Patterico's Pontifications


Tower Records – The Long Goodbye

Filed under: General,Miscellaneous,Movies,Music — Justin Levine @ 11:01 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

The fact that Tower Records is going out of business represents a sad cultural milestone that has yet to get the kind of press it deserves.

When their “Going Out Of Business Sale” was first announced, everything was listed at 10% off. That was inconsequential, since most previous sales gave larger discounts than that. I went to both the Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey locations. Each felt like a ghost town with empty aisles staring back at me – a sad spectacle for a business that played such an important part of my life (both in Arizona and California).

Now, most items at Tower Records are listed at 40% off or more. I went back to the stores at the same locations this past week. It was packed full of people yanking items off the shelves in every direction (including offers on the shelves themselves).

It’s now finally sinking in – this is the end of the line for Tower Records.

When I was (more…)

92-Year-Old Woman Had Drugs . . . But Only a Small Amount of Marijuana

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:14 pm

The 92-year-old woman in Atlanta did have illegal drugs. But it was just a small amount of marijuana:

The Atlanta Police Department has promised a full investigation, but said they did find suspected narcotics inside the home.

“They did find drugs in the house and it was not a large amount. It was marijuana,” said Chief Pennington.

(Via Balko.)

That sounds suspiciously like an amount for personal use.

My use of force expert, whose interview I hope to publish tomorrow, says that the police didn’t do their homework before going in. This tends to confirm that.

P.S. Credit where credit is due: Radley Balko predicted that the amount and nature of drugs in the house would not justify the raid, and he was proven correct.

Patterico on Pundit Review Radio

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:36 pm

I will be on Pundit Review Radio this evening at about 8:20 p.m. Eastern, 5:20 p.m. Pacific, discussing the L.A. Times story on the Ramadi “airstrike.”

You can listen live by going here.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone. I had a great time, as always, and I thank the Pundit Review guys for having me on. I especially enjoyed talking to Tom Blumer, who gave me the original tip on this story. I’m told there will be an archived version up, perhaps later tonight. I’ll make sure and link that once it becomes available.

UPDATE x2: The show is archived here.

An Attempt to End the Pissing Contest

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:44 pm

Radley Balko clearly doesn’t like me. That probably won’t change. However, I don’t enjoy being in pissing contests and I’d like to end this one.

He got his facts wrong this time around, but it was impolite of me, I think, to point that out in the way I did, by saying that Glenn Reynolds made a mistake in relying on Balko for his facts. Regardless of the accuracy of my claim, I didn’t need to say it that way.

I don’t appreciate it when someone misstates my arguments, refuses to respond to my corrections, and calls me “sleazy.” I don’t appreciate people taking potshots at the way I do my job. I do a good job, in a position I’m proud of.

But I can’t control how others behave. I can control only how I behave. Someone else’s behavior doesn’t excuse bad manners, and on reflection, I think it was bad manners for me to phrase my complaint in the way I did. It doesn’t make my complaint any less valid, but it was not polite, and for the lack of courtesy, I apologize.

Another Ramadi Soldier Denies An Airstrike

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,War — Patterico @ 10:44 am

Badger 6 says:

On November 15, 2006 the LA Times ran this article, whereby the allegation is made that a US air strike in Ramadi, Iraq killed “at least 30 people, including women and children.” According to the article the attack took place “late Monday” and that American blockades prevented some of the injured from getting to medical attention.

One of the things that has struck me about being in a warzone is that horrible things can happen a block or two away and one can remain largely ignorant of what happened. But at the same time some things are so big, they simply cannot be missed. An air strike that kills 30 and “pulverizes 15 homes” is one of those things.

I was in downtown Ramadi that night; I have been in Ramadi when there have been air strikes; the bottom line is this – this event NEVER happened. It is completely fabricated.

According to his profile, he is “An Army Officer in Iraq commanding an Engineer Company.”

UPDATE: He adds:

Added: 26 November. When I say it NEVER happened, I am referring to the alleged air-strike by US forces in the city of Ramadi. There was combat in Ramadi that night, and I am sure that AIF was killed. There is pleny of violence in this country without people making things up.

UPDATE x2: Anonymous commenter “steve” is questioning the bona fides of blogger “Badger 6.” I have corresponded with “Badger 6” today and know his real name. He has pinged me with his military e-mail, which ends in “” And he tells me Bill Roggio will soon be there, and Bill will be able to verify that he is there in Ramadi.

UPDATE x3: The post has been updated again:

Wow – well I wanted this blog to take off, and evidently this story has helped it do just that. I have learned a few lessons about blogging through this experience. So let me clarify and expand a few things.

First this report and attempt to refute the LA Times story is completely from my first hand experience; I have talked to other Soldiers and checked around to verify and confirm my experience. I have deleted the characterization of being “downtown” that night as I have checked my records and realize that could be considered inaccurate. Additionally when you look at the state of this city then you would understand that characterizing any area as “downtown” would be problematic. To be more precise I was never further than 5 kilometers and never closer than 2 kilometers from where the alleged air strike took place. An air strike on that scale would certainly have gotten my attention at those distances.

But Badger 6, you say, you know that it is very difficult, if not impossible to prove a negative!! How can you say it NEVER happened?

Let me say this, the preponderance of the evidence from my own personal experience, and then a subsequent investigation leads me to believe the air strike portion of the story is a complete fabrication.

There are other parts of the story that true; there are also parts of the story that I doubt are true, but I have no way of verifying that they are not true and thus will not make the accusation that they are lies.

Some in the blogosphere have accused me of having an “agenda.” Well yes, I do, read the tenets of this blog; number one is supporting the mission. The mission will not be and has not been done perfectly, but the truth about it should be told. Let us not lie about it to further someone else’s agenda.

Did I use some hyperbole in describing how the LA Times editorial room reacts to US casualties? Maybe a little; but if you look at the LA Times news and editorial pages over the last several years, you will realize they are no friend of the US Armed Forces.

Thanks for that.

Flopping Aces on Iraq Reporting

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 10:13 am

Curt at Flopping Aces has more questions about the reporting coming out of Iraq. See Dubya adds perspective.

Why I Said Radley Balko Got the Facts Wrong: Because He Did

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:21 am

When Radley Balko wrote a post at Reason about the Atlanta incident, and Instapundit linked it, I said that Instapundit “[made] the mistake of relying on Radley Balko for his facts.” This caused Balko to go ballistic and write a lengthy, fact-challenged screed calling me “sleazy” and distorting my arguments in several ways.

I’ll grant you that I could have said that more nicely. Balko and I have had conflicts before, and he has seen fit in the past to take swipes at the way I do my job, which I don’t appreciate.

But the fact is that, in this case, it was indeed wrong for Instapundit to have relied on Balko for his facts. Because, in the post that Instapundit had linked, Balko got the facts wrong. And he still hasn’t corrected the post.

In his post, Balko affirmatively claimed that the police were refusing to say whether they had found drugs in the house — despite the fact that he had already linked two stories saying the exact opposite. Those stories quoted police as saying they had indeed found suspected narcotics inside the home. All the while, Balko was furiously speculating that police had hit the wrong house — a conclusion that is much harder to support when you tell readers that there were drugs inside the house.

The guy really should correct the post.


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