Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Waco Biker Shootout Update

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

More than four months after nine people were killed in the biker shootout at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, the details of who did what to who and why remain as murky as ever.

Of 170 (per the Dallas Morning News, 177 from other news sources) bikers arrested, all are now out of jail and none have been charged with murder.

As far as I can tell, ballistics reports for the shooting have never been released, and a gag order on all attorneys involved in the case remains in place, and restaurant surveillance video of the shootout has never been released to the public.

Something isn’t adding up here.

We know that at least some of the bikers involved were hit by police bullets. In a piece by Nathaniel Penn in GQ, he suggests that the vast majority of deaths from the shootout came from law enforcement.

Now, the first two or three pops—me and half my crew being ex-military, we know what small-arms fire from pistols sounds like. We also know what squad automatic weapons [typically used by the military and law enforcement] sound like. After the third pop, it was nothing but squad automatic weapons.


Not a single law-enforcement person lifted a finger to help any of the wounded. And they made it pretty clear that they were going to be violent if we tried to take our guys to the ambulance. Three men were bleeding out before our eyes. If those men were still alive 30, 40 minutes after being shot, they could have been saved. A prospect named Trainer from out of Tarrant County chapter was shot. They zip-tied him and laid him on the ground next to a Bandido they had handcuffed. I noticed him jerk a few times, laying there. We were sitting there, 30 feet from him, and weren’t able to help him. About two hours later, somebody walked over, looked at him, and covered him with a yellow sheet.

Nor has the post-shootout response of the local criminal justice system been a model of impartiality:

Justice of the peace Walter “Pete” Peterson’s across-the-board imposition of $1 million bonds—“to send a message,” he said—was almost certainly illegal. Waco P.D. officer Manuel Chavez later admitted in court that Peterson signed all 177 of the so-called cookie-cutter probable-cause affidavits in bulk, without specifying the evidence against each individual defendant. Peterson, it turns out, is a former state trooper with no legal training.

Nevertheless, the Waco 177 still have their work cut out for them. The judge in the case, Matt Johnson, is the former law partner of district attorney Abel Reyna. Incredibly, the foreman of the first grand jury to be convened, James Head, is a Waco P.D. detective. “He was chosen totally at random, like the law says,” Reyna insisted to local reporters. If this seems brazen, consider that the commission to appoint jurors was originally going to be led by Reyna’s own father. Reyna only backed down under pressure, acquiescing to the process that led to Head’s selection. Asked why he’d permit an active police officer to lead a grand jury investigating possible police misconduct, state district judge Ralph Strother said, “I just thought, ‘Well, he’s qualified. He knows the criminal-justice system.’”

One need not take every statement of motorcycle gang members facing possible capital murder charges at face value to believe that something went badly wrong with the police response in the Waco shootout…

(Hat tip: Reason.)

Dewhurst Settles Lawsuit Against Michael Looney

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Former Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has settled his lawsuit against Houston oilman Michael Looney, who evidently received money embezzled by Dewhurst campaign adviser Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield:

Former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the once powerful Republican who was bilked by an adviser for at least $2.8 million, has settled a lawsuit against a Houston oilman who used a chunk of the stolen money to invest in a new business.

The out-of-court settlement ends years of litigation by the three-term ex-lieutenant governor aimed at recouping funds embezzled from two campaign accounts by former adviser Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield, a Dewhurst spokesman said.

Once a trusted consultant to one of Texas’ wealthiest politicians, Barfield was sentenced in February to more than seven years in federal prison for orchestrating a complex money funneling scheme in which he falsified records, bank statements, invoices and campaign finance reports.

Dewhurst filed a civil lawsuit against Barfield in 2013 to get some of the money back. That lawsuit was settled when Barfield signed over his multi-million dollar West Austin home as part of the agreement.

However, Dewhurst’s lawyers also set their sights on Houston businessman Michael Looney, who partnered with Barfield and, according to court documents, received “several hundred thousand dollars” of stolen Dewhurst money.

The funds, according to the lawsuit, were used to start a new oil and gas business co-owned by Looney and Barfield that would make use of valuable seismic data under license from ExxonMobil.

Dewhurst’s lawsuit was asking for an award of one-half interest in the seismic data and the new company. The exact value of the data was not released, but Looney’s lawyers said in a filing that Barfield “stood to make millions and millions of dollars” if the deal went through.

The terms of the lawsuit settlement were not disclosed.


LinkSwarm for September 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Another LinkSwarm. And if you’re live in Austin, don’t forget the meetup/blogshoot on October 10th.

