Patterico's Pontifications

2/4/2017

Genius

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:01 pm

I’ve seen it before but watched it again tonight. Brilliant in every way.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

The Judge Who Halted Trump’s Immigration Order Has Made Some Wacky Rulings In The Past

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:30 pm

Last night I reported that a federal judge in Seattle, James Robart, has issued a sweeping nationwide order temporarily blocking the Trump administration from enforcing key parts of President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. Today, we are learning more about that judge . . . and some of it is unsettling.

For example, last August, the Seattle Times reported that Judge Robart had favorably cited the “black lives matter” movement in a ruling on a civil dispute:

U.S. District Judge James Robart, pointedly reacting to the Seattle police union’s rejection of a tentative contract, said Monday he would not let the powerful labor group hold the city “hostage” by linking wages to constitutional policing.

“To hide behind a collective- bargaining agreement is not going to work,” Robart said during a dramatic court hearing he opened by laying out a path for police-accountability reform and closed with an emotional declaration that “black lives matter.”

. . . .

Robart ended the hearing with deeply personal remarks, in which he noted a statistic that showed, nationally, 41 percent of the shootings by police were of blacks, when they represented 20 percent of the population.

“Black lives matter,” he said, drawing a startled, audible reaction in a courtroom listening to the words coming from a federal judge sitting on the bench.

Also troubling are Judge Robart’s attempts to dictate the terms of proposed statutes, based in part on the “expertise” of “consultant” Merrick Bobb, a hack who runs around posing as a police expert when he knows next to nothing. From the Seattle Times story:

During Monday’s hearing, [Judge Robart] provided a blueprint for what he would like to see in the legislation, based on various proposals produced by city officials, the Community Police Commission (CPC) and the court-appointed federal monitor, Merrick Bobb.

My eyes are rolling so hard I could probably knock down bowling pins with them.

But wait, there’s more! Judge Robart also denied a request for a man (“John Doe”) expelled from Amherst to depose and obtain records from a “victim” of sexual assault — records that might show that the woman was the aggressor and that Doe was expelled improperly — because it would hurt the “victim’s” feelings. Robby Soave at Reason.com explains the background:

The incident in question took place years ago, during the late night / early morning hours of February 4-5, 2012. Jones was Doe’s girlfriend’s roommate at the time. Jones went to Doe’s dorm room and sexual activity ensued: Jones performed oral sex on Doe.

But Doe was blackout drunk at the time—a detail that Amherst administrators deemed “credible,” on subsequent review. Of course, it’s questionable whether a blackout drunk student can actually provide the level of consent that Amherst’s sexual misconduct policy requires.

Other factors cast doubt on the idea that Jones was the victim and Doe the perpetrator. After leaving Doe’s dorm room, Jones texted another male student and asked him to come to her dorm room for sex. She also texted a residential advisor about her “stupid” decision to engage in sexual activity with her roommate’s boyfriend. In these text messages, Jones admitted that she was “not an innocent bystander.” She also complained about how long it was taking this second male student to do anything sexual with her. She did not file a complaint against Doe until two years later.

Doe was expelled. He then sued Amherst, and subpoenaed Jones for a deposition and for “documents and records of statements she made about the alleged assault.” Judge Robart denied the request because of Jones’s feelings:

An in-person deposition of boundless scope would impose a substantial burden on Ms. Jones. (Subpoena at 1; see also Resp. at 7 (“Until a deposition begins, it is very difficult to know where it will lead and impossible to predict all the topics that may be explored with a witness.”).) The deposition would force Ms. Jones to relive a night in which she asserts Mr. Doe sexually assaulted her. (See, e.g., Clune Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. 4; Resp. at 6-7.) It would also reraise the subsequent investigation, hearing, and period of publicity that Ms. Jones has endured. (Id. ¶ 3, Ex. 5 at 11-12; Am. Compl. ¶¶ 54, 56.) It takes no leap of logic to reason that a live deposition would impose emotional and psychological trauma upon Ms. Jones.

I would imagine that being expelled over a B.S. allegation would also “impose emotional and psychological trauma” on someone. But when you’re a male accused of sexual assault in a college environment, facts often don’t matter. You’re presumed guilty — and even in a civil proceeding which is all about determining whether you actually did what you were accused of, you’re not entitled to key evidence on that question.

According to this judge.

These decisions do not instill confidence in the judgment of this particular jurist.

We’ll see what happens.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Is Donald Trump Trying to Create an Anti-Terror Partnership with a Terrorist?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:00 pm

David Satter at National Review asks whether Donald Trump is preparing to partner with a terrorist responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians. The suspected terrorist? Vladimir Putin:

As President Trump apparently prepares for a U.S.–Russian partnership against terror, it is critical that the CIA reveal what it knows about the September 1999 Russian apartment bombings that propelled Vladimir Putin to power.

. . . .

