Friday, July 31st, 2009

Jesus, this guy is obsessive.

1) I read and re-read Patterico’s initial post several times when composing my response to it. He says I wrongly wrote that he left out a portion of his excerpt of Dunphy’s post. Apparently, I skipped over that portion several times. I’ll take his word for it. Consider this a correction. The rest of the post stands.

2) He’s declaring victory in his critique of my articles on the Jimmie Duncan case. Incorrect. I didn’t respond to his nonsense because his critiques are misleading, quote from opinions to cases that had nothing to do with Duncan’s criminal trial, and otherwise leave out information that undermines his case. This is partly because he got much of his information from summaries of the evidence in judicial opinions (including dissenting opinions) and not from the actual trial transcript (odd, because he has (wrongly) criticized me for doing the same thing in the past). His critique of the second article basically amounted to dismissing my reporting of police-coerced testimony, prosecutorial misconduct, and the withholding of exculpatory evidence as “pro-defense spin.”

It would take a many-thousand word blog post to explain what’s wrong with his critiques, after which I’m sure he’d respond with another many-thousand word post. I don’t have the time or the interest in getting into that. If he wants to consider my reluctance to engage in an exchange of pedantics to be a grand victory for him, let him.

3) I blocked Patterico from reading my Twitter feed because he has a strange obsession with me. My Twitter feed is where, in addition to linking to my other work or the occasional news story, I write about my dogs, or complain about the WiFi at whatever airport I’m at, or write about a delicious dinner I just ate at some restaurant. When he tried to subscribe to it, I didn’t see a reason why a guy who clearly hates me would or should have any interest in what I’m eating for dinner. Nor did I really feel like reading a blog post in which he meticulously explains why what I ate couldn’t possibly have been as delicious as I described it on Twitter, calls me a liar, and demands a retraction. I’m exaggerating, but only a little. In the past, Patterico has referenced a blog post I once put up about an event in my personal life to try to delve into my psychology to explain why I have the opinions I do.

So I really didn’t feel like having the guy use old Twitter posts in some future attack on me. I figured if Patterico wants to see what I’m writing about politics or news events, or what I’m reporting, he can read my blog. So I blocked him. This was many months ago. That he has saved up my blocking of him all this time to now throw up with a giant graphic and expose! at the top of his latest blog post is weird. That he found a way to get around the block and is reading my feed anyway is, again, obsessive and creepy.

4) I haven’t responded to point (1) because in the last 36 hours, I’ve been working on a breaking story, had a lunch appointment, had a drink with a friend, and for the last 12 hours have had a massive migraine. Henceforth, I’ll try to be more comprehensive out my daily routine in my Twitter feed so Patterico can keep track.

5) You’d think I’d have learned by now that responding to this guy in any way invites hours of wasted time delving into tedious parsing, rehashing months- or years-old debates, and responding to personal attacks. And, apparently now, discussion of my Twitter feed. Lesson (finally) learned. This idiot doesn’t merit a response. If one of his inevitable future attacks on me includes allegations meritorious enough that a blogger or commentator I respect picks up and reposts, I’ll respond. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it. I’m sure Patterico will respond to this post, and will then take my failure to respond to that response as a concession of defeat. And I will let him.

6) Because of aforementioned migraine, I won’t be blogging any more today. Consider this an open thread.

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180 Responses to “Patterico”

  1. #1 |  wunder | 

    thanks, Dave and Cynical, for the discussion and insight.

  2. #2 |  Joe | 

    And as for Patter-ego, he is just channeling is inner Charles Johnson. He has fought exactly the same way in the past, dirty:

    Patterico lies. He dissembles. When called on errors, he works tirelessly to gradually backtrack and reshape his argument so that it comes more into line with what the winning argument is. He then claims he’s been there all along — and that “attacks” on his arguments are really motivated by some desire to destroy his reputation.

