Patterico's Pontifications


A Woman Scorned x4

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I debated whether to post on this “lover’s quadrangle gone bad” story but, honestly, how could I not?


No Pot of Gold in Police Shooting

Filed under: Court Decisions,Crime,General — Jack Dunphy @ 3:08 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu dismissed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department as the case was about to go to the jury for deliberations. The action was brought by Lorena Lopez, mother of 1½-year-old Suzie Pena, who was killed in July 2005 as her father, Raul Pena, exchanged gunfire with police in South Los Angeles. Raul Pena was using his daughter as a human shield when both she and he were killed by police gunfire. I discussed the incident and its immediate aftermath here, at National Review Online.

Judge Treu granted a defense motion for a dismissal, ruling that the jury could only have reached the conclusion that the officers had acted properly. The defense presented a number of expert witnesses while the plaintiffs offered only one, retired LAPD commander Paul Kim, who, judging from his long but otherwise undistinguished police career, isn’t much of an expert on anything.

The below photo, from the L.A. Times website, shows City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and members of his staff reacting to the judge’s decision.


The photo inspired many people to leave comments voicing their displeasure that Trutanich should react so gleefully when, after all, a little girl had been killed. I’m sure Mr. Trutanich would rather his picture not been taken at that moment, but was he wrong to be pleased that the city of Los Angeles and the involved police officers had been spared from a multi-million-dollar judgment? Of course not. His lawyers worked hard, performed well, and achieved a just outcome. Suzie’s tragic death, and the less-than-tragic death of her father, did not produce a pot of gold for her mother and her lawyers.

–Jack Dunphy

Cell Phones in Schools

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 1:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The St. Ansgar, Iowa, school district has a problem with students texting during class and cheating by looking up answers online. To solve that problem, the administration authorized the purchase of cell phone jamming equipment but the idea had to be abandoned because FCC rules prohibit jamming of cell phone signals that would interfere with emergency calls:

“Apparently St. Ansgar didn’t know their plan was illegal (that rule was enacted in 2005, after movie theaters started salivating over the technological possibilities of keeping cell phones quiet during film screenings), and the plan has been quickly scrapped.”

Technology should have a solution for this. One high-tech answer is to find a way to jam everything but emergency calls, something I doubt can be done right now. A low-tech solution is to prohibit student cell phones in school and, if desired, issue school cell phones that are configured so they can only be used for emergency calls.

I’m obviously not tech savvy. Surely someone here has a better idea because cell phones are not a good way to get an education.


Clinton Negotiates Reporters’ Release from North Korea

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 1:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

That’s Bill Clinton, not Hillary:

“[Former President Bill] Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it,” the news agency reported. “Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the U.S. government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view.”

Reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee, employees of Al Gore’s Current TV, have been held in North Korea since March 2009 and were sentenced to 12 years in prison in June.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department initially requested the journalists’ release on humanitarian grounds but recently shifted to an appeal for amnesty. Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Clinton was on a “solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans.”

This is good news for the reporters and their families but who’s really running the State Department?


ObamaCare: The grassroots are always greener

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:33 am

[Posted by Karl]

Democrats would like to play the victim card in response to the hostile pushback against their proposed government takeover of the US healthcare system. The word has gone out from Sen. Democratic Whip Dick Durbin to a raft of lefty blogs to discredit anti-ObamaCare critics and protesters as vicious mobs ginned up by “lobbyist-run groups” like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks (Josh Marshall gets bonus points for going all the way with the Nazi allusion). From lefty blogs, the message goes directly to the Politico’s Glenn Thrush, Keith Olbermann and CBS News — though CBS conceded that the “turnouts also reflect the real fear over the increased taxes and government controls that are part of the health bills being considered in Congress.”

The role of established conservative groups may be more of following and facilitating the protesters. But even if such groups are becoming more involved in organizing opposition to ObamaCare, the hypocrisy here is rather staggering, given the amount of astroturf involved in trying to sell ObamaCare to an increasingly resistant public. As Michelle Malkin noted upon the launch of the lefty campaign:

On Thursday, a national “grassroots” coalition called Health Care for America Now (HCAN) will march on Capitol Hill to demand universal healthcare. The ground troops won’t have to march very far. HCAN, you see, is no heartland network. It is headquartered at 1825 K Street in Washington, DC — smack dab in the middle of Beltway lobby land.

In fact, 1825 K Street is Ground Zero for a plethora of “progressive” groups subsidized by anti-war, anti-Republican, Big Nanny special interests. Around Washington, the office complex is known as “The Other K Street.” The Washington Post noted in 2007 that “its most prominent tenants form an abbreviated who’s who of well-funded allies of the Democratic Party….Big money from unions such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as well as the Internet-fueled MoveOn, has provided groups like those at 1825 K Street the wherewithal to mount huge campaigns.”

MoveOn, of course, is the recreational political vehicle of radical liberal sugar daddy George Soros. The magnate’s financial fingerprints are all over the HCAN coalition, which includes MoveOn, the action fund of the Center for American Progress (a Soros think tank), and the Campaign for America’s Future (a pro-welfare state lobbying outfit).

Indeed, HCAN includes all of the aforementioned groups, plus the AFL-CIO, ACORN and more. HCAN is conducting a joint campaign with Organizing for America (OFA), the Democratic National Committee-run vestiges of President Obama’s campaign. The astroturf has been on public display at events like Pres. Obama’s healthcare town hall meeting in Northern Virginia, where all of the live questions came from members of SEIU, HCAN, and OFA. Heading into the August recess, the White House and the Congressional Democratic Leadership are working in close coordination with outside groups, including but not limited to, HCAN, Families USA, AFSCME, SEIU, and AARP.

If there is anyone putting their own interests ahead of those they claim to represent, it is the AARP. If there is anyone who should not be whining about vocal anti-Obamacare protests, it is the muscle for money crowd at SEIU and ACORN. If there is anyone who knows about shouting down their critics, it is OFA. If there is anyone without standing to complain about activists getting in people’s faces, it is Pres. Obama.

The Community Organizer in Chief, advised by master astroturfer David Axelrod, has amassed a campaign that dwarfs the efforts of the Right. But they are currently outnumbered and out-messaged on a shoe-string budget, primarily because of the merits of the issue. And that, more than anything, is what has the Left demonizing dissent from ObamaCare.


Lede Buried

Filed under: Crime,No on 66 — Patterico @ 12:08 am

L.A. Times: Clerical error may have put suspect in Burk’s slaying back on street.

Indeed. A “clerical error” must be the culprit. Because who could have guessed that a burglary, charged in the same case as a residential robbery, would turn out to be a residential burglary? Shocka!

(And when the L.A. Times claimed he had only one strike (“Samuel has been sentenced to state prison three times, but only one of those offenses was considered a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law”), they got it wrong. Shocka!)

There is a blockbuster story lurking in the details of the article, for anyone willing and able to see it.

It’s hiding in plain sight.

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