Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2011

And Now Libya?

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:36 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

The other day I suggested that Gaddafi was fomenting revolution in Palestine because he was afraid of it at home.  Well, we have early signs that this might not be working:

Egypt-inspired unrest spread against Libya’s longtime ruler Moammar Qaddafi on Wednesday, with riot police clashing with protesters in the second-largest city of Benghazi and marchers setting fire to security headquarters and a police station in the city of Zentan, witnesses said.

Qaddafi’s government sought to allay further unrest by proposing the doubling of government employees’ salaries and releasing 110 suspected Islamic militants who oppose him — tactics similar to those used by other Arab regimes in the recent wave of protests.

Activists using Facebook and Twitter have called for nationwide demonstrations on Thursday to demand the ouster of Qaddafi, establishment of a constitution and comprehensive political and economic reforms. Qaddafi came to power in 1969 through a military coup and has ruled the country without an elected parliament or constitution.

Read the whole thing.  Of course taking down Libya would be nice, but what I really want to see is a free Iran.  This really has the potential to become an “end of the Cold War” kind of moment where the dominoes really start to fall.

And speaking of Egypt, Legal Insurrection notes that Obama was warned that Egypt could become unstable more than two years ago, which makes the fact he was caught so flat-footed all the more inexcusable.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

“All of You Are White. Go to Hell;” Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price Must Go (Update: More Video)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:49 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: Thanks to Ace for the link.

Update (II): See below for an video AP report showing his outburst.

————-

That quote is what Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price said to a group of people complaining about the recent departure of an elections administrator.  It is a classic example of a person claiming to be opposed to racism, but in fact proving to be a racist himself.

But let me back up and set the scene.  Several people came to complain about the departure of an official, including a man named Jeff Turner.  Turner began to refer to Price as “the Chief Mullah of Dallas County.”  According to Price, he believed the man called him “Chief Moolah” which he alleges in a prepared statement is a term that

has its roots in a slang that was used against Italian immigrants and was later used by the same to defame or discredit African Americans. The speaker continued to use terms like “tribal” and his intent to make race an issue was obvious. “Nigger” is “Nigger,” spoken overtly or incognito.

Which is funny, because googling around, no one seems to have heard of the term “moolah” except as a slang for money.  But don’t you know that this CBS affiliate does its best to try to support Price’s wolf-cry of racism?  As indicated by an update, they originally claimed that Turner called him “Chief Moolah.”  Then later, when they updated the article, they added in this explanation of what a Mullah is: “The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “mullah” as “a Muslim learned in Islamic theology and sacred law.”  I am sure it does, but we also know that in this modern context, Mullahs are also political leaders in theocratic societies, a fact that Turner himself explains in a clip.  For instance, in Iran, the Mullahs run the place.

And it is worth noting that this is not the first time when Price claimed to hear racism when there was no evidence of it, when he objected to someone calling a collections department a “black hole:”

And in this clip, Price demonstrates his aggressive stupidity and scientific illiteracy, by asserting that the offending person could have just as easily said a white hole. Yes, really.

Any person basically literate in science understands that a black hole is a mass in space so dense that nothing can escape the gravity of it, including light itself.  That is why it is literally black—because no light escapes at all.  So Mr. Price, it is not equally valid to call it a white hole, you moron.

Of course by now the average reader might suspect that Price just race-baits in an attempt to win his arguments.  I tend to agree, but let’s say for the sake of argument that he sincerely believed he was being attacked in a racist way.  Even if he believed that, nothing could justify his reaction.

First, according to the Houston Chronicle, he asked “Why are all the speakers white?”  Then as the meeting adjourned, he says (and you can see the video here) “All of you are white.  Go to hell!”  One white man in the clip who hadn’t spoken was asking why he insulted him, since he was just sitting and observing.

If Price legitimately felt he was the victim of racism, why not say, “all of you are racist.  Go to hell!”  The best you could say about him is that in his mind the term “white racist” is redundant.  Which doesn’t exactly exonerate him.

And of course neither the Houston Chronicle nor this CBS affiliate puts Mr. Price’s racist comment in its headline. CBS pretended he merely said “go to hell” in the headline, and waited ten paragraphs before mentioning the reference to their skin color.  The Houston Chronicle doesn’t mention the words “all of you are white” at all.

Price pretends he is the victim of racism, but there is only one person at that meeting that was clearly a racist: him.

As a racist, he should immediately step down and his party should denounce him. But I ain’t holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

Hat tip to Bryan Preston on the black holes stupidity.

Update: This AP report has a lot to criticize, not the least of which is the repetition of the false claim that the man called him “Chief Moolah” and the unverified claim that that was a racial slur. But still you can listen to the schmuck for yourself.

Also we get this old footage of the man acting like an idiot at another meeting. Nothing racial about it, but it gives you an insight into his character (or lack thereof):

H/t: The Blaze.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

“Jew! Jew!” Update on Lara Logan (Update: Nir Rosen Resigns! And More Details on the Attack.)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:21 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: See below for a big update. There are reports of a possible anti-Semitic motivation.

Update: The WSJ says that it was “not a rape.” Which is only moderately helpful because we are not sure what they mean by rape. There are several things you can do to a woman that would be legally considered rape, but only sometimes called rape in common discussion. But it’s an encouraging sign that things were not as bad as we feared.

