It's Friday. Let's Get Out Of Here.

  I don't care if it is from 1993. That's funny.
 "And if I'm wrong, I pray the Lord will strike me dooooow.........."
 Lessons in leaning to the left.  

 "Hey, now."
 The old "dab and jump"
 I can hear Chris Berman doing the play by play.
Fearing for your life can be a subjectively low standard.

Ted Cruz Sells His Soul

His refusal to support Trump at the convention must not have worked out like he had hoped.

(But at least he timed the selling of his soul for Friday afternoon's slow news cycle.)

His bad boy reputation is done.

We've Got Cell Phone Video Of Charlotte Shooting

Inconclusive but intense.

Journalism Update

We are truly heading towards things you would see this in the film Idiocracy. The Dallas Morning News now promotes a serious op-ed piece with a meme of a muppet.

Trump and Guns

How does that not drive gun folks nuts?

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

I'm guess Bacon will like this.

  • I've already dropped and smashed a bottle of salsa in the parking lot. How's your morning?
  • It's easy to forget that Colin Kaepernick's protest occurred before the Tulsa and Charlotte incidents.
  • There is no reason the authorities in Charlotte should not release the video -- which they are refusing to do.  And if they say it could "jeopardize" any investigation, they are lying. 
  • There were far less officers in riot gear last night in Charlotte and the protests were calmer. I think that tactic works. It's just unnecessarily ramping up the tension when police show like an army out of 300
  • I still remember that well over a decade ago I went down to the Sixth Floor area on the anniversary of the JFK assassination. (Slow day for me.) Anyway, there were a ton of conspiracy nuts down there out of a total crowd of 300 to 400. Cops then showed up and suddenly started unloading riot gear. A supervisor walked up to the cops and asked, "What the heck are you doing?" And the riot gear was backed back up. No problems ensued. 
  • Extreme random thought: How much do one of those riot gear shields cost? (And what a great job to be a shield salesman. "Now, Chief, if you're in a riot and want the top of the line -- I mean top of the line -- shield, the NCC-1701 Deflector Shield is the best on the market. But I guess who wouldn't want the best if they found themselves in a riot. Am-I-right?")
  • The Taco Bell in Decatur is being renovated. How do chains handle the employees when they do this? Simply tell the workers they won't be paid for two months -which I think would cause almost all them to not come back? Or do they get paid something in hopes of having them return?
  • I didn't initially see this photo of Charles Dean Bryant being arrested by UNT police after the body of the Vandagriff girl was found. But the arrest was for a protective order violation in an unrelated case.

  • Hey, here's a tweet from KVIL asking you to predict the winner of the Bridgeport/Decatur game. (It's a bad omen that they misspelled Bridgeport.)
  • Really odd deaths in Wise County yesterday when we had two people in two different single car wrecks. Both just simply left the roadway. One happened in the afternoon and the other in the evening. 


Let's Check In On Some News Out Of Tulsa

Get Me This Dumb Dog!

I debated posting some Charlotte violence* protests but then I saw the dumb dog. I'll go with the dumb dog.
*In an earlier version of this post the word "violence" was used instead of "protests."  The editorial staff  "failed to maintain the cognitive equipoise that refuses to revile members" of a group simply because of the color their skin. Liberally Lean regrets this error. 

Law Professor and USA Today Columnist Banned By Twitter

While watching the Charlotte protests, he fired off this:


Above The Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Posted because that's Dallas in the background.

  • The Desoto volleyball team took a knee during the National Anthem. 
  • It's interesting that some say the taking of a knee shows disrespect to the military. Those protests aren't related to the military. And do some people "see" only the military when they look at the flag?  Maybe so. I guess your reaction to the protests (and why you protest) might be directly related to what you "see" in the flag.
  • The Chancellor of UT used a theme of "what you should see" in the flag in a fantastic memo a couple of weeks back where he encouraged all at UT to stand during the anthem.
  • I ended up watching CNN most of last night which was airing live shots of the Charlotte protests. Man, they have lots of cops and lots of riot gear. And, yes, a ton of people actin' a fool.
  • Rioters attempted to break into the NASCAR Hall of Fame but were unsuccessful. Thank goodness. Otherwise we would have a modern day Fort Sumter on our hands.
  • This artistic photo from the night before:
  • Last year, Fort Worth's Sid Bass "shelled out up to $125 million in what many financial observers label a straightforward loan" to Blue Bell in order to save it from a recall crisis. I wonder how he's doing?

