Trump Border Wall: Texans vow to fight eminent domain, historic chapel threatened

Donald Trump's border wall vs. the historic La Lomita church in Texas, which dates back to 1852.

Texas indicts '3D gun guy' Cody Wilson for child sexual assault, 'Defense Distributed' founder faces 20 years in prison

Wow, never saw that one coming. The print your own guns proponent is a creep.

In Texas, '3D gun' guy Cody Wilson has been indicted on multiple counts of sexual assault against a minor. Read the rest

Artist lovingly paints Texas fast food joints in Kinkade-esque scenery

San Antonio artist Michael Esparza's oil paintings put Texas-based fast food restaurants in the center of bucolic landscapes. It's hard not to compare his work to Thomas Kinkade's but that's the point. (The main difference, imo, is that Esparza's pieces are actually palatable.)

Texas Monthly:

The idea for the series, which Esparza describes as “a little bit Bob Ross and a little bit Thomas Kinkade,” came to him 2012, just after he came back to Texas from a year of studying art in Italy. In Italy, nothing was built taller than a church, so it was a shock when Esparza returned to San Antonio, the size of roadside signs were particularly jarring. “I was just seeing how iconic they are, but also from the Italian perspective, how ridiculous they are. From that point of view, it’s like, ‘What are you doing, Texas? What’s going on with these big signs that you have on the side of the road?'” he says. “But the first thing I did when I got back from Italy was I went to Whataburger, and then right after that, I went to Bill Miller’s. I just needed a burger, and I needed a po’ boy. I was already full after Whataburger, but I didn’t care.” Esparza says he wants the paintings to evoke the sense of homecoming you feel when you see those signs after spending time in a place where they don’t exist—be it Italy or elsewhere. “They become your own little beacons for where you live,” he explains.

Read the rest

Syndicated columnist censored for writing about the risks of hedge funds and billionaires buying papers

Jim Hightower is a longstanding, respected columnist distributed by Creators Syndicate -- but Creators refused to distribute his latest column, "Free the Free Press from Wall Street Plunderers," which warns about Wall Street vultures like Digital First Media and GateHouse Media buying up newspapers, including the Austin Statesman. Read the rest

My life on the road: watching life roll by from the corner of my eye

Two days of waiting in Casper, Wyoming, $1,200 and two new tires later, we were back on the road. Casper is a small city. It is one of Wyoming's most populated cities. It is a city flanked by mountains and, while we were being held captive by a blown out tire on a holiday weekend, a miserably cold, humid city.

It was a city we were happy to leave.

The man who taught me how to fight once told me that the only thing worse than getting punched is waiting to get punched. This holds true for many things in life. As my wife wheeled us back onto the Interstate, headed south, there was a tension in the air between us. We did not speak. We did little else but listen. Would the rest of our tires prove sound? Was there any indication that they might blow like one of our outer duelies had? When the next blow-out happens would it be one of our steer-tires? How fucked or dead would we be? The answer to this last question: pretty fucked and, depending on the speed we'd be traveling at when the blow-out hit, pretty dead.

Both of us were wondering these things. Neither of us talked about it until after we had stopped for the night.

Long distance trips can be full of new foods and interesting people that make for fond memories. More often, you're left to contend with hours of a ribbon of road cut through the plains mountains and dead towns that lost their vibrance years before you were born. Read the rest

Newly divorced woman blows up her wedding dress

Simply setting fire to her wedding dress wouldn't do for Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler. The newly divorced woman from outside San Antonio, Texas (shocker!) attached 20 pounds of Tannerite to the dress and created an explosive target. In front of family and friends, she shot the dress from 200 yards away, creating a fireball and explosion that was heard for miles.

Santleben-Stiteler plans on selling her wedding ring. Sorry, demolition fans.

Via Star-Telegram Read the rest

Texas high schoolers compete in varsity barbecue

Leave it to Texas to have high school varsity teams dedicated to barbecuing.

Here's a story about how some students at a high school in northern Texas are learning to compete with meat. WFAA reports:

Horticulture teacher Tommy Copeland helped start his team at [Ennis High School] after discovering an annual state tournament in Burnet where over 100 schools compete...

At Ennis High, the barbecue team is like a Texas hybrid of metal shop and home economics. The students fabricate and weld their own cooker together then use it to compete.

Copeland and other vocational teachers assist the students in learning how to be pitmasters. Teachers or instructors aren’t allowed to help students during cook-offs, and they’re judged on best beef brisket, pork ribs, ½ chicken, best beans, dessert, best pit, most school spirit, and best t-shirt.

...he only requirements to be on the barbecue team? Maintain a passing average and be a senior.

