Marketing to goatee wearing d-bags

I’ve mentioned before my disdain for the lemmings who sport goatees. But here’s a brilliant device they can use to ease the process of making their mouths look like a stripper’s bikini area turned sideways. And without the bikini on. (h/t HCWDBags)

Memo to Fox 4 News: Don’t even think about it

Me, negotiating my rate with a magazine editor.

Me, negotiating my rate with my editor, Tim Rogers.

If you preempt or interrupt “24″ tonight for coverage of the pending (and dubious) ice storm, I will come down there, I will go all Jack Bauer on the programming director, and I assure you I have the tools to do it. (hat tip: Bethany’s Google group)

Strange scenes around Dallas aka ‘Gallery of Weird’

What says romance like NASCAR? Came across this at Wal*Mart yesterday. The awesomeness is there is a whole series of NASCAR romance novels. Other titles include:

  • White Lies, Black Flag
  • Old Flame, New Sparks
  • Speed Dating

It says “Marion Berry Cheesecake.” It was at Jason’s Deli. Addictive?

“Nad’s” hair removal cream. And I used it just for that.

Finally, I brought these decorations back from Mexico. They’re screens from the classic Mexican bingo cards.

Yeah. I noticed that, too. I’ll ask it yet again: What the hell is going on in Mexico?

Monday Update: Independent Social Security, Basketball Blowouts, Buffalo Bob in Dallas & More

  • Everyone knows the story of the 100-0 girls’ basketball shutout, and now the coach of the winning team has been fired for disagreeing with the apology to the losing team. My only question: Why did the losing coach field a team in competition that he knew was so obviously unready? If they wanted to play for fun, play for fun, but don’t enter high school sports if you’re not ready for it.
  • Know how this could have been prevented? How about the 12-year-old kid’s parents bother checking on their son’s text messages to see if a creepy adult man is texting the child love notes? I know my 5-year-old will want an iPhone or Sidekick or whatever the latest gadget is in a few years. And I’ll get it for her. But do you think she’ll send a single text or email that I don’t look at? Now, I’m not singling out these parents — and this kid’s parents haven’t done anything like this so far; I cite them as a jumping off point for discussion — but generally what happens in cases like this is the parents end up demanding more regulation of communications which burdens the rest of us (COPA, Online Decency Act), instead of just taking the effort to raise their own child.
  • And speaking of creepy. I suspect we’ll be having an increase in the number of dates involving lines like “Does this handkerchief smell like chloroform?” (one of my favorite pickup lines), because someone may be making a lady-skin coat.

Underground Poker in Dallas

Great piece by Emily Ramshaw in the DMN today about the underground poker scene and the effort to end the prohibition of the game. What I like is it takes us from the Legislature all the way to the games themselves. This is the kind of far-ranging, shoe-leather reporting that we stand to lose if traditional newspapers go under.

Bonus: the fact the Bluenose Baptists were unable to muster any kind of cohesive argument against legalizing poker.


Following the brouhaha my previous posting kicked up here and at FrontBurner, here’s Radley Balko’s take on the collateral damage caused by the War on Drugs in the new issue of Reason. (PS — How do we not expect violence when government declares “war” on something?)

Drug prohibition, writes Senior Editor Radley Balko, militarizes our police, enriches our enemies, undermines our laws, and condemns our sick to suffering. Even if the drug war were working—which it is not—you’d have a difficult time arguing that the benefits would be worth the costs.

Read all about it here.

Exactly when was I drafted into the War on Drugs?

I was out of the country when this editorial“Drug users share the blame in officer’s death” – ran in the Dallas Morning News, so forgive me for being late. When I read it I thought it had to be a hoax or something. Turns out it’s not. It manages to be at once infuriating and naive.

Go back and read it, and then I’ll go through it point by point. Ready?

This is for anyone who even occasionally uses drugs and for the people in their lives who – even if they disapprove – ultimately do nothing to stop the drug use: You have blood on your hands.

This is a melodramatic appeal to emotion designed to circumvent rational thought. It’s employed by groups like MADD. This opening statement is no different than saying that anyone who occasionally drinks a glass of wine or even goes to a restaurant that serves beer has blood on their hands when a drunk driver kills someone. It’s nonsense.

At 6:14 p.m. Tuesday, three of Dallas’ finest stood on one side of an apartment door. On the other side were men in possession of a large stash of marijuana and cocaine. The officers were there to serve an unrelated felony warrant, but they had come across a drug house.

Four shots were fired through the door at the police, and one struck Cpl. Norman Smith in the head, killing him.

Smith had been on the job for more than 12 hours Tuesday, protecting and serving the people of Dallas. He had been doing just that for 18 years. The thug who started shooting apparently was trying to protect an illegal drug business. In short, he was protecting your ability to buy marijuana and cocaine.

