Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

4th Of July


Random Wimbledon Post

Just got sucked into Serena Williams vs. "Watson GBR" where Williams is in trouble. Just like the South hasn't given up the Civil War, the British crowd acts like it wants a 1776 do-over.

Anyway, a Wimbledon search brought up this photo. Unrelated. Equally entertaining.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • What? There's no Update today? They're closed!! And you know what that makes me?:
  • (I thought that was a clever "hardest working man" joke until I realized how I've set myself up.) 
  • You know who is quiet? Sen. John Cornyn. You hardly ever hear from him pandering to the masses, but why should he? His current term ends in 2020. 
  • In the mist of Amidst the news coverage of authorities who were searching for a missing kayaker in the Trinity River in Fort Worth, this tidbit got very little coverage: Before he was found, they found a different body who remains unidentified.  We have just random bodies in the Trinity? I'm guessing that won't be part of the Rockin' The River at Panther Island promotional materials. 
  • Flipping around the morning shows this morning, I saw where Flo Rida was performing on Today and Lee Greenwood was on Fox and Friends. 
  • It's Bush then Trump then Huckabee at the top of the GOP polls. At this point, Trump will get to take part at the first debate on August 3rd.  Delicious.
  • You could have seen Ted Cruz at a book signing yesterday at . . . a Costco in Arlington. 
  • A Wylie woman fell to her death at the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. I wasn't familiar with that landmark but here's a series of pictures of it from Google Images under the category of "looking down".  I then remembered that I had seen it before from Real Sports on HBO where they had footage of base jumper Dwain Weston crashing into while "flying" in one of those crazy wingsuits. 
  • A tweet from Sheriff Joe yesterday: "Because of #SCOTUS ruling on #GayMarriage, decided to review policy on inmate marriages, examining options on marriage in my jails." OK, maybe we are nearing the end of times. 
  • We haven't seen a confrontation like Old White Religious Freedom Activists vs. Gay Rights Activists since West Side Story.


It's Quiet In Most Criminal Courts But Houston Is Abuzz Today

There was once a high profile murder case in Houston involving a football coach and a fiery prosecutor. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

But it recently led to this hearing regarding the potential withholding of evidence:

However, she said determining whether evidence was Brady information [evidence that the defendant is not guilty that must be turned over] often fell into a "gray area." She said she did not turn over evidence of every "rabbit trail" and "kooky lead."

One of those "kooky leads" was a neighbor's wife who called police to tell them her husband had killed Belinda Temple. Siegler said detectives investigated the story and decided it was not true and that she did not turn it over to the defense.

"When the defense is to just throw mud at the wall and see what sticks," Siegler said. "Brady is an impossible burden."

And now, today, has led to this:

I thought I remembered something about that prosecutor from the past. Oh yeah, a bed. In a courtroom. On top of a guy.

Or going from prosecutor to TV star.

I'm Confused

"I do declare, after this perhaps we can have some 
mint juleps on the veranda."

Some group called Texas Values will hold a "religious freedom rally"  for Hood County Clerk Katie Lang who briefly refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

As Bud Kennedy's column pointed out yesterday, she said in emails (before she caved) that “We are not issuing them because I am instilling my religious liberty in this office.”

Nothing celebrates freedom more than a government employee forcing personal religious beliefs on others.


Did Bass Pro Shops Steal A Logo From A Dallas Strip Club?


This Is Intense

Two videos. (Graphic. Meaning: A guy gets shot dead.)

Did that guy have a death wish? A petty theft and pulls a fake gun and runs. Once he turns back, it's over.

(Thanks Keith.)

Random Tweet Observation

I immediately thought:
  • Man, Nazis live a long time.
  • He asks God for forgiveness now? And at his trial? I think I would have gone with the, "Dude, I was scared of that Hitler guy" defense. 
  • That's either photoshopped or the darkest courtroom in the history of ever. 

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • "Dallas County Jail population drops to all-time low" says the Dallas Morning News. I was really interested in that until I read the article and found it wasn't true. First, I don't know where the "all-time low" line comes from. Basically, the current jail population is 10% lower than it was two years ago. And take a look at that graph in the story. When the base line is 5,000 instead of 0, that's misleading. 
  • The Dalai Lama was at SMU yesterday. Since 1981, I have never heard his name without thinking of Bill Murray. Every. Single. Time. 
  • I'm not sure what to think about the investigation by the feds of possible airline collusion.  I keep seeing references to evidence that all flights are packed these days which certainly is true. Back in the 1990s, you could take a flight on a half empty plane which I thought was bizarre. Shouldn't every flight be full?
  • I do not have a clue about Greece's financial crisis, and I think I heard something this morning about the government needing to post additional collateral.  Come on. Put a lien on the Parthenon and problem solved. 
  • A Navy yard in D.C. was locked down this morning, the news went crazy, reports were that shots were fired, and . . . it was nothing
  • New this morning: Unemployment has fallen to 5.3%. (Doing this to Wordkyle might get me prosecuted for harassment.) But I will say this from a practical standpoint: Anyone else getting the feeling from friends and neighbors that things are a little slow out there?
  • After an investigation by the Texas Rangers, who are paid by you, two special prosecutors out of Houston, who are paid by you, are going to try and indict the Texas Attorney General, who is paid by you, because of alleged "securities fraud" in Collin County. 
  • A robot killed a worker at a German plant and the news was reported by Sarah O’Connor (an employment correspondent at the Financial Times.)  She had never seen Terminator and, thus, was very confused by the responses.
  • It is 2015 and Texas law still requires a Justice of the Peace to be called to the scene of an accident to pronounce a death?  (It happened in Wise County last night).
  • Baylor has deleted it's policy which specifically bans homosexual acts along with adultery, fornication, incest, sexual abuse, harassment and assault. They will now go with "Baylor will be guided by the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity.” 


Remember That Waco Swim Park?

Good Job. Good Effort.

Busting through the barricade was a nice touch.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • You want internal emails from the City of McKinney regarding The Pool Party That Cost A Cop His Job? They will bill you $79,229.09 for information which is your right to see.
  • Hood County Clerk Katie Lang stood by her religious convictions to not issue marriage license to same sex couples for ..... a few hours. She now says she won't personally issue them but that her clerks will. Has she caved? She says "no" and blames those who "have misreported and misconstrued my prior statements".  Riiiiight. As I said yesterday, she had no idea the media storm that was about to descend upon her. She does now. 
  • Wise County has announced it will issue same sex marriage licenses. (Pause. How much would you have bet five years ago that you would ever read that sentence?) Anyway, what's the over/under on the number of days before a couple actually applies? Since you don't have to be a county resident to get one, that complicates the odds.
  • And if you consider yourself (1) smart, (2) a Christian, and (3) a conservative, listen to this quick interview that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had with Mark Davis yesterday where Davis rightfully took issue with a government employee refusing to do her job. Davis is as right wing as they come and a devoted member of Grapevine's Fellowship church.  It almost felt like he began to think, "Sheesh, maybe these Texas leaders are nuts" in the middle of it. (He wrote about it in this morning's Dallas Morning News.)
  • Very bizarre: Here's the soundtrack to the original Spee-Lunker's cave ride at Six Flags. It was created by Barry Green -- not me, however. (Thanks BagofNothing)
  • Power Down: Mavs free agent talk. You have hope of them signing someone? It never happens. But Shark Tank is doing great.
  • Here's a pre-emptive complaint: With all the advances we have seen, how have fireworks not progressed in 50 years? 
  • This girl in the story below is living in Rhome but that's about the only Wise County connection.  I'm still trying to figure out where they came from and their path of travel. The story references it as a "Fort Worth pool hall" but they were seen by a cop southbound on Business 287 (the Saginaw cutoff) and Bonds Ranch Road. There's definitely a pool hall near there.  They ultimately crashed at a dead end on west Heritage Trace Parkway.  I love maps but that path of travel is pretty odd.


