The Campaign For DA

3.21.2015

That Colleyville Murder and The Irish Travellers

Brad Pitt as an Irish Traveller in the great movie Snatch

Remember that really bizarre Colleyville murder which involved a couple of strangers allegedly killing a woman and trying to cash in on an insurance policy? Someone told me shortly after the arrest that it would involve Irish Travellers. That confused me because I knew nothing about them in the U.S. But, to cure my ignorance, the Star-Telegram has released a three part series on the case authored by Deanna Boyd and Melody McDonald Lanier.

Part one.
Part two.
Part three.



The Death Of A ManThis Morning Who Troubled Me Because Of A Photo

Chuck Bednarik -- basically famous for one play. Or, probably more accurately, made famous because of a couple of incredible photos as he stood over Frank Gifford in 1960. Gifford didn't play the rest of the season or all of next season because of a concussion.



The photos* bugged me when I first saw them. I bet I was in my teens. Heck, it bothers me still. There is so much there. An intimidating guy. A helpless man. Maybe a dead man. Yet, a cowardly gesture accentuated by the ref having his back to the act.  If you didn't know the background you would speculate that possibly some assault like conduct had occurred.  I've pictured the two men as boxers in an impossible scenario of the ref being distracted instead of immediately sending the winner to his corner.

I wondered for a few years what Bednarik thought about that moment and then I finally saw this clip on TV. The final few seconds stuck with me.



Didn't like the guy before and didn't like him after that.

But one thing I can't find on the Internet, and I hope some network or website does today, is an interview of Frank Gifford from probably ten to fifteen years ago (maybe longer).  He had always said it was a clean hit, but the always professional and gentleman Gifford finally showed a great deal of irritation at the way Bednarik enjoyed describing the concussion he had caused. And, even better, Gifford contorted his face for the camera and impersonated Bednarik as he appeared at the end of above youtube clip. I'm so frustrated I can't find it.

(Did the concussion cause long term effects on Gifford? Exhibit A: He married Kathy Lee.)
______
*In my initial post I zeroed in on the second photo. I had always viewed that one as Bednarik standing over Gifford and taunting him. A commenter said he was simply holding an injured arm. That may be possible. Let me research it.

3.20.2015

Social Media Breaks News More Quickly Than Any Traditional Media Outlet


What? It's Late Friday And The Work Week Is Over?


The DEA Has Some Weird Patches




Source: The Washington Post.

Middle School Mom Arrested For Cheering On Daughter In Fight



Story.

I'm not real sure what's happening there, but she can always say she was supporting her daughter. Some parents might choose to go to a softball game or band concert, but she prefers a more basic approach.  I just would have wished she would have yelled something like "Sweep the leg" so we could be certain she was there for constructive advisement.

(But since this was in Albuquerque, we can't rule out bad meth since Walter White isn't around any more to make the blue stuff.)

Uh, "Hey, Now"?:




Crazy Friday Morning Story




Around 5:30 a.m. this morning, a guy in Fort Worth walks into a convenience store saying he had been shot while driving. It was around Bridgewood and 820 in east Tarrant County.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts



  • I mentioned the other day that I thought SMU coach Larry Brown looks and sounds like he has health problems. Yesterday there was confirmation that he was ill. And I'm not sure there is not more to it.  
  • If you got out of your car at 8:01 in Decatur this morning, you got rocked by thunder and lightning and rain which seemed to come out of nowhere. 
  • A guy in Fort Worth was held in contempt and jailed yesterday by Judge Wayne Salvant for "taking pictures of the jury."  Man, this is a great First Amendment issue (taking a photo qualifies as "speech".) What if the photos were taken in the hallway? I don't think there is a law against that and how could it be constitutional if there were? It's a public courtroom. I'm allowed to go in and see the jury and even learn their names if I was there for jury selection. But I can never take a juror's picture? What about if I do it next year in a public place? What if I'm a victim's family member and I'm doing it because I'm proud of the jurors? 
  • And another issue about that case is that it sounds like the judge demanded that the guy turn over his phone so it could be searched for the photos. We know the police can't do that without a warrant and a judge is no different. 
  • Mrs. LL and I will dramatically hand over the TV remote to the other after either of us feels like we've monopolized it for too long or we know the other is wanting to watch something. 
  • Had the oddest experience two days ago when I passed a guy while jogging (he was walking) and he was very loudly singing, "Can't you see? Can't you see? What that woman . . . has done to me." Surprisingly, his voice was fantastic. Mrs. LL said that some vocalist practice while walking. I was thinking he just ended a relationship. Perhaps both?
  • Looked up that song which I hadn't heard in a while. It had a 61 second musical intro and lasted 6:05. You don't see that today. 
  • The Update has an item today about a 56 old lady (and first time offender) who was given a two year "deferred" sentence and placed on five years probation for simple drug possession. I'm nitpicking but "deferred" is the wrong word. I think you meant to say it was a two year sentence in the State Jail probated and suspended for five years. (But this bullet point is the equivalent of someone pointing out spelling errors on Random Thoughts, and I'd delete it if I hadn't spent so much effort on it.)
  • I love Junior Miller on The Ticket but he says the dumbest things sometimes. Today he cited a Channel 8 "Text Poll" on whether the public supported the Cowboys signing of Greg Hardy. The results were 93% against and 7% for. He was surprised. I was surprised he thought the poll had any credibility. A poll which requires the respondents to take action in order to respond will always end in a result that favors the most emotionally based response. Who was more likely to take the effort to text in? Those for or those against the signing? It would be those who are angry. 
  • That Hillary email "scandal" lasted about as long as I thought it would. (Completely irrelevant side note: You've got some serious name recognition when someone can be refer to you by your first name only.) 
  • Dale Hansen made national news yesterday for his "Unplugged" segment which is the reason he did it in the first place.  Many agreed with me yesterday with someone on the radio even saying, "How in the world did Dale Hansen become the moral authority for DFW?"
  • A Northwest ISD student was in class this week despite writing a fictional story which was violent and sexual in nature and which included the names of his classmates. Some want him removed.  Isn't this another First Amendment issue?  Can a kid write fiction without any threat of actually acting out on that fiction and be free from punishment by the government? The answer has to be "yes", right? 


3.19.2015

Random Thought Updates SInce This Morning

Did I mention Dale Hansen's rant was all about Dale? It continues . . .




Did I mention something about police chases resulting in injuries lately? Ditto . . .


Nothing Worse Than Hearing Someone Talk About Their Bracket But This Is My Blog!!!

My sports genius prediction:

And less than three hours into the tourney: WELP.


Well, I've still got Baylor to cheer for . . . . OH NO! (But this may be one of the greatest March Madness moments ever. The coach's son hits a crazy game winner as the coach with a blown Achilles falls off his chair in the background. He tore it last week celebrating a win with his son seconds after the game ended.):



Can't help but smile at this . . .
















But that was an epic Baylor meltdown: "Georgia State . . .  trailed by 12 points with 2:39 remaining. Of the 262 NCAA tournament games since 2004 in which an underdog trailed by 10 or more points with 2:39 to go, only one (0.38 percent) went on to win the game. … Until Thursday, that is. And that one upset was a No. 4 seed over a No. 1 seed — so this is unprecedented in the past 11 years."

Desoto Puppy Rescue



Sure, cute story. But we call "first responders" for that?  There's no one willing to wade into that little pond and get the dog?

