Patterico's Pontifications

4/18/2014

New Kid On The Block

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

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The Los Angeles Register made its debut this week. From the get-go, the newspaper moved to set itself apart,

The accepted wisdom about L.A. is that it is politically and ideologically monolithic. That Angelenos are almost exclusively Democrats. And that they are almost entirely liberal. But, just as L.A. is recognized for its ethnic and cultural diversity, so, too, should it be for its political and philosophical diversity.

Los Angeles Register Opinion aims to infuse a new perspective into the political and public policy debate in our community and lead the charge for a new generation of liberty-minded, free-market intellectuals.

To do so, we deliberately try to ignore party affiliation, focusing instead on principles and ideas with a very simple bright line: What can be done to increase economic and social liberty?

We favor free-market economic and fiscal policy and believe government – at all levels – should exercise budgetary prudence and restraint.

We believe individuals have the right, and are solely suited, to make the incredibly personal decisions about who to love, what to buy and what to consume.

And we believe that thriving cities and regions need a strong advocate for community building and development to support the everyday people who are the lifeblood of any great metropolis.

Free markets, limited government, personal freedom and a strong sense of community are essential to the economic prosperity that lifts all boats, to the deterrence of tyranny and to liberty that allows us, everyone, to realize our ambitions and aspirations.

LA Observed was amusingly condescending,

On the editorial page, an unsigned editorial opens with a bit of a false start that doesn’t bode well — claiming “the accepted wisdom about LA” is that it’s monolithically Democratic and liberal but the Reggies know better…

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times had an informative report about their new competitor.

–Dana

4/17/2014

Something Wicked Came

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It was a chilling scene in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk as Jews leaving a synagogue claimed masked men on the sidewalks were handing out leaflets requiring Jews to register “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated”.

The denials came quickly,

The leaflets were supposedly signed by Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the newly declared and unrecognized state that claims to represent ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. But that group and other pro-Russian groups quickly denied they had anything to do with them.

“This has nothing to do with us; it is a provocation,” said Alexander Maltsev, a spokesman for the People’s Republic, in a telephone interview. He said he did not know who was responsible, or their motives.

The leaflets ordered Jews to register at Room 514 in the building used as the headquarters to pay $50 each, or “the guilty ones would be deprived of their citizenship and deported outside the republic and their property confiscated.”

Mr. Maltsev, the spokesman, said Mr. Pushilin had not written, signed or approved any text demanding that Jewish residents register. “How could he do such a thing?” Mr. Maltsev said. “He understands that many different kinds of people live here.”

A protester laughed about the fliers, believing they were nothing more than propaganda.

Ukrainian Jewish groups have mostly rejected the Russian government’s assertion that the new authorities in Kiev are anti-Semitic, the claim also made by militants here, while remaining on guard against the prospect that the country’s political turmoil will stir up old and dark hatreds.

That for now the anti-Semitic language and actions seem to be directed at other targets in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, rather than Jews, is little consolation.

–Dana
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The Abyssmal Failure of Feminists

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:38 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I am a regular reader of the remarkable Dr. Phyllis Chesler, and after the Ayaan Hirsi Ali debacle occurred, hers was one of the first commentaries I read. She summed up her distress thusly, “This is a terrible moment for academic freedom and critical inquiry on the American campus”. As I was strolling through the web tonight, I found that Dr. Chesler looked into the matter further. And in doing so, uncovered a shameful hypocrisy,

The Brandeis professors who demanded that Ayaan Hirsi Ali be “immediately” dis-invited wrote that “we are filled with shame at the suggestion that (Hirsi Ali’s) sentiments express Brandeis’s values.” The professors also castigated Hirsi Ali for her “core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples” and for her suggestion that “violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam.” The professors note that such a view “obscure(s) such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus.”

This is exactly what these professors are teaching the more than four thousand Brandeis students who signed a petition to rescind Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s award.

Are eight year-old girls being genitally mutilated at Brandeis or forced into polygamous marriages with men old enough to be their grandfathers? Are they being forcibly face-veiled or honor murdered for refusing to marry their first cousins? Perhaps they are being executed because they have been raped, for leaving an abusive marriage, or for daring to express an independent opinion?

Eighty seven professors or 29% of the Brandeis faculty signed this letter. These professors teach Physics, Anthropology, Near Eastern and Jewish Studies, English, Economics, Music, Film, Computer Science, Math, Sociology, Education—and Women and Gender Studies. Four percent of the signatories teach Anthropology, 6% teach Near Eastern and Jewish Studies, 9% teach Physics—and 21% teach Women and Gender Studies.

(emphasis added)

Feminists became multi-cultural relativists and as such, refused to criticize other cultures including misogyny within those other cultures.

Feminists have been attacking Ayaan Hirsi Ali for years as a “racist” and an “Islamophobe.” They are guided by the same false moral equivalents which the above Brandeis professors share.

Dr. Chesler closes with her own personal look at feminism,

I mourn the loss of an activist, vibrant, intellectually independent, and politically incorrect feminist Academy.

This is what modern feminism looks like: ugly, hypocritical, and wholly unbecoming. There is not enough liptstick in the world for this pig.

–Dana

Hilarity Ensues

Filed under: General — JD @ 7:32 pm

[guest post by JD]

Yesterday we learned of Paul Krugman, aka the demonic midget, getting $25,000 a month to not do much of anything except yammer on and on about income inequality.

Today, we learn the MediaMutterz For America, home of such keen intellects like Oliver Willis, is resisting attempts by SEIU to unionize their workforce. The levels of hypocrisy and comedy are too numerous to count. A look at MMfA funding would likely produce some uncomfortable conversations.

In other leftist nonsense, we also learned today that air pollution can be racial. Judd Legum is reliably and consistently a mental midget, and vomits forth leftist pablum as predictably as Old Faithful.

Some things you cannot make up.

—JD

Snowden Participates in Pro-Putin Propaganda Piece

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:07 am

Lovely:

Appearing on a televised call-in program, Putin even took a video question from Edward Snowden, the American former intelligence contractor who revealed large-scale U.S. surveillance programs and has taken refuge in Russia. Putin greeted him as a fellow spy, saying, “We can talk one professional language.”

Snowden asked if Russia spied on its citizens the way he said the United States did. Putin denied it, saying that Russian eavesdropping is strictly controlled by the law.

Russia doesn’t spy on its citizens! And you can take that to the bank! Why, it’s as certain as the absence of Russian troops in Crimea before the referendum vote! What’s that? Putin admitted what?

President Vladimir Putin, who repeatedly denied Russian troops had entered Crimea before the March referendum there, changed his version of those events Thursday, telling the nation that they had indeed been there all along.

But the green-uniformed men observed in eastern Ukraine right now, storming buildings and raising the Russian flag, are not Russian, he said. “Those are local residents,” he said.

Snowden is being defended by his cronies, of course, as he was when he revealed information about our spying on China and Hong Kong. Remember that?

Greenwald said he would not have published some of the stories that ran in the South China Morning Post. “Whether I would have disclosed the specific IP addresses in China and Hong Kong the NSA is hacking, I don’t think I would have,” Greenwald said. “What motivated that leak though was a need to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China.”

Today Greenwald says of Snowden’s participation in Putin’s propaganda-fest:

This is what is known as a “false choice” — Snowden must either go on a pointless suicide mission, or . . . participate in a dishonest piece of propaganda for Putin.

Many of Snowden’s fans are expressing disappointment. Have they been asleep for months?

P.S. I would have thought this is obvious but I’ll say it anyway: if Greenwald is actually saying this is not a false choice — i.e. that Snowden’s choices are 1) be a shill for Putin publicly or 2) be shipped back to the U.S. for trial — then why not say so openly and explicitly? “Sure, Snowden is helping out a worse abuser than we are, but hey, he has to.” Own it.

4/16/2014

Income Inequality Organization Fights Income Inequality By Giving Scads of Money to Economist for Doing Almost No Work

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 pm

Paul Krugman, December 2013, speaking about income inequality:

[T]he discussion has shifted enough to produce a backlash from pundits arguing that inequality isn’t that big a deal.

They’re wrong.

. . . .

Inequality is, indeed, the defining challenge of our time. Will we do anything to meet that challenge?

Yes, we will! We will give Paul Krugman $225,000 a year for doing almost nothing!

According to a formal offer letter obtained under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, CUNY intends to pay Krugman $225,000, or $25,000 per month (over two semesters), to “play a modest role in our public events” and “contribute to the build-up” of a new “inequality initiative.” It is not clear, and neither CUNY nor Krugman was able to explain, what “contribute to the build-up” entails…

CUNY, which is publicly funded, pays adjunct professors approximately $3,000 per course. The annual salaries of tenured (but undistinguished) professors, meanwhile, top out at $116,364, according to the most recent salary schedule negotiated by the university system’s faculty union. And those professors are expected to teach and publish. Even David Petraeus, whom CUNY initially offered $150,000, conducted a weekly 3-hour seminar…

$225,000 is more than quadruple New York City’s median household income.

