The Campaign For DA


Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Since Texas has screwed up the label of "sex offender" in our system to include folks who are no danger at all, that label hardly moves the needle with me. But that guy on the run in Fort Worth should cause us concern. He was one of those guys who was "civilly committed" after he finished his prison term. You can learn about his background here in a court opinion affirming the civil commitment. 
  • I've had a conversation with two different people in the last week on the subject of what the economic effect would be if everyone had a driverless car (which will happen some day).  We've come up with the following which would take a huge or even fatal economic impact or would at least have no need to employ the number of people they currently do: DWI lawyers (that job is eliminated), body shops (basically no more car wrecks), car insurance companies, city governments (which use traffic tickets as a big part of their revenue), police departments (no speeding tickets to write and almost no wrecks to respond to), ignition interlock companies (no DWI so no need for them to be mandated).  
  • I've see a flaw in Fit Bit.  When I jog, I get credit for one step for every step. Makes sense. But those are hard steps.  If I go and use my pitchback net, I get a step with every pitch and every time I casually walk to get an errantly thrown ball (very rare, by the way -- I'm very Yu Darvish like).  But those steps should not count the same.  (I only rant because the Family Unit is in a weekly competition and they pick up casual steps all the time.) 
  • It took less than a week for a lawsuit to be filed in connection with that wreck in Fort Worth last weekend that killed five. But I've got a question for for you civil lawyers. I don't understand this sentence: "Relatives of a woman injured early Sunday in a fiery crash on Interstate 30 filed suit Thursday against a trucking company and the driver of a truck involved in the collision." You'll see family members sue for wrongful death but is it common for a lawsuit to be filed by  relatives of someone injured? (The only thing I can think of is the old "bystander" claim which allows for a relative to recover when he witnesses another relative get injured. It appears those suing were at the scene.) But does the lawyer not even represent the injured person?
  • Yesterday I learned some DA offices in Texas keep  a list of officers that they consider to be so untrustworthy because of the officers' past that the prosecutors feel constitutionally obligated to reveal that information to defense lawyers if one of those officers is involved in a pending case. I had no idea.  
  • The Dallas County DA's office has such a list. And, get this, the Austin-American Statesman had asked for the list in the past and former DA Craig Watkins handed it over despite the document not being subject to any open records law. When the Dallas Observer asked the new DA Susan Hawk for an updated list, she wouldn't do it. So, at the request of the Dallas Observer, the Statesman went ahead and published the old list yesterday (it hadn't done so before.)
  • Oh, great. Here's a quote from a juror in the Aaron Hernandez trial: "If he had something else to say, he should have testified in that trial." He obviously didn't understood the judge's instruction that if the defendant doesn't testify, a juror cannot hold that against him or consider it as evidence of guilt. 
  • Melody McDonald (now Lanier) was a great Star-Telegram reporter and then the PR person for the Tarrant County DA's office. Like so many others, she quit shortly after the new DA took office. But now she is joining the "marketing team" of a Fort Worth (seven person?) law firm.  That reminds me, I haven't checked on my marketing team in a while. Where you guys at?
  • The President of UNT was on The Ticket this morning. What the heck was he wearing? (By the way, he was pretty funny. He was probably just dressed up to do a bit.)


wordkyle said...

Re driverless cars - Think of the technological systems in our infrastructure that we depend on now -- water, electricity, telephone, cable, internet -- and think of how often one of those goes down. Now multiply that trouble by all the cars on the road traveling at high speeds. I'm no Luddite, but I'm not convinced that technology will ever be so dependable that we can eliminate drivers completely.

Mr. Mike Honcho said...

Re: your driverless car theory - monies from traffic citations don't even come close to funding the police department, much less the entire city government. Try tax revenues.

Bonus Tip - The budget numbers for a city are available for and one to look at. And hardly anyone ever does.

Fitbit: Get the Charge HR model which combines Heart Rate with other tracking. That will give you a better look at what those steps are actually doing for you. said...

I'm familiar with the Fitbit, but not how it actually works, but my Samsung Gear Fit allows me to set it in Run mode or Walk mode an tallies up the steps. You have to manually set it to Walk or Run (or Cycling or Hiking) so it doesn't just change automatically.

George said...

Re: driverless cars, don't forget the impact on the trucking industry. Won't need truck drivers any more.

Ernest T said...

Just a guess, but I will bet that the McDonald with the law firm is related to her. Besides, this is the firm that has been running billboards and having meetings all over Fort Worth getting people into class action lawsuits against the oil and gas companies.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should welcome the 'non-violent' sex offenders into your home to hang with the female family members

Anonymous said...

