Watch Ahmed Mohamed's awesome press conference about being a rogue clockmaker in America


Zomg, the kid is charming. He reveals that he's switching high-schools, thanks his supporters, discussing his inventing and tinkering, and talks about his delight at being invited to the White House. Read the rest

Irving police violated Ahmed Mohamed's civil rights


Ahmed Mohamed was repeatedly denied access to counsel and to his parents, a direct and glaring violation of Texas Family Code section 52.025, which states "A child may not be left unattended in a juvenile processing office and is entitled to be accompanied by the child's parent, guardian, or other custodian or by the child’s attorney."

Also: every cop show in the history of America has made it clear to even the thickest planks that you get to have a lawyer present during questioning. This apparently escaped the notice of Irving's finest, though.

The Texas ACLU is all over this, and points out that MacArthur High principal Daniel Cummings's attempt to get Mohamed to sign a confession could have given the police the tools to arrest him on terrorism charges and secure a conviction.

Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said he did “not have answers to [that] specific question” when reporters asked him Wednesday why Mohamed was not allowed to speak to his parents.

The executive director of the Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said that answer is not good enough.

“Once they’re being questioned, they have a right to refuse answering,” Terri Burke told The Daily Beast. “And, unless it's something like a traffic violation, [police] immediately need to release the child to their parents.”

At the very least, Mohamed should have been able to speak with his parents.

“If a child seeks to have a short conference with his parents, [the police] cannot deny them that.

Read the rest

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Making while brown: Texas schoolchild arrested for bringing homemade clock to school UPDATED


Ahmed Mohamed is a gifted, driven maker-kid who's in the ninth grade at MacArthur High in Irving, Texas. When he showed the homemade clock he soldered and pieced together to his engineering teacher, he was told to keep it in his bag. But when the alarm went off in English class, his teacher accused him of bringing a bomb to school.

He told the teacher, and then the principal, and then the police offers who'd been summoned, that it was a digital clock he'd made and brought to school to show as evidence of the kinds of things he was making. He'd loved robotics club in middle school and was hoping to connect to a similar peer group in his new high school.

He was arrested, handcuffed, and paraded through the school with an officer on each arm, wearing his NASA shirt.

When he was brought before the school police, the officer who arrested him looked at him and said, "Yup. That’s who I thought it was." Ahmed Mohamed and his family (and the Council on Islamic American Relations) believe that the officer was referring to the color of his skin and his name.

Police spokesman James McLellan admits that Mohamed always maintained that the device was a clock, not a bomb, "but there was no broader explanation." When the Dallas Morning News asked him what "broader explanation" he was looking for, McLellan said, “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. Read the rest

Texas doctor's consent form for women seeking abortions

Redditor Mystharia terminated a pregnancy for medical reasons last week; her doctor gave her this consent form, mandated by -- and scathingly attacking -- the Texas legislature, which requires the doctor to enumerate an eye-wateringly detailed account of the foetal development before termination. (Icon: Kevin Dooley/CC-BY) Read the rest

EFF-Austin panel commemmorating the 20th anniversary of the Steve Jackson Games raid

The Secret Service raid on Austin's Steve Jackson Games started the fight over freedom and privacy online, and resulted in the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and EFF-Austin. Read the rest

Phil Gramm: "exploited worker" AT&T CEO "only" got $75m

The former Texas GOP Senator testified that AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre was an "exploited worker," whose $75 million golden handshake proved "bigotry that is still allowed in America...bigotry against the successful." Read the rest

Fried Jesus: architect of State Fair deep-fried butter

Abel Gonzales Jr was raised by Tex-Mex restaurateurs, and began his career as God of the deep fryer out of necessity, when he was desperate to come up with a dish for the Texas State Fair's Big Tex Choice Award, and all he had was a fryer. Read the rest

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For sale: massive ranch larger than NYC and Los Angeles combined


The Waggoner ranch, covering six counties in Texas, is the largest ranch within a single fence in the United States. For $175 million, it can be yours. Read the rest

WATCH: "Princess Boy's" mom speaks out for LGBT kids' books

Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship sez, "At a public hearing over whether or not to remove LGBT children's books from a public library, one mom's comments stole the show." Read the rest

Texans brace for Jade Helm 15, massive federal military exercise


About half of Texans are concerned about Jade Helm 15, this week's federal military exercise across the American southwest. Many conspiracy theories advanced by right-wing groups have driven these concerns. Read the rest

Bigoted officials: First Amendment means we don't have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Rural county and town clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses or perform civil ceremonies for same-sex couples, despite the Supreme Court's ruling last week. Read the rest

McKinney, TX wants $79K to retreive emails of the cop who tackled bikini-clad teen

McKinney is Texas's worst-ranked city for open records requests, and says that it will have to hire a programmer to write entirely new code to search its old, "unsearchable" email system for the emails of Officer Eric Casebolt, who made headlines by tackling a young black girl in a bikini at a pool party and threatening her with his gun. Read the rest

Texas governor bans Planned Parenthood from cancer screening program for poor women

Protesters rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol as the state Senate meets to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. Texas on Friday is poised to enact a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, ending a bitter political fight that stirred national debate over what critics see as laws threatening the right to abortion in the United States. REUTERS/Mike Stone
Texas governor Greg Abbott OK's ban on healthcare provider's non-abortion-related services for the poor.

TX schoolteacher "not a racist" because she only "almost" wants segregation [UPDATED]

Karen Fitzgibbons [Facebook]
A Texas teacher is under investigation after posting racist remarks on her Facebook page.

McKinney “Pool Party” police officer Eric Casebolt resigns after video of teen abuse goes viral

“I had 12 officers on the scene and 11 of them performed according to their training,” the local police chief said at a press conference today.

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