  • Theory: The people flooding into Europe are innocent families of refugees fleeing war. Reality: “young men [heaving] rocks at the authorities and showing up on YouTube videos shouting Allahu Akbar.”
  • “There is something shallow and decadent about a pontiff who prioritizes “climate change” even as every last Christian is driven from the Archeparchy of Mosul. What will they say of such a pope? That he fiddled with the thermostat while Rome burned?”
  • If the illegal alien crisis threatens to collapse the EU, it wasn’t very strong to begin with, was it?
  • Why are liberals in love with radical Islam?

    One theory:

    I increasingly think the Democrat/Muslim union has to do with old-fashioned relativism. Democrats don’t actually believe that women’s rights and gay rights apply to everyone; white people: sure. Arabs? Well, who am I to judge? And Muslims know this.

    When Robby George is just dumbfounded as to why all these Muslims support the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage, the answer seems pretty clear to me: They’re supporting the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage for infidels


    I think the issue is more that they see Muslims as a new potential mascot group that they can champion and therefore obtain that cheap sense of moral superiority that comes with riding in like a white knight. I think a lot of liberal attitudes towards minorities aren’t actually based on the good of the minorities, but how good it makes the liberals feel to champion them. Muslims are (as of now) a tiny, insignificant minority. They’re mostly kinda swarthy, so the “it’s racism” meme is easily transferable, and a significant chunk of liberals loathe Christianity.

  • A map of worldwide Islamic State attacks.
  • In the little town of Bethlehem/Things have gotten quite scary/Islamists have gotten out and torched/the local monastery.
  • You might want to hold onto your hate for this shocking revelation: Hillary Clinton lied under oath about her secret e-mail server.
  • And polls show that Vice President Joe Biden is way, way more popular than Clinton.
  • Reminder: Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign started the “birther” movement.
  • Ten times John Boehner caved into liberals.
  • Pacifica radio station institutes socialist democracy and promptly starts to spiral down toward bankruptcy. (Hat tip: Powerline.)
  • Dealing drugs while on the DEA payroll? Automatic firing? Ha! Remember: Obama Administration. 14 day suspension.
  • Cobynite solutions belong in the realm of fantasy.” Keep in mind that I disagree with possibly three-quarters of the writer’s analysis, but still share his conclusion….
  • The World According to Xi Jinping. Sounds like a whole lot of vague platitudes…
  • “German Rheinmetall shows off 80 kilowatt naval combat laser with four 20 kw laser barrels.” Though until they can demonstrate the system through actual field testing, I wouldn’t get too excited.
  • How did I miss the fact that McGruff The Crime Dog is currently doing 16 years for possessing a marijuana grow operation and a grenade launcher?
  • Houston Zoo Forced To Remove No Guns Signs

    Thursday, September 17th, 2015

    Chalk up another win of the rule of law over irrational hoplophobia:

    “Houston Zoo in Texas came under fire recently for signs near its entrance that say the zoo bans guns, leading to the zoo being forced to take the signs down altogether”


    “The Houston Zoo said that on Sept. 10 the City of Houston asked the zoo to remove their 30.06 signage, which bans guns from the zoo. They said it was because the land in which the zoo is operated independently on is, in fact, city-owned.”

    I’m glad Texas’ recently-passed gun laws are having the clarifying affect on local municipalities the legislature intended.

    And where are all those liberals loftily invoking “It’s the law!” over Kim Davis praising the Houston Zoo for obeying the law?

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    Shuffling Deck Chairs on the BattlegroundTanic

    Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

    Battleground Texas announced a new advisory board:

    The Advisory Board will be made up of Naomi Aberly, Jeremy Bird, former Dallas Mayor and Ambassador Ron Kirk, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Eric Johnson, Austin Ligon, Jennifer Longoria, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, Eddy Morales, Amber Mostyn, Carrin F. Patman, Carrin Mauritz Patman, Marvin Ragsdale, Kirk Rudy, and Lynda Tran. Jenn Brown, who started as executive director for Battleground Texas, is now chairwoman of the advisory board.

    Sure, that’s Battleground Texas’ big problem: Not enough advisers.

    The real news here, I think, is the demotion-by-promotion of Jenn Brown.

    As for the board itself:

  • Jeremy Bird was last seen not defeating Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli elections, after his own disasterous stint leading Battleground Texas. He’s now one of the key players behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
  • Joaquin Castro is backing Hillary, and his brother is rumored to be Hillary’s top VP pick.
  • Kirk Rudy is a Hillary backer.
  • Moneybags spouse Amber Mostyn is a noted Hillary backer.
  • Ron Kirk might back Hillary (who he’s donated to), or he might back Biden.
  • I think the advisory board may be a move to cement Battleground Texas more firmly in Hillary’s orbit, thus foreclosing the possibility that Bernie Sanders might start picking up activist support in Texas. After all, she still needs to win the primary before getting to the general…

    Rick Perry Suspends Presidential Campaign

    Friday, September 11th, 2015

    Former Texas governor Rick Perry effectively ended his second campaign for president Friday, becoming the first candidate to exit the race as his attempt to mount a do-over of his disastrous 2012 run fell short.”


