Monthly Archives: February 2020

The “Leaning Tower of Dallas” – or How to Screw Up a Demolition and Create a Worthless Landmark

As if the Kennedy assassination and the TV show “Dallas” didn’t give Texas’ second-largest city a bad reputation, we now have this beauty: the quaintly-named “Leaning Tower of Dallas” – what’s left of an 11-story building scheduled for complete demolition on February 16.  Most everyone loves a good carefully-planned building collapse, and people who dismiss a new library dedication as boring will rise at the butt-crack of dawn to see a large structure – any large structure – disintegrated.  And, on this Sunday morning, all initially proceeded as planned.  The explosives detonated, the ground trembled, and the building began to crumble.  But, as the dust cleared, everyone realized something was amiss: the building’s core – which contains the elevator shafts and stairwells – remained standing.  Nearly two weeks later, it’s still standing.  The debacle has been pure porn for social media mavens; Twitter and Instagram overrun with bad puns and cheeky comments.

It begs for the optimist – pessimist debate: an edifice strongly and securely built, or what happens when a city awards a contract to the lowest bidder.

I’ve come to view this fiasco as indicative of my life.  I’ve been pounded and beaten, but while I seem to have collapsed from all the trauma, my inner core remains intact – albeit slightly atilt.

You can see the near-total collapse here.

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Retro Quote – Hugo Black

“Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.  And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.”

– U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black

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Worst Quote of the Week – February 28, 2020

“Is this perhaps a ploy to try to take down President Trump’s roaring economy that we have by sabotaging the markets, by creating fear porn and fear-mongering while they’re also killing Chinese people by the thousands?  Is that a strategy that the deep state would actually use?”

– Conspiracy theorist Ann Vandersteel, speculating that the coronavirus outbreak may have been orchestrated by the “deep state” and/or the British government in order to destabilize global markets, weaken the American economy and prevent President Donald Trump from being reelected.

Sometimes, when people become severely ill with an influenza-type agent, they begin to hallucinate and start seeing things that aren’t there.  In this case, however, the new coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to be inducing phantasmagoric hysteria in a variety of people.  Then again, that often happens when folks don’t read more than religious texts and a TV guide.  It’s almost unfortunate fatal viruses don’t target stupidity.

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Best Quote of the Week – February 28, 2020

U.S. Marine Commandant David H. Berger

“We have the need within the country to try and create as much unity as possible and to suppress White nationalism and racism within the ranks of the military because, every once in a while, it crops up and causes an issue.”

Richard Kohn, history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about a recent order by U.S. Marine Commandant David H. Berger that Marine leaders remove confederate-related paraphernalia from the service’s bases worldwide.

Berger’s order comes about a week after a congressional hearing about the rise of social extremism within the ranks of the U.S. military.  It also included commands for more women in combat roles, reviewing maternity leave, and extending parental leave for same-sex partners.

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Retro Quote – Rainer Maria Rilke

“This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Worst Quote of the Week – February 21, 2020

“I thank God every day that Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

– Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, at the Dallas County Republican Party’s Reagan Day Dinner

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Best Quote of the Week – February 21, 2020

“I am in a faithful, loving, committed marriage.  I’m proud of my marriage.  And I’m proud of my husband.  And I’m not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh or anybody who supports Donald J. Trump as the moral, as well as political leader of the United States.  America has moved on, and we should have a politics of belonging that welcomes everybody.”

 – Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, IN, in response to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh commenting on Buttigieg’s sexuality.

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