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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: 85,684

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

In Small-Town North Texas, Some Confederate Monuments Still Stand Tall

Growing up Black in Kaufman, James Henderson rarely thought about the two-story Confederate monument outside the county courthouse. He didn't care about it much. He didn't really understand what it was. As he grew older and learned about the country's history, his feelings changed over the years, but the final straw came last summer.

Henderson, 44, now works as an investigator in the Kaufman County Public Defender's Office. He walks past the statue several times a week. One day in June, a client of his, a Black man from out of state, asked a question that hit him hard. The man wanted to know how he could expect fair treatment in a building that had a symbol of slavery and segregation perched right out front.

Henderson thought hard for a moment, but he ultimately agreed that the statue's removal was long overdue. “Not in front of a courthouse,” he told the Observer. “Not in front of our justice center, a place that’s supposed to be applying justice. It’s right on our front porch.”

Henderson knew many in Kaufman wouldn’t see things his way. He grew up in town and has considered its mostly conservative residents neighbors for much of his life. Five generations ago, his ancestors lived in Egypt, an all-Black community once located 12 miles southeast of the city. That’s why he feels confident saying the local mantra might as well be “white is right.”

Read more: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/in-small-town-north-texas-confederate-monuments-still-cast-long-shadows-11988383
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:48 PM (0 replies)

Indianapolis Public Library is considering removing some Dr. Seuss books. Here's why

The Indianapolis Public Library on Tuesday said it is considering removing a number of Dr. Seuss books from its shelves after the company in charge of preserving the author's legacy announced it would stop publishing six books because of offensive imagery.

"Removing items from our shelves is a decision that is not taken lightly as we strive for open access to materials," IPL communications director Joe Backe said. "We are currently considering how to handle these existing titles within the collection."

The statement comes the same day Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would stop publishing the six Dr. Seuss books because the works "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong."

"Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families," the company said in a statement.

The books affected are: "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," “If I Ran the Zoo," “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”

Read more: https://www.courierpress.com/story/news/local/2021/03/02/indianapolis-public-library-consider-removing-dr-seuss-books/6892721002/
(Evansville Courier Press)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:21 PM (0 replies)

Black community leaders rally at Statehouse

Black community leaders on Tuesday rallied at the Statehouse amid fears that lawmakers are focusing on legislation that could hurt, instead of help, Black Hoosiers.

They said the deliberately small — due to COVID-19 — protest at the Statehouse is part of an effort to push back against the "attempted silencing" of Black lawmakers and share Black community leaders' concerns that lawmakers are not addressing the root causes of issues facing Black Hoosiers, from public transportation to food insecurity.

Two weeks ago Republican lawmakers booed Black lawmakers who described the ideas in a bill as racist and discriminatory, causing a community backlash.

At the rally, organizers spoke briefly and then held a silent protest. Signs for about a dozen bills they deemed problematic were dispayed in the background.

Read more: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/02/black-community-rally-black-lawmakers-indiana-statehouse/6869796002/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:14 PM (0 replies)

COVID vaccine available to Hoosiers 55 and up

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana residents age 55 to 60 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, state health officials announced Tuesday in the latest expansion of the state's vaccine rollout.

The Indiana Department of Health said the expansion is the first step in making the free shots available to the nearly 858,000 Hoosiers in their 50s. Indiana's vaccine eligibility pool had previously included Hoosiers age 60 and older, health care workers, long-term care residents and first responders.

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available, officials said. The state's current vaccine distribution plan indicates Hoosiers aged 50 to 55 are next in line to receive shots, although there are no specific timelines in place for when new eligibility expansions will take effect.

The state health department also announced the opening of three mass vaccination sites through partnerships with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the University of Notre Dame and Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg. A fourth mass vaccination site is being planned in Gary, officials said.

Read more: https://www.kokomotribune.com/news/covid-19/covid-vaccine-available-to-hoosiers-55-and-up/article_33d4cb74-7b6d-11eb-b0ef-73e54b157eec.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:02 PM (3 replies)

House Republicans vote to hike Indiana cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack

The Republican-controlled Indiana House has approved a two-year state budget proposal that, among other provisions, increases the state's cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack, and imposes a new 10% sales tax surcharge on vaping products.

Under House Bill 1001, the tax hikes on smoking and vaping would take effect July 1, if they are not removed by the Republican-controlled Senate and are signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Cigarettes sold in Indiana still would be a comparative bargain even after adding 50 cents to the state's current $1 per pack cigarette tax.

Indiana's proposed new cigarette tax rate of $1.50 per pack is lower than Illinois' $2.98 per pack cigarette tax, and cigarettes sold in Cook County ($3) and Chicago ($1.18) are subject to additional local taxes on every pack sold in those jurisdictions.