And Now A Time For Reconciliation And Unity

What a crazy week. The Supreme Court has caused a lot of us to get riled up and say some things which we may not have meant. Well, today their session has ended. It's time to relax, set our differences aside, and contemplate about the important things in life. You know, hug it out.

It's not like any state court will make any news.



The Oklahoma Supreme Court just said what?

Never mind. Carry on.

Look At Who Is About To Become The Most Famous Texas County Clerk In History

She just issued this statement on the Hood County's website.

Girl, you have no idea of the media storm that is headed your way. She'll be busy because there is "no hiding":

And speaking of marriage, her husband ran for office. He has personal convictions as well: 

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The County Clerk for Hood County had national attention brought upon herself yesterday when she announced she would not issue same sex marriage licenses for religious reasons. Her name: Katie Lang. Please pronounce that name. If you now have "Constant Cravings" in your head and are overcome with a sense of irony, congratulations. 
  • A Lubbock Justice of the Peace says that if he has to choose between marrying gays or marrying no one, he will choose no one.  That's either a strong religious stance or a brilliant way of reducing his work load at the same pay grade.
  • Hey, I dog radio talk show host Mark Davis all the time but he had a segment yesterday where he debated Sally Kohn and the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling. It was everything talk radio should be: Smart, respectful, left hooks, right hooks, and funny. (I had never heard Kohn before, but she was fantastic.) 
  • Davis is promoting a Libertarian theory of marriage: Keep the government out of it. Marry who you want and government's only role is to record that contract like they would a deed. I like the idea but feel like there are a million problems with it that I haven't thought about. I guess that theory would also make polygamy legal but, then again, it was good enough for Abraham, Isaac. King David, and King Solomon (who may be the leader in the clubhouse with 700 wives.)
  • Sports: (1) One month ago I wrote "Everyone can calm down about Joey Gallo. It is one game." He is now batting .218 and, with 87 at bats, he has struck out a remarkable 43 times. (2) Vegas has placed the odds of TCU winning a national championship at 9 to 1 and has already set the line on the Texas game where the Frogs are a 21 point favorite. 
  • Chris Christie joins the Republican field for president today. This is going to be like a good old fashioned cage match at the Sportatorium with bodies flying everywhere.
  • Bristol Palin: “This pregnancy was actually planned. Everyone knows I wanted more kids, to have a bigger family. Believing I was heading that way, I got ahead of myself.”  And you thought Supreme Court opinions were difficult to decipher. 
  • This morning in Dallas: A car gets destroyed in a wreck and ends up a couple of feet from a house which would not have taken the impact well. 


Trivia: Name This 1980ish Rock Star Who Was On True Detective Last Night


I've always wanted to know the name of the girl Jessie was dating.

Supreme Court Continues To Launch Bombs

Calm down. It's just a temporary stay until they review the case.

Monday Afternoon Sing-a-Long Time

More Gay News: Dateline Denton County


I'm guessing we haven't had a Wise County application yet. Am I wrong?

Addison: Video Guy Might Be A Jerk, But He's Correct

It's legal to film the police in public. And a person cannot be detained unless there is a reasonable suspicion to "suggest that something of an apparently criminal nature is afoot". (It's a bizarre standard but it is not met in this case.)  Finally, unless you are being legally detained, you don't have to identify yourself to the police officer.


Water Hose vs. Gay Pride Demonstrator: Who Ya Got?

Heard About This Over The Weekend But Hadn't Seen It

A freak inferno at a Taiwanese water park left 516 people injured Saturday as terrified revelers scrambled for their lives from the fast-moving flames, officials said.

