Patterico's Pontifications

4/28/2015

Reactions To Rioting In Baltimore

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:25 am

[guest post by Dana]

As rioting continues in Baltimore, here are a few reactions to the situation by members of the elite media.

Rachel Maddow at MSNBC attempted to label police as out of control – as massive rioting took place: In an interviewing with at-the-scene reporter Erica Green of the Baltimore Sun, Green described the scene in Baltimore as “all-out war” and relayed to Maddow that an officer had just been rushed away for medical attention after having been hit in the head with brick and that other officers picked up the items being thrown at them and threw them back at rioters.

From Maddow:

“If they’re picking up things that are being thrown at them and throwing them back, that implies to me, just as a lay observer, that the police feel .. that the police are a little bit out of control, or that they may not be using disciplined police tactics.”

Green would not agree with Maddow and instead explains that the police:

…showed extreme restraint even under the direct assault for “a very long time” during which they “didn’t do anything

Senior Editor of TNR Jamil Smith likened rioters to “children” with this gem:

I don’t condone this, but we need to listen to what these children in Baltimore are communicating. Make no mistake, this is communication.

Sally Kohn at CNN has fun with a new hashtag :

Looting a real shame. But FAR MORE shameful is pattern of police violence against black community! Perspective, people. #BaltimoreRising

If only every white Americans was even *half* as outraged about police violence as are about riots…

Wolf Blitzer at CNN was more concerned about how fast emergency vehicles were going rather than rioters burning down buildings:

“Look at this, we have a police vehicle now getting through this area, and this, this shot from the helicopter. That cop car is going very fast right now. And presumably … I don’t know where it’s going, But uh, that’s a dangerous situation in an urban area like this. Look what’s going on Tom Fuentes, is that the appropriate behavior for a vehicle like this with a lot of cars like that on the road?”

Marc Lamont Hill at CNN disagreed with fellow panelists and justified the rioting uprising:

No, there shouldn’t be calm tonight. Black people are dying in the streets. They’ve been dying in the streets for months, years, decades, centuries.

Now, I think there should be an ethics attached to this, but we have to watch our own ethics and be careful not to get more upset about the destruction of property than the destruction of black bodies and that seems to be to me – to me what’s happening over the last few hours and that’s very troublesome to me. We also have to be very careful about the language we use to talk about this. I’m not calling these people rioters. I’m calling these uprisings and I think it’s an important distinction to make. This is not a riot. There have been uprisings in major cities and smaller cities around this country for the last year because of the violence against black female and male bodies forever and I think that’s what important here. I agree with you, Don. We can’t ignore the fact that the city is burning, but we need to be talking about why it’s burning and not romanticize peace and not romanticize marching as the only way to function. I’m not saying we should be hurting, I’m not saying we should be killing people, but we do have to understand that resistance looks different ways to different people and part of what it means to say black lives matter, is to assert our right to have rage – righteous rage, righteous indignation in the face of state violence and extrajudicial killing. Freddie Gray is dead. That’s why the city is burning and let’s make that clear. It’s not burning because of these protesters. The city is burning because the police killed Freddie Gray and that’s a distinction we have to make. – See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/curtis-houck/2015/04/28/cnns-marc-lamont-hill-baltimore-not-riot-uprisings-against-police#sthash.ZegJd6Qa.dpuf

Perhaps the best reaction to the mayhem in Baltimore is the lone mom who catches her son at the riots:

–Dana

4/27/2015

Toni Morrison: “I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:36 pm

This happened over a week ago, but I missed it:

“People keep saying, ‘We need to have a conversation about race,’” Ms. Morrison told the (U.K.) Telegraph in an April 19 interview.

“This is the conversation. I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back,” said Ms. Morrison, who also has won the Pulitzer Prize for her work, which includes the bestsellers “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon.” “And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’, I will say yes.”

No, this is the conversation: I want to see Toni Morrison shunned for having a small ugly racist heart.

By the way, the linked piece says cops kills whites more than blacks (not necessarily per capita), so it’s not like it doesn’t happen. Someone tell this harpy so she can start her happy dance.

Baltimore Burning

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:01 pm

[UPDATE: Please comment on this post here.]

[guest post by Dana]

Sadly, 25-year old Freddie Gray was laid to rest today in Baltimore. After his funeral, rioting broke out, leaving 15 police officers injured and two hospitalized. This afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. The city will be under a curfew beginning tonight.

Most frighteningly, rumors of rival gangs uniting to attack the police were found to be credible:

The police said early in the day they had received a “credible threat” that “members of various gangs, including the Black Guerrilla family, Bloods and Crips” had “entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers.” But officers kept a low profile in the neighborhood during the Gray funeral.

As a result of today’s rioting, Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake is now finding herself taking heat for a press conference she held Saturday night wherein she expressed that a space for rioters to destroy and wreak havoc would be set aside:

I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” Rawlings-Blake said during a press conference Saturday night.

