Posted by: Laura Carter | November 21, 2015

Free Justin Carter

Justin Carter


November 22, 2015

Wow, a whole year has gone by with little change in Justin’s case. The lawyers have filed motions for dismissal at the next highest appellate court after being turned down by the first level. They have vowed to go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. That’s how much they believe in Justin’s innocence. Meanwhile, however, Justin is still under extreme bond restrictions. He has settled a life for himself with reading, exercise, helping with chores, walking the dogs… He longs for more and we pray constantly that this case will be positively resolved early next year.

New November 24, 2014

Today we learned that the motions denied by the judge in September will be appealed to the Appellate Court, which is a good thing. I think he will still have to make some pre-trial hearings, but the dates aren’t set yet. And, the party never ends…

New September 2, 2014: Family and friends rallied behind Justin as he was in court two days last week. His wonderful lawyers, Don Flanary III and Chad Van Brundt argued two significant motions, one for “no probable cause” regarding the search warrant. The other was dismissal of a ‘confession’ Justin made to two detectives from NB–without his lawyer being present. Yes, that happened. No surprise, the judge denied both.

What’s next? Flanary and Van Brundt continue the quest for justice by appealing the decisions to the 3rd Court of Appeals. That will only take a couple of years. Yes, that the way it happens.

In the meantime, they will ask for the bond restrictions to be eased so at least Justin might be able to work.

Sitting in court, listening to witnesses for the defense define social media, hyperbole, and other aspects of the law was very interesting. As my granddaughter said, “It’s really nothing like they show on TV.” I considered it a real learning experience–however unfortunate the reason we were all there in the first place.

Thanks to all our friends and supporters and our lawyers for whom we have the utmost respect.

I want to add that in no way do we make light of what Justin wrote, only that it was meant to be a sarcastic retort.

June 23, 2014: More trial delays. Not sure what’s happening. I trust the lawyers 100% to be doing an excellent job for my grandson. Justin and I laughed all the way home talking about “Game of Thrones” characters. We definitely do not agree on favorites.

May 9, 2014: Justin’s new court date is June 19th. Ironically both Juneteenth, “the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States” (read more), and Justin’s brother Logan’s birthday. Hopefully this auspicious date will translate to a full dismissal of all charges. Please sign the petition page at, where there are usually updates as well.

March 2014:Latest article from the Austin Chronicle. Pretty much sums up what’s been happening. Next court date is March 27, 2014.

December 2013:Justin is still going to court for pre-trial hearings, about once a month. The next pre-trial hearing is on December 16, 2013. It would be a nice Christmas gift if his case was dismissed and he was free to get back to his job and life.

Thanks to an anonymous donor angel, Justin’s $500,000.00 bail was paid in full and he was released to his family on July 11th. It is not over yet, as the charges are still pending. We are grateful he is no longer in jail. Check the news for other updates.


OK, I’m really diving in now. Since June 25, when my son did his first interview about Justin’s plight, the story has spread across the world. Never in my life did I think my family would be the center of a story that continues to make the airwaves, printed media and rounds on the internet.

I also find rather Kafkaesque Justin’s arrest and subsequent incarceration, the outrageous bond, and the unwillingness of the prosecution to even entertain the fact that they have blown a comment completely out of proportion.

I think one of the reasons this story hits home is because there is a whole generation of citizens out there who understand the propensity of ‘trash talk’ on internet forums and games. Facebook has become a repository of some of the banter. Cruise around the internet and you’ll find comments that certainly make my generation cringe. But, criminal? I think not. It’s also the reality of jailhouse abuse that has us angry and upset. Should it be accepted that every person behind bars is abused and that’s just part of the punishment? To me that’s criminal.

I’ve read so many stories, with so many spins on the facts, though I thank them all for getting the word out. I thought the one from the Christian Science Monitor was the most intelligent.  Plus a video from Sky Williams who also made a fundraising page.

