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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: George West, Georgetown, Austin, Brenham and Irving, Texas
Current location: Irving
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 11,073

About Me

BS - Mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Statistical Analyst. Played trumpet in college. Middle-aged white guy.

Journal Archives

Tech Underbelly: Indentured Servitude and Bonded Labor in the US

A labor collusion pact with the aim of suppressing pay levels among Apple, Google, Microsoft, Pixar, and others, demonstrated that the idea that Silicon Valley plays fairly is an illusion. But even more unsavory abuses occur further down the food chain. H1-B visa workers, who are generally held in low esteem in the US since they compete with Americans, take a risk when they sign up with labor brokers, even seemingly legitimate ones like Tata Consultancy, part of the giant Tata Group in India.

As the NBC video below, part of a joint investigation with the Center for Investigative Reporting, explains, the most abusive recruiters are body shops, who abuse the H1-B program by bringing in technology graduates when the firm in fact has no job lined up (hat tip EM). The Indian immigrants are hostage, kept in guest houses where they are told not to go outside until they find work.

The Center for Investigative Reporting account goes into considerable detail, yet acknowledging that most misconduct remains hidden:

From 2000 through 2013, at least $29.7 million was illegally withheld from about 4,400 tech workers here on H-1B visas, U.S. Department of Labor documents show. And this barely hints at the problem because, in the hidden world of body shops, bad actors rarely are caught.


There are two major types of abuse of Indians who come to the US through job brokers. One is the form we mentioned at the outset, and is the focus of the NBC account, that of H1-B visa fraud. Here the tech worker is brought to the US with no work lined up, a visa violation. They are thus illegal immigrants seeking work. From their story:

Read more: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/10/tech-underbelly-indentured-servitude-bonded-labor-us.html

Davis talks education, not abortion in Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI - A cheering crowd of college students welcomed State Sen. Wendy Davis to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday, where the Democratic Party candidate for governor talked about education funding and made only a passing reference to her famous abortion rights filibuster.

For many students, though, the June 2013 filibuster remained the main draw.

“I thought it was very inspiring,” said Janet Gaytan, an 18-year-old freshman from Duncanville, who added that she watched part of the filibuster live and shared the footage with her former high school classmates. “And when I found out she was here, I decided to come out and support her.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Davis spent roughly 10 minutes speaking to a sign-waving crowd outside the campus library.

Read more: http://www.caller.com/news/politics/state/davis-plans-to-visit-texas-amcorpus-christi-today_54340141

Superior Crude to pay $1.6 million for 2010 spill in Ingleside

INGLESIDE - Superior Crude Gathering Inc. must pay a $1.6 million civil penalty stemming from a 2010 oil spill at its oil storage facility in Ingleside.

Under a consent decree, lodged in federal court Wednesday, the payment aims to resolve claims raised after the spill by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Federal prosecutors filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Corpus Christi alleging Superior discharged at least 2,200 barrels from two tanks at its facility on Feb. 9 and 10, 2010. Crude flowed into a lake and wetlands near the Intracoastal Waterway and Redfish Bay, prosecutors say in court papers.

Although most of the oil was captured and contained inside the 104-acre site at FM 2725 and Bishop Road, workers estimated more than 50,000 gallons of crude flowed into the wetlands, killing four waterfowl and hurting about 200 minnows, according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Read more: http://www.caller.com/news/energy-effects/our-oil/superior-crude-to-pay-16-million-for-2010-spill_83950387

Is Wendy Davis soft on cattle rustlers?

FORT WORTH — Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn campaigned together at the Cowboy Hall of Fame Wednesday as defenders of Texas values. After departing the Fort Worth Stockyards, the Abbott campaign issued a press release headlined, “Sen. Davis: Friend of Cattle Rustlers.”

The statement said that in 2009, Wendy Davis, then a newly-elected state senator from Fort Worth, and now Abbott’s Democratic rival for attorney general, was one of two votes against legislation that stiffened penalties for the theft of relatively small numbers of cattle, horse, sheep, swine and goats.

“Texas ranchers and cattle raisers are an important part of our state’s heritage, and continue to make Texas great today, but if Sen. Davis had her way cattle rustlers would be allowed to run rampant and hurt ranchers’ livelihoods,” said Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch. “Sen. Davis owes Texas ranchers answers about why she was one of just two state senators to side with cattle thieves and against the rule of law.”

Davis spokesman Zac Petkanas said, “Cattle rustling and theft of livestock are serious crimes that must be punished. However, this bill could send a teenager who steals a single cow as a prank to prison for 10 years. That’s too harsh.”

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/greg-abbott-and-john-cornyn-campaign-together-at-c/nht5N/

A more appropriate question: "Does Greg Abbott pander to idiot ranchers?"

Suspect in anti-gay hate crime at DFW Airport faces $1,000 fine, no jail time


McCleish Christmas Benham

DFW Airport police released their report Tuesday on the arrest of a man who attacked other passengers in an apparent anti-gay hate crime on Oct. 23 near Gate C-30.

