Featured

News of the World movie review

Tom Hanks stars in his new western movie, News of the World, directed by Paul Greengrass. Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a civil war veteran traveling from town to town reading the news.

Kidd, a war-torn veteran travels from town to town bringing the news of the world to people. But it’s not as simple as that, he’s like a traveling preacher but instead of preaching the gospel, he reads newspapers from other parts of the country, helping the townspeople escape their reality for just only 10 cents.

You have to wonder, out of all the jobs a former captain in the military (granted it was the confederacy, but still) could get, he chooses to simply travel and read newspapers to people. Even though he is getting paid 10 cents, he chooses to read in service of the people.

While on his way to another town he comes across a black man who had been hung from a tree with the sign stuck to his chest that read “Texas says no! this is a white man’s country.” (which in those days that’s just how life went in some parts) and a gruesome scene of an overturned wagon that looked like it had been attacked and ransacked.

He finds a young girl (actress Helena Zengel) who was kidnapped by a local Indian tribe and was being transported by federal agents to reunite her with her distant family. The movie is a thriller but and has action scenes when it needs to. The good thing about this movie is that, while it does have a big action scene, it also has different kinds of thrilling sequences throughout the movie.

Throughout the movie, the Captain and the little girl develop a bond over the course of their journey. It is a drama-filled and heartfelt story that tugs at your feelings and brings you further into the building of a lost child and a lost soldier that develops a father’s love for his children.

Overall, I give this movie an 8.5 out of 10 and recommend watching it. Of course, this movie is not like most westerns we enjoy and love so much, such as the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns or John Wayne westerns but this western is still very much entertaining on a different scale.

If you are still on the fence about this movie, look at it from this perspective, Tom Hanks rescues a little girl from the wilderness, fights off sex traffickers, fights hunger and thirst through the vast Texas desert all while trying to work on his own issues and hers. There may not be a lot of traditional action in this movie but make no mistake, this movie is one I think many should watch.

Wait a minute, I can’t just finish this review without having mentioned that this movie took place in the great State of Texas, after all this is The Honezt Texan and we do have tremendous pride in the Lone Star State. Finally, Tom Hanks gives a riveting performance, such as the standards in all of his movies.

Featured

Mental health breakdown leads to officer-involved shooting

By: The Honezt Texan

Jan 24, 2021

KILLEEN, Texas – 52-year old Patrick Warren Sr. was shot multiple times by a Killeen Police officer responding to a mental health call.

Patrick Warren Sr.

Officer Reynaldo Contreras, a 5-year veteran of the department approached and entered the home of Warren Sr. at the request of the family.

In the bodycam video released by Killeen PD, Warren is seen coming out of a backroom, asking the officer “who are you,” and then telling the officer to “come on in.”

The officer briefly tried talking to Warren Sr. before quickly exiting the residence while saying “I don’t work like this,” as he called and waited for more officers to arrive on the scene.

In the video, as the officer stands outside, Warren can be heard shouting.

Minutes later Warren Sr. comes out of the home, waving his arms in the air walking towards the officer.

The officer can be seen deploying his taser first, telling Warren “You’re going to get tazed,” as Warren Sr. kept walking towards the officer, he was tazed and fell to the ground.

Warren then got back up and began charging at the officer, at which point officer Contreras pulled his gun and fired multiple shots hitting Warren Sr.

Warren Sr. tried to get up but was unable to but can be seen reaching out to the officer while loudly groaning towards him.

Seconds later more officers arrive on the scene and handcuffed warren and provided first aid but in the end, Warren died from his wounds.

At the end of the bodycam footage, officer Contreras can be seen praying over Patrick Warren Sr. 

Officer Reynaldo Contreras

OPINION:

As a journalist, when writing about this story and after watching the bodycam footage, I think this whole situation is sad. I think it’s sad that this man lost his life and I think it is sad that the officer had to take it. People are calling for the firing of this officer but after watching the video, I do not believe this officer should be fired, nor do I believe he should lose his job. Warren Sr. had a mental breakdown and needed help and perhaps if there was a mental health wing of the police department or police departments around the country, this tragic officer-involved shooting could have been avoided. Mental health disorders are a serious thing and are plaguing people in this country. To help combat or deal with mental health issues, seek out therapy and talk to a licensed therapist or family or friend.

Featured

Rules for thee but not for me: The hypocrisy of politicians and health officials Covid-19 rules

“Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?”

Thomas Love Peacock

It has been a year now since Covid-19 has hit the United States, Americans have been “doing their part” by wearing masks, social distancing, and staying inside their homes, cooperating with unlawful edicts from the politicians they elected to speak for them. and we now have a vaccine from multiple companies, and yet Americans are still being told by officials that even though we now have a vaccine, we must still practice social distancing, still wear masks, not work unless our job is essential, stay at home and still keep away from our friends and loved ones.

Meanwhile a vacation in Mexico, lavish dinner parties, election parties, breaking travel guidelines, it seems officials are not following their own rules and are being caught defying the very edicts they want the people to follow.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx violated her travel guidelines and warning to the American people while she met with three different generations of family at one of her vacation properties in Delaware, Birx announced she is retiring following the scandal. https://nypost.com/2020/12/22/dr-deborah-birx-to-retire-after-holiday-travel-scandal/.

Deborah Birx

 The governor of California Gavin Newsome violated his own lockdown rules and attended a party with dozens of friends, according to https://apnews.com/article/birthdays-coronavirus-pandemic-california-napa-gavin-newsom-9426bc09f958ae9865309dd71a04aa97, California is now on an indefinite stay-at-home lockdown order. Austin Mayor, Steve Adler called on the good people of Austin to stay home and “not relax” about the pandemic and later found out at the time of Adler’s remarks, the Mayor was vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with several people.

Austin Mayor, Steve Adler
California Governor Gavin Newsome and friends
CA Governor Gavin Newsome

Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock traveled to Mississippi for a family get-together, which ordinarily is a normal thing, however, the Denver Mayor wrote in a statement, “Pass the potatoes, not COVID… Avoid travel.”  Before boarding his flight Hancock also told his followers to “avoid travel, if you can,” “stay home as much as you can and host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners.” His apologetic statement can be seen below.

Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock

“As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel,” he said. “I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser traveled to Delaware to congratulate Joe Biden on his success in the 2020 presidential election. According to Newsweek, Delaware is one of 42 states deemed high-risk by D.C. and those that travel to one of those high-risk states should quarantine for 14 days. Bowser declined to quarantine and deemed the trip essential. https://www.newsweek.com/every-mayor-govenor-caught-breaking-covid-restrictions-1552033.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot and speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi both violated their cities’ stay-at-home-order to get their hair done while barbershops and salons were being told to shut down and close their doors. My point is this, it is “Rules for thee, but not for me.”

Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot

Americans must realize the hypocrisy of health officials and politicians. Dr. Anthony Fauci, in an interview, suggested that the American spirit had gotten in the way, and Americans needed to follow their orders whether they liked it or not. However, history tells us, as Americans, we rarely ever do what we’re told, just ask the UK. 

During a discussion with other experts in Washington D.C. Fauci stated “I was talking with my UK colleagues who are saying the UK is similar to where we are now because each of our countries has that independent spirit.” “I can understand that, but now is the time to do what you’re told,” according to https://nypost.com/2020/11/13/anthony-faucis-new-covid-19-guidance-do-what-youre-told/.

Dr. Fauci

With parts of America still shut down or in lockdown and since the pandemic hit the United States, 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/16/poverty-rising/.  Lockdowns in my opinion only hurt those that are participating. I have said this before and I will say it once more, a person who cannot work, cannot provide for themselves or for their family, what is that person supposed to do?

Civil unrest is likely to occur as we have already seen across the country. Mass protests and riots have occurred since the death of George Floyd and with both the democrats and republicans still at odds on Covid-relief for the people, both the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell homes have been vandalized, showing the growing frustration of the people.

Nancy Pelosi left/ Mitch McConnell right

The growing frustration in this country is apparent more than ever, and it is because of so many people out of work, frustrated with lockdowns, being told what to do, frustrated with the presidential election, and frustrated with congress and what little they think of the American people.

Frustration is growing, people are tired of the lockdowns, and if we want to avert what seems to be an increasing civil conflict, I would suggest protecting those that are most vulnerable, like the elder population and people with a weak immune system, and reopen the economy and allow people to get back to work. 

Pelosi’s home
Mitch McConnell’s home vandalized
Featured

New York and Bill A416

Imagine sitting in your home and the doorbell rings, it’s the local delivery man delivering a package you ordered, you notice he’s feeling a bit under the weather, but you get your package and wish him well.

The next couple of days you receive a knock at your door, it’s the local authorities and they have arrived at your doorstep on court orders of the governor to detain you and whoever is in your home because you may pose as a threat to public health.

That’s what Bill A416 would allow if signed into law in the state of New York. You see that delivery man that wasn’t feeling too good, may or may not have the covid-19 virus and because of contact tracing and Bill A416, authorities have determined that because you were in close proximity to him than you will also need to be detained in a medical facility or other appropriate facilities until health officials can determine whether or not you or your family have been infected.

It sounds like a dystopian horror film. The bill is sponsored by New York State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry and will be taken up by the Assembly’s Health Committee on Wednesday, according to Foxnews.com. when interviewed about the controversial bill, Perry reassured his detractors that the bill is not unconstitutional.

New York State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry

 “There are no intent, no plan, or provisions in my bill to take away, or violate any rights, or liberties that all Americans are entitled to under our Constitution, either state or federal,” Perry said to Fox.

Rest assured if the bill passes it will be used for more than its intended purpose. It is hard to believe that a bill such as this could be passed in the United States, a country that has a Constitution and Bill of Rights guaranteeing freedom and upholding the rights granted to men by God.

 It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you are on, whether you are a democrat or republican, what should matter is that as Americans this bill and others like it are chipping away at the rights that have been afforded to us.

 Forget about the right and the left, but remember your fellow man, your neighbor, that if this bill passes in New York, like-minded officials could implement this bill or variations of the bill into law around the country, (almost seems like history is repeating itself).

Remember if you are in favor of this bill, they also know that this bill could one day be used to round up your family and take them to a facility. Forget being republican or democrats, just be Americans and stand against those that want to tear down the very fabric that makes this country the best in the world, well in my opinion. Below is the full proposed bill.

