Patterico's Pontifications


Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (part 4)

Filed under: Accepted Wisdom,Environment — Justin Levine @ 11:02 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

I believe that author Michael Crichton is a prophet and the savior of mankind. The Christon has come to dispense with the Goreacle…

Ok, maybe not that. But Crichton is one of the most sensible voices in the global warming debate that I have come across.

I urge everyone to read a recent interview he gave on the issue.

I linked to this Crichton speech in another post in this series, but I didn’t really emphasize it at the time.  Crichton’s “Aliens Cause Global Warming” speech is must reading. I dare say that it is some of the best writing he has ever done. The scientific community should take it to heart.

Just a brief sample of a speech that is solid gold from start to finish – 

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

What does that do, huh? Does that blow your mind?? THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (part 3)

Filed under: Accepted Wisdom,Environment — Justin Levine @ 10:47 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

This series of posts isn’t just to spout off my own personal opinions (after all, who really cares?), but to stimulate a much needed debate. However, one commenter asked me a legitimate question – what exactly do I believe or not believe as a self-proclaimed “skeptic” on the global warming issue.

In a nutshell –


Patterico’s Assignment Desk (Part 2)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:01 pm

Undaunted by the poor showing in response to my first assignment, I am issuing a second assigment to you lazy bastards.

Those U.S. Attorneys who were fired — were they the only ones in the country conducting political prosecutions?

Other than Patrick Fitzgerald, who wasn’t fired.

As far as I can tell, the Administration also failed to fire the folks who successfully prosecuted Jack Abramoff or Bob Ney. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Hell, this guy is still getting convictions.

(But, because every point for the Republicans seems to have a counterpoint — we also have the other guy who investigated Abramoff, who was fired.)

Facts and links, folks. Facts and links.

The Inspired Democrat vs. the Angry Republican: Who Should Win??

Filed under: General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 9:57 pm

If you want to know why conservatives get annoyed with Big Media, you need look no further than this post. It shows that, according to the Washington Post, a liberal “spoke with the fervor of a preacher” — while the conservative’s voice “rose in anger.”

In other words, they both got upset and talked loud. But we found the liberal’s speech inspiring, while we found the conservative’s speech to be simply angry.

More Fringe Leftist Tolerance

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:32 pm

Lovely. The T-shirt, about Tony Snow, reads:

My colon may be gone,
But I haven’t lost my Asshole!

By the way: liver cancer? People generally don’t survive it:

Because it is a fast-growing tumor rarely diagnosed in the early stages, liver cancer is typically fatal within a year of diagnosis.

[UPDATE: DRJ says I am mixing up primary and secondary liver cancer. I hope so. I’m no expert in this area and don’t claim to be.]

God, I’m getting sick of these people. There are so many of them who are so self-righteous about their beliefs that they feel comfortable wishing death on their political opponents — or at least having the thought.

Geffen: Clintons Are Fascists

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:38 pm

The New York Observer‘s Off the Record column has this piece about the Andres Martinez debacle. Takeaway quote, about a lunch Martinez had with potential L.A. Times purchaser David Geffen:

“[Mr. Geffen] spent half the lunch talking about how the Clintons were fascists,” said Mr. Martinez, of the August 2005 meeting. He had a few other gripes, according to Mr. Martinez: cuts to the sports section, coverage of his Malibu beach-house controversy, and an editorial critical of DreamWorks.

So there’s your L.A. Times under David Geffen. A big sports section; editorials praising the genius of DreamWorks; zero coverage of anything having to do with private beaches in Malibu — and an editorial slant that reflects the point of view that Bill and Hillary Clinton are “fascists.”

Good times!

(H/t E.B.)

A Dot Com Cybersquatting Story of Evil: The Story Hits

Filed under: General,Morons,Scum — Patterico @ 8:25 pm

On its front page today, featured a story about the Cathy Seipp cybersquatter I mentioned this morning. I think my idea of denying the guy publicity is officially deader than a doornail.

