Blue Bell returns to select stores on Monday. Are you ready? Do you have your fightin’ gear laid out? Remember, some places will limit the amount of joy you can take home with you.
Video of the Day
Dog day afternoons don’t get any better than this. Perhaps not coincidentally, a dachshund broke free from its handlers at an El Paso Chihuahuas game (following a race to find “El Paso’s fastest wiener”) and had the time of its life. As Jezebel put it: “This is pure exhilaration. This is pure life.”
Here lies where Jefferson Davis once stood. After a relatively brief period of controversy following the decision to remove the Confederate from campus, the statue was taken down Sunday:
— Jay Janner (@jayjanner) August 30, 2015
Davis Goes Down — After public debate and litigation, the Jefferson Davis statue on the UT-Austin campus has finally come down. The removal happened during the time college students are least likely to pay attention, or be conscious, for that matter—Sunday morning. Oh, and the statue of Woodrow Wilson was also removed, but no one really cares about that. About fifty-odd people came out, plus plenty of media. “The larger-than-life-size Davis statue and the equally imposing statue of Wilson, the nation’s 28th president, which had stood opposite that of Davis on the mall, were loaded onto a flatbed trailer to be hauled by a pickup to UT’s facilities complex just east of Interstate 35 for refurbishing,” writes the Austin American-Statesman. “The Davis statue will be installed in 18 months or so in UT’s Briscoe Center for American History after the center is renovated, and Wilson’s will be placed at a yet-to-be-decided outdoor location on campus, according to university officials.” The lawyer for the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans made a big show, saying “he would press on with a legal fight to return ‘Brother Jeff’ and ‘Brother Woodrow,’ as he calls them, to the mall. He said UT’s action amounts to ‘ISIS-style cleansing of history,’ a reference to the Islamic State group’s destruction of statues and other cultural artifacts in the Mideast.” In unrelated news, Alaska’s Mount McKinley will now be known as Denali, and thus falls the nation.
The Thin Sad Line — The killing of a law enforcement official in Houston has drawn an emotional response from law enforcement. “Darren Goforth, 47, was shot Friday night at a Houston gas station. After Goforth fell to the ground, a suspect—Shannon Miles, a black man, authorities said—stood over him and fired several more times. Miles has been arrested and charged with capital murder,” writes the Texas Tribune. At a press conference, Harris County sheriff Ron Hickman said, “We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter. . . . Well, cops’ lives matter, too.” Although perhaps off-point of the systemic racism the phrase refers to, the sentiment nonetheless perfectly expresses the pain and frustration officers are feeling—which is the focus of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Associated Press story. “At a second press conference Saturday . . . Hickman said anti-cop rhetoric could influence people to commit crimes against police officers, but he said he had ‘no details as to a motive’ in this case.” Miles was arrested less than 24 hours after the incident. As the San Antonio Express-News reports, “Hickman said investigators are working on the assumption ‘that he was a target because he wore a uniform.'” The killing has been called a “cold-blooded assassination” by Hickman.
Playing Hooky by Accident — The new University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley opened to much fanfare this month, but it’s already having some hiccups. Apparently, “university officials are scrambling to reassign about 1,500 students to different courses after part of the core curriculum wasn’t approved by a state education board,” according to the Brownsville Herald. “About 120 core courses were proposed and reviewed by faculty before being reviewed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in May, [vice president of student success Kristin Croyle] said, adding that officials were informed last week that 24 courses were not approved. Officials began working with the board to find possible solutions, she said, and to identify affected students. Email notifications were sent out Friday and Croyle said they expect to notify all affected students by Saturday.” Ironically, the course areas most affected are those that require critical thinking—namely, language, philosophy, and culture.
Mo’ Laws, Mo’ Solutions (Probably Mo’ Problems, Though) — Are you ready for a bunch of new laws? ‘Cause they’re gonna hit you starting Tuesday. In anticipation of the various new “no-nos” (and a few “alright-alrights”), the Dallas Morning News put together a wonderful interactive page offering details for 14 of the whopping 678 new rules. Among them is a “new grant program [that] will provide $10 million for departments aiming to add body cameras” in police departments. In addition, there’s information about the new law allowing underage alcohol tasting for hospitality and culinary students, and other cool things like beekeeping. In case you were curious about starting a colony, “small-scale beekeepers are now free from some onerous regulations” that will make it easier for them to sell at farmers’ markets.
IDing the Real Problem — Texas really wants to keep its super-restrictive (and mostly useless) voter ID law. “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the full bench of a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling that found that the state’s strict voter identification law illegally hindered minorities from casting ballots,” the San Antonio Express-News writes. “The state launched the legal salvo in the voter ID court fight with multiple filings late Friday, including a signal from Paxton’s office that it will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.” A three-judge panel delivered a mixed ruling earlier this month—the restriction didn’t “amount to a poll tax” and wasn’t racially motivated, said the court, but it did obstruct “black and Hispanic voters” and “amounted to a violation of the Voting Rights Act.” Paxton’s office is now seeking the entire Fifth Circuit to look at two “discriminatory” issues. As the story notes, “There’s no guarantee that the state’s petition . . . will be granted. The only path left for the state if the Fifth Circuit declines to review the case would be to ask the Supreme Court to intervene.”