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

 Fake scream leads to head slap. This is like the Three Stooges.
 When kids have never seen an episode of The Lone Ranger.
 Me at social engagements.
 You have to admire his professionalism.
Nice slide design but that landing area needs a little work.

Funny Bit

"Time! Time! Incoming Plane!"

(I have no background info on this.)

If I Had Been A Contestant . . .

. . . I could forever say I ran a whole category on Jeopardy.  In the end I would have finished dead last, but I'd always have that humble brag to throw out.

Better audio and video that I can't embed here.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • There was a shooting on a DART train in downtown Dallas this morning. 
  • Realignment. There are four districts in 4A with only four teams in each district.That means those 16 teams are guaranteed to make the playoffs this Fall. Truly, one or more could go 0-10 and get in.
  • In other realignment news, a 6A school in Amarillo got put in a district with two Midland and two Odessa schools. According to Google maps, the distance between Odessa and Amarillo is 260 miles taking 3 hours and 56 minutes. And that, of course, is one way.
  • This just happened. Here's a GIF.  Here's a full video with audio which is insane. 
  • TCU and Gary Patterson are being sued by a former receiver claiming he was rushed back from injury causing him to lose out on an NFL career. He also claimed that Patterson threatened to release him if he didn't play against Texas and they lost. 
  • $36,238: The starting salary for new correctional officers in Texas penitentiaries. And that's with a new increase.
  • On this Groundhog Day, let's remember that Groundhog Day was released 25 years ago. And it will be forever more entertaining than the appearance of the real overgrown rat every year.
  • This tragic story finally came to an end last night. But he even taunted his ex-wife moments before his execution.
  • It's Super Bowl weekend. What did D Magazine predict before the season?:
  • Bridgeport ended, at least for now, the annual football game with Decatur. I didn't know their enrollments were so disproportionate. Decatur has 910. Bridgeport has 642. Edit: Someone said my data is old and they are right (it's from 2016). The new numbers are 1,054 and 651. Bridgeport just growing by nine students seems odd.


Dear Judge: You Can't Do That

This is the case that received publicity after a Fort Worth Police Officer responded to a complaint that the Defendant had grabbed the complainant's son around the neck. The police officer was suspended for his conduct, and the Defendant was ultimately charged with a Class C misdemeanor for touching the kid.

The jury found him guilty of "Offensive Touching" and then it came time for the judge to assess punishment.  The judge offered him an option (1) Pay $269 in court costs and a fine, and be found guilty, or (2) agree to pay $569 in court costs* and a fine, do 100 hours of community service — and receive six months’ deferred-disposition probation (meaning no conviction). Problem: The judge had no authority to do the latter.

Here are the rules:
(1) A prosecutor can offer deferred as a plea bargain before trial.
(2) If there is a trial before the court (meaning there is no jury), the judge can make a finding that "the evidence substantiates the defendant's guilt" and place him on deferred. He has that right.
(3) But if there is a jury trial, as was the case here, the only thing the judge can do after a guilty verdict is set the fine.   He can't do what he did: Ignore the guilty verdict and place the defendant on deferred thereby wiping out the conviction the jury just decided upon.

The only way the judge could do what he did would be to grant a Motion for New Trial, have the next trial before him, and then give the defendant deferred. 

