Patterico's Pontifications


Patterico Outside the Tent, Part 2

Filed under: Current Events,Dog Trainer,General,Sheehan — Patterico @ 11:37 am

I can now reveal the nature of the project that has kept blogging light this week. My second “Outside the Tent” piece will run in the Sunday L.A. Times tomorrow. (My first “Outside the Tent” piece argued that the paper should run corrections of substantial errors in a more prominent space. It ran on February 13, and can still be accessed at this link.)

Tomorrow’s piece discusses the paper’s coverage of Cindy Sheehan’s recent protest in Crawford. I don’t write the headlines, but it looks like they have decided to call it “Peacenik Paper Fawns Over Anti-War Mom.” It will appear in the “Current” section.

I took great care to keep the focus on the paper’s coverage; it’s not intended to be a screed against Sheehan personally. I point out some of the paper’s distortions and omissions in covering Sheehan, and take a swipe at Jonathan Chait and Margaret Carlson in the process.

I’ll link it in the morning; let me know what you think.

UPDATE: Welcome to Hugh Hewitt readers, and thanks to Hugh for the link. I hope new visitors will bookmark my site and come back often. Also, stay tuned for more on Pejman’s project; I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more about that very soon.

What’s Worse: the Silliness or the Deceit?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 11:31 am

Yesterday, a friend asked me: “Who is this Rosa Brooks person, and why does she have a column in the L.A. Times?” After reading Brooks’s inane and deceptive column today, I am wondering the same thing.

The piece is titled “She’s paid for her access in blood.” Its theme is summed up in the first two paragraghs:

LAST WEEK, the Bush motorcade sped by Cindy Sheehan on the way to a Republican National Committee fundraiser, literally leaving her and her fellow protesters in the Crawford dust. Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, was left wanly waving her hand-lettered sign: “Why do you make time for donors and not for me?”

She should have known that this is how it works in America. Only those who fork over the big bucks can count on getting an invitation to President Bush’s Texas ranch. That’s why Republican donors struggle to raise the $200,000 needed to gain the coveted RNC honorific of “Ranger.”

Brooks never mentions that Sheehan has met with Bush before. Instead, the column implies (but never explicitly says) that Bush 1) never meets with non-donors, and 2) has never met with Cindy Sheehan. Proceeding on those two false premises, Brooks makes an incoherent argument that Cindy Sheehan should put a monetary value on her son’s life, and call it a contribution, since that’s the only thing that will get Bush to meet with her:

Trying to place a monetary value on her son’s lost life is an appalling calculation for any mother to have to make. But with an eternally vacationing president who can’t be bothered to meet with non-donors, it’s the only language he’ll understand.

Actually, Ms. Brooks, Newsweek reports that “Bush has met with about 900 family members of some 270 soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

Brooks’s column ends with this:

So what do you say, Republican National Committee? Sheehan donated her son’s life — and his lifetime earnings potential — to Bush, and he squandered both. She’s not asking for a refund, or a “Ranger” badge, or a favor for her oil company, just a meeting. Isn’t she entitled to a few minutes of her president’s time?

No, she’s not entitled to it, Ms. Brooks — but she has already gotten it. Are you the only person in the country who hadn’t heard that? Or did you just not feel like mentioning it, because doing so would destroy the premise of your utterly silly piece?

What a total waste of valuable op-ed space.

P.S. Also (as commenters have pointed out), while Ms. Sheehan has certainly suffered a loss with the death of her son, it twists the English language beyond recognition to suggest that she “donated” her son’s life. What drivel.

Power Line on Cindy Sheehan

Filed under: Current Events,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 12:05 am

Power Line’s John Hinderaker says of Cindy Sheehan:

As time goes by, and people learn more about Sheehan–e.g., her anti-Americanism, and the fact that she was so fervently anti-war BEFORE her son enlisted that she vowed to run him down with her car if he joined up–her ratings will no doubt slide further.

