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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

See 'Monochrome for Austin' on the UT Campus

Monochrome for Austin
Credit Paul Bardagjy

Since 2008, the folks at Landmarks have been commissioning and installing public art across the University of Texas campus. Piece by piece, they're turning the university into a self-guided outdoor museum space.

The latest piece in the Landmarks series is also the largest. Monochrome for Austin, by artist Nancy Rubin, stands nearly 50 feet high and stretches across 24th street. It comprises around 75 kayaks, canoes, and small boats, arranged together to form an impressive whole that almost resembles a giant, otherworldly tree. The piece is so large that, when assembling it, considerations had to be made to ensure that it wouldn't block the path of any firetrucks.

Such a large piece can't really have an unveiling, since there aren't any veils large enough to cover it, but Monochrome for Austin will have a celebration on Thursday, March 5, beginning at 5:30 pm. There will be a question and answer session with artist Nancy Rubins and art critic Nancy Princenthal, followed by a reception at 6:30.

See Monochrome for Austin at 24th and Speedway.


Lawsuit claims gas plant damaging water wells, killing livestock and causing cancer

The Southtex Processing Co. has been a thorn in one man’s side since the company started building the facility a couple of years ago.

The main entrance to the Atlas Pipeline Silver Oak Plant has plenty of warnings for those venturing onto the property but one nearby property owner said there have been no warnings for those living near the facility.

BEEVILLE – “This is out-and-out persecution of Americans,” said Dallas attorney Shieda Rastegar.

He was speaking of a lawsuit he recently filed in federal court in Dallas against the owners and operators of a natural gas processing plant west of Pettus after several property owners around the plant started contacting him.

Rastegar filed the first lawsuit for William “Bill” and Lois Dittman, who own almost 300 acres just west of the plant.

From the front yard of Dittman’s modest home, a flare stack at the plant is plainly visible.

Read more: http://mysoutex.com/view/full_story_landing/26482695/article-Lawsuit-claims-gas-plant-damaging-water-wells?instance=viewed

Perry attorneys ask Texas appeals court to toss felony case

AUSTIN, Texas — Attorneys for former Gov. Rick Perry have asked a Texas appeals court to dismiss felony charges against the possible 2016 presidential candidate on free speech grounds, arguing that what's "at stake is not just the freedom of one man."

Separate from a response filed in district court this week, Perry's legal team submitted more than 100 pages of briefs and proposed orders to the Austin-based Third Court of Appeals, which were processed Thursday. Perry's attorneys said he was acting within his power as the state's chief executive when he issued a 2013 veto pivotal to the case, and that anything he said on the subject is constitutionally protected since "freedom of speech protects the governor and the rest of the public from the chilling effect of vague and overbroad laws."

Perry was indicted in August on charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant stemming from a veto of state funding for a public corruption division within the office of Democratic Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. That came after Lehmberg, whose county includes Austin, rebuffed the governor's calls to resign following her conviction and jail sentence for drunken driving.

He left office last month, but Perry says he'll announce as soon as May whether he'll launch a presidential bid next year. His 2012 White House campaign was derailed by a series of public gaffes, including the moment during a debate when he couldn't name the third of three federal agencies he'd promised to shutter if elected.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/top-news/perry-attorneys-ask-texas-appeals-court-to-toss-fe/nkKGK/

[font color=green]Methinks thou dost protest too much![/font]

Donna Campbell Struggles to Defend Pointless Alamo Bill

Photo illustration by Monica Fuentes
State Sen. Donna Campbell is still protecting the Alamo from foreign invaders

Most people think it's a good thing the Alamo, the site of the 13 Days of Glory, has been nominated to become a World Heritage Site through the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Considering the deal is expected to bring in lots of money (more than $100 million) and jobs (more than 1,000) by 2025, officials down in Bexar County and with the state's General Land Office, which manages the historic site and surrounding properties, love the idea.

But GOP State Sen. Donna Campbell still thinks the Alamo is still under attack by foreign invaders. "I can tell you, anything that starts with 'the UN' gives me cause for concern," Campbell said during an utterly absurd discussion about her proposed "Protect the Alamo Act" in a Senate committee hearing yesterday.

Campbell faced a wall of skepticism from her fellow senators. "I'm trying to figure out what problem we're trying to solve here," said Craig Estes, a Republican from Wichita Falls.

Campbell told the natural resources and economic development committee that she fears the state of Texas could ultimately sell off Alamo. A deputy for Land Commissioner George P. Bush was on hand to assuage that concern, saying lawmakers would first have to pass legislation before the office could do anything with the Alamo -- an unlikely prospect. Sen. Carlos Uresti from San Antonio chimed in, "I don't think there is any member on this committee that will allow the Alamo to be sold."

