Patterico's Pontifications


A Pair of Hsus

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:42 pm

Instapundit linked this post, but blew the obvious pun.

UPDATE: You could also do “Waiting for the other Hsu to drop” . . . but surely that’s been done already?

Judge denies Senator Craig’s Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Filed under: Law,Politics — DRJ @ 2:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Trust Beldar to get the scoop on this case. He says Craig is toast.


There should be a Supreme Court rule that requires every brief on a death penalty case to begin with the facts of this case from LA

Filed under: General — WLS @ 12:16 pm

From today’s LA Daily News :

A judge sentenced Julian Beltran to death for slitting the throats of his girlfriend and two young daughters.

The estranged boyfriend and father had slain each family member in a fit of rage at their Sun Valley home in 2002. He then fled from the nearly decapitated remains, dialed 911 in a cry of remorse and begged to end his life in a “suicide by cop.”

It was on Jan. 23, 2002, that 200-pound Beltran, upset over the breakup of his family, returned home after a three-month separation.

Prosecutors argued that he’d bought a knife, beat Barahona and slashed her throat as she watched TV, nearly cutting off her head. Then, they said, he marched into the bedroom to kill his daughters.

Marissa, who was awake, suffered 14 knife wounds and four 9-inch cuts to her neck.

Her 22-pound sister likely died in her sleep, her throat sliced from ear to ear, two weeks before her 2nd birthday.

A bloody handprint, left by Marissa, hung on the wall above her bed.

Deputy District Attorney Andrea Thompson said it was because of the heinous stabbing of the children that Beltran deserved the death penalty.

“Nothing can overcome what that child went through, nothing,” co-prosecutor Rose de Mattia told the judge. “The kid fought for her life against her father – the man who loved her, who was supposed to protect her.

“He murdered her, and she knew it.”

And the Court is obsessing over whether defendants feel “pain” as part of the lethal injection process.

You think it is like Marissa’s?

Gecko News

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 10:38 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

You see this all the time on the internet: “Read the whole thing.” If you have 5-10 minutes to spare, read this Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on the gecko. It will educate you and make you laugh. And who doesn’t need a good gecko laugh?

If you don’t have the time, here are some highlights:


Three Cheers for the Citizen-Journalist

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 9:56 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

This is my kind of journalist:

“A Lewiston man being sought by police was apprehended Wednesday when he jumped from a third-floor balcony to a garage roof trying to escape officers pursuing him and was tackled by a newspaper photographer, authorities said.

The Sun Journal newspaper reported that photographer Russ Dillingham was credited with helping police capture 35-year-old Norman Thompson as he tried to flee from local police and federal agents.

We never would have caught this guy without Russ,” Lewiston police Sgt. Detective Adam Higgins said. “He was able to take pictures, tackle the guy and then hold him for us.”

Police described the suspect as flying off the third-floor balcony “like Superman” or “literally like Spiderman.” Someone yelled for the photographer to “Tackle him, Russ, Tackle him,” and Russ did.

Apparently Spiderman is no match for Citizen-Journalist Man.


This is for You, Beldar

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 8:30 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Sticky Doorknobs:

Bumper sticker seen on the back of a truck in Lamesa, a pretty small town in West Texas:

It is better to have loved and lost than to have to live with a crazy psycho for the rest of your life.”

They raise’em smart in Lamesa.


Korean Reconciliation Pact: Peace and Prosperity

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:51 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

North Korea recently pledged to stop activity at its main nuclear reactor complex by December 31. Now North and South Korea have signed a Reconciliation Pact to promote peace and establish economic ties.


Greenburg Interview with Justice Thomas: Parts Not Available on TV

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 5:23 am

I hope you have been watching Jan Crawford Greenburg’s interviews with Clarence Thomas on Nightline. In this post, she gives links to two “Director’s Cut” segments that contain material that was omitted from the Nightline segments. Part One is here; Part Two is here.

A Quiz: Spot the Paper with the Liberal Bias

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:40 am

I am about to give you the easiest quiz you’ve ever taken.

Here are passages from two different stories about a telephone tax in Los Angeles. One is from the Los Angeles Times, and the other is from the L.A. Daily News. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is simply this: tell me which passage came from the L.A. Times.


a) A proposal designed to maintain a telephone users tax on Los Angeles residents will get its first test today before the City Council.

or this?

b) Hoping to avoid huge budget cuts and the slashing of city services, the Los Angeles City Council today took the first step toward asking voters in February to continue paying a telephone utility users tax.

Which one was the L.A. Times?

If you said a, you get the dunce cap and a trip to the corner. With all due respect, you’re too stupid to read this blog. Go away and don’t come back.

But none of you made that silly mistake, did you? You’re savvy enough to realize that in any story about taxes or government budgets, the L.A. Times always, always emphasizes the awful things that might happen if taxes or spending are reduced.

The L.A. Times story is here. The Daily News story is here. If you read through both, you’ll find more examples of pro-tax spin by the L.A. Times — like when the article says: “The council is considering a plan to cut the tax from 10% to 9% on cellular and land-line calls — a savings they hope will make the tax measure more palatable to voters.”

What a deal! Instead of an illegal tax that the courts will almost certainly invalidate, how about a legal tax that is one percentage point lower than the illegal tax? Only trouble is, because the illegal tax is illegal, the legal tax would be nine percentage points higher than the illegal tax. Because, you see, the illegal tax is illegal, meaning we shouldn’t have to pay it at all. As Jon Coupal says: “The constitutional language mandating voter approval is so clear even dissembling elected officials should be able to figure it out.”

No matter: the strategem of calling it a tax reduction is working with the idiots in the focus groups.

[Mayor Villaraigosa’s pollster] Feldman Group also tried to determine whether voters would be more likely to support the telephone tax if it were lowered from 10% to 9%. That concept, pitched as a reduction in taxes, won support from 60% of respondents.

Great. With a little help from the L.A. Times screaming about all the awful things that might happen if we turned off the faucet, maybe we can get this turkey passed, and get back to the business of giving the likes of Tennie Pierce $1.5 million for a few mouthfuls of dog food.

(H/t to KFI loudmouths John and Ken, whom I am rapidly beginning to appreciate.)

Stop the Presses! ICE Arrests a Tiny Fraction of 1% of the Outstanding Fugitive Aliens in the U.S.

Filed under: General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:24 am

The media is buzzing about the ICE raids that netted 1300 arrestees. For example, the L.A. Times reports:

Federal officers in Southern California over the last two weeks have arrested more than 1,300 immigrants, most of whom either have criminal records or have failed to abide by deportation orders — part of an intensifying but controversial effort across the nation to remove such violators.

Yeah, it’s really controversial to arrest illegal immigrants who have committed crimes or ignored deportation orders.

By the way, of the 1300, about 800 of them were in jail anyway. Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice that ICE found them and all. But they should be doing this anyway. They should be placing a hold on every single illegal alien who comes through any county jail. It’s hard to see how it’s worth calling a press conference to brag about how they managed to get their mitts on 800 of them — while leaving 34,000 per year undetected in L.A. County alone.

Of the remaining 530 or so, only 258 were actually fugitive aliens, defined as illegals who have either ignored a deportation order or come back after being deported. (The Orange County Register has the breakdown.)

One little problem: as of August 2006, there were 623,292 illegal alien fugitives in the country.

So: 258 down — and 623,034 to go.

So we got, what — four hundreds of a percent of them?

As Clarence Thomas might say: Whoop-dee-damn-doo.

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