Who Was Roland Carnaby?
Justified shooting: Your "Spy Story" [by Chris Vogel, September 17] puzzled me. On the cover, you assert that Roland Carnaby wasn't supposed to meet his death on a Houston highway. Why not? This was clearly an irrational, dangerous individual who put the public in harm's way. He was armed. The police have fired on citizens for a fraction of Carnaby's provocation. He fancied himself above the law; he wanted to be special. He was a tragic little man who wanted what he didn't possess — importance, relevance and respect. This was a justified shooting — no further discussion needed.
It's simple: When are families of people killed by police going to understand that if the person didn't put himself or the police in the position to be shot and killed, it wouldn't happen? While it is sad that Roland Carnaby was shot and killed, his actions were the cause. We continuously read "He was a good boy," "He wasn't doing anything illegal in that alley" or "He wasn't taking his medication" as excuses, but in the end, the person was doing something that brought him to the attention of the police and acted in a way that led him to be shot. Lawyers will work with families to sue the police because that is what they do; that is what they get paid for. But in the end, if you ain't doing something you ain't supposed to be doing, more than likely, you ain't gonna get shot. Pretty simple to me.
Online readers weigh in:
Thank you for covering this: It seems you found lots of previously unreported info on the mysterious case of Roland Carnaby.
The police botched the arrest: They shot this guy in the back because they were afraid and used bad judgment. I hope the wife gets millions.
Roland Carnaby was a snitch: The closest he came to being a spy was the way he pretended to befriend people and then make up supposed crimes and inform on them. He literally destroyed some lives and careers by falsely informing on people so he could suck up to people like Jim Napolitano and look like a big man. He didn't care who he destroyed with his lies as long as he looked like a big man doing it. The only surprise is that it was the police who ended up shooting him instead of one of his victims.
Carnaby didn't "know" President George H.W. Bush. Jim Napolitano was on Bush's Secret Service detail. Because Carnaby hung around people like Napolitano, President Bush undoubtedly recognized Carnaby and would speak to him. He would be allowed near Bush because Napolitano and the other members of the detail knew him. That's what Carnaby did. He insinuated himself around people in law enforcement and intelligence and then did anything and everything he could to impress them. He was sort of like a wedding crasher that goes to weddings and mingles and talks to everyone and the other guests there assume he belongs. Carnaby was an intel wannabe who couldn't make it into any intelligence agency because of his physical and psychological shortcomings, so he snitched on anyone he could. He got his information on intelligence operations from books and from hanging around anyone he could. It appears that he finally let his fantasy life get completely out of control.
Good article: If the U.S. Department of State was not thick with Roland Carnaby and his father in Lebanon, someone at State was not doing their job. Carnaby was a window into that region of the world just because he was here. And his father could lay down a bread trail for anyone in the State Department to follow if he so desired. I had no idea.
We'll probably never know, but my money says he was working with the U.S. State Department and funded by his own family. Lots of work on this article. Thanks.
Houston's Got the Blues
Great blues town: I'm wondering if Robb Walsh needs to get out more ["Almeda's New Playhouse," by Robb Walsh, September 17]. Towards the end of his good review of the food at the new Bar-B-Que Blues on Almeda, he mistakenly tells readers that "if you want to hear the music, you are better off in Austin and Memphis." I beg to differ.
The blues scene in Houston today is more like that of Austin back in the good old days than Austin itself is now. Local clubs like The Big Easy regularly present Houston blues legends such as Texas Johnny Brown, Trudy Lynn and Sherman Robertson, to mention just a few. Meanwhile, we have hot young talent both at the blues jams around town and in established groups. Catch Steve Krase and the In Crowd, or Ezra Charles and the Works, and you'll see what I mean.
Actually, what we have here in Houston is not just a music scene, it's a music community, with plenty of great performances to choose from around town every week. If you enjoy music, go out and support some live local music. You'll be glad you did.
For more local blues news, go towww.houstonbluessociety.org and listen to KPFT 90.1 every Sunday.
Houston Blues Society
They've HAAD It
Online readers respond to "Conversations with Decent People," by Richard Connelly, Hair Balls blog, September 17:
New recruits: The letter mentions how "gays might start the recruiting process." I've gotten recruitment visits from Jehovah's Witnesses and been yelled at by Baptists. I've never been approached, by anyone, to join Team Gay. The "gay agenda" is preposterous. Honestly. Has "decency" become a synonym for "delusional"?
Just, wow: I am in shock, as much by the content of the response as by the grammar used to convey it. I cannot believe they actually said that grocery stores are in danger because "gays might start the recruiting process." I hear you get a free toaster for every person you recruit to be gay. And a cruise for every dozen!
Regardless of your beliefs on gay marriage, I think we can all agree this is out of control. And far from decent.
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In his September 17 review of Bar-B-Que Blues at 5404 Almeda, Robb Walsh incorrectly stated that Luther's BBQ once occupied the space. In fact, Harlon's BBQ was the former occupant.
And in our September 24 Best of Houston® edition, the blurb for Best Art Show, "Understanding Poverty" at DiverseWorks, should have named Ann Walton Sieber along with Ben Tecumseh DeSoto; the two collaborated on the show.
The Houston Press regrets the errors.