Uvalde Texas. The end of thoughts and prayers

May 24, 2023

Offering thoughts and prayers is the least you can do on the anniversary of the Uvalde massacre. Literally.

Maybe you have noticed our cowards in the Texas Legislature stopped offering thoughts and prayers after being criticized for doing nothing but offering thoughts and prayers after the Sante Fe shooting. That is all they did. It is literally the least you can do after a mass shooting. There is nothing that takes less effort, intelligence, or courage than offering thoughts and prayers. It’s not like they are actually thinking about the kids or praying for their families or those who will be in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.

But it is worse. After the Sante Fe shooting, they thought, prayed, then passed permit less carry allowing anyone to open carry a loaded assault weapon without training or a permit. After Uvalde they then blamed mental health for the massacre. Let’s admit it. They are right. If you are in an elected position to do something to end or curb gun violence after 19 children were slaughtered and you dont, then yes you are mentally ill. A truly sick, immoral, human being.

On this day, a year after Uvalde, don’t be a coward. Don’t offer thoughts and prayers. Do something.

The new CCISD School Board begins

May 23, 2023

Congratulations to Jamieson Mackay, the new board member of the Clear Creek Independent School District and to returning board member, Arturo Sanchez.

At their first meeting Arturo was elected as President, Jonathan Cottrell and Vice President, and Jay Cunningham is the Secretary. Contact information for each can be found on the CCISD website. Stephanie Barker was recognized for her years of service to the community.

Here’s to continued success at CCISD!

May 24. Clear Lake Vigil for the Uvalde families.

May 21, 2023

Take a moment out of your busy lives to remember those in Uvalde Texas lost to senseless and preventable violence.

Clear Lake Park 5001 Nasa Pkwy

Seabrook, TX 77586

Wednesday, May 24, 7:00 PM

Sponsored by Moms Demand Action. RSVP here. Join Bay Area Moms Demand Action volunteers as we honor the 21 victims of Uvalde who lost their lives to gun violence one year ago. We will hold an informal vigil at Clear Lake Park. Enter the parking lot off of Clear Lake Park Road. We will meet behind the large covered pavilion, near the water. You are welcome to wear you red shirt if you have one.

A new low: Texas elected officials a no show at the Sante Fe Memorial ceremony

May 19, 2023

There is no bottom to the Republican Party. Rotten bastards.

After the shooting at Sante Fe high school which claimed the lives of 8 students and 2 teachers, elected officials across the area attended the new conference to offer thoughts and prayers and blame the shootings on everything but their lack of courage to address the gun violence issue. Texas sized cowards such as Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and others attended. Greg Abbott told the press:

“We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families. It’s time in Texas that we take action to step up and make sure this tragedy is never repeated ever again.”

That was the last time Abbott or any elected official offered thoughts and prayers for gun violence victims. Two years later he signed a gun sanctuary bill and permit less carry bill and, as predicted, another mass shooting occurred this time taking the lives of 19 nine year old kids at an elementary school.

Yesterday they unveiled a memorial for those killed at Santa Fe. The cowards of the Republican Party including Abbott, Patrick, Cruz, Senator Money Mayes Middleton, State Representative Terri Leo-Wilson, and State Representative Dennis Paul didn’t have the balls to show up and offer whatever worthless offers they can come up with.

They probably were afraid that one of the parents would have slapped the living shit out of them.

Or worse.

Why are our home insurance policies so damn high in the Bay Area?

May 16, 2023

Glad you asked. Take a seat and read about the history of insurance reform in Texas.

Many years ago I was a consumer activist advocating for consumers with a construction defect in their new homes. I volunteered my time and money beginning in the mid 1990’s up until 2011. During that time I saw the Texas Legislature usher in home insurance reform with promises of lower rates and fair marketing practices. At the time Governor Rick Perry issued this statement:

“This comprehensive reform measure will stabilize the home and auto insurance market, rid the insurance industry of fraudulent practices and ensure Texans have access to fair rates offered in a competitive market,” Perry said during thesigning ceremony at a home construction site in Temple. “For some Texans that will mean significant rate discounts. For all Texans it will mean rate practices that are transparent and fair.”

That was 20 years ago. So how did that work fer ya cowboy?

In the beginning, or about in 2002.
In 2002 insurance rates was a huge campaign issue. Rick Perry won reelection promising to reform insurance, releasing the power of the free market to do their thing. Prior to 2003 insurance companies had to justify rate increases prior to raising rates. They also had to provide all inclusive policies covering fire, water, wind, storm etc. For consumers it made it easy to compare rates.

