Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2006

Sheehan Respectfully Gets Herself Arrested Again (UPDATED: Police Apologize for Arrest)

Filed under: Morons,Sheehan — Patterico @ 7:16 pm

On his radio show tonight, Hugh Hewitt was talking about the fact that a Democrat Congresswoman from Northern California had given a pass to Cindy Sheehan to hear the State of the Union speech. He said that, despite her promises to be respectful, the White House needed to be prepared in case she decided to try to disrupt the speech.

They needn’t have worried. She got herself arrested for unfurling a banner in the gallery. [But see UPDATES below!]

UPDATE: Nope, it was for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan:

Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush’s State of the Union address.

“She was asked to cover it up. She did not,” said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman, adding that Sheehan was arrested for unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, Schneider said.

Schneider said shortly after the State of the Union speech that Sheehan was still being held but should be “out sometime tonight.”

An early report from a senior House official indicated that Sheehan was arrested for unfurling an anti-war banner, but that was later found not to be the case. Schneider said she didn’t know what Sheehan’s T-shirt said.

I am looking forward to hearing more about this. Is the law under which she was arrested content-neutral? Are there First Amendment implications here? If the T-shirt said: “Bush rocks!” would she have been arrested?

UPDATE x2: This woman was ejected for wearing a T-shirt that supported the troops. Apparently the enforcement of the law is not content-based. That’s reassuring. (Link via Drudge via commenter Shoes.)

UPDATE x3 2-1-06: Police have dropped the charges against Sheehan and apologized.

L.A. Times Editors Finally Call Hamas a Terrorist Group

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:15 pm

I’m not taking credit for this, of course, but I was pleased to see the editors of the L.A. Times refer to Hamas as a “terrorist” group in this morning’s editorial:

President Bush is right to threaten to cut off U.S. aid to a Palestinian government controlled by Hamas. U.S. law and common decency preclude taxpayer money from going to a terrorist group that has vowed to annihilate Israel.

That’s much better than simply saying that certain countries have “branded” Hamas a terrorist group, as the editors said the other day.

Contrary to the views to the views of the paper’s business columnist Michael Hiltzik, whether you call Hamas a “terrorist group” is not merely a “minor issue[] of syntax and diction.” It is an important issue that sheds light on the editors’ world view and credibility. I’m glad to see them acknowledge the obvious . . . finally.

P.S. In the extended entry is bonus material for those not already sick of talking about Michael Hiltzik:

(more…)

Quick Question

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Judiciary,Morons — Angry Clam @ 10:13 am

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

Today marked two events. The first is the confirmation of Justice Alito. The second is the death of Coretta Scott King.

Let’s play a game: spot the first blogger to connect the two into “Justice Alito’s confirmation proves that Civil Rights are dead!” or something similar.

Bonus points for finding the politicians making this statement.

- The Angry Clam

Leftist Threatens to Out Gay Senator If He Votes for Alito

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:47 am

Via a commenter at Confirm Them comes word that a leftist activist is threatening to out a closeted gay senator if he votes for Alito.

The activist has outed a Congressman before, and that Congressman resigned, so it may not be an idle threat.

I welcome discussion of the legality of this threat in the comments.

UPDATE: I don’t want to research and give an opinion about whether this might be a crime, because if I were to decide that it probably is, some lefty nut case would probably misconstrue my opinion as some kind of official threat. (I always speak here in my individual capacity, and say so in a disclaimer on the sidebar — but some dimwits don’t seem to understand that.)

However, Eugene Volokh looks at the question here. He appears to reach no firm conclusion, other than that his brain hurts. But his reasoning process is interesting.

Keeping the Stereotype Alive

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:29 am

Why do postal workers go postal?

1/30/2006

The Great Zucchini

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:40 pm

This piece by Gene Weingarten is a simply amazing article that appeared recently in the Washington Post magazine. It’s about Washington D.C.’s most famous children’s entertainer, the Great Zucchini. Even if that doesn’t sound interesting, read it anyway. Trust me. Here is a slight tease:

At the moment, the Great Zucchini was trying and failing to blow up a balloon, letting it whap him in the face, hard. Then he poured water on his head. Then he produced what appeared to be a soiled diaper, wiped his cheek with it, and wore it like a hat as the kids ewwww-ed. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Great Zucchini was behaving like a complete idiot.

Trey’s aunt saw me taking notes. “You’re writing a story about him?” Vicki Cox asked, amused. I confirmed that I was.

“But . . . why?” she asked.

A few feet away, the Great Zucchini was pretending to be afraid of his own hand.

“I mean,” Vicki said, “what’s the hook?”

Now, the Great Zucchini was eating toilet paper.

“I mean, are you that desperate?” she asked.

On the floor in front of us, the kids — 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds — were convulsed in laughter. Literally. They were rolling on the carpeted floor, holding their tummies, mouths agape, little teeth jubilantly bared, squealing with abandon. In the vernacular of stand-up, the Great Zucchini was killing. Among his victims was Trey, who, as promised, had indeed been re-transitioned into his own party.

