Patterico's Pontifications

1/16/2007

Water Intoxication

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:08 pm

Did you know you can die from drinking too much water? Here is a story of a woman who drank two gallons as part of a radio contest and was later found dead of “water intoxication.”

Weird. You learn something new every day.

In Devin Brown Ruling, L.A. Times Pretends to Be Concerned with Secrecy, But Is Truly Concerned Only with Results

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:09 am

A group meets behind closed doors to decide whether an LAPD officer has used excessive force. Does the Los Angeles Times trumpet the courage of the group’s findings? Or does it loudly denounce the secrecy with which the decision was made?

That, my friends, depends entirely upon whether the findings are for or against the officer who allegedly used excessive force.

If the group’s findings are favorable to the officer, then the group’s secrecy in reaching the findings will be deemed spooky and Orwellian. That secrecy will become the subject of numerous articles.

By contrast, if the group’s findings go against the officer, then the theme of the article will be the courage of the group in reaching the findings. And the fact that they were reached in secret? It’s hardly worth mentioning! Secrecy, schmecrecy!

These are serious charges I’m making, because if true, they demonstrate a marked anti-police bias on the part of the editors.

But I can prove them.

A recent series of articles in the paper has highlighted the secrecy of findings made by an LAPD Board of Rights, exonerating Officer Steven Garcia of wrongdoing in the shooting of 13-year-old Devin Brown. Again and again, the articles have emphasized the secrecy of the Board of Rights’s decisionmaking process. The articles repeatedly quote “experts” who say that the public can’t have any confidence in the Board of Rights’s findings, because of the secrecy with which the decision was reached.

The articles also make a point of contrasting the Board of Rights’s findings with those made by a five-member Police Commission in February of last year. Unlike the Board of Rights, the Police Commission found that the shooting was out of policy.

Yet in the recent articles on the Board of Rights’s decision, the paper never explains that the contrary Police Commission findings were made in a process every bit as secret as that of the Board of Rights. (The only difference I can see is that the Police Commission’s results were officially announced and released by the Commission, whereas the Board’s were released by the officer, because of the necessity for a privacy waiver. This is not a meaningful distinction, as the public has learned the results and reasoning in both cases. But the process — the proceedings, taking of evidence, and deliberations — was secret in both cases.) And when the paper initially reported the Police Commission’s findings, the secrecy of the Commission’s proceedings was barely mentioned, and was given no prominence whatsoever.

As I say in the headline, the editors appear to care about the secrecy of these proceedings only when an emphasis on the proceedings’ secrecy might help undercut the legitimacy of a decision that was favorable to the accused officer. Otherwise, the editors apparently couldn’t care less about secrecy.

Details in the extended entry.

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