Patterico's Pontifications


Rago: Yawn

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 pm

Seems like a lot of people are commenting on Joseph Rago’s anti-blog rant. I didn’t really think it was much worth commenting on. Did he say a single original thing?

More on Jamil Hussein

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:17 pm

If you’re following the hunt for Jamil Hussein, Michelle Malkin has the latest.

Americans Apply for Jobs Americans Won’t Do

Filed under: General,Immigration — Patterico @ 6:07 pm

After a raid on illegal aliens working at Swift, a lot of jobs opened up — and guess what? Americans are lining up to do the jobs that Americans won’t do. And the line is running out the door.

(Link via Angry Clam.)

UPDATE: The linked phrase originally read “lining up around the block to do the jobs that Americans won’t do.” But a commenter noted that the article actually says that the line is running “out the door” and not “around the block.” True enough! Grrrr . . . I hate mistakes. Anyway, I have deleted the phrase “around the block” and added the final sentence — all for accuracy’s sake. And now this update is longer than the original post . . .

Media Matters Isikoffs See Dubya

Filed under: General,Media Bias,Scum — Patterico @ 5:57 pm

Media Matters’s Eric Boehlert has “Isikoffed” blogger See Dubya.

Surely you remember that term. I invented it back in September, when I noted how Michael Isikoff had altered a quote from an Alberto Gonzales memo without noting the alteration in any way. I therefore proposed that

when a quote is altered without any hint that it has been changed, the quote should be described as having been “Isikoffed.”

This is a variant of Dowdification, which is the practice of distorting the meaning of a quote by using an ellipsis. That’s bad enough — but at least the ellipsis gives the reader an indication that something has been left out. When you “Isikoff” someone, you don’t even let the reader know that the sentence (and its meaning) have been radically altered.

Here is Boehlert:

With no facts to back up their allegations, warbloggers instead lean heavily on name-calling in their never-ending attempt to libel and smear journalists. “The Western press is negligently or carelessly (I’m not ready to believe knowingly) passing along terrorist propaganda disguised as news,” announced warblogger SeeDubya at The Junkyard Blog. Talk about hubris — stateside warbloggers claim they have a better handle on what’s happening in Iraq than reporters who are actually there.

Now here’s what See Dubya actually said, with my emphasis:

As with Patterico’s story, there is a range of possibilities here. In both stories, the worst scenario is that the Western press is negligently or carelessly (I’m not ready to believe knowingly) passing along terrorist propaganda disguised as news. But even the best case scenario in each one involves some notable journalistic malfeasance.

Boehlert takes something that is explicitly described as being the “worst scenario” in a “range of possibilities” and alters the sentence to transmogrify it into an announcement of the truth of that scenario. To do this, Boehlert 1) chops off the beginning of the sentence; and 2) turns a lower-case “t” into an upper-case, to make it seem as though the sentence began there, without any brackets to show that the modification was made.

The meaning of See Dubya’s quote thus distorted, Boehlert goes to town mocking it — something that is much easier to do now that the quote has been completely misrepresented.

As Allah says, in his own post taking Boehlert’s nonsense apart:

Light your torch; it’s strawman time.

Oh, man . . . is it ever.

See Dubya is, of course, the one who discovered this Isikoffing (Isikoffication? Isikofftion?). He has a lot more here.

P.S. Allah is always excellent, but he really outdoes himself in the linked post.

Woman Sends Baby Through X-Ray Machine at Airport

Filed under: General,Morons — Patterico @ 6:21 am

The L.A. Times reports:

A woman going through security at Los Angeles International Airport put her month-old grandson into a plastic bin intended for carry-on items and slid it into an X-ray machine.

. . . .

The infant was taken to Centinela Hospital, where doctors determined that he had not received a dangerous dose of radiation.

Airport officials are wringing their hands trying to figure out how to prevent a recurrence:

“We’re trying to figure out what changes we can make, short of putting up signs saying, ‘Don’t put your baby through the X-ray machine,’ ” Melendez said. “We’re trying to determine how we can make this not happen again.”

My suggestion, put up signs that say: “Don’t be a stupid moron!” If the airport isn’t going to put up such signs, they have only themselves to blame if someone else acts like a stupid moron.

It’s kind of like when irresponsible hammer companies fail to include a warning saying: “Do not smash yourself in the head with this hammer.”

People must be warned.

