Oct 31, 2007

An Innocent Bystander Responds

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Another reader writes:
Can you find the link to the article in the Beaumont Enterprise that Klein refers to when he talked about Judge Thorne and his ideas/stance on mother's rights vs. father's rights?

Mike Aguilar
Try this story - Philip doesn't like to attribute the articles he mangles, unless it's the Guy from Boston.

I'd be interested in hearing your take, too, on Klein's article from Monday, concerning the freeze on executions in the U.S. I've already published a rebuttal from another reader and I found this story in today's Enterprise very interesting:
Even in Texas, the nation's leader in executions, prosecutors have decided to await the outcome of the Supreme Court case rather than ask judges to set execution dates and press forward through the courts.
According to Klein:
"The left wing of the Democrats that run the ABA are off and running again and pushing a very sad agenda. That is.....you fill in the blank."
Filling the blanks in Philip's logic is tantamount to filling the black hole at the center of the galaxy.

I'll watch your website for a response!

Oct 30, 2007

Still Crazy After All These Years

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Storm

In this article, Philip claims that the "The Perfect Political Storm" is brewing:
As everyone rejoiced over Judge Ron Walkers beating of former Jefferson County Judge Carl Griffith this past year, nobody, and we mean nobody, could have ever predicted the outright war that is brewing behind the scenes in Jefferson County."
I've saved this article - we'll refer to it often over the next year.

Today, I'll note one of Philip's statements that stood out:
Let's add in a Judge, John Stevens, Mr. Law and Order, and the concerns that his court and the fact his budget is far less than Judge Lane Walkers, and his case clearance is higher, and Steven's "do the job and keep politics out of my courtroom" which has p*****d off just about everyone on the 2nd floor (we love Stevens)."
Didn't Judge Stevens preside over the plea agreement and sentencing of Dr. Jeffrey Klem? Harris County's District Judge Mary Lou Keel certainly handled the case differently. The Houston Press did an excellent investigative story of the whole sordid affair earlier this month.

Naomiiiiiiiiii

In Philip's article today, he expresses his opinion on the BISD and former Jefferson County Purchasing Agent Naomi Lawrence-Lee, who may be seeking a job with the school district:

First, the taxpayers get screwed again and Lee gets a bigger budget to work with."
Klein typically attempts to pass this off as fact by quoting a manufactured source, who has the same visceral qualities as all of Philip's other so-called sources:

D**n......they have some guts," said the source."
Philip concludes his article by playing the race-baiting card:

Welcome to the BISD...were we are for the CHILDRENS!
Did Philip mean "where?"

While Klein's primary concern deceptively seems to be taxpayers who "get screwed again," he said nothing when a BISD employee apparently left this comment on his discussion list:

X-Modus-BlackList: 64.216.119.50=OK;nphilli@beaumont.k12.tx.us=OK
X-Modus-RBL: 64.216.119.50=OK
X-Modus-Trusted: 64.216.119.50=NO
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 13:05:01 -0500
To: politics@setpoliticalreview.com
Subject: RE: signs/nederland

Has anyone heard how the vote at city hall is going in Nederland for the proposition to rob peter to pay paul?
Nick is expressing a personal political view using a computer and time paid for by taxpayers of Jefferson County - the same thing for which Klein castigated Danny Walker. Now isn't that an interesting turn of the Cosmic Wheel of Irony?

Oct 29, 2007

The Big Update (or Recess Time is Over, Little Buddy)

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I discovered 19 comments left while I was gone last week, so I've picked the top daily comments on Philip's articles. These are based solely on my own discretion:

Monday (October 22, 2007):
Per Philip's story about Jessica Hallmark, please find enclosed a dime for Philip to buy a real source and learn the true reason for Ms. Hallmark's departure from Judge Walker's office.

Signed,
A Real Courthouse Source
Philip, I'll give you the dime when I see you next. You'll know it's me because it's a Reagan dime.

Tuesday (October 23, 2007):
Philip's right about the voting location for the Nederland EDC proposal. You have to go to Nederland City Hall and NOT the Rec Center to vote. Would you point that out please, because anyone who reads it on Klein's site, will think he's making it up.
Wednesday (October 24, 2007):
Little fillup compared apples and oranges again and came up with another dingbat conclusion...the San Diego public infrastructure including city, county, state, and federal guv'ment were all in place and undisturbed, but the entire New Orleans public infrastructure was non-existent for days. H**l, it took'em 4 days to find the Superdome and deliver fresh water even with a big hole in the roof.
Thursday (October 25, 2007):

Hey, Gus...you missed Klein's predictions on the elections. Save this so you can compare after:
Nederland - the GOB's will get what the want. The $400k is in the bank....as of now. The movement does not seem to be working and the average person knows nothing about it. Only the insiders are turning out.

Beaumont - We called it a 60-40 loss. We now call it a pick 'em with the MO going with the bond. This will be fun to even watch. The money that will be wasted and the controversy. Da Bond Folk have it going on.

Port Arthur - We are having trouble with this one. We want Willie Bae up on the council. It should shut things down. Or at least make it fun again. Everyone is getting along so darn good. We need dysfunction and Willie can bring that to the table. It is that simple. Team Bae is getting 'em out."
My vote for the quote of the week because he always uses the same old descriptions: "Let's get started in the sleepy town of Nederland, Texas.
Friday (October 26, 2007):

Special thanks to several readers who left Philip's comments regarding Operation Kleinwatch. Philip took his free pass quite literally, so I'll respond to this one:

The DOKS - It has been a while since we have read BPDOK - the funny thing is that it is the same think over and over and over again. Like living in Port Arthur in Stonegate....over and over and over again. Happy times we say. Here is an example in the discussion of the pipeline explosion near a certain high school being built :
BPDOK? What is that? I missed that one.

