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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,961

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

What "we" knew about the Nazis

Supporters of the British monarchy are furious about photos showing the 7-year-old future Queen of England giving the Nazi salute in the early 1930s, apparently under the instruction of her uncle, Edward VIII. But there was another adult in the picture, points out Michael Rosen, in an article for the revolutionary socialism in the 21st century website.

THE real problem posed by the photos of the future queen sieg-heiling is not whether she was too young to know what she was doing, but why her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was doing it, too. I've noticed on Twitter, and indeed in the discussion on Newsnight, that the default defense of all this is that 1933-34, when the photos were taken, was "too early" for Brits to know what was going on in Germany. After all, the argument goes, this is long before the awful truth of the Holocaust became known. True.

So really the question to ask--and it's a question that seems to have been far too hard for the backroom staff at Newsnight to have figured out--is how were the Nazis going down amongst the public in 1933/34?

First, to put some important matters on the map: By the middle of 1933, the Nazis had abolished democracy with the Enabling Acts and the Reichstag Decrees; they had set about the immediate, pressing task of beheading the labor movement by imprisoning or killing trade unionists, socialists and communists. The concentration camp Dachau was used to imprison opponents (or people deemed to be opponents), and immediately, thousands of working-class militants were put into hard labor gangs.

In Britain, in 1932, Oswald Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists based on fascist parties across Europe and was given great coverage in the British press for his ideas, even as his thugs started terrorizing Jews in the East End of London and starting up provocations in the West End, where there was a strong Jewish presence in the "shmatte" (rag) trade. From a purely personal point of view, this is where some of what has been said about the Royals' sieg-heiling is so offensive. Whenever mainstream journalists and commentators talk about racism, they very frequently lapse into a commentary that is itself racist in the use of the very word "people." So we are often told that "people" were racist or "people" were anti-Semitic. This is both offensive to those people who aren't or weren't racist, but also leaves out of the category "people" the very people on the receiving end of the racism or anti-Semitism! So in the trope that "people" didn't know about the Nazis' anti-Semitism, the fact that Jews did know about it is left out! The papers of the Jewish establishment were quite vocal and explicit about the Nazis' anti-Semitism, but this awareness is left out of the picture in the rush to explain away the Royals' salutes.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/07/28/what-we-knew-about-the-nazis

Grand Jury Looming, Paxton Assails Prosecutors

A grand jury will soon decide whether Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should be indicted for securities fraud, but the battle for public opinion is already kicking into high gear.

A Collin County grand jury is expected to begin hearing evidence against Paxton soon. It remains unclear when the grand jury will start meeting, but local media on Tuesday spotted special prosecutors assigned to the case entering a Collin County courthouse with the Texas Rangers, who have been looking into Paxton's self-admitted violation of the state securities law last year.

In recent days, Paxton spokesman Anthony Holm has sharpened his criticism of the process, arguing that meddling by an outside lawyer has rendered impartiality "impossible." Holm has also criticized the special prosecutors, Houston attorneys Kent Schaffer and Brian Wice, as loose-lipped publicity hounds who lack the experience to handle such a high-profile prosecution.

"Normally, seasoned prosecutors are appointed to aid investigations," Holm wrote in an op-ed for the Austin American-Statesman published Monday. "Instead, these two defense lawyers have built incredibly lucrative practices defending people charged with crimes, including drug and child sex crimes — the very type of criminal Attorney General Paxton tries to put in prison. One wonders about the impartiality of the appointed special prosecutors when their trade is defending those charged with the most heinous of crimes."

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/07/28/grand-jury-looming-paxtons-team-and-prosecutors-sp/

14 people rescued from stalled elevator at Tower of the Americas in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — Emergency crews rescued 14 people, including two children, from a stalled elevator at the Tower of the America's Tuesday.

Officials were dispatched to the 750-foot downtown tower just before 2 p.m. after the group had been stuck in the elevator cart for about 20 minutes, said San Antonio Fire Department Spokeswoman Deborah Foster.

As of 4:15 p.m., crews had removed all of the people inside the elevator, including the children, one by one and no injuries were reported. The last person was rescued more than two hours after the elevator was reported stuck.

A firefighter standing on top of the cart, which appeared to be more than 50 feet above ground, lowered a ladder into the elevator and helped the individuals climb onto the top of the cart. Then, one by one, the people climbed a second ladder with the help of the firefighter into an opening on the column of the tower that appears to be about 10 feet above the cart.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/12-people-trapped-on-elevator-at-Tower-of-the-6410450.php

Chevron to cut 950 jobs in Houston, 1,500 companywide

Source: Houston Chronicle

Chevron plans to cut 950 jobs in Houston by the end of 2015 as part of a plan to eliminate about 1,500 jobs worldwide in an ongoing environment of low oil prices.

The San Ramon, California-based energy major said it is reducing jobs across its corporate centers, so 950 will be in Houston and about 500 jobs will be cut in San Ramon, said Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie. About 50 job cuts will come internationally, she added.

Another 600 or so staff contractors positions also will be reduced from 24 groups in the corporate center, Ritchie said, so many of those cuts will come from Houston and San Ramon as well. Out of the 1,500 permanent position reductions, about 270 of them are existing vacancies.

“In light of the current market environment, Chevron is taking action to reduce internal costs in multiple operating units and the corporate center,” Ritchie said in a prepared statement. “These initiatives, which are currently underway, are focused on increasing efficiency, reducing costs and focusing on work that directly supports business priorities. Efforts in our corporate center are targeting cost reductions of approximately $1 billion. Additional cost savings are expected to be achieved across the enterprise.”

Read more: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/07/28/chevron-to-cut-1500-jobs-including-almost-1000-in-houston/#34195101=0

Dallas mayor 'deeply concerned' about sex expo at convention center

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings sided with critics this week in calling himself “deeply concerned” that the Dallas Convention Center will play host to sex expo Exxxotica.

