Monday, December 31, 2012

Broadcast news came of age covering JFK assassination

Our book about reporters covering the JFK assassination is beginning to have legs. The book is now in its fifth printing. We wrote “When the News Went Live” with an eye toward history and journalism classes. That November, I was a wide-eyed 24-year-old cub reporter. The next month, I was a cynic.

Dink around on Amazon and you can find a used copy for a penny. Plus shipping. Click here.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A barbershop to rival Floyd's

You know what heaven is? Moving to a new town and finding an old fashion three-chair barbershop where they know how to taper.

That’s heaven.

My new-found barbershop was opened on Main Street in 1930 by a fellow named Levi. His family are community leaders in these parts to this day.

None of this franchise stuff where they run new cutters in by the month. No sirree. These boys are the kind who really get to know you. Hell, they’ll even come to your funeral.

Closed Mondays.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cabella's and Dick's Sporting Goods -- Thanks

I am so proud of Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabella’s for stopping sale of the Bushmaster assault rifle. It’s kinda like Webster eliminating exclamation points. We don't need them either.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No guns in classrooms

Over lunch, I asked three retired school teachers if they would have wanted to carry a pistol during their 30 years in the elementary public school system.

Not only “no,” but a resounding “hell no.”

“Don’t put more guns around children.”
“It’s hard enough to teach, much less shoot.”
“Armed teachers would generate more and more home schooling.”

Those comments came within the first seconds of hearing the question. The teachers got so animated, I thought we were going to be asked to leave.

There’s more. Just ask the professional teachers organizations. Ask any teacher you might know. Ask the people on the front lines.

Yeah, sure. You’ll find some. But I’ll wager the overwhelming majority do not want guns in classrooms.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Growing up in the gun culture

I hadn't really thought about it until now, but five times in my life, I’ve been too close to the working end of guns.

Before I graduated high school, I was shot at twice. Once for stealing hubcaps and once by a jealous delivery driver. Nobody in Lubbock thought much about it.

Years later, in an Austin high rise office, an angry guy pointed a .45 at my face. He was a lobbyist. Brilliant but crazy?

Then there was the the guy who pulled a gun out of his boot in the Headliner’s Club, one of Austin’s fanciest. Did I mention he was an Episcopal priest? Brilliant but crazy describes him, too.

But Jack Ruby was dumb as a sack of rocks. Probably crazy, too. He was standing next to me as he lunged out, shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Department.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

NRA has no honor

If the NRA had one ounce of honor, they would step up and lead a national push for better gun laws, better mental health laws, better safety for our children. Rather than trying to defend that which cannot be defended, the NRA should be part of the solutions. We will need help from everyone.

Mass shootings will happen again. Unfortunately, ours is a gun culture. But maybe we can slow the frequency.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Concealed carry legal nationwide? Soon.

You'll Now Be Able to Cary a Gun in Every State: Chicago Sun-Times: "In a huge win for gun-rights groups, a federal appeals court in Chicago Tuesday tossed the state's ban on carrying concealed weapons and gave Illinois' Legislature 180 days to craft a law legalizing concealed carry. 'The debate is over. We won. And there will be a statewide carry law in 2013,' said Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. In a split opinion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling in two cases downstate that upheld the state's longstanding prohibition against carrying concealed weapons. Illinois is the only state with an outright prohibition on concealed carry." (Slate)

America is on the way to becoming an armed camp. Christ.

Friday, December 7, 2012

It was a good idea ...

For four and a half years in the 1780’s, the rogue State of Franklin existed along what became the Tennessee border with N. Carolina. An attempt was made to write a constitution but voters never ratified it.

Bit I like one provision:

They drafted a constitution that excluded lawyers, doctors and preachers as candidates for election to the legislature.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Extra--Journalists top lawyers

We're back, baby!

In a new Gallup poll, journalists had a lower rating than bankers, chiropractors and psychiatrists. On the other hand, journalists had a higher rating than lawyers, senators, members of Congress, and cars salespeople.

New Poll Reveals Dismally Low Rating For Journalists

Another poll released on Monday revealed the public's less-than-warm opinion of the press.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Show biz

I was paying out at our small, locally owned drug store when a blind guy and his dog came in.

“And who is at the cash register today?” he grinned.

“Hey, Tom,” the young woman replied with a knowing tone that soaked those two words. “Hey, Tom.”

As she counted my change, she asked, “Would you like one of our calendars? They’re free.”

Of course I would.

“Can I have a calendar?” Tom asked, still grinning.

“Now, Tom,” she said, “What in the hell are you going to do with a calendar?”

This was not a new routine for the two of them. He does the set up and she knocks it out of the park. They were still enjoying their joke as I left. Small town razzle dazzle.

And when was the last time your drug store gave you a free calendar? A real, genuine Norman Rockwell calendar.

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