As I've previously pointed out on several occasions, if the content seems to be the "same old think [sic] over and over and over again," then perhaps Philip needs to come up with some new material. I'm suspect that most of us are tired of hearing about Hilton Kelley's missing Eagle Scout Award.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

Klein's convoluted thinking is readily apparent. Highly-suspect anonymous sources are valid, but I have no credibility because this blog is anonymous. Philip is still under the misconception that I'm Beverly Parker. Hence, the references to the Stonegate addition, Happy Times Video, and that "certain high school."

I assume that Philip and his brother are still estranged, otherwise they could compare notes. From the comments that Peter Klein has left, he's apparently convinced I'm Dr. Jeffrey Klem:

"Hey Dr. Klem. [Klein] is talking about you right now. Make sure you spend a little time discussing the logical fallacies of his remarks while ignoring the vileness of your crime.
I definitely see the family resemblance; how about you? I never heard the details behind that little tiff with Peter; perhaps Philip will share the real story behind the story? I think that would be as entertaining as the case of Hilton Kelley's missing Eagle Award. Since Philip references active readers of this site as DOKs, I suppose that Friends and Family of Klein should have their own acronym as well. How about the FFOKKERS?

Philip also wrote:

Here is how you do it. Take a story, then spin it out and compare it to another story. Take both out of context and you get a DOK story. Whoever DOK is seemingly has been reaching really really hard. Remember their goal - to help prove up a lawsuit for a buddy that passed on it. Yes...the story is coming out. Your guys have made a living and live big in the "backcountry" on cases like this.....why are you not running out there and signing them up?
Those comments (see below) concerning the recent Port Arthur pipeline explosion were taken entirely within the context of Klein's Southeast Texas Political Review. After Klein hysterically referred to the "blood of children on the hands of those who pushed for this high school," I commented on Philip's lack of manufactured outrage for Carver Terrace residents who were exposed to an unauthorized gas release containing hydrogen sulfide, a deadly agent with the same toxicity as hydrogen cyanide.

I must confess that I'm completely confused and have no idea of the meaning behind Klein's gibberish regarding my "goal." I'm fairly close to the source of this blog, so perhaps Philip will offer some substantive comments concerning this alleged story of a "lawsuit for a buddy that passed on it." I haven't heard that one.

Monday (October 29, 2007):

To bring everyone up to date, I've saved the best for last! I have a special treat from another reader who rebutted Philip's story in detail today:
First of all, not all cases are solved by DNA. If ... First of all, not all cases are solved by DNA. If those cases pose a question then yes - we agree. Let's be sure or let's retry it without the DNA and let the jury hear the facts.

Umm... I think someone has missed the point. The 200+ cases where inmates were exonerated by DNA evidence is not referring to cases where DNA evidence was used that was questionable, and later thrown own and the cases retried and the defendants still found guilty. These are cases where defendants were found guilty, and then DNA evidence later proved them innocent. On average, these defendants spent 12 years behind bars, with some spending time on Death Row.

Second, the suggestion of "Misidentification of Witness" is simply a smoke screen by the bar. So when they said it was him, it was really not him 10 years later? How do we know? This is a very weak argument.

Here is an example: A.B. Butler was charged in 1983 with kidnapping and rape. He was identified by the victim from mug shots and a lineup. Even though he had witnesses as to his whereabouts at the time, he was convicted and sentenced to 99 years. 17 years later, he was cleared by DNA testing of semen from the victim's skirt. Although this case was not one where the defendant was on Death Row, it does show how eyewitness testimony can be suspect.

Third, False confessions? Another very weak reason. A confession is a confession. Our US Constitution is very very clear. Everyone has a right to an attorney. That simple.

Everyone has the right to an attorney, unless they have been charged, or if they are being held as a material witness. When someone is picked up, most states allow 48 hours before they have to be charged with a crime. That is 48 hours of police interrogation, and most states do not require the police interrogation to be recorded. During this time, the police can lie, threaten, withhold medication, deprive people of food and sleep, just about anything in order to get a confession.

Here is an example, Israel, you know the country dealing with terrorism on an almost daily basis, has laws concerning confessions. Primarily, a confession is only admissible if the court finds that the confession was made voluntarily and willingly. If any force, coercion, or other methods are used to gain a confession, the confession is thrown out, and, in some cases, the interrogator can be criminally charged.

And last - there goes the ABA - pulling out the race card. It makes us sick here at the Review.

Racial disparities are not pulled out because someone wants to say it, especially the ABA. Disparity is based upon simple factors:
  • What is the ethnicity of the criminals found guilty of crimes that allow for capital punishment?
  • What is the ethnicity of inmates on "Death Row?"
  • If these two don't match (or are not fairly close) then there could be disparity
  • Check to see if there is variation over the years.
Simple. If you have a 50/50 makeup of criminals being found guilty of crimes allowing for capital punishment, but your death row is 20/80, then there is disparity.

Let's be real honest. There are some really bad men and women out there. They are killers. They want to hurt you, and me, as well as our children. To suggest anything other than the death sentence IS A DETERRENT is more of that liberal crap being spewed by a liberal group of lawyers.

Hey, no argument here. There are some pretty sick and twisted people out there. Many of them are so sick and twisted, that nothing is a deterrent to their actions. Put them in jail for the rest of their lives? They don't care. Put them to death? They don't care. When someone is that messed up, nothing is a deterrent to them.

Frankly - if a man grabs a women, rapes her, then kills her, he goes to the death house. That simple. No matter what his race is no matter what his shoe size is. He goes down. And any women who kills goes too.

All fine and dandy, but what about the people who were on the way to the "death house" is found to have not done the crime? What about those who have already gone, and we will never find out? The ABA is not calling for an end to capital punishment, but a moratorium on the executions until consistent laws are in place that would provide effective measures to insure that innocent people are not put to death.

