Posts Tagged ‘Texas

3-year-old kicked out of daycare for saying “shit”

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A Texas pre-schooler was expelled from her San Antonio school for swearing — even though she’s probably not old enough to realize what she said.

Three-year-old Arianna got the boot from going to daycare at the Jubilee Child Development Center for saying the “s-word.”

Her mother, Cassandra Wright, doesn’t know where her daughter first heard the curse.

“I don’t condone her saying it but for that to be a faith based daycare I would think that they would reinforce and let her know that’s not a word to say,” Wright told News 4 San Antonio. “I asked her what word did you say, and she told me animal.”

According to the development center’s director, there is a zero-tolerance policy for swearing. “I didn’t think that this would be an isolated incident either,” Alissa Blankenship said.

Another student was already expelled for swearing a few months ago.

I’m beginning to acquire zero tolerance for intolerant zero-tolerance fanatics. Doesn’t our nation already have an excess of rigid, conformist 19th Century stiffs.

Doesn’t seem beyond the limits of communications for a school admin, parents and child to sit down and sort something like this out. Or is that too much like work?

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Written by Ed Campbell

April 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Uncle Ben’s infused rice recalled after school lunch sickens kids

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The Food and Drug Administration and Texas Department of State Health Services have alerted consumers to a recall of Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice products distributed in Texas, after children and staff at three schools in Katy became ill on Friday.

About 50 people who ate Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor at lunch on Friday complained of burning, itching, rashes, headaches and nausea, symptoms that subsided after 30 to 90 minutes.

After the incident, Mars Foodservices said that it decided to recall all of the Infused Rice products produced since Jan. 1, 2013…

Mars also said that a small amount of the rice could be purchased online and urged anyone with the product to return it.

The recall includes Infused Rice products that were sold in 5 and 25-pound bags to institutions, like schools, hospitals and prisons.

First reporting after the Katy schools sickness declared that this Uncle Ben’s preparation had already been recalled – and that schools should have known about it. Dunno if that changed, if the reports filtering through our stellar network TV news mavens were incorrect or if the correction and recall happened afterwards.

Regardless, you have to wonder what passes for risk management in large economy-size corporations. Mass poisonings even when not fatal are likely to end up in class action suits requiring a lot more cash being dispensed than in standardized insurance settlements.

Written by Ed Campbell

February 11, 2014 at 2:00 am

Brain dead, forced to stay on life support by the state of Texas

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Erick and Marlise Munoz with their oldest son

The diagnosis was crushing and irrevocable. At 33, Marlise Munoz was brain-dead after collapsing on her kitchen floor in November from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lungs.

But as her parents and her husband prepared to say their final goodbyes in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital here and to honor her wish not to be left on life support, they were stunned when a doctor told them the hospital was not going to comply with their instructions. Mrs. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant, the doctor said, and Texas is one of more than two dozen states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient…

“It’s not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life,” said Mrs. Munoz’s mother, Lynne Machado, 60. “It’s about a matter of our daughter’s wishes not being honored by the state of Texas.”

Mrs. Munoz’s father, Ernest Machado, 60, a former police officer and an Air Force veteran, put it even more bluntly. “All she is is a host for a fetus,” he said on Tuesday. “I get angry with the state. What business did they have delving into these areas? Why are they practicing medicine up in Austin?”

At least 31 states have adopted laws restricting the ability of doctors to end life support for terminally ill pregnant women, regardless of the wishes of the patient or the family, according to a 2012 report from the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington. Texas is among 12 of those states with the most restrictive such laws, which require that life-support measures continue no matter how far along the pregnancy is…

The restrictive measures were largely adopted in the 1980s, with the spread of laws authorizing patients to make advance directives about end-of-life care like living wills and health care proxies, said Katherine A. Taylor, a lawyer and bioethicist at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The provisions to protect fetuses, she said, helped ease the qualms of the Roman Catholic Church and others about such directives.

These laws essentially deny women rights that are given others to direct their health care in advance and determine how they want to die,” Ms. Taylor said. “The law can make a woman stay alive to gestate the fetus.”

The question comes down to the hypocrisy of elected officials who swear above all else to honor the Constitution of the United States and then turn centuries backwards and accept the superstitions of one or another religion to guide their decisions. Pandering is the word that comes to mind. Pandering to the 14th Century beliefs of some voters to stay in power.

There have been times, there have been individuals in politics who lived up to the premise of providing guidance and leadership to the electorate. That’s why we speak of public service. Making a career of studying circumstances, acquiring the latest and most complete knowledge of subjects aiding the public interest, committing to the greater good is what public service is supposed to be about.

Lip service is paid by campaigners; but, so often, the immediate after-effect of even the least appearance of a mandate is opportunism, paybacks to the money boys, divvying up the spoils of political power among the most unproductive and uncompetitive elements of the power-hungry.

We end up with one more example of religious ideology ruled as mandatory for life and death in the medical-industrial complex. Fundamentalists rejoice as a family is forced by law and lawyers to let the decaying body of their loved one serve as an incubator. Freedom of choice, dignity, personal worth mean nothing in the eyes of what passes for law under the thumb of opportunist politicians.

Written by Ed Campbell

January 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Latest style in Texas breath fresheners

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A Texas man who was stopped by Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies for his erratic driving allegedly drank men’s cologne to cover up the scent of alcohol while he was being pulled over.

