Patterico's Pontifications


London Olympics

Filed under: General — JD @ 11:51 am

[Guest post by JD]

What has been the highlight for you so far?

In no particular order, for me …

Vinokourov winning the bicycle road race.

Lochte shutting up the media about the 400 IM. I mean seriously, he has dominated the event for over a year, yet they still go on about Phelps, who didn’t even want to do this race.

Women’s bicycle road race in a downpour.

Not the underwater camera shots in the Turkish hair shirt water polo match.

I will readily admit that I cannot stand gymnastics, and turn it off. The created melodramatic nonsense and subjective scoring is not my cup of tea.

Speaking of cups of tea, compare and contrast Obama’s history of gaffes and snubs of England to Romney’s.



Chick-Fil-A PR Head Dies of Heart Attack, Fringe Left Rejoices

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:16 pm

I don’t know if the rage junkies helped cause this, but they sure seem happy about it. Just check Twitter or the L.A. Times web site and you’ll see stuff like this:

God has just started to punish this company for their hateful ways.

I could go on and on and on, but for once I’m just going to have you imagine the extent of it. We’ve been down this road many times before, and it’s always the same.

I’m a supporter of gay marriage and gay rights, but this kind of thing really makes me angry. I’m not going to stop supporting gay rights just because some other supporters are hateful, disgusting people. But I did experience a flash of anger where I thought about it. When I read this kind of thing, I had a feeling pass across me that I don’t want to be associated with these people in any way. Let them fight their battles on their own, if this is how they’re going to act, went the thought.

The thought came, and then passed as quickly as it had come. I thought of the good people I know who are gay, and who (I know) do not support such ugly sentiments. Why should those good people lose my support because of the nasties?

But that’s me.

I guarantee you that this kind of thing is going to lose other people.

Guarantee it.

So, to all you advocates of gay rights who don’t engage in this kind of ugly rhetoric, I say to you: you have a job to do. You need to talk to the people who leave comments like that, and make them stop.

It is not helping your cause. Not one bit.

If “You Didn’t Build That” Bothers You, You’re a Racist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:42 pm

Successful business? You didn’t build that!

Mad Obama said that to you?

Then you’re a racist.

P.S. Chait hastens to add he doesn’t really think you’re a racist — or, to be even more clear, you are a racist, but everybody is and you can’t help it.

I think Chait is a racist for seeing every policy disagreement as driven by race. But it’s not really his fault. So many liberals are racists in the same way, he can’t help it.


Open Thread: Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:12 pm

I tend not to be interested in the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t. Discuss what you like below.

Oregon Man Sentenced to Jail for Collecting Rainwater on His Own Property?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 am

I include the question mark just because it’s one of those stories that sounds too outrageous to be true. But I have to admit, it seems like it’s true:

A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.

Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property – and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.

. . . .

According to Oregon water laws, all water is publicly owned. Therefore, anyone who wants to store any type of water on their property must first obtain a permit from state water managers.

Harrington got his permits, but then the issuance was revoked. So now he can’t store the water that God rains down on his own property without the government’s permission.

America: Land of the Free.

Breaking: Obama’s Economy Still Sucks

Filed under: 2012 Election,Economics,Obama — Patterico @ 7:31 am

When the L.A. Times can’t spin it for you, man, it’s time to hang it up:

U.S. economic growth slowed further in the second quarter as consumers cut back on spending and businesses curbed their investments, the government reported Friday.

The economy expanded at a sluggish annual rate of 1.5% in the April-June quarter, down from an upwardly revised 2% growth pace in the first quarter and a 4.1% increase in the final quarter of 2011.

The latest reading of the nation’s gross domestic product — the total value of goods and services produced — was slightly better than analysts’ expectations of a 1.3% gain.

Still, the deceleration confirmed that the economy has slipped into another spring stall. The loss of momentum raises the risks of more trouble ahead as Europe’s economic problems hurt American exports and manufacturing, and growing angst about the so-called fiscal cliff — looming tax increases and government spending cuts — threatens to further weaken consumption and hiring by businesses.

An economy growing at a 1.5% pace is consistent with a monthly growth of less than 100,000 new jobs, said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Cal State Channel Islands. “That’s not enough to take care of new workers coming into the labor force, let alone rescue the unemployed,” he said.

Better than expected; worse than it’s been.

I can’t figure out why massive government spending hasn’t done the trick!

Glenn Greenwald, L.A. Times Not Too Keen on Mayors Wanting to Punish Chick-Fil-A Speech

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

Say what you like about Glenn Greenwald, but he tends to be pretty good about sticking with his issues regardless of personality. I’m a little more surprised by the L.A. Times.

I assume about everyone is familiar with the way that Chik-Fil-A has been opposed by Boston and Chicago mayors for taking a stand against gay marriage. Here’s Greenwald taking a whack at Rahm Emanuel:

Should government officials be able to block businesses from opening or expanding due to disagreement with the political views of the business’ executives? Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel evidently believes he should have this power . . . .

. . . .

Obviously, it’s perfectly legitimate for private citizens to decide not to patronize a business with executives who have such views (I’d likely refrain from doing so in this case). Beyond that, if a business is engaging in discriminatory hiring or service practices in violation of the law — refusing to hire gay employees or serve gay patrons in cities which have made sexual orientation discrimination illegal — then it is perfectly legitimate to take action against them.

But that is not the case here; the actions are purely in retribution against the views of the business’ top executive on the desirability of same-sex marriage . . . .

. . . .

