Patterico's Pontifications





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GET READY: I plan for this to be the last post I will post to Blogspot. This should explain why my substantive blogging has been so light (well, that and the trial I just finished). I have moved my blog to Update your bookmarks.

The new site has some issues that need to be resolved. For example, the template at the new site currently looks like a clone of Xrlq's. I haven't imported my blogroll, set up my SiteMeter, etc. Many other changes need to be made. But it's close enough that I am ready to do the move.

The next post I put on Blogspot will be simply a post that bounces readers to the new site.

GET WELL SOON, XRLQ!: Mrs. Xrlq reports that Xrlq took a spill from his motorcycle this morning and suffered a concussion. She reports that he has asked for Monty Python, so it sounds like he's okay. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE: I have spoken with Xrlq by phone. He sounds fine. They just need to keep him overnight for observation.

THE MOUNTAIN OF VOTES IS A RATHER SMALL HILL SO FAR: The Hewitt/Smash pact has produced some results, but Patterico is still trailing. Remain vigilant!

UPDATE: I have now stormed to first place, barely -- but the need to be vigilant (i.e. vote) has not ceased. Hewitt listeners, unite!


HEWITT/SMASH EVIL PACT AND VOTING REMINDER: In order to take advantage of the corrupt deal just reached between Citizen Smash and Hugh Hewitt, I would like to take this opportunity to remind readers how to vote.

Please click on this link and vote for Patterico -- just like Hugh says.

Please vote every 12 hours. If you cannot, you may have to remove your cookie, or block cookies from his site. Please do not do this to cheat -- it's wrong, and besides, he'll find out. But if you need to do this to vote every 12 hours, go for it.

All I have to do to accept my part in this evil pact with a clear conscience is to vote for Hugh for best conservative blog at this link -- but I was doing that regularly anyway. You should too.

UPDATE: I am unable to check the results without voting again (which I cannot legally do), so I asked a friend on the phone to check my status. Apparently I am still trailing the "Bitch Girls" by 8 votes. This cannot stand. It is an insult to Hugh Hewitt to imply that he cannot mobilize his audience to overcome this paltry deficit. I implore Hewitt listeners to demonstrate Hugh's influence by voting for me, again and again, every 12 hours, as long as it takes until the "Bitch Girls" are buried beneath a mountain of Hewitt-inspired votes for Patterico.

P.S. Hugh and Smash: it's pronounced "Patter-EEK-oh."

DEAN'S WORLD DISCUSSION: There is an interesting discussion going on at Dean's World regarding the environment, Michael Crichton, overpopulation, and related issues. Check it out.

HENTOFF: Although I am coming to it a few days late, I nevertheless recommend Nat Hentoff's latest column on Schiavo.

MOVE TO MOVABLE TYPE: I worked on this last night with Xrlq, who was very generous with his time as he dealt with various cat issues. I am part of the way there. Soon enough I'll be packing up to the simpler "" address -- with hopefully fewer outages, better-working comments, more features, a different look, and other improvements.


HOWARD DEAN EXPLODES WITH RAGE: Tacitus has the shocking photographic evidence. Just click on the link and scroll down.

Not for weak stomachs!

(Via Pejmanesque.)

0SPAM: I have taken the advice of Xrlq and begun running -- the most impressive anti-spam program I have seen. And it's free.

0Spam is especially effective when used in conjunction with MailWasher, another anti-spam program I have used for months now. With MailWasher, you receive no spam, but may spend some time marking and bouncing junk mail. With 0Spam, you need only review your junk mail folder once every week or two to make sure you're not losing good mail. Anything that might theoretically sneak through (which, so far, is absolutely nothing) would get caught by MailWasher.

This is almost miraculous. I highly recommend both programs -- especially 0Spam. (I am now using it with the patterico address as well -- so first-time writers may be forced to confirm their human identity. I have added the appropriate warning under the e-mail link.)

If you are frustrated by spam, you should do yourself a favor and download these free programs today.

