Holy crap…

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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40 Responses

  1. NewDealer says:

    Leeland Yee is also known as the legislator who was behind the warning labels on video games case that was at the Supreme Court a few years ago. IIRC he has a background as a child psychologist and/or social worker.

    I read about his arrest in the Chronicle today. The gangster involved and already arrested is named “Shrimp Boy”. I am guessing this is an ironic nickname based on Shrimp Boy’s wikipedia page.

    He also could have been the mayor of San Francisco and was a candidate in the most recent mayoral election.

    Also, Johnnie To > John WooReport

    • Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

      From a quick skim of To’s wiki page, I think I’ve only seen one of his films (Heroic Trio) but pre-Hollywood, HK Woo (Hard Boiled, The Killer, Bullet in the Head, A Better Tomorrow) was great.Report

  2. J@m3z Aitch says:

    Some years back, my wife and I saw a most wanted poster fpr a Filipino gangster going by the name of Tick Boy. It forever changed a certain Social Distortion song for us. No idea if he was a Democrat, though.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    “bad John Woo movie”

    Don’t hunt what you can’t kill.Report

  4. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Go watch Forrest Gump again, I’m sure inspiration for “Shrimp Boy” will come to you.Report

  5. aaron david says:

    Apparently, one of the charges is gun running also, and as he is one one of the state legislators who really pushed for increased legislation, it will be very interesting how this plays out.
    Very. Interesting.Report

  6. Neil Obstat says:

    Being the youngest & most diminutive of five brothers, “Shrimp Boy” was given that nickname (in Chinese) by his grandmother. Saw a picture of him with his arms around a couple Asian showgirls — he was only slightly taller than their shoulders.Report

  7. Damon says:

    Ah, a corrupt politican getting nailed…


  8. Kazzy says:

    The nickname does not stand out to me at all. Nicknames come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve got a litany of them.

    I’m curious to learn more about Yee’s involvement. I wonder if he was actively involved in whatever the gang was doing or if this was more of an “Old friend from the neighborhood who sometimes reached out and who Yee couldn’t separate himself from.” Neither one is acceptable but there is obviously a broad spectrum of possible behaviors that could get him indicted but which deserve varying degrees of outrage. The “old neighborhood friend” thing is something that has and continues to plague folks — particularly those of ethnic or racial minorities groups — for a long time now.

    I guess what I’m saying is that this isn’t totally shocking or surprising to me on any level.Report

  9. NewDealer says:


    I’d be interested in a take on this story from your ideology is the enemy category.

    It seems like most of the reactions I see are from partisan points of view. Republicans are acting with glee and not surprised that a Democratic politician got arrested. In their eyes, all Democratic politicians are corrupt. It is probably extra delicious that Leeland Yee is from that great boogeyman place of San Francisco.

    Democratic types are worried about the election in November and that one bad apple can bring down the party.

    It would seem axiomatic to me that politics is going to have sketchy people in both parties who do very questionable things. The liberal equivalent here would be reacting with glee when someone like Larry Craig gets caught soliciting sex from a man or with Ted Haggard or some other corruption stories.

    It also seems that human nature requires boogeyman and this is a great way to raise money. Democratic politicians can raise a lot of money by mentioning the Koch Brothers. Republican politicians can raise a lot of money mentioning George Soros, Nancy Peolsi, Obama, and Harry Reid. In the past, Walter Reuther was their boogeyman. Yet human nature also makes us downplay the opposition’s boogeymen. Republicans and libertarians roll their eyes when Democratic types criticize the Koch brothers. Democratic types roll their eyes when Sarah Palin mentions Saul Alinsky and other former 60s activists or the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to NewDealer says:

      @newdealer I don’t know that I have an issue with this story on the IITE front. I well imagine that Republicans are shining a big spotlight on this story, but I think considering the likely Dem nominee for Sec of State and multi-Senate committee chair was basically part of the Yakuza, that’s something they should be allowed to do. I mean, holy shit.

      And for the moment — and mind, I don’t live there so my local-info meter is weak here — I don’t see Dems stepping up to defend the guy, and I really don’t expect them to. If they do rally around him, then the left is further down that path that only I think they’re on than I imagined in my worst nightmares. (In fact, it would be interesting to see what happens in an alternate universe exactly like our own with Yee being GOP. Would the right media — maybe not Fox News Channel, but Glenn Beck and the talk-radio set — defend this guy and demand Obama’s head for for Govt. overreach by Justice dept. thugs? Dunno if that *would* happen, but I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t imagine it.)

