Patterico's Pontifications


Dog Trainer: Geothermal Plants Produce 5000 Trillion Gazillion Gigawatts of Power!!

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:58 pm

Kevin Murphy reports that, according to the local Dog Trainer, the country’s energy crisis has been solved by a handful of geothermal plants in Northern California.

UPDATE: They figured it out.

The PDB Two Years Ago

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 9:13 pm

Pejmanesque notes that the basic contents of the PDB were reported almost two years ago, here. Interestingly, the story reported:

Bush had specifically asked for an intelligence analysis of possible al Qaeda attacks within the United States, because most of the information presented to him over the summer about al Qaeda focused on threats against U.S. targets overseas, sources said. But one source said the White House was disappointed because the analysis lacked focus and did not present fresh intelligence.

Question: was this source lying? Because if this is the truth, why aren’t we hearing this now? Democrats are arguing that the memo placed warnings before Bush of which he was previously unaware. If indeed Bush requested a memo about the possibility of Al Qaeda attacks inside the U.S. — but then was disappointed with the low quality of the memo — that would make Bush sound more on top of the situation. So if that’s true, then why aren’t the Bushies telling us that now?

Perhaps the “source” quoted in the article from two years ago was Richard Clarke, saying what he felt he had to say regardless of the truth. . .

Dog Trainer Boosts the Apparent Credibility of the PDB

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:09 pm

In today’s Dog Trainer, there is a story examining Bush’s response to the famous PDB. The story says the memo was titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” — when in fact it was titled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S.”

Interesting that the spelling is corrected, which tends to make the memo look more substantive and less foolish — which, strangely enough, makes Bush look worse.

Los Angeles Times Ratchets Up Its Campaign of Distortion Against Justice Scalia

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:39 am

Apparently, the editors at the Los Angeles Times believe that using the word “apparently” in front of a factual assertion relieves them of the responsibility to back up that assertion with evidence.

The other day, I posted that the Times had recklessly accused Justice Antonin Scalia of issuing illegal orders to a deputy U.S. Marshal to confiscate and destroy audiotapes of a Scalia speech. Prefacing the accusation with the weasel word “apparently,” the story soon referred to “Scalia’s action” as if there were no question that he had ordered the deputy’s seizure of the tapes. Meanwhile, the U.S. Marshals Service has explicitly denied that Scalia gave these orders — a fact reported in the Washington Post on April 9, but which the Times to this day has failed to tell its readers.

I told you that I sent an e-mail to the paper on Saturday, April 10, noting the U.S. Marshals Service’s denial, and complaining that the Times‘s accusation was reckless and unsupported. The editors are on notice of these facts.

And yet, the editors today run an editorial which — three times — squarely accuses Justice Scalia of directly issuing these orders. Following the example of the news story, the editorial initially prefaces the accusation with the word “apparently,” and then drops even that lame qualifier later in the piece:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia lives in a place of such privilege that even his public statements may not be repeated. However, in apparently ordering a U.S. deputy marshal to confiscate and erase recordings made by two reporters invited to attend his speech to a high school crowd in Mississippi, he has gone too far.

. . . .

Once the reporters were invited by Scalia’s hosts, attended the speech and recorded it, there was more than a whiff of the jackboot in ordering federal police to grab the recordings.

. . . .

By imperiously ordering his federal law enforcement escort to seize reporters’ digital and tape recordings, he denigrates the U.S. marshals’ office, the students listening to him and the very U.S. Constitution he so copiously praises.

That the paper again prints these accusations, without informing readers of explicit facts to the contrary, sends a clear message to the paper’s readers: Facts be damned. You’ll swallow whatever we push on you, and think the way we want you to think.

Apparently, the newspaper’s editors have deliberately conspired to engage in a ideologically motivated campaign against Justice Scalia. Apparently, the editors have decided that distorting the facts is an acceptable tactic, as long as the goal of destroying Justice Scalia’s reputation is accomplished. Apparently, the editors have made a conscious decision to hide from their readers the inconvenient facts that don’t fit the view of Justice Scalia that they want to portray on their pages.

And, apparently, the editors do not care that their paper is increasingly viewed by rational readers as an utterly partisan rag — as long as they can use their unbridled power to accomplish whatever goals they have deemed important.

UPDATE: Via David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy: Justice Scalia has written a letter to a representative of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, indicating that: 1) the deputy’s U.S. Marshal’s actions were not taken at his direction; 2) he was upset about the deputy’s actions; 3) he never issues orders to security personnel (including U.S. Marshals) at the institutions where he speaks; 4) he is revising his policy to permit tape recording for the benefit of the print media; and 5) he has written the reporters involved, apologizing for the unauthorized behavior of the deputy marshal.

What a class act. As Prof. Bernstein says: “Good for him!” And, once again, shame on the L.A. Times for their partisan hack work on this whole affair.

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