It is another sad day in the United States of America. The left wing of the Democrats that run the ABA are off and running again and pushing a very sad agenda. That is.....you fill in the blank.

More importantly, what about the actual criminals that are getting away with these crimes? Aren't they being emboldened by innocent people going to jail for the crimes they commit? Doesn't that just encourage them to do it again and again? What about our children then?

Gus, feel free to use this, you don't even have to credit me.

Recall_Carlpart_deux
Thanks, RCPII.

Oct 21, 2007

Philip's Free Pass

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I've been busy with trip preparations over the past couple of days - I'm leaving later today, so Philip will get a free pass until at least Monday, October 29th, when I return. I'll be in the backcountry with no Internet access. Private eyes should note that hunting season is not open in Texas yet, so use aerial surveillance.

Readers can leave comments on any of Philip's articles that I miss while I'm gone - I'll publish noteworthy opinions when I get back. Here is one such comment left recently:
Fill-up is as nutty as the ousted Travelin' Trustee, who is pointing a finger at the Port Arthur school board about the location of the new high school. The ground under our feet is a spaghetti bowl of pipelines so no location would be safe. Groves Middle School is close to the pipeline that exploded because it parallels Hogaboom Road. PN-G high school adjoins "Rubber Plant Row." If Fill-up wanted to do something constructive, he'd demand that the companies do a better job of maintaining their pipelines.
Excellent point. The reader references Philip's article published on Thursday, "PAISD Flashback : Safe," where he commented on the pipeline explosion near the new high school in Port Arthur:
"We now have the blood of children on the hands of those who pushed for this high school to be built next to a pipeline."
Not true: no victims, no blood, and the school is actually under construction. This is simply another case of his exaggerated hysteria.

I'm curious why Klein failed to show the same contrived sense of outrage for those residents near the Valero Refinery. In addition to those treated at the scene, over 30 were taken to the hospital during an accidental release of toxic gases. According to Philip, residents were only inconvenienced by the odor of rotten eggs. Later disclosure by the company revealed the gasses included 619 pounds of hydrogen sulfide, which has a similar toxicity as hydrogen cyanide. It's fatal in concentrations of over 500 parts per million, but is easy to identify: it smells like rotten eggs.

I'll comment on two items in Tidbits - the rest were gibberish.
Bashing Limbaugh - Almost $3 million for a letter signed by the left wing whackos.....that is whacko...except it is going for a great cause. And that cause is what he is about.
Even more wacko is Philip's numbers. Actually, the letter drew a winning bid of slightly more than $2 million, not "almost $3 million." This error is no big deal; but, a million here, a million there, and pretty soon we're talking real money, paraphrasing Senator Everett Dirksen. But seriously, folks, this is an excellent example of Philip's frequent exaggerated bias.
Big Money - Here we go again. The Clintons are in trouble. Seems that a waiter gave the Clintons big bucks as well as buss boys and cooks in Chinatown. The money? How about at one point $38k. Business must be good being a buss boy!
Did Klein mean "bus boy," and exactly how much is "one point $38k?" And, if waiters truly gave the Clintons "buss boys" [sic] and cooks in Chinatown, how much does a "buss boy" [sic] go for on eBay?

Let's revisit one of Philip's articles from earlier this week.
The Southeast Texas Political Review has learned that lawyers from the Jefferson County District Attorney's office have been warned to expect "a large verdict" from the lawsuit currently ongoing at the Federal Count House in Beaumont. Adding even more fear, the numbers may total into the millions and the political fall out may have far reaching effects.
Typically, Philip quoted an anonymous source:
"...the dirty little secret from the commissioners was that they knew they were going to take a hit on this case," said a source close to the commissioners court.
Of course, Philip didn't take that source at face value - he corroborated the story with his own fictitious "Court House Insiders:"
The Review made a visit to some Federal Court House insiders that have watched portions of the trial and they confirm that it does not look good for the County.
The fat lady sang on Friday afternoon: Philip Klein's incontrovertible sources also gave him the inside scoop on Governor Rick Perry's political aspirations this week:
Governor Perry is going to step aside in 2010 say sources in Austin. He wants to run for....Senate? And Senator Hutchison wants to come home and be....Governor?
Anyone who's paying attention should be able to figure out what Perry's recent endorsement of Rudy Giuliani means, as I documented earlier this week. This op-ed piece from The Atlantic says it all.

On a similar subject, let's revisit this article from August 31st:
Welcome Mr. President - Fred Thompson joins the race.
Another case of Klein's problem with premature expectations; so far, the only thing notable about Thompson's campaign is that he's losing more support every day. For example, he lost the support of James Dobson, who said that Thompson, "won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail."

Of course, this wasn't the first time that Thompson was criticised - Richard Nixon said he was "dumb as hell” on tape, after he was appointed to lead the Republican investigation of Watergate. Nixon worried a great deal about Thompson’s competence, or lack thereof, especially whether he was smart enough to shift the investigation away from the White House. Nixon resigned two months later.

Keep an eye on Philip while I'm gone.

Oct 18, 2007

GOPer Talk Redux

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While Philip waxes hysterical over plastic bags today, I'll point out some developments in the real world of politics. Considering our articles yesterday on Governor Rick Perry, readers may find the following story in the Beaumont Enterprise of more interest: This Houston Chronicle article is interesting, as well: Perry has endorsed Rudy for President. I wonder how Philip's sources in Washington, D.C. could have missed this and if he can spell "Clueless?"

Oct 17, 2007

Even More GOPER Talk

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Klein speculates on the future of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Governor Rick Perry, after Senator Hutchison's announcement that she won't seek another term in the Senate:
If Senator Hutchinson runs for Governor, she may have to step down. If that happens the Governor will appoint. Huh? Do we smell a deal?
Maybe, but it's important to note that as of this morning, Hutchison has refused to comment on a gubernatorial bid.

