Lesson of the Day
If you’re going to mount a camera to your motorcycle helmet, speed through San Antonio rush-hour traffic at one hundred miles-per-hour, then post the awesome video online with the title “Catch me if you can,” don’t be surpised when police rise to the challenge. Because that’s exactly what happened to the motorcyclist behind last week’s viral video. Of course, it helps that the police received a tip about stolen motorcycles and that the alleged thief and motorcycle stuntman were one-in-the-same. Speaking of tips, here’s one: next time, do the stunt in Paris and claim it’s art.
Never say PBS isn’t interesting. Yesterday, the people’s station aired Las Marthas, a documentary “about Mexican-American debutantes from Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo … who spend thousands of dollars making their debuts as Martha Washington look-alikes” (Texas Monthly‘s Chrisopher Kelly has a overview of the show here). In short: Texas native Cristina Ibarra’s documentary is super fascinating; check your local listings for encore performances. Here’s a clip:
Political Gold Rush — Everything’s super-er in Texas. That’s the takeaway from the Austin American Statesman‘s look at an October ruling by the Texas Appeals court, which “essentially overturned the state’s ban on super PACs.” The ruling puts Texas law on the same level as the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowing businesses and corporations to donate, nearly unrestricted, to political candidates via political organizations. “The most important effect will probably not be the amounts of money in politics,” according to election experts quoted by the Statesman, but “a proliferation of groups spreading their message independently of individual candidates. That could mean more hard-edged ads by organizations not held to the same standard as candidates.” Basically, Texas election season is now going to be more overrun with ads than if Burma Shave did viral pop-up commercials during the Super Bowl. So if you thought campaign ad season was bad before, you best just PAC your things.
Welcome To Austin, Why Won’t You Go Home? — No one seems to be listening to Austinites, who would like to keep their funky little town both funky and little. For the fourth year in a row, the list-lovers at Forbes have named our Texas-nation’s capitol the fastest growing city in all of these United States. Austin had “a 2.5% population growth rate (estimated annual) for 2013—the highest of all the geographic regions—and an economy that expanded 5.88% last year.” Dallas, Houston and San Antonio also made the Top Twenty list. It’s pretty clear that people have not been reading the “Austin Sucks, Please Don’t Move Here” infographic that made the rounds earlier this year. We really should consider building a wall/fence/moat around every border except the Mexican one, that’s not where the real immigrant trouble is coming from.
Beyond Fort Worth’s Thunderdome — The water crisis is not going away. That much is made pretty clear by Fort Worth continuing efforts at aquatic conservation. As it turns out, though, one of the many problem is conservation itself. The Fort Worth Water Department took in $11 million below anticipated revenue last year because of the two-day a week watering restrictions and a decrease in oil and gas-drilling water use,” according to the Star-Telegram. Looking at the bleak reality of water availability, city officials are not only increasing water rates (expected to rise like a flood for “the foreseeable future”) but may make water restrictions permanent. “The biggest concern is that we do what we can today to ensure that this important resource is available to us in the future,” said one councilman with the kind of foresight rarely demonstrated by public officials.
Soft Targets — In a turn of events that’s as surprising as finding guns at Walmart, Democrats have taken aim at Greg Abbott for inviting cat-scratcher Ted Nugent to campaign with him. “Ted Nugent disrespects a large number of Texans. It is embarrassing that Greg Abbott thinks it is appropriate to appear with Ted Nugent,” said Wendy Davis’s spokesman, while the Texas Democratic Party Chairman said, “Texans deserve better than a statewide office holder and candidate running for governor who welcomes Ted Nugent and his repugnant comments.” As ignorant and repugnant as Nugent’s frequent comments may or may not be, the derisive effort by top Democrats is like trying to shoot out the moon. For his part, Abbott’s campaign did a a great job of trying to have its gun and shoot it, too. “While he may sometimes say things or use language that Greg Abbott would not endorse or agree with, we appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our Constitution.”
The Lawsuit Ride — Six Flags newest legal roller coaster seems to be named, “If You Can’t Beat ’em, Join ’em.” The amusement park and its parent company are suing the German manufacturers of the roller coaster that killed a woman last year. The lawsuit is part of a “cross-action,” following litigation from the family of the dead woman against both Six Flags and the German manufacturer. And it’s a heck of a ride! “Six Flags and Gerstlauer have denied liability in the case,” yet Six Flags is “joining [the woman’s] family to ‘allege that [Gerstlauer’s] roller coaster train was a defective product that was unreasonably dangerous in design, manufacture, distribution and promotion.'” The ride manufacturer is expected to file a ““mirror image” of Six Flags’s lawsuit, so this whole thing, is now looking more like a fun house ride more than anything else (except, of course, that thing about the unnecessary death).