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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 78,384

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

Weed-infused candy gets students high during class

A new and dangerous candy is popping up in schools. Its main ingredient? Weed.

The drug-infused candy is easy to hide from teachers and parents, because unlike raw marijuana, it does not smell.

Gresham police officer Rick Blake says the candy, which is often molded into the shape of a skull, is growing in popularity.

"We haven't experienced anything like this up until about a month ago... ever since then it's starting to increase in its popularity," he said.

More at http://www.khou.com/news/texas-news/Weed-infused-candy-gets-students-high-during-class--191870461.html .

Former Central Texas Bank Employee Charged In $6 Million Theft

WHITNEY (February 19, 2013)-A former employee of the Whitney 1st National Bank has been summoned to federal court next week to answer a charge of embezzlement of more than $6 million from the bank.

She has not yet been arrested, but Mary Helen (Murty) Lane is charged with embezzlement from a federally insured financial institution of more than $1,000.


Lane was employed by the bank for 27 years and she resigned her position as vice president in January 2012.

The charging documents says Lane used most of the cash to finance gambling trips to Las Vegas, Nevada and Shreveport, Louisiana.

More at http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/191864471.html .

Galveston judge may 'hurt or kill someone,' fellow judge says (updated 5/22/13)

GALVESTON - A Galveston County judge is a threat to other judges and could "become violent and hurt or kill someone," a fellow judge wrote in an email to county officials Tuesday.

State District Judge Susan Criss wrote that County Court-at-Law Judge Christopher Dupuy is perceived by some as a threat to their safety.

"County employees, family members of county employees, litigants and attorneys are expressing concern to those in authority, such as judges, the sheriff, the district attorney and to me that they are afraid Judge Dupuy will become violent and hurt or kill someone," Criss wrote. "Those expressing concerns include many I have known for decades who never expressed such concerns before recently."

Dupuy responded via email: "Ah, Judge Criss. What a political nutcase and embarrassment. I think that completely sums up her ridiculous statements to you in six words. I wonder what her story would be if she was under oath and subject to perjury?"

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Galveston-judge-may-hurt-or-kill-someone-4290657.php .

The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office has stopped investigating complaints against a county court at law judge, choosing instead to forward those complaints to the state attorney general’s office.

On Monday, Criminal District Attorney Jack Roady said his office a couple of weeks ago forwarded all complaints against Christopher Dupuy and would send any new complaints to the attorney general’s office as well.

Source: http://www.galvestondailynews.com/news/local_news/article_b6ee7ba0-7a53-11e2-9bdc-0019bb30f31a.html

GALVESTON — Judge Christopher Dupuy voluntarily removed himself Tuesday from hearing an attorney’s family law case but not before finding the attorney in contempt for statements in her recusal motion.

Dupuy’s orders and rulings came amid a series of Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 11 and 12) hearings that attorneys characterized as bizarre.

Source: http://www.galvestondailynews.com/news/local_news/article_b8b57ede-75a3-11e2-b1a3-001a4bcf6878.html

See link in post #2 concerning indictment of Judge Dupuy.

GOP Seeks Unity Against Landrieu

Nothing will pull Republicans from their post-election funk and fog faster than renewed hopes of winning control of the U.S. Senate in 2014. Sure, they were confident they would do so last year, only to lose more ground to the Democrats, who now control the upper chamber, 55-45.

Yet, Republicans see turning six seats in the mid-term elections as doable, in that competitive races are forecast for nine now held by Democrats, seven of them in states won by Mitt Romney.

At the top of the GOP hit list, once again, is Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is seeking her fourth term in a state where Romney thumped the president 58-41 percent.

Ousting her, however, appears to be a chancier proposition than seemed only a year ago. That is confirmed by a poll by Public Policy Polling, albeit considered a left-leaning group, that shows the senator handily beating six leading Republicans matched up against her, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, whom she bests 49-41 percent.

More at http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20130219/OPINION0108/302190314/GOP-Seeks-Unity-Against-Landrieu?nclick_check=1 .

Texas Legislature needs to un-act some regulation pronto

New requirements on the engineers who certify the windstorm resistance of structures have caused problems that, without emergency revision, will kill the Texas coastal real estate market. Strangely for a state that prides itself for nonrestrictive government, way too much of it is causing the fatal condition and a lot less of it is the only cure.

A story in Sunday’s Caller-Times by Rick Spruill describes a nightmarish regulatory double whammy. The engineers face a new certification requirement that they say their engineering licenses more than trump as a measure of competency. They also face audits by the Texas Department of Insurance that are both expensive and frequent enough to make their participation no longer financially sustainable.

The predictable result is that Atlas is shrugging just like the late Ayn Rand warned. Engineers are taking their rigorously licensed know-how elsewhere rather than have it second-guessed by auditors whose background is insurance rather than engineering. The number of engineers in the program shrank from 900 last year to 201 as of Feb. 15. In Corpus Christi alone, the number shrank from 41 on Dec. 31 to 23 as of this month. Those who remain probably are doing so only until they must recertify or are audited.


The intent of the legislation was to raise standards in a beneficial way. But at the rate that engineers are leaving, the coastal real estate market will be in real peril soon. If no one certifies buildings or new roofs as windstorm-compliant, they’re virtually uninsurable. No insurance means no lending, which means no buying, at which point there’s no reason to build or renovate.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/feb/19/legislature-needs-to-un-act-some-regulation/ .

