Patterico's Pontifications


Daily Caller: As Student at Columbia, Eric Holder Participated in Occupation of ROTC Office with Students Described as “Armed”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:51 pm

And now he’s the Attorney General:

As a freshman at Columbia University in 1970, future Attorney General Eric Holder participated in a five-day occupation of an abandoned Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) headquarters with a group of black students later described by the university’s Black Students’ Organization as “armed,” The Daily Caller has learned.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler has not responded to questions from The Daily Caller about whether Holder himself was armed — and if so, with what sort of weapon.

Holder was then among the leaders of the Student Afro-American Society (SAAS), which demanded that the former ROTC office be renamed the “Malcolm X Lounge.” The change, the group insisted, was to be made “in honor of a man who recognized the importance of territory as a basis for nationhood.”

Before Holder came to campus, the group had apparently armed themselves with guns and held a dean of the school hostage. Holder thought to himself: this is the group I need to join.

The SAAS was part of a radicalized portion of the Columbia student body whose protest roots were hardened in the late 1960s. Its members collaborated with the SDS to stage a series of protests on the New York City campus in 1968, the year before Eric Holder arrived on campus.

Those earlier protests culminated in a separate armed takeover of Dean Henry Coleman’s office in which students held him hostage and stopped the construction of a gymnasium in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, near the campus.

The BSO reported on its website as recently as 2010 that those students were “armed with guns.”

Emboldened by their successes, SAAS leaders continued to press their demands, eventually working with local black radicals who were not college students. A young Eric Holder joined the fray in 1969 as a college freshman.

Read it all. The article explains how Holder’s group supported Black Panthers charged with plotting violent terrorism:

In March 1970 the SAAS released a statement supporting twenty-one Black Panthers charged with plotting to blow up department stores, railroad tracks, a police station and the New York Botanical Gardens.

The SAAS, along with the SDS and other radical campus groups, staged a campus rally on March 12, 1970 featuring Afeni Shakur — one of the Panthers out on bail and the future mother of rapper Tupac Shakur.

The rally’s purpose, The Columbia Daily Spectator reported, was to raise bail money for the twenty other Panthers and to call on District Attorney Frank Hogan to drop the charges.

Luckily Holder’s attitudes could never have an attitude on how he treated cases involving (New) Black Panthers as the Attorney General.

Oh, wait . . .

It will be interesting to see what reaction there is to this story, if any. When I was at Cornell University, the school “celebrated” the 20th anniversary of an armed takeover of the Willard Straight Hall student union by black student activists. I was appalled that the leader of the takeover was invited to the school as a featured speaker, as if he were a returning hero. But such is the nature of campus activism.

I’m not sure the typical American voter reacts the same way. Stories about Holder’s radical past may not change too many minds, but the possible involvement of weapons is unlikely to be received with humor by the average voter — to the extent he hears about it.

It’s your job to see that he does. Please spread the story far and wide. This is one that I knew was coming for a few weeks, and I’m happy to see it finally hitting public view. I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

Chinese Hackers Hack System Used for Nuclear Commands??

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:50 pm

Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon:

Hackers linked to China’s government broke into one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.

One official said the cyber breach was one of Beijing’s most brazen cyber attacks against the United States and highlights a failure of the Obama administration to press China on its persistent cyber attacks.

I’m not familiar with the Washington Free Beacon and I’m wondering why the story is not appearing elsewhere (or is it?). If there is anything to this, however, it seems like a big story.

For now, though, color me skeptical.

Via Drudge.

Preview of Univision Piece on Fast and Furious

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:32 pm

Via Hot Air.

We’re finally going to get some details on the stories of all the people killed with these guns.

UPDATE: I have removed the video embed after complaints that it was crashing the site. Follow the Hot Air link if you wish to see it.


Atlantic Wire Doubles Down on “Obama Phone” Woman Racism Accusations — Calls Patterico Intellectually Dishonest

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:30 pm

This past week I showed y’all this hilarious video of an Obama supporter thoughtfully explaining her well-reasoned support for President Obama:

A laugh riot — and it would be whether the woman was black, white, mauve, Hispanic, Chinese, or Pakistani. What’s more, her greed for government handouts is relevant in the wake of Big Media’s excoriation of Mitt Romney, for disparaging people who vote for Obama because they want government to give them free stuff.

As I explained, however, it was obviously RAAACIST! to draw attention to this video, because the Obama voter it depicts happens to be black. This (according to certain liberal pundits) gives her a Magic Shield that apparently protects her and everyone with a dark shade of skin from criticism or mockery, no matter how absurdly they might behave.

I cited as an example of this attitude the commentary of one Elspeth Reeve of the Atlantic Wire, who kindly explained to us why we are all racists for finding the above video funny.

Now Reeve doubles down, and saves some of her nastiest invective for yours truly. Let me give her some space to make her argument, because I’m going to use plenty of space to refute it. Reeve says:

This is a he-who-smelt-it-dealt-it argument. Or, as Stephen Colbert’s persona likes to say, “I don’t see race.” This line of argument wants to change the subject to something, anything other than race. Hey, what about free phones?! Patterico at Patterico’s Pontifications tried defending the video, saying, “The above video is hilarious. It is representative of a group of Obama voters who feel entitled to handouts from government. It does not matter what the color of the speaker is. It’s news… Conservatives should not have to shy away from such amusing examples of entitlement mentality simply because the particular proponent of that mentality happens to be black.” This is intellectually dishonest, at best. We await Patterico delving into the minutiae of the Universal Service Fund. Until then, it’s just “hilarious.” Specifically, it’s hilarious because it uses one person to portray a huge group of people in a negative way is. The point of the video — and the reason Drudge and Limbaugh hyped it — is to say, this is what Obama voters look like: black, poor, stupid, and after your money. The video’s subject wasn’t picked out because she “happens to be black,” she was picked out because she is black. Lee Atwater, strategist for Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, explained how this works way back in 1981 — better to talk about cutting taxes and bussing, because it’s “a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Ni***r, ni***r.'” Of course, this Internet meme isn’t all that abstract.

Having cited Lee Atwater, she is certain to cite Willie Horton:

This video, if placed in a Romney ad, would make George H.W. Bush’s 1988 Willie Horton ad look subtle by comparison: the other guy is supported by scary black people, vote Republican!

Where to start?

First of all, I refuse to allow Reeve to cram down our throats the conventional wisdom that the Willie Horton furlough issue constituted an illegitimate racial line of attack. If so, then furloughing murderers to commit rapes is no problem — and Al Gore was a racist. I explained this all the way back in 2004:

Of course, what was so outrageous about the Willie Horton situation was not that there existed a furlough program of any type, but that a convicted murderer serving a sentence of life without parole was furloughed, allowing him the opportunity to rape a woman.  The news media always treated this as a simple case of racial hyperbole, while ignoring the fact that this situation was unacceptable regardless of race.  Indeed, this is why Al Gore thought the issue of such furloughs was fair game in a debate with Dukakis.

I am familiar with the fact, often cited by liberal pundits who love to cry RAAACISM!, that Lee Atwater described the Willie Horton ad as an example of pandering to racists. If that was his intent, shame on him. But that doesn’t mean the issue was illegitimate. Important issues are fair game even if they can be exploited by cynical partisans.

 One of my readers with non-white skin, Dana, is pissed off. Let me turn the microphone over to dana:

Once again, because another earnestly precious writer sees the world through a colored lens, by default everyone else does, too. As a person with brown skin, I find this utterly disheartening because that means I will never be judged by character, nor by word and deed, but only by skin color.  Why does the writer want to do this to me, and others?  Shouldn’t her goal be to rise above this nonsense and be the change she’s been waiting for?  (or, to put a point on it, she has not been waiting for that change, nor do she and her ilk want that change to occur because there goes the house of cards).

This is a non-stop insult to anyone who is not lily white and I am annoyed by it…and if this is the real Elspeth Reeve, writer of the article, I feel even more insulted.  Who  voted her arbiter of all things racist?  Some white chick gets to decide for us when we who are not lily white like her, should be offended??  I don’t think so.  She belittles herself, she belittles the woman in the video, and she belittles people of a different color with her um, racist attitude.  What, does she think we’re all just little Step ‘n Fetchits who will react accordingly?  (Heh.  I can’t think of an Indian stereotype to fit because we’re so low on the totem pole, one wasn’t created!).

Ironically, even as Reeve criticizes tarring an entire group (Obama voters) based on the idiocy of one person, Reeve tars the entire group of people who publicize the above video, based on the reaction of one group: Stormfront:

Why bring Stormfront into this?

If you want to know whether something is racist, why not go to the experts? “You’ll be glad to know that Reeve backs up her leading question by citing those mainstream conservatives at, um, Stormfront,” writes Treacher. Members of a “white pride” forum are, after all, not offended by being labeled as white supremacists. And if they cheer the “Obama Phone” video as proving their “racial inferiority” hatred, then, you know, we’d say that’s pretty good proof that the video is trucking in racist stereotypes.

