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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: 76,325

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

Congressman Louis Gohmert Really Has No Clue How Gmail Works

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act was first passed in 1986, when the thought of storing an electronic message online for any length of time must have seemed absurd. So Congress, in its foresight, gave law enforcement incredibly easy access to emails older than 180 days old. No search warrant is needed, nor is the consent of the user. All that's required for police to pore over one's saved or forgotten messages is an easily obtained subpoena.

That's become a real concern of late as the government has seized upon this as an investigative tool as cloud-based Internet services like Gmail have become ubiquitous. Congress is finally looking at closing the loophole. The House Judiciary Committee had a hearing on the matter Tuesday.

Representative Louis Gohmert was there, and the perennially batty, occasionally entertaining Tyler Republican voiced additional concerns about government access to email. Here's how Reuters described it:

Republican Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas questioned Google's access to customer email as the company places ads based on words that appear within messages. Google has said its automated scanners identify key words but do not disclose actual information about the user or message content to advertisers.

Gohmert wondered whether the federal government could request information on users whose emails or searches contain particular words. Google's Salgado rejected such possibility.


It only gets more humorous from there: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/03/louis_gohmert_really_doesnt_un.php

Texas Senate passes $195.5B two-year budget plan

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A new state budget plan has cleared the first major vote in the Texas Legislature with passage of a $195.5 billion two-year spending bill in the Senate.

The budget approved Wednesday by the full chamber reflects a 7.7 percent increase in general revenue spending over the current budget that lawmakers cut to the bone in 2011. Following three hours of discussion on the Senate floor, the bill passed 29-2.

Republican leaders in the Senate lauded the 2014-15 budget proposal as making the best of sunnier economic fortunes than two years ago. Public schools gutted of $5.4 billion two years ago would win back about one-fourth of those historic cuts under the Senate bill.

Republican say the bill also leaves room for tax relief.

Source: http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Texas-Senate-passes-195-5B-two-year-budget-plan-4368981.php

[font color=green]The bill will be heard next in the House.[/font]


Judge won't let Fort Hood suspect plead guilty

Source: AP

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A military judge says an Army psychiatrist cannot plead guilty to any charges in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Maj. Nidal Hasan wanted to plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder. But Army rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea to charges carrying the death penalty.

Hasan's attorneys still had asked the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to let Hasan plead guilty to lesser charges of unpremeditated murder. He still would have gone to trial in May and faced a possible death sentence if the judge had allowed the plea.

But Osborn said Wednesday that Hasan will not be allowed to plead guilty even to the lesser charges.

Read more: http://www.bigstory.ap.org/article/judge-wont-let-fort-hood-suspect-plead-guilty

Houston strip club raid results in 15 arrests; kitchen closed

An undercover raid on a Galleria-area strip club yielded 15 arrests early Wednesday for prostitution and drug charges and the seizure of several weapons, Houston police said.

As part of a months-long probe, vice officers entered Club Fetish at 3101 Fountainview at Richmond Avenue about 2:45 a.m. and recovered three guns, along with marijuana and a substance that appeared to be cocaine, said Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon. No one claimed ownership of the guns, which were found on the floor of the club.

<<<snip>>>

Officers also cited the club for serving food and alcohol without the required licenses, and for operating a sexually oriented business without an SOB permit, Cannon said.

<<<snip>>>

The club also tweeted, "FETISH OPEN TONIGHT BUT THAT KITCHEN ......... CLOSED TIL FURTHER NOTICE LOL ! They caught a dirty grill that couldn't be clean while cooking!"

The complete story at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Strip-club-raid-results-in-15-arrests-4371053.php .

Contractor charged with obtaining $2M from stimulus funds by fraud

On the heels of a report that the Department of Veterans Affairs wasted $2.2 billion in taxpayer money last year, a Navy veteran appeared Wednesday in federal court in San Antonio on charges that he lied about his firm's qualifications to the VA to get $2 million in contracts for work at one of its hospitals.

Jonathan Patrick Saunders was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 6 with six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Saunders, of Colorado, is president and co-owner of Saunders MEP Inc., which has been awarded a few government contracts around the country, including one for building construction projects at the VA Hospital in Kerrville, which is at the center of the indictment.

The indictment alleges that when he applied in March 2008 for the Kerrville contract, he claimed that his firm qualified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, that certain people with engineering or architectural qualifications worked for the company and that the firm had done work on a previous project. In reality, the indictment said, none of that was true, and he faces the aggravated ID charges because he used certain people's names without permission.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Contractor-charged-with-obtaining-2M-from-4371290.php .

