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TexasTowelie

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: 77,759

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

San Quentin COVID-19 Cases Top 1,000

San Quentin State Prison in Marin County has become the site of one of California’s fastest-growing COVID-19 outbreaks. As of Monday morning, close to one third of the prison’s population had tested positive for the virus.

The prison’s 1,015 confirmed cases — up from fewer than 200 hundred a week ago — make San Quentin by far the hardest-hit facility in California’s state prison system, and one of the largest prison clusters in the country. The surge comes as many California counties, including Marin, see record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases, leading health officials to worry that local hospitals may soon be overwhelmed.

Prisoner rights advocates and former San Quentin inmates have long feared an outcome like this. “I don’t know a person who’s connected with San Quentin who wasn’t terrified that this was going to happen,” says James King, who served six and a half years in the North Bay prison and is now state campaigner for the Ella Baker Foundation for Human Rights. “I am extremely concerned for our loved ones who are incarcerated right now.”

The outbreak is thought to have begun in late May, when 121 men were transferred to San Quentin from Chino State Prison in response to the COVID-19 outbreak taking place there. At least 16 of those prisoners, none of whom were tested for a month before they were transferred, tested positive after arriving at San Quentin. The virus has quickly spread in the overcrowded, out-of-date facility, which until the transfer had not recorded a single outbreak. Nearly 30 percent of the approximately 3,500 inmates are now infected, in addition to at least 89 staff. The outbreak at San Quentin is equivalent to half of the total cases in the rest of Marin County (the prison’s cases are counted separately) and about 4 percent of the Bay Area’s case total.

Read more: https://www.sfweekly.com/news/san-quentin-covid-19-cases-top-1000/

Golden State Killer agrees to plea deal for 13 murders, numerous rapes

The Golden State Killer has accepted a plea deal requiring he admit to a series of rapes and murders that terrorized residents across California in the 1970s and 1980s to become one of the state’s most notorious serial criminals.

Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer who was arrested in 2018 after authorities identified him through DNA, appeared before his surviving victims on Monday and the relatives of those he is accused of killing in order to accept a plea deal that spares him the death penalty but will almost certainly leave him behind bars for the rest of his life.

During the hearing, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Thien Ho described DeAngelo’s crime spree as “simply staggering. … Each time he escaped, slipping away silently into the night, leaving communities terrified for years. …

“Pain followed wherever he went.”

Read more: https://www.pe.com/2020/06/29/golden-state-killer-agrees-to-plea-deal-for-13-murders-numerous-rapes/
(Riverside Press Enterprise)

Supporters of equality for LGBTQ, minority communities join forces in Napa march

June is when LGBTQ people across the globe celebrate their hard-won civil rights and their decades-long battle against discrimination. But on Sunday, a swelling wave of protests against police violence against people of color caused advocates for sexual and racial minorities to join forces and demonstrate in downtown Napa, together.

Holding aloft rainbow flags and Black Lives Matter signboards – and sometimes placards combining the two symbols of equality – more than 120 chanting marchers took part in Pride Is a Protest, a procession from Napa City Hall through downtown streets to Veterans Memorial Park and back again.

The now-familiar sounds of anti-racist protest rang out as demonstrators strode down School, First and Main streets, but with an added twist resulting from the partnership of the local groups who had put together the march in barely a week – the Rainbow Action Network and the People’s Collective for Change, a grassroots group that has led weekend protests against police brutality and is pushing for law-enforcement reforms in Napa.

“Black lives matter!” organizer Gabriela Fernandez yelled into a microphone, coaxing an answering echo from marchers before she and they changed the slogan to “Black trans lives matter!”, “Black queer lives matter!” and then “Black lesbian lives matter!”

Read more: https://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/supporters-of-equality-for-lgbtq-minority-communities-join-forces-in-napa-march/article_418b4ad5-88d0-5c93-84bf-66c0ca735a65.html

China forces birth control on Uighurs to suppress Muslim population

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children.

While individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known, according to an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, family members and a former detention camp instructor. The campaign over the last four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of “demographic genocide.”

The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang.

The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having what is considered too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps, the AP found, with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-06-28/china-forces-birth-control-on-uighurs-to-suppress-population

Trump policy and coronavirus leave agency bankrupt, tens of thousands of potential voters in limbo

WASHINGTON — Azra Nazir had a dress picked out, gray and blue. She had the subway directions. And in a rarity over two decades as an emergency room nurse, the 59-year-old had a few days off — her first in months of battling the coronavirus at its epicenter in Brooklyn.

After 20 years in the United States, where she secured asylum after leaving her native Pakistan, she would attend the ceremony at the end of March, raise her right hand, and become an American citizen at last.

“God made everything perfect for me,” Nazir said she thought.

