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The State of Texas: March 31, 2015

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Headline of the Day

Dallas police looking for man who keeps breaking into same downtown Dallas sub shop”Rob fresh, dude.

Daily Roundup

Malpractice – The prognosis was negative for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission now that a highly anticipated report from a governor-appointed committee has been released. “The scathing report described an enterprise in ‘quiet turmoil,’ one that ‘lacks a clear vision for its future and a strategic direction,’ and one where ‘too often . . . decisions are reactive,’” notes the Dallas Morning News. “In pursuing one contract, the commission ‘skirted the limits of permissibility under state law,’ the report said.” In the hot seat, health commissioner Kyle Janek sent a letter to lawmakers saying the commission plans to do some triage, stat. The chances are high that this won’t be enough to save Janek’s job. “The strike force report, based on interviews with commission employees and news reports, detailed how Janek’s group of close aides kept other key officials out, even on decisions involving their departments or agencies,” according to the Texas Tribune. In a statement, Governor Greg Abbott mentioned managerial problems and called the findings “unacceptable.” Abbott wants some time to think over next steps, but as the Tribune so diplomatically put it, “those decisions will probably include whether Janek, who has said he was misled by staffers about the state’s software contract with Austin firm 21CT, remains at the helm.”

Testify – The Bernie Tiede case is back in the news, this time with a rather interesting twist. The prosecutor who sent the infamous Bernie to jail the first time is now asking to be released from the latest proceedings, a pre-hearing retrial, because he says he’s become a witness. “In a motion filed Monday in state district court in Carthage, Danny Buck Davidson asked to recuse himself and other prosecutors in his Panola County District Attorney’s Office from the Bernie Tiede case,” reports the Associated Press. The details of why or how the whole prosecutorial team are now witnesses aren’t clear yet. Davidson has been hinting that he wants off the case for some time, and the family of Marjorie Nugent finally “outlined and filed a long list of complaints including the claim that there are at least three situations where Davidson could be called to testify in Tiede’s new trial. Davidson’s potential testimony would be problematic if he was also prosecuting the case,” according to CBS19. “Worse, they said, is that Davidson is sitting on key evidence of theft. It’s a story that boils down to millions of dollars stolen from Nugent—and millions of reasons Tiede could have wanted her dead.”

In Memoriam – A day that will live in infamy, today marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of famed Tejano singer Selena. Corpus Christi, the singer’s hometown, is in the spotlight thanks to the date “with concerts, lookalike contests, dances, and a massive festival,” according to the Associated Press. As the story notes, however, today is a rather mournful day for the family, certainly not something that might include festivals, creating some understandably mixed feelings. “[The celebration of Selena] grows every day with events everywhere, but we’re not organizing them. Our family never got together every year on the day of her murder, because there’s nothing to celebrate, and this year won’t be the exception. . . . We remember our daughter every single day. We don’t need a special day to remember her.” For an official remembrance and celebration, a huge weekend concert put on by the city of Corpus Christi has been planned closer to the singer’s birthday, April 17, which will include a lineup of Tejano music.

Back at It – Another day, another legal motion filed in the Texas-led fight against the Obama Administration’s immigration order. In a 69-page brief, “lawyers for the federal government are challenging a preliminary injunction issued in February by a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas,” that put a hold on the order, according to the Associated Press. “Justice Department lawyers say in the new court filing that the federal government has unique authority to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and to use its limited resources to exercise discretion during the deportation process, including by deferring removal of certain groups of immigrants, such as those who do not pose a public safety threat.” There will be a court hearing on April 17.

Clickity Bits

Enforcement Surge’s Unintended Consequence: Increase in Drownings

It’s Likely Texans May Never Be Able to Enjoy the Pleasures of Powdered Alcohol

The Case of the Missing 3,000 Pieces of Mail, Solved

Seventeen Rap Songs That Name Drop Tim Duncan

Did we miss something? Got a hot news tip? Send it our way: [email protected]. Or tweet @TexasMonthly and @ThatWinkler.

