Patterico's Pontifications


Deport The Criminals First (Guest Blogger Edition)

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First — Justin Levine @ 9:18 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

I don’t mean to intrude on Patterico’s blogging territory, but we regretfully seem have two more entries today in the “Deport The Criminals First” category.  Here and here

I wonder if anyone is attempting to keep any sort of comprehensive statistics on this aspect of crime in the U.S.

[posted by Justin Levine]


Filed under: General — Justin Levine @ 9:11 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

There were only two known Jews living in Afghanistan in recent years – and they both ended up hating each other. Go figure.

Lucky Little Ladies In The City Of Light, And Other Lost Angels In The City Of Night

Filed under: Books,Crime,General,Miscellaneous — Justin Levine @ 1:04 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

I know that print newspapers are old skool these days, but for my money, the best newspaper that ever lived was the L.A. Herald-Examiner. It managed to provide the greatest and most artistic examples of photojournalism in the history of the medium.

Diane Keaton released a great compilation of Examiner photos in a book some years back. Anyone interested in the real history of both Los Angeles and journalism should be sure to pick it up for their library.

Now, the USC Digital Archive has managed to collate many more great examples of the Examiner’s work (much of it from the early 1950’s). This stuff is so awesome that it rightfully belongs in a museum’s permanent collection (in addition to being digitally accessible on-line of course). You look into these people’s faces and it all tells a story to bring you back to that point in time and space.

Check out Patterico’s predecessors in the L.A. D.A.’s office confabbing with the Chief of Police. (For the record, that is Herbert R. Van Brunt and S. Ernest Roll speaking to Chief William Parker in the center.)

A lot of poor souls populated this city yesterday as today.

For example –


Fair Voting: A Nonpartisan Issue

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 12:05 am

Fair voting should be a nonpartisan issue. Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger has been writing about a couple of aspects of fair voting, and I agree with him on both issues.

The first issue is voting machines. Here in California, Secretary of State Debra Bowen has decertified e-voting machines from several companies, including Diebold. Marc cheers this development, and so do I. Diebold machines have numerous security problems, including the fact that (at least in September 2006) they could be opened with a hotel minibar key. This sort of thing is a recipe for disaster — and we should all be able to agree on that, regardless of which side we’re on.

In an Examiner piece, Marc writes:

[O]ur voting systems need to be robust enough that we’re not left in bitter dispute after an election on who voted and how. We don’t need voting technology less secure than airport poker machines in Vegas and less auditable than Enron’s books. This isn’t a partisan issue.

Indeed it isn’t.

The second issue is monkeying with the allocation of electoral votes. Jonathan Alter recently wrote a piece discussing the attempts of two states, California and North Carolina, to change how they award electoral votes. Each state “would award the state’s electoral votes based on who wins each congressional district.”

Legally, North Carolina can do this. Article II, section 1 of the Constitution provides that electors are to be appointed by each state “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” North Carolina proposes to effect this change by statute, and the state certainly has authority under the Constitution to do so. (California’s ballot initiative may present a different question. The issue would be whether an allocation voted in by popular initiative would be “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” My tentative sense is that it would not.)

So yes, such strategems may be legal. But they aren’t fair unless they are implemented nationwide. Once again, Marc has it just right. He says:

I’ve got a basic position; fairness matters more than partisan advantage.

Spot on. One is reminded of Al Gore’s cynical attempt to manipulate the results in Florida by calling for a selective recount — even as he sanctimoniously pretended to ensure that we “count every vote” and “make every vote count.” Rational Americans saw through his blatant deception and dubbed his effort unfair, which it certainly was.

The efforts by California and South Carolina have the same feel to them. If we implemented this change on a nationwide basis, that would be one thing. But changing it selectively, in a few states, just smells bad — regardless of whom it benefits.

Not surprisingly, the folks at MyDD are applauding the North Carolina scheme. Just like Gore, they don’t care about fairness, if a scheme benefits their side. The slightly more reasonable Kevin Drum is bemoaning the California scheme, citing Alter’s article — but keeping studiously silent about the North Carolina power grab, which is also mentioned by Alter. (To be sure, the California power grab is of more significance, but a fully honest pundit would mention both.)

Those of us on both sides who are partisan — but who care more about fairness than partisan gain — should reject the MyDDs and Al Gores and Diebolds of the world, and stand up for fair elections. It sounds corny, but if fairness wins, we all win.

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