Patterico's Pontifications


iowahawk: Operation Steel Gazelle: A Smart, Multi-Slide Plan For Toughening American Security with Smartness

Filed under: Humor,Terrorism,War — Patterico @ 11:16 pm

iowahawk has great post, in which Harry Reid and a realistically inarticulate Nancy Pelosi discuss the way they plan to end terrorism by capturing Osama bin Laden. A sample:

REID: . . . Using state-of-the-art PhotoShop smart computers, we will create simulated pictures of Osama bin Laden wearing a mustache, soul patch, trucker hat, and so on, and these will also be included in our emails. Then, the generals will distribute the pictures to the soldiers, and they can then make a surprise attack at Pakistan and get Osama bin Laden, no matter his latest look. Imagine the looks on the terrorists’ faces!

NANCY: Me too! What is next, in the plan?

HARRY: Well Nancy, after invading Pakistan and getting Osama bin Laden, our plan will next focus on rapid American redeployment from Iraq. With terrorism finally a thing of the past, we will need our American soldiers back here in the “good ol’ USA” to guard Osama bin Laden while he serves out a tough sentence in jail or an innovative work-release program.

NANCY: Sounds, smart! But what about toughness?

HARRY: Don’t worry Nancy – before we redeploy the soldiers out of Iraq, we will pass a tough new assault weapons ban in Iraq to keep these dangerous weapons out of the hands of civil war gangs. We will back it up with a roadside bomb amnesty program, and after-madrassa programs for at-risk insurgent youths.

An assault weapons ban! Iraq already has tons of assault weapons. They should already be banned! Damn incompetent Bush.

Go read it all.

Ahab meets White Whale; has Turkish Coffee

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 11:05 pm

[Posted by See-Dubya]

Claudia Rosett went to Cyprus and rang the doorbell of Benon Sevan. He invited her in for coffee and they chatted for two and a half hours. The juicy stuff is, unfortunately, off the record.

If you don’t know who these people are, it will be my pleasure to inform you. Benon Sevan was the man as close to the center of the Oil-for-Food Scandal as it is possible to be–and who is accused of taking bribes to look the other way and let Saddam exploit the system. He has retreated to Cyprus and lurks in an apartment he inherited from his aunt–an aunt who, he says, gave him the $140,000 that is accused to be a bribe from Saddam. An aunt who fell down the elevator shaft of this building and died when the story came to light.

Claudia Rosett is the intrepid journalist who has done more than anyone to expose the corrupt perfidy of the Oil-for-Food program. Hers ought to be a household name; she ought to have a Pulitzer prize for her reporting. Though little of consequence is reported in her article, I can’t help but think this meeting was a small milestone in the history of the war.

— See Dubya

Answers to Quote Quiz #2

Filed under: Music — Patterico @ 10:59 pm

Here are the answer’s to Tuesday’s Quote Quiz #2. As usual, CraigC took first place, with Mrs. P. a close second. Here are the final results:

CraigC: 27 (only because he got the bonus question)
Mrs. P.: 22
Stacy: 17
Robin Lochner: 12
Wiz: 12
Black Jack: 10
nittypig: 7
Xrlq: 6
Bobby: 6
Shawn: 6
Veeshir: 6
Diecast Dude: 6
BrotherMan: 6
Kent: 4
darkuspawnus: 1

Nobody got the Guadalcanal Diary song. Of the initial 10, there was at least one person who got the artist on each one. They may seem obscure to you, but they’re not to everybody.

Here are the answers:


Birthdays and Clouds

Filed under: General,Real Life — Patterico @ 8:50 pm

I just uploaded some pictures to the computer and thought I’d share a couple with you:


Mothaf&*@in’ Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, B*@#h!

Filed under: General,Music — See Dubya @ 5:52 pm

[Posted by See-Dubya, B*&^h!]

Burt Bacharach is punching up his protest song a bit.

–See Dubya

Now That’s Sicilian

Filed under: Humor,Judiciary — Patterico @ 4:56 pm

When my birthday comes, you know what to get me: a huge poster of this.

B.I.G.’s Family to Get $1.1 Million Fine Paid by City of LA Over Trial Misconduct

Filed under: Court Decisions,Crime,Law — SoCalLawyer @ 4:38 pm

[Posted by SoCalLawyer]

Many thanks to Patterico for allowing me to fill in here a few days. Although the hefty fine levied by federal judge Florence-Marie Cooper against the City of LA was first announced in January, the story has resurfaced this week:

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $1.1 million payment to the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G because of errors in a civil wrongful death trial over accusations that he was murdered by rogue police officers.

The penalty was levied by a U.S. district judge who accused police of concealing evidence and declared a mistrial in the lawsuit, which was brought against the city last year.

(Yahoo! News, Mar. 30, 2006, “Slain rapper’s family gets $1.1 million.”)

