Category Archives: Texas News

Tarrant County GOP Wants to Oust County Vice-Chairman Because – Wait for it – He’s a Muslim!

The Tarrant County Republican Party will be voting on whether to oust current Vice-Chairman Shahid Shafi.  Shafi, a Southlake City Councilman, was appointed vice chairman of the TCRP in July.  Within days, numerous precinct chairs began urging Darl Easton, chairman of the TCRP, to “reconsider” the appointment.  The only reason given – Shafi is a Muslim.  The precinct chair that kicked off the campaign to oust Shafi, Dorrie O’Brien, and others have formally moved to remove Shafi as vice chairman because of his religion stating that one cannot be a Muslim and a Republican.  The TCRP will vote on the motion on January 10.   The move is opposed by many GOP leaders in Texas.  But in ultra-conservative Tarrant County – the last big city bastion of the GOP – there is a possibility that a person could be excluded from office based on nothing more than religious bigotry.

Following the lead of Individual 1 and with a complete lack of evidence, O’Brien has claimed that Shafi promotes Sharia law and is affiliated with terrorist groups apparently because he attends his local mosque.   O’Brien’s Facebook posts accuse Shafi of being a “fake Republican” who has infiltrated the party at the urging of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Actual facts and evidence are meaningless in the Age of Individual 1. All that matters is the ability to foist your alternate reality on a gullible minority.

 

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Hanukkah Texas Style

Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen restaurants will offer Enchilatkes during Hanukkah 2018. The Tex-Mex dish is made with potato latkes topped with cheese-stuffed jalapenos, sour cream and pico de gallo. Photo: Kenny & Ziggy's

Houston based Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen restaurants is offering “Enchilatkes” during Hanukkah this year.   The dish features traditional potato latkes topped with deep-fried cheese-filled jalapenos, avocado slices, sour cream and pico de gallo. Yum.

Photo from Houston Chronicle.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles?

Little dogs on the prairie - Defenders of Wildlife Blog

This year it was announced that the long-time San Antonio Missions (currently a AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres) would be packing up and heading north to Amarillo.  As the existing team mascot seemed inappropriate for a city with no Missions, the club set out on a mission to find a new mascot.  There were five finalists – the Bronc Busters (boring), the Boot Scooters (lame), the Long Haulers (better but with possible porn overtones),  the Jerky (who names a team after a food item and this one probably has more porn overtones than the Long Haulers) and the Sod Poodles (???).

Well, what pray tell is a Sod Poodle?  Red was a bit embarrassed to learn that it as old name for the five species of stout, short-legged, short-tailed terrestrial squirrels commonly known as prairie dogs and represented in Texas by Cynomys ludovicianus.  The name prairie dog derives from the barks or yipping calls of the  diurnal rodents who congregate in large underground colonies across the short grass plains of North America.

Well, you might be able to guess which name Red gets behind.  While Red has no love lost for squirrels in general, prairie dogs have somehow never gotten on his bad side and they are fun to watch.  And the Sod Poodles would be in line with such other imaginative minor league mascots as the Lug Nuts, Sand Gnats, River Bandits, Iron Pigs, Mud Hens, Chihuahuas,  Flying Squirrels, Yard Goats, Jumbo Shrimp, Muck Dogs and Hose Jockeys (Okay, Red made that last one up).

And Root, Root, Root for the Sod Poodles would actually kind of make sense.

File it under “It’s About Time” – Catholic Church to disclose names of all clergy accused of child abuse

In 2019, the 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas have promised that they will release the names of priests who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of a minor from 1950 on. The move was announced by Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.   The Church indicated that the bishops from the 15 Texas dioceses decided on September 30 to release the lists of names by January 31, 2019 as part of their effort “to protect children from sexual abuse.”  One might argue that the priestly cows already left the barn while the Church was holding open the barn doors and even directing them to the next pasture where they could graze on unsuspecting Catholic youth.   Still, Red encourages any move in a positive direction towards further exposure of this horrific scandal that has eaten away at the very soul of the Church.  Priests need to know that there is now nowhere to hide and that as Dostoyevsky put it “the path to redemption leads through confession.”  But this confession needs to be in the public square not hidden in the confessional.   It will not heal the wounded, but it needs to be done.

