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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: 78,324

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

Government class instruction comparing Obama to Hitler draws public ire in Baldwin County

A controversial reading list was pulled after complaints from parents at Spanish Fort High School.

Complaints about a politically divisive curriculum taught by a Spanish Fort high school government instructor continued to surface before the Baldwin County School Board on Thursday.

The latest concerns, expressed during the board's monthly meeting in Bay Minette, focused on classroom instruction that allegedly included comparisons of President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and criticism about government social welfare programs leading to "the nation's downfall."

Others claimed the AP Government class taught by Gene Ponder involves outdated materials and blogs to back up political claims, and utilizes non-scientific reasoning on issues such as gun control.

"This is not a small group of students misinterpreting or challenging a viewpoint," said Julia Coccaro, the high school student who first raised concerns about Ponder's choice of right-wing authors and celebrities in a summer reading list last year. That same list was pulled by the school system in June.

Read more: http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2018/01/post_131.html#incart_river_home_pop

Governor candidate Walt Maddox says he'll expand Medicaid, pass lottery

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox made official today what he had announced in October, he intends to become the first Democrat elected governor of Alabama in 20 years.

Maddox filed his papers this afternoon and paid the $2,418 qualifying fee at the state Democratic Party headquarters in Montgomery.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and James Fields of Cullman are also running for the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, Gov. Kay Ivey, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, state Sen. Bill Hightower of Mobile and Michael McAllister have qualified. Evangelist Scott Dawson is also running for the GOP nomination.

Read more: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/01/governor_candidate_walt_maddox.html#incart_most-comments

What will Trump decide about proposed super merger of Bayer and Monsanto?

The President of the United States is the most powerful position in the world and that is doubly true when we are talking about approving the mergers of mega corporations. Monopolies including Standard Oil, the Northern Securities Company, IBM, and AT&T have all been broken up by federal regulators.

While President Theodore Roosevelt (R) and Howard Taft (R) broke up a combined 135 trusts, more recent Presidents have been much more reluctant to interfere with corporations. In the banking crisis of 2008, rather than break up the large financial corporations that were largely responsible for the banking and securities crisis the government adopted a “too big to fail” mantra and actually used taxpayer money to prop-up and in many cases increase the footprint of the multi-national mega-banks. As critical as banking is to the economy; it is not food. President Donald J. Trump (R) is in the unenviable position of have in decide whether or not two of the world’s largest multinational agricultural firms, Bayer and Monsanto, may merge their global agro-chemical and seed business.

President Trump has yet to take a position on what is being increasingly called “the most far-reaching merger in the modern history of agriculture.”

On Monday Newsmax asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders what the President’s position was on the merger. Secretary Sanders told Newsmax: “I haven’t spoken to him on that. I’ll have to get back to you.”

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/01/25/will-trump-decide-proposed-super-merger-bayer-monsanto/

House Democrats push for better education, healthcare and ethics in Legislative agenda

Alabama House Democratic Caucus leaders said Wednesday that they will be introducing a series of bills in the coming weeks to back up a broad agenda that focuses on a wide range of issues.

From education, workforce development, healthcare and prison reform, to fighting the opioid epidemic, increasing funding for mental health coverage and ending corruption, Democrats say they are focused on an ambitious but doable agenda, though they offered few specifics.

“As a state, we are facing enormous challenges.,” said House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, R-Huntsville. “How will we ensure that every student gets a first-class education from birth to college, trade school and beyond? How do we address the thousands upon thousands of children without health insurance? How do we address our closing hospitals?”

Daniels and several other members of the Democratic Caucus outlined their agenda in a press conference Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/01/25/house-democrats-push-better-education-health-care-ethics-legislative-agenda/

Roy Moore collects funds for legal defense

Former GOP U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore established a fund to pay for legal battles he will soon face in court regarding a recent defamation suit by Leigh Corfman, who accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 14 years old.

The Washington Post reported that Moore pursued relationships with teenagers while he was a 30-year-old assistant district attorney in Etowah County four weeks before the election. Corfman said in the story that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a 14 year old in the late 1970s.

Moore and his campaign denied both allegations and said the report was a coordinated effort by Washington Establishment figures and the newspaper.

