The Texas Prison system is the latest employer to demand it’s employees Facebook passwords. The BACKGATE website reported late last month that employees around the state have run into bullying and threats over their personal facebook account access. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) contends that employees cannot have ex-offenders, family of ex-offenders, or even friends of friends of ex-offenders or their families on their facebook/Twitter friends list. An offense under this rule (rule #42) could spell termination with no chance of mediation for that employee. Although we understand the issue with ex-offenders or even ex-offenders families, how can it be proven you were aware of who was who ?
How can you know that the high school friend from 1985 you have not seen since then has a brother or sister that was once in prison ? Or may even once were themselves? Were does safety and security meet with common sense and violation of your rights ? Well, we will obviously be looking into this more closely over the next week or so. We will seek clarification by TDCJ, and see what the TDCJ unions, State Lawmakers, and even civil rights attorneys have to say about the practice. Facebook administrators have released a statement that read that they (facebook attorneys) would sue any agency or employer that required employees to turn over there passwords as it violates there own terms of service with their members.
With 1 in 22 people in Texas in jail, prison or under court supervision, it’s probably not a stretch that everyone knows someone in prison or connected to a prison. With 122 prisons, there are a lot of employees. Sources tell the BACKGATE “that a Sgt from the walls unit has already been fired over this. On one hand tdcj seems content on low wages along with zero concept of human resource management but also wants to control who and how we socialize with on the outside. Does the insanity ever end?”
Here are some other comments from Texas Prison guards:
This has less to do with keeping us from being friends with former offenders and everything to with keeping an eye on what we might be saying about our own administrations.They fear open dialog among officers about the rabbid hostile work environment that they are currently trying to create. From what I see so far this agency has no regard for it’s people what so ever. I say, don’t just talk about trained monkeys doing our job, I say, get those monkeys and start training them. The agency can then fire us all and use the monkeys. Or they can run the whole thing themselves. After all they don’t really need us, do they? As far as I can tell they would like to find a way to lock us in with the offenders and keep us from access to the outside world. The only reason these dishonorable people think so low of us is because when they were COs they were on the take and they assume all of us are just like them. People tend to judge others based on themselves, an example of this the cheating husband always thinks his wife cheats on him. What this agency really needs is regime change across the board. The low-life traitors to the constitution should be dressed in white. Anyone who willingly subverts the constitution and tramples the rights of free men shouldn’t be allowed to live in this state, much less hold a position of leadership. I choose to remain anonymous, as I would have to worry about being murdered by my administrator for voicing my opinion.
I know 2 officers that have been fired because of what they said on Facebook, and it had nothing to do with ex-inmate’s etc. they both were criticizing the way TDCJ is run,particularly the unit they were on. One main problem with this unit is the warden was never a CO and he has no idea what it’s like to do that job.He does eveything for the inmate’s and nothing for the employee’s.Except to write them up for every little thing he can and try to set them up so he can fire them.That unit has lost so many good officers it’s unreal.I am claiming anonymous because I still need the paycheck.
Very interesting since, according to TDCJ policy an ex-offender can be HIRED to work there after 7 years have passed since their time in prison. Someone really needs to go to the news stations with this. TDCJ is looking at several law suits over this I’ll bet!
I don’t think that TDCJ would even stoop to this level… If so, then hell NO I would rather tell them to give me a check from unemployment than give up a password so they can access my info, if they want to see my friends, then send a friend request, maybe I’ll accept it, or maybe I won’t… Pay for my Password, then maybe I will make enough money to sue the ass out of the State for the privacy issue….
I found the last comment interesting because the State of Texas is just about the most secretive organization on the planet going to tremendous extremes to keep things from the public. One example is Governor Perry’s travel details which are TOP SECRET.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — (DMN) – The CIA thwarted a plot by al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a new design, according to an anonymous U.S. counter-terrorism official. Officials, however, deny there was ever any immediate threat to the public. U.S. officials say the plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonateaboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also built to be used in a passenger’s underwear but contained a more refined detonation system.
The device recovered has the hallmarks of previous devices used by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP,) including be made of the same explosive material PETN. The bomb was designed to avoid detection at metal detectors. A law enforcement source tells CBS News that indications are that it would not have been picked up under normal x-ray machines, but possibly body scanning machines, which would have warranted a more intrusive search, but it would be dependent on an alert, skilled TSA agent.
Officials are saying that the work is believed to be that of bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri, described as a prolific and talented bomb maker. Another prominent AQAP figure, Fahd al-Quso, killed recentlyin a drone attack, is believed to have played a part in the plot, but officials deny his assassination was linked to an attempt to thwart the plot. The bomb plot had allegedly advanced to the point that a would-be suicide bomber was told to buy a ticket on the airliner of his choosing and decide the timing of the attack. It’s not immediately clear what happened to the would-be bomber.
