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Profile Information

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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 89,028

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

N.C. church urged congregants to 'beat the devils out' of babies, members say

Allegations of "ungodly abuse" inflicted at the behest of a small-town church in North Carolina were brought to light this week after a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship in tiny Spindale were regularly, severely and violently beaten in an effort to "purify" sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told AP in separate, exclusive interviews.

Victims included pre-teens and toddlers, which included crying babies, who would be shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked to banish demons. The church also practiced "blasting," which is an ear-piercing verbal onslaught often conducted in hours-long sessions meant to cast out devils.

Preacher Jane Whaley and other church leaders have denied for years the church ever abused its members. She said she is relying on the First Amendment's freedom of religion tenets.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/us-news/2017/03/01/nc-church-urged-congregants-beat-devils-babies-members-say
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 10:17 PM (5 replies)

Houston decriminalizes pot; let's hope Dallas is paying attention

After a wave of marijuana referendums passed throughout the nation in November, the U.S. now has 29 states that allow some form of legal marijuana — covering 1 in 5 Americans.

Texas, of course, is not among them. But progress is coming at the local level.

Since 2007, state law has allowed municipalities, if they so choose, to issue written citations — the equivalent of a traffic ticket — for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Just last year, Dallas tried to embrace this commonsense "cite and release" policy — and failed. Let's hope Houston's new efforts fare better.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2017/03/01/houston-decriminalizes-pot-hope-dallas-paying-attention
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 10:13 PM (0 replies)

Texas Rangers open investigation into Baylor after sexual assault scandal

The Texas Rangers have opened a "preliminary investigation" into Baylor University's handling of sexual assault allegations, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman confirmed Wednesday, as the fallout from the school's high-profile and winding scandal continues.

The statewide investigative agency launched the investigation Tuesday and is looking into allegations that the university mishandled sexual assault cases.

"The Texas Rangers are working with the local prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if further action is warranted," spokesman Tom Vinger said in a statement.

A spokeswoman from the McLennan County district attorney's Office in Waco, where Baylor is located, declined to comment, citing an open investigation.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/baylor/2017/03/01/texas-rangers-open-investigation-baylors-handling-sexual-assault-scandal
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 10:06 PM (0 replies)

Johnny Manziel has reportedly re-hired agent, drawing interest from NFL teams at combine

Johnny Manziel's aspirations for an NFL comeback took another step in the right direction Wednesday.

Manziel's former agent, Erik Burkhardt, elected to give the former Cleveland Browns quarterback another chance according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.


Rapoport also reports that the former Texas A&M gunslinger is already receiving interest from NFL teams.


This enough is already quite the turnaround for Manziel. At this time last year, the Heisman Trophy winner was taken to court for a misdemeanor assault charge. Burkhardt, Manziel's first agent, dropped him amid the controversy in February of 2016.

Read more: http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/texasamaggies/2017/03/01/report-johnny-manziel-rehires-erik-burkhardt-making-serious-commitments-nfl-agent
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 09:59 PM (8 replies)

Texas Senate approves sweeping child welfare reform legislation

The Texas Senate unanimously approved sweeping legislation Wednesday to fix the state’s troubled child welfare system, including a provision to test privatizing key foster care services.

Meanwhile, the House gave initial approval Wednesday to two bills to fix the system, but not before a heated debate over whether unauthorized immigrants should be excluded from a measure that would boost pay for low-income foster families caring for a foster child who is a relative.

“Here we are starting off a program right off the bat and paying monies … to somebody who is not a documented citizen. I have a hard time with that,” said state Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, who proposed an amendment to House Bill 4 to exclude people lacking legal immigration status.

Several Democrats accused Keough, a former car dealership sales manager, of being racist and a hypocrite for doing business with at least one person in the country illegally, and for putting politics before vulnerable children.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/texas-senate-approves-sweeping-child-welfare-reform-legislation/swjtRbx2AEYA3y8C1Q595J/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 09:38 PM (0 replies)

Feds: Austin Bergstrom International Airport baggage handler stole guns from bags, traded for pot

A baggage handler at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has been arrested by the FBI after an investigation found he stole guns from baggage, several of which he traded for marijuana, according to the Justice Department.