I cannot ever blame a driver that hits any stopped vehicles after topping a hill..especially at a high rate of speed on a freeway in the dark. It was an accident..but of course there will be speeds up the money situation for survivors and their families.

Triple Fake... said...

If you were listening, you would know that the president of UNT was tossing out honorary doctorates (one for Gentle Musing, I think), thus the official degree-conferring commencement robes.
And the comments accompanying the pic: somebody thinks the guy looks like Woody Allen? Another spells the Star Wars character as Palapteen

elimination/reduction by use of driverless cars:
~body shops, car insurance companies.
Theoretically, but I'll believe that when I see it.
~city governments and police departments.
So you think the main function of these two entities is to enforce and collect on traffic tickets?
The gubmint WILL find a way to make money off driverless technology. And techheads, much like their gearhead brothers before them, will find a way to engineer driverless autos to move faster than they're programmed to go. The cops may have to prowl the interwebs highway instead of the physical one to nab speeders

Anonymous said...

The list is called a Brady list, from Brady v Maryland. They've been around for a lot of years. Hard to imagine being on that list and still keeping your job, but there you have it.

zsleepwalker said...

The scary aspect of the effect of driverless cars is the fact that insurance companies, city governments, and police departments will not cut their budgets as a result. They will find another law or regulation to pass to get your money anyway. For example, just look at all the different names for a tax that are added to registration for a car sale--Ad Valorem, road & bridge fee, buyer tag fee, title application, Texas mobility fund Windshield sticker, Registration fee-DPS, Child safety fund, automation fee, and then the sales tax.

Anonymous said...

The family of an injured person might sue on that person's behalf if the injuries were so grievous that she was unable to do so for herself. A person in a coma, for example.

Anonymous said...

A. Wasn't there some old study that determined that 'jogging' provided no more benefit than walking?

B. Don't know when you last attended a college graduation, but the UNT Pres is wearing Doctoral Robes, like he would in such a ceremony.

Katy Anders said...

What a dumb comment, 9:09. There are plenty of people who aren't on the sex registry I wouldn't bring into my home.

The question isn't whether you'd trust your newborn with them, but rather should they be placed on a list that ensures they can't ever find a decent job or housing unless there is a very, very good reason for it.

If the test for whether someone ought to be on the sex offenders list were "would I invite them into my home?" then all but about 5 people in the state would be on the sex offenders list.

Anonymous said...

You are way behind the curve on the officers too untrustworthy to testify list BG. That story is over a year old from when the AAS first ran it.

Now the bigger question why do those cops still have jobs? Why are they still carrying a badge and gun if they are too dishonest to put on the stand?

Remember kids, it's only 1 or 2 bad cops that make the rest look bad. It's not a systemic problem...

DF DOCTOR Gordon Keith

Anonymous said...

Poor wordkyle... He's never been in the bumper cars when they turn the switch off.

Anonymous said...

Just a guess, but I will bet that the McDonald with the law firm is related to her.

Yeah that could be. Ol' Dan McDonald was a year ahead of me in high school so he's probably 58 or 59 years old. I didn't know him although I know he didn't live on the po' side of town.

And girl it's hard to find nice things
On the poor side of town
Do-doo-doo-wah shoo-be-doo-be

Anonymous said...

Geez that rapist is particularly scary. He should never see the light of day again after he's arrested.

Anonymous said...

I'm not as confident about driverless cars as you are.

Think about how often Windows crashes, and then about how computers will be driving.

Anonymous said...

The spring town officer was fored

Anonymous said...

Driverless cars: No more flipping the bird at people. My dad will be upset by this.

Anonymous said...

Today I have decided you must be a moron.

So you think that the primary function of law enforcement is writing citations? And you think that city governments "use traffic tickets as a big part of their revenue." Just how much do you think is made from that little enterprise? And how much do you think it costs to fund a police department.

I work for an agency. Our city budget is over $140 million dollars. Our citation revenue for last year was @$780K. So approximately .6% of the budget could be paid with citations. Wow. Hope the bean counters don't plan on spending all of that in one place.

Be sure and let Mrs. LL do your taxes - your math skills are a bit off.

Oh and when your identity is compromised and you find yourself the victim of ID fraud we will dip into that enormous purse of $780K to fund the investigation.