Read more: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/news/2015/02/donna_campbell_struggles_to_defend_pointless_alamo_bill.php

SpaceX launches from Texas site confirmed

The first two confirmed payloads slated for launch from SpaceX’s commercial rocket launch site at Boca Chica Beach were announced Wednesday, according to a spaceflight industry publication.

Officials with Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES announced that two of its communication satellites were scheduled to go into orbit aboard two SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in 2017.

Spaceflight Now magazine reported that “industry officials familiar with the launch deal said both satellites are planned to lift off from SpaceX’s new launch site at Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville, Texas.”

The announcement constitutes SpaceX’s first two confirmed payloads from the Boca Chica site, which held its official groundbreaking in September with SpaceX chief Elon Musk and then-Gov. Rick Perry in attendance.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/spacex-launches-confirmed/article_2867de06-bd51-11e4-8be6-1b68ac4850dc.html

Arkansas panel rejects 'conscience-protection' measure regarding religious freedom


A proposal to prevent state and local governments from infringing on a person's religious beliefs failed before an Arkansas legislative panel Wednesday after facing mounting criticism that it was an attempt to justify discriminating against gays and lesbians.

The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the "conscience protection" measure, a day after retail giant Wal-Mart said the measure sent the wrong message about its home state and Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he had reservations about the bill.

It was a victory for gay rights groups, days after Hutchinson allowed separate legislation to become law that bans local governments from expanding anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Supporters said they may later bring back the "conscience protection" proposal, which would ban any local or state laws or regulations that substantially burden religious beliefs unless a "compelling governmental interest" is proven. The bill, if enacted, would strengthen any case of a person suing the government if that person could prove their religious beliefs were infringed upon.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/national/article11165761.html

Raymondville prison uprising to be probed

RAYMONDVILLE — Authorities will launch an investigation into the cause of last Friday’s uprising after they transfer all inmates out of the damaged tent-city prison, officials said Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, officials had transferred more than 900 inmates to other prisons while about 1,674 remained in the low security-level prison that the uprising left uninhabitable, said Issa Arnita, spokesman for Management & Training Corp., or MTC, the Utah company that operates the prison for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Arnita said 2,834 inmates were held in the prison before officials began transferring them Sunday to other prisons in Texas and other states.

“The relocation process at the Willacy County Correctional Center continue(s) to go smoothly,” Arnita said in an e-mail.

Read more: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/valley/article_3df5eff8-bca5-11e4-bccd-63386624fcab.html

Texas Independence Day to be celebrated Saturday, Sunday


All Texans — natural born and those who got here as quickly as they could — are invited to a Texas-sized 179th birthday celebration at the Washington-on-the-Brazos (WOB) State Historic Site.

The park is one of the most historic places in Texas. On March 2, 1836, 59 delegates met at Washington, Texas to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico.


CEO sells programs to predict crime while battling own cases

This undated handout photo provided by Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office shows Sean B. Hosman. Hosman’s company has sold risk and needs assessment tools to governments from Florida to California. A repeat offender himself after battling addiction problems, Hosman has undergone such assessments. He said he has been clean since July 2012, and believes the tools can help reduce prison overcrowding. (AP Photo/Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The CEO of a Utah company who has emerged as a key player in a national movement to overhaul the justice system is a repeat offender himself.

Sean Hosman's dual roles as advocate for change and repeat visitor at county jails provide a striking case study in an expanding national effort to use insurance industry methods to help predict future crimes and steer defendants toward treatment.

His company, Assessments.com, has won 100 contracts with state and county governments from Florida to California. He has spoken at justice forums in Texas, Idaho and Washington state.

At the same time, Hosman has been arrested at least nine times since 2010, four for DUI and one for cocaine possession. Just like tens of thousands of defendants undergoing this process known as risk assessment, he has been booked, assessed, jailed and sent to rehab.

Read more: http://amarillo.com/news/latest-news/2015-02-25/ceo-sells-programs-predict-crime-while-battling-own-cases

Avoid Mexico during spring break, Texas Department of Public Safety advises

The Texas Department of Public issued a news release aimed at students who will be on spring break in the coming weeks, and included in the agency’s tips is a warning to avoid Mexico.

This is the part of the Texas DPS news release for students thinking of spending spring break south of the border:

“DPS also urges Texans to avoid travel to Mexico. The Mexican government has made great strides battling the cartels, and the department commends their continued commitment to that effort. DPS also has a responsibility to inform the public about safety and travel risks and threats, and based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, the department urges individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”

Read more: http://blogs.elpasotimes.com/bordercafe/2015/02/25/avoid-mexico-during-spring-break-texas-department-of-public-safety-advises/
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