Author: refinish69

My thoughts on the COVID-19 Pandemic

I’m following the stay at home orders. I wear a mask whenever I go to the grocery store or pharmacy. I make sure I only go when I have to instead of making trips to pick up one thing. I still have my two trips a week when I go clean a friend’s home and get their garbage out on the curb. This is essential as my friend cannot do it themselves. Other than that, I am walking the dog a lot and trying not to go stir crazy.

I miss going to church. Our church leadership too the wise step of closing down when this first started and we were limited to groups of 50 people. It wasn’t just Sunday services and choir rehearsals that stopped. We also had to shut down the Tuesday Women’s Luncheon and Thursday Morning Central Mission Breakfast. Both of these programs were for the members of the homeless community in Austin, Texas. I volunteered on Thursday mornings. I would get to church between 6 and 6:30 to do the prep work so we could get the breakfast cooked and ready to go by 9 am. I miss seeing my fellow volunteers. I miss seeing our clients. This was my way to pay it forward as so many people helped me when I was homeless.

The church is still handing out sack luncheons and coffee, but all the other services had to be stopped. The 2.5 hours of time in a safe place has been replaced with a sack lunch to go. We are no longer able to have the clothes closet, assist with bills, or the monthly bus pass raffle. While I am thrilled my church is still finding ways to help, I hate that we have had to stop so much just for health reasons.

What makes me furious is the lack of leadership and common sense during all of this. Due to the lack of widespread testing, the numbers for infection and deaths is way under reported. This has to change. Most of the leadership is giving misinformation or suggesting insane so called “cures” or “treatments” that are dangerous and can even kill people. Then we have the leaders who say losing more people to death is worth it to get the economy running again. If the balance sheet is more important than people’s lives, then the elected officials should be the first people working in restaurant, bars, or other nonessential businesses. Let them sacrifice their and their families lives.

I am tired of the conspiracy theories and the bigotry that has reared it’s ugly head during this. I am tired of people thinking their personal freedoms are more important than their fellow man’s lives. There are constant stories of people ignoring the stay at home and no gatherings orders. The follow up stories are about people getting COVID-19 and some even dying due to this insanity. I don’t understand why going out or gathering as a group is more important than the general well being of the community.

The best thing anyone can do right now is stay home unless you are running an essential errand and wear a mask. Say thank you to every store employee you see while you are out. Don’t worry or get mad if the exact thing you wanted is not available when you go shopping. Learn to adapt and make due with what is available. Don’t buy 24 of something when you only need 4. The stores will still be open when you need more. Please god, don’t worry about your hair or nails. The salons will reopen sooner if you keep your ass at home. The staff will be happy to see you no matter how bad your hair or nails look. I wouldn’t suggest cutting your own hair, but if you do, please post a picture. LOL If we ignore the stay at home orders or open everything back open to quickly, we will be shut down again due to a resurgence of COVID-19. Flattening the curve is the most important thing we can do now.

We will come out on the other side of this if we work together. There will be church services, family gatherings, dinner parties, happy hours, sporting events, and other things we are missing right now. Please ignore the idiots who don’t want to follow the rules. Unfriend them, block them, drop them from your life. These aren’t people you want in your life. If they are willing to risk everyone’s life to get a little fun or buy the latest thing at the mall, they really aren’t the people you want in your life anyway.


But is the Meanest Word in the English Language

I am sure many people will think that there are hundreds if not thousands of words much worse than but in the English language. I beg to differ. I am an out gay male. I have been out to many years to count. I have dealt with prejudice against gays for more years than not. I have seen things change drastically during my time as an out and proud gay male. I walked in Gay Pride Parades when they were a protest march instead of the corporate sponsored celebrations that they are today. I protested when the LGBT Community was fighting fairness in hiring practices and housing. I am not saying these issues are solved but it is way different from it was when I was a teenager. I never thought I would see the day when we would be fighting for Marriage Equality for all. Marriage equality was not even on the radar when I first came out. Times have changed. Prejudice and bigotry have not.

Continue reading “But is the Meanest Word in the English Language”

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance still has a dozen or so Republican responses to the SOTU it needs to get through as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff takes a look at campaign finance reports for Harris County legislative and countywide candidates.

Horwitz at Texpatriate laments the loss of Algebra II as a High school graduation requirement.

In light of some of the more ridiculous back-and-forth between Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott and their campaigns — not to mention James O’Keefe and his clandestine, altered video — PDiddie at Brains and Eggs asks: “Is it insensitive to say that Abbott is ‘running’ for governor?”

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to scream in horror over the Republican war on women. All Republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor are FOR keeping a brain dead woman with a severely abnormal fetus on life support against her family’s wishes.

This week, McBlogger has some advice for the Davis Campaign, the press and all the Democratic activists who are eager for a win this year.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote about the slate of Green Party candidates running in Texas in 2014. All People Have Value is part of

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Nonsequiteuse scoffs at the notion that Texas may turn into California.

Texas Redistricting updates us on the proposed fixes to the Voting Rights Act and other election law news.

John Coby names Randy Weber the frontrunner to replace Steve Stockman as the craziest Congressman from Southeast Texas.

Texas Clean Air Matters reports on the longrunning legal battle between Texas and the EPA over clean air regulations.

The Lunch Tray alerts us to potential changes to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Randy Bear examines the reasoning behind various LGBT groups’ non-endorsement of Wendy Davis in the Democratic primary for Governor.

Greg Wythe has the data to analyze the actual impact of Texas’ voter ID law in Harris County.

BOR asks why the Texas Medical Association supports candidates who oppose their own stated positions, and gets a non-responsive answer from them.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance is ready to delete the phrase “polar vortex” from its vocabulary as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff presents interviews with Reps. Alma Allen and Carol Alvarado, as well as with challenger Azuwuike Okorafor.

Horwitz at Texpatriate discusses the least crazy Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate, Jerry Patterson.

Eye On Williamson on the race for Congress in TX-31. Tea party Congressman John Carter has some serious competition in 2014, Get To Know Louie Minor – Democrat For Congress in District 31.

It’s a new year for everyone and everything, including the Affordable Care Act. Despite endless, Republicans were unable to stop its arrival in Texas. Though as Texas Leftist found out, they were able to weaken the law, and endanger Texas hospitals in the process.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs summarizes a blistering week in Texas politics.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says watch out for the energized young, Democratic voters emerging in the Valley.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote about how the government in Ukraine has used people’s cell phones to track down and send messages to individuals taking part in anti-government protests. Neil says folks are mistaken if they think our own government won’t do the same to intimidate people taking part in lawful protests in the U.S. All People Have Value is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Juanita offers some advice to Dan Patrick and Jared Woodfill.

Texas Vox reports on the opening of the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Lunch Tray continues its advocacy against chicken that has been processed in China being served in school lunchrooms.

Grits rounds up some coverage of Court of Criminal Appeals races.

The Texas Green Report checks in on the earthquakes in Azle and Reno.

Mean Green Cougar Red attended a presentation on the proposed high speed rail line between Houston and Dallas.

Nonsequiteuse thinks Greg Abbott is applying for the wrong job.

Progress Texas and Unfair Park gather some of the more colorful reactions to recent stories about Wendy Davis.

Finally, Ileen Haddad tells you everything you need to know about surviving the winter in Austin.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance has no knowledge of any bridge lane closures as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff published interviews with State Sen. John Whitmire and his challenger in SD15, Damian LaCroix.

Horwitz at Texpatriate investigated dueling claims of establishment endorsements in the Harris County GOP Chairman race. You know, to see how the other half lives.

Eye On Williamson on the Texas GOP. They want to make sure that the American people don’t get the idea that the government can actually do things to help them, If The Government Helps the People They Lose.

The Republican civil war first came to Texas, and then made it all the way to Houston this past week. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks that as long as they don’t start shooting at each other, we’ll all have fun watching them self-destruct.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why Louis Gohmert and the people who voted for him hate women so much.

Letters from Texas thinks we need more Coonrippys in our state.

With the recent cold snap in Houston & Texas, Neil at All People Have Value said that what is cold in one place is not so cold another place. Context and circumstance make a difference. All People Have Value is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Greg reviews some Clinton-era Democratic Party history.

Scott Braddock reports on “The Building Careers: Construction Workforce Luncheon”, a recent summit aimed at getting school kids educated in the trades needed to work in construction.

Hair Balls gives five reasons why Ted Cruz should maintain his Canadian-ness.

Jason Stanford carefully explains the difference between Chris Kluwe and Phil Robertson.

Texas Clean Air Matters discusses demand response and how that helps Texas avoid rolling blackouts.

Juanita pens a letter to Chris Christie.

The Lunch Tray updates us on Gatorade’s “war on water”.

Texas Watch invites you to a special interests party for the Texas Supreme Court.

Texans for Public Justice charts the huge increase in campaign contributions made by charter schools.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance is off to a roaring start to 2014 as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff ponders the potential political future of Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

A Green candidate’s long-distance bid for Congress got picked up by the mainstream media, just a week after PDiddie at Brains and Eggs blogged about it. The story raises the larger issue of whether Texas might benefit from a jungle primary for Congressional seats, as occurs in California, Louisiana, and Washington state. And that’s an open question.

Texpatriate published a brief summation of 2013’s major political events.

Eye On Williamson posts on the three Texas GOP money men who passed away in 2013, Texas GOP lost three sugar daddies in 2014.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme hopes that La Villa School District and the city end their water dispute. The kids suffer enough under Republican rule. Why add to the misery.

Neil at All People Have Value started off the New Year with the message that the work of freedom is up to each of us. All People Have Value is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Jason Stanford tells Texas Democrats to embrace their underdog status.

The Texas Living Waters Project reviewed the year in water news, and Texas Clean Air Matters did the same for Texas air quality news.

Lone Star Ma explains what “bubble kids” are and what they have to do with the classroom instruction other kids get.

New Media Texas gives four reasons why blacks should support immigration reform.

Nancy Sims looks ahead to November.

SciGuy lists the top five stargazing events for 2014.

Juanita wonders if David Dewhurst knows what day of the week it is.

Texas Progressive Alliance Names Senator Wendy Davis 2013 Its ‘Texan Of The Year’


            AUSTIN—The Texas Progressive Alliance, the nation’s largest state-based association of online and netroots activists, today named State Senator Wendy Davis recipient of its Texan of the Year Award for 2013.

            “Senator Davis’ actions this year made her a clear choice. Our vote was unanimous,” said Vince Leibowitz, Chair of the Alliance. Leibowitz said Senator Davis’ June filibuster of Senate Bill 5 on behalf of Texas women and the preservation of reproductive rights was a courageous action that served to galvanize and energize Texas Democrats. “Senator Davis’ courage to stand up and block this outrageous legislation helped raise awareness in Texas of the assault on a woman’s right to choose that our legislature has waged for the last decade, as well as the extraordinary measures right-wing Republicans in Texas will take both to trample the rights of women and their own colleagues in government,” Leibowitz continued.

            Not only did Davis’ actions draw national attention to Texas, but her filibuster and subsequent campaign for Texas Governor have galvanized Texas Democrats. “We have not seen this kind of excitement for a non-presidential election in Texas in many years. We see Democrats are energized, organized, and ready to take back our state for the people. To a great extend, we have Senator Davis and her courageous actions to thank for this; she served as a unifying figure for our party to rally around, and her actions will both strenghten the party in the long run and serve to expand our base,” said Charles Kuffner, Vice Chair of the Alliance.

            Previous Texan of the Year recipients are: Carolyn Boyle of Texas Parent PAC (2006); Texas House Democratic Leaders State Reps. Jim Dunnam, Garnet F. Coleman, and Pete Gallego (2007); the Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign (2008); Houston Mayor Annise Parker (2009); Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns (2010); and the protesters of the Tar Sands Blockade (2012). There was no award given in 2011.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance bids farewell to 2013 and wishes everyone a happy and healthy 2014 as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff has stayed on top of the legal action in the Utah same sex marriage litigation and related matters.

Texpatriate picks Annise Parker as its 2013 Person of the Year.

DosCentavos gives us the last Thoughts on Viernes of 2013 which includes his Top 10 posts of 2013.

From the media’s impression, it’s pretty easy to think that all faith communities are against LGBT people and the struggle for equality. But in reality the religious debates are just as diverse as the ones going on elsewhere, with opinions changing just as rapidly as any other segment of society. Texas Leftist takes a look at one Houston church that is affecting this change while enlightening hearts and minds. As they would say, “traditional worship for contemporary people”.

