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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 70,433

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

After All it is Their Fault

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on November 30, 2013 - 8:15am


Those on the Extreme Right routinely operates on the assumption that bad things, e.g., cancelled policies, denied health care, pre-existing conditions etc., happen to people because they did something wrong - were lazy, lacked self control, made bad choices. They generally see success, wealth, good health, healthy children, good job, access to power as the result exclusively of hard work, cleverness, and moral uprightness. They, therefore, have no trouble stepping on the unfortunate because they believe that the situation of those in trouble is always their own fault.

Does this mean we throw in the towel, and return to a status quo in which insurance companies routinely cancel policies, deny health care to people with pre-existing conditions and have their own death panel treatment for patients who reach a cap in medical benefits?

The Extreme Right’s playbook has been to demonize the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Melissa Hankins at Charlotte, North Carolina’s WBTV 3 reported that Darrell Issa’s ObamaCare “hearings” in Gastonia called “Obamacare Implementation: Sticker Shock of Increased Premiums for Health Care Coverage” weren’t exactly unbiased.

In fact, people who had positive things to say about the ACA were not only told they couldn’t speak, but they were told that if they spoke “out of turn” they’d have to leave.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-11-30/after-all-it-their-fault .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Dec 1, 2013, 04:20 AM (0 replies)

Law enforcement claims of khat, terrorism connection questioned

Eighteen months ago, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper making a routine traffic stop of two men driving on a highway northeast of Houston noticed both were chewing on a wad of green leaves. His subsequent search of the car launched a yearlong investigation involving local, state and national law enforcement agencies that has so far resulted in more than a half-dozen arrests in the Houston area.

In response, Muslim civil rights groups are questioning whether the Austin-based state agency has crossed a line by unfairly portraying the defendants as terrorists.

The oval-shaped leaves were khat, according to police reports, a plant grown and used primarily by residents of countries in or around the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen. It is used there openly and socially, mostly chewed or made into tea.

Although the chemicals in the plant are illegal in the United States, drug officials said prosecutions here are uncommon. In reports and court filings, however, the DPS, which is leading the investigation, has suggested the current operation is of high importance because proceeds from khat sales have been linked to terrorist groups.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/law-enforcement-claims-of-khat-terrorism-connectio/nb72C/ (subscription required).
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Dec 1, 2013, 02:31 AM (3 replies)

13 Walmart protesters arrested in Balch Springs

Balch Springs police arrested 13 protesters today outside a Walmart Supercenter store.

The protesters were blocking the east and west bound traffic in the 12300 block of Lake June Road, creating “a dangerous situation for protesters and the public,” according to statement issued by police.

Officers “asked them several times to move out of the roadway and they refused to comply,” the statement said.

The protesters, with the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, were charged with “walking on a roadway where sidewalks provided,” a misdemeanor.

More at http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2013/11/walmart-protesters-arrested-in-balch-springs.html/ .

Buy Nothing Day

By Carol Morgan

In all fairness, if the retailers can start their buying frenzy season early, then I should be allowed to practice my usual holiday humbuggery early too.

Today is Thanksgiving, yet there are many Americans who will miss reconnecting with family and telling stories, or even counting their blessings. Why? They're working today.

The corporate machine begins the mantra of “shop til you drop” a little bit earlier each year. For many years, Black Friday traditionally began the day after Thanksgiving, but by the middle 90’s, retailers began opening at 6:00 a.m., then it was 5:00 a.m. and then 4:00 a.m. Two years ago, it was midnight; then last year, mega-retailers, like Walmart, announced they would open at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

This year, stores have dared to open even earlier, skipping Thanksgiving altogether and leaping right into the gaudy excesses of Christmas. Walmart began its online Black Friday even before Halloween.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2013-11-28/buy-nothing-day .

WATCH: Gay U.S. ambassador Wally Brewster, husband introduce themselves to Dominican Republic



Last week I reported that gay East Texas native Wally Brewster had been sworn in as U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, despite opposition from some Catholic leaders in the Caribbean nation.

Brewster and his husband, Bob Satawake, who were married shortly after his swearing in, appeared in YouTube message released this week introducing themselves to the people of the Dominican Republic. In the video, Brewster talks about the couple’s love of baseball and his vision for economic partnerships between the two countries. He also mentions his Texas roots and appears to allude to the controversy about his sexual orientation.

