Tag Archives: Dan Simon

MEDINA VALLEY ISD: “As Educators, we are the Ultimate Rule-Followers”—or—Cypress Creek Elementary, is “Law Abidingness” a virtue or a vice? All Followed by an Invitation to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to debate me publicly.

When my son Charlie was in the fifth grade, there was a special project at his school, Cypress Elementary in Cedar Park, Texas 78613, on the importance of “Law Abidingness” as a virtue.  I did volunteer teaching in the school in biology, geography, American history, natural history, world history, Spanish and French from time-to-time, and so I thought it was probably OK for me to have an opinion on such things.  So, naturally, as was my custom, I immediately went in to see the principal to inform her that there was, in none of five major hard-bound English dictionaries I just happened to keep by my bed at night, any such word as “Abidingness”–for Law or anything else.   I also suggested that any valid school discussion of the importance of—what I would call—“conformity” with the law should be accompanied by a discussion of “when is it acceptable to break a rule, violate a law?”  I also suggested a discussion of whether law was made for man or man for the law…  I know that she was annoyed, but listened politely, and as was HER custom, pretty much ignored everything I said, except to circulate a memorandum to the teachers that “Law-Abidingness” was not a word in the dictionaries and should be explained in other terms to the students.   I guess I’d chalk that up as a 24% victory.

In any case, this episode from the Palaeolithic, possibly the Palaeozoic, past came to my mind when I listened to Medina Valley ISD School Superintendent Chris Martinez and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott discussing the “Graduation Prayer Crisis” brewing near Castroville west of San Antonio in the Good Old Western District of Texas:  https://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?id=374;  https://www.oag.state.tx.us/media/videos/play.php?060211schoolruling&id=435 

Chris Medina promised to obey the Honorable Fred Biery’s Amended Order (Judge Biery’s Amended Order of June 1 2011) and his promise contained these telling words, “As Educators, we are the Ultimate-Rule Followers.”  I have for a long-time been debating whether there are any possible virtues or benefits remaining in public education, and I think that Medina ISD Superintendent Chris Martinez may just have convinced me that there are none.

I idolize Thomas Jefferson in many ways, and Thomas Jefferson advocated public schools (but not necessarily “compulsory” public education), but even the Gods are sometimes wrong, and I can forgive Thomas Jefferson one or two errors or even downright disgraceful conduct (including his affair with his slavegirl, Sally Hemings) in a life which otherwise changed history for the better.

Yea, verily, the Fifth Circuit let the Medina Valley ISD off the hook at the last minute, but Judge Fred Biery’s threat of incarceration for prayer needs to be publicized everywhere—it needs to become a rallying call for advocates of free speech all over the world, not just in Texas and the United States.   I wish the Fifth Circuit had allowed Judge Biery’s order to stand and that teachers and students alike had been forced to defy the order—

“Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:” Darby Bible Translation 
bible.cc/matthew/5-11.htm

But, aside from whether Chris Martinez should not have aroused his students to stand up and risk Fred Biery’s threat of “Jail for Public Prayer at Graduation”—because it would have been healthy and salubrious to the national soul if he had, I have an issue or two I’d like to discuss with both Greg Abbott and Chris Martinez arising from this case.  I can see the headlines now: “Jail for Prayer?  Praying Students & Speakers Taken in Shackles by US Marshals for Deportation to Guantanamo Bay and/or FEMA camps”—it would have been a glorious day.   The FIfth Circuit, naturally, weaseled out of making any hard decisions, dissolving the Temporary Restraining Order at the last minute before graduation on the grounds that they were not convinced official school conduct was involved.  But see the Schultz’ application for TRO here: Schultz Application for TRO—to Judge Fred Biery re MEDINA VALLEY

At implicit issue in Greg Abbott’s commentary on the Medina Valley ISD situation is an almost inevitable tension between two clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: the Free Speech/Freedom of the Press clause, on the one hand, and the Free Exercise/Anti-establishment clause on the other.

Looking through the two versions of Judge Biery’s Orders and the impressive list of citations contained therein, it is easy to see how the Judge found that the Schultz’ might have shown a “likelihood of success on the merits.”  Judge Biery’s Original June 1 2011 Order in Schultz v Medina Valley.

