460 posts tagged with texas.
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The worst of the worst.

Where the Death Penalty Still Lives. In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment and four others have imposed a moratorium on executions. Of the 26 states that remain, only 14 handed down death sentences last year for a total of 50 across the country — less than half the number six years before. California, which issued more than one-quarter of last year’s death sentences, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 2006. A new geography of capital punishment is taking shape, with just two percent of the nation’s counties now accounting for a majority of the people sitting on death row. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 25, 2016 - 18 comments

A puzzle wrapped in an enigma

Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds. The rate of Texas women who died from complications related to pregnancy doubled from 2010 to 2014, a new study has found, for an estimated maternal mortality rate that is unmatched in any other state and the rest of the developed world.
posted by blue_beetle on Aug 22, 2016 - 32 comments

Jeffrey Wood

In 1996, Jeffrey Wood was sitting in a getaway car, when, inside a convenience store, his friend Daniel Reneau shot and killed a clerk during a botched robbery. Wood was sentenced to death in Kerr County in March 1998, and will be executed next week in Texas. He was sentenced to death under Texas’ felony murder statute, commonly known as the law of parties, which holds that anyone involved in a crime resulting in death is equally responsible, even if they weren't directly involved in the actual killing. Under the law, prosecutors are not required to prove that a defendant had any part in committing a crime, or even intended to commit it. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 17, 2016 - 33 comments

"Buckle up."

With his campaign chair Paul Manafort mired in scandal and polls showing Arizona and Georgia on the brink of going blue, an increasingly agitated Donald Trump has launched a major shake-up of his political staff. Reportedly infuriated by talk of being "tamed," the Republican nominee has rejected Manafort's moderating sway in favor of Breitbart News CEO Steve* Bannon, an alt-right firebrand who Bloomberg has called "the most dangerous political operative in America." Washington Post reporter Robert Costa foresees a vicious campaign in the making, a prospect further suggested by rumors that disgraced Fox News founder Roger Ailes will be advising Trump ahead of next months' debates with Hillary Clinton (whose odds of a landslide are currently on par with that of any Trump victory). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 17, 2016 - 2464 comments

O Sister, Where Art Thou?

This past May on Metafilter, we looked at “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls”, a wildly popular variety show that was broadcast every Wednesday night in the 1930's and 1940's from the state prison in Huntsville, TX. It featured performances by male and female prisoners. No recordings of the show have ever been found. In the early forties, eight inmates of the Goree State Farm prison unit formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country and their performances were broadcast on Thirty Minutes. The Goree All Girl String Band captured the hearts of millions of radio listeners but never cut a record or went on tour and have thus been ignored by music historians. When they were paroled, they nearly all vanished forever. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2016 - 2 comments

"You find out they made mistakes, thus proving that they are human.”

In 1938, as the Great Depression was winding down, a Texas radio station began airing “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls,” a variety show broadcast every Wednesday night from the state prison in Huntsville. The show featured male and female prisoners singing, strumming, dancing, and acting. At one point, it had five million listeners, who sent in as many as a 100,000 fan letters each year. Executions were stayed so that they would not conflict with the show, which was performed in an auditorium 50 yards from Old Sparky, the state’s electric chair.
A Peek at the Golden Age of Prison RadioThe Marshall Project: Nonprofit journalism about criminal justice [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on May 19, 2016 - 6 comments

Guy Clark, 1941-2016

Guy Clark, 1941-2016. (Houston Chronicle Obituary). One of the most admired songwriters of his generation, a giant of Texas music, a master luthier, a beloved friend to and deep influence on many other musicians, and the loving husband of the gifted Susanna Clark. (See them interviewed together in 2004.) [more inside]
posted by spitbull on May 17, 2016 - 44 comments

You don’t just move to Texas. It moves into you.

“My boyfriend (from N.Y.C.) says he’s never been in a state that prints pictures of itself on everything.”
Austin resident Allison wrote to the New York Times. The Times drew a massive reader response after it tried to figure out what Texas was last weekend. "Non-Texan readers seemed to be a mix of confused and outraged at the Texan way. They just don’t understand."
posted by zarq on May 14, 2016 - 137 comments

"I can’t say what their intent was"

The 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer Company has been ruled as arson. After 3 years and more than 400 interviews, the ATF has ruled out accidental and natural causes. [more inside]
posted by LizBoBiz on May 11, 2016 - 31 comments

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife ... nor his ox. (Exodus 20:17)

Cattle rustling in Texas has risen five-fold in the past decade. Driving it? Drought and desperation: "Cattle rustling has returned, but it has also changed; if the essential act has not, its context has. Today’s rustler has no hope of parlaying a few stolen cattle into a business. Rustling is no longer an aspirational crime, but a stopgap, a stay against desperation. A single head of cattle is not the seed of an empire; it’s a payday loan, a child support payment, or cash for pills. Rustling is not, in this sense, an archaic crime at all, but a crime very much of its time and place, adapted to today’s America, in which social classes are established and the frontier, whatever it was once, has collapsed." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Apr 26, 2016 - 31 comments

“Slavery has always been a legal institution. And it never ended.”

prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally and politically.” (pdf)
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 5, 2016 - 42 comments

Lego Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus

A Texan sheriff stumbles upon a vast secret civilization. A loophole enables the resurrection of one of history's greatest monsters. And it's all in Lego. Harry Potter Comics (page one), currently over seven hundred pages (three 'books' going on four) long. (Warning: spoilers for the official books; current character page spoils comic but there's different versions for each 'book').
posted by BiggerJ on Apr 4, 2016 - 10 comments

Not if, but when

Hell and High Water. Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country. It’s home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, where billions of gallons of oil and dangerous chemicals are stored. And it’s a sitting duck for the next big hurricane. (Non-interactive text version)
posted by zabuni on Mar 3, 2016 - 16 comments

Super Tuesday: it's going to be huge

The March 1st round of voting in US primaries and caucuses is today. Since 1988, no candidate has won his party’s nomination without winning Super Tuesday. With early voting and absentee voting already happening, the people of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will turn out for both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans in Alaska will hold caucuses, as will Democrats in Colorado. Democrats in American Samoa also nominate. On the Republican side, with 661 delegates to be allocated today, Donald Trump currently holds the delegate lead. On the Democrat side, with 865 delegates to be delegated today, Hillary Clinton currently holds the delegate lead. (A more visual delegate tracker) The actual POTUS election odds continue to make Hillary the favorite, from Donald with the rest at long odds. Politico has more information on today, as does the Wall Street Journal and 538. With variable weather for voters, Nate Silver being cautious about assumptions and Obama's surprise endorsement of Trump, it's all to play for.
posted by Wordshore on Mar 1, 2016 - 2708 comments

Reported uptick in resignations deemed highly political too

When a medical journal shared some "unflattering" observations about childbirth in Texas (contraception down, childbirth up), two years after Texas defunded Planned Parenthood, it caught the attention of the state Senate. Especially since two of the authors were employees of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. One of these two has since retired, although the particular verb describing his departure varies from publication to publication. [more inside]
posted by colex on Feb 23, 2016 - 6 comments

So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away - Matador

Matador, Texas is a town on borrowed time. If you're not from there or one of the few similarly sinking small towns scattered across the Great Plains region, you would almost definitely not know that it exists. Its population has fallen from 740 to just 607 in 10 years according to a 2010 census. Of course, it wasn't always that way. A true Texas round-up of links to celebrate the Matador that was and still is before it is gone. [more inside]
posted by Krazor on Jan 20, 2016 - 13 comments

“I’ve been here 33 years and I’ve never seen anything so bad,”

The Story Behind The Deadliest Prison Bus Crash In Texas History [BuzzFeed] In January 2015, a prison transport carrying 15 men — three guards and 12 chained-together inmates — ran off the road. It was one of the bloodiest days in the history of Texas prisons. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 18, 2016 - 20 comments

One wore a shirt that extolled the virtues of waterboarding.

