Patterico's Pontifications

4/16/2008

Recycling the LA Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Humor — DRJ @ 11:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Good news from the Readers’ Rep for those who use the LA Times for dog training and other pet purposes. In response to a reader’s question, the Rep advises that the LA Times is safe for rabbit bedding:

“And readers ask the darnedest questions. The question from Tom Tetzlaff of Lake Forest ended up being sent on behalf of his rabbit: “I’d heard that The Times was printed using soy ink … even the color photos? Obviously the inserts you don’t have complete control over. Need to know.”

The short answer: Yes.
***
Tetzlaff’s note of thanks for the link included a postscript. “Not to give you the impression that we don’t READ The Times (we do), we just wanted to know if our rabbit could make bedding out of it after we’re done with a copy. Another way of recycling.”

It’s not just a dog trainer. It’s recycling.

— DRJ

Democratic Debate in Philly (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I just got in and haven’t seen any of the debate. I hope I missed some fireworks.

Add your comments here and tell me what I missed.

UPDATE: Here’s some post-debate analysis from Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic and NBC’s Chuck Todd.

— DRJ

Ahmadinejad Takes on 9/11

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 3:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Iran’s Ahmadinejad is a 9/11 truther:

“Ahmadinejad called the 9/11 attacks a “suspect event” in a speech at a public rally in the holy city of Qom.

“Four or five years ago a suspect event took place in New York,” Ahmadinejad said, in an address carried live on state television.

“A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed, whose names were never published.”

“Under this pretext they (the United States) attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then a million people have been killed,” said the Iranian president.

This was the third time in just over a week that Ahmadinejad has publicly raised doubts about the September 11 airborne attacks on New York and Washington carried out by Al-Qaeda militants which killed nearly 3,000 people.”

It’s tempting to ignore Ahmadinejad’s rants but we do so at our peril.

— DRJ

Order in the Court (Updated)

Filed under: Court Decisions,Law — DRJ @ 2:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

An Austin, Texas, lawyer has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for contempt after making an obscene gesture in court last month that he claimed was directed at “ruthless prosecutors” and not the judge:

“Saying that Austin defense lawyer Adam Reposa tarnished the dignity of the judicial process by making a lewd gesture in court last month, visiting state District Judge Paul Davis today sentenced Reposa to 90 days in jail for contempt of court.

Reposa, 33, was led from the courtroom at the Heman Sweatt Travis County Courthouse in handcuffs. He whispered to his lawyer and other defense lawyers in attendance about filing an appeal. He told reporters Davis’ punishment “was fair.”

A day earlier after a more than four-hour hearing, Davis found Reposa in contempt for making a gesture simulating masturbation while standing before County Court-at-Law Judge Jan Breland during a pretrial hearing March 11. Breland testified that Reposa rolled his eyes and looked at her while motioning with his right hand near the front of his waist. Reposa said the gesture came from near his hip and was aimed at a prosecutor. They were discussing plea negotiations in a driving while intoxicated case.”

Reposa apologized but also attempted to justify his behavior:

“[Judge] Davis noted that Reposa, when testifying in Tuesday’s hearing, fluctuated between apologizing for offending Breland to justifying his behavior as that of a zealous defender taking on ruthless prosecutors in the county attorney’s office.

“In other words,” Davis said, “you weren’t accepting responsibility.”

The Travis County attorney’s office presented Breland’s case against Reposa. First Assistant County Attorney Randy Leavitt argued in a closing argument that Reposa’s gesture was the latest and worst of a string of offensive behavior by the lawyer. Reposa has called prosecutors vulgar names in court, he said.

Defense counsel offered a good analysis of Reposa’s behavior:

“Reposa’s defense lawyer Carlos Garcia, who didn’t attempt to justify Reposa’s behavior, suggested that Davis sentence Reposa to one day in jail.

“No lawyer has the right . . . to go into a courtroom and do what you did,” Garcia said during closing arguments. “This is crazy.”

I think this case shows an attorney can be overly zealous.

UPDATE 4/17/2008:
After 8 hours in custody, Reposa was released from jail pending appeal.

— DRJ

Vintage Scalia On Display In Lethal Injection Case

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,Judiciary — Justin Levine @ 12:47 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

DRJ is on the case in timely fashion, but do yourself a favor – don’t just read the news accounts of the Baze opinion. Read the entire concurrence by Antonin Scalia [starting on page 57 of this PDF document]. Scalia unloads on Justice Stevens and gives him the biggest ass-ripping since the one he gave to Sandra Day O’Connor in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

It is decisions like this that make it quite obvious that Scalia’s critics will never get the better of him. His reasoning is just too solid – forcing his detractors to embrace positions that contradict fundamental tenants tenets of both democracy and the English language.

