As we work on uploading the video from our Monthly meeting this is a video interview with our Speaker from the April meeting, Dr. Laura Pressley.
As we work on uploading the video from our Monthly meeting this is a video interview with our Speaker from the April meeting, Dr. Laura Pressley.
It is indeed a brave new world. Last Sunday morning I was out walking the dog and musing about life when I suddenly realized I had forgotten to bring some paper with me to pick up the dog squeeze. Panic stricken, I knew this could be a major dilemma if I didn’t come up with something quick. Lo and behold, I looked down, and there, lying in some toxic waste in the gutter, was a copy of the Hood County News. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing how lucky I was to find the perfect receptacle for picking up the material that came out of my dog’s business end. After all, I thought, the stuff I am getting ready to pick up will blend right in with what is written in that trash rag.
After picking up the newspaper, I noticed that it was the Saturday, February 6, 2016 edition. As I was opening up the newspaper to contort it into the proper configuration to use as a “pooper scooper,” I happened to open it to page 4A and noticed, under “Letters to the Editor” the headline, “Tea Party Arrogance.”
Well, that certainly got my attention since I am fully aware of how the left wing progressive Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton/George Soros backed commie media loves to trash the Tea Party. The irony here is that the Hood County News, in spite of residing in one of the more conservative demographic areas of the country, is sadly an extension of CNN, MSNBC, Media Matters, MoveOn.org, and all the other left wing liberal spin artists. “Every chance you get,” I thought. The “Sleep Teaching” has taken full effect right here in Hood County.
We recently submitted a few open record requests to our local government in Hood County, Texas. Interestingly enough, even though the default position of the government should be to freely furnish information that is requested by citizens, the default position with the Hood County government is to send all requests to the county attorney first. What does that mean? One might be left with the impression, What in the world are they trying to hide?
To be fair, open, and transparent, below a few of the requests we submitted so you can see for yourself:
To refresh your memory, Kathy Davis-Deaver is our County Treasurer (the one who keeps our money), James Deaver is a County Commissioner (one who spends our money) and Lori Kaspar is our County Attorney (the one who is running interference for the former two officials).
For the record, the following Texas Government Code section spells out the policy with which the government is supposed to comply regarding requests for information:
Sec. 552.001. POLICY; CONSTRUCTION. (a) Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to implement this policy. (Emphasis added).
(b) This chapter shall be liberally construed in favor of granting a request for information.
“Liberally construed in favor of granting a request for information . . . “ What does ‘liberally construed” mean? It means, if in doubt, the government is supposed to give it up.
The five (5) requests, above, simply ask for email communications between folks who are using government owned computers and government communication systems during the time they are on the job. The computers, the communication systems and the employees themselves are paid for by your tax dollars. These employees have no “expectation of privacy” any time they use the government system to email back and forth to each other.
Before we go any further, let us explore the “no expectation of privacy” concept. If you take a look at the Hood County Employee Manual, a manual that is quite lengthy, you will find that all employees are actually informed in writing they have no expectation of privacy when communicating with each other while they are on the job. In addition, the employees are required to sign a statement acknowledging they understand they have “no expectation of privacy” when using the government email system. (See “Hood County Responsible Use Technology Agreement for Employees.” Under the heading “PRIVACY,” it states – “No one can claim a right to privacy and to unrestricted speech in the use of the county’s systems.”). What that means is that when they are at work, on the clock, and doing the work they are hired to do, whatever email communications going back and forth between employees should be limited to work-related communications and should be open and available to the public at all times. Since all their communications are supposed to be work-related, all, not some, but all of that information should be freely discoverable by the public on request. It is too bad for them if someone decides to go rogue on her emails and starts asserting things she doesn’t really want the open public to see.
For your reading pleasure, I reprint in part an email I received from the Hood County Attorney, Lori Kaspar, expressing the county’s stance regarding some of our requests for records. Included is her excuse as to why the county is refusing to produce said records:
Dave – I got the CD with the emails you requested on it from our IT Department today. I’ve been reviewing it for the past several hours because there are close to 1000 emails to review.