Police chief of Mexico border city is missing

Source: AP

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The police chief of the violent Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo is missing, authorities said Monday.

Tamaulipas state prosecutors said they have opened an investigation into the whereabouts of Roberto Balmori Garza, police chief of the city across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Tamaulipas prosecutors said in a brief statement that state officials in Nuevo Laredo will be in charge of the investigation.

Local media reported that two of Balmori Garza's brothers were found shot dead Sunday inside the trunk of a car in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon. One of his brothers was a federal investigator, media reported.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/world/article/Police-chief-of-Mexico-border-city-is-missing-4288495.php

Possible turf war between the Zetas and the Gulf cartel.

Veterans of lawsuit reform turn to education

Some of the power players who built Texans for Lawsuit Reform into a political juggernaut at the state Capitol are throwing their weight behind new efforts to shake up public education.

Texans for Education Reform, one of two recently launched education groups with ties to TLR veterans, enters the fray with deep-pocketed supporters and longstanding political ties to influential lawmakers.

Former Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Florence Shapiro is board president of Texans for Education Reform, an advocacy group that has embraced the policy work of a separate nonprofit research coalition called Texans Deserve Great Schools.

The business leaders behind Texans for Education Reform want to promote proven approaches that will make public education work better, Shapiro said, such as expanding high-quality charter schools and online learning.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/veterans-of-lawsuit-reform-fight-turn-to-education/nWR92/ .

State Rep. Steve Toth (R) files 'Firearm Protection Act'

State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) has filed legislation assisting the protection of the Second Amendment of the United State Constitution. The 'Firearms Protection Act' or HB 1076 would make any federal law banning semi-automatic firearms or limiting the size of gun magazines unenforceable within the state’s boundaries. Any municipality, county, or special district trying to enforce a federal gun ban could face monetary holdings by the state and misdemeanor charges under this proposal.

Due to the supreme importance to our constituents 2nd Amendment rights, Representative Toth felt the need to implore the assistance of Attorney General Greg Abbott in the drafting process. Together, along with the input of Sheriff Richard Mack, the 'Firearm Protection Act' has the strongest legislative language to protect our local law enforcement officers.

American's all over the United States have inundated Representative Toth's office with support and assistance. Representative Toth states, "Many law enforcement officers have realistic concerns over either obeying federal law that calls them to infringe on citizens 2nd Amendment rights or do they uphold the U.S. Constitution they have taken the oath to protect citizens against enemies both foreign and domestic. HB 1076 answers these concerns by protecting our local officers from the inability to protect our Texas citizens in the event an unconstitutional mandate is passed by this Federal Administration."

The 'Firearm Protection Act' would do the following:

• Supports and protects our local sheriffs and law enforcement officers working hard to protect Texan's 2nd Amendment Rights

• Sends a clear message to Washington by supporting and protecting Texans from the Federal Administrations unconstitutional overreach

• Addresses local Texans concerns for their personal safety

More at http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/news/legislature-state-rep-steve-toth-files-firearm-protection-act/article_d188ad3e-7a24-11e2-b1d3-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=story .

State Rep. Steve Toth (R) files 'Taxpayer Equitable Funding Act'

State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) has filed legislation assisting the protection of taxpayer funds being used for a federal program due to coercion. The 'Taxpayer Equitable Funding Act' or HB 1379 allows the Attorney General to sue and reject any federal program which is deemed to include unwanted local coercive conditions.

"There are too many instances where this Federal Administration has used the strong arm attempt toward the individual states to get their own agenda passed. Hardworking taxpayers should be able to get what they pay for without feeling like they are being held hostage by a failed system. States know what programs are best for their citizens. As it stands now, states are left at the mercy of congressional appropriations with little to no wiggle room. I believe the states could run programs more effectively with more accountability on a local level," Toth said.

The 'Taxpayer Equitable Funding Act' would do the following:

• Maintains the freedom of choice for Texas to accept federal programs if deemed more appropriate without coercion or strings attached

• Allow Texas the ability to work with like-minded states to develop a program that works best for them on a more local level

• Allows for some cost saving approaches to a more effective local program

More at http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/news/legislature-state-rep-steve-toth-files-taxpayer-equitable-funding-act/article_3693e1d8-7a18-11e2-b93d-0019bb2963f4.html .

GOP state senator from East Texas promotes gas tax increase to fund transportation

A Republican state senator is arguing forcefully for raising taxes to fund transportation, saying it would be more conservative to pay as you go with increased tax revenue than to go further into debt to complete road projects.

And Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler went a step further Monday during a panel discussion at the Texas Transportation Forum in Austin, adding that he’s not concerned about how such a stand might impact his re-election chances in typically anti-tax East Texas.

“It is what it is,” he said, earning loud applause from the crowd. “I was fine before I got this job. If they kick me out of office, I’ll be fine.”

Eltife’s unusual tactic – by Texas standards, at least – came as he discussed the state’s transportation funding challenges with three other state lawmakers: House Transportation Chairman Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman; Sen. Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen; and Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock.

More at http://transportationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/02/gop-state-senator-from-east-texas-promotes-gas-tax-increase-to-fund-transportation.html/ .
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