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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 18,113

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

The tweet that explains my dilemma


Melania decorates White House for Halloween ...

Michael Bloomberg Registers As Democrat As He Mulls 2020 Presidential Bid

Source: Huffpo

Michael Bloomberg Registers As Democrat As He Mulls 2020 Presidential Bid
The former New York mayor and billionaire media mogul has suggested he may challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

By Hayley Miller

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that he has changed his voter registration to Democrat, suggesting he is inching closer to announcing a presidential run in 2020.


“At key points in U.S. history, one of the two parties has served as a bulwark against those who threaten our Constitution,” Bloomberg wrote. “Two years ago at the Democratic Convention, I warned of those threats.

“Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat – I had been a member for most of my life – because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs,” he added.


The media mogul reportedly planned to spend $80 million of his personal fortune on the 2018 midterm elections to help Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives. He also has contributed heavily to environmental and gun-control initiatives.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-bloomberg-registers-democrat_us_5bbdde1ae4b0876edaa3fae9

Cleveland Judge Refuses to Send Low-Level Defendants to Jail After Inmate Deaths

Cleveland Judge Refuses to Send Low-Level Defendants to Jail After Inmate Deaths

After a spate of deaths in local jails, Judge Michael L. Nelson Sr. of Cleveland Municipal Court said he would release people charged with low-level crimes on personal bond as they await trial.CreditCreditCleveland.com

By Karen Zraick
Oct. 5, 2018



The judge, Michael L. Nelson Sr. of Cleveland Municipal Court, said this week that he would release people charged with such crimes until their next court appearance, rather than holding them on bail, which many defendants cannot afford.

Defendants who are released must still agree to any conditions imposed, which could include electronic monitoring or regular check-ins.

“Six deaths means the jail is unsafe,” Judge Nelson said in a phone interview. “You shouldn’t die before we see you in court.”


The cause of death has yet to be determined in two of the cases, the most recent of which occurred on Tuesday. That prisoner, Allan Martin Gomez Roman, 44, died four days after he was arrested on a warrant stemming from a cocaine possession charge, Cleveland.com reported. Two of the other men who died were found hanging in their cells, and two had drugs in their systems at the time of their deaths, the authorities said.


Cash bail, which requires defendants to put up money or other assets to win their freedom, has been widely criticized in recent years. Some states and municipalities have taken steps to reduce its use; California recently abolished cash bail altogether. (The change takes effect next year.)


Critics of the cash bail system argue that defendants should be evaluated based on the risk they present to public safety, not on their financial situation.

Low-income defendants often turn to bail bond agents, which function as the payday lenders of the criminal justice world. Commercial bail is a $2 billion industry, and agents charge steep fees and can even arrest their clients.

Judge Nelson said the most recent death underscored the need to change bail practices and reduce overcrowding and strain on the jail system.

“If the balance of the county had implemented bail bond reform, there’s a good chance that young man would not be in jail, period,” he said.

Posted by marble falls | Sun Oct 7, 2018, 11:48 AM (2 replies)

Banksy Painting Self-Destructs Immediately After Being Sold For $1.4 Million

Banksy Painting Self-Destructs Immediately After Being Sold For $1.4 Million
The “Girl With Balloon” painting passed through a shredder hidden in the frame.

By Hilary Hanson


Someone purchased an iconic Banksy painting for $1.4 million on Friday, only to watch it immediately turn to shreds.

Moments after the gavel came down on the sale of the enigmatic artist’s “Girl With Balloon” painting at Sotheby’s auction house in London, the painting passed through a shredder that had apparently been hidden in the frame. The painting only went partially through the shredder. leaving half a painting intact and half shredded at the bottom, according to The Associated Press.


“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director, said in a press release from the auction house.

Banksy, the world-famous artist whose identity is still a mystery, posted a photo of the shocking moment on Instagram, captioning the image, “Going, going, gone...”

He also posted a video confirming that he had secretly built a shredder into the painting, “in case it was ever put up for auction.” He captioned the post, “‘The urge to destroy is also a creative urge’ - Picasso.”


While the moment would likely be a disappointment if the buyer was planning to display the painting, The Guardian noted that the historic stunt could potentially have increased the artwork’s value. As Sotheby’s noted, the incident “certainly marks the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself after coming under the hammer.”


Posted by marble falls | Sun Oct 7, 2018, 10:06 AM (6 replies)

Just in case

How to delete your FB account:

Posted by marble falls | Thu Oct 4, 2018, 04:42 PM (3 replies)

Dunkin' Donuts Fires Worker Who Poured Water On Homeless Man

Dunkin’ Donuts Fires Worker Who Poured Water On Homeless Man

“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” victim Jeremy Dufresne said of the Syracuse, New York, shop’s employee.
By David Moye


Two employees at a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Syracuse, New York, have been fired after a viral video showed one of them pouring water on a homeless man.

