Friday, December 18, 2009

Being A Proactive Citizen

When politicians do things you disagree with, there is always something proactive you can do.
1 Vote out the politicians who work against your interests.
2 You can start a Political Action Committee. PACs can legally raise money to support or oppose a candidate, or political issue up for a vote in an election.
3 You can join a group using social networks like Facebook. For example: the “VOTE NO! Abilene Career Tech High School” http://www.facebook.com/pages/VOTE-NO-Abilene-Career-Tech-High-School/139054847791 that were opposed to the tech school, or the current group “Abilene City Council Watchdog Group” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=196340370002 that was formed to report and hold the Abilene City Council accountable, or even start your own group.
4 Obviously, contact your elected people directly.
5 Contact local media/write a letter to the editor of your paper.
6 Start your own blog here on blogspot, or other similar sites.
7 Get a group of friends together and start having meetings is like the tea parties do.
8 Run for office, personally. Think LONG & HARD before you commit to this one though. If you run against and incumbent, newspapers, and most likely the rest of the media in Abilene will support them, no matter who you are. So, you better get started making contacts and build a following NOW.
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One thing I would point out though: These are real people, who also have families who might also be hurt by what you say or do, so think carefully before you resort to negative endeavors. When you are rude or abusive, it says much more about you than it does about the person/group you are against.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!

I hate to shoot arrows at the Tenaska Albatross, but I have a prediction. If my guess at the Abilene City Council's plans in regard to the coal plant are correct:
Scenario A:
1 The plant will be built no matter what people say.
2 Sometime in the near future it will be determined there will not be enough water.
3 Since as stated in the Mayor's last campaign, the cedar ridge project is his #1 priority, the project will be brought to the forefront as a necessity.
4 Because of Tenaska tax payers will be saddled with the 100 million plus dollar project.
5 Taxes will go sky high
6 The powers that be here will get filthy rich from the various contracts to build the lake.
Scenario B:
1 Because of the water restrictions, good paying manufacturing companies will be kept out.
2 Existing manufacturing will be squeezed further, causing them to downsize or leave entirely.
3 Abilene will transformed into even more of a cash cow for Hendricks, because competitive wages will not be offered.
4 The already dismal overall average income in Abilene will drop even more.
In the end, I hope I am not being an albatross, but my experiences with city hall tell me otherwise...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Politics from the viewpoint of an activist.


I am an activist, NOT a politician. I can tell you that things will not change until we change our leadership in Abilene.
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Six City Councilors represent each of six "places" in the city (three north of S. 1st Street and three south of S. 1st) but are elected and serve "at-large", representing all the citizens of Abilene. Councilors serve staggered three year terms with two members up for reelection each year. The Mayor is also elected at large and also serves a three-year term. There are no term limits for either the Council or the Mayor. There are 2 city council people coming up in May 2010 are Stormy Higgins for the north side, and the Mayor's employee at Hendricks, Laura Moore on the south side. You have to have residency in the same side of town(north or south) as the person you are running against. If you have multiple residences like the recently defeated former councilman, Sam Chase, you can claim a residence you own, even if you do not currently reside in it.
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The School board consists of seven Trustees serving terms of four years, with elections held biennially. The terms of one-half of the Trustees, or as near to one-half as possible, expire every two years. School Board meetings are normally held at 5:30 p.m., the second Monday of each month at the One AISD Center, 214 Pine Street, Abilene. Meetings are open to the public and agendas are posted at least 72 hours in advance in accordance with the Texas Open Meeting Act. Current members are:
Stan Lambert Place 6 - President, Dr. Danny Wheat Place 5 - Vice President, Laura Dyer Place 4 - Secretary, Robert T. Laird Place 1 - Asst, Secretary, Samuel Garcia Place 2, Dr. Barry Lynn Hoefer Place 3, Charlie Wolfe Place 7
If I am not mistaken, the places that will be up also in May 2010 are for Lambert, Wheat, & Dyer.
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I used to be one of the kids that this bond was all about. I care about the kids, not the political end. I graduated with a technical degree: Industrial Management Technology from TSTC, and worked in the Tech field for many years. I know what I am talking about.
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This was a great grass roots collaboration. The arrogance of the supporters of the bond had as much to do with the failure of the bond as just about anything else. I did not start the site. I did write several articles and did several interviews, but I only appeared briefly. I was disappointed that all the significant supporters of the bond was asked for their input, but only one from our side got any real camera time. Also, I was the only person from the opposition in the election center. They did an on camera interview of Dr. Polnick, but not me. I don't care if it was me personally or not, but I don't think the coverage was equal, as usual from Abilene media services. There were almost 200 members of the facebook group. Why weren't more of them invited to weigh in?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bullet Points Vote NO Abilene Career Tech


VOTE NO! Abilene Career Tech High School!
Web address: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/VOTE-NO-Abilene-Career-Tech-High-School/139054847791
Flier:

3 talking points http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=11387&post=60382&uid=139054847791#post60382
Three main reasons for not supporting:
No plan: No precise business plan had been provided and no location has been chosen.
No hope: It is believed that actual vocational students and existing vocatrional workers will suffer lower pay and positions to flooding the job market.
No Trust: 1 A 9 million dollar plan was suggested and rejected
2 bond money from 2004 is not being used for repairing existing middle schools
3 Supporters refuse to debate us. If they had a good plan they would come debate. They have already refused to come to one forum.


Media talkin points: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=11387&post=60382&uid=139054847791#/topic.php?uid=139054847791&topic=11301
• “The Midland ISD School Board decides it's just too soon to present the public with a $62.3 million bond. …Timing is everything because our local economy today is not in the best of shape," said Board President Jay Isaacs.” (http://cbs7.com/news/details.asp?ID=14589, August 25, 2009)

• “If the bond issue passes, property tax rates will rise…” (Abilene Reporter News, August 24, 2009)

• “The budget gives all staff raises of at least 3 percent and leaves a deficit of nearly $1 million.” (AISD Superintendent David Polnick, Abilene Reporter News, August 24, 2009)

• “AISD taxpayers are still paying off debt from the 2004 bond election for $76.5 million worth of renovations extended to every campus in the district, which are still under way. Those bonds will be paid off in 2025”. (Abilene Reporter News, September 12, 2009)

• “The school board has said it may come back with another bond election as early as next year to build two new schools to replace Fannin, College Heights and Bowie elementary schools. That would require a bond issue of about $11 million. However, school board president Stan Lambert said the next bond issue could also consider more issues, like renovating the old Jefferson campus, new classrooms at Bassetti and Dyess and a permanent location for the recently opened engineering magnet school called New Tech High School.” (Abilene Reporter News, September 12, 2009)

• “In 2004, voters approved $76.5 million in bonds to renovate campuses across the district, and Bowie, Fannin and College Heights elementary schools were last on the list. …Their bond money still sits in the bank, including $3.6 million for Fannin, $1.3 million for College Heights and $3.8 million at Bowie… …However, plans are on hold. (Abilene Reporter News, September 5, 2009)

• “But AISD hasn’t always depended on bond elections to build schools. Craig Middle School was built in 2007 with reserve funds. AISD has about $20 million in reserves right now…” (Abilene Reporter News, September 12, 2009)

• “There has been lots of talk about sites,” Lancaster said. “To my knowledge, no contracts have been signed and a site has not been selected.” (Tim Lancaster, CEO Hendrix Health System. Abilene Reporter News, September 28, 2009)

• “Basic economic theory says it’s bad to raise taxes during tough economic times,” said John Hill, a former Abilene city councilman and economy professor and Hardin-Simmons University. Traditionally, we find ways to cut taxes during an economic downturn,” he said. “It’s up to the voters to determine if now is appropriate.” (Abilene Reporter News, September 12, 2009)


My blog has more detailed arguments:
http://konstantin-for-abilene.blogspot.com/2009/11/responce-to-blogger-in-local-paper.html
http://konstantin-for-abilene.blogspot.com/2009/10/educational-argument-against-tech.html
http://konstantin-for-abilene.blogspot.com/

Give me a call if I may assist you further. (325)660-1786

Please Pass this on!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Responce to blogger in the local paper

.November 1, 2009
6:16 a.m.
Suggest removal
Reply to this post
skipper writes:
MrObviousUSA,

The kids attending the proposed Career High School WILL be taking the required Engish, math, science, and history classes required to graduate and earn a degree. The only difference will be that these "core" courses will be taught with a relevance toward the career skill or career pathway that the student chooses to take.