This case has only just begun, and once it reaches trial, en banc review in New Orleans, and finally the Supreme Court, it seems inevitable that Shultz v. Medina Valley ISD and Judge Briery’s threat of incarceration to disobedient “prayers” will be revived as periodically, politically, necessary or expedient to distract the ignorant masses from really important points.  Schultz v Medina Judge Fred Biery WDTEX Docket Report as of June 3 2011.  And talking of ignorant masses, I wonder just how Michael P. Davis, Jana Duty, Laurie J. Nowlin, and James Carlton Todd are doing these days, and whom they are persecuting this week in Williamson County?

As an aside: I cannot escape the feeling that there is a depressing real-politik (“zeitgeist-“ly?) association between the Indian Subcontinental-Indian Ocean sounding name of the Schultz’ lawyer, “Ayesha N. Khan”, and the fact that our current sitting, de facto President appears to have been born close to the waters of the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, in the Coastal Province of British East Africa, a subject of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, II, whom I admire greatly, even if I cannot say the same either for her late uncle the Duke of Windsor or the even more absurd marital exploits of her children and grandchildren—not much in the way of royal role models I fear.

What I need to discuss and possibly debate with Chris Martinez is simple: is it REALLY a good idea to teach students to obey unjust laws? “As Educators, we are the Ultimate Rule-Followers.”  THIS PHRASE ALONE, to my mind, justifies the complete abolition of public schools everywhere—at least the abolition of MANDATORY or COMPULSORY public education—because in this phrase alone, THE SPIRIT OF THOMAS JEFFERSON HAS DIED.

Rather, if these were Jeffersonian Schools, we should teach students that this country was BUILT on revolution, that it falls to each generation to move the revolution farther along, or at least to restore lost freedoms.  And we should, in particular, that freedom and democracy can only survive if revolution be continued—not “institutionalized” as they tried to do in Mexico—the Partido de la Revolucion Institucional” was a failure, at least as far as revolutionary spirit goes—but actually continued and renewed (as Jefferson suggested, in each succeeding revolution) by a constant state of something which can only be called “revolution = rapid evolution” or perhaps even “self-controlled anarchy.”   The government should exist ONLY to minimize bloodshed and maximize freedom in this process—not to prevent it by enforcing unjust and anti-Constitutional rules.  Mr. Martinez, or any other school educator, I await your call….notify me through Peyton at 512-968-2666—“Fear Not the Devil or his Mark—the Coward Flees from all who call out his name to Fight.”

To Greg Abbott—I have a much more personal, and yet much more politically sensitive—bone to pick with you.  Throughout the five and a half years 2003-2008, you and your office persecuted me in Texas (along with anyone who worked with me, including but not limited to Francis Wayne Williams-Montenegro, Valorie Wells Davenport, Rhonda Moe and her family, Dan Simon, John Henry Franks, etc.).  This all culminated with a March 25, 2008 injunction against me for entered by Judge Walter S. Smith, U.S. District Judge and then Chief Judge of that same Western District of Texas, preventing me from making any further filings against the constitutionality of the Texas Family Code or Texas Family Courts, until and unless I pay $150,000.00 (payee unspecified).

But Mr. Abbott, I find myself moved by and in agreement with your words concerning Judicial overreaching and the war on morality and decency being fought in the Courts.   What I want to know is: if you believe that Judges should not have the right to restrain freedom of speech under the First Amendment, why did you and your office, especially Deputy Texas Attorney General James Carlton Todd, fight me in action after action starting in June 2003 in both State and Federal Court in Austin and Georgetown, Texas when I asserted exactly the same thing?

Judge Michael Jergins had no lengthy list of case citations comparable to Judge Biery’s when he, on September 18, 2001, enjoined me NOT from discussing religion with my son, although that was implicit, but from discussing my son’s health and happiness with my son after he was return to a woman who, at that time, seemed very vengeful and intent on harming our son?

Why did you assign your Deputy Attorney General James Carlton Todd to fight me, almost non-stop, for those five and a half years to prevent us from obtaining any limitation on a Family Court Judge’s power to invade our home and inquire what we discussed over breakfast or dinner or at night after homework before bed?  Why did you allow Laurie J. Nowlin, as Jergins’ appointed Guardian ad Litem, to challenge my fitness as a Father when I started training to become a scoutmaster in my son’s Boy Scout Troop?  Why did you defend the position that State Court Judges can enter orders violating fundamental civil rights by entering “gag” orders (injunctions against freedom of speech—prior restraint censorship), backed by threats of incarceration without following the procedural safeguards outlined by both the United States Supreme Court: Nebraska_Press_Association_v_Stuart_1976 or the Texas Supreme Court: Davenport v Garcia 834_S_W_2d_4 (Texas June 17 1992).

