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Gender: Male
Hometown: George West, Georgetown, Austin, Brenham and Irving, Texas
Current location: Irving
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 8,322

About Me

BS - Mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Statistical Analyst. Played trumpet in college. Middle-aged white guy.

Journal Archives

Will Tennessee legalize the New Jane Crow?

THE STATE of Tennessee is about to establish a dangerous new precedent in the war on women.

Both houses of the state legislature recently passed SB 1391, a bill that would sanction women's arrest and incarceration on the basis of the outcomes of their pregnancies. If Gov. Bill Haslam does not veto the measure, it would be the first law in the U.S. to criminalize pregnant women for the use of illegal or prescription drugs.

Supporters of reproductive rights are trying to pressure Haslam into stopping SB 1391 from becoming law.

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, hundreds of pregnant women have suffered unwanted medical interventions, arrests and incarcerations, based on a range of flimsy assertions about the health of their pregnancies--very often without legal or medical grounding for the claim that the women were responsible for harming a fetus or newborn.

More at http://socialistworker.org/2014/04/23/will-tennessee-legalize-new-jane-crow .

Fetal tissue used to power Oregon homes

Source: AP

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon county commission has ordered an incinerator to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity after learning the waste it's been burning may include tissue from aborted fetuses from British Columbia.

Sam Brentano, chairman of the Marion County board of commissioners, said late Wednesday the board is taking immediate action to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries at the plant that has been turning waste into energy since 1987.

"We provide an important service to the people of this state and it would be a travesty if this program is jeopardized due to this finding," he said in a statement. "We thought our ordinance excluded this type of material at the waste-to-energy facility. We will take immediate action to ensure a process is developed to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries."

Kristy Anderson, a British Columbia Health Ministry spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that regional health authorities there have a contract with a company that sends biomedical waste, such as fetal tissue, cancerous tissue and amputated limbs, to Oregon, where it's incinerated in the waste-energy plant.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Fetal-tissue-used-to-power-Oregon-homes-5426174.php

Waco Tribune Editorial: Paycheck Fairness Act is a bad bill far removed from realities of business

No one will know for sure till after fall elections are done, but Democrats might have a winning issue in the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act in 2014 campaigns against Republicans. A Public Policy Polling survey indicates that while most Texans favor U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz over other Texans, many also favor the basic tenets of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

In one respect, that speaks well of us. All Americans should embrace the concept of equal pay for workers performing identical tasks if they’re also similar in temperament, skill, initiative, industriousness, experience and resourcefulness. But federal laws already demand this — not only through the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits “discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers,” but President Obama’s executive order signed at the very start of his term in 2009.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is a different beast. It begins with the premise that businesses accused of paying workers differently based on gender are all guilty till proved innocent. The law is so onerous and unfair it includes a provision that exempts the federal government from having to pay punitive damages for discrimination when no such perk is allowed private industry. Nice.

Fueling litigation

Given this proposed law would require every company to report pay stats by sex, race and national origin to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Paycheck Fairness Act could unleash a wave of questionable and costly litigation; compel businesses large and small to detail to absurdly meticulous degrees the strengths and shortcomings of all employees (and at additional administrative expense); and possibly poison the workplace with bad feelings as employees learn what one another makes.

More at http://www.wacotrib.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-paycheck-fairness-act-is-a-bad-bill-far-removed/article_cfd37d75-defb-53a4-a6f3-8fad1bddd351.html .

Once again, the media publishers in smaller cities in Texas show their conservative bias.

Abbott writes federal agency about its plans for land in Texas

AUSTIN — Does the federal government plan to take control of 90,000 acres of Texas land along the Red River?

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is the latest state official asking that question in relation to a looming U.S. Bureau of Land Management decision about what to do with a swath of federal and American Indian land in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas — including the acreage in Texas along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River.

On Tuesday, Abbott sent a letter to Neil Kornze, BLM director, seeking information about the agency’s plans for the land, some of which North Texans have long considered theirs, using it for cattle grazing and growing crops.

“Private landowners in Texas have owned, maintained and cultivated this land for generations. Despite the long-settled expectations of these hard-working Texans along the Red River, the BLM appears to be threatening their private property rights by claiming ownership over this territory,” wrote Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor. “Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.”

More at http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/04/23/5759533/abbott-writes-federal-agency-about.html?rh=1 .

18 protesters arrested in demonstration against UT’s job-cutting plan

Eighteen students were arrested on Wednesday afternoon after they refused to leave the office area of the University of Texas president.

Several students started the sit-in outside of Bill Powers’ office about 3:30 p.m. and were warned three times by the dean of students’ office to leave by 5 p.m. or face criminal trespass charges, UT officials said. Those that refused were arrested and transported to Travis County Jail.

The students were protesting a shared-services plan that would eliminate 500 staff positions, mostly through attrition, by consolidating finance, personnel, information technology and purchasing functions. It is estimated to save the university up to $40 million per year.

More than 100 faculty members signed a letter to Powers this month urging the university to abandon the plan. The letter questioned the potential for cost savings and argued that more staff members are needed, not fewer of them.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/18-protesters-arrested-in-demonstration-against-ut/nfgdm/ .

Jeopardy contestants fail to remember Herman Cain

A couple years ago, Republican candidate Herman Cain was leading Mitt Romney in the polls. Now, judging by the failure of these Jeopardy contestants to successfully name him as the answer to a fairly obvious question, nobody even remembers him.

During the game show's Tuesday night airing, none of the contestants attempted to answer the clue, "This pizza magnate and 2012 presidential candidate was a math major at historically black Morehouse College."

Even Alex Trebek was a little taken aback when not a single contestant buzzed in. "How quickly you have forgotten Herman Cain," he said.

