It's Criminal Justice Show Biz

From Fox 4 tonight: "At the Lubbock County Courthouse [sic*] any suspect escorted by the U.S. Marshals are typically taken in through a side door in the sally port. It's fairly low key but that's not how it went down this morning. The FBI was in control of this one and they led [the] 20 year old . . . in through the front door in front of dozens of photographers and reporters."

The FBI/CIA/Homeland Security are just as pathetic grand standers under the Obama Administration as they were under W's administration. They did a decent job in this case, but they don't have to act like they are taking a person to a public hanging in the Old West. Hey, guys, act like you've been there before.
*It's a federal courthouse, not a county courthouse.

Did They Forget To Tell Alvord's Football Coach He Was No Longer Coach?

A loyal reader just called my attention to a story in the Messenger about Curtis Enis going back to Alvord as Athletic Director and football coach. And then came this . . .

Edit: Potential commentors - I'm not going to post allegations that aren't part of the public record or can't be readily verified as true.

New Denton Book In Photo

He's charged with "Assault by Contact" which is generally used to describe the lowest level of Assault - the type that occurs due to "offensive touching."  And that might be correct because it looks like someone did indeed take offense.


Friday Morning Pick Me Up

We've Been Part Socialists For A Long, Long Time

I just saw this story, so I thought I'd fire off a hot opinion I've held for quite a while: America is, to a great percentage, socialist.

Start with this premise: The economy is nothing more than people having money and then spending that money. That's true.  Well, the government forces this to happen all the time. Whether it be federal income tax, state sales tax, state property tax, or a car emission fee, that money is collected by government by force and then (wait for it) put in the hands of others.

It does that by taking those funds and buying things or employing people who will then go and buy things.

 I'm just thinking about the courthouse: Those offices spend tons of money that goes into the private sector (office supplies, phones, computers, cars, etc.)  And there are a bunch of government employees (prosecutors, judges, clerks, probation officers, and their staffs) who are going to take their paychecks and run down to Walmart,  David's Western Wear, or Lowes and spend it.

Simply put, our government forces citizens to hand over money and then turns around and dumps that money into the hands of others. We think of socialism as the government taking money from someone productive and putting it in the hands of a bum, but it's actually taking that money and employing your neighbor.

Heck, the government indirectly employs me! My entire paycheck is government produced: The government takes your money, spends it on criminal justice, those employed in criminal justice arrest and prosecute people, and some of those people come to me and hire me. I, in turn, spend that money at Walmart, David's Western Wear, or Lowes.

But whether it be criminal justice, schools, fire protection, the military, health services, or road construction, (the list is mind blowing) the government is a major player in the economy.  Think about all the people you know who work in some form or fashion for the government. We complain about Big Government, but I'm not sure our economy wouldn't collapse if is wasn't so big.  I'm not saying it should be that way, I'm saying that's the way it is.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The Messenger blog is about what you would think, but there was actually a good post yesterday condemning the proposed lack of federal funding of Planned Parenthood -- and it's not for the reason you would think. 
  • I can't tell you how many clients I have, once the case is over, who thank me but then tell me "I hope I never see you again."
  • Also, if I ever ask them how they are doing as we walk back to the office the first time, I routinely here hear, "Not to too good." Edit: Sheesh. I was half asleep. 
  • I do 100% criminal defense. 
  • Someone who works in my office told me it would be "Ok, to yell at" her sometimes. I don't yell. I don't even get angry. 
  • I like looking at old pictures. I like visiting places of my youth. But when I hear "classic rock", it drains the life force out of me. (Think about The Steve Miller Band's Abracadabra and you'll be right there with me.)
  • I refuse to explain why I used zip ties to do minor body work on the Family Low Rider last Sunday, but Mrs. LL decided to crash into a curb again yesterday so I had to do it all over again last night. #dontkillher
  • I don't think I've ever seen as many links posted for a movie trailer than yesterday for The Hangover 2. And I haven't even watched it yet. 
  • How can you possibly run a story about the principal of Decatur's Young Elementary resigning without telling us why
  • Another wrong way driver in Dallas last night led to a fatality. 
  • Technology Fail: I've tried to post an item on Craig's List twice. It's not hard. It's simple. They send you a link to activate it which I've done. And then it never shows up in their listings. Am I the only one?
  • I bet you're going to demand a Pick Me Up after today's girl. 
  • This guy sounds more like Axl Rose than Axl Rose does.


I'm Insane Now


Just A Normal February Afternoon

@ 2:17 p.m.

And if you go outside, you'll understand how a Burn Ban can go into effect after a morning thunderstorm. The wind is blowing a gale. (And there's a report of a massive grass fire near Poolville.)

Feds Just Arrested Someone They Didn't Bait In A Chatroom

Yep, someone who actually was working towards a terrorist act without the government searching him out and providing fake bombs to him. That's progress.

And this Saudi wanted to hit George W's home? I thought Bush and the Saudis were tight.


Edit: Bud Kennedy pointed out that this guy's blog is still online.  I checked it out. No random thought girls.

Edit: We just had an award winning comment posted:

Kim Kardashian Was In Dallas Yesterday. Hippies Protested.


But they may need to protest the owner of this truck on the Decatur courthouse square. (Thanks, Trey)

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • I was surprised by the lack of reaction you guys had to the Bridgeport graduate turned Dallas PD officer who had made some questionable postings on Facebook. (Story was posted about a week ago.) Normally, we'd get a ton of "I know that girl and . . . " responses. 
  • There was a truck upside down under the 114/287 overpass (Dallas bound) this morning. Cops were on their way but I saw one overshoot it and head eastbound on 114. 
  • That video of the Dallas cop beating a handcuffed suspect that I posted yesterday was indeed a bad scene. Whenever you see one cop restrain another, you know it was over the top.
  • Lindsay Lohan's latest court outfit. Not bad. 
  • Mrs. LL this morning: "If it is to wet to practice softball, they'll practice in the parking lot and use a [voice changes to a tentative and unsure tone] waffle ball."
  • But the judge in the Lohan case made the oddest statement yesterday: "If you plea in front of me . . . you will go to jail." How in the heck can he say that? The case is simply pending and no evidence has been presented to him. In Texas, a judge can't even tell a defendant who is receiving probation that if he violates that probation he is guaranteed to be sentenced to jail. 
  • Miss San Antonio can't keep away from the cheeseburgers so a judge ends up stripping her of her title. Viva la justice!
  • Hot sports opinion: I don't think Tiger Woods will ever break Nicklaus' record for most Major wins. (He got booted in the first round of some match play tournament yesterday.)
  • Baylor and Texas Tech will play at Cowboys Stadium this fall. I really like this DFW neutral site thing they've got going.
  • I caught the last part of a documentary on Caddyshack last night which included the video of NBC film critic Gene Shalit originally ripping it to shreds
  • I let a couple of jabs between MzChief and Kathleen go through yesterday. But that's it. No more. (All you other guys stop sending me comments about it.)
  • Tried to teach the 7th Grader in the house about healthy skepticism last night when she freaked out about a report of Facebook shutting down. That's a little tricky. 
  • The Dallas mayor resigns yesterday but fails to mention a run for the Senate which we all know about. Hey, you're trying to manufacture drama about a subject (you) that no one cares about. 
  • Gas has busted $3 a gallon with some predictions it will reach $4.50. (And a barrel of oil cracked $100 briefly yesterday.) Get ready for Wise County Oil Boom 2.0.


He's Crazy, But He's Got Style

I didn't realize Libyan leader Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi had female body guards.

If his country goes down those ladies are going to be out of work. And I know a small town blogger than could use a little protection.

Anything to this Channel 8 story? Haven't watched it yet.

Liberally Lean Readers Explosion In Three, Two . . . .

Breaking News: President Obama has determined that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and that the Department of Justice should no longer defend the measure, which severely limits the potential of states to honor or carry out same-sex marriages, in court, the administration announced Wednesday. (More).

