It's Friday -- Let's Get Out of Here

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Ok, that was a little harsh, but that salary was a scam. As for an update on Bristol Palin, it looks like she works in real estate in Austin.  

  •  Royal Family news this morning. He was married to Queen Elizabeth, 94, for 74 years.

  • Update on Prince Philip's death per Fox News: A black woman killed him.  

  • A play in five Acts. 
    • Act I: Yesterday morning we got an update about Wednesday's mass shooting. 

    • Act II: At around 11:00 a.m., President Biden says something must be done. 

    • Act III: At 11:45 a.m., Gov. Abbott, on cue, lies about "take away our guns" and promises to defy federal law.  

    • Act IV: Less than three hours later, there is another Texas Mass Shooting. 


    • Act V: Gov. Abbott offer his Thoughts and Prayers.

  • Far right wing radio was going crazy that President Biden said that none of the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, are absolute. That's Constitutional Law 101.  Freedom of Speech doesn't allow you to solicit someone to murder. Freedom of the Press doesn't allow  defamation. Freedom of Religion doesn't allow you to sacrifice your eldest at an alter. Freedom of Assembly didn't allow you to occupy the Capitol on January 6th. This ain't hard. 

  • Another incumbent Decatur School Board member has dropped out of his race for re-election citing the uncomfortable state of politics.  
  • Never pay the pimp directly via Venmo. 

  • I had thought that getting a conviction of Derek Chauvin in the trial might be dicey. But these prosecutors have gone all out and are shockingly good. How they made the science behind the death interesting was a work of art yesterday. Computer animations. Graphics. 

  • The Texas Senate yesterday voted to pass a law that forces any professional sports team that has any government contract to play the National Anthem before every game. What's next? Being required to kneel, bow, and confess our undying allegiance to the government before using a public road or entering a public building?

  • Listening to the Mets' own announcers getting bent out shape because of New York winning the game due to the batter leaning into a pitch which was a strike is pretty entertaining. Video.

  • Embarrassing: Gary Player's son obviously holding up a golf sleeve for the cameras as part of an under the table advertisement payola at the ceremonial start at The Masters yesterday. 

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 644 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

That's another example of stuff I didn't remember. Four thousand physical Ranger tickets were stolen so the club deactivated the bar codes on all of them. And how quickly things change. Now almost every professional ballpark has gone "ticketless" opting to use barcodes on phones instead.

  • We had a UFO spotting over Wise County last night (and most of North Texas). Video. The explanation is that it was "SpaceX’s Starlight Satellite ‘Train.’"

  • So let me get this straight. Gov. Abbott has condemned "sanctuary cities" for their refusal to help ICE enforce federal immigration laws, but now wants all Texas cities to refuse to enforce federal gun laws? I didn't know "law and order" meant that you got to pick and choose which laws you want to follow. (And does no one understand the Supremacy Clause?)

  • Procedurally and politically, the way this capital murder case against a Dallas cop was handled yesterday was weird. From what I can discern, the cops hauled off and arrested this guy after the DA's office told them not to do it because the prosecutors believed there was insufficient evidence. The cops did it anyway. So what were the DA's options? (Stay with me here.) 

    • They could simply "refuse the case." That is, they have absolute power to kill any case they choose. It happens every day. They didn't do that here. 
    • They could have had the grand jury "no-bill" the case. That is, have them make a decision not to indict. (Sometimes a DA's office will do this for "political cover" instead of refusing the case. That way they can say "It was the grand jury's decision.") This wasn't done either. 
    • Instead, they chose to go forward with an Examining Trial requested by the defense -- a hearing which is a rarely held* in almost every Texas county. It is, theoretically, a hearing where the DA is forced, before an indictment, to produce evidence to the judge that "probable cause" exists to refer the case to a grand jury. If they can't do that, the judge is to order the defendant released. 
    • But if the DA didn't like the case (and for some reason hadn't chosen the option to "refuse the case" or have the grand jury no-bill it), the hearing could be short circuited by simply standing up and saying, "Judge, we believe the evidence is insufficient to establish probable cause and will stipulate to this fact." Then the judge would have no choice other than to find no probable cause and release the defendant.
    • Instead -- and this is very weird --  the DA went forward yesterday and allowed a detective to testify and get cross-examined and then, after that, told the judge that there wasn't probable cause. “Where we stand as a district attorney’s office right now today, we do not feel there’s sufficient probable cause for this case,” prosecutor Jason Fine told the judge after the detective’s testimony. (Even more bizarre: The prosecutor and the detective also had a "tense exchange" while he testified according to the Morning News.
    • But it was the position of the DA all along that there was insufficient evidence. So why go through the dog and pony show yesterday? Just refuse it, no bill it, or tell the judge before the Examining Trial that you agree with the defense.  There was no reason for the hearing to actually happen and have the detective testify. (Side note: The judge's ruling does not invoked Double Jeopardy.) 
    • Theory: The Dallas DA's office and the Dallas PD have never gotten along. This hearing just might have been the DA's office publicly sticking it to the PD in an I-Told-You-So move. If so, that's a bold move. 
    • (*Examining trials are rarely held because (1) like I said, if the case sucks, the DA will simply refuse it or no bill it, and (2) if the DA likes his case, all he has to do is get the grand jury to indict the case before the date of the Examining Trial to make the issue moot -- you don't get an Examining Trial if the grand jury has indicted the case.) 
  • College Station crime: "A 22-year-old Texas man pleaded guilty to murder Wednesday for hiring the hitmen who killed his father in March 2018. Nicolas Shaughnessy also targeted his mother, Corey, in the plot, and he stood to inherit $2 million if both she and Ted Shaughnessy, a jeweler, died."

