Free Markets, Free People

Texas


Burglar calls 911 after gun wielding owners hold him at gunpoint

Well, here’s a use of 911 I didn’t foresee:

A suspected burglar called 911 after the owner of the home he broke into caught and held him at gunpoint.

The suspect, Christopher Moore, placed the emergency call in Springtown, Texas, during the botched burglary attempt early Tuesday after James Gerow, the homeowner, and Gerow’s son pointed guns at him as he sat in his pickup truck parked in the driveway.

“I’m out in the country somewhere,” Moore told the 911 operator during the 10-minute call. “Some guy’s got a gun on me.”

Gerow’s wife, Lindy, placed a concurrent call to 911 that confirmed Moore’s account.

“You better come quick,” she said, “or my husband’s going to shoot him.”

“If he gets out of the truck, shoot him in the legs,” James Gerow told his son, according to the Dallas Morning News Crime Blog. “You ain’t gotta kill him—just shoot him in the legs.”

When police arrived, both Moore and Lindy Gerow were still talking to 911 dispatchers.

According to CBS’ Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate, Moore was arrested and charged with burglary. He’s currently being held on a $35,000 bond.

So, uh, Bob Costas, what’s your take on this?  These “bitter clingers” just protected themselves and their property and brought a law breaker to justice.  All with guns.  And not a person was killed … or even shot.

~McQ


DEA sting gone wrong violated Texas truck owner’s rights

Need a story to get you all fired up this morning?  Looking for something to make you see red?

The DEA provides it (from the Houston Chronicle via NRO):

The phone rang before sunrise. It woke Craig Patty, owner of a tiny North Texas trucking company, to vexing news about Truck 793 — a big red semi supposedly getting repairs in Houston.

“Your driver was shot in your truck,” said the caller, a business colleague. “Your truck was loaded with marijuana. He was shot eight times while sitting in the cab. Do you know anything about your driver hauling marijuana?”

“What did you say?” Patty recalled asking. “Could you please repeat that?”

The truck, it turned out, had been everywhere but in the repair shop.

Commandeered by one of his drivers, who was secretly working with federal agents, the truck had been hauling marijuana from the border as part of an undercover operation. And without Patty’s knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration was paying his driver, Lawrence Chapa, to use the truck to bust traffickers.

The concept of private property?  Completely ignored.  Permission?  We don’t need no stinkin’ permission.  We’re the federal government.  We’re the DEA.

But eight months later, Patty still can’t get recompense from the U.S. government’s decision to use his truck and employee without his permission.

His company, which hauls sand as part of hydraulic fracturing operations for oil and gas companies, was pushed to the brink of failure after the attack because the truck was knocked out of commission, he said.

Patty had only one other truck in operation.

In documents shared with the Houston Chronicle, he is demanding that the DEA pay $133,532 in repairs and lost wages over the bullet-sprayed truck, and $1.3 million more for the damage to himself and his family, who fear retaliation by a drug cartel over the bungled narcotics sting.

Out of control?  That’s a vast understatement.  This is like Fast and Furious Jr.  Who thought this up? Who approved it?  Why didn’t they seek the permission and cooperation of the owner of the business and property?  Where in the world do they get off commandeering private property and endangering the life and livelihood of a citizen without seeking his okay to use his property?

The operation was a fiasco:

At least 17 hours before that early morning phone call, Chapa was shot dead in front of more than a dozen law enforcement officers – all of them taken by surprise by hijackers trying to steal the red Kenworth T600 truck and its load of pot.

In the confusion of the attack in northwest Harris County, compounded by officers in the operation not all knowing each other, a Houston policeman shot and wounded a Harris County sheriff’s deputy.

17 hours before the owner of the truck was notified and that notification didn’t come from either the police or the DEA.  The only thing the DEA didn’t commandeer for this operation was a clown car.  Said Patty:

"I was not part of this," he said. "I had absolutely no knowledge of any of it until after it happened."

For its part, the DEA has not admitted that it was using Chapa as a spy because its official policy is not to comment on whether someone was an informant.

Lisa Johnson, a spokeswoman for the DEA Houston Division, confirmed that Patty’s demand had been received and noted that it would be investigated by the agency. But the Chronicle established Chapa was an informant based on interviews with multiple law-enforcement officials who spoke on the condition they not be named, and later by courtroom comments of prosecutors.

So now the DEA will drag its feet, pretend like it is investigating this, refuse to admit anything, and, as is fairly standard and routine behavior for government agencies violating the rights of the citizens these days, obfuscate, evade and attempt to block every move to shine a light on this operation.

