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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

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: 76,294

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

Former Bryan reserve officer charged with indecency with a child, 58 counts of child pornography



A former Bryan reserve police officer was indicted Thursday on 58 counts of child pornography and one count of indecency with a child.

Dennis Fraley, 62, was among 34 people indicted by a Brazos County grand jury during its bi-monthly meeting to determine whether there is enough evidence to move forward with prosecution. Texas Rangers and Brazos County sheriff’s deputies took him into custody Thursday evening.

Fraley was out on $45,000 bail at the time. He had been arrested in September on three counts of possession of child pornography, which is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, after a friend noticed inappropriate photographs on Fraley’s phone while helping him install an application, according to the probable cause affidavit for the arrest.

Fraley resigned from the Bryan Police Department following his September arrest, during which he told investigators he had “arrested people like him” and that he “had been sick for a couple of years,” according to the court document.

Read more: http://www.theeagle.com/news/crime/former-bryan-reserve-officer-charged-with-indecency-with-a-child/article_2bbc8b7a-8745-11e4-8dd5-1fb60794d1a4.html

UT Forms Committee to Investigate Missing Brains

The University of Texas at Austin made international news in recent weeks over confusion about what happened to hundreds of donated human brains. Now the university is forming a special three-member committee to look into the case.

Last month, a KUT story highlighted the mystery of 100 missing brain specimens that had been donated from the Austin State Hospital, what they used to call the Texas State Lunatic Asylum.

UT started poking around and found that the brains had been disposed of a dozen years ago. They were in poor condition and of little to no value for research purposes, the university said. Now, the university is putting together a three-member Tissue Specimen Use Committee, led by R. Adron Harris, a professor of neuroscience and director of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol & Addiction Research. He is joined by Pamela Paxton, professor in the Department of Sociology and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and John Kappelman, professor of anthropology at U.T. Austin.

The committee will investigate how the decision was made to dispose of the specimens and how all of the specimens have been handled since they were donated by the Austin State Hospital in the 1980s. U.T. says the committee will also look into whether some of the brain specimens might have been sent to other institutions.

http://kut.org/post/ut-forms-committee-investigate-missing-brains

American Airlines agrees to give $81 million in higher pay raises to flight attendants

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said Thursday that American Airlines management had agreed to give its flight attendants an additional $81 million a year that members had rejected in a tentative agreement.

The new, higher pay increases will go into effect Jan. 1.

“With this action behind us, we can look forward to the year ahead and beyond as one team,” American said in a statement, “and with great momentum as we continue our integration plans.”

“Today’s announcement is the beginning of a new chapter,” the union said in a hotline message to members. “Bringing together two large workgroups with very different cultures and contracts is an enormous task but together we have done exactly that in just over one year. We now turn our attention to implementing our joint collective bargaining agreement and enforcing the hard-fought provisions it contains.”

Read more: http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/12/american-airlines-agrees-to-give-81-million-in-higher-pay-raises-to-flight-attendants.html/

Fatal South by Southwest crash brings first wave of lawsuits

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The first wave of victim lawsuits since four people died at the South by Southwest music festival accused organizers Thursday of safety lapses after a driver smashed through a barricade and into a crowd of concertgoers.

Aspiring rapper Rashad Charjuan Owens has remained jailed on capital murder charges since the March crash that authorities say happened while Owens fled police during an attempted midnight traffic stop. Hundreds of music lovers were milling outside a bustling district of clubs at the time.

The crash also left nearly two dozen people injured, and organizers of the once-obscure Austin festival have faced questions since the accident about how they have managed the event's transformation into an international extravaganza. The festival now regularly draws top artists such as Prince and Lady Gaga.

Among several wrongful deaths lawsuits was one by the family of Steven Craenmehr, a Dutch music executive who was riding a bike when struck. His widow and mother allege that SXSW organizers skimped on traffic safeguards while packing people downtown to hear more than 2,000 bands.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Fatal-South-by-Southwest-crash-brings-first-wave-5966857.php

Former Governor Bob McDonnell’s Son Arrested On DWI Charge


[font color=green]Those eyes! Isn't he charming?[/font]

I suggest probing him. Hey, I meant they should question him, mmkay?

