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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: 64,903

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

All in all it's just another brick in the ... window?

VICTORIA, TEXAS -- A former Victoria ISD teacher arrested on suspicion of running over a woman in February faces more criminal charges.

Amy Gilliam Madigan, 40, was charged with criminal mischief between $50 and $500, a Class B misdemeanor, after she allegedly threw a brick through the same woman's window.

-snip-

Dorsett was at work, but her child had told her that Madigan had pushed her way inside their home in the 400 block of Kingwood Drive.

Dorsett's child said Madigan had found out Madigan's child, who had slept over at the house the night before, had not gone to school.

More at http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2014/mar/29/madigan_case_jrp_033014_235951/ .

[font color=green]Hey! teacher--leave them kids alone!

My apologies to Pink Floyd for taking poetic license.[/font]

Criminal Court Punts on ‘Retroactive Punishment’ Question

Craig Rudy Reynolds was lucky three times, but not four.

In 1990, when Reynolds was convicted of sexual assault of a child, Texas didn’t have a public sex offender registry. Lawmakers established one just a year later, but it applied only to convictions after September 1991, so Reynolds was exempt. Then, in 1997, legislators changed the law to require all sex offenders convicted after 1970 to register—but only if currently incarcerated or on probation or parole. Reynolds had already served his full five-year sentence. He was a free man.

But it didn’t last. In 2005, lawmakers amended the statute again to require every post-1970 sex offender to register, whether supervised or not. Reynolds, who’d done his time a decade before, says he didn’t know about the change, but that didn’t matter to the court that found him guilty of failure to register in 2009.

The Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas’ highest for criminal cases, heard Reynolds’ appeal in February. This time, he argued both that he couldn’t have known he was supposed to register and—more intriguingly—that the new requirement is unconstitutional because it was retroactive punishment.

The U.S. Constitution forbids ex post facto laws, which change the legal consequences of an act committed before the law was passed. That’s why you can’t go to jail for having eaten apples in 1970 if they’re outlawed in 2015. But you can, at any time in the future, get added to an apple-eater registry, denied an occupational license, and kicked out of public housing. Those are considered civil penalties, meant to protect the public, rather than punitive ones meant to punish or deter. Unlike punishment, civil penalties can apply retroactively.

More at http://www.texasobserver.org/texas-court-criminal-appeals-retroactive-civil-penalties/ .

Greg Abbott vs. the Child Predators of Williamson County

On Sunday, Eric Dexheimer at the Austin American-Statesman looked at Greg Abbott’s prosecution of online child predators and found something peculiar. Abbott has long touted his efforts against child predators, and why wouldn’t he? It’s obviously very important work, and it has the added bonus of being very politically popular. But when Dexheimer studied the number of people the AG’s office has prosecuted for attempting to solicit minors, he found that since the start of 2012, more than two-thirds of the office’s busts happened in Williamson County, just north of Austin.

Three law enforcement agencies in Texas have been designated Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces—the Houston and Dallas police departments have their own, which operate primarily in their respective metropolitan areas. Abbott’s AG office has responsibility for most of the rest of the state, some 134 counties. Yet the vast majority of cases Abbott prosecutes take place in the Austin metropolitan area—and one county in particular. “Almost six out of 10 of all cases over the past decade,” Dexheimer reports, “have been brought in a tight geographic circle around Austin.”

In addition to being an extraordinarily narrow concentration of state resources, one result is that over the past three years, three-quarters of the defendants accused by Abbott’s office of stalking children online have been from the Austin metropolitan area, in effect making his office more a local police unit than state agency.

There are a couple of reasons the Attorney General’s office might prefer to use Williamson County to arrange busts. There’s the jurisdiction’s tough-on-crime reputation, and an easy relationship with local police departments. There’s also the fact that it’s a short drive from the office—coordinating a bust in El Paso, of course, would require a much greater expense of both time and money for Abbott’s officers.

But it doesn’t seem like an ideal use of resources, as a deterrent or a general policy. We may hope that the herd of child predators in Round Rock has been thinned significantly, but what about cities far from the attorney general’s task force headquarters, where prospective sex offenders know they are significantly less likely to get caught if they look for prey in Uvalde and not Leander?

While there is nothing improper about the unit’s limited focus, it raises questions about the agency’s commitment to pursue offenders statewide. A listing of the office’s child pornography investigations, by comparison, shows those cases are dotted throughout the state.


More at http://www.texasobserver.org/greg-abbott-vs-child-predators-williamson-county/ .

Mexican magnate Carlos Slim's companies fight regulators

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two companies controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim filed an appeal against government regulators' decision to declare them "predominant" in telecommunications, an industry they say they don't even participate in.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute had declared the companies had majority market positions in the telecom industry early in March, even though neither is a telephone carrier or Internet provider.

The companies are Inbursa, a Slim-controlled bank, and his Grupo Carso diversified holding company.

Regulators had said that was because the two firms had ties to America Movil, which does have dominant market position in areas like cell phones.

More at http://www.themonitor.com/news/apnews/mexican-magnate-s-companies-fight-regulators/article_8d96ce7d-d740-5b98-a5b9-8d54b3e17ae7.html .

Out singer Andy Bell (of Erasure) to jazz it up for Razzle Dazzle Dallas

Andy Bell will headline the ninth annual Metroball fundraiser that benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, organizers announced.

