Ferguson cop no-billed

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Prior to the 8 p.m. announcement, crowds blocked traffic on streets throughout the St. Louis area

St. Louis – Citing a legal authority for a law enforcement officer to use deadly force when necessary and the human right of all persons to use deadly force to defend themselves, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that after an exhaustive 3-month investigation, the Grand Jury returned no true bill of indictment against against Officer Darren Wilson on all of five counts leveled against him.

The prosecutor remarked that many witnesses who alleged he shot Michael Brown, 18, in the back, changed their stories or merely refused to testify once they were confronted with physical evidence to the contrary.

“Physical evidence does not change…,” he said, after outlining a case in which at least 9 members of the Grand Jury found they neither believe a crime was committed, nor that Darren Wilson was the person to have committed the crime.

McCulloch said all evidence used in the Grand Jury’s deliberations will be released immediately following the announcement of the grand jury’s findings.

An abbreviated audio recording of his remarks follows:

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Signs of money woes

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U.S. District Courthouse for the Southern District of Texas, Houston

Houston – There are clear indications that both federal and state governments have extreme trepidation about financial collapse, and these indicators have been in place since the worldwide economic collapse of 2008.

Who didn’t have at least a moment of anxiety as the Dow Jones tanked in those dark days? Who didn’t look with some trepidation at downsized 401(k)s? Not Mike Milby, clerk of court in the Southern District of Texas, and 25 of his fellow clerks. Milby oversees a nearly $3 billion fund for the Judiciary that sailed through the downturn. “We didn’t have to worry about our money,” said Milby. Here’s why.

Back in the mid-1980s, Texas was in the midst of its own financial crisis, complete with the largest number of bank failures since the Great Depression. The clerk of court in the Southern District of Texas, like clerks in federal courts nationwide, served as the custodian for monies belonging to litigants, witnesses, and other participants during litigation, opening individual accounts at local banks for every case. For example, if an insurance company knew it would owe money to people in a case, the money would be held in an interest-bearing account until the case was decided and the parties received their money. The clerk of court would be responsible for the proper collection, maintenance, accounting, and disbursement of all monies.

At the time, Milby was a young financial administrator in the Southern District of Texas. “Enough banks were failing,” he recounts, “that our clerk of court Jesse Clark said he was having trouble sleeping at night, worrying about the safety and accessibility of our accounts.”

That’s when Milby came up with the idea of the Court Registry Investment System (CRIS). Essentially, CRIS pools all the money scattered among individual accounts and deposits it in the U.S. Treasury, buying Treasury bills, without depositing registry funds at a private financial institution.

To read more, follow this link:


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The State of Texas at the State-level has approximately $53.77 billion of the taxpayer’s money it is not using, i. e. surpluses equal to $2,417 for every man, woman and child in Texas or $9,670 for a family of 4. This does not include all the additional surpluses that exist in the school districts, cities, or counties in Texas.

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(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said today that state sales tax revenue in October was $2.41 billion, up 12.9 percent compared to October 2013.

“Strong growth in sales tax receipts was apparent across all major economic sectors,” Combs said. ““Notable increases from retail trade and the oil and natural gas-related sectors led the growth, indicating increased spending by both consumers and businesses.”

Combs will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their November local sales tax allocations totaling $723.1 million, up 10.5 percent compared to November 2013.

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Pretending to be asleep


Thomas Maddux, Lost Prairie

It is impossible to awaken someone who is pretending to be asleep – a saying of the human beings

Limestone County, Texas – Koloneh would know. He spent time in this country.

In this country, the people strive to be hard-headed, are obedient to their dreams, and live to be free. No one knows it better than the riders of the great, shiny two-hearted beasts, the bikers.

They are not satisfied, as usual, with the way the man behind the badge handles the fact of their right to keep and bear firearms – who can and can’t carry one, and in what matter. It’s for their own protection, the badges say.

A chief of the III%er’s, Thomas Maddux, explains:

This is a picture of his great friend, the legislative lobbyist Bill “Sputnik” Strain, founder of the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association, departed in 2010, who caused the present law regarding carrying a pistol to be passed. It is widely known that he was unsatisfied, at the time, but accepted his dissatisfaction. Before he met the Great Spirit, Sputnik had the word “Free” tattooed on his forehead.

