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Profile Information

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: 86,965

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

Federal judge sets hearing for February in lawsuit challenging Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage

A federal district judge has set a hearing for February in the lawsuit challenging Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage.

Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia will hear arguments on the plaintiffs’ motion seeking a preliminary injunction that would bar the state from enforcing the bans pending a trial.

The plaintiffs — gay couple Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes of Plano, and lesbian couple Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman of Austin — filed the lawsuit in October alleging that the marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution. The motion for a preliminary injunction was filed in November.

The hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 12 at the John H. Wood, Jr. United States Courthouse in San Antonio. Even if Garcia, a Bill Clinton appointee, grants the motion, the decision could be immediately appealed to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Defendants in the lawsuit include Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Bexar County Clerk Gerard Rickhoff and David Lackey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Service.

More at http://www.lonestarq.com/judge-sets-hearing-february-lawsuit-challenging-texas-bans-sex-marriage/ .

Cross-posted in LGBT Group.

When Compromise Looks More Like Sophie's Choice

By Carol Morgan

In 1911, industrialist Richard Teller Crane remarked that one who has “a taste for literature has no right to be happy” because “the only men entitled to happiness are those who are useful.” Railroad king Jay Gould believed that humans were expendable commodities. “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” Is any of this sounding familiar? Where the lowest and most immoral human instincts are concerned, the past is never really the past.

One hundred years later, we see this same philosophy of usefulness and utility; a Randian concept which holds a disturbing philosophy: Only those who PRODUCE deserve to live. The common man has been hypnotized to believe this is true. The decadence of our language proves this out. We attach the word “investment” to things that aren’t financial. We’ve commodified college degrees, childhood, blood plasma and human organs.

The concept of INO’s (in name only) is the grand deception of the millennia. In labels, we trust; but we shouldn’t. It’s not limited to political parties; it even pervades non-profits, those groups who supposedly work for social justice. The top thirty-four charity executives earn over a million dollars a year. It’s the outflow of the language of the corporate world, where we seek to “brand” ourselves and instead of writing down our dreams, we compose a personal mission statement. The era of M.E., Inc. a limited liability corporation.


It makes me ask the question: At what point does a Democrat cease to be a Democrat? When does a Republican cease to be a Republican? Is a Moderate anything really telling the truth or are they simply trying to appeal to the voter? When does a nonprofit cease to be a nonprofit? Do labels mean anything anymore?

The complete article is at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2013-12-11/when-compromise-looks-more-sophies-choice .

Judge rules Rosemary Lehmberg should not be removed as district attorney

4 p.m. update: District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg will remain in her position as the top felony prosecutor in Travis County, visiting Judge David Peeples ruled Wednesday.

Lehmberg hugged her supporters in the courtroom after the decision was read, shedding tears.

In closing arguments, Jim Collins, an assistant county attorney prosecuting the case, argued that keeping Lehmberg in office would harm the public interest. He said Lehmberg had a pattern of lying and was not managing her problems with alcohol.

On April 12, when she was arrested for drinking and driving, she was so drunk she could not walk and did not know where she was, Collins said. But it was not her single instance of intoxication, he said, pointing to receipts from Twin Liquors that he said showed she had spent about $8 on vodka a day.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/day-three-of-testimony-begins-in-rosemary-lehmberg/ncHfh/ .

14,000-plus Texans pick insurance exchange plans

AUSTIN, Texas —

About 14,000 Texans enrolled for health insurance in October and November on the embattled federal online exchange, nearly five times more than successfully navigated the site during its rocky opening month, but still a tiny tally for such a large state, according to figures released Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that Texas trailed only Florida and its nearly 18,000 signups over the same two-month period for the highest number of enrollees among the 36 states relying on federally run health insurance marketplaces.

In all, 14,038 Texans selected a plan between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, while almost 118,600 applied, seeking coverage for more than 244,700 people — including themselves and others, like spouses and children.

The numbers are improving from the site's problem-plagued opening weeks: Only 2,991 Texans managed to select a health insurance plan in October. Because the state has the highest rate of uninsured Americans — more than 23 percent — there's still a long way to go.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/legislative/14000-plus-texans-pick-insurance-exchange-plans/ncHkf/ .

Judge awards $80 million in New Mexico sand suffocation death

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A judge has awarded nearly $80 million to the family of a New Mexico woman who died in 2002 when a tractor-trailer struck her car and buried it in sand, suffocating the woman as teachers and students at a nearby school frantically tried to dig her out.

Laura Miera of Albuquerque had just dropped off her 14-year-old daughter at Jimmy Carter Middle School and was waiting at a traffic light when the semi exited Interstate 40 and came barreling toward her.

The Albuquerque Redi-Mix truck pushed her car to the curb, it rolled, and Miera was trapped as the semi's open load of sand poured on top of her.

Teachers, students and others on their way to the school tried to dig out the 48-year-old woman by hand. One counselor tried to comfort Miera as the car filled with sand.

More at http://www.elpasotimes.com/latestnews/ci_24696134/judge-awards-80-million-new-mexico-sand-suffocation .

