Hugh Aynesworth Talks About Why Bill O'Reilly Would Lie About JFK Assassination.

Categories: Schutze

Hugh Aynesworth is a reporter and author who has covered the Kennedy assassination from the day it happened to today.

By now it's clear that Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly lied in his 2012 book, Killing Kennedy, about his own connection to the suicide of a key figure in a JFK conspiracy theory. The evidence is irrefutable. Maybe the more interesting question at this point is why. Who lies to connect himself to JFK's murder?

According to nationally recognized author, journalist and JFK assassination expert Hugh Aynesworth -- who really was in Florida where O'Reilly dishonestly claimed to be in 1977 -- the people who make up JFK stories about themselves always turn out to be what Aynesworth calls "second-stringers" and "wannabes."

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An Advocate for the Sexually Abused Demands Answers from Prestonwood Baptist Church

Categories: Cover Story

Dylan Hollingsworth
Amy Smith, an advocate for the sexually abused, wants Prestonwood Baptist Church to open up about a case involving a former minister there.

The letter was anonymous, just like other warnings that came before it. In late January, it arrived in the mailboxes of advocates who work on behalf of Christian sex-abuse victims. For 26 pages, it offered a rambling defense of a place that shouldn't need one — Prestonwood Baptist Church, a Plano mega-church with 37,000 members, three campuses, decades of mostly good publicity and a celebrity pastor named Jack Graham.

But for the last several years, the church has come under scrutiny from a small, vocal group of Christian critics for its handling of child sexual abuse. None of the critics has been more effective than Amy Smith, the daughter of a former Prestonwood deacon. Five years ago, Smith alerted a church in Mississippi that a pastor on its staff had been quietly accused of child molestation at Prestonwood decades before.

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Dallas City Council Guts Already Ineffective Ethics Complaint System

Categories: City Hall

Mark Graham
Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill thinks we shovel horse manure. We prefer to thinking of it as "quoting," and sometimes that's the same thing.
Before getting into what actually happened Wednesday, we will note that council members basically never get rung up on city ethics charges. Complaints get filed, are briefly annoying and then just sort of fade off into the ether.

Still, Vonciel Jones Hill and much of the rest of the council took the opportunity to make it much harder to file a complaint, much less have one stick. A Hill-proposed amendment to ethics reporting rules requires that anyone submitting a report have personal knowledge of every event referenced in the complaint. A complaint can't be based on information obtained by the person filing the complaint; he or she must have seen or participated in it first hand.

Hill said the current system allowed people to "go pick up a copy of the Dallas Observer and gallop off" to file a "horse manure" filled ethics complaint.

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Trinity Toll Road Would Put Serious Dent in the Continental Pedestrian Bridge

Categories: Development

Trinity River Corridor Project
You know what this park needs? Some flippin' cars.
The Continental pedestrian bridge was one of Dallas' best additions in 2014. It has great views, water features and play equipment for kids and the occasional food truck. Strolling the bridge, assuming the weather isn't too hot, is genuinely pleasant. Building the Trinity toll road would seriously screw it up.

See also: Best Bridge Dallas 2014 - Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge on the Trinity

Dallas Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan told the City Council Wednesday that the eastern edge of the bridge, the part closest to downtown, will have "pedestrians, traffic and cyclists" coexisting if the toll road is built, because of an exit ramp.

"There's an exit ramp from the southbound toll road that would come over the top of the levy. The ramp splits, and one of the two forks of the ramp comes in even with the Continental Bridge and we would have a traffic signal there so that the cars coming off of the ramp and off of the toll road would have to come to a stop and then pedestrians and cyclists who are coming up Continental from Victory and downtown could proceed across. A traffic signal would be put in to protect non-vehicle traffic," Jordan said.

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller Is the Best

Pop quiz: How many horse's patoots do you see in this picture of Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller?
It's only natural for Texas' urban/suburbanites to assume that the choice of agriculture commissioner has little bearing on their lives. This is false. City dwellers eat food, which is grown on farms. They fill their cars at gas pumps and weigh their produce on grocery scales, both of which the office polices for accuracy. Sometimes, they realize that the former ag commissioner has become the longest-serving governor in state history. But perhaps the most important role of the ag commissioner when it comes to urban Texas -- and one that was unfortunately mostly neglected by recent officeholder Todd Staples -- is as a source of entertainment. The ag commissioner should be a folksy parody of the real Texas -- riding horses, wearing Stetsons, disparaging President Obama with a friendly drawl.

