Patterico's Pontifications


Student Activists With Their Own History Of Bigotry Accuse Chelsea Clinton Of Causing The New Zealand Massacre

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Chelsea Clinton, who had been invited to attend a prayer vigil at NYU for the victims of the New Zealand massacre, was confronted by students who blamed her for the deadly attack which left 49 50 innocent people dead:

When Chelsea Clinton showed up at a vigil Friday night in New York for victims of the New Zealand mosque massacre, she was confronted by a small group of college students who accused her of inciting the violence.

Last month, the former first daughter joined throngs of Democrats and Republicans in condemning language used by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the two first Muslim women elected to Congress, that they saw as perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes.

At the vigil, the New York University students said reactions like Clinton’s “stoked” hatred of Muslims.

“This, right here, is a result of a massacre stoked by people like you and *the words that you put out into the world,” one student told Clinton, according to a video of the confrontation. “And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep down inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.”

“I’m so sorry that you feel that way,” Clinton said. “Certainly, it was never my intention. I do believe words matter. I believe we have to show solidarity.”

After the incident, student Leen Dweik said of her confrontation with Clinton:

… she thought that Clinton’s attendance at the vigil was “ridiculous.”

“Our collective memory is not that short,” she said. “You can’t be in a position of authority and responsibility and say things like that and get away with an ‘I’m sorry.’”

Dweik responded to the criticism with a Twitter thread, in which she explained that she felt angry and sad at the vigil, “in a space that was supposed to center me and my fellow muslims in mourning and instead became a space in which non-muslims preached abt [sic] love while turning around and supporting violent campaigns against muslims globally.”

Here is video of the encounter.

As for Clinton condemning the language used by Rep. Omar, here is the tweet that allegedly “stoked hatred of Muslims”:


So let me get this right: Because Chelsea Clinton, who is not an elected official, held an elected official (who happens to be a Muslim WOC) accountable for her use of inflammatory language and politely cautioned her to be careful of the anti-Semitic *words she puts into the world, she simultaneously outed herself as an Islamaphobic white supremacist. Therefore she is partly to blame for a terrorist attack committed by a real-life Islamaphobic white supremacist more than 7,000 miles away! Sure, why not. This is troubling on a number of levels. What stands out to me though, is that this illogical leap is underscores how such loyalty to a politician based on a shared faith or view (of Israel), renders one unwilling, and I would even say unable to hold elected officials accountable for their every word and every deed. And that is problematic. Nothing, absolutely nothing should stand in the way of us criticizing our elected officials and speaking out against them when they behave badly. We have an obligation to do so. If we let anything cloud our vision, be it faith or simple partisanship, it prevents us from looking at politicians with a necessarily shrewd and wary eye. Necessary because we understand the inherent weakness of man, regardless of the individual in question. To be willfully blind and pledge loyalty because of one or two factors is to risk green lighting bad behavior from those with great power. Human nature knows no boundary when it comes to unfettered power. And given that behaving with impunity is man’s natural inclination if one is not constrained by fundamental values, principles, and accountability to others, it then becomes vital that public officials are constantly aware of the fact that their feet will always be held to the fire. No matter who they are, no matter what they believe. Absolutely no elected official should be exempt from such accountability. (Preemptive strike: of course this includes Trump.)

After receiving blowback for their confrontation with Clinton, the two students attempted to justify their attack in an op-ed that Buzzfeed, unsurprisingly, published. I’ll just post an excerpt which tells you all you need to know (about the young women and Buzzfeed). It is loaded with the universal, tone-deaf irony of bigots everywhere:

We went to the vigil for one reason: to grieve the loss of innocent lives that were stolen from this world by vile hatred. We wanted to join our friends and colleagues in a time of heartbreak and agony, to remember the 49 Muslims who were murdered for being Muslim. As a Jewish American-Israeli and a Palestinian Muslim, we understand far too well the consequences of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and white supremacy. And as activists who are unafraid to speak the truth, we know we have a duty to call out any bigotry wherever it exists.

