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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: 83,529

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

German Catholic Priests Bless LGBTQ Unions in Face of Vatican Ban; 'We're going to have the whole

German Catholic Priests Bless LGBTQ Unions in Face of Vatican Ban; ‘We’re going to have the whole diversity of love’


A large collection of German Catholic priests are standing defiant against a church ban on blessing same-sex unions by offering such blessings at 100 churches throughout the nation.

A number of German clergy members, which skew more progressive than their Vatican counterparts, stated Monday that denying blessings to same-sex couples seeking them amounts to classifying their love as lesser than heterosexual couples.

“If we say God is love, I cannot tell people who embrace loyalty, unity and responsibility to each other that theirs is not love, then it’s a fifth or sixth-class love,” priest Christian Olding told Reuters. “We’re going to have the whole diversity of love.”

What began as a petition alongside Germany’s Love Wins initiative resulted in multiple regions across the nation hosting blessing ceremonies on Sunday. More held blessing ceremonies on Monday and those that didn’t hold ceremonies were encouraged to fly Pride flags in solidarity.

Read more: https://www.towleroad.com/2021/05/german-catholic-lgbtq-unions/

Private Christian school Whitefield Academy demands faculty condemn gay students

Classical K-12 Christian school Whitefield Academy is asking its faculty to agree to expel any students who are out as gay.

The school’s administration introduced a letter for all faculty to sign, supporting the administration’s decision. The letter was introduced a week ago and any teachers or staff members who don’t sign it are expected not to return to Whitefield.

At least three teachers won’t be returning to Whitefield in the fall and have declined to sign the document. Requests for comment from two of these identified teachers have not been returned. This piece will be updated with comments if they come in. Dr. Quentin Johnston, the school’s headmaster, responded to a request for comment with the following statement:

“Whitefield Academy has served families for over 25 years as Kansas City’s leading classical Christian school. Our mission is to equip students to be Christ-honoring critical thinkers, clear communicators, and compassionate leaders, through the pursuit of academic excellence, in the tradition of classical Christian education. We are a voluntary community committed to biblical principles.

We have not asked our teachers to sign a statement or letter such as you describe. As in past years, we ask teachers and parents to understand and consent to the standards outlined in our Statement of Faith and core documents, which have not been altered in several years.”


Read more: https://www.thepitchkc.com/private-christian-school-whitefield-academy-demands-faculty-condemn-gay-students/

Private Christian school Whitefield Academy demands faculty condemn gay students

Classical K-12 Christian school Whitefield Academy is asking its faculty to agree to expel any students who are out as gay.

The school’s administration introduced a letter for all faculty to sign, supporting the administration’s decision. The letter was introduced a week ago and any teachers or staff members who don’t sign it are expected not to return to Whitefield.

At least three teachers won’t be returning to Whitefield in the fall and have declined to sign the document. Requests for comment from two of these identified teachers have not been returned. This piece will be updated with comments if they come in. Dr. Quentin Johnston, the school’s headmaster, responded to a request for comment with the following statement:

“Whitefield Academy has served families for over 25 years as Kansas City’s leading classical Christian school. Our mission is to equip students to be Christ-honoring critical thinkers, clear communicators, and compassionate leaders, through the pursuit of academic excellence, in the tradition of classical Christian education. We are a voluntary community committed to biblical principles.

We have not asked our teachers to sign a statement or letter such as you describe. As in past years, we ask teachers and parents to understand and consent to the standards outlined in our Statement of Faith and core documents, which have not been altered in several years.”


Read more: https://www.thepitchkc.com/private-christian-school-whitefield-academy-demands-faculty-condemn-gay-students/

DarkSide is behind Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, FBI says. What to know about group

WHAT IS DARKSIDE?

DarkSide is a “professional” and “organized” group of hackers that uses a “double extortion,” method, meaning the group encrypts its victims’ data and threatens to make it public if the victim doesn’t pay a ransom, according to cybersecurity technology company Cybereason.

Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, told reporters Monday that the ransomware identified by the FBI is a “ransomware as a service” variant.

“Criminal affiliates conduct attacks and then share the proceeds with the ransomware developers,” she said.

DarkSide “cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity,” the Associated Press reports. It says that it does not attack hospitals, nursing homes, educational or government institutions and donates portions of what it takes to charity.


Read more: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article251298293.html

$15 an Hour for Federal Contractors Is Great. A Union Is Better.

After Democrats in March voted down a national $15 minimum wage, President Biden signed an executive order raising it for federal contractors to $15 an hour by 2022. This is an excellent if insufficient step, both for the national Fight for $15 and for low-wage federal contractors. It’s heartening to see the president use the powers of the executive branch to improve workers’ lives when faced with a setback in Congress. But this is far from the most powerful move Biden, who has proclaimed himself “the most pro-union president,” could make with the power of procurement. With the stroke of a pen, he could reinvigorate the American labor movement by prioritizing workplaces with collective-bargaining agreements for federal contracts.

The government spent over $586 billion on federal contracts in fiscal year 2018, long before it spent trillions addressing the COVID-19 crisis. These funds finance millions of contract workers, according to a Brookings Institution study. They stretch across almost every industry in the American economy, from construction to technology, defense to health care. Compared to workers directly employed by the federal government, however, few of these contractors are unionized. If Biden is to govern as the serious “union guy” he claimed to be on the campaign trail, he could order the federal government’s massive contracting apparatus to exclusively hire union workplaces, “unless there is no such supplier that can perform that contract at a reasonable cost or comparable quality,” as labor lawyer and author Thomas Geoghegan wrote.

What, you might ask, would be the legal basis of such a determination? The basic foundation of labor law in this country. The National Labor Relations Act remains the law of the land and holds that it is “the policy of the United States” to encourage “the practice and procedure of collective bargaining.”

Actually taking this long-standing law seriously would turn the tables on big business, forcing them to drop their staunch opposition to unions if they ever wanted a public contract again. Major companies as diverse as UnitedHealth Group, Deloitte, AT&T, and Lockheed Martin take on federal contracts. This would open the floodgates to new organizing in the private sector, where employers have waged brutal, well-funded opposition campaigns to combat unions. One can only imagine how different the failed Bessemer, Alabama, RWDSU drive would have been if Amazon, a major federal contractor, did not spend big opposing its employees. It would help buoy private-sector unions whose membership rolls have been declining for decades.

Read more: https://prospect.org/day-one-agenda/15-dollars-an-hour-federal-contractors-great-union-better-biden-executive-order/
(American Prospect)

The Republican Rebrand, Exposed

by Robert Reich


The Republican Party is trying to rebrand itself as the party of the working class. Rubbish. Republicans can spout off all the catchy slogans about blue jeans and beer they want, but actions speak louder than words. But let’s look at what they’re actually doing.

Did they vote for the American Rescue Plan? No. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for stimulus checks and extra unemployment benefits needed by millions of American workers.

So what have they voted for? Well, every single one of them voted for Trump’s 2017 tax cut for the wealthy and corporations, of which 83 percent of the benefits go to the richest 1 percent over a decade.

They claimed corporations would use the savings from the tax cut to invest in their workers. In reality, corporations used their tax savings to buy back shares of their own stock in order to boost share values. And some corporations then fired large portions of their workforce. Not very pro-worker, if you ask me.

Read more: https://prospect.org/politics/republican-rebrand-exposed/
(American Prospect)

Can a 'Stop-and-Frisk' Candidate Win New York's Democratic Mayoral Primary?

To progressives’ dismay, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a hard-line cop supporter, is running strong.


Wednesday, May 5 marked the first day of the 2021 New York City mayor’s race in which Andrew Yang did not lead Democratic primary polling. The honor instead went to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, coming in at 21 percent support; Yang ran second with 18 percent.

