Patterico's Pontifications


Another Ridiculous Headline Previewing a Weak Analysis

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:34 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Here is how some (yes, you guessed it) academic chose to commemorate in today’s Washington Post the 25th anniversary of O.J. Simpson’s wild ride down the 405 Freeway:

OJ Headline

At first I determined that the headline (which I saw on Twitter) was so dumb that I wouldn’t read the accompanying essay, but I remembered what I wrote about George Skelton last week with respect to opinion writers not writing their own headlines, so I decided to give it a go. I was not impressed with the argument of the author, a Media Studies Professor at Quinnipiac University named Phillip Lamarr Cunningham. Here is the gist of it, so that you don’t have to waste your time reading it yourself:

To suggest that Simpson overshadowed a decade’s worth of goodwill toward black athletes would be an overstatement. But Simpson, arguably a major source of this goodwill, certainly made clear the conditions white Americans put on their goodwill, even as the nation’s greatest black athletes continued to thrill and amaze.

Those crazy white folks: rescinding their approbation and respect just because you go and do a silly old thing like slaughter your ex-wife and her co-worker.

Prof. Cunningham’s thesis just gets more murky from there. He travels through the history of white America’s disapproval of “militant” black athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos, before contrasting them with former Heisman Trophy winner Simpson, the first NFL running back to run for 2,000 yards in a single regular season. He complains that Simpson’s commercial appeal “did not lift up other black athletes in the 1970s and early 1980s,” having apparently never heard of Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Reggie Jackson, or Walter Payton, and being completely unaware of the famous Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial, which in my recollection played about 22 times per televised game for the next seven years.

Prof. Cunningham admits that by the end of the 1980s there were plenty of black athletes who served as effective pitch men to white America, naming Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, and, of course, Michael Jordan. But he complains that these athletes, Jordan especially, had to avoid political topics in order to thrive:

It’s not clear whether Jordan really said “Republicans wear sneakers, too” as a rationale for not supporting Gantt. But we do know that Jordan, like Simpson, was disinclined to fight overt battles against racism.

Hard to believe that white America wasn’t keen on having multi-millionaire jocks recite the catechism of oppression that is formulated and promulgated by the leftist academia/media alliance so dominant in our modern culture. But nevermind that. Prof. Cunningham declares that the day O.J. became the prime suspect in the murder was a watershed for the black athlete:

The chase not only disrupted the NBA Finals — it also unsettled the comfort white Americans had developed for black athletes. For years, black athletes, and Simpson in particular, were held up as signs of the progress made toward bridging America’s racial divide. That night, however, he served as a stark reminder of how conditional that comfort was.

Again, killing two people in cold blood is sadly going to lower your Q rating. But I was around in 1994, and among the most popular athletes of that era, I recall the following: Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr., Michael Johnson, Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and of course, the king of them all, Michael Jordan. By the end of the decade, the only challenge to Jordan’s throne would come from a young golfer named Tiger Woods. So much for the idea that the arrest of Simpson made businesses reluctant to use black athletes as spokespeople.

Prof. Cunningham’s summation is that “[t]he means by which Simpson won over America,” which he earlier described as presenting a friendly apolitical demeanor, “are antiquated, especially in an era in which black athletes such as Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James not only have embraced social justice but also have convinced their leagues and sponsors to do so as well (to an extent).” It’s telling that Prof. Cunningham lauds one player who hasn’t been on the field for three seasons due in part to what a large segment of the public believes is shallow grandstanding, and another player who has downscaled his commercial endorsements in order to concentrate on more traditional business interests.

But hey, as usual this is somehow the fault of white society and our failure to fully embrace the complexity of the black athlete. It’s as if social justice academics are just halfheartedly going through the motions these days.


Reynolds Wrap Summer Job Opportunity

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:20 pm

[Link from DRJ]

2019 Chief Grilling Officer:

Calling all pit masters, grilling fanatics, and barbeque rib fans… Reynolds Wrap® once again has the dream job for you, just in time for summer!


