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Texas Lesbian Couple Murdered In A Possible Hate Crime Attack

by: Omar Araiza

Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

Picture of couple on left, sketch of suspect to the right

A lesbian couple from Houston were murdered last week in Galveston County in a possible hate crime attack. Their bodies were found Friday morning next to a convenience store dumpster in Port Bolivar, Texas, but are believe to have been driven there once after being murdered. The victims have since been identified as Britney Cosby, 24, and Crystal Jackson, 24.

Relatives say the couple had been together for two years, and were visiting Galveston for Mardi Gras. Officials in Galveston County ruled the deaths as homicides on Monday, but the motives behind the killings are still not known. While sexual orientation is part of our federal and state hate crime laws, it is still not clear yet whether their murders will ultimately be considered a hate crime. Autopsies performed on the bodies show Cosby died of blunt force trauma and Jackson was shot to death.

Detectives handling the case are asking anyone that recognizes the man in the sketch to contact the sheriff's office tip line at 866-248-8477. Anyone with information is also encouraged to call Galveston County Crime Stoppers at 409-763-8477.  

Updated 2:32pm: James Cosby, father of one of the victims, has been arrested in connection with the murders. He is being charged with two accounts of tempering with evidence in the deaths of his daughter and girlfriend.

Read the statement issued by Equality Texas below the jump.

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Texas Values: Greg Abbott "Stands Up Against Lesbian Mayor" Annise Parker

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM CST

UPDATED This post has been updated as of 11:45am to include the response of Mayor Parker to attacks on her marriage.

When I read the tweet, "@TxValues: AG @GregAbbott_TX stands up against lesbian Houston Mayor in briefs," the first thing I thought was, "put some pants on Greg!" But, of course there is so much more wrong with this. It clearly uses the term "lesbian" as a pejorative, otherwise Texas Values would have referred to, "heterosexual AG Greg Abbott," or simply and respectfully referred to Parker as Mayor.

Marriage equality has made tremendous progress in the past year and it, dare I say, threatens to come to Texas. Abbott hasn't had the best of luck in the courtroom lately against the federal government, so this time he is arguing that it doesn't even have jurisdiction to hear these cases.

Mayor Parker has pushed for the City of Houston to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states for purposes of spousal benefits. Suggesting she did this simply because she is "an open lesbian," is not only crude but ignores the fact that most Texans support, by a large margin, extending benefits to same-sex partners of government employees. According to a poll taken last year by Equality Texas, "65.7% of voters support extending domestic partnership benefits to government/public university employees; an increase of 3.4%" over a similar poll taken in 2010. The poll also found a 5.2% increase in support for full marriage equality; transforming a 52% majority against into a 47.9% plurality for.

See more on Abbott's continued assault on local control and the response from Mayor Parker below the jump...

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker Not Coy About Intentions To Run Statewide In 2018

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 00:00 PM CST

Annise Parker, fresh off reelection to her 3rd term as Houston Mayor, told Lone Star Q she is eyeing a future run for statewide office possibly in 2018. As fired up as Texas Democrats are right now, the state will not turn blue without recruiting top tier candidates, so you can mark this announcement as another progressive victory of 2013.

Parker is an experienced campaigner who first honed her chops on Houston City Council in 1997 before being elected to 3 terms as City Comptroller starting in 2003. Now, in her final term as Mayor she is no stranger to headlines and continues to rattle the Conservative establishment far beyond Houston's city limits.

Find out what position Mayor Parker may be considering along with the full interview below the jump...

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Payday Lenders' Money In Houston Municipal Runoffs Puts Reform at Risk

by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:00 PM CST

Houston's new payday lending reform ordinance, pushed by the recently re-elected Mayor Annise Parker, is on shaky ground.

Depending on the results of the municipal runoff election this Saturday, the future of the ordinance could change significantly.

The plan, which would make Houston the fifth major city in Texas to pass such regulations, aims to protect consumers by establishing minimum standard business practices to prevent abuse from payday lending institutions.

The future of this ordinance will be especially more difficult to predict because payday lenders are giving much-needed cash to runoff candidates who are preventing payday lending reform from happening.

With five of the races going into runoffs, there are two main races who the payday lending industry has invested their money in. Andrew Burks is one of them, who tagged the ordinance at this week's Houston City Council meeting, which throws off the trajectory of the ordinance, likely pushing it into the new year in which a new City Council will be in place. This procedural shake-up makes uncertain the fate of the ordinance and allows payday lenders to continue preying on low-income Houston residents, whose interest rates often exceed 500 percent APR, trapping people in a cycle of debt.