Your statement about these students attending a Career High School and not taking the "required" courses and not having to pass the state required level TAKS exams is totally inaccurate....

I guess your "technical advisor" missed that one!
...November 1, 2009
6:34 a.m.
Suggest removal
Reply to this post
lthomas999#209079 writes:
Stan, read Mr. Dillingham's article

"http://www.reporternews.com/news/2009...,

then comment. He IS a technical trainer, where the rubber meets the road, not a bureaucrat from the hill!

PLEASE VOTE NO - AGAIN!!!
...November 1, 2009
7:45 a.m.
Suggest removal
Reply to this post
MrObviousUSA writes:
I have been praying that somebody would bring that up. Make no mistake, this bond issue only covers building a building, not the kind of classes. Your argument for the vocational related core classes is the cornerstone, the crown jewel as it were, of why I oppose this whole idea.
Not to toot my own horn, but since lthomas999#209079 brought it up, I know much about this issue as well. In high school I was in a vocational program, I went on to get an associates degree in Industrial Management Technology from TSTC, and later I moved on to get my bachelor's degree. I offered my services to the newspaper and other media, and I was never contacted like many others that oppose this bond issue.
This idea to offer alternative core classes to vocational/tech is the mother of bad ideas for several reasons:
1. America is far behind the majority of the rest of the world in the quality of education we provide to our children. Dumbing down our kids will only hurt our country in the long run.
2. I can speak from personal experience that it is a bad idea to avoid taking college bound level courses. Advanced classes should be taken if it is at all possible. It took me an extra year of college to catch up with entering freshmen, when I decided to better myself by getting my degree.
3. The psychological effect of being removed from the "preppy kids" can be very damaging to self esteem, because it not only discourages a student to strive for excellence in their life, but I say it makes it much more likely for that person to be one of those who choose to terminate their high school endeavors early. The last thing these kids need is to be locked into vocational training if they change their mind. Did YOU know what you were going to do when you were in 10th grade?
4. I don't think any person who loves their child wants them to strive for anything less than their best potential. I suspect that the majority of those who support this would not have their own children attend this program, no matter what it's merits are. Think about it, and tell me I am wrong...
5. After almost 20 years of working in this area I can tell you this will only bring down the current average wage. The reason there are no vocational employees for those who support the bond, is that many of them pay far less than the state average wages for these types of jobs. It is simple supply and demand. The more workers in the job market the lower the wages they can demand will become.
Keep in mind, I know what I am talking about. I was that kid you are talking about 20 years ago. In 15 years, I never made over $2 above minimum wage, until I started my own business where I employed and trained vocational employees. Frankly, I know exactly what I am talking about. Just ask anybody currently working a vocational occupation in Abilene instead of business owners, politicians, & bankers. You are likely to hear the same thing from them too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Educational argument against the tech school


Make no mistake, this is one of the most important votes the tax payers of Abilene, Texas will ever see. Politicians come and go, but this building, if built, will effect Abilene's children for decades to come. I was told by a city councilman, that a 9 million dollar plan was proposed, but rejected mainly at the prompting of our superintendent, who is soon to leave office.

In theory, this sounds like a great idea, a way to reach those students that are not very successful in academics, so that they will have the opportunity to be successful in the world anyway. Yet, these classes could all be offered through the current school system and on the current campuses. Other schools all over the state are offering similar classes without building a new facility to house them. One way to approach the same outcome, without it costing as much money, which could instead be used to make repairs/updates needed on other campuses is to offer all of these classes being planned for the program in the current high schools. This would allow the kids to get used to the program while putting them on a possible career path (as well as earning them a diploma). It would also help the administration find out which classes/programs would be most convenient for all involved. Some issues that would need to be addressed would be finding teachers for the classes and figuring out which types of classes the students would take. Establishing programs in which there is a high student passing rate on the testing at the end of the course of study is also critical. Another thing to be considered is who would determine which students would qualify to be serviced through this type of program. To best serve the community, all student populations should have the choice to take the programs offered. If there is a breakdown at any of these points, the entire program will suffer.

These things need to be established before that much money is spent to build a new structure to house it. Schools don't use business plans... but, if they start the program this way, they will have data to support the spending that much money on it within 5-10 years. Until then, they can repair the buildings they already have students in.

Another thing that should be taken into account is the testing aspect of opening this campus. The state has been put in the position of having to test EVERY student in the state to address the federal guidelines of No Child Left Behind. Even school-aged children lying comatose in a hospital bed have to be addressed with the new guidelines. So, all of the students that would be in this program would still be held responsible for state testing. If these kids are not taking the standard classes for English, science, history, and math (four classes of each are required for all high school students now in Texas), then they might not have the foundations needed to pass the testing. The issue has already been addressed that Abilene is in jeopardy of becoming "Unacceptable" for accountability purposes. If you take these kids out of the classroom and put them in applied classes for these subjects, then they will be less likely to pass the tests, and the schools and teachers on the "home campus" will still be held responsible for them, so the risk of becoming "Unacceptable" will actually increase, not decrease.

The classes and certification programs being offered is a great idea. However, when you start taking kids out of the classroom and moving them across town, the risk might not be worth any reward that comes out of it, on a personal level, or a district level, because without passing the testing, these kids will not be able to graduate.

Several attempts have been made by the opposition to this bond for the 25 million dollar building to house the existing Vocational/Technical courses being taught by the Abilene Independent School District for an equal voice in the local media. As of yet, no spokesperson has been given an equal opportunity to argue the merits of this position. On a personal level, I do not expect everyone to agree with me, or the others against this bond, that basically is just to build a new building despite an abundance of existing infrastructure and campuses here in Abilene, Texas. However, we want our point of view to be given an equal opportunity to be heard. LET THE VOTERS DECIDE! To me this is just another fiscally irresponsible measure being handed down from the powers that be in Abilene, like the Diamondback Golf Course or AYSA campaign was. As of yet the local media has done little to earn our trust, and has not given coverage we can count on on this issue.


I have formed a cause on facebook called: End Political Bias In The media! It can be found under causes or at:http://apps.facebook.com/causes/385510/58001906 Please join us at End Political Bias In The media! if you also believe in our quest to demand honesty and integrity from media sources, from the local, state, and national level.

I would like to thank my technical advisor, who is a special education teacher, and member of the Texas Federation of Teachers for her assistance in providing and editing some of the content of this article.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Makin' the natives restless again...

