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This is my Viagra Amendment, ladies

"Now members. Let me firm up my position..." --from part of a speech in the Texas Legislature, by the unfortunately named Gene Seaman. Practice What You Preach will be airing this ad (with commentary) in Texas, trying to stop the proposed Anti-Gay-Marriage Amendment. (embedded WMP)
Practice What You Preach believes that the institution of marriage is under assault in Texas from the twin epidemics of divorce and domestic violence. We are not a gay-rights group. We are mainstream, straight Texans who want the legislative leadership to stop making cheap political points by ignoring real problems.
posted by amberglow on Apr 13, 2005 - 39 comments

 

Moral boon or immoral boondoggle?

A new Texas bill seeks to give pharmacists the right to object to dispensing emergency contraceptives. The bill was spurred by over a year's worth of debate about an incident in Denton where a rape victim was denied a morning-after pill by a pharmacist at Eckerd's. Supporters say that pharmacists should be able to opt out of dispensing drugs that are used for abortions, but the opposition points out that the bill's definition of emergency contraceptives can be construed to include all birth control. Should pharmacists be allowed to morally object, or is this an anti-birth-control boondoggle?
posted by rush on Apr 12, 2005 - 118 comments

Polygamy in the Heart of Texas

Who is Warren Jeffs? A look inside the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, who have built what is believed to be the first polygamist temple in Texas. Led by a doomsaying prophet, the members of the FLDS are taught that wives are expected to be completely submissive, and outside cultural influences are forbidden (links via this post on LiveJournal's exmormon community).
posted by May Kasahara on Apr 7, 2005 - 14 comments

its crunch time, folks...

texas city timewarp...... and my friend charley lou rattled in her bayou vista home 5 short miles away.
posted by oigocosas on Mar 23, 2005 - 19 comments

"On March 18 [1937] students prepared for the next day's Inter-scholastic Meet in Henderson. At the gymnasium, the PTA met. At 3:05 P.M. Lemmie R. Butler, instructor of manual training, turned on a sanding machine in an area which, unknown to him, was filled with a mixture of gas and air. The switch ignited the mixture and carried the flame into a nearly closed space beneath the building, 253 feet long and fifty-six feet wide. Immediately the building seemed to lift in the air and then smashed to the ground. Walls collapsed. The roof fell in and buried its victims in a mass of brick, steel, and concrete debris. The explosion was heard four miles away, and it hurled a two-ton concrete slab 200 feet away, where it crushed a 1936 Chevrolet. Of the 500 students and forty teachers in the building, approximately 298 died. Some rescuers, students, and teachers needed psychiatric attention, and only about 130 students escaped serious injury. -- From the Handbook of Texas Online. (Other accounts, personal recollections, and photos .)

It was one of the worst disasters in Texas history. With Texans' love of superlatives, why is this a story no one tells? [more...]
posted by mudpuppie on Mar 18, 2005 - 35 comments

Deep in the (dark) Heart of Texas

Deep in the (dark) Heart of Texas Is it a bar? a restaurant? a newsradio listening hub? a republican hangout? Is everything political these days? even your beer and chicken wings?
posted by chris0495 on Feb 1, 2005 - 158 comments

Misty Keasler: photographic essays

Misty Keasler's photographic essays range from quirky views of her east Texas extended family and Japanese love hotels to unsettling essays on orphanages and the Guatemala City dump. flash. via gordon.coale.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 26, 2005 - 12 comments

Campin' with the net

FutureIsNowFilter "TengoInternet and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced a pilot program to offer wireless Internet service at five Texas state parks... The wireless service will allow park guests while visiting the park to access the Internet to gain park information, send e-mail or pictures, or just surf the Web, without cords having to physically plug into a network."
Shouldn't be camping be more about nature than technology?
posted by Doohickie on Dec 16, 2004 - 31 comments

Hunting on the internets!

Texas officials wary of plan to hunt by Internet. Hunters soon may be able to sit at their computers and blast away at animals on a Texas ranch via the Internet, a prospect that has state wildlife officials up in arms. "We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck and my friend said 'If you just had a gun for that.' A little light bulb went off in my head,"
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Nov 17, 2004 - 58 comments

Values? Values??

