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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 52,687

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

5 Progressive (Democrats) Women Running For Congress That You Should Donate To Right-Now



1. Lauren Underwood – Illinois’s 14th

Illinois already had its primaries, and Lauren Underwood will be the Democratic nominee in Illinois’s 14th congressional district. The district barely voted for Trump, and the area has been trending increasing Democratic over the last 10 years. During the primary, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats showed up to vote, a sign that this district is ready to flip from Republican to Democratic.

Lauren Underwood is a nurse who grew up in Naperville, Illinois. During her career, she became a policy coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services. She rose up through the ranks to become a senior adviser for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. In addition to possessing a world of knowledge about federal healthcare policy and emergency preparedness, on the campaign trail, she’s become an advocate for jobs, education, and her community.

Thanks to my extra paycheck this month, I’ve donated to Lauren Underwood’s campaign. Donate $50, $25, or even just $5 to help elect Lauren here:


Learn more at Laura’s website: https://www.underwoodforcongress.com/

Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurenunderwood

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LUnderwood630
GinaOrtizJones.png Gina Ortiz Jones, Democratic candidate for TX-23 in 2018.

2. Gina Ortiz Jones –Texas’s 23rd

Texas also already had its primaries, but not all the Democratic nominees are certain. Many races have gone to a run-off election, in which the top 2 candidates from the primary face off to become the nominee. Gina Ortiz Jones almost beat the 50% threshold and is favored to become the nominee. The 23rd district has been Texas’s most noteworthy swing district for the last decade, switching between Republican and Democratic representation multiple times. In a Democratic wave election, Jones has a strong shot at unseating the Republican incumbent.

Gina Ortiz Jones grew up in San Antonio but left to serve in the military. Growing up, her family struggled to get by. Jones and her family lived in subsidized housing, and her mom battled and survived colon cancer. After graduating from high school and college, she became an intelligence officer for the United States Air Force. As an LGBT woman, she endured the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. And if elected, she’ll become the first ever American of Filipino descent to serve in Congress. She’s clear-eyed on issues of national security, healthcare, civil rights, and immigration, and she views them all through a progressive lens.

Thanks to my extra paycheck this month, I’ve donated to the campaign of Gina Ortiz Jones. Donate whatever amount you can—$50, $20, or even just $5—to help elect Gina here:


Learn more at Gina’s website: https://ginaortizjones.com/

Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GinaOrtizJones/

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ginaortizjones
KatieHill.png Katie Hill, Democratic candidate for CA-25 in 2018.

3. Katie Hill—California’s 25th

California has a complicated top two primary system, and in the 25th district, it’s a rumble for Democrats. Four are running, but of the three viable Democratic candidates, only one actually grew up in and lived in the district before running: Katie Hill. An executive at a major housing and homelessness nonprofit, she’s directly grappled with questions of how to help those most in need. She provides a unique perspective on many issues and, so far on her campaign, has talked about personal experiences related to healthcare, women’s rights, law enforcement, and (as an openly bisexual woman) LGBT issues.

The 25th district is one of the most flippable seats in the country, and polling has shown that if Katie Hill can win the nomination, she’ll be favored to beat the Republican incumbent by as much as 10%. But first, she needs to secure the Democratic nomination.

Donate whatever amount you can—$50, $20, or even just $5—to help elect Katie here:


Learn more at Katie’s website: https://www.katiehillforcongress.com/

Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatieHillforCongress/

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatieHill4CA
AbbyFink.png Abby Finkenauer, Democratic candidate for IA-01 in 2018.

4. Abby Finkenauer—Iowa’s 1st

Do you like unions? If so, then you’ll like Abby! To quote her website: “Abby comes from a working class family in Dubuque County. Her father was a Union Pipefitter Welder, her mother works for the Dubuque Community Schools. She learned the value of public service and giving back to the community from her family, particularly from her grandfather who was a Lieutenant in the Dubuque Fire Department.” Abby Finkenauer went on to win a seat in Iowa’s state legislature, one of the youngest women to ever do so. She’s been a strong advocate for working class families, women, and progressive values. If elected, she’d likely become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Iowa’s 1st is a historically Democratic district that, in the age of Trump, lurched rightward. However, the incumbent Republican has fallen prey to a serious of scandals, including yelling at a reporter in front of a group of children he had brought in to turn the situation into a photo op. Needless to say, this is a very flippable district, and Abby Finkenauer is a woman who can win.

