Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Could Robert Ludlum Have Written This?
Did the Houston Police Department kill a federal agent? Well, we will sit back and wait out this one. Let me say for the sake of argument that this guy is a federal agent, then why did he run from the police to begin with? Why did he not comply with orders to surrender?
"The victim was identified by friends as Roland Vincent Carnaby, 52, of Houston. But who he really was — or more precisely, what he was — is something police are still trying to piece together."
Well, just who are these friends the article mentions? What the hell is a "federal intelligence officer?" There is the CIA, the DHS, the NSA, even the military (USN, USMC, USAF, US Army) have intelligence officers. Anyone with any insight into federal government bureaucracies know that the words "federal" and "intelligence" do not go together.
"Even mundane details of Carnaby's life were tinged with mystery. His address listed with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is a private mailbox at a UPS Store near downtown. The address at which he registered his Jeep Commander was a different UPS Store in Pearland."
Either he was some sort of intelligence operative, or he was some sort of loon.
"I can't fathom any reason why he would be running from the police because he is the police," Platt said. "This doesn't make any sense. I can't understand him running or why they opened up on him. This doesn't smell right."
If he really was the police like his friend suggests, he more than likely could have showed his credentials and probably been let go. Instead, he sped off and lead officers on a 120 MPH chase on the highway. These are not the actions of a rational person, certainly no "intelligent" person (pardon the pun). Perhaps he wanted to die and wanted the police to do it for him. This smells of a suicide by cop. However, like you all, I do not have all of the facts. We will have to wait and see.

Chronicle Tugs Heart Strings Again
In this story the Houston Chronicle tugs its heartstrings for the illegal immigrants caught in the recent Shipley Donuts raids in Houston that occurred nearly two weeks ago. I really don't feel like rehashing all the arguments I've made against illegal immigration (especially the number one cause of illegal immigration which nobody will talk about, the corrupt south-of-the-border governments who refuse to allow their citizens to prosper). What struck me as annoying in this article was the sympathy the chronicle tries to draw from this article. Now, I'm not one for seeing families broken up. Nobody in their right mind is. However, the chronicle would have you believe that the big-bad police are now breaking up families. What the chronicle and its peanut gallery fail to realize is that the immigration agents are doing their jobs. We all know what their job is, and so do all the illegal immigrants.
"Lopez, who started working at Shipley last year, said his $7.50-an-hour job was a step up for the kitchen position he held for three years. He was required to work six days a week, beginning at 9 a.m. until 10 at night, and was paid $350 weekly. He and other workers held a variety of rotating jobs such as mixing flour, loading supplies and helping deliver products to Shipley's local franchises.
Two years ago, Lopez said he and his wife made a fearful night crossing of the Rio Grande in South Texas by clinging to inner tubes."

The Lopez family knew damn well what they were risking when they crossed here illegally. They hoped they would blend into society and not get caught. They knew if they were caught what the consequences could be. I compare it to the drag racer who paralyzes himself while racing on the highway. It sucks that he sits forever in a wheelchair, but he made the choice, knowing the risks so it's a little hard to cry over him. The real victims here are the children of the illegal immigrants. They have no choice in the matter. However this goes back to the real issue. Why are the United States the bad guy in the immigrant issue when it's the corrupt, lazy, incompetent Mexican (and Central American) governments that encourage their poorer, uneducated citizens to come here? Nobody seems to care about that. If the chronicle truly cared about the welfare of illegal immigrants, then maybe it should look into how Mexico runs its internal business, mistreats its own illegal immigrants coming from Central America, and encourages bribery and corruption amongst its own police forces.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Day in Gavleston II

A Day In Galveston

With my 6th year anniversary going on this weekend, I suggested to my wife a day trip in Galveston. It's easy, relatively inexpensive, and that's where we went 6 years ago when we got married. I have to say it was a very relaxing day. We went to Moody Gardens, a place that millions of people have visited, but neither of us had until yesterday. We toured the Titanic Exhibit. A few years back I went to the Titanic exhibition at the Houston Museum (I think the arts musuem, I can't remember). While the Moody Gardens' exhibit was fine, the previous one was better. Years ago, they had more artifacts, and more models of state rooms. One model was of a Parisean cafe that was on the Titanic. The Gardens' exhibit was half of what the Houston Museum had. However, there was a brighter note. At both exhibit, patrons are given a "boarding pass" with a name from the Titanic. Last time, I had a crewman who died. This time, both of us had a first class passenger who survived. Woo Hoo!!!!!
We then wandered the aquarium. It was nice. I like looking at these animals (although I have to say New Orleans' Aquarium of the Americas is better). We then learned there was a paddle boat, the Colonel. Like the dinner/jazz cruises in New Orleans I thought it would be a wonderful idea to take the dinner cruise the night before the anniversary. However, by the time we found a schedule, the damn boat had already cruised. So, we drove down Seawall Blvd looking for a place to eat. Every place we found seemed crowded. After all, it was a Saturday, and many high schools were having their proms in Galveston. So, after finding nowhere to park and eat we decided to go to the wharf on the strand. We ended up dining at Fisherman's Wharf. Normally when we give our names, we ask for first available. However I looked at the outside patio and decided I wanted to eat there. So, we waited about 20 minutes at the bar, nursing a Hurricane (not as strong as the New Orleans kind) we were seated. That was serenity to me. I could hear the water, hear the birds. It was peaceful. I told my wife I'd love to be able to afford either a beach house, or an apartment in the French Quarter. Maybe it was the Hurricane, but for a while I felt if I keep on track with saving money we maybe able to do that someday. Well, then a French (by their accents) trio took the table next to us and one girl said "oh this is nice for Houston!" I wanted to shout, "hey sweetheart, this is Galveston, Houston is 70 miles that way!" Oh well! We ended the day by making a stop at Starbucks for a coffee on the way home. All in all, it was a good day.

Defense Strategy = Smoke and Mirrors


In this story we read that the DA's office rejected a plea from illegal immigrant cop killer Juan Quintero. He would have plead guilty to life in prison without parole. On priniciple, the DA's office is seeking the death penalty which they normally do with cop killers. As you may remember, Johnson stopped Quintero and arrested him. While in the back seat of the patrol car, Quintero managed to get a gun and shoot Officer Johnson in the head. Quintero also shot at a wrecker driver who was trying to get in close. What grabbed my attention in this is how the defense's back is against the wall here. There is no question of Quintero's guilt.
"It's the defense lawyer's job to get the best deal for her client."
Okay, yes fair enough. However, since the defense cannot argue their client's innocense they only have one option. The insanity defense. Of course Quintero seems sane now, sane enough to agree to plead guilty if the death penalty is taken off the table. When that deal was rejected, "poof" he's now insane. I remember in college, the professors said the insanity defense works in less that 1% of the time it is attempted. I seriously doubt a rational, thinking jury will buy that argument either. Unless the defense gets lucky and finds the same type of morons that served on the OJ and Robert Durst trials. I hope the prosecution pays attention during voire dire.
"In a case like this, the facts suggest a mental instability," (Sandra Thompson of UH Law Center)Thompson said. "It would be hard to craft a defense of any other kind."
I agree with her on that. I'm sure Quintero has some tangled wiring upstairs, but I don't believe for an instant he didn't know what he was doing was wrong. He fully intended to kill Officer Johnson for arresting him.
There is another angle the defense will attempt to use. Quintero's attorney, Danalynn Recer also happens to be the founder of a local anti-death penalty organization. So, she is going to paint the illegal immigrant cop killer as a sympathetic, flawed human being who deserves to live. I'm not criticizing her for that for that is her job. I do criticize anyone who actually falls for it. I imagine she will do all she can to distract the jury from Quintero's shooting of Rodney Johnson with an array of "oh pobre cito" stories.
"Defense attorneys have worked to bury the prosecution in paper before the trial, which is expected to last one month. The team is expected to have access to national experts who oppose the death penalty."
In layman's terms, the defense will try to wear down the jury into sparing this piece of garbage's life. I wonder if the judge is going to allow these "national experts who oppose the death penalty" to testify. What do these clowns know about the actual murder that was committed? Remember, Juan Quintero is on trial, not the issue of the death penatly. I guess they teach that in law school, "if your case cannot be won on its own merit, then bring in the smoke and mirrors."

We're Famous!!! Well Not Really...

I'm featured in a swamplot post today. Woo Hoo!!!!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dear Discourteous Driver,

We were both at a gas station in Fort Bend County. You saw me heading for that gas pump, yet you floored your pedal and cut me off taking the spot. You're lucky I'm the bigger man who is not going to start a fight over a gas pump. However, I'm still petty enough to take a picture of your vehicle and tell the whole world that your mother was probably a man who failed to teach you basic human dignity. I hope you have a flat tire in the middle of the freeway and a rain storm erupts while you're changing it. You sir, can kiss my butt!!!!!!

Details Left Out In the Chronicle


Mike Tolson gives us this Houston Chronicle piece about a convicted cop killer who is trying to play the race card to get out of his murder conviction. The centerpiece to this story is this one liner;


"Federal courts have become increasingly sensitive to Texas defendants asserting race as a factor in jury selection."


