Patterico's Pontifications


Palin Steps Down as Alaska Governor

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Goodbye, Alaska politics:

“In a fiery campaign-style speech, Palin said she was stepping down to take her political battles to a larger if unspecified stage and avoid an unproductive, lame duck status.

“With this decision, now, I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right, and for truth. And I have never felt that you need a title to do that,” Palin said to raucous applause from about 5,000 people gathered at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks.”

Hello, Palin in 2012?


Taxing That Gold-Plated Health Insurance

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 8:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Blogger and commenter GM Roper asks some questions about the White House plan to tax “gold-plated, Cadillac insurance policies:”

“Hey guys, what about the rest of us? Who gets to decide what is an acceptable level of ‘gold plate’?”

Americans who are satisfied with their health insurance may be the gold-plated target of those taxes.


Jack Dunphy on Racial Profiling

Filed under: General,Race — Patterico @ 4:58 pm

Jack Dunphy has more on the Gates affair and racial profiling at the Corner, here. Quotable:

So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be tooling along on a Sunday drive in your 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, someone else in a 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.

Brilliant. And for more along the same lines, see these two insightful old columns of his on the subject, here and here.

Sensitivity Training

Filed under: Obama,Political Correctness — DRJ @ 3:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Oh, those sensitive Democrats. First Barack Obama joked with Jay Leno about his “Special Olympics” bowling skills and now the health insurance bill refers to facilities for the “mentally retarded.”

Medicine has viewed “retarded” as a negative label since at least 2001. Thus, the American Association on Mental Retardation is now the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the American Psychological Association hosts a similarly renamed section. But I doubt we’ll see this particular faux pas on Saturday Night Live or PC TV.


Neighborhood Watch-ers Beware

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 1:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’m a strong supporter of law enforcement but this week the Austin Police Department [EDIT: or possibly the Travis County DA] is not making my day:

“The Honda [with the windows rolled down and the keys in the ignition] was parked near the corner of Joe Sayers Avenue and Houston Street in the Brentwood neighborhood in North Austin. [Mark Douglas] Ledford said he knocked on his neighbors’ doors trying to find the owner, but no one knew anything about the car.

He figured it had been stolen and left there, so he called the police. According to police records, two officers arrived at 5:27 p.m. but were gone within seven minutes.

“I told them, ‘Isn’t it strange that someone parked their car there with the windows down and the keys in it?’ ” Ledford said. “Their answer was, ‘It’s parked legally. What’s the problem?’ It seemed suspicious to me, but the police were telling me they don’t care.”

However, the officers held back a crucial detail: The police had actually left the car there themselves.”

The car was a bait vehicle “stocked with an alarm, surveillance equipment and a tracking system.” The bait car program has been in use in Austin since at least 2007.

After three days, Ledford and his then-girlfriend Asia Ward decided to investigate. They searched the car — he used gloves to protect what he thought was a crime scene — and tried to jimmy the jammed trunk lock with a screwdriver. Within minutes, they were detained by police and now face trial for auto burglary. The arrest “affidavit did not mention Ledford’s previous call to police or that the car was parked near his house.”

Ledford and Ward say they refused an offer of deferred prosecution that would “waive any penalties as long as they sign a confession and don’t commit a crime for a year,” saying they would not confess to a crime they didn’t commit.

Maybe this was a crime of opportunity but I suspect it will be hard to convince a jury.


Who Thinks Obama Isn’t Leveling About the Consequences of Changing Healthcare?

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 11:39 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Editors of the Washington Post.

UPDATE: The CBO and the Obama Administration aren’t seeing eye-to-eye, either.


Homeless Women in Denver

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 10:11 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today’s Denver Post online has an article about a homeless man who died in a local mall. It’s a compelling human interest story that also illustrates the challenges society faces with the homeless population. Buried in the article was this statement:

“Every year, the homeless coalition hosts a candlelight vigil for men and women who died on the streets during the previous year. Last December, volunteers read the names of 22 men and 142 women who lived and died on the streets of the Denver metropolitan area.”

I don’t know if these death statistics are accurate — I couldn’t find anything that verifies them — but if so it’s surprising. Most large American cities have significantly higher rates of homeless deaths for males than females. In addition, as of 2005, homeless women comprised just 38% of the Denver homeless population.

Maybe the numbers in the article were inadvertently transposed or the number of homeless females has jumped dramatically. If not, homeless women seem to be at an extraordinary risk in Denver.

[EDIT: The more I think about this, the more I think the reporter must have transposed the numbers for male and female homeless deaths. These numbers can’t be right but, if they are, that’s the story the Denver Post should be covering.]

UPDATE: The numbers were transposed. Thanks to Mike G in Corvallis, who found the link I couldn’t find.


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