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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: 84,479

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

Simple math tells a horrid story of unemployment claims in FL -- but the state's data isn't easy to

Simple math tells a horrid story of unemployment claims in FL — but the state’s data isn’t easy to find

Like the online “dashboard” for public health data during the COVID-19 crisis, the state is publishing another data set to let jobless Floridians know what’s going on with unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

The daily “Reemployment Assistance Claims Dashboard” shows some graphics and big numbers, such as “$3,630,798,771 paid to claimants.”

The data focuses closely on the number of claims received, processed and paid out, according to the dashboard launched by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

But what’s missing is a clear and full picture of the vast number of jobless workers who still aren’t getting their benefits – a situation that has spawned lawsuits.

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2020/05/28/simple-math-tells-a-horrid-story-of-unemployment-claims-in-fl-but-the-states-data-isnt-easy-to-find/

Lawmakers get A through F grades -- from a progressive point of view -- and many GOP members flunked

No surprise: Republican Florida House Speaker José Oliva, who has pushed a conservative to libertarian agenda through the state House, got one of the lowest grades of all in an analysis by the Progress Florida organization.

Oliva got a 37 percent — an F.

The more moderate Republican Senate President — Bill Galvano — got a grade of 64 percent, which is D.

The only grade lower than Oliva’s grade went to Pasco Republican Amber Mariano, who earned a 33 percent. That’s the lowest F among lawmakers graded in the annual People First Report Card by Progress Florida. The Florida Phoenix contacted Mariano and is waiting for a response.

The organization describes itself as promoting progressive values and its grading system for lawmakers sways toward Democrats getting higher grades in the A-F analysis.

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2020/05/29/lawmakers-get-a-through-f-grades-from-a-progressive-point-of-view-and-many-gop-members-flunked/

China Says U.S. Action on Hong Kong 'Doomed to Fail'

Beijing (AP) -- The mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party said U.S. moves to end some trading privileges for Hong Kong “grossly interfere” in China’s internal affairs and are “doomed to fail.”

Saturday's editorial in the newspaper People’s Daily was responding to an announcement from President Donald Trump, after China’s ceremonial parliament bypassed Hong Kong’s local legislature to advance legislation that could severely curtail free speech and opposition political activities in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

It was the “firm determination of all Chinese people” to oppose interference in Hong Kong affairs by any external forces, the paper said.

“This hegemonic act of attempting to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs will not frighten the Chinese people and is doomed to fail," it said. Attempts at “forcing China to make concessions on core interests including sovereignty and security through blackmailing or coercion ... can only be wishful thinking and day-dreaming!"

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-30/china-says-us-action-on-hong-kong-doomed-to-fail

Unsanitized: Social Unrest When There's Nothing to Lose

There’s a reason that Spike Lee set Do the Right Thing on the hottest day of the year in Brooklyn. The pressure from the heat simmered through the community and created sparks that ignited existing tensions. There was a triggering event, which led to a police chokehold and the death of Radio Raheem, and the destruction of Sal’s Pizzeria. The weather was the backdrop as events played out. That was 1989 and it couldn’t be more relevant right now.

The death of George Floyd is obviously unforgivable on its own terms. There doesn’t need to be any context. Unreformed police murder in communities of color has been part of America since well before I was born. I have nothing to comment on about looters—at least eight people sent me this Onion headline, “Protestors Criticized For Looting Businesses Without Forming Private Equity Firm First.” (I guess my reputation precedes me.) I can’t say anything about the burning of the 3rd police precinct. And I have a lot to say about the great misfortune of having Donald J. Trump in a leadership position during this moment, but most of it would be curse words.

Decades of disinvestment and routinized brutality and structural racism created these conditions. The officer who killed George Floyd had enough history of violence alone to contribute mightily to this rage. (And yes, Amy Klobuchar declined to prosecute him and many others for these crimes.)

But you cannot separate this outpouring of anger from two months of death, economic collapse, and the disproportionate pain raining down right now on communities of color.

Read more: https://prospect.org/coronavirus/unsanitized-social-unrest-when-nothing-to-lose-george-floyd/
(American Prospect)

Jimmy Kimmel on George Floyd, Riots in Minneapolis & Trump's Violent Stupidity

Police investigating after graffiti was found on Alamo Cenotaph

San Antonio police are investigating after messages were spray painted on the Alamo Cenotaph early Friday.

San Antonio police were called to Alamo Plaza just after 1 a.m. to find graffiti in red spray paint near the bottom of the Cenotaph.

