Patterico's Pontifications

4/4/2004

Who’s “Lowering the Level of Discourse” Again?

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 9:23 pm

You gotta love this. Talk Left defends Daily Kos when he says of murdered Americans in Iraq: “Screw them.”

Then, when some right-wingers (like myself) object, she says this:

Well, we got 50 comments in before the right wingers caught onto the thread and began posting their hateful comments. Rather than delete them, we will close the comments now. We think all points of view have been expressed, and there are other blogs you can continue the discussion on. We don’t intend to let the opposition lower the level of discourse on our site.

Got that? We are the ones posting “hateful comments” and “lower[ing] the level of discourse.” But “screw the dead Americans” — there’s nothing wrong with that!

P.S. For a leftist who “gets it,” check out this comment on Kevin Drum’s site, by left-winger Jim Clark (warning: there is profanity — but it’s appropriate profanity):

I was dismayed by Kos’ repellent comments and delighted to read Kevin’s response. Obviously those of us on the left don’t condone barbarity. Obviously those of us on the left are outraged by the brutal murder of those seeking to rebuild Iraq. Obviously those of us on the left aren’t so consumed by anti-American hatred that we’d take the side of the mob.

Then I read the comments. Then I had to take a shower.

What a bunch of sick, twisted fucks. I wish I could believe that you are really Republican mercenaries, hired by Karl Rove to bring Democrats into disrepute. But just like the Republicans have to accept the votes of racist morons, it’s an unfortunate fact of political life that Democrats need the votes from the left’s own lunatic fringe.

I hope John Kerry will knock George Bush out of the White House, but I can’t escape a queasy sense of shame that an otherwise legitimate cause was aided by the worst people imaginable.

Hey, we appreciate the votes and all, but can’t you mental defectives shut the fuck up?

Great stuff. If you want to understand what he’s talking about, here is the thread. Make your way through the disgusting comments — if you dare.

Pig in a Poke: The Upcoming Initiative to Amend the Three Strikes Law

Filed under: Crime,No on 66 — Patterico @ 12:52 pm

In November, Californians may be voting on an initiative billing itself as the Three Strikes and Child Protection Act of 2004. A better name for the initiative would be the “Eviscerating Three Strikes and Putting Children at Risk from Sexually Violent Predators Act of 2004.”

According to a recent story in L.A. Weekly, almost all the required signatures have been collected, and polls (commissioned by organizations supporting the initiative) show strong support for the initiative. (Of course, you can give a poll that commands a sizable majority supporting the banning of water — it’s all in how you word the question.)

Support for the initiative probably stems from the public’s misunderstanding of the law. Many think that any three crimes will automatically get you a 25-to-life sentence. Not so. First, you must be convicted of two “strikes” — serious or violent felonies like rape, robbery, murder, carjacking, residential burglary, and arson. A list of strikes can be found here. Then, you must commit a third felony. With the passage of Proposition 36, you can’t get 25-to-life for drug possession any more, unless you have a “strike” prior and have been to prison within the last five years. And prosecutors and judges are not bound by the law, but have discretion to ignore strike priors to impose a more lenient sentence.

The initiative is a pig in a poke. It’s being sold as a combination “child protection” bill and a reasonable amendment of Three Strikes. It is neither. It is a wish list for defense attorneys. Even if you are sympathetic to the stated goal of the initiative — requiring that the third strike be a serious or violent felony — you need to be aware that the initiative does a hell of a lot more than that.

And calling it a “child protection” act is one of the most brazen lies I have ever seen. This initiative will result in the release of violent criminals who will victimize children. Make no mistake: innocent children will be harmed — not helped — by the passage of this initiative.

Here are the principal problems with the proposed initiative:
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Discrimination Against Arabs at the Airlines and the Taboo Topic of Rational Discrimination

Filed under: Political Correctness — Patterico @ 9:22 am

The New York Times reports that Continental Airlines has agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing it of discrimination against “travelers believed to have been of Arab, Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian descent” after the September 11, 2001 attacks. As part of the settlement, Continental is required “to provide civil rights training over the next two years to its pilots and cabin crew.” The settlement provides that the training “must cost the company no less than $500,000.”

Now, I have no idea whether Continental employees indeed engaged in inappropriate behavior or not. It is certainly conceivable that they took actions that were inexcusably rude and baselessly discriminatory. But I am very concerned about the chilling effect that lawsuits like this will have on the airlines’ ability to provide proper security. Will airline employees be reluctant to give a little extra attention to an Arab traveler in circumstances where such attention might be warranted?
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