AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas schools have been adding metal detectors and armed personnel in an effort to improve campus security in response to the deadly May attack at a Houston-area high school that left eight students and two teachers dead.
Among the steps that Texas apparently won’t be taking anytime soon is tightening restrictions on gun access for people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
In the aftermath of the May 18 attack at Santa Fe High School, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott suggested that Texas should look for ways to keep guns away from people who pose “an immediate danger to others,” which is the point of so-called red flag laws like those passed by six states since the February massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
But faced with criticism from gun enthusiasts in the country’s largest conservative state, Abbott — who gets top ratings from the National Rifle Association — later clarified that he was only suggesting such laws be part of a broader conversation about school security and that he thinks there’s growing opposition to the idea of gun restrictions.
Gee, it all sounds so… oppressive, doesn’t it?
A proposed bill in Texas that would impose a fine for male masturbation is making its way through the state’s legislature.
House Bill 4260, called the “Man’s Right to Know Act,” would punish male masturbation with a $100 fine, and require men who want Viagra to be subject to a rectal exam.
The bill, filed earlier this year by Texas legislator Rep. Jessica Farrar (D), was referred to the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
By focusing on male masturbation, the proposed legislation is an obvious attempt to satirize and draw attention to the unreasonable and dangerous policy proposals concerning women’s reproductive freedom coming from the Republican Party.
Commenting on her bill, Rep. Farrar told mysanantonio.com:
A lot of people find the bill funny. What’s not funny are the obstacles that Texas women face every day, that were placed there by legislatures making it very difficult for them to access healthcare.
Farrar is a vocal abortion rights activist, with a long record of opposing legislation in Texas hostile to women’s reproductive freedom.
The Statesman reports the details of the new legislation prohibiting unregulated male masturbation:
The bill calls “masturbatory emissions” an “act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life.”
The bill also contains provisions that would also put restrictions on vasectomies, Viagra prescriptions and colonoscopies, including:
The state must create an informational booklet called “A Man’s Right to Know” that contains information and illustrations on the benefits of and concerns about those three treatments. A man must review the booklet before going through with any of them.
A man must receive a rectal exam and an MRI of his rectum before any of the three treatments.
A man would not be able sue a doctor for refusing to provide those treatments or another procedure if the procedure violates the doctor’s “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs.”
A doctor must obtain consent from the man before providing the treatment, and the man may give it only if he waits at least 24 hours after the doctor’s visit.
The state must establish a registry of nonprofit organizations and hospitals that provide abstinence counseling, a supervising physician for “masturbatory emissions,” and semen storage.
“Masturbatory emissions” must be stored for the wife for conception.
AUSTIN, Texas — Of the 51,249 Texans who cast ballots Tuesday on the first day of early voting, more than half voted in the Democratic primary. The total number of voters from 15 of the state’s largest counties is high for a midterm year. Continue reading “Fueled by a Democratic surge, Texans turn out in force on first day of early voting”
The newly elected chair of the Republican Party in the county that includes the Texas Capitol spent most of election night tweeting about former Gov. Rick Perry’s sexual orientation and former President Bill Clinton’s penis, and insisting that members of the Bush family should be in jail.
He also found time to call Hillary Clinton an “angry bull dyke” and accuse his county vice chair of betraying the values of the Republican Party.
“The people have spoken,” Robert Morrow, who won the helm of the Travis County GOP with 54 percent of the vote, told The Texas Tribune. “My friends and neighbors and political supporters — they wanted Robert Morrow.”
Morrow’s election as Republican chair of the fifth-largest county in Texas left several members of the Travis County GOP, including vice chair Matt Mackowiak, apoplectic. Mackowiak, a Republican strategist, immediately announced over social media that he would do everything in his power to remove Morrow from office.
“We will explore every single option that exists, whether it be persuading him to resign, trying to force him to resign, constraining his power, removing his ability to spend money or resisting any attempt for him to access data or our social media account,” Mackowiak told the Tribune. “I’m treating this as a coup and as a hostile takeover.”
“Tell them they can go fuck themselves,” Morrow told the Tribune.
That’s this guy. He’s on the terrorist watch list.
Yet another reason to hate ambitious prosecutors — even though you probably already hated this one:
In 1997, Michael Wayne Haley was arrested after stealing a calculator from Walmart. This was a crime that merited a maximum two-year prison term. But prosecutors incorrectly applied a habitual offender law. Neither the judge nor the defense lawyer caught the error and Haley was sentenced to 16 years.
Eventually, the mistake came to light and Haley tried to fix it. Ted Cruz was solicitor general of Texas at the time. Instead of just letting Haley go for time served, Cruz took the case to the Supreme Court to keep Haley in prison for the full 16 years.
Some justices were skeptical. “Is there some rule that you can’t confess error in your state?” Justice Anthony Kennedy asked. The court system did finally let Haley out of prison, after six years.
The case reveals something interesting about Cruz’s character. Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters, especially in Iowa. But in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace. Cruz’s behavior in the Haley case is almost the dictionary definition of pharisaism: an overzealous application of the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy.
Traditionally, candidates who have attracted strong evangelical support have in part emphasized the need to lend a helping hand to the economically stressed and the least fortunate among us. Such candidates include George W. Bush, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
Continue reading “The quality of mercy is not strained”
This time Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t making vague threats about secession. He’s merely threatening to ignore a possible Supreme Court ruling:
At a radio forum sponsored by the anti-abortion and anti-birth control group Personhood USA, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that he would refuse to obey a Supreme Court decision striking down the group’s signature anti-choice proposal:
QUESTION: You have agreed to “endorse legislation making clear that Fourteenth Amendment protections apply to unborn children” . . . . What happens if the U.S. Supreme Court attempts to strike down this legislation, and replace it with one of its own edict denying the inalienable right to life for all persons born or unborn? Would you enforce the inalienable right to life or the Court’s opinion as the law?
PERRY: Well, obviously you enforce the right to life opinion.
Perry’s promise to openly defy the Supreme Court is disturbing, but it is also far from original. Fellow candidates Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich have also pledged to treat binding Supreme Court opinions as if they were merely optional, and Gingrich even supports legitimizing his radical view of the Constitution through a campaign of intimidation against judges who disagree with him.
Nevertheless, the GOP’s burgeoning love affair with Jim Crowesque defiance of the judiciary is very strange, considering that activist judging is the backbone of their policy agenda.
Here’s my theory: Rick Perry was in New York City once and saw grown men wearing rain gear and hanging on big red trucks, and he said, “Shoot, not one more dime for this in Texas, I don’t care if the whole state burns down…“
The GOP’s perennial Christian con game: the rich deserve their wealth, they worked for it, and the poor who can’t work their way into a higher income bracket should accept their poverty as God’s will…