Patterico's Pontifications

5/15/2015

Redirect Should Be Fixed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 pm

Some people complained today about the page redirecting to some gardening site. The problem should be fixed. I think the culprit was the SiteMeter code, which I have removed. Thanks to happyfeet for that tip. Admin Guy is running some updates and whatnot as well. Let me know if things seem better.

Nike Faces Backlash For Giving Discount To Law Enforcement Officers On Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Recognizing Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Wednesday, which coincided with National Police Week, Nike and Converse offered a 30% discount at their stores to any officers who showed their badge. Not everyone was happy about the recognition the company extended toward first responders, and some Nike customers even felt betrayed:

“I support #BoycottNike because I’m feeling punitive. We can’t punish killer cops. We can’t punish the media who criminalize black corpses…”

Black people are the source of Nike’s income and they have the audacity to support law enforcement while we’re being murdered. #BoycottNike

Damn @Nike @Converse how many of the hundreds of victims of police brutality were wearing your products this year #BlackLivesMatter

Nike released the following statement in response to the anger:

“Nike has held discount days in its stores for first responders, including law enforcement and the military, since 9/11. Nike has no intention to offend anyone, nor to imply that we are insensitive to the serious and important issues between law enforcement and black communities in America. We care about and support efforts to continue discussions to create positive change and bring equality for everyone in our society.”

President Obama released a proclamation recognizing Police Week.

In part:

Our law enforcement officers have extraordinarily tough jobs. They regularly work in dangerous environments and in difficult, high-tension situations. And they often face challenges deeply rooted in systemic problems and broader social issues. These professionals serve to protect their communities and strengthen their Nation, and they deserve to go home safely to their loved ones at the end of each shift. As President, I am committed to making sure America’s dedicated police officers receive the support and recognition they have earned, and to doing all I can to protect those who protect us.

One important way to make policing safer and more effective is by continuing to enhance relations and trust between law enforcement and the neighborhoods they serve. This will make it easier and safer for police officers to do their jobs, and it will strengthen the places we live and work. This important task will require our Nation — our communities, our law enforcement, and our leaders at every level — to come together to commit to meeting this challenge and moving our country forward, block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood. As President, I firmly believe it is within our power to make progress in our time, and I am dedicated to partnering with all those who are willing to do this necessary work.

My Administration is taking concrete steps to implement the commonsense, pragmatic recommendations my Task Force on 21st Century Policing put forward based on input from law enforcement personnel as well as criminal justice experts, community leaders, and civil liberties advocates. And we are engaging with local jurisdictions so they can begin to make the changes that will help ensure that police officers and their communities are partners in battling crime and that everyone feels safe on and off the job.

–Dana

Sean Davis Reveals Epic Hackery by Philip Bump at the Washington Post

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:38 am

I missed this a couple of days ago, but Sean Davis at The Federalist has systematically dismantled an error-filled piece by Philip Bump, a writer for “The Fix” blog at The Washington Post. Davis’s post is thorough and compelling — the kind of post I would be proud to publish myself. Bump wrote a story claiming that Amtrak faced a constant funding struggle because those damned Republicans don’t ride it and hence don’t want to fund it. Why, Bump claimed, Amtrak had not been funded at all since 2013!

As The Post’s Colby Itkowitz noted, Congress has delayed passing legislation to fund Amtrak since 2013. The last time it did so, in 2008, the vote passed only after a rail disaster. Which, of course, happened again Tuesday night.

The constant struggle of Amtrak to get funding derives largely from the fact that not very many Americans use the rail system. Ridership is heavily centered in the Northeast, in the corridor between Boston and Washington where Tuesday’s accident occurred. But more than that, ridership is unevenly distributed politically.

Davis wrote a post noting that this is utterly false. Davis noted that Bump’s piece, ostensibly about Amtrak funding, had zero information about Amtrak funding. Davis noted that “the $1.1 trillion spending bill signed by President Barack Obama last December included nearly $1.4 billion in funding for Amtrak,” in direct contradiction to Bump’s claim that funding had been withheld since 2013. Observing that Amtrak has received $30 billion since 1970, Davis wryly said: “If that constitutes a struggle, then for the love of all that’s holy, please sign me up for the struggle.”

After Davis published his piece, Bump issued a “clarification,” changing the language above to read: “Congress has delayed passing long-term legislation to fund Amtrak since 2013, instead repeatedly reauthorizing existing funding levels.”

Except that, as Davis noted:

  • Congress has not delayed long-term legislation because no such legislation is on the table; Amtrak is funded every year just like other programs.
  • Congress has not authorized (actually, appropriated) existing levels, as a review of the data would have revealed — if Bump had bothered to review data about Amtrak funding, in preparation for his post about Amtrak funding.
  • The correct word for what Congress did was “appropriate” and not “authorize” — and the distinction has meaning in this context.

Other than that, the correction — I mean, “clarification” — was great. Except that I’m sardonically joking when I say that, because it was actually terrible even placing those jaw-dropping points to one side. You see, the point is that Davis’s piece utterly eviscerated Bump’s entire argument. It’s something that cannot be brushed away with a “clarification” and a wave of the hand.

I’m giving Bump until the end of the day to respond to this substantively. Then, if necessary, I am composing a letter to his editor and taking this up the chain. Making mistakes is one thing, but failing to set the record straight and be honest with the readers when a mistake is caught is much worse.

Thanks to J.D.


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