John David Conwill, 42, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance after deputies found drugs in his vehicle. Conwill had allegedly already been involved in a hit-and-run accident prior to the traffic stop and additional charges are likely pending.

Deputy Randy Thumann and his K-9 partner, Lobos, assisted deputies during the stop.

“Lobos alerted on the vehicle which resulted in the discovery of dangerous drugs and open containers of alcoholic beverages,” said Lt. David Beyer with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Conwill was in possession of prescription medications.

The brand of cologne that Conwil was chugging is still a mystery.


Written by Ed Campbell

December 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Plug-in vehicles aren’t killing the grid — just saving money!

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volt charging in garage

To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the grid’s demise on account of more plug-in vehicles are greatly exaggerated. And, while time is money, when it comes to electric-vehicle charging, more money means less time. At least, less time during peak demand.

Plug-in vehicle owners in a cluster of Austin, Texas homes were used as a charging-behavior test group, and the early returns say that those households didn’t put much of a stress on the local power grid. And that’s even during peak-use summer afternoons when air conditioning units in central Texas tend to be set to full blast…citing a report from Pecan Street Research Institute.

The test included 21 Chevrolet Volts, nine Nissan Leafs and a solitary Tesla Model S. Of course, make ‘em all Teslas and we might have a different story.

Additionally, half of those 30 vehicle owners were also part of a test in which the electricity price was adjusted to reflect peak demand times. Not surprisingly, those car owners were about half as likely (~12%) to plug-in during peak hours as the ones whose prices weren’t being adjusted (~22%). Regardless, the average cost of electricity used by those vehicles per month came out to $23.56, or the equivalent to about half a tank of gas. Yee-haw, indeed.

As the economies of scale kick in, I expect more and more folks to convert to straight-up electric vehicles. After all, the average American commute is 40 miles round trip. No range anxiety there unless you’re using a small electric bicycle. Even without a charging station at work, you should be able to make it to work and back to home – and charge overnight easily.

Making sense ain’t bad – especially when you end up saving money.

Written by Ed Campbell

November 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Texas judge switches parties for principle, for progress

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Judge Key made his points pretty clearly. Any commentary I can make would echo what he’s said.

Regular readers know I hold no brief for the 2-party system we’re saddled with or the history of both parties doing everything they can to inhibit truly independent political action. Still, when someone stands up against bigotry, sophistry and hypocrisy while running for office in the United States – and, notably, in Texas – he deserves the applause of all progressive Americans. And votes from Texans.

Written by Ed Campbell

October 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm

North Dakota waits 11 days to tell the public about oil spill

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Steven Jensen’s wheat field

When a North Dakota pipeline ruptured and sent over 20,000 barrels of crude oil gushing across a wheat field, it took officials nearly two weeks to inform the public about it.

The spill — the biggest in the state since it became a major producer — comes at a time when concerns are growing over the safety of the U.S. pipeline network, which is pumping more oil than ever to bring shale oil and Canadian crude to U.S. refineries.

State officials said they believed the spill to be much smaller than it actually was and said that was one of the reasons no public announcement was made for 11 days – and then only after The Associated Press asked about it.

Critics, however, said this is typical of the state.

“It shows an attitude of our current state government and what they think of the public,” said Don Morrison, executive director of the Dakota Resource Council, an environmental-minded landowner group. “It’s definitely worrisome. There is a pattern in current state government not to involve the public.”

This is not only typical of North Dakota – a state controlled by 19th Century minds with added incentives from the Oil Patch Boys – the secretive, anti-democratic mindset is common to fossil fuel energy colonies.

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Written by Ed Campbell

October 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

When stupid people vote for ignorant politicians -

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- this is what you get.

Thanks, smartalix

Written by Ed Campbell

October 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

Texas blows $1.2 million on website promoting teen abstinence

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In September the Texas Department of State Health blitzed the radio and TV with ads for a new teen abstinence website that will cost $1.2 million over the next year.

Texas has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, and the new website aims to address the issue by promoting strict abstinence before marriage.

The website, ourtown4teens.org, is paid for with federal money from a program called the Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program.

As such, there is no mention anywhere on the site of contraception. Title V recipients must use the money to support abstinence, and teach that sex outside marriage could have harmful psychological and physical effects.

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Written by Ed Campbell

September 28, 2013 at 2:00 am

Train crews manage to have a 3-train collision in West Texas

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agn trains
Russell Anglin/AGN Media

Four people were injured in a three-train collision about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of U.S. Highway 60 and Farm-to-Market Road 1912 east of Amarillo, the Potter County Sheriff’s Office said.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway spokesman Joe Faust said a stopped train heading east was stopped on the tracks when another train also traveling east rear-ended it. The collision caused about 20 to 30 trailers traveling with the trains to become derailed. Shortly after, a westbound train hit some of the derailed cars from the first accident.

Sandy Strickland, 46, a driver for PBX Trucking, was nearby when the accident occurred.

“It sounded like thunder … we didn’t know what was happening,” she said.

Four people were taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, said senior trooper Chris Ray, Department of Public Safety spokesman.

Power lines were reported down near the wreck and Xcel Energy crews are repairing the damage, according to media reports.

If you click through to the article in the Amarillo newspaper, they’ve updated the headline to say there was hazardous material carried on some of the rail cars. That can be scary in that neck of the prairie – because there a few plants in the region dealing with some pretty dangerous stuff.

I suppose I shouldn’t include the Tyson Fresh Meats plant on that list, eh?

Written by Ed Campbell

September 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm


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