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Gender: Female
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Member since: Sun Oct 14, 2012, 11:45 AM
Number of posts: 11,295

About Me

Always a Democrat. I can't understand conservatives. I try to understand them, but I can't. They don't make sense. Our country has gone so far right since 1981. I was just an average American who took many Democratic values for granted when Reagan was elected. It was like the rug was pulled out from under our society. Reagan ruined our country.

Journal Archives

Texas prohibits nearly 70 percent of its counties from having a fire code

Environmental Writer
Published: 25 May 2013 11:17 PM
Updated: 26 May 2013 12:48 PM

Victoria County, a little slice of the Texas chemical coast, has nearly 39 million pounds of concoctions that can poison and nearly 11 million pounds that can catch fire.

“A potential for a catastrophic event” is how one federal agency described the risk if they leak. A temptation for terrorists, added another.

But Victoria County cannot use a firefighter’s basic tool for preventing industrial disaster: a fire code.

Texas won’t let the county adopt one.

In piney-woods southeast Texas, nearly 250,000 people within 25 miles of a paper mill could breathe chlorine or chlorine-dioxide gas after a worst-case fire or accident. Some could die.

Much more at link: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/west-explosion/investigation/20130525-texas-prohibits-nearly-70-percent-of-its-counties-from-having-a-fire-code.ece

Dallas Morning News coverage of the West Fertilizer explosion has been excellent.

Capital Buzzes with Talk of Special Session


AUSTIN — The Capitol was buzzing Friday with talk of Gov. Rick Perry calling a special session to deal with issues like redistricting, school choice and others left pending when the regular session ends Monday.

Perry is the only one who can call lawmakers into special session, and he'll set its agenda if he calls one.

He would not say Friday if that was his plan. “We're headed for the end of the session,” is all Perry said, though he earlier hinted a special session could occur if lawmakers didn't send him enough tax relief or investment in water infrastructure.

A laundry list of topics is possible for a potential special session agenda, including anti-abortion and pro-gun measures, expressing frustration that they were blocked in the regular session by Democrats, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said.

snip - 2 paragraphs left.................

JROTC instructor suspended with pay


Lackland airman barred from contact with O’Connor HS student

Northside ISD confirms retired Lt. Colonel James Payne, a respected JROTC instructor and founder of the program at O’Connor High School, has been suspended with pay pending an investigation by the district.

“He was placed on administrative leave because he did not follow district policy when it comes to field trips,” said Pascual Gonzalez, NISD spokesman.

He said Payne should have cancelled a field trip late last month to Camp Eagle in Rocksprings with 29 students after two parents had backed out as chaperones a few days earlier, or notified the principal of the problem.

Gonzalez said the district requires three parent chaperones on field trips.

He said instead, the 48-year-old instructor, who was on the trip as well, relied on a 21-year-old airman who claimed to be writing a story about developing responsibility and leadership among JROTC students, and their retired military instructors.

Gonzalez said the airman was not authorized to be with students because he had not been cleared by the principal and did not undergo a required criminal background check.

When they returned, Gonzalez said a parent told Payne of serious allegations.

“This airman from Lackland Air Force Base had inappropriate contact, communication and behavior with Northside students,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez would not discuss the specific nature of those allegations.

The military sex assault stuff is now infiltrating Junior ROTC

Exclusive: At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tampering

Saw this on General Discussion:


By Selam Gebrekidan and Joshua Schneyer

NEW YORK | Fri May 3, 2013 11:23am EDT

(Reuters) - The Texas fertilizer plant that exploded two weeks ago, killing 14 people and injuring about 200, was a repeat target of theft by intruders who tampered with tanks and caused the release of toxic chemicals, police records reviewed by Reuters show.

Police responded to at least 11 reports of burglaries and five separate ammonia leaks at West Fertilizer Co over the past 12 years, according to 911 dispatch logs and criminal offense reports Reuters obtained from the McLennan County Sheriff's office in Waco, Texas through an Open Records Request.

