Good Thing There’s No Crime Problem in Dallas, or The Bathrooms Are Secure, Sir

storyOkay, so comes word that since Monday, Dallas Police have arrested four men for cruising in the bathrooms at NorthPark Center. Comments, of course, have been sober, serious, reflective and not at all in the vein of, say, the Inquisition or anything crazy like that.

Sure, everyone can agree meeting someone in a bathroom for sex is pretty gross, right? Well, not gross, per se. I mean, not for heterosexuals. On airplanes. Any other members of the Mile High Club here? Ah? Yes? I see some hands. So much for that absolute.

And what you do in a stall is supposed to be private. I mean, I hope there’s no hidden cameras in there checking us all to make sure we’re not sporting a half a chub.

And propositioning another person in public isn’t a crime in itself either. Well, technically, it is in Dallas.

SOLICITATION FOR SODOMY-NOT FOR HIRE
Code Section 31-19(a): “In this section SODOMY [ed: their caps] means any contact between the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person.” Code Section 31-19 (b): “A person commits an offense if he solicits another in a public place to engage with him in sodomy not for hire.”

(That means what you think it means. If you’re in a bar or on a sidewalk or in a restroom, and you even ask a stranger, your significant other, or even your spouse for a special favor, even one to be granted later, in the comfort of your own home, you just committed a crime. No, this isn’t about prostitution—that’s a whole different section. Good lord. What Talibunny wrote these laws?)

Of course the composed, thoughtful, witch-burning commenters immediately started in with their “Think of the children!” sing-along. Never mind that their precious little snowflakes isn’t what closeted gay males and married guys on the down-low are cruising for when they’re cruising bathrooms.

Never mind that little Josh is in almost exclusively more danger from weird Uncle Steve or the step-father than a stranger.

Strangers were the offender in just 3% of sexual assaults against victims under age 6 and 5% of the sexual assault of victimizations of youth ages 6 through 11.
-Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement,
7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice (more)

And those same composed, thoughtful commenters, of course, demanded that pictures of those arrested be published, the goal being to shame them. Never mind that a person charged with a crime has not been found guilty of a crime, and that never in history have police brought wrongful charges against anyone. Not in Dallas County, anyway.

I mean, if you’re charged with a crime, clearly you committed it, right? Due process is so pre-9/11.

GEORGE MICHAEL GETS THE MUNCHIES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT* EXCAnd what guy hasn’t been in a restroom where some dude started leering at him? Guess what. You walk away. These sad sacks cruising the restrooms are looking for like minds, not a confrontation. You do your business and get out. Seriously, what guy makes a point of looking at other dudes to see if they’re checking him out?

I mean, I don’t even look at my own business, much less check to see if the guy two urinals over is shaking it too often.

And really, officer, you’re peering in stalls? Who’s being creepy now?

But I’m getting sidetracked.

Let’s get back to the bathroom cruisers police have been busting at NorthPark.

All gotchas out of the way, it is for certain that a venue for guys to meet for anonymous, Idaho Republican style extra-curricular activities is not what Macy’s and Dillard’s has in mind in their restrooms. And yes, I think it’s gross and icky.

But the key words above aren’t gross and icky. The key words are their bathrooms.

Guess who should be patrolling the restrooms and showing creepy acting people to the exit? Yep, that’s right.

paul-blart-mall-cop

Let the stores monitor their own facilities on their own dime. Dallas still has one of the worst violent crime rates in the country and a near nine-figure budget shortfall.

And yet we’re sending professional, sworn peace officers into bathrooms to do pecker checks.

I’m sorry, but this kind of behavior just doesn’t get a rise out of me.

Possibly Unrelated. But I Have My Doubts.

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All Kidding Aside, Are You People Kidding?

Questions:

Am I the only one who throws up a little when he sees grown men and women crying in public over the death someone they don’t personally know?

attachmentIs there some virtue you gain by acting serious and somber over same?

Is the media going to give even a fraction of the attention when someone like Neil Armstrong kicks the bucket?

Yes, the decision of a jury of 12 people establishes a legal status — guilty or not guilty — that the government should be bound to. But do you really believe the opinion of 12 establishes reality? What I’m asking is — does anyone really believe that Michael Jackson wasn’t a child molester?

If you really believe he wasn’t a kiddie diddler, would you have let your kid spend a weekend at Michael’s house? Honestly?

Are you really the king of something when you haven’t done anything noteworthy in the field in two decades?

So if death forgives, when I croak do I get a pass on selling all that cheese at high schools a few years back?

Who thinks Mark Sanford and the Mullahs in Iran are on their knees right now saying thank you?

Blanket? Blanket? Seriously?

Threat Level at Kindergartens Lowered to Green

Yeah, like that.

Yeah, like that.

My reactions to Michael Jackson achieving room temperature:

1) I made a pedophile reference to him just yesterday. I may have been the last to do it before he croaked. Boo-ya!

2) I’m going to have to avoid cable news until another pretty white chick goes missing. It may take two plus another adulterous governor to stop wall-to-wall MJ.

3) With Farrah gone tango uniform Tuesday and now this, the creepy 70s celeb death trifecta is in play. Anyone keeping an eye on John Travolta?

Update 1: Yes, I know about Ed McMahon. Bethany, meanwhile, said David Caradine’s death started the first trifecta — Caradine, McMahon, Farrah — meaning Michael Jackson starts the new trifecta. All I know for sure is — if I die in a Thailand hotel room I won’t be by myself and there will be mentions of multiple teen hookers and a mound of heroin, not me choking out while…er…you know…all alone.

Update 2: Jackson is still dead as of 11:17 p.m.

Update 3: If you’ve had enough of cable news people kissing a dead man’s behind, here’s a pretty graphic palette cleanser. I don’t endorse any of its homophobic elements, but it is a reality check. Click here.

Update 4: As a result of his death, his London tour dates have naturally been canceled. They were James (9) and Timothy (11).

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.

Friday Roundup: Good Lord, I’m 40

  • Want another reason to legalize gambling, including poker houses. Here you go. Bring them out of the dark and you won’t have predators like James McDaniel poisoning the atmosphere and OD’ing coeds.
  • Why on earth wouldn’t you want to entrust your child’s future to DISD, given moves like this one?

At Fort Worth Zoo…

And then that happened.

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

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  • 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.

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.