I Get Up Early To Jog And FInd Craziness In Dallas

Gun shots fired at Dallas PD Headquarters.

Channel 8, who woke up John McCaa to come in an anchor this morning said, "This is how it started":..

You can hear a bunch of gunfire after that. I'm confused and it's about to get more confusing.  That was an armored van which police chased and caught. It was purchased on eBay last week? Look here and here.  At 7:00 a.m. they are negotiating with the guy in the van. At this point it sounds like a guy mad at the police for "taking his child" but there appears to be more than just one guy involved in this.

Can't get any weirder? Oh, it can. Bomb(s) found and police robot detonated one of them.

Dallas PD offered this update (in bullet points!):
Edit one hour later: Police Chief says sniper shot the guy in the van. (I hope he didn't have a hostage who he told to "Sit in the driver's seat or I'll kill you.")

Edit: And then around noon . . .
Well that ends it . . .  Or not.


Random Friday Night SUV vs. Jet Pic

Wait. What?

If Bill O'Reilly Smoked Pot Back In The Day, THEN I'll Believe This

Otherwise, he has been transported to to 1936

Taking You Into The Weekend

Some may only see an animated gif of a stick attached to a GoPro as a dog chases it.

But if it were an animated piece of art, I have so many names for it.

Too Little, Too Late

The prosecutor withheld evidence, and a man was sent to death row.  Man released when it was discovered the prosecutor withheld evidence which would have destroyed his case. And by that I mean, he had no proof the man was guilty. But he didn't care about that.

And that prosecutor was defiant until the end.

"Nerdy Kid Wins Dance Off"

Once again, so many questions.

Where is this? Kids actually have "dance offs"?

And what was up with that reaction? Heck, the crowd at the Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid didn't go that crazy.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Yep, the teacher near Lubbock got fired over her Facebook post about the McKinney Pool Incident. I still don't understand how she can be fired. She was fired over speech. She was fired because the government (the ISD) didn't like the content of her speech. Someone commented yesterday that free speech doesn't apply if you are an at-will employee. It does if your employer is the government. The basic law is you can't be fired because of speaking about something of "public concern". Great summary of the Supreme Court's struggle with this issue here.
  • Edit: Some people have pointed out the school policy was the reason she was fired. Hey, I'm no First Amendment lawyer but I don't think the local government gets to trump the Free Speech Clause by a local policy. It certainly couldn't say, "We can fire you for anything you say whether on or off the job." Now if that were in a contract, things would get interesting.
  • The head of the NAACP chapter in Spokane has been pretending to be black. (Great photo evidence in there.)  This story may go from weird to funny to disturbing as her history is explored. 
  • It still seems amazing that Robert Downy junior was allowed to play a white actor dressed up as a black actor in Tropic Thunder. (He and the movie were very funny.)
  • Te murder case being tried in Wise County is expected to go into next week. That's one of the longer trials in the county I've seen. 
  • What a horrible wreck Wednesday afternoon on I-20 which killed a former Aledo ISD superintendent and his grandson. He went into the median, through a metal protective fence, and into oncoming traffic. No knows why yet.
  • I'm all for renewing the Aggie/Longhorn football game, but the new cover of Dave Campbell's Texas Football is horrible
  • I guess it's legit, but I came across this Twitter account of a guy who has fired off 100s of tweets in recent hours to the media, reporters, celebrities and almost anyone else which reads: "My 13 month old son was diagnosed w/ inoperable stage 3 #Neuroblastoma #Cancer please RT #HenryStrong http://www.gofundme.com/pleasehelpmyboy "  He's raised $3,000 of his goal of $20,000. 
  • There's a salt mine on the other side of Dallas that will on rare occasions give tours? . . . 


Wise County's Weird Caller ID Problem

I had heard about this but don't know the extent of the issue or the reason it occurs.

Local News And Viewer Reaction

That's a hot opinion right there.

Say what? Karen is an elementary school teacher near Lubbock? She has apologized.

It's a good thing she didn't write: "[The officer] did nothing wrong. He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions."  That got a Miami principal removed, and he will be reassigned.

(Hey, I've always said that the government should be prevented from taking any action in response to speech except in the most extreme situations. Honestly, I don't know how either one of these individuals can legally be reprimanded.)

Divers Get 0,0

Oh, yes. The "SEA Games 2015 in Singapore".  We all look forward to that.

