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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: 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

Time runs out on Texas bill to decriminalize marijuana

Time ran out in the Texas House late Thursday on a proposed law that would have reduced the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana in the state to below that of most traffic tickets.

A midnight deadline passed without the full House taking up House Bill 81 for initial consideration, meaning it and other House-originated bills remaining on its calendar are now dead as stand-alone legislation.

Both lead sponsors of HB 81 – state Reps. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, and Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs – warned earlier this week that they thought it unlikely the House would get to it by the midnight deadline because of a jam-packed House schedule. They said they planned to look for ways in the final two weeks of the legislative session to resurrect it, such as by tacking it on as an amendment to another bill.

A debate and vote by the full House over the measures in HB 81, which called for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana to be a civil, not criminal, offense, would be momentous for advocates of lifting marijuana prohibitions in the state.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/business/time-runs-out-texas-bill-decriminalize-marijuana/jd6OxxMmKTWknu1djk7qQP/

This Austin school made an epic lip dub video to a Killers song and the band noticed

Thinking lip dub videos are so 2000-and-late? Wrong.

Austin’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy, a magnet school at Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Austin ISD, made a lip dub video to The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done.”

And sure, maybe lip dub videos stopped being “a thing” back in 2011, but that doesn’t change the fact that the video is pretty amazing. Clearly, a lot of preparation and rehearsal went into it, and it turned out pretty cool:


The video is somewhat of a tradition for the school. According to Vanessa Mokry, the audio video production teacher at LASA, said this is the third lip dub video they’ve done, and while they’ve never thought of it as a “tradition,” it’s becoming one.

It all started in 2013, when Mokry said a student showed her a video done by another school. So the students in her Advanced AV Production class decided to plan, direct and shoot a lip dub video to “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/entertainment/music/this-austin-school-made-epic-lip-dub-video-killers-song-and-the-band-noticed/QwmeuusYA7VjC2hXoBUhQL/

Update on "Texas Man Strikes Again!" thread

Earlier thread: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029046605


[font size=5]The man is from Connecticut![/font]

Man Arrested Following Anti-Muslim Tirade at Texas Beach

A Connecticut man is facing public intoxication charges after a disturbance on a Texas beach caught on camera. Video shows the 35-year-old self-proclaimed Trump supporter confronting a Muslim family.


Conservative House members kill more than 100 bills over "petty personal politics"

The deep fractures in the Texas House GOP were on full display Thursday evening as lawmakers faced down a midnight deadline to pass bills out of the chamber.

The night began with a group of Tea Party-aligned lawmakers announcing plans to use a procedural maneuver to kill more than 100 bills in retribution for what they called the “petty personal politics” of the Republican-controlled chamber. It ended with barely restrained chaos, as conservatives tried tactic after tactic to derail legislation.

About 30 minutes before the midnight deadline, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland took to the back microphone to denounce the House leadership’s use of rules to muzzle dissent.

“It’s disgusting! It’s disgusting!” he shouted.

The Bedford Republican's efforts to influence the House agenda at various points prompted him to charge toward the dais shouting after the microphone at his podium was turned off. In another moment, the chamber erupted in laughter at his request — just a few minutes before midnight — to make a personal privilege speech, a usually somber occasion that draws silence from fellow members.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/11/conservative-house-members-kill-more-100-bills-over-petty-personal-pol/

HHSC Inspector General forced to resign over work for Iraq lobbyist

Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Stuart Bowen was forced to resign Wednesday night after Gov. Greg Abbott discovered that Bowen was moonlighting for a private company to provide consulting services to the government of Iraq, state officials said Thursday morning.

“This was a serious and unacceptable lapse in judgment by Mr. Bowen,” said Abbott spokesman John Wittman. “The day the governor was made aware, he took immediate action and asked Mr. Bowen to resign. The governor is confident the next Inspector General will continue the good work the office has been doing.”

Bowen, a lawyer, served as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction from October 2004 to October 2013.

According to an unsigned contract provided to the Statesman by the Health and Human Services Commission, Bowen was to provide “strategic advice” to Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck regarding its work with the government of Iraq. According to the agreement, Bowen was to be paid $300 an hour for his work. He was also to receive a 15 percent “origination fee” on any money received by the company for government of Iraq work.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/hhsc-inspector-general-forced-resign-over-work-for-iraq-lobbyist/wQp3rNstJH0xAUhLMVMLBL/

Freestanding ERs Challenge Regulation, Accusations Of Price Gouging

Legislation making its way through the Texas Legislature could impose new regulations on freestanding emergency rooms in the state.