As people in unwavering solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom and human rights, we were profoundly disappointed when Chelsea Clinton used her platform to fan those flames. We believe that Ilhan Omar did nothing wrong except challenge the status quo, but the way many people chose to criticize Omar made her vulnerable to anti-Muslim hatred and death threats.

We were shocked when Clinton arrived at the vigil, given that she had not yet apologized to Rep. Omar for the public vilification against her. We thought it was inappropriate for her to show up to a vigil for a community she had so recently stoked hatred against. We were not alone in feeling uncomfortable — many students were dismayed to see her there.

Many have said it was unfair to connect Chelsea’s words to the massacre in Christchurch. To them, we say that anti-Muslim bigotry must be addressed wherever it exists. This is not about left and right. This is about people who do and do not have power, and how those with power use it. A global environment of hatred and vilification against Muslims created this killer. Spurred on by professional bigots, anti-Muslim hate now permeates our culture and politics, and everyone, as a matter of urgency, should consider the role they play in enabling it. That includes Chelsea Clinton.

This isn’t hard. You know where they’re coming from. Bigots typically believe they are justified in their own bigotry (which they clearly don’t see as bigotry). They see it as a righteous cause that only the enlightened are able to discern. What’s interesting, however, is when the whole of the bigot comes to light. From Leen Dweik, one of the op-ed writers:



As the other student/op-ed writer, Rose Asaf has deleted/made private her social media accounts, you can read more about the political views she holds here and here:

Rose Asaf has spread hatred of Israel and expressed opposition to a bipartisan bill drafted in response to growing anti-Semitism in the United States.

Asaf is a co-founder of the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organization at New York University (NYU). She is also a member and the 2018 incoming secretary of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Asaf is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and is the author and sponsor of a 2018 divestment bill at NYU.

Asaf has promoted the #returnthebirthright initiative launched by JVP against the Birthright Jewish heritage tour.

Asaf is also affiliated with IfNotNow (INN), an organization that uses disruptive tactics to drive a wedge between the American Jewish community and Israel.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Happy Birthday to My Dad

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:00 am

As I have done every March 17 since I started this blog, I am wishing my Dad a Happy Birthday.

It is a tradition to note my previous similar posts on this special day.

He would have been 94 today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 46

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the second Sunday in Lent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein Schmerz sei” (Behold and see, if there be any sorrow).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 13:31-35:

Jesus’s Sorrow for Jerusalem

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, echoing the Gospel reading’s lamentation for Jerusalem, and the image of Jesus gathering the righteous lovingly, like a hen gathers her chicks:

Lament then, O destroyed city of God,
you poor heap of stones and ashes!

. . . .

You did not heed Jesus’ tears,
now heed the tidal wave of passion
that you have built up over yourself,
for God, after much patience,
breaks his staff in judgment.

. . . .

Yet do not imagine, o sinners,
that Jerusalem alone
above all others is full of sin!

. . . .

Yet Jesus will, even in punishment,
be the shield and supporter of the righteous.
He gathers them as his sheep,
Lovingly, as his little chicks;
when storms of vengeance reward sinners,
He assures that the righteous live securely.

This is a beautiful cantata. Note that Bach considered the music of the initial chorus fine enough to adapt for the “Qui tollis peccata mundi” section of his Mass in b minor:

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


49 Killed While Attending Prayers At New Zealand Mosques

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:12 am

[guest post by Dana]

Some horrible news out of New Zealand:

At least 49 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers in an attack broadcast in horrifying, live video by an immigrant-hating white nationalist wielding at least two rifles.

One man was arrested and charged with murder, and two other armed suspects were taken into custody while police tried to determine what role they played.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, noting that many of the victims could be migrants or refugees.

She pronounced it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

The attack shocked people across the nation of 5 million people, a country that has relatively loose gun laws but is so peaceful even police officers rarely carry firearms.

The gunman behind at least one of the mosque shootings left a 74-page manifesto that he posted on social media… identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian and white nationalist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

Using what may have been a helmet camera, he livestreamed to the world in graphic detail his assault on worshippers at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque, where at least 41 people were killed. An attack on a second mosque in the city not long after killed several more.