Some of the leaks, including one reported in October 2012, were linked to theft or interference with tank valves.

According to one 2002 crime report, a plant manager told police that intruders were stealing four to five gallons of anhydrous ammonia every three days. The liquid gas can be used to cook methamphetamine, the addictive and illicit stimulant.


The perimeter was not fenced, and the facility had no burglar alarms or security guards, he said. "It was a hometown-like situation. Everybody trusts everybody.

What the heck?? I can understand small town, but this just doesn't make sense. Even liquor stores and banks in small towns have decent security.

Hailey Dunn Update: Remains ID'd as missing 13-year-old Texas girl, attorney says


(CBS/AP) SNYDER, Texas - Remains found in a remote West Texas location last month are those of Hailey Darlene Dunn, a 13-year-old middle school cheerleader missing since December 2010, an attorney for the girl's family said Friday.

Texas Rangers informed the girl's mother, Billie Jean Dunn, earlier in the day that the remains found near Snyder in Scurry County last month were those of Hailey Dunn, the daughter she had reported as missing on Dec. 28, 2010, attorney John Young said.

He said Dunn, who lives in Austin, will be driving to West Texas to arrange for her daughter's funeral.

"She's trying to process the entirety of this," Young said. "She has to process that Hailey isn't coming home."

Officials were holding a news conference Friday afternoon.

The body was found about 20 miles north of the girl's hometown of Colorado City. The girl had been the subject of months of intensive searches in and around Colorado City and surrounding fields and landfills. More than 100 billboards featuring her picture and information about the case were set up along interstates in Texas and other states.

Mark Geragos blasts media allegations about ‘Armenian’ trace in Boston bombings


News | 26.04.13 | 12:08
Prominent US attorney ridicules media allegations about ‘Armenian’ trace in Boston bombings

Mark Geragos, a well-known Armenian-American criminal defense attorney, has described the ongoing speculation that an ethnic Armenian ‘Moslem convert’ could have been involved in masterminding the recent deadly bombings in Boston as “ludicrous” and "insulting" to Armenians as he spoke to CNN on Thursday.


“This whole speculation about a recent convert named Misha, which, by the way, is not an Armenian name, is insulting to Armenians everywhere, who, by the way, are the first Christian nation,” said Geragos, who also urged media to be more critical when passing around such information as ‘gospel’.

The prominent representative of the Armenian-American community, which has a sizable presence in Massachusetts as well, reminded of the significance of the current week for Armenians around the world as the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was marked on April 24.

“1.5 million Christian Armenians were wiped out by Moslem Ottoman Turks. So, the idea that there is some convert from Christianity to Moslem who’s doing it, who doesn’t even have an Armenian name, is ludicrous to begin with,” stressed Geragos, suggesting that the bomber suspects’ uncle pass a sobriety test -- “Because I think this guy was under the influence of something.”

Meanwhile, CNN reported more information today about the possible identity of Misha. It said he could be an Armenian from Azerbaijan. Hundreds of Armenians fleeing ethnic violence in Azerbaijan were granted asylum as refugees in the United States in the early 1990s. Many of them settled down in and around Boston.

An Armenian from Azerbaijan?? Hmmmmm...The story changes again.

Video below with Geoffrey Toobin and Mark Geragos:
Supporting civilian legal system for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev while blasting Gitmo and statements made by Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Mike Rogers.

Rogers said that ever since the younger Tsarnaev, who is recovering from a bullet wound to his throat, was read his Miranda rights to consult a lawyer and to remain silent, he “has not continued to cooperate with the authorities.”

<src="?feature=player_detailpage" >

I think Toobin and Geragos do a good job of explaining the civilian legal process with regard to terrorists.

Personally I am sick of the fear mongering neocons. They are saying there is accomplice. They did interrogate Dzhokhar before reading his rights and used the public safety option. What if police had killed Dzhokhar in the shoot out? What could he say then?

Freepers discussing West Fertilizer explosion

Somebody’s in big trouble.

Perhaps. But before we can say that was the plant a big democrat donor?

