Friday Roundup: Take It Away, Penn Jillette

I’ll be back later this morning, but Penn Jillette speaks for me in this four minutes of genius.

“Ask what you can do for your country” is effing creepy and stupid. “Government that works” can suck it.

(h/t Mark Guppy)

Brew Up Some Trouble: Dallas Tax Day Tea Parties

tpToday is tax day, and it’s also a national day of tax protests. It’s the day the federal government demands you empty your hands.

Fine. Give them a finger while you’re at it.

I have the complete list of tax protest times and places after the jump below. Get going.

Protip: Bring a digital camera or camcorder to document the rallies, any police misconduct, and any provocateurs. Email your clips, comments, and/or photos to me at, for Spooner‘s sake. I’ll post them here, so coverage won’t be limited to a few heavily edited 30-second segments (if that) on the local stations.

1asocialBe aware that by exercising your constitutional rights today, you may end up on the Stasi Department of Homeland Security’s new enemies list. Well, if this be treason…

Jump for the list of April 15 tax protests throughout North Texas.

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Monday Roundup: It’s Worse than You Think. It Usually Is.

The city of Dallas’ budget deficit for next year? It’s worse than you think. Worse than the $100 million they thought. But the mayor has a cunning plan: a $500 million hotel no one wants that will provide a few hundred minimum wage jobs making beds and slinging drinks.

Oh, and this deficit and monument building stuff comes against a backdrop of the city of Dallas (and county) trying to sabotage the South Dallas inland port and the thousands of professional jobs it could bring by pushing for an unneeded master plan so that local pols can shake down potential investors and ensure that family boss John Wiley Price and his capos get a cut. (Welcome to Dallas, prospective business relocation. Pay no attention to our suburbs.) My solution from months ago? Here.

Oh, almost forgot: John Wiley Price is a shakedown artist.

What’s wrong with the North Texas Fusion Center, a centralized, double-secret “what the hell is a civil right?” melding of politics, Big Brother, law enforcement, and secret police tactics disguised as anti-terrorism? Here’s what, courtesy the Collin County Observer.

I was pleasantly surprised by how local students are connecting the dots between FDR’s failed New Deal policies and Mr. Obama’s epic fail stimulus programs.

Zombie Terrorism

Zombies AheadVia Reason: Remember when the Austin traffic signs were hacked to warn people of the real threat of zombies? Apparently, that kind of prank, along with things like having a Ron Paul bumper sticker or worshiping Odin are evidence of serious, dangerous terrorism afoot. Like we don’t know what kind of threat zombies pose in real life.

Wednesday Roundup: Keeping Shady Deals Out of the Light, McKinney’s Moron Mayor, Epic Fail at Plano ISD & More

Here’s a shocker — you know about all the back-room dealing and the shady rush to try to force a $550 million convention center hotel down taxpayers’ throats? No? The city of Dallas doesn’t want you to know about it. They’re suing the Texas AG to prevent the release of information about all their shenanigans. “I think it’s not accurate and disingenuous to say we’ve not been responsive,” (Mayor Tom Lepper) said. If so, then why the lawsuit to keep information from the very public they want to pay for this boondoggle?

Let’s stipulate that the kid in question looks like the typical needs-a-slap teenager. (God I feel so old.) And his story about having OCD seems as phony as a $3 bill. Let’s also stipulate that this kid wasn’t being obscene — his bathing suit was visible under his pants. He wasn’t showing his ass. But the McKinney mayor is now saying it’s OK for McKinney police to harass people for doing nothing at all illegal, even going so far as to lie and say that that something they are offended by is against the law. So now in his view, what’s offensive should be against the law. Unreal. Listen to the whole interview — it gets great toward the end. It’s an eye opener. And it leaves you wondering how out of out of touch the McKinney mayor is. Nice work, Ernie and Jay.

A new trend comes to North Texas: “I said I’m going to get extra meat this time. But he didn’t even put extra shrimp in there,” the woman told a 911 dispatcher. “I asked him, ‘Can I get any extra shrimp, or can you give my money back?’ And he started hollering. So I just said, ‘I’m going to call the police.’”

Minority groups in DPD are asking Chief Kunkle to address some racial sensitivity issues within the department. Thoughts?

Why is Plano ISD considering going down the same road as Dallas ISD with its bone-headed grading policy?

This is bad. I know Sgt. Gil Cerda personally, and my initial reaction to allegation he threatened his wife and physically abused her is one of skepticism. Regardless, it was a cretinous move by Senior Corporal Janice Crowther. No matter how much you may doubt an accusation of domestic violence, every one should be handled seriously.

EDIT: Should have said I was incredulous, not skeptical. Explained in comments.

Tuesday Roundup: BATFE Burns Another Dealer, Seig Health!, Urban Core Meltdown & More

The Texas Observer has a definitely-worth-your-time investigation into the BATFE’s railroading of a Plano gun shop owner. Now, for those who don’t know, the BATFE is the bottom run of federal law enforcement, where the worst of the dregs wash up. This is an agency that goes after gun dealers for “not keeping proper records of gun sales” because — and I do not exaggerate — sometimes buyers will write the abbreviation for a state rather than the full state name on forms. It appears as though now the BATFE has helped put a man in jail for an arson he didn’t commit. Good stuff. (Hat tip: Unfair Park.)

First they come for smokers, now they’re coming for transfats. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And Mr. Obama’s wise decisions touch down like a tornado in Fort Worth.

I don’t know what it will take for Dallas to reverse this trend — I have my doubts a park along the Trinity (with or without tollroad) and a half a billion empty convention center hotel will help — but it doesn’t auger well for Big D in the long run.

And now: The 5 Most Popular Safety Laws That Don’t Work

New Link — Know Your Rights, and Flex Them

I’ve added a link to the youtube home of the “Flex Your Rights” video series that teaches you how to deal with encounters with the police — things like refusing to consent to searches, refusing to allow police into your home, how to avoid inadvertently incriminating yourself with something as simple as answering that you know what the posted speed limit is, and so on.

This is stuff everyone should know. And practice.

Say It Again, Ms. Council Member

At the hearing on a proposed new 16 and under daytime curfew that would give Dallas police the power to arrest youths out and about during the school day, Council Member Angela Hunt showed her tiger-style Kung Fu is superior.

Hunt asked police if the majority of daytime burglaries are committed by male juveniles. Yes, police officials responded – the vast majority.

“Then, if our idea is let’s get people off the street who might commit burglaries or might commit criminal acts, I’ve got an idea, guys: Let’s put down a law that is a daytime and a nighttime curfew for men,” Hunt said. “I mean, guys, this is a slippery slope.”

Thursday Roundup: Where Have You Gone, Sheriff Andy Taylor?

250px-hitler_1928At what point did police — especially the younger ones — lose sight of the fact that they’re supposed to be public servants, not public masters? This maddening incident involving a cop who had to be a dick to a people rushing to see their dying mother at the hospital seems all too typical of the attitude these days, especially among the younger ones brought up watching Cops. What ever happened to the Sheriff Andy Taylor style of law enforcement (common sense, respect for the public, peaceful resolution, humility, service) which you can still see among some of the older officers? (I know a few.) How did we get stuck with these underachieving, knuckle-dragging SA wannabes who think their state-issued costumes give them the right to humiliate free men and women when they don’t show the subservience proper to a slave? I don’t sound light-hearted and snarky? I don’t. I’m disgusted. The mother died at the hospital while this young thug was lecturing the driver. Disgraceful. (And apologies to one of my favorite online writers, William N. Grigg, for borrowing a few of his choicer phrases.)

Manhunt Under Way for Escaped Prisoner. One-armed man observed skulking near the scene. (And like that, the snark is back.)

I wonder if the real reason Santiago Calatrava was in town was to make sure none of his checks from the city of Dallas bounced. IJS.

Cue the chorus of racial breed profiling alarmists. They love these tragic events. (Looking at you, Celeste and Robberson.)

Apparently, Hank Hill is suspected of a double murder.

You know, I’m not religious, and I get the point of the people behind these billboards that are coming to North Texas, but…come on. They couldn’t come up with something wittier? Something to match the very clever “Let’s Meet At My House Sunday Before the Game – God” billboards the church ladies put out a few years back?

If some movie production company doesn’t take advantage of the coming demolition of the old Cowboys stadium, my suspicions about the double-digit IQ average among Hollywood producers will be verified. I may steal Zac Crain‘s idea and just go out there with a cam corder and get the standard “running away and blown into the air toward the camera” shot on demolition day.

Wednesday Roundup: Defeat at Victory?, Victory from Defeat & More

You know what starts your day right? A 5-year-old with a 3 a.m. accident from too much chocolate milk (my fault!) and a wife with a 6 a.m. dead car battery (her fault — left the keys in the ignition when getting a CD out last night.) Anyhow…

You know how backers of spending $550 million in taxpayer-backed money on a convention center hotel like to use Victory Park as an example another great city project that used taxpayer funds? Well, you probably won’t be hearing that as much. Granted, Victory’s problems won’t leave taxpayers in Dallas on the hook. The hotel, however, when it fails, guess who’s left holding the bag.

Just remember — if you don’t want to sell your land, stand your ground. You may lose when government steals it to make way for a commercial development. (Land of the free? Home of the brave? Not so much.) But you may make the bastards pay through the nose. Which is something these guys in the SMU lawsuit apparently already know.

The good: Six Flags finally gets its license to sell beer. That bad: It’s 2009, and yet some people still argue that “serving alcohol doesn’t set a good example for kids.”

Define “whiny journalism.”

A long run for a short slide.