The Lone Star State has been, over recent months, at the forefront of national news ignoring mask and vaccine warnings, banning abortion accessibility, and crimping voting rights. As voluminous as national attention has been on Texas, not every resident or corporation is silent in accepting these initiatives.
While the state has engaged in a vigorous campaign to attract new arrivals (except, of course, immigrants) and businesses, those efforts also buy a certain amount of pushback from corporate employers, especially those needing high-skilled workers and market opportunities outside the state’s borders.
In particular, the newly adopted election laws draw corporate criticism as a negative effect upon the economy. Thus, while corporations in Texas may be physically located there, often their political interests find a more acceptable reception in Congress. American Airlines, headquartered in Fort Worth, issued a statement in April supporting legislation that would make voting easier, not harder.
Some well recognized corporate giants formed Fair Elections Texas, a nonpartisan coalition of two dozen including Microsoft, Unilever, Patagonia, and Levi Strauss. Dell, based in Round Rock, announced that it would encourage employees to vote and urge legislators to “focus on staying committed to a healthy and welcoming business climate for all Texans.” Kudos to the companies that have stood up for freedom.
It goes without saying that these same corporations have an interest in healthy workforces as the Delta variant continues to rise. Time will tell how alone the Lone Star State will be.
The Grand Canyon or Copper State soared into the headlines over the months since the 2020 election concluded –or did not conclude in Arizona.
Early in September, the state’s Supreme Court decreed that peremptory challenges are no longer permitted in civil or criminal cases effective January 1, 2022. According to Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, “Eliminating peremptory strikes of jurors will reduce the opportunity for misuse of the jury selection process and will improve jury participation and fairness.”
Peremptory challenges are those in which the attorney need not offer any reason for eliminating the jury candidate, as opposed to challenges for cause. Peremptory challenges are used where the attorney senses, for no reason, that the potential juror is prejudiced toward their client. Such challenges are limited in number but are often utilized to strike candidates who otherwise ought to be seated–the old “sniff” test, as some attorneys would say.
Certainly, the fan base of the TV show Bull may not agree. along with a cohort of lawyers, especially those in the insurance industry who are bred to believe everyone harbors a grudge against them on account of the identity of their clients. Nonetheless, a standard has been set and, as experience is gained, may be duplicated elsewhere.
It is most likely that the pelicans in the Pelican State did not hang around while hurricane Ida battered the coast and inland Louisiana.
As Ida was approaching the coast, residents were urged to evacuate because forecasters were describing the storm as sure to cause major damage and threaten health and safety. In Lafourche, the parish president issued a mandatory evacuation order.
One group of 600 in the Lafourche Parish Detention Center was tasked with filling sandbags to protect property of residents against flooding. But there was no evacuation order for the imprisoned, even as Ida became a Category 4 storm as it hit land. Many other sheriffs who manage local jails followed suit by keeping the incarcerated, well, incarcerated.
In 2005, as Hurricane Katrina battered Louisiana, the failure to evacuate jails resulted in an unknown number of deaths. According to a later report by the ACLU, when the storm hit the city, jail generators failed, plunging thousands of prisoners, pretrial detainees, and staff into darkness and sweltering heat. Lacking electricity, many cell doors were stuck shut; detained adults and children remained trapped for days as their cells filled up to chest height with sewage-tainted water.
There is little difference between chain gangs and sandbag gangs. Both share the disregard of their captors as worthy of being saved. Each group shares only the letter “P” with one another.