At Fort Worth Zoo…

And then that happened.

Thursday Roundup: Does This Look Infected?

  • Dallas is going to be losing one of its better watchdogs when city hall reporter Dave Levinthal decamps for Washington, DC this summer. The worn cliche in our business is that if all sides are mad at you, you’re doing your job right. (Though I don’t think anyone in our business ever stops to think, “Maybe I’m just an a-hole.”) Well, Dave did his job right, and kept an eye on the horseshoe for everyone. So it’s our loss. Oh, and Dave? The Bills suck.
  • “To do nothing is to turn our back on the problem,” Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway said. Every time there’s a really bad piece of legislation, someone says this or a variation, “To do nothing is not an option.” Yes, doing nothing IS an option, if the “something” you want to do is stupid, unneeded, or downright oppressive. This kind of statement is a blank check that draws on your wallet and your rights. A pol needs a metaphoric kick in the teeth when he says this.
  • Robert Guest has a gem of a find: Even cops are told to get an attorney when they talk to cops. If you’re the subject of an investigation, the person asking the questions does not have your interests in mind. Even police know this. So follow their example — don’t ever, ever, ever speak to the police without an attorney.
  • So Texas is the second youngest state, with a median age of 33.2 (thank you for the decimal, Mr. Spock), which should be justification enough to RIF Steve Blow.
  • And it doesn’t explain the Six Flags mascot, which SWAIM rightly notes is like being kicked in the eyes with AIDS. Seriously — could this look any more like a child molester?

mister61

Daytime Curfew: Just Say No

img_4298_2Love the Kunkle. So what I’m about to say is with all due respect to the points he articulated for Unfair Park.

Dallas doesn’t need a daytime curfew for juveniles. And there are five reasons.

1) It. Is. Not. Necessary. Police already have the power to stop, detain, and deliver truants back to schools. We don’t need to criminalize truancy, and we don’t need to stack $500 fines that will fall disproportionately on the people who can’t afford them, just adding to their cycle of poverty and being in dutch with the law. (Yeah, I know, I’m not supposed to care much about the poor — smell like old milk and they don’t buy ads — but I certainly do care when it’s government piling on them.)

2) We are given a list of “defenses” to the fine — With permission of the student’s school subject to confirmation, medical excuse subject to confirmation, etc. Key words there are “subject to confirmation.” Meaning the police will be able to detain the kid (or an adult who looks young), issue the citation, and put people through the headache of the legal process even when they shouldn’t be. As a negative bonus, this sends a great message to kids — you are not a citizen, but a subject. Which brings me to…

3) Children are not the property of the city of Dallas, the school district, Texas, or the United States. The first two full sentences I taught my daughter were “I am not the property of the state. My life is my own.” (Ask my wife; I ain’t kidding you.) Kids are wards of their parents, in whose trust their rights are placed until they are of legal age.

4) This is a feel-good, do-nothing-but-harass-people initiative backed by clueless elected officials who want to look like they’re doing something.

5) Show of hands — who thinks this $500 fine part has nothing to do with the city’s $100 million budget deficit? Anyone? Anyone?

Yep, We’re Screwed

Dallas-based Reason scribe Jacob Sullum has the most depressing postings I’ve read since…ever?

Biden: We’re Spending As Fast As We Can
It turns out the federal government is not even efficient at wasting our money. The New York Times reports that less than 6 percent of the $787 billion stimulus package approved by Congress in February has been spent so far. The Obama administration has said it wants to spend 70 percent by the summer of 2010, so it will have to pick up the pace. Not to worry, says Vice President Biden:

I think that what you’re going to see happen here is the velocity of this will increase not just arithmetically, but geometrically here. At least, we’ve got to make that happen.

They’d better hurry, before the economy recovers on its own. Both Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, say it looks like the recession will end later this year.

Read the full horror here.

Wednesday Roundup: It’s Worse Than You Think

11

  • When asked if (NTTA) sees a conflict of interest with the judge (for NTTA toll fines) being an employee of the NTTA and hearing cases related to tollway violations, Davis stated “no not at all.” And they want to keep public records from the public. And they spend tollway money on first class sight-seeing junkets to Europe. Yeah, no problem at all.
  • Define “bad ass” — a soldier from Fort Worth in Afghanistan in boxers and flip-flops, and he’s all out of bubblegum.
  • So now a three-judge panel has ruled that open meetings laws go too far in a case coming out of Alpine, Texas, and that elected officials should be free to discuss public matters privately. Basically, those pesky open meetings laws violate the First Amendment rights of our civil masters servants. This is a road we want to go down. If we’re tired of this whole “constitutional republic” thing. Thankfully, several state AG’s, including the Texas AG, are seeking to get this really bad ruling reviewed. (h/t Grits for Breakfast.) As if it’s not hard enough getting public records and information in Dallas County.
  • Via Big Bob: In trying to slap a tax on gentlemen’s clubs — despite there being no correlation between strip clubs and sexual assaults — the Lege has just given every strip club a good reason to drop their cover charge. Unintended consequences, sometimes I love you.

Definitely Not a Fail

From failblog comes this piece of awesome.  The best part? He actually got it notarized.

fail-owned-jury-duty-fail4

Tuesday Roundup: And Now, Here’s Ollie Williams…

  • If you ever had doubts that local schools should be run strictly by locals, look no further than the federal Title 1 rules. It appears the one bright spot in DISD — its magnet schools — because are safe from cuts but how smart is it that the district can’t, by federal fiat, pump extra funds into schools that need it beyond a 10 percent median?
  • This news will be heartening to more than a few in my network.
  • The Dallas City Council will be voting on its latest revenue enhancer — a daytime curfew for juveniles — which has the added benefit of making kids feel like they only have liberties at the sufferance of their civil masters. Want reasons why it’s a bad idea? Look no further than your friendly neighborhood blog.

Feherty Falls Victim to Ye Olde Double Standard

As Tim reports, David Feherty is in danger of losing his CBS gig because of a joke he wrote in the print product in the magazine where yours truly is one of the contributing editors.

Ahem.

But this video clip below is OK, where even Mr. Obama guffawed, I guess since the target was on the right side of the binary line.

(I guffawed, too. Sykes and Feherty were funny. So the Always Indignant on both sides can suck it.)

Monday Roundup: Do They Have Jokes in Your Country?

  • “If they ban smoking what’s next? Fatty foods?”
    “Oh, don’t be ridiculous. That’s a stupid slippery slope argument.”
    Guess what.
  • Good God. Almost three months for skipping jury duty? Which banana republic is this? Oh, it’s Collin County. That’s some fine police work, Lou.
  • picture-2And of course, a congratulations to the Mayor Tom Leppert, James Taggart, Phillip Jones, and Wesley Mouch on a sweeping win Saturday.

Friday Roundup: If This Lasts More than Four Hours…

  • Today’s DMN Opinion home has a roundup of all the recent op-eds for and against glorious People’s Hotel. Notice the pro-hotel folks don’t make a business case for the hotel, and in fact Mayor Leppert spends most of his op-ed attacking Harlan Crow. Pretty telling.
  • Southlake resident Phillip Jones, president of the Dallas CVB, released a list of four organizations that have “committed” to having their conventions if the People’s Hotel is built. But none have signed any contracts, and none have put down a deposit, which is the bar other CVB’s require to consider a convention booked.