Patterico's Pontifications

4/20/2015

NBA Playoffs

Filed under: General — JD @ 8:53 pm

[guest post by JD]

Steph Curry is one of 2 or 3 players in the NBA that I will go out of my way to watch. He is so dynamic, entertaining, and can flat out play, despite his diminutive stature.  Steph broke his single season record for 3 pointers in a season, won the 3 point contest against a great field, and has made more people look silly trying to guard him than anyone else in the league. Recently, he hit 77 consecutive treys in practice, and 94 out of 100. He is arguably the best long distance shooter ever to play this game, and he can break your ankles with his handle too. His backcourt-mate, Klay Thompson scored 37 points in one quarter this season. Do yourself a favor and watch the Splash Brothers and Golden State. 

The playoffs have some pretty fun matchups in the first round, with the Clippers vs Spurs highlighting them. San Antonio lost their last regular season game, falling from a chance at the #2 seed to the #6 seed in the congested talented Western conference.  Blake Griffin and CP3 went off in Game 1, but it would be hard to bet against Pop and the Spurs. 

LeBron vs Steph in the Finals. 7 games. Please. 

—JD

“You’re Likable Enough, Hillary” – Gosh Darn, That Obama Was Really Onto Something!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Remember back in 2008 when a moderator at the Democratic debates questioned Hillary about her likability factor in light of then Senator Obama’s very high likability factor? She said her feelings were hurt by the question, and in response Obama came back with the condescending dismissal, “You’re likable enough, Hillary”.

Well, it appears he was onto something:

A Hillary Clinton campaign official explained on Monday why her presidential advisers have brought pre-screened partisans to some events promoted as an opportunity for the former secretary of state to meet with ‘everyday Americans.’

Just steps away in a Keene, New Hampshire bakery, a few run-of-the-mill people decided they didn’t want to be seen with her.

‘There was a bit of a thing back here when she came in,’ explained Marcia DuBois, a cashier at Kristin’s Bistro and Bakery on Washington Street, where Clinton spent a half-hour talking with customers and shaking hands.

‘A few of the staff didn’t want to come out to meet Hillary,’ DuBois said. ‘They just don’t like her.’

Further, with her goal of building trust and goodwill with the “everyday Americans” she hopes to champion, Hillary continued her unique campaign strategy of openness and transparency being a dismissive closed book:

As the Democratic front-runner made her way to the back to shake hands with some of the bakery employees, she ignored questions and kept her comments superficial.

I am almost beginning to feel sorry for her.

–Dana

State-Sponsored SWATtings in Wisconsin, Courtesy of “John Doe” Investigations

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

This is one of the creepiest articles I have ever read. It reminds me of my experience being SWATted — having armed police rush into my home in what looked like retaliation for my speech. Yet in the case described in the article, the SWATting is actually being carried out . . . by the government.

In Wisconsin, citizens had cops bust into their homes with battering rams. Property was taken from their homes, in full view of the neighbors — and in some cases officers mocked them. Then the citizens were told that they could tell nobody about what had happened. If they did, they could go to jail.

All for exercising their First Amendment rights. Essentially, for being conservatives.

Here’s how the article opens:

“THEY CAME WITH A BATTERING RAM.”

Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.

She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door.

“I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic.

“I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”

She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee.

“I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

What was their crime? Exercising their First Amendment rights. The article describes how these raids were conducted as part of “John Doe” investigations into whether conservative groups had “coordinated” with Scott Walker in violation of campaign finance laws. I believe such “coordination” is First Amendment activity. If I want to take out full-page newspaper ads about how great Ted Cruz is, and I get ideas that convince me from Cruz’s campaign, I believe that should be covered by the First Amendment. But even if my pro-speech view is not accepted (and so far it has not been), the fact remains that a judge later ruled that there was no legal basis for the investigation that justified these raids, and quashed all the subpoenas.

