Patterico's Pontifications


Make Your Vote Count

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 10:34 pm

Go let your voice be heard at the poll at Beautiful Atrocities. And someone explain to me what that woman meant with the comment about thumbs.

TalkLeft Can’t Handle the Truth

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 10:02 pm

Don’t miss the P.P.S. to this post of mine.

The controversy concerns a TalkLeft post that portrayed a blogger as a victim of governmental harassment — a visit from the Secret Service — supposedly for the simple offense of being “critical” of President Bush. In a comment to TalkLeft’s post, I had the audacity to quote the blogger’s post, to show that said blogger had not simply “criticized” Bush — she had actually advocated President Bush’s assassination! Once you get past TalkLeft’s whitewash of the blogger’s ugly behavior, you can understand why the Secret Service might have gotten involved.

Here’s where the irony gets rich. TalkLeft, having stood up for the blogger who advocated killing Bush — and having misled people as to what that blogger had actually said — edited my comment, to remove any reference to the fact that the blogger had advocated Bush’s assassination!

Then she added a snarky update trying to make me sound like a jerk for pointing out that she had defended someone who was expressly advocating killing George Bush.

TalkLeft, you defended this blogger, but you couldn’t handle it when people like me pointed out the ugly things she actually said — things you tried to minimize in your original post. You can try to squelch opposition on your own blog, but you can’t control the entire internet. If you distort the truth on your site, as you did in your post, your distortions will be revealed elsewhere — like here.

If you’d care to defend your behavior, feel free to do so in a comment. As long as your comment is truthful, I won’t edit it. We’re not scared of the truth here.

P.S. I have had a couple of AOL users complain in recent weeks that they can’t leave comments. It’s possible that, in banning a spammer’s IP address, I inadvertently blocked some or all AOL users. So if you try to leave a comment and fail, that is the reason; I haven’t banned you specifically. If that does happen, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll print whatever you want to say, though it may not be until this evening.

A Highly Amusing Understatement by TalkLeft

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 3:30 pm

TalkLeft has a post darkly titled Secret Service Pays Night Visit to Blogger, which begins:

A blogger named “anniesj” at Live Journal criticized Bush the week before the election and received a night-time visit from the Secret Service. She is single and lives with her mother. The agents determined she was not a threat to national security, but she now has her very own FBI file that includes her photo, email, and weblog address.

Now, as to what made them pick her: She wrote a post after the presidential debate critical of Bush. Another reader called it in to the authorities. The Secret Service told her they were following up.

(All emphasis mine.)

I was fascinated by the concept that the Secret Service would pay a visit to someone merely because they wrote a post “critical” of a presidential candidate. So I read the comments for more insight.

Guess what? It turns out that a TalkLeft commenter got a screenshot of the “critical” post before it was removed, and it said in relevant part (emphasis mine):

Please kill George Bush . . . I’m not really big on the specifics of how he dies, but if you could at least arrange it so that the authorities find his dead body on top of an underage black male prostitute surrounded by a mountain of cocaine and child pornography, that would really be super-awesome. . . .

Anyway, that’s my prayer, Lord. Please, please, please kill Dubya. And Dick Cheney. And everyone else in the Bush Administration.

That’s what TalkLeft describes only as a post “critical” of Bush. Nowhere in the TalkLeft post itself (as opposed to the comments) is there any hint that the blogger in question had threatened Bush’s life.

Now, reasonable people can debate whether it is really the best use of the Secret Service’s time to pay a visit to someone like this, who is most likely just a foul-mouthed idiot engaging in a pathetic attempt at humor. While I can see arguments on both sides, I tend to think that this particular visit was a waste of the agents’ time.

Regardless, it is Secret Service policy to investigate all potential assassination threats, and the policy has nothing to do with targeting criticism by leftists. Proof? Last year, the same Secret Service also paid a visit to L.A. Times cartoonist Michael Ramirez, an avowed conservative who voted for Bush. The visit to Ramirez was sparked by a cartoon Ramirez had published, showing Bush about to be assassinated by a man labeled “Politics.”

Unlike leftist anniesj’s post, Ramirez’s cartoon could not possibly be interpreted as a call for Bush’s assassination. The cartoon appeared at a time when leftists, relying on Joseph Wilson’s fabrications, were crucifying Bush for having said in a State of the Union speech that, according to British intelligence sources, Iraq had sought enriched uranium from Africa. Any rational person could see that Ramirez was making a point favorable to Bush. This did not prevent Ramirez from being visited by Secret Service agents at his L.A. Times office.