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Heard this morning that Somali pirates are holding over 700 hostages from 33 ships. Wow.
  • And the Right Wing Talkers were blaming Obama for the death of the four hostages yesterday because "no one fears America anymore." Incredible. 
  • Saw an elderly man in the Wise County Courthouse yesterday sitting in the hallway reading a newspaper. It surprised me what an iconic and unusual sight it was.
  • It's always good to get a call from a prosecutor who says he has some "Brady material." That means: (1) he has learned of some evidence that tends to show my client isn't guilty, and (2) he's honest.
  • Wandered past the Military Channel last night and they had a show on about the battle of Iwa Jima. For me, that's as good as anything on TV. (And I didn't realize how tiny and remote that island was.)
  • Along the World War II lines, the book I read last year about the Bataan Death March, Tears In The Darkness, has really stuck with me. 
  • Whenever I see a map of Libya on the news (and that country might explode any day now), I hear the line, "From the shores of Tripoli."
  • Decatur is getting a second Swap Meet -- the new one being held in the Fall. I've dogged the Swap Meet for years, but it's probably been 20 years since I walked through it. Maybe there would be a little nostalgia if I tried it again and saw some cars from my youth. But probably not. 
  • Viral video yesterday: Cafeteria fight at Alabama State University. 
  • The most important person in the world to the Family Dog is whoever is walking in the house at that very moment. 
  • Heard some didn't get the "updog" reference yesterday. (Explained: "It smells like updog in here." "What's updog?" "Not much, what's up with you?") And, yes, it was a bit on The Office this week.
  • Some school named California Tech had lost 310 conference basketball games in a row - a string that spans 26 years - until last night
  • The Dallas Morning News web site now looks to be about 90% behind a pay wall. That can't possibly work, can it?
  • Of course it is none of our business, but does anyone know what happened to the 25 year old named Jennifer Lynn Toles who is listed in the local obituaries?
  • I made a rare change to the wisecounty.com home page the other day by adding links to Facebook and Twitter and deleting meaningless search engines Ice Rocket and Ask.com.  That was about three years too late. 
  • Everyone who sees The King's Speech rant and raves about it. I would never have guessed that.
  • The same reviews laud The Social Network. Now that I predicted. (The first time I heard of Facebook was over six years ago when my niece had signed up for it for her first year of college. I remember being so curious that I made her explain it to me, but back then you couldn't get on it unless you had an .edu email address.)
  • A faithful reader brought by a couple of these stickers which would be great Liberally Lean insignias. But what the heck does the double L really stand for?


A Lot of cops heading to Rhome Wells Fargp Bank

What up?

Barry (from iPhone)

Chico ISD Update

With looming teacher cuts, today an offer was made for any employee with 20 years of service to voluntary retire in exchange for a one time payment of 10% of their salary (not to exceed $6,000.) This is limited to the first seven employees to take advantage of the offer. (Dallas ISD announced a similar program today with a cap of $10,000.)

It also looks like each campus will have staff reductions of at least 15%.

At least they are being pro-active.

We've never seen anything like this, have we?

Does This Look Like An Oklahoma Mother Who Got 10 Years In Prison For $31 Of Marijuana?

Why, yes. Yes it does. And with no prior convictions, you've got to shake your head.

(Thanks emailer.)

Hang On There, Sister

Look at this little schemer!   Some little preschool boy is watching this and thinking "Perfect! I'll let this girl get her really good job and then I'll marry her. And then it'll be me watching cartoons and eating cereal all day while she brings home that thing called money. You know, that stuff that my dad yells at my mom about all the time."

Don't let her fool ya kid. The moment you marry her, BAM!!! She quits. You think you've got this career woman who will give you access to a her big bank account and it turns out you've been had. It's the oldest trick in the book. Just thank goodness I'm here to guide those who will be tomorrow's future.

And, hey, girlie. Knock it off with that "I'll find someone else to marry" stuff. Don't be so cocky. That's the way a girl finds herself living in an apartment with twenty cats to keep her company on Saturday night.

Man Jumps Over Barricade On Today Show This Morning

But the cameras were cut away. What do you think the odds are that someone else filmed it?

(And it's been a while since I've dogged my nemesis Ann Curry. I've started leaving for work before 7:00 so I never see The Today Show anymore.)

I'm Changing My Name To "Don't Know" and I'm Headed To Washington


Sadly, I bet Dewhurst ends up winning that thing. (And the Dallas mayor is crazy if he thinks he can win it.)

