Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


TexasTowelie's Journal
TexasTowelie's Journal
December 31, 2013

86 detained at human stash house in eastern Edinburg

EDINBURG — Authorities Friday detained 86 immigrants who had entered the country illegally and were living in a human stash house southwest of University Drive and North Alamo Road in eastern Edinburg, according to court documents.

While conducting surveillance on the house at 7122 Curve Road, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Hidalgo County Constable’s Office and Border Patrol watched a red 2000 Lincoln Navigator leave the house and fail to yield at a stop sign, court documents show.

The driver, Lorenzo Antonio Zavala, was cited for not having a driver license and was detained and questioned by HSI agents. He did not provide a statement to the agents.

Agents were issued a federal search and seizure warrant and discovered 86 immigrants who’d entered the country illegally inside and outside the residence, court documents show.

More at http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_0acc20d0-71af-11e3-b8b3-001a4bcf6878.html .

[font color=green]Another human stash house was raided a couple of weeks ago in Mission, Texas and 81 people were arrested in that incident.


December 31, 2013

Follow-up: US Attorney's office still silent following offensive Facebook comments about Obama

[font size=2]In this July 9, 2011 photo, U.S Attorney John Craft leaves the federal court building in Beaumont, Texas. On Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, officials said derogatory comments Craft made about President Barack Obama and Trayvon Martin on Facebook are being reviewed. (AP Photo/The Courier, Jason Fochtman) Photo: Jason Fochtman, MBO[/font]

The two organizations that more than eight weeks ago called for the resignation of an assistant U.S. attorney who made racially offensive Facebook comments have received no response from the local U.S. Attorney's office.

That attorney is still prosecuting federal cases in Beaumont.

The Texas Civil Rights Project and the J.L. Turner Legal Association sent a letter Oct. 31 to John Malcolm Bales, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, requesting John Craft's resignation.

In August, Craft, a Beaumont-based prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's criminal division, made disparaging comments about minorities and President Obama on his private Facebook page in the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal in the Trayvon Martin case.

More at http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/US-Attorney-s-office-still-silent-following-5102159.php .

The earlier thread from August:
Texas prosecutor's Facebook posts about Obama, Trayvon Martin being reviewed

December 31, 2013

Texas Monthly gives Italian eatery the Bum Steer Award for insulting community in closing notice

AMARILLO--Texas Monthly’s December issue brands the viral vamoose of an Amarillo restaurateur with a 2014 Bum Steer Award.

A sign trashing Amarillo posted — or not? — at former Amarillo eatery Sava! Italiano pinballed through the social stratosphere in September, with GrubStreet calling it the “World’s Most Insulting Closing Notice.”

The notoriety of the incident lands the Sava! episode among the notable Amarillo business stories of 2013.

News of the sign had, through Wednesday, garnered 131,548 views on BuzzFeed, 3,453 gazes on Reddit and a multitude of posts on blogs such as Grubstreet, Gawker, Huffington Post and The Inquisitor.

More at http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2013-12-29/texas-monthly-gives-italian-eaterys-note-bum-steer-award .

[font color=green]The sign stated, “You sorry (expletive), rednecked sacks of (expletive) had no idea what you had here! Good luck with your prepackaged frozen (expletive) food in this town. ... We are off to make money in a town whose average IQ is above room temperature. CIAO!!!”[/font]
December 31, 2013

Texas Judge Exempts Colleges from ACA Mandate For Believing Contraceptives Cause Abortion

On Friday, Judge Lee Rosenthal, a United States District Court Judge appointed by George H. W. Bush granted East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, and Westminster Theological Seminary an injunction that will exempt them from the contraceptive coverage required under the Affordable Care Act. The judge found that even the amended requirements for religious organizations were not enough to safeguard their religious liberty, as any involvement (even bureaucratic paperwork) in the provision of certain contraceptive services makes them culpable in creating access to abortion.

Judge Rosenthal's decision is entirely based on the beliefs of the universities and seminary about conception and the way that certain contraceptives work. Because these organizations believe that Plan B and IUD's cause abortions they are exempt from provisions in the Affordable Care Act meant to ensure that all Americans have access to preventative healthcare. To be clear: their beliefs about how medicine works - not the way medicine actually works - are the basis for this injunction.

In her opinion, Judge Rosenthal explains that the three plaintiffs "believe" that emergency contraception (such as Plan B or Ella) and copper IUDs cause abortions by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. They also believe that by being complicit in anything that provides access to these drugs, even if it isn't through their health insurance, they become culpable for the abortion that they believe takes place.

In creating better standards for health insurance, the Affordable Care Act recognizes the importance of preventative healthcare in reducing healthcare costs and maintaining a better quality of life. The provision of particular concern for these universities is the requirement that health insurance plans cover provide free access to contraceptives such as Plan B and the copper IUD as preventative healthcare. Both services are incredibly effective methods of preventing pregnancy, and increasing access to these methods of contraception could be revolutionary for reproductive health across the country.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/14586/texas-judge-exempts-colleges-from-aca-mandate-for-believing-contraceptives-cause-abortion .

December 30, 2013

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to be Texas drone research center

CORPUS CHRISTI — Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi has won designation as the research headquarters for 11 Texas test sites working to develop drones for commercial use.

Texas is one of six states announced Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration as development sites for the unmanned aircraft.


