Patterico's Pontifications


Russian Wins Chess Boxing Title

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Sports — Justin Levine @ 11:41 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

With all my excitement over Joey Chestnut’s win in the hot dog eating championship, I forgot to congratulate Nikolai Sazhin on winning the world chess boxing title.

His opponent said it all:  “I took a lot of body-blows in the fourth round and that affected my concentration. That’s why I made a big mistake in the fifth round: I did not see him coming for my king.”

Some Seem A Bit Threatened By The Yellowcake In Iraq News

Filed under: General,War — Justin Levine @ 10:01 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Mahablog obviously doesn’t like the news. I can’t comment on the analysis of any other site, but it should be obvious that Mahablog is deliberately misconstruing the point of the post (and the debate). The debate isn’t about if Saddam was on the verge of obtaining nukes or not. Rather, it is about the fact that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are liars – something that most of the press refuses to acknowledge. Notably, Mahablog doesn’t mention the Joe Wilson controversy at all.

Of course people know that yellowcake does not equal enriched uranium. If that were the case, then everyone would be worrying about the great nuclear weapons power named Niger. But of course you don’t hear that, so I really don’t know what Mahablog’s point is here. The crux of the argument was that Saddam was trying to compile the materials for an inert weapons program that he could one day reconstitute after got the sanctions lifted (with the help of bribes from the U.N. ‘oil-for-food’ scandal).

I presume that Mahablog doesn’t deny that Israel previously bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq which would indicate that Saddam had a desire for such weapons. In light of that fact and Saddam’s hostile history, the existence of stored yellowcake there becomes a bit more significant than it being stored in Niger, even though we all know it doesn’t magically take on weapons’ grade properties once it crosses the border into Iraq. But rather than think through the implications of the fact that Iraq previously had a nuclear weapons reactor in the past, Mahablog is simply content to state, “The critical point is that Saddam Hussein couldn’t do anything with this uranium because he lacked the equipment and technology to enrich it.”

Once again, for the bazillionth time, the argument was never that nuclear Iraq was imminent. It was that it was eventually inevitable unless Saddam was removed from power. Perhaps it wouldn’t come to be until years into the future, but it would eventually come. People could have tried to make the argument that it was not inevitable that Saddam would acquire WMD (and perhaps some did), but the most vocal decided to lie instead and suggest that Bush’s real argument was that Saddam’s acquisition of nukes was ‘imminent’.

Mahablog is right about one thing – the existence of yellowcake in Iraq is not really new news for those who have read up on the issue. But because many in the media refuse to acknowledge Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame for absolute frauds that they are, this old news manages to take on continued significance.

But here is the real test of Mahablog’s argument: If Mahablog has a legitimate point, then why did Joe Wilson go to such great lengths to try and cast doubt on the very existence of the yellowcake Niger story? Why didn’t he just say, “It is possible that Iraq tried to purchase yellowcake from Niger. But even though I can neither confirm nor deny this accusation, it is ultimately irrelevant since yellowcake is harmless and is not proof of anything significant regarding an Iraqi nuclear weapons program.”?

That is not the argument that Joe Wilson the liar made. There is a reason for this – reason’s that people like Mahablog would rather not address. So I’ll be happy to stay on his ‘Idiot’s Hall of Fame’, let people read both posts, and decide for themselves.

— Justin Levine

Hot Dog Eating Champion Mustard Belt Stays In The U.S.

Filed under: General,Miscellaneous,Sports — Justin Levine @ 6:32 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

For those who missed the epic event that went down on July 4th, it was considered by many to be one of the greatest, if not THE greatest in the 93 year history of the contest. Joey Chestnut won it in overtime in a 5-dog eat-off against the equally astonishing Takeru Kobayashi. It was one for the ages. Congrats Joey!

Footage here, here and here.

I’m thrilled that Chestnut was able to dig deep within himself and pull out a victory to keep the belt in America.

Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas gave an impressive showing. She’s one to keep an eye on for future contests. I also liked Juliette Lee’s efforts. The competition is getting fiercer, and that’s good for the sport.

As for Kobayashi – what can I say? The man is a great competitor and a very gracious person as the video attests to. He was even able to repeatedly jump up and down after swallowing 50+ hot dogs in 10 minutes in order to psych himself up for the overtime round. You have to feel for a guy who swallows that many hot dogs, only to come in second place. Oooch! But he has nothing to worry about in terms of his reputation. His record for holding the title for 6 straight years in a row is not likely to be challenged any time soon. Kobayashi revolutionized the sport more than any other individual. Even if Chestnut continues to dominate him in future years, his legacy will be secure.

Some are now comparing the Chestnut / Kobayashi rivalry along with the great sports rivalries in history (Ali vs. Frasier; Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird, etc.). I agree. This is a great age for fans of the sport.

Chow on!

— Justin Levine

Dare We Ask What Kinds Of Files Are On This Judge’s Computer?

Filed under: General — Justin Levine @ 5:51 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

In the event that Don Chairez makes it on to the Nevada Supreme Court, should we subject him to the L.A. Times’Kozininskistandard and investigate what sort of files he keeps in his computer? After all, the evidence suggests that he will be prone to looking at nude pictures of his own daughter…

Monica Chairez website with photos here (some racy bikini photos included, but safe for work unless you have a particularly prudish boss).  If you are into the younger teenage cheerleader look, also check her out here and here.

Yellowcake Uranium Moved Out Of Iraq

Filed under: General,Scum,War — Justin Levine @ 5:14 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

[Note from Patterico: I haven’t followed this controversy other than to scan the recent news story about yellowcake being moved out of Iraq, which struck me as a nonstory because I thought we already knew about that, and it predated the Gulf war. Beyond that, I don’t have any opinion. But I would appreciate it if the left-wing morons who keep saying this post was written by “Patterico” take note: there are several hints that this post was written by Justin Levine — who is not me. Like, under the title, where it says “Justin Levine.” Or at the beginning of the post, where it says “Posted by Justin Levine.” Since that’s not enough for you chuckleheads, I am adding a signature line at the end: “– Justin Levine” This might get through to maybe half of you. Whatever.]

Nothing to see here. After all, we wouldn’t want to interfere with the speaking tours and book sales from Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson now, would we?

Yes, yes, I know. The diehards who want to defend Plame and Wilson will still say that there is nothing to suggest that this particular yellowcake came from Niger, and it doesn’t prove that that Saddam Hussein specifically tried to buy his yellowcake from that country as opposed to obtaining it elsewhere. But once they make that argument, they are resting on pure legalisms rather than addressing the underlying subtance of the debate over Saddam’s nuclear weapons program.

In case you need reminding that Joe Wilson was already proven to be a liar over his allegations over this matter, I would direct you here, here, and here for starters. You can also consult one of the original source documents here [PDF file – at pgs. 4 through 12, and 37 through 39 in the PDF file’s pagination].

But naturally none of this will matter to the Wilsonoid true believers. The Kool-Aid has already been ingested long ago.

[Update: Still need even more resources proving that Wilson and Plame are lying sacks? Check it out here.]

— Justin Levine

How Is NARAL Reacting to Obama’s Statements on Abortion? With Less Distress Than Earl Ofari Hutchinson!

Filed under: 2008 Election,Abortion,General — Patterico @ 10:44 am

So: Obama claims that we should be able to ban post-viability abortions absent a “serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy” — with a later “clarification” that he means to include “serious clinical mental health diseases.” Jan Crawford Greenburg notes that, even with the clarification, this position would allow restrictions that are not allowed by the Roe v. Wade line of cases, or by federal legislation that Obama has supported.

So what does NARAL think of all this?

They know he’s pandering, so they’re unconcerned:

In a statement, NARAL Pro-Choice said Obama’s magazine interview is consistent with Roe v. Wade.

“Sen. Obama has consistently said he supports the tenets set forth by Roe, and has made strong statements against President Bush’s Federal Abortion Ban, which does not have an exception to protect a woman’s health,” the organization’s statement said.

If John McCain had said exactly the same thing, they would have blasted him. But they know that Obama has never taken a single step to actually implement what he now suggests should be possible — and they know he never will.

He would nominate justices like Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter, who would invalidate bans like the ones he suggests should exist. He has voted against Roberts and Alito, who might allow such bans. He has voted for legislation that would allow abortions in exactly the sorts of cases where Obama suggests there should be a ban.

It’s a kabuki dance. NARAL knows better to get taken in.

