Thursday December 19, 2013
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For once I have useful follow-up information on a case.
To begin with, we now have witness descriptions of Jordan Johnson, the accused, and Cody Johnson, her husband .
Cody Johnson is described as 25, someone who "liked to race cars, drink beer, play softball and hang out with friends."
Jordan Johnson is described as a 21 year old, "naive, immature and shy woman who deals better with the children she watched over as a day care worker than with most adults."
Jordan had strong doubts about marrying Cody, but Cody, to his credit, changed for her when they started dating; he started going to church and stopped most of his drinking.
Evidence shows that Jordan sent a text message to a friend the night before the day that Cody went over the cliff, saying that after several days of marriage she was having doubts about Cody.
A jury of eight men and four women has been selected.
Federal prosecutors will attempt to convince jurors that Jordan deliberately pushed Johnson to his death. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno Baucus has written in his brief that Jordan had told Johnson before the wedding that she had a "surprise" planned for him. Apparently, that comment will made before the jury as evidence that the killing was premeditated.
Jordan's federal public defenders will ask jurors to believe that while Jordan thought she married too young, she loved Cody and was only trying to remove his hand from her arm when he fell.
Jordan agreed to be interviewed without a lawyer present. She also agreed to take a polygraph test. She was then questioned by a federal investigator for two hours. That questioning was not recorded. Instead, the investigator then taped two very short question and answer periods. The promised polygraph test was never administered.
During the taped sessions Jordan says that during an argument over whether or not they should have waited to get married Cody grabbed her arm at one point, and that she knocked his arm off and pushed him away in a single motion. It was then that he went over the cliff. "...I didn't realize that one push would mean for sure you were over," she can be heard saying on the tape, according to the transcript.
That's all the new information we have so far, but there may be more as the trail proceeds. Keep in mind that the question in this case is whether or not Jordan is guilty, as charged, of premeditated first degree murder.
That may help you to decide how this case will turn out.
What do you think so far?
I forgot to ask the question again, so here it is:
Do you think the news agencies that peddle all those abbreviated reports we read or hear on the six o'clock news are unaware of the fact that the "details" in them sometimes cause us to think they mean something other than what they really mean?
Last December, Sam Donaldson of ABC News was arrested for a DUI. The Celebrity Justice segment of the Find Law website made this comment:
"Sam Donaldson, the veteran ABC news anchor and political correspondent, got pulled over for a DUI earlier this month."
"Donaldson was driving in the beach town of Lewes, Delaware, on Dec. 1, when police noticed that he was driving on the shoulder of the road. After a field sobriety test, which Donaldson failed, he was arrested for a suspected DUI."
"Donaldson was later charged with driving under the influence and released to await his court date. Now he'll have to face a judge."
"One thing Donaldson ... can't argue is that police didn't have probable cause. Before officers pull someone over, they must have reason to suspect that person is breaking the law. That reason must be supported by identifiable factors."
"The clearest factor here is Donaldson ... driving on the road's shoulder. That's not something a driver should ever be doing, and it's something police should pay attention to."
All well and good, but now read the AP report taken from the Christian Science Monitor about the result of the trial.
"November 9, 2013"
"A drunken driving charge against veteran ABC News personality Sam Donaldson has been dismissed after a Delaware judge ruled that police lacked probable cause to arrest him."
The question is....
When we read that, are we supposed to laugh or cry?
I bought two 2014 DaySpring calendars a few days ago, just as I did around the Holidays last year. And just like last year, I saw a message printed on the cardboard stiffener in the center of the larger calendar. It came as a nice surprise last Christmas, and I intended to quote it for you, but forgot.
Here it is:
you're here not by chance,
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you
the person you are.
He compares you you to no on else —
you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing
that his grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation."
Have a great holiday season!
"...I hope they will get us a master plan, I hope we can have citizen input on the 2014-15 budget and I hope they won't have a bond issue without voter approval.
It would also be good if they could clear up some of the issues that have gotten people so upset."
