Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:23 pm

SOUTH L.A. KILLINGS GET LESS POLICE ATTENTION THAN OTHERS: That is the report in today’s Dog Trainer. The story, which is quite interesting, is based on a comprehensive study by the newspaper of LAPD statistics.

But it’s not really “news.” After reading the Dog Trainer article, I went to my bookshelf and pulled down my copy of The Killing Season, by Miles Corwin. I quickly confirmed my memory that what I read in the paper this morning had been reported by Corwin in his book, published over five years ago.

In the book, Corwin says: “Homicide detectives in South-Central investigate two to three times more cases than homicide detectives in most other LAPD divisions.” Corwin quotes an expert who states that this is “totally inappropriate and unacceptable,” and says that the ideal case load is six to eight homicides a year. South-Central detectives may get as many as twenty.

So the Dog Trainer story, while interesting, is old news. The Dog Trainer reporters didn’t have have to do a study. All they had to do was ask Miles Corwin. This wouldn’t have been so hard, incidentally. Mr. Corwin is not only a gifted author, but also a former Los Angeles Times reporter.

TOUR DE FRANCE: Here’s what

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:35 pm

TOUR DE FRANCE: Here’s what I don’t get. Okay, Lance Armstrong has won. He beat the runner-up, Jan Ullrich, by one minute and one second. Ullrich, “who won this race in 1997, didn’t succumb until Saturday’s final time trial when, racing all-out in a blowing rain, he skidded off his bike.”

But, see, Armstrong fell off his bike earlier, too — and Ullrich waited for him. So then I thought, well, apparently they only wait for you if you’re in the lead.

But reading the same article about when Ullrich waited for Armstrong, you learn that Ullrich fell two years ago. And back then, when Ullrich fell, “Armstrong, in the lead, stopped and waited.”

So how did Armstrong find out about Ullrich’s fall then? And why didn’t he find out this time? Or did he find out this time, but just refuse to stop? And why isn’t anyone talking about this?

I don’t really care about the Tour de France, you understand. I just noticed this apparent discrepancy and wondered what the deal was. If any reader knows, write me by clicking on the link to the left. Any answer that has the ring of authority will be reprinted here.

RECALL: It just occurred to

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 am

RECALL: It just occurred to me what is odd about this whole recall process. If you count a vote against the recall as a vote “for” Davis, Davis could get more votes than anyone else — multiples more, even — and still lose. As I understand it, if he doesn’t get 51% of the vote, he’s outta there. But the winner could win with, say, 10% — as long as he gets more votes than any other replacement candidate. So you could have a situation where Davis gets 49% of voters (voting “no” on the recall), and the next candidate gets 10% — and Davis loses to the 10% guy.

Now that’s just weird.

Even if the numbers are not that stark, it is nevertheless almost certain that if the recall succeeds, the “winner” will have received fewer votes than Davis — if you look at votes against the recall as votes for Davis. (Of course, this is a function of game theory: Democrats are necessarily aligned behind one person, whereas the mechanics of the recall, with no primary, result in Republicans’ fielding several candidates.) This will allow Democrats to continue their mythology of the “stolen” election. Perhaps this is what Terry McAuliffe had in mind all along.

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