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Follow the Sun by E. V. Pete Hester Follow the Sun By E. V. Pete Hester Copyright Pending 2015     Foreword Butch Madison told this story to me several years ago and swore that everything he told was true and...

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J. I. Hall, Jr.....A Western Novel by E. V. Pete Hester This is my latest novel and it is not in a good format for reading, however, it is readable. I enjoyed writing this book and I had problems finding a publisher....so, what the heck, I wrote it just for...

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Confederates move to Brazil...John W. and Lisanna Brownlow... Otis Vaughn is interested in locating members of the Brownlow (Vaughn descendants) family who relocated to Brazil after the Civil War. In the past, I have had several readers from Brazil and if any of...

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The Saga of Zachary Williams, The Sabine Kid My book publisher gave me the rights back to my book, The Saga of Zachary Williams, well, kind of saying it was just "sorry and no good"....nah, he didn't say it that way but that is how it kind of came...

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Think Your Phone Calls are Private? Please Read….

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 07-05-2013

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Just think folks, you can leave me a comment here and it will probably be recorded in Washington. Is that neat or what……Pete

From the UK Guardian (US Edition) of today May 6, 2013

Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?

A former FBI counterterrorism agent claims on CNN that this is the case

CNN Clemente

Former FBI  counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente, on CNN, discussing government’s  surveillance capabilities Photograph: CNN screegrab

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like  most things of significance done by the US government, it operates  behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous  admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a  rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these  surveillance activities are.

Over the past couple days, cable news tabloid shows such as CNN’s Out Front with Erin Burnett have been  excitingly focused on the possible involvement in the Boston Marathon  attack of Katherine Russell, the 24-year-old American widow of the  deceased suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As part of their relentless stream  of leaks uncritically disseminated by our Adversarial Press Corps, anonymous government officials are claiming that they are  now focused on telephone calls between Russell and  Tsarnaev that took place both before and after the attack to determine  if she had prior knowledge of the plot or participated in any way.

On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be  able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between  the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could:

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find  out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: “No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not  necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of  her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: “So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: “No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”

“All of that stuff” – meaning every telephone conversation Americans have  with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant – “is  being captured as we speak”.

On Thursday night, Clemente again  appeared on CNN, this time with host Carol Costello, and she asked him  about those remarks. He reiterated what he said the night before but  added expressly that “all digital communications in the past” are  recorded and stored:

Let’s repeat that last part: “no digital communication is secure”, by which he means not  that any communication is susceptible to government interception as it  happens (although that is true), but far beyond that: all digital  communications – meaning telephone calls, emails, online chats and the  like – are automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the  government after the fact. To describe that is to define what a  ubiquitous, limitless Surveillance State is.

There have been some previous indications that this is true. Former AT&T engineer Mark Klein revealed that AT&T and other telecoms had built a special network that  allowed the National Security Agency full and unfettered access to data  about the telephone calls and the content of email communications for  all of their customers. Specifically, Klein explained “that the NSA set  up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary  Americans with the cooperation of AT&T” and that “contrary to the  government’s depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas  terrorists . . . much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was  purely domestic.” But his amazing revelations were mostly ignored and,  when Congress retroactively immunized the nation’s telecom giants for  their participation in the illegal Bush spying programs, Klein’s claims  (by design) were prevented from being adjudicated in court.

That every single telephone call is recorded and stored would also explain this extraordinary revelation by the Washington Post in 2010:

Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store  1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.

It would also help explain the revelations of former NSA official William Binney, who resigned from the agency in protest over its systemic spying on the domestic communications of US citizens, that the US government has  “assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about US citizens  with other US citizens” (which counts only communications transactions  and not financial and other transactions), and that “the data that’s  being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can  target anyone they want.”

Despite the extreme secrecy behind which these surveillance programs operate, there have been periodic reports of serious abuse. Two Democratic Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, have been warning for years that Americans would be “stunned” to learn what the US government is doing in terms of secret surveillance.

tia logoStrangely, back in 2002 – when hysteria over the 9/11 attacks (and  thus acquiescence to government power) was at its peak – the Pentagon’s  attempt to implement what it called the “Total Information Awareness”  program (TIA) sparked so much public controversy that it had to be official scrapped. But it has been incrementally  re-instituted – without the creepy (though honest) name and  all-seeing-eye logo – with little controversy or even notice.