There are several emails that I believe contain information confidential by law including employee health information protected by HIPAA. I am also waiting on an answer from our Personnel office regarding whether one employee has requested confidentiality of her personal information or not. I should have a reply by tomorrow.
I’m redacting the protected info and will have a redacted disk ready either tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday. I’m sending copies of both the complete and the redacted files to Attorney General Paxton for his review.
Just so you know, the County Attorney “redacted” nearly half of the 1,000 documents that were responsive to our request. Half of them. That’s 50 percent of them. In a society that expects its government to be an “Open Government” and transparent government, we should receive 99 percent of the information and documents we request, not 50 percent. I put this out there because you, the public, need to know that some folks in our government apparently do not want us to see what they are doing. You are free to draw your own conclusions as to the implications this presents.
Of course, Hillary Clinton decided that some 55,000 of her emails were “confidential” as well and did not want to give them up even though they were emails directly related to her position and her job. Why did Hillary Clinton not want to give up the 55,000 emails at issue? Because there may be information on those emails that could very well get her indicted for criminal activity, criminal activity that she may have been involved in while she was allegedly in the course and scope of her job as the Secretary of State. If she were to be indicted for some sort of criminal acts, it could lead to her eventual conviction for the same acts. “Indictments” and “convictions” are concepts I know our county attorney is quite familiar with.
So, I will close as I opened, What in the world are they trying to hide?
Would you like to know what they are trying to hide? I would. Stay tuned. We are going to give it a go to find out exactly what they are hiding.
Dave Eagle, February 1, 2016
Vice President Hood County TEA Party
Exodus 18:21“Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.
Preface: Since our County Attorney has opted to go toe to toe with me on the issue of Government Sponsored Social Engineering as related to two children’s picture books that advocate the homosexual lifestyle to three-four year old children, below is my response to her Blog Post dated January 16, 2016 entitled “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch – Setting the Record Straight on the Library Issue.” I think a better tag for her piece would be “—Setting the Record Gay on the Library Issue,” but that’s just me.
Parenthetically, I find her “free lunch” comment to be quite an insult coming from a person who receives her paycheck from tax payers’ hard earned money, but I’ll shut up about that and move on to the issue at hand . . .
First of all, please allow me to “set the record straight” on the underlying facts.
Number One: Contrary to the Orwellian spin constantly advanced by the Hood County News, the ultimate issue was not about censorship or banning books, it was about the placement of the books in the library as applied to age appropriate material. Ironically, at the end of all the hoopla, the then county librarian, Courtney Kincaid, decided to move one of the books, This Day in June, to the adult section of the Hood County Library and leave one of the books, My Princess Boy, in the children’s picture book section of the Hood County Library. As far as I know, at least as of the date of this writing, this is still the situation at the library with regard to these two books. Can anyone here spell, I-N-C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-T?
Number Two: By the way of background material, I will note here that prior to July 2015, the county commissioners had granted this librarian absolute authority to bring in whatever books she wanted, whenever she wanted, put them wherever she wanted, and then ridicule and call out taxpaying users of the library if they disagreed with her.
In her January 16, 2015 blog post, the County Attorney takes the position that the law is “well-settled” in support of her position that the county would have violated federal law had the librarian moved two children’s picture books that advocate the homosexual lifestyle to very young children from point “A” to point “B” in the Hood County Library. I guess this begs the first question to ask your County Attorney. If the law is as “well settled” as she claims it to be, what was their legal basis to move one book and not move the other book? As has been noted by others, this is kind of the “elephant in the room” that no one seems to see from their side of the bleachers. The second question to ask is, Why did the County Attorney rely on federal case law to control over a local Texas public library that is paid for by local Texas citizens with local Texas money?
Article 1 of the Texas Constitution spells out Texas’s “Bill of Rights.” Article 1 is made up of some 34 sections. These 34 sections outline the basic rights that Texans have demanded throughout the decades. Article 1, Section 32, represents what the super majority of Texans believe is the legal definition of “marriage” in Texas. To present this to voters, a joint resolution from the Texas Senate and the Texas House had to be passed by at least a 66 percent margin. Once the joint resolution was passed by both houses, it had to be placed on the ballot to be voted on by Texas voters. 75 percent of Texas voters, an overwhelming majority by any measure, ratified this “sanctity of marriage” amendment in 2005.