However—that doesn’t stop Copeland from mentoring aspiring juniors who have interest in the team like Marshall Sladecek.

Before Ennis’ home football game against Corsicana, he and some other juniors got some ‘ribs practice’ outside the stadium. “We all barbecue, why not take it to the competition level?” Sladecek said. “Every guy needs to know how to do it.”

...“When these boys leave here, they are kings of their grills,” Copeland said.

Read the rest

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog mocks Cruz right to his face

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog went to Texas to get close to the Democratic and Republican Senate race candidates. He first visited Beto O'Rourke's rally where he landed a short interview. Then he went to Ted Cruz's where he, amazingly, got some face time. Oh, the burn... Read the rest

Texas high-school students can't graduate without watching a video on not triggering snowflake cops

The "Civilian Interaction Training Program" is a project of the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement, aimed at teaching children how not to terrify heavily armed, easily-spooked Texas law enforcement officers, who, when triggered, are at risk of murdering children during traffic stops. Reviewing these training materials is mandatory for anyone hoping to receive a diploma from a Texas high school. The bill's author, Texas state senator Royce West, says the curriculum's purpose is to end "distrust for law enforcement." Read the rest

UPDATED: The US Patent and Trademark Office is ready to hand over an exclusive trademark for "Dragon Slayer" for fantasy novels

Update: The USPTO has withdrawn this from publication for "further review."

Michael-Scott Earle, a self-publisher of "pulp harem fantasies" is seeking a trademark on the use of "Dragon Slayer" in connection with fantasy novels. Read the rest

EFF to Texas AG: Epson is screwing Texans

You remember when HP tricked its users into downgrading their printers by sending them a fake "security update" that actually made the printers refuse third-party and refilled ink cartridges? Read the rest

Profiles of the three worst Republican lawmakers running for re-election in Texas

Susan Schorn writes, "The Political Action Committee 'Cowboys for Liberty' has released some funny, horrifying videos about the three worst GOP office-holders up for re-election at the state level in Texas: Sid Miller, Ken Paxton, and Dan Patrick (the rodeo clown, indicted fraudster, and former talk show host, respectively)." Read the rest

Willie Nelson debuts song at Beto rally: 'Vote'em Out'

The legendary Willie Nelson supported Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke Saturday night by playing at his rally. In a song, Nelson urged rally-goers to "Vote'em Out."

"If you don't like who's in there, vote 'em out

That's what Election Day's all about,

The biggest gun we got is called the ballot box

It sure is! Texas readers, are you registered to vote?

Previously: After the debate, Beto O'Rourke air drummed to The Who at a Whataburger drive-thru Read the rest

After the debate, Beto O'Rourke air drummed to The Who at a Whataburger drive-thru

On Friday night, after the first Texas Senate debate where he faced Ted Cruz, Beto O'Rourke went to a Dallas Whataburger and air-drummed to The Who's "Baba O’Riley" while waiting to get to the drive-thru window, commenting, "This is the best song ever." This clip is just part of a 45-minute long live-streamed video he shared on Facebook Live.

Thanks, Julie!

(Aaron M. Morales) Read the rest

Rice University eliminates tuition for all but wealthiest students, makes housing free for poorest

From its founding in 1912 until 1965, Houston's Rice University was free to attend; but today, Rice has joined other US universities in saddling its students with ghastly, inescapable mountains of debt, with annual attendance costing $61,350, $40,000 of which is tuition. Read the rest

Nightmare park attendant blocks driver, then falsely tells 911 she's being run over

Chris Hampshire of Georgetown, TX was driving through Cedar Breaks Park near Lake Georgetown when he took a wrong turn. He backed up and turned towards the exit when a park attendant stopped him. And that's when all hell broke loose.

Hampshire describes what happened:

The situation was me leaving a lake with my Jetski. Accidentally steered down the wrong exit while leaving, this parks and rec worker happened to be outside. She saw me correct myself and I was about to leave the main exit point. At that point she started telling me she was calling the cops and I wasn’t allowed to leave. I said no ma’am you’re mistaken, you can’t hold me here. She jumped in front of my car then this is when I pulled out my phone... shortly after the video ended she stepped out of the way to talk to the park rangers and I voiced that I was leaving being that this was unlawful from the beginning and I didn’t do anything illegal.

About a mile down the road I see 15 officers with sirens and lights speed pass me (they legitimately thought someone was being run over) quickly a few officers turned around, pulled me over and talk to me about what happened. Thankfully they were very calm and shortly after showing the video I was let go....

The park attendant was identified as Judine Reed. She no longer works for the park, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Read the rest

Texas board of education tries to erase Hillary Clinton from history

The State Board of Education in Texas has proposed some rather interesting cuts to the their social studies curriculum. Read the rest

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