Patterico's Pontifications


Technical Difficulties

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:37 pm

Yes, I know that direct links to posts and comments don’t work.

I’m seeking help with the problem.

UPDATE: The problem has been fixed.

“There Are Some Unverified Spokesmen Around, Including . . . ME??”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:53 pm

So a press conference was held to announce that Jamil Hussein is not an employee of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior.

The press conference was given by Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who is the spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior.

And whose name had been on a CENTCOM working blacklist of “unverified sources.” (The military has since verified his status; his inclusion on the working list was a mistake.)

If CENTCOM had the name of the official spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior on its working blacklist — and, as Allah points out, garbled his name in e-mails about the press conference — what does that say about the military’s claims regarding Jamil Hussein?

This does not inspire confidence.

Do You Know What Day You Were Born?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 pm

My 6-year-old daughter just asked me what day she was born.

Not what date. What day — of the week.

I didn’t know. And I didn’t know for myself. (Or my wife or son.)

Do you?

P.S. Turns out she was born on a Tuesday.

UPDATE: Commenter sharon notes that she knew the day of the week she was born, from the poem:

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.

Now that sharon has mentioned it, I remember the fact that I was a Wednesday’s child. Which is about right: I’m pretty cranky.

Ramadi Story on Malkin’s “Vent”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,War — Patterico @ 6:44 pm

Michelle Malkin featured my post on the Ramadi airstrike in her “Vent” today at Hot Air. I thought her “Vent” account was well done, and refrained from overstating the conclusions of my post.

I am still looking into certain matters noted in updates to that post, including one tidbit that bolsters the charge that the paper repeated insurgent propaganda, and another that has caused some commenters to question whether military press officers split hairs in answering my questions. I’m also working on developing and building relationships with reliable contacts on the ground there. I’m told that the L.A. Times is still actively looking into the events of Nov. 13.

Over Three Million Served

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:04 pm

The blog topped 3,000,000 visits today.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that 3,000,000 separate people have seen it. As I understand it, a “unique visitor” is a metric that measures each visit from an IP address that hasn’t been used to access the page in the last 30 minutes. So if, over the course of eight hours, you visit every hour for 10 minutes, looking at five pages each time, that’s 8 unique visits, 40 page views . . . and one person.

So how many different people are represented in that 3,000,000? I have no idea. Do any of you have a guess?

I’m thinking 3,000,000 visitors is probably like 20 of you, coming back here time and time again to yell at each other in the comments. (I’m exaggerating, of course, but you get the idea.)

Well, whatever it means, thanks for reading.

A “Third Way” on Fake Iraqi Cops?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:17 am

The military says it has no evidence that Jamil Hussein is a policeman or member of the Ministry of the Interior.

AP says: you bet he is!

Someone’s right and someone’s wrong, wouldn’t you say?

Not necessarily. Like Bill Clinton, I come to offer a third way.

I was discussing the issue of fake Iraqi cops recently with a military press guy who is (I believe) not involved with the Hussein controversy. He offered me a theory about what may be going on with some of these folks who aren’t showing up on police rosters, but who are being quoted as police sources by the press. I asked him if I could quote him and he sent me this:

After the Iraqi Army was disbanded in 2003 the police force was kept intact; however they refused to show up to work which is why Coalition forces had to recruit and train the new police force from scratch. So I am suspect of press reports that claim to have a source within the Iraqi Police, because there is a high probability that the source is most likely a Saddam era leftover who hasn’t walked a beat in years. Those individuals are not employed by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The Iraqi MOI keeps accurate listings of verified police officers, for pay purposes.

— Maj. Jeff Pool, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Force) PAO.

So it’s possible that, in a sense, some of these folks are technically Iraqi police — but don’t represent the government, as readers would assume they do when they read a quote from an alleged Iraqi “policeman.”

Just tossing that out there for your consideration.

A Further Response to Prof. Reynolds

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:52 am

In a FURTHER UPDATE to this post, Glenn Reynolds has further responded to my previous post about federalism and federal legislation relating to no-knock warrants.

I have two points.

First, Prof. Reynolds appears to deny that the link I provided shows that he had argued against federal legislation in the Schiavo case, citing concerns about federalism. But if you scroll down to the third post at the link (or simply click on this link to go directly to the relevant post), you’ll see Prof. Reynolds favorably quoting Ryan Sager to this effect:

[I]t was in this last week that the Republican-controlled Congress made it clear that it sees no area of American life — none too trivial and none too intimate — that the federal government should not permeate with its power.

It can all be summed up in two words: steroids and Schiavo. . . .

Putting aside the tangled facts of the [Schiavo] case for the moment — which include some bitter family history and selective science on both sides — the driving question here should be: Does Congress have a role?

