Friday, June 06, 2008

Open Thread: Travel Day(s)

I'm off to the Crescent City on a business trip involving a new consulting gig, and don't know whether or not I'll have a chance to get back on the blog over the weekend. While I'm gone, visit these fine blogs where this morning I noticed quality recent posts:
Also, regarding the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup, be sure to see this item with Gov. Perry placing his personal imprimatur on the YFZ Ranch raid, and this one praising Salt Lake Tribune reporter Brooke Adams and her team on their fine work on the story. As always, see Brooke's blog, The Plural Life, for the latest on the YFZ Ranch imbroglio.


Anonymous said...

link to Plural Life goes to Dallas News.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Fixed it. I'm out. Later folks.

Anonymous said...

The next big story might be the Swinton/Flora/invalid warrant triangle.

Without the links, here is what is possible.

Swinton wrote a fictional book about herself and claimed it is a non-fictional biography. She wanted publicity for the book.

Flora is making up stories about the FLDS in years gone by and other anti-polygamy activists don't trust her.

Based on these two fabricators, a warrant is signed, but the authorities wait 5 days before addressing the "emergency."

Brooke Adams catches the hoax right away because of un-FLDS language, but Flora (intentionally?) missed it.

Before the authorities enter they have good reason to suspect it is a hoax.

Governor Perry and other anti-constitutionalists don't care.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused about why law enforcement from Texas and other states can use seized documents for investigation when the warrants were not valid. Shouldn't they have to give the seized documents back just like they gave the children back? I guess they can just cook up a phony warrent, seize everything, and just continue on like nothing happened. The way the law works doesn't sound rational to me.

Anonymous said...

You're going to miss a BIG story...
as of 2:15 PM Friday afternoon, Plano police have ruled the death of convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs....

wait for it...

... a suicide.

A suicide with one shot to the body and one to the head. Sound familiar?

The DMN has more:
The medical examiner's initial report shows he died of two self-inflicted gunshot wounds to his stomach and head. The office has not yet determined Ms. Earhart-Savell's cause of death. The investigation continues.

Plano police also said today they see no conflict of interest in investigating the death of Mr. Jacobs, who publicly accused an officer of stealing from him. Mr. Jacobs never followed through by filing a formal complaint.

“The Plano Police Department will handle this investigation as we do with all of the others,” Plano Officer Andre Smith said Friday. “The bottom line is there’s no reason to conclude that we shouldn’t investigative this.”


After the bodies were found, Plano police officers wearing masks over their faces were seen entering the house and taking evidence away, some in boxes. Police say they were undercover officers who need to protect their identities.

DMN Story here

Anonymous said...

Charles Kiker says:

You can't have it both ways, Governor. The moms are forbidden to leave the state by Judge Barbara, but you suggest maybe they should.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to pin down the sources of FLDS misinformation in the news, and Texas law enforcement. So far I get "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop, and comments and/or agitation by Flora Jessop. There was some input by Pennie Petersen not necessarily misinformation.

Who am I missing? For example, there are aid groups for those leaving polygamist sects, or for young men kicked out. Were any of the aid groups sources for the media or the law? I couldn't find any, but what do I know.

I'd appreciate all the pointers I can get.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

John: I posted this before but there's this:

The Primer
Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and
Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities

(Cut and paste so the link's complete.)

Television's been a major ongoing source of misinformation as well - openly drumming up the whole "it's okay to hate 'em" scapegoat angle.

Besides doing days of "exclusive coverage" (both before and after the raid) Dr.Phil actually made the "talk show circuit" himself using sensationalizing the FLDS as the reason for these "guest appearances" (google Dr.Phil to read the career challenges he's currently facing).

There's someone else named "Nancy Grace" (I think that's the right name) that people refer to a lot - not sure if she's a "tv talk show" or "radio" person or what - but she continues to repeat misinformation (that's been thoroughly disproved) long after others move on.

