Social Security

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2014

    The San Jacinto River Waste Pits Unleashed Toxins Into the River and, Residents Say, Their Bodies

    After a series of storms in March 2012, John Bonta is sorting through the wreckage on his Highlands ranch, 20 miles west of Houston. He's just gotten home from work when his wife, Pam, asks him to help her pick up a portion of the fence that had fallen during the night. He doesn't wait for her, thin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2014

    Reminder: DPS Will Not Recognize Name Changes From Same-Sex Marriages

    Last year, after Connie married her partner of nine years in California, she took her wife's surname, legally changing her diver's license and Social Security card to Connie Wilson. Legally speaking, she is Connie Wilson. When work required that Wilson and her partner move from California to Houst ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2014

    10 Crazy Things in Texas' Proposed New Social Studies Textbooks

    It seems the Texas education system is still nursing a hangover from the State Board of Education's raucous culture-warrior party days. Hell, it's possible they're still drunk. A while back in 2009 members of the SBOE tried to cut the actual science from the state's science standards (namely, Darwin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2014

    Married, Sort Of: The Legal Limbo of Being Gay and Married in Texas

    Jenn and Lizzie Wigle are wandering the halls of a bridal expo, searching more for ideas than products or services. Eventually they visit three of the events, looking at dresses, invitations, cake decorators and all the other trappings of the $40-billion-a-year American wedding industry. Most of t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2013

    Get Your Dude-Dog Neutered While Letting Him Keep His Cojones

    Montgomery County residents on public assistance can have their male dogs non-surgically neutered for free December 22, thanks to a partnership among Montgomery County Spay Neuter Project, Texas Litter Control, Ark Charities, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ed Rinehart. That's right -- thanks to a drug ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2013

    ENDA, Cruz/Cornyn and the Wrong Side of History

    Yesterday, the Senate, in a rare show of bi-partisanship, passed ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) 64-32. The bill would ban anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. This highlights that a civil rights struggle we have all been watching slowly but surely come to an end. Of course, not ever ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2013

    Time Magazine Cover: The United States of Texas

    In this week's Time Magazine they asserts that Texas is the future of the country and that future is going to be complicated. The cover is a map of Texas broken down into individual states and pretty clever. Hey, anytime someone puts Texas on the cover of a magazine, we probably won't argue. We did ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2013

    10 Musicians Who Have Retired and Stayed Retired

    Though it isn't marked by a specific holiday, today is the anniversary of the day that the Social Security Act was enacted, 78 years ago in 1935. That means babies born on the day the bill was signed into law are currently reaping the rewards of the system they paid into for years. For many, this is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2013

    Protest Planned Over Potential Sale of CW-39 to Kochs, for Some Reason

    Some Houstonians who don't want their beloved CW affiliate bought by the right-wing Koch brothers are planning a protest outside the station's Westpark Drive building today, and we can't really figure out why. Ronald Gonzalez, who plans to speak at the demonstration, tells Hair Balls that the Kochs ... More >>

  • News

    May 23, 2013

    The "Ag-Gag" War: Big Ag Declares War on Whistleblowers

    Behind the scenes of the death match between Big Ag and undercover animal-rights activists.

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2013

    Yevette Walton & Lakisha Rogers: They Interview Tax Preparers Until They Find One Willing to File 53 Fake Returns

    We don't know who first came up with the phrase "you can't get good help nowadays," but whoever did likely realized the importance of having a staffer interview someone before hiring. It's a valuable personnel lesson ingrained in Yevette Lauren Walton and Lakisha Lashell Rogers, but for all their p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2013

    IRS Warns of Charity Scams in Wake of Boston and West, Texas

    Apparently because there are just too many a-holes in the world, the IRS has issued a warning about charity scams that have popped up in the wake of the Boston and West, Texas tragedies. "It's sad but true," the IRS tells us. "Following major disasters and tragedies, scam artists impersonate charit ... More >>

  • Culture

    January 10, 2013

    Why Do Mexican Men Like Classic Cars?

    And why do Mexicans still bother with the United States?

  • Culture

    November 15, 2012

    Special Texas Edición: Why do Mexicans Love Ska?

    And why are Mexican Indians so poor?

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2012

    Rodney Pearson: Jasper's First Black Police Chief (Now Former Chief) Sues City

    The first black police chief in Jasper, Texas -- the East Texas hamlet best known for the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. -- didn't last long. In fact, according to the federal lawsuit he just filed against city officials, and the city itself, he was forced out of his job by a not-very-sophisticat ... More >>

  • News

    October 11, 2012

    The Ten Most Corrupt Tax Loopholes

    If Mitt Romney won't tell you which need to be closed, we will.

