Patterico's Pontifications


More on the Jena 6

Filed under: Crime,General,Race — Patterico @ 7:22 pm

So how bad was that beating in Jena? Pretty bad. This is an old article, but it has more detail than anything else I’ve seen yet:

Investigators from the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office have gathered statements from more than 40 people — a number of them students — who told investigators they saw everything that happened. Many of these statements were included in court documents.

“When I heard a black boy say something to Justin, I turned my head and I saw somebody hit Justin,” one student wrote in a statement. “He fell in between the gym door and the concrete barricade. I saw Robert Bailey kneel down and punch Justin in the head. … Then Carwin Jones kicked him in the head. … Theo Shaw tried to kick him so I pushed Theo Shaw down. I also saw Mychal Bell standing over him.”

Phrases like “stomped him badly,” “stepped on his face,” “knocked out cold on the ground,” and “slammed his head on the concrete beam” were used by the students in their statements.

Free the Jena 6!

P.S. I read a lot about how the victim went to a “party” afterwards. Here’s more on that:

Barker was discharged about 2½ hours after being admitted to the ER. Later that night, he attended a ring ceremony at the school, where he was presented his class ring by his parents, something Kelli Barker said her son really wanted to be a part of, even though he was still in pain.

“All that keeps being said is that he was just in the hospital for a little bit and not really hurt,” Kelli Barker said of Justin. “I thank God he wasn’t hurt more than he was. But we have medical bills to show that he really was hurt.”

According to court documents, the initial trip to the emergency room cost $5,467.

P.P.S. I keep reading unverified reports that more than one of the suspects has a criminal record. I have yet to see any proof, but I will tell you frankly that it would not surprise me in the slightest to learn that individuals who participate in a brutal group beating like this have gotten in trouble before. I will follow up on this and see if I can get any verification.

Universal Health Care is “For the Children”

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 5:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The next time you read that Democrats want federally-controlled universal health care, consider what it’s done for British children:


Director John McTiernan Sentenced To 4 Months In Prison

Filed under: Crime,Movies — Justin Levine @ 4:44 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

Astonishingly, it wasn’t because he actually directed the remake of ‘Rollerball’, but only because he hired rogue P.I. Anthony Pellicano to wiretap the film’s producer.

Live Free or Die Hard baby….

Ahmadinejad at Columbia University: We don’t have Gays like you Do.

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 11:52 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

As I began writing this, Iran’s President Ahmadinejad was speaking at New York’s Columbia University. One soundbyte tonight will be the strong words from Columbia’s President Bollinger calling Ahmadinejad a petty tyrant and cruel dictator and questioning Iran’s treatment of women and gays. In his initial response, Ahmadinejad said that it’s not nice to invite someone to speak and attack them before they’ve even begun. Both received applause.

The other soundbyte will be Ahmadinejad’s claim, in response to the fourth question of the Q&A, that Iran doesn’t have gays like we do in the US. Fortunately the audience did not seem fooled by his response.

Ahmadinejad’s speech was rambling and disjointed and I’ll leave it to others to summarize. Here is my summary of the question and answer portion:


L.A. Times Quotes “Attorney Stephen Yagman” . . . But Fails to Mention That He Has Been Convicted of Thirteen Felonies

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Scum — Patterico @ 5:43 am

The L.A. Times quotes “attorney Stephen Yagman” today, in an article about a federal ruling on jail overcrowding:

Attorney Stephen Yagman, who represents the inmates involved in the lawsuit, said Pregerson’s ruling meant that the violations of the prisoners’ rights would be presented as a proven fact to a jury should the case not be settled and go to trial.

Inmates would have to prove only that they deserved to be compensated for having slept on the floor, Yagman said.

“This is quite an extraordinary ruling,” Yagman said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

There’s more:

Yagman, however, said he had evidence showing that the practice was continuing.

. . . .

Yagman, who named Sheriff Lee Baca as a defendant in the suit, said Sunday that he had two other class-action cases involving inmates who were forced to sleep on floors from May 2005 to as recently as this year.

There’s just one little thing about Yagman that The Times‘s Matt Lait neglects to mention: Yagman is going to have a hard time continuing to represent these inmates . . . because he has been convicted of numerous felonies in federal court, and is likely headed to federal prison.

Indeed, the State Bar has taken notice, and has put Yagman on interim suspension. As the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reported on September 14:

The Sept. 7 [State Bar Membership Records] report listed civil rights attorney Stephen Yagman as among those recently placed on interim suspension following criminal convictions. Yagman, who was suspended Aug. 23, was convicted in federal court June 22 on one count of tax evasion, one count of bankruptcy fraud, and 17 counts of money laundering.

