Patterico's Pontifications

10/25/2010

Staff Sergeant Joshua J. Cullins, RIP

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 11:05 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Joshua Cullins, an LAPD officer assigned to Central Division, was killed last week in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where he was serving as a staff sergeant in the Marine reserves. As an active-duty Marine, Cullins had served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, then became a bomb technician after joining a reserve unit. Only last July he was wounded by a roadside bomb, sustaining a concussion that might have been his ticket home had he so chosen.

He was not that kind of man. Few outside the military will comprehend it, but Cullins chose to shrug off the injury and stay with his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, for the duration of their tour. He was due to rotate out of the field two days after he was killed and would have been home by Christmas.

Mike Hillmann, a retired LAPD deputy chief, passed along these words of tribute for Cullins:

Every American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine serving in Afghanistan faces a daily question most of us can scarcely fathom: Will today be my day? And yet somehow they persevere.

Marine Staff Sergeant Joshua J. Cullins was a member of our LAPD family who personified that perseverance. His commitment and dedication to his fellow Marines were unwavering, as exemplified by his decision to remain in theater and complete his tour with his comrades even after sustaining a serious injury.

It is that uncommon commitment that made Joshua Cullins an example of what is best in both the United States Marine Corps and the Los Angeles Police Department. Indeed, Joshua was a shining example of the mottos of both of these proud organizations. The Marines’ motto is “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful), and the LAPD’s is “To protect and to serve.” In his roles as a police officer and a Marine, Joshua protected and served his fellow Americans, ever faithfully, to his last breath.

May he rest in peace.

Michael R. Hillmann
Deputy Chief, LAPD (retired)

Jim Moran: Twenty-Four Year Military Veteran Has Not Done Enough for his Community

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:34 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

A few days ago it came to light that Jim Moran (D-emilitarized) said this about his opponent, Patrick Murray:

What [Republicans] do is find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that haven’t been in office, haven’t served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent is typical, frankly.

Of course, Murray served in the military for 24 years, a fact that Moran referenced not a minute later in the same talk.  So more than a few people said this meant that Moran was denigrating Murray’s military service as not being “public service.”  And I offered a limited defense to those comments, which some felt was not much of a defense.

Well, what defense I offered, I take it back.

You see, Moran has clarified his statement as follows:

Moran said his comments have been distorted and what he criticized was not his opponent’s military record but his lack of civic involvement.

“Serving in the military does not prevent you from getting involved in the community,” he said. “Mr. Murray has decided simply not to be involved in the civic life of the community. That’s what I was saying.”

Actually Jim when you are serving our country in places like Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia and Russia, often being shot at, it’s a little hard to keep up to date with the latest actions by the PTA, you idiot.  And even when he was in-country, he had every right to say, “you know what?  I already served the community by defending it.”

There was some wiggle room before, but there is none now.  Jim Moran has slapped every soldier in the face.  He needs to apologize. And every person who values the contributions made by the men and women of our armed forces who live in Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District need to come out and fire this jerk, a week from today.

Update: Smitty at The Other McCain fisks a news report on the controversy, here.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

What’s Dumber Than Laughing at Christine O’Donnell…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:24 pm

…for correctly stating that the phrase “Separation of Church and State” Doesn’t Appear in the Constitution?

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Laughing at author S.E. Cupp for correctly pointing out that O’Donnell was correct, five days after O’Donnell made her remark.  That is what happened on the Orwellianly titled Reliable Sources.  They had five days to think about what O’Donnell said, and yet they didn’t quite get it.

Howard Kurtz was running things, who also works for the Washington Post, which together with the AP almost completely revised their initial story about O’Donnell’s comments without issuing a correction.  Maybe he only read the uncorrected version.  Update: I forgot that Kurtz now works for the Daily Beast.

Meanwhile, Hot Air is asking, Why is Chris Coons running attack ads against O’Donnell?

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Rumor of the Day

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:13 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

They are denying it, but there is a rumor that George Lucas is contemplating another three Star Wars movies, this time set around 1,000 years after Return of the Jedi.  The idea is to rerelease all six movies in 3D, and then launch the new ones.

You know, around 10 years ago, the idea of new Star Wars movies set my geek heart on fire.  Now, I am like, “Meh.  Maybe it won’t suck.”

I think one of the big problems Lucas has these days is no one can tell him no.  I mean in the original movies, for instance, Carrie Fisher tells us she thought the hairdo she wore in Star Wars was kind of silly looking, but she was too afraid to disagree with him.  That’s how everyone feels with Lucas these days, and the result is some poor and “wtf?!” decisions.  You know, like making the Queen of Naboo 15 years old, and an elected official (which means it is incorrect to call her a queen—the correct term is “president”).

In semi-related news, the game “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II” is set to release this fall.  The first one’s story was officially declared to be “canon” which in geek speak means that these are officially the way it happened in the Star Wars universe as declared by Lucas himself.  I presume the same applies to this sequel.  And actually the story was pretty good in the first one, so I presume that Lucas’ involvement was slight.

