Patterico's Pontifications


Hiltzik Makes Wikipedia “Sock Puppet” Entry

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Hiltzik — Patterico @ 9:04 pm

Michael Hiltzik earns a mention in the Wikipedia entry for “sock puppet”:

“Sock Puppet” is also an internet/weblog term for an anonymous alias duplicitously used in the comment section by someone who is better known by another name. For example, L.A. Times Columnist Michael Hiltzik came under fire in April 2006 when it was revealed that he was anonymously posting under the “sock puppet” name of “Mikekoshi”, and possibly “Nofanofcablecos”, to attack those critical of his writings.[2] He did this both on the blogs of his critics, and even on his own blog in response to hostile commenters.

I quote it here for posterity’s sake, because Wikipedia fame is fleeting: here today, gone today (one second later).


Coulter: Believers in Evolution Are Brainwashed

Filed under: General,Morons — Patterico @ 8:31 pm

John Hawkins has interviewed Ann Coulter. My favorite bit:

John Hawkins: If you were to pick three concepts, facts, or ideas that most undercut the theory of evolution, what would they be?

Ann Coulter: 1. It’s illogical. 2. There’s no physical evidence for it. 3. There’s physical evidence that directly contradicts it. Apart from those three concerns I’d say it’s a pretty solid theory.

John Hawkins: If the science behind evolution doesn’t stand-up, why do you think so many people who should know better so fervently believe in evolution?

Ann Coulter: A century of brain-washing combined with a desperate need to not believe in an intelligent designer.

Very zippy! Let’s buy that woman’s book!

The Customer Is Always Enforced

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 8:01 pm

Dafydd ab Hugh notes a Reuters article about an immigration sweep done by the “U.S. Immigration and Customer Enforcement agency.”

As Dafydd says, this represents “[m]ultiple layers of elite-media fact checking in action”!

LAT Has Front-Page Article on Ripatti

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 am

The L.A. Times has a front-page article on heroic LAPD Officer Kristi Ripatti, here.

There is a photo of her holding her 15-month-old daughter.

Good for the L.A. Times.

This is as good a time as any to mention that I am still accepting donations for Ripatti. You can donate by sending money via PayPal to:

patterico *AT* gmail *DOT* com

If you need to pay by credit [or debit] card, send the money to:

patterico *AT* cox *DOT* net

Paying by credit card is discouraged, as PayPal takes a cut — but it’s better than not donating at all. Also, you can donate directly to Kristina and Tim by sending a check to an account specifically set up for that purpose. Make checks payable to Ripatti or her husband Tim Pearce, and send them to LAPFCU, 16150 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, CA 91410.

We’re up to almost $750 so far.

More Travel Advice Sought

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:05 am

What’s fun to do in the Bahamas? Particularly on Grand Bahama. Besides watching the hurricanes roll in, that is.

Elections: Ignorant Voters, Unfair Results — and Accountability

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:03 am

There are good and bad aspects to elections.

Among the bad aspects: the fact that many voters are terribly ill-informed — but still plenty willing to lodge a vote based on the tiny, tiny bit of information they have managed to gather. This is evidenced by the recent unseating of an experienced judge by a bagel lady, as we have discussed on this blog previously (here and here). Witness:

Frank Daly said a concurrence of slates endorsing Lynn Diane Olson for a Superior Court judgeship in Los Angeles County persuaded him to vote for her.

Daly, a Woodland Hills Republican, said he came to regret the decision after learning that his candidate, who unseated a respected sitting judge, was an owner of a bagel shop and four other businesses who had not focused on the law in 14 years.

“I voted for this lady solely on these pieces sent to me,” Daly said. “I don’t really trust a lot of those things anyway, but I didn’t have any other avenue to base my decision on.”

How’s about not voting, Mr. Daly? Did you ever consider that, since you didn’t really have anything valid to base your vote on, perhaps you should leave the decision up to those who do?

But when L.A. Times editors say that the unfair result is “leading some to question whether the system to select judges needs overhauling,” they are forgetting the good aspects of elections — chief among them being accountability.

As commenter Pat Patterson recently noted, the very same L.A. Times that decried the election of the bagel lady also ran a recent series on corrupt Nevada judges who are not subject to election, and thus not accountable to the public. Witness:

One Nevada judge was nearly indicted on blackmail charges. Another ruled repeatedly for a casino corporation in which he held more than 10,000 shares. Still another overruled state authorities and decided in favor of a gambling boss who was notorious as a mob frontman, and whose casino did the judge a $2,800 favor.

Yet the Nevada Supreme Court has conferred upon these judges a special distinction that exempts them from some of the common rules of judicial practice and reduces their accountability. They are among 17 state judges whom the high court has commissioned as senior judges.

Unlike regular judges, senior judges are not answerable to the voters, but serve at the pleasure of the high court, and that can mean for life.

In other words, accountability can be a good thing, even for judges.

Do you like it when federal judges overturn death sentences for transparently ideological reasons? When they mess with the timing of state elections for political reasons? When they seize control of jail facilities and decry the lack of television sets?

I could go on and on.

Or, I could make this entire argument in two simple words: Rose Bird.

So, to sum up: it’s a damn shame judges are subject to elections. Also: thank God we can subject judges to elections. As Pat Patterson explains it:

So in essence the problem, according the LAT, is too much democracy in the South Bay and not enough in Las Vegas.

That actually makes sense when you look at it from the editors’ selfish perspective, of course. Democracy is fine for other jurisdictions. But when you are a powerful newspaper editor, the rabble of democracy cuts into your elite power to shape opinion. This is why the editors hate state propositions, for example. The elite should control everything, they think.

Sorry, Times editors. It’s called democracy. It’s messy. It’s run by idiots. It produces unfair results.

As the old saying goes, it’s the worst system out there — except for all the others.

Coulter: Wrong About John Roberts

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:01 am

Here’s something else Ann Coulter was wrong about: John Roberts. Remember when she said, in a column titled Souter in Roberts’ clothing:

We don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.

And in another column she said:

Of course it’s possible that Roberts will buck . . . all known human history when it comes to the Supreme Court and be another Scalia or Thomas. (And we’ll hear this news while attending a World Series game between the Cubs and, oh, say … the Detroit Tigers.)

Guess what, Ann? So far his opinions have been quite conservative indeed. We got even more evidence this week that he is pretty firmly in the Scalia and Thomas camp: a dissent from a decision allowing a claim of actual innocence to go forward. Thomas’s opinion was joined by Scalia and Thomas. (Alito didn’t take part in the case. Also note that I haven’t read the decision yet, and will not comment on it until I do.)

And this is hardly the first time that these three have joined forces.

Time to eat some crow, Ann. Maybe you already have, and I missed it.

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