Monday Roundup: Violence in South Dallas But Not Really South Dallas…

  • Two dead, three seriously wounded Saturday night and none of them — or all of them — or maybe some of them? — were in South Dallas. Except when they were in neighborhoods in South Dallas, in which case that’s not South Dallas. Or something like that. Ask Rawlins. Bring aspirin.
  • You know what will make downtown Dallas great? Besides that the 12 weekends a year when we’ll have drunken conventions at the People’s Hotel? Pep rallies. Yes, pep rallies. (Seriously? I’m beginning to think that even his editors don’t read what he turns in.)
  • And speaking of, Robert Guest asks all the right questions (that a newspaper reporter failed to) about Flower Mound polizie police apparently busting down the door of a residence not based on probable cause, but rather the refusal of residence to let them in.
  • You can look at someone’s hand an know if they’re gay. Seriously.

Friday Roundup: Lived Fast, Died Young, Left DVDs

We have much to be thankful to the Japanese for. Robots. Anime more twisted than whiskey-valium weekend in Juarez. “Special purpose” vending machines.

But the greatest invention of the Japanese people has got to be the DVD. I assume they invented the DVD, because — who are we kidding?

Thanks to the miracle of DVD collections, I’m able to watch the entire short runs of those rare moments of television genius that are struck down, almost invariably in their first season, by the walking lobotomy cases that run Fox Network.

On tap now: “Action

This is probably the best and filthiest comedy ever to grace the airwaves. Naturally, it didn’t make it past 13 episodes. Peter Dragon is the man I want to model my life after.

On tap pretty much any weekend I haven’t loaned them out — I’m looking at you, Tina — “Firefly

On deck: “American Gothic” and “Profit.”

Ironically, much as I lament the short, brilliant runs and wish for an alternative universe where they would have had long runs and the execs who canceled them to get ebola of the anus, it also makes me realize that maybe it’s better they went out James Dean style. I mean, “Heroes” would have been considered brilliant if it had died after the first season, and “24” sadly should have have ended on the third day instead of both becoming the Fat Elvis’s of the small screen.

About the only consistently brilliant shows cut short but that made it to three seasons or more that are also in the DVD pile — “Arrested Development” “Larry Sanders” “Justice League” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm

(Honorable mention to current shows “Fringe” “Family Guy” and “Dexter.”)

Any I’m missing?

And if anyone names any medical drama, self-serious lawyer show, or any show with a laugh track, I will ban you from the Internet.

PS — Thank you, Mrs. Trey, for finding “Action.”


Roundup Part Two

It’s all Rawlins, all the time here: see the print version of the Dallas Morning News Monday. Local legend Rawlins Gilliland has an June 8 op-ed coving 60 years in Dallas on how 20 percent of the city became called by the wrong name and in the process countless crimes, etc. became credited to the wrong place.

Also, later this afternoon on KERA 90.1 Rawlins will have a replay on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED between 4 and 6:30 p.m. of his morning commentary on how we are all judged by our faces — a largely lamentable dynamic of which I’m really grateful since aside from my Adonis-like physique my countenance is my best feature.

Thursday Roundup: See how I’m not punching him?

  • What’s that word? Oh yeah, irony. The first school named in this story of how high school seniors are so indoctrinated to fear the humorless Powers That Be that they don’t play senior pranks anymore is Liberty High School in Frisco. Sorta surprised they didn’t quote the principal at Oceania High School.
  • And speaking of Oceania schools — DISD is ensuring equality in education by bringing every school down to the lowest common denominator. Viva égalité!
  • Something smells seriously fishy here. Who needs seven night vision scopes for hunting? Who needs one night vision scope for hunting anything but the most dangerous game? And who spends an average of $7,000 on a night vision scope in the first place? Even the most advanced ones don’t run that much.
  • You know, it’s stupid enough that anyone would deny that the email has a racist tinge – referring to the White House as the black house. But I’m even more offended at the stupidity of thinking a proposed state bill in Austin originated with Mr. Obama, and with the idea of a $50 tax on gun purchases.

A Hero Named Defiance

Two days from now will be 20 years exactly since an unknown rebel showed the world what a Real Man is.

This Man was born and indoctrinated his whole life in a place where the State is all, dissidence is death, and the individual counts for absolutely nothing.

And still, he stood up, alone against the State and its death machines, and He. Did. Not. Back. Down.

