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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: 78,448

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

Feds reject Texas appeal for ice storm relief aid

North Texas has now been frozen out of federal funds to help recover from December's devastating ice storm that paralyzed the region for days.

The White House has denied Gov. Rick Perry's appeal for aid.

The governor had sent a long letter to President Obama asking him to reconsider the petition for federal funds and showing how much of the state was impacted by the storm that began December 4.

Perry detailed the extraordinary damage done by the accumulating ice as well as the financial burden of clearing the mess out of the way. The governor's office estimated the unreimbursed costs totaled $48 million, and argued that dealing with an ice storm of that magnitude isn't something that is budgeted for in this part of the country.

"We are disappointed the federal government disagrees with the need to help the Texans who were affected by this storm," a written statement from Gov. Perry's office said. "We will continue to work with local officials to determine the best steps moving forward."


[font color=green]Blame it all on Obamacare![/font]

Did Texas Leave You Out?

With ACA signups in the rearview mirror and the numbers ratcheting up to 8 million or so, much of the bluff and bluster of the GOP argument about ACA is evaporating just as quickly as this weekendís rains. Thatís cold comfort for the unfortunate Texans who needed health insurance and were ignored and left out of participating in ACA, even though they may have wanted to do so.

There was a lot of grumbling and resentment and the stubbornly-proud Texas declarations ďIíd never sign up for a handout anyway!Ē by those who were sandwiched in the dreaded coverage gap.

All the pissing and moaning was the sum of not knowing the facts combined with a bunch of star-spangled baggage blaming the President and Washington, instead of placing the blame where it belongs. Getting trapped in the coverage gap was because Governor Perry refused to expand Medicaid. His refusal to do so means 1.5 million Texans will miss out on coverage, including 49,000 veterans.

With Perryís cavalier decision, Texas has effectively left you some of you out in the cold.

If Perry would surrender his continued urination competition with Washington for the benefit of his fellow Texans, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of Medicaid eligibility expansion in 2014, 2015 and 2016; 95 percent in 2017, 94 percent in 2018, 93 percent in 2019, and 90 percent in 2020. Texas would need only to contribute 10 percent of the cost to help those in the coverage gap.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-04-21/did-texas-leave-you-out#.U1aXeJ0o75o .

NYC comptroller questions Texas oil company's NRA donation

ALBANY, N.Y. ó The New York City comptroller wants a Texas oil company to explain its chairman's reported donations of $1 million each to the National Rifle Association and conservative political action committee American Crossroads.

Comptroller Scott Stringer, investment adviser and trustee to the $150 billion city pension funds, is questioning "both the magnitude and the corporate purpose" of the Clayton Williams Energy Inc. donations. He says they also raise questions about the corporation board's independent oversight.

Stringer notes Chairman Clayton Williams Jr. and his family control 51 percent of the stock. Williams was Republican candidate for Texas governor in 1990.

A company spokeswoman declines to immediately respond to the letter, saying the Midland-based company has been closed since Thursday.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-04-21/nyc-comptroller-questions-texas-oil-companys-nra-donation#.U1V4JMLQf5o .

Ted Cruz has Spent More Time in Iowa than South Texas

It's no April Fools' Joke -- since becoming Senator, Ted Cruz has visited Iowa more times than he's visited the Rio Grande Valley.

Cruz took his second trip to the Rio Grande Valley as Senator this week, giving stump speeches in Harlingen and Laredo. During the speeches, he did not discuss immigration or border security, claiming that residents of the border region care about the same issues as Texans in other parts of the state. Instead, Cruz's stump speeches focused on criticizing the President and the Affordable Care Act.

By this point, Ted Cruz's presidential ambitions are no secret, and even Cruz himself seems to have given up the pretense. He's visited several key presidential primary states more than he's been to South Texas, preferring to advance his own personal ambitions over helping some of his most vulnerable constituents.

Since being elected Senator, Ted Cruz has spent a great deal of time working the Presidential campaign circuit. According to the Houston Chronicle, Cruz has made "four trips to Iowa, three to South Carolina and [has] a third visit to New Hampshire set for this month."