Corfman, in her lawsuit against Moore and his campaign, said that Moore’s comments about her caused emotional distress and that she had to take a leave of absence from her job for the duration of the Senate election.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/01/26/roy-moore-collects-funds-legal-defense/

Senate moves to cut back unemployment benefits

Those who receive unemployment benefits may soon lose that safety net much sooner under a bill approved by the Alabama State Senate Thursday.

The Senate approved a bill that would reduce the number of weeks someone can draw unemployment compensation by nearly half under current economic situations.

Under existing law, those who are unemployed can receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks.

The bill approved Thursday would cut that normal maximum back to 14 weeks if the state maintains a low unemployment rate, though the system is flexible depending on the average state unemployment rate and the rate in the county where the individual lives.

Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, the bill’s sponsor, said the move will bring Alabama in line with other Southeastern states that have recently adjusted the way unemployment compensation programs in their states are handled and could offer an “incentive” for unemployed workers to get back in the workforce sooner.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/01/26/senate-moves-cut-back-unemployment-benefits/

Gay candidate barred from running for sheriff by Alabama GOP

ATHENS, Ala. -- A gay businessman and one-time police officer who is married to another man says GOP leaders in a north Alabama county refused to let him run for sheriff after a review that included questions about his sexual orientation.

Jason White told the News-Courier of Athens that members of the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee voted Tuesday to deny his bid for sheriff in a decision he believes is linked to the fact he is gay.

"I think it is obvious," he said.

White, 40, said he now plans to run for sheriff as an independent, and Republicans must find another candidate if they want an opponent for longtime incumbent Mike Blakely, a Democrat.

"I'm disappointed, but I'm not deterred," said White, who spent 22 years in law enforcement and co-owns a private security company in Huntsville.

Read more here: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/nation-world/national/article196576344.html

He bagged a record-setting 278-point buck in North Texas. It'll cost him $53,000

Denton County -- On Oct. 8, 2017, it was all smiles for Aubrey's Travis D. Johnson, when he posed with his latest kill.

It appeared to be a record-setter, but now it will come with an asterisk: poached.

Johnson pleaded no contest Monday to illegally taking the 278-point whitetail buck and was sentenced to two years of probation and 40 hours of community service in a deferred adjudication agreement. He is prohibited from buying a hunting license during the deferred adjudication period and also faces $53,000 in civil restitution fines from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The "278-point" designation is according to the Boone & Crockett scoring system.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article196808679.html

HIV is Spreading Among Clueless Young Adults Who Aren't Getting Tested

Young people seem to be less likely to get tested for HIV than older adults, and a new study now reveals the reasons why.

In the United States, 38.8 percent of women and 53.8 percent of men aged 15 to 44 reported they had never been tested for HIV outside of donating blood or blood products between 2011 and 2015, according to a new study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Statistics Reports on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Yet, among those 15 to 24, the percentage who reported they had never been tested soared to 63.9 percent of women and 73.7 percent of men.

The most common reason reported by women and men for having never been tested was that they thought they were “unlikely to have been exposed to HIV,” according to the study.

Read more: http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2018/01/hiv-is-spreading-among-clueless-young-adults-who-arent-getting-tested/

Harvard's Endowment Is Profiting From Puerto Rico's Debt as the Island's Schools Face Crippling Cuts

Members of the Puerto Rican diaspora have joined student activists and financial reform groups in a weeklong campaign to target university endowments profiting from Puerto Rican debt.

At Harvard University on Wednesday, the coalition called on the institution’s $37 billion endowment, the world’s largest, to divest from its $2 billion commitment with the Baupost Group. In October, The Intercept identified Baupost, a Boston-based hedge fund managed by billionaire Seth Klarman, as a large holder of one type of Puerto Rican debt. The fund had been hiding $911 million in COFINA bonds, a debt instrument backed by sales tax receipts, through a shell corporation named Decagon Holdings.

A disclosure last week from the COFINA bondholders said that Baupost’s investment had increased to $931 million. Klarman has consistently dismissed cries for debt cancellation for Puerto Rico, saying the island would be better off in the long run repaying its debts. Baupost bought the bonds on the cheap and would reap a huge payday if paid back at face value.

Klarman is a major GOP donor and supporter of the charter school movement; he is also an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.

Read more: https://theintercept.com/2018/01/25/harvards-endowment-is-profiting-from-puerto-rican-debt-as-the-islands-schools-face-crippling-cuts/
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