There was a school and a nursing home right across the street from this plant. It’s a Federal felony to get within 1,000 ft. of a school with a lawfully carried firearm but there aren’t any regulations about how close you can put an ammonium nitrate plant?

400-lbs vs 270 tons? The calculator melted. Someone in accounting is in for a load of shiite

Some dude with last name of Adair. He better hope he’s dead, because there would be some serious jail time, I would think.

Wow, famous last name in Texa oil circles. Hope he’s no kin of Red


Honestly who cares about the reporting. They shouldn’t have had it at a plant located in that area.

“Sometimes bad things happen.”

And most often those bad things are caused by the mistakes of others.

The West Disaster could have been caused by human error or perhaps is was something like a lightning strike.

But, if humans working at the plant violated industry standards, the owners of the plant will have some serious liability issues to contend with.


Any Ag geeks here? Why ammonium nitrate and not ammonium sulfate?

When I found out there was an ammonium nitrate facility in Central Texas, I was surprised.

Informed home gardeners * in Central Texas purchase ammonium sulfate and not ammonium nitrate. Central Texas, West Texas and South Texas all have a scourge called alkaline soil. Ammonium nitrate tends to raise soil ph, increase soil alkalinity, and can damage plants in alkaline soils. It also creates demand for expensive chelated iron applications.

(Gardeners in East Texas can use the ammonium nitrate without damage to plants because their soils tend to be acidic.)

Alkaline soils are often associated with drier climates, limestone, calcium rich subsoils and caliche.

Alkaline soils can also lend themselves to cotton root rot, which is a scourge of cotton.

However, agriculture is very different than home gardening. Farmers deal with different chemicals than home gardeners. Maybe it is more cost effective for them to deal with the side effects of ammonium nitrate.

I wonder if ammonium nitrate is much cheaper to produce than ammonium sulfate?

Anybody have any thoughts?

* Home gardeners are a different group than agriculture.

Baucus: 'Disappointed' Obama budget has chained CPI

Baucus: 'Disappointed' Obama budget has chained CPI
By Bernie Becker - 04/11/13 02:55 PM

A key Senate Democrat said Thursday that he was “disappointed” that President Obama’s latest budget included entitlement cuts.

Finance Chairman Max Baucus said the White House was wrong to call for changes to how inflation is calculated for payments to Social Security and military retirees — known as chained consumer price index (CPI) — without asking the highest earners to contribute more to the Social Security trust fund.

“Any reform of Social Security should be for the solvency of the program, not deficit reduction,” Baucus said at a hearing to discuss the fiscal 2014 budget with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Obama’s inclusion of chained CPI in the budget has taken fire from both Democrats and Republicans in recent days. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the House GOP’s campaign arm, said the administration, which also asked for some changes to Medicare, had unleashed a “shocking attack on seniors” with his budget.

Baucus, whose panel oversees Medicare and Social Security, joins some of the most liberal Democrats in Congress in criticizing the White House budget for including chained CPI. The Finance Committee chairman is also seeking a seventh term next year in a state that overwhelmingly voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.


Isn't Baucus one of the most conservative Democrats in the senate?

House rejects school vouchers as it approves budget bill

House rejects school vouchers as it approves budget bill

By Kate Alexander

American-Statesman Staff

The Texas House loudly voiced its opposition to state support for private school vouchers and scholarships during a daylong budget session, signaling deep disagreement with Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican leaders over diverting public money to private schools.

The House’s $193.8 billion version of the two-year state budget cleared the lower chamber Thursday night on a vote of 135-12 after less than 12 hours of debate, brief by historical standards. During the day, the House approved, then retracted, a small step toward expanding Medicaid, and it voted decisively to trim the sails of the University of Texas System Board of Regents in its power struggle with UT-Austin President Bill Powers.

On a bipartisan vote of 103-43, the House approved an amendment precluding the use of state dollars for a private school voucher or scholarship program.

“That was a pretty clear message today,” said House Public Education Committee Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.

more at link:

The bad news: they voted down Medicaid expansion.
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