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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Current location: Bryan, Texas
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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

43 more die in Illinois from coronavirus as state case tally surpasses 20,000

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Sunday another 43 deaths and 1,672 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, bringing the statewide total to more than 20,000 confirmed cases since the epidemic first hit in late January.

In total, 20,852 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Illinois, and 720 of them have died. The virus has spread to 86 of the state’s 102 counties, and about 100,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Illinois.

On Friday, 7,956 tests were administered throughout the state, Pritzker said. That’s closer to the goal of 10,000 tests per day that experts say would be needed to get an accurate understand of the virus’ spread throughout Illinois - and the highest number of tests administered in a single day.

“That is great news on the testing front,” Pritzker said. “I’ve spoken before about a stabilizing or bending of the curve, and today is another piece of evidence that it might be happening.”

Read more: https://chicago.suntimes.com/essential-coronavirus-news/2020/4/12/21218128/coronavirus-chicago-updates-live-blog-illinois-2020

Union: Chief said deputy's virus death caused by gay events

DAVIE, FLA. -- A Florida town has placed its police chief on administrative leave after he was accused by officers of saying a sheriff's deputy died of COVID-19 because he was a “homosexual who attended homosexual sexual events.”

The Fort Lauderdale suburb of Davie announced late Saturday that Chief Dale Engle will be on leave while the allegations made by the Fraternal Order of Police union are investigated. Richard Lemack, administrator for the town of 100,000 residents, said in a statement he would have no further comment.

According to the Miami Herald, Engle met with officers during their Tuesday patrol briefing, four days after the coronavirus death of Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Shannon Bennett, 39. The officers expressed their concerns about catching the disease as Bennett had done.

The union said in a letter to Lemack that Engle “allegedly yelled about a ‘backstory’ which proclaimed that Deputy Bennett contracted and died from the virus because he was a ’homosexual who attended homosexual sexual events.'”

Read more: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article241952251.html

Houston Billionaire Tilman Fertitta laid off 45,000 employees quickly as a 'favor'

Houston billionaire restaurateur Tilman Fertitta told FOX News' guest host Brian Kilmeade that he laid off 45,000 workers as a 'favor" to help them access unemployment benefits earlier.

"You know, Brian, I went through the '87 crisis, the 2000, the 2008," Fertitta said Saturday on FOX News' Ingraham Angle. "You’re doing the people a favor if you get them furloughed first, because you have them first to unemployment line after the severance that you give them. It’s a trick that I’ve learned many years ago."

Fertitta's vast portfolio includes ownership of NBA's Houston Rockets. His estimated net worth according to Forbes now stands at $4.8 billion, making him at the 44th wealthiest person in the world.

"It’s just unimaginable," Fertitta added. "We've all had to do little layoffs over the year. But you have to basically shut down the whole company. When you think of having amusement parks, aquariums, a basketball team, casinos all over the world—and nothing is open. It’s just like a sci-fi movie you’d never believe."

Read more: https://www.mysanantonio.com/local/article/Houston-Billionaire-Tilman-Fertitta-lays-off-15194560.php

Black Kentuckians are dying at 2.5x rate from the coronavirus, Gov. Beshear says

African Americans in Kentucky are dying from the coronavirus at two-and-half times the rate of their population, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday.

The disproportionate rate mirrors troubling statistics from across the country, which has raised alarm among state and federal leaders.

Kentucky's population is about 4.4 million people, with 87.6% identifying as white, 8.4% as black or African American and 1.6% as Asian.

Of the positive tests calculated thus far, state officials know the race for about 81% of Kentucky's COVID-19 cases. Among those, Beshear said, 77.6% are white, 21.05% are African American and 1.31% are Asian.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/04/11/gov-beshear-black-kentuckians-dying-higher-rate-covid-19/2977722001/

Beshear pleads with furloughed KY health workers to reject offers from other states

Jessica Estes of Lewisport near Owensboro makes about $60 an hour as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Kentucky.

She was offered $180 an hour, plus free lodging, travel expenses and a food allowance if she would bring her skills to assist coronvavirus patients in the hard-hit state of New York.

“That’s a lot of money, three times my salary, even if it meant an 80-hour week, which I have done many times,” she said. “But I feel I have a responsibility to the residents of Kentucky. Plus my family would prefer that I stay in the state.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear would be pleased with Estes’ decision.

The Democratic governor is worried that some of the thousands of health care workers who have been furloughed or laid off because of the state’s ban on elective medical procedures will choose to accept lucrative work offers in other states instead of applying for unemployment benefits as they wait to help with Kentucky’s expected spike of COVID-19 patients.

Read more: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article241859966.html

State and city vs. churches: Don't drink the 'religious freedom' Kool-Aid -- it's deadly

Imagine that you awake one morning, get online and click on your favorite news site. You are greeted by this grisly headline: “Police Seek Death Cult Leaders After Ritual Human Sacrifice.” You read on to discover that these cultists have been rounding up victims to offer up as sacrifices to their God, killing them in indescribable ceremonies (drinking not just proverbial Kool-Aid, but the literal kind) and leaving their corpses on open-air altars. A couple of days later, you are relieved to see that the leaders of the sect have been arrested and charged with murder, only to discover that they are claiming that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment protects their actions, because the government may not interfere with or punish religious conduct.