    Those dual motivations — money and a desire to destroy his reputation — would come as a shock to my archives, wherein it is clear I’ve been making these arguments about language since I began my site at the very end of 2001, long before I knew of Patterico, long before I had ads on my site, and long before I supposedly was out solely to “destroy” Patrick Frey’s “reputation.”

    The faux humility he shows in this thread (“I’m not important blah blah blah”) is belied by his constant efforts to turn debates on merit into battles over his honor, and to cast his interlocutors as lesser persons out to bring him down out of malice or some other base motive he ascribes to them.

    In this sorry affair, Patterico has argued precisely like a leftist.

    It is happening right now. And is toady followers are no different than the lizoids at LGF.

  3. #3 |  happyfeet | 

    It’s time to think about what to make for dinner.

  4. #4 |  serr8d | 

    Another Patterico feud, another ill wind blowing through the blogosphere? Who’s the ‘good man’ this time?

    I’m staying out of this. I don’t read or visit Patterico’s site anymore, I don’t think I’ve ever read this site before, but a couple quick points…

    1) You can never block someone completely from reading your Tweets that are on the Twitter (gawd personally I hate that phraseology!) because there is an RSS feed that’ll dump the stuff in a Reader irregardless of your ‘blocking’. Twitter is the most open form of ‘private, what I’m having for dinner!’ communication out there. Anyone can see anything, anytime they like.

    2) If you don’t like the police, who you gonna call?

  5. #5 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #154 | serr8d — “If you don’t like the police, who you gonna call?”

    Fucking nobody. I’ll handle it myself or die trying, thank you very much.

  6. #6 |  Patterico’s Pontifications » Radley Balko’s Failure to Address the Substance of My Arguments | 

    […] clear that I wasn’t going to allow him to leave the error uncorrected without comment. His entire response to all the points I made on the substance: The rest of the post […]

  7. #7 |  pc | 

    What a douchebag. I wonder if LA has a problem having a stalker as a prosecuting attorney? While I don’t often agree with Patterico, this type of obsession shows mental issues. Internet, serious business, etc., but talk about creepy…

  8. #8 |  Joe | 

    Radley, you have a new best friend.

    Now if only Patterico put as much effort into trying to free Cory Maye, who most rational people agree got railroaded. But hey, Patterico does not get riled up when an innocent man gets convicted, only when prosecutors and cops get accused of misconduct. Then watch out. Patterico is on the case!

    When you ask Patterico about Cory Maye he dodges that question. He never addresses it.

  9. #9 |  Joe | 

    And this remains a very good response to Patterico. Dunphy is saying you should always cooperate with the police.

    This is what Dunphy said:

    And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

    If you mouth off to the cops, you risk the chance of getting shot. Now granted, mouthing off to a cop (especially if he is hostile and suspicious of you) generally does not work. Mark Steyn talked about this very thing. But should you always voluntarily let such a copy search your car or home too? How far does this deference go? If someone burst into your home in the middle of the night, should you always assume it is the cops who just got the address wrong. These are very legitimate civil liberty questions, yet Patterico never seems to want to address that.

    The Duncan case is very disturbing. Is Duncan innocent? I doubt it (from what I read)–but if there was misconduct in the investigation and testimony that does not mean he absolutely not entitled to a new trial. And if sloppy or dishonest prosecution results in a conviction being overturned, that is a big deal too. And granted that case is not so clear cut and there is substantial evidence to support Duncan did what he is accused of (assuming that evidence is real). When you have evidence of possible misconduct by police forensic investigators, is that okay? Should you just ignore that. Prosecutors like Patterico are required to do justice, not just be zealous advocates for the state. Wasn’t at least one of the Duncan forensic investigator the same forensic investigators who helped convict Cory Maye on some ballistic theory that is very questionable.

  10. #10 |  Joe | 

    I suspect Jack Dunphy was being glib in his comment about getting “holes in you “and I also get his hypothetical that cops investigating what they believe to be a dangerous alleged armed person might be jumpy. Nevertheless, Dunphy was clear in what he was saying–shut up and cooperate when the cops come calling. Patterico’s over the top defense of Dunphy (who frankly could have defended himself and explain his intent) is what is amazing.

