the example of the above cited interaction?

This is, in the estimation of those within my community, a fine upstanding man. But yet, a man who sees the injustice and enslavement not only he suffers under, but also the injustice and enslavement he is leaving for his kids and grandkids to suffer under, and accepts it without a struggle save his hallowed “Anti-Establishment vote”.

Yet, I remember just a few short years ago, when I too gathered under the “mother hen” political movement to effect change in the federal government. I have not always acted noblely, of the highest character. And here I am, joined in lockstep with noble men and women in the Texas Nationalist Movement, working to awaken others to nobility of character.

There is hope! There is purpose and reason to continue reaching out to others not yet convinced that Texas independence is the solution to the tyranny we are under.

I’ve gotten “here” among the noble!

I am observing how noble men and women “draw a line in the sand” and invite others to join them on the side of right and liberty; and I am emulating these persons of nobility.

Things must have seemed confusing and “hopeless” to Stephen, in New Testament times, while facing those gathered to stone him to death for his noble stand. Yet, from his stand, Saul became Paul, a champion of the cause Stephen died for.

We, as reiterated at Texicon, have the opportunity to “live” for a noble cause, a free and independent Texas. We must do no less!

Dewhurst Swings Hard At Patrick During Debate

by Morgan Smith

The first televised debate in the increasingly bitter Republican runoff for Texas lieutenant governor featured testy exchanges between incumbent David Dewhurst and challenger Dan Patrick, who frequently attacked each other personally while sparring over topics like immigration policy and last summer’s anti-abortion legislation.

Dewhurst, at one point calling a Patrick statement about the budget a “baldfaced lie,” used the opportunity to continue attacks from his campaign ads, painting Patrick as dishonest and slamming him for a personal bankruptcy.

“This man is divorced from reality,” Dewhurst said, adding later, “Dan has a reputation in the Senate as a whiner, he’s a victim, that’s why he’s saying everything [that] we are saying is not true.”

Patrick, a Houston state senator and the frontrunner in the race, said he was “not going to let the lieutenant governor stand here and mislead the voters.”

He also criticized Dewhurst for failing to prevent last summer’s filibuster of anti-abortion legislation, which launched state Sen. Wendy Davis‘s gubernatorial candidacy.

Had Dewhurst displayed the proper leadership, Patrick said, “we wouldn’t have Wendy Davis as a rock star today and Texas with a target on our back from millionaires,” across the country.

The winner of the May 27 runoff will face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte, a San Antonio state senator, in the general election.

Gay Rights Push Shifts Its Focus South and West

The country’s leading gay rights groups and donors, after a decade focused on legalizing same-sex marriage, are embarking on a major drive to win more basic civil rights and workplace protections in Southern and Western states where the rapid progress of the movement has largely eluded millions of gay men and lesbians.

The effort will shift tens of millions of dollars in the next few years to what advocates described as the final frontier for gay rights: states like Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas and Texas, where Republicans dominate elected office and traditional cultural views on homosexuality still prevail.

The new strategy reflects the growing worry within the movement that recent legal and political successes have formed two quickly diverging worlds for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Americans: one centered on the coasts and major cities, and another stretching across the South and up through the Rocky Mountains, in states where gays enjoy virtually no legal protections against discrimination.

“We can’t allow two distinct gay Americas to exist,” said Tim Gill, a Colorado philanthropist whose foundation is putting about $25 million into a handful of mostly conservative-leaning states over the next five years. “Everybody should have the same rights and protections regardless of where they were born and where they live.”

The push is likely to encounter resistance. Gay rights groups will be engaging in communities where churches and other religious institutions are tightly woven into daily life, and where efforts to expand civil rights protections to gays are sometimes viewed as an attack on people of faith.

“Mississippi has the highest church attendance per capita in the nation,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “People have strong convictions based on faith. It’s not an opinion. It is their understanding of religious truth. And they are not going to walk away from it just because it’s unpopular.”  Continue reading here.

To Kill? Or Not to Kill?