Let’s be honest. There are racists on both sides of the political aisle.  If we make legitimate points about a candidate’s views on criminal justice issues by pointing out his excessive leniency to someone who happens to be black, our arguments will probably appeal to racist whites. If if there is a hilarious video of a moron screaming about free phones, and she happens to be black, posting that video will probably appeal to Stormfront. In either case, it’s not our fault.

Reeve appears to argue that conservatives should be forced to refrain from making their most effective points in a campaign, for fear that we might incite a racist reaction. She thinks that we should be forced to ignore a funny video of someone who happens to be black, for fear that racists might find the video funny too.

This view is patronizing to black people, because it treats them as a fragile group that can’t be a part of the rough and tumble politics we enjoy in this nation.

Does Reeve’s “don’t stir up the racists” rule apply to stories that stir up black racists by portraying white people in an unfavorable light? Does Reeve consider stories off limits if they appeal to stereotypes that some blacks hold about white people?

Let’s turn the tables for a moment and see if Reeve likes it. The dragging death of James Byrd was a live issue in the 2000 election. Byrd was killed by white racists, and bringing up the issue was certain to have a side effect in that it would appeal to stereotypes held by black racists, who believe that all whites are racist and hate blacks. Under Reeve’s rule, discussing the death of James Byrd would be “trafficking in racial stereotypes.”

Except it was a legitimate issue.

White people did not give a script to the Obama phone woman. She is real, and while her attitude does not represent everyone, it does represent a segment of the population that believes itself to be entitled to government handouts — a segment that makes its voting decisions based on which candidate will give away the most goodies. The issue is the woman’s attitude, not her race . . . and if we’re not allowed to note the attitude if it is held by someone of a particular race, we are hamstrung in our ability to make our arguments in the most forceful and effective manner possible.

Which, somehow, seems like the goal. Doesn’t it?


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:40 pm

The sequel.

How’s it looking out there?


Iranian News Agency Fooled by Onion Article

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:33 pm


Add Iran’s news agency to the long list of those hoodwinked by the satire of The Onion.

Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency published a story Friday claiming that a Gallup poll found that rural white Americans prefer Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over President Barack Obama.

Such a poll would indeed be big news in Iran (and the United States) — if it were true.

But the source was The Onion, the publication that presents the outlandish as real news.

The Onion article is a riot:

“I like him better,” said West Virginia resident Dale Swiderski, who, along with 77 percent of rural Caucasian voters, confirmed he would much rather go to a baseball game or have a beer with Ahmadinejad, a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed, than spend time with Obama. “He takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does.” According to the same Gallup poll, 60 percent of rural whites said they at least respected that Ahmadinejad doesn’t try to hide the fact that he’s Muslim.

The best part is their update at the end:

For more on this story: Please visit our Iranian subsidiary organization, Fars.


P.S. It’s a good thing nobody in the United States press ever gets fooled by satire.

Or . . . do they?

Obama’s Giving Me a Phone and Don’t You Dare Notice How Dumb I Sound, Racist!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

Drudge linked this video yesterday of an Obama voter explaining her support for the President — namely: Obama gave her a phone!!!!

The details of how people are getting free phones from the federal government, and how that came to be, are worthy of discussion. But in this post I want to focus on the fact that people are trying to call this video RAAAAACIST!! — or, at least, racially charged. Here is Elspeth Reeve from the Atlantic Wire, asking: Just How Racist Is the Obama Phone? Her answer is somewhat:

Is this video racist?

Let’s start by saying it’s racial. The Obama Phone video belongs to a genre popular on conservative blogs in which poor people, usually black, confirm conservatives’ worst 47-percent fears by saying they can get something for nothing because Obama’s in office. The message is, “Here’s what Obama’s supporters really look like.”

The standout in the category is “Obama money”: Back in October 2009, big lines formed formed for Detroit housing assistance applications after the city underestimated how many people would show up to apply. The scene was chaotic, and local TV reported there were rumors that $3,000 checks would be handed out.

The meme on rightwing blogs became that it was an angry mob in search of “Obama money.” A Detroit radio station interviewed people in line for “Obama money.” One woman says, “I don’t know where he got it from but he’s giving it to us. … O-BA-MA O-BA-MA!” Rush Limbaugh excerpted the audio, saying, “This is the model citizen in Barack Obama’s vision.” He continued:

“These are the people who would be wealthy and rich today were it not for the fact that the achievers of this society since this country was founded stole everything they had. And so Obama looks at these people as victims of an unjust and immoral country, and by God, he’s going to make sure that they think he’s making it all good for them. And they all do. Dumb, uninformed, shockingly, saddeningly stupid, the model citizen for Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.”