This is outrageous.  And, if the facts presented by the Chronicle are true, whoever put this together and executed it deserves to be put on trial and put in jail.  That’s right, jail.  We want someone held accountable for this travesty for a change.

As for Patty, pay the man, DEA.  You screwed up big time, you were wrong to commandeer his property and put his life in danger.  You had no right to do any of that and you owe him the chance to get his life and that of his family back in order.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


More on those Texas jobs

In addition to what Bruce wrote below, I’d like to point you to Political Math’s analysis of Texas’ job performance. In this analysis, he takes the criticisms we’ve been hearing for the last two days and refutes them, point by point, using actual BLS statistical data. It’s a great job of analysis, with, like, charts, and stuff. They key takeaway:

My advice to anti-Perry advocates is this: Give up talking about Texas jobs. Texas is an incredible outlier among the states when it comes to jobs. Not only are they creating them, they’re creating ones with higher wages.

And he has the actual statistical work to back that claim up. For instance, here are two of the charts he presents, that I have superimposed to create a single chart showing the employment level in the US, compared to Texas. It’s most instructive:

TX vs US Unemployment

This single chart says a whole lot.

~
Dale Franks
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IED found on Texas bridge

An ominous sign of the times I’m afraid.  A short blurb from a Texas TV station’s website:

Police say a passerby on the southbound side of Highway 77 noticed what looked like a grenade near the FM 1732 overpass and alerted authorities around 5 p.m. Sunday.

The improvised explosive device or I-E-D was disarmed by a bomb squad using a robot. No one was hurt. Parts of Highway 77 were closed for several hours.

Police are continuing to investigate.

IEDs are simply a terrorist’s tool (you can argue they’re a guerilla’s tool as well, identifying the guerilla as something other than a terrorist – but for the most part in the last two decades, the IED has been used by terrorists).  Sure it can be used to attack conventional forces in a war, but it is also a means of spreading terror, intimidating locals and tying up police forces and the like.   Pipe bombs are “IEDs” and have been used by domestic terrorists for decades.

The fact that the IEDs used on roads in Iraq and Afghanistan has migrated, at least in this instance, to US soil – especially in the area of Texas it was found (Mexican border about as far south in the US you can go) and with the ongoing drug war -  shouldn’t come as a particular surprise.  It could indicate that the “art” of IEDs is being passed around among terrorist groups.  Why it was on this overpass is obviously open to speculation.

However, what isn’t open to speculation is the fact that this nation is seen to be a nation in decline, weaker than it once was and therefore more open to attack.  Additionally the border is porous (well, unless you’re trying to bring in Kinder eggs) and moving IED components through it isn’t a particularly difficult task.

So what was this IED all about?  Trail run?  Test to see if it would be spotted (they apparently didn’t try to hide it).  An attempt to ambush law enforcement?  Some sort of terrorist statement?  None of the above?

Unknown at this point.  But it should be disturbing that an IED has been built and apparently successfully installed here.  It could be the first of many.

~McQ


Zombie climate-change – administration says still possible during lame-duck session

Yes, yes, we were assured that the “climate change” portion of any energy bill was dead in this Congress.  More popularly known as the “cap-and-trade” portion of such a bill, we were assured by Democratic leaders that it just wasn’t something that was possible or probable during this session of Congress.

Well, like most things they tell us, don’t ever believe anything:

Carol Browner, the White House’s top energy and environmental adviser, refused on Sunday to shut the door on passing climate change legislation this year — even though Senate Democratic leaders have conceded they lack the votes and have punted on the volatile issue.

Browner said on NBC’s "Meet the Press" that President Barack Obama is still committed to pushing the bill through the Senate, and that there was "potential" for the bill to come up in a post-election, lame-duck session of Congress.

Browner’s remarks will almost certainly give ammunition to Republicans who say Democrats are plotting to do mischief in a lame-duck session — even though top congressional Democrats have thrown cold water on an overly ambitious lame-duck agenda.

Agenda politics is agenda politics and the power shifts to the loser with a majority if in fact Democrats get drubbed in November.  I mean, what do they have to lose at that point.  So it will truly become more about agenda and party  (and not what is best for America) – even more so than it is now.

Never, ever, ever think or believe the left is done with something they want badly.  Ever.  Even though the economics of an additional tax on energy at the height of a recession is absolutely the dumbest thing one can imagine doing, that won’t deter the ideologues from their agenda.

By the way, the EPA is attempting to do by fiat and interpretive regulation what the Congress hasn’t yet been able to do by law.  And, God bless ‘em, Texas has told them to go pound sand.

~McQ

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