Reynolds Wrap® is looking for its next Chief Grilling Officer! New for 2019, Reynolds Wrap® is on a mission to identify the best BBQ ribs in America and we want you to lead the way.

As CGO, you won’t need a comfy corner office because for two weeks in August, you’ll be busy tasting and savoring BBQ ribs from some of the top BBQ rib cities in the country. Along the way, you’ll share tips, grilling techniques and photos on the Reynolds Kitchens® website and social channels, so grilling enthusiasts at home can make drool-worthy BBQ ribs on their own. You’ll also receive a $10,000 stipend along with pre-paid travel and lodging for you and a (very lucky) guest!

If you don’t mind being paid to taste test some of the most delicious BBQ ribs across the country, posting envy-inducing pictures of your food and falling asleep every night dreaming about your next rack of ribs, then you could have what it takes to be the next Reynolds Wrap® Chief Grilling Officer.

Application details at the link. Applications will close on Wednesday, June 19 at 12 AM CT.


Harvard Rescinds Acceptance of Parkland Survivor Kyle Kashuv Due to Racist Writings at Age 16

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Kyle Kashuv is one of the Parkland shooting survivors. Unlike many of the survivors, he remained against gun control. According to Ben Shapiro, Kashuv’s academic qualifications were extraordinarily impressive:

Kashuv was ranked second in his class, with a weighted GPA of 5.345 and an unweighted GPA of 3.9; he scored a 1550 on his SATs.

He applied to Harvard and was accepted. Then some folks upset about his acceptance found things he wrote in a group study chat at age 16, with the n-word all over them.

Now Kashuv’s acceptance has been rescinded.

Ben Shapiro says:

This is, to put it mildly, gutless. There are ex-convicts who, quite properly, have been admitted to Harvard — they earned forgiveness. There are current students who undoubtedly have said things privately that would shock the conscience. There are likely administrators who have said things when they were 16 years old that embarrass them now. Is the new standard that if you said something on a private message board when you were 16 years old that we should deny you the possibility of a degree at a top college, so long as those who join you on that message board decide to out you?

It appears it is the new standard.

Sorry, Kyle, but Harvard utterly rejects any form of bigotry and discrimination, except of course against Asians. Then it’s totally cool. If at age 16 Kashuv had mocked Asians as overly studious and hardworking, Harvard admissions officials would have swooned.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Martin’s Park Opens in Boston

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 12:46 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

WBUR BostonMartin’s Park Opens To Honor 8-Year-Old Victim Of Boston Marathon Bombing:

Hundreds of people gathered at a playground Saturday to honor the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The newly opened Martin’s Park is named in memory of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the 2013 terrorist attack.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh touts the park, along South Boston’s waterfront, as an architectural feat and an example of the resolve of the city and the Richard family.

Bill Richard said that his kids loved parks because when you live in the city, parks are your backyard. What a great family to take an awful event for them — all injured, plus losing 8-year-old Martin, and their 6-year-old daughter Jane lost a leg — and turn it into an incredibly fun, disability-friendly park for everyone.

Six years in the making, the Park is built on City-donated land but funded by private donations with a private endowment to pay for future maintenance. It truly is a beautiful gift to everyone in Martin’s memory.

God bless them.

— Drj

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 129

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is Trinity Sunday. Today’s Bach cantata is “Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott” (Praised be the Lord, my God).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 16:12-15:

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, praising the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my light, my life,
my Creator, who has
given me my body and soul;
my Father, who has protected me
from my mother’s womb,
who at every moment
does much good for me.

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my light, my life,
the most beloved Son of the Father,
who gave Himself for me,
who has redeemed me
with His precious blood,
who in faith presents
Himself to me, the highest good.

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my comfort, my life,
the worthy Spirit of the Father,
which the Son gave to me,
who revives my heart,
who give me new strength,
who in all trouble
creates wisdom, comfort and aid.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Two Men

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 3:51 pm

[Headlines from DRJ]

Two men who are unrelated and probably never met, but are in the news on the same day:

O J Simpson:

O.J. Simpson’s first Twitter post: ‘I’ve got a little getting even to do’.

Chris Fellerhoff:

He used to find children ‘not terribly interesting.’ At last count, Tampa man had fostered 17.


President Trump: “All In” On Amendment To Ban Desecration Of American Flag

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:43 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday was Flag Day and the White House appeared to be a little confused about what the holiday commemorates:


Flag Day was also the day that Republicans Sens. Steve Daines (MT) and Kevin Cramer (ND) introduced a Constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag:


Daines commented:

Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom. Remembering the sacrifices of all who carried its colors into battle, our nation should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due.

Cramer also weighed in, explaining why he sees such an amendment as worthwhile:


This morning, President Trump announced his support for Daines and such an amendment:


It’s not at all surprising that President Trump threw his support behind this, given that soon after being elected, he made it very clear that he believed no one should be allowed to desecrate the flag, and that if they did, there should be severe consequences:


This despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that desecration of the U.S. flag is free speech protected under the First Amendment. (Texas v. Johnson) Given that efforts to add an amendment have failed before, and given that each chamber of Congress would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority, and three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to vote to approve the amendment for any change to the Constitution to be made, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. But really, is the push for such an amendment a good idea? Clearly some GOP lawmakers think it is. However, consider that this makes the GOP as a whole vulnerable to criticism of being anti-speech, or at the very least, the Party that attacks freedom of speech. This becomes an even more credible line of attack as prominent voices on the Right are currently demanding the government police social media platforms, and tell them what speech can be allowed.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)




African-American Lawmaker Removed From Keynote At Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:42 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last month I posted about the mind-boggling selection of Hillary Clinton giving the keynote speech at the 2019 Cyber Defense Summit.


Still mind-boggling.

And now this: Just one day after it was announced that Rep. Will Hurd would be a featured keynote speaker at this year’s Black Hat cybersecurity conference, Black Hat caved to pressure, and ungraciously dumped him because he he thinks for himself, and doesn’t walk in lockstep with conference attendees and supporters:

Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer and an advocate for cybersecurity on Capitol Hill, was invited to speak at Black Hat, one of biggest cyber security conferences in the country, being held in Las Vegas in August. But Tech Crunch security editor Zach Whittaker highlighted on Thursday what he described was Hurd’s “terrible voting record on women’s rights.” It includes voting against funding for Planned Parenthood, programs supporting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and his support on restricting late-term abortions.

Black Hat initially defended its decision to invite Hurd, saying in a statement “Hurd has a strong background in computer science and information security and has served as an advocate for specific cybersecurity initiatives in Congress,” adding that he will offer a “unique perspective” at the conference.

That did not, however, halt the uproar from the cybersecurity community, with some threatening to pull their involvement in the conference.

Ironically, participants were concerned about his lack of concern for women, as evidenced by his votes to protect unborn women, as well as citing his lack of support for minorities*:

One person who we asked for permission to quote said Hurd’s voting record was “simply awful” for women’s rights.

Others in tweets said the move doesn’t reflect well on companies sponsoring the event.

Kat Fitzgerald, an infosec professional and regular conference speaker, told TechCrunch that Hurd’s choosing was a “painfully poor choice” for a keynote speaker. “Simply put, in 2019 women and *minorities continue to be ignored,” she said.

Although abortion rights and cybersecurity may seem like unrelated topics, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate social issues from technology and gatherings. It’s also valid for attendees to express concern that the keynote speaker at a professional security conference opposes what many will consider a human right.

(*Psst: Will Hurd is an African-American male.)

Hurd’s office eloquently set the record straight in response to the decision to disinvite Hurd:

“Representative Hurd was honored to be invited and hopes that the Black Hat Conference is a success,” said Katie Thompson, Hurd’s communications director, via email.

“Congressman Hurd has always sought to engage groups of people that don’t necessarily agree with all of his votes or opinions. That’s why Rep. Hurd is one of the loudest voices for bipartisanship in Congress.”