I sent this out to many media and politicos. Hope it does some good.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: ron konstantin [mailto:ron1kon@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 5:50 PM
To: Dr. Marc; anthony.williams@abilenetx.com; Briley Briley; citydesk@reporternews.com; corpcomm@scripps.com; cromeensb@reporternews.com; Doug Myers; George Levesque; joe spano; ken pyvus; kleiners@reporternews.com; KTXS parrent; News - KRBC - Producers; News Producers - KTAB; norm.archibald@abilenetx.com; nussbaumk reporternews.com; Paul Fabrizio; professor libby; publishme; Shane Price; Sidney Levesque; stormy higgins; Tom Vodak
Subject: FW: flyer

Try searching on to facebook under VOTE NO! Abilene Career Tech High School if the email link below does not work. I have also sent this to some hidden recipiants who know you have received it... To whomsoever much is given, much is required.

Here is a copy of the flier that was sent out and a link to the webpage of the ORGANIZED opposition to the Tech School. That the newspaper and the tv stations have not reported upon fully on and have yet to interview anyone from. http://www.facebook.com/pages/VOTE-NO-Abilene-Career-Tech-High-School/139054847791

Vo/Tech High School?

Vocational and technical training in High School

Abilene’s high schools are on the verge of being unacceptable

High drop out rates, and poor TAKS performance, are said to be the cause, but these problems begin BEFORE high school

Abilene independent school district wants to say

which kids will go to college and which will not

Should a counselor keep your child from a college-prep program?

Children for this school will almost certainly be selected for this school based on race and income.

Fannin and Bowie are falling down, AISD has the bond money to renovate them in the bank, but has put the plans on hold: AISD administrators are holding elementary school renovations hostage to the Vo-tech bond election.

Is this right?

The administration wants 16 to 20 acres on which to build their new Vo-Tech High School.

They claim it will cost 1.5 million dollars for the land alone:

that is over $84,000 an acre.

The Administration doesn’t know when they can build it or where to solve this pressing critical need.

Meanwhile, they have 6 empty campuses in Abilene but do not want to use them.

All the classes they propose have been taught in AISD but have been dropped during the time this task force has supposedly been studying this problem.

They want to blackmail AISD taxpayers: no decent tech classes without a new building

The vote is November 3rd

Supporters of this Proposal are hoping for a low turnout and low interest.

Go to the polls and say no one more time to this Administration!

Early Voting

TAYLOR COUNTY PLAZA

400 Oak Street, Suite 101
Oct 19th-
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Extended Hours
Oct 19th-
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

BRANCH LOCATIONS
Oct 19th-
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Mall of Abilene-Books A Million
4310 Buffalo Gap Road

K-Mart
4565 South 1st Street

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Appearance on "The Professors"

I will be speaking on "The Professors" radio program KWKC 1340am about the Abilene tech school bond issue tomorrow: Friday Oct 23 from 4 to 5. If you want to send me information for or against(I want to be fair as I can, and fully informed) email me at ron1kon@hotmail.com
The number if you want to call into the show is 676-1340. You can listen online at http://www.mcm.edu/newsite/web/radio.htm
Unless something changes by tomorrow, I would be glad to help organize a group to oppose this issue.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stone Viking Drakkar "Dragon Ship" / Sailing Upon A Dark Wind


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Inspired by and in tribute to The Immigrant Song - By Led Zeppelin
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MusicPlaylist
MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Taylor County Sheriff Les Bruce Round Two....

Posted on:
href="http://www.ratemycop.com//index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=117997">
"As head of narcotic was known to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine and use meth intravenously. He reportedly has been admitted 4 times to the Betty Ford Clinic in San Antonio. Several females claim to have traded sex to avoid arrest. He reportedly beat a handcuffed detainee. Now is Sheriff of Taylor County. Does he still deal meth?"

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A detailed account of a gathering outside the Taylor County Jail, that I personally attended and testified at:

Also some letters sent to county commissioners that have not been acted upon

Dear County Commissioners,

My September 2nd request to speak before you concerning misconduct by staff at the Taylor County Jail has been rejected. Ten days later, Marcus Marsh, another Taylor County inmate died while in custody from "a perforated duodenal ulcer with early peritonitis - "severe constipation."

Marsh's relative tried to get him medication on a Friday but were reportedly told that it would be Monday before it could be approved. He died over that weekend alone in his cell.

Below is another example of someone left alone in her cell after requesting medical help.

Lisa Mijares describes giving birth to a son while squatting all alone in her jail cell after her pleas for help were allegedly ignored. A second case was also reported of a mother giving birth at the jail and that baby having died. A Citizens' Review Board should be formed to look into these allegations and see if there is a pattern of misconduct.

See the You Tube video on the home page of http://www.CitizensReviewBoard.com .

In addition, it has been reported to my by an inmate's family that he filed a grievance about being housed with a man infected with tuberculosis. After more than two months of complaining, he reports that 15 fellow inmates were tested in September and that five (including himself) tested positive for TB. The Health Dept. will neither confirm nor deny this but informed me that I would need to file an open records request to get the information needed.


Lance Hunter Voorhees
Chaplain - Taylor County Detention Ministries
Abilene, TX


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In case you missed it, this is my previous article about our current sheriff before he won the election last year: The newspaper and TV stations refused to report on any of this. The local media did not only ignore allegations Against Bruce, but George Levesque of KTXS moderated the only debate Bruce showed up at, and did not allow questions from the audience. Which prompted George Levesque of KTXS channel 12 and the editor of The Abilene Reporter News to be co-winners of the Abilene Moral Eyesore Of The Year Award:
http://konstantin-for-abilene.blogspot.com/2009/05/konstantin-for-abilene-moral-guidepost.html

Konstantin For Abilene Movement
Editorial On Sheriff's Candidates in Taylor County

