Big Brother Gets Voted In

The residents of a Lake Highlands subdivision have voted to install cameras to “look for suspicious people, vehicles lacking homeowner stickers, people walking through alleys and obvious criminal activity” because of the high level of criminal activity in their community. Who knew that walking through an alley was such a dangerous activity?

As far as I can tell, this movement is the wave of the future but that doesn’t make it any less frightening. It will be the residents who monitor these video feeds and then provide the footage to police if a crime is caught on tape. The threat to privacy is not trivial and the very fact that it’s residents monitoring this would scare me. People aren’t typically known for their judicial use of restraint when it comes to gossip about their neighbors.

I’d bet this gets misused at least on a 2 to 1 basis in the actual implementation of things. Another thing to add to the list of “Why I like living in a small town with access to a really big town.”

Hat tip: Barking Dogs

Newsflash: Idiots run in the street, surprised people hate them. The attitudes of the runners interviewed in the story make me less likely to be sympathetic to their causes. They don’t have a right of way in the street and deserve any tickets that come their way. Blaming the Highland Park “Bubble attitude” is ridiculous.

The Dallas City Council is giving away taxpayer money and almost no one seems to give a flying fuck about it. The shortsightedness and me-first attitudes of many on the council will eventually come back to haunt Dallas, probably sooner rather than later. However, much like children with no disipline, the Council seems to have grown into spoiled rotten bullies, more inclined to look for platitudes and easy handouts than difficult governmental work. The racial history of Dallas continues to plague the city and will continue to do so for the forseeable future.

Because there is a great deal of truth to the Dallas image of selfishness and navel gazing, most of the citizens will not be doing anything about it until it”s much, much too late. Some days, it”s difficult to express how glad I am that I live in a small city without those problems. But somewhere, deep down inside buried beneath a lifetime (ack! 33 years! ack!) of internal censorship and self-imposed isolation, I want to get involved to make a difference. I think another Maker”s Mark is probably in order to quell those thoughts.

Let the competition begin. Southwest is going to start flying to Missouri almost immediately and American is already feeling the heat. It still boggles my mind that our own representatives (See whiny Joe Barton-R Ennis) would be campaigning against the Wright repeal when it means more competition and lower prices. Already, American has had to slash their prices on the Missouri routes. How is this a bad thing? And how in the holy hell, can a Republican campaign against something that is distinctly lesser government leaning?

Eventually, Southwest will be able to fly wherever they damn well please out of Love and that”s good for everyone in the community. Scare tactics from American and their cronies notwithstanding, competition is good and this can only help that.

Glenn Mitchell has passed away. This is a sad time for Dallas, Dallas public radio and the thousands of listeners, including myself, that truly enjoyed listening to the Glenn Mitchell show. His humor and no-nonsense approach to interviews was refreshing and pleasing. I’ll truly miss Everything You Ever Wanted to know, his weekly program on Fridays where he and his listeners would answer any and all questions. I’m sad that such a wonderful talent has been lost. A memorial program will air today at 12.

RIP, Glenn.

The DMN has another story on the FBI corruption investigation going on. This one focuses on Don Hill and goes in to familiar territory, specifically his troubles with the IRS, his troubles with money in general and his troubles with the state bar association. I feel things starting to gain momentum here.

The Dallas Morning News finally says something about the developing scandal at City Hall that Jim Schutze over that The Observer has been covering for weeks. Apparently, things are getting very serious down in Austin regarding the rampant corruption here in our fine metropolis. The article notes:

    The House General Investigating and Ethics Committee said Wednesday that it will hold public hearings on whether the city and police officers used public-nuisance abatement laws to intimidate and shake down businesses.

The city has most certainly done that and bad things are going to happen to those people who allowed it to happen. City Hall is completely dysfunctional and needs a good overhaul.