Amateur video shot at the Formosa Water Park indicates the fire erupted as organizers of the “Color Play Asia” event sprayed a colored powder on the crowd of about 1,000 dancers. More.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • What a week: Gay marriage is legal. Obamacare lives. The confederate flag comes down. I wonder what Sarah Palin thinks about her rant from five years ago:  "How's that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?' 
  • I've dogged Tarrant County DA Sharen Wilson to no end, but I'll give her huge credit for not interfering with the county clerk immediately issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Friday. In fact, she instructed the clerk to issue the licenses to all people who "qualified" shortly after the decision. 
  • With that decision by the Supreme Court, the U.S. leads the way on gay marriage. That's true until you realize we are the 23rd county to do so and even that freedom loving Mexico beat us to it by one week. 
  • What are the chances of some people flying their U.S. flag upside down on the Fourth of July in protest? I'd put the odds at strong to quite strong. 
  • Ted Cruz has not taken this well. On Friday he said it was “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.” (Think about that for a second. 9/11. Pearl Harbor. Gay marriage?) But he went further: “I am proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would subject each and every justice of the United States Supreme Court to periodic judicial retention elections,"
  • Do they still have debutante balls? (I actually dated a girl once who was "honored" at one when she was a teenager. I'm as confused by that concept now as I was then.)
  • I saw that Dez Bryant played in a celebrity softball/baseball game and did a backflip in the outfield. Dude! Think about that ACL and Achilles tendon! Since Bryant hasn't signed off on the Cowboys' franchise tag yet, the team could have withdrawn it if he had ended up in an ambulance. Once he agrees, it's guaranteed. The guy is a great player but a dumb one.  
  • For some reason I wondered this weekend what ever happened to Patty Duke. That's a truly random thought. Turns out she's alive and well and actually appeared on an episode of Glee a couple of years ago.
  • Joel Osteen was heckled during a sermon this weekend by members of  The Church of Wells. That name rang a bell with me. Quick research revealed this bullet point of mine from March of last year: "Fascinating story in last month's Texas Monthly. Basically a couple of ex-Baylor students take the Bible very literally and form what may or may not be a cult in Wells, Texas. In fact, that's the subtitle: 'When is a church a cult?' It's a fine line.'"
  • I'm now in the painting phase of the Backstop Project. Full testing has not yet occurred since the Pitcher In The House was in a softball tournament. 
  • Bullet point for an audience of one who shares my enjoyment of Supreme Court oral arguments: Listen or read this one regarding "prolonged detention" during a traffic stop and the use of a drug dog during a traffic stop. The lawyer for the defendant is beyond inept. Scalia went after him but then simply gave up because it was too easy.  But the lawyer did win the case because, as it almost always true, the facts ruled.


Texas AG Ken Paxton Is Now The Leader Of the Confederacy Of Dunces

That is mind blowing.  The opinion of Ken Paxton is that County Clerks can defy the law and even encourages them to do so. The clerks might get sued, but he tells them he has a bunch of (nutcase) lawyers to back them up. Interesting. They will work for free and cannot be associated with his AG's office. Notice that he does not mention who pays the judgment once they certainly lose.

Judge Judy is smarter than Paxton. The Supreme Court makes a decision and it becomes the law of the land. It's a simple concept, and it's called "the rule of law". It is our foundation which has us accept and follow decisions from Brown vs. Board of Education to Bush vs. Gore. 

Let's flashback to earlier this year when the Texas strongmen thought that the President had violated the Constitution:

This may be the most embarrassing moment in Texas history.  It is the modern day equivalent of George Wallace standing in front of the schoolhouse door. I knew Idiocracy was coming, I just didn't expect Texas government to be leading the way

Edit: Great find by Bud Kennedy - A 1983 Texas AG opinion regarding whether a Justice of the Peace can refuse to marry interracial couples.

Supply Rocket To Space Station Explodes This Morning


Followed by an incredible tweet from: