Patterico's Pontifications


“If You Will . . .”

Filed under: Grammar — Patterico @ 9:32 pm

It always bugs me when people say “if you will . . .”

I won’t.

Where Joel Stein Went Wrong

Filed under: Dog Trainer,War — Patterico @ 9:28 pm

Joel Stein’s piece about not supporting the troops has certainly created quite a furor (albeit a predictable one.)

Stein’s piece was basically a column about how he doesn’t support our troops in Iraq, because he doesn’t support the war. His argument is that it is a weak-kneed position to oppose the war but “support the troops,” because opponents of the war actually don’t support what the troops are doing.

What is so infuriating about Stein is that he cheerfully admits in the column (and admitted in more detail to Hugh Hewitt today) that he knows nothing about the military — yet he presumes to know that our soldiers fighting in Iraq are morally opposed to the war:

But blaming the president is a little too easy. The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they’re following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be inefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying. An army of people ignoring their morality, by the way, is also Jack Abramoff’s pet name for the House of Representatives.

Where does Joel Stein get the idea that the Army is a body of people “ignoring their morality”? If you read Hewitt’s interview with Stein today, you know that Stein doesn’t get that idea from any knowledge of the military, because he doesn’t have any. Given his ignorance in this area, it’s pretty damn presumptuous of this guy to pretend that he knows that the members of the Army are “ignoring their morality.”

Memo to Stein: just because you think that the war in Iraq is immoral doesn’t mean that the people fighting it do. If you admittedly have absolutely no freaking clue about anything having to do with members of the military, then don’t presume to know their moral beliefs about the war in Iraq, and then to criticize them for acting inconsistently with those beliefs.

Thank you.

More details on Stein’s ignorance of the military in the extended entry:


Hmm, Wonder if all the Usual Suspects Will Support This One?

Filed under: Law — Angry Clam @ 7:23 am

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

Remember all the people who were supportive of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s attempt to break California law judicially create homosexual marriage, and his misappropriation of public funds and public office in support of that effort?

How many of them do you think will cheer on San Diego County’s lawsuit against the state to overturn Proposition 215? After all, it’s just independently asserting its view of the law, right? Right?

Money quote: “‘For this one county to decide to go against the will of California voters, it’s unprecedented and it’s unconstitutional,’ said the ACLU’s Anjuli Verma.” See you in San Francisco, Anjuli.

– The Angry Clam

More Editorializing on the News Pages

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:20 am

A front-page article in yesterday’s L.A. Times on Bush’s healthcare proposals editorialized on the news page as follows:

Just as with Bush’s Social Security personal accounts proposal, the president would be seeking to persuade Americans to rely less on government-provided or employer-provided safety nets and more on themselves.

He would also exhibit the kind of combativeness that has become a trademark of his time in Washington.

This is a guy who famously sucked up to Ted Kennedy when he first got to Washington, only to have Kennedy later say that his administration had told “lie after lie after lie after lie.” He has vetoed nothing. He caved on a prescription drug benefit, campaign finance reform, and any number of other issues.

Now, for every example of conciliatory action or compromise that I cite, I’m sure leftists could come up with examples of “combativeness” on Bush’s part. That’s fine; there’s plenty of grist for debate on both sides.

But isn’t this a debate that belongs on the op-ed page? Why is a declaration being made on the news pages that fits a leftist view of Bush?

Don’t answer that.

Matt Welch Joins L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:32 am

Congratulations to Matt Welch on his new position as assistant opinion editor for the L.A. Times.

I’ve always thought that the paper’s opinion pages have much to recommend them. Sure . . . on the left side, the editorials are often vacuous, and the paper has a habit of printing letters to the editor with factual errors that benefit the left. But on the right side of the page, where the op-eds live, the paper does a fair job of getting other viewpoints out.

Still, Welch’s presence can’t help but be an improvement for the paper. I’m looking forward to seeing the effect he has.

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