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This is Brian Jones, a Navy veteran of the Desert Storm War, who lived in the community for only 7 days before the welcome wagon came to call on October 14 – three deputy sheriff’s officers who cuffed him, searched his residence and his papers without a warrant, and went on their merry way without so much as a by your leave.  He has a Concealed Carry Handgun License, but all it bought him was grief. Now, hear his story:


Brian Jones

Follow this link to read a report and listen to an audio interview of a couple whose son met death at the hands of a Limestone County Deputy serving an arrest warrant at their place of business located in Groesbeck, the county seat:



1949 Indian Chief

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War and rumors of war

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When it’s way, way too late to just say no…

Meridian, Bosque County, Texas – It’s been a long war.

Even at home, the iron fist in the velvet glove is in all ways both seen and heard, as 220th District Judge Phil Robertson instructs the veniremen called for jury duty on a frosty Monday morning.

They are so-called because the Latin elliptical, venire, recalls the antiquated opening phrase of a writ to a Sheriff ordering a jury summons, to cause you to come. He is light-hearted and cheerful as he explains the large number of no-shows and just why it takes so much time to call the roll of a throng that completely packs a ceremonial courtroom covering the entire second floor of the towered Italianate palace of justice.

Formerly, the jury wheel was composed of registered voters. “As you may imagine,” he tells the standing room only crowd, “those who bother to register to vote will likely bother to show up.”

But all that is thing of the past, the judge declares. Now, one need only hold a driver’s license to be placed on the list of those who are summoned. Due to the long stretches between license renewals, many of those who are summoned are no longer receiving mail at their former address.  Others just can’t be bothered. To qualify for jury service, one must be a legal resident of the jurisdiction, that is, Bosque County, be of lawful age, and a non-felon.

“You will notice there is not an exemption for being too rich, or too poor, or for having your own business – or too old, or too young – or because you just don’t care.”

He shrugs, grins, adds the information that those who did not show up will be obliged to return the following Monday with $200 in cash or certified money order in order to avoid becoming a guest of the Sheriff and his able staff.

Cast Iron

Jury duty – cast iron

There is a ripple of uneasy laughter, a little something to assure one self that it was wise to decide to show up, after all, and accept $6 in pay for services that are vital to the cause of justice. Judge Robertson explains, again, that it’s important – a very big deal – that there were more than a half-dozen felony cases scheduled for the session, and all but two of them elected to plead out and accept the judgment of the Court. “They did that because of you.” The statement hangs in the air.

In the instant case, guilt is conceded by a defendant accused of an unattractive offense involving non-forcible sexual assault of a female juvenile, a child, a girl who is aged less than 17. The defense attorney says the offense is “what was commonly called statutory rape,” a case of an individual being younger than the “age of consent” which the Legislature considers valid in such a dalliance. The prosecution need only show that sexual intercourse involving genital or anal penetration did occur, a moot point conceded by the defendant.

The Court will pronounce the man guilty, but the defendant has elected that a panel of 12 jurors must then hear evidence and testimony regarding his punishment for a second degree felony punishable by not less than two years confinement or more than 20, a $10,000 fine, or both. The full range of punishment, prosecuting and defense attorneys tell the venire, can include anything from probation to doing hard time. In any case, the defendant must for the rest of his life register as a sex offender. That is given.

A number of ladies answering questions during the voir dire – Latin, again, for “to speak the truth” – declare they can in no way render a fair and impartial verdict; they are unable to consider the full range of punishment indicated by the black and white statutes of the Texas Penal Code. They don’t wait for Judge Robertson to dismiss them; they are already walking away, their heels striking the floor with the imperiously syncopated clack, Clack, CLACK affected by women who are expressing their rage as they vote with their feet, their shoulders squared, the rear view of their stomping gait clearly signaling their anger.

Has anyone on the fourth row of veniremen been involved in criminal litigation involving sexual offenses?

A man dressed in a brown horse-hide flight jacket raises his hand. He is identified as Col. Tommy Williams, USAF, by a name patch sewed over his heart.

