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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: 87,907

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

Maine House Rejects Bill to Elect President by Direct Popular Vote

The Maine house defeated legislation that would have Maine join the effort to abolish the electoral college.

Opponents including Farmington republican Rep. Lance Harvell argued Maine would not have presidential candidates like Donald Trump campaigning in the state in the closing days of the election if the electoral college was abolished.

“And one might ask themselves this question, what would bring a Manhattan socialite narcissist to Lisbon, Maine?” asks Harvell. “It wasn’t the national Popular Vote Act, I can tell you that.”

Supporters of the legislation argued the time has come to elect the President based on the direct popular vote and that the electoral college has outlived its usefulness. The measure lost 73-66, but faces further votes.

Read more: http://mainepublic.org/post/maine-house-rejects-bill-elect-president-direct-popular-vote

LePage Blames Legislature, Secretary of State for Maines REAL ID Noncompliance

Gov. Paul LePage pointed the finger at the Maine Legislature and secretary of state Thursday for Maine’s continued noncompliance with the federal REAL ID law. LePage says it’s preventing veterans in southern Maine from accessing certain VA services.

But the governor plans to veto a bill that would ensure veterans access to health care, while another bill that brings Maine into full compliance with REAL ID could land on his desk as early as next week.

Speaking on Portland radio station WGAN, LePage said he’s concerned that Maine’s noncompliance with the REAL ID law is preventing roughly 500 veterans in the southern part of the state from accessing VA facilities in New Hampshire.

“Unfortunately, the secretary of state and the Legislature aren’t moving fast enough to solve the REAL ID problem,” he said.

Read more: http://mainepublic.org/post/lepage-blames-legislature-secretary-state-maine-s-real-id-noncompliance

Collins, King Stress Need For Senates Russian Probe To Stay Nonpartisan

During the first of what is expected to be many public hearings over the next several months, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee heard from experts on past Russian efforts to influence elections around the world.

Those efforts have extra significance now, as Congress attempts to get to the bottom of Russian meddling during the last election without drifting into a partisan squabble.

Both of Maine’s senators serve on the Intelligence Committee, which plans to hold both public hearings and closed sessions to investigate Russian efforts to influence not only American elections but elections around the world. U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, says history is full of examples of Russian efforts to influence policies of other governments.

“What we saw in the 2016 election is absolutely consistent with prior Russian practice and current Russian practice in other parts of the world,” he says.

Read more: http://mainepublic.org/post/collins-king-stress-need-senate-s-russian-probe-stay-nonpartisan

American ice dancers in 3rd, 4th and 5th at 2017 World Figure Skating Championships

However, they are in reverse order from how they finished at the U. S. Figure Skating Championships. The lead of the Canadian couple will be nearly insurmountable unless there is a major error in the free dance. The couples in second through 9th places can easily change since they finished so close to each other.

1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 82.43
2 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 76.89
3 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 76.53
4 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 76.25
6 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN 74.84


The men's long program is next.

Billionaire Education Secretary DeVos: Choosing a School Should Be Like Choosing Uber, Lyft or taxi

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, near the top of the list of President Donald Trump's most unqualified cabinet appointees, this week shared her vision for the future of education in America. The billionaire heiress – Forbes reports she and her husband are worth $5.6 billion – thinks picking a school should be just like picking transportation options.

DeVos is an anti-public schools, pro-school vouchers activist. She has spent decades advancing what some like to call "school choice," the practice of taking taxpayer dollars out of often-desperate public schools and giving them to parents to use to pay private, prep, charter, or religious schools. (Yes, in a growing number of states, private religious schools are allowed to accept taxpayer funds, including school vouchers.) The net effect is less money going toward public schools, which are already in many cases vastly under-funded.

"How many of you got here today in an Uber, or Lyft, or another ridesharing service?" DeVos on Wednesday asked an audience at the Brookings Institution, just one month after saying Black colleges were the "real pioneers" of school choice. "Did you choose that because it was more convenient than hoping a taxi would drive by? Even if you didn’t use a ridesharing service, I’m sure most of you at least have the app on your phone," she said, as The Washington Post reported.

