Patterico's Pontifications


D.C. Metro Bombing Updates

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:08 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

First the WaPo has new deteails about the suspect and how the investigation came to light.  It’s worth a read. And give credit where credit is due, the WaPo also discusses the links between other incidents like the Ft. Hood shooting, not in the literal sense but in the way that these are part of a larger problem.

Meanwhile Red State finds out that the suspect is a neighbor, literally down the street from him.  Interesting video follows.

And you can read the indictment here.  But exit question…  why aren’t we charging this jerk with treason?

Finally, My Pet Jawa also has a lot of information and analysis.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Death Penalty Stoppage Unplugging?

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:06 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

A while back Patterico noted that the death penalty was being slowed down in California by shortages in sodium thiopental, a drug that is part of the mix most commonly used in death penalty cases.  Well, it turns out that in Arizona, they managed to get a fresh batch from a British company and tried to go forward with the execution of Jeffrey Landrigan.  His crimes were described as follows:

In 1989, Landrigan escaped from an Oklahoma prison where he was serving time for second-degree murder.

He was convicted of strangling Chester Dyer in Arizona a year later during an armed burglary and was sentenced to death.

Pro-Death Penalty has alot more detail about both crimes the man committed.  What leaps out at me was how forthright he was about the whole thing.

Nonetheless, his lawyers managed to get a last minute stay on the theory that this foreign-made drug might not be safe.  They won in the District Court and then it was appealed to the Ninth Circuit.  Do I have to tell you that the Ninth Circuit Affirmed?  Yeah, they did.  But the Supreme Court put a stop to all of this silliness with a singe page order saying:

There is no evidence in the record to suggest that the drug obtained from a foreign source is unsafe. The district court granted the restraining order because it was left to speculate as to the risk of harm….  But speculation cannot substitute for evidence that the use of the drug is “‘sure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering.’”… There was no showing that the drug was unlawfully obtained, nor was there an offer of proof to that effect.

This suggests there is some hope in California to see the de facto moratorium on executions end.  We can hope.

Also, the LA Times notes that this is Elena Kagan’s first vote, most likely meaning the first public and final vote in a Supreme Court case.  She dissented along with the predictable gang.  It was a 5-4 decision.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” is Good Law in Texas

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:43 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Consider this a light item, but Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was cited by a concurrence in the Texas Supreme Court (the opinion of the court is here).  At issue was the application of the principle of Ex Post Facto in the Texas Constitution, so I won’t bore you with the details.  But here is the key passage:

Appropriately weighty principles guide our course. First, we recognize that police power draws from the credo that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Second, while this maxim rings utilitarian and Dickensian (not to mention Vulcan21), it is cabined by something contrarian and Texan: distrust of intrusive government and a belief that police power is justified only by urgency, not expediency.

And of course at footnote 21 it says this:

See STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (Paramount Pictures 1982). The film references several works of classic literature, none more prominently than A Tale of Two Cities. Spock gives Admiral Kirk an antique copy as a birthday present, and the film itself is bookended with the book’s opening and closing passages. Most memorable, of course, is Spock’s famous line from his moment of sacrifice: “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” to which Kirk replies, “the needs of the few.”

So there you go, Texas lawyers.  You may cite Star Trek II as controlling law.  Non-Texas lawyers can cite it as persuasive authority.  I would not, on the other hand, recommend citing Star Trek V.

Also, someone pointed out ages ago that the recent “Star Trek” demonstrates that the biggest Star Trek fan in history might be…  Spock himself.  See if you follow this.  In the most recent movie, a young James Kirk steals a car and as he drives, he puts the song “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys on the radio.  So the Beastie Boys existed in the Star Trek universe.  But the Beastie Boys made another song called “Intergalactic” where they say, “Your knees’ll start shaking and your fingers pop/Like a pinch on the neck by Mr. Spock.”  That is a reference obviously to the TV show, Star Trek.  Which means necessarily that all the Star Trek TV shows and movies exist, which means that according to their universe every action they have taken—including the changed timeline that debuted in the most recent movie—was predicted by a string television shows and a series of movies that appeared in the 20th and 21st centuries.  And that means necessarily that people depicted in these movies and shows are consciously imitating the real actions predicted by these movies and shows.

Well, either that, or they decided to stick a rap/rock song in a movie because it seemed like a good song for the scene, without considering the metaphysical ramifications of it all.  I mean I suppose that is a possibility.  🙂

Still I am waiting for a scene in the sequel where like in Spaceballs, they fish out a copy of the movie they are in, and fast-forward it to figure out what their enemies will do next.

Returnig to the court case, it’s also worth noting that the majority opinion in that case was written by the Honorable K. Noonien Singh.  The dissent, by J. Tiberius Kirk simply read: “Khhaaaaaan!!!”

(No, not really.)

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing, who admittedly can be a real geek sometimes.]

The Appearance of Impropriety

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:21 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Hey have you heard that Democrats are out-spending Republicans this year?  Well, here is one of the reasons why:

Shortly after Labor Day, as polls continued to sink, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) realized it needed a cash infusion for the upcoming midterm elections. Its chairman, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, turned to the Bank of America to secure a $15 million revolving credit line. Then, in the middle of this month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) got another loan from BofA [Bank of America] for an additional $17 million.

What was their collateral? It turns out, not much.

The DNC claims their collateral was an intangible piece of property — its donor mailing list. The DCCC only cites unnamed assets.” Neither party organization possesses real estate even close to cover the $32 million. The DNC’s headquarters is owned by another entity. Even it was put up as collateral, its market value was last estimated at only $13.7 million.

As they say, read the whole thing.  So we bail out Bank of America.  And Bank of America bails out the Democratic party.  How cozy.  Aren’t you glad to know that your tax money is funding one side of the debate?

Mr. President, if corporate money spent in an election is a “threat to democracy” then what do you call this?  Oh, wait, I know: the Chicago way.

And this comes on the heels of news that Barney Frank (D-bag) has received a lot of money from the very banks that received bailouts and which he is supposed to be monitoring.  And he promised not to do this.

I mean, sure, it is possible that these people just spontaneously decided to give money to the Democrats because they agreed with them on abortion or some reason other than as payback for the infusions of our money put into their pockets.  But at the very least, there is a very obvious appearance of impropriety, here.

No wonder we have fallen out of the list of the top twenty least corrupt nations.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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