Patterico's Pontifications


Interesting Comment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:46 am

Interesting story from Dafydd ab Hugh in the comments.


I Can’t Be the First Person to Comment on This . . .

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General,Humor — Patterico @ 8:44 pm

But what is the deal with Josh Marshall’s picture of himself on his site?

Radley Balko’s Night

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Crime,General — Patterico @ 8:11 pm

Radley Balko has an interesting story about a difficult night with some neighbors and some police officers.

My advice to Radley, which he didn’t ask for:

1) Move.

2) Cut the cops a break. From your perspective, the officer shouldn’t have burst into your house with his gun drawn. But try looking at it from his point of view. He probably thought you were really beating your girlfriend. What would you do in that situation as the cop?

(That ought to get you interested in his post.)

UPDATE 11-25-06: Reading this post years later, I have two reactions. First, I should note (as I did at the time) that my comment that Balko should “move” was too flip. As I explained in comments at the time, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek; it sounded like he was living in a bad place. But, of course, as other people noted, moving is not always an option. Second, while I understand the cop’s thinking that this was a domestic violence situation happening right in front of his eyes, bursting into the house with his gun drawn was probably not the most appropriate tactic.

I can see how going through an experience like that would have a formative effect on one’s outlook, and it certainly seems to have had one on Balko’s.

I Hate to Say I Told You So, But . . .

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Race — Patterico @ 6:29 pm

Yesterday, I took the editors of the L.A. Times to task for opposing temporary racial segregation in prison. The editors claimed:

Clearly, the state cannot classify people solely on that basis in the year 2005, and it would be preposterous for state prison officials to continue arguing that there is a compelling reason to do so.

Preposterous, you say!

I argued in response that prisoners are not as racially sensitive as the rest of us, and often engage in violence due to race.

Who was right? L.A. Times editors? Or yours truly?

Here’s a hint:


L.A. Times Deception on Rehnquist’s Legacy

Filed under: Abortion,Court Decisions,General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 3:58 pm

Today the L.A. Times runs a long editorial about William Rehnquist’s legacy. You don’t have to be psychic to predict that such an editorial is going to get a few things wrong. Nor does it take a genius to predict what topics the editors will misrepresent: Bush v. Gore and abortion.

Let’s start with Bush v. Gore:

Rehnquist’s most memorable accomplishment will probably be his most ignominious, and one of the most “activist” rulings in the court’s history: essentially installing George W. Bush as president in the fatuously reasoned Bush vs. Gore.

Ah, the old weasel word “essentially.” That’s the word you use when the thing you’re saying isn’t quite true. Using this word, the editors essentially cover up the fact that the Supreme Court did not even come close to “installing” Bush. No action taken by the Supreme Court changed who was going to become President, since media recounts all showed that Bush would have won any recount that Gore was willing to agree to.

So the editors’ characterization of Bush v. Gore (note to editors: that’s “v.” not “vs.”) is essentially a lie.

But the most annoying part of the editorial is its obeisance to the talking points of the abortion lobby. (Readers of this blog already know that Times editors take their talking points on abortion straight from NARAL.) Only pro-abortion fanatics have the nerve to argue that Roe v. Wade hangs by a single vote, as Times editors claim today:

The selection of Rehnquist’s successor, whenever it happens, will be a high-stakes battle. Both sides believe that important precedents, Roe among them, now hang on one vote.

That is flatly false. Roe was within one vote of being overturned in 1992, when the Court decided Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In that case, Roe was reaffirmed by a 5-4 vote. The four Justices voting to reverse Roe were Justices White, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas. White is gone, and to this day, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas remain the only three votes to overturn Roe.

That is a fact, and “both sides” know it. Any argument that Roe hangs by one vote is as cynical and disingenuous as anything ever devised by Karl Rove. For the editors of the L.A. Times to sign on to this ridiculous argument reveals either woeful ignorance or willful deception — I don’t know which for sure.

Dunphy the Subject of a Weaselly Correction

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Race — Patterico @ 9:23 am

No “Outside the Tent” piece this week. But there is a correction of last week’s Outside the Tent piece by Jack Dunphy. The correction, while not entirely unmerited, is a little weaselly, as it implies a thoroughness in The Times‘s coverage that didn’t really exist.




Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:08 pm

There’s a quake — still going on as I write this.

UPDATE: Initial tremor was sudden, followed by gentler shaking. It lasted long enough for me to start and publish the above post — probably 10-15 seconds in all. I will post USGS information as it becomes available.

Anyone else local feel it?

UPDATE x2: According to USGS, the quake was quite small. A 2.9 magnitude quake, centered 1 mile SE of Encino. I was guessing it was small, but I figured it was closer.

