Patterico's Pontifications


SEK: When I Said Ed Morrissey “Knowingly Baits” “Racist Comments” from His Readers, I Wasn’t Slagging Him for Race-Baiting!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:26 pm


Via an email conversation, it’s come to my attention that if you only read the title of this post, you’d come away with the impression that I was slagging Ed Morrissey for race-baiting. Because that charge is so loaded, I want to make it absolutely clear that I wasn’t.

Go ahead and click the hyperlink above. That’s the part where you see the words the title of this post.

Now read the title of the post. That’s the title that gave you the false impression that SEK “was slagging Ed Morrissey for race-baiting.”

Once you read the title you’ll see how silly that notion is.

Go ahead. I’ll wait right here.

Back? Good. Here is the title I saw:

Be nice, now. The English language is not Ed Morrissey’s strong suit, and he at least makes a show of reining in the racist comments he knowingly baits from his audience.

Who could have possibly read that as SEK “slagging Ed Morrissey for race-baiting”?

How dare you read what he wrote?!


Mike Huckabee Commuted Washington Murder Suspect’s Prison Sentence

Filed under: Crime,Politics — DRJ @ 8:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The suspect in this morning’s murder of 4 Washington State police officers had his prison sentence commuted by Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee:

“Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this morning of four Lakewood police officers, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

“This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time,” Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.”

I think you can throw out those “Huckabee 2012” bumper stickers. The Washington officials have some explaining to do, too.


Party With Polanski

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 5:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Swiss are preparing to release Roman Polanski to house arrest and the details of his release are filtering out:

“A Swiss justice officials was quoted by AFP and Swiss news media as saying Polanski would be allowed to make unlimited phone calls and have full access to e-mail and the Internet. Although he cannot leave his house, he can invite friends over and throw parties at the tony chalet in the ski resort of Gstaad.

“He will have no prison regime,” Justice Ministry spokesman Falco Galli told AFP. “He is completely free to determine his daily schedule. It’s also up to him to get in food and other supplies.”

Police in Gstaad said they might block traffic and restrict access into Polanski’s neighborhood if reporters proved disruptive.”

Polanski will have electronic monitoring and his phone calls will also be monitored. Maybe they will listen in if Polanski decides to thank French President Nicolas Sarkozy for securing Polanski’s release:

“Roman Polanski’s family yesterday praised the role played by Nicolas Sarkozy in securing the film director’s release on bail after two months in a Swiss prison.

The French President “has been very effective” behind the scenes, according to the film director’s sister-in-law Mathilde Seigner, as Mr Polanski prepared to move from a cell to house arrest in his luxury chalet in the exclusive Alpine village of Gstaad.

Ms Seigner refused to elaborate on the nature of Mr Sarkozy’s assistance but the President may have been influenced by his wife Carla Bruni’s own connections with the chic Parisian artisic set to which Mr Polanski, his actress wife Emmanuelle Seigner and her sister all belong.”

The Swiss are reportedly concerned that Polanski, a “first rate skier,” might ski over the border “via a mountain pass into his adopted French homeland and escape US justice a second time.” As a result, they’ve ordered that Polanski turn in his passport, install a surveillance system in his chalet, and wear an electronic bracelet. However:

“While the bracelet will help police to monitor if Mr Polanski is staying put at his chalet during his house arrest, experts said that if he fled, the set-up was not equipped with global positioning system and would therefore not help to track him down.

“The canton of Bern uses the first generation system ,” said Jonas Peter Weber, a professor at the University of Bern.

“We can only check if the person is at home. If the alarm goes off and no police is in the vicinity, the person will be able to flee,” he said.”

Maybe reporters will stay interested in Polanski’s case and he will need a full-time police presence.


Federal Judges Recommend Reduced Child Porn Sentences

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 5:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The U.S. Sentencing Commission is taking testimony on changes to federal sentencing guidelines. Apparently some federal judges think the child porn sentencing guidelines are too severe:

“From New York to Chicago, and recently in Denver, federal judges have testified before the commission, which sets federal punishments, that the current sentencing structure for possessing and viewing child pornography is too severe.

The commission has made reviewing child-pornography sentencing guidelines a priority of its work, which will end in May and could include a change to the guidelines to allow shorter sentences for future offenders.

Judges, for the most part, have based their argument on a belief that some of the defendants who view child pornography have never molested a child or posed a risk to the community and may be better served by treatment rather than prison.

As federal guidelines now stand, the number of images and the way the contraband is obtained enhance prison terms. A first-time offender with no criminal history can be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.”



Salvation Army Accepts Credit Card Payments

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It was inevitable:

“Not having cash won’t be an excuse to pass by the Salvation Army red kettles this holiday season. Bell ringers in about 200 cities now accept credit cards.

The change, which was tested in some local branches last year, is being rolled out in many more cities this year, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Memphis, says Jennifer Byrd, national public relations director for the Salvation Army. Salvation Army national spokesman Mark Hazlin said, “It’s been done spottily in different places in the past, but this year is the biggest rollout.”

Although local start dates vary, the Salvation Army’s 2009 Red Kettle Christmas campaign began nationally on Thanksgiving Day and runs through Christmas Eve. The funds support programs such as toys for needy children and food for the homeless.”

