Tag Archives: Texas

I Wish We’d All STFU About Paying Tolls

You ever read something that makes you want to bash your face into your keyboard (“this blog” is not an acceptable or creative answer)? Okay, me too. Today it came from an article about the cost of tolls, published in the Dallas Morning News. I managed to evade it when it was first published, but Facebook (my nemesis) kept pushing it to the top of my newsfeed. Dammit.

I love Texas, I really do. But this is A Blog About Things That Irritate  Me. Maybe one day I’ll submit “53.5 Reasons Why Dallas is the Best” to Buzzfeed. But here, all is fair — and hearing Texans talk about tolls (whether as consumers or as NTTA representatives) makes me want to cry.

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Expensive tollways!

First thing in this article….

The emergence of North Texas as Toll Road Capital, USA, represents failure of government of the worst kind. We have to pay for what we could do for free.

Oh, really? I forgot that the rest of America has free roads. They  just appear over night, constructed by the street elves that make each piece of material out of magic, hopes, and dreams. I think the author is a Dallas native, so I’m not pointing the finger at him for this…for some reason this idea runs rampant in Texas. It’s like “the man” has come to destroy our fun and make us pay for our roads. Meanwhile, we don’t have a state income tax — and has anyone else ever made the drive from DC to Boston? Because it is $$$ and each of those states charges income tax to their residents.

I once reported the story of a 34-year-old single mother who spent 27 hours in the Allen jail and then the Collin County Detention Center. Police wouldn’t even tell her, at first, why they were arresting her. It was all about a toll bill for $11 from years before. She said she never got it.

I ended up having to Google it, but this is the case he’s talking about. If we had a debtor’s prison in America, Sallie Mae would be the number one reason people are in prison, not drugs. What genius created the TX provision that says not paying tolls is theft akin to stealing money from a business instead of equating it to credit card debt? Did it seem more likely that people would pay their debts if they were criminally prosecuted, and hopefully subjected to prison? I hear the going rates for jobs in prison are excellent. What does NTTA say about this?

At present, individuals do not go to jail for failure to pay a toll. If a warrant is issued and someone goes to jail, it’s because they failed to appear in JP court to address a citation for failure to pay a toll issued under Section 366.178 of the Texas Transportation Code.

At present? Who the fuck do you think you are, NTTA? Capital One can’t throw you in jail for owing $500,000, but god forbid you owe $10 to NTTA…at present you can’t go to jail…but maybe later. Enough of this bullshit thing where NTTA is publicly run and privately run and no one really knows what’s going on. You can go to jail for not paying fines to the state, but you can’t go to jail for not paying fines to a private corporation. Get your shit together. And why is Texas allowing this to happen? Why not just garnish your wages like  REGULAR DEBT?

Here’s the thing. I’m not mad at the article (other than the ridiculous claim that non-toll roads are “free”). I’m pissed off that NTTA abuses its power — and I’m even more pissed off about people bitching about NTTA. I never hear people complain they’re going to jail. That is clearly a small, tiny portion of North Texas drivers. I’m pissed that people bitch and moan that roads should be free, that tollways shouldn’t have traffic, that the LBJ sliding scale HOV tolls are evil, etc. Just pay the goddamn toll. I’m one of a very few people I know of that actually pay the tolls. WHY?!

There’s this myth in Texas that everything is just different there. We get a tiny quarter inch of snow — it’s different than the snow anywhere else. We get a tollroad — it’s different than tollroads anywhere else. Not in the fact that you can, in a backwards sort of way, end up in jail. But because we have to pay the tolls. Let’s just take federal funding, charge an income tax, and call it a day…then we’ll see what you like better. If you’re going to complain about NTTA, complain about the weird public/private power it has, not that you can’t go places for free.

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A day in the life of an Addison resident


Can You Help My AK Pick a Filter? I Don’t Know if I Should Go With XX Pro or Valencia. Also, Target Pretends to Care about Guns

Look, I support your right to have a gun. I even support your right to open carry your gun. But I do not support you in your endeavor to be a complete and total asshole. Remember back in May, when those open carry assholes decided that instead of Instagramming pictures of their burritos at Chipotle, they’d rather IG pictures of themselves holding assault rifles at Chipotle? What you probably don’t remember is all of the normal, sane people who elect to open carry in Arizona and don’t cause a general ruckus. Mostly because they, you know, don’t violate the law and jeopardize a business’s licensing just to make their point.

photoOops!

