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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 88,981

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

Austin Abortion Clinic Reopens After Supreme Court Ruling. Will Any More Follow?

Nearly one year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck two major provisions from Texas’ sweeping anti-abortion law, the clinic at the center of the case is emerging from what its staff call the “Age of Uncertainty.”

Whole Woman’s Health will reopen its Austin clinic to patients this week for the first time in three years — the second to do so since Texas’ House Bill 2 forced more than half the abortion clinics in the state to close. The only other to reopen, Northpark Medical Group in Dallas, quietly began seeing patients in February. A Planned Parenthood clinic in Waco obtained a state license but hasn’t resumed services.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that two core provisions of the 2013 law — a requirement that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and another that facilities meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers — created an undue burden on abortion access. Despite ongoing legal challenges, the admitting privileges requirement was allowed to continue nearly uninterrupted until the Court deemed it unconstitutional three years later.

The 2016 decision stopped other states from pushing forward similar legislation, but in Texas, the damage was already done. About two dozen of the state’s 44 abortion clinics closed their doors since fall 2013.

Read more: https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-abortion-clinic-reopens-supreme-court-ruling-will-any-more-follow/

Texas House to debate tax cut that would hit public schools

The Texas House will debate a tax phase-out on Thursday that would likely thrill business owners while cutting funds for public schools.

House Bill 28, authored by state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, would cut the unpopular “franchise tax” paid by businesses. The proposal would not reduce the tax during the current penny-pinching legislative session, but it would do so in future years.

Ultimately, Bonnen’s proposal seeks to eliminate the franchise tax, which brings in nearly $8 billion every two-year budget cycle, altogether. According to the Texas Comptroller’s office, about $1.8 billion of that money goes to the Property Tax Relief Fund, which pays for public schools.

While in later years the tax cut would affect the entire state budget, in the first few years under Bonnen’s proposal, that funding would come directly from the Property Tax Relief Fund. “At first, it’s coming exclusively out of schools,” said Dick Lavine, a fiscal analyst with the liberal-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/04/27/texas-house-debate-tax-cut-would-hit-public-schools/

Role reversal: In custody trial, Kelly Jones is the Infowarrior and Alex Jones the status quo

Good Wednesday Austin:

The Travis County courtroom where the Alex Jones-Kelly Jones child custody trial is taking place is very small.

The first few days of the trial I sat hugging the back wall to be close to an outlet where I could keep my laptop plugged in.

But then Judge Orlinda Naranjo last Wednesday ordered all the electronics in the courtroom unplugged, and distributed yellow pads and pens to reporters in attendance.

Thus liberated from my electronic umbilical cord, I crept forward in the courtroom, which is only a few rows deep, and the last several days have sat front row center, giving me a direct view of Alex Jones, seated about two feet away.

Read more: http://politics.blog.mystatesman.com/2017/04/26/role-reversal-in-custody-trial-kelly-jones-is-the-infowarrior-and-alex-jones-the-status-quo/

Lockheed Martin receives contract for F-35 Block 3F upgrade

April 26 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has received a $109 million contract to deliver modification kits for a Block 3F software upgrade to F-35 Lightning II

The upgrade includes aircraft under the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and international partners. It includes 567 modification kits as well as labor costs for contractors performing the installation and maintenance.

The Block 3F software was recently tested in the dropping of a GBU-12 Paveway II precision guided bomb on April 22nd. The targeting system that is part of the upgrade is designed to be more autonomous and help reduce the pilot's workload.

Two F-35A Lightning II fighter planes have been deployed to Estonia in the last week, with a support crew of 20 airmen. The planes will be based out of Amari airbase.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2017/04/26/Lockheed-Martin-receives-contract-for-F-35-Block-3F-upgrade/5071493238477/

Flier Spotted At Montrose Bus Station Encourages LGBT People To Commit Suicide

A Metro rider says he spotted an anti-gay flier affixed to a bus shelter at Westheimer and Stanford in Montrose on Sunday night.

The 54-year-old man, who asked to remain anonymous, snapped a photo of the flier and sent it to OutSmart. The flier, shown above and below, says “Follow Your Fellow Faggots” in large letters above statistics about suicide rates in the LGBT community, as well as a drawing of a person hanging from a noose with a rainbow-colored heart on his chest. At the bottom is a logo and the words “Fascist Solutions.”

The man said he was waiting to board the 82 Metro bus to his home in Southwest Houston after a night at the bars in Montrose when he noticed the flier. He said it was one of two offensive fliers on the bus shelter on the north side of Westheimer, describing the other as “an appeal to racial purity.”

“Needless to say, it was a little unsettling,” said the man, who’s African-American. He added that he didn’t tear down the fliers because he was worried someone might be watching.

Read more: http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2017/04/flier-spotted-at-montrose-bus-station-encourages-lgbt-people-to-commit-suicide/

University of Houston Students Rally Against Anti-LGBT Bills

Dozens of University of Houston students gathered outside the MD Anderson Library on campus Tuesday morning to protest anti-LGBTQ bills in the Texas Legislature.