      As for the rest of what you bring up, I confess I’m not as down on political “guilt by association” as many. If the GOP had a candidate for Gov in Oregon that was doing and saying all the right things, but had hired staff from Cruz, Bachmann, and Gomert (or just used to “pal around” with them), that would absolutely make me wary of him — maybe enough to not vote for the guy, no matter how clean he looked.

      The problem, IMHO, occurs when the guilt by association is extrapolated in one of two ways: The first is to make that boogey man a matter of life or death to a ridiculous degree: Obama wasn’t just potentially on the same page with Wright and Alinksy on some issues, he was a trojan horse candidate sent to destroy our way of life and declare sharia law!

      The second is when the boogey man is used by the entire movement as a substitute for thinking about public policy: Obama is urging the debt ceiling issue be resolved, BUT HE IS PALS WITH SAUL ALINSKY SO WE CAN”T RESOLVE THE DEBT CEILING ISSUE!!!!

      I don’t see the Dems doing the first at all, really, though I do see them surging on the second with “but… the Koch Brothers!”

      That’s the way I see it all, anywho.Report

      • Kim in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        To be perfectly honest, there’s a lot worse things they could be saying about the Koch brothers — and the egalitarians are perfectly right to despise them. That said, the Koch brothers aren’t the only conservatives out there…Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        I agree with much of what you wrote. This is a really serious political scandal and I don’t think the Democratic Party will have his back if the allegations turn out to be true. They will also keep silent until some evidence is released and then act.

        However, I mainly see the Koch Brothers being used to raise campaign funding for the Democratic Party and it seems to work:

        And they might get out the vote:


      • Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        There is also a sliding scale to how concerning the various behaviors are. If Yee is guilty of what he’s accused of, then he engaged in criminal activity that likely caused violent harm to others. Craig might be guilty of infidelity or otherwise lying to his loved ones (though we don’t necessarily know what his family knew or accepted about his romantic pursuits). Others you mention might hold disagreeable or even abhorrent ideas, but that is a far cry from criminal or corrupt behavior. Our responses to those people and their actions should necessarily be different. Not because they espouse different ideologies, but because they engaged in fundamentally different behavior.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Quasi-seriously, I wonder how much of the confusion around the Koch brothers’ identities have to do with their name. When I see it written out, I instinctively read it as “Kotch”. But I understand it is pronounced like “Coke”. If you were to ask me verbally about the “Coke” brothers, I’d probably be confused, too… at least momentarily.

        But maybe I’m just an idiot.Report

      • Kim in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I know someone who used to work for them. he pronounces it “cock”. The mispronunciation is intentional.

        (of course, he’s also been known to pronounce Kant as “kunt” (also intentionally)).Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        It is pronounced coke like the soda or the narcotic depending on your imagination.

        I think the big issue with Larry Craig was more his hypocrisy than anything else. I wouldn’t care about the sex scandal if he didn’t have a reputation as a hard core social conservative. If he was a social liberal, I would feel compassion for his wife and family who would be hurt by the infidelity but I wouldn’t think of him as a hypocrite because he did not use his position to moralize against homosexuality or for “traditional” family values.

        That being said, this if true is a million times worse than what Larry Craig did.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        The hypocrisy is a real issue, but there is something unseemly about liberals and Democrats — supposedly allies of LGBTQ — taking glee in what happened to Craig. I can understand why they might see it beneficial to them strategically. But some of the outright gloating I saw… “Ha! He’s gay!”… I found really off-putting. Especially given what we know about the complicated nature of sexuality and sexual orientation and the intense pressures many feel to conform to a standard that is outside themselves, we should see Craig’s story as sad. Yes, the hypocrisy and moralizing matter. But they don’t justify some of what I saw some folks on the left (not saying you, by any means) saying in response.Report

    • j r in reply to NewDealer says:

      Here’s my take from the perspective of partisanship (and not necessarily ideology) is the enemy:

      Ideology is what the sociopaths in positions of power use to keep the rest of us believing that this whole system is about anything else than the raw exercise of power, mainly for power’s sake. And partisanship is the mechanism that keeps the whole house of cards standing.Report