blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 6/21/09 - 6/28/09

6.26.2009

Friday Afternoon Pick Me Up

"It's been a hard week. Come party with us at CiCi's Pizza in Decatur"

Back To Standing In Front Of The Tanks

I rarely do this, but I've already disclosed so much about it that I figured I'd wrap it up. I got a "Not Guilty" today in a DWI case in our County Court at Law. As you can tell from the above slip, the breath tests were .118 and .119. Of course, .08 is the legal limit. Before you start screaming "How can this happen?" or "What an injustice!!!", you might want to tap the brakes. The case is odd one. To begin with, the traffic stop was simply for speeding at 11:00 o'clock in the morning. No weaving. No recklessness. Although he did need to slow down since he was running 84 in a 70. (Note to Wise County Drivers: The officer was hiding on the 287 northbound entrance ramp off of 407.). The video of the Field Sobriety Tests showed an almost flawless performance. He passed the One Leg Stand by holding his foot in the air for 30 seconds, never swayed, never used his arms for balance and never hopped. His performance on the Walk and Turn test was nearly equally flawless having only stepped off the line one time during the 18 step test (in a gusting wind along Hwy 287), and performed an "improper turn" because he did a military turn instead of "a series of small steps." Concerning his actions, he looked as sober as a preacher. No slurred speech. No unsteadiness on his feet. He and the officer communicated with each other just like you would with someone over a cup of coffee. Had he been drinking? Yes and no. He admitted to getting "pretty" drunk the night before with his last drink being at around 2:00 a.m. The officer, on the tape, seemed to believe him. Remember, the traffic stop is at 11:00 a.m. He is arrested (somehow) and taken to the Wise County Sheriff's Office where he readily agreed to provide a sample of his breath. The only person more shocked than me as to the results was the defendant himself. I watched the video a million times and was convinced the breath test had to be wrong. For it to be correct, my client would have had the equivalent of 7 regular sized beers in the hour immediately before the test. Even the State's expert agreed with that. No way. The basic defense was fairly simple: Are you going to believe your eyes, or are you going to convict someone based upon a machine in the Sheriff's office? Two important factors about the Intoxilyzer 5000: (1) If both breath samples from the arrested person are within .02 of one another, it is considered a valid test. Yep, if I blow a .081 on my first test and .101 on the second (or .061) the machine will validate it - as will DPS. That's a shocking range of error. (2) There can also be as much as .019 grams of alcohol in the chamber of the machine before the "Ambient Failure" warning will appear. Yep, in theory, a sober person could blow into the machine and register a true .019 and the machine wouldn't detect an error. With all of that in the mix, the verdict isn't that surprising. If the law says that you must find a person not guilty if you have a doubt about the accuracy of the machine and that doubt is a reasonable one to you, how could you vote to convict? [OK, I'll regulate the comments a little more than normal. But let me say this in all earnestness: The prosecutors did a very good job. The officer did a good job and was very honest to admit when he did make a mistake. This case is one that was decided on the evidence and the evidence alone.] Edit: And a buddy of mine has a heck of a sense of humor.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Maybe I'm a tad bit sensitive since I'm in the criminal defense business, but I get a bit irked when people refer to Michael Jackson as a "child molester" when he was never found guilty of such a thing. And the acquittal wasn't an O.J. Simpson kind of verdict, the allegations were suspicious at best.
  • Maybe it's just because I have compassion for the tormented soul.
  • And, admit it, when you saw the clips of him dancing on the news last night, you had to stop down and watch, didn't you?
  • And Jackson was a worldwide phenomenon.
  • Horrible admission: As a kid, I woke up early at a backyard camp out in my neighborhood so that I could run home and catch the Jackson 5 cartoon that came on at 8:30 a.m.
  • Who would have ever bet that Liz Taylor (Jackson's good friend) would survive longer than him?
  • It was around 1981 when I went and saw "The Jacksons" at Reunion Arena -- but it was Michael who the show was about. This was after "Off The Wall" but before "Thriller." And it was great.
  • I took a girl to the concert who was a nut with an overprotective father. I have no idea what her name was.
  • Debated on The Fan (105.3 FM) yesterday: Will you remember where you were when you heard the news of Jackson's death? I think I will. (I was with my mom after fishing when I heard the news of Elvis' death. I was driving home from a Denton golf driving range when I heard the news of Princess Di's crash.)
  • And TMZ was the first to report Jackson's death. That is not an insignificant fact in this era of "new media."
  • Changing gears, did I hear correctly last night that Farrah was only on "Charlie's Angels" for one season, and only did sporadic guest appearances after that?
  • We will be hard pressed to ever have a bigger Double Celebrity Death Day than yesterday.
  • I feel feel like the Chinese guy in front of the tank in my DWI trial that is going on. Two prosecutors on the other side, they've got an intern helping out, and the DA will occasionally stick his head in to offer advice.
  • The jury learned yesterday that my guy had a breath test result, according to the government sanctioned machine, of .118 and .119. The legal limit is .08 I obviously don't believe it's accurate. (We should have a verdict this morning.)
  • I've learned the big soccer tournament going on is the FIFA Confederations Cup being played in South Africa. If you stumble across it on ESPN, you will immediately be annoyed by a mind numbing loud buzzing in the background. The sound? Thousands of fans blowing into their own personal vuvuzela.
  • Being in line for American Idol at Cowboys' Stadium = Beating.

