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TexasTowelie

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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: 64,953

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

A&M will sport biggest football stadium in state



The Texas A&M System Board of Regents voted Wednesday to approve a $450 million refurbishment project of Kyle Field that will make the stadium the largest in the state and third biggest college venue in the country.

The stadium capacity will be 102,500 after the project is completed. That’s an increase of about 20,000. Kyle will be the largest in the Southeastern Conference and nationally, behind only Michigan and Penn State.

There will be the ability to seat an additional 3,000 as standing room only tickets.

The University of Texas currently is the largest in the state, with a seating capacity of 100,119. There are only six college venues in the country that can seat at least 100,000.

More at http://www.mystatesman.com/news/sports/am-will-sport-biggest-football-stadium-in-state/nXdgq/?icmp=statesman_internallink_invitationbox_apr2013_statesmanstubtomystatesman_launch .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed May 1, 2013, 07:33 PM (3 replies)

Three Legislature Bills Would Loosen Texas' Extraordinarily Loose Pollution Guidelines



Texas law has always been a little loose -- and yes, in this phraseology "loose" is code for kind of slutty -- about environmental regulation, but now the state legislature has a few bills bouncing around during the 83rd legislative session that may make it looser than Lindsey Lohan after some booze and a Xanax.

StateImpact Texas reported that these bills are part of a move toward making Texas more business friendly -- the assumption being that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the misnamed Railroad Commission (they're over oil and gas, not railroads), and legislators in general aren't besties with business yet. (None of the bills' sponsors would talk to us, by the way.)

If that's the case, then Gov. Rick Perry needs to rethink his whole advertising thing. He's been hitting up the people of Illinois and California in recent weeks, encouraging them to head to Texas, according to Time.

Right now, if, say a company wants to mine uranium from the water or put in an injection well, they have to go through a permitting process with the TCEQ, the state regulatory agency for all things environmental.

More at http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2013/05/legislature_pollution_regs.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed May 1, 2013, 07:15 PM (0 replies)

Gun Barrel City Is Officially Urging its Residents to Buy Guns



The official logo of Gun Barrel City, a small town on the banks of the Cedar Creek Reservoir, is a pair of crossed revolvers. Its slogan is "We Shoot Straight With You." One of its main drags is Gun Barrel Lane, where you'll find the Carry Right Gun Shop. Its mayor's business attire is an American flag shirt.

But city leaders fear that their position on firearms might not be quite clear. And so they spelled it out.

According to WFAA, the Gun Barrel City City Council voted unanimously last night to pass a resolution urging every head of household -- felons, the mentally ill and conscientious objectors excluded -- to buy a gun and bullets "[i[n order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants."


City officials don't actually seem to think that firearms enthusiasts who choose to live in a place called Gun Barrel City need the government's encouragement to arm themselves. It's a marketing move more than anything, something the town is familiar with.

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/05/gun_barrel_city_is_telling_its.php .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed May 1, 2013, 07:11 PM (1 replies)

State officials tell legislators that educating West residents about plant was local responsibility

AUSTIN — Texas Department of Public Safety officials this morning told state lawmakers that educating residents in West – and in other Texas towns – about possible dangers of chemicals stored in nearby facilities falls to local officials.

“It’s a local up,” DPS Director Steve McCraw said during a legislative hearing in Austin. “It’s not a state down.”

Those and other assessments of various state agencies’ oversight and enforcement roles came during a Texas House committee hearing about the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people, injured more than 200 others and damaged scores of houses in the small Central Texas town.

<<<snip>>>

Shortly after the hearing ended, Democratic-leaning advocacy group Progress Texas blasted state leaders for what they say is a dangerous lack of regulation. The group’s political director said in a prepared statement that Texans’ health and safety should be a priority.

More at http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/state-house-members-begin-questioning-experts-on-west-explosion.html/

Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed May 1, 2013, 07:06 PM (5 replies)

Three gay rights activists arrested in Capitol protest

Three members of a gay-rights group were arrested Wednesday morning at the Capitol after they staged a sit-in at the offices of two senators, authorities said.

Names of the people arrested and the charges they face were not immediately available.

Troopers said the group identified themselves as members of GetEqualTX, an activist group that supports Senate Bill 237 that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Texas Department of Public Safety officers were reported to be questioning the three after the 9:15 a.m. arrests outside the offices of state Sens. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, and Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/three-arrested-in-state-capitol-protest/nXdG7/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed May 1, 2013, 02:17 PM (0 replies)

May 1st: Day of the Worker

by Carol Morgan

Since the 1880’s, May 1st is celebrated as International Workers Day, a worldwide event representing the solidarity of working class men and women. It was the 1886 Haymarket Square Riots in Chicago that inspired this day. Workers in the 19th century were exploited, working fourteen hour days, seven days a week in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, by the capital class who profited enormously from the railroad, steel, mining and chemical boom of that era.

