Conservative Students Protest Controversial Art at Texas Tech

(Young Conservatives of Texas)

The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter at Texas Tech University, a student group affiliated with CampusReform.org, will protest the controversial “Tornado of Ideas” sculpture on campus from 10am to 2pm today.

YCT will gather signatures on paper and online for a petition to remove the sculpture and send a letter of protest to the president of the university, the Board of Regents, and other alumni and supporters of the university.

Texas Tech University spent $142,000 to purchase the sculpture.  Among the scenes on the piece are  a version of the Texas Tech mascot, the Masked Rider, holding a javelin, attempting to sodomize a police officer and two lesbian women sitting arm-in-arm looking out at passersby. On top of a book labeled “The Way Things Ought to Be” is a woman staring at a man clinging to the edge of the sculpture about to fall off.

The work also features a number of books, including Soul on Ice, written by a former Black Panther leader who was imprisoned for serial rape, which he called “revolutionary.” More questionable titles, such as Quotations from Chairman Mao, who killed over 65 million people in China, and Das Kapital by Karl Marx are included as well. Also included are Michael Moore’s Dude Where’s My Country and The Terrorist Next Door:  The Military Movement and the Radical Right.

“We would like to see this sculpture removed immediately, and replaced with some sort of memorial to Colonel Rick Husband,” said Jeff Morris, Tech YCT Chairman.  Husband was a Texas Tech Alumni who was killed in the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.  “This would represent the University much better than this piece of far-left propaganda,” Morris added.

“There is no reason why our administration should purchase art that in no way represents the University or its ideals.  That this expensive purchase was made without proper input from the people who are paying for it is an outrage,” said YCT Texas Tech Vice-Chairman Ryan Scott.

DFW University of Houston Alumni to host “THE SHOW” at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters in DALLAS

Houston, TX: The University of Houston Cougars Athletic Alliance (UHCAA) is hosting a Dallas/Ft. Worth UH Alumni Reception on Thursday, July 16, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Inc. (TBAAL Room T203) to honor the UHCAA 3rd Annual Golf Challenge Co-Chairs: Ten-time Olympian, Carl Lewis and President ExxonMobil Foundation, Gerald W. McElvy and to thank UH Board Regent/Alum Calvin Stephens.

The Reception is an opportunity to gather and celebrate all DFW University of Houston Alumni, and to learn more about the UHCAA’s “Quest for Philanthropy” towards scholarships. Come prepared to sign up your foursome!

All DFW University of Houston Alumni are invited to the Roadshow to not only re-connect with old and new Cougars; but, to build new alliances, participate in the efforts of pursuing Tier 1 status for the University which enhances the value of your degree, and learn more about the goals of UHCAA.

Open to the general public: no charge to all UH-affiliated guests and their guests ($10 charge for non-UH affiliated guests- offset by contribution to Golf Challenge). Cash bar. Attire is business or summer chic. TBAAL is located at 650 Griffin (Corner of Canton and Akard Streets), Dallas, Texas 75202 (Dallas Convention Center Theatre Complex). It is strongly requested that attendees RSVP.

For more July 16th Roadshow Reception event information or to RSVP by July 13 please email: knewimageconsult@netscape.net.

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The mission of UHCAA is to unify and build a coalition of supporters whose goal is to increase resources for the university and the community. UHCAA is on a quest to promote philanthropy from the African American community. We seek to strengthen the relationship between alumni, students, and the university while reuniting former athletes and friends. The organization was established five years ago and through the diligence and commitment of some of its legendary founders, including current UHCAA President: Audray McMillian (former NFL pro), the organization has experienced unprecedented success for a newly formed alumni group. The first of its many accomplishments included a historic football game between UH and Grambling, featuring the world famous Grambling band at the half-time show. UHCAA partnered to establish the Initiative Scholarship Fund (with charter alumni such as Clyde Drexler, former NBA pro, among others) and generates the majority of its contribution through the annual Golf Challenge. Notable DFW distinguished UH alumni include: Senator Royce West, Robert Newhouse (former Dallas Cowboy), Gerald McElvy (President, ExxonMobil Foundation), and Gina Miller (CBS Sports).

Eric Johnson, Texas House District 100 Candidate raises over $60,000 in June

Eric Johnson may be new to politics, but he seems to already have one of the key elements down: fundraising. Johnson reports that his campaign raised over $60,000 in monetary contributions between June 5 and and June 30, 2009.

Eric Johnson is the guy on the right

“I am humbled by the level of support we received from our friends and family,” says Johnson who co-founded the Si Se Puede Political Action Committee with his wife Nakita. “I think a lot of people genuinely appreciate the fact that I have been working for years on issues that are important to the residents of House District 100,” he says.