Bono Bloopers

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:06 pm

The L.A. Times runs two corrections today on its editorial page. My favorite is this one:

World Bank leadership — A Friday editorial urging that U2 singer Bono be named head of the World Bank mistakenly said the Live Aid benefit took place in 1984. The concert was staged in 1985.

I swear I am not making this up. If you read the editorial itself, titled Bono for the World Bank, you will see that this is no tongue-in-cheek suggestion. With no apparent irony, the editors say things like this:

Bono, the U2 rock star, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he is a credible candidate.

And this:

Bono is the most eloquent and passionate spokesman for African aid in the Western world.

But the above correction was not the only Bono-related correction on this morning’s editorial page. There is also this one:

FCC — An editorial Wednesday on actions by the Federal Communications Commission stated that the commissioners in 2003 reversed their own staff, which had ruled that an expletive used by rock star Bono at an awards ceremony wasn’t indecent. Bono’s utterance occurred in 2003, but the reversal occurred in 2004.

Hey, you can’t be “the most eloquent and passionate spokesman for African aid in the Western world” without uttering a few expletives.

So what is it with the editorial board’s obsession with Bono?

L.A. Times Editors Hopelessly Naive on Prisoner Segregation

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 2:45 pm

The editors at the L.A. Times published an editorial yesterday praising the Supreme Court’s decision applying strict scrutiny to segregation of prisoners by race in California. I haven’t read the Supreme Court’s decision, and I don’t comment on court decisions that I haven’t read. But, looking at the policy alone, I am appalled (though not surprised) by the editors’ naive view of prisoners, and the editors’ failure of logical thinking.



Ted Rall Challenge Is Bogus

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 10:10 pm

Ted Rall has laid down the following challenge:

Several Bushist blogger types have written to assert that there are as many violent and threatening remarks and insults coming from liberals online as there are from conservatives against liberals. I’ve spent many sadly-lost hours online, and I say: no way.

So here’s my challenge: Please email your worst, most vicious examples of liberal/leftie blogger vitriol (with links, natch), and I’ll post ‘em right here. If they exist, obviously.

The problem is, our devious cartoon-boy is bouncing the e-mails sent to him. Mine bounced, as did the e-mails from Right Wing News and Decision ’08. Try sending something yourself. The alleged e-mail address is

Meanwhile, Rall gloats that nobody is responding to his challenge. I guess it’s easy to make that claim when you’re simply bouncing everyone’s e-mails.

Glenn Reynolds said: “This challenge is no challenge at all . . . .” He had no idea how right he was.

P.S. Here are the examples that I tried to e-mail to Rall:

Here’s a TalkLeft commenter wishing for the assassination of President Bush:

Somebody needs to take the fratboy and his parasitic entourage down there and rub thier noses in the gore. Reap what you sow. I hope the next McVeigh gets the address right.

TalkLeft was aware of that comment — she edited other comments that followed it, but left that comment there.

And here is a screenshot of a lefty’s post (since deleted) that earned her a visit from the Secret Service. The offending language?

Wassup? How’s it hanging? Yeah, I know it’s been a long time since we talked. This probably stems from my belief that you do not exist. Anyway, the reason why I’m calling you is because last night, President Bush said that he could feel it every time we prayed for him, and since he apparently doesn’t listen to anyone but you, Lord, I thought you might pass this along to him.

Please kill George Bush. I hate him so much. I think he is a giant dick and I want terrible things to happen to him. I’m not really big on the specifics of how he dies, but if you could at least arrange it so that the authorities find his dead body on top of an underage black male prostitute surrounded by a mountain of cocaine and child pornography, that would really be super-awesome. And maybe you could have some media people there when the police find the body, so they can take pictures and stuff. That’d be fucking GREAT. Am I allowed to say “fuck” in a prayer? Shit, I just said it again. Ah, well.

Anyway, that’s my prayer, Lord. Please, please, please kill Dubya. And Dick Cheney. And everyone else in the Bush Administration. Maybe they can all commit mass suicide together or something. I don’t know. You’re the one with all the ideas. You come up with something. I need more coffee.

If sheer insults are enough — and Rall said they were — then we can look at the invective of Martini Republic twin Alex. He called my comments “stupid,” “idiotic,” “[d]umb, dumb, dumb,” “mentally incontinent whining,” “mindless crap,” “incomprehensible gibbering,” and called me personally a “dolt,” “numbnuts,” “Pattynumbnuts,” “idiot wingnut,” “unbridled prevaricator” and “damned liar,” and said: “You demonstrate all the self-awareness of a brick.” And that was just one comment thread.

I don’t mean to suggest that ugly invective is the exclusive property of the left. But Rall is typically clueless in asserting that it is the exclusive property of the right.

And he is typically dishonest in pretending that he will publish examples like I have given.


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