Gold for Some, Coal for Others: Profit in Health Services

By Dr. Brian Carr


The offering from the Extreme Right is well-supported by those seeking profit in whatever system is adopted. As noted by a Department Chair of Family Medicine these ideas of how to dismantle 20% of the American economy have little basis in reality. He details the following points that do little for improving the lot of the common consumer:

“Eliminate the tax preference for employer-sponsored health coverage in favor of very large, tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs) giving Americans direct control over their health expenditures. Wow, I can see that one being sold to the 85% of employed folks under 65 who get insurance through their jobs.

“Guarantee renewability” to address the problem of people being dropped by insurers. Bet the insurers go for that without a mandate. If only Obama had asked for this instead of “getting rid of pre-existing conditions.”

Health status insurance as a hedge against “the risk that one’s health status deteriorates in the current period—and thus, that future medical insurance premiums will increase.” This is really complicated and a confusing explanation can be found here but the bottom line is your health status becomes a financing instrument, kinda like the mortgages did before the Great Recession. This allows the financiers to bundle your health risks and trade them on a futures market. What could possibly go wrong?

Eliminate mandatory benefits. For example, the federal government, to much fanfare, now dictates “mental health parity,” which raises costs by five to 10 percent, all by itself. Guess I’ll need to stop asking those pesky questions such as “Are you depressed?”

Eliminate licensing restrictions on health care professionals. We can import more docs from countries where the pay isn’t as good. They must be as good as those trained in America, right? Who needs English skills?

Loosen the noose of FDA regulations to ease the path of drugs to the market and reduce costs. This time, I’m just going use their words: The FDA might abandon its gatekeeper role and move to issuing the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping Seal instead, so providers and consumers could make informed choices for themselves.

The complete article is at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-12-10/gold-some-coal-others-profit-health-services .

West Texas Democrats having difficult time recruiting candidates for state offices

AUSTIN — For the first time in more than a decade, Texas Democrats have statewide candidates they feel excited about, mainly because state Sens. Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte head the party’s ticket in the 2014 election.

But for West Texas Democrats it’s the same old story. The party has a hard time recruiting candidates for state office — even for legislative seats.

With the exception of Abel Bosquez of Amarillo, who for the third time is running against Rep. Four Price in House District 87 in the Texas Panhandle and Ed Tishler, the newcomer in District 84 in Lubbock, all other legislative districts representing the Texas Panhandle/South Plains region have no Democrats taking on the Republican incumbents.

“Of course, I am disappointed,” said Jann Allen, chairwoman of the Randall County Democratic Party.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2013-12-10/west-texas-democrats-having-difficult-time-recruiting-candidates-state .

Irving jail staff knew diabetic inmate had no insulin before death

Irving jail staff knew that a diabetic inmate needed insulin hours, if not days, before she collapsed in her cell and died.

Two jail supervisors have been placed on paid leave while the city and district attorney’s office investigate the Nov. 3 death of Sarah Tibbetts, 37.

The medical examiner has not yet ruled on the cause of death. Nor have police responded to accounts from family and jail sources that Tibbetts, who took insulin daily to survive, did not get any during nearly 42 hours in custody.

A grocery store baker before her life began to fall apart several years ago, Tibbetts often lived out of motel rooms and recently lost her 12-year-old son to child services, according to her family.

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/irving/headlines/20131209-irving-jail-staff-knew-diabetic-inmate-had-no-insulin-before-death.ece .

[font color=green]My reaction as a type-I diabetic living in Irving: [/font]

Rep. Steve Stockman to challenge Sen. John Cornyn in Texas GOP primary

Source: CNN

(CNN) - Republican Rep. Steve Stockman is launching a primary challenge against fellow Texan Sen. John Cornyn.

The Senate's second-ranking Republican, Cornyn is up for re-election next year.

Stockman, a tea party favorite, told WND that he decided to challenge Cornyn in part because he “undermined” fellow Texan Sen. Ted Cruz’s fight to derail Obamacare.

"And now, it looks like Cruz was right and Cornyn was wrong. He [Cornyn] sided with the President, essentially, in making sure Obamacare became law while Cruz did everything possible to stop it,” Stockman said.

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/09/rep-steve-stockman-to-challenge-sen-john-cornyn-in-texas-gop-primary/

Another Yakety Sax Video: Emu on I-35 near Austin heads south for winter - until cops arrive

You can't blame this emu for heading south for winter — that's what birds do.

But it can’t fly. It can’t drive. It could hitchhike, but it doesn’t have thumbs.

Its only option is to head out on foot.

Until the cops arrive (and learned it wasn't a wild goose chase) .

Police officers had their hands full Sunday afternoon trying to wrangle an emu headed south on Interstate 35 near the interchange with the Texas 45 toll road in southern Travis County.

The video and the remainder of the story are at http://www.statesman.com/weblogs/all-ablog-austin/2013/dec/09/police-head-emu-headed-south-i-35/ .

[font color=green]I nearly hit an emu once in south Texas when I was out for a drive in the country. Therefore, this story does fall into the all things Texan category.


Emu chase
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