Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: Politics,Race — Patterico @ 8:41 pm

There is a wonderful op-ed in the Washington Post today, titled Black Votes — No GOP Fantasy. The article says that there has been a “measurable rightward shift in the black electorate” as measured by recent polls. The author explains:

None of this is coincidental. More African Americans now have college degrees, ushering them into the middle class, shifting their values and priorities while prompting them to abandon the “blacks-as-victims” theology. Many low-income blacks have gained an appreciation for the opportunities provided by the free enterprise system and are rejecting the notion of government as savior.

This is an encouraging trend. I hope black people continue to reject the knee-jerk demonization of the Republican party, and realize that the Republican party is the party that wants them to succeed. The expansion of the black middle class is good for Republicans, because it means more votes, and good for blacks, because it means more success. When you look at it that way, the choice of which party blacks should support is obvious — isn’t it?

UPDATE: Captain Ed has more.


Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 6:08 pm

The Southern California Law Blog has the latest Bear Flag Review.


Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 2:19 pm

Another installment in our semi-regular feature, “The Power of the Jump,” documenting examples of the Los Angeles Dog Trainer‘s use of its back pages to hide things it doesn’t want you to see.

A reader who calls himself “LindyBill” points me to a story from yesterday’s Dog Trainer titled NAFTA 10 YEARS LATER: After Initial Boom, Mexico’s Economy Goes Bust. The subhead reads: “Supporters say the free-trade zone has been a success, but critics point to the loss of jobs, factories and investment.” The portion printed on the front page begins: “The heady early years of the North American Free Trade Agreement brought Oscar Garcia opportunities he had scarcely dreamed of.” The story goes on to describe how Garcia’s plant was shut down, and Garcia was laid off — an example typical of the rest of the Mexican economy in recent years.

Anyone reading the front page only — as most people do — would come to the conclusion that NAFTA has done nothing to help Mexico, and indeed may have hurt it.

The intrepid reader who makes his way to page A36 will discover that any such impression has no basis in fact.


Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 1:42 pm

I am late to this amusing essay about why Howard Dean is such an arrogant jerk: he’s a doctor. I blame Mickey Kaus, who provided the link — also a little bit late.


Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 1:29 pm

A site called Backspin, which highlights examples of media bias against Israel, shows how Reuters misled its readers in a story containing this quote:

Israeli soldiers shot dead three Palestinians Saturday in the bloodiest confrontation in at least two weeks in the West Bank city of Nablus while a fourth Palestinian was killed in the Gaza Strip…Palestinian witnesses said Amjed el-Masri, 15, was shot in the chest by a sniper as he threw stones at an Israeli armored vehicle from a rooftop in the old city area of Nablus.

Click on the link to the Backspin post to see a picture of the Palestinians “throwing stones.” The stones turn out to be cement blocks that would clearly kill anyone hit by them.


Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 12:37 pm

Michael Crichton puts a name to a phenomenon that I have discussed with many people (without knowing the term for it): the “Gell-Mann Amnesia effect.” See if this sounds familiar:

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backwardóreversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

If you have ever read a newspaper story about a topic or event you know a lot about, you have probably experienced this. I certainly have. Yet even I will turn around and believe the next thing I read in the paper — and I am about as critical of the media (and my local paper) as they come. Now I can put a scientific-sounding name to this weird paradox. Cool.

(Link via Rantingprofs.)


Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:22 am

Bill Quick and Pathetic Earthlings both pick up on an amazing coincidence: the plane that just crashed into the Red Sea — due to a purely mechanical failure having nothing to do with terrorism, the Egyptian government instantly assures us — took off from Sharm el-Sheikh, which just happens to be where Tony Blair is vacationing.

UPDATE: Little Green Footballs has more, reminding us of the 1999 Egyptian air disaster that was also not caused by an Islamic fanatic, until it turned out that it was.


Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 1:58 am

What Patterico did for the Los Angeles Dog Trainer, has done for the New York Times. Here are the Top 10 Lowlights of The New York Times in 2003. (Via PrestoPundit.)

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