QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We understand your desire to attend our games as an escape and chosen form of entertainment. In that, we feel there is significant commonality in all of us that allows our community to be so special. That commonality should include aspirations for social justice, freedom of speech in its many forms, and equal opportunity for education and economic advancement regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion.”
—Manu Ginobili, in a tweet on Thursday, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Before Wednesday’s game, Spurs players—along with retired legends Tim Duncan and David Robinson—locked arms as the above message was displayed on screens inside the AT&T Center.
The city of Dickinson, in Galveston County, was among the hardest-hit places when Hurricane Harvey’s torrential rains slammed Texas. Residents now seeking Harvey relief face a strange ultimatum: agree not to boycott Israel, or your application for aid will be denied. According to the Houston Chronicle, the city’s hurricane repair grant application, which allows residents to apply for funds to help rebuild a home or business impacted by Hurricane Harvey, includes a surprising stipulation. “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement,” it states. The application has gotten the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which called the prohibition unconstitutional on Thursday. “The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression,” Andre Segura, the legal director of the ACLU of Texas, told the Chronicle. “Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Former President George W. Bush delivered a harshly worded speech on Thursday. He condemned the divisive actions of President Donald Trump, though he stopped short of actually calling out the president by name. “We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty,” Bush said during a sixteen-minute address at “The Spirit of Liberty” event in New York, sponsored by his presidential center. “Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone and provides permission for cruelty and bigotry. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.” Bush said our political system has been corrupted by “conspiracy theories and outright fabrication,” and cautioned against the U.S. turning inward under Trump. “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” Bush said. “We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, instability and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. We’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.” He took aim at white supremacy too. “Our identity as a nation—unlike many other nations—is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood,” Bush said. “This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”
On the Brink
The Houston Astros face a must-win situation Friday night in game six of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. If they win, they live another day, forcing a series-deciding game seven in Houston on Saturday. If they lose, their season is done. As ESPN notes, this is an unusual spot for the ‘Stros to be in. They’ve held onto first place in the American League West for 178 of 183 days during the regular season, every day since April 12, and they held a lead at the end of 25 of 36 innings in the previous round of the playoffs. Even in the ALCS, they were leading or tied through the series’s first nineteen innings, jumping out to a 2-0 series lead. On Friday, the team will turn to starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who dominated the Yankees in the second game of the series, striking out thirteen batters while allowing one run over nine spectacular innings. They’ll also have the support of their home crowd. “Our backs are against the wall,” catcher Brian McCann told ESPN. “We’ll be ready. This team, we’ve played extremely well all season long, and nothing’s going to change. We’ll be ready for game six. We’ve responded all year long.”
Fast Food Beef
Whataburger is typically considered the undisputed champ of the fast food scene here in Texas, but according to a new ranking by Business Insider, Texans actually prefer California-based chain In-N-Out. Yes, we know, this is truly a travesty. Business Insider’s methodology here is hardly scientific, as it relies solely the publication data from Foursquare, a social media app which lets users “check in” at certain locations, to determine which fast food restaurant was most popular in each state. “For the study, we looked at which chains received the most visits on average in every state based on the total number of visits to each chain divided by the number of locations in that state,” Business Insider wrote. Somehow, that research showed In-N-Out as the top choice among Texans. As the Houston Chronicle notes, In-N-Out only has 35 restaurants in Texas, while Whataburger has nearly 200 locations in the Houston area alone. We think Whataburger still has a leg up on In-N-Out, regardless of what Business Insider says.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Laura Bush will appear as a guest in the final season of Fixer Upper Dallas Morning News
Austin’s Richard Overton, the oldest living World War II veteran in the U.S., has new digs Austin American-Statesman
A Killeen ISD teacher duct-taped the mouths of ten fifth-graders Killeen Daily Herald
Amazon just opened a giant wind farm in Scurry County CNBC
The death of a pet dog gave a Texan woman “broken-heart syndrome” Washington Post