Patterico's Pontifications


Snopes Lamely Tries to Exonerate Emory Crybullies, Gets Facts Wrong [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:28 am

[guest post by JVW]

As a follow-up to last night’s post on the recent kerfuffle at Emory, I see that the website Snopes, which describes itself as “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation,” has weighed in. In what seems to be a curious take on the subject, the snopes blogger Kim LaCapria focuses on the claim that Emory students “were offered ’emergency counseling’ after pro-Trump graffiti appeared overnight in campus ‘safe spaces,'” and judges it to be “mostly false,” decreeing the following:

WHAT’S TRUE: Students at Emory University gathered in protest after pro-Trump graffiti appeared overnight; administrators investigated the graffiti as it appeared outside designated areas for chalk markings.

WHAT’S FALSE: “Emergency counseling” was offered to or demanded by students; Emory students complained that their “safe spaces” had been violated; students were afraid of or traumatized by the chalk markings.

It strikes me as a bit odd that Ms. LaCapria is so fixated on the idea of emergency counseling being offered. Yes, as she points out, some conservative critics claimed that the school had offered the students “emergency counseling,” and in fact, the word “counseling” was not used in any official communication from Emory’s administration, let alone “emergency counseling.” But the administration did promise “. . . regular and structured opportunities for difficult dialogues, a formal process to institutionalize identification, review and [the] addressing of social justice opportunities and issues and a commitment to an annual retreat to renew our efforts,” and announced that the student government would be holding extra office hours “to provide Emory students an opportunity to discuss such support and inclusivity on Emory’s campus.” While this might not rise to the level of official counseling sessions with trained psychiatric professionals, it seems to me to be at least some sort of counseling or other.

But let’s put that aside for a moment, giving Ms. LaCapria the benefit of the doubt in her judgement. What can’t be explained away, though, is her puzzling assertion that students were not in fact “afraid of or traumatized by the chalk markings.” If that were the case, then how would Ms. LaCapria explain the following quotes from the article in the Emory Wheel campus newspaper:

An antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” throughout the Quad. [. . .]

“I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well. I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school. . .” [. . .]

“What are we feeling?” Peraza asked those assembled. Responses of “frustration” and “fear” came from around the room. . . “

[bolded emphasis in all cases is added by me]

Though I have never been a huge believer in the idea that Snopes is part of a left-wing media cabal seeking to push a progressive agenda, I find it difficult to read this particular entry and not get the sense that Kim LaCapria sought to spin this controversy in a way to mitigate the damage that Emory crybullies and their venal and cowardly administration have done to their university. Honing in on the idea that the word “counseling” was never used, and the weird obsessiveness with debunking the idea that “emergency” counseling was offered is one thing, but Ms. LaCapria is flat-out wrong in her assertion that no students expressed fear or a sense of trauma at the chalkings.

I rate her coverage of the Emory Crybully Saga to be “Mostly False.”

UPDATE: MD in Philly, who at the moment is not in Philly, reminds us that this site has had opportunity in the past to call into question the Snopes ruling on disputed events. Thanks for the timely reminder.


On Easter (Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

Happy Easter. For the Christian, it is the day to celebrate that He is risen. It is this very resurrection that makes our faith what it is, and allows us intimate communion with Christ our Savior. Grace and mercy came in the form of a Man who willingly died for us, only to raise from the grave to save and justify those whom He loved. This is the path of hope we walk.

Tragically, we learn this morning that fellow Christians celebrating Easter now face a a horror of tremendous proportion:

A bomb blast in a park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday has killed 44 people and wounded 91, a health official said.

Many of the injured are in a critical condition, Salman Rafiq, a health adviser to the chief minister of Punjab province said.

The explosion took place near the children’s rides in Gulshan-e-Iqbal park, local police chief Haider Ashraf said. He said the explosion appeared to have been a suicide bombing, but investigations were ongoing.

The area was crowded with Christians celebrating the Easter holidays, and many families were leaving the park when the blast occurred, Ashraf said.

Other sources claim that officials have told them at least 56 have been reported dead – the vast majority of those being women and children. While it is believed to be the work of a suicide bomber, officials say that has not yet been confirmed. No individual or group has claimed responsibility at this point in time.

