Mitt Romney caught a lot of flak for saying "corporations are people, my friend" when responding to a heckler on the campaign trail last year. Many people -- mostly liberals -- were incensed, noting that this showed Romney's solicitude for big business over the "little guy." Set aside the fact that ... More >>
Case Name: Town of Greece v. Galloway What this Case is About? The First Amendment, more specifically the Establishment Clause (the government cannot establish a state religion) in the First Amendment. The town Greece, New York is outside of Rochester and has a population of approximately 100,000. ... More >>
A federal court (the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals) ruled last week that clicking "like" on a political candidate's Facebook page "is the Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign, which the Supreme Court has held is substantive speech." The case came from humble beginnings. Dan Carter ... More >>
Sen. John Cornyn has had some interesting notions, but his latest move -- a law to ban "murderabilia," aka the move to ban the sale of artwork, letters or any other stuff that is valuable because of an association with a mass murderer/serial killer/someone-who-committed-any-other-heinous-crime -- j ... More >>
Abortion. Just to read the word provokes strong mental images, emotions and opinions. Since the tea party mid-term elections in 2010 swept in some very conservative legislators in states across the country, abortion, after taking a back seat to economic issues, has become a hot button issue again. ... More >>
Four months after a federal judge dismissed charges against a Houston couple who created animal torture videos because the statute was unconstitutional, federal prosecutors have filed an appeal arguing that the judge ruled in error. Crush videos "are unprotected under the First Amendment for the sa ... More >>
The mother of 19-year-old Justin Carter is still collecting signatures -- 134,927 at last count -- trying to enlist supporters to keep her son from being labeled a terrorist and sentenced to prison. She began working on this as a plea for her son's release from a New Braunfels prison when an anon ... More >>
Nobody pretended they were going to enjoy the race for the lieutenant governor's chair. Sure, there would be moments of delightful schadenfreude -- watching Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst squirm and crumble in the face of Wendy Davis's supporters was one of the most rewarding of the entire month. But those ... More >>
Longtime readers of Rocks Off might remember that back in 2009 we ran thorough look at censored album covers that spanned the years of 1966 to 1980, with two more recent covers at the end. Of course, album covers didn't stop being censored just as frequently after 1980, and the two examples in our f ... More >>
Ashley Nicole Richards, who filmed herself torturing and killing kittens, puppies, cats and dogs, was the first person brought up on revised federal crush-video charges -- which backfired magnificently.
In December 2012, two Houstonians became the first defendants charged under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which criminalizes the production and distribution of images of animal cruelty. Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Wayne Justice were originally charged in Harris County Distric ... More >>
Updated with comments from Sundown Superintendent Mike Motheral and Murray Lipp, who runs Gay Marriage USA's Facebook site. On Wednesday morning, an eighth grader at Sundown Middle School approached Morgan Sisk, a senior at Sundown's high school. The 1,400-strong town, located just west of Lubbock, ... More >>
When you have an NBA roster of fifteen players, and it's playoff time where the rotation shortens up and minutes become more precious, it's still up to every player on the roster to do their part to help the team bring home a win, night in and night out. Each guy needs to do what he does best. Jam ... More >>
Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, arguably the Tea Party's No. 1 advocate on Capitol Hill, has already had an eventful first term his second time in Washington. About three weeks ago, Stockman said he was ready to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama if Obama's proposed gun-contr ... More >>
We've heard of judges issuing gag orders in especially sensitive cases, but until now, we've never heard of a judge issuing a blanket gag order: Harris County Family Court Judge Denise Pratt on January 23 sent a motion to attorneys in her court involved with SAPCR cases -- suits affecting parent-chi ... More >>
The release of the "controversial" cover art for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' forthcoming album, Mosquito, has managed to stir up quite a bit of buzz. (Leave me alone. I like puns.) If you've somehow managed to escape the album-cover hype, I'll let you in on a little secret: you're not missing much in ... More >>
Chris Kluwe is prying open America's last closet: major league sports.
A new doc explores the Texas Board of Education's fight against science, history.
In a development that really only has people asking "What took so long?" Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, ever eager to flail whatever red-meat rightwing issue that crosses his desk, has "offered assistance" to the good folks at the Kountze school district who have received a "menacing and mislea ... More >>
Local activist Aaron Brown, one of the organizers of protests against Westboro Baptist Church, was arrested by a Montgomery County Sheriff's deputy Friday while walking to the Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion to protest Sarah Palin's appearance at an event supporting Republican senatorial candidate ... More >>
If you're not familiar with Representative Louie Gohmert, we kind of envy you. Scant hours after last weekend's horrific mass murder in Aurora, Colorado, Gohmert called in to a Heritage Foundation morning radio show called "Istook Live" and, when asked his opinion on the shootings, gave an off-the-c ... More >>
There is a tenuous balance in the digital world between people who share things online, those with whom they share them and the person/entity in between that facilitates that sharing process. In the simplest terms, that entity is like a bank that holds your money between the time you receive it and ... More >>
Railing against the above graphic got me banned from yet another Facebook. I wasn't really commenting on the mild, but overt racism of the image. What set me off what the fact that the poster couldn't understand the differences between the killings of Trayvon Martin and Jacqueline Gardner, or why Ma ... More >>
The ACLU of Texas is criticizing a Houston police officer's alleged seizing of a witness's cell phone at the scene where the officer shot an unarmed man. HPD says Officer J. McGowan shot Rufino Lara while investigating an alleged assault after he refused both English and Spanish commands to put his ... More >>
Mötley Crüe, those depraved kings of '80s sleaze, took a major step toward strip-club immortality 25 years ago this week when the band released its fourth album, Girls, Girls, Girls.. Glossy, debauched heavy metal ruled the charts in the summer of 1987 -- Whitesnake, Ozzy, Bon Jovi and Poison all ... More >>
There can be a thin line between ballsy and dumb. Terence Dwayne Johnson, 20, of the tiny East Texas hamlet of Bedias, apparently decided to test where that line might be. According to cops who talked to KLTV, security footage at a Lovelady hardware store shows him grabbing an American flag out of ... More >>
When Steve Lipsky blamed fracking for turning his water well into a flamethrower, he set off an epic battle between the EPA and Texas.
