Skattershooting into 2002
Skattershooting on the night before I lose
my bachelorhood after 41 years . . .
I always hear the rich school districts gripe
about the Robin Hood plan of school funding. Nevertheless, they always
seem to have a lot of extra money hanging around. Case in point: Highland
Park principals average $95,124 a year and Northwest ISD is building
an indoor football practice facility.
The last time the University of Texas made the
Final Four in basketball (before this year) was in 1947. Back then
the entire tourney was made up of 8 teams so one win would put you in the
Did you see tht Michelle Wie, a 13 year old eighth
grader, made the cut at the LPGA Kraft Nabisco golf tourney and dang near
had a shot at winning it? What's even odder is that she stand 6 feet tall!
When France became the object of everyone's disdain,
did the term "freedom fries" drive you a bit crazy?
Why does the Wise County Messenger's "Thursday"
edition come out on Wednesday and its "Sunday" edition come out on Saturday?
I cannot believe the amount of money that the
Arizona Cardinals are paying Emmitt Smith: $2.5 million base with a $2.5
million signing bonus.
Mark Cuban is a combination of the Three Stooges:
He has Larry's judgement, Curly's temper, and Mo's haircut. (I stole that
Think the Women's National Basketball Association
is doing well? They are considering reducing the minimum salary for the
first four draft picks from $55,000 to $40,000. Other rookies could be
paid as little as $25,000.
Texas A&M new football coach Dennis Franchione
had the same problems as our president did when he took office. On April
13th, both his daughters, ages 23 and 17, were arrested in a bar for alcohol
related crimes and resisting arrest.
Did you also see that the final Aggie football
game drew over 40,000 in attendance?
Alex Rodriguez plays in some states that have
their own state income tax. Since he is rightfully subject to taxation
for any money earned while he is in the state, he has a heck of
a tax bill: California tags him for $149,581 and seven other states impose
a bill in excess of $10,000. (Source: Dallas Morning News, Section
C, Page 2, on 4/14/03).
Does it creep you out that Windows updates the
time on your computer to adjust for day light savings time and then tells
you about it?
Did you catch this note about the Rangers game
on 4/13/03: Minor league pitcher R.A. Dickey gets a call at 1:45 a.m. to
tell him he will join the Rangers in Seattle. (He is in a hotel in Alberqure
on a road trip). He boards a plane and heads to Seattle and arrives in
the second inning. The game goes into extra innings and he actually is
called upon to pitch in the 11th inning. He strikes out two to end the
inning. In the twelth, he retires two batters and then gives up a game
winning home run to Brett Boone. That's one long day.
Everyone is on board with Darryl Worley's pro-war
song entitled Have You Forgotten? The Morning News wrote
that "An album, also titled Have You Forgotten?, will be rushed
into stores Tuesday to capitalize on the success of the single. The disc
is essentially a best-of set . . . ." Section E, Page 6 on 4/10/03. Patriot?
Capitialist? Good Republican? All three?
This may be the craziest and tragic story of the
year: "A Denton teenager was in critical condition [and blinded] Monday
after he was shot in the face with a frog that exploded from a 'potato
gun'." Dallas Morning News, Section B, Page 6 on 4/15/03.
A potato gun? A frog?
I'm getting lots of material from the Dallas
Morning News lately.
I often think our civil justice system is more
screwed up than the criminal system. A recent case in point: Volkswagen
gets sued in Hildago County for wrongful death and a jury decides the company
is NOT at fault. The judge grants a new trial "in the interest of justice"
which basically means "because I want to". A second jury decides Volkswagen
should pay $17,237,664.38. The decision is affirmed
on appeal (but at least the Texas Supreme Court has decided to take a look
at it). Crazy, crazy, crazy.
No one hates Plaintiffs lawyers like Gov. Rick
Perry. The tort reform changes being considered in Austin are scaring the
Plantiff's bar to death.
A "surpervising felony chief prosecutor" in Dallas
County, George West, was suspended by his boss for 30 days without pay
for failing to turn over evidence that tended to indicate that a defendant
in a case was not guilty. (It's called "Brady Evidence" and it is probably
the most elementary rule in criminal law). His boss, DA Bill Hill,
said that West "will handle his normal duties when he returns." A couple
of thoughts: (1) I have never heard of a prosecutor being suspended for
such conduct so this has to be very, very bad and (2) since West is in
the business of accusing folks of wrong doing, does he really possess the
public trust to such an extent that he deserves a second chance?
The Texas sodomy case recently argued before the
United States Supreme Court was handled by the elected Harris County
DA. Appellate law is not trial law, and his performance caused him to be
by the press. The New York Times' Linda Greenhouse wrote that the
argument "proved to be a mismatch of advocates to a degree rarely seen
at the court."
The Anaheim Angels won the world series last year
(I had almost forgotten that). Did you know they started the season
6-14 and were 10 1/2 games back.
Are we still holding suspected Taliban members
at Guantanamo Bay? What are we going to do with them?
Ok, I'll say it: Where are the weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq and why didn't they launch a ton of Scuds during the
war like they did in Persian Gulf War I?
Everyone is bent out of shape that a group of
blacks were wrongfully arrested in Tulia, Texas primarily because the case
was built on the testimony of one cop (who has now been indicted
for perjury). Listen folks: Almost all drug cases are based upon the word
of one cop.
Women love Trading Spaces on The Learning
of the nude Dixie Chicks on Entertainment Weekly was shocking. Good
stuff, but shocking.
This SARS business is a little scary. Since it
has hit the Far East so much, I'm surprised a case hasn't shown up in Hawaii.
I'm a skeptic at heart. Every time I hear something
that sounds a bit fishy, I check out snopes.com
to determine if it is true. You can spend hours there debunking every urban
legend you've ever heard of.
I've mentioned before how Dallas Stars tickets
can exceed $100 for a regular season game. Check out the prices for the
playoffs: A $120 regular-season ticket in the lower bowl increased to $145
in the second round, $220 in the third round and $275 for the finals.
Green served as District Attorney for Wise and Jack Counties from 1993
through 2000. He is now a partner in the Decatur law firm of Smith
& Green, P.C.
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