The messages said " (down) white supremacy, (down) profit over people, (down) the Alamo." An arrow pointing downward was used instead of the word "down."

Police said they didn't find witnesses. Police arrested a man nearby in connection to a graffiti incident near the 300 block of Travis Street, but police are still trying to determine if he was responsible for vandalizing the Cenotaph.

Read more: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Police-investigating-after-graffiti-was-found-on-15302866.php

Man who funneled bribes to Dallas County Schools officials agrees to plea deal

A lawyer who helped conceal kickbacks agreed to plead guilty for his part in a bribery scheme that brought down Dallas County Schools.

Richard Reynolds funneled payments from the president of a Louisiana camera company to Rick Sorrells, the former superintendent of the DCS transportation agency that provided busing to area school districts, according to court documents.

The head of a technology company paid Sorrells over $3 million in bribes for several years to ensure that DCS purchased stop-arm camera equipment. Force Multiplier Solutions ended up with $70 million in contracts with the agency.

Reynolds was among those who helped pass through the money by entering into various consulting agreements with Sorrells or his companies for services that were never provided, according to court records.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2020/05/29/man-who-funneled-bribes-to-dallas-county-schools-officials-agrees-to-plea-deal/

Austin protests against police brutality while grappling with own issues

As protesters and even fellow police condemn a Minneapolis officer for kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed man who pleaded for air before he died, many will gather in downtown Austin this weekend to denounce police violence, including a fatal police shooting in Southeast Austin last month.

Rallies are scheduled for noon Saturday at Austin police headquarters and at the Texas Capitol at 1 p.m. Sunday as local leaders continue to call for reform within the city’s Police Department.

While Minneapolis reels from ongoing protests, which escalated in violence Thursday night when demonstrators torched a police precinct station that had been abandoned by officers, local officials said they support the right to protest and are confident that Austin can balance safety with free speech.

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer caught on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, was arrested Friday. Meanwhile in Austin, local prosecutors and the Texas Rangers continue to investigate the April 24 police shooting of Michael Ramos, who was later found to be unarmed.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200529/austin-protests-against-police-brutality-while-grappling-with-own-issues

Dozens protesting George Floyd’s death in front of Austin police headquarters

About a hundred protesters denouncing police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this week gathered in front of the Austin Police Department’s headquarters in downtown Austin around midnight Saturday.

A line of officers wearing helmets and batons formed in front of the building and blocking the Interstate 35 service road near East Seventh Street. At one point officers clashed with demonstrators and pushed them back to the street. Demonstrators appeared to be throwing water bottles at the officers moments earlier.

Floyd died on May 25 while in police custody after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck while Floyd pleaded for air. Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Multiple protests have sparked across the country, including in Dallas and Houston. In Atlanta, a police car was set on fire and windows were broken at CNN’s headquarters, the Associated Press reports.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200530/dozens-protest-george-floydrsquos-death-in-front-of-austin-police-headquarters

Houston mayor calls for unity, peace amid protests over George Floyd's death; tear gas deployed

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner implored protesters to remain respectful in airing their frustrations over the death of Third Ward native George Floyd, as an initially peaceful demonstration splintered off into groups that blocked highway entrances and threw objects at officers Friday evening.

The protesters would clash with police at several occasions downtown Friday evening, with officers deploying tear gas at Capitol and Caroline streets to disperse crowds. Earlier, the protesters overtook a cruiser a few blocks away, smashing its windshield and windows.

Crowds gathered with Black Lives Matter Houston to protest the death of George Floyd with chants of “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace,” as they trekked from Discovery Green to City Hall. Some were arrested for attempting to block roads, but no injuries have been reported, Turner said. Some police vehicles were damaged, he said.

“It was painful to watch,” Turner said of the video footage of Floyd’s death. “There is a lot of pain and a lot of hurt .. for people all over this country.”

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-mayor-calls-for-protesters-to-remain-15304464.php

Trump plans to end campaign hiatus June 11 in Dallas, with $580k per couple dinner

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has picked Dallas for his first campaign foray since the pandemic began nearly three months ago, rubbing elbows over dinner June 11 with high-dollar donors.

The dinner at a private home will have about 25 guests, campaign officials said Friday.

The price to attend: $580,600 per couple, which works out to roughly $7 million. That includes two meals and a photo-op with the president, according to the invitation.

The president will host a similar event two days later at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., price tag $250,000 per person, according to a GOP official. That works out to just over $6 million.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2020/05/29/trump-plans-dallas-fund-raiser-on-june-11-price-tag-580k-per-couple/
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