The bomb itself is now at the FBI’s Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia, being examined by bomb technicians in the Explosive Section. The efforts that lead to the recovery of the device involved the CIA as well as other U.S. and international intelligence agencies that unfolded quietly over a period of weeks. “The recovery of the device was a team sport. It is another example of outstanding international counterterrorism cooperation,” a senior U.S. official told CBS News. The official said that at no time was any airplane or passengers in danger from the plot.
The new bomb was made with modified features meant to improve on the device that failed to blow up on board US Air Flight 252 over Detroit on Christmas Day, 2008. Both bombs are believed to be the work of Ibrahim al-Asiri, the top explosive expert for AQAP. “The device and the plot are consistent with what we know about AQAP’s plans, intentions, and capabilities. They remain committed to striking targets in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the homeland, and Europe. And AQAP is probably feeling pressure to conduct a successful attack to, from their perspective, avenge the deaths of Bin Laden and Aulaqi,” a senior U.S. official said.
AQAP, intelligence officials say, was given the assignment by al Qaeda’s front office in Pakistan to take over the lead in executing a plot against the United States and Great Britain. The lead was given to the Yemen based al Qaeda affiliate after al Qaeda in Pakistan was under siege from drone strikes that killed key leaders and operators. At the same time, in Yemen, AQAP has been at war with the government there, seizing towns and patches of territory in Yemen’s tribal regions. A U.S. official said that has allowed AQAP to grow in size and influence. “It is our assessment that the threat form AQAP is growing due to the territorial gains the group made during the political standoff in Yemen that lasted from early 2011 until this past February,” the official said. “Those territorial gains have allowed the group to establish additional training camps.”
The FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Exploitation Center will examine the newest device and try to develop information that can be shared with airport screeners around the world. However, a senior U.S. official tells CBS News there will not be a noticeable, immediate change in TSA airport passenger security. Because the bomb was allegedly x-ray proof, the question of the efficiency of TSA’s new body scanners will likely be raised again. The expensive body scanners have been fiercely defended by the TSA as necessary in preventing people from walking on planes with bombs. Critics, however, point to a GAO report released in March which revealed that some of the scanners were in use less than 5 percent of the time, and in 12 airports were installed and not in regular.
President Obama first learned of the most recent airplane bomb plot last month, said Caitlin Hayden, deputy spokeswoman at the National Security Council. “The disruption of this (improvised explosive device) plot underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad,” Hayden said.
CBS News, The Washington Post and CNN contributed to this report.
LMPD Lt. Barry Wilkerson talks about Churchill Dow…: Louisville metro police detective Lt. Barry Wilkerson talks about a body that was found on the Churchill Downs backside on the night of the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Police have ruled the death a homicide. (Courier-Journal)
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — (DMN) – Police in Louisville, Kentucky say they do not yet have any suspects in the murder of a man found in a Churchill Downs barn Sunday, just hours after the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. Police are looking into several “altercations” that took place on the backside of Churchill Downs prior to the homicide and are interviewing numerous witnesses to determine if 48-year-old Adan Fabian Perez, a native of Guatemala, was involved, Lt. Barry Wilkerson said at a press conference Monday morning. “We are hoping somebody does have information and can come forward and give us an indication on why this took place,” Wilkerson said. “… We are hearing different things and want to make sure to piece that together before we try to make any assumptions on what occurred.”
The medical examiner is doing an autopsy “at this time,” Wilkerson said. Wilkerson believed the murder took place after midnight and was an “isolated” incident that didn’t have anything to do with the Derby. While he would not go into detail on the condition of the body, Wilkerson said there were some “wounds that obviously suspect foul play was involved.” And the location of the body, in the back portion of a barn, “wasn’t a natural place to be.” He wouldn’t say if the body was hidden or covered up. Police did not know if Perez was involved with any of the altercations and admitted they may have nothing to do with the case. Wilkerson declined to release specifics on the altercations, though he said Churchill security was involved.
A track security officer discovered the body shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday, said Alicia Smiley, a Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman. Perez’s body was discovered in barn No. 8. Marc A. Guilfoil, deputy executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, said Perez was a groom for trainer Cecil Borel, the brother of jockey Calvin Borel. Perez lived on the backside and had been licensed by the commission since 2008, Guilfoil said. Jo-Ann Farmer, the Jefferson County chief deputy coroner, said Perez’s 19-year-old son, who also works at Churchill, identified his father. Rob O’Connor, who trains horses at Churchill, said in a brief telephone interview that the body was found in a barn he shares but declined to comment further because the investigation is ongoing.