He tells the defense attorney that as a Commanding Officer, he once presided over the Court Martial Board in a case of a female subordinate, a woman involved in air/sea rescue work attached to a tactical readiness command. He has twice in his career led men and women into war, in Bosnia-Herzogovinia, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a fighter jock, an F-15 “Tomcat” pilot, someone with “the right stuff,” an occupant of the tier very near the top of the fabled ziggurat described by Tom Wolfe in his non-fiction novel about the NASA Mercury Program.

“She raped a female child at a church camp,” he declares. Would he have any problem considering the full range of punishment, based on evidence and testimony presented?

“No.” He bites the word off as if it is half leather and all gristle. His demeanor is militant, stoic; there is a command presence suddenly felt throughout this crowded, palatial, dimly lit room with a ceiling at least 30 feet above the peoples’ heads.

The lawyer, a thin-faced blonde from the Norwegian enclave community of Clifton, bends to make a notation on her jury selection form, then straightens up to say, “By the way, sir. Since it’s near Veterans Day, I would like to thank you for your service.”

“Thank you.”

Barrel Vault 2

The moment passes, but once dismissed, Williams turns to shake hands with the journalist, and we chat on our way out of the building.

He listens with interest to a description of the testimony given by victims of the senseless attack on helpless, unarmed soldiers at Ft. Hood in November, 2009, by the U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan, M.D., so targeted simply because they were slated for deployment to Afghanistan and wearing the Army Combat Uniform of multi-hued green camouflaged fatigues.

He is visibly shaken when he learns that Hasan was during his enlisted career an actor who dressed in Arab costume and played the role of an insurgent at Fort Irwin, California, the National Training Center, where combat-bound troopers are subjected to the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of actual combat in terrain and simulated urban settings that leave no novel or unique impressions to be experienced in real time assaults and gun fights of a future yet to be passed.

His complexion turns from the ruddy and weathered visage of a warrior to a shocked, nearly-whitened pallor when he learns that every wounded veteran of that bloody assault that left 12 persons dead, one of them a pregnant woman dressed in combat fatigues who died screaming, “My baby! My baby!” told the prosecutor that, at first, they just assumed that what was taking place was merely a training exercise.

“My God,” said Major General Tommy Williams, the Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, First Air Force (Air Forces Northern), Tyndall Air Force Base,  Florida. “That’s just like something I did.”

He explains that he took over a combat unit that had rotated stateside following a series of overseas disasters involving loss of rescue personnel, helicopter crashes, and fiery death.

“I was there to fix that unit,” he recalled. “I wanted to make an impression. To do it, I had to rent an auditorium. There wasn’t one available on-base.”

Dressed in his combat uniform, a tactical .44 magnum revolver loaded with blanks in a shoulder holster, the same weapon Parachute-Jumpers carry into battle, he stood at a podium on-stage and declared that the Global War On Terror involves a resolute and implacably hostile enemy bent on jihad, a man or woman who lives amongst us all…

At that moment, a superbly conditioned combat jumper, a special ops warrior who specializes in extractions and rescues, assaults and insertions, on his cue rushed the stage dressed in the clothing of the mujahideen, the muzzle of an AK-47 blazing away, as he, then-Colonel Tommy Williams raised the revolver and fired point blank at his simulated attacker.

“It made an impression,” he recalled, ruefully. He couldn’t hide the thousand-yard stare typical of a combat veteran, as the color returned to his complexion.  He added that his number two, the executive officer on the command, was standing behind him with a weapon loaded with live rounds, “Just in case I did something crazy.”

Drawn further into the conversation, he expressed despair at the readiness of our Armed Forces for the battle to come.

“Ten years ago, I thought I had a grasp of affairs, the way things are. I thought the Saudis were in control, that Israel was safe, the Communists were beat – that it was a stable world situation.

“In no time at all, the conditions have changed. ” He shakes his head. It is a moment, and as it passes, somehow you just know that this man is telling the truth.

To read his resume, follow this link:


To read a Presidential press release announcing his appointment as a Major General, follow this link:


To read a presentation white paper Gen. Williams authored about the combat readiness of American troops to fight a war on terror on American soil, follow this link:



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Moody, Texas – In a lightning-quick response, the Attorney General’s Office responded to a complaint by Legendary Reporter R.S. Gates.

Lance Kutnick, an assistant Attorney General, determined that the DA’s office violated “various sections” of the Public Information Act by withholding requested information in the murder of Caitlynn Reed, a young mother of two who perished from a gunshot wound at her home near Tokio:


When he originally requested the information in May, Assistant District Attorney Mark Parker determined that since the matter is under investigation, no information would be given.

The DA’s office defied an opinion issued on Oct. 4 that Parker erred by not seeking an opinion from the Attorney General’s office.

” I have never seen a determination (made) this quickly,” said Gates. “I sent the e-mail yesterday.”

Mr. Kutnick wrote:

November 3, 2014

“…The McLennan County District Attorney Office violated various section(s) of the Public Information Act. The McLennan County D.A. should have sought an opinion from the Texas Attorney General on whether or not it had to release information to R.S. Gates instead of making that determination on its own in its letter to R.S. Gates on May 13, 2014…

“…The McLennan County District Attorney has four days after receipt of this notice to cure the alleged violation(s). The McLennan County District Attorney office should release to R.S. Gates all documents that he requested that are allowed to be released to him pursuant to the PIA and as specified in OR2014-18158 and which have not already been released to Mr. Gates on October 23, 2014.

“Lance Kutnick, Assistant Attorney General”

Kutnick also said the DA’s staff should double check the file to determine if information requested in May was in the file at the time of the request, and if so, it, too, should be turned over, including text messages.

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DA’s campaign fund reports not current

 We of “The Legendary” stand corrected. It is not necessary for a candidate in an unopposed race to file campaign finance reports. Write-in candidates are not considered opponents, in the opinion of the Texas Ethics Commission. Our readers have not heard that – yet.


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McLennan Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna

Waco – A last-day check of elections records shows incumbent McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna has failed to file  30-day and 8-day before-election campaign fund reports.

He faces an aggressive write-in campaign from former prosecutor Robert G. Callahan in a race that is financially lopsided to an extreme degree, according to what records are available.

The latest report Reyna filed was as of July 30. It shows he had maintained a total of $68,384.37 in his campaign war chest. Expenses through that date totaled $5,566.61.

Records current through October 30 show Callahan’s campaign contributions totaled $12,677, expenditures of $8,256.88, and that he has maintained $4,370 in campaign funds through the end of October.

Failure to timely file campaign funding reports is a Class B Misdemeanor offense, according to the Texas Elections Code. Such an offense is punishable by a fine of $2,000, 180 days in jail, or both, according to the Texas Penal Code.

Seek note to the Judge

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Lester Gibson, Democrat

Waco – As election Tuesday looms, the reality of politics is thrown into stark relief against the brilliant surface of a black and white screen that is plainly visible from the nickel seats.

When McLennan County Commissioner Lester Gibson, a Democrat, slipped out of a Court session last Tuesday only minutes after the session opened, Republican County Judge Scott Felton said he left to fulfill prior commitments on the campaign trail, where he is defending his seat against Republican challenger Tony Abad after 6 terms of service.

A local media representative published an article about the matter, quoting the Judge. Felton said, “He slipped me a note.”

The report also mentioned a proposed measure to allow elected officials who return to service as newly hired employees to transfer their credit for sick days accrued during their elected term of office. Former Constables whose precincts were eliminated in a recent redistricting ordered by the Court after the Primary Election could have claimed that benefit if they were to be hired as Deputy Constables.

Gibson missed voting on the agenda item when he left early. The news report quoted his having said at some point that it would be a policy he would not vote against.

When the proposal failed unanimously on the votes of the four Republican members of the Court, the media outlet claimed it had been scheduled for discussion by Republican Commissioner Ben Perry, who promptly voted against the notion once it came up for discussion.

Veteran Commissioners Court watcher R.S. Gates promptly filed a request for public information. He writes:

As you can see…I sent a public information act request to the county judge requesting access to the note…As of today11/2/14, I have received no response. It causes one to wonder. Is the judge just indifferent to the public information act? Did he destroy a government record? Did he lie to the newspaper about the note? We do not know, and indications are, we may never find out.”

Gates is a former police officer who won election as a Justice of the Peace from Moody, Texas, in a Constabulary and Justice Court Precinct the Court eliminated following his victory in the 2006 mid-term election. He was never permitted to take the bench, nor was he compensated for the term of office for which he was elected because the Commissioners Court under the administration of former County Judge Jim Lewis refused to issue a certificate of election after canvassing the voting tally that clearly indicated his victory.

