Once and for all, the city of Dallas is not in a state of panic and has no reason to be

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Mayor Mike Rawlings, left, and County Judge Clay Jenkins

To hear Good Morning America tell it, “The city of Dallas is in a state of panic.” That piece of stupidity was how the show started one morning at the beginning of the media-driven Ebola panic and is the reason I no longer watch the show.

Here’s some of the things that went on in the city in a state of panic.

The State Fair of Texas —  which this weekend ended its run, roughly corresponding to the 21-day quarantine period for the family and neighbors of Thomas Duncan — set a record. Coupon sales were estimated at $41 million, up from last year’s $37.

Sounds like the city’s in a state of panic to me.

During the last three weeks, Southwest Airlines increased the number of cities it flies to from Love Field by 15 and increased daily flights to the city by 30. At the same time, Virgin America began flying from both coasts to Love Field.

That’s what happens during a panic — businesses expand and travel to the city increases.

Another good thing that happened over the past three weeks was just as an Ebola case was reported in Dallas, Gov. Rick Perry left the country. He spent the “Ebola crisis” in Europe, but that’s good news. Instead of having to deal with stupidity coming from the governor’s mansion, Mayor Mike Rawlings, County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dallas County HHS Director Zach Thompson only had to deal with stupidity and misquotes coming from national and local broadcast media.

The Dallas Morning News has done a good job covering Ebola. They’ve devoted quite a bit of space to getting out actual facts. Jacquielynn Floyd’s column on Ebolaphobia is brilliant.

But here’s something they did that seemed, well, peculiar: “Dr. Seema Yasmin answers Ebola questions on Twitter.”

If people have questions about Ebola — how you can catch it, how to prevent it, what precautions to take, why we should or shouldn’t panic while taking this dangerous and deadly virus seriously — how can anyone answer in 140 characters? If pages of articles don’t answer the questions, a tweet certainly won’t.

But I guess her column served a purpose. If people won’t read an article, maybe at least they’ll read a tweet — like this one: Hey, @MarkDavis, a travel ban won’t work. Happy to explain to you in person why it won’t work & how bad it would be for public health.

I guess her tweets do serve a good purpose — she’s using them to call out stupid. (Mark Davis is a local right-wing shock jock).

Here’s Rawlings’ message telling the rest of the world Dallas in not in a state of panic.

—  David Taffet

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says he’ll vote yes on marriage equality resolution

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Mike Rawlings

Even though he believes it’s a “misuse” of the council’s time, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings plans to vote in favor of a resolution supporting marriage equality and LGBT employment protections, according to Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd.

Rawlings, who claims he personally supports marriage equality, sparked outrage in the LGBT community when he declined to sign a pledge from Mayors for the Freedom to Marry in January 2012.

Since Councilman Scott Griggs announced his pro-LGBT resolution in December 2012, Rawlings has repeatedly declined to say how he would vote on the issue.

Earlier this month, when Griggs placed the resolution on the agenda and said he had the votes needed to pass it even without the mayor’s support, Rawlings again drew the ire of the LGBT community by stating that he thought the resolution was a “misuse” of the council’s time — but he still refused to say how he would vote. The resolution is now on the council’s agenda for June 12.

Rawlings told The DMN’s Floyd he still doesn’t believe marriage equality is a city issue — and he still doesn’t plan to sign the pledge, which he’s now calling “a Grover Norquist thing.” (WTF?)

It’s also interesting that Rawlings shared his decision with the Morning News and not the Voice, which has been asking his office about the issue for six months. Bitter much, Mike?

That’s OK, we’ll still take your vote, but don’t think for a second this gets you off the hook for your lack of support for the LGBT community over the last two years. If Rawlings plans to run for re-election in 2015 and expects to win the LGBT vote, he’s got a long way to go.

—  John Wright

Jacquielynn Floyd at the DMN gets it right

Ever since the joint TABC/FWPD raid on the Rainbow Lounge on June 28, people in the LGBT community have been outraged over the police reports indicating that patrons in the bar made “sexually suggestive movements” toward officers and that Chad Gibson — the guy who ended up in ICU with a brain hemorrhage — groped an officer.

We in the LGBT community know the “gay panic” or “trans panic” defense when we see it. And we know it’s B.S. Which is one reason the LGBT community has been so angry over this whole thing.

But the non-LGBT community, at least in this instance, just doesn’t seem to get it. Except for Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd.

In a column on the DMN site posted today, Floyd says: “there’s something odd and disturbing about the official version of events submitted by the Fort Worth police officers at the scene. Yes, I mean the creepy “groping” allegation.”

She also writes: “There’s an ugly and unprofessional whiff of ‘gay panic’ about the police report, which seems to say, ‘We didn’t use excessive force. But if we did, how can you blame us? We were groped by gay men!’ Even if the groping tale were true, would it excuse breaking somebody’s head? If women got a pass for cracking the skull of any man who made an unwelcome pass in a bar, there would be an alarming rise in the incidence of head injuries.”

Yes, it’s been more than a month since the Rainbow Lounge raid occurred. And yes, we would have liked to see someone in the mainstream press point out the “gay panic” thing a little earlier. But Ms. Floyd has done it now, and I, for one, am glad she did.

—  admin