Now Target has decided to request their customers do not bring guns into their stores, even in states that allow open carry. Um, are the open carry people who bring their assault rifles into places like Starbucks and Target actually anti-gun people who are doing their best to make gun laws as restrictive as possible? Because they’re doing a bang up job convincing people that they’re insane. Fortunately, Open Carry Texas (whose work at appropriate places, like the Alamo, I respected), made a Facebook response to Target to clear up how they feel. Texas OC clarifies that they won’t stoop so low as to interfere with or infringe upon the rights of a private corporation; they even bring up their MONTHS LONG policy of not acting like a bunch of dipshits carrying weapons into fast food establishments. They do decide to point out some important information that Target may have overlooked, though:

Time and time again, businesses that have asked guests not to bring legally possessed, self defense firearms into their establishments have seen their employees and customers victimized by criminals preying on the openly defenseless.

That sounds awful, right? Are you, as a casual reader of this information, curious about the studies that prove this, other than “time”? You aren’t alone:

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Yeah. You’re reading that correctly.
Reader: Do you have any studies to back that up?
OC Texas: Go fuck yourself.

Are they just in some contest with the Hobby Lobby owners to see who can be the most universally disliked group of people in America? What possesses a real organization to not support their comments with stats? And then to be rude when someone inquires about it?

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Open Carry, y’all might want to buy this book

 Then there’s the part where Target didn’t actually ban guns. They basically just said, “Hey guys, we think it would be really super cool if you stopped bringing your guns into our stores. We aren’t going to abide by any state laws and post the required signs that keep our property gun free, we’re going to just ask nicely.” Why? Because the people who are offended by guns haven’t taken any gun classes and don’t know the difference. Newsflash: Nothing has changed, here. If you’re legally allowed to carry in your weapon, you’re still legally allowed to bring it. You’re just a rude asshole if you do it now.

photo (1) Here I am, Instagramming myself leaving the NRA shooting range — looking totally normal, unlike some people.

Follow me on Facebook or IG…my Instagram is mostly alcohol, not guns. For that Chainsmokers song I probably got stuck in your head with the title, go here.

Better to be Christian and Have Dementia than to be Muslim and Qualified

Someone asked me the other day what’s wrong with Dallas — if it’s so cheap to live there, there must be some kind of catch. I didn’t know the answer then, but I sure do now. I should just forward him this article.

So the mayor of Addison (a Dallas suburb where yours truly lives) appoints this nut job, Tom Hunse, to the city’s planning and zoning committee. This is AFTER Hunse quit his job on a different school board because a Muslim was chosen to head the school (and published that info on his LinkedIn!!). Um, what?

Not only that, but Jo Lynn Haussmann, a member of the Keller school board, recently posted to Facebook: “SOUTHLAKE — Do you realize because SO FEW voters took the time and responsibility to VOTE in the municipal elections — YOU NOW HAVE A ‘MUSLIM’ on the City Council!!! What a SHAME!!!!!”

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If that isn’t enough to make you weep for humanity, the comments on the article certainly are. People don’t seem to support the removal of these public officials from their positions — and instead support them and their right to free speech/speak the truth. Sure, you can say whatever you want, but you should expect your bigoted statements to have consequences.

The school board held a meeting, but they couldn’t force her to resign. Here’s the contact information for the Keller ISD in case anyone feels like expressing their opinion. Let’s not forget that she has dementia…maybe she just isn’t qualified.

 

In DC, civilians rarely asked me why I studied Arabic (the general military response is a whole different issue); probably because everyone wants to work for the government and the area has the third highest percentage of Arab Americans in the country. In Texas, people act like they can’t fathom why I would do such a thing. It’s a shame Arabic isn’t offered in more Dallas area schools, since learning a new language forces you to learn about a new culture and helps combat being an ignorant prick. Because let’s be real…most people making these remarks can’t tell you where anything but Egypt is on the map and don’t know Arabic from Kurdish from Dari from Urdu, but they certainly can tell you all about why they hate those damn terrorists.

 

Oh, by the way — I’d love to share more news information on Tom Hunse, but that single article is the only one that comes up if you Google news.