I'm sorry, Bernice, but some of that is exactly what we DO NOT want. I know you may not have realized what you were saying when you wrote "clear up...issues" and "get a master plan," but what it says in essence is that you want CBOS to step in on one side or the other of the exact issues which have so badly divided this community.
It would be patently unfair of us to ask CBOS to come in and start making decisions that we should make for ourselves. Not only is that our responsibility, not theirs, but it would be political suicide. What would happen is that the minute CBOS began making decisions of that nature they would inherit the very anger and divisiveness we are trying to shed.
Let CBOS take over the routine day-to-day running of the water district so that matters proceed quietly and smoothly until an election occurs. We have a good maintenance and operations team, one which will carry on without the board until there is time to form a new one. All we need is a reliable, trustworthy, experienced elected body with the authority to make necessary routine decisions in the interim. That's CBOS.
The big decisions? Should PSWID join the United Nations? Should we attempt to put a man on Mars? Leave them alone until we are up and running on our own again. We have all the time in the world to assess future needs. There is no current emergency, and so no must-make-them-now decisions which cannot wait a few months.
Obviously, I — and everyone else — agrees with part of what you said. Have confidence in CBOS, Bernice. There will be no bond issues without voter approval. There will be plenty of voter input on future budgets. We can all relax about such matters. CBOS no doubt has enough to do, and bigger fish to fry. From what I gather, CBOS is only going to act as a temporary caretaker government for our tiny little water district until we can get our act together.
You know what? I think we'll all be very happy when we turn on a faucet, water comes out, and we think nothing of it. That, I have absolute faith, is an achievable goal if we take things one step at a time.
As with any disease, there are symptoms, and they are often the only things we see. What you are citing are, I believe, symptoms and tactics. The question is: What disease are we fighting?
The answer, I believe, applies across the board to both major political parties: An attempt to undo constitutional government.
In other words, ignoring the rules for the sake of accomplishing what you want to get done, whether or not it is legal and proper.
The Constitution, as you point out, is a fine instrument of government. It lays down, not just specific rules, but broad general concepts. If we ran by those rules and those concepts we would we safe from the tactics you mention. The minute one of the two ruling parties — please note the use of the term "ruling;" I didn't use it by accident — broke the rules the other one would jump up and down and scream "foul." Then the Supreme Court would step in and set things straight.
But that does not happen except in a few cases.
Because the other set of bad guys is waiting in the wings to take over again and do the same things, so they aren't going to point out the tactics that they too use the minute they get in office.
Basically, the disease is power hunger on one side and greed on the other, with both sides lying, cheating, and stealing as much, and as often, as it can get away with it.
Hah! I have no God-like powers that allow me to lay out a sweeping solution.
All I can say is that slowly but surely each party is losing membership to a growing group of independent voters who are living examples of the words "a pox on both your houses." If you look at most independents you will find that they are strong believers in the original intent of the Constitution. They are neither trying to extend the meaning of "freedom of speech" to cover any and all acts, nor are they trying to extend the meaning of liberty to cover the rape of the nation by Corporate America.
A large, viable third party dedicated to the publication of truth and the principles we fought for in 1776?
Where do I sign?
Reading all that, I think you'll all agree that the question of whether or not the County can appoint someone to the PSWID board depends upon whether or not the PSWID board still exists.
So, did CBOS do this? "...revoke the authority of an elected board of directors in order to protect the residents of the district." (In accordance with 48-1016.)
There are a couple of "ifs" in all that legalese, and I'll leave it to someone else to dig around where they are concerned, but if the PSWID board has been dissolved in accordance with all those "ifs" then there is no PSWID board.
Which would mean that, "...districts organized under this article shall be governed by the board of supervisors of the county in which the district is situated and the board of supervisors shall be deemed to be the board of directors of the district."
Which would mean that Tommie Cline Martin is correct in what she says.
It wouldn't be the first time.
I have to make a judgment as to which parts of each statute apply to this discussion. If I make an error I'll take responsibility for it, but here's what I think you need to see.