To the people of all faiths impacted by this attack: my humble prayers for the wounded and the families who have lost their children, their mothers, and their fathers. I hope that God’s love reaches far down into the shocked and despairing hearts of those involved. May comfort be theirs, and may a glimmer of hope to hold onto be theirs as well.

It is good for me to be reminded, on this day especially, that, while this living hope in Christ extends far and wide to any who ask, not everyone who believes is blessed with the relative ease that we have to live out their faith. May God keep near to Him those who live under a constant threat of danger or persecution yet remain steadfast in their commitment to live a life pleasing to Him. They are a far better and stronger people than am I.


UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a faction of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed they were responsible for the attack as well as specifically targeting Christians:

A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which it said was aimed at Christians celebrating the Easter holiday. Pakistan, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, has a small Christian minority. Officials said they had not confirmed if Christians were the target.

Christians, who make up less than 2% of Pakistan’s 182 million people, have frequently been targeted by Pakistani extremist groups.


Shall We Talk about Emory? Sure, Let’s Talk about Emory!

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:59 pm

[guest post by JVW]

In the never-ending chronicle of campus lunacy, we have this week’s developments from Emory University in Atlanta (fun fact: Emory is the academic partner for the nearby Carter Center). Students awoke last Monday to find that someone had chalked graffiti supporting a certain Presidential candidate on several sidewalks and walls about the peaceful and bucolic (yet urban) campus. Not unexpectedly, a certain subset of the campus activist culture found this calcium carbonate-based advocacy to be absolutely terrifying. From the campus newspaper:

Students protested yesterday at the Emory Administration Building following a series of overnight, apparent pro-Donald Trump for president chalkings throughout campus.

[. . .]

“I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well … I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school,” she added.

[. . .]

Grievances were not restricted to shortcomings of the administration. “[Faculty] are supporting this rhetoric by not ending it,” said one student, who went on to say that “people of color are struggling academically because they are so focused on trying to have a safe community and focus on these issues [related to having safe spaces on campus].”

The article then goes on to add that the activists presented the usual list of demands, including more minority faculty hires and the creation of safe spaces. Emory President James Wagner, who surprisingly appears to have initially defended free speech rights, was later bullied into sending a mealy-mouthed email message to the campus community promising to review procedures for advocacy postings and increase “social justice opportunities” throughout Emory. The administration at first promised to review security footage to see what dastardly rapscallions may have had the temerity to sully the campus grounds with chalk, but it appears that they have since backed down and now consider the matter closed.

Reaction, as one might imagine, was swift and generally withering. Emory and its cowardly leadership were lampooned far and wide, with unmerciful scorn coming from all quarters, from the obnoxious right to the insufferable left and all points between. Conor Friedersdorf devoted his usual 10,000 words (jeeze, I’m one to talk!) on the topic, centered around the off-campus leftist consensus that these students might be well intentioned, but they were making progressives look silly by carrying on so.

And right now, Emory’s chalk-focused activists and its president are the worst allies imaginable for anti-Trumpism. They’re not just ineffective, they’re doing all harm and no good. They’re focused on how Trump supporters make them feel rather than opposing his rise as effectively as possible. And their abandonment of liberal values bolsters the false belief of Trump supporters that such values are only ever invoked cynically.

That is fuel for more illiberalism. And insofar as America becomes a zero-sum game to see who can do the most to suppress the speech of whom, the campus left will not win. Why aren’t more tenured faculty members who understand that speaking up?

Because it just seems self-evident to the left that their opponents will gladly adopt these same anti-Constitutional tactics should they be given half a chance, despite there being virtually no evidence suggesting that this is so, apart from one candidate’s bizarre and fatuous claims that he is going to make the media pay for their insolence.

These crybully kerfuffles, whether at Mizzou or Claremont or Yale or Amherst or points yonder and afar all seem to have the same defining characteristic: students understand that in the 21st Century campus climate, grievance-mongering works! Have you ever been in a store and seen some young child whining for some toy? It’s easy to look at the kid and think, “Man, what a little brat,” but if you knew that the kid had a perfect record of having his parents give in and buy him the toy you might feel a little more understanding of the power structure dynamic at play. That’s exactly what we are seeing on campus today. Sure the crybullies are annoying and pathetic, but this goes on because there are far too many adult authority figures on campus who will eventually reward the whining. Emory is fixing to be just the latest overmatched and lily-livered parent helplessly shelling out for the toy that the kid demands.


Hillary Clinton: Why Yes, I’m A One-Percenter And It Will Cost You $353,400 To Sit By Me, But Hey, The Champion Of Everyday Americans Is Worth It!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:49 am

[guest post by Dana]

There is but one Hillary Clinton. Thankfully. Infamous member of the one-percent club thanks to her golden ties to Wall Street, including Goldman Sach, and who amusingly opened her presidential campaign (the current one, that is…) with this announcement:

I’m running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.

It’s an eye-roller given that she is scheduled to be the guest of honor at a fundraiser where the odds of seeing any of those “everyday Americans” is slim to none unless they’re wearing a uniform and asking guests if they’d like more champagne:


One-percenters of a feather stick together:

For two seats at the head table with Clinton, George Clooney and his wife, attorney Amal Clooney, at an April 15 fundraiser, a couple must contribute or raise a whopping $353,400 — a huge ticket price for a hard-dollar fundraiser.

And say, do you think that April 15 fundraiser date is a little inside joke of the one-percent??



My Answers from Charles Murray’s “Bubble” Quiz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 pm

So, that Charles Murray quiz was interesting, wasn’t it? I thought, as a kind of get-to-know-the-host exercise, that I would tell you all my answers and give you a little background. I encourage people who took the quiz to tell us more details as to how you arrived at your result. No need to go full Patterico and give every answer, unless you’re inclined to — but consider sharing the more interesting answers. Many of you have already, and I enjoyed it, which is what motivated me to do this.


Ted Cruz: “I Want To Be Crystal Clear: These Attacks Are Garbage”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The National Enquirer is alleging that Ted Cruz has had extramarital affairs with five different women. It has been suggested that two of the five women include Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Katrina Pierson and Amanda Carpenter, former communications director for Ted Cruz. Both have denied the allegations.

Here is Carpenter pushing back:

Here is Pierson’s denial:

Katrina PiersonVerified account
Of course the National Enquirer story is 100% FALSE!!! I only speak to myself, however.

Carry on…

Ted Cruz has also denied the allegations:

He also posted this on his Facebook page:

I want to be crystal clear: these attacks are garbage. For Donald J. Trump to enlist his friends at the National Enquirer and his political henchmen to do his bidding shows you that there is no low Donald won’t go.

These smears are completely false, they’re offensive to Heidi and me, they’re offensive to our daughters, and they’re offensive to everyone Donald continues to personally attack.

Donald Trump’s consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow.

Trump has had a cozy relationship with the CEO of the tabloid that has endorsed his candidacy :

Trump and Enquirer CEO David Pecker have been friends for years. “They’re very close,” said a source close to the Enquirer. In July 2013, Trump even tweeted that Pecker should become CEO of Time magazine, which at the time was being spun off from its corporate parent, Time Warner. “He’d make it exciting and win awards!”

Whether or not Trump has been a source for the Enquirer, his friendship with Pecker has paid dividends. At key moments during the GOP primary the Enquirer has helped boost Trump’s campaign by attacking his rivals and fawning over him. Two weeks after Trump launched his campaign in mid-June, the Enquirer reported that Jeb Bush was “involved in the drug trade in Florida” in the ’80s and that, as governor, he was plagued by “sleazy cheating scandals … [with a] Playboy Bunny turned lawyer.” In September, the Enquirer published an unflattering photograph of Bush’s adult daughter apparently taking cigarette breaks at her office. The article hit just days after Jeb told Americans they needed to work longer hours.

Meanwhile, Trump has been exclusively celebrated in the Enquirer’s pages. As talk of a Trump candidacy heated up last winter, the tabloid published an article headlined “Trump’s the One!” that reported him leading in the polls. In September, the Enquirer published a three-part series by Trump himself under the headline “The Man Behind the Legend!”

Trump claims that he had nothing to do with the National Enquirer hit job:

“I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week’s issue of the National Enquirer is true or not, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it, and have not, as yet, read it…Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz.”


