Monday, February 25, 2013

Texan files lawsuit against Google, anonymous blogger


A Texas man who recently filed a defamation suit against Google and an anonymous blog author and two people commenting on the website hosted by Blogspot.,com said about 30 people called him to offer support and to join in the legal action.

John Margetis, who filed the lawsuit Feb. 19 in the 95th Judicial District Court of Judge Sheryl McFarlin, called the blog author, who goes by the name of "Ginger Snap," and two commentators, identified in the lawsuit  under the screen names of "OReader" and "Ollie Reader," "dirty, filthy liars" in a telephone interview today. Margetis said he plans to do whatever it takes to legally force the blog author to remove remarks about him that he considers libelous.

"They can't hide behind these screen names," Margetis said. "They are about to find out there are serious ramifications for telling filthy blatant lies about people."

Margetis alleges that the blog author and the two commentators libeled him by claiming that he was involved in a homosexual relationship with former Ellis County Observer blog author Joey Dauben who recently was sentenced to 30 years in prison after a jury convicted him of raping a 14-year-old male teenager in 2007.

http://therarereporter.blogspot.com/2013/01/navarro-county-judge-gives-texas.html

"That is bullshit," said Margetis of the allegation that he was ever sexually involved with Dauben. The blog apparently was originally conceived to focus on Dauben and was named Joey Is A Little Kid. A national organization named Lawless America has become the focus of its attacks since Dauben's conviction and imprisonment.

The filing of the Margetis lawsuit was first reported by the Dallas Observer on its blog last week at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/02/joey_dauben_associate_sues_goo.php .

Although Judge McFarlin granted Margetis a temporary restraining order against Google and the three "John Does" identified by screen names, the judge dismissed it today after Google filed a motion to dissolve it based on it being a violation of the Texas and U.S. Constitution and that the petition was defective because it did no comply with Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Google also argued that it was immune from legal action in regard to alleged defamatory statements under provisions of the Communications Decency Act.

Margetis said the setback would not deter him, and that he would be in court on March 14 for another hearing.

Over the weekend, the blog's author, Ginger Snap, acknowledged the lawsuit when a commentator posted the Dallas Observer link in the comments section. Ginger Snap responded, "Yes, there are quite a few slimeballs out there crying themselves to sleep each night trying to figure out who the hell Ginger Snap really is. It makes me so happy."

In a subsequent post, Ginger Snap said that the facts of the lawsuit are incorrect, and that OReader and Ollie Reader never made any comments about Margetis. Ginger Snap said the question about whether Margetis and Dauben were homosexual lovers was raised, but the allegation was not stated. Ginger Snap described Margetis as a "fraud and a liar."

"That's my opinion, and once again in free speechville, I'm allowed to have one," Ginger Snap said.

The blog, which formerly operated on Wordpress.com, was relaunched on Blogspot.com after it was shut down by the original hosting company for alleged hate speech. http://therarereporter.blogspot.com/2012/12/night-in-snake-pit-hate-speech-gets.html

All of the blog posts, including the one about which Margetis has sued, were transferred to the Google system.

Before the lawsuit was filed, all of the old blog posts were available for the public to read. As of today, March 1, the old blog posts are available to read by "invited guests" only.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Investigators focus on Aryan Brotherhood Texas link in Kaufman County prosecutor's murder


KAUFMAN, TX -- Local law enforcement officials at first seemed to down play a possible link between the murder of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse on Jan. 31 and threats from the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, but the violent white supremacist prison group now appears to be the main focus of the multi-agency investigation that has drawn a small army of law enforcement officials and reporters to the rural area.

On the day of the 57-year-old Hasse's death in a courthouse parking lot as he headed for work, the Federal Bureau of Investigation of Houston released a statement announcing the guilty pleas of two members of the white supremacist organization. Hasse was gunned down by two masked suspects who apparently easily escaped from the small town.

