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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, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 84,430

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

Is groping fruit in the produce department acceptable behavior in a pandemic?

Remember the early days of the pandemic? People were scared to leave their homes. If you needed food, you went online, filled out an order and either had the grocery store deliver it or they would bring it to your car. You'd take your food and wash it and yourself before eating it. Good times! UGH!

It's a few months later into the pandemic and that behavior has changed. People feel a lot more comfortable doing their own grocery shopping. While the groceries stores are crowded like they were pre-Covid, there are a fair amount of people in them at any given time. Yes, precautions are still needed. You see dots at the check out aisles where you should stand to keep six feet away from the person checking out in front of you...social distancing! Most of the aisles are one way. Masks are required. All of them are a good thing. Safety first!

But, every so often I see things that make me shake my head. Today was one of those days.....

We walk into the store and first stop is the produce section. Watermelon, check! Potatoes, check! Corn, check! On to the next section.

Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/hippy-shakes/2020/07/is-groping-fruit-in-the-produce-department-acceptable-behavior-in-a-pandemic/

Lightfoot to back ordinance to cut air pollution

Noting health problems plaguing low-income Black and Latino neighborhoods, city officials said Saturday that Mayor Lori Lightfoot will push a zoning reform ordinance aimed at reducing air pollution in residential areas surrounded by heavy industry.

The political promise was immediately met with skepticism from Southeast Side residents protesting the planned move of industrial metal shredder General Iron to their community. If Lightfoot is serious about protecting neighbors, start by blocking General Iron from moving to East Side, residents said during a virtual town hall related to the company’s move.

“I have seen firsthand the environmental impact pollution has had on our community members,” said Jocelyn Rangel, a registered nurse and lifelong resident of the area. Pollution has taken a toll on residents who suffer from asthma and other health problems, she said.

The Southeast Side already houses a number of heavy industrial operations and cannot tolerate more, speakers at the town hall said.

Read more: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/7/25/21337118/lightfoot-general-iron-chicago-ordinance-air-pollution

'Unmasked' rally defies school virus rule, Pritzker critique

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Just weeks away from the ringing of the schoolhouse bell, scores of people rallied at the state Capitol Saturday against the state's requirement that schoolchildren must wear face coverings this fall to discourage transmission of the highly contagious and potentially deadly coronavirus.

In a state where the numbers of cases of COVID-19 are rising, if not as quickly as they are surging in several other states, the protestors took aim at Gov. J.B. Pritzker's broadside this week that people who forego face coverings are “the enemy.”

“I don’t think all this pressure needs to be put on the kids,” said Adam Dunn of Decatur, whose kids are out of school. “They need freedom to go play, have a childhood.”

The “Million Unmasked March,” which took its name from the social-justice march a quarter-century ago, drew about 250 people, including a stalwart group of counter-demonstrators who periodically let loose their own shouted protests from across the street.

Read more: https://thesouthern.com/news/state-and-regional/unmasked-rally-defies-school-virus-rule-pritzker-critique/article_42389850-0930-5fcb-b3af-575b2e55e231.html

A massive Facebook privacy settlement just got bigger. Illinois users could split $650 million.

A $550 million settlement was not enough for Illinois Facebook users who allegedly had their privacy rights violated. Instead, the social media giant has agreed to pay $650 million.

Illinois Facebook users could be eligible for up to $400 each as part of a revised settlement in the class action suit, depending on how many people file claims, according to court documents filed Wednesday in a California federal court.

The settlement seeks to resolve a federal lawsuit filed in Illinois five years ago and later moved to California that alleges the social media giant violated a state law protecting residents’ biometric information. Biometric information can include data from facial, fingerprint and iris scans.

Illinois has one of the strictest biometric privacy laws in the country, mandating that companies collecting such information obtain prior consent from consumers, detail how they’ll use the information and specify how long it will be kept. The law also allows private citizens to file lawsuits over the issue.

Read more: https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-facebook-privacy-settlement-increased-20200724-n5gjh6aq2bdfvdk2x76hrplpzm-story.html

German economic outlook brighter for 3rd month post-shutdown

FRANKFURT, Germany -- An important indicator of the German business outlook rose in July for the third month in a row as economic activity continues to pick up after many of the coronoavirus restrictions were eased or lifted.

The Ifo institute's index rose to 90.5 points from 86.3 points in June, the Munich-based organization said Monday. 'The German economy is recovering step by step,' Ifo head Clemens Fuest said in a statement.

Signs of economic revival have been increasing since the unprecedented shutdowns on business and public life. The Ifo survey is based on interviews with business executives across the German economy, Europe's largest. Separately, the purchase managers' index - a gauge of business activity measured by research firm IHS Markit - rose to 55.5 points in July, above the level of 50 that indicates economic expansion. It was the first 50-plus reading since February.

The recovery still has a long way to go, with much international air traffic shut down and firms generally working below capacity.

Read more: https://www.dailyherald.com/article/20200727/business/307279976/
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

Common Cause sues Indiana for limiting who can ask for extensions to voting hours

INDIANAPOLIS — A nonpartisan voting rights organization has filed a lawsuit to overturn a 2019 law that prohibits voters and other citizens from asking a court to force polls open past their 6 p.m. closing time.

Members of Common Cause Indiana filed the lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, arguing the 2019 law violates Hoosiers’ rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The 2019 law — Senate Enrolled Act 560 — prohibits voters, candidates and political parties from asking courts to extend voting times if they experience problems at the polls, including logistical errors like ballot shortages and equipment malfunctions. Now, only the election boards who administer the elections can seek to extend Indiana’s 12-hour voting window, or 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day.

“No law should limit an eligible voter’s ability to address election day problems that may prevent them from casting their ballot,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director of Common Cause Indiana, in a press conference held to announce the lawsuit.

Read more: http://thestatehousefile.com/common-cause-sues-indiana-for-limiting-who-can-ask-for-extensions-to-voting-hours/42309/

Regis Philbin funeral service, burial to be held on Notre Dame campus

SOUTH BEND — Former television host and Notre Dame alumnus Regis Philbin will have a funeral service and be buried on the university campus, which he frequently visited and continued to enthusiastically support long after graduating.

University spokesman Dennis Brown confirmed Sunday that Philbin, who died Friday of natural causes, will have a funeral service at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and be buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery on campus. The date has not been set.

Philbin graduated from Notre Dame in 1953 and often returned for football games, pep rallies, banquets, concerts and other events.

In October 2002, he invited another famous talk show host, Larry King, to campus after learning that King had never been to Notre Dame Stadium. Philbin said he insisted on giving King a tour of the "greatest college campus in the world."

Read more: https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/regis-philbin-funeral-service-burial-to-be-held-on-notre-dame-campus/article_ef58892c-cf64-11ea-ad07-ef93c0496d93.html

A North Korean coronavirus outbreak might be the biggest threat Kim Jong Un has ever faced

The ruling Kim dynasty of North Korea has for decades predicated their regime on the notion that only they can protect the Korean people from the outside world, be that capitalists, the United States or other hostile forces.

Now, according to Pyongyang, a new threat has arrived -- the first publicly reported suspected case of Covid-19 within North Korea's borders.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency meeting Saturday after it was reported that a defector who fled the country three years ago had returned to the North Korean city of Kaesong, while possibly infected with coronavirus, according to state-run newswire KCNA.

Authorities in South Korea confirmed Monday that a defector had crossed the highly militarized border into North Korea. The South Korean Health Ministry said the man was not a known coronavirus patient or a close contact of one, but local police said the man was being investigated for a sex crime.

Read more: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/world/a-north-korean-coronavirus-outbreak-might-be-the-biggest-threat-kim-jong-un-has-ever/article_668f5d67-9e17-5a0f-a05f-e2740b2613c5.html
(Northwest Indiana Times)

Bribery scheme implicating Madigan revives term limits talk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — When federal prosecutors unveil a bribery scheme in the state Capitol that points a finger at the House speaker, and the speaker has been in charge for 3 1/2 decades, it's natural that some would turn to a popular but contentious solution:

Term limits.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois unleashed the political thunderbolt this month in announcing that utility giant ComEd will pay $200 million to resolve a criminal case which alleges it took part in a decade-long scam that implicates Speaker Michael Madigan. The investigation found that ComEd accepted favorable legislation in return for arranging jobs and contracts “for various associates of a high-level elected official” whom they identified as the speaker without naming Madigan.

The Chicago Democrat, who in 2017 became the longest-serving leader of a legislative body in U.S. history, has said he will be exonerated. A spokeswoman declined further comment.

The problem the allegations pose is obvious. Mike Lawrence, a longtime statehouse reporter, senior adviser to former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar and political-reform activist, has long opposed term limits in favor of “stability” in leadership, noting that while many complain that Madigan is “part of the problem,” he's been a part of many solutions over the years. But Lawrence is aware of the downside.

Read more: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/bribery-scheme-implicating-madigan-revives-term-limits-talk/article_c261989f-efa4-5bfe-bc1b-3f8fb06602e2.html
(Northwest Indiana Times)

Racist collectibles at Pence antique mall debated

MUNCIE, Ind. — On her Facebook page, Jeannine Lee Lake recently posted photographs of racist collectibles she says she photographed at U.S. Rep. Greg Pence's antique mall.

The objects included antique coin banks of Black males with very dark skin, oversize red lips and bulging eyeballs, as well as banks of what Collectors Weekly calls "one of the most enduring Black stereotypes" — mammy, a "motherly and overweight black woman who is visibly happy in her subservient position."

Lake, a Democrat and an African American running for Republican Pence's seat in Congress, called out the congressman and his wife, Denise, who runs the mall, for "profiting from hate."

That set off a debate on Facebook, of course.

Pence defenders said that "if you do not like what is offered...Don't frigging shop there!!!;" "Its history;" "these items are found in all antique malls not just the Mall you're attacking for political reasons;" "be upset with the merchants themselves who are selling such items;" "they are antique collectibles sold in a free democratic country where we have freedom of choice," and "these items are worth a lot of money and amazingly are highly collectible by black America."

Read more: https://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2020/07/24/racist-collectibles-greg-pence-antique-mall-debated/5500284002/
(Muncie Star Press)
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