Does anyone have any idea what he’s talking about? I have e-mailed him to ask . . .

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Jeff, who points to this link, which quotes Cindy Sheehan as follows:

I begged Casey not to go. I told him I would take him to Canada. I told him I would run over him with a car, anything to get him not to go to that immoral war. And he said, “Mom, I wish I didn’t have to, but I have to go.”

I think it’s a mistake for Hinderaker to highlight this quote, which — though it does express her view that the war is immoral — would nevertheless arouse only sympathy among most Americans. It sounds like a mom terrified for her son’s life.


Another Perspective from the Parent of a Fallen Soldier

Filed under: Current Events,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 8:43 pm

Here is a piece from the father of a soldier killed in Iraq who says:

I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.

The piece is by Ronald R. Griffin, who is “the father of Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star, who was killed in a truck accident on a road between Mosul and Tikrit on May 30, 2003.” Mr. Griffin quotes numerous other parents who feel the same way he does, and says:

My wife, Robin, has a different take on Mrs. Sheehan. She told me, “I don’t care what she says or does. She is no more important than any other mother.”

The piece concludes powerfully:

Those who lost their lives believed in the mission. To honor their memory, and because it’s right, we must believe in the mission, too.

We refuse to allow Cindy Sheehan to speak for all of us. Instead, we ask you to learn the individual stories. They are glorious. Honor their memories.

Honor their service. Never dishonor them by giving in. They never did.

Read it all.

(Via Cori Dauber.)

UPDATE: Dafydd ab Hugh has more at Captain’s Quarters.


Patrick Sheehan Speaks; Cindy Sheehan Goes Home for Now

Filed under: Current Events,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 9:11 pm

The New York Daily News reports that Patrick Sheehan is speaking out about his wife’s vigil:

“My kids and I feel like we’ve had two losses: Casey and now our wife and mother,” Cindy’s estranged husband, Patrick Sheehan, tells People magazine. “The kids are angry and lonely for her.” His wife has been camped outside Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Tex., since Aug. 6, hoping to talk to the President about the death of her soldier son, Casey, in Iraq.

Son Andrew, 21, adds: “I think she should come home.”

The partisan site NewsMax adds:

“I don’t think she’s done the best for the family,” Patrick Sheehan, 52, tells People Magazine. “When we see Cindy talking about Casey, we all relive the loss.”

NewsMax gets stuff wrong, so we’ll have to wait on the responsible journalism of People Magazine to confirm that latter quote. It sounds authentic, though.

Meanwhile, the AP is reporting that Cindy Sheehan is headed to L.A. to be at her hospitalized mother’s side. Her spokeswoman says she expects to return to Crawford within 24 to 48 hours.

What does it all mean? Only the Shadow knows.


John Cole Defends the Indefensible (UPDATED)

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Current Events,Sheehan — Patterico @ 7:05 am

I’m disappointed in John Cole. His recent rant against Michelle Malkin defends the indefensible. He should know better.

Cole is upset that Malkin is discussing the fact that Pat Sheehan has filed for divorce from Cindy Sheehan. Cole thinks the divorce isn’t news. Malkin disagrees, and so does the AP. That’s fine. People are entitled to disagree about such issues.

But Cole has come completely unhinged on the topic, excusing nasty leftists’ personal and juvenile attacks on Malkin and her appearance. Cole’s raving on the subject is full of profanity, so I’ll tuck it into the extended entry for those of you who are offended by such talk:



L.A. Times Silent on Sheehan’s More Extreme Statements

Filed under: Current Events,Dog Trainer,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 6:48 am

No story in the L.A. Times today about Cindy Sheehan’s recent and seemingly newsworthy statements (mentioned yesterday here) calling President Bush a “lying bastard” and a “maniac.” Today’s only story is about a frustrated neighbor who jarred protestors by firing a shotgun on his own property.

Nothing about her refusal to pay taxes for 2004 either. That one hits home for me; after receiving the four-month extension, we are filing our return today.