The June 6 event at Station 4 is the Friday party of Razzle Dazzle Dallas, the city’s event for National Gay Pride Month.

Bell who’s openly gay, recently sat down to chat with Dallas Voice about the group’s holiday CD, Snow Globe.

Along with the singer, Metroball will feature a DJ dance party and a silent auction.

More at http://www.dallasvoice.com/singer-andy-bell-jazz-razzle-dazzle-dallas-10170376.html .

Yes, that is Jason Statham in the body paint with the muscle poses:

Corpus Christi police apprehend chicken after it crosses the road, tries to escape



CORPUS CHRISTI — Corpus Christi police apprehended a chicken after it crossed the road Sunday afternoon because the animal failed to use a crosswalk, according to a police news release.

A police officer, known by his peers as “Chicken Hawk,” saw a chicken crossing the street about 2 p.m. in the 1600 block of Agnes Street.

The officer tried to detain the chicken for crossing outside of a crosswalk, but the animal fled on foot, police said.

In an attempt to escape, the chicken jumped through the open window of an unoccupied vehicle. But the keys to the vehicle weren’t in the ignition, police said.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2014/mar/31/corpus-christi-police-apprehend-chicken-after-it-c/ .

Cross-posted in the Weird News Group.

[font color=green]Note to the Corpus Christi police and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day!

... and a piece of advice for the chicken involved in the hot pursuit--watch out for Col. Sanders.[/font]


Corpus Christi police apprehend chicken after it crosses the road, tries to escape



CORPUS CHRISTI — Corpus Christi police apprehended a chicken after it crossed the road Sunday afternoon because the animal failed to use a crosswalk, according to a police news release.

A police officer, known by his peers as “Chicken Hawk,” saw a chicken crossing the street about 2 p.m. in the 1600 block of Agnes Street.

The officer tried to detain the chicken for crossing outside of a crosswalk, but the animal fled on foot, police said.

In an attempt to escape, the chicken jumped through the open window of an unoccupied vehicle. But the keys to the vehicle weren’t in the ignition, police said.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2014/mar/31/corpus-christi-police-apprehend-chicken-after-it-c/ .

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

[font color=green]Note to the Corpus Christi police and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day!

... and a piece of advice for the chicken involved in the hot pursuit--watch out for Col. Sanders.[/font]


Perry: Texas Won't Work With Feds To Prevent Prison Rape

Citing what he calls a "counterproductive and unnecessarily cumbersome and costly regulatory mess," Texas Governor Rick Perry on Friday sent a three-page letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder declaring that Texas would not comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

The Prison Rape Elimination Act was signed by President George W. Bush in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in Congress. The purpose of the act was to "provide for the analysts of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape."

Scott over at Grits for Breakfast has acquired Perry's letter to Holder and excerpted it copiously.

In the letter, Perry cites operational obstacles to implementation of PREA. Perry complains that PREA standards on cross-gender viewing - the requirement that inmates be allowed to do things like shower and change without members of the opposite gender viewing them -- are "ridiculous" and unworkable.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15033/perry-texas-wont-work-with-feds-to-prevent-prison-rape .

Texas Tech System endowment exceeds $1 billion

The Texas Tech System endowment has exceeded $1 billion for the first time in the system’s history, A-J Media has learned.

The endowment now amounts to $1.043 billion, the 86th-highest in the nation, according to Tech’s office of communications and marketing.

“Once you get to a billion-dollar endowment, you’re in a new league,” Tech Chancellor Kent Hance said.

According to Jim Brunjes, vice chancellor and chief financial officer for the system, the billion-dollar figure is the combined total for all of Tech’s endowment money collected through the years.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/education/2014-03-30/texas-tech-system-endowment-exceeds-1-billion .

Greg Abbott promotes improving quality of pre-K over expanding access, full-day classes

Texas should invest first in improving the quality of prekindergarten before opening the door for more students to attend full-day classes, GOP gubernatorial Greg Abbott announced on Monday.

“Expanding the population of students served by existing state-funded programs without addressing the quality of existing prekindergarten instruction or how it is being delivered would be an act of negligence and waste,” according to an Abbott policy proposal, which provides the first glimpse into his education ideas.

To improve local prekindergarten offerings, Abbott’s would support providing an additional $1,500 per student for school districts that agree to implement a “gold standard” program. That program would include a rigorous curriculum, staff requirements and assessments to measure the program’s effectiveness.

“Any increased investment in state-funded pre-k must tie outcomes to funding, and must provide incentives for private providers to offer high quality kindergarten programs that meet the educational goals established by the state,” the policy proposal continues.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/greg-abbott-promotes-improving-quality-of-prek-ove/nfPRY/ .

[font color=green]The article states that the cost over two years for the Abbott proposal is $118 million. Meanwhile, Wendy Davis has proposed an expansion of pre-K classes to all eligible children at a cost of $750 million.

So which agencies will be affected in order for Abbott to fund his proposal since he will most likely veto any tax increases? Also, why does a rigorous curriculum need to be developed for pre-K programs and why would the state need to develop assessments to measure those programs? It seems like another corporate welfare scheme to direct funds to the corporations that would develop the testing programs and methodologies for those assessments. This action seems to counter Tea Party politics that advocate for the removal of government from the classrooms.

Finally, as the article also noted there is a certain amount of hypocrisy for Abbott to speak about improving the quality of pre-K programs when as attorney general he is defending the state for cuts that were already made in pre-K programs.[/fonts]
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