Monthly Archives: May 2008

Minnows in the Milk

My favorite con-man is Judge Roy Bean, Law west of the Pecos. Not to be overly romanticized, Bean had a long history of petty crimes. (Thieving, cattle rustling, fraud.) His brothers were men of reputation and so Roy Bean always carried himself boastful. Roy’s brother, Josh Bean, was the first mayor of San Diego, CA. (Which explains some things about San Diego.)

What catches my attention is how Roy Bean changed as a man. During the first part of his life Bean was a real sum’ bitch. His character was exposed when patrons of his San Antonio dairy found minnows in the milk. Roy had been watering down the milk without filtering the water. To which Roy replied, “I’ll have to stop them cows from drinking out of the creek.”

And while particulars of a man’s character is difficult to judge after a century, I’ve always found that money is more telling than opinion. When Bean had a chance to strike out on another venture, a local businessman paid $900 on the spot for all of Bean’s possessions so that he would leave town. By every definition, Bean was a scoundrel of the first sort.

It was 1882 when duly appointed Judge Roy Bean built a saloon, The Jersey Lilly, about 20 miles west of the Pecos River. But that seems to be where his character changes. The con-man in Bean still thrived, but his greed was tempered. While it’s true that none of the fines imposed by his court were ever turned over to the county, most of the money didn’t end up in Bean’s pockets either. Bean was re-elected again and again because he would personally help many of the down and out residents of the area. He was truly the first Robin Hood of con-men.

Even though he was often referred to as “the hangin’ judge,” records show he never hung anyone. Those few that were found guilty of “hommyside” and sentenced to the hangin’ tree were allowed to escape. There was no jail. According to legend, the only recourse they had other than fining offenders was to throw the man in the cage with “Bruno” the bear.

Judge Roy Bean was the quintessential small time con man and while his legacy is mostly wrapped up in some of his most outrageous rulings from his bench – (like the time he fined a corpse or freed a man for killin’ a Chinaman after deciding there wasn’t a law against it.) – it was Bean’s small time (nickle and dime) scams that demand my admiration.

An honorable con-man

Bean found his calling as he began specializing in finable cases. On that rare occasion when he sentenced a confessed horse thief to death the crime quickly turned into a fining offence when the man was found to have $400 in cash. Not wanting to leave the man destitute, Bean only fined him $300.

Judge Bean loved to fleece the railroad passengers. He had a long tradition of delaying the return of change from purchases in the Jersey Lilly just before the train blew it’s whistle at departure. When patrons would swear in disgust at not yet receiving their change, Bean would fine them for cursing. In the end patrons would be forced to sprint back to the train without recompense.

Just as today, only district courts in Texas were allowed to grant divorces, but Bean had no problem granting $10 divorce decrees. Weddings cost $5. For free he’d thrown in his famous blessing for the couple, “and may God have mercy on your souls.”

Typical Bean rulings:

It is the judgment of this court that you are hereby tried and convicted of illegally and unlawfully committing certain grave offences against the peace and dignity of the State of Texas, particularly in my bailiwick, to wit: drunk and disorderly, and being Law West of the Pecos, I fine you two dollars; then get the hell out of here and never show yourself in this court again. That’s my rulin’”
“Hear ye! Hear ye! This honorable court is now in session, and if anybody wants a snort before we start, step up to the bar and name your poison.”
“Carlos Robles, you been tried by twelve true and good men, not men of yore peers, but as high above you as heaven is of hell; and they’ve said you’re guilty of rustlin’ cattle.”

Jury selection as restricted to his good drinking customers only, and were forced to buy at least one drink during every court recess.

For a short time in 1896 Bean was in a tough position when the county commissioners fired him after election results recorded more people than were eligible to vote. Without an income Bean’s con-man ingenuity flowered again. Opportunity came knocking when boxing was declared illegal in Texas, Mexico and many other states. The Judge gained national recognition when he hosted the world championship boxing match between Bob Fitzsimmons and Peter Maher on a sand island in the middle of the Rio Grande. Brilliant.