In addition to the $60,000 in monetary contributions, Johnson’s campaign received nearly $5,000 of in-kind contributions in June. And he’s using a familiar strategy from the 2008 campaign, a large number of people contributing small amounts. Over 300 individuals have supported Johnson thus far, and 70% of those individuals contributed less than $100.

Eric Johnson is running against Democratic incumbent Terri Hodge for the Texas District 100 House seat.

Texas A&M President Elsa Murano resigns

Yesterday we learned that the president of my alma mater (Class of ’96) Elsa Murano resigned.  She had been in the lead role in Aggieland since January 2008.

Dr. Murano had received a poor review from A&M System Chancellor Mike McKinney for her work as leader of the university. Here is the Bryan-College Station Eagle’s recap of the appraisal.

On a scale of 1 to 5 — 1 being poor and 5 excellent — McKinney gives Murano a 1 for “team player,” 2 for “honesty/integrity” and a 3 for various personal attributes such as “acceptance of new ideas,” work ethic, judgment, loyalty and creativity. The review is broken up into five parts: leadership, management, constituent/customer relations, communication skills and personal attributes. Under the last two, she received no better than a 3, and nowhere in the review did she receive “excellent” marks.

The majority of the attributes — 23 — were ranked as average, and 13 were below average

This never seemed like a good match.  Not because Dr. Murano was the first Hispanic president (Dr. Murano was born in Havana) or because she was the first woman to lead the university.  And Murano had a long history with the school, first arriving on campus in 1995 which is always good in College Station.

But Murano was never embraced in a meaningful way by the university as a whole.  I’m not sure who the blame lies with, but obviously McKinney thought it lied with Murano.

I began following this one as soon as the news broke of McKinney’s review  a couple of weeks agoo.  I’m president-elect of the Texas A&M Black Former Students (2011-2013) and was deeply concerned about the way that Murano had been treated after The Eagle requested a copy of the review..

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Council of Principal Investigators and Texas A&M Hispanic Network all stood behind the embattled president.  But in the end, she decided to step back into a faculty position rather than face a public discourse of her job performance.

DEMOCRAT ERIC “EJ” JOHNSON TO RUN FOR TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 100

AUSTIN, TX – 33 year old attorney and community volunteer Eric “EJ” Johnson hand delivered papers this morning to the Texas Ethics Commission to begin raising funds to run for the Texas House of Representatives from District 100 in Dallas.

I’ve gotten to know Eric Johnson through his work on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and from working with him on issues related to our youth.  Not only is he a strong leader with high moral standards, he is also dedicated to improving the lives of the people in our community.  I truly believe that Eric Johnson is the right person at the right time for this job ,” said Dr. Juanita Wallace, president of the Dallas chapter of the NAACP.  Dr. Wallace, along with several other supporters, accompanied Mr. Johnson to Austin and will serve as Mr. Johnson’s campaign treasurer.

Eric Johnson

Mr. Johnson promises to provide the residents of District 100 with strong representation in Austin.  In particular, Mr. Johnson is committed to working tirelessly to ensure that every child in District 100 receives a quality education and has the opportunity to pursue a college degree.  Currently, nearly 30% of District 100 residents between the ages of sixteen and nineteen are high school dropouts, and just 10% of District 100 residents over the age of 25 hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to a state average of 23%.[1]  An active volunteer with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), Mr. Johnson is prepared to go to Austin and help solve the problems that plague our urban public schools.  “ Improving our public schools and producing more college graduates is crucial to jumpstarting economic development both in District 100, whose residents’ per capita income lags behind the state average by almost $7,000 per year, and throughout the State of Texas,” according to Mr. Johnson.  “I will also fight for every resident of District 100 to have access to quality health care and will work to address the drug and crime issues that have dogged District 100 for years and threaten the safety and quality of life of its residents ,” Mr. Johnson stated.

Mr. Johnson, a Dallas native who was raised in West Dallas and in nearby Oak Cliff, attended the first grade at C.F. Carr Elementary in District 100.  In the second grade, he was selected to participate in the Independent Schools Project, a partnership between the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas and several of the top private schools in Dallas.  For the next eleven years, Mr. Johnson rode a van from the West Dallas Boys and Girls Club to attend Greenhill School, from which he graduated in 1994.  Mr. Johnson went on to attend Harvard University, where he majored in History and graduated cum laude.  He then earned both a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

My passion for education comes from my own experience with what a quality education can do to change a person’s life.  I will work to make sure that every child in District 100 has the same opportunities I had and more,” said Mr. Johnson.  He is currently working to implement West Dallas C.A.M.P. (Community Ambassador Mentoring Program), a partnership between C.F. Carr Elementary School, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and People Empowerment Project that will provide fourth grade students with one-on-one and group mentoring for success both in and out of the classroom.  Mr. Johnson also serves as a mentor at Lincoln High School in South Dallas and is a frequent speaker at career days, academic pep rallies, and assemblies at DISD schools throughout District 100.

Mr. Johnson is married to Nakita Johnson, with whom he co-founded the Sí Se Puede Political Action Committee in March of 2008 to support progressive candidates and causes throughout Texas.  He is a lifelong Democrat who has served as a Democratic precinct chair and has also been a financial supporter of the Dallas County Democratic Party, Dallas County Young Democrats, Texas Democratic Party, Democratic National Committee, and various Democratic candidates for several years.  Mr. Johnson also served as an at-large delegate for Barack Obama to the 2008 Texas Democratic State Convention in Austin, Texas in addition to being an Obama Precinct Captain during the 2008 Democratic primary election contest.

District 100, which comprises parts of Oak Lawn, West Dallas, South Dallas, and Southeast Dallas, is currently represented by State Representative Terri Hodge (D-Dallas).

Paris, Texas student makes appeal for reconciliation of town’s racial issues

One of the bright spots of my trips back and forth to Paris, Texas has been meeting Jesse Wallace. Jesse is a Paris High School student who is active in extracurricular activities and in his church -Solid Rock Baptist.

Sometimes when you see people you just know. The first time I saw Jesse, he was giving a speech during Black History Month. His words were well thought, his delivery was spot on, and he exuded a maturity that was far beyond his years.

After the service, I made a note of seeking out Jesse and his parents to let each of them know how great of a job I thought he did. As fate would have it, I followed Jesse giving his speech again the next day when I delivered the keynote address for the Paris High School Black History Program.

Jesse and I have kept touch via email since I left Paris last. We’ve had a dialogue on writing -style and content- and I’ve encouraged him to work on it like a craft. This morning my mom had sent me an email that contained a column from Mr. Wallace that ran in the Paris News. I guess we are now co-columnists.

I wish I could take credit for Jesse’s immense talents, but his parents and his teachers had him far along the way before I had ever made a suggestion. The same teachers who some claim cannot teach black male students.

So I’d like to share portions of Jesse’s column ” Hope and optimism in Paris,” which is published on the Paris News website. Great Job Mr. Wallace.

Paris has long been called the best small town in Texas, but it seems as though all the current and temporary issues have deterred Paris from being what it ought to be.

As a baby growing up in Paris, I was introduced to a warm city that was a strong light beaming all across the state of Texas. As I grew into a young boy, I would always wake up early in the morning and go outside to play with the other kids on my block.

There were days when neighbors would get together and converse with one another over a good ole fashioned afternoon of BBQ and fun. Now, granted, you all may have your own individual memories of this great city, but these were the times that made Paris beautiful to me.

Sadly to say, over the years, violence, drugs, racial tension and our own self-resistance has kept this city from growing and further prospering. If there was ever a time to unify and come together, that time would be now.

There are times when we disagree and there will be times when we argue; but, there must also be a time to settle our differences. That time is now.

I’ve always been open to debate public issues concerning the improvement of our city, but at the end of the day we still are a family. Although I admire Mr. Melton (Charles Melton, Paris columnist) for his perseverance in letting the local community know about his views and opinions on various topics, I do not believe fear mongering the public does our country or community any good. Negativism is a turn off, not a turn on.

We are created in God’s image, which means that there is no quitting or giving up on life. God has blessed this city and this country so greatly. I will always believe that He will make a way. We must continue to trust in Him. If He can re-build our city in spite of the fires in 1916, which wiped out most of Paris, He can re-build us now.

I am confident if we let go and let God, He will restore Paris back to its rightful place and ultimately He will bless us in our own personal lives.

Perry declares Texas a disaster area, UIL cancels all events

Texas Governor Rick Perry has issued a disaster proclamation for the entire state of Texas in relation to the spread of swine flu.  This will allow Texas to access additional resources, including 25 percent (850,000 courses) of the Texas allotment of antiviral medication from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Strategic National Stockpile.

The governor has echoed the suggestion of other health officials in how to best deal with the H1N1 virus (swine flu):

•Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
•Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.
•Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

For additional information on the swine flu, please visit:
www.dshs.state.tx.us/swineflu
www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

To reach the Texas Department of State Health Services press office, contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524 or 512-532-4950.

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UIL Schedules Altered Due to Swine Flu

Media Contact: Kim Rogers
Phone: 512) 471-5883
Fax: (512) 471-6589
Email: uilpr@mail.uil.utexas.edu
Date: 04/29/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, TX— On the recommendation of Dr. David Lakey, Commissioner of the Texas
Department of State Health Services, and in consultation with Texas Education Agency
Commissioner Robert Scott, the University Interscholastic League is altering its schedule of
events due to the outbreak of the swine flu in Texas. Effective immediately, all UIL
interscholastic competition is suspended until May 11.  

