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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: 85,724

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

Biggest home insurers' hefty hikes unchallenged by Texas commissioner

AUSTIN — Texas’ insurance commissioner has allowed the three biggest home insurers to impose hefty rate hikes on two-thirds of their policyholders, despite strong objections from the state consumer advocate for insurance that have been all but ignored.

State Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber’s office said Friday that premium increases for Allstate, Farmers and State Farm are still under review, more than eight months after the state learned of them. The higher rates have been appearing on renewal notices since the start of the year.

It appears unlikely that Rathgeber will take any action. She first learned of the increases in late 2013.

The commissioner can reject any new rates that are deemed excessive and order refunds. But she has shown no signs of considering such action so far. Her predecessor questioned no premium hikes in her two years in office.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20140912-biggest-home-insurers-hefty-hikes-unchallenged-by-texas-commissioner.ece

[font color=green]Holding true to form for a Perry [strike]crony[/strike] appointee.[font]

After 64 years the drought is over

My alma mater stopped playing varsity football in 1950 and did not resume playing until last year when we went 0-10 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, NCAA Division III. However, this afternoon in Georgetown, Texas the Pirates from Southwestern University chalked up their first win 27-20 over the Sul Ross State University Lobos.

Due to the game last weekend being called because of multiple lightning delays our record is now 1-0. Not bad for a team composed almost entirely of sophomores and freshmen.

Next game: @ East Texas Baptist University

A demonstration in physics

Got to see this demonstration of physics by bowling balls this weekend. It's beautiful and cool. Watch all the way to the end to see the balls move back in phase with each other, as they are at the start. In between, it moves from beautifully ordered to apparent chaos and back, again and again.


Texas hospital campus rebounds from Ike's blow

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — The morning after Hurricane Ike crashed into Galveston Island six years ago, David Callender surveyed the sea of mud coating the 84-acre University of Texas Medical Branch campus.

The UTMB president saw oak tree limbs blocking the doors to John Sealy Hospital, which would be knocked out of service for the rest of the year. The 13-foot storm surge caused $1 billion in damage, plunging UTMB's finances into the red and prompting the layoffs of nearly 3,000 workers. A consultant even recommended that the hospital be moved off the island, an idea that found favor with the University of Texas Board of Regents and a few legislators.

Six years later, UTMB is not only off life support, it appears to have made a full recovery.

The university is close to completing more than $1 billion in improvements and repairs to protect against future hurricanes, ranging from moving essential functions to a higher level to adding protective walls that can rise around certain buildings.

Read more: http://www.theeagle.com/news/texas/texas-hospital-campus-rebounds-from-ike-s-blow/article_28e1b8f6-3585-11e4-8711-001a4bcf887a.html

Davis signs memoirs, Abbott files ethics complaint

AUSTIN — State Sen. Wendy Davis signed book after book at an Austin store, the line of admirers snaking up two flights of stairs to see the famous legislator.

Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat who is running for governor against Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, was promoting her new memoir, "Forgetting to Be Afraid."

Davis' tour drew fire from Abbott's campaign. Abbott's campaign manager filed an ethics complaint arguing that Davis used campaign money as part of book promotion. Specifically, the complaint talked about Davis traveling to New York Sept. 9-10 to promote her book. That trip included a campaign stop and was paid for by political contributions.

Davis' campaign called the complaint "frivolous."

Read more: http://www.caller.com/columnists/matthew-waller/davis-signs-memoirs-abbott-files-ethics-complaint_79559913

Texas Lawmakers Get Update on Health and Welfare of Children from Central America

Texas lawmakers got an update yesterday on children who’ve crossed the southern border illegally over the last several months.

Officials expressed concern about the unaccompanied children's health and welfare at a hearing of a Texas House Child Protection Committee hearing.

The number of unaccompanied children crossing the border has been dropping over the summer. About 54,000 have crossed the border, and 4,000 of them have settled in Texas, so far.

The state has asked U.S. Homeland Security for names and addresses of all people at detention facilities in cases of infectious diseases.

Read more: http://kut.org/post/texas-lawmakers-get-update-health-and-welfare-children-central-america

Texas Democrats ask for federal probe of AG Abbott's raid that targeted voter sign-up group

AUSTIN – Democratic congressmen from Texas have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a raid by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office that targeted a nonprofit voter registration group.

The Dallas Morning News reported Aug. 31 on the attorney general’s criminal investigation of Houston Votes, which was accused of election fraud. The probe was closed one year later, with no charges filed.

Following the armed raid in 2010, the funding for Houston Votes dried up. Its efforts to register more low-income voters in the state’s most populous county, Harris, ended. The group’s records and office equipment were destroyed under a court order obtained by Abbott’s office last year.

In a Sept. 10 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the 12 Democratic House members from Texas asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into the matter.

Read more: http://watchdogblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/texas-democrats-ask-for-federal-probe-of-ag-raid-that-targeted-voter-sign-up-group.html/

Related thread:
Abbott’s Houston raid didn’t end with arrests, but shut down voter drive


Greg Abbott Mansplains Health Care To The Ladies of Texas While Surrounded By Dudes

Flanked by nine men, Greg Abbott unveiled his health plan for Texas at a women's health center yesterday, while in the courts he continues his efforts to shut down women's clinics.

A few women were able to sneak in at the margins, which tells you all you need to know about how concerned Greg Abbott is about the views and needs of female Texans.

Abbott's plan fails to take advantage of the Medicaid expansion, which is costing Texans billions of dollars in tax revenue that is now going to other states' previously-uninsured residents. It also fails to provide solutions for uninsured Texans outside of the emergency room.

And I can't help but wonder what Abbott advance staffer thought that visual -- a dude surrounded by dudes talking about policies that affect women at a women's health center -- was even remotely a good idea.

Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15678/greg-abbott-mansplains-health-care-to-the-ladies-of-texas-while-surrounded-by-dudes

New Mexico sheriff hit with new indictment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A northern New Mexico sheriff is facing a new federal indictment connected to an off-duty traffic stop that authorities say left a motorist injured, according to court papers made public Wednesday.

The indictment by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque filed Tuesday accuses Rio County Sheriff Thomas Rodella of deprivation of rights and brandishing a firearm. In documents filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, prosecutors say Rodella assaulted a driver identified as M.T., used unreasonable force and caused his unlawful arrest.

The new filing nullifies the previous indictment.

Rodella was indicted last month on conspiracy to violate a motorist's civil rights, falsifying arrest documents and for an unreasonable seizure during the March encounter.

Read more: http://www.elpasotimes.com/latestnews/ci_26507479/new-mexico-sheriff-hit-new-indictment

Brownsville jury awards $2M to man wrongfully convicted

A federal jury on Tuesday awarded $2 million in damages to a Brownsville man wrongfully convicted of assaulting a public servant.

George Alvarez sought compensation for damages he suffered from the Brownsville Police Department after he served four years of eight-year sentence for a conviction of which he was later found innocent.

Alvarez’s civil rights violation trial began on Monday with the jury issuing its verdict against the city on Tuesday. The case was being tried before senior U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle.

The lawsuit names the city of Brownsville, former police chief Carlos Garcia, jailer Jesus Arias, Sgt. David Infante, Lt. Henry Etheridge, and former Cmdr. Robert Avita as defendants.

Alvarez, who was 17 on Nov. 27, 2005 — the date of the assault — was arrested for suspicion of burglary of a motor vehicle and detained in the Brownsville city jail.

Read more: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_89ae1904-38aa-11e4-a122-0017a43b2370.html
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