Donate whatever amount you can—$50, $20, or even just $5—to help elect Abby here:


Learn more at Abby’s website: https://www.abbyfinkenauer.com/

Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Abby4Iowa/

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Abby4Iowa
DebbieMP.png Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Democratic candidate for FL-26 in 2018.

5. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell—Florida’s 26th

One of the most promising progressive candidates this election cycle is Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. She’s running in Florida’s 26th district, a seat that went for Hillary Clinton by a 16% margin. However, the incumbent Republican has raised $2 million—mostly from corporate PACs and special interest groups—and is certain to launch a scorched-earth offensive to try and cling to his seat.

Thankfully, Mucarsel-Powell offers a refreshing perspective on one of the key issues in this race: healthcare. Through a nonprofit initiative at the College of Health at Florida International University, she’s worked on the ground in South Florida supporting and growing nonprofit healthcare systems. Because Florida has refused to expand Medicaid and her Republican opponent has repeatedly voted to destroy the Affordable Care Act, she’d serve in DC as a much-needed healthcare advocate for the state of Florida. And as an immigrant from Ecuador and a woman, fighting the Trump agenda is personal for her. She’s also talked openly about her father, who was a victim of America’s gun violence epidemic.

Donate $50, $20, or even just $5 to help elect Debbie here:


Learn more at Debbie’s website: https://debbiemucarselpowell.com/

Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbieforfl/

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebbieforFL

Explosive Facebook Memo Defended Companys Strategy, Even If It Got People Killed

Explosive Facebook Memo Defended Company’s Strategy, Even If It Got People Killed

“We connect people. Period. That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified,” an executive wrote in 2016.

By Nick Visser


A top Facebook executive wrote an internal memo in 2016 that defended the company’s growth as necessary and justified, even if the social network was used to bully someone to death or help plan a terrorist attack.

The leaked document, obtained by BuzzFeed News and published Thursday, was written by Vice President Andrew “Boz” Bosworth. Titled “The Ugly,” Bosworth roundly defended Facebook’s acquisition of user data, what he calls “all the questionable contact importing practices” and “all the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends.”

“We connect people. Period. That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified,” he wrote. “All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it.”

He continued: “That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.”

“And still we connect people.”

Bosworth acknowledged that he wrote the memo but said he no longer agrees with the post today and “didn’t agree with it even when I wrote it.” He is seen as an outspoken figure at Facebook, the outlet reported, known for being blunt.

“why did you write a post you don’t agree with?” It was intended to be provocative. This was one of the most unpopular things I’ve ever written internally and the ensuing debate helped shape our tools for the better.
— Boz (@boztank) March 29, 2018

“The purpose of this post ... was to bring to the surface issues I felt deserved more discussion,” he said. “Having a debate around hard topics like these is a critical part of our process, and to do that effectively we have to be able to consider even bad ideas.”

The document showcases Facebook executives’ awareness of its power, both good and bad, years before the company was embroiled in controversy over the misuse of user data. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the data firm Cambridge Analytica misused the data of 50 million people, prompting calls for Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress.

Zuckerberg decried the memo in a statement released Thursday, saying it was something he “disagreed with strongly.”

“Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things,” he said in the statement. “This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly. We’ve never believed the ends justify the means.”

Read the full memo at BuzzFeed News.


John Bolton interviewed on Colbert's show

How a Young Woman Lost Her Identity

Letter from St. Thomas
April 2, 2018 Issue
How a Young Woman Lost Her Identity

Hannah Upp disappears for weeks at a time, forgetting her sense of self. Can she still be found?

