Where Misfortune Smiles

Austin Dispatches
No. 105
Feb. 27, 2008

The Chronicle reports middling singer Toni Price has lamented the rising cost of living that drove her out of Austin. While the condo projects do have the benefit of ridding the town of hippies and other undesirables, the downside is the rest of us can’t afford to live here, either.1  

My rent’s going up 40 bucks. "Cost-of-living increase," the leasing manager said. The apartment, however, is still the same one I moved into eight years ago.  In this regulation-crazed town in this stagflationary environment, renewing my lease didn’t seem the best option.2  

I’m liquid, but landlords want to see proof of employment.  Otherwise, I’d have to get a cosigner on the application, according to a friend plugged into the local housing market. “Alternatively, sometimes, with 3-6 months rent in advance, you can be considered, but not all management companies will allow that.”3

Sure, I’ve been able to work constantly for two-odd years – but for how long?  Anecdotally, BMC West is moving its operations to Cedar Park, probably to get away from Austin’s interference.4  A sweets shop at The Domain – among the first to open – has shut down.  Two of the restaurants I dined at with my parents during their visit have closed.5  In a related development, Cele’s Store, a Brigadoon-like barbecue joint in the wilderness between Pflugerville and Hutto, shut down in December.6

Even Dubya now acknowledges the economy’s in a slump.7  Things must be bad when even he displays some awareness of reality, because among other things, this is the same president who recently signed a law to banish the incandescent light bulb, in favor of compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs the manufacturers couldn’t get the public to buy fast enough. The old light bulbs are perfectly fine, a proven technology, but the feds will enforce their replacement with CFLs, which cost more, start slower, fail faster, flicker frequently, and can’t be thrown away because they contain mercury.8

I’m facing another expense: After all these years, I’m finally at the point where I have to get a cell phone. Coincidentally, the City Council is considering a ban on cell phone use while driving.9  Normally, I’d be skeptical of any new government regulation. But I’ve had too many near-misses by women yapping on the phone instead of paying attention to traffic.  For that matter, my previous car was collateral damage by women not paying attention in the apartment parking lot.  Of course, the real solution to all this is to prevent them from driving in the first place. Perhaps when Barack Hussein Obama is elected president, and imposes sharia, this major traffic problem will be solved, insha’allah.10 (I can’t be the only one who’s wondered how Islamists could actually take over our country. A slick PR campaign on this and other quality-of-life issues might do more for Muslim militancy than suicide bombers.)

Political Roundup

e105fig1 Regardless, so far this campaign season, B.O., the coke-snorting mulatto, has smoothly pimp-slapped his senatorial colleague, That Corrupt Bitch of New York, into second-class status.11 As a bonus, he riled her worthless husband into publicly mouthing off, thereby antagonizing crucial segments of a Democratic Party whose deepening discord could cost it victory in November.12  

For local examples, a Chronicle reader has pointed out that all the “progressive” (translation: national socialist) challengers in the Democratic primary for municipal and county positions are all white homosexuals running against black incumbents.13 Also, the ruling elite is trying to screw over blacks with rezoning and government-subsidized redevelopment in East Austin.14 On Jan. 17, Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson, football pro-turned convicted drug felon-turned lottery winner-turned community activist, succeeded in blocking a proposed limit on house sizes in Central East Austin by rallying residents against an infringement on property rights.15

Not that we don’t enjoy the spectacle. We haven’t seen that jaw-jutting, finger-wagging tirade from Bill Clinton since he was about to lose his dream job for cheating on his wife and lying about it under oath.16  Is this the real audacity of Hope?17  Ironically, Hillary deserves more responsibility for that debacle than she usually receives. Her nagging finally prompted Bill to lose weight, thereby becoming more attractive to other women, including a newly arrived intern named Monica Lewinsky.18  

In the Republican presidential race, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s superior record, message and fundraising, as well as some statist contenders, have knocked out of contention Rudy Giuliani, the lisping, formerly toupee-clad, cross-dressing, thrice-married Mussolini of Manhattan, whose raging bull prosecutions helped kick-start the 1990-91 recession.19  The GOP is also heavily fractured.20  

