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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Still holds up after 10 years.    

  • Today's Messenger does a good job today revealing what went down during the escape of Royce Wood by reviewing affidavits filed by law enforcement. Brody Brown, the officer who was with the officer who was struck by a bullet, Rex Richie, clearly told an investigator that Wood fired at them while he fled and that he (Brown) returned fire. But as to how Richie was struck, all we know is this sentence which, I suppose, is subject to interpretation.  

  • That was weird weather yesterday evening when the cold front came through. This shot was taken on highway 287 between Rhome and Decatur. 

  • Remember how I have called Uber a "house of cards" because of their financial statements? (They've never declared a profit because they are wasting money on unnecessary expenses including inflated salaries.) 
    • Well, first let me remind you of this bullet point from 8/21/19 after Uber announced they were bringing 3,000 "high paying" jobs to Dallas:

    • Now check out yesterday's story where Uber announced that it won't be 3,000 jobs after all but instead that number is now only 500 (assuming everything goes right.)

    • They can blame the pandemic all they want, but this isn't pandemic related. They certainly aren't bullish on their post-pandemic future in Dallas. 
  • She tested positive for weed, and we are going to ban her? We are the dumbest country -- a country where weed is legal in 19 states. (Edit: The ban is official this morning.)

  • Good. The federal government had a self-imposed moratorium on the death penalty for nearly two decades until Attorney General Bill Barr (that pillar of virtue) lifted it in mid 2020. Then the federal government went on a killing spree and executed 13 people before Trump was voted out. 

  • Legislation that was passed which was under the radar: The Texas legislature approved House Bill 1518, which allows for sales of beer and wine to start at 10 a.m. on the Lord's Day. 
  • Let's check in on Texas lawyers:

  • I've read about this Corpus Christi case, and I'm hopeful about this documentary

  • That was a horrible effort by cops of attempting to safely blow up a bunch of fireworks. Video of explosion here.

  • Honor the 4th of July and its meaning by watching the video I plugged yesterday about the Trump Insurrection.  If it doesn't make you made, something is seriously wrong.  

  • I'm six episodes in on Deadwood. I like it. (Except for the voice of Calamity Jane.)
  • I'm making Mrs. LL rewatch Six Feet Under with me. She's never seen it, but I think she's locked in. (I told her very young Dwight Schrute will eventually make an appearance so she's excited.)
    No Dwight in this photo.

  • 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: 728 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

This was on the front page of the Bridgeport Index, and I still can't believe it.   

  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy update: The local media hasn't figured it out yet, but a shockingly curt ruling yesterday by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals puts the conviction for Attempted Murder of Danita Thetford Tutt in serious jeopardy. But it's a hollow victory: Her five year sentence out of Tarrant County for Injury to a Child will stand, but the 10 year probated sentence for Attempted Murder will almost certainly be thrown out. (She's still in prison on the five year sentence, has already been denied parole once, but cannot be held past October 17, 2023.) 
  • The freeing of Bill Cosby yesterday was flat out weird. The headline is that a court ruled that Cosby should not have be prosecuted because the former DA and Cosby entered into an agreement where no criminal charges would be filed and, in exchange, Cosby would not and could not raise his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in a civil suit against him. That's not true at all.
    • First, there wasn't an "immunity agreement." Heck, there was no agreement at all.  It was only a decision and press release by the DA that Cosby "relied" upon to not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights.

    • Even if he wanted to, the DA couldn't make such an agreement. Heck, it's unethical and probably a crime. Think of this way: Say a drunk driver killed a woman in Wise County and the DA agreed that he wouldn't file criminal charges so that the defendant would have to testify in the civil suit which would help the man's family, and his lawyers, get money. The DA might get disbarred.
    • Importantly, there was no actual representation by the DA that Cosby would never be prosecuted. The prosecutor just announced that he was dropping the case based upon the evidence then in existence. 
    • Side note: The DA wasn't really helping the Plaintiff in the civil case out. So what if Cosby would have taken the Fifth Amendment? That's a Plaintiff's dream. A jury, in a civil case, are allowed to "draw negative inferences" from a defendant invoking the Fifth. 
    • And the court's decision yesterday was reversal with an acquittal. The only time you see that is when a case is reversed for insufficient evidence. It seems like the proper remedy would be to remand the case for a new trial where his deposition testimony couldn't be used. Nope, Cosby actually walked out of prison with complete double jeopardy protection. 