The slow motion is pretty funny. That look of determination or impending doom is great.  And you have to love their reactions since they seemed really positive. It's like they were thinking, "Almost got it! We're getting better!"

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • The ex-McKinney cop's lawyer made a statement yesterday and, regardless of substance, that didn't make sense to me from a PR standpoint. Back in the day, you would see a guy in his position get caught on camera and say "No comment." Then we all figured out that really comes off badly. But having your lawyer do PR work isn't much better.  There is an immediate level of public distrust and this particularly lawyer wasn't even very good at PR. 
  • Substantively, the lawyer said Officer Casebolt had consoled a widow after her husband shot himself by a pool in front of his family. He took pictures of the body. He had also helped talk down a 14-year-old girl threatening to jump off her parents’ roof to kill herself. That's another layer to the story, and I'm guessing that's not your average day for a McKinney police officer. 
  • I always love looking up the background of the lawyer in these situations. This one is a University of Arkansas law school graduate in 1993 and has spent her whole career representing police associations. She's been in the news before in police misconduct cases but not a whole lot.
  • The boys on The Hardline suggested that the Yellow Bikini Teenager has a heck of a lawsuit against the City of McKinney. "Get out the checkbook and start writing zeros," one of them said. Nope.  Establishing liability for a civil rights violation was certainly bolstered by the chief of police throwing the Casebolt under the bus, but there's that issue of damages. She didn't even suffer a scratch. It's kind of like finding a dead mouse in a bag of potato chips. It's horrifying to see but if you didn't eat it and didn't get sick, that's not much of a lawsuit. 
  • I've never called 911.
  • Nine players on Mineral Wells upcoming varsity football team have quit in protest because the coach has effectively named his son as starting quarterback.  Oh, the social injustice that kids have to suffer in this country!
  • Fox 4's Becky Oliver is retiring. Her crazy sensationalist style was before its time. It wouldn't surprise me if Fox 4 doesn't find someone younger who is more over the top (if that is possible.)  Sidenote: The grumpiest man on Twitter, Ed Bark, got mad yesterday when he reported that "story" first and later didn't get credit by the Dallas Morning News.  Hey, Ed, I beat you to the blockbuster story of Lari Barager leaving Fox 4 and you didn't credit me!!!! I want reparations!!!
  • I haven't mentioned it but fascinated by it: The New York prison break. They planned it so well to get out they probably planned what they would do once they got out. That probably explains why they are still on the loose. 


Our Governor Is Doing Attempted Comedy

But maybe he doesn't even know that his failure to sign a bill will cause it to become law unless he vetoes it.

Random Road Rage

Youtube link.

I've got a lot of questions, but I'm not sure I want to know the answers.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • A rare murder trial began in Wise County yesterday (background), but the case never has garnered much interest. 
  • The McKinney officer in the Pool Party Incident Of The Century has resigned. It certainly sounds like that was done under pressure since the Chief Greg Conley said in a news conference yesterday that the officer's actions were“indefensible” and he was “out of control.”  In this day in time, the officer and the agency could have ridden this out. With any controversy like this, there's a media firestorm for a few days and then everyone forgets about it. 
  • Did the officer make a statement or apologize? "It was just a simple resignation: ‘I resign,’” Chief Conley said.  That's either weird or that question caught the chief off guard. 
  • Many have noted that if you think the officer acted appropriately then you must also say that the 11 other officers at the scene didn't do enough. I don't know about that. I just get stuck on the fact McKinney PD had 12 officers respond to a pool party. 
  • Final McKinney thought: Did you know only one kid was arrested and it wasn't Bikini Girl? And McKinney PD later "dropped" the charges against the kid.  (Very Boring Inside Technical Legal Note: News of "dropping the charge" by the police got my attention. Any Texas police agency must report any arrest to DPS by a "CJIS" form. After that, the only way to report the charges were dropped is to refer the case to the prosecutor who also is obligated to send in his actions on a CJIS form for that case. There's actually a code for "Charges dropped by arresting agency." But the prosecutor actually has the discretion to ignore the agency and pursue the case. It won't happen here, but the point is that once there is arrest the police are out of the loop as far as how the case will proceed.)
  • "Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law an $800 million border security package that will mean more state troopers, cameras and a spy plane to patrol Texas’ 1,200-mile border with Mexico." To be specific, $325 million of the $800 million will go toward hiring and training 250 additional troopers and 110 support staff." 
  • I didn't know that very-long-shot presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham is a lifelong bachelor.
  • According to the Update, FEMA has finally added Wise County to its disaster declaration list because of our recent flooding. But get this: To receive federal aid for damage, "Only homeowners with no insurance are eligible to apply . . . "
  • Sports question I couldn't answer yesterday: Why is it so many high school kids are taken in the first round of the Major League draft instead of established college players? Isn't drafting an 18 year old the ultimate gamble? 
  • Finally Some Movement But Still Less Than Half: Of the 170 Waco Twin Peaks bikers jailed, 99 have reached agreements with prosecutors for their release on bail and 70 of those have already been released. (Source: The Texas Lawyer which is behind a paywall.)


