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Member since: Wed Jan 9, 2008, 11:31 AM
Number of posts: 9,960

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Our country has entered the dark ages and I am furious!

Most everyone here knows how bad COVID is in Texas. Our governor mandated not telling parents if their kid is exposed, no masks, just treat COVID as if it were a cold.

My daughter is a special needs teacher with a special needs son too young for the vaccine. She spent the last two weeks teaching teachers in prep for the first day of school today. Half the teachers did not wear masks. Two of the maskless teachers had COVID. They kept showing up but were now wearing masks. After a year and a half of COVID and we are still ignoring how viruses work!

The District did away with free COVID testing for teachers. Required them to work with COVID unless they had a fever. The only concession was a few extra days off before having to use their PTO time to stay home, which they were not required to do if no fever.

My daughter got sick Sunday and went to the ER to be tested (her expense) and she has COVID. So do almost all of the teachers in her class. The District was forced to change the rule to keep them home for 10 days. The parents have no clue that this is going on!

The disaster has begun!

I'm an evacuee again! This is getting ridiculous!

Sitting in my hotel in Buda, TX.watching the Weather Channel wondering if I will have a house to go home to. I live in Beaumont, TX., which has been hit by Rita, Ike, Harvey, Imelda and several other smaller events since 2005. Climate Change is speeding up. I grew up in Beaumont and we did not have this happen much, never had to evacuate. Now we hold the world record for the most rain over 3 days, 67 inches with Harvey. Imelda tried hard to beat that record but fell short thankfully.

I want to thank everyone at DU for their support over the years. Malaise was wonderful giving me words of encouragement when I felt like the rain would never stop. It was like the hardest rain you ever experienced, except that it kept up like that hour after hour, day after day. The sound was so loud on my patio my ears would ring. DU kept me from going crazy since I could charge my iPad and Mobil hot spot off of the generator.

I will need that help again when I go back to no power, ruined refrigerators and freezer, and 98 degrees 95% humidity for a few weeks. Glad you are here DU!

I just found out today that another attorney in the firm found out his wife was exposed,

told only our HR director, and asked her to keep it secret that he was in quarantine. We have not been told when he was exposed. He last worked 6/25. On Friday 6/26 he felt ill but was not tested until sometime the following week. He told no one he was sick. He told the office today he just got his results and that he was positive.

The HR director said the “good news” is that we will be 14 days from our last exposure on Thursday. “Good news” that we did not know to be quarantined until the time was almost up? My 83 year old mom lives with me! I think I would like to freakin know he was exposed and sick! HIPPA means he doesn’t have to say he is sorry.

Let me ask you DU, do you think there should be an exception put into HIPPA concerning pandemic exposure related health information? What do you think of his actions?

I thought we are supposed to let the "Free Market" decide!

Conservatives are always throwing that out, "Let the Free Market decide..." Let's take them at their word, I say do not bail out any of these companies, they should have kept reserves for a rainy day and not taken so many risks. To always bail them out like we did the Wall Street banks in 2008, just reinforces their careless behavior. Someone would buy up the assets of the bankrupt airlines and start a new airline. Let the current ones fail. They all just received a huge tax cut and now they need help? F'them!

They want a socialist bail out, for real? What nerve!

Plant explosions in Jefferson County Texas!

I cannot get the link to paste and work but you can check the Beaumont Enterprise;KBMT Beaumont Texas or other Beaumont or Houston media.

The explosion an hour ago blew a several story tower sky high, but fortunately only 3 injuries so far. Mandatory evacuation for both of these two cities surrounding the plant. Houses damaged for miles around Port Neches and Groves Texas.

Since the regulatory agencies do not have the staff or budgets to inspect these plants, the plants are obligated to self-report leaks or problems (yeah right).

Today I spent time with John Cornyn and Ted Cruz!

I had to attend an Investiture (swearing in) of another new Trump federal judgeship. When I arrived there were cops and Homeland Security everywhere. I did not know at the time the two worst Senators in this country would be there along with almost all the judges in Texas.

I listened to them brag about the 150 federal judges they have sworn in since Trump went into office. They say they only have one open bench in Texas and hope to have it filled and take the filled positions to 100 percent, something that has not happened in many decades. It was sickening to watch and hear them gloat.

The worst part was from Ted Cruz (of course it was). He spoke about how the new judge would no longer be a Republican because we (USA) uphold the Rule of Law. Cruz added that the new judge would rule based on the law and the facts with no partisanship. The people around me were upset with me when I muttered a little too loudly “So this means you will vote to impeach Trump?”

We can never let the Republicans hold up our judicial nominees again. I rarely practice in federal court and yet I currently have cases in front of 4 Trump appointed federal judges!

The school shooting epidemic is traumatizing our kids daily!

I have two kids who are teachers so I am seeing the effects these shootings are having in our schools. The elementary school around the corner from me was put on lock-down last week when SWAT had to deal with an armed criminal holed up in his house around the corner from the elementary school and down the street from me. My son's HS in Austin was on lock-down yesterday and the following is his account of that traumatic event:

There was a lock-down at my school today and they have a suspect in custody. I am told we're safe now, but we still aren't leaving the classroom. I would appreciate if you took the time to read the thoughts I've penned as I sit in my classroom with my nervous students.

