The Messenger this week went on a low key rant against the potential of "public notices" being allowed to be posted on the Internet instead of in print. You see them all the time: Governmental budgets, lawsuits filed where a person cannot be located, eminent domain.
The reasoning against Internet Public Notices, according to the editorial, is that (1) how can we be sure of accurate archiving, and (2) hackers!!!!
Do I really care about this issue? Naaaa. But what I do care about is my local paper being dishonest with me. The elephant in the editorial room is this : Newspapers charge an exorbitant rate for those notices. An outrageous rate charged to someone who has no choice but to run the public notice in print. It's borderline extortion, and it certainly a cash cow. That's why the newspaper industry doesn't want Public Notices to be allowed on the Internet. I know it. You know it. Just say it.
Allowing public notices on the Internet at one URL would be a great idea. We would know exactly where to go. Everyone would have access to it without having to buy a paper. And the cost of posting it would be next to nothing.
You want to know how much it costs me to keep wisecounty.com and Liberally Lean on the Internet? $19.95 a month. And that's because I'm too lazy to find a cheaper rate. But even at that cost, I'd post Public Notices for free.
(And, since I'm on the topic of being honest, the Messenger made me mad again this weekend.)
at 8:37 PM
- I could have sworn I saw a story on Fox 4 this morning about another cop car being crushed by another motorist in Coppell but I can't find it. Edit: Here's a Channel 8 link. Thanks.Edit #2: After a strong rebuke from a person of power over at Fox 4, here is their link.
- Very uncomfortable interview moment when an old guy talks about how women used to practice contraception it back in the day. It would win an Emergency Brake award.
- Until around 1950, there was a Rhome Independent School District and a Fairview Independent School District in Wise County. They were both voted into Northwest ISD.
- I heard The Hammer on The Fan say that those TCU kids who bought from those "TCU drug dealers" better be worried because their purchase was "probably caught on tape" by the cops. No way. There's not a chance in the world. The buyers (and even the suppliers to the "drug dealers") have nothing to worry about. These "stings" are just what you see: Controlled buys. Nothing more, nothing less.
- I'm always bold enough to make personal bank deposits through the mail. I've done it for years and normally the deposit is posted within 24 to 48 hours. This time I made it on a Wednesday and it didn't make it to the bank's post office box until seven days later -- the post office box which is on the same property on which the deposit was mailed.
- And thanks to the nice lady (Rebecca?) over at First Financial for checking for me. But I sometimes wonder when I asked for help if a person doesn't secretly think, "Is this the crazy blog guy? I cannot screw this up!")
- Heck, even my friends will often say, "This is off the record, right?"
- A "court of inquiry" has been established to determine whether a sitting district judge and ex-DA withheld evidence that led to a wrongful conviction. Ninety-nine percent of Texas lawyers have never heard of such a court, and I'm in that group. (And after glancing at Chapter 52 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, I'm not exactly sure what what the court's purpose is.)
- That crazy "Zombie Apocalypse Survival" seminar in Decatur that I referenced a few weeks back now has Bridgeport Guns and Ammo as a sponsor.
- The wrongly accused Austin Carpenter in the TCU "scandal" is the great-grandson of John W. Carpenter who has a Dallas freeway named after him. (Which is also Highway 114 so we now have a Wise County connection to the TCU story!!!)
- Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram seems to think the TCU busts were much ado about nothing. (It was posted last night and already has more comments than the paper ever gets for a single story.)
- The Ticket listed the number of drug arrests of Texas college students by campus from 2006 to 2010 this morning and TCU was at bottom with four. Baylor had ninety-something. North Texas was in the three hundreds. Does anybody have that chart?
- Heard on the radio this morning: "You know who else is against the legalization of marijuana? Marijuana dealers. That tells you there is something fundamentally wrong with the policy."
This could be huge.
