The State of Texas: May 6, 2014
Video of the Day
For a wide-receiver, Manvel High School senior Gary Haynes has a pretty good arm, particuarly since he’s tossing the pigskin to … himself:
Secret Gun Show — The New York Times recently reported that in 2011, “it became public that the C.I.A. had some kind of secret location at Camp Stanley … though its purpose was unclear. And now, a retired C.I.A. analyst … has assembled a mosaic of documentation suggesting that it is most likely the home of ‘Midwest Depot.'” Referenced in documents since J. Edgar Hoover was in power, Midwest Depot’s unique in C.I.A. and military history because its collection and involvement reads like a hall of fame of poorly executed interventionism. “In a 2009 interview, a former C.I.A. logistics officer said AK-47 rifles sent to the Northern Alliance after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks came from the C.I.A.’s Midwest Depot stockpiles. Arms funneled to anti-Marxist fighters in the Angolan civil war in the 1970s did, too.” Other greatest hits include Midwest Depot’s role in the Iran-Contra affair, “paramilitary training of Cuban exiles before the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, and a 1987 State Department memo showing that equipment bound for the Nicaraguan contras passed through it.” Now that the secret’s very clearly out, one might think the C.I.A. would find an actual secret spot for their coup cache. Nope! The facility “has recently undergone a building boom of new warehouses” and in July “the Army sought to purchase two million rounds of ammunition of the caliber that fits [non-American] AK-47 rifles. … The delivery address: Camp Stanley.”
Poor Judgment — State District Judge Jeanine Howard has come under fire for some unfortunate words she delivered from the bench. Howard, who was presiding over a case where a twenty-year-old man pleaded guilty to raping a fourteen-year-old-girl, said during the sentencing portion of the trial that the girl “wasn’t the victim she claimed to be.” Howard then sentenced the perpetrator to probation and community sevice—at a rape crisis center. She said of her decision, “‘There are rape cases that deserve life. There are rape cases that deserve 20 years,’ Howard told the newspaper. ‘Every now and then you have one of those that deserve probation. This is one of those and I stand by it.'” All this, according to the Associated Press, happened before Howard finally recused herself from the case Friday. The Dallas County District Attorney, Craig Watkins, expressed public concern about the judge’s words, warning that it could have the detrimental effect of discouraging other rape victims from talking out against their abusers. “Hopefully, going forward, we’ll have judges that are more responsible,” he said.
Pet Cemetery — Stephen King would do well to come on down to Texas for research. The case of the Fort Worth veterinarian, which has been making national headlines, is getting scarier and scarier. Last week Dr. Millard “Lou” Tierce III stood accused of keeping a dog, scheduled to be euthanized, alive for blood transfusions. The vet later had his clinic raided and his license suspended. Yesterday, The Houston Chronicle reported that the vet has “admitted holding five such dogs for either experimentation or blood transfusion, according to documents.” There are no specifics about the “experimentation” but investigators did reportedly find plenty of specifics regarding inhumane conditions. Five dogs that were supposed to be euthanized were kept barely alive and the clinic appears to have been in a very decrepit state. “Animal organs were kept in jars throughout the clinic. Bugs were visible in exam rooms. Stacks of drugs, trash, laundry, paperwork and other miscellaneous material were strewn about the examination rooms, hallways, stairwells, operating room, laboratories and offices of the clinic.” The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is holding a hearing on the vet’s suspended license Friday.
Virtual Insanity — Grand juries in Houston have an interesting tool at their disposal: a shooting simulator. But some are concerned that this technological advancement, meant to help visualize how a shooting took place, might be causing some serious of impartiality. Critics of the simulator argue that when it comes to cases involving police officers and the use of deadly force, the crime is only viewed through the cop’s point of view. “Amid a streak of nearly 300 cases in which grand juries have cleared Houston police officers in shootings, the [simulator] training has become a point of contention among critics who say the simulator promotes a pro-law enforcement mindset,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. “One defense attorney recently unsuccessfully challenged the simulator’s use, calling it mind manipulation.” Proponents of the simulator, which was introduced a decade ago and is exclusively in Houston and San Antonio, insists it “does not make grand jurors favor one side over another in deciding whether to issue an indictment.”
Cross the Bridge to Get a Bridge — For many years now, Juarez has been known for one thing: the drug war. But as the city gets safer, it’s becoming a place of commerce again for people who want to take advantage of Mexico’s cheaper health care. The Atlantic recently talked with El Paso dentist Dr. Jessica Nitardy, whose practice is in Juarez. She attracts a lot of clientele from America: “I can count my Mexican patients on my fingers … No, they all come from Austin, Houston, even Florida, Colorado, Alaska … ” As the Atlantic piece explains, a “dental implant that runs $1,500 in the U.S. costs just $549 in her office. Crowns and bridges, two of the most expensive dental procedures, are also a third of the price,” and since an “estimated 42 percent of Americans don’t have dental insurance,” this little trip across the border makes perfect sense. Even Dr. Nitardy doesn’t want to work in the U.S. “It’s too pricey,” she said.