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Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Fantasy Industrial Complex

I have often wondered why American culture is obsessed with meaningless trivialities - the supposed discrimination against transvestites, transsexuals, cross dressers, and so on. You would think there are millions of them, and many more millions of persecuted homosexuals, and that blacks have made no progress at all in the last 50 years. It's okay for the media to criticize Caucasians for their unfair "white privilege," or to call Republicans "old white men." "Black lives matter," but a young white woman walking in San Francisco with her father gets shot in the back by an illegal alien and it barely gets a mention.

Meanwhile, we're all supposed to be fascinated by the marital ups and downs of Beyonce, Brad and Angelina/Jennifer, Ben and Jennifer, and of course Bruce call me Caitlyn Jenner. Meanwhile, Obama just gave Iran the green light to build nukes and missiles to launch them, and is probably a Muslim and undoubtedly is a Marxist.

I found an article by author Ben Fountain, based on a talk he gave to cadets at the Air Force Academy that I think explains this sorry state of affairs. He calls it the Fantasy Industrial Complex. I quote it here, but encourage you to read the whole article. 

Soldiers on the Fault Line: War, Rhetoric, and Reality

Are we stupid? As Norman Mailer once said, “Stupidity is the American disease,” but I would argue it’s not that simple.
This country has done far too many fine and brilliant things to ascribe the disaster of Iraq to plain stupidity. I would approach it from a different direction and argue that our culture is stupid, and while that doesn’t necessarily make us stupid in the literal sense, it does make us numb. By “culture” I’m talking about the 24-7 force- feed of movies, music, television, Internet, youtubes, youporns, cell phones, iPods, iPads, sports of all kinds at all hours, right-wing news, left-wing news, celebrity news, texts, tweets, emails, and all the rest of it, and that’s even before we get into the numbing effects of the huge array of pharmaceuticals available to us, legal or otherwise.
Cadets, I think this avalanche of electronica, entertainment, and media needs a name, so let me suggest that we call it the Fantasy Industrial Complex.
When you boil it down, it’s pretty clear that the Fantasy Industrial Complex is mostly someone trying to sell us something-a product, a political agenda, a lifestyle, an alleged means to a more beautiful version of ourselves. Or what may be even worse, it’s selling us, our vital statistics in terms of purchasing power and preference, so that we can be targeted by marketers with ever more finely calibrated accuracy.
Thanks to the Fantasy Industrial Complex, I think there’s a strong argument to be made that we often don’t know what’s real anymore. To a signficant extent, our lives take place in the realm of fantasy, triviality, and materialism, and our senses and mental capacity become numbed as a result.
Well, what’s wrong with being numb; with being comfortably numb, as the song says. What’s wrong with being the functional equivalent of fat and happy, of cruising along in the prolonged adolescence that seems to be the ideal human condition as rendered by the Fantasy Industry? Nothing, maybe, until reality comes along and slaps us in the face: the death of someone close to us, say, or serious illness, or extreme emotional suffering-trouble in our marriage, trouble with children, failed relationships, failure or frustration in our work, or a collective trauma such as we experienced on 9-11, 2001. In other words, the hard stuff of life as it’s actually lived.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Houston Media Darling Slammed for Brady Violations; Video of Kerrville Cop Slamming Woman Face Down Onto Concrete

From Grits for Breakfast:

Cold Justice: Years-old Brady violations by TV prosecutor revealed in habeas proceeding

Big news on the Brady front featuring Texas' premier legal TV star, from the Houston Chronicle:
A Beaumont judge who decided that David Mark Temple deserves a new trial in the 1999 slaying of his pregnant wife cited 36 instances of prosecutorial misconduct in his ruling, most of which are tied to legendary former Harris County prosecutor Kelly Siegler.

Because evidence that could have helped his defense was withheld — before, during and after Temple's 2007 trial — attorneys for the Katy man showed that he was denied a fair trial, according to the ruling by state District Judge Larry Gist.

A Kerrville cop slammed a young woman with her hands cuffed behind her back face down on the concrete last November, breaking her jaw in four places and knocking out six teeth. You can see the video on WOIA, the NBC affiliate in San Antonio. 
Patrick O'Fiel and I have sued the officer in federal court in San Antonio for violating 42 USC 1983.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Poseur Green Beret Mayor Jack Pratt and City Council Screw Kerrville Again

I think all the members of the Kerrville City Council except Bonnie White think the citizens are idiots. They rushed through a $9MM certificate of obligation to buy 105 acres of land from a Cailloux Foundation subsidiary, who was to build a sports complex off Holdsworth Drive. When I wrote an open letter to the mayor and other members pointing out the obvious fact that the contract was illegal for failure to require competitive bids, and to obtain an independent appraisal, and told them they needed to get an opinion from the Attorney General, council backed down. They - or more accurately, city attorney Mike Hayes and city manager Todd Parton huddled with Cailloux's Ben Modisett and rewrote the deal as a "gift" to the city.

When Bonnie White protested that Parton and Hayes withdrew the city's request for the AG opinion, and charged off and redid the deal without being asked or authorized by council, the reaction was to tell her to mind her own business - as if being educated and active in a multimillion project isn't something a council member shouldn't do.

The Daily Times today quotes council member Gary Stork basically telling Bonnie White to be quiet and mind her own business. He also said that Hayes and Parton were regularly emailing and talking to council members to get this deal done - do I see an Open Meeting Act violation here?

Mayor Jack Pratt - the poseur manqué badass Army Green Beret (who actually was a personnel clerk - what vets call a REMF) - after the back room deal was already done - said the real reason for the project was to give the little children a place to play baseball where the evil drug dealers couldn't get to them. Like we don't already have places for the children to play. I don't know what it is about Kerrville that its voters elect a fraud like Pratt.

There's also a high level city employee with his office on the second floor of the new city hall and a six figure plus income  whose house is not registered on the tax rolls, so it's a safe bet he doesn't pay any taxes. Which is apropos of this crowd that seems to think they are royalty, and we, the peasants are here to support them.

What Pratt and his flunkies have done is to get the city $9 Million under false pretenses, that Kerrville residents are on the hook for.

Peasants arise - it's time to get out the pitchforks!!