The kid who was was falsely accused is named Austin Carpenter. From the story, it sounds like the cop made an undercover drug buy, thought the man's name was "Austin Carpenter" (nice effort on the cop's part), and an arrest warrant was issued for the wrong guy. What's not clear from the story is this: If that cop pulled up Austin Carpenter's DPS driver's license photo, said "that's him", swore in an arrest affidavit that the Austin Carpenter in the photo was the same one he interacted with, and that's why the warrant was issued, the cop just handed anyone else he arrested in this sting a bag of gold.
It may be that he's proven he can be wrong in the area of eyewitness identification -- even when he was so sure he was willing to swear to it under oath.
(The Austin Carpenter arrest warrant affidavit was released yesterday before the warrant got pulled, but I haven't located it yet.)
Edit: Thanks to those that sent me the arrest warrant affidavit. Here's the key paragraph:
Edit: Now the word is that the arrest warrant is being "redone" for a different Austin Carpenter.
Edit: The Dallas Morning News says the picture on the arrest warrant affidavit was of the wrong Austin Carpenter. That's why it had to be redone. So back to the point of this post, if the officer picked that wrong Austin Carpenter's photo as the man who sold drugs, there are big problems.
Edit: Yep. The police are after a different Austin Carpenter whose attorney says, "Just dare me."
at 10:24 AM
- There's a theory developing out there that TCU officials wanted a high profile arrest roundup to counter the bad press associated with multiple assaults and other crimes on and around campus over the last couple of years. Kind of a "We Are Cracking Down On Crime" PR campaign. The fact that TCU police were so involved in the case along with the well planned press conference yesterday gives legs to that idea.
- Seriously, once TCU officials knew that four football players were selling a little weed, wouldn't one "cut-that-crap-out-or-you're-gone" meeting with Coach Gary Patterson have solved that problem?
- Which gives rise to another conspiracy theory: The academic minded administration thought Patterson was getting too big for his britches after his fantastic success over the years. Thus, the Ivory Tower Boys wanted to send a reminder of exactly who is in charge at TCU. (Had they been influenced by the news over the last six months of how Joe Paterno had been the most powerful man on campus at Penn State?) If Patterson is to be believed, he knew nothing about the investigation until yesterday morning.
- And why would the arrest affidavits contain completely irrelevant quotes from the targeted football players that anywhere from 60 to 82 football members had failed a recent drug test? Those statements don't have anything to do with establishing probable cause for a warrant, but they do embarrass an entire football program. And Patterson.
- You think the Auburn, LSU, Florida or any other SEC campus police will ever be involved in an investigation of a football player for weed? Not in a million years.
- "They broke the law. That's all I need to know." - That kind of comment always blows my mind. What's your message? Be a good little boy and do what your government tells you to? Hey, does Rosa Parks ring a bell?? The Boston Tea Party? Draft avoidance during Vietnam?
- Changing gears . . .
- SMU's basketball team scored 28 points last night. That was for the whole game.
- You have to be over 40 to understand this, but can you believe Josh Hamilton gave an interview to James Robison?
- Finally had someone come out to to take a look at my faltering (hot) water heater. After weighing the cost of repair vs. getting a new one, I got a new one. (The old one was about 10 years old.) But, man, I hate spending money to replace things.
- A day does not go by that I'm not stunned by the gullibility of the fans of Sean Hannity.
- That crazy Parker County torture case kind of brings to mind Silence of the Lambs.
- I've watched about five minutes of it, but I learned that the "bad fingers" civil case being tried in Wise County is a medical malpractice case. One thing I heard the female Plaintiff say regarding the pain she had gone through was (slightly paraphrasing), "I've had two children. I would rather have 50 children than go through the pain I've experienced with my fingers." After the verdict, I'll give you my thoughts on that.
Seventeen TCU students, including four football players, have been arrested after a six-month investigation by Fort Worth and TCU police that included students selling drugs to undercover officers, police and TCU officials said Wednesday.
"All of those arrested are drug dealers," TCU Police Chief Steven McGee said at a morning news conference. More.
Changes occur when those with influence start having their own ox gored. And when that ox is their kid who would have otherwise had a bright and wonderful future but for an undercover and expensive investigation by the government, that could be the beginning to the end of the goring.
