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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 73,186

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Mr. Conservative says he will challenge government in official announcement for U.S. Dist. 19 seat



Republican Donald May made his formal announcement as a candidate for the U.S. District 19 seat Thursday, saying he aims to challenge the government and fight for conservative values.

“All the problems in Washington are due to the politicians,” he said. “The left has moved us continuously to the left, but I put most of the blame on the Republicans. The problems that we’ve had over the past century, particularly the last 50 years, are due to inactions and cowardice on the part of Republicans.”

He said his ways of getting things accomplished would be to often speak on the House, frequently write short and simple legislation and to be as transparent as possible by writing daily reports for his constituents.

May spoke of his priorities, much of which has to do with national security.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2015-10-29/may-says-he-will-challenge-government-official-announcement-us-district-19#.VjMS7SvziBY

Texas' Transformation Into a Christian Theocracy



By Carol Morgan

t used to be funny.

Rick Perry’s religious tent revival confession that he’s a “misunderstood prophet”, Tom Delay’s legal troubles as his “time in the wilderness”, and Raphael Cruz’ pronouncement that his son, Ted, was anointed by God to be President; all of it was chuckle-fodder for bloggers and late night comedians.

It’s no longer funny.

Consider Texas’ political events in the last ten years, and it’s easy to see that the GOP’s vision for the future of Texas is that of a Christian theocracy. It’s a frightening possibility.

Theocracy conjures up images of religious leaders who control everything and use their power arbitrarily to persecute others who don’t share their views.

When you examine past and present theocrats like Oliver Cromwell, Bloody Mary’s reign of terror, the Taliban or perhaps, even ISIL, the results are not pretty.

The U.S. Constitution says that there shall be no religious test for the office of President, but don’t tell that to the congregation at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano; a megachurch that recently held tryouts for those seeking the lead in their conservative absurdist drama.

That political gathering should feel unsettling to all Texans. It was deliberately provocative, dangerously blurring the line between the affairs of state and the church’s tax exempt status as a house of worship. It was same uncomfortable baiting as when a Lubbock Baptist church held a Republican meeting in its sanctuary on the day that SCOTUS upheld gay marriage.

You owe it to yourself to watch the mini-documentary, God and Governing, a production by the Texas Tribune and PBS. It’s enlightening (and a bit shocking) to see our Texas legislators and how stubbornly entrenched they are within the uncomfortable quagmire of religion versus law. It makes one question our lawmakers’ abilities to make evidence-based decisions about Texans’ welfare when they are restricted by a concept that has no legal basis in government.

After your viewing, please follow up by reading Texas Representative Donna Howard’s editorial on how religion combined with lawmaking creates a special club which excludes the over 10 million Texans (40 percent) who do not ascribe to a traditional religion.

I have no doubt that a tiny number of Christian politicians in Texas are sincere, but many of them are not. They use the word “God” as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to obtain the trust of the gullible and naïve who buy into their unashamed ploys; mistakenly viewing Caesar and God as the same entity.

I couldn’t care less if law enforcement places “In God We Trust” decals on their vehicles, but it does bother me when our Governor chimes in with his congratulations and refers to it as “a patriotic display”.

How is a reference to religion “a patriotic display”? Patriotism and religiosity are two different matters, but our extreme religious leaders in Texas are beginning to regard them as one in the same.

This slow slide to Christian theocracy is a political strategy to use God as a weapon to divide and exclude Texans. As an interfaith believer, this offends me. One’s religion should be a private relationship between you and whatever god you worship, not be a badge of honor that screams of pride, self-righteousness, and superiority.

The recent alliance on Monday, between Dan Patrick and Ted Cruz, is a harbinger of things to come in Texas. Both men are Dominionists, Christian Reconstructionists who believe they are compelled by God to govern over non-Christians. It is their explicit belief that they should control and dominate, not only the government, but family, religion, education, media, entertainment, and business.

It’s a mirror image of Sharia Law with a different label; the flip side of a coin minted as religious extremism.

Dan Patrick has already stated his prioritized initiatives for the future. Religious liberty and religious school vouchers (he calls it “school choice”) are at the top of his list.