Generationally, Boomers have been pummeled in the establishment parties’ presidential primaries by the preceding and succeeding generations.21  And soon government at all levels will face a “brain drain” because Boomers are retiring, and, of course, couldn’t be bothered to train successors because they never really believed anyone would come after them (in both meanings).22  Maybe we’ll shrink government yet. One of them who won’t be around to see it is Bill Strauss. He was a Beltway policy wonk, with the sort of bossy, pro-bureaucratic, un-American views you’d expect. Nevertheless, he co-authored a useful analysis of American history based on generational cycles, particularly the terminology and generational distinctions, though that’s what people familiar with his work quibble about most. What they should find fault with is his prescriptive parts, with the Boomers as the ultimate generation who’ll impose a pseudo-messianic “progressive” social re-engineering of the world to make everyone and everything conform to some northeastern college faculty’s notions of How It Ought to Be. In effect, post-Boomer generations were supposed to be the field slaves for Boomers’ desires and delusions; if we resisted, Boomers would pit us against each other. Or so Strauss presumed. I had opportunity to tell Strauss a couple of times that he didn’t know what the Hell he was talking about. Boomer that he was, my facts never registered. But Strauss dropped dead, so that’s one less of his power-hungry ilk with whom we must contend.23  

If such a seemingly inevitable development could be so rudely thwarted, then another party could make inroads against the established duopoly this year. But the Greens are badly split, stemming from the 2004 election.24  Besides, they’re just more of the same, a distinction without a difference.  

And as for the party formerly know as Libertarian, it’s still in a downward spiral. The fakes pretend like nothing’s wrong, even though for each month the bad decisions at the Portland convention remain uncorrected, the party loses about a year’s worth of gains. The flakes are still flailing around and unable to get their act together. I've seen pie fights with more dignity. The Libertarian National Committee finally did something smart and urged Paul to seek the LP nomination. Paul declined.25  After all, why would he want to front a party that doesn’t stand for anything.

The LP’s troubles extend down to the county level. For example, Rock Howard was re-elected to another term as county chairman at a special meeting New Year’s Eve.26  I’ve known him 10 years and I still have no idea why he considers himself a libertarian. He’s never fought Travis County’s ruling elite even a fraction as hard as he fights other people in the TCLP. Because his secret ambition is to join the ruling elite, not replace them. It’s less about ideology and more about social status.

Howard aspires to belong with a group of people he thinks are socially superior to libertarians – the way he thinks he’s socially superior to libertarians. But his thinking is so incoherent – I attended numerous TCLP business meetings where he became confused by his own utterances – that he probably doesn’t even understand his own ambition, or how achieve it. It ain’t like mastering programming languages. Instead, it’s more like amateur anthropology: learning how to dress, act and think like some group so as to fit in. If this sounds suspiciously like high school, you’re right. Only the people involved are old enough for prostate exams. He doesn’t have the social skills, or the right assumptions or even the right tastes to be accepted by the likes of Mayor Will Wynn or Chronicle Editor Louis Black. If I’ve noticed this about Howard, other people probably have, too. I’ll bet if the ruling elite do think about him, it’s to laugh at him in private. Meanwhile, Howard continues to publicly waffle and compromise on the libertarian message.

It’s a damn shame, because one of the TCLP’s biggest liabilities finally died in December.27 A local shitheaded gadfly who persisted in calling himself a libertarian, although his worldview was closer to that of a Frankfurt School Marxist.28 Not that this was based on anything but his own delusions. He boasted of being a high school dropout and of being unversed in the libertarian literature. Then he grumbled he wasn’t taken seriously in a movement dominated by intellectual Jews, many with post-graduate degrees. I figure he glommed on to calling himself a libertarian because even in the ‘70s it provided a more respectable intellectual veneer to justify his epithumetical weaknesses.29  Between him and Howard, who hated each others’ guts, the TCLP experienced the fake vs. flake conflict in microcosm. I could write an entire issue about his failings, but he's dead and that’s what counts. Enough of this guttersnipe. Let his name be forgotten, even by those who knew him! (So it is written. So it shall be done.)30

On the Town

Dec. 30:  I drove to the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Bastrop County to see Dr. John, a New Orleans musician who’s kept one foot in the world of famous rock performers and one foot in the New Orleans R&B tradition.31 As a bonus, the opening act was jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe, who as Marvin “Hannibal” Peterson was a rising star in the New York loft jazz scene of the ‘70s before opting to become the musician laureate of Bastrop.32 This event was billed as a “New Orleans Celebration Concert” for New Year’s Eve, except it was a day early. Before the show, I availed myself of the New Orleans cuisine buffet in the dinning hall. I now know why half of Louisiana is under water. The inhabitants have flooded the state to raise crawfish and alligators, for cutlets braised in piquant. Or else their sheer collective weight gain from etouffe and doberge cake sunk their land below sea level.  Dr. John and his band served up greasy slices of Crescent City funk to a crowd in camel hair coats and graying ponytails who always managed to get in my way when I tried to go anywhere.