  • The brother of Jonbenet Ramsey plans to sue CBS after a show involving a panel of experts "concluded" that the brother was the most likely killer. I'm no defamation expert, but that sounds like opinion which is generally protected speech. 
  • "A two-vehicle accident sent a car careening into a wall outside the Bridgeport Public Library Wednesday morning." Where's Trump when you need him?
  • There was some blurb in the news about Trump supporting New York's "stop and frisk" policy and would want to expand it nation wide. I've never understood that policy and I'm guessing no one else does either. Everyone in law enforcement knows (or should know) what the controlling constitutional rules are in that arena.  No law -- from city ordinance to congressional statute -- can change them.
  • My Arochi trial prediction was pretty good if I do say so myself. A guilty verdict but only after many, many hours. That's consistent with an original 90% vote to convict with 1 or 2 jurors struggling very hard with reasonable doubt.
  • Anthony Weiner was busted for sexting an alleged underage girl. Last night on CNN, Jeffrey Toobin said it was a crime only if the girl was, in fact, under age. Not so in Texas. If the other person represents themselves to be underage, even if that's a lie, you can get in trouble. Even if it's an undercover sting operation. (Criminal legal folks: The Court of Criminal Appeals yesterday agreed to hear a case attacking the constitutionality of the Texas statute.)
  • I'd like to know more about the "North Texas Giving Day" as in what-is-the-administrative-cost-of-this-deal.  


Speaking Of My Random Thought On Self-Driving Cars . . .

"More than 20 Austin police officers on Wednesday are scouring Interstate 35 in North Austin for distracted drivers.

"Members of the Austin Police Department’s Highway Enforcement Unit boarded a city bus around 7 a.m. near Interstate 35 and Parmer Lane and took to the highway to act as spotters for a swarm of officers on motorcycles to catch drivers using cell phones on the road."

A whole lot of manpower in Austin would be eliminated in a world of self-driving cars. (Side note: When did Austin transform from a place a for hippies to a police state?)

Texas Judge Just Threw Down "All The Feels"

The case was handed down today from Texas' highest criminal court today. It concerned whether the facts justified an officer in believing he had a "reasonable suspicion" to detain someone. The standard has eroded over the years and Justice Larry Meyers of the court, who isn't going to take it anymore, dissented -- and got a little hip.

Awkward Attempted Segue

Dale Hansen goes improv and causes question marks to form over everyone's head. Including his.

Quick video here.


And . . .

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • While you were sleeping: A deadly police shooting in North Carolina resulted in protests.
  • As you awake: Streets around Times Square are shut down due to suspicious packages.
  • Arochi verdict prediction: Guilty with less than a 10% chance of a hung jury.
  • I don't think I would personally find him guilty. The case is a perfect example of "beyond a reasonable doubt" and how it applies to each juror. Do I think the guy may have done it? Yes. Did he probably do it? Yeah. Do I have any doubt about his guilt? Well, sure. Are any of those doubts reasonable to me? Yes. That means a "not guilty" vote in America's jury rooms (when it works.)
  • I've always wanted to do away with jury selection and just show the jury panel Basic Instinct and then see a show of hands regarding their belief in the guilt of Sharon Stones' character. 
  • If Jacqueline Vandagriff, the deceased girl whose body was found by Lake Grapevine, met her killer through a "dating" site, I'm stunned we haven't had a story like this before. (And the more I read about that Vandagriff case the more it sounds like something right out of American Psycho.)
  • Cell phone towers and surveillance footage have been big players in both the Vandagriff case and in the Arochi's trial since they are both are who-done-it cases.
  • How far do you think you could go before there is no digital trail of your movement (phone, bank, cell records or photos/video)?  Can you even walk away from where you are at this moment without it being digitally documented? 
  • Sheriff Joe is still a birther
  • I asked yesterday why Trump wasn't in Florida since it was beyond important to him. Now I've learned that Hillary will basically spend her entire week there. Trump needs the state to even have a chance. She wins the presidency if she takes Florida. She's there for the kill. 
  • "Door prize" is an outdated term.
  • Trump tweet from February:
  • Within 10 years, I think we will all know several people who will own self-driving cars. (Heck, the government is already firing off rules and regulations for those things.) 
  • I've said it before, self-driving cars will have an economic impact we can't even imagine. (Less need for body repair, insurance, cops, lawyers, and medical care.) 
  • I kind of enjoyed seeing the head of DPS, Steve McCraw, being grilled in Austin yesterday (paper below). But his comments on the settlement in the Sandra Bland case, which included de-escalation training by DPS, were odd.  He said, in what seemed a dismissive way, that DPS already provides 76 hours of "embedded" de-escalation training. So did the Sandra Bland settlement require more training? DPS later officially said it had: "not settled litigation regarding Sandra Bland” and was not a party to any agreements 