As noted last night, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan had been sexually assaulted last week in a brutal and sustained attack while covering the Egyptian protests.  CBS still has refused to provide more details, and I call on them to tell the entire story. Privacy be damned, this happened on a public street in the middle of an event of global significance and will offer us insight into an important protest movement.  I have been cautiously optimistic about the Egyptian protests and I am hoping for the best outcome in all of this, or at least a less bad one than Mubarak’s rule, but we deserve the unvarnished truth about it.

At the same time, I agree that we should not use this as an occasion to say that women should not be journalists in dangerous parts of the world.  Obviously sexist attitudes are rampant in many parts of the world, including many fundamentalist Muslims who believe that any woman who wears anything less than a burqa is presenting the irresistible temptation of “uncovered meat” and therefore deserves it if she is raped—an attitude that might have played a role, here.  And thus a woman faces a unique danger that a man does not.  But that is not a justification for refusing to let a woman go into those parts of the world.  If a woman, fully cognizant of the danger, wants to take that risk, we shouldn’t stop her.

And as for whether this reflects poorly on the protest movement as a whole, that is unclear.  First, it is not the case that no one helped her.  As CBS said in the its official statement: “She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.”  (emphasis added).  And because of the vagueness of CBS’ statement, we do not know how well others would have been able to see what was happening to her.  And I refuse to believe that we can judge a large and probably heterogeneous movement by the actions of a few Neanderthals.  For instance, if you are a good Egyptian who wants freedom and democracy, how exactly are you going to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from glomming onto your movement?  Still, if there are any leaders in this group—and there might not be—someone needs to stand up and denounce this conduct, as proof of good faith.  But for now, I think it is leaping to conclusions to say this tars the entire movement.

Now if only the American left would be so tolerant of the Tea Party…

Anyway, the good news we learn this morning, via Howard Kurtz, is that Ms. Logan is recovering quickly and is expected to leave the hospital today:

Sources familiar with the situation say Logan has recovered to the point that she was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday and reunited with her two young children. She is described as being in remarkably good spirits despite her ordeal.

Which on one hand is good news, but it also suggests something of the severity of the attack.  The term “a brutal and sustained sexual assault” can mean several things, but a 4-5 day recovery (depending on when she got back) suggests that the term “brutal” is the operative word.  You have to wonder how she was put on that plane to America—did she walk or get wheeled in on a wheelchair or gurney?

Again, CBS owes us the entire truth on this subject.

Update: Yesterday’s jerk of the day, Nir Rosen, resigned from the NYU’s Center on Law and Security for having said numerous tasteless things about the Logan assault.  Good for them to have gotten rid of this garbage.  The Campaign Spot has full details.

H/t: Scott Jacobs.

Further update: Thanks to Tina Trent in the comments who (with a little help from Google) adds some context to this:

Egyptian women say they are frequently yelled at and touched by groups of men in the streets, but that during the anti-government protests, such behavior was less prevalent. “Men and women … everyone was coming together, and I personally didn’t experience any sexual harassment, which was extremely unusual,” said Yasmine Khalifa, 25, a Cairo teacher.

The mood shifted Friday night, Khalifa said, when thousands of men who had not been part of the protests entered Tahrir Square. Several women reported being harassed, she said.

(Source.)  So on one hand, it wasn’t an isolated incident.  But at least according to Ms. Khalifa, it was only a newly introduced element.  Which sounds plausible enough.  Still, CBS News should release all the facts and then let us sort it out on how much it reflects on the movement as a whole.

And I will add that the first line about being yelled at and touched by men in streets lines up with some anecdotal stories friends have told me, about visiting nearby countries.

Big Update: The New York Post has even more details:

A network source told The Post that her attackers were screaming, “Jew! Jew!” during the assault. And the day before, Logan had told Esquire.com that Egyptian soldiers hassling her and her crew had accused them of “being Israeli spies.” Logan is not Jewish.

In Friday’s attack, she was separated from her colleagues and attacked for between 20 to 30 minutes, The Wall Street Journal said.

Her injuries were described to The Post as “serious.”

CBS went public with the incident only after it became clear that other media outlets were on to it, sources said.

Again, CBS News needs to release the whole story. Tell us everything and let us evaluate what it means. And it is disturbing to me that they thought it was appropriate to hold the story back as long as they did.

Update: Previously, we saw where Egyptian authorities suggested that Mossad caused various shark attacks in Egypt. Its funny, but I had a serious point at the time and I repeat it here:

All of which is silly, but leads me to a serious point. Some liberals are fond of claiming that terrorism is born out of oppression, that they are just striking back against those who have wronged them. But one major flaw in that theory is that a lot of people in that part of the world are so paranoid in their anti-Semitism, that they literally will believe their enemies can and will do anything. Everything is a Jewish conspiracy. The rats in their sewers. A few pigeons crapping on their car. So naturally other things, like the complete state of crap these economies find themselves in is naturally the Jooos’ fault, right? Them and the Americans, naturally. My point is that stories like this demonstrate that their ability to even perceive actual injustice and assign correct blame is seriously compromised by their paranoid hatred of Jews, yet another reason why their violence is a terrible gauge of the justice of their cause.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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