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  • Leon Tranos

    This biographical sketch of Tanya was beautifully written…It introduced us to courageous young woman and mother of four sons whose Destiny it was to live within and experience the horrors prevailing within the Middle East maelstrom…this area has been the site if some of humanity’s most evil and brutal acts of savagery ever wrought upon mankind by the vicious jihadist terrorists…in some strange way, I feel sad for Yahya…although there is little doubt of his absolute dedication to his belief in Jihadism, he is a man who has forsaken and abandoned so many so many in his life in pursuit of his misguided and very selfish cause of establishing a global Caliphate…this will never happen nor should it…the Jihadi vision of world domination and subservience to a distorted biblical prophecy is doomed to fail simply because it is a false narrative perpetrated upon the Muslim world by extreme hate filled zealots…our creative God or Allah as he is referred to in the Islamic world, is a God of infinite Love but also a God to be feared by those who reject his majestic and holy plan for the salvation of the world’s peoples…i feel sorry that Yianni will never get to experience his four beautiful sons as they grow and thrive under the watchful eyes of a loving and wise mother…he will never witness the joys of experiencing the boundless love of his mother and father and all his siblings and extended family..and he will never live to be witness to lives transformed by the love of Christ…so much lost for such ignoble goals….sad

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    • William

      She needs to be locked up.

    • ukhslukfhsd

      You feel sympathy for her terrorist osama bin laden ex husband…?
      I hope dogs are ravaging on his bones as we speak. Hope the syrian army or the kurds cleaned that area out well and squashed those cockroaches proper.

    • Xaca

      The flip-side of Yahya, just as wrong but in a different plane.

  • mark wilkins

    Tania has a very touching story. Praying she finds peace in the Prince of Peace.

    • Fried Hog

      Yes. Jesus is the Answer.

      • mark wilkins

        For sure.

      • Yvette Owens

        Stop lying.

    • Xaca

      I hope she runs like hell away from all religious extremists, “Prince of Pees” included.

      • mark wilkins

        You wouldn’t say that Xaca if you knew the love of Jesus. Relationship with Him is the very best.

        • Yvette Owens

          Jesus was a prophet. Why does God need a son? You got the sun, and son mixed up.

  • Missionary Watch

    Spare the “PoP” and Christ nonsense please. This confused young lady has yet to embrace the pagan tritheism, She seems to be a Unitarian Universalist which means she is still a monotheist. She is responsible for all the bad choices in her life, not a shrinking violet as this puff piece suggests. And her poor life choices continue in her abandonment of basic modesty and now the alcohol habit. Is gambling on the horizon? There will also be problems with the new man because she rebels against all authority figures starting with her father – that this puff writer of course paints in a dastardly way. Her global egotrip should come to an end and she should return to U.K. instead of being some wine soaked desperate housewife in Texas.

    • Klaus

      This is a very nasty response and that guy should seriously consider checking into a psychiatric institution. How can somebody be so full of hate when he reads about the incredible plight of a courageous young woman? I pray that she will be happy for the rest of her life. She deserves it.

      • Missionary Watch

        The nasty responses were those cheerleading her into worshipping a man as God, therefore committing major blasphemous idolatry. She is a Unitarian, albeit a very confused one. Interview with biblical scholar about how Jesus was turned into a god by his followers to compete with Roman emperor cult: https://buff.ly/2llDW74

        Texas Monthly should interview Bart Ehrman instead of throwng chum in the water for idolators.

        I pray that she fulfills her obligations to her family, her children, and her Creator – hobnobbing and boozing in Texas doesn’t quite fit in. Deep down she knows it, guarantee.

        • sgtbilko

          I pray that my personal Savior, the Bloodthirsty Cicada Goddess, will devour your soul at a gulp instead of chewing it thoughtfully over the millennia. That way you shall know sweet oblivion quickly, instead of having to earn it through ages of screaming agony.

          I know you do not deserve it, but ChChChChCHCHCHCHChchchch is a merciful Goddess, and wishes her acolytes to be the same.

