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H5N1, shmaitch5N1

Dengue in Texas. If it ain't the flu, it's the haemorrhagic fever. Disease info from WHO, CDC, Wikipedia.
posted by Eothele on Oct 28, 2005 - 10 comments

Be Careful What You Vote For...

Are Texans Poised to Ban All Marriage Altogether? A group opposed to the Texas anti-gay-marriage ballot initiative is pointing out that the language in Proposition 2 (one of nine proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution up for a vote November 8) might actually ban all marriages: gay, straight, whatever. The group -- Save Texas Marriage -- is organizing phone banks, offering signs and fliers, and pointing to language in the measure that would ban "any legal status identical or similar to marriage" without specifying that the ban would apply to gay persons. Prop 2 supporters, of course, are crying foul.
posted by mmahaffie on Oct 26, 2005 - 55 comments

Rejoice In Delay's Misery

A second Texas grand jury has indicted The Hammer on money laundering charges.
posted by aburd on Oct 3, 2005 - 51 comments

INSURRECTION

INSURRECTION Why were American military sent almost instantly when Rita threatens Texas but we were told that they could not be sent to Louisiana till requested? What is the history behind Posse Comitatus? Does the president have the authority just on his say so to send troops into a "sovereign" state? Nice summary of history here.
posted by Postroad on Sep 22, 2005 - 51 comments

Kinky 2006: Why the Hell Not?

"Kinky Friedman's candidacy is bound to be something; what that something is is still up for debate." The New Yorker checks in on Kinky's gubernatorial campaign (previously discussed here and here).
My platform is to remember that when they went out searching for Sam Houston to try to persuade him to be the governor--and he was the greatest governor this state has ever had--rumor has it that they found him drunk sleeping under a bridge with the Indians.
[more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 21, 2005 - 18 comments

"And I reckon that he was the prettiest limey that a bronco ever rode"

The Ballad of a Feller Named Oscar Wilde ( -mp3 link-, 5.13mb )
Found from the homepage of Joe. R. Lansdale, Champion Mojo Storyteller of Nagadoches, Texas (author of the story upon which Bubba Ho-Tep was based) and is, apparently, based on an actual event. Linked here because, well, because honestly we could all use a little more Dr. Demento in our lives.
posted by JHarris on Aug 12, 2005 - 10 comments

Evolution: Views Differ

Bush comes out in favor of teaching "intelligent design" alongside evolution in American schools. Is this the latest evidence of the White House willing to champion worthy but controversial ideas that have been sidelined by liberal bias, or strictly from Paul Krugman's theoretical headline, "Shape of Earth: Views Differ"? [Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Lone Star State, Texas educators ignite brouhaha by adding Bible study to the public-school curriculum].
posted by digaman on Aug 2, 2005 - 343 comments

As The Crow Flies

Bird's Eye Views : Hand drawn panoramic maps of 44 Texas cities circa 19th century in high resolution. Aerial mapping minus airplanes and cameras.
posted by Orb on Jul 24, 2005 - 14 comments

The next governor of Texas?

Kinky for governor!
posted by xowie on Jun 30, 2005 - 24 comments

Who Killed Father Ryan?

"In those days, there wasn't a lot of talk about gay priests. People didn't want to believe it." On Dec. 4, 1982, a deeply suntanned man, about 40 years old, walked into the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Boise, Idaho, and readied himself for confession. As he waited, the man swallowed a cyanide capsule. A few minutes later, he was dead. He had no identification, and a note in his pocket said only that the $1,900 he carried should be used for his burial, with any remainder donated to the church. The note was signed with what turned out to be a false name. To this day, no one has been able to identify the man, nor to determine why he had come to the church to absolve himself of his sins. On the answers to that mystery may hang the fate of a small, quiet, meticulous man who now lives in South Austin, and who spent 20 years in a Texas prison for a murder he says he did not commit, but which investigators believe may be connected to the dead man at the Boise Sacred Heart Catholic Church. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jun 22, 2005 - 25 comments

Government is going after free WiFi

Republican Congressman Pete Sessions from Texas introduced a bill that would make all free, public, municipal WiFi illegal. Sessions, as it turns out, is a big fat recipient of SBC funds. Why stop there? Should we privatize highways as well? How about subways? Glad the liberal media is all over this one. Here are a couple of links: Original post on DailyKos, An informative editorial from the Fort Wayne paper
posted by mountainmambo on Jun 9, 2005 - 48 comments

Fetal Murder Trial

Young man gets life sentence for helping his girlfriend end pregnancy. The girlfriend was not charged. Under the Texas Fetal Protection Law, a woman cannot be charged for causing the deaths of her own fetuses for any reason. The defense contended that Basoria punched herself while Flores was stepping on her, making it impossible to tell who caused the miscarriage.
posted by Espoo2 on Jun 8, 2005 - 83 comments

Just a good old boy....

"The black boy was somewhere he shouldn't have been, although they brought him out there."
posted by eriko on Jun 8, 2005 - 50 comments

Bridges, Boundaries, and Burbs

On the way to work today, I heard an advertisement for "the nation's first ever sex-offender-free subdivision" (link to mov). Milwaukee Ridge, the brainchild of I&S Investments, will be located on the outskirts of Lubbock, Texas, and offer "the best features of a family-friendly lifestyle," including "background checks on adults buying homes and juveniles expected to live in the homes." I can't help but think of Stephenson's burbclaves. When, if ever, does the definition of a private community become a public concern?
posted by rush on Jun 7, 2005 - 59 comments

Texas keeps on amazing me...

A high school senior has been denied valedictorian status because she wasn't enrolled in the high school on the 20th day of her junior year. Why? Because she was in a treatment center receiving help for anorexia. Only in Texas...
posted by C17H19NO3 on May 17, 2005 - 94 comments

Band booster busts big business

Midlothian mom looking to raise money for the school band discovers the local TXI cement plant is draining millions from the Texas school system. This while getting paid burning hazardous waste in their back yard. When she seeks to right these wrongs she finds that the environmental regulators include lobbyist for TXI, and their House representative, Joe Barton, cares more about "economic development" than her kids.
posted by betaray on May 12, 2005 - 29 comments

Sexy Cheerleaders Banned

If we don't ban the sexy cheerleaders, the terrorists will have won.
posted by Saucy Intruder on May 4, 2005 - 67 comments

The Foster Agenda

"It is our responsibility to make sure that we protect our most vulnerable children and I don't think we are doing that if we allow a foster parent that is homosexual or bisexual." The Texas state House has approved legislation that would prohibit homosexuals and bisexuals from becoming foster parents.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket on Apr 20, 2005 - 135 comments

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

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