Apparently the large, uneaten meal of the Death Row inmate convicted of that awful dragging death in Jasper in 1998 was the last straw.
State Sen. James Whitmire complained to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and a few hours later they agreed: no more specially ordered final meals. They can eat what all the prisoners eat.
The Texas Tribune report indicates there may be general agreement on the change:
Jim Harrington, director of theÂ Texas Civil Rights Project, said he is opposed to the death penalty, but he agreed with Whitmire’s sentiment. “It is anomalous that you would do this for anybody in prison,” Harrington said. “To me, it sort of reflects sort of a guilty idea, some guilt that the person is going to be executed.”
I wish I’d known about this earlier so I could have had the time to workshop my jokes. But our old buddy Eric Celeste has been named the editor in chief of Atlanta’s Creative Loafing. You can read how “incredibly excited” he is about the new gig on their blog. Feel free, those of you who know Eric, to use our comments section to tell the CL staff what they need to know about their new boss.
As Liz mentioned earlier, September is all things to all people. Well, yesterday was “World Peace Day.” It was also the 10-year anniversary of the day Mark Stroman shot Rais Bhuiyan in the face. For both of these reasons, and to promote the idea of peace and forgiveness world-wide, Bhuiyan launched a new site yesterday: WorldWithoutHate.org. Click around, it’s interesting.
You can also read my story about Bhuiyan and his fight to stop Stroman’s execution here.
I love that multiple persons have already Googled the exact phrase “September is national what month.” Out of options like National Preparedness Month and National Guide Dog Month, National Bourbon Heritage Month sounds like the most fun. The great man who sponsored the 2007 bill is a Republican senator from Kentucky, which should surprise no one. The fact that the bill passed through the Senate unanimously is about as surprising as me instantly wanting to eat this Twinkie. So glad this country could finally agree on something.
It’s also National Yoga Month. I already knew that one, though, thanks to Exhale Spa’s NamasDAY event. The spa, located at the Hotel Palomar, is offering free classes all day long. It would be great for a little relaxation over lunch, or you can stop by after work for a 6:30 p.m. music flow or the 7:30 p.m. beginner class.
FrontRow’s Peter Simek always compiles a handy list of all the gallery shows opening each weekend that are worth checking out (while sampling free booze, of course). He left off the Texas Discovery Gardens’ art party this evening, which celebrates a new installation in the building’s two-story lobby just in time for the State Fair. I’m really more enticed by the rare opportunity to visit the butterfly house after dark, despite their penchant for palm trees. I feel like it goes without saying that there will be live music, wine, and food at this shindig, but I’m saying it anyway.
For more to do tonight, go here.
And here they are, courtesy of the DBJ
UPDATE: Forbes says we’ve got the second-most of any city in the U.S. By state, Texas has the third-most.
According to this (free-but-not-for-long) story by Jeffrey Weiss at the DMN, not really. “Chances are small, but not zero, that we’ll even see a splash of light across the sky as it burns and disintegrates.”
The best part (aside from the fact that we probably won’t get hit in the head by a falling satellite) might be the quotes from Marc Hairston, a space science researcher at UTD. First quote of the entire story: “The earth is very big.” The only other quote in the story, about how the satellite could potentially land almost anywhere: “Santa Claus and the penguins are safe.” Scientists are funny.
You remember Barrett Brown. Comes news that he and his buddy Gregg Housh are in NYC right now, shopping a book about Anonymous. After I wrote that profile of Barrett, I got to meet Gregg (for the profile, I’d only talked to him on the phone). He and Barrett make an odd couple. Where Barrett is — oh, what’s the right word? — a libertine, Gregg, from what I could gather, is a teetotaling nerd (in the nicest sense). Someone ought to write a book about those two writing a book together. I’d read both.
Dallas native James McAuley, writing for the New Yorker,Â runs into Larry McMurtry at his famed bookshop. (H/t Bud Kennedy)
According to a study by the Center for Immigration Studies of data from the Census Bureau, population growth in Texas from 2007-2010 came primarily from native-born citizens. ButÂ 40 percent of new jobs created went to illegal immigrants. To make matters worse, another 41 percent of new jobs went to legal immigrants. For those keeping score at home, that’s 81 percent.
I don’t know the Center for Immigration Studies. I haven’t studied the report. And I’m not an opponent of immigration. But if this is true, Rick Perry can kiss his presidential hopes goodbye.
By the way, for a measured and thoughtful analysis of how to control illegal immigration and improve native-born, middle-class jobs, read Palo Alto entrepreneur Ron Unz’s provocative article in this month’s American Conservative. Warning: it’s long, it’s serious, and it’s not what you would expect.
Rangers Cut Their Magic Number to Three. Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler homered, C.J. Wilson got his 200th strikeout (first Ranger pitcher to do so since Nolan Ryan in 1991), and my magic number remains 8.
LBJ Gets More Terrible. Just everyone promise me you won’t go on there, OK? PROMISE.
Questions Raised About Trinity River Quality. I guess no part of the Trinity is worth a dang. Not one part.
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe Working on His Exit. Kind of a surprise, since Beebe has handled the turmoil surrounding the conference (HQ’d in Irving) over the last year almost perfectly. Except for a few things. Among them: everything.
I’m One of the Best Highway Drivers Who Has Ever Graced Our Nation’s Highways With His Highway Driving. Seemed worth mentioning. Terrible on surface streets, though. Just terrible. But on a highway? Jeez. Forget about it.