Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Avert your eyes

The Texas Lege is back in session but I can barely stand to watch. It's like a train wreck - once you look at it you can't help but stare at the carnage. It's enough to make a blogger turn to drink. Today's another busy day here in Gritslandia but here are a few links to hold y'all over till I can post more:
  • Omens. Pink Dome reports that the gavel literally fell apart when Lt. Gov. Dewhurst convened the Texas Senate yesterday. It can only go downhill from there, one would think. Here are the "charges" Gov. Perry laid out for the Lege to work on - no criminal justice angles so far.
  • Tyler PAC takes on jail building taboo. Tyler has become the only place in Texas to my knowledge where a citizens' PAC has formed to actively oppose new bonds for jail construction. "It's one thing if you're spending money on good government; it's another thing to spend it on something that doesn't solve problems," Judge Cynthia Kent said. The "No No Committee" opposes two jail proposals - to expand the downtown jail and build a satellite facility on the edge of town - totaling $158 million. Their first meeting was last night.
  • Can I see your papers, comrade? A new, permanent border patrol checkpoint has been established 29 miles north of Laredo on I-35. The old one couldn't handle the volume.
  • Trust us. Nacogdoches PD wants undocumented immigrants to trust police officers enough to report crimes, reported KTRE-TV. "'We are not border patrol agents. We're not INS agents and we're not there to enforce the federal immigration laws. We're there to serve the needs of the people in our community,' said Nacogdoches Police Chief Jim Sevy. The chief says he wants to involve immigrants in police programs. ... Fear of police and deportation makes illegal immigrants easy targets for criminals. That's prompting police departments nationwide to try outreach programs to build trust with residents. Several are being tried out in Texas."
  • When I was in prison, did you visit me? The Amarillo Globe News ran this glowing item on a prison in Belize run by a Texan-financed religious ministry.
  • No deterrent. Another 99-year sentence for meth manufacturing, this time in Sherman. The DA was ecstatic, predicting the sentence would serve as deterrent. "I hope every meth cook, drug dealer, and drug user in this county sees that verdict," he said.Fat chance - they should ask their neighbors in Wichita Falls who hand out similar sentences and apparently still think that's not enough. BTW - assuming current incarceration costs at $16K per year, 3.5% annual inflation, and parole after 40 years, this sentence will cost taxpayers more than $1.35 million. Via Drug War Rant.
  • Hearne PD prepares for suicide bombers. After racial strife in the last few years surrounding police brutality and selective enforcement in the drug war, the Hearne PD is trying to change its image, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reported last month. Many of the changes sound positive, but one wonders why officers in tiny, po-dunk Hearne, Texas need training courses on "recognizing terrorists and suicide bombers." If you've been to Hearne, there's hardly a building in town worth bombing - maybe a water tower.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE: Hearne PD preparing for suicide bombers

Why? Because the Lege has required that specific training for all Texas peace officers, without exception.

That's not to say it isn't absurd, but let's lay the blame where it belongs! ;)

- "Lawman"