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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 90,610

About Me

Retired/disabled 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

Granada Hills Charter school fires 7 employees for refusing COVID vaccine

Seven employees from Granada Hills Charter who were fired this week for refusing to get their COVID-19 shots are believed to be the first public school employees in California to lose their jobs over such vaccination mandates, an attorney representing some of the workers said Thursday, Oct. 28.

The school’s board of directors voted unanimously the day before to fire the employees, who were denied exemptions, including ones based on religious beliefs, according to attorney James Lloyd.

“They just up and fired them,” Lloyd said of the board of directors, adding that he plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of at least four of the terminated employees. “They completely disregarded (the employees’) First Amendment rights. There’s a guarantee under the First Amendment that allows for freedom of religion.”

In a statement, Granada Hills Charter, which is located in the San Fernando Valley, said while the state’s vaccination mandate for school employees in California permits individuals to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing in lieu of getting their shots, the school must abide by the Los Angeles Unified School District’s vaccination policy.

Read more: https://www.dailynews.com/2021/10/28/granada-hills-charter-school-fires-7-unvaccinated-employees/
(Los Angeles Daily News)

California oil spill: Surfing, swimming OK but fishing out

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Four weeks after an oil spill washed blobs of crude onto Southern California’s coast, surfers have returned to the waves and people play in the surf.

But fishermen still can’t drop lines in the same waters.

California has prohibited fishing in an area that ranges about 6 to 12 miles (9.7 to 19.3 kilometers) off the shores of Orange County since an undersea pipeline leaked at least about 25,000 gallons (94,635 liters) of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean.

State environmental health experts are conducting studies to determine whether shellfish and fish are safe for human consumption — a process expected to take weeks or longer.

Scott Breneman, owner of West Caught Fish, said he still fishes for tuna and black cod well beyond the prohibited area. He said he’s been able to keep selling his catch to restaurants but customers aren’t buying like they usually do at a popular Newport Beach fish market because of concerns about the state fishing ban.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/oil-spills-science-business-pacific-ocean-california-2dd5c29a767b3033469dc0f1a3c8706d

Newsom cancels plans to travel to U.N. climate conference in Glasgow

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday abruptly canceled his plans to travel to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland next week, an international stage where he was expected to tout California as a leader in reducing heat-trapping emissions.

Erin Mellon, a spokesperson for the governor, said Newsom could not attend in person due to unspecified family obligations.

“Due to family obligations, Governor Newsom will no longer be traveling to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and will instead be participating virtually, focusing on California’s landmark climate change policies,” Mellon said in a statement.

Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, had been expected to attend three days of the conference, along with a delegation of two-dozen state legislators and climate officials. Mellon said Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis will instead lead California’s delegation.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Newsom-cancels-plans-to-travel-to-U-N-climate-16575051.php
(no more at link)

New California redistricting maps would make tough elections for Devin Nunes, Josh Harder

WASHINGTON -- Preliminary visualizations for California’s new congressional districts would put Central Valley Reps. Devin Nunes and Josh Harder in tougher elections in 2022 for their seats in the United States House of Representatives, experts say.

The visualizations, released Wednesday, are the first time viewers could see the puzzle pieces of various legislative districts put together. Drafts will change multiple times over the next couple of months before the nonpartisan commission charged with making them sends a final one to California’s secretary of state for certification.

Redistricting, the process by which legislative boundaries are redrawn following population shifts revealed by the Census, can alter the makeup of voter preferences in an area. California lost one seat in the U.S. House because of sluggish population growth, dropping its legislative delegation to 52.

The state started using an independent commission to oversee redistricting before the last time maps were redrawn in 2010 to counter alleged gerrymandering in past processes.

Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article255369181.html

The Supreme Court will hear arguments over Texas' near-total abortion ban Monday. Here's what you

The Supreme Court will hear arguments over Texas’ near-total abortion ban Monday. Here’s what you need to know.

by Reese Oxner, Texas Tribune



The U.S. Supreme Court will take up on Monday the highest-profile legal challenges to Texas’ new abortion law. The Supreme Court previously declined to act on the near-total abortion ban, making next week’s proceedings the first time the high court is stepping in on lawsuits seeking to stop it.

The court will consider two suits against the law, commonly referred to as Senate Bill 8, which blocks abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. One is waged by the federal government, the other by a group of abortion providers and advocates.

The Supreme Court’s review will focus on how SB 8 is enforced, not abortion rights themselves. It’s hard to predict what the court could decide, but its ruling will likely determine the future of abortion care in Texas and shape the legal battles to come.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2021/10/29/texas-abortion-law-supreme-court/

Hoosier Democrats reaching out to small town voters on statewide tour

The Indiana Democratic Party is planning to venture into communities across the state where few Democratic votes typically are recorded on Election Day.

Over the next several weeks, Democratic Party leaders and former statewide elected officials are set to visit more than a dozen localities on a "Small Town, Indiana" tour touting the advantages of Democratic policies, particularly on education and agriculture.

Mike Schmuhl, state Democratic chairman, is confident once small town Hoosiers learn what Democrats are doing on their behalf, they'll stop reflexively voting for Republicans and instead choose Democratic candidates who actually are working for them.

