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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: 83,350

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

Expansion of Karnes County Immigrant Detention Center Approved on Split Vote

KARNES CITY – On a split vote, county leaders approved a proposed expansion of an immigrant detention center located on the outskirts of Karnes City.

Three members of Karnes County’s Commissioners Court voted in favor, while two cast votes opposed to approving the request from The GEO Group, Inc. for the expansion that will roughly double the size of the facility, increasing in size from about 626 beds to about 1,200 beds.

Before a motion was made and the court voted on the item during a special meeting of the court on Dec. 16, they listened to a presentation and review of a recent negotiation between the county and GEO.

Jeffrey Chapman, an attorney representing Karnes County who specializes in contract law, negotiated several points in the contract with representatives of GEO.

Read more: http://mysoutex.com/view/full_story_progress/26282379/article-EXPANSION-OF-IMMIGRANT-DETENTION-CENTER-APPROVED-ON-SPLIT-VOTE?instance=local_area

North Side blaze kills 5, injures 10 (in San Antonio apartment building for seniors)

Source: San Antonio Express-News

Five people died and 10 were injured after a 3-alarm-fire broke out Sunday at a senior living high-rise in the North Side suburb of Castle Hills, authorities said.

The Castle Hills Fire Department first responded to the 6 a.m. blaze at Wedgwood Senior Living Apartments, an 11-story structure at 6701 Blanco Road that houses about 700 residents.

Approximately 47 units from the San Antonio Fire Department followed, along with other emergency responders from around the San Antonio area, including Balcones Heights, Leon Valley and Schertz.

At least one of the injured is in critical condition at an area hospital, according to San Antonio Fire Department officials. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, they said.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Fire-breaks-out-at-senior-living-community-5981971.php

Nearly 200,000 pounds of chorizo sold at H-E-B recalled

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled nearly 200,000 pounds of chorizo produced by San Antonio-based Garcia Foods, Inc., which is sold under the Hill Country Fare brand at H-E-B.

Due to "misbranding and undeclared allergens," approximately 190,450 pounds of chorizo is affected by the recall.

The pork products may contain peanuts and other known allergens, which are not declared on the food label or packaging.

The following products are subject to recall:

• Hill Country Fare Chorizo, 12-oz. vacuum-packed, raw pork sausage links with the establishment number 13205A written near the USDA mark of inspection.

• Hill Country Fare Chorizo 8-oz. vacuum-packed, raw pork sausage with the establishment number 13205A written near the USDA mark of inspection.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Nearly-200-000-pounds-of-chorizo-sold-at-H-E-B-5982081.php

Feds investigate RadioShack's handling of 401(K) money

NEW YORK — RadioShack Corp., which has seen its shares collapse as it fights a losing battle with big-box electronics stores and online rivals, is being probed by the U.S. Labor Department over its handling of employees’ retirement money.

The department wrote the Fort Worth-based company last month to say it would investigate its 401(k) plan from 2011 on to ensure it was following U.S. rules for retirement plans, RadioShack said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. At least three lawsuits have been filed against the company since then, it said in the filing.

RadioShack, as high as $78 in 1999, has dived from $18.56 in 2011 to less than 40 cents a share. It has said it might not survive as a “going concern.”

The plan had around $228 million of investments at “fair value” as of June. RadioShack shares in the 401(k) were valued at $3.5 million, off from $11.3 million a year earlier, the company disclosed.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/retail/20141225-feds-investigate-radioshack-s-handling-of-401-k-money.ece

Dancers who sued strip club Jaguars over wages agree to $2.3 million settlement

On Christmas Eve, a U.S. district judge in Dallas left a little something extra under the tree for some 190 women who spent time dancing in an all-nude Northwest Dallas strip club: a signed settlement worth $2.3 million, minus a sizable chunk of attorneys’ fees.

The small pile of money is the result of a three-year legal battle over that age-old question: Are strippers full-time employees deserving of proper wages or just transient part-timers — independent contractors — dancing for tips? The Dallas case, involving a strip club off Royal Lane and Stemmons Freeway that the city of Dallas is now trying to close altogether, ended like most of the lawsuits filed over strip-club wages in recent years — with the dancers collecting a settlement in the millions, but the club continuing to conduct business as usual.

“The clubs are losing these lawsuits all over the country,” says Houston attorney Galvin Kennedy, who filed the initial lawsuit, “but they keep doing the same thing.” Nevertheless, he says, the settlement is “good news for these ladies.”

In October 2011, three women — Erica Jones, Crystal Winter and Selisha Brooks — sued the statewide chain Jaguars Gold Club and its owner, Dallas-based Bryan Foster. (The chain was sold, but Foster continues to operate the single Jaguars Dallas on Stemmons.) The women, who danced for tips shared with DJs and house moms and managers and had to pay just to get in the door, said they were employees working far more than 40-hour work weeks deserving of a minimum wage and overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Jaguars, said the initial complaint, “refuse(d) to compensate them whatsoever for any hours worked. Plaintiffs’ only compensation is in the form of tips from club patrons. Moreover, Plaintiffs are required to divide their tips with (club owners) and other employees who do not customarily receive tips.”