The way we deal with drugs is stupid. These kids will have their mugshot on TV by tonight, they'll be kicked out of school, the criminal justice system will suck some money out of them and their parents, and they'll spend the rest of their life trying to explain to a potential employer that they aren't Pablo Escobar.
The comments that are forthcoming are predictable. But, mark my word, just like we look back on black and white water fountains, one of these days we will hold our head in shame on how we treated people in the War on Drugs.
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/15/3736441/many-current-tcu-students-arrested.html#storylink=cpy
at 11:11 AM
Before facing #11 UNLV last night in basketball, this pic went out described as the crowd "five minutes before TCU's biggest game of the season".
After the big win, a photo was taken that Deadspin would later describe as the "saddest court-storming ever."
After the big win, a photo was taken that Deadspin would later describe as the "saddest court-storming ever."
at 9:01 AM
- Just breaking: Fort Worth cops made a massive drug bust of "many TCU students" last night after a long undercover investigation had concluded. TCU is just releasing details. More media followup later.
- There's some civil trial going on up at the Wise County courthouse. The best I can tell it has to deal with some lady who lost some range of motion and strength in two of her fingers, but I'm not sure who she is blaming. As always, there's more lawyers involved in a case over money than one over freedom.
- We had a candlelight dinner last night at the house. I kept waiting for the Family Cat to cause a Carrie-like disaster.
- I go to bed early and wake up exhausted. Dreams. Ugh.
- Conservatives are blaming the President for high gas prices this summer? I thought it was speculators when this happened under George W (when the price was around $4.12 a gallon, by the way.)
- I don't understand the attraction of hydrocodone or Xanax as as an abusive drug of choice.
- I kept getting lots of tips yesterday about the Decatur eighth grader/prescription medication drug bust, but it's kind of hard to write anything about it when a juvenile is involved.
- The Parker County torture case going on right now is bizarre. I was trying to think of a movie about hiding someone in a house for the purposes of torture because Misery doesn't do this justice.
- This is very inside to those who really know me: Is the latest Messenger a coincidence or a not-so-subtle shot.
- Random high school girl's playoff game on Monday: Plano West 73, Saginaw 12.
- Sad to see the passing of Cindy Clifton, mother of Kyle Clifton, of Bridgeport.
- I can't imagine going to a restaurant because it is an All-You-Can-Eat establishment.
- Whatever happened to that Debt Ceiling Super Committee/Deadline=Automatic Cuts thing?
- I don't Texas will have a primary until May. If I was running for election, that would drive me insane to have an uncertain date.
- I don't care about the NBA but I like good stories. And this Jeremy Lin story is pretty incredible.
at 8:32 AM
For those interested, the Big 12 just released it's 2012 football schedule which now includes TCU and West Virginia. The first conference game is Week #1 when TCU travels to Kansas. The first conference game involving West Virginia will happen on Week #3 when Baylor travels to Morgantown. I had heard there was a chance that Thanksgiving night would always be a Texas home game with the other teams visiting on rotation. Right now, they have TCU playing at Texas on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Edit: That Thanksgiving game may be on after all.
Weird: College football doesn't start until September 15th? Edit: Yep. Wrong about that. Early September as always will be the start date.
Full schedule here.
at 10:32 AM
- That's a reader submitted Random Thought Girl.
- It's a foggy Valentine's Day. (I mention it only because of the chance some guy completely forgot who now goes into Panic Mode.)
- And there seems to be more and more backlash over Valentine's being a commercially created holiday. I've read more "couples should boycott it" this year than ever before.
- I hate key rings. I'll spend ten minutes trying to get a key on and off one of those dang things which takes what seems like 100 pound of force to separate. Why did it take until 2012 for this to be invented?
- I'll admit it. I got mad at the Messenger for the first time in years over the weekend, but I think we've both calmed down.
- I think Piers Morgan is a great interviewer.
- I've seen very, very few DWI cases based upon illegal drugs but many of them based on prescription medication.
