Patterico's Pontifications


Left for Dead

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 8:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There are not one but two stories today – one from Los Angeles and one from San Antonio – of people who were left for dead in car accidents. First, from Los Angeles:

“An autopsy is underway today to determine the cause of death of a woman who was found in a crumpled car in a San Fernando Valley tow yard a day after paramedics had removed her son from the vehicle after a crash, authorities said. Shirley Lee Williams, 72, of Paso Robles, had apparently been left in the car at the accident scene in Tarzana as her son was taken to a hospital, they said. Her name had been withheld until authorities could notify her son, who is still hospitalized.

At the Los Angeles Fire Department, officials were trying to figure out why the woman was left in the car. “We’re just trying to get information ourselves,” Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva said.

Investigators began looking for the woman Sunday after family members reported that two relatives, not one, were missing, said Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department. “We conducted a follow-up to the tow yard, and we discovered the woman inside the vehicle,” Lopez said. “She was dead.”

On Sunday afternoon and evening, LAPD detectives and officials swarmed the vehicle lot at Howard Sommers Towing Inc., an official police impound and tow yard in Canoga Park, trying to determine how city paramedics and traffic officers had failed to spot the woman in the damaged vehicle.

Williams, described by police as slightly built, was concealed beneath an air bag that deployed during the accident. The vehicle was badly damaged.”

And here’s the San Antonio story:

“An investigator with the Bexar County medical examiner’s office made a surprising discovery early Sunday upon arriving at the scene of a traffic collision to examine a body. The person wasn’t dead.

On arrival, the medical examiner’s investigator noted the victim appeared to be breathing and was trapped in the vehicle,” a statement issued by the medical examiner’s office said. “EMS was called to the scene and took charge of the victim.”

Officials on Sunday guarded details of the incident. A video taken for KSAT-TV shows a victim at the scene draped in a yellow sheet — a typical procedure when someone is killed.
Sabrina Shaner, 22, the Accord’s driver, and back-seat passenger Amber Wilson, 22, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Rios said. Front-seat passenger Erica Nicole Smith, 23, was in critical condition Sunday afternoon, according to Rios.

Bobby Smith, Erica’s Smith’s younger brother, said in a telephone interview Sunday night that Wilson and Shaner already had been released from the hospital, but his sister remained hospitalized with head trauma. Bobby Smith, 21, said he hadn’t heard about the incident involving the medical examiner’s office. He said his sister, a senior at Texas State University, had been trapped in the Accord and that emergency workers had to pry her out.

“It took her way too long to arrive at the hospital,” he said.”

I know this can’t be common but it’s still shocking.


Keith Dopelermann Again Exposed As An Idiot

Filed under: General — WLS @ 6:27 pm

Last week I started googling around on a subject raised by Dopelermann during IQCountdown after hearing this on the show on Wednesday:

OLBERMANN: A murky position echoed by the attorney general himself who is still reviewing memos to figure out whether waterboarding is, in his opinion, torture. Despite all the precedent set by U.S. law before the bush administration and despite the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 which specifically states, “No person in the custody or under the control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by or listed in the United States Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.

In the Field Manual under the heading, “If used in conjunction with intelligence interrogations, prohibited actions include but are not limited to waterboarding.”

In black and white, according to U.S. law, waterboarding specifically is illegal……

Joined now by Rachel Maddow, the host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Air American Radio. Thanks for your time tonight, Rachel.


OLBERMANN: There is no question about this. This is not an opinion ….. It‘s torture. The head of the Zubaydah interrogation, even while extolling it says it‘s torture….. It‘s illegal. How is the right wing managing to extend this debate as if there were a debate, persuading people that this was somehow murky?

MADDOW: In any rational universe this would be recognized torture now as clearly as it was recognized as torture when we, as you mentioned, prosecuted those Japanese officials in World War II for having done it. When the Khmer Rouge did it. When it was done in Algeria. When it was done in the Spanish Inquisition. All of these times it‘s been recognized clearly as torture. There has never been a question about that. If anything is torture, this is torture.

It‘s also very clear that torture is illegal. In order for nobody to go to jail, we have to go down—we have to go through the looking glass. We have to go down the rabbit hole in all of this and somehow decide that waterboarding isn‘t torture.

We just need to undefine it in a way that‘s rationally been defined for centuries.

OLBERMANN: The administration rejoinder to abiding by the Geneva Conventions is that the Military Conventions Act of 2000 which stated – let me read it exactly, “The president has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions.” Does he likewise have the right to interpret United States law as he sees fit?