The announcement came on, “Turn off all your lights. We are on lockdown. Make sure your doors are locked.” Nervous laughs and whispers rippled through the room. Was it serious? Was it a drill? All of my students, my children, moved quickly to the corner. Except one. Mauricio (not his real name) walked in front of my desk, hidden from the door but next to it. He crouched down in a sprinter’s stance, ready. He didn’t hesitate for a moment. His earbuds were still in.
I wanted everyone to remain calm. I didn’t know if it was a drill or not, but I had a suspicion this was the real thing. I crouched down next to Mauricio. If this 17 year old was willing to sacrifice his life for his classmates, could I, a grown man with a full life behind me, stand in the corner, hiding behind him? I grabbed a pair of red scissors from the plastic cup on my desk and held them tight in my palm.
On the wall across from where we were crouched, I saw the paper plates with our core values we had stapled to the wall so many months ago, at the beginning of the year. Each student decided on a value they wanted to see in the classroom and wrote it on a plate. They stapled their plates to the wall so that each day we could be reminded of the values we strive to live up to: kindness; respect; empathy; honesty; and “Rise up.” One of them said “Joy,” and had a grinning happy face drawn on it in sharpie. I thought of the humans behind each value. The kids behind me now. The kid next to me ready to be a man, ready to sacrifice everything so others could live.
My fist tightened around the scissors, but I couldn't’t help but smile. I knew now what I was willing to do for them. The depths of my love laid bare in a moment of possible crisis. I felt pride mingled with fear for the ones I loved and for myself. Mauricio gave me a pat on the back and some advice to, “Watch for his shadow through the window.”
A child should never have to think such thoughts. No one should have to hide and wonder if death comes for them today--least of all children. We live in the wealthiest, most powerful country on earth, and yet we are too weak to protect our own children. Our hearts are too full of cowardice to give up the false security of a gun for the real security of law. And our weakness fills our children with fear, with anger, and sometimes with bullets.
The minutes ticked by in darkness and silence. My legs started to ache. I could smell the stale sweat collecting on my palms. I stared at the rectangle of light coming in through the window, waiting for the shadow that might end my life.
I checked my watch. It had been 40 minutes. We heard a key in the door and Mauricio jumped. Our principal walked in, “It’s just me guys. You can turn the lights on, but we’re staying in here for now.” Relief flowed through me. I turned to look back at my students. Some of them were drying tears from their eyes. And with their tears, my thoughts turned to anger. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas. How many others? So many that most of us can’t even remember their names, let alone the names of the children whose blood flowed across the tiles of their own classrooms, mingled with the tears of their friends.
Today, my class was going to read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Out of all the powerful words Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in that letter, I was most excited for them to read the words, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.” Little did I know the lesson would become much more personal for them today. But it did because today, our children are oppressed. They are oppressed by fear, by violence, by death, and yes, by guns. Those who advocate the status quo--more dead children day after day; more dark headlines; more thoughts and prayers; and more of the same tired politicians spewing the same tired lies--they only have the power we give them. After today, I am ready to take away the power that my inaction gives them. I know now that I would be willing to sacrifice my life for the lives of my students. So why would I not sacrifice my time, my energy, and the life still beating in my heart in exchange for a meaningful change?
Today, I join the courageous students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas in saying, “Never Again.” I hope you’ll join me too. I’m going to work to organize a protest at the Texas State Capitol, details pending. If you are willing to stand with me, then join us in saying, until we are finally heard, “Never Again.” #NeverAgain

Antitrust No Cure-All For Economic Ills, FTC Chief Says Share us on: By Melissa Lipman Law360, Ne

Antitrust No Cure-All For Economic Ills, FTC Chief Says
Share us on: By Melissa Lipman

Law360, New York (September 11, 2017, 6:41 PM EDT) -- Amid increasing calls for tougher antitrust enforcement to tackle concentrated industries, the Federal Trade Commission's Maureen Ohlhausen cautioned Monday that the Sherman Act is not the right tool to deal with income inequality.

After searching for a platform to appeal to voters on the losing end of rising income inequality, Democratic leaders called for a crackdown on market concentration as part of their "Better Deal" economic plan unveiled in July.

The line of thinking championed by high-profile lawmakers like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., calls for a more muscular approach to antitrust enforcement against mergers and monopolies.

But Ohlhausen, the acting FTC chairman, warned in a speech Monday in Washington, D.C., against trying to wield the antitrust laws too broadly, saying that they are "not a panacea."


The article goes on to quote from the Acting FTC chairman that that they have to approach dealing with this issue of income inequality with more "humility". She believes in "Economic liberty and regulatory humility." Trump has yet to name the chairman and 3 empty seats on the commission for the FTC.

Looks like we have another great wedge issue to use against the Republicans!

Why are Republicans going unchallenged by the media and still talking about

instituting massive tax cuts in the face of massive hurricane recoveries?

Shouldn't tax cuts be discussed only when the economy is humming and government revenue is up?

I know it is all about Donors, but it is frustrating to see the need for tax cuts go unchallenged by the corrupt, advertising driven corporate media.

FEMA deadlines and tips for Texas and Florida!

I took a webnar yesterday, but left my notes at the office. The biggest take-aways are:
1. Most of the deadlines are 60 days from the event/damage (filing claims with FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA);
2. Shortage of FEMA staff means they will give up to $20,000 without a visit. The attorneys emphasized taking pictures of everything before, during, and after. They said "document, document, document." FEMA will follow up later and expect to see the documentation and that the money was spent FOR WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SPENT FOR!
3. The FEMA cap is now $33,300 which includes any money or rent paid, anything you get;
4. The SBA is the biggest flood aid and does more than just small business loans. Disaster unemployment and food stamps too. Everyone should apply to them as well. Generally the less your income and worse your credit the lower your interest rate. Really good for self-employed and small business, but also employees;
5. Check your area's legal aid when you get denied. They said that FEMA frequently denies against the rules so "...all you do is site the correct rule and you win."

Wish I had more, but your State Bars of Florida and Texas will have this information on their websites.
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