Patterico's Pontifications


Shootout At Planned Parenthood Facility In Colorado Springs

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:59 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A shootout involving the police and an individual armed with an AK-47-style weapon at a Planned Parenthood facility just ended as the suspected gunman reportedly walked out of the building and was immediately taken into custody.

From a news conference right before the stand-off ended:

At a press conference at 4:07 p.m., Lt. Catherine Buckley with the Colorado Springs Police Department said the scene is still active and they have not established voice contact with a suspect in the Planned Parenthood building. Police say the suspect has fired at police. People are being evacuated from the Planned Parenthood building.

Buckley said the suspect brought items into the building with him. There are also items he left outside the building. Police do not know what they are and can’t go inside until the scene is stable.

Police say the incident is contained in the Planned Parenthood building, but people who are in businesses and buildings in the vicinity of the shooting will stay in lockdown until the area is deemed safe.

The shootout began late this morning:

The gunshots were first reported near the Planned Parenthood facility on Centennial Boulevard at around 11:38 a.m.

The gunman, whom authorities have not been able to identify, began firing at police from the parking lot and then from inside the building, a law enforcement official told NBC News.

Three officers were injured initially, and a fourth officer was later hurt, Buckley said. She added later that a fifth may have been injured as well.

After the shooting, the gunman entered the building.

All in all, 11 people have been reported injured in today’s shootout. Five of the injured are police officers. Authorities warned that there could be more as the crime scene is processed.

In spite of news reports – and Planned Parenthood itself – stressing that it was not known whether the organization was the target of the shooting, Planned Parenthood, nonetheless, released this statement:


And Cecile Richards, president of PPFA, followed up with a tweet of her own:

Further, it was reported that President Obama had been notified of the shootout.

Our prayers are with the injured and their families.


UPDATE: Two unidentified civilians and a police officer were killed in the shootout. Garrett Swasey, 44, worked for the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. According to the university’s chancellor, Swasey went 10 miles to the scene of the shootout “in support of an officer under fire”. He was a six-year veteran of the university’s police force.

Third Strike “Reform” Costs Another Life

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:17 am

This goes on all the time, folks. All. The. Time. It just rarely gets publicized.

A third-strike defendant who was released from prison in 2013 under a California voter initiative–and over the objections of Orange County prosecutors–is accused of murder in Oklahoma, officials tell the Weekly.

. . . .

Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald re-sentenced and released Beckman/Beckmann from prison on June 18, 2013, under Proposition 36, which revised California’s three strikes law to impose a life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.”

I don’t know the facts of the hearing at which the judge found this fellow was not a threat to the public, but I would not be too quick to pounce on the judge without knowing more. The voters demanded that dangerous people be released, whether they realized it or not.

Good on the O.C. Weekly for getting the word out. But guys? There are many, many, many more such stories.

Thanks to Ben S. for the tip.

Harvard “Hate Crime” Almost Certainly a Hoax

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:11 am


On November 20, I had this to say about the latest alleged racial atrocity at a campus:

Privately, I put the odds at over 90%, but you want to be conservative with your public statements.

It didn’t take any special genius to predict this. All you had to do was be a sentient being who pays attention to such things.

And here is the fairly overwhelming and very entertaining proof, spread out over four joyous, well-written, sardonic, and brilliantly argued blog posts, that the hoax was perpetrated to publicize the latest racial grievance, which was not getting traction until the hoaxsters decided to give the cause a fraudulent burst of fame.

Enjoy. It’s a lot of fun to read.

UPDATE: Further reading: Randall Kennedy (who is cited in the debunking linked above) seems quite nonplussed in the New York Times. Still, the Royall Asses are probably thrilled that he even brought up their pet issue. (Read their debunking to see what I mean. I’m not publicizing it further here.)

Black Friday: Help Out Patterico at No Cost to Yourself

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:05 am

On this Black Friday, another friendly reminder to keep the Patterico Amazon widget in mind when you do your holiday shopping. It helps out the site and costs you nothing.

