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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: 85,684

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

Proposed civics standards for Florida schools don't mention the word slavery

Following the George Floyd murder and the national discussion over “critical race theory” — which encompasses slavery, segregation and institutionalized racism — Florida’s proposed civics standards for school don’t mention the word slavery.

What is mentioned is the famous phrase: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s noted as “God-given rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence,” according to the proposed standards.

But Black people, who were enslaved, did not have liberty at that time.

In another section of the proposed standards, “students will recognize Rosa Parks and Thomas Jefferson as individuals who represent the United States.”

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2021/05/28/proposed-civics-standards-for-fl-schools-dont-mention-the-word-slavery/

The path back to sanity is not so clear: Hate, venom and a former president who seems to think he's

The path back to sanity is not so clear: Hate, venom and a former president who seems to think he’s still president

There is way too much hate and way too much misinformation spreading across our political landscape these days.

I’ve watched and written about politics for more than 55 years and never seen anything that approaches this mess.

At the top of the dreadful heap is a former president who seems to think he is still president and spends most of every day trashing everyone who disagrees.

It is like watching a comedy of errors. Each day dawns with a new series of attacks from Trump land. Seven months after voters elected Joe Biden president, Trump is still trying to count and recount votes in various places despite rulings from courts all over the land that have confirmed the results giving the race to Biden.

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2021/05/30/the-path-back-to-sanity-is-not-so-clear-hate-venom-and-a-former-president-who-seems-to-think-hes-still-president/

Florida Legislature chips away at powers of your local leaders

With the Florida Legislature's regular session over, the state's counties, cities and towns have found themselves in a familiar situation.

Lawmakers in the Florida Senate and House this year continued to chip away at the power of local governments to control everything from home-based businesses to cruise ships.

"There's a part-time (Florida) Legislature that says, 'We know better. We're going to make a decision for you,'" said Richard Radcliffe, executive director of Palm Beach County League of Cities. "They don't get stopped in Publix, like every local official does by their constituents. (Local officials) have a pulse on the people."

Among home rule measures, lawmakers this spring passed a cap on impact fee increases; a bill preventing local governments from placing greater restrictions on home-based businesses; and a bill banning cities and counties from regulating the sale of firearms; and a bill regarding cruise ships.

Read more: https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/news/politics/2021/05/30/home-rule-florida-legislature/7468205002/

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' social media crackdown law faces first lawsuit

Describing the law as a “frontal assault on the First Amendment,” two online industry groups filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to block a measure pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to crack down on large social-media companies.

NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association want a judge to prevent the law from taking effect July 1, contending that it is a “smorgasbord of constitutional violations” that would prevent companies from properly moderating content on their platforms.

“The act discriminates against and infringes the First Amendment rights of these targeted companies, which include plaintiffs’ members, by compelling them to host —- and punishing them for taking virtually any action to remove or make less prominent —- even highly objectionable or illegal content, no matter how much that content may conflict with their terms or policies,” said the 70-page lawsuit, filed in federal court in Tallahassee.

The lawsuit contends that the measure, which was passed last month by the Republican-controlled Legislature, violates free-speech, due-process and equal-protection rights. Also, it argues that the law violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and flies in the face of a federal law that shields internet companies from such regulation.

Read more: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2021/05/28/florida-gov-ron-desantis-social-media-crackdown-law-faces-first-lawsuit

State managers seek retroactive 5% raises, plus 3.5% hikes in next two years, claiming unfair

State managers seek retroactive 5% raises, plus 3.5% hikes in next two years, claiming unfair treatment by Gov. Lamont’s budget chief

State budget chief Melissa McCaw couldn’t have known she would start a movement last December when she quietly made special arrangements to give raises between 5% and 10% to 13 nonunion management employees in her agency, the Office of Policy and Management.

It took a while for her action to become news, in this column, on May 1. But since then, it’s grown into a cause for many among the more than 1,300 other nonunion managers spread throughout the executive branch of state government, who now are speaking out to say that McCaw’s boss, Gov. Ned Lamont, should give them fair and equal treatment.

“Tell the Gov: ALL Managerial State Employees Deserve a Raise,” says the heading on the webpage of Managerial and Exempt (M+E) Employees United, an association of nonunion managers who have begun rallying for support around the issue of what they see as McCaw’s selective generosity. “Outraged at this preferential treatment for some that excluded most? Then join us in taking action today.”

One recommended action was to write Lamont along the same lines of a letter that the M+E group’s president, Monika Nugent, and three of her fellow top officers sent to the governor on May 9, about a week after the story broke.

Read more: https://www.courant.com/politics/government-watch/hc-pol-lender-state-managers-pay-request-20210529-wcx4efjanvdbtcv7yh2hguswgu-story.html

Bridgeport Senator Charged With Violating Clean Election Laws, Pleads Not Guilty

State Sen. Dennis Bradley, D-Bridgeport, entered not guilty pleas Tuesday to federal wire fraud crimes and charges that he entered into a conspiracy to defraud Connecticut’s clean election fund.

