Tag Archives | Texas

Jon Stewart Makes Fun Of Jade Helm Paranoia

Texans’ (dubbed Lone Star Lunatics by Jon Stewart) fear of a federal military takeover via the Jade Helm 15 exercises make for some prime material for The Best F#@king News Team Ever as they grill Stewart on when it’s okay to shoot people, and Texans’ irrational fear of the imposition of martial law.

“So Texas, it appears you are on the verge of being taken over by ISIS or the United States of America . . . What would Rick Perry do?” asks Stewart…

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Texas Governor Implements Measures Against JADE HELM

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore (CC)

The latest on Operation JADE HELM conspiracy nuttiness: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, is listening to a certain Austin-based radio host and his fans’ fear of a federal government invasion, according to the Daily Beast:

Texas’s governor moved this week to protect his state from an Obama-led military takeover.

Governor Greg Abbott, who decisively beat Wendy Davis in the 2014 to take Rick Perry’s job, announced on Tuesday that he’s going to sic the Texas Rangers on the U.S. military.

Not really. But it sure sounds that way.

What’s actually going on is U.S. troops are doing training exercises—called Jade Helm 15—in several states throughout the Southwest, including Texas.

The mission will involve Special Operations forces moving through the Southwest and training for covert missions. A declassified map posted online in March (whose legitimacy The Washington Post confirmed) identified several of those states as “hostile” and “leaning hostile.” That isn’t particularly unusual, as Dan Lamothe explained at The Washington Post, but it has a small number of Texans—including, apparently, the governor—totally freaking out and (arguably) overreacting.

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U.S. Supreme Court To Rule On Texas Confederate Flag License Plates

Non-Americans (and probably Un-Americans) must think the fuss over the display of the Confederate flag is peculiarly parochial, but here it’s still front-page news at AP via Yahoo News (as an aside, do you think that Nat Hentoff and P.J. O’Rourke really meant to say “odorous”?):

Texas commemorates the Confederacy in many ways, from an annual celebration of Confederate Heroes Day each January to monuments on the grounds of the state Capitol in Austin. Among the memorials is one that has stood for more than a century, bearing an image of the Confederate battle flag etched in marble.

Supreme Court License Plates

But you’re out of luck if you want to put that flag on your license plate. Texas says that would be offensive.

Now the Supreme Court will decide whether the state can refuse to issue a license plate featuring the battle flag without violating the free-speech rights of Texans who want one. The justices hear arguments Monday in a challenge brought by the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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‘Bigfoot Smiled at Me’, says Texas Man

terry priest (CC BY 2.0)

terry priest (CC BY 2.0)

What’s up with Texans and weird Bigfoot stories?

via Cryptozoology News:

Texas — A man claims he had multiple encounters with a “Bigfoot” creature in Marion County.

Richard, who didn’t provide a last name, said he was at his house on the Big Cypress Bayou when the events allegedly took place at 10.30 p.m. about four decades ago.

“I had a house on top of the hill by Lake O’ the Pines. I was out the backdoor smoking a cigarette,” he said last month on a 20-minute call to Nite Callers Bigfoot Radio, a radio podcast with over four years of experience covering “Sasquatch and other related mysterious subjects”.

Suddenly, the eyewitness said, he noticed a strange shape next to an oak tree.

“I saw something on the edge of the tree line. I could see it from the porch’s light.”

Curious and decided to find out what the silhouette was, Richard reportedly put out his smoke and walked out of the driveway to try to interact with the animal.

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Rodney Reed: You can help save his life

Rodney Reed sits on death row in Texas, facing an execution date of March 5th for a murder that even the victim’s family thinks he didn’t commit. It would take a simple DNA test to prove his innocence – and you can force the Governor of Texas to make that happen. Here’s a website with more info – http://justice4rodneyreed.org/

BREAKING NEWS: 

We have just learned that the execution of Rodney Reed has been stayed for now, by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). The fight isn’t over until a new trial is granted, but this is great news!!