Or just make this your Amazon bookmark:


A Tale of Two Universities

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:29 am

After students saw a Confederate flag displayed on a laptop, Framingham State University Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Sean L. Huddleston wrote an email which said:

A student reported a bias incident today, in which the image of the Confederate flag was displayed on a laptop. Many of you may be aware that last month we received a Bias Incident involving two other students for a similar issue. Although related in nature, the two incidents involve separate parties.

. . . .

We recognize that bias incidents are upsetting for the entire campus community, but especially for the target(s) and witness(es) of these incidents. It is strongly suggested that anyone impacted by a bias incident find someone to speak with.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, one university president has a different attitude. I’m going to quote his email in its entirety because it deserves it:

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!

This is not a day care. This is a university!

I love this man.

I want my children to go to a place like this, not a place like Framingham State University or 98% of the other universities out there.

I read this to my mom and she said: “How long will it take them to fire him?”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:06 am

[guest post by Dana]

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving to all Patterico readers! Suffice it to say, I’m thankful for the generosity of our host as he continues to provide this platform for all of us to speak our minds, whether we post or comment.

Anyway, my turkey is in the oven (olive oil and balsamic vinegar rub, fresh oranges, salt, pepper, and cranberries), two pumpkin pies down, one pear pie still to make. It’s going to be an extra-busy day, what with all the cooking, hostessing duties, and efforts to reduce my Thanksgiving carbon impact and not offend anyone as we celebrate “white, cis-hetropatriarchal Christian fascism,” otherwise known as Thanksgiving.

May we all have a Vox-free day because we are no longer children in need of an index card, and because we understand that at the end of the day, it is Love and Grace that triumphs over all else.



The Clinton News Network Rides Again

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:18 pm

[guest post by JVW]

CNN reporter Elise Labott, part of the network’s global affairs team, was recently given a two-week suspension for sending out a Tweet critical of last week’s House vote to tighten the vetting process for refugees from Syria and points beyond.

The Tweet apparently violates a CNN policy prohibiting their reporters from editorializing on “partisan” issues.

Whether prompted by Ms. Labott’s indiscretion or whether the timing is purely coincidental, conservative outlets such as the Daily Caller are reporting that Labott was unusually receptive to and accommodating of suggestions from one Philippe Reines, a Hillary! Clinton aide turned State Department flack turned Hillary! Clinton aide. On the morning that The Once and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States was being grilled in the Senate over her behavior during the Benghazi imbroglio, Labott and Reines begin an email correspondence which has been uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request by Gawker Media. At one point in the exchange Labott seems to refer back to a previous conversation she had with Reines, asking him in an email message, “are you sure rand paul wasn’t at any hearings?” Within five minutes, she sends out this tweet:

A few hours later when Her Majesty’s testimony had wrapped up, Labott emails Reines to pass along her congratulations on Hillary!’s testimony: “She was great. well done. I hope you are going to have a big drink tonight.”

Still later that evening, Reins emails Labott to mention that he has another tweet to suggest (it should be noted here that, like his boss, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reins appears to have a fondness for conducting government business on private email servers). She responds, “What did you suggest. [sic] I didn’t see it.” He replies, “Pin,” which appears to refer to a private messaging system. Labott makes a promise to “get back to you,” then six minutes later tweets out the following:

The Rand Paul campaign has naturally jumped all over the story of the CNN reporter colluding with the State Department employee (and Clinton aide) to ensure sympathetic coverage. As of this writing, CNN has not commented upon the situation and Elise Labott remains on suspension for one more week.


Christmas Idea: Berlin Philharmonic on DVD in Exotic Locales

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 pm

If you have any classical music lovers in your family or circle of friends, who might appreciate a (relatively) inexpensive DVD set from the Berlin Philharmonic for Christmas, you’ve come to the right place.