The poll, conducted by Washington, D.C.’s GQR, confirms recent trend lines suggesting that Adams has been chipping away at Yang’s lead.

Adams, who has strong ties to the city’s Black and Orthodox Jewish communities, is well funded and amply endorsed. Politico reports that he has yet to spend much of his “$7.9 million campaign war chest” and could blitz the airwaves in the closing stretch of the primary campaign. With his stable voting base and establishment ties, he is clearly a strong contender.

He also boasts an interesting story, one that he has leaned into heavily over the course of his career. As a teenager, Adams was arrested with his brother for “criminal trespassing” in Queens and beaten and brutalized by officers at the police station.

Read more: https://prospect.org/politics/can-stop-and-frisk-candidate-win-new-yorks-democratic-mayoral-primary-eric-adams/
(American Prospect)

'If we don't do it now ... this is never going to happen': Senators advance mental health tax cut

There’s still no agreement between the House and Senate on taxes as both chambers advance mismatched proposals.

The Senate held a meeting Monday about Senate File 1276, the tax “compromise” proposed last week by Gov. Kim Reynolds. The House has not agreed to the proposal.

Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, said Reynolds’ plan was “the best idea of all three parties in this equation: the Senate, the House and the governor’s office.” The proposal would accelerate tax cuts, phase out the property tax “backfill” and fund the state’s mental health services through a state appropriation.

Reynolds said last week the proposal would result in a $400 million tax cut for Iowans.

Read more: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2021/05/10/if-we-dont-do-it-now-this-is-never-going-to-happen-senators-advance-mental-health-tax-cut/

St. Paul 'sovereign citizen' records himself stealing vaccines from workers

A 32-year-old St. Paul man has posted multiple Facebook videos of himself stealing Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines by pretending he wants to get vaccinated and walking out with the vials.

Thomas E. Humphrey said on the videos he’s a member of the sovereign citizen movement, which is an anti-government extremist group that believes they are sovereign from the U.S. He also said on a video that he lost his business and home last year due to pandemic restrictions, and now lives in a van with his dog. He says on another video he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but disagreed with the diagnosis.

Humphrey posted videos of himself walking into an Allina Health vaccination site in Oakdale and leaving with a vial of Pfizer vaccine, calling it poison. The following day, he posted a video of himself taking a vial of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from a CVS worker, again telling customers it’s poison.

The videos, which have racked up thousands of views and comments, underscore the struggle of elected officials and public health experts who are trying to encourage Minnesotans to get vaccinated, just days after Gov. Tim Walz said a 70% vaccination rate would lead to further easing of pandemic restrictions.

Read more: https://minnesotareformer.com/2021/05/08/st-paul-sovereign-citizen-records-himself-stealing-vaccines-from-workers/

At Capitol rally, nurses raise their voices for union rights

A blurb for the Today show was typical of the top hits in a Google search on ‘nurses week 2021’ over the weekend: “Where to score free coffee, cookies, tacos and more.”

But in front of the State Capitol Saturday morning, scores of nurses and their supporters wanted a lot more than freebies. They called for respect and a voice on the job.

“We were deeply betrayed at all levels of power and unsupported while drowning in vast numbers of dying patients,” said University of Wisconsin Hospital nurse Laura Kasten, who spent much of the last year working in a COVID-19 unit. “Executives and politicians called us heroes but refused to take action. And we’ve had no avenue to make the changes needed to safely and adequately care for our patients.”

Members and allies of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, part of the Service Employees International Union, gathered on the Capitol steps overlooking Madison’s State Street for their own observation of Nurses Week. The seven-day celebration of their profession began Thursday, May 6 and concludes Wednesday, May 12 — Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Read more: https://wisconsinexaminer.com/2021/05/10/at-capitol-rally-nurses-raise-their-voices-for-union-rights/
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