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Profile Information

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: 78,484

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

Jimmy Kimmel's Quarantine Monologue - Trump Fumes Over Bunker & Bible Photo Op

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 03:44 AM (0 replies)

'Heroes' No More: Grocers Are Already Clawing Back COVID-19 Worker Benefits

Appreciation Pay, Proud Pay, Service Pay. The kaleidoscope of PR names all amount to one thing: a small raise for the poorly paid food retail workers who risk their lives so the rest of us can eat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now—as infections persist and measures to reopen the Texas economy threaten a resurgence—companies are already clawing back these meager benefits.

Kroger, which is the nation’s largest grocer and operates stores in Houston and North Texas, terminated its “Hero Pay” on May 17, about two months after instating the $2 hourly raise. Following outcry from employees and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), Kroger followed up with “Thank You Pay”—a one-off bonus between $200 and $400 to be paid in two chunks in May and June. But many workers see the bonus as a poor substitute and a cynical move to quiet bad press.

“They’re calling it a ‘thank you bonus,’ but we think it’s just because we were complaining enough when they took the ‘Hero Pay’ away,” says Candice Oglesby, a 34-year-old floral manager at a Dallas Kroger, and mother of two. Oglesby preferred the longer-term hourly raise, which also boosted her overtime rate, to the bonus, which she describes as covering only “snacks for a couple weeks” for her kids. Researchers predict a surge in infections in Dallas this summer, so Oglesby remains at risk. “We’re still working through a pandemic, people are still getting infected, so why take anything back?”

Jackie Ryan, a cashier at a Kroger in the Dallas suburb of Cedar Hill, notes that the grocer is acknowledging the ongoing danger by requiring that workers wear masks, and maintaining plexiglass barriers and enhanced cleaning routines. She thinks the company is simply eager to rush back to pre-pandemic labor costs. “They don’t want anyone to get used to getting paid an extra $2 an hour; they don’t want that to be the norm,” she says.

Read more: https://www.texasobserver.org/kroger-grocery-workers-wage-benefits/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 03:17 AM (4 replies)

Texas NAACP President Accuses Republicans Of Using COVID-19 To Suppress Voting

The head of the Texas NAACP accused Republicans of preparing to use the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a massive voter suppression effort. The civil rights leader made his accusation Tuesday during the online Texas Democratic Convention.

Texas NAACP president Gary Bledsoe spoke during a panel discussion on protecting the vote in 2020. “One thing that I want to say at the beginning, though, is that we’re going to see the greatest voter suppression effort in the history of our country this time,” he said.

Bledsoe noted that African Americans and Latinos, by the nature of where they live and work, are more likely to contract COVID-19 than Anglo voters.

“I think the COVID-19 pandemic is going to become an offensive tool, and that offensive tool is going to be used as an attempt to try and suppress votes,” Bledsoe said.

Read more: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/politics/2020/06/02/374984/texas-naacp-chief-accuses-republicans-of-using-covid-19-to-suppress-voting/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 03:09 AM (4 replies)

Prairie View A&M Plans New Center For Race And Justice Following George Floyd's Death

Fears and questions about students’ future have kept Prairie View A&M University President Ruth Simmons awake during the recent tumultuous days, since longtime Houstonian George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.

His death has brought a murder charge against the arresting police officer and aiding-and-abeting charge against three others, and prompted eight straight days of protests across the country, including a massive march with as many as 60,000 people in downtown Houston Tuesday.

At the historically black university west of Houston, Simmons said she’s asked herself how her students will be affected by these events, if students of color and gay and transgender students will be afraid to interact with police and if white students and faculty will “understand their duty and opportunity in such a time as this?”

“In keeping with our mission and our duty to our students, we must ask ourselves what we can do to advance understanding of the impact of discrimination on the health of the country?” Simmons wrote in a letter to the Prairie View community.

Read more: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/education-news/2020/06/03/375061/prairie-view-am-plans-new-center-for-race-and-justice-following-george-floyds-death/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 02:56 AM (1 replies)

Dallas Mayor Johnson Heeds Calls for Special Council Meeting On Police Oversight

Monday morning, fresh out of meeting with Dallas police officials, Dominique Alexander said he and the protesters he helped organize wanted a specially called meeting of the City Council to fix what they believe is the city's lack of police oversight.

Tuesday afternoon, after another protest and hundreds of arrests by the Dallas Police Department and Texas state troopers, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson scheduled a meeting for Friday.

"Our community right now is expressing legitimate concerns, fears and complaints about a history of systemic issues in this country," Johnson said during a joint press conference with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. "We should hear them, we should talk to them, we should respect them and their rights to express themselves. It's up to us ... to heed these calls for justice."

Later, on Twitter, Johnson promised that members of the public would be able to speak at the meeting.


