Patterico's Pontifications


Catcalls: The New Hate Speech

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Will this madness never end? The viral catcalling video has inspired professor of sociology and director of the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University Laura Beth Nielsen to propose a law that would prohibit catcalling. This is street harassment and Nielsen wants it to stop right now:

The police may largely ignore harassment on the street because men often do not understand how pervasive it can be, but most importantly because there are no laws being violated in such encounters.

I’d propose a law that would prohibit street harassment and would also be consistent with our First Amendment jurisprudence about other kinds of hate speech (cross-burning in Virginia vs. Black) that intimidates, harasses and perpetuates inequality. It would allow states and cities to recognize street harassment for what it is: physical and psychological acts that intimidate, exclude, subordinate and reinforce male dominance over women.

The law would prohibit “uninvited harassing speech or actions targeted toward individuals in public spaces on the basis of sex or sexual orientation when done with the intent to intimidate.” Violation of the law could be a tort, meaning a woman could sue her harasser; an infraction, like a ticket with a fine; or even a misdemeanor. Even if rarely enforced, the symbolism of a law weighing in on the side of equality would have powerful effects.

If the law has an appropriate role prohibiting sexual harassment, violence and rape in our homes, workplace and universities, why not the street? Shouldn’t gender equality exist everywhere?

Curtail the First Amendment and make men of every stripe come to heel because oh no, rude and obnoxious catcalls made by ill-mannered, disrespectful louts. And based on the video, consider which group(s) would be impacted most by the proposed law. I have come to believe that the potential list of female grievances is never-ending and eventually, as a result, men will just cease interaction with women altogether because every single move will be the wrong move. At some point in time, it just won’t be worth their effort as the risk will have become too great. And I guess that means women will finally get what they seem to have been fighting for all along: the knowledge that they have conquered their opponents.


How Many Is That Again?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:45 pm

The L.A. Times has a new hot property: Phil Mickelson’s house in Rancho Santa Fe. Looks pretty sweet — and look at the amenities!

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.38.31 PM

Let’s have a look at that three-hole putting green:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.37.38 PM

You can click it to embiggen it if you like.

I’m no professional journalist, but . . .

Here Are Some Pictures of Joe Biden

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 pm

Today, Joe Biden spoke with CNN’s Gloria Bolger and predicted that Democrats would hold the Senate.

This is a picture of Joe Biden.

Biden 1

This is a picture of Joe Biden.

Biden 2

This is a picture of Joe Biden.

Biden 3

This is a picture of Joe Biden.

Biden 4

This is a picture of Joe Biden.

Biden 5

This is a screenshot of Joe Biden from his interview with Gloria Bolger today.

Biden of the Remarkably Smooth Forehead

It’s always nice to meet new people, even if they’re old friends.

UPDATE: Since a few people are asking, allow us to be explicit: These are 100 percent photos of Joe Biden (the one you are thinking of—the Vice President), from Google images, correctly identified as Joe Biden. Other than that, there is nothing remarkable about them.

Ted Cruz: Scrutinize Obama and Repeal ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Nice wide-ranging interview with Ted Cruz here in the Washington Post. In it, we learn that Cruz plans to put Obama under further scrutiny after the mid-terms:

Piggybacking on what House leaders have done, Cruz said the first order of business should be a series of hearings on President Obama, “looking at the abuse of power, the executive abuse, the regulatory abuse, the lawlessness that sadly has pervaded this administration.”

And he also wants to continue to try to repeal ObamaCare:

Cruz also would like the Senate to be as aggressive in trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act as the House, which has voted more than 50 times to get rid of the law.

Republicans should “pursue every means possible to repeal Obamacare,” Cruz said, including forcing a vote through parliamentary procedures that would get around a possible filibuster by Democrats. If that leads to a veto by Obama, Cruz said, Republicans should then vote on provisions of the health law “one at a time.”

I like the way he thinks — but then, like Cruz, I’m more interested in policy than in the mechanisms of how to get people elected. I’m not particularly skilled in opining on the latter issue, and I suspect/worry Cruz would not be particularly skilled at getting votes on a national scale — since successful politics seems to require caving on principle, which doesn’t appear to be in Cruz’s DNA.

By contrast, I find this irritating, although it may well be successful politics:

[Sen. Rand] Paul also wants to make it easier for non-violent adult and juvenile criminal offenders to seal their records; to restore voting rights to non-violent ex-felons; and to restore Fifth Amendment protections against police seizure assets without due process.

He is sharply critical of his own party for neglecting the interests of African Americans but argues Democrats have taken black voters for granted.