While Philip implies that Perry and Hutchison will swap seats, the real speculation on those "blogs coming out of Washington, D.C." and everywhere else is that Perry is posturing for a bid as VP. Why else would Perry spend time addressing groups like the California Republican Party? See for yourself. Considering Rudy Giuliani's appeal to the conservative wing of the Republican Party and wingnuts like Philip Klein, Perry could be the answer Rudy's looking for.

If Hutchison does run for Governor, do you think Philip will spell her name correctly on the front page of his website? My sources say no. A reader pointed out that you can see what they're really saying about Hutchison's decision here, instead of relying on Philip's so-called sources who apparently are clueless as to what is really going on.

Klein's speculation is really just another example of his ongoing problem with premature expectation. The real worry among the state GOP is that Cornyn's in trouble. He's up for reelection and things aren't looking good. Consider that Cornyn has never been popular; as an example, he's currently the 11th most unpopular Senator and in Texas, his approval rating has never been above 48 percent in the past two years. He's alienated a portion of his loyal base, not to mention almost every Hispanic in the state. He's also plagued by rumors concerning his ethics. Another poll from Research 2000 last week showed that only 40% of respondents would vote to re-elect Cornyn, while 35% said they would definitely vote for someone else.

The most serious challenger at this point is State Representative Rick Noriega. Check out his website here. Noriega is a well-respected Iraq war veteran and like most Texas Democrats, is a moderate. He'll never play to those partisan hacks like Philip Klein, who believe that "Democrat" is synonymous with "Far-Left Radical Liberal;" however for most voters in the state, he's a very valid alternative.

Oct 16, 2007

Prepare

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Philip claims the media is ignoring the Ronnie Tejada trial in his article today:
"The media is running a couple of stories - but nothing specific. In fact, you would not know the trial is ongoing?
In the past 10 days, the Beaumont Enterprise ran these stories:
Typically, Klein is predicting doom and gloom in this trial. At the same time, he's manufactured a source to denigrate Sheriff Mitch Woods:
"They are anticipating a large hit. And they are worried that Mitch will take a political hit. That is why you have seen so much money be put aside in the contingency fund and that is why Woods had a fundraiser last week. He needed to shore up his political base and the dirty little secret from the commissioners was that they knew they were going to take a hit on this case," said a source close to the commissioners court.
Too bad Klein didn't read those stories in the Enterprise; he missed NaphCare's culpability.

Considering all of the smoke Philip is blowing, I seriously doubt that he has a source "close to the Commissioners Court," when he can't even get them to return his calls. For corroboration, consider this question from Klein:
First, why do you fire the lead attorney in the middle of a trial?
As I documented in a recent article, even Channel 4 had the real story. Perhaps Klein should look into the relationship surrounding this lead attorney and that previous case she handled while in private practice. That is, if he can find a real source that will talk to him.

Oct 15, 2007

Your Nederland Tax Dollars At Work

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From the Port Arthur News.

Read Jeff Ortiz's Blog for the real story behind the story.

For a point-by-point refutation of Klein's article on Beaumont Fire and Rescue today, see Mike Aguilar's Going Underground.

Bad PR

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In today's article, Philip offers his unsolicited advice to the firefighters of Beaumont Fire and Rescue:
"Our advice - shut up and sit down."
Typically, Philip wants to stifle all other viewpoints without proper debate. In this case, the issue is hiring civilian dispatchers. The firefighters contend, among other things, that replacing firefighter dispatchers with civilians would violate the state's local government code.

Klein's myopic partisanship is readily apparent to even the most casual observer. This week-end, he featured a guest on his radio show who spoke against the BISD bond election. Klein referenced his guest as "one of the good guys." Klein implies that anyone who disagrees with him on any issue is one of the "bad guys." Even worse, he labels anyone who disagrees with his wingnut opinions as far left and radical. This is more of his fallacious logic, an ad hominem attack, rather than arguing the merits of one's opinion.

While Klein portrays this controversy as endemic solely to Beaumont, the truth is that this controversy erupts wherever this issue of civilian dispatchers is raised. According to Philip:
Major cities across the United States have gone to EMD / EFFD systems run by civilians in order to put Fire Fighters on the street.
Klein didn't mention those major cities, such as Los Angeles, that examined this issue of civilian dispatchers and decided to maintain the status quo.

I would be interested in hearing from local firefighters on this issue beyond Klein's manufactured source - I've posted their responses in the past and they seem to be quite articulate in their arguments. Feel free to leave a comment.

Oct 14, 2007

Philip Klein: Freedom of Speech or Freedom to Slander?

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On his radio show Saturday, Klein slandered U.S. Representative Nick Lampson:
You used to get a tax break on all the sales tax you use to pay to the states, they don't do that anymore. [clears throat] The ch... I think, who, who took that away from us? Oh , the Clinton Administration, yeah, they took that away from us. Oh wait, who voted for that to take it away from us? I think it was Nick Lampson. Hhhmmmm.
Actually, Texans lost their sales tax deduction under the Reagan Administration as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Since Lampson was not elected to Congress until November, 1996, he could not possibly have voted for that bill.

Furthermore, Lampson has actively supported the restoration of the sales tax deduction since he was first elected. As just one example, he was co-sponsor of HR 322 in 2002.

Philip's statement is clearly defamatory, since he's invented falsehoods which are solely intended to vilify Nick Lampson. This is not protected speech under the First Amendment. Philip's ignorance is no excuse, either - whether he's too stupid or too lazy to find the real facts, he can't make up lies about someone because he disagrees with their politics.

