An International Incident Blows Up Our Spot.

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 awarding and subtracting point values to our living situation based on current events.

Cold Clocked: By now, everyone's weighed in on this story, including the President of the United States. But, in case you've been living under a rock, student Ahmed Mohamed brought his homemade clock to Irving's MacArthur High School on Tuesday. A teacher thought it might be a bomb, called the cops and had the kid arrested and suspended. The kid was humiliated — all because some ignorant person saw a brown kid with an electronic device and immediately assumed it was a bomb. (But they didn't shut down the school or call the bomb squad in… hmmm…) One day, America, Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth region in particular are going to have to come to terms with Islamophobia. It's got to stop, you guys. Fortunately, the kid's already got some scholarship offers and an invitation to meet Barack Obama. So at least there's a happy ending. Minus 5.

Beating the System: In case you needed additional proof that our justice system needs some serious changes, look no further than this case. In 2012, Jonathan Stuart Kenney slammed his girlfriend's head onto the concrete, which later caused her death by blunt force trauma. Originally charged with murder, he was eventually indicted on aggravated assault. His attorneys were able to get him a plea deal of — get this — 10 years probation. No jail time for killing someone. Just probation. After a gifted athlete got probation for beating a rival to death and a rich kid got probation for killing people while driving drunk, I guess we shouldn't be surprised anymore. Minus 5.

Hog Wild: Feral hogs — essentially pigs without souls — cause millions of dollars of damage every year. But now they've really gone and done it: Some feral hogs sniffed out a giant marijuana crop growing out in Cooper Wildlife Management Area, which the DEA went and burned. Those freakin' narcs! Minus 1.

I Scream, You Scream: So, uh, maybe we should pump our brakes on getting excited for Blue Bell's return. While we've all gone meme-crazy expressing our joy that our sweet ice cream will be back on store shelves in North Texas soon, perhaps we should listen to some former employees who complained to management about unsanitary practices that went uncorrected and probably led to the listeria outbreak that caused the shutdown in the first place. Reminds me of their jingle: “Have yourself a Blue Bell country day / While we look the other way.” Minus 2.

Back on Top: Just last week, I was ready to give up on the Texas Rangers. They had just gone scoreless in back-to-back games against the terribly mediocre Seattle Mariners. But then they got it together, winning six of their next seven games and reclaiming the lead in the AL West with a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros. The cherry on top? A 14-3 walloping of the 'stros on Wednesday. If the Rangers hold onto their lead, they'll likely face off against the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the playoffs. Plus 3.

Welcome to Bad Burger: Late Tuesday night, an employee of a Lewisville Whataburger refused service to two police officers. Luckily, the cops took it in stride and took their business to Dairy Queen. But that employee has since been fired and Whataburger has issued an apology. I know cops aren't exactly the world's favorite people these days, but this is no different than if the employee had refused service to someone for their ethnicity or sexual orientation. Be nice to everybody, people. Minus 1.

Memory Lane: Sometimes, the Internet is useful for stuff beyond cat videos and yelling at each other about politics. Houston-based photographer Josh Burdick uploaded his dad's impressive cache of color photos of Dallas from the late '50s to the early '70s. It's a dazzling look back into the past, including a set of pics from the days following John F. Kennedy's assassination. It's a more valuable use of your time than what you typically do on the Internet. (Uh-huh.) Plus 1.

This Week's Count: Minus 10.
Last Week's Running Total: Even.
This Week's Running Total: Minus 10.

Cover photo via Wiki Commons.

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