Patterico's Pontifications

4/30/2010

Arizona Deputy Reportedly Shot With AK-47

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 11:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Phoenix-area deputy attempting a remote drug bust was reportedly shot with an AK-47 (via My Fox Phoenix):

“A Pinal County sheriff’s deputy is recovering after he’s shot by a group of suspected illegal immigrants and drug smugglers Friday during patrol south of Phoenix.

It happened during patrol on the I-8 west of Casa Grande and south of Phoenix. The deputy radioed in to report he was shot in the abdomen with an AK-47 assault rifle while in a desert area, Pinal County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tamatha Villar says.

Villar says the deputy found several bales of marijuana and approached a group of five suspected illegal immigrants when he was shot. Two of the five suspects were armed.”

The first link is to GatewayPundit who embeds video from the Fox affiliate of officials assisting the deputy. An update adds this statement from an area resident:

“Our retirement home is in AZ City—right next to Casa Grande. This “incident” occurred in the vicinity of Hwy’s 8 & 84—less then 10 miles from our house. We were there over the weekend returning Tuesday. Monday night—while driving on Hwy 10—-we saw several police in hot pursuit—-and they ended up surrounding a house in our development less then a half mile from our house. So, all I have to say about all those idiot libs, Hollywood dopes, etc, etc………what about our US rights? Who is going to protect us from this violence? How can we ever relax in our retirement home? Will our property value ever recover given our house is located in this major smuggling/mayhem war zone? Maybe the government should buy our property to house the border patrol and/or national guard? Anybody who objects to us wanting our protection under US law ought to put some of their own lives or property on the line. Or, let them start a fund to buy back our property.”

The wounded deputy was identified as Deputy Louie Puroll, 53, who “had a chunk of skin torn from just above his left kidney, but the wound was not serious.” It took over an hour to find Deputy Puroll.

– DRJ

The Spill

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 9:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Gulf Coast could be facing the greatest ecological disaster in its history — the BP Oil Spill:

“What makes an oil spill really bad? Most of the ingredients for it are now blending in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts tick off the essentials: A relentless flow of oil from under the sea; a type of crude that mixes easily with water; a resultant gooey mixture that is hard to burn and even harder to clean; water that’s home to vulnerable spawning grounds for new life; and a coastline with difficult-to-scrub marshlands.

Gulf Coast experts have always talked about “the potential for a bad one,” said Wes Tunnell, coastal ecology and oil spill expert at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“And this is the bad one. This is just a biggie that finally happened.”

Experts and almost experts are already weighing in. The Wall Street Journal reports the well had a blowout preventer and a Deadman’s switch but didn’t have an acoustic shut-off valve like North Sea offshore wells. Other reports are already suggesting that BP is to blame:

“British Petroleum once downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at an offshore rig that exploded, causing the worst U.S. oil spill in decades along the Gulf Coast and endangering shoreline habitat.

In its 2009 exploration plan and environmental impact analysis for the well, BP suggested it was unlikely, or virtually impossible, for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish and mammals.”

BP is an easy target on the Gulf Coast, especially after the March 2005 explosion at BP North America’s Texas City refinery. However, it’s not clear whether BP, Transocean — the owner of the rig — or perhaps another company was in charge of the rig at the time of the explosion. Other problems, such as a defective blowout preventer, are also possible.

The resulting investigations will undoubtedly tell us more. In the meantime, offshore drilling may be put on hold and the economic impact on the Gulf Coast will be severe. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

– DRJ

L.A. Times (Finally) Issues Transparent Correction of Columnist’s Claim That Pat Tillman Was “Murdered”

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:13 pm

The L.A. Times has appended a “For the Record” notation on that Pat Tillman column I noted here this week:

For the record: An earlier version of this column said Pat Tillman had been “murdered by guys on his own team,” which was subsequently changed to “killed by guys on his own team” to match the version that appeared in the print edition.

The new Readers’ Representative, Deirdre Edgar, explains how it happened in a post at her blog:

[I]n the piece Dwyre submitted to the Sports desk, he had written “murdered” instead of “killed” — Tillman was “murdered by guys on his own team, other U.S. soldiers.”

A Sports copy editor working the story last Friday afternoon questioned the use of the word.

As The Times’ style guide states, “Murder is either a charge or a verdict, not a synonym for homicide. … Do not say that a victim was murdered until someone has been convicted of murder. Instead, say that a victim was killed or slain.”

Dwyre agreed that the wording should be changed to “killed,” and that’s how his column read when it appeared in Saturday’s print edition.