The fact that the City of LA paid this large fine rather than appealing it speaks volumes regarding the apparent bungling of this case. On a semi-related note, did you know that Tuesday, April 4 is “Crash” day in LA?


The Bully Pulpit

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Evan Maxwell @ 9:04 am

[Posted by Evan Maxwell]

Patterico, sly dog that he is, has granted me the power to pontificate in his absence. My guess is that he really thinks himself Tom Sawyer and he has gotten somebody to paint fences for free.

But that’s the joy of the Blog. The entry cost is very low. A few electrons and time.

Patterico and I connected because of our mutual interest in my alma mater, the Ol’ Grey Lady, El Tiempo de Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times. I served fifteen years in the bullpen of that tree-killing institution and I admit it, I got a great big kick out of using that bully pulpit to exercise my insights and spread my blather across a million plus billboards each morning.

But I always blathered with the secret knowledge that I didn’t really own the pulpit. Therefore I was constrained, by editors, other reporters and ultimately by the Great Otis himself, the late publisher during my era, Otis Chandler. These multiple censors, if you will, were built-in filters of my work. I covered crime, and I discovered quickly that certain types of crime were regarded as unworthy of coverage: stories about Latino prison gangs were excoriated by some of my colleagues as examples of “institutional racism;” Dorothy Buffum Chandler didn’t like truly disgusting homicides with her morning eggs; a certain key member of the editorial board believed police chases were inherently evil exercises in testosterone and should be discouraged and ridiculed.

Those are the kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle influences that all reporters, even the most fearless and intrepid ones, face each time they sit down at the typewriter (how quaint an antique) or the computer keyboard. Ultimately, I got sick of battling those influences and went off to write novels and nonfiction with my wife and by myself. I left the newsroom in 1984 and haven’t been back, even to visit, in almost twenty years.

But the newsroom hasn’t really changed all that much. For better or worse, or both, newsrooms are still the same slightly inbred, always entertaining and fascinating places they once were. I don’t think they are any more diverse, despite heavy efforts to change the mix by including more minorities. They are still bound by often-unstated but forceful rules about what news really is, and what journalists and the public at large should think about the news. Newsrooms have changed only by getting smaller and more anxious. You would be anxious, too, if you saw 82 of your colleagues frog-marched down to Human Resources one morning and stripped of their press cards, their jobs and to a great extent their self-chosen identities.

What has changed is the rest of the world. The Blogosphere has given rise to all kinds of new voices, different voices, happy voices, angry voices, insightful voices. The Bully Pulpit of the daily broadsheet has rivals now. They are quicker, they are much more diverse and they are often, though not always, just as smart and insightful as the guys and gals with presscards and Tribune expense accounts.

Newspapers and networks and magazines will not pass from the scene. And they still provide the background against which we in the Blogosphere operate. But they are not the loudest voice in the room any more. Nor can they expect to go unexamined and unchallenged.

So I look forward, boys and girls, to a few days of telling tales out of the newsroom and to offering my peculiar insights into the new media-rich world we live in.

And I promise to try to be a little more brief.

— Evan Maxwell

Introducing the Guest Bloggers

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 6:57 am

I am going to take a little break from blogging for the next week or so. I have some great people who are going to be filling in for me:

Allah: a man who needs no introduction;

See Dubya: longtime Patterico commenter and itinerant blogger;

Evan Maxwell: former L.A. Times reporter turned novelist;

Jeff Lewis: proprietor of SoCalLawBlog;

Xrlq: proprietor of the blog Damnum Absque Injuria;

and (hopefully)

The Angry Clam: a very angry and smart guy with permanent guest privileges

As usual, it should be more interesting around here when I’m gone.

UPDATE: Xrlq’s blog name fixed. I never use the official name. Thanks to Arch Radish.

UPDATE x2: I see Allah is going fulltime over at Michelle Malkin’s, who is probably taking time off for the same reason I am: spring break. Allah said that his time here would be limited, but he did say he’d try to get a post or two in. My bad luck to pick the same week he’s guesting for Michelle.

Da Vinci Code

Filed under: Books,General — Patterico @ 6:57 am

I must be the only person in the world who hasn’t read The Da Vinci Code. I started it a couple of nights ago. It’s good. The guy has a way of making you want to read the next chapter. And it has that Michael Crichtonish “let me teach you something about real life while you read this novel” thing going, which is fun.

Granted, I’m taking the “facts” I’m being “taught” with a pinch of salt, as I do with Crichton. Case in point: I divided my height by my belly button height, and got 1.7, not PHI. (If you’ve read it, you may know what I’m talking about.)

Do me a favor. I don’t like knowing what happens in a book. Before I started this one, I had absolutely no idea what it was about. Given the ubiquity of the book and discussions about it, it has been difficult to maintain this level of ignorance. So if you’re going to leave a comment with a spoiler, say “SPOILER!” at the top of it.

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