Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

Yeah, we’re going to squeeze one more reference to “no confidential information in the Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup” before we (maybe) move on to another intro topic.

Off the Kuff is gobsmacked by the contradictory opinions coming from Ken Paxton about public access to ballots.

SocraticGadfly, this spring, was glad to see any non-Republican running for county judge in his very red area. But, based on the Democrat’s initial flier, he expects to undervote the race.

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

The Texas Living Waters Project suggests that key solutions to Texas’ water woes are simpler than we think.

John Hryhorchuk and Dr. Joyce Beebe extol the economic potential of state parks for rural areas.

Jef Rouner says we still need Congress to truly fix student loan debt.

Reform Austin introduces us to the Arabic version of “In God We Trust”.

Tom Bonier analyzes the recent trends in Texas voter registration.

In The Pink Texas is back, baby.

NSF Grant to TXST Will Count Border Bodies

Since I’m an SWT alum, what happens at my alma mater interests me. Having a sibling who graduated with a degree from their Anthropology department adds to the interest. So, when I saw that the National Science Foundation gave a $1 Million to TXST Anthro and other departments it was good news to hear.

A large, but unknown number of migrants die every year trying to enter the United States along the U.S.-Mexico border. There is no accurate count because there are no central databases documenting migrant deaths. As a result, national authorities, policymakers, and public health officials don’t know how many migrants are dying or how policies can curb migrant mortality.

Texas State University recently received a $1 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help document and share this important data and fill the gap.

Dr. Alberto Giordano and Dr. Nick Herrmann are co-leading the project entitled Migrant Mortality Mapping Portal Project (M3P2). Giordano is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies whose prior work on historical geographic information systems (GIS) includes studies on the Holocaust and other genocides. Herrmann is a professor in the Department of Anthropology whose prior work in forensic anthropology and geospatial studied eastern Mediterranean bioarcheology.

The three-year NSF project has two parts. First, the team will collect and organize big data on migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border from various sources—from law enforcement reports to newspaper articles. Then, the team will develop a publicly accessible website where the data can be downloaded and explored with tools that the team will develop for exploring the data. Students will have opportunities to participate as research assistants in both areas. A post-doctoral researcher and doctoral and graduate research assistants will help the team with collecting and standardizing the data and designing and maintaining the database and tool.

No doubt, SWT’s work in body ID and the growth of their body farm research put them on the map to earn this grant and recognition. I have no doubt that it will be good work and a great contribution to society.

When the database is complete, more lives lost at the border will be counted, more stories recovered, more families reunited and more humanity regained.

That said, it is sad that the Feds would need to fund such a program. The fact of the matter is that if a Democratic President, House, and Senate had prioritized immigration reform and reformed its border enforcement policies instead of bolstering them, perhaps we wouldn’t need to match dead bodies to broken families. According to law enforcement on the border, bodies are found almost every day.

Some of the deaths are also due to migrants taking more and more risks to evade detection by federal authorities, he says. People are crossing the tumultuous Rio Grande, walking through dangerous ranchlands in the record Texas heat and paying the ultimate price, the sheriff adds.

It’s something immigration rights advocates have warned about as the latest tragic trend: people being forced to take increasingly risky paths due to mix of border policies that have made it more difficult for migrants to seek refuge in the US.

So many migrants, including children, who have attempted to cross the US southern border have died in this region that the forensic pathologist serving the area says 2022 is on pace to become the deadliest year on record in recent memory.   

Whether it’s the Border Patrol, Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden, or Greg Abbott, nothing has been done to actually save people from imminent death as their policies force migrants to change paths to get to this side. Paths which are more dangerous, treacherous, and deadly. Paths that walls, armed enforcement, and federalized local cops make more dangerous, thus, causing death.

Yes, kudos to NSF for funding this important work. But it further exhibits how broken our government is when it comes to people escaping violence and poverty. At least people who are south of us.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

There is still nothing classified as Top Secret in the Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roudup.

Off the Kuff comments on the resignations of Gillespie County’s elections staff and the shameful silence of the Republicans whose words and deeds are the root cause of the problem.

SocraticGadfly talks about the FDA’s decision last month to put “black box” warnings on puberty blockers and the sad lack of overall media coverage.

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

Mimi Swartz and other Texas Monthly luminaries eulogize Paul Burka.

Sean Pendergast grades Deshaun Watson’s “apology”.

Space City Weather provides another update on the tropics.

The TSTA Blog is not impressed by Chuck Norris as an answer to school shootings.

Mean Green Cougar Red ponders why commercial aircraft don’t have parachutes.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup is not classified as Top Secret and thus can be safely taken home with you.

Off the Kuff takes a look at some more in depth polling data about attitudes towards abortion in Texas.

SocraticGadfly saw the obits news last week, and immediately remembered Michael Badnarik as “Mr. Driving Without a License,” and gave the 2004 Libertarian presidential nominee a “proper salute” for that and more.

