On a Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, a friend called me up around 4 in the afternoon. She said "You're not going to believe what just happened to me". She said a sheriff's car had come up her driveway as she was preparing to go on an errand, and a deputy got out and approached. He told her he was investigating a complaint by Ron Hankins about a letter that had been written the previous week to the editor of the Glen Rose Reporter, some kind of false identity charge. Further, the deputy had been by the Glen Rose Reporter first and at some point got the real name of the pen name writer and went to her house. My friend had written the letter under a pen name, Annie McGee, with the full permission and knowledge of who she actually was of then-editor Colleen Horning. She explained this to the deputy and he asked if he could have a copy of the email between she and Colleen Horning and she supplied it. This is the letter she wrote to the paper under a pen name, again, with the full permission and knowledge of the editor. You can see that the letter is NOT threatening, etc and was not written under Ron Hankins name, ie the letter writer was NOT impersonating HIM.You see if you agree with me that what she wrote was only objectionable to someone who believes himself to be above criticism and highly thin-skinned.
Now, SHE was shaking, sitting there in her car. She couldn't imagine any circumstance in which writing a letter to the editor voicing an opinion should subject her to a police investigation. She had not asked to see the actual complaint and I also wondered, what the fool, so when we got off the phone, I drove down to the Somervell County Sheriff's office to put in an open records request for Ron Hankins's complaint. What and WHY had he used the police to bully and harrass someone like this? The writer also put in an open records request.
Got back the request the next Wednesday (ANY CITIZEN CAN ASK FOR A PUBLIC RECORD). This is only the offense summary page, and not the complaint itself because for some mind boggling reason, at that point I was told that I couldn't get a copy of the complaint because the investigation is still open. What? Why???? Once the writer supplied the evidence, which is ridiculous that she had to do in the first place, shouldn't this have been IMMEDIATELY closed as a FRIVOLOUS complaint???? Could it be at all possible that the complaint will be held open for a very long time in order to try to bury it from public view since it's ridiculous? Same thing happened to her, she also asked for her file and also was not given the full complaint.
Note the charge ONLINE IMPERSONATION. So, someone writing a letter under a pen name, NOT RON HANKINS NAME is not impersonating him, right? It's also in the printed paper, so it's not online either, but even if you consider that the GR Reporter puts its news online, that's still surely not a crime.
It wasn't good enough that in our country, which I remind is the United States of America with first amendment Freedom of Speech, people can exercise that freedom. One would also think that this would be an issue strictly between the Glen Rose Reporter and the writer. If Colleen had no problem, since she KNEW who this was, of allowing the writer to write under a pen name, why did Ron Hankins see it as a matter that required the police? Will he now form an Anti-Freedom of Speech unit to troll the countryside looking for anyone that gets under his skin? Heck, maybe this is in an indication he already is. And WHY did the police agree to investigate this? You'd think they would see how ridiculous this is and not waste one dang cent on police resources.
It's especially ironic because yesterday was the 4th of July, when we celebrate our freedoms, which some apparently only pay lip service to.
P.S. I'm betting a whole lot of you know who wrote this letter. Think of the kindest, most charming, intelligent Christian woman you know. She didn't deserve this and she is not only irate, but wants to make sure what Ron Hankins did is not hidden.
The First Amendment protects not only the citizen’s ability to have an opinion—whether we agree with it or not—but also the right to speak that opinion. The father of our constitution, James Madison, said, “A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.” We own our opinions, and more importantly, we own the ability to communicate them. This, friends, is the very basis of our right to conscience. It is my right to have faith in Christ and a belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God—just as it is the right of every citizen to agree or disagree with my views. Regardless of my views, it is my sworn duty as an elected representative of the people is to protect their right to disagree with their fellow citizens, and indeed to profess that disagreement publicly.
Note that he explicitly say, as a PUBLIC OFFICIAL, the it is the *right of every citizen to agree or disagree with my views". Seems to me a large part of this applies and that Birdwell should go help Ron Hankins understand this.
that he and his lawyers tried to keep quiet. That makes him not only your biggest creepiest rapist, but, for the last year or so of his denial, a LYING rapist. Ugh Vanity Fair
Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he got Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman and "other people," according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
The A.P. had gone to court to compel the release of the documents; Cosby's lawyers had objected on the grounds that it would embarrass their client.
The 77-year-old comedian was testifying under oath in a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee. He testified he gave her three half-pills of Benadryl.
I decided to try out Disqus on the site a few months ago and changed the code from the previous way I had done it to use Disqus. But frankly, I have always gotten a lot more comments with my own commenting system, so I'm going back to it. (Here's an example from July, 2015, from archive.org) That's with the exception of the recaptcha-didn't like it and not going to do that anymore. Will need to fix a few things in some various files so if you see anything odd today, that's why.
Here's how comments have worked for eons on this site. You can post a comment, including anonymously, and the comment will be moderated. This means it will not show up until/unless approved. I try really hard to prevent spambots from throwing up garbage, and also don't allow certain types of comments, like racist stuff, for example. If you login and are approved, your comments will go immediately to the page without being approved, but even if you're registered and logged in, the first time or two you post, your comment will be moderated.
Part of me wanted to ask obvious questions: You know you are in New Hampshire, right? And, you know New Hampshire was not a part of the Confederacy? I ask this because I’m not so sure you do. Here we are in a northern town, a place that gave her sons up to the Union Army and lost them on the battlefields of the Civil War. A place where locals organized early against slavery and led the charge against it across the country. A place where 150 years ago that flag would have been seen as a symbol of treason......
Do you think that flag has been flying in front of the South Carolina capitol since 1865? It hasn’t. It was put there for one reason only: racist defiance in the face of integration.
I think you believe that the flag brands you as a “rebel” or somehow honors your outlook on life. It doesn’t. It brands you as a racist. You may not think you are one, but flying that flag is a racist act.
I know that right now you are saying, “But I’m not a racist!” “Heritage, not hate!” But this isn’t your heritage. It’s mine. And it is hate. And it is racism. And every time you put that flag on the back of your car, we all go back in time a little. And the past wasn’t so great for many of our neighbors.
I believe the pic at right aptly illustrates what the world would be if ALL professions were allowed to discriminate against others based on their own belief systems.
From the Oregon case involving a bakery recently that the baker lost in which the owners wanted to discriminate against gays.
The former owners of an Oregon bakery have been ordered to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple who were refused a wedding cake, in the latest front in the battle between religious liberty and individual rights
Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein, who owned the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Ore., to compensate the couple for emotional and mental suffering that resulted from the denial of service.
Melissa Klein can tell any gay or lesbian couple that walks through her doors that she thinks they are an abomination. She just can’t deny them service. Her freedom of speech is in no way, shape, or form being denied. She’s simply required to comply with the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
So it’s not a violation of First Amendment rights to say a business may not deny service to individuals on the basis of their protected class status. And it’s not a violation of First Amendment rights to say that a business may choose not to provide service that mandates participation in hate speech, as long as it is an ubiquitous refusal. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how bakeries are serving up a master class in Constitutional law to the Religious Right.