    “Perry had struggled to rise in polls and failed to qualify for last month’s prime-time debate in Cleveland — a major setback. He appeared in the undercard debate, only to see Carly Fiorina, a former technology executive, have what many observers considered a breakout performance.”

    While I like Perry better than at least 2/3rds of the GOP field (and even made the case for him back in 2012), he couldn’t overcome his gaffes enough to get voters to take a look at his record as Governor.

    I bet Evan at Perry vs. World would like that prediction back…

    LinkSwarm for September 11, 2015

    Friday, September 11th, 2015

    It’s the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and thanks to the super-genius foreign policy ofthe Obama Administration, radical Islam is more powerful than ever before!

  • The Islamic State attacks the Kurds with mustard gas Hey Obama: Big, bright red line here! What are you going to do about that? Nothing, eh? Just going to keep up your just-for-show pretend-war against the Islamic State?
  • The thermocline of truth at the Pentagon: “More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials.”
  • Mark Steyn: “Since I last appeared in Copenhagen, some three-quarters of those I shared the stage with that day have been shot at, firebombed or forced to retire from public life and go into hiding.”
  • If you hit a pedestrian in China, do you: A. Stop to render aid, B. Flee the scene or, C. Back over again to make sure they’re dead?
  • “The policies of Jeremy Corbyn, the old-fashioned socialist on course to be elected leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party, are wrong not because they’re left-wing, but because they’re delusional.”
  • Thanks to the Magic Power of Socialism(TM), in Venezuela there’s no justice like mob justice. (Hat tip Instapundit.)
  • Could Putin be undone by a European court rulings?
  • How Bush43 helped keep Russia from invading the rest of Georgia in 2008.
  • Islamic attack leaves leaves 30 dead in Cameroon.
  • Jihad kills 10 in Tajikistan, U.S. embassy shut.
  • “Tunisia is experiencing psychopath drain.”
  • Muslims riot in Rotherham. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Believe it or not, Republicans actually have the demographic edge in 2016.
  • Abilene cop killed in home.
  • This sounds super, super, super, super, super, super dumb.
  • After a long hibernation, Blue Dot Blue has awakened from her deathless slumbers.
  • Dwight has a pretty swell memorial to Oliver Sacks up.
  • Lawfully use your legal firearm to protect your foster kids in Nevada? Watch your kids get taken away.
  • Liberal writer discovers America. “I spent the night at the Chateau Motel & Liquor Store, which is a brilliant business idea that absolutely needs to come east.” #Merica (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “Here is the only important fact versus the hyperbolic claims about aspartame and health: There’s a correlation between sugar consumption and health problems. There’s no link between artificial sweeteners and health.”
  • The ghost homes of Japan. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Texas most-wanted sex-offender caught.
  • Creeper in Williamson County:

    Deputies are searching for a man that allegedly injured a 12-year-old girl at a Williamson County park over the weekend.

    It happened Saturday, Sept. 5 at around 5:50 p.m. on the Rattan Creek Park Trail, west of Parmer Lane at Dallas Drive. Investigators say the girl was walking on the trail at a bridge near where two paths intersect when she was approached by an adult male from the south. The Sheriff’s Office says he made several comments regarding the child’s beauty, saying she appeared older than she was, and asked various questions about her and any companions.

    The suspect grabbed the child by the arm, tight enough to cause minor injury. He let go when one of the child’s friends approached them, and walked away from the trail, heading north into the woods, investigators say.

    The subject was described as a white male, approximately 6’0″, with a slim to medium build, short brown hair, and believed to be in his late 30s. He was last seen wearing a white tank top, blue jeans, and had a large tattoo (possibly Old English text) on his left shoulder, extending down to his chest. The suspect was described as having unusually long fingernails.

    If this suspect is observed in the area, you are asked to call the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jason Waldon at (512) 244-8631 or or after hours (512) 864-8302.

    Read More at:

    Keep an eye out…

  • The Shooter in Her Cooter.
  • Texas vs. California Update for September 8, 2015

    Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Why Texas is awesome:

    First, there is no state income tax in Texas. Some people know this and some don’t—few really grasp what it means practically. It means that if you make decent money and decide to move here and rent something affordable, it’s essentially free to live in Texas. If you make $150,000 a year, your state income taxes in California are roughly $12,000 per year (in NYC it’s closer to $15,000). Or, you can put a thousand bucks a month toward your rent here. If you decide to buy, property taxes are high—but what you get for the money more than makes up for it. My editor at the Observer recently tried to cajole me into coming back to New York. Our house now—which has its own lake and is 29 minutes from the airport which never has lines—costs less than the rent we were paying for our lofted studio apartment in Midtown. Are you kidding?

