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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 89,146

About Me

Retired/disabled 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

Just Be by Ashley Jana (featured on Dance Moms, Season 3 Episode 33)

A lovely lyrical piece in 6/8 time. It was also the first time that the Abby Lee Dance Company featured nine dancers in the group dance. They won--of course!

The actual dance (a shorter version) is at


Family accuses Houston pharmacy in morphine death of 6-year-old girl

The mother of a deceased child who struggled with sickle cell disease has sued a Houston pharmacy for allegedly dispensing a painkiller at 10 times the strength prescribed.

Jadalyn Diana Elizabeth Williams, 6, died last year after receiving one dose of a morphine medication for pain associated with a sickle cell crisis.

A medical malpractice lawsuit filed Tuesday by Simone Allen accuses Cullen Care Pharmacy of causing her daughter's death by dispensing 150 milligrams of morphine sulfate instead of the 15 milligrams prescribed.


The family's lawyer said he had been attempting to settle with the pharmacy's insurance company, but "negotiations broke down."

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Family-accuses-Houston-pharmacy-in-morphine-death-4748123.php?cmpid=hpbn .

[font color=green]A sad story to read. I'd also wish we knew how much insurance the pharmacy carried since it would give the public some background as to any adverse effects of the changes in tort reform law. The limits on non-economic damages come into question since insurance companies wouldn't view the death of a non-wage earning child as a substantial economic loss. My apologies in advance since I know that statement is callous.[/font]

Having class teach bully a lesson earns educator jail time, probation

A former Judson Independent School District teacher convicted of official oppression for instructing students to hit a class bully was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation with 30 days of jail time.

State District Judge Sid Harle said he wanted to prevent Cynthia Ambrose, 44, from teaching for two years, the maximum probation term allowed.

He was displeased to learn Ambrose faced only a one-year suspension by the Texas Education Agency. He allowed her to serve the jail sentence on work release or to report to Bexar County Jail on weekends.

Ambrose cried when she was handcuffed and became sick as she waited in the jury box.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Jail-and-probation-for-teacher-who-told-students-4746415.php .

[font color=green]The lesson to be learned is that violence should not be condoned anywhere. The teacher showed a serious lack of judgment and we'll probably here about a civil lawsuit in the future.[/font]

Plateresque style obvious at Mission Espiritu Santo in Goliad

Spanish Colonial architecture in the New World is a synthesis of several influences that span many centuries.

These include the Roman Empire (via original structures, and the re-discovery of the works of Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio in 1511 A.D.), the Islamic Moors of North Africa, and Christian Europe.

Classical, Moorish, and Gothic influences melded in the 1500s, to produce the Spanish art style known as plateresque. In the New World, the term was soon applied to architecture as well.

While subsequent Old World architectural traditions (mannerism, baroque, rococo, and their offshoots) eventually influenced Hispanic New World architecture, the plateresque style retains its place as the architectural signature of the Spanish Colonial Era in the Americas.

More at http://mysoutex.com/view/full_story_landing/23408773/article-Plateresque-style-obvious-at-Mission-Espiritu-Santo? .

[font color=green]Presented for those interested in Texas history and architecture.[/font]

Four Republicans seek state Comptroller seat

AUSTIN — The race for Texas Comptroller is heating up.

Comptroller Susan Combs announced she is retiring from her post, and four Republican candidates have stepped up to seek the job of the state’s chief financial officer.

On Tuesday, state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, became the latest to announce his candidacy, although his impending run was well-known among House members.

“I will bring new ideas for how we can use the Comptroller’s office to fight for better results,” Hilderbran said in a release after his announcement in Kerrville. “The Comptroller’s office is enormously important, and I intend to use it to protect taxpayers, improve services, ensure fiscal responsibility and advance free enterprise.”

More at http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2013/aug/20/four-republicans-seek-comptroller-seat/ .

[font color=green]In addition to Hilderbran, the announced candidates include the state senator from my district, Glen Hegar of Katy, who sponsored the anti-abortion bill in the special session; Tea Party darling Debra Medina who ran for governor in 2010; and former representative Raul Torres of Corpus Christi who does have an accounting background.

I hope that they chew each other to pieces in the primary and a qualified Democrat trounces them in the general election.[/font]

Former Brownsville resident accused of vote fraud

McALLEN — A former resident of Brownsville was accused Tuesday of voter fraud during the 2012 Democratic primary runoff for the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a federal indictment.

