Monday, September 29, 2014
10th Anniversary: Michaelmas
have not posted on this 10th Anniversary year of this blog
lately. But Michaelmas, the Feast
of Michael and All Angels, today brings back memories of times in Oxford and
Cambridge as it has before. For
Michaelmas marks the beginning of the academic years of those two great
universities (Hence, both name their Autumn terms “Michaelmas term”.), and I’ve
shared in the excitement of that in 2007 and 2011.
was particularly auspicious as I spent Michaelmas weekend in Cambridge when the
University was just starting the academic year. (Cambridge starts a week
earlier than Oxford, where I was studying.) It was excellent attending services at King’s College and a
Michaelmas service at Little St. Mary’s. The whole weekend recharged my batteries and restored my joy before returning and diving into the taxing work of Oxford’s Michaelmas Term.
still prompts me to dream of England, particularly Oxford, as I indeed
literally did again last night.
suspect I will be in Cambridge and Oxford with anticipation again one
Labels: Cambridge, life, Michaelmas, Oxford, this blog
Thursday, September 25, 2014
The Big Announcement: Pilot Point is Published! UPDATED
two weeks ago, I gave you a shameless tease. Now I am ready to make the big announcement. My novel Pilot Point is published and available!
you can tell from looking at some past posts, the road of writing and publishing
Pilot Point has been a long and
winding one indeed. It began
decades ago in the days before the internet and self-publishing was viable and
before Anglicanism and the Book of Common
Prayer got its hold on me.
long road was providential as I greatly improved Pilot Point with a strong Anglican flavor, even weaving the Book of Common Prayer through it. Also, the novel has become an interesting
timepiece, still set in the late 20th Century along I-20 in West
Texas and in North Denton County, Texas.
As in much of life, events did not transpire as I would have
wished. (I strove to get an
earlier version of the novel published in the 90’s and had strong and reputable
support in so doing.) But when I
look back, I can see the gentle, strong hand of God’s providence. He has proved himself an excellent
editor, if you will.
novel itself somewhat defies description and genre. I am not aware of anything out there quite like it, which is
fine as I do not want to duplicate another’s work. I venture that it is best described as a literary novel with
both a strong Texas and Anglican flavor.
novel follows the orphan Clayton Hays and friends he gains as they struggle
with loss and fear in the midst of a Texas drought. It is a simple story, but one in which I think readers will
find much depth.
read it for yourself. Pilot Point is available at Amazon at a
nice discount. Or you can buy it
direct from the publisher (but no discount there). I will announce when it is available in Kindle form.
for your prayers and support, and feel free at ask questions in the comments.
UPDATED: My announcement is so big, Eric Holder is
trying to upstage it. The nerve!
Labels: Eric Holder, Pilot Point, writing
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Environmental Totalitarianism UPDATED
think I should state right off the top that I believe in taking responsible
measures to protect the environment and to conserve nature and wildlife.
Further, I have taken measures on my own land at personal cost so to do.
as long time readers know, I also oppose all forms of totalitarianism. And the environmental movement has
become pretty much become just another face of Leftism with a strong streak of
totalitarianism. The words of a prominent
spokesman, Robert Kennedy, Jr., illustrate this very well:
Kennedy Jr. accused
skeptical politicians of “selling out the public trust.” “Those guys are doing
the Koch Brothers bidding and are against all the evidence of the rational
mind, saying global warming does not exit. They are contemptible human beings.
I wish there were a law you could punish them with. I don’t think there is a
law that you can punish those politicians under.”
Kennedy saved his most
venomous comments for the Koch Brothers, accusing them of “treason” for
“polluting our atmosphere.”
“I think it’s treason. Do
I think the Koch Brothers are treasonous, yes I do,” Kennedy explained.
“They are enjoying making
themselves billionaires by impoverishing the rest of us. Do I think they should
be in jail, I think they should be enjoying three hots and a cot at the Hague
with all the other war criminals,” Kennedy declared.