By the way, this thread is totally an invitation to debate the quality of each Star Wars movie.  Go to it.

Update: Forgot to include IMAO’s wisdom on the subject: “I say, if you’re going to do another Star Wars trilogy, don’t tell Lucas about it.”

Update (II): This Cracked.com article seems relevant.  Five Reasons Why Hollywood Needs to Stop Making Prequels.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

WaPo/AP Caught Revising the O’Donnell Story Without Issuing a Correction (Bumped) (Updated x3)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:29 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; cross posted at my blog]

Bumped: I have moved this post up for convenience.  Originally posted on October 20, at 11:29.

Update: Thanks to Instapundit and Memeorandum for the links. Please bear with us in that the site is getting more traffic than usual and the hamsters turning the wheels are getting tired.

Update (II): Welcome readers from Legal Insurrection.  Also I see now that Ace of Spades HQ caught the revision, but I guess wasn’t able to document it like I was able to.  (I accidentally preserved a copy.)

Also below DRJ provides a link to the official policies of the AP, including corrections.  Basically they are supposed to report changes unless it is a live event in progress.  So it appears to be a violation of their own policies.  This is exactly what I love about the blogosphere: it’s so “open source” that way.

————————

How much did the left show its keister on O’Donnell’s alleged gaffe?  So much so that the AP/WaPo story on the subject was almost completely rewritten last night, and without an official correction.  After the break I will have screen caps and a cut and paste of the text of the article, but let’s start with just the first paragraph.

Before:

WILMINGTON, Del. — Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.

After:

WILMINGTON, Del. — Republican Christine O’Donnell challenged her Democratic rival Tuesday to show where the Constitution requires separation of church and state, drawing swift criticism from her opponent, laughter from her law school audience and a quick defense from prominent conservatives.

Literally I ran a document comparison in Word between the original text and every paragraph is completely rewritten.  Update (III): At the end of the post I show that 76% of the words in the revised version of this article were not in the original.

Oh, and how hard has the AP worked to correct this story?  Well, here’s a google search of the original version, which apparently the AP is disowning.  As of this writing, I got about 23K hits for that.  By comparison I got 4K hits for the corrected version.

More after the break.

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Moonbattery on Citizens United Reaches New Level: Impeach Justice Roberts!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:09 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

I’m sorry, that is Chief Justice Roberts.  Barbara Boxer informs me that he has worked very hard for his position.

Anyway, via Volokh we learn today that Representative Peter DeFazio (D-ork) is considering articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts over Citizens United.  They have cited two causes of action (so far).  The first (particularly in this audio clip) is that Roberts lied to Congress in his confirmation hearings saying he would respect precedent.  The second is that supposedly it was improper to hear the constitutional issue in the case at all.

The weakness of the claims are amply demonstrated by the Huffington Post’s attempt to prove it.  First, they pull out this quote:

In his 2005 confirmation hearings, Roberts famously said, “Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.”

According to DeFazio, Roberts hasn’t stood by his own doctrine.

Which is bull.  All Roberts said was he would follow the law.  Given that the Constitution is a law, too, there is nothing inconsistent with striking McCain-Feingold on Constitutional grounds.  In fact most supporters of the decision consider it to be a victory for the law of the Constitution.  And indeed, Roberts made it fairly clear in his testimony that the principle of stare decisis, which is law latin shorthand for the ideal of respecting precedent, is weakened when you were talking about the meaning of the Constitution:

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Racing to the Bottom

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:53 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

We have another real contender for the most dishonest thing done during this campaign season.  And given that Alan Grayson is in this election, that is saying a lot.  In Michigan, Justice Robert Young is running for the state supreme court, and the Democratic party is putting out photos  that purport to show Young sleeping on the bench.  But as a video shows, these were in fact clearly moments where he blinked or looked down.

By the way, exit question.  Since Democrats are always accusing Republicans of using racist codes and the like, what do they think of depicting a black man sleeping on the job?

Hat tip: Overlawyered.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

What McEwen is Selling

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:42 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

One of the overlooked elements in Rathergate was the revelation of how book deals helped companies like CBS to allow a person to get paid for a story they provided, without actually having CBS News on the check.  (Source: see page 71).

So we learn that Lillian McEwan is breaking her silence in a piece that is almost as fluffy as this embarrassing piece on Gloria Allred.  Apparently she was once Clarence Thomas’ girlfriend and she is moved now to tell the world damning things that corroborate what Anita Hill said all those years ago.  But as an attorney I can impeach her “testimony” in my sleep.

First let’s consider this quote:

She has written a memoir, which she is now shopping to publishers. News broke that the justice’s wife, Virginia Thomas, left a voice mail on Hill’s office phone at Brandeis University, seeking an apology — a request that Hill declined in a statement. After that, McEwen changed her mind and decided to talk about her relationship with Thomas.

“I have nothing to be afraid of,” she said, adding that she hopes the attention stokes interest in her manuscript.

So she has something to sell.  Now let’s review what the paper said about her life.

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