    And if we are going to talk about Gates some more, Gates got arrested after it was verified he was the owner. I am definitely no fan of Gates, but Gates got arrested for disorderly conduct in his own home (and yes his porch is his home) after it was verified he was the owner. So Dunphy’s hypothetical no longer makes any sense and Patterico’s over the top defense of it is a red herring argument.

    But this is not the first time Patterico had done this. If Patterico could take off the gloves and flat out lie about a fellow conservative like Goldstein, what’s in store for you? You are just a “radical libertarian” and cannot be trusted on anything, Patterico said so. And Patterico won’t have any qualms making comments about your mental sanity, friends and going on twitter to find crap* he can use against you. It is what Patterico does.


  11. #11 |  Joe | 

    When Patterico accused you of bias in the Cory Maye matter these were the first two comments:

    i’m biased in favor of cory maye too. an innocent man protecting his child shot someone who busted through his door. we learned from atlanta’s kathryn johnston case that when cops lie to get a warrant and kill the householder, it’s only manslaughter. the householder’s life is worth no less than the officer’s, and the loss of a small town mississippi cop who terrorized the occupants of the wrong house in his search for marijuana does not weigh heavily upon this liberty-loving oregonian. get the address right. double-check it, because if anybody in mississippi didn’t know before that busting through the wrong door can be fatal, well, they do now.

    Comment by assistant devil’s advocate — 10/6/2007 @ 9:40 pm


    But the post is about disclosure of bias and why it matters.

    Comment by Patterico — 10/6/2007 @ 9:43 pm

    Radley in the future you should especially careful if you are in LA County and definitely do not give advance notice to Patterico you are going.

  12. #12 |  The Angry Optimist | 

    Radley, it is apparent that your refusal to further engage Mr. Frey has sent him over the edge. Multiple, thousand-word posts and a ton of tweets about you are making his obsession apparent. Of course, when I point this out, it’s because I am “obsessed” with you; i guess projection isn’t just for movie theaters anymore.

  13. #13 |  happyfeet | 

    Mr. Balko has a headache you should leave him alone Mr. Angry person. When he feels better we’ll see.

    Me I think it’s neat for there to be a conversation between a libertarian and a for real district attorney person. If I were a libertarian person I think I would say hey this makes for an interesting venue to explore these libertarian thoughts what I think in my head.

    That this is not happening yet speaks mostly I think to a lack of imagination. Or a really bad headache. We’ll see.

  14. #14 |  happyfeet | 

    hey someone do me a favor and hit that little thumbs up button on my last comment so everyone will go hey that is a very sensible comment you can tell cause someone hit the thumbs up button

  15. #15 |  Joe | 

    The Patterico Flamewar

    Radley, Patterico. Just. Can’t. Quit. You.

  16. #16 |  happyfeet | 

    hmmph. Libertarians are reflexive contrarians I think.

  17. #17 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Radley is claiming that there are widespread systematic problems in law enforcement. Patterico doesn’t want to believe this and is coming up with anything he can think of as way to deny it. I will be very surprised if his real main reason is not protecting his self image. It is probably bound up too much with the institutions that he is a part of. Patterico sees the Law as an object to be revered. Radley sees it as an unpleasant necessity. I think I am close to representing their positions correctly. Radley, correct me if I’m wrong. Patterico, what I just said is what I believe a reasonable person watching your behavior would spot.

    Patterico will reluctantly acknowledge individual excesses on the part of law enforcement officers and prosecutors but will see them as the failings of individuals. Radley sees most of them as the result of institutional flaws and places less importance on the shortcomings of individual officers. Radley sees institutional problems as encouraging individual lapses. Radley is also claiming that the problems are far more widespread than Patterico wants to believe. And he is claiming that the well intentioned are the main problem not the rogues.