After he strutted off the stage, I drove to Dallas Night Club for about two hours of intense salsa dancing. I brought up the earlier show in conversation with “Melanie Ordones Welker.”33 Her eyes widened in amazement. “I thought he was dead.” Upon reflection, maybe I hadn’t seen him after all. Maybe it was his zombie.

I think everybody was in good spirits on the 30th because they didn’t have to get up and go to work on Monday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sustain the 30th’s fun on New Year’s Eve proper. Everything I wanted to do was downtown, which was impassible, or in East Austin, where I didn’t want to maneuver my new car. City Hall has been pushing a “family oriented” New Year’s Eve downtown the last couple of years, and drew some 125,000 Austin residents.34  I considered using the municipal bus system, but the schedule wouldn’t accommodate me. Instead, I spent about 15 minutes at my neighborhood bar, just like two years ago, even though I vowed at the time I wasn’t going to do that again.  I drummed my fingers impatiently on the bar top until the countdown while the other patrons sang a karaoke rendition of “Paradise City” at top volume.35  No wonder Axl’s a semi-recluse.36 At midnight, I tossed back my plastic glass of complimentary sparkling wine, tossed a tip on the bar, and left.

Jan. 13: After some scheduling delays, I caught the Monstas, a group of longtime musicians the Chronicle favors, on their South Austin World Tour at Güero’s Taco Bar. They were OK, but not catchy enough for me to stick around.37 One consolation: I didn’t see any Birkenstocks – the pedestrian counterpart to the swastika armband – at the show. That’s really good, considering the crowd. Is it too much to hope for that this sartorial abomination is finally over?

Feb. 13: A couple of people at Ruta Maya told me that other people had told them that I’m a good dancer and had pointed me out elsewhere as someone to watch as a guide for what to do on the dance floor and how to do it. I was flattered. I must be moving up in status on the salsa scene. On the other hand, one of the people who told me this wore a T-shirt over a turtleneck sweater. Good thing it was a T-shirt and not his underpants.

I thought I’d seen everything that evening, until I came home and parked next to a new domestic luxury sedan with fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror.

Valentine’s Day, I pushed my luck, almost successfully. Fuerza Latina held another party at the same Mexican restaurant from November. The dance troupe billed it as a fundraiser/couples' night/singles mixer, but for the longest time it was a photo shoot with a Mr. Fusionesque chorizo party on the side.38  I anticipated a dreadful evening, but I persevered and eventually made my minimum quota of dances – mostly the troupers – through a combination of reading body language, making eye contact, and making my partners feel like the most desirable women on the planet while not actually giving a shit what they wanted. Actually, now that I think about it, my pushiness and insensitivity finally meant Valentine’s Day didn’t suck for the first time in too long.39  

The next day, however, every woman I encountered had resumed being wary, sullen or aloof.

Austin Death Watch

On Jan. 11, former Mayor Gus Garcia hit and killed a Hispanic pedestrian crossing North Lamar Boulevard near Braker Lane. While police have withheld information pending investigation, it’s clear Garcia gets about the same results behind the wheel as he did making municipal policy.40  The incident also sends a message to Mexicans: Stay the Hell away from Austin or you’ll be done in by your own people.

Fire investigators determined KOOP-FM’s third fire in two years was the result of arson. I swear, that station goes up in flames more often than the LP. Cops nabbed a suspect, a former staffer with dweeby facial hair who hosted the incongruously named “Mellow Down Easy.”41 Given the circumstances, maybe the show should’ve been called “Fire Music.”42  

Over by the thin blue line, the new police chief fired one officer for killing an unarmed suspect, and fired another officer for taking military leave and never showing up for his military assignments.43  The former’s firing is under appeal.44 Yet another Austin police officer is under investigation, this time for theft and paying for sex.45  Meanwhile, an independent arbitrator reinstated Officer Gary Griffin, who was fired after he admittedly “beat the shit” out of a man sleeping at a bus stop, a beating caught on police videotape.46  Two more officers were disciplined for their actions during a sex sting in Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park where a third officer wounded a man who tried to run him over. The third officer was not disciplined.47  

Speaking of sex, at the University of Texas, Robert Jensen, a homosexual Marxist feminist, has written a new book denouncing pornography for misogyny and racism, and whatever else torques a homosexual Marxist feminist angling for tenure.48 Nevertheless, I haven’t seen any news coverage where his jeremiad extends to same-sex pornography – otherwise known as Academy Award-winning films.49 Cleary, he has an ax to grind, which is tough to do with a limp wrist.50 Jensen’s fellow campus turd burglar, an Arab lecturer, ended a week-long hunger strike without getting what he wanted: barbecued pork sandwiches. No, actually, he wanted health benefits for same-sex partners of faculty members. For this, I’m paying sales tax? Fortunately, he’s leaving town. Unfortunately, he’s not leaving the country.51  

Councilman Mike Martinez is selling a proposal to change the Council from six at-large to eight mostly single-member districts as only costing under $250,000 for each additional seat in the City budget, “still less than the $510,000 buyout package we’re paying to former City Manager Toby Futrell to leave before May.”

