Texas

Arrested by US Marshals for not paying student debt?

Posted on February 17th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

Shadow Watch"Believe it or not, the US Marshals Service in Houston is arresting people for not paying their outstanding federal student loans." That's the explosive claim of Fox26, the network's Houston affiliate, in a Feb. 15 broadcast that has quickly gone viral on the Internet. Interviewed is area resident Paul Aker, who said he was arrested at his home last week for a $1,500 federal student loan he received in 1987. A team of seven in "combat gear and with automatic weapons" appeared at his door. Related Aker: "I was home, I hadn't done anything, and I was wondering, why are the marshalls knocking on my door?" He was put in shackles and handcuffs, and taken before a federal judge. Also in the studio was Rep. Gene Green, who went along with Aker's story that he "didnt receive any kind of notice" before the raid.

Texas prison riot points to privatization problems

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

TexasThe town of Raymondville, Tex., got a shock over the weekend as the local Willacy County Correctional Center exploded into an uprising by prisoners upset over conditions and poor medical services at the facility. The inmates set fire to several kevlar domes or tents that serve as housing for the 2,800 prisoners at the facility, rendering the prison "uninhabitable." The federal Bureau of Prisons and FBI as well as Texas Rangers and highway patrol were called in to evacuate the inmates to other facilities and negotiate with those who refused to move. Raymondville's residents were advised to stay indoors during the stand-off, and a local school was put on "soft lockdown." The Correctional Center, which mostly holds undocumented immigrants, is run by the private Management & Training Corp.  

Vietnam sentences 30 to death in prison drug trial

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

South East AsiaA court in Vietnam's northern province of Quang Ninh sentenced 30 people to death for heroin smuggling last month, in what was called the largest such trial ever held in the country—both in terms of the number of defendants and of death sentences handed down. Dozens of others received prison terms from two years to life. In recognition of the sensitivity of the case, the trial was actually held at the provincial prison rather than a courtroom. Quang Ninh, bordering China, is a transit route between the inland opium-producing Golden Triangle and the South China Sea. (See map.)

Khat-terrorism connection raises its dubious head —again

Posted on December 27th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

khatMuslim community leaders in Texas are protesting the latest outbreak of the perennial hype over the khat plant and its supposed links to terrorism. It began when a traffic stop near Houston last year turned up two men chewing the midly psychoactive but thoroughly illegal leaf. This sparked a year-long investigation involving local, state and federal agencies that has so far resulted in more than a half-dozen arrests. The Texas Department of Public Safety took the opportunity to link khat to terrorism in its statewide threat assessment. The statement referred to the "chewable narcotic plant grown in the Horn of Africa whose sale abroad is suspected to benefit Africa-based terrorist organizations such as al-Shabaab." That assessment, the Austin American-Statesman reported last month, was based on Congressional testimony given more than a decade ago by Steven McCraw—then-FBI-assistant director, now DPS director—who said it is likely that khat proceeds "pass through the hands of suspected [Islamic militants] and other persons with possible ties to terrorist groups."

Texas student who refused to wear RFID chip loses appeal

Posted on January 15th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchA true American freedom fighter has her day in court—and loses. This is a blow against freedom, but at least Andrea Hernandez stood up for her rights—and those of all of us. Win or lose—always worthwhile. From the BBC News, Jan. 9:

Fear in Texas borderlands

Posted on November 28th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

TucsonParents in the small West Texas town of Van Horn are concerned that narco-traffickers are using school buses after nearly 500 pounds of compacted cannabis was found on a bus carrying junior varsity basketball players back home from an out-of-town game. The bus driver found the drugs when the  bus emblazoned with the Van Horn Eagles name on the side stopped at a convenience store in Marfa so the players could get snacks. He found the marijuana stuffed in four large, black duffel bags stashed in the bottom storage area. The bus had already passed through a road checkpoint. (KHOU, Houston, Nov. 21)

US tilting to Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico's narco wars?

Posted on September 22nd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

MexicoThe US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Sept. 21 imposed Kingpin Act sanctions on four Colombian nationals and 12 companies said to be linked to Joaquín Guzmán Loera AKA "El Chapo"—head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán faces charges in the US, but remains at large. (WSJ Corruption Currents blog, Sept. 20) The move comes amid increasing charges that US law enforcement—as well as the Mexican government is favoring the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico's bloody narco wars.

National cannabis prices mapped

cannabis price mapThe oddly named mapping website FloatingSheep.com has produced a map showing the differences in the retail price of cannabis in the United States, coast to coast. The map—apparently featured in the September issue of Wired magazine under the cheeky title "Infoporn: O Say, Can You THC?"—is based on information gleaned from consumer reports on the Price of Weed website.

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman