What Are We So Afraid of? Besides Breasts, Books, Cops, Terrorists and Basically Everything.

Categories: Schutze

Breasts! Breasts!

Old hippie, nanny-state, fault-finding, problem-centric, negative-minded, knee-jerk liberals -- and I speak only of myself -- were quick enough to jump all over Highland Park school district last week for banning seven books from the high school curriculum. Now I guess we're under some kind of obligation to come back and give them a thumbs-up for admitting a mistake and reversing the decision.

See also: Park Cities Kids Are Already Rich

The books are back on the rich kids' reading lists pending a formal review. HPISD Superintendent Dawson Orr is quoted in today's daily paper saying: "I made the decision in an attempt to de-escalate the conflict, and I readily admit that it had the opposite effect."

So, uh ... thumbs up! There. I think that takes care of that.

But ... you knew there was a but in here somewhere, right? ... two more things in today's daily do merit discussion, I think. And I'm not trying to chisel on the thumbs-up, really. If anything, a long view of the agonies of Highland Park on this issue would have to include some recognition that parents everywhere have a right and an absolute duty to defend their kids against the worst of popular culture.

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The Next Dallas City Council Election in Dallas Will Be About Liars

Categories: Schutze

From here on out it's all about the liars.

Just heard a good one this morning about another visit by the toll road goon squad. The back story is about a prominent person who let slip recently that she had changed her mind on the proposed 10-lane Trinity toll road through a park cutting off downtown from the river. Now she's against it.

She got a visit from the goon squad. She's for it again. Her company couldn't afford that kind of damage.

So be it. Line 'em up. Get everybody in uniform. Let's make sure we know who's in favor of building an utterly unneeded highway out in the flood zone where it will flood, because this fight is just getting good, and it will help to know who's on what side.

Angela Hunt has a piece in the back of the October Lakewood Advocate Magazine -- I can't find it online yet -- in which she says the toll road must be the litmus issue in City Council elections nine months from now. I have a column coming out in next week's paper saying something sort of similar but in a much less gracious voice than hers.

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Park Cities Kids Are Already Rich. Why Do We Want Them To Be Smart?

Categories: Schutze

At some point the grown children of the Park Cities must board ships to the Real World. When they get here, it is in our interest for them to be easy marks.

"There's nothing sure. The rich get rich and the poor get poor. In the meantime, in between time, ain't we got fun?"

"Ain't We Got Fun," Van and Schenck, 1921

Hate that lyric. Always did. Don't think it's true. The most recent big upward mobility study found that, while mobility in the U.S. isn't great, it hasn't fallen in the last 20 years the way everybody was saying it had.That means your chances of skinning a rich guy for his money are about what they've always been, pardon me for my worldview.

I've been thinking about this, because I wish everybody would shut up about Highland Park banning all those books. We want them to ban books. I do anyway. Ban them all. Keep their children from reading. Don't you get it?

See also: "Highland Park Bans Books Because Sex"

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Vonciel Hill Loves on a Road for Rich People While Projects in Her Backyard Suck Wind

Categories: Schutze

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There are much better road projects for southern Dallas than this dog.
Transportation projects are like the rest of life. Sure they offer benefits, but they carry costs, as well. Powerful Dallas City Council member Vonciel Hill, chair of both the council's transportation and legislative lobbying committees, stops meetings to introduce the rich people whose families will have bridges named for them in the Trinity River project. But the people paying the cost for all that sucking up are her own constituents whose interests she ignores.

While Hill is out beating the drum for "creative financing" for the Trinity toll road -- basically a rich people's road to spur high-rent redevelopment downtown -- she has accomplished zip, nothing, not a damn thing for a major transportation project in her own backyard, the so-called "Southern Gateway" on U.S. 67 and Interstate 35E.

And what about that "Dead Man's Curve" on the S.M. Wright Freeway in southern Dallas that she and council member Carolyn Davis were supposed to get fixed? As far as I can tell, that poor guy's still dead.

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Will Dallas Fire Chief Louie Bright's Leadership Philosophy Ever Be Etched in Stone?

Categories: Schutze


All weekend long I was pondering great moments in leadership. And then I thought about Dallas Fire Chief Louie Bright III.

Dallas firefighter Stanley Wilson burned to death May 20, 2013, when a building he and other firefighters were searching for survivors collapsed. Surviving firefighters said they were ordered to enter the building by incident commander Deputy Chief Bobby Ross.

A report released last week said Ross denied giving that order and told investigators he only told the firemen to walk around the building and break the windows.

Last Friday Chief Bright, flanked by his command staff, held a press conference in which Bright said of Wilson's death, "No one person bears all responsibility." He refused to take questions. When a radio reporter tried to ask a question anyway, one of Bright's cortege stiff-armed him.

In his remarks Bright seemed to say that even if the firefighters in the Wilson incident thought they had been ordered to enter the burning building, they should have been smart enough to disobey the order.

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Vonciel Hill's Loony Memo to Scott Griggs Versus the Facts on the Ground

Categories: Schutze

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Vonciel Hill can snap her fingers and make all this go away? What would that make her?

Here's a nice little moment when the truth comes home to roost: Yesterday Stephen Young shared with you here a memo sent to Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs by council member Vonciel Hill in which Hill basically called a Griggs a liar.

Hill accused Griggs of distorting the facts when Griggs complained that a city contractor had despoiled a pond in the Great Trinity Forest by draining it for cheap construction water. So one elected official calls another one a liar. Big so-what? The thing about a charge like that, however, is that it doesn't just paint Griggs as a liar but also the people who alerted Griggs to the destruction in the first place.

See also: Dallas Councilwoman Vonciel Hill Is Really Mad at Scott Griggs for Doing His Job

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Big Old Grain of Salt on all Those Dallas Morning News DISD Stories

Categories: Schutze

Houston Press
Scott Hochberg
Monday, I look at The Dallas Morning News, and I see a headline, "Dallas ISD likely breaking attendance law, former lawmaker says." So immediately right there in the same headline I see a lawmaker and a lawbreaker. I've already got a mental image of somebody at school headquarters in cuffs with his coat over his head getting pushed into a van.

The story says Dallas has been allowing kids to graduate from high school who may not have met school attendance requirements in state law. The former lawmaker they quote, Scott Hochberg, a Democrat of Houston who retired last year, is the person who wrote the relevant law.

He's quoted in the story saying, "They [Dallas schools) are violating the law. To me, that's no different than to just give credit if the student never showed up."

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Highland Park Presbyterian Is Back in the Gay News Again, Surely Not for the Last Time

Categories: Schutze

Theologically, can one church have gay pews, non-gay pews and pews for people who have been cured of being gay? Or just forget it?

The saga of Highland Park Presbyterian Church and gaydom reached another milestone last week when the church agreed to pay its too-gay national church body $7.8 million in order to break away and join a new no-gay version of Presbyterianism, a Protestant denomination which traces its name from the Greek, presbuteros.

HPPC must pony up the nearly eight million dollars as payment for church property that the national body, called PCUSA, claims is its own. Once that's done HPPC can join a new Presbyterian outfit called ECO, which unlike PCUSA, does not allow gay clergy.

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Two Legislative Hacks Are Bragging They Will Scare Off Witnesses in UT Law School Probe

Categories: Schutze

This is state Representative Trey Fischer sitting across the table from you when the detective asks you if Trey Fischer ever put the arm on you. What a smile, eh?

You have to take a deep breath first. Anchor yourself. Pinch your nose. Then you might be ready to contemplate the sheer unadorned shamelessness of the Texas Legislature in its confrontation with University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall of Dallas.

See also: Wallace Hall Was Right.

Back story: After an abortive in-house cover-up, the emergence of an insider whistle-blower and a series of sudden top-level resignations, the university system was forced to bring in a private company to look into reports by independent journalists that the UT Law School was providing student admissions to influential Texas legislators in return for favors.

Latest unbelievable instance of shamelessness: Two legislators, Democrat Trey Fischer and Republican Lyle Larson, both of San Antonio, are insisting that they be allowed to sit on all interviews of potential witnesses by Kroll, an international risk assessment investigations company headquartered in New York. What's more, they have served notice that they themselves are talking to potential witnesses before Kroll can get to them.

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DMN Says Fired School Sleuth Didn't Break Rules. Maybe They Should Read DISD's Report.

Categories: Schutze

Wow, I am having major cognitive dissonance problems with a story in The Dallas Morning News today under the headline, "Breaking news: Report on fired Dallas ISD investigator Jeremy Liebbe does not find he violated laws or policies."

The first paragraph says, "A report on fired Dallas ISD investigator Jeremy Liebbe is critical of various decisions he made, including looking into his boss' criminal history, but it does not state that he violated any laws or policies."

But a copy of the report is attached to the story. I read the report. Unless the report was written in some kind of new hyper-ironic not-really language, it says plainly that Liebbe, a civil investigator for the district who was sacked and frog-walked out the door last July, violated both laws and policies.

See also: Lots More To Come In Saga of Suspended School District Sleuth

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