Most people would take this as a ding on Herman Cain, but I see this as an illustration of the ephemeral and superficial nature of modern political coverage. We obsess over the most granular ups and downs of politics (remember 9-9-9! or "DEEP DISH!" or "the water tastes the same!"?), but how much of what we obsess over will even be remembered a few years from now?

Source: http://theweek.com/article/index/260418/speedreads-jeopardy-contestants-fail-to-remember-herman-cain

“You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!” – KKK Neighborhood Watch Apparently Spreading

Last July I reported on a story from Springfield, Missouri where apparently the Ku Klux Klan had decided to start up their own neighborhood watch program. You know, because nothing says “safe neighborhood” like a white supremacist hate group patrolling the streets, right?

It was a story so ridiculous that when I first heard about it I had to make sure it wasn’t satire.

Well, apparently a chapter of the KKK in the Fairview Township in Pennsylvania is following the example set in Springfield, Missouri by starting up their own neighborhood watch to combat a recent rise in break-ins.

And if the idea of the KKK functioning as a neighborhood watch isn’t funny enough, all you have to do is take a look at the comments by Frank Ancona, the organization’s imperial wizard and president:

“It’s just like any neighborhood watch program. It’s not targeting any specific ethnicity. We would report anything we see to law enforcement. We don’t hate people. We are an organization who looks out for our race. We believe in racial separation. God created each species after its kind and saw that it was good.”

- See more at: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/you-can-sleep-tonight-knowing-klan-awake-kkk-neighborhood-watch-apparently-spreading/#sthash.UoF5sJ1t.dpuf

Red Poppy Festival in Georgetown this weekend

Red Poppy Capital of Texas Georgetown is the “Red Poppy Capital of Texas,” certified by local residents and the Texas Legislature. Red poppies have been a part of Georgetown’s landscape for over seventy years. Red poppies grow naturally in street and highway right-of-ways, in vacant lots and park lands, and in native and cultivated areas of our citizen’s yards. We understand that Georgetown is one of the few locations in the United States where red poppies reseed themselves from year to year. Each April as the poppies bloom, Georgetown celebrates with the annual Red Poppy Festival, held on the beautiful historic downtown Square. Festival activities include live entertainment, arts and crafts, food, a children’s center, a car show, and a parade/cruise. Call 1-800-436-8696 for dates and additional information.

History of Red Poppies
Seeds from poppies in Europe were sent to Georgetown right after World War I. Henry Purl Compton (known as “Okra”) who served in the American Expeditionary Forces sent them to his mother. She planted them at her home which is now 507 East 7th Street. From there, they were spread (by birds, bees, and people!) down the river and over much of Old Town.

More information at https://poppy.georgetown.org/ .

David Dewhurst Going Out with a Whimper, Not a Bang

David Dewhurst is Texas’ second-longest serving lt. governor. He’s shaped the state like few other public officials in modern history. But though he’s wielded an enormous amount of power for a remarkably long time, for the last several years he’s been in a constant state of free fall. The beginning of the end was his humiliating loss to Ted Cruz in 2012, which quashed his hopes to move up through the political ranks. Then there were the indignities of the 2013 legislative session, where he was pushed to take up a special-session abortion fight that was never a Dewhurst priority, then got slammed for its failure. His re-election campaign this year has seen embarrassing scandals alternate with groveling before tea party groups. Indignities piled upon each other, weighing down a candidate who never seemed to have a lot of political acumen even when times were good. (This is a guy who once included a Luftwaffe pilot in a post-9/11 ad celebrating the American armed forces.)

But we might have finally arrived at the last chapter. After a lopsided primary loss, he’s stuck in a runoff with state Sen. Dan Patrick and is unlikely to win. Would Dewhurst finish his political career standing up, using the time to burnish a tarnished legacy that seemed to be slipping away from him? Or would he write himself a huge check and go nuclear, doing as much damage to Patrick as he could?

Dewhurst seems to be pursuing the latter path, with a blitz of negative TV ads across the state that might have cost as much as $1 million, and an attack site—realdanpatrick.com—that seems to mimic Patrick’s own sites from earlier in the primary. But it’s an odd push, in part because it seems like it’s too little, too late. It follows a month of apparent dysfunction in the Dewhurst campaign—several high-level campaign aides jumped ship two weeks ago. (One wonders if the operatives didn’t want to be affiliated with the push to go negative on Patrick, the likely victor and a potential future leader in the state GOP.)

The ad blitz, which focuses on Patrick’s bankruptcy and past business practices, began late last week, which leaves the Dewhurst camp a little over a month to get the message out before the May 27 runoff. But the issue of Patrick’s past debts—he walked away from more than $800,000 when he declared bankruptcy—are not new to primary voters. The issue has been raised repeatedly, including during January’s televised debate. The ad claims that Patrick changed his name from Danny Goeb to escape debts: In reality, Patrick had used the name since 1978, long before his bankruptcy. PolitiFact rated the claim “pants on fire.”

More at http://www.texasobserver.org/david-dewhurst-whimper-not-bang/ .

As the Texas Observer noted, "Dewhurst also experienced a 1980s bankruptcy and also never paid off unsecured creditors, Patrick’s campaign notes. It highlights Dewhurst’s recent failure to pay more than $1 million in debts to his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign’s vendors. That was an event related to a longtime Dewhurst aide’s alleged embezzlement of campaign funds."

It's amazing that Republicans that maintain that people should assume "personal responsibility" are some the most prominent deadbeats around. I'm thinking of US Rep. Bill Flores, who ran Phoenix Exploration Company (an oil & natural gas company) that saddled the federal government with over $7 million in debt.

Future Faux News Reporter

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