Patterico's Pontifications


Sockpuppet Friday!!!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:26 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sock puppetry in this thread.  The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads.  I have made that mistake myself, alot.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

Also please note that blogging might be a little light today and tomorrow.  My wife’s “uncle” passed away.  Mind you, Filipinos tend to use an expansive definition of “family” that includes people not technically related to them, but she was still close enough to him that she is pretty upset.  I will try to fill this with something, but please do bear with me.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Talking Head Scorned

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:23 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Juan Williams says it’s time to defund NPR.  Actually he says it in a really nice way, but the title for this post was so much fun I couldn’t not use it.

Anyway I think as a rule of thumb, the government should not be in the speech business, with the obvious exception of Radio Free Europe and similar broadcasts, as well as historic preservation.  In other words, propaganda broadcasts to Iran telling the people to overthrow the Mullahs?  Good.  Funding Ancient Egyptian exhibits in the museum?  Good.  Funding a performance artist who smears herself in chocolate and wails about something or other for half an hour?  Bad.

First, I think government is fundamentally too stupid to be a good judge of modern art.  Second, I think there is always a danger that it can be “captured” by the left or right, and become a defacto organ for that point of view.  And third, then there are touchy issues like the Piss Christ.  When the government sponsors art that denigrates religion, how is that not a violation of the establishment clause?

So defund NPR and let it survive on its own.  I frankly think it will do just fine on its own.  And in case you missed it, we are a little short on money right now.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

An Airplane! Ad Against Barbara Boxer

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:02 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

David Zucker is one of the team of Zucker, Abrams and Zucker who made many of the classic comedies, such as Airplane! and a whole bunch in the genre they created (not to mention Ghost and the underappreciated classic A Walk in the Clouds).  A couple of years ago David started speaking out and making pro-conservative ads, videos and even films.  For instance, he made a very funny video mocking John Kerry for being indecisive showing a groom who can’t choose between the bride and the bridesmaid and so on.  Then he made An American Carol.  Ugh.  That was an odd experience watching that piece of crud.  There was almost complete silence for most of the movie, because bluntly it wasn’t very funny.  But at the end the audience clapped anyway.  I guess they felt the filmmakers’ heart was in the right place, if the funny bone was not.

But this video mocking Barbara Boxer on the other hand, is very, very funny.  He says it is penance for having once supported her.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Breaking News: Geert Wilders in Double Jeopardy

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:43 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Now, I am a lawyer, but my expertise drops off a cliff when I start talking about foreign countries.  I mean I can watch Law and Order: UK and feel things are reasonably familiar, but the moment we are outside the common law, my knowledge falls off sharply.

But according to this article over at Pajamas Media, one of the judges prosecuting Geert Wilders was caught in ethical lapses related to the case, making it clear that the judge should have disqualified himself months ago.  When Wilder’s attorney sought to introduce evidence showing the judge should have disqualified himself, all three judges refused to hear it.  So all three judges were removed from the case, at this late stage—the case was all but over, with the Prosecutors—who never wanted to bring the case in the first place—telling the court that Wilders should be acquitted (to know why that recommendation might not mean a damn, read here).

So Geert had a judge hearing his case who should have disqualified himself.  And how do they remedy this?  According to that same article, by making the entire case start over.

Now, this probably doesn’t technically violate Mr. Wilders’ double jeopardy rights.  Under American law, the chances of winning a motion to dismiss the new case on those grounds are pretty slim.  But this is still wrong.  The Prosecutors never wanted to bring this case, but were forced to, and at the end of the case the Prosecutors were still unconvinced.  And it is because of the misbehavior of the judges, not Wilders, that this whole trial has been flushed down the toilet.  Wilders should not pay the price for that misconduct.  The state should.

As a few commenters noted the last time I talked about Wilders, sometimes the process is the punishment.  He shouldn’t have been tried in the first place.  He really shouldn’t be tried, twice.  Heed the prosecutors’ advice and let him go free.

And to those who accuse me of believing in freedom of expression with a fanaticism that is almost religious, I say this: guilty as charged.  When I read that we are endowed by our creators with certain unalienable rights, when I say that among our God-given rights is freedom of expression and freedom of religious expression in particular, I am not just using a flourish.  I believe they are ours, given to us by God, and cannot by right be taken or bartered away.

Update: Links and minor mistakes fixed.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Branding Bites Jim Moran in the Keister

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:27 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

So this morning Jim Moran is taking heat because he described his opponent, Patrick Murray, as having no record of public service.  An edited video is here; it is not edited unfairly, but you can see a longer version, here.  The problem with that statement is that Col. Murray actually served for 24 years in the Army, including in live-fire combat situations.  And Moran knew that because a minute later he weirdly argues that since Murray worked for the military and therefore drew a government salary, it is somehow hypocritical to want to reduce government spending (trust me, it doesn’t make more sense when he says it).

So some are saying that Moron Moran is saying that serving in the military is not “public service.”

Well, look I don’t like the guy, given his anti-Semitism but fair is fair, and I think when he said “public service” he seemed to be using the term as a euphemism for service in elective office.  The giveaway was that this was cited to support the claim that Murray is a “stealth candidate”—meaning he had little record to run on.  It’s a bit of “branding” bullhocky that apparently has bitten him in the tukis.

I mean you almost can hear his discussion with staffers:

Moran: So what do we say about this guy?  He has no record to run against.

Staffer: Use that.  Call him a stealth candidate, who has never held elective office before.

Moran: But if I say he has never held elective office before, that might help him.  This is not a good year for incumbents and career politicians.  I mean Gerry Connolly and I are not even putting the word “re-elect” or anything else indicating we are the incumbents, on our yard signs.  We simply put the phrase “for congress” hoping that people will forget we are currently holding that office.

Staffer: Then don’t say “elective office.”  Say “public service.”  It sounds better.

Moran: But isn’t it risky to use a euphemism instead of saying exactly what you mean?  There could be unintended implications.

Staffer: Nah, you worry too much.

So, in my opinion, I don’t think he meant to imply that service in the military was not “public service.”  He just used a B.S. euphemism and was a victim of the law of unintended consequences.  But if this flub costs him the election, I won’t cry for him.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.  See also: When Political Correctness Distorts the Story (how calling illegal immigrants “undocumented” leads to similar incorrect impressions.]

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