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May 2016

Don’t mess with Texas

Ever hear of Bryce Dejean-Jones? Until about 3:30 Saturday morning, he was a guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, a guy who worked his way up from the NBA Development League and appeared in 14 games before suffering a broken wrist. Now he is in the Dallas morgue, his life ended before his 24th birthday.

From the police statement: “Upon arrival officers found one individual had been shot. The resident of the apartment reported that an individual had kicked open the front door and entered the apartment. The resident, who was asleep in the bedroom, heard the individual enter and retrieved a handgun. He stated he called out to the individual, but was not answered. As the individual kicked the bedroom door, the resident fired his gun. The individual left the apartment and collapsed in the breezeway. The individual was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.”

CNN.com filled in some of the blanks: “The basketball player’s agent, Scott Nichols, said Dejean-Jones was in Dallas to visit his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday. This was the first time Dejean-Jones visited her new apartment, Nichols said. Later that night Dejean-Jones came back to the apartment complex but went to the wrong unit on the third floor, just below his girlfriend’s fourth-floor apartment, Nichols said.”

Other accounts have called that girlfriend an “estranged acquaintance” and quoted the agent as saying his client “was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Perhaps Dejean-Jones was angry and kicked the door in because he thought his baby’s mama had locked him out. (He played for three colleges, leaving one because he broke a teammate’s nose; there had been other incidents and scrapes with the law.) Perhaps Dejean-Jones was high on something; toxicology reports will sort that out, slowly.

This unfortunate tale has generated reactions of shock and sorrow and best wishes for the mother and 1-year-old. I concur. It has also elicited the usual hopeful speculation from bleeding hearts about whether the unfortunate apartment owner, who did nothing but protect himself from a threat on his premises, should somehow be charged with a crime.

Texas law is fairly specific. An individual is entitled to use deadly force when they feel threatened in their home. In recent years, that right has been extended to anyplace a person “has the right to be.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 22 states (including Texas) have laws saying persons feeling threatened have no duty to retreat.

In other words, case closed.

horseimage

Cool ain’t what it once was

[This originally ran Oct. 23. It has been updated to reflect Hef’s 90th birthday on April 9.]

Most of you have heard that Playboy magazine will no longer publish photographs of naked women. Some say it is a sign of end times; others say they won’t notice because they only look at the profiles and trend articles.

By “others,” I mean liars.

There is also a sad story from London’s Daily Mail, relaying reports from British supermodel Carla Howe, 25, who spent time at the Playboy Mansion.

It seems the legendary abode in Beverly Hills has become a retirement home for Hugh Hefner, 90, who prefers to spend evenings watching vintage movies rather than cavorting with models. Says Ms. Howe, “Hef is so frail he goes everywhere with a group of nurses.”

She further disclosed that women living at the 22-bedroom home must adhere to a strict 9 p.m. curfew and it’s “like being in prison.”

Hef was once was the epitome of cool. He founded Playboy in 1953. The original working title was Stag Party and the first issue’s photo layout was of Marilyn Monroe, so he made good editorial choices early.

The magazine led to syndicated TV shows in the 1960s, a string of nightclubs in major cities and a reality show on cable. We’ll spare you details of his love life.

Back to Ms. Howe and the mansion. She tells of damp bedrooms, stained sheets and squalor. I wouldn’t want to visit because we cats have 10 to 20 times the sense of smell of humans. (Dogs’ noses are thousands of times more sensitive. Ever heard of sending cats to hunt down somebody who walked off a prison road crew?)

Writing this, we mean no disrespect for Hef. Imagine what shape your sorry ass will be in at age 90.

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