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Ken Herman

Metro columnist

Ken Herman is the American-Statesman's metro columnist.

Latest from Ken Herman

Herman: 'My Cousin Vinny' and the race for State Bar president
 Let us count the ways that it’s well worth your time and trouble to become a lawyer. You get to help people and make a living wage doing it — perhaps even enough to live in Austin. And you get to stand up in court and say cool stuff like, “I object!” And you get to star on cloying daytime TV ads hunting for people...

Posted: 21 hours ago

Let us count the ways that it’s well worth your time and trouble to become a lawyer. You get to help people and make a living wage doing it — perhaps even enough to live in Austin. And you get to stand up in court and say cool stuff like, “I object!” And you get to star on cloying daytime TV ads hunting for people...
Herman: Texas Legislature mulls ‘experiential dinners’ bill, aka beer
 I realize that by being an obnoxious prohibitionist (is there any other kind?) I’m probably missing out on some things in life, such as the joy of swirling a wine glass while saying things like, “flaccid, yet horny.” (Thanks to the late, great Robin Williams for that one.) And, it turns out, all law-abiding Texans (is there...

Posted: 2 days ago

I realize that by being an obnoxious prohibitionist (is there any other kind?) I’m probably missing out on some things in life, such as the joy of swirling a wine glass while saying things like, “flaccid, yet horny.” (Thanks to the late, great Robin Williams for that one.) And, it turns out, all law-abiding Texans (is there...
Herman: Proposal to require Texas lawmakers’ OK for state statue moves
 The battle over the University of Texas’ Jefferson Davis statue is over. So now we move on to the battle over the battle. And we all know where those are fought. Let’s say it all together: “Our state Capitol.” Quick background: The statue of the Confederate president stood (proudly in the eyes of some, disgracefully...

Posted: 4 days ago

The battle over the University of Texas’ Jefferson Davis statue is over. So now we move on to the battle over the battle. And we all know where those are fought. Let’s say it all together: “Our state Capitol.” Quick background: The statue of the Confederate president stood (proudly in the eyes of some, disgracefully...
Herman: Austin man lived for 50 years in oldest building on UT campus
 I had lots of feedback to my April 9 column about the interesting history, sad present and questionable future of the Arthur P. Watson House, which, built in 1853 and remodeled many times since, is the oldest building on the University of Texas campus. Thanks to all who weighed in, including those who agreed with me that it would be nice...

Posted: 7 days ago

I had lots of feedback to my April 9 column about the interesting history, sad present and questionable future of the Arthur P. Watson House, which, built in 1853 and remodeled many times since, is the oldest building on the University of Texas campus. Thanks to all who weighed in, including those who agreed with me that it would be nice...
Herman: Alex Jones, often offensive, plays defense at custody trial
 The strategy was simple, transparent and exactly what you would do if you were battling Alex Jones in a child custody case: try to make the Alex Jones on the witness stand look like the Alex Jones on Infowars. Success, by any means necessary under the rules of courtroom engagement, could mean jurors in the Jones family soap opera would see...

Posted: 9 days ago

The strategy was simple, transparent and exactly what you would do if you were battling Alex Jones in a child custody case: try to make the Alex Jones on the witness stand look like the Alex Jones on Infowars. Success, by any means necessary under the rules of courtroom engagement, could mean jurors in the Jones family soap opera would see...
Herman: Confrontation coming in Alex Jones’ child custody trial
 It was a day with a dramatic arc that would warm a theater major’s heart. Day three of the child custody battle between professional provocateur Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly Jones began at 8:35 a.m. when he entered a Travis County courtroom, already looking impatient, already looking like a guy looking for somebody to accuse of...

Posted: 10 days ago

It was a day with a dramatic arc that would warm a theater major’s heart. Day three of the child custody battle between professional provocateur Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly Jones began at 8:35 a.m. when he entered a Travis County courtroom, already looking impatient, already looking like a guy looking for somebody to accuse of...
Herman: The children in Alex Jones’ life — his, Sandy Hook’s
 In a third-floor courtroom in downtown Austin, the mask, if there is one, might come off of Alex Jones. If it does come off, the more than 20 years he’s spent cultivating something of a cult following as the blowhard skeptic who skeptically blows hard about all manner of conspiracies could be out the window. And if it doesn’t...

Posted: 11 days ago

In a third-floor courtroom in downtown Austin, the mask, if there is one, might come off of Alex Jones. If it does come off, the more than 20 years he’s spent cultivating something of a cult following as the blowhard skeptic who skeptically blows hard about all manner of conspiracies could be out the window. And if it doesn’t...
Herman: Texas lawmakers battle over celebratory gunfire
 The legislative effort against celebratory gunfire into the air — an odd and dangerous pastime that almost killed the lawmaker sponsoring the bill to ban it — is inching along, but not without a committee hearing that touched on a question the panel’s chairman didn’t appreciate. You’ll recall that state Rep....

Posted: 16 days ago

The legislative effort against celebratory gunfire into the air — an odd and dangerous pastime that almost killed the lawmaker sponsoring the bill to ban it — is inching along, but not without a committee hearing that touched on a question the panel’s chairman didn’t appreciate. You’ll recall that state Rep....
Herman: Time to do away with state vehicle inspections?
 Quiz du jour: What do Texans spend more than 9 million hours a year doing with questionable return on investment of time? A. Sitting in MoPac traffic awaiting completion of the toll lanes. B. Arguing about who should start as QB for the Longhorns. C. Sitting in MoPac traffic awaiting completion of the toll lines while arguing about who should...

Posted: 18 days ago

Quiz du jour: What do Texans spend more than 9 million hours a year doing with questionable return on investment of time? A. Sitting in MoPac traffic awaiting completion of the toll lanes. B. Arguing about who should start as QB for the Longhorns. C. Sitting in MoPac traffic awaiting completion of the toll lines while arguing about who should...
Herman: 51 years later, a Texas serviceman comes home
 It’s amazing how so little can mean so much. Stick with me here and you’ll see what I mean. And you’ll agree. In 1966, exactly 51 years ago Friday, a B-57 piloted by Air Force Capt. Robert Russell “Bear” Barnett, 32, was shot down in Laos. He was listed as presumed dead, body not recovered. Barnett later was...

Posted: 23 days ago

It’s amazing how so little can mean so much. Stick with me here and you’ll see what I mean. And you’ll agree. In 1966, exactly 51 years ago Friday, a B-57 piloted by Air Force Capt. Robert Russell “Bear” Barnett, 32, was shot down in Laos. He was listed as presumed dead, body not recovered. Barnett later was...
Herman: A query leads to a sad story about the oldest building at UT
 Austinite Rowland Cook and his wife Diane have been going to Lady Longhorn basketball games at the Erwin Center for about 30 years. They’ve been parking in the nearby Trinity Garage since it opened in 2002. He told me about this in an email under the subject line, “A puzzler.” Specifically, he’s puzzled by a building...

Posted: 24 days ago

Austinite Rowland Cook and his wife Diane have been going to Lady Longhorn basketball games at the Erwin Center for about 30 years. They’ve been parking in the nearby Trinity Garage since it opened in 2002. He told me about this in an email under the subject line, “A puzzler.” Specifically, he’s puzzled by a building...