Patterico's Pontifications

2/18/2009

Some Evening Links

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:44 pm
  • Islamic Rage Boy discusses the beheading of the TV station owner’s wife and asks: where is the footage?

Holder: We Are “Cowards” On the Issue of Race

Filed under: General,Race — Patterico @ 7:41 pm

Eric Holder says we are all “cowards” on the issue of race:


Readers will have to fill me in on what Holder has done to show he’s not himself a coward on the issue.

Assuming the answer is “nothing,” I have a suggestion. Tell Al Sharpton and the geniuses at the Huffington Post (one of the world’s best blogs!) that this unfunny cartoon is just an unfunny cartoon and not a racist outrage.

In the post linked above, Allahpundit puts it best in addressing Holder’s “cowards” accusation:

There’s nothing shocking about this, unless it’s how pedestrian it is. It’s the same old nonsense about having an “honest” conversation on race, which typically means agreeing root and branch with the leftist position on any policy issue that touches that subject (e.g., illegal immigration) on penalty of being called a racist.

The stupid monkey cartoon controversy shows how right he is.

UPDATE: You people do realize there was an actual crazy chimp in the news recently, right?

Today’s School-Related First Amendment Controversy

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 7:04 pm

Should a school district be allowed to kick a student out of student government after he called school officials “douchebags” on his personal blog?

My question: are they? (Douchebags, that is.)

Should There Be a “Purple Heart” for LAPD Officers?

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 2:45 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The Los Angeles Times reports today on an effort to institute an award within the Los Angeles Police Department that would, like the military’s Purple Heart, recognize officers who suffer a severe traumatic injury in the line of duty. Readers may find this to be little cause for debate, and indeed such awards are already given by the police departments in Chicago, Denver, and several other cities. The New York Police Department started handing out it’s Purple Shield award in 1995, when LAPD chief William Bratton was the city’s police commissioner.

I wish I could say I was surprised by this, but there are those within city government who are concerned about the financial costs such an award would incur. The Times quotes an internal LAPD document prepared when this idea was put forth and rejected on a previous occasion. “An award for injuries sustained in the line of duty,” says the report, “serves little or no useful purpose.” Apparently, there are those who consider an expression of gratitude for a great sacrifice to be of “no useful purpose.” Another reason given for the earlier rejection was that highlighting officers’ injuries and deaths might have a negative effect on recruiting.

One might suggest that such staggering ignorance among city officials has a more deleterious effect on police recruiting than does recognizing an officer who takes a bullet on behalf of the people he serves. But hey, I’m just a cop. What do I know?

And speaking of ignorance, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the labor union for rank-and-file officers, has filed a lawsuit in an effort to protect its members from one type of ignorant decision made by command officers. In previous posts (here, here, and here), I discussed the harebrained directive by an LAPD deputy chief to send officers into a fracas without their helmets and face shields. The incident took place on January 10 at the West L.A. Federal Building, where pro-Palestinian demonstrators squared off with police officers and sheriff’s deputies. A helmetless LAPD officer was struck on the head with a sign and had to be treated at an emergency room. The lawsuit seeks to force the LAPD to follow its own written policies and not send officers into hostile crowds without their safety equipment.

It’s a pity the Protective League had to resort to a lawsuit to achieve these ends, but no one familiar with how things work in the LAPD should be surprised.

–Jack Dunphy

Deporting Illegal Aliens: Inherently Wrong? We’re Starting to Treat It That Way . . .

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 1:04 am

Is catching and deporting illegal aliens an inherently bad thing?

You’d think the answer is obvious: of course not. Yet, when you think about it, that is the question raised by two recent news articles.

First, there has been a verdict in the case of that Arizona rancher who held illegal aliens at gunpoint on his property. As I told you in detail here, his ranch has been vandalized by trespassing illegal aliens for years. He has turned over 10,000 over to ICE. Some of the illegals he detained sued him — and guess what? They won:

A federal jury found Tuesday that a southern Arizona rancher didn’t violate the civil rights of a group of illegal immigrants who said he detained them at gunpoint in 2004.

The eight-member civil jury also found Roger Barnett wasn’t liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment.

But the jury did find him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages — $60,000 of which were punitive.

Lord. This is where, five years ago, I would have engaged in a verbose tirade. Now, the tirades have been beaten out of me. This is too outrageous for words, and I have none adequate to the occasion.

Second, we have an interesting article on ICE fugitive alien raids forwarded by commenter “Hax Vobiscum.” The complaint, recently discussed on this blog, is that teams devoted to arresting fugitive aliens have been targeting illegals who aren’t fugitive aliens. As I told you in two posts (here and here) about an L.A. Times article on the issue, a recent report didn’t bear out the contention that the teams were actually targeting non-fugitive aliens. Rather, the report suggested that the teams were arresting increasing numbers of fugitive aliens (including those with criminal records) every year, together with even more non-fugitive aliens encountered during the raids.

But the new Washington Post article raises the first real evidence that teams may actually have been targeting illegal aliens who aren’t criminals. Read the whole article and watch the accompanying video, and you’ll see the evidence is far from conclusive. Some agents have one story, and others have a different story. The article centers on an incident that began when ICE agents rolled into a 7-11 parking lot and had illegals running up to offer day labor services — that much is corroborated by the video. Even the focus of the sob story — a fellow stopping for a coffee break while his son was being treated at a nearby hospital — refuses to say whether he is illegal, on the advice of his lawyers.

As regular readers know, I support targeting illegal aliens who have committed crimes other than entering the country illegally. Deporting those illegals should be our top priority. But if you’re an ICE agent and illegals come running up to your car to offer illegal day labor, I don’t think you’re obliged to ignore that. On the contrary, I think you’re obliged to act.

You could pick apart the specifics of the particular scenario and the videotape endlessly, but the bottom line is this: prioritizing the deportation of criminals should be ICE’s top priority. But there is nothing inherently wrong with deporting illegal aliens, regardless of whether they have committed crimes unrelated to their immigration status.

Let’s stop criticizing ICE for doing its job. But let’s continue encouraging ICE to prioritize deporting the criminals first.

Sacramento Bee Tells You What the State Crap Sandwich Will Cost You

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:28 am

If you live in California, the Sacramento Bee has an online calculator that will help you learn how much extra you will pay in taxes if the Democrats manage to shove this $14 billion tax increase down our throats.

I don’t want to disclose how much the calculator said we’d have to pay, but — hang on a second — [An “intermission” sign goes up. Cue sound of elevator music. In the background, we hear the sound of disappearing footsteps down a long hallway. A heavy metal door is heard opening, then closing again. Now, just barely audible above the cheery music, we hear the sound of a middle-aged man behind the door, screaming unholy obscenities for about 30 seconds, until he becomes hoarse. The door is heard to open once again, then shut. The sound of approaching footsteps, the sign lifts, and —]

Well, anyway, it’s a lot.

Something to keep in mind, should the opportunity to join a taxpayer revolt arise.

Thanks to Mark.

UPDATE: One encouraging development: Republicans in the state Senate have tossed aside their former leader who was on board for the tax hike — and picked a new, strongly anti-tax leader.

This is a positive step, but I don’t hold out any hope for genuine spending cuts. (The Democrats have thus far portrayed the projected deficit at nearly $42 billion, in part by including projected spending increases as part of the budget. That way, when the money is kept at the same level, it can be portrayed as a “cut.” The L.A. Times, as always, is eager to accommodate such mendacity, referring to “the state’s nearly $42-billion budget gap” in this morning’s story.)


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