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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: 77,765

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

Wells run dry during irrigation season north of Lubbock

Nancy Hubbard doesn’t have any water in her well.

She hasn’t since April 11, when the cotton farmers near her home began watering their fields.

“Any water that gets into the house, we carried in, in buckets,” said Hubbard, 63. “It’s pretty much DIY out here.”

Hubbard lives on County Road 5800 outside the city limits, although she’s close enough to town that her address is Lubbock.

And she’s not alone.

Residents estimate about two dozen homes north of Lubbock are without water.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2014-04-26/wells-run-dry-during-irrigation-season-north-lubbock#comment-330813 .

[font color=green]The comments after this article are very interesting and informative as they deal with topics such as water rights, land speculation and federal farm subsidies. It's a good read for anyone living in rural areas where a municipal water supply isn't available and drought is a recurring issue.[/font]

Wise County JP among 4 killed in wrong-way crash, JP was driving the wrong way down highway

WISE COUNTY — Four people, including a Wise County justice of the peace, were killed Saturday evening in a crash caused by a wrong-way driver on U.S. 287 south of Decatur, authorities said.

Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Terri L. Johnson was the driver who caused the crash, said Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Haschel did not know her age.

At 5:55 p.m., a Volkswagen Passat was being driven south in the northbound lanes near County Road 4228 when it collided head-on with a Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Haschel said. Johnson was driving the Passat, he said.

Rescuers from Wise County EMS and the Decatur Fire Department responded to the accident. Johnson died at the scene, Haschel said. Three passengers in the TrailBlazer also died at the scene, and a 4-year-old was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth by CareFlite with what were described as serious injuries.

Decatur is 41 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

More at http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/04/26/5769673/four-people-killed-in-head-on.html .

Dallas Morning News: James Ragland and Steve Blow debate ruling on affirmative action

Columnists James Ragland and Steve Blow have long had casual newsroom conversations about racial issues. Sometimes they bring those chats into the pages of the newspaper. Last week’s Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action prompts another of their “Talking Race” dialogues.

Steve: Surely we can agree that affirmative action was never meant to last forever. And the Supreme Court’s ruling seems a logical and necessary step in bringing it to an end at some point.

The justices merely upheld Michigan’s right to end racial preferences in college admissions. If a state can begin such programs, then it ought to have the power to end them when it deems appropriate.

People will disagree on when the time is right. But the ideal we’re working toward is a day when race won’t work for you or against you in a job hiring or a college admission. Right?

Yes, Steve, in the hopeful words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we all should desire to live in a nation where folks “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Are we there yet?

Not by a long shot. Thus, the Supreme Court’s decision is a mixed bag. It allows some states to continue weighing race and ethnicity in admissions and upholds bans in other states. Yet it clearly fuels efforts to dismantle racial preferences.

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20140426-james-ragland-and-steve-blow-debate-ruling-on-affirmative-action.ece .

Daniel Bukvich: Symphony #1 In Memoriam Dresden 1945

I. Prologue
II. Seeds in the Wind
III. Ave Maria
IV. Firestorm

Daniel Bukvich (born 1954) is an American composer and percussionist. He has been a professor of percussion and music theory at the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho since 1978.

This emotional, contemporary work written in 1978 has gained widespread acceptance in recent years. Written in remembrance of the firebombing of the German city of Dresden, Bukvich combines the most traditional techniques with the most contemporary, including representational notation (in lieu of musical measures, the introduction of various instruments into the score are denoted by a timeline).

‘PayPal of India’ could change way of life for 1.3 billion

Cash is more than king in India. It’s crucial.

More than half of the country’s 1.3 billion people don’t have bank accounts, much less credit or debit cards.

That was the inspiration for Money-on-Mobile, a company based in Mumbai that’s being bankrolled by Calpian Inc., a publicly held electronic payments company based in Dallas.

Founded by Shashank Joshi in India in late 2010, Money-on-Mobile allows Indians to use simple-function cellphones and low-tech text messaging to shop and pay bills.

It’s being called the PayPal of India.

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/business/columnists/cheryl-hall/20140426-paypal-of-india-could-change-way-of-life-for-1.3-billion-people.ece .

This is why the Easter Bunny was never my catnip dealer!

A Message From Texas

The Amazon Tax Problem: What Collecting Sales Tax Costs the Online Retail Giant

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) has either made deals to or been forced by law to collect sales tax in a number of states -- sales for the site to households in those states have decreased by 9.5%, according to a study by researchers at Ohio State University.

The study also showed that the effect is "more pronounced" for larger purchases and that Amazon's loss becomes a 2% increase in purchases at local brick-and-mortar retailers and a 19.8% increase in purchases at competing online retailers.

If those numbers track out as Amazon either agrees to (or is forced to) collect sales tax around the country, the impact on business could be enormous (though less than a 9.5% drop in business because some states don't have a sales tax in the first place).

Amazon has been such a huge success that it has taken business away from traditional retailers and affected sales tax collection across the country. Tax collection in general has fallen more into focus as the so-called "Great Recession" lowered revenues across the board and caused an increased demand on services. That has led a number of states to evaluate their tax collection systems. Amazon has fallen under scrutiny because the site not only avoids paying taxes to the state (which hurts the state), but not charging sales tax gives the online retailer a pricing advantage over actual stores.

More at http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/23/the-amazon-tax-problem-what-collecting-sales-tax-c.aspx .

Greg Abbott releases tax return, pays 14% on a portion of income

[font color=green]Note: This story was published on April 15, but I didn't see it since I only had limited computer access during my illness. Wendy Davis did not release her tax records since she filed for an extension.[/font]

Attorney General Greg Abbott released this year’s tax return, showing he and his wife Cecilia earned about $191,000 in reportable income.

With standard deductions, the Abbotts’ reduced their taxable income to $100,000 and paid almost $14,000 in taxes.

The Republican nominee for governor also garnered approximately another $500,000 in nontaxable payments from a 1989 personal injury lawsuit that he is not required to report to the Internal Revenue Service.

The payments stem from a jogging incident when a tree fell on him, fracturing his spine and confining him to a wheelchair. He sued the homeowner and a tree care company to gain the annuity. Last year, Abbott released the settlement agreement.

The 2013 tax return shows the Abbotts’ gave a total of $6,650 to charitable groups last year. That amounts to 6.6 percent of their adjusted income, but – if the half-million settlement payments are included – the charitable giving is less than 1 percent of their total income.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/greg-abbott-releases-tax-return-pays-14-on-a-portion-of-income.html/ .

[font color=green]Republicans traditionally state that they are against funding government social programs with the excuse that charity should take care of the people that truly need it. So why can't Abbott be a good Christian and tithe instead?[/font]

1849 Mormon gold coin fetches $705K at auction

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A $10 Mormon gold coin fetched $705,000, and a $20 Mormon gold coin sold for $558,000 at auction this week.

They were the rarest of a seven-piece collection of Mormon coins made in 1849 that brought in nearly $2 million at an auction staged by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.

The territorial coins, put up for sale by a collector, went to an undisclosed buyer. Bidding ended Thursday night.

Tyson Emery, a coin expert at All About Coins in Salt Lake City, said coins and currency were scare when Mormon pioneers arrived in Utah in 1847, and the settlers began making their own coins primarily to buy goods from the East.

More at http://news.yahoo.com/1849-mormon-gold-coin-fetches-705k-auction-211428621.html .

[font color=green]Into Mitt Romney's vault to never be seen again.[/font]
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