Patterico's Pontifications


Porkosaurus Withdrawn; Tax Cuts Being Debated; UPDATE: Tax Cuts Passed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 pm

In keeping with the grand tradition of cribbing off Hot Air links, here is the link to the story about Harry Reid withdrawing the pork-laden omnibus spending bill, and here is the link to the still-developing story of the vote on the tax cuts deal, passage of which would either be a huge victory for Republicans, or a huge defeat for Republicans, or something in between. I am supposed to have strong feelings about this, but I’ve been out of the loop due to work demands, so I’ll leave it to you to express the strong feelings.

UPDATE 9:03 PACIFIC TIME: The tax cuts bill has passed. Victory/defeat/some mixture of the two is ours!!!

“Oven Dodgers”

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:24 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

A recent GQ interview with Winona Ryder reveals this disheartening tidbit about Mel Gibson:

“I remember, like, fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who’s gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about ‘oven dodgers,’ but I didn’t get it. I’d never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, ‘He’s anti-Semitic and he’s homophobic.’ No one believed me!”

Now, Winona Ryder is not the best character reference, but it is getting hard to escape the conclusion that Mel Gibson is an all around bigot.  Which is a depressing thing.

I mean I can’t suddenly decide that Braveheart is a bad movie, even though obviously that colors how we look at the treatment of the gay prince.  Even now, it really isn’t a simple or even obviously anti-gay portrayal.  Yes, he is portrayed as a gay wimp, but there was genuine sympathy in that depiction  For instance, there is a scene when Edward the Longshanks throws the prince’s lover out a window.  The prince then tries to attack his father, only to be beaten.  The prince’s impotent anger, crying and humiliated, was a sympathetic moment in my mind.  I didn’t get the sense that Gibson, the director, enjoyed that humiliation.

And I have seen The Passion of the Christ several times, and I cannot see any clear anti-Semitism in it.  For me, I saw a movie that if anything portrayed Jews very well.  Jesus was portrayed not as your typical blond-haired, Aryan dude, but as someone looking Semitic, and being Jewish in culture.  (Some would say Christ was a Jew.  I would say he was as much a Jew as any Christian is—and in truth I think you could say that Christians are Jews, who just happen to have this additional belief that Jesus was the Messiah.)  And the only person ever identified as a Jew by name was Simon of Cyrene, who is given a very positive portrayal.  I never saw the supposed “hook nosed” Jews that some people claimed in that movie.  And indeed, if anyone was stereotyped, it was the Romans, known to us today as the Italians.  And more importantly, Jesus is seen forgiving his tormenters; are we supposed to do less?

I even thought, at the time, that Gibson had a profound answer the question.  He said we killed Christ.  Christ had to die for our sins, so it was us, our behavior, that made that death necessary.  That is a deep thought, a real insight, even if the person delivering it is profoundly flawed.

But as for anti-Semitism…  Perhaps there is a line in Aramaic that is untranslated that says, “damn the Jews” or maybe one of the prior drafts of the screenplay contains that line.  Or maybe the answer is something a little subtler.

You see I do believe that people who were Jewish killed my savior.  It’s in the Bible, and you are never going to convince me that this wasn’t true.  But it doesn’t lead me to hate Jews.  Why?  Because we are responsible for ourselves and ourselves only.  Some Jews back about two thousand years ago acted in a vile manner that probably doomed their immortal souls.  But the other Jews alive at the time, who had no part in it, did nothing wrong and bear no blame.  And as for their children…  it is wrong to blame children for the actions of their parents, or ancestors.  You are not your father, or your mother.  You are you and you are responsible for you, and for no one else.

(Indeed, that concept is written into the Constitution itself.  In the treason clause it states that there shall be no corruption of the blood.  That is a reference to the doctrine of holding the family of a traitor responsible for treason—one that was specifically denounced in the American Constitution, for what was considered the worst crime one could commit.)

So okay, that is how I think.  And that is why my belief that people who were Jewish killed my savior doesn’t result in me hating all Jews.

But what if you don’t think that way?  Imagine if you were an anti-Semite, who blamed all Jews for the actions of a few.  Then in your mind all you have to do is show some Jews participating in the murder of Christ to indict all of them.  And maybe that explains it.

But barring some stunning rebuttal, it’s pretty clear that Gibson has a problem with bigotry.  Which leaves me profoundly disappointed.  Mel, I thought you were a better person than that, and I am sad to discover you are not.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

A Fool and His Car Are Soon Parted

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:29 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

This story made me smile more than a little:

WASHINGTON – D.C. Councilman Marion Barry had his car stolen over the weekend, according to D.C. police.

The former mayor parked his 2002 Jaguar outside the Patricia R. Harris Education Center in Southeast D.C. Sunday morning with the keys still in the ignition.

When he left the building, the car was gone.

D.C. Police have no suspects.

Police spokesman Paul Metcalf says the car was recovered Tuesday afternoon.

(Emphasis added.)  That is, I smiled, until I actually thought about it for a moment: Wait a minute, he was in Southeast D.C. and he parked his jag… with the keys in the ignition?

Okay, something is up with that story.  Something is going on that we don’t know about.  Because no one is fool enough to leave their keys in the ignition in that part of town.

Mind you, I have no special insight on the guy.  I don’t know any more about him than you do.  So this is just an opinion, but this is fishy as hell.  This does not add up.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

The Righteous Retribution of Barack the Barbarian

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:08 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Consider this a light post, but the typically great presents us with five crazy examples of Obama comics (actually it’s more like seven, but who’s counting?).  Now I should warn you that this is probably not safe for work.  But it a great way to enjoy the crazy.  My personal favorite is Barack the Barbarian:

(If this was done by a conservative, this would be like totally racist, right?)

Mmm, I am not sure I can decode that subtle allegory of the “Harpy From the Elephant Tower.”  Now the article doesn’t make it particularly clear who that “harpy” is, but I have a guess…

(This is called The Other McCain's Rule Five.)

[Update: Don’t you like how even in this apparent stone-age adventure, the Sarah Palin can still have glasses?  Authenticity!] (more…)

Client Number Nine: Doesn’t That Florida School Board Shooting Mean That We Should Have More Gun Control?

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:52 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Well, I predicted it yesterday, didn’t I?  Here’s the video.

Of course, the answer is no.  The fact is this guy was not supposed to have a gun in the first place.  He was a convicted felon.  The synopsis of that previous crime was this:

In October 1999, Duke threatened to kill a Florida woman, and when she attempted to flee, he used a handgun to “shoot out the victim’s rear tire of the vehicle that she was operating.”

Duke, wearing a bulletproof vest, told the woman he had “been watching her for the past six months and was planning to kill her, several other people, then himself,” according to probation officers.

And like in most states, Florida tells felons they may not possess firearms.  But still, he had one.  Because that is what criminals do: they don’t obey the law.  Indeed, the notion that a man would decide to commit a murder-suicide would then be deterred by a law telling him he isn’t supposed to own a gun is self-evidently silly.

At the same time, if Ginger Littleton had had a gun she could have ended the entire thing right then and there.  And it’s worth noting that it was very likely unlawful for Ms. Littleton to have carried a gun.  This statute, for instance, makes it a crime to possess a gun at a school or school-sponsored function, which might or might not include a school board meeting.

Further, on the video when security first enters the room and then retreats (apparently wanting to de-escalate the situation), Duke is heard saying that he doesn’t think the security guard had a gun.  That belief was probably mistaken because it appears that this was the same guard who ultimately shoots him, but it leads one to wonder if Duke felt empowered by the (possibly false) belief that there was no one there to oppose him.

Incidentally, I linked to it above, but the indispensible The Smoking Gun, has a lot more background on Clay Duke.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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