Patterico's Pontifications

7/31/2004

“Terror in the Skies” Update

Filed under: Air Security,Terrorism — Patterico @ 1:59 pm

Via AMac in a comment, I see that the Washington Times has reported that a second passenger from Annie Jacobsen’s “Terror in the Skies” flight has come forward to corroborate Ms. Jacobsen’s account:

The passenger, who was riding in first class, said the constant foot traffic and strange behavior she witnessed in the front cabin frightened her as much as it did Annie Jacobsen, the first passenger who publicly reported the incident.

“I thought I was going to die,” the second passenger told The Washington Times. “And that makes me furious because that’s the whole point of terrorism, to make people afraid. It makes me mad that they achieved that. But I’m not letting it stop me from taking other trips.”

. . . .

The second passenger on Flight 327 said the men were “up and down the aisles of the plane the entire time,” and that one of the men pushed other passengers as he rushed toward the front lavatory. She said the man did not appear to be ill, and remained in the lavatory during her entire meal.

. . . .

“There was more activity up and down the aisle through first class than I have ever experienced on any flight, including international flights,” the second passenger said. “The most unusual part was that the flight attendants seemed to ignore what was going on.”

The second passenger said she did not share her concerns with the flight attendants because “I thought I was just crazy, and I didn’t want to be the crazy person on the flight that stands up and says something is wrong, but I will now in the future. I praise Annie for what she did, because I didn’t have the guts to.”

(Via Michelle Malkin.)

Meanwhile, isn’t it reassuring to know that the Homeland Security Department has “no intelligence” on the possibility of dry runs occurring lately:

The Homeland Security Department did not return a call for comment, but has said it has no intelligence on such activities.

They could get some intelligence by reading the Washington Times, which has been printing some disturbing evidence of such dry runs lately (here, for example). Examples of such activities include a Middle Eastern man who locked himself in a lavatory, removed the mirror, and was attempting to break through the wall to the cockpit. An air marshal interviewed by the paper “confirmed that Middle Eastern men try to flush out marshals by rushing the cockpit and stopping suddenly.”

How can the Homeland Security Department not have intelligence on this activity when air marshals are reporting such activities to the Washington Times?

More on the “Terror in the Skies” incident in my “Terrorism” category.

L.A. Times: We Notice Only the Bush Opponents

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:54 pm

The Los Angeles Times today runs an article titled Kerry, Bush on the Road Again. The article has this glowing description of the Kerry campaign’s visit to a Wendy’s restaurant:

Kerry and Edwards, traveling with their wives, stopped for lunch in Newburgh, N.Y., population 28,000. In keeping with the Edwards’ wedding anniversary tradition, they ate at Wendy’s. “I’m treating,” Kerry told his running mate, as they entered the restaurant to a round of applause.

That’s it. That’s the entire report of the Wendy’s visit.

Meanwhile, the article fails to mention this little anecdote from the same Wendy’s visit:

Earlier, their [Kerry's and Edwards's] bus convoy pulled over at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant for a photo opportunity lunch that provided an awkward moment.

Spotting a group of US Marines, Kerry, who has made his Vietnam War service a cornerstone of his campaign, went over to chat. The Marines, who all turned out to be staunch Bush reporters, were not impressed.

“He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here shaking our hands,” one of them told reporters afterward. “I’m 100 percent against” Kerry, he said. “We support our commander-in-chief 100 percent.”

The New York Post elaborates:

A sergeant with 10 years of service under his belt said, “I speak for all of us. We think that we are doing the right thing in Iraq,” before saying he is to be deployed there in a few weeks and is “eager” to go and serve.

(Via Captain’s Quarters.)

Let’s turn the tables. Let’s pretend that Bush stops at a factory and approaches a couple of factory workers, with whom Bush poses for a photo-op. Bush asks the workers some questions, to which they give terse responses. After Bush leaves, the workers tell reporters that they are offended that Bush took advantage of them for a photo-op, and they support Kerry 100%, because Bush’s policies are costing factory workers jobs.

Do you think a story like that would make its way into that day’s Los Angeles Times story about the Bush campaign?

Meanwhile, the Times runs an AP story on the campaigns, which is careful to tell readers that President Bush is meeting detractors as well as supporters:

Protesters mixed with Bush supporters along the bus route. One boy held up a sign that said, “Bush’s last tour.”

Let’s recap. John Kerry tries to get a photo-op with some soldiers, and it backfires, badly, with the soldiers expressing resentment at having been used. But that’s not news. Meanwhile, one boy was holding an anti-Bush sign along Bush’s campaign trail — and that’s news.

Business as usual at the objective and non-liberal L.A. Times.

(Cross-posted at Oh, That Liberal Media.)

UPDATE: Welcome to Instapundit readers, and thanks to Prof. Reynolds for the link. Feel free to poke around the site; you can click here to reach the main page. If you like what you see, please bookmark and/or blogroll the site, tell a friend, and come back!

UPDATE x2: More on Kerry’s Wendy’s visit here. Apparently, while he choked down his Wendy’s double-cheese, he had a fancy gourmet meal waiting for him on his bus.

