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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: 85,794

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

German Firefighters Work To Free Rotund Rat Stuck In Manhole Cover

A plump rat stuck in a manhole cover spurred volunteer firefighters and animal rescue workers to act in Bensheim, Germany, over the weekend.

Sometimes the lowly sewer rat is the target of shrieks, kicks and extermination attempts. And sometimes yesterday's vermin becomes today's vaunted victim, inspiring a phalanx of rescuers to come to its aid.

At least that is what happened over the weekend in Germany, where a firefighter-cum-corpulent-critter rescue crew worked to free the animal in a pinch with a manhole cover.

An employee with the animal rescue group Rhein-Neckar had tried and failed to save the rat in the town of Bensheim on Sunday, the Auerbach Volunteer Fire Department said in a statement. Realizing reinforcements were needed, firefighters were called in. No matter that they were responding to a "small animal" rescue call — they arrived aboard their firetruck, armed with equipment and decked out in full gear.

Operation rat disgorgement was underway.

At least eight firefighters encircled the manhole, taking in the animal's pitiful plight. The rat was secured with a loop at the end of the pole, then the crew propped up the cover, held aloft with wedges. The suspended rodent wiggled as a firefighter worked a glove underneath in an effort to gently pop it out. It took some maneuvering, but finally the rat was released.

Read more: https://www.tpr.org/post/watch-german-firefighters-work-free-rotund-rat-stuck-manhole-cover
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:49 AM (0 replies)

New Hope For Texas City's Bitmine

After grabbing headlines last August by announcing it would build the country’s largest bitcoin mine in Rockdale, Texas, the Chinese cryptocurrency company, Bitmain, suspended operations six months later and let go of most of its staff.

In that six-month period the price of Bitcoin, the virtual currency that is one of the company’s chief commodities, had plummeted by more than half. Bitmain reportedly shed staff globally and shut down a facility in Israel.

Bitcoin are created by slow, computer-intensive processes known as mining.

But now there may be another reversal in Rockdale’s hopes to become a cryptocurrency player. Milam County officials said the company will continue the project.

Read more: https://www.tpr.org/post/new-hope-texas-citys-bitmine
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:34 AM (0 replies)

Numbers Game: If Democrats Can't Turn Out Voters in the District 125 Runoff, the GOP Could Flip

Numbers Game: If Democrats Can’t Turn Out Voters in the District 125 Runoff, the GOP Could Flip Another San Antonio District

How do you turn a traditionally Democratic district Republican?

These days, the answer may be simple as calling a special election.

Last year, Pleasanton Republican Pete Flores flipped one of San Antonio’s state Senate seats after advancing to a runoff special election against Pete Gallego, the Democrat widely considered to have the election sewn up.

Next month, a similar situation could play out in a runoff for District 125, a Texas House seat representing Northwest San Antonio that was once considered dependably blue.

Read more: https://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2019/02/28/numbers-game-if-democrats-cant-turn-out-voters-in-the-district-125-runoff-the-gop-could-flip-another-san-antonio-district
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:23 AM (1 replies)

Court Says Jury Can't Strip Mongols Biker Club Of Its Trademarked Logo

The Los Angeles-based Mongols motorcycle club will not be stripped of its trademarked logo any time soon, after a federal judge essentially overruled a jury's decision to deprive the group of its collective symbol.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter in Santa Ana said Thursday that the jury ruling violated club members' 1st Amendment rights to free association and expression and their 8th Amendment protection against excessive penalties.

"It is beyond question that the Government has a legitimate interest in attacking the economic roots of a criminal organization like the Mongol Nation," Carter wrote in his 51-page ruling. But he said forcing the club to forfeit its rights associated with the symbol the group has used since 1969 "is unjustified and grossly disproportionate."

In January, a jury, in a first-of-its kind verdict, agreed with federal prosecutors to strip the Mongols of the logo – an image of a goateed Genghis Khan-like figure wearing sunglasses and a ponytail riding a chopper, below the club name. Prosecutors argued that the Mongols are a criminal gang and their logo is central to their outlaw identity which "they wear like armor."

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/02/28/699199078/court-says-jury-can-t-strip-mongols-biker-club-of-its-trademarked-logo
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:10 AM (4 replies)

Demand for legal marijuana in Illinois would far exceed licensed growers' ability to supply it

Demand for legal marijuana in Illinois would far exceed licensed growers' ability to supply it, a new study shows

Legal recreational marijuana in Illinois could drive demand as high as 550,000 pounds a year, far more than the state’s licensed growers can supply, according to a new study commissioned by state legislators.

The study, performed by the Colorado consulting firm Freedman & Koski, lends support to those who argue that Illinois’ fledgling marijuana industry should expand and diversify, allowing the participation of more black and Latino entrepreneurs — people whose communities have disproportionately suffered during America’s war on drugs.