Davenport v. Garcia is really and truly one of the great pro Freedom of Speech (and anti-Judicial abuse) decisions in U.S. History I think.  I was privileged, later on, to work with Valorie Wells Davenport, the Plaintiff in this case, who ran and almost unseated Nathan Hecht, one of the most repressive and reactionary of all Texas Supreme Court Judges, in 2000.  It shames me to think how unaware I was in 1992 of everything that was going on in the United States of America—1992 is the year I finished Law School at the University of Chicago, took and passed my first Bar Exam (in Florida), started working for the Honorable Kenneth L. Ryskamp, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, and was offered a job at the Law School of the University of Miami, Coral Gables, which at my wife’s urging I did not take—she wanted me to move to Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft (although she didn’t know that my destiny involved Securitized Mortgages—first creating them, then fighting them).  That year, 1992, I thought, “I had a life” even though I didn’t realize just how fast my world was dying….

But, returning to Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart and Davenport v. Garcia, the bottom line is that No Judge May EVER enter any order of prior restraint on Freedom of Speech without following certain procedural safeguards to determine that such restraints are, after careful reflection, both necessary and proper to their intended purpose—this is now generally called “strict scrutiny review” of any law or order restricting the exercise of fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

So Greg Abbott: I challenge you to come out and fight me on the field of honor by debate—my glove is on your doorstep—will you dare to open it up and fight like a man?  Because of your words regarding Judge Briery I believe you are a worthy opponent.  In challenging you today I am not threatening a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent I do not this—you have at least some wits about you.

I challenge you to explain why Judges should be absolutely immune from suit for infringing upon fundamental, expressly guaranteed constitutional rights.  I challenge you to show me that mere political advantage is not the key the difference in your stance on these cases. I challenge you specifically to show me how you can be correct about Schultz v. Medina Valley ISD if I were wrong about Lincoln v. Jergins, Lincoln v. Williamson County, and yes, Simon v. Abbott….in which your office approved entry of draconian sanctions against me in a case to which I was neither a party nor witness.

Mr. Greg Abbott, I ask you: Would it be beneath your dignity to debate a disbarred and sanctioned attorney?  Would it be stepping too far down off your perch to debate publicly with me: a fellow-“natural born” citizen of your state whom you and your office, the United States District Courts in the Western and Southern Districts of Texas, and more than one Texas State District Court in your state have “hated, rejected, despised” trying your best to make me into a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief?

This is not just a matter of honor, this is a matter of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.   Do those words mean anything to you?  Or are they just a dream, flickering shadows in the walls of a cave lit only by torches, where the light of day is never seen?

(I have sent this letter to Messrs. Greg Abbott and James Carlton Todd by e-mail as follows: Gregg Abbott <greg.abbott@oag.state.tx.us>; James Carlton Todd <jim.todd@oag.state.tx.us>; these are their on-line published e-mail addresses).

Completing the First 1% of the Third Millenium….

I remember New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1999 in New Orleans—what an amazing party it was.  My then 8 year old son rode on my shoulders as we were crushed among the crowds at Jackson Square.  I recall we had a really good view and nearly a perfect vantage point at one early point about an hour before midnight, but got distracted by something and then by midnight we were just in the square crushed by what seemed like millions, looking at the fireworks from the Riverwalk by the Old Jax Brewery.   Elena and I had discussed when deciding it was time to “get pregnant” with Charlie that it would be fun to have a child who would remember the transition between the 20th and the 21st century, and having Charlie in 1992 was almost the last chance to have such a child.  Charlie was born during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 on August 23, 1992, in Palm Beach, Florida.  It was an amazing event.  We were on the first page of the Palm Beach Post the next day—a beautiful picture of Elena holding Charlie with me on the telephone in the background.  We knew we were going to have a boy and it was a foregone conclusion he was going to be Charles Edward Lincoln IV, but we added the name “Andrew” as a second middle name, and among other oddities, the windows of St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach were all duck-taped with gigantic X-es, which on the horizontal hospital windows looked like transparent Scottish flags bearing St. Andrews’ Crosses.

This holiday vacation, as I mentioned before, is the first time since 2001-2002 that Charlie and I have been able to spend the entire Christmas and New Year’s holiday together.  The fact that we have done so (in California) as well as the fact that we spent the past two summers together in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a tribute to Elena K. Lincoln’s spirit and willingness to compromise and/or admit de facto defeat or mistake, in the face of her de jure victory in Court, which was the event or series of events which changed my life, and caused me to take the paths I have taken in life since 2002.