Texas Abortion Restrictions Upheld Today

Two years ago the Texas Legislature imposed severe restrictions on obtaining an abortion in Texas. (That was what the Wendy Davis filibuster was about.)  Today, as expected, almost all of the restrictions were upheld by the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  I've seen reports that maybe only six or seven abortion facilities in Texas will be able to remain open if the decision stands. The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed away now from the abortion debate for several years but they might have to get back into it.

But something came back to me. The Fifth Circuit had to determine if the legislature's purpose in enacting the law would withstand constitutional scrutiny.  So they identified the purpose:

Oh, yes. The reason for the restrictive law is because the legislature cared about protecting the health of women.

And then I recalled Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's tweet moments after the bill was passed as he reproduced a graphic of what a pro-choice group feared would happen.

Edit: How is this post so hard to understand? It's not about pro-life or pro-choice, it's about Texas politics. Dewhurst honestly stated his goal was to eliminate abortion in Texas. But they can't pass a law that says, "no abortions in Texas after 2013" because of Roe v. Wade. Instead, they got creative and tried to outlaw abortion in Texas as much as they thought they could get away with using "women's health" as a ruse.  Did they go so far as to pass a law that says "Every abortion clinic must be within 50 yards of the front entrance of the emergency room of Big Ben Regional Hospital in Alpine, Texas"? No. But, practically speaking, it wasn't far from that. It's a fascinating constitutional question.

Headline Of The Week

You would not expect the East Oregonian to make such a mistake.


This happened . . .

The same day as this publication was revealed . . .

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I got sucked into the TCU/Aggie extra inning baseball game late last night but couldn't stay with what was ultimately a 16 inning, six hour game. TCU won despite a historic meltdown in the 9th inning to go to the College World Series. 
  • Vincent Bugliosi has died. He was the prosecutor of Charles Manson and became famous for writing Helter Skelter about the case.  He was also a little over the top. He wrote a book on the JFK assassination which was 1,612 pages and, if that wasn't enough, it included a CD containing an "additional 958 pages of endnotes and 170 pages of source notes." I remember reading his true crime book The Sea Will Tell and, although my memory fails me, I have a faint recollection about him saying something in there peculiar about his trial preparation. (I quick Google search revealed he claimed he would spend 300 to 400 hours preparing for closing argument. Since he just died, I won't call him a liar.)
  • No question there was a Starbucks ad disguised as a news story on Fox 4 last night. That news item informed us there will be six new flavors of Frappuccinos beginning today. 
  • Do we know the story behind the adult in jorts who just stands around during the McKinney police vs. pool party attendees melee?
  • I've mentioned before how all of the commercials for The Wounded Warrior Project had me a tad suspicious (along with their high overhead and "expenses"). Now we learn they have been "'repackaging givers’ personal information and selling it off to third parties, making more than $1 million in the process."
  • Very random: Saw a news blurb about a fire in the office of dentist Jay Leftwich this morning in Dallas. When I was a kid, First Baptist over in Bridgeport had a youth director whose last name was Leftwich. (Right? Someone help me out.) The dentist's website shows he's a young guy and spends an odd amount of time mentioning his faith. Any connection? (Like I said, very random thought.)
  • Why in the world did they open the roof at Cowboys Stadium for the Rolling Stones on Saturday.  That had to have been a sauna in there.
  • There's a Texas home price bubble going on right now. 
  • American Pharoah vs. Secretariat on split screen videos. That's really cool. Secretariat schooled him. How is that over the last 50 years humans have become bigger and faster but horses haven't?


Walmart Fight Of The Century

Language warning. And that's the least offensive part of all of this.