Police did not identify those taken into custody and gave no details except to say that none of them had been on any watch list. They did not immediately say whether the same person was responsible for both shootings.

I’m not the least bit interested in talking about any self-promoting, manipulative and attention-seeking politicians who shamelessly politicized the tragedy right out the gate. Their unseemly behavior speaks for itself. While so many families are in shock and trying to grapple with their loss, my simple prayers go out to them. Because, as it is whenever a terrorist attack takes place, the pain that those left behind must be going through is just unimaginable.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



President Trump’s Declaration Of National Emergency At Border Is Overturned By Senate Vote

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:50 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Here we go:

The Senate passed a resolution Thursday to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, with 12 Republicans joining all Democrats to deliver a bipartisan rebuke to the president.

The disapproval resolution passed the House last month, so the 59-41 Senate vote will send the measure to Trump’s desk. Trump has promised to use the first veto of his presidency to strike it down, and Congress does not have the votes to override the veto.

“VETO!” Trump tweeted moments after the vote.

For weeks Trump had sought to frame the debate in terms of immigration, arguing that Republican senators who supported border security should back him up on the emergency declaration. But for many GOP lawmakers, it was about a bigger issue: The Constitution itself, which grants Congress — not the president — control over government spending.

By declaring a national emergency in order to bypass Congress to get money for his wall, Trump was violating the separation of powers and setting a potentially dangerous precedent, these senators argued.

Republicans who voted with Trump and against the disapproval resolution said the president was acting within his authority under the National Emergencies Act, and taking necessary steps to address a humanitarian and drug crisis at the border that Democrats had ignored.

The 12 Republicans who voted to terminate the national emergency declaration:

Sen. Roger Wicker (Mississippi)
Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida)
Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Sen. Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
Sen. Roy Blunt (Missouri)
Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee)
Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah)
Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky)
Sen. Jerry Moran (Kansas)
Sen. Mike Lee (Utah)

After a failed attempt at finding a compromise with the president, Sens. Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Ben Sasse voted against the disapproval resolution.

Here are their reasons for voting as they did (excluding Sen. Graham because his vote was unsurprising):

From Ted Cruz:

“This was a difficult vote. I understand my colleagues’ real concerns regarding the vast emergency powers that Congress has given the President over the last half-century … We cannot end this emergency without securing our southern border, and we cannot secure our border without building the wall.”

From Ben Sasse:

“We have an obvious crisis at the border everyone who takes an honest look at the spiking drug and human trafficking numbers knows this and the President has a legal path to a rapid response under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 (NEA). I think that law is overly broad and I want to fix it, but at present Nancy Pelosi doesn’t, so I am therefore voting against her politically motivated resolution. As a constitutional conservative, I believe that the NEA currently on the books should be narrowed considerably. That’s why I’m an original sponsor of Senator Lee’s legislation, and it is why I have repeatedly gone to the White House to seek support for NEA reform.”

Not so fast, Phillip Klein argues (re Sasse):

“This is a cop-out. Nothing in the world would prevent Sasse from both voting to disapprove of this specific invocation of emergency powers while also advocating for broader reforms. He is setting up a classic false choice. Sasse has in the past lamented the tendency of people to put their preferred outcomes over respecting process and institutional checks on power, and yet here he is, embracing a move because of the policy outcome.”

Allapundit’s take on reasons why Cruz and Sasse voted against the disapproval resolution:

He still dreams of being president and knows that 2024 rivals like Tom Cotton would have used this vote against him to get to his right with populists. He put Ted Cruz’s political interests above everything, including what he professes to believe. As usual.

The truth about Sasse, the only possible explanation, is that he’s decided to run for reelection in Nebraska and calculated that he wouldn’t be able to survive a primary challenge if he opposed Trump on this. There’s too much heat. Maybe he can survive one if he quiets down with the Trump criticism over the next 12 months and votes Trump’s way. Forced to choose between his brand as a constitutional conservative who wants to restore separation of powers and his job, Sasse made his choice.