First gay Hispanic woman elected as Dallas sheriff I thought that this was a joke when I first saw the title. I'm way verklemmt; talk amongst yerselves.
posted by alumshubby on Nov 4, 2004 - 30 comments

Animals in the News

Wacky World Animal News Round-up: Fat males refuse to mate in China's crocodile farm, Stray dogs hunt and kill gazelles in Missouri, and Coyote, kangaroo, or Chihuahua, what is that thing in Texas?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Oct 23, 2004 - 3 comments

the game gets ugly

Remember the (Crawford, TX) Lone Start Iconoclast's Kerry endorsement? Here's a second editorial, describing the fallout from it. Apparently some people took it pretty hard. The Iconoclast published letters to the editor, too.
posted by alumshubby on Oct 21, 2004 - 22 comments

Former Texas Lt. Gov. says he helped Bush dodge 'Nam.

Former Texas Lt. Gov. says he helped Bush dodge 'Nam. "I got...I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But, But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people. And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial wall the other day and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because it's the worst thing I did was help a lot of wealthy supporters, and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm ashamed. And I apologize to you, the voters of Texas."
Video available here.
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 27, 2004 - 43 comments

Unspooling the ongoing thread of deceit

"DeLay is doing everything moral, legal and ethical to increase the Republican majority and advance conservative ideas," says his spokesman, Stuart Roy. Heck, we already know that Tom DeLay loves the children enough to start a charitable fund to help pay for "late-night convention parties, a luxury suite during President Bush's speech at Madison Square Garden and yacht cruises" during the 2004 GOP convention (as well as the children, of course). Now, he's connected (via an email) to Enron, asking them for extra money in order to help fund the already-notorious redistricting in Texas. When will enough be enough?
posted by almostcool on Jul 12, 2004 - 50 comments

Junewhat?

Juneteenth is today, celebrating the emancipation of all slaves in Texas, on June 19th, 1865, 2 1/2 years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. With its lighthearted name and tragicomic origins, Juneteenth appeals to many Americans by celebrating the end of slavery without dwelling on its legacy. Juneteenth, celebrators say, is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday without the grieving. It's become a widely celebrated holiday among African-Americans (but not even known by many whites), and Fourteen states have made it official--is it time for it to go national? Find an event in your state or country
posted by amberglow on Jun 19, 2004 - 12 comments

Pictures of a bunch of wrecked cars

The driver, I found out later, was drunk, from Texas, and had only one arm. [Warning: there are at least 35 megabytes worth of jpegs, which take some time to load. YMMV] Via Presence Server
posted by swift on Jun 18, 2004 - 46 comments

Chop.

"I showed them everything from a simple hook to a nonfunctioning artificial hand to a $50,000 bionic arm," Agris says. "They all picked the bionic arm." 7 Iraqi men recieve tattoo removal and a bionic arm.
posted by tomplus2 on May 21, 2004 - 13 comments

What do the Unitarians believe?

Unitarians denied tax-exempt status in Texas. Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn ruled that Unitarian churches don't qualify as religious organizations because they lack a single creed. In issuing this ruling, Strayhorn ignored the fact that lower courts and the Texas Supreme Court have both ruled against the Comptroller's Office in an ongoing lawsuit stemming from a similar ruling (by a former Comptroller) in 1997. Strayhorn has vowed to continue the legal fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, stating that "Otherwise, any wannabe cult who dresses up and parades down Sixth Street on Halloween will be applying for an exemption." (if you run into userid/password issues, use "bugmenot@fastmail.us" and "privacy")
posted by Irontom on May 19, 2004 - 48 comments

Texas Politics

Before Enron Houston, Texas had been the locus of a stock scandal of a slightly different sort. Growing up in Houston in the 80s and 90s, I never associated the word "Sharpstown" with anything but a mall, but the area underwent a development mired in scandal.

In the late 1960s Frank W. Sharp, a Houston businessman, negotiated a deal with a few Texas House Democrats; they would help pass a piece of legislation, and in turn, he would ensure that they would make a profit from his company's stock. In 1971, the dealings came to light. Most of the public officials connected with the scandal were run out of office, but somehow one man beat the resulting karma, even it was a a few decades later. But some good did come out of this, as the Texas Open Records Act was expanded in the aftermath of the scandal.
posted by lychee on May 15, 2004 - 3 comments

The Blissful Life

The Blissful Life in Utopia
SUGAR LAND, Tex. -- This is the home of Britton Stein, who describes George W. Bush as "a man, a man's man, a manly man," and Al Gore as "a ranting and raving little whiny baby." Forty-nine years old, Stein is a husband, a father, a landscaper and a Republican. He lives in a house that has six guns in the closets and 21 crosses in the main hallway.

