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Ladar Levison Weighs in on Barrett Brown Case

An interesting loop is nearing completion. I’ve profiled Barrett Brown and Ladar Levison. Barrett has written about me. Now Ladar is writing about Barrett. We only need Barrett to write about Ladar and Ladar to write about me. Come on, guys! We can do it.

Okay, Ladar has a piece in the Guardian today that you should read. As of 9:49 a.m. Central Standard, the piece appears to link to the same cache of hacked Stratfor information that Barrett got busted for linking to. (!) But that’s not really the most interesting part of Ladar’s story.

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Washington Post Goes Deep on the Barrett Brown Sentencing

Orin Kerr is a professor at The George Washington University Law School. He’s an expert on criminal procedure and computer crime law. Today in the Washington Post, he has a 3,100-word piece that breaks down the Barrett Brown sentencing like a fraction. Honestly, if you’re not a lawyer who works in this field, you probably don’t want to read it. Kerr himself makes a joke toward the end of his story about how only three people will read the entire thing. So here’s a taste if you don’t have the time and inclination to tackle the entire plate:

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Leading Off (1/30/15)

Fort Worth Officer Involved in Shooting. The officer is in stable condition after surgery on his abdomen. The suspect, a 40-year-old man with a reported history of mental illness, is dead.

Arlington Swingers Club Shutdown for Zoning Violations. Neighbors say it’s a sexual-oriented business. The city stresses that nobody found any criminal activity, though some of the parties had upwards of 200 guests. The “host” says he isn’t running a business because he only asks for donations ($80 for couples, $20 for single ladies), and he vows to keep “Eutopia” open.

Dallas Woman Convicted of Kidnapping Son. Erica Lonzetta Dominque abducted her son during a fight with the boy’s father, then drove the boy to an embankment and reportedly told him: “This is it for us. … You’re going to have to get killed.” (Side note: Sarah Mervosh is one of the best reporters at the DMN and her coverage of this story is proof. I dare you to read her description of the 6-year-old boy testifying against his mother and not get emotional.)

“Everest” Opera Opens Tonight. It tells the story of the men trapped on the mountain in the famous 1996 climbing disaster, including Beck Weathers, the Dallas man who at one point was left for dead in the blizzard.

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Barrett Brown Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison, Looks Horrible in Mustard Yellow Jail Togs

Yesterday at the Earle Cabell Federal Building, in the fine city of Dallas, Texas, a fellow named Andrew Blake wore a curious t-shirt to Judge Sam Lindsay’s court for a hearing to determine how much longer Barrett Brown ought to stay in prison. Blake got his shirt while covering the trial of Chelsea Manning. It was black, with one word, in white, printed across its chest: “truth.” Before things got started yesterday, a federal marshal approached Blake and told him he had to cover up the word. In case you missed that: he had to cover up “truth.” In a courtroom. That’s how it went for much of yesterday, like a script for a bad movie that any reasonable studio executive would read and reject because no way could the plot transpire in real life.

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Leading Off (1/23/15)

High-Speed Rail Line Likened to Berlin Wall. Judging by the responses we’ve seen in the comments of previous articles about the possibility, Dallas residents seem generally excited about the prospect of a high-speed rail line being built that will mean Houston is just 90 minutes away by train. But WFAA spoke with several Ellis County landowners who are none too excited about their property being divided by the project.

Prime Prep to Merge With Another School. The struggling charter academy, co-founded by former NFL star Deion Sanders, will reportedly hook up with another Oak Cliff campus, Triple A Academy. It’s not clear whether Triple A’s recent 117-10 basketball win had anything to do with the decision.

Cowboys Fan Sues NFL For $88 Billion. Terry Hendrix is upset about the officials’ reversal of Dez Bryant’s catch during this year’s playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, claiming damages for the league’s “negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and also reckless disregard.” The hand-written lawsuit was filed on Wednesday. Also of note, Hendrix is incarcerated in a Colorado correctional institution.

Dogs Mysteriously Disappearing in Wise County. And there’s “not one shred of physical evidence that proves the dogs were taken.” Has the pet rapture begun?

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Barrett Brown Sentenced to 63 Months In Prison

Tim finally got access to his phone and tweeted that Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison and ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution. So, with time served, two more years. (In a surprise move, Tim, aka “Jim Rogers from the Dallas Morning News,” was called to speak by the defense.) More later, obviously.

UPDATE: Barrett has released a statement:

Good news!

The U.S. government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex. For the next 35 months, I’ll be provided with free food, clothes, and housing as I seek to expose wrongdoing by Bureau of Prisons officials and staff and otherwise report on news and culture in the world’s greatest prison system. I want to thank the Department of Justice for having put so much time and energy into advocating on my behalf; rather than holding a grudge against me for the two years of work I put into in bringing attention to a DOJ-linked campaign to harass and discredit journalists like Glenn Greenwald, the agency instead labored tirelessly to ensure that I received this very prestigious assignment.

