John Gravois

Politics, Government and Military articles and writing samples

‘Everybody’s completely traumatized’ after shooting at Arlington high school

ARLINGTON — The warnings of an “active shooter” at Timberview High School instantly stirred the worst fears. Even after hundreds of relieved families learned their children were safe, they were still struggling with the tragedy of a critically wounded 15-year-old among the four injured — and the reality that the toll could have been far more grave. Quinnet Momoh stood crying outside the school hours later, waiting for her 16-year-old daughter, Mimi, who was in class when the shooting began shor

Odds still against expanding gambling in Texas despite Supreme Court ruling

Odds still against expanding gambling in Texas despite Supreme Court ruling AUSTIN -- The U.S. Supreme Court may be clearing the way for states to legalize betting on sporting events, but don't expect the Texas Legislature to make such a move anytime soon. Expanding gambling in Texas has been a non-starter for years in the Legislature, even as demands for new and additional revenue sources continue to grow. Religious leaders, conservative groups and Republican legislative leaders have all work

State-of-the-art U.S. missile defense system developed in Texas

AUSTIN — The crisis over North Korea's nuclear missile program is centered almost 7,000 miles from Texas, but there's a strong Lone Star connection to the conflict. The new state-of-the-art U.S. missile defense system being counted on by America and its allies to protect against an attack from North Korea was designed in Texas at the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control facility in Grand Prairie, smack in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Like many Pentagon projects, this one

Trump to pay homage to Cajun Navy for Harvey rescue work in Houston

Trump to pay homage to Cajun Navy for Harvey rescue work in Houston Seeking to honor some of the heroes of Hurricane Harvey, President Donald Trump has invited the founder of the Cajun Navy as one of his more than a dozen special guests for Tuesday night's State of the Union address. John Bridgers, founder of the group now called Cajun Navy 2016, helped lead the nonprofit volunteer group based in South Louisiana as several hundred members poured into Texas with boats to help victims escape Har

From the archives: Perot not exactly a trailblazer

This article originally appeared in the May 3, 1992, Houston Post. Each step in Ross Perot's national petition drive to get on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate in all 50 states is ballyhooed as a milestone, but the Dallas billionaire is blazing no trails. Lenora Fulani, hardly a household name, pulled off the feat in 1988, getting ballot access not only in all 50 states, but also the District of Columbia and Guam, yet her success drew scant media attention. The same year, f

Pro-choice forces not optimistic about outlook for Roe vs. Wade

The pro-choice movement pleaded emotionally Wednesday with the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold abortion rights for women, but its lead lawyer expressed deep concern about the future of Roe vs. Wade. Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey, one of few national Democratic figures who are openly anti-abortion, insisted that the pro-life movement "did not bring this case to overturn Roe vs. Wade ... The question here is the extent to which states can go on protecting innocent, defenseless, unborn human life."

U.S. Senate Confirms Thomas 52-48

WASHINGTON -- A bitterly divided U.S. Senate confirmed Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas by a 52-48 margin Tuesday, climaxing one of the most strange and salacious episodes in congressional history. Thomas, 43, who a few days ago was so frustrated by the process that he informed members of the Senate Judiciary Committee they could "take this job and shove it," will become the 106th justice and only the second black ever to serve on the high court.

Immigration: Tapping into racism at the border?

WASHINGTON -- Republican mavericks Patrick Buchanan and David Duke argue that protecting jobs is the just cause for erecting fences and deploying troops along the U.S.-Mexico border to stem illegal immigration. But going into this week's pivotal Super Tuesday primaries in Texas and 10 other states, GOP pollster David Hill contends another force is motivating the renegade president candidates -- the desire to tap into "latent racism" among voters.

MotherJones: Bad, bad, No-rap Brown

While heading police departments in Atlanta, Houston, and New York, Lee Brown was so smooth they called him “No-rap Brown.” Now he’s America’s drug czar, directing the Office for National Drug Policy Control. We tried to pin him down: Q: How are you different from your predecessor, William Bennett? A: We’ll place more emphasis on reducing demand for drugs by focusing on our youths, our inner cities. Q: When do you start education, prevention, and treatment? A: In preschool. [Parents], school

U.S., allies ready to loosen rules on high-tech exports, experts say

"Smart" weapons technology used by the United States to crush Iraq is destined to again fall into dangerous hands as an international consortium moves to relax export controls, national security experts contend. Because lax controls helped Saddam Hussein emerge as a military force in the first place, experts argue it's astonishing that the United States and the 16 other member nations of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) are still working on a new agreement to further loosen controls.
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