What’s not said was that officers told the occupants they were someone else, and then busted down the door in a dynamic entry. The occupants claim they thought it was a home invasion and fired in self defense. One occupant even called 911. All of these facts were known when this editorial was written.

Police say dynamic entries are used to disorient people in a house. And police readily admit they lied to the occupants. I’m also wondering about the logic of these kind of dynamic entries. If a person is so dangerous it requires a military assault to take them down, why attack that person when and where he is most defensible, and then disorient him so that even if he’s not the kind to shoot at police, he is given a reason to?

Your life and the gunman’s are intertwined. There’s an easy-to-trace line between a casual drug habit and the high-stakes drug wars fought in the streets in neighborhoods you would never dare visit

You, the student at a private university who smokes with your pals at weekend parties. You, the Allen real estate agent who does a line of cocaine to give yourself a boost before meeting a new client. You, the Irving mother who hopes your daughter’s occasional pot use and creepy new friends is just a passing phase.

The drugs in your lives passed through an apartment just like this one. They were bought and sold by men who would kill police officers to protect the flow of drugs from far-off places to your hands.

Um, no. The violence associated with the drug war is because there is a war on drugs being waged by the government. Government criminalizes drugs creating a profitable demand, which in turn brings in the criminal element willing to face the legal risks to meet that demand and earn those profits.

Notice how few criminals are involved in distributing liquor? How little violence is associated with the liquor trade in general? Why? Liquor is legal. And we deal with people who abuse it accordingly, while leaving alone the rest of people who can handle it responsibly.

This newspaper stands with the Smith family, the Dallas Police Department and many others as they mourn the loss of a disciplined, decent and dedicated man.

I think we all agree here. The death was senseless, tragic, and it didn’t have to happen.

At 6:17 p.m. Tuesday, a call went out that an officer was down and that two suspects were still on the other side of the door. Which side are you on?

Neither. Call me a conscientious objector in the War on Drugs. If people want to smoke pot or put other toxins in their body to alter their consciousness, they are only hurting themselves. Just like with beer, wine, or tobacco. The violence arises from the criminalization of certain drugs, which creates enormous profits for those willing to risk arrest and imprisonment.

If marijuana were legal and sold at the neighborhood CVS, do you really think there would be violence associated with the pot trade?

The editorial states in no uncertain terms that, “…anyone who even occasionally uses drugs and … the people in their lives who – even if they disapprove – ultimately do nothing to stop the drug use: You have blood on your hands.”

But it’s wrong.

Those who support the War on Drugs are the ones who perpetuate the violence associated with the drug trade.

And the only person with blood on his hands — regardless of whether he was acting in self-defense or in murderous defense of his drug business — is the man who pulled the trigger.

Friday Roundup: Science 1-Mythology 0, Gay Divorcees, Nosy Census Workers & More

  • Memo to the “Free Market Foundation” — Come on. Be honest. Are you equally as insistent that science texts teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of other scientific theories, like gravity? No, it’s just code. Also, please change your group’s name; there’s nothing “free market” about trying to use government schools to force your creation stories on students. Preach your beliefs in church or in your home. I mean, I don’t come to your chapel and try to force math on you, do I? Thanks. Best, Trey. PS — Hail C’thulu.
  • Ugh. Census time is coming up again in North Texas. A bunch of people you wouldn’t give the time of day are about to start asking you nosy, intrusive questions. If you get the long form, you will get questions on everything from what time you leave for work (you really want to tell that to someone who can’t do better than a part-time Census job?) to what kind of money you make. But in reality, the only question they are Constitutionally authorized to ask — and that you are legally required to answer — is how many people are in your household. Answer that question and then tell them to sod off. Is this just another privacy pet peeve of mine? No, data gathered by the Census has been used time and again for nefarious purposes, like rounding up Americans of Japanese descent, or harassing Americans of Arab descent.
  • Check this video of a fight outside Wish Ultra Lounge.

Quote of the day: “Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.” - Jules Renard

I have my doubts

At What Is Your Web Site Worth? I entered my site’s URL, and lo and behold.

This website is worth
What is your website worth?

Still, I’ll entertain offers. If I don’t pay off Jabba, I’m a dead man.

Is the Ellis County Observer editing reader comments to insert cheap insults?

Keith Johnson is an officer with the Dallas Police Department who lives in the Red Oak ISD. He’s been fighting his local ISD for a long time, and you can read the background on his website, Corrupt Red Oak ISD. (It’s sordid and involves police, cheerleaders, and a number of scandalous accusations. You’re darn tootin’ I plan to write that story if I get get my head around it and find the right publication for it. But that’s for later.)

Right now, the question is whether someone at the Ellis County Observer, the newspaper site serving the area, edited a comment that Keith’s posted on their web site.

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