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts



  • Last chance for Liberally Lean Tourney Pick 'em.  Yahoo! shuts down the entries at 11:15 today. 
  • Shouldn't Spring Break always be this week instead of last week? 
  • Everyone can save all the rants about the Cowboys signing Greg Hardy who was convicted and then not-convicted (yep, odd) of domestic abuse.  We'll see two days of outrage and then everyone will forget. And that includes the current ranters. It's an ADD world. 
  • And how can anyone praise Dale Hansen from last night? He went off on the Hardy situation with one of his borderline cartoonish "Unplugged" segments but went too far when he dogged Jason Garrett ("He's either a fraud and hypocrite") and then went after his father: "You taught him well, Jim You taught him well." And that was after he said Jerry Jones would sign a player even if he beat Jones' daughter if he would help the team. The only thing bigger than Hansen's self-righteousness, is the love of himself. He managed to get on Ellen last year because of one of his "Unplugged" segments. So what's left to do to get back? Just ratchet it up a notch. Much like the writers of Jackass trying to figure out what can be done for a sequel.  And there's some executive at WFAA who is shaking his head in journalistic embarrassment but sits idly by because he knows it means ratings and job security in a volatile media business environment.  (Side note: TV "expert" Ed Bark was praising him last night on Twitter afterwards. He can't see what is going on?)
  • The jury in the Boston Marathon bombing trial took a field trip the other day to see the boat where the defendant was eventually found. Why? 
  • Another metroplex police chase. Another injury
  • Every time I hear about the potential confirmation of new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch I hear Loretta "Lynn".
  • For the one Dennis Prager listener who reads this: Yep, I know he was in town last night. I even listened to him a bit yesterday for the first time in a couple of months, and he yet again went off on higher education within 10 minutes of me tuning in. Amazing. He fears it because it "indoctrinates" young people with liberal ideas. Translation: Everyone would think like me if they weren't exposed to new ideas and allowed to make their own decisions. 
  • Some commenter took a shot at me for watching Fox 4 News since it is so "conservative." I fear a man/woman who doesn't understand the difference between a network and an affiliate.
  • I keep hearing that a house that goes on the market in Denton/Wise Counties gets snatched up almost immediately. Oftentimes by investors.
  • Under the radar, the State Bar is seeking sanctions against the prosecutor in a 1992 arson/murder case which was the center of controversy a few years ago. Once again: A prosecutor hiding evidence. 
  • Chris Kyle's widow wrote an "open letter" to him on her Facebook page on what would have been their anniversary? You kidding me? I was afraid she was going to reference her new book coming out but she didn't go that far. 
  • The second item in the Update is a bake sale to raise money for the medical care of a baby who was born premature.  And our great health care system does not need to be revamped?
  • I was watching the National Geographic Channel last night and saw and ardvark. I extended my arm from nose and talked with my hand saying, "Get out of the hole you silly ant!"  I've never seen Mrs. LL so confused as I was recalling an obscure cartoon from my childhood.
  • Mistake: I dogged Kay Granger yesterday for only coming to Wise County for a fundraiser. I was wrong. The admission charge was to cover the cost of the event, and I should have known that. 






3.18.2015

South Carolina Woman Gets Worked Up At Political Meeting


"Is you is, or is you ain't, my constituency?"

Rick Santorum fielded the "question".  I'd pay money to have a transcript of every thought that ran through his head.

The youtube video is here and cued up.  Love her accent. Love her passion. Love her proclamation that the President isn't a citizen and is a communist. And I knew all was right with the world when she said, "Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago."

This Really Is Amazing (In A Lot Of Ways)



I'm not really amazed at the lying part, I'm more amazed at the practical aspects of all this. 
  • He has a video contradicting what he is saying and he continues to lie in court even after watching it?
  • How did the prosecutor not catch this before trial? 
  • Why didn't the defense lawyer raise the issue in a pre-trial motion? The case would have gone away.
  • Heck, why didn't the defense lawyer just go visit the prosecutor and tell him he had a problem with his case? Any prosecutor would dismiss it unless he was crazy or incompetent.

But using that lie against the cop in other cases is a heck of a lot more trickier than you think. It wouldn't surprise me at all if most judges wouldn't allow evidence of it based upon the Texas Rules of Evidence regarding impeachment. And they would probably be right. 

Finally, I wonder how long it will take for a comment to say, "So what if he lied about the reason for stopping the guy? He took a drunk driver off the road! That shouldn't get the case thrown out!" (It's called the Exclusionary Rule for those interested.)

The Death Of The American Mall


Hey, this doesn't mean Vista Ridge will be foreclosed upon or, even if it happens, that it will be shut down.  But this news is not positive.

CBS News reported last year that there had not been a new fully enclosed mall built in America since 2006.  That's amazing. And I'm not real sure I can explain it. There were signs over a decade ago about a mall going up in North Fort Worth around the 287/I-35 merge but it never happened. However, that area has exploded with almost every imaginable store -- they just aren't under one roof.

Every Gift Begins With Kay


Wait a second. She comes to Wise County (half of which is in her district) once in a blue moon but now she'll do it so long as it is a fundraiser?


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts



  • Time is running out to sign up for the Not Double Fake Liberally Lean Tourney Pick 'Em.
  • I hadn't seen Timothy McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, since the bombing trial. Now this week he's been in the news representing the OU fraternity and a witness in the Super Bowl ticket trial. (I remember an article about him during the the bombing trial's individual jury selection which explored his ability to talk to any juror in depth about their jobs. A nurse. An engineer. An oilfield worker. A mechanic. He could reference bizarre minutia about their area of expertise.)
  • Odd story of a guy who left a toddler in his car yesterday in Dallas. He went to the movies at 11:00 on on a Tuesday after a nap?   And, from a criminal standpoint, it was interesting to see him arrested on the spot yet a police officer interviewed on camera said it was an "accident" and it "could happen to anyone." That case is dead in the water. As it probably should be. 
  • But I couldn't take my eyes off this "good Samaritan" involved in that story. (Photo.)
  • I've got to research that assault case against possible new Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy. I've heard for months he was "convicted" by a judge but the case was later "dismissed" when the victim didn't show up for a jury trial. Confuses me to no end. Edit: A Ticket guy with the answer.
  • Republican congressman Aaron Schock resigned yesterday in the midst of a financial scandal. Young. Good looking. Douchey. Magazine cover model. Not very bright. He couldn't survive politically today but he will be able to in a few years from now.  Coverage on Entertainment Tonight will be more important than Meet The Press
  • Motorcycle death in Burleson. 
  • Based upon reports from the Kids In The House, pinching is still alive and well on St. Patrick's Day. 
  • I've never been sure about just exactly what happens at South by Southwest.
  • Local media thoughts: (1) Something is weird with Fox 4's Steve Eager. He's become the equivalent of an attitudinal teen. (2) No one is more arrogant on Twitter than sports guy Mike Fisher. And he has no reason to be. (3) How does Clarice Tinsley keep a straight face reading those Facebook posts? Probably because she doesn't understand how silly she looks. (4) I like Fox 4's Jenny Anchondo. (5) Ed "Uncle Barky" Bark doesn't understand that being a television "expert" (not sure how that is even possible) doesn't make him an expert in everything. (6) Whatever happened to Jean-Jacques Taylor? 
  • I'm kind of surprised that every kid doesn't have an implanted GPS chip by now. 
  • The paper below has a story about a judge using technology in dealing with late night search warrant requests for blood. "[Judge] Neves, who is often lying in bed when the calls come in, approves the warrant and swears in the officers on a tablet using the county’s video chat."  That almost sounds like the judge is a rubber stamp.




3.17.2015

Get Me These Wrestling Koalas!!

"Wham Sauced": Girl Gets Crushed At Finish Line



And this is what the Internet was made for.

But what the heck is with the the finish line tape? This isn't a marathon. It's a 400 meter dash.

Side note: If I'm Fox, I demote Troy Aikman and Joe Buck immediately and make these guys my A team. Full throttle energy with some comedy thrown in.

I Mentioned Pinching In Random Thoughts . . .




. . . and this Bud Light post appears to be getting a lot of backlash.

Edit: That was embedded earlier and it appears the original tweet has now been deleted. Here is what it looked like . . .


My St. Patrick's Day Traditional Post



And still my favorite Internet video of all time.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts



  • I've always wanted to write a book, and Mrs. LL and I stayed up way too late talking about one last night: The Bridgeport basketball championship and everything swirling around it.  Think about it. Small town with no basketball history. Four new move-ins.  The impact of "select" sports programs today. Why Bridgeport? The race angle. The Cuban connection. That house.  And that just scratches the surface. Look,  Friday Night Lights was a fantastic book about Odessa Permian's football program but what we just saw trumps that to the nth degree. But I would need your help with information.
  • Edit: You guys realize that Friday Night Lights was an eye opening critical piece, right? 
  • From Channel 8 News last night: "WISE COUNTY — A bag full of abandoned puppies was dumped into a rural Wise County creek bed on Sunday. Now the family who took them in is pushing for the owner to be held accountable."
  • For some reason I ended up following Chuck Woolery on Twitter and was amazed at what a right winger he was. Then I noticed he is a spokesperson in commercials which appear on Fox News for a product that has to be a scam called the "Willow Curve". It looks like an electronic device out of Star Trek to cure joint pain. Wait a second! Throw out very conservative opinions to become beloved to an elderly Fox News viewer with pain and then try and sell that product? That has to be a coincidence, right?
  • Very obscure sports observation: In light of SMU's tourney appearance in more than two decades, coach Larry Brown was interviewed a lot yesterday. He talked slowly and seemed beyond lethargic. He's 74. Something didn't seem right. 
  • The video didn't show much, but last night the metroplex media had a story of police shooting a mentally ill guy at almost point blank range. Amazing. Edit: The Dallas Observer has posted the unedited video. The shooting happens right after the 1:00 minute mark. You've got to be kidding me!!!!
  • The Texas Senate approved Open Carry yesterday for those who have a concealed handgun licenses.  Hey, I understand those who want a CHL, but why would you ever want to carry a gun that is exposed? 
  • If a program comes on dealing with monkeys, our house shuts down. 
  • I didn't see the HBO mini-series on Robert Durst but if they are going to try and convict him based upon his "bathroom confession", good luck with all that. I could only think of the scene in Presumed Innocent when Harrison Ford sarcastically and angrily uttered in the hallway, "Yeah, you're right. I killed him" to the prosecutor. Later the judge would say (and I paraphrase): "In my neighborhood, if someone were to be falsely accused they would respond with 'Ya momma.' But I suppose in his neighborhood a person would respond with, 'Yeah, you're right."
  • When I was in elementary school I was riding in the car with my mom to school on St. Patrick's Day when I realized I wasn't wearing anything green. My mom looked around frantically and came up with the idea to paste a Green Stamp to my belt. (I laugh just thinking about it.) But I ended up getting pinched all day because no one noticed it. Question: Do kids still pinch one another for not wearing green? I would think not. 
  • The Liberally Lean Tourney Pick 'Em. Don't forget. Sign up. We had 57 who did so yesterday. Couple of funny names in there.



