Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times: There Are (Yawn) Several Dozen Mexican Nationals on California’s Death Row

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,Immigration — Patterico @ 11:21 pm

I guess I’m on a bit of a tear tonight on the illegal immigration issue — but stories like this will do that to you.

From the L.A. Times:

On Oct. 10, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Medellin vs. Texas. If Medellin and the Bush administration prevail, California may be forced to reconsider the death sentences for several dozen Mexican nationals at San Quentin.

This is, of course, noted merely in passing, in an article that focuses primarily on the cases the Supreme Court will hear this term.

The idea that California is housing several dozen Mexican nationals on Death Row . . . well, there’s no story in that!

Every last one of them represents at least one murdered soul.

Bo-ring! Is there anything new on Britney?

P.S. Do you have any idea how many hoops the state must jump through to get someone on Death Row? Believe me, for every murderer on Death Row, there are many, many, many more serving standard life sentences, or less.

Starting to see the problem yet??

Deport the Criminals First: More on Sara Cole, Whose Legs Were Crushed by An Illegal Alien Drunk Driver with a Criminal History

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 11:12 pm

Via See Dubya comes a lengthy article regarding a case I first told you about here, in which an illegal alien drunk driver crushed a woman’s legs:

For 10 days in March, Lucio Rodriguez sat in a Santa Clara County jail cell on a misdemeanor count of driving drunk.

Rodriguez, who authorities say has been living in the United States illegally, told jail officials he wasn’t a citizen – a red flag for immigration agents – but they never met with him to begin the deportation process, and he was released.

Six months later, on Sept. 9, the 27-year-old was arrested in Los Gatos, on suspicion of driving drunk, again – but this time, authorities say, it was after he slammed into mother Sara Cole outside her vehicle, crushing her legs and nearly killing her.

The article details how sanctuary policies, and the lack of ICE personnel in local jails, combine to allow aliens to slip through the cracks of the system and create havoc.

Read it all.

Deport the Criminals First: More on the Murder of Phoenix Police Officer Nick Erfle by a Previously Deported Illegal Immigrant Gang Member

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,General — Patterico @ 8:37 pm

Back when it happened, Jack Dunphy was kind enough to post a brief note about the murder of Phoenix police officer Nick Erfle by a previously deported illegal immigrant gang member. I thought it deserved a little more detail, so here you go.

From a September 20 Associated Press report:

The man who shot and killed a Phoenix police officer before he himself later was fatally shot by authorities was an illegal entrant, a federal official said Wednesday.

Erik Jovani Martinez, 22, was in the country illegally last year when he was arrested and convicted on theft charges, said Vinnie Picard, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

He said Martinez was deported on March 3 last year, and at some point re-entered the country illegally.

I’ve said it a million times: deporting criminals is only part of the solution. It won’t do any good if we can’t keep them out.

So was this shooting an isolated incident of violence in the history of this man? Why, no . . . it wasn’t.

Lt. Benny Pina said the bench warrant against Martinez, issued in January, stemmed from a June 2006 assault against his girlfriend involving a shotgun. A detective working on the case was unable to locate Martinez, a member of a street gang, to arrest him.

He was a gang member? I’m surprised we weren’t giving him asylum!

[Phoenix police Officer Nick] Erfle, a 33-year-old married father of two and an eight-year veteran of the force, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Mayor seems upset:

Mayor Phil Gordon called Martinez a “poster child” for failed federal efforts to tighten border security.

“I have a message for the federal government. Our officers are paying the price. This community is paying the price,” Gordon said at a news conference. “When are you going to do your job and secure our borders?”

Myself, I don’t know.

But whenever it is, it will be too late for Nick Erfle, his widow, and his two children.

Illegals Cost L.A. at Least $1 Billion Per Year

Filed under: General,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:58 pm

Judicial Watch has a post titled Illegal Immigrants Cost L.A. County $1 Billion A Year:

Taxpayers in the nation’s most populous county pay more than $1 billion annually for services that go to illegal immigrants with the biggest chunks going to welfare and food stamp benefits followed by healthcare.

A new report published by the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services reveals that the county spends $440 million a year on welfare and food stamp benefits for illegal aliens and $400 million on healthcare, contradicting immigration advocates who assure [the public that] illegal aliens don’t use social services. An additional $220 million is spent annually on incarceration costs.

In July of this year alone, Los Angeles County taxpayers spent more than $35 million on welfare benefits and food stamps for illegal immigrants who live in the sprawling county of more than 10 million residents. Each month illegal aliens get welfare benefits through a state program called CalWorks totaling $20 million in addition to $15 million in food stamps.

The county supervisor who requested the report, Michael Antonovich, points out that the figures don’t even include the skyrocketing cost of education. He requested the report to further document the “devastating impact” that illegal immigration continues to have on Los Angeles County taxpayers. Antonovich represents a portion of the county that is roughly twice the size of Rhode Island and has about 2 million residents.

Here is a press release from Antonovich making the same point.

I heard Antonovich talking about this on the Al Rantel radio show tonight, which is how I knew to search for the link. Antonovich said that the illegals get their benefits through a debit card that has no restrictions on how it is used.

A billion dollars a year. Just think what we could do with that money.

Why, we could pay off 500 Tennie Pierces!

UPDATE: Actually, more like 700 Tennie Pierces. (699, to be exact.)

L.A. Times Readers’ Rep to Get Her Own Blog

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:39 pm

L.A. Observed quotes an internal memo from editor Jim O’Shea, which says, among other things:

I strongly believe that the perceptions of media bias and arrogance are directly tied to our insular culture. So we are starting to implement several of the recommendations to help us become more open and communicate better with our readers.