Stace gives us his Thoughts on Viernes about the FBI raid, Abbott’s Human Trafficking bus, and Beto’s MF’in comments.

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

G. Elliott Morris reassesses the landscape for Democrats following the Kansas abortion vote.

Mean Green Cougar Red warns us about the threat to monarch butterflies.

Juanita finds some more ridiculousness stemming from the A**x J***s lawsuit.

Your Local Epidemiologist has a plan for the upcoming school year.

The Texas Living Waters Project says that the bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide a bounty of funding to help us deal with our growing water problems.

The Houston Press finishes off its Houston Bucket List with some honorable mentions.

Another Influx in The News

Credit: Texas Tribune

Hitting the news, and just in time for campaign season, is news that there is another migrant “influx” happening at the moment. It shouldn’t be a surprise. We’ve known since early in the summer that it was going to happen. Title 42’s end certainly will be a contributing factor. That said, what about the children?

Back in May, reports began about an influx of unaccompanied children expected to arrive soon. A friend of mine in South Texas told me about all of these job openings put out by a government contractor. It’s the same contractor who ran (or hired for) the kiddie jail in Carrizo Springs during Trump’s reign, Deployed Services, Inc. (Ominous name, huh?)

Well, Joe Biden is using the same facility and same awful contractors. The difference is that the agency doling out the cash is Health and Human Services. Still, buildings with a fenced perimeter is pretty prison-y for kids. And with the feds preparing as many as 19,000 beds for migrant kids escaping violence and poverty, well, there will be a lot of money to be made in small-town, lacking jobs, South Texas and other places. And the contractors will make a pretty government penny, too. Billions of pennies.

Meanwhile, Greg Abbott is running a campaign on the “failures” of the Biden administration on migration issues by causing more problems in other states with his human trafficking buses. But it makes for a great attack ad later in October. (Once the annoying re-intro ads stop.)

You get a boondoggle! You get a boondoggle! Everyone gets a boondoggle!

There’s enough blame all-around for what is a human rights crisis. A Democratic majority in the House and Senate who have failed to pass immigration reform is tops on my list. One can certainly blame Republicans, but Democrats are in charge. Instead, one party avoids the issue to save a few anti-immigrant Dems and the bigoted Republicans use it for all it’s worth to win in November.

And who suffers? Children and migrants who just want to get away from violence and poverty.

43rd Festival Chicano – The Schedule is Out!

My heart skips a beat whenever the schedule for the Festival Chicano is released. Three days of the best Tejano music in a great venue with an amazing sound system. And it’s FREE! thanks to some great sponsors, the City of Houston, Miller Outdoor Theater, and efforts of local legend Mr. Daniel Bustamante and volunteers.

The King of the Brown Sound, Little Joe has played in everyone of the festivals, except one, during his storied 60 year career. He never disappoints and the crowd will definitely sing-along. Jay Perez is currently touring in support of his Freddie Records release, El Maestro. Elida y Avante is one of the top live acts en la onda on her Block Party Tour. Pasadena’s own La Fiebre is supporting its latest album Historico and puts on the equivalent of a Tejano rock show. David Farias of the famous Hermanos Farias brings his own band while also supporting his latest album, Volando Alto. Finally, The Most Wanted Man, Ram Herrera is touring with his new band of top flight musicians and a new album, Back on Track. This is a pretty hard-core line-up ready to give folks new and classic hits.

Here’s the release from the FB event page:

The “43nd Annual Festival Chicano” is a reflection of the artistic creativity that has developed in the Chicano cultural experience after centuries of influence from native peoples, Mexico, Europeans, and the U.S.A..

Chicano music has been historically shaped by many diverse styles such as Mexican rancheras, corridos, mariachi, orchestra, tejano, conjunto, big band, rhythm and blues, country, rock and roll, and many others.

The festival is a celebration of culture through the musical expression of countless generations of artists. It is truly a unique, original American sound.

Thursday, Oct. 6

Jay Perez
David Farias Band

Friday, Oct. 7

Elida Reyna y Avante
La Fiebre

Saturday, Oct. 8

Little Joe y La Familia
Ram Herrera

All performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre are FREE!

The Friday, October 7th Performance Will Also Be Livestreamed.

It’s also a ticketed event, so get yours here: http://www.milleroutdoortheatre.com/get-tickets

Photo Credit: DCMedia/Stace Medellin

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to see more damage awards being given to Sandy Hook parents as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff has updates on the voter purge lawsuit and one of the lawsuits against the big voter suppression law from last year.

SocraticGadfly offers a mini-roundup of thoughts on several recent Texas news items: Three Percenters, Alex Jones, TxDOT and Ike Dike.

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

Saliha Bayrak introduces you to Travis County Civil District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble.

Robert Rivard hopes to finally see justice for the family of Cameron Redus.

Juanita has a few more thoughts about that big trial in Austin. Amanda Marcotte also has some thoughts about it.

The Dallas Observer tells the story of Buc-ee’s and one of the guys from Jackass.

