A newly elected Houston judge has come under harsh criticism for �thinking outside the box.� After Judge John Clinton proposed that convicts in his court read a Christian book and write a book report on it as an alternative to community service, critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union censured the idea, forcing the judge to retract his proposal.

Battle-weary Texans who spent much of the last decade working to defeat the proposed — and hugely unpopular — gigantic north-south highway through Texas up to Canada, known as the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC), are being called to take a deep breath and gather forces once again. New bills have been introduced in the biennial Texas Legislature that would revive the old conflicts for sovereignty.

The Saudi "student" arrested in Lubbock, Texas, in late February in connection with plotting to bomb "nice targets" in the United States has pleaded not guilty in federal court and will go to trial on May 2.

Tea Party activists frustrated with Republican leadership in the House of Representatives over compromising and promise breaking are planning a rally outside the Capitol and might even try to challenge GOP leaders in the next primary election if the wild spending keeps up. But even as Tea Party groups apply intense pressure on Congressional leadership to seek deeper budget cuts, top Democrats are urging Speaker John Boehner (pictured, left) to ditch the liberty-minded activists and join a statist Congressional coalition.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the affluent Bay Area county across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco has a major problem. It is �too white.� Using data from the most recent census, HUD has determined that Marin County includes seven of the 10 whitest cities in the Bay Area. The Bay Citizen reports on the draft of the report released by HUD: