Patterico's Pontifications


It’s Not Where I’m From, It’s Where I’m Going

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 10:19 pm

Steve Lopez:

The Sunday evening gunshots of a week ago came unexpectedly, assaulting the block’s very spirit. . . . Flying out of his house, [Jamiel Shaw Sr.] saw his son, shot dead a few paces from home. Jamiel Shaw Jr., or Jazz, as he was known, was a 17-year-old football star at Los Angeles High School. Jazz was beginning to receive a stream of letters from colleges trying to recruit him, just as his father had said they would if Jazz stuck to Dad’s 18-year plan to steer clear of drugs and gangs and focus on a future.

. . . .

The preliminary report from police suggested a random gang hit on a kid who was clean, Latino suspects targeting a black kid, here on a block that had defied ignorance and hatred and knocked down the walls we build between ourselves.

. . . .

“There isn’t a rule book” on what to say if gang members confront you as they’re believed to have confronted Jazz, said [Jazz’s friend] Phillip. “I just say I don’t bang.”

Unfortunately, I see too many cases where people respond that way — and then get victimized. It’s not their fault. It’s just that when someone asks you where you’re from, there’s no right answer.

I invited a judge who grew up in Compton to speak to a class of fifth graders several years back about how to stay out of trouble. He said there’s only one good response when gang members ask you where you are from.

Turn and run. As fast as you can.

Online Humor

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Humor — DRJ @ 9:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Driver at Amused Cynic posted a humorous cartoon that I hope you enjoy as much as I did:

Someone is wrong on the internet.


Girl Power, Clinton-Style

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tina Brown of Newsweek has an article about Hillary Clinton and the women that support her entitled Hillary and the Invisible Women. It is, to put it charitably, a gender-based puff piece that I consider an insult to American women.

However, on the slim chance I overreacted to this article, or for those who may not be as hard-hearted as I am, here are a few excerpts that may touch your feminist hearts and minds:

At a campaign stop in Westerville, Ohio –

“She stands with her hardy brown ankle boots planted firmly center stage—the indomitable image of a seasoned, capable 60-year-old woman, handsomely groomed as always in her imperturbable (blue, this time) pantsuit, belting out bread-and-butter positions on health care, No Child Left Behind and college loans.”

At the Clinton campaign office in Columbus, Ohio –

“There was just an outpouring about the way she was being treated by the media,” Ruccia said. “It was something we hadn’t seen in a long time. We all felt, as women, we had made a lot of progress, and we saw this as an attack of misogyny that was trying to beat her down.”

From the sound of it, in every bedroom and boardroom in America –

“In the relentless youth culture of the early 21st century, if you are 50 and female, the novel that’s being written on your forehead every day is “Invisible Woman.” All over the country there are vigorous, independent, self-liberated boomer women—women who possess all the management skills that come from raising families while holding down demanding jobs, women who have experience, enterprise and, among the empty nesters, a little financial independence, yet still find themselves steadfastly dissed and ignored.”

And, finally, in every Mother-Daughter home in America –

“What saddens boomer women who love Hillary is that their twentysomething daughters don’t share their view of her heroic role. Instead they’ve been swept up by that new Barack magic. It’s not their fault, and not Hillary’s, either. The very scar tissue that older women see as proof of her determination just embarrasses their daughters, killing off for them all the insouciant elation that ought to come with girl power in the White House.

She might have a chance of winning them over yet, if she set about dividing the Obama girls from the Obama boys. Maybe start with some mother and daughter rallies in Pennsylvania, summoning an audience that would mirror the winning image of Chelsea onstage at her side on Tuesday night in Ohio.”

Brown concludes the article by noting the Clinton campaign was “raising the roof along with the band to the old 1965 McCoys hit Hang on Sloopy.” She described it as the anthem of the 50-something “Invisible Women” who are the backbone of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

That’s odd. I could swear I heard Helen Reddy belting out I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.


Word of the Day

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 5:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There was a discussion in another post about the origins and meaning of the legal term voir dire and thinking about that subject rejuvenated my interest in looking at dictionaries and encyclopedias. (Sometimes it’s fun to just browse through them, you know?)

I won’t bore you with the details but I came across a word I’ve never heard or seen before:

crap·u·lous –adjective
1. given to or characterized by gross excess in drinking or eating.
2. suffering from or due to such excess.
[Origin: 1530–40; < LL crāpulōsus. See crapulent, -ous]

Dumbest Post Ever. I know.


Addicted to Gators

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

For the second time in a year, Polk County FL deputies saved the same naked, one-armed Tampa Bay man from alligator-infested waters:

“Bit once by an alligator, blame the gator. Go wading through alligator-infested Florida waters another time? Police say blame the naked, dazed risk-taker who seems to have a fatalistic attachment to the scaly beasts, according to a report by

The gator-lover, Adrian Apgar, was naked and high on crack one night a little over a year ago when he lost an arm to a 12-foot alligator, the TV station reports. Then on Thursday, police found him naked again wading in Saddle Creek with a gator only about 50 feet away.

