Quote of the Day
“During war, no one is buying chocolate,”
—recent Syrian immigrant Yazan Ghraowi to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Ghraowi, 19, and his family of chocolatiers were granted special work visas to open up a chocolate business in Corpus Christi while they continue to run their candy factory in Damascus.
Whacky Race— To recap the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Saturday night: Duck Dynasty, dead goats, and mayonnaise. The fun started a few days before the race, when TMS officials unveiled a stuffed dead goat whose natural color pattern resembles the famous number-three car of a certain banana-mayonnaise sandwich eating driver (this moment was brought to you by Hellman’s. Hellman’s: Bring Out The Worst Idea Ever!). After the goat, Lil’ Dale, kicked the bucket in December, TMS President Eddie Gossage felt morally obligated to reclaim the carcass. From SB Nation: “Gossage introduced Lil’ Dale Friday with a short animated video that featured the goat being held up over the track, a reenactment of the opening scene from ‘The Lion King’ that included the same music. ‘We plan to permanently display Lil’ Dale and adopt her as part mascot, part good luck charm and to enjoy this magical creature,’ Gossage said.” The race was sponsored by the actual company that led to the Duck Dynasty reality show, so it was bound to get strange. Just in case the dead goat thing wasn’t batty enough, famous duck guy Phil Robertson provided an “opening prayer” that began with: “alright Texas, we got here via Bibles and guns,” and ended on a request to “put a Jesus man in the White House.” Of course, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes, TMS is no stranger to controversy—the NRA sponsored a race there in 2013—but Robertson’s awkward sermon “does raise issues on NASCAR and its efforts to break away from its ‘redneck’ stigma.” Good luck with that.
Child Protective Disservices— Texas’s safety net for kids is not big enough or strong enough, and the state’s reforms aren’t patching many holes. Writes the Austin American-Statesman: “Last March, Gov. Greg Abbott told Child Protective Services to mend its ways and gave the agency an extra $38 million to do it. But one year later, the agency, by most measures, is doing even worse. The number of child deaths has increased. So has the number of abused and neglected kids. Investigations are dragging on, which means more children are being left in potentially dangerous situations. More experienced caseworkers are fleeing the agency… More foster kids are sleeping in CPS offices while the agency tries to find them homes. The agency commissioner is retiring. And children continue to die in cases in which investigators conducted poor investigations or failed to do their job at all.” The Texas Tribune took a look at the issue from the perspective of an overburdened CPS investigator, while the Dallas Morning News wrote a heartbreaking account about what happened in one instance when the system “failed at every turn,” with tragic results: a “savage” fatal beating of a four-year-old girl. After seeing his reforms ripped apart in the media over the weekend, Gov. Abbott responded to a citizen’s question regarding CPS on Twitter with one simple word: “overhaul.”
Military Base Shooting— Since Friday’s apparent murder-suicide at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, details are emerging that paint a more complete picture of what exactly happened and why. According to the San Antonio Express-News, a disgruntled sergeant shot and killed his commander as he was being escorted through his office on the way to a disciplinary hearing, before also shooting and killing himself. The victim, Lt. Col. William “Bill” Schroeder, reportedly sacrificed himself to save another officer caught in the sights of the shooter. Writes the Express-News: “When the assailant, armed with two Glock handguns, produced a weapon, Schroeder told the senior NCO, a first sergeant, to run. [The assailant Steven] Bellino fired at the first sergeant but missed as she fled. Schroeder then fought with the assailant and was shot three times in one arm and once in the head.” The Express-News reported that Bellino had recently failed a test and gone AWOL before being taken into custody, and was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing. According to Reuters, military officials said the shooting was not related to terrorism and was “workplace violence incident.” Unsurprisingly, the shooting has reignited yet another heated debate on gun control.