Diary of a Freeper. Fascinating read. Insightful.
posted by nofundy on Apr 28, 2004 - 130 comments

Scary Commercial

Texas Dept. of Transportation is running one of the most graphic commercials (3mb mpeg) I have ever seen, relating to drunk driving or anything else. The general campaign page has more information about the girl. I don't know how to feel about this.
posted by rhyax on Mar 10, 2004 - 20 comments

Don't even tinkaboutit...

"Just consider what you're doing now. You don't want to have the freakin' president of the United States mad at you for the rest of your life...If you step off this cliff, gravity never goes up, it goes down." Those were the words of, Larry Telford, of the National Republican Congressional Committee threatening a Texas citizen who dared to run in the Republican primary for the US House of Representatives.
posted by EmoChild on Mar 9, 2004 - 23 comments

A Gay ol' Time in Texas?

RumorFilter: Gov. Perry of Texas in bed with his Sec. of State --for real! More on this brewing scandal here, here, here, here, and here. Perry in 2002 called Texas' then-existing/now-illegal sodomy laws "appropriate." And here's a rundown on the rumor and non-response (from the kos link)
posted by amberglow on Feb 21, 2004 - 70 comments

What if it was his Daughter?

Texas Pharmacist Refuses Emergency Contraception for Rape Victim. Should the pharmacist be punished?
posted by EmoChild on Feb 3, 2004 - 63 comments

Orcas Spotted

Fourteen killer whales were spotted about 90 miles off the coast of Texas on January 18 (Video/stills included). This is one for the record books: There are "only 9 reliable records of collected sightings before 1990. Another 14 have been collected since then," said University of Texas Marine expert Tony Amos. Larger stills from the video are available here.
posted by eclectica on Jan 20, 2004 - 11 comments

Legacy Admissions

Affirmative Action Texas Style
Typically, anywhere from 1,650 to more than 2,000 A&M applicants a year receive legacy points, so called because they reward the grandchildren, children or siblings of A&M graduates. Such applicants receive 4 points on a 100-point scale that also takes into account such factors as class rank, test scores, extracurricular activities, community service and others. Most A&M applicants admitted with legacy points don't need them to get in. But in 2003, 312 whites were admitted who wouldn't have been without their alumni ties. In 2002, that figure was 321. The legacy program was the difference for six blacks and 27 Hispanics in 2003, and three blacks and 25 Hispanics in 2002.
I expect we will hear from the White House any day now about how wrong this is.
posted by nofundy on Jan 6, 2004 - 34 comments

So this passion party vibrates? Not in Texas!

A concealed weapon that's not allowed in Texas. Mother of three, Joanna Webb, could be put into jail for a year for holding a Passion Party where she sold a vibrator to undercover narcotics agents. Don't they realize it's just for "therapeutic massage?"
posted by drezdn on Dec 21, 2003 - 64 comments

A Canadian reporter looks at Texas healthcare.

A Canadian reporter looks at Texas healthcare.
posted by gimonca on Dec 8, 2003 - 51 comments

Weapons of mass destruction found!

Weapons of Mass Destruction Found! Only they weren't in Iraq, they were in Texas and the terrorists involved weren't Al-Queda or Islamic fundamentalists but white supremacists. I haven't seen this on Google News, CNN or ABC News. I only read about it because I happened across Sensible Erection which I think I found browsing through MetaFilter user profiles.
posted by substrate on Dec 5, 2003 - 49 comments

Penitentiary Palate...

Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving dinner, though not a circumstance I'd like to participate in. If ever there was a time to say Grace before dining, this certainly is one of those times. Pumpkin pie anyone?
posted by bluedaniel on Nov 27, 2003 - 10 comments

Hometown Ghost Stories

The night the devil went dancing Growing up in San Antonio, I heard the story of the devil at El Camaroncito from my dad. We kids had our own spook stories, from the haunted railroad tracks to midget mansion. Here in Austin, we have our own share of ghosts, including the legendary Driskill hotel ghost. What local spook stories did you grow up with?
posted by Gilbert on Oct 31, 2003 - 15 comments

