Patterico's Pontifications


Illegal-Immigrant-Hating Liberal Smuggled in Illegal Immigrants

Filed under: Immigration — Patterico @ 10:28 pm

ABC News:

James Lee, the bomb-laden gunman who was killed by police in the lobby of the Discovery Channel, was once convicted and imprisoned for smuggling illegal immigrants into the country from Mexico.

The revelation that Lee had once smuggled illegals contrasts sharply with a hate-filled manifesto he left behind in which he describes illegal immigrants as “disgusting filth” and their children as “anchor baby filth.”

daleyrocks provides the quote and says:

Another do as I say, not as I do liberal hypocrite.

Don’t call him liberal, you traffic-whoring political-posturing butt-f[vowel deleted]cking sonofabitch!

Weigel Smears Allahpundit on the Discovery Channel Gunman

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:46 pm

Dave Weigel is being unfair to Allahpundit here:

The people whose ideology most matches the perp cry loudly that he is crazy and has nothing to do with them. The people whose ideology is antithetical to the perp’s — in this case, conservative skeptics of environmentalism — subtly hint that the perp is too representative of the other team. Oh, sure, they’re not saying that. But every time someone goes crazy on the other side, they get blamed, so it’s only fair.

The words “so it’s only fair” are hyperlinked to this post by Allahpundit, referring to the following language:

It was, apparently, an Asian man who wrote the manifesto, and a cop on the scene says the suspect has “concerns” about the Discovery Channel, but that’s the closest thing to “confirmation” that anyone has that it’s the same guy. I actually don’t care if it is; I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists. I will, however, be sure to remind them of this the next time they pull that on the right. Which they do, merrily, at every conceivable opportunity.

How on God’s green earth could this be any clearer? “I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists” gets turned into “I am subtly hinting that the gunman was representative of the other team.” This is an appallingly uncharitable reading by Weigel — and that’s being charitable to Weigel.

If Allahpundit was somehow unclear, he later wrote an update (I believe published after Weigel’s post) making it crystal crystal crystal clear:

I’m frankly amazed that anyone might have misunderstood [my point] — what I’m saying is that liberals and environmentalists shouldn’t be blamed for this. Don’t politicize the incident by hanging the actions of a lunatic around their neck. What I meant up top about reminding them of this the next time they politicize something done by a right-wing nut was merely how this proves that there are crazies of all stripes and that I didn’t try to score a cheap political point against them today when the opportunity presented itself. Is this really that complicated?

No, it’s not — to anyone willing to see it.

Look, Dave Weigel: you’re apparently so enamored of covering the fringe right that you’re unaware that there is a fringe left. And there is a not insignificant branch of that fringe left devoted to asserting that seemingly every violent act out there is the product of “right wing eliminationist rhetoric” or some such nonsense. See, for example, everything Dave Neiwert has ever written. It’s a cynical politicizing of the actions of criminals, and segments of the left engage in it routinely. Have you ever called them on it?

And where do you get off suggesting someone like Allahpundit is engaging in the same sort of nonsense?

I think some kind of apology and clarification is in order.

UPDATE: It appears no such apology and clarification will be forthcoming. Instead, Weigel has chosen to engage my posts about this on Twitter with a series of puerile responses. I have been patient in my responses, which I will catalogue in a new post. (UPDATE: Here you go.)

P.S. If you’re not following me on Twitter, why not? I’m here.

UPDATE: Weigel has apologized to Allahpundit and myself.

Lawyers: Making the Swingsets Disappear

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 pm

From Investor’s Business Daily:

Fearing lawsuits over injuries, a West Virginia county is removing swing sets from elementary schools. A minor, local issue? No. America’s litigious society has changed the way kids play.

Roughly a year after a child broke his arm jumping off a swing like Superman and his parents are settling a lawsuit for $20,000, Cabell County, W.V., schools are yanking swing sets from school playgrounds. The lawsuit was one of two filed in the last year against Cabell County schools over swing set injuries, the West Virginia Record reported Thursday. School safety manager Tim Stewart, who is overseeing the removal, said he sees “a high potential when it comes to swings and lawsuits.”

What’s happening in Cabell County is not an isolated case. Local governments, fearful of lawsuits, have been for years closing pools, stripping playgrounds of equipment and banning outdoor games.