Sonia Leticia Solis, 54, was charged with casting five absentee ballots under the names of different people in Cameron County in July 2012.

That is when attorney Filemón Vela Jr. won the Democratic nomination for the newly drawn 34th Congressional District in a runoff against Denise Saenz-Blanchard, a top aide to former Congressman Solomon Ortiz. The district runs from Corpus Christi to Brownsville.

Vela went on to defeat Republican Jessica Bradshaw.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Former-Brownsville-resident-accused-of-vote-fraud-4747839.php .

[font color=green]Crap, I hope that doesn't give the GOP any ammunition.

I'll pose this question to some of our experts who are election judges: How does the new voter ID law address this concern regarding absentee ballots?[/font]

ETA: Sherri Greenberg who is mentioned in the article was one of my former House reps when I lived in Austin during the 90s. I met her once at a political function and was very impressed with her political views and her concern about wages for state employees lagging behind the private sector.

State puts gravel road plan on hold

AUSTIN — A plan to convert some drilling-affected roads in rural areas, particularly the Eagle Ford Shale zone, to gravel is slowing down after lawmakers raised serious concerns.

Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, said Tuesday that Texas Department of Transportation officials had signaled a 60-day delay in some of the planned conversions of 83 miles of paved roads to gravel.


Counties must ask the state to reconsider the conversion from paved roads to gravel. Texas transportation officials will review the requests on a case-by-case basis, Uresti said, and will refrain from converting any roads during a 60-day review period.

“The oil and gas industry must get involved as well,” Uresti said. “It must be part of the solution.”


Houston charter school misspent $5.3 million in federal funds, state report finds

The Varnett Public School in Houston misspent $5.3 million in federal funds on everything from first-class airline tickets to spa services, according to a new investigative report from the Texas Education Agency.

What sanctions the school will face, if any, is not yet known.

The report found rampant conflicts of interest and numerous questionable expenses involving Varnett superintendent Annette Cluff and her husband, Alsie Cluff Jr. He’s the school facilities and operations manager and serves on the governing board. The News first wrote about the Cluffs and their charter school in 2010.

The report found the school reimbursed the Cluffs for $1.5 million worth of questionable charges on their personal credit cards. Among the charges: $132,177 on hotels, cruises and travel packages. First-class and business airline tickets worth $22,544. More than $3,000 on tickets to Broadway, Las Vegas and Disney on Ice shows. And $743 for spa services from a luxury hotel called Mandarin Oriental.

More at http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/08/houston-charter-school-misspent-5-3-million-in-federal-funds-state-report-finds.html/ .

Judges reject challenge to Texas State Farm rates

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Two administrative law judges have rejected a challenge to a recent 20-percent rate hike for Texas homeowners covered by State Farm Lloyd's.

The Dallas Morning News (http://dallasne.ws/171H7QZ ) reports the judges decided Monday that the premiums for 1.2 million homeowners are not excessive or unreasonable.

The decision now goes to Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber, who can accept the ruling or consider more arguments.


The increase allows State Farm to collect an additional $317 million annually in premiums across Texas.

More at http://www.reporternews.com/news/2013/aug/20/judges-reject-challenge-texas-state-farm-rates/ .

[font color=green]Meanwhile, there still is no settlement of the legal case about excessive rates that were contested back in 2003. I have a couple of friends that are still waiting for a refund.[/font]

Report: AG Greg Abbott brags Texas pays nearly $4M so far to sue feds

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott likes to brag about fighting the Obama administration, memorably describing his workday this way: "I go into the office, I sue the federal government and then I go home."

He doesn't talk much about the multimillion-dollar tab that taxpayers pick up for that work.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the state so far has paid nearly $4 million in costs associated with 31 lawsuits against the federal government since 2004, according to records provided by Abbott's office. Three were filed while George W. Bush was president, and 28 were against the Obama administration.


More than half the total — nearly $2.4 million — was for two lawsuits seeking federal approval under the Voting Rights Act for GOP-driven redistricting maps and voter identification law. Preclearance was denied, and it's no longer required at this point because of a separate U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case supported by Abbott. Other court cases on those topics continue.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/20/5095215/report-texas-pays-nearly-4m-so.html#storylink=cpy
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