Bean also distinguishes himself from other con men by his romantic streak – which I adore. He was in love with Lilly Langtry and a poster of her adorned the wall of his saloon which was named after her. It was a pure love. They never met.

Explaining why he had helped so many people, Roy Bean said, “I haven’t been any gol-dang angel myself and there might be a lot charged up to me on Judgment Day; and I figure what good I can do-the Lord will give me credit when the time comes.”

In case you didn’t know, Bean’s saloon is still there. The Jersey Lilly is about 50 miles from Del Rio, Texas.

Republican Family Values

If you go to a porn store, here’s what you’ll find. Everything. Every fetish, every position. All the sex you could image, and most that you couldn’t. Something for everyone – just like religion. It’s all been done. And done repeatedly, just in case you haven’t seen it the first 20,000 times; . . . again, much like religion. Which leads me to wonder if more books have been written about bible or is there more porn videos? (Someone needs to start keeping track.)

I’d rather read first hand accounts of the holocaust than child molestation stories. I’m still picking at that mental scab after working on Republican Offenders. It was difficult to sift through the large number of really sick republican perverts. Sick, sick stuff. It was the hypocrisy of Beverly Russell that lead to my epiphany.

Russell was one of those great republican Christian leaders of South Carolina. He was Mr. Republican Family Values and all about the Jesus. (Not the one working on his lawn.) Then, one day, his daughter, Susan Smith buckled her kids into the back seat of her car and drove them into John D. Long Lake. At sentencing Russell came forward and admitted to having sex with his step daughter since she was 14. The affair had continued into her adulthood.

That’s when it hit me. I was wrong about every fetish being represented in the porn world. There isn’t a video for people who are sexually aroused by hypocrisy. Judging from the number of republican hypocrites it’s a huge underground demographic. I’m surprised the porn industry hasn’t been following this trend.

I fancy myself a screenwriter, so, here’s the pitch: The reverend of a mega-church murders Amish by night. During the day he runs for Congress while raping underage members of his congregation and raising money for the families of the dead Amish which is deposited directly into his campaign account. On his day off he preforms abortions and uses the money to pay defense attorneys to help free death row inmates. Instead of making the Reverend a married closeted homosexual, the Reverend is actually into sadistic necrophilia and beastiality while owning a butcher shop.

Naw. That’s just beating a dead horse.

Vote for Hate? Vote Republican

It’s hard to ignore the republican tradition of hate groups among it’s midst. If you hate immigrants – you are most likely a republican. If you hate gay people – republican. If you hate non-Christians you’re a republican. (Let’s not forget that the Bible was written in English, just like the way Jesus spoke.) It wasn’t long ago when women would be ostracized from the community for conceiving a child, which leads me to believe that anti-abortion republicans are more about hate against the woman for having sex. It’s a tradition of hate.

I knew the Ku Klux Klan were republicans ever since Louisiana’s David Duke took the podium. I always wondered if the Nazi’s were republicans – until today.

Candidate speaks at Hitler birthday party

Indiana’s 2nd Congressional district has a new republican candidate, Tony Zirkle, who sees nothing wrong with Nazi’s. (What a douche bag.)

Living in liberal Austin, I am unaccustomed to racism on a regular basis. Just outside of Austin, that’s another story. I run into these dim bulbs all the time. Talking with the guys at the auto junk yard in Williamson country, I’m struck by the weird logic they use to justify their hate. Even though they rarely read anything, suddenly, they become tenured history professors and begin recounting the lead-up to WWII and how the Jews started the whole thing. I’m left wondering if they can spell Ph.D. (Dumb asses )

They sound exactly like the republican, Tom Cruise.

There’s no real thought behind what they say. It’s all dogma and brainwashing. Like Martha Stewart, El Diablo.

