Patterico's Pontifications

11/9/2010

What’s Lamer…?

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:47 pm

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

What’s lamer than Rachel Maddow repeating a lame talking point put out by her network that is then thoroughly debunked by Johnny Dollar?

Keith Olbermann repeating the exact same talking point, after Johnny Dollar made Rachel Maddow look like a hypocritical hack.

That’s right, if you look at the second video, here, at right about the 1:30 mark, he said that the reason why he didn’t disclose his donations was because he felt that if he disclosed those donations then his followers would have donated, too: “and then suddenly I am [perceived as] fundraising for them passive-aggressively and suddenly we’re accidentally Fox.”

Oh and for bonus points, did Keith Olbermann allow fundraising on his show?  Well, watch the Johnny Dollar video, here, and start watching at about the 2:40 for your answer.

Myself, I can’t watch any more of Olbermann tonight.  I just can’t ingest that much smug.  It’s bad for my lungs.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

A Graphic Representation of the Path of That “Missile”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:24 pm

Earlier today, I described that weird alleged missile launch (or was it just a plane?) off the coast of Southern California:

What I found interesting, though, was that if you traced it back away from the sea towards land, it became a sort of ghostly translucent dark blue color. I had never seen a color like that before on a contrail and it got my attention.

It certainly seemed to trace back overhead. I can’t say that it actually went overhead because I didn’t go outside to look at it.

From inside the house, the trail traced from the ocean up to the roof of the porch, and disappeared behind the porch roof.

Because I don’t think words describe it well, I tried to roughly draw for you what I am talking about, using an old sunset picture from the back of our house. What I have drawn below does not accurately represent the colors I saw, as will be clear from my explanation. But the picture does show the approximate shape and location of the contrail from my vantage point:

Imagine that the white part near the ocean is a bright orange contrail, exactly as you saw in the video. The black part is the approximate curvature of that weird, band of translucent blue that faded into the bright orange. The blue was about the same hue as the ocean, but it did not look anything like the sort of vaporous trail you normally see from a contrail — as, for example, a normally white contrail turning bluish/black in the minutes after sunset. That is not what I saw. Rather, the band I saw looked very even and smooth, with none of the wispy nature you normally associate with a contrail. It almost looked like an effect of lighting — like a dark, curved spotlight, or a rainbow without color. You had the impression that you could see through it (which is why I called it translucent).

Imagine that the top of the picture is where our porch roof starts; this is where I lost the trail, as I was inside the house. (I actually saw less of it than is indicated in the picture, because this picture was taken outside, and you can’t see as much of the sky from inside the house, which is where I was when I saw the contrail.)

I have seen absolutely no discussion of this aspect of the phenomenon, but it was there. I saw it shortly after 5 p.m. in precisely the area where the “missile” (or plane) was reported.

Man, I wish I had taken a picture.

For what it’s worth, I have received visits today from navy.mil in Norfolk, Virginia and Helen, Maryland, as well as nasa.gov. Any of you folks want to weigh in below?? Or are y’all just as befuddled as I am?

P.S. Here is some more video:

Note that the translucent band I saw is not present in this video (or the other one I embedded earlier) — but both videos are showing the object in motion. I saw it several minutes later.

Did I See the Aftermath of a Missile Launch off the Southern California Coast Last Night?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:22 pm

There have been some reports of a missile launch last night at around 5 p.m., 35 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, north of Catalina Island and west of L.A. Apparently the military knows nothing about it, which has led to all kinds of speculation.

I believe I saw the contrail last night – not while it was being made, but in the immediate aftermath. I wish I had taken a picture of it. I almost did. I assumed it was an airplane contrail, with a bright orange trail leading into the sea somewhere north of Catalina.

What I found interesting, though, was that if you traced it back away from the sea towards land, it became a sort of ghostly translucent dark blue color. I had never seen a color like that before on a contrail and it got my attention.

It certainly seemed to trace back overhead. I can’t say that it actually went overhead because I didn’t go outside to look at it.

From inside the house, the trail traced from the ocean up to the roof of the porch, and disappeared behind the porch roof.

Based on the trail, I assumed that it was a plane that had flown over the vicinity of Long Beach/San Pedro out into the Pacific, or vice versa. I find it hard to reconcile all that with the video below, which shows an object seemingly rising in the sky, leaving a contrail behind it. (The rising appearance could be an optical illusion.) I know the object didn’t go over land. So what was that blue continuation of the contrail that I saw? And did it come down? And if so, where?

I will be very interested to see what comes of this. Apparently some people are saying it may be just what I thought it was: an airplane. Stay tuned. Here’s the video:

Cheerleader Kicked Off Cheerleading Squad for Refusing to Cheer, Idiocy Ensues

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:31 am

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

Here’s what happened.  A boy named Rakheem Bolton allegedly raped a girl named H.S.  Bolton is a big jock on campus, on both the basketball and football team, and she is a cheerleader.  So she is at a basketball game and the rest of the squad starts to make a cheer specifically about Bolton and she refuses to go along.  She sits down and crosses her arms.

Now first, I have every sympathy in the world for this girl’s refusal to cheer.  We can say absolutely for a fact that the man did in fact assault her.  What we are uncertain of is any kind of rape or sexual assault.  And I will not fault the girl for asserting she was raped in the face of a justice system unwilling to prosecute.  So if she was my daughter, and she refused to cheer the guy, I would absolutely stand behind that.  The established fact that this man assaulted her (non-sexually) is enough to justify her standing up for herself in that fashion all by itself.  Her assertion that she was raped only adds to that justification.