3.16.2015

Please, please, please sign him!


Oh, My


I've posted about that event before.


Liberally Lean March Madness Pick 'Em Tourney 2015



Link to sign up should be here.

My incomplete list of past winners:

2014 - Chris Read
2013 - Tad Billmire
2012 - ????
2011 - Wise County Attorney James Stainton
2010 - Nine year old Blake Cooper (son of former Decatur stationed DPS Trooper Scott Cooper)

Internet Laughed At This Guy Over The Weekend



As did I.

And we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

I do a horrible job of it, but I try to always be mindful of where a person has been before I judge them. It's the concept of, "Maybe he's had a bad day." But sometimes a person has had a very hard life. Sometimes self-inflicted. Sometimes out of their control like this man.

It's Monday. Indulge Me.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts


  • I'll get the Liberally Lean March Madness Pick 'Em Tourney up later this morning. 
  • A lady had her probation for murder revoked in Tarrant County last week for the new offense of credit card abuse. (I know I wrote about the original trial when it happened despite having no specific memory of doing so. And I know that makes no sense.) The story says the verdict led to the a change in the law which no longer allows a jury to give probation in a murder case -- which is insane.
  • The Family Unit wanted me to hit softballs to them on a field yesterday so off we went. Fantastic afternoon. Started off by hitting them grounders. Good stuff. Then they wanted me to hit them high fly balls to the outfield. You know, I haven't done that in years and failed miserably at it. I resulted to throwing the ball instead of hitting it. I'll be sharing a hospital room with Yu Darvish after Tommy John surgery later today.
  • This has been posted and posted again by the Dallas Morning News on social media: "Mark Cuban's lawyer has the coolest, most challenging job in the legal profession." Most challenging? The headline writer has to be an intern. Trust me, there's a new lawyer today who just got a court appointment in a criminal case who has a more "challenging" job. Think about the consequences. 
  • Blue Bell had a recall after three people died from eating the the product. Died! (That goofy Texas Supreme Court judge always panders to his audience by tweeting about how he loves Blue Bell. What happens if a case involving the tainted product ends up in front him?)
  • I was only halfway watching This Week With George Stephanopoulos when I perked up because I heard a politician say this about the issues in Ferguson. "But we need to begin to look at how we move forward. You don't move forward by talking about things like the militarization of the police, which really is decisions [sic] that need to be made by the police of how they protect themselves and how they protect others in the hard job they have to do." Good lord. Not only do the police need to unilaterally decide how they arm themselves but we don't need to question it? 
  • Later I hit "play" on the new episode of Vice which had a disturbing segment on the militarization of the police. Great, great show. 
  • I was in the front yard yesterday and was watching a bird chirping when I saw one of the Family Dogs looking at me through the backyard fence. I decided to take him on a walk and, for once, do so without listening to radio/podcasts/music.  With my ears open, a block over I got to smile when a little neighbor girl yelled out of her upstairs window, "Hello, Barry!!!" But then that mood was taken down a notch when I later heard an argument between a couple in a garage. Such is life. 
  • I heard on the radio that girls love Game of Thrones (which I've never seen.) True?
  • The new Will Farrell movie looks horrible. Thought: Has he ever been in a dramatic role? Other comedians have done it. Robin Williams. Steve Martin. Bill Murray. Even Adam Sandler. 
  • I'm up to date on Better Call Saul. Those feelings of doubt about the show have now vanished. It's fantastic. 





3.15.2015

Bridgeport Wins State Championship -- Media Is Not Impressed

Nothing from the Star-Telegram's sports home page:


And I didn't find anything in the Dallas Morning News -- even on its page dedicated to high school sports. But it still had this item up (mentioning a fact that was also referenced on Fox Sports Southwest about a million times last night):


Channel 8 strikes a similar theme: