Texas Continues to Handle Jade Helm 15 Exactly the Way You'd Expect

Categories: News

U.S. Army Special Operations Command
Where the revolution is set to begin.
One would have hoped, if one were exceedingly naive, that Governor Greg Abbott might have backed off after finally realizing how absurd it is to send the Texas State Guard to monitor the U.S. military training exercises known colorfully as Jade Helm 15. One might have thought Abbott would have reconsidered after so many people -- including Republicans like David Dewhurst and Rick Perry -- chided him for doing so.

One don't know jack about Abbott, does one?

See also: Abbott Engages Tin-Foil-Hatters, Will Send Texas Guard to Watch for Federal Takeover

Abbott, buoyed by the likes of Ted Cruz and noted intellectual Chuck Norris defended his position on Monday.

"We are playing a pivotal role of government and that is to provide information for people who have questions," Abbott told reporters. "It is clear that people in Bastrop had questions, it's clear from the questions I have received in my office that people have questions about it, and as governor and as government, I think we have an obligation to answer questions of citizens. And, by us working with the Special Operations Forces, we are able to provide information to citizens who were concerned about it."

Yes, but what if those questions are idiotic? Not to suggest that the fine, inquisitive folk in Bastrop are necessarily idiots, but it's one possibility that is at least likely as the U.S. military invading Texas, seeing as they're here already.

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Dallas Grand Jury Declines to Indict Popular Deep Ellum Cop for Using Excessive Force

Categories: Courts

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Scott Griggs via Facebook
Jesus Martinez's supporters at a December Dallas City Council meeting.
A Deep Ellum beat cop, backed by his community and fellow officers but fired by the Dallas Police Department, will not face criminal charges after an arrest of an aggressive panhandler resulted in a claim he used excessive force.

See also: Fired Deep Ellum Cop Jesus Martinez Gets Outpouring of Support at Council Meeting

Jesus Martinez was fired in December for "using his right knee to pin the pedestrian's right elbow down while raising the pedestrian's left elbow and hand upward causing him severe pain," according to DPD. The incident was recorded by a bystander as it happened in June 2014.

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Texas Senate Gives Go Ahead to Stop All Insurance Plans from Paying for Abortions

Categories: News

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Stephen Young
Might not be able to take insurance sometime very soon.
As Amy Silverstein warned us might happen last week, the Texas Senate has moved forward with banning insurance providers from covering the nearly all abortions sought by Texas women.

See also: Texas Lawmakers Want to Make Insurance More Expensive for Women Getting Abortions

Larry Taylor, a Republican from Friendswood, stressed that his bill was not a ban on elective abortion. Instead, Taylor said, S.B. 575 merely allows Texans who don't support abortion to opt out of subsidizing them with their insurance premiums.

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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Garland Shootings

Categories: Crime

Garland ISD's Curtis Culwell Event Center.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terror attack that ended with a security guard getting shot in the ankle and two gunman with assault rifles being taken out by a Garland cop's service pistol, according to media reports.

"We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things," the group is reported to have said on its radio station, al-Bayan.

That declaration would be necessarily correct, we guess. Alleged terror attacks don't really get much smaller.

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Why Does Rep. Matt Schaefer Want Women to Give Birth to Almost-Dead Babies?

Frank de Kleine/Flickr
Texas lawmakers say whatever is in there is coming out the hard way.
When Texas lawmakers banned abortions after 20 weeks in 2013, the ban wasn't totally devoid of compassion for women. There were a few exceptions to the 20-week ban; for instance, abortions "that are performed on unborn children with severe fetal abnormalities" would still be allowed. For Representative Matt Schaefer, a Tyler Republican, that wasn't good enough. Schaefer is now proposing an amendment to a bill that originally had little to do with abortion but is now getting abortion-crazy, as bills tend to do here. Under Schaefer's measure, abortions performed 20 weeks after conception "on the basis that the fetus has a severe and irreversible abnormality" would no longer be allowed.

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Poor Dallas Kids Would Be Better Off in Cleburne. Seriously.

Categories: News

Kurt Haubrich, via Flickr
Cleburne, where the future for poor kids is bright.
If you're a poor parent (i.e. your annual household income is in the bottom quarter of earners, or south of $27,200), and want your child to have a realistic shot at upward mobility, a recently published Harvard study offers a sure-fire way to boost the kid's chances: get the hell out of Dallas. Move to Cleburne. And do it quickly. Each and every year spent in Dallas is, statistically speaking, a hit on his future income.

That, of course, is a gross oversimplification of the national income-mobility research of Harvard profs Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren, which The New York Times on Monday turned into an interactive map. They can't predict that moving any particular kid from Dallas County to Cleburne, in Johnson County, will better his prospects. But their data -- tax records from five million U.S. families who moved across county lines over a 16-year period -- show that the average poor kid growing up in Dallas County makes 5 percent less at age 26 than a poor kid growing up in an "average" county, while a similarly situated kid in Johnson County will make 18 percent more.

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New School Rankings from Children at Risk Are a Mixed Bag for Dallas

Categories: Education

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Google Street View
Townview Magnet Center
Five of the 10 best high schools in North Texas are in Dallas ISD, Children at Risk, a Houston-based nonprofit says. So are five of the 10 worst. Three of the 10 best middle schools in North Texas are in Dallas ISD. So are seven of the 10 worst. The Children at Risk rankings for elementary schools are less kind to Dallas ISD, no schools made the 10 best and three were among the 10 worst.

The Children at Risk rankings are based on three factors for elementary and middle schools -- student achievement, campus performance and growth. The high school rankings add a fourth factor, college readiness. Basically, the rankings are grounded in schools' performances on STAAR exams, then adjusted for demographic factors and recent improvements.

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Mike Miles Made a Sad but Determined Speech at a Ghastly School Board Meeting Last Week.

Categories: Schutze

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Mark Graham
Mike Miles

During last week's failed attempt to fire the Dallas superintendent of schools -- at a school board meeting so depressing it made me think of Thanksgiving Day dinner at psycho prison -- Superintendent Mike Miles made a speech.

See also: Mike Miles Doesn't Get Fired at Special Dallas ISD Board Review

You know the set-up. Miles was brought in three years ago when the city was at wit's end about its failed public school system, willing to do almost anything, supposedly, to reform what some child advocates have called the "cradle to prison pipeline."

He has accomplished more change in his time here than all of his multitudinous short-lived predecessors together in the previous two decades since a federal judge declared the schools desegregated. But that change has been painful, and Miles has accrued a blazing comet trail of controversy.

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Jill Jordan Out as Head of Dallas' Trinity River Project

Categories: City Hall

City of Dallas
Jill Jordan
Dallas Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan, who's been involved with the city's Trinity River project since I was in middle school, isn't anymore.

City Manager A.C. Gonzalez announced today that another of his top assistants, Mark McDaniel, will be taking over the city staff role in getting the park, and the recently approved toll road, built between the Trinity River's levees.

Gonzalez didn't say anything about the changes beyond the corporate-speak gobbledygook you might expect.

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Texas Lawmakers Want to Be Extra Sure Pastors Can Say No to Gay Weddings

Categories: News

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Ted Eytan, via Flickr
First they made pastors marry gays, and they said nothing. Next, they had to wear leis.
The U.S. Supreme Court, depending on the relative weight Justice Anthony Kennedy gives to the dignity of same-sex couples versus the millennia man-woman marriage has supposedly remained unchanged, may very well make gay marriage legal in all 50 states. That means that every state and local government, down to the humble county clerk or justice of the peace, will have no choice but to issue marriage licenses and wed same-sex couples just as they do for opposite-sex couples.

That does not mean, however, that pastor David Joiner of Lifesprings Church of Liberty Hill, Texas will be forced by the government to officiate at gay weddings. And it certainly doesn't mean, as Joiner fears, that pedophilia will follow the path blazed by homosexuality toward broad legal and social acceptance and that he will then be forced to solemnize unions between men and underage boys.

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