By Rachel Aviv


Hannah Upp had been missing for nearly two weeks when she was seen at the Apple Store in midtown Manhattan. Her friends, most of them her former classmates from Bryn Mawr, had posted a thousand flyers about her disappearance on signposts and at subway stations and bus stops. It was September, 2008, and Hannah, a middle-school teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy, a public school in Harlem, hadn’t shown up for the first day of school. Her roommate had found her wallet, passport, MetroCard, and cell phone in her purse, on the floor of her bedroom. The News reported, “Teacher, 23, Disappears Into Thin Air.”

A detective asked Hannah’s mother, Barbara Bellus, to come to the Thirtieth Precinct, in Harlem, to view the Apple Store surveillance footage. Barbara watched a woman wearing a sports bra and running shorts, her brown hair pulled into a high ponytail, ascend the staircase in the store. A man stopped her and asked if she was the missing teacher in the news. Barbara said, “I could see her blow off what he was saying, and I knew instantly it was her—it was all her. She has this characteristic gesture. It’s, like, ‘Oh, no, no, don’t you worry. You know me, I’m fine.’ ” Another camera had captured Hannah using one of the store’s laptops to log in to her Gmail account. She looked at the screen for a second before walking away.

The sighting was celebrated by Hannah’s friends, many of whom were camping out at her apartment. They made maps of the city’s parks, splitting them into quadrants, and sent groups to look in the woods and on running paths and under benches.

According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, which Hannah often referenced, she was an E.N.F.P.: Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving, a personality type that describes exuberant idealists looking for deeper meaning and connection. Five of her friends used the same phrase when describing her: “She lights up the room.” A friend told the News reporter, “Everyone you talk to is going to say she is their closest friend. She has no barriers. She was raised to trust and care for everyone, and she did.”

Two days after Hannah was seen at the Apple Store, she was spotted at a Starbucks in SoHo. By the time the police arrived, she had walked out the back door. The police recorded sightings of her at five New York Sports Clubs, all of them near midtown, where the detective on the case presumed she had gone to shower. In an article about her disappearance, the Times wrote, “It was as if the city had simply opened wide and swallowed her whole.”



Russian bots were sowing discord during hunt for Austin bomber, group says

Russian bots were sowing discord during hunt for Austin bomber, group says

By Jeremy Wallace, Houston Chronicle
March 23, 2018 Updated: March 23, 2018 11:12pm



The Alliance for Securing Democracy shows on its website that there was a dramatic spike — a 1,000 percent increase — in activity on social media sites by Russian affiliated accounts starting Monday. On social media platforms like Twitter, Russian bots were fanning suggestions that media weren’t covering the bombings because the first victims of the attacks were black or Hispanic.

The nonprofit, bipartisan group tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots linked to Russia. That includes those tied to known Russian propaganda outlets as well as automated bots that launch high volumes of posts that closely mirror hundreds of other accounts. Bots are a type of chat tool used in in social media networks to automatically create and send messages.


As in past cases, Russian bots try to amplify posts that create wedges between Americans along racial or religious lines.

The tactics are confusing and difficult to understand, even for foreign policy experts.

On one hand, Russia is trying to show it is still a force that has to be dealt with, and on the other they are becoming more isolated as their activities are condemned around the globe and result in more sanctions, said Joshua Shifrinson, who teaches a course in U.S. foreign relations and international security at Texas A&M University.

“I don’t think anyone fully understands what the Russian end game is here,” Shifrinson said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is leaving the administration at the end of this month, last week called Russia’s recent activities troubling.

“Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are in the best interest of the Russian people and of the world more broadly,” Tillerson said.


That is what happened in Houston in 2016 outside the Islamic Da’wah Center, according to Congress. In May 2016, a rally that pitted people waving White Lives Matter signs against people with bullhorns denouncing them, was staged by Russian-backed social media groups that were trying to incite unrest.

In the days before the rally, a Russian-linked group calling itself the Heart of Texas called on people in Houston to attend a rally to “Stop the Islamification of Texas.” It included encouragement for people to bring firearms.

At the same time, another Russian-linked group promoted a counter rally at the same location at the same time, urging people to “Save Islamic Knowledge.”

The rally grew raucous at times but was mostly peaceful.

