Patterico's Pontifications


Three Strikes Quiz: Question Two

Filed under: Crime,No on 66 — Patterico @ 6:05 am

(Warning: disturbing, though fictional, images are described below. We are talking about crime here, after all.)

Today is Question Two in my ongoing set of quiz questions designed to reveal frightening aspects of the upcoming initiative to gut the Three Strikes law. Question One came yesterday, and revealed that Night Stalker Richard Ramirez would receive only one strike prior under the new law, for his 13 murder convictions and 30 related rape and robbery convictions.

Today’s question addresses another crime favorite: Charlie Manson.

Question Two:

Responding to pressure from liberals and the media, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger started aggressively paroling murderers. And so it came to pass that all living Manson family members were paroled.

You come home one day, and upon opening your door are greeted by a horrific scene before you even cross the threshold. The word “PIG” is written on the living room wall in huge red letters, made from your cat’s blood. Leslie van Houten is holding down your cat as Patricia Krenwinkel carves a word in the howling cat’s stomach, then guts it and hands it to Charlie. Swinging the disemboweled cat in one hand and pointing at you with the other hand, Charlie Manson screams at you: “I had them kill your cat, and I’ll have them kill you too! We’ll cut you up!” You turn on your heel and run — never having entered your residence.

a) What is the maximum prison sentence Manson faces under current law for his leadership role in these crimes?

b) What is the maximum prison sentence Manson will face for his leadership role in these crimes — once the new law passes?


Three Strikes Quiz: Question One

Filed under: Crime,No on 66 — Patterico @ 6:40 am

In the next few days I will post my critique of the upcoming initiative to water down the Three Strikes law. In the meantime, I’ll hopefully whet your appetite with some quiz questions designed to illustrate some of the most outrageous provisions of the law, as it would be amended if the initiative were to pass.

Question One:

For a period of several months in 1984 and 1985, Los Angeles was terrorized by Richard Ramirez, also known as the “Night Stalker.” The Night Stalker broke into residences in the middle of the night, through open windows or doors. He slaughtered any men inside. He raped, sodomized, beat, and cut up women and children. He would leave the women for dead, and would often kidnap the children.

Ramirez was tried for his crimes in one case. He was convicted of 13 counts of murder, as well as 30 additional counts of rape and residential burglary.

a) How many strikes does Ramirez have on his record?

b) How many strikes will Ramirez have on his record once the new law passes?


Pickering Interview

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:39 am

Did anyone see the Pickering interview on 60 Minutes? I didn’t. If you did, what did you think?


Mark Steyn Nails Dick Clarke

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 3:27 pm

Mark Steyn says it brilliantly:

Yessir, for eight years the Clinton administration was relentless in its commitment: no sooner did al-Qa’eda bomb the World Trade Center first time round, or blow up an American embassy, or a barracks, or a warship, or turn an entire nation into a terrorist training camp, than the Clinton team would redouble their determination to sit down and talk through the options for a couple more years. Then Bush took over and suddenly the superbly successful fight against terror all went to hell.

(Via The Lopsided Poopdeck.)

The Clintonesque Clarke

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 2:51 pm

Power Line has the goods. Here’s a line from Clarke’s testimony:

Let me talk about partisanship here, since you raise it. . . . Last time I had to declare my party loyalty, it was to vote in the Virginia primary for president of the United States in the year 2000. And I asked for a Republican ballot.

Yup. There was no Democratic primary in Virginia, so he voted for McCain in the Republican primary. Then, as he admitted this morning on Meet the Press, he voted for Al Gore in the general election.

That’s not quite the impression he meant to create with his testimony, is it?

As an e-mailer to Power Line put it: “Clinton could not have done it better.”

A Single Terror Watch List

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Outside the Beltway reports that we finally have one unified terror watch list.

Only took 2 1/2 years.

Show Me The Money People

Filed under: Politics — Patterico @ 12:02 am

Well, this is fun. You can look up who among your neighbors has given money to politicians.

If nothing else, I found it interesting to learn who my rich neighbors are. Turns out I live around the corner from Roy Romer and Jane Harman.

And what are Ben Affleck and Paul Newman doing living two blocks from the beach? They can’t afford beachfront property? After all, Romer and Harman can!

P.S. Here is a guy who has his bases covered!


Ginsburg Cartoon

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 11:10 pm

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s . . . a Ruth Bader Ginsburg editorial cartoon! (Via How Appealing.)

L.A. Weekly Lies About Three Strikes

Filed under: Crime,No on 66 — Patterico @ 3:50 pm

In the coming months, look for a lot of media distortion of the Three Strikes law. The reason is that voters will be faced with a ballot initiative in the next election which will propose requiring that the third strike be a serious or violent felony. The media is fully behind the initiative, and will do its best to hide the arguments against it. Be on guard.

Today’s example of distortion is this article in L.A. Weekly.

It’s All in the Headline

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 3:44 pm

Cori Dauber has an excellent observation about the sensationalistic headline of this article in yesterday’s Dog Trainer. The story is about suicide rates among troops in Iraq, and is introduced with the headline “High Suicide Rate Among Troops Found.”

But the story reports:

The suicide rate for Army soldiers in the Iraq campaign in 2003 was 17.3 per 100,000. . . . That rate was still below the national rate of 21.5 suicides per 100,000 for men ages 20-34, the age range of most soldiers in Iraq.

Dauber notes:

So I could just as legitimately have written a headline reading “Army Suicide Rate Lower Than National Average.” I suspect the parents of American soldiers opening their morning paper might have preferred seeing that, don’t you?

The story also notes that the suicide rate among soldiers in Vietnam was 15.6 per 100,000 — hardly any different.

Dauber concludes:

This is designed for people skimming the paper, who will just glance at a headline, and it isn’t even outrageous anymore. It’s saddening.

I don’t think this is so much an example of liberal bias as a preference for sensationalism. But it sure doesn’t strike me as responsible.

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