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Profile Information

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: 78,328

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

Starbucks says it’s sorry a barista put a Satanic symbol in teacher’s coffee

The devil is supposed to be in the details. He just might be in the coffee, too.

The viral world is all abuzz about a Louisiana schoolteacher who discovered what may be at least one Satanic symbol drawn in her coffee foam by a Starbucks barista in Baton Rouge.

The teacher, Megan Pinion, did what one does these days: Complained on Facebook. Starbucks’ Facebook page. On Sunday.

“I am in no way judging his beliefs or dis-meriting his beautiful artwork, I am however judging his lack of professionalism and respect for others. I am a teacher in the public school system and if I were to present a child of atheist or pagan believers with a Christian art project I could be sued in a heartbeat. I am of Catholic faith and would love to share in my beliefs daily. Fortunately I have enough common sense to present myself with professionalism and follow an ethics code. Perhaps that could be suggested to that particular location,” she wrote.

More at http://blog.mysanantonio.com/hottopics/2014/04/starbucks-says-its-sorry-a-barista-put-a-satanic-symbol-in-teachers-coffee/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 12:20 PM (1 replies)

Progreso mayor pleads guilty to bribery

McALLEN — The mayor of the border town of Progreso pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and bribery charges Wednesday and is free on bond pending his sentencing hearing.

Federal agents arrested Mayor Omar Vela, Progreso ISD school board President Michael “Mikey” Vela and their father Jose Guadalupe Vela in late August on a federal indictment with 10 counts of bribery and conspiracy in a “pay to play” scheme that included cash bribes, liquor bottles and trips with mistresses that were paid by those looking to do business with the school district and the city, court records show.

In the plea agreement that Vela signed Wednesday in Houston, he admitted to receiving approximately $300,000 from Bustos and an unidentified school board attorney in order for the two to get contracts from the city and the school board.

On Jan. 15, federal agents arrested Jesus Bustos, the owner of IDEA Group LLC, an architectural firm in McAllen, on bribery charges accusing him of paying the Velas in order to secure various contracts, court records show.

More at http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/progreso-mayor-pleads-guilty-to-bribery/article_a46717f6-baaa-11e3-a83b-001a4bcf6878.html .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 02:35 AM (0 replies)

Texas home insurers' profits rise, as do their premiums

AUSTIN — Texas home insurance companies saw big gains in their profits in 2013, new financial figures compiled by the state show, even as regulators consider whether to challenge hefty rate increases of Texas’ biggest insurers for this year.

Premium and loss numbers for 2013, released Wednesday, showed that State Farm, Allstate and Farmers significantly improved their bottom lines over 2012. That was also considered a profitable year.

The state consumer advocate argues that premium increases imposed by the three insurers this year are unreasonable. She has urged the insurance commissioner to reject them.

Overall, insurers paid out an average 44.8 percent of their premiums to cover property losses. That was a sizable improvement from the previous year, when companies had to use 54.5 percent of premiums to pay for losses.

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20140402-texas-home-insurers-profits-rise-as-do-their-premiums.ece .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 02:21 AM (1 replies)

Energy Future Holdings Bankruptcy Plan Said to Almost Wipe Out Owners KKR, TPG, Goldman Sachs

KKR & Co., TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, the firms that acquired Energy Future Holdings Corp. in the biggest-ever leveraged buyout, would be all but wiped out in a reorganization plan being discussed, said three people with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

The firms may accept as little as 1 percent of the equity in the company after it completes a Chapter 11 restructuring, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The pre-bankruptcy plan is being negotiated by the private-equity owners, the company’s management and holders of the power producer’s $45.6 billion of debt.

Energy Future is hashing out a proposal that would reduce the amount of time it takes to restructure in Chapter 11, limit the chaos of a free-for-all filing and allow the company to avoid a tax bill that could exceed $7 billion. Fidelity Investments, which is a key debtholder throughout the Dallas-based company’s capital structure and had been a holdout on the bankruptcy road map, moved closer last week to an accord.

Adam McGill, a spokesman for Energy Future, declined to comment, as did Tom Johnson, a spokesman for the private-equity sponsors at Abernathy MacGregor Group.

More at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-01/energy-future-plan-said-to-almost-wipe-out-owners-kkr-to-goldman.html .

[font color=green]It would be ironic if Ted Cruz's wife was terminated from Goldman-Sucks and he lost his platinum health insurance plan--especially since the enrollment period for the ACA has closed. Let them see what it is like to have to pay COBRA rates for that great health insurance coverage![/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 01:58 AM (4 replies)

Albuquerque mayor asks Justice Department to help with police

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Days after violent protests led officers to launch tear gas at hundreds of unruly demonstrators, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry on Wednesday requested the Justice Department to step in and help the city overhaul its troubled police force.

The Republican mayor asked the DOJ in a letter “to expedite and complete” its current review of Albuquerque police and work with the city to develop a new monitoring proposal.

He said “such a plan will help bring about any necessary system improvements and accountability measures.”

Berry defended recent reforms, including a requirement that all officers wear lapel cameras, strict new hiring guidelines and mandatory reviews for all officer shootings. But he called the fatal police shooting of 38-year-old James Boyd in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains “a game changer.”

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20140402-albuquerque-mayor-asks-justice-department-to-help-with-police.ece .