That’s the selling point? I’ve been inclined to vote for the change, just because good-government types favor at-large representation, and what they like usually hurts the rest of us. But after hearing the figures, I’ll be damned if I’m going to give that spendthrift Council an excuse to waste another half-million dollars each year.52

An advisory committee nixed white-water rafting for Waller Creek. That’s good to know. The idea required pumping water into the creek, because typically you can walk along the bed without dampening your shoes. But it seems the idea was too preposterous even for the City Council. However, the City might consider charging adventurers admission to enter the creek and dodge the homeless drug addicts who cluster under the bridges.53  

In advance of SXSW, its organizers have been defensively, defiantly telling the papers they’ll continue, and continue shutting down unauthorized, unofficial SXSW parties, which they believe could kill SXSW. As opposed to the hype, and the logistical inconvenience for the rest of us. Makes me want to throw my own unaffiliated party just to slay this monstrosity.54 Out in the real world, the local music scene is in a slump, according to The Daily Texan.55

The January issue of Brilliant magazine contains a feature on the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. There, women can learn how to become alcoholics, fend off sneers of East Coast opinion makers by advocating disastrous, discredited policies, and lose elections to dopey ex-frat boys.56  

Publishing Picks of 2007

  1. Allen, Woody [Alan Stewart Konigsberg]. Mere Anarchy. New York City: Random House.
  2. Andersen, Kurt. Heyday. New York City: Random House.
  3. Barnes, Leroy “Nicky” and Tom Folsom. Mr. Untouchable. New York City: RuggedLand.
  4. Bing, Stanley [Gil Schwartz]. Crazy Bosses, rev. ed. New York City: Collins.
  5. Bonner, William, and Lila Rajiva. Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.
  6. Booth, Nicholas. ZigZag: The Incredible Wartime Exploits of Double Agent Eddie Chapman, rev. ed. New York City: Arcade Publishing.
  7. Bourdain, Anthony. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, 2nd rev. ed. New York City: Ecco Press/Harper Perennial.
  8. Bourdain, Anthony. No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. New York City: Bloomsbury.
  9. Bracco, Lorraine. On the Couch, rev. ed. New York City: Berkeley Books.
  10. Caplan, Bryan. The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP.
  11. Christe, Ian. Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.
  12. Doherty, Brian. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. New York City: PublicAffairs.
  13. Eisner, Peter, and Knut Royce. The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for the War in Iraq. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale.
  14. Fox, Lauren. Still Life With Husband. New York City: Alfred A. Knopf.
  15. Gibson, William. Spook Country. New York City: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
  16. Gordon, David. The Essential Rothbard. Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  17. Gordon, Michael R., and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor (ret.). Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, rev. ed. New York City: Vintage Books.
  18. Gottfried, Paul Edward. Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right. New York City: Palgrave Macmillan.
  19. Groopman, Dr. Jerome. How Doctors Think. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
  20. Gutzman, Kevin R.C. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing.
  21. Halberstadt, Alex. Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press.
  22. Hülsmann, Jörg Guido. Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism. Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  23. Isikoff, Michael, and David Corn. Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War, rev. ed. New York City: Three Rivers Press.
  24. Jacobson, Mark. American Gangster and Other Tales of New York. New York City: Black Cat.
  25. Kelso, John. Texas Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities and Other Offbeat Stuff, 2nd rev. ed. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press.
  26. Kessler, Lauren, and Duncan McDonald. When Words Collide: A Media Writer's Guide to Grammar and Style, 6th rev. ed. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing Co.
  27. Krogh, Egil "Bud," and Matthew Krogh. Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House. New York City: PublicAffairs.
  28. Lax, Eric. Conversations With Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemaking. New York City: Alfred A. Knopf.
  29. Lerner, Michael A. Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP.
  30. Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought (Complete, 1965-1968). Ed. Murray N. Rothbard. Auburn, Ala.: The Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  31. Mad's Greatest Artists: The Completely Mad Don Martin, Vol. I-II. Philadelphia: Running Press.
  32. Michaelis, David. Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography. New York City: Harper.
  33. Mitchell, Brian Patrick. Eight Ways to Run the Country: A New and Revealing Look at Left and Right. Wesport, Conn.: Praeger.
  34. Murphy, Cullen. Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
  35. North, Gary. An Economic Commentary on the Bible, Vol. XIV: God's Success Manual: An Economic Commentary on Proverbs. Horn Lake, Miss.: GaryNorth.com.
  36. Oates, Joyce Carol. The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt.
  37. Perret, Geoffrey. Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power Into a Threat to America's Future. New York City: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  38. Perrotta, Tom. The Abstinence Teacher. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  39. Rickles, Don, and David Ritz. Rickles’ Book: A Memoir. New York City: Simon & Schuster.
  40. Ricks,  Thomas E. Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, rev. ed. New York City: Penguin Books.
  41. Risen, James. State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, rev. ed. New York City: Free Press.
  42. Ritter, Scott. Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement. New York City: Nation Books.
  43. "Rob the Bouncer" [Robert Fitzgerald]. Clublife: Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City’s Premier Nightclubs. New York City: HarperEntertainment.
  44. Rose, Michael. Washington’s War: From Independence to Iraq. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.
  45. Rothbard, Murray N. The Betrayal of the American Right. Ed. Thomas E. Woods Jr. Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  46. Sammon, Bill. The Evangelical President: George Bush's Struggle to Spread a Moral Democracy Throughout the World. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing.
  47. Scahill, Jeremy. Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. New York City: Nation Books.
  48. Smith, Sally Bedell. For Love of Politics – Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years. New York City: Random House.
  49. Sowell, Thomas. Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, 2nd rev. ed. New York City: Basic Books.
  50. Sowell, Thomas. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, rev. ed. New York City: Basic Books.
  51. Suskind, Ron. The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11, rev. ed. New York City: Simon & Schuster.
  52. Taibbi, Matt. Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches From a Rotting Empire. New York City: Black Cat.
  53. Thomas, Cullen. Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons. New York City: Viking.
  54. Vogel, Steve. The Pentagon: A History: The Untold Story of the Race to Build the Pentagon – and to Restore It Sixty Years Later. New York City: Random House.
  55. Woods, Stacey Grenrock. I, California: A Memoir. New York City: Scribner.
I estimate I’ve read about one-third of the books published in 2007 of interest or potential interest to me that I know of. Two of them are from writers I’ve met. Doubtless, those numbers will change as other works come to my attention, although the ultimate total will still be a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of new books published annually worldwide.

Music Notes

White Boomers are trying to indulge in moral one-upsmanship with the new release “Honeydripper.” Now these Boomers, including the director and producer, who ought to know better, would like you to believe that a fictitious slice-of-life depiction of blacks in Mississippi in 1950 is linked with the Civil Rights movement. Even more tenuously, these Boomers would like you to believe that the retrospective moral residue of the Civil Rights movement somehow accrues to them, even though the events from that era were happening when the Boomers were still shitting in diapers. Fact is, the movie doesn’t support their delusion. Hardly any whites appear, and hardly anyone displays any broader social consciousness – and then, only fleetingly. It’s just about people trying to get by on a day-to-day basis. What the movie is good at is showcasing up-and-coming Austin bluesman Gary Clark Jr. to a larger audience. Or it would, if people aren’t going to stay away with all this contemporary diarrhea of the mouth surrounding “Honeydripper.”57  

Greg Ginn has relocated SST Records from Southern California to downtown Taylor.58

Neighborhood News

The Statesmen reports two Hispanic men were murdered in the 11700 block of Metric Boulevard last July. However, Gus Garcia wasn’t questioned by police.59  

Two cars struck and killed a pedestrian in the 12100 block of Waters Park Drive on Feb. 11. Police didn’t question Garcia about that, either.60  

On Jan. 21, I witnessed the aftermath of a smash-up at Gracy Farms Lane and Burnet Road. On Feb. 9, I witnessed the aftermath of a wreck at Highway 183 and Burnet. On Jan. 8, KUT-FM reported an auto collision at Braker and Kramer lanes. On Jan. 9, KUT reported a collision at MoPac Expressway and Capital of Texas Highway. On Feb. 8, KUT reported a wreck at Highway 183 and Duval Road.

The Verano apartment complex now styles itself “The Verano at The Domain.” Obviously, the complex seeks to capture some of the cachet west of Burnet, and perhaps charge more rent to the Indian engineers living in the shadow of IBM.61 Meanwhile, access to The Domain is hampered by Union Pacific rail line that crosses under MoPac.62 Moreover, wrangles over funding are delaying government rail plans, including two nearby stations.63 The heavily patrolled North Operations Center for Cap Metro’s rail project nears completion at McNeil Road and Helen Milton Smith Way. In the nighttime floodlights it looks as sinister as anything in the “Terminator” trilogy.64

Community Impact Newspaper reports that the name of thoroughfare Parmer Lane is a misspelling, from the original Palmer Lane, though no one knows how the error crept in.65

A second Nuno’s, a live music venue, opened at Parmer and MoPac on Feb. 15, in the same location previously occupied by a Mexican restaurant, which replaced Tut’s, which replaced the north location of The Boiling Pot.66 A Federal Express/Kinko’s store has opened in a new mini-strip mall at Parmer and Tomanet Trail.

