at 11:44 AM
Hey, I don't have any opinion on the Chico ISD bond election. But this was sent to me which admittedly isn't earthshaking but the emailer was a little disturbed that there was an immediate reference to Sandy Hook and Columbine to help persuade the voters.
at 9:11 AM
- The grand jury chose not to indict the Dallas officers involved in the shooting of the mentally disturbed guy holding a screwdriver on his doorstep after his mother called the police because of his erratic behavior. Hey, I'm not sure the cops should be charged with a crime, but they sure chose to use deadly force in the blink of an eye. Isn't there something short of a bullet that can be used in that situation? Whatever happened to say . . . uh . . . tasers?
- I'm not making any accusations, but there does seem something a little odd about the death of that Bridgeport boy.
- I've spent very little time in hospitals, but I've been inside a couple recently. They seem to be kept functioning by thirty-somethings which move pretty fast and do a pretty good job.
- I'm proud to learn that I had never heard of the Kylie Kenner Challenge until I heard two young ladies talk about it up at the courthouse this week.
- If I click on the Star-Telegram home page, leave it there for just a few seconds and then click the "back" browser, it appears that I have visited the site 8 consecutive times. Some of you tech geeks explain that.
- I mentioned that I had a "nemesis" on my jury panel this week, but it's hard to explain because I want to be fair to the guy, and I might even be wrong. Here's the deal: I believe he was audibly scoffing when I spoke to the potential jurors about some basic principles of a criminal jury trial. (I've talked to one other person in the courtroom that morning who heard it. Others didn't.) I didn't want to ask him if he disagreed with something I said because he had already said something that caused me to know I didn't want him on the jury. (Yes, there are ways I could have used him to actually make my points, but I had a sense of danger.) Later, when he and the rest of those not announced to be on the jury were excused to leave, he got everyone's attention to announce that a young man who served in the military was on the panel. I may be wrong about him, but there are people like that: Incredibly patriotic but have a hard time appreciating rights the Constitution provides those for a person on trial for an alleged crime. Sir, if you didn't scoff, I apologize. And if you did, thank you. That's something I wanted to know.
- We've had another "And Another" out of Dallas. I'll admit it: Even I'm tired of my "And Another" bit.
- With the new Star Wars trailer out, I'm going to say something for the millionth time: I do not understand the fascination with that series, and I'm a guy who loves Star Trek. I actually saw the original Star Wars at Northeast Mall as a kid. But you know who really loves that stuff?: People ten years and younger than me.
- Whomever comments about departures of assistant prosecutors under the new Tarrant County DA, they been busy over the last couple of days mentioning that there have been more departures this week.
- At the beginning of a story from a Lubbock paper about a lady eating three 72 ounce steaks "not being recommended by a doctor", there was this disclaimer: "(Editor’s note: A phrase toward the end of this story may be too graphic for some people.)" Can you find it? I can't after a quick scan. Is this the equivalent of "click bait" to get you to actually read a story?
- I was just scanning through Texas front pages for this morning and came across the following. I know nothing about it other than it involves and auto wreck, but I'll check out what it is about.
"This is an actual picture of it."- Double Fake City of Decatur
Not that a quick look at a Facebook thread is positive proof, but it sure seems to be true. There have been reports from Alvord, Decatur and Bridgeport over the last few days.
at 11:45 PM
04/23/2015 12:34:38 Dwayne, 31 yrs old ♎ Bond: $771 INSPECTION EXPIRED REGISTRATION EXPIRED REGISTRATION pic.twitter.com/YDp5veyyOJ
— Arrests by @DentonPD (@DentonPolice) April 23, 2015
The @DentonPolice account is not owned by the Denton Police but by a guy who posts book in photos obtained from Denton Police. I have no idea what this photo is. But for a second those lightning bolts looked familiar.
at 1:08 PM
I mentioned a few days ago that all officers were cleared by a grand jury in the shooting death of Alan Alverson near the Montague/County line. You may remember Alverson as the guy who allegedly shot the police dog of the Wise County Sheriff's Office.
