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Black Gun Owners in Texas Decry Racial Bias

by Khorri Atkinson

Mark Hughes, wearing a camouflage shirt and legally, openly carrying an AR-15 rifle, was among dozens of black people in downtown Dallas on Thursday evening who were peacefully protesting against the recent back-to-back officer-involved killings of two black men.

But in the hours between when Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on Dallas police officers and his death, Hughes found himself at the center of controversy when the Dallas Police Department circulated a photo of him on social media and referred to him as a “suspect” in the attack.

Police later retracted their initial assertions and deleted the photo after determining that Hughes had nothing to do with the attack that killed five police officers and injured seven other people, but their methods have sparked controversy among black gun owners who say they’re discriminated against for exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.

“This is how they treat black men with guns,” said Babu Omowale, cofounder of the Dallas-based Huey P. Newton Gun Club, of the hunt for Hughes. “I was actually at the protest. I saw the brother with his gun, and it didn’t alarm me in any type of way because to me, he’s another brother expressing his Second Amendment right. But the police automatically view him as a suspect. But that’s how they view us — as suspects. They view us as possible criminals when we’re only applying our given rights as gun owners.”

Black gun owners said cases such as Hughes’, as well as that of Philando Castile, a black Minnesota man who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop after the officer thought he was reaching for his gun, highlight a longstanding disparity in how police treat black gun owners versus their white counterparts.

“When officers see [black gun owners], they think that you’re going to do something aggressively towards them,” said Philip Smith, founder and president of the National African American Gun Association. “Just because you have an African-American carrying a gun doesn’t mean that he’s a shooter, and in Texas you can open carry, which shouldn’t have been a problem.”

Smith said black gun owners sometimes shy away from legally carrying firearms because of the negative racial stereotyping by some police officers. He argued that it’s an issue his association’s 11,000-plus membership often talks about.

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Ken Paxton: Is his legal trouble motivated by politics?

By Chuck Lindell – American-Statesman Staff

Facing possible prison time over accusations that he defrauded investors in 2011, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton insists that he is the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt because he dares to run his powerful agency based on conservative Christian values.

Paxton places most of the blame for his legal troubles on a vendetta by a friend-turned-adversary, with some cutthroat politics in Collin County, where the criminal charges originated, thrown into the mix.

Prosecutor Brian Wice isn’t buying it, calling the assertion “as predictable as it is untrue.”

The information behind Paxton’s criminal charges, Wice said, was collected by the Texas Rangers, a legendary law enforcement organization that is frequently called upon to investigate politically sensitive matters.

The judge who appointed Wice and Kent Schaffer as special prosecutors is, like Paxton, a Republican.

The grand jury that indicted Paxton last summer is from Collin County, a Republican stronghold north of Dallas where Paxton has lived for years.

The judge who oversaw that grand jury is a Republican. So is the trial judge who denied Paxton’s request to toss out the criminal charges. So is every member of the state appeals court that upheld the charges in June.

“Politics played absolutely no role in the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Paxton,” said Wice, a Houston defense lawyer who led the appeal that freed Tom DeLay, once among the most powerful Republicans in the U.S. House, from criminal convictions over political donations.

Paxton stands accused of two counts of felony securities fraud for soliciting investors in Servergy Inc. without disclosing that the McKinney tech company agreed to pay him to hawk its stock.

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Who’s poor in America? 50 years into the ‘War on Poverty,’ a data portrait

BY

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson used his first State of the Union address to urge “all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United States.” The War on Poverty, as the set of social programs enacted in 1964-1965 came to  be called, was arguably the most ambitious domestic policy initiative since the Great Depression. But for decades, politicians and social scientists have argued about whether Johnson’s antipoverty programs have lifted people out of destitution, trapped them in cycles of dependency, or both.

Critics note that the official poverty rate, as calculated by the Census Bureau, has fallen only modestly, from 19% in 1964 to 15% in 2012 (the most recent year available). But other analysts, citing shortcomings in the official poverty measure, focus on a supplemental measure (also produced by the Census Bureau) to argue that more progress has been made. A team of researchers from Columbia University, for example, calculated an “anchored” supplemental measure — essentially the 2012 measure carried back through time and adjusted for historical inflation — and found that it fell from about 26% in 1967 to 16% in 2012.

What’s inarguable, though, is that the demographics of America’s poor have shifted over the decades. Here’s a look at what has, and hasn’t, changed, based on the official measure. (Note: The reference years vary depending on data availability.) 

poverty_ageToday, most poor Americans are in their prime working years: In 2012, 57% of poor Americans were ages 18 to 64, versus 41.7% in 1959.

