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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: 83,606

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

Postcard from the Incredible Electric Oyster Reef

It used to be that the streets were paved with shells.

In the 19th century, a vast oyster reef underneath Nueces Bay formed a kind of road from the small port town of Corpus Christi to settlements on the other side of the bay. Since there were no real streets, people would use the oyster reef to travel across the bay, splashing in their horse and buggies through seawater that rose, clear and shallow, a few feet above it.

From the 1840s through the turn of the 20th century, the population in the Coastal Bend surged, and with it came heavy construction. In Corpus Christi and nearby towns, houses were built and city streets were paved with bricks of shellcrete, a cheap building material mixed from water, sand, and oyster shells mined from the reefs. As recently as 1950, shellcrete was used for constructing houses, and as more people moved to the region, the oyster reefs began to disappear.

By the 1980s, the extensive oyster beds in Corpus Christi and Nueces bays that took tens of thousands of years to accumulate were gone. Without a hard reef, coastal winds churned up the soft bottom of the bays. Murky, sediment-thick water disrupted the marine habitat, and the bays became a giant mud pool no longer capable of supporting an abundance of fish and plant life. The once-clear water now “looks like Yoo-hoo, all of the time,” said Aaron Baxter, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/postcard-incredible-electric-oyster-reef/

Louisiana Democratic Party hopes to duplicate governor’s race in future

Louisiana Democrats say they recognize that Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards had the perfect “three-legged stool” to boost his campaign from a potential afterthought in 2015 to winning the race.

Edwards, who will be sworn in Jan. 11, is the first Democrat to win a statewide election in Louisiana since 2008.

Now, Democrats are analyzing what went right for Edwards and whether they can re-create the magic political mix in what could be a heated U.S. Senate race in 2016.

“It was a lot of hard work that’s not very sexy,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “That work and that investment and those relationships that were built paid off.”

Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/14329107-123/louisiana-democratic-party-hopes-to-duplicate-governors-race-in-future

Fight over beer pong led to deadly shooting, Albuquerque PD says

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A fight over a drinking game at a party this weekend turned deadly when two people opened fire on two teenagers, killing one and critically wounding the other, according to police.

A third teen was accidentally shot in the leg.

Police have arrested Esias Madrid, 18, and charged him with an open count of murder for allegedly shooting and killing 18-year-old Arturo Villa at a party early Sunday morning.

And they issued an arrest warrant for 22-year-old Jack Daniel Trujillo, who they believe shot and critically wounded 17-year-old Jaime Acevez. The third teen, Ignacio Vasquez, 17, was in stable condition Sunday.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/697637/news/18-year-old-charged-with-murder-in-weekend-triple-shooting.html

FRC-Endorsed Republican Running On Platform Of Depriving Gays Of Civil Rights

Josh Hawley is running to be Missouri's next Attorney General. A constitutional law professor, Hawley signed onto a Supreme Court brief submitted by the Becket Fund, but seems to, according to The Missouri Times, be positioning himself as the attorney who argued the case before the Supreme Court – which he did not.

"A leading national expert on the issue of religious freedom, Josh was co-counsel on the landmark Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the most important decision on our First Amendment liberties in decades," his campaign website states.

Hawley is running on a platform that insists Missourians need more protection for their religious freedoms, and now his target is the LGBT community.

As he's not a lawmaker or elected politician, Hawley's campaign rests on his asking Missouri lawmakers to pass a "religious freedom" bill, similar to the broad and sweeping legislation that drew national attention in Indiana, Arkansas, and other states. Hawley sent a letter to GOP lawmakers, asking them “to make sure religious liberty is at the top of the agenda’’ when next year's session of the General Assembly begins in January.

Read more: http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/hate_group_endorsed_republican_running_on_platform_of_depriving_gays_of_civil_rights

Republican State Senator Files Bill To Strip Democratic Governor Of His Security Detail

A Republican state senator in Virginia has filed a budget amendment that would strip Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe of the funds to pay for the security detail that protects the governor.

State Senator Bill Carrico (that's him with Jeb Bush in the photo above) filed the amendment in retaliation for the announcement last week that the administration is closing down a loophole that allowed everyone with a concealed carry permit from another state to carry a firearm in Virginia. Under the new rules, people from twenty-five states that now have reciprocity agreements with Virginia will no longer be automatically allowed to carry a firearm in the Commonwealth. Six of those states will also no longer allow visitors with Virginia permits to carry a concealed gun.

Attorney General Herring (photo right with Gov. McAuliffe) called the move "common sense" in a statement:

"The General Assembly has already identified who can and cannot conceal handguns in Virginia, and we cannot have that decision undermined by recognizing permits from other states with more permissive standards.

“To me, this is a commonsense step that can help make Virginians and our law enforcement officers safer by ensuring that Virginia’s laws on who can and cannot carry a concealed handgun are applied evenly, consistently, and fairly.”

