Video: Council Member Andrew Burks on Food Trucks, Terrorists and the Threat Against U.S. Embassies

Andrew-burkes275px.jpg
Andrew Burks: Food trucks are a threat to American embassies...or something.
In case anyone thought that Council Member Andrew Burks's statements on food trucks and terrorists at a City Council public hearing on Tuesday, September 18, were misrepresented or exaggerated, a new video puts those ideas to rest.

The video was created by local community activist Kyle Nielsen, whom the Houston Press named the Best Breaking News/Bloodhound Twitterer in our 2011 Houston Web Awards. In the video, Burks -- who occupies the At-Large Position 2 seat on City Council -- can be seen at two separate public hearings insisting that propane tanks on food trucks could potentially be used as terrorist weapons.

Yes, there are dozens of propane tanks stacked in front of grocery stores throughout the city, as well as propane tanks currently on downtown restaurant patios (and restaurant patios all over Houston).

When speaker Sarah Troxell attempts to question whether the points raised by Burks are relevant -- "I'm not sure how that relates to food trucks..." -- he shuts her down, continuing to warn of the worldwide threat against U.S. embassies.

See also:
- Terrorist Attacks, Drugs and Danger: Why City Council Doesn't Want Food Trucks Downtown
- Mobile Vendors Get Mobilized to Combat Food Truck Laws
- 5 Chain Food Trucks We Wish Existed

"What I'm saying to you is this," Burks tells Troxell. "We live in a different world now than what used to be. Used to be that you could go into an embassy and feel safe. Everyone said -- you know -- you see on TV...people are running to one place to the next trying to get to the embassy where they can feel safe. Now, American embassies are under attack all across this world just about."

So there you have it, Houston. American embassies are under attack, and food trucks may be a possible vehicle (no pun intended) for those terrorist activities, even though Houston itself doesn't, y'know, have any American embassies since we're already in America.

But if Burks is even the least bit curious about what it takes to blow up one of those propane tanks -- in front of an embassy or not -- here's some real knowledge on the subject, courtesy of Mythbusters: It's nearly impossible to blow up a propane tank with something as basic as a rifle or even as intimidating as an automatic weapon. What does it take? Incendiary rounds:



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50 comments
blainrut
blainrut

What lessons can we learn from Councilman Burks?  There is obviously a need for even more regulation than he suggests. Mythbusters can be Burks' guide.  To safeguard the people of Houston a regulation needs to be in place to keep terrorists  from shooting a propane tank with incendiary bullets from an automatic weapon perched atop a nifty improvised attack vehicle.  This will be a hard regulation to write, but I think Burks is up to the task. 

 

 It's been awhile since I've been to Houston but I remember it being famous for minimal zoning ordinances and regulations. Have the Sandinistas taken over since I was last there? As much as I gag on Republican talking points regulating what a food truck should look like is absurd. Picking sides, "winners", between food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants isn't government's place. Regulate the trucks enough so they don't poison their patrons ,or blow them up, and let the market decide the rest. 

 

ss_goofyjoe
ss_goofyjoe

Having lived in the Houston area for over 20 years, I can attest to the fact that the city council has never lacked for idiots.

Twigit
Twigit

Wow, Myth Busters should be required viewing for all City Council members. There are far more dangers in the food coming from the trucks that this guy is just out right ignoring. Does he realize Gasoline is also explosive and we use it in out cars? I think I have seen this movie before and it's called Chicken Little.

NeatoVito
NeatoVito

@BrianClarey Say it ain't so...

zbok60
zbok60

I agree with Mr. Brooks. Propane is explosive. Allowing unknown people to bring little minature bombs downtown sound like a serious threat.

PrimeBane
PrimeBane

@ShanyeGretz I'd be more worried about the bad food #gutbomb

tridus
tridus

That someone this stupid can get elected shows you just how little attention voters pay to who they're voting for.

pennyme
pennyme

VOTE, y'all. His position is city wide, meaning everyone can vote (or not) for him.

tia_marie
tia_marie

@Popehat Damned Terrorists and their yummy yummy falafels.

PopCraftCtrlFla
PopCraftCtrlFla

@FoodTruckBazaar Wait. I'm a terrorist? Why didn't you tell me??? #alwaysthelasttoknow

edward.w.bear
edward.w.bear

When propane is outlawed, only  outlaws will have propane.

thraeryn
thraeryn

You're goddamned kidding me.  Now all I wanna do is set up a big, temporary screen in front of the Councilman's house and play M.I.A.'s video for "Paper Planes" on a never-ending loop.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

New favorite Burks quote from the last City Council meeting: "I would be happy to eat at your food trucks, as long as you cook with wood, just not propane."

gardulest
gardulest

If propane were outlawed, the terrorists would simply resort to using baking soda and vinegar aboard the trucks.

Loon
Loon

New Halloween costume, Food Truck Terrorist. You'll need a bandoleer filled with drugs(candy of course), and cooking gear. 

Now, how do you make a candy bucket that looks like a propane tank

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

What I personally find hilarious is the idea that Burks bases all of his ideas on stuff he's seen in the movies: people fleeing to embassies, as he states above, or the James Bond-ian myth that you can explode a propane tank with anything short of explosives. Which -- if you already have explosives -- kind of renders the propane tank moot.

jd_bauer
jd_bauer

I have no doubt his constituents are just as ignorant as this pitiful excuse of a shitbag aka “politician”

John Bauer
John Bauer

I have no doubt his constituents are just as ignorant as this pitiful excuse of a shitbag aka “politician”

Discgolfer22
Discgolfer22

We need Hank Hill to come and give him a lesson about propane!