“The health and safety of our student activity participants is of the utmost importance,” said
UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt.  “Taking every possible precaution to
prevent the further spreading of this disease is an important contribution to the welfare of
our great state, and altering the schedule of our events is a way to keep our participants
safe.”

As this is a fluid situation, the UIL tentatively releases the following schedule for UIL
regional and state events affected by this situation.

Academic State Meet
The UIL Academic State Meet, originally scheduled for May 7-9, will be rescheduled at a
later date.  The Conference 4A and 5A One-Act Play competition will continue as
previously scheduled on May 15-16. All other conferences competing in One-Act Play will
be rescheduled. A schedule of the Academic State Meet, including One-Act Play, will be
posted on the UIL web site once finalized.

Texas State Wind Ensemble Festival
The Texas State Wind Ensemble Festival, originally scheduled for May 9, has been
cancelled.  The UIL staff will consult with the 16 participating schools to determine
whether or not to reschedule the event at a later date. 

Regional Track Meets
All UIL regional track meets originally scheduled for this weekend, May 1-2, have been
cancelled.  The state track and field meet will be extended to a three-day format to include
semifinal heats.  The meet is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May
14-16.

Semifinal qualifiers will be based on the district track meet results.  Each region will be
represented at the state meet by the top four performances in each event for all conferences.
Hand-held times will be converted to fully automatic times as defined by the National
Federation of State High School Association rules.  A revised track and field state meet
schedule will be posted on the UIL web site no later than Friday, May 1.  Qualifiers to the
UIL state track and field meet will be posted on the UIL web site on Wednesday, May 6.

Golf State Tournament
The UIL golf state tournament will take place at the previously scheduled times beginning
May 11.

Tennis State Tournament
The UIL tennis state tournament will take place at the previously scheduled times beginning
May 11.

Baseball and Softball
No interschool games will take place until May 11 for either softball or baseball.  Below is
an altered playoff schedule for both sports.

Howard Witt back in Paris Texas, reports on Aaron Hart’s 100 years sentence

Paris, Texas seems to be the gift that keeps on giving as it relates to Howard Witt andthe Chicago Tribune.  Might it have something to do with Lamar County D.A. Gary Young?  Here is Witt’s latest offering from my hometown in regards to Aaron Hart, a mentally challenged young man who received a 100 year sentence for sexual assault of a boy in Paris.

  • Last September, the 18-year-old man was charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old neighbor boy behind a tool shed in the small east Texas town of Paris. A relative of the victim said she walked outside and saw Hart with his pants pulled down, standing next to the boy.
  • Police read Hart his Miranda rights and he quickly admitted his guilt. On Feb. 11, Hart’s court-appointed attorney entered guilty pleas to each of five related felony counts, a jury recommended multiple sentences and a judge then ruled that the prison terms be served consecutively, for a total of 100 years.
  • Except that now, less than two months after Hart was sentenced, every court official who had a hand in the case seems to agree that he doesn’t really belong in prison for what amounts to the rest of his life.  That’s because Hart is profoundly mentally retarded. He has an IQ of 47, and his parents say he functions at the level of a 9-year-old. The boy he confessed to molesting is mentally retarded as well.
  • And since he has been in jail, Hart himself has been repeatedly raped, according to his parents. The first assault, allegedly by an inmate who is serving a far shorter sentence of just 8 years for sexual indecency with a child, so disturbed the alleged rapist’s mother that she called Hart’s parents to apologize.

Read  Howard Witt’s Metally retarded Texas teen serving 100 years in its entirety.

D.R.E.A.M. Act symposium scheduled for SMU’s Hughes-Triggs Student Center

On Thursday April 9, D.R.E.A.M. Act will host a symposium at SMU’s Hughes-Triggs Student Center. The day long symposium (8am-5pm) is called Challenges and Opportunities: Conversations about Immigration, Education, and Public Policy.

The DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act was first introduced in U.S. Congress in 2001 through a bi-partisan group of Representatives and Senators. It would provide legal residency to students who came to the U.S. as children and desire to seek higher education or serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Since its introduction, the political environment concerning more expansive immigration policies have resulted in a stalemate regarding passage of the DREAM Act. It is estimated that each year in the U.S. about 65,000 students who graduate from high school would qualify to benefit from the DREAM Act.

The symposium will bring academics, students, educators, business leaders, promonents, policy makers, and opponents together to dialogue about the issue. Immigration expert Frank Sherry, Founder of America’s Voice -a national immigration policy and advocacy organizations- is the Keynote Speaker.

To register, email your name, school/title, email address, phone number and contact information to fsalazar@smu.edu by April 3rd. A $10 registration fee for professionals will be taken at the door. Lunch is provided.

Sponsored by Texas DREAM Act Coalition

Source – D.R.E.A.M. Act Promotional Flyer