6.25.2009

Good Grief

I spend the day in court and both Farrah and Michael Jackson die???!!!!

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • The Governor of South Carolina's press conference admitting the affair yesterday was a little bizarre. But I think one thing is clear: He loves that woman in Argentina.
  • I don't have the link, but one South Carolina paper is printing emails between the gov and his lover (that they've had since December.) Man, the governor is smooth. He has a future in trashy romance novels.
  • He had been considered a possible Republican presidential nominee for 2012. That is gone. Only Saints can be considered.
  • Unless your sin is old (see failed nominee John McCain who had an affair many years ago and ended up marrying her.)
  • I jogged early in the morning today (and I mean early). But the heat and the humidity was almost unbearable. I was soaking, soaking wet when I was through.
  • Odd moment yesterday (stay with me here). I'm stuck in a long line at a red light in Fort Worth. I've left a couple of car lengths in front of me to allow room for people that need to exit and enter a busy parking lot. Finally, traffic moves a few feet opening up a space on the other side of the "gap" so I make the decision to move forward. The car directly behind me takes my spot -- still leaving the gap in front of him. Then two cars collide and crash into him. It wasn't a bad wreck, but there was significant damage. Point of the story: 15 seconds earlier, I had been sitting in the spot which is now involved in the crash.
  • Fate? Naaa. Just lucky.
  • I don't know soccer, but the U.S. beating Spain appears to be a really big deal.
  • UT lost the final of the World Series last night. Man, LSU had a lot of people in Omaha (where the game was played.)
  • The Academy Awards are doubling the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10. That also allows five extra movies to advertise they are a "Best Picture Nominee."
  • WBAP's Hal Jay, in all seriousness, said he wouldn't be upset if Hangover won Best Picture. Sheesh.
  • Saw a couple of news reports showing that Gov. Perry leads Kay Bailey in the most recent poll but with almost 40% of Texans undecided. Undecided?
  • Might be a little slow around here today. I've got a DWI trial. I'll try to Twitter updates if I get a chance.

6.24.2009

The Girl from Ipanema Argentina

This guy went missing for four days over the last weekend and everyone was wondering where he was. Now we know. Sean Hannity is trying to "reflect" on this development this afternoon with thoughts on human frailty and mentioning how Sanford seemed "pained" and "hurting" during his press conference. I'm sure he treated Clinton the same way.

