Patterico's Pontifications

11/22/2003

COMMENTS

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 11:56 pm

Despite blog comments leading someone to get threatened with a lawsuit recently, I have decided to experiment with allowing readers to leave comments. Tell me what you think by, well, leaving a comment.

This is highly experimental. I like controlling the content of the blog, and I’m reluctant to give that up. However, I have had at least one loyal reader repeatedly pester me to do this. (You know who you are . . . Dean.)

UPDATE: I am tempted to imitate Citizen Smash and start an “open thread.” Since my traffic is much, much lower than his, it would be pretty hilarious — kind of like watching a talk show on a public access cable channel.

BAD WRITING IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 10:27 pm

This NYT story about Howard Dean’s draft-dodging has this curious sentence: “His back condition did not affect his skiing the way the rigors of military service would have, he said, nor did it prevent him from taking odd jobs like pouring concrete in the warm months and washing dishes when it got cold.”

Yup, nothing affects your skiing like the rigors of military service.

WATCHER’S COUNCIL

Filed under: Watcher's Council — Patterico @ 10:00 pm

The winners are listed here. This week goes to the patriots. Alpha Patriot has the winning Council entry, Where are the Factory Jobs Going? Patriot Paradox has the winning non-Council entry, Iraq is Better Off.

ADDITION TO BLOGROLL

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 7:54 pm

The Politburo Diktat has earned a place on Patterico’s blogroll. I first mentioned this site in this post from three weeks ago. It just keeps getting better and better. Visit the Commissar today.

P.S. The Commissar currently has great advice on how to build your blog audience.

UPDATE: I have also added Dean’s World, another blog I visit regularly.

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD

Filed under: Morons,Music — Patterico @ 1:39 am

Phil Spector has been charged with murder. Spector has long deserved a lengthy prison sentence for the murder of the Beatles album “Let It Be.” However, efforts to charge him for that offense foundered recently, when the victim surfaced unexpectedly, stripped naked, and apparently sounding great.

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 1:03 am

Via Drudge:

A Silicon Valley computer programmer has been arrested for threatening to torture and kill employees of the company he blames for bombarding his computer with Web ads promising to enlarge his penis.

. . . .

[Charles] Booher threatened to send a “package full of Anthrax spores” to the company, to “disable” an employee with a bullet and torture him with a power drill and ice pick; and to hunt down and castrate the employees unless they removed him from their e-mail list, prosecutors said.

I think we have all had similar thoughts. No jury would convict Booher.

The president of the company, Douglas Mackay, denied sending the spam. He “blamed a rival firm which he said routes much of their unsolicited bulk e-mail through Russia and eastern Europe. Mackay said such firms gave a bad name to the penis enhancement business.

Is that like giving a bad name to Infotel?

PROOF THAT PLEDGES ARE BAD

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 12:58 am

See? If I had taken the “no Michael Jackson posts” pledge, how should I show you his face melting?

MORE HENTOFF ON SCHIAVO

Filed under: Schiavo — Patterico @ 12:58 am

Nat Hentoff continues his Schiavo crusade with an article titled It’s Not Only About Terri Schiavo. Hentoff makes some chilling comparisons between the Schiavo situation and the Nazis’ disregard for the lives of those who were disabled. Here are some excerpts:

In 1920, a prominent German lawyer, Karl Binding, and a distinguished German forensic psychiatrist, Alfred Hoche, wrote a brief but deadly book, The Permission To Destroy Life Unworthy of Life. . . . Binding and Hoche emphasized that “the incurably ill and the mentally retarded were costing millions of marks and taking up thousands of much-needed hospital beds. So doctors should be allowed to put them to death.”

Then came Adolf Hitler, who thought this was a splendid, indeed capital, idea. The October 1, 2003, New York Daily News ran this Associated Press report from Berlin:

“A new study reveals Nazi Germany killed at least 200,000 people because of their disabilities—people deemed physically inferior, said a report compiled by Germany’s Federal Archive. . . .”

. . . .

Among the defendants at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders and their primary accomplices in the mass murder were German doctors who had gone along with the official policy of euthanasia. An American doctor, Leo Alexander, who spoke German, had interviewed the German physician-defendants before the trials, and then served as an expert on the American staff at Nuremberg.

In an article in the July 14, 1949, New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Alexander warned that the Nazis’ crimes against humanity had “started from small beginnings . . . merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived.” That shift in emphasis among physicians, said Dr. Alexander, could happen here, in America.

. . . .

Not long before he died, Dr. Alexander read an article in the April 12, 1984, New England Journal of Medicine by 10 physicians—part of the growing “death with dignity” brigade. They were from such prestigious medical schools as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Virginia. These distinguished healers wrote that when a patient was in a “persistent vegetative state,” it was “morally justifiable” to “withhold antibiotics and artificial nutrition (feeding tubes) and hydration, as well as other forms of life-sustaining treatment, allowing the patient to die.” They ignored the finding that not all persistent vegetative states are permanent.

After reading the article, Dr. Alexander said to a friend: “It is much like Germany in the ’20s and ’30s. The barriers against killing are coming down.”

Please do not e-mail me to tell me that I am claiming that anyone who thinks Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die is no better than a Nazi. I do not believe Hentoff is making such an argument, and I would endorse no such argument. I fully understand that, at least in theory (as determined by some probate judge in Florida), this is a decision that Terri Schiavo made herself.

But I do share Hentoff’s concern that we be careful about labeling lives as not worth living. Of all the slippery slopes in the world, this is one of the worst. Best to stay on completely level ground.

NEW WORD

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 12:58 am

A woman discussing Michael Jackson on the radio tonight used the word “scenarioalize.” She said: “I just can’t scenarioalize that.”

And that is how this post was inspirationalized.


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