Charles Murray’s “Do You Live in a Bubble?” Quiz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 am

I’m sick of politics right now, so here’s something different. It’s a variant of a quiz Charles Murray had in a book of his. It’s designed to see whether you live in a bubble or are part of mainstream America. (I’m a fan of Charles Murray’s and I found it linked on his Facebook page.) Scores are 1-100; the lower your score, the more of a bubble you’re in. I got a 27, which makes me fairly but not ridiculously bubbilicious. It puts me in about this category, according to the results:

11–80: A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Typical: 33.

That’s about right, I think.

Things that took me out of the “bubble” were things like having worked jobs for months that made my body ache; knowing and being close to evangelical Christians; attending Kiwanis club meetings; and eating and Chili’s or T.G.I. Friday’s. Most of these things (not the last) are from my younger years: for example, I would go on occasion to my dad’s Kiwanis club meetings as a child — but went only once as an adult, at his urging, and didn’t really like it.

Things that put me inside the bubble include things like living in large metropolitan areas; not caring much for television or most movies; or not having ridden long-distance buses or hitchhiked (though this is a bit unfair, since the family regularly engaged in days-long car trips when I was young, and we never flew anywhere).

It would be interesting to see where you folks fall. I have a feeling most readers’ numbers will be higher than mine. Many of you don’t live in big cities, and I think you probably watch more television and movies than I do (though I could be wrong). Take the quiz at this link and let me know!


Out with the Old, In with the Same Old

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:58 pm

[guest post by JVW]

The era of Andrew Rosenthal as editorial page editor of the New York Times is mercifully ending, not a moment too soon. Rosenthal, who has spent the last nine years in the role will be stepping down next month, to be replaced by James Bennett, the current editor-in-chief and president of The Atlantic. An article published earlier this week on the Times’ website and written by contributor David W. Dunlap traced the arc of the Rosenthal editorial page of the past decade. In typical fashion, the paper combines a smug elite leftism with a complete lack of self-awareness. Consider for instance the over-the-top lede paragraphs:

On the 13th floor of The New York Times building is a very exclusive portrait gallery.

It is more exclusive than the Pulitzer Prize gallery on the 15th floor. It is even more exclusive than the collection of signed presidential portraits in the 16th-floor boardroom.

The 13th-floor gallery honors the eight men and one woman who formerly ran The Times’s editorial page. Their combined tenures extended 123 years. There were more popes in the same period.

After that unseemly and unearned exercise in self-importance, the article naturally quotes Rosenthal as being especially proud of his front-page editorial “End the Gun Epidemic in America” (no link will be provided for such predictable Times editorial board twaddle; Google it if you really must subject yourself to crass leftist moral preening) which was the first time the Times had placed an editorial on the front page since the Wilson Administration. While the editorial no doubt cheered the hearts of a certain urban effete milksop crowd that now comprises the heart of the ever-dwindling NYT readership, at the end of the day it really seemed to be little more than a provocative marketing move designed to get people talking more about the newspaper than about the issue of gun control. Even some fellow-travelers in the media were left underwhelmed by Rosenthal’s supposedly bold move.

But hey, reader, don’t go thinking that the Rosenthal editorial board was just a rehash of whatever was being put out by the DNC. Dunlap makes sure to inform us that “Though critics would argue otherwise, Mr. Rosenthal’s editorial page was not captive to the Democratic Party or its elected officials.” He then goes on to lay this whopper on us:

The Times’s innate suspicion of government’s tendency to abuse power is, perhaps, one of the longest-running and most consistent of themes on its editorial page.

No, really: the cheerleading that the Times editorial page has done for the Obama stimulus, the Affordable Care Act, and just about any other big government program that rears its ugly head by no means undercuts their suspicion of government’s tendency to abuse power.

In fact, one of the uglier features of the rank partisanship of the Rosenthal editorial page has been how readily the editorials have relied upon situational ethics when it comes to protecting the progressive agenda. Nowhere was that more apparent than in summer 2014 when the sleazy Democrat governor Andrew Cuomo was trying to drag his cesspool of an administration to reelection. The Times editorial page attracted some attention that August when they refused to endorse Cuomo (whom they had happily endorsed four years earlier) in the Democrat primary, writing:

Why endorse no candidate in a major state primary? Here’s how we see it: Realistically, Governor Cuomo is likely to win the primary, thanks to vastly greater resources and name recognition. And he’ll probably win a second term in November against a conservative Republican opponent. In part, that’s because issues like campaign finance rarely have been a strong motivator for most voters. Nonetheless, those who want to register their disappointment with Mr. Cuomo’s record on changing the culture of Albany may well decide that the best way to do that is to vote for [his primary opponent] Ms. Teachout. Despite our reservations about her, that impulse could send a powerful message to the governor and the many other entrenched incumbents in Albany that a shake-up is overdue.

There are plenty of reasons to oppose the thuggish and corrupt Cuomo, but the idea that he isn’t a Sanders-style absolutist on campaign finance reform is one of the more daft and self-serving ones for an editorial page to grasp. One reason there is so much money in politics is to diminish the influence of nitwit newspaper editors like Andrew Rosenthal. But, not to fear, by October all was forgiven and the paper was back to supporting four more years of Cuomo corruption:

For nearly four years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has used his formidable political skills to achieve major advances for New York. He pressured and ultimately persuaded some Republican legislators to allow same-sex marriage in the state in 2011 [. . . . ]

He pushed through the strongest gun-control measure in the country [. . . .]

His budgets have been on time, and though his tax policies have favored the wealthy, he managed to get higher credit ratings for the state for the first time in decades.

There you have it, the governing philosophy of the Rosenthal editorial board: he may be corrupt and he may be an awful person, but he’s good on our pet issues and it looks like he won’t spend us into oblivion right away. It’s the affluent paternalistic urban progressive cynicism so obsessed with trendy social issues and maintaining their own order in the hierarchy that they are fine with their candidates cutting every corner and dragging the entire system into low repute as long as it is to accomplish their mutually-desired ends.

Like his boss, New York Times Company chairman Arthur Ochs “Pinch” Sulzberger, Jr., Andrew Rosenthal essentially inherited his position at the paper from his more accomplished and less annoying father. Both Sulzberger and Rosenthal filii are of the generation which took their fathers’ patrician do-gooder liberalism and ran it through the toxic thresher of angry identity politics and disdain for tradition that characterized the pampered elite of their generation. What has come of all this is an even more insufferable and smug progressive ideology that now permeates education (especially higher education), entertainment, government bureaucracy, nonprofits, and the media. Even many left-leaning NYT reporters apparently find the Sulzberger/Rosenthal axis to be absolutely poisonous for the health of the paper’s culture. Andrew Rosenthal’s era as the editor of the New York Times editorial pages was an entirely negative one, and we should all lament that it ever came to pass.


Ted Cruz To Donald Trump: You’re A Sniveling Coward, Leave Heidi The Hell Alone

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:23 pm

[guest post by Dana]

(*Pre-emptive strike, because it’s necessary: It was Liz Mair who created the digital ad that was released by her anti-Trump super-PAC. Ted Cruz had nothing to do with it: “That ad was completely inappropriate, and we had nothing to do with it.”)

Gotta love Cruz’s quick and brilliant response to the journalist’s attempted “gotcha” question…

Here is the full-length video:


Trump to Cruz: My Wife Is Hot And Yours Is Ugly

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

I was not going to write about the “Trump attacking Cruz wife” thing because somehow it seemed like another desperate attempt for media by Trump. But it’s escalated to the point where I want to explain to Trumpeters exactly what they are supporting. They are supporting this:

Trump supporters, this was predictable and you own it. Sean Hannity, you own this. Sarah Palin, you own this. Chris Christie, Rick Scott, Newt Gingrich, Scott Brown . . . you own it.

This got started when one of those super-PACs, in this case not even one that supports Cruz but just one that opposes Trump, put out a picture of Melania Trump naked. Dana blogged about that here. Cruz had nothing to do with it. How do we know that? When even a straight Trump sycophant like Sean Hannity admits it, you know it’s true:

There is no excuse for what Trump is doing.

But of course, it will make many Trump supporters even more proud of the guy. Because supporters like that are sick, twisted, dark people. And there are a lot of them.

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