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Profile Information

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: 78,375

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

San Angelo judge assigned to Donald May (aka Mr. Conservative) hearing re sexual harassment

Dr. Donald R. May, alleged sexual harasser

A San Angelo judge has been assigned to preside over a hearing for a Lubbock politician’s request to depose a Texas Tech law student in a potential defamation case.

Ben Woodward will preside over the hearing, which has been reset for August, an official at the 99th District Court said Monday.

Woodward presides over the 119th Judicial District in Tom Green County.

A hearing was set for June 26, but was postponed after 99th District Court Judge Willam Sowder withdrew from the case, and a new judge had to be assigned.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/crime-and-courts/courts/2015-06-29/san-angelo-judge-assigned-donald-may-hearing#comment-374131

Earlier threads:
'Mr. Conservative' May seeks to depose sexual harassment accuser, files petition
Update: Attorney of law student says Mr. Conservative's petition aimed at shaming client

Republicans Versus "Government Marriage" - Ambitious GOPer calls for marriage-ending special session

Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, who would destroy marriage in order to save it.

Remember when Republicans kept saying marriage equality would wreck marriage? Seems the real danger is the GOP, since Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, thinks we just should get rid of the institution altogether.

The Texas GOP response to Friday's Supreme Court of the United States ruling on the issue has been predictable, with Gov. Greg Abbott railing against activist judges, and Attorney General Ken Paxton issuing an opinion that he doesn't think state employees can be forced to comply with the law.

Simpson has gone one step further, saying he has written a letter "asking the governor to recall the legislature so that legislation may be immediately considered to remove state and local officials from the process of issuing marriage licenses." Instead, he wants the job handed over to members of the clergy (for those that do not want a religious ceremony, a notary public will do). The aim is to prevent people from forcing churches to marry people that they don't want to marry. You know, gay couples, interracial couples, southpaws (they don't call them sinister for nothing).

Simpson wants to return to the biblical definition of marriage (excluding, presumably, the incestuous and polygamous relationships that litter the Old Testament). He wrote, “I cannot and I will not sit idly by while unelected judges redefine the sacred institution of marriage and force our county and state officials to violate their most cherished beliefs."

Read more: http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2015-06-29/republicans-versus-government-marriage/

Supreme Court to rehear case on affirmative action in University of Texas admissions policy

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday it will dive back into the fight over the use of race in admissions at the University of Texas, a decision that presages tighter limits on affirmative action in higher education.

The justices said they will hear for a second time the case of a white woman who was denied admission to the university’s flagship Austin campus.

The conservative-leaning federal appeals court in New Orleans has twice upheld the university’s admissions process, including in a ruling last year that followed a Supreme Court order to reconsider the woman’s case.

The case began in 2008 when Abigail Fisher, who is white, was denied admission to the University of Texas’s flagship Austin campus because she did not graduate in the top 10 percent of her high school class — the criterion for 75 percent of the school’s admissions. The university also passed her over for a position among the remaining 25 percent, which is reserved for special scholarships and people who meet a formula for personal achievement that includes race as a factor.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20150629-supreme-court-to-rehear-case-on-affirmative-action-in-university-of-texas-admissions-policy.ece

Texas is looking a lot bluer now!

See the latest interactive map indicating which counties are willing to issue same sex marriage licenses.


In the second map at the link it appears that only three counties are refusing to issue licenses based upon religious objections:

Hood, Kimble and Lipscomb

University of Texas announces same-sex benefits available July 1

The University of Texas has announced that all benefits-eligible employees and retirees from the Austin campus will be able to enroll their same-sex spouses – and the dependent children of those spouses – in health and dental coverage.

The change is effective July 1.

Employees will have 31 days to enroll for the benefits.

The UT System Office of Employee Benefits is working with vendors on similar changes to their medical and dental coverage, as well as life and accident insurance.

Forms: http://www.utexas.edu/hr/current/insurance/change_of_status.html


Ann Coulter has fallen from grace — and the reason why is terrifying

Ten years ago, Ann Coulter was featured on the cover of Time magazine with an article entitled “Ms. Right.” At the time she was a very big presence in the political media but the article pushed her into the realm of popular culture; thus, she became more than just a political bomb thrower. She’d always had the looks and the confidence, and now she had the imprimatur of the mainstream media. Coulter became a full-fledged star.

The article caused a tremendous stir. After all, Coulter was among the most flamboyant of the newer, edgier breed of right-wing provocateurs. In 2000, she had won the Media Research Center-presented “Conservative Journalist of the Year” award, and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute gave her its annual conservative leadership award “for her unfailing dedication to truth, freedom and conservative values and for being an exemplar, in word and deed, of what a true leader is.” It seemed as if she and her incendiary polemics were everywhere, from daily personal appearances on television, her weekly newspaper columns and a series of books that were extremely popular among right-wingers.

