Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

A backlash against American Muslims is on the rise again after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and last week's attacks in San Bernardino, Calif. Advocates say the number of hate crimes and harassment incidents today is nearly as bad as it was in the weeks after Sept. 11.

An anti-Muslim climate seems especially potent in the Dallas area.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

When Lammes Candies started operating in Austin 130 years ago, the Texas State Capitol wasn’t even built.

When the founder of the company, William Wirt Lamme was born, Stephen F. Austin – the so-called father of Texas – was still alive. Generations later, Lamme’s great-great-grandson Bryan Teich co-owns the candy company, along with his sisters.


Believe It or Not, Upgrade Planned for Alamo

Dec 4, 2015
gilgamesh/flickr

From the Texas Tribune: Consider the Alamo. Arguably the most notable historic site in the state, the modest Spanish mission's stone facade is nestled deep in the heart of San Antonio, beckoning history buffs and proud Texans alike.

And across the street tourists can see the world's largest Hawaiian shirt, or take photos next to a likeness of the man who holds the world record for balancing the most beer kegs on his head (11).

Photo via Office of the Texas Attorney General

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott used to joke when he was attorney general that he'd get up in the morning, go to work, sue the Obama Administration and then go home.  He’d wake up and do the same thing the next day.

The latest Texas suit by current attorney general Ken Paxton against the Obama Administration is not what you might describe as an everyday lawsuit. Indeed, newspapers across the country have taken note of Texas' decision to sue the Federal government over its plans to resettle Syrian refugees.

 


Image via Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Just a month ago, service providers in Texas were gearing up to receive some of the estimated 10,000 Syrian refugees scheduled to arrive in the United States in 2016. Last month's terrorist attacks in Paris raised caution flags for many state governors, including Gov. Greg Abbott.


Image via Flickr/Oliver Townend (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been in Cuba this week talking trade. He arrived in Havana on Monday with a delegation of 25 people to explore business opportunities between the formerly embargoed country and the Lone Star State.

Photo via Flickr/ydhsu (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you want to hold public office in Texas, you have to believe in God. You cannot serve even as dog catcher – if it’s an elected office, you must believe in God.

Given the long history we have had of con artists, and scofflaws, carpetbaggers, and white-collar criminals holding public office around the state, this may seem hard to believe.

But it is right there in the Texas constitution. Plain as day.

 


Image via Twitter/Padgett4Texas

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Constitution says there's no religious test for office holders – provided that "he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme being."

So much for prohibitions on religious tests – not to mention female candidates.

The "supreme being" clause went unchallenged for years, until three decades ago. It was then Texas' Attorney General agreed there's no way to enforce any real or imagined constitutional ban on atheist office-holders.

 


Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz spent the weekend in Iowa, where questions about his eligibility to hold the nation's highest office still linger.


UNHCR via Texas Tribune

Texas officials are warning refugee groups that they should not allow any Syrian refugees into Texas. Texas Health Commissioner Chris Traylor sent a letter the International Rescue Committee’s Dallas office saying the state could take legal action if Governor Greg Abbott's directive to keep out Syrian refugees is not followed.

Photo via Flickr/fabliaux (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The nation is currently in a judicial crisis – and Texas is right in the middle of it.

For many years now, Carl Tobias has been sounding an alarm over unfilled seats on the federal bench, but the University of Richmond law professor now says the epicenter of the problem is the Lone Star State. Texas has far more vacancies than any other state in the country, he notes.

 


Screenshot via Google Earth Streetview

From Texas Standard:

Undocumented immigrant women detained in the privately run T. Don Hutto Residential Detention Facility went on a hunger strike in October.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which oversees the operation, has denied there ever was a hunger strike, saying that an individual has to miss nine consecutive meals for such a protest to be called a true hunger strike.

 


Image via Flickr/DFID (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

State officials have upped the ante against groups that provide services for Syrian Refugees. Over the Thanksgiving holiday Texas Health Commissioner Chris Traylor sent a letter to one such organization, a Dallas branch of the International Rescue Committee – a group that helps refugees resettle in the state.

Brian Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle reports that the letter says the Health Commission has been “unable to achieve cooperation” with the IRC, and is threatening to sue if the IRC does not comply with Gov. Greg Abbott's order to block all Syrian Refugees.

 


The Man Who Witnessed the Fall of the Alamo

Nov 30, 2015
Image via Flickr/pyle313 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Fransisco Antonio Ruiz was there.

He was an eyewitness, as the alcalde – or mayor – during the siege of the Alamo. While the siege was going on, Ruiz's father, José Fransisco Ruiz, was 150 miles to the east at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he represented San Antonio as a delegate to the convention that formally declared Texas' independence.

 


Image via Wikimedia Commons/LBJ Library (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

In Texas, the name Lady Bird Johnson demands a great amount of respect. That’s because Lady Bird was a Texan through and through. Her life began in rural Karnack – thanks to determination and hard work, she eventually became the owner of several mid-size media companies, the First Lady of the United States and a protector of the nation’s wildflowers.

But along the way, the story of Lady Bird has shifted and people have decided focus less on her strengths and more on the mercurial nature of her husband, Lyndon B. Johnson. What people often ignore is the political partnership that the two shared.

 


Image via Flickr/That Other Paper (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you've ever been to a courthouse, you've likely had to step through a metal detector: no weapons allowed. But in city halls, which often host court proceedings, whether weapons are allowed is still questionable.

Screenshot from Net-a-Porter.com

From Texas Standard: 

Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec is a small indigenous town in the mountains of Oaxaca. The 3,500 people who call it home speak Mixe. Few speak Spanish. But despite its remote location, the town is famous for two things. Everyone there seems to play a musical instrument – they even have a traveling orchestra. But primarily, the town is known for its embroideries.


Image via Flickr/SAM Nasim (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Each day in the United States, four to five children die due to child abuse and neglect. That number comes out to about 1,500 children each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and experts say many more cases go unreported.

Image via Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and many would-be passengers are hoping airlines will be trying to make the holiday flying experience somewhat less unpleasant. According to a new study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), however, it looks like happy customers don’t really make airlines any more profitable.

Image via Flickr/Gobierno de Chile (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The biggest trade agreement in history has been out of the headlines the past week as the international community has been focused on terrorist events. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership shouldn't be ignored. The deal establishes trade relations between the United States and eight other countries. Several Asian countries are part of the deal, but China isn't.


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