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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,961

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

US, Iran accelerate nuclear talks a month before deadline

GENEVA -- A month out from a nuclear deal deadline, the top U.S. and Iranian diplomats are gathering in Geneva this weekend, hoping to bridge differences over how quickly to ease economic sanctions on Tehran and how significantly the Iranians must open up military facilities to international inspections.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif planned to meet Saturday, though their talks are likely to extend into Sunday. Officials are describing the negotiating round as the most substantive since world powers and Iran clinched a framework pact in April.

That agreement, however, left big questions unanswered, which weeks of subsequent technical discussions have done little to resolve.

World powers believe they have secured Iran's acquiescence to a combination of nuclear restrictions that would fulfill their biggest goal: keeping Iran at least a year away from bomb-making capability for at least a decade. But they are less clear about how they'll ensure Iran fully adheres to the accord.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/world/article22680462.html

UW cut trimmed but tenure, shared goverance changes infuriate faculty

Lawmakers on the Legislature’s powerful budget committee trimmed Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed $300 million two-year funding cut to the University of Wisconsin System to $250 million, which if it stands would be tied for the largest cut in System history and would mark the fifth time in the last six budget cycles that the universities took a significant funding cut.

Of perhaps even more consequence, the committee approved significant changes to faculty tenure, removing it from state law, and to shared governance that would take away some decision-making power from faculty, students and staff and give more sway to campus chancellors and the UW System Board of Regents, who are appointed by the governor.

Sensing the gravity of the move, System President Ray Cross and Regents Vice President Regina Millner said the board would approve a measure to enshrine tenure in Regents policy at a meeting next week — as they’d promised when removing tenure from state law was first floated by Walker in his 2015-17 budget proposal in early February.

“We remain as committed to those principles now as we were five months ago,” Cross and Millner said in a statement.

Read more: http://m.host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/university/tenure-to-be-immediately-protected-by-regents-uw-officials-say/article_796817cd-c2e5-59b1-acfb-0595fcc8c3f9.html?mobile_touch=true

Plane crashes in Plainview; preliminary reports indicate 3 dead

Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Officials were responding to a plane crash Friday night at the Hale County Airport in Plainview.

Preliminary reports indicated three fatalities, according to a Department of Public Safety official. The crash was reported around 9:30 p.m.

Shortly after the accident, a volunteer firefighter reported rescue crews had difficulty getting to the plane due to muddy conditions.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and Hale County Sheriff’s Office were investigating the crash, according to DPS.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2015-05-29/plane-crashes-plainview-preliminary-reports-indicate-3-dead

Ropesville police chief arrested in firearms investigation

Ashley Ramirez, 40, booked into Hockley County Jail on $120,000 bond

Ropesville’s police chief was arrested Friday in a case involving the firearms trade.

Ashley Ramirez, 40, is charged with three counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and one count of abuse of official capacity.

Records indicate that as of news time, he is being held in the Hockley County Jail on a $120,000 bond.

An investigation revealed Ramirez pawned three guns — two shotguns and a rifle — that were considered evidence in a criminal case.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/crime-and-courts/crime/2015-05-29/ropesville-police-chief-arrested-firearms-investigation#comment-371955

Anti-Gay Hate Group Blames Satan, Pawns For Demise Of Anti-LGBT Legislation In Texas

Yesterday we told you how an anti-gay marriage amendment died Wednesday in Texas, joining 20 other anti-LGBT proposals that failed to pass the state Legislature this year.

The Texas Pastor Council, an anti-gay hate group that backed much of the legislation, sent out an email Thursday blaming two Republican senators for the demise of the anti-gay marriage amendment. The email from the Pastor Council's Dave Welch (above), goes on to say that the Legislature did "nothing meaningful to protect religious freedom, traditional marriage or oppose the radical agenda of the sexual perversity/gender confusion."

Welch blames "the pro-LGBT, anti-Christian corporate lobby" along with the "moral weakness" of Republicans in leadership, along with a Democratic Party "deeply controlled by the LGBT forces."

Finally, Welch says the good news is that pastors all over Texas are no longer willing to be passive while "the enemy of our souls and his pawns influencing media, entertainment, education and politics assault God’s moral law and created order."

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2015/05/anti-gay-hate-group-says-satan-pawns-killed-anti-lgbt-legislation-in-texas.html

U.S. mulls big order for F-35s in 2018

The U.S. Defense Department is considering an order for as many as 450 F-35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin starting in fiscal 2018, sending warplane output to the fastest pace in three decades, as it gains confidence in the advanced fighter’s performance.