DOWDIFICATION SPREADS AT THE NYT: The ever-forgiving Xrlq (motto: "Quotation marks? Schmotation marks!") probably has no problem with this distortion of a quote in the New York Times. The story was about the new head football coach of Mississippi State. Every other news outlet to cover the event quoted him as saying:

I am the first African-American [football] coach in the S.E.C., but there ain't but one color that matters here, and that color's maroon.
The Times quoted him as saying:

I am the first African-American coach in the S.E.C., but there is only one color that matters here and that color is maroon.
The condescension is palpable.

It is interesting (and slightly encouraging) that the new Times ombudsman sees a problem here.

E-MAIL FROM A CAPTAIN WHO ATTENDED THE BUSH THANKSGIVING DINNER: Here is an inspiring letter from a captain who was at the Bush Thanksgiving dinner:

Bremer then said that we should probably get someone more senior to read the speech. Then, from behind the camouflage netting, the President of the United States came around. The mess hall actually erupted with hollering. Troops bounded to their feet with shocked smiles and just began cheering with all their hearts. The building actually shook. It was just unreal. I was absolutely stunned. Not only for the obvious, but also because I was only two tables away from the podium. There he stood, less than thirty feet away from me! The cheering went on and on and on.

Soldiers were hollering, cheering, and a lot of them were crying. There was not a dry eye at my table. When he stepped up to the cheering, I could clearly see tears running down his cheeks. It was the most surreal moment I've had in years. Not since my wedding and Aaron being born. Here was this man, our President, came all the way around the world, spending 17 hours on an airplane and landing in the most dangerous airport in the world, where a plane was shot out of the sky not six days before.

Just to spend two hours with his troops. Only to get on a plane and spend another 17 hours flying back. It was a great moment, and I will never forget it.
Before you get too skeptical, you should know that has declared this genuine, in part based on posts from NRO's The Corner, here and here.


FOOTBALL IS FINALLY CAUGHT AND SPIKED: Damian Williams finally received justice yesterday.

BACK TO THE MOON: Bush says we should go to the moon again. Sounds good to me.

FLAG BURNER PROSECUTED: Looks like this guy has a pretty damn good appeal.


SPY WIPER FIX? Here is a thread that has a possible fix for the ugly Spy Wiper problem.

Also check out this site.

THOSE MATERIALISTIC COMMIES: Via the newly blogrolled Captain's Quarters comes this post notifying us of the Communist Party USA's online merchandise store.

At the top of the page is the slogan: "Shop 'till Capitalism Drops!" The sales pitch continues:

Into materialist philosophy? Or just want a commie bear? You want "Bush Out 2004" under where? Does your baby need a Karl Marx bib? For these and other commodity fetishes, start shopping here!
Discerning readers will be reminded of Monty Python's World Forum Sketch, in which Karl Marx answers questions about British soccer as he desperately tries to win a lounge suite.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, this has drawn the attention of the Commissar.

BLOGROLL ADDITIONS: Patterico's blogroll is constantly expanding as he finds new blogs with quality writing -- or as he adds blogs that he has been reading for some time, but inexplicably failed to link to.

The new links include blogs from both categories. They are worth a visit. If you like them, tell them in their comments that you heard about them here.

Welcome to Captain's Quarters and Wizbang.

UPDATE: Thanks to Captain Ed for the kind mention!

AUTHORITIES FLOAT PHONY STORY: Via How Appealing comes the latest news regarding the murder of the Assistant U.S. Attorney from Baltimore, which I first mentioned here.

This story says that authorities "suspect the killing was the result of a personal relationship that turned violent and was not linked to his work."

I don't buy it.

Obviously, I don't know what the authorities know. But this story may be part of a campaign of misdirection, designed to make the true suspects believe they are no longer under suspicion -- which could cause them to be careless and make some mistake that would give them away.

This possibility seemed to me even more likely once I read this story in the Washington Post, and learned that the stab wounds were

shallow puncture wounds described as "prick marks" on his chest, neck and head, suggesting he had been tortured, according to a coroner who examined his body.
Let's review the facts, as set forth in the two stories linked above. A prosecutor receives on his cell phone a late-night phone call that causes him to go to his Baltimore office, where records show he (and his car) were at 11:20 p.m. His body is found at 5:30 the next morning, in the same car, which is nose down in a creek in rural Pennsylvania. The body is fully dressed in suit and tie, with a work identification badge. He was apparently tortured and murdered. And he left his eyeglasses and cell phone in his office -- things that you would think he would take with him if he had voluntarily left the office to go home for the night.

