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Hometown: Texas
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
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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

Elon Musk on Texas spaceport: “We’ll probably have that site active in a couple of years.”

Source: Houston Chronicle

At the tail end of a news conference today in Washington D.C. the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, was asked whether a site had been chosen yet for much anticipated SpaceX commercial launch site.

His reply, “We’re also developing a launch pad on the south coast of Texas … We’ll probably have that site active in a couple of years.”

All he’s waiting for, Musk said, is an environmental clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, which he expects to receive soon.

This site, if it is indeed built, would allow for launches of both the Falcon 9 (already flying) and Falcon 9 Heavy (under development) from south Texas, near Brownsville. These launches would be for commercial (i.e. satellites) as well as possibly NASA purposes.

Read more: http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2014/04/elon-musk-on-texas-spaceport-well-probably-have-that-site-active-in-a-couple-of-years/?cmpid=bna#22787101=0

Pat Robertson: Jesus Wants You To Divorce Your Wife If She Won’t Put Out

Pat Robertson has had quite the week. After sounding the alarm about the apocalyptic asteroid event that could happen next week, or ever, Robertson advised a 700 Club caller that his wife probably withheld sex because of childhood sexual abuse, and that obviously, the caller should just divorce her. Given that surveys have shown that 43% of women recount experiencing sexual dysfunction and 32 percent of mothers report going years without sex, we now expect to see a lot of 700 Club-inspired divorces as husbands ditch their frigid wives.

This makes Pat Robertson worse for marriage than Dan Savage, who just thinks you should cheat.

This new stance on divorce is real not-progress for Robertson: it seems that previously he believed the only legitimate reason to get a divorce was if your wife gets sick, because it’s kind of like death, but not. But, apparently, when reviewing the Scriptures, Robertson found another loophole! God also condones divorcing your wife if she doesn’t put out. Especially if she doesn’t put out because of an emotionally scarring sexual assault. Cut your losses, gentlemen.

But that’s not all! Another unthinkable thing happened this week: one of Robertson’s doctor friends channeled the power of God to bring the dead back to life. That’s right, it was just like an episode of a show no one watches, Resurrection, except nothing like that, because in this story a surgeon lost a patient, and then jeebus spoke to the doctor and told him to “go back and treat him again” and then “the power of God hit him and the man came back to life again.”

Read more at http://wonkette.com/547564/pat-robertson-jesus-wants-you-to-divorce-your-wife-if-she-wont-put-out#EEPZ5tsfG4eY0Yqj.99 .

Gun Rights Activists' Latest Strategy: Armed Demonstrations

When advocates for tighter restrictions on guns rallied last week in Austin City Hall, a small group of opponents staged a counter-rally outside, carrying firearms and waving a flag emblazoned with an assault rifle and the caption “Come and Take It.”

Texas gun rights advocates, like their counterparts who argue for gun control, have been increasingly active in the wake of recent mass shootings, organizing hundreds of grassroots demonstrations across the state. Their effort includes a simple strategy: a public display of their weapons — sometimes in front of their opponents.

“You’ve got a group of people who are carrying firearms, kids and women, smiling and waving,” said C.J. Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, which wants lawmakers to allow Texans to openly carry handguns as they can carry long arms. “If we truly meant to hurt anybody, would we draw attention to ourselves by waving flags and smiling? If you think about it logically, the fact that someone is alarmed is unreasonable.”

But the tactics of groups like Open Carry Texas, which mobilizes crowds carrying shotguns, hunting rifles, AR-15s and AK-47s, have drawn criticism from gun control groups like the Texas branch of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Stephanie Lundy, the branch’s spokeswoman, said that almost every time Moms Demand Action meets, “we wind up with armed gunmen in the parking lot.”

More at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/04/25/right-bear-arms-twist-baring-them-openly-rallies/ .

The Future of ‘Corporate Welfare’ in Texas after Rick Perry

Is it too early to consider Rick Perry’s legacy? Some state lawmakers already are, at least indirectly.

Legislators are considering what to do with some of the guv’s signature programs, the big corporate subsidy funds that have been plagued by charges of cronyism and inefficiency since their inception. Funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, in particular, is dwindling due to lawmakers’ reluctance to keep pouring dollars into what some critics consider Perry’s corporate welfare accounts. The Observer, for example, reported on a $12 million Texas Enterprise Fund grant to Chevron for a Houston office tower that the company had announced years before. Chevron, in fact, planned to spend the money not to create new jobs, which were already in the works, but on generous moving costs for its employees.

Overall, the Texas Enterprise Fund alone has doled out more than $500 million in grants since the Legislature created it a decade ago. In 2010, the Observer found—in a story appropriately titled “Slush Fun“—that 20 of the 55 Enterprise Fund companies had either given money directly to Perry’s campaign or donated to the Republican Governors Association, a Washington, D.C.-based group that Perry presided over in 2008.

All of that is on Rick Perry. But it’s up to the Legislature and the next governor—either Wendy Davis or, more likely, Greg Abbott—whether to shut down the funds, or modify them.

More at http://www.texasobserver.org/future-corporate-welfare-texas-rick-perry/ .

Man convicted in U.S. consulate slayings gets 10 life sentences

El Paso -- A Barrio Azteca leader who was found guilty of ordering the shooting deaths of three people with ties to the U.S. Consulate in Juárez four years ago received 10 life sentences Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone, who presided over the trial of Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, also ordered that Gallegos pay nearly $1 million in restitution to relatives of the victims and forfeit $785,500, the amount of property officials estimated was involved in money laundering.

A jury in February found Gallegos guilty of 11 counts, ranging from conspiring to kill persons in a foreign country to conspiring to import heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the United States. Gallegos pleaded not guilty.

