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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: 77,627

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

Washington Senate approves REAL ID compliance bill

OLYMPIA — The Senate has approved a measure that seeks to bring Washington state into compliance with federal identification requirements.

Senate Bill 5008 passed on a 45-4 vote and now heads the House for consideration.

For years, lawmakers have struggled on how to best comply with the REAL ID Act, a 2005 federal law that requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they’re legally in the United States.

Washington is among just a handful of states that are not compliant with the law and don’t have an extension from the federal government, meaning that starting in January 2018, they’ll be required to show additional documentation for domestic air travel unless the Legislature acts.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-senate-approves-real-id-compliance-bill/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:23 AM (0 replies)

Seattle council member has plan to help workers save for retirement but Congress may kill it

For the past year, Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess has been working on a proposal to have businesses without retirement plans automatically enroll their employees in a city plan providing each with an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

In theory, the plan could enroll as many as 200,000 Seattle workers, Burgess says.

Joined by counterparts in New York City and Philadelphia, the council member successfully lobbied President Barack Obama’s Department of Labor last year for a rule change giving large cities legal wiggle room to implement such a plan.

But congressional Republicans are trying to repeal the rule change for cities and a related change for states.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seattle-council-member-has-plan-to-help-workers-save-for-retirement-but-congress-may-kill-it/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:19 AM (1 replies)

Superwealthy entrepreneur decides to go all out with property-tax plan to fight Seattle homeless-

Superwealthy entrepreneur decides to ‘go all out’ with property-tax plan to fight Seattle homelessness

In his State of the City address, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced last week he would ask voters to approve a $275 million property-tax levy to combat homelessness.

Murray cast the plan as his own, saying the city must double its homeless spending. Superwealthy entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, Murray explained, would help draw up the details.

Why Hanauer? The venture capitalist says his Seattle-based think tank brought the idea to Murray and has been working on it for the last year.

“We just decided we were going to do something, and no one can stop that. And once that bus leaves the station, people can get on or get run over,” Hanauer said in an interview.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/superwealthy-seattle-entrepreneur-pushing-property-tax-to-battle-homelessness/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:14 AM (0 replies)

Washingtonians turn out to help Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky

It was just supposed to be a couple dozen people for dinner at the home of Mark Firmani and his wife, Joy Portella.

Then word spread about the guest of honor, and things got completely out of hand.

“People we don’t even know were calling and asking, ‘Can we bring 10 people?’ ” Firmani said the other day.

And that is how a low-key visit to Seattle by Betty Cockrum, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), turned into a full-blown fundraiser for the nonprofit, which has been a favorite target of former Gov. Mike Pence, now vice president of the United States of America.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/life/lifestyle/washingtonians-turn-out-to-help-planned-parenthood-of-indiana-and-kentucky/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:09 AM (0 replies)

Arvo Part: Timeless to Me

[font size=4]At 81, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt walks his own quiet path, but has captivated the world into following him. [/font]

Fratres was a surprise—a shock, even—for a naive grad student in music to discover in 1988. Though by then we’d more or less stopped believing that Schoenberg-style twelve-tone composition or its later refinements were the One True Path, it was still an eye-opener—or ear-opener—to hear a piece so assured, so principled in its eschewal of surface complexity.

Even though it’s scored for the common combo of violin and piano, and even though its form is perfectly simple (inventive variations on a largely triadic chord progression, essentially the passacaglia form we’d all studied in music-theory class), Fratres was—is—like nothing I’d heard. Its extreme contrasts between intensity and quiescence leave expectations unmoored. In its severity and purity, it evokes the Middle Ages without sounding at all like that era’s music; it’s not mere pastiche, a time-travel tourist jaunt to a musical renaissance festival. In fact, its chugging sewing-machine patterns for violin seem to be lifted straight out of a Vivaldi concerto from centuries later.

How does it do this? “Chord progression” is not even an idea applicable to medieval music, whose conception and construction were entirely linear, but somehow Fratres suggests medieval architecture. Gonglike bass notes for piano, followed by stillness, separate the variations; these periodic emptinesses suggest space, open archways, stone pillars, with each variation a separate cell—a monastery, perhaps. The title, Latin for “brothers,” reinforces the reference.

The composer is Arvo Pärt, and the 1984 ECM New Series recording that shook me up, with violinist Gidon Kremer and pianist Keith Jarrett, was his introduction to a far wider audience than he had yet reached in his native Estonia, then part of a Soviet Union whose doctrinaire view of art was slowly thawing. But Pärt’s relative isolation had enabled him to develop a distinctive, even revolutionary voice, backed by a compositional technique of his invention dubbed tintinnabulation: a way of deploying the notes of a scale against the notes of a chord to create a subtly shifting interplay of dissonance and consonance. This technique, plus the courage to use notes sparingly when complication was the fashion, resulted in works of pared-down eloquence and, for many, spiritual profundity in an age when the gap between questing composers and reticent audiences often seemed unbridgeable.