“Remember Domino’s Pizza? They admitted, ‘Hey, our pizza crust sucks.’ The Republican Party brand sucks and so people don’t want to be a Republican and for 80 years, African-Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans,” he said.

The argument that the GOP has nothing to offer blacks, unless of course we pander to them, is a stance that irritated me when Michael Steele took it, and it still irritates me now. But who knows if my proposed solution would have any effect? My proposed solution would be to talk about how Republican policies would help blacks far more than Democrat policies would. I would argue that the true war on poverty was fought by the free market system, which reduced poverty to a staggering degree in the last 200 years, whereas the Democrat-sponsored government war on poverty has created chaos in the black community. I would argue that unrestrained abortion harms blacks more than it harms whites. I would argue that fighting freedom of choice in schooling harms blacks more than it harms whites.

But it’s easy to demonize my stances, just as I fear it will be easy to demonize Rand Paul’s admirable past stances in favor of economic freedom. The Democrats will say those positions are prompted, not by a love of freedom, but rather by racial prejudice. If he becomes a serious candidate, we’ll hear all about his dad’s newsletters and his opposition to the 1960s Civil Rights Act, and all this outreach will be for naught. Just watch. You’ll see.

Which, if they’re going to do that to you anyway (and they are), you might as well speak the truth and stand up for your own positions. That’s why I say we need people like Ted Cruz. There are plenty of potential cavers out there, and not enough people willing to stand up for what’s right.

Politics In The Black Community

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

It has been telling during this election season to see how much race baiting has played a part in efforts to get southern blacks to the polls to head off a Republican takeover in Washington. Of course, using ugly scare tactics not only reveals how desperate campaigns are, but how willing they are to insult the intelligence of blacks by distributing fliers in their communities which claim, among other things, that if they don’t vote, “land may be given to extremist groups to honor klansmen”. Further, they are also not above exploiting children to push their message:



Fortunately, not everyone in the black community is buying the despicable load of crap that the Democrats are once again trying to sell. Dear Democrats, even if you don’t believe it, people of every color are intelligent enough to understand, if willing, what Democrats have *not* done for them:

In the October issue of Ebony, attorney Chelsi P. Henry seeks to dispel the myth that Republicans have nothing to offer the black community and that they are not the party of “no”. Henry begins by informing readers of the impact this administration has had on blacks:

Blacks represent 10% of Americans, but unemployment for Black women is 11.6% and has been over 11% for the past six-years of the Obama Presidency. And unfortunately, we are 22 percent of the long-term unemployed. We all know when America catches a cold, Black America catches pneumonia and the President’s policies have hardly raised the tide for a majority of Black Americans. We have seen the greatest loss of black wealth, housing, and jobs in a generation under this Administration than ever before. Poverty has soared to 16.1% with 8 million little girls and boys growing up in poverty. There is a gap in promises and results.

Almost four-dozen Republican job creating bills are languishing in the Senate. What is the hold up? People need jobs. Small businesses need relief from overregulation and high taxes. Frankly, it is time to get America working again and provide a government that works—and Republicans continue to be ready.

Henry firmly believes the community can benefit far more from Republican policies than from what the Democrats have to offer:

If you only listen to or read ‘Republicans are against everything’ statements without thinking, you might think Republicans are against everything, especially Black America. The truth is that Republicans are for far more than they are against. The evidence is clear, our policies show overwhelmingly how Republican principles support Black America by expanding opportunity.

She offers a few specifics:

Earlier this year, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the only Black Republican in Senate presented his Opportunity Agenda. His agenda includes several job creation bills including the SKILLS Act, LEAP Act, and SEA Jobs Act. This legislation addresses high unemployment rates and provide solutions to reduce burdensome regulations and taxes, and increase job creation. Let’s point out that these are three Acts by one Republican Senator.

Last year, Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell introduced the Economic Freedom Zones Act. This legislation helps to bring businesses in distressed areas, create jobs, and increase entrepreneurial opportunities.

Henry also addresses education, Democrats lack of job-creating policies and the American Dream. She concludes:

I am not a purist. I don’t believe that all Blacks have to be Republicans. I am passionate in sharing the conservative principles and values because they work. My life is testament to that. 94% of us vote democratically. However, our neighborhoods and communities continue to be ridden with poverty, high unemployment, lower paying jobs, and less-than-par schools, and when you look around many of our largest cities we see the same ‘ol same ‘ol Democrats in elected office.

Republicans are NOT against everything. Republicans have solutions to address the issues you and I face on a daily basis. Republicans are for job creation. Republicans are for school choice. Republicans are for our community.


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