L.A. Times Describes Anti-Death Penalty Partisan as Neutral Expert

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:05 am

The L.A. Times‘s leftist Henry Weinstein yesterday cited Neutral Expert Deborah Denno in praise of Judge Jeremy Fogel’s decision stating that California’s lethal injection protocol appears to be unconstitutional:

Schwarzenegger “is appropriately assuming responsibility for correcting the deficiencies in the state’s protocol,” said Fordham University law professor Deborah Denno, an expert on methods of punishment who has followed the California case closely. “At the same time, it is unclear whether the governor will order hearings of the type requested” by Morales’ attorneys in a companion case in Marin County Superior Court, Denno said.

I have bolded the description of Denno to highlight the way Weinstein presents her: as a Neutral and Knowledgeable Expert. This is no accident. His original article on the decision had a similar description of Denno, as he quoted her praise for the decision:

“Judge Fogel’s decision is bold and incisive,” said Fordham University law professor Deborah Denno, an expert on methods of punishment. “It is the most comprehensive decision in the country to determine that a state’s lethal injection protocol, in its current form, is intolerable and unconstitutional under the 8th Amendment.”

What Weinstein doesn’t bother to tell you in either article is this: Denno opposes the death penalty. In fact, she’s made something of a sideline out of it, at a minimum — if not an entire career.

Evidence? Yeah, I’ve got evidence:

The San Francisco Chronicle:

The key to compliance with U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel’s ruling is “a different attitude,” said Deborah Denno, a professor at Fordham University School of Law in New York and an opponent of the death penalty. “Judge Fogel is putting the onus on the governor.”

Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy:

For more writing on Judge Fogel’s opinion, check out critical posts from Patterico and Beldar (who describe the opinion as unsupported by existing law) and this favorable perspective from death penalty opponent Deborah Denno (who calls the opinion “bold” and “incisive”).

From a paper called the River Front Times:

“Most of these protocols provide an enormous amount of detail about how to get the prisoner to the execution room: what time he leaves the cell, things like that. But as soon as he leaves that cell, there’s nothing — there’s nothing available,” says Denno, a self-described opponent of the death penalty who specializes in the legislative history of capital punishment.

A summary of one of her articles on lethal injection procedures says:

The results of this article have been used in constitutional challenges to lethal injection across the country.

Hmmm. Has she been called as a witness in those cases? The Palm Beach Post says yes:

Deborah Denno, a Fordham University law professor who has testified in several lethal injection cases, said botched injections are “a common problem.”

“This problem has been going on for decades,” she said. “What it says is that legalized forms of execution have to be conducted in such a way that those very requirements almost ensure disaster.”

So: Denno is a self-described opponent of the death penalty, who has written an article that has been used to challenge lethal injection protocols across the nation, and who has testified for the defense in many such cases.

Yet to the L.A. Times‘s Henry Weinstein, Denno is just “an expert on methods of punishment who has followed the California case closely.”

Well, that certainly sounds more credible than describing her as the partisan she is.

It’s a good thing Judge Fogel trusts Weinstein enough to cite him right there in his judicial opinions!

P.S. Treatment of Prof. Denno as a neutral expert with no axe to grind is not limited to the L.A. Times. Which other paper is a culprit? If you guessed the New York Times, you win the kewpie doll. You also qualify if you guessed the AP — always a good answer if the question relates to leftist media bias.

Recommendation: A Death Penalty with a Carbon Monoxide Gas Chamber

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

The other day, I had some advice for Judge Jeremy Fogel:

Judge, if you want to learn what Kent Scheidegger thinks about California’s death penalty, have him brought to court and examined by both sides. Don’t rely on the L.A. Times to tell you, for Pete’s sake.

But there’s another way to find out what Kent Scheidegger thinks about California’s death penalty: read his blog. In this post, he makes a pretty good suggestion: simply bring back the gas chamber, but use carbon monoxide instead of cyanide. Nobody can possibly call it cruel and unusual.

Yes, there might be complaints that this procedure would be too painless — but look at this way: even if we couldn’t avoid the nonsensical litigation that leads to silly opinions like Judge Fogel’s, using carbon monoxide would render facially ridiculous any abolitionist argument that the inmates are truly suffering pain. This would hopefully do something to stem the tide of such litigation — or at least redirect its focus to more meaningful issues, like the inmate’s actual innocence.

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