"Just as the traditional taxi system revolted against ridesharing, so too does the education establishment feel threatened by the rise of school choice. In both cases, the entrenched status quo has resisted models that empower individuals," DeVos continued, ignoring the fact that many families can't afford to use Uber, or even take a taxi.

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

Mom taking pics of toddler spots deadly snake inches away

March 30 (UPI) -- An Australian mother taking photos of her 2-year-old daughter captured the moment the toddler was photobombed by a massive and deadly snake.

Bianca Dickinson of Kaniva, Victoria, posted a photo to Facebook showing the large eastern brown snake slithering mere inches away from where 2-year-old Molly was smiling for the camera.

Dickinson wrote she initially thought the snake was "a bit of bark flying from a tree," but she looked up from her camera to discover the massive snake at Molly's feet.

"I can't believe it didn't touch her!!! Once I was home I checked my camera and found this shot," she wrote.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2017/03/30/Mom-taking-pics-of-toddler-spots-deadly-snake-inches-away/7211490899863/

Astronomers search through supernova remnants for 'stellar survivor'

March 30 (UPI) -- NASA on Thursday said astronomers are using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the remnants of a supernova explosion, which could lead to the discovery of a "stellar survivor."

The astronomers used the Hubble to analyze supernova remnant SNR 0509-68.7, also known as N103B, which is about 160,000 light-years away from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy neighboring the Milky Way.

In a statement, the Space Telescope Science Institute said that of all varieties of exploding stars, Type Ia -- from which N103B occurred -- is "the most intriguing."

"Their predictable brightness lets astronomers measure the expansion of the universe, which led to the discovery of dark energy. Yet the cause of these supernovae remains a mystery. Do they happen when two white dwarf stars collide? Or does a single white dwarf gorge on gases stolen from a companion star until bursting?" the STSI said in a press release. "If the second theory is true, the normal star should survive."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/03/30/Astronomers-search-through-supernova-remnants-for-stellar-survivor/8821490893211/?st_rec=2691490884341

Large-scale planetary waves found on the sun

March 27 (UPI) -- Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research have discovered Rossby waves on the sun. The large-scale planetary waves were first discovered on Earth.

On Earth, Rossby waves are correlated with local weather events. On the sun, scientists suggest the waves could influence solar activity and related phenomena, like sunspots and solar flares.

"The discovery of magnetized Rossby waves on the Sun offers the tantalizing possibility that we can predict space weather much further in advance," lead researcher Scott McIntosh said in a news release.

Rossby wave patterns are unique to rotating fluids, like the atmosphere and the ocean. The sun's upper layers are mostly plasma and rotate. Scientists have previously hypothesized that the sun could host Rossby waves, but observing wave patterns on the sun is difficult.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/03/27/Large-scale-planetary-waves-found-on-the-sun/6321490637904/?st_rec=2691490884341

800 miles from home, missing cat found in hole near Highland Park

Nine months and 800 miles later, a Denver cat has been found — just not in a place anyone expected.

The orange tabby was recently discovered caked in mud at a construction site near Highland Park where he had fallen down a 25-foot hole, the city of Dallas said in a prepared statement.

The cat was discovered March 2 when one of the workers at the site in the 3100 block of Harvard Avenue heard meowing, said Gabrielle Vannini with Dallas Animal Services.

It took a Animal Services field team six hours to get the trapped cat out of the hole. Back at the shelter, they discovered the cat had a microchip, animal services said on Facebook.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/animals/2017/03/30/denver-cat-missing-since-june-found-25-feet-highland-park-hole

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Baptist pastor accused of taking more than $300,000 from Old East Dallas church

A pastor of a Baptist church in Old East Dallas has been indicted on a charge of misappropriating $300,000 of his church's money.

A grand jury indicted Rev. Wade C. Davis on a theft of more than $300,000 charge on March 22, according to court documents.

The 65-year-old pastor of the Munger Avenue Baptist Church turned himself into Dallas police, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported. He posted a $10,000 personal recognizance bond Tuesday.

Davis, who was hired as the senior pastor in 1999, is also accused in a civil suit of misappropriating church funds beginning in 2012 and continuing through February 2016.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2017/03/30/baptist-pastor-accused-taking-300000-old-east-dallas-church
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