But she doesn’t have the right to remain a cheerleader.

When you ask to be a cheerleader, you are asking to be the spokesperson for an entire school.  This is not a matter of free speech; indeed, it is a matter of tightly controlled, choreographed speech.  A cheerleader has no more right to pick and choose which cheers to engage in than a member of the school choir has a right to start belting out Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds in the middle of a rendition of Silver Bells.  If she just attending the game as a private citizen and she refuses to join other audience members in cheering for this assailant, that is her right.  And if she is “off duty” and she decides to tell anyone who would listen that she was raped, more power to her (and it is her legal right).  But when she is on duty, it is the state that determines her message.

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Stephen Hayes: Why Is Mark Levin Focused on Petty Personal Squabbles — And Getting the Facts Wrong in the Process?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:51 am

Stephen Hayes:

Mark Levin has posted some criticism of my Marco Rubio piece on his Facebook page. The story was a rather straightforward look at the Rubio campaign – from the inside. To the extent that his post is about anything at all, it seems to be a complaint that the piece fails to mention Levin’s endorsement of Rubio. It’s hard to understand why — in the face of trillion [dollar] deficits, growing national security threats and a president who seems ill-equipped to [deal] with either — Levin is focused on something so petty. But his distortions require a response.

Levin writes: “First, when did the Weekly Standard endorse Rubio? Second, the first nationally syndicated talk show to endorse Rubio was … mine.” First, for the few people other than Mark Levin who actually care about such things, Laura Ingraham endorsed Rubio before he did.

Hayes goes on to explain that the Weekly Standard doesn’t endorse candidates — but points to a host of favorable articles and statements about Rubio made by himself and others from the Weekly Standard.

I have a different question. I see commenters on sites like mine saying that we need to move past the whole O’Donnell/Castle controversy. And, it does seem to be getting a little old, huh? Yet there are demagogues like Levin, together with certain bloggers who are desperate to get Levin’s attention, who seem content to pick at this scab, with no signs of letting up. Do their readers and listeners tell them to move on? I see little evidence of that.

Why would they be focused on something so petty as who endorsed Rubio first? Because they’re playing the I’m a more authentic conservative than you game.

The second they tell you that it’s all about the issues and not about the personalities, that’s when you know it’s all about the personalities. Namely, about how they are better than Stephen Hayes, or John McCormack, or Jim Geraghty, or Ace of Spades, or me, or any of the other writers whom they have chosen to label inauthentic.

Conservatives ought to be able to disagree without being at each other’s throats. And it is possible. Michelle Malkin, for example, endorsed O’Donnell, but explicitly said that she was not throwing conservatives overboard for disagreeing with her. I felt the same way about Michelle: I thought the candidate she was endorsing was dishonest and highly unlikely to win, but I also know that Michelle is no dummy. She knew the flaws of her candidate going in, and chose to endorse her despite the fact that the candidate wasn’t perfect — because she thought there were sound reasons to do so. Michelle and I can emerge from something like that respecting each other. Someone like Mark Levin, who twists the facts and plays the authenticity game? Not so much.

By the way, the example of Michelle is a good example of why I get upset at people who declare that the Tea Party generally, or Sarah Palin specifically, exhibited poor judgment or somehow cost us seats. I think this is ludicrous. Regardless of the specific effect of “the Tea Party,” it is precisely the spirit of the Tea Party that swept Republicans into office at historic levels, and that is focused on the important things like controlling spending and rolling back government. Palin didn’t blindly endorse the most conservative candidate in every race (see: DeVore vs. Fiorina) — instead, she did precisely what I would do: she made a calculation about who was the best candidate who might win, and endorsed that candidate. The fact that she and I might come to different conclusions about different races doesn’t mean her judgment is fatally flawed, or that the Tea Party cost us seats. It just means that we disagreed. Republicans are allowed to do that. Conservatives are allowed to do that.

I’m sick of the “I’m a more authentic conservative than you” shtick. When will people start to tell those who play it to grow up? Nobody cares who endorsed Rubio first, Mark Levin. We care about controlling spending and returning to constitutional principles. If you disappeared from the airwaves tomorrow, we’d still manage to do that — even though some of us never wrote a book! This isn’t about you. It’s about doing what’s right for the country.

Nominate the Most Hilarious Post-Election Hissy Fit

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:02 am

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

At the risk of blatantly ripping off an idea from Popehat, let me suggest that everyone here find the most hilarious response to the election and link to it in the comments.  And if this story is any indicator, there should be a lot of nominees:

A staffer for a congressional Democrat who came up short on Tuesday reports that a team of about five people stopped by their offices this morning to talk about payroll, benefits, writing a résumé, and so forth, with staffers who are now job hunting.

But one of the staffers was described as a “counselor” to help with the emotional aspect of the loss — and a section in the packet each staffer was given dealt with the stages of grief (for instance, Stage One being anger, and so on).

“It was like it was about death,” the staffer said. “It was bizarre.” The staffer did say the portions about the benefits and résumé writing were instructive.

The teams weren’t sent by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Two people have suggested it may have been the Clerk’s Office or Human Resources.

While Tuesday was definitely a major loss for the Democrats, I hadn’t heard it cast in a stages-of-grief way before.

(That was from Politico, but no linky for internet bullies.  So you can read it over at Hot Air.)

So comment away.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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