Friday Roundup: I’m Going to the Special Hell for Item One

  • Yeah, it’s real fun to be the guy who “defends” a convicted sex offender. This is going to make me real popular. But I’m just a little troubled that this guy is facing 10 years not because the law regards what he did as a danger to children, but rather because of a technicality. John Joseph Stuart…faces a felony registration-violation charge that could send him back to prison for up to 10 years. Stuart, 32, wouldn’t have had any trouble with police if he had disclosed his job at the SAT and ACT Prep Center, which he co-owns with his wife, Frances Stuart.” If a sex offender is an imminent threat he shouldn’t be let out at all, but the sex offender registration laws go way overboard and do almost nothing but make the state pols who pass them sound tough on crime. They’re ineffective mainly because 95 percent of child sex abuse victims know the perpetrator, i.e. Uncle Don, not the stranger in the trench coat with a pack of Smarties on the end of a fishing line.
  • Conflicting reports on how the Richardson city council race for Place 4 is getting a little ugly, which means it’s suddenly interesting to me. In a race pitting a more hardcore conservative against an Establishment country club type Republican, I hear it two ways. Ed Cognoski — the classic example of the guy who can’t believe McGovern lost since “everyone I know voted for him” but who’s been following the races in his ‘burb closely — says the unfortunately named Tom Bache-Wiig is acting all douche-baggy. A trusted friend who is also following the race tells me it’s the other way around: “The ‘Richardson Coalition’ PAC sent a mailer with some really shitty remarks about Tom Bache-Wiig. The RC supports Gary Slagel, the former mayor, and class-A elite jackass. TBW is a true conservative, and quite frankly, his mere appearance in the race scare the country club set to death.” Is this Richardson’s version of Huckabee vs. McCain?
  • Good. Because I don’t care what you think about illegal immigration, national security, the need for a border fence, the environmental impact, or any other issue except this: the government needs to respect private property rights. Period. Full Stop.
  • Finally, from a dear friend Down Under:
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Thursday Roundup: Does This Look Like a ‘Q’ to You?

  • There’s no part of this story about Ryan v Margolin that I don’t love. Keep. It. Coming.
  • Meanwhile, Bud Kennedy shows that the Guv is really going after the mouth-breathing crowd. I mean, yeah, I believe it’s been 100 days/100 epic fails, but are we really going to continue hearing this “Obama’s not a citizen!” stuff for the next four years? This is the right-wing’s version of the water-headed left-wing’s “the 2000 election was stolen!” whine.
  • Seriously though, if you are really worried about the swine flu epidemic, your risk factors, and possible symptoms, here’s a web site that will help you self diagnose —
  • And in two bits of Twitter news, first, if you’re not following the anchors and reporters from all three of the primary local network news stations, plus NBC, then you’re missing dozens OF cheery “morning” updates!!!! LOL :) that … well, it’s like getting a new blog post from Jane McGarry every 10 minutes. Or having Steve Blow text you.
  • Also, I’m getting love tweets.12

Monday Roundup: We’re All Gonna Die, Part 19

  • The scores of ads for erotic services that are posted daily on Craigslist are taking a lot of time and effort for police in the Dallas area. And nationwide, for that matter. It’s a serious challenge for law enforcement. Oh so serious. But say, here’s a thought: how about stop wasting time criminalizing acts between consenting adults, and instead go after real criminals instead? Why the Sam Hill is it illegal to charge someone for something that’s legal if you give it away? The damn vice laws are downright anti-capitalist, by gum.
  • Dallas DNA premiers this week on Investigation Discovery channel. It’s nice to have a DA focused on justice for a change, and not just phony conviction numbers.

Why Is This Posted in Every Men’s Room in Every Bar and Restaurant?


Wednesday Roundup: I Have Blue Eyes and Blue Jeans

My column on the People’s Hotel is in today’s Dallas Morning News. Give it a spin. Personal note: I love the venue, but I hate the 630 word limit. But I’m a long writer. For instance, I wish I could have gotten into how the pro-hotel folks are keeping critical information from voters — the revised feasibility study they’re holding back and the lawsuit against the Texas attorney general to prevent the release of documents. How can you not think they’re trying to hoodwink the very people they want to put on the hook for half a billion dollars. What do you think of leadership that wants people to vote on something without having all the relevant facts? Pretty damning.

