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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: 77,599

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

Trinity Univ. Conservatives File "Harassment" Claim Against Students Who Returned Their Event Fliers

SAN ANTONIO -- Shortly after Trinity University student Jonah Wendt distributed some 600 event leaflets across campus housing, 288 reappeared in front of his own dorm room door.

"Keep your propaganda to yourselves. We don't like it in our faces," a note read on top of the rubber-banded stack of returned leaflets. Wendt had passed out the fliers to advertise an upcoming event — hosted by his conservative student group, Tigers for Liberty — featuring conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. The event's title: "What's so great about America?"

Some students provided their own answers, scrawled in colorful ink, and returned the leaflets to Wendt. "Immigrants." "Public education." "National parks." "Women's rights." "The gays."

Wendt decided this was "harassment" and took the complaint to campus police.

"This is a clear attempt at intimidation,” Wendt told the Express-News this week.

Read more: http://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2017/02/28/trinity-conservatives-file-harassment-claim-against-students-who-returned-their-event-fliers
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 05:57 AM (6 replies)

San Antonio Islamophobic Group Fires Leader for Being Too Islamophobic

The local arm of anti-Muslim conservative group ACT for America has fired its chapter head for being too openly Islamophobic.

Roy White, a retired Air Force lieutenant, was booted this weekend for publicizing that February's ACT meeting would be a lesson in how to "shut down mosques." White, however, wasn't lying — the Thursday meeting featured a presentation by Karen Lugo, the author of a book that gives step-by-step instructions on how to use zoning laws and press local officials to prevent mosques from being built or opened in a community.

But instead of decrying Lugo, ACT officials fired White for refusing to cancel the heavily-protested meeting at which she spoke. In an email announcing their decision to supporters, ACT called Lugo "a great patriot."

"[We are] not in the business of shutting down any place of worship based on what religion it houses," the email read. But the organization (which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) said it will continue working with Lugo.

Read more: http://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2017/02/27/local-islamophobic-group-fires-leader-for-being-too-islamophobic
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 05:49 AM (0 replies)

Texas is out as host for Gay Games

The Federation of Gay Games has released its short list of three cities still in the running to host its 11th event in 2022, and Dallas — and Austin — are out the running.

As of this morning, the finalists have been whittled down to Guadalajara, Mexico; Hong Kong; and Washington, D.C. Other semifinalists whose cities didn’t make the cut are Denver, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. San Antonio also put in a bid, but was eliminated in the first round.

The 2018 games will take place next summer in Paris. The 2022 location will be finalized this May. (Personally, I’m pulling for Guadalajara because it’s closest!)

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 05:39 AM (0 replies)

Democrats urged to join fight against SB 4

Matt Simpson, policy strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, told members of the Central Texas Democratic Forum on Monday that Senate Bill 4, the so-called sanctuary cities bill, throws out policies created by sheriffs and police departments across the state about how and when to ask about immigration status.

“This is kind of a road map to racial profiling,” he said.

Simpson was one of three opponents of SB 4 who urged the group to donate its money and time to help fight the legislation and to help groups that assist undocumented immigrants. City Council Member Greg Casar and Austin Independent School District Trustee Paul Saldaña also talked about the problems their constituents are facing.

Simpson explained that SB 4, which has passed the Senate and is pending in the House State Affairs Committee, prohibits local police chiefs and sheriffs as well as campus police departments from prohibiting or discouraging their officers from inquiring about the immigration status of people they have stopped.

Cities and counties that are adjudged to be violating the law would lose state grant funding and also be subject to civil fines. Gov. Greg Abbott did not wait for passage of the bill before punishing Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez for deciding not to honor most Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.

Read more: https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2017/02/democrats-urged-to-join-fight-against-sb-4/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 05:18 AM (0 replies)

Austin Sexual Assault Advocates Demand Answers for Rape Kit Negligence

Disconcerting reports about the current status of APD’s ever-growing rape kit backlog has prompted Travis County’s Sexual Assault Resource and Recovery Team (SARRT) to draft a letter to Mayor Steve Adler, Interim City Manager Elaine Hart, and Interim Police Chief Brian Manley requesting immediate clarification about the holdup.

According to Emily LeBlanc, the project's local co-chair, APD had told SARRT last summer (shortly after the lab closed) that the Department of Public Safety would both store APD’s DNA evidence and test what wasn’t sent over to private labs. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, as she notes, DPS “is warehousing the evidence while APD formulates another plan.” The backlog has since grown to over 4,000 cases, most of which pertain to sexual assault.

Prior to the lab’s closure, sexual assault survivors who wished to prosecute were subject to a three-year process just to get their case to trial. Now, the duration of time is no longer predictable. SAFE Response Coordinator Kristen Lenau told the Chronicle: “We no longer tell survivors how long the wait will be before their kit gets tested. We just have no idea.”

SARRT, a community response team comprised of sexual assault advocates, law enforcement, and prosecutors, exists to create a more cohesive response to sexual assault by working with multiple agencies in charge of aiding rape survivors and prosecuting their attackers.

