Patterico's Pontifications


Palin Making News Again

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:35 pm

[guest post by Dana]

At this weekend’s annual NRA convention, Sarah Palin made waves with her speech. In typical Palin fashion, she captivated her audience and was met with cheers and applause.

One expects the left to be in a tizzy of course, because guns. However, there are a surprising number on the right who have taken her to task for her joke invoking Christianity’s sacrament of baptism with regard to water boarding (beginning at the 6:40 mark). Focusing on the United State’s current counter-terrorism policies, Palin described what she would do if she were in charge,

“Come on. Enemies, who would utterly annihilate America, they who’d obviously have information on plots, to carry out Jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we’d baptize terrorists.”

Critics scolded that baptism isn’t a good punchline for a terrorist joke; disliked her uniting government with religion and making herself both judge and arbiter; while yet others accused her of sacrilegious jibe and invoking baptism to celebrate torture.

I have excerpted a portion of one writer’s take that caught my eye,

In our attempts to dehumanize our enemy we end up becoming less than human ourselves. It would be a Pyrrhic victory to save civilization and lose our humanity.

We must never hesitate to defend our culture, our future, and our lives against those who seek to destroy us. The liberal cosmopolitan elite appeal to tolerance and understanding in the face of such an enemy is suicidal. However, the right-wing populist position, which is willing to face up to and address the evil of terrorism, fails to understand the ramifications of becoming like the enemy by dehumanizing them.

The entirety focuses on the spiritual implications of Palin’s statement, water boarding, and the Christian. However, along with Palin’s controversial comments and the historical treatment of her by the left/MSM, consider the excerpt in a more broad brush generic way as it relates to politics: Becoming like the enemy. In light of that, what are the limits of how far the right can – and should – go when calling out the hypocrisy, smear tactics and campaigns to destroy by the left? At what point do we start resembling the very people we are attempting to expose? When does it end up becoming self-destructive, thus giving an unintended victory to our opponents? In other words, do we play just as dirty as our opponents and is the risk worth it?

Post script: Palin is not backing down from her comments. When asked if she thought she would make the remark again, she replied,

“Would I make it again?” Palin said. “Why wouldn’t I, yeah, absolutely. Terrorists who want to annihilate Americans, innocent Americans, our children — whatever it takes to stop them. If I were in charge, I’d be stoppin’ em.”

Politicians should take note: Stand by what you say. No backing down, no back pedaling, no “What I really meant to say…” shtick.


Jonathan Adler: Don’t Criticize Democrat Candidate for Having Been a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:54 pm

Jonathan Adler:

I don’t know South Carolina state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, and I doubt I’d support him for governor if I were a resident of the Palmetto State. I do know, however, that the Republican Governors Association’s latest ad attacking Sheheen for having worked as a criminal defense attorney is contemptible.

The ad (below) attacks “trial lawyer” Sheheen because he ”made money off criminals” and represented those “charged with violent acts,” child and sex abuse. I assume the accusations are true, but they are irrelevant. Even those accused of the most heinous crimes deserve a defense, and our legal system depends upon the willingness of capable attorneys to defend even the most unpopular or unpalatable defendants.

I agree with Adler. I understand that the job of criminal defense attorney is not popular with the public, but defending criminals is what they do — and it’s necessary. Making money for such actions is fine. Getting good results, if done in an ethical manner, is fine. It’s their job.

Don’t criticize a guy for doing a necessary job.

P.S. I don’t 100% agree with Adler here:

The RGA is not the first to attack lawyers for having agreed to represent unpopular clients or causes, but that hardly makes the ad any more defensible. Others on the right wrongly went after attorneys who agreed to represent Gitmo detainees. Folks on the left assailed Bush nominees who represented corporations or defended administration policies and attacked King & Spalding and Paul Clement for agreeing to defend DOMA. Some members of Congress are also currently attacking district court nominee Mark Cohen because he helped defend Georgia’s voter ID law. All such attacks are misguided.

