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TexasObserver

@TexasObserver@texasobserver.social

Founded in 1954, the Texas Observer is a #progressive #nonprofit news outlet and print #magazine covering the Lone Star State.

Follow Interim Editor-in-Chief @gusbova
McHam Investigative Reporting Fellow @josephinelee

Become a member and support our work:
https://www.texasobserver.org/join/

#Texas #Politics #Culture

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Armed vigilantes in TX and AZ are collaborating with law enforcement, who have sometimes failed to arrest or charge them—even when vigilantes were filming committing crimes in front of officers, or when police documented violations.
https://www.texasobserver.org/border-vigilantes-law-enforcement-texas-arizona/

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The titular character of Daniel Chacon's new short story collection, The Last Philosopher in Texas: Fictions and Superstitions, came to him as he was walking his dog in Pecos, the windblown West town where his father once lived. https://www.texasobserver.org/the-chicano-time-traveler/

@bookstodon

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“For him to turn our concerns into satire is really insulting. It reeks of propaganda.”

From the archives: Hundreds of parents took the streets yesterday to protest Mike Miles' mass-firing of teachers. Let's look back at the time he forced staff to watch a musical about how awesome he is. https://www.texasobserver.org/houston-isd-takeover-the-musical/ via @josephinelee

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“They almost annihilated us, and that genocide continues. To destroy the environment you have to destroy the people who protect it.”

From our magazine: An industrial buildout on the southern tip of is erasing the last traces of an ancient world that still hasn’t died. From Correspondent Dylan Baddour: https://www.texasobserver.org/forgotten-keepers-of-the-rio-grande-delta/

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“We just can’t have a system that treats arrests more leniently than other ways of punishing your critics.”

This week's top story: A small-town dispute that spiraled out of control has landed at the U.S. Supreme Court, with potentially widespread consequences. https://www.texasobserver.org/small-town-politics-national-consequences/

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Did you know it was none other than Texas Observer matriarch Molly Ivins, one of his most piercing critics, who gifted Rick Perry with his enduring nicknames—“Governor Goodhair” and “The Coiffure”?

In a sprawling new biography, Brandon Rottinghaus revives the long, large, and colorful tale of Perry’s rise and reshaping of politics. https://www.texasobserver.org/rick-perry-biography-governor-politician/

@bookstodon

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In a new memoir, Christa Brown, one of the nation’s best-known clergy abuse survivors and whistleblowers, shares the shocking story of her escape from Baptistland.

An interview with Investigations Editor Lise Olsen: https://www.texasobserver.org/baptist-metoo-clergy-abuse-book-sbc/

@bookstodon

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New today: A UT professor and expert on freedom of expression weighs in on the controversial arrests of 57 individuals, including a journalist, at a campus demonstration yesterday. An interview from Reporting Fellow Francesca D'Annunzio ... https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-dps-palestine-first-amendment/

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New today: More than 1,000 captive trophy-hunting ranches operate in the United States, most of them in Texas. Some routinely offer hunts of endangered or threatened exotic species. This should not be allowed.

An OpEd from Amber Gobell ... https://www.texasobserver.org/exotics-hunting-endangeredspecies-wildlife-environment/

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When Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn was a child growing up in an evangelical family in Lubbock, Texas, her father, a former air force pilot, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 38. Her family sought help from preachers, holy men and faith healers but unbeknownst to them, her father had been exposed to high levels of PFAS — as of this month, limited in drinking water by the FDA — on the military sites where he had worked. @TexasObserver has published this extract from Blackburn's memoir, "Loose of Earth," in which she talks about these forever chemicals, how they may have been linked to her father's illness, and a story her grandmother once shared.

https://flip.it/pFixG3

@bookstodon

TexasObserver ,
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@CultureDesk Thanks for sharing! We appreciate y'all! 🤠

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Catch up on everything the March/April 2024 issue of Texas Observer magazine has to offer: https://www.texasobserver.org/issues/march-april-2024/

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    “We must have this national conversation. How are we going to deal with long ?”

    Featured post: Medical experts and those suffering from this still-mysterious condition are demanding better—more research and healthier air to breathe. https://www.texasobserver.org/long-covid-texas-clearing-the-air/

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    PFAS do not break down but rather persist indefinitely. It is possible that Dad drank carcinogenic for most of his life.

    New today, an excerpt from Loose of Earth: A Memoir, by published April 2024. https://www.texasobserver.org/pfas-texas-memoir-forever-chemicals/

    @bookstodon

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    New today: A literary website that has connected bookish Texans since 2015 nearly closed this year. Then one of its readers saved it. From Investigations Editor Lise Olsen. https://www.texasobserver.org/lone-star-literature-website/

    @bookstodon

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    From our magazine: The latest from Texas Observer political cartoonist Ben Sargent.

    Read more from the March/April 2024 issue: https://www.texasobserver.org/issues/march-april-2024/

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    An advisor to President Eisenhower once wrote, “The highway plan should not be the central pattern around which a community develops ...”