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Computer scientists hack Calif. e-voting machines

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Forgive me if this isn’t some major news flash, but let’s document it for posterity anyway: University of California computer scientists have recently shown it’s possible to carry out a bevy of hacks on electronic voting machines currently certified for use in the Golden State.

In reports released late last week, the researchers chronicle their five-week endeavor, at the request of California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, to exploit examine machines made by Hart InterCivic, Sequoia Voting Systems and Diebold. The same models are also in use in many other states, according to a database compiled by the Election Reform Information Project.

Their conclusion? “The security mechanisms provided for all systems analyzed were inadequate to ensure accuracy and integrity of the election results and of the systems that provide those results,” wrote principal investigator Matt Bishop, a computer science professor at the University of California, Davis. (Click here for a PDF of that report.)

In each case, the testers were able to overwrite at least some of the firmware used on the machines and replace it with malicious programs–which, at times, could alter the recording, reporting and tallying of votes.

There were other flaws as well.

Click: Entire Article

Although this article is dated, RER believes it sets a foundation for liberty-driven Texans that are very concerned about Texas election integrity.  Follow our coverage of the controversy over the findings of Dr. Laura Pressley.

PRESS RELEASE: Target Update: Transgender Bathrooms Bad for Business

For Immediate Release                                                            PRESS RELEASE

Contacts: Jonathan Saenz – Office: 512-478-2220, Cell: 512-879-7995, Email: jsaenz@txvalues.org

Target Update: Transgender Bathrooms Bad for Business

Austin, TX, August 18, 2016 – New quarterly reports of Target retail stores reveal the company’s new policy allowing men into women’s bathrooms and dressing rooms has arguably hurt the company’s finances, as profits fell well-below the mark. The new reports show the company’s revenue is down 7.2 percent and profit is down 9.7 percent. According to reports, “Target on Wednesday reported its first decline in same-store sales in two years and warned that sales could fall in each of the next two quarters, as it struggles with lower shopper traffic to its stores.”

The company issued the new policy in April that allows men into women’s bathrooms and dressing rooms. Because of the policy, over 1.4 million Americans have boycotted the retail stores in an effort headed by the American Family Association and in partnership with Texas Values.

In response to customers’ protests, the company will be spending $20 million to put in a private bathroom in each of its stores. However, the company still refuses to change its policy- even after incidents, such as the man who taped a minor in a Frisco, TX store dressing room, have put women and children in harm’s way.

Jonathan Saenz, President and Attorney of Texas Values stated, “The sudden and sharp decline in financial numbers for Target make it clear – allowing men into women’s bathroom with a “transgender” bathroom policy is bad for business.”

About Texas Values
Texas Values is a nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available attxvalues.org.

Texas must accept wide range of voter ID, judge orders

By Chuck Lindell – American-Statesman Staff

Softening a strict Texas voter ID law that had been found to be discriminatory, a federal judge Wednesday ordered the state to accept a wide range of identification for the November general election.

Texans without a photo ID will be able to cast ballots by showing bank statements, utility bills and other forms of identification, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said, accepting without change an agreement over how to handle the Nov. 8 election that had been reached last week by state officials, the U.S. Justice Department and civil rights groups.

The change in rules was required after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appealsruled last month that the Republican-favored voter ID law, enacted in 2011, discriminated against minority voters.

Civil rights leaders praised the interim rules as a necessary step to preserve the rights of an estimated 600,000 registered Texas voters who lack a state-issued photo ID.

“This hard-fought victory is good news, and a big step in our continuing fight to push back against discriminatory laws that have no place in the Lone Star State,” said Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP.

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Poll: Most Trump supporters in Texas back secession if Clinton wins

By Mark Hensch

More than 3 in 5 of Donald Trump’s supporters in Texas say they would back secession if Hillary Clinton becomes president, according to a new poll.

Sixty-one percent of Texans backing Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, want out of the U.S. if Clinton, the Democratic nominee, wins, according to the Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Tuesday.

Twenty-nine percent of Trump’s supporters in Texas, meanwhile, favor their state staying in the union, even if the billionaire loses this November.

Among Trump supporters, 37 percent support Texas secession, while 49 percent oppose.

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RERaction: PRESSLEY – ALL HANDS ON DECK. NOVEMBER ’16 ELECTIONS ARE AT RISK.