Victoria County judge leaves Democratic Party

Labels such as Republican or Democrat may not have much importance on the local level, but to the county's highest ranking elected official, it's a personal matter.

Victoria County Judge Don Pozzi, who has been elected to three terms as a Democrat, announced at the Republican Women's Meeting that he is now a member of the Grand Old Party.

Area party leaders and friends echoed support for Pozzi on Tuesday evening, and federal and state officials passed along messages of encouragement.

"While party affiliation does not have as great an impact at the local level on public policy, it is, nonetheless, the manner in which we elect our local county leaders," Pozzi said in a prepared statement.

More at http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2013/mar/19/mc_gop_pozzi_032013_204738/ .

[font color=green]It's time to make it a personal matter and get a new judge in Victoria county![/font]

Texas education commissioner visits Premont ISD as he weighs closure decision

PREMONT — The state’s education commissioner on Wednesday visited Premont for the first time as he continues to weigh whether to close the district.

Commissioner Michael Williams declined to allow reporters to accompany him on his tour of the district and his meeting with Superintendent Ernest Singleton, who has spent his short tenure working to reverse years of deep-rooted academic and financial problems.

It’s not known when Williams, who took the job in September, will make his decision, but officials expect it to come soon because of pending deadlines. If Williams were to shut down Premont ISD, the district would have until July 1 to annex with another district.

The state in summer 2011 announced plans to close the long-troubled school district, which for years had widespread problems with academics, finances, attendance and parental support. The announcement, which came one month after Singleton took office as interim superintendent, roused the district from its state of apathy, and the town began to rally to keep the district open.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/mar/20/texas-education-commissioner-visits-premont-isd-he/ .

Other threads about the Premont ISD are in the Texas Group.

Scooter Store says workers now terminated

The Scooter Store has notified furloughed employees they are being terminated.

In an email to workers Tuesday night, CEO Martin “Marty” Landon told staff they are being “permanently laid off” effective March 31.

<<<snip>>>

Larry Young, who is acting as The Scooter Store's chief restructuring officer, said in a statement that the company has three priorities. They are: operating the business and serving customer needs; partnering with its lenders to “create a path forward;” and “creating a sustainable business model for this dynamic healthcare sector.”

<<<snip>>>

Landon said in his email that the company has reached a formal agreement with its lenders to “fund core operations while the company develops a viable business model for the healthcare sector.”

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Scooter-Store-says-workers-now-terminated-4369866.php

[font color=green]Hallelujah praise the lawd! The executives finally learned that fraud is not a viable business model.[/font]

Dallas mom gets 16 years for daughter's diabetes-related death

A Dallas woman has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the neglect-related death of her diabetic 9-year-old daughter.

A judge in Dallas on Monday sentenced 31-year-old Georgia Jones. Jones pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child in the May 2008 death of Chastity Butler. The death was ruled natural due to diabetic complications.

The Dallas Morning News reports the girl died on her mother's bed next to a bag of candy and a half-eaten cupcake. The family was celebrating a relative's birthday at the time of the death.

Investigators say Chastity's diabetes was not properly monitored and that caused the girl to be constantly sick. Police say the mother did not show up for a diabetes-care class after her daughter was diagnosed.

Source: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Dallas-mom-gets-16-years-for-daughter-s-4366874.php

BlackBerry Inventor Starts Fund to Make Star Trek Device Reality

Mike Lazaridis, inventor of the BlackBerry smartphone, is starting a C$100 million ($97 million) quantum technology fund that’s aiming to turn devices like the medical tricorder from “Star Trek” into reality.

The fund, called Quantum Valley Investments, is being financed exclusively by Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, an old friend and co-founder of Research In Motion Ltd. (BB), the company behind the BlackBerry. The goal is to commercialize technologies from a cluster of research labs that have been bankrolled by Lazaridis. At least one startup has signed up with the fund and the first products may emerge in the next two to three years, he said.

“What we’re excited about is these little gems coming out,” Lazaridis said in an interview in Toronto. “The medical tricorder would be astounding, the whole idea of blood tests, MRIs -- imagine if you could do that with a single device. That may be possible and possible only because of the sensitivity, selectivity and resolution we can get from quantum sensors made with these quantum breakthroughs.”

Lazaridis, who stepped down as RIM’s co-chief executive officer 14 months ago, is putting his time and fortune into quantum computing and nanotechnology -- sometimes referred to as the “science of the small” -- which uses atomic-sized technology in fields ranging from medicine to cryptography.

More at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-19/blackberry-inventor-starts-fund-to-make-star-trek-device-reality.html .
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