    And yet highways have dominated and destroyed the state's environment, disrupting communities. Investigative Reporting Fellow @josephinelee reviews Megan Kimble's book "City Limits," which offers a new vision for : https://www.texasobserver.org/roadmap-to-rebuilding-communities/

    @bookstodon

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    “We must have this national conversation. How are we going to deal with long ?"

    This week's top story: Millions are suffering from the lingering effects of the pandemic, with millions more at risk. Can we rise to the challenge? From Correspondent and former Digital Editor Kit @oconnell: https://www.texasobserver.org/long-covid-texas-clearing-the-air/

    TexasObserver , to Photography
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    From the archives: The rules of barrel racing, the only female-dominated rodeo sport, are simple. It’s the execution that’s hard. https://www.texasobserver.org/on-a-dime/

    @photography

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    “Being with him, it’s like you start to realize things about the world that you would definitely not be paying attention to.”

    “Life is once, forever” captures the now-or-never labor of both photography and familial love, writes Interim Editor-in-Chief @gusbova: https://www.texasobserver.org/sxsw-dan-winters-documentary-photographer/

    @photography @film

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    “Many elected officials want the . There are literally hundreds of election deniers in Congress. Do you think they’re going to allow a federal agency to counter disinformation?”

    Is our ready for technologies? Special Investigative Correspondent @stevanzetti reports from : https://www.texasobserver.org/sxsw-disinformation-artificial-intelligence/

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    Celebrating the "joy and resiliency and culture" of at a special event ...

    Interim Editor-in-Chief @gusbova reports from San Antonio in the March/April 2024 issue of our magazine: https://www.texasobserver.org/puro-pinche-palestina/

    @palestine

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    “Librarians are being harassed in private Facebook groups. They’re receiving pressure from within and outside the school.”

    But bookstores, libraries and book lovers of all kinds came together to fight back against the censorious, so-called READER act. From correspondent Matthew Patin: https://www.texasobserver.org/the-booksellers-revolt/

    @bookstodon +

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    Latest: Bellingcat and Steven Monacelli for the @TexasObserver identify the leader of a white nationalist movement in Texas using image analysis and his old band music. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2024/02/15/texas-active-club-leader-blurred-his-face-but-forgot-to-scrub-his-socials/?utm_source=mastodon

    TexasObserver ,
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    @jmcrookston @Bellingcat it's especially fun when the extremist's lawyer calls you up and offers you additional OSINT, just because you ruffled some feathers.

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    Cancer factories: Toxic chemicals remain a well-documented, potentially lethal threat to workers thanks to a weak OSHA and lax standards, says investigative reporter in a new book. Senior Writer and Editor Lise Olsen interviewed the author. https://www.texasobserver.org/cancer-goodyear-dupont?utm_campaign=mastodon

    @bookstodon

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    “Technically, the ICCPR and other human rights treaties are the law of the land, and they should supplant any law that violates them.”

    Last week: These 4 nonprofits are demanding the United Nations intercede on behalf of + residents of the Lone Star state.
    https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-anti-lgbtq-laws-united-nations-human-rights?utm_campaign=mastodon

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    “My soul abandoned me in Matamoros, where the northeast corner of meets the limits of . I am almost sure that it remained there, held hostage inside the state of Tamaulipas, where I had just encountered recently discovered clandestine graves.”

    Earlier: Senior Writer and Editor Lise Olsen brought us this exclusive translation of an excerpt from Marcela Turati's new book. https://www.texasobserver.org/san-fernando-last-stop-book-excerpt-mexico-mass-grave?utm_campaign=mastodon

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    Featured story: Naomi Shihab Nye told us she's had ”a lifetime, instinctive connection” to , and deep ties to her roots in as well. An interview with our former editor ... https://www.texasobserver.org/palestinian-american-poet-naomi-shihab-nye-gaza-palestine?utm_campaign=mastodon

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    “For more than a century, the US has devised one policy after another to keep people out of the country. For more than a century, it has failed.”

    Jonathan Blitzer, an journalist, asks provocative questions about the and our human rights record there in his new book, Everyone Who is Gone is Here. Senior Staff Writer @gusbova reviews: https://www.texasobserver.org/central-america-book-migration-jonathan-blitzer?utm_campaign=mastodon

    @bookstodon

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    Yesterday: "I was thinking how horrific it is that have to suffer these disasters, and I felt like I needed to write something in their honor. That’s how that came to be—but the weird part about that poem is, it’s not obsolete; it’s continued to be relevant all these years."
    https://www.texasobserver.org/palestinian-american-poet-naomi-shihab-nye-gaza-palestine?utm_campaign=mastodon from @dannunzio

    @palestine

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    Featured story: Currently being challenged by the federal government, Senate Bill 4 could be the vehicle for the U.S. Supreme Court to finally unleash Lone Star on the world’s huddled masses.
    https://www.texasobserver.org/sb-4-texas-state-immigration-law?utm_campaign=mastodon

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    From the archives: At the fall of Roe v. Wade, we studied the history of criminalizing to predict how the state targets pregnant people and their doctors...
    https://www.texasobserver.org/abortion-before-roe-v-wade-after?utm_campaign=mastodon

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    If Ted Cruz is re-elected, the one-time champion of term limits will have a tenure old enough to buy lottery tickets.

