Patterico's Pontifications


Googling “Bigotry”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:47 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Type the word “bigotry” in the Google search bar and this is what pops up:


(I just tried it and it does.) Below the definition, a sentence using bigotry is provided: “the report reveals racism and right-wing bigotry”

Their source is the Oxford Dictionary and this is what is determined to be a credible example of using the word in a sentence. Other dictionaries choose not to use inflammatory sentences for their examples:

Merriam Webster and, meanwhile, do not use “right-wing” in association to bigotry in their definitions. Merriam’s sentence: “He was labeled a bigot after making some offensive comments.”

When asked for a comment about this, Google responded:

“Google Search surfaces data from Oxford Dictionary when providing definitions on our search result pages.” What’s more, we hear Google plans to reach out to Oxford Dictionary to flag the above “right-wing bigotry” sentence as inappropriate.

I can just picture all the Googlites furrowing their brows, straining to figure out exactly why this might of some concern…I don’t get it…It’s true in both usage and context…What’s the problem??


GDP Includes People Getting Paid to Do Absolutely Nothing — Why Paul Krugman’s Love of GDP Is Wrong, Part Five

Filed under: GDP,General — Patterico @ 10:17 pm

It’s the perfect way to round out a week of posts documenting the flaws in GDP as a measure of the health of the economy.

The news report below opens: “Workers at a Missouri company are telling their story, after the government paid them to do nothing.”

You’ve probably heard about this before. The story broke a month ago. The company was supposed to process a giant influx of ObamaCare applications — but the expected flood never came. So the office was filled with employees who got paid to sleep and played games. The story today is that nothing has changed. In fact, they’re still hiring! And they pay overtime!

These people are contributing absolutely nothing to the economy. All they do is drain taxpayer money.

But their services are included in GDP.

If this company were being paid directly by consumers, they would go out of business, because consumers don’t pay money for nothing. But the government does.

This is the kind of stuff Paul Krugman wants more of. Won’t someone please give him another Nobel Prize?

Weiner: I Accidentally Favorited That Tweet from That Internet Hookup App

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:59 pm

Yes, it’s another Twitter accident involving Anthony Weiner:

Disgraced New York Democrat Anthony Weiner is claiming that he “accidentally” favorited a tweet from an Internet hookup app.

Weiner made a stir on Friday, June 13, when Twitter users noticed that he favorited a tweet from the Internet hookup site Tinder. The tweet advertising the site said, “Tinder will now be the ultimate sext machine.”

It wasn’t long before Twitter exploded with attacks on Weiner, the Democrat who made himself infamous and lost his seat in Congress for using social media to send sexually explicit messages to young women across the country.

Weiner, though, had a ready excuse: It was an accident.

He made his excuse on Twitter saying he “accidentally hit the star thingy on a @voxdotcom story about Tinder.”

Where is Neal Rauhauser? I’m sure he wants to blame this on me and Mike Stack.

20 Years Ago Today . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:35 pm

. . . O.J. Simpson brutally murdered two people.

I wrote a series of posts about the case in 2006 — eight years ago! — and now is as good a time as any to revisit them. Long-time readers, enjoy the nostalgia. New readers, sample some moldy old Patterico posts.

The O.J. Posts — Part One: Introduction

I come at this with a perspective: I think O.J. Simpson is guilty of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. I think he got away with murder. Part of the object of these posts is to explore why.

. . . .

[D]espite the fact that I think Clark and Darden screwed up the case, I still think they proved it beyond a reasonable doubt. Tomorrow I’ll explain why I don’t think it made a difference to the jurors.

The O.J. Posts — Part Two: The Jury

A colleague I worked with downtown was a law clerk at the time of the O.J. trial. He was one of the first people to sound the alarm within the office, and he did it based on watching a few days of jury selection. He went to a couple of fairly high-level DAs that he was working for in the office, and told them: “We’re going down on this case.” They replied; “You’re kidding. We’ve got more evidence against this guy than we’ve ever had in a murder case. There’s no way we can lose.” My colleague replied: “I don’t care. You need to take a look at that group of jurors.”

I heard a story from Mrs. P. that directly reinforces this point. [You’ll have to click the link to read the story! — P]

The O.J. Posts — Part Three: The Timeline

Stop. Before you go any further . . . tell me how long it takes to drive from the site of Nicole Simpson’s Bundy condo to the site of O.J.’s Rockingham mansion.

I’m talking especially to those of you who believe O.J. didn’t do it. And I’m talking especially to those of you who watched large parts (or all) of the trial.

. . . .

Not many people realize this, but the drive from Nicole’s condo (the crime scene) to O.J.’s house took only five minutes. I’ve done it many times, and it always took five minutes, give or take 30 seconds or so.