The investigations were conducted at the behest of a prosecutor whose offices “were festooned with the ‘blue fist’ poster of the labor-union movement.” According to one prosecutor who spoke to journalist Stuart Taylor, the wife of the lead prosecutor, John Chisholm, was “a teachers’-union shop steward who was distraught over Act 10’s union reforms” — and Chisholm “felt it was his personal duty” to stop the reforms. Pursuant to the politically motivated subpoenas lacking in probable cause, prosecutors subpoenaed electronic data such as emails and conducted these abusive raids.

It’s the type of activity you would expect to see from the Stasi in East Germany. Conservative activists in Wisconsin literally do not feel safe. They think that police could burst into their homes at any moment to punish them for their First Amendment activity.

In a country that actually valued freedom, this story would spark front-page headlines all over the country. It would be all anyone would be talking about for weeks, and nobody would rest until we knew it could never, ever happen again.

We are no longer such a country.

UPDATE: Thanks very much to Instapundit for the link — and make sure to check out his piece at USA Today: Wisconsin’s dirty prosecutors pull a Putin. Also, please remember to bookmark the blog and return!

The Patterico Music Project: “Alien Song,” Performed by Parthenon Huxley

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 6:13 am

It’s time for Song #4 in the Patterico Music Project.

On February 1, I told you:

I am working on a little personal project in which I try to convince some of my musical heroes to record some of my songs. I have found three victims so far, who have promised between them to record five songs in all.

The identity of these performers is a mystery/secret. For now.

The secret is gradually being revealed. So far, I have published three of these songs, all recorded by former Northern Pikes front man Jay Semko. All of these were acoustic versions recorded “live off the board” in a single take done in a recording studio. I posted the first one on February 2, titled “Creation” (song; lyrics; original version). I posted the second one on February 9, titled “Was It Really You?” (song; lyrics; original version). And I published the third one on February 23, titled “The Same Mistake” (song; lyrics; original version). If you never listened to those, I encourage you to check them out.

But today, I have something really special for you.

Today, I am publishing a version of my song “Alien Song,” recorded by my musical hero Parthenon Huxley. Parthenon, also known as “P. Hux,” has been making great music forever. His Web site is here and his bio is here. Check out some of his music here. His fans tend to be devoted collectors of all his albums, and I am no exception. The guy is a genius, and has a beautiful and unique voice. It’s a special thrill for me that he agreed to record one of my songs.

The song you’re about to hear is about reptilian, multi-headed aliens, conquering the world through their strange music. And, if I do say so myself, I think the effect of this particular recording is pretty amazing. This version is highly produced. Parthenon put a lot of effort into the arrangement and the recording, and it shows. It’s whimsical and has many touches that complement the subject matter of the song. I could go on and on about Parthenon’s performance, but I think I’ll just let you hear it for yourself. Since he emailed it to me last week, I have listened to it probably three dozen times. It does repay repeated listenings.

You’re in for a treat. Click the play button, and enjoy.

P.S. Tomorrow I will publish the lyrics, and on Wednesday I will publish the original version I recorded in the early 1990s — which sounds throughout like a much poorer version of the first 45 seconds of this version (minus vocal effects or harmony).

P.P.S. It would be premature to reveal the identity of the third performer in this series, but when you hear who the artist is, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Scandal: Clinton Foundation Donations Look Mighty Suspect

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:13 am

It all started with the news reported this weekend that the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation has traded with Iran, possibly violating our sanctions against Iran. Yet, oddly, his company was not penalized by the organization charged with the responsibility of penalizing those who violate our trade policy: Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

And now we hear that the prophecy that Rand Paul has been telling us about is coming true: even more revelations about the Clinton Foundation. Namely, a book that has looked into the contributions made to the Foundation, and is joining with major media outlets to investigate:

The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes.

His examples include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department.

In the long lead up to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign announcement, aides proved adept in swatting down critical books as conservative propaganda, including Edward Klein’s “Blood Feud,” about tensions between the Clintons and the Obamas, and Daniel Halper’s “Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine.”

But “Clinton Cash” is potentially more unsettling, both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book.

Ouch. That sounds like Big Media actually being interested in her corruption.

Things not looking so good for the First Woman President.


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