Read more: http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2017-03-01/sexual-assault-advocates-demand-answers-for-rape-kit-negligence/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 05:08 AM (2 replies)

Tennessee has declared war on same-sex families: Inside the legislation that would eradicate nearly

Tennessee has declared war on same-sex families: Inside the legislation that would eradicate nearly all rights for LGBT couples

Heather MacKenzie bought her wedding ring at Wal-Mart. MacKenzie, now 38, proposed to her wife, Charitey, by driving to the top of Tiger Hill in Murfreesboro, a town located near the couple’s Tennessee home. The hill, a favorite spot for preteen sledders during the winter, looks over the entire town, as well as the vast expanse of the surrounding area. This was where the MacKenzies had their first date.

The pair said “I do” in June 2015, just days after the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalized marriage between same-sex couples in their state. The MacKenzies were wed in Nashville in front of the courthouse under a magnolia tree.

Over a year later, the couple are expecting a child: Charitey is 12 weeks pregnant with a son. A trio of recently proposed laws, however, could jeopardize the future of their growing clan. This legislation seeks to erase any hint of legal recognition for LGBT couples in Tennessee, all but declaring war on the families of same-sex parents living in the state.

Filed by State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, House Bill 1406 would prevent a couple from listing on the birth certificate the second parent (the spouse not giving birth) after a woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination. The legislation would nullify a provision of the Tennessee Code Annotated 68-3-306, which was issued as part of the Vital Records Act of 1977. The law states, “A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.”

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2017/02/27/tennessee-has-declared-war-on-same-sex-families-inside-the-legislation-that-would-eradicate-nearly-all-rights-for-lgbt-couples/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 04:29 AM (2 replies)

Texas Lawmaker Wants to Ban Wrongful Birth Lawsuits

Texas lawmakers discussed a bill on Monday that would protect doctors from wrongful birth lawsuits. Senate Bill 25 would prevent parents from suing doctors if their baby is born with defects or disabilities.

Republican State Sen.Brandon Creighton of Conroe is the bill’s author. He told the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs that he doesn’t like wrongful birth lawsuits for a couple of reasons. First, he said there’s no such thing as a wrongful birth in his opinion.

“It also affects doctors since they may be liable for a disability in which they did not cause, doctors may overcautiously seek out all potential disabilities and promote abortions in order to avoid liability,” he says.

Margaret Johnson with the League of Women Voters told lawmakers her organization opposes SB 25.

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/texas-lawmaker-wants-to-ban-wrongful-birth-lawsuits/#
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:18 AM (0 replies)

Former Detainees Can Sue Private Prisons for Forced Labor

In an unprecedented case, a federal judge ruled Monday that a private prison company can be sued under federal laws prohibiting what amounts to slave labor.

The ruling allows current and former detainees at a privately-run immigrant detention center to join a class-action suit alleging that the contractor running the prison forced detainees to work for low or no wages, threatening solitary confinement for those who refused.

GEO Group, one of the nation’s largest private prison companies, runs facilities in Colorado and in Texas. Betsy Woodruff with the Daily Beast reports as many as 60,000 current and former detainees could act as plaintiffs in the case.

GEO Group and other large private prison companies get a significant portion of their business through contracts with the Department of Homeland Security to detain immigrants who may be in the country illegally and are awaiting immigration court proceedings.

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/former-detainees-can-sue-private-prisons-for-slave-labor/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:14 AM (2 replies)

Juno Spacecraft Is Rewriting What We Know About Jupiter

This is what Jupiter sounds like.


These creepy noises are radio waves detected by the Juno spacecraft in August. While these screeching sounds shock the ears, what NASA is discovering from the spacecraft about Jupiter is Earth shattering.

"Or Jupiter shattering, I should say," says Scott Bolton, principle investigator for the Juno Mission and associate vice president of Research and Development for the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

He says Juno's launch five years ago launched a renewed interest in the giant planet with theories on what they would find when the spacecraft settled into orbit last July 4th.

"Maybe they'll see this? Maybe Juno will see that, but none of them have been as out of the box as what we are seeing," says Bolton

Read more: http://tpr.org/post/juno-spacecraft-rewriting-what-we-know-about-jupiter#stream/0

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:09 AM (2 replies)

At Planned Parenthood fundraiser, Bush daughter emphasizes group's importance under Trump

At a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Fort Worth on Wednesday, Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, insisted that the work the organization is doing is especially important after a changing of the guard in Washington.

Bush was the keynote speaker at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas' annual Fort Worth luncheon. In audio of her speech obtained by The Texas Tribune, Bush hinted that President Donald Trump's electoral victory over Hillary Clinton caught her by surprise.

“In October when I was asked to speak, I said yes and I was thrilled, but I was under the assumption that history was going to go differently,” Bush said to an excited audience of roughly 1,000 people. “That was not meant to be a political statement; I just thought the cards were going to fall in a different way. I’m so happy I said yes because this work could not matter more.”

During her address, Bush said she was inspired to pursue a career in global health issues following a trip to East and Central Africa when she was 21.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/03/01/planned-parenthood-fundraiser-bush-daughter-emphasizes-impact-groups-u/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:01 AM (2 replies)
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