Patterico's Pontifications

12/31/2012

Fiscal Cliff Nonsense

Filed under: General — JD @ 7:15 pm

[Guest post by JD]

And why not?! They would get their goal of increasing taxes, and get to blame someone else for that. Win win. Lost in all the fiscal cliff negotiations are actual spending cuts. That press conference tuis afternoon proved that this is all about hyper-partisan politics for Teh One. And now it is rumored that there is a tax increase deal that will accompany a spending increase, with spending cuts to be discussed sometime in the future. Good Allah.

Have a great New Year, everyone. Be safe. Here’s to a better 2013!

– JD

Happy New Year’s Eve

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:23 pm

Be safe.

12/30/2012

The December 30 Post

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:02 pm

Otherwise known as the “I got nothin’” open thread.

12/29/2012

I Stand with Popehat on the Erik Loomis Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:58 pm

I’m late to the Erik Loomis story. He’s a history professor at a northeastern university and a blogger, and after the Newtown shootings, he screamed his head off on Twitter in a profane and rather violent way. For example:

First fucker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death. [UPDATE: This is a retweet.]

I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.

You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy. Fuck the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison.

Charming.

Loomis is a jerk, in my opinion, and a moron.

And a jackass.

However. Apparently a lot of people have been trying to get him fired from his job.

And I disagree with that. And, like Ken from Popehat, I wanted to register my disagreement, loud and clear, with any effort to get his fired.

I support, without qualification, people writing about Professor Loomis. I find his expression contemptible. But I also find the efforts to get him fired or arrested contemptible, and I find it highly regrettable that some blogs are, at the most charitable interpretation, acting as smirking spectators to that effort. The effort is not without cost, even if neither the police nor the University take action. Trying to get a professor fired for clearly protected speech promotes and contributes to the culture of censorship in higher education that FIRE fights and that Greg Lukianoff exposed persuasively in his recent book “Unlearning Liberty.” Trying to get Loomis fired contributes to a culture in which people are disciplined for reading a book about the defeat of the Klan because coworkers find it “harassing” or threatened with disciplinary proceedings for putting up a Firefly poster or prohibited from using signs at protest because OMG 9/11. Calling the cops based on clearly protected hyperbole promotes and encourages a law enforcement culture that does things like launching “cyberbullying” investigations based on satirical criticism, nudging us further towards the theoretical British zero-point at which old men get questioned by the police for putting rather mild expressions of atheism in their windows.

I’m disappointed, and more than a little disgusted, that partisanship is more important than principle.

Me too, although I am not particularly surprised. Politics often seems to trump principle.

But I, personally, think it’s important to stand up for free speech especially when the speech (as here) is in opposition to your politics — and (as here) seems particularly hateful and distasteful. Firing people over speech like this would be silly, and trying to make that happen is thuggish.

In my constitutionally protected opinion.

P.S. If I haven’t yet publicized Greg Lukianoff’s book plugged by Popehat, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, consider this a plug. I’m about 1/4 of the way into it and it’s rip-roaring good stuff. I think the readers here would like it a lot.

P.P.S. It’s still not too late for vote for anti-free speech thug Brett Kimberlin at Popehat’s Second Annual Censorious Asshat Poll.

Who Said It?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:28 am

Who said we can raise $1.2 trillion without raising rates?

What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes — tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.

To find out, click the link.

P.S. Of course the larger issue is that you can’t possibly deal with the issue without addressing spending. Which makes it tempting to say: sure, raise rates. Raise ‘em on the middle class too. It’s the only way you’re going to pay for all this government you want.

Except, we all know that’s not going to happen. We are going to keep stealing from our children and grandchildren, because that’s what we have become as a country. We have become a bunch of takers who sit on our behinds, getting up only long enough to trot down to the government office to collect our checks so we can pay for our smart phones to tweet out how we want George H.W. Bush to die. And this had all better get paid for by the rich, meaning people making $250,000 in Los Angeles and New York City, because how dare they make any money when I have a cable bill to pay with their tax dollars.