If you are attacking a Gitmo lawyer simply because he or she is a Gitmo lawyer, I don’t agree with your attack. BUT…as See Dubya once pointed out, a lot of big firms flocked to give pro bono counsel to Gitmo detainees, but somehow a U.S. soldier who was going to be prosecuted by Italy for murder in a clear friendly fire accident couldn’t get anyone to be pro bono counsel. (The prosecution never went through.) I think that it’s fair to wonder why — and situations like this crop up all the time, where helping someone in a lefty cause brings bevies and covens of lawyers while other worthy causes do not.

But getting back to the main point: Republicans, don’t get on someone’s case for being a criminal defense lawyer. Please.

Boehner Committed to Immigration Reform Vote

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:43 am

I’ve not commented yet on John Boehner’s “oooh, it’s too hard” comments mocking Republicans for not passing immigration reform. But I think it’s time I opened a thread for y’all on it. In the mad rush to end the GOP, this is a fairly significant step.

Toyota Moving from California to Texas

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

This is a real blow to the local economy:

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to move large numbers of jobs from its sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance to suburban Dallas, according to a person familiar with the automaker’s plans.

. . . .

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said in February that it was relocating from Los Angeles to Houston, making it one of around 60 companies that have moved to Texas since July 2012, according to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry last month visited California to recruit companies. The group Americans for Economic Freedom also recently launched a $300,000 advertising campaign in which Perry contends 50 California companies have plans to expand or relocate in Texas because it offers a better business climate.

Like these other companies, Toyota could also save money in an environment of lower business taxes, real estate prices and cost of living.

Frank Scotto, Torrance’s mayor, said he had no warning of Toyota’s decision. He said he did know that the automaker planned a corporate announcement for Monday.

“When any major corporation is courted by another state, it’s very difficult to combat that,” Scotto said. “We don’t have the tools we need to keep major corporations here.”

The mayor said businesses bear higher costs in California for workers’ compensation and liability insurance, among other expenses.

This marks the second departure of a major auto company in a decade:

Toyota isn’t the first automaker to leave Southern California. In late 2005, Nissan announced it was moving its North American headquarters from Gardena to Franklin, Tenn., just outside of Nashville. About 550 employees left for Tennessee; an additional 750 left jobs at Nissan to stay in Southern California.

“The costs of doing business in Southern California are much higher than the costs of doing business in Tennessee,” Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said at the time. He cited cheaper real estate and lower business taxes as key reasons for the move.

You might think “business writer” Michael Hiltzik would be writing about the departure of a local business headquarters employing thousands of workers. But the clear solutions — lower business taxes, lower workers’ compensation costs, and the like — don’t fit his ultra-left world view. So today, his “business” column focuses on racist comments made by Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, giving us a glimpse of the “dirty laundry” in this woefully undercovered story.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s the worst thing about California: the ridiculous regulation, or the crappy media. My conclusion: they’re both the worst.

Claim: Women’s Only Self-Defense Class Discriminatory

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

Discrimination rears its ugly head again:

Five government-sponsored self-defense classes to be held in the San Fernando Valley next month are being challenged as discriminatory to men and boys.

The women-only classes are advertised as free and are being hosted by California State Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian as well as the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department (Mission Hills division), Bright Star ATA Martial Arts and the North Hollywood Recreation Center.

The classes are for any female 12 and older and will highlight common strikes, important methods of disabling your attacker and some hands-on training techniques.

But, Harry A. Crouch believes the classes are discriminatory.

Crouch is “president of the National Coalition for Men, a nonprofit group based in San Diego, which ‘raises awareness about how sex discrimination adversely affects women and men.’” Quotes from Crouch’s letter are at the link. Crouch argues: “Men and boys are especially prone to violent attacks” and notes that men are not necessarily born martial artists.

I can see people being divided about this, which makes it a fun topic. Discuss away.

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