Patterico's Pontifications


Patterico Is TIME’s Person of the Year

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 pm

It’s the top story on Drudge. I lost the competition for Best Conservative Blog, but this makes up for it. (Hat tip to Allah, who seems to think the honor goes to him instead.)

Armed Liberal: There May Be an Iraqi Cop Named Jam(a)il Hussein After All

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:35 pm

Armed Liberal says that there may in fact be an Iraqi cop named Jamail Hussein at the Yarmouk police station in Iraq.

This would not be terribly surprising. Remember my post suggesting a “third way” on Jamil Hussein, as well as my concerns about the breadth of the working list of unverified sources that the military released.

But even if he is who he claims to be, there are a lot of unanswered questions.

This will be interesting. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: See Dubya says it’s “Jamil” and not “Jamail.” But actually, it’s an Iraqi name which could be either. For this reason, I’ve been a little suspicious about drawing firm conclusions about Iraqi names all along.

I altered the headline of the post to reflect See Dubya’s observation.

An Analysis of Judge Fogel’s “Memorandum of Intended Decision” Regarding California’s Lethal Injection Protocol

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:09 pm

This is my promised analysis of Judge Fogel’s preliminary opinion finding constitutional flaws in California’s execution protocol.

As I said yesterday, I am not impressed by the decision. In my judgment, the judge is stretching to find a constitutional violation where none has been proved.

My primary problem with the decision is that the judge flips the burden of proof, without admitting that he is doing so. He acknowledges that the plaintiff has failed to make a case that California’s execution protocol is routinely subjecting inmates to an unconstitutional level of pain. But he blames the defendants for the plaintiff’s lack of evidence, and thus shifts the burden of proof to the defendants — without saying that this is what he is doing, or undergoing the rigorous legal analysis necessary to do so.

What did the defendants do to deserve having the burden of proof shifted? The argument is less than compelling. The judge complains about matters as trivial as the sufficiency of the lighting used in the execution chamber, and the type of paper used to record the EKG tracings. He also appears to find constitutional significance in matters such as whether any of the team leaders suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, or whether they have been disciplined for things like smuggling illegal drugs into the prison.

Finally, the decision appears to have been written with the media in mind. There are legally irrelevant passages that are included for the apparent purpose of being quoted in newspapers. Perhaps worst of all, the judge relies for part of his evidence on articles printed in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

I kid you not.

Details in the extended entry.


We’re Number Ten! We’re Number Ten!

Filed under: Awards,Humor — Patterico @ 12:23 pm

The preliminary results of the Weblog Awards place me among the top ten blogs in the category of Best Conservative Blog. Which is a nice way of saying that, as predicted, I came in last place.

But it’s a pretty respectable last place: within 100 votes of both Hugh Hewitt and Mary Katharine Ham, in a contest where the top vote-getter received 5780 votes. This way, I can console myself with the thought that, if I had annoyingly flogged the contest every day (as I did in some previous years), I might have scratched my way into 8th place. That’s a lot better than if I had campaigned hard, and still ended up in last place.

I have truly learned one of life’s great lessons, as articulated by Homer Simpson:

You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.

Thanks to all who voted.

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