 

Joseph Holloway
Joseph Holloway

This is just bs so they don't have to change the laws. They are lazy and most likely in someone's pocket. This man cares about nothing for Houston or what it's people want. NYC would not call this potential terrorist activity so why is Houston city council doing so ? They are so full of themselves.

Becci Himes
Becci Himes

Well, let's just cancel the international festival, the freedom festival and all the other festivals around town where vendors operate with propane. Large crowds and propane tanks = possible terrorist attacks.

Anse
Anse

I don't understand why the Houston Restaurant Association is working *against* food trucks. Are food trucks not welcome as members or something?

Derek Armstrong
Derek Armstrong

I'm glad the part about American embassies in America point got covered...

StumpBeefgnaw
StumpBeefgnaw

but terrism, u guys

 

TERRISM

 

:(

 

Kidding aside: the Kroger down the street from me has a cage full of like 20 propane tanks right by the door. Yes, many of them are empty... but I seem to recall from my time working on aircraft fuel tanks for Uncle Sam that an "empty" tank that hasn't been purged--as I would guess the "empty" tanks piled up in that cage probably haven't--is still full of fuel vapor and actually MORE likely to 'splode than a tank full of liquid fuel, which is probably what's going to be stuck on the back of a food truck? I do not sell propane or propane accessories so I could be wrong about that, but....?

Joanie JoJo
Joanie JoJo

another freaking idiot making decisions ~ really?

William Pora
William Pora

If you eat that taco, the terrorists win!

Clay Wisner
Clay Wisner

This is why we can't have nice things.

Lamond C. Anderson
Lamond C. Anderson

[heavy sigh] I guess we know who takes money from the restaurant association...

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

I'm sorry, but WTF does this even mean? Don't stores who sell propane tanks have more than 10 of them in stock, lined up next to one another, at a time?

 

Are there a lot of food trucks parked at local embassies?

 

This makes me nuts, because I seriously cannot follow the line of reasoning.

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

So when is @HouMobileFood,  @htownfoodtrucks or others going to publish a list of Houston politicos who are friends of food trucks ?  We don't get to vote for-against city council this year, but it would be good to know where to start building the "vote for" list for 2013.

turnerberg
turnerberg

Doesn't He have 2 DWI's and a Aggrevated Assault Charge??? Should he really be the one commenting on Public Saftey?

jodymask
jodymask

@PopCraftCtrlFla @foodtruckbazaar #ArtisanPopsofMassDestruction

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @jd_bauer As Kyle pointed out below, we're all his constituents -- you, me and possibly even the terrorists.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @jd_bauer Well, his constituents are the entire city of Houston, so take that as you will.

brucecsnow
brucecsnow

 @Anse There are a lot of "Taco Trucks" throughout Houston.  A few years ago the City spent hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize downtown.  The revitalization failed.  Whatever restaurants that are still there don't want the competition.  I don't blame them.  They must be paying a fortune in property taxes. 

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @WestSideBob  @htownfoodtrucks Good idea, I was thinking they could make a grid of what each Council Member supports of the 5 proposed changes. For example, Council Member Jack Christie supports letting the food trucks in to Downtown.There is one District up for vote this year, by the way, District E: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=47449

Allsbrooks2012
Allsbrooks2012

 @turnerberg When you say he has 2 DWI's and a Aggrevated Assault Charge, who are you referring to on this comment?  If you are referring to me, Lonnie Allsbrooks, you need to do a little more research before asking ridiculous questions, especially when you asked a question that misleads others thoughts and opinions, and not sharing why you would asked that question.  FYI-If referring to me, I would like to know what the hell you are talking about , if you were referring to someone else, than Adios!!!

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @brucecsnow  @Anse I'm not so sure about that. Businesses get money from Downtown Management District and sometimes even the city itself to open up in Downtown. Byrd Market and Sundance Cinemas are two recent examples.

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

 @Kylejack Didn't realize one was up this year.  Looks like Lonnie Allsbrooks might be a friendly.  Who's going to write the big PAC check to help him over the top ?

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @Allsbrooks2012  @turnerberg They're referring to Council Member Burks. He has two DWI convictions and one for Theft By Check. He was no-billed on an aggravated assault charge.

turnerberg
turnerberg

@Kylejack that doesn't surprise me at all. I own 3 mobile food trucks here in Houston and I'll be the first to tell you my sales and expenses run parallel with "Brick & Mortars". Especially when you take into consideration the difference in throughput

Allsbrooks2012
Allsbrooks2012

 @WestSideBob  @Kylejack I have posted a Note on my facebook, facebook.com/Allsbrooks4hcc2012, on my position towards Food Trucks in Downtown Houston.  Thx. P.S. I would appreciate any support on Campaign, Houston City Council District E. District E Areas-Kingwood/Lake Houston, Clear Lake/Ellington Field, Southeast Houston(Edgebrook, South Shaver, Beltway 8/Allen Genoa) and Northshore(Cimarron, Woodland Acres, Greens Bayou). If you are/or know a register voter in District E, please inform them of candidacy for Nov. 6, General Election, Early Voting starts Oct. 22 and until Nov.2.  Campaign #(713)909-4999. lonnieallsbrooks@gmail.com

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