I was in Moscow when the buildings were blown up killing 300 persons and I was immediately suspicious of the explosions. They were too convenient for Yeltsin and his corrupt entourage. Moscow had also been awash with rumors that a massive provocation was coming. But I became convinced that the bombings were a false-flag attack when a fifth, unexploded bomb was discovered September 22 in the basement of a building in Ryazan, southeast of Moscow, and local police arrested three persons who turned out to be not Chechens but agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB).

. . . .

The 1999 bombings, 18 years after they occurred, however, are not a peripheral issue. They pose the question of whether Putin is a terrorist. This is a question that the U.S. is in no position to ignore, particularly insofar as we are on the verge of joining Putin in a partnership against terrorism.

I detailed some of the evidence of FSB and Putin’s involvement in the bombings when I reviewed Garry Kasparov’s book Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped:

In 1999, when Putin was Yeltsin’s prime minister, a series of bombings in Russia had been attributed to Chechen separatists. In the town of Ryazan, a resident of an apartment building saw men carrying large sugar bags filled with white powder into the apartment basement. The resident called the police, who found the bags connected to a detonator. Chemical tests at the scene revealed the presence of the same type of explosive used in the previous bombings thought to be carried about by the Chechens. Putin praised the police and the alert citizen.

But then something weird happened. The director of the FSB announced that the planting of the bags was simply a training exercise by the FSB to test the public’s vigilance. There had been no explosives in the bags, he claimed, just sugar. Why announce this, after Putin himself had treated the discovery as a foiled terror plot? Because local police had already developed evidence tying the planting of the bags to FSB agents. Left unexplained: why the initial tests of mere sugar had revealed explosives. Suspicions increased with reports of soldiers having previously discovered sugar bags at a nearby military base with a “strange substance” that turned to be the explosive in question.

The bottom line is that there is evidence that Putin and the FSB were actually behind some of the bombings that were attributed to the Chechens.

This provides useful background for Satter’s article, in which he says he recently received a response to a FOIA request he sent to the State Department for documents relating to the bombings. Satter says that, among the documents he received in November was the ominous cable he describes here:

According to a cable on the Ryazan incident from the U.S. embassy in Moscow, on March 24, 2000, a former member of the Russian intelligence services told an embassy political officer that the real story of the Ryazan incident would never be known because “the truth would destroy the country.” He said that the FSB “does indeed have a specially trained team of men whose mission is to carry out this type of urban warfare.” He said that Viktor Cherkesov, the first deputy director of the FSB and a former interrogator of Soviet dissidents, was “exactly the right person to order and carry out such actions.”

But many of the documents Satter received were no heavily redacted as to be useless. The CIA knows something, he believes. Satter concludes:

Many years have gone by, but no Chechen has ever been convicted of participating in the apartment bombings, whereas the evidence of FSB involvement is overwhelming.

Imagine if President Trump were considering a partnership with Osama bin Laden to fight terrorism. If Putin is responsible for “Russia’s 9/11,” then a partnership with Putin would be different, not in kind, but only in terms of the scale of lives lost.

Satter is right: the CIA needs to reveal what it knows. I hope he takes this fight to court.

UPDATE: Here is some beautiful propaganda for Putin:

If Putin wants to draw a moral equivalence between his murder and jailing of political opponents, and possible terror attacks on his own citizens, on one hand, and the actions of America, on the other hand . . . if anyone tries to question that absurd equation, all Putin has to do is point to this statement by the President of the United States.

Heck of a job, Trump.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Mercy Killing

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:43 pm

I had to take a comment thread out back and put it out of its misery.

Just as there is no absolute right to comment here, there is no right to comment on any specific thread. If, as the blog owner, I determine that a comment thread has deteriorated to the point where any rational reader would be angry to have wasted their time with it, I reserve the right to put it down.

There is no lethal injection here. Here’s how we put a comment thread to sleep: one merciful shot to the back of the head. With any luck, the thread never even sees it coming.

I hope I don’t have to do this often. But I’ll do it when I have to.

[Not cross-posted to The Jury Talks Back.]

About That Der Spiegel Cover…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:13 am

[guest post by Dana]

So, the cover of Germany’s weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel is causing quite a ruckus:

Untitled

The cartoon’s illustrator, Edel Rodriguez, who came to the United States in 1980 as a refugee from Cuba, explains the thinking behind his illustration:

“It’s a beheading of democracy, a beheading of a sacred symbol,” Rodriguez said, noting that the Statue of Liberty represents the United States’ history of welcoming immigrants. “And clearly, lately, what’s associated with beheadings is ISIS, so there’s a comparison” between the Islamic State and Trump. “Both sides are extremists, so I’m just making a comparison between them.”

To which Ezra Levant points out the ironic truth of the matter:

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Complementing Levant’s accurate and apt observation:

Untitled

For what it’s worth, what strikes me as ridiculously dishonest about Der Spiegel’s cover, is that it intentionally and conveniently avoids illustrating the damning consequences of Angela Merkel’s decision to put out the welcome mat to immigrants and migrants from a particular region of the world, and the horrific impact that decision has had on the women and children of Germany.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back)

–Dana


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