Patterico's Pontifications


Down the Memory Hole: L.A. Times Does Stealth Correction of Allegation That Pat Tillman Was “Murdered” By Guys on His Own Team

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:46 pm

The U.S. Government’s handling of Pat Tillman’s death was a disgrace. Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and the U.S. tried to cover it up. You can read all about it in an excellent book by Jon Krakauer called Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. I read it several weeks ago and I recommend it to anyone.

Tillman’s memory was manipulated by the Bush administration for cynical political reasons.

But he wasn’t “murdered.”

His death was the result of an accidental incident — as the L.A. Times has previously acknowledged in a 2009 review of Krakauer’s book.

Ironically, when an L.A. Times writer recently claimed otherwise — as part of a complaint about the U.S. Government’s cover-up — the newspaper tried to cover up the mistake.

As I prove in this post, a writer claimed that Tillman had been “murdered” by his own comrades. Then, after at least one person wrote an angry letter, they simply did a stealth correction — changing the word “murdered” to “killed” — without any mention of what they were doing.

You see the irony, right? I don’t have to spell it out, do I? A cover-up of an error in a column about a cover-up . . . I mean, you get it, don’t you?

I guess they noticed that I was busy and thought they could slip this past me.

What they forgot is, I have readers.


Standing up to Uncle Sam

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 11:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

More states and state politicians are joining Arizona in standing up to the federal government:

“Tim James, a Republican candidate for Alabama governor, is getting a lot of attention for a new ad that questions why the state offers driver’s license exams in a dozen languages.

“This is Alabama. We speak English,” James says, looking into the camera. “If you want to live here, learn it. We’re only giving that test in English if I’m governor.”
James, a businessman and son of former two-term Alabama governor Fob James, has said requiring an English-only exam would protect public safety by ensuring that drivers could read traffic signs.

Legislation under consideration in Georgia also would require English-only driver’s tests.”

The protest aspect of these movements has become as important as the principles behind them. It reminds me of the anti-war movement although, ironically, so far this is more peaceful.


Obama the Bully

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 9:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

CNBC Media and Technology Editor Dennis Kneale thinks President Obama has displayed a “striking lack of civility” that makes him a bully. Obama attacks everyone who disagrees with him and nags or lectures the rest. And he has no problem criticizing Arizona simply because its elected officials, with broad public support, enacted a law Obama disagrees with:

“Can you remember any other modern President, wagging a finger from on high, so directly and bitterly criticizing a new law passed by any state?

This is hubris at best and ignorance of the Constitution at worst. The U.S. was founded in part on the precept of states’ rights as an important counterweight to a rapacious federal government. Thus a President must step softly here, questioning gently but avoiding rancor and browbeating.

The new state law itself is disturbing, even detestable, and I don’t like it. It forces immigrants to carry with them proof of their legal status and lets cops demand to see the “papers” of anyone (read: any foreign-looking person) to make sure he didn’t sneak into the country. It smacks of Nazis in the Jewish ghetto in Poland.

But it is the law, and Arizona’s people duly elected the legislators who voted for it. They acted, moreover, on an issue the feds clearly have botched—immigration—and are trying to protect the state’s citizens from an influx of drug-cartel violence from Mexico.

Rather than trash an entire state, Bam could have privately lobbied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and urged her to veto the bill. Or he could have said, simply, that he hoped to pass better solutions at the federal level.

That would have been statesmanlike, but this President gets pouty whenever anyone dares to disagree with him. He seems to view dissension not as healthy public debate but as a suspicious, pernicious challenge to his omnipotence and popularity.”

Obama likewise attacked the Supreme Court Justices — to their faces — despite the fact they together represent the supreme law of the land. Further, Obama has no problem offering blanket critiques of police officers, corporate leaders, Wall Street, or anyone who isn’t a community organizer or labor union member.

The worst part, according to Kneale? We’re getting used to it.

H/T Eric Blair.


Coyotes: Don’t Mess With Texas

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas Governor Rick Perry shot and killed a coyote that was menacing his daughter’s Labrador Retriever puppy:

“On this particular morning, Perry said, he was jogging without his security detail shortly after sunrise.

“I’m enjoying the run when something catches my eye and it’s this coyote. I know he knows I’m there. He never looks at me, he is laser-locked on that dog,” Perry said.

“I holler and the coyote stopped. I holler again. By this time I had taken my weapon out and charged it. It is now staring dead at me. Either me or the dog are in imminent danger. I did the appropriate thing and sent it to where coyotes go,” he said.

Perry said the laser-pointer helped make a quick, clean kill.

“It was not in a lot of pain,” he said. “It pretty much went down at that particular juncture.”

Perry’s security detail was not required to file a report about the governor discharging a weapon, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange.

“People shoot coyotes all the time, snakes all the time,” Mange said. “We don’t write reports.”

The governor left the coyote where it fell.

“He became mulch,” Perry said.”

I like laser-pointer guns.


USA Today: We Have Found an Anti-Arizona Backlash, As Evidenced by This Twitter Message

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:44 pm

Could Arizona’s passage of a new immigration law spark a travel bonanza that could result in more travel-related business? It’s a question that a growing number of people are asking since Arizona’s passage last week of a law that promises real enforcement of existing immigration laws.

When it takes effect, Arizona’s immigration law will allow local law enforcement to question people’s immigration status, untying the hands of law enforcement from so-called “sanctuary city” policies that protect illegal immigrants. Interest is running high on both sides of the issue. One small example of how heated the debate is: In the roughly day and a half since USA TODAY posted a recent blog post on the issue, fully 4481 readers have submitted comments.

As for how or if the law will affect people’s travel habits, let’s look at some of the comments in question. Of the first 10 comments I read, the only ones that expressed an opinion about their travel plans were supportive of the law — and indicated the commenter’s desire to spend more travel dollars in Arizona. From this clear pattern, I sense a growing and significant approval of the new law — one that may well result in significant increased revenue for tourism-related businesses in the state.

For example, in the first 10 comments I read, golfballtx wrote: “Arizona here we come! Golf and good times!” clroger wrote: “I am visiting Arizona this summer. Thx Arizona!!” retatee wrote: “Three cheers for Arizona! I’ll try to visit as soon as possible.” NC Gentleman wrote: “After this law passes I am changing my vacation plans and I am going to the great state of Arizona. I refuse to go to California to get robbed by illegals.”

From this, I conclude that a growing an unstoppable wave of increased tourism dollars to Arizona is a very distinct possibility.

If this method of analysis sounds questionable or unscientific to you, take it up with Barbara De Lollis, the author of the USA Today blog post whose comments section I am quoting from. De Lollis’s profile says: “Barbara De Lollis has covered business travel for USA TODAY since 2002. She speaks directly to the hotel industry’s biggest names and taps the insider knowledge of the country’s savvy road warriors.” Her blog post is titled Arizona immigration law backlash? Traveler says state “is off my travel list for sure” and begins with this passage:

Could Arizona’s passage of a harsh immigration law spark a travel backlash that could result in less travel-related business? It’s a question that a growing number of people are asking since Arizona’s passage last week of the USA’s toughest immigration law.

If you’re paying attention, you will recognize this “a growing number of people are suggesting it may very well be so” sort of tone in the beginning of my blog post, which was a parody of De Lollis’s post.

What is Ms. De Lollis’s evidence of a possible travel backlash? Well, I have to admit it’s pretty overwhelming. To wit:

A single Twitter message.

As for how or if the law will affect peoples’ travel habits, Houston-based Twitter follower @Renard98 said in a reply tweet that “AZ is off my travel list for sure” for both business travel and leisure travel.

A frequent traveler, @Renard98 said he doesn’t have anything planned at the moment but “loves” to visit Tuscon and Scottsdale.

Well! If @Renard98 says he’s changing his plans, you can take that to the bank, baby! He’ll be changing his plans, or his name’s not @Renard98!

(Which, by the way, it pretty much certainly isn’t.)

Warner Todd Huston, who flagged this at Big Journalism, says: ‘This is the way the Old Media fans the flames of a story to spin it to their agenda.”

That’s exactly right. And a growing number of people agree with me — as the comments below will no doubt prove.

UPDATE: Another reason to go to Arizona: you won’t see Linda Greenhouse.

Boycotting Arizona (Updated)

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 6:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In response to the neighboring state’s new policy on illegal immigration, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering a resolution to end all city contracts with Arizona-based companies and stop doing business with the state. Read and comment on aunursa’s post at The Jury and, if you want, vote on this poll:


UPDATE: An activist calls on baseball fans to boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks:

“The Diamondbacks are like ambassadors from Arizona to the rest of the country, and the world for that matter, and we want fans to stay away until the law is rescinded or neutralized,” said Tony Herrera, an activist with a national group calling itself the Great Arizona Boycott 2010.

Herrera said his group is urging fans to refrain not only from going to Diamondback games, but also from buying the club’s T-shirts and other merchandise. He said activists would form picket lines to pressure fans not to attend a game in Chicago against the Cubs scheduled for Thursday.”

There you go. Make Chicago suffer.

Market Wakes Up; Stocks Down

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 5:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Dow was down 213 points today as the Senate questioned Goldman Sachs’ executives, Greece and Europe flounders, and the U.S. faces a bleak economic future:

“Fear of a sovereign debt crisis in Europe resurfaced Tuesday, sending stocks tumbling around the globe. In the U.S. the Dow shed 213 points and the S&P lost 28 points. Meanwhile, gold rose to its highest level in 2 weeks, hitting $1165 per ounce at its intraday peak.

In other words, today was a great day for Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital.

“A lot of people were confused – they thought the market going up was somehow ratifying what the government had done – that the stimulus and bailouts were good and the economy was improving – it’s not,” Schiff says. “The economy is in worse shape than in 2008.”

Rather than resolved the crisis, all we’ve done is papered over problems in the banking system with “phony accounting” and “dug ourselves deeper into debt,” says Schiff, a longtime deficit hawk.

The crisis of 2008 was merely the “overture” to the “real crisis” Schiff (still) sees coming: “The real crisis is going to be a currency crisis, a funding crisis, a sovereign debt crisis – and that’s when we have to pay the piper,” he says. “We’re in very bad shape. Sovereign credit risk in the U.S. is just as great — if not greater than [in] Greece.”

Some people discount Schiff’s warnings, saying he’s too bearish on the American economy. Those are probably the same people who doubted American corporations when they recently announced ObamaCare will hurt earnings, but we know how that turned out:

“Within days after President Obama signed the law on March 23, companies filed reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the tax change would have a material adverse effect on their earnings.

The White House suggested that companies were exaggerating the effects of the tax change. The commerce secretary, Gary F. Locke, said the companies were being “premature and irresponsible” in taking such write-downs.

Representative Henry A. Waxman of California and Bart Stupak of Michigan, both Democrats, opened an investigation and demanded that four companies — AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere and Verizon — supply documents analyzing the “impact of health care reform,” together with an explanation of their accounting methods.

The documents — hundreds of pages of e-mail messages and financial worksheets — include large amounts of data that substantiate the companies’ concerns. They have reignited a battle over the law in Congress.”
A tabulation by the United States Chamber of Commerce shows that at least 40 companies have taken charges against earnings that total $3.4 billion since the law was signed.

I hate to be negative but I see dark days ahead.


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