Patterico's Pontifications

6/9/2020

Cancel Culture Goes Off the Rails

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:33 pm



[guest post by JVW]

We’ve seen time and again the effect that cancel culture — the idea that people who say or do something that falls short of the diktats of modern wokedness ought to lose their jobs and be ostracized from society — has had upon our society ever since it oozed down hill from college campuses to infect the entire body politic. Heretofore, we have largely limited the punishment to those who have done the wrong themselves, avoiding the guilt-by-association trap so popular with totalitarian societies everywhere. But according to National Review, it’s a new day for the crybullies:

If things weren’t already chaotic enough, Serbian soccer player Aleksandar Katai was released from the Los Angeles Galaxy last Friday following a day of indignant protests by fans outside Dignity Health Sports Park. What was Katai’s great offense? Being married to Tea Katai, who made Instagram posts comparing police-brutality protestors to cattle, called for violent action against them (“shoot the s***s”), and captioned an image of a supposed looter carrying off a pair of sneakers with “Black Nikes Matter.” Days before releasing Katai, the LA Galaxy had requested the removal of his wife’s posts and had made a statement condemning “racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of social equity.” Mrs. Katai subsequently took down the posts, and Mr. Katai issued a personal apology in which he rebuked his wife’s insensitivity. But these actions were not enough; Katai was still booted for his wife’s transgression.

Yes, yes, I know: to many soccer is a “sissy sport” that is “boring” and “pointless” with low-scoring games and plenty of players writhing around on the field in imaginary agony at the slightest foul. Let’s not turn this discussion into a recitation of how no real American patriot could possibly support a sport beloved and dominated by nearly every nation that got its ass kicked in the Second World War. The point here is that the wokedy-woke are now happy to demand that you pay for the sins of your family, which beyond being completely counter to what had once been part of our shared notions of justice is a really bad idea for a movement whose adherents have their own problems with inflammatory rhetoric coming from family members.

– JVW

Just Another Day In The Week: Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theory

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:58 am



[guest post by Dana]

What the video shows:

The two officers in the video were charged on Saturday with felony assault. An overview of what happened:

“We had two of our police officers who crossed the line,” the Erie County district attorney, John J. Flynn, told reporters after the arraignment. “My job is to prosecute those who have violated the law, plain and simple. And I believe, and I’m alleging, that these two officers violated the law.”

The charges were filed after a widely viewed video taken by WBFO, a local radio station, showed two police officers appearing to shove Martin Gugino, who has been identified as an activist and a member of the Western New York Peace Center who was attending a protest stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Mr. Gugino, who was shoved after he approached officers, staggered backward and landed hard on the sidewalk. Blood was seen immediately pooling behind his head

How President Trump responded to the incident. And yes, it involves a conspiracy theory:

Trump’s response cited OAN reporter, whose report apparently stemmed from an anonymous blog:

Trump’s claims appeared to have been ripped from a conspiracy theory that aired Tuesday morning on One America News Network, a far-right cable news channel.The theory was originally posted to an anonymous conservative blog.

One America News Network claimed that Gugino, an activist from a Buffalo suburb, was using “common antifa tactics” when he was pushed by police. OANN reporter Kristian Rouz said the incident “could be the result of a false flag provocation by far-left group antifa.”

Rouz claimed that “newly released video” showed Gugino “using a police tracker on his phone.” The video is not newly released, but merely slowed down and does not show Gugino using a “police tracker.” Rouz calls it an “old trick used by antifa,” without providing evidence or other examples.

But the real jewel in this crown of craziness is the OAN reporter:

Rouz, who previously worked for the Russian state media organization Sputnik, has a record of pushing baseless conspiracy theories on OANN. Last month, Rouz claimed that the coronavirus was a plot by George Soros, Bill Gates, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and China for “population control

What a gift to the Russians, eh?

Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA officer whose portfolio included Russia, said Trump was “giving a gift to the Russians.”

“It’s bad enough what he said,” Polymeropoulos said. “But it’s pretty shocking that he would quote from a known propaganda arm of Russian intelligence.”

So here we are, and so it goes…

–Dana

Family Harassed By Suspicious Locals Concerned They Were Antifa Protesters

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:10 am



[guest post by Dana]

I saw this story, and couldn’t stop thinking about how frightening this must have been for the family involved:

A family of four found themselves stranded near a Washington state campsite shortly after they were confronted by a group of people asking if they were Antifa protesters, local police say.

The multiracial family — a husband and wife, their 16-year-old daughter and the husband’s mother — drove about seven hours before they reached the city of Forks on June 3, where they stopped to buy some camping supplies, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

At the store, they were confronted by “seven or eight car loads of people” who repeatedly asked the family if they were with Antifa, police said.

So what if they had been with Antifa? What would the carloads of people have done? As reported, the family was not doing anything illegal, they were not rabble-rousing, and they were not even protesting. They were simply buying camping supplies for a camping trip. Does one’s activism now determine whether Americans are allowed to buy food in a store, or go on a camping trip? What makes anyone think they have the right to demand that private citizens in a public place need to confirm or deny whether they are with an activist group? Further, if the family had been Antifa protesters, why would they be dumb enough to admit to it when confronted by suspicious villagers? But the bottom line is really this: If the family hadn’t been multi-racial, no questions would have been asked by anyone.

More:

The family told the group they weren’t affiliated with Antifa and had to drive their bus around multiple vehicles as they left the store, police said.

As the family got on the road again, they told police they were followed by at least four vehicles — two of which seemed to be carrying passengers with semiautomatic rifles.

