The State of Texas: Oct. 21, 2013
Photos of The Day
Another year, another glorious Texas State Fair. From Big Tex to ostrich races to fried goodness, here are some highlights to tide you over til next year.
Our own Jason Cohen collects the best remembrances of Bum Phillips — legend, coach, fashionista and “the personification of all things Texan” — who died Friday.
Seven words: Steve Earle’s Top Seven Songs About Texas
Boys in Blue Red-Faced — Here’s something to keep a neighborhood watch on. Dallas police are investigating their own after two officers shot a mentally ill man who, according to the official report, was wielding a knife and acting “aggressively.” However, video surveillance seems to contradict the report. An extended recap of events from the Dallas Morning News is not comforting. Joyce Jackson called police last week asking for assistance in dealing with her mentally ill son, who was sitting in a chair out on the street. According to the officer’s report, DPD shot after the man “walked toward him and his partner with a ‘knife raised in an aggressive manner.’” What a neighbor’s security camera shows is the man standing up, arms at his side and then, a moment later, collapsing to the ground after being shot by police twenty yards away. In light of this evidence, Chief David Brown dropped the aggravated assault charges Friday. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, while the department investigates. Meanwhile, Jackson is considering legal action, there are calls for an investigation not conducted by the very group accused of creating the misleading report, and the man remains hospitalized.
Gunplay for the Whole Family — How was your weekend? For a few hundred people visiting the Alamo, it was a blast. As promised, gun rights groups held a rally, complete with actual firearms. The event was covered by plenty of news outlets, which packed in more fun imagery than can fit in a hundred black powder guns. While FOX news played the straight-shooter, the New York Times described “men, women and children openly carrying loaded and unloaded shotguns, hunting rifles, AR-15s and AK-47s as if they were purses or backpacks. A young man in jeans ate a breakfast sandwich with his assault rifle resting behind his back.” The San Antonio Express-News found members of the visiting Australian Women’s Soccer Team, who said, “It’s surreal. You only see this in the movies.” A bit unfair, since you’d be hard-pressed to name a single movie featuring gun-packin’ families and conspiracy leaders having a pleasant Alamo picnic.
Second-Term Complications — Strap on them pink runnin’ shoes, the abortion debate is back. This time, arguments will be made not in the Capitol building but in the courthouse, where Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against Texas and the state’s new abortion law will be heard today. “Three groups …,” according to the San Antonio Express-News, “will argue in federal court here that new standards requiring abortion providers to gain admitting privileges at local hospitals and restricting the use of abortion-inducing drugs are unconstitutional and an undue burden on women.” This round is expected to be much more wham-bam, lasting no more than “two days,” with the judge simply deciding if “enforcement of the law [beginning October 29] should be stopped until abortion rights advocates have a chance to argue their case at trial.”
Ticked-‘n-Chaffed Parade — Ted Cruz may’ve received a vicious tongue lashing from his political colleagues not seen since 50 Shades was released, but the ladies of Texas love him as much they love Christian Grey. Already back at it, Cruz received an “eight-minute standing ovation [and] people in attendance … lined up to greet him” during a Texas Federation of Republican Women event. His appearance in San Antonio, as well as in Austin, were Cruz’s first since the failed efforts to defund Obamacare last week. Having already proved to everyone that he can stand his ground, it should be of no surprise that Cruz didn’t take criticism sitting down. Instead he “blasted Senate Republican leaders” for basically acting like Democrats, i.e meek. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Texans are lovin’ the rebel without a pause. “The latest statewide survey … found 40 percent of all Texans — and 70 percent of [Texas] Republicans — holding a favorable view” of Cruz, compared with just 25 percent of non-tea party Republicans nationally. Cruz hasn’t yet announced his plans to run for President of Texas.