“Do I think the Koch
brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is a
criminal offense and they ought to be serving time for it,” he added.
you want something really toxic, look at what Kennedy and his totalitarian ilk
are doing to this country.
case you think Robert Kennedy Jr. is a one-off, the climate change protests
were swarming with totalitarians.
See for yourself.
Labels: environment, Leftists, totalitarians
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Our Lady of Perpetual Litigation Declines a 2nd Term
Presiding “Bishop” of THE Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori has
announced that she will not seek a second term. Perhaps she thought she had done enough damage already.
so, she certainly won’t admit it.
In her letter to the
church, the Presiding Bishop cited the accomplishments of her tenure noting first
her “relational work”, which was “fundamental to the reconciliation we seek in
Christ. As bridges are built, more and more people can begin to cross the
divides between us, and God’s dream begins to take flesh in a more just and
citing her “relational work” towards “reconciliation” is beyond laughable. Other than her heresies, the hallmark
of her tenure has been vindictive litigation against parishes and dioceses that
could no longer conscientiously stay in her apostate “church.” She well earned the moniker, Our Lady of Perpetual Litigation. She
increased the lawsuits engaged in by TEC at least five times.
even torpedoed amicable negotiations toward settlements, preferring to sue
instead. The most famous instance
of this was in the Diocese of Virginia.
Bishop Lee was close to a settlement until Schori barged in. In his words at the time, “there is a
new sheriff in town.”
heresies and arrogance sped the demise of The Episcopal Church. People have flooded out. Five dioceses have left. The last of those five, South Carolina,
she practically forced out by an absurd and patently dishonest deposition of
Bishop Mark Lawrence. Oh, have I
mentioned all her depositions of the faithful?
I could go on. But Katharine Jefferts
Schori has indeed done enough damage to The Episcopal Church already. May she enjoy her retirement. A very warm destination awaits.
Labels: Schori, The Episcopal Church
Monday, September 22, 2014
Wouldn’t It Be Nice . . .
. . If the Snooze Media paid half as much attention to Obama’s scandals, such
as IRS targeting, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, etc. etc. as they are to
attacking the NFL?
the Democrat News Media’s priorities are a bit off.
Labels: Democrat News Media, news media, NFL
Friday, September 19, 2014
Giving the Scots their Due
what I find most interesting from last night was a certain episode in Glasgow. Ten instances of voter fraud were
discovered. Contrast the response
to what would (not) happen in the U. S.:
Police launched an
investigation after the city’s council alerted them to 10 suspected cases of
voters impersonating other people, allowing them to complete two ballot papers.
Under British law, voters are not required to present identification when they
take part in an election.
Stewart Hosie, SNP
Treasury spokesman at Westminster, said it was “very sad that people feel the
need to engage in any kind of impersonation”, adding: “I think that’s a daft
thing to do. The ballot papers have been identified, they will be taken away
and fingerprinted, the police will do their job and I’m sure whoever has done
it will be caught and sentenced….”
made no secret of my disdain for the Leftist politics of Scotland. But at least they actually oppose and vigorously
seek to punish election fraud.
contrast with the ruling political party in the U. S. is stark indeed.
Labels: Scotland, vote fraud
Thursday, September 18, 2014
More on the Hannah Overton Ruling
Yesterday morning, I greatly rejoiced in the overturning of Hannah Overton’s absurd
murder conviction. Now I’ve had
some time to digest it. With the
caveat that I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, I find the following
Colloff, who has done a praiseworthy job of following this story through the
years, posted a good summary of the case and of the ruling yesterday evening. If you are not familiar with this case,
I would definitely start there.
think the opinions themselves are also well worth reading. And they are neither long nor hard to
The lead opinion, to which the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed by a 7-2
margin, pointedly overturns the conviction on narrow grounds as conservative
appeals judges are wont to do.