Still One Moore Lie

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 10:58 am

In “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore doctored an image of the front page of a newspaper, to make it look like the newspaper had claimed Gore won the media recount:

A scene early in the movie that shows newspaper headlines related to the legally contested presidential election of 2000 included a shot of The [Bloomington] Pantagraph’s Dec. 19, 2001, front page, with the prominent headline: “Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election.”

The paper says that headline never appeared on that day. It appeared in a Dec. 5, 2001, edition, but the headline was not used on the front page. Instead, it was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects “only the opinions of the letter writer.”

The newspaper has written a letter of complaint to Moore.

This is reminiscent of another fraudulent image supporting the lie that Gore really won the election. Remember that the opening of the movie shows Gore appearing to celebrate his victory. He appears on stage in front of a “high-spirited crowd” as a prominent sign reads “Florida Victory.” Yet it turns out that this was a pre-election rally, and the sign expressed the hope that Gore would win.

When you have to lie to make your point, that’s because the truth doesn’t help you. Gore really didn’t win the media recount, so Moore has to lie to make it seem like he did.

Oh, by the way, Moore has threatened to sue anyone who baselessly calls him a liar with respect to this movie. Let’s see if he sues me for this statement: Mr. Moore, your movie “Fahrenheit 9/11″ is chock-full of lies, and this doctored front page is the latest example.

I guess if he doesn’t sue me, that’s proof that my accusation is not baseless.

(Via Pejmanesque.)

An Alternative to Kerry and Bush

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 10:52 am

It’s the first anniversary of my becoming eligible to run for the Presidency of the United States.

7/30/2004

Council Winners

Filed under: Watcher's Council — Patterico @ 6:53 am

The winners of the weekly Watcher’s Council contest for best post of the week were announced here.

I am honored to have narrowly won the vote for best post by a Council member, for the post Control Room, a discussion of the movie by the same name, as well as issues relating to our public relations war in Iraq and here at home. I edged out Aaron of the Rantblog, who came in a close second with the post Jeremiad to a Close Relative on the Day of Lamentations.

The contest for best post by a non-member of the Council was also fierce. Congratulations to S-Train, for his inspiring post, Getting It Out . . . , which won the top prize. Pejman came in a close second with his post Book Review — My Life, an amusing review of Bill Clinton’s memoir.

7/29/2004

Internet Connection Woes

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 11:26 pm

If you have been asking yourself: “Where are Patterico’s posts?” — the answer is: my internet connection has been down.

It’s up temporarily, now, just before midnight — and v-e-r-r-y s-l-o-o-w. No time for a substantive post, just time enough for this lame and uninteresting explanation.

Good job I didn’t pick this week to do a pledge drive, like Andrew Sullivan or Spoons.

7/28/2004

Carnival of the Vanities

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 8:55 pm

Fellow Bear Flagger Jeff Doolittle hosts this week’s Carnival of the Vanities, the weekly roundup of posts from all across the blogosphere.

Edwards Speech

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 8:30 pm

Watching Edwards’s facial expressions was more interesting than the content, which I have heard a million times before.

When John Edwards squinted during his speech, that meant he was being very, very sincere. This happened a lot.

UPDATE: BoiFromTroy watched the speech with the sound off and has this report on Edwards’s body language. He noticed the squinting too.

UPDATE x2: Substance point, sort of: did you hear the deafening silence of the delegates when Edwards said that we’re at war? See, the delegates all hate the war, so Edwards was talking past them to the television audience. I thought the silence was interesting, and telling.

Sunburn Blues

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 7:05 am

The worst part about getting over a bad sunburn is when it starts to itch.

Lemme tellya.

7/27/2004

Snopes: Going Down the Tubes?

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 10:37 pm

So Snopes.com has declared the Annie Jacobsen story to be “false”:

Claim: Reporter encounters terrorists on airline flight who are making a dry run at assembling a bomb on-board.

Status: False.

The article does nothing more than cite that article citing anonymous air marshals saying Jacobsen overreacted. Apparently anonymous air marshals are good enough for Snopes.com.

Don’t they have an “undetermined” classification? Why, yes, they do. I suggest that this would be a good time to use it.

Meanwhile, we learn that the Syrian music group has a song celebrating Palestinian “martyrdom,” which as we all know, is code language for suicide bombing.

Oh, and the Washington Times has confirmed that 13 of the 14 did indeed have expired visas — which the authorities didn’t bother to check before letting them go. The article also reminds us what I have been telling you: that the actions of these terrorism-supporting Syrians who were here illegally resembled the actions of other Middle Easterners lately suspected of conducting dry runs.

Of course, many non-anonymous people (including even some conservatives) have argued that Jacobsen overreacted. Some say the Syrians’ seemingly suspicious actions (the congregating in the aisle, etc.) are simply manifestations of Arab culture. However, I have yet to see an Arab-culture explanation for the actions of the guy who came of the bathroom during final descent, drew his finger across his throat, and said “No” to a fellow Syrian passenger. Perhaps someone can explain the cheery or religious implication in Arab culture of drawing your finger across your throat?

As Spoons says:

To recap, we have a bunch of young, pro-terrorist males from a terrorist supporting country, traveling on expired visas, violating security rules and otherwise acting suspiciously on a U.S. flight.

But have no fear! Snopes says it’s “false”!

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