The State of Texas: Oct. 25, 2013
The Dallas Observer has a long piece detailing the April event at Arlington’s “Garden of Eden,” in which the garden and house were raided(!) by police, and SWAT members(!), for not complying with minor city ordinances regarding lawn upkeep. The piece takes all the fun out of mocking new-agey hippies since the property’s residents themselves reinforce every single stereotype. The wildly out-of-line “drug” raid and general intimidation by town officials also takes the fun out of it. An eye-opening read, even if you’re not planning on raising neighborhood chickens.
Photo of The Day
Governor Perry continues his world tour partly to tout A&M’s new campus in Israel and partly to see what it’s like as a globetrotting president. Either way, there are some oddly captivating pictures of the Guv. Exhibit A: Perry at the Wailing Wall:
Thin Blue Line, Crossed — Dallas Police Chief David Brown fired an officer for shooting a mentally ill man last week. After the mother of the man called cops seeking assistance from officers trained in dealing with the mentally ill, Officer Cardan Spencer and his partner arrived at the scene to find Bobby Gerald Bennett in the street wielding a knife. According to the police report, Bennett “lunged” at the officers. Only problem is, a neighbor’s survellience camera shows a different scene, with Bennett holding his arms at his side and standing more than twenty feet away. Chief Brown’s reaction to the shooting of the man is a bit surprising for both its swiftness and bluntness. “I want to personally and professionally apologize to Mr. Bennett and the Bennett family for the actions,” he said. Brown even tried to charge Spencer with aggravated assault but a “district judge refused to sign the arrest warrant,” according to the Dallas Morning News, which has a detailed account of the unfolding events.
Anger Management Sessions? — The biggest non-scandal to rock the nation’s capital since whatever non-scandal happened before that has a Texas angle. It was reported Thursday that U.S. Representative Pete Sessions, of Dallas, supposedly told Obama, “I can’t even stand to look at you,” at a meeting between the president and GOP leaders during the shutdown. According to a Huffington Post report, it was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that told fellow Democrats about Sessions’s alleged rude behavior toward the president. To its credit, the White House publicly said telling Reid about the incident was a big mistake misunderstanding. Why reporters assume anyone outside of Washington thinks this “revelation” about the “whodunit” that “burst” into the public—as HuffPo put it—matters…well, that is the real mystery.
A Merciful Debate — Now that we’ve all had a good laugh at the father who just accused an entire football team of “bullying,” folks are starting to re-examine Texas’s lack of a high school mercy rule. Fox News has one of the first of what will surely be a few more stories on the issue, quoting none other than “Texas-tough” Jerry Patterson. “Losing is an important lesson that needs to be learned by all kids,” said the Land Commish. “But the lesson ceases to be much of a lesson where someone is likely to get hurt because of the substantial mismatch.” Lest anyone is concerned about the wussification of Texas football youth (or worse, those youth becoming soccer players), one local association is ceasing the celebration of losers. The Keller Youth Association Football league “will no longer be giving out participation trophies to every child, reserving them only for winning teams,” according to an Austinist post. Of course, all of this goes to show that football is nothing more than a game … for whiny adults.
Deep in the Skillet of Texas — Tomorrow is, officially, Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day. Rejoice! Technically, every day could—nay, should—be TCFSD (though, that’s more of a mouthful than the dish itself). What makes it so good? “Chicken-fried steak is the great equalizer,” writes Texas Monthly‘s own June Naylor. “It’s very preparation … puts all who make it on the same messy plane. It is also democratic to the core.” Quite true. Though Richard West, in his 1974 ode to our Republic’s delicacy, dutifully noted that it is “perfectly useless to describe good food, as it is any work of art.” Not that you need any reason whatsoever to fry up a platter. Still, you could—nay, should—mark the occasion by visiting your favorite greasy spoon or makin’ mamma’s recipe at home. For the former, Texas Monthly has a list of the best from around the state. For the latter, here are two recipes.