It was, in some sense, intended to be a memorial. People filtered into the stadium under giant waving flags on the stadium’s external jumbotrons. But once inside, they were greeted with the giant floating head of John Krasinski, better known as Jim from The Office, who plays the movie’s protagonist, a security contractor named Jack Da Silva.

When [Krasinski] was interviewed on the stadium’s immense on-field red carpet, as part of the pre-show, he spoke about working with the real-life Da Silva to develop his character. A man in front of me groaned. “Oh, so now we know that character doesn’t die,” he said. “Great spoiler, dude.” Yes: Jim from The Office spoiled Benghazi.
I Watched Michael Bay's Benghazi Movie at Cowboys Stadium With 30,000 Pissed-Off Patriots
posted by Atom Eyes on Jan 15, 2016 - 196 comments

the largest Zika epidemic researchers have ever seen

"This is quite a large epidemic, so another question is how did this get so big so fast? And no one has the answer," said Hotez. "There's nothing really published, most of what we’re going on are World Health Organization alerts." First case of tropical zika virus linked to serious birth defect found in Texas (Jessica Glenza, The Guardian); What You Need To Know About the Zika Virus (Alexandra Ossola, Popular Science); CDC home page for resources and information; FAQ from Pan American Health Organization
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 14, 2016 - 24 comments

A Modest Proposal, Texas-Style

Texas Governor Greg Abbott published a document, "Restoring the Rule of Law With States Leading the Way"[PDF], which addresses what he describes as the U.S. Constitution being "increasingly eroded with each passing year." His solution, which he dubs "The Texas Plan": nine constitutional amendments. [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack on Jan 8, 2016 - 195 comments

Safe and Unrestricted Access to Abortion

“To the world, I am an attorney who had an abortion, and, to myself, I am an attorney because I had an abortion." The Center for Reproductive Rights and law firm Paul Weiss submitted an amicus brief [pdf] to the U.S. Supreme Court signed by 113 attorneys, detailing the importance of abortion rights in their own lives. [more inside]
posted by melissasaurus on Jan 8, 2016 - 55 comments

Just Desserts

Sandy Jenkins was a shy, daydreaming accountant at the Collin Street Bakery, the world’s most famous fruitcake company. He was tired of feeling invisible, so he started stealing—and got a little carried away.
posted by katie on Jan 1, 2016 - 72 comments

"The food is authentic in spirit."

"It was Asian enough for my immigrant parents and American enough for my sister and me." In the PBS feature documentary, Off The Menu, filmmaker Grace Lee traverses the US into the kitchens, factories, temples and farm of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving communities. Food Republic spoke with Jonathan Wu and Wilson Tang, whose NYC restaurant, Fung Tu, is featured in the film.
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 31, 2015 - 4 comments

RIP Rosie Roach

"A professor at Texas A&M University posted these photos to Facebook. 'There has been a dead cockroach in the Anthropology building's stairwell for at least two weeks. Some enterprising person has now made her a little shrine.'" Things escalated from there.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 20, 2015 - 75 comments

“We Patch Anything”: WPA Sewing Rooms

During the Depression, the Works Project Administration put American men to work on large-scale, highly-visible undertakings, like dam building and highway construction. Women, too, needed work, and some of them found it through WPA Sewing Rooms, where they earned wages for making clothing for low-income Americans. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Dec 11, 2015 - 6 comments

The Court takes its time on Fisher

Abigail Fisher, the white student who is challenging the use of race in admissions at the university which rejected her application in 2008, was back at the Supreme Court again, as she was for the first round of arguments in her case in October 2012. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 10, 2015 - 158 comments

"Tiny Band, Big Heart"

The 24-person marching band from Rotan, Texas, made it to the Division 1A state finals (i.e., "State") for the first time this year. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Dec 1, 2015 - 4 comments

Are you a real pirate?