A lot of strange things go on in municipal and JP courts in Texas when folks don't know the rules.
*That disparity in court costs between a conviction and deferred seems out of whack. Court costs are set by statute and aren't subject to manipulation. Normally, at least in every case I've ever handled, court costs for deferred are lower that court costs associated with a conviction.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Weather guy David Finfrock is going part-time. Now if Delkus would do it. 
  • To work for Kenneth Copeland you must now pledge not to have sex outside of marriage, view porn, drink alcohol, smoke, cuss, or gamble. 
  • Never forget Fox News portrayal of Robert Mueller when he was first appointed as special counsel:
  • Trump is on Twitter this morning and started off by slinging some truth (so long as you don't take into account President Obama drew more viewers in his first State of the Union speech as did the first ones by Bush and Clinton):
  • The Wise County murder trial ended in a guilty verdict and a life sentence. That's what I thought would happen three weeks ago. The original Messenger story from the time of the arrest seemed to indicate the evidence was overwhelming. And considering the fact he had a prior Injury to a Child conviction, he was doomed. (I think he has to serve at least 30 real years, but it's been awhile since I've looked at the specific parole laws for murder. And I don't think this was a capital murder case where there is life without parole requirement if the death penalty is waived.)
  • Today is UIL re-alignment day with the announcement of the new composition of districts coming at 9:00. Bridgeport and Decatur need to be back in the same district.
  • The next government shutdown date is February 8th and neither Republicans or Democrats seem to be thinking about it. 
  • The female mayor of Nashville admits to having an affair with her former security chief. Since 2015, the security chief has earned $119,000 a year in "overtime" and they took nine trips alone together last year costing taxpayers $14,000.
  • There's been lots of talk about the Republican Memo regarding the FBI that Trump is reviewing for release. Now there's an allegation that Trump lapdog Rep. Devin Nunes altered the memo before giving it to Trump.
  • A streaker hit the fairway at the famous 16th hole at the Phoenix Open. (This must have been the Pro-Am yesterday.) There is a video of it which seems "safe for work" and it's one of the longer streaking sessions you'll ever see. 
  • Here's a list of films released 24 years ago just to make you feel old. 


As Of 4:47 p.m.

Let's Check In On An American Classroom

This Is Almost A Metaphor

 A train wreck involving Republicans. Remember Charlottesville? "There are good people on both sides."

Above The Fold

Full PDF.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Harley Davidson announced it is shutting down its Harley Davidson plant on the same day as the stock market plunged 383 points. #winning
  • Trump's State of the Union speech was the second longest in 50 years.  You can't do that these days especially when the average American's attention span is at an all time low.
  • I stumbled on an Elvis movie last night, Roustabout, which is incredibly rare to do despite the fact that he made 31 films. You know, it had a ton of sexual innuendos in it. 
  • A group of four of us at the courthouse yesterday struggled to remember the name of a Wise County probation officer who has been with the office for over 10 years. Someone had to consult a directory to give us the answer.
  • Time waste: Remember the case where the Fort Worth PD officer got suspended for handcuffing the mother in the street. Well, the neighbor which allegedly grabbed her son by the neck is on trial before a jury with two prosecutors in municipal court for the Class C offense of "offensive touching." And get this, the lead investigator who issued the ticket way after the incident occurred was asked if he, "issued [it] because of the [media] attention or because the case met the elements of the alleged crime." His response: "That I cannot answer." It's over.
  • NBA star Blake Griffin was traded for the Clippers to the Pistons this week. I don't care about the NBA, but even I feel sorry for a millionaire who is forced to go from L.A. to Detroit. 
  • Love the goofy commentors yesterday who believe my "DPS stole a road sign" bit is sincere. "Bless your heart" (and you know what that means.)
  • Someone pointed out that the carbon monoxide story regarding the Bridgeport couple was in the Star-Telegram last week. I thought I saw that, too. But I Googled "Perryton carbon monoxide star-telegram" and it didn't show up. Today I went to ST search bar on its site an searched "Perryton carbon" and got nothing. 
  • Only four of the nine Supreme Court justices attended the State of the Union last night.
  • I'll admit, when Trump just reads from the teleprompter the words written by others, he comes across pretty good. But that is not him. It is when he free styles is when we learn how shallow he really is. 
  • But the neo-Nazis loved this line of his speech (written by neo-Nazi Stephen Miller):
  • Trump told the people affected by natural disasters, specifically Puerto Rico, “We love you. We are with you." Today, FEMA officially shuts off any new food and water to Puerto Rico.
  • The NFL is a money machine. There is news today that Fox has acquired Thursday night football for a reported $550 million per year for five years.
  • "Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse that took place at USA Gymnastics’ national team training center at Karolyi Ranch. Abbott called on the Texas Rangers . . .  to handle the probe into claims of molestation at the facility by former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar." Why? If there is not a single allegation of abuse by someone other than Nassar then this is a waste of time. Nassar already will never get out of prison.


