Patterico's Pontifications

11/30/2003

SPLITTING INFINITIVES

Filed under: Grammar — Patterico @ 11:46 am

Xrlq’s excellent post on an error-laden Ass. Press story got me thinking about split infinitives. I noticed that the AP story in question split an infinitive, and I thought that it was about the only thing in the story that the AP got right. I think that splitting infinitives is sometimes necessary to avoid sounding stilted.

Since people have generally teamed up against me on the quotation mark controversy and the “an historical” controversy, I figured I’d offer bloggers yet another chance violently to disagree to violently disagree with me on a grammatical issue.

UPDATE: Xrlq notes that this is (as you might think) a debate that others have already had. The good Prof. Volokh has previously weighed in, in favor of split infinitives — to which Xrlq responded with this rather complicated discussion. Xrlq appears to (basically) agree with Prof. Volokh and me, but argues that it’s not really splitting an infinitive because the “to” is not part of the infinitive. [Previous grammatical awkwardness in the preceding sentence corrected, thanks to an observation by Xrlq in the comments. Gotta be careful with your grammar when you're talking about grammar!] Xrlq denies that this is hairsplitting, but I’m not so sure. Read his post and reach your own judgment.

In any event, it’s nice not to have people swarming to disagree with me the way they did the last couple of times. (I’m still right.)

CALBLOG ON ANTI-SEMITISM

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 10:57 am

Calblog has a nice essay on Anti-Semitism and the Cure, bringing together some of the recent outrages that show this particular form of discrimination is still alive and well in the world. Justene’s solution: teach your children about it.

11/29/2003

WELCOME

Filed under: Bear Flag League — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

Welcome to the two new Bear Flaggers: eTALKINGHEAD.com and Jockularocracy.

INCREDIBLY STUPID COLUMN EXPOSED, OR, WHY YOU SHOULD THINK TWICE WHEN YOU’RE THE ONLY GUY IN THE WORLD WITH AN AMAZING INSIGHT

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 12:45 pm

Hahahahahahaha. A guy named Wayne Madsen at a leftist site called CounterPunch has an entire column making fun of George Bush for supposedly forcing military personnel to eat that famous Thanksgiving dinner at 6 a.m. The only problem, as Brian O’Connell points out, is that they ate the dinner at 6 p.m.

Based on his sloppy mistake about the time, Madsen writes a whole piece mocking the supposed 6 a.m. dinner. In the process, he makes plenty of idiotic statements. For example, he claims that

our military men and women were downing turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and non-alcoholic beer at a time when most people would be eating eggs, bacon, grits, home fries, and toast.

He also says:

I would have thought most of the troops, many of whom are support personnel who work relatively normal working hours, would have been more surprised when they were ordered to get up before sunrise to eat Thanksgiving dinner between 6:00 and 7:30 A.M.

Madsen is proud that he is the only guy who figured this out. He says that “the abysmal and sycophantic Washington and New York press corps seems to have completely missed the Thanksgiving ‘breakfast dinner.’” So why does he think nobody else remarked on the unusual timing of the dinner?

Chalk that up to the fact that most people in the media never saw a military chow line or experienced reveille in their lives. So it would certainly go over their heads that troops would be ordered out of bed to eat turkey and stuffing before the crack of dawn.

Or, Mr. Madsen, you could chalk it up to the fact that you are an idiot.

This is rich. Hurry and look before they figure out how stupid they were and take it down. Maybe one of you computer-savvy types can even save us a screen shot, to preserve the evidence. That way we can all laugh at this imbecile for years to come.

(Via Pejmanesque.)

UPDATE: It gets better. O’Connell confronted Madsen with the evidence (click on the O’Connell link above for the update), and Madsen is sticking with the story! He is basing his argument on a Washington Post report that contains an obvious typo. O’Connell pointed out the mountain of proof that the dinner really took place in the evening (again, see O’Connell’s update), and Madsen appears to be ignoring it.

This means that the ridiculous piece will probably stay up at Counterpunch, as a powerful testament to liberals’ desperate need to believe the worst about Bush — even when doing so proves them to be utter fools.

UPDATE x2: Thanks to Eugene Volokh for the mention, but the credit goes to Brian O’Connell for catching this nonsense. Make sure to visit his posts (linked above) for the full story.

UPDATE x3: A commenter to this post says Madsen has “apparently retracted” the story. Well, sort of, but not really. As Brian O’Connell notes, Madsen has a statement at Indymedia which acknowledges that the story is bogus. But the original article is still up at Counterpunch, with no retraction or admission of error as of 9:15 a.m. Pacific time on Sunday, November 30. That ain’t much of a retraction, in my book. [UPDATE: Actually, O'Connell says in the comments to this post that he e-mailed Madsen about this "retraction" and Madsen says that the Indymedia statement is not his. So there has been no retraction at all -- not even one of the half-assed variety.]