The visit to Ramirez clearly shows that the Secret Service is not just targeting leftists due to their criticism, as TalkLeft implies. To portray this as a thuggish crushing of dissent is ludicrous. To do so without even telling readers that the blogger in question (humorously or not) had called for Bush to be killed — well, that is simply dishonest.

P.S. A search of TalkLeft archives shows no results for any posts decrying the far more ridiculous Secret Service visit to conservative cartoonist Ramirez. What a surprise.

P.P.S. I put up my own comment about this on the TalkLeft post, pointing out that the poor blogger visited by the Secret Service had actually called for the assassination of Bush. TalkLeft deleted portions of my comment and posted this ridiculous “update”:

Update: Not so clever attempts by Right wing bloggers, including a prosecutor, to post words in the comments to this post that will result in this site being linked to unacceptable behavior when googled have led to a decision to shut the comments down. Their comments have been edited.

Oh, please, Jeralyn. Don’t try to make it sound like I deliberately tried to pollute your site by actually quoting the blogger whom you tried to portray as such a victim.

You fail to note that any incendiary language posted on your site in my comment has also been posted here, in this post on my site. So I am opening my own site to “being linked to unacceptable behavior when googled.” The fact of the matter is that I was pointing out how utterly misleading your post was, by quoting the actual language that you implicitly defended — and are now running away from.

Guess what? You have the power to control, edit, and limit comments at your own site, to limit conservative viewpoints — but you can’t do that here.

And why the reference to me as a prosecutor? It would have been easy to take a cheap shot at defense attorneys by pointing out that a defense attorney wrote your ridiculously innocuous description of a post that advocated killing President Bush. I didn’t take that cheap shot; why are you taking one?

All highly disappointing. Why can’t you just admit that your post was an overwrought defense of someone who screwed up and said something stupid, and suffered a completely foreseeable consequence as a result?

Commissar’s Latest Link-Whoring Exercise Clever Map: Empire of the Blogs

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 1:39 pm

This post at the Politburo Diktat has a link to a map showing an Empire of the Blogs. Look for Patterico in upper B.A.varia, just next to Allahspach.

51% Bush, 48% Kerry

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 1:26 pm

100% creepy.

(Via Dean’s World.)

Why We Need Conservative Judges

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:26 am

I recently promised you a post that would explain why I believe it is critical to have conservative judges on the Supreme Court — and why I think Roe v. Wade must be overruled.

Although I started a draft of the post, I soon realized it would take longer than I had said it would, because the subject matter is daunting. My argument was that overruling Roe is not so much about abortion as it is about our power to govern ourselves, and decide important issues through the rough-and-tumble of the political process. That is not an easy thing to explain. The essence of my argument was contained in this sentence:

We need conservative judges so we can govern ourselves, rather than subjecting ourselves to the rule of a set of philosopher-kings on the Supreme Court.

Now I see that I don’t have to finish writing my post, because NRO’s Andrew C. McCarthy has written it for me. I knew McCarthy and I were on the same page when I read this sentence:

Abortion aside, Roe is about whether the American people should decide for themselves, democratically, how they will live their lives, or whether they should submit to robe-clad philosopher kings.

When I read that sentence, I knew I had found the right guy to explain my views.

McCarthy’s piece is gold. Here are some other excerpts that I enjoyed:

Gonzales: A-OK for A.G.

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 9:15 am

I’m fine with Alberto Gonzales being the Attorney General, mainly because it will keep him off the Supreme Court.

Bonus reason to be pleased: the L.A. Times says: Gonzales Is a Disastrous Choice.

Arafat Still Dead

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 8:47 am

Jacques Chirac says:

It is with emotion that I have just learnt of the death of President Yasser Arafat, the first elected president of the Palestinian Authority.

Same here, Jacques.

My emotion, however, is joy.

And it’s summed up nicely by this post.

I Just Noticed Something

Filed under: 2004 Election — AMac @ 7:29 am

What with all the people looking in to moving to Canada, or otherwise generally complaining that their extremist views make them feel like strangers in their own country, or complaining about the mouth-breathing idiots they’re subjected to on a daily basis, I just realized something.

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