But let the race begin:

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Boy, Fox News won't back off dogging the teacher protests in Wisconsin.  But when you have government workers and unions in the same group, you'll be in their proverbial cross-hairs.
  • Great site for weather geeks.
  • Forgot to mention yesterday that 53 people were killed in Juarez last week from Thursday through Saturday. Amazing. 
  • Some people dog me for not mentioning the Decatur ISD and its proposed budget cuts. Frankly, they haven't pushed the panic button like everyone else -- and I'm not sure why not.
  • Mrs. LL oddly fired off the statement, "It smells like updog in here" this morning. If I had responded with "What'supdog?" I think she would have laughed for hours. (I think I responded with something like "What's updog smell like? Do you smell something? We can't have some odd smell in here!!") 
  • Weird: We've all driven by the Coors plant off Meachem Boulevard and I-35 in Fort Worth. Well, Sunday night a cab crashes into a parked 18 wheeler on the service road and the passenger is killed. 
  • Jerry Jones made his first appearance since the Super Bowl: He gave a brief speech at some PBR event/Toby Keith concert at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night. (Pic)
  • Carnage!: The Update reports this morning that the Bridgeport varsity cheerleading squad will be reduced from 16 to 10!
  • The NFL owners will royally screw over the players' union in the upcoming NFL labor talks/lockout.  Those guys have such short careers, none of them are willing to hold out for one year or two. They have to be paid. And now. (Baseball players, on the other hand, would sit out for three years knowing they'd recoup it all when the owners finally caved.)
  • With Libya on the brink, I recall Ronald Reagan's order to bomb Libya with one hard 10 minute strike in 1986. It was the first real "we aren't going to take it anymore" action by the U.S. in my lifetime. And the public loved it.
  • Speaking of retaliation: CNN just reported that four Americans captured by Somali pirates over the weekend are now dead. They didn't deserve to die for it, but that was a foolish, foolish thing to take a boat into those waters. (They were delivering bibles. Edit: Source.)
  • Silly Ticket humor this morning: Gordon: "7-11 University is in town this weekend and they are planning on rolling out some specialty dishes." George: "7-11 University? What conference do they play in?" Craig: "The Big Gulp." 
  • Yankee's co-owner blames 2010 flame out on players "concentrating on their mansions." Jeter has a nice one:


Teacher Lay Offs In Chico

From a trusted source:

I'll have numbers on Chico teacher layoffs tomorrow. They have been putting the fear of god in them for weeks and there is a board meeting to decide tonight. The teachers are up in arms because they have added like ten administation-coordination positions the last few years and the super is supposed to get a raise tonight yet they are cutting teachers. Packed house at the board meeting.

[And as I completely drive this post off the road, the above image came up when I googled "chico, tx" images. What the heck is North Texas Outfitters? I'm no hunter, but does that sound particularly sporting?]
For years I've griped about a statute in Texas called "Unlawful Photography". Apparently, some judges aren't to fond of it either as this opinion begins:



Opinion by Justice CARTER.

In the 50s, before the advent of video cameras and cell phone videos, a popular song advised us that standing on the corner and watching females pass by was acceptable conduct and that "you can't go to jail for what you're thinking." Watching may still be acceptable conduct, but recording that parade may violate the law in Texas today.

William Allen Cooper was convicted by a jury of an offense entitled Improper Photography or Visual Recording. The offense is a state jail felony, and on two counts, he was sentenced to the maximum punishment: two years in a state jail facility on each prosecution and a $10,000.00 fine. See TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 21.15 (Vernon Supp. 2010).

I. Issues on Appeal

* * * 
[T]he statute criminalizes the act of photographing/recording a visual image of another at a location not a bathroom or private dressing room without that person's consent, and with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

II. Facts

Cooper was convicted for making video recordings (shot through a window) of females walking down the sidewalk, or down the street, in front of either his home or business. The subjects were fully clad and were not in a private area. We have duplicates made by the State of the only two tapes involved, containing several hours of video, which the State edited into a short "best of" video for the jury's perusal. All of these were introduced into evidence and made available to the jury. The videographer used the zoom function on the camera at various times to obtain close-ups of specific parts of female anatomy. Those close-ups are what the State relies upon to prove intent—the statute requires the video to have been made with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of a person. The State argues that this choice of subject matter would allow a jury to find the requisite intent, and counsel does not argue to the contrary.

Incredible. You can be convicted of photographing the opposite sex as they walk down the street in public.

The Court reversed his conviction because although there was evidence that the tape was filmed from inside his property, there was no evidence that he was the one who did the filming. If they had been able to prove that, it looks like he would have been headed to jail for two years. (And for that level of offense, there is no early parole.)

President's Day Tribute

Man, That Was Tense

WORCESTER —  An online video allegedly showing the beating of a patron inside the locked bathroom of a Southbridge Street strip club last year has led to the arrest of a bouncer at that club. 

Easton Byfield, 35, of Thayer Pond Drive, Oxford, was arrested Friday night and charged with assault and battery, kidnapping, unarmed robbery and filing a false crime report. Records show he was arrested at Platinum Premier, 241 Southbridge St. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Worcester Central District Court. 