“It’s a very delicate balancing act, because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”

(The full press conference can be seen here)

Under increasing pressure, the mayor today attempted to walk-back her statement:

“I did not intentionally give space to those wanting to destroy”.

With that, while the Baltimore school superintendent hopes to “use this looting as teachable moment”, President Obama has not yet officially weighed in.

To the contrary:

President Obama dodged potential questions about violent street protests in Baltimore on Monday when he met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Obama met with Lynch for the first time since she was sworn in, but the White House barred print, radio, and television reporters from covering the Oval Office meeting. Only still photographers were allowed inside.

The president and his new attorney general said nothing while their pictures were taken, photographers told a pool reporter.

During the meeting, Lynch updated Obama on the situation in Baltimore and said she “stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful there,” the White House said in a statement.

However, while the president may not have made an official comment about Baltimore burning, he was nonetheless, intently problem solving in the unique way that he does:


For a complete roundup of news coming out of Baltimore, Weasel Zippers is providing updates.

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Ha! Now it’s Dana’s turn to be the double poster! Turnabout is fair play; I am leaving her post up but asking you to comment on my post, here.

Riots in Baltimore Despite Mayor’s Decision to Give Protestors a Place to Destroy Stuff

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:54 pm

She actually said this:

We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.

It’s right there in the video. That’s what she said.

Unfortunately, people decided they wanted to destroy more than the space they were given for that purpose. Specifically, they wanted to break a few officers’ bones too, and ideally kill one or two if they could manage it. So far, they have come close:

Police on Monday clashed with crowds of young people who tossed rocks and bricks at officers, looted stores and damaged police cruisers, injuring several officers.

Police said that 15 officers have been hurt in incidents that began near the Mondawmin Mall in the Reisterstown Road area. Some officers suffered broken bones and one officer was unresponsive, police said in an afternoon press conference. By Monday night, two officers remained hospitalized, they said.

Next time maybe the mayor will turn over a couple of cops to those who wish to kill officers. In the interest of keeping the peace, you see.

UPDATE: OK, she has issued a statement claiming that she was trying to say, in effect, that giving the protestors a space had the unintended side effect of giving a space to those who wanted to destroy. That sounds plausible, although not nearly as funny. We’ll just chalk this one up to a horribly phrased sentiment.

Gay Businessman: I’m Sorry I Hosted an Event with Ted Cruz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

[UPDATE: Comment on this post here.]

Of course:

Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing “poor judgment.”

Mr. Reisner put the apology on Facebook, where a page calling for a boycott of his properties, the gay-friendly OUT NYC hotel and his Fire Island Pines holdings, had gotten more than 8,200 “likes” by Sunday evening.

“I am shaken to my bones by the emails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake,” wrote Mr. Reisner.

. . . .

Mr. Cruz faced some backlash among conservatives over the event, but it was nothing compared to the criticism both Mr. Reisner and Mr. Weiderpass faced from the gay community.

“I was ignorant, naïve and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights,” Mr. Reisner said.

“I’ve spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz’s statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgment. Again, I am deeply sorry.”

Mr. Reisner’s apology came before a scheduled protest march tomorrow evening in front of Out NYC.

It’s tempting to see this purely in the light of thuggery (sorry, Ken White) by the gays who brook no opposition to their views. But in truth, I’m torn on this one, as I often am with threatened boycotts.

On one hand, this business owner caters to the gay community. To the extent that his actions or words offend his clientele, he is alienating his clientele. As for the clientele, they certainly have the right to spend their money where they like, and it’s hard to blame them for not wanting to spend their money at a business that they believe is fighting an issue that is important to them.

On the other hand, the actions to punish Reisner seem to spring from an illiberal impulse: the desire to punish opposite viewpoints rather than debate them, or persuade someone that they are wrong.

Last night I listened to an episode of This American Life, and in one of the stories, a team of activists set out to go door to door and change people’s minds on gay marriage in California. If the reporter in the story is to be believed, they appear to have had some success — but only when the activist was gay and turned the discussion away from abstractions to personalizing the issue in a non-aggressive way that involved a lot of listening. Surprisingly, studies supposedly indicate that the changed attitudes in those cases are lasting and not feigned, though I don’t necessarily accept that at face value.

My main reaction to the story was surprise at the naivete of the activists. Why try to change people’s minds when you can go to the courts and ram the changes down people’s throats?

That is the illiberal way, and boycotts and organized letter-writing campaigns feel more like pressure than persuasion. You might bully people (sorry, Ken White) into claiming they have changed their views — but one wonders whether the claimed change of heart will be genuine or lasting.