STATE OF NEW YORK


416
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
IN ASSEMBLY
(Prefiled)
January 6, 2021


Introduced by M. of A. PERRY — read once and referred to the Committee
on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to the removal of
cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases who are poten-
tially dangerous to the public health
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section
2 2120-a to read as follows:
3 § 2120-a. Removal and detention of cases, contacts and carriers who
4 are or may be a danger to public health; other orders. 1. The provisions
5 of this section shall be utilized in the event that the governor
6 declares a state of health emergency due to an epidemic of any communi-
7 cable disease.
8 2. Upon determining by clear and convincing evidence that the health
9 of others is or may be endangered by a case, contact or carrier, or
10 suspected case, contact or carrier of a contagious disease that, in the
11 opinion of the governor, after consultation with the commissioner, may
12 pose an imminent and significant threat to the public health resulting
13 in severe morbidity or high mortality, the governor or his or her dele-
14 gee, including, but not limited to the commissioner or the heads of
15 local health departments, may order the removal and/or detention of such
16 a person or of a group of such persons by issuing a single order, iden-
17 tifying such persons either by name or by a reasonably specific
18 description of the individuals or group being detained. Such person or
19 group of persons shall be detained in a medical facility or other appro-
20 priate facility or premises designated by the governor or his or her
21 delegee and complying with subdivision five of this section.
22 3. A person or group removed or detained by order of the governor or
23 his or her delegee pursuant to subdivision two of this section shall be
EXPLANATION–Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
LBD04443-01-1
A. 416 2
1 detained for such period and in such manner as the department may direct
2 in accordance with this section.
3 4. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this section:
4 (a) A confirmed case or a carrier who is detained pursuant to subdivi-
5 sion two of this section shall not continue to be detained after the
6 department determines that such person is no longer contagious.
7 (b) A suspected case or suspected carrier who is detained pursuant to
8 subdivision two of this section shall not continue to be detained after
9 the department determines, with the exercise of due diligence, that such
10 person is not infected with or has not been exposed to such a disease,
11 or if infected with or exposed to such a disease, no longer is or will
12 become contagious.
13 (c) A person who is detained pursuant to subdivision two of this
14 section as a contact of a confirmed case or a carrier shall not continue
15 to be detained after the department determines that the person is not
16 infected with the disease or that such contact no longer presents a
17 potential danger to the health of others.
18 (d) A person who is detained pursuant to subdivision two of this
19 section as a contact of a suspected case shall not continue to be
20 detained:
21 (i) after the department determines, with the exercise of due dili-
22 gence, that the suspected case was not infected with such a disease, or
23 was not contagious at the time the contact was exposed to such individ-
24 ual; or
25 (ii) after the department determines that the contact no longer
26 presents a potential danger to the health of others.
27 5. A person who is detained pursuant to subdivision two of this
28 section shall, as is appropriate to the circumstances:
29 (a) have his or her medical condition and needs assessed and addressed
30 on a regular basis, and
31 (b) be detained in a manner that is consistent with recognized
32 isolation and infection control principles in order to minimize the
33 likelihood of transmission of infection to such person and to others.
34 6. When a person or group is ordered to be detained pursuant to subdi-
35 vision two of this section for a period not exceeding three business
36 days, such person or member of such group shall, upon request, be
37 afforded an opportunity to be heard. If a person or group detained
38 pursuant to subdivision two of this section needs to be detained beyond
39 three business days, they shall be provided with an additional commis-
40 sioner’s order pursuant to subdivisions two and eight of this section.
41 7. When a person or group is ordered to be detained pursuant to subdi-
42 vision two of this section for a period exceeding three business days,
43 and such person or member of such group requests release, the governor
44 or his or her delegee shall make an application for a court order
45 authorizing such detention within three business days after such request
46 by the end of the first business day following such Saturday, Sunday, or
47 legal holiday, which application shall include a request for an expe-
48 dited hearing. After any such request for release, detention shall not
49 continue for more than five business days in the absence of a court
50 order authorizing detention. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions,
51 in no event shall any person be detained for more than sixty days with-
52 out a court order authorizing such detention. The governor or his or her
53 delegee shall seek further court review of such detention within ninety
54 days following the initial court order authorizing detention and there-
55 after within ninety days of each subsequent court review. In any court
56 proceeding to enforce an order of the governor or his or her delegee for
A. 416 3
1 the removal or detention of a person or group issued pursuant to this
2 subdivision or for review of the continued detention of a person or
3 group, the governor or his or her delegee shall prove the particularized
4 circumstances constituting the necessity for such detention by clear and
5 convincing evidence.
6 8. (a) A copy of any detention order of the governor or his or her
7 delegee issued pursuant to subdivision two of this section shall be
8 given to each detained individual; however, if the order applies to a
9 group of individuals and it is impractical to provide individual copies,
10 it may be posted in a conspicuous place in the detention premises. Any
11 detention order of the commissioner issued pursuant to subdivision two
12 of this section shall set forth:
13 (i) the purpose of the detention and the legal authority under which
14 the order is issued, including the particular sections of this article
15 or other law or regulation;
16 (ii) a description of the circumstances and/or behavior of the
17 detained person or group constituting the basis for the issuance of the
18 order;
19 (iii) the less restrictive alternatives that were attempted and were
20 unsuccessful and/or the less restrictive alternatives that were consid-
21 ered and rejected, and the reasons such alternatives were rejected;
22 (iv) a notice advising the person or group being detained that they
23 have a right to request release from detention, and including
24 instructions on how such request shall be made;
25 (v) a notice advising the person or group being detained that they
26 have a right to be represented by legal counsel and that upon request of
27 such person or group access to counsel will be facilitated to the extent
28 feasible under the circumstances; and
29 (vi) a notice advising the person or group being detained that they
30 may supply the addresses and/or telephone numbers of friends and/or
31 relatives to receive notification of the person’s detention, and that
32 the department shall, at the detained person’s request and to the extent
33 feasible, provide notice to a reasonable number of such people that the
34 person is being detained.
35 (b) In addition, an order issued pursuant to subdivisions two and
36 seven of this section, requiring the detention of a person or group for
37 a period exceeding three business days, shall:
38 (i) advise the person or group being detained that the detention shall
39 not continue for more than five business days after a request for
40 release has been made in the absence of a court order authorizing such
41 detention;
42 (ii) advise the person or group being detained that, whether or not
43 they request release from detention, the governor or his or her delegee
44 must obtain a court order authorizing detention within sixty days
45 following the commencement of detention and thereafter must further seek
46 court review of the detention within ninety days of such court order and
47 within ninety days of each subsequent court review; and
48 (iii) advise the person or group being detained that they have the
49 right to request that legal counsel be provided, that upon such request
50 counsel shall be provided if and to the extent possible under the
51 circumstances, and that if counsel is so provided, that such counsel
52 will be notified that the person or group has requested legal represen-
53 tation.
54 9. A person who is detained in a medical facility, or other appropri-
55 ate facility or premises, shall not conduct himself or herself in a
A. 416 4
1 disorderly manner, and shall not leave or attempt to leave such facility
2 or premises until he or she is discharged pursuant to this section.
3 10. Where necessary and feasible under the circumstances, language
4 interpreters and persons skilled in communicating with vision and hear-
5 ing impaired individuals shall be provided.
6 11. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the issuance of
7 orders pursuant to § 11.21 of the New York City Health Code.
8 12. In addition to the removal or detention orders referred to in
9 subdivision two of this section, and without affecting or limiting any
10 other authority that the commissioner may otherwise have, the governor
11 or his or her delegee may, in his or her discretion, issue and seek
12 enforcement of any other orders that he or she determines are necessary
13 or appropriate to prevent dissemination or transmission of contagious
14 diseases or other illnesses that may pose a threat to the public health
15 including, but not limited to, orders requiring any person or persons
16 who are not in the custody of the department to be excluded; to remain
17 isolated or quarantined at home or at a premises of such person’s choice
18 that is acceptable to the department and under such conditions and for
19 such period as will prevent transmission of the contagious disease or
20 other illness; to require the testing or medical examination of persons
21 who may have been exposed to or infected by a contagious disease or who
22 may have been exposed to or contaminated with dangerous amounts of
23 radioactive materials or toxic chemicals; to require an individual who
24 has been exposed to or infected by a contagious disease to complete an
25 appropriate, prescribed course of treatment, preventive medication or
26 vaccination, including directly observed therapy to treat the disease
27 and follow infection control provisions for the disease; or to require
28 an individual who has been contaminated with dangerous amounts of radio-
29 active materials or toxic chemicals such that said individual may pres-
30 ent a danger to others, to undergo decontamination procedures deemed
31 necessary by the department. Such person or persons shall, upon
32 request, be afforded an opportunity to be heard, but the provisions of
33 subdivisions two through eleven of this section shall not otherwise
34 apply.
35 13. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to permit or
36 require the forcible administration of any medication without a prior
37 court order.
38 § 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
39 have become a law. Effective immediately the addition, amendment and/or
40 repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of
41 this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed
42 on or before such date.

Featured

Wonder Woman movie review

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

The first Wonder Woman movie starring Gale Gadot (2017), in my opinion was one of the better recent movies in the DC universe. Everything in that movie worked well and came together, from the actors to the landscape and scenery and of course the music.

Wonder Woman 1984 picks up with Gadot still infecting the audience with her charismatic acting and ability to command the attention of the audience. The movie also headlined Kristen Wiig, Madalorian star Pedro Pascal, and Star Trek’s Chris Pine.

Wonder Woman 1984 is a classic tale of greed that starts out strong but fizzles out towards the end. Kristen Wiig plays a nerdy, overlooked and abused woman by society who is actually really smart and finds a friend in Gadot’s character.

Pedro Pascal plays Maxwell Lord, a conman and all too familiar infomercial type that swindled millions of dollars from investors in his search for greatness and power while digging for oil. Chris Pine, (SPOILER ALERT) is back from the dead and is still kicking butt as Wonder Woman’s sidekick and boyfriend all while experiencing a new world that has advanced technologically and socially after helping won World War 1.

I was looking forward to this movie because I enjoy Gale Gadot’s acting and the script that Patty Jenkins directed. If you have seen the first Wonder Woman movie than you might be able to understand why I was excited to watch 84.

The movie is true to its 80’s roots and brings nostalgia to those who remember the 80’s and brings the wonder of the 80’s to those who never experienced it. Between the romance, the betrayal, the humor, Gadot and cast members make you believe in the goodness of mankind but also the infectious nature and power of greed as well.

The story of “I want it all, and I want it now.” Kristen Wiig portrays Barbara Manerva and gains the audiences empathy as she slowly turns herself into a villain. Pedro Pascal, while great in the Mandalorian, unfortunately did not pull me in to believe he was his character and that is not necessarily his fault, it’s more of the style and look of his character, okay plus his accent.

After watching this movie, I felt good when it first started and became more invested and intrigued in the middle but when the end came, I felt like I was watching the end of Game of Thrones. Seriously the ending could have been a lot better, but I get it I understand what Jenkins was trying to accomplish, it just didn’t quite make it up the hill.

 I think the music is what really helped the movie along. The original upbeat action sound from the first movie is what kept me interested. A good song or rather good theme music can make or break a superhero movie. Overall, I give this movie a 6.5/10 and still will tell people to check it out, it’s a quaint fun movie.

Let’s Be Honezt:

Gale Gadot is a pretty good actress and is made for the Wonder Woman role. Kristen Wiig played the girl everyone love to hate because well there’s no interest in people who do not have confidence in themselves, Chris Pine is well Chris Pine, he’s just there as Wonder woman’s boy toy, he was better off left dead because she almost gets him killed multiple times which would have been a very short lived cameo appearance, however he inadvertently helps Gadot’s character learn how to fly.

Pedro Pascal is an actor in which I enjoy seeing the characters he plays come to life, but that was not the case for Maxwell Lord at least for me it wasn’t. maybe I was spoiled by the Madalorian, but in this movie I think its because Pedro is playing a white guy with an Asian son. Nothing is really wrong with that being in the age we live in at the moment, but it just doesn’t seem to come together.

Final Thoughts

For me personally I enjoy watching superhero movies, it brings back memories from childhood. Wonder Woman 1984 did not deliver that for me.

The movie made it seem like men are just bad people and portrayed men as perverts, creeps, and playthings throughout the movie. Meanwhile while the movie is about greed the two main characters Wonder Woman and Barbara Manerva were the most selfish people in the movie.

Wonder Woman was selfish because she couldn’t give up her boyfriend and let that guy rest in peace, and Wiig’s character was selfish because she had no confidence in herself and was essentially a loser and envious of Diane Prince so much so she wished to be exactly like her, well be careful what you wish for.

Pedro Pascal’s character lied his way to the top but seemingly did it for good reason but what good reason could it have been to almost bring world war 3, he did it so his son could see him as a winner not a loser. So, there’s that. Did I mention Chris Pine? The ending of Wonder Woman 84 was as flat as the game of thrones series finale. This movie had so much potential but ultimately fell flat like leaving a soda uncapped. 6.5/10. I hope the third installment if there is one will be a lot better.

Ps Linda Carter cameo appearance was the best.

Featured

North Texan and Utah Utes star freshman running back ,Ty Jordan, dies at 19 from accidental gunshot

By: The Honezt Texan

Dec 27, 2020

DENTON – Utah Utes’ freshman star running back, Ty Jordan has died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound Christmas night.

Denton police responded to a shooting in the 1100 block of Avenue B at about 9:38 p.m. Friday, where they found Jordan who had a single gun shot wound to his hip.

He was transported to Denton Regional Medical and was later pronounced dead.

Jordan, a four star recruit out of West Mesquite High School and Uta Utes’ leading rusher was just named the Pac-12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year.

In November 2019 Jordan made headlines praying with Sherman defensive back Gage Smith after West Mesquite beat Sherman 56-27.

It was later found out at the time Jordan’s mother was battling stage 4 lung and bone cancer. Jordan reported in August that his mother had died.

In the short five game Pac-12 season, Jordan led the Utes in carries (83), rushing yards (597), rushing touchdowns (six) and all-purpose yards (723).

Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan provided a statement.

“We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Ty Jordan’s passing early this morning, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved him dearly, including the young men in our football program,” Harlan said in a statement. “Our priority is on supporting his family and the student athletes, coaches and staff in our football program who are so deeply hurting right now. Coach Whittingham and I are working closely to provide support and resources for our Utah football family in this extremely difficult time.”

Featured

Vehicle explosion rocks downtown Nashville, Tennessee on Christmas

By: The Honezt Texan

Dec 26, 2020

NASHVILLE – A massive explosion rocked downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Christmas morning that caused damages to buildings that spanned several blocks.

aftermath of downtown Nashville explosion

Nashville police responded to reports of a suspicious RV parked outside an AT&T building broadcasting the message “Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode.”

Police have found human remains and believe the explosion was intentional prompting speculation that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.

Federal agents from the FBI and ATF have converged on a home in Antioch, a suburban neighborhood in Nashville with suspected ties to the explosion that rocked the downtown area.

According to reports six police officers were credited with evacuating and saving residents minutes before the explosion occurred which miraculously only injured three people.

The investigation is ongoing.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/video-surveillance-cam-captures-nashville-explosion/vi-BB1cfMdD.

Featured

Let Him Go movie review

Before I watched the movie Let Him Go, I remember seeing the trailers for it and I was very excited because I am a long-time fan of the work and film Kevin Costner puts out. I mean come on people it’s Kevin Costner! The man has all but perfected his craft and is a treasured American Icon.

In his latest film Let Him Go, Costner is once again paired with actress Diane lane, who’s work speaks for itself. The two continue to work well with each other, having played husband and wife as Jonathan and Martha Kent in Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).

In the movie the pair are husband and wife but are now grandparents to a grandson whose mother has become a widow and remarries to an abusive man with a more abusive family. Costner plays retired sheriff George Blackledge and Diane plays Margaret, a mother that mourns the untimely death of her son.

The movie has a modern western feel to it that brings the landscape of Montana and North Dakota straight into your living room. In the movie the pair set out to find their grandson whose mother and stepfather have moved to North Dakota to be with the Weboys family. The movie is set up kind of like the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s (Costner also starred in) families just without the long-standing history.

Diane Lanes character is an overbearing grandmother who simply will not let her grandson go and convinces her husband to travel across country to bring back their grandson, however things did not go as planned the way Lanes character thought it would. The Weboys family led by actress Lesley Manville as Blanche Weboy turns out to be evil and sadistic in their ways of raising a family and keeping the grandchild and mother in line.

actress Lesley Manville as Blanche Weboy

The movie goes from zero to sixty and becomes a surprising thriller that reverts to the old ways of handling squabbles between families. While Lanes character pushes on to fight to bring her grandson home, Costner’s character seems to wrestle with the idea of bringing his grandson back home, telling his wife that the child is young and their old, meaning we’re too old to raise a child. When the Blackledge family finally meets the Weboy family, the two meet over dinner at the trouble of the Weboys invitation where the pleasantries abruptly come to an end and where the tension becomes more apparent.

Needless to say, I don’t think the Blackledge family will be pining to have dinner with the Weboys again, the porkchops may have been too tough. The end of the movie has a bittersweet pill to swallow, which spoiler alert, will be in my final thoughts but I will say this, I was saddened and upset to about Costner’s character.

Honezt Breakdown

Okay, okay, okay, look I really did enjoy this film, I think it was one of kevin Costners and Diane Lanes good movies because the pair go well together. I think the setting of the movie was just right as well as the landscape. But I know that’s not what y’all really want to read about, no y’all want to know what I really think, I’m going to tell you just that. Costner’s character is just an ordinary tough father and grandfather who chose to marry woman who is by far equally tough and stubborn as a mule.

When she learns her grandson has been taken to live with the stepfather’s family, she has already made up her mind she’s going to go bring him back, not the mother mind you, but just the grandson, that’s just selfish.

Throughout the movie you feel bad for Costner’s character because you can tell he doesn’t want to go on the trip and sees it as “yes this is my grandson, however he’s gone and is with his mother, if I see him I see him, if I don’t I don’t.” but because he married the woman he married and because he loves his wife he goes with her and proceed to try and bring back their grandson. Well after the confrontation between the two families Costner’s character gets his hand chopped off, yep that’s right you read what I just said, shame.

 After the Blackledge’s come from the hospital and begin their trek back to their old homestead, Diane’s character stops by a young Native American mans home in the middle of nowhere to hatch a plan to get her grandson back, yup I know right, some people cant let it go.

She proposes the idea of moving to North Dakota, but the husband wasn’t having it, in fact he decides to go and rescue his grandson because he knew that his wife would never stop. In the process of doing so, Huge SPOILER alert Costner’s character gets shot multiple times and dies, but the boy and his mother were rescued, sigh, there’s that bittersweet pill I mentioned earlier.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Blackledge’s lose their son, lose their grandchild because the grandmother couldn’t be bothered to be nice to her sons widow while he was alive or dead, so she marries an abusive man with clear mommy issues, than Diane’s character drags her husband all the way to North Dakota where he not she but he gets his hand chopped off, gets shot multiple times and dies.

I feel bad for Costner’s character accept I think he found the easy way out from his wife, who finally gets her wish of having her grandson live with her. Bittersweet, but mainly bitter. I liked the movie, but I give it a 7/10.

Moral of the story, you may not like the family you have, but at least you’re not a Weboy.

Featured

Unhinged movie critique

Unhinged is a modern American road rage thriller staring the gladiator himself Russell Crowe and Caren Pistorius, an actress you likely never heard of. Russell Crowe plays Tom Cooper, a middle-aged man who worked in middle management at an auto plant where he was fired just before he could retire and collect his pension.

In the beginning scenes of the movie Crowe is seen breaking into what can be assumed was the house he shared with his ex-wife that is now up for sale and bashing his ex-wife’s lover and her with a hammer and sets the house ablaze, gruesome way to go.

Crowe Precariously meets his next victim, Rachel, played by Caren Pistorius, a hairdresser that lost her salon and is going through a bitter divorce with her soon to be ex-husband, at a stoplight that just turned green.

Rachel honks her horn at Cooper to get his attention that the light has turned green and finally passes him while giving him a final blow of the horn and gives a gesture as she stares him down menacingly.

However, Cooper catches up to Rachel who is late driving her son to school, and begins a conversation with her saying, “I don’t even get a courtesy tap first” and offers an apology to the young mother. Rachel reluctantly accepts the apology and is then asked to do the same for her part in the altercation, she refuses, at which point you can see Crowe’s character cringe and start to boil like he couldn’t believe this woman is not apologizing back.

Crowe then, says to Rachel “I don’t think you know what a bad day is, but you going to learn today,” kicking off a wild thriller and emotional roller coaster. Throughout the movie Crowe’s character stalks Pistorious and becomes more brazen by the minute, and becomes a runaway freight train of destruction, piling up bodies everywhere he goes. Pistorius plays her part well, reacting to the mayhem that has been laid at her doorstep. In the end, it was ultimately up to the mother to defend herself and her family from a maniac who would see her whole life destroyed because he was having a bad day.

Let’s Be Honezt

Look we’ve all had bad days before, but Russell Crowe’s character shows just how bad a day can get. Now I’m not defending the actions of the man in the film, but I think we all have met a guy like the character Crowe played.

The man gets fired just before he retires to collect his pension, has gotten a divorce, kicked out of his own home, his wife cheating on him with another man while living in his house, and you’re sitting there at a greenlight pondering what you just did, murdering your ex-wife and lover and burning down your home, I’d say that’s a pretty bad day.

Then some lady comes along and honks her horn at you heavily, you apologize and ask her to do the same, she refuses, well I guess at this point you just snap. I’m not saying the man is right, I must stress that, but in this whole altercation, I will say when a man that has pretty much lost everything, his wife, his house, his job, and the ability to be able to provide for himself, well I would say almost anyone can snap and lash out as Crowe’s character does.

Final Thoughts

Unhinged was an everyday road rage thriller that people see in their lives all the time and gave a decent backstory that led up to everything after. Russell Crowe and Caren Pistorious complimented each other very well and Crowe made you believe his character was a victim as much as he was the perpetrator.

The lesson that we all should take away from this film is to be patient with each other, try to have a better understanding, and show empathy as well as sympathy. So, before you honk that horn at someone just stop and think and ask yourself, is it that serious?

You see at the very end she thought twice before honking that horn again.

Featured

Aliens living among us, former head of Israeli space security program says yes

By: The Honezt Texan

Dec 15, 2020

ISRAEL – Aliens are among us and are conducting experiments on Earth as well as their secret underground base on Mars according to Professor and former head of Israeli space program Haim Eshed in an interview with Israeli paper Yedioth Aharonoth, reported by the Jewish Press.

Eshed held his position in the Israeli space program from 1981 to 2010 and says that the aliens and the U.S. have an agreement to keep their movements under the radar.

In December 2019, President Trump authorized the creation of the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States armed forces.

The U.S. Space Force will operate under the U.S. Air Force much like the Marines do within the Navy and its purpose will be to develop teams to defend satellites from attack and conduct other space-related missions.

In a 2018 Pentagon leaked intelligence report, it entailed previous military encounters with UFO’S and the website TheDeBrief.org published details about the leaked report including photographs of two unidentified flying objects captured from the cockpit of a F/A-18 fighter jet.

Leaked pentagon photos of unidentified flying objects

Below is a full statement by Haim Eshed in his interview with Yedioth Aharonoth.

“The UFOs have asked not to publish that they are here, humanity is not ready yet. Trump was on the verge of revealing, but the aliens in the Galactic Federation are saying: Wait, let people calm down first. They don’t want to start mass hysteria. They want to first make us sane and understanding.

They have been waiting for humanity to evolve and reach a stage where we will generally understand what space and spaceships are. There’s an agreement between the US government and the aliens. They signed a contract with us to do experiments here. They, too, are researching and trying to understand the whole fabric of the universe, and they want us as helpers. There’s an underground base in the depths of Mars, where their representatives are, and also our American astronauts.

If I had come up with what I’m saying today five years ago, I would have been hospitalized. Wherever I’ve gone with this in academia, they’ve said: the man has lost his mind. Today they’re already talking differently. I have nothing to lose. I’ve received my degrees and awards, I am respected in universities abroad, where the trend is also changing.”

Former head of Israeli space program
Haim Eshed

Featured

A comprehensive look at American Universities ties to slavery

In the United States of America, academia is not only the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship but also a Mecca for social status and the grooming of the world’s elite. Craig Steven Wilder who is a famed author, a historian at MIT, wrote that “The story of the American College is largely the story of the rise of the slave economy in the Atlantic world”.  Slavery is a horrendous stain on American history and unless fully confronted, there is no way a country can ever move past it and begin to learn and heal itself from it. The American University is a unique one in today’s world in the year 2019, the American Universities today have changed to where they are considered to be more inclusive, more diverse, more understanding, and wanting to provide safe spaces for those who feel threatened by the outside world or those that do not understand them.

This is your typical American University today, however, this was not the case so long ago it was quite the opposite. Harvard, Princeton, Rutgers, Brown, William and Mary, The University of North Carolina, The University of South Carolina, The University of Alabama, Columbia University, Georgetown University, University of Mississippi, University of Virginia, Washington and Lee, Colby College, Yale, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, Duke, MIT, and Dartmouth College all have ties to slavery, some more so than others but we will take an in-depth look at each institution and its connections to slavery in the United States and some of the proposed solutions these institutions of higher learning are offering. Harvard University is the oldest and very first American University and was established in 1636 to help further training for ministers. Reports show that only three Harvard Presidents owned slaves and that slaves were worked on the institution’s campus as early as 1639.

Harvard’s first schoolmaster Nathaniel Eaton owned a slave that was simply called the Moor. Moors were members of northwestern African Muslims comprised of Berber and Arab descent. Increase Mathers, became president of Harvard in 1685 and was a Boston Congressional Minister who owned a slave that came to be known as the Spaniard (not that Spaniard). He was president of Harvard for twenty years and was very influential during a period in time that became known as the Salem witch trials.

Harvard’s second president known to have owned slaves was Benjamin Wadsworth, he served as president from 1725-1737. Wadsworth owned two slaves a man and a woman named Titus and Venus, little has been recorded about Wadsworth and his two slaves. The next president and Benjamin Woodsworth’s successor, Edward Holyoke was the tenth president of Harvard and ordained minister of the Marblehead Congregational Church. Holyoke owned three slaves named Juba, Cato, and Bilhah, and Juba was permitted to marry another slave named Ciceely who was owned by Judah Monis, Harvard’s professor of Hebrew.

The University of Harvard is the oldest and first institution of higher learning and has been around since 1636 and have only had three presidents who owned slaves a handful of faculty members who owned slaves and students who attended the prestigious university brought with them, slaves. Harvard had its strongest connection to slavery through west Indian plantation owners and traders who owned and operated many ships and also stood to gain some of the largest fortunes in the Atlantic worlds slave economy. On April 7, 2016, Harvard a university that boasts the importance of higher learning in academia and a vast assortment of intellectual alumnus whom some have gone on to become president of these United States of America, directly involved with the transatlantic slave trade, an institution founded to further the training of ministers have made reparations to those descendants and memory of the slaves that labored at the university a plaque to honor those who forcefully served the many needs of the prestigious university.

Princeton University, a college that is well known for its scholarly pursuits of knowledge and selectiveness to become a part of what is known as an elite university, has a well-intertwined connection with slavery. Founded as the College of New Jersey in 1746 and hosted the Continental Congress in 1783, it might be shocking to learn that this institution’s first nine presidents all owned slaves. The schools very first president Jonathan Dickinson was a Presbyterian minister who believed that every man regardless of being poor or racial makeup is equal to God however Dickinson often never practice what he preached and justified owning slaves as framing masters as teachers, this would become the justification and foundation of slave owners and for paternalism that they would use for years to come. Aaron Burr Sr. would serve as Princeton’s president as well and also one of the founding trustees of the university.

At thirty-two years old he was the youngest and still the youngest Princeton president. Like his predecessor Dickinson, Burr was a minister but with more political aspirations and spoke on equality and horrors of slavery but unfortunately did not practice what he preached. His talk of slavery were just empty words and phrases and as like most did he brought with him two slaves, one named Caesar and the other named Harry, according to records Burr purchased a man named Caesar in 1756 for just eighty pounds. The third Princeton president was Jonathan Edwards, who is best known for his fiery sermon “ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and is still taught to this day in American literature served briefly as Princeton’s president for only two months before his death in 1758. Edwards also a minister during the Great Awakening preached spiritual equality but not treating people as equals in the physical realm.

He spoke out against the transatlantic slave trade and condemned the barbarism of the slave trade but not of the institution. Edwards owned slaves and owned multiple slaves including a married couple named Joseph and Sue. A man of God and faith who owned slaves and preached the condemnation of the very act he benefited from. The next president for Princeton was Samuel Davies who served as president from 1759 to 1761 and also a Presbyterian minister who became the most successful at converting slaves to Christianity. 

Much like the universities presidents before him, Davies preached spiritual equality and that man are equal whether enslaved or not and went as far as to write “ a black skin, African birth or extract, or state of slavery, does not disqualify a man from the blessings of God or the Gospel”.  Samuel Davies much like his predecessors owned slaves and made it his mission to teach and promote literacy among the enslaved congregation he preached to, he stressed that conversion to Christianity does not also equate to emancipation and that it is the masters’ job to save his slaves souls which outweighed the need or responsibility to give them freedom. Princeton’s fifth president was a man named Samuel Finley who served from 1761 to 1766. Finley was born in Ireland and came to North America where he was also brought up as a minister during the Great Awakening period.

Finley, just like the men that came before him preached spiritual equality among men and preached patriotism within his sermons fearing that the French would win the war, and much like the men that came before him, Finley owned slaves. While Finley served as president over Princeton, during his tenure he owned up to seven slaves, a girl named Peg, who was passed down to his daughter upon his death, and six other slaves who were auctioned off at the presidents’ house on Princeton’s campus. The slaves that were auctioned off were two negro women, a negro man, and three negro children along with other material possessions owned by Finley. The selling of these slaves took place on Princeton’s campus in August 1766 and remains one of the most prominent examples of the connection of slavery Princeton has.

The next president did not only serve Princeton but was also a founding father of the United States of America, John Witherspoon served as Princeton’s president from 1768 to 1794. He was a member of the Continental Congress and the only Princeton president to sign the Declaration of Independence. During his time at Princeton, Witherspoon led the school through British occupation during the American Revolution in 1777 and also during his time at Princeton much like the ministers who served as president before him Witherspoon owned two slaves but often argued against the abolition of slavery and letting enslaved people free. In 1790 Witherspoon served as chairman on a committee that was to advise state leaders on the notion of the emancipation of enslaved people and in doing so he preached that the economic gains and social stability of the state far outweighed the morality of emancipating slaves and thus voted against the abolition of slavery in the State of New Jersey.

Samuel Stanhope Smith, an alumnus of Princeton served as the school’s seventh president and unlike his predecessors, he valued science over spirituality but like his predecessors, he believed that all men are born equal and owned at least two slaves. Although Smith believed all men are born equal he also believed it would be irresponsible to free enslaved people if they were not taught “good moral and industrious habits”. He also stated that a large class of free blacks living among whites could lead to social upheaval if whites did not abandon their racial prejudices and thus proposed resettling freed African Americans to the western territories and offered lands to white Americans who would marry into the black population, needless to say, his plan did not come to pass. Ashbel Green served as Princeton’s eighth president from 1812 to 1822.

Green was a devout Presbyterian minister who established Princeton’s Theological Seminary and was named to the board of trustees in 1812. While Green harbored deep religious convictions and was a staunch Presbyterian, he also owned slaves. He owned three slaves and while living in the presidential quarters on campus he purchased the time of two young black slaves, a boy and a girl named John and Phoebe, and made a deal with the pair that when they both turn twenty-five he would set them free. Betsey Stockton was another slave that Green owned and was gifted to his first wife.

After the passing of his third wife in 1817 Green emancipated Betsey and in 1822 Betsey Stockton, also a devout Christian became the first female American missionary to travel abroad to what is now present-day Hawaii. Much like the former presidents of Princeton before him, green spoke out against slavery while owning slaves and called it a moral abomination. In the year 1818 Ashbel Green drafted a resolution on slavery for The American Presbyterian Church’s Assembly stating that the practice of slavery “is a gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human nature and utterly inconsistent with the law of God”. However even with Green drafting a resolution and making a scathing statement on slavery he also wrote that “without proper preparation for freedom, free blacks would only destroy themselves or others”.

The ninth Princeton president James Carnahan served as the longest sitting president from 1823 to 1854 and was the last Princeton president to own slaves. He studied theology under the previous president Samuel Stanhope and was designated as an ordained minister. Carnahan also owned slaves, a boy, and a girl and when he moved to Princeton in 1823 it was recorded only one free black person was in his household. The history of Princeton and its ties to slavery through its first nine presidents will forever be a part of the history of the university a stain on the legacy of the university.

You cannot change history but you can at the very least attempt to make up for the wrongs that were done, as of October 21, 2019, the New York Times reported Princeton University and Theological Seminary has pledged 27 million dollars for reparations over its ties to slavery, it will come in the form of scholarships and other initiatives to address its historical ties to slavery. Georgetown University was founded in 1789 by a Jesuit priest of Maryland and was among the biggest slave owners in the colony. Georgetown was created as an educational mission from the catholic church to spread and maintain Catholicism in the United States. The catholic order owned over two hundred slaves and used the money made from the slaves to fund and create the university.

In 2015 the President of the university Jack DeGioia decided it was time to uncover the past of Georgetown and tasks the students to finding and uncovering the university slave ties. What was uncovered was that in the 1810’s the tobacco plantations had all failed and Georgetown went into debt. The priest contemplated on whether to free their slaves, make them a part of the church or sell them off to pay their debts, they eventually decided to pay their debts and sell all of the slave community to two planters in Louisiana. They were paid $115,000 which amounts to roughly $3 million in today’s currency. After more digging up of the past, a Georgetown graduate named Richard Cellini uncovered that there was a direct descendant from one of the slaves sold, her name is Patricia Bayonne-Johnson.

Johnson and Cellini found that perhaps thousands of descendants were alive and set out to prove it. Cellini was able to track down and verify over five thousand direct descendants of the slaves sold from Georgetown. What was also found is that a lot of the slaves if not all intermarried and most of the descendants are related. The University of Georgetown has confronted its past and has decided to keep taking it a step further with reparations in the form of renaming two buildings after former slaves and opening up a new building designed to specifically study slavery and its legacy as well as granting legacy status to all of the descendants of the 272 slaves that were sold.

The University of Alabama was founded in 1831 and while today it is more known for its top five football program and multi-million dollar football coach Nick Saban, its past however tells a different story. Two university presidents and a few faculty members owned slaves as well as the university buying slaves and listing them as fees in tuition prices. Former University President Basil Manly and also the second president of the institution served from 1837 to 1855 and was a Baptist minister who preached secession and an advent supporter of slavery who used the Bible and its teachings to justify the institution of slavery. In 1861 Manly was appointed the official chaplain to the confederate government.