    Also note the mention of walk-in gun safes…

    (Hat tip: Borepatch.)

  • 600,000 Californians have moved to Texas since 2009.
  • Another take on that data: “5 Million People Left California Over the Past Decade. Many Went to Texas.”
  • Austin and Houston are the top two relocation destinations in the country.
  • $15 billion for a fish tunnel?
  • “The average full-career California teacher receives a pension benefit equal to 105% of their final earnings. CalSTRS CEO says the plan isn’t generous enough.”
  • In 2012, Los Angeles passed some modest pension reforms for newly hired employees. Surprise! A new union contract undoes those reforms. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California, like Texas, has a homestead exemption built into their bankruptcy laws. Unlike Texas, California’s exemption doesn’t actually protect debtors.
  • The FBI raided Palm Springs’ city hall as part of a corruption probe.
  • Mining company suspends operations at California mine because rare earths aren’t.
  • Chief of tiny California fire district to have his $241,000 pension cut. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Enviornmental idiocy and California’s drought.
  • Texas’ 2016 Fiscal Year started September 1st. “Several taxes that were eliminated on September 1 include the Inheritance Tax, Oil Regulation Tax, Sulphur Regulation Tax, Fireworks Tax, Controlled Substance Tax Certificates, and the Airline/Passenger Train Beverage Tax.”
  • Meanwhile, California’s legislature is trying to raise gas and tobacco taxes.
  • Elderly poverty in California.
  • Evidently California’s Democratic politicians stay up late at night devising ways they can make the state go broke even faster. The answer: Host the Olympics again.
  • Korean-owned businesses in LA consider relocating to El Paso. “Kim makes the case that El Paso, once home to plants for denim companies including Levi’s and Wrangler, has abundant skilled laborers, fewer regulations, much cheaper rent and direct flights from Los Angeles.”
  • A cartoon via IowaHawk’s twitter feed. That is all.
  • LinkSwarm for August 31, 2015

    Monday, August 31st, 2015

    Welcome to the final week of traditional summer. Of course, it used to be that everything (school, football, the new TV year, etc.) started after Labor Day Weekend, but that’s not the case any more…

  • “it’s cute to pretend that Black Lives Matter is actually about making policing better when it’s really just another Democratic party constituency agitprop group.”
  • Texas mandates E-Verify for all state employees.
  • Ten questions about the Iran deal.
  • Indeed, the Iran deal stinks so badly that even Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to keep the stink of Eue De Failure off herself and the DNC. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Europe has begun to reform its welfare systems. (Hat tip Instpundit.)
  • Thanks to government efforts, heroin is now cheaper than cigarettes in New York City. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • McCarthy critic turns out to be a Soviet spy. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • UK Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn: Apologist for oppressive dictatorships.
  • Oh, and he wants to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina. Why, it’s almost as if the hard left yearns for nothing so much as undoing every conservative foreign policy triumph out of spite…
  • And he also called Osama Bin Laden’s death “a tragedy.”
  • Criticizing Muslim antisemitism? That’s a $750 fine in Denmark.
  • Widespread street protests in Kuala Lumpur over corruption and embezzlement by Malaysia’s Goldman-Sachs-underwritten Prime Minister.
  • Still another reason not to use Ashley-Madison: “For every 7750 men, there were 3 women.” “Sausage Fest” doesn’t even begin to cover it…
  • Speaking of sausage, San Antonio woman steals $3000 worth of sausage.
  • Conservatives push back on victimhood identity politics guidelines from the College Board and win.
  • Austin Bag Ban backfires. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • A look back at 1945 plans for the invasion of Japan. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Ten years of Tam.
  • Wallace Hall/Joe Straus Update

    Thursday, August 27th, 2015

    Got a bunch of links building up concerning Wallace Hall, Joe Straus and related topics that I’m just going to shotgun out here:

  • UT reforms admissions process so it can only admit unqualified, well-connected students if it really, really wants to.
  • Wallace Hall was not impressed with the reform. “This memorializes bad acts from a hidden admissions policy.”
  • Hall says that Joe Straus came after him to make an example of him.
  • Hall sues University of Texas chancellor McRaven for access to all of the Kroll report, not just the expurgated version.
  • Meanwhile, the UT system is sueing Attorney General Ken Paxton in turn, to keep their dirty laundry secret.
  • Former Texas Public Policy Foundation President Jeff Judson is running against Joe Straus for his state house seat. Here’s his website.