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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: 78,438

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

Waco City Council issues proclamation to group that organized biker meeting

Days after a biker shootout at a Texas restaurant, the same group that organized the motorcyclists’ meeting that turned violent received a proclamation from the Waco City Council designating May as “Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.”

The council issued the proclamation Tuesday, two days after nine people were killed in the shootout at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. The proclamation was to be presented to Steven Cochran on behalf of the Confederation of Clubs, which had organized the Sunday biker meeting, but Cochran decided not to attend the City Council meeting, Waco City Secretary Esmeralda Hudson said Friday.

Cochran declined an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, but posted a picture of the proclamation on his Facebook page. In his post, he said he and Sandra Lynch accepted the proclamation in absentia.

Lynch couldn’t attend because she is one of about 170 people who were arrested after Sunday’s shootout. She remains jailed on a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20150522-waco-city-council-issues-proclamation-to-group-that-organized-biker-meeting.ece

Pflugerville High School Teacher Resigns After Comparing Black Student's Gay Slur to N-Word

A high school teacher in Texas has resigned after admonishing a black student for using a gay slur by comparing it to the N-word.

Gretchen Summers, a science teacher at Pflugerville High School just north of Austin, resigned after the school placed her on leave while it investigated the incident that occurred May 11.

Senior Isaiah Thomas reportedly used a gay slur in front of Summers, who responded by saying something along the lines of, "How would you like it if somebody called you a n-----?"

KXAN-TV reports:

“She could have at least said the ‘N-word,’ or could have said, ‘how would you like someone calling you N-Word?'” said Thomas.

Thomas said it upset him when his teacher used the full word, and that is when he went to the principal. He was then asked to write a statement about what happened. ...

“She wasn’t using it against him, she just said, ‘you know, it’s not nice to call people rude names, you wouldn’t like if someone called you a derogatory term’,” said junior Christy Beaulieu. She was not a student in the class where the incident happened, but she is a student of the teacher who resigned. She heard about what happened from a friend in the class.

“I’m pretty upset about it, I don’t think she’s racist,” said Beaulieu. “I don’t think she has anything against anyone else. She’s really accepting, really a kind-hearted person.”

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2015/05/teacher-resigns-after-admonishing-student-for-anti-gay-slur-by-comparing-it-to-n-word-video.html#.VV9rF5jZGbM.twitter

Mexican official: About 40 dead in shootout in cartel area

Source: AP

MEXICO CITY (AP) — About 40 people were killed in large-scale firefight Friday between law enforcement and criminal suspects in western Mexico, a Mexican official said.

Almost all the dead were suspected criminals, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The gunbattle happened in an area between Michoacan and Jalisco states that is known as a stronghold of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, which has mounted several large-scale attacks on federal and state forces in recent weeks. A federal police official said the country's top security officials were en route to assess what happened.

While there was no immediate confirmation on the identity of the suspects, Michoacan Gov. Salvador Jara told local media "the likeliest thing is" the Jalisco cartel was involved in the shootout.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/Mexico-reports-large-scale-firefight-in-cartel-6281348.php

Higher ed billionaire critic helped bankroll American Phoenix group, wants money back

AUSTIN – A private foundation led by billionaire oilman and higher education critic Jeff Sandefer has given $200,000 in recent years to help bankroll a conservative nonprofit now at the center of a scheme to secretly film lawmakers and lobbyists, tax filings show.


AUSTIN — A billionaire oilman and higher education critic who has given $200,000 in recent years to help bankroll a conservative nonprofit at the center of a controversial scheme to secretly film Texas lawmakers and lobbyists said he was unaware of the group’s plans and would like some of his money back.


[font color=green]Note: Both articles are placed beyond paywalls.[/font]

Bryan attorney derides authorities for $1M bond set for clients arrested in Waco, 3 other clubs name

A records search by The Associated Press this week found that more than half of the 170 people arrested after Sunday's shootout in Waco have no prior convictions in Texas.

Among those arrested with clean criminal backgrounds is a former Kurten resident Dusty Alan Oehlert, 32, whose family is trying to clear up rumors after his arrest and his implication in the shootout that left nine dead and 18 others wounded in a restaurant parking lot.

"My son was never involved in any motorcycle groups," said Dusty's father, Alan Oehlert.