It’s no mystery to me why Bush wouldn’t want to meet with someone who has called him the leader of the “biggest terrorist outfit in the world,” not to mention the new epithets quoted above.

UPDATE: According to Newsweek:

Family members interviewed by NEWSWEEK say they have been taken aback by the president’s emotionalism and his sincerity.

Why hasn’t the L.A. Times spoken to family members such as this? Why is it that the only ones they quote are the Cindy Sheehans? (H/t: Michelle Malkin.)


Cindy Sheehan Calls Bush “Lying Bastard” and “Maniac”

Filed under: Current Events,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 4:24 pm

Counterpunch, no right-wing publication, is reporting that Cindy Sheehan is calling George Bush a “lying bastard” and a “maniac.” She also says:

And the other thing I want him to tell me is “just what was the noble cause Casey died for?” Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil.

She is also using her son’s death as a justification to refuse to pay her taxes for 2004:

Sheehan said defiantly, “My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don’t owe you a penny…you give my son back and I’ll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we’ll put this war on trial.”

Small wonder Bush is not eager to meet with her again — in public or in private.

More on Bush’s Incompetence: United States Invades Iraq for Oil; Gets None

Filed under: Morons,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 10:31 am

The New York Times reported yesterday:

Iraq’s leaders said Friday that they had reached a tentative deal to divide the country’s vast oil wealth between the central government and the provinces, a potentially significant break in the negotiations over a new constitution.

Under the agreement, oil revenue would be shared by the central government and Iraq’s 18 provinces, and split roughly according to their populations. It was unclear which entity would control the money, though one Iraqi leader said it would be the central government.

Yet another example of the incompetence of President Bush. Here he goes and invades Iraq purely for the oil (right, Cindy?) and we don’t get a drop? Not one penny of the revenues?

By the way, the headline of the article is “Iraqi Leaders Reach Tentative Deal on Oil, Removing One Obstacle to a Constitution.” For the benefit of the Cindy Sheehans of the world, shouldn’t the headline clearly say that the U.S. is not taking any of the oil or oil revenues? Just askin’.


Mohammed’s Moving Post About Cindy Sheehan and the War

Filed under: Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 7:15 pm

Mohammed at Iraq the Model has written a stunning post addressed to Cindy Sheehan. Here is a small excerpt, which I hope will convince you to read the whole thing:

Your face doesn’t look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours.

Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.

We did nothing to deserve all that suffering, well except for a dream we had; a dream of living like normal people do.

We cried out of joy the day your son and his comrades freed us from the hands of the devil and we went to the streets not believing that the nightmare is over.

We practiced our freedom first by kicking and burning the statues and portraits of the hateful idol who stole 35 years from the life of a nation.

For the first time air smelled that beautiful, that was the smell of freedom.

The mothers went to break the bars of cells looking for the ones they lost 5, 12 or 20 years ago and other women went to dig the land with their bare hand searching for a few bones they can hold in their arms after they couldn’t hold them when they belonged to a living person.

I recall seeing a woman on TV two years ago, she was digging through the dirt with her hands. There was no definite grave in there as the whole place was one large grave but she seemed willing to dig the whole place looking for her two brothers who disappeared from earth 24 years ago when they were dragged from their colleges to a chamber of hell.

Her tears mixed with the dirt of the grave and there were journalists asking her about what her brothers did wrong and she was screaming “I don’t know, I don’t know. They were only college students. They didn’t murder anyone, they didn’t steal, and they didn’t hurt anyone in their lives. All I want to know is the place of their grave”.

Why was this woman chosen to lose her dear ones? Why you? Why did a million women have to go through the same pain?

Cindy Sheehan has met the President; I haven’t.

But I have met Mohammed; Cindy Sheehan hasn’t.

I humbly suggest that Cindy Sheehan would benefit far more from one meeting with Mohammed than she would from a second meeting with President Bush.

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