Republican Disconnect

In a court of law, nothing is more damning than video tape evidence of the crime. Or maybe not. For my regular readers, you already know that I’ve been craping all over the internet with my new site, Republican Offenders. During research a few of the stories caught my attention, not because they were heinous or perverse. (Although, a great many met those qualifications.) What peaked my curiosity was a disconnect from reality.

If the glove doesn’t fit you must – tell the jury it’s not a glove. Tom Delay is acting like he’ll be ready for another run at the office once this icky ‘indictment’ thing is taken care of. Go to Tom Delay dot com and every thing is hunky-dory.

For those of you who don’t know, Delay is soooooooo guilty. More guilty than the kid caught on video tape robbing a convenience store.

How do you trump video-guilty? It happens when the conspirators of a crime get together and each sign a legal documents declaring their intention to break the law, and then follow through with the plan. And that’s what Delay did. It’s all on paper. For more than a hundred years Texas has had a law which said corporations cannot give money to Texas candidates or officeholders. It’s the job of the District Attorney in Travis County (Austin) to prosecute these offenders. No other district attorney in Texas can file charges against this crime. If the Travis County district attorney doesn’t file charges, he goes to jail. It’s his duty to follow the law.

So, when Delay screams about a political witch hunt, it’s a strange contradiction. Not only does the prosecution have signed documents from the conspirators, she has at least one conspirator cooperating with the investigation.

The disconnect arrives by trying to understand Delay’s thinking. Even the stupidest criminals know they don’t want to be caught. Sometimes it’s as simple as putting on a mask. Late night reality T.V. is filled videos of drunks attempting to obscure their face from the stop-and-rob’s camera. I’ve seen one guy use a ill-fitting paper bag. Another even used a plastic bag, but then had to take it off because he couldn’t breath. One drunken idiot even used his own underwear. The point is, at least these knuckleheads had enough sense to try. Tom Delay didn’t even try to put underwear on his head.

How wide is the Tom Delay disconnect? He’s not mentally retarded. By virtue of his job he must know how to read. He must of known that corporate campaign contributions are illegal in Texas. He’s been a politician too long. It’s as if twenty cops were behind with lights and sirens blaring, the back tire’s rim is showering the pavement with sparks, and Delay is lighting up another cigarette because it’s an nice evening to go for a drive.

It’s not just Delay that owns this disconnect. Republican Rick Renzi (Arizona) is also a kaleidoscope of missing thought. As an insurance salesman to many of the right-wing anti-abortion ‘clinics,’ Renzi thought it would be a good idea to divert $400,000 of their insurance premiums and, instead, use the money to run for Congress. Renzi’s half-ass approach to money laundering makes underwear-on-the-head look smart. When the insurance companies informed the clinics they were no longer insured, the clinics called the cops. Investigators found $400,000 missing and $400,000 in Renzi’s campaign fund. I’m sure Renzi was mystified as to how the cops made the connection. Renzi’s attempt at underwear-on-the-head was to move the money through some bank accounts.

What was he thinking? He doesn’t fit the con-man profile, mainly because there was no ‘con’ involved. Renzi’s plan was to steal the money and then hope no one would notice. Great plan Renzi. You get the dumbass award.

In November of 2007 Bernie Kerik, former New York City police commissioner, was nominated for Homeland Security Director, and shortly thereafter was named in a 16-count indictment charging him with, fraud, tax evasion, obstruction, filing a false loan application, and making an assortment of false statements when applying for various federal posts, including Homeland Security secretary.

Bernie? Did you not read the job title? Do you know what a background check is? Or, did you not think “Director of Homeland Security”required security clearance?

And the questions never stop. So, kudos to the original underwear-on-the-head guy. At least he has enough sense to understand that he’s committing a crime. Even the guy who thought he could breath through a plastic bag knew he was on the planet earth. Republican criminal politicians haven’t evolved enough to understand the concept of “try not to get caught.”