Your reaction, I hope, would be that their religious freedom claim is preposterous. One person or group’s freedom of religion does not permit them to do harm to others, or to be exempt from the application of the societal ban on murder. You would expect that the courts would promptly reject the claim and try the murderers for their crimes.

And yet, this is precisely the claim that too many religious leaders have been making in recent days — that their right to free exercise gives them the right to kill their fellow citizens. Not, of course, in a human sacrifice straight out of a horror movie. But by holding services during a pandemic, despite knowing to a point of absolute certainty that people will die as a result. We must treat their argument exactly the same way we would react to the cult: with a firm, “Hell no,” and criminal sanctions.

Mass gatherings (religious and otherwise) spread COVID-19. There is massive evidence of this fact and no proof to the contrary. The dozens of cases and numerous deaths that resulted from a single church revival meeting in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. in mid-March is sobering, ample proof of what results when churches insist on conducting business as usual. And it is not just members of the church or those who voluntarily choose to attend who are put at risk. It is everyone they then come in contact with — and it is those people whose lives these church leaders are insisting must be sacrificed on the altar of their religious freedom.

Read more: https://www.leoweekly.com/2020/04/state-city-vs-churches-dont-drink-religious-freedom-kool-aid-deadly/
(Louisville Eccentric Observer)

Beshear stands by decision to take license plate numbers at mass gatherings

Gov. Andy Beshear said at his press conference Saturday that he knows of just seven churches in the state that plan to have mass gatherings this weekend.

"This weekend 99.82% of all churches, all synagogues and all mosques in Kentucky have chosen to do the right thing," he said.

Sunday is Easter, and Beshear announced Friday that license plate numbers would be taken from vehicles at in-church services this weekend, and those attending the service would be ordered to self-quarantine.

That announcement has drawn criticism, including by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., but Beshear stood by his decision while giving four options of what could be done.

Read more: https://www.state-journal.com/news/coronavirus_pandemic/beshear-stands-by-decision-to-take-license-plate-numbers-at-mass-gatherings/article_7cc43474-7c3f-11ea-ad77-bb414d4598dd.html
(Frankfort State-Journal)

Louisville workers use union tactics to gain COVID-19 incentives, protections

There are few restaurant unions in the U.S. and none in Louisville, but some Heine Brothers’ Coffee employees organized a sickout last Friday to demand more protections against coronavirus.

Hannah Jones, a barista, said that she and at least 35 employees who signed a demand letter to leadership either didn’t work that day or called in sick, although all but one location remained open for the day.

“We’re really just trying to be reasonable about how we can get through this solely, healthfully, as the people who operate this company,” she said.

A week after the sickout, Heine Brothers’ told employees that they would receive $3 more per hour as a “COVID-19 bonus” for eight weeks starting Monday as a result of help from Congress’ CARES Act. This was in addition to extra safety precautions that were previously announced.

Read more: https://www.leoweekly.com/2020/04/local-workers-use-union-tactics-gain-covid-19-incentives-protections/

For Nashville's Homeless, Finding A Hot Meal Is Harder Than Ever

Typically in Nashville, nearly a dozen group meals are available every day for people who are homeless. But COVID-19 has changed everything.

During social distancing, major shelters remain open, but many of the standalone meals have closed. Those that remain have scaled down to a skeleton crew of volunteers. Information about where to eat is scattered. And hunger has suddenly become a primary issue for people living on the streets.

One place homeless Nashvillians can still find a hot meal three times a week is at Catholic Charities’ Loaves and Fishes program in East Nashville. Due to new restrictions, the meals are no longer sit-down, community style. These days, a single, masked volunteer hands plates out the door to women and men like Sideways, who knows it may be awhile before there’s another chance to get hot food.

“We don’t eat everyday,” Sideways says. “Sometimes (every) two or three.”

The solo server is Wendy Overlock, who’s been serving meals here for 15 years. Even though all of her volunteers have been temporarily laid off, she’s staying on — cooking, serving, and cleaning up after as many as 70 guests per meal.

Read more: https://wpln.org/post/for-nashvilles-homeless-finding-a-hot-meal-is-harder-than-ever/

Knoxville Pridefest is postponed to 2021, but get ready for a new fall celebration

The organizers of Knoxville Pridefest have announced some good news and some bad news.

First, the heavy stuff: The annual Knoxville Pridefest and Parade festivities, originally scheduled for June 20, are postponed all the way to 2021.

And the good: Organizers are creating a new event for 2020 called KnoxPride’s Fall Festival. The date of that event has not been determined.

"Our hope is that each and every one of you will be able to enjoy a loving and joyous atmosphere that is an extension of our annual Pridefest. We will announce our Fall Festival in the coming days," KnoxPride announced on Facebook.

Read more: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/entertainment/dining/urbanknoxville/2020/04/10/knoxville-pridefest-postponed-2021-but-fall-fest-coming/5129600002/
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