God is God, and I am not. A lovely, long form account of a life well-lived.
posted by hydropsyche on Nov 19, 2015 - 12 comments

Totally Texas

On behalf of the MeFites of Norway: It has come to our attention that somebody has let slip that "totally Texas" (in Norwegian "helt texas") is used as an expression to convey that some event is crazy or totally out of control. After decades, the Americans now know. An investigation into the leak will be made. Thank you.
posted by Harald74 on Oct 22, 2015 - 132 comments

Shuttered: The End of Abortion Access in Red America

"Roe v. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court opinion legalizing abortion — started in Texas. Now, as abortion rights are under unprecedented attack, it’s Texas that could trigger the end of Roe v. Wade. At stake: The reproductive rights of millions of American women, across the entire country." Shuttered: The End of Abortion Access in Red America, with support from EHRP, the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
posted by milquetoast on Oct 19, 2015 - 54 comments

ONE BASEBALL PLAYER SLAPPED ANOTHER BASEBALL PLAYER ON THE BUTT

At the beginning of October, the Toronto Blue Jays at long last clinched the AL East division, ending a record 22-year drought [prev.]. Meanwhile, after a disastrous, injury-plagued 2014 season, the Texas Rangers rebounded from a late-summer nadir to improbably win the AL West title. The two teams collided in a best-of-five series -- Texas won two, then Toronto. It all came down to Wednesday night's showdown. Tied 2-2 after six, the 7th inning proceeded to unravel over the next 53 minutes in increasingly bizarre and dramatic fashion. To wit: A freak accident. A controversial call. Roars and brickbats from the crowd. The mayor tweets for calm. A comedy of errors. A violent slide. An epic home run, and an even more epic bat flip. Benches clear. Players ejected. Fans arrested. And the slap-ass heard 'round the world. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 15, 2015 - 109 comments

"What happened to Lane is illegal."

"A BuzzFeed News investigation into Texas judicial practice found that with no public defenders present, traffic court judges routinely flout the law, locking up people for days, weeks, and sometimes even months because they did not pay fines they could not afford. The result is a modern-day version of debtors prison, an institution that was common two centuries ago but has been outlawed since the early ’70s."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 8, 2015 - 45 comments

"I am healthy, and I have a plan to stay that way.”

Dallas County district attorney Susan Hawk's life fell apart after she took office: divorce, depression and thoughts of suicide. After she fired some of her most experienced staff and amid allegations of erratic or unstable behavior, she vanished from public view in late July. Nine weeks later, she re-emerged to announce that she had undergone two months of treatment at a mental health facility for Major Depressive Disorder. She says she’s ready once again to serve. Is she up to the job? (Some links in this post discuss suicide / suicidal ideation. Some readers may find linked content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 6, 2015 - 108 comments

Hear that lonesome whistle howl

Eugene Bostick built a train for his dog friends. More video here.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Sep 24, 2015 - 39 comments

"He’s vowed never to take an invention to school again."

A 14 year old in Dallas builds a digital clock. He takes it to school to show his teacher. The school has him arrested. [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts on Sep 15, 2015 - 709 comments

The Jungle but with ice cream

Inside Blue Bell: Grime and discontent [more inside]
posted by item on Sep 13, 2015 - 45 comments

Big Dig

In Baylor County, paleontologists are assembling clues to the prehistoric world of Dimetrodon. [previously]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 26, 2015 - 6 comments

Red Duke (1928-2015)

James Henry "Red" Duke passed away today at the age of 86. With his Texas accent and folksy expressions, Dr. Duke was most famous for his 15 year running TV series Health Reports which covered topics like hyperthyroidism, kidney stones, and even stress management. [more inside]
posted by fremen on Aug 25, 2015 - 17 comments

"Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."

If cuisine drives (or helps) you decide your travel plans, USA Today's list of food favorites covers Best Farmers Market, Best Food Trail, Best Food Factory Tour, Best Al Fresco Dining Neighborhood and Best Local Food Scene. All those lists are pretty self-explanatory, except for the food trails, which aren't even fully described in the more verbose slideshow of the top 10. And of course there are more than 10 food trails in the US (not to mention abroad), so let's dive in. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 23, 2015 - 13 comments

acting as their ghostly embodiments

In 1988, he was convicted of killing his stepsons—based on arson science we now know is bunk. A quarter of a century later, Texas granted him a new trial. While the state has not budged in its use of the death penalty—just last year topping 500 executions since the state brought back capital punishment in 1982—it has reinvented itself as a leader in arson science and investigation. A new fire marshal, Chris Connealy, revamped the state’s training and investigative standards. He also set up a panel comprised of some of the top fire scientists in the country to reconsider old cases that had been improperly handled by the original investigators. Graf’s case was one of the first up for review, and it was determined that the original investigators had made critical mistakes.
posted by bq on Aug 16, 2015 - 44 comments