The video, which was on Youtube.com and other Internet sites yesterday, shows a man being punched several times and money allegedly being taken out of his wallet by the strip club employee. 

Police received several anonymous tips Thursday referring to the video of the Platinum Premier employee allegedly assaulting a patron, police said in a press release. The information police received included the date of the incident and the suspect’s name. Mr. Byfield was then arrested. 

After reviewing the video and obtaining information, detectives tracked down the victim, a 25-year-old Worcester resident, police said. Police were told during the investigation that the incident occurred May 25, police said. (more.)

Let me tell you, this was right out of Pulp Fiction.  I felt like that Jules Winnfield wannabe was going to yell, "What? Say what again! They speak English in What?" at any second.  But you have to love the bouncer's real motivation (as he explained), it's not that he's against selling drugs. It's that he's against people spending money on the drugs because that's less money that's going to be spent in the club. 

And language and (obvious) violence warning if you click on the video. 

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • True Lies is a silly movie that sucks me in every time.
  • Was getting my oil changed yesterday when I was accosted in the waiting room by a little girl who insisted on getting one foot from from my face and dang near yelling: "My dad and brother are getting their oil changed in the truck!!!" "What are you doing here!!!" "Are you playing a game on your phone!!!" "I like Angry Birds!!!" "Do you want to watch me play Angry Birds???!!!"  So there I was, watching her play Angry Birds.
  • What's Tech got against Baylor? On Saturday, they beat the #1 women's team as well as the men's team (basically eliminating them from the NCAA tourney)
  • Horrifying: Having a four year old fall off of a fifth store apartment balcony in Addison over the weekend. 
  • The neighbor's cat is huge and hangs around outside most of the time. But now it spends all its time peering in a window at the Family Cat. You want to know chaos? When somehow it got in the house through the the front door in the middle of the night on Saturday and was then confronted loudly by the Family Pup and Family Cat. Let me tell ya, that'll wake you up.
  • Lots of hubbub today about the Texas Legislature being poised to allow Concealed Handgun License holders to be able to carry the weapon on college campuses. I seriously doubt that anyone who is over 21, took the time to get licensed, and is enrolled in college is going to cause some random problem. 
  • When the pick-up-your-kid time after a slumber party keeps getting pushed back and back, you kind of become a free babysitter.
  • It seems like I've got 1,000 TV channels and most of the time I still can't find anything good that's on. 
  • I don't see how a NASCAR race that lasts over four hours, involves cars so similar that they can't get away from each other, and having a twenty year old nobody win its premiere race is supposed to be entertaining. 
  • But I should be a fan: I had to do some concealed car body work using a zip tie yesterday.  That just felt wrong.
  • The official DPS twitter feed posted this on Friday: "All driver license offices are CLOSED on Monday (to allow our employees to take advantage of all the department store Presidents Day sales)." So now government employees are taking a paid taxpayer day off and mocking you at the same time. 
  • I can't believe I'm saying this but Justin Bieber looked like a legitimate athlete in the NBA celebrity basketball game. 
  • Cowtown Half Marathon is this weekend, but they've moved it to Sunday -- I don't like that. 
  • Britney is accused of ripping off the rock ballad "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me" by the Bellamy Brothers?  I don't think her new single sounds anything like it. 
  • Saw a very young couple waiting in line at the grocery store on Saturday night while the dad entertained their baby. Mom had all the signs of a meth addict and looked as unhappy as anyone you've ever scene. It was one of those "how did I get to this point?" looks. 


Idiocracy Part 1021

As I've said a million times, I don't watch the NBA because it's a cure for insomnia. (And, to reiterate my earlier prediction, your Dallas Mavericks will go one or two rounds into the playoffs and then be booted.) But, getting back to my point,  apparently the All Star Game Slam Dunk Competition was last night which ended with Blake Griffin jumping over a car while a choir (yes, a choir) sang "I Believe I Can Fly".

You guys over in the Middle East having revolutions? The heck with that -- we've got a guy dunking over a car!!  [Insert song from Team America: World Police.]

I know one thing, however, if I'm the owner of Blake's team, the Clippers, I'm having a heart attack at the risk of injury.

Fox 4's Mike Doocy: The Man, The Myth

Hanging with Fiona and some chick from Channel 5.