Me, I tend to believe that the the perceptions of media bias and arrogance at the L.A. Times are more directly tied to . . . the media bias and arrogance displayed by the L.A. Times.

But I’m all for openness and communication. And so I’m pleased to see this:

We will soon launch a Reader’s Representative page on that will feature information useful to our readers. It will include a blog moderated by Jamie Gold and Kent Zelas that will answer reader questions and engage reporters and editors in dealing with their queries and observations. We will also update the staff lists online to include everyone’s email address, office phone number and, ultimately, biographical information. We will improve the online navigation to help readers pass along news tips. Janet Clayton has agreed to stay on in a consulting role to help me develop better outreach to the community.

I have suggested in the past that the paper equip each story with a comments and trackbacks section, like a blog — and, failing that, publish a column from the Readers’ Representative responding to selected reader complaints.

This is something like a combination of my two suggestions (although I had nothing to do with it). I’d still prefer direct comments and trackbacks on each story, but this is better than nothing.

Once it’s up and running, I’ll direct your attention to the Readers’ Representative’s blog. I expect readers of this blog to flood it with feedback.

They may continue to ignore us, but at least your voice can be heard on the paper’s own web site. That’s not a bad start.

This is way OFF OFF Topic for Patterico’s, but some Extreme Makeover Home Edition fans might find this “interesting”

Filed under: General — WLS @ 4:47 pm

Last night’s season premier was a two hour extravaganza covering the construction of a 3500 square foot new home and 4500 square foot “community learning center” for the Akana family in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

When the construction of this project took place last April, there was a huge outpouring of community spirit and enthusiasm.  The  organization that Momi Akana runs, Keiki O Ka ‘Aina, a nonprofit established in 1996, is well known in the community for serving the educational needs of the Native Hawaiian community. 

 What wasn’t well known to the hundreds of volunteers who participated in the event until after all was said and done, was that Momi Akana, as President of the nonprofit, collects an annual salary of more than $100,000 from the funds it receives from the state and other organizations in the form of grant money.

 Nor were the volunteers aware that the Akana family collected more than $20,000 in rental income annually for a portion of their property that was used by the nonprofit for its service activites.

Nor were the volunteers aware that Stan Akana is a Vice-President at First Hawaiian Bank, the second largest banking entity in the state, making an annual salary of better than $125,000. 

All this information first came out in an article in the Honolulu Advertiser on July 2, 2007.  The Attorney General of Hawaii has opened a tax investigation into certain issues, and there has been some recent reporting on the fact that Hawaii is one of only a handful of states that have NO state regulation of nonprofit organizations and they do not have to register under state law.    

 Now, the neighborhood where the Akana family’s new house was built wouldn’t be considered prime Hawaii real estate.  And, after the controversy erupted ABC defended its decision in selecting the family on the basis that financial “need” isn’t always a consideration in determining which families are selected — often it is a matter of community involvement and public service on the part of the family selected, and the Akana’s fit that profile.

But, the house that was built — with 3500 square feet — is easily worth well over $1 million in today’s market in Hawaii.

Is this the ultimate expression of “doing well” by “doing good”? 

I’m not sure all the volunteers who gave so much of their time and effort to the project would agree that helping out a family with an annual income above $250,000 was what they bargained for.

Or, just call me Mr. Grinch. 

“We are so Desperate for Your Help”

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 4:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember Abu Osama al-Tunisi, an al-Qaeda leader who was killed earlier this week in Iraq?

Shortly before he died, Al Tunisi wrote a letter that warned of a threat to Al Qaida operations in Karkh. The letter, found by the U.S. military, sought guidance from Al Qaida leaders amid coalition operations that hampered Al Tunisi’s network.

“We are so desperate for your help,” the letter read.”

Al-Tunisi was the leader of foreign operatives in Iraq and the second member of al-Masri’s inner-circle to be killed in the last month. His operatives were responsible for 80% of Iraq suicide bombings:

“Al Tunisi was termed the emir, or commander, of foreign operatives in Iraq. Anderson said Al Tunisi was responsible for the arrival of Al Qaida recruits into Iraq and their placement in operational cells.

Officials said more than 80 percent of suicide bombings have been by foreign operatives. They said most of the Al Qaida recruits arrive in Syria by air and continue overland into Iraq.”

One of al-Tunisi’s aides, captured by the Coalition, gave information that led to his location.


More thoughts on this from the Instapundit and Tigerhawk.

Britney Spears loses Custody of Children

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 1:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A superior court judge has ordered Britney Spears to turn over custody of her sons to ex-husband Kevin Federline:

“A judge on Monday ordered Britney Spears to turn over custody of her two children to ex-husband Kevin Federline this week.

Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon ruled that Federline will take custody of Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, beginning Wednesday “until further order of the court.”

This decision isn’t surprising given the allegations and evidence of Spears’ questionable behavior. However, the decision is notable because you don’t often see mothers lose custody of their children.


Trial Update: Oscar Wyatt Pleads Guilty

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 10:46 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

UPDATE: Don Surber explains why this is a Democratic story.

This earlier post discussed the trial of Oscar Wyatt, Jr., that started 3 weeks ago in New York federal court. Wyatt agreed today to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.


A Question

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 5:24 am

In his book and a series of interviews, Clarence Thomas is going around calling Anita Hill a liar.

Do you think there’s any chance she might sue?

She’d never win, of course. But it could make for an ugly set of depositions — and unlike interviews, it may not be so easy to refuse to discuss specifics.

Just ask Bill Clinton.

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