"Democrats have delivered since day one of Joe Biden's presidency, and we are ready to fan out across the state to share with families how policies like the American Rescue Plan have fully funded Indiana's public schools and expanded broadband internet access," Schmuhl said.

Read more: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/hoosier-democrats-reaching-out-to-small-town-voters-on-statewide-tour/article_82757cbc-43d8-55bb-8ae4-a5cb9cb99dfd.html
(Northwest Indiana Times)

Nazi flag along Nickel Plate Trail draws anger from riders, officials

MACY — Kokomo resident Mike Williams said he was in disbelief when he saw a Nazi flag flying from a flagpole alongside the Nickel Plate Trail near Macy.

He said he had biked that section of trail earlier in the year, and the same landowner had a Confederate flag on his property. The flagpole is located at the very back edge of the property and sits just off the pathway.

“When I saw they had a Nazi flag now, I was just dumbfounded,” Williams said. “I just can’t believe that someone in this country would do that. ... I’m not Jewish, but I started thinking if I were Jewish, I’d really feel threatened and scared if I saw that.”

But Jerry Piotter, a farmer who placed the flag on his property at 9380 N. 100 West, said the flag isn’t meant to threaten anyone.

He said he hung it there as a political statement opposing President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, who he believes are socialists. Piotter said he believes socialists share the same philosophy as the Nazis.

Read more: https://www.kokomotribune.com/news/nazi-flag-along-nickel-plate-trail-draws-anger-from-riders-officials/article_2585435a-31de-11ec-a69b-cb2a9ad7a1f3.html

The community should treat Piotter like the a-hole that he is.


Jerry Piotter, a farmer who lives near Macy, flies a Nazi flag on his property near the Nickel Plate Trail.

American Airlines employees protest vaccine mandate outside company headquarters

DALLAS — The federal government has given employers who have more than 100 employees a deadline of Dec. 8 for their staff to be vaccinated or follow strict testing guidelines. Across the country, some workers have pushed back against the federal health mandate employers are beginning to enforce.

From pro athletes to airline pilots, people from all backgrounds have voiced their concern since the mandate was issued by President Joe Biden in early September. Under the enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, the mandate affects more than 80 million Americans who will be forced to abide by the new rules set in place to curtail COVID-19.

More than half a dozen demonstrations have erupted outside airline transportation companies in the Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex within the past month since Biden issued the orders. Airline crews and allies have lined up outside the headquarters of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines to protest the enforcement of the vaccine health mandate. According to employees, American Airlines issued a memo to staff saying they had to be vaccinated or submit a reason for exemption by Nov. 24.

American Airlines technician Charlie Bucket said he's been with the company for more than 30 years and refuses to abide by the new rules that will soon be put in place.

Read more: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/austin/news/2021/10/27/airline-workers-ban-together-in-protest-of-federal-vaccine-health-mandate

American Airlines employees protest vaccine mandate outside company headquarters

DALLAS — The federal government has given employers who have more than 100 employees a deadline of Dec. 8 for their staff to be vaccinated or follow strict testing guidelines. Across the country, some workers have pushed back against the federal health mandate employers are beginning to enforce.

From pro athletes to airline pilots, people from all backgrounds have voiced their concern since the mandate was issued by President Joe Biden in early September. Under the enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, the mandate affects more than 80 million Americans who will be forced to abide by the new rules set in place to curtail COVID-19.

More than half a dozen demonstrations have erupted outside airline transportation companies in the Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex within the past month since Biden issued the orders. Airline crews and allies have lined up outside the headquarters of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines to protest the enforcement of the vaccine health mandate. According to employees, American Airlines issued a memo to staff saying they had to be vaccinated or submit a reason for exemption by Nov. 24.

American Airlines technician Charlie Bucket said he's been with the company for more than 30 years and refuses to abide by the new rules that will soon be put in place.

Read more: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/austin/news/2021/10/27/airline-workers-ban-together-in-protest-of-federal-vaccine-health-mandate

Feds bail out Texas after years of insolvent-level unemployment taxing

Source: Texas Public Radio

Texas, a state that hates federal involvement so much that in addition to suing federal officials on a near-monthly basis, it built its own (faulty) power grid, is now taking a massive federal bailout for unemployment.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced last week they would put $7.2 billion from the Biden administration’s American Recovery Plan Act into paying back billions in loans the state took out from the U.S. Treasury — shifting the tax burden intended to be borne by Texas employers to taxpayers nationwide.

The state unemployment rates skyrocketed last spring because of the pandemic, climbing to nearly 13%. The state’s anemic coffers were quickly drained, and it began taking federal government loans. Then the federal government added additional monies on top through pandemic assistance for the unemployed. State and federal unemployment payments were more than $51 billion in Texas since the pandemic began.

The plan is to erase the state’s $5.9 billion in Title XII (unemployment) loans and add more than a billion to the unemployment trust fund. This nixes additional interest payments and allows the legislature and the Texas Workforce Commission — who oversees unemployment — to continue to avoid tough decisions about taxing appropriately. It allows the state legislature to continue on its business-friendly course, now at the expense of every other state.

Read more: https://www.tpr.org/business/2021-10-29/feds-bail-out-texas-after-years-of-insolvent-level-unemployment-taxing
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