MADDOW: No. He doesn‘t have that right to interpret law as he sees fit, although he has claimed that right. When I think of the most under covered Washington stories of the past week or so was when Sheldon Whitehouse stood up on the floor of the Senate within the last few days and said that he had reviewed the Office of Legal Counsel memoranda by which the White House – the administration explains to itself what it thinks is legal.

And according to his readings of classified Office of Legal Counsel documents the White House—the administration not only believes that the Bush administration and the president, specifically, get to decide every grounds on which every action of the president‘s is constitutional. But every executive agency is then bound by what the president has decided he can legally do. So they are claiming the right for the president to define all U.S. law according to his own terms.

 Leaving aside for a moment the idea of having Rachel Madcow as the guest for this particular segment, I was struck by stupidity of this particular exchange. I know she has a degree from Stanford, was a Rhodes Scholar and got a PhD from Oxford, but I see no particular expertise on her part in this area beyond what she reads in leftwing blogs.

But, I didn’t have a lot of time to pursue information that I was confident would reveal Dopelermann to be wrong, and ended up not writing anything about his comment.

But, today Stuart Taylor comes along with a nice little piece  in National Journal and does all my work for me:



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:30 pm

Note to self: never, ever, ever comment on a lefty blog.

Not even one run by a witty writer and reasonable debater like Scott Eric Kaufman.

Short summary of the comment thread in question: the topic becomes Michelle Malkin’s honesty. I defend her, arguing by using reason and logic. Scott Eric Kaufman responds with reason and logic (albeit logic I disagree with).

Meanwhile, his commenters repeatedly distort my positions, call me a liar, distort my positions, cast aspersions on my fitness for my job, distort my positions, insult me, and then distort my positions.

The whole train wreck is here.

I know. I know. You told me so already.

P.S. On a lighter note, I’m going to a Clarence Thomas event at Chapman University tonight. That should be fun. Maybe I’ll see some of you there.

This Is The Kind of Stuff That Might Get Romney Some Traction Over Huckabee in Iowa

Filed under: 2008 Election,Crime,Government,Law,Politics — WLS @ 2:09 pm

Posted by WLS

[This is supposed to be an imbedded video — first time I’ve tried it. ** First effort was a failure, so how about a little instruction from the masses for properly embedding a video. I simply left-clicked on the “embed” button on the site where I found the YouTube video of Romney’s new ad. What more need I do?]

[WLS, I deleted everything but the embedded link (no codes) and that seemed to work. — DRJ]

Manufacturing meth is a huge crime issue in midwestern states — and Iowa was one of the earliest and hardest hit states.

If Romney has some hard facts to follow this up with, I suspect some of Huckabee’s newly won supporters may be left scratching their heads over the fact that he lowered penalties for meth manufacturing.

I’ll be Home for Christmas

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 1:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Over the past week, the 4-1 Cavalry has returned from Iraq to its home base at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Their families, friends and neighbors are glad they are home after a 15 month deployment. Here’s one example (click link for photo; here’s the caption):

“Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Steinbring fought back tears Sunday as he held his daughter, Sgt. Nicole Steinbring, 21, after she returned from Iraq on Sunday at Fort Bliss. Thomas Steinbring, who is stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., flew in for the day to see his daughter.”

Merry Christmas and thank you.


The al Qaeda Blog

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Terrorism — DRJ @ 1:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

First there was the blogging Iranian, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now it’s al Qaeda’s blogger-in-chief, Ayman al Zawahri:

“Expanding its use of the Internet, al Qaeda now is asking that online users submit their questions — even “hostile” ones — to its No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri. And like any other blogger, Zawahri says he is prepared to engage. He made the offer on a video posted on a jihadist Web site Sunday touting Britain’s withdrawal from Basra as a success for insurgents there.

The almost two-hour long video features Ayman al Zawahri answering questions in front of book-lined shelves from an off-camera interviewer with intermittent video clips. When the interviewer asked which is the most important field al Qaeda fighters are wrestling with, Zawahri answered, “Iraq is the most important of these fields.” Zawahri describes the state of resistance fighting in Iraq as “excellent.”

At the end of the video, entitled “A Review of Events,” a written message invites individuals, organizations and media outlets to submit questions for Zawahri to answer one month from his video’s release. The message solicits all questions, “whether they be friendly or hostile.”

Shortly after Zawahri’s blog announcement, an al Qaeda website posted a notice of a new video titled Al Nafeer that is defined as “an Arabic word referring to the horn that is blown before war.”

I hope the horn is all sound, signifying nothing. I also hope the blog is useful to al Qaeda’s enemies.


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