Oct 13, 2007

Klein's Fuzzy-Wuzzy Math

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Philip was in rare form on his radio show today. As one example, he claimed:
I'm more than happy to tell all of you. My home just went to 150,000 dollars on the tax roll, an increase of 39,000 dollars.
I'm sure he was more than happy to tell everyone, especially since that was a bald-faced lie. According to the Jefferson County Appraisal District's website, the appraised value of Philip's home last year was $89,930.00.

If Klein's appraisal actually increased by $39,000, then the appraised value of his home is $128,930, not $150,000 as Philip claimed. However, I question that increase of $39,000 - if Klein is dishonest about the value of his home, then I suspect he's duplicitous about the increase in its appraised value, as well.

I'll have another observation on his radio show tomorrow.

On another note, Buck is back with his blog, at least he's got the structure of his site back up. Unfortunately, there is no content at the time I posting this. Buck, I apologize if I pulled the plug too soon! As soon as you get a posting up, I'll put the link back up on my sidebar.

Oct 12, 2007

Tidbits

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No intelligent life out there - I suggest writing while sober next time, Philip. Isn't it quite typical that Klein seems fascinated with the transgender debate, but ignored the bigger issue of the withdrawal of the Turkish Ambassador over the Armenian genocide debate?

On a side note, Peter, I'm not Dr. Jeffrey Klem. Perhaps you should check with a sibling who has incontrovertible evidence that I'm Beverly Parker.

On another side note, I'm mourning the passing of Buck Naked's blog and forum. I enjoyed your blog and I'm sorry to see you go, Buck.

I'm replacing Buck's link with Tom Taschinger's blog, Back on Earth. I enjoy reading Taschinger's comments frequently. Philip Klein and I agree on this, although I suspect Klein is more impressed with Taschinger's ability to string together enough words in a row to form a coherent sentence. Readers who've seen Philip's tidbits this week will know what I mean.

Since Taschinger is the online news editor for the Beaumont Enterprise, I cite his work on a regular basis when factchecking many of Klein's ludicrous statements. Ironically, Klein claims that Taschinger "may have the best blog on the web right now," but regularly accuses the Enterprise of bias. This is a great example of how Philip has carefully thought through the issue and settled on both sides of the fence.

More later!

Oct 11, 2007

Getting Busy

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Like a rabid chihuahua, Philip Klein continues his ad hominem attack on Hilton Kelley. In his latest article, Klein questions some businesses in which Kelley is apparently involved:
The two new companies are called : "CON-Vibe Entertainment" (we just cannot make this stuff up), and HK Enterprises. In a regular check of the Texas Secretary of State we could not find any companies other than CIDA that is incorporated in Texas. The same was found in a national corporation search.

The question for the FEDS and the IRS is who is paying the rent. Mr. Hilton or CIDA. If CIDA is paying the rent and Kelley is running personal businesses at a tax free office using tax free equipment owned by a 501-c-3 - then we may have a problem.
Isn't it ironic that, after years of display, Mr. Philip no longer has information posted on his website about his so-called Gadfly Foundation?

In the past, Klein claimed the Gadfly Foundation was a not-for-profit charity, where he solicited donations. These donations were dispensed by Philip R. Klein, under the auspices of Klein Investments, Inc., a for-profit corporation. Readers can do their own search on this dubious charity - the only Gadfly Foundation I found was listed in New York City.

While it's possible that Klein's Gadfly Foundation was an unincorporated nonprofit association and not a 501(3)c not-for-profit corporation, there are certain provisions for this type of charitable organization that must be met under the Texas Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act. These associations are defined as an unincorporated organization consisting of three or more members under TUUNAA. If Klein Investments is a for-profit corporation, and Philip is listed as both the President and Director, I wonder how he got around those requirements and whether people who donated to his so-called foundation can legitimately claim a tax deduction for a charitable gift.

Or, maybe the person in the picture that's currently posted on Klein's Gadfly Foundation page is shoveling something other than dirt.

Oct 10, 2007

Oh Look! It's the Great Pumpkin!

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I saw Philip while I was out today; at first, I thought the Great Pumpkin was in town for an early Halloween visit, but the resemblance had more to do with the awful orange shirt Klein was wearing. Philip's taste in clothing matches his political acumen.

At the time I'm posting this article, Philip hasn't published anything new since yesterday afternoon; instead, I'll debunk one of his favorite statistics. In his editorial "Approval Ratings," Philip writes:
It just makes me sick knowing that over 63 cents of every dollar I make goes to taxes in one form or another.
Philip quotes this statistic frequently. On a recent radio show, I counted four times in two hours.

Readers will notice that he's never cited a reference for this statistic. Either he made this up, or he read this on bumper sticker at some point in the past.

Unfortunately, he's entirely wrong. According to the Tax Foundation:
In percentages, government at all levels now takes 32.7 percent of the nation's income.
Since Klein is apparently not familiar with technical terms like percent, I'll explain. The statistic from the Tax Foundation means that taxpayers fork over 32.7 cents for local, state, and federal taxes out of every dollar they earn, not 63 cents as Klein frequently claims.

Philip also claims:
Like for a can of coke - there is a little unknown recycle tax on the can - then that tax is passed to us - and we pay sales tax for the can of coke. Tax on tax? Should I mention the meat tax? Or how about the produce tax? Or how about this good one - go get your oil changed - you have to pay a disposal fee (tax)...
That recycle tax is apparently so unknown that it doesn't exist, just like a tax on meat and produce. Food items are non-taxable.

That is, unless Philip is mistaking the cost of goods sold as a "tax." He references the oil disposal fee, but this is not a tax - it's a handling fee collected by a private business. As such it's another revenue stream for these businesses since Texas law prohibits dumping used oil. Many states and cities, such as New York, prohibit collecting a separate disposal fee.

Really, Philip, "you gotta talk educated." Can you back this statistic up with any real documentation?