Media Indigest

I want to congratulate all of you for winning the prize in Esquire’s final Dubious Achievement Award.67 KVET-FM and the Statesman are contending with rapid personnel turnover and layoff rumors.68

Soundcheck magazine drools over Portland, Ore.: “As beautiful as anywhere on earth, as progressive as any other major city, as laid back and friendly and supportive of the arts as my own beloved Austin….” I interned in Portland at a terrific newspaper and dated a wonderful gal, but my good times shouldn’t obscure the city’s cold, damp, allergens, meddlers (the “progressive” part), expense, or the sullen, apathetic, drug-addicted white trash assholes who live there for the meddlers to boss around.69 I got lucky is all. Moreover, Austin isn’t really supportive of the arts – as I’ve chronicled lo these many years.

Tentacles of Empire

Only now are government school teachers worried about a new state law that mandates them to submit to fingerprinting and background checks.70  Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has finalized mandatory requirements for a new de facto national identification card.71

E-mail austin dispatches - at - swbell net

1Powell, Austin. “Everything Louder Than Everything Else.” AC 25 Jan. 2008: 57.
2 AD No. 102n2 (Nov. 12, 2007); Eisler, Dan. “Rental Requirements Redux.” E-mail to Jody Lockshin, 10 Feb. 2008; “Fuel Charge Increase Takes Effect.” Austin Energy Customer News Jan. 2008: 1; Lovell, Joel. “The American Dream, No Money Down.” GQ Feb. 2008: 78+
3 Lockshin. “Re: Rental Requirements Redux.” E-mail to Eisler, 10 Feb. 2008.
4 Harrington, Kate. “BMC West Moving 100 Jobs to Cedar Park.” ABJ 16 Nov. 2007: 1+.
5 Wood, Virginia B. “Food-o-File.” AC 11 Jan. 2008: 39.
6 “Cele Store Serves Barbeque for Last Time.” CIN Jan. 2008: 8.
7 Adams, Kathy. “Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Lays off Workers in Austin.” AAS 29 Jan. 2008: D1; Hawkins, Lori. “Upside in a Downturn.” Idem., 13 Jan. 2008: A1+; Hawkins, and Lilly Rockwell. “Shoppers Keep Grip on Wallet.” Idem., 27 Dec. 2007: A1; Hoover, Kent. “Small Biz Owners Outlook Bleaker, but Incentives Could Perk Things Up.” ABJ 21 Dec. 2007: 12; Mistretta, A.J. “Retail Therapy.” Idem., 14 Jan. 2008: 1+; Mistretta. “We’re Building, but Will They Come?” Idem., 18 Feb. 2008: 1+; Walsh, Kenneth T. “Bring on the Economy Patches.” USN 21 Jan. 2008: 13; Young, Tiffany. “Austin Economy Fares Better Than Nation.” CIN Feb. 2008: 1+.
8 Carney, Brian M. “Bye Bye, Light Bulb.” WSJ 2 Jan. 2008: A10.
9 Justice, Katy. “City Wants to Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving.” DT 7 Feb. 2008: 1A+.
10 Obama, Barack. Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, rev. ed. New York City: Three Rivers Press, 2004: x; “Saudi Women Ready to Take Wheel.” News for You 10 Oct. 2007: 1.
11 Feldmann, Linda. “Big Wins in Wisconsin, Hawaii Make It Obama’s Race to Lose.” CSM 21 Feb. 2008: 10; Obama, op. cit., xv, 93-94.
12 Borger, Gloria. “Divide and Conquer.” USN 18 Feb. 2008: 38; Halloran, Liz. “Bill Takes a Chill Pill.” Idem., 11 Feb. 2008: 30-31.
13 “ ‘Chronicle Endorsements.’ ” AC 15 Feb. 2008: 10; Copelin, Laylan. “Dukes, Rival Face Questions About Efforts for Party.” AAS 19 Feb. 2008: B1; King, Michael. “Aleshire vs. Oden.” AC 15 Feb. 2008: 36; Nichols, Lee. “Looking for ‘Real’ Democrats.” Idem., 25 Jan. 2008: 28+; Nichols. “Somebody Need Purgation.” Idem., 8 Feb. 2008: 26; Simms, Louis. “Are Gay Politicians Targeting African-Americans?” Letter. Idem., 1 Feb. 2008: 6; Whittaker, Richard. “Dukes Under Siege.” Idem., 25 Jan. 2008: 30.
14 Dunbar, Wells. “Zoned Out.” Idem., 8 Feb. 2008: 20; Ealy, Charles. “Austin Turns to the East.” AAS 13 Jan. 2008: F1+; Hooper, Mary. “Moving in to East Austin.” DT 19 Feb. 2008: 6B; Novak, Shonda. “Spare, No Expense.” AAS 9 Feb. 2008: G1-2.
15 Dunbar. “Hollywood 1, OCEAN 0.” AC 25 Jan. 2008: 21.
16 Andersen, Christopher. Bill and Hillary: The Marriage. New York City: William Morrow and Co., 1999: 13-14; Smith, Sally Bedell. For Love of Politics – Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years. New York City: Random House, 2007: 309.
17 Andersen, op. cit., 48; Maraniss, David. First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1995: 21; Morris, Roger. Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America. New York City: John Macrae/Henry Holt and Co., 1996: 30-31; Obama. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York City: Crown Publishers, 2006.
18 Campos, Paul. The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession With Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health. New York City: Gotham Books, 2004: Ch. 15.
19 Anderson, William L., and Candice E. Jackson. "It's the Economy, Stupid: Rudy Giuliani, the Wall Street Prosecutions, and the Recession of 1990-91." JLS Fall 2005: 19-36; Barrett, Wayne, and Adam Fifield. Rudy!: An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani. New York City: Basic Books, 2000: 172; Carville, James, and Paul Begala. Take It Back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 2006: 215; EAD No. 7n13 (Aug. 1999); George, Patrick. “Paul Says He Won’t Stop Unless Money Dries Up.” AAS 24 Feb. 2008: B1; Lazar, Zohar. “An Oral History of Rudy Giuliani’s Temper.” GQ Feb. 2008: 128-131+; Mandery, Evan J. Eyes on City Hall: A Young Man’s Education in New York Political Warfare. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 2001: 33; Winchester, Lauren. “The Love Revolution.” DT 25 Feb. 2008: 1+.
20 Borger, op. cit.; Dillin, John. “The Conservative Revolt Over McCain.” CSM 13 Feb. 2008: L7.
21 Strauss, William, and Neil Howe. Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584-2069. New York City: William Morrow, 1991: 279-334.
22 Jones, Gerard. "A 145-Year-Old Baby Boomer Looks Back" Utne Reader Jan/Feb. 1990: 81; Toohey, Marty. “Experience Evaporates as Boomers Leave Jobs.” AAS 2 Jan. 2008: A1.
23 Fox, Margalit. “Bill Strauss, Parodist of Public Figures, Dies at 60.” NYT 21 Dec. 2007, late ed.: B9.
24 Gerritt, Greg. Green Party Tempest: Weathering the Storm of 2004. Providence, R.I.: Moshassuck River Press, 2005.
25 Herman, Ken. “Paul Says He Won’t Run on Libertarian Ticket in ‘08.” AAS 10 Dec. 2007: A5.
26 Ruliffson, Bob. “Travis County Libertarian Party Chooses a New Chair.” AL 6 Jan. 2008: 2.
27 Badnarik, Michael. “Lighting the Fires of Liberty.” We the People Radio Network, 21 Dec. 2007.
28 Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Erik von. Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1974: Ch. 19.
29 Andersen, Kurt. Heyday. New York City: Random House, 2007: 315.
30 The Ten Commandments. Motion Picture Associates/Paramount Pictures, 1956.
31 Dr. John [Malcolm "Mac " Rebennack Jr.], and Jack Rummel. Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper. New York City: St. Martin's Press, 1994.
32 Morthland, John. “Horn Free.” Texas Monthly Nov. 1997: 54.
33 AD No. 100n20 (Sep. 3, 2007).
34 George. “First Night is Second to None.” AAS 1 Jan. 2008: A1.
35 Wall, Mick. W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose. New York City: St. Martin’s Press, 2008: 100.
36 Ibid., 331-338.
37 Moser, Margaret. “Indefinable Magic.” 11 Jan. 2008: 54-55.
38 AD No. 65n9 (May 22, 2004).
39 AD No. 26 (Apr. 27, 2001); AD No. 48 (Mar. 10, 2003); AD No. 102.
40 Smith, Jordan. “Naked City.” AC 11 Jan. 2008: 13.
41 Brass, Kevin. “Naked City.” Idem., 15; Justice. “KOOP Destroyed Jan. 6 by Third Fire in Two Years.” DT 14 Jan. 2008: 6A; Ward, Justin. “KOOP Arson.” AC 8 Feb. 2008: 24.
42 Shepp, Archie. Fire Music. Impulse! AS-158, 1965.
43 Dunbar. “Internal Pleading.” AC 23 Nov. 2007: 16; J. Smith. “Acevedo Fires Olsen.” Idem., 7 Dec. 2007: 34-35.
44 J. Smith. “Olsen Firing Appeal Under Way.” Idem., 22 Feb. 2007: 26.
45 J. Smith. “Naked City,” Idem., op. cit.
46 King. “Undue Process.” Idem., 21 Dec. 2007: 17-18; J. Smith. “Cruz Beating.” Idem., 14 Dec. 2007: 26.
47 Plohetski, Tony. “Two Officers Disciplined in Sex Sting Shooting.” AAS 17 Jan. 2008: B1.
48 Ornelas, Terry. “Books.” AC 7 Dec. 2007: 50; Sowell, Thomas. Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas. New York City: The Free Press, 1993.
49 AD No. 86n56 (Nov. 13, 2005).
50 Ron Paul Political Report 15 Mar. 1990: 1.
51 Getty, Kate. “Naked City.” AC 25 Jan. 2008: 17; Srikrishnan, Maya. “UT Policy Unchanged by Hunger Strike.” DT 7 Feb. 2008: 1-2A.
52 Gregor, Katherine. “Charter Changes? Hold That Thought.” AC 22 Feb. 2008: 26.
53 AD No. 104n6 (Dec. 22, 2007); Dunbar. “Naked City.” AC 15 Feb. 2008: 21.
54 Black, Louis. “On Topic.” AC 22 Feb. 2008: 4+; Corcoran, Michael. “Party On (With a Few Provisions), Festival’s Co-Owner Says.” AAS 5 Feb. 2008: J3.
55 Justice. “Artists Get ‘Musician Blues’ in Live Music Capital’s Local Scene Slump.” DT 30 Jan. 2008: 5A.
56 Adams, Samantha. “School of Thought.” Brilliant Jan. 2008: 32+; McNeely, Dave, and Jim Henderson. “Pit Bullock.” AAS 13 Jan. 2008: G1+; Moore, James, and Wayne Slater. Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush President, rev. ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2003: 181-185, 195-209.
57 Black. “The Moment Belongs to the Music.” AC 18 Jan. 2008: 6; Haupt, Melanie. “John Sayles in Black and White.” Idem., 1 Feb. 2008: 54-55; Moser, Margaret. “ ‘Honeydripper’ Blues.” Idem., 18 Jan. 2008: 60.
58 Powell. “Greetings From Taylor, Texas.” Idem., 11 Jan. 2008: 53.
59 Rostami, Marjon. “Homicdes Jump in ’07; Police Say Rate Near Norm.” AAS 9 Feb. 2008: E1.
60 “Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run.” Idem., 13 Feb. 2008: B2.
61 Young. “The Domain Phase II: More Than Shopping.” CIN Jan. 2008: 1+; “The Verano at the Domain.” Apartment Finder Dec. 2007: 130-131.
62 Young. “Access The Domain.” CIN Jan. 2008: 1.
63 Covington, Christi, and Shannon Colletti. “Lack of Funding Delays Reail Plans.” Idem., 1+.
64 AD No. 86n17 (Nov. 13, 2005); Reeves, Kimberly. “Commuter Rail on Track for Test Runs.” AC 23 Nov. 2007: 18.
65 Thompson, Karen R. “Origin of Parmer Name a Result of Misseplling.” CIN Jan. 2008: 23.
66 “Community Impact.” Idem., Feb. 2008: 5.
67 Sherrill, Stephen.”A Single-Elimination Playoff Battle Royale!” Esquire Feb. 2008: 118.
68 Brass. “KVET’s Panic Attack, and More.” AC 22 Feb. 2008: 28.
69 Eisler. "Oregon Art Institute Purchases Masonic Temple for $4.5 Million." (Portland, Ore.) Daily Journal of Commerce. 26 June 1990: 1; Drugstore Cowboy. Avenue Pictures Productions, 1989; My Own Private Idaho. New Line Cinema, 1991; Strong, Emily. “Hometown Heroes: Portland, Oregon.” Soundcheck Dec. 2007/Jan. 2008: 26-27.
70 Ward. “AISD’s Fingerprints.” AC 1Feb. 2008: 18.
71 Vera, Sabrina. “Plans for National Identification Card Finalized.” DT 16 Jan. 2008: 1-2A.