Article 1, Section 32. MARRIAGE. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage. (Added Nov. 8, 2005).
On June 26, 2015, a band of lawless, political activists in the US Supreme Court issued their unconstitutional “opinion” if the Obergefell case (see Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015). This case is one of the most illegally decided, unfounded in the Rule of Law, baseless, shameless, constitutionally incorrect abominations to have ever come from the totally-disconnected-from-reality Supreme Court justices who reside in their ivory tower located in Fantasy Land. Four of the nine justices dissented, so, it boiled down to one activist judge – one man – Justice Anthony Kennedy, with the hubris to purportedly dictate how he thinks marriage is to be defined by each and every state in the United States to apply to each and every citizen of the United States. He alone has found in the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment what its authors and everyone since did not: homosexual “marriage” is a constitutional right.
As noted by some of the dissenters in this case, this case may serve as the final blow against States Rights in this country. This, in spite of the fact that the federal government in theory is supposed to be “bound by the chains” of the US Constitution with all powers not expressly delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, reserved to the States respectively, or to the People. (See Amendments IX and X, US Constitution).
Jim Logan – President Hood County TEA Party
January 4, 2016
December 22nd, 2015 should be an important day for all Hood County Residents. It is the day that marked the citizen’s loss of the right to petition your local government for redress of grievances. As one citizen present stated ‘it was an incredible display of ignorance.’ I would take it a step farther. It was an ‘incredible display of ignorance and tyranny!’
The Hood County TEA Party has been investigating the numerous failures in how the Hood County Library is mismanaged. One of our members, Dave Eagle, noted that the method of appointment of Library Advisory Board members was flawed, lacked transparency, and may in fact violate state code.
Dave and I, as is our Right ingrained in the Texas State Constitution Article 1 Section 27, petitioned our respective County Commissioners, Steve Berry and Jeff Tout for a court hearing to address these issues. We were led to believe that on December 22nd we could speak to address those concerns. When the agenda was announced not only did they ignore our request they were moving forward to appoint a replacement candidate to the Library Advisory Board under the same flawed system of appointment that was used previously. The incestuous Library Advisory Board picks their desired candidate and the Commissioners Court rubber stamped it.
As was our right to Free Speech, Dave and I protested the appointment in open court. The result of this was even more disturbing than the refusal to address our initial concerns. In a display of arrogance that would have made the Soviet Union’s Stalin proud, Commissioner Berry challenged me in open court that I was not serious about participation in the Library because I did not fill out the Library Advisory Board application and he mocked my concerns over the providing personal data to a clearly out of control Library Director. ( Remember when local resident, Melanie Graft, questioned the Library Director she was attacked personally in the local media by the Library Director and her minions) While I suspect not truly schooled in Saul Alinsky tactics to the level of Barack Obama I think the progressive left would’ve been proud of Mr. Berry’s attack on the messenger instead of addressing the issues. But alas it did not stop there with our County Elected officials. Our County Treasurer took to Facebook to question our Right of Free speech by again not addressing the issues but attacking us as evil, unprofessional, and lacking proper respect for the ‘Overlords of the County’ our County Commissioners and I assume by extension her. She hypocritically asked her minions to pray for Dave and myself. I would challenge that publicly with this:
I will close with this. The Library issue was a string that most taxpayers would not have thought to pull on because it seemed to minor. Well once we pulled on this string it has led down a rabbit hole that has exposed on a small scale how poorly our county is run and the level of arrogance of elected ‘public servants’ that is truly appalling. If you look at this small issue and then apply it across the board to all the other areas they are involved in you can imagine to what extent it is being mismanaged. And I would pose these quotes to the hypocrite elected officials who try and hide behind a false support of Christian values:
Border Security – Mary & Dale Huls