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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 85,593

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Anti-abortion groups rally behind George P. Bush, Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott in Austin

AUSTIN — George P. Bush and Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott made a large anti-abortion rally at the Capitol on Saturday their first headlining events of 2015 as the two political newcomers from familiar Republican families begin putting different faces on Texas conservatism.

The front-and-center billing given to Abbott, less than a week after husband Greg Abbott was sworn in as governor, added to expectations that she could have a more public presence than her predecessor, Anita Perry, who largely avoided the spotlight during her 14 years in the governor's mansion.

Cecilia Abbott played more stand-in than star to a crowd of about 1,500 at the Texas Rally for Life, which has grown into a big stage for Republican leaders. She read a letter from her husband that thanked anti-abortion supporters for backing legislation that has made Texas home to some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the U.S.

Some laws are on hold while Texas awaits a ruling from a federal appeals court in New Orleans. If the state prevails, Texas will be left with eight abortion facilities in the nation's second-most populous state.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/state-politics/20150124-anti-abortion-groups-rally-behind-george-p.-bush-texas-first-lady-cecilia-abbott-in-austin.ece

Billionaire Benson's family sues over business inheritance change, control of NO Saints and Pelicans

An acrimonious divide in the family of New Orleans and San Antonio billionaire Tom Benson Jr. over future control of his sports, banking, media, real estate and auto dealership empire erupted this week into a pending court battle.

Benson, 87, owner of the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints and the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Pelicans, on Wednesday abruptly announced that he will transfer his sports and other business interests to his third wife, Gayle, upon his death.

The move effectively cuts out his only surviving child, daughter Renee Benson of the San Antonio area, and her two children, Rita LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc, from inheriting his business operations.

On Thursday, Renee Benson and her children filed a lawsuit in a Louisiana civil court claiming Tom Benson does not possess the mental capacity to make the change. The lawsuit points to a prenuptial agreement and trusts that set up Renee Benson and her children to assume control of Tom Benson’s companies.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/local/article/Benson-empire-caught-up-in-family-court-battle-6035274.php

Former DPS trooper indicted for tampering with records

Victoria, Texas -- A former Department of Public Safety trooper is accused of using a government database to create a fictitious traffic citation.

Authorities also think he forged the signature of a Crossroads resident on the ticket on Feb. 17, according to an indictment released by the Victoria County District Attorney's Office.

Ronald Nathanial Johnson faces one count of misuse of official information, two counts of tampering with government records and one count of fraudulently using identifying information.

He was indicted Thursday.

Read more: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2015/jan/23/former-dps-trooper-indicted-for-tampering-with-rec/

[font color=green]Word to the wise--stay out of Victoria county. There are at least two other incidents in Victoria (city police) worth mentioning: the tasering of the 76 year-old man (http://www.democraticunderground.com/107822771) and a lawsuit filed by a woman for excessive force and false arrest (http://www.democraticunderground.com/107822766). [/font]

Is Marxism Eurocentric?

MANY ACTIVISTS today first encounter Marxist ideas in and around college campuses, where certain interpretations of Karl Marx and Marxism have solidified into a sort of conventional wisdom. One of these is the idea that Marxism is "Eurocentric"--and therefore has little to say to the mass of people in the 21st century globalized world.

This reading of Marx is virtually hegemonic in some branches of academia. For example, post-colonial scholars María do Mar Castro Varela and Nikita Dhawan contend that Marx defended a "Eurocentric model of political emancipation that consistently ignores the experiences of colonized subjects in non-Western societies" and "failed to develop his studies of India and Africa into a fully elaborated analysis of imperialism." To them, Marx's analysis neglects "disenfranchised groups such as colonized subjects."

The great Palestinian scholar Edward Said contended that Marx's earliest writings on the British role in India, written in 1853, represent a racist view of the colonized, despite Marx's sympathy for the subjects of the British empire. Said contended that "in article after article, {Marx} returned with increasing conviction to the idea that even in destroying Asia, Britain was making possible there a real social revolution."

Both Said and Shlomo Avineri, another interpreter of Marx read widely in the academy, argued that Marx never deviated from this position, but in fact propounded it even more vociferously later in his career.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/01/22/is-marxism-eurocentric

Removing the Social Security Tax Cap Would Benefit Most Workers

Yves here. As we and others have discussed at some length, the concern over Social Security funding is vastly overhyped. As Nicole Woo discusses in this Real News Network interview, one simple fix, that of eliminating the cap on who is subject to the tax, would solve most of the gap that is anticipated in long-term projections. And the Social Security tax as now constituted is regressive and thus promotes inequality, so lifting the cap also moves the tax system toward being more progressive. That’s before we get to the MMT issue that “taxing” to fund any government activity is a political mechanism that is a holdover from the gold standard days, and not how government functions are funded operationally.

In fact, with more and more promised pensions being slashed, and investment returns flagging thanks to QE and ZIRP, the notion that ordinary people can save enough for their retirement is a chimera. Thus preserving and strengthening Social Security is more important than ever.

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

It’s a new year, and if you’re one of those early birds, you’ve started on your taxes. But did you know that if you earn more than $118,500 year, the government can’t tax those earnings under the Social Security tax, which is also known as the payroll tax cap? That means that someone who makes twice the cap this year pays the tax on only half of his or her wages. It’s a big issue, considering the future of Social Security is continuously being debated in Washington.

