The State of Texas: May 11, 2015
Quote of the Day
“I don’t want to miss church, and I don’t want to miss the Cowboys game.”
—Representative Rafael Anchia’s objection to ending daylight saving time
Famed country fiddler Johnny Gimble went to that big hoedown in the sky over the weekend. Gimble played with all the greats, getting his start with none other than Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. He was 88. Below is Gimble playing his classic “Faded Love.”
Garland Grumblings – While authorities are still trying to fully understand the motives of the Garland shooters—apart from being “lone wolf” attackers—so, too, are the communities where the would-be terrorists lived. The Dallas Morning News has a detailed look at how Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi went from being helpful participants in “Phoenix’s fast-growing Muslim community, which some estimate has passed 100,000 people over the last decade,” to gunmen, with Simpson ending up on the FBI’s radar, and getting probation, for his talk of traveling abroad for radicalized training. As for locals, Midland sheriff Gary Painter is crowing about his past pronouncements that ISIS was already hiding and ready in Texas. Just like before, Painter doesn’t exactly sound like a reasonable man of the law. “I knew it was happening; I knew they were here,” he said, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. “Now, we’ve sent two to hell, and we’re waiting on the others. … I spoke the truth. I said what was in my heart, what was in my mind and what I know to be true. …Law enforcement knows these people are here. We’re constantly watching for them.” What exactly he means by “these people” isn’t exactly clear since the government has previously said there was no evidence of ISIS activity and the most recent shooting has yet to yield a direct ISIS connection. But to say that people get attacked and shot in Texas is always a sure bet.
Texas Flood – Hope y’all stayed safe over the weekend as flooding and tornadoes ripped through North Texas. Van was hit particularly hard: “dozens of people were injured, two of them critically, and multiple homes were reportedly destroyed,” according to ABC News. Flooding in Krum even caught the attention of the New York Daily News, which noted that the “dramatic television footage showed the brown water swirling over abandoned cars as livestock scrambled to high ground and a guardsman dangling from a helicopter cable helped lift people from flooded homes about 50 miles northwest of Dallas.” All in all, it sounds (and looks) like at least one gate of hell opened up in North Texas. USA Today has a collection of wild pictures, including a giant sinkhole in Granbury.
Better Theories – There’s been plenty written about the Jade Helm military exercise and how Texas residents are a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorists. Now, at least, there appears to be some context. The Austin American-Statesman has an extensive look at the anti-Jade efforts in Bastrop, where objections first made state and national headlines. The piece’s pretty thought-provoking idea is that the “collective trauma of those who survived the most destructive wildfire in Texas history [in 2011] is the missing context in the hysteria surrounding Jade Helm.” The story notes observations from both local military analysts who say the government overlooked the trauma that residents are still recovering from, and locals who didn’t get much support afterward and “learned not to trust people too much on the outside.” The exercise is not just about practicing standard military techniques but also gaining the trust of locals in areas where forces tend to stick out. So far, that training is going about as well as places in the Middle East, with the same lack of understanding as to why people might be a little upset about boots on the ground.
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