Now that the criminal case is over, the Messenger wants certain records from the DA's office.
This excerpt from a Messenger story: "Despite the grand jury finding no reason to move forward with criminal charges in the case, [District Attorney Paige] Williams has declined to release the full autopsy or report by the Texas Rangers investigating the case. She is seeking an attorney general’s opinion as to whether she must release that information, arguing that the information is not public because the case concluded in a final result other than a conviction or deferred adjudication, thereby making it excepted from disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act."
Records subject to the Information Act must be released with 10 days or it is a crime not to do so. But for some crazy reason, any public official has the right to ask for an Attorney General's Opinion on whether the records must be released and this automatically puts everything on hold. Oftentimes that request is made to simply stonewall.
I'm no TPIA expert, but whether those records are public in this situation has absolutely been decided by prior AG opinions. This situation happens all the time. This is not new ground. Without researching it, I'm guessing that autopsy report has to be subject to disclosure now. How about the Ranger's report? Honestly, I don't know. But why shouldn't it be? Everyone involved in this investigation works for you and is paid with your money. You even bought the paper it was written on and paid the person who typed it and copied it. There is no criminal case now. Name one legitimate reason why it shouldn't be turned over to the public.
And there's nothing to prevent the DA from voluntarily just turning them over. How do you think the media sometimes immediately gets ahold of 911 tapes or videos or toxicology reports. Some of that information could be legally withheld until the case was concluded, but the government just turns it over anyway.
at 10:50 AM
Statement from the WH press secretary on the innocent hostages killed in Pakistan http://t.co/HziCtGMRGz pic.twitter.com/GOdPLNzerxThose drone strikes are accurate and effective. You just have to know who is within the targeted building. But I don't know how you ever could.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 23, 2015
at 9:16 AM
- Somebody better check on Pete Delkus. He has to be in massive depression this morning after missing the forecast and not getting to dominate TV last night. (And he is, in fact, a little sensitive this morning.)
- I may be stating the obvious, but I think everyone is beginning to see how this oil price crash is impacting the Texas job market. I bet all of us know someone who has been significantly impacted.
- I've told you for two years that we are headed for a decade long stretch of horrible Mavericks basketball once Dirk declines. Get ready. We have lift off.
- With all the guns and bars/clubs in Texas, I'm stunned there are not multiple shootings every Friday and Saturday night.
- BagOfNothing.com linked to a series of interactive maps in the Wall Street Journal which focuses on demographics for every county in the U.S. Wait a second: Only 37.1% of people in Wise County have graduated high school? Am I missing something? (I guess that the 37% could be of the total population which would include people under 18 but even then the 37% seems small.)
- "Kelley & Anthony Blaine face 18 counts of giving alcohol to minors, accused of stocking a limo with liquor for teens heading to prom. She's suspended from her job as Kaufman County court coordinator. 15 Kaufman High School students were suspended for misconduct & sent to alternative school." So much to think about on this one.
- Always drives me nuts when one trial court judge in any county or any state makes a ruling that, because of the subject matter, gets news coverage and everyone says, "This will set a precedent for the future." No, it doesn't. Heck, if an appellate court hasn't made a decision on an issue in Texas, a trial judge doesn't even care what the trial judge next door just ruled on the same issue.
- I saw a horrible (one car?) rollover wreck this morning near the Wise/Tarrant county line. People were scrambling to help, a car on its side caught fire, a guy ran and got a fire extinguisher, and people were gathered around a person in his grass who I presume was thrown from the vehicle. By their reactions, this was bad.
- Below: Clever Harding headline and a little bit of a disturbing Blue Bell photo . . .
“We unintentionally just got unlicensed open carry." http://t.co/4T9K0TfZe1
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) April 22, 2015
I wrote this morning about the legal question of whether police would have a "reasonable suspicion" to stop and detain someone if they saw an exposed handgun if the proposed Open Carry If You Have A Concealed Handgun bill passed. Cops can only detain someone if they have a reasonable suspicion that a crime might be occurring. The County Attorney and I actually talked about just last week.
