Patterico's Pontifications


Racism Narrative Collapses Further: Pictures Emerge of Django Unchained Actress’s Enthusiastic Public Making-Out Session

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

TMZ sez: Django Actress — We Got the Pictures AND IT LOOKS LIKE SEX. It’s an attention-grabbing headline, which is what they’re good at, but I don’t know that the pictures “look like sex.” They look like two clothed people all over each other, however, in a car with an open door — and I can easily imagine onlookers thinking there is prostitution going on here.

So, let’s recap.

Last week the story from Reason was: black actress mostly minding her own business — perhaps enjoying a smooch or two in a car with her husband, as you do — meets overbearing cop who assumes she is a prostitute because she is black. She heroically refuses to surrender her ID, and is handcuffed because, well, she is black and being uppity.

Today we know: the woman and her husband are pawing each other, straddling each other, and holding onto the sun roof for support as they maul each other in a car with an open door. A bored cop shows up in response to a “lewd acts in public” call from a citizen, and contacts the couple meeting the description. He legally asks for ID as part of his routine investigation into a possible crime reported by members of the public. The actress mouths off, refuses to comply with the law, talks about how she has a publicist, and generally acts entitled. The bored cop says: “I’m Mildly Interested That You Have a Publicist, But I’m Going to Get Your ID”. Finally, the husband gives up the ID, and the cop goes away.


It’s hard not to think of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown, where a narrative of Total Racial Oppression collapses as facts emerge. As Big Media continues to do this, a Boy Who Cried Wolf phenomenon may set in, wherein actual stories of racism are viewed with deep suspicion by the intelligent and unbiased observer, because past narratives have always tended to hide the relevant facts until the narrative is set.

As long as you remember that Big Media is not truly about facts, but rather about entertainment and sensationalism, you’re less likely to get fooled — whether being fooled means getting taken in by race hustlers, or becoming deadened to actual injustice.

Just take everything Big Media says with a grain — hell, with giant fistfuls — of salt, and you’ll be fine.


House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 pm

Generally, arming people is a good idea because it’s rare that they end up fighting you with your own weapons later.

Almost never happens. Right?

Hey, remember Justin Amash? He’s the Tea-Partying Congressman who explains all his votes on Facebook. Here is an excerpt from his explanation of his vote today against arming the rebels:

If the Syrian groups that are “appropriately vetted” (the amendment’s language) succeed and oust Assad, what would result? Would the groups assemble a coalition government of anti-Assad fighters, and would that coalition include ISIS? What would happen to the Alawites and Christians who stood with Assad? To what extent would the U.S. government be obligated to occupy Syria to rebuild the government? If each of the groups went its own way, would Syria’s territory be broken apart, and if so, would ISIS control one of the resulting countries?

If the Syrian groups that we support begin to lose, would we let them be defeated? If not, is there any limit to American involvement in the war?

Perhaps some in the administration or Congress have answers to these questions. But the amendment we’ll vote on today contains none of them.

Above all, when Congress considers serious actions—especially war—we must be humble about what we think we know. We don’t know very much about the groups we propose to support or even how we intend to vet those groups. Reports in the last week suggest that some of the “appropriately vetted” groups have struck deals with ISIS, although the groups dispute the claim.

Yes, we must be humble about what we think we know — and also about our ability to foresee unintended consequences from military missions we have not thought through. Government action almost always results in some kind of unintended consequences. When that action is military action, and the people in charge have not thought about the answers to the tough questions, those unintended consequences can be harsh indeed.

I stand with Ted Cruz and Justin Amash in opposing this action. But not, apparently, with most Republicans.

Vote on Scottish Independence Tomorrow

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 pm


Voters will answer “Yes” or “No” to the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

With 4,285,323 people – 97% of the electorate – registered to vote, a historically high turnout is expected.

Polls are consistently showing the “no” vote (a vote against independence) up by 52 to 48 percent — but undecideds could change it all.