Jeremy Dufresne was at the restaurant Sunday night when an unnamed employee came up from behind and dumped water on him, according to the New York Daily News.

“How many times I’ve got to tell you to stop sleeping in here?” the employee tells Dufresne in the video. “You’re here all day.”

Both employees can be heard laughing in the video, which was posted on Facebook and has been viewed more than 3 million times.

Dufresne, who is schizophrenic and sleeps outside most nights, told Syracuse.com he was charging his phone at the Dunkin’ so he could call his mom to tell her goodnight.

At some point, he put his head down, and that’s when the employee dumped the water on him.

“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne said of the worker. “And he took it out on someone else, like me.”

After the video went viral, two dozen protesters gathered outside the doughnut shop on Monday and held up signs reading “Homeless lives matter” and “Homeless are human,” according to Syracuse.com.

Dunkin’ franchisee Kimberly Wolak issued a statement condemning the employees who did it:

“Dunkin’ has been a part of the Syracuse community for many years, and as the franchisees who own and operate the North Salina Street location, we were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video.

“It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core values as an organization―which include creating a welcoming and hospitable environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect. The employees involved in the incident have been terminated, and we will be contacting the individual in the video to apologize for the negative experience.

“We also intend to work with local advocates to make sure that our employees are better educated as to how to engage with homeless individuals and where to direct them in the community for appropriate assistance.”

In addition, owners are hoping to make amends to the area’s homeless population by serving lunch to them on Saturday, according to Syracuse.com.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told Syracuse.com his office is considering charging the now-former employees with harassment, which carries about the same fine as a speeding ticket.

HuffPost reached out to Dunkin’ corporate offices, which did not immediately respond.

A GoFundMe campaign organized on behalf of Dufresne has raised nearly $15,000.

I might have to go out and eat a Duncan donut, something I haven't done in years.
Posted by marble falls | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 11:19 PM (4 replies)

'First They Came for Alex Jones': Ted Cruz's Crusade Against Facebook

‘First They Came for Alex Jones’: Ted Cruz’s Crusade Against Facebook Reaches New Extreme
While liberals and the media cower, the Texas senator heroically defends the influential conspiracy theorist — and all others — from the tyrannical censorship of Big Tech.



On this front, perhaps no politician has been more vocal and sanctimonious than Senator Ted Cruz. And he’s taking his virtuous crusade against Facebook’s political persecution of conservatives to new extremes, by tethering it to a vehement defense of the Austin conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones. When the social media giant decided to temporarily suspend Jones’s personal account in late July, Cruz was moved to speak out.

Predictably, he took an immense amount of flak for defending Jones, who is currently fighting defamation charges in court for peddling the stunning nonsense that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a government hoax. That’s just one in a long list of vile and dangerous theories — remember Pizzagate? — that Jones’ fringy media empire InfoWars has perpetuated over the years.

Am no fan of Jones — among other things he has a habit of repeatedly slandering my Dad by falsely and absurdly accusing him of killing JFK — but who the hell made Facebook the arbiter of political speech? Free speech includes views you disagree with. #1A https://t.co/RC5v4SHaiI

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 28, 2018

But Cruz is not backing down. In an interview with reporters at the conservative Resurgent Gathering in Austin on Saturday, Cruz cast himself as the righteous defender of the First Amendment and free speech — including “offensive speech, bad speech, stupid speech” — and bemoaned liberals and the media for not joining him in his principled defense of Jones. (It’s worth noting that the moderation policies of a private corporation like Facebook are not a First Amendment issue.)

“As the poem goes, you know, first they came for Alex Jones. That does not end well,” Cruz said, referencing the famous Martin Niemöller poem about German cowardice in the face of ascendant Nazism. Apparently in this metaphor, Facebook is the Nazis and Jones is… the socialists?

“There’s a reason I picked someone who has been nasty to me: to illustrate this is not about defending someone I agree with,” Cruz said. “This is a First Amendment principle that everyone has a right to speak, and people can sort out those who are making sense from those who are full of crap.”

Despite the posturing, Cruz has refrained from strongly rebuking Jones, saying his ideas are simply “fringe” and “nutty.” As some have pointed out, Cruz is skilled at reading the political moment and the fact that he’s sticking his neck out for Jones — something even the president, a noted Jones sympathizer, hasn’t even done (yet) — could be a sign that he’s angling to shore up support among the fringe right.

Indeed, Cruz’s support did not go unnoticed. On his show last week, Jones called on his supporters to stand “with us against the unprecedented lying assault as they try to use us as the guinea pig to shut down everybody else. And Ted Cruz and Tucker Carlson, they all get it. But certain people at Fox News and others don’t.”