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Open-Carry Activists Police the Police—With Guns Of Their Own

Another Texas police story, but this one has a different spin: open carry gun rights activists are aggressively policing the police, often with armed confrontations, per this report at Daily Beast:

On any given night in Arlington, Texas, a group of open-carry activists turned self-appointed cop-watchers can be found walking by the side of the road, in safety-yellow reflector vests with cameras pointed at police. They carry “FILM THE POLICE” signs, and sometimes, in a habit that’s become of increasing concern to the officers being watched, they’re carrying guns of their own.

New Hampshire Open Carry 2009.jpg

Photo: Lucio Eastman (CC)

These armed activists’ mission—ostensibly to hold the police accountable by recording every interaction—has found new meaning in light of recent deaths of unarmed citizens like Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Indeed, members of the Texas group have adopted the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” cry popularized during protests of the men’s deaths.

The group is led in part by Kory Watkins, an Olive Garden bartender trainer and a bandwagon activist who also presides over Open Carry Tarrant County (OCTC).

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America’s Dirtiest Cops: Cash, Cocaine and Corruption on the Texas Border

police badgeIt sounds like a reality TV show: America’s Dirtiest Cops. In fact it’s an expose on Texas Border police corruption by Rolling Stone:

he temperature was nearing triple digits when Jonathan Treviño strapped on his bulletproof vest, slipped his .40-caliber Glock into his ankle holster and got ready to go to work. It was Thursday, July 26th, 2012, one of those summers in South Texas when the hot air settles on the Rio Grande Valley like a blanket. The Gulf breeze was already sticky as Treviño climbed into his unmarked Chevy Tahoe and started it up.

Treviño was a police officer in Mission, a bustling city of 80,000 on the Texas-Mexico border. Part of a flourishing bilingual metropolitan region with five international bridges, Mission also sits firmly in on e of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s 28 HIDTAs, or High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas – smuggling hot spots where the federal government spends an extra $240 million a year battling narcotics.

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Texas Family Wins Big Lawsuit Against Frackers

PIC: Ostroff Law (CC)

PIC: Ostroff Law (CC)

A Texas ranching family was awarded nearly $3 million in a lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum, a company running a fracking operation near their property. Health problems began to occur soon after. Ranchers fighting a powerful entity engaged in an ethically ambiguous enterprise? I’m sure that Cliven Bundy’s pals will be lauding their victory. Right? Right?

Via the LA Times?

In a landmark legal victory that centered on fracking, a middle-class north Texas ranching family won nearly $3 million from a big natural gas company whose drilling, they contend, caused years of sickness, killed pets and livestock, and forced them out of their home for months.

Tuesday’s $2.95-million civil verdict by a six-person Dallas jury is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation. Other landowners have sued over drilling and reached settlements, but legal experts think this is the first jury verdict.

Robert and Lisa Parr filed suit against Aruba Petroleum Inc.

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Parents of Affluenza Teen Who Killed Four Driving Drunk Pay A Fraction of His Rehab Costs

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD)

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD) (Photo credit: takomabibelot)

Adding Insult to Injury: Evil Richie Rich’s parents are paying a pittance for a slap on the wrist court appointed treatment.

via Star-Telegram

The parents of a teen who was sentenced to 10 years probation for driving drunk and causing a wreck that killed four people were ordered by the court Friday to pay $1,170 a month for his rehab treatment — far less than the actual cost of his treatment.

Ethan Couch, who turned 17 Friday, is being treated at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, a state-owned in-patient mental health facility. His treatment began there Feb. 19.

The actual cost of his treatment is $715 per day, according to testimony on Friday.

State District Judge Jean Boyd had previously ordered that Couch’s parents, Fred and Tonya Couch, pay for his therapy. The hearing Friday morning, similar to a child support hearing, was necessary to formally set the amount that the couple must pay.

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