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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,960

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

Austin-area district pulls all school websites after hackers post obscenities

The entire website system of an Austin-area school district is still down after it was hacked over the weekend and education materials replaced with obscene messages and racist threats.

A Round Rock Independent School District principal first reported the problem to officials late on Saturday after parents and students noticed the dramatic change in the site's content.

Many of the pages can't be printed but one did name a group "9gag'' as being behind the "raid" that came from their "mother's basement."

A district spokeswoman said officials don't yet have any information about who did it or how.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/Austin-area-district-pulls-all-school-websites-5088235.php?cmpid=hpts .

Oil Boom's Unexpected Byproduct: Broken Windshields

Like many others, Eddie Posselt was drawn to South Texas last year by job opportunities in the oil fields. Initially, the El Paso native found work in Carrizo Springs as a well tester. But six months later, a different opportunity presented itself.

“I walked the lots here and noticed that there are many broken windshields in the area,” Posselt said. “I saw a great opportunity to go into business replacing them.”

In July, Posselt opened Windshields Etc, an auto glass repair service, as a side business, but it quickly flourished and became a full-time gig. As with his previous job, he has the Texas oil boom to thank for his new line of work.

Bringing a new gas or oil well into production typically requires more than 1,000 loaded trucks traveling to and from a well site. Across portions of South and West Texas, where hundreds of new wells have been drilled, the surge in truck traffic has torn up rural roads and created safety challenges, including the increasingly common occurrence of large trucks sending rocks or debris flying at the vehicles behind them.

More at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/23/oil-booms-unexpected-byproduct-broken-windshields/ .

Ugly Ducklings: Texas GOP candidates using Phil Robertson to pander to right-wing primary voters

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Last week I mentioned that Republican Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick, who’s running for lieutenant governor in 2014, said he believed God was speaking through Phil Robertson, the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch whose racist, homophobic remarks to GQ magazine got him suspended by A&E. I also posted this Robertson-themed meme from Congressman Steve Stockman, who’s running for Senate against John Cornyn.

Although Patrick and Stockman are generally considered extremists, this is after all Texas, and in their zeal to appeal to GOP primary voters in 2014, other candidates haven’t wasted any time waddling aboard the bigoted “Duck Dynasty” bandwagon.

They include state Rep. Dan Branch, a Dallas attorney and Republican attorney general candidate, who posted the above image on Facebook as like-bait. Back when he was running against a Democrat for Texas House, Branch spent time wooing gay Republicans, but now he apparently thinks homosexuality is akin to bestiality.

Also getting in on the action is Sid Miller, a former state representative and candidate for agriculture commissioner who’s demanding that gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker apologize for putting Robertson in his place in an interview with Lone Star Q on Friday. Don’t hold your breath , Sid. Obviously, LGBT issues have little to do with agriculture, but why let the actual duties of the office you’re running for get in the way of some good old-fashioned wedge politics, right?

More at http://www.lonestarq.com/texas-gop-candidates-use-phil-robertson-pander-republican-primary-voters/ .

Rockwall's Ralph Hall, the Oldest-Ever Member of Congress, Says Next Term Will Be His Last

There's no guarantee that U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall, who has represented Rockwall and Northeast Texas in Washington for so long that they named a lake after him, will survive next year's Republican primary. For the first time in years, he's facing a formidable challenger in former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe.

Hall, who turns 91 in May and is the oldest-ever member of Congress, is undaunted. "I'll outwork him," Hall told The Dallas Morning News. "I'll talk to a lot more people than he's gonna talk to."

Despite this bravado, however, Hall is uncharacteristically making one large concession to his heretofore unacknowledged mortality. According to the Rockwall Herald-Banner, he announced last week that this will be his final bid for public office.

On the one hand, we're disappointed to see Hall surrender to the naysaying ageists out there after what at the end of another term would be a mere 36 years in Congress. On the other, his efforts to prove he remains in full control of his faculties, by riding an elephant, skydiving, and mistakenly wandering into a gay-rights soiree, have become increasingly desperate.

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/12/rockwalls_ralph_hall_the_oldes.php .

Tony Romo out for rest of season

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will miss the rest of the season because of a back injury, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday.

A source told ESPN.com's Todd Archer that it's too early to tell if the injury will require surgery.

The Cowboys (8-7) host the Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) on Sunday night, with the winner capturing the NFC East title. Kyle Orton likely will get the start at quarterback for Dallas.

Orton has 69 career starts and is 35-34. He hasn't started since the 2011 regular-season finale with Kansas City.

More at http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/10187713/tony-romo-dallas-cowboys-miss-rest-season .

