Big story out of Seattle about a guy killing six people in a home and then himself at a party. Noteworthy items: (1) All dead were in their teens or twenties (2) All had been at one party but had gone to the home to "continue partying" (3) The shooting occurred at 7:00 a.m. (4) According to the story, it was "unclear whether drugs or alcohol was involved." As to that last time, let me go  out on a limb and say "uh, yeah".
at 4:27 PM
It looks like there were quite a few large marches across the country yesterday regarding federal immigration reform: "Congress is considering bills that would make it a felony to be illegally in the United States, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border. The proposals have angered many Hispanics." Can you say "hot button" issue?
at 2:28 PM
. . . after an extended period of time away from the Internet, I noticed that the Religious Wars started again. Nothing stirs this place up like religion, gays, and high school issues. Play nice and put things back where they belong once you're [grammar edit] done. :) But two very interesting news stories I saw this morning in the Star Telegram: 1) Elizabeth Rohr was convicted in Denton County but given probation (you have to read how she went a little nuts in the courtroom). 2) A pretty hot young former teacher (pictured) was acquitted of sexual conduct with a 15 year old who was not her student. (If you have to register to the Star Telegram to see the sites, bypass it by using "bobo" as a username and "bobo1" as a password). I'm off to jog outside on a beautiful day.
at 12:55 PM
Former Dallas district judge Catherine Crier was on the Today show this morning to serve as an "expert" on the recent news of TABC agents arresting people in bars for public intoxication. She said, "understand that the issue is whether a person the person arrested has lost the normal use of his mental or physical faculties." That's not right. Although that is the standard for intoxication in DWI cases, the standard in public intoxication cases is whether the person "is a danger to himself and to others." She also said that "every new prosecutor begins trying these kind [public intoxication] cases." That's not right either. PI is a Class C which is filed in JP or municipal courts. Ninety-nine percent of prosecutors never try a case in those courts. And she's got a national TV show.
at 7:42 AM
I saw that the lead story on Fox 4 News Thursday tonight was last weeks arrest of Kevin Riedle and Phyliss Riedle on child porn charges. (Did our local papers tell us about Phyliss?) Get this: according to the always-beaten-down Lari Barager, "The couple told investigators they were living as man and wife but they are also half brother and half sister." Hmmmm? Is that wrong? Anyway, Sheriff David Walker made the TV appearance. "They're sick," he said. [Edit: My previous grammatical error corrected.] Investigator Michael Neagle got on TV as well. Edit: Man, this story was all over the news.
at 1:04 AM
I began watching this 1969 Academy Award winning movie tonight for the first time. (I, oddly, watch movies in 40 minute increments when I jog on my treadmill.) I have never seen the movie before. So far: Really Good. It was rated "X" when it was released but that's a bit comical. I think back in 1969 an "X" rating simply meant "mature". Thus far, it's been nothing but a soft R rated movie - but probably pretty dang shocking in 1969. And I had to giggle when I learned the lead character's name was "Joe Buck". (The same name as the lead NFL play-by-play man for Fox).
at 10:43 PM
For golf fans only. If you want to see Tiger's amazing chip in last year's Masters, click here. (I've been experimenting with youtube.com and uploaded the video. Ignore the two seconds of a DWI video at the end of it).
at 10:09 PM
The next time you go to Fort Worth, look to your left (south) as you travel along 287 after you cross into Tarrant County. The number of homes being built is mind-boggling. There's always talk of a huge mall / shopping center at the intersection of 287 and I-35. It seems like it would be a pot of gold.
at 9:48 PM
From the Star Telegram (with my comments between the "[ ]" thingees.) DENTON — A judge adjourned Dr. Elizabeth Rohr’s trial for about three hours Wednesday as the Roanoke physician waited for witnesses to arrive and testify on her behalf. [Wouldn't happen in Wise County]. When Rohr admitted to state District Judge L. Dee Shipman that many of them were being served with subpoenas for the first time Wednesday, Shipman allowed Rohr only three hours to gather witnesses. [Probably out of compassionate conservatism.] “There’s no reason they’re being served today — this was a 2004 case,” Shipman said. [That's a dumb observation. You only know when to subpoena witnesses once you know the trial date. When the case was filed is irrelevant.] Rohr said Wednesday morning that she was still deciding whether to testify on her own behalf. [Please, please, for the love of entertainment, please do!]