Representative Harry Reid is doing all he can to promote this also.

Anonymous said...

You really wanna know the source of the media misinformation? Media themselves.

The following is from a posting by Ed Bark, who was a TV critic for 26 years with the Dallas Morning News. In it he comments about the recent rash of Dallas TV personalities who are leaving the studio to pursue other work:

A quartet of veteran D-FW television reporters, three of them dropped in the past year by their stations, will form the nucleus of a new public relations firm being helmed by Fox4 reporter Jeff Crilley.

"I think there's something really cool about these former competitors coming together," Crilley said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "In some cases we used to bump heads almost nightly."

Crilley's new company, dubbed Real News PR, is scheduled to launch in early June after he leaves Fox4. He initially plans to work hand-in-hand with:

***Former CBS11 and previously NBC5 reporter Clif Caldwell, who was let go by CBS11 in January after his contract expired.

***Former WFAA8 reporter Dan Ronan, abruptly terminated by the station last November for reasons that neither party will discuss.

***Former CBS11 and previously WFAA8 investigator Robert Riggs, axed in March by CBS11 as part of mandated budget cuts by the network's owned-and-operated stations.

***Former NBC5 reporter Susan Risdon, who opted to leave the station last June to start her own Austin-based marketing/media firm, Red Media Group. She'll continue to run that company while also throwing in with Crilley's new venture.

As previously reported on, Crilley, 44, is positioning his journalist-driven PR firm as an alternative to companies that "are trying to sell snake oil most of the time."

"We won't pitch B.S.," he said Tuesday. "We hold our names in such importance that we can't do what other PR agencies do. We're not spin doctors. I've always bristled at that."

Crilley cited a recent initiative by Risdon's company as an example of what Real News PR hopes to do repeatedly.

During the polygamist compound crisis in West Texas, one of her clients, who runs a Dallas-based family violence hotline, was told to "pack some bags" and head to San Angelo, Crilley said. Risdon then went door-to-door through a nearby "media compound" and said, "News conference in half an hour with a domestic violence expert."

"The client was a great 'sound bite' and by that evening was on Larry King Live," Crilley said. "That's the kind of thing that only a former reporter could see," he said of Risdon. "I think it's a great example of some real street smarts. And in the end you serve the client, serve the media and serve the public."

Real News PR at first will be run out of the respective homes of its staffers, Crilley said. "We'll all be independent public relations people basically. And initially I think we need to do this on a budget."

Crilley, a staple of Fox4's late night newscasts, joined the Dallas-based station in fall 1992 and informed management in March that he wouldn't be signing a new contract.

Link here.

choice2 said...


Nancy Grace is a CNN comical-tattor.
A real caricature.

She has opposing view guests on but when they try to talk she puts her fingers in her ears a says "na-na-na-na-".

She's such a joke that the guests can barely keep from cracking up because she is such a rude jerk.

She thinks she's never been wrong so of course she keeps on repeating the lies. Come to think of it her show is often repeating the same stuff over and over and over again on the same show. boring.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Nancy Grace info - I'd been wondering "who" she was.

Dr.Phil has an ongoing "anti-constitutional" campaign in general, making statements like:

"People who aren't doing anything wrong don't worry about their privacy".

"It's better for a hundred innocent families to be investigated than have one child harmed". etc.

One would assume people watching this drivel would simply mutter, "what an idiot" or something similar.

Unfortunately, some folks seem to truly confuse "TV personalities" with "leaders" and sensationalism with fact.

It would be nice to merely ignore these shows - but then, you look around and see glazed-eyed people nodding in agreement . . .

kbp said...

Question for the weekend:

If "beliefs" can endanger children, should Nancy Grace lose custody of her babies?

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess you read about the "truly innocent" Cedric Benson gettng busted again for a drunken offense. This time, DWI in Austin.

Yeah, another big link in the whole big conspiracy. Maybe you can write another article demeaning the police officer(s) who arrested your hero in Austin.