Then 2003 happened
The state decided to change to a file and use system where companies filed their new rates and started using the new rates immediately. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) could, after the fact, challenge the rate increases. TDI challenged few if any. They also let insurance companies offer just the basic policies that cover only wind, storm, and water events. Some how they let them adjust the cost to rebuild the home which in my case increased by 50% in one year causing the premium to skyrocket. They let the companies remove coverage such as foundation, water, and sewer damage but they didn’t have to adjust the premiums to account for the lost coverage. In my case I had to actually buy it back.

20 Years later
Just look at your policy. We are getting royally screwed. Premiums have skyrocketed. Companies have left the area. Deductables are so high you wonder why you have insurance in the first place! Again in my situation I eventually left USAA after they raised my premiums from $4000 to $5000. The cost to rebuild is over $440,000 making my deductible $8800!!!! I have documented most of the years from 2000 to just a few years ago. You can see that information below.

Politically speaking
Our State Representative Dennis Paul is on the insurance committee. You might want to ask what in the living hell he has bee focusing on besides insurance rates in his district. Maybe he is too busy protecting guns, praising god, and limiting the rights of gays.

My Premiums Before and After Insurance Reform of 2003:

2000: $783\year $500 deductible HOB policy all inclusive.

2014: $3800\year $4800 deductible HOA with foundation, water, and sewer optional

Historic Increases of my Premiums Since 2000:

2000$783.00$500.00 0.00%Before insurance became an issue
2001$862.00$500.00 10.00%Removed mold coverage but did not decrease premium
2002$1,060.00$500.00 22.90%Became an election issue
***2003$1,375.00$500.00 29.70%Includes a 7% reduction and use of HO-A Policies
2004$1,589.00$500.00 15.40%Insurance reform in 2003. Had to add back water, foundation and sewer coverage
2005$1,352.00$500.00 -14.90%No change in policy
2006$1,363.00$2,400 <1%Deductible increased
**2007$1,600.00$2,400 15.10%Rebuild cost 50% higher
*2008$1,900.00$2,400 18.00%Tier II classification
2009$2,300.00$2,400 21.00%No change in policy
2010$2,800.00$4,800 24.00%Doubled deductible.
2011 $4,800 No change in policy
2012 $4,800 No change in policy
2013$3,300.00$4800 No change in policy
2014$3,800.00$4,80015.00%No change in policy

*Reclassifying your home in a “tier zone”. This resulted in an 18% increase to my rates in 2008. The TDI had no comment when this was brought to their attention. Next year USAA could create yet another type of tier zone and the TDI will do nothing.

**Using a different system to determine the cost to rebuild a home. 
This resulted in an increase of 50% in the cost to rebuild my home, and a 15% increase in premiums. This new cost to rebuild the home was based upon a “new” method created by USAA. 

***Removing protection. USAA changed to an HO-A type of policy making sewer, water, and foundation damage optional to save money for those who do not want or can’t afford the coverage. Unfortunately, when they removed the coverage, they did not reduce the rates. When I added the coverage back into the policy it resulted in an 29% increase.

Raising Campaign Cash: Galveston County Connects PAC

May 12, 2023

Michael Smith of the Galveston Daily News had a great editorial concerning outside PAC money infiltrating local elections. He wrote an interesting tidbit that caught my attention:

Political operative Joseph Lowry, who has run toxic campaigns against elected officials in La Marque, paid for a billboard urging voters to reject Skipworth.

Lowry, of course, has been supported by the Galveston County Connects political action committee, which has a habit of suggesting elected officials are criminals, but won’t follow the state’s campaign finance laws itself.

So I thought I would look up GCC’s financial reports and it is interesting. GCC was created in early 2021 with Sarah Dougherty of La Marque appointed as Treasurer. They have an address in Austin. Initially they started with a couple of small donations totaling over $800 from Joseph Lowery, Vice CEO of Six Brothers Concrete Pumping in La Marque. Sarah Dougherty is an assistant at this company.

In 2022 they raised $10,725 from two big donations of $5000 each, MSW Investments Group and Robert Michetich of La Marque. The treasurer listed MSW Investments Group with an address in Winnie Texas. I couldn’t find a MSW Investments Group with a Winnie Tx address. There are a number of MSW Investments listed with one being listed in Stowell, Texas just a mile from Winnie Texas. This organization has a registering agent of Matt Wooten of Dickinson at 7011 S South Oak Avenue. According to OpenCorporates.com MSW Investments Group is an inactive organization.

Robert Michetich is a former La Marque City Council Member.

We beat back the billionaires meddling in local elections!

