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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: 78,484

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

GOP event at Bloomington mosque inspires right-wing freak-out

Earlier this year, Zavier Bicott, who works with a citywide inclusion group called One Bloomington, sat down with the leaders of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center.

He was there to talk about what city amenities could use improvement. That’s when he got an interesting question.

“One of our members got to know that Zavier was a Republican,” Dar Al-Farooq’s executive director, Mohamed Omar, said. In fact, Bicott is the chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota. So they asked why Republicans attack Islam, and why they aren’t open to Muslims joining the party.

This is a question of particular importance to the Dar Al-Farooq Center. The mosque has been attacked by people who see Islam as something opposed to American life, rather than part of it. Last summer, a bomb went off at the Islamic Center.

No one was hurt, and some conservatives (including Donald Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka) suggested the explosion had the makings of an inside job, a PR stunt to garner sympathy. Later last fall, the mosque was broken into.

Read more: http://www.citypages.com/news/gop-event-at-bloomington-mosque-inspires-right-wing-freak-out/480601291

The drag party Tim Pawlenty never wanted takes over downtown Minneapolis

As the sun set on one of the first warm days in April, volunteers for the Minnesota Family Council stood by the escalators inside the downtown Minneapolis Hilton.

The keynote speaker at this, their annual dinner was former Gov. Tim Pawlenty -- also the religious group's hoped-for future Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Yes, volunteer Naoimi Jirele said Friday evening, they know OutFront Minnesota had organized a protest right outside the hotel, and right when the dinner was supposed to happen.

Jirele's got no problem with it, she says.

“You guys have the right to share your opinions,” she says with a smile. Though not necessarily to learn theirs: No media was allowed at the council’s dinner.

Read more: http://www.citypages.com/news/the-drag-party-tim-pawlenty-never-wanted-takes-over-downtown-minneapolis/480450751

The 9 worst ideas of the 2018 Minnesota Legislature

The 134 members of the Minnesota House of Representatives have combined to introduce more than 1,700 bills.

Their 67 counterparts in the Senate have produced almost 1,600. Many proposals are duplicates, or recycled from years past, or authored strategically by a legislator working to appease a constituency — sometimes, even just one person, if he or she has the right sort of bank accounts.

Only a small percentage of these bills will be passed and signed into law. The vast majority of bills don’t go anywhere, and that’s just as well. Many are shockingly stupid.

Below, read through a list of nine of the very worst ideas elected representatives have come up with... since late February.

Read more: http://www.citypages.com/news/the-9-worst-ideas-of-the-2018-minnesota-legislature/480718431

Prince wrongful death suit names suburban Walgreens stores

Just before midnight on April 14, 2016, Prince boarded a plane, heading home to Minnesota after a concert in Atlanta.

He had company: his friend and bodyguard Kirk Johnson, and the singer Judith Hill, who remembers Prince telling her that he was depressed, bored, and wanted his sleep more than he usually did. He’d thought he was going to fall asleep onstage, he said.

Not long after takeoff, the plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois. Prince was suffering from an overdose, and needed urgent medical attention. The Moline Fire Department took him to Trinity Medical Center, a local hospital. They succeeded in reviving him, but it took 2 milligrams of naloxone, twice as much as it takes for the typical narcotics user.

A week later, Prince would have another overdose. That one was fatal.

After two years of investigation, no one has been criminally charged for Prince’s death. But his surviving family are seeking a different kind of justice, in civil court, where they lay blame for his overdoses on doctors and pharmacists.

Read more: http://www.citypages.com/music/prince-wrongful-death-suit-names-suburban-walgreens-stores/480792061

After sexism fight, West St. Paul mayor harassed with box of tampons

A few minutes into Monday night's West St. Paul City Council meeting, Mayor Jenny Halverson announced she would not seek reelection this year.

Halverson, a council member before she was elected mayor in 2016, explicitly encouraged women in that city to run for her office, and others.

"I'm calling on all the women in West St. Paul to step up this year," she told the audience, noting that she had been "the only woman at this table for the last six years."


After the meeting, proof that Jenny Halverson is treated differently than a male mayor arrived on her doorstep. Literally. In a Facebook post, Halverson posted photos of a box of tampons that had been left outside her family's home, which she says arrived after someone "creeping" around "under the cover of night." She also says someone, or more than one person, has been ringing the doorbell and running off.