And there's more.

I think we now all collectively have Slumped Shoulders.

Note to self: Bookmark Google search of "hut" "reclusive" "jungle" "Costa Rica" and "never to be heard from again" to save time in moments like this.

Good Morning America's Wake Up Tweet That Was Deleted

If you haven't seen the movie, daddy ain't sleeping.

Story. (Which includes the original animated GIF.)

If You Think It's Easy To Make It In The NFL

Baylor star, left early to enter 2014 NFL draft, and this makes his fourth NFL team. But he's yet to play a single down in the regular season.

Look Out! We Have A Supreme Court Decision That Deals With Jerusalem!

The issue in a nutshell:

Since 1948, the United States has declined to recognize any country as having sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem.  But in 2002, Congress passed a law that instructed the Secretary of State, upon request, to list the birthplace of a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem as “Israel” on his passport.  President George W. Bush signed the law, but at the same time he issued a statement – known as a “signing statement” – in which he protested that the law “interferes with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct the Nation’s foreign affairs and to supervise the . . . executive branch.”

The child at the heart of today’s case, Menachem Zivotofsky, was born in Jerusalem in 2002 to U.S.-citizen parents.  When his parents applied for a passport for him, they asked – consistent with the then-new law — to have his place of birth be designated as “Israel” on his passport.  When the State Department refused, the family brought this lawsuit

Thought #1:  I didn't know the U.S. hasn't recognized Israel as having sovereignty over Jerusalem.

But let's keep going. The Court's decision:  Passport's must say "Jerusalem" and not "Israel".

Thought #2: So Obama is turning his back on Israel again?!!! Let's hear from the dissent!!:

Attaboy!!! You tell him!!! . . . . Oh, wait. They're talking about George W. Bush.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Some high ranking prosecutors in the Waco's DA's office have abruptly left. Smart move. You don't want to be associated with the upcoming Twin Peak's Biker cases. Edit: Old story. That's a bang up start for me for the week. 
  • Talk radio's Mark Davis angrily tried to defend the McKinney police officer this morning. He had to stop himself so many times because even he couldn't believe what he was saying. Example: "Ok, so she was 14. So like age is now supposed to play a factor with the way the police deal with someone . . . well, you don't treat a six year old like an adult, but . . . ."). He's on an a sad island on this one.
  • The War on Police is kind of like The War on Christmas. Non-existent.
  • Ex-Baylor great and WNBA star Brittney Griner filed for an annulment of her marriage to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson over the weekend, one day after Johnson announced that she was expecting a child and less than one month after they were married.  Can we make this a Lifetime movie?
  • We will have the same sex Supreme Court opinion in the next two weeks. But it may be issued on the very last day of its term since they like to end it with a bang. 
  • Weather talk: Saturday was brutal. It might have only been in the 90s but, with no wind and massive humidity, it was a beating. 
  • A lady was almost killed (literally) by a flying broken bat at Fenway Park. (Photo of aftermath with husband and son in background.)
  • I'm not going to admit that I'm still working on my softball backstop project, but I'm still working on it. I'm not sure what it was like to invent the wheel, but I'm beginning to get a good idea. But it's looking pretty impressive. I said looks. It has not yet been tested.
  • "Boyd, Texas – A North Richland Hills, Texas man turned himself into authorities and was charged with third degree felony theft of livestock and second degree felony theft of livestock from the elderly on May 4 after stealing 144 head of cattle from two North Texas ranchers." A couple of Wise County law enforcement names in that press release.
  • The X-Games from Austin were on ESPN this weekend. It is so Idiocracy, but I bet it will overtake the Olympics some day. They had some crazy motorcycle jump competition yesterday which basically turned into "Will the next guy die?"
  • We had a Triple Crown winner this weekend for the first time in 1978, and I don't think anyone cares. 
  • I would bring you a front page but my source went dark today posting only this where normally every newspaper's front page would be:


McKinney Cop Placed On Administrative Leave


You "will respect his authority" on the mean streets of a subdivision in McKinney during a pool party.

Putting the kid on the ground is one thing, but I really can't believe he pulled out his weapon. (3:10 in the video.)

Source which includes his resume (former DPS trooper.)

And this story reminded me of something from earlier this year: "House Bill 2918 introduced by Texas Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) would make private citizens photographing or recording the police within 25 feet of them a class B misdemeanor . . . ."