The 10th District Court of Appeals split two to one in its refusal to grant Gates mandamus relief. Chief Justice Tom Gray, a Republican, issued a minority opinion holding that a candidate is elected by the highest number of votes, and not by a certificate of election. The Supreme Court of the State of Texas refused to hear the case. State law dictates that candidates who are elected prior to the elimination of their precincts by redistricting are to be allowed to serve the term of office for which they were elected. Local Republican officials have interpreted all this to mean that election to office is no guarantee that a candidate will be allowed to serve in that office.

One may read a copy of Gates’ Public Information Act Request seeking the note Gibson wrote to Judge Felton here:

“This is a request for access to public information in the form of a note from Commissioner Gibson as referenced in the news story in the Waco Trib.

 “‘During a break in the meeting, County Judge Scott Felton said Gibson slipped him a note to say he was leaving to campaign. Felton said it’s the same reason why Gibson missed last week’s meeting.'”


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Tony Abad, Republican challenger for Lester Gibson’s seat

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Why is the DA so secretive?

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The murder of Caitlyn Reed has DA’s staff denying public information

Waco – The final moments of Caitlyn Reed’s life must have been filled with terror. Her alleged attacker had beaten her with a cane, threatened to rape and beat her again in a telephone message, and even attacked the ambulance in which she was transported to get medical attention.

She went to her father’s house and “borrowed” a Springfield XD .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol to defend herself. Her attacker came to her home, took it away from her, and gave it back to her father, the owner of the weapon.

Ms. Reed made a second trip to her father’s house to get the pistol. She had it when on April 5, he returned to her home on Tokio Loop Road near West.

Following whatever happened next, he phoned McLennan County Sheriff’s officers and said he had found her dead, an apparent victim of suicide.

They didn’t buy his story. They accused him of taking the firearm away from her, and shooting her with it. They arrested him for murder because the physical scene, the location of the gun, her body at repose in death, did not match what he told them.

It’s hardly an isolated incident, when it comes to official offense reports authored by investigators looking into the couple’s rocky relationship.

The record contains numerous references to earlier violent confrontations, terrifying rides through the country with an enraged lover threatening to harm her in violent ways. There is a reference in one report to the time she tried to throw the keys to his vehicle out the door so she could lock it when he went outside to retrieve them.

David Wayne Zahirniak has a conviction record for violent acts that dates back to a mysterious case of the assault of a juvenile corrections officer. That offense was later prosecuted as “official oppression.”

Law men and prosecutors have retreated behind a line of tight-lipped resistance when it comes to obtaining information about his past. For instance, in what capacity did he serve as a public servant at the time of his arrest for the assault case so categorized as official oppression?

According to the penal code, one must hold some such employment in order to be convicted of the offense.

No one seems to know.

The records are simply unavailable because the murder of Caitlyn Reed – a young mother of two small children – is under investigation.

He drew a sentence of a year in County Jail and a $4,000 fine; the sentence was suspended, and he was placed on probation. In the following year, prosecutors moved to revoke his probation, recommended 270 days in jail, suspension of a six-month pans of the sentence, and that he be released to allow credit for 90 days time served.

All this seems to be typical of his checkered past as a criminal defendant in the District Courts of McLennan County. It appears that on a cloudy day, David Zahirniak walks between the raindrops.

In April, 2008, when charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault, Zahirniak remained in jail for more than 90 days without prosecution. He gained his release on a writ of habeas corpus when his attorney applied under the delay in prosecution provision of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the provision which guarantees a speedy trial.

A June, 2009, conviction for less than a gram of methamphetamine netted Zahirniak a sentence for a State Jail Felony.

In April of 2014, after he assaulted Caitllyn Reed with the cane, law men charged him with aggravated assault, and he bonded out. Only days later, he went back to her house, where he is alleged to have murdered her with the gun belonging to her father.

In the end, the State of Texas expected her to defend herself with a borrowed pistol.