Cruz insists that his defense of Jones is merely a noble necessity in the larger fight against Facebook’s tyrannical power, of which he has been bravely standing on the frontlines. Back in April, he used his senatorial soapbox to prod Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during testimony on election meddling and privacy concerns about what he called a “pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship.”


“They have the ability, if there is a speaker who is disfavored, simply to silence the speaker — to shadowban them so that you might speak but your words float off into oblivion and nobody hears them,” Cruz said. “On the flip side, they have the ability to curate your feed so that every piece of news you hear is news they approve of.”


However, it’s been pointed out that the Harvard-educated constitutional lawyer’s legal analysis is highly flawed: Social media companies are in fact encouraged to moderate their platforms, and doing so does not come with an increased risk of liability for their users’ speech. It’s not an either/or.

Cruz hasn’t yet dissuaded media giants, who are under tremendous pressure to crack down on hate speech from alt-right figures like Jones. Late Sunday, Apple announced that it was removing five of InfoWars’ six podcasts from its iTunes library — the most sweeping enforcement action yet taken by a big tech company. On Monday, Spotify announced that it had completely banned “The Alex Jones Show” and Facebook said it had removed four of Jones’ affiliated pages for violating its hate speech policies.

To be clear, Cruz isn’t wrong to be skeptical of the power of social media companies and their ability to censor speech, and there is an important conversation about how to find a balancing point between moderation and free speech. But that’s not what this is.


Cruz could have used any number of other examples of speech he didn’t agree with — say, for instance, NFL team owners prohibiting their players from kneeling in protest during the national anthem — to take a stand on free speech. But by choosing to elevate Jones, someone he knows will only muddy the waters of the free speech debate, Cruz puts his credibility at risk. Cruz seems to have made a calculation to align himself with the feverish fringes of the far right — while wrapping himself in the glory of the First Amendment.


When it comes to the media, it’s almost like Ted Cruz is singing from the same hymnal as Donald Trump and Alex Jones.

Justin Miller is the politics reporter for the Observer. He previously covered politics and policy for The American Prospect in Washington, D.C., and has also written for The Intercept, The New Republic and In These Times. Follow him on Twitter or at miller@texasobserver.org.

The Border Patrol Serial Killer Is Part of a Long, Troubled History

The Border Patrol Serial Killer Is Part of a Long, Troubled History
A rash of violent crimes by Border Patrol agents in the Laredo area is nothing new for the agency sometimes dubbed the "green monster."


On Monday, five weeks into her official tenure as chief of Border Patrol, Carla Provost traveled from Washington, D.C., to Laredo to discuss a confessed serial killer within her ranks. Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year Border Patrol veteran and supervisor in the region, had admitted he spent September driving sex workers out to rural Webb County and shooting them in the head. He allegedly killed four women before a fifth escaped last Friday and reported him to a state trooper, leading to his arrest and a confession the local DA described as “cold” and emotionless.


The defense was necessary. In the Laredo sector alone, which hosts some 1,700 of the 20,000 total Border Patrol agents, Ortiz is at least the fourth patrolman to be arrested this year. The other cases include an agent who allegedly murdered his lover and 1-year-old child; another allegedly sexually assaulted a woman after threatening her with deportation. Yet another agent, who hasn’t been identified or arrested, shot and killed an unarmed 20-year-old Guatemalan woman in May. In a question during Monday’s press conference, one reporter charitably dubbed this history “a series of very tragic coincidences.”

But the rash of Border Patrol misconduct in Laredo is nothing new for the agency sometimes called the “green monster.” Rather, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency has long been a hotbed of violence and corruption.

From 2005 to 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents were arrested 2,170 times for misconduct, such as domestic violence and drunk driving, government inspectors found. CBP, which includes Border Patrol and customs agents, was also the target of 1,187 complaints of excessive force from 2007 to 2012. Since 2004, more than 200 agents have been arrested on corruption-related charges, including at least 13 under Trump. And a 2013 government-commissioned report found that Border Patrol agents regularly stepped in the paths of cars to justify firing at drivers, as well as shooting at rock-throwers, including teenagers on the Mexican side, with the intent to kill.

According to public statements from former high-level CBP employees, the mess stems largely from the agency’s explosive growth in the feverish years following 9/11. During his second term, George W. Bush doubled the size of Border Patrol. “From an integrity issue, you can’t grow a law enforcement agency that quickly,” Robert Bonner, Bush’s own CBP commissioner, told Politico in 2014. In a court filing, two ex-officials who led the agency’s Office of Internal Affairs wrote that “inadequate” screening had led the agency to hire actual cartel members. They also accused Border Patrol of behaving more like a military agency than a civil police force, as well as abusing its extra-constitutional powers within 100 miles of the border.