  • Mrs. Huxtable, though, decided to unleash an atomic bomb. 

  • Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld died yesterday. He was always mocked for his statement below but, I'll be honest, it always made perfect sense to me. 

  • Texas Politics: A Portrait. 

  • The Tarrant County Sheriff managed to get in front of the cameras with Abbott and Trump yesterday. It should be noted that:
    • He has jurisdiction of an area which is over 300 miles from border at its closet point. 
    • And he's really not in the business of law enforcement at all since so little of Tarrant County is unincorporated. Local police departments in Tarrant County are in charge. What he knows about fentanyl, and especially how it gets here, would fit on the head of a pin.  
    • His main job is to run the Tarrant County Jail which he fails miserably at -- 17 inmates died under his care last year.  
    • But, nevertheless, there he was . . . 

  • The just released New York Times video on the Trump Insurrection should be watched by anyone who is inclined to downplay what happened on January 6th. It's an amazing documentary all based on actual footage. 

  • Announced yesterday, and taking effect immediately at midnight, college athletes can now profit on the "name, image and likeness" or "NIL."   I'm all in favor of this, but this is going to an earth-shaking change in the area of recruiting, right? "You want to sell a bunch of T-shirts? Come to [insert marketing savvy school.]" And how do you stop big monied boosters from promising a recruit a perfectly legal contract for his NIL if he signs with the desired school? It's like legalizing SuperPACs for athletes. By the way, OU's Spencer Rattler already has a very cool logo to sell:

  • Legal nerd stuff:
    • A federal appellate court actually used the Internet slang "tl;dr" in an opinion. Judges, don't do that. 

    • Over-the-top nerdy: Yesterday, the first federal opinions which will carry with it a "F.4th" designation were released
  • A Wichita County Commissioner pleaded guilty to DWI yesterday. His sentence was routine: 180 days in jail but probated for 14 months, a $800 fine, and 60 hours of community service.  But he has to have an ignition interlock in his vehicle for the entire term of probation which was unusually harsh, but the case did involve a one car wreck. (Paywall.)


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

That was a very unclear photo from back in the day, but it reminded me that the intersection used to be a death trap with a ton of accidents happening there. Then TxDOT put in a stop light at that location. But that stop light has also been the source of irritation for years because it tends to give preference to cars coming from Business 380. You can't drive down that highway without the light turning red. It has to drive 18 wheeler drivers crazy. 

  • My Bridgeport education ciphering skills are kicking in: His salary is $191,656 which runs through June 2023 = $383,312 in property tax payments.

  • Trump tried to rob the Pentagon for his Wall charade and now Abbott, who is suddenly trying to transform his image into that of a Baby Trump, now robs from TDC.  What gives? Does no one care that the executive branch just ignores the line item budget allocations approved by the legislative branch? Side note: Abbott and Trump are going out on date today at the border. 

  • There was a road rage incident last week on I-35 near North Tarrant Parkway which left a motorcyclist dead from a gunshot. Fort Worth PD finally released a statement explaining what happened which revealed Fort Worth PD needs both a writer (it's horrible) and an editor. 

  • County Judge J.D. Clark has collected this fantastic postcard sent in 1909 with a photo of the Wise County Courthouse. 
    That is a photograph, right?

    “Dear Little Boy: How are you? I wish I could see you.  Will write you a letter some of these days. We are well. I am mad because you are not coming to see us. Aunt Eve" Note sure about the "Eve" part. It was sent to Master Edmund K. Smith in Wewoka, OK.