At the conclusion of the statement, the FBI credited a multi-agency task force for securing indictments in October 2012 against 34 ABT members that named the Kaufman County, Texas District Attorney's Office. The two ABT members, Ben Christian "Tuff" Dillon, 40, of Houston, and James Marshall "Dirty" Meldrum, 40, of Dallas, entered their guilty pleas to conspiracy in racketeering.

In December 2012 the Texas Department of Public Safety issued an alert that the ABT planned to retaliate against the 20 federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies that helped secure the indictments in Houston.

The other agencies named in the FBI statement were the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Rangers; Texas Department of Public Safety; Montgomery County, Texas Sheriff's Office; Houston Police Department Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice Office of Inspector General; Harris County, Texas Sheriff's Department; Tarrant County, Texas Sheriff's Department; Atascosa County, Texas Sheriff's Office; Orange County, Texas Sheriff's Office; Waller County, Texas Sheriff's Office; Fort Worth, Texas Police Department; Alvin, Texas Police Department; Carrollton, Texas Police Department; Montgomery County, Texas, District Attorney's Office; Atascosa County, Texas District Attorney's Office.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups and their activities, has identified the ABT as "particularly violent."

The Aryan Brotherhood is a 50-year-old large, nationwide prison gang that is "infamous for its violence and its sprawling criminal empire," according to the law center. Members usually join the white supremacist group in prison, and they continue their involvement for life outside of prison walls as well. Leaders of the groups often direct activities from their prison cells.

ABT is known to be involved in illegal drug traffic, and its members will work with groups like the Mexican Mafia and other ethnic groups it normally disparages in mutual criminal enterprises, according to the law center. In addition to drug trafficking, the group's other illegal activities include extortion. Members are kept in line through threats of violence.

Although the Aryan Brotherhood makes up only 1 percent of the national prison population, it is responsible for 18 percent of prison murders, according to the law center, which cites FBI data in most of its statistics.

The Aryan Brotherhood prison gang formed in California and spread to Texas in about 1980, according to the law center. Membership in the organization reportedly requires a year's candidacy, and a murder or other violent crime is generally required for full membership.

The law center has documented at least 10 violent crimes committed by members of the ABT since 2001, including the racially-motivated murder of James Byrd Jr. in 2010 in Jasper, Texas, when he was dragged to death behind a pickup truck. The Texas hate crime law is named after Byrd.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Singers Jason & DeMarco return to Cedar Creek Lake


PAYNE SPRINGS, TX -- Gay Christian pop singers Jason & DeMarco will be performing at Celebration on the Lake Church on the last stop of their Southwest United States Tour "Celebrating Families of Diversity" Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m.

The couple, who are raising twin sons, have been touring since 2005 when they launched their National Christmas Tour. They live in Houston, where they also record CDs of their music.

Admission to the concert, which will include a reception with refreshments following the performance, will be free, but there will be a love offering collection. Their CDs will also be for sale after the performance.

For information visit cotlchurch.org or jasonanddemarco.com


Monday, February 11, 2013

Anti-gay Texas Gov. Rick Perry halts social progress again


IRVING, TX -- Ignorance and fear can play an amazingly influential role in halting progress, and the nation recently saw that played out once again at the highest level of political influence on a charitable organization.

In the face of mounting conservative public opposition, Boy Scouts of America announced it would delay making a decision on striking down its anti-gay policy targeting scouts and leaders. An affirmative vote, originally scheduled for Feb. 6 by the Irving, Texas-based national group and now delayed until May, would have allowed local troop sponsors to decide on whether to accept gay scouts and leaders.

It's no coincidence that the Boy Scouts announcement followed on the heels of anti-gay Texas Gov. Rick "I'll never step down unless I can be president" Perry saying that he would oppose such a policy change. Perry, a former Eagle Scout who published a book in 2008, "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For," probably can be credited with derailing the vote.