The struggle for better working conditions and fair practices went on for fifty-two years. It wasn’t until June 25, 1938 that American workers were guaranteed an eight hour day and certain labor assurances. These demands could have been met without government intervention if the capitalist class valued their workers over huge profits.

It was the 16th century Scottish Economist, Adam Smith, who wrote in The Wealth of Nations “The wages of labor and the working conditions of labor will be as low as society’s sense of decency will tolerate.” It’s up to society, through government agencies, organized labor, boycotts, moral persuasion, or a combination of all of the above, who will determine working conditions and compensation.

Even though it’s the 21st century, we’re seeing many of the past practices of the capitalist class resurface; like old wine in new skins. Part of it is the “flat world” that Thomas Friedman talked about. Globalized trade, outsourcing, supply-chaining, and political forces have altered the world, making all nations economically interdependent.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2013-04-30/may-1st-day-worker .

Cross-posted in General Discussion.

Carol Morgan is a career counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed May 1, 2013, 02:23 AM (1 replies)

May 1st: Day of the Worker

by Carol Morgan

Since the 1880’s, May 1st is celebrated as International Workers Day, a worldwide event representing the solidarity of working class men and women. It was the 1886 Haymarket Square Riots in Chicago that inspired this day. Workers in the 19th century were exploited, working fourteen hour days, seven days a week in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, by the capital class who profited enormously from the railroad, steel, mining and chemical boom of that era.

The struggle for better working conditions and fair practices went on for fifty-two years. It wasn’t until June 25, 1938 that American workers were guaranteed an eight hour day and certain labor assurances. These demands could have been met without government intervention if the capitalist class valued their workers over huge profits.

It was the 16th century Scottish Economist, Adam Smith, who wrote in The Wealth of Nations “The wages of labor and the working conditions of labor will be as low as society’s sense of decency will tolerate.” It’s up to society, through government agencies, organized labor, boycotts, moral persuasion, or a combination of all of the above, who will determine working conditions and compensation.

Even though it’s the 21st century, we’re seeing many of the past practices of the capitalist class resurface; like old wine in new skins. Part of it is the “flat world” that Thomas Friedman talked about. Globalized trade, outsourcing, supply-chaining, and political forces have altered the world, making all nations economically interdependent.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2013-04-30/may-1st-day-worker .

Cross-posted in Texas Group.

Carol Morgan is a career counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India.

Somebody has to tell the E.P.A.

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From Americans Against the Tea Party

New technology allows professors to track whether students are reading their textbooks

This semester, thousands of college students around the country, including dozens at a Texas A&M University campus, won't be able to hide their studying habits from the prying eyes of their professors.

With the new platform CourseSmart Analytics, professors are able to see the students' level of engagement - how much of digital texts students have read, whether they highlight passages or took notes and how much time they spent on their readings.

A beta version of CourseSmart is being tested at several universities during the spring semester serving about 4,000 students, and officials hope to roll it out fully by the fall, said spokeswoman Cindy Clark. The goal is to move away from traditional textbooks and methods and help give faculty an insight into their students' behaviors, she said.

"Only about 55 percent of college students graduate within six years," Clark said. "This illustrates the demand within higher education for a tool that would help students be more successful in their studies and graduate on time."

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/New-technology-allows-professors-to-track-whether-4476645.php

[font color=green]These were the best of times, these were the worst of times.[/font]

North Forest ISD defies state order to fire teachers

The North Forest school board on Monday defied a state order to fire all its teachers for the next school year, leaving Texas Education Agency officials pondering their next move as the district is supposed to be taken over by Houston ISD come July 1.

Doris Delaney, a TEA appointee at the school board meeting, told the trustees that they had to take action to fire the teachers under state law, but the board refused, voting against the agenda items or simply not seconding the motions.

Trustees explained that they considered the state’s order “awful” and “immoral,” and community members at the packed meeting agreed, calling out, “Don’t do it. Stand up to them,” said Sue Davis, a spokeswoman for the North Forest Independent School District.

State law requires teachers in any district to be notified before the school year ends if their contracts will not renewed the following school year.

More at http://blog.chron.com/k12zone/2013/04/north-forest-defies-state-order-to-fire-teachers/ .
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