Here is but a small taste –

As JUSTICE STEVENS explains, “ ‘objective evidence, though of great importance, [does] not wholly determine the controversy, for the Constitution contemplates that in the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment.’ ” Ante, at 14 (quoting Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U. S. 304, 312 (2002); emphasis added; some internal quotation marks omitted). “I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of he death penalty” is unconstitutional. Ante, at 17 (emphasis added).

Purer expression cannot be found of the principle of rule by judicial fiat. In the face of JUSTICE STEVENS’ experience, the experience of all others is, it appears, of little consequence. The experience of the state legislatures and he Congress—who retain the death penalty as a form of punishment—is dismissed as “the product of habit and inattention rather than an acceptable deliberative process.” Ante, at 8. The experience of social scientists whose studies indicate that the death penalty deters crime is delegated to a footnote. Ante, at 10, n. 13. The experience fellow citizens who support the death penalty is described, with only the most thinly veiled condemnation, as stemming from a “thirst for vengeance.” Ante, at 11. It is JUSTICE STEVENS’ experience that reigns over all.
* * *

Well done Nino!

Kudos to Justice Thomas as well, whose concurrence I find much more persuasive than Chief Justice Robert’s plurality opinion. It starts of page 65 of the PDF document.

[Justin Levine]

Supreme Court Upholds Lethal Injection (Updated)

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions — DRJ @ 8:08 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld Kentucky’s use of lethal injections:

“We … agree that petitioners have not carried their burden of showing that the risk of pain from maladministration of a concededly humane lethal injection protocol, and the failure to adopt untried and untested alternatives, constitute cruel and unusual punishment,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in an opinion that garnered only three votes. Four other justices, however, agreed with the outcome.

Roberts’ opinion did leave open subsequent challenges to lethal injection practices if a state refused to adopt an alternative method that significantly reduced the risk of severe pain.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter dissented.”

The Baze opinion is here. Here are the votes/positions:

“ROBERTS, C. J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which KENNEDY and ALITO, JJ., joined. ALITO, J., filed a concurring opinion. STEVENS, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. SCALIA, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which THOMAS, J., joined. THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which SCALIA, J., joined. BREYER, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SOUTER, J., joined.”

UPDATE – As always, don’t miss Beldar’s analysis. Here’s a taste:

“But a mostly well-functioning method of execution — as an instrument of public justice in those states that have chosen the death penalty — ought not be halted because it’s short of perfect, or because there are arguably better methods and protocols “out there” yet to be discovered, defined, and implemented.”

In addition, don’t miss the part where Beldar explains the relevance of eyelash-tickling.

— DRJ

L.A. Times Op-Ed: Muslims Love Equal Rights for Women and Hate Terrorism. Really?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:02 am

It’s old news, but going through my e-mail, I see that one of my readers (Mike H. from Irvine) pointed me to this L.A. Times op-ed that was published when I was on vacation. The op-ed argues that Muslims really love women’s rights and hate terrorism. But it leaves out a few facts.

The authors tell us: “Anti-Muslim sentiment fuels misinformation, and is fueled by it — misinformation that is squarely contradicted by evidence.” The authors go on to dispute the notions that, for example, Muslims are against equal rights for women, or that they support terrorism:

For instance, Gallup found that 72% of Americans disagreed with this statement: “The majority of those living in Muslim countries thought men and women should have equal rights.” In fact, majorities in even some of the most conservative Muslim societies directly refute this assessment: 73% of Saudis, 89% of Iranians and 94% of Indonesians say that men and women should have equal legal rights. Majorities of Muslim men and women in dozens of countries around the world also believe that a woman should have the right to work outside the home at any job for which she is qualified (88% in Indonesia, 72% in Egypt and even 78% in Saudi Arabia), and to vote without interference from family members (87% in Indonesia, 91% in Egypt, 98% in Lebanon).

Well, that’s just peachy. But the fact remains that, according to the Washington Post, “Saudi Arabia follows a strict version of Islam that bans men and women from mingling and does not allow women to drive or travel without a male guardian’s permission.” In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to vote. And if they get raped, they may end up getting lashed.

I could go on and on about this, but there is another misleading aspect of the op-ed to address:

What about Muslim sympathy for terrorism? Many charge that Islam encourages violence more than other faiths, but studies show that Muslims around the world are at least as likely as Americans to condemn attacks on civilians. Polls show that 6% of the American public thinks attacks in which civilians are targets are “completely justified.” In Saudi Arabia, this figure is 4%. In Lebanon and Iran, it’s 2%.

Once again, that’s lovely to see . . . but riddle me this: how is it, then, that a poll of Palestinians by an independent Palestinian group showed that “68 percent said they approved of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, down slightly from 74 percent in December”?

If attitudes are really as depicted in this op-ed, I’m happy to hear it. Now how’s about making reality even slightly consistent with those attitudes?


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