As executions decline in Texas, a small-town prosecutor decides whether to seek the death penalty.

by Maurice Chammah

One morning in August 2011, Matagorda County District Attorney Steven Reis drove out to a crime scene at a remote, secluded farmhouse. A 78-year-old man named Glen Sam Prinzing had been found dead at his property on the edge of Markham, a town of a thousand residents 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and about 90 miles southwest of Houston.

The barn was several hundred yards off the main road. Reis drove with sheriff’s deputies over a bumpy dirt path, across an empty field, and past where yellow police tape cut through thick brush. It was a hot, sticky day, and Reis saw that the vegetation had tangled over all manner of rusting old junk: cars, a tractor, a refrigerator. They crossed a plank of wood placed as a makeshift walkway over a pool of muddy water. Reis, wandering into the farmhouse, saw several vintage motorcycles, some dating to World War II. They had mostly fallen into disrepair. The word “hoarder” came to mind.

Known to his friends as Sammy, Prinzing was a reclusive collector and avid Bible reader keeping up his family’s old rice farm. The day before, a neighbor had realized he hadn’t seen Sammy in several days and walked over to the farmhouse, where he found the body. At Prinzing’s age, natural causes would have been a plausible theory, but there was no doubt that something else was responsible: Prinzing’s head showed signs of blunt force trauma. Someone had beaten him to death.

Reis was called because he prosecutes murder cases in this area of southeast Texas, and he likes to see the crime scene firsthand. Seeing the scene helps him ask witnesses more informed questions if the case goes to trial. The sheriff’s deputies said that the motive appeared to be robbery. They deduced that someone had taken a metal rod and hit Prinzing in the head while he lay sleeping and then made off with some of the farm’s more valuable items. If that conjecture proved correct, the death penalty—eligible only for defendants who commit murder in conjunction with another crime such as robbery or sexual assault—would be an option.

But who even knew that Prinzing, living on his remote farm, had items to steal? The murder of a man with few friends and fewer enemies left little for law enforcement to investigate. Over the next few weeks, local deputies, Texas Rangers and Department of Public Safety investigators looked for clues and chased down leads. They found bloody fingerprints on the barn door but couldn’t match them to anyone. After a while, the case went cold.

Nearly two years later, in July 2013, a drifter named Robert Kotlar, while strung out on drugs, admitted to an acquaintance—who would become an anonymous tipster—that the authorities might be looking for him because he and two accomplices had broken into a farmhouse several years before and killed its owner. Kotlar was arrested for a parole violation at his home in El Campo, about 25 miles from Markham. His fingerprints matched the ones found on Prinzing’s barn door.  Continue reading here.

Judge in same-sex divorce case rules Texas gay marriage ban unconstitutional

A state district judge in Texas has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, “paving the way for a San Antonio couple’s divorce proceedings and subsequent child custody battle to continue.”

In a ruling issued Tuesday, Judge Barbara Nellermoe identified three portions of the Texas Family Code as unconstitutional, as well as Section 32 of the Texas Constitution, reports the San Antonio Express-News.

The ruling comes in response to a challenge filed by a lesbian couple married in Washington D.C., in 2010 and who are now seeking a divorce in Texas. One parent is seeking sole custody of their child, conceived through artificial insemination, while the other parent is seeking joint custody.

Because Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, there’s also no legal avenue available to pursue a divorce, and in such cases where the state does not recognize the couple’s marriage, the child is only considered legally the child of the birth mother.

But in her ruling, Nellermoe wrote that such a practice violates the Equal Protection Clause.

“By denying their parents the right to marry, Texas has created a suspect classification of children who are denied equal protection of the law under the Fourteenth Amendment,” Nellermoe wrote.

Citing a federal judge’s decision in February striking down Texas’ same-sex marriage ban, Nellermoe wrote that “in a well-reasoned opinion by Judge Orlando Garcia, the federal district court found that a state cannot do what the federal government cannot — that is, it cannot discriminate against same-sex couples.”

It was not immediately clear if the ruling would be appealed, but observers said an appeal was likely.

Late Wednesday, the State Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to intervene in the case, saying: “The state of Texas seeks the opportunity to defend its laws and statutes before this court.”

Nellermoe’s ruling does not have any broader effect for same-sex couples seeking to marry unless an appellate court makes a ruling on it, says Emily Hecht-McGowan, director of public policy at the Family Equality Council.

A separate same-sex divorce case involving couples from Austin and Dallas was argued before the state Supreme Court in November but the court has yet to issue a ruling.

Ex-wife of former Madisonville officer testifies that he had drugs planted in her vehicle

By Maggie Kiely

Brazos County jurors on Wednesday heard from the ex-wife of a former Madisonville police sergeant on trial for allegedly planting methamphetamine on the woman he twice married.

Jeffrey Covington’s ex-wife testified that when she was arrested in November 2011 after a Texas DPS trooper pulled her over and found drugs in a magnetic key holder under her vehicle, she immediately suspected Covington was somehow responsible.

“Is this because of my ex-husband?” Laura Covington could be heard asking the trooper in a video of her arrest played for jurors on the second day of Jeff Covington’s trial. The pair was first married in 2004, then legally separated and remarried before being divorced for a second time in December 2010.

The defendant was indicted in February 2013 on felony charges of delivery of a controlled substance, obstruction or retaliation and official oppression, and is accused of working with another former Madisonville officer, Justin Barham, to have a police informant plant drugs on Laura Covington.

The trial was moved to Brazos County based on change of venue requests from the state and the defense granted by Judge Donald Kraemer of the 12th District Court.

As the result of her arrest, Laura Covington said her two older children were taken away from her for more than a month after Jeff Covington, their father, informed a judge she was arrested and requested temporary custody. At the time, she said, she was about seven months pregnant with her third child whom the defendant is not the father of.

The drug possession charge against Laura Covington was dismissed based on a lack of evidence.

Through their questioning, prosecutors have asserted that Jeff Covington’s motive in planting the drugs was to gain custody of the couple’s two children, whom Laura Covington said rarely saw their father even though he had visitation rights. In November 2012, he voluntarily terminated his parental rights, stating that he believed it was in “the best interest of the children,” according to court documents presented during the trial.

Based on evidence from the state, including testimony from Covington’s OB-GYN, Laura Covington did not use drugs during her pregnancy, though she did admit on cross-examination to using methamphetamine on a regular basis in 2010.

Assistant attorney generals David Glickler and Jonathan White, who were appointed to prosecute the case after Madison County District Attorney Brian Risinger recused his office, rested their case late in the day. Bryan-based attorney Jim James will begin presenting the defense’s case Thursday morning.  Continue reading here.

Wendy Davis spokesman resigns amid campaign struggles

BY: Ashe Schow

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis‘s spokesman and deputy communications director has resigned, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Bo Delp, who had been with the Davis campaign for eight months, and was originally the communications director, said he was “proud of the work” he had done for the campaign and that it was an “honor” to work for Davis.

“I am proud of the work I have done, and know that my successor will continue to build on my successes, and my mistakes, to do what is necessary to win in November,” Delp said in his resignation letter, according to the Express-News.

Earlier this year, amid campaign struggles – including a “blurring” of the facts surrounding her life story – Davis reorganized her communications department. The campaign hired Zac Petkanas, a former communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and demoted Delp to deputy director.

That apparently ended this week, when Delp resigned to “consider a number of other opportunities in Texas Democratic politics,” Petkanas told Express-News.

This is just the latest in a long line of bad news for Davis, including news this week that Democratic Governors Association Chairman Peter Shumlin wasn’t optimistic about her chances of winning.

Authorities Warn ‘Fugitive’ Game Dangerous For Teens

by Stephanie Lucero

It has become an increasingly popular game for teenagers across the country, but authorities worry that the game could lead to participants getting hurt.

