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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: 83,533

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

Amazon employee dies at Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse, site of unionization drive

An Amazon employee died at the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse, the company confirmed to CNBC. The facility was the site of a unionization effort that took place earlier this year.

“We’re deeply saddened by the passing of a member of our team, and our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his loved ones during this difficult time,” Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti told said in a statement.

Amazon declined to share further details about the situation, noting that it was a personal medical incident.

The worker died Thursday after collapsing at the facility, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news. The worker was taken to a hospital after being found in a bathroom of the warehouse, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/07/amazon-employee-dies-at-bessemer-alabama-warehouse.html

USW, ExxonMobil: Little progress 1 week into lockout at Beaumont plant

Relief for workers is coming almost a week after more than 600 employees were locked out of ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery and packaging plant, but there is no sign of a contract agreement yet.

Both representatives from the United Steelworkers union and the company confirmed that there haven’t been further negotiations since the morning of April 30, when ExxonMobil rejected a comprehensive contract proposal from the union.

ExxonMobil has said it seeks to bring Beaumont’s refinery and packaging plant contract in line with what it says are industry standards already in place at its other plants in hopes of being more competitive for the future, but USW believes the company’s proposals will compromise its seniority system and worker safety.

After hourly workers were walked off the work site, which the company said would prevent impacts to safety from an impromptu strike, there were reports that ExxonMobil had advertised for and hired temporary workers.

Read more: https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/insider/article/USW-ExxonMobil-Little-progress-1-week-into-16161039.php

USW, ExxonMobil: Little progress 1 week into lockout at Beaumont plant

Relief for workers is coming almost a week after more than 600 employees were locked out of ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery and packaging plant, but there is no sign of a contract agreement yet.

Both representatives from the United Steelworkers union and the company confirmed that there haven’t been further negotiations since the morning of April 30, when ExxonMobil rejected a comprehensive contract proposal from the union.

ExxonMobil has said it seeks to bring Beaumont’s refinery and packaging plant contract in line with what it says are industry standards already in place at its other plants in hopes of being more competitive for the future, but USW believes the company’s proposals will compromise its seniority system and worker safety.

After hourly workers were walked off the work site, which the company said would prevent impacts to safety from an impromptu strike, there were reports that ExxonMobil had advertised for and hired temporary workers.

Read more: https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/insider/article/USW-ExxonMobil-Little-progress-1-week-into-16161039.php

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)
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