Read more: http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/uncucumbered/republican_state_senator_files_bill_to_strip_democratic_governor_of_his_security_detail

White Supremacist David Duke on Donald Trump: He Speaks ‘A Lot More Radically’ Than I Do

This was the election cycle during which the GOP planned on showing us that they had moved beyond the Southern Strategy. They were happy about the campaigns of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both of Hispanic origin. They also had a woman, Carly Fiorina, as well as Ben Carson, a celebrated neurologist who also happened to be black.

This was the year that the Republican Party had finally caught up with the 21st century, and they wanted to show their diversity to the American voters. Then Donald Trump came in like a wrecking ball, and turned all of that upside down. In response to their usual promotion of trickle-down corporate economics, he launched a counter message that embraced a populist ideal that blamed the loss of American exceptionalism on the very people the GOP wanted to attract to retain political evidence.

All of the Republican Party’s plans for replacing President Obama with someone like Jeb Bush fell to the side, as Donald Trump roared to the top of their primary polls, and unleashed havoc within the GOP. To the Republican establishment, Donald Trump had moved from an outside agitator and suddenly became their front-runner.

While candidates like Jeb Bush and others wanted to move to the center and go back to the Bush years, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have upset that apple cart and have moved the party’s rhetoric back to a time before I was born. This was a surprise to a political party which wanted to maintain conservative economics that benefited their contributors, while assuring their religious voters that they still cared about abortion and fighting gay marriage.

Read more: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/the-donald-trump-campaign-shows-us-racism-is-alive-and-well-in-america/

New Year’s Eve Underwear Traditions from Around the World That You Didn’t Know Existed

If you have certain goals in mind for 2016 — prosperity, love, fortune, happiness, friendship, etc — you may want to don a specific color of underwear come December 31st.

As a new video from The Underwear Expert explains, nations from around the world have different customs of what color underwear you should wear on New Year’s Eve to ensure a fortuitous year ahead. Argentinians believe pink skivvies will bring you love, while in China, red underwear (preferably with golden embroidery) wards off bad luck for the coming year. And it’s not always about color; Bolivians suggest wearing pink underwear backwards to keep up strong friendships and Peruvians wear green underwear inside out to receive positive energy all year long.

Among the many nations profiled in the video, there is one consensus: wearing black skivvies on New Year’s Eve will bring misfortune to your year ahead. So opt for something colorful instead, depending on what’s on your 2016 vision board.

Watch the video below:

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2015/12/new-years-eve-underwear-traditions-from-around-the-world-that-you-didnt-know-existed-watch/

Cruz 'Netflix and Chill contest' raises eyebrows

Obviously, it's a hoax, but we're guessing Team Ted Cruz isn't laughing.

Someone thought it would be funny to offer a "special evening" with the Republican candidate for president. The evening in Houston would involve Netflix, but there won't be movie-watching involved.

"Netflix and chill" is 2015 slang for sex, and it has spawned popular memes. It even inspired a business venture in Austin.

Unsurprisingly, there has been plenty of mocking of another hoax tweet going viral.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/Ted-Cruz-contest-is-raising-eyebrows-6724447.php

Partying video could land Manziel in trouble again

According to a Cleveland.com report, Johnn Manziel is in the hot seat yet again over an Instagram video he posted on Christmas Eve.

The video shows Manziel and a friend listening to a song and singing the words while holding what appears to be alcoholic drinks. The quarterback is already on a tight leash with his head coach, and this didn’t seem to help his case.

“Anytime there’s something with our players that casts them potentially in a bad light, whether it’s Johnny or any of our other guys, it’s certainly a concern,” said Browns coach Mike Pettine. “I’m sure I’ll see it, I’ll have a discussion with him about it.”

Manziel has already been punished for posing a similar video during the Browns off week this season. He was demoted to third string on the depth chart for that video and claimed to have learned his lesson.

The video is at http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2015/12/johnny-manziels-christmas-eve-video-puts-qb-in-hot-water-yet-again/

Paxton objects to prosecutor fees as excessive

Lawyers defending Attorney General Ken Paxton from criminal charges Monday asked a state judge to dramatically cut the fees that can be paid to prosecutors in the case.

In a court filing, Paxton’s lawyers argued that the three appointed prosecutors can be paid no more than $1,000 each for pretrial work — well below the $300 an hour that a judge approved earlier this year.

Defense lawyers argued that the higher fees would violate state law and Collin County rules on payments to appointed attorneys, including the prosecutors who were appointed to handle Paxton’s case after Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis — a friend and former business partner of Paxton — stepped aside in April.

The appointed prosecutors — Kent Schaffer, Brian Wice and Nicole Deborde — are Houston defense lawyers.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/paxton-objects-to-prosecutor-fees-as-excessive/npsX2/

[font color=330099]Paxton can't get the judge to dismiss the criminal case against him so now he do everything within his power to sabotage the prosecution. If a judge rules in favor of this motion then it would effectively end the prosecution of any state official in specialized cases outside of Travis County. It is essentially a get out jail free card for any state official that commits a crime in any of the other 253 counties in the state since no attorney would willingly accept such complex litigation without being able to recoup their expenses or be compensated for their time.[/font]
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