The three-day expo which calls itself the “largest adult event in the USA dedicated to love & sex” kicks off in Dallas a week from Friday. It promises sex seminars, fetish performances, Q&As about the commercial sex industry and meet-and-greets with dozens of porn stars.

But a few local groups weren’t amused.

The Dallas Women’s Foundation today penned a letter to Mayor Mike Rawlings, copied to female elected leaders and heads of the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, critiquing the decision to rent city-owned Convention Center space to the event.

Read more: http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2015/07/sex-expo-spurs-backlash-from-dallas-womens-group.html/

Anti-abortion rally at Texas Capitol targets Planned Parenthood

Ricardo B. Brazziell
Anti-abortion rally at the Capitol, 07.28.15

Anti-abortion advocates rallied Tuesday at the Texas State Capitol to ask legislators to cease funding to Planned Parenthood.

“This is not just about the babies,” said State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker). “They are liars and destroyers of life.”

About 150 people attended the protest, according the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The rally comes a day before the lawmakers with the Senate Health and Human Services Committee meet at a public hearing to discuss Planned Parenthood’s practices and allegations that the group sells fetal tissue.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/anti-abortion-rally-at-texas-capitol-targets-plann/nm7xx/

AG Says Texas A&M Doesn't Need to Tell You What You're Paying Them to Do to Dogs & Cats

We're a little perplexed by a Texas Attorney General's opinion stating that Texas A&M doesn't have to release records related to testing done on cats and dogs.

The opinion was spurred by activists' requests for daily care logs and health logs, in a story originally reported by the San Antonio Express-News last week. The Beagle Freedom Project, which finds homes for former laboratory beagles, had requested the records, but university officials declined to release them with the aid of the opinion, which states: "A veterinarian may not violate the confidential relationship between the veterinarian and the veterinarian's client." The client in this case is the university.

The story noted that A&M "reported last year using 428 dogs and 15 cats for research. In 2009, Texas A&M said three-fourths of tests done on 82 dogs produced some 'pain or distress,' according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

The AG's opinion is especially perplexing because the university has released records in the past, notably in a 2009 report called "Dying to Learn," put out by a division of the American Anti-Vivisection Society called Animalearn. The report's authors queried university institutional animal care and use committees, which oversee animal testing, and were able to receive some pretty alarming information from Texas A&M, including the fact that the university engaged in a practice called "pound seizure," wherein research institutions obtain animals from municipal animal shelters:

Between January 2005 and July 2008, Texas A&M acquired 474 live dogs from local shelters, primarily Lehman Animal Shelter in Giddings, Texas. Records indicate that the dogs were euthanized at the university on the same day they were acquired from the shelter. Between January 2006 and March 2008, Texas A&M acquired 86 dead cats from Lehman Animal Shelter.

Read more: http://www.houstonpress.com/news/attorney-general-says-texas-aandm-doesnt-need-to-tell-you-what-youre-paying-them-to-do-to-dogs-and-cats-7623013

Wichita Falls drops toilet water reuse project; contemplates new reservoir

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (AP) — A North Texas city has stopped using treated toilet water to supplement its water supply after a catastrophic drought was followed by heavy springtime rains.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (http://bit.ly/1gho529 ) that the city earlier this month cut off the 12.5-mile pipeline that blended a 50-50 mix of treated wastewater and lake water at its Cypress Water Treatment Plant.

Heavy rain in the area has helped restore lakes and reservoirs to near full levels following the crippling drought.

The direct potable reuse program will be replaced by a more permanent project known as indirect potable reuse, where treated wastewater will be pumped directly into Lake Arrowhead.

Read more: http://www.reporternews.com/news/state/wichita-falls-drops-toilet-water-reuse-project

WICHITA FALLS - For decades the city of Wichita Falls has considered the possibility of building another water reservoir to be called Lake Ringgold.

That will be one step closer to reality if Wichita Falls City Council approves a resolution Tuesday for an engineering agreement with Freese & Nichols Inc.

FNI is a top engineering firm in Texas for reservoir development, with a record of numerous surface water projects in the state.

The agreement, not to exceed $168,000, is in preparation for a water rights application for construction of the lake.

Read more: http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/lake-ringgold-one-step-closer-to-becoming-a-reality_67044238

Armed civilians return to Longview recruiting station; Navy recruiters leave

Recruiters for the U.S. Navy closed their Longview offices Monday after armed civilians returned despite the Pentagon's request they stand down.

A pair of armed civilians, who would identify themselves only as military veterans, watched from their sidewalk post under a canopy outside the North Longview office as recruiters left.

Asked by one of the self-appointed guards where he was going, one of the recruiters said they'd been ordered to relocate to a recruiting office in Marshall.

"Is it because of us?" he asked.

"Yes," replied the Navy man.

Read more: http://www.news-journal.com/news/2015/jul/27/armed-civilians-return-to-longview-recruiting-stat/

Banana peel thrower says Chappelle insulted him at police station

The Santa Fe man who is going to trial for throwing a banana peel at black comic Dave Chappelle says the comedian confronted him at the police station after the show, accused him of being a racist and hurled profanities at him and his mother.

Christian Englander, 31, the self-described eccentric and performance artist who threw the peel during a March performance by Chappelle at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, is charged with battery and disturbing the peace — petty misdemeanors that each carry a jail sentence of up to six months and a possible fine of $500.

Jury selection in the case is set for Sept. 23, but Englander said Monday that he would like to arrange a plea deal.

The case has taken on racial overtones and attracted widespread attention on social media sites because Chappelle accused Englander of committing a racist act by throwing the banana peel at him while he was onstage.

Read more and see photos of Englander at link:
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