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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: 76,960

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

Domino's to appeal $32M suit filed in fatal Beaumont crash

Jefferson County jurors this week awarded more than $32 million to the estate of Devavaram and Ruth Christopher, whose car was struck head-on by a Domino's pizza delivery driver in August 2012.

According to a Beaumont Police Department accident report, Domino's driver Joshua Balka lost control of his 2002 Ford Explorer as he was driving in the 3100 block of S. Major drive around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2012. Balka swerved across Major into on-coming traffic and collided with the Christopher's vehicle, the report said.

The Christophers and Balka were all taken to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital after the accident. Ruth Christopher died later that night and Devavaram suffered injuries that left him mentally impaired, according to the lawsuit.

Balka was later cited for failure to control speed and for having defective equipment, the report reads.

More at http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Domino-s-to-appeal-32M-suit-filed-in-fatal-4776121.php .

[font color=green]That's a lot of pizza for the Domino's driver to deliver in order to pay his 10% of the judgment amount.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Sep 1, 2013, 03:56 PM (6 replies)

Fleeing New Mexico’s small, rural towns

ROY – About the first thing anyone mentions here is the new 24/7 gas pump that Richard Hazen opened this summer on N.M. 39, Roy’s main drag.

The new credit card-operated pump is big news, because Hazen operates the only gas station in Harding County, which covers 2,126 square miles and is nearly 40 percent larger than Rhode Island.

“The 24-hour gas pump is a big deal,” said Hazen, 56, a retired superintendant of Roy schools. “I don’t need the money. I did this just to help the community.”

The gas pump is a big deal, because the nearest gas stations are 35 miles west in Wagon Mound, 45 miles north in Springer or 68 miles southeast in Logan.

More at http://www.abqjournal.com/256419/news/fleeing-new-mexicos-small-rural-towns.html .

[font color=green]The story continues with a discussion about a young woman is the only member of her high school graduating class and some unusual circumstances such as being the only person involved with planning the prom for her older classmates the previous year.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Sep 1, 2013, 05:57 AM (3 replies)

Plenty in Obamacare for Natives

A lot of people in this country are under the assumption that all American Indians and Alaska Natives get free health care. They falsely believe the Indian Health Service is just another entitlement program for Indian people. The truly ignorant are even resentful that Indians get all this “free stuff” from the U.S. government. Those who are educated know that health care was included in the treaties that tribes negotiated with the United States in exchange for land and other natural resources.

The IHS provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives — about half of those who identified as Native Americans in the 2010 census. It administers a $4.1 billion nationwide health care delivery program that is responsible for providing preventive, curative and community health care to Native people in hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

Talking about the possible negative effect of sequestration on tribal communities recently, former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., was very outspoken and strongly acknowledged the tribes’ nation-to-nation relationship with the U.S.

“When we pushed American Indians off their tribal lands, we signed treaties making promises to provide services — such as health care, education and housing — in exchange for that land,” said Dorgan, who also served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

More at http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/local_columns/article_ce8910d4-4948-50c6-a3bb-4ed60bda6f3b.html .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Sep 1, 2013, 05:51 AM (0 replies)

Gov. Jindal is wrong to cling to his opposition of the Affordable Care Act

Sen. Richard Russell fought the civil rights laws of the 1960s with more passion and cunning than any member of Congress. For decades, as leader of Southern senators, the Georgia Democrat was intractable. In 1963, after President John F. Kennedy proposed a civil rights bill, Russell vowed to fight the bill "with every means and resource at my command." And he did, leading a 54-day filibuster in the summer of 1964

Eventually, however, the Southerners failed. President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964. And what did Russell do? Ever the patriot, he told his constituents, "I have no apologies to anyone for the fight I made. I only regret that we did not prevail." Then, Russell made an astounding plea: "But these statutes are on the books, and it becomes our duty as good citizens to live with them." Louisiana's Russell Long did much the same. "I've been able to recognize that things move, they change and to adjust myself to a changing world," he said, "and I think all Southerners will have to do that."

I've been thinking recently about the responsible way a few Southern political leaders responded to the civil laws in the Sixties. Contrast that respect for the law with the shameful behavior of various Republican governors and members of Congress, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, who proudly thwart enforcement of the Affordable Care Act, legislation passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court. Instead of heeding their inner Richard Russell, they channel another Georgia politician, Lester Maddox - an odious demagogue who persisted in denying the legitimacy of the civil rights laws.

Jindal urges Congress to defund the Affordable Care Act. He cheers on congressional Republicans who want to shut down the government over the issue. He's even outraged that the White House would dare inform consumers of its provisions.