Back in 2010, worldwide controversy erupted when the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates banned the use of Blackberries because some communications were inaccessible to government  intelligence agencies, and that could not be tolerated. The Obama  administration condemned this move on the ground that it threatened core freedoms, only to turn around six weeks later and demand that all forms of digital communications allow the US government backdoor access to intercept them. Put another way,  the US government embraced exactly the same rationale invoked by the UAE and Saudi agencies: that no communications can be off limits. Indeed,  the UAE, when responding to condemnations from the Obama administration, noted that it was simply doing exactly that which the US government  does:

“‘In fact, the UAE is exercising its sovereign  right and is asking for exactly the same regulatory compliance – and  with the same principles of judicial and regulatory oversight – that  Blackberry grants the US and other governments and nothing more,’ [UAE  Ambassador to the US Yousef Al] Otaiba said. ‘Importantly, the UAE  requires the same compliance as the US for the very same reasons: to  protect national security and to assist in law enforcement.'”

That no human communications can be allowed to take place without the  scrutinizing eye of the US government is indeed the animating principle  of the US Surveillance State. Still, this revelation, made in passing on CNN, that every single telephone call made by and among Americans is  recorded and stored is something which most people undoubtedly do not  know, even if the small group of people who focus on surveillance issues believed it to be true (clearly, both Burnett and Costello were shocked to hear this).

Some new polling suggests that Americans, even after the Boston attack, are growing increasingly  concerned about erosions of civil liberties in the name of Terrorism.  Even those people who claim it does not matter instinctively understand  the value of personal privacy: they put locks on their bedroom doors and vigilantly safeguard their email passwords. That’s why the US  government so desperately maintains a wall of secrecy around their  surveillance capabilities: because they fear that people will find their behavior unacceptably intrusive and threatening, as they did even back  in 2002 when John Poindexter’s TIA was unveiled.

Mass  surveillance is the hallmark of a tyrannical political culture. But  whatever one’s views on that, the more that is known about what the US  government and its surveillance agencies are doing, the better. This  admission by this former FBI agent on CNN gives a very good sense for  just how limitless these activities are.

Buried Treasure…clue number 12

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 04-05-2013

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Thanks to Carolyn and Steve from Houston we now have the 12th clue.

    ON TODAY’S SHOW, FORREST FENN GAVE THE 12TH CLUE.  HE SAID
THAT “THE TREASURE IS NOT IN A GRAVEYARD.”  AND HE SAID THAT
IT DOESN’T MEAN IT IS BURIED.
    ALSO, THEY HAD A FORREST SERVICE MAN ON AND HE SAID THAT
IF SOMEONE FOUND THE TREASURE AND IT WAS ON FEDERAL LAND THAT
IT WOULD NOT BE THEIRS TO KEEP.
   THOUGHT THIS WAS ALL VERY INTERSTING.
   ANOTHER THRILL TO THE TREASURE !
   LOVE,
   CAROLYN AND STEVE
Does that mean it will return to Mr. Fenn or does that mean it will end up in the Federal Treasury? Humm, I wonder……Pete

Illegal Immigrants Demostrate in California

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 02-05-2013

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I was really touched to see the demonstrators carrying their flags down the streets of California protesting about their rights to earning citizenship in the United States, showing their loyalty, love and support. Only thing, they were all carrying Mexican flags. So what do these guys and girls want: Mexican government in the USA or citizenship in the USA and then have the United States adopt the flag of Mexico, or is there some other agenda behind the Mexican flags they carry?…..How can we not support these people who love the USA so much? I am really touched…..And you?????  Pete

Water Pipeline…East to West

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 01-05-2013

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Investors needed…….Many dollars required…..More than my little calculator can calculate….But from the looks of things the next few years are going to be terribly dry for the entire west.. The crops normally grown here in New Mexico and West Texas are suffering now and the drought looks worse for the future. The water wells in the Rincon Valley are salty now and will be getting worse without some fresh water filtering down to the water table. No rain, none to filter down to the water wells. No rain, no river water to take the place of the well water…..So, maybe we can buy some water from back east and pump it out to select locations in West Texas and New Mexico…Soon, the price of water will far exceed the price of gasoline and will be more critical to our survival, for drinking and for our crops….It does not sound all that critical to a lot of you yet and it may not be in my lifetime….It will happen unless the weather map improves drastically. So one of you rich folks, or two or three of you, pool your resources and start a water pipeline out this way…Count me in for several dollars and some of the folks down the Pecos and Rio Grande River valleys, both New Mexico and Texas can also be counted on for several more dollars….Let me know when you are ready to start, ok?……Thanks, I appreciate it….Pete Hester