But I had complete missed the above news that trickled out over the last 24 hours that there was an amendment to the bill on Friday which passed the House:
That answers my question. The courts would never have to decide if the cops could lawfully detain someone for seeing an open guy because the legislature has settled it. (If the bill becomes law.)
But here's the unintended kicker: If cops can't stop you to check your license, then doesn't it become practcially open carry for everyone? Sure it would still be a crime to open carry without a license but cops will need a different reason to detain to ever discover that. So it's not legally open carry for everyone but more of a "there's a really good chance you can open carry without a license and not get caught" situation.
I suppose it is like driving on a suspended license. Yeah, it's illegal, but you are going to have to be stopped for a different traffic violation for the cops to ever discover that.
at 4:25 PM
The Austin-American Statesman just unearthed this video from 2012. It involves an unseen chase and the shooting of a guy in the thigh , and this ending. The trooper was suspended for three days.
Think I'm about to go on a rant about police brutality? Nope. That flying kick right of the WWE is just too sweet of a move to give the guy grief.
at 2:08 PM
- I may have had a full blown nemesis on my jury panel yesterday. He didn't get selected and the trial is still going on, but I'll explain later. Plus, I have to confirm what I think was going on.
- Did I see what looks like a police car in town that had Wise County Regional Public Safety on it? Is that a private security car? They don't have an authorized mini police force do they?
- The in-state Republicans are fighting over the concept of "local control" after the proposal for overturning the Denton fracking ban by the passage of a state law. Some are saying the cities are to Texas what states are to the federal government. Other than State law trumping municipal law, that analogy is not correct. There's no equivalent of the 10 Amendment for cities in the Texas constitution.
- I've got a ton of thoughts on the school electrical project including our educational system, the way your mind works, and the role of parents. I'll get to it maybe later today.
- An email friend wrote me about my post from yesterday of the Bridgeport man who died at 44. He thinks it is unhealthy for me to ponder life's moments like that. I've always consider those posts to be a moment of reflection by me of how all of us need to stop and think about our lives. (And sorry I didn't get back to you buddy. I've been busy . . . . And I as I just quickly typed those last two sentences I think I just inadvertently made my point.)
- Fort Worth police killed a man last night. They say he fired a weapon at officers.
- Lots of news reports about how the autopsy of the motorist who was shot dead by a Grapevine officer which show the now dead man was "legally drunk". So what? (That's the case where they won't release the video but have no problem releasing the autopsy report.)
- In my trial yesterday, I abandoned using Powerpoint for the first time in two decades. I just had a feeling of the need to put down the electronics and just be engaged. I don't know if it helped or hurt, but it felt better.
- My computer maps show a big chance for some storms later today. Get ready for Over The Top Pete Delkus. And I'm serious. He will be in full Armageddon mode because this is the day he's been waiting for.
- I've seen reference to a Batman vs. Superman movie. Hey, how is that even a fair fight? When I was a little kid there was some cartoon on Saturday mornings that had the combined fighting force of Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Superman. I even thought back then: What's Batman bringing to the table in that group?
- There will come a day where not only will every TV channel be broadcast over the Internet but you will either decide to pay directly to that channel/company to get it. You want one channel? You got it. The concept of "bundling" by cable and satellite companies will be gone, right?
- And when I mentioned cutting the cable the other day since most everything is online anyway, I had completely forgotten about HD over the air antennas for local programming. They actually work. How many channels can you get for free that way?
- Forgot to mention The Family Cat is back to normal after some brief sickness. And I'm not sure that's a good thing.
- Great legal question if the new Texas Open Carry (if you have a concealed license) law comes into effect: Cops can stop and detain you if they have a reasonable suspicion that some criminal activity might be afoot. If an officer now sees someone in Walmart with an open handgun, can he stop them to check for a license? He wouldn't have a "reasonable suspicion" that the gun was illegally carried, would he?
I didn't know the guy but the Messenger profiled him somewhat last year.
I've been mocked by a few for my recent discovery and appreciation of "living in the moment" instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I hadn't thought about this aspect of it: That moment you focus on appreciating may be the last one you ever have.
at 1:19 PM