Patterico's Pontifications


Former Honduran President Inches Home

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 8:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Saying “I am not afraid but I’m not crazy either,” ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya briefly returned to Honduras and then went back to Nicaragua:

“Wearing his trademark white cowboy hat, Zelaya walked up to a sign reading “Welcome to Honduras” and smiled to cheering supporters at the remote mountain pass flanked by banana trees.

He stopped a few steps into Honduran territory, speaking to nearby military officials on his mobile phone. “I’ve spoken to the colonel and he told me I could not cross the border,” Zelaya said. “I told him I could cross.”

But he soon went back to Nicaragua and said he was ready to return to the negotiating table. “The best thing is to reach an understanding that respects the will of the people,” Zelaya said.”

Allahpundit reviews the Obama Administration’s reaction (Zelaya is “reckless”) and suggests the “ObamaCare meltdown, Gatesgate, and now this” may be the culmination of Obama’s “toughest week as President.”


The Tim Tebow Mystery, Solved

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 5:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier voted against Tim Tebow before he voted for him:

“South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has acknowledged that he was the culprit who did not vote for Florida quarterback Tim Tebow on the coaches’ preseason All-SEC football team.

Spurrier, who like Tebow won a Heisman Trophy as a Florida quarterback, said it was a mistake. He said there was a miscommunication between him and Director of Football Operations Jamie Speronis, who filled out and sent in Spurrier’s ballot.
Spurrier, who said he had trouble sleeping last night when he found out what happened, phoned Charles Bloom of the SEC office to ask if he could change his vote. Bloom allowed it, so technically Tebow now joins Tennessee safety Eric Berry, LSU tackle Ciron Black and Alabama receiver Julio Jones was [sic] unanimous selections.”

Spurrier’s explanation is at the link. My explanation is highlighted above.


Healthcare Meltdown in the House?

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 4:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Obama Administration staffers, Congressional Democrats, and Speaker Pelosi won’t be having a pleasant weekend:

“House healthcare negotiations dissolved in acrimony on Friday, with Blue Dog Democrats saying they were “lied” to by their Democratic leaders.
The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.”

Democratic leaders won’t rule out going straight to the House floor for a vote but the Blue Dogs issued “dire warnings” if that happens:

“Waxman simply does not have votes in committee and process should not be bypassed to bring the bill straight to floor,” Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, said on Friday. “We are trying to save this bill and trying to save this party.”

Melancon said there would be 40-45 “solid no” votes from the 52-strong Blue Dogs, among other problems throughout the caucus. And Melancon said there are more Democrats who will vote against the bill.

“If they try to bring it to the floor, I think they’ll find out they have more problems than the Blue Dogs.”

H/T Mike K.


Victory, Schmictory

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 4:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama on America’s goal in Afghanistan:

“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur,” Obama told ABC News.

Plus Gateway Pundit on Obama’s mastery of history:

It wasn’t Hirohito.

But Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette gets the final word:

Admiral William F. Halsey and Vice Admiral John S. McCain on board USS Missouri (BB-63) shortly after the conclusion of the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945.

Admiral McCain’s grandson would have got that one right, which might be part of the reason the President would prefer not to invoke it.”


What Makes a Crime a Hate Crime?

Filed under: Race — DRJ @ 4:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From the Austin American-Statesman:

“Police are investigating a brick with an offensive message thrown into the window of an East Austin home. The brick, thrown through a 4-year-old boy’s bedroom window, read “Keep Eastside Black. Keep Eastside Strong.”

The homeowner, Barbara Frische, who is white, said she has lived in the home for 10 years.
Police have not classified this incident as a hate crime, said Austin Police Sgt. Richard Stresing, because hate crimes target an individual specifically because of an identifying characteristic, like race. Police say the incident has been classified as criminal mischief and deadly conduct.”

Wouldn’t this be treated as a hate crime if the brick had been thrown into a black child’s room with “Keep this neighborhood White” written on it? If you are going to have hate crimes, I think the test should be whether conduct is racially (or ethnically, etc.) motivated.


YouTube: Jill and Kevin’s Wedding

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 2:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Not your typical wedding procession:

Background here.


Gates’ Arrest Update

Filed under: Obama,Race — DRJ @ 2:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sgt. Leon Lashley, a Cambridge police officer who was at the Gates’ house at the time of the arrest, has come forward in support of Sgt. Crowley’s actions and arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.:

“Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates’ reaction to Crowley was “a little bit stranger than it should have been.”

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said [he] supported Crowley “100 percent.”