Random Public Trial Thoughts As Closing Arguments Begin In Arochi Trial

There are lots of things which have "always been done" which are wrong. This ruling in essence closes a public courtroom and the appellate courts don't like closing courtrooms. (The video feed makes it possibly constitutional if a room has been designated to watch it.)

I've got trouble with this. Think about it.  The judge, who has no say on guilt or innocence, is supposed to be impartial in this trial. He can't even comment on how he feels about the evidence or which side he thinks should "win".  So why does the victim's family get preferential treatment by the judge? This is the The State of Texas vs. Arochi not Arochi's Alleged Victim and Family vs. Arochi.  Does the judge's treatment of the victim's family and law enforcement send an implicit message that he is sympathetic to their position when that position is that Arochi is guilty? Why isn't this tax payer funded public forum subject to the "first come first serve" rule?  Those who are now denied entry to the courtroom because of lack of space have just as much of a right to see the public trial as those who were witnesses or have a vested interest in the result.

You Might Want To Get Used To The Name

Story and videos.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • “I understand that, upon my retirement, I will receive, during the remainder of my lifetime, an annuity equal to the salary I was receiving at the time of retirement.”  - Included in a Waco federal judge's resignation letter to President Obama. That's odd. He'll get what he is entitled to get so why tell the President -- of all people -- what he understands he will get. By the way, he earns $203,100 and has been dogged for years by sexual harassment allegations. 
  • So Decatur ISD is providing Android tablets instead of iPads this year? Someone told me that but I have no idea if it is true. 
  • Here's a question: Would kids in grades 6 through 12, if given a choice, rather use the Android operating system than the one from Apple? I'm betting they would.
  • This murder of the girl whose body was found near Lake Grapevine might be a crazier case than the Arochi trial I've been following. The kicker came yesterday when it was learned that "Someone used her Twitter account Friday — after her body had been found — to tweet 'Never knew I could feel like this.'” They arrested a guy out of Haslet who worked as a bartender at Urban Cowboy in Fort Worth and has, I've heard, a creepy Facebook page. They were last seen leaving a bar in Denton (but I've not heard the name of the bar.)
  • Edit: The Dallas Observer reproduced this Tweet of hers before her death:
  • Someone on WBAP this morning talk about how "sophisticated" the bombs in NY/NJ were. Then I look at my Twitter feed and it dawns on me that "sophisticated" is in the eye of the beholder . . . 

  • Side note about these bombs: Does everyone else know what a "pressure cooker" is besides me? Yeah, I've heard of them but I've never seen one, and I have no idea what is cooked in them. In fact, I have no idea what in the heck pressurized cooking is. 
  • I think I just went into a What's-The-Deal-With routine.  
  • Experts say that if Trump loses Florida, it's over. That is, he could win the remainder of the swing states but would still lose the election. Why isn't he camping out in Florida?
  • George H.W. Bush will be voting for Hillary. (And since when has the whole Bush clan been referred to in a derogatory fashion as "Bushies"? I heard Mark Davis call them that this morning.)
  • If you hear people arguing about politics today and you are confused by Skittles making an appearance in the conversation, this link will explain the controversy that this graphic caused:
  • The Daily News headline writer has to be a great gig. The job description must be, "Think of something clever each day." 


