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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: 78,357

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

Man charged with hate crimes for targeting gay men pleads guilty to kidnapping, robbery

DALLAS -- A 24-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to federal kidnapping and conspiracy charges in a robbery scheme that used Grindr to lure gay men to an empty Dallas apartment where they were held at gunpoint, beaten and robbed.

Michael Jontedeion Atkinson faces up to life in prison for the kidnapping charge and five years in prison for the conspiracy charge. He had been charged with one count of conspiracy, four counts of hate crimes, six counts of kidnapping, one count of carjacking and one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Seven victims told investigators they'd used the dating app Grindr and met men who invited them to an empty apartment at a complex on Chariot Road in Buckner Terrace in December 2017, according to a federal complaint.

Dallas police began investigating when an eighth man was carjacked at a Mesquite Home Depot and forced to drive to the Dallas apartment. He escaped and called 911, then led investigators to the empty unit.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2019/03/28/man-charged-hate-crimes-targeting-gay-men-pleads-guilty-kidnapping-robbery

PETA Sues Oregon Health and Science Univ. For Not Releasing Video Recordings of Monkey Experiments

The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals today filed a lawsuit against Oregon Health and Science University over the release of video recordings of monkey experiments.

PETA argues that because the experiments are taxpayer-funded—made possible by publicly-funded National Institutes of Health grants—the tapes should be made available via Oregon's open-records law.

The lawsuit, filed today in Multnomah County Circuit Court, specifically seeks "the production of public records relating to maternal nutrition experiments conducted on mother-infant or mother-juvenile pairs of monkeys, and experiments relating to self-injurious behavior."

More specifically: experiments where researchers allegedly fed mother monkeys experimental diets, separated them from offspring and "deliberately frightening the young monkeys."

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/2019/03/27/peta-sues-oregon-health-and-science-university-for-not-releasing-video-recordings-of-monkey-experiments/

Pediatrician Paul Thomas Has 15K Patients--and He Tells Them the Measles Vaccine Might Cause Autism

Years ago, Paul Thomas stopped socializing with other pediatricians. All doctors, really.

"I avoid them because they give you that 'you dumbshit' look," he says. "They look down their nose at you like you're the scum of the earth. You can only expose yourself to so much abuse. Like, who needs this?"

Thomas, 61, is an Ivy League-educated pediatrician with more than 30 years of experience. He's built a robust Beaverton practice and is the author of an influential book.

He is also Oregon's leading dissenter from scientific consensus. He is on a crusade, one many Oregonians blame for reviving measles and sparking outbreaks of whooping cough in the 21st century.

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/2019/03/20/pediatrician-paul-thomas-has-15000-patients-and-he-tells-them-the-measles-vaccine-might-cause-autism/

Fill 'er up? Rural lawmakers want to see changes at the pump

SALEM — A bill introduced in the House would allow more gas stations to offer self-service pumps.

Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states in the Union that don't allow self-service gas stations statewide. Oregon lawmakers started chipping away at that prohibition two years ago, when they legalized self-service in counties with populations under 40,000.

But a bill that received a public hearing Wednesday, March 20, would take that a step further, allowing any gas station in Oregon to designate up to a quarter of its fuel pumps for use by customers who want to fill their own tank.

House Bill 3194 is a compromise solution to a sticky issue, explained bill sponsors Rep. Julie Fahey, D-Eugene, and freshman Rep. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles.

Read more: https://www.salemreporter.com/posts/626/fill-er-up-rural-lawmakers-want-to-see-changes-at-the-pump

Oregon OxyContin lawsuit remains on track amid massive settlement

Oklahoma on Tuesday settled a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma over the OxyContin manufacturer’s role in the over-prescribing of opioids leading to a national spike in overdoses. The lawsuit mirrors one Oregon has against Purdue, alleging the company targeted the elderly with misleading marketing ploys.

Oklahoma, one of about two-dozen states suing the makers of OxyContin, will get $270 million from Purdue.

Kristina Edmunson, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Justice, declined to comment on whether the recent settlement could have an impact on Oregon’s case.

Purdue and its owners, the Sackler family, have come under intense scrutiny as more information has come out about deceptive practices and hiding knowledge of the addictive nature of OxyContin while prescription rates skyrocketed. The scandal mirrors that of the tobacco industry in the 1990s, which ended in an unprecedented settlement where cigarette makers pay states in perpetuity.

Read more: https://www.salemreporter.com/posts/640/oregon-oxycontin-lawsuit-remains-on-track-amid-massive-settlement

Congressional Democrats launch investigation into Texas' botched voter purge

AUSTIN — The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating Texas' botched effort to purge suspected non-citizens from the voter rolls.