Oct 9, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

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After Klein's recent hysteria over those electrical box repairs at Ford Park, I found this story on Channel 4 interesting:
Jefferson County District Attorney Tom Maness says he'll advise the county auditor to go ahead and reimburse the young men's business league for the repair of 11 electrical boxes at Ford Park. The boxes are used by the vendors at the South Texas State Fair, which opens Thursday. For months, those boxes were in questionable condition some were underwater. One person was even shocked at last year's fair. The situation took on added urgency as the opening of this year's fair approached. Sources tell us that commissioner Bo Alfred gave the YMBL authority to elevate the boxes and the group did the work for just over $44,000. Problem is, state law requires any expense over $25,000 to go through the purchasing department and be approved by commissioners. Jefferson County will deduct the repair costs from the $150,000 rent the YMBL pays the county for the use of Ford Park.
This is distinctly different than Klein's version. Even though Commissioner Alfred is favorite target of Klein's, Philip completely missed the significance of the debate - the YMBL was given approval by Alfred, which circumvented state law.

Isn't it ironic how Klein and his so-called sources missed that? I'm reminded of a quote from a movie I once saw.

Lampson

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In Philip's latest article, he attacks Nick Lampson's Middle-Class Tax Relief Plan. This is another case of an appeal to ridicule, since Klein offers no substantive comment beyond ridicule. While Philip has again manufactured sources that say absolutely nothing, his real source is here.

To put this into perspective, readers should remember Klein's June 29th Tidbits, where he wrote:
Another Mill in the Pocket - FEMA gave Jefferson County a million. Left out of why it happened was Ted Poe.
As I documented, Klein was completely confused. Poe had nothing to do with that bill; rather, Nick Lampson added the supplemental funding for hurricane recovery.

Lampson has always been fairly moderate as Democrats go. For instance, he supported the Middle-Class Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act, eliminating the death tax, the anti-flag desecration amendment, the Bankruptcy Overhaul Bill requiring partial debt repayment, more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime, and allowing school prayer. He even received an A from the NRA, which indicates his pro-gun rights voting record.

I particularly found this statement amusing:
"Team Lampson is in election mode again knowing that he will have a line up of people on the GOP side to run against him. And they are lining up.
Actually, it seems to me that Republicans line up anytime someone announces an election. Currently, five Republicans have announced their candidacy in the 22nd district, which is still less than the free-for-all that erupted after DeLay's decision to resign. Even during the actual GOP primary, DeLay was only one of four Republicans running.

Closer to home, does anyone remember the flock of Republicans that originally ran for District 2? Judge Ted Poe eventually won the nomination, but I'll never forget the entire front row of six Republican hopefuls who showed up from Houston during the Jefferson County Primary debates. The candidates took almost half-an-hour just to introduce themselves and Poe wasn't even there!

Klein's final word on the subject was typical of his bumper-sticker mentality:
"The Democrats hold the house and they do not believe in tax decreases. They believe in Tax Increases. More government and more of your money.
I've watched both Democrats and Republicans in control over the past 30 years - frankly, I can't tell a whole lot of difference between the two parties, except that a Democratic Administration actually stopped deficit spending, paid down the national debt, and reduced the size of the federal government. Even Reagan didn't accomplish that.

Care to discuss the facts, Philip?

Oct 8, 2007

BISD Talking Points (Philip's Horse Laugh Fallacy)

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In Philip's latest article, he tried to refute the BISD bond on a point-by-point basis. His conclusions were based solely on opinion and a misunderstanding of the actual dynamics of school finance, rather than any contradictory evidence.

Hence, Klein argues with an appeal to ridicule: since he doesn't comprehend the real issues, Philip simply makes fun of them with hope that no one sees through his logical fallacy.

For instance, let's examine items five and six, which have to do with Chapter 41 and Chapter 42 school districts.
5. BISD is now considered a “property wealthy” district and will have to send our future Maintenance & Operation (M&O) tax dollars to Austin under the “Robin Hood” plan, unless we can lower our M&O rate.

REVIEW : So...with property rates through the roof we have to share - and if we share we have no money and so we need more money? Huh?

6.Bond money (debt service taxes) is retained exclusively by this district and is not shared with the state. We can tax ourselves through debt service, lower our M&O taxes, fix our schools, and send less money to Austin; if we pass this bond.

REVIEW : So the citizens are overtaxed, but lets screw them this way. That money will go to the state and we will get ours? Let's carry debt? Credit cards are better?
Readers can plainly see that instead of substantive argument, Klein only offers derisive comments. Like Rip Van Winkle, he apparently slept through the entire debate over Texas school finance in the first half of this decade.

The BISD's position very clearly mirrors the inequities of the so-called Robin Hood system, where taxes from property-rich school districts are used to finance property-poor districts. This created problems for property-rich districts when the 72nd legislature set a ceiling on local property taxes for school maintenance and operations (M&O) at $1.50 per $100 valuation. The property-rich districts then had to raise their tax rates to the maximum allowed by state law just to maintain their infrastructure. In several well-publicized local cases, property-poor districts had better facilities than property-rich districts.

West Orange/Stark, PN-G, and two other districts originally filed a lawsuit which argued that this ceiling amounted to a state property tax, which is prohibited under the Texas Constitution. Eventually, over 300 districts joined the suit. The Texas Supreme Court finally found that the ceiling on tax rates was indeed unconstitutional, because it deprives local districts of its autonomy in setting tax rates.

Even with a shutdown of the Texas Public School System staring them in the face, the Texas Legislature could only agree on a series of quick fixes, which met the bare minimum of the Supreme Court requirements. These new fixes failed to truly address those inequities of the school finance system in Texas, as evidenced by the BISD's current problems.

Honestly, I don't have a feel for how this bond election will go with voters right now. Considering the problems with BISD's aging facilities, however, this issue needs to be publicly debated on its merits, rather than a wingnut's opinionated misunderstanding and logical fallacies.