When they reached their destination and set up a tent, they began hearing gunshots and power saws, police said.

“The family, concerned for their safety, decided to pack up their camp and leave. As they drove back down the spur road they discovered someone had fell trees across the road, preventing their exit,” according to the sheriff’s department.

Luckily for the family, four high school students who saw them, came to their aid by clearing the trees from the road and calling the police (although the family had already called 911).

The report says that the sheriff’s department is now conducting a criminal investigation into the incident.

More generous high schoolers like these four, please.

–Dana

Trump To Restart Campaign Rallies

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:32 am



[guest post by Dana]

Apparently the campaign is planning on resuming the boisterous rallies sooner rather than later:

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is set to relaunch in-person campaign rallies in the next two weeks, campaign manager Brad Parscale confirmed to CNN.

“Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump. The Great American Comeback is real and the rallies will be tremendous. You’ll again see the kind of crowds and enthusiasm that Sleepy Joe Biden can only dream of,” Parscale said in a statement.

The exact time and locations of the rallies have yet to be determined, but the campaign is in the process of outlining possible dates and venues…

The president is looking forward to an opportunity to speak directly to supporters, and focus on the economy:

He’s planning to use the events to drive home what is expected to be a major theme of his campaign: that he is the leader of the country’s reopening and economic rebound. Trump held a hastily-called press conference Friday to celebrate an unexpectedly strong jobs report, and his campaign immediately began running a massive ad campaign seizing on the news.

Concerns about large crowds gathering during a pandemic were answered with a pointed question from the president’s re-election campaign:

“Why should anti-Trump protesters be out there and not us?” a campaign adviser asked.

“While Trump is likely to face blowback for resuming in-person events while the coronavirus pandemic is still ravaging the country, his advisers contend that the recent massive protests in metropolitan areas will make it harder for liberals to criticize him.”

Reports confirm what we already know: Trump is anxious to get back on the campaign trail and rally his supporters. In spite of blaming his slipping poll numbers as FakeNews, he knows that, at five months out from the election, he needs to get his base excited about the election, and make sure they are committed to turning out for him in November.

The decision to resume rallies comes on the heels of well-attended and nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd. While elected officials had cautioned Americans to adhere to lockdown orders and not attempt to reopen businesses or congregate in churches before the all-clear was given, they have voiced support for the mass protests this past week, even though the pandemic is not over. And while health experts repeatedly warned Americans about the need to stay home, follow social distancing measures, and avoid large groups, some have decided that less science, more ideology is the way to go:

Clearly, this is a problem for Team Science:

[I]f we have a huge spike in cases because of these protests, will they say, “Well, it was worth it to end racism”? Maybe, except they won’t have ended racism. Sure, some will plausibly argue that any COVID-19 comeback was the result of evil Republicans reopening the churches and the barber shops. But that will be dismissed for the partisan hogwash and special pleading it will be.

And, if we don’t see a huge spike in COVID-19 cases after all of this, no one will believe the experts when we head into the fall (when it’s supposed to come back) and they say now we really mean it. So we’ll still have an intolerable amount of racism…and we’ll have another economy-crushing outbreak on our hands.

And, if—God willing—it doesn’t come back strong in the fall, well, no one will ever take these people seriously again, and for understandable reasons.

The Trump campaign is said to be considering a number of factors about where to hold the rallies with regard to coronavirus concerns, including the the level of outbreak at any possible location, and holding rallies at outdoor venues. Nonetheless, the plan is to assemble a large crowd in a limited space. Look, the issue shouldn’t be about *who* is protesting or rallying, or even the cause itself. Not if we’re talking about real health risks. All large gatherings are going to present some sort of health risk during the pandemic, especially if everyone involved is not observing social distancing measures and wearing a mask. If we see a spike of infections in the next two weeks or so as a result of the ongoing protests, then it’s just as likely that Trump rallies will also result in spike of Covid-19 cases within 14 days after the events. This isn’t hard. Large groups, we have been warned by medical professionals, increases the risk of transmission. But we also know that all causes are not equal. And that’s my gripe: elected officials need to be evenhanded and consistent in lockdown limitations and in deciding what is essential, and even more critical to Americans is the need for health officials to be consistent in their messaging about the risks surrounding Covid-19. Said messaging must be science-based, and not ideological. Americans need to to be able to trust what the health care experts are saying as much as possible. Health care professionals speaking in a professional capacity, who approve of the mass protests because they believe the cause is worth the health risk, are making determinations for Americans that are not theirs to make. If they are speaking in a professional capacity, that determination should be influenced by data and science, not personal preference. Fortunately, Dr. Fauci remains consistent in his concerns about large gatherings, and reminded us as recently as last week about the health risks large crowds present:

“It is the perfect set up for the spread of the virus in the sense of creating some blips which might turn into some surges…there certainly is a risk,” said Fauci

“It’s a difficult situation. We have the right to peacefully demonstrate and the demonstrators are exercising that right,” he continued. “It’s a delicate balance, because the reasons for demonstrating are valid and yet the demonstration itself puts oneself at an additional risk.”

Unsurprisingly, I note that the press is determined to differentiate between Trump rallies and George Floyd protests with the use of the word “despite”.:

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A crowd is a crowd is a crowd. And coronavirus really doesn’t care who makes up the crowd, or why they are assembled. But if you decide that attending a protest or a rally is worth it, then just wear a mask the entire time you are in attendance, and keep a healthy distance from your neighbor. And Team Science, we need you to be just that. As for politicians being consistent and evenhanded, well, we all know better than to think that is even a possibility…

–Dana


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