The Texas targets were just a small part of the tidal wave of digital misinformation spread by Russians in 2016. According to congressional testimony from leading internet content platforms, about 126 million Facebook users saw content from Russians during the presidential election year and more than 1,100 videos related to Russian efforts were posted on YouTube. In addition, there were an estimated 1.4 million tweets from more than 36,000 Russian bots.



Facebook Doesnt Get It

Facebook Doesn’t Get It

David Leonhardt MARCH 21, 2018


The election of Donald Trump was so shocking — and damaging to the country — that many people went looking for a scapegoat. There was a long list of candidates.

Hillary’s flawed campaign. Bernie’s long campaign. The Electoral College. The media. Sexist voters. Racist voters. Economically anxious voters. Nonvoters. James Comey. Anthony Weiner. Vladimir Putin. Twitter. And Facebook.

By spreading false news stories and giving a megaphone to Russian trolls, Facebook — a vastly larger social network than Twitter — played a meaningful role in the presidential campaign. Of course, so did many other suspects on the list. There was no single factor that allowed Trump to win. It was a confluence.


But, as Thompson explains, “The problem comes when arguing about details results in missing the big picture: fake news on Facebook may not have been the deciding factor many think it was, but Facebook’s effect on the news surely mattered.” And Facebook’s executives have indeed missed this big picture, claiming that their company played no significant role in Trump’s victory.


Facebook, as Vox’s Emily Stuart wrote yesterday, “is under siege from lawmakers, regulators, users, shareholders, and even its own employees amid revelations that Cambridge Analytics, a data analytics firm used by the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, secretly harvested personal data from 50 million of its users.”

In a 2014 speech, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s C.E.O., said, “In every single thing we do, we always put people first.” By that, he said he meant that Facebook would give people “control over how they share their information.”

Facebook didn’t do that.

“Where is Mark Zuckerberg?” asks Recode’s Kurt Wagner. “Facebook has dealt with these kinds of firestorms before,” Wagner writes. “But this time feels different. Users are fed up. Politicians are fed up. And investors are clearly concerned: Facebook just had its worst two-day stock performance since 2012, the year the company IPO’d. It has lost more than $50 billion off its market cap.”

Mark Zuckerberg Addresses Cambridge Analytica Incident As Facebook Fumbles


Mark Zuckerberg Addresses Cambridge Analytica Incident As Facebook Fumbles
We’ve been burned many times before. Why should we trust Facebook again?
By Ryan Grenoble

After a riotous week full of revelations that Facebook enabled a shadowy British firm called Cambridge Analytica to harvest and exploit the personal information of more than 50 million users ― then failed to follow up on it for more than two years ― CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered an off-camera act of contrition Wednesday.

It’s been a response several days in the making, as neither Zuckerberg nor Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg offered so much as a peep earlier this week as the allegations piled up and Facebook’s stock tanked.

Both were absent from an internal briefing about the situation Tuesday (though they were never scheduled to appear in the first place). And while Zuckerberg was expected to speak at an all-hands meeting Friday, it seems that’s been bumped up a day or two.

In today’s missive, Zuckerburg acknowledged there’s been “a breach of trust” between Facebook and its users. He outlined several steps he hopes will restore public trust in the company, all aimed at clarifying which apps have access to which types of data.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data,” he wrote, “and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.”

Notably, while Zuckerberg acknowledges Facebook made “mistakes,” his post stops short of anything resembling an apology.

In a separate post, Sandberg went a step further, stating she “deeply regrets” how Facebook handled Cambridge Analytica ― but again, it’s short of an actual apology.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data,” she wrote, “and if we can’t, then we don’t deserve to serve you.
Ryan Grenoble
National Reporter, HuffPost

Boy Scouts Rejects Autistic Teens Application For Higher Rank, Strips Merit Badges


Boy Scouts Rejects Autistic Teen’s Application For Higher Rank, Strips Merit Badges
By Pritha Paul @ZiggyZina143 On 03/20/18 AT 3:42 AM

The father of a teen has sued the Boy Scouts of America after they refused to let his son, who is autistic and has Down syndrome, to progress into higher ranks.

