Patterico's Pontifications

9/10/2007

Serial Filer of Frivolous Lawsuits Gets His Comeuppance

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 11:35 pm

I have written about Jarek Molski, the serial abuser of the Americans with Disabilities Act, here and here. In the first of those two posts, I described Molski’s M.O. in this way:

Jarek Molski of Woodlnd Hills is disabled. He goes to a lot of restaurants, finds violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and sues.

A lot.

But the Overlawyered site has really owned the Molski story, and I turn to them for news that the Ninth Circuit last week upheld a decision to declare Molski a vexatious litigant who must obtain court permission to file ADA suits against ethnic restaurants.

Money quote from the decision (PDF file):

[I]t is very unlikely that Molski suffered the same injuries, often multiple times in one day, performing the same activities—transferring himself from his wheelchair to the toilet or negotiating accessibility obstacles. Common sense dictates that Molski would have figured out some way to avoid repetitive injury-causing activity; even a young child who touches a hot stove quickly learns to avoid pain by not repeating the conduct.

Yes, he does . . . unless he can sue Mom for statutory damages, that is.

This guy must be a real jerk if even the Ninth Circuit is shutting him down.

Computer Bleg: Sites Blocked

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:08 pm

I can’t pull up Hot Air, Michelle Malkin’s site, Stuart Buck’s blog, or Amazon.com — using either Firefox or IE.

The Internet is working fine, and I load other sites quickly and without problems. But no matter how much I try to load any page on those sites, I can’t.

Any ideas?

P.S. Bleg #2: I have an HP Pavilion laptop and it can’t read my 4GB SanDisk card that I used to take pictures this vacation. Do I need to buy an external card reader or what?

UPDATE: OK, this is really weird. I have the exact same problem pulling up the exact same sites on my desktop as well as my laptop. They can’t have the same virus — can they? (Unless, I suppose, it came through an e-mail that was opened on both computers. But I never open attachments from unknown people, and certainly didn’t do so on both computers.)

Olbermann: Fox News Worse Than Al Qaeda

Filed under: General,Morons — Patterico @ 8:38 pm

Remember how Rick Ellensburg said there was no prominent lefty hate speech?

In unrelated news, here is Edward R. Murrow wanna-be Keith Olbermann:

Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda — worse for our society. It’s as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was.

Now, when you take a step back, this is hardly a shocking or out of character statement for someone who regularly slaps a “worst person in the world” label on folks who haven’t murdered anyone, but rather simply disagree with Mr. Olbermann’s vapid brand of leftist politics. You shouldn’t be too surprised when a professional clown acts, well, clownish.

Still, read that paragraph again. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda.

Honestly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that some people actually watch and admire this guy. (Or are they just faking it?)

Anyway . . . what were you saying about how there is no prominent leftist hate speech, Mr. Greenwald?

P.S. The only effective rejoinder Mr. Greenwald could make is that we should not pay any attention to Olbermann, because he is, in truth, a nobody — a minor television personality that nobody really pays any attention to.

If Greenwald pulls out that argument, I’ll be forced to agree with him for perhaps the first time in my blogging career.

New Information on Delta Flight 1824

Filed under: Air Security,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:42 pm

Annie Jacobsen has received some confirmation of that incident I mentioned here this morning. A TSA spokesman tells her:

We ID’d twelve passengers at the checkpoint with suspicious items. Yes, there was a positive hit, I can’t get into the level of detail of what or what wasn’t a match. We immediately closed two checkpoint lanes and called in a TSA Bomb Appraisal Officer who determined, ‘yes, these are suspicious.’ We called in three TSA canine teams to come to the check point and the FBI was called as well… The FBI took over from there. I can’t comment on the FBI.

Ms. Jacobsen says that ICE is checking on the part that most concerned me (well, together with the positive SEMTEX tests, that is): the apparently fraudulent documents held by one or more of the male passengers. Keep watching Annie’s site for more on that.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether I will get any information from Mr. Hagmann. He replied to my e-mail, but seemed a little put out by my update in which I quoted an opinion of his web site as alarmist. I told Mr. Hagmann that I understood his reaction, but that I was unfamiliar with his organization, so when I ran across that caveat about his organization I thought I owed it to my readers to pass it along. For what it’s worth, one of my air marshal contacts says that he generally finds Mr. Hagmann’s information reliable. I owe it to readers (and to Mr. Hagmann) to pass that along too.

Still, I emphasized that I am interested primarily in the facts, as we all should be. We’ll see if he replies to me further. I hope he does.

Today’s Mexican Truck News

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A truck carrying ammonium nitrate to a Mexican mine blew up, killing “at least 34 people and injuring some 150″ near Piedras Negras, Mexico, just hours from Del Rio, Texas.

(more…)

Never Forget

Filed under: Current Events,General,Terrorism — Jack Dunphy @ 7:23 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

On this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I invite Patterico’s readers to read this column I wrote for National Review Online back in September 2004. It’s a story about the Sullivan family, ordinary New Yorkers who endured – and continue to endure – an indescribable loss.

–Jack Dunphy

And I Know Just How I’d Kill Him the Second Time

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 7:22 pm

If anyone ever develops the technology to resurrect a dead person so they can be killed again, the grandfather in this story would make an excellent first candidate for the procedure.

