Patterico's Pontifications

1/22/2007

Ghost Soldiers

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:28 pm

Bill Ardolino has this post about ghost soldiers in the Iraqi Army.

Allah Blasts E&P and Greg Mitchell

Filed under: General,Media Bias,War — Patterico @ 7:23 pm

Allah, worth his weight in gold at Hot Air, notes E&P’s “eerie silence” regarding Michelle Malkin’s finding that several mosques described by the AP as “destroyed” . . . weren’t.

Today? No pieces. No new quotes from Allah.

Now, long-time readers know that I’m not a fan of the tactic of hastily criticizing your opponents’ silence — especially the silence of individual bloggers, who may have other priorities, like work, that would interfere with their ability to comment on a development within hours. But as Allah points out, when this story seemed to look bad for conservatives in the past, E&P had the news out within hours.

So let’s give them a little more time — but let’s keep an eye on them. Surely the silence won’t continue for days. Right?

Allah:

Maybe we’ll see some movement tomorrow. It takes awhile for a story to filter through the lefty blogosphere, unless it suits their agenda in which case it filters through instantly. In the meantime, I’m going to work on a new quote for E&P. I don’t want to give it away, but it involves some combination of the words “hack,” “disingenuous,” “profession,” “disgrace,” and “Greg Mitchell.”

Heh. Based on their past performance, I’d work in one more word: “dishonest.”

And hey — speaking of dishonest, let’s add Media Matters and Eric Boehlert to the watchlist.

Why Bush’s State of the Union Speech Will Get No Press Coverage

Filed under: Current Events,General — Justin Levine @ 12:41 pm

[posted by Justin Levine – not Patterico]

Because Bush’s speech tomorrow night coincides with the deadline for Anna Nicole Smith to conduct her court ordered paternity test on her new daughter to prove who the real father is.

Geesh! Doesn’t the White House keep on top of this stuff? They should have rescheduled…

I realize that we won’t likely know the actual results of the test tomorrow, but not since Bill Clinton had to share the State of the Union spotlight with the O.J. Simpson civil verdict has there been such an unfortunate confluence of events that demand our attention.

[Update: I even forgot to mention the fact that Bush will also be competing with the announcement of the Academy Award nominations. It just gets worse and worse…]

[posted by Justin Levine]

Supreme Court Rejects California Sentencing Law

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:46 am

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected California’s sentencing law. I have not read the opinion, but based on the linked article, the practical implications are staggering. Thousands of prisoners may be resentenced to lower prison terms as a result of the decision.

Go to How Appealing for links to the decision and analysis.

Michelle Malkin’s Video Report on the “Destroyed” Mosques

Filed under: General,Media Bias,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:47 am

Michelle Malkin has a video report on the mosques that AP described as “destroyed.”

Her main point, I think, is to point out the pitfalls of “rumor-based reporting” in Iraq. My problem is with rumor-based reporting that pretends to be more, but really isn’t. Tell us what you know and what you don’t know, Big Media, and we’ll all be better off.

Sometimes the Commenters Write Better Posts Than I Do

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration,Terrorism — Patterico @ 12:05 am

Apropos yesterday’s post about cops not being allowed to chase bad guys, commenter DRJ informs me of a distressing article from May 2005 with this passage:

Some agents complained that they are rarely allowed to pursue illegal immigrants, regardless of the situation.

“If anyone runs from us, we don’t chase them,” said one California-based border patrol agent who requested anonymity. “We could have information that there is a nuke in the back of a van but we don’t have authority to chase them,” the agent said. “We’ve had radiation pagers go off and we’re still not allowed [by our supervisors] to give chase,” he said. “They are scared to death something will go wrong and there will be a huge liability.”

The border patrol operates under a single pursuit policy, said Andrea Zortman, a border patrol spokeswoman. “Each pursuit is different,” she said. “A case involving a marijuana load is going to be different than pursuing a human trafficker.”

A number of factors are assessed by a local supervisor, including weather, road conditions, and location “and then it falls on the supervisor to determine if [pursuit] is okay,” Zortman said. “We have to be aware of the safety for everyone, our agents, those we are pursuing and anyone nearby.”

A supervisor has to check weather and road conditions before approving a pursuit?? Unbelievable. Commenter JRM immediately illustrated the problem with this policy:

Border Patrol Officer: We’ve got two armed people driving away from us with two kidnapped juveniles in the back of their pickup truck.

Supervisor: OK, I’m checking the weather. What are the road conditions?

BPO: Clear, except for the people who are now driving at 90 miles per hour away from us. We are stopped.

Supervisor: So the kidnappers have guns?

BPO: Well, they did when they left 60 seconds ago. They’re now a mile away.

Supervisor: OK, go chase them!

BPO: Yeah. They’re gone.

These are decisions best left to the officer on the ground. If you can’t trust him to make the call, you can’t trust him to be a peace officer in the first place.

It’s clear that the Administration is not serious about the security of the border, which means it is not serious enough about the safety of the citizenry.

The L.A. Times’s Definition of Irony Is Different From Mine

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Morons — Patterico @ 12:02 am

This piece by Paul Whitefield of the L.A. Times is labeled a “Modest Proposal.” I guess that means it is supposed to be funny, or at least ironic. But instead, it merely revels pointlessly in offensive stereotypes of Vietnam veterans:

LISTENING TO President Bush’s speech on Iraq earlier this month, my first thought was: “Where the heck are we going to get 21,500 more soldiers to send to Iraq?” Our Reserves are depleted, our National Guard is worn out, our Army and Marine Corps are stretched to the limit.

Then it hit me: Re-up our Vietnam War veterans and send them.

They’re trained. They’re battle-hardened. Many already have post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, some have their own vehicles — Harleys mostly, which are cheap to run, make small targets and are highly mobile. I’ll even bet that lots of these guys still have guns (you know, just in case).

So: Vietnam vets are crazy guys with post-traumatic stress syndrome, Harleys, and lots of guns. Savor the irony!

Finally, these Vietnam War guys are hungry for revenge. After all, they fought in the only war the U.S. ever lost. And they didn’t even get a parade. So this is their chance. We can throw them that big parade when they come marching home.

So they’re not only crazy — they’re losers, too! The irony is delicious! Jonathan Swift himself would be jealous.

Let me get serious for a moment and ask: just what the hell is this guy’s point?

He doesn’t really want to send Vietnam vets to Iraq. I get that. But why does he spend a good chunk of the piece riffing off of hoary stereotypes of Vietnam Vets?

If you read the actual piece “A Modest Proposal,” you’ll see that author Jonathan Swift actually had a point. This was evident in his subtle digs at landlords, like this:

I grant this food may be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for Landlords, who as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children.

or this:

Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients [such as] teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants.

Heh. He’s slagging landlords. It’s funny because it has a point.

Whitefield’s piece doesn’t. The only digs I see in Paul Whitefield’s piece are jokes at the expense of Vietnam veterans, consisting of snide references to discredited and offensive stereotypes. What’s the point of that?

I have the sense that the author is trying to be Joel Stein — the self-absorbed contrarian who gets a lot of page views. But for all his failings, you can at least understand what Joel Stein is trying to say, even if it’s nothing more than: look at me! I’m a self-absorbed contrarian!

By contrast, this piece by Whitefield is just offensive — and pointlessly so.

Thanks to F15C.


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