Yes, during the past decade, the first 1% of the Third Millenium, I dedicated my life in large part to attacking the Texas Family Code, a tradition which I continue now in Florida, and would like to begin in California.  The Texas Williamson County Family Court establishment was my first great confrontation with a major establishment.  The City of Lago Vista Police abuse cases in my hometown/backyard in 1997-98, which ultimately got me disbarred in the W.D. Texas and , were just a very mild warmup to what became a major anti-establishment civil rights and reform career.  Lago Vista Police Chief Frank Miller and his “prize” officer Bart Turek were my first major civil rights adversaries, but I did not hate them or even particularly dislike them.   They had just instituted and upheld a misguided and injurious police policy in Lago Vista.  The people I came to hate were those who destroyed my family and took my son away from me for during 2002-2007, with only a few respites.  I have dedicated my life to exposing the lies and the evil embodied by Williamson County Judge Michael P. Jergins, Laurie J. Nowlin, J. Randall Grimes, and Michael Davis, as well as their henchment such as the crew of psychologists including Don Jones.

But this moment, these two weeks with my son, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the low hills of Catalina Island in the background, is one of the sweetest moments of my life, and I thank God, and Elena for it.  I should note that I invited Elena here to share this moment not once but many times.  There’s enough sleeping space here for three to be in private rooms, as was proved when Peyton and Charlie were both here for Thanksgiving.  But Elena demurred, preferring to go to Cancun, ironically enough, since the Yucatan Peninsula was where Elena and I met in 1985.

Anyhow, to everyone out there, I wish a glorious and prosperous New Year 2010, and I hope that whatever happens to me, Charlie, and Elena, and to everyone else, that the next decade will be as full of emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth as the past decade has been for me.  In every defeat and setback I have found the inspiration to move forward and see deeper truths and meanings, and for such experiences I can only be thankful to all who gave me such opportunities, even if they meant me harm by doing so.  The absolute rock bottom low-point of this decade for me was clearly the death of my grandmother Helen in May 2001.  But not a day goes by that I do not recall fondly and given thanks for the century of life my grandmother enjoyed on earth and at all the time I shared with her and her husband, my grandfather Al, who predeceased her by 21 years in 1980.   The high points of the decade were all spent with my son, and none were higher than our days on Harvard Square and in California.

On this beautiful New Year’s Day looking West, I remember and give thanks to all my good friends and allies during the past ten years (whether we’re in contact to this day or not), in particular to my trustee, Peyton Yates Freiman, a more honest and truer soul does not exist!   I also recall my oldest friends Helen S. Carr (the only person not related to me by blood who has remembered every birthday, Christmas, and intercardinal solstice or equinox to me since the 1970s) and John K. Naland, but also to my newest best friends just made in 2009, Robert J. Ponte, Dennis & Milenne DeLeon, Renada Nadine March, and (irony of irony’s, because I first heard of her as an adversary) Lisa Liberi.  In this transitory life, in this “shake and bake” world we live in, there are many people who were once important to me whom I never see anymore, even if I have not forgotten them, but I hope that my new friends from 2009 will remain with me always.

No inventory of my most steadfast friends could ever be complete without “honorable mention” of Lisa Cook, my sister-in-law in Michigan, who talked to me and understood me and listened to me for years when to do so meant that her own husband’s family (my wife Elena’s relatives) would heap scorn upon her during “the war years” when Elena was calling me “Not Family, but Cancer in the House.”  Lisa was always there for me and I tried always to be there for her, even when nobody else was.  Charlie’s Brazilian Godmother Helir Arlotta from Palm Beach and Tarpon Springs, Florida, falls into this same category….  I don’t have Lisa’s new telephone number (I tried to reach her over the holidays) and Helir has vanished, but we do not and will not forget each other, I’m sure.

Throughout it all, the priests at St. Luke’s-on-the-Lake in Austin provided genuine friendship and support—and I will never forget them even though I might never spend much time in Austin again.  Father James P. Jameson, a fellow Harvardian, Father Philip May, and Father Mike Wyckoff were there for me (during the “war years” with Elena) when I had no one else to whom I could turn.  They are true Christians, true gentlemen, and truer friends than I ever deserved.  Father May was actually willing to meet with me and Charlie in secret in 2005, to provide “aid and comfort” like the Church Martyrs of old….

