Patterico's Pontifications


Super Bowl Ads

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 10:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Which were your favorite Super Bowl ads? CBS has posted them here.


The “My Way” Killings

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:22 pm

Via Dan Collins, we learn that in the Phillipines, singing “My Way” (lyrics by Paul Anka) can get you killed:

The authorities do not know exactly how many people have been killed warbling “My Way” in karaoke bars over the years in the Philippines, or how many fatal fights it has fueled. But the news media have recorded at least half a dozen victims in the past decade and includes them in a subcategory of crime dubbed the “My Way Killings.”

The statements made by the “My Way” killers have included:

  • “Don’t make a fucking maniac out of me.”
  • “When I fuckin’ move I slice like a fuckin’ hammer.”
  • “That’s Just. The Fucking. Way. It Is!”
  • “You understand where I’m coming from with integrity?”
  • “Where’s Joe?”

To be fair to the killers, it appears that there is a lot of loose shit going on.

Background here.

Media Endorsement in the Texas GOP Governors’ Race

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Austin American-Statesman is (unintentionally) doing its part to re-elect Texas Governor Rick Perry. Today the Statesman Editorial Board endorsed Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

From the endorsement:

“No, Hutchison is not the flashiest politician in the race, but she is nonetheless the best choice in the Republican primary. While incumbent Gov. Rick Perry has to stretch the facts about his unprecedented nine years as governor, the sad fact is that he has little to show for that long tenure. Even sadder is that the governor is turning into a caricature in order to please a rowdy constituency that feeds on secessionist fantasies and fairy tales about tax cuts.”

I wonder how Senator Hutchison feels about “fairy tales about tax cuts”? Either way, with friends like this, she doesn’t need enemies.


Tea Party Power

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Valuable insight from the Instapundit on the Tea Party movement, especially this:

“The Tea Party movement is bottom up, not top down. Lots of Tea Party people think well of Sarah Palin, but I doubt that many, even among the attendees at this weekend’s convention, would do much of anything just on her say-so. People I’ve talked to, both there and at other events, aren’t looking for a charismatic leader.

That’s the Barack Obama model, now somewhat tattered. Instead, they’ve had enough and they’re taking the reins themselves. Over and over again, I heard people at this convention tell me that they had never been involved in politics before the Tea Party movement. And, having tried it, they’re finding that politics can be fun, and they’re encountering the joys of learning that they’re not alone.”

As Prof. Reynolds would say, read the whole thing.


Super Bowl Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:28 pm

Me, I’m boycotting the game because I can’t bear to be subjected to this disgusting propaganda:

Life. An appalling concept.

But if you’re watching, and yet will somehow also be on the Internet, then feel free to discuss it below.

Palin Open to 2012 (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 2:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a Fox News Sunday interview today, Sarah Palin won’t rule out running for President in 2012:

“Sarah Palin says it would be “absurd” for her not to consider running for president in 2012.

The former Alaska governor and the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008 says she will run for president if she believes it’s right for the country and right for her family.

Palin was asked on “Fox News Sunday” if she knows more today about domestic and foreign affairs than she did two years ago. Her response: “Well, I would hope so.”

Fox News has more Palin comments here.


UPDATE: Palin was in Texas this afternoon appearing with Governor Rick Perry:

“Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin stumped for Gov. Rick Perry at a rally Sunday in suburban Houston, adding some national Republican star power to Perry’s re-election campaign.

“I doubt there is another public figure in our country who gives liberals a bigger case of the hives than our special guest today,” Perry said. “At the very mention of her name, the liberals, the progressives, the media elites, they literally foam at the mouth.”

Palin talked about her home State’s relationship with mine:

“Palin said Texas and Alaska had some “really sweet connections, … independent pioneer-spirited people and big wide open spaces.”

“A lot of us in our states proudly cling to our guns and religion,” she told a cheering crowd.”

Obama’s Approval Index: Americans Hate the New Budget

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 2:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Yid With Lid explains what Americans think of President Obama’s proposed budget:

“Rasmussen has released its Superbowl Sunday version of its Presidential approval ratings and their report only tells part of the story. The report shows the president’s approval index down to a -17, but what it doesn’t show is that the depth of President’s recent slide is a direct result of the bloated budget he sent to congress almost a week ago.”

The details are at the link, with charts!