Space City Weather gives an early August update on the tropics and the likelihood of storm activity in the near future.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

It’s time for some new music for your playlists. These got on my radar recently and one is a lyric video of a tune previously on the TSP. Enjoy and have a good weekend!

Pepe Aguilar f/ Intocable – No Me Hablen De Amor – Previously on the TSP, this new collab which is on Pepe’s new album is a great tune, well-written, and powered by Grupo Intocable. Intocable has been on this collab kick recently and that they made it on to Pepe’s new album is a huge deal. Check it out.

Pio Treviño y Majic – Mucho Miedo – Freddie Records has released the newest single by the legendary Pio Treviño as a lyric video. A conjunto tune penned by another legend, Freddie Martinez, the tune features Mariano Herrera and Mike Flores on acordeon and bajo. Pio’s first album on Freddie had several tunes that got on my radar last year. Enjoy this one. A little tristeza, though, the lyric vid features a group photo that includes the late Pepper Gonzalez, the Majic guitarist who passed away during the pandemic. #QEPD

Zereno f/ Little Joe – Con El Agua Hasta El Cuello – One of my fave bands from the 80s is an RGV group by the name of Zereno. Featuring Carlos Aleman on vocals, me and a buddy thought he was one of the best voices of the time. Well, the band is still around and keeping busy as they have released this collab with the King of the Brown Sound, Little Joe. LJ y La Familia made this song famous on his La Voz de Aztlan album in 1977. It’s been retouched up as a ranchera and sounds great.

Thoughts on Viernes – 08122022

FBI’s Mar-a-Doofus Visit

The FBI search of 2020’s presidential election loser certainly made the whole saga interesting. While Congress asks questions during the Jan 6 hearings, the people have been waiting for some sort of police action–mostly handcuffs and a perp walk. Still, I remain cynical about all of this. Much like Trump’s wall and bigotry (and the bigotry that followed from the likes of Greg Abbott and DeSantis) served as right-wing-nut-job porn, I feel that investigations and opinions on Trump actions somehow satisfy some fetish that Democrats have while avoiding solutions on the issues.

Me? I want action. I want to see Trump suffer, but I also want comprehensive immigration reform now. We have a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in both houses and can’t get rid of the racism and bigotry that Trump put into policy. Hell, we’ve known the racism has been in practice for decades and President Biden and Sec’y Mayorkas can’t even change that within Homeland Security! I certainly won’t make the FBI some kind of hero in all of this given their own history of investigating and affecting the livelihood of civil rights activists. Frankly, for me, the raid was funny because it made Trump even whinier than usual.

Greg Abbott’s Human Trafficking Boondoggle

Greg el Coyote! So, Greg Abbott is wasting $1400 per person (with no breaks and no food on the way) of your tax money on his migrant bus tour of America. A ticket to NYC from Eagle Pass, TX is only $200 for any individual! Who’s making all this money? And how much have they given to Abbott’s campaign? We already know it’s all about the photo op, but does putting them on a bus as a group make it look like they’re on a Border Patrol bus? Is that the image Abbott is seeking to put out there? We know he’s a hateful SOB.

One thing is for sure, Democratic mayors should be calling for FEMA and Health and Human Services resources to help with what Greg Abbott is causing and NOT military assistance. Thankfully, Biden said NO to the National Guard.

Don’t Mess With Beto (Or Uvalde)

I keep asking myself if Texas is worth saving after Greg Abbott’s and Republican’s decades of destructive practices. After Beto brought down a Greg Abbott-sent heckler who laughed at Beto’s comments on Uvalde and guns, he seems to have energized some of us to the point where we are up for a fight.

Bottom line: I hope he has these kind of words for Greg Abbott, too. The rules of campaigning changed a long time ago and Republicans have thrived on lies while Democrats have tried to win Texas by cowering and avoiding issues. Beto showed Texas that he’s willing to fight. Or, at least not take the kind of crap that Greg Abbott slings.

Kuff has more on Motherfuckergate.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance would prefer there to be fewer right-wing billionaires with hegemonic fantasies as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff writes again and again and again about the chaotic legal landscape we find ourselves in following the Dobbs decision.

SocraticGadfly, fresh off vacation to parts of the Southwest where he grew up, notes that Aridzona still refuses to face water reality.

Stace hopes that President Biden’s COVID-19 rebound case gives us some knowledge on how to move forward in this newer cycle of the disease.

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

Grits for Breakfast wants to know why the training curriculum for the Austin Police Department is unable to get rid of some John Birch Society propaganda.

Texas 2036 is worried about the effect of drought on Texas’ agriculture.

Space City Weather expects little to no tropical storm activity at least into early August.

Dan Solomon comments on the lack of free speech implications in the Alex Jones trial.

John Coby provides some insight into the political contributions of Texas’ current top oligarchs.

Rice University announces an engineering breakthrough that shows how to repurpose deceased spiders as mechanical grippers, and y’all just need to see it for yourselves.