        • dragonviewer

          Where did it say she was now an alcoholic? “Sipping some wine” doesn’t necessarily mean she is doing that 24hrs a day 365 days a year.

          • Missionary Watch

            Where did I say she was an “alcoholic”? That term is a floating signifier anyway, everyone has their own *convenient* definition of what alcoholism is. Rationalization is key in a society where alcohol is clearly so destructive to society yet central to culture.

          • dragonviewer

            “..abandonment of basic modesty and now the alcohol habit.”

      • William

        Courageous? You mean like she was pretty courageous in supporting a terrorist group? I’d agree with that.

        Lock her up.

        • P S

          William is >90% a Russian fake news troll. Ignore him.

    • Skip

      @@disqus_V25hM3tghp:disqus
      Get a lobotomy, it will improve your life!

    • C’ute’Thulu

      You must be a real hoot in person!

    • Jeff Carlton

      Actually Unitarian Universalism has no God doctrine. Pagans, monotheists and atheists worship together in our sanctuaries. Though our roots go back centuries in the Unitarian and the Universalist Christian religions, when they joined in 1961 (the youth groups several years prior) the decision was made to welcome people of all, or no specific faiths. We are a non-creedal faith that espouses a living tradition and centers on drawing wisdom from many sources, none considered infallible, and upholding these 7 guiding Principles:

      1.The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
      2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
      3. Acceptance of one another & encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
      4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
      5.The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations

      and in society at large;
      6.The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
      7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
      Our congregations are loving communities dedicated to social reform and helping bend the arc of the universe toward justice.

  • Cale Miller

    Nice puff piece on a terrorist. Pathetic.

    • jimmyj

      There’s a chance here to learn something from this story. Read and learn. Good for Texas Monthly for running this enlightening tale.

    • Just Cruisin’

      She turned against ISIS, who would kill her as an apostate if they ever caught her (especially going to a church).

      We should be encouraging people to turn from terrorism and taking their help in preventing potential terrorists from enlisting with ISIS. That’s how we win.

      I think you disparage her because you think white Americans are better than Muslims. That sort of treatment is what led her to turn toward Islamist extremism in the first place. Her actions now are helping to prevent terrorism, while your actions are helping to spread it, whether you admit it or not.

      • jggtn

        That assumes she turned to ISIS, which nothing in the article supports. Sounds to me like she succumed to peer pressure and the culture of her birth until, like a lot of misguided youth, she learned it was okay to think for herself, broke out of her conditioning, and evolved.

    • OhioBrian

      Reformed. Open your eyes and you might learn something about some of the problems we face and the extremism that’s pouring fuel on the fire.

    • VAFarmer

      Stupid comment from an idiot.

  • IvanaVodka

    I sincerely hope Tania has reformed herself; however, based upon interviews she has granted to other media, I am not so sure her reformation is entirely authentic. At the very least, I hope she is under government surveillance.

    • jimmyj

      Read more closely. Other media outlets simply speculate about her. This is the first interview she has given on her entire life story.

      • IvanaVodka

        jimmyj— Why are you so invested in this woman? I find it quite peculiar that nearly all of your Disqus comments pertain to Joya/Tania. And thanks (not really), but there’s no need to “read more closely” when all the facts are laid bare.

        • jggtn

          Because she’s heroic. Unlike the trolls here who post ignorant remarks on matters they ill understand, or as PS suggested, are simply Putin and Daesh ass lickers.

          The facts are laid bare. Try reading them @IvanaVodka.

    • Just Cruisin’

      She probably is under surveillance, which is not a bad idea, just to ensure that she is sincere and consistent with her change of heart.

      Nonetheless, it is far better to welcome defectors with open arms, like we did in the Cold War. Defectors helped us to win, because they could tell true stories about the wrong actions of our enemies.

      Rejection keeps defectors from coming forward, and can be used by ISIS recruiters to further radicalize potential terrorists. We need to fight smarter. We need to fight to win, and not be brainless or give our enemy propaganda to help with their efforts.

