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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 85,724

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

Bill allowing students to carry guns in car trunks headed to governor’s desk

Both chambers have adopted final versions of a bill that would allow students with concealed handgun licenses to transport and store their pistols on campus in their vehicle’s trunk.

The Senate approved the conference committee report of Senate Bill 1907 by a vote of 29-3, and the House 135-8.

The bill, authored by Katy Republican Sen. Glenn Hegar was rushed through the legislative process last month after a broader proposal to allow students with CHL’s to tote pistols in classrooms was declared dead.

The bill will become law if signed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Source: http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2013/05/bill-allowing-students-to-carry-guns-in-car-trunks-headed-to-governors-desk/?cmpid=hpfsln

[font color=green]Because nothing stops a bad guy with a gun better than a good guy running through a melee of bullets to unlock the trunk of his car to get his gun, load it and guessing who to shoot.[/font]

62 in House push Perry on abortion

Saying they were “not willing to give up the fight,” 62 Texas House Republicans have asked Gov. Rick Perry to push for four abortion-related bills if he calls the Legislature into special session.


• A ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation based on medical studies, which are disputed by abortion advocates, indicating that a fetus can begin feeling pain at 20 weeks. Only 1.3 percent of abortions are performed after the proposed deadline.

• A requirement that abortion facilities be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers. Opponents said the bill was a poorly disguised attempt to close clinics, most of which offer only drug-induced abortions, by requiring them to make expensive upgrades. Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, countered that his bill was intended to better protect women’s health.

• A rule requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of an abortion facility.

• A ban ensuring that a health insurance exchange, an Affordable Care Act program to match people with private insurance, does not include abortion coverage.

The complete story at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/62-in-house-push-perry-on-abortion/nX39s/ .

Eagle Shale's county roads likely won't see repair money

AUSTIN - While $450 million in the state's proposed budget is slated to go to Eagle Ford Shale roads, likely none of that money will pay to repair the region's battered county roads that are used to keep the oil-and-gas boom alive.

The money from Texas' general revenue fund instead will go to the Texas Department of Transportation, which has said it needs between $400 million and $500 million to fix farm-to-market roads and state highways in the 23-county region.

"I have not been able to skin that cat," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams said this week while laying out House Bill 1025 in the Senate.

"We have 254 counties in our state, and it's not been our state policy to rebuild county roads with state dollars. I can't tell you that we were able to resolve that; I regret that we couldn't," Williams, R-The Woodlands, said.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Eagle-Shale-s-county-roads-likely-won-t-see-4547629.php?cmpid=houtexhcat .

Morton’s salt mine continues to produce

GRAND SALINE — The Morton’s salt mine here is a large-scale operation, generating 450,000 pounds of salt for a wide assortment of products each year.

Aside from the 207 employees working at the five-day-a-week plant, the inner workings of the mine are rarely seen by the public.

Ed Fasulo, plant operations manager for the Grand Saline location, said the company quit doing tours of the facility in the 1960s for insurance liability reasons.

“It’s on many people’s bucket lists believe it or not — in this area in particular,” Fasulo said. “There are generations of employees who have worked here, and their families still talk about the nice chance they had to go underground and see the salt mines.”

More at http://www.tylerpaper.com/article/20130526/NEWS01/130529827 .

The Trans Community

By Jeff Ross, Assoc. Prof. of Psychology (focusing on lifespan development and human sexuality), South Plains College

Most of the debate, regarding the civil rights of the LGBT community has focused on the lesbian and gay population, while neglecting the bi-sexual and transgender population. I think that this comes from a tendency for many to see things like sexual orientation and gender identification in black and white, all or nothing terms.

As pretty much anything having to do with humans, this view excludes a large portion of the reality of sexual orientation and gender identification.

The traditional view of sexual orientation has been, “you’re either AC or DC” and the traditional view of sex/gender was “it’s a boy or a girl, and should behave as such”. In the past, and still, violations of those perceptions have been met with rejection and intolerance, even by a number of the LG community.

The reality is that chromosomal sex (CS), gender identity (GI), and sexual orientation (SO) are all aspects of the great diversity of human (and other animal) sexuality.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-05-25/trans-community

Fort Worth police say ‘Colonel Mike’ created an elaborate ruse about a military career

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, left his own heartfelt message for McDowell and his fiancee at the time, Christy.

“My staff and I are praying for you and Christy and your mother as you go through this time of sorrow and grief over the loss of your father,” Petraeus wrote. “General McDowell was a great man and leader, and I am confident that you will accomplish even more than he did in his lifetime.


McDowell, 57, has never been in the military. Neither had his father — actually an Irving evangelist who died in 1985 while leading a revival in California.

The comments from top military officers were fake; investigators believe they were written by McDowell to go along with the phony obituary that he’d created for his father.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/25/4884594/fort-worth-police-say-colonel.html#storylink=cpy

[font color=green]Impersonating a public servant, tampering with government documents, impersonating a military officer, acquiring special access, persuading DPS employees to issue him valid driver’s licenses without his picture or fingerprints, obtaining Purple Heart recipient license plates and bigamy.