    In the latest Political Intelligence column from our magazine, Senior Writer @justinmiller looks at whether anyone can unseat the junior senator, who spends more time podcasting than legislating these days ... https://www.texasobserver.org/ted-cruz-roland-gutierrez-senate?utm_campaign=mastodon

    renwillis , to Video Games
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    It be like that now. 🥺

    TexasObserver ,
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    @renwillis at least we got Super Mario Wonder this year!

    TexasObserver , to Non Political Twitter
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    : A thread of our favorite stories we published in 2023 ... The year we almost went under.

    In our first cover story after our financial crisis, we investigated the crisis occurring in Women's Health Care and a crucial low-income program many families depend on ... https://www.texasobserver.org/wrecking-womens-healthcare?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    “This is fuckin’ morbid man. Texas just does not give a fuck.”

    : Senior Political Reporter @justinmiller got to the bottom of Greg Abbott's endless money pit—the wall—and the issues it raises for , public thrift, and property rights. https://www.texasobserver.org/abbotts-billion-dollar-barrier?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    “The way that has treated San Antonio letter carriers during this summer’s heat wave is inexcusable. They have been misleading to members of Congress, gone back on their word, and created a dangerous working environment."

    : @josephinelee interviewed mail carriers, who told us the agency doctored their training records to cover up violation of its own heat-illness prevention rules.
    https://www.texasobserver.org/usps-worker-heat-death-safety/

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    : The Justice Department’s plans to return money stolen from the state of Coahuila raise questions about who should get the money. From Correspondent Jason Buch ... https://www.texasobserver.org/who-gets-mexicos-missing-money?utm_campaign=mastodon

    Jason’s earlier series, Follow the Money, was named one of the 15 best investigative reports in all of the Americas in 2022-2023 at COLPIN, the Latin American Investigative Reporting Conference. https://www.texasobserver.org/fincen-failed-money-laundering?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    : Our Board Member Kathleen McElroy stood up for this year—and all hell broke loose. Editor-in-Chief @gabrielarana tells you what happened. https://www.texasobserver.org/mccarthyism-texas-am-journalism-freedom?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    Another honor we received in 2023: Contributing photographer Jesse Freidin garnered a nomination for a National Magazine Award (the magazine Oscars) for a photo essay on youth, with contributions from Digital Editor Kit @oconnell ... https://www.texasobserver.org/trans-kids-youth-are-you-ok-photos?utm_campaign=mastodon

    +

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    : The legislature kept consolidating power this year, undermining the ability of city governments to choose their own course. Senior Staff Writer @gusbova dug into the so-called "Death Star" bill which passed over the summer ... https://www.texasobserver.org/death-star-hb-2127-democracy?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    : Board Member Kathleen McElroy also described her experiences for us, including the uncomfortable feeling of making headlines when you're more used to writing them ...
    https://www.texasobserver.org/kathleen-mcelroy-journalism-am-essay?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    : A teacher at a San Antonio charter dared Libs of TikTok to come after him for displaying a flag. The results were both predictable and a tragic indictment of our state and its , wrote Editor-in-Chief @gabrielarana ... https://www.texasobserver.org/a-queer-teacher-in-edgewood-picked-a-fight-he-couldnt-win?utm_campaign=mastodon

    +

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    TexasObserver OP ,
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    "It strikes me, and may strike you, as a bit crazy to come out as in an essay like this. I’m publicly revealing myself to be a member of a marginalized community in the midst of a moral panic targeting our very existence."

    April Ortiz shared her journey with us, in one of the best articles we published this year:
    https://www.texasobserver.org/i-am-a-trans-texan?utm_campaign=mastodon

    +

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    “This was the choice of the school to refer to law enforcement, the choice of the law enforcement to detain the child, the choice of the prosecutor to charge him and try to trump up the charges.”

    Our most read story, and one of the most infuriating, was Reporting Fellow @josephinelee's investigation into the plight of 11-year-old Timothy Murray: https://www.texasobserver.org/why-was-this-11-year-old-honor-roll-student-put-in-solitary?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    “Over the last 20 years or so, have been organizing at a faster rate than any other profession.”

    : Nurses at Ascension Seton made history in 2023 by going on twice. Senior Writer @gusbova learned about why they walked out for patient safely:
    https://www.texasobserver.org/why-nurses-are-making-lone-star-labor-history?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    “We’ve issued a whole lot of rights—basically more water rights than there really is water ...”

    : In the crown jewel of our Drifting Toward Disaster series on the of Texas, our former Environment Reporter Delger Erdenesanaa (who left us this year for the NYTimes) introduces us to the activists fighting a chemical giant for control of one of our most vital waterways ...
    https://www.texasobserver.org/dow-brazos-river-pollution-nurdles?utm_campaign=mastodon

    TexasObserver OP ,
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    : Over the last three years an interconnected network of PACs, largely funded by billionaires who support school privatization, has begun to transform the nature of school board elections across . Special Investigative Correspondent @stevanzetti dug deep into the money transforming local ...
    https://www.texasobserver.org/school-board-pacs-consultants-right-wing?utm_campaign=mastodon

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