The firearms law men wear on their hips are for their personal protection. They have no legal obligation to protect the citizens they serve. Look it up. The case law books are filled with numerous examples of holdings of many Courts in many states after women who repeatedly begged for their lives met a violent death at the hands of a paramour.

Men of the law are much, much more protective of the official record, though those records technically belong to we the people, according to the Texas Open Records Act.

Since the first week of this month, the staff of the Criminal District Attorney of McLennan County has defied a ruling by the Open Records Division of the Attorney General’s Office that holds they must turn over all materials requested by former police officer R.S. Gates.

The conflict started when in May, Gates requested Assistant District Attorney Mark Parker, Chief of Intake and Grand Jury, to grant access to information about the murder case, and also access to information about previous criminal litigation against Zahirniak.

He declined, saying, “All such material was gathered by law enforcement and came into this office’s possession for consideration of criminal prosecution. As such it is information held by this office that deals with the detection, investigation, and prosecution of crime. This information is excepted from the disclosure requirement …”

He added, “Because these (previous) cases, if any, necessarily involve pending or reasonably anticipated litigation and our prosecution files are also our work product, which is protected under the Open Records Act, I must claim these statutory exemptions and cannot honor your request for production or inspection of our prosecution file.”

In the opinion of the Assistant Attorney General, his conduct in fielding the request nullifies all that. In the first round of the conflict, Parker denied that any of the records in question are subject to disclosure under the Open Records Act. Not true, according to the AG.

The act of requesting information requires a governmental agency to seek the opinion of the AG’s office within 10 days. Once a requestor files a written complaint with the AG, that “triggers” certain deadlines, none of which the DA’s office has met.

Said Gates, “Government officials make it a shell game. If you ask for a pencil, they come back and say can’t have a pen. They came back with a list of excepted information you didn’t even ask for.”

According to Rahat Huq, the Assistant AG who wrote the opinion, the DA’s office must withold information regarding the names of the children whom Zahirniak assaulted, information regarding the motor vehicle numbers involved, criminal history details that are excepted under the various provisions of the act, and e-mail addresses attached to various correspondence relating to the case.

The remaining information must be released.”

So far, no such information has been released. In a follow-up call to Mr. Reyna made today, The Legendary requested only the information as to which government agency employed Zahirniak at the time of the 2007 assault for which he was sentenced to official oppression.

His assistant took a message. We received no reply.

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Star Wars Stealth Attacks

Tony Calhoun

Tony, Calhoun, singer-songwriter, bass man in The Mojo Assassins


WACO – Tony Calhoun wears an ascot that conceals a shield against beams of radiation he says are aimed at his throat. It’s similar to the kind x-ray technicians wear. He wears a quarter inserted in his left ear.


For the past decade and a half – ever since the Patriot Act took effect by a near-unanimous act of Congress – he has had the feeling he is bombarded with microwaves, tingling radioactive waves that burn his skin, irritate his throat and leave scars on his back and face.

“They shoot me through my ear,” he says. “It burns my throat…It feels hot; it feels like someone has a blow dryer on my back.

“They didn’t expect my father to live as long as he did.”

He’s not alone. His brother just died. In fact, Calhoun had just come from an appointment at the funeral home where he helped his family finalize arrangements when he sat down for this interview. His father died recently at the age of 86. They, too, complained about the same type of attacks he suspects are directed against himself.

An infantry veteran of 6 years active duty, he led Army bands and once served as a guard for the notorious Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hess, who died at 93 years of age in 1987 of suicide while serving a life sentence in Spandau Royal Prison, Berlin.

The first attack came late one night as he drove home to Waco from a gig in Whitney. The Patriot Act had just been passed at the height of the build-up to an emotional war following 9/11. An aircraft – a hovering helicopter, burned his arm by shooting a burst of energy through the window of his car.

Does he think this is experimental warfare?

Yes, but why go on so long with it, he asks. They call it “slow kill,” he replies. “Look it up. Slow kill, targeted individual.”

The only respite from being what is known as a “Targeted Individual,” he insists, is through a spiritual approach such as that taken by devotees of a program known as “FREEDOM FCHS.” (Freedom from covert harassment and surveillance)

Click here to listen to an audio interview of Tony Calhoun:

To learn more about these organizations, follow these links:





‘Rusty’s Rangers’ busted

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Zastava Model PAP M92 PV, 7.62 x 39 mm Yugoslavian import model AK-47 clone from Century International Arms (CIA)


Brownsville – Southmost, Texas – They call it “no man’s land,” and it’s walled off from the rest of America by an 18-foot picket fence made of square rusted iron tubing  with spiked tops sunk into deep-seated concrete footers.