Election Integrity is the most incredibly powerful issue because it brings together people from all walks of life that would normally never agree, let alone even consider eating lunch together.  Texas is a bastion for the rule of law and a strong-hold for legal accountability.  Fortunately for Texans, our election statutes originate in our state Constitution Article 6, Section 4:

 

 “In all elections by the people, the vote shall be by ballot, and the Legislature shall

provide for the numbering of tickets and make such other regulations as may be

necessary to detect and punish fraud and preserve the purity of the ballot box…”

 

Mr. Keith Ingram, the Elections Director in the Texas Secretary of State’s office has put forth last minute election administrative rule changes, that eliminate critical paper backup election records at the cost of honest, verifiable and true elections in Texas.  These changes could go into effect as early as September 2016.

To those that demand unyielding transparency in elections, these attempts seem absolutely unreal.  What comes to mind is the famous final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the powerful Ark of the Covenant is crated and wheeled away into oblivion never to be seen again by those that love it most.

With these proposed changes, paper backup records for Texas elections will suffer a similar fate–the removal of publicly viewable paper backup records to verify electronic election results in Texas. This is the time we urgently need the assistance of Texas Governor Abbott, House Speaker Straus and Lt. Governor Patrick to step in and neutralize these efforts and ensure honest and fair elections happen in Texas.  Below are the three paper records that are at risk.

  1. Retain Ballot Image System Requirements for Storage and Printing
    Per Texas Election Code statutes, ballot images are to be stored and printed for recounts to verify electronic voting results.  Currently, The Texas Administrative Code, for the Texas Secretary of State’s office, details the important certification requirements for electronic voting systems and includes Graphic Figure 3, Form 101, which requires detailed documentation from vendors on adherence to ballot images:

    “16.   (Electronic Ballot Image Systems (EX: DRE) only) List procedure for a recount
             (printing of electronic ballot images and audit logs)…”

    The administrative rule change proposal, under the section, §81.60.Voting System Certification Procedures, strikes out and deletes Figure 3, Form 101 for ballot image storage and printing.  The office seems to not properly notice or describe why the ballot image storage and ballot image printing requirements for recounts are deleted.  These are clearly required by Texas statutes.

    2. Continue to Print Real-Time Paper Audit Logs
    The real-time audit log printout, which documents significant election events at the Central Counting tabulator computer as it compiles all the vote results on election night, is another important paper election record.  The printing of this real-time audit log is an election activity that poll watchers are entitled to monitor and was implemented in 1999:

    (a)… the central accumulator shall include a continuous feed printer dedicated to a
                    real-time audit log. All significant election events and their date and time stamps
                    shall be printed to the audit log…[such as]…error and/or warning messages
                    and operator response to those messages…”

    Listed in the Voting System Certification section, Mr. Ingram proposes the following changes:

    “…eliminate the requirement for a continuous feed printer dedicated to a
                    real-time audit    log to be included with a central accumulator…[because] Federal
                    voting system guidelines have been revised…”

    In contrast to the claim above, the most recent federal guidelines, the United States Election Assistance Commission’s 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (Section 2.1.5.1 Operational Requirement), clearly states that real-time audit logs that are visible to computer operators are important:

    “…systems shall provide the capability to create and maintain a real-time
                    audit record…This information allows effective operator identification of an
                    error condition requiring intervention, and contributes to the reconstruction
                    of election-related events necessary for recounts or litigation.”

    The flawed claim from the Director is that real-time paper audit logs are outdated and electronic audit logs are sufficient.  Actually, electronic files can be easily hacked and manipulated.  Real-time paper records are more secure, are viewable by poll watchers and are more easily audited.

    3. Continue to Print Paper Results Tapes at the Polling Location when Polls Close for Early Voting
    Results Tapes are paper election records that document the number of votes each candidate and/or proposition received at that polling location.  Many counties in Texas print Results Tapes at the polling location after the polls close for Early Voting.  Texas Election Code statutes (66.023) support the printing of Early Voting tapes that report the precinct returns for that location:

                  “Sec. 66.023.  CONTENTS OF ENVELOPE NO. 2.  Envelope no. 2 must contain:
                   (1)  a copy of the precinct returns…and (5)  the precinct early voting list…”

    The proposal by Mr. Ingram, outlined under the section of §81.52.Precinct Ballot Counters, attempts to eliminate the printing of Results tapes,

    “…(9) At no time should the early voting clerk or deputy early voting clerk
                    print a results tape. A results tape or results report will be printed by the
                    presiding judge of the early voting ballot board or the presiding judge
                    of the central counting station, as applicable…”