Every year the Berlin Philharmonic performs a “EuropaKonzert” at some exotic locale in Europe. As explained here:

The purpose of this unique concert series is to perform at places which have a special cultural history and compel through their stunning architecture in order to provide the audience with a visual experience out of the ordinary.

The locales include the Escorial in Madrid (1992), the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (1996), the Vasa Museum in Stockholm (1998), St. Irene Church in Istanbul (2001), and Hieronymus Monastery of Belém in Lisbon (2003).

I am currently listening to fantastic soloists performing the Brahms Triple Concerto in a stark former factory in Berlin called the Kabelwerk Oberspree. Earlier this evening I listened to Verdi, Berlioz, Schubert, and Wagner performed in the Basilica at El Escorial, the magnificent monastery/royal palace outside Madrid. El Escorial is where many famous kings and queens of Spain are buried, including Phillip II (who had it built), and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (who took on Martin Luther).

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 6.43.09 PM
Above: El Escorial

The complete 25-DVD set from 1991-2014 set can be bought for $107 (about $4 per DVD) here.

I get nothing out of this, other than the satisfaction of knowing I have made classical music fans happy.

Use the Patterico Amazon Widget to Buy a Drone!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:09 pm

That’s what a reader did recently: used the Amazon widget to buy a quadcopter Phantom drone with the ability to take pictures and record video.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 5.06.35 PM

Now that is pretty damned awesome.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and that means Black Friday is just around the corner. Please be like this reader and keep the Patterico Amazon widget in mind when you do your holiday shopping. It helps out the site and costs you nothing.

Or just make this your Amazon bookmark:

It’s all much appreciated! Happy Thanksgiving!

On Triumphalism Over Lazy and Sloppy Big Media Types

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:32 pm

In their zeal to debunk Big Media types who zealously and inaccurately “debunk” statements made by Republican candidates, conservatives sometimes accept “facts” that are questionable.

One case in point was Donald Trump’s claim that “thousands” of Muslims celebrated 9/11 on the rooftops of buildings in New Jersey:

I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.

I was among those on Twitter who pummelled Glenn Kessler for his sloppy “fact-checking” column that claimed to find absolutely no evidence of any Muslims celebrating in New Jersey. John Hinderaker had some fun pointing out that Kessler had overlooked an article in his own paper to that effect. Kessler proceeded to defend himself on Twitter by serially misquoting the article, adding a small walkback on his original post, and generally looking like a putz caught with his pants down.

Still, does anybody really believe there were “thousands” celebrating in Jersey? I don’t. Hinderaker doesn’t. But I bet you anything there are Trumpzombies out there who believe TRUMP WAS RIGHT!!!

Similarly, Ben Carson said Thomas Jefferson “tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control people’s natural tendencies.” At USA Today, David Mastio (who I like a lot) wrote a column that defended Carson, by accurately citing some authority to the effect that Jefferson’s exhortations played some role in the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Among the citations are this from the ACLU:

The American Bill of Rights, inspired by Jefferson and drafted by James Madison, was adopted, and in 1791 the Constitution’s first ten amendments became the law of the land.

And this from the National Archives:

Q. What did Thomas Jefferson have to do with framing the Constitution?

A. Although absent from the Constitutional Convention and during the period of ratification, Jefferson rendered no inconsiderable service to the cause of Constitutional Government, for it was partly through his insistence that the Bill of Rights, consisting of the first ten amendments, was adopted.

This is fine as far as it goes, and the statements from the ACLU and the National Archives have some support in reality. Prof. Kevin Gutzman, in his book on James Madison (which I highly recommend) did note that Jefferson said in “several letters” to Madison, written between about December 1787 and December 1788, that a Bill of Rights must be adopted. These letters were written and sent months after the summer of 1787, when the Philadelphia Convention was in session. According to Prof. Gutzman, Madison replied that he liked the idea to the extent that a bill of rights would safeguard liberties, rather than restructure the grant of powers to the federal government from the states. Madison ultimately favored a bill of rights, despite his general skepticism of their necessity, Gutzman writes, because they would allay the concerns of people like Jefferson and George Mason.

