Friday, December 01, 2006


The Lost Seinfeld Episode

Synopsis: Kramer tries his hand at stand-up comedy, but goes berserk on stage and starts spewing racial epithets. A member of the audience records the incident on a camera cell phone and the video ends up on national television. Then Jerry makes Kramer apologize on the David Letterman Show, with hilarious results ...

Related links:

Orange County Register: Richards has a problem, but it’s not mine

Brian Roper: KK Kramer

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yes, Virginia, guns really do protect ...

An editorial writer for the Chicago Daily Herald is blaming the victim in last week’s incident in which a 92-year-old Atlanta woman was gunned down by plainclothes officers serving a “no-knock” search warrant at her house. Specifically, he is blaming her for owning a gun and using it to defend herself.

“Had she been without her precious gun," he writes, "she’d no doubt be alive today.” Then he goes on to cite author Jean Burbick who claims it is a “fantasy” that guns protect.

The woman failed to kill the officers, it is true. They were only wounded, therefore were able to return fire and kill her. But she can't be blamed for trying to defend herself. They did, after all, kick in her door in the middle of the night without knocking, they were not recognizable as officers (being in plainclothes), it is doubtful they announced themselves as police, and they were executing a warrant based on false information that her house contained narcotics. How was she to know she was a suspected drug dealer?

At any rate, whether or not one agrees with her decision to fire at the officers, it is absurd to claim it is a fantasy that guns protect ...

Just a few days ago, a homeowner in Albuquerque shot and killed a burglar. The day before yesterday, a 73-year-old Minnesota man shot and killed another burglar. On the same day, burglars were shot by homeowners in Florida and Virginia. And, earlier in the month, an intruder was shot in Ohio, another was shot in Knoxville, and yet another was shot in Texas.

These are fantasies? Here’s another fantasy:

Four weeks ago, a ski-masked intruder claiming to be an FBI agent shot and wounded a homeowner in Fulton County, Georgia. The victim returned fire, causing the intruder to stop shooting and flee.

Which prompts the following question …

The Atlanta police claim the officers identified themselves as they knocked down the woman's door. Assuming this is true (the only witness is dead, so who knows), why should this woman believe them? She lived in a rough neighborhood. How was she to know they were not crackheads merely calling themselves police?

But it is doubtful they identified themselves. They did not do so in a similar incident last year. On that occasion, the same officers, acting on another phony tip from another informant, executed another "no-knock" warrant by breaking into the house of an Atlanta family. Quoting Alphonso Howard, father of the family: "So I rushed out of bed to the hallway. When I got in the hallway, they was right there with their guns telling me to get down. I was trying to get to my kids safety because I don't know if it's robbers or what. I don't know what's going on."

No knock. No announcement. No warning of any kind. And no drugs found either.

Nor were any drugs found in the 92-year-old woman’s house. Oh, the police claim otherwise, of course. First, they said they found some kind of unidentified drug that was being analyzed. Then they changed their story to say they found some marijuana. I would suggest that, if the cops “found” marijuana, they didn’t find it in her house, they found it in their own evidence room.

One more thing should be said about the Daily Herald writer’s comment that the woman would be alive if she had not fired her "precious gun" …

This may, or may not, be true. Who knows what these cops were capable of? All we know for sure is that in an alarming number of other “botched paramilitary police raids,” the cops have shot and killed innocent people for no reason whatever. Check out this clickable map.

The Atlanta Police Department is now reviewing its “no-knock” procedures. This is good. But it is not enough. Action must be taken immediately to prohibit “no-knock” searches nationwide.

Of course, they are already prohibited by the Fourth Amendment—which we can thank the Supreme Court for rendering meaningless last June.

This is what a police state looks like. The citizens have no rights, and the cops have unlimited power.

Cops should take note, however. The clickable map linked above also identifies numerous situations in which cops have been killed in botched raids. The Fourth Amendment is as much for the cop's protection as it is for the citizen.

The Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure is based on a fundamental precept of common law that goes all the way back to the Middle Ages, to wit: A person should be given an opportunity to comply with the law before there is a forcible entry. To do otherwise is to create a deadly situation that is dangerous for all concerned, including the police.

This is common sense, this is a practicality that only police states in their swinish stupidity dare ignore ...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Train, train, carry me back ...