Read more: http://www.seattleweekly.com/music/arvo-prt-timeless-to-me/

Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:37 AM (5 replies)

So You Wanna Be a Socialist? In Seattle, You've Got Options

A few weeks ago, tenants’ rights activist Jon Grant announced that he’s running for City Council this fall as a Democratic Socialist. Although he is not, technically speaking, a member of any political party — the affiliation is more a kind of “shorthand to describe my values to voters,” he says — his second-time run for a Council seat is couched in the belief that, in Seattle, anyway, “it’s not enough anymore to be an establishment Democrat.”

The events of the past year, and especially of the past few months, seem to echo that sentiment. November 8, 2016, was an enormous day for socialists everywhere, as those who’d long opposed the then President-elect rushed to take a stand.

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), for instance, has nearly tripled its membership since November, making it now the largest socialist organization in the country — not to be confused with the International Socialist Organization, which, according to the Seattle chapter’s website, is the country’s “largest revolutionary organization” (emphasis ours). The two groups have an active and engaged Seattle base, and yes, Seattle DSA membership “has exploded over the past year,” says local DSA member Andrej Markovčič. “Like locals all over the country, we’re seeing an incredible enthusiasm for socialist politics.”

Socialist Alternative (SA) — the party that helped elect socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant in 2013 — has also seen its ranks swell. “People’s interest in getting involved in mass movements in general, and socialism in particular, really has increased since 2011,” says Ted Virdone, an SA member for the past 18 years and a staffer in Sawant’s office. “The start of the Occupy Movement was a real turning point there,” followed by “a huge acceleration since this election.”

Read more: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/so-you-wanna-be-a-socialist-in-seattle-youve-got-options/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:29 AM (0 replies)

Former deputy arrested in Caldwell strangulation case

CALDWELL — A former detention deputy turned himself in for an attempted strangulation charge that reportedly happened Feb. 17 in Caldwell, according to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

Matthew Pond, 28, was placed on administrative leave Feb. 18, pending investigation results, after he told his supervisor about an incident that happened in his home. No further details on the incident were released.

A warrant was issued for his arrest Friday; Pond then turned himself in Monday evening and was booked into the Canyon County jail.

The sheriff’s office says the Caldwell Police Department is the investigative agency since it happened in its jurisdiction.

Read more: http://www.idahopress.com/news/former-deputy-arrested-in-caldwell-strangulation-case/article_112869e1-ede4-5dd0-ac1f-c1a630247d18.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:19 AM (0 replies)

Dolezal still making waves

COEUR d’ALENE — Things aren’t going well for Rachel Dolezal.

Last weekend, the Guardian, a British daily newspaper, reported Dolezal, 39, is unemployed, relying on food stamps to feed her family and will soon be homeless.

Dolezal has sought more than 100 jobs, but no one will hire her, the Guardian reported.

“She applied for a position at the university where she used to teach, and says she was interviewed by former colleagues who pretended to have no recollection of having met her. The only work she has been offered is reality TV, and porn,” the British paper reported.

The Guardian reporter interviewed Dolezal in Spokane, where Dolezal was living as a black woman in May 2015 when The Press published the first story questioning Dolezal’s ethnicity. At the time, Dolezal had risen in Spokane to positions of power as a black woman. She was president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, chair of the city’s Police Ombudsman Commission, and she wrote a column for a weekly publication — as a black woman.

Read more: http://www.cdapress.com/article/20170228/ARTICLE/170229783
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:15 AM (4 replies)

Idaho lawmaker pulls $10M Medicaid gap bill

BOISE (AP) — The chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee says his $10 million proposal to provide limited primary care services to Idahoans poorest doesn’t have enough votes to pass a legislative hearing.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Rep. Fred Wood, a Republican from Burley, said Monday that his bill will likely not move forward this session.

Instead, Wood told members on the Joint Millennium Fund panel — which doles out the state’s share of a multibillion-dollar class-action tobacco settlement — that the fund should no longer solicit grant applications next year. Doing so would provide possible funding for Idahoans who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to qualify for health insurance premium subsidies.

There have been no other proposals introduced this legislative session to address Idaho’s Medicaid gap population.

Read more: http://magicvalley.com/ap/state/idaho-lawmaker-pulls-m-medicaid-gap-bill/article_9b152b59-60a7-58f0-89c3-3b8d267fbc6d.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:06 AM (1 replies)

For 9 years, Idaho man plowed his neighbors walks. This year, it landed him in court

POCATELLO — The charges have been dismissed against a Pocatello man who gained national notoriety after being cited by police while plowing an elderly neighbor’s driveway.

Mitch Fisher was given a $206 citation for depositing dangerous material on the street on Jan. 4 while he was plowing snow from his neighbor’s driveway. The charges against Fisher were dismissed during a pre-trial conference on Monday. However, Fisher did pay a $75 fine, according to court records.

Attorney Paul Echo Hawk took up the case pro bono and negotiated to have the charges against Fisher dismissed.

“For what he was trying to do, I didn’t feel like he deserved criminal punishment,” Echo Hawk said.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/state/idaho/article135417669.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 04:04 AM (1 replies)
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