According to a 24-page indictment, Bradley and a co-defendant — Jessica Martinez, his former campaign treasurer and Bridgeport Board of Education member — are accused of scheming to obtain $179,850 in public campaign finance grants during his 2018 campaign for his state senate seat.

Bradley is accused of misrepresenting compliance with state clean election laws and restrictions in order to qualify for an $84,140 primary campaign grant and attempting to qualify for an additional $95,710 general election grant.

The charges stem from a March 15, 2018, campaign kick-off event held at Bridgeport restaurant Dolphin’s Cove. According to the indictment, Bradley skirted clean election reporting requirements by claiming the campaign event was related to his law firm Bradley, Denkovich & Karayiannis. Bradley used the event to announce his candidacy, but his campaign financial disclosures to election regulators omitted the event and its costs.

Read more: https://ctnewsjunkie.com/2021/05/25/bridgeport-senator-charged-with-violating-clean-election-laws-pleads-not-guilty/

Help For Homeowners With Crumbling Foundations Gets Boost From House

Lawmakers in the House voted late Thursday to prevent the scheduled expiration of a company managing funds to assist property owners whose foundations are deteriorating as a result of corrupted concrete.

The change was included in a bill, which passed 144 to 2, and removes language from state law that would sunset the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company next summer. Reps. Jack Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, R-Bristol, voted against the legislation.

“It is critically important to our community that we are able to improve these homes that are damaged by crumbling concrete,” Rep. Jaime Foster, D-Ellington, said.

As of last week, the captive insurance company had assisted in the replacement of 309 foundations afflicted by pyrrhotite, a mineral found to be ruining concrete in building foundations throughout eastern Connecticut.

Read more: https://ctnewsjunkie.com/2021/05/28/help-for-homeowners-with-crumbling-foundations-gets-boost-from-house/

Strike threat could push hundreds out of group homes and into nursing homes

Hundreds of developmentally disabled group home residents, trapped in a game of state budget brinkmanship, could be transferred into nursing homes next Thursday unless that battle is resolved soon.

At least two of the private, nonprofit agencies hired by the state to run group homes have begun plans to move clients into congregate care centers — or to send them to live with their families — if about 2,000 human service aides belonging to SEIU District 1199 New England go on strike next Friday.

Union members, who say they have faced years of low pay and poor benefits — and then risked illness and death working during the first year of the coronavirus — insist conditions must improve.

The industry, which delivers the bulk of state-sponsored social services, is pressing Gov. Ned Lamont and the General Assembly to reverse more than a decade of under-funding.

Read more: https://www.thehour.com/news/article/Strike-threat-could-push-hundreds-out-of-group-16213331.php
The Hour (Norwalk)

Pandemic fuels continued rise in STDs among youngest sexually active adolescents

The fallout from the pandemic has run the gamut from an unstable economy to an uptick in social-emotional problems. Experts suggest the pandemic may also be responsible for a continued upward trajectory in sexually transmitted diseases among Connecticut’s youngest sexually active residents.

Conditions during the pandemic, including less access to sexual health care and more free time, have helped to exacerbate the trend among young people, say health care providers. “Most parents are working. Students are home alone. They are having friends over,” said Ceri Burke, a nurse practitioner at Danbury High School’s on-site health center. “There’s an increase in sexual activity among the kids I’m seeing.”

These factors, coupled with recent data trends, suggest a continued upward trajectory of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during the pandemic among adolescents, with Black teens being disproportionately affected.

In 2019, national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed STDs had risen to their highest level for the sixth consecutive year, a statistic some blame in part on the Trump administration’s dismantling of accessible and affordable health care and associated educational resources and programming. Adolescents and young adults (ages 15-24) make up a disproportionate share of these numbers; adolescents of color are especially hard hit.

Read more: https://ctmirror.org/2021/05/29/pandemic-fuels-continued-rise-in-stds-among-youngest-sexually-active-adolescents/

R.I. activists push for racial justice, police accountability on the anniversary of George Floyd's

R.I. activists push for racial justice, police accountability on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death

Several dozen people gathered on the steps of the Rhode Island State House Tuesday evening to mark one year since the murder of George Floyd.

“Today is really a day of remembrance,” organizer Harrison Tuttle, executive director of the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee, told the crowd of around fifty, after asking for a moment of silence to remember Floyd.

Floyd’s killing by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin helped spur protests across the country and around Rhode Island over the summer of 2020, calling for racial justice.

Tuttle and other activists around the state have pushed for broad changes in Rhode Island, including reforming local law enforcement.

Read more: https://thepublicsradio.org/article/r-i-activists-push-for-racial-justice-police-accountability-on-the-anniversary-of-george-floyd-s-death
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