Chinati foundation

This weekend the Chinati foundation will be hosting its annual open house in Marfa, Texas. This year the guest artist will be Claes Oldenburg who will be giving lectures on his work and his processes. The Chinati foundation was founded by artist Donald Judd when he decided to move to the wilds of West Texas and enjoy the open expanse of anti-civilization. At the foundation you can enjoy Judd's 100 steel boxes or peruse permanent installations by minimalist Dan Flavin or John Chamberlain. The foundation has created quite a stir, and this year should be no different. This once dying town has been revived through art and one man's vision.
posted by Benway on Oct 7, 2003 - 7 comments

The Texas Transportation Institute released their latest figures

The Texas Transportation Institute released their latest figures on which cities are the most congested, and how many hours per year the average person spends in traffic. Or you can read The Big Picture. I find it amazing that New York City isn't in the top 25 cities. The reason being is that New York City has an excellent public transportation network. Even some Politians are realizing that public transportation is a better bang for the buck.
posted by LinemanBear on Sep 30, 2003 - 21 comments

Austin Postcard

Austin Postcard. Photographs, postcards, history and ephemera related to Austin, Texas.
posted by plep on Aug 29, 2003 - 21 comments

Forget California. The real political breakdown is in Texas with Democrats still in exile. Moveon.org called to help.

Forget California. The real political breakdown is in Texas with Democratic Senators still in exile after 22 days. Moveon.org has been called to help. Sen. Rodney Ellis writes to Moveon to help fight the on-going GOP power-grab.
posted by skallas on Aug 20, 2003 - 38 comments

Yee-Haw!

Cue Banjo Music Texas Democrats have again hauled ass across state lines, this time to New Mexico. Texas' governor and lt. governor have decided to hold a third special session of the state Senate, for which they will suspend the 2/3 supermajority needed for redistricting plans. via TPM
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jul 28, 2003 - 37 comments

Living The American Dream

Living The American Dream
Bush gave his speech Monday at a company in Albuquerque called MCT Industries. “We’re standing in the midst of what we call the American dream,” he said. MCT is privately owned by the family of Ted Martinez, who founded it on a shoestring in 1973 and is now a wealthy VIP who hangs around with politicians. “The Martinez family is living that dream,” Bush said.

A familiar dream for Bush. Just ask the folks in Arlington, Texas about a certain stadium. Getting rich from special considerations and the taxpayer's money. And doing it during the times of those onerous tax burdens he would relieve all such dreamers of.
posted by nofundy on May 16, 2003 - 28 comments

Meanwhile in the Surreal

Texas Rangers are facing a unique task. They have been sent to arrest over 50 Democrats and drag them back to Austin, TX. The problem: They've fled Texas to 'hide' in Oklahoma. The reason why they left the state? To stop a quorum on Congressional Redistricting.
posted by RobbieFal on May 13, 2003 - 26 comments

The vote counters, not the votes.

Democrats in GOP-dominated Texas House stage mass absence to break quorum It comes as a stinging response to Republican tactics to redraw districts that are favorable to Republican outcomes
posted by The Jesse Helms on May 12, 2003 - 21 comments

The

22 year old schizophrenic Farrah Russell was rebuilding her life. But when the plug was pulled on the state program that allowed her to subsist, she took her life. Her heartbreaking story is a cautionary tale of the dark consequences of state budget cuts. While politicians argue over tax stimulus proposals that benefit the wealthy, while wild numbers are applied to war budgets, the States have been forced to cut social programs in order to survive. Whether it's California teachers, Connecticut and New York residents dreading tax hikes, Pennsylvania public transportation, or Texas prescription drug coverage for the poor, the States, supposedly United, have been left out to dry. While the States have been forced to cut their programs, groping for survival, Washington remains silent in its mission. It does not remember history. Why do we turn a blind eye to the hidden costs? What can be done about this? And how do we make it stop?
posted by ed on May 5, 2003 - 53 comments

room 101

A crackdown in Texas. America - land of the free. And to guarantee that freedom, everyone has to be constantly watchful. Like the photo store clerk from Eckerd who dutifully reported a Peruvian-born couple's lewd shots of their infants to the Richardson (Dallas/Texas suburbs) police. The photos showed the parents' two infants bathing naked, lying together in bed with their mother (again naked) and the 1-year-old Rodrigo suckling his mother's (naked) breast. So the couple was arrested -- the maximum prison sentence for the crime in question being 20 years -- and the children taken away. (verbatim k5)
posted by The Jesse Helms on Apr 20, 2003 - 77 comments

