Patterico's Pontifications


Not Really a Tough Weighing Process

Filed under: General,Scum,Terrorism — Patterico @ 9:01 pm

See Dubya weighs Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s two minutes of terror during his waterboarding session against the many lifetimes of misery we averted by saving the Library Tower in Los Angeles.

Mom Gives Infant Bong Hits

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 8:51 pm

Via Howard comes this depressing story:

A Montana mother who allowed her 18-month-old baby daughter to inhale from a marijuana water pipe on several occasions was properly convicted, but should not have to spend five years in jail, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.

Jessica Durham was photographed allowing her toddler Michala to suck from a marijuana water pipe, also known as a bong, in 2004 by a friend upset about the activity.

“Ms. Durham allegedly remarked that smoking improved Michala’s appetite and left Michala lethargic and mellow – a manner she found consistent with her own experience smoking marijuana,” Judge Louis Pollak of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in summarizing the case.

Michala is a feminine form of Michal, meaning “who resembles God.”

Normally when I post bizarre stories like this, I end the post with a snarky comment. But here, I can’t think of one and don’t want to try.

Pope Benedict’s Speech Was Not Altered

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

Pope Benedict’s speech was not as radical and offensive as originally quoted. In the speech, Benedict actually said:

[H]e addresses his interlocutor with an astonishing brusqueness, for us an astounding brusqueness, bluntly on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.

Benedict was originally quoted without the bold language, which tends to distance Benedict from the person he is quoting. The omission of the bolded material made the statement seem more inflammatory than it actually was. (It was still rather provocative, though the violent reaction was of course typical (literal) Islamic overkill.)

Slate’s Tim Noah has done an annotated version of the Pope’s speech that claims that the critical bolded language was added after the fact.

But it wasn’t. Stuart Buck shows beyond all doubt that Noah is wrong. Buck’s proof includes video.

The Vatican simply did an inadequate translation, which was later amended for accuracy.

Chalk up another victory for the blogosphere — except that you need to write Noah to get him to correct it. Reach him at

L.A. Times: Bush Caved . . . Everyone Else: Bush Won

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:46 pm

The L.A. Times has a rather unique view of the compromise on torture: Bush caved and the McCain faction won. I laughed out loud when I saw that this morning. Because this view seems to be shared by almost nobody else.

The L.A. Times article is the lead story in today’s paper. It is titled Bush Bows to Senators on Detainees. It opens:

President Bush acceded to dissident Senate Republicans on Thursday, agreeing to new rules for interrogating and prosecuting suspected terrorists that leave intact international treaty protections against torture.

In a major concession to Arizona Sen. John McCain and other Republicans, the administration dropped its efforts to have Congress redefine U.S. obligations under the Geneva Convention. The compromise bill in effect bans the most controversial CIA interrogation tactics, including water boarding, a form of simulated drowning, said those involved in the negotiations.

Message: Bush lost.

Anyone out there agree?


The New York Times has an editorial titled A Bad Bargain:

Less than an hour after an agreement was announced yesterday with three leading Republican senators, the White House was already laying a path to wiggle out of its one real concession.

The Washington Post says The Abuse Can Continue:

In short, it’s hard to credit the statement by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday that “there’s no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved.” In effect, the agreement means that U.S. violations of international human rights law can continue as long as Mr. Bush is president, with Congress’s tacit assent.

Marty Lederman, who opposes Bush’s methods, has a post titled Senators Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory: U.S. to be First Nation to Authorize Violations of Geneva. He has another post that puts the word “compromise” in sneer quotes: “Three of the Most Significant Problems with the ‘Compromise.'” Glenn Greenwald has a post titled America to legalize torture, and writes:

I have a plea (directed to myself as much as anyone) to declare dead — forever — the Myth of the Independent, Dissident Republican Senator and bury it in a coffin deep in the ground where it belongs. At this point, I think encountering the Lochness Monster is more likely than finding a genuinely independent Republican Senator willing to impose meaningful limits of any kind on the President.

And Kevin Drum says: “at this point it looks like the three Republican ‘moderates’ gave in completely.”

I wonder if the L.A. Times will have occasion in coming days to revisit its view of the compromise as Bush “bow[ing] to,” “acced[ing] to,” and making a “major concession” to the McCain crew.

Because that view seems to be rather . . . unique.

Dems Defend Bush

Filed under: General,Humor,International — Patterico @ 6:49 am

On one hand, it was nice to see Nancy Pelosi et al. standing up for our President against Hugo Chavez, who called Bush “el diablo.” On the other hand, the Dems have “demonized” Bush before, if not quite so literally. This cartoon sums up the contradiction.

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