A little over a month ago, Pope Francis warned churches that they should start practicing religion or start paying taxes. That’s a strong statement, but perhaps it’s true. Many of the mega churches thrive on their man-made prosperity gospel, but if you examine their work, outside of their private services and private social gatherings, there is nothing Christ-like about the way they conduct themselves, nor in the way they conduct their businesses.

The offering of prayers has become as perfunctory as “Have a nice day”. You know they don’t really mean it. Other Christians see these hypocrisies, yet they remain silent because they don’t wish to be excommunicated from their special social club.

One of the purposes of a church is to evangelize, but I wonder...has a big beautiful building, a pricey private school or a basketball activities center ever brought a person to Christ? Not likely…

It appears these walled and gated communities with their private schools are designed to keep people out, rather than invite people in. Their congregations have taken “be ye separate” way too literally. They disdain fellowship with “those people”.

The extreme Christian right in our state government is an outgrowth of these wall and gated communities of believers. They seek dominion over all things—the safety of Texas’ workers, women’s reproductive health, who we can love, the God-given right to kill others on a college campus, who will eat, who will starve, who will be sick and who will be well, who will be educated and who will be ignorant.

One of the many reasons our ancestors came to this country was to enjoy religious freedom, but it seems that some 250 years or so later, we’ve recreated the environment our ancestors so desperately desired to escape.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, freelance writer, and former Democratic candidate for the Texas House. She is the award-winning author of two books: Of Tapestry, Time and Tears and Liberal in Lubbock. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2015-10-29/texas-transformation-christian-theocracy#.VjMCOSvziBY

Permission granted to post this blog in its entirety.

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

Texas' Transformation Into a Christian Theocracy



By Carol Morgan

t used to be funny.

Rick Perry’s religious tent revival confession that he’s a “misunderstood prophet”, Tom Delay’s legal troubles as his “time in the wilderness”, and Raphael Cruz’ pronouncement that his son, Ted, was anointed by God to be President; all of it was chuckle-fodder for bloggers and late night comedians.

It’s no longer funny.

Consider Texas’ political events in the last ten years, and it’s easy to see that the GOP’s vision for the future of Texas is that of a Christian theocracy. It’s a frightening possibility.

Theocracy conjures up images of religious leaders who control everything and use their power arbitrarily to persecute others who don’t share their views.

When you examine past and present theocrats like Oliver Cromwell, Bloody Mary’s reign of terror, the Taliban or perhaps, even ISIL, the results are not pretty.

The U.S. Constitution says that there shall be no religious test for the office of President, but don’t tell that to the congregation at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano; a megachurch that recently held tryouts for those seeking the lead in their conservative absurdist drama.

That political gathering should feel unsettling to all Texans. It was deliberately provocative, dangerously blurring the line between the affairs of state and the church’s tax exempt status as a house of worship. It was same uncomfortable baiting as when a Lubbock Baptist church held a Republican meeting in its sanctuary on the day that SCOTUS upheld gay marriage.

You owe it to yourself to watch the mini-documentary, God and Governing, a production by the Texas Tribune and PBS. It’s enlightening (and a bit shocking) to see our Texas legislators and how stubbornly entrenched they are within the uncomfortable quagmire of religion versus law. It makes one question our lawmakers’ abilities to make evidence-based decisions about Texans’ welfare when they are restricted by a concept that has no legal basis in government.

After your viewing, please follow up by reading Texas Representative Donna Howard’s editorial on how religion combined with lawmaking creates a special club which excludes the over 10 million Texans (40 percent) who do not ascribe to a traditional religion.

I have no doubt that a tiny number of Christian politicians in Texas are sincere, but many of them are not. They use the word “God” as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to obtain the trust of the gullible and naïve who buy into their unashamed ploys; mistakenly viewing Caesar and God as the same entity.

I couldn’t care less if law enforcement places “In God We Trust” decals on their vehicles, but it does bother me when our Governor chimes in with his congratulations and refers to it as “a patriotic display”.

How is a reference to religion “a patriotic display”? Patriotism and religiosity are two different matters, but our extreme religious leaders in Texas are beginning to regard them as one in the same.

This slow slide to Christian theocracy is a political strategy to use God as a weapon to divide and exclude Texans. As an interfaith believer, this offends me. One’s religion should be a private relationship between you and whatever god you worship, not be a badge of honor that screams of pride, self-righteousness, and superiority.

The recent alliance on Monday, between Dan Patrick and Ted Cruz, is a harbinger of things to come in Texas. Both men are Dominionists, Christian Reconstructionists who believe they are compelled by God to govern over non-Christians. It is their explicit belief that they should control and dominate, not only the government, but family, religion, education, media, entertainment, and business.

It’s a mirror image of Sharia Law with a different label; the flip side of a coin minted as religious extremism.

Dan Patrick has already stated his prioritized initiatives for the future. Religious liberty and religious school vouchers (he calls it “school choice”) are at the top of his list.

A little over a month ago, Pope Francis warned churches that they should start practicing religion or start paying taxes. That’s a strong statement, but perhaps it’s true. Many of the mega churches thrive on their man-made prosperity gospel, but if you examine their work, outside of their private services and private social gatherings, there is nothing Christ-like about the way they conduct themselves, nor in the way they conduct their businesses.

The offering of prayers has become as perfunctory as “Have a nice day”. You know they don’t really mean it. Other Christians see these hypocrisies, yet they remain silent because they don’t wish to be excommunicated from their special social club.

One of the purposes of a church is to evangelize, but I wonder...has a big beautiful building, a pricey private school or a basketball activities center ever brought a person to Christ? Not likely…

It appears these walled and gated communities with their private schools are designed to keep people out, rather than invite people in. Their congregations have taken “be ye separate” way too literally. They disdain fellowship with “those people”.

The extreme Christian right in our state government is an outgrowth of these wall and gated communities of believers. They seek dominion over all things—the safety of Texas’ workers, women’s reproductive health, who we can love, the God-given right to kill others on a college campus, who will eat, who will starve, who will be sick and who will be well, who will be educated and who will be ignorant.

One of the many reasons our ancestors came to this country was to enjoy religious freedom, but it seems that some 250 years or so later, we’ve recreated the environment our ancestors so desperately desired to escape.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, freelance writer, and former Democratic candidate for the Texas House. She is the award-winning author of two books: Of Tapestry, Time and Tears and Liberal in Lubbock. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2015-10-29/texas-transformation-christian-theocracy#.VjMCOSvziBY

Permission granted to post this blog in its entirety.

Cross-posted in the Religion Group.

Commission Begins Study of Wrongful Convictions


Timothy Cole

Richard Miles was 19 years old when Dallas police officers picked him up, placed him in the back of a squad car and drove him to the scene of a shooting, where an eyewitness identified him as the man who had killed a driver and severely injured his passenger.

Miles denied it. He detailed his whereabouts the night of May 16, 1994. But Miles matched the description of a man who fled the scene, according to the same witness. He'd end up spending more than a decade in prison.

Miles told that story Thursday, during the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission’s first meeting.

“I was merely walking home,” he said, “and my life completely changed.”

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/10/29/commission-begins-work-prevent-wrongful-conviction/

Paxton gets an earful as he weighs the governor’s budget vetoes

AUSTIN — As Attorney General Ken Paxton weighs the legality of more than $230 million in line-item budget vetoes, he has received an earful from a leading Democratic lawmaker, a state agency whose funding was slashed and the office of Gov. Greg Abbott, who made the cuts.

State Comptroller Glenn Hegar in August asked Paxton to weigh in on whether Abbott acted properly when he made the line-item vetoes, which were challenged by the director of the Legislative Budget Board.

Hegar is treating the vetoes as effective unless advised otherwise, in which case he said the money can be made available immediately.

One agency that lost money, the State Securities Board, said in a brief filed with Paxton last month that the veto affecting its spending is different from Abbott’s others. That’s because the nearly $1.2 million targeted by Abbott specifically was intended by lawmakers to flow to the agency only if separate salary legislation didn’t pass — and it didn’t.

Read more: http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Paxton-gets-an-earful-as-he-weighs-the-6598449.php?t=9fc0ca98124b6b00f7&cmpid=twitter-premium#photo-8871509

Paxton flags cost overruns on Texas child-support computer contract with Accenture

AUSTIN — A House leader said Thursday that he plans to investigate the state’s oversight of a major technology contractor after Attorney General Ken Paxton alerted lawmakers to cost overruns in a contract.

Earlier this week, Paxton aides informed GOP state leaders’ offices that an effort to upgrade computers at the attorney general’s child support division will cost an estimated $310 million, nearly 50 percent more than estimated six years ago.

That’s forced Paxton to consider forking over tens of millions more to Accenture — or suing the vendor and taking new bids for the work, which could cost the state even more.

“This is yet another example of why we need better contract management and oversight,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman John Otto said in a written statement.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/10/paxton-flags-cost-overruns-on-texas-child-support-computer-contract-with-accenture.html/

[font color=330099]Another case where privatization did not work as well as Republican state officials hoped.[/font]

Former cop gets 3 life sentences for sexually abusing stepdaughter

LAMESA — Antonio De La Cruz will likely spend the rest of his days behind bars for sexually abusing his stepdaughter multiple times.

District Judge Carter Schildknecht sentenced the 48-year-old former South Plains narcotics officer to life sentences for each of his three convictions — continuous sexual abuse of a child and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

A Dawson County jury of seven men and five women deliberated about 30 minutes Wednesday before returning guilty verdicts on each of those charges.

The sentences will run consecutively, meaning if he completes one he’ll still have two more to face before he can be released.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2015-10-29/former-cop-gets-3-life-sentences-sexually-abusing-stepdaughter#.VjLT6CvziBY

Spring Texas gymnast Simone Biles wins third straight world all-around gymnastics title

Simone Biles of Spring once again is hands down the best women’s gymnast in the world.

Biles, 18, won an unprecedented third consecutive International Gymnastics Federation world all-around championship Thursday in Glasgow, Scotland, proving once more that even on something less than her best night, at 4 feet 9 she stands head and shoulders above the international field, capable of amazing even herself.

“Pretty speechless,” she said. “I keep closing my eyes because, yes, there are goals that I have and I dream of them and then I make them reality.

“I’m just shocked by myself. If I could crawl out of my skin and see it, it would be, like, amazing.”

SMU says it’s looking into “racially offensive” fraternity party that was planned

A hip hop-themed party planned by two Southern Methodist University fraternities was blasted Thursday by some students as racist, while SMU president’s said the “racially offensive” incident is being reviewed.

The “Ice Age” party, as promoted Tuesday on Facebook, included a photo of Mississippi rapper Kolley wearing sunglasses, with gold teeth and a gold chain in his mouth. The invitation called it a “savage banger” and said to “bring out your bling, jerseys, and inner thug.” It said profits would be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Dallas.

The off-campus party was promoted by Pi Kappa Alpha and by Alpha Epsilon Pi, which had just begun to establish a chapter on campus. The Nov. 20 party has been canceled, according to a message from SMU President R. Gerald Turner. The Facebook post has been removed.

A representative for Alpha Epsilon Pi extended an apology Thursday about the party promotion, saying the Facebook post was taken down as soon as the fraternity realized it “caused harm” to others.

Read more: http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2015/10/smu-says-its-looking-into-racially-offensive-fraternity-party-that-was-planned.html/

White House Offers Veiled Support for Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

President Obama and Vice President Biden today offered veiled support for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), to be considered by voters in that city this Tuesday. The measure would prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in the nation’s fourth-largest city.

President Obama rips GOP candidatesSaid White House spokesman Jeff Tiller in a statement provided to Towleroad:

“While the administration generally does not take a formal position on specific proposals or initiatives, the president and vice president have been strong supporters of state and local efforts to protect Americans from being discriminated against based on who they are and who they love. We’re confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in favor of fairness and equality.”


The statement follows more direct shows of support from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as stars like Sally Field and Matt Bomer.

The White House has held off on support for the Equality Act, proposed legislation which would expand non-discrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide.

http://www.towleroad.com/2015/10/white-house-hero/
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