Tis the Season to be…..Out and About

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 29-04-2013

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Some of my family helped me kick off the “out and about” season this weekend. I told you about my daughter being a nurse and being here with us for a while. Well, she is not only a nurse but a pretty darn good fence water seal painter also. We found some “oil base” clear Thompson’s Waterseal and went to work. Saturday morning we did three sections in just a short time. But, you know what, the more you apply the slower it gets. So, then the old arms and shoulders went to talking to us and were bearly working, making for longer tea breaks.etc. So, Sunday morning, number two son came over, a painter from way back, and knocked out the remaining three sections in no time at all….Well, I helped a little…..On Sunday, my nurse daughter did some planting of flowers around the garden site. We got some tomatoes, squash, and peppers planted…Sweetie was out working also, watering and doing some planting and weeding….So it was a fruitful weekend and I imagine the first of many for the next few months. A big thank you to number 2 son and number 2 daughter….Reckon I can lose some of this winter’s fat? Naaw, probably not, as long as kinfolk are helping anyway….. The best part about this time of year? At the end of the growing season there is………FOOTBALL SEASON…Pete

Toe Fetish Guy Must Pay Huge Cash Bond…..

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 24-04-2013

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This is the guy I told you about a few days ago. He has been in jail all this time….$100,000 cash only bond……Wow, his lawyer says that is too much…. Judge says the man is vicious since he bit the toe to the bone and then used cigar cutters on her toes, and he said the bond stands. Did you know this guy used to be a shoe salesman? This is probably where he got his thing for toes, you reckon? And did you know this guy wants to be free so he can go back to school and complete his studies to get his degree? It did not say what his major is, but I am wondering if he is going to be a podiatrist. Geez, what a thought, huh? He had better get plenty of insurance. I can hear him now saying to this beautiful girl, “hold on for a second while I bite off this nail.”…..For the full story see my posting a little further down the page…..Pete

World War Two Aces…..German & American

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 23-04-2013

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 This from a special friend in Dallas…It brought a tear to my eye…Pete


 
 
 
Where some German officers were found guilty of killing thousands—here is one tale that I read over and over every time it comes my way….
 
“You’re In God’s Hands Now…”

 
The 21-year old American B-17 pilot glanced outside his cockpit and froze. He blinked hard and looked again, hoping it was just a mirage. But his co-pilot stared at the same horrible vision. “My God, this is a nightmare,” the co-pilot said.
 
“He’s going to destroy us,” the pilot agreed.
 
The men were looking at a gray German Messerschmitt fighter hovering just three feet off their wingtip. It was five days before Christmas 1943, and the fighter had closed in on their crippled American B-17 bomber for the kill.
 
Brown’s Crippled B-17 Stalked by Stigler’s ME-109
 
 
The B-17 pilot, Charles Brown, was a 21-year-old West Virginia farm boy on his first combat mission. His bomber had been shot to pieces by swarming fighters, and his plane was alone, struggling to stay in the skies above Germany . Half his crew was wounded, and the tail gunner was dead, his blood frozen in icicles over the machine guns.
 
But when Brown and his co-pilot, Spencer “Pinky” Luke, looked at the fighter pilot again, something odd happened. The German didn’t pull the trigger. He stared back at the bomber in amazement and respect. Instead of pressing the attack, he nodded at Brown and saluted. What happened next was one of the most remarkable acts of chivalry recorded during World War II.
 
USAAF Lt. Charles Brown
 
 
Charles Brown was on his first combat mission during World War II when he met an enemy unlike any other.
 
Revenge, not honor, is what drove 2nd Lt. Franz Stigler to jump into his fighter that chilly December day in 1943. Stigler wasn’t just any fighter pilot. He was an ace. One more kill and he would win The Knight’s Cross, German’s highest award for valor.
 
Yet Stigler was driven by something deeper than glory. His older brother, August, was a fellow Luftwaffe pilot who had been killed earlier in the war. American pilots had killed Stigler’s comrades and were bombing his country’s cities.Stigler was standing near his fighter on a German airbase when he heard a bomber’s engine. Looking up, he saw a B-17 flying so low it looked like it was going to land. As the bomber disappeared behind some trees, Stigler tossed his cigarette aside, saluted a ground crewman and took off in pursuit.
 
As Stigler’s fighter rose to meet the bomber, he decided to attack it from behind. He climbed behind the sputtering bomber, squinted into his gun sight and placed his hand on the trigger. He was about to fire when he hesitated. Stigler was baffled. No one in the bomber fired at him.
 
He looked closer at the tail gunner. He was still, his white fleece collar soaked with blood. Stigler craned his neck to examine the rest of the bomber. Its skin had been peeled away by shells, its guns knocked out. One propeller wasn’ turning. Smoke trailed from another engine. He could see men huddled inside the shattered plane tending the wounds of other crewmen.
 