Read more: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/dallas-mayor-police-brutality-protests-11916525
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 02:47 AM (0 replies)

Austin Symphony Orchestra Fires Player Over Racist Remarks

The Austin Symphony Orchestra terminated its contract with musician Brenda Sansig Salas following a series of racist comments she made on Facebook last Saturday. Within hours, Austin Opera followed suit, as did some area schools, with which Sansig Salas taught private lessons.

The comments were made Saturday afternoon on the Facebook page of Orion D. Wilson, band director for the Pflugerville school district, in response to a post criticizing the president. Sansig Salas both defended Trump and attacked African Americans, including Pres. Obama, blaming them for the unrest and violence following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The comments in the thread have been scrubbed from the post, but they can be still be found on multiple Facebook pages, such as that of Rouse High School band director Ryan Johnstone, in screenshots of the thread. They include the following, directed at African Americans taking part in the thread:

“Trump didn’t kill someone, but in your black minds, everything is his fault.”

“Have you checked out the 1/2 black president swine flu H1N1, and EBOLA? What has your 1/2 black president done for you?? The ONLY REASON he was elected was because he is 1/2 black. People voted on racist principles not on the real issues. The BLACKS are looting and destroying their environment. They deserve what they get. Playing the RACE CARD IS RACIST.”

“Trump isn’t rioting. The blacks are. He’d be damned if he didn’t shut down the country. Stop your hatred.”

Read more: https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/arts/2020-06-02/aso-fires-player-over-racist-remarks/

I wonder if she will be filing for unemployment?
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 02:37 AM (6 replies)

Austin City Council will hold emergency hearings on police violence today

More than 300 people have signed up to talk about what transpired during weekend protests against systemic racism and police killings, at an emergency Austin City Council session Thursday.

Council members will reconvene the following morning to hear from Austin Police Chief Brian Manley. No immediate action is expected to be taken.

According to Manley, police injured at least three people when they shot “less lethal” rounds at protesters, among them a 20-year-old black man who was in critical condition Monday.

On Tuesday, Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, Council’s only black member, appealed to her colleagues to take action on changes within the police department.

Read more: https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2020/06/austin-city-council-will-hold-emergency-hearings-on-police-violence-today/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 02:25 AM (0 replies)

The Texas Rangers didn't invent police brutality, says the author of a new book, 'they perfected it'

Doug J. Swanson’s new book arrives at an extraordinary time in American history. Its official publication date is June 9, barely two weeks removed from the killing of George Floyd. A 46-year-old black man, Floyd died in police custody after a white officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck, igniting protests across the country.

Swanson’s new book is Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers, who began in 1823 as a 10-man volunteer squad raised to protect the first American settlers in the Mexican territory of Texas. The Rangers, in Swanson’s words, “functioned as executioners” whose “job was to seize and hold Texas for the white man.”

In the same way that author Gerald Posner’s latest book, Pharma, arrived on March 10, three days before the coronavirus provoked a national emergency, and with one of its chapters titled “The Coming Pandemic,” Swanson sees Cult of Glory as being “very timely.”

Eerily so.

“The nation reels anew,” Swanson says from his home in Pittsburgh, where the 34-year veteran of The Dallas Morning News now teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. “But it’s an old story: white police officers killing men and women of color. Some of the very worst of it happened a little over 100 years ago, along the Texas-Mexico border. There, the Texas Rangers — the vaunted official force of the Lone Star State — didn’t invent police brutality. But they perfected it. Operating as what we would now term death squads, they executed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/arts-entertainment/books/2020/06/03/the-texas-rangers-didnt-invent-police-brutality-says-the-author-of-a-new-book-they-perfected-it/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 02:15 AM (1 replies)

Protesters rally in front of Capitol, Governor's Mansion in sixth day of demonstrations

Protesters returned to the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday and marched to the Governor’s Mansion during the sixth day of demonstrations in Austin against police brutality.

People occasionally chanted the names of George Floyd of Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor of Louisville, whose recent deaths in separate police incidents have sparked protests across the nation.

About a hundred people gathered in front of the Capitol on Wednesday evening where protesters could be heard yelling and calling for an end to police brutality and racism.

And at one point outside the Governor’s Mansion, dozens knelt and raised their fists during a moment of silence.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200603/protesters-rally-in-front-of-capitol-governorrsquos-mansion-in-sixth-day-of-demonstrations
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 02:06 AM (1 replies)

Businesses upped to 50% capacity under new Abbott order

Opening Phase 3 of his effort to restart the Texas economy, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday gave permission for most businesses to immediately expand operating capacity from 25% to 50%.

In addition to letting restaurants operate at half their capacity, Abbott’s latest executive order allowed bars to operate at 50% capacity as long patrons are seated.

Restaurants also can immediately expand their maximum table size from six to 10 people, and starting June 12, can raise their occupancy numbers to 75%.

Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases can now open at 50% capacity, while such businesses in counties exceeding 1,000 cases can operate at half-capacity beginning June 19.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200603/businesses-upped-to-50-capacity-under-new-abbott-order

Because we aren't killing people quick enough.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Jun 4, 2020, 01:58 AM (0 replies)
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