Read more: http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2014/12/strippers-who-sued-jaguars-over-wages-compensation-agree-to-2-3-million-settlement.html/

[font color=green]Okay, this is my fourth thread about strippers in the Labor Movement group since October. Strippers of the world unite![/font]

Battleground Texas Runs into State Registration Laws

HOUSTON (AP) - The liberal-leaning group aiming to register thousands of new voters to help Democrats says Texas laws have made it harder to keep its volunteers eligible.

Battleground Texas expects thousands of its deputy voter registrars to lose their state certification at the end of this year.

Texas law allows registrars to serve two-year terms that expire at the end of even-number years.

Battleground Texas volunteer registrars will have to go undergo training before they can be re-certified to register new voters.

Read more: http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/Battleground-Texas-Runs-into-State-Registration-Laws-286836091.html

How The American Bourgeoisie Is Practicing Divide And Conquer To Keep People Poor

Are today’s “pauper patches” a threat to the bourgeoisie?

While reading The Field Guide To Fields by Bill Laws, published by National Geographic, I came across a revealing quote from an English Victorian era bourgeoisie landowner. It seems the bourgeoisie’s fear of self-sufficiency was very much alive in Victorian England. The parallels with the fears and tactics of today’s American capitalist class are eerie, and the working classes’ racial and political divisions fit well within a divide and conquer strategy.

What is bourgeoisie?

If you’re not familiar with the term bourgeoisie, it’s the Marxist term for the capitalist class that owns the means of production and gives laborers wages. We now have a sort of super-bourgeoisie group that doesn’t necessary produce anything. This ruling class mainly consists of Wall Street pinheads, big bankers, lawyers, corporate executives, and other heroes of the oligarchy . If you are one of these individuals, you are likely not reading this. If you are, your skin is thick and your wallet thicker, so I think you can handle a jab from a recovering financial representative.

Victorian “pauper’s patch”

Back to The Field Guide of Fields; at one point Laws discusses the history of field enclosures and allotments. In doing so, he writes of the “paupers patch,” which was an allotment of land most often used for gardens given to commoners in Victorian era England. He explains how the program wasn’t too popular as land owners feared laborers might steal seeds or not work as hard as they could. After all, how could they put sufficient effort into working bourgeoisie land when they had their own land to cultivate?

The quote

This direct quote from a landowner is revealing, “The extent of the garden of a labourer ought never to be such as to interfere with his employment as a labourer.” This seems to be the mantra of too many of today’s executives. The idea that the wealthy want people working for them is not startling. The tragedy is how much the working class still falls for the mind numbing gimmicks of those with the means. Self-sufficiency lost its glory when it was traded for wage slavery.

Read more: http://www.liberalamerica.org/2014/12/24/how-the-american-bourgeoisie-is-practicing-divide-and-conquer-to-keep-people-poor/

Crackpot Utopia: The Year in Republican Crazy, Part 6

Crackpot Utopia: A dream world as envisioned by republicans; a manifestation or expression of the deranged, warped alternate universe inhabited by republicans, at least in their minds.

1. And now a word about South Carolina!

There are a lotta nuts out there. Sometimes they band together and form whole states. When it came to all of that secession talk after the 2012 presidential election, South Carolina worked hard to not be outdone by fellow nut states Texas, Mississippi, and Alaska. Hell, they've even elected Lindsey Graham as one of their U.S. senators, more than once! And let's not forget that, at Fort Sumter, they started the Civil War, which for them has never ended. - See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/#sthash.8C5B1hjt.dpuf


2. Pat Robertson and his magic asteroid - (Crazyspeak of the Year nominee No. 6)

Any chance that the age in question is the Age of Republican Crazy?

Again, let us not think that the über-crazy Pat Robertson is some sort of fringe republican. No, this loon has quite a legion of followers within his party. In fact, he has frequently been put forward as "presidential material" in republican primaries and in discussions of top republican leaders. So, with that in mind, I give you yet another Great Moment In Pat Robertson. The man is a Crazyspeak Award nomination machine!


3. I'll have a pack of Twizzlers and an IUD to go!

2014 was the year that New York's reactionary Cardinal Timothy Dolan and his FOX "News" disciples, among others on the right, informed us that women can obtain birth control by walking into "any shop on any street in America."

This was all about the Hobby Lobby case. Hobby Lobby objected to a provision in Obamacare that said employers had to include contraception in their benefits packages. To Hobby Lobby, that ran against their religious beliefs and it was off-to-the-courts time. The idea that women might want birth control for health reasons was ignored, but, hey, they're women and there's a war on. Eventually, the so-called Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby

See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/12/crackpot-utopia-year-in-republican_24.html

How to talk to your Republican uncle at Christmas dinner

The holiday season is filled with food, traveling, and lively discussions with Republican relatives about politics — sometimes laced with statements that are just not true.

Here are the most common myths spouted by your family members who spend too much time listening to Rush Limbaugh — and the perfect response to each of them:

Topics (go to Webpage to expand on each topic):
2014: What happened and what’s next
Pay Equity: Simple dollars and cents
Economy: More than 10 million reasons why your Republican uncle is wrong
Health Care: Market-based, constitutional, and definitely not socialist
Climate: 97% of scientists vs. your Republican uncle
Immigration: No amnesty, just facts


My apologies.

Earlier this evening I posted a thread in the Lounge that was thoughtless and insensitive. I have since deleted that thread, but please know that it was not intended to cause offense to anyone and I offer my sincerest apologies.

To everyone, please have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
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