Logan Blyth, 15, of Payson, Utah, was barred from climbing up the Boy Scouts ranks, which would have made him an Eagle Scout. He was also stripped of the merit badges that he had earned over the span of three years after performing tasks such as cooking, swimming and working with horses.

The reason Logan’s badges were taken away was because the state's National Parks Council discovered that the teenager received external help from some local leaders to complete the tasks that badges were awarded for.

Chad Blyth, Logan’s father, said that his son had the mental age of a 4-year-old kid and hence needed some assistance in completing complicated tasks like cooking or diving under water to retrieve an object. "For example, if a task is cooking and the instructions are to pour a cup of flour, Logan won't stop pouring," Chad told Metro.

“After a meeting three weeks later, (it transpired that) because Logan had not been able to do all the particular requirements for any particular merit badges he got no merit badges, and was stripped of those merit badges, stripped of those ranks, and essentially made a cub scout,” Chad added.

Logan had already collected 20 merit badges and needed just two more to make it to 22, which is the requirement for becoming an Eagle Scout. Chad said that he and his son had already planned the perfect project to score the two pending badges and got it approved by the council merely 24 hours before they decided to demote Logan.

“When we reach the top, the Eagle Scout rank, in November, and submitted his project. In order to achieve Eagle Scout rank, you have to do a community service project,” Chad said. “In this case, we were going to do some kits for some newborns for people who have special needs at the local hospital. We went through, got that approved, even got some pictures with the council members that approved it.”

Since Chad was only looking to make the Boy Scouts of America realize that they need to update their policy and give equal opportunities to children with special needs to climb up the ranks, the father sued the council for just a dollar.

The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that for kids like Logan, they have the disabilities awareness committee, which ensures that children with special needs will be able to participate.

"We worked with the committee and the Blythe family to offer Logan a path to earning alternative merit badges based on his abilities, as well as the option to work toward his Eagle rank past the age of 18 by completing the 'Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility,'" the statement said, Patch reported. "This specific request is focused on supporting Scouts with permanent and severe disabilities so as to allow them to continue working toward an Eagle rank indefinitely."

However, Chad said that he disagrees with the fact that his son has to be discriminated against. He wanted the Boy Scouts to update their rules of earning a merit badge to a child completing a task “to the best of the boy's ability.”

He also said that Logan was deeply upset after learning that his application to become an Eagle Scout has been denied.

“My son is hurt. Again we were expecting this to be a non-issue, to be able to go ahead and thrilled to have our down syndrome son to be an Eagle Scout. We were going to be elated, and thrilled to have it. For (the national council), and strip him of all the rank, it just blows a gasket, to say the least,” Chad said.

“He enjoyed participating with the local troupe and the boys. It was an opportunity for him to expand and grow and he did that…. Now he doesn’t even want to touch his scout uniform or go near it.”

I understand both side's issues. But in the end the kid trumps the organization.

Bill Maher Delivers Blistering Critique Of Democrats Political Courage

We're going to have to work if we're going take the November election.

Rex Tillerson: I Hope Trump Finds Out Hes Impeached on Twitter

Rex Tillerson: I Hope Trump Finds Out He’s Impeached on Twitter

By Andy Borowitz

10:16 A.M.

Photograph by Al Drago / NYT / Redux

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a freewheeling conversation with reporters after his departure from the State Department on Tuesday, Rex Tillerson said that he “really hopes” that Donald Trump finds out that he is being impeached on Twitter.

“I mean, the way I see it playing out, he’s up at 3 A.M., starting a new feud with Oprah or someone, and that’s when he finds out,” Tillerson said. “My only regret is that I won’t be there to see it.”

Tillerson started laughing in what some witnesses described as a demonic manner as he imagined Trump learning of his impeachment on Twitter.

“I mean, you have to picture him with his BlackBerry in his itty-bitty hands, and that’s how he finds out,” Tillerson cackled. “It would serve the bastard right.”

Composing himself, Tillerson added, “Let me make something clear. I’ve done well for myself. I’ve lived a full life and, by any measure, a successful one. But, if there’s one last thing I have on my bucket list, it’s that Donald Trump finds out he’s being shitcanned on Twitter. I mean, you want to talk about sweet.”

Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com

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