Construction of UT's New Dell Medical School Kicks Off

The University of Texas at Austin kicks off construction of its new Dell Medical School today.

In 2012, Travis County voters approved raising property taxes to help pay for the medical school and teaching hospital, which will offer community medical services.

The UT System Board of Regents has approved a $334 million dollar plan for construction. The Seton Healthcare Family has committed $295 million to a new teaching hospital Ė the Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas Ė to replace University Medical Center Brackenridge. Here's an overview of the partnership.

Construction will remake the Red River corridor; it has already closed a potion of Red River Street opposite the Frank Erwin Cetner Ė which itself is demolished in later phases of construction. The first medical student class is expected in 2016.

More at http://kut.org/post/construction-uts-new-dell-medical-school-kicks .

I'm just a Towel, but that doesn't mean that I'm disposable

I wanted to post this thread to thank everyone for the kind wishes during my illness and to fill in some of the gaps as to what occurred recently. Itís official nowóIíve been diagnosed as having manic depression. My overall health is in a precarious position now with diabetes, chronic anemia and various other hematological and endocrine issues. I am also having difficulty trying to obtain medical services as I continuously fall through the cracks of the multiple safety nets. While some of the words in the following paragraphs may seem boastful, Iím including this information to provide background and context.

I was blessed to attend one of the better universities on full scholarship. Within my first semester of college living away from my parents, I became self-aware and had my initial encounters with depression. One of my classes was an American Government course taught by an instructor that also taught the class on Marxism. The discussions focused on social justice and inequality so those causes have concerned me throughout my adult life. My depressed attitude related mostly to my awkwardness adjusting to social life in college after being raised in a fundamentalist Christian family.

I was able to keep my feelings of inadequacy in check by immersing myself into my academic studies, but I isolated myself from the social aspects of college for the first two years. I gradually stepped out of my shell and was accepted by my peers to enjoy the new opportunities that I created for myself. I decided to spend the summer between my final two years of college living off campus working as a pizza delivery driver and living with two other men in a rent house.

While living off campus was difficult financially, the more troubling aspect of those three months off campus was that one of my housemates was seriously disturbed. There were two occasions that summer when I was awakened by telephone calls from the local hospital asking me to pick up my housemate because of drug overdoses on Ecstasy. These were the first instances that I dealt with a suicidal person and mental health issues from a public health perspective. The only things I could offer were a shoulder to lean on and some financial leeway to help alleviate the financial burden on my housemate.

After I received my degree, I began work as a statistician at the Department of Insurance in Austin. I was fortunate to find a job in my academic major due to the tough economy in Texas at the time. About nine months later I was promoted to work on the Texas tort reform project and generally sympathized as an advocate for injured people that were harmed by corporate interests.

Within my first couple of years working in Austin I had to face another situation involving depression. My college roommate from my senior year called me one evening and he wanted to stop to visit so that we could chill out with each other. It was during the middle of the week so I was exhausted and I told him that it wasnít a good time to meet. The next day I received a phone call from a mutual friend that informed me that my former roommate had overdosed on liquor and pills. He was found passed out on the side of the highway and had his hospital pumped when he was admitted to the hospital. My friend survived the ordeal, but his parents sent him to Kentucky so I never saw or heard from him again. Since then Iíve felt a sense of responsibility for turning him away even though I didnít know his mental state when he called that evening.

During the 1990s my career in Austin had its highs and lows and I was occasionally depressed, but I managed to stay positive most of the time. However, there were two other acquaintances that also attempted suicide although I had never lived with either of them. At least I was proud of how my career was proceeding and I made suggestions to the actuaries that save nearly a billion dollars to Texas insurance consumers. I was also an officer in the public employees association so I have several friends that worked with the Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. I understood how those agencies were under-funded and that social services were declining, particularly during the years that George Bush was governor. Finally, after 13 years with the insurance department I left in 2000 to enter the private sector for a more lucrative career in the Dallas area at a property-casualty insurance company.

