Patterico's Pontifications


Tookie’s Message(s) Taking Hold

Filed under: Crime,Scum — Patterico @ 7:18 pm

I was skeptical about claims that Tookie Williams had an effect on our younger people and whether or not they joined gangs. But his funeral seems to have put my doubts to rest:

As police watched, mourners including gang members flashing hand signs gathered at the 1,500-seat Bethel AME Church in South Los Angeles and in a parking lot where a TV showed the funeral for Williams, who was executed Dec. 13 despite a celebrity-studded campaign for clemency.

. . . .

Several dozen gang members wearing blue attire associated with Crips gangs watched the funeral in the parking lot. One, who identified himself as “Killowatt the Third,” age 33, estimated there were 20 to 30 Crips “sets” there to honor Williams.

“That’s my role model, man. That’s the CEO of the Crips,” he said.

I guess Tookie did have an influence after all.

My initial skepticism had been fueled by what appeared to be the relatively poor sales of his books. Depending on whom you believe, Tookie Williams’s books sold anywhere from 330 copies on the high end (according to this critic) to fewer than 1000 copies per month (according to this link). (Technically, those numbers could be consistent; 2 is fewer than 1000, after all.) But take heart: these are pre-controversy numbers. That last link says there has been an uptick in interest in Tookie’s books since the uproar began over his then-impending execution.

So I guess his good message is finally getting out, to some people — thanks to the death penalty.

Unfortunately, the wrong message got out to the Crips who showed up to his funeral. And to many of the ones who didn’t, because they are in the penitentiary, or dead.

ID in Biology Class: Unconstitutional

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions — Patterico @ 5:55 pm

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that the teaching of intelligent design in a public school biology class, as an alternative explanation to evolution, is unconstitutional. I don’t claim to know much about this topic, but ID opponent Ed Brayton has been following the case from the very beginning, so you could do worse than to go to his site and start scrolling. He also has an article about the case here.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the opinion.

The Power of the Jump™: Experts Say Bush’s Surveillance Program Was Legal

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Dog Trainer,Terrorism,War — Patterico @ 5:45 pm

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

There has been a lot of talk lately about President’s Bush’s secret surveillance program. Some of the more overheated rhetoric starts from the assumption that the program is illegal, and is fueled by angry self-righteousness.

Wouldn’t it be something if many legal experts believed that the program might actually be legal?

Well, guess what? Apparently, they do, according to a story in today’s L.A. Times. But you’d never know it if all you read was the front page. The editors bury the nugget on the back pages, almost as an afterthought.

But wait, you say. Doesn’t that sound, in the abstract, like a newsworthy story, worthy of prominence? I mean, here’s this program that the entire liberal media appears to believe is patently unconstitutional. If the legal experts disagree, shouldn’t that be Page One material?

Sucker! Important stories aren’t important if they help the president! Treating them as important just makes you look like a cheerleader!


Morons (You Pick Which Ones!)

Filed under: Morons — Angry Clam @ 1:18 pm

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

Ok, so there’s this boy genius. He graduated from Harvard Law School before his testicles descended (ok maybe not quite, but pretty close).

So, what does he do? Well, how about post a bunch of his law school outlines where he refers to black people as “nigs”? That’s an awesome start, dude!

Of course, one cannot simply be a moron in a vacuum. In fact, the Clam’s Third Law of Morondynamics states that “for every idiocy, there is an equal and opposite reaction of idiocy.” So, what did we get here? An attempt to pull an unrelated article written by the kid that had been accepted for publication in the Yale Law Journal.


– The Angry Clam

Those Constitutional Experts at the Los Angeles Times

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:33 am

The editors of the L.A. Times continue to simply assume without analysis that President Bush’s surveillance program was unconstitutional. The most thorough analysis I have seen of the program’s legality was done by Orin Kerr, in a post I linked yesterday. Kerr concluded — very tentatively — that the program is probably constitutional, but probably violates FISA. Isn’t that bad enough? Not for the L.A. Times editors, who insist in this morning’s editorial that the program violates the Constitution:

ONE OF THE PERKS OF being commander in chief is that you get to edit the Constitution, even the Bill of Rights, from time to time. That is in essence the legal justification offered by the Bush administration for its authorization of a secret program to wiretap, without any court order, international communications of individuals within the United States suspected of ties to terrorist groups.

Let’s face it: the editors haven’t done a constitutional analysis of the surveillance program. That’s okay; I can read minds, and I could tell what they were thinking when they wrote that passage: It just doesn’t have the same snap to say Bush violated a statute, so let’s say he violated the Constitution. Besides, it really sounds unconstitutional, doesn’t it?

More on the constitutionality of the program in the extended entry.


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