Patterico's Pontifications

6/3/2007

User of Avoidance Technique Describes Avoidance Technique

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 1:04 pm

I couldn’t care less about the subject matter of Glenn Greenwald’s latest post, but I was interested in his description of a technique that “some” use to respond to arguments (note the bold passage):

Kevin Drum passive-aggressively mounted the same defense of Klein in response to my criticism (Drum did so without acknowledging that he was responding to my post, let alone linking to it, opting instead for the “some argue” formulation that “some” people use as a way of purportedly responding to an argument without having their readers see the argument in question).

You mean like this?

A new accusation is that I’ve been engaging in so-called “sock puppetry” by leaving comments in response to posts that attack me under other names., i.e., that I use multiple names to comment and the same comment was left at several blogs by the same IP address under different names.

Not frequently, I leave comments at blogs which criticize or respond to something I have written. I always, in every single instance, use my own name when doing so. I have never left a single comment at any other blog using any name other than my own, at least not since I began blogging. IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address. In response to the personal attacks that have been oozing forth these last couple of weeks, others have left comments responding to them and correcting the factual inaccuracies, as have I. In each case when I did, I have used my own name.

No links there. Just a statement that there is a disembodied “new accusation” out there somewhere.

I guess Mr. Greenwald used that as a way of purportedly responding to the accusation of sock-puppetry, without having his readers see the argument in question.

It’s nice to see the man himself describing the very technique he used himself to address the sock-puppetry accusations.

In case any of you missed the evidence on that, it’s here.

Winterreise/The Sorrows of Young Werther at Long Beach Opera Today (Plus: New Michael Connelly Book Out)

Filed under: Books,Music — Patterico @ 9:15 am

Long Beach Opera is reprising its 2005 production of Winterreise/The Sorrows of Young Werther — a staged version of the Schubert song cycle, based on a set of poems by Wilhelm Mueller, interwoven with readings from Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. In 2005, I reviewed the original performance in this post. Since the current production is essentially identical to the 2005 version, I have little to add to my earlier review, other than to say this: if you have a chance to see the last performance today, I highly recommend it.

P.S. After the performance, which I saw with Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger and his lovely and charming wife, we went to a Michael Connelly book signing. I’m looking forward to the book (The Overlook), which is the latest Harry Bosch book. Interesting side note: Marc read the entire book during the signing. I thought I was a relatively fast reader, but Marc reads about 5-6 times as fast as I do, putting away a page every 5 seconds or so.

U.S. Grants Asylum to Gang Members — *Because* They Are Gang Members

Filed under: General,Immigration — Patterico @ 8:26 am

I thought it was bad enough that the government allows some illegal immigrants to stay in the country despite the fact that they are gang members.

I didn’t realize that the government allows some illegal immigrants to stay in the country because they are gang members.

In a story I couldn’t make up if I tried, the L.A. Times reports on Gerson Alvarado-Veliz, an illegal immigrant and gang member who was deported to Guatemala after serving a sentence in California for dealing crack cocaine. Alvarado-Veliz claims that he was targeted by death squads in Guatemala, who identified him as a gang member by his tattoos. The article reports that Alvarado-Veliz “knew he had to flee Guatemala or be killed. So he sneaked back into the United States.”

Why did he come here, rather than Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, or any number of other places? Because only the United States is crazy enough to grant asylum to somebody because they are a gang member:

Now the 23-year-old is sitting in an Arizona immigration detention facility after an arrest related to charges of marijuana possession and driving on a suspended license. He’s citing his past as a gang member as the reason he should be granted asylum and allowed to remain in the U.S.

. . . .

In 2005, a U.S. immigration judge found Alvarado-Veliz credible and granted him the right to stay in the U.S. legally.

The decision was later reversed by the Board of Immigration Appeals, and is now pending before the 9th Circuit along with several other similar cases.

It turns out that several gang members have used this absurd strategy before, with success:

[I]mmigration judges have in recent years begun granting some former gang members the right to stay.

