Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Coronavirus: Texas. From Dallas to Wichita Falls, there were several restaurants close down because employees have contracted the 'rona, Zeke Elliott has it, and Dallas County and the state reported a record number of hospitalizations yesterday. All is well. The charts:

    New daily cases reported 
  • Wise County remains low: Total 58. Active 7.   
  • But we have Wise County breaking rumor news: I've got a very unconfirmed report that we have a coronavirus case in a Decatur law office which was then potentially transmitted to the courthouse. (Let me say it again: This is a rumor which wouldn't make it past any editor.)
  • The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the the 1964 Civil Rights Act covered discrimination against gays and transgendered people. Thoughts:
    • Everyone needs to understand this is not a constitutional decision at all. This is simply a case of looking at a federal law passed by Congress and then deciding what it means.  Since I'm a recognized legal genius (at least in western Wise County) with the gift to explain esoteric concepts into the simplest of terms, here's the way I characterized the case late last year. Compare it to the opening paragraph of yesterday's decision.
    My explanation
    Judge Gorsuch
    • And another tidbit my faithful readers were tipped off on: Late last year, I began seeing a rumor floated around about the case by people who don't deal in rumors. I thought it was worthy of a bullet point. And it was dead on: 
    • I think I officially like Trump appointee Judge Gorsuch. I've already mentioned before how he has, thus far, been a huge Fourth Amendment proponent, and he dissented in the case holding it was not double jeopardy to be prosecuted by the State and the Federal government for the exact same crime. Plus, I like the way he writes. 
    • Lost in the decision is how groundbreaking the Civil Rights Act was.  It was a federal law which mandated to a private business on private property who it could hire and fire and who it could open its doors to. (It was JFK's brainchild which was passed with the strong-arming of LBJ.)
      • The first question is how does Congress have the power to do that? The answer is the "commerce clause" which has been interpreted to let Congress do anything they want.
      • The next question is how can there still be entities which can legally not allow blacks to be members or not allow blacks to work there (like the Dallas Country Club did for years even after the passage of the Act)? The answer is that it's OK so long as you are a truly private club and don't open up the facilities as a "public accommodation." 
    • Empower Texans (the oil money SuperPAC) is a weird group. They somehow managed to take the Title VII decision and use it to attack the company which got the huge contract for coronavirus "contract tracing." Hey, it's one thing to justifiably question the size of the contract to a possibly unqualified firm, but it's quite another to say, "Oh, and by the way, that company also supports the gays!!!"
    • Trump, who had to be angered by the decision since he has undercut gay rights left and right, said it was a "powerful decision." It wasn't "powerful" at all. The Obergefell decision which interpreted the constitution as preventing states from outlawing gay marriage was powerful. This was a case which just interpreted a statute. 
  • The graphic below shows the  2019 Wise County racial profiling stats which are required to be  kept by law pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §2.132. Source of the data is here. Honestly, these numbers don't make much sense because the Hispanic detentions greatly exceed detentions of whites (except in Bridgeport.) The data is supposed to be collected "relating to motor vehicle stops in which a ticket, citation, or warning is issued and to arrests made as a result of those stops." I'll have to get some clarification from my law enforcement friends as to why the numbers seem jacked up. 
  • Oklahoma State football went into a tail-spin yesterday after there was a player revolt upon seeing coach Mike Gundy in an OAN shirt. (He's made it no secret that the watches the conspiracy/white supremacist network saying the OAN was a "refreshing" news station that "just report the news" with "no opinions." ). His star runningback, Chuba Hubbard, attacked him and then other current and former players joined in.  OSU scrambled and hastily arranged to get the two to put together a joint video message which was wildly critized. Reacting, Hubbard then tweeted, "It's not over." It isn't over. And there is more going on that just an OAN shirt.
    • Gundy is the homeless guy on the right

      Hubbard's reaction

      Hubbard after the joint video was released and panned
  • A bunch of gun toting nutcases finally shot a protester last night who was trying to help tear down a statue in Albuquerque, NM. Here is a massive thread with tons of photos and videos, and here is a link to a post where the shots can be heard being fired. The statue was of Spanish conquistador Juan de OƱate which makes me realize I didn't pay enough attention in history. (Although I doubt Juan came up.) 
  • It's hard to wrap your brain around how almost everyone is walking around with high definition video cameras in their pockets which we can be activated in seconds and then distributed, without geographical limitations, within a minute. 
  • Speaking of history, the Senior in the House asked a good question the other day:  Texas obviously mandates a "Texas History" class in high school, but do other states have classes dedicate to their state's history? Or is Texas so cocky that we are a rarity in that regard?
  • Why didn't I think of this? Of course the Official Liberally Lean Girl can bring us together! (I'm committing voter fraud as we speak as I'm trying to stuff the petition ballot box with mail-in ballots from dead people.)
  • The Fort Worth PD issued a statement last night calling Fox News' Tucker Carlson a liar. It wasn't so much as he was a liar in general (we all know that), it was that he lied specifically about them