19,000 acres of East Texas forest now protected

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The T.L.L. Temple Foundation, International Paper and The Conservation Fund closed a deal Monday to protect 19,000 acres of hardwood forest along the Neches River in East Texas.

The foundation purchased the land from International Paper and then granted a conservation easement to the fund to protect the Boggy Slough Forest west of Lufkin. The groups did not release the financial details of the agreement, said Jena Meredith, spokeswoman for the fund.

The Temple family first purchased the land in the 1900s but sold it in the 1960s. Owners since then have used Boggy Slough as a forest and wildlife management area, and the new agreement guarantees that the hardwood forest and wetlands will be kept as a nature preserve.

The tract stretches 18-miles along the Neches River and includes 4,500 acres of riverside forest that has not been touched in decades.

More at http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/191874/19000-acres-of-east-texas-forest-now-protected .

20 cats who aren't crazy about Christmas

"I told you to get a tree sooner. Did you listen? No."

Snow is just frozen water. And you know how cats feel about water.

The only thing worse than a Santa suit is those blasted antlers.

The full gallery of photos is at http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/slideshow/20-cats-who-aren-t-crazy-about-Christmas-76571/photo-5634320.php .

Injured Bears DT (and UT-ex) Melton arrested at Texas bar


Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton was charged with assault and public intoxication after refusing to leave a bar and fighting with employees in a Dallas suburb.

Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said Melton was arrested early Sunday at Chill Sports Bar after becoming belligerent. The nearly 300-pound Melton, who suffered a cut nose but declined treatment, was freed on $1,210 bond.

The 27-year-old Melton allegedly punched the manager in the face and bit his arm, Eberling said. The manager wasn't seriously hurt. Eberling said four bar staffers restrained Melton until police arrived.

Melton, a former Texas standout from Grapevine, is out for the season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament Sept. 22 against Pittsburgh.

More at http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/crime/injured-bears-dt-melton-arrested-at-texas-bar/ncR3T/ .

A second article with more details is at http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2013/12/chicago-bears-defensive-tackle-arrested-on-assault-charge-at-grapevine-bar.html/ .

[font color=green]I recall watching Melton when he played as a running back at Grapevine HS. At 6'5" and weighing nearly 300 pounds, it was an understatement to say you didn't want to get in his way if he had the ball. He was recruited to the University of Texas and played as a fullback before being converted to the defensive tackle position.[/font]

The War on Christmas by Christians: Luckily Christmas is Winning

By Dr. Brian Carr

Back in the 1600s, said Fea, Christmas was a week-long work-free "raucous" spectacle characterized by partying, drinking and parades. Fed up with its coarseness, the Puritans made it illegal to celebrate Christmas for 50 years that same century. When the holiday did take on a more national appeal, Fea said that it quickly became overwhelmed by consumerism.

It was the committed Christians of early America, The Puritans who did not appreciate a holiday that reeked to them of papish paganism. An unofficial prohibition on the holiday in the early years of the New England settlement became an official ban in 1659, and lasted until 1881, more than 20 years after the Restoration made England safe for Catholicism-derived cultural celebrations once again.

Disdain for Christmas survived the Puritans and stretched much farther than New England: well into the 19th century, Congress met on Christmas Day, schools and businesses were open, and some churches even closed their doors to prevent worshipers from praying on the 25th. New England Congregationalists certainly discouraged celebration of Christmas, but so did Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Quakers, practically until the dawn of the 20th century, by which time Christmas had become fashionable among the middle class.

So, the next time you hear Sarah Palin or Bill O-Reilly calling for action in the “War on Christmas” just remember that the war was fought centuries ago by Christians who opposed the holiday.

Thankfully Christmas won!

The complete article is at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-12-22/war-christmas-christians-luckily-christmas-winning .

Obamacare sign-ups picking up steam in Texas

After a slow start in Texas, insurance sign-up under the Affordable Care Act seems to be growing this month as an important deadline looms for those needing immediate coverage.

“I sense that our numbers are picking up dramatically,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said after a round of meetings with federal officials to review the troubled rollout of the new law.

Any such enrollment rush is likely to be tied to Monday’s deadline for anyone wanting their new health insurance plan to kick in next month.

“Monday is the last day to sign up for coverage that starts on Jan. 1,” said Louis Adams, a spokesman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. “But open enrollment continues through March 31.”

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20131221-obamacare-sign-ups-picking-up-steam-in-texas.ece .

Cross-posted in General Discussion forum.

[font color=green]The article from the Dallas Morning News provides some background on five individuals that have benefited from the ACA including a 20-year-old man who will be paying $114/month for health insurance coverage.[/font]
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