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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: 68,596

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

Could Mike Rawlings Win a Senate Seat Just by not Being Totally Nuts or Shiftless?

Toward the end of last week I reported that some kind of Democrats -- I wasn't sure which -- have been whispering in Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings' ear about running for John Cornyn's Senate seat in 2014. Rawlings admitted he had spoken with them but discounted the whole deal, saying, "I'm way too fiscally conservative for the Democrats and way too progressive for the Republicans on the social issues."

So I've been thinking. What is the window, really and truly? What kind of Democratic candidate will be right for statewide office in Texas in 2014?

At this moment Fort Worth State Senator Wendy Davis is sort of the Texas Democratic Everest. She's big here because she's there. She's there because she's big here. But, tell me again: What is she?

On her own website Davis brags she helped Houston state Senator Dan Patrick, a Tea Party guy, pass legislation reducing academic rigor and accountability for Texas high school students. When I wrote about it last month, some commenters complained I was taking Davis to task on a single issue in a whole big complicated political landscape before she even had time to thoughtfully craft a platform.

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/11/_toward_the_end_of.php .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2013, 05:21 PM (0 replies)

Dallas-Based Drag Queen Is On the Run After Illegal Silicone Injection Puts Woman in a Coma


Armani Nicole Davenport

To the cops in Richardson, who arrested him in May for marijuana possession and misdemeanor theft, his name is Larry Tremell Bernard. To the rest of the world, it's Armani Nicole Davenport, a drag performer who has ridden the southern pageant circuit for more than a decade, recently notching a win at this year's Miss Gay Dallas Metroplex USofA pageant.

Davenport's curves, though, aren't completely natural. New Orleans police say that she, like others on the drag circuit, is a practitioner of "pumping" -- injecting industrial-grade silicone into breasts, buttocks, and other areas that could stand to be more robust. They've been searching for her since the middle of last week for allegedly administering the injections illegally to two women, one of whom wound up in a coma. She is currently wanted for negligent injury.

Such black-market silicone injections are common. So are complications, up to and including death; both the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press have done trend stories in the past year or so on the dangers of the procedure.

The silicone is typically purchased from hardware stores, where it's sold as sealant. The AP reports it's often mixed with wax, oil, or peanut butter. The LA Times says the wounds are sometimes sealed with super glue.

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/11/armani_davenpoirt_illegal_sili.php .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2013, 04:44 PM (0 replies)

Magistrate orders Tony Alamo properties sold

TEXARKANA, Ark. — A federal magistrate has ruled that convicted sex offender and evangelist Tony Alamo is the owner of six properties associated with his ministry and ordered that they be sold to help satisfy a $30 million civil judgment Alamo was ordered to pay two former members of his group.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that U.S. Magistrate Barry Bryant's order dated Thursday directs the U.S. Marshal to sell six properties in Fort Smith to partially satisfy the $30 million Alamo owes Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna.

Eighty Alamo loyalists had filed claims of ownership interest on the real estate, arguing that the land belongs to Alamo Ministries or to all members collectively. The properties are a church, gym, warehouse, restaurant, restaurant parking lot and a house.

"The court finds the ownership claims made to the properties (by Alamo followers) are not valid, and further finds Bernie Lazar Hoffman, aka, Tony Alamo, is the true owner of the properties," Bryant wrote.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2013-11-03/us-magistrate-orders-tony-alamo-properties-sold .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2013, 06:23 AM (3 replies)

District 20 Rep. Castro weds Anna Flores

San Antonio — U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro of San Antonio has tied the knot with fiancee Anna Flores.

The freshman Democrat said the couple got married in a private ceremony Saturday that was attended by family members.

“Anna and I have had an eventful and very blessed year. We are excited to embark on our journey together as a family,” said Castro, who turned 39 on Sept. 16 with his twin, Mayor Julián Castro.

At the twins' birthday celebration, the District 20 congressman disclosed that he and Flores are expecting their first child, a girl, in December.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/article/District-20-Rep-Castro-weds-Anna-Flores-4951046.php .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2013, 06:21 AM (3 replies)

Chronicle exclusive: Campaign finances dog Stockman

Rep. Steve Stockman has fired two congressional staffers after disclosures that both made prohibited contributions to his campaign.

The incident is the latest in a string of controversial episodes that have dogged Stockman's political campaigns over the past two decades.

The Clear Lake Repub­lican's campaign for Congress in Texas' 36th District has been notified of potential problems with its campaign finance filings in 2012 and 2013 approximately a dozen times, including apparently misreported donations, late or missing filings of required reports, and inaccuracies in certain filings.

Both this year and in the 1990s, his campaigns were investigated for issues relating to campaign materials made to look like newspapers. While the earlier complaints resulted in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and a civil penalty, the most recent complaint was dismissed without enforcement action, the FEC announced Friday.