Told Ya! Told Ya!

This is amazing.

I was skeptical right after it happened. It was my first bullet point on 1/15/18.

NASCAR Drivers Couldn't Have Pulled This Off

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Hey you gun guys, you believe this?
  • More sign theft -- this time near Amarillo. (You know, I've never been on I-40 which runs from Amarillo to Oklahoma City. Heck, it actually runs from almost Los Angeles all the way to the coast of South Carolina): 
  • There was the craziest wreck in Saginaw on Sunday morning. Some guy is at an ATM when a guy in big truck comes barreling into the parking lot. Both the driver and the ATM customer were killed. 

  • A few weeks back, I mentioned a Bridgeport couple who had died at a Best Western in Perryton because of carbon monoxide poisoning.  However, there was basically no media coverage of it. Well, the Charlotte Observer, of all papers, did a big story on it a week ago. The couple was Patricia and David Ivie.
  • There are now 36 Republican Congressmen who have announced they will not seek re-election. 
  • In July, the Senate voted to impose sanctions on Russia by a vote of 98-2. The House agreed with a vote of 419-3. Yesterday was the last day for Trump to approve. He didn't. Is there any question that Russia has the goods on Trump. He's a puppet. 
  • Trump gives his State of the Nation Union speech tonight. Let's take a look back at what Nixon said in one of his: 
  • I mentioned yesterday that Texas Monthly was taking heat for essentially receiving $25,000 in social media advertising from Bumble  in exchange for being on the cover. A funny thing has happened. Yesterday I got my issue and, although there is a huge story about Bumble in it, Bumble wasn't on the cover. Below is what it was supposed to look like and what I received. Did they spike the cover at the last minute?

  • The stock market dropped 177 points yesterday. Futures this morning have it dropping 227 points. Uh. Oh. 
  • The Wise County Commissioners approved the courthouse security plan yesterday that I mentioned two weeks ago. Man, funneling everyone into the basement through one metal detector on jury selection days will be maddening. 


R.I.P. Chief Wahoo

Pretty Smooth

He even got a shot off.

But I'd would have liked to have seen what the cop did because he had just entered Chewing Out Mode.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • I'm always on the look out for ads disguised as news stories. Well, Texas Monthly, which obtained a new owner last year, has put its foot in the water by putting the CEO of Bumble on the cover in exchange for that company spending $25,000 to promote the story on social media. The underlying Texas Monthly staff is not pleased. 
  • The last Blockbuster in Texas (Edinburg) has closed
  • I watched the first episode of Waco -- about the Branch Davidians -- and it was really good. The first episode spent a lot of time on ATF's screw up at Ruby Ridge and how they were desperate to redeem themselves.
  • Dr. Suess would not have appreciated Trump's "No refugees!" policy because he didn't like our isolationist policy in during World War II. And check out her shirt!
  • According to the Messenger, two guys showed up in the early morning hours just to video the Bridgeport PD building and Decatur PD building. They were looking for a confrontation.
  • Those guys normally have their ducks in a row because almost always the cops come out and ask for IDs. The response is, "Am I being detained?" They ask that because 99% of the time there is no reason to legally detain them, and you don't have to show your ID to an officer unless detained or under arrest. Edit: I might be wrong about this. Even if detained, you don't have to ID yourself. It takes an arrest.
  • This is from the Morning News. I don't remember a measles outbreak in Newark.
  • I was in Home Depot this weekend and saw and older gentleman with a t-shirt on that read, "The Church Has Left The Building."
  • Prices at the NHL "Fan Fest." Nine dollars for Dipping Dots? 
  • Oh, my: 
  • A Tarrant County family court judge sure is getting creative in the area of fundraising:
  • I mentioned Kenneth Copeland getting a G5 last week. Get this: "Copeland, a member of Trump’s Faith Advisory Council, will speak at a prayer breakfast at an Army base February 1st. He claims PTSD doesn't afflict True Believers."