In 2002 I experienced some adverse health and became an insulin dependent diabetic. This was also when I started taking anti-depressants. My supervisors were impressed with my technical skills and I even noted a terminology loophole in a reinsurance contract that resulted in a windfall of about $70 million for my employer. However, at the end of 2003 the insurance company decided to liquidate and I was transferred to an affiliated information technology company in the same financial holding group. I was the lead analyst filing workers compensation financial data and kept assuming new duties as my colleagues were either terminated or went on disability after they could no longer hand the stress. Ultimately, I assumed the work of eight other people within a six year timeframe.

During 2009, the IT company started taking on new clients and I handled various programming and software testing tasks. I switched antidepressant medications over the years and diabetes took its toll as my weight ranged from 117 to 185 pounds (Iím 6í 1Ē). I was working 75-80 hours per week for months at a time, but the woman who was my new boss wasnít satisfied and began to micromanage me. In April 2010 she asked me to work on a project due the next day. I agreed to do it, but I requested permission to go home, eat and change clothes since I expected to be in the office until two or three oíclock in the night. Unfortunately, I broke my arm and made a face-plant on concrete so I didnít make it back to work that evening. I spent the next three months on short-term disability and received a horrible reception when I resumed work in July. There was no inquiry as to my well-beingójust the indication that she was aiming to run me out of the job.

I received my 10 year award at the job in September 2010 and then was terminated a couple of weeks later. In some ways I was grateful due to the stress of the job and being employed continuously for 23 years with nothing more than a week of vacation at any time. I knew that I needed a break for my mental health and since I received a decent severance package I stayed off the job market for awhile and assisted with taking care of my father who had Parkinsonís disease. I also had two oral surgeries to obtain dentures since my dental health had deteriorated and I was not presentable for interviews.

I was living with my brother who also has anger management issues and the situation was one where I dealt with verbal abuse and a some threats against my life. I also was hit by a vehicle while riding my bicycle and placed in charge of selling the family home after my father passed away. I handled the majority of the work consulting with the reader, staging the house, studying the local real estate market and reviewing contract offers.

I returned to the Dallas area in October 2013 and was fairly happy since I had my independence from my brother, my possessions and my cat. Within the first month I had resumed hunting for a new job and attempting to get into a clinic so I could receive financial assistance for insulin and other prescriptions, but I ran into a delay and could not get into a clinic until January of this year. Meanwhile, this winter presented the most adverse situations which did have an effect on my search for employment.

After going the medical clinic a couple times in early 2014, I received the first lab results from my blood tests in mid-February and learned that I developed chronic anemia. The next time that I went to the medical clinic I asked the doctor about applying for SSI disability, but the doctor said that they couldnít provide the documentation necessary for the SSI filing and referred me to the Parkland system in Dallas since I also needed other various health services. I had also stopped taking antidepressant medications several months earlier due to financial constraints and because I knew that changing antidepressants constantly and taking them on a start/stop/start/stop schedule was not good from a physical health perspective.

I contacted the Parkland system in mid-March, but fell through the cracks again since they were not accepting any new patients until April 1 due to changes in the ACA. Meanwhile, I was unable to pay my rent at the beginning of March and was forced out of my apartment by mid-March so I went to stay at the home of one my friends from college for three weeks. After experiencing the stress of homelessness, unemployment and multiple health issues I couldnít handle the hopelessness anymore so on Friday, April 4 I gave up and overdosed on 38 hydrocodone pills. I spent five days in the hospital and then was discharged to a homeless shelter in Dallas where I spent about a week. Iíve moved back with my brother, but the situation is already getting tense after just a few days as I retrieved my possessions this weekend. I donít know if Iíll every be reunited with my pet cat which has been my family for the past three years.

I kept asking myself why I deserved such a fate. While I made many mistakes in my life, I also felt that I treated other people decently and tried to help others to the fullest extent possible. I made significant contributions in the public and private sectors when I was employed and was sympathetic to people less fortunate than myself.