Sgt. Lashley is black.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is trying to tamp down this story by toning down his prior rhetoric:

“This has been ratcheting up, and I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up,” he said. “I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge police department and Sgt. Crowley specifically. And I could’ve calibrated those words differently.”

Seeking to lighten the situation further, he said he had invited both Crowley and Gates for “a beer here in the White House.”

The article at the second link also notes that, prior to Obama’s remarks, “a multiracial group of police officers” called for both Obama and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to apologize. Patrick reportedly said Gates’ arrest was “every black man’s nightmare.”


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Obama also called the episode a “teachable moment.”

And so it might be. Hopefully it will teach Obama to keep his damn mouth shut next time.

My Take on the Gates Arrest

Filed under: General,Race — Jack Dunphy @ 12:55 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

As is most often the case, our host and I are on the same page, in this instance literally as well as figuratively. My thoughts can be found here, at the Corner on National Review Online.

–Jack Dunphy

The Officer Didn’t Stereotype Henry Louis Gates — Henry Louis Gates Stereotyped the Officer

Filed under: General,Race — Patterico @ 7:18 am

Racism is simply a form of stereotyping. Stereotyping occurs when one says: because of my past experiences with people from your group, as well as things I have heard about people from your group, I am forming a firm opinion about you.

Racism is simply one form of that attitude, in which “people from your group” means “black people.”

Oddly, however, many black people feel perfectly comfortable engaging in a similar form of stereotyping, in which “people from your group” means “police officers” or “white people” — or, best of all, “white police officers.” Apparently, stereotyping those groups is a laudable pursuit.

The Henry Louis Gates arrest is yet another reminder of how quick some black people are to leap to unflattering conclusions about others based on scant evidence. Mickey Kaus reads Gates’s account of his arrest, and makes this observation:

Just reading this passage–Gates’ own words–it seems to me he pops into litigious mode a little quickly. He says he wanted to file a complaint “because of the way he treated me at the front door.” How had he mistreated him at the front door? He asked him ‘Would you step outside onto the porch?’ (where, as Gates notes, the cop would have more rights). When Gates refuses and instead gives the cop an ID, the cop looks at the ID. And at that point Gates has already determined he’s been treated unfairly. He’s already refusing to answer questions and planning to file a complaint. Again, from his own words it looks like he rushes a bit to the conclusion that a white man in a similar situation would have been treated differently. Is that really true?

Is it really true? Gates has no basis to say. All he has is a collection of prejudices about the group to which the officer belonged: white police officers. And based on that collection of prejudices, Gates leapt to a conclusion — this police officer is a racist. The evidence is strong that the conclusion was wrong: the officer teaches classes in avoiding racial profiling and was responding to a legitimate report from a citizen. Gates should have realized that his own actions in forcing entry to the house had aroused legitimate suspicions. But Gates didn’t employ common sense, or make an effort to learn something about the man in front of him. He simply stereotyped him.

And in apologizing for Gates, black firebrands and white liberals patronizingly excuse techniques of stereotyping that they would condemn in a racist.

Form an image of a racist in your mind: someone who watches a TV report about a crime committed by a black person, and says: “I’m not surprised. That’s how black people are: they’re all criminals.” Is this racist attitude justified if the racist says:

I’m sorry I have this bad attitude about black people, but I have seen and heard bad things about black people all my life. I know they commit a lot of crimes, and in fact, I have been robbed by three separate black people in my life.

Now, form an image in your mind of a black person who watches a TV report about police brutality, and says: “I’m not surprised. That’s how those white cops are: they’re all racists.” Is this attitude justified if the black person says:

I’m sorry I have this bad attitude about white cops, but I have seen and heard bad things about white cops all my life. I know they hassle black people, and in fact, I have been mistreated by three separate white cops in my life.

For some reason, people who would never accept the racist’s justification of his racist attitudes, will nod their heads in approval as black people expound on why they believe all white cops are racists based upon their own personal experiences.

Henry Louis Gates stereotyped Sgt. Crowley. He formed an opinion about Sgt. Crowley based on evidence that was far too limited to justify the conclusion. He formed that opinion based on prejudices he had collected over the course of his life about the group to which Sgt. Crowley belonged. That opinion — that Sgt. Crowley was a racist who needed to be educated about racial profiling — turned out to be wrong.

Gates’s mental process was the same mental process that a racist uses to decide that someone like Gates is less than human. It’s an ignorant way of looking at the world, hardly befitting a Harvard professor. Liberals ought not applaud such stereotyping. They should fight it.

It’s a shame that they don’t. And I don’t think they ever will.

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