A middle-class residential neighborhood and an international airport backs up to the isolated farm land, much of which has been converted to “wildlife sanctuaries” along this narrow strip of river bottom where citrus, cotton, grain and produce fields once thrived.

When on August 29 the young man in camouflage fatigues stepped out of the brush that lines the litter-strewn trafficking corridor, a well-worn groove along this meandering stretch of the Rio Grande, the Border Patrol Agent thought he pointed the foreshortened assault rifle with the pistol grip at him.

He didn’t have to think about it. Reflexes got the better of him, and he slapped the trigger five times, spraying rounds all around the dim outline of John Frederick Foerster, where he stood in the gathering dusky gloom of a late summer evening.  Also known as “Jesus” in the tough, masculine world of an irregular “armed citizen militia group patrolling the border of the United States and Mexico,” Foerster’s trademark of long, curly hair that flows over his collar and down his back earned him his ironic “call sign” over the course of three months spent in operations with the small unit that kept busy repelling smugglers of drugs, cash, and human beings as invited guests of Rusty Monsees, who owns a 21-acre tract of “no man’s land” in this semi-rural setting.

None of the bullets found their mark. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) report does not name the agent who fired, but further notes that Supervisory Agent Danny Cantu confiscated five weapons in all from the three men detained for investigation by Cameron County Sheriff’s Officers, FBI and BATFE agents.

Cantu had earlier given his nominal permission for the irregular squad of “rangers” to string along with his men in order to drive a throng of illegal immigrants up the levee and into a waiting net of Border Patrolmen, the other side of an informal pincers formation. At the point when Jesus stepped out of the woods, he was listening to and watching a coyote as he whistled and gestured for his group of baliseros to move out and away from the area  – and into the trap.

The agents took possession of a Zastava PAP M92 7.62 x 39 mm “pistol,” a Llama Government Model 1911 .45 caliber ACP pistol, a Winchester Model 70 .243 caliber bolt action sniper rifle,  a Springfield Model XDS .45 caliber pistol, and a Centurion 39 Sporter, 7.62 x 39 mm rifle.

The law men detained the trio for five hours, arrested Jesus on suspicion of being a felon in unlawful possession of a firearm, and kept the guns, along with other gear including communications equipment and night vision goggles the group claims they surrendered at the time, and for which they say they got no receipt.

Further investigation showed that Jesus is “a person who has been previously convicted of felony; (sic) which prohibits him from possessing a firearm,” according to the author of the federal complaint and supporting affidavit, Anthony M. Rotunno, Special Agent of the ATF.

A Court sentenced Jesus on August 2, 1999 to 2 years confinement and 5 years of supervised release in the 138th Judicial District Court of Cameron County for the burglary of a building, granted a 5-year suspended sentence, and later sentenced him to serve 16 months imprisonment when the Court revoked his probation for violating the  terms and conditions of probation.

At the time of his August 29 arrest, he admitted he had borrowed the Zastava pistol from Kevin (KC) Lyndel Massey, a 48-year-old electrical contractor from Quinlan, Texas, who is “a person who has been previously convicted of a felony, burglary of a habitation, and sentenced to 5 years confinement” by the 265th District Court at Dallas in 1988. He served penitentiary time when he Court revoked his probation later on an identical 1985 burglary conviction. Massey admitted he owned the Zastava, the .45 caliber Springfield Armory pistol, and the “Centurion” AK-47 clone he was carrying. In the words of Agent Rotunno, the previous conviction “prohibits him from possessing a firearm.”

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Centurion Model 39 7.62 x 39mm, manufactured in the U.S. by Century International Arms (CIA)

A third party, Edward Varner, who was carrying the Model 70 Winchester, has not been charged with a crime.