“We are disturbed by reports that the secretary of state’s office has taken steps to remove thousands of eligible American voters from the rolls in Texas and that your office received referrals for possible criminal prosecution based on flawed data about Texas voters,” U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat who chairs the committee, wrote Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a letter Thursday.

The committee is requesting a slew of documents from the Texas secretary of state’s office, including any correspondence with Trump administration officials and Paxton’s office. The letter notes the Congressional committee has broad power to investigate “any matter” at “any time.”

The secretary of state’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In late January, the office announced it had identified nearly 100,000 suspected non-citizens on the state’s voter rolls. Paxton announced the news on Twitter with the proclamation “VOTER FRAUD ALERT.” President Donald Trump also chimed in, wrongly claiming that all 95,000 people on the list were “non-citizens registered to vote.”

Read more: https://www.mrt.com/news/local/politics/article/Congressional-Democrats-launch-investigation-into-13724240.php

Killeen murder suspect who had bail set at $4 billion back in jail

NOLANVILLE — The Killeen man who became infamous after a $4 billion bail was set for him by a now-replaced Bell County justice of the peace was arrested again Tuesday night.

Antonio Marquis Willis, 27, was captured by the Nolanville Police Department after he fled from a traffic stop, Police Chief Dan Porter told FME News Service.

Willis, who was in the Bell County Jail on Wednesday, was charged in December 2017 with murder after he was accused of shooting and killing Donte Javon Samuels, 22, on Dec. 22, 2017. Samuels was found dead in his front yard.

Then-Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown took the opportunity to make a political statement by setting the record-setting bond for Willis, who is charged with murder. Brown said she wanted to prove a point to others who thought she set bail amounts too low.

Read more: http://kdhnews.com/news/crime/billion-killeen-murder-suspect-back-in-jail/article_e82e80fa-4bdc-11e9-aab6-a7791611005a.html

Beto O'Rourke hires Iowa caucus architect as state tactician

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa Democratic Party official is facing criticism for jumping to Beto O'Rourke's campaign — and bringing with him inside information that O'Rourke's rivals for the White House say could give the former Texas congressman an advantage on caucus night.

Before joining O'Rourke's campaign this month as a senior Iowa strategist, Norm Sterzenbach worked for the state Democratic Party to develop and implement some of the biggest changes to the nation's leadoff caucus in 50 years. Those changes include a mandate from the Democratic National Committee to hold a "virtual caucus" that, for the first time, would allow people to participate by telephone.

Party officials were blindsided by his decision to join the O'Rourke campaign, and some Iowa Democrats are arguing that Sterzenbach is conflicted. Former Rep. David Nagle, who led a team of more than two dozen Democratic activists and operatives in reviewing the caucuses after the 2016 election, said Sterzenbach had been involved in that process from start to finish. He said he and other party operatives were "very uncomfortable" that Sterzenbach joined a campaign.

"We almost feel like it's an act of betrayal," he said. "To design a system, and then the week you're giving your final advice to the party you go and join a presidential campaign and don't tell anybody?"

Read more: https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/texas/article/Beto-O-Rourke-hires-Iowa-caucus-architect-as-13724069.php

Two black candidates for mayor in Georgia attend meeting that bars white reporters

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Race was front and center on Wednesday night during a meeting coordinated to garner support for just one black candidate in Savannah’s mayoral election.

With signs stating “Black press only” on the doors of the church where the meeting was held, white reporters were barred from entry, while black reporters for at least two television stations were permitted inside.

The event was coordinated by the Rev. Clarence Teddy Williams, owner of the consulting firm, The Trigon Group, who declined to discuss the entry policy.

Former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson declined to comment before going inside, as did Chatham County Commissioner Chester Ellis.

Read more: https://www.amarillo.com/zz/news/20190328/two-black-candidates-for-mayor-in-georgia-attend-meeting-that-bars-white-reporters

Louisville lawyer wins $80M verdict against Monsanto over weedkiller Roundup

A Louisville lawyer has won an $80.3 million verdict for a California man after a jury found his exposure to Monsanto’s widely-used weedkiller Roundup was a factor in his cancer.

The verdict was won by Louisville products liability lawyer Jennifer A. Moore and another attorney for Edwin Hardeman, 70, who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after about two decades of using Roundup to kill weeds on his 56-acre property in Sonoma County, California.

The jury verdict was returned Wednesday by a federal court jury in San Francisco and could affect thousands of other suits against the chemical giant. The verdict included $75 million in punitive damages.

Moore, who runs a three-lawyer firm in Louisville {and chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party from 2007 to 2009}, said in a closing argument that that it was “reckless” and “offensive” for Monsanto to claim there was no evidence linking Roundup to cancer.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2019/03/28/monsanto-roundup-cancer-lawsuit-louisville-lawyer-wins-huge-verdict-80-million/3295421002/
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