Read more: http://www.citypages.com/news/after-sexism-fight-west-st-paul-mayor-harassed-with-box-of-tampons/480936681

Enbridge pipeline hits the courtrooms

It was just a short pretrial hearing, but people packed a St. Louis County courtroom April 20 in support of three men charged with trespassing at Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Duluth earlier this year. Judge Dale Harris consolidated the three cases and set the next hearing for May 30.

Scott Bol, Michael Niemi and Ernesto Burbank blocked the entrance to protest investments in fossil fuels on January 12. The focus was Wells Fargo’s relationship with Enbridge, whose pipelines transport oil through Minnesota.

Burbank and Niemi used chains and pipes to lock themselves in front of the bank doors while Bol put a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck so the gate couldn’t be raised without choking him. Firefighters cut the locks loose.

Prior to last Friday’s hearing, demonstrators held a prayer by Lake Superior, then gathered outside the courthouse. Burbank pointed to the words written across the top of the building. “It says ‘public safety,’” he said. “Why do the courts protect banks that bring harm to the public? They’re washing each other’s hands.”

Read more: http://duluthreader.com/articles/2018/04/26/13172_enbridge_pipeline_hits_the_courtrooms

Beto O'Rourke to major Democratic super PAC donor: "Thanks, but no thanks"

by Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke has a message for a California billionaire who is considering spending big money on his U.S. Senate race: "Thanks, but no thanks."

Tom Steyer, one of the biggest Democratic donors in the country, on Tuesday openly mulled on CNBC spending on O'Rourke's behalf via his environmental super PAC, NextGen America.

"We are intrigued by Texas, and we are aware what we have to do in order to have an impact on a state that big. We need a lot of resources, but we have not made a decision to be involved with it," Steyer said.

O'Rourke has long said he would not accept corporate PAC or super PAC money for his campaign, but he has no control over whether Steyer or anyone else runs ads on his behalf through an outside group.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/04/24/beto-orourke-major-democratic-super-pac-donor-thanks-no-thanks/

Meet Laura Moser and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, the CD-7 Democratic primary runoff candidates

by Alana Rocha, Christina Shaman, Justin Dehn and Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

As election day nears, the Texas Democratic primary runoff between Laura Moser and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher continues to attract national attention from both the party and pundits.

Since 2001, Texas' 7th congressional district has been represented by U.S. Rep. John Culberson. This year, Democrats saw an opening to unseat the incumbent. They cited Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential election vote total eclipsing now-President Donald Trump's tally in the Houston-area district, though Trump won Texas and the presidency.

Fletcher and Moser finished first and second, respectively, in the March 6 primary, in a field of seven Democrats. Fletcher, a business attorney and community activist, won about 1,650 more votes than Moser. Moser is a Houston journalist behind "Daily Action," a text message service launched in the weeks after Trump's election to connect people with their representatives in Congress.

Neither candidate has ever run for office before, but that didn't stop the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – the group tasked with electing Democrats to the U.S. House – from posting opposition research on Moser before the primary. Some Democrats locally and nationally worry that Moser is too liberal to unseat Culberson in the general election.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/04/26/texas-congress-district-2018-election-laura-moser-lizzie-pannill-fletcher/

Why are Texas taxpayers handing over almost $2.2 million to help with the NFL Draft?

Arlington -- The 2018 NFL Draft looks like a money-making machine with close to 300,000 fans expected to show up to AT&T Stadium over the course of the three-day football extravaganza.

But draft organizers apparently need some help defraying some of the costs.

Gov. Greg Abbott's Event Trust Funds is kicking in $2,175,247 for the event, which is hosted by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys and begins Thursday.

What it is being used for isn't exactly clear but these funds have been used in the past to pay expenses related to "preparing for or conducting an event," according to the governor's website.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/arlington/article209829089.html

Russian hackers may have targeted a Democrat's Texas Senate campaign website

AUSTIN — A Dallas Democrat running for the state Senate discovered Saturday that Russians may have hacked his campaign website.

Candidate Kendall Scudder pulled down the website Saturday afternoon after coding in Russian and references to Russian websites were found embedded in the server. Google Analytics also found several visits on the website from internet users in Russia and Ukraine.

Scudder, who will face incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Hall in November, said in a news release Sunday that his campaign communications director noticed fraudulent activity in late March, when visitors were informed that "attackers" were trying to redirect them to a fake website. His staff fixed the problem, he said.

The campaign decided to take down and rebuild the website after two more alerts about hacking activity, Scudder said.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/04/23/russian-hackers-may-targeted-texas-senate-candidates-campaign-website
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