Of course, Miller and crew all say things are A-OK but if you”ve paid any attention to the scene, you know things are definitely not A-OK. I predict people are going to go down and go down hard over this. Probably lots of people and I for one think it”s great. Of course, one of our champion politicians seems to think the legislature ought to keep its nose out of Dallas” corrupt business:

    Rep. Will Hartnett, a Dallas Republican who is not on the committee, called the decision “unprecedented, in my experience.””Personally, I have not heard of anything egregious enough to justify this kind of legislative involvement with municipal management,” Mr. Hartnett said. “I always become very concerned when committees inject themselves into things that are not of a typical legislative nature.”

I”m not sure what “things. . .of a typical legislative nature” Mr. Hartnett is referring to but I would argue that when a City Hall takes it upon itself to egregiously ignore the meaning AND the spirit of the law in an attempt to shakedown the politically unconnected in South Dallas, it is most certainly a legislative nature.

Apparently, the small town bubba mentality still pervades our fine city council as even Mitchell Rasansky gets in on the act saying: some “liberal person” in Austin is “trying to make a name. Let them come down here. I really don”t care,” he said. “We do everything we can to try and protect our citizens. I can”t believe they”re coming down here to see what good they can unravel.”

Mitchell, Mitchell, Mitchell, I”m surprised at you for not doing your research. There are five members on said committee, 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats. That hardly sounds like some sort of liberal vendetta against Dallas. On top of that, the Speaker of the House must ok this and he”s likely to do that. That”s Tom Craddick, who I”m sure would be offended at the accusation he”s a liberal trying to make a name for himself. He is the Speaker of the House and all.

But most importantly, the bill that changed how the public nuisiance law was interpreted passed both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly (though how overwhelmingly we”ll never know since the Texas Legislature doesn”t record how its members voted which is a serious problem but one for another day). Overwhelmingly means that lots of people voted for it, not just the liberals that Rasansky disparages. You can read Representative Keel”s words here and I highly recommend you do if you”re thinking I may be exaggerating the truth. I was going to quote some of it but it”s all so damning, so utterly terrifying that you really need to read it all to get the understanding of the level of corruption we”re talking about here.

When issues like this are going on in a government, you”d think that the local media would be all over it like stink on shit. Pulitzer prizes and all. However, by the DMN”s own count, there have been 6 articles about this issue dating back to December of last year, including the one today that fell off the front page of the web by around 5 PM. Schutze has done 8 articles ON HIS OWN in the last two months! It”s no wonder no one trusts the mass media anymore. This is a story that will not go away, regardless of how long the DMN ignores it. It”s going to only get bigger and I for one can”t wait. When the FBI, the IRS, the Texas Legislature and God knows who else starts asking questions, you know something fun is about to happen.

Bad stuff continues to happen at City Hall. Fantroy and Hill, the two members that the FBI is looking into, just so happen to have the IRS after them as well. Both men have tax liens filed against them and have a history of tax problems with the IRS. These are your south Dallas elected officials folks. No wonder south Dallas can’t seem to get a fair shake out of the crappy city government.

Things are definitely afoot down at Dallas City Hall. The FBI showed up today and searched the office and law office of Councilman Hill and the security company run by Councilman Fantroy.

I don’t suppose this might have anything to do with the little discussions that have been going on down in Austin, would they? Some very interesting things are about to go down around City Hall and the DMN isn’t going to be able to ignore it and neither will anyone else around there.

I, for one, find it both amusing and welcoming that the FBI is about to start cracking heads on something big. And I’d bet dollars to donuts that before it’s all said and done, race is going to become a big part of the action.

Right now, I’m just writing to try to get back into the swing of things, almost an instinct fulfilled I suppose. So with that in mind, I say go read Jim Schutze and his recent coverage of something that should be a colossal scandal at City Hall but that you probably don’t know is even happening. Start with his May 12th column and read forward to the link above. You can find archives at the bottom of that page.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows much at all about Dallas’ past to find out that people in south Dallas are getting short shrift when it comes to City Hall. It will just surprise you who’s getting it this time.