The Texas Education Agency totally ignores South Texas. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is outraged, but not surprised at Republican denial of education opportunities for Texas Hispanics.

There was some gay marriage news made at the end of 2013, and it had nothing to do with Duck Die Nasty, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value took a walk on the Texas City Dike. Neil says that the TCD is a great place to take a walk and to get some thinking done. All People Have Value is a part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Laura Mayes sets a goal of spending more quality time with the children in her life.

Lone Star Q rounds up the top Texas LGBT stories for 2013.

Texas Redistricting rounds up some recent news stories relating to election law.

Grits for Breakfast reminds us that “Santa was in prison, and Jesus got the death penalty”.

Greg calculates updated Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) totals for Harris County.

Andrea Grimes reports on a Texas law that is forcing a hospital and a family to keep a pregnant woman on life support against her stated wishes.

New Media Texas outlines the six steps to getting a job in politics.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance honors the service of America’s veterans as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff analyzed the favorable poll and the unfavorable poll that came out last week.

Texpatriate, while happy that Mayor Annise Parker was re-elected, laments nonetheless that Ben Hall ran one of the worst campaigns in history against her.

Eye On Williamson is still blogging at our temporary home. What kind of message to Democrats need to run on in Texas? Good question here are some Thoughts on a Democratic message in Texas.

Two polls released last week had good and bad news for Wendy Davis, but it was when President Obama came to Dallas that things got both better and worse for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs broke it down.

People are getting poorer and poorer, just as Republicans and their backers wanted. No one knows poverty more than Brownsville and McAllen. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says “Lets vow to elect Democrats in 2014”.

With such anemic turnout, the 2013 elections were mostly a success. But some issues did still arise, and Texas Leftist was able to share a thorough account of one. If mass confusion is a goal of the Texas Voter ID law, then I’d say it’s working very well.

With Veterans’ Day here. Neil at All People Have Value offered a brief account of views regarding war held by the late Korean War veteran Tony Aquino. All People Have Value is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Greg Wythe gives the unvarnished view of how the new voter ID law actually works in practice.

Grits for Breakfast calls for the implementation of the “Barney Fife Rule” in the McLennan County DA’s office.

John Coby has some advice for future candidates.

Better Texas tells the rest of the story on those health insurance cancellations.

Juanita is seeking help getting some non-binding referenda on the Democratic primary ballot.

And finally, this isn’t a blog post, but a petition calling on Ted Cruz to give up his own federally subsidized health care plan or work to support affordable healthcare coverage for all Americans definitely deserves a place here.

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance falls back once a year but is ever moving forward as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff gives an update on the 2014 Democratic lineup so far.

Horwitz & Sophia at Texpatriate published a featured article that examines Houston Mayoral candidate Ben Hall’s time as City Attorney as well as his messy transition back into the private sector.

As the see-saw court battle over the Texas abortion restrictions law moved through the courts, both sides could claim victory in the past week. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs knows that — besides having the SCOTUS rule in their favor sometime in 2015 — the only way to guarantee women’s reproductive freedom is for Democrats to turn out the 2014 vote.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the prospect of la la fantasy man David Barton running against the rapist enabler John Cornyn.

Eye On Williamson is still blogging at our temporary home. Greg Abbott thinks the Lege will cede him more power. He’s either ignorant or naive about how the Lege in Texas actually works, Follow up on Greg Abbott’s “economic” plan.

Neil at All People Have Value said that Houston Mayoral candidate Ben Hall is a lousy guy who does not support the freedom of all people. All People Have Value is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Equality Texas guest poster Melanie Pang documents why she supports Wendy Davis.

PTA Mom Kim Burkett is equally effusive about Sen. Davis.

Better Texas Blog sets the record straight about pre- and post-ACA rates.

The Lunch Tray explored the ethics and dilemmas of Halloween candy.

Texas Watch calls on the Texas Department of Insurance to adopt some much-needed reforms for auto insurance.

TFN Insider has some good news about science textbooks in Texas, but warns that politics remains an obstacle.

BOR laments the millions of Texans that will be hurt by the cut to food stamps.

Blog con Queso celebrates Dia de Lost Muertos, and no that’s not a typo.