On the one hand, Congress laudably stood up for its constitutional prerogatives as the country’s lawmaking body, rebuking the president for his executive power-grab and forcing him to issue his first veto. On the other hand, Senate Republicans—including some who have talked a lot about opposing Trump’s erratic actions—overwhelmingly rolled over and voted to let Trump’s emergency go through.

In a funny way, even though the vote was largely symbolic, it turned out to be revealing…

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Beto O’Rourke: “Man, I’m Just Born To Be In It”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:19 am

[guest post by Dana]

In the 2020 race for the presidency, that is:

From a profile of O’Rourke in Vanity Fair this week:

Beto O’Rourke seems, in this moment, like a cliff diver trying to psych himself into the jump. And after playing coy all afternoon about whether he’ll run, he finally can’t deny the pull of his own gifts. “You can probably tell that I want to run,” he finally confides, smiling. “I do. I think I’d be good at it.”

“This is the fight of our lives,” he continues, “not the fight-of-my-political-life kind of crap.

But, like, this is the fight of our lives as Americans, and as humans, I’d argue.”

The more he talks, the more he likes the sound of what he’s saying. “I want to be in it,” he says, now leaning forward. “Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”

Meh. It’s all I can muster…

Let the Betomania begin:

We’re doing all of the Obamamania stuff again, except this time with a white guy from Texas. It’s all starting up again: the retro hipster t-shirts, the bracelets on Etsy, the votive candles.

Once the progressive-media industrial complex decides that some guy is a hero, it’s difficult to derail that train. They’re convinced they can conjure that courageous and intrepid narrative into existence through sheer willpower, facts be darned. O’Rourke’s recent defeat is just reinterpreted as a historic victory, a key turning point, a promise of things to come. There’s a paperback book of photography from Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate campaign: “When I first showed up to see Beto OʼRourke he had 63,500 followers on Twitter. Eleven months later on election day, he broke the 900,000 mark. And it’s all because he showed up and left us all with a feeling that doesn’t go away — hope.”

This presidential campaign is a rerun.

Nobody does presidential elections quite like the Democrats. This burning drive to find their next Savior reminds us of their (screwed-up) fundamental belief that the role of government is to take care of us all from cradle to grave, if possible.

President Trump’s reacted to O’Rourke’s announcement:

“I’ve never seen so much hand movement,” Trump said to reporters, adding that he’d watched O’Rourke in what he called a news conference earlier that day. “I said: ‘Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?’”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



The College Admissions Indictment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

New York Times:

A teenage girl who did not play soccer magically became a star soccer recruit at Yale. Cost to her parents: $1.2 million.

A high school boy eager to enroll at the University of Southern California was falsely deemed to have a learning disability so he could take his standardized test with a complicit proctor who would make sure he got the right score. Cost to his parents: at least $50,000.

A student with no experience rowing won a spot on the U.S.C. crew team after a photograph of another person in a boat was submitted as evidence of her prowess. Her parents wired $200,000 into a special account.

In a major college admissions scandal that laid bare the elaborate lengths some wealthy parents will go to get their children into competitive American universities, federal prosecutors charged 50 people on Tuesday in a brazen scheme to buy spots in the freshman classes at Yale, Stanford and other big-name schools.

Some of these kids were clearly complicit in their parents’ cheating. They should be expelled.

I wonder why the parents didn’t just go the standard route of writing a huge donation check to the school. That’s still legal, right? And it accomplishes the same thing. Maybe it’s harder to do if the parent isn’t an alum, huh?

As a friend emailed (he can identify himself here if he likes):

[W]e’re going to hear a lot in coming days about legacy admissions at … elite schools, and we’ll hear about Jared Kushner at Harvard, Donald Trump and his three children at Penn, and probably various Bush Yalies. What we won’t hear about is whether Malia Obama was really deserving of admittance to Harvard, or whether Chelsea Clinton was truly Stanford Material, or about the Gore and Kennedy families at Harvard.

