Patterico's Pontifications


WATCHERS COUNCIL: I just learned

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:31 pm

WATCHERS COUNCIL: I just learned about this cool Internet blogging contest called the “Watchers Council.” Even if e-Claire were not begging bloggers to link to the page which announces the winners, as well as the two winning entries (here and here), I would still want to link to them to explain the contest and show the quality of the winning posts.

If I ever write any decent posts, I will enter this contest. Heck, I may even enter it anyway.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:41 pm

DOG TRAINER CONTINUES ITS QUEST TO POLARIZE L.A. COUNTY ON RACE ISSUES: Even the liberal wife of Patterico was annoyed by a story in our local Dog Trainer about a white guy arrested for killing the sister of the tennis-playing Williams sisters (Venus and Serena). The headline reads Race of Compton Suspect Startles Police.

Goodness gracious, we have some racist police in Southern California! They catch a killer, he turns out to be white, and they are “startled”!

Well, it’s not quite that simple. As Mrs. Patterico observed, what really surprised police is that a white guy was a member of the Crips — a traditionally black gang which typically excludes members of other races. Not quite the tale of racism promised by the Dog Trainer‘s headline, huh?

As the body of the article explains, “a white associate of the Crips is so unusual in Compton that seasoned investigators did double takes.” Not only are white residents rare in Compton, which is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic (about 1% of the population is white), but white gang members are even more rare. This might surprise you, but gang members aren’t the most racially tolerant folks on the planet. Not only do they tend not to admit people of other races as members, they tend to kill people of other races. When whites do join minority gangs, they tend to be Latino gangs:

The racial makeup of Los Angeles County street gangs is reinforced by the culture of prisons, in which inmates commonly divide themselves along color lines, [Sheriff’s Dept. Captain Cecil] Rhambo said — blacks with blacks, Latinos with Latinos. When whites enter the mix on the streets, Rhambo said, it’s more common to see them join Latino gangs.

Another captain in the Sheriff’s Department, Frank Merriman, echoed the sentiment. “[Merriman] said he knew of only one other case in his 35-year career in which a non-Latino white had been linked in this way to a black gang.”

So the real headline should have been: “Police Surprised That Racist Black Gang in Compton Allowed White Guy as Member.” But that headline would not inflame any racial tension — so where’s the fun in that?

COMMENTS: Blogger/Blog*Spot does not support

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:12 pm

COMMENTS: Blogger/Blog*Spot does not support comments. However, I understand that there are ways to accomplish this, even with Blogger. (We have ways of allowing you to talk.) I have until now resisted comments, because, well, I am a control freak. I have this urge to control the content on my site. This is born of elitism; I’ll admit it. I think a lot of people are idiots. I don’t want idiots putting content on my blog.

However, I also like feedback. And, Gentle Readers, you aren’t giving it to me at the rate that I would like to see. Ranting is fun. It’s more fun than I ever would have imagined. But sometimes I feel like I am speaking into a black hole. When I get feedback of any sort, it reverses that impression, which is very gratifying.

As I mentioned recently, I have entered the Bear Flag League. This is a very exciting development which is already generating more traffic for the site. As I cruise the Bear Flag links (which I do several times a day, and I recommend that Patterico readers do the same), I notice that everyone has comments. What’s more, I am doing a decent amount of commenting on other people’s blogs, and that’s fun. All this makes me think: hey, maybe there is something to this commenting deal.

Right now, I am still agnostic. I would like feedback on the issue. I am eager especially in hearing from regular readers, although I am interested to hear from everyone. If you have an opinion on whether Patterico should incorporate comments, please e-mail me at the link to the left. I will make a decision soon.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

VOTE “NO” — I MEAN “YES”: Rob Long has a cute piece in the Dog Trainer called Accentuate the Negative. Long advises Davis to run “Vote No on Davis” ads. Here’s his logic:

It’s a tricky thing, this ballot. Think about it: To vote no is to essentially vote yes. “No on the recall” means “Yes, more Gray Davis, please.” This may not be confusing to those of us who read and write oped pieces for the newspapers (two groups mostly made up, let’s face it, of the same people), but it could quite possibly be confusing to — how can I put this? — slightly less detail-oriented Californians.

Which raises another point: if butterfly ballots “disenfranchised” (stupid) people, then surely the formulation of the recall question could possibly “disenfranchise” (stupid) people. But if Davis defeats the recall, will conservatives wring our hands and cry and moan about the poor people who thought they were voting to get rid of Davis? No. We have more self-respect — and that is one of the things that makes us different.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:40 am

WHEN WILL TOM “OBLIQUELY DEFER”?: Anyone who has seen an interview with Tom McClintock in the past day or so knows he doesn’t sound at all like a guy who’s getting out of the race. There is no coyness in his denials. “I made a promise when I entered this race that I would be in it to the finish line, and I keep my promises.” There is no waffling there.

But, as many have noted, such rigidity could cost Republicans the Governor’s mansion. Quite a dilemma.

John Fund thinks he knows the solution:

Mr. McClintock has already signaled his understanding that this may not be the year for him to win statewide. In a revealing Sept. 10 interview on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes” he predicted that “in the closing days of the campaign, support is going to migrate from one column to another. And I think that if the momentum continues in my direction, we’re going to see that migration in my favor. If it doesn’t, we’ll see that migration in Arnold’s favor. That’s up to the voters.”

When pressed if this meant he might pull out, he told interviewer Alan Colmes, “If I’m not making any more progress over the next four weeks, I would have no doubt that many of my voters are going to migrate to Arnold. And similarly, if I am showing that momentum you will see the other side happen.” That formulation gives Mr. McClintock an out. Technically, he cannot drop out of the race; his name will remain on the ballot. But he could stay in the race and still, as Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee puts it, “obliquely defer” to Mr. Schwarzenegger. If he doesn’t pick up postdebate momentum in the polls, he risks losing much of his support anyway. A Chamber of Commerce poll earlier this month asked McClintock voters what they would do if their man appeared unlikely to win on Oct. 7. By 67% to 23% they said they would vote for someone else, usually Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This “migration” may be the thing that saves Tom McClintock’s political career.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 am

LEFT, LEFTER, AND LEFTIST REDUX: I have written before about a political debate program that can be heard on our local NPR station, called Left, Right, and Center. The guy whom NPR picked to represent the “center” is Matt Miller, who wrote this piece in yesterday’s Dog Trainer. Here is my favorite quote illustrating what a centrist this guy is:

Let me also stipulate that Republicans are often evil, and their claim to champion poor children is largely a hoax. We know this because they’ve enacted $300 billion a year in tax cuts mostly for the best off — tax cuts that have bled the Treasury of cash that would have been better devoted to, say, poor children.

That’s National Public Radio’s idea of a centrist, folks.

(By the way, David Frum is the guy from the right on the show, because the previous person representing the right is on hiatus. That person is running for Governor of California, and her name is Arianna Huffington.)

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