There’s a saying in law that good cases make bad law. This sounds like a bad idea for a good cause. (In other words, it’s bad idea to use credit to make charitable donations.)


East Anglia Scientists Agree to Publish Data

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 2:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The UK Telegraph reports the East Anglia scientists have done a U-turn on releasing their data:

Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data – dubbed Climategate – have agreed to publish their figures in full.

The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, “stolen” by hackers and published online, triggered claims that the academics had massaged statistics.

In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.”

Is this a story worth covering now, American media?


USC-UCLA Football Controversy

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 1:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last night’s UCLA-USC football game ended in controversy when UCLA, trailing by 14 points with under a minute to go, called a time-out and USC responded with a long bomb for a touchdown:

“Both teams’ competitive fires were fully stoked by the sequence that began when USC stopped the Bruins near midfield on downs with 54 seconds left, preserving a 21-7 lead after Allen Bradford’s second TD run a few moments earlier. Barkley then kneeled on the ball—but Neuheisel called the first of his three timeouts, drawing lusty boos from the USC crowd.

“I was trying to make them punt, and maybe if they run, we cause a fumble,” [UCLA Coach Rick] Neuheisel said. “They have their take on it, but I was trying to get the ball back. People can make their own conclusions. … I don’t blame them for doing it.”

USC play-caller Jeremy Bates suggested a long pass, and Carroll eagerly agreed. Damian Williams got loose down the middle, and Barkley hit him for a score.

“There’s still a lot of time on the game clock,” Bates said of his reasoning. “They were going to try to stop our running play, so we called a play-action pass.”

The TD and following celebration led to a tense, unsportsmanlike episode that was in stark contrast to the sportsmanship of last year’s game:

“And to think, a timeout in last year’s USC-UCLA game was a shining symbol of good sportsmanship. When both teams decided to revive the long-dormant tradition of wearing home jerseys in the rivalry game, officials were forced to take away a timeout from USC, thanks to a since-changed NCAA rule—and UCLA immediately called its own timeout, drawing cheers from the Rose Bowl crowd.

Almost everybody agreed the taunting and posturing that followed Williams’ TD catch and the extra point [in last night’s game] was in poor taste. The Trojans appeared to start it, although both teams insisted there was no chance of a real fight going down.”

Enough description. Let’s watch it and decide for ourselves:


Must See Iraqi TV

Filed under: International,War — DRJ @ 1:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Is the Saddam Channel an Iraqi version of The History Channel or something more sinister?

“Turning on their TVs during the long holiday weekend, Iraqis were greeted by a familiar if unexpected face from their brutal past: Saddam Hussein.

The late Iraqi dictator is lauded on a mysterious satellite channel that began broadcasting on the Islamic calendar’s anniversary of his 2006 execution.”

The programming appears to be aimed at promoting nostalgia for Saddam while inflaming anti-Americanism and a Shiite-Sunni divide:

“It is mostly a montage of flattering, still images of Saddam — some of him dressed in military uniform, others in a suit, even one astride a white horse. One image shows his sons Odai and Qusai smiling with their father, and another their bodies after they and Saddam’s grandson, Mustafa, were killed in a July 2003 gunfight with U.S. troops.

One prominently displayed image is that of a man burning an American flag. Another shows graves covered with Iraqi flags.

All the pictures are set against audio recordings of Saddam making speeches and reciting poetry. Patriotic songs urge listeners to “liberate our country.” None of the pictures appear to be recent, and no announcers or commentators appear or speak.”

The Iraqi government believes Baathists are funding the Saddam Channel but the AP tracked down a Syrian named Mohammed Jarboua who claimed to be its chairman. Jarboua would only say the Saddam Channel was funded by “people who love us.”


Baldilocks Needs Your Help

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:18 pm

Baldilocks does not make a practice of asking for money — so when she does, I pay attention. She is a staunch conservative who doesn’t prove it by running others down; a member of a minority group who never claims victimhood; and a clear, honest writer. She’s asking for money, not as a handout, but for a tool she can use to work for a living.

That’s a fundraiser I can get behind.

Go help her out.

Iran Plans 10 More Enrichment Sites

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 11:49 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Iran has announced it plans to build 10 more enrichment sites:

“Iran approved plans Sunday to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities, a dramatic expansion that represented a slap to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, days after it demanded Tehran stop construction on one plant and halt all enrichment activities.
Iran currently has one operating enrichment facility, at the central town of Natanz, which has churned out around 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) of low-enriched uranium over the past years – enough to build a nuclear weapon if Iran enriches it to a higher level. Iran says it has no intention of doing so, insisting its nuclear program aims only to generate electricity.

The revelation of a second, previously unannounced facility, under construction for years at Fordo near the holy of Qom, raised accusations from the United States and its allies that Iran was trying expand enrichment in secret out of inspectors’ sight. Iran denied the claim.”

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s Vice President and nuclear chief, described the announcement as “a firm message” in response to the IAEA. The AP article describes it as a signal Iran is willing to risk further sanctions and is unconcerned about jeopardizing negotiations with the West.

How’s negotiating with our enemies working out so far?


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