Where you come out on this probably depends on whether you think opposing gay marriage is a reasonable view or an affront to decency. Gays and many leftists see it as the latter, and feel perfectly justified in bringing out the big guns of societal disapproval and training them on the offenders. For example, to go straight Godwin on you, who cares about persuading Nazis that they are mistaken? The proper thing to do with them is to denounce them and shun them.

I don’t feel that way about opposition to gay marriage, and I don’t think that Ted Cruz deserves to be shunned. But I think gay citizens should be able to spend their money (and vote) in whatever way they think benefits them.

UPDATE: Ha! Looks like Dana already did a post on this. I am cutting off comments to this post, and encourage you to leave your comments on her post, where the discussion has already started.

Intolerant Group Pressures Gay Hotelier Who Hosted Ted Cruz “Fireside Chat” To Apologize

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:34 am

[guest post by Dana]

After hosting a non-fundraising “fireside chat” with Ted Cruz, gay hotelier Ian Reisner faced a barrage of attacks and a boycott for such a brazen act. As a result, he has bowed to pressure and issued an apology:

Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing “poor judgment.”

Mr. Reisner put the apology on Facebook, where a page calling for a boycott of his properties, the gay-friendly OUT NYC hotel and his Fire Island Pines holdings, had gotten more than 8,200 “likes” by Sunday evening.

“I am shaken to my bones by the emails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake,” wrote Mr. Reisner.

“I was ignorant, naïve and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights,” Mr. Reisner said.

“I’ve spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz’s statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgment. Again, I am deeply sorry.”

Clearly, this was a preemptive strike:

Mr. Reisner’s apology came before a scheduled protest march tomorrow evening in front of Out NYC.

In addition to the boycott calls, Broadway Cares, a charity that focuses on curing AIDS, canceled an annual event at a nightclub the two men own.

At the event, Cruz had reiterated his view that gay marriage was best left to the states.

–Dana

4/26/2015

Chimps (Temporarily) Get Habeas Relief from Judge

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:01 pm

What the law giveth:

In a historic moment for animal rights, two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, were effectively recognized by a New York court as legal persons Monday.

Hercules and Leo, who are currently used for biomedical experiments at Stony Brook University on Long Island, were granted a hearing on their habeas corpus petition by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe.

. . . .

According to Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), which filed the habeas corpus petition in March in an effort to move the primates to a sanctuary in Florida, Jaffe’s ruling is a first for animal rights.

Stony Brook University must now provide the court with a legally sufficient reason for keeping Leo and Hercules in captivity or the chimps will be set free. The court has scheduled the hearing for May 6, according to NhRP.

The law can taketh away:

​The hopes and dreams of millions of chimps were dashed in an instant Tuesday when a judge affirmed that an animal-rights group had gone too far by saying she’d granted them “human rights.”

Manhattan Supreme Court Ju​stice Barbara Jaffe acknowledged that she inadvertently​ got turned into a monkey’s uncle by signing court papers​,​ submitted by​ the animal-rights activist​s, that ​inadvertently bestowed human status on two chimpanzees being used for biomedical research at Stony Brook University on Long Island.

Proving the movie maxim uttered by Charlton Heston that “some apes, it seems, are more equal than others,” Jaffe on Monday signed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the primates, named Hercules and Leo.

The judicial command, Latin for “have the body,” is used to determine the legality of a prisoner’s confinement — raising the specter of Cornelius and Zira’s appearance before a Presidential Commission in 1971’s “Escape from the Planet of the Apes.”

But Jaffe got madder than a gorilla ​handling an American Tourister suitcase when the Nonhuman Rights Project — which wants Hercules and Leo sent to a South Florida sanctuary — claimed that she had “implicitly determined that Hercules and Leo are ‘persons.’”

Jaffe issued an amended order Tuesday that crossed out the words “Writ of Habeas Corpus.”

Well, at least we know the matter is in the hands of a careful jurist.

Oregon Baker Fined $135,000 for Refusing to Make Cake for Lesbian Wedding, Resulting in “Mental Rape” of Couple

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:54 pm

From Friday:

An Oregon administrative law judge recommended today that the bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding should be fined $135,000.

“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the same-sex couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, administrative law judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries in his proposed order.

. . . .

In order to reach $135,000, Rachel and Laurel submitted a long list of alleged physical, emotional and mental damages they claim to have experienced as a result of the Kleins’ unlawful conduct.

One of the women, whose name was redacted to protect her privacy, listed 88 symptoms as grounds for compensation. The other, whose name was also redacted, listed 90.

Examples of symptoms include “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

I’m surprised these people are able to tie their own shoes in the morning.

My advice: next time, instead of gaining a lot of weight, resuming your smoking habit, and comparing one business owner’s refusal of your business to rape, maybe just choose a different baker.

Although why anyone would take my advice when the state is willing to help them cash in based on obviously exaggerated and trumped-up damages, I have no idea.

