Tag Archives | Texas

Texas: Neutering Democracy

All Texas
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

In Texas liberty trumps democracy.  The Texas Supreme Court itself says so.  In a recent decision, three of the five Justice majority bluntly declared. “(O)ur federal and state charters are not, contrary to popular belief, about ‘democracy’.”  They are about “liberty’s primacy.”

The Justices concluded the Texas Constitution gives primacy to liberty because of the sequence of wording “That the great, general and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established,” is how the Constitution begins.  The word “liberty” comes first.

Relying on the sequence of words to establish primacy could have gotten the Justices into trouble when it comes to the federal Constitution, a situation they adroitly finessed by quoting only part of the Preamble. “The federal Constitution, in the first sentence of the Preamble, declares its mission to ‘secure the Blessings of Liberty,”” opined the Justices.  But before securing liberty the Preamble lists several other objectives that would have primacy:  “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, (and) promote the general Welfare.”

Texas politicians love to sprinkle their orations with words like liberty and freedom but even they must concede that all societies establish formal and informal rules governing individual behavior and virtually all interfere to some degree with someone’s freedom of action.  … Read the rest

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‘I’ll Show You Obscene’: Campus to Protest Concealed Guns with Unconcealed Dildos

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

The campus community at the University of Texas at Austin has found a creative way to protest the fact that soon they will be allowed to carry concealed guns—but not sex toys—on school grounds.

On August 24, 2016, soon after the gun law goes into effect, students and alumni will stage a Campus Dildo Carry in which they strap “gigantic swinging dildos to our backpacks in protest of campus [gun] carry.”

“ANYBODY can participate in solidarity: alum, non-UT students, people outside of Texas. Come one dildo, come all dildos,” states the event announcement. “You’re carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I’m carrying a HUGE DILDO.”

The “campus carry” bill, signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in June, mandates that, starting in August 2016, public universities will not be allowed to ban guns on campus.

In contrast, “obscene materials” are banned on school grounds, according to UT rules, which cite the Texas penal code.… Read the rest

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As Jade Helm 15 Military Exercise Begins, Texans Keep Watch ‘Just in Case’

Mission accomplished, in terms of awareness and scrutiny at least, for those Texans fearful of Operation Jade Helm 15, as it has transitioned from right-wing blogs and talk radio to today’s front page of the New York Times:

CHRISTOVAL, Tex. — Despite the Internet chatter about trains with shackles and Walmart stores being closed to be used as detention camps, this small West Texas town on Wednesday seemed to be surviving the start of Jade Helm 15, the military exercise that some people fear is actually a ruse for a federal takeover of the state.


Photo: Jim Wall (CC)

No military equipment or personnel were visible. No tanks were rumbling past the beige-metal community center on Main Street next door to the fire station here, the scene of 4-H Club meetings and family reunions. But that did not mean that people were not on the alert.

“I’ve been looking,” said Dr.

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The Americans are coming! Some in a Texas county fear an Obama-led U.S. military invasion

Remember all the fuss about JADE HELM 15? Well some Texans aren’t buying the claims of innocence from the Federal Government, per the Washington Post:

 The office of the Bastrop County Republican Party is in an old lumber mill on Main Street, with peeling brown paint and a sign out front that captures the party’s feelings about the Obama administration: “WISE UP AMERICA!”


Inside, county Chairman Albert Ellison pulled out a yellow legal pad on which he had handwritten page after page of reasons why many Texans distrust President Obama, including the fact that, “in the minds of some, he was raised by communists and mentored by terrorists.”

So it should come as no surprise, Ellison said, that as the U.S. military prepares to launch one of the largest training exercises in history later this month, many Bastrop residents might suspect a secret Obama plot to spy on them, confiscate their guns and ultimately establish martial law in one of America’s proudly free conservative states.

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Putin’s Plot to Get Texas to Secede

Big Tex. Photo: Joyous (CC)

Big Tex. Photo: Joyous (CC)

Already this week we’ve seen calls from Russia to investigate the US moon landings. Now Russian Internet trolls are whipping up interest in the Texas secession movement. Politico reports on the latest bizarre behavior from our old sparring partners in Moscow:

Nathan Smith, who styles himself the “foreign minister” for the Texas Nationalist Movement, appeared last Spring at a far-right confab in St. Petersburg, Russia. Despite roaming around in his cowboy hat, Smith managed to keep a low-key presence at the conference, which was dominated by fascists and neo-Nazis railing against Western decadence. But at least one Russian newspaper, Vzglyadcaught up with the American, noted that TNM is “hardly a marginal group,”and quoted Smith liberally on the excellent prospects for a partial breakup of the United States. Smith declared that the Texas National Movement has 250,000 supporters—including all the Texans currently serving in the U.S.

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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/


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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