In 2005, a former gangster from Guatemala, who sold drugs for Long Beach’s East Side Longo gang, was granted one of the two lesser forms of relief, withholding of removal.

Also in 2005, a gang member who at age 7 joined the notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang in El Salvador, also called MS-13, and was later convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in Los Angeles, won the right to stay in the U.S. when an immigration judge ruled that his former gang membership and tattoos would put him at risk of persecution if he were returned. That decision was reversed, so his case is also pending before the 9th Circuit court.

A former gangster from Honduras convicted of grand theft auto as a member of Los Angeles’ Down for Anything gang won the right to stay in the U.S. in 2005 because of his past gang affiliation. In 2002, a former member of MS-13 in Los Angeles who was born in El Salvador won asylum with the backing of then-mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa.

Meanwhile, we’re treated to a sob-story account of Alvarado-Veliz’s life:

Alvarado-Veliz’s life, as he describes it, has been full of bad breaks and bad choices.

. . . .

It’s not possible to verify parts of his story, but Alvarado-Veliz describes how — despite refraining from criminal or gang activity in Guatemala — the tattoos on his face, neck and arms and his California gang dress and mannerisms were enough for police to target him.

“It’s not possible to verify parts of his story” — but we’ll report them anyway, invoking the “Sob Story Exception” to the usual rules of journalism. You’d think that editors would be wary of relying on the Sob Story Exception so soon after the paper’s recent embarrassing experience with “rehabilitated” gang member Hector Marroquin. But you’d be wrong.

Incidentally, Alvarado-Veliz, who claimed to refrain from criminal activity in Guatemala, didn’t manage to do so here. He was convicted of disturbing the peace, petty theft, and driving on a suspended license after entering the United States illegally for the third time in 2003. That doesn’t stop the L.A. Times from ending the piece in this way (warning, have your hankies ready before you proceed):

In prison, he leads a daily Bible study and on Sundays translates the prison chaplain’s sermon for the mostly Spanish-speaking inmates. He faces another year before a court decision is likely. He believes the jail time and previous torture are punishment enough for his past. Jesus Christ, he said, taught forgiveness.

He says he hopes one day to be a youth minister targeting those involved in gangs and drugs in Los Angeles.

“My past is pretty messed up, but I think I can use it to the benefit of other people,” he said.

The piece is reminiscent of the plaintive end to the puff piece the paper did on Hector Marroquin, who was later reported to have continuing ties to the Mexican Mafia and suspicious connections to multiple homicides:

“If a good man can turn bad, how come a bad man can’t turn good?” Big Hector asked.

This puff piece has convinced me: Alvarado-Veliz must stay! Write your local Congressperson and demand that this country retain its illegal immigrant gang members!

The time to act is now.

L.A. Times Tells More About Hector Marroquin, Almost Two Years Later

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:00 am

The L.A. Times has a report about Hector Marroquin, titled Arrested L.A. activist had aroused suspicions. The deck headline reads:

NO GUNS founder faces firearms charges. Some disbelieved his claim of leaving gang life behind.

The editors should have added:

But not us! We got suckered by this guy like nobody’s business!

Yes, Hector Marroquin is the fellow about whom the L.A. Times ran a July 2005 puff piece naively portraying Marroquin as a good guy who had turned his life around. That article was titled Father, Son Turn Lives Around in Family Business. That article claimed that Marroquin “turned his life around long ago by becoming a roofer, building his own company and becoming a man of peace.” As I noted in this post from January, there were police officers a-plenty available to dispute that characterization, but none of them were quoted. They only got quoted in the L.A. Weekly.

Now, in yesterday’s article, we finally learn the details that, until now, only the L.A. Weekly had reported — like Marroquin’s alleged relationship with the Mexican Mafia. It only took the L.A. Times, what? about six months to catch up to the facts reported by the L.A. Weekly.

Better late than never, I guess.

(Thanks to nk.)


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