Allegations and whispers are all you will ever hear About Les Bruce if the Local media have their way. The editor of The Abilene Reporter News, Barton Cromeens will not allow the truth to come out against candidates his newspaper endorses. Mr. Cromeens would not allow Mr. Konstantin to respond to a very personal criticism against him during his recent campaign for mayor either. I do not want to be banned like Konstantin. Here is what Konstantin wrote about our board's decision. Over the years, I have seen a need to have coverage of political candidates that is more balanced. We at the Konstantin For Abilene Movement, are made up of people of differing backgrounds and political affiliations. I was a candidate in last three city council elections, including the most recent, for Mayor of Abilene. During this time, I met many people that make up the diverse population of the Key City and surrounding area. From my many contacts and numerous advisers, I decided upon myself, 2 republicans, 2 democrats, 1 libertarian, 1 Ron Paul supporter, and 2 non partisan residents of Taylor County, to make up my advisory board. Our goal is not to necessarily influence the outcome of any election. We simply want to provide more information to help you, as a voter, make a more informed decision. The objective is to review and comment upon how positive or negative an effect candidates in local elections, have on Abilene, and the Big Country as a whole. Our hope is to investigate campaigns not only by personality perception, but also on a deeper level. We need to know the candidates stand on issues, and the likelihood they might actually follow through with their campaign promises. After discussing the candidates at great length, we came to a consensus. Taylor County Sheriff,Since this seems to be the most heated among the local elections on the November ballot, we decided to tackle the Sheriff's race first. The candidates are Leslie 'Les' Bruce(R) who defeated our current Sheriff, Jack Dieken, and his challenger, Arturo 'Art' Casarez(D). Originally, I had intended to write a biographical/non opinion piece over both candidates for an article, and then discuss this race with my advisory board for the Konstantin For Abilene Movement before releasing it. Although I attempted to contact both candidates, Bruce chose not to respond. Despite a lack of interest by one of the candidates, my endeavor to give a fair add balanced portrait, to present to the board continued, nevertheless.
Casarez:Arturo 'Art' Casarez was a delight to speak with. He has a masters degree, as compared to his opponent, who does not even have an associates degree. He has been A policeman, Department Of Public Safety officer, and a parole officer, not to mention quite a few more years of law enforcement than his opponent. He is also involved with a ministry effort in the county jail in his spare time. Like Bruce, he is well respected by fellow law enforcement officials, but has earned quite a bit of 'street credit' with people in the community as well. He is admired by some of the prisoners for his efforts at rehabilitating those incarcerated by our county over the years. He is a family man with many connections to the community. A few years ago he ran as a Republican. He explained this saying that he was a political moderate, that filed with a party since it is a necessary evil of getting elected in a partisan race. Although I am a moderate Republican, have avoided partisan races because of the 'yellow dog' mentality of some voters. (Some people would vote for a yellow dog as long as an 'R' or 'D' followed their name.) He seemed to be in touch with the concerns and needs of deputies. Bruce:Leslie 'Les' Bruce, despite his effeminate name, is a tall, well spoken and almost nauseatingly typical politician. In various appearances he has touted very proud connection to the Republican party and the Republican Party Chairman, Curtis Tomme. He spent some time as a patrolman, S.W.A.T. Team sniper, and Narcotics Detective. This is not a problem in most races, but the majority of board members considered the Sheriff's job one best practiced with as little interjection of politics as possible. Questions we had about Les Bruce, the Republican candidate for Sheriff were varied and extremely troubling. Included in the allegations:
1. Property tax evasion
2. Bribing the Taylor County Tax Assessor
3. Taking bribes and drugs from criminals in return for not arresting them.
Moral transgressions:
1. Racial slurs against Native Americans and Hispanics
2. Lies about his previous actions during his campaign
3. Misrepresenting his personal financial worth as being poor after building an almost $300,000 home.
4. Arrogance in the form of not responding to: phone inquiries by numerous parties, a debate with Connecting Caring Communities against his opponent, and refusing a radio interview with a local Latino radio station.
We at the Konstantin for Abilene Movement Advisory Board had not planned on endorsing any candidates for the upcoming election on November 2nd. However, by unanimous decision, we have all agreed. In the interest of the greater good of the county, we are compelled to strongly endorse the Democratic candidate: Arturo 'Art' Casarez. There is a disproportionate of minorities in the makeup in our county jail. Since here in America you are considered innocent until proved guilty, the only offense of some, is the crime of not having enough money to bond out. Not everyone who is locked up there has been convicted of a crime. Some are simply awaiting trial. The cost of housing as many people we do, could be better spent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maybe it is time we have a Sheriff as concerned with rehabilitation as incarceration. I think you will find there is no S.W.A.T. team mentality with Casarez. Are those footsteps I hear the boots of Barton Cromeens, set upon stomping out my freedom of speech and press, that he himself so greedily enjoys
?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Freya - Viking goddess of love and fertility


In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies). Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Behind Every Heart Of Steel Lies A Hammer Of God


"Behind Every Heart Of Steel Lies A Hammer Of God"
Tribute to Manowar's - Heart Of Steel


Music

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dream Catcher Spirit


"Dream Catcher Spirit"


Music

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Idealist video of the month

Impossible Dream from The Man Of La Mancha


In this song, Quixote explains his quest and the reasons behind it ... in doing so,
he captures the essence of the play and its philosophical underpinnings.
(For me, it is absolutely magical.)

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

This is my quest, to follow that star ...
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...
To fight for the right, without question or pause ...
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ...

And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
when I'm laid to my rest ...
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Music Player


MusicPlaylistRingtones
Create a MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com



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AUGUST'S IDEALIST MUSIC OF THE MONTH

"DEFENDER" - By MANOWAR On the 1987 album: "Fighting The World"
Nararation by film/radio legend: Orson Wells; Vocals by: Eric Adams
Lyrics:
When You Are Old Enough
To Read These Words
Their Meaning Will Unfold
These Words Are All That’s Left
Though We’ve Never Met My Only Son
I Hope You Know
That I Would Have Been There
To Watch You Grow
But My Call Was Heard
And I Did Go
Now You’re Mission Lies Ahead Of You
As It Did Mine So Long Ago
To Help The Helpless Ones
Who All Look Up To You
And To Defend Them To The End

Defender

Ride Like The Wind
Fight Proud My Son
You’re The Defender
God Has Sent

Ride Like The Wind
Fight Proud My Son
You’re The Defender
God Has Sent

Father Father
Father I Look Up To You
And Heed Thy Call
This Letter Ends My Search
I’ll Live Your Dream
Now Passed On To Me

And I Now Wait
To Shake The Hand Of Fate
Like The Dusk Awaiting Dawn
So Wizards Cast Your Spell
With No Heart To Do Me Well
So It Is Written
It Shall Be Done

Defender

Ride Like The Wind
Fight Proud My Son
You’re The Defender
God Has Sent

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Me on Video

Here are some videos of yours truly: Enjoy!
video
My attempt at Italian.

video

Friday, August 7, 2009

Some of my original, tweeked, and inspired artwork


"My Trail Of Tears Ends, HERE!"
Inspired By and tribute to "Spirit Horse Of The Cherokee" by Manowar


Music




I call this: "Mithrilweaver"

"With No Heart To Do Me Well"

"Northern Lights"

Tribute to Led Zeppelin: "Swan Circle"
Inspired by and a tribute to "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin


Music




"Theatre Masks"

"ManOwaR: Heart Of Steel"

"Beware Becoming The Dragon You Slay"

"Comet Over Shiprock"

"Viking Phantom Ship" Can you see the ship from 3 different points of view: Above, water level, & from under water?

"Hearts of Steel"

"Spirit-Warrior-Of-The-Eclipse"

You may use my art on your web pages, profiles, ect... if you want as long as it retains my signature on it, and I am given credit for designing it.

Makin' the native restless: My older articles

Here are some older articles I wrote that made the natives restless:

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Kiniority
(a deleted article I can't find the original date of article)

I, Ron Konstantin, recently ran for Mayor of Abilene, Texas, against the 'kiniority' machine in power here.
Kiniority [kin-yawr-i-tee, -yor-] 1. A phenomenon were the rules for everyone else, do not apply to you if you have enough money, the right friends, or are "kin" to the right family. 2. A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer is kin to the judge. 3. It's not seniority that counts in the real world, it's kiniority.
I have been advised to write about topics that are a bit less controversial, but I am out to make a difference. I am not sure I am cut out for politics or writing about it professionally, but somebody needs to do it. If you think you can do a better job, be my guest. One warning though, be careful what you wish for. After three unsuccessful campaigns for the other 85% in Abilene, I have gained much insight on the harsh realities of the political system. Campaigning can be incredibly hard, not just on you, the candidate, but your family and supporters as well. Please keep in mind, when you speak poorly about someone running for office, there is a spouse, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or devoted follower your harsh words may hurt as well. I have been shocked how poorly some, but not all, of the local media chose to treat certain candidates in the past.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

To golf, or not to golf, that is the question!


According to councilman Robert Briley, who was courteous enough to discuss this with me, it initially cost around $8 million to build the Diamondback course. Recently, I hear it was appraised at $1 million. Now, the selling price is $2.5 million? We need to see the books that have not been made public. I'm afraid not all is well in Abilene. For those of you who missed it, I apologize for the allusion to Shakespeare.

Anyway, step one is to get Sam "AYSA" Chase and his fiscally liberal protégés off the City Council. To accomplish that, we need to start with a candidate for the May election, who can beat him, to step forward. (Preferably, not once more into the breach for me, dear friends). Aye, there's the rub.

