Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times The Biggest Circulation Loser in the Nation

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 9:11 pm

Roderick reports:

The Los Angeles Times has lost more subscribers in the past four years than any U.S. newspaper and it isn’t even close. Editor & Publisher compared 2007 circulation to 2003 and found the LAT had shed 201,000 readers. Only one other paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, was in six figures with 147,000 lost buyers.

Meanwhile, you know they’re busy mocking Sam Zell for saying they have to find a way to sell papers.

P.S. I forgot to mention: Henry Weinstein took the buyout. (H/t Scott Kaufer.) So long!

Loser of the Year

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 8:39 pm

No matter how big a loser someone is, he can find a way to feel superior to you.

I’ve been on unemployment three times in the past six years. Each time was better than the last, and each time I stayed on until the last cent was exhausted. I didn’t even try to get a job; it was a paid vacation.

. . . .

Given a choice between getting a check every week for doing nothing and getting a check every week for flushing 40 hours of the prime of their lives down the toilet, [working people] chose the latter. I mean, what kind of self-hating, masochistic Protestant bullshit is that?

Not only do I feel no guilt whatsoever about sucking from the state’s teat, I feel that I’m absolutely entitled to it. First of all, the employer that fired me pays for half of my unemployment, and fuck them.

. . . .

We may debate the purpose of life, or whether it even has a purpose, but one thing we can all agree on is that we were not put on this Earth to work, work, work. To be the master of one’s time and oneself is the obvious ideal. Most people don’t experience this until retirement, when they’re old and broken down, when they have to go to the bathroom every five minutes, and no one will have sex with them without advance cash payment. I say fuck that, I’m having my golden years now. And they are golden! Youth is not being wasted on this youth.

Every once in a while I’ll find myself downtown in the middle of the day and I’ll see all the drones hustling this way and that with their pinched little waddles, looking at their watches and pouring Starbucks into their faces, and I’ll think, my God, I’m the luckiest bastard alive. Maybe I’ll have to pay for it on the back end and work as a Wal-Mart greeter when I’m 85, but then again, I’ll have a lot of company.

Via Malkin.

Political Winners and Losers

Filed under: 2008 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 5:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In today’s winners and losers, CNN projects Barack Obama the winner of the Mississippi Democratic primary and John McCain the winner of the GOP primary. Exit polls suggest race was a significant factor in the Democratic contest.

With 18% 29% 83% 91% of the precincts reporting, Obama leads Clinton 52%-46% 59%-39% 60%-38%. McCain leads with almost 80% of the GOP vote to Huckabee’s 12% and Paul’s 4%.

In the loser category, NY Governor Eliot Spitzer faces an impeachment threat if he doesn’t resign because of new claims that he spent as much as $80,000 on trysts with call girls since 2002.

Butter him, he’s toast.


A Challenge to Nullification Proponents

Filed under: Crime,General,Public Policy — Patterico @ 12:16 am

Those of you who think that juries should be allowed to judge the fairness of the law as well as whether the defendant is guilty: answer me this. If you’re going to judge something, shouldn’t you be given all the facts relevant to that decision?

Because you aren’t getting them under the current jury system.

So, for example, if you’re going to take it upon yourself to decide whether to vote guilty or not based on the sentence you think the defendant will get, shouldn’t you be told exactly what the sentencing options are, and the full details of the defendant’s record — including the facts of his previous offenses and how long he spent in prison for each offense? Shouldn’t you be told about similarly situated defendants and what they received?

You aren’t getting those facts under the current jury system.

If you are going to vote based on your view that drug peddling is a victimless crime, shouldn’t the prosecution have the chance to show the way the defendant’s drug dealing has victimized the neighborhood? Shouldn’t you hear from the neighbor who constantly begs the cops to get these dealers (including this defendant) off the street because they are dealing drugs in front of schoolchildren? Shouldn’t you hear from the family of the addict whose life, and the lives around him, have been ruined by the poison the defendant has peddled? Shouldn’t you hear from the experts who have studied the likely effects of legalization and concluded that it will result in more narcotic usage in society as a whole, including more drug usage by children?

But the authors also found that any form of legal commercial sales would significantly increase the amount of drug use in society. Even if each drug user consumed fewer drugs, an increase in the total number of people using drugs could translate to more problems, overall, for society.

You aren’t getting those facts under the current jury system.

How can you make a decision if the parties aren’t even allowed to present evidence on the question you have taken it upon yourself to decide?

It seems to me that if you favor nullification, one of two things is true: either 1) you have to be confident in your ability to make decisions on these questions without evidence presented by both sides — in which case you are arrogant and overconfident of your own superior knowledge — or 2) you have to support an incredible liberalization of the rules of evidence, along the lines of the proposal I set forth in this post. Read that post, in which I (somewhat hyperbolically, but only somewhat) propose doing away with the rules of evidence and telling juries every possibly relevant fact, including the defendant’s criminal history, gang membership, etc. Then tell me whether I’m really an elitist who wants to hide evidence from juries.

If we implemented that proposal, I’d be a lot more comfortable with giving jurors the authority to decide the law as well as the facts.

Now see if you can find a single defense attorney on God’s Green Earth who would feel comfortable with that proposal. You won’t . . . because they know that jurors knowing all the facts — including the full details of the defendant’s criminal history, gang ties, and so forth — would result in more convictions, not fewer.

The 60 Minutes Segment on the Lawyers Who Kept Silent While an Innocent Man Sat in Prison

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Video here of the 60 Minutes segment on those lawyers who stayed silent while an innocent man spent 26 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. (Previous post here.)


Some things you learn watching the video:

  • The lawyers believe that if they had spoken out in violation of ethical rules, their client’s confession would not have been admissible. Maybe they’re right — and if they are, then they did the right thing.
  • The innocent man’s lawyer agrees that the guilty man’s lawyers had no choice but to remain silent. (The innocent man, of course, disagrees.)
  • Jurors hung 10-2 on the question of death for the innocent man. He feels those 2 jurors saved his life. But maybe they cost him time in prison — because the lawyers for the guilty man say they would have been ethically entitled to prevent a wrongful execution, and would have acted if the innocent man had been sentenced to death, and was about to be executed. But, they say, they could not prevent the innocent man’s wrongful imprisonment.

    I’ve always said that if you’re truly innocent of a murder, you might actually be better off with a death sentence rather than a sentence of life — because if you’re facing death, activists will care about you a lot more. And it’s the activists who get innocent people out of prison, through their tireless work combing over the facts of old cases.

  • There is no indication that the lawyers leaned very hard on their client to disclose the information himself while he was alive. He was facing other capital charges; perhaps he could have been persuaded that his own position was hopeless. Who knows?

If you’re at all interested in this story, you must watch the video.

UPDATE: Typo fixed.

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