Obama’s Theology

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 2:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a 2007 New York Times’ interview with David Brooks, Presidential candidate Barack Obama named Reinhold Niebuhr as one of his favorite philosophers:

“Out of the blue I asked, “Have you ever read Reinhold Niebuhr?”

Obama’s tone changed. “I love him. He’s one of my favorite philosophers.”

So I asked, What do you take away from him?

“I take away,” Obama answered in a rush of words, “the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away … the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naïve idealism to bitter realism.”

My first impression was that for a guy who’s spent the last few months fund-raising, and who was walking off the Senate floor as he spoke, that’s a pretty good off-the-cuff summary of Niebuhr’s “The Irony of American History.” My second impression is that his campaign is an attempt to thread the Niebuhrian needle, and it’s really interesting to watch.”

Niebuhr was born in 1892 and died in 1971 and is known as a Christian realist. As a young pastor in Detroit in the 1920’s, Niebuhr was a critic of the adverse effects of industrialism on workers and opposed the Ku Klux Klan. He was also a pacifist who became a proponent of “just wars.”

CNN recently featured an article on how “Obama’s favorite theologian shaped his first year in office” that begins with Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” he began, “the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

The article paints both Obama and Niebuhr as tough but fair critics of greed, complacency, and evil. It’s only at the end of the article that the reporter offers a contrasting view from former Senator and Espiscopal priest John Danforth: “I see in Obama’s approach to politics, which is surprisingly partisan and ideological, a hubris that is not Niebuhrian.”

However, Obama’s view of America is decidedly Niebuhrian. Both view America as quixotic — at times exceptional but often exceptionally flawed. Not surprisingly, so did Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who read and studied Niebuhr and — as evidenced by his “God Damn America” speech and others — echoed Niebuhr’s message that warned of the dangers of American hegemony:

“Niebuhr, then, encouraged Christians to prevent international catastrophe by criticizing their own nations’ policies criticisms of American policies. In an era when some are calling for a foreign policy of “benevolent hegemony,” [Jeremiah] Wright’s message of remembering our faults is especially timely. Neocons maintain that:

“The aspiration to benevolent hegemony might strike some as either hubristic or morally suspect. But a hegemon is nothing more or less than a leader with preponderant influence and authority over all others in its domain. That is America’s position in the world today.”

Contrast this with the words of Niebuhr:

“The world cannot be organized by an Anglo-Saxon hegemony. Such a leadership could be ten times more just than the Nazis were and yet not be just enough to avoid arousing the resentment of Europe and Asia, in fact, of the entire world.”

On economic matters, Niebuhr was more of a socialist who accepted qualified capitalism but viewed American business and businessmen as heartless and greedy. Niebuhr himself railed against “the ridiculous dogma of laissez faire” and, as explained by E.J. Dionne, Niebuhr’s views sound a lot like President Obama’s:

“When Niebuhr tried to give concrete content to his notion of justice, he instinctively thought about equalizing standards of living, reducing job insecurity and enacting social insurance schemes.”

Both Niebuhr and Obama were conflicted by the inherent inconsistencies of politics and life and, as Brooks suggested, Obama is trying to thread the needle in Niebuhrian fashion. Ultimately, both frame the conflict as a battle between moral workers and immoral businesses … and both are willing to do whatever it takes to see to it that workers win.


Judge: Time for New Hearings in 30-Year-Old Death Penalty Case

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 11:27 am

The crime happened in 1979, when I was 11 years old. The victim was 15 years old — and would now be 46 years old.

And yet a federal judge says we haven’t scrutinized this one thoroughly enough:

Few of the nearly 700 inmates on California’s death row have awaited execution longer than Santa Clara County’s Marvin Pete Walker Jr. . . . Last week, a federal judge ordered new hearings into Walker’s case, concluding that he has raised enough doubt about the effectiveness of the lawyer who defended him in his 1980 trial that there must be a thorough inquiry into whether his murder conviction and death sentence were tainted.

. . . .

Among other things, the judge wants a hearing to explore whether trial lawyer Dennis Kollenborn failed to fully investigate whether Walker’s accomplice could have been the actual shooter; did not put on a meaningful defense during the penalty phase of the trial; and failed to object to Walker being shackled during the trial, which could have prejudiced jurors.

Let the lengthy proceedings begin!

Via Howard Bashman.

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