That's a shame because Perry, more than most people, probably knows that anti-gay discrimination often targets people who might not be gay. Perry has fought rumors that he himself is gay ever since he went to Austin as a state legislator representing Haskell County in 1984. In fact, Perry was the subject of "Head Figure Head: The Search for the Hidden Life of Rick Perry," a book written by former openly-gay Texas Rep. Glen Maxey, which alleged to document the governor's closeted gay life.

What's even more curious about Perry's stance is that when he was a scout in Haskell County he was involved in an incident of an alleged appearance of impropriety. One night on a camping trip when Perry was about 10, he apparently got cold and crawled into a sleeping bag with an older scout to get warm. When the scout leader discovered the pair the next morning he reportedly scolded the older scout for allowing Perry to sleep with him. The older scout said he took the brunt of the scolding because he was told that as the older youth he should have known to wake the scout leader rather than allowing Perry to sleep with him.

Presumably, Perry and the older scout might have been expelled for their behavior under today's scouting policy, and God forbid what might have happened to them had they been involved in some common child experimental sex game.

The sleeping bad incident came to light when a Huffington Post reporter researched rumors about Perry's alleged secret gay life during the governor's unsuccessful bid for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2012. The reporter dismissed it because it quite rightly meant nothing, except that it possibly scarred the young Perry's mind and instilled a sense of fear in him about the perception of being branded as gay.

Friends of Perry from of his scouting days -- some of whom remain in close contact with him still -- swear that he has has never engaged in off-color jokes about LGBT people or practiced anti-gay discrimination in his political offices. Yet every chance he gets, Perry comes down on the side of the debate with the likes of anti-gay zealot Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, who from his appearance ought to understand something about the threat of being wrongly perceived as gay.

Effeminate straight men often become the targets of anti-gay hate crimes, according to organizations that track hate crime violence.

According to the organization's website, the Boy Scout's mission is to do duty to God and country, obey Scout Law, help others at all times, stay physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. Scouts are encouraged to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Obviously, none of that mentions sexual orientation, unless someone wants to try and argue that "morally straight" means not gay, which hopefully no one would be dumb enough to attempt such a debate. Instead, discrimination of any kind would appear to be violating Scout Law.

It doesn't help the cause for eliminating anti-gay discrimination in the organization that everyone realizes the Boy Scouts are likely only considering a policy change because of the fear of loss of corporate funding, which increasingly requires commitments to equality for all people.

Rather than listening to a governor whose motives are more likely based on politics and personal gain rather than fairness, it would better serve Boy Scouts leaders to listen to the words of someone like President Barack Obama. The president noted that all young people should have the opportunity to learn and prosper as part of the scouting tradition.

It's hard to imagine anything more deplorable than the thought of scout leaders and the scouts they mentor targeting and excluding a youth from a troop because they view them as unacceptable for presumed homosexuality or whatever reason. The earlier children are taught to live and let live the better it will serve them in later life, and it's never to late for someone to learn that lesson either.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Texas Capitol hosts cruel display of rattlesnakes

AUSTIN -- The Texas Capitol recently hosted a cruel exploitation of rattlesnakes for public viewing for visitors who wanted to get a glimpse of state government at work.

In addition to viewing the House of Representatives and the Senate in public hearings, a group of curious onlookers who appeared to be both intrigued and terrified by the display got to watch snake handlers agitating the reptiles. Some of the onlookers expressed dismay at the treatment of the snakes that clearly just wanted to be left alone.

In an outdoor arena on top of a graphic design of the state of Texas, snake handlers prodded a group of younger rattlesnakes of medium length to strike for the amusement of onlookers. The snakes appeared to be terrified, exhausted and more than anything else, desperate for a hole to crawl in where they could disappear.

For the most part, if you just leave snakes alone they won't bother you. I don't kill snakes when I find one in my yard, but I've been known to chase one off with a broom if I find it on my patio or elsewhere on my property.

It's not clear why anyone in state government would think such a display was such a good idea, unless they thought an exposition of real snakes might divert the public's attention from the reptilian nature of politics.