Judge Lawrence Meyers writes that Overton’s Defense greatly erred in not
presenting Dr. Michael Moritz, an expert on salt poisoning and pica, to testify.
He contends this omission meets the tests of determining ineffective counsel,
and then in effect says that’s all we need to rule.
the conclusion is rather pointed in saying what is left unsaid:
Because we are granting
relief on Applicant’s first claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, there
is no need for us to address the second issue of whether the State failed to
disclose exculpatory evidence. We reverse Applicant’s conviction and remand her
case to the trial court for a new trial.
very interesting concurring opinion by three of the judges just as pointedly
says the unsaid. It in effect says
that the issue of ineffective counsel is enough to rule, but we are going to
talk about the prosecution anyway. In their own words:
The majority does not
address applicant’s Brady claims because it grants relief based on one of her
ineffective assistance of counsel claims. It is helpful, however, to place that
ineffective-assistance claim within the broader context of applicant’s claims
concerning the fundamental unfairness of her trial.
they are withering in critiquing the conduct of the prosecution in the Overton
trial, especially in withholding exculpatory (Brady) evidence from the Defense. They certainly do not hold much back on
the subject of lead prosecutor Sandra Eastwood:
At the habeas hearing, the
lead prosecutor conceded that, during this 2007 trial, she was an alcoholic who
was also taking prescription diet pills that affected her memory. She was later
fired by the District Attorney (who had been the second-chair prosecutor during
this trial) for unrelated ethical violations. During the habeas hearing, the
prosecutor repeated seventy-two times that she did not recall or did not know
the answers to questions concerning the investigation or trial of applicant.
She could not remember documents that she had written during the trial and did
not recognize her handwriting; she did not remember writing the e-mails that
came from her e-mail address, nor receiving other e-mails at that address; she
could not remember if she saw any vomit when she previewed the evidence with
one of applicant’s counsel before trial, and she did not remember asking the
police to have it tested.
prosecutor (later appointed as the District Attorney by the Governor) testified
that the lead prosecutor told her that “she would do anything it would take to
get an advantage over the Defense,” including sending a “spy” to applicant’s
church group to learn the defense strategy. The second-chair prosecutor
testified that the lead prosecutor was not ethical and was “not truthful.” She
said that the lead prosecutor told her that no vomit samples had been saved as
evidence. She said that she was “concerned with the fact that [the lead
prosecutor] was violating the Court’s orders.”
that’s for starters. Again, I am
not a lawyer. But I find it
remarkable the three appeals judges feel it right so to call out the
prosecution when that was not necessary to make the ruling in question. It is safe to say that they were
provoked by the egregious misconduct of the Nueces County D.A.’s office.
only that, the three question (page 2) the jury instructions issued by trial
judge Jose Longoria, although they do not mention him by name. Those instructions have also been an
issue through the years. They
certainly contributed to the over-the-top verdict of guilty of capital murder.
for the two judges who dissented, this is the last straw for me. If they are so blind as to think
Overton received a fair trial….
Given their short opinion, they hardly seem to care and hardly address
the issues raised by the majority.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is elected. And I will never vote for Judges Keller
(aka Sharon Killer) and Keasler again.
I counsel all Texans to do likewise when the time comes.
ball is now in the court, if you will, of the current Nueces County District
Attorney, Mark Skurka. His options
range from trying Ms. Overton for capital murder again to dismissing all
charges against her.
Overton has already served seven years in prison for a crime she did not
commit. Even if she was criminally
negligent in the death of Andrew Burd – and that is a big “if” not at all
supported by the body of evidence – seven years is certainly more than enough
to serve for that.
Mark Skurka did not do the right thing when her conviction was appealed. He now has the opportunity to make some
amends. Mark Skurka should dismiss
all charges against Hannah Overton post
am among those who will be watching his conduct closely. Eight years of injustice from the
Nueces County D. A.’s office is enough.
Labels: Hannah Overton, prosecutorial misconduct, Texas