Just hours before her death, “Cathy Seipp” suddenly seemed to undo decades of hard work with an oddly written letter posted on the Web site, www. In what came off as more bizarre rant than heartfelt apology, her supposed “very last blog entry” called her years of journalism a “shoddy,” “despicable” and “irresponsible” career as a “fourth-rate hack.” Her political stance? All a mistake.

The fiery, unwavering supporter of George W. Bush supposedly said she’d done a complete 180 in the past year and was now an implied supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. What was even more perplexing was that “Seipp” was taking mean-spirited potshots at her own daughter, Maia Lazar, whom she called an “obnoxious” and “arrogant” wanna-be “skank” who was “mentally ill.” Throughout the letter, the one person whom “Seipp” seemed most sorry for ever having offended was Maia’s 10th-grade journalism teacher, who had frequently clashed with mother and daughter. Finally, “Seipp” said she was probably to blame for her own illness — the “venom” she’d spewed for years was responsible for her terminal cancer.

Friends were horrified. They quickly realized that the letter was the work of an infamous character known as “Troll Dolls” who’d positioned himself as the blogger’s archenemy and bought the domain name years earlier (Seipp’s real Web site is Troll Dolls is really Eliot Stein, a 54-year-old former online talk-show host and stand-up comedian who hadd taught Maia in a journalism class for a brief period in 2004, and who blamed Maia and Seipp for his departure from the school after only five weeks.

As I mentioned this morning, Cathy’s friends banded together to try to do something about it. I got a call from one of them, and had him talk to Justin Levine — who advised Cathy’s crowd to draw up a cease and desist letter, and to concentrate on the cybersquatting angle to the exclusion of defamation claims. (Justin, who is a Seipp fan, would have done this himself, pro bono — but he had prior commitments that day, and Cathy’s defenders had to move fast.) Justin’s advice was apparently very helpful; our mutual friend told him: “Your lightning-quick advice was crucial to this process; 100 people thank you vociferously.” From the article, it appears that the ultimate course of action taken by Cathy’s defenders mirrored Justin’s advice:

Seipp’s friends marshaled their resources, creating an impromptu Internet chat room to make their plans, fingering Stein as the culprit, enlisting the help of a lawyer [Kimberly L. Thigpen of Pfeiffer Thigpen & Fitzgibbon] to serve him a cease-and-desist letter, and successfully lobbying Stein’s Internet host to take the Web site down permanently.

Congratulations to Justin for the role he played in this. And cheers to Kimberly L. Thigpen of Pfeiffer Thigpen & Fitzgibbon, who got the job done.

What does Stein have to say for himself, after writing a fake letter from a woman dying of cancer which portrayed her as having been a hack and a terrible mother?

“I’ve got an incredible sense of humor,” Stein said. “I’m an expert at Photoshop.”

Dude, I saw your site on more than one occasion. You’re a moron. Even if I had hated Cathy Seipp, I would have had no trouble concluding that you are a petty, little, mean, nasty man with absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever.

Stein continues, speaking of Cathy’s friends:

“They thought that because this is the Internet they could say whatever they want whenever they want, but they met someone with an expansive education, a pioneer of the Internet with an incredible sense of humor,” Stein said. “They picked the wrong person to mess with.”

If there really is a Heaven, it will come equipped with a Hellcam, so we can at least check in on this guy from time to time — and clink our wine glasses together in celebration as we watch him slowly roast.

California Court Upholds Prosecution’s Right to Seek High Term Prison Sentences Post-Cunningham

Filed under: Court Decisions,General,Law — Patterico @ 5:43 pm

In a published ruling, the Third District California Court of Appeal ruled today that prosecutors in California are legally entitled to allege aggravating factors in a charging document. The decision’s practical effect is that California prosecutors may legally seek high term prison sentences, even after the Supreme Court’s Cunningham ruling, which held that the aggravating factors supporting high term sentences must be found by juries.