See, this is why I shouldn’t talk about this stuff. I start out talking about a particular person’s hypocrisy and I get mad.

But note well: they can always play this game. No matter what they take from the “rich” today, tomorrow they will tell you that it would be unthinkable to do what they themselves proposed yesterday. Because the rich, who have done quite well, can do a little more, you see. And you just keep saying that, over and over, and destroy the market economy until everybody is equal…

…ly poor.

12/28/2012

There’s a New Greg Packer in Town, and His Name Is Carlos Rodriguez

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:06 pm

There’s a new Greg Packer in town, and his name is Carlos Rodriguez:

Though the tragedy of Newtown, Conn. took place hundreds of miles away, dozens of people came to Huntington Town Hall last Thursday evening for a candlelight vigil of healing in honor of the 20 children and seven adults who died in the Dec. 14 shooting rampage.

Having personally visited Newtown last weekend, Carlos Rodriguez and Greg Packer, both Huntington residents, felt they had to be at a local ceremony.

Saying that he believed in the unity of brotherhood, Rodriguez said, “In support of the tragedy, bringing people together is really important. Sending love to the loved ones who lost their family members in Newtown is important. Huntington’s a great community and I think that us uniting speaks volumes.”

For his part, Packer went to Newtown and to Town Hall to extend his sympathies to the people of Newtown.

No quote from Packer?

Greg, you’re getting bested at your own game.

12/27/2012

Should David Gregory Be Prosecuted?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:20 pm

It sure seems like he violated the D.C. law against possessing high capacity magazines. Right there on video in front of the whole country and everything.

‘Course, that law kinda seems unconstitutional. And, he doesn’t seem like he’s going to hurt anybody with the magazine.

So. Is that the standard?

I’d hate to be the guy prosecuting Gregory. Then again, say a robber breaks into a D.C. resident’s home, and the resident shoots the robber dead. And the investigation shows that the resident shot the robber dead with a gun with a high capacity magazine. And the resident has no criminal record. And four young kids in the house. And the robber turns out to have had his own semiautomatic gun, with his own high capacity magazine — and tried to shoot at the resident. But the resident got the drop on him first.

I’d hate to be the guy prosecuting the resident.

So.

In many cases, prosecutors might exercise prosecutorial discretion and not charge the resident in the above example. Or the David Gregories of the world.

But what if the high capacity magazine was found during, oh, I don’t know, a wrong-door raid? Or a questionable traffic stop? Or a SWATting?

And in all cases, the possessor of the magazine is an otherwise law-abiding citizen. With a magazine arguably protected by the Constitution … but outlawed by a questionable law.

What then?

Some interesting fodder for discussion there, no?

Popehat’s Censorious Asshat of the Year Poll

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:27 pm

Brett Kimberlin is a candidate, and richly deserves to win.

With your help, he can.

If you vote in just one online poll this year, let it be this one.

If you vote for Kimberlin, let us know in the comments. Stand up and let your voice be heard!

Ghouls on Twitter: Gosh, We Sure Hope Bush Dies

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:33 pm

Twitchy has 50 tweets from soulless ghouls drooling over the thought that George H.W. Bush might die.

I wonder how many of these people are being supported by welfare paid for by you and me. My guess would be most of them. Money well spent, huh?

Thanks (I think) to Chuck Bartowski.

12/26/2012

How Sociopaths Become Monsters

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:26 pm

Stacy McCain has a very insightful post. Excerpt:

This is how damaged people become monsters: They externalize their inner feelings of worthlessness as hatred of demonized scapegoats, whom they construct in their own minds as symbols of wrong, so that doing evil to the scapegoat is (in their twisted thinking) an act of righteousness. In the perverted mind of the obsessive sociopath, hatred of the scapegoat is thereby endowed with a heroic quality.

The peculiar “heroic hatred” directed at Andrew Breitbart by these monsters is not merely the product of politics, but rather an obverse reflection of their own damaged egos: Breitbart was famous and successful; they are obscure failures; his fame and success must therefore be re-imagined by them as unjust and symbolically evil.

Precisely so. I have seen this exact pattern play itself out, again and again.

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