Patterico's Pontifications


Allah Has the Goods, As Usual

Filed under: General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:30 pm

Allah has great stuff for those of us who care whether we’re going to be killed by the terrorists.

First, he has the video of Brian Ross talking about how the U.S. broke KSM with coercive interrogation — and got information that saved the tallest building in the city where I live.

Oh . . . and Ramzi Binalshibh cried like a little girl. [Read the bolded part again, but — in your mind — say it in a cartoonish Austrian accent, a la Arnold Schwarzenegger.]

Terrorists suffer and whimper — just a little — and my city is saved from a major terror attack. Everybody wins.

Except, of course, for the people who say coercive interrogation never works.

Second, a little birdie says to keep a close eye on Hot Air, as Allah has audio of Hamid Mir, the guy who thinks the bastards have gotten a nuclear bomb into the U.S. I’ll put up a link once it’s available. [UPDATE: Here it is.]

It’s like I used to say about Captain Ed’s site: just delete your bookmark to my site and go straight to Hot Air and keep hitting refresh. Save yourself some time, and get some better writing in the process.

They’re Real, and They’re Spectacular

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:37 pm

I’m talking, of course, about Cassandra’s pair of posts on boob-blogging.

Democrats Can Meet Here . . . But No Worshipping!

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Court Decisions,General — Patterico @ 6:25 pm

If a group of people gather together in a room to affirm and celebrate their common belief that there is a God, is that religious worship?

What if a group of people gather together in a room to affirm and celebrate their common belief that there is no God? Is that religious worship? (It’s a rhetorical question; stay with me here.)

Let’s assume you answered the first question “yes” and the second “no.”

Now assume that a public library opens a public meeting room “to encourage [its use] for educational, cultural and community related meetings, programs and activities.” May it state that the room “shall not be used for religious services”?

Now assume that a church seeks to use the room for activities including worship, and is banned — not because the church’s services are noisy or distracting, but simply because the church is engaged in religious worship, in violation of the rule against using the room for religious services.

Can the library do that?

In the Ninth Circuit, it can. The decision is here. (Via Howard.)

Here is the problem as I see it: I cannot imagine on what ground the library could exclude a group of atheists seeking to reaffirm their atheism. The library allows members of the Sierra Club to meet, talk about, and reaffirm their belief in principles of environmentalism. It allows Democrats to meet, talk about, and reaffirm their belief in . . . whatever the heck those folks believe.

Presumably the library would have to allow a group of atheists to meet, talk about, and reaffirm their belief in the idea that God does not exist. After all, worshipping is worshipping; reaffirming your atheism is not.

But apparently members of a church cannot meet, talk about, and reaffirm their belief in the existence of God — because that is “worship,” and it is prohibited.

This sounds like viewpoint discrimination to me. How about you?

Pregerson Slapped Down Again

Filed under: Court Decisions,Dog Trainer,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 6:49 am

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, featuring “judge of conscience” Harry Pregerson, issues a wacky liberal ruling relating to a recall election. The Ninth Circuit reverses en banc.

Where have we seen this before?

Rick Hasen summarizes the ruling:

The Ninth Circuit now joins two other circuits in hold[ing] that voter-circulated petitions (in this case, recall petitions; in the other cases, initiative petitions) need not be translated into other languages to comply with section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. The majority held, and Judge Reinhardt agreed, that these petitions were not materials “provided by” the state to comply with the VRA.

So: while this ruling relates to a recall election, its logic should also put the kibosh on efforts by activists to invalidate initiatives because the petitions are written only in English. Which is good, because (as I previously discussed here) those are very silly efforts.

The L.A. Times seems to disagree, leading its article on the decision with this sentence:

Recall petitions need to be printed only in English, even when some voters are not proficient in the language, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The use of the phrase beginning with “even when” is your hint that H.G. Reza thinks the decision is wrong. But why? If someone can’t read the petition, the people circulating the petition are the ones who get hurt, because they get fewer signatures. So what’s the problem?

P.S. The sentence is wrong anyway. The petitions don’t “need to be printed only in English” — they “need only be printed in English.” There is certainly no requirement that petitions be printed in English only. As Mickey Kaus might say: a round of layoffs for the copy editors! (I’m just kidding; this is serious business nowadays.)

BONUS PREGERSON: Howard Bashman has a column about another interesting recent ruling in which Pregerson participated. In this one, a murderer sentenced to death says he wants to abandon his appeals and take his death sentence. Nothing doing, said Pregerson and Senior Circuit Judge Warren J. Ferguson. Why, to allow you to go to your death as you wish would be cruel and unusual punishment!

UPDATE: A commenter notes a typo in the original post, which has been corrected.  A round of layoffs for my copy editors!

Power Struggle at LAT

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:48 am

Kevin Roderick has the latest on the power struggle at the L.A. Times:

NPR’s David Folkenflik came up with a good piece this afternoon for “All Things Considered” that fleshed out some of the internal corporate struggle going on at the Los Angeles Times. He reported that editor Dean Baquet and publisher Jeff Johnson have been under Tribune pressure to raise profits at the paper 7% a year, and were hit with new demands recently from Chicago to slash $10 million from the budget before the end of this year and to whack the news staff to about 800 from 930. If true, that would help explain why Baquet and Johnson publicly resisted.

Go to Kevin’s site for the links and more commentary.

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