Step two, look into improving the city's only existing skate/bike park instead. I hear it is too small and could be safer. In this case, "Our kids are more than worth it!" For that allusion, I do not apologize!

Ron Konstantin

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An article that was leaked before I had a chance to publish it and ended the Konstantin For Abilene Advisory Board before it had a chance to get off the ground...

Member of Konstantine Movement For Abilene
Editorial On Sheriff's Candidates in Taylor County

Wild_bill you wrote to me: 'DCK4A, I'll say it to you just like I have to lillian5, if you've got proof, please share it. Allegations and whispers are all you will ever hear because Les Bruce wouldn't do anything like that. He has as much or more honor and honesty than anyone running for public office. Not putting down Art when I say that either. I know him to be honest and honorable as well.' I Believe I have absolute have proof. As a Republican myself it makes me very sad. You are right about one thing. Allegations and whispers are all you will ever hear. The editor of this paper Barton Cromeens will not allow the truth to come out against candidates the paper endorses. Mr. Cromeens would not allow Mr. Konstantin to respond to a very personal criticism against him during his recent campaign for mayor either. I do not want to be banned like Konstantin. Here is what Konstantin wrote about our board's decision. Over the years, I have seen a need to have coverage of political candidates that is more balanced. We at the Konstantin For Abilene Movement, are made up of people of differing backgrounds and political affiliations. I was a candidate in last three city council elections, including the most recent, for Mayor of Abilene. During this time, I met many people that make up the diverse population of the Key City and surrounding area. From my many contacts and numerous advisers, I decided upon myself, 2 republicans, 2 democrats, 1 libertarian, 1 Ron Paul supporter, and 2 non partisan residents of Taylor County, to make up my advisory board. Our goal is not to necessarily influence the outcome of any election. We simply want to provide more information to help you, as a voter, make a more informed decision. The objective is to review and comment upon how positive or negative an effect candidates in local elections, have on Abilene, and the Big Country as a whole. Our hope is to investigate campaigns not only by personality perception, but also on a deeper level. We need to know the candidates stand on issues, and the likelihood they might actually follow through with their campaign promises. After discussing the candidates at great length, we came to a consensus. Taylor County Sheriff,Since this seems to be the most heated among the local elections on the November ballot, we decided to tackle the Sheriff's race first. The candidates are Leslie 'Les' Bruce(R) who defeated our current Sheriff, Jack Dieken, and his challenger, Arturo 'Art' Casarez(D). Originally, I had intended to write a biographical/non opinion piece over both candidates for an article, and then discuss this race with my advisory board for the Konstantin For Abilene Movement before releasing it. Although I attempted to contact both candidates, Bruce chose not to respond. Despite a lack of interest by one of the candidates, my endeavor to give a fair add balanced portrait, to present to the board continued, nevertheless.
Casarez:Arturo 'Art' Casarez was a delight to speak with. He has a masters degree, as compared to his opponent, who does not even have an associates degree. He has been A policeman, Department Of Public Safety officer, and a parole officer, not to mention quite a few more years of law enforcement than his opponent. He is also involved with a ministry effort in the county jail in his spare time. Like Bruce, he is well respected by fellow law enforcement officials, but has earned quite a bit of 'street credit' with people in the community as well. He is admired by some of the prisoners for his efforts at rehabilitating those incarcerated by our county over the years. He is a family man with many connections to the community. A few years ago he ran as a Republican. He explained this saying that he was a political moderate, that filed with a party since it is a necessary evil of getting elected in a partisan race. Although I am a moderate Republican, have avoided partisan races because of the 'yellow dog' mentality of some voters. (Some people would vote for a yellow dog as long as an 'R' or 'D' followed their name.) He seemed to be in touch with the concerns and needs of deputies. Bruce:Leslie 'Les' Bruce, despite his effeminate name, is a tall, well spoken and almost nauseatingly typical politician. In various appearances he has touted very proud connection to the Republican party and the Republican Party Chairman, Curtis Tomme. He spent some time as a patrolman, S.W.A.T. Team sniper, and Narcotics Detective. This is not a problem in most races, but the majority of board members considered the Sheriff's job one best practiced with as little interjection of politics as possible. Questions we had about Les Bruce, the Republican candidate for Sheriff were varied and extremely troubling. Included in the allegations:
1. Property tax evasion
2. Bribing the Taylor County Tax Assessor
3. Taking bribes and drugs from criminals in return for not arresting them.
Moral transgressions:
1. Racial slurs against Native Americans and Hispanics
2. Lies about his previous actions during his campaign
3. Misrepresenting his personal financial worth as being poor after building an almost $300,000 home.
4. Arrogance in the form of not responding to: phone inquiries by numerous parties, a debate with Connecting Caring Communities against his opponent, and refusing a radio interview with a local Latino radio station.
We at the Konstantin for Abilene Movement Advisory Board had not planned on endorsing any candidates for the upcoming election on November 2nd. However, by unanimous decision, we have all agreed. In the interest of the greater good of the county, we are compelled to strongly endorse the Democratic candidate: Arturo 'Art' Casarez. There is a disproportionate of minorities in the makeup in our county jail. Since here in America you are considered innocent until proven guilty, the only offense of some, is the crime of not having enough money to bond out. Not everyone who is locked up there has been convicted of a crime. Some are simply awaiting trial. The cost of housing as many people we do, could be better spent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maybe it is time we have a Sheriff as concerned with rehabilitation as incarceration. I think you will find there is no S.W.A.T. team mentality with Casarez. Are those footsteps I hear the boots of Barton Cromeens, set upon stomping out my freedom of speech and press, that he himself so greedily enjoys?


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Monday, November 24, 2008

Abilene City Council should go "Frontiering"!


The first time I heard the new brand for Abilene "frontiering" I thought it was a joke. After the being made aware of the $107,000 it cost us to pay a business in Nashville Tennessee, humor was not one of the emotions I felt. Now they are trying to tell us, if we just see some presentation it will all become clear. My question for the city fathers is this: Will all the people that drive through town see these presentations too? The proposed signage is going to cost us an additional $400K.

I say no way!The city needs to understand that we Abilenians are smart, capable people. We have several colleges with professors and students with bright minds. They could take on many of the expensive studies, that are farmed out to other places. The sheer number of studies, and eventually money spent out of city, is not a good idea. Apparently the majority of people agree with me.

If the city council's stance is to ignore us, at least they could keep the money in Abilene! Then again, why not have a city wide contest of elementary students to come up with a new brand? It is a win/win in that no money would have to be spent, and the youth of the city could learn something by taking part in city government. One of the candidates suggested this during the city council/mayors race. Kudos however, to councilman Higgins, who is the sole member who voted against it.
Ron Konstantin
Abilene,Texas

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Konstantin For Abilene Moral Eyesore Of The Month - September 2008

I hope you enjoy my first installment of Konstantin for Abilene 'Moral Eyesore or Guidepost Of The Month'. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me. If you have any suggestions for a recipient of the eyesore (negative) or guidepost (positive) award, let me know. My goal is to act as a watchdog on behalf of, as I call us, "the other 85%". I do ask you restrict submissions to public people or organizations that have a very good or negative impact on Abilene and The Big Country. Please, no private individuals! Obviously, this is an opinion piece based upon my personal opinion, observations, and always, exhaustive research. If I am in error in even the smallest detail, please let me know, and I will take appropriate steps to correct the error. My intent is not to smear anyone unfairly, or cause undue distress. This effort is a direct result of multiple, unsuccessful attempts to expose issues that are, in my opinion, of great concern to the area, that local media will not print. I can't beat them, so I decided to join them. I pledge I will never intentionally mislead or misrepresent the facts of the issue. If you have the slightest suspicion my thoughts my upset you in any way, please choose not to read them. My goal is to benefit the greater good, not upset individuals. In other words: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! I would like to thank Abilene City Councilman - Sam Chase, Stan Alcorn and the Deacons of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, George Levesque - Station manager KTXS TV, and most of all, Barton Cromeens - Editor of the Abilene Reporter News, for inspiring me to take up this endeavor. So, God bless America, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press.

