The Ron Paul Revolution, Sayonara Starbucks, Ivory No No
The Ron Paul Revolution, such as it is, has moved to Hair Balls.
We took note that Paul, Brazoria County's fightin' gynecologist, was writing an autobiography. We pondered the actual need for this, but nevertheless looked forward to chapters such as "Rosa Parks & Mother Teresa: Impress Me First, Then We'll See About Giving You a Medal" and "I Hope This Book Outsells My Earlier Book, Ten Myths About Paper Money: And One Myth About Paper Gold."
It was a fairly innocuous post that dared to question the idea that Paul is the single greatest thinker of the 21st century (or the 18th, or 19th, or whichever one his followers are claiming), but it lit off the semi-standard Paul blog-comment firestorm.
Representative Ron Paul
More than 150 comments poured in.
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Louisville Cardinals College Football
TicketsThu., Nov. 17, 7:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTEP Miner Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 19, 11:00am
SWAC Football Championship
TicketsSat., Dec. 3, 3:00pm
TicketsSat., Jan. 7, 7:00pm
Among the things questioned: the fact that I should not have "made fun of" the fact that Paul is an OB/GYN because, after all, an OB/GYN delivered me.
I don't think the OB/GYN who delivered me had anything against paper money, but I don't remember discussing it with him at the time. (Insert furious reply discussing the history of the gold standard!! And how the MSM is in on the scam!!)
Some of the stuff was well thought-out; some was pretty funny, intentionally so — a lot of Paul fans can write well. But the robotic True Believers...well, here's a sample (Somewhere along the line, a Paul supporter must have mentioned that I wrote a sports column, something I haven't done for over ten years):
"Richard 'Hairy Balls' Connelly — The one Connelly who couldn't live up to the family name. I'm sure his parents are real proud: 'Hey everyone, our son Hairy Balls is a blogger!' From a governor, now down to the Hairy Balls."
"If I hadn't surfed over here to see the good, old-fashioned beatdown of an unknown sportswriter, I wouldn't have known that best-selling books aren't read by anyone!...What I didn't find, though, is the link to Connelly's own memoirs entitled I Prefer Dick: The Richard Connelly Story. Chapter titles include:..."Fiat Money? I Thought They Made Cars!"
"Folks, Mr. Connelly is a "Sports Writer." Consider the source. Anyone who would even care about the Bread & Circuses called 'Professional Sports' (cocked-up mindless drivel for the masses who would otherwise be spending their time on important fare like American Idol) enough to bother even writing about them is, well, unfortunately, not the sharpest tool in the shed."
"Hairy Balls can suck my balls."
And on and on.
As revolutions go, it looked like we dodged a bullet.
Don't Let the Door Hit You in the Ass, Starbucks
Rosenberg, the formerly sleepy little exurb way out there on 59, sees itself as a burgeoning, modern place with all the amenities.
So you'd think people there would be crushed that two out of the town's three Starbucks are closing, right?
Maybe some folks are, but not Mayor Joe Gurecky.
"I've got nothing against it, but I just don't drink four-dollar coffee," he says.
Gurecky, a farmer who owns a manufacturing company, doesn't sound like the kind of guy who'd be ordering a venti soy maccachiano hazelnut, or whatever it is people order at Starbucks.
"I'm sorry to hear that they're having to close that many places around the country, but these days people have to decide whether they want to spend four dollars on coffee or four dollars on a gallon of gas," he says. "I'm sure that's what prompted them to reduce the number of stores."
Things are not entirely bleak for caffeine lovers in Rosenberg. There is one Starbucks remaining open — a hybrid operation in the Target store.
And, of course, one of the doomed Starbucks is right next to a Waffle House.
Be sure to ask 'em for the soy.
Ivory Smugglers Nabbed
They looked like normal drums, or at least normal drums that came from Ethiopia.
Made of wood and leather, they were part of a shipment being inspected by federal agents at the Port of Houston late last week.
An agent thought six of the drums seemed heavier than normal; he tapped on them and got only a dull thud.
Agents soon discovered the reason why: The drums were filled with $185,000 worth of elephant ivory, definitely not something you want federal agents to catch you smuggling.
And definitely not something they catch you doing all too often, says Paula Rivera, Public Affairs Liaison for the Houston office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"It is rare that we get it or see it, and it's even more rare that it was in such quantity that came in," she tells Hair Balls. "Normally, if you do get shipments like this, it's maybe a couple of pieces. But this had a large number of pieces concealed inside the drums."
The agents were searching for something much more prosaic.
"It was concealed in things that could have held pests or any kind of soil, which is what they were actually looking for," Rivera says.
Nice try, smugglers. Although we guess your getting caught doesn't much help the elephants you maimed.
How to Pick the Next Top University
Seven Texas universities are pleading with the Legislature to become the states next Tier One school. In case youre not up on your education-bureaucrat lingo, that means an elite research school. More important, it means higher and much more consistent funding than what they receive now, on a par with what UT and A&M get out of the states petroleum fund. How best to decide which school? This is Texas. Theres only one way football. See our handy chart that lays out the case for the seven finalists.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.