More at http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/08/gov_jindal_is_wrong_to_cling_t.html#incart_most-comments .

[font color=green]The article includes additional embedded links to view.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Sep 1, 2013, 05:45 AM (1 replies)

Follow-up: Measles cases put Texas megachurch under scrutiny

NEWARK, Texas — The teachings of televangelist Kenneth Copeland and his family focusing on the virtues of trusting God to keep healthy are under scrutiny after a cluster of measles cases linked to his family's North Texas megachurch revealed many congregants hadn't been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries has won supporters worldwide through television programs, crusades, conferences and prayer request networks. He was a pioneer of the prosperity gospel, which holds that believers are destined to flourish spiritually, physically and financially.

Although church officials were quick to act after the outbreak — including hosting clinics in August where 220 people received immunization shots — and have denied they are against medical care or vaccinations, people familiar with the ministry say there is a pervasive culture that believers should rely on God, not modern medicine, to keep them well.

"To get a vaccine would have been viewed by me and my friends and my peers as an act of fear — that you doubted God would keep you safe, you doubted God would keep you healthy. We simply didn't do it," former church member Amy Arden told The Associated Press.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/31/5123971/measles-cases-put-texas-megachurch.html#storylink=cpy .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Sep 1, 2013, 05:31 AM (4 replies)

More than 600 new Texas laws take effect Sunday

Some people might not notice until they go to a farmers market, buy a switchblade or are involved in a hit-and-run.

But hundreds of state laws are changing as of today, and some could affect the everyday lives of many Texans.

Lawmakers spent months approving new bills. Gov. Rick Perry signed 1,571 of them into law, and 659 of them take effect Sunday.

The new measures are a mixed bag, ranging from letting Texans sample food at farmers markets to making it legal for the first time in decades to buy switchblades.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/31/5124501/more-than-600-new-texas-laws-take.html#storylink=cpy

[font color=green]Oddly enough, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Friday of last week. The owner of the vehicle has been identified and I have filed an insurance claim. I suspect that the driver of the vehicle may have needed to make some explanations to the registered owner of the vehicle this weekend.

Anyhow, please click the link to see if any of the new laws have any impact on you.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Sep 1, 2013, 05:26 AM (4 replies)

10 years later, ‘tort reform’ has dramatic impact on suits, payouts

Ten years after a Texas law capped damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, the law called “tort reform” is hailed and reviled for this: It has sharply cut the number of suits and the amounts losers must pay.

Texas Department of Insurance data show that medical malpractice claims, including lawsuits, resolved in a year fell by nearly two-thirds between 2003 and 2011 (the most recent year for which data is available), to 450. The average payout dropped 22 percent, to $198,673.

The remainder of the story is behind the paywall at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/10-years-later-tort-reform-has-dramatic-impact-on-/nZhkC/# .

[font color=green]While this data sounds like tort reform is working effectively, there is actually an underlying story. Since the number of claims and the settlements were reduced, instead of having the medical practitioners and hospitals pay for liability or negligence, the burden of supporting the people that are injured is transferred from the private sector to the public sector in grants for welfare assistance (e.g. housing benefits, SNAP, medical assistance programs) and disability income payments.

While it does help bring medical practitioners into the state because of the favorable business climate, it also means that the taxpayers are providing a subsidy to the medical community at large. In essence, it is a way of providing corporate welfare to the insurance industry and to interests that operate clinics and hospitals.

This data sounds great in the headlines, but the underlying implications also need to be evaluated.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Sep 1, 2013, 04:50 AM (7 replies)

Texas lawmakers hesitant to add new regulations in wake of West explosion; facilities uninsured

AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers following up on the deadly April explosion in West hesitated Monday to support new regulations for storing, moving and insuring ammonium nitrate in the state.


Ammonium nitrate is a common ingredient in agricultural fertilizer. It fueled the April 17 explosion in West that killed 15 people, injured more than 300 and did an estimated $135 million worth of damage to private and public property. Officials said Monday that more than 140 facilities in the state have the chemical on hand.


Since the blast, the Texas Department of Insurance has asked 95 fertilizer companies and 32 insurers about the level of coverage for other facilities with the dangerous chemical. Ten fertilizer companies and four insurers responded.

Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber testified that some facilities with ammonium nitrate are uninsured because their policies were canceled after the West explosion. Texas law doesn’t mandate the terms for an insurance company to offer policies to plants like the one in West.

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/west-explosion/headlines/20130826-texas-lawmakers-hesitant-to-add-new-regulations-in-wake-of-west-explosion.ece .
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