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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: 78,326

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

Leith may dissolve to avoid concerns over white supremacy

LEITH — Leith Mayor Ryan Schock would rather dissolve his town’s government than take a chance that two write-ins to the town’s council could rekindle antagonism from the town’s brief, but vicious, brush with white supremacy.

So this week, he went door to door in the tiny Grant County village and collected 12 signatures to petition for dissolution. On Wednesday, the Grant County Commission accepted the petition and set a date of July 23 for a special election, when the 18 people who voted in the town’s city election will decide whether to give up their incorporated status and turn their official affairs over to the county.

Schock said he fears that Michael Bencz and Deby Nelson, who live together and were elected with 10 and nine write-in votes respectively, could reopen old wounds left from when notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb tried to take over the town in 2013. He said, for all he knows, the couple might make “great” council representatives, but he’s tired of being stuck in the middle of it all.

Bencz has denied any association with Cobb’s ideas. However, but he did buy a Leith property from Cobb and showed up from Wisconsin just as Cobb started a national call out for like-minded racists to help take over the town and fly flags bearing the Nazi swastika.

Read more: https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/leith-may-dissolve-to-avoid-concerns-over-white-supremacy/article_af0a11d4-43ed-5684-971e-618d542a1188.html

Study: Republicans see 'misinformation' in media at twice the rate of Democrats

Fresh data affirm a long-running crisis for U.S. media organizations: Republicans and conservatives just don't trust them. A May 2017 Pew Research Center noted in stark terms how the media-trust gap is widening between the parties. Now comes a Gallup/Knight Foundation survey with a finding that cements common wisdom on the topic.

Asked to estimate the percentage of news on TV, radio and newspapers that qualifies as "misinformation," Republicans said 51 percent; Democrats, 23 percent. For conservatives and liberals, the corresponding figures are 54 percent and 24 percent.

With President Donald Trump out there harrumphing baselessly about "fake news," with his people in the White House briefing room and the executive-branch departments - particularly the Environmental Protection Agency - launching their own attacks on the media, and with folks such as Fox News' Tucker Carlson telling his audience to believe the "opposite" of what they hear in the national media, what's the likelihood that this gap is going to close anytime soon? Should it continue to widen, Trump will likely add the trend to his list of presidential accomplishments, to judge from his remarks in 2016, when a Gallup poll showed dreadful media-trust levels. "I think I had a lot to do with that poll . . . because I've exposed the media. If you look at the New York Times, and The Washington Post, and if you look at others: The level of dishonesty is enormous. It's so dishonest. I can do something that's wonderful and they make it sound terrible," Trump said.

The Knight/Gallup survey found other partisan gaps in media behavior, as well. It asked respondents: "Apart from articles that are clearly written as comedy or satire, have you ever shared news stories with other people that you suspected were misinformation?" The results:

Read more: https://www.inforum.com/news/government-and-politics/4463546-study-republicans-see-misinformation-media-twice-rate-democrats

Saudi Arabia is planning to turn rival Qatar into an island

Saudi Arabia appears to be further distancing itself from Qatar, this time literally.

The country is moving forward with plans to dig a canal along its 38-mile (61 kilometer) border with Qatar, which would turn its Gulf rival into an island, local media has reported.

Reports first published by Makkah Newspaper indicate five international companies have been invited to bid for the project, called the "Salwa Channel," with a deadline set for Monday. Sources told Makkah that Saudi authorities will announce the winner of the contract deal within 90 days, and hope to complete the canal by the end of the year.

Previous reports, including one in state-linked news site Sabq, said the canal was still awaiting government approval, but was expected to be 650 feet (200 meters) wide and 50-65 feet (15-20 meters) deep. Initial estimates put the cost of the project at around $745 million (2.8 billion Saudi riyals).

Read more: https://www.newstimes.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Saudi-Arabia-is-planning-to-turn-rival-Qatar-into-13016320.php

Malloy Warns Against Overriding His Vetoes

HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy suggested Wednesday that any urban Democratic lawmaker that wants to override his veto of a bill that makes changes to the Hartford bailout should “have their heads examined.”

The bill, a bipartisan compromise would have modified the $534 million bailout lawmakers gave Hartford to avoid bankruptcy, is one of seven Malloy vetoed this session.

In his veto message, Malloy said the changes to the Hartford bailout are “a reflection of indignation on the part of some legislators,” who were upset that the Municipal Accountability Review Board “exercised its statutory authority in coming to the aid of our capital city.”

Lawmakers are expected to convene a veto override session on Monday, June 25 to consider overriding some of his vetoes.

Read more: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20180621_malloy_warns_against_overriding_his_vetoes/

Roman Catholic Bishop Of Providence, Hospital Operators Accused in Pension Lawsuit

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence and hospital operator Prospect Chartercare, LLC are among the defendants accused of conspiracy and fraud in two class-action lawsuits filed late Monday.

The suits filed in state and federal courts accuse Bishop Thomas Tobin and hospital operators of deliberately underfunding St. Joseph Health Services’s pension plan and then lying about the plan’s financial condition to beneficiaries and state regulators.

The plan -- which covers at least 2,700 current and former employees of Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and St. Joseph Health Services -- was left with no source of revenue when the Fatima hospital was sold in 2014 to Prospect Charter, the local arm of the California-based for profit Prospect Medical Holdings. The pension plan is currently in receivership, a form of bankrupty.