“Growing up in a modest household in a small town in East Texas, I understand the challenges and struggles of people who work day to day just to provide their children with a better life,” Brewster says in the video. “My parents taught me that all people deserve respect, dignity, love and opportunity. They also instilled in me a strong belief in God, and the values of love and tolerance. Bob and I bring those values with us as we come to the Dominican Republic.”

http://www.lonestarq.com/watch-gay-u-s-ambassador-wally-brewster-husband-introduce-dominican-republican/

Gay couples sue to block Texas marriage ban

Two same-sex couples, including two Austin women legally married in Massachusetts, have asked a federal court to void Texas’ ban on gay marriage, arguing that it improperly discriminates against an unpopular minority and treats them like second-class citizens.

Citing a string of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have lent momentum to gay rights activists, the lawsuit asks U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio to issue an injunction immediately blocking Texas from enforcing a law and state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

“Texas stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as their children and families, and denies them the same dignity, respect and stature afforded officially recognized heterosexual family relationships,” legal briefs said.

The couples — including Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon of Austin — also asked Garcia to declare the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/gay-couples-sue-to-block-texas-marriage-ban/nb6Yp/ (subscription required).

Additional discussion with one of the plaintiff attorneys at http://www.lonestarq.com/attorney-sex-couples-discusses-case-challenging-tx-marriage-ban/ .

Cross-posted in Texas Group.

Gay couples sue to block Texas marriage ban

Two same-sex couples, including two Austin women legally married in Massachusetts, have asked a federal court to void Texas’ ban on gay marriage, arguing that it improperly discriminates against an unpopular minority and treats them like second-class citizens.

Citing a string of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have lent momentum to gay rights activists, the lawsuit asks U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio to issue an injunction immediately blocking Texas from enforcing a law and state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

“Texas stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as their children and families, and denies them the same dignity, respect and stature afforded officially recognized heterosexual family relationships,” legal briefs said.

The couples — including Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon of Austin — also asked Garcia to declare the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/gay-couples-sue-to-block-texas-marriage-ban/nb6Yp/ (subscription required).

Additional discussion with one of the plaintiff attorneys at http://www.lonestarq.com/attorney-sex-couples-discusses-case-challenging-tx-marriage-ban/ .

Cross-posted in LGBT Group.

Biblically Guided Dallas Drilling Company Still Hasn't Found Oil In Israel



John Brown gets asked the question a lot. What happens if he doesn't find oil in Israel? If his biblically inspired quest to restore the Holy Land to Israel comes to naught?

-snip-

"Well, I can't really deal with that," Brown explains in a promotional video for his company, Dallas-based Zion Oil & Gas. "Because for me to say that's not going to happen would almost be saying God's telling a lie."

To Brown, and to his 30,000 investors, the Old Testament is clear on that point. It never specifically mentions petroleum, of course, which was still several few millennia from becoming the world's dominant fuel source, but the evidence is there nonetheless, as demonstrated by the bevy of scriptures referenced on Zion's website.

In an interview with NPR this morning, Brown points specifically to Deuteronomy 33:13-16, which reads: "And for the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush; let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren."

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/11/zion_oil_israel_dallas.php .

CD-27: Solomon Ortiz, Jr. (D) Considering Challenge to Congressman Blake Farenthold (R)

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Solomon Ortiz, Jr.

Until 2010, Texas' 27th congressional district had been represented by Democratic Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D). Rep. Ortiz lost his seat in 2010 to one of the more unusual Republicans who ran that cycle: Blake Farenthold (R). It was Farenthold's first run for political office, and he prevailed by a surprising 799 vote victory after raising an unimpressive $618,312.85 through the 2010 election cycle. Farenthold was best known for his attendance at a birthday party a year before running for congress where he was seen wearing ducky pajamas while in the company of several scantily clad women. After the 2012 redistricting cycle, District 27 changed from a district that went from Corpus Christi south to the border into one that went from Corpus Christi north to Bastrop.

With a little more than a week left until the filing deadline, Democrats may have found a quality candidate to take on Rep. Farenthold.

Former State Representative Solomon Ortiz Jr. (D) has reportedly gone to Washington D.C. and met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about a potential run against Congressman Farenthold.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/14432/cd27-solomon-ortiz-jr-d-considering-challenge-to-congressman-blake-farenthold-r .

Space shuttle replica sprayed with graffiti in Clear Lake

KHOU-TV is reporting that the Space Shuttle Independence outside of Space Center Houston was hit by vandals overnight in Clear Lake.

KHOU has pictures showing graffiti that says things like "Houston we are the problem.".

The persons or persons who did this would have had to climb a short fence to access the shuttle. There is reportedly surveillance video that should help investigators.

The shuttle replica, christened the Independence earlier this fall after a naming contest, will be a part of a larger installation once the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft is brought to the museum.

More at http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/article/Space-shuttle-replica-sprayed-with-graffiti-in-5016843.php?cmpid=hpbn .
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