Sounds about right. And you’ll see the mirror image of that in sites on the right, I suppose (sites read by far fewer people than will read the Big Media pieces described in the quote).

The whole thing is sad, but seems like an inevitable consequence of an increasingly insane scrabbling for overly coveted spots at elite schools. I’m proud to have raised a kid in college who would never dream of such cheating, and who probably would have disowned her parents if we had proposed such a thing.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Newsom Plans to Suspend Death Penalty in California

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:02 pm

He has a pen and a phone.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is suspending the death penalty in California, calling it discriminatory and immoral and granting reprieves to the 737 condemned inmates on the nation’s largest Death Row.

“I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom said in a statement accompanying an executive order, to be issued Wednesday, declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in the state. “The death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.”

He plans to order an immediate shutdown of the death chamber at San Quentin State Prison, where the last execution was carried out in 2006. Newsom is also withdrawing California’s recently revised procedures for executions by lethal injection, ending — at least for now — the struggle by prison officials for more than a decade to devise procedures that would pass muster in federal court by minimizing the risk of a botched and painful execution.

I don’t know whether he can do this legally, but he’s going to try.

Add it to the parade of laws that are allowing murderers to walk out the door and other weakening of public safety.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Salem Buys PJ Media

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 pm


It’s part of Salem’s earnings report:

On March 1, 2019, the company entered into an agreement to acquire the website for $0.1 million in cash. The purchase is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.

So there you have it.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Two High Profile Democrats And Their Response To Trump

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I can’t say it’s not amusing to watch the Democrats publicly struggle to stay unified (or at least present a unified front). Cheap thrills, I suppose. Beholden to neither party, the novelty of the Democrats imploding a bit and dragging themselves through the mud these days is a good distraction from the Republicans’ proposed whopper of a budget, in which the president laughably warned that the federal government” must protect future generations from Washington’s habitual deficit spending.” …

Anyway, this is an interesting look at the divide within today’s Democratic party: the view of President Trump held by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and that of Rep. Ilhan Omar. The circumstances prompting their opinions are certainly different – one was interviewed in a planned upon date and time by a mainstream media outlet, the other was “interviewed” on the run in a hallway by a Fox news reporter (that the representative is obviously trying hard to blow off). Yet it is still revealing about both individuals and how they view the president.

From Pelosi, in an interview with The Washington Post:

How would you describe your relationship with the president?

Is there a relationship? [Laughs.] How would I describe my relationship to the president? My relationship toward him is respectful, respectful of the office that he holds. Straightforward, just tell him what I think. And I always say you’re not going to hear me saying anything publicly that I’m not saying here in the office. Hopeful that at some point we can find common ground that he’ll stick to. So, yeah, respectful, honest and hopeful.

Do you feel that he has done anything that has been good for America?

He’s been a great organizer for Democrats, a great fundraiser for Democrats and a great mobilizer at the grass-roots level for Democrats. [Laughs.] And I think that’s good for America.

There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.

I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.

And from Omar:

The Minnesota Democrat said in an interview with Fox News in a congressional hallway that her criticisms of Mr. Obama last week for the “caging of kids” along the U.S.-Mexico border and the “droning of countries around the world” don’t mean he is like Mr. Trump.

“Absolutely not, that is silly to even think and equate the two,” she said, going on to explain how the two men differ.

“One is human. The other is really not,” she said.

Omar (along with Rep. Tlaib) were the first two congresspersons to sign a pledge to impeach President Trump).

I appreciate more Omar’s blunt in-your-face-take-no-prisoners easy to read hate than that of the much more polished hate couched in Pelosi’s carefully crafted responses. At least with Omar, you’re never going to guess where she stands on anything Trump, whereas with Pelosi, because she’s sublimely practiced at the art of deception and finessing that which might be seen as problematic, one needs to pay close attention to what she says. Maybe it’s just an old-school Democrat versus a progressive Democratic socialist, or experienced, savvy player versus that of an impulsive, impatient player who still hasn’t learned to watch her words and weigh them out carefully before uttering them aloud.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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