Curtailing the efforts of predatory lenders has grown to be high-profile cause for progressives, which is why we have seen reforms pass in some of Texas' bluest cities. Legislators -- including Senator Wendy Davis -- have worked for years to cap and limit payday lenders and helped make some of the biggest steps forward for reform in Texas this past legislative session.

However, because of the payday lending industry's strong investment in legislators, statewide reform was defeated-- and the same powers are at play in Houston.

Read who payday lenders are investing in below the jump.

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Harris County GOP Chair: Mayor Annise Parker Abuses Her Office Over Same-Sex Benefits

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM CST

Well, someone seems a bit bitter after losing an election.

Posted on the Quorum Report, Harris County GOP chair, Jared Woodfill, had some interesting things to say about Mayor Annise Parker's announcement last week that the city of Houston will begin to grant health and life insurance benefits to legally married same-sex couples whose marriages have been recognized in states with marriage equality laws.

"On Wednesday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker continued to show her true self as an extreme liberal that does not share the values of Texans and Houstonians," Woodfill said about Parker and her decision.

Read more below the jump.

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Mayor Annise Parker Introduces Consumer Protections Against Abuses By Payday Lenders

by: Shelby Alexander

Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM CST

Joining Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio, Houston is on track to become the fifth major city in Texas to pass tighter restrictions on the payday and auto-title loan industry. Mayor Anise Parker's recently revealed regulations for payday lending reflects the minimum standard business practices for payday lending institutions that have passed in other cities as means to prevent borrowers from being trapped in a cycle of debt.

Many interest rates for payday loans, when including fees, often exceed 500 percent APR. With support from numerous advocacy groups, Mayor Annise Parker joins other municipalities who have taken the initiative in light of inaction from our State Legislature to rein in high-cost, small-dollar loans offered to individuals without credit checks, which frequently preys upon low-income Texans.

Progressive leaders have been working overtime to protect consumers while Republicans have allowed the payday lending industry take between $800 million and $1.1 billion in excess fee charges from Texas families.

Read more below the jump.

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The Great Texas GOP Covert Hope Busted Utah Republican Attorney General Investigated

by: Arctotraveler

Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 10:15 PM CST

The Way The GOP Governs Is A Violation of Federal Law

Utah Attorney General Expected To Resign Over Investigations by the Federal Trade Commission

Many people advocate for free speech; however, few ever consider the choices they make could be predetermined by their own language. The way we think is vastly influenced by our own inner talk. What we say to ourselves in the quiet of our minds can and does determine how we understand.

If the relativist must accept (P •~ P) his world he creates by relative association and the possible world that contradicts his realty, then acceptance is the determinant problem in a case which means a shared belief, we accept something to be true as other(s) believe, even if it is false. If truth was a competitive proposition then we can say the fittest makes the reality we all share. The dominating principle operates in your own somatic domain or 'reality dominion' for whatever the causal relationship and all others must obey or overcome (O'Dell).

Marketing software combined with electronic devices such as P.Solutions Software enables efficient access to your own somatic domain (Your minds' eye in your own brain) and actually swayed previous elections by violating Federal law. A good example, Project: MobiSem:

"The R&D-Project aims at a mobile App-Framework which is capable to handle semantic RDF-Structures in on/offline mode and combines intelligent actualized semantic information."

If by linguistic relatively, our language restricts self-expression, then it makes good sense; the way semantic information is applied by electronic devices also restricts the way we think. Most importantly, what we say to ourselves today controls our very actions and he that controls semantic information controls your thoughts and behaviors.

Among the allegations in the original complaint were that Swallow tried to conceal his ties to a company, P-Solutions

"The scandal that has been bubbling around Utah Attorney General John Swallow (R) since January has suddenly started to boil -- and may result in his leaving office."


It's of no consequence that our ease to interpret one language to another is rooted in some universal or a lineage of antiquity to a common great-grandmother: What we say to ourselves today controls our very actions. Inner Talk, what we say to ourselves in the quiet of our minds is the way humans understand.

If we analyze the essential features of the way we speak and the way we think, we can easily identify and redefine words or phrases of a particular cultural emphasis which predetermine our opinions. In other words, by applying a few principals of Linguistics, the way we speak, to the way we think, we can, with little effort, loosen the bonds of controlled somatic domain, guaranteeing our right to freely reason on our own.