Defense attorneys had argued that there is no statutory authority allowing prosecutors to allege aggravating factors in an information (a felony charging document). The court rejected that argument. It also ruled that aggravating factors need not be proved at a preliminary hearing, and are thus not subject to being stricken on a Penal Code 995 motion.

Here is my favorite line from today’s decision:

The law is not a game of “gotcha” that should be played to unfairly penalize the prosecution and frustrate the Legislature’s intent to better protect public safety by providing for the possible imposition of an upper term.

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

To see why this is my favorite line, let me quote to you the opening sentence of a legal brief I have recently filed in several Compton courtrooms regarding this same issue:

In this demurrer, the defense attempts to play “gotcha” with the prosecution on technical issues of pleading, arguing that a procedure mandated by the Supreme Court of the United States is not available under California law.

Yes, it’s a coincidence. The Third District Court of Appeal is based in Sacramento. Nobody there ever saw my brief.

It’s actually a fairly obvious observation. Defense attorneys ran off to the Supreme Court demanding that we prove aggravating factors to a jury — and when they won, they trotted back here and argued to local judges that California law doesn’t permit that to happen.

If that isn’t playing “gotcha,” I don’t know what is.

Still, as I like to say: great minds think alike . . . and sometimes, great minds think like mine.

(H/t: Jessica G.)

P.S. It’s nice to see this analysis in a published ruling, which carries a little more weight than my little brief. After all, they’re the judges. I’m just the law-talkin’ guy.

Heartbreaking Dilemmas In Immigration Policy

Filed under: Court Decisions,Immigration,Public Policy — Justin Levine @ 4:34 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Even for someone like me who advocates cracking down strongly on the illegal immigration problem plaguing the country, I have to admit that this case is heartbreaking. (Be sure to read the letters from the U.S. children begging the court not force them to make the choice of going to Mexico, or continue living here without parents.)

What’s the solution? Like everyone else I suspect, I really have no clue. Who the hell can ignore the concerns of these U.S. kids in their letters? Do we want to effectively punish them for their parent’s choices that were made decades ago? I don’t. But at the same time, if we give effective amnesty to all illegal aliens who give birth in this counrty, then it is essentially conceding defeat over our border problems – giving us a de facto open border policy. 

Some questions remain unanswered in this case. Why were these parents specifically targeted for deportation out of all of the illegal aliens in California? This is unclear. But as anyone who follows this debate knows, illegal aliens usually don’t get deported randomly. Something has to happen to bring them on the fed’s radar screen. I’d be curious to know the backstory here. One of the children indicates in her letter that the only crime her parents ever committed was entering the U.S. illegally in the 1980’s. Can this statement be trusted? Maybe. But there must be more to the story here. Illegal aliens with four U.S. citizen children here simply aren’t picked randomly off of the street and suddenly told to get out.

Also, when the Appeals Court first commented on this case, Judge Pregerson made a clear statement that there were  64 similar cases before them that “will have an adverse effect on children born in the United States whose parent/parents are illegal immigrants.” Was he implying that the Court heard 64 cases in the same month involving illegal immigrants facing deportation despite having children in this country who are U.S. citizens? That is the implication I get in reading these memos. If that is true, then its a huge story that the media never picked up on. But maybe I’m misinterpreting something here.

What is the specific background on these cases? Has the Justice Department suddenly begun a concerted effort to deport illegal aliens who have “anchor babies”?

I suspect that I must be missing something or misinterpreting the implications here. But if not, then this may be a big story worth looking into.

SoCalLawBlog Calls It A Day

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Justin Levine @ 4:00 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

Many blogs are becoming like great restaurants from your childhood – most of them end up shutting down eventually for one reason or another. It’s a sad fact of life.

SoCalLawBlog has decided to pack it in. My great thanks to Jeff over at that site for being the first to invite me on as a guest blogger.

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