From 1998 to 2005, when the magazine cover appeared, she had published a series of books — “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton,” “Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right,” “Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism,” and a collection of her columns, called “How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter” — all of which were very successful. The theme of these books is obvious from the titles. She was famous for her cleverness in hating and baiting liberals. And in those heady days of conservative apotheosis, with sex scandals, stolen elections, terrorist attacks, unnecessary wars and liberalism on the run as never before, Coulter was the most deliciously vicious of all the haters. Among her famous quotes of the era were:

The “backbone of the Democratic Party” is a “typical fat, implacable welfare recipient.”

“My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that’s because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism.”

“If you don’t hate Clinton and the people who labored to keep him in office, you don’t love your country.”

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

“Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave… We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males.”

And one of her most memorable (to me at least) was this one:

“We need to execute people like John Walker {Lindh} in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors,”

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2015/06/29/ann_coulter_has_fallen_from_grace_%E2%80%94%C2%A0and_the_reason_why_is_actually_terrifying/

[font color=330099]Newsflash to me, "Coulter had the looks"?[/font]

Karl Rove denies bullying Ted Cruz over 2009 backing from George H.W. Bush

WASHINGTON — Add GOP operative Karl Rove to the ever-growing list of Ted Cruz’s political adversaries.

In Cruz’s forthcoming book, A Time for Truth, set for publication Tuesday, he recounts a tense confrontation in which Rove bullied him into burying an endorsement from George H.W. Bush amid concerns that it would alienate donors to the George W. Bush library in Dallas.

Rove, in Cruz’s telling, also called Bush “too old” to exercise sound political judgment in such matters — an assertion bound to stir consternation in the tight knit family hoping to elect its third president next year.

Rove issued a stern denial Sunday, saying he never questioned the mental faculties of a president he has revered for decades. He said his concern about the endorsement was that Greg Abbott hadn’t yet announced whether he would seek re-election as attorney general.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20150628-karl-rove-denies-bullying-ted-cruz-over-2009-backing-from-george-h.w.-bush.ece

Austin City Council member sparks social media outrage (compares gay marriage to pedophilia)

Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman generated controversy online after apparently having compared same-sex marriages to pedophilia on Friday night, according to a post on social media site Imgur.

A screenshot of a conversation in the comments section of a Facebook post shows a user identified as Zimmerman telling another user to replace “gay” with “pedophile” and that “there is no such thing as pedophilia, only intergenational love.”

Zimmerman refused to comment when reached on his phone Friday night.

Zimmerman goes on to say in the post that “If ‘scientific studies’ and the Supreme Court decide that your outdated morals regarding age of consent violate someone’s rights to ‘intergenerational marriage,’ you’d be fine with that? Of course you would, because that’s the basis of your morality today.”

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/zimmerman-sparks-social-media-storm-over-comments-/nmmzM/?ecmp=statesman_social_twitter_2014_sfp

Security official: Egypt's state prosecutor comes under bomb attack in eastern Cairo suburb

Source: AP

CAIRO — A security official says a bomb attack has targeted Egypt's prosecutor general in an eastern Cairo suburb but that he survived the assassination attempt.

The official says Monday's attack targeted Hisham Barakat's convoy as it was driving through Heliopolis district, heading to downtown.

The prosecutor's two security guards and a civilian were wounded. The official says it's not clear if Barakat was hurt or not. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the first major assassination attempt on a high government official since the 2013 attack on the then-interior minister. That attack came in the aftermath of the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/egypt-s-state-prosecutor-comes-under-bomb-attack-in-cairo/310606851/

F**k trigonometry

I meet a lot of people, at airports and music festivals. I’m a friendly, talkative kind of person (at least when I haven’t slept in a wet tent for two nights straight). When they ask me what I do for a living, I often say I’m a mathematician. Then they pretty much always tell me how much they hate math. When I ask why, they often suggest it was trigonometry that killed any interest they might have had for the subject.

I agree, trigonometry sucks. Fuck trigonometry. It’s a terribly unmotivated subject, and as a student you are expected to memorize double angle formulas with no proofs. It’s never clear why you’re learning it, except for the possibility of later memorizing the integrals and derivatives of said functions. It’s almost a case study in how to make someone feel like math is meant to be mysterious. A few comments before you decide I’m being unfair.

First, yes, trigonometric functions are needed in Fourier Analysis, which is hugely important nowadays for the sake of music files and information compression. But by the time you’re working with Fourier Analysis, you have more mathematical technology, and in particular you know the magic formula which makes all mysterious double and half angle formulas super easy, namely Euler’s Formula:

Understanding this formula, the Fourier Analyst is equipped to work with trig functions without all the mystery, and absolutely no memorization. In fact my mom did me the favor of explaining the above formula to me when I was in high school so I could avoid all the memorization. It helped, but even then I had memorized it, and it wasn’t until college that I understood it.

Read more: http://mathbabe.org/2015/06/22/fuck-trigonometry/

[font color=330099]This was one of the theorems that I had to prove starting with the unit circle on the complex plane when I took my oral final for my math degree.[/font]
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