The O.J. Posts — Part Four: We Really Could Have Used Bill Hodgman

I admit to a strong bias in favor of Hodgman. He’s a guy who is always thinking about strategy and has a solid understanding of people and what drives their decisionmaking. He is a quality person — a hardworking, talented, and dedicated D.A., a man with a firm sense of ethics, and a heck of a nice guy.

Hodgman periodically gives a presentation to the Sex Crimes Unit on the O.J. Simpson case. He tells stories about the case, goes through the evidence, and does a slideshow presentation at the end, essentially giving a short version of what would have been his closing argument at trial, if he had remained in a primary courtroom role on the case (he had to give up a larger role in the case due to heart trouble). The stated reason for the presentation is to instruct deputies how to handle big, high-profile media cases, but it also gives people a chance to satisfy their curiosity about the O.J. case. One year he gave the presentation when my wife was a Deputy in the Sex Crimes Unit, and I asked Bill if it would be okay for me to attend. He graciously allowed me to do so.

The O.J. Posts — Part Five: Patterico Visits the O.J. Civil Trial

I have sometimes heard the pro-O.J. crowd claim that Fred Goldman hammed it up for the cameras. Well, I can tell you this: at the civil trial, I sat two rows behind him and his daughter. When the lawyers displayed exhibits of Ron Goldman, they hugged each other, and you could see Fred Goldman shaking a little bit, apparently crying. But you couldn’t hear it. It wasn’t melodramatic, at all — and I saw no evidence that anyone else noticed (though I’m sure some did). It seemed genuine. And you know what? There were no cameras anywhere in sight.

The O.J. Posts — Part Six: Why Petrocelli Won the Civil Trial, While Clark and Darden Lost the Criminal Trial

Without meaning to take anything away from Petrocelli, he had a heck of a lot more going for him than his ability, which I agree seemed to be at a high level.

The biggest thing he had going for him, of course, was the jury pool. Trying a case like this in Santa Monica, where the criminal trial should have been held, is a far cry from trying it in downtown L.A.

Second, he had a lot of evidence that the criminal jurors didn’t have — like the photo of those “ugly-ass” Bruno Magli shoes.

But one of the biggest things he had going for him was O.J. himself. See, in the civil trial, the plaintiffs were allowed to call O.J. You can’t do that in a criminal trial.

The O.J. Posts — Part Seven: The Microscope Effect

I have a theory: put anything in life under an intense microscope — anything — and you can find questions. Especially if you want to find them, and you proceed off of incomplete information and jump to conclusions.

. . . .

I call it the Microscope Effect. If you put anything under a microscope, you can come out with the wildest theories.

The O.J. case, in my opinion, suffers from a huge case of the Microscope Effect.

I hope you click through to some of the old posts. In particular, Mrs. P’s story about the jury selection is absolutely true, and very revealing.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times today is hilarious:

Veteran prosecutors said they don’t think the jury’s racial makeup made a difference.

Name one.

Obama: Violence in Iraq Stems from the Majority in Government Not Listening to the Minority

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 pm


Part of the challenge — and I’ve said this directly to Prime Minister Maliki, and Vice President Biden has said this in his very frequent interactions with the Iraqi government — is that the politics of Shia and Sunni inside of Iraq, as well as the Kurds, is either going to be a help in dealing with this jihadist situation or it’s going to be a hindrance. And frankly, over the last several years, we have not seen the kind of trust and cooperation develop between moderate Sunni and Shia leaders inside of Iraq, and that accounts in part for some of the — the — the weakness of the state, and that then carries over into their military capacity.

So I think it’s fair to say that, in our consultations with the Iraqis, there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily.

And you know, our national security team is looking at all the options. But this should be also a wake-up call for the Iraqi government. There has to be a political component to this so that Sunni and Shia who care about building a functioning state that can bring about security and prosperity to all people inside of Iraq come together and work diligently against these extremists. And that is going to require concessions on the part of both Shia and Sunni that we haven’t seen so far.

I think he just said that the majority government needs to make concessions in order to end the violence perpetrated by the minority — because the minority feels so excluded from the government that it feels the need to resort to insurrection.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see this logic applied to American politics?

I am not saying that it is morally justified for fiscal conservatives to rebel against the U.S. government.

But I think Barack Obama just did.

Obama Is Losing Support from His Alumni

Filed under: General,Obama — JVW @ 2:27 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Rosa Brooks is a typical Washington liberal with all all the right credentials — Harvard undergrad, Oxford graduate degree, Yale Law degree, former columnist for the Dog Trainer, current professor at Georgetown Law (alma mater of future California State Senator Sandra Fluke!) — so she was a natural for the Obama White House in the early incarnation of Hope & Change. It is therefore interesting to note that despite having served as Counselor to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy (maybe the worst job title in all of Washington) she has unloaded on the sheer ineptitude of the Obama foreign policy:

OK, sure she thinks that Hillary! would be a whole lot better so she definitely still resides in the leftist dreamworld, but maybe this is the turning point where she starts to question progressive shibboleths and see the world as it really is.