Needless to say I burned some bridges along the way and may end up losing my closest friend that Iíve known for nearly three decades, but in a number of ways it looks like my life is over at the age of 48. Will I ever be able to make a meaningful contribution to society ever again? Is the rest of my life going to be relegated to homeless shelters and psychiatric hospitals?

Over the next few days Iím hoping to get some help from SSI disability due to my medical conditions. Iím just a towel, but that doesnít mean that Iím disposable. From what I saw at the homeless shelter there are plenty of other people in similar situations. What does it say about our society when so many people are left behind? There are plenty of people that want to be employed and contribute to society but for various reasons have fallen through the cracks of the social safety net. Are those people disposable too?

I know that this thread is vastly different from the cut-and-paste threads that I regularly post. However, I wanted to share this message so it may help others. It also illustrates that even among those who are considered to be productive and successful that adversity sometimes kicks us to the curb. For now I am a risk, but in a slightly safer place than a homeless shelter. In the meantime, Iím trying to find hope, make small steps one day at a time, obtain medical help and reunite with my pet cat. So DU, thanks for letting me have this rant.

Cure for Cellphone Addiction


The Obamacare Disaster

By Nick Anderson

Noo Roolz Fur Eestr

1 Then Ceiling Cat spoked all them werds:

2 I iz Ceiling Cat An I iz Top Cat, An I broughted u out of hawt litturbawx wit no cheezbrgrs for hard mousin at all

3 No can has other ceiling cat!! U gotz other Ceiling Cat, I shoot yous wit mah lollazer eyes. Srsly.

4 If u try be Ceiling Cat of any of mai creayshunz up in floaty skai, down in erth or in watr or I shoot yous wit mah lollazer eyes.

5 If u think faek Ceiling Cat iz Ceiling Cat, I mek u ded An ur kittenz ded An if yur kittenz have kittenz, dey be ded too, for being stupid and stuffs.

6 If not I wuv u An all ur lotz uf kittenz!

7 U sez Ceiling Cat bad, I shoot yous wit mah lollazer eyes, cuz I dun liek it. Srsly.

8 Remembur Caturday An keep holy.

9 U ketch mousies 6 dais An finish ketchin, K?

10 Caturday, u no ketchin mousies. U An all ur peepz go wrship me. And, if yu beez gudd, I maks it so yu can stays home and do alla stuffs yu wanted tu doos.

11 I maded heavenz An erth An see An the stuff that does teh funney hoppey stuffz in An on it - so I make it holy cuz I no ketch mousies.

12 Bez u good to papa kitteh An mama kitteh so u has long nine liefs.

13 U no maek peepz ded with teh malice! Srsly!

14 U no maek sexxes wit other gurlz or menz than urs (that mi jobz!).

15 U no taek cheezburgerz for free if not getz for free.

16 U no tell bad stuff ov ur neibor.

17 U no wantz neibor cheezburgerz! No wief, no gurlz, no menz, no abimalz, NO BUKKITZ! DEY NOT UR BUKKITZ, K? dey da LOLrus' bukkits.

18 When peepz see mai great orkestr wit thundr An all cool speshul effects thei wur scairdey wimps

19 Thei sed to Mozus 'U goez speek to uz An we will listen; but Ceiling Cat will shoot us wit His lazer eyes!'

20 Mozus LOL'd lotz, An a bit moar, for thei wuz such scairdies, An sed 'Ceiling Cat no maek u ded; he just wantz to hav fun wit u gais An maek u scairdey cats so u obei him.'

21 But peepz wur still scairdies An let Mozus go ther to Ceiling Cat.

Ceiling Cat roolz for idles an alters

22 Ceiling Cat sez "Tellz them scairdies: 'U see I meowed to u from big ceilingz.

23 U no mek me of silvar or goldz.

24 U mek me altar of kitteh-litturz An gif me pwnz0rzed animulz ther An I gif u cheezburgr.

25 But u no maek me altar of bjutiful stonez. DO NOT WANT!

26 An u no use steps on altar or I can see ur penises. DO NOT WANT!"


Keeping Busy?

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