While Manly was a staunch defender of slavery he believed that the hardships of slavery should be tempered by the Christian heart and that slaveowners should recognize the humanity of their slaves and thus treat their slaves accordingly and fairly but also believed in corporal punishment. Basil Manly owned more than 40 slaves and oversaw a plantation along the Black Warrior River. The university bought and sold slaves and many of the slaves that were bought were bought for use of labor around the university, they maintained the grounds, cooked, clean, and tended to students and faculty. According to reports from the university, the total amount of slaves that were owned amounted to just four, however it was noted that a lot of records went missing or could not be located.

In an attempt to reconcile the wrongs by the university, there was a ceremony held and a heartfelt apology from the university for its many transgressions. The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson a founding father of the United States of America. A draftsman of the declaration of independence and later became President of the United States. The University of Virginia was built by slaves and maintained by slaves, pretty much every facet of work.

Slaves leveled the ground, planned the timber, quarrying stone, and fire bricks. Like most that came before him, Jefferson held conflicting and hypocritical views on slavery. He despised slavery but saying that it corrupted man, it corrupted the slave and slave owner however Jefferson himself owned more than 600 slaves and seldom granted emancipation to his slaves, and is also believed to have fathered six children by his slave Sally Hemmings. University records show that more than 100 slaves worked on campus serving over 600 students at any given time.

Thomas Jefferson’s co-founder of the university and right hand John Hartwell Cocke also shared some of the same beliefs that Jefferson did about slavery. Cocke, a devout Christian believed that slavery was deplorable and went against the laws of the land and taught his slaves to read and write and the Christian faith. He believed that one day that slavery would be abolished and wanted his slaves to be prepared and be able to succeed and live a Christian life, a pious life.

In 2013 the president of the University of Virginia established a commission to research and uncover the legacy of slavery at the university, to date it has published a 96-page report on its findings of the university’s ties to slavery. The UVA president Teresa Sullivan dedicated a new building on campus named Skipwith Hall after John Cocke’s slave and stonemason Peyton Skipwith. Among the archives at the University of Virginia were letters from Peyton Skipwith, his niece Lucy Skipwith and their master John Cocke.  The university has also attempted to make amends by honoring other slaves such as Isabella and William Gibbons who served faculty members by dedicating a new five-story dormitory to them in 2015.

The Gibbons were owned by different professors such as the physics professor Francis Smith and Moral philosophy professor William Mcguffey. Both Isabella and William became prominent figures in the black community of Charlottesville after being owned by faculty members. After her emancipation, Isabella Gibbons went on to receive her diploma from New England Freedman’s Aid Society’s Charlottesville Normal School and became the school’s first African American teacher. For universities and colleges to move on from its horrendous past of shackled legacy it is paramount that these institutions of higher learning look into the past, look into the ties of slavery that connects the schools to such atrocities, and begin to acknowledge and reconcile with what founding members and faculty have done, only then can these institutions of higher learning grow stronger and truly become a bastion of intellectual ideals for all. 

Featured

Texas House Bill 196 and the slow erosion of Constitutional rights

Imagine sitting in your home, you and your family are watching tv, eating dinner, or just doing your own individual thing, and all of a sudden, an intruder breaks into your home, breaks down your door, and wants to take what you have worked for.

Instinctively you retrieve your firearm to protect you and your family from the home invader and begin to fire shots, fatally wounding the perpetrator. Under the guides of the Texas Castle doctrine or section nine of the Texas Penal Code, the legal justification for the use of force is authorized when a person has no duty to retreat.

The Castle Doctrine gives people the right to use deadly force to protect their land or tangible, movable property. Terry Meza, registered democrat for the Texas House of Representatives in District 105, has introduced Texas House Bill 196, which would modify a part of the code and would require a person to exhaust every option to retreat before they could use deadly force to protect their property or habitation.

The bill would also remove robbery and aggravated robbery as crimes that could be stopped by lethal force by property owners. State Rep Meza has come out and stated that HB 196 does not repeal the Castle Doctrine and does not restrict homeowners from using firearms in self-defense as applicable to current Texas stand your ground laws, according to Meza’s Twitter handle. https://twitter.com/TerryforTexas/status/1329504824879173634.

Meza expressed that her bill is necessary because the current law “emboldens people to take justice into their own hands.” In a tweet, Meza wrote, “I don’t believe that stealing someone’s lawn ornament should be an offense punishable by death.” Governor Greg Abbott responded in a tweet of his own, saying there will be no reduction to the state’s “Castle Doctrine.” https://twitter.com/GregAbbott_TX/status1337465526533181441.

But with bills like HB 196, that is usually how it starts, the slow erosion of a constitutional right to defend and protect what you have earned and paid for. A vast majority of people that own a firearm are not looking to use it on their fellow man but will use it if the unfortunate situation ever arises.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a person not wanting to own a firearm, but that does not mean it is acceptable to restrict responsible, law-abiding citizens who own guns. People that own firearms for self-defense have them just in case of home invasions or anyone that will try to do bodily harm to them or anyone else.

When a crime against you occurs, calling the police is perfectly fine and is exactly what you should do however if a crime is currently being committed against you, what would you do? Call the police and while you’re waiting, let the perpetrator commit their crimes and get away?

Well some people do and that is their choice but others who do not want to lose their peace of mind would rather fight back against someone who is trying to harm them, and a firearm can help them do just that.

If you do decide to go out and purchase a firearm, take a firearms training class and get to know the ins and outs of guns and how to use them as well as the proper safety measures for operating a firearm and proper storage of a firearm. For first-time gun owners, it must be understood that guns are not toys.

For people that are solely against owning and using firearms, that is your choice as an American, but it is also other American’s choice to own and use firearms to defend their selves and their property.

Politicians, that want to restrict your freedoms such as the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom to keep and bear arms, you have to ask yourself a simple question as to why do politicians like State Rep Terry Meza want to restrict the right for you to protect yourself?

There is already sensible firearm legislation it just needs to be enforced. The American citizen does not need their rights stripped away and if we as Americans are not careful and attentive, these politicians will continue to try and strip our rights away. 

Featured

Black America, Covid-19, and the history with the medical community

During the spread of the new coronavirus, there is mistrust among some black Americans about future treatments and getting vaccinated. Historically, the government and the healthcare industry have not always treated black Americans like humans but more as test subjects.
In 1932 the United States Public Health Service began the study of syphilis, a chronic bacterial disease that is contracted mostly during sexual intercourse, however, for this experiment the men being studied were injected with the disease at the Tuskegee Institute in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks. It was dubbed the “Tuskegee Study of untreated syphilis in the Negro Male” according to the Center for Disease Control.


The study involved 600 black men, 399 of whom had syphilis and 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the men being properly informed; in fact, they were told they were being treated for “bad blood”. In truth, the men did not receive proper treatment for the disease and a medical study that was supposed to last only 6 months lasted for 40 years.
In July 1972 the assistant secretary for health and scientific affairs appointed an advisory panel to review the study. The panel found that the men were not given the full information of the study and in fact were misinformed of its real intentions. Without all the facts the men could not have provided informed consent.


During the study, the men were never given adequate treatment and when penicillin became widely available and was mostly used to treat the disease in 1947, they were not given the drug. The advisory panel also found that the researchers never gave a choice to the men to quit the study. In October 1972 the panel found that the study was “ethically unjustified” and ended the experiments.
By the end of the experiment, 28 black men had died from syphilis, 100 dead from complications, 40 of the men’s wives had been infected and 19 of their children were born with congenital syphilis. Throughout history in the United States, black Americans have been used as test subjects for hospitals and the physicians that reside in them.
J. Marion Sims, known as the “Father of modern gynecology” often used enslaved women to experiment on. Sims pioneered a surgical technique to repair vesicovaginal fistula which is a tear between the uterus and bladder that caused constant pain and urine leakage that was a common complication of childbirth in the 19th century.
In 1950 at John Hopkins Hospital, Henrietta Lacks, a black mother of five was given a biopsy that indicated she had a tumor growth on her cervix. While being treated, tissue samples were collected from Lacks without her knowledge or consent and sent to the head physician of tissue culture research George Grey.


Henrietta Lacks died in 1951 from cervical cancer and although Lacks’ cells contributed to the development of the drugs for many diseases like polio and Parkinson’s disease it was the unethical nature of how those cells were obtained which sticks in the minds of many black Americans.
Many in black America are skeptical of the medical community and their sincerity about truly helping treat black Americans during the covid-19 pandemic. For those suspicions to begin to subside and for trust to be gained, those in the medical community would have to acknowledge the unethical practices that have taken place over the hundreds of years of blacks and the use of black bodies as experimentations to further medical research.

Featured

Trump alleges fraud at the poles, Integrity of election in doubt, Biden launches transition site, protesters take to the streets

By The Honezt Texan staff, Joshua Carter

WASHINGTON – With votes still coming in from across the country, many voters are anxious for the results of the 2020 election.

Presidential candidate, Joe Biden has received 264 electoral votes while President Donald Trump has received 214 as the remaining states continue to count and report remaining ballots.

A path to victory for Trump means the president would need to win Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, states that would net him 268 electoral votes and would need to flip either Nevada or Arizona to win the presidency.

If Trump wins Nevada and Arizona, he would also need to win Pennsylvania and Georgia and would not need North Carolina.

Allegations of voter fraud from the Trump administration casts doubt on the integrity of the election process, alleging “This is a case when they are trying to steal the election, they are trying to rig an election,” said Trump speaking of Democrats.

Calls of voter fraud have escalated in key battleground areas as those states have continued to shut down for the night since election day.

Key battleground states have thousands of ballots remaining to be counted and GOP poll watchers have been barred from the counting room in Detroit according to https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-michigan-idUSKBN27K2AQ  and turned away in Philadelphia, however was later admitted.  

Already thinking of victory in hand, the Biden campaign launched a transition website on Wednesday, telling reporters at a press conference in Wilmington Delaware, that it’s “clear that we’re winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.” Said Biden.

Protest have erupted around the country from both Trump supporters alleging corruption in counting the ballots in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Arizona and by protesters of the president decrying the contestation of the results of the election.

Featured

A call to arms, from teaching to serving, a North Texas woman’s journey to serve

The united states military is the strongest military in modern day history and is powered by some of the strongest men and women in America. Women have longed played a vital part in the military since the revolutionary war.

The roles that women played were nurses, seamstresses and cooks for troops in camp and some women such as Deborah Sampson and Nancy Morgan Hart disguised themselves as men to fight in the Continental Army and obtain intelligence on British defenses. Women like Margaret Corbin were the first to receive her husbands military pension for her actions during the battle of Fort Washington according to https://www.army.mil/women/history/.

Women continued to serve in the military throughout history in armed conflicts such as the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. It wasn’t until 1970 that women and men could train together, and women finally allowed to rise to command roles in non-combat units.

In 2005 Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester was awarded the Silver Star due to her efforts in a firefight outside of Baghdad, making her the first female soldier in U.S. military history to earn the accolade for direct combat action. In 2013, the U.S. military lifted the ban on women in direct ground combat roles, overturning the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule that restricted women from ground combat.

Two years later in 2015 women were fully integrated into the armed forces and in 2016 all military positions were opened to women and for the first time in U.S. history, women were finally allowed to contribute to the U.S. military with no barriers in their way.

Men and women join the military for many different reasons, some join for the benefits that the military provides to them and their families, others enlist to travel and see the world, and then there’s Elyse Mims, a Specialist Forward Observer in the Army, Texas native, wrestling coach  and a proud child of God that wanted to serve her country.

“Back in 2019, God inspired me to join the military. Before my student’s high school graduation, God literally said to me “you are here for the seniors.”, once graduating that is when I left for basic training. I did not want to leave but I knew deep down that God had a plan for me.” Mims said.