The future doesn't look rosy for 'Colonel Mike'.[/font]

Perry vetoes bill requiring some ‘political’ nonprofits to disclose donors

Decrying its potentially “chilling effect,” Gov. Rick Perry on Saturday vetoed controversial legislation requiring some nonprofits engaged in campaign advocacy to disclose the names of their donors.

“Freedom of association and freedom of speech are two of our most important rights enshrined in the Constitution. My fear is that SB 346 would have a chilling effect on both of those rights in our democratic political process,” Perry said in announcing his veto, the first of the 83rd session.

“While regulation is necessary … no regulation is tolerable that puts anyone’s participation at risk or that can be used by any government, organization or individual to intimidate those who choose to participate in our process through financial means,” Perry said. “At a time when our federal government is assaulting the rights of Americans by using the tools of government to squelch dissent it is unconscionable to expose more Texans to the risk of such harassment, regardless of political, organizational or party affiliation.”

The bill was widely seen as an effort by Republican legislative leaders to stifle, or at any rate complicate life for, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his organization, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, whose voting scorecard has served as a template for conservative candidates seeking to take out Republican incumbents seen as less ideologically pure on budget and social issues.

More at http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/perry-vetoes-bill-requiring-some-political-non-pro/nX3sD/?icmp=statesman_internallink_invitationbox_apr2013_statesmanstubtomystatesman_launch .

A Drag Queen Says a Dallas Dress Shop Discriminated, Refusing to Let Him Try on a Gown

Terry Costa owner Tina Loyd would like it on the record that she fully supports cross dressers. Her North Dallas dress shop happily supplies the gowns for any number of men competing in local drag shows and employs a pageant consultant who often attends the events in support of customers.

That said, she's still not letting men use the store's dressing rooms.

Loyd implemented the ban several years ago after noticing a sharp spike in theft as her male client base increased. "Our most expensive gowns were disappearing almost as soon as they arrived," she recently wrote in a letter to a customer explaining the policy.

She continues:

We found sensors on the floor, tickets hidden under chairs, inexpensive gowns that were not our own hung in our garment bags--mocking our anti-theft efforts. As our efforts increased this client base became physically aggressive and verbally abusive, essentially (and oftentimes literally) pushing over my consultants and causing scene after scene in the store. After one particularly abusive gentleman left the store we noticed one of his selections was missing. My Pageant Consultant (who attended many of the local cross-dressing Pageants in support of friends and clients) decided to attend such a pageant the following weekend. There he was, competing in the very dress he stole from us, a dress that had not been widely distributed or available for order. He didn't even bother to take the pins out we used to fit the dress since it was too big.

We repeatedly asked the Dallas Police Department for help to no avail. I researched security cameras, etc. but there was no affordable option. Our landlord finally stepped in when they realized the extent of the problem: We had lost over $50,000 worth of gowns.

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/05/drag_queen_terry_costa.php .

Why is Texans for Lawsuit Reform Negotiating Public Education Legislation?

With only days to go in the 83rd regular session, the Legislature still needs to come to an agreement on the budget and pass an education bill. Negotiations on HB 5, the bill that sets curriculum and requirements for high school graduation, among other things, continued late last night.

Today, the Texas Tribune reported that the lawmakers working on the bill were joined by some very special, very sleazy guests: Texans for Lawsuit Reform!

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio; Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston; and Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, were among the elected officials present for the negotiations. The meeting also included staff from Gov. Rick Perry's office, and Texans for Education Reform lobbyists Mike Toomey, Dick Trabulsi and Florence Shapiro, a former senator who preceded Patrick in leading the upper chamber's education committee.

Texans for Education Reform is a group of folks from Texans for Lawsuit Reform who have decided to focus their efforts this session on promoting charter schools and school "choice."

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/13572/why-is-texans-for-lawsuit-reform-negotiating-public-education-legislation .

[font color=green]Education is a commodity for Republicans.

Knowledge equals profit. (Ferengi Commerce Authority Rule of Acquisition #74)[/font]

Jury convicts former Cameron County DA on 7 out of 9 charges of corruption

A federal jury late Friday found former Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos guilty of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and five counts of extortion, while acquitting him of two other counts of extortion.

The jury convicted on one extortion count concerning $200,000 that ex-partner Eddie Lucio received from a murder case, and another count involving paying former state District Judge Abel C. Limas $9,600 to $9,700 to squelch the inquiry into a murder case and five other extortion counts.

He was found not guilty of extortion on a count that alleged he received $5,000 in a series of payments for cases and another count that alleged he extorted attorney Oscar de la Fuente Jr. on seven cases.

Nearly five hours into deliberations in Day 11 of Villalobos’ trial, the jury sent a note to presiding U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen: “Two jurors will not open their minds to the other side.” The jury also advised that jurors were getting angry.

More at http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_5c228f2c-c4ea-11e2-a12c-0019bb30f31a.html .
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