They were joined by representatives from the Texas Freedom Network, GLAAD, Indivisible Houston and other pro-LGBTQ groups for the “Texas Students Against Hate” rally.

More than 25 anti-LGBTQ proposals have been introduced in the 85th Legislature, including Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 2899, two anti-transgender “bathroom bills.”

“Today we’re here to stand up against any anti-equality, anti-LGBTQ legislation, specifically SB6 and these kinds of anti-trans rhetoric and bills that are creating a backlash against the LGBTQ community,” said Rachel Clark, a member of the UH chapter of Texas Rising, a project of the Texas Freedom Network.

Read more: http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2017/04/uh-students-rally-against-anti-lgbt-bills/

Where did the Great Salt Lake's methylmercury go?

April 25 (UPI) -- Several years ago, mercury levels in Great Salt Lake waterfowl were high enough to warrant a human consumption advisory for ducks -- a rarity. Levels of toxic methylmercury were also high.

Today, mercury levels in wetlands and local wildlife remain elevated, but the methylmercury is mostly gone.

As explained in a study, researchers aren't exactly sure where the methylmercury went or what's to blame for elevated mercury levels in local wetlands.

The Great Salt Lake is dissected by a railway. The line divides the lake into two parts. The north arm of the lake has no natural inflow, and exchange of water between the north and south arms is limited to a pair of culverts built into the causeway.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/04/25/Where-did-the-Great-Salt-Lakes-methylmercury-go/3281493147741/

Healthcare battle may delay Title III bankruptcy for Puerto Rico

An adviser to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said on Wednesday the distressed U.S. territory would not necessarily file for bankruptcy if it failed to reach a debt restructuring deal with creditors before Monday's negotiating deadline.

"It depends on legal actions, if (creditors) go after our officials,” Elias Sanchez, Rossello’s liaison to Puerto Rico’s federal financial oversight board, told Reuters at an event in Washington where Rossello spoke. “Maybe, but maybe not, too.”

Sanchez’s comments were the latest indication Puerto Rico's leadership does not view bankruptcy as the immediate certainty that many experts and people involved in the talks expect.

Under the federal Puerto Rico rescue law, PROMESA, Puerto Rico has until Monday to negotiate with stakeholders on a plan to reduce its crushing $70 billion debt load, or else open itself to lawsuits from creditors.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-puertorico-debt-bankruptcy-idUSKBN17T064?il=0

Time For The Democrats To Use Paul Ryan To Win Elections-- Montana

Paul Ryan's SuperPAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, has continued spending immense sums of money to prop up weak Republican candidates. Ryan spent millions on ineffective, counterproductive attack ads in GA-06 even before the GOP had a candidate, spent several hundred thousand dollars in KS-04 and is rapidly approaching the million dollar mark in Montana. Today Ryan's sleazy corporate-financed SuperPAC announced it would pour another $3.5 million into GA-06, bringing the total to $6.5 million, the most any outside group has ever spent in a congressional race anywhere. And Trump is headlining a fundraiser in Atlanta for Handel on Friday. Ryan's shady SuperPAC is spending $800,000 on the ad above in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls and Missoula, hoping to tear down Rob Quist on behalf of the an untenable and out-of-touch Republican multimillionaire, Greg Gianforte.

The ad attempts the old Republican trick of conflating every Democrat with Nancy Pelosi. Ironically, you know who people hate and mist-trust far more than Pelosi? Yep, Paul Ryan. Right-wing website Breitbart much a big deal out of the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that looks so terrible for Ryan.

Forty percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of Ryan, compared to only 22% who view him positively, according to the poll. The numbers represent a major decline in popularity since February, when Ryan’s net favorability was only one percentage point negative. The same drop in support is mirrored among Republican poll respondents, with net favorability falling from 49-points to 23 in the same period.

Ryan’s drop in popularity was more significant than that among the long-abysmally low rating for Congress as a whole. The percentage of those with a favorable view of congressional performance fell from 29 to 20 since February. The drop among Republicans was more significant, falling to a mere 31% from the high 40s.

Read more: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2017/04/time-for-democrats-to-use-paul-ryan-to.html

Election fraud sparks protest in Serbia

Elections that were meant to consolidate the rule of Serbian president-elect Aleksandar Vučić have backfired, producing the biggest mass demonstrations since the revolution that overthrew dictator Slobodan Milošević in October 2000.

The spark was voting irregularities: opposition candidate Saša Janković accused Vučić of stealing 319,000 votes in the April 2 first round poll--almost 10 percent of the total vote, and enough to secure the former prime minister outright victory in the first round of voting.

The trajectory of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (Srpska Napredna Stranka, SNS) is now widely seen to be veering toward authoritarianism, after parliament was suspended a month before the election and the Electoral Commission was stacked with pro-Vučić operatives.

The demonstrations have continued daily since the election, peaking at 50,000 in Belgrade on April 8. They meet at 6 p.m., march, give speeches and then agree to do the same the next day. Protests of thousands went ahead in Novi Sad, in the north of the country on the banks of the Danube River, even after the street lights were turned off.

Read more: https://socialistworker.org/2017/04/26/election-fraud-sparks-protest-in-serbia
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