However, the column was edited earlier in the day by a morning copy desk editor and posted to the Web. The time stamp in the Web system shows it being sent at 5:47 p.m.; the Sports copy editor’s work — with the editing change from “murdered” to “killed” — was saved at 6:45 p.m.

When Dwyre discovered late that night that the column posted online read “murdered,” he contacted Assistant Sports Editor Dan Loumena, who changed the wording to reflect the print version.

She forthrightly acknowledges that “when the change was made from ‘murdered’ to ‘killed,’ that should have been noted in a For the Record.” Well done.

P.S. As long as we’re all being transparent, I messed up the timeline when relating the situation in my previous post, when I said: “after at least one person wrote an angry letter, they simply did a stealth correction.”

(more…)

When Is Advertising Deceptive?

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 5:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Was GM deceptive when it claimed in an ad it has repaid its government loan?

“Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Jim Jordan of Ohio have seen General Motors’ new television ad, a 60-second spot featuring Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre telling viewers that “we have repaid our government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.”

They aren’t impressed.

Issa, ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Jordan, ranking member on the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, sent Whitacre a blistering letter Thursday accusing the automaker of running “false advertisements” that “constitute a lie to the American people.”

Issa and Jordan say the ad is misleading because it suggests GM repaid its taxpayer-funded loan with the company’s own earnings. In reality, GM used separate taxpayer money from an escrow account worth $17.4 billion – set up by the Treasury Department upon taking a 61 percent majority stake in the company – to repay the $4.7 billion balance of the original $7.1 billion loan.”

The Treasury Department supports GM:

“Responding to a letter from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) that called the transaction a “debt-for-equity” swap, Assistant Secretary Herbert Allison said GM repaying the loan is an encouraging development – no matter where the money came from.”

The Federal Trade Commission oversees truth-in-advertising laws and has issued a 1983 Policy Statement on deceptive advertising:

“Certain elements undergird all deception cases. First, there must be a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer. Practices that have been found misleading or deceptive in specific cases include false oral or written representations, misleading price claims, sales of hazardous or systematically defective products or services without adequate disclosures, failure to disclose information regarding pyramid sales, use of bait and switch techniques, failure to perform promised services, and failure to meet warranty obligations.

Second, we examine the practice from the perspective of a consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances. If the representation or practice affects or is directed primarily to a particular group, the Commission examines reasonableness from the perspective of that group.

Third, the representation, omission, or practice must be a “material” one. The basic question is whether the act or practice is likely to affect the consumer’s conduct or decision with regard to a product or service. If so, the practice is material, and consumer injury is likely, because consumers are likely to have chosen differently but for the deception. In many instances, materiality, and hence injury, can be presumed from the nature of the practice. In other instances, evidence of materiality may be necessary.

Thus, the Commission will find deception if there is a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer’s detriment.”

The link provides more detail in analyzing this standard, but interpretation and intent are relevant:

“To be considered reasonable, the interpretation or reaction does not have to be the only one. When a seller’s representation conveys more than one meaning to reasonable consumers, one of which is false, the seller is liable for the misleading interpretation. An interpretation will be presumed reasonable if it is the one the respondent intended to convey.

The Commission has used this standard in its past decisions. The test applied by the Commission is whether the interpretation is reasonable in light of the claim.”

I’d have to read the case law to know if this is an accurate statement of current law. However, in general, it seems to me that the advertiser’s intent alone cannot be the determining factor, or every advertiser would avoid sanctions simply by claiming it didn’t intend to be deceptive.

As for GM, I doubt the Obama Administration wants to investigate this matter further. However, if the GOP wins the House or Senate in November, maybe they will.

– DRJ

Palin Hacker Convicted on 2 Counts

Filed under: Crime,Politics — DRJ @ 5:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

David Kernell was convicted on 2 of 4 counts in connection with the hacking of Sarah Palin’s email account:

“The verdicts are:

* No verdict on count one – felony identity theft
* Not guilty on count two – felony wire fraud
* Guilty of a misdemeanor charge of computer intrusion on count three – instead of felony computer fraud
* Guilty of felony obstruction of justice

The judge declared a mistrial on count one. The government will decide next week whether to retry the case.

Kernell’s sentencing will follow the decision on the retrial.”

Later, Kernell’s attorney issued a statement thanking the jury for their “time and consideration.”

– DRJ

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 4:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

April 30 is National Honesty Day.

– DRJ

Arizona Lawmakers Amend Bill Against Illegal Immigration

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:29 am

The changes are either neutral or for the better:

PHOENIX — Arizona lawmakers have approved several changes to the recently passed sweeping law targeting illegal immigration.