  • News

    August 23, 2012

    How to Speak Republican

    Leaked document reveals the secrets of the GOP's coded language.

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2012

    Texas AG: Don't Fall For the Utility Payment Scam

    The Texas Attorney General's Office is warning folks about yet another identity theft wave that's been separating people from their money: the so-called utility bill payment scam. The AG's Office writes that "using in-person solicitations, social media, fliers, phone calls and text messages, scamme ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2012

    Dallas NAACP Wants to Shut Down the Lottery; Odds Measured at 329 Trillion to One

    We were kind of amazed to read that the NAACP's Dallas chapter wants to shut down the Texas lottery, mostly because we didn't realize all the other racial injustices on the To Do list had already been checked off. "People oftentimes make decisions not in their best interests," Chapter President Ju ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2012

    Joshua Matthew Pierce: Con Man's Short, High-Flying Career Over

    Though his actions were sleazy in the extreme and hurt a lot of people, including some he was ostensibly close to, you've just got to hand it to Joshua Matthew Pierce. In a Waco federal court yesterday, Pierce, of Houston, pleaded guilty to defrauding a Waco bank, his own son-in-law and another ma ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2012

    Sister's Holy Humor Is Back with Late Nite Catechism

    The setup: Denise Fennell, as the teaching nun "Sister," starred in Easter Catechism last year in an extended run, and she returns again with fresh material in a one-person show, Late Nite Catechism, to chide us for our sins, offering the joy of laughter and the forgiveness of holy humor. The ex ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2011

    Rick Perry's "Politically Incorrect" Ad: Other Things You're Not Allowed to Say

    Rick Perry has a new TV ad up in Iowa titled "Politically Incorrect." "Washington is the capital of political correctness, where doublespeak reigns and the truth is frowned upon," he says in it. "You can't say that Congressmen becoming lobbyists is a form of legal corruption. Or that we give aid mo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2011

    Ruggles Waitstaff Stages Walk-Out, Alleging Non-Payment of Tips: UPDATE

    Photo by Ed T.Ruggles owner and chef Bruce Molzan lost 60 percent of his staff Saturday night.​Update: Bruce Molzan says that he has "three auditors" and a new manager going through files and payroll records as of today, admitting that Ruggles does owe the waitstaff back wages. "It's about $14 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2011

    Ruggles Waitstaff Walks Out Over Allegedly Getting Stiffed on Tips

    Photo by Ed T.Ruggles owner and chef Bruce Molzan lost 60 percent of his staff Saturday night.​Saturday night at Ruggles was busy. There were nearly 200 customers packing the restaurant at Westheimer and Montrose, with a skeleton crew of only five waiters out of a normal ten-man crew. And at 7 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2011

    An Afternoon with SEARCH Leads a Writer to Recall His Own Homeless Mother

    As a guest of local homelessness advocates SEARCH, I spent last Friday afternoon pretending to be homeless. Sort of...At any rate, it was a strange afternoon for me as my experience of homelessness is far more up close and personal than that of most people. The afternoon began at the SEARCH facili ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2011

    Omar Lopez: Too Drunk, So Let's His 13-Year-Old Nephew Drive (Badly)

    Omar Lopez: Bad uncle​Police have charged Omar Ornelas Lopez, 27, with child endangerment after noticing his car was speeding and making wide turns through the Windsor Village neighborhood. It wasn't Lopez who was driving, though -- it was his 13-year-old nephew. Court documents available on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2011

    Occupying Houston: The Faces & People Behind The Protest

    Marc BrubakerOccupy Houston headquarters in Tranquility Park​The Occupy Together movement, begun in solidarity with New York protesters' takeover of Wall Street and Zuccotti Park, is now no stranger to the media. (As to whether they report on it fairly or not, we'll leave that to individual di ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2011

    Rick Perry's Top 10 "Oh Faces": A Soundtrack

    mysanantonio.comGig 'em!​Once again, Texas is front and center on the national political stage, our spokesman an almost cartoon-like embodiment of every Lone Star stereotype: Fast-talkin', gun-lovin', bible-thumpin', boot-wearin', oil-worshipping, death penalty happy, larger-than-life right-wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2011

    Rick Perry: Maybe "Ponzi Scheme" Isn't the Slogan to Win the White House

    New poll suggests the answer is "no."​Yes, Public Policy Polling is a Democratic outfit, but nevertheless their new poll released today has some interesting tidbits. "In just three weeks Barack Obama has nearly doubled his lead over Rick Perry," said Dean Debnam, PPP president. "That would se ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2011