But before Elyse wanted to join the Army, she studied to achieve her dream of becoming a wrestling coach and made a positive impact in the lives of so many of her students and became and inspiring figure.

Coach Mims
Mims Demonstrating techniques to her students

“yes, she is definitely one.” Daphne Silva, a former student of Mims said. “when I was at my low, she helped me to get up and see things different. She was my P.E. teacher and used to help me with some rugby lessons, she is an amazing person.” Silva said. “we have a tattoo together, that says “I am enough,” because it was something for us, that once before, it was what we needed to hear, and that now we see that and we always make sure to remember that we are enough.” Silva said.

Tattoo shared by Mims and Silva

After seeing her seniors graduate, Elyse joined the army and started a new chapter, leaving behind friends and family to serve. Those who have family or friends in the military, understand the sacrifices that are made every day by the ones who enlist, that to leave their children, their significant other, the life they made, behind to serve for a higher cause and purpose.

“It is difficult being away from family.” Mims said. “Civilians need to understand their loved ones will not be the same after serving in the military. We are a different breed and our brains have been or will be re-wired a certain way. Hell, I have changed myself, I am not the same person, nor will I ever be.” Mims said.

Servicemen and women understand the dangers of serving in the military, that there is a potential for war and that they may be called at a moments notice to serve and protect not only this country and the rights afforded to the people but to protect the their fellow soldier next to them.

“People need to understand that we need support, provide us with words of encouragement or even offer up a prayer for protection.” Mims said.

Featured

Philadelphia police fatally shoot black man wielding a knife

By: The Honezt Texan staff Joshua Carter

Philadelphia – Police shot and killed a 27-year-old African American man wielding a knife Monday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Officers responded to a call in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of a person with a weapon, later identified as Walter Wallace.

Police officers yelled at Wallace to drop the knife repeatedly while he kept advancing towards officers before shooting him multiple times fatally wounding him.

Video of the fatal altercation recorded by a bystander posted to social media sites, shows police officers confronting Wallace as he walks toward the officers with knife in hand and a witness yelling at Wallace to “put the knife down.”

In the video, Wallace can be seen holding a knife walking towards officers and following the officers around a parked vehicle before being shot several times and collapsing to the ground.

Names of the officers have not been disclosed and have been placed on administrative leave pending investigation.

After the shooting a large crowd gathered around the officers, many yelling and decrying police brutality.

Featured

Rapper, actor, movie producer Ice Cube takes heat for meeting with Trump administration

By The Honezt Texan staff Joshua Carter

Oct 17, 2020

Los Angeles – Rapper Ice Cube took to social media to talk directly to his supporters about what exactly he has been trying to accomplish to help African Americans become more economically sound.

Cube talked about researching history and pondering black Americans position in America, needing to clean up the system and the need to do better as a community.

The rapper turned movie star has touted his “CWBA” or “Contract with Black America”, this election cycle in an effort to get both the Democratic party and the Republican party to take the black vote more seriously.

In an TMZ interview Ice Cube discussed his Contract with Black America and his meetings with both parties and stated that during his meeting with the Democratic Presidential campaign, that while he had great ideas, he would have to wait until the end of the election for the discussions to continue.

When asked about his meeting with the Trump Administration, Cube stated that he had already made plans to meet with both parties and that he plans on negotiating with both campaigns.

The Trump Administration unveiled the “Platinum Plan” for Black America, which aims at creating 500,000 new black owned businesses, increase access to capital in black communities by almost $500 billion, give black churches the ability to compete for federal resources for their community and more.

Since his speaking with the people from social media, TMZ interview, and a representative from the Trump Campaign posting on Twitter that he helped with the Platinum plan, Ice Cube has taken some serious heat and has even been called a sellout.

Ice Cube stressed in his TMZ interview that Black America should not be beholden to one political party, but would love if all black Americans became independents.  

Featured

Dak goes down Dalton steps up as the Cowboys edge out Giants

By Joshua Carter

Oct 12, 2020

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys faced off against their division rivals and former coach, Jason Garrett and the New York Giants Sunday.

Prescott looked to continue putting up video game numbers and hope they would translate into a win for his Cowboys this week, while Garrett, now offensive coordinator for the Giants is trying to find a way to get his team into the endzone, having not been since week 2.

Prescott is the first player in NFL history to pass for 450 or more yards in three straight games and was on pace to set a new single season passing yardage record. Hall of Famer Peyton Manning set the single season passing yardage record in 2013, with 5,477 yards. Prescott was on pace for 6,760 yards.

With a little more than six minutes left in the third quarter, Prescott scrambled to try and get the Cowboys a first down but fell a yard short breaking his ankle in the process.

A crying Prescott, overcome with raw emotion felt by both teams after suffering a gruesome ankle injury had to be carted off the field Sunday, leaving the game having completed 14-of-21 passes and throwing for 166 yards with one interception.

In steps the hometown kid Andy Dalton from Katie, Tx, who led the Cowboys final drive with a 38 yard pass to WR Michael Gallup to set up kicker, Greg the Leg Zuerlein for a 34 yard game winning field goal to edge the Cowboys pass the Giants 37 to 34, putting the Cowboys atop in the division.

After the game Prescott was diagnosed with a compound fracture, dislocation of the right ankle, and underwent surgery.

The Cowboys will most likely place Prescott on injured reserve for the remainder of the season, leaving Andy Dalton to start the rest of the season.

Featured

Jonathan Price killed in Wolfe City officer-involved shooting while breaking up fight

By The Honezt Texan Staff: Joshua Carter

Oct. 5, 2020

Wolfe City, Texas – Jonathan Price was shot and killed on Saturday by a Wolfe City police officer as he was trying to break up a fight between a couple in a convenience store at an Exxon gas station.

Witnesses at the scene said Price tried to break up the fight between the man and woman in the store, but it spilled outside.

During the scuffle Police officer Shaun Lucas pulled into the parking lot of the gas station and may have seen Price fighting with the man instead of seeing Price trying to break up the fight instead.

Officer Lucas deployed his taser, and then the officer fired shots reportedly striking Price multiple times and died from his injuries.

The officer was taken into custody Monday night and is facing a murder charge the shooting death of Price.

Lucas is being held in the Hunt County Jail on $1million bond.

Shaun Lucas

According to jail records Lucas has since bonded out of jail and is unclear if he has an attorney.

On social media outlets, people have been posting about Price saying he was a mentor and worked for the city.

A vigil for Price was held Monday at 7 p.m.

Featured

The story of Jake Gardner and James Scurlock

Jake Gardner, a 38-year old bar owner from Omaha, Nebraska was found dead in Hillsboro, Oregon by police from a self-inflicted gunshot wound about 12:20 p.m. on Sunday.

Gardner indicted on manslaughter and three other felony charges by a grand jury in Omaha in the May 30 fatal shooting of 22-year-old James Scurlock had planned to turn himself in according to his lawyers Stu Dornan and Tom Monaghan. Gardner a former Marine got into an altercation with protesters after his father was violently shoved to the ground.

Surveillance video shows Gardner and two black lives matter protestors talking until the two protestors began to edge closer to Gardner who then brandishes his firearm and tells the protestors to not come closer.

One protester, a man in a black t-shirt and blue jeans with black hair pulled into a ponytail first pushed what is assumed to be an associate of Gardner while the other protester a man wearing a camouflage hoodie and tan pants also advanced towards Gardner.

As the men started attacking Gardner, he pulled out his firearm and fired two shots, both men ran off. Moments later James Scurlock can be seen on video surveillance jumping on the back of Gardner.

Gardner claimed that Scurlock was choking him despite him pleading with Scurlock to “get off me.” Towards the end of the altercation Gardner switched the gun to his left hand, firing it over his shoulder at Scurlock killing him.

 Douglas County Attorney Don Klein ruled that Gardner’s actions were justified and acted in self-defense however grand jurors, ruled out self-defense as justification. His attorneys Dornan and Monaghan said Gardner lost his bar, home and his livelihood after his landlord terminated his lease and was about to lose his freedom.

Gardner’s suicide had been blamed on a mixture of events caused by behavioral health issues caused by head trauma he experienced during his time in the military, the belief that people wanted to kill him and rushed to judgement by people on social media. His attorneys revealed that Gardner suffered two traumatic brain injuries while serving two tours in Iraq.

https://kearneyhub.com/video/news/footage-from-omaha-shooting-that-killed-james-scurlock/video_246e94f3-0a08-5d6e-b849-e1a34b7a9155.html

Featured

The Historic Relationship Between Blacks And Jews

My people were brought to America in chains. your people were driven here to escape the chains fashioned for them in Europe. Our unity is born of our common struggle for centuries, not only to rid ourselves of bondage, but to make oppression of any people by others an impossibility.

Martin Luther King Jr.

The relationship between African Americans and Jewish Americans can be described as intricate and symbiotic.

The relationship can be traced back to the Atlantic slave trade during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During slavery Jews that lived in the south generally held views that agreed with their white Gentile neighbors about slavery while most northern Jews opposed slavery according to https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/black-jewish-relations-in-the-united-states.

The two communities have a long history of both cooperation and tension but the relationship between the two and the similarities of hardships have bonded the groups as fellow minorities. Jews were terrorized in Egypt by slavery and again during the Holocaust that was brought on by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Similar comparisons have been drawn from the Jewish experience in Europe and Africa by black Americans in the United States at the time of slavery. Black Americans relate their plight in the united states with Jewish plight abroad and that of the mass exodus from bondage in Egypt.

Both Jews and blacks have known bondage, have lived in ghettos and the anti-black riots in the south has been compared as pogroms. Throughout history both Jews and Blacks have faced similar hardships, during the civil rights movement there were Rabbis who marched alongside African Americans.

One well known Rabbi who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma was Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel – a renowned philosopher, author and activist who helped organized a demonstration at the FBI headquarters in New York where 800 protesters demonstrated; only Rabbi Heschel was allowed to enter the building to present a petition according to https://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/remembering-dr-kingand-rabbi-heschel/.  

On June 21, 1964, two Jewish Civil rights workers Michael Henry Schwerner and Andrew Goodman along with their Black colleague, James Earl Chaney were killed by the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Neshoba County, Mississippi. All three men were investigating the burning down of Mt. Zion Church by local klansmen.

 On June 5, 2013 a columnist named Josh Parshall wrote an article in remembrance of Medgar Evers, the first NAACP field secretary for the state of Mississippi and important civil rights leader who was assassinated by white supremacist terrorists Byron De La Beckwith who would later be convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

The article can be found at https://www.myjewishlearning.com/southern-and-jewish/remembering-medgar-evers/. Throughout history the relationship between Jews and blacks have been complicated because while Jews and blacks both fight the same fight and are dedicated to helping one another there has also been animosity from the black community.

The tension stems from the fact that while the Jewish community have and are continuing to stand by the black community, that some blacks view Jews that are white as still beneficiaries of privilege because of their skin.  There may be some tension but the relationship between the two groups have also yielded a bond that helps to continue the fight against discrimination.

“At the time when I lived in Chicago, a prominent black doctor had a run-in with the IRS over tax payments however the problem was not his fault”. Harriet P. Gross an esteemed columnist for the Texas Jewish Post said.

“he had an accountant and never followed up on what he was doing and was sentenced to a jail term but it never happened because every other doctor in the area, regardless of race or religion, signed up to serve chunks of time for the doctor so that he could continue taking care of his patients,” Gross said. “This included many Jewish doctors.”

