Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 2:32 pm

It is time for this blog’s first annual review of the performance of the Los Angeles Dog Trainer (aka Los Angeles Times).

Before I get to the review itself, I should explain the term “Dog Trainer” to people who are unfamiliar with the term. I stole it from comedian Harry Shearer (a fact that I acknowledge every time I use the term, with a link to this post). To my way of thinking, Shearer’s phrase captures the essence of the paper better than the other possible names for the paper (like the “Los Angeles Bird Cage Liner” or the “L.A. Fish Wrapper“).

So how did our local Dog Trainer do this year? Well, that depends on your taste. If you like blatant liberal bias, manufactured quotes, and inaccuracies that consistently favor the left, then you will find that Dog Trainer editors did a stellar job. For the rest of you, I think you’ll find that the paper’s performance left quite a bit to be desired.

Fasten your seatbelts — here we go!



Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 9:08 pm

Read about his whining here. Waaaaaaaah!


Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 9:07 pm

I just have to say that I fully agree with Captain’s Quarters’s statement that Hugh Hewitt is “a magnanimous, gifted man ‘who seeks to use his success to benefit others.'”


Filed under: War — Patterico @ 6:09 am

The Washington Post reports here concerning the details of Libya’s incipient nuclear program. These details are now being revealed pursuant to Moammar Gaddafi’s newfound cooperation — you know, the cooperation that had nothing to do with our invasion of Iraq.

Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke about what has been learned so far. I was struck by what he had to say:

The veteran inspector said the findings highlighted the inadequacy of international inspections. IAEA teams have been visiting Libya for years and knew nothing about the equipment they saw Sunday. Some of it was found along dirt alleys in urban neighborhoods.

Even permission to allow surprise inspections would not guarantee discovery of a nuclear weapons program. “Low-level programs like this are difficult to detect. They can be run in a garage,” ElBaradei said. “You would have to be lucky or have very good intelligence to run across it. We’re doing a lot of soul-searching.

The smarty-pants types who pretend that it was possible for us to know exactly how far Saddam had gotten with his nuclear weapons program — and who thought inspectors would solve everything — would do well to emulate ElBaradei’s soul-searching.


Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:28 am

The Shark has a post about newspapers’ failure to correct errors on their editorial pages. This relates to something I have posted about before: should a paper print a letter or opinion piece that the editors know (or should know) has clear factual errors?

This is a topic that I will soon address again, in my new annual feature: the “Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review,” in which I will gather together (almost) an entire year’s worth of my complaints about the Los Angeles Times. Stay tuned. I hope you are looking forward to reading it half as much as I am looking forward to doing it.



Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 12:01 pm

Hugo, in the comments to the entry immediately below, suggests a better way to deal with tailgaters: let it go. Don’t play games with people using your car. Upon reflection, I believe Hugo’s solution is better than mine.

Hugo’s comment caused me to remember that once, when I used the “dirty up the tailgater’s car with windshield cleaning spray” ploy I describe in the post below, the guy became so enraged that he zoomed around me and slammed on his brakes, creating a very dangerous situation for both of us. If I had simply let it go, I could have avoided the danger.

I had my revenge anyway. Weeks later, I saw that same guy standing on the side of the road, speaking to a cop about an accident that he had been in (and had probably caused). It wasn’t a serious accident — both drivers appeared fine — but there was some property damage. I didn’t have time to stop, but I later phoned the police agency, described the accident and the guy, and told them that the guy was a menace and had probably caused the accident. Even if they never did anything with that information, the fact that he had been in an accident (with all the attendant hassle, increased insurance premiums, etc.) was revenge enough.

I just felt sorry for the other guy in the accident.

Anyway, I hereby endorse the Hugo Method for Dealing with Jerks on the Road. Let it go.



Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 2:40 pm

Rosemary Esmay doesn’t like it when people drive too slowly in the passing lane. The way she expressed the sentiment, however, leads me to believe that she and I would not get along on the freeway (expletive deleted by Patterico):

If someone is tailgaiting you in the left – you’re going too slow. Don’t get huffy. Don’t get indignant.


That is the rule.

If I have to pass, your slow ass, on the right — I will cut you off. If my kid isn’t in the car, I’ll do my best to make you crap your pants in the process.

Rosemary calls this a “public service announcement.”

I agree with Rosemary that people should not cruise in the fast lane at a low rate of speed. I do not do that, and if I catch myself doing it, I will move out of the way once I realize it.

But not if you tailgate me.

So here is my public service announcement: there is no excuse for tailgating, and no excuse for people who deliberately cut other people off to make a point.

If you tailgate me, here is what I’ll do. I will not move out of your way. I will slow down. I will stay exactly abreast of the car next to me so you can’t pass either of us. If you continue to tailgate me, I will choose that moment to clean my windshield. Here’s hoping you just washed it, because now it’s dirty with the crap washing off my windshield.

I love doing this. It makes me feel like a dog raising his leg to express his feelings on your car.

What’s more, if I can think of other safe ways to make you miserable, I will do those too.

If you are the kind of person who deliberately cuts me off because you don’t think I was going fast enough, you are a menace, and you are going to cause a wreck some day. You probably didn’t give me enough time to realize that I was holding you up before you started tailgating me. You were probably whipping in and out of traffic, and whipped from the number two lane to the number one lane, inches behind me, and got upset that I didn’t crash into the car next to me to get out of your way fast enough.

I am not suggesting that Rosemary is this sort of driver, by the way. I assume that her comments were hyperbolic, and that she doesn’t really behave this way on the road. But if she does, I urge her to change her ways. Slowpokes are just irritating, but speed kills — all the time.

UPDATE: Rosemary confirms (in the comments and in a new post on Dean Esmay’s site) that she was simply blowing off steam and doesn’t really drive like that. I suspected as much. Anyone who can write a post as good as the one she wrote about leaving the Democratic party has more sense than to deliberately endanger people’s lives on the road.


Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 12:06 pm

The Washington Post has a compelling editorial today slamming Howard Dean. Among the adjectives used to describe Governor Dean or his positions: glib, condescending, hypocritical, and disingenuous.

Yup, that’s him in a nutshell. But they forgot “smug.”

I especially liked a quote the Post dug up from an August interview. After talking about giving Democrats some “red meat,” Dean said: “I won’t be talking like this during the general [election], if I get the nomination.”

That’s the kind of thing politicians all think. Few are arrogant enough to say it out loud.

What a putz.

UPDATE: Thanks to Mahalo (who I assume was Xrlq in his “Mahalo” disguise) for tipping me to my duplicate entry on this topic. Apparently I felt so strongly about this that I needed to say it twice. Stupid Movable Type. I meant to leave his comment up, but apparently I deleted the wrong post.


Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 11:53 am

Howard Dean can’t stop flippin’ or floppin’. Now he is saying that he would support the death penalty for Osama. That’s quite a bit different from what he said a few weeks back, when he claimed it would be perfectly fine for Osama to be tried at the Hague — where convicts can’t be sentenced to death.


Filed under: Current Events — Patterico @ 9:24 am

As the death toll from the earthquake in Iran tops 25,000, the New York Times reports: “Government spokesmen said that foreign aid workers would not need entry visas and that aid would be welcome from everywhere but Israel.”


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