Arrested was 25-year-old Austin resident Ja’Quan Johnson, who surrendered to federal agents on Wednesday, a Justice Department news release said.

Johnson has been charged with theft from an interstate shipment and possession of stolen firearms. Investigators believe he stole several handguns between Nov. 29 and Feb. 2, the release said.

Austin police participated in the investigation and have recovered several of the firearms they believe Johnson stole from passenger baggage at the Austin airport.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/update-more-arrested-connection-with-austin-airport-baggage-handler-who-stole-guns-from-bags/Miwl1ASgnddQM19pQA2klL/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 09:31 PM (0 replies)

Hate-crime victim to defendants: 'Why you crying now?'

When Kayla Norton broke down in court on Monday, Melissa Alford felt a twinge of sympathy.

Norton, the mother of three children younger than 9, was facing so much prison time that her children would be different people when their mother got out. That was not lost on Alford, who works as a children's mental health advocate.

But then Alford thought of the reasons Norton was in court: the convoy of pickup trucks with Confederate flags, the vile racist epithets, the loaded shotgun leveled on her friends and family, the threats to blow children's heads off. Norton had chosen to ride along on that convoy's racist tear across two counties. Alford's sympathy evaporated.

"When that gun was loaded, did you think about your children then?" Alford said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. "So, why you crying now?"

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/crime--law/hate-crime-victim-defendants-why-you-crying-now/RdJZaCzi29hSDCeAfINcpN/?ref=cbTopWidget
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 09:22 PM (2 replies)

Judge Eckhardt: Travis County is planning for volatility from state, feds

Travis County has already paid a price for the new jail policy on undocumented immigrants, and County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said the county is readying for the costs to keep mounting.

Eckhardt in her State of the County address Wednesday evening lamented the ongoing battle between liberal Travis County and the Republican-controlled state and federal governments over immigration policy as well as legislative efforts to cap local property taxes.

“We hear your justified concerns about federal and state politics making our lives uncertain,” Eckhardt said in prepared remarks. “Travis County is planning for volatility in (budget year) 2018.”

To better gauge options, the county is asking for efficiency and reduction proposals from offices and departments, she said.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/local/eckhardt-travis-county-planning-for-volatility-from-state-feds/LuEKix3NRgb3KLdKlBXhHP/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 08:58 PM (0 replies)

PolitiFact Texas: Abbott falsely says sheriff flouting immigrant law

Fresh from the PolitiFact Texas Twitter feed— follow that here —comes a fact check of Greg Abbott’s claim that Travis County’s sheriff is refusing to enforce an immigrant-tied law.

In a February tweet, the Republican governor said of Sally Hernandez, the county's new Democratic sheriff: "Sheriff violates oath by refusing to enforce 8 USC 1373 & not giving ICE info about drugs cartels & armed robbers." ICE is Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that focuses on battling the illegal movement of people and trade.

Abbott didn’t offer factual elaboration on his claim nor did he come up with factual backup when the fact-checking project sought as much.

Meantime, a county official, Wes Priddy, said the sheriff’s office continues to comply with the Abbott-noted law, which has to do with easing communication about individuals and their citizenship or immigration statuses.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/crime--law/politifact-texas-abbott-falsely-says-sheriff-flouting-immigrant-law/SCYjIi28X4G3sbOXJd0L5K/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 08:54 PM (0 replies)

Texas Supreme Court hears gay marriage case

Seeking to stop government-paid benefits to same-sex spouses, opponents of gay marriage told the Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday that there is no fundamental right to insurance coverage.

Although a landmark 2015 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that same-sex couples have a right to wed, the ruling didn’t require lower courts to grant similar protection to insurance benefits for same-sex spouses, lawyer Jonathan Mitchell told the state’s highest civil court.

The opposing lawyer, however, dismissed that argument as a red herring during oral arguments Wednesday in Austin.

While the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hughes didn’t create a right to benefits, it recognized a far more important and sweeping standard — the right for same-sex marriages to be treated equally, lawyer Douglas Alexander told the state court.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/texas-supreme-court-hears-gay-marriage-case/4jcfKZ5XMziXXyE90FRZ8M/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 08:46 PM (1 replies)
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