Needless to say, we love everyone of you who has supported Justin in comments, by signing the pledge (86,918 as if post time). Please support the fundraisers for bail. I promise the money will go to getting Justin out of jail. I also thank the most excellent attorney, Donald H. Flanary III for his time and expertise on this case.

I look forward to hugging my grandson in the flesh very soon.

Posted by: Laura Carter | November 11, 2015

Christians and Coffee Cups

Laura Carter:

This pretty much says what I think about the whole Starbucks fake outrage. Not boycotting, buying instead.

Originally posted on :

It’s early November and already this year’s installment of the so-called “War on Christmas” has begun. All over social media I’m seeing rants from angry Christians who are trying to “Keep Christ in Christmas”. And the first volley of shots has already been launched against an unlikely target: Starbucks.

Apparently people are mad that the seasonal cups at Starbucks this year are just plain red. No mention of Christmas or Jesus at all. And, clearly that means that Christians are being persecuted. I mean, my faith is just destroyed if I don’t get my venti blonde roast with room for milk in a cup that features the name of my Lord and Savior.

So, obviously I think this is a little ridiculous. Because, Christians, I promise you that Starbucks red cups are not going to destroy the Christian faith. Seriously, the Roman Empire couldn’t do it, and they could kill…

View original 645 more words

Posted by: Laura Carter | October 30, 2015

Seven Sisters of Blessed Sacrament Academy

Seven Sisters sounds like a movie title. Well, in a way it is. I recently created a video compilation of testimonies from the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament who live in the Convent (and original school) built in 1926 on 17 acres at 1135 Mission Road in San Antonio, TX.

Sister Odilia writes “…listen to our “job descriptions”, and when you add our personal journeys, you will get a hint of how huge those difference are. And yet … as we continue to work in and sponsor the programs of Blessed Sacrament Academy you can also sense and see the powerful work God is doing with our lives.”

I hope you find inspiration and appreciation as you listen to these strong, caring women tell but a fraction of their amazing life stories.


Posted by: Laura Carter | October 17, 2015

Mission Trail Rotary Charity Bike Tour

After a few years of working with Sister Odilia at Blessed Sacrament Academy, I have become a big fan of San Antonio’s Southside. As part of BSA’s community outreach efforts, Sister Odilia and I joined the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association and the Mission Trail Rotary Club. Both organizations bring together people who care about their Southside neighbors and neighborhoods.

m2m posterThe Southside is also home of the Missions of San Antonio (all but the Alamo) which were recently designated a World Heritage Site.The Mission Trail Rotary Club is hosting 2015 Mission to Mission Charity Bike Tour on Saturday, December 5, 2015 beginning at Missions Park Pavilion, 802 VFW Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78214.

bike riders

This year nine local charities will receive grants from money raised by bike riders and sponsors. Read the quick facts or go directly to register for the best charity bike ride of the year.

#MTRotary #M2Mbike

See you there!

Posted by: Laura Carter | August 30, 2015

Confessions of a Streaming Addict

OK, I admit it’s true. I am addicted to streaming.

Several years ago we cut the cable TV and bought a ROKU box. The ROKU is a magic box that allows you to watch a variety of streaming channels including Netflix, Amazon Prime, news and movie channels and a whole lot more on your TV set.

My first favorite was watching TV shows in binge mode. No commercials, pause when you want to, watch a whole season in back to back episodes. Who could ask for anything more. I started out with “The Tudors” and nip tuck“Nip Tuck” and progressed to “Mad Men.” Recently, I watched all 196 episodes of “Supernatural”–not all at once, silly.

My grandkids share their favorites and they have surprisingly good taste. Or, at least we agree on genres. My granddaughter and I watch horror movies–the old classics and the new not-so-classic like “Paranormal Activity”.

One grandson suggested “Six Feet Under” six feet underHe said it had the best ever last episode of any series. I watched it and agreed. I like “Hell on Wheels” and lots of the BBC murder mystery series–some of which are many years old. And, of course, “Downton Abbey”. Nature and science programs also show up on my recommended list.

orange is the new blackThe new Netflix originals are a great addition to the already amazing amount of choices. “Orange is the New Black” and “Sense8” are super.

