Patterico's Pontifications

2/22/2004

GREAAAAAAT

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 9:03 pm

Turns out I have the top entry on Google for the search “dog” and “pornography”.

A hearty welcome to the sick bastard who accessed my site using this search.

GOOD ADVICE FOR PARENTS

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 7:32 pm

Justene at Calblog has good advice for parents looking to protect their children from bad people.

SHOCKER

Filed under: Politics — Patterico @ 6:49 pm

Arnold supporting an amendment to allow immigrants to become President?

Who woulda thunk it?

THE REAL VICTIMS, REUTERS-STYLE

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 3:58 pm

The web site Backspin has a screen shot from Reuters, showing a mourning family after the recent Jerusalem suicide bombing. But the mourning family is that of the suicide bomber.

Incredible.

ALLEGED MURDERER OF LAPD OFFICER APPARENTLY A THIRD-STRIKER

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:42 am

It is too early to say for sure, but there is a possibility that Kenrick Johnson, the man arrested for the recent murder of LAPD officer Ricardo Lizarraga, should have been behind bars — serving a life sentence under the Three Strikes Law.
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CIVICS 101, LESSON TWO: THE CONSTITUTION DOESN’T OUTLAW EVERYTHING THAT IS BAD

Filed under: Constitutional Law — Patterico @ 9:53 am

Bill Quick and Xrlq have had a dustup, leading Xrlq to declare Quick a “Blogtard.” Placing aside the personal issues, I think part of the problem is that Quick appears to fundamentally misunderstand the Constitution. Like many Americans, he appears to believe that anything that is Really Bad must be unconstitutional. (Quick uses as an example chainsaw rape, mocking Xrlq for suggesting that such a patently awful deed could be considered constitutional. Which, of course, it quite clearly is — as long as not committed by a state actor.)

Xrlq has done some good detail work lately explaining the specifics of the scope of constitutional prohibitions on private action, most notably in this quiz (answers to which are here). In this post I simply want to reinforce the bigger picture: just because something is Bad doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional. If more Americans would just understand this simple concept, maybe they would be less complacent about leaving important decisions to judges.

Declaring that a concept or action is constitutional is not the same as defending it. It is simply stating a fact.

A final point: the more liberals we get on the Supreme Court, the more we will move towards a situation where judges do decide that Really Bad things are therefore unconstitutional. The recent Lawrence decision, and notably the Court’s recent Eighth Amendment jurisprudence, are good examples of this trend. If this sounds good to you, just wait until the judges decide something is Really Bad (and therefore unconstitutional) that you happen to think is Good. What will you do then?

Deterrence Deters Only the Deterred

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 9:30 am

Opponents of the death penalty (such as the people in this TalkLeft thread) predictably argue that it is no deterrent. In making this argument, they often point to the people on Death Row and say: “People like that will never be deterred.”

To which I respond: “Duh.” If the death penalty deters some people, those people won’t end up on Death Row, will they?

Pointing to the example of people who were not deterred proves nothing about those who may have been. It is an argument that nobody is deterred, because some people were not deterred. When you phrase the argument this way, it is obviously illogical. Unfortunately, the emotion of the death penalty tends to blind people to such simple reasoning.

If you find yourself in a debate with a death penalty opponent, don’t get taken in by this logical fallacy.


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