Loyal Jay Carney

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:52 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So Jay Carney is now working as a commentator at CNN. In an interview this week, he made no effort to hide his loyalties.

Q: So you’re not positioning yourself as nonpartisan?

A: I am who I am. I deeply believed in what I did and what he has done as president. And I don’t walk away from that at all. There is no nirvana, but CNN’s mission is news-focused. They are not actively pursuing a niche in one political camp or the other. I believe in the president, believe in the rightness of his policies. I’m also my own person, and I’m going to express my views. But it would be disingenuous to suddenly pretend that I wasn’t loyal to [the president].

On the heels of that, came this:

Q: Why did you choose CNN?

A: They’re down the middle. They’re not partisan. And I think that’s good. You don’t have that dynamic where people are choosing what they want to hear based on their own personal politics.


Added: Apparently there was an exchange between Carney and Bill Kristol on CNN in which Carney admitted there would indeed be boots on the ground in Iraq fighting Isis:

“You can’t imagine the fight against ISIS going in such a way that we would say, you know what, this thing is on the cusp and we need to send in 3,000 or 5,000 U.S. combat ground troops to win this thing?” Kristol asked Carney.

Carney replied, “Well, again, that would be saying specifically only 5,000, not 5,005–”

“No it wouldn’t,” said Kristol. “It would be leaving the option open, which is what a serious commander in chief does.”

“I think the shorthand that a lot of people use about no boots on the ground is semantically problematic because obviously there will be American military personnel with their boots on the ground,” Carney claimed.

Best part had to be when host Jake Tapper reminded Carney:“Jay, you don’t work for the White House anymore. You can be frank.”

Joe Biden: These “Shylocks” Took Advantage

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:43 am

It’s a strong indication of what a buffoon this guy is that this offensive comment will likely merit a shrug from Big Media. It’s just Joe being Joe, you see.

It’s a cliche to say “Imagine how the media would react if a Republican had said this.” That said, imagine how the media would react if a Republican had said this.

Romney Running Again?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

So says a top GOP money man. (Well, he says he might.)

It’s a test of your ability to be civil to one another. Please try.

Yesterday’s News, Tomorrow: 7th Circuit Reinstates Wisconsin Voter ID Law

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Yes, I know, that headline makes me sound even more prompt than I am. I’m admittedly days late to the reporting of this news, but there are a few things that happened when I was overwhelmed at work last week that deserve some mention, and this is one of them.

In April, when a Democrat judge invalidated the Wisconsin voter-ID law, I said: “I hope the state of Wisconsin appeals this, and stuffs a resounding reversal opinion right down this judge’s partisan Democrat throat.” Looks like we are well on the way:

In a stunningly fast decision, a federal appeals court in Chicago reinstated Wisconsin’s voter photo identification law on Friday — just hours after three Republican-appointed judges heard arguments on reactivating the hotly debated law in time for the November election.

In a brief order, a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said, “The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes … enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections.”

Wisconsin officials wasted no time in saying they would do just that.

“We are taking every step to fully implement the voter photo ID law for the November general election,” said Kevin Kennedy, the state’s top election official. “We are now focused on communicating with local election officials and voters, and will have more information about the details next week.”

The court has not issued a final ruling; this is just a one-pager lifting the stay. But it’s a strong indication that they are going to reverse.

Election Law Expert Rick Hasen says the appellate court decision is a “big, big mistake,” which is persuasive evidence that it’s a good idea.

The decision in April was a partisan travesty. It’s nice to see it on its way to the trashbin.


3,000 Troops To Liberia

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While the president has repeatedly stated there would be no ground troops sent to fight the threat that is ISIS, he did announce that he will be sending 3,000 troops to Liberia to lead the way in the fight against Ebola:

‘U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force Command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to provide regional command and control support to U.S. military activities and facilitate coordination with U.S. government and international relief efforts,’ a statement from the White House press office said.

‘A general from U.S. Army Africa, the Army component of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), will lead this effort, which will involve an estimated 3,000 U.S. forces.’

