The State of Texas: June 18, 2015
Video of the Day
The Dallas Morning News was on it a few days ago, but it’s never too late to watch mesmerizing footage of a water tower tumbling to the ground like Jack’s giant. They know how to party in Plano.
Escalating War – Details about the Waco shootout continue to trickle out, with the latest information coming from affidavits justifying the seizure of vehicles at the scene—“17 motorcycles, eight pickup trucks, and two SUVs,” according to the Waco Tribune. It was already known that something was brewing between the Bandidos and the Cossacks because the latter was beginning to sport Texas “bottoms” on their jackets, a big no-no. But the disagreement between who could and couldn’t wear the patch had gone far beyond words. The affidavits lists six confrontations, including “an incident in 2013 in Abilene outside a Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant in which several Bandidos and Cossacks fought after the Bandidos damaged some Cossacks’ bikes in the parking lot. One of the Cossacks stabbed was Timothy Shane Satterwhite, 47, who was among those arrested in Waco after the Twin Peaks incident.” It also appears that the Cossacks came to the Twin Peaks meeting to make a stand of sorts “and attend the meeting uninvited.” Also of note: the meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Austin, and the fact that it was held instead in an area with a variety of other groups may have had something to do with the escalating tensions.
Fly Away Little Birdies – The Cardinals top executives would like you to know that they had absolutley nothing to do with the “hacking” of the Astros database. That’s the latest from the kinda-odd controversy, with a lawyer for the team saying, “I am 100 percent confident that this does not touch upper management and does not involve people like [general manager] John Mozeliak and [team manager] Bill DeWitt,” according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, according to the Houston Chronicle, “the Astros emphasized Wednesday that they consider the breach into their computer database ‘a very serious matter’ and defended the original design of their system,” which is sort of funny since the “breach” involved plugging in a bunch of passwords that the GM, Jeff Luhnow, had used during his days in St. Louis.
Heavy Metal – The Morning News has an interesting look at regular citizens with armored cars, basically military SWAT vehicles (a.k.a. “zombie killers”) like the one owned by the crazed gunman who shot up the Dallas police headquarters before taking the entire department for a nightmarish ride through the city. As one might imagine, a great place to pick up this kind of tank is Craigslist. Some of the justifications for owning a vehicle that belongs in a post-apocalpytic film? “This is America. I should be able to have a howitzer or a bazooka if I want one. If I wanted to buy a fire truck, I could,” said one gentleman. Or, for those with expendable income: to be part of the “trend for the super-wealthy to get what I call a ‘get out of Dodge’ vehicle for kind of a doomsday prep-type person,” said the owner of Texas Armory. Guess everyone needs a hobby.
Prison Problems – It’s a good thing Governor Greg Abbott has said he plans to comply fully with the new federal law meant to crack down on prison rape, particularly since his predecessor called the law “counterproductive and unnecessarily cumbersome.” That, however, is very much not the case as the Marshall Project details with graphic clarity. “At the Clements Unit, where . . . more prisoners reported being forced, coerced, or pressured into sexual contact with staff than in any other male prison in the country, according to a federal survey released in 2013.” The story highlights unconsciable actions of Domenic Hidalgo, a prison nurse, who tried trading drugs for sex. But it’s more than just that one example. “The Clements Unit is just one of the reasons Texas leads the nation in prison sex abuse. In federal surveys of inmates, Texas has had more facilities deemed ‘high rate’ for sexual abuse than any other state,” leading the Dallas Observer to declare Texas the “prison rape capital of the U.S.”
Gimme a B-E-E-R – What’s that spell? A far less boring football game! After much talk and public support by the new chancellor of the University of Texas, the school decided it will start selling beer and wine at home football games this season. This is probably a good and necessary thing if Charlie Strong’s Longhorns keep up their lackluster play. As the Texas Tribune noted, “fans worried about the mixture of alcohol and guns don’t need to fret, however. The state’s new law allowing the concealed carrying of handguns on campus doesn’t apply to sporting events.” A vendor has already been selected to handle the booze sales, and one can likely expect a single serving to cost about as much as a college textbook. “UT Austin will be the fourth UT System school to serve alcoholic beverages at sports events, following UT’s campuses in El Paso, San Antonio, and Arlington,” according to KVUE.