Every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., volunteers for Noah's Kitchen gather at Jenni's Noodle House in the Heights and begin prepping for their day ahead. Since 2010, the charity's mission has been to feed Houston's homeless one meal at a time. In their first year, Noah's Kitchen volunteers fed 5,000 p ... More >>
Last week U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed to a settlement in a long-running case involving prayer in a Central Texas school district. His ruling got some ink, but perhaps not all it deserved, for it is a concise masterpiece of sanity that comes from one of the most turbulent, extremist arenas ... More >>
Shit just got real.Jester King, based in Austin, is one of the state's most popular craft breweries. The TABC (or Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission), also based in Austin, is one of the state's most powerful agencies. And with news that Jester King has just filed a lawsuit against the TABC, ... More >>
Photo by Mandy OaklanderReverend Barry Lynn and Terri Burke are protesting The ResponseDiversity-minded, Constitution-abiding folks are pissed at tomorrow's one-day Jesus camp called "The Response." Governor Rick Perry, of course, is the belle of the ball. It's a little complicated since he' ... More >>
Jolanda Jones firing shots of her ownHouston City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones, the subject of a city inspector general investigation, has filed a Texas State Bar grievance against City Attorney David Feldman. Jones's spokeswoman, Kelly Cripe, would not provide a copy of the grievance, but she ... More >>
Group says new law "imposes stress and emotional strain on women as they prepare to undergo a medical procedure."The legal challenge to the new bill that forces women who are seeking an abortion to get a sonogram begins for real tomorrow, with a hearing on a temporary injunction barring enfo ... More >>
AP/Life.comSamuel RothStanding up for the First Amendement is a hard row to hoe sometimes. Sure, it's fun when you can defend someone like Marilyn Manson, but it's a lot less fun when you realize you also have to defend people like the Westboro Baptist Church. Thems the breaks, though. If you ... More >>
Rocks off just can't seem to get comic books out of our blood. Between being fully immersed in Comicpalooza last weekend and trying to point out to Broadway how many other comic characters would make better and safer musicals than Spider-Man, we've regressed to being 15 with ink-stained figur ... More >>
$50K in actual damages, $1 million in punitives.The Fort Bend Star, a small but often feisty publication that covers county events and politics, has been slammed with a million-dollar libel verdict for a story it ran about a sheriff's deputy and his sons. A jury awarded Wade Brady, the son o ... More >>
www.mercyforanimals.orgJust in case the online version of Farm to Fridge - The Truth Behind Meat Production wasn't enough for you, go check out the animal-abuse document on giant screens tonight (Friday). We'll be waiting here with barf bags. As was previously reported by Hair Balls, Mercy for A ... More >>
pamlaneSunday Funday indeed.Such times as these - the economy in recession, federal and state governments mired in debt, and more than 8 percent unemployment - are leading state lawmakers around the country to question the financial logistics of blue laws restricting any business from operati ... More >>
From Michael Lacey, executive editor of Village Voice Media Holdings: Updated: Here is the link to the full story of the media's betrayal of WikiLeaks. Where are the First Amendment's establishment warriors as government-spooked businesses try to shut down Wikileaks? Hackers with computers, not h ... More >>
Who knew Jesus was a "Say my name! Say my name!" guy?Two Texas elementary school principals have failed in their attempt to have the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismiss a suit filed against them for trying to kill the spirit of Christmas, not to mention Jesus, in innocent young children ... More >>
Mike Myers will probably go down in history as the most uncomfortable white guy next to a black guy in TV history, thanks to Kanye West's unscripted outburst during that infamous Hurricane Katrina telethon. It began with Myers reading his part of the script verbatim. Two-thirds into the PSA, ... More >>
Christine O'Donnell's "I Am Not a Witch" ad gave us truckloads of comedy during a rather boring election season. Thanks to that unintentionally hilarious ad and the upcoming election, Christine has been on our minds lately. To better understand what drives the Teabag candidate, we stole her ... More >>
Steve Mostyn wants to see Texas Watchdog's notesWe've seen some idiotic legal filings over the years, but there's something especially mind-boggling when a lawyer files a stinker on his own behalf. Houston's own Steve Mostyn has just done that -- and while he was at it, he decided ... More >>
Photos by Christopher Patronella, Jr.Moveon.org, throwing signs. See a slideshow from yesterday's protest.Local members of MoveOn.org held a rally Tuesday taking aim at corporate control in Washington, delivering petition signatures to the Heights office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and ur ... More >>
Readers respond to "Trash Talk"
If they're taking their laptops and cell phones to bed with them, it's probably not to do homework.
The unincorporated town is up to its elbows in youth gangs, poverty and crime
Steven Hotze uses a warm, easygoing manner to peddle natural hormones to women, at thousands of dollars a pop. So who cares about credentials or documented results?
New York Coffee Shop offers authentic East Coast fare -- complete with attitude