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October 16, 1997

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry

Should DPS also comply with law?

There is a storm brewing in Texas over a comparatively simple issue and the issue is this: Should the Department of Public Safety (Read that Austin bureaucrats. Do not confuse this as an attack on the DPS troopers who actually do the work) moguls in Aus
tin obey the law, as in court order, like everyone else?

The answer seems to be obvious. They don't.

Of course they should but these are Austin bureaucrats and they seem to have confused themselves with some 13th Century royalty who thought they also were above the law.

An Anglo king named John got confused like that once. So the guys took him over to a pasture near Runnymede and they convinced the king who thought he was above the law he wasn't. To make their point, the guys said they would be more than happy to hang
him if they could find a tree which they were pretty certain they could do because that was an English pasture not a West Texas pasture. But there was no need for such goin's on because King Johnny agreed with the guys and he signed a piece of paper. The
y called that paper Magna Carta and the year was 1215 or thereabouts.

England also had a king named George, who was really a German and reported to be mentally challenged just like an Austin DPS bureaucrat. This George decided he would throw a few taxes at the American colonies because he wanted to buy a few goodies. The u
pshot of that attempt at going above the law was the king lost the colonies.

Now I do not suggest the lettuce heads and their high dollar lawyers at DPS in Austin are stupid but I am coming pretty close. I almost feel as if they can't be held responsible for what they are doing.

You might not know what has me so upset. So I'll tell you. Once upon a time a completely unaware legislature (ours) passed something called The Motor Vehicle Privacy Act. No problem there. It would provide a drivers license holder and owner of a vehicle
could protect personal information about himself by saying the data could not be released. This would include his drivers license number, age and address. It said absolutely nothing about traffic violation records, automobile accidents, criminal charges
, fatalities, injuries and general mayhem.
But the lettuce heads that run the DPS, backed by their lawyers, decided the act, which became effective on Sept. 1, did. It didn't but what's a brain cell or two among friends"

So the Texas Press Association and the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and the state's newspapers, including The Monahans News, said "Whoa, Nellie!" and went to district court in Austin. We got a court order barring the DPS brass from enforcing their i
nterpretation of the law pending a court hearing on Oct. 24. Guess what? DPS brass ignored the court order and are ignoring the order.

Can anyone say criminal contempt of court?

Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Steve Patterson, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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