Patterico's Pontifications


The Washington Post reports that

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:52 pm

The Washington Post reports that “seven in 10 Americans continue to believe that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had a role in the attacks, even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of this.” This appears to be up from 45% when I first mentioned the issue in March.

The story contains many quotes from administration officials that supposedly implied that there was a link between Iraq and 9/11. In fact, most of the quotes simply portray Iraq as part of the war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001 — hardly a startling claim. Then the story says: “Key administration figures have largely abandoned any claim that Iraq was involved in the 2001 attacks.” Gee — don’t you have to advance a claim before you can “abandon” it? The story nowhere says that any official actually made such a claim.

Your news media hard at work.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:04 pm

THE MODERN VERSION OF THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER STORY: You may have already seen this, as it is circulating around on the internet.

(Please, no e-mails about how there really are needy people in the world who don’t deserve to be. I know that. This is not an analogy relevant to the plight of every underprivileged person in the country. Neither is the original grasshopper and ant story. Still, both versions have some relevance.) Now to the story:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing “We shall overcome.” Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake.

Tom Daschle & Walter Mondale exclaim in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his “fair share.”

Finally, the EEOC drafts the “Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act,” retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it.

Thanks to my Uncle Pete for passing that along.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:44 pm

ANOTHER REASON TO DISTRUST BUSTAMANTE: John Fund reports here about Mr. N-Word‘s support for a Santa Ana school board member who was facing a recall election, due to his efforts to undermine a state proposition that outlawed bilingual education:

In February he [Bustamante] lent considerable support to Nativo Lopez, a controversial Santa Ana school board member who was facing a recall. Mr. Lopez is known as the Al Sharpton of Southern California for his ethnic demagogy. He’d drawn the ire of his constituents, many of whom are Hispanic, for failing to improve local schools, but mostly for pressuring parents to demand bilingual education for their children.

In 1998, 61% of Californians voted for Proposition 227, which mandated that English be the primary language taught in public schools. (School districts that have followed Proposition 227’s mandate have seen test scores rise for immigrant children.) But Mr. Lopez was hoping to pressure enough parents into defying the referendum so as to render it unenforceable in Santa Ana.

Mr. Bustamante campaigned for Mr. Lopez even though the entire Santa Ana City Council, which has a Latino majority, supported his recall. Beatriz Salas, who immigrated from Mexico 20 years ago, says she was appalled when she and other parents attended a meeting with Mr. Lopez in 1999, where he admitted that his goal was to make Spanish the primary language in California.

Earlier this year, Ms. Salas met Mr. Bustamante and asked him why he had supported Mr. Lopez. ‘He said it had to do with his anger at Ron Unz, the sponsor of Proposition 227,’ she told me. ‘He said that because Unz was all for English instruction he was all for Spanish instruction, and I guess that included Nativo Lopez. I was very disappointed in his answer.’
Vivian Martinez, who led the group of parents opposed to Mr. Lopez, says that Mr. Bustamante personally called residents and later urged voters to reject the recall in a recorded phone message. In the end, the people of Santa Ana ignored the Latino power structure. Mr. Lopez was recalled by a resounding 71% vote. He lost every precinct in a city where almost three-fourths of the residents speak Spanish at home.

The parents I spoke with couldn’t help but note the irony of Mr. Bustamante going against Hispanic parents who want their children to learn English. A profile in the Orange County Register pointed out that Mr. Bustamante’s parents “would not speak Spanish in his household when he was young” so that he could learn English. Mr. Bustamante has accomplished a lot, including becoming the first statewide Latino officeholder in over 100 years. “But since 45% of Latino kids don’t graduate from high school, one wonders where he would be today if his father hadn’t insisted on an English-only approach,” says Ms. Montelongo. “Why is he opposing parents who have their own idea on how best their children can succeed?”

No major candidate for governor of California in this election is anti-immigrant. But having raised the bloody shirt of anti-immigration, Cruz Bustamante should be forced to explain his support for Nativo Lopez, who was repudiated by the very people he claims to represent.

Okay, this is old news, but if you didn’t know it, and you’re voting in this election, you need to know it. Plus, I just told you I’ve been out for a few days because of the monitor. So cut me some slack.

BACK ONLINE: The inexplicable absence

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:57 pm

BACK ONLINE: The inexplicable absence of Patterico can now be explained. Our monitor crapped out. My only other alternative would have been to blog from work, which I have never done and don’t intend to do. We now have a lovely new monitor from Fry’s ($60 after various rebates), and I am back.

There is much to catch up on. Estrada has withdrawn his nomination. The Ninth Circuit invalidated 100 death sentences. Someone threw eggs at Arnold. I will no doubt opine on these and other topics in the days ahead. I apologize for the absence. Hope you understand.

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