“We have a whole industry that’s treating it like the gold rush, but you have generations of folks who are still living with all the impacts of what the criminal justice system did to them,” said Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights. “It’s unfair to discuss this in any other way.”

The possibility of full marijuana legalization has stirred up a robust lobbying effort from many of the state’s 16 licensed growers, who have said that absent proof to the contrary, they believe they are capable of meeting demand. Their industry group, the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, has said adding more cultivators could lead to a marijuana glut that would encourage illegal diversion.

Read more: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-illinois-legalized-marijuana-study-20190228-story.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 06:27 AM (9 replies)

Bernie Sanders coming to Chicago but won't endorse in mayoral race

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders returns to the city on Sunday on the first swing of his second Democratic presidential primary bid, but he has no plans to jump into Chicago mayoral politics.

Although his visit comes on the heels of the city’s first mayoral vote, Sanders told me Thursday he won’t endorse a candidate in the upcoming runoff between Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle. Meanwhile, in regards to his repeat run for president, he pledged to release 10 years of income tax returns, despite years of declining to do so.

Sanders, a University of Chicago alum, is starting his campaign reminding voters about his biography.

The Vermont senator attended Brooklyn College — not far from where he was raised — and headlines a rally there on Saturday.

Read more: https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/advance-chicago-swing-bernie-sanders-pledges-release-10-years-taxes/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 05:17 AM (7 replies)

Preckwinkle says Lightfoot's $200K donation to self undermines reform reputation

Lori’s Lightfoot’s decision to make a $200,000 contribution to her own campaign gave Toni Preckwinkle an opening Thursday to brand her runoff opponent as a “millionaire corporate lawyer” masquerading as a reformer.

Preckwinkle raised $5.4 million in Round One of the mayoral sweepstakes and has $4.7 million in the bank for the April 2 runoff. Lightfoot raised just $1.64 million and has $730,940 left to spend. But that didn’t stop the Preckwinkle campaign from trying to use Lightfoot’s $200,000 donation to herself to get down and dirty.

“Is this the type of principled reform Lori Lightfoot thinks Chicago is looking for? Where candidates can dump as much of their wealth as they want into a campaign instead of work to build grassroots support?” Preckwinkle campaign spokesperson Monica Trevino was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Corporate lawyer Lori Lightfoot doesn’t get it, because she’s a corporate lawyer who has taken the side of big special interests who would pay her big fees to do their dirty work.”

Read more: https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/preckwinkle-lightfoot-campaign-contributions-chicago-mayor-election-2019/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 05:07 AM (0 replies)

Legislators aim to expand access to 'clean energy jobs'

State legislators are proposing a bill with the goal of expanding access to jobs in the renewable energy sector and getting Illinois as a whole to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act, introduced in the Illinois Senate by Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, and in the House by Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, also aims to cut carbon emissions from the state’s power sector by 2030 and create steps to promote the use of electric cars and mass transit, instead of gasoline and diesel-powered automobiles.

House Bill 3624 currently has 35 sponsors and Senate Bill 2132 has 10.

Some of the bills’ provisions include allocating state money to new business tax incentives and workforce training in clean energy jobs. It would also give preferences to companies that implement ways to ensure equal representation in Illinois’ clean energy workforce.

Read more: https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190228/legislators-aim-to-expand-access-to-clean-energy-jobs
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 03:07 AM (0 replies)

Des Plaines River Bridge On I-80 Found Structurally 'Intolerable'

CHICAGO (CBS)– A day after a cracked beam was discovered in a Lake Shore Drive bridge, CBS 2 investigated another bridge in desperate need of repair.

Last spring, inspectors found the Des Plaines River bridge on I-80 in Joliet in such bad shape, it may need to close.

Several months later, nothing has been done to repair the issues.

More than 42,000 drivers drive across Des Plaines River bridge everyday, and the most recent inspection reports reveal serious safety concerns.

Read more: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/02/13/des-plaines-river-bridge-structurally-intolerable/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:43 AM (2 replies)

Illinois Students Could Soon Be Taught About Fake News

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois high schools students could soon be learning more about fake news.

A plan to add media literacy courses in high schools across Illinois is moving forward at the State Capitol.

State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D-Cicero, is driving the idea. She said young people need to learn how to read the news they see on the internet or on social media.

“Media literacy really aims at trying to be more cognizant of the kind of information that is out there nation-wide,” Hernandez said. “This information has been phrased as fake news.”

Read more: http://rockrivertimes.com/2019/02/28/illinois-students-could-soon-be-taught-about-fake-news/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:13 AM (0 replies)
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