“The new D is here! The new D is here! I’m somebody now!”

Just checked the mailbox and the February issue is in. Okay, it’s not the most important story I’ve ever written, but it’s one I’ve been wanting to write since, um, always. It’s a look at how Dallas is becoming a nanny state. And you can’t read it unless you have a subscription, because it’s not online yet. I’ll post a link when it is available.

Here’s a pic of the cover. The portion with the teaser to my feature, anyway. (“Wuss! Lame Laws Are Sucking All the Fun Out of Dallas”)

Best part? I actually got paid to break the law and visit strip clubs, and then gripe about all the things I’d gripe about anyway.

Wednesday Roundup: Cop Kills Dog, Pledges to Dear Leader, FrontBurner Deletions & More

  • Garland Police shot and killed a family dog on a leash in someone’s backyard. This is not unusual. Via Radley Balko, see more puppycide stories from recent months here, here, and here. Or browse stories from the last couple of years here. Question: Do cops these days get any training on how to deal with dogs, aside from fire at the center mass of any canine within sight?
  • Those fighting the good fight against the city-owned, taxpayer-paid $550 million (and rising) convention center hotel spent a lot more money than those pushing it. Of course, those for it have the free platform of the council chambers, the mayor’s office, the taxpayer coffers, and the Convention & Visitors Bureau to draw from, so let’s call it a wash. For reasons why the project should be held until the May referendum, read Wick Allison’s letter here.
  • Finally, regarding the slate of comment deletions at FrontBurner recently, for which I’ve received a dozen emails: Look, I’m a full-on free speech guy and on my blog, short of libel, gross obscenity, or anything illegal, I’m not going to delete comments. But I’m also a property rights guy, so whoever owns the blog — like D owns FB — has every right to publish or not publish anything they want. This isn’t the public square; it’s a privately owned publication with a reputation to uphold. D Magazine has a professional, prestigious image that doesn’t allow the leeway personal, smaller or alternative blogs have. Any comment that’s not helpful towards FrontBurner and D‘s image has no place there. Now, my personal preference in FB deletions would be that instead of disintegrating them into the nonexistence, the place holder would remain and a note would simply say something like, “Comment deleted for content” or some such. Zac did that with at least one comment yesterday in the Obama thread. To me, that’s more satisfying. But again, that’s the prerogative of the owner/publisher of the blog. That’s my two cents. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. However, as usual, I’ve turned comments on.

“When they were babies I never saw the state comin’ around here with a spare tit!”

I dashed this extended comment off in a hurry on my friend Bethany’s excellent blog and her latest post, and while it hasn’t been published yet (just a technical delay) I’m going to put it up here, too, just for the heck of it. I added one line from the original, because I want to give name credit to the movie character (Charlie Anderson, played in an Oscar caliber performance by Jimmy Stewart) I quote herein and to whom I see as an inspiration. I did it in a hurry so there may be a typo or grammatical, but that’s what blogs are for.

Here’s the nut graf of Bethany’s post:

It also occurred to me – and I hope it occurred to you readers as well – that hoping a president fails means you are also hoping for dark, horrible times for yourself, friends, family, etc. Who would hope that?

This is my response. It’s a rare moment of me being earnest and serious. (Don’t worry, I won’t make it a habit.)

——–

Let’s pretend I already posted a brief, snarky answer and now it’s time for my serious one, Bethany.

I understand where you’re coming from, and I respect what you’re saying.

But here’s why I don’t agree.

For starters, I have an innate, reasoned distrust of any person who seeks coercive power over his fellow man, regardless of the why or the agenda. I find the instinct to seek political, coercive power to be among the ugliest “civilized” instincts. (As opposed to the barbaric, base instincts like theft, murder, cruelty, etc.)

I think the desire to rule over your fellow free men and women is a sickness. I’m further repulsed by the kind of drive it takes to achieve this power at whatever level, from city council to the office of POTUS. The higher the office, the greater the repulsion. That’s not to say some power seekers don’t do so for a good agenda, but all are guilty until proven innocent. I give Ron Paul, George Washington, and Calvin Coolidge as examples of the latter. I give George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, LBJ, FDR, Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Jackson and most every other president as an example of the former.

The more power and the harder the office is to attain, the more they have to prove. There will be no granting of benefit of the doubt.

Second, I’m appalled by the power and hopes invested in an office that, according to the Constitution, is not supposed to be a quasi-monarch, which it has become. (Many of the men in the second list I cited are the ones guilty of making it so, but the sycophantic desire of “the people” for such a figure has made it even worse.) This is not a slam at Obamaniacs alone — Dubya’s locksteppers, Reagan worshippers, Clinton Klanners, JFK junkies and everyone in between or to their right and left are just as damnable. The office of POTUS is supposed to execute the laws Congress passes, work with Congress on treaties, appoint federal judges and not much else. POTUS is not supposed to be the leader of the people, but the chief executive of the 50 states and territories. Nothing more.