However, I feel two important facts were left out of this story. This is how Mr. Tolson describes the murder of Houston Police Sergeant Kent Kinkaid;


"The circumstances surrounding Kincaid's death were unusual. He was driving with his wife in his personal car when Haynes drove past him and appeared to toss something that hit and cracked his windshield. Kincaid, who was not in uniform, followed Haynes until he stopped. When Kincaid approached the car, he identified himself and reached behind him, supposedly for his badge. Haynes, the son of a Houston Fire Department arson investigator, then shot him with a pistol."


Two problems with this. First problem is that the object the convicted murderer tossed was a bullet. As stated, Sgt. Kinkaid's wife was in the car when this guy murdered her husband. One of the paramedics on the scene told me his wife couldn't even remember her own name when they were trying to interview her. Third, the crook was in the middle of a robbery spree. Sgt. Kinkaid unfortunately stopped the man at the wrong time. Now, one would wonder why Mike Tolson would be so puff on this murderer. I found a 2001 article that Tolson wrote about convicted murderer Anthony Haynes. Mr. Tolson titled it "Borderline Cases Raise Questions About Death Penalty." This is what Mr. Tolson wrote back then;


"Once upon a time he was a model kid whose nickname was Sunshine. Now he frowns much of the time and is bitter over the recent events of his life. A couple of years on death row will do that to you.
Anthony Haynes has no one else to blame, of course. He didn't have to get involved with drugs or the dangerous crowd they often attract.
He did not have to participate in a brief robbery spree in May 1998.
And God knows he did not have to shoot police Sgt. Kent Kincaid. Drunk on the power of a gun and the arrogance of youth, he alone was responsible for his decision, and the series of bad decisions that led to it. "


In the 2001 article, it appears Mr. Tolson's rant is about the death penalty. If he is anti-death penalty fine, but he chose the wrong case to choose and call it 'borderline.' In today's article, he leaves out information that would overshadow the "racial card" that Haynes is trying to play to save his own worthless neck.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Paupers Cemetery
This presents an interesting problem. Police find a dead man off the side of the road. Investigation begins, autopsy completed, and nobody knows who this man was. Fingerprints come back to nothing, the body doesn't fit the description of any missing person. Literally, only God knows who this man was and he isn't going to tell the police. So what happens to his remains? No family has come forth to claim him. The county has to dispose of the unknown man's remains. From a fiscal standpoint it is cheaper to cremate the remains and be done with them. However, this was a human being and although nobody will ever know who he was or what his story was, there should be some semblance of respect. How does the county know if the man was against cremation by religious belief or personal opinion? While granted this is an extreme example, this story does ask a difficult question. A person dies, and their final expenses cannot be covered by the family or the estate. So that leaves the county with the task of disposing of the remains. I visited the "Paupers' Graveyard" a couple of years back. Here are some pictures;

If you live in the Harris County metroplex and you want to visit Harris County's "Paupers' Cemetery" the address is 5439 Oates Road in Houston.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How Much????

I found this out in Katy off of Fry Rd. Obviously juvenile humor and no, it wasn't me!!!!

Johnny Suttons' Star Witness To Plead Guilty

Remember the Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean? Well guess what! The drug mule was brought back to the United States, given immunity, and the opportunity to disprove the notion that crime doesn't pay is pleading guilty to the second incident of drug smuggling. Yep! You read right! The incident that was forbidden from being discussed at the Border Agents' trial because it may hurt the drug mule's credibility has come to a close. Here is the Washington Times' report (1st page anyway);

"A Mexican national who was shot by two Border Patrol agents but later was charged with smuggling marijuana is expected to plead guilty to those charges today in federal court in El Paso, Texas, The Washington Times has learned.
Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, whose testimony against Border Patrol Agents Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean led to their conviction in March 2006, was apprehended by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last year at the international port of entry in El Paso, after witnesses identified him in a second drug-smuggling operation.
Ramos and Compean are serving 11 and 12 years, respectively.
"He decided to take the plea," said a source close to the case who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the case and ongoing appeals of the two border agents. "He admitted to the two loads. Davila is looking at six to 10 years."
Court records show that Aldrete Davila is scheduled to plead guilty at the federal courthouse in El Paso at 3 p.m. local time.
The imprisoned agents, who already have spent more than a year in solitary confinement for their protection, appealed their case to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in December.
The 5th Circuit still has not returned a decision in the case, in which federal prosecutors admitted to the three-judge panel that Aldrete Davila lied.
"He told some lies," said Mark Stelmach, the assistant U.S. attorney who represented the government...."