It’s performance art, right? If you’re upset by income inequality, because you feel like rich people get paid too much, check out how much we’re paying this shmuck for doing nothing! Like I say: performance art.

Rick Perry Under Criminal Investigation for Demanding (on Pain of Withholding Funding) Resignation of D.A. Who Drove Under the Influence and Was Belligerent to Police

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:56 am

Rick Perry is now under criminal investigation. Why? Because he threatened to withhold funding from a public integrity unit run by the D.A. of Travis County. Why did he make that threat? Because she had been arrested for DWI, had been belligerent with police and demanded repeatedly to talk to the sheriff, and refused to resign.

The D.A., Democrat Rosemary Lehmberg, later pled guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. And now Rick Perry has the criminal attorney:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has hired a high-profile Austin defense lawyer to represent him in an investigation into whether he illegally withheld money from the Travis County District Attorney’s office.

KVUE News and the Austin American-Statesman confirmed Sunday evening the hiring of David L. Botsford.

The hiring comes as a special Travis County grand jury is set to be seated Monday to hear evidence into whether Perry broke state laws concerning bribery, coercion and abuse of authority.

Perry had threatened to withhold the money from Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg unless she resigns after her drunken driving arrest in April 2013.

When she refused, Perry in June vetoed a state budget item that would have given a $7.5 million allocation to the Public Integrity Unit in the District Attorney’s Office. The unit investigates ethics violations against public officials.

Here’s some context. Her arrest:

See her stumbling around and unable to follow instructions? Her blood alcohol was a .23.

A TV news story about the need to restrain her:

Here she is being belligerent and repeatedly asking deputies if they have called “Greg” — Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton.

Again, Rick Perry now has a criminal lawyer. Via Breitbart.

4/15/2014

It’s Tax Day!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:27 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It’s a bit late, but on the West Coast people are still frantically working on their taxes, hoping to beat the deadline.

The Republican National Committee chose Tax Day to announce it is suing the IRS for rebuffing Freedom of Information Act request for documents concerning the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

“We’re filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people. The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “On Tax Day especially Americans deserve to know whether they can trust the agency to which they’re sending their taxes.

The IRS has delayed turning over the documents for 226 business days.

Also, see where your tax dollars went!

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Major entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) gobbled up 49 percent, while more federal benefits took another 20 percent. These additional “income security” benefits include federal employee retirement and disability, unemployment benefits, and welfare programs such as food and housing assistance. Obamacare spending didn’t really kick in until 2014, so that will show up in next year’s breakdown.

We are reminded how we got here:

Everything changed when the U.S economy crashed in 2008. Job losses and a drop in personal income led many more Americans to rely at least temporarily on government programs to make ends meet.

… But the worst is yet to come: The Congressional Budget Office projects that public debt will reach an economy-crushing 100 percent in less than one generation. Unlike the unpredicted drop in U.S. fiscal health brought about by the recent recession, this time, structural problems are driving the decline.

The federal budget is structured around entitlement programs—and they don’t leave room for much else. Here’s a sobering thought: “The federal government could cease all other operations, including its core constitutional duty to provide for the national defense, and would still end up in a fiscal hole within a generation.”

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me.

–Dana

Sharyl Attkisson: Other Reporters Are Being Shut Down Just Like I Was

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:17 pm

Sharyl Attkisson announced tonight that she was going to answer a few questions on Twitter. She responded to each one in the same format: a one-word summary of the question, followed by the Twitter handle of the person to whom she was responding, followed by a pithy answer.

I managed to get in one question before she left, and I thought I would share the question and answer with y’all. First my question:

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 8.07.52 PM

and her response:

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For background, see this post.

There are more stories like hers. Count on it.

VP Joe Biden Gives Rousing Speech in Boston

Filed under: General — JD @ 3:46 pm

[guest post by JD]

He is just so smart. We are so lucky to have people like him in charge.

RickLeventhalFoxNews ✔ @RickLeventhal
VP Biden: “my god, u have survived & u have soared. it was worth, it was worth it. i mean this sincerely, just to hear each of u speak.”

—JD

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