Our guest today is Nicole Woo. She is the director of domestic policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Her new paper is titled Who Would Pay More If the Social Security Payroll Tax Cap Were Raised or Scrapped?

Read more: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/01/removing-social-security-tax-cap-benefit-workers.html

Sally Kern targets LGBTs with 3 despicable bills

Good ol’ Sally Kern is at it again, filing no less than three pieces of legislation directly targeting LGBT Oklahomans, according to the Tulsa World. And with one of the three, she appears to be borrowing a page from Texas Rep. Cecil Bell Jr.

Kern’s House Bill 1599 says that no taxpayer funds or governmental salaries can be used for the licensing or support of same-sex marriage:

“No employee of this state and no employee of any local governmental entity shall officially recognize, grant or enforce a same-sex marriage license and continue to receive a salary, pension or other employee benefit at the expense of taxpayers of this state. No taxes or public funds of this state shall be spent enforcing any court order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license.”

Kern’s bill also directs state courts to dismiss any challenge to the measure and award costs and attorney fees to the defendant. A judge who violates the act would be removed from office, according to the bill.

Read more: http://www.dallasvoice.com/sally-kern-targets-lgbts-3-despicable-bills-10188619.html

White Texas racists go after immigrants and get caught with illegal weaponry

BROWNSVILLE — A hearing to determine if a “militia man” who mounted armed patrols for immigrants who illegally entered the county in the Rio Grande area is competent to stand trial is slated for Friday in federal court in Brownsville, public records show.

The hearing will be held before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald G. Morgan to determine the competency of 45-year-old John Frederick Foerster of Brownsville.

A psychiatric evaluation was conducted of Foerster at the request of his court-appointed attorney Ed Stapleton, and the evaluation was filed in the court record Friday. The evaluation was filed under seal, and is not public.

Foerster has been under the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service from the time of his arrest Oct. 22, 2014, charged with one count of a felon in possession of a weapon.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/case-against-militia-members-continues/article_3b6d1eac-a114-11e4-8d9e-1b64d5004af5.html

Is a $41 million Alamodome Renovation Worth the Cost?

Depending on whom you talk to, the $41 million renovation to the Alamodome approved by City Council last week either creates an economic boon or is an example of San Antonio's misguided priorities.

The upgrade was part of the pitch that secured the men's college basketball 2018 Final Four, including the national championship game. Construction begins toward summer's end with completion planned for 2016, just in time to host the Notre Dame-Army football game scheduled for Veterans Day, according to Mike Sawaya, director of the City's Convention & Sports Facilities.

So far, the NCAA Final Four is the only big-ticket event planned, but Sawaya said San Antonio will place a bid for the College Football Playoff National Championship.

"That's the big one. It's a good prize," Sawaya told the Current.

Read more: http://www.sacurrent.com/sanantonio/is-a-41-million-alamodome-renovation-worth-the-cost/Content?oid=2375446

[font color=green]I consider the Alamodome to be a mess. The sight lines to the football field are poor and the sound system needs improvement. I doubt that a renovation will improve those issues.[/font]

Mexican University in San Antonio Receives Full Accreditation

The first Mexican university to receive full accreditation from the Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA), which means the U.S. Department of Education recognizes it as an institution of higher learning, is in San Antonio.

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) received accreditation last December.

"San Antonio has symbolized a tradition of academic and cultural collaboration between Mexico and the United States. Our mission is to support the success of Mexicans in the United States through the development of linguistic and cultural competencies," UNAM's website states. "To support bi-national understanding and integration through education, language teaching, cultural diffusion, academic extension, and synergy with other educational organizations in the United States."

UNAM offers English and Spanish classes, workshops and courses on different topics about the U.S. and Mexico, and during the summer, instructors teach courses designed for teenagers. UNAM places an emphasis on developing reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

Read more: http://www.sacurrent.com/Blogs/archives/2015/01/23/mexican-university-in-san-antonio-receives-full-accreditation

Parents Making More Than $3,760 a Year are Considered “Too Rich” For Medicaid in Texas

Though the Affordable Care Act has helped over 700,000 Texans get health insurance coverage thus far, there are many poor Texans who aren’t getting covered thanks to the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid. In fact, Texas has one of the highest populations stuck in what’s called the “coverage gap”: making too much to be eligible for Medicaid, but making too little to qualify for subsidized private insurance. Had the state expanded Medicaid, these people would have been covered, but for now, over 1 million Texans are being left uninsured.

A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows just how bad the coverage gap is. For those in states that are expanding Medicaid, people are covered if they make up to 138% of the federal poverty level per year. For a family of three, this means making $27,310 or less will qualify you for Medicaid coverage. In comparison, “Medicaid coverage in Texas is cut off for parents earning above 19 percent of the federal poverty level — or $3,760 for a family of three.” Any income higher than that scant amount leaves parents in the lurch when it comes to receiving Medicaid coverage for themselves. The threshold increases slightly for having more than one child, but it is still very low overall.

Among the states not expanding Medicaid, only one state has a lower cutoff than Texas: Alabama.

The Kaiser study also highlighted how bad the situation is for childless adults seeking coverage. Save for Wisconsin, no state that refused Medicaid expansion offers full coverage for childless adults. The minimum required income to receive subsidized healthcare on the marketplace is 100% of the federal poverty level. For childless adults making anything less than the federal poverty level, full Medicaid coverage is simply out of reach.

Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/29361/parents-making-3760-year-considered-rich-medicaid-texas
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