    An unenviable aspect of working in law enforcement is that job satisfaction can lead to doing a bad job. The more satisfying serving justice is the more likely you are to commit an excess seeking job satisfaction. Patterico is aware of and on the lookout for excessive zeal in prosecuting heinous crimes. He does not seem to realize that this danger is present all the time and seems not to see it in routine actions of prosecutors and police.

    As well Patterico wants to win arguments much too much. When proven wrong on the main point he will focus on a secondary issue or a qualifier to claim that the other side is still wrong as a distraction from his error. I’ve seen him do it.

    A pity because he’s not wrong all the time and Radley needs a sharp critic to counter his occasional excesses of zeal and bits of carelessness. He doesn’t need a bad faith one.

  18. #18 |  ASPECTRATIO | 

    ‘Patter-ego’ is beginning to remind me of one of those pilots a few decades ago who fussed over and over about a faulty light bulb that told them they had a problem with their landing gear. In the obsession to prove the dim bulb wrong, they lost track of flying the plane, disengaged their autopilot, and crashed into the Everglades. Let it go, ‘Patter-ego.’

  19. #19 |  The Angry Optimist | 

    Frey’s followers are a group of ignorant rednecks. Like someone else said, it makes me embarrassed to think of myself as a conservative, and if this is the political acumen of the Right these days, well, I would say the President has nothing to worry about.

  20. #20 |  joev | 

    they really are a fine example of “law and order” authoritarian republicans. their weapons of choice– fear and insecurity–are finely honed; no surprise they’d be bitter about anyone questioning their authority.

  21. #21 |  Patter-holio | 

    Are you threatening me?

  22. #22 |  ASPECTRATIO | 

    “Patter-ego” is not only obsessive, he’s a but stupid as well. I visited his site and he is now mocking the Obama Cash for Clunkers program, backslapping unfortunate Americans who have had the misfortune of struggling in the private sector, unlike ‘Patter-ego.’

    His post, “Where’s the Money for Responsible People?” Whines with the following:

    “Looks like the cash-for-clunkers program may be near an end. I don’t qualify; I made the mistake of buying a fuel-efficient car in 2000.” Timing in life, is everything, Patter-ego. Like working for the government in the midst of the worst economic downturn in 70 years. Must be nice.

    “Didn’t get any money for my house either. I made the mistake of getting a mortgage I could afford.” A mortgage you can pay thanks to the government paycheck you get. Gee, wonder if your bank got a bailout.

    “I’d love to get my student loans paid off — but dammit, I paid them off myself.” Try getting those loans today.

    “I’m trying to think if there’s some area of life where I can be stupid and irresponsible now, so I can get paid by Obama in the future. Because so far I’ve really screwed myself by doing things right.”

    By Obama he must mean ‘government.’ Apparently the conservative ‘Patter-ego,’ forgets he works in a government job and doesn’t realize he’s already there. Seems at cross purposes for a true, free market conservative. But yes, there is another area of life you can be stupid and irresponsible. Get a job in the private sector where you face the risks and realities of layoffs at profit-centered law firms, or hang your own shingle, and hustle for work like the vast majority of Americans. If it’s legal, cities and municipalities across the land might do well to save some money, outsource, shed their staffed legal operations and contract with the lowest bidder from law firms in these cities for legal services.

  23. #23 |  Steve Verdon | 

    By Obama he must mean ‘government.’ Apparently the conservative ‘Patter-ego,’ forgets he works in a government job and doesn’t realize he’s already there.

    Oh it is much much better. California public employees have amazingly sweetheart deals when it comes to retirement. In some cases 100% of your salary with benefits. One of the highest paid state employees is the former Chief of Police Bernard Parks, he is paid something close to a quarter of a million each year just for his pension, then he is paid another $175,000 for being on the LA Board of Supervisors, nearly $500,000 and definitely over that when you count in benefits.

    Patterico is in the same boat. If he holds that job till he retires he’ll likely have a nice pension. Better than just about anything most people would get in the private sector. On top of Social Security and Medicare benefits he’d quailify for.

