Patterico's Pontifications


O.J. Simpson Granted Parole

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:55 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This after serving nine years of a nine-to-33 year sentence:

Simpson, convicted of robbery and kidnapping, was granted parole Thursday — a unanimous vote by the four-member Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners reported instantly by national and international media. He could be free as soon as Oct. 1.

His release, too, is unlikely to go unnoticed. The moment Simpson received his fourth and final vote from the Nevada Board of Parole recommending release, he dropped his head, as if to give a quiet cheer of celebration to himself, before responding, “Thank you.”

Simpson was also asked what he thought life outside might be like:

The former USC and NFL star running back shrugged it off like a tackler who had taken a bad angle on him. “I’ve been recognized since I was 19,” he said. “I’ve dealt with it my whole life.”

Simpson told the board he wanted to be with his family after missing birthdays and graduations. When it was suggested he might have a webcast or blog once he’s out, he shook his head. Not interested.

That’s probably a good thing because some in the entertainment industry have already explained why they don’t think he should work in Hollywood again:

Giving Simpson a slick reality show or some other lucrative vehicle that allows him to make money while rehabilitating his image would be one more example of the media — more specifically, the entertainment industry — getting it wrong. Making O.J. the center of a new story and telling it from his point of view would, inevitably, make him sympathetic to some. Point of view is a powerful tool, and storytellers taking up O.J.’s cause, whatever the environment, would not hard-pressed to resist a redemption narrative. But that tendency would have the unfortunate effect of minimize and possibly even de-legitimize those who think his troubled past — which was not, as he claimed at the hearing, free of violence — is problematic in the extreme.

America loves second chances, but this one has far too many queasy elements to make it work.

It’s just as well. Simpson would then have time to pursue the real killer of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.

In reading about today’s hearing, I was struck by how many people, along with myself, remember exactly where they were in 1994 as they watched a bizarre drama unfold on television with O.J. Simpson in the backseat of a white Ford Bronco and the driver leading the police on a nearly 50 mile chase from Orange County to Los Angeles.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Bloomberg Report: Mueller Expanding Probe to Trump Business Transactions

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:15 am

Bloomberg released this article this morning:

The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe.

The president told the New York Times on Wednesday that any digging into matters beyond Russia would be out of bounds. Trump’s businesses have involved Russians for years, making the boundaries fuzzy so Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be taking a wide-angle approach to his two-month-old probe.

FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.

With Trump’s warning that such an investigation would be out of bounds, the speculation that Trump may fire Mueller is bound to explode today.

Consider this your routine warning that a report based on “a person familiar with the probe” is worth nothing until corroborated by something more tangible.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

UC Berkeley Says Not So Fast To Another Conservative Speaker, Terms To Be Worked Out (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:36 am

[guest post by Dana]

I’m seeing a pattern. It looks like University of California, Berkeley is still struggling with issues of speech. Particularly speech from conservatives. This time, as with Ann Coulter earlier this year, administrators are using the flimsy excuse that they can’t find a suitable location to host conservative speaker Ben Shapiro.

From the Washington Examiner:

Young America’s Foundation announced that administrators informed the Berkeley College Republicans in an email this week they were “unable to identify an available campus venue” to host the lecture, which was slated for Sept. 14. The administrators, identified by YAF as Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell and Student Organization Coordinator Millicent Morris Chaney, claimed the lecture was spiked “despite extensive efforts.”

“Ben Shapiro is welcome on our campus, and we are committed to supporting his, and your, rights to free speech,” the administrators contended in their message to students, which was sent Tuesday.

The YAF isn’t buying it:

“Berkeley’s inability to find a lecture hall more than two months in advance is laughable,” the Foundation declared in its statement, noting the university’s insistence that it can only host Shapiro “when events are held at a time and location that allow for the provision of any required security measures.”

“An endless stream of liberal speakers continue to be granted opportunities to speak, unobstructed by time, place, or manner restrictions while conservatives are continually treated unequally, and repeatedly relegated to the margins of campus activity,” YAF explained in the statement.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Shapiro at our local university. There were no hysterical protests or riots. Instead, a group of 20 or 30 students held a rather sad looking “dance-off protest” about 50 yards away from the building where he was speaking. Inside the packed hall, there was an assembled group representing just about every age and ethnicity possible. It was a respectful audience, and when Q&A time came, a solid line of men and women snaked all the way to the back door waiting their turn to address Shapiro. He didn’t shy away from anything thrown at him. He spent the most time with a young woman who challenged him on a woman’s right to have an abortion. And in spite of her continually moving the goal posts in an effort to rattle him – which Shapiro patiently pointed out each time – he was consistent in his viewpoints as he thoughtfully responded to her. In light of my experience, I can only assume that UC Berkeley must be made up of an awfully fearful and timid group of faculty and students. Because really, why else be so afraid?

For his part, Shapiro, who spoke at Berekely in 2016 without any problems, vows to fight back:

We’re coming to Berkeley, regardless of attempts to stop us. It’s just a question of when and where. Stay tuned.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


UPDATE: It looks like the show will go on after all:

“It’s clear that we have a number of workable options,” said Dan Mogulof, Berkeley’s assistant vice chancellor for public affairs. “This event is going to happen. We just need to sit down with the College Republicans to talk through the details.”

He said it was unclear whether the Berkeley College Republicans had been informed of the news.

Mogulof said Berkeley reconsidered its initial denial of the College Republicans’ request for a free, centrally located, 500-seat campus venue. Berkeley initially said the College Republicans didn’t follow the rules by pre-booking Shapiro before they asked whether the university had a room available.

“We didn’t have any options in terms of the spaces available free of charge,” Mogulof told FIRE, but “because of the extent of our commitment to free speech, the campus will help fund any fees associated with hosting this event if need be.”

The Daily Wire is also reporting that at the time of this report, the “Berkeley College Republicans confirmed that they haven’t heard from the administration directly.”

Also, the Foundation for Rights Individual Rights in Education (F.I.R.E.) brings clarification with a fuller reporting of the exchange between the university and Berkeley College Republicans. As such, I have changed the title of the post in an effort to more accurately reflect that the university offered to “negotiate the terms of the event”.

Further, in catching up with the comments, I see that Dave posted this comment: “Also, the title of this post is false and misleading. Berkeley has not “said no” to Shapiro; as the university statement shows, they said the exact opposite.” While I don’t agree that Berkeley said the “exact opposite,” I would agree that in light of the clarification, the original title of the post was inaccurate and misleading.

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