Threats Loomed, But Things Actually Turned Out OK For Dallas And The Surrounding Areas This Week.

Welcome to D-Rated, in which we try to determine if the quality of life in Dallas and its surrounding areas is moving up or down by arbitrarily assigning point values to current events.

Un-American Sniper: Another week, another insanely major story. On Saturday, a gunman opened fire on DPD headquarters and had a vehicle filled with explosives ready to do some major damage. Fortunately, the police handled the whole situation extremely well, took out the shooter and detonated the explosives safely. Thankfully, no one else was hurt or killed. Plus 10.

Frack You: Because our State Legislature is filled with corporate slaves and out-and-out jerks, no municipality is allowed to ban fracking — the controversial process of extracting natural gas from the shale beneath the ground — in Texas. (This decision comes from the same people who think the state should be able to trump the federal government when they pass laws they don't like.) Until this week, though, Denton decision to ban fracking within city limits was still on the books, even though it was essentially rendered moot by the state law. Now, though, to clear up any lingering lawsuits from litigation-happy energy companies, the Denton City Council officially repealed its ban. To quote Kent Brockman: “I've said it before and I'll say it again: Democracy simply doesn’t work.” Minus 9.

Bill, Bill, Bill: After a month of record rainfall, we all collectively groaned when we heard that Tropical Storm Bill was on its way. But other than some high winds, brief flash floods and at least one tornado warning, Bill was all bark and no bite, at least in our neck of the woods. For once, I'm glad something didn't live up to the hype. Plus 2.

Gone South: On Thursday, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans. In a 5-4 split, it was decided that, , no, you can't get a Confederate Flag on your official State of Texas license plate. The majority ruled that the State of Texas can approve or deny whatever message it wants since license plates are government-issued documents. The four dissenters argued that it's a First Amendment issue for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. But if you really care that much about a flag that, at best, represents a treasonous split from the United States and, at worst, a heritage of racism, just buy your own damn sticker and get a regular license plate like the rest of us. Plus 3.

Working Girls: Good news! Not only is Texas — and the Dallas-Fort Worth region in particular — in a much better job situation than the rest of the country, but our region is also exceptionally good for women. The unemployment rate between guys and gals in Dallas is actually -0.2 percent. That's good enough for fifth place in the country, right behind Oklahoma City, Nashville, Austin and San Antonio. In the wake of this news, let's all take a moment to be thankful we're not trying to find work in Las Vegas, where's the gender unemployment disparity sits at +2.4 percent. Plus 4.

Tow Up: I've had some lousy encounters with tow companies in recent weeks that I won't get into here. But know this: Those interactions weren't nearly as bad as Carlos Weeks'. He chased after the tow truck that was towing his vehicle from his own apartment for an alleged “parking violation,” then apparently beat on the driver's side door while it was moving and ended up getting run over. A tragic end to some more tow company bullshit, no doubt. Can we all just agree at this point that these companies are essentially colluding on a scam with apartment complexes? C'mon. Minus 3.

This Week’s Count: Plus 7. It was a much better week overall in Dallas and its surrounding areas, thanks to strong job numbers and Confederate flags being kept off the roads. Plus, an active shooter situation and a serious storm weren’t nearly as bad as they could have been. Hey, not so bad is always better than bad.
Last Week's Count: Minus 13.
Running Total: Minus 6.

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