Here's an idea - why doesn't Klein invite Dr. David Teuscher onto his radio show to debate the bond issue? Tuescher is a well-known local conservative Republican, so any argument over partisanship would be eliminated.

I'd pay money to see Klein go head-to-head with Dr. Teuscher on this issue.

The First Chink

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Klein continues his attack on Judge Ron Walker over the sacking of Jessica Hallmark, by manufacturing delusory sources again:
A source close to the DA's office told us Sunday morning that : "The Walkers play hard ball. Either you are with them or you are against them. If one of them tells you to do something you do it. These are people that feel they have been empowered," said the source.
Klein very obviously has no knowledge of what really happened - as I pointed out yesterday, Channel Four has the real story:
We're told she was let go for apparently getting re-involved in a case she had previously handled when she was in private practice before joining the Walker administration.
Channel Four couldn't go into details. Judge Walker had no choice when considering the relationship between Hallmark and this "previous case." Had he allowed Hallmark to stay, Walker would have faced tough questions about impropriety and rightfully so.

Unfortunately, no one is returning Philip's call, so he's scrambling to hold on to what little credibility he has left.

Oct 7, 2007

Differing Accounts (Philip's Spin is On)

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Philip Klein writes:
The Southeast Texas Political Review has received a now confirmed report that Attorney Jessica Halmark [SIC] has been asked to leave the Walker administration effective immediately. The report sent to the Review went on to state that Halmark [SIC] gave a letter of resignation after being told she was to be removed from her office on Thursday.

Attempts to comments to this story were met with hang ups.

This is the first chink in the armor for the Walker administration in Jefferson County. Halmark, [SIC] one of two attorneys assigned to run the office was employed by the county judges office for less than 9 months.
The attorney's name is Jessica Hallmark, not Halmark. Channel 4 has the real story without the bias and innuendo:

A former aide to Jefferson County Judge Ron Walker has been hired by District Attorney Tom Maness as an Assistant D.A. Sources tells KBTV that Jessica Hallmark was forced to resign Friday, and on the same day was hired by Maness. We're told she was let go for apparently getting re-involved in a case she had previously handled when she was in private practice before joining the Walker administration. But Judge Walker would only confirm that Hallmark resigned to practice law in the courtroom. Walker says he will miss her talent and that Hallmark will be hard to replace. As Assistant D.A., Hallmark's first assignment will be to help defend Jefferson County against a lawsuit filed by former inmate Ronny Tejada. It's not known if Hallmark will stay with the DA's office once that trial has ended.

Philip has promised a follow-up article, where he'll increase the spin from 45 to 78 rpm. We'll revisit later this week.

Oct 5, 2007

Avoiding Pesky Questions (A Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy)

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UPDATE ON BREAKING NEWS: Readers may find this story interesting - seems a judgement of $6.3 million was levied against a radio personality and blogger who was found guilty of defamation against a local official. The "editorialist" apparently said something about a Georgia Sheriff that wasn't true. Read about it here. I particularly liked this quote:
In a statement, Strength said the judge's decision sends an important message that the media can't just make up things that aren't true about people.
The blog by the "editorialist" has apparently been taken down at http://ejcnews.com/.

-End of Update-

Philip writes in Tidbits this week:
Sam The Eagle - Very interesting that sources tell the Review that Sam The Eagle had a copy of a doctored email. The same doctored email that the DOKS have. Our understanding - the connection has been made. We are going to sit back and watch from the sidelines. Big fish we hear.
Philip is blowing a lot of smoke with his attempt to connect me with Sam The Eagle's blog.

Perhaps he misread my article from last week, where I produced the original email in question. The posting was clearly from lisahahn@iwaynet.net. Even though Klein now claims my version was doctored, the content was identical to one Philip originally claimed was legitimate. This certainly proves that Klein visits my little blog more frequently than he admits.

Is Philip now denying that Lisa Hahn was a subscriber to his discussion list, and that she did not post that message? I have 15 more messages from Lisa Hahn that prove she did.

I've also recently documented a case of identity fraud on his mailing list, which Klein has never addressed. In this case, a person claiming to be Cindy Bloodsworth conveniently responded approximately 15 minutes after Klein first posted a question. Klein has never commented on this either.

Klein apparently turned over the membership list of his discussion list to the FBI without a valid court order or search warrant, which makes him liable to his subscribers for the improper release of personal information.

More importantly, why would the FBI be interested in the membership of his discussion list, if they're truly investigating the case of a forged letter sent to Klein's attorney? Some of Klein's explanations don't make much sense.

I wonder if Philip is trying to cover his assets with all of this smoke. I'll have more to post later today or tomorrow.

Oct 3, 2007

Expletives Deleted

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Because of Klein's foul language, I've edited his comments somewhat. In today's article, he writes:
"You have to admit - business does not like commissioners court and commissioners court does not like business. Just ask any Chamber member or business leader. Jefferson County Commissioners Court just is not business friendly.
According to Klein's article, his evidence for this outlandish statement are two manufactured sources:
"'First they p[---]d off the Softball folks.....now they are p[---]ng us off,' said a source inside the YMBL.

Another told us : 'I just cannot believe they are even saying anything. Can you imagine Ford Park without the Fair? Talk about dead.'"
Philip's bottom line:
If the gang of seven wants to p[--]s off some real big dogs and see the wrath of their actions - go ahead and try to force the YMBL into paying for the repairs. Make their day!
Actually, Philip's information came from this story on KBTV/Channel 4.

Readers will notice that only Philip mentioned forcing the YMBL to pay for the repairs. We'll revisit this subject next week after the Commissioners discuss the issue on Monday.