Or maybe she’s just angling for a job in a future Clinton Administration.


P.S. — The Tweet embed suddenly stopped working on the preview for some reason, so just to be on the safe side I am going to include a screen-shot of her Tweet. Yeah, it will look stupid if the embed ends up working when this was published, but oh well. At this point what difference does it make?

Texas Attorney General Wants to Protect Border with State Law Enforcement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

Here is Greg Abbott’s letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Dear Secretary Johnson,

Texas is currently dealing with an extraordinary influx of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing our long international border with Mexico. With the Border Patrol’s focus shifted to this crisis, we have grave concerns that dangerous cartel activity, including narcotics smuggling and human trafficking, will go unchecked because Border Patrol resources are stretched too thin. Securing the U.S.-Mexico border is the federal government’s responsibility. Because that simply is not happening, the State of Texas is seeking emergency funding to help support state-based border security initiatives.

In the Texas Rio Grande Valley sector alone, the U. S. Border Patrol made more than 160,000 apprehensions between October 2013 and May 2014, an increase of 70 percent over the same period the year before. Authorities arrested 47,017 unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the border between October and May, up 92 percent from the same period a year earlier. More than two-thirds of these arrests—33,470— were in the Rio GrandeValley sector. A draft Border Patrol memorandum estimates that number could reach 90,000 in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

This crisis has been accelerated by federal government policies that, as U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen recently wrote, are “rewarding criminal conduct instead of enforcing the current laws.” Federal government policies that release unauthorized immigrants from custody with notices to appear in court, and that reunite minors apprehended alone in the U.S. illegally with family members already present in the country, only encourages the continued influx of unaccompanied minors that has helped create this urgent situation on our southwestern border.

I am appealing directly to you for immediate assistance with border security operations along the Texas-Mexico border. The influx of child immigrants has so overwhelmed the U.S. Border Patrol that federal agents are devoting time and resources to the humanitarian aspects of the influx. Therefore, we are concerned federal authorities are not available to secure the border and successfully stop cross-border criminal activity.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has a proven track record of interdicting, intercepting and disrupting the criminal operations of transnational gangs and international drug cartels—including illegal smuggling operations by those criminal organizations. The Texas DPS is prepared to swiftly launch a significant and proven border security operation once funding is available.

Right now, Abbott is seeking federal funds to pay for this. What if the funds are denied? That’s where is gets interesting. What if Abbott decides to employ state resources to defend a border that the federal government is clearly taking no steps to protect?

Obama can run to court for an order, arguing that protecting the border is a federal job. But as Abbott notes above, at least one federal judge in Texas does not believe the government is doing that job. Indeed, the judge accuses Homeland Security of completing the cartels’ criminal conspiracy to smuggle children across the border. (Keep reading; he really does!)

In the Washington Times, Ernest Istook had a piece on Tuesday about Judge Hanen’s order, and it’s worth your time:

The Department of Homeland Security, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy [of child-smuggling] in achieving its illegal goals,” writes a federal judge in a court order.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, issued the order in December. It explains and condemns how today’s crisis was created by President Barack Obama’s laxity and refusal to enforce our immigration laws. . . [A] s Judge Hanen’s order states: “Time and again this court has been told by representatives of the government and the defense that cartels control the entire smuggling process … the government is not only allowing [those paying the child-smugglers] to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so.”

“The DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation. Legally, this situation is no different,” he wrote.

Oh, come on, Judge Hanen. The Obama Administration would never allow illegal weapons to be delivered to the drug cartels.

Judge Hanen described that the pattern is the same in other cases: “In each case, the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, by delivering the minors to the custody of the parent illegally living in the United States.”

This order sounds astonishing, and has new relevance given the extraordinary influx of children at the border. I’ll be looking into obtaining a copy of this order and telling you more about it. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Courtesy of reader “Dave” comes a link to the judge’s opinion.

I note that Power Line did a great post about this in December, when the order came out.

This is probably all worth a separate post.

Internal Border Patrol Memo: Crisis at Border Caused By Obama’s Release Policy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am

Washington Times:

Illegal immigrants from Central America are surging across the U.S.-Mexico border because they believe they can take advantage of American immigration policy and gain at least a tentative foothold in the country, according to an internal Border Patrol intelligence memo.

The immigrants come seeking “permisos,” which apparently are the “notices to appear,” the legal documents given to non-Mexicans caught at the border, according to the memo, which was viewed by The Washington Times and raised several times Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Those notices officially put the immigrants into deportation proceedings. The immigrants usually are released to await a court date, giving them a chance to fade into the shadows in the interior of the U.S.