Oehlert wasn't with his son Sunday and hasn't spoken to him since his arrest. While he admitted that his son likely made a bad decision going to the event, Oehlert said his son hasn't ever been in trouble with the law.

Read more: http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/bryan-attorney-derides-authorities-for-m-bond-set-for-clients/article_a10c0c17-a519-5cd5-ac9f-288d54223d30.html

[font color=green]The other two clubs mentioned in the article are the Rebel Riders and the Line Riders. Sources had previously named the Bandidos, Cossacks, and Scimitars as part of the incident.

ETA: The Waco newspaper is also mentioning the Los Pirados.[/font]

Camus, the Texas Legislature, and Oberammagau’s Passion Play

By Carol Morgan

Thank God, this 84th session will be over soon. For the mathematically-challenged, you can count the days on your fingers. We’ll all breathe easier when they adjourn. No person, place or thing in Texas is safe from January to June while the Legislature is in session.

Such freedom! We can drill a fracking well in our own front yard, let a private company with ties to our Congressman steal municipal water wells in Hays County and sell it to the surrounding counties, and allow the official flag of Texas, plastic bags, to decorate our trees again. The Tea Party lawmakers will return home to their respective districts with the foolish delusion of being Odysseus making the last triumphant leg of the hero’s journey.

Unless…the Governor calls a special session. And he just might, because nothing substantial has been accomplished. Unless, of course, you believe that the freedom of deep fryers and cannabis oil trumps an educational budget and that hunting and fishing is a God-given right to be enshrined forever and ever in the Texas Constitution. If so…you must think the 84th has been just dilly.

This week has been the most absurd of weeks; so absurd, in fact, that only Albert Camus (“Shall I kill myself or have another cup of coffee?”) would approve. It’s so full of melodrama. At times, it seems as if a writer scripted all of it, but if that were so, the ending would be more satisfying. The bad guys would get punished, the hero would get the girl (or the money), and good would win out over evil.

But we’ll have none of that in the Texas Legislature.

This third week in May has been like a slow slide into fascism, with state house members allowing big government to dictate what can and cannot be deducted from state workers' paychecks. Teachers, firefighters, policemen and social workers will be forbidden from allowing their professional organizations’ dues or occupational-related PACS to be deducted via their monthly paycheck. It’s perfectly clear that this was meant to put out the fire for state employees to organize. In the law according to Joan (if we could read her mind, and sometimes that’s easy to do), state workers will do what they’re told and by God! They’ll like it.

This is Texas’ version of making political activism on the part of state workers illegal, just like the North Carolina Legislature did with educators. It’s a preventive measure for the future. Stamp out the unions—the Gilded Age redux; Texas version!

Governor Greg Abbott gleefully signed HB 40 which banned municipal fracking bans (and it seems quite absurd to put a ban on bans—doesn’t it?). To make the gesture complete, he should have ended with a Rhett Butler-like declaration to Denton: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Or maybe even, “Frack you, Denton!”

And of course, there were attempts at educational reform stacked upon educational reform; all trivial and meaningless. Pearson was “out” for the testing contract and ETS was “in”, but for a smaller amount of money. A good investigative reporter would have a fine story by cross-checking ETS’ political contributions to lawmakers—but don’t count on any indictments. Look what has NOT happened to the King of the Kingmakers, Empower Texans. They like to believe they run the Legislature and they kind of do run the Legislature. I’ve learned that the term “education reform” is nothing more than code-speak for some legislator’s buddy making big bucks off the backs of Texas schoolchildren.

The Lege can make tax cuts and do away with business taxes, but STILL no education bill that addresses Judge Dietz’ ruling that Texas school funding is unconstitutional. If I were Judge Dietz, I would fine each and every Senator and House Rep $100,000 dollars per day out of their personal bank accounts (and no drinking in the statehouse either) until they came up with a viable education budget.

They can do it. If they can revoke the liquor license of Twin Peaks in Waco in less than 24 hours, they can come up with an education budget and fix the court ruling. What’s more important? Breastaurants and motorcycle melees or education?