Then he nudged his plane alongside the bomber’s wings and locked eyes with the pilot whose eyes were wide with shock and horror.
 
Luftwaffe Major Franz Stigler
 
 
Stigler pressed his hand over the rosary he kept in his flight jacket. He eased his index finger off the trigger. He couldn’t shoot.
 
It would be murder.
 
Stigler wasn’t just motivated by vengeance that day. He also lived by a code. He could trace his family’s ancestry to knights in 16th century Europe . He had once studied to be a priest. A German pilot who spared the enemy, though, risked death in Nazi Germany. If someone reported him, he would be executed.
 
Yet Stigler could also hear the voice of his commanding officer, who once told him: “You follow the rules of war for you — not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity.”
 
Alone with the crippled bomber, Stigler changed his mission. He nodded at the American pilot and began flying in formation so German anti-aircraft gunners on the ground wouldn’t shoot down the slow-moving bomber. (The Luftwaffe had B-17s of its own, shot down and rebuilt for secret missions and training.) Stigler escorted the bomber over the North Sea and took one last look at the American pilot. Then he saluted him, peeled his fighter away and returned to Germany .
 
“Good luck,” Stigler said to himself. “You’re in God’s hands now…” Franz Stigler didn’t think the big B-17 could make it back to England and wondered for years what happened to the American pilot and crew he encountered in combat.
 
Charles Brown, with his wife, Jackie (left), with Franz Stigler, with his wife, Hiya.
 
As he watched the German fighter peel away that December day, 2nd Lt. Charles Brown wasn’t thinking of the philosophical connection between enemies. He was thinking of survival.
 
He flew his crippled plan, filled with wounded, back to his base in England and landed with one of four engines knocked out, one failing and barely any fuel left. After his bomber came to a stop, he leaned back in his chair and put a hand over a pocket Bible he kept in his flight jacket. Then he sat in silence.
 
Brown flew more missions before the war ended. Life moved on. He got married, had two daughters, supervised foreign aid for the U.S. State Department during the Vietnam War and eventually retired to Florida .
 
Late in life, though, the encounter with the German pilot began to gnaw at him. He started having nightmares, but in his dream there would be no act of mercy. He would awaken just before his bomber crashed.
 
Brown took on a new mission. He had to find that German pilot. Who was he? Why did he save my life? He scoured military archives in the U.S. and England . He attended a pilots’ reunion and shared his story. He finally placed an ad in a German newsletter for former Luftwaffe pilots, retelling the story and asking if anyone knew the pilot.
 
On January 18, 1990, Brown received a letter. He opened it and read: “Dear Charles, All these years I wondered what happened to that B-17, did she make it home? Did her crew survive their wounds? To hear of your survival has filled me with indescribable joy…”
 
It was Stigler.
 
He had had left Germany after the war and moved to Vancouver , British Columbia , in 1953. He became a prosperous businessman. Now retired, Stigler told Brown that he would be in Florida come summer and “it sure would be nice to talk about our encounter.” Brown was so excited, though, that he couldn’t wait to see Stigler. He called directory assistance for Vancouver and asked whether there was a number for a Franz Stigler. He dialed the number, and Stigler picked up.
 
“My God, it’s you!” Brown shouted as tears ran down his cheeks.
 
Brown had to do more. He wrote a letter to Stigler in which he said: “To say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU on behalf of my surviving crewmembers and their families appears totally inadequate.”
 
The two pilots would meet again, but this time in person, in the lobby of a Florida hotel. One of Brown’s friends was there to record the summer reunion. Both men looked like retired businessmen: they were plump, sporting neat ties and formal shirts. They fell into each other’ arms and wept and laughed. They talked about their encounter in a light, jovial tone.
 
The mood then changed. Someone asked Stigler what he thought about Brown. Stigler sighed and his square jaw tightened. He began to fight back tears before he said in heavily accented English: “I love you, Charlie.”
 
Stigler had lost his brother, his friends and his country. He was virtually exiled by his countrymen after the war. There were 28,000 pilots who fought for the German air force. Only 1,200 survived.
 
The war cost him everything. Charlie Brown was the only good thing that came out of World War II for Franz. It was the one thing he could be proud of. The meeting helped Brown as well, says his oldest daughter, Dawn Warner.
 
They met as enemies but Franz Stigler, on left, and Charles Brown, ended up as fishing buddies.
 
Brown and Stigler became pals. They would take fishing trips together. They would fly cross-country to each other homes and take road trips together to share their story at schools and veterans’ reunions. Their wives, Jackie Brown and Hiya Stigler, became friends.
 