However, it should be noted: AFRICOM already warns its own personnel that they should ‘avoid nonessential travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.’


And the Defense Department is concerned, one Pentagon official told MailOnline, about the public perceptions aroused when American G.I.s patrol ground zero in a disease outbreak that could plunge three or more countries into chaos if it worsens significantly.

Combat soldiers and Marines ‘will be on hand and ready for anything,’ said the official, who has knowledge of some, but not all, of the Ebola-related planning. ‘But hopefully it will be all logistics and hospital-building.’

‘The president has ordered us to help, and we’re eager to do it,’ he said. ‘Now it looks like we’re going to be the lead dog, and that’s bound to make a lot of people nervous. It’s understandable.’

‘But no one wants U.S. personnel enforcing someone else’s martial law if things go south and the entire region is at risk.’

Commenter ThOR aptly expresses my concerns:

I am far more concerned about the military deployment to ground zero in the Ebola epidemic than a deployment against ISIS. Our troops have the tools and the training to wage war; they’ll be sitting ducks in West Africa. The proposed deployment to West Africa speaks volumes about President Obama’s disregard for the safety of our servicemen and women. Also, if there is a pathway by which Ebola makes its presence felt here at home, the conduit could easily be our returning Ebola-fighters.

There is no mention of specific precautions and barrier methods that will be in place to keep our troops well protected from this virulent and unusually contagious strain of Ebola.


So Amusingly Unaware

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:07 pm

[guest post by Dana]

We haven’t heard from Touré lately, but tonight he provides us with a fun bit of irony. Per usual, he appears utterly unaware and clueless:

TOURE NEBLETT: Another week, another video of a beheading by those media-savvy savages at ISIS. Another video the vast majority of us will never see. Our government and media shield us from being able to see anything more than a slide. Part of what’s so shocking here is, we’re not used to seeing horrific things happen to American bodies overseas. For the first several years of the Iraq war we weren’t allowed to see flag-draped coffins, so it seemed like a war without American deaths. We’re blocked from seeing too much of the cost of war, of the evil of war, as if we are too sensitive or too squeamish or just unable to handle the graphic truth. Part of what makes ISIS so barbaric is not simply the beheadings, but trying to force us to see them, forcing us to see how evil war can be, thus breaking the unstated modern contract that war should be conducted largely out of public view.

Our government seems to say let them see some of it but not the truly messy parts. We learned in Vietnam seeing too much erodes public support. So out of Iraq we get stories like that out of photo-journalist Kenneth Jarecke was in Iraq in 1991 during the first Gulf War who happened upon an Iraqi in a truck who had been burned beyond recognition, almost man frozen in the midst of dying. Ken said “if I don’t make pictures like this, people like my mother will think what they see in war is what they see in movies.” So he took a graphic photo, which he called Incinerated Iraqi.

You see a man almost frozen in the midst of dying, a man charred beyond belief. The AP did not transmit his photo, judging too much for even editors to see. The London Observer published it and later it ended up in a traveling museum exhibit of images from war. But it was one of many images that are kept from us. Incinerated Iraqi is so graphic I can’t even show it to you now. . .


Cracking Open The Door: US Troops On The Battlefield In Iraq?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:13 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The nation’s top military officer opened the door slightly today to the possibility of American troops accompanying Iraqi forces on the battlefield against ISIS if needed.

The latest deployment of 475 American forces to Iraq includes 150 advisers who will be working closely with Iraqi brigades at the headquarters level to coordinate the Iraqi military’s offensive operations against ISIS.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the advisers “will help the Iraqis conduct campaign planning, arrange for enabler and logistics support, and coordinate coalition contributions.”

“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president,” said Dempsey, using one of several acronyms for the militant Islamic group that has taken over a large swath of Syria and Iraq. The group calls itself the Islamic State.

Gen. Dempsey also reminded the committee:

[P]resident Obama has given the order for no combat troops in Iraq, but “he has told me as well, to come to him on a case-by-case basis.”


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