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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 78,937

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

Senate confirms first openly gay man as federal district judge in Texas

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Robert Pitman to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, making him the first openly gay federal district court judge in Texas, according to reports by LGBTQNation.com.

The Western District court had been vacant for six years. The vote to confirm Pitman came late Tuesday evening, Dec. 16.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who has never been a friend of the LGBT community, is getting credit for Pitman being confirmed — but not because Cruz suddenly had a change of heart on LGBT issues.

In an effort to force a vote on what he called President Obama’s “illegal executive amnesty” for immigrants, Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Friday, Dec. 12, scuttled a bipartisan agreement that would have prevented weekend votes in the Senate. The ban on weekend votes would have meant the Senate would have run out of time before being able to vote on confirming more than a dozen of the president’s judicial and executive nominees, including Pitman, who likely would not have been confirmed if they had been forced to wait until next year when the GOP will control the Senate.

Read more: http://www.dallasvoice.com/breaking-senate-confirms-openly-gay-judge-federal-bench-texas-10186340.html

Perry says he could decide on presidential run by May

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry, who has been deep in preparation for a second potential presidential bid, said Tuesday he’s unfazed by Jeb Bush’s edging closer as a candidate.

“I really haven’t been paying attention on whether someone’s in or out,” Perry said. “I’m not surprised that somebody wants to be president of the United States. America is longing for a very positive vision for this country, and if I decide to run, I’m going to give them that.”

In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Perry said he expects to make his decision as early as May. For now, he’s winding down an unprecedented 14-year tenure as governor, the office he assumed after George W. Bush — Jeb’s brother — became president.

Jeb Bush, admired by the GOP’s establishment wing, disclosed Tuesday that he’s exploring a presidential run. His candidacy could increase tensions with party factions that favor harder-edged conservatives like Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz and others.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/national-politics/20141216-perry-says-he-could-decide-on-presidential-run-by-may.ece

Should Texas Democrats Boycott Perry's Farewell Speech to the Texas Legislature?

I see absolutely no reason why Democrats should attend Gov. Rick Perry's farewell speech to the Texas Legislature when it convenes in January. Providing a platform for the indicted governor serves as an opportunity to further his political ambitions. I believe that we should urge our Democratic legislators to not give the governor a bipartisan audience.

Perry likens Hanukkah to Boston Tea Party rebels

AUSTIN, Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is marking the first night of Hanukkah by likening the Jewish Festival of Lights to the Boston Tea Party.

In a statement Tuesday, Perry compared Jewish Maccabee rebels to American colonists who protested against British rule in 1773.

The Republican said it was "fitting" that this year's first night of Hanukkah falls on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article4532135.html

Austin Energy employees accused of stealing copper wire

Police said at least three Austin Energy employees are accused of stealing thousands of pounds of copper as part of an alleged metal theft ring, court documents show.

Police have charged 45-year-old Cornel Shoaf and 30-year-old David Lee, both employees of the Austin Energy Reclamation Center, with theft by a public servant after a several months of investigation, the affidavits said.

Police said thousands of pounds of copper — including a type of bare bright copper used in underground electrical wire that is processed at the City of Austin Energy Reclamation Center at 906 Justin Lane in North Austin — were stolen and then recycled for money since 2013, the affidavit said.

Officers said they had been following several people who were recycling large amounts of copper. Police said Shoaf helped James Mercer, who has been charged with theft of metal, steal about 400 pounds of copper wire by letting Mercer inside the reclamation center on Sept. 27, the affidavit said.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/austin-energy-employees-accused-of-stealing-copper/njTG8/

Revolution: Unwanted Disorder or More?

By Dr. Eric Selbin
Professor of Political Science
Southwestern University

“A revolution constitutes a challenge to the established political order and the eventual establishment of a new order radically different from the preceding one.”

Encyclopedia Britannica

This definition brings to mind the American Revolution (1765–1783), the French Revolution (1789–1799), or the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920), but what does “revolution” mean and how is it viewed in today’s world?

In the July 4, 2013, edition of The Huffington Post, Jennifer Bradley and Bruce Katz conclude in their article, “Today’s American Revolution,” that “In the absence of constructive action in Washington, cities and metropolitan areas have emerged as the can-do directors of the nation, taking powerful steps to grow jobs and remake their economies for the long haul.”(2)

The ancient Greeks viewed revolution as the undesirable result of societal breakdown; a strong value system, firmly adhered to, was thought to protect against it. During the Middle Ages, much attention was given to finding means of combating revolution and stifling societal change. With the advent of Renaissance humanism, there arose the belief that radical changes of government are sometimes necessary and good, and the idea of revolution took on more positive connotations. John Milton regarded it as a means of achieving freedom, Immanuel Kant believed it was a force for the advancement of mankind, and G.W.F. Hegel held it to be the fulfillment of human destiny. Hegel’s philosophy in turn influenced Karl Marx. (3)

In the most recent decade, there have been more than 50 “revolutions” of sorts. The revolutionary wave known as the “Arab Spring” alone included uprisings, revolts, protests, revolutions and civil wars in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Yemen, Algeria, Syria, Bahrain and Oman.

