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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

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: 66,162

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

Are Dogs Brainier Than Cats? Yes, Says New Research Out Of Vanderbilt


Dogs have more cortical neurons, says a Vanderbilt researcher — but that doesn't necessarily mean they're smarter.
Reader Of The Pack via Flickr



The latest research from a Vanderbilt University neuroscientist has some potentially controversial findings, depending on your pet preference: Suzana Herculano-Houzel's team found that dogs have more neurons in their cerebral cortex than cats.

But does this mean dogs are smarter? Not necessarily.

First, the back story: Herculano-Houzel created a method of counting loose cells floating around in an animal's brain — "turning brains into soup," as she describes it. With this ability, she and other researchers started counting neurons across the animal kingdom — first in rats, then other rodents, then primates, now a whole slew of animals.

"If you consider that neurons are the basic information processing units of brains, then whoever has the most neurons should also have the most information processing capabilities," says Herculano-Houzel, whose team is publishing an article in the open access journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

Humans, they found, are clearly superior, with about 16 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for cognitive abilities. Her book, The Human Advantage: A New Understanding of How Our Brain Became Remarkable, delves into this topic.

Read more: http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/are-dogs-brainier-cats-yes-says-new-research-out-vanderbilt#stream/0

The dog in the photo doesn't know what is coming to him. Felines rule!!!111!!!

U.S. Supreme Court axes suit over Mississippi flag

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from an African-American attorney who called the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag “an official endorsement of white supremacy.”

The justices did not comment as they ended a lawsuit by lawyer Carlos Moore that sought to have the flag declared an unconstitutional relic of slavery.

Mississippi has used the same flag since 1894. It’s the last state banner featuring the Confederate symbol, a red field topped by a blue tilted cross dotted by 13 white stars. Critics say the symbol is racist. Supporters say it represents history.

Moore said Monday that he has received five death threats because of the lawsuit and three death threats because he removed the Mississippi flag from his courtroom after he became a Clarksdale city judge. He said he’s disappointed but not surprised that the justices chose not to consider the case.

Read more: http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/27/mississippi-state-flag-case-us-supreme-court-wont-hear-challenge/897564001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Dec 1, 2017, 12:23 AM (3 replies)

Mississippi's SNAP program is being investigated for possible fraud

ACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Newly revealed documents show Mississippi has been under federal investigation for possible mismanagement of the SNAP Program. That's what most folks know as food stamps.

We've learned that it's the SNAP error rates that are the focus of this investigation. Those are not "fraud rates". They instead measure whether or not benefits provided to SNAP participants are accurate, not too high or too low. It includes errors caused by the state agencies and those by clients.

"SNAP is really one of the best and most efficient programs that the federal government has, said Mississippi Center for Justice Advocacy Director Beth Orlansky. "All of the benefits to pay for food comes from the federal government. It can be the difference between going hungry or not."

But this Civil Investigative Demand Letter discovered by Mississippi Watchdog indicates the feds are looking into whether Mississippi submitted fraudulent SNAP claim data.

Read more: http://www.msnewsnow.com/story/36957649/mississippis-snap-program-is-being-investigated-for-possible-fraud

Editorial in Texas State University student newspaper condemned as 'racist'

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – An article published in the Texas State University student-run newspaper is creating quite a buzz on campus and online. Many are calling the opinion piece, titled “Your DNA is an abomination,” blatant racism.

The author, Rudy Martinez, starts the article by saying he has only met a dozen white people he would consider “decent.” He continues by touching on white privilege and how white people don’t have to worry when pulled over by police officers.

“I see white people as an aberration,” Martinez wrote in the paper. The sentence is easily taken to mean that he doesn’t welcome white people; however, he says he’s talking about an ideology.

“The idea of whiteness and the way we currently understand it in which you have white privilege, you have our system of mass incarceration, you have a history of slavery in this country followed by Jim Crow. Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. These are all ideas born out of whiteness; they were born out of the minds of white people. So that, I do see as an aberration,” Martinez told KXAN.

Read more: https://kxan.com/2017/11/29/students-claim-editorial-posted-in-texas-state-student-newspaper-is-racist/

Non-profit agencies are moving the homeless into permanent housing

There are about 2,000 homeless people living in the state of Mississippi according to an annual report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. With the majority living in shelters, organizers are focused on moving them into permanent housing. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.



Stewpot's Matt's House is an emergency homeless shelter for women and children in Jackson. It allows the homeless an initial 14-day limit. During that time, counselors are working to assist them in finding long-term housing and employment. After 14 days, the resident must prove they're searching for work and housing or they are asked to leave the shelter.

Cambre Vincent is a native of Collins. She is a resident at Matt's House. Her fiance is a resident at another homeless shelter in Jackson.

"We had an apartment that we lived in. We left to come here for a job and it just didn't work out," said Vincent.