May 11, 2023

Michael Smith, Editor of the Galveston Daily News nailed it in his editorial, “Toxic campaigning won’t end unless voters demand it“.

“Our hope is voters are rejecting the incursion of hate-mongering, covert money, outside money, partisan ideology and partisan agendas of all sorts in their decisions about electing local people to volunteer posts.”

He references the CCISD election as well as other local races fueled by the likes of Wayne Dolcefino and outside PACs. It is well worth the read.

What the f*ck is wrong with you? Texas.

May 9, 2023

It’s time we start asking the obvious question. What the fuck is wrong with us?

It’s no longer a time to ask our elected officials “What the fuck is wrong with you?” as I did when I met State Representative Dennis Paul on the greenbelt after the Uvalde massacre. We all know they will not address gun violence. They have refused to sponsor or pass common sense gun safety reforms that are massively supportive by their constituents. We know what the fuck is wrong with them.

They are immoral. They are fake christians. They are truly fucked up human beings. They love guns over girls, bullets over boys. No matter how many children killed in school, christians killed in church, shoppers killed in malls, immigrants killed at home, they just do not care. They are mentally ill for doing nothing while 5 year olds are torn apart with weapons of war. They are truly sick fucks.

And so are we. We know they will do nothing but all we do is demand they do something while we do nothing. We have organizations working hard to advocate for gun safety and we should thank them but we are WE doing? Are we calling our elected officials on a daily basis to demand gun safety? Are we demanding a town hall meeting to discuss our families safety at schools, parades, Walmarts, churches, etc? Are we protesting at our elected officials offices?

What the fuck are we waiting for? What are YOU waiting for? This gun violence needs to stop before it reaches our own families.

Public complaint filed against CCISD Trustee

May 8, 2023

A formal complaint has been filed against CCISD Trustee Scott Bowen after his epic loss in yet another election.

The complaint concerns his testimony in Austin in support of a bill against public education. In this testimony he identifies himself as a CCISD Board member and claims to be speaking on behalf of his constituents as an At Large member. Testimony on bills by a specific individual or organization is extremely hard to find. The video of his 3 minutes of fame was accidentally found with an unrelated google search which led to an anti public education YouTube channel hosted by Texas Education 911. This non profit is supported by extreme far right organizations such as Moms for Liberty. The complaint states:

Bowen cannot speak on my behalf or on behalf of the district. He can identify himself as a individual and speak for himself but not for the Board unless he was specifically asked to by the board. This is the second time Mr. Bowen has testified identifying himself as a Trustee of the Board and speaking on behalf of the board. The first was at a hearing in League City concerning the banning of LGBTQ books from the public library. Bowen doesn’t even live in League City. Bowen states he is there on his “own time and own dime” but then continues to address the Committee as if he is speaking on behalf of the Board. He also specifically claims he is representing his constituents. Bowen, in his last election, did not receive over 50% of the vote and it is hard to understand how he could speak on my behalf.

As the complaint states, this is the second time Bowen has used his title in testimony on issues concerning the community. The hearing is in a couple of weeks. I’m not sure what could come of this complaint but the author requests the following:

Because this is the second offense, Mr. Bowen should be sanctioned, reprimanded, or asked to resign. In the future if he testifies on my behalf again please have him ask for my permission otherwise he should keep his mouth shut or testify as a citizen and nothing else.

BTW. I filed the complaint.

Bay Area Community meeting to address gun violence

May 8, 2023

After 3 mass shootings taking the lives of 34 Texans including 19 children at Ross Elementary it is clear our elected officials will not take action to curb this violence. It is time to take this issue into our own hands.

They have done nothing but pour billions of dollars on school safety, still leaving our schools wide open to an assault. They have done nothing to secure our safety in churches, Walmarts, shopping malls, 4th of July parades, dance clubs, concerts and other public places. We are not even safe in our own homes and yet they are silent.

As are we. It is time to have a discussion about gun violence. A frank, face to face, uncomfortable discussion to address this violence before we become victims ourselves. So I have a question for you:

Would you attend? Would you take a couple of hours to have a frank discussion with our elected officials on gun violence? The ground rules would be simple:

  • Non partisan. Leave your politics at the door or leave through the door
  • All elected officials would be invited to attend or to send a represenative
  • Media would also be invited
  • Presentations on gun violence would be provided by invited speakers
  • Elected officials will be asked to provide comments and participate in the discussion

Our elected officials are sitting on their ass while Texas is #1 in mass shootings. Something has to happen. Would you be interested in attending? Would you be interested in volunteering?

Or will you just sit on your ass and do nothing?

email me or add a comment below. johncoby@sbcglobal.net

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