Brown’s daughter says her father would worry about Stigler’s health and constantly check in on him.
“It wasn’t just for show,” she says. “They really did feel for each other. They talked about once a week.” As his friendship with Stigler deepened, something else happened to her father, Warner says “The nightmares went away.”
 
Brown had written a letter of thanks to Stigler, but one day, he showed the extent of his gratitude. He organized a reunion of his surviving crew members, along with their extended families. He invited Stigler as a guest of honor.
 
During the reunion, a video was played showing all the faces of the people that now lived — children, grandchildren, relatives — because of Stigler’s act of chivalry. Stigler watched the film from his seat of honor.
 
“Everybody was crying, not just him,” Warner says.
 
Stigler and Brown died within months of each other in 2008. Stigler was 92, and Brown was 87. They had started off as enemies, became friends, and then something more.
 
After he died, Warner was searching through Brown’s library when she came across a book on German fighter jets. Stigler had given the book to Brown. Both were country boys who loved to read about planes.
 
Warner opened the book and saw an inscription Stigler had written to Brown:
 
In 1940, I lost my only brother as a night fighter. On the 20th of December, 4 days before Christmas, I had the chance to save a B-17 from her destruction, a plane so badly damaged it was a wonder that she was still flying.
 
The pilot, Charlie Brown, is for me, as precious as my brother was. Thanks Charlie.
 
Your Brother,
 
Franz
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God Bless America

Least Read Postings….

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 23-04-2013

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One of the things that surprise me on this web site is what does get read and what does not seemingly attract any attention…..The songs I have put on the web site get very little comments and I am not sure if anyone listens to them…So maybe songs are not good for this site.. I need to really be impressed to post any more..

My chili receipes are not received all that well. Red and green chili may be a New Mexico thing. (In our restaurants out here you are always asked, red or green. Sweetie is red and I am green, except for dishes made in a red sauce .) We have a Mexican food fix about once a week, sometimes more. A few comments are recieved on the hot food stuff, but not a lot. However, if a find a good’un I will probably post it. I love Mexican food….

A couple of post went without comments on Obama, “It ain’t my Fault” and on Sen. Simpson about us old folks collecting social security…Like we have not made any contributions to that program..(Well, I don’t want to get started on him.) But, no comments…But, like me, you may not have wanted to go to cussing on the web site. Thanks, I appreciate that….

Crying about the web site visitors, or lack thereof, is not well recieved. However, this has been the most productive year ever for the web site. April is already over 8500 visitors (and over 27,000 year to date), the most ever by April and there are several days left. So, I want to talk about what you folks want to hear when you visit. Some of the more popular post, if you want to call them that, seems to be the water woes of New Mexico and Texas and  the west in general, and the buried treasure of Mr. Fenn’s has been well recieved.

Anyway, thank you kindly for coming by. I appreciate it. And I will keep trying to find suitable topics……. Pete

Buried Treasure Poem by E. V. Hester (Fenn’s Treasure)

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 10-04-2013

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Buried Treasure by Pete Hester  (Folks, this is a poem I wrote, not the one Mr. Fenn wrote.)      I am wondering if Mr. Fenn’s treasure chest is not found soon and it is not found until, oh say, 50 or 60 years from now…What will the finder say or think? I hope Mr. Fenn left a note for that person. Or will Mr. Fenn have a change of heart and go retrieve the chest if it is not found soon. I think he is about as old as I am so he should probably go to plan b for his families sake….This may be a drop in the bucket to his family fortunes though…..I mean if I hid a couple of hundred bucks I would want the whole dang family to know where I hid it….Maybe he will tell us that story also…..Reckon?  Nah, probably not….click on title to read the poem….Thanks, Pete

Toe Fetish Man Must Toe the Line

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 10-04-2013

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This lady from Santa Fe has been having a heck of a time with her boy friend. Back in Feb. he attacked her and went for her left big toe, biting it down to the bone and bit her nail off in that attack. She tried to get a protection ordered, which I understand may have been somewhat delayed.  Anyway, she moved to Albuquerque after that attack to get away from him. Well, he found her a few days ago. He attack the girl, tied her up and  first started biting her toes, then he took to using a cigar cutter, the paper stated it was a violent attack and it mutilated her toes. She managed to get loose and attack the man with a fork and clawed his face and flee from him. They caught the old boy when he turned up at the hospital to have his face seen about…..I’m a writer of fiction, but I could not  think about writing stuff like that….You can’t make that up, can you?….Well, at least my thinking has never been about loving on or attacking  big toes…. yuk….Pete