Patterico's Pontifications


Dear Elena

Filed under: Real Life — Patterico @ 9:41 pm

I gave my six-year-old girl an extra hug and kiss tonight after reading all of the entries on a new blog called Dear Elena. (Link via Michelle Malkin.) The topic of the blog is one of unutterable sadness: a father’s emotions upon the recent, unexpected, and tragic death of his six-year-old daughter. An entry from yesterday has this passage:

Yesterday, Kim and I were making corrections to the program for Elena’s funeral. Kim decided that she didn’t want a quote on the front page. Just her name and a picture. Oh and the dates.

I wrote “March 3, 1999 -” and then I stopped. How do you complete that thought. How does a father write on paper the date that his daughter died. It was a crippling writer’s block. My hand shook, the tears flowed, others in the room offered to write it for me but I knew that I had to.

Finally, I wrote “February 22, 2006″.

Today’s post describes how Elena would have made the family late to her own funeral, if she had been alive. The post is full of imagined but very real dialogue. You can see, right in front of your eyes, the sort of girl Elena was. Elena is very much alive in this post.

You can read the whole blog in a few minutes. It started on February 23 — the day after Elena died — and is only four days old today. Just go to the first day and scroll through the days. But be prepared to cry.

I was reading the blog tonight as my wife got our daughter Lauren ready for bed, and I realized all the similarities between our children. Lauren is a lively and cheerful six-year-old, like Elena was. Lauren recently lost a tooth, just like Elena. And Lauren spent Saturday evening throwing up, as Elena had been four days before. But on Sunday Lauren was fine.

I finished the last post, and then my wife called me upstairs and told me that Lauren was ready to say good night to me. We talked about our favorite and least favorite parts of the day, as we do every night. I told her that my favorite thing is that she has started to read to herself, without asking for our help. And — though I had just finished crying downstairs for another parent’s loss — I told her that I didn’t have any not-favorite parts today, because I was just so happy to be there with her, right then.

Suspected Drunk Driver Who Killed CHP Officer Most Likely Illegal — and We’ll Be Reading About This in the L.A. Times Real Soon

Filed under: Crime,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:34 pm

This is a follow-up to my post this morning about the drunk driver who killed a CHP officer. It turns out that there is clear evidence that points to the possibility that the drunk driver is an illegal immigrant. (Thanks to commenter steve for the link.) Barstow’s Desert Dispatch newspaper reports about the suspected drunk driver, Domingo Esqueda:

Esqueda had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, [CHP Sgt. Kevin] Eads said. He did not have a valid driver’s license. What he did have was a fake identification card, a Mexican identification card and other identification all with different names and different variations of names, Eads said.

This is a strong indication that Esqueda is illegal and never should have been in this country in the first place. If this turns out to be true, this is news. If Esqueda was illegal, then when the topic of illegal immigration comes up, you can factor into the costs of illegal immigration the life of CHP officer Gregory Bailey, a “10-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, Iraqi war veteran, husband, [and] father of four.”

Since the benefits and costs of illegal immigration are among the most important issues facing Southern California, you can bet that the paper of record in the region will be all over this important story like white on rice.

As of tomorrow morning, the L.A. Times can no longer justify its failure to report this information by reference to deadline pressures — that is, unless Times editors want to admit that they are unable to come up with information that was printed today by the Barstow Desert-Dispatch.

I expect to see this story prominently displayed in tomorrow’s California section, with a follow-up story yet to be printed concerning the topic of Esqueda’s immigration status.

I would expect nothing less from the L.A. Times.


P.S. Is the name of the slain officer “John” Bailey, as the L.A. Times reported this morning, or “Gregory” Bailey, as the Desert Dispatch reported? Or is it both?

P.P.S. It’s both. This story explains it’s Gregory John Bailey.

P.P.P.S. I have written the Times‘s Readers’ Representative with the relevant links and information.

Worth a Thousand Words

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:15 am

Power Line has a picture that should give you the chills.

CHP Officer Killed

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:09 am

The L.A. Times reports that a California Highway Patrol officer has been killed by a suspected drunk driver:

Motorcycle Officer John Bailey, 36, was headed home to Adelanto on Saturday night when he pulled over a suspected drunk driver in a Ford Ranger pickup on Interstate 15 north of Oak Hill Road, said Tony Nguyen, a CHP public affairs officer.

As the officer stood talking with the pickup’s driver on the side of the road at 10:30 p.m., a second suspected drunk driver, Domingo Esqueda, veered off the freeway, struck Bailey’s motorcycle and the pickup truck, then smashed into the officer, Nguyen said.

Bailey is “the sixth CHP officer to die in the line of duty in five months.” He “had returned in November from a 14-month tour of duty in Iraq, where he was stationed with the California National Guard.”

Esqueda is apparently in the country legally. After all, if he were an illegal immigrant, that would be news — right? And that means the L.A. Times would have found out and reported it.


I’m joking, of course. They probably think it’s racist to even ask the question.

P.S. If you agree that this would be a racist question, then the solution is clear. The paper should make the legal status of a criminal suspect a standard question in any news story about a crime, regardless of the last name of the suspect.

Weekend Posts

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 5:56 am

Well, I got my Internet connection back this weekend, caught up on my blog reading, and posted (for me) a large number of posts. If you don’t read on the weekends, scroll down for the past two days’ output.

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