"48-1012. Elected board of directors; initial members; qualifications; terms; filling vacancy; chairperson; qualifications of electors"
"C. If a vacancy in the district board occurs due to death or disability or any other cause other than resignation, the board of directors of the district shall appoint a qualified elector of the district to fill the office for the remaining portion of that term. If there is a vacancy in the district board due to resignation, the district board shall accept the resignation and appoint a qualified elector to fill the remaining portion of that term of office. If the district board lacks a quorum for any reason for more than thirty days, the county board of supervisors may revoke the authority of the appointed or elected board of directors pursuant to section 48-1016."
"48-1016. Revocation of authority of elected board of directors"
"The board of supervisors of the county in which a domestic water improvement district or domestic wastewater improvement district is located may at any time revoke the authority of an elected board of directors in order to protect the residents of the district. Any district in which the authority of an elected board of directors is revoked pursuant to this section shall be governed by the board of supervisors as provided by section 48-908 and the board of supervisors shall have the option of calling for new elections for the district board of directors."
One more piece of the puzzle:
"48-908. Board of directors; expenses"
"Unless established pursuant to section 48-903, subsection F, districts organized under this article shall be governed by the board of supervisors of the county in which the district is situated and the board of supervisors shall be deemed to be the board of directors of the district. The directors shall receive no compensation for their services as such except as provided pursuant to section 48-1013 but shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses in attending district meetings."
Maybe I can feed a few facts into this discussion which will help.
I've read the statutes. I read them right after Ray Pugel happened to quote the wrong ones, for which I do not fault him; the numbers are very much alike. He was talking about a cooling off period and said, "...Arizona Revised Code 48-1082 and 48-1086 so that we may have a year of calm reflection and constructive debate prior to the 2014 general elections.”
Those two statutes happen to refer to something other than water improvement districts,
but as you can see, someone may have given Ray the numbers and meant to say "...Arizona Revised Code 48-1012 and 48-1016..." Anyway, somewhere in copying the number down and quoting them some wires got crossed. I only mention that because if you go looking up the statutes and look at the wrong ones, even though they are much alike, it won't add much light to this discussion.
Anyway, those are the statutes which apply. I'll put them up so you can read them for yourself. Then I'll ask you a question which may — I'm no legal expert — help to explain part of the current confusion. Okay?
I once looked into a similar demonstration to the one you describe, but I do not know if it was the same one. I doubt it. I suppose that demonstration was repeated in many places to make a good point. However, from what I read the people doing the driving were required to cover the course in the same time they had done it the first time, which to me invalidated it somewhat because a "sensible" person adjusts according to conditions.
I'm grinning right now. Why? That word "sensible." I don't have to say what I am thinking. You already know it.
I didn't say all that to argue the point the demonstration made. What I was doing when I said, " MOST of those who are arrested and charged with DUI..." was supporting what you had said about the native difference between drivers, and the fact that we begin to lose motor skills as we age or become handicapped in some other way.
Ron, as far as legalizing drugs is concerned, I'll bet you agree with this viewpoint: The choice we have to make in the passage of any behavior controlling law is whether the benefits outweigh the loss of basic freedoms involved.
That's the real issue here. We all know that there are some people who constantly try to make the world "perfect" by eroding away freedom of choice. The big question is where we draw the line. I think that having something like 3/4 of all people in prison there because of drug offenses is more damaging than just going back to what we have before prohibition — which is what we have now, an attempt to prohibit people from doing something that's not good for them.
Also, I believe every strongly that people should be punished for what they do, not for what they might do.
Otherwise we get into a mindset that says things like what we are hearing today — "if we don't have guns then no one can get hurt with a gun." The mindless ones hear those things, believe them, and take away your rights and mine.
People who are trash, are trash. That's never going to change. I'd like to believe that it will, but after 2,000 years of waiting for it to happen, and working at it very hard, I think we have to face the fact that some people are — how can I say it? — I guess "evil" is the only word that fits.
Stupid kinda sorta fits too.
Last login: Sunday, December 15, 2013