My previous mental picture of understanding or somatic domain was controlled electronically by marketing applications that violate Federal Law as well as international law into separate categorical universes rendering a common false belief: "East is east, and west is west; the twain shall never meet."

Freeing one's somatic domain of multimedia e-polutions is the simplest way to eidetic memories. Once our minds are free of useless aberrations we are, "able to recall or reproduce things previously seen with startling accuracy, clarity, and vividness (Microsoft)."

Citations References

O'Dell, Gregory N. Anatomy of The Human Grey Body Grey Anatomy.. North Charleston: BookSurge, 2007. Print.

O'Dell, Gregory N. "Everyday ordinary Common Miricals" Linearism.Org Advocacy For Human Rights. Nov. dec. 2008. Web. 06 Feb. 2010. http://www.linearism.org/TheJo...

Brunton, Paul Ph.D. "The Quest of the Overself" New York: E.P. Dutton & co., Inc 1946

Halevi, Z'ev ben Shimon "Carlton's Introduction to the Cabala Tree of Life" York Beach: Samuel Weiser, Inc. 1991  

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Mayor Annise Parker: City of Houston to Offer Benefits to Same-Sex Couples

by: Omar Araiza

Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM CST

Mayor Annise Parker announced yesterday that the city of Houston will begin to grant health and life insurance benefits to same-sex couples whose marriages have been legally recognized in states with marriage equality laws. Married same-sex couples can now receive the same benefits other married city employees presently enjoy.

"Based on the right to equal protection under the law, it is unconstitutional for the city to continue to deny benefits to the same-sex spouses of our employees who are legally married," said Parker. "This change is not only the legal thing to do, it is the right, just and fair thing to do."

Parker's action was made despite a 12 year-old voter-approved 2001 charter amendment that previously prohibited the new policy. Parker's decision was ultimately based on City Attorney David Feldman's legal interpretation of the recent U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, granting equal federal recognition to all married couples.

Read the full press release below the jump.

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Harris County Adopts New Anti-Discrimination Policy To Protect LGBT Inmates

by: Omar Araiza

Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 02:00 PM CST

Sheriff Adrian Garcia's new policy aims to protect LGBT inmates.
Houston's Harris County's new sheriff, Adrian Garcia, is leading the way by adopting one of the most comprehensive policies in the U.S. that protects LGBT inmates.

The new anti-discrimination policy is designed to protect and ensure the equal treatment of Harris County inmates that identify as LGBT. The policy includes the protection of transgender inmates by allowing trans individuals to be housed based on their gender identity.

Equality Texas worked with Sheriff Garcia to come up with the new policy. Executive director, Chuck Smith, had this to say about their collaboration:

"By working hand in hand with local advocates and allies, including Equality Texas, Sheriff Adrian  Garcia and his team have created a model policy that we hope to see replicated around the state," said Smith. "Equality Texas is proud to have played a part in this effort."

Read more below the jump.

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Mike Collier, Democrat and Businessman, Steps Up for Texas Comptroller

by: Joe Deshotel

Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 00:00 PM CDT

Earlier this month the Burnt Orange Report wrote about a "Mystery Houston-Area Democrat" who was building a statewide team, it turns out that man is Mike Collier, and although his campaign is still officially in the exploratory phase, he wants to be the next Comptroller for the state of Texas. The Houston businessman believes our state government needs an experienced CFO to handle its complex accounting and to hold our current elected officials accountable.

Collier not only wants the job, but believes he is the most qualified. He says Texas needs a Comptroller with a professional financial background and one who is not using the position as a stepping stone for higher office.

"For too long, the people we've hired to mind Texas' tax dollars have been more interested in their political ambition than in holding politicians accountable. Texas needs a Comptroller who has the courage to tell taxpayers the truth and who has the know-how to hold the Texas legislature accountable."

Collier says his business experience will be attractive to conservatives but that, "the Comptroller shouldn't be beholden to the Republican party," instead they should offer an independent view of the state's finances. He served as executive assistant to the world chairman of Price Waterhouse, the world's largest professional services firm with over 100,000 employees. He was a partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers for a dozen years and for a time served as a Merger and Acquisition consultant for their major energy clients. He left PWC to become Chief Financial Officer for an energy company. He then met a crossroads after he helped sell the company two years later -- take a lucrative job in the private sector or step up and run for public office.

Find out why Collier passed up collecting more money for his own bank account for the chance to watch over our state's...

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