  • State executions in Texas have decreased dramatically, but one will occur tonight arising out of an incident in Tarrant County. A detailed recitation of the facts of the case is here.

  • Fox News' Tucker Carlson is a charlatan, and I don't believe his claim that the NSA is "spying" on him. I equally don't believe this highlighted portion of the NSA statement in response. At least I don't believe they honor that legal restriction. 

  • Your annual reminder that fireworks technology has not improved in 50 years. 
  • Mark Cuban's hiring of Cynt Marshal in 2018 was a ridiculous and obvious con job to try put out a PR disaster. (I'll never forget how she said at her initial press conference that she didn't know who Cuban was before he called her.) This, also, is a con job:

  • Sports tidbit: I couldn't believe this fact about Mississippi State who is trying to win the College World Series today.  I also couldn't believe K-State is on that short list.

  • Sports tidbit #2: The fact that we are watching a modern day Babe Ruth isn't getting enough coverage. This is amazing. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

A lot going on here. (1) Rick Perry was governor ten years ago, (2) the law would eventually be passed in Texas in 2017, (3) I can't believe I was in favor of his veto back then, and (4) two months later he announced that he would run for President.

  • Get out your taxpaying checkbook? The superintendent makes around $180,000 a year and may have a couple of years left on his contract.  "Tax and spend" has a whole new meaning in this county lately. 

  • Random Bridgeport billboard:

  • In even more Bridgeport news, it looks like they are getting a Starbucks
  • I don't want to hear from a pool contractor or the president of the HOA who might have seen some aesthetically unpleasing deterioration.  I want to hear from a competent engineer. 

  • Dumb and insensitive question: Could you just walk along that public beach to look at the damage if you wanted to? You could certainly get a boat really close. 

  • I talked to a Wise County man who was at that Fort Worth gun show last weekend where a woman was shot. She'll be fine, by the way.  He said that when the gut went off, I hand full of people moved to the exits, a couple of people pulled out guns, but almost everyone else just stood around and looked. 

  • It's not quite as good as the "Archie Bunker moment" from yesterday, but an angry caller got through in this Rhome Zoom meeting. Cued up here. Side note: The councilman in the lower left hand corner isn't asleep -- his screen just froze for a while. 

  • Since 2007, the Texas legislature has allowed for police to write a "citation" in a very few misdemeanor offenses where cops had traditionally arrested you.  These offenses included possession of small amounts of weed, graffiti and misdemeanor theft.  That change in 2007 only meant one thing: Instead of being arrested and having to spend money to bond out and then go to court, you were just given a piece of paper to simply show up in that very same court. Yep, it was the same court with the same potential penalty (which included jail time). If you didn't show up, an arrest warrant could be issued (just like you hadn't shown up after bonding out.) The change in the law simply got rid of the hassle of the initial arrest and bond.
    • Fort Worth PD just announced they will implement that policy (even though they've been doing it in pot cases for years.) 

    • Local talk show host Mark Davis doesn't understand any of this. He's a moron. And he tipped his hand to this the moment he wrote "thick."

  • These kind of stories are disturbing. They had only been married since 2019.

  • Random Class C criminal case filed in Wise County yesterday that got my attention. 

  • The most frustrating thing about Supreme Court decisions is that they've grown so fact specific that they are almost worthless. The Vulgar Cheerleader case really doesn't give us any fast and hard rule. Compare cases like Miranda (1966) which didn't have any qualms about laying down a bright line.
    • Another example of this was a little publicized case released that week which said cops can't pursue a fleeing suspect into their home if that person is wanted only on a misdemeanor. But the case didn't really say that at all. It all depends on what the misdemeanor is (which doesn't help at all for future cases since there are thousands of different kinds misdemeanor offenses.) And spending 45 pages discussing it doesn't help.

  • I'm not sure if I'm the editor of a paper in Washington state where the temperature his 115 degrees, that I'd put a photo with the story showing a guy acting like it's fun experience.