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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: 76,959

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

1,100 calves missing from Braum's dairy facility near Follett

It’s literally a question of “Where’s the beef?”

Cattle possibly worth about $1.4 million are missing from a facility owned by Braum’s Dairy in the northeast Texas Panhandle.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is investigating the disappearance of 1,121 steer calves from the Braum’s 24,000-acre facility near Follett on the border of Lipscomb County and Ellis County, Okla. An annual inventory identified the loss.

“They don’t have any photos. The calves weren’t branded,” TSCRA spokesman Laramie Adams said. “We want to let people know about this so they can come to us with information. It’s a difficult case because of the lack of information.”

Read more: http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2015-03-02/missing-milkers-1100-calves-missing-braums-facility

[font color=green]Abducted by aliens???[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 11:55 PM (7 replies)

At Hearing, Climate Change Called a "Threat Multiplier"

Texas’ Republican leaders have called the issue of climate change a “political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives” and “unsettled science.”

At a House committee hearing Monday morning, though, a Texas-based expert on energy and national security labeled climate change much differently: “threat multiplier.”

“Climate change is often seen through a political lens,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Ken Eickmann, a senior research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin's Energy Institute. “I’d like to discuss it from a military perspective. … Climate change poses a serious threat to America’s national security.”

Eickmann told the House International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee that rising temperatures and sea levels related to global warming are security threats worldwide. In some cases the threat is direct, such as extreme weather disrupting economies and trade. In others it’s indirect, he said, citing an example of drought and water.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/02/general-lege-climate-change-threat-multiplier/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 11:20 PM (1 replies)

Aggies Embrace LGBT Culture

The gay bookworm: before Houstonian Don Kelly sold his collection of queer published material to Texas A&M University, he was storing more than 8,000 titles in his studio apartment.

Texas A&M University acquires the Don Kelly Research Collection of Gay Literature and Culture

It’s quite rare to meet someone who you can instantly tell is genuine down to their core. But when I met Houstonian Don Kelly, I instantly knew he is one of the few. In early February, I sat and chatted with Kelly in his humble studio apartment—the walls filled with colorful drawings, paintings, and other memorabilia. But if I had been sitting in the same spot only months earlier, I wouldn’t have just been surrounded by art, but by more than 8,000 queer books, magazines, newspapers, comics, and more. At 74 years old, Kelly touts one of the most impressive collections of LGBTQ books and published materials in the nation—a collection that was recently acquired by Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.

A retired civil servant of 36 years and an openly gay man all of his life, Kelly has always been a lover of books. He was initially inspired to start his collection after discovering author Anthony Slide’s book The Lost Gay Novels, which discussed 50 novels from the early 20th century that told stories with gay themes and characters. “I thought by collecting the listed titles, I would have a fun and interesting project which would allow me to reflect on the gay condition, and maybe tell me something about myself,” Kelly says. Over the next year, he collected first editions of 48 of the 50 books listed.

One thing led to another, and soon Kelly was collecting everything from campy pulp fiction to AIDS literature to some of the first gay periodicals. In reference to the latter, Kelly laughs and adds, “They’re so sleazy.” What started out as a strictly gay male collection has since expanded to include lesbian, bisexual, and transgender literature as well. When asked how he finds and purchases each new acquisition for his collection, Kelly laughs again and says, “I had to learn to use eBay. I’m a technological dinosaur.”

I tend to disagree, however, when I see the digitized version of Kelly’s collection (which totaled 8,070 titles at press time) that he has meticulously organized and put online using the website LibraryThing. Kelly has scanned the cover of each and every item in his collection, labeled each published work with tags to better categorize them, and added notes next to each title that has a special feature such as an inscription by the author. “If I didn’t have LibraryThing, I wouldn’t have even attempted this collection,” he says. The database reveals that Kelly’s collection boasts 1,843 titles that are signed and 213 that feature an inscription by a gay man to another gay man, known as “gay associations.” He notes that he’s been complimented on his virtual collection by numerous collectors worldwide.

Read more: http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2015/03/aggies-embrace-lgbt-culture/

[font color=maroon]Former governor Rick Perry thinks that this news is fab-u-lous![/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 08:22 PM (2 replies)

More Troopers, Less Surging Under GOP Border Bill

State lawmakers Monday made a bipartisan pitch for an omnibus border security bill that would speed up hiring of more Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and establish a physical repository for crime statistics on the border.

House Bill 11, by state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, contains controversial measures including reestablishing state police checkpoints on the border to check southbound travelers for contraband, and making it a crime to “encourage or induce” a person to remain in the country illegally.

The proposal would also increase a typical workday for border DPS officers from eight hours to 10 for a five-day workweek. It would allow peace officers with four years of experience to join the DPS at a Trooper II level, which pays about $63,000 annually, according to DPS figures.

Bonnen’s HB 11 would also create a “DPS Officer Reserve Corps” of retired troopers to help with things like background investigations and sex-offender compliance. It would require local law enforcement agencies to use the National Incident Based Reporting System to make crime-statistics reporting uniform statewide.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/02/texas-gop-introduces-omnibus-border-security-bill/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 08:12 PM (0 replies)

Former Land Commissioner, Asst. Secretary of Dept. of Interior, Bob Armstrong Dies at 82

Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.

Former Texas Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong died Sunday night at age 82.

Robert Landis Armstrong served as a Democratic state representative from Austin in the 1960s. He was land commissioner from 1970 to 1982, and later joined the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. Armstrong ran for governor in 1982 but lost the Democratic nomination to eventual winner Mark White.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Armstrong assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Armstrong returned to Austin in 1998 and remained active in the environmental community, advocating for more funding for Texas Parks and Wildlife and serving as a board member for the nonprofit environmental law firm Trustees for Alaska.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement that Armstrong leaves behind a “a legacy of leadership, courage, and compassion.”

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/02/former-land-commissioner-bob-armstrong-dies-82/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 08:10 PM (0 replies)

Texas Senate Republicans demand freedom to revamp Medicaid

For Texas Independence Day, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Senate’s 20 Republicans on Monday vented their frustration over Medicaid’s costs and federal requirements.

Patrick complained about “overreaching federal mandates” and demanded the leeway to “manage our own Medicaid.”

He and all of the chamber’s Republicans sent President Barack Obama a letter demanding flexibility to revamp Texas’ version of Medicaid, a state-federal health insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled.

Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, quickly acknowledged at a Capitol news conference that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services probably is not going to give the Texas Republicans what they want.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/03/senate-republicans-demand-freedom-to-revamp-medicaid.html/

[font color=green]Texas Republicans are petulant with their "demands."[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 05:56 PM (1 replies)

Texas Strong: Volunteers Plan at Battleground Texas Summit

What do we do after a tough election? Keep going. That was the resolve that drove nearly 200 volunteer leaders to Austin on February 21-22 for the second annual Battleground Texas Neighborhood Team Summit. Texas Democrats came from as far away as El Paso, Lubbock, and Laredo to debrief from 2014, get some serious skills training, and make plans for 2015. And, of course, to get inspired by Battleground Texas’ Jenn Brown and Jeremy Bird, and Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20).

That would have been an impressive crowd if we were in the middle of a heated election. But on a cold February weekend of an off-election year? That’s a lot of people determined to make a difference in Texans’ lives. Congressman Castro’s remarks captured why so many of us were there, ready to “double down and try harder”:

We can have a Texas that supports public education, that doesn’t cut education by billions of dollars. We can have a governor who expands Medicaid, and doesn’t insist on making millions of Texans suffer because of ideology and partisanship. We can have a Texas that respects women’s rights to make their own decisions about their own lives.

When I got involved with Battleground Texas as a Summer Fellow in 2013, I was fed up with Republicans’ repeated votes to repeal Obamacare. I just thought, “That’s your goal in life? To take affordable health care away from millions of people?” I wanted to do something to help elect Democrats, but even though I was a precinct chair, I didn’t know enough to be effective.

Our Battleground Texas field organizer in Houston, Adrienne Bell, jumped in and trained us fellows from the ground up. She taught us the basics — how to organize an event, register voters, and talk to our neighbors about why voting matters. And then she went over the basics again, and again, and again — as often as we needed until we finally felt confident enough to go out and do it on our own.

Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/29792/texas-strong-volunteers-plan-battleground-texas-summit
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 05:10 PM (1 replies)

Seoul: North Korea test fires 2 short-range missiles

Source: AP

SEOUL, South Korea

North Korea on Monday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and warned of "merciless strikes" against its enemies as allies Seoul and Washington launched annual military drills Pyongyang claims are preparation for a northward invasion.

North Korea regularly conducts such test firings of missiles, rockets and artillery, and they are often timed to express the country's dissatisfaction with actions by Washington and Seoul. Monday was the start of military drills that will run until the end of April.

Early Monday morning, two missiles launched from North Korea's west coast flew about 500 kilometers (310miles) before landing in waters off the east coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry. Spokesman Kim Min-seok called the launches an "armed protest" against the South Korea-U.S. drills and a challenge to peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The annual U.S.-South Korean military drills inevitably lead to angry North Korean rhetoric, although the allies say they are purely defensive. The North's rhetoric is meant to show its people that a tough leadership is confronting what its propaganda portrays as outside hostility, but analysts also believe the drills infuriate because they cost Pyongyang precious resources by forcing the country to respond with its own drills and launches.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/world/article11884343.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 01:13 AM (0 replies)

Texas GOP looks to cut influence of heavily Democratic Travis County's judges

AUSTIN — Texas Republicans are moving to stamp out Democratic challenges to their policies, particularly in the legal realm.

Some GOP leaders want to strip heavily Democratic Travis County of an anti-corruption unit that has pursued high-profile Republicans such as Tom DeLay and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Gov. Greg Abbott and freshman Sen. Don Huffines of Dallas seek to rein in big-city local governments that they say are imposing “nanny state” rules.

And two GOP lawmakers have introduced measures that would deny Travis County judges their usual first crack at deciding multibillion-dollar lawsuits over school finance and politically fraught battles over redistricting.

The so-called three-judge panel bills would dilute Travis County judges’ influence, not just in fights over school funding and political maps but any major litigation affecting the state.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20150301-texas-gop-looks-to-cut-influence-of-heavily-democratic-travis-county-s-judges.ece
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 01:07 AM (2 replies)

Dan Patrick Brings Big Government to Texas

The past few weeks in the Texas Legislature marked some of the first divisions between Republican lawmakers.

In the Senate last Tuesday, Dan Patrick held a press conference taking credit for the Senate’s plan to cut $4.6 billion in taxes that will be taken from the property and franchise taxes.

Sounds great right? Wrong. So what’s wrong with tax cuts? Well first the San Antonio Express News makes a pretty strong case that Texas should address its growing list of needs first (like transportation, debt, schools, pensions, and water infrastructure) before we even think about cutting taxes. But the Tea Party controlled Senate is not primarily focused on addressing the very real and growing needs of the state.

But let’s pretend for a minute that this is the right time to cut taxes for Texans. Here’s the problem: having the state try to cut a local tax like the property tax is the quintessential definition of local control succumbing to big government. Big dysfunctional government brought to you by Texas Tea Party and Senate leader Dan Patrick.

Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/29805/dan-patrick-brings-big-government-texas
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 12:10 AM (1 replies)
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