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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

Department Responsible For Intellectually Disabled Tennesseans Flubbed Background Checks

The state's Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities failed to perform background checks on all of its employees and volunteers, and it didn't adequately safeguard the money and possessions of people in its care, according to a new audit by the state comptroller’s office.

A check of agency records going back to 2013 found several instances of background checks occurring after employees had started work — and in some cases, not at all. Auditors could not identify anyone who slipped through that was unsuitable, they said, but they warned that even one failure could have serious ramifications.

Auditors also found that records tracking the possessions of people in DIDD's care were easily manipulated, allowing one case of theft. They told DIDD to tighten up recordkeeping — even for inexpensive items that might have sentimental value for DIDD clients.

Altogether, the unusually lengthy audit runs to more than 200 pages, detailing ways in which DIDD could improve care for some of Tennessee’s most vulnerable citizens. It was the agency's first audit in four years.

Read more: http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/department-responsible-intellectually-disabled-tennesseans-flubbed-background-checks#stream/0
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 1, 2017, 01:09 AM (0 replies)

Are Dogs Brainier Than Cats? Yes, Says New Research Out Of Vanderbilt

Dogs have more cortical neurons, says a Vanderbilt researcher — but that doesn't necessarily mean they're smarter.
Reader Of The Pack via Flickr

The latest research from a Vanderbilt University neuroscientist has some potentially controversial findings, depending on your pet preference: Suzana Herculano-Houzel's team found that dogs have more neurons in their cerebral cortex than cats.

But does this mean dogs are smarter? Not necessarily.

First, the back story: Herculano-Houzel created a method of counting loose cells floating around in an animal's brain — "turning brains into soup," as she describes it. With this ability, she and other researchers started counting neurons across the animal kingdom — first in rats, then other rodents, then primates, now a whole slew of animals.

"If you consider that neurons are the basic information processing units of brains, then whoever has the most neurons should also have the most information processing capabilities," says Herculano-Houzel, whose team is publishing an article in the open access journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

Humans, they found, are clearly superior, with about 16 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for cognitive abilities. Her book, The Human Advantage: A New Understanding of How Our Brain Became Remarkable, delves into this topic.

Read more: http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/are-dogs-brainier-cats-yes-says-new-research-out-vanderbilt#stream/0

The dog in the photo doesn't know what is coming to him. Felines rule!!!111!!!

U.S. Supreme Court axes suit over Mississippi flag

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from an African-American attorney who called the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag “an official endorsement of white supremacy.”

The justices did not comment as they ended a lawsuit by lawyer Carlos Moore that sought to have the flag declared an unconstitutional relic of slavery.

Mississippi has used the same flag since 1894. It’s the last state banner featuring the Confederate symbol, a red field topped by a blue tilted cross dotted by 13 white stars. Critics say the symbol is racist. Supporters say it represents history.

Moore said Monday that he has received five death threats because of the lawsuit and three death threats because he removed the Mississippi flag from his courtroom after he became a Clarksdale city judge. He said he’s disappointed but not surprised that the justices chose not to consider the case.

Read more: http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/27/mississippi-state-flag-case-us-supreme-court-wont-hear-challenge/897564001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 1, 2017, 12:23 AM (3 replies)

Mississippi's SNAP program is being investigated for possible fraud

ACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Newly revealed documents show Mississippi has been under federal investigation for possible mismanagement of the SNAP Program. That's what most folks know as food stamps.

We've learned that it's the SNAP error rates that are the focus of this investigation. Those are not "fraud rates". They instead measure whether or not benefits provided to SNAP participants are accurate, not too high or too low. It includes errors caused by the state agencies and those by clients.

"SNAP is really one of the best and most efficient programs that the federal government has, said Mississippi Center for Justice Advocacy Director Beth Orlansky. "All of the benefits to pay for food comes from the federal government. It can be the difference between going hungry or not."

But this Civil Investigative Demand Letter discovered by Mississippi Watchdog indicates the feds are looking into whether Mississippi submitted fraudulent SNAP claim data.

Read more: http://www.msnewsnow.com/story/36957649/mississippis-snap-program-is-being-investigated-for-possible-fraud

Editorial in Texas State University student newspaper condemned as 'racist'

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – An article published in the Texas State University student-run newspaper is creating quite a buzz on campus and online. Many are calling the opinion piece, titled “Your DNA is an abomination,” blatant racism.

The author, Rudy Martinez, starts the article by saying he has only met a dozen white people he would consider “decent.” He continues by touching on white privilege and how white people don’t have to worry when pulled over by police officers.

“I see white people as an aberration,” Martinez wrote in the paper. The sentence is easily taken to mean that he doesn’t welcome white people; however, he says he’s talking about an ideology.

“The idea of whiteness and the way we currently understand it in which you have white privilege, you have our system of mass incarceration, you have a history of slavery in this country followed by Jim Crow. Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. These are all ideas born out of whiteness; they were born out of the minds of white people. So that, I do see as an aberration,” Martinez told KXAN.

Read more: https://kxan.com/2017/11/29/students-claim-editorial-posted-in-texas-state-student-newspaper-is-racist/

Non-profit agencies are moving the homeless into permanent housing

There are about 2,000 homeless people living in the state of Mississippi according to an annual report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. With the majority living in shelters, organizers are focused on moving them into permanent housing. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Stewpot's Matt's House is an emergency homeless shelter for women and children in Jackson. It allows the homeless an initial 14-day limit. During that time, counselors are working to assist them in finding long-term housing and employment. After 14 days, the resident must prove they're searching for work and housing or they are asked to leave the shelter.

Cambre Vincent is a native of Collins. She is a resident at Matt's House. Her fiance is a resident at another homeless shelter in Jackson.

"We had an apartment that we lived in. We left to come here for a job and it just didn't work out," said Vincent.

Vincent requested a two-week extension at Matt's House but if she doesn't find employment soon, she says she's afraid of what may happen to her family.

Read more: http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2017/11/29/non-profit-agencies-are-moving-the-homeless-into-permanent-housing/

Appreciation thread for Franni Bryson Franken

No matter what anyone thinks about the veracity of the various accusations against Al Franken, she has to be going through a difficult time seeing the media exposure about her husband of 42 years. The fact that we haven't heard any rumors about her seeking a separation or divorce says a lot about Al Franken's character and whether the person that knows Al best believes in him.

Here's to Franni--please think of her!
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