The statute Rotunno cited in the complaint is Title 18 U.S. Code 922 (g)(1), which indeed prohibits possession of a firearm by one who has been convicted of a felony. It would be an understatement to say that though many offenders, nine out of ten of them men, are sentenced to long stretches in the federal correctional system each year, many more are released with a warning. It’s a murky area of the law. What’s clear are the type of offenders who wind up doing time for the offense.

According to U.S. District Court records, the jurisdictions which sentence the “highest proportion” of defendants out of their overall case load are located in the Northern District of North Carolina and Alabama, the Western District of Tennessee and Missouri, and the Southern District of Georgia. You got it. Men from the hills and hollers of Dixie do the time. Others seem to somehow slide on through.

Exactly 98.2 percent sentenced in 2012 were male, more than half of them black, 27 percent white, 18.8 percent Hispanic, and 2.9 percent were described as “other.” Their average age was 33 – old enough to know better, mature enough to be at the peak of their powers.

About 10 percent are sentenced to an average of 180 months under the provisions of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The remainder are sentenced solely under the provisions of the Subsection 922 (g)(1)  to an average sentence of 46 months. All are found to have been in possession of a firearm “which has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce.”

On-line sales literature by Century International Arms (CIA) of Delray Beach, Florida, emphasizes that much of the outfit’s trade is concentrated in “LAW/EXPORT.”

“We buy and sell large quantities of police and security items including small arms and ammunition, bolt action, full and semi-automatic rifles, body armor, handguns of all types and calibers… These transactions can be cash purchases or barter for equipment you require. We are licensed…We sell to hunters, collectors, target shooters, law enforcement and military agencies in North America and export to companies that can provide an import permit and receive permission from department of state to export goods...”

We’re talking end user certification, envoys, embassies, red tape, and diplomatic folderol, here. There’s a reason why the Kalashnikov is often called the “tractor” of brush fire warfare. A competent workman with a vise and a ball peen hammer can fabricate a receiver from a die-stamped piece of mild sheet steel in a matter of minutes. From there, it’s a small matter of assembly from non-regulated parts kits, and you’ve got yourself an assault rifle.

Then there is the nature of the offense itself, a question for which the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant the government certiorari in  United States v. Ramos, 961 F.2d 1003, 1009 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, ___U.S.___, 113 S. Ct. 364 (1992).

According to a well-worn horn book in a restatement of the law, “In accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20), a conviction does not necessarily disqualify an individual from possessing firearms if the person convicted ‘has had civil rights restored.’ In § 922(g)(1) cases based upon a State felony conviction, courts have uniformly looked to the law of the State where the conviction was obtained to determine whether the defendant’s civil rights have been restored and whether such action has nullified the conviction’s incidental prohibition on firearms possession. With respect to Federal felony convictions, the Supreme Court declared in Beecham v. United States, 511 U.S. 368 (1994), that only Federal law can nullify the effect of the conviction through expungement, pardon, or restoration of civil rights. This is so, the Court ruled, even though there is no Federal procedure for restoring the civil rights of Federal felons.”

Contrasted with the statement elsewhere contained in the holding, the pattern emerges that certain folks automatically have their civil rights restored, while others do not.

“The Criminal Division takes the position that where State law contains any provision purporting to restore civil rights — either upon application by the defendant or automatically upon the completion of a sentence — it should be given effect. It is not necessary that the State issue an individualized certificate reflecting the judgment of State officials regarding an individual defendant. The Ramos case should be limited to its unique facts and not extended in attempts to nullify the effect of other State schemes for civil rights restoration. A State restoration document that is absolute on its face should disqualify the affected State felon from prosecution under §  922(g)(1) unless the facts of the case strongly support a finding that the felon had actual notice of his/her continuing State firearms disability despite the terms of the restoration document.”
Agents arrested Kevin Massey, the commanding officer of Rusty’s Rangers, on Monday, October 20 for an alleged violation that took place on August 29. Earlier in the month of October, the moon of the drying grass, a certain confrontation between Border Patrol Agents who told he and his men that their presence is “not helping” took place. One wonders if that was “actual notice of his/her continuing State firearms disability” at work – or not.
No doubt, it’s a matter for the courts to decide, once the federal agents who speed up and down the gravel roads on top of the river levees, their headlights extinguished, throughout the long nights along the ox bows of the Rio Bravo, have made up their minds.
No one has heard them stutter, so far. 
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