Goodbye El Paso – We hardly knew ye.

El Paso attorney Steve Fischer is arguing for a break from the Lone Star State.  Fischer thinks that El Paso gets no respect and that it would be better off seceding and hooking up with the Land of Enchantment (aka New Mexico).  El Paso is separated from the rest of Texas by a time zone and a lot of empty space and most Texans have never been there unless they were passing through on the way to California.  And as Fischer points out, there has never been a state-wide official elected from the capable ranks of El Pasoans.  Fischer also complains (rightfully) that El Paso is the step-child when it comes to higher education with only one 4 year university (UTEP) that has never been pushed for Tier One status and never asked to play ball with the other Texas schools.  El Paso is also the largest city in the country without a law school (views could differ on the benefits there – but who knew?).

The rest of the state doesn’t seem to understand us. Maybe it’s time to break up. Texas Republicans should be happy to get rid of El Paso because we are an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Democrats may prefer to keep us, but what did they do for us when they were in power?

Our marriage to Texas has gotten old. New Mexico is younger and more attractive. We would not be ignored, especially because we would be their largest city. Grant us a divorce and we won’t even request the back support. If there are any El Pasoans who think we need a wall to protect us, take ‘em. You can have custody and everyone will be better off.

Maybe Mr. Fischer has a point.

I-14 Update – Student Coalition Supports Interstate 14

A small part of construction on new Interstate 14 is underway.  Now a student coalition is promoting a complete I-14 stretching from Georgia to west Texas.  The Youth Infrastructure Coalition  wants an I-14 that would create an east-west alternative accross the southern reaches of the US between I-10 and I-20.  Frank Lumpkin, YIC’s founder started the group to promote infrastructure and economic growth in an underserved area.  In Texas, I-14 would run from the Louisiana border near Jasper, through Huntsville, Bryan/College Station, Temple/Killeen and hook up with I-10 near Fort Stockton.

“If you look at a map and take the demographics of those regions, you’ll find the median household income average is about 22 percent below the average for the entire United States. So, there’s definitely disparity and facts show it.”

YIC envisions I-14 being created primarily be the expansion and improvement of existing highways as a less expensive alternative to building an entirely new highway.  In contrast to Rick Perry’s Texas Trans-Corridor proposal – which drew near universal outrage and opposition –  I-14 seems to be winning local support as a number of municipalities that would be affected have passed resolutions in support of the super-highway.

The Frisco is Closing

Austin Landmarks on the Menu - Food - The Austin Chronicle

Red is weeping today as The Frisco on Burnet Road in Austin will be closing up shop on July 29.  From his early days, Red always enjoyed many a Fabulous Frisco burger with plump fresh cut fries and a dinner salad with 1000 Island with his family and later while sitting at the counter at the iconic spot in North Austin.  And he even enjoyed the occasional splurge of a slice of banana cream pie.  Red was fond of one waitress in particular who always asked him “Do you use ketchup?”  To which Red always wanted to reply that he not only used ketchup – he abused it.  In recent years, Red almost always stopped at The Frisco when he was in town even after it moved a mile or so up Burnet Road.

The Frisco was the last of the Night Hawk chain of restaurants.  The Night Hawk was started in 1931 by Harry Akin, a former Austin mayor, on S. Congress.  A second location near the UT Campus on The Drag was opened in 1933.  Other locations were in San Antonio and Austin.  Akin was a pioneer in desegregation and his restaurants were among the first in Texas to break the color barrier and serve all people.  His restaurants were also largely staffed by women and minorities.

Red is inconsolable.