Today both are still fighting the same fight as Jewish Americans have made significant gains in the fight against discrimination but still experience antisemitism both in the United States and abroad in the Middle East with antisemitism hitting a new record high in 2019 according to https://www.adl.org/search?keys=records%20antisemitism.  African Americans have come a long way fighting against racial discrimination with the abolishing Jim Crow laws and the passing of the Civil Rights Act but there is still much more work to do.  Today the overall relationship between the two remains steadfast and positive.

 “I believe the relationship between the black community and the jewish community is overall positive,” Anita Zusman Eddy, Executive Director of the Jewish community relations council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas said.

 “the mission of the JCR includes as a priority, reaching out to and maintaining strong and positive relationships with the Black community. We have excellent professional and personal relationships with many leaders in the Black community, such as Pastor Bryan Carter of Concord Church, Pastor Richie Butler of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, Pastor Michael Waters of Abundant Life African Methodist Episcopal Church and Faith Forward, and many others,” Zusman Eddy said.

In the black community there is still much work to do and to accomplish. There is a need for better schools to provide a better education and a need for economic stability. The black community has long fought against discrimination and racism that has plagued African Americans for a very longtime.

“many Black and Jewish leaders in North Texas work together on combatting racism, antisemitism, and other forms of hatred, alleviating poverty in Dallas, promoting quality education and opportunities for success for all children, these are priority advocacy issues for the JCRC,” Zusman Eddy said. “the Jewish community and the Black community continue to work together to promote familiarity and education about the two communities’ histories, needs, concerns, aspirations, and goals.” Zusman Eddy said.

Below is a link to the Statement of Solidarity from the Jewish federation of greater Dallas and more than 100 organizations and individuals from the Jewish community.

https://jewishdallas.org/news-events/statement-of-solidarity

Featured

The Portland Protests/Riots

What began as peaceful protests after the death of George Floyd have morphed into riots for seven consecutive weeks. Protesters turned rioters descended on police and federal buildings in Portland, Oregon.

President Trump has sent federal officers to Portland to crackdown on the rioting and to protect federal buildings.

Since the fed’s deployment into the city, federal agents have arrested demonstrators placing them in unmarked vehicles prompting outrage from the mayor of Portland of the use of tactics that are being used against American citizens.

During his visit to Portland Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said DHS personnel were in the city because of “violent anarchists” had damaged federal buildings and injured federal personnel according to The Wall Street Journal.

With tensions increasing local and state leaders are calling for the president to withdraw federal personnel from the city’s streets citing rising tension. Last Friday Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against federal agencies alleging Oregonians civil rights were violated.

Let’s take a closer look

Friday, May 29:    After the death of George Floyd, peaceful protest broke out in Portland that was organized by the NAACP along with a vigil that was held at North Portland’s Peninsula Park which was organized by activist group called PNW Youth Liberation Front.

Later that night a group of demonstrators broke away and began to loot and vandalize businesses along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Rioters worked their way to and through downtown setting fire to dumpsters, trash cans and the Multnomah County Justice Center which houses hundreds of inmates. No inmates were injured.

Tuesday, June 9: U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez barred the use of tear gas by Portland Police for 14 days unless someone’s life or safety is at risk.

Wednesday, June 17: Portland City Council passed a new budget for the new year which eliminates $15million from the Portland Police Department, getting rid of 84 positions. This is a response to protesters calling for the defunding the police.

Friday, June 26: The Department of Homeland Security deployed federal agents to protect federal buildings and monuments in Portland and other cities.

Saturday, July 11: A federal officer stationed outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse fired on demonstrator Donavan LaBella 26, with a non-lethal crowd-control weapon, hitting the him in the head leaving him in serious condition.

The incident was caught on camera and has since sparked outrage and criticism of tactics used by federal officers and attracted attention from news outlets around the country. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=federal+officer+shoots+donavan+labella&&view=detail&mid=EDD1CC36AE3BE2680FA0EDD1CC36AE3BE2680FA0&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dfederal%2Bofficer%2Bshoots%2Bdonavan%2Blabella%26FORM%3DHDRSC4.

Friday, July17: For a little bit more than a week, federal agents dawned in camouflage have been arresting demonstrators and placing them in unmarked vehicles to an undisclosed location and then later releasing them.

The bulk of these arrest have happened away from federal property.  Video captured of these arrests have outraged local, state and federal leaders prompting Oregon’s U.S. senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenaur and Suzanne Bonamici to request a formal investigation of the use of federal troops in Portland. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=federal+officers+using+unmarked+vehicles&&view=detail&mid=A596C75C83D0D6136154A596C75C83D0D6136154&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dfederal%2Bofficers%2Busing%2Bunmarked%2Bvehicles%26FORM%3DHDRSC4.

A brief breakdown of federal authority:         Any federal agent can be used to defend federal property but differs among other federal agencies. Federal officers like police officers do need probable cause to make an arrest.

Police may briefly detain individuals to question them about a crime, however questioning is voluntary, and Americans have the right to invoke the fifth Amendment and decline to answer any questions from law enforcement.

As tensions continue rise in Portland, the protesting and demonstrations throughout the city does not look like it will end anytime soon.

With federal law enforcement officers making arrest in the manor at which they are doing so, questions persist if it is lawful? Can the federal government deploy officers into a city or state against local leaders’ orders?

Yes. Federal law enforcement has the authority to protect federal property and interest and even enforce federal law in states over the objection of local and state leaders. In general, the powers of public safety rests in state and local government. The 10th amendment clarifies and states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Featured

Suicide And The Help That Can Reduce It

Suicide is defined as death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. In the United States suicide is a major problem. In 2017 suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United states with over 47,000 people taking their life according to www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml.

There are many warning signs about a person who might be thinking of taking their own life. Depression is just one of many warning signs and is a key risk factor that indicates that a person may be having suicidal thoughts.

Suicide is a tragedy and we often wonder why someone would take their own life or what are the reasons, what are the factors that led to the decision to commit suicide? Suicide often stems from a sense of hopelessness and the inability to see the answers to problems to circumstance that can alter a person’s life dramatically.

If a person does not see a way out of their circumstances that negatively impact their lives, they may see taking their own life as the only solution. A person wanting to take their own life can happen at all facets of life.

Most people know someone who has either attempted to commit suicide or has already done so and has suffered from the loss of that person. Often times we know who is displaying warning signs and we tend to think to ourselves that because that person we know is always smiling or seems to be always in a good mood we never stop to really think and ask ourselves if that person is truly doing well.

One of the greatest actors and comedians of all time, Robin Williams committed suicide. By all accounts from the outside looking in, Williams looked as happy as can be, a man who had brought joy, laughter and smiles to millions of people with timely classics. On August 2014, Williams, 63 died by asphyxiation.

Over the course of his career Williams battled addiction as well as heath problems. In May 2014, Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, news that stunned the comedian. Subsequently after the diagnosis, it added to Williams depression and ultimately led to Williams taking his own life.

More recently Benjamin Keough son of Lisa Marie Presley and grandson of the late rock and roll icon Elvis Presley, died Sunday by self-inflicted gunshot wound, TMZ reported. Keough a striking resemblance of his grandfather followed in Presley’s footsteps becoming a musician and signing a $5million record deal in 2009, he was 27 years old.

Sadly, Robin Williams and Benjamin Keough are just two of many who decided to take their own life. Many of us know someone that is battling through depression and having suicidal thoughts and we often try to find ways to help that person.

There are treatments and therapies that help reduce suicidal thoughts and actions according to www.nimh.nih.gov. There are brief interventions such as safety planning or a personalized safety plan where people can work with caregivers to develop a plan to limit access to lethal means, provide coping strategies, people and resources that can help.

Sometimes just calling and following up with a person who may be suffering from suicidal thoughts can make all the difference, when at-risk patients receive further screening, a safety plan intervention, and a series of supportive phone calls, their risk of suicide goes down according to www.nimh.nih.gov.

Help is out there for those that need it. Www.nimh.nih.gov lists Psychotherapies like Cognitive Behavioral therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy have been shown to reduce suicidal behavior as well.

There are many warning signs and risk factors when it comes to suicide. Traumatic experiences during childhood, losing friends or loved ones, hardships mounting and feels like the weight of the world is constantly on your shoulders, soldiers who come home from war, police officers who see violent crime scenes and other traumatic events and many more experiences such as these can have an adverse effect on someone’s life.

In September 2019 the Department of Defense released a report on suicide among troops and military family members. The report shows that in 2018, 541 service members across the military’s active and reserve components died by suicide, according to the Department of Defense.

 At the university level Suicide is the second most common cause of death among college students. Many students feel the added stress of life and having to not only balance schoolwork and activities but also added responsibilities that they may not have had to deal with before college.

Some responsibilities include finding employment for the first time and how to manage a bank account, how to file their taxes, apply for insurance and so forth. With all the extra responsibilities for someone who may have never had those responsibilities, it can be quite a shock to the system.

 FCC approves of new 3-digit number 988 for suicide prevention services. All phone service providers have to direct all calls to the lifeline by July 16, 2022 according to the FCC and reported by www.cbsnews.com/news/988-to-become-the-new-911-for-national-suicide-prevention-lifeline/.

If you, a friend or a loved one are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Services are free and available 24 hours a day. The Veterans Crisis Line, 1-8000273-8255 and press 1 to talk to someone or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder.

Featured

The End Of An Era

The Washington redskins have come under fire once more to change the name of the football organization which is consider a slur against Native Americans.

Pressure mounted on July 2, as FedEx, one of the organizations top sponsors and owner of the naming rights of the stadium sent a letter to the team’s owner Dan Snyder asking him to change the teams name.

on July 3 the organization said that it will be making a “thorough review” of the name. Snyder previously has stated that he would never change the controversial name.

FedEx was not the only sponsor to ask the team to change its name, other sponsors, such as PepsiCo, Nike, and Bank of America have also joined the shipping giant in asking for a name change.

In a July 4 interview Washington head coach Ron Rivera said he and Snyder had come up with two names. The organization announced that the team will retire the name come Monday morning.

There has been speculation from the public on a possible name that it seems many would like to see the team be called the Washington Warriors. History is in the making, for good or for worse a name and imagery that has been in the NFL for 87 years is now coming to an end.

Featured

Black Lives Matter Supporter shoots Indiana Mother for saying “All Lives Matter”

Jessica Doty Whitaker was shot in the head on July 5. The young mother, 24, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Whitaker and her Fiancée, Jose Ramirez along with two other individuals were walking around 3 a.m. when someone in their group used a slang version of the n-word according to the Dailymail.co.uk.

A group of four men and one woman heard the word being used and objected and a confrontation broke out.

The group that was offended reportedly shouted “black lives matter,” at the opposing group to which Whitaker or another person in the group shouted, “all lives matter.”

Both sides argued and firearms were pulled, neither side began shooting at each other and had managed to work things out, so the group with Whitaker had thought.

Minutes later someone opened fire from a nearby bridge striking Whitaker in the head, her fiancée Ramirez returned fire but did not hit anyone and the suspect fled the scene.

Whitaker worked as a home health nurse and leaves behind a three-year-old son named Greyson. A GoFundMe has been set up to raise money for the family.

Featured

Mental Health: The Last Frontier

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves

Henry David Thoreau

While most people are trying to navigate life through the threat of the novel coronavirus there are those whom are suffering from serious mental health problems.

The ongoing pandemic is unlike anything people have seen in the modern age and in this era mental health has become a major issue in everyday life.

When a person is suspected of contracting covid-19 it is strongly recommended, they go into quarantine or Self-Isolation for two weeks.  Going into isolation poses risk to not only a person physical health but mental health as well. It can become harmful and sometimes fatal.