Awake at 2:40 am, struggling to go back to sleep, not succeeding … eventually I give up, just lay there in the early morning dark, eyes still closed but wide awake, and listening … the air conditioner shuts off, followed by perfect quiet … a car sighs past on the highway … then it is quiet again … then, far away on McNeil Road, I hear the horn blast of a train and the long rumbling down the track … I know the route of that train, know it very well … it is an old route … I trace the route in my sleepless mind … it begins in San Antonio, crosses the Guadalupe River … moves north through San Marcos into South Austin … this is where I would hear the trains at night from my South First apartment in the late ‘90s … the track moves north through town, crosses Oltorf Street, stopping traffic both ways, crosses the bridge over Barton Springs Road and Town Lake … then turns west and joins MoPac Expressway … MoPac, as in Missouri-Pacific … it was here in the late ‘70s, when I lived on Lake Austin Boulevard that I would hear the trains at night ... and these days I see them as I drove to and from work, mostly they are freight trains but sometimes it is the Amtrak passenger train, the Texas Eagle ... I know this route well, very well ... the track moves straight up the middle of MoPac, heading north … at Anderson Lane, it veers slightly eastward, passing under the northbound lanes of MoPac, then runs parallel to MoPac for awhile before veering back under MoPac and continuing on to McNeil Road, where I hear the train now, eyes closed but awake, in the early morning dark … I know this route well … the track turns east at McNeil, heading into Round Rock, then runs parallel to Highway 79, still heading east … this is where I would hear the trains at night from my backyard in the late ‘80s and mid-‘90s … I know this route well, very well … the track stays with Highway 79 through Hutto, then Taylor … then cuts north through farmland northward to Granger and Temple … turns west, crossing under I-35 … turns north, passing west of Waco … crosses the Brazos River … I know this route well … continues north to Cleburne … Cleburne, where I heard the trains at night in the mid-‘60s, lying awake on my cot on the back porch of the old house on North Main … then the track passes under the viaduct on the north side of Cleburne, still heading north till it comes to Fort Worth, where it meets the Texas & Pacific Depot and heads east out of town … it was on the east side of Fort Worth in the mid-‘50s that I would hear the trains at night just a few houses away as they passed by our street, Newark Avenue … this was before Amtrak, before the Texas Eagle … in those days it was the Texas Chief ... I remember it well … moving out of Fort Worth and continuing east, the track passes through Handley, then straight through the heart of Arlington, where in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s I saw hoboes riding the freights … then at Dallas the track crosses the Trinity River, turns north at the Triple Underpass, circles behind the Grassy Knoll and Texas Schoolbook Depository and on the north side of town turns east, Mineola-bound … after Mineola, it passes through Longview, then Marshall, then Texarkana, and keeps on going to the larger world outside Texas: through Little Rock, St. Louis, and finally stops in Chicago … I know the route well, very well ... in the deepest dark of the morning, I know it well, and the train rumbles on, lulling me finally back to sleep, back to sleep, carrying me back, carrying me back … Texas Eagle … Texas Chief, rumbling in the night … train, train, carry me back …

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Only in Texas?

Michael Rivero is a writer whom I greatly admire. He has written many important articles, most notably Fake Terrorism: The Road to Dictatorship, and he always has many insightful things to say when he is a guest on my friend and fellow Texan Alex Jones’ radio show. In addition, Rivero maintains an excellent website,, which I check daily for headlines and commentary.

However, this morning when I visited Rivero’s website, I was puzzled by something he wrote, which was this: In reference to a news story about a Texas man who murdered another man for not washing his hands after using the bathroom, Rivero wrote “Only in Texas.”

Now, it was my impression that murders of this kind—that is, murders committed over some trivial matter or another—are not unique to Texas. They occur everywhere, and in equal amounts. There was, for instance, a murder over a Twinkie in Pennsylvania, a murder over a tv remote control in Oregon, and similar murders in other states too numerous to list here. But no one ever said, “Only in Pennsylvania,” “Only in Oregon,” etc. Why, then, did Rivero single out the hand-washing murder as typical of Texas?

This was the question I asked myself when I read Rivero’s comment. But, as I reflected further on the matter, I suddenly realized his true meaning. I had been focusing on the wrong thing, I realized. He did not mean the murder itself, but rather, was referring to another aspect of the story, one that is not a slur against Texas at all, but a very high compliment.

It’s funny how you can live in a place so long (I have lived in Texas my entire life, 54 years to be exact) and never notice certain obvious truths about that place. But an outsider will notice them immediately. In this case, what Rivero, the outsider, noticed that has escaped my attention all these years is that Texans place a high value on personal hygiene. I thought this was a characteristic of everyone in the United States, not just Texans, but apparently that is not so.

Now, I have never killed a man for failing to wash his hands after using the bathroom, but I do greatly disapprove of persons who neglect this part of their personal hygiene. In fact, every Texan I know also disapproves. It is greatly frowned upon here, and as the news story in question shows, some frown upon it with more severity than others.

Therefore, I urge all persons visiting Texas from other states to please remember to wash your hands after using our bathrooms. You may be able to get away with such an oversight at home, but in Texas it could get you killed.

You have been forewarned.