If Gov. Jan Brewer supports the changes, they will go into effect at the same time as the new law, 90 days from now.

The current law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

One change to the bill strengthens restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning and inserts those same restrictions in other parts of the law.

Changes to the bill language will actually remove the word “solely” from the sentence, “The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

Another change replaces the phrase “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to apparently clarify that officers don’t need to question a victim or witness about their legal status.

These both seem like positive changes.

That first change (the removal of the word “solely”) is not given much context, but I believe the relevant language is here. The “complaints” in question appear to be complaints that an employer is knowingly employing an illegal; I don’t see the harm in requiring such complaints to be based on something besides race or national origin.

The second change addresses what had been my major problem with the law: a concern that illegal immigrants will be reluctant to call the police when victimized, because that would initiate a “contact” with law enforcement that could potentially result in an investigation of their immigration status. Victims of crime, especially violent crime, need to feel safe to contact law enforcement without worrying about being deported.

If you are inclined to disagree, consider: violent criminals often prey on illegals precisely because they know their crimes are less likely to be reported. So violent people get away with robberies, rapes, and other serious crimes because they prey on people who are scared to call the police and involve themselves with authorities.

This is analogous to one of the reasons I am against prison rape. In addition to being a moral wrong, prison rape gives a benefit to the prison rapist. When hard-liners chuckle and approve of prison rape, they often forget that while prison rape does harshly punish some prisoners, it rewards others. What’s more, the people it rewards are generally the worst of the worst, while the victims are generally less tough, more low-level criminals. When you approve of (or condone with laughter) the rape of the low-level criminals, you are condoning the toughest murderers getting their jollies by intimidating and sexually violating weaker people.

The same goes here. When I prosecute a gang murder or attempted murder, I couldn’t care less about the legal status of the victim or witnesses — and I have told people that more than once. You can take a tough line and say that every police contact with an illegal can and should be a chance to deport that illegal. After all, the victim is illegal! But if you hold fast to that principle, you are discouraging the reporting of violent crimes, which ultimately benefits the violent criminal.

Arizona lawmakers see this, and have made a good change. I applaud it.

4/29/2010

N-Word Hoax Exposed in Video

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:21 pm

Larry O’Connor has been doing a bang-up job of exposing the apparently false “N-word” claims that Rep. Andre Carson made about Tea Partiers. Here is the evolution of the saga in video format.

Legions of Lawyers

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 9:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Maybe President Obama is focused on jobs after all. Maggie’s Farm says ObamaCare will lead to more work for lawyers because it expands the types of claimants who can bring Qui Tam actions.

If that doesn’t work, Obama can always promote more jobs for actors portraying him:

“Open TV and Film, the London-based production company, is developing a TV mini-series based on Barack Obama’s days on the campaign trail. ITV Studios USA is co-developing the project. Simon Shaps, chairman of Open, has optioned Newsweek journalist Richard Woolfe’s book Renegade: The Making of a President. The author was granted unique access to Obama during the campaign. Shaps – who used to be ITV’s director of television — told me: “It is early days, but we are sure there will no shortage of ideas for who plays the President.”

Plus, with so many reporters working on books about Obama, think of all the jobs he will create in book publishing.

– DRJ

Obama Puts Immigration Reform on Hold

Filed under: Immigration,Obama — DRJ @ 7:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Apparently President Obama has taken immigration reform off his agenda:

“The president noted that lawmakers may lack the “appetite” to take on immigration while many of them are up for re-election and while another big legislative issue — climate change — is already on their plate.

“I don’t want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn’t solve the problem,” Obama told reporters Wednesday night aboard Air Force One.

Immigration reform was an issue Obama promised Latino groups that he would take up in his first year in office. But several hard realities — a tanked economy, a crowded agenda, election-year politics and lack of political will — led to so much foot-dragging in Congress that, ultimately, Obama decided to set the issue aside.

With that move, the president calculated that an immigration bill would not prove as costly to his party two years from now, when he seeks re-election, than it would today, even though some immigration reformers warned that a delay could so discourage Democratic-leaning Latino voters that they would stay home from the polls in November.”

Obama is probably happy to leave this subject in Attorney General Eric Holder’s hands, where he can release broadsides against Arizona’s new law. But while it may help Democrats in general, I don’t think it helps Senator Harry Reid. Support from immigration reform advocates may have been Reid’s best chance for re-election.

Next up: How will this decision impact the scheduled May 1st immigration rallies? I doubt the Park Police will shut down the area in front of the White House as they did with the recent gay protest. Some of those protest signs could be interesting.

– DRJ

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