A Cross to Bear

It has taken me over a week to process what took place in Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut.  When instances like this occur, I refer back to my Psychology days and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross comes to mind.  Kubler-Ross is perhaps best known for her work On Death and Dying which describes 5 very basic steps of the grief cycle. 

I say the steps are basic, because they encompass the general emotions that anyone who is dying, watching someone die, has been traumatized by an event, or shares any sort of grief, feels in cycles.  These cycles are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.  These stages are widely accepted by professionals and there is no definitive answer as to what order they come in, how many times someone might cycle through them, or how long it may take to complete the grieving process, but one thing is certain, the last step is always acceptance. 

I was so busy at work, re-setting our outside sales force’s forecasts, trying to migrate our company from the rather archaic Lotus Notes to Outlook and working with our IT company to fix all the bugs and headaches, and trying to work from home because my heater wasn’t working right, that I was in my own little world on that terrible day.  I was annoyed because I could not VPN in to my office, I was on the phone with tech support, the doorbell was ringing and the service guy was here.  I never once checked the news, or turned on the radio, looked at my personal email, or searched through the sea of social media I am hooked up to.  When the service man was gone, and tech support was able to get me working, and I finished my work for the day, I finally turned on Facebook and knew instantly that something terrible had happened.  It sort of put all my little complaints into perspective.  I scanned the posts, and one after another were calling the shooter an animal, a monster, evil, and all manner of names. 

Suffice to say, I began my cycles through death and dying.  I grieved for the little babies that were murdered.  I grieved for the parents who would not get to hold their children ever again.  I grieved for the family of the killer.  I grieved for the brother who initially was thought to commit this heinous crime as they led him away in handcuffs.  But something didn’t feel right about the shooter and his mother and father.  I had no feeling for them; I simply wanted to know more.   

After the news has settled, I have had time to assess what information has come out and ultimately I have even grieved for the man boy, Adam.  My God, this boy, and yes I call him a boy because emotionally he seemed to be quite behind where a normal 20 year old man should be, this boy was failed by rather misguided parents.  Thus anger then set in.  This anger has remained steadfast though I know eventually I will move toward acceptance. 

No matter how much I want to be angry at Adam for what he did, rational thought brings me back to who is at fault here.  In my opinion, inept parenting skills and a society that has no ability to deal with this sort of mental illness are at fault.  Clearly, Adam was disassociated from what he was doing.   When we see terrible murders where a woman is stabbed 23 times, it is usually because of an immense hatred by someone who was deeply involved and hurt by that individual.  Adam did not know the students he killed.  He shot them a ridiculous amount of times which tells me he was not living among reality.  I believe this boy did not understand the steps he was taking had any permanency to them.  He was in a dissociative state. 

We hear the stories of how his mother was attempting to send him off to college.  How the mother took him to the gun range.  How the mother told the babysitters when he was young to never turn their backs on him.  This same mother kept weapons in the house.  What the hell was she thinking?  

Yes, I blame the mother and the non-existent father who had no trouble divorcing himself from not only his ex-wife, but also his son.  I blame these people who were the closest to the child, but left him out to dry.  I blame this woman who tried to make him grow up when he was completely incapable of doing so.  I blame society for not having a place to help these people, other than putting them in wholly unsatisfactory and ill-equipped prisons.  As the people of this country grieved for 26 lost souls, I grieved for 27. 

No sooner did the dust settle, than the perpetual politicians come out swinging.  The leftists and tree frog huggers came out swinging with their message that we must ban guns.  They walk in lockstep in their plight to remove the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America clean off the document.  A bottle of white-out wouldn’t be enough for these people.  Blame came next.  Violent video games were to blame.  Guns were to blame.  Of course the President hopped right on that wagon because this is a man who would like nothing more than to intrusively govern every aspect of our lives, as if we are just too stupid to be able to govern ourselves. 

For everything the liberals get right, for every message they get out there with a media in their back pockets, and movie stars with their talking points; and for every message that the conservatives bungle, we are still a fairly equally divided country.  Can you imagine if the conservatives actually got the message right?  People kill; not guns.  This statement couldn’t ring more true and Obamacare is not going to help these mentally ill people any more than putting them in a prison will.  The liberals have this one wrong.  Dead wrong; for if that principal had a gun, she may have stopped Adam and far less damage might have been done. 