Are we to believe that, in under 48 hours, the authorities eliminated the possibility that there is a link between his death and any case that he ever worked on?

For that to be true, they would have to know who did it and why. Because they couldn't arrive at that conclusion that quickly through the process of elimination.

It's a phony story, folks. The authorities don't know who did it, but the possibility that it was related to his job has not been eliminated, in my opinion.

UPDATE: The FBI is stating that nothing has been ruled out.

VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN: Wizbang's 2003 Weblog Awards are open for polling. Patterico's Pontifications is nominated for Best Marauding Marsupials Ecosystem Level Blog. If you enjoy Patterico and would like to vote for his blog, you can do so by clicking here.

I need your vote!

And you can vote early and often. You can vote once every 12 hours, through December 14, 2003. So bookmark the location of the Marauding Marsupials contest, and give your voting fingers regular exercise!

P.S. The Ecosystem is explained here. The list of Marauding Marsupials is here. The list is fluid, based on ever-changing hit counter statistics; it is where this blog was at the time of the nominations.

P.P.S. In the first iteration of this post (up for only about 10 minutes) I incorrectly stated that Patterico was the only Bear Flagger nominated in this category. I don't know how I overlooked e-Claire. In any event, this poses no problem for the League. Vote for whichever you like best -- but if you feel torn between us, vote for one of us in the first 12-hour period of the day, and the other in the second 12-hour period! That way you will be elevating the Bear Flaggers above the rest, without favoring one over the other.

P.P.P.S. Patterico is now tied for the top spot with "The Bitch Girls." Hmmm.

I note it now because I expect this can't last. Anyway, thanks for the votes.


HELP WIZBANG: Kevin Aylward at Wizbang has lost his job, just in time for Christmas. This would be a good time to hit his tip jar (located on his main page, or directly accessible by clicking here).

Kevin is, of course, the man behind the 2003 Weblog Awards, the Bonfire of the Vanities, and the ever-handy Wizbang Trackback Form. As he says in the comments to this post below, he gives and gives and gives!

I think it would be very cool if every single Bear Flagger dropped some amount, however small, in Kevin's tip jar. Think of it as a Christmas collection, like at your office. You give a little, but when everybody does the same, it adds up. I count 41 current Bear Flaggers. If we all left Kevin some small amount, it would not only make a noticeable difference for him over the holidays, but it would be a real show of support -- a statement that Bear Flaggers will come together to help worthy people in times of need.

THE COUNCIL HAS SPOKEN: The winners in this week's Watcher's Council vote have been announced. Congratulations to Alpha Patriot for the winning Council entry: President Bush Visits Iraq; and to USS Clueless for the winning non-Council entry: A letter from Tehran.


NEWS FLASH: In breaking news, Fox News has a story with the shocking headline: FBI: Terrorists Could Use Planes as Weapons.

TRUTH IS MORE IRONIC THAN FICTION: In a story that sounds like a parody but is not, the Dog Trainer today reports that a rap label previously called "Murder Inc." has changed its name to "The Inc.":

"It seems as though no one is really looking at the talent," label chief Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo said at a news conference in New York, where he was joined by label stars Ja Rule and Ashanti. "All of these big records, and people would still come back and focus on the negative word 'murder.'"
You can't make up stuff this good.

P.S. Tends to remind one of the rapper named C-Murder who was convicted of -- well, I'll let you guess.

FEDERAL PROSECUTOR MURDERED: This is disturbing. (Via How Appealing.)

BRITS EXPLAINED: Via Dave Barry's Blog comes this story, about people deliberately ingesting worms for medical reasons. The story has so many priceless quotes that one is tempted to advise readers (InstaPundit-style) to Read the Whole Thing.™

For example, the doctor who recommends this therapy says:

People have what I consider an irrational fear of worms. Nobody wants to go to the toilet and look into the toilet and see something wiggle.
How utterly irrational. Another good quote:

Another person feeling the benefit of a worm infestation is academic researcher Alan Brown . . . Dr Brown examines his own faeces under the microscope to try to gauge how many worms currently reside within him.