It’s always easy to get people to condemn threats to free speech when the speech being threatened is speech that they like. It’s much more difficult to induce support for free speech rights when the speech being punished is speech they find repellent. But having Mayors and other officials punish businesses for the political and social views of their executives — regardless of what those views are — is as pure a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech as it gets, and beyond that, is genuinely dangerous.

Indeed. And now, here are the editors of the Los Angeles Times going after the Boston mayor:

As both a private citizen and a prominent public figure, Menino is welcome to abstain from fried chicken sandwiches and urge others to do likewise.

It’s a different matter if he attempts to trample the free-speech rights of others by using the power of his office to fight against a business license for Chick-fil-A. Menino suggested that it would be appropriate to block the chain from opening in Boston because Cathy’s views amount to discrimination. That would rightly apply if Chick-fil-A were to refuse service to gay customers; the city has a right and an obligation to prevent discriminatory actions against its residents and visitors. But there’s no evidence that any such thing has occurred.

Menino referred derisively to Chick-fil-A’s possible plans to open a restaurant along the city’s Freedom Trail, considering Cathy’s stand on marriage freedom. That too misreads law and history. It was the freedom to express politically unpopular views and to oppose such views that the Founding Fathers fought to establish. Boston used to be known as the prudish place most likely to ban anything outside of a set of strait-laced moral beliefs. Without freedom to express once unpopular viewpoints — in this case, full civil rights for gay and lesbian couples — Massachusetts wouldn’t have become the first state to recognize same-sex marriage.

Menino sent a letter to a landlord saying the city wouldn’t much like it if Chik-Fil-A was located there. But it’s not like local government has any ability to hassle businesses or landlords. There’s no pressure!

All I can do is say: good going, folks. It’s nice to see support for free speech even when you don’t like the content.

UPDATE: SteveMG makes an excellent point in comments:

The key and largely unlooked point in this matter, it seems to me, is that if corporations don’t have any rights – as many on the left believe – then the government could indeed forbid Chick-fil-A from building in their cities because of the views of the owner. Or for any other reason.



Thursday Night Music: The Sighs, Super Deluxe, Flying Burrito Brothers

Filed under: General,Music — Patterico @ 8:20 pm

Situations, by The Sighs:

Great song, horrible video. The same could be said of:

Famous, by Super Deluxe:

But perhaps the visuals are more pleasing at times.

And for a change of pace:

Sin City, by the Flying Burrito Brothers:

Obama Deports the Criminals First — Unless the Illegal Says He Went to High School

Filed under: 2012 Election,General,Immigration,Obama — Patterico @ 6:39 pm

Because if he went to high school, Obama says let him go:

In a startling allegation, the president of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers claimed illegal immigrants are “taking advantage” of a new directive allowing some undocumented residents who came to the U.S. as children to stay in the country. Union boss Chris Crane said the policy ends up allowing illegal immigrants to avoid detention without any proof — particularly so-called “dreamers,” or those illegal immigrants who would benefit under the “DREAM Act” proposal, which Congress has not passed but the administration has partially implemented.

“Prosecutorial discretion for dreamers is solely based on the individual’s claims. Our orders are if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go,” he said at a press conference with GOP senators. “Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything. … At this point we don’t even know why DHS has criteria at all, as there is no requirement or burden to prove anything on the part of the alien.

“We believe that significant numbers of people who are not dreamers are taking advantage of this practice to avoid arrest,” he said.

Crane cited one case in which, he said, an immigrant facing criminal charges was let go under the policy. Further, he complained that officers are “under threat of losing their jobs” if they defy the policy.

Illegals: don’t forget to vote for Obama! And remember: you don’t need ID!

Obama Proposes No New Gun Control, But Pretends To

Filed under: 2012 Election,Dog Trainer,General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:48 am

Having just pointed out that Obama didn’t seem to propose new gun control legislation after Aurora, it’s incumbent on me to point that, well, he’s still not. But he’s trying to sound like he is:

Acknowledging sensitivity of the issue, he said Wednesday he believed that even gun owners would agree “that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of children.”

Very clever, Mr. President. You just made it sound like a situation that a) isn’t happening and b) will never happen is somehow a live issue. That’s like the NRA saying: “even gun control advocates would agree that guns should not be confiscated wholesale from every U.S. citizen, including members of the police and military.” Uh, yeah, we’d agree with that — but so what? Do we have laws allowing children to walk around with AK-47s that I’m unaware of somehow?

Maybe he’s talking about 24-year-old adults with AR-15s, like James Holmes. If so, that’s what he should say.

So what is Obama proposing, specifically?

He offered no specific proposals but referred to background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, fugitives and the mentally unbalanced. . Previous efforts to do the same have been thwarted by political opposition and the reluctance of elected officials who endorse the idea to take on the National Rifle Assn., among the nation’s most potent lobbying forces.

(That’s their extra period, by the way.)

So if I understand the L.A. Times, there are currently no “background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, fugitives and the mentally unbalanced” because “efforts to do the same have been thwarted” by the NRA and other gun nuts. I could have sworn we had such background checks already (18 U.S.C. 922(g)) but I’m not an expert on the matter and welcome comment from such experts. Is Obama talking about “gun show loopholes” even though Holmes didn’t buy his guns at a gun show?

How about a little clarity on this, L.A. Times? Maybe Obama isn’t specific because there is no law he could propose that would both a) prevent shootings like this and b) be popular and constitutional.

A country where adults can order AR-15s and there are background checks is different from a country with no background checks where children have “AK-47s.” Obama seems to be implying that we live in the latter country, and the L.A. Times is letting him get away with it.

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