Patterico's Pontifications


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Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:19 pm

Here’s how it works. You see the chat window below? Look at the bottom. Enter your name or pseudonym in the top window. Enter your comment in the second window, and hit send. I will have to approve your comment before it appears, but I’m online right now, and will approve most comments within a minute. Usually within seconds.

IMPORTANT: Note the buttons at the bottom. You will probably want to turn off “autoscroll.” It bothers a lot of people.

Who Was the Source of the Rush Limbaugh Quotes?

Filed under: Obama,Politics,Sports — DRJ @ 8:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Intrepid bloggers and journalists want to know:

“Thanks to an intrepid blogger with the tag Trapdoc posting a letter to Mark Steyn, the search for the Wikipedia Libelist responsible for damaging posts to the Rush Limbaugh account apparently has been narrowed to the IP address of a New York City law firm.”

Read the whole thing, especially the updates.

H/T scrapiron.


UPDATE — Limbaugh speaks:

“These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society.”

Houston, Houston

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sometimes I think Houstonites are the most libertarian urban population in America, and one reason is because Houston doesn’t have comprehensive zoning laws. It’s not regulation-free but Houston is one of only two cities with a population over 100,000 that doesn’t have such zoning. The other one is a Houston suburb, Pasadena.

How far does this libertarian streak extend? Even Houston-area veterinarians rebel against Big Brother:

For more than two decades, many Houston veterinarians have engaged in a quiet mutiny of sorts.

They have refused to follow a law requiring them to essentially name names — to turn over the identities and addresses of pet owners whose dogs and cats received rabies shots.

The city of Houston wants these names to identify some of the hundreds of thousands of pet owners who have failed to obtain the required city license for their dog or cat — and which could result in a citation. Only 4 percent of Houston’s estimated 1 million pets are registered today, according to city officials.”

The City wants the additional revenue estimated to be $1M a year. However, 87% of the members of the Harris County Veterinary Medical Association oppose the law, saying they didn’t sign up to be tax collectors.

Nevertheless, compliance with regulations like this increases vaccinations that protect humans and animals. I assume libertarians believe people should be able to choose between vaccinating their pets without having their names added to a government roster, or choosing not vaccinate and bearing the financial and legal consequences.

As for libertarian Americans, who would you nominate as the most libertarian urban population in America … and why?


Miracle in Melbourne

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 7:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Six-month old baby survives a fall from the platform under a moving train:

“The incident came just a day after the launch of a public awareness campaign warning of the dangers of prams on platforms.”

I think they have a new PSA video for their campaign.


2010 Winter Olympic Medals Unveiled

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The designs for the 2010 Winter Olympic medals in Vancouver, Canada were unveiled today and they are different than any prior medals. The medals feature Canadian aboriginal art and each one will have a different design:

“Every gold, silver and bronze medal to be awarded at the Games, which start on Feb. 12, will feature sections of two larger works of contemporary aboriginal art. Their surfaces will be undulating rather than flat, another first for the Games, according to the Vancouver Organizing Committee.

No two medals are alike. Because the story of each athlete is completely unique, so we felt it was right that each athlete take home a different medal,” said Omer Arbel, a Vancouver artist who co-designed the medals.

But all the medals are connected, and together they make a larger whole,” Arbel said.

The two larger artworks depict the orca whale and the raven, animals that play an important symbolic role in the cultures of native Indians on Canada’s Pacific Coast, where the Games will be held.”

I’m not the artsy type so the aboriginal aspect doesn’t do much for me, but I like the idea of each medal adding to a collective whole. It’s Olympic-y in a small, small world kind of way.


Father Knows Best: “My Dad Says He’s Tired of This Show”

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 6:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This AP article has more information on the Henne family’s recent adventure:

  • Falcon Henne threw up during 2 morning interviews after he was asked why he told his parents “you said we did this for a show” when asked why he did not come down from the garage rafters during the search.
  • In reporting their child’s disappearance, the Heenes “called the FAA first, followed by a local TV station with a news helicopter, and then dialed 911.”
  • Home video suggests the parents may have been present when the balloon lifted off.
  • Deputies searched the family’s home but not the attic because they “just didn’t think it was possible that 6-year-old boy would be able to get up to that space, so they didn’t look there.”
  • During the incident, the authorities contacted a university professor who determined “the balloon could probably handle a payload of about 80 pounds. The child weighed 37 pounds.”
  • After this incident, the authorities asked social workers to get involved because of the Henne’s involvement in storm-chasing.
  • And last but not least:

  • “On Friday, dozens of journalists were parked in front of the family home. At times, two of the boys could be seen playing in the backyard and peeking through windows at the scene on the street. One of the boys, Ryo, would occasionally crack open the door and tell journalists that the family was not talking today.