"Given the number of eggs there, there's about 300 hookworms in my guts."
Can't you hear the pride in his voice?

Finally, the story offers this insight: "One third of Britons carry the toxoplasma parasite in their brain."

I have no idea what the "toxoplasma parasite" is, but I feel oddly certain that this parasite is somehow responsible for much of the confusing behavior displayed by many Britons as of late, including:

* Those statements by the mayor of London that George Bush is "the greatest threat to life on this planet" whose policies will "doom us to extinction";

* The actions of the Britons who toppled George Bush's statue in Trafalgar Square; and

* Eating kidney pie.

UPDATE: As you can see, Patterico's Pontifications just posted priceless phrases from a piece about people across the pond proudly partaking of parasites. What luck that Venomous Kate's letter of the day is "P"!


MY KINGDOM FOR A SCREENSHOT: I just checked N.Z. Bear's Ecosystem rankings. This can't last, but -- Patterico is currently sitting just above Balkinization -- the blog of my extremely liberal former Con Law professor Jack Balkin.

My God, that is sweet.

SCHIAVO UPDATE: Calblog has the latest on the right to die kill in Florida. (Via Xrlq.)

WATCHER'S COUNCIL NOMINATION: For the second time, I have been nominated for best non-Council post in the Watcher's weekly contest. Regardless of the outcome, the nomination is an honor.

HINT TO TEACHERS: Don't tell your first-grade students that there's no such thing as Santa. (Thanks to reader Dean L. [aka Dean I] for the pointer.)

IT'S A BIRD! IT'S A PLANE! IT'S . . . STEVE LOPEZ!: Dog Trainer columnist Steve Lopez says that Abercrombie & Fitch has decided to discontinue what sounds like an incredibly tasteless catalog:

Abercrombie & Fitch, the incorrigible clothier that proudly markets thong underwear to adolescent girls, has suddenly yanked a Christmas catalog that touted group sex and made Victoria's Secret models look like choir girls.

"It's been rotated out of stores to make room for the new fragrance," said Hampton Carney, A&F's New York flack.
From descriptions I have read, it does sound as though the catalog was in very poor taste, given that the store targets some very young customers. But why do you think the company discontinued it? Do you think the decision was due mainly to the tens of thousands of people who threatened a nationwide boycott? Or was it due to Steve Lopez's single column on the issue?

Here's what Lopez says:

Carney claimed the decision had nothing to do with my giving A&F a good beating two Sundays ago, or with several boycott campaigns around the country. They just needed to clear space to "launch" the new perfume.

"You expect me to believe that?" I asked Carney.
Yup, Steve Lopez gets results. Oh, and tens of thousands of potential customers across the country may have helped . . . a bit.

In unrelated news, Lopez recently had a column titled Handing Out Hope, a Dollar at a Time, about a retired Roman Catholic priest who hands out dollar bills to people on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Lopez writes movingly of the hordes of people who line up to get the dollar bill, which will pay for food -- or liquor, or perhaps 20% of their next crack fix.

The column is interesting because it marks Lopez's realization that even one dollar can be a lot of money to some people. Lopez, who gets paid $300,000 a year to write three columns a week, had previously mocked people who looked forward to saving an average of $140 each on their car taxes. Several weeks ago, I wrote a post taking Lopez to task for this insensitivity.

Lopez claims that his sudden realization of the value of a dollar had nothing to do with my giving Lopez a good beating in my previous post.

You expect me to believe that, Steve?

[Warning for irony-impaired: May not have really happened. Lopez's denial may be fictitious.]

UPDATE: Post linked to Outside the Beltway's Traffic Jam.

THE MORE LESS THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE IDIOTS STAY THE SAME: It's official. Batzel v. Smith, 333 F.3d 1018 (9th Cir. 2003) is still the law, and the people who threatened to sue Justene at Calblog are still idiots.