In the game, called ‘Fugitives’, teenagers divide into two groups, ‘cops’ and ‘fugitives’. If you’re a cop, the goal is to catch the fugitives and transport them back to jail — often by car.

But residents are becoming concerned that some of the teenagers are putting themselves at risk by playing the game at night.

“When I was growing up, we didn’t play in other people’s yards at night because somebody might come out with a gun,” said Trophy Club resident Sally Masters.

Law enforcement officials agree, though they do admit that the game is not illegal.

“[Residents] could mistake them for a burglar, and bad things can happen when that occurs,” said Trophy Club Commander Lee Delk.

Teenagers are using Twitter to organize their games, and many believe that the game poses no threat at all.

One of the local organizers sent CBS 11 a letter, saying the game actually encourages kids not to do drugs or drink alcohol.

Law enforcement agencies are just concerned that the games could get out of hand.

See video here.

Mediation ordered by federal judge over lawyer bills for Farmers Branch immigration litigation


Litigation over a failed ordinance against illegal immigration in Farmers Branch drew lawyers roughly accustomed to $370 to $800 an hour.

The tally for pending bills is about $3.1 million for three rounds of appeals for the winning teams of attorneys, as we reported here earlier this week. Under federal rules of civil procedures, “reasonable” costs go to the prevailing legal teams. That would be the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, two units of the ACLU and the pro-bono unit of the Dallas corporate law firm Bickel & Brewer.

U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle ordered all parties into mediation by no later than May 31, 2014. That’s a bit past the May 10th mayoral and council elections in this suburb just north of Dallas.

All sides will face retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeff Kaplan, who now works with a private Dallas-based mediation and arbitration service.

Already the city of Farmers Branch has shelled out $6.1 million in illegal immigration-related costs. About $850,000 was spent on the city’s defense in two Voting Rights Act suits. The last suit was won by 10 angry Hispanic plaintiffs and resulted in a federal judge ordering single-member electoral districts. That resulted in the first Mexican-American ever to sit on the city council.

Nevertheless, in August of 2013, the City Council voted 3-to-2 to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court turned down the appeal this past March, letting stand early rulings that the ordinance was unconstitutional.

In her mediation order, the federal judge notes, in a footnote, there’s Supreme Court guidance on fee awards and the effective top rate of “more than $866 per hour” was not consistent with prevailing market rates.

Read more below on the federal order:

VillasMediation Order 2014

Trial rescheduled for alleged Barrio Azteca gang member facing death penalty

By Adriana M. Chávez

The trial of an alleged Barrio Azteca gang member who faces the death penalty in separate slayings has been rescheduled for late May, court records show.

Fidencio Valdez, 34, is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Ralph Tucker, 51, on Thanksgiving Day 2010, and Julio Barrios, 18, on Dec. 10, 2010. Valdez’s trial was originally scheduled to begin this week, but has been postponed until May 27.

State prosecutors and defense attorneys are still selecting potential jurors. The jury selection in state death penalty cases usually begin with a jury “papering” process in which hundreds of jurors are summoned to the courthouse to fill out an extensive questionnaire. The papering process in Valdez’s trial began in October.

A second jury pool is then selected based on the questionnaire, and prospective jurors are called into court one by one to answer questions by defense attorneys, prosecutors and the judge presiding over the case.

El Paso County sheriff’s deputies arrested Valdez, nicknamed “Filo,” in connection with Tucker’s death at a strip club, Sal’s Lounge, in the 11400 block of Gateway East near Horizon City. Three other people — Louis Michael Capano, Santiago De Leon Jr. and Priscilla Chavez — also were arrested in connection with Tucker’s death.

Trial dates for Chavez and De Leon are pending. Capano was found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

On Dec. 10, 2010, Valdez allegedly shot and killed Barrios on Tropicana Avenue in Northeast El Paso during an apparent drug deal, El Paso police said at the time. Valdez is also accused of shooting at Barrios’ girlfriend and uncle, who were trying to help Barrios.

Valdez’ trial will take place in the 384th District Court before Judge Patrick Garcia.