at 10:06 PM
I watch news reports of the trial off and on and have these random thoughts: (1) Does he have any constitutional rights since there is no Iraqi constitution? (2) I've already seen one witness testify behind a curtain to protect her identity which would violate the U.S. Constitution's right to confront witnesses. (3) I've seen the judge, at times, close the trial to the press which would violate the U.S. Constitution's right to a "public" trial. (4) Saddam began to testify last week but I saw no press report that he was advised he did not have to testify if he did not want to (but, then again, since no constitution is in place maybe he doesn't have that right) (5) It's a death penalty case yet it is heard not before a jury but before a five judge panel. At least from a judicial standpoint, Iraq has turned into Bush's dream world.
at 9:36 PM
The Supreme Court did the unusual today: It handed down a decision that went against the police. The issue was whether police can search a home without a warrant if the wife says "come on in and look for my husband's dope" (I paraphrase) and the husband says, "No way, you guys beat it" (again, I paraphrase). The Court rules that the police can't enter the home, and they must go get a search warrant. But one part of the decision scares the few folks like me who care about civil liberties. There were three dissenters - the expected Scalia and Thomas - but joining them was the new Chief Justice John Roberts. (The other new judge, Alito, took no part in the decision). Edit: I just read Scalia's dissent and he brings up an interesting point. Police often respond to a domestic violence call and enter a home with the consent of the allegedly battered spouse. This is no longer allowed if the alleged batterer refuses entry. Of course, the police have every right to asked the alleged battered spouse to step outside to interview her and gather evidence. His dissent reads: Finally, I must express grave doubt that today’s decision deserves Justice Stevens’ celebration as part of the forward march of women’s equality. Given the usual patterns of domestic violence, how often can police be expected to encounter the situation in which a man urges them to enter the home while a woman simultaneously demands that they stay out? The most common practical effect of today’s decision, insofar as the contest between the sexes is concerned, is to give men the power to stop women from allowing police into their homes . . . .
at 1:10 PM
. . . will get a kick out this video clip from yesterday's Today show. David Gregory was filling in for Matt Lauer as he interviewed always-worth-a-giggle James Carville and the right wing nut case Laura Ingraham. Ingraham wants to blame the Today show for the bad news coming out of Iraq, and wants the program to broadcast some shows from there. (Which is a great idea if you want to see Katie blown to bits, but not a good idea otherwise.) It gets testy. Link here.
at 12:33 PM
Long term Dallas Cowboy play by play man is Brad Sham. But maybe not for long. KTCK - The Ticket won the broadcast rights to the Cowboy games a couple of weeks ago and most expected Jerry Jones to keep Brad in the booth. But the Morning News says today that under the new arrangement The Ticket will be paying the play by play guy so the station gets to call the shots as to who announces the games. Brad, a long time critic of The Ticket, may be gone.
at 12:26 PM
. . . where it makes news every time your position changed? From the Update: COACH REASSIGNED — The Bridgeport School Board approved in a 6-1 vote Monday night the reassignment of high school coach Lori Lammers. Lammers, who has served as the varsity head coach in softball and volleyball the last four years, has been reassigned to the middle school beginning in the fall. Athletic Director Danny Henson, who recommended the coach’s contract not be renewed, said both programs need to go in a new direction. I mean you never heard about Omar being demoted to cashier at Luby's.
at 9:57 AM
This was on HBO last night (I originally saw it in theaters). Plot: Husband and wife scuba divers get left behind in the ocean by incompetent scuba-diving-boat owners. Overall: I liked it a lot, not sure you will. Tension Level: Plenty Mostly See: Lots of Water and Fins of Sharks Gratuitous Nudity: One ridiculous scene in the beginning to keep the male audience hanging around for more. Based on a True Story: Yeah, kinda. The lead actors have said they have "heard about such an incident happening" but couldn't name any incident specifically.
at 9:37 AM
IRVING, Texas -- The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has taken its fight against drunken driving to a new level. TABC agents, along with Irving police, targeted 36 bars and clubs Friday, arresting some allegedly intoxicated patrons before they departed the businesses. . . . Agents arrested 30 people Friday night. Most of the suspects now face charges of public intoxication. (Full story). Sometimes I think we have too many law enforcement officers. (And any chance the TABC picked on some low rent bar instead of one that regularly serves Dirty Martinis and Amstel Light?)