Wish me luck!

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One Woman’s Tale of Getting Mugged on a DART Train

Chelsey has the longest title at D Magazine. In our staff box, she is listed as “assistant to chairman & publisher/administrative coordinator.” Short version, though, she’s pretty awesome. Which is why, when I heard that she’d been mugged on a DART train yesterday, I was happy to learn that she was unharmed. Her mugging was a timely one. A petition was just launched demanding that DART increase security on trains and at stations. So I asked Chelsey to tell us her story:

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Ladar Levison Calls David Cameron’s Encryption Ideas ‘Insane’

British Prime Minister David Cameron today called on U.S. internet companies to give intelligence agencies greater access to their members’ communications so that authorities can better fight terrorism. He has in mind something like a back door that law enforcement could use to step around encryption. Our friend Ladar Levison doesn’t much care for the idea, which he called “insane.” Here’s what he told the Guardian:

“The rallying cry is that we have to stop terrorism. Everyone hates terrorism. The only thing we hate more than terrorism is hurting children. Whenever they want additional authorities, these are the issues they put on parade.”

“It reminds me of that quote from Benjamin Franklin: ‘Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.’”

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Leading Off (1/9/15)

Dallas ISD Dropping Some Tests. Kindergarteners, first-graders, and second-graders in DISD will no longer have to take twice-a-year Assessments of Course Performance in music, art, and gym after changes announced by district administrators on Thursday. The move comes after a widespread community outcry about the number of exams students must face. Results from the December ACPs will still count toward students’ grades. In case you’re curious about what’s on a second-grade gym test, one part required the kids to “demonstrate mature form in skipping.” Pretty sure I’d fail.

Deputy Fire Chief to Retire After Line-of-Duty Death Investigation. Bobby Ross was the commander on the scene when Dallas firefighter Stanley Wilson died. An internal affairs complaint filed with the department indicated that Ross made a “false and evasive” explanation of the orders he’d given that day. He wasn’t officially punished but was reassigned to the communications section. His resignation is reportedly official on Tuesday.

Did Diabetes Cause Murder of Kaufman County DAs? Eric Williams was sentenced to death last month for killing Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. On Thursday he underwent a brain scan that his attorneys hope will show diabetes-caused brain damage that led to his rampage. Then they would argue he deserves a new trial or a reduction in punishment.

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The Most Popular D Magazine Blog Posts of 2014

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt already aware that D Magazine Partners does far more than publish a group of glossy monthly magazines. Each day our editors are involved, primarily through our family of blogs, in an ongoing, lively conversation about what’s happening in Dallas.

These were the most popular blog posts of the year on our site:

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David Kattner Arrested on a Charge of Sexual Assault

It’s almost Christmas, so I will try not to gloat too much and revel in the downfall of Officer David Kattner, a 26-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. Just the facts.

In 2007, we published a story that involved Kattner. The story revealed how Kattner and his fellow officers would harass prostitutes and homeless people, writing them tickets for offenses they didn’t commit so that the cops could later arrest the people on felony charges after they didn’t take care of their tickets. The five cops in that story — Kattner, Jeffrey Nelson, Alfred Schoelen Jr., Timothy Stecker, and Walter Clifton — sued us for defamation. They appealed a trial court’s decision in our favor, taking the matter to the Fifth District Court of Appeal. They lost there, too. It took us four years to get these guys off our back.

Kattner was arrested yesterday on a sexual assault charge. It appears that he was forcing a prostitute to perform oral sex on him by “showing her her outstanding warrants and telling her he knew where her daughter lives.” Detectives are trying to determine whether there are other victims.

The end.

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Leading Off (12/19/14)

Mavs Acquire Rajon Rondo. In a move that signals the 19-8 Dallas Mavericks are planning a serious run at the NBA title this season, the team traded three players and draft picks to the Boston Celtics to get the point guard. Rondo is set become a free agent after this season.

Pilot Dead After Small Plane Crash. He was attempting to land his aircraft at Mesquite Airport just after 6 p.m. last night when he struck two homes in Seagoville about 9 miles south of the airport and landed in an open field. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Cow Thefts on the Rise. Just two or three cows are now worth $4,000 to $5,000 thanks to our insatiable appetite for beef, so the number of incidents of cattle rustling at North Texas ranches is up. As this great recent Planet Money podcast episode explains, the crime is fairly easy to get away with.

UT-Dallas Graduates Its Youngest Ph.D. Ever. Austin Howard started college at age 13 and earned his bachelor’s degree before he was 16. Now, at 22, he’s got a doctorate in physics. Yeah, so what have you done with your life, slacker?

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