End of an era
As of tomorrow, Americans must present a passport to cross the Mexican and Canadian borders. For my entire lifetime, a driver's license and a declaration of citizenship have sufficed.
Legal ethics and other oxymorons
Mark Bennett takes notable exception to ethics instruction by Williamson County DA John Bradley in the wake of a recent Supreme Court case on the right to counsel. Bradley advises that a recent Supreme Court opinion voids a longstanding Texas disciplinary rule barring prosecutors from approving contact by police with a defendant who is represented by counsel ("taking a run" at a suspect, in the parlance) without notifying their lawyer. Bennett says those who take Bradley's advice are putting their bar card at risk, though I've seen little evidence the State Bar of Texas aggressively pursues misconduct allegations against prosecutors.
See an excellent profile of Louis A. Bedford, Dallas' first black judge, on the occasion of the publication of a new biography. Dallas DA Craig Watkins, the first black man to hold the position, says Bedford was a lifelong role model for him.
A "coordinated effort" to "eradicate" businesses
In a tanking economy, it's odd to see officials boasting that "a coordinated effort among state, city and neighborhood leaders, Dallas communities are beginning to see many of those businesses eradicated. " The rules are different, I guess, and the desire for economic growth dampened, when we're talking about sexually oriented businesses.
Final deal reached on TYC funding
The agency will undergo Sunset review again in two years.
A radical approach on graffiti
Buenos Aires has eliminated laws against graffiti, with surprisingly positive results. See this excellent report from ABC News:
There are no specific laws banning graffiti in the capitol, unless it is contains ethnic or racial slurs, ABC News producer Joe Goldman in Buenos Aires reported.
"One could paint a wall of a police station without having any problem in Buenos Aires," Goldman added.
Bonnie and Clyde 75 years hence
Last weekend was the 75th anniversary of the death of Bonnie and Clyde, two Texans whose larcenous exploits became larger than life in the repeated retelling until they became national anti-establishment icons upon their death. The FBI released a bunch of new information on the couple in commemoration of the anniversary and a couple of new books on the topic have been published. Like John Dillinger, whose exploits about the same time will be chronicled in a major motion picture this summer, Bonnie and Clyde posed a problem the justice system of the day couldn't solve; both were gunned down in cold blood by what were essentially government assassins, a fact which probably contributes significantly to the popular appeal of both the Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde legends.