Another really nice feature, for a person hard of hearing as I am, is to activate the closed captioning. It has made a world of difference in my viewing pleasure.

I list more of my streaming favorites on Pinterest and books I read too, if you are interested in more recommendations.

“Donald Trump is the new face of white supremacy,” says hate crime expert..

Posted by: Laura Carter | July 29, 2015

This week’s words from a TED Talk

Somewhere on Twitter I saw a message “15 TED Talks that will change your life”  I thought, “OK, let’s see about that.”

This week’s words come from a TED Talk by Brene Brown, the second on the list.

During her talk, I wrote these four words:





I added the word ‘Joy’ and repeated them like a mantra as I tried to fall sleep the other night. It worked. I contemplated on how they fit in my life, and it worked to clear my mind. So, I guess it did change my life a bit.

Posted by: Laura Carter | July 13, 2015

Mission musing in San Antonio

This morning, while brushing my teeth, my mind went wandering, and I found myself thinking about the San Antonio Missions. On July 5th UNESCO designated the four Spanish colonial Missions and the Alamo as the first World Heritage site in Texas. In a post I read on the Rivard Report, Nelson Wolff, Bexar County Judge, is quoted as saying, “This is a great day to celebrate our culture, our heritage, and the great historic structure of the Missions and the Alamo.”

I drifted just a few seconds to recall the crazy antics of weekend protesters who rallied in front of the Alamo fearful of the United Nations “taking away our control of the Missions.” No doubt, there are some who are worried Jade Helm may be hijacking the Missions for tunneling, secretly sending troops to overthrow the Texas gov’ment, and make it part of the United States.

the alamo

In my life I have been so fortunate as to have worked within walking distance of two of these great Missions. For six years, I worked downtown in the beautiful old building, 110 Broadway. The Alamo was one block from my office. I passed by it almost every day as I weaved my way through the tourists and other downtown workers to lunch or shopping. I never passed by the Alamo that I wasn’t aware of a slight emotional tug from the historical site.

mission conception for blog

Now, I drive past Mission Concepción on my way to Blessed Sacrament Academy campus at 1135 Mission Road. Both the history of the Mission and that of Blessed Sacrament seem sacred. It also feels, as they say, “Puro San Antonio.”

Come visit San Antonio and our historical sites and treasures.

selfie at the missions2

Me trying to take a selfie at the Mission was pretty funny.


Posted by: Laura Carter | May 17, 2015

Life According to Spock

Original post June 2010.

One time, my mother told my teen-aged son, “If you say you are bored one more time, you can leave my house. Only boring people get bored.” A couple of years ago, as I approached 60 years of age, I spent some time contemplating my life.  I was feeling–well–bored!  I felt as if I was hunkering down into a comfortable, yet uneventful, routine existence.  Life should be a luscious feast and I was on a starvation diet. Not wanting to become a boring person, I decided to fix that.

Inspired by my truly adventurous, un-boring mother and the “feed your head” attitude of the sixties, I know you have to exercise the brain, in addition to the body, to stay healthy and active.   I’ve heard we have as many brain cells as the national debt has dollars.  But, if we don’t use them, we will lose them. And, not just our brains, our psyche, our spirit, our creativity and our very love of life need feeding–not the usual fare, but tasty, spicy food.

I put the following words together and adopted them as an action plan: learn, create, try, see, travel, taste, listen, and visit.  Dragging the hubby along, we talked about making an effort to do something we had never done before or go somewhere we had never been, at least once a week.  Now, you won’t see us skydiving or riding a camel across the Sahara, there are plenty of less complicated ways to meet this goal.  Not that you should rule out anything you feel is in your scope of exploration.

We have been working our plan for about two years.  Some things are easy–having a beer while listening to Los #3 Dinners, live.  Some things are a real push for me, especially the going down in the Caverns of Sonora cave thing.  A disastrous exercise was a week long road trip to South Dakota–but that’s another story.  Recently, we visited, for the first time, the San Antonio River Walk extension down to the San Antonio Museum of Art.  Yes, we had to hunt for a parking space and got hot and sweaty.  We also enjoyed the view, the precious time together and the feeling of being a part of the city.  The museum, while not totally new for us, always unveils new treasures and renewed appreciation for art.

I think when Spock says “live long and prosper, he means live long and have a wealth of experiences.
Get out of your mental easy chair this week, do something different and share it.

Me at a "take it apart and make it art workshop" with spare parts and 10bitworks

Me at a “take it apart and make it art workshop” with spare parts and 10bitworks

Posted by: Laura Carter | May 15, 2015

Disabled Hondurans — voices for the voiceless

On February 26, 2015 eighteen members of the Honduran Association of Migrants Returned with Disabilities (AMIREDIS) began a journey across Central America to the United States. Their purpose to “raise awareness about the perils of riding on top of train cars on the Mexican railroad commonly referred to as “The Beast” (La Bestia in Spanish). AMIREDIS activists also “promote justice and rights for disabled persons” as their distinctive commonality is traumatic injuries incurred while riding La Bestia.

AMIREDIS represents more than 70 of the 700 persons in Honduras who have been maimed by a similar train accident.  For those seeking to escape a country rife with corruption, violence, unemployment and poverty, it is a courageous decision to take the long dangerous journey, across Central America and Mexico hoping to immigrate and/or reunite with family. “We have dreams of a better life,” said Jose Luis AMIREDIS president.

At the end of a grueling journey to the United States border, thirteen of the men turned themselves in and were incarcerated in the Eagle Pass detention center. They were transferred to the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall where they stayed for over a month until RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) facilitated the release for 11 of the men who vow to continue the journey. “Thank God for RAICES,” said Jose Luis. “The detention centers have no way to care for people with disabilities, so we are thrown in a cell and forgotten.”

Read May 15th NY Times Editorial re immigrant detention.

Last week at the Episcopal Church of Reconciliation, four members of AMIREDIS, accompanied by RAICES attorney/advocate Mohammed Abdollahi, came to tell their stories to a group of interested San Antonio citizens. Abdollahi said, “These men have a credible cause for asylum.” Elaborated in a court document submitted by Attorney Jonathan D. Ryan, RAICES Counsel for the Respondents, the group’s “advocacy has garnered international media attention, effectively exposing the Honduran government for its incapacity to assist its disabled nationals; while the Honduran nation survives on the remittances of migrants who risk their lives travelling, it does little to support or assist those who return disabled. Consequently, these men now confront both the challenge of coping with their disability in Honduras, as well as retribution from the Honduran government for their advocacy.”

Hondurans seeking asylum
“In Honduras there are a lot of gangs,” Alonzo told us. “Because I didn’t want to join, they were harassing me to the point I felt I needed to take my chances to immigrate, or be killed.” “I had ridden the trains for days, been assaulted and was very hungry, thirsty and tired,” explained Alonso, who left a daughter with his mother back in Honduras. “I ran to get on another train, grabbed onto the railing to pull myself up and was dragged behind for several minutes. Finally I pulled myself up onto the train, but had mangled my leg in the process.” After a quick amputation and medical care in Mexico, he was deported back to Honduras.

“There are no jobs for disabled people in Honduras,” Ifrain told us. “There is such competition for work anyone with a disability is left completely out. And, there are no benefits for unemployment or disability. We come to try to find work and help our families back in Honduras.” He was deported back to Honduras after being assaulted and thrown from a train traveling through Mexico resulting in the loss of one of legs.

group at churchThe group is continuing to visit with people to help spread their message and to raise funds for the journey to the Washington where they hope to speak with advocates and policy makers. They have put their faith in God to help them be a voice for the voiceless, advocating reform in a broken immigration process.  “Nothing is impossible,” says Jose Luis. “We want to talk to President Obama.”

Immigration is a complicated issue. And, I don’t claim to know even a tenth of the legal or legislative aspects. But, I do know a compelling human story when I hear one. I also know that except for the Native Americans, we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants.


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