- See more at: http://southwestern.edu/su_blogs/suonline/2014/11/18/revolution-unwanted-disorder-or-more/?utm_source=111814_COM_Nov+DigX&utm_campaign=Nov+DigX&utm_medium=email#sthash.DKur95d3.dpuf

Texas Law Could Short-Circuit Battery Breakthrough

Texas’ largest power line company says it has found a way to quickly revolutionize the state’s electrical grid, making it more reliable and friendlier to renewable energy without driving up consumer costs.

-snip-

The company, Oncor, which has 119,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines delivering power to more than three million homes and businesses, surprised the energy world last month when it announced that it was willing to spend billions of dollars by 2018 to install some 25,000 batteries across Texas that would store electricity to be discharged when needed.

The affordability of such a plan was thought to be decades away, but battery costs are fast declining as suppliers like Tesla ramp up production. The Brattle Group, in a study Oncor commissioned, estimated that Texas could add up to five gigawatts of storage capacity to its grid without increasing long-term costs for consumers. Those batteries could store enough electricity to power 1.5 million Texas homes on a hot summer day.

Experts have long considered large-scale energy storage a holy grail, particularly in Texas, where demands wildly fluctuate. Power plants sit idle for long stretches, especially when Texans turn off their lights at night. And some plants, including inefficient, high-polluting coal plants, are used only on the hottest or coldest days. Meanwhile, wind turbines typically churn out more power at night, when winds blow the strongest.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/12/15/state-law-could-short-circuit-battery-breakthrough/

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

Texas Law Could Short-Circuit Battery Breakthrough

Texas’ largest power line company says it has found a way to quickly revolutionize the state’s electrical grid, making it more reliable and friendlier to renewable energy without driving up consumer costs.

-snip-

The company, Oncor, which has 119,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines delivering power to more than three million homes and businesses, surprised the energy world last month when it announced that it was willing to spend billions of dollars by 2018 to install some 25,000 batteries across Texas that would store electricity to be discharged when needed.

The affordability of such a plan was thought to be decades away, but battery costs are fast declining as suppliers like Tesla ramp up production. The Brattle Group, in a study Oncor commissioned, estimated that Texas could add up to five gigawatts of storage capacity to its grid without increasing long-term costs for consumers. Those batteries could store enough electricity to power 1.5 million Texas homes on a hot summer day.

Experts have long considered large-scale energy storage a holy grail, particularly in Texas, where demands wildly fluctuate. Power plants sit idle for long stretches, especially when Texans turn off their lights at night. And some plants, including inefficient, high-polluting coal plants, are used only on the hottest or coldest days. Meanwhile, wind turbines typically churn out more power at night, when winds blow the strongest.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/12/15/state-law-could-short-circuit-battery-breakthrough/

Cross-posted in the Environment & Energy Group.

Millionaire Durst pleads 'no contest' in CVS urination incident

Blaming a "medical mishap," New York millionaire Robert Durst pleaded "no contest" Tuesday to the charge of criminal mischief, a class C misdemeanor, after being accused of exposing himself and urinating inside a CVS store on Kirby in July.

"Mr. Durst expressed his apologies to CVS for this unfortunate medical mishap," attorney Chip Lewis said in a prepared statement handed to reporters in court Tuesday. "He compensated them for the damage done and appreciates their understanding."

Lewis said neither he nor Durst would comment further on the case.

The real estate mogul did not attend the scheduled appearance in County Court at Law Judge Don Smyth's court.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Durst-pleads-guilty-in-CVS-incident-5960352.php

[font color=green]You might want to shop elsewhere if you see this guy in the store:[/font]


Photo By Mayra Beltran

Related threads:
UPDATE: Real estate heir Durst accused of urinating on candy at CVS, turns himself in

http://www.democraticunderground.com/107819717

Real estate heir charged for urinating on candy

http://www.democraticunderground.com/107819691

Texan allegedly stabbed person in eye with fork during Thanksgiving celebration

BRENHAM, TEXAS -- A Central Texas man has been charged with using a fork to stab a person in the eye and blind her during a Thanksgiving celebration (in Burton, Texas).

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says Steve Gantt was being held Tuesday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault causing bodily injury.

Sheriff's official had no immediate information on an attorney for Gantt, whose bond was set at $51,500 after he surrendered Monday.

Warrants were issued for the 42-year-old Burton man following the Nov. 27 attack at a residence.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/texas/texan-allegedly-stabbed-person-in-eye-with-fork/njTFd/
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