More at http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Campaign-finance-issues-dog-Stockman-4950437.php?t=6e312d16037fcfd54e#/0 .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2013, 03:57 AM (1 replies)

A sign of the shutdown? No permits issued for new buildings.

I was looking at the local newspaper (Brenham Banner-Press) in Brenham which I moved from last month. The city has more than 15,000 in population and usually experiences slow, but steady growth. While this is merely one town among many and the government shutdown might have no relation to what occurred, I am offering this piece of anecdotal evidence of the impact of what happened during the time that the government was shuttered.

October building permits issued by the city of Brenham are significant for what they didn’t include — no permits were taken out for any new buildings, including homes.

New construction ground to a halt last month, with the largest permits issued for fire sprinkler systems.


More at http://www.brenhambanner.com/news/no-permits-issued-for-new-buildings/article_802be09c-43c7-11e3-86b2-0019bb2963f4.html . (Subscription required)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 05:53 PM (0 replies)

Through the Looking Glass: How Harming Others Makes Sense

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on November 3, 2013 - 10:04am


Nearly four decades after President Ronald Reagan put forth the story of the “welfare queen” while on the 1976 presidential campaign trail we are still seeing the false belief of how the poor are enjoying life on the backs of hard-working Americans.

In an article on MSNBC (BW and TC will love this) TEApublicans love to talk about the “welfare queen” loading her lobster and crab legs into her Cadillac Escalade and going home to enjoy it in front of her 50 inch plasma TV. The working poor have it too easy. They’re lazy, living an opulent lifestyle.

The article highlights the plight of Sara Grier who is a single mother of four living in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been receiving $500 per month in SNAP (food stamps) benefits to help feed her children. She is not an extravagant shopper. She buys meats which are on sale and carefully watches what she buys — stretching her food dollars to the limit. Ramen noodles are a common lunch, she carefully measures out a half bowl of cereal for each child’s breakfast and counts out an exact number of chicken nuggets when that is the meat for the evening meal or lunch.

She recently received notice that her new SNAP benefit, beginning this month will be reduced — to $16!

Thanks Congressman Neugebauer for your vote to cut her and 36,000 other American’s benefits.

How can people who are our friends and family be in support of such action? How can someone identify themselves as a Christian and act in such an un-Christian manner?

Bill Moyers described the evolving study of morality, politics, and cognitive science in understanding our society. The interview with Chris Mooney details how people can take such a stance against providing health care to the uninsured because of differing cognitive styles and processes. He related that:

“It’s not that conservatives don’t feel that emotion, but they don’t necessarily feel it as strongly. They feel other things more strongly. So to Haidt, this explains the health care debate because liberals feel, most of all, this harm-care-compassion thing. Conservatives feel it a little bit less strongly, even as they have this other morality. Haidt compares it to karma — it’s really interesting — where basically, you’re supposed to get what you deserve. And what really bothers them is somebody not getting what they deserve. So the government getting involved and interfering with people getting what they deserve is really bad. That, I think, is the clash.”

Social psychology teaches us the lesson that people seek simplicity in a complex world. This desire has been hijacked by forces such as the Koch brothers who offer this comfort at the altar of their corporate benefit. By classifying ALL poor people as undeserving it becomes possible to understand the issue and the proposed solution. To let people suffer because THEY deserve it, because they CAUSED it, helps to sooth the personal pain of how the world is built.

I find that people are caring and compassionate but far less so when they can hide behind their computer monitors and “gated communities”. When I am told that we should simply turn people away who cannot afford health care I find it helpful in the discussion to invite them to join me on rounds in a dialysis unit where they can have the personal opportunity to look another human in the eye and tell them they are a waste of funding. I have yet to have anyone take me up on that offer.

Please, see the world as complex and difficult, and help to find solutions that help REAL people and REAL children. Perhaps our Congressman Randy might lose his pinkish complexion and fattened cheeks if he had to survive on the SNAP program he derides and seeks to dissemble. Perhaps it Congress had to work every day for minimum wage and not just the 16 days left for them before Christmas they might understand. Perhaps if the Extreme Right had to live in “Tent City” on Ave A in Lubbock they might stir compassion in their hearts.

Until then, simple blame, contorted enemies, and ultimate solutions will harm us all.

TAGS:

LubbockOnline Blog
Abbott enjoys being between the legs
ACA is coming along
Kliff is still the man
Lubbock
Perry don't need no stinkin insurance
Randy likes a buffet
Texas

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-11-03/through-looking-glass-how-harming-others-makes-sense

Cross-posted in Good Reads forum.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 04:54 PM (0 replies)

Through the Looking Glass: How Harming Others Makes Sense

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on November 3, 2013 - 10:04am


Nearly four decades after President Ronald Reagan put forth the story of the “welfare queen” while on the 1976 presidential campaign trail we are still seeing the false belief of how the poor are enjoying life on the backs of hard-working Americans.