The purchase would total 150 jets annually over three years and would include aircraft destined for international customers, Undersecretary Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, told reporters during a conference call on Friday from Norway, where he was attending an annual meeting of F-35 customers and producers. The deal could potentially yield “double-digit” savings, Kendall said.

That production rate would be “far more than the world has seen for any combat plane since the 1980s,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace and defense analyst with Teal Group, a Virginia-based consultant.

The order would be a big boost for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in west Fort Worth, where the F-35 is being built. Currently, about 8,800 people are at work on the F-35 program in Fort Worth and officials have said that more than 1,000 jobs could be added as the plane progresses to full-rate production.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article22598592.html

Arrested biker files federal suit against city of Waco

A Hewitt man arrested after the May 17 biker shooting in Waco that killed nine people sued the city of Waco and McLennan County Friday in federal court, claiming his arrest was without merit and that he should be released.

The legal action by Matthew Alan Clendennen is the latest in what could become a mountain of litigation filed against the city of Waco and McLennan County in response to the sweeping arrests of more than 170 bikers after the Twin Peaks shooting.

“You’re going to start seeing more and more of this,” Clendennen’s attorney F. Clinton Broden said.

In recent days, Hays County resident Jimmy Lee Pond filed a lawsuit in a Travis County district court seeking his release. Georgetown resident Thomas Paul Landers filed a similar suit in McLennan County. Both men claim they were on the opposite side of the restaurant from the shooting when the gunfire began, their suits said.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/arrested-biker-files-federal-suit-against-city-of-/nmRHZ/

Massive Google test drone crashes during N.M. test, NTSB reports

Source: Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — A prototype of the massive, solar-powered drone Google plans to build as a platform for delivering Internet service from the sky was destroyed in a crash at a New Mexico test site.

The unmanned Solara 50 fell to the ground shortly after takeoff on May 1 and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, Keith Holloway, an agency spokesman, said in an interview. The accident occurred at a private airstrip east of Albuquerque and no one was injured, he said.

The crash is a setback for Google’s high-altitude vision of how to bring Internet access to areas of the world without sufficient infrastructure on the ground. Google last year bought Titan Aerospace Corp., which is building the unmanned aircraft, for an undisclosed sum.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, didn’t immediately respond to e-mail and phone requests for comment.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/592005/abqnewsseeker/massive-google-test-drone-crashes-during-n-m-test-ntsb-reports.html




Solara 50 is one of the solar atmosphere satellites made by Titan Aerospace. (COURTESY TITAN AEROSPACE)

Texas lawmakers vote to end high school steroids testing

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas lawmakers voted Friday to dismantle the state's high school steroids testing program after eight years.

The move came in a budget vote that stripped out all funding for the program over the next two years. It had cost taxpayers more than $10 million since 2007, tested more than 60,000 students and caught just a handful of cheaters.

Once lauded as a model for the nation, the program instead turned into a target for critics who called it ineffective and a waste of money. Several lawmakers defended it Friday as an effective deterrent against steroid use, but said it was no longer needed.

Texas had been scaling down the program for several years. Friday's vote leaves Illinois and New Jersey as the only states with testing programs.

http://www.news-journal.com/news/2015/may/29/texas-lawmakers-vote-end-high-school-steroids-test/
(Longview News-Journal)

Key West installs rainbow crosswalks for LGBT support


Gary Salazar (l) and Maria Walden (r) were the first to tread across Duval Street in Key West, Fla., on a new rainbow crosswalk just after four were installed at Duval and Petronia streets. Photo: Rob O'Neal/AP

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Pedestrians, bicycles and cars are traversing a colorful new section of Key West’s Duval Street following the installation of four permanent rainbow crosswalks.

Completed Thursday at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets, the crosswalks feature all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized gay and lesbian icon.

City workers laid pre-formed thermoplastic color blocks on the pavement, alternating with white stripes, and heat-treated them to permanently affix the colors.

The rainbow crosswalks exemplify the island city’s longstanding support for diversity. The city commission adopted the motto “One Human Family” in 2000, proclaiming equality and acceptance for all. Key West is known as a LGBT vacation destination.

Read more: http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2015/05/key-west-installs-rainbow-crosswalks-for-lgbt-support/
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