Jeez, in your world, cops are guilty until proven innocent, but every nickle and dime crook is always innocent forever.]

Even the ACLU has SOME perspective on reality. Hell, even Sam Bassett, Cedric's attorney, has some perspective on reality.

UT-ex Cedric Benson arrested again
Drunken-driving charge follows arrest in downtown Austin
By Patrick George and Suzannah Gonzales


Sunday, June 08, 2008

A month after being charged with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest on Lake Travis, former University of Texas running back Cedric Benson was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in downtown Austin early Saturday, police said.

Austin police spokeswoman Veneza AguiƱaga said Benson, 25, who plays for the Chicago Bears, was driving his BMW at Fifth and Colorado streets when he was pulled over early Saturday morning. After a series of sobriety tests, Benson was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. He later refused a breath alcohol test and blood test, AguiƱaga said.

Benson was booked into the Travis County Jail at 4:31 a.m. He was released on $2,000 bail just before 9 a.m. Saturday, said Mark Davila, a Travis County sheriff's deputy.

About 2:18 a.m. Saturday, an Austin police officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Colorado Street to assist another officer with a traffic stop, according to a police arrest affidavit.

That officer saw a silver BMW with Texas plates, which was traveling south on Colorado Street, cross three lanes from the right lane and come to a quick stop, the affidavit said. The driver failed to signal, and when the car stopped, a pedestrian jumped out of the way, according to the affidavit.

Benson, who told police he had one mixed drink of vodka and 7UP, had a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot and glassy eyes, and a talkative and cocky attitude, the affidavit said. He was unable to keep his balance without swaying and staggered while he walked, according to the affidavit.

During one test, Benson took the wrong number of steps, turned improperly, used arms for balance and stopped while walking, the affidavit said. The affidavit states that he was able to stand on one leg as instructed.

Benson had no previous DWI convictions, the affidavit said. He was not in possession of alcohol or drugs, according to the affidavit.

Benson was in Austin for his mother's birthday, said his attorney, Sam Bassett. Bassett said that Benson had a late dinner with his girlfriend at the restaurant Kenichi on Colorado Street and that he had two or three drinks over the course of several hours.

Bassett said Benson believes that he was not intoxicated or impaired and that he passed the sobriety tests.

Bassett said Benson takes the charge seriously and is sorry he was out late during Bears training camp. He remains dedicated to his team and the upcoming season and planned to return to Chicago today, Bassett said.

"It's obviously not good to be arrested so soon after" the boating incident, Bassett said.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday: "There was alcohol involved, that's all we know. We are certainly going to take this seriously. Disappointment is too often-used word when talking about Cedric. The number one lesson of every player is protect your job."

Chicago Bears officials could not be reached by the American-Statesman for comment.

Benson was a first-round Bears draft pick in 2005 and started 11 games last season for the team. He was a four-year starter for UT and ranks as the school's second all-time rusher, with 5,540 yards.

Benson was arrested May 3 on Lake Travis and charged with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest, both Class B misdemeanors. Those cases are still pending.

Benson has said he was not drunk or aggressive and was the victim of overly aggressive officers.

According to an arrest affidavit, Lower Colorado River Authority officer Leonard Snyder noticed that Benson showed signs of intoxication, including smelling of alcohol and having bloodshot eyes. Snyder reported that Benson failed a vision test, had slurred speech, did not complete a finger count test — in which he was asked to touch his fingers to his thumb and count — and could not recite the alphabet.

When told that he would need to go ashore to complete more tests, Benson refused and became hostile, the affidavit said, and Snyder used pepper spray on him.

Bassett has said he doesn't think Benson was intoxicated or aggressive to LCRA officers.

"I certainly feel very confident of the case on Lake Travis, that he will be cleared," Bassett said Saturday.

A hearing in that case is set for June 30.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Benson was at the FLDS ranch or that he fathered any children there.