Drudge’s only commentary with the Obama Phone video is “OBAMA HAS MY VOTE, HE GAVE ME A FREE PHONE,” but the conservative internet quickly picked up a broader electoral theme: this is what the 47 percent — the people Mitt Romney referred to as “dependent upon government” at a secretly taped fundraiser — looks like.

This is so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be said, but obviously it does.

The above video is hilarious. It is representative of a group of Obama voters who feel entitled to handouts from government. It does not matter what the color of the speaker is. It’s news.

The same goes for any woman who says: “I don’t know where he got it from but he’s giving it to us. … O-BA-MA O-BA-MA!”

Conservatives should not have to shy away from such amusing examples of entitlement mentality simply because the particular proponent of that mentality happens to be black.

And anyone who says different might just have a race problem of their own.

$30,000 for Being Pepper Sprayed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Catching up on more old stories I didn’t have to chance to post on during the week: here is one showing Occupiers cha-CHING! cashing in on being pepper-sprayed:

University of California officials have agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit over a pepper-spraying incident last year that came to symbolize law enforcement aggression against anti-Wall Street protesters, attorneys said on Wednesday.

Video of the confrontation, which showed seated student protesters being pepper-sprayed by campus police at the University of California campus at Davis, was replayed widely on television and the Internet, sparking outrage among faculty and activists.

Under the terms of the settlement filed in court on Wednesday, each of the 21 students and recent graduates from the campus who sued University of California regents over the November 2011 incident will get $30,000 and a personal letter of apology from UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

The deal also includes $250,000 for plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

I hereby volunteer to be pepper-sprayed for only $29,000.

I will not be undersold!

Wow: Scalia Says Posner “Lied”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

It happened several days ago but I just saw it:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday escalated a war of words with a prominent appeals court judge, saying the judge lied in a recent criticism of Scalia’s judicial philosophy.

Scalia, 76, the longest-serving justice and a leading conservative on the court, said Judge Richard Posner, of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lied in a review in August of a book co-authored by Scalia.

In the review, Posner accused Scalia of deviating from his own strict, text-based approach to interpreting law when he struck down a District of Columbia handgun ban in 2008 by considering the legislative history behind the law.

“To say that I used legislative history is simply, to put it bluntly, a lie,” Scalia said in an interview with Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler.

Jeez. You hate to see something like that. At the same time, if I’m going to take sides, I’m taking Scalia’s.

For what it’s worth, I obtained Scalia’s book through an inter-library loan and perused it (they didn’t allow me to renew it so I didn’t have a chance to read the whole thing). He says some interesting and provocative things about the benefits of textualism which I copied down and will post on at a later date.


Maker of Anti-Muslim Movie Arrested

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:27 pm

Yes, this time it’s not a voluntary interview but an arrest:

A man believed to be behind an anti-Muslim video that spawned international protests was held without bail in Los Angeles on Thursday, after federal authorities arrested him earlier in the day for allegedly violating the terms of probation on a prior conviction.

Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the 55-year-old alleged filmmaker, had a history of misrepresenting himself and posed a flight risk in denying a request for bail. “The court has a lack of trust in this defendant at this time,” the judge said.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have accused Mr. Nakoula of eight violations of the terms of his probation for a 2010 bank-fraud conviction.

I think it’s worth keeping in mind the words Ken from Popehat had when Nakoula was questioned:

Based on 6 years as a federal prosecutor and 12 as a federal defense lawyer, let me say this: minor use of a computer — like uploading a video to YouTube — is not something that I would usually expect to result in arrest and a revocation proceeding; I think a warning would be more likely unless the defendant had already had warnings or the probation officer was a hardass. But if I had a client with a serious fraud conviction, and his fraud involved aliases, and he had the standard term forbidding him from using aliases during supervised release, and his probation officer found out that he was running a business, producing a movie, soliciting money, and interacting with others using an alias, I would absolutely expect him to be arrested immediately, whatever the content of the movie. Seriously. Nakoula pled guilty to using alias to scam money. Now he’s apparently been producing a film under an alias, dealing with the finances of the film under the alias, and (if his “Sam Bacile” persona is to be believed) soliciting financing under an alias. I would expect him to run into a world of hurt for that even if he were producing a “Coexist” video involving kittens.

The problem we have here is that the head of the federal executive has criticized this guy repeatedly. His administration pressured Google to take down his movie; his Cairo embassy called it an “abuse” of free speech; and his State Department apologized for it in a country (Pakistan) where a public official offered money for the filmmaker to be killed.

So even if the line guys are doing their jobs the way they would otherwise, the President has made them look like political hacks. Which is unfortunate on several levels.

Thanks to Aaron Walker.

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.0693 secs.