While states have begun to lift their stay-at-home-orders, during lockdown many people were isolated from friends and family. Self-isolation can have unintended implications on mental and cognitive health.

Social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality according to the American Psychological association.

During the pandemic, domestic violence calls spiked, and severe child abuse thought to be on the rise according to the Texas Tribune. Advocates worry that survivors are struggling to seek help because they are stuck in isolation with their abusers during the states stay-at-home orders.

“Interestingly about two weeks after the imposed lockdown, I saw a significant increase in couples arguing and threatening divorce. Thankfully not my personal clients, there was a significant increase in child and domestic abuse,” Dawn Floran, therapist and owner of Lake Ray Hubbard Counseling said.

“My client parents were admitting to increased frustration and yelling at their own children. Consequently, the parents increased irritability circled around to increase guilt and shame which lead to increased anger, depression, and anxiety,” Floran said.

people who rely on therapy have found it more difficult to attend appointments because of the states shelter-in-place orders.

“Almost immediately I had a significant decrease in clientele. Many clients cited reasons such as “due to this craziness”, “chaos”, Floran said.

 “I felt this was an opportunity to help clients to find the silver lining. It was important that the client come up with those things and in some cases, clients learned how to be a kid again with their own children”, Floran said.

“these were opportunities to learn new hobbies, meditation, how to use and utilize technology e.g. video. As a therapist, the typical coping skills used for self-care were taken away. Treatment plans may include going to the gym, going to the movies, park, ocean, hangout with friends, etc., were literally taken away overnight”, Floran said.

The state of mental health in the united states among adults has had a slight decrease, down from 18.19% to 18.07% in over 44 million adults according to MentalHeathAmerica.net.

while the pandemic continues to have an effect on the physical body it can also take a toll on a person’s mental state and has left some wondering would there be any change in how mental health is treated and what would be the end result of Americans mental health after the pandemic ends.

“I do not see a significant change. During the pandemic my colleagues were disgruntled that many insurance providers would not over telehealth for mental health”, Floran said.

“This is ridiculous considering medical is covered. I very much disagree with how telemedicine can diagnose via video but talking to someone who may be suicidal is not covered. The truth is behavioral health and psychiatric hospitals use telemedicine for eyes on a patient after the therapist has spent at minimum one hour during an intake,” Floran said.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

Aristotle Onassis
Featured

A Tale of two cases with the same outcome

George Floyd

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, lived in St. Lewis Park, Minnesota, a suburb in Minneapolis.

 He worked at Conga Latin Bistro as security for Jovanni Thunstrom, the owner of the restaurant. On the day of his death Floyd was being arrested on suspicion of forgery.

Minneapolis police reported Floyd had resisted arrest, but video evidence has contradicted police reports.

The arresting officer Derek Chauvin used a technique known as a neck restraint to restrain Floyd but instead killing him.

Since his death protest have broken out all over the United States decrying police brutality and racism against African Americans. Protest first started in Minneapolis where Floyd was killed and quickly turned into rioting and looting.

Reports show that the rioters looted a target, burned down an Arby’s restaurant, Wendy’s restaurant and burned down Minneapolis Police’s 3rd precinct building.

There were four officers on the scene, but officer Derek Chauvin has now been the only officer to be arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. He was taken into custody Friday.

Kelly Thomas

The case of Kelly Thomas can be described as having many similarities and an unfortunate similar outcome with the George Floyd case.

 Kelly Thomas 37 a mentally ill homeless man was hospitalized on July 5 after an altercation with six Fullerton police officers.

In he nearly 35-minute video a security camera captured Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos approach Thomas at the Fullerton bus depot.

During the video you can hear mostly profane language and the screams of Thomas. Five minutes into the video a shirtless Thomas is seen talking with Ramos and does not appear to be acting in a threatening manner.

Much like Floyd’s case Thomas is seen cooperating and talking calmly with the officers while he sits on the sidewalk.

Minutes later into the video one of the officers talking to Thomas can be heard using profane language telling Thomas to put his feet out Infront of him while Thomas is sitting down.

The officer can be seen progressing toward Thomas in an intimidating manner and can be heard threatening to beat Thomas with his fist. As the video continues more officers arrive on the scene and begin beating and using their tasers on Thomas while he can be heard screaming for help and saying, “I can’t breathe”. 

Thomas was hospitalized on July 5 and spent five days on life support before he died.  Former Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

A second Fullerton officer, Jay Cicinelli, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force. Both former officers were found not guilty on all charges.

Both Cases have similarities

Kelly Thomas’s death occurred in 2014 and six years later George Floyd has suffered the same outcome as Thomas.

Both Floyd and Thomas were stopped and detained officers seemingly using aggressive police tactics.

In both cases officers accuse Floyd and Thomas of resisting arrest in which security camera footage has refuted officers’ reports.

Both Thomas and Floyd can be heard pleading with officers and screaming out “I can’t breathe,” and ultimately both Thomas and Floyd died at the hands of police officers.

A disturbing statistic

In 2001 the department of justice generated a report on police misconduct that were given voluntarily by only 5% of 17,000 police departments in the United States.

An estimated $1.8 million dollars in annual cost of police misconduct is paid with taxpayer money according to copcrisis.com.

In the united states police officers who are indicted for murder are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings but the indictment percentage for civilians involved in killings is 90% according to Vittana.org.  

Battle Lines

In the ever-growing publicized battle between civilians and violent police encounters it may be that the united states are like a powder keg ready to erupt.

When American citizens commit crimes, the police come and arrest the citizen and stands trial by a jury of his or her peers, however in cases where police officers commit crimes it is rare that the officers are arrested and even convicted for their crimes.

In most cases the officers that have committed the crimes are terminated but still allowed to work in law enforcement in another city or state.

It is the equivalent of a priest who molest a child in the church and instead of getting arrested and tried is sent elsewhere to another church in a different state. Eventually American citizens will notice the double standard and will want corrupt police officers and corrupt officials to be held accountable much like the American citizen.

Featured

NFL may make new changes to the Rooney Rule

The NFL is proposing multiple changes to the Rooney rule in the coming week that would encourage teams to hire more minority coaches and front office personnel.

The Rooney rule, created in 2003 is named after Dan Rooney, former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is an NFL policy that was designed for league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and front office jobs in the NFL to ensure equal opportunity when applying.

 The proposed modifications to the rule comes as the NFL has been heavily criticized for lack of diversity in front office and head coaching jobs.

If passed the new changes to the Rooney Rule would include a move up six spots in the third round of the NFL draft if a team hires a minority head coach and before the hired coach’s second season with the team.

A team who hires a minority general manager would also jump up 10 spots in the draft and reports suggest that if a team hires a minority candidate as its quarterback coach the team would receive a compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round if the team keeps the coach past one season.

Currently there are only three minority head coaches in the NFL, Anthony Lynn, head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, Brian Flores, head coach for the Miami Dolphins and Mike Tomlin, head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 Back in January the Dallas Cowboys interviewed former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis for head coach position but elected to hire former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

McCarthy spent 13 years coaching the Packers and has a win/loss record of 125-77. McCarthy coached the Packers to a Super Bowl win over his hometown team the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.

Former NFL head coach Marvin Lewis, now Co-Defensive Coordinator for Arizona State University, coached the Cincinnati Bengals for 16 years and led the Bengals to seven playoff berths while in Cincinnati and was named AP Coach of the Year in 2009 after the Bengals improved from a 4-11-1 record in 2008 to a 10-6 record in 2009 and has a win/loss record of 131-122 and three ties.

Featured

Signing Andy Dalton heats up QB battle in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys have quite a QB battle brewing, Prescott, 26 is coming off one of his best statistical season performances and is poised to do even better next season. Prescott has the fourth best odds to win the coveted Most Valuable Player award behind Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson according to FoxBet.com,.

This season Prescott played in all 16 games and threw for nearly 5,000 yards, 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and completed 388 passes out of 596 passing attempts with a 65% completion rate. In his career Prescott has never missed a game in the NFL playing all 64 games in his career.

The Cowboys signed former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in early May to backup Prescott. Dalton is a hometown kid from Katy, Texas who played quarterback at Texas Christian University and was drafted by the Bengals in 2011. 

In his first year with the Bengals Dalton threw for more than 3,300 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

In 2019, Dalton, 32 is coming off a lackluster season and performance,he played 13 games and struggled with injury and passed for nearly 3500 yards, 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In his career he has played in more professional games (133) than any other QBs drafted around him and has thrown for 31,594 yards, 204 touchdowns and 118 interceptions.   

During his nine-year reign in Cincinnati, Dalton led the Bengals to four consecutive playoff berths and has three Pro Bowl appearances. With Prescott continuing to hold out Dalton may be gearing up to become the starter in week one of the regular season.

Dalton was 70-61-2 as a starter for the Bengals. With Dalton added to the roster it gives the Cowboys not only peace of mind at the backup quarterback position, but also options at the position and leverage in the contract negotiations with Dak Prescott.

Normally in the month of May the Cowboys are having offseason workouts to prepare for training camp for the start of a new football season but this offseason is a bit different, not just because there is a pandemic that has upended the sports world but also because the star quarterback, Dak Prescott for the Dallas Cowboys is in an intense contract negotiation, refusing and holding out attending any offseason virtual workouts and team meetings.

The Cowboys ended the 2019 season with an 8-8 record, missing the playoffs, but Prescott is looking to cash in big on his performance.

Prescott has been in a rookie contract since he was drafted in 2016 by the Cowboys and is looking to negotiate for a bigger contract by the start of the 2020 season.

He finished number one statistically overall according to Football Outsiders.com beating out Superbowl champion Patrick Mahomes.

He is 40-24 in his career as a starter for the Cowboys and is also a two-time Pro Bowler and won the 2016 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

In his first year in the NFL as a starter for the Cowboys, he completed 311 passes out 459 passing attempts with a completion percentage of 67.76, he threw for over 3600 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions.

The Cowboys were busy in the offseason drafting college standouts CeeDee Lamb, a star wide receiver from the University of Oklahoma to bolster the offense and Trevon Diggs a cornerback from the University of Alabama to help the defense.

Other draft picks include Neville Gallimore out of the University of Oklahoma, Reggie Robinson from the University of Tulsa, Tyler Biadasz from the University of Wisconsin, Bradlee Anae out of the University of Utah and Ben DiNucci from James Madison University.

The mind is heavy

The mind and spirit is heavy. People think its just words, “not everyone will be saved” but those words reign true. I’ve experienced this first hand and I’ve come to realize you have to just walk away from people and understand and realize everyone can’t be saved and once you recognize that and accept it life changes you. I admit I’ve strayed away from God and tried to walk this walk and fight this fight alone but you can’t do it alone, you are constantly under attack because you’re fighting an enemy that doesn’t sleep, doesn’t eat, doesn’t waste time, that knows how to use peoples fear and manipulate the minds of man. It seems like something out of a comic book but its not and once you can see what God wants you to see you can’t un see it. The Bible expands on the future and if you’re a Christian you understand what the future holds for you. If you are a moralistic person, a righteous person, a good person, then you are looked at as a bad person and the same is said for the inverse. The mind and spirit is heavy.

Congress and the covid relief bill

Here’s a show for you… Congress and it’s inability to pass sensible covid relief for the American people. episode of The Honezt Texan https://open.spotify.com/episode/5TUSn703HCDN0edcfBYFy6?si=5UZOD_oaTgexeJZZ-vz5fA

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started