Gallegos was accused of ordering the March 2010 slayings of Arthur Redelfs, an El Paso County detention officer; his wife Lesley Enriquez Redelfs, who was four months pregnant; and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, who was married to Hilda Salcido, who worked with Lesley Redelfs in the U.S. Consulate in Juárez.

More at http://www.elpasotimes.com/latestnews/ci_25628697/man-convicted-u-s-consulate-slayings-gets-10 .

Rep. Ralph Hall and primary challenger John Ratcliffe to appear at Tea Party Express rally

WASHINGTON– Rep. Ralph Hall and primary challenger John Ratcliffe will make rare appearance at the same event Saturday, when both will speak at a Tea Party Express rally in Texarkana.

Hall, 90, has held the 4th Congressional District since his election in 1990. He has never had much trouble getting re-elected before Ratcliffe and four other challengers held him to 46 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.

Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney, got 30 percent. He has repeatedly challenged Hall to debates, without success. Hall’s campaign has said the incumbent is not opposed to debating. But he hasn’t agreed to any number of suggested dates and locations. It seems unlikely the two will face off directly tomorrow.

Hall’s campaign said he will be on a tight schedule, fitting in a speech at the rally before a friend’s funeral, and a meeting on science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) later that day in the district.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/hall-ratcliffe-to-appear-at-tea-party-express-rally.html/ .

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association Proposes New Rules

[font color=green]The following are excerpts (with minor editing) from an article in the Brownsville Herald.[/font]

Proposed new rules for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association could impose surcharges on automobile and property insurance policies in coastal counties in the event of catastrophic storms.


The surcharges would be placed on policies of coastal residents only as opposed to spreading the cost around the state to all residents.

According to DOI spokesman Jerry Hagins, the surcharge provision — created by House Bill 4409 in 2009 and amended in 2011 by House Bill 3 — would kick in only if claims from a catastrophic storm-damage exhausted TWIA’s available funds, including the first level of “post-event” bonds: public securities issued to cover excess claims.

Money from the surcharges would be used only to repay the second level of post-event bonds, he said. In some cases, policy holders could be reimbursed for a portion of the surcharge, according to the Department of Insurance.


Elected officials from the coast argue that the burden of covering hurricane damage claims shouldn’t be borne by coastal residents alone, since economic development generated by the coast benefits the state as a whole and not just the coast.

The complete article is at http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_45b882b4-c449-11e3-9105-001a4bcf6878.html .

Affected areas:

Aransas County
Brazoria County
Calhoun County
Cameron County
Chambers County
Galveston County
Harris* (partial)
Jefferson County
Kenedy County
Kleberg County
Matagorda County
Nueces County
Refugio County
San Patricio County
Willacy County

*When located inside city limits and east of Highway 146, the following portions of Harris County are also included:

Morgan's Point
Shore Acres

Tornado shelters face dilemma with pet lovers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Jerry Starr thought he was taking the safe approach when a twister was reported heading toward his suburban neighborhood outside Oklahoma City last May. He grabbed his teenage daughter Dyonna and his dog and drove to the local City Hall, which serves as a public storm shelter.

But when he arrived, a police officer told him that the only way they could come in was if Tobi, his shih tzu-yorkie mix, stayed outside. No pets allowed. So Starr and Tobi rode out the storm in his car, one of the most dangerous places he could be.

"I love her and there's no way I was going to live knowing I was abandoning her," said Starr, of Del City.

Modern forecasting technology now gives residents hours of notice of threatening conditions and precise projections of a storm's likely path. Residents are bombarded with broadcast warnings to take shelter.

More at http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/texas/article/Tornado-shelters-face-dilemma-with-pet-lovers-5428583.php .

Obesity forcing dude ranches to get bigger horses

Wranglers in the West who have for decades cashed in on the allure of getting on a horse and setting out on an open trail say they have had to add bigger horses to their stables to help carry larger tourists over the rugged terrain.

The ranches say they are using draft horses, the diesels of the horse world, in ever greater numbers to make sure they don't lose out on income from potential customers of any size who come out to get closer to the West of yesteryear.

"Even though a person might be overweight, or, you know, heavier than the average American, it's kind of nice we can provide a situation where they can ride with their family," said wrangler T. James "Doc" Humphrey.

Humphrey's 10-gallon hat, goatee, black vest and spurs are a tourist favorite at Sombrero Ranches, east of Rocky Mountain National Park, where they have 20 draft horses, including Belgians and Percherons, and 25 draft horses mixes.

More at http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Obesity-forcing-ranches-to-get-bigger-horses-5426914.php .

Lender forecloses on ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's Texas home

A lender has foreclosed on convicted former Mayor Ray Nagin’s townhome in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas, according to recently filed public records.

The Collin County "Notice of Substitute Trustee's Sale" indicates that Nagin and his wife Seletha’s home in the Bella Casa subdivision of Frisco is slated for a foreclosure sale on May 6.

The Nagins bought the townhome in May 2007 and had a deed of trust with Everbank of Jacksonville, Fla., for $157,490. Collin County records show that the the deed of trust was assigned by Whitney Bank to Everbank in February, shortly after Nagin was convicted on 20 of 21 federal corruption counts in New Orleans.

The townhome on Grosseto Street is one of two properties that Nagin and his family lived in rent-free following Hurricane Katrina. The former owner testified at Nagin's trial that Nagin saved nearly $22,000 in rent by living there for free. The government counted that money as some of the former mayor’s ill-gotten gains and unreported taxable income for two counts of tax evasion.

More at http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20140424/NEWS01/140424005/?nclick_check=1 .