Patterico's Pontifications


UCLA Agrees to Pay Half a Million to Settle Black Judge’s Claim That He Was “Shaken, Battered, and Bruised”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:46 pm

Justice has been served:

UCLA has agreed to pay $500,000, including $350,000 in scholarships, to settle a claim by a prominent African American judge over alleged mistreatment and racial profiling by campus police during a traffic stop last year, officials announced Friday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham, who is a former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, and his attorney will receive $150,000 and an additional $350,000 will establish a scholarship fund named after Cunningham and administered by the UCLA Black Alumni Association for undergraduate or law students, according to a statement from both sides in the dispute.

In addition, UCLA pledged to improve training for police on diversity and to hold a one-day community forum about relations between police and the public, including racial profiling.

The judge in January filed a $10-million claim against UCLA for excessive force and racial profiling, alleging that he was “shaken, battered and bruised” in the Nov. 23, 2013 traffic stop in Westwood.

$10 million dollars! I’ll be shaken, battered, and bruised for $10 million! I’ll do it for $150,000! Heck, I’ll do it for the low, low price of $50,000. UCLA? Call me, babe. Let’s set something up.

According to Cunningham’s complaint, he was trying to find his registration and insurance forms in his car’s glove box when a prescription bottle for high blood pressure medicine rolled out. One of the officers asked him whether he was carrying drugs. Cunningham then said he went to search his trunk for the papers and that the officers, Kevin Dodd and James Kim, rushed and handcuffed him.

Cunningham, who had reviewed many cases of possible police misconduct matters during his time on the Police Commission, said he feared for his safety and began yelling about police brutality and demanded they call a supervisor.

In a statement after the incident, the UCLA police department said the matter began as a routine traffic stop and that Cunningham ignored officers’ orders to stay in his car. “Despite these instructions, the driver left the vehicle – an escalating behavior that can place officers at risk,” the department said at the time.

He was . . . so scared about police brutality during the traffic stop that he exited his car without permission and made for his trunk — where, for all the officers knew, he was going to retrieve a gun and execute them.

As a judge, he should have known that a traffic stop is one of the most potentially dangerous situations an officer can face . . . and that you don’t get out of your car and walk to your trunk.

But you know what? It’s UCLA. UCLA and this judge deserve each other.

The scholarship fund will be named the David S. Cunningham, III Scholarship for Civil Rights. Asked whether it will be reserved for African American students, [attorney Carl] Douglas said that will be decided by Cunningham and the black alumni association.

That means yes.

Everything Is Coming Up Cleveland!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]


Cleveland scored this week in big news.

First, former Cleveland Cavalier and basketball whiz LeBron James announced that he will be leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cavaliers, the first team he played for in the NBA.

“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission,” James said in the Sports Illustrated first-person story. “I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”

Four years ago, fans burned his jersey when he left for Florida, but apparently all is forgiven.

For LeBron James, who as an 18 year old signed a 7 year $90 million deal with Nike, life is looking pretty good. He is the favorite son returning home, and on top of that, his Nike LeBron 12 will be hitting the shelves in October, 2014. Price for one pair? $200!

Second, it was announced that the 2016 Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland.

Edging out Dallas, Ohio is obviously a key component in the party’s national strategy to win back the White House.

The RNC and Cleveland will hammer out the details, with a vote by Republican National Committee members in August.

Sen. Rob Portman was the force behind the push for Ohio. Not surprisingly, he has been contemplating a run in 2016 for some time:

“I’m not particularly eager to do it myself, and having been involved in six presidential campaigns, I know what it’s like,” he said in a recent interview in his Capitol office. “But if nobody running is able to win and willing to address these issues, then I might have a change of heart.”

Portman believes his roots in the swing-state, legislative and executive experience, and support for same-sex marriage (his views on it evolved after finding out his son was gay) would give him an edge in the field as well as garner him the favor of the Republican Party’s establishment. He knows who calls the shots.

And, how to win a national election? Well, according to Portman:

“To win a national election, we’ve got to work on fixing the Republican brand, and that’s what I’ve been working on,” Portman said. “We’ve got to be the party of ideas, not the party of no. . . . The Democrats have successfully mischaracterized Republicans in many instances, and that’s why Mitt Romney had a tough time winning Ohio. They called him a plutocrat without compassion.”

It kind of makes me wish Sin City would have won the bid. At least there would have been, you know, some sin to ease the pain…

Much more at the second link.


Illegal Immigrant Minors And New Talking Points

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:26 pm

[guest post by Dana]

At the risk of immigration update overload, I wanted to briefly mention a few interesting reports.

First, in Murrieta, CA, the local Penny Saver newspaper ran an ad seeking “loving, compassionate parents to provide a loving home”… for “unaccompanied refugee minors”. According to the ad, monthly reimbursement for providing a home can pay more than $6,000 per month.


Oddly, one Murrieta resident called to inquire about the ad and a staff member told her that the children being received are 12 years old and up. When she asked where the younger ones were, the staff member replied that he wondered about that, too.

As the illegal unaccompanied minors are being disbursed throughout Southern California in temporary shelters, local churches are stepping up to receive the children (and mothers) for a brief period until they are sent to be united with relatives throughout the country. Diocese officials stated that they are not receiving any federal reimbursement or monetary support, but that it is on a voluntary basis.