I'm interested to see how long it takes for this story to make the local news circuit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Turn the lights back on in Huntsville...

The supreme court has ruled by a 7-2 vote that the three drug cocktail used to execute prisoners is humane. Executions in Texas have been on hold pending the outcome of this case from Kentucky challenging the method used, which is the same as the method used in Texas. With this last hurdle cleared, Texas is now free to resume executing prisoners.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Take a Walk

It's not often I get a chance just to wander with my camera. Even when I'm off I'm either doing some chore that I procrastinated on or catching up. Lately it's been doctor visits. However last month I got a chance to drive and walk through downtown Richmond, TX, with my camera handy. I think one of my favorite things to do is just to walk down an old street amongst old buildings. I try to imagine walking back through time. That's why I love visiting New Orleans so much. I imagine it will be the same thing if I ever get to visit Tombstone, Arizona. Here are some pictures I snapped along the way.
It looked old so I photographed it

I like scenes like this. Small town streets.

I think this is a Masonic Lodge.

Another street shot.

This is actually a bar.

I stumbled onto this cemetery next to the Fort Bend Sheriff's Dept.

It's mostly Hispanic-Catholic which would account for spiritual memorials like this.


This guy died young. One can't help wonder from what. Notice the beer can left in memoriam?

An old house next to another cemetery. I wish I would have tried to read that marker.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Well, Pat Lykos beat Kelly Seigler in the runoff. This one word has been coming out of my mouth all day. Here is my sentiment on Seigler losing (ignore the beginning trent productions crap, focus on what the man says in all the clips).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hey Chronicle: He Communicated With a Baseball Bat!
In this story the chronicle takes the case of a young man who was in jail and who is deaf. Reporter Terri Langford addresses the issues of communicating with deaf people inside the Harris County jail. Okay, fine, no problem. Langford left out one, teeny, tiny little factoid in this story.
"Christopher Fuentes' hands fly in front of him, recalling his recent stay inside the Harris County Jail after a violent Super Bowl Sunday fight with his brother landed him there."
What reporter Langford didn't elaborate on was that Mr. Fuentes took a base ball bat and almost beat his brother to death. The two got into an argument (because Mr. Fuentes wanted something and was told no by his mother) and started fighting. At the scene, police were told the brother did pick up a knife, but never got to use it. The brother was knocked on the floor and trying to defend himself, but Mr. Fuentes kept beating him, and beating him, and beating him. The house was a bloody mess. So, reserve your sympathy for this guy. The alleged "knife wound" was news to everyone since nobody said the knife got used.
"As a teen, Fuentes was diagnosed as bipolar and received services and medication ...." I think because of this Mr. Fuentes has been made to feel that his actions are not his fault, it's his 'condition.' His mother told officers this on the scene and was trying to convince the officers that he wasn't responsible for this. She was overheard by one officer saying she was going to try to downplay this to help her son. Looks like that is exactly what she did.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Danger Isn't Just on the Internet
I was surprised to read there are still phone chat lines out there. With the internet and sites like yahoo and myspace, I figured the phone chat/party line would go the way of the dodo. However, they have not as demonstrated in this story out of Baytown where at least four people have found themselves victims of set up attacks from using this line.
"It's like an on-line chat but this one is over the phone," (Baytown Police Detective)Elizondo said today."
Uh, detective, phone chat lines predate internet usage. I guess that's the only way to make people understand this concept (by comparing it to the internet) or he's not very current with the times.
"Two men, Elizondo said, "didn't want to tell officers why they were in Baytown."
Uh, that's because they weren't supposed to be there and didn't want their wives to find out. I can see the conversation now, "honey, I wanted to go shopping at San Jacinto Mall, I really don't care for Katy Mills Mall." Or, "honey, I felt like attending Lee Junior College! I know I have a Master's Degree, but I'm bored!"
See, it isn't just myspace and yahoo. People are using phone lines to lure them into robbery/attacks. The smart thing for these guys to do is to not to meet these "women" at apartment complexes, especially ones in Baytown. This is one of those stories where you shake your head and ask "what were they thinking, no wait, I know what they were thinking. Sadly the other brain was doing all the thinking."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Will Quanell Thank the Police?
Police arrested a 31 year old man for making a threat to stab the chronicle's beloved community pimp-activist Quanell X. I guess Quanell's crew wasn't around that day. Anyhow, that's really beside the point. I wonder if Quanell will thank the police for being impartial and doing their job. We'll just have to see.