Watching the end-game of one’s career

With strange pulses of feelings racing through my mind I realize that this is the end-game. Having been on the bench approaching 16 years I finally realize the fruits of my decision last year.

Republican Party (United States)

It is election day, 2012, for the State of Texas primaries. The Republican Primary will, in about 45 minutes, have chosen my successor. Of course, we won’t know that answer for perhaps another two hours beyond that.

The decision not to run again was always one of mixed feelings because I still enjoy the work. But I am doing what I said at the outset I would do, and that is to leave in this state of mind rather than waiting to become one of the grouchy displeased judges who stayed too long. Why risk having any feeling about a career like this other than “wow, that was a wonderful, privileged thing to do for my community,” why indeed?

But today it’s very real. My replacement will become known and my slow trek out of the abyss of judicial isolation will begin in earnest. It’s the end-game.

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FHA loans and how to communicate to FHA

FHA loans and how to communicate to FHA

Rebuilding New Orleans

New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: Lower 9th...
New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: Lower 9th Ward. House thrown off foundation, partially atop an upside-down Ford-150 Photo by Infrogmation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task of tracing home titles back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish ownership. Here’s a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client (Ed. note: believed to be true):
You have to love this lawyer who apparently had a belly full with FHA loans …….

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply.

(Actual reply from FHA):
“Upon review of your letter adjoining your client’s loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.”

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:
(Actual response):

Louisiana Title Examination and FHA loans 101

“Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present application.

I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France, in 1803 the year of origin identified in our application.  For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named

Christopher Columbus, head-and-shoulders portr...

Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella.

The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus’s expedition…Now the Pope, as I’m sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God’s original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our loan?”

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Methamphetamine effects – multi-generational destruction

Your Face on Drugs
Your Face on Drugs (Photo credit: AZRainman)

Methamphetamine effects are devastating, permanent, and affect everyone in the users’ life. The effects are typically multi-generational. Many babies are born addicted to meth.

This is a presentation I created for a recent Drug Court session. My thought was to break up the routine of our typical sessions and toss out a reminder. Refresher 101 if you will, as most of the participants have at least dabbled in meth and for many it was their drug of choice.

Portions of this material is from a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon entitled Faces of Meth™ 

Faces of Meth

Click on the link and you will be prompted to download the file. The screens should auto-advance but the right-arrow key can also be used. Turn up your speakers.
After the second slide there is a video with music — it may take a little time (15 seconds?) to load depending on your computer.

It is (c) Judge Gil Jones 2012, portions (c)  Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

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