    If The U.S. Defaults: 5 Alternatives to Government Checks

    We still don't know whether a deal will make it through Congress or whether instead the Tea Party will drive the nation off the economic cliff. If the U.S. defaults and all of a sudden can't write checks, things could get....interesting. Fortunately, there are back-up plams. 5. Social Security ch ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    Adrian Levale Cole and Albert Terrance Watkins: Each Gets at Least Nine Years for Multimillion Bogus-Mortgage Scam

    Never trust a masked man.​If you're running a mortgage scam and using a shadow company you've called Phantom Marketing, you're: a) Extremely ballsy b) Extremely dumb c) Like the serial killer who writes "Stop me before I kill again" at the crime scene. Adrian Levale Cole and Albert Terrance W ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2011

    May Day Immigration Rally Draws Thousands (and Opponents) in Houston

    Photos by Christopher Patronella, Jr.​Some three thousand people joined together in Houston on Sunday to take part in May Day rallies held all across the nation as the battle over immigration laws has taken center stage. Demonstrators blanketed the streets around Burnett Bayland Park as they flow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2011

    Texas Publishes Their Social Security Numbers, Now Someone's Trying to Scam Them

    Just give 'em John Doe's number, he won't mind.​Attorney General Greg Abbott is warning any Texans whose Social Security numbers were inadvertently exposed by the state government to, ummm, not just hand out that info to anyone calling to try to "confirm" things. More than three million emplo ... More >>

  • News

    March 10, 2011

    Betting Their Lives

    It's easy for a three-time felon to get $20 million for his investment company, as long as no one asks any questions.

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2009

    CEP Gets More Criticism, And One Critic Wins A Victory

    Robert Kimball, whose criticism of the privately run school where HISD sends its troubled students was so stinging (or effective) that the school is suing to shut him up, won a round in court today.Community Education Partners is suing Kimball because he's been making clear he believes CEP is a "dro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2008

    The Man Who Filled Montrose With Foreclosure Signs Is Convicted

    What's it coming to these days when you can't even go in and buy an Aston-Martin without getting busted for fraud?Especially after you've done so much to ensure that Montrose is full of foreclosed-upon townhomes?These are the questions Craig Curtis, 36, is no doubt asking himself after his convictio ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2008

    At Least A Little Payback Against A-Hole Debt Collectors

    If you've ever been harassed by a debt collector, deserved or not, Texas AG Greg Abbott has just stood up for you (As Joe Biden might put it, since Abbott's in a wheelchair).Abbott's office announced a settlement this morning against NCO Financial Systems, one of the world's biggest debt-collection ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2008

    Day Laborers Struggling Even More These Days

    You may have heard that Houston, a city driven by the energy industry, fares better than the rest of the country during tough economic times. Somebody really should mention that to local day laborers – it seems they could use something to cheer them up. A recent Agence France-Presse story out of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2008

    Con Artists Head To The Red Cross Shelters

    No self-respecting scam artist is going to let a little thing like a hurricane keep him from his career. In fact, a hurricane can become a hurri-can for a dedicated con artist. Of course, it also helps if you don't get caught. Harris County DA Kenneth Magidson says two men have been arrested for i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2008

    Are You Taking Over, Or Are You Taking Orders?

    Trouble is brewing. A group of Galveston evacuees says they are planning a bit of civil disobedience in the fight to get into their island homes to assess and fix damage. "We are planning to caravan to Galveston and disobey the police when they tell us that we cannot have access to our homes," say ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2008

    He Tried To Commit ID Theft Against 17,000 Marines

    A word to the wise: the next time you try selling the names and Social Security numbers of nearly 17,000 U.S. Marines, make sure the buyer is actually the spy he says he is, and not an undercover FBI agent. Randall Craig, a former military contractor, learned that lesson the hard way when he was ar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2007

    A Message from Miss Pop Rocks to All of You Baby Boomers: Suck It

    So Tom Brokaw has some new book out about the 1960s called Boom! And a whacked out Dennis Hopper is doing retirement ads for Ameriprise Financial about how baby boomers can’t really retire because they’re the generation with dreams and dreams don’t retire (or whatever). And when the first ba ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2007

    The Franco-Texas Connection

    If you didn’t think the French were douchey enough, they held a charity auction Tuesday of memorabilia from the TV show Dallas. The money goes to a charity that hires clowns to entertain sick kids! So that’s a bunch of real douches bidding on stuff worn by fake TV douches set in a real douche ... More >>