Convicted Peeping Tom Sues to Recover Porn

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 4:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From the “You Must be Kidding” criminal files comes this story about a lawsuit filed by a convicted peeping Tom to compel the police to return his $10,000 porn collection:

(more…)

Larry Craig asks Court to Withdraw his Guilty Plea

Filed under: Law,Politics — DRJ @ 4:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Monday, Larry Craig filed papers in Hennepin County District Court to withdraw his guilty plea on disorderly conduct charges on the basis that “he entered the plea under stress caused by media inquiries into his sexuality” by his hometown newspaper, the Idaho Statesman:

“In a ‘state of intense anxiety’ following his arrest, Craig ‘felt compelled to grasp the lifeline offered to him by the police officer’ and plead guilty to the disorderly conduct charge in hopes the matter would not be made public, said the court papers filed in Hennepin County District Court.

The filing said Craig panicked and accepted the plea rather than seeking the advice of an attorney. As a result, Craig’s guilty plea was not ‘knowingly and understandingly made,’ and the evidence against him insufficient to support the plea, the papers said.

Craig’s attorney, William Martin, cited pressure from Craig’s hometown newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, which spent months investigating whether Craig engaged in homosexual encounters. Craig has denied such suggestions and accused the newspaper of conducting a ‘witch hunt’.”

Craig must show “manifest injustice” to withdraw his plea. Court officials said his motion will probably be “heard by the same judge who heard the original case, usually at least two weeks after they’re requested.” I don’t know the Minnesota standard for manifest injustice so I can’t say whether this will be successful, but manifest injustice is typically a very difficult standard to meet.

This “The Media Made Me Do It” defense might resonate with some conservatives. However, if a U.S. Senator isn’t able to make a knowing and understanding decision without an attorney present, no one can.

— DRJ

Delta Flight 1824: A Benign Incident, or Something More?

Filed under: Air Security,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 5:41 am

Douglas J. Hagmann, the director of an organization called the Northeast Intelligence Network, has a potentially disturbing report about a Delta Airlines flight that the feds are saying was benign — but that Mr. Hagmann says appears to have had some characteristics of a terror plot. The participants, some of whom allegedly had fraudulent documentation, were released.

Keep in mind that the following is based on anonymous reports, so it’s tough to know what to make of it at this point. Still, it seems worth looking into. Here’s Mr. Hagmann:

The passengers aboard Delta Airlines Flight 1824 flying out of Orlando International Airport last Thursday at 7:15 a.m. heard the following statement over the intercom as they were preparing to taxi onto the runway on their way to Atlanta, Georgia:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have been informed that there is “a credible security risk with this aircraft” and we are returning to the terminal.

Delta Flight 1824 was scheduled to take off at 7:15 a.m. on September 6, 2007, but did not take off until 10:19 – three hours and 5 minutes behind schedule, landing in Atlanta without incident at 11:52 a.m. . . .

If you rely on official government statements and the major media, the entire incident involving Flight 1824 was “benign” and was never a security risk. It involved 12 people from two families, all of Middle Eastern origin, reportedly carrying suspicious items in their luggage. Again, if you rely on official government statements and the major media, the “suspicious items” inside of checks luggage turned out to be “a bottle that had been covered with tape to prevent leaking.”

“It was all benign,” said Dave Couvertier, the FBI agent from the Tampa, Florida Orlando FBI office. The flight ultimately took off about 10:20 a.m. without the two families, who were still undergoing FBI questioning at that time. They were ultimately released, stated FBI spokesman Couvertier.

But Hagmann claims to have developed sources, including a “trusted federal source” and a passenger from the flight, who provide additional details which, depending on your point of view, are potentially disturbing . . . or just weird, coincidental, and benign:

During a routine test of the baggage, Transportation Security Administration authorities ran the luggage through x-ray detection and then conducted an explosive trace detection of the bags belonging to the 9 Middle Eastern passengers. The x-ray of the bags found questionable items inside the luggage, and the explosive trace detection tests resulted in a “positive hit” for explosives – specifically, SEMTEX, an explosive commonly used by Islamic terrorists. To be certain, however, the luggage was test no less than 4 times by four different machines and operators. Each time, a “positive hit” for explosives was registered. “The presence of explosive traces was ‘no mistake,’” stated one federal source talking to this agency on condition of anonymity.

Due to the multiple independent “hits” for traces of SEMTEX, TSA authorities emptied the luggage in a secured area, and were astonished by what they found. Authorities found 3 jars of Vaseline duct taped together to make one large cylinder. An inspection of this Vaseline-filled cylinder determined that someone had previously removed the Vaseline and replaced it back into the containers, something that was proven by air pockets left within the containers. Based on a thorough inspection of all the luggage belonging to these Middle Eastern passengers, authorities also found multiple strands of electrical wire with the ends stripped of the insulation, thus exposing the copper wire, small eyeglass screw drivers, clocks, cocoa butter, 2 tubs of butter, batteries of various sizes and types, a computer laptop, and multiple bottles of hydrogen peroxide – 144 ounces in all.

Even more disconcerting, TSA and security officials observed that two of the Middle Eastern men intended for the flight had smeared Vaseline on their arms and neck areas – a common tactic among hand-to-hand fighters who want the advantage in the event someone tries to grab them or put them in a headlock. Covered by the greasy agent, they are better able to extricate themselves during close-quarters, hand-to-hand fighting.

Merely weird, or truly alarming? I don’t know — but there’s one detail that, if true, seems clearly not benign:

A closer inspection of the identification possessed by the Middle Eastern passengers determined that three-(3) of the men possessed false or fraudulent credentials. In fact, one of the Middle Eastern men possessed 2 passports with his picture on both, but the passport information was different on each one.

I’m going to e-mail Mr. Hagmann and some of my own federal sources to see what they can tell me about this.

UPDATE: Keep in mind that some sober commentators have called the Northeast Intelligence Network the “world’s most alarmist website.” Caveat lector.

UPDATE x2: More here, including an update from Annie Jacobsen, and an endorsement of Mr. Hagmann from one of my air marshal sources.


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