- I bet in 20 years there will only be hot women in short skirts running the dogs around at the Westminster Dog Show. Idiocracy has been slow to catch up with that show.
- The death of the soldier who died after being found unresponsive at Fort Hood (and is the grandson of Decatur folks) is still surrounded by a lot of "unanswered questions." No one has suggested foul play but you can't help but think of A Few Good Men.
- When I was picking out the Valentine card for Mrs. LL, I overheard the gal beside me said, "This would be a lot easier if I wasn't pissed off at him right now."
- Mrs. LL's car ended up with tickets to a musical in it. It made her happy. (We may boycott the holiday in the future, but I'm not bringing the subject up during Year Two of marriage.)
- I saw some goofball post on Facebook yesterday that began: "Tucked away in Obama's new budget . . . . " How is anything "tucked away"?
- Lots of people have been hating on all the publicity given Whitney Houston's death with many, for some reason, asking why we aren't mourning the death of American soldiers instead. Hey, it is possible to mourn the death of an African American pop star and soldiers.
- Sports: I saw Jeremy Lin's name in headlines for a week before I had any idea who the heck he was. (Over that past week, the Harvard grad who just happens to be Asian has become an NBA sensation with the New York Knicks after being claimed off waivers last December.). But it was good to see firebombing columnist Jason Whitlock get in trouble for a troubling tweet about him.
- "Fort Worth -- A Tarrant County jury has concluded that an Arlington man acted in 'sudden passion' in the stabbing death last year of his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend and sentenced him to two years in prison." I could be wrong, but I think the new Tarrant County DA's press agent might have ignored that bit of news. (The case was filed as Murder and carried with it a range of punishment of 5 years to life in prison. Once the jury found "sudden passion," the range shrunk to 2 years to 20 years. And then they went with the minimum.)
- "Who do you think you all are? Highfalutin heifers?" - High school cheerleading coach's rant in a high tone Houston area that got her fired. The cheerleader who recorded it received two days suspension.
at 8:30 AM
Justice Stephen Breyer unhurt after being robbed by machete-wielding intruder while at West Indies vacation home.
— AP Courtside Seat (@AP_Courtside) February 13, 2012
Early reports were that it was a stroke.
at 3:11 PM
- Fox 4 sent a reporter this morning to Decatur to cover "Arctic (Even-Though-There-Are-Above-Freezing-Temperatures) Blast 2012."
- I was beginning to think the missing Fort Worth girl who was abducted by her mother last week wasn't going to be found. Normally those cases are solved within hours. But wasn't the Amber Alert cancelled in New Mexico where she was located?
- A person was found dead by the Lincoln Memorial over the weekend which made me think of mystery, intrigue and the Pelican Brief. But it sounds like a suicide.
- Grammys: Taylor Swift is beginning to have some Garth Brook's I-can't-believe-you-like-me face.
- Never won a Grammy: Led Zeppelin, Beach Boys, The Who, Jim Hendrix, The Kinks, Bob Marley, Grateful Dead, Queen, and Chuck Berry. The Starland Vocal Band ("Afternoon Delight") has one.
- Adele is one hot, plump gal, but I'm stunned she's only 23. And when she talks she sounds like she belongs in a Monty Python skit. (Stolen observations from the radio this morning.)
- Most people believe that Kate Upton will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue today. I'm stunned she's only 19.
- I made Mrs. LL watch the drug scene with the fire cracker popping Chinese guy from Boogie Nights. I think I saw a question mark form over her head.
- Whitney Houston in a bikini in 1996.
- Now it's picking up: Another Dallas police car was crashed into last night. That's the second one in a week.
- Sports question on the radio this morning: Was Tony Romo getting to play in a final foursome with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at Pebble Beach yesterday the greatest sports thrill of his life? I bet it was.
- Oddest name for Paul McCartney's new album: "Kisses On The Bottom."
- Remember that crazy Porsche crash that killed the lawyer and two twenty-somethings near Las Colinas? I didn't know there was a video of them leaving the strip club before the crash. She looked wobbly.
at 8:34 AM