While no Derby horses were in Barn No. 8, it is four away — about 150 yards — from where this year’s winner, I’ll Have Another, was stabled leading up to the race. The Churchill backside includes 48 barns and workers’ dormitories, and some employees of individual trainers live in tack rooms in the barns. To work on the backside, workers must be licensed by the horse racing commission, Asher said. News of the death had become the top story on espn.com by midafternoon Sunday. Fox News’ website declared: “Death at the Derby.” Police said Perez’s death does not appear to be linked to the Derby. The death was the second on the Churchill backside in about a year. Shortly after last year’s Derby, 24-year-old jockey Michael Baze was found dead in his car after what was ruled an accidental drug overdose.
A friend of mine who was a Louisiana native used to share with me rich stories about politics in his home state. He always told his stories with a degree of shame and strange pride, after all, corruption, shade and downright insanity was rampant in Louisiana politics for years. I told Ron, on more than one occasion, that Texas was just as corrupt, shady and insane we just hid it better. What makes this story so delicious is it comes from the Texas Senate which prides itself as being the “mature” house of the legislature. Horse s— my old Air Force Training Instructor would say. Nothing is mature about Texas politics.
State senator Dan Patrick behaved like a teen-age girl over the weekend, emailing all thirty of his colleagues in the Senate to accuse state senator John Carona of spreading malicious rumors about the Patrick marriage. “I was in Dallas last week and learned that Senator Carona has told people outside the Senate that Jan and I are separated and may get divorced. He added in a few other negative comments about me in an obvious attempt by him to discredit me for some reason,” Patrick, R-Houston, wrote in his in his 1,055-word screed.
Patrick said he first heard someone was spreading such a rumor two months ago. He went on to defend his 37-year marriage and asked Carona to apologize:
If we were in session I would be justified in asking for a personal privilege speech and demanding an apology on the floor. However, I prefer to handle this internally and that is the purpose for this email. First, while I shouldn’t have to say this to any member, he has put us in a position that I have to be sure everyone knows the story is patently false. If anyone tells you this story is true I hope you will call them out for spreading this lie. This must stop now. … John needs to call or write Jan and apologize immediately. If he wants to apologize to me that is up to him.
Carona, R-Dallas, behaving like a school-yard bully, fired back with a 226-word reply on Sunday night, slamming Patrick for taking the nuclear option of emailing everyone in the Senate:
Though I have heard rumors regarding your marital status and sexual preferences for a while now, at no time have I told anyone that you are either separated, divorced, or gay. These are private matters between you, your family, and your minister and none of us wishes to engage in the public discussion that you have now commenced. … Call me cynical, but I believe your motivation for pulling this stunt centers around your paranoia over the 2014 Lt. Governor’s Race (for which you appear to have declared candidacy) and your concern that no other Senate Republican emerge as a threat to your ambitions. As you know, if you truly believed I had said something unflattering, you could have simply asked. I’ve never been shy about sharing my dislike and distrust of you. Put bluntly, I believe you are a snake oil salesman; a narcissist that would say anything to draw attention to himself.
Inevitably, the exchange was leaked to the Quorum Report, leaving many political junkies cackling, as the Senate has long prided itself on being the more mature, dignified chamber of the state’s bicameral body. Carona has expressed interest in being named lieutenant governor if David Dewhurst ascends to fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat in the U.S. Senate, the Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey pointed out. Patrick has indicated he may run for the position in 2014.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — (DMN) – The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press has learned. The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said. The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.
The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It’s not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber. The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no al-Qaida plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of bin Laden’s death. The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way. Once those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement Tuesday.
U.S. officials, who were briefed on the operation, insisted on anonymity to discuss the case. It’s not clear who built the bomb, but, because of its sophistication and its similarity to the Christmas bomb, authorities suspected it was the work of master bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Al-Asiri constructed the first underwear bomb and two others that al-Qaida built into printer cartridges and shipped to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010. Both of those bombs used a powerful industrial explosive. Both were nearly successful. The operation is an intelligence victory for the United States and a reminder of al-Qaida’s ambitions, despite the death of bin Laden and other senior leaders. Because of instability in the Yemeni government, the terrorist group’s branch there has gained territory and strength. It has set up terrorist camps and, in some areas, even operates as a de facto government.
But along with the gains there also have been losses. The group has suffered significant setbacks as the CIA and the U.S. military focus more on Yemen. On Sunday, Fahd al-Quso, a senior al-Qaida leader, was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle along with another operative in the southern Shabwa province of Yemen. Al-Quso, 37, was on the FBI’s most wanted list, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He was indicted in the U.S. for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, in which 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured. Al-Quso was believed to have replaced Anwar al-Awlaki as the group’s head of external operations.