Austin Dispatches  No. 210 Oct. 21, 2018

e210fig2Though I’ve celebrated Halloween,[1] weather permitting,[2] as an adult – for more years than as a child – I’ve always done so with a twinge of embarrassment. To celebrate what was a children’s holiday seemed to be contributing to social decadence, even if I had a good time while doing so.[3]

That is, until this month, when I learned that about a century ago, Halloween in America transformed from a holiday celebrated by all ages into one almost exclusively for children for about the next 50 years.[4] Thus, its retransformation merely indicates a facet of the holiday’s protean nature, and a partial return to historical tradition at that, so my twinge has vanished.

Now if only the Halloween spirit can revive within other people.[5] Halloween decorations appeared in the client’s lobby on Sep. 27, and driving around town, I noted slightly more house decorations at this time of the season than last year. Two weeks before that, the regulars at salsa social began spontaneously discussing the holiday. We shall see.

Austin Death Watch

Halloween may be just one of Austin’s casualties. Rising costs finally claimed the downtown location of Threadgill’s.[6] Encore Records, which I used to patronize before it moved to East Sixth Street, closed.[7]

An Austin Independent School District spokesman told Community Impact Newspaper that “because the district has multiple bonds underway at any given time, the tax rate would likely not decrease when one bond is paid off. The district is also continuing to pay off debt from other bonds.”[8] If a patriot had said that, the district would dismiss him as paranoid kook. So other words, the school system exists to brainwash children while continually impoverishing you.[9]

The evening of Oct. 5, KTXX-FM reported that traffic for the Austin City Limits Festival, one of the ill-advised big events, resulted in multiple collisions that resulted in traffic throughout Austin grinding to a halt. Unfortunately, I had first-hand confirmation of the radio report. If this event were something the Austin power elite didn’t profit from, you’d read five articles in next week’s Chronicle about how government should ban music. Later, public safety workers fished the body of an attendee out of Lake Austin.[10] Perhaps he was distraught at being among the many victimized by pickpockets.[11]

The rising brown population is pushing blacks out of political power in Austin, though the Statesman article phrases the matter more obtusely.[12] The Oct. 5 Business Journal reports City bureaucrats think Austin’s policy of not doing business with construction companies working on the Mexican border wall means the City can’t get contractors for its projects.[13] Similarly, Austin government’s pro-deviant agenda – letting some queer in a dress take a shit in the women’s restroom – has prompted two federal-level lawsuits over civil rights violations.[15]

The Oct. 1 Statesman reports the police are handling the problem of street crazies one bullet at a time.[15] The police department is investigating a commander who allegedly assaulted a woman at a strip club.[16]


Mass transit advocates are at each other’s throats over Capital Metro thinking about self-driving buses instead of more commuter rail.[17]

More fire ant mounts are visible after the heavy rains.[18]

To add insult to the above, the September GQ proclaims post-Hurricane Harvey Houston a “cool” city to rival Austin.[19]

Tentacles of Empire

The University of Texas now hosts a “resident intelligence officer,” part of a new CIA program to “ ‘help bridge the gap between the intelligence community and academia.’ ”[20]

Media Indigest

The Sep. 14 Chronicle reports Cox Enterprises had relocated much of the Statesman’s “design and copyediting process out of state to a centralized facility” before unloading the rag on a new owner.[22] In turn, as of Sep. 28, the new owner has eliminated the traffic Web page, the Statesman’s one truly useful function. On the other hand, the Oct. 12 issue contains a column by patriot Walter Williams, a truly refreshing change from decades of tedious pinko screeds on the editorial page.[22]

Akwasi Evans, publisher of black community newspaper Nokoa, blames 2018’s sporadic print schedule on unstable finances.[23] Sep. 22, I witnessed a protestor denouncing the accuracy of CBS News outside the office of affiliate KEYE-TV. The Oct. 5 Chronicle reports KUT-FM’s staff is demoralized over pay cuts.[24]

Neighborhood News

I finally ventured into one of the breweries Sep. 22 to catch a show of modern European concert music.[25]

Oct. 6, I used the contest for a $100 gift card at the neighborhood H-E-B as an opportunity to rant about the constant shortage of twist ties in the produce department.

The Statesman’s traffic Web page reported a building fire on the east side of Metric Boulevard between Cedar Bend Drive and Lamplight Village Avenue on Sep. 14. The Web page also recorded auto collisions at MoPac Expressway and Parmer Lane on Sep. 11, on the Highway 183-Mopac connecting ramps on Sep. 13 and 21, at southbound MoPac near 183 on Sep. 17, and at Parmer and Lamplight Village on Sep. 19. KXAN-TV’s traffic Web page reported an auto collision at Metric and Rutland Drive on Sep. 28, at southbound MoPac at 183 on Oct. 2, at Parmer and Metric on Oct. 3, on Burnet Road near Gault Lane on Oct. 5, at Parmer and Lamplight Village and at Cedar Bend and Patron drives on Oct. 8, at northbound MoPac and Braker Lane on Oct. 16, and at Newman Drive and Amy Donovan Plaza on Oct. 17. KFMK-FM reported a collision at MoPac and 183 on Oct. 18. A vehicle rolled over at northbound MoPac and Braker on Oct. 12, according to KXAN’s site.

