Patterico's Pontifications

3/27/2006

Moussaoui Death Case Looking Better

Filed under: Crime,Terrorism — Patterico @ 5:30 pm

I have said that as a purely legal matter, the case for giving Moussaoui the death penalty was “fundamentally weak.” But you know what? It just got a whole lot better:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Taking the stand over his lawyers’ protests, Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified today that he and Richard Reid, later arrested as the so-called shoe bomber, were slated to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House.

Moussaoui, speaking publicly for the first time since his arrest a month before the Sept. 11 attacks, said he lied to the FBI so that the plot could go forward.

Yup. That’s pretty much all she wrote.

Stanislaw Lem Dies

Filed under: Books,Real Life — Patterico @ 5:25 pm

Science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem has died. He was a brilliant man whose books I enjoyed. He’ll be missed.

Let’s Hope the Statute Was Proofread Better Than the Article

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Immigration — Patterico @ 5:05 pm

A story on the L.A. Times web site reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee has stripped from the immigration bill a provision that would criminalize illegal presence in this country. This will make it harder to bring criminal charges against illegal aliens, as it is often difficult to prosecute aliens for their initial illegal entry, due to statute of limitations issues.

Amusingly, the story appears to have been typed in terrific haste:

After days of street demonstrations that stretched from California to the gounds of the U.S. Capitol, the committee also voted to strip out proposed criminal penalties for residents found to be in this country illegally.

. . . .

In general, the bill is designed to strengtehn border patrol, create new opportunities for so-called guest workers and determine the legal future of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.

At several critical popints, committee Democrats were united while Republicans splintered. In general, GOP Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Mike DeWine of Ohio, who is seeking re-election this fall, sided with Democrats.

Memo to Times editors: run that sucker through a spell-checker before you print it.

UPDATE: They have fixed all of the mistakes. The wonders of a spell-checker.

I should have taken a screenshot of all those typos.

Into the Lions’ Den

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

Sinking into the den of leftists again, I made my way over to the Ezra Klein blog to respond to posts from commenter “Neil the Ethical Werewolf,” who posted on a recent abortion comment thread here.

These people just cannot have a debate without a) insulting you and b) lying about you.

In one comment I said:

The problem with the post is that it is predicated on the idea that adoption is a more gut-wrenching decision than abortion. That’s a strange justification for abortion.

Someone (named Dr. Squid, which raises the question why I am arguing with this guy) called that “quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever read.”

Insults. Check.

I decided to fight fire with fire, and insults with insults:

Don’t you mean “lip-read”?

If this is the tone on this blog, I may as well respond in kind. . .

For the non-lip-readers, I’ll simply say that abortion is a convenient way to place the moral decision safely out of sight. The doctor doesn’t require you to confront the evidence of your deed. Adoption does.

Killing a fetus so a woman who made a choice to have sex can avoid feeling bad about giving the fetus up for adoption strikes me as cowardly and morally reprehensible. And, while this opinion is likely to be mocked here, I’ll wager it is the mainstream position. Americans may warily support abortion rights, but not for the purpose of making the decision emotionally easy for Mom.

Pretty clear, right? Adoption forces women to confront what they’re doing: giving up the child. Abortion allows them to avoid the evidence of what they’re doing, because no doctor makes you look at the fetal remains.

But some commenters seized on the phrase “evidence of your deed” to claim that the “deed” I was referring to was sex, not the abortion. This is the big lefty theory, remember: conservatives are just trying to punish women for sex. So they twisted my clear words, to interpret them as falling in line with their pet theory.

I responded to one such commenter:

If you take “evidence of your deed” to refer to sex then you are functionally as illiterate as Dr. Lip-Reader. The “deed” referred to was the abortion. It was no slip of the tongue.

Enter Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, who lied about what I had said to make her point:

Worst backpedaling ever. You said that adoption is better evidence of the misdeed than abortion. If the “misdeed” is abortion, then how is giving birth and giving the child away evidence of the severity of the woman’s “misdeed”? Even presuming that abortion is wrong–which it’s not, of course, and most of the time when it’s performed it’s the right decision–but even presuming it, why is adoption the proper punishment for the woman? She didn’t even commit the misdeed you’re accusing her of!

The word “misdeed” appears in quotes several times in this comment of hers, even though I never used it.

Lying. Check.

Your question is going to be: why did I bother arguing with such people?

Good question.

P.S. Thanks to Darleen for having my back in a related Ezra Klein comment thread. Since, as we all know, I hate women (according to these folks), it was refreshingly ironic for me to be defended by Darleen.

P.P.S. Lord knows what Amanda is saying about me at Pandagon. I can’t even access the site; my account “has been suspended.” I’ve heard of people being banned from commenting, but this is the first instance I’ve seen of software banning someone from even reading a site.

I can only conclude that she is scared to death of what I might say in response to whatever lies she’s peddling, given that the last time she tried to criticize me, I proved that she had lied about what I had said — or at the very least (in my opinion deliberately) badly misquoted me.

P.P.P.S. Never mind. I am not suspended from their blog. Their host has suspended them — apparently temporarily. Thanks to Darleen for the heads-up.


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