Then, a few days before the scheduled day, she received a notice: Her oath ceremony had been canceled.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-06-28/trump-immigration-policy-coronavirus-2020-voters-limbo

Fresno's worst one-day spike; Newsom orders bars closed in Valley counties

Fresno County had its worst one-day spike in confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, an indication of the pandemic’s vast spread since the state began reopening businesses to the public.

In fact, in the month since the city of Fresno ended its shelter-in-place orders, Fresno County’s coronavirus-related death total and confirmed cases of COVID-19 have each almost tripled.

Nearly as many people have been hospitalized by the coronavirus in that time than were registered in the county during the first three months of the pandemic, when the city of Fresno’s shelter in place was enforced. Last week, the number of hospitalization rose by 61%, according to Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County’s interim health officer.

CASES, DEATHS ACROSS THE VALLEY

As of Sunday, 11,791 cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed across the central San Joaquin Valley. The six counties are averaging nearly 300 new cases each day.

Fresno County continues to lead the region, with 4,474 confirmed cases.

Read more: https://www.fresnobee.com/news/coronavirus/article243867357.html

A California restaurant closed over customers' refusal to wear masks, harassment of employees

A taco restaurant in Los Angeles temporarily shuttered both of its locations Sunday, raising concerns over the safety of their employees as some customers refused to wear masks and reportedly harassed staff for asking them to do so.

“Our taco stands are exhausted by the constant conflicts,” read a statement from Hugo’s Tacos, which has restaurants in Atwater Village and Studio City. “Staff have been harassed, called names, and had objects and liquids thrown at them. A mask isn’t symbolic of anything other than our desire to keep our staff healthy.”

The message was shared on social media and taped to multiple windows outside of both restaurants. Executive chef Nabor Diaz told KTLA5 the closure was necessary because he didn’t have enough employees that felt safe enough to go to work as it was.

“At this point, we think it’s really important for us to put the safety of our crew first,” he said.

Read more: https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/hugos-tacos-closed-over-customers-masks-employees-15372545.php

BART director calls Robert E. Lee 'an exemplary general' during budget talks

BART’s board of directors has a lot on its mind these days — tanking ridership, soaring costs, anti-pandemic measures and on Thursday, the unjust vilification of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

What has the losing side’s general in the Civil War have to do with mass transit?

According to Nico Savidge, the San Jose Mercury reporter who was attending Thursday's meeting, BART’s board was discussing “a budget amendment from several progressive directors to explore non-police responses to problems of homelessness and addiction.”

The directors — Bevan Dufty, Rebecca Saltzman, Janice Li and Lateefah Simon — proposed shifting $2 million in budget funds from police to “unarmed ambassadors.”

Read more: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-director-calls-Robert-E-Lee-an-exemplary-15367240.php

Front-yard swastika display angers El Sobrante residents again


EL SOBRANTE, CA – JUNE 27: A truck rests on a driveway with a concrete swastika at the home of Steven Johnson in El Sobrante, Calif., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. Johnson installed the large swastika over a year ago. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)


It’s beginning to feel a bit like deja vu for El Sobrante residents who say they are in no mood for hate symbols in their neighborhood.

But Steven Johnson’s creation — a stone garden in the shape of a Nazi swastika — is back to being displayed prominently in the front yard of his home on Lindell Drive. Now, barely a year after neighbors organized to call for Johnson to remove the concrete swastika, they’re doing so again.

“I don’t think it’s ever not been offensive,” area resident Charles Erdmann said Friday. “It’s just amplified that much more now. That’s why circling back on this is so important. It’s always been the symbol of the Holocaust, and now it’s a prominent symbol for white supremacy. So in our opinion, it has no place here.”

As a result, a petition created last year by neighbors calling for Johnson to remove the stone garden had gathered nearly 48,000 signatures by Saturday morning.

Read more: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2020/06/27/swastika-stone-garden-angers-el-sobrante-residents-again/

Newsom's bar-closure order signals California far from through with COVID-19

In the Bay Area, it won’t have much of an impact: Bars in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties were already closed, and they’ll probably stay that way for a while.

But Governor Gavin Newsom’s order Sunday to close bars in seven counties and recommend closures in eight others added to an unmistakable message: California, with over 200,000 confirmed cases and a surge of new cases in recent days, is far from finished with the novel coronavirus.

The governor had already ordered statewide mask use in public and high-risk areas as case numbers crept back up. On Friday, with a high positivity rate straining hospitals’ ability to respond in Imperial County, Newsom urged local health officials to reinstate their stay-at-home order.

Sunday’s escalation provided the most urgent call yet to the state’s residents, a warning that scenes of bars and nightclubs packed with young people belied the strength of the virus and its danger to public health.

Read more: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2020/06/28/as-coronavirus-cases-surge-newsom-orders-bars-to-close-in-seven-counties/
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