  • lancelotlamar1

    She appears to be a striking and strong woman, and I wish her and her children all the best after all their harrowing ordeals. (If she hadn’t been so beautiful, would Texas Monthly have told her story? I wonder.)

    The suburban consumerism and liberal religion to which she has now been converted are no doubt better for her and her family than the acetic and fanatical Islam she converted to before. (“Plano Unitarians” seems somewhat oxymoronic; they must be an interesting group.) But I wonder if they will be ultimately satisfying to her, or to anyone.

    [Also, while the article is engaging, it is so annoying to have these liberal journalists always find a way to bash Trump, even if he has nothing to do with anything related to the story. Bush/Cheney and Obama/Clinton were the ones responsible for a lot of the chaos and craziness of the Middle Eastern world she had to endure and escape. I am not a Trump supporter either, but good grief, give it a rest. All your pieties and biases are only causing people to distrust you more.]

    • siglavy auerga

      Just like Bush and Cheney were responsible for events that took place in about 629 AD, right?

    • Janey

      There is no Trump bashing here. The reporter simply stated the facts of what happened.

      • wakeup234

        They disappear into another room, unsure if reporters can be trusted. The older ones have heard President Trump disparaging the press on TV.
        Why even put this in here ? Nothing in article stated how the ‘boys’ felt on anything else – even their father !

        • Xaca

          The journalist wrote what she saw, as she saw it; the mother explained the children’s fears, as they are too young to explain themselves.

          Will you now attack the children too for fearing “President” BoneSpurs, The Cheetoh-in-Chief-P-Grabber?

          • wakeup234

            sorry you cannot see biased writing. Of course I can see all you can do is insult and show disrespect. Good Day.

    • William

      Lock her up now.

      • Nellikai

        How many emails did she delete? (LOL)

        • William

          The world will never know.

          In modern politics, there are two kinds of laws: Clinton laws and laws for everyone else.

          • P S

            Willam is >90% probability a Russian troll spreading misinformation. Ignore his blatant comments.

          • Jeff Carlton

            Yup, 1020 comments and a locked down profile.

          • jggtn

            Wow! The Russian troll @William (aka @disqus_GHP3TIkdba) finally makes some sense. Must have misread his script.

  • Amy

    How does she support herself? Are her former in-laws paying her way, or does she work?

    • theh4qq

      Why does that even matter? How is that relevant to anything mentioned in the article?

      • Amy

        Because the article contrasts the deprivation of her former life with her current life, which includes a fashionable wardrobe, frequent salon visits, dining out, and shopping. Her financial turnaround is (an unexplained) part of the story.

        • jimmyj

          The story explains her financial situation at the end. Read the story.

          • Britney Scarborough

            Yeah. She’s boning some rich guy.

          • jggtn

            What an insensitive remark. Like you didn’t; or wouldn’t if you had the chance? Don’t be a hypocrite.

          • Britney Scarborough

            Nope. Sure wouldn’t. I’m not shallow in the least bit.

          • Xaca

            The story does not mention that the children stay with the grandparents on during the week and “visit” their mother on the weekends, in the apartment that either the boyfriend or the grandparents are paying for.

            I had the same questions. Who paid for trips from Texas to London to Egypt to Syria? Who paid for the hotels in Syria? Who paid for her medical care in London and then Syria?

            Also, if i were a wealthy Arab in College Station, I would damned sure be looking over my shoulder.

  • SloppyJoe

    I don’t trust her. And why is someone who joined IS not indicted on terror charges? She should be in jail.

    • theh4qq

      When did she join ISIS? Did you even read the entire article? Can you cite the words in the article that says she joined ISIS? Or even shared their ideology?

      • Kokomo Joe

        Aiding and abetting. Tangible support.

        • P S

          SloppyJoe and Kokomo Joe are the same person. It also is >90% they are Russian mis-information experts spreading fake news for Putin. Don’t listen to these extremists.

          • Jeff Carlton

            I concur on Kokomo Joe. Over 3000 comments and a locked down profile. SloppyJoe is probably real. A true Trump sycophant and fan. Doubt they are the same dude.

