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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, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 84,696

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

Police: Man chokes woman in Austin airport line to ‘take Devil to hell’

AUSTIN -- A woman waiting in the security line with two children at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday was grabbed from behind by a man who put her in a choke hold, saying he was told to “take the Devil to hell,” according to the man’s arrest affidavit.

The man, identified by authorities as Derek Tyler Chapman, 23, was arrested and faces a misdemeanor charge of assault with injury.

Just before 6:20 a.m., Chapman was standing behind a woman at an airport screening checkpoint when he suddenly put his hand over the woman’s mouth and wrap his other arm around her throat, a Transportation Security Administration officer told police.

The woman, who told police she did not know Chapman, pushed him away and he released her, according to the affidavit. She told police she had pain her neck and wanted to press charges but that she needed to catch her flight.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/authorities-man-standing-in-line-at-airport-puts-w/nppTw/

FIFA ethics court bans Blatter, Platini for 8 years

ZURICH (AP) — Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were each banned for eight years by the FIFA ethics committee on Monday in a stunning removal of world soccer's most powerful leaders.

FIFA President Blatter and his one-time protege Platini were kicked out of the sport for conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA in a $2 million payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.

Both men were defiant in response to the verdict, with each saying they will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and insisting they had done nothing wrong.

"I will fight," Blatter told a news conference in Zurich. "I will fight until the end."

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/FIFA-ethics-court-bans-Blatter-Platini-for-8-6712138.php

Cruz Faces Fresh Waves of Inconsistency Charges

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. — Ted Cruz woke up Sunday morning to a fresh barrage of charges of inconsistency from his Republican rivals for the White House, allegations that go far beyond his battle with Marco Rubio over their roles in the 2013 immigration debate.

In TV interviews, at least three of his GOP opponents raised accusations new and old that the Texas senator is anything but the "consistent conservative" he claims to be on the campaign trail. Joining Rubio in the Sunday morning pile-on were U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Leading the charge has been Rubio, the Florida senator who has been tangling with Cruz for weeks over a range of issues — most sharply immigration. Rubio has charged Cruz with being unclear on how he would deal with the 12 million people already in the country illegally, while Cruz has countered that he has never wavered in his oppostion to providing any form of "amnesty" to them.

"There are multiple issues in which he has tried to do these sort of things," Rubio said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "If you're going to attack someone on a policy issue, you need to be clear where you stand on the issue, and where you stood in the past."

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/12/20/cruz-faces-new-charges-inconsistency/

Arizona Taxpayers Billed $500,000 for Battle Against Gay Marriage

Arizona taxpayers will pay half a million dollars for the unsuccessful fight against same-sex marriage, the Daily Sun reports:

U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick on Friday approved an agreement by the Attorney General’s Office to pay $300,000 in legal fees and costs to Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund for its role in the 2014 lawsuit challenging Arizona’s constitutional provision limiting marriage to one man and one woman. The state also will reimburse the group more than $2,000 in costs.

That comes on top of another $200,000 in legal fees the state already has paid to attorney Shawn Aiken, who had filed his own challenge to the ban. Attorney Jenny Pizer of Lambda Legal suggested the state is getting off easy.

“This reflects, among other things, the quality and efficiency of our work and resulting reasonableness of the hourly rates charged,” she said.

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2015/12/arizona-gay-marriage/

Premont ISD to stay open

PREMONT - Rena Martinez let Friday's automated phone call to Premont ISD parents go to voice mail.

She saw on social media the Texas Education Agency will keep her alma mater open another year, but wanted a memento.

"So we can show everybody," she said smiling.

Martinez, 31, graduated from Premont High School in 2002, when the district had four campuses. It's down to two schools and on Friday weathered its second closure threat in the past five years.

Read more: http://www.caller.com/news/education/local/premont-isd-to-stay-open-272ff577-d08f-7a16-e053-0100007f54d7-362944081.html

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Appoints Allen West to Texas Sunset Commission

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Friday announced the appointment of conservative firebrand Allen West, a former Florida congressman and prominent Fox News contributor, to the state's Sunset Advisory Commission.

West was elected to Congress in 2010 to represent Florida's 22nd district, and he narrowly lost a re-election bid in 2012. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years, including serving as a battalion commander during the Iraq War, before being stripped of his command after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation in 2003, according to the Boston Globe. West retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel and has since become a conservative commentator. He has lived in Dallas for just over a year and is currently president and CEO of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, a think tank.