Read more: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/house-republicans-vote-to-hike-indiana-cigarette-tax-by-50-cents-per-pack/article_cc1acd82-5bf1-50ec-8f88-11480ed35caa.html
(Northwest Indiana Times)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 06:54 AM (0 replies)

Student sues Ball State fraternity over attack

MUNCIE, Ind. — A man has filed suit against a Ball State University fraternity, alleging he was attacked by its members.

In his Delaware Circuit Court 4 lawsuit — against Delta Tau Delta's Epsilon Mu chapter in Muncie, and the national Delta Tau Delta organization — Cesar Cholula alleges he and his friends were "viciously attacked" at the fraternity's house at 1001 W. Riverside Ave.

Cholula said he was enrolled as a student at Ball State on Oct. 2, 2019, when he and several friends "went to Brothers Bar and Grill, 1601 W. University Ave., and consumed alcohol."

While there, he reported, they encountered a friend who was a member of the fraternity and invited them back to the Riverside Avenue house.

Read more: https://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2021/03/01/student-sues-ball-state-fraternity-over-attack/6836599002/
(Muncie Star Press)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 06:47 AM (1 replies)

Pete Buttigieg is selling his house in South Bend to a theater director. 'Lot of memories there.'

SOUTH BEND — Pete Buttigieg, the newly minted Secretary of Transportation, and his husband, Chasten, are selling their South Bend home to the leader of a local community theater company.

Buttigieg said he considered trying to hold onto the house on West North Shore Drive, near downtown South Bend, after his confirmation last month to President Biden’s cabinet but ultimately decided it wouldn’t be feasible.

“Lot of memories there,” the former mayor said by phone Monday from Washington, D.C. “It was tempting to try to have our cake and eat it too. South Bend is always going to be home to me. But as a practical matter, we realized that it was time for the house to change hands.”

Buttigieg said he and his husband, Chasten, for now, are “getting used to apartment living” with their dogs, Buddy and Truman.

Read more: https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/pete-buttigieg-is-selling-his-house-in-south-bend-to-a-theater-director-lot-of/article_ec89f898-7ad1-11eb-908d-4bdce06233ee.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 06:38 AM (0 replies)

Ferris State University fires professor who tweeted slurs, called COVID-19 a 'leftist stunt'

BIG RAPIDS, MI – Ferris State University has fired a physical science professor who was placed on administrative leave in November for allegedly posting racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs on Twitter and calling the coronavirus pandemic a “leftist stunt” during a faculty meeting.

Thomas Brennan was discharged for serious misconduct on Thursday, Feb. 25, according to a termination letter from Provost Robert Fleischman, provided to MLive by Brennan on Friday.

University officials confirmed Brennan’s employment at the university was terminated Feb. 25. A spokesperson said the university had no further comment.

Fleischman said Brennan had continued a “pattern of unprofessional and harassing behavior” that created an intimidating campus environment, according to the Feb. 25 letter. The provost cited several examples of serious misconduct that reportedly led to Brennan’s discharge.

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/03/ferris-state-university-fires-professor-who-tweeted-slurs-called-covid-19-a-leftist-stunt.html

Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 06:26 AM (0 replies)

A 22-year, 34-game losing streak comes to an end as Western stuns state champ

AUBURN, MI – Bay City Western just wanted to bury its last game in the past.

A victory for the ages should do the trick.

Still smarting from Saturday’s loss to Bay City Central that ended Western’s 14-game hold on the girls basketball rivalry, the Warriors bounced back in an epic manner.

Western knocked off traditional Saginaw Valley League powerhouse and two-time defending state champion Saginaw Heritage 47-36, halting a 34-game losing streak to the Hawks that dated back to 1998.

“That is awesome,” beamed Western coach Brian Merritt when informed of the history behind his team’s Monday night triumph. “I guess we gave up one streak, but we ended another one.”

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/highschoolsports/2021/03/a-22-year-34-game-losing-streak-finally-comes-to-an-end-for-bay-city-western.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 06:16 AM (0 replies)

Disability advocates condemn GOP senator protesting deaf Detroiters' eligibility for COVID vaccines

During an especially testy session Thursday in the Michigan Senate — which eventually ended with the passage of a controversial $727 million supplemental funding bill including conservative amendments — GOP lawmakers used their floor speeches to criticize the state’s vaccine distribution that prioritizes vulnerable populations based on factors like race and income.

State Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Potterville) also attacked Detroit’s initiative last week to open up the city’s vaccination queue to adults with disabilities, including those with vision or hearing impairments, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and others.

Research from Johns Hopkins University has shown that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across — all age groups — are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the rest of the population.

“Throughout committee testimony, we were promised that people would not be eligible to jump ahead of their priority group status to gain access to the vaccine before those who were more vulnerable were offered and given the option to receive it,” Barrett said on Thursday.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2021/03/01/disability-advocates-condemn-gop-senator-protesting-deaf-detroiters-eligibility-for-covid-vaccines/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 05:52 AM (2 replies)
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