I'd love to write fewer citations because cars drove themselves - but even more than that I would love to stop seeing dead bodies strewn along the highway. Cars that drive themselves - yes, please and thank you.

Anonymous said...

The serial rapist should be shot in the head..

Katy Anders said...

10:05: I agree. I mean, it's not hard to foresee the potential pitfalls.

"Please check cause of accident:

___ Car hacked
___ Software not updated
___ Running too many apps
___ Buffering
___ Porn pop-up ad
___ GPS malfunction"

Anonymous said...

10:05, Katy, you forgot one. _______mustache malfunction

Anonymous said...

National Motorists Association

Traffic tickets are a multi-billion industry. They have virtually nothing to do with highway safety, but they have everything to do with money.

When you begin to grasp the full magnitude of the public and private interests that depend on ripping off motorists through traffic tickets, you begin to understand why this unethical system continues to expand every year.

Anonymous said...

Oh, great. Here's a quote from Skippy about the juror in the Aaron Hernandez trial. "He obviously didn't understood the judge's instruction".

wordkyle said...

945 - I wouldn't say "never," but it has been a while. Is that how you imagine it when the Driverless Car Network crashes?

Anonymous said...

If operation Jade Helm is preparations for an illegal immigrant hoard in the event of Earth changes such as a sinking Caribbean Plate, how do the Wal-Mart closures relate?

The Wal-Mart stores are being closed to be fitted as temporary FEMA centers in the event of a New Madrid disaster.

Anonymous said...

Melody McDonald (now Lanier) was a great Star-Telegram reporter and then the PR person for the Tarrant County DA's office. Like so many others, she quit shortly after the new DA took office. But now she is joining the "marketing team" of a Fort Worth (seven person?) law firm. That reminds me, I haven't checked on my marketing team in a while. Where you guys at?

Marketing for the DA? What would the purpose for that be? That's great ...she quit. More budget savings!

Anonymous said...

I could have unmitigated luscious uninterrupted sex in the back seat and never miss a beat with this driverless convenience at my disposal.

When and where could I procure such a unit as this?

DF Ghost of Henry Ford

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a bunch of ignorant comments from people that have either never graduated from college or been to a graduation ceremony. The UNT President is dressed in very basic graduation ceremonial garb.

Anonymous said...

Do they wear overalls at Baylor graduations?

Anonymous said...

Is that how you imagine it when the Driverless Car Network crashes?- wordkyle

It's as plausible as anything you have suggested. News flash... cars are already stopping all by themselves when they sense danger. No Skynet involved.

Lay off the FOX News and pick up a Car and Driver now and then.

DF Ed Wallace

wordkyle said...

206 - I'm not sure what your beef is. Systems unexpectedly crash all the time. They also develop glitches which make systems do funny things. A vehicle moving above, say, 10 mph that develops a glitch might be considered hazardous. That's not a controversial point of view.

As for your personal snipe at me, you likely watch more Fox News than I do. Irrelevant, anyway, given the topic, but I know you imps do like to poke at hornet nests. Are there other issues you have that caused you to respond with such hostility?

Anonymous said...

I know the driverless cars will be a big hit cause those flying cars they promised us 40 yrs ago went over so well.

So if we"re so damn smart when can we expect those driverless flying cars?

Anonymous said...

The "Monsanto Mafia" is behind the attack on Dr. Oz

Anonymous said...


Pompous ass alert! Referring to the readership as imps.

Better an imp than a dillweed. Have you figured out sofa kind stupid yet?

wordkyle said...

413 - Do you have something against imps? And have you figured out proper usage of the word pompous yet?

Anonymous said...


I've got pompous nailed down. Do you have sofa king stupid figure out yet?

And I have nothing against imps since I once lived in Dumas TX.

SpanishWarDonkey said...

DF Ghost of Henry Ford wins the blog today. Shut it down, let's go home.

wordkyle said...

709 -Well, you say that you've "got pompous nailed down," but that's not evident from your comments. If you're the same scamp that tried to use "pompous" several weeks ago, then you haven't spent the intervening time learning usage. I don't mind the personal attacks -- it's what low-information people do when they run out of thoughts -- but I like for them to at least be accurate.

Do you even know why you used the word pompous? Is it because you've heard other people use it and thought you'd try it out? Or because you actually know what it means and have been dying to use it yourself? If you believe you used it accurately, can you detail why you have that belief? As I said, I simply want personal attacks from you scallywags to be accurate, or as close as you're able to get.

Anonymous said...

The police vehicle is from the Wise Regional Hospital. They have two of them.