Meanwhile, Jeff Ortiz reports that "Big Business" has left Nederland and is relocating near the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. I wonder why Klein failed to comment on something like this in his own hometown? Just like the Beaumotn City Council, I suspect the Nederland City Council gets a pass as well.

Oct 2, 2007

$5K

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In yesterday's article, I complained that Philip was beating a dead horse concerning Hilton Kelley and noted there were many more interesting political topics upon which to comment. Klein responded with a new article where he takes a statement of Hillary Clinton completely out of the context of national debate.

If Klein weren't so mean-spirited and arrogant, I would almost feel pity for him. He has pretensions to be a political "editorialist," but lacks the capacity necessary to comprehend even the most basic of issues beyond a bumper-sticker mentality.

He writes:
So here we go. Get your check books out. Here comes Hillary. And nobody is safe. But you get $5k when you give birth!
Regarding this issue of the so-called baby bond, let's first examine the background. This idea isn't even new, since Founding Father Thomas Paine proposed a similar concept in his book, "Agrarian Justice."

This idea was most recently floated as a solution to the growing problem of funding the G.I. Bill. The original G.I Bill financed the education of three Supreme Court Justices, three presidents, twenty-four Pulitzer prize winners, fourteen Nobel Prize winners, among its many recipients. Given that sort of return on investment and the support for our troops, how can anyone argue against the bill?

Unfortunately, the original G.I. bill has been gutted over the past several years, to the point where it will no longer cover costs for veterans to attend state institutions, private colleges, etc.

Hillary's statement was in support of a solution proposed by Time Magazine, who called for a $5,000 baby bond, contingent upon two conditions: the money could only be accessed between the ages of 18 and 25; and, only after the recipient has committed to at least one year of national or military service. Like the old G.I. Bill, the money must be used to fund education, start a business, or make a down payment on a home. The bond would preserve the voluntary nature of the service but offer a strong incentive for young people to sign up for it.

Neither is this a partisan issue. Time apparently lifted portions of their proposal from a book written a couple of years ago by conservative Republican Charles Murray. In his book, In Our Hands: A Plan To Replace The Welfare State, Murray proposed giving a $10,000 annual grant to all Americans, once 21, who are not in jail.

Since Philip didn't mention any of this in his article, his math is suspect as well. While $21 billion seems like a large amount of money, consider that President Bush asked for an additional $190 billion in funding for the misguided Iraq War on top of the annual defense budget, which has increased from $300 billion to over $500 billion. And that doesn't include human costs or future liabilities. Since the Iraq war is costing something like $500,000 per second, I'm not sure an investment in the future well-being of our military such as this is unwise.

Regarding these liabilities, I don't remember Klein commenting on President Bush's $8.7 trillion liability created by his new Medicaid Part D program. Neither is this plan that radically different from other recent proposals floated by Republicans and Democrats. Both this plan and President Bush's plan for partial privatization of Social Security take money from the public coffers and put it aside in private accounts outside of the public system.

Given the enormous challenges facing our country, perhaps it's to get past this silly rhetoric as displayed by Klein; rather, we need to look at all possible solutions and argue them intelligently if our Republic is to survive the 21st century.

Random Notes: I noticed that Klein posted his radio show, after I pointed out twice that he hadn't made this show available to interested parties. I haven't downloaded it yet, but if I have time this week, I'll try to comment on a couple of portions - Philip was in rare form this week-end.

Oct 1, 2007

Uncle Hilty And Friends

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Philip still hasn't posted his radio show from Saturday, where a caller exposed Klein's ignorance over the new Central High security plan. I doubt we'll ever hear that show again.

In his latest attack on Hilton Kelley, Philip Klein continues to beat a dead horse:

"Ohhhhh....to hear the media talk about it you would think that there was a massive protest "across" the street from the VX gas plant. Well, no, the real story is that there was 23 people at a housing complex in the West End of Port Arthur marching around with two out of town guys that looked a little nervous on TV."
In truth, this was the first fact mentioned in the Beaumont Enterprise story:

PORT ARTHUR - The turnout was small, the enthusiasm was evident, and the message was clear at Carver Terrace Park Saturday - VX waste is not welcome in Port Arthur.

"We're having a disproportionate amount of chemicals being dumped on us," proclaimed a lively Hilton Kelly with a group of about 25 supporters behind him.
Klein has no clue:

"But we continue to wonder when ANY ONE MEDIA PERSON will come out and do a true background on this guy."
Readers may remember that on August 18th, Klein published this falsehood:

"Hilton Kelley - PA News set to run a piece on him we hear. Hmmm."
Still waiting on that one, Philip. Did you hear wrong? Klein is apparently too dense to understand that Kelley's background has nothing to do with the issues he's raising.

Unfortunately, Philip can't discuss the real issue intelligently without fabricating evidence. As an example, consider this exchange from his radio show first documented in my article on May 1, 2007:

Joe, Joe, Joe, now come on, now come on with me here, Joe, now listen to me. This stuff has already been, before it's even been brought here to Southeast Texas, Texas, it's already been dissolved to a point where you would need to wallow in it for two years to even get one point of one-tenth of a side effect. Now talk educated on this show, we demand our people to talk educated on this show, you're not talking educated, Joe. "
This is a wonderful example of how Klein responds to his callers in an arrogant and condescending manner.

As I pointed out at the time, Philip never cited his source for that outrageous statement of "...wallowing in it for two years to even get one point of one-tenth of a side effect." Rather than "talking educated," Philip sounds very stupid.

Since he can't discuss the issues on their merit, he can only resort to name-calling ("Uncle Hilty"), personal attacks on Kelley, and blatant lies:
"....[Kelley's] company has not filed any paper work with the IRS or the State of Texas in any proper terms."
Compare Klein's statement with the certification status of Kelley's group from Susan Comb's site. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts finds the organization is in Good Standing.

Really, Philip, you "gotta talk educated."