Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell, by ZZ Top
Cold Shot, by Stevie Ray Vaughan
Snowin’ on Raton, by Townes Van Zandt
Snow and Lights, by Explosions in the Sky
Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice
Say goodbye to that wonderful place where you can hold literature in your hands. USA Today has a story headlined “Texas library offers glimpse of bookless future” that only gets more depressing from there.
Fight! The Herald Angels Chant — Our Longhorn-nation nightmare is over. After weeks that felt like months following Mack Brown’s resignation, UT finally has a new football coach. And fans will be forgiven if they think their savior, Nick Saban, looks suspiciously like Louisville coach Charlie Strong. Not that it was a huge surprise. Bookies always had their odds on a Strong reign, as our own Dan Solomon reported a few weeks ago. President Bill Powers called it a “historic day for the University of Texas,” by which he means that this marks the first time an African American has held the position. Beyond color, like Cardinal Red or Burnt Orange, Strong leaves Louisville after two winning seasons and arrives with the hopes of every UT fan looking for redemption. A press conference later today will mark the beginning of a Strong-saturated sports news cycle.
Right to Death — It’s a story that’s beginning to make national headlines, if only because it brings up so many thorny issues. A Haltom City woman has been kept alive, despite being brain-dead and having made a previous request to not resuscitate after such a trauma, because she is fourteen weeks pregnant. In Texas (and seventeen other states), it’s the law. Even if it goes against the family’s wishes, as it does in this case. Ethically, morally, scientifically, it’s a very sticky situation.
Right to Life — Texas’s new abortion law is back in the news, too. Today, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear appeals made by pro-abortion groups. No need to hold your breath, though. According to the Dallas Morning News, “those advocates face a daunting hurdle before the appellate panel, where two of the judges already have issued a preliminary finding in favor of the state.” It would seem that everyone thinks this is all foreplay before a Supreme Court case. And considering how quickly the case has progressed thus far, expect a generation-defining decision to be conceived in the time it takes to make a baby.
Rumblin’ and Grumblin’ — There were lots of frustrated folks at a recent Azle town meeting. Part of it may have to do with all the earthquakes happening in the area lately. Though some of it may have been because “officials told the crowd of about 800 people that they were only going to listen to comments and not answer any questions.” Residents at the meeting, including the mayor, say the earthquakes (more than a dozen in November alone), are the result of fracking. The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees fracking, says in perfect bureaucratic-speak that it’s in the “process” of investigating the matter. Likely cause of future earthquake in Azle: the angry, stampeding mob.
Cattle Futures — … They’re finally looking up in Texas! Several outlets are reporting that Texas ranchers may finally be recovering after years of drought and rising economic costs. “Texas lost 15 percent of its cattle … between January 2011 and January 2013,” according to Fox News, “as ranchers sold them to out-of-state buyers or sent them to slaughter amid an unrelenting drought.” Now, slowly and somewhat surely, local cowboys are rebuilding the stocks and raising costs are looking positive.