Texans Will Soon Carry Guns During Disasters

Earlier this month, the Texas House passed H.B. 1177, a bill that would allow people who are evacuating after a disaster declaration to carry a gun without a license up to 7 days.

On Friday, May 24, the Senate passed their version which shortens the time period to 48 hours, but allows the governor to extend that time if needed.

The new law has to pass the House once more and go to the governor for signature. If signed, it would take effect September 1, 2019. The 86th Legislature runs from Jan. 8 to May 27 (today).

As a licensed-to-carry gun owner, I don’t know how I feel about letting unlicensed people walking around with guns during a stressful time. (Guns would be allowed in shelters too – if the shelter owner allows it.) I guess the legislature is trying to extend the castle doctrine during a disaster to stop looting and allow people to travel with protection (?).

Bombs In Austin

Austin was rocked by 6 bomb blasts in 21 days. The suspect, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt of Pflugerville, Texas, was killed in the last blast. His motive has yet to be determined. Here’s a timeline of what happened.

  • March 2: A package bomb kills 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House when it explodes on his front porch.
  • March 12: 17-year-old Draylen Mason, was killed and his mother was injured after a package exploded inside their home.
  • March 12: Hours after the second explosion occurred, police reported a third blast, confirming that at least one elderly woman was injured.
  • March 18: Two men in their 20s suffered non-life threatening injuries when they triggered a bomb via a tripwire while walking their bikes.
  • March 20: A bomb blast at a FedEx ground distribution facility in Schertz, Texas, injured one person.
  • March 21: Just before 5 am police/FBI/ATF corner Conditt at a Red Roof Inn on Interstate 35 in Round Rock, Texas. He drove off a short distance then blew himself up in his car. Source: FoxNews.com

The bad news is we may not be finished with this person or their bombs. FBI agent Chris Combs, head of the agency’s San Antonio office, said, “We are concerned that there may be other packages that are still out there.” Source: KBTX.com

Five Presidents Visit Aggieland

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will attend the event at Reed Arena at Texas A&M University. Source CNN.com

They’ll be in town Saturday to bolster donations and support for hurricane relief. Bush 41 wanted to do something bigger than a anniversary party for his library – it was his idea to have a concert and start a fund raising campaign – One America Appeal.

The weather isn’t cooperating. There is a 30% chance of rain during the day increasing to 90% chance at night.

Texas GOP Votes On Secession [UPDATED]

TxSecede On Wednesday [May 11, 2016], the Platform Committee of the Republican Party of Texas voted to put a Texas independence resolution up for a vote at this week’s GOP convention, according to a press release from the pro-secession Texas Nationalist Movement. The resolution calls for allowing voters to decide whether the Lone Star State should become an independent nation….It’s very unlikely to win. Then again, that’s what people said about Donald Trump. Source: motherjones.com

With Donald Trump being the presumptive nominee of the GOP for the 2016 election – and Hillary Clinton is presumptive nominee of Dems – Texans, and Washington, might take this vote more seriously.

Texas did it before. Maybe this time it will stick. Secede-y’all-later folks!

UPDATE 5/16/2016:

As predicted, the committee voted down language of Texas secession. It wasn’t without a fight though. The secessionists and nationalists made their voices heard.

After much parliamentary wrangling and motions and counter-motions, the delegates voted to approve language about the federal government’s having “impaired our right of local self-government,” but voted down the language on Texas secession. Source: texasobserver.org

The latest political talking point (a distraction if you ask me) is the rights of transgendered individuals to use public bathrooms of the sex they identify with. Obama has threatened to revoke federal funding for public schools if states don’t support this idea in schools. The Texas GOP wasn’t having it.

“We urge the enactment of legislation addressing individuals’ use of bathrooms, showers and locker rooms that correspond with their biologically determined sex,” the document stated. Source: texastribune.org

German, Czech, Polish and Polka Festivals in Texas

There’s a festival almost every month from March through November. (I’m still looking for June and July.)

Google search

German Festivals in Texas

Czech/Polish/Polka Festivals in Texas

Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival 2011

This year they changed the date to the fall in the hopes of cooler weather. October in Texas is still warm, but it’s closer to harvest. So, it should be interesting to see if the vintners present new wines or yearlings.

The Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival is October 7-8, 2011, in Downtown Bryan, Texas.

A new twist this year: general admission is $4 or $5. They’ll have the event gated so they know who paid and who didn’t. The rational? To make up for the revenue they’ll loose for the two days. Seriously? I find it hard to believe that the City of Bryan makes $50,000+ in two days from the 5 square blocks of downtown where the event is being held. I may not go just on principle.

Rain

This is worth mentioning for future reference – we got about 2 inches of rain yesterday night. That’s the first time since May 23 that we’ve seen rain, and January since we’ve seen more than an inch.

Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival 2010

It seems like each year about this time my mouth starts watering for steak and wine. Actually, I seem to yearn for them earlier and earlier each year. Last years’ Steak & Grape was good but very crowded.

This year, the Texas Steak and Grape Festival celebrates it 4th anniversary, June 18-19. They also have a spiffy new (WordPress) Web site, and I think the City of Bryan is sponsoring it; they’re hosting the site.

I may be out of town that week so I don’t know if I’ll make it to the festival. I’ll just have to have some steak and grapes in honor of the festival somewhere else.

Less than a year away and the dance has begun for Texas governor

This isn’t the Texas two-step, more like musical chairs. Continuing what I wrote about having a web site to be a candidate, those web sites will come and go and they may switch focus before we vote in November 2010.

Just as soon as Tom Schieffer announced that he will not run for governor, Houston Mayor, Bill White, had a press conference to announce that he will decide by (Dec 4) if he will run for governor or stick with his original plan and run for a US Senate seat – the one presumably vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison – but White wants to hear from the people of Texas as to what he should do. You can tell him what to do at his web site.

Seeing as how KBH said she will not vacate the Senate while health care is up in the air. I don’t see White filling that seat. The others on the Republican dance card are Larry Kilgore and Debra Medina.

The Dem-dance so far includes Farouk ShamiFelix Alvarado, Kinky Friedman, Hank Gilbert.

Looking at their web sites, I want to scream, “Neeeext?!”