    This proposal appears to be in direct contradiction to Texas statutes and the directives of Republican delegates outlined in the 2016 Texas GOP Platform, the election integrity plank #59 which was approved by over 7600 delegates (90%).  It clearly states:

    “…We support the Secretary of State strictly enforcing printing of Results Tapes
                    for electronic voting for early voting and Election Day at polling locations after
                    the polls close for all counties…”

    Paper Results tapes provide a backup record of the voting results in case the electronic equipment becomes corrupted, or hacked, en route to the main county office.  In actuality, corrupted voting equipment has been recently reported in Texas such as Llano, Travis and Harris counties. Therefore, a paper backup record is crucial for election integrity.

    Conclusion and Call to Action
    The commonalities of the three proposals to eliminate paper backup records for Texas elections are obvious—records, that would be used in a recount or legal action, are being systematically eliminated from the official election record in Texas.

    Our Texas leadership, Governor Abbott, Speaker of the House Straus, and Lt. Gov. Patrick can step in and set the expectations that paper election backup records will be guaranteed so that honest and fair Texas elections happen in 2016.

 

Please contact our Texas elected leaders below to request a public hearing and ensure these paper election records are retained:

  1. a)  Legal ballot images for recounts
  2. b) Real-time audit logs, and
  3. c)  Results tapes for Early Voting printed when polls close at the polling location, and

Governor, Greg Abbott — Email, (512) 463-1782
Speaker of the House, Joe Straus — Joe.Straus@speaker.state.tx.us, (512) 463-1000
Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick — LTGConstituent.Affairs@ltgov.state.tx.us (512) 463-0001
Secretary of State’s Office, Carlos Cascos — Secretary@sos.texas.gov (512) 463-5770
Representative Jodie Laubenberg, Chair of Elections Committee – Email, (512) 463-0186

 

In 2014, Dr. Laura Pressley ran for the Austin City Council and filed an historic election contest challenging electronic voting records that were not legally retained. Her case is currently in appeal and she educates voters and candidates how to take back their power with regard to electronic voting.  Dr. Pressley is a native Texan and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from UT Austin and was an engineer and business manager in the semiconductor industry for 17 years.  She holds 4 US patents related to semiconductor device technology, is an entrepreneur, and has worked with the Texas Eagle Forum and Texas Legislature on science and technology issues. She can be contacted at 512-762-3825, LauraPressley@StartMail.com, www.PressleyForAustin.com

Copyright©2016 Raging Elephants Radio LLC

RERhotclip: DR. LAURA PRESSLEY. THE FIRESTORM INTERVIEW! (AUDIO)

With a national general election just weeks away, the integrity of elections in Texas has suddenly become a white hot fire of controversy.  Three fireball facts have collided to create a flaming maelstrom regarding whether Texas elections can be trusted.

Fireball #1: The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals “ruled” that the Texas Voter ID law passed in 2011 is an undue burden.  The Court tasked U.S. Federal Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos, an Obama appointed seated in Corpus Christi, with what Texas must allow for an individual to cast a vote in the state.  An individual’s utility bill is now acceptable, among other documents that can easily be counterfeited and are not government issued.

Fireball #2: Director of Elections in the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, Keith Ingram, referred the Texas GOP primary election between incumbent State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana RER56) and liberty movement candidate Thomas McNutt to the Office of the Attorney General for investigation.  It appears that 1700+ votes were tallied than registered voters in Hill County within Cook’s House District 8.

Fireball #3: Double Ph.D., Dr. Laura Pressley started spreading the news of her lawsuit against Travis Couty in her bid to become a member of the Austin City Council.  That may have been okay for the Texas plutocracy.  But, when she began unearthing blatant violations of the Texas Election Code and the Texas Constitution in regards to the holding of elections, political forces of the status quo have launched a unified defensive against her crusade.

And, now, Dr. Laura Pressley grants an over one hour interview to Apostle Claver T. Kamau-Imani.  She reveals the origins of her lawsuit against Travis County.  She talks about her journey of discovering election irregularities in all 254 counties of Texas. She warns of the “emergency” proposal of Director of Elections Keith Ingram that would remove every safeguard to election integrity and make it impossible to prove election fraud in Texas.  Ingram’s proposals are set to go into effect on September 11, 2016. 9/11…

How can you not listen to this scintillating interview through the RER SoundCloud Channel? Then share it with every Texas patriot you know.

Team RER

Copyright©2016 Raging Elephants Radio LLC