Patterico's Pontifications


Time To “Check Your Privilege”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:39 pm

[guest post by Dana]

On the heels of the excellent essay Patterico linked to earlier, White Male Student “Checks His Privilege”, and in keeping with the theme of privilege, Buzz Feed has a very scientific survey you can take to discover just how privileged you are.

I took the survey and was informed that I live with 60 out of 100 points of privilege. Oh boy!

Here is what that means,

You’re quite privileged. You’ve had a few struggles, but overall your life has been far easier than most. This is not a bad thing, nor is it something to be ashamed of. But you should be aware of your advantages and work to help others who don’t have them. Thank you for checking your privilege.

If you take the survey, remember, there is no shame.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I got 55. What a stupid quiz. I’ll never get those five minutes back.

UPDATE BY DANA: Well, yes, it’s stupid. The give away was describing something in Buzz Feed as “very scientific”. As if.

“Dude, This Was Like Two Years Ago!”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:15 pm

While being asked if he edited misleading Benghazi talking points, this douchebag former NSC spokesman reveals his true self in under one minute:

Time for a new attitude, sir.

And while you’re at it? . . .

. . . Also time for a new haircut.

Carney Today

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

More spin from White House spokesman Jay Carney, who appears to be getting really annoyed by this Benghazi nonsense rearing its ugly head yet again. Today found him bristling as Fox News reporter Ed Henry pressed him for clarification about that email. As with bright shiny objects, suggesting a conspiracy theory is the standard (and desperate) go-to for the White House when caught caught with their pants down.

“The documents released through a FOIA request by the State Department that included the email that you’re talking about are explicitly about the broader areas separate from the attack on Benghazi,” Carney said.

Fox News’ Ed Henry asked, “If it’s not about Benghazi, why turn it over in a Benghazi suit?”

Carney responded, “You’d have to ask the State Department about responding to FOIA requests –again, you can just read it and decide for yourself. As many people have now said and written, this is a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy theory.”

Carney stressed again that the video was the cause of the Cairo protest and other unrest.

“I think it’s fair to say that most people remember there were demonstrations around the region in reaction to what people felt was an offensive video. And there were demonstrations outside of U.S. facilities because the video was produced inside the United States,” he said. “Again, it’s pretty clear if you read it that that’s what it’s all about. When it comes to the connection between the protest in Cairo and what happened in Benghazi, that’s drawn directly from talking points produced by the intelligence community.”


White Male Student “Checks His Privilege”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

This speaks for itself. It is written by a 20-year-old white male freshman at Princeton:

There is a phrase that floats around college campuses, Princeton being no exception, that threatens to strike down opinions without regard for their merits, but rather solely on the basis of the person that voiced them. “Check your privilege,” the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year. The phrase, handed down by my moral superiors, descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone, and aims laser-like at my pinkish-peach complexion, my maleness, and the nerve I displayed in offering an opinion rooted in a personal Weltanschauung. “Check your privilege,” they tell me in a command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world.

I do not accuse those who “check” me and my perspective of overt racism, although the phrase, which assumes that simply because I belong to a certain ethnic group I should be judged collectively with it, toes that line. But I do condemn them for diminishing everything I have personally accomplished, all the hard work I have done in my life, and for ascribing all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive. Furthermore, I condemn them for casting the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a meritocracy, as a myth, and for declaring that we are all governed by invisible forces (some would call them “stigmas” or “societal norms”), that our nation runs on racist and sexist conspiracies. Forget “you didn’t build that;” check your privilege and realize that nothing you have accomplished is real.Talinside

But they can’t be telling me that everything I’ve done with my life can be credited to the racist patriarchy holding my hand throughout my years of education and eventually guiding me into Princeton. Even that is too extreme. So to find out what they are saying, I decided to take their advice. I actually went and checked the origins of my privileged existence, to empathize with those whose underdog stories I can’t possibly comprehend. I have unearthed some examples of the privilege with which my family was blessed, and now I think I better understand those who assure me that skin color allowed my family and I to flourish today.

Perhaps it’s the privilege my grandfather and his brother had to flee their home as teenagers when the Nazis invaded Poland, leaving their mother and five younger siblings behind, running and running until they reached a Displaced Persons camp in Siberia, where they would do years of hard labor in the bitter cold until World War II ended. Maybe it was the privilege my grandfather had of taking on the local Rabbi’s work in that DP camp, telling him that the spiritual leader shouldn’t do hard work, but should save his energy to pass Jewish tradition along to those who might survive. Perhaps it was the privilege my great-grandmother and those five great-aunts and uncles I never knew had of being shot into an open grave outside their hometown. Maybe that’s my privilege.

It goes on like that. Read it all. Truly, it is worth clicking through to read in its entirety.

Tom Coburn: There Should Be No National Minimum Wage

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

Uncommon common sense:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said Thursday that he doesn’t believe there should be a national minimum wage.

Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to block debate on legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Coburn was asked whether he thought the current minimum wage of $7.25 was sufficient.

“I don’t believe you ought to interfere in the market. My theory is if Oklahomans want a minimum wage, we ought to have it,” he said. “I don’t believe there ought to be a national minimum wage.”

I’d go further, of course, and say that if Oklahoman entrepreneurs — or entrepreneurs in any other state — want to pay a certain wage, they should be allowed to. That would allow them to make their own economic calculations and economize, in a manner that raises the standard of living for all. If you really don’t think we ought to interfere in the market, in other words — and that is the proper view — then that attitude should apply to states as well as the federal government.

But I’ll take Coburn’s statement over anything anyone else in public life is saying. Because it’s easier for states to reverse their mistakes than for a giant federal government to do so.

This is the kind of thing you can say when you are retiring, I guess.

Can we get the other 99 to announce their retirements too?

Only 2/3 of ObamaCare Enrollees Have Paid First Premium

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

Allahpundit reports:

Uh oh: House committee claims only two-thirds of federal ObamaCare enrollees paid first premium by April 15

And you know what that means: No money, no coverage, which means the widely touted figure of eight million enrollments that Barack “Mission Accomplished” Obama’s been pushing lately is flatly bogus. Anyone who hasn’t paid by the end of the grace period offered by their insurer — and some of those grace periods were undoubtedly extended beyond April 15th, the cut-off date for this analysis — will be tossed from the rolls.

The figure that’s been cited for months on payment rates is 80 percent. The Energy and Commerce Committee claims it’s actually significantly lower, at least when it comes to enrollees on the federal exchange, i.e. As you read, focus on the following question. Why couldn’t HHS have calculated this?

Paying the first premium isn’t the only issue, of course. There is the second. And the third. And the 123rd.

Stupid Republicans, acting like it matters whether people actually pay for and maintain the insurance they have signed up for!

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