She continued: “This Congress alone he voted for equal pay for equal work, for the Violence Against Women Act and the Equality Act.”

Hm, given the obvious lack of self-awareness, the email response may have sailed right over all the black hats involved:

Black Hat vowed that the conference is “still fully dedicated to providing an inclusive environment and apologize that this decision did not reflect that sentiment.”

Because dumping an independent, free-thinking African-American from a keynote is reflective of an inclusive environment, am I right?? Idiots. I’ll say this though: They’re absolutely right that their decision does not reflect their claimed sentiment.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Lineup For First 2020 Democratic Debate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Debate season is just about upon us. Hoo boy, anything is possible in the Thunderdome.

Of the 20 qualifying candidates, these are the top five contenders at this point in time: Biden, Sanders, Harris and Buttigieg and Warren. The two nights of debate will be held in Miami.

Here is the lineup for June 26:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan

Here is the lineup for June 27:

Former Vice President Joe Biden
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
California Sen. Kamala Harris
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
Author Marianne Williamson
California Rep. Eric Swalwell
Businessman Andrew Yang
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

How disappointing that Sanders and Warren won’t be on stage together to entertainingly try and out-socialism each other. Of course, his “Americans would be delighted to pay more taxes” silliness is still fresh in people’s minds, and her American Indian issues are still making the news. They’ve got problems. Clearly front-runner Biden will be the main target of the other contenders on the second night. And boy, has he given them some stuff to work with: flip-floppingon abortion, finger-wagging condescension toward women, flip-flopping on China threat, etc. I’m surprised that “spirituality guru” Marianne Williamson made the cut while Governor Bullock of Montana didn’t. Bullock being the only candidate to win a statewide election in a state won by Trump…But then again, we’re talking California and Montana.

Here is some background on how the matchups were decided:

According to NBC, the media sponsor for the first debate, a representative from NBC News Standards & Practices conducted the drawing.

Each campaign was invited to send one representative to NBC headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York for the noon drawing. According to people in the room, the names were drawn and then NBC determined which set of Democratic hopefuls would debate on either night.

NBC announced that candidate podium placements would be based on polling and announced closer to the debates.

Candidates had to qualify for the first debate by either receiving at least 1% support in three polls from an approved list of pollsters or received campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from 20 different states.
Three Democratic hopefuls — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — did not qualify for the first contest.

Let the games begin.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Sarah Sanders To Leave White House At End Of The Month

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:27 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Comments from President Trump about Sarah Sanders’ upcoming departure from the White House:

“After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” Mr. Trump wrote Thursday afternoon. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”

Sanders tweeted:

“I am blessed and forever grateful to @realDonaldTrump for the opportunity to serve and proud of everything he’s accomplished,” Sanders followed up in a tweet. “I love the President and my job. The most important job I’ll ever have is being a mom to my kids and it’s time for us to go home. Thank you Mr. President!”

Apparently she is leaving the door open to a possible run for governor of Arkansas…hiya Dad! However, since Asa Hutchinson was just re-elected as governor, Sanders won’t be able to run until 2022.

After bringing Sanders on stage at an event this afternoon, she spoke fondly of her boss and her job:

“I’ll try not to get emotional because I know that crying can make us look weak sometimes right?” Sanders said, looking at the president and smiling. “This has been the honor of a lifetime, the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder to have had the opportunity to serve my country and particularly to work for this president. He has accomplished so much in these two and a half years and it’s truly been something I will treasure forever.

“It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have, I’ve loved every minute. Even the hard minutes, I have loved it,” she added.

Interestingly, the last White House press briefing was more than 90 days ago. There is no word about who might replace Sanders. So, given that 90 days is the longest time any administration has gone without holding a press briefing, does Trump really even need to fill the position? After all, he’s got his own virtual megaphone and can tweet directly with the people, right?? Let’s not forget, too, that it was Trump himself who inspired Sanders to kill the daily press briefing:


I really don’t have much to say about Sanders and her unwavering, blind loyalty to President Trump, so I’ll just say this: she really does do a great smokey eye.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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