    • jimmyj

      She didn’t join ISIS. Read the story.

    • Just Cruisin’

      She went involuntarily with a husband who had the right of command over her in the environment they were in. As soon as he gave her permission to leave, she left and returned here to praise America and American values, and to fight against extremism which leads to radicalization and the creation of new terrorists.

      She is helping in the war on terror, and good for her. I like the fact that she is on our side, because who has better credibility than someone who has seen firsthand the lies that are behind the promises of radical Islamism? Her words and her story are a weapon to help us win, and God bless her efforts.

  • Kathy Dillard

    As a mom with 3 grown children, I think she did exactly what I would’ve done. Protect and then rescue, my children.

  • CowboyGreg

    toss her in Gitmo, kids too!

    • Just Cruisin’

      Right. Because America stands for imprisoning innocent children. What is wrong with you?

  • Pull your pants up

    Your either with us or against us. Once a terrorist, always a terrorist.

    • jggtn

      . . . he said to no one in particular while no one listened.

      • Pull your pants up

        A couple people listened jiggy……let me guess…. you were an English major who is a middle school teacher now……? And you live in Austin….. and you support gender neutral restrooms.

        • jggtn

          I’m sorry you ran out of Playdough. Let me find your binky, some coloring books, and a blanky for you to cry in.

          • Pull your pants up

            The only reason I ran out of playdough is because you always ate it. I’m sorry your uncles molested you when you were growing up. Living in a closet with a ball gag must have been really uncomfortable.

          • jggtn

            Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

            Nice try, sissy boi. Try not to get your panties in a wad or are you as incable of keeping your remarks on topic as you are impotent?.

  • Janey

    It was brave of her to tell this story. There are important lessons here.

  • Barry Obama

    Taqiyya, Texas Monthly and naive Christians lap it up

  • Why isn’t this w’ore getting water boarded in GITMO. I live in Plano, I never go to Walmart without my “Infidel” hat and Glock.

    Provoke + retaliate

    These things will respect American Freedoms

  • William

    Lock her up.

    • P S

      William is >90% a fake news Russian troll. Just ignore his garbage.

  • RuthAnn J

    There is so much hate here in the comments.

  • Raj

    We should be encouraging people to turn from terrorism and taking their help in preventing potential terrorists from enlisting with ISIS. That’s how we win.
    #jobsaajtak.in
    I think you disparage her because you think white Americans are better than Muslims. That sort of treatment is what led her to turn toward Islamist extremism in the first place. Her actions now are helping to prevent terrorism, while your actions are helping to spread it, whether you admit it or not.

  • orang jawa

    women is like rib bones.. they are curved, and we (the men) need to straighten it. if we did nothing it will always be curved; yet if we apply too much effort they will break.

    Tania is reaching her breaking point, which is sad. And she has my deep sympathy..

    I am saying this being a broken home children, and now living in my “radical” country (just like the story above) with my foreign wife, herself comes from a much more developed country, and I know how difficult it is to maintain perseverance and holding the pure Islamic values while staying relevant to today’s world…

    Bringing my kids to daily mandatory prayers in Mosque and reciting Quran, and having an English-themed casual home with my beautiful wife wearing stylish casual hijab, playing Mishary Rashid Quran recitation and occasionally put Bon Jovi’s 10 minutes Dry County in the middle of playlist on my old but good Altec Lansing ADA 890, is apparently not difficult at all.

    wish Tania (and all of us) the best in finding the purpose of life and thereafter. make full use of our life, be beneficial to the nature and mankind.. wish you all the best.

    • Haggie

      Extreme misogyny is its own form of terrorism. I feel sorry for your wife and children.

  • Rob_Drury

    Make no mistake; “extremism” isn’t the problem. Islam is.

    • jggtn

      Actually, no. Extremism is the problem. Islam in its unperverted form is no more problematic than Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or any other well organised religion.

      When extremists pervert a religion to conform to their narrow, insidious agendas, its the extremists and their extremism who are the problem.