Here is the "edited" version of my article:

I would like to respond to a recent letter to the editor(Abilene Newspaper - http://m.reporternews.com/news/2008/apr/30/konstantin-wrongly-aligning-himself/ ) entitled, 'Konstantin wrongly aligning himself,' that appeared in the Abilene Reporter News. This letter to the editor contains many factual errors, and slandered me personally. As of this writing, it still remains on m.reporternews.com. My complaint is centered on the actions of the person who wrote the letter to the editor, Philip Lawler, and how the Abilene Report has handled the situation. To summarize one of Philip Lawler's points, he said I inappropriately quoted his grandfather, Shorty Lemens, as supporting my campaign. Philip Lawler also added several other untruths about my character to his letter to the editor. Everyone is welcome to their opinion, regardless of how unfounded it may be. I had hoped to respond to Philip Lawler's accusations. The Abilene Reporter would not allow me to add my comments to their online edition, and rejected my submission for the print version's letters to the editor. I contacted them about this, and they said I had not followed some of their online posting rules. So, I modified the piece according to their specifications, but it was rejected again with no explanation. OK, I can live with that. It is their newspaper. However, I was upset when they allowed Philip Lawler's slanderous and untruthful comments to remain on their website, as well as filthy, vile, and obscene comments on the blog section under the letter. I requested that the Abilene Reporter remove his, as well as the obscene comments, since I was not allowed to answer them. They refused to do so. Also, my father submitted a letter to the editor that was also ignored, despite a lifetime of media experience as an author, columnist, television reporter, and most importantly, a corroborator of my claims. So, let me address some of the issues brought up in Philip Lawler's diatribe against me: I agree that anyone who knew H.W. 'Shorty' Lemens knows he would not have allowed his name to be mentioned in a political campaign... until recently. Shorty was my friend, and like a grandfather to me. He is not here to stop the claims of his grandson, Philip Lawler, against me. Mr. Lemens supported me, and my campaigns. For the first time in his 90+ years, he allowed my political signs in his yard, and even accompanied me on political meetings with people such as the city manager, Larry Gilley; why would Lawler think it is not acceptable now? Mr. Lemens filed charges against Mr. Lawler with adult protective services, for elder abuse. Since I assisted Mr. Lemens write his initial complaint, this tell much about Philip Lawler's true motives for his letter to the newspaper. I may not have been family member, but I had been employed directly by Mr. Lemens for about a dozen years, including taking care of him in his home, as a resident. Lawler has been arrested multiple times for DWI. He has no moral basis to judge my character, or my viability as a political candidate, past, present, or future. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Lawler visited his grandfather around six times in 12 years, even though they live in the same city. Keep in mind, I lived with Mr. Lemens, as part of my job, and I had daily exposure to his thoughts on an almost exhaustive level. Mr. Lawler’s lack of knowledge or concern for even the most basic needs of Mr. Lemens should be considered, when weighing the validity of his statements on his behalf, or against me. But don't take my word for it. I have plenty of irrefutable proof that many of the assets, that used to belong to the elderly man, are now owned by Lawler. To top it all off, Philip Lawler had for years been taking property from his grandfather, while wrongfully accusing Mr. Lemens, and his big sister for the decline of the business Mr. Lemens founded: Lemens L P Gas. Considering that neither worked there by that time, displays the inane nature of this elder abuser's lies. His sister no longer works for the former 'family business' now that it has been sold, mainly as the result of the greedy and insecure demands of her baby brother. As a part of the sale agreement, Mr. Lawler has been guaranteed a job by the new ownership. I was not allowed to respond to this assassination of my character in the Abilene Reporter News, even though it appeared in the middle of an election. Nor was I allowed to speak of the involvement of Lawler's lawyer, Abilene City Councilman Sam Chase, and his associate Charles 'Mike' Walls, as well as Detective Donnie Pratt at the Taylor County DA's office, in the theft of this elderly man's life work, and dignity. Obviously, this says much about the lack of honesty, and integrity of the editor of the Abilene Reporter News, Barton Cromeens.

Congratulations Phil Lawler, Abilene Texas, as the recipient of Konstantin for Abilene 'Moral Eyesore Of The Month' of September 2008. You have earned it!

Ron Konstantin - Abilene political activist Konstantin For Abilene Movement

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New zoning laws for drilling are unsafe

Friday, April 18, 2008

I was shocked when I read the article, "Council approves CIP projects." The regulations for oil drilling rigs in the city were there for good reason.

The zoning changes amount to nothing less than greed coming before protecting human life. Two hundred feet is just too close to homes. In the case of an oil fire, the paint can be melted off a vehicle up to 400 feet away. Think what it would do to the trailer houses you want to drill by.

Removal of warning sirens outside the city, much less inside it, is just insane. Salt water reinjection permeates into groundwater that will kill almost anything living and make water undrinkable. How many people in town who use wells to water their lawn will this effect?

And have you ever smelled an oil rig? Are you ready for the huge vehicles needed to service a rig to constantly drive down your street, day and night?

Those of you who talk about eyesores in the community have seen nothing yet! Oil can be a great source of revenue, but not at the expense of safety and just good old common sense.

As a conservative who supports business, I am not opposed to drilling in town if it is done safely, but this is nothing short of foolish. I can only hope the dollar signs they are seeing are not replaced with gravestones.

Ever consider the millions of dollars in damages an accident could cost the city?

Congratulations, city council, you have really outdone yourselves this time!

Ron Konstantin

Konstantin for Mayor of Abilene Campaign

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Lend a hand - don't point out local 'eyesores'

Friday, June 15, 2007

A few people have asked me why, during my campaign for city council, I took on the whole ''eyesore'' issue. Well, I am a Christian, and a minister in training.

On a personal level, it seems judgmental and not very neighborly. If you want lower property taxes, be proactive and dispute the accessed value Taylor CAD placed upon your home. I suspect the eyesore fines will not lead to your taxes being lowered. Step up and be a good citizen. Pay your fair share, instead of passing your responsibilities on to someone else. Better yet, offer to help them clean things up.

On a religious level, Matthew 23:25-28 says, ''Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.''

These are the words of Jesus. I am sorry they offend anyone, but I am not trying to be ugly. I am just pointing out what I think is obvious to me, and what my fellow Christians should already know.

Ron Konstantin

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Leave political yard signs alone


Saturday, May 19, 2007

For the second year in a row, I have observed a problem that should be addressed. Please leave political signs alone. I think I speak for all political candidates when I say this. You might have zeal for the candidate you support, but this kind of thing just makes the ones with signs still standing look bad. Also, signs are expensive if you buy them, or time consuming if you print them yourself. If someone places a sign on your property in error, call them. Most candidates will send someone to pick it up.

Let's keep elections friendly here in the Friendly Frontier.

Ron Konstantin

Thursday, July 16, 2009

America's Newest Pastime

Have you ever noticed that it doesn't matter what the topic is, political discussions always end up the same way? Today I was reading the comments about some new controversial legislation on the on line version of my local newspaper. As usual, the posts on the forums could have had the band Psychostick's "The Dumb Song" playing in the background, because it just digressed to another all too familiar name calling session.

I won't bother giving you the topic though. After all, I was not there to inform myself about current events, or issues of the day. I was there because it has become my new favorite spectator sport. Reading the comments on blogs and forums is more entertaining than your average cheesy sitcom, or local sporting event. I suspect that I am not alone, and it has become America's new underground pastime!

It is the American way: I want the government to enact laws that benefit me as long as it requires nothing of me personally, and somebody else pays for it... and if you disagree with me, "Yer Dumb!"
So, come on everybody, let's take a seventh insult stretch, and together sing the chorus to "The Dumb Song!"
"Oh say, can you see
Everyone is dumb but me
I'm never, ever wrong
And that's all you'll ever be."

Ron Konstantin

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Morality Of Ethics

The morality of ethics is an area where you must be realistic. Even if you are an idealist like me. The world is not all good or all bad. Not even the most corrupt person in the world will always make a decision that is self serving. On the other hand, Even the best and truest of men will disappoint you if given enough time. Does the media show bias? I say definitely. On the other hand, despite themselves they do write good articles too that benefit the community as a whole.

Utilitarianism is defined as: The ethical theory that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Some people take a utilitarian view of logic and ethics:

If the majority is helped it is good.
If the majority agree, it is moral.
If the majority do not care, it is not important.
If the majority believe a story, it is true
If a man commits an evil, act he is evil
If a man commits good acts, he is a good man


But I disagree.


The moral: Utilitarian ethics are simply lazy morality. It is your responsibility to be proactive with your own life, instead of counting on others to do the right thing, much less the best thing for you. Also, if you do not stand up for yourself, nobody is likely to do it for you. lol...I can't be everywhere at once!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Congratulations Shane Price!

"Don'tCensorKonstantin4Abilene" on the online Abilene Reporter News forums although one of my supporters, does not speak for me. I would speak for myself, but the ARN blocks my freedom of speech on their forums, that they themselves benefit from. I take absolutely no credit for the victory of Shane Price. Shane had the support of the police and fire departments, as well as others, and had their help calling voters before the election. I congratulate him upon his victory, and his clean and positive campaign. I did encourage people to find another candidate so I would not have to run again, but it was far more than just 4. For years I have been promising to drop out of politics once Sam Chase was removed from city council. Although I did run for office a number of times, I did so because I could find no better candidate. I do have a heart for the people of Abilene and the issues I have supported over the years. However, I have never been one who desires public attention, or positions of power.
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As for the Mayor and Price rumors, they are ridiculous. I don't think that Shane is either enemy or friend of the mayor. He is an independent voice of his own. Why? I was at Shane's after party. None of the people that are big movers and shakers were there, nor was the Mayor. Sam and the Mayor go hunting occasionally, and the Mayor has had Sam go in his place to speak for him, like at the Ican meeting over a moth ago. I saw Shane speak several times, I never saw any of the old guard puppet him there either. Since I have run for office 3 times in Abilene, I know who these people are. I hear Mayor Archibald was at Sam's party, and that looks like him in Sam's video on the Abilene reporter News site. God bless America, the freedom of speech, and the people of Abilene.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Konstantin For Abilene Moral Guidepost / Eyesore Of The Year 2008-2009

Moral guidepost of the year award 2008-2009

In this information age, it is crucial to choose your source for information carefully. Over the last few years, and especially the last 12 months, there has been one outstanding choice for fair, unbiased, and accurate political coverage for the Big Country. I am pleased to award the Konstantin for Abilene Moral Guidepost Of The Year Award, to "The Professors" radio program on KWKC 1340 am . This informative 1 hour program can also be heard online at: http://www.mcm.edu/newsite/web/radio.htm from 4 to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
Dr. Paul Fabrizio, Chairman of the Political Science Department at McMurry University, and Professor Bill Libby Assistant Professor of Religion also at McMurry (With Ken Pyvus sitting in on Mondays), are a beacon of integrity. Through the years, they have shown a level of excellence, that can be respected and admired by all. On a regular basis they give honest coverage of political, as well as, other issues that effect Abilene, Texas, the country, and the world. During campaigns they give equal time, and respect to all candidates on their live program. Their insightful interviews give a perspective that allows voters to make a more informed decision, come election day.
Congratulations Professors! You are the "Moral Guideposts Of The Year" for Abilene and surrounding area. You have earned it...