There are several other threads in the New Mexico Group related to the shooting of Boyd, Occupy Albuquerque and the protest on this past Sunday.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 12:03 AM (3 replies)

A Handy Guide To Christian Outrage


By the looks of the articles running across social media, there are lots of reasons to be outraged today. Allow me to list a few:

Common core standards
Corporate greed
Fat-free Oreos

But that’s just the mainstream stuff. If you’re a Christian, the list gets longer. Muslims are trying to build mosques in your neighborhood and take over America. Christians are being persecuted as prayer is removed from schools. The Ten Commandments aren’t allowed at the courthouse.

Feeling outraged yet?

In the past few days, two topics have been particularly outrageous to Christians on the web. One has been the “Non-Biblical” Bible movie, Noah. The second is the decision by the children’s charity World Vision to permit the hiring of employees who are engaged in same-sex marriages, and their reversal of the decision 48-hours later.

More at http://theaccidentalmissionary.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/a-handy-guide-to-christian-outrage/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:17 PM (1 replies)

David Dewhurst (R) Campaign Staff Quits Failing Lieutenant Governor Campaign

Turnover in campaign staff is a normal and regular occurrence. Campaign staff quitting two months from an election is a sign of trouble. Today, two senior staffers on Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst's campaign for re-election quit the campaign of their own choosing. Communications director Travis Considine and research director Andy Hemming informed the campaign on Wednesday morning they were parting ways with the campaign, immediately.

One month ago, Dewhurst finished in second place in the Republican primary for Texas Lieutenant Governor earning 28.31%, a poor showing for the incumbent and far behind that of the first-place finisher, State Senator Dan Patrick, who earned 41.45% of the primary vote. This is the second time in two years Dewhurst has had trouble in Republican primaries, having lost the nomination for US Senate to former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz in 2012.

When asked, Considine would not confirm or deny if additional staff, including campaign manager Ryan Hecker, would be leaving the Dewhurst re-election campaign as well.

If Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst loses the Republican runoff, the Republicans will nominate State Sen. Dan Patrick, one of the most extreme candidate the Republican Party has put forward to-date.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15045/david-dewhurst-r-campaign-staff-quits-failing-lieutenant-governor-campaign .

Now, now David--big boys don't cry.

[font color=green]Any bets as to whether their paychecks bounced? Dewhurst still hasn't paid some of his vendors from the 2012 senatorial campaign.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 08:49 PM (1 replies)

Greg Abbott's Education Plan: Teach the Best and Shoot the Rest

By Carol Morgan

In Abbott’s case, familiarity breeds contempt. The more we get to know him, the less we like him.

It wasn’t enough that he deemed early childhood education a “waste”. It wasn’t enough that he wants to test four-year-olds, despite the fact that it goes against all scientific study of the developing brain. Instead of expanding access to state-funded early childhood programs, he proposes money to be assigned only to those preschoolers who “deserve” it, based upon rigorous testing. Totally without shame, he defends the state's $200 million in cuts to its early childhood program, despite the plethora of academic research (342 million scholarly articles) proving that early childhood education works.

We should shorten Abbott’s plan to a simple understandable phrase that summarizes its underlying principle: Teach the best and shoot the rest.

If a child fails to show potential at age three or four, then they deserve to be hurled into the great pile of disposable castoffs. At four, Texas politicians and primarily, the testing lobbyists, will decide their future for them. At age four, we will relegate them in advance for a career in shoveling gravel on a hot highway, cleaning houses, mowing yards, or picking crops in South Texas.

The complete blog is at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-04-02/greg-abbotts-education-plan-teach-best-and-shoot-rest .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 08:38 PM (3 replies)

Cruz's spokeswoman alleges left-leaning plot concerning Facebook poll

An old maxim about the law - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's chosen profession - holds that courtroom litigators don't ask questions if they don't already have the answers.

But in the chaotic world of social media, as the Texas Republican found out, all bets are off.

An impassioned Facebook clash involving tens of thousands of posters erupted this week in response to Cruz's informal online survey marking the fourth anniversary of President Barack Obama's health care law.

"Quick poll," the survey began, "Obamacare was signed into law four years ago yesterday. Are you better off now than you were then? Comment with YES or NO!"

More at http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/us/article/Cruz-Obamacare-poll-on-Facebook-gets-action-and-5368412.php .

[font color=green]I responded to the poll, but there wasn't any organized plot behind it. I guess that Republicans can't understand that people want and need health insurance coverage.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 01:46 PM (8 replies)

Federal judge halts executions over drug details

A Houston federal judge on Wednesday blocked the executions of two condemned killers who argued that the state's failure to disclose details about the drugs that will be used to kill them violated their constitutional rights.

In a five-page order, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore also ordered prison officials to disclose the names of suppliers of the drug used in executions, the powerful sedative pentobarbital, among other details concerning the acquisition and testing of the drugs.

Blocked by the order is Thursday's scheduled execution of Tommy Lynn Sells, facing the death penalty for killing a South Texas girl, and Ramiro Hernandes Llanas, facing execution for killing a Kerrville rancher.

State officials said they had not seen the order, and had no immediate comment. They indicated an appeal is likely.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Federal-judge-halts-executions-over-drug-details-5370582.php?cmpid=hpbn .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 01:41 PM (1 replies)
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