Speaking of Nancy Grace, this PDF article on the law is enlightening.

Media Law and Defamation Torts: Recent Developments.

Anonymous said...

looks like someone is upset with the way the govenor,s been acting.

Anonymous said...

I saw a part of a nancy grace show a few days ago and it was good for a laugh. She kept showing the same seen over and over of two women fighting in school. It was great. She made me think of a female jerry springer.

choice2 said...

Hope all had a great day.

I'm sure y'all know the hoax caller Rozita Swinton trial has been postponed until at least July 9. I sure would like to know a lot about that. It keeps so many pieces off the table.

I sure would like to know where each of those calls were made from. I know they can determined with some specificity the location. Can they also know the location of the receiver?

I wonder why Sheriff Doren didn't look into that or do a background check on Dale Barlow? He could easily ascertained that Dale was a Reg. sex offender in Arizona. He could have known Dale wasn't in Texas before the raid.

I wonder why Judge Walthers didn't suggest this prior to the costly tank & snipper raid?

choice2 said...

San Angelo Standard ( had the interview with the CPS people in the news today. After 60+ days I'm sure they were able to tell their story in the best light possible.

I just can't help but think they always planned to take
ALL the children, long before the raid. If they only took the prepubescent girls they sure wouldn't have all the DNA they wanted.

choice2 said...
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Anonymous said...

A couple of pieces from Sore Toes and a Bleeding Heart:

Dallas Morning News story on pregnant teens at one Arlington high school.

"Mormon" Women's Protest, 1886

"Two thousand Mormon women gathered at the Salt Lake Theatre on Saturday, March 6, 1886, to protest the “indignities and insults heaped upon them as wives and daughters of Mormons” in Utah district courts [1]. Under the direction of Mary Isabella Horne, elected president of the protest meeting, 33 women presented personal statements reacting to the legal and political ramifications of the pending Edmunds-Tucker Bill then before Congress, which included the loss of voting privileges and self-government. These women, motivated by restricted religious rights, were prompted to political action.

Following the March 1886 mass meeting, the women compiled the proceedings into a 91-page pamphlet, “Mormon” Women’s Protest: An Appeal for Freedom, Justice and Equal Rights, to distribute in Washington and elsewhere. Originally printed in the local newspaper and then published in pamphlet form, the text includes the news notices prior to the event, transcripts of speeches, resolutions, and poems composed for the occasion, and undelivered speeches and letters written for the event. Women involved included female doctors, teachers, authors and poets, women’s rights advocates, religious and community leaders, and mothers."

The rest of the article, and a repro of the pamphlet.

So much for the "brainless cow" theory.

FYI, women had the vote in Utah in 1870. The 19th amendment wasn't passed until 1920.

Anonymous said...

All should read the Sunday article in the San Angelo paper regarding the CPS Workers. Aside from the "spin" ("we were right"), it's just difficult to believe that these folks don't seem to understand what two Texas Courts have said. No one wants to be wrong, especially when judgement is involved, but these guys seem to think that they have some special gift that lets them forget who they work for. You can't let people make up the rules as they go along.

Even after following this story from the beginning, and having some prior knowledge of the FLDS, i keep thinking i'm missing some major piece of this puzzle. Is CPS and the Governor that arrogant? Or did i not read the Appeals Court and SCOTx correctly ?

Anonymous said...

Poll: Utahns don't trust promises of FLDS parents

What poll? An online poll? No one in the comments even asks.

Anonymous said...

CPS is bench slapped again, as a SA judge tells them to lay off of the Jessop's kids, at least for now

SB said...

I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:

"Abolish Texas CPS"

I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time.


kbp said...

The DNA results should all be back and Texas has a media problem they can't seem to shed.

Look for a response this week. I'm guessing the test results may lead to charges against Warren Jeffs.

Still won't be the answer needed to justify saving the children from criminals on the ranch April 3rd, when the raid took place, but might be the only shining start Texas gets out of that mess.