Waiting for Delta

Are Rogue Militants Preparing for War on American Soil? (Spoiler: Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies here.) How that whole Jade Helm 15 conspiracy thing worked out, just in case you were wondering. Not yet established: correlation with frequency of chemtrails, if it was all a big headfake by the lizard people, whether it will affect Texas adopting the gold standard (previously on the blue).
posted by Halloween Jack on Aug 7, 2015 - 58 comments

On the death of Sandra Bland

As she's laid to rest, questions remain about whether her arrest was good policing, a bail system that is especially harsh on the poor, the stigma of marijuana use, treatment of depression and, of course, the long history of American racism, as seen in Waller County, Texas, were the initial incident occurred. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 26, 2015 - 177 comments

Read from left to right, top to bottom, and outside to inside

Pyroglyphics and The Secret Language of Cattle Branding
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jul 21, 2015 - 21 comments

That's less than $1500 an acre!

FOR SALE: Largest ranch in the U.S. within a single fence. Texas fixer-upper with more than 1,000 oil wells; 6,800 head of cattle; 500 quarter horses; 30,000 acres of cropland; tombstones for legendary cowboys, long-dead dogs, and a horse buried standing up. Favorite of Will Rogers and Teddy Roosevelt. Colorful history of drinking and divorce. Fifteen-minute drive to rib-eyes at the Rusty Spur in Vernon. Ideal for Saudi oil sheiks, billionaire hedge funders, and dot-commers who can tell a cow from a steer. Profitable. Zero debt. Property taxes only $800,000 a year. Price: $725 million.
posted by octothorpe on Jul 21, 2015 - 79 comments

Texas denying birth certificates to children of undocumented immigrants.

A recent civil rights lawsuit alleges that undocumented parents are being denied birth certificates for their children born in Texas, effectively denying the children the birthright citizenship enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment and federal law. State legislators have voiced their concern.
posted by goatdog on Jul 16, 2015 - 91 comments

nothing between the body and the earth

At rest in the fields. "Celebrating childhood's end" at Eloise Woods Community Natural Burial Park, in Cedar Creek, Texas. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2015 - 4 comments

a steady diet of fear, paranoia, and survivalism

With Eye on Fiscal Armageddon, Texas Set to 'Repatriate' Its Gold To New Texas Fort Knox
On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that will create a state-run gold depository in the Lone Star State – one that will attempt to rival those operated by the U.S. government inside Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault in lower Manhattan. “The Texas Bullion Depository,” Abbott said in a statement, “will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state.”
posted by andoatnp on Jun 16, 2015 - 98 comments

'Twelve officers responded to the incident, Conley said.'

"Police responding to reported disturbance at a community pool in McKinney, Texas, are seen in a video posted to YouTube aggressively subduing black teenagers and, at one point, pulling a gun on them."
Scott Neuman, NPR [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 7, 2015 - 642 comments

Al Jazeera tackles the thorny subject of legal guardianship

Al-Jazeera has recently taken on the topic of legal guardianship, in which a US citizen deemed incompetent to manage their own finances becomes a "ward of the state." When judges can take away senior citizens' basic rights (aired 5/26/2015) tells the story of Dorothy Luck, and a related written piece dated 6/1/2015 gives a detailed account on the story of John Stout, a Texas minister who helped "send Bibles to the moon" was declared incompetent after trying to give away some of his land. [more inside]
posted by aydeejones on Jun 2, 2015 - 11 comments

“You can’t rape someone who’s gay."

The New York Times and Jezebel profile Texas' refusal to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act. (trigger warning: sexual assault, violence)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 14, 2015 - 59 comments

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