Patterico's Pontifications


Does a David Frum Protege Have Tendencies Towards Pedophilia?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:14 pm

Scott Jacobs posts the evidence at The Jury Talks Back, in the form of a post lifted (with permission) from the NewsReal Blog.

Some of the evidence is weak, at least considered in isolation. For example, you can oppose the concept of date rape, or oppose lifetime sanctions against sex offenders, without being pro-sex offender. And this is even dicier, but it is possible to make jokes like the ones discussed in the post, for the shock value alone.

But when you put all that in context — with the references to “chilfs” (don’t ask), the admission on a gay teen forum to having sex with a 16-year-old (however legal in the given state), and so on — it paints a picture of a person who seems to have an interest in young boys as sex objects.

Whether that person is Frum’s protege Alex Knepper depends on whether someone is framing him in an expert manner or not. I’m inclined to believe it’s not a frame job.

Make up your mind for yourself — but before you click, be aware that there are relatively graphic images there. No child porn, of course — but not for the squeamish.

UPDATE: On his Facebook page, Knepper admits posting the picture of the two young naked men.

ObamaCare Ruled Constitutional

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

ObamaCare has been found constitutional by a federal judge. Hot Air has the money quote from the decision:

While plaintiffs describe the Commerce Clause power as reaching economic activity, the government’s characterization of the Commerce Clause reaching economic decisions is more accurate.

Allahpundit gives you the dire analysis:

[I]f we’re all necessarily “active” in health-care commerce at all times, theoretically there’s no limit to what sort of further activity can be mandated in the interest of spreading costs. Can the overweight man or woman be forced to diet because he/she is more likely to need medical services? Presumably that would be dealt with via higher insurance premiums, but we all know only too well already that federal pressure on insurers to keep premiums down will create all sorts of inefficiencies, which is where we get into ye olde rationing problem. Simple question: What’s the limiting principle on this decision? Would the feds be barred from penalizing people for failing to maintain, say, a certain BMI target because of the right of privacy or bodily autonomy, etc? Or would they not be barred at all? Where does this end?

Answer: it doesn’t. This was decided in principle decades ago in Wickard v. Filburn. When you lose a presidential election, you get presidents who appoint horrible judges. Horrible judges issue horrible decisions — and the precedents live on long after the judges are dead.

Tell me again how voting for “pure” candidates is so important that it would be acceptable to lose ten elections in a row? You want centuries of decisions like this, keep up that brilliant strategy.

You’ll destroy the Constitution in the process. But at least you’ll keep that frisson of self-righteousness. And in the end, isn’t that what really matters?

O’Donnell’s Latest Ad, Plus: the Double-Edged Sword of Sending a Message

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:55 am

Reader John Lynch writes with the following thoughts about winning elections:

Management 101

Let us, for a moment only, take it seriously that Congress and elected officials in general “work for us.” If so, we have a responsibility. The responsibility of management. When hired to do a job, we are expected to understand the nature of the job we are to perform. We are expected to bring the skills necessary to perform that job. Moreover, we are expected to take direction from our managers in prioritizing the tasks and performing up to standards.

We, as employers, have responsibilities as well. We are required to be clear, as can be given ambiguities, on the expectations: of the job, the tasks, and the standards. Similar to management in a corporation, we have limited means by which to communicate our expectations. Tar and feathers are, alas, no longer acceptable means – for employees or our congressional representatives.

What are our means of communicating our expectations?

Well, first are opinion polls. In these, we can as a collective voice our opinions. These are frequently imperfect as the pollster may oversample one constituency over another, or slant the questions, or otherwise obfuscate our directions to our representatives. However an imperfect vehicle this may be, it does occasionally provide our direction clearly enough that our representatives should hear us. Recent examples: healthcare, immigration and taxes.

Secondly, phone and electronic direct communication. Calling or emailing our representatives provides direct instruction. However, it is then left to the representative to collate our multiple diverse voices into a collective set of instructions.

Third, town hall meetings and other group events such as rallies, dinners, etc. While these are sometime susceptible to stage-managing, they provide venues where it is difficult to escape the voiced opinion of the crowd. The usual counter to these venues is that such events are only for the angry activist, thus not representative of the represented at large.

Fourth, and most effective, is the election process. While our congress can ignore, or play political calculus with our other forms of communicating our expectations, they cannot ignore a defeat in election. Or, rather, it no longer matters if they ignore us as they are no longer in power. Short of defeat, there remains a value in a challenged election: communication of our displeasure.

We do not get to give annual performance reviews. We do not get to call our representatives into our offices or homes and abrade them on their performance. It is any wonder that they feel they can operate with impunity to our desires? Is it any wonder that they feel they can safely ignore us?

In times when our satisfaction with their performance is not unusually bad, we may let it suffice that our calls, emails and opinions guide them. In times like these however, we use the more direct, and forceful means of communicating our expectations. Primary challenges, directed contributions, political activism, and enthusiasm in elections are all a part of setting our expectations.

It is silly to abrogate our responsibilities in expressing our expectations. It is silly to speak of “purging”. We are not “purging” – we are firing those who do not perform. We do so, both for removal of the unwanted, but also as direction and relief for those who remain. To do otherwise is abrogating our responsibilities. To do other is to let our employees: congress and other elected officials, substitute their will for ours. To do other is not democracy.

We are expected to act; to act as directors of our own future; to act as selectors of our representatives; and, to act as responsible managers.

The premise of this argument is that political leaders will pay attention to the voters’ will. If voters reject a Mike Castle in the primary, leaders will listen to that message and choose a more conservative candidate in future races.

Which I think is a pretty good argument, and the most defensible argument for rejecting Castle. Except, I just have one question.

What happens when the voters reject a Christine O’Donnell in the general election? Will that send a message to party leaders? And if so, what will that message be?

If you firmly believe that the defeat of Mike Castle sent a message that we won’t tolerate RINOs, what message will the defeat of Christine O’Donnell send?

In unrelated news, here is her latest ad. At least I think it’s her latest ad, and not the first one again. She’s still you.


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