In an article on MSNBC (BW and TC will love this) TEApublicans love to talk about the “welfare queen” loading her lobster and crab legs into her Cadillac Escalade and going home to enjoy it in front of her 50 inch plasma TV. The working poor have it too easy. They’re lazy, living an opulent lifestyle.

The article highlights the plight of Sara Grier who is a single mother of four living in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been receiving $500 per month in SNAP (food stamps) benefits to help feed her children. She is not an extravagant shopper. She buys meats which are on sale and carefully watches what she buys — stretching her food dollars to the limit. Ramen noodles are a common lunch, she carefully measures out a half bowl of cereal for each child’s breakfast and counts out an exact number of chicken nuggets when that is the meat for the evening meal or lunch.

She recently received notice that her new SNAP benefit, beginning this month will be reduced — to $16!

Thanks Congressman Neugebauer for your vote to cut her and 36,000 other American’s benefits.

How can people who are our friends and family be in support of such action? How can someone identify themselves as a Christian and act in such an un-Christian manner?

Bill Moyers described the evolving study of morality, politics, and cognitive science in understanding our society. The interview with Chris Mooney details how people can take such a stance against providing health care to the uninsured because of differing cognitive styles and processes. He related that:

“It’s not that conservatives don’t feel that emotion, but they don’t necessarily feel it as strongly. They feel other things more strongly. So to Haidt, this explains the health care debate because liberals feel, most of all, this harm-care-compassion thing. Conservatives feel it a little bit less strongly, even as they have this other morality. Haidt compares it to karma — it’s really interesting — where basically, you’re supposed to get what you deserve. And what really bothers them is somebody not getting what they deserve. So the government getting involved and interfering with people getting what they deserve is really bad. That, I think, is the clash.”

Social psychology teaches us the lesson that people seek simplicity in a complex world. This desire has been hijacked by forces such as the Koch brothers who offer this comfort at the altar of their corporate benefit. By classifying ALL poor people as undeserving it becomes possible to understand the issue and the proposed solution. To let people suffer because THEY deserve it, because they CAUSED it, helps to sooth the personal pain of how the world is built.

I find that people are caring and compassionate but far less so when they can hide behind their computer monitors and “gated communities”. When I am told that we should simply turn people away who cannot afford health care I find it helpful in the discussion to invite them to join me on rounds in a dialysis unit where they can have the personal opportunity to look another human in the eye and tell them they are a waste of funding. I have yet to have anyone take me up on that offer.

Please, see the world as complex and difficult, and help to find solutions that help REAL people and REAL children. Perhaps our Congressman Randy might lose his pinkish complexion and fattened cheeks if he had to survive on the SNAP program he derides and seeks to dissemble. Perhaps it Congress had to work every day for minimum wage and not just the 16 days left for them before Christmas they might understand. Perhaps if the Extreme Right had to live in “Tent City” on Ave A in Lubbock they might stir compassion in their hearts.

Until then, simple blame, contorted enemies, and ultimate solutions will harm us all.

TAGS:

LubbockOnline Blog
Abbott enjoys being between the legs
ACA is coming along
Kliff is still the man
Lubbock
Perry don't need no stinkin insurance
Randy likes a buffet
Texas

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-11-03/through-looking-glass-how-harming-others-makes-sense

Cross-posted in Texas Group.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 04:54 PM (7 replies)

Romney leaves Cruz off his list of 2016 GOP stars

WASHINGTON —

Mitt Romney isn't including tea party favorite Ted Cruz among the Republicans' most electable potential presidential candidates in 2016.

Who does the 2012 GOP nominee put on his list of "very capable people?"

His ex-running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

But Romney says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie "stands out as one of the very strongest lights."

Romney was asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether Texas Sen. Cruz is a "potential light."

More at http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/texas/romney-leaves-cruz-off-his-list-of-2016-gop-stars/nbgfS/ .

Estimated cost of new West schools cut in half

WACO, Texas —

Rebuilding schools damaged by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West will cost about half of what officials expected immediately after the blast.

West Superintendent Marty Crawford told the Waco Tribune-Herald (http://bit.ly/1cyNaxH ) that the district's construction manager now estimates a rebuild cost of about $50 to $60 million. Officials first said they thought it would take as much as $117 million.

"The reason it was lower is because of the speed at which we had to put that first number together," Crawford told the newspaper. "We knew it would come down, but not as significantly as it did."

The April 17 blast at West Fertilizer sent debris flying for blocks and forced the demolition of dozens of buildings. It blew out the windows and ceilings in the intermediate school next door, and caved in part of the high school and middle school a short walk away.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/texas/estimated-cost-of-new-west-schools-cut-in-half/nbf6c/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 04:29 PM (0 replies)
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