Since his inauguration, Trump has tried, and so far failed, to replicate Bush’s mistake. Last January, Trump ordered the agency to add 5,000 Border Patrol agents “as soon as is practicable.” CBP has since streamlined its hiring process, including reducing polygraph requirements, and handed a $297 million contract to a private firm to help out. But so far, attrition has outweighed new hires, and the agency has fewer agents than when Trump took office. (Border Patrol jobs are relatively low-paying and based in remote locations; thanks to the economic recovery that began under Obama, would-be applicants might simply have better options.)

As Trump has pushed his ill-advised hiring surge, he’s paid no mind to screening for bad apples or weeding out corruption. Instead, he’s coddled and lionized immigration agents. In an August pep rally of sorts for Border Patrol and ICE, Trump — the first presidential candidate ever endorsed by the Border Patrol union — stumbled through a typical proto-fascist homage. He called the gathered officers “heroes,” then bashed immigrant rights activists for supposedly perpetrating an “unprecedented assault” against the agents.
Matt A.J./Flickr

“That you have to go through what you’re going through, being demeaned by people who have no idea what strength is, is really very sad,” Trump told the officers, whose agencies are still under fire for implementing his disastrous family separations policy. “They just have big, loud mouths and we don’t want to put up with that, and I just want you to know that you’re loved.”

In the same vein, Trump, along with Texas politicians including Senator Ted Cruz, leaped last November on reports that a Border Patrol agent had been killed near Van Horn, Texas, perhaps by rock-wielding drug smugglers. No government source had confirmed the account, but that was irrelevant; the story fit too nicely into their narrative of heroic border cops battling violent invaders. (No matter that it’s four times more dangerous to be a local police officer than a Border Patrol agent.) Three months later, the FBI announced it found no evidence of foul play in the patrolman’s death — prompting crickets from Trump et al.

On the subject of serial killer Juan David Ortiz, or the agent who killed the unarmed 20-year-old, or any other case within the steady stream of Border Patrol corruption and violence, the silence is equally deafening.

Brett Kavanaugh and the Terrifying Logic of the Boys' Club

The Texas Observer

Brett Kavanaugh and the Terrifying Logic of the Boys’ Club
Justice is about diffusing power; sexual assault reinforces and consolidates it.


by Andrea Grimes
September 24, 2018

Who among us has not gotten blackout drunk with a best friend, cornered a teenage girl at a party, dragged her together into a shuttered bedroom, together conspired to silence her by drowning her screams with our hands and loud music, and together attempted to tackle her and remove her clothing?

This seems to be the consensus take from Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s defenders, who are concerned that “every man should be worried” if something as piddly as getting blackout drunk with a best friend, cornering a teenage girl at a party, dragging her together into a shuttered bedroom, together conspiring to silence her by drowning her screams by force and with loud music, and together attempting to tackle her and remove her clothing, is now some kind of, I don’t know, bad thing.

I don’t know if every man has done something like this, or if most men have — I suppose I take any man who believes this kind of behavior is unremarkable at his word that it is at least unremarkable in his lived experience, which is an awful presumption for another essay.

But I do believe that Brett Kavanaugh has done this thing, because I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. And I believe that willfully treating any instance of sexual assault as if it is a harmless, youthful indiscretion is dangerous, but treating a conspiracy to commit sexual assault between two wealthy, drunk young men as some kind of understandable, bumbling accident that could happen to anyone is altogether more appalling.

Rape culture loves mixed signals and fuzzy memories. Anything to explain away predatory behavior as a hysterical overreaction, or merely a regrettable date and too much to drink. Rape apologists take comfort in the smoky, leather-lined boys’ club that occupies the space between he said and she said.


Is there a special room in the club for boys who say to other boys: Let’s do this one together? Brett Kavanaugh would be in that room, with his friend Mark Judge. They have done a lot of work on the boys’ club together, each in their way, over the years. Kavanaugh went the respectable route, using the tools of law to empower the patriarchy. Judge styled himself a recovered bad boy, spending unknown hours online attempting to discredit survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and writing self-indulgently and, perhaps tellingly, about masculine power.


After all, there is a terrifying logic at work when a man says to another man, Let’s see what we can do to this woman, together. It is eminently reasonable, in the most literal sense of the word, to deduce that two men claiming “we didn’t” is better than one saying “I didn’t.” It is objectively more effective, if your goal is to exert your power over a woman — and that is the purpose of sexual assault — to enlist the help of a friend in doing so.


Justice — true justice — is about diffusing power. This is why narratives about reclaiming America and rhetoric around law and order play so well in a political moment when progress has begun knocking at the door of the boys’ club. I imagine the boys inside parting the curtains, peering outside, talking about back doors and panic rooms, just in case.

I don’t believe that Brett Kavanaugh wants to make the world a more just place. I believe he wants to reinforce and consolidate power. Because he has done it before, and because it is, in the darkest and most disturbing ways, the logical thing for a boy like him to do.

Andrea Grimes is the manager of communications and development at If/When/How, where this column first appeared.
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