Moral Eyesore of the year award 2008-2009


Heavenly Virtues, Deadly Sins
What is morality? Is it as simple as right versus wrong, or perhaps a more complicated battle between shades of gray? Some say it is a construct of education, environment, or simply good breeding. There are some who would say it is also a trait of the mind, as well as the will, making it volitional.
The Christian church categorizes the major flaws and merits of human nature into two categories: virtues and sins. The seven deadly sins, (also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins), and the seven heavenly virtues. (Also known as the seven cardinal virtues) The seven deadly sins include: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Pride, and Wrath. All are emotions we all feel at times, myself included. They are relatively normal, but if left unchecked can have serious and damaging repercussions on ourselves and those around us. I used these sins as guideposts in determining the "Moral Eyesore of the Year."
It is said what goes around comes around, and I write about the ones who for some reason are, but should not be, an exception to that rule. ;) When deciding upon the "Moral Eyesore" recipient for this year, I started with about six candidates. I narrowed the field down to two individuals. Their responsibilities and effect on Abilene politics are very similar. The only real difference of their impact on the city and surrounding area, is the means of delivery. So, with no further ado, the co-winners of the Moral Eyesore Of The Year Award 2008-2009 are...
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Barton Cromeens - Editor of the Abilene Reporter News:
The former Abilene Reporter News Editor Terri Burke is now president of the ACLU in Texas. Upon her departure, Barton Cromeens, (according to AP): joined the newspaper as a staff writer in 1996. He also has served as a photojournalist, photo editor, and assistant managing editor of presentation, before becoming the paper's Editor.
I usually try to avoid jumping into partisan issues, but her successor continues with a very liberal style of reporting. That is the way of things today with the media, and some degree of partisanship will always be evident (assuming you have a heartbeat). With a few exceptions, the majority of candidates, before and since Cromeens have been the most liberal among the "contending" candidates. For all of my democrat friends out there, I am not bashing liberals or the Democratic party. To be honest, I have no problem with a newspaper exercising the same freedom of speech and press that I enjoy, if they choose to endorse a candidate. However, may I point out this area for the most part is conservative, and his newspaper’s reporting does not entirely reflect the interests of the average reader.
As a former candidate, myself, and an active member of the political community of Abilene, I have had a chance to observe how candidates are treated from a perspective few ever get a chance to see. My concern is integrity, accuracy and balance. Forcing equal time is not my issue here. Blatant bias is. Over the years I have seen misquotes, and incorrect information go un corrected. Favored candidates get a lion’s share of positively themed articles, while candidate not embraced by the paper are either all but ignored, or even worse, seemingly intentionally misrepresented. Letters to the editor are often disregarded, and posters to the online version, with nothing more than opposing or critical views of the paper are banned. I suppose that is the prerogative of the paper, but allowing negative stories to appear about a candidate without allowing the candidate to respond is inconceivable to justify.
Sloth and Greed are the best terms, in my mind, to describe the current editor of Abilene’s only major news paper. Sloth, because they seem to do little to strive for excellence since they have a monopoly, instead of justifying their stance against a viewpoint they just delete or ignore it entirely, and they do little to correct errors in a timely manner, if at all. Greed, because they generally endorse candidates who will keep high paying business out of Abilene, when no liberal is apparent. Instead more colleges, providing a more choked job market of untested college students to drive down wages for experienced individuals with experience and a degree, seems to be the trend. This keeps the average competitive wage in the area, and what the market makes them in turn, pay their own people lower than the national average.
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George Levesque - news director - KTXS TV:
Levesque hosted the radio sports program "George and the Jungle" on KZQQ-AM , joined KTXS in 2000. He worked as weekend sports anchor, morning news, assistant news director and is currently 5 p.m. news anchor. Where Cromeens is introverted, and rarely releases his own writing to the public, this man is charismatic and eloquent. He speaks on television on a regular basis. I first met Levesque over 20 years ago, but I gather he does not recall the brief, insignificant encounter. One thing about him remains the same to me though. He is as arrogant, and vain now, as he was back then.
Pride in the form of arrogance and an ever present superiority complex are an all too common experience when dealing with Mr. Levesque. For years now is demeanor is respectful to the candidate until he gets what he needs, then he is apathetic, and rude. When the news bit is finished, often the tone is nothing like what was implied it would be. At times candidates words, or facts are skewed to an extremely, intentionally deceptive impression of the candidate. This was done to me, and I have been heard the same story from more than a few former candidates.
He occasionally acts as moderator for debates of local candidates. His delivery and bearing is respectful, however the questions seem a bit too complementary, or helpful to one particular candidate at times. Also when approached with information not complementary to a candidate before a debate, he will not bring certain background questions. During some debates he has either allowed no specific questions to candidates, or no questions from the audience at all. If you suggest a line of questioning which is not complimentary to his favorite candidate, it seems he will not ask it. It is my strong impression that he keeps damaging information from coming about certain candidates being known, while amplifying faults in others.
Unfortunately, this is common in broadcasting today, and Is the rule more often than the exception. I don’t expect much from the media, and bias is a constant motif during elections to some to degree. It is, as they say, the nature of the beast, and George is no more or less a Teflon veneer that is most anchor men. My main problem is that the delivery of news stories, from my extensive personal experience, is biased, unethical, unfair, untrustworthy, and seemingly agenda driven. The choices made as news director at KTXS, has done anything but, "earn my trust".
May it be said that I am not doing this on behalf of any entity, candidate, or group. With the exception of my father, who has been in the media( Newspapers, magazines, radio, and currently television) for almost 40 years, this writer has acted entirely upon my own personal motivations, and convictions. In conclusion, it saddens me to have to write this article about members of our local media. Some of my critics accuse me of wrath, I see it more as righteous indignation. It is my hope that these actions are a reflection of these two men in whom we put our confidence to report the news honestly, and not of their parent companies. It is my hope that theses men are either reprimanded or removed from their position, should they choose to continue their less than noble propensities.
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The candidacy of Abilene City Councilman (Moral Eyesore Of The Decade recipient) is a perfect example of what seems to be a common media trend in the Key City. Reporting has been inaccurate and corrections have been slow or non existent. I regularly have chosen to interject on the web forums for the online version of the Reporter news for 5 years now. I had made some statements pointing out documentable concerns upon Chase’s private law practice. This included ethical and criminal complaints. made in the past against him to the Taylor County DA, Adult Protective Services, and Grievances to the State Bar of Texas. As for his characterization as being the more conservative candidate, PLEASE! I Do not know his challenger, Shane Price, well, but portraying him as anyone’s puppet is simply absurd. I have read his writing, and attended several of his speaking engagements. If I had any indication of that at all, I certainly would pass that on. There is just no evidence to back this mindset. This boy scout troop leader seems to be a honest man with no hidden agendas of his own, much less on the behalf of others.
Also the fire and police officers associations were not allowed a response to some of Chase’s statements about not receiving their endorsement, until after early voting had concluded. A few hours before Chase was endorsed by the paper, all of my postings were removed to the news stories. All of them… Also during a recent candidate forum Levesque, again would not allow questions directed to individual candidates. As a candidate and a private individual, I have received a lot of abuse because of my opinions, both deserved and undeserved. However to be censored entirely by a body that enjoys the constitutional protection of the First Amendment, is shocking as it is disgraceful. I challenge Mr Chase, win or loose, to voluntarily submit his grievance and any other records with the State Bar of Texas for public view, unless he has something to hide... Bottom line, Boy Scout leader, or corporate lawyer? Take all the time you need.
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This is not an eleventh hour attempt to endorse any candidate. It is simply my attempt to show a shocking trend that must be corrected. As a person who studied political science in college, I have some advice. When it is time to make a decision upon how to vote, what the media has to say does have some degree of credence, and I support the right of those bodies under the freedom of speech to endorse a candidate if they choose. However, may I suggest contacting the candidate directly, and reading materials produced directly by the candidate, instead of trusting a second party. It is time we see more virtues, such as: Temperance, Charity, Diligence, and Humility. Perhaps then, justice would more often prevail in this world. Congratulations, George Levesque and Barton Cromeens upon your dubious honor of being chosen for the Konstantin For Abilene Moral Eyesore Of The Year 2008-2009 award. You have certainly worked hard to earn it!




Disclaimer:
I hope you enjoy this installment of Konstantin for Abilene 'Moral Eyesore of the Year'. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me. My goal is to act as a watchdog on behalf of, as I call us, "the other 85%". I restrict submissions to public people or organizations that have a very good/negative impact on Abilene and the Big Country, not private individuals, who are not part of public life! It is said what goes around comes around, and I write about the ones who for some reason should not be an exception to that rule. ;) Obviously, this is an opinion piece, based upon my personal observations, and what I sincerely believe to be true after exhaustive research of the matter is concluded. If I am in error in even the smallest detail, please let me know, and I will take appropriate steps to correct the error. My intent is not to smear anyone unfairly, or cause undue distress. This effort is a direct result of multiple, unsuccessful attempts to expose issues that are, in my opinion, of great concern to the area, that local media will not print or broadcast. I could not beat them, so I decided to join them. Please excuse my dyslexia, if my grammar or syntax fails to hit the mark…
In 1996, I felt a calling, to what I perceived at the time, as a calling to ministry. I do not deny being a simple man of many personal shortcomings. Being a literal "man of the cloth" is perhaps a goal too lofty for a sinful man, such as me. After many trials and a few victories, I truly believe to be among the least of God’s servants… However, when no other, more appropriate individual presents him/herself, I put my words to practice, and take on the task to personally stand in the gap, for what my conscience demands is right. The purpose of this article is not to condemn, as much as it is to inform. However, inside my chest beats the heart of an activist, drawn to crusade to true and lofty causes. Those concerns involving the poor, elderly, disabled, children, and generally the downtrodden of society are particularly captivating. To those unaware, I am 37 with an associates and bachelor’s degree. I have also run twice for a place on the Abilene City Council, and once for Mayor of Abilene, Texas.
I pledge I will never intentionally mislead, or misrepresent the facts of an issue. If you have the slightest suspicion my thoughts may upset you in any way, please choose not to read them. As an Idealist/INFP, ( http://www.mypersonality.info/personality-types/infp/ ) my goal is to benefit the greater good, not upset individuals. In other words: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! I would like to thank: the citizens of Abilene ad the Big Country, Abilene City Councilman - Sam Chase, Stan Alcorn/Deacons of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, George Levesque - Station manager KTXS TV, and most of all, Barton Cromeens - Editor of the Abilene Reporter News, for inspiring me to take up this endeavor. So, God bless America, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press. Kids, don't try this at home....