More Proof People Are cRAzEE

And I guess I have missed out on one important joy of fatherhood: Getting into a fight while my daughter screams in horror. (The little girl, whose voice makes and appearance way before she does, comes into the picture at :54).

Wednesday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Hilary Duff.

We've Got An International Crisis

I've got a buddy who just got back from China (probably the only buddy I've ever had that's actually been to China) who just called me with some shocking news: Liberally Lean has been blocked by the Chinese Government! Yep, he tried to pull it up on the Internets while he was there only to receive an "officially blocked" page. He could get wisecounty.com and American newspapers, but not this blog. I guess they feared I'd be the Father of The Chinese Revolution of 2010. Or something. But once those Chinese folks figure it out they have been deprived of Random Thoughts, there will more rioting in the streets than in Iran. Bank on it. But more interesting tidbits:'
  • It's a 14 hour flight from San Fransisco.
  • Once there, he spent two hours on the plane while "little guys in space suits" came by and took everyone's temperature.
  • He was asked if he had seen dead bodies in the streets in the U.S. due to the Swine Flu
  • A five star hotel goes for $90
  • There are lots of Chines people.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • ABC's Primetime had a special last night on teenage pregnancy. Adulthood is hard enough when you have everything going for you. Throw a child into the mix when you are a teenager and your chances for success are reduced exponentially.
  • And the show kind of busted on Texas for preaching "abstinence only."
  • I remember a North Texas student around 1982 who was last seen on the campus in Denton and whose body was found about a mile out of town on some country road. I don't think it was ever solved.
  • If you have to give a presentation, don't read it unless you have absolutely no choice.
  • Can't............take........the...........heat.
  • The 100 Most Expensive Homes in Dallas.
  • Every person on that list should be ashamed.
  • The biggest fraud on the list is #11, Lisa Blue, whose claim to fame is marrying the late trial lawyer Fred "I'll represent anyone who came within a mile of asbestos" Baron (he's the guy who also paid to hide ex-presidential candidate John Edwards' paramour.)
  • My negative attitude towards Blue was ramped up when I heard her speak at a criminal law seminar earlier this year. She casually referenced that "sometimes the State will have a client that the jury won't like -- for example, if it is a prostitution case." First, the State doesn't have a "client". Second, in 99.99% of the prostitution criminal cases where the John is being prosecuted, he got caught up in a sting operation where the prostitute is an undercover cop.
  • I see that phenomenon a lot in this world: A person gets tagged as a genius in a particular profession and, even thought they might have been true at the time they were so "tagged", they've not been involved in their field of expertise for so long that they've completely lost touch.
  • I should have made the Broadway Baptist Church/Gay thought yesterday morning its own post. I failed to realize it had two hot button issues combined into one.
  • There's a lot of heart ache in this world.
  • Fionna whats-her-name from Fox 4 interviewed a six foot tall guy dressed in drag at the American Idol tryouts in Arlington this morning.
  • I need to put "Going to College World Series" on my Bucket List.
  • My hair is looking thinner on top. And the sad part is that I'm trying to come to terms with it by telling myself I had a good head of hair for a very long time.
  • Funny line from Conan O'Brien last night: "Did you hear that Jon and Kate of Jon and Kate Plus 8 are divorcing? Hey, guys, there's a nagging woman with eight kids who is available."
  • Craziest line from a story IN the Dallas Morning News: "A spokesman for A.H. Belo Corporation, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, could not be reached for comment."

6.23.2009

Sad Decatur News

Former Decatur resident Andy Mattison passed away last night. He apparently collapsed on a softball field in North Richland Hills. No other details were readily available. I noted that he was on the 1997 Decatur Eagle Football Roster.

Skeptisicm 101

I'm not sure what is more disconcerting: (1) the fact that stuff like this happens, or (2) the story is so strange that part of me thinks the alleged victim made it up. Story.