Also, the city of Murrieta, which recently received a black eye from some of the press due to protesting residents effectively causing three Homeland Security buses carrying illegal immigrant detainees to re-reroute from the Murrieta Border Station, has now hired a P.R. firm to help with damage control and handle media requests. And taking their cue from Sally Kohn, the firm has requested the “I” word no longer be used in reference to the children. Here are the management consultant’s suggested talking points for the city:

* Don’t use the terms “illegal” or “invaders”
* Say Murrieta is a family community and we have compassion for those kids
* Talk about Obama’s orphans being dumped in Murrieta
* Push the fact that [local Congressman Ken] Calvert is missing (in action)
* Use signs that are meaningful and convey a quick message
* Flag is good, but signs say more
* Don’t use the word quarantine

While city officials must certainly hope its frustrated residents fall in line with the prescribed messaging, it doesn’t appear that this is the type of crowd, at least at this point, willing to fall in line with much of anything suggested by a governmental entity. Also, I suspect residents don’t want to risk seeing their own blunt messaging watered down so much that it possibly loses its effectiveness. Frustratingly, while the messaging of protesters-at-large has become a convenient tool for this White House and a willing media to distract from those ultimately responsible for the problem in the first place, without it, they – and we – risk not being heard at all.

(#3 should be hammered relentlessly.)


Seeking The Arrest Of Lois Lerner

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:01 am

[post by Dana]

Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman is done waiting for the Justice Dept. to answer calls to prosecute Lois Lerner over the IRS scandal targeting conservative non-profit groups. As such, he has filed a resolution for her arrest:

“Asking the Justice Department to prosecute Lois Lerner for admittedly illegal activity is a joke,” Stockman said. “The Obama administration will not prosecute the Obama administration. How much longer will the House allow itself to be mocked? It is up to this House to uphold the rule of law and hold accountable those who illegally targeted American citizens for simply having different ideas than the President.”

Although infrequently used, Congress does have the power to arrest individuals held in contempt.


Stockman’s resolution accuses Lerner of “refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, thereby obstructing the Congress in the lawful exercise of its constitutionally mandated legislative powers,” calling her behavior “an insult to the dignity of the House of Representatives [and] an attack upon the integrity of its proceedings, [which] works violence upon the rights of the House collectively, and therefore implicates the long-recognized inherent power of the House to punish and commit for contempt, privileged under the Constitution.”


Two Interesting Intellectual Property Cases

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

While I sit here refreshing the opinions page for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, let me bring to your attention a couple of interesting intellectual property cases: one new, and one a few weeks old that I meant to write about at the time.

The more recent one is a suit brought by the heirs of John Wayne, otherwise known as “the Duke,” complaining that a certain university in North Carolina keeps suing them when they try to use the name “Duke”:

[U]niversity spokesman Michael Schoenfeld wrote in an email that “the university doesn’t object to the use of ‘Duke’ on alcoholic beverages, as long as it is clearly linked to John Wayne’s likeness.”

However, he wrote, Wayne’s estate wants the rights to use the word with or without the star’s image attached.

“While we admire and respect John Wayne’s contributions to American culture, we are also committed to protecting the integrity of Duke University’s trademarks,” Schoenfeld wrote in a statement.

“As Mr. Wayne himself said,” the statement continues, ” ‘Words are what men live by … words they say and mean.’ ”

Richard Howell, John Wayne Enterprises’ attorney, disputed Schoenfeld’s assessment.

Howell said that the company has proposed “over and over” a truce of sorts: A co-use agreement wherein the company will only use the name ‘Duke’ in connection with John Wayne’s name, image or likeness.

I come down on the side of the Duke with this one — partially because I hate universities, partially because I don’t like lawsuits. But let’s assume these two spokesmen are telling the truth. The Duke’s legatees want to use the nickname “in connection with John Wayne’s name, image or likeness” and the university wants to limit it to situations where it is “clearly linked to John Wayne’s likeness.” It sounds like the university wants to ban any mention of the Duke’s nickname without an “image” attached — even if John Wayne’s name is used. Bollocks. Patterico hereby enters judgment in the court of public opinion in favor of the Duke’s legatees, and orders the president of that university to go soak his head.

The second lawsuit is several weeks old, but I have been meaning to blog it for a while. It’s the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the estate of Randy California against Led Zeppelin, for copying material from the Spirit song “Taurus” in the far more famous “Stairway to Heaven.” I told you about this musical similarity in June 2013, saying: “Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit early in their careers, and heard this song live. You will not have to listen closely to hear the inspiration for Stairway to Heaven.”

In May of this year, California’s estate filed suit, in anticipation of a monster re-released of the Zeppelin catalog.

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, if you listen to the piece, it’s pretty clear they ripped off part of California’s piece — and the fact that they were touring with Spirit at the time just solidifies the conclusion that you would have come to anyway regarding the similarities. It would have been nice for them to credit California and give him a piece of the royalties. And, as I say, I pointed out the similarities last year, long before the lawsuit — so it’s clearly not a made-up claim. (Do any of the lawyers read this blog?)

That being said, California himself never filed suit. And in “Stairway to Heaven,” while Zeppelin took some of California’s music, the more famous band also transformed the germ of that idea into something quite different, taken as a whole. Patterico reluctantly hereby enters judgment for defendant in the court of public opinion, but awards no costs — and encourages Led Zeppelin to give California his writing credit anyway.

P.S. During the writing of this post, I continued to refresh that first link, and (although I could be wrong) it appears there will be no Halbig decision today. There are four new opinions in other cases; it looks like that might do it for the day.

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