4/25/2015

What Is More Shocking To Diane Sawyer (And The Twitterverse): Bruce Jenner Becoming A Woman Or That He Is A Republican?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Not only did Bruce Jenner come out last night with Diane Sawyer and admit that yes, he is for “all intents and purposes” now a woman, he also came out as a conservative and Republican:

“I’ve always been more on the conservative side,” Jenner said.

Sawyer, looking shocked, asked if he identifies as a Republican, to which Jenner answered, “Yes.”

Because completely transforming from one gender to the other is not shocking and extraordinary, but being a conservative and a Republican is.

–Dana

No Clinton Should Ever Use The Word “Transparent” (With Updates)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This past week, Chelsea Clinton, who once tried to care about money but really couldn’t, revealed that as an adult, she’s learned well from her parents and that the acorn, indeed, does not fall far from the tree.

As Hillary studiously works to avoid any media confrontation about the scandals surrounding her and poo-poos this latest one as a “distraction,” the younger Clinton found herself taking on the role of Defender of the Foundation when the moderator at a Council on Foreign Relations event on women’s rights asked her about the foundation “bubbling up a little bit in the news”. (Side note: Bubbling up a little bit?? Seriously? That’s how you choose to refer to a full-blown explosion of brazen corruption involving a presidential-hopeful that has left a money trail throughout the world and in bank accounts far and wide, including uranium holdings and God knows what else? This is not what any reasonably objective person would term “bubbling up a little bit”…)

In response, Clinton demonstrated the smooth art of ‘diplomacy’ avoidance while defending the “important work” of the foundation and their “transparency”:

“What the Clinton Foundation has said is that we will be even more transparent, even though Transparency International and others have said we’re among the most transparent of foundations.

“I very much believe that that is the right policy. That we’ll be even more transparent. That to eliminate any questions while we’re in this time, we won’t take new government funding, but that the work will continue as it is,” Clinton continued, referring to the foundation’s recent policy change to limit donations from foreign governments, like Saudi Arabia.

It’s interesting that Clinton cited Transparency International, as it appears they also have their own issues of credibility. I was unable to check out Clinton’s reference to “others” for obvious reasons.

With that, at the charity clearing house, Charity Navigator whose mission is to “examine two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability and Transparency”, the Clinton Foundation currently stands as “unrated”:

We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity’s atypical business model can not be accurately captured in our current rating methodology. Our removal of The Clinton Foundation from our site is neither a condemnation nor an endorsement of this charity. We reserve the right to reinstate a rating for The Clinton Foundation as soon as we identify a rating methodology that appropriately captures its business model.

What does it mean that this organization isn’t rated?

It simply means that the organization doesn’t meet our criteria. A lack of a rating does not indicate a positive or negative assessment by Charity Navigator.

And speaking of those transparent Clintons, Hot Air is now reporting that the progressive group Common Cause is surprisingly making a reasonable request of accountability from Hillary and the foundation:

Citing concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the influence of hidden overseas donors, Common Cause called on presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Clinton Foundation today to commission an independent and thorough review of all large donations to the foundation and to release the results.

“As Mrs. Clinton herself observed earlier this week, voluntary disclosure is not enough,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “A report in Thursday’s New York Times indicates that the Clinton Foundation violated an agreement to identify all of its donors. The foundation’s omissions create significant gaps in the information that voters need to make informed decisions at the polls.”

To ensure that the audit is complete, Rapoport said the foundation should enter into a contractual agreement with auditors to open its books fully and to make public the complete report of their review.

(H/T ASHQ podcast)

–Dana

UPDATE: I’m adding this breakdown of the Clinton Foundation expenditures:

The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.

On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fund-raising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons are on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the Foundation.

In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.

Some of the tens of millions in administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world.

But that’s still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission.”

The Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group, has come out and said that it appears the foundation works as a “slush fund” for the Clintons.

UPDATE 2: As of this morning, the Clinton Foundation blog has put up a new post entitled A Commitment to Honesty, Transparency, and Accountability.

In part:

As the Foundation’s impact has grown, so too has its commitment to transparency. When Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State, we took unprecedented steps to avoid potential conflicts of interest by going above and beyond what is required of any philanthropy and instituted voluntarily annual disclosure of all of our donors on our website. We also established a policy around the foreign government contributions we accept, recognizing that in order to continue our life improving work we rely on the contributions of government, as is the case with most large scale global charities.

Today, our donor disclosure and foreign government contributor policy is stronger than ever. Since Secretary Clinton decided to run for President, we have committed to disclosing all of our donors on a quarterly basis. In addition, we announced that we will only accept funding from a handful of governments, many of whom the Foundation receives multi-year grants from, to continue the work they have long partnered on.

So yes, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future. We are committed to operating the Foundation responsibly and effectively to continue the life-changing work that this philanthropy is doing every day.

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