Vincent requested a two-week extension at Matt's House but if she doesn't find employment soon, she says she's afraid of what may happen to her family.

Read more: http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2017/11/29/non-profit-agencies-are-moving-the-homeless-into-permanent-housing/

Appreciation thread for Franni Bryson Franken

No matter what anyone thinks about the veracity of the various accusations against Al Franken, she has to be going through a difficult time seeing the media exposure about her husband of 42 years. The fact that we haven't heard any rumors about her seeking a separation or divorce says a lot about Al Franken's character and whether the person that knows Al best believes in him.

Here's to Franni--please think of her!

Drug Deaths on the Rise in Mississippi

The number of people who die from opioid overdoses in Mississippi is on the rise. That's according to the state Bureau of Narcotics. MPB's Mark Rigsby attended a state-sponsored town hall meeting on opioid abuse in Jackson last night, and found the epidemic appears to be getting worse.

As of Thanksgiving Day, 222 people died from drug overdose deaths in Mississippi - eleven more than all of 2016. More than 200 were related to opioids. Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy fears the drug death toll could be more than 300 by the end of the year.

"There is an urgency here because we're losing Mississippians on a daily basis, as a result of this epidemic. So, we've already exceeded last year's drug overdose death totals. To me, that creates an urgency to do something about this."

There were 200,000,000 pain pills prescribed in Mississippi last year, that's enough for 70 doses for every person in the entire state. The state is 5th in the nation for opioid prescriptions per capita. But it's not just pain pill prescriptions. Dowdy also warns of the influx of fentanyl, a pain killer used during surgery or by cancer patients, and it's several times more powerful than morphine.

Read more: http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2017/11/29/drug-deaths-on-the-rise-in-mississippi/

Montgomery doctor pleads guilty to unnecessarily prescribing opiates, health care fraud

A Montgomery doctor pleaded guilty to federal charges after he unnecessarily prescribed several different drugs as part of a "pill mill" operation, according to a U.S. Attorneys Office news release.

Gilberto Sanchez, 56, of Cecil, Alabama, pleaded guilty Tuesday to drug distribution conspiracy, health care fraud and money laundering charges in federal court after law enforcement learned that he was prescribing controlled substances, such a methadone, hydrocodone and fentanyl, to patients that didn't actually need the drugs, according to the news release. The operation was run out of Family Practice, a clinic in the 4000 block of Atlanta Highway.

"We depend on doctors to be part of the prescription drug abuse solution — not part of the problem. Dr. Sanchez’s greed-fueled pill mill put the lives of his patients and the integrity of federal health care programs at risk,” said Derrick L. Jackson, special agent in charge, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

Sanchez would have patients come in for unnecessary monthly examinations before they could refill their prescriptions, charging those visits to both public — including Medicare and Medicaid — and private insurance companies. Sanchez bought at least one vehicle and personal residence with the money he made from the operation.

Read more: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2017/11/28/montgomery-doctor-guilty-unnecessarily-prescribing-opiates-while-overcharging-public-insurance-progr/903503001/

Minister who sang for Roy Moore lied for son accused of molesting Honduran orphans

One of the ministers who serves a Theodore church where Roy Moore spoke Wednesday night was federally convicted of trying to block an investigation involving claims his son molested children in Honduras.

Rev. Bill Atkinson led the music portion of the Moore event at the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church, where the U.S. Senate candidate spoke for over 20 minutes and was interrupted twice by people in the audience.

In 2012, Atkinson was found guilty of obstruction and conspiracy for ordering two of his children to destroy a hard drive of a digital video recorder, which held evidence that incriminated his son for child molestation. At the time, William James "Will" Atkinson IV was in a Honduras jail awaiting trial on charges that he molested children at an orphanage the Atkinson family owned. Those allegations came to light when his younger brother, Jonathan Atkinson, set up a secret surveillance system in Will's office after some of the children said they had been touched inappropriately.

Authorities maintained that the eldest Atkinson then tried to get his son out of Honduras and back to Theodore.

Read more: http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/11/minister_convicted_of_obstruct.html

State leaders have lost their credibility on prisons

With all the attention being given to the special election for the U.S. Senate, you may not have seen what has been happening in Montgomery with the prison crisis.

Last year, Gov. Bentley proposed a plan to build four new “super prisons” at a cost of about $800 million. At the time, a lawsuit had been filed claiming that the state’s prisons were overcrowded and did not provide adequate safety and healthcare services, which is a violation of the 8th Amendment that prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.”

State leaders’ claimed that building new prisons would solve all the problems by allowing the state to house the same number of prisoners without having to hire more guards or mental healthcare professionals.

But legislators couldn’t agree on a construction plan, and the court ultimately ruled that our prisons are “horrendously inadequate,” and, more specifically, that there are “serious systemic deficiencies” in the delivery of mental health services, driven by chronic overcrowding and understaffing.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2017/11/29/state-leaders-lost-credibility-prisons/
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