Finally, I do not wish Obama — nor did I hope Bush, Clinton or any others — to fail, per se, so much as I desire the majority of the activist, imperial agendas and policies to fail. I do not wish to be led or inspired by anyone, especially anyone who can’t make a productive living in the free market. I wish for a government that protects individual rights — and by that I mean negative rights — by jailing criminals, protecting the borders from armed invasion (this is not code for immigration restriction), and enforcing contracts through civil courts. In short, government (state, city or fed) that provide courts, police, a modest military, and basic infrastructure like roads and parks. And that’s about it. The rest should, by right and by a strict reading of the Constitution, be up to you and me and the guy across the street.

Short of the damage presidents can do (and they can do a lot of damage; see any of the above I referenced negatively) there’s very little a president can or should do that does or should affect my life, my friends, my family, etc.

In relative terms, we are a free country, but in absolute terms, we have evolved over the last 80 years (or 143 years, if you want to get technical) into a nationalist, quasi-police state (a national security obsessed direct democracy, to be precise) with an economy that, as of 2008, can officially and dispassionately be defined as soft fascism. This is not how it was supposed to be, in philosophical or Constitutional intent.

What the president does is none of my concern, and what the government does outside of the aforementioned short list (courts, police, borders, contracts, infrastructure) is nothing I care about, so I take no note of it. I don’t take anything outside of that seriously.

To paraphrase Charlie Anderson, the lead character in one of my favorite anti-war movies, Shenandoah, my writing I take seriously, because it’s mine. And my wife and daughter and my home and my friends I take note of because they’re mine. But this expansionist, imperial, authoritarian government is not mine and I don’t take note of it. This war in Iraq is not mine. This socialization of Wall Street through trillion dollar bailouts is not mine. What is mine is my life and how I choose to live it, and where government tries to put the screws to me I simply stay out of its way and off its radar because I have no interest in it. It’s far beyond the point that any viable man or party will enact my wishes — for a government that leaves honest people alone to live as they choose — so I won’t waste my time trying to reform it.

Obama — like all other office holders except that extreme minority who have proven their virtue — doesn’t have my enmity or ill-wishes, nor my good thoughts and happy wishes. I simply take no note of him, because he doesn’t merit my concern, time, or interest outside of the entertainment value of riling up his supporters, or as fodder for a column or blog post.

In short (too late) the POTUS and all the rest of government (and the men who comprise it) is something it was not meant to be, is corrupting by its nature, absolutely anathema to the very liberty it was designed to protect, and beneath my concern.

It’s not that I don’t hear Obama or others of his kind. I just don’t care what they have to say.

In briefest, laissez-nous faire.

Things We Don’t Want to See in 2009

I’ll start, you finish.

  • The shaved head, goatee look. Real original, guys.
  • Myspace. Myspace is the new Bluetooth. And that’s not a good thing.
  • Disgraceful coverage of the new president’s daughters. Probably less likely than what we saw with Dubya’s kids, but they didn’t ask for the spotlight, nor have Obama’s daughters.
  • Priuses. Seriously.
  • The Patriot Act. Just kill it, already.
  • Twitter.
  • “Rock star” as a description for anyone in politics.
  • “Bro” prefixes, and all derivations. “Bromance.” “Mantastic.” Ad nauseum.
  • Bill Clinton.
  • Warren Buffet.
  • Green as a marketing tool.
  • “Global climate change” as anything but a punchline.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker. Come on. She looks like a foot.
  • Fertility treatments for people who, clearly, God does not want to have children.
  • New reality cooking shows.
  • Lost

What have you got?

Tuesday Roundup: Martial Law, Castle Doctrine, Memo to Jerry Jones & More

  • With no acknowledgment of the sad irony, the city of Washington, D.C., is under martial law today. The lion’s share of the blame for this dissociation lies with the outgoing guy more than the incoming guy, but no one in the sycophantic national press has acknowledged this.
  • My attorney Robert Guest raises some questions about Texas’ castle doctrine vis-a-vis the new Clint Eastwood movie, Gran Turino. Now I want to go see it.
  • Who else thinks it’s way past time for Jerry Jones to sell the Dallas Cowboys to someone else. I’m thinking Mark Cuban. Thoughts?
  • Nothing will bring more vitality and prosperity to Dallas’ long ailing downtown than more bums living there. Officer thinking there.
  • Good on Mix 102.9 — they’re helping Rowlett students stage a production of Rent, which was canceled back in December by a bunch of bluenoses on the Garland school board.

Monday Roundup: Condoms, The Stupidity Tax, Tomorrow’s Deification Inauguration

  • Banning Dallas County health workers from distributing condoms ranks high on the asinine meter in a county where the asinine bar is raised every fiscal quarter. So good all around that the ban was thrown out. On the other hand, why should Dallas County taxpayers have to pay for it? And before you say “Because we’ll pay for their health care if they don’t get and use the condoms and contract some godawful disease of the naughty bits.” Yeah, well, don’t see why we should pay for that either. Discuss.

TreyGarrison.com Lives

I’m back and regular updates start tomorrow. Thank you for your patience. Despite the shell-shock caterwauling about the economy, my own business has been bordering on too busy. I’m going to have to start outsourcing some of my writing, maybe hire some Indian or Chinese contractors to help with the overrun. Plus, of course, there was the holidays.

I’m working on some changes to the blog and I’d love any feedback you have, short of the usual “Will you please stop writing, you useless hack” that greet me every day.