"There is no mission more important than working towards a more efficient and effective state government," West said in a statement. "As a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a former member of Congress, it is a blessing to follow in the footsteps of Davy Crockett who came to Texas to fight for liberty and freedom."

The Sunset Commission, whose members are appointed by the lieutenant governor and speaker of the House, is tasked with periodically reviewing the operation and efficiency of different state agencies. Patrick appointed West as one of the commission's two public members. The other 10 people on the commission are members of the Legislature. West's appointment is likely to put a spotlight on the typically low-profile commission, which is reviewing more than a dozen agencies ahead of the 2017 session, including the Department of Transportation and the Texas Medical Board.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/12/18/patrick-appoints-allen-west-former-florida-congres/

An overhaul for Travis County DA’s insurance agreement with Texas Mutual Ins. Company

Responding to a flood of criticism about its unusual financial arrangement with a large insurance company, the Travis County district attorney’s office is dramatically restructuring its workers’ compensation fraud unit and implementing new safeguards against potential abuse and conflicts of interest.

The changes come in the wake of a series of reports by the Austin American-Statesman and The Texas Tribune that raised questions about the cozy relationship between government prosecutors and Texas Mutual Insurance Company, the state’s largest provider of workers’ compensation policies.

After a six-month joint investigation, the reports revealed in September that Texas Mutual, in an exclusive funding deal, had authorized payments to the district attorney’s office of more than $4.7 million since 2001 to have its fraud cases prosecuted by the public prosecutors. Under the deal, private fraud investigators working for Texas Mutual reported their cases directly to those prosecutors.

“I think that we should always be striving to assure there’s confidence in the way the justice system works, and I had questions that the way this was set up created appearances that would degrade confidence,” said state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who announced the changes Friday. “And so I tried to address those within the limitations we have.”

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/an-overhaul-for-travis-county-das-insurance-agreem/npnX9/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral

U.S. Marshals release ‘Wanted’ poster for ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch, offer $5,000 reward

For mowing down four people with his pickup in 2013 while he was drunk, Ethan Couch’s name was splashed all over the news.

And for skipping town and his probation, the U.S. Marshals now have plastered his face on “Wanted” posters released Friday.

The marshals are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information on the whereabouts of the teen, who will forever be tied to the term “affluenza.”

On Thursday, the U.S. Marshals joined the search for Couch, 18, who is wanted on suspicion of violating the terms of his probation by failing to check in with his probation officer. Authorities have said they fear he may have left the country.

Read more: http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/12/u-s-marshals-release-wanted-poster-for-affluenza-teen-ethan-couch-offer-5000-reward.html/

Ex-US House Speaker Dennis Hastert recovering from stroke

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, awaiting sentencing in a hush-money case, has suffered a stroke and was admitted to a hospital the first week of November, his attorney said in a statement.

Hastert also has been treated for sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of infection, and had two back surgeries while in the hospital, attorney Tom Green's statement said.

"We are very hopeful that Mr. Hastert will be released from the hospital in the early part of the new year," Green said Thursday. "The family very much desires that during Mr. Hastert's continued hospitalization his privacy will be respected."

Hastert was accused in May of evading banking regulations as part of a plan to pay hush money to conceal "prior misconduct." The Associated Press and other media outlets, citing anonymous sources, have reported that Hastert wanted to hide claims that he sexually molested someone decades earlier.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/apnews/ex-us-house-speaker-dennis-hastert-recovering-from-stroke/article_fd7dd442-73b4-5ea4-afba-b5f6448c431f.html

Jediism - A Virtual Religion

Founder of the Temple Of The Jedi Order: First International Church Of Jediism, John Henry Phelan of Beaumont says he successfully applied for a 501(c)3 recognition of the church.

BEAUMONT, TEXAS -- John Henry Phelan was the kid in Catholic school who questioned how Adam and Eve were able to populate the planet.

His skepticism and the aspects of Catholicism he couldn't reconcile — gay marriage, reproductive rights and the absence of female priests — caused him to adopt a new belief system, Jediism, which he considers his religion.

Phelan, a 55-year-old Beaumont resident, calls himself a Jedi — but not the telekinetic, light saber-wielding soldier of the "Star Wars" franchise, which reemerges today with the movie opening of "The Force Awakens."

Phelan subscribes to the ever-changing philosophy of the "Force" and is a member of the Temple of the Jedi Order, an online church he founded in 2005.

Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Beaumont-man-embraces-Jedi-lifestyle-6704867.php
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