Truth is, I'd like to file a class action lawsuit against all the low information voters in Texas who opened the door to these clowns, but a new bill in Congress, HB 1927, cuts the cord to our court’s protections. It makes it even easier for Corporate America to fool us and rule us with no hassle to them. And besides, the Texas Senate is doing away with Texans Right To Petition. We have no recourse, no safety net. They have us by the proverbial balls, with no way to escape…unless you want to lose your manhood. Unfortunately, that’s already happened. See? You didn't even notice you've been eunuchized.

It’s not sufficiently descriptive to portray the Texas Legislature as mere political theater. It’s more grandiose and decadent, like Oberammagau’s Passion Play. It was a deal made with God to get rid of a plague and it’s continued for almost four hundred years, until it became so bureaucratic, encompassing and expensive, devouring the lion’s share of time and money of the Bavarian village, that the decision was made to hold it only once every 10 years.

I’d be ok with the Texas Legislature only meeting once in 10 years, wouldn’t you?


Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, a freelance writer, and former Democratic candidate for the Texas House. She is the award-winning author of two books: Of Tapestry, Time and Tears and Liberal in Lubbock. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org


Permission granted to publish Carol's blog in its entirety.

Gay rodeo tests tolerance in Arkansas, hotbed of rights fight

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - On a clear Arkansas spring afternoon after a day of horse riding, Wade Earp sighed and said, "I wish we didn't have to have a gay rodeo. I wish we could just rodeo."

Earp was a contestant at the International Gay Rodeo event held last month in Arkansas, a Bible Belt state on the front lines of the fight over gay rights and one of the 13 U.S. states where same-sex marriage is not recognized.

"Everybody deserves equal treatment. Everybody deserves equal rights," said Earp, 45, a native of Benton, Arkansas, where he was raised in a fundamentalist Christian denomination, and a competitor in barrel racing, calf roping and steer riding.

The sixteenth Diamond State Rodeo held in Little Rock drew 75 contestants, far outnumbering spectators, from a dozen states and Canada, all hoping to qualify for the International Gay Rodeo 2016 finals in Las Vegas.

Read more: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/gay-rodeo-tests-tolerance-arkansas-hotbed-rights-fight-131020365.html

Biker arrested following Waco shootout posts $1M bond, is released from jail

One of the 177 bikers arrested following a deadly shooting outside of a Waco restaurant is free after posting a $1 million bond.

Nine people were killed and another 18 were injured after an altercation led to a shootout outside of the Twin Peaks restaurant on Waco's south side Sunday afternoon.

Afterward, the 177 bikers not killed or injured in the melee were arrested. Hundreds of weapons, motorcycles and other vehicles were seized by police and either impounded or taken into evidence.

Read the full story on NBCDFW.com


[font color=green]I wonder how much meth had to be sold to be able to post a $1 million bond?[/font]

Flavor Flav arrested in Vegas, suspected of impaired driving

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Flavor Flav was arrested in Las Vegas early Thursday on allegations of driving under the influence, speeding, possessing less than an ounce of marijuana and having an open container of alcohol in the 2005 black BMW he was driving, authorities said.

Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Loy Hixson said the 56-year-old entertainer was pulled over as he entered Interstate 15 southwest of McCarran International Airport around 12:30 a.m. for going 73 mph (117 kph) in a 45 mph (72 kph) zone.

Flavor Flav also had a suspended driver's license and registration, Hixson said. He was arrested on six charges, all misdemeanors. Online jail records indicated that he posted bail.

Flavor Flav's legal name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr.

Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/crime/article/Flavor-Flav-arrested-in-Vegas-suspected-of-6279254.php

Senate Moves to Reform Driver Responsibility Program

The Texas Senate on Thursday approved a proposal that would weaken the state’s Driver Responsibility Program, which critics say has unfairly penalized poor Texans.

The program requires drivers convicted of certain traffic offenses to pay annual surcharges, on top of court fines and criminal penalties, to maintain their drivers' licenses. More than 1.2 million Texans currently have their driver's licenses suspended under the program, which was created in 2003 to address a budget shortfall. Some lawmakers have defended the program because it sends millions of dollars each year to hospitals and trauma centers.

Under Senate Bill 93, the surcharges would continue but drivers would no longer have their licenses suspended for failing to pay.

“It’s time to give hardworking Texas families relief from this broken double jeopardy program that is doing more harm than good,” said state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, the bill’s author, in a statement.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/05/21/senate-moves-reform-driver-responsibility-program/
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