    “My dad said he’s tired of this show,” the boy said.

  • — DRJ

    Kyoto is Dead. Long Live Kyoto

    Filed under: Environment,International — DRJ @ 4:49 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    “Kyoto is essentially dead after 2012,” says Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations and NPR apparently agrees, although diplomats from “the U.S. and 15 other major economies will meet on Sunday in London to talk about a new global warming agreement.”

    — DRJ

    UPDATE: Don’t miss Bradley J. Fike’s post on the disputed science of global warming.

    The Liberal Media’s Addiction to Truth Rush

    Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 4:20 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    It’s been one entire day since I posted on the reaction to Rush Limbaugh but Reason Magazine Editor Michael C. Moynihan did it better:

    “As someone who has been consistently critical of Rush Limbaugh’s brand of conservatism, I nevertheless agree with former Reason intern (and current editor at the Washington City Paper) Mike Riggs: quite a few media hacks owe the right-wing talker a serious apology.”

    Moynihan proceeds to wryly skewer Rachel Maddow, Rick Sanchez, and David Schuster for repeating fake racist quotes and attributing them to Limbaugh. He even has a bonus paragraph on Chris Matthews.

    — DRJ

    Sarkozy Criticizes Polanski Arrest

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am


    “I understand that people are shocked by the gravity of the accusations against Roman Polanski,” he said.

    “But I add that it is not a good administration of justice to do this 32 years after the facts when the person concerned is today 76 years old.”

    Well, I’ll go along with that! I think everyone in the Los Angeles criminal justice system would have preferred to do justice on this case 32 years ago. But the defendant fled, making it impossible. Had Polanski murdered his own parents, presumably Sarkozy would say it is “not a good administration of justice” to pick on an orphan.

    Meanwhile, Sarkozy defended his pedophile Minister of Culture:

    Mr Sarkozy stood by his minister, a friend of his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkzoy, saying he had “never defended sex tourism” even though he admitted paying for sex with male prostitutes in Thailand and Indonesia.

    No, he never defended it. He just engaged in it. With young boys.

    He also said he regretted calling defendants in a high-profile smear trial, including the former prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, “guilty” before the verdict. Mr de Villepin is accused of seeking to taint the president, who is a civil plaintiff in the Clearstream trial. “I would have been better off making (no comment) from the beginning,” he said.

    Sarkozy may come to feel the same way about his Polanski comments.


    Sloppy Record-keeping in the LAPD

    Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 2:30 am

    [Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

    I’ve written previously on the federal consent decree that until recently governed operations within the Los Angeles Police Department. Although the consent decree has at last been lifted, one of its more pernicious provisions is still in force, that being the requirement that officers assigned to gang and narcotics enforcement provide detailed financial information to department auditors. The Los Angeles Police Protective League (of which I am a member) contested this requirement through a protracted court fight and lost, with the result being that anyone transferring into a gang or narcotics position is now required to submit his financial records to department scrutiny. Despite official claims to the contrary, applications to these specialized details have all but ceased, leaving some areas of the city with vacancies in these important units.

    One objection officers have to this requirement is that they are not satisfied that the LAPD will safeguard the financial information and protect them from the prospect of identity theft or other mischief that might occur should the records fall into the wrong hands. Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten, among others, tut-tutted at this objection, even as example after example evidence of LAPD carelessness with confidential records became public. Now comes a report from the Protective League of even more instances of LAPD negligence in the storage of what should be confidential records.

    At both the Northeast and Southwest Division police stations, officers recently have found boxes containing sensitive information stacked up in areas that, while not open to the public, were accessible to any employee at the stations and even to visitors. The documents included evidence, crime and arrest reports, and overtime reports that include officers’ Social Security numbers.



    The yellow tape in the top photo is apparently intended to discourage the curious from peeking inside all those boxes. It would appear that officers’ misgivings about the department’s record keeping are well founded. The financial disclosure rules will be in place until at least 2011, by which time some gang and narcotics units will no doubt be dangerously understaffed. Only time will tell what the effect of this will be.

    –Jack Dunphy

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