The State of Texas: July 3, 2014
Photo of the Day
Tomorrow, we celebrate ‘Merica, so here’s to celebrating the Fourth of July! That is, have loads of fun but be safe:
Video of the Day
The cutest thing to come out of our culture in the past year or so has been people singing Frozen’s “Let It Go,” in some form or fashion. This father-daughter duo, which has been making the viral rounds, is no exception.
Citizen Bergdahl — It appears the former prisoner of war, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, is starting to get back to the American way of life, read: he’s been out shopping. The army man, whose release/trade became a lightening rod for the chattering class “has been allowed to venture off the Texas military base where he is receiving care as part of his ‘reintegration process’ into society,” reports the Associated Press. “Bergdahl has been allowed to go, with supervision, to a grocery store, restaurants, shopping centers and a library as part of the process of getting him comfortable with being out in public.” The process has been a slow and steady one that “began with going to facilities at Fort Sam Houston, including the commissary and the gym. It has since progressed to going into San Antonio and visiting various businesses. On these visits, Bergdahl is accompanied by members of his reintegration team, including a psychologist.” That’s a heck of a shopping posse.
A Different Kind of Student — The UT student, whose arrest on terrorism charges last month received national attention, has pleaded guilty to “providing material support to terrorists.” The charge against 23-year-old Round Rock resident Rahatul Ashikim Khan is a “rare federal offense,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. “Investigators say he had been recruiting jihadi fighters through an online chat room. A separate indictment out of a Miami federal court … complaint seems to shares ties to the complaint against Khan and alleges possible co-conspirators had been funding three groups, designated by the United States as terrorist organizations, that have operated in Iraq, Syria and Somalia.” Khan now faces up to fifteen years in jail.
The 12th Hitman — No one, and we mean no one, messes with Texas A&M and its “12th Man” intellectual property. “The Aggies filed two complaints against four Bills fans for using the trademark in their website, 12thManThunder.com,” according to Fox Sports. “One of those Bills fans is a double amputee and a cancer survivor named Charles ‘Chuckie’ Sonntag, according to the Buffalo News. Sonntag beat cancer last year. He’s suffered from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, also known as Albright’s disease, since he was a child. His left arm was amputated 20 years ago and his left leg was amputated in March, according to the paper. He also lives on a monthly $825 social security check.” Chuckie and his crew have offered to change the name of their website, but that’s not enough for the Aggies, who also want “250 posters promoting the site taken down from restaurants and bars around Buffalo.” It’s been an invaluable lesson for Chuckie. “My experience has proven two things: a handicapped person can accomplish just about anything and Texas A&M will sue just about anybody,” he said.
All-Natural Summer — Some good news and bad news for this summer. The bad news is that all y’all with ragweed allergies are in trouble. “This year’s ragweed season is predicted to be of the worst in history because of the wet conditions throughout the year,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. It’s a sacrifice ragweed sufferers are just going to have to make. The reason for the particularly bad season is because Texas actually got rain this year. So thanks for taking one for the team. On the bright side, between the sniffles, you’ll be able to sink your teeth into a sweet, delicious peach. Unlike last year, which saw a late freeze and a decimated crop, this summer’s batch of Texas peaches is looking great. “This year’s crop will be perfect,” reports the local CBS affiliate in DFW, “and just in time for the Parker County Peach Festival festival next week.”