I remember more often that they will imagine possible the close relationship I had over three years of tumultuous conflict with my steadfast attorneys during the “War Years” (withe Elena of 2003-2006 Francis Wayne Williams Montenegro and Valorie Wells Davenport.  They worked mostly for free, certainly without any profit, and their dedication to my cause was incomparable, encapsulated in Francis Williams’ statement that he would support me even if threatened with a firing squad, and I believe he meant it at the moment, even though he and Valorie, once actually faced with an “offer they couldn’t refuse” by way of extortion or a “constructive bribe” from the Deputy Texas Attorney General James Carlton Todd, Mike Davis, J. Randall Grimes, and the obviously intimidated visiting Judge James F. Clawson (who replaced Jergins after the Federal suits), ultimately gave up the struggle rather than face sanctions.  Francis and Valorie also introduced me to two good people Corinne Irwin and Rod A. Dal Sasso.  I remember and pray for my late father Charles Edward, Jr., who supported my struggles until he could not stand to hear about them anymore.

I remember my friends in the Southern District of Texas early mortgage note battles: Dan Swank, Jacques S. Jaikaran, Mike Palma, Robert Bruce, and David A. Sibley (who despite some ironic vicissitudes, started off a friend and returned to friendly status) from 2006 and  Jon Drew Roland, my first trustee and closest friend and ally from 2004-2007.

Daniel Louis Simon of Liberty Hill joined my crusade against the Texas Family Courts and Code and has become a steadfast and probably last-long friend.  He holds the dubious distinction of having been sanctioned for following my lead against the Texas Family Courts and Code by Judge Walter Smith, who sanctioned Dan and me jointly and severally to the tune of $150,000.00 in March 2008 for the sole purpose of preventing us from continuing our crusade against the Texas Family Code in Federal Court.  His continued friendship and support is a great comfort to me, and I hope I can provide the same for him.

Between January 2005 and September 2007, I went through major ideological transformations in my life, realizing that the “normal” paths to reform were all but closed in the United States.   It was during these years that I also met and first had the privilege of meeting and working with Senator Jerry O’Neil of Columbia Falls and Kalispell, Montana.  Many friends, even on this ten year list, have already come and gone out of my life, but I hope Jerry will remain my friend for all the rest of the days we might both be living on earth.  He is the truest Patriot I know, one of the greatest constitutional scholars of the “Old School”, and one of the most honorable men on earth (in addition to being, as my son says, “the coolest guy I ever met”).

I remember my Florida friends and accomplices Nancy Jo Grant, Bob Hurt, Bill Trudelle, Pearl Lanier Bryan, and Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson.  Nancy is a hero who should be known to all Patriotic Americans.  Bob, Bill, & Pearl have provided me with so much support and courage.  Pearl is a warrior among warriors.  Kathy Garcia-Lawson is in so many ways my soulmate, with regard to our parallel paths crusading against (respectively, the Texas and Florida) Family Law and Domestic Relations Courts.  Kathy is such a paragon of the devoted, virtuous spouse committed to and still in love with her husband, even after five years since he left her, I can only stand in awe of her.  Kathy breathes new meaning into the words “family” and “until death do we part.”  Kathy’s funny, sassy, and spunky daughter Alexandra, and all of their friends whom I have met in Palm Beach Gardens, especially Claire and Rebecca.  I love Kathy, her character, and her mind, and hope that she and I will also forever be friends.  And yes, in connection with a person to whom Kathy introduced me, I even will toast on this day Orly Taitz whose affection and company “woke me up” in so many ways up through November 4, 2009—May she find peace and harmony and achieve freedom from want and freedom from fear sufficient that she might break free from the golden shackles that hold her prisoner in what may be a comfortable or even palatial prison.

And I would especially like to remember Vance Fecteau and Moshe Leichner, whom the Federal government continues to hold in prison, who were my closest friends during the worst 54 day period of my life, and who made even that extreme low moment a much brighter, more enlightened, and so more bearable moment.  I doubt that it will happen within the next decade, but I pray for a day when America and the rest of the world will be truly free again, when 1-2% of the population will no longer be incarcerated or on supervised release of some sort, when crimes will be established and measured only by their actual injury to others, so that no person will ever again be incarcerated merely to increase the arrest rates and the prison population so that large corporations owned by major politicians can make larger profits.  I can honestly say that all my experiences in the past decade have educated me and made me a better person and patriot.