Full PBS video on the story:

Wednesday Flashback: The Analog Version

Spent some time this morning with an actual, in-my-hands, newspaper — having sequestered myself yesterday from the Internets meaning I hadn’t actually read what was in today’s newspaper yesterday. If you haven’t done it in a while, it’s fun. It’ll take you back to the old days of cassingles and Blockbuster rentals, when we were all hopped up on disco music and amyl nitrates.

No one likes being told what to read — that’s the empowerment and appeal of online news. (That, and the fact the news isn’t two days old by the time it’s printed on paper.)

But there is something to be said for having a paper in hand. Not in the old fart “coffee and newsprint on my hands” line you get. No, I mean the eye’s point interface is quicker than even the fastest broadband, meaning you might actually read a story or two you’d skip clicking on. And you might start seeing connections or ironies you’d miss in the course of self-selecting headlines that catch your eye.

Read about Kim Jong Il tapping his 26-year-old son to run Arkham Asylum North Korea. Done a lot of research on North Korea for a fiction project, so I chuckled at the absurdity of the way the North Koreans allow a self-selected elite in government to act as their neo-feudalist masters. Ha ha. Silly serfs. Two pages later I read about how a U.S. federal judge who is serving time in jail is putting off his resignation til next year, and how if he’d resigned for depression he could have drawn a full $174,000 a year salary and benefits for the rest of his life, without lifting another finger. Or rather, lifting the one. (Serf’s up.)

Read a brief headlined “No evidence found of flying object” — wherein that headline got earned because Liberty County, Texas’ Roscoe and Enos didn’t find a landing sight after a professional commercial pilot saw a UFO. Like we don’t see through this one. (And ironically, while looking for the link…)

I read some life benchwarmer at TXDOT refers to the new digitally created, poll chosen plates as “The People’s Plates.” Of course, given that not having one on your car can ultimately result in you being taken by the state and sentenced to — a la Chinese slave labor — make these same plates, maybe that’s not such a bad nickname after all.

Then I got bored by the usual lousy business writing. Seriously — assuming j-schools of the future don’t follow my advice and become simply 90-day vocational programs, can we at least add a few business and economics courses to the requirements for a BS in journalism?

Bonus of the day? From the story about that godawful murder, scalping, horror show in Collin County, we find Sideshow Bob’s twin.


Tuesday Roundup: No, It Wasn’t Free Markets That Caused This Mess

In the midst of this global depression, rotten ideas like trillion-dollar stimulus plans, nationalization of banks and confiscatory taxes on America’s wealth producers are all the rage. Meanwhile, it is Milton Friedman and his principles of free trade, low tax rates and deregulation that are standing trial as the murderers of global prosperity.

When the University of Chicago wanted to create a $200 million Milton Friedman Institute last year, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an avowed socialist and Chicago alum, fumed that “Friedman’s ideology caused enormous damage to the American middle class and to working families here and around the world.”

At academic conferences it has been open season on Friedman and his philosophy of limited government. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner, says that Friedman’s “Chicago School bears the blame for providing a seeming intellectual foundation” for the now presumably discredited “idea that markets are self-adjusting and the best role for government is to do nothing.” University of Texas economist James Galbraith is even more dismissive: “The inability of Friedman’s successors to say anything useful about what’s happening in financial markets today means their influence is finished,” he says. And pop author Naomi Klein says triumphantly: “What we are seeing with the crash on Wall Street . . . should be for Friedmanism what the fall of the Berlin Wall was for authoritarian communism: an indictment of ideology.” One left-wing group is even distributing posters in Washington and other cities that proclaim: “Milton Friedman: Proud Father of Global Misery.”

The myth that the stock-market collapse was due to a failure of Friedman’s principles could hardly be more easily refuted. No one was more critical of the Bush spending and debt binge than Friedman. The massive run up in money and easy credit that facilitated the housing and credit bubbles was precisely the foolishness that Friedman spent a lifetime warning against.

Full piece here.

Monday Roundup: Can I Borrow Your Towel? Just Hit a Water Buffalo

  • When most Democrats, Republicans, the media, and right-thinking people are behind something big, expensive and grand — like they are the commuter rail scheme (or the hotel, or the Trinity Parkway) — you just know it’s probably a bad idea. I’m just going to sit here maturely and sup upon the bitter disappointment from everyone who wants to tax drivers for the benefit of a single digit percentage who feel good about themselves for taking public transportation. Muhahaha.