Thus the tremendous run on guns is taking place all across the country.  You see, people truly do not want the government telling them what to do.  As often as I think people do not give a crap about where this country is headed, something like this happens and people surprise me by their unwillingness to give up a right granted by the Constitution.  There is hope for this country.

As the grieving process is complete, people will move on with their lives and this heightened run on guns and the anti-gun marketing campaign and rhetoric will wane.  My hope is that nothing will come of Obama’s feigned flexing of muscles because overall, he has been a massively ineffective President.  My only hope from all of this discourse is that perhaps this run on guns will actually give the economy a little boost, but more importantly we begin the process of finding a permanent and humane solution for those bearing the mental illness cross.   

The Chemicals Between Us

Very interesting document I found.  Is there a reason this piece of land involving WISD runs roughly $330K for 4.67 acres and the 3.9 acre piece of property mere walking distance up the road on 544 that WISD sold for $28K to one of their Trustees employers?

Oh I heard, it's a ditch, it's a swamp, it was full of trees, it's not useful.....it is on freaking 544, obviously worth filling in because it is zoned for planned development, and worth far more than the $28K WISD received. What it should actually be, is a crime.


By virtue of an ORDER OF SALE  issued by the 380th Judicial District Court of Collin County, Texas, on the 16th day of October, 2012, in the case of:

Wylie Independent School District vs Chemical Recycling, Inc. ET AL

Case No:   380-04239-2011, and directed and delivered to me as Constable of Precinct 2, Collin County, Texas, I have levied upon this 30th day of October, 2012, and will, between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, on the first Tuesday of  December, 2012, it being the 4th of said month, at the courthouse door of Collin County, Texas,  proceed to sell at public auction to the highest bidder with cash in hand, unless otherwise exempted, all the right, title and interest which the said defendants had of, in and to the following described real property, to-wit:

Tract: 1
Account Number: R626600000301
Property Description: 4.67 Acres out of Abstract 266 of the E.C. Davidson Survey, Tract 3, City of Wylie, Collin County, Texas
Approximate Property Address: 900 W Kirby
Deed Reference: Volume 952, Page 910
Assessed Name: Chemical Recycling Inc

Said property is levied upon as the property of Chemical Recycling Inc, et al, an Inactive corporation, Tract 1 and Unknown Shareholders of Chemical Recycling, Tract 1 and will be sold to satisfy a judgment rendered in the said 380th  Judicial District Court of Collin County, Texas, on the 30th day of September, 2011, in favor of Wylie Independent School District, City of Wylie, Collin County and Collin County CCD against the said Chemical Recycling Inc for the sum of $329,657.32 principal, penalties, interest, court costs of $676.00 and the further costs of executing this writ.

NOTICE:  This property may have other liens, taxes due or encumbrances, which may become the responsibility of the successful bidder.

Witness my hand this 30th day of October, 2012.

Joe Barton
Constable, Pct. 2
Collin County, Texas

            By:  _________________________Deputy
                           G. Edwards

Subscribed and sworn before me, a Notary Public, on this _____ day of ______________________, 20___.

                                                                                                         Notary Public

No Shame

Honestly, do these people have no shame at all?  Recall several months ago a blog post I made about land our wise and wonderful Wylie Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) pimped as 1.5 +/- acres that belonged to the Wylie Independent School District (WISD).

There are several issues that I feel compelled to point out as downright scandalous with this piece of property.

First, someone notified the WEDC that this piece of land existed. Who?  I have a sneaking suspicion. Then WEDC Executive Director, Sam Satterwhite approached WISD Board of Education President, Stacy Gooch telling her they were sitting on a piece of property that was only 1.5 +/- acres that was deemed as not terribly useful to them.  Deemed by who?  One can only imagine who because this is all subjective at this point. 