The show lasted 35 minutes, and when it was over, an initially skeptical Don Cox forked over a check without complaint. The fee was $300. It was the first of four shows the Great Zucchini would do that Saturday, each at the same price. The following day, there were four more. This was a typical weekend.

Do the math, if you can handle the results. This unmarried, 35-year-old community college dropout makes more than $100,000 a year, with a two-day workweek. Not bad for a complete idiot.

As the piece progresses, you learn a lot about the Great Zucchini — warts and all. The piece is a fascinating study of an endearing but flawed human being. It’s written with the eye for detail and turn of phrase of a Tobias Wolff or Raymond Carver.

I am a newly minted Gene Weingarten fan.

Thanks to Lileks (via Jim Lindgren at Volokh) for the recommendation. I agree with Lileks: this is Pulitzer material.

P.S. Don’t miss Weingarten’s follow-up online chat. The Great Zucchini makes an appearance, and Weingarten includes passages that his editors cut from the story.

72-25

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:42 pm

The vote was 72-25 against a filibuster of Alito. As Dafydd ab Hugh says:

After the extremity of the rhetoric against Alito, how do the Senate Democrats justify filibustering the next nominee for any level of federal judge, from district to Supreme Court? Do they say the next target is not just Hitler, he’s Hitler squared?

Yup, they were dumb to attack this good man so harshly.

UPDATE: And for an example of what I’m talking about, watch Ted Kennedy’s meltdown (via Malkin).

Blind Trust in Frist

Filed under: Politics — Patterico @ 7:19 am

In the context of stock funds, what does the phrase “blind trust” mean to you? Apparently, it means something different to Bill Frist.

The people who put “blind trust” in his previous explanation might be feeling tricked right about now.

1/29/2006

Alternatives to Google

Filed under: Civil Liberties,International,Scum — Patterico @ 2:12 pm

By now you’re all aware that Google is cooperating with China in censoring search results for Chinese citizens. As detailed in this article, searches for “independence Taiwan” reveal no sites supporting the Taiwanese government, and searches for the names of imprisoned cyber-dissidents reveal no results.

I don’t have Google Ads because they don’t pay, but even if they did pay, I’d take them down. But I want to extend the boycott.

What is the next best search engine out there?

A Challenge for the Lefty Commenters Here

Filed under: Morons,Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:26 am

Interesting exchange in the comments at that Hiltzik post I discussed yesterday. The first commenter, a lefty appropriately named Asinistra, made the patently absurd suggestion that I consider the real enemy to be, not the terrorists, but the L.A. Times:

Patterico’s take makes perfect sense when one factors in that in his world the real enemy is not Hamas, but the LA Times. I suspect the Times’s dedicated Zarqawi, Hugh Hewitt, will be getting his listeners strapped up with explosives to visit you later today.

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

This is ridiculous on its face. I may not like the L.A. Times, but I know who the real enemy is. The question is, do leftists? I ultimately decided to make this point explicit in this comment:

By the way, the first commenter could not be more off-base. In my world, the real enemies are terrorists, not newspapers. Unfortunately, I see far too many on the left (and I don’t include Hiltzik in this sad group) for whom the real enemy is not the terrorists, but rather George W. Bush.

Guess what? Lo and behold, the leftist who made the original comment comes back and admits that she is among the group of people who consider George W. Bush to be a bigger threat than the terrorists are:

Patterico says:
“I see far too many on the left…for whom the real enemy is not the terrorists, but rather George W. Bush.”

On behalf of this “sad group,” let me briefly outline for Patterico why we see George W. Bush as the real enemy rather than the terrorists.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Asinistra follows with reasons 1 through 6 why Bush is the real enemy, and near the end of her comment makes this observation:

I could go on. The bottom line, Patterico, is that as an enemy Mr. Bush acquits himself unusually well (and I will resist anything so inflammatory as to match his body count of dead Americans against Osama bin Laden’s.)

She “will resist” — but she clearly doesn’t want to.

“Asinistra” thinks the real enemy is, not the terrorists, but George W. Bush. I wonder how common this sentiment is among the left?

I despised Bill Clinton, but I recognized that he was trying to do what he thought was best for this country (as long as it didn’t interfere with what he thought was best for Bill Clinton). I can’t imagine saying that he was a bigger danger than the enemies of this country, who want to kill us all. At worst, he enabled our enemies; that doesn’t make him worse than they are.

Yet I see this sentiment expressed about President Bush fairly often among elements of the unhinged left.

So I throw it open to the lefties here. Can I get a clear statement from you that you consider the terrorists to be a bigger threat, and a bigger enemy, than George W. Bush? Nobody is asking you to say you like Bush or his policies. We just want to know whom you consider to be a bigger threat.

For some of you, this will be easy. For others of you, making a clear statement to this effect will be well-nigh impossible. I think that I could easily predict who falls into which category, but it would be more interesting to sit back and watch how it plays out.

What do you say, lefties? Who is the bigger enemy? Osama bin Laden? Or George W. Bush?

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