After the man assaulted two people while yelling anti-gay epithets, other passengers tackled him to the ground before police arrived. Video of the attack filmed by a bystander went viral after being posted online.

According to the report obtained by Lone Star Q, the man’s name is McCleish Christmas Benham, 27, of Shelbyville, Tennessee. He is currently charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time.

However, if prosecutors choose to utilize Texas’ hate crimes law, they could enhance the assault charge to a class-B misdemeanor. Class-B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.

Read more: http://www.lonestarq.com/breaking-suspect-in-anti-gay-hate-crime-at-dfw-airport-faces-1000-fine-no-jail-time/

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

Suspect in anti-gay hate crime at DFW Airport faces $1,000 fine, no jail time


McCleish Christmas Benham

DFW Airport police released their report Tuesday on the arrest of a man who attacked other passengers in an apparent anti-gay hate crime on Oct. 23 near Gate C-30.

After the man assaulted two people while yelling anti-gay epithets, other passengers tackled him to the ground before police arrived. Video of the attack filmed by a bystander went viral after being posted online.

According to the report obtained by Lone Star Q, the man’s name is McCleish Christmas Benham, 27, of Shelbyville, Tennessee. He is currently charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time.

However, if prosecutors choose to utilize Texas’ hate crimes law, they could enhance the assault charge to a class-B misdemeanor. Class-B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.

Read more: http://www.lonestarq.com/breaking-suspect-in-anti-gay-hate-crime-at-dfw-airport-faces-1000-fine-no-jail-time/

Cross-posted in the LGBT Group.

Texas nurse in quarantine after Sierra Leone trip

A nurse has agreed to quarantine herself in her Texas home after she returned from working with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, according to the governor’s office.

The nurse, who was not identified, does not show signs of symptoms, but she is at risk under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, a news release said. She landed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport early Wednesday morning.

“In Texas, we have a great tradition of welcoming our heroes back home and this heroic individual deserves our appreciation, our compassion, and our utmost respect,” Gov. Rick Perry said in the release.

Perry requested that the nurse quarantine herself at home, where the Texas Department of State Health Services will monitor her twice a day for 21 days.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/nurse-quarantines-herself-after-return-from-work-w/nhtt2/

Jon Stewart rips Greg Abbott, hosts Joaquin Castro in Austin taping of Daily Show

AUSTIN – Comedian host Jon Stewart had harsh words for Texas Republicans during a Tuesday appearance in Austin.

“We invited every Republican congressional member from Texas, all the candidates – Cruz, Abbott, the other guy, Cornyn – we invited them all, and almost to a person not only did they turn us down they didn’t get back to us,” said Stewart, referring to U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and Republican nominee for Texas governor Greg Abbott.

For purposes of this blog, we’ll just say Stewart then referred to the whole lot of ‘em as something akin to bird excrement.

Stewart is in Austin this week filming The Daily Show, his biting yet comedic look at national and world events that airs weekday nights on Comedy Central. Monday night he hosted Democratic nominee for Texas governor Wendy Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, and Tuesday he had on U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio.

Read more: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/texas-politics/2014/10/jon-stewart-rips-greg-abbott-hosts-joaquin-castro-in-austin-taping-of-daily-show/

Bexar County officer dies accidentally shooting himself in the groin

SAN ANTONIO - A Bexar County Medical Examiner's office identified an adult probation officer who died after an accidental shooting as Thomas Zaldivar, 53.

Officials with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said Zaldivar was at the Bullet Hole gun range near Highway 90 and Grosenbacher Road around 3 p.m. Monday when he accidentally shot himself in the groin area.

"We found the victim bleeding a lot. He was in and out of consciousness. We were able to call for AirLIFE to come pick him up," said James Keith, chief communication officer for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

-snip-

A spokesperson for the Bexar County Adult Probation Department said Zaldivar has been with the department for 24 years.

Read more: http://www.ksat.com/content/pns/ksat/news/2014/10/28/bexar-probation-officer-killed-in-accidental-shooting-identified.html

Dallas GOP county judge candidate Natinsky ripped for 'food stamp' remark

Republican Ron Natinsky says the Dallas GOP will be better off if residents in a southern Dallas congressional district “spend their food stamp money” on Election Day instead of voting.

Natinsky, a candidate for Dallas County judge, made the remark last November during a meeting of the Coppell Republican Club. A video of his appearance was on the club’s website for months but was taken down Tuesday once a report about it appeared on dallasnews.com.

“We don’t want to motivate her voters,” Natinsky said of Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in the appearance. “What we want them to think is: ‘There’s no reason. She doesn’t have an opponent. I don’t need to go to the polls. I’ll go spend my food stamp money at the grocery store, or whatever, you know, on Election Day.’”

Natinsky said Tuesday that he doesn’t remember the speech or the comment about food stamps.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/local-politics/20141028-gop-county-judge-candidate-natinsky-ripped-for-food-stamp-remark.ece
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