    If Patterico is all for responsibility, then how about his pension gets cut and all those people currently collecting. After all, CalPERs and the State Teachers Retirement System has lost quite a bit of money.,0,5416427.story

    And according to the nice laws in place, the tax payer is on the hook. You don’t hear Patterico complaining about that in that post now do you. And the system is set up so that it has to earn pretty good returns to stay afloat. In other words, the California Pension System is very much like the problem we have with Medicare. Its irresponsible and reckless…and stupid.

  24. #24 |  ASPECTRATIO | 

    #173- ‘Patter-ego’ doesn’t see it that way. He conveniently avoids acknowledging the fact his government paycheck is cut from an organization that is not structured to be a profit center and can run deficits for years with minimal salary and staff cuts. Yet has th gall to whine about handouts. He’s just a public servant with a public servants attitude of entitlement, even if his employer is running massive deficits– or broke. Given the continuing deficits in California, with revenues dwindling, outsourcing rather than cutting services to the poor, the sick and elderly would be a better move. If ‘Patter-ego’ was employed in the private sector which his conservative position champions, his angst against President Obama might have more credibility. Conservatives who get government paychecks then rail against government are biting the hands that feed them. They are hypocrites.

  25. #25 |  Danny | 

    #149 | reff | August 1st, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Danny at #45….seems you lied at Patterico’s site….

    Do you lie here too???

    “Either show me where I was trolling, or I will call you a conspiracy theorist. I have a lot of evidence for my assertion. Do you want to see it?”
    “Comment by Danny — 7/31/2009 @ 10:38 pm”


    “I never thought I’d take such pleasure in trolling, but I swear I thought it was too ridiculous to believe. All of your “bad karma” (thumbs down) give me a big smile. Maybe I should look into it as a profession? Alas, I don’t think I have the inspiration normally, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past couple of day’s at Patterico’s blog, completely incredulous to how completely flaming they try to be. They aren’t the least bit generous in their arguments, tactics, or interpretations, not even Patterico himself.”

    Your words….you were trolling….but you weren’t???

    What a dork….

    This was only 2 months ago? Seems like ages…

    Anyway, the operative word in admitting that I trolled was “IT” was too ridiculous to believe. I trolled in one post. Here at the Agitator. To see if anybody would buy it. They did (to my surprise). The accusation that I was trolling at Patterico was that I was producing several posts merely just to piss Patterico and his readers off, as well as to ding his credibility. This was not the case. I spoke openly and candidly and was scorned simply because I offered other points of view.


    […] Too, I disagree that the joke was about Willow, or that it was a joke about rape, statutory or otherwise. The reasons for which I articulated in the original thread. I haven’t changed my position since I first posted on this, and nothing Frey writes in his post has anything much to do with intentionalism (other than that he insists that Letterman is really joking about someone he never mentions, and whose inclusion in the joke would have made it nonsensical), which he continues to misunderstand in the most egregious and frustrating of ways. As seems to be his wont. […]

  27. #27 |  Now I hear I’m being accused of altering a Patrick Frey comment… [see update] | 

    […] this kind of obsessive behavior is nothing new with Frey, as libertarian Radley Balko could […]

  28. #28 |  Sigh (again) | 

    […] while you’re at it, leave Radley Balko alone, as well. For symmetry. Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:52 am Comments (1) | Trackback […]

  29. #29 |  Taking (at least part of) the day off | 

    […] remember: when it comes to proof of secretive email rants and creepy stalking behavior, only I have ACTUALLY supplied […]

  30. #30 |  Radley Balko: Another Recipient of Patrick Frey’s Attention | Patrick Frey WATCH! | 

    […] in the court case, but wanted to get copies of the autopsy and other true-crime-related stuff. When this upset the people writing about the case, he decided to “investigate” them, too. This included Radley Balko, a Huffington Post crime blogger and former senior editor of Reason […]