The Lege to ban tanning beds for those under 16 years, 6 months. How long til they ban going outside in the sun?

Go Betty Culbreath. Love ya, darlin’. You, too, Angela.

I hope like hell these people are serious and not just talking out their kiesters, but I have my doubts. Still, hope — like the Dude — abides.

Who’s Behind RIP Dallas, Part One

RIP Dallas has already become a punchline in Dallas, but what’s amazing is the group claims to have no association with Mayor Leppert or the official Vote No! organization. No, it’s just a bunch of hip 20somethings who have the best interest of Dallas at heart.

But here’s a rundown a few of the people behind it:

  • Dupree Scovell, the apparent ringleader, is the scion of John ScovellPresident of the Dallas Citizens Council and head of Woodbine Development, which has been trying for years to get the People’s Hotel built. According to a regular and reliable reader and source, the elder Scovell is owner of the Hyatt Regency, has a residual interest in the land under Reunion Arena, and a leasehold interest in Union Station– all of which are located next to the area of the proposed convention center hotel. Woodbine is owned by Ray Hunt. (Old is the new young?)
  • Ben Browder is a real estate lawyer at Hunton & Williams.

Jump at the bottom for RIP Dallas’ filings with the City Secretary.

Coming Soon: Part Two — Who Else Is Involved In This Cluster?

Questions posed to a prominent member of RIP Dallas as yet unanswered by the source:

1) Who is providing financial backing for the Young Professionals and RIP Dallas? How does that break down, and what are the organizations’ budgets, expenditures, etc.?
2) Who are the governing members and officers of YP and RIPD?
3) Who designed the website?
4) Who covered the cost of the event last week?
5) What is Woodbine and Trammell Crow Co’s involvement?
6) What PR company designed this campaign?
7) Why are RIP Dallas signs being placed in vacant lots, for sale homes, and other sites in violation of city code?

Not that I don’t have some of the answers already; I’d just like to get it up front.

EDIT: It’s T. Dupree Scovell if commenter Chris, who uses phrases like “Mr. Angry Pants,” is right.

[Read more...]

Tuesday Roundup: It’s All About Me

Shocker: A revised feasibility study for the People’s Hotel won’t be completed before the May 9 referendum. Coupled with the city’s lawsuit against the Texas AG to keep records from the public’s prying eyes, who isn’t wondering what else the comisars aren’t telling us? Shades of the Trinity referendum.

BONUS: Check Wednesday’s Dallas Morning News for my column on the People’s Hotel.

Want a solid — if biased — look at the Richardson City Council races? Peruse Ed Cognoski, a guy who also just loves taking delightfully cranky potshots at yours truly whenever he gets a chance.

Crime is, in fact, down in Dallas. Let’s celebrate with a Detroit-style riot.

It will be a crying shame if they can’t find a home for the Jetson’s style Siegel’s sign that’s coming down. End of an era and all that.

Not a single one-armed bandit or armed robbery quip. I’m deeply disappointed, Fox Four. No Fugitive joke? Nothing? Bah.

Monday Roundup: We Have Three B.O.B.s and No Insectorsaurus. WTF McDonalds?

Dave Levinthal breaks down everything you wanted to know about the People’s Hotel here. Such as, the People’s Hotel will cost taxpayers directly because to break even, the hotel would need to hve 68 percent occupancy (in a market where it’s at 55 percent) while charging almost double the going market rate. This is what happens when you let government try to compete in the free market. Oh, and the claim that a whole lot of organizations have committed to have their conventions in Dallas if we build glorious state hotel? Phillip Jones, CEO of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, can’t name a single one. Levinthal’s report is even-handed and objective, and in being so is a devastating case against the hotel.

The Innocence Project of Texas, which is fighting to overturn wrongful convictions, is facing shut down because of the Madoff fraud. Make a donation here. (via Grits for Breakfast.)

One thing this story forgot on looking at what’s wrong with all the post-Columbine anxiety: the police uber-emphasis on “officer safety” that has created the brilliant tactic of sealing off campuses and locking the shooters up with the victims. Meanwhile police hide behind barricades outside and wait for tanks. We’ve seen this cowardly practice at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and other places, and it’s time for it to go.

Sorry, my bad.

Happy Good Friday: Jesus Says Boo-Yah!

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.