Madsen’s bogus story is still making its way through the loony portion of the internet. The Counterpunch version is linked at anti-war site WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM and is copied at the Jeff Rense site. Until Madsen issues a correction at the source, this lunacy will continue to spread — to the great amusement of many like myself.

UPDATE x4: Anticipating Madsen’s inevitable decision (still not forthcoming!) to remove this idiocy, intrepid reader Richard has saved us a copy, here. Bookmark it, as an enduring document of the left’s persistent willful blindness to obvious facts in their pursuit of Bush-bashing.

WOULD THIS BOTHER YOU?

Filed under: Real Life — Patterico @ 12:02 pm

The other day I was driving home from work, waiting to get onto the freeway, when I saw something that made me mad. I wonder whether other people would react the same way.

On this particular stretch of road, cars line up to access the freeway onramp during the evening commute. Inevitably, when cars line up like this in Los Angeles on a predictable schedule, you will see street vendors and/or beggars. On this block, I always see the same two people: a guy selling flowers (roses for $5) and another guy who just stands there and begs for money. I sometimes buy roses from the one guy; I never give anything to the other one.

Usually these two fellows are separated from each other. The flower guy tends to stand on the curb offering his flowers. Sometimes he has fruit. By contrast, the beggar walks up and down the rows of cars, trying to make eye contact with you, and forcing you to respond to his request for money.

But on this particular day, the two were standing right next to each other: the one guy with the inexpensive flowers, and the other with nothing to offer but his outstretched hand. In front of me, I saw a car pull up to the two of them, lean out the window, and give money — to the beggar.

Understand: both men are clearly poor. The only difference I could see between them (other than their differing races) is that one of them was offering goods in return for money, and the other was not.

It made me angry that someone would give money to someone who was doing absolutely nothing to earn it — right in front of the nose of the guy who was working for his meager living.

Am I the only one annoyed by this?

AMMUNITION TO RESPOND TO LIBERALS

Filed under: Politics — Patterico @ 11:23 am

For the next time you are in an argument with a liberal, you can respond with the following facts when he/she says:

Why isn’t the President regularly attending military funerals, like his predecessors did? They didn’t.

Why do we never see any public show of support by Iraqis for the American presence? We have.

FROM THE “EVERYTHING’S NOT COMPLETELY PEACHY” FILE

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:23 am

Comes this Fox News story about powerful explosives apparently abandoned and concealed in haste on the outskirts of Albuquerque.

11/28/2003

Spy Wiper Help

Filed under: Scum,Spy Wiper — Patterico @ 10:27 pm

SPY WIPER HELP: For those looking for help because their browser was hijacked by Spy Wiper, read this post and the comments. A potential fix is in the comments; let me know if it works.

UPDATE: I am keeping this post at the top of the page for at least the rest of the day, and possibly longer, due to the interest this is getting from people victimized by this company. This also means that you may be missing new posts if you stop reading with this one.

UPDATE x2: Xrlq has useful links on the topic.

UPDATE x3: If that didn’t help, try the links in this post. Also, there is a lot of information in the comments below.

UPDATE x4: A complaint against Spy Wiper has been filed with the FTC! Further information, including information on how to contact the FTC, is available here. I urge anyone who has had their browser hijacked by this company to follow up with the FTC.

IT’S FREE, AND YOU CAN FIND IT RIGHT HERE

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Humor — Patterico @ 10:27 pm

You have been looking for it for days — maybe weeks. Well, your long search can stop right now. That’s right, folks, it’s here, and it’s yours for the asking — entirely free!

I’m talking, of course, about Google traffic — courtesy of Wizbang. Sure, said traffic consists of people looking for the Paris Hilton tape (Wizbang had a post that referenced the tape which somehow ended up high on the Google results). And sure, they ain’t gonna find it here. But I am realistic enough to know that perverts are people too. Heck, some of my best long-time readers are perverts! (You know who you are.) So I refuse to be snooty and turn my nose up at the traffic. Bring it on!

JEFFREY TOOBIN, LEGAL GENIUS

Filed under: Crime,Morons — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

Regarding the Michael Jackson case, renowned legal idiot expert Jeffrey Toobin says: “The Jackson team trashed this kid, and that’s an interesting approach.”

“Interesting” how? As in “unpredictable”?? We never thought Mark Geragos would trash the victim??? What in the hell are you talking about, Toobin?

Idiot.

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