Patterico's Pontifications


Robin Williams, RIP

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:19 pm

Robin Williams has died. Preliminary reports indicate suicide by asphyxiation, due to depression.

He made everyone laugh, but apparently his despair was too much to overcome.

I firmly believe depression is an illness. It’s like contracting a virus. It’s not your fault. You don’t do it to yourself. It happens to you.

I can’t improve upon the words of Ken White, who had a long series of connected entries on Twitter about this. Read them below.

2008: Obama Discusses Vacations

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Summer vacation. Who doesn’t love taking one?

As such, President Obama is currently ensconced in tony Martha’s Vineyard. He is playing golf (as of August 5, 2014, he has played some 184 rounds), doing some fundraising for the Democrats, and one would assume, fitting in some family time as well.

So with that, it’s funny to hear Obama in 2008 discuss presidential vacations:

“You have to understand that if you seek that office, then you have to be prepared to give your life to it. Essentially, the bargain that I think every President strikes with the American people is, ‘you give me this office, then in turn my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure, is gone. I am giving myself to you.”

It’s even funnier because back in January, 2014 while on vacation in Hawaii, the president slammed Republicans for taking their vacations at what he believed to be an inopportune time:

“Just a few days after Christmas, more than one million of our fellow Americans lost a vital economic lifeline – the temporary insurance that helps folks make ends meet while they look for a job. Republicans in Congress went home for the holidays and let that lifeline expire. And for many of their constituents who are unemployed through no fault of their own, that decision will leave them with no income at all.”

No matter that Rome is currently burning. The president has some golf to play.


UPDATE: The president took a little bit of time from his vacation to make a few comments today from Mass. regarding the Iraq situation, and the naming of new Prime Minister delegate Haider al-Ibadi. No mention was made of Nouri al-Maliki:

This new Iraqi leadership has a difficult task. It has to regain the confidence of its citizens by governing inclusively and by taking steps to demonstrate its resolve,” he added. “The United States stands ready to support a government that addresses the needs and grievances of all Iraqi people.”

The president also reiterated his commitment to provide “to partner with Iraq in its fight against … terrorist forces” in the region.

Further, he insisted that there is no “American military solution” to the problems facing Iraq.

Robin Williams, Dead at 63

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:44 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Major news outlets are reporting on the apparent suicide of comedian Robin Williams earlier today at his Tiburon home. Those of us familiar with his career probably recall that he has had past battles with drugs and alcohol, and according to his publicist he had been battling severe depression for several years.

Important Note: Our host wishes to observe a rule that the immediate aftermath of a notable person’s death is not a good time to criticize the personal behavior or politics of that person. While I personally subscribe more to Voltaire’s belief of the dead, I want to admonish all of us (me included) to be respectful and observe our host’s wishes. I think that while critical examination of Mr. Williams’ movies and comedy career are fair game, we should avoid venturing into the personal and hope that he finds the peace in death that apparently eluded him in life.


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