NBC Washington reports:

Robert Ryan McDonnell, 23, was arrested at about 3:25 a.m. in the 2500 block of Sandpiper Road in Virginia Beach.

McDonnell of Glen Allen, Virginia, was charged with DWI and refusal, said the Virginia Beach Police Department.

Police said he is not currently in custody.

Robert McDonnell’s twin brother, Sean McDonnell, was arrested in October 2013 and charged with public intoxication.


Their parents, Bob and Maureen McDonnell, were convicted in September on multiple counts for accepting more than $175,000 in gifts, grifts and loans from a wealthy businessman.

McDonnell is facing possibly 10 years in prison.

Source: http://www.alan.com/2014/12/18/former-governor-bob-mcdonnells-son-arrested-on-dwi-charge/

[font color=green]Does the penitentiary system in Virginia offer a family plan?[/font]

GOP Lawmaker Unveils Nativity Scene on State’s Capitol Building Lawn Bcuz He ‘Can’t Let Satan Win'

The Great Duel of Our Times is on. The Eternal Battle Between Good and Evil has come to the fore; not in the valley of Megiddo, as we might have expected, but a bit closer to home. Specifically, Lansing, Michigan.

More specifically, on the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol building, where lawmaker Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) will stand in Christ-like defiance of the powers of darkness. He, the lone exorcist, will compel the spirit of darkness to leave by…putting up a nativity scene for Christmas.

Like many other states including Florida, Michigan has a policy of allowing religious groups to put up displays outside (or in Florid’s case, inside) the capitol building during holidays. Those displays require state approval and permitting, and have traditionally included displays representing a wide variety of religious beliefs.

Wait, no. That’s not true. It’s a nativity scene. Always has been. But the Forces of Evil from the (non-Satan-worshiping) Detroit chapter of the Temple of Satan have recently gained permission to erect their own display. A display they’re calling the “Snaketivity,” represented in the image below. And that display is apparently one more “-ivity” than was planned for the lawn of the Capitol this month.

Read more: http://aattp.org/gop-lawmaker-unveils-nativity-scene-on-states-capitol-building-lawn-because-he-cant-let-satan-win/

Don't Feel Sorry For Blake Farenthold



To many Americans who have ever heard of him, it looks like tubby freshman Blake Farenthold, an ex-Hate Talk Radio host, is on a very downward spiral career wise. Although his East Texas district-- TX-27: Corpus Christie, Victoria, Port Lavaca, Bay City-- was redrawn to make it safe Republican territory (it's now has an R+13 PVI and only gave Obama 38% in 2012 and reelected Farenthold with 63.6% in November) he barely beat out Solomon Ortiz in 2010-- 50,954 (47.85%) to 50,155 (47.10%)-- and could be vulnerable if the Democrats take the district seriously in 2016. Farenthold is generally seen as an extremist lunatic who is also an ineffective clown. His latest bout with the media involves a sexual harassment lawsuit that has stomachs turning from the Gulf to the Beltway. Court documents filed against him on Monday portray him as an alcoholic mess-- which his Texas congressional colleagues have already uncomfortably noticed-- who admitted to another employee that he had "sexual fantasies" and "wet dreams" about another staffer. She's suing him for creating a hostile work environment, sexually harassing her and then firing her after she complained to Farenthold's chief of staff, Bob Haueter, who Californians remember well-- if not fondly-- as a former bungling operative for corrupt Congressman Buck McKeon. This kind of behavior isn't even acceptable among many Texas Republicans.

But if the Democrats do get it together-- a big if-- or if Farenthold is successfully challenged in a primary, a new report , Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Former Members of Congress, from the Congressional Research Service included some news that could cheer him up if he's defeated in 2016.