(By the way, according to Prof. Gutzman’s book, the Bill of Rights was not considered to be anywhere near as important then as it is today. Indeed, there were those who described it as a “tub to the whale” — an unimportant plaything to distract the Leviathan.)

So far so good. In my view, Mastio went a little overboard with the extent to which he defends Carson, whose point appeared to be far less nuanced and subtle than Carson’s claim that Jefferson “crafted” the Constitution, which he certainly did not.

Here’s the problem: some are running with Mastio’s piece as proof that Thomas Jefferson was, like, totally! behind the drafting of the Constitution, even at the Philadelphia Convention!!1! Rush Limbaugh has taken Mastio’s piece and oversimplified its findings to the point of total inaccuracy and absurdity. Here’s Limbaugh:

But guess what? Ben Carson turned out to be right. Thomas Jefferson did craft the Constitution from France. Jefferson loved France, by the way. He loved going. Jefferson was a big wine connoisseur, among many other things. Perhaps some of you have seen the movie or heard of the movie Jefferson in Paris. He loved it there. But what Politico didn’t know that Ben Carson did know — and they’re running, “Oh, there’s Carson again, boy, making a big fool of himself once again. See, this guy, he’s not in our league. Ben Carson thinks Jefferson wrote the Constitution. Jefferson wasn’t even there. Ben Carson doesn’t even know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”

And all of the Drive-By Media critics just launched into poor old Carson, pointing out that Jefferson wasn’t even in America when the Constitution was written. He was in France. What a dope Carson is. How’d this guy ever pass the medical test to be a surgeon? Except this. And credit to USA Today for digging this up.

. . . .

And what they found was that Thomas Jefferson was writing all kinds of letters from France to the Constitutional Convention, and they were sending him letters, and so he was participating in the writing of the Constitution while he was in France with these things called letters that were put on boats that went over the ocean and then to horses in saddlebags where they were delivered to the recipients. It could take months for these things to go back and forth, given the length of time it would take back then to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, if they made it alive. But the point is, Carson was right, and the Drive-Bys mocking him and laughing at him, and making fun of him had no idea Thomas Jefferson was writing these letters.

Yeah, this is totally wrong. Gutzman says on Facebook:

One more time: 1) there is no evidence that Thomas Jefferson had any — any — effect on the “crafting” of the US Constitution, and 2) the Bill of Rights was *not* “his idea.”

1) He was in France in summer 1787, at a time when it took six weeks for a letter to cross the Atlantic to the east and longer to the west. The delegates to the Convention were all sworn to secrecy, so they could not have consulted him even if they had desired to do so and it had been practicable.

2) The first promise to seek a bill of rights was made by Federalists in Massachusetts to get Governor John Hancock and other waverers to support ratification. None of them consulted Jefferson–who was still in France, if anyone in Boston had cared. James Madison was finally persuaded to favor a bill of rights, which he had opposed, by political imperatives in Virginia: the North American Baptist movement happened to be centered in his home county, and local Baptists insisted he promise to seek amendments, particularly one like the Establishment Clause, before they voted for him over James Monroe for Congress. Everyone knew this was his motivation at the time.

While Kessler did too much of a victory dance over Donald Trump, and exaggerated the lack of evidence to support Trump’s claim, Trump was almost certainly wrong to claim there were “thousands” of Muslims celebrating on rooftops in New Jersey on 9/11.

While Politico did too much of a victory dance over Ben Carson, and exaggerated the lack of a role that Jefferson played in inspiring the Bill of Rights, Carson was not correct to claim Jefferson played a role in “crafting” the Constitution. And Rush Limbaugh has screwed up the analysis beyond all recognition.

Unfortunately, Patterico (and even Gutzman) are nothing compared to Limbaugh’s mis-educating of millions of people on this issue.

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1752 secs.