This is why Sid Miller is the best, the Platonic ideal of what the Texas agriculture commissioner should be. One glance at his official campaign portrait, which looks like it might have been taken at the Stephenville Walmart but which actually bears a Lifetouch watermark, should be proof enough. Miller is the spitting image of J.R. Ewing, if J.R. Ewing ate more hamburgers. He even wears a Texas flag lapel-pin!

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Eddie Routh Guilty of Capital Murder in American Sniper Shooting

Categories: Crime

Erath County
Eddie Ray Routh
Just after 9 p.m. Tuesday night, an Erath County jury found Eddie Ray Routh guilty for the February 2013 shootings of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield. Routh never disputed that he shot Kyle and Littlefield. At trial, he and his defense team claimed he was legally insane and didn't know right from wrong when he killed Kyle and Littlefield at a shooting range.

The jury disagreed, despite potentially compelling evidence of Routh's paranoid schizophrenia presented by the defense. Routh had been through multiple hospitalizations for his mental illness. Routh convinced the defense's psychiatric expert -- Dr. Mitchell H. Dunn, psychiatrist at Terrell State Hospital -- that he shot Kyle and Littlefield because he believed they were part of a world-domination-seeking group of pig-human hybrids and wanted to kill him. Dunn said Routh acted in self-defense, because he genuinely feared for his life. He did not know, Dunn said, that killing Kyle and Littlefield was wrong.

See also: Chris Kyle's Killer Thought Pig-People Hybrids Were Taking Over the Earth: Testimony

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Dallas Cops and Firefighters Get Same-Sex Marriage Benefits

Categories: City Hall

Dallas Police Department
The sam-sex spouses of Dallas uniformed employees are now eligible for survivor benefits. The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Board granted the benefits, effective immediately, Tuesday. The move follows a February 18 vote by the City Council to give same-sex spouses of civilian employees pension benefits.

The board's vote comes after a month's long argument over extending the benefits, one that was effectively ended by an opinion issued by Dallas City Attorney Warren Ernst on Friday. In it, he told the DPFP board that it would likely lose a lawsuit brought against it by a member claiming his or her right to equal protection was being violated.

"It is my opinion that a court would find that federal law requires the DPFP plan to provide joint and survivor benefits to spouses of members regardless of the gender of the member and his or her spouse," he said.

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Rowlett Man Wants Cities to Crack Down on Handicap Parking -- By Hiring His Company

Categories: News

Thumbnail image for DamianMorysFlickr.jpg
Damian Morys via Flickr
Rowlett Mayor Todd Gottel, like all decent human beings, hates it when able-bodied individuals (read: assholes) park in handicap parking spots. "It really disgusts me," he says, "because the handicapped deserve the same rights as we have. Those folks that violate that should be ashamed of themselves and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

Therein lies the problem. Handicap parking violators are rarely brought to justice. Cops in Rowlett seldom have the time to comb the city's parking lots looking for offenders. (In certain neighboring cities, which Gottel claims knowledge of but declined to name, police have given up on handicap parking enforcement entirely.) Rowlett, per an obscure provision of the state's transportation code, deputizes citizen volunteers to write handicap parking tickets, but even that has a limited effect since the volunteers, mostly retired senior citizens, are instructed to avoid confrontation and are usually saddled with other duties -- manning special events and the like.

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Pete Delkus Claims to Be Able to Close Dallas Schools. Can He Make Them Better Too?

Categories: Weather

Thumbnail image for delkus_tornado.jpg
Wait. Is he describing that storm or directing it?
Don't say we didn't warn you. WFAA weather personality Pete Delkus, in the form of his odd new smoking-jacket and cigar accessorized avatar, has announced what we've known for quite some time. He can, and does, control the weather.

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Mayor Rawlings Keeps Ducking Around the Toll Road Issue. That Won't Fly for Long.

Categories: Schutze

Mayor Rawlings

Yesterday was another day when apparently I was the villain all the way around. Or, as I think of it, another dollar. Robert Wilonsky, a journalist at The Dallas Morning News, had a piece in which he explained that the mayor never said what I said he said about never debating the Trinity toll road.

Wilonsky said the mayor told him he would be happy to debate the toll road issue as long as it is sandwiched between other issues: "Rawlings says today he will only discuss the toll road during a debate about other issues as well," Wilonksy reported.

He said the mayor told him: "Of course, of course, of course I will be glad to address it. But the debates need to be about who should be your mayor, not the single topic. That's not on the ballot. That's what I told Jim."

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