I'm Not Impressed

I've been seeing this video everywhere, and I don't get the fascination with it. Was it "amazing"? Well, if the kid had one chance to do it during a contest with a ton of money riding on it, or if he were to pull it off in the state playoffs, yeah, it would be. But there are kids jacking around in gyms every day across the nation doing crazy shots time and time again. Heck, in Bridgeport Middle School, I hit a full court shot once after chunking the basketball at the goal every day for three months. That didn't make me special or good, it made me lucky. Heck, it had to go in eventually. But today catch a crazy shot on video and this guy becomes national news. Well, not on this blog. We have a set of standards, albeit murky at times, that will not be compromised. So, kid, go back to your Playstation and quit jumping around like Christian Laettner. And, by the way, don't even think about getting on my lawn.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Channel surfing this morning and saw a couple from the U.S. being interviewed on Fox who had sent back video from the Iran protests. Why were they there? "We were on a six week vacation traveling through the Middle East." Six weeks? Iran?
  • Is it easy to get a job as a cook at Dennys? What about Chili's? The Olive Garden? Del Frisco's?
  • New this morning: Ed McMahon dead of death.
  • And, perhaps oddly, I thought it was sad that McMahon was peddling his own book a couple of years ago entitled, "Here's Johnny." It just kind of came across as "you won't buy a book about my life but you might if I write about my relationship with someone else."
  • UT lost the first game of the World Series last night in 11 innings. And guess what ESPN told me the Longhorn's relief pitcher, Brandon Workman, was from? Bowie.
  • I fell asleep in the 10th inning.
  • Isn't it odd that you can't buy sushi in Wise County but you can by marijuana.
  • I might have forgotten that I had a sprinkler running last night. Ugh.
  • I want to go into Flip's, the new restaurant off of Western Center Boulevard, but haven't yet.
  • The prosecutor in our County Court at Law was forced to dismiss a case in the middle of a trial yesterday when clear evidence came forth that the key witness had lied.
  • The Southern Baptist Executive Committee has voted to kick out Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth due to it openly accepting homosexual members. They then sang about agape love.
  • I'd rather walk into a room full of strangers than into a room where everyone knows me.
  • Motorcycle death yesterday when I guy flies off an overpass and lands on I-20 in south Arlington. (That's the fourth motorcycle death involving falling from an overpass in the last year and half --- the other three were at 183 and the George Bush Freeway in Irving.)
  • Blogger Anobiter is taking the month (or half a year) off and is in New Hampshire. But some detective work reveals this: Compare the third pic of her's that she posted here with this pic posted on a random sports blog. Coincidence?

6.22.2009

The "Sucker Punch" Kid

As I mentioned today, the kid who allegedly sucker punched the UCLA tennis player after the Rascal Flatts concert needed to turn himself in. And he did. His lawyer released this letter today on the Internet and, I've got to tell you, that's not a bad way to get his message across. Although it could have been written with a little more compassion and a lot more persuasiveness, it's not bad. (Click on the icon in the upper right hand corner to enlarge.)

There's Already More Lawyers Than You Can Shake A Stick At

Link. And we need more lawyers to file lawsuits like this.

Monday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Singer Jewel who is married to some country singer (I think) and lives near Stephenville (I think.) And that's either Eagle Mountain Lake or the Caribbean Sea in the background.