These privileges include access to the floor of the chamber where they served, though senators who have not served in the House are traditionally granted House access as well. However, that access is revoked if the former member becomes a lobbyist or an “agent of foreign principal,” meaning someone who advocates on behalf of foreign governments, political parties or organizations.

If those lawmakers are visiting the floor, they can also park in House and Senate parking lots. They can still access House and Senate gyms after they leave as well, though for a fee. Congressional Research Service reports are also available to former members, though they can no longer request that the CRS conduct original research on their behalf.

Former members of Congress can also obtain a permanent identification card from the clerk of the House or the Senate sergeant-at-arms, and become members of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.


And even Farenthold, who is generally thought of as the unkempt schlubb in the ducky pajamas who registered the website BlowMe.org, could become a K-Street lobbyist. Remember, even if ex-Members can't lobby on the House floor-- at least not technically-- many do and even more do so in the House gym. Or, he could always go back to Hate Talk Radio... which thrives in Texas like nowhere else in America.

See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/12/dont-feel-sorry-for-blake-farenthold.html

[font color=green]Does anybody seriously believe that Ducky Jamas has gone to the gym in the last twenty years?[/font]

State Innovation Exchange-- New Hope For Grassroots Progressives?



A new progressive organization that aims to counter big-money conservative groups and move forward a proactive progressive agenda at state and local levels has just held its inaugural conference in Washington. There were more than 200 state legislators in attendance. The inaugural meeting of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), featured addresses by Senior Administration officials, members of Congress and prominent progressive leaders including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Howard Dean, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, activist Saru Jayaraman and former White House s Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Van Jones.

Legislators were "surprisingly upbeat," despite last month’s election results. There’s "no tension between great progressive ideas and what voters want," said Adam Green to BloombergPolitics, co-founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee and an adviser to SiX. His presentation highlighted the popularity of making college more affordable and expanding Social Security and Medicaid.

Other speakers pointed to widespread victories on ballot initiatives, including in traditionally "red" states, from minimum wage increases in Arkansas, South Dakota and Nebraska to closing (at least part ) of the gun show loophole in Washington state, to rejecting "personhood" amendments in Colorado and North Dakota. Nationwide, voters also passed ballot initiatives to impose limits on fracking, decriminalize marijuana and keep petty drug offenders out of prison.

The new group aims to provide a counterweight to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative group funded by the Koch brothers and other major corporations that gained attention as it helped Republican lawmakers pass the Stand Your Ground self-defense laws that became notorious following the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida and voter ID restrictions scathingly described by Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals as "a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention."

See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/12/state-innovation-exchange-new-hope-for.html

Texas, 6 other states have bans on atheists holding office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Some freedom-from-religion advocates are pressing Maryland and six other states to remove provisions from their state constitutions that prohibit people who don't believe in God from holding public office.

The other states are Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, according to the Openly Secular coalition, based in Columbus, Ohio. The New York Times reported on the group's campaign Dec. 6.

Such bans are unenforceable, according to a 1961 Supreme Court decision. The high court ruled unanimously in a Maryland case that states cannot have a "religious test" for public office.

The state provisions should therefore be removed, said Todd Stiefel, chairman of the Openly Secular coalition, based in Columbus, Ohio.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-12-18/texas-6-other-states-have-bans-atheists-holding-office#comment-358584

Advocates representing Texas detainees sue Obama administration over detention policy

Activists representing detainees at the immigration detention center in Karnes County are suing the Obama administration over its policy of holding asylum seekers from Central America.

The lawsuit alleges that, in response to the flood of children and families from Central America illegally crossing the Rio Grande this summer, the administration reversed its policy to release asylum seekers while their court cases proceed. Instead, hundreds have been held in detention. First in New Mexico, and now at the converted detention center in Karnes County.

This month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin moving people into what will be a 2,400-bed facility in Dilley, which is the largest in the country.

The class action lawsuit filed by lawyers at the University of Texas School of Law's Immigration Clinic and the American Civil Liberties Union was filed this week in a federal court in Washington, D.C.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Advocates-representing-Texas-detainees-sue-Obama-5966034.php
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