Patterico's Pontifications


Breaking: Blog Criticizes Politician

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:52 pm

I’m all for the importance of blogs and everything — but isn’t this a bit much?


No offense to the conservative blog in question (RedState), but doesn’t this sound like an Onion article? “Breaking: Area Man Expresses Political Opinion.”

Christopher Hitchens Can Teach Our Legal Establishment A Thing Or Two

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Public Policy,Terrorism — Justin Levine @ 6:57 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

From Hitchens’ interview in Vanity Fair:

From your story this month, I get the feeling you think extremists such as Abu Hamza, the former Finsbury Park Mosque imam, should not go unnoticed. Would you eavesdrop on suspected extremists in Britain?
You don’t have to eavesdrop on someone who gets up in public and says, “Kill the Jews.”

Someone who’s bellowing racism and malice through a megaphone, I don’t need to tap his fucking phone.

But you might want to tap the phone of the people who are listening to him.
If the Metropolitan Police are not listening to his phone and the phones of people like him, then they should be impeached and removed from office. I don’t think you’d have much difficulty getting that warrant.

Well said.

If We Deported Illegal Aliens Who Are Otherwise Criminals, We Would Have Deported Several Members of the Fort Dix Six

Filed under: General,Immigration,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:52 pm

I have argued repeatedly that our top priority in fighting illegal immigration should be deporting those illegals who commit crimes in this country. I feel so strongly about this, I think that if I could snap my fingers and change one thing about public policy, this would be it.

It appears that, had we simply followed this simple policy, we would already have deported several members of the Fort Dix Six:

NEW YORK – Several of the so-called “Fort Dix Six” had past run-ins with the law, ranging from low-level drug offenses to driving without a license, according to court records. has obtained 44 pages of records from the Cherry Hill Municipal Court outlining some of the suspects’ past legal issues. Suspect Dritan Duka has past arrests on charges of disorderly conduct and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. He also has six separate speeding and driving with a suspended license infractions, records show. Shain Duka has past arrests on charges of obstruction of justice, hindering apprehension and making physical threats. He also has five separate traffic infractions. Eljvir Duka has past drug counts and at least two motor vehicle infractions. The three brothers are accused of helping lead the plot to shoot soldiers at Fort Dix. They are being held without bail. The fact that at least three of the suspects had past run-ins with the law and are in the United States illegally was brought up on Capitol Hill Thursday.

The story notes that if we could figure out a way to check immigration status during traffic stops, we might have deported Mohammed Atta as well.

Is there any rational argument against concentrating our ICE resources on checking the status of criminals? If we had unlimited resources, it would be productive to deport everyone, but since we don’t, I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t start with the criminals first.

LAPD Medal of Valor Awards Ignored by the L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Jack Dunphy @ 10:31 am

[Posted by Jack Dunphy.]

The Los Angeles Police Department’s annual Medal of Valor luncheon was held Thursday in the ballroom at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater. The Medal of Valor is the department’s highest honor, recognizing bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of police service. Nineteen medals were awarded, including thirteen presented to officers for their role in rescuing more than 80 residents of a burning senior citizens’ home. Officer Kristina Ripatti, who on June 3 of last year was shot and paralyzed by a robbery suspect, was also recognized at the ceremony with a Police Star.

Given the public relations nightmare the LAPD has been living through since the May Day melee at MacArthur Park (see my NRO columns here and here), I was curious to see how the Los Angeles Times would cover the Medal of Valor ceremony. After all, the Times has devoted pages and pages of coverage to the MacArthur Park incident and its aftermath, so one might assume they might, so as to present at least the appearance of objectivity, devote some space to a story about the uncommon bravery displayed by the officers recognized on Thursday.


Maybe I should have smacked a reporter around at the luncheon just to make sure the event was covered, for in Friday’s paper there wasn’t a story, a picture, a blurb, or so much as a single word about the Medal of Valor awards. Now I wonder why I was surprised at this at all.

In light of the LAPD’s troubled recent history, the luncheon made for some interesting theater. Mayor Villaraigosa was in attendance, and when he made his address to the audience he was greeted by polite but markedly tepid applause. As he worked the room during the luncheon service, some of the cops he came upon regarded him as they might a caterpillar that had suddenly appeared on their salad plates.

The reaction to Chief Bratton was much the same, and deservedly so. Prior to the ceremony, cops and other attendees were mingling on the patio outside the ballroom. One of V.I.P. guests was talking with three uniformed cops when Bratton approached. The chief greeted the V.I.P. and kept right on moving as though the three cops were invisible. Sad to say, but the moment was a perfect picture of his leadership style.

Better Headline Written

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:01 am

As most of you will recall, the L.A. Times recently ran an article exploring Fred Thompson’s portrayal of a racist on the TV show “Wiseguy,” and the effect that it might have on his campaign. In my post about the article, I said I had not liked the L.A. Times‘s headline: Will Fred Thompson’s racist role have political repercussions?

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette runs Daunt’s piece today, with a much better headline: Ex-senator not a racist, but he played one on TV.

L.A. Times Still Will Not Correct Story on Cummins

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:02 am

I have clearly reached the end of the line in seeking a correction from the L.A. Times for its misrepresentation of Bud Cummins’s comments to reporter Richard Serrano. I won’t rehash the whole scenario in this post; I have discussed it extensively in posts you can read here, here, and here. In 25 words or less: the paper claimed Cummins had wondered about a connection between his firing and a Missouri investigation his office had conducted. Cummins denied any connection.

Cummins recently answered an e-mail I sent him, and confirmed that the paper had misrepresented his statements. Among other things, he said:

[T]here is no doubt in my mind that I made it clear to Mr. Serrano that I knew of no connection between the Missouri investigation and my dismissal. I am certain that I told him that more than once.

. . . . I can assure you there are dozens of reporters around the country who have heard me tell my version of this the exact same way. Mr. Serrano is the only one who heard it differently.

. . . . I promise you the story was wrong.

Cummins also said that he had told reporter Richard Serrano that the article was wrong.

I passed along Cummins’s e-mail to the Readers’ Representative, and here is her reply:

I appreciate your sharing with this office your correspondence with Bud Cummins. As you note, the Times reporter also talked to Cummins after the article appeared, and we don’t see the need for a correction.

Jamie Gold
Readers’ Representative

The story was about what Cummins thought. Cummins says he never thought what the story claimed. And that, supposedly, does not merit a correction — or an update, or a clarification, or anything. As far as the L.A. Times is concerned, it makes sense to have their readers continue to believe that the story is true, when the only person who knows (Cummins himself) says, in no uncertain terms, that it is not true.

If there is a rational explanation for this, I’m not seeing it. But I’ve taken this as far as I can. I’m giving up. If you want to ask the Readers’ Representative yourself, you can reach her at this e-mail address: Be polite.

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