Although he was later acquitted by the judge of six of those counts, he remains convicted of thirteen felonies. He is certain to be disbarred.

None of this merits even a whisper in today’s article.

Relish the contrast between the paper’s kid-glove treatment of Yagman and its harsh treatment of my former boss, Hon. William D. Keller. When Yagman slandered Keller, in false comments that he later apologized for, the L.A. Times repeated the allegations time and time and time again. Even if a story about Keller had absolutely nothing to do with Yagman, the ghoulish Henry Weinstein would drag out the old discredited allegations and pop them into the story, just to take a swipe at Judge Keller.

Meanwhile, the paper protects the reputation of a liberal lawyer who stands convicted of thirteen felonies.

You just gotta love this paper.

P.S. One of the most endearing things I read about Clarence Thomas in Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Nine” is that he tells friends the happiest day of his life was when he cancelled his subscription to the Washington Post. Clarence, I can’t say the same about the day I cancelled my subscription to the L.A. Times . . . after all, that day must compete with my wedding day, the day I got engaged, and the births of my children.

But it’s up there, baby. It’s up there.

The Return of Deja Vu All Over Again: L.A. Times Yet Yet Yet Again Gives Us The Myth of the Church Whose Tax-Exempt Status Was Threatened Over an Anti-War Sermon

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:32 am

It’s so wonderful to have the L.A. Times treat us once again to the Myth of the Church Threatened with Losing Its Tax Exempt Status Over an Anti-War Sermon.

In an article yesterday titled Pasadena Church Wants IRS Apology, the local rag reports:

[Rev. George F.] Regas did not instruct parishioners whom to support in the presidential race, but his suggestion that Jesus would have told Bush that his preemptive war strategy in Iraq “has led to disaster” prompted a letter from the IRS in June 2005 stating that the church’s tax-exempt status was in question.

As I have documented on this site time and time again, there was much more to Regas’s sermon than mere anti-war sentiment. Specifically, in one sermon, Regas managed to communicate that:

  • Jesus hates war.
  • Jesus specifically hates the Iraq war. He thinks it is terrorism, and that Bush does not care about Iraqi children the way he cares about Americans.
  • Jesus dislikes tax cuts. (A previous letter from the IRS specifically noted that Regas described tax cuts as “inimical to the values of Jesus.”)
  • Jesus does not like Bush’s nuclear weapons policies.
  • Jesus is pro-choice.
  • Jesus favors government involvement to ensure adequate pre-natal care, “dignified jobs,” and affordable housing.

In short, Regas’s sermon was one huge advertisement for the policies of John Kerry, and against those of George W. Bush.

The latest article says:

In its latest letter to All Saints, dated Sept. 10, the IRS said the church continues to qualify for tax-exempt status but that Regas’ sermon on Oct. 31, 2004, amounted to a one-time intervention in the 2004 presidential race. The letter offered no specifics or explanation for either conclusion, but noted that the church did have appropriate policies in place to ensure that it complied with prohibitions on political activity.

Of course, if the IRS did offer specifics or explanation, the L.A. Times would hide it from you. That’s exactly what they’ve done virtually every single time they have written about this issue. Why change anything now?

UPDATE 9-24-07 7:12 a.m.: The version I quote above was apparently a first draft. The final version is now available and is on the paper’s front page today. It is little different in content. Here’s the relevant passage about why the IRS targeted the church:

One of Southern California’s largest and most liberal congregations, All Saints came under IRS scrutiny after a sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election by a guest speaker, the Rev. George F. Regas. In his sermon, Regas, the church’s former rector, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-presidential candidates George W. Bush and John F. Kerry.

Regas did not endorse either candidate, saying that “good people of profound faith” could support either one. But he strongly criticized the war in Iraq and said that Jesus would have told Bush that his preemptive war strategy in Iraq “has led to disaster.”

The story contains none of the other blatant anti-Bush sentiments expressed in the sermon, and the tenor of the story is that the church was wronged — but had the nerve to stand up for itself.

And so the truth is, once again, gravely distorted by this rag of a paper.

Clint Taylor Rips Columbia over Ahmadinejad Talk

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:55 am

Clinton W. Taylor has an excellent article on Columbia’s awful decision to give a platform to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

UPDATE: Link fixed.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 4

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Lauterbrunnen valley, Switzerland, at night from our balcony:


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