The university already has been researching drones for two years, investigating how to use them to map sea grass, detect oil spills and wildfire hotspots, monitor hurricanes and count cattle for ranchers.

The 11 Texas test sites are south of Fort Stockton, south of Fort Hood, outside College Station and several in South Texas outside Beeville and south of Corpus Christi.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2013-12-30/texas-am-corpus-christi-be-texas-drone-research-center .

December 30, 2013

Houston Mayor Annise Parker plans to run for statewide office in 2018

It’s been a busy few months for Houston Mayor Annise Parker — Lone Star Q’s 2013 Person of the Year.

In September, Parker announced plans for an LGBT-inclusive citywide nondiscrimination ordinance. Then, after being re-elected to a third and final term in November, she extended benefits to the same-sex spouses of city employees who are legally married in other states — resulting in two lawsuits against the city. (While Parker became the first out LGBT person elected mayor of a top 10 U.S. city in 2009, until now it was also the only major city in Texas without citywide nondiscrimination and partner benefits.)

Finally, late last week, reports surfaced that Parker plans to marry her longtime partner, Kathy Hubbard, in January in California.

And that’s just the LGBT-related stuff.

In the midst of it all, Parker found time for an interview with Lone Star Q, during which she made headlines by calling Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty a “redneck wingnut” whose views are “completely irrelevant.” But on a far more relevant topic, she also confirmed that she intends to run for statewide office in 2018 — without saying which one. With 36 hours left in 2013, it leaves you to wonder how much more news Parker can make.

Read the interview with Mayor Parker at http://www.lonestarq.com/annise-parker-lone-star-qs-2013-person-year-shes-also-running-statewide-office-2018/ .

[font color=green]The statewide offices that will have elections in 2018 are the same as in 2014, but there will also be an election for the U. S. Senate seat currently held by Ted Cruz.[/font]

December 30, 2013

Towel-wearing man charged in Austin wreck where 2 killed, 4 hurt

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Police arrest affidavits show a man charged in Austin for a hit-and-run traffic wreck that left a woman and her son dead and four people seriously hurt had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal Texas limit.

Nicolas Wyzycowski had run from the scene Friday night wearing only a towel. A witness pointed him out to officers at a nearby apartment complex. The Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/1dN6k2Z ) reports Sunday his blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.27 while he was hospitalized for minor injuries.

Authorities say 60-year-old Margaret Howard and her 18-year-old son, Cale, were killed. Witnesses say Wyzycowski's pickup, traveling between 80 and 100 mph, collided with their car. Four people were hurt in a third vehicle involved, one suffering a broken neck and another a broken back.

Source: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/Man-charged-in-Austin-wreck-where-2-killed-4-hurt-5099851.php

[font color=green]1. The headline came from the link on the main page of the San Antonio Express-News Website.
2. No, it wasn't me.

December 30, 2013

Ted Cruz Still Hasn't Renounced His Canadian Citizenship

In August, Americans learned that Ted Cruz is a Canadian citizen. Though his status as "natural born" American citizen is in question, his Canadian citizenship is not, given his Calgary birth.

But lo these 120 days later, Ted Cruz is still a Canadian. The Dallas Morning News reported on Saturday that Cruz has only just started to renounce the citizenship. "I have retained counsel that is preparing the paperwork to renounce the citizenship," he told the paper.

Renouncing his Canadian citizenship is, of course, quite useful if he's planning a 2016 run. Unfortunately, nowhere in the Constitution does it say one is eligible to run for president if not naturally born a citizen but later having rejected other countries' citizenship. Cruz's eligibility is an open question in part because the language in the Constitution is no non-specific on this issue.

A Cruz 2016 campaign would be plagued by this question repeatedly. Though not nearly as fervently as the lunacy of Obama birtherism, some on the right have challenged Cruz's eligibility. His primary opponents' supporters would certainly use it to their advantage. But it's hardly the prime reason not to allow Ted Cruz into the Oval Office.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/14582/ted-cruz-still-hasnt-renounced-his-canadian-citizenship .

December 30, 2013

Southwestern University students teach Chinese, Spanish to kids in Georgetown schools

As the next set of first-grade students at Carver Elementary in Georgetown entered to the classroom, some drew a few of the core characters of the Chinese language on the dry erase board.

About 12 weeks into the language program at the school, many of elementary school children already know the basics of the language, including how to say greetings, introductions, colors and where they live.

The language immersion classes at the school are taught by students at Southwestern University, a unique collaborative project between the Georgetown school district, the university’s department of modern languages and Snead Institute, an organization started by Georgetown philanthropist Ned Snead, who came up with the idea and helps fund the program.

University students with advanced language skills in Spanish and Chinese teach the extracurricular course, with training from the University’s Chinese professor.

More at http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/students-teaching-students-southwestern-university/ncXQ6/?icmp=statesman_internallink_invitationbox_apr2013_statesmanstubtomystatesmanpremium (subscription required).

[font color=green]There are 16 college students that are teaching through the program which is financed by the Georgetown ISD and the Snead Institute. The college students are paid $10/hour for instructional, prep and travel time.

It's also important that some people recognize that the 3 R's that were fundamental to education in the 20th century do not provide a sufficient base of knowledge or skills for the 21st century.[/font]
December 30, 2013

you're my only hope

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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 110,218

About TexasTowelie

Retired/disabled 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 Entries

Latest Discussions»TexasTowelie's Journal