Ugh. The Evil Empire Still Reigns

For some reason, as I waited for my Friday night to kickoff, I had the UT baseball game on the television while watching The Wire season 3 DVD on my laptop with ear phones. I find baseball too boring to watch by itself, so this laptop/TV multitasking was working well since I could casually glance at the TV to keep up to date. If Texas won, they head to the World Series Final. They were down two one run in the bottom of the 9th so I was happy. Giddy, in fact. Then I glanced up a couple of minutes later to see the score tied. Huh? I hit the TIVO rewind and see they hit a home run with no one on. Sheesh. Well, maybe they'll lose it in extra innings. Back to The Wire and Stringer Bell. But then I glanced up a minute later and see the Longhorns celebrating on the field. That the? Here's the video of what I saw on replay (with the always over the top Craig Way doing the play by play from the Longhorn Radio Network.) I'll have to admit, that's pretty exciting. But you'll have a chance to root against the residents of the Death Star tonight when Game One is played against LSU.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Yet another accident on the Tollway in Dallas caused by a car going the wrong direction.
  • Watched Tropic Thunder over the weekend: Very, very funny. (And I was looking for the Tom Cruise performance since everyone said, "you won't recognize him." He was on screen for five minutes before I recognized him.)
  • Wasn't the first internet service provider in Wise County called Webfire? (Yep. And when I signed up with them in the Fall of 1996, they handed me a stack of about three 3 1/2 disks with the Netscape browser on it and told me to go home and install it. And they told me to bring it back after I was done.)
  • Good grief: The weather forecast for the week is near 100 each day with little wind?
  • Three men alleged to have been involved in a murder in Wichita Falls are stopped on 287 in Wise County on Saturday. From the sound of it, every cop in the county got involved.
  • There a handful of college football games at the new Cowboys' Stadium this Fall but there's one twist: The only game where beer won't be served at the general concession stands is Texas Tech v. Baylor per the Baylor contract.
  • Not sure if dancing will be allowed.
  • I'm distracted by the guy in the background in the above pic.
  • I'm still laughing at the "Don't Call Me Liz" post from a couple of days ago. Keith Olbermann did a funny reenactment of the email exchange on his great show on MSNBC. (Skip to the 1:30 mark to avoid the set-up.)
  • Why is it that we all cherish life but most of us wouldn't want to go back and do it all again?
  • If I ran a movie studio, I'd focus on animated kids' movies. Up, which I'm sure I'll never see, has made $224 million in just four weeks. That's already second place for the year. And can you imagine the number of DVD sales (plus merchandise)?
  • Odd death: Southlake teenager dies at the the Omni Hotel swimming pool in downtown Fort Worth.
  • From the Turn-Yourself-In-Already-Department: Chancellor Jay Hutcheson, 18, who graduated from Plano West and allegedly sucker punched a UCLA tennis player after a Rascal Flats concert in Dallas over a week ago. The victim remains in a medically induced coma.
  • But that's a tough case for the prosecution: A normal misdemeanor assault gets ramped up when the victim falls and hits his head on the concrete causing for more damage than ever expected or intended. (Former TCU player Ryan Tucker ran into the same legal problem after a fight in downtown Fort Worth bar.)
  • George Will on the criticism that Obama has not been strong enough to condemn the Iranian fraud of an election: "It seems to me to be foolish criticism. The people on the streets over there know what the American position is."
  • Sometimes I feel like I'm posting news links of stuff you've probably already heard of. But as soon as I omit one, I'll get a comment of "I can't believe you didn't mention . . . . "
  • A bumper sticker that has outlived its funny factor: "My [son/daughter] and my money go to the University of . . . . "

6.21.2009

Denton PD Book-In Photo Of The Day

I Can't Believe I'm Posting This

I wouldn't recognize a Jonas Brothers song if I heard one. I'm not sure I'd recognize one of Jonas Brothers if I saw one of them. But I know they are this half decade's teen sensation as evidenced by their appearance on the Today Show on Friday with a crowd outside that went on for blocks. And they performed last night at the new Cowboys' Stadium in front of a krillion screaming kids. But what do you think it sounded like when Miley Cyrus made a unannounced guest appearance for the final encore? Above, someone was rolling tape on the hi-def screen. And you know that at least one mom demanded that her group of kids skip the encore to get a head start in traffic -- resulting in a very uncomfortable Sunday around the home. Once again, I apologize for the post. Edit: One of the comments was correct. I had to rewrite this thing to have it make any sense. I was sleepy.