Rubber Chicken

Dixie Chicks Pulled from Air After Bashing Bush Dude, these Texas people didn't find criticism of the president unpatriotic when Bill Clinton was president. They thought it was a sacred duty...Apparently country stations in Texas and elsewhere are pulling Dixie Chicks albums because their lead singer, while on an overseas tour, criticized Bush, saying she was ashamed to be from the state as him. People who want to criticize the critics of the critical comments are supporting the Chicks by buying their albums and requesting their songs. I never thought I'd buy a Dixie Chicks album, but that's what I'm going to do tonight, and I'm paying full price!
posted by jengod on Mar 14, 2003 - 82 comments

the plot sickens

"Mr. Banks, a man with no prior criminal record, is most likely innocent of the charge that put him on death row. Fearing a tragic miscarriage of justice, three former federal judges (including William Sessions, a former director of the F.B.I.) have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block Wednesday's execution.

"So far, no one seems to be listening." [via atrios]
posted by donkeyschlong on Mar 11, 2003 - 15 comments

Trophy Boys

It's kind of weird how people in East Texas seem to have to "pose" with the debris, like it's a dead deer or a fishing trophy...
posted by sparky on Feb 3, 2003 - 53 comments

Two Towns of Jasper

Two segregated film crews, one black and one white, used the perspective of race to create a documentary centered on the dragging death of a black man by three whites five years ago in Jasper, Texas. The New York filmmakers behind the "Two Towns of Jasper" found the differences in perspective before filming began and the divide only grew more distinct during the two-year project. Premieres January 22nd on PBS and has already won multiple film awards.
posted by suprfli on Jan 20, 2003 - 13 comments

even his elbow joint was worn smooth and flat

mcwane incorporated
"It is said that only the desperate seek work at Tyler Pipe..."
the new york times has a 3 part (part 1, 2 and 3 u:dolface1/pwd:dolface1) special report on mcwane inc., a private company that is one of the largest manufacturers of cast iron sewer and water pipes in the world. it's a horror story right out of the early days of the industrial revolution; amputations, burns, death by crushing, disregard for the law and sheer indifference for human life that upset me more than anything i've read in quite a while.
osha seems unable to do much, what other options are available to workers when their companies won't protect them?
(warning: it's a long and sometimes unpleasant read)
posted by dolface on Jan 10, 2003 - 9 comments

U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider anti-homosexual laws

On September 17, 1998, in response to an armed robbery call, Houston police burst in to the home of John Lawrence. The police didn’t find a robber (nor would they – the call was deliberately false), but they did find Lawrence having sex with another man, Tyrone Garner. Lawrence and Garner were promptly charged with “engaging in homosexual conduct,” a misdemeanor under Texas law. They paid their fine and began a long legal challenge to Texas’ anti-sodomy law. That challenge has finally reached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear their appeal early next year. Standing in the way is the Court’s own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, in which it held that anti-sodomy laws are constitutional. That may be about to change.
posted by pardonyou? on Dec 2, 2002 - 43 comments

Dildos illegal in Texas???

Dildo's illegal in Texas? Apparently so. Let me get this straight... in a state where you can carry loaded firearms on your hip, if you get caught with more than 6 dildos or other "pleasure devices", it's a FELONY? Absolutely amazing. Texas is like a whole other country. It also helps explain a lot. (via obscurestore)
posted by Ynoxas on Nov 22, 2002 - 78 comments

Texas Prison Museum

Bread and Circuses The Texas Prison Museum as an odd mix of entertainment and education. If someone gives it $100 million will the prison museum unenroll from the Kroger Share Card Program and lose the value of 1% of participants' grocery purchases? A veritable treasure trove of the absurd and frightening. What's your favorite? Mine are the pavers. We could get up a collection for one from Metafilter. Who's with me?
posted by elgoose on Nov 19, 2002 - 2 comments

President To Author: Your Book Is Unpatriotic

President To Author: Your Book Is Unpatriotic " "The letter began by thanking me for sending the book," Hudson said. 'Also, I'm from Austin, Texas, and the president touched on the fact that I was a fellow Texan, congratulating me on my book. But he was setting me up for the one-two punch. Because he called the book unpatriotic and ridiculous and just plain bad writing. Beyond that, I've been instructed not to talk about the contents of the letter for the time being.'"
posted by owillis on Oct 30, 2002 - 31 comments

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