CARNIVAL OF THE VANITIES: Begging to Differ hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities.

BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES: Wizbang's Bonfire of the Vanities is up, here. It has the worst posts of the blogosphere. Not surprisingly, one of mine is included.


SCHIAVO UPDATE: According to Fox News, an independent guardian has said that there is "no reasonable medical hope" that Terri Schiavo will improve -- but also recommends swallowing tests to see if she can learn to eat on her own (something that the probate judge has consistently opposed).

I'm not sure why he wants the swallowing tests if he has already concluded that there is no reasonable hope for them to work. Sounds like he's not so sure. . .

THE FOOTBALLS ON DEAN: Little Green Footballs has a very amusing post criticizing certain statements that Howard Dean made on Hardball. Dean apparently said that it would be fine with him if the International Criminal Court at the Hague tried Osama bin Laden -- despite the fact that the Hague is not entitled to impose the death penalty. LGF also notes that Howard Dean says we should rely on the Soviet Union to address Iran's nuclear capabilities -- despite the fact that no such country exists.

Scary stuff, and good observations from Little Green Footballs.

UPDATE: Patio Pundit has more on Dean's appearance. (Via The Southern California Law Blog.)

WIZBANG'S 2003 WEBLOG AWARDS: Nominate a blog for Wizbang's 2003 Weblog Awards. Should you wish to second Patterico's self-serving nomination based on Ecosystem categories, he is currently a Marauding Marsupial. Or you could "fourth" his nomination for Best New Blog.

Or, I suppose, you could nominate some other blog. If you really wanted to.

BYRON YORK ON THE DEMOCRATIC MEMOS: Interesting analogies in this essay by Byron York on the leaked Democratic memos.

UPDATE: Melanie Kirkpatrick at the WSJ also asks why the press is so silent. As if she didn't know. You never heard of liberal bias, Melanie?

She also points out that the memos were not, in fact, purloined. Sen. Leahy's folks failed to put up a firewall, so that all staffers, Republican and Democrat alike, could read everything that was on the shared server. So it appears that no skullduggery was necessary to obtain the memos.

TRACKBACKS WITH BLOGGER: Reader C.J.A. saw a trackback I did on someone else's blog, and wrote to inquire how I was able to do that from a Blogger blog. The secret is Wizbang's Standalone Trackback Form.

Thanks, Wizbang -- both for the trackback form, and for the pointless Paris Hilton Traffic! The perverted visitors are continuing to roll in. . .


20 QUESTIONS WITH RICHARD POSNER: How Appealing's excellent monthly interview with an appellate judge is a special treat this month, as Howard Bashman interviews Richard Posner. Read it here.

It is a sad commentary on the perversion of our nominations process that this brilliant judge says he would have a difficult time being nominated today.

MADSEN'S PATHETIC DEFENSE: Wayne Madsen has this pathetic defense of his ridiculous column (discussed here Saturday) on Bush's alleged "6 a.m." Thanksgiving dinner with the troops -- you know, the one that was really at 6 p.m., except that Madsen screwed up the time and wrote a whole column based on that mistake.

Madsen's explanation? I don't really understand it; you'll have to read it yourself. I think he's saying that he got the timing wrong, and it's George Bush's fault, somehow. Or maybe he didn't get the timing wrong, and there is some conspiracy out there to cover up the true facts. I can't really tell which.

(Via Volokh.)

GOOD POINT: I saw a pretty convincing letter to the editor regarding gay marriage in yesterday's Dog Trainer:

Convicted murderer Lyle Menendez, who is serving a life term without possibility of parole, was wed in prison to a woman he never knew before his incarceration and with whom he will never be allowed to consummate the marriage (Nov. 21). So much for the argument that marriage is a unique union of two individuals for the purpose of procreation.

The absurdity is that a man who killed his parents in cold blood and will never set foot outside the state penitentiary has greater legal rights to protect the so-called sanctity of his relationship with the person he loves than law-abiding, taxpaying citizens who happen to be gay or lesbian.

Robert J. Switzer

West Hollywood
Hard to argue with that.