  • That reminds me of one of the wildest cases out of Fort Worth which is now almost 30 years old: The murder of of Caren Koslow. Her stepdaughter, who is now 46, is still in prison
    Side note: Attorney Mark Daniel has been around a long time. (He's representing one of the
    Southlake school board members who just got indicted in the Open Meetings case.)

  • As much as it drives people nuts, this is legally the correct decision. 

    • Let me tell you something, the same ruling will soon* come come down from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in an unrelated case dealing with "revenge porn." (*They've been sitting on it for months which is what the tend to do when they are forced to rule in a way which will get them criticized. The case was argued on December 12, 2018, and they still haven't issued a decision.)
  • I thought I was in big trouble for a second yesterday.

  • I missed that the fiancé of UT's new basketball coach came dressed to the introductory press conference as a referee.

  • Wichita Falls Time Record News: "The way people in Wichita Falls and [others in the 940 area code] make phone calls is about to change. Soon phone users will have to dial 10 digits rather than just seven to make calls." Uh, we didn't already?


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  Hot political opinions.

  •  Still no updated news or arrests in connection with the "murder case" where the body was found in Cottondale. 

  • The video of the mother who walked into Irving PD to tell them she had killed her children, ages 1 and 6, is jolting. The first mother-infantide high profile case that comes to mind is Andrea Yates in 2001 followed by Dena Schlosser in 2004.

  • White Evangelicals not taking the the COVID vaccine? This corresponds to the doses  being readily available in conservative West Texas where people weren't taking advantage of easy access to the vaccine. 

  • I was reading a Star-Telegram story about the odd indictment of two school board members in Southlake for alleged violations of the Open Meeting Act, but then got distracted when I ended up finally looking at the ads at the bottom. America is dumb and gullible.  

  • Brookshires in Bridgeport closed on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. for Easter. I find that very confusing. I would understand closing all day. I'd understand closing Sunday morning. I'd even understand opening at 5:00. But why close at 5:00?  
  • I'm as confused as you are about the Tiger Woods crash. Last week we heard that the Sheriff's Office wouldn't release the "cause" of the wreck, even though they "knew" it, because of privacy reasons. This morning, TMZ now says the Sheriff's Office will release their findings this morning. 

  • Another confusing part of the TMZ story is where they report the Sheriff's Office didn't get a warrant for Tiger's cell phone records to determine if he was on the phone at the time of the crash because it "felt it did not have probable cause to get a warrant for cellphone records." But remember this?

  • Boldest Wise County restaurant which I hope has wild success: The Indian food place, Punjabi Dhabba, in Alvord.

  • Matt Gaetz news: (1) He sought a pardon from Trump for all crimes, (2) He's speaking at a women's sponsored event ("Women for America First") at Trump's Doral club. He's probably going to be disappointed with the age of the crowd at the latter. 

  • This video of Bryson DeChambeau on the practice range is flat out weird. I'm not saying he's all hyped up on drugs, but that has all the signs of someone being messed up.  

  • This is the exit from westbound 380 to go northbound on 287 in Decatur. The number of times that cars and trucks have failed to negotiate that turn is beyond ridiculous. I bet that guardrail has been replaced well more than a dozen times because of people plowing right into it because they didn't slow down. But no longer. After the last repair about six months ago, TxDOT put up a simple traffic cone (about where I put the red x, I think) and some other red reflectors. No one has hit in months. It's like magic. This could be a case study on how humans react to certain colors and visual clues. 

  • Legal nerd stuff. Do they have to forego running for re-election in their current position since they are seeking the Supreme Court seat? If so, that's a curious decision. You can (and they did) win as a Democrat for the Dallas appellate district, but they aren't winning in a statewide Supreme Court race. At least not yet. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

I haven't thought about this since I posted this tweet 10 years ago, nor has the DPS Twitter account referenced the chant since then. Do they still do it?   

  • Baylor 86, Gonzaga 70. That was a thrashing. For a guy (me) who first saw them play in the old barn which was the Heart O' Texas Coliseum in Waco, it was a long time coming.  

  • Baylor refused to cancel classes today. 
  • We've got what looks like another murder in Wise County with the body of Michael Bolling, 61, having been found near Cottondale. In reading in between the lines, it doesn't sound like a gunshot wound, but I haven't heard the cause of death. Note: The "48 hour" rule of solving the case is now in effect. (I don't understand this quote from the Sheriff: “There were injuries that made it look as if it was a murder.”)

  • Six dead in Allen. One of the two killers involved in the suicide pact left an Instagram note which seemed bizarrely calm. Excerpts here. Note: The excerpt in that link did not include this crazy tidbit: "The brother also noted that he was disappointed with the way the sitcom The Office ended."

  • The official attendance announced at the Ranger game yesterday was 38,238.  These ladies decided to a bit. 
    Pic submitted by Faithful Reader Michelle.

  • The Rangers have "Dallas Truck World" written on the back of the mound. 

  • The governor didn't show up yesterday as he decided to protest MLB's decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Georgia.  It's hard to tell the snowflakes these days without a program.  (They moved the game to Colorado which happens to mail a ballot to every registered voter.)

  • A guy stole an ambulance yesterday and went on a joy ride in Collin County. If you want to see the pretty entertaining end of it, here ya go. 

  • Good grief. Shouldn't there be a lesser sanction than an indictment and arrest? Seems a little harsh.  Story

  • As of today, Kurt Cobain has been dead longer than he was alive. Side note: Haven't heard much of Courtney Love lately.  

  • Final board. My scoring system was designed to reward upset picks in the first two rounds which might be enough to allow you to hold on even if you didn't pick the ultimate champion. That worked. I note that 15 of the top 50 picked Baylor to win it all but none of the top 4:

  • For some reason I've heard this fact twice in the last couple of months: Plywood is now crazy expensive. It's running $60 a pop.