These ERs, which are not located inside hospitals, are often confused with urgent care centers. The latter are meant to provide care to people who don’t appear to have life-threatening medical issues, while freestanding ERs are meant to care for patients who would normally show up at an ER in a hospital (though not trauma cases).

Consumer advocates say freestanding ERs are expensive and care is often not covered by insurance plans. They’re backing legislation that would require these ERs to be more transparent about patient costs and insurance coverage. They also support legislation that would expand mediation requirements to the ERs.

Representatives for freestanding ERs say they are improving access to emergency care. At a press conference at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, a group of doctors went up against health insurance companies.

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/freestanding-ers-challenge-regulation-accusations-of-price-gouging/#

House And Senate Cant Agree On Much As Legislative Session Comes Down To The Wire

With the legislative session set to end on May 29, time is running out to pass a state budget, and resolve the avalanche of other bills that are still moving between chambers of the Legislature. And then there are the governor’s priority items, some of which are still stuck, because lawmakers can’t agree how to pay for them.

Mike Ward, Austin bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, says the sheer number of bills moving between chambers of the Legislature at this late date in the session is extraordinary.

“The Senate, since May 1st, has been given more than 600 House bills. And they’ve received 500 House bills in the past five days, which is a huge amount compared to previous sessions,” Ward says.

Ward says that compressing a large number of bills into a short timeframe means that many won’t pass, because various legislative deadlines occur before the bills can be acted on.

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/house-and-senate-cant-agree-on-much-as-legislative-session-comes-down-to-the-wire/

DOJ: Texas Men Lured Victims On Grindr, Brutally Assaulted Them

Four Texas men are accused of posing as a gay man to lure victims via a popular gay dating app and then assault them, according to a federal grand jury indictment.

Anthony Shelton, 19, Nigel Garrett, 21, Chancler Encalade, 20, and Cameron Ajiduah, 18, face charges including hate crimes and could face a sentence of life in prison if found guilty in the attacks carried out in Dallas suburbs, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The group allegedly used the Grindr app and pretended to be a lone gay man, who arranged to meet at the victims’ homes. But four men showed up at victims’ homes and assaulted them, restrained them with tape, and made derogatory comments about their sexuality, court documents said. The accused were armed during each home invasion and stole property including a car, according to court documents.

There were four home invasions between January 17 and February 7, 2017, in Plano, Frisco and Aubrey, all suburbs of Dallas.

The defendants have been charged with 18 federal counts, including conspiracy, kidnapping, carjacking and possession of a firearm. The hate crime distinction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.


West Virginia Cop Fired After Not Shooting Suicidal Man Sues City

WEIRTON -- There isn't a day that goes by that former police officer Stephen Mader doesn't play back the killing of Ronald J. Williams in his head.

He can still hear Williams pleading for Mader to kill him, to end his life with a bullet. He can still see the pain in his face, his sunken body language and the empty gun dangling at his side.

But for all the replaying of that day last year, when Williams finally got his wish to die by cop, it's what Mader didn't do that has caused the most second-guessing.

"I loved being a police officer. And for them to say because of this incident you're not going to continue here was heartbreaking," said Mader, who was fired from the Weirton, West Virginia police department last June. "It had me questioning myself, should I be an officer."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/west-virginia-cop-fired-after-not-shooting-suicidal-man-sues-n756976

OU announces new $43 million engineering facility

NORMAN — A $1 million gift from Phillips 66 will support construction of a new academic building and research laboratory on the University of Oklahoma’s Engineering Quadrangle, President David Boren announced Thursday during a meeting of the OU Board of Regents.

The $43 million Gallogly Hall, set to open in fall 2019, will house the College of Engineering’s Diversity and Inclusion Program offices, the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, and new engineering labs and learning spaces.

Boren recommended the regents name the Diversity and Inclusion Learning Space to honor Phillips 66 in appreciation of the gift.

The College of Engineering’s diversity and inclusion program is designed to cultivate diversity of thought in a welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff, as well as boost the recruitment, retention and graduation of a diverse workforce.

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