Agents on May 28 interviewed more than 200 non-Mexicans who were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley, asking why they came to the U.S. and whether they had family in the country.

Apparently, the news that illegals are being released rather than detained serves as a magnet. (Who knew?)

“This information is apparently common knowledge in Central America and is spread by word of mouth and international and local media,” the memo reads. “A high percentage of the subjects interviewed stated their family members in the U.S. urged them to travel immediately, because the United States government was only issuing immigration ‘permisos’ until the end of June 2014.”

But, but . . . but I thought Obama officials told us that it was violence in Central America that was causing the flood of child immigrants.

So their public stance is contradicted by an internal memo? When has that ever happened before?

I see only one way out, politically, for Obama.

Obama must send Susan Rice to the Sunday talk shows to say that his policies did not cause the crisis at the border.

Judging A Book By Its Cover

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:18 am

[guest post by Dana]


Radio host and political commentator Dana Loesch has a new book coming out. This is the cover of the book.

Crooks and Liars and others are flipping out. Their accusation:

[S]he decided to pose on the cover with an AR-15, a weapon that helped massacre so many innocent children in Sandy Hook.

It’s all about the HATE:

As conservative talkers ratchet up the anger against the left, their rubes continually are then blinded by more rage and the end result is that they constantly vote against their own interests just to as Beck says, “drive liberals crazy.” Unfortunately, it’s the parents of Sandy Hook that will ultimately pay the price for their failed attempts at right wing whimsy.

Loesch’s provocative cover has also elicited a number of ugly tweets.

Of the book and its cover, Loesch explains:

“Gun control is the ultimate war on women. Firearms are the equalizer between the sexes. Sam Colt made us equal, indeed. This book explores that, the racist roots of gun control, and debunks the biggest arguments made by anti-gun extremists. The AR is on the cover because it is the most vilified, misunderstood rifle in America, responsible for the fewest crimes. Education is the antidote to ignorance. Consider this book the medicine.”

Maybe a less controversial cover would sell more books, maybe this cover will sell even more books, who knows. I suspect Loesch fans and 2nd Amendment supporters will read the book, no matter what is on the cover. However, if Loesch had hopes that non-supporters might dig in and consider her arguments and defense, I don’t think she’s helped her cause. It’s true that the cover is just an excuse for the left and they would no doubt condemn her even if she had been cuddling an adorable little puppy and there had been no weapon in the picture, but was it a smart choice? And that’s why I am curious about her (and her editor’s) motive: Was it a deliberate design of sensationalism to “drive liberals crazy”? Or was it designed to make a serious statement (think something like: I am not afraid of this because I own it – it does not own me)? Likely, for the most part, one’s politics will inform the reaction to it. But I also believe that does not necessarily exclude weariness from mass shootings, unnecessary deaths and the madness of it all from informing that reaction as well.


Government Union Stupidity

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:57 am

[guest post by Dana]


Those Duck Dynasty people are causing a stir again, or rather car decals supporting them are…yes, decals.

A union representing federal employees at Eglin Air Force base in Florida is demanding that two senior management officials be removed from their posts because they put decals on their personal trucks supporting Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.

Alan Cooper, the executive vice president of the local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, said one of the officials also displayed the “I Support Phil” decals in his office last month and offered them to subordinates.

“The BUE (bargaining union employee) was clearly offended and disgusted that a senior management official would display the decal on their pod,” read an email Cooper wrote.

“We took offense,” Cooper told me in a telephone interview. “These two particular individuals have a great amount of influence over individuals who may be gay, who may be African-American – and we have a concern they should not be in a position to exert that influence when it comes to promotions.”

In an email that was sent to union members, Cooper said the Duck Dynasty decal may be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Phil Robertson has made disparaging remarks against a vast array of people, which created a firestorm in the media in the recent past,” Cooper wrote.

Naturally, Cooper wants to see those with the I Support Phil stickers to be fired.

“I don’t know how long these individuals harbored these views – could they have impacted employment opportunities for folks that have been disparaged by the likes of a Phil Robertson,” he said.

Regardless, he wants the Duck Dynasty fans dealt with, noting “it’s definitely 100 percent inappropriate for an organization that espouses a zero tolerance policy” to condone such activity.

“If it’s zero tolerance, it’s zero tolerance for everybody,” he said, referring to the military’s anti-discrimination policies.

The Phil supporters claimed it was a First Amendment issue, and thankfully, so did the Air Force.

They investigated the claims made by the union and determined that the two civilian workers were well within their rights to support Duck Dynasty.

“Brigadier General Dave Harris is not taking any action against the individual as the display of such a bumper sticker is considered legally protected speech under the First Amendment,” said Andy Bourland, director of public affairs at the military base.

Bourland also told me they looked into the incident involving the decals in the worker’s office. They also decided not to take action in that incident.


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