They need to pull aside Earl Ofari Hutchinson and have a little whispered conversation with him, because he apparently doesn’t get it. He has a post titled Question for NARAL Pro Choice America: Please Explain Your Tortured Defense of Obama’s Flop on Abortion Rights:

Obama’s position on the mental distress exception is the diametric opposite of NARAL’s. As such, it also flies in the face of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe versus Wade ruling which held that states can ban late term abortions except when the pregnancy directly threatens a woman’s physical and mental health. His position flies in the face of three decades of federal and state court rulings which have upheld mental distress as a legitimate reason for approving a late term abortion. Obama’s reversal flies in the face of the Freedom of Choice Act that he himself has co-sponsored in Congress. The act unequivocally permits late term abortions when the physical and mental health of a woman is jeopardized.

. . . . You have done an unconscionable political somersault to rationalize Obama’s back flip on abortion rights even though it’s obvious his flip is nothing more than a crass political pander to Christian fundamentalists and conservative pro life advocates for votes.

If you could hear the whispered conversation, it would go something like this: Earl. SHUT UP! Don’t you get it?! We have done an unconscionable political somersault to rationalize Obama’s back flip on abortion rights BECAUSE it’s obvious his flip is nothing more than a crass political pander to Christian fundamentalists and conservative pro life advocates for votes!

But until someone has that conversation with him, grab some popcorn and join the party.

More Obama Abortion Flip-Flopping

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:08 am

Jan Crawford Greenburg recently quoted Obama as saying:

Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term.

(My emphasis.)

According to Greenburg, Obama now “clarifies” that “serious physical issue” can include, uh, “mental issues”:

My only point is that in an area like partial birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously . . . It can be defined through physical health. It can be defined by serious clinical mental health diseases.

Greenburg notes that this still goes beyond the current state of the law, which doesn’t require women to show they are affected by serious clinical mental heath diseases.

The Court has said the Constitution prohibits states from banning post-viability abortions unless those laws contain a broad mental health exception—one that includes mental distress and severe emotional harm. Abortion rights groups have fought for decades to preserve these exceptions, and I’m awfully curious what they will think about limiting them to women with mental disease or mental illness.

I hope she’s also curious to press Obama to answer all of her questions. She had said she would ask Obama if he still supports the Freedom of Choice Act, which doesn’t limit the mental health exception as rigorously as Obama now claims is appropriate. She also said she would ask him whether he would “direct his Solicitor General to file a brief supporting state abortion bans that did not include a mental health exception.”

Obama’s response ducked these questions.

We’re left with yet another flip-flop — one that will probably require another flop back to the original flip.

Stay on him, Jan.

Editor Jekyll, Meet Editor Hyde

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:32 am

Less than one month ago, the L.A. Times editorialized that Judge Kozinski should say “So what?” to the allegations the newspaper splashed all over its front page:

There’s a different statement we’d like to hear from him, and no, it’s not an apology, an expression of regret or even an explanation. It’s this: “So what?”

. . . .

Scolds who argue that judges should uphold a higher standard of decorum than the common citizen and should somehow be prevented from engaging in such private activity as gathering subjectively amusing or even appalling smut should recall that the 1st Amendment is not limited to high-minded endeavors.

The editors added:

[I]t makes no difference whether the person with the porn site is left or right, smart or dull, a judge or anybody else.

It is also true that judges are charged with administering justice and instilling public confidence in the law. Under the circumstances, it makes sense for Kozinski to recuse himself from the obscenity trial he was assigned to hear — not because there is any readily apparent conflict but because the website controversy has become a distraction and will undermine public trust in the verdict.

Now, they editorialize as follows:

A few weeks ago, Judge Alex Kozinski, an admired federal appeals court jurist, was revealed to have taken full advantage of his constitutional right to indulge his taste in prurient and demeaning material, which he maintained on a publicly accessible Internet server. We defended his right to do so but urged him to recuse himself from a case testing the limits of obscenity. He did, and has properly been praised for it.

That said, it’s alarming that he would have taken on such a case given his appreciation for squalid pictures and videotapes, a predilection that raises questions not about his right to have the stuff — have at it — but about his ability to consider certain kinds of cases. He has resolved the immediate issue by bowing out of the obscenity trial, but he’s far from finished with this. Imagine, for instance, that a woman alleging workplace harassment or discrimination comes before Kozinski in the future. Would she have reason to question his ability to impartially consider her complaints, given that he apparently enjoys material that demeans women? Seems like a fair bet.

My. All of a sudden, the editors sound like “[s]colds who argue that judges should uphold a higher standard of decorum than the common citizen.” Whatever happened to telling the judge that his response to the newspaper’s front-page article should be “So what?”

Note to the editors: y’all are sounding a little schizophrenic there. How’s about a touch of consistency?

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