In turn, Gooch suggested the WEDC bring this matter to the board’s attention. To which Satterwhite quickly pushed the idea of selling this piece of land before WISD at one of their meetings last year.  Old Sam; good ole’ boy of Wylie; everyone trusts what he says and does, thus hastening the WISD trustees approval to sell this piece of land for roughly $28K to a Mr. Parker of Parker/Scholz, who just happens to own the adjacent piece of land, and is somehow touted as being the only individual interested in the purchase of said land - and is Mitch Herzog’s employer, and Herzog sits on the WEDC Board, and he also sits on the WISD Board. Um, ya.  

Slap, slap, slap goes the sound of the collective trustee hands ridding themselves of the proverbial dirty deal done dirt cheap. They made a little money, hey why should they care if they sold 3.9 acres for the price of 1.5? 

Interestingly enough, this deal was discussed among other city leaders and it was suggested that this land would somehow be tied in to the master trails plan.  Sure.  Like when it goes up for sale like it is now?  Again, city leaders give their pals a pass and the dumbfounded taxpayers are left to hold the bag.

So lets get all of this straight in our minds. The WEDC paid for an appraisal, of course, which showed the land is miraculously now 3.9 acres, not the 1.5 acres the WEDC claimed it was to the WISD Board. when they wrangled a sale  Mr. Parker purchased the land and, well I’m sure Mr. Parker is a nice dude and all, however Mitch Herzog works for him.  Mr. Parker owns adjacent land.  Mitch Herzog is a WISD Trustee.  Mitch Herzog also sits on the WEDC Board of Directors. And…..

To add insult to injury, I drove by that nifty piece of land on 544 between the new hospital/ER and Wylie High School and low and behold, a sign appeared unto me that said, ‘For Sale’, and ‘10 acres +/-‘, and ‘Mitch Herzog’.  Are you hearing the golden trumpets yet?

to add to the litany above, Mitch Herzog will more than likely make money either directly or indirectly from the sale of this piece of land and make no mistake, it will likely be quite hefty as it was listed for over 1 million dollars for a 10 acre plot right on 544.  Yup, 'cuz that's how we roll in Wylie, Texas.

Thus Herzog may make a penny or two off the backs of taxpayers thanks to the total conflict of interest laid out above. What's worse, I fail to see how voters didn’t see this coming. 

I met Mitch Herzog when he first decided to run for trustee.  Sure, he’s a nice man and all, however this is just downright dirty business and I cautioned everyone in my blog that it would be a conflict of interest voting him on the WISD Board.  Though nothing can be done about that unless he resigns, he could have been removed from the WEDC Board of Directors, but your city council will do nothing, as usual, because these are all their friends who shouldn't have to abide by any ethical behavioral standard whatsoever. So now I feel the need to take a shower with an uber rough loofah just to scrub the writing off. 

In my opinion, the complete lack of integrity here necessitates the immediate resignation of Mitch Herzog from the WEDC board of directors. Because in the immortal words of Donald Trump, Mitch, “You’re fired.”

Say CAFR and the Room Goes Silent

This video explains in detail what a group of concerned citizens attempted to explain to our Wylie City Council during the budget last season.  I was right when I stated in several blog posts that the budget is a delusional piece of fiction.  The sad part is that Catherine Butshek was right too, but she was shamefully dismissed by our Council members, every one of them.  In fact, they all laughed and pointed fingers behind her back as well.  

Well folks, nobody is any wiser and our Council is still asleep at the wheel, fat and happy that the City bean counters were able to come up with some money to accomplish everything on their wish list.  Of course they still took us further into debt to get there.  Did anyone on Council figure out where the money came from?  Ah yes, the game of moving funds around but never touching any investments. 

Though the Council members never quite got the concept of discrepancies between the CAFR and the Budget, they pretended they did after they looked to the very people who perpetuate this game of tax dollar  hide and seek, the City bean counters and Manager.  Perhaps this in-depth video will assist them in understanding the game a little better.  

Might I suggest that next budget season each Council member pull and compare the last 15-20 years worth of CAFRs and budgets.  I suspect it would be a real eye opener.  Once they pick their jaws up off the floor, they might then finally, just finally decide we were right about the money that is being hidden between the CAFR and Budget and proceed to propose the tax break Wylie's citizens deserve. Will they do that?  Nope.  Why?  Because it would mean they actually have to work.