“Do I think he went there to commit suicide by alligator? I don’t think so. I think he is just bizarre and takes those risks,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd told

Deputies fished him out and arrested him, and he is undergoing psychiatric examination, according to the report.”

At the MyFOXTampaBay link, the deputies indicated they would think twice before they risk their lives to rescue him if there is a third time.

I hope the psychiatrists can find a reason (beyond the obvious drug addiction) to justify commitment. This man needs help.


Malkin Profiled in Baltimore Sun

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:53 pm

Nice profile of Michelle Malkin in the Baltimore Sun. She and I have more in common than I realized: not only are we both late-30’s conservatives with kids, but I’m a fourth-rate pianist too!

She had an offer to be interviewed by the New Yorker as well, but turned it down in this amusing set of e-mail correspondence.

Ellensburg on Hypocrisy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:54 pm

Dan Collins notes that Rick Ellensburg, Thomas Ellers, and Ellison have collaborated on a collective autobiography.


You can’t make this stuff up.

Tucker Carlson: Arrogant Big Media Tool (UPDATE: Who Has Lost His Show)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:34 pm

Here’s Tucker Carlson, in a stunning display of Big Media arrogance: “It’s a little much being lectured on journalistic ethics by a reporter from The Scotsman.” Watch the video here.

I personally don’t like to play “gotcha” with people I interview. But the fact of the matter is that you can’t just say something stupid in an on-the-record interview and then immediately try to take it back by claiming it was off the record.

I think it’s a little much being lectured on journalistic ethics by Tucker Carlson.

UPDATE: Tucker has lost his show. (H/t steve.)

It’s a little much being lectured on journalistic ethics by a guy with no show.

The Tale of the Defense Lawyer Who Knows an Innocent Person Is In Prison — And Doesn’t Say a Word About It

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 12:40 am

Eugene Volokh quotes a CBS story as follows:

Alton Logan doesn’t understand why two lawyers with proof he didn’t commit murder were legally prevented from helping him. They had their reasons: To save Logan, they would have had to break the cardinal rule of attorney-client privilege to reveal their own client had committed the crime. But Logan had 26 years in prison to try to understand why he was convicted for a crime he didn’t commit….

Lawyers Jamie Kunz and Dale Coventry were public defenders when their client, Andrew Wilson, admitted to them he had shot-gunned a security guard to death in a 1982 robbery. When a tip led to Logan’s arrest and he went to trial for the crime, the two lawyers were in a bind. They wanted to help Logan but legally couldn’t….

The lawyers did get permission from Wilson, to reveal upon his death his confession to the murder Logan was convicted for. Wilson died late last year and Coventry and Kunz came forward. Next Monday, a judge will hear evidence in a motion to grant Logan a new trial.

Volokh states the obvious when he calls this a “very troubling result” but says that the applicable ethical rules don’t allow disclosure. In a separate post, he says that, unlike the majority of his commenters, he doesn’t see violating those ethical rules to be the only ethical choice:

[S]urely it’s not so clear that people have an ethical duty to save another’s life at such great expense. My guess is that if you spent $10,000, you could likely save the life of some sick child in Africa; if you spent $50,000, I imagine this would be even likelier (and perhaps the number is actually a lot less). If you donated a kidney — which will expose you to a roughly 0.03% risk of death, and a slightly larger but still very small risk of complications — you could dramatically reduce a roughly 20% or more risk of death for someone on the kidney waiting list (since that’s how risky it is for him to be on long-term dialysis while he’s waiting for a new kidney). If you find someone who’s near the tail of the waiting list, you might reduce a still greater risk. Yet most of us wouldn’t say, I think, that it’s really your ethical obligation to run such a risk, or bear such a cost, to save a stranger’s life.

Likewise, I don’t think that it’s really your ethical obligation to lose what is likely hundreds of thousands of dollars in future income, by giving up a profession that you spent over a hundred thousand dollars to train for. You might deserve credit for making such a choice (assuming we conclude that the ethical rule you’re violating is indeed unsound). But that’s different from saying that you have an ethical duty to make that choice.

In that post, Eugene’s commenters slam him for allegedly valuing money over a man’s freedom. They also attack his hypothetical as inapplicable because only these lawyers could save the innocent man (well, the actual guilty party himself could have as well), whereas in his hypo, other people could donate the money or the kidney.

But what if they couldn’t? What if only your kidney could save the stranger? Do you have the ethical obligation to give it up?

My take: I’m glad I’m not a defense lawyer, required to follow ethical rules that might be in tension with the imperative of keeping innocent people out of jail. The ethical rules applicable to my profession are designed to be in harmony with that imperative, and that’s a good thing.

And I’d like to think I’d give up that kidney if I were the only person who could save someone — and that I’d give up my job as a defense attorney to save a man’s life from being ruined in prison. After all, it’s not like your career would be ruined — just your career as a defense attorney.

You could still be a prosecutor.

UPDATE: Commenter nk thinks that breaching the ethical duty might get the lawyer disbarred. I don’t think it would, but the possibility is a valid point to consider.

UPDATE x2: DRJ has a good observation: “I wonder if people would feel the same animosity if the person maintaining the confidence were a priest who had been told the secret during confession.”

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