A Quick Check With On "Dancing With The Stars"

About That Burned And Dismembered Body By Lake Grapevine

Sounds like there might be a Haslet connection.

Let's Check In On Georgia

By the way, what was in his cooler?

(May be a language warning.)

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • You need a list for the bombings to keep up: (1) Earlier Saturday, a garbage can exploded near the starting line of a Marine Corps charity run in Seaside Park, New Jersey - no injuries, (2) a bombing in Manhattan on Saturday night hurt 29 people, and another bomb was found nearby, (3) last night a backpack with multiple bombs inside was found in Elizabeth, New Jersey - one exploded during the investigation with no injuries.
  • Conspiracy Theory Alert: One began when Trump said that a "bomb went off" in New York City before anyone knew it was a bomb.  
  • I'm about tired of Lionel Richie and whatever Peyton Manning is doing on Sunday morning.
  • One thing I missed in the Sandra Bland settlement, the State has agreed to require extra DPS "de-escalation" training. 
  • College football: (1) There are way too many replay delays these days, (2) that injury to TCU receiver KaVontae Turpin was brutal (and costly), (3) college football is basically a double elimination tournament to get in the playoff . One loss and you better win out. Two and your done.  (4) I'm a big fan of Verne Lundquist but I'm glad he's retiring -- the cracks can be seen, (5) this is the first time ever in Big 12 history that no team is in the Top 15 -- Baylor comes in as the leader at 16.
  • My childhood greatest-restaurant-in-the-world, Vance Godbeys, has turned into a Mexican food place. 
  • Oh, Internet. The Daily Mail ran a story about a Kansas State girl kicked out of school for "posting" a black face picture on Snapchat. Well, kinda. She was enrolled in the Spring but didn't return to school in the Fall when the pictures leaked. (And she didn't post them, someone else did.) In any event, doing stupid stuff will get you. 
  • I don't understand Snapchat. And whatever happened to the start up competitor that Mark Cuban was always hawking? 
  • The Rice Band made fun of Baylor's sexual scandal by spilling out "IX" for Title IX when the teams played Friday night.  Thoughts: (1) I don't have any problem with it -- their execution could have been better but the comedy intent was sound, (2) What's up with the size of that band? 
  • Let there be no mistake, I think Hillary will win in November.
  • Trump threatened to sue the New York Times this weekend for "irresponsible intent" -- a phrase that sounds like a great title of a legal thriller but does not exist in the law. (We lawyers were laughing like a bunch of plumbers hearing the old Langstrom 7" gangly wrench joke.)
  • A journalist at a Trump rally in Houston was arrested for trespassing. First, it was a journalist from Vice so you know you'll hear more about this. Secondly, what in the world is Trump doing in Houston!!!??? Get to Florida. Get to Ohio. This makes no sense whatsoever. 
  • Some TCU students protested at Saturday's game. I suspect they are the only ones. (I'm not messing with the one girl who will throw down an "aint" in an educational environment.)
  • Cam Newton going all barbershop quartet on us yesterday: 
  • That NFL concussion problem won't go away, and it getting more and  more disturbing to realize people are getting carted off the field because their brain just rattled around in their skull.  The player below, who is out of SMU, spent the night in the hospital for "observation." He's in his fifth year so the NFL is almost done with him. His four year rookie deal average $500,000 a year. He is 26. 
  • I'm not sure this was the most sensitive way to word the way the death occurred:
  • Remember the "crime alert" I posted from UNT police after a robbery/brief kidnapping? A Denton Ryan high school student who had offers to play football at USC and UCLA has been arrested in connection with it. 
  • The fascinating Arochi trial resumes this morning. Great twitter updates here. (That's WFAA's Dallas Morning News' Valerie Wigglesworth twitter feed who does a fantastic court reporting job and has some pretty keen trial observations.)