A developer plans yet another hotel near The Domain.[26]

On the Town

Sep. 11: Evening commuters honked at a school bus holding up traffic on Research Boulevard because it stopped for students to disembark. Let’s hope little Johnny learns the lesson.

Oct. 4: A bird crashed into the window by my workspace. Later, I found a penny in the University Hills neighborhood.

Oct. 14: The Manchaca library branch switched its street entrance and exit sometime since my last visit, thereby making the branch’s ingress and egress slightly better.

Oct. 20: I witnessed the aftermath of a three-vehicle smash-up on Airport Boulevard between 13th and 14th streets.

Notes in the Margins

My client spent September’s last week celebrating “diversity.” Meanwhile, it blocks my recommended reading list because of (ahem) content. Admittedly, those pages contain plenty of provocative prose from angry cranks – but angry cranks who could write.

Home Archives


[1] AD No. 200n4 (Nov. 6, 2017).

[2] AD No. 200n8.

[3] Rogers, Nicholas. Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. New York City: Oxford UP, 2002: 165.

[4] Morton, Lisa. The Halloween Encyclopedia. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. Publishers, 2003: 93-94, 177.

[5] AD No. 178 (Nov. 6, 2014); AD No. 200.  

[6] Curtin, Kevin. “Threadgill’s WHOQ Will Close After Thanksgiving.” AC 14 Sep. 2018: 48; Salazar, Daniel. “With Imminent Threadgill’s Closure, Affordability Crisis Claims Another Victim.” ABJ 21 Sep. 2018: 8.

[7] AD No. 149n33 (Feb. 11, 2012); “Half Notes.” AC 21 Sep. 2018: 68.

[8] Denney, Amy. “What Happens When School Districts Pay off Bonds?” CIN Sep. 2018, Northwest Austin ed.: 5.

[9] Gatto, John Taylor. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, rev. ed. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2005; Gatto. The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher's Intimate Investigation Into the Prison of Modern Schooling, 3rd rev. ed. New York City: Oxford Village Press, 2006; Gatto. Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2009; Iserbyt, Charlotte Thomson. The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail. Ravenna, Ohio: Conscience Press, 1999; Rushdoony, Rousas John. The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education. Nutley, N.J.: The Craig Press, 1963.

[10] Bradshaw, Kelsey. “Body Might Be Festival Goer.” AAS 9 Oct. 2018: B1; Mendez, Maria. “Body Confirmed to Be Missing ACL Tourist.” AAS 11 Oct. 2018: B3.

[11] Wilson, Mark D. “Police: Beware of ACL Fest Thieves.” AAS 12 Oct. 2018: B1+.

[12] Findell, Elizabeth. “Changing History.” AAS 1 Oct. 2018: B1+.

[13] Salazar. “Possible Effects of Border Wall Policy Take Shape.” ABJ 5 Oct. 2018: A6.

[14] Tuma, Mary. “A Right to Discriminate?” AC 12 Oct. 2018: 13.

[15] Wilson. “Austin Blasts Police Policies.” AAS 1 Oct. 2018: A1+.

[16] “Austin Police Commander Under Scrutiny After Assault Allegation.” AAS 4 Oct. 2018: B3; Hoffberger, Chase. “Bad Apple.” AC 12 Oct. 2018: 22; Hoffberger. “Dusterhoft Claims Defamation.” AC 19 Oct. 2018: 15.

[17] Salazar. “Has Austin’s Transit Plan Gone Off the Tracks?” ABJ 19 Oct. 2018: 4.

[18] Bradshaw. “Beware of Fire Ant Mounds After Rains.” AAS 1 Oct. 2018: B1+.

[19] Martin, Brett. “The New Capital of Southern Cool.” GQ Sep. 2018: 132-139+.

[20] Cronin, Mike. “CIA Infiltrates Longhorn Nation.” ABJ 19 Oct. 2018: 3.

[21] Whittaker, Richard. “So Goes the Statesman.” AC 14 Sep. 2018: 22.

[22] Williams, Walter E. “Real Economics, and Removing False Beliefs.” AAS 12 Oct. 2018: A13.

[23] Evans, Akwasi. “Nokoa Update.” Nokoa 13 Sep. 2018: 1+.

[24] Clark-Madison, Mike. “More Off-the-Air Static at KUT.” AC 5 Oct. 2018: 16.

[25] AD No. 195n27 (May 7, 2017); Faires, Robert. “That Does Compute.” AC 21 Sep. 2018: 32.

[26] Dinges, Gary. “Upscale Hotel Planning Location Near Domain.” AAS 4 Oct. 2018: B5-6.