The Diocese, which founded the pension plan, denied any wrongdoing.

“The Diocese of Providence strongly disagrees with the allegations asserted against it in this very long and complex lawsuit,’’ the Diocese said in an email Tuesday. “As we have stated from the very beginning, we continue to be concerned about the well-being of all those affected by the pension situation, and we hope that this matter can be resolved quickly and justly. Nonetheless, the Diocese will respond appropriately to these claims and we are confident that our position will prevail.”

Read more: http://ripr.org/post/roman-catholic-bishop-providence-hospital-operators-accused-pension-lawsuit

Rhode Island House passes bill mandating insurance coverage for mastectomies

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi made it his personal mission to pass legislation that would spare women from getting surprise medical bills after a mastectomy.

He tried last year without success in the face of heavy opposition from the insurance industry. He tried again this year, and the House on Tuesday unanimously approved a reworked version of his bill.

“This bill makes it clear that insurers must cover all of the costs of mastectomies, without copays and deductibles,” Shekarchi said. “Breast cancer is a very emotional cancer, one that can leave even those who fight it very successfully with a tremendous feeling of loss. That loss should not be compounded by struggles to pay for their treatment, heal and recover their lives.”

The legislation headed to the Senate removes these words from current law: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to require an individual or group policy to cover the surgical procedure known as mastectomy or to prevent application of deductible or co-payment provisions contained in the policy or plan.”

Read more: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180620/ri-house-passes-bill-mandating-insurance-coverage-for-mastectomies

Presidential candidate proposes $1,000 per month 'Freedom Dividend'

Democrat Andrew Yang, who was educated at Brown University, says new ideas are needed for the coming change

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Jockeying for the Democratic presidential nomination is under way.

And one of the jockeys is a 43-year-old Brown University-educated candidate, who is laser-focused on a particular problem that other politicians aren’t talking about very much on MSNBC and Fox News Channel.

Automation is on its way to eliminating jobs across the U.S. economy, from truck driving to radiology, and eventually the trend will erase the incomes of more than 46 million workers while rewarding a very small number of business owners, says Andrew Yang, a former CEO of Manhattan Prep, a testing preparation company.

He also was the founder and CEO of Venture America, a nonprofit fellowship program for recent college graduates seeking jobs at startups.

Read more: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180619/presidential-candidate-proposes-1000-freedom-dividend

Rhode Island Senate OKs life sentences in drug fatalities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As the General Assembly worked through what members hoped would be the session’s penultimate night, the Senate Thursday night passed an array of bills to allow life sentences for drug dealers when someone they sold drugs to dies, put electronic cigarettes under the same laws as conventional smokes and have public schools include “age appropriate” instruction on consent before sexual activity.

The bill that would allow life sentences for someone who sells a lethal dose of a controlled substance passed the Senate 25-8.

Sen. Frank S. Lombardi, D-Cranston, like other supporters of the bill, recalled the heartbreaking testimony the Judiciary Committee members heard while deliberating the bill. The possibility of sentencing a drug dealer to life in prison for selling a fatal dose of a controlled substance was a needed step to combat the state’s growing opioid crisis, he said. Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata, D-Warwick, said if a drug dealer sells a drug that kills someone, that dealer is responsible for that death.

Several opposing senators said they feared that bill would excessively punish low-level drug dealers, who often don’t know what is in what they are selling, instead of the higher-level “cooks” who knowingly blended the fatal doses.

Read more: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180621/ri-senate-oks-life-sentences-in-drug-fatalities

Rhode Island House OKs reworked pay-equity bill

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Seventy-two years after Rhode Island first passed a law making it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for the same work, the battle for equal pay flared anew at the Rhode Island State House in the closing hours of the 2018 legislative session, expected to end Friday.

After an emotion-charged, hour-plus debate that divided the female lawmakers into opposing camps, the House voted 66-to-9 on Thursday night in favor of a pay-equity bill that varies significantly from a version the Senate passed earlier.

House Labor Committee Chairman Robert Craven told colleagues the reworked House bill “strikes a fair balance in providing equal wages for equal work irrespective of race, color and gender, while taking into consideration the practical burdens that come with running a business.”

At its most basic, he said, the legislation requires employers with 18 or more employees to compensate equal work with equal pay. Among the new rules: employers would be prohibited from asking job applicants for their wage history, a practice blamed for perpetuating lower pay for women and minorities.

Read more: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180621/ri-house-oks-reworked-pay-equity-bill

Giant telescope project before Hawaii Supreme Court again

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in an appeal that could determine whether an embattled multi-nation telescope project can be built on a mountain Native Hawaiians consider sacred or have to move to a backup site in Spain’s Canary Islands that’s less desirable to scientists hoping to use the instrument for groundbreaking discoveries.

Much of the arguments centered around whether it was a conflict of interest for a hearings officer who made a key recommendation in favor of the project to be a member of a Hawaii astronomy center.

The state allowed retired judge Riki May Amano to preside over contested-case hearings for the contentious project despite complaints from telescope opponents who decried her paid membership to the Imiloa Astronomy Center.

The Big Island center is connected to the University of Hawaii, which is the permit applicant.

Read more: http://www.patriotledger.com/zz/news/20180621/giant-telescope-project-before-hawaii-supreme-court-again
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