      • Rob_Drury

        So absolutely incorrect. What this article has describes is “unperverted” islam. If the God of the Quran says to kill all infidels, then that is fundamental; it is, per that scripture, the normal expected activity. The old bumper sticker slogan illustrates it best: “An extreme muslim want to cut your head off. A moderate muslim wants an extreme muslim to cut your head off.” The muslim who doesn’t want your head cut off might as well be an infidel him or her self.

        • jggtn

          I’ll buy your argument if you can site the passages in the Quran where it mandates the slaying of all non-muslims in any actual context. I assure you, it doesn’t.

          That radical islamists pervert the word and context of the Quran is no different than wacked out Christians perverting bible verses to justify any number of atrocities, historical and current.

          Parroting simple memes is the reflection of a simple, unsophisticated, and distracted mind.

        • Xaca

          New Bumper Sticker: “The extremist x-tian quotes anti-muslim bumper stickers.”

    • Magpie

      Extremism is exactly the problem! Maybe you haven’t noticed but the Daesh/ISIS Jihadists kill thousands more Muslims than any other religion. These Jihadists claim that the vast majority of Muslims who reject their vile ideology are not Muslims but apostates and therefore deserving of death. Check out the neo-nazi christians marching at Charlottsville, the Aryan Church, the Hindu extremists currently murdering Muslims and Hindus who disagree, in India and the extremist Buddhist monks in Myanmar burning Muslim families alive. I’ve lived in Muslim countries and the vast majority of Muslims are more moral, more kind, more tolerant and more hospitable than most Americans I’ve met.

    • Just Cruisin’

      No, extremism is the problem. Muslims who are not radicalized are not committing crimes against the innocent. And white supremacists who are radicalized are running over innocent human beings with vehicles (e.g. Chalottesville), just like their counterparts in ISIS do.

      The only difference is who they think is better than the rest of humanity.

      • Rob_Drury

        Islam does not consider this even slightly radical. This is basic, mainstream islam. Anything less is non-adherance to the basic tenets of their faith.

        • Xaca

          Radical Islam = Radical Christianity. Avoid both.

  • ddavel544

    She is selling her “story” to Fund the Jihadist Terrorist Movement! Hope she dies SOON!

    • jggtn

      Who cares if she sells her story? This is America where profit not only thrives but is encouraged.

      Nice try on the Jihadist funding jag, but its empty, unsupported, and ineffective. Did you actually read the article or do you prefer to wallow in your own ignorance?

      • ddavel544

        Screw you, you Muslim Terrorist!

        • jggtn

          Derka derka mohammad jihad! Derka derka!!

  • Haggie

    Religion: The home of the weak-minded, mentally ill, or sociopathic.

    Religious extremism: All the above, but more so.

    • Rob_Drury

      I totally agree. All should dismiss religion altogether and follow Christ.

      • Xaca

        Eff your little ‘c’ ‘christ’. I’ll pay to watch you follow that nothingness right over a cliff.

        • Rob_Drury

          Save your vemon for eternity. You’ll really have something to rant about.

  • Lanny R Carlson

    Who are these heartless idiots posting on here? It’s this kind of brainless stupidity and arrogant ignorance (“I’m stupid and proud of it”) that feeds the tadicalism they SAY the oppose! To use their logic, lock them up. Once stupid, always stupid!u

    • Pull your pants up

      Hey Lanny. Don’t you have some ear and nose hairs to trim?
      Tadicalism? Are you making up words Lanny?

      • jggtn

        I don’t think Lanny is required to respond to cucks, Tony. Who made you spelling princess, Princess?

  • Stuart M.

    What a story! I hope America can find it in itself to welcome her and let her prosper.

  • Terry Jones

    Good story and should be shared.
    Wish her the very best and most of all – love and peace.

  • Frank

    A tough young woman God really took care of her in her life of confusion…

  • MB

    I guess a positive assessment would be ‘out of the fire, into the frying pan’ . A female Horatio Alger in an age of rampant anxiety.