And when it comes to a family dispute over a painful medical decision, one which at least 19 judges in six courts have already adjudicated, the answer must be a resounding “no.”

The forums for matters such as the Schiavo case are state courts, upholding state laws.

To this, Reynolds added:

A while back, I wrote about the problem of “fair-weather federalism,” but judging by the past week things look to be getting much worse.

I think it’s fair to cite this post as a clear example that Prof. Reynolds decried federal legislation in the Schiavo case as an example of “fair-weather federalism.”

Instead of referring to this post, Prof. Reynolds quoted a different post with the group, and argued that that post “wasn’t really a federalism argument as such.” True enough, but the one immediately above it was. The fault is at least partially mine, as the link I had provided covered multiple blog posts, and I failed to provide a specific link to which post I was talking about.

My second point is to respond to Prof. Reynolds’s argument in which he tries to turn the tables, and say that if he is being inconsistent, then I must be as well:

At any rate, doesn’t this go both ways? That is, isn’t Patterico inconsistent to have supported the Schiavo legislation while regarding Congressional legislation over no-knock raids as posing troubling federalism problems?

Not necessarily. The reason is that in defending the Schiavo legislation, I have fleshed out in great detail why I believe the Due Process Clause authorizes federal intervention. But having read Prof. Reynolds’s post, I still don’t understand the argument that no-knock raids — even looking only at ones that go bad — violate the Due Process Clause.

The due process argument in the Schiavo situation is, I think, fairly clear-cut. As I have argued, substantial authority (including dicta in Cruzan) suggests that, under the Due Process Clause of the Federal Constitution, cases like the Schiavo case must be decided according to the “clear and convincing evidence” standard. I believe that it was appropriate for Congress to provide jurisdiction to the federal courts to ensure that this federally mandated standard was properly applied.

Maybe there is an equally valid due process argument to be made that no-knock warrants violate due process. But I don’t think Prof. Reynolds has really fleshed out the argument, and it’s not intuitively obvious to me where there is a due process failure — at least in cases where police have a valid warrant.

After all, to obtain a valid search warrant, officers must provide facts that they believe in good faith to be true, showing probable cause to search a residence, and obtain a signature from a neutral and detached magistrate. If there is a no-knock provision, they must provide facts that convince a magistrate that there is a reason that the usual knock-and-announce requirement must be dispensed with.

That doesn’t immediately strike me as a failure of “due process.” It sounds like a fair amount of process — and exactly the amount that is due to the homeowner under the Constitution.

If the raid later goes bad, and someone gets shot, that should probably motivate a discussion of the policies or tactics used. But I don’t see why we must necessarily conclude that there has been a “due process” violation. And under principles of federalism, it seems to me that this discussion — relating as it does to local police matters — should take place on a local level.

In any event, I agree with Prof. Reynolds that we share considerable common ground: we agree that stripping immunity in a section 1983 case is an act that is well within Congressional authority.

P.S. Instapundit’s post has my favorite phrase in blogging history. Speaking of me, he says: “I have great respect for his abilities as a blogger . . .”

I’m not saying that I would ever print out a phrase from a blog post, isolate a single phrase, blow it up to poster size, laminate it, and hang it on the wall. That would be ridiculous.

But if I ever did that with a phrase from a blog post . . . that would be the one.


Clint Taylor on the Venezuelan Terrorist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:44 pm

Did Clint Taylor’s call to the FBI result in the capture of a terrorist in Venezuela? I’m thinking maybe it did. Read his piece and make up your own mind.

The Kafkaesque Courthouse

Filed under: Buffoons,General,Law — Justin Levine @ 4:23 pm

[posted by Justin Levine – not Patterico]

A true story of bureaucratic hell at a filing window located in a Southern California courthouse.

Beldar is Back, Baby!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 am

As a blogger, sometimes you wait for all the facts to come in.

But sometimes, you just gotta take the facts at your disposal and make a judgment.

I’m going the second route here. I’m shootin’ from the hip and makin’ the call, baby.

Beldar is back.

He. Is. Back!

It looked promising when he did his first post in several months. It looked even better when he followed it up with another.

But three posts? I’m officially declaring a resumption of blogging.

His latest post looks at the New York Times‘s loss in the Supreme Court on Monday. Remember when the paper warned terrorists that the government was about to freeze their assets? The government is investigating, and the New York Times tried to prevent the government from subpoenaing the Times‘s phone records. The Second Circuit told the paper to take a hike, and on Monday, the Supreme Court refused to postpone the effect of that ruling. Beldar says:

This decision was a battle won for the United States on the home front in the global war on terrorism. And it’s another fine example of how the mainstream media, led by the New York Times, is absolutely willing to let you be blown to bits by terrorists in order to protect your “right to know.”

Read it all, and rejoice in the Return of Beldar.

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