at 9:35 AM
Judge Rejects Plea So Prosecutors Drop Charges The story: State prosecutors decided Tuesday to drop charges against a former Tampa teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student. The decision, announced hours after a judge rejected a plea deal for Debra Lafave, means the victim won't have to testify. Prosecutors and defense attorneys had urged the judge to accept the deal for the sake of the boy involved. A psychiatrist who examined the teenager told the judge at a previous hearing that the boy suffered extreme anxiety from the media coverage of the case and does not want to testify. Marion County Circuit Judge Hale Stancil, however, said the lack of prison time for Lafave under the plea deal "shocks the conscience of this court," and he rejected it.
at 3:40 PM
Long time White House reporter Helen Thomas (who has been routinely ignored by W over the years) let him have it this morning in a press conference: QUESTION: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President -- your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, your Cabinet officers, former Cabinet officers, intelligence people and so forth -- but what's your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil, the quest for oil. It hasn't been Israel or anything else. What was it? But I'll admit, Bush handled himself pretty well in response.
at 1:06 PM
The fine doctor is now representing herself in a criminal case in Denton County. Highlights yesterday: (1) The judge entered a "not guilty" plea for Dr. Rohr after she failed to enter her own plea. That prompted Rohr to exclaim "you're fired!" to the judge. (2) "At one point, Dr. Rohr took a moment to swear allegiance to the Pembina Little Shell Band of Chippewa." (Is that any relation to the Little River Band?) Opening statements begin today. Delicious.
at 12:45 PM
From the Update: Bridgeport School Board passed revisions to the dress code Monday requiring boys to tuck in their shirts and prohibiting them from wearing makeup and girl’s jeans. Girls, though still allowed to wear makeup and girl’s jeans, are prohibited from wearing underwear-revealing clothing.
at 8:30 AM
I saw yet another story tonight (this time on Fox 4 News) about a man who was wrongfully convicted 19 years ago. By the way, for the last 19 years, he has been in prison. DNA cleared him. Make no mistake about it: DNA won't clear someone from wrong accusations of DWI, Burglary, Arson, and, heaven forbid, Drug Possession. That's why a jury must understand the concept of guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". As I tell every jury panel, "that means that at the end of this trial, if you have a doubt about [insert client's first name]'s guilt, and that is a doubt that is reasonable to you, you must let him go." A jury cannot afford to be wrong.
at 11:35 PM
I TIVO ABC's World News Tonight every day and try to watch it every evening. In its stead this evening was a special Channel 8 report on the flooding in Dallas yesterday (which is sooooo old news right now). Anyway, at 5:42 p.m. I was treated to a live shot of reporter Debbie Denmon standing in one foot of water with blue jeans on talking about "if I went a little further, I could be in about five feet of water." Kill me.
at 9:19 PM
I just finished watching this movie about "a bloody self defense incident involving a mild mannered man brings his hidden past back to haunt him and his family." Grade: Slightly above average Odd Scene: The wife surprises her husband with a cheerleader outfit Violence Level: Mucho Oscar consideration: William Hurt was nominated for Best Supporting Actor (but he appears for only 15 minutes in the film). Confused: I could have sworn the lead actress in the film was Diane Lane (from "Unfaithful" ) but it was actually Maria Bello who I have never heard of.
at 7:46 PM
Katherine Harris, the former Florida Secretary of State who helped
steal win the 2000 Presidential election for W?
Well, she won a House seat and is now planning to spend as much of her inheritance ($10 million) as it takes to win a Senate seat.
But, for some strange reason, I'm attracted to her all of a sudden.
at 4:58 PM
It looks like the commissioners were set to cancel the "burn ban" tomorrow after an "emergency agenda" was published this morning. Alas, the meeting (not the burn ban) was cancelled this afternoon: "Due to the definition of Emergency, the burn ban meeting is cancelled for March 21, 2006 at 10:45 A.M." So put your matches and gasoline away.
at 4:00 PM
1. V for Vendetta, $26.1 million 2. Failure to Launch, $15.8 million 3. The Shaggy Dog, $13.6 million 4. She's the Man, $11 million 5. The Hills Have Eyes, $8 million 6. 16 Blocks, $4.7 million 7. Eight Below, $4.1 million 8. Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, $3 million 9. The Pink Panther, $2.5 million 10. Aquamarine, $2 million
at 9:52 AM
From The Update: DEMOCRATS MEET TOMORROW – Wise County Democrats meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Buck’s Barbecue in Decatur to discuss this months’ primary election. “What went wrong, what went right and what must change before November” will be the subject of a discussion led by County Chairwoman Brenda Rankin. A lot. Not much. More W press conferences.
at 8:44 AM