A Massachusetts elementary school has told students they can’t play tag. One Boston school forbids handstands while another in Needham, Mass., doesn’t allow students to hang upside down from the monkey bars. A pool in Hazleton, Pa., closed some years ago after a swimmer sued for $100,000 because he cut his foot running and jumping into the pool, though he’d been warned not to.

There used to be pools. Not only that, they used to have diving boards. When’s the last time you saw a diving board?

Or a jungle gym?

Civil lawyers are ruining this country.

Amnesty Declared for Banned Commenters

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:43 pm

Were you ever banned here? You may now once again comment.

All I ask is this: just don’t deliberately antagonize people.

Don’t panic. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

I’m dissatisfied with the way discussions go here and I want to do some things to shake things up. One of the problems I see is a lack of dissent — in part because I think people jump down dissenters’ throats.

So I am welcoming dissenters. Including anyone who has been banned.

Now: nobody has ever been banned for dissenting. By and large, they have been banned for behavior that should not be tolerated on a civil blog. However, because of the nature of the Internet, I recognize that there is an overlap between those who are uncivil and those who dissent. What’s more, I’m not entirely sure that the fault lies entirely with the banned people. I am often concerned that dissent sparks a chorus of accusation that causes people to be defensive and thus uncivil.

Here is the key: I don’t intend to allow anyone to deliberately antagonize people for the sake of antagonizing them. If a previously banned commenter tries to do that, those comments won’t appear.

I should also add that I am not yet comfortable with the idea of dropping my “moderate” list. Because the previously banned do tend to make comments that should not appear on the blog.

But if they make non-antagonistic comments, why shouldn’t those comments appear? And if you were previously banned and you behave, I will undo your moderation status. Just make a couple of non-antagonistic comments to show your good faith, and then ask to be unmoderated.

So: everyone who has ever been banned on this blog is once again welcome. That includes Christoph, and start-a-blogfight Joe, and Brad Friedman, and Jeff Goldstein, and actus, and AF/blah/etc., and Ed from PA together with the millions of other names he has used, and that guy who wanted me to die in a one-car crash, and a bunch of other people I can’t even think of.

I’m also tired of grudges, and I think sometimes grudges are rooted in part in people being banned. So if I can work to eliminate grudges by unbanning everyone, great.

Do I think all those people, or most of them, will come back and comment here? Nah. It might make no difference at all. Want to declare that you would never come back here regardless? Fine. Go nuts.

But what the hell. I’m looking for a change.

PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANT STILL: I would like to ask people to start trying to be more charitable. Even when dealing with someone whose history you don’t like, try to see the good faith in their arguments if possible. If someone says something that is factually wrong, don’t accuse them of lying right off the bat. Provide the true facts and gauge their reaction.

I very often see a lot of bitter back-and-forth between people whom I like to some degree. If I can see the good in both parties, why can’t you?

99% of all Internet debate is bullshit — people responding to strawmen and otherwise ignoring or distorting valid opposing arguments. Let’s see if we can create a place where the percentage is a little smaller than that.

P.S. In other words, my amnesty is not designed to lower the quality of argumentation. Far from it. I’m hoping to improve it — and I think accommodating more viewpoints is important to that goal.

Manufacturing Dissent

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:28 am

[Posted by Karl]

I usually treat the establishment’s media bias like the weather in Forks, WA — sought by vampires, simply endured by normal people. Nevertheless, I was recently tickled by Ace’s twist on Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent:

Suppose there are five possible plausible public reactions to an event or initiative. A, B, C, D, and E, ranging from rightist to leftist, and A and E representing the extremes.

Media debate tends to package C and D — C, a centrist reaction, and D, a left-center but still mainstream-ish reaction — as the only two possible reactions, and debates the issue without reference to A, B, and E, as if they don’t exist, or, if they do mention them, they are dismissed peremptorily as extremist and wack-a-doo and “not serious.”

Thus, at the end of the day, the public does get to “choose”… but only from the two options the media has pre-screened as permissible, C and D. Thus, consent of the governed has been “manufactured” — sure, the public chooses between C and D, but their choice was forced — as a magician forces a card on you — by a media that carefully insulated them from genuine consideration of A, B, and E.

However, the toxicity of the current political environment is better explained by the slow collapse of this model. (more…)


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

The Internet is a terrible way to have a discussion.


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