Saturday, January 29, 2005

Saturday Morning Tidbits

A stroll around the blogosphere this morning yields these tidbits:
  • Loretta's right, a sniff is a sniff. At least, Dallas schoolkids think so.
  • Tres Chicas has more on indicted Panhandle prosecutor Rick Roach. When police searched his office, they "found 20 handguns, a rifle and a shotgun; a syringe; two digital scales and a zippered pouch containing suspected cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana." He had two pistols in his briefcase, which Lauri thinks is one too many, even for a Texan.
  • The Texas Tea Pad has found another Texas Republican state senator getting smarter, not just tougher, on the drug war, and tells more about the just-filed medical marijuana bill.
  • In England, restructuring low-level marijuana possession offenses to just a ticketable offense, as Rep. Harold Dutton has proposed in Texas, saved 199,000 hours of law enforcement work last year, and caused marijuana use to decline among young people, decrimwatch reports.
  • This search tool lets you figure out how many searches were performed on what keywords related to a particular topic. When you type in "texas police," the Rockport PD comes up much more often than Dallas or Houston -- anybody know what's going on at the Rockport PD that so many people are looking for information about it? Found the search tool at PI Newslink.
  • I wonder why nobody from Houston has signed up at Texas Blogs?
  • And those seem like awfully long court sessions at the Texas Law Blog!
  • Folks in Galveston should watch closely what's happening at the biocontainment lab in Boston, where labworkers were infected with bioterrorism agents. UTMB-Galveston has the same type of facility, and faces the exact same risks. See ACLU of Texas' letter to a TX Senate committee (pdf), authored by yours truly, outlining concerns about these new federal funds expanding the range of bioterrorism threats, and calling for creation of a bioterror agents registry.
  • CrimProf Blog announced an interesting looking conference on undercover policing in March in Illinois. I hope plenty of drug policy reformers attend. We need to get a better handle on what police are doing out there in the name of the war on drugs. For my part, I've got tickets to see George Carlin that night.
  • "I'll take that Shiner Bock with a shot of expresso": Nikki at Vice Squad says Anheuser-Busch is introducing beer with a buzz.
  • In a bit of a buzz-kill, DUI Blog wonders by some people are punished harshly for DUI, and some people aren't.
  • Anyone who pays attention to police accountability in Texas has seen officer after officer remain in law enforcement despite serious misconduct. In 73 Texas cities that have adopted the state civil service code, officers can appeal any departmental discipline to binding arbitration, which almost always rules in their favor. Howard Bashman points to a ruling that shows why they'd prefer arbitration to court -- arbitrators get to do what they want and don't have to follow language in the bargaining agreeement.
  • Finally, a brief site update: A couple of links from BuzzFlash this week -- one to this post about biometric profiteers, and another to a post criticizing the Caballes case -- made this Grits' most trafficked week ever, with 3,446 hits over 7 days. Thanks to everybody who stopped by!

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