Patterico's Pontifications


Flyover Country, or Return of the Son of Layers and Layers of Editors

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:02 pm

[guest post by JVW]


Colo marijuana smuggling


Little Sisters Case Punted Back to Appeals Court

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:45 am

[guest post by JVW]

The Supreme Court today chose to not issue a ruling on whether the Little Sisters of the Poor can be required by the Obama Administration to pay for contraception for its workers, and instead sent the case back to the appellate court for further consideration of the initial ruling against the Little Sisters in light of recent statements from the administration.

This is probably the best outcome that those who oppose ObamaCare’s smorgasbord of mandates could have hoped for, given the fact that the short-handed court is now ideologically divided and that the left-wing bloc of Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan almost never strays from progressive orthodoxy. Here is the exact language from the Court’s per curium decision:

In light of the positions asserted by the parties in their supplemental briefs, the Court vacates the judgments below and remands to the respective United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, Tenth, and D. C. Circuits. Given the gravity of the dispute and the substantial clarification and refinement in the positions of the parties, the parties on remand should be afforded an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates petitioners’ religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by petitioners’ health plans “receive full and equal health coverage, including contra- ceptive coverage.” Id., at 1. We anticipate that the Courts of Appeals will allow the parties sufficient time to resolve any outstanding issues between them.

According to the Fox News article, this temporary truce means that the government may still officially require the Little Sisters to provide contraception, but it cannot fine them for failing to do so. Pro-life groups are treating this vacating of the fines as a major victory, though clearly this issue is likely to be back in 2017, especially if a Democrat wins in November.


Ben Carson: “I Don’t Condone Lying”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Ben Carson looking foolish again:

When asked about Donald Trump‘s alleged former habit of calling journalists to praise himself under an assumed name, campaign surrogate Ben Carson told CNN’s New Day that he does not condone falsehoods of any kind.

Carson told host Chris Cuomo that it was a long time ago. “All of us have probably done things 25 or 30 years ago that we’ve forgotten about or that we wish we hadn’t done, or we have changed from that in a very significant way.”

“Right, there are much more important issues,” agreed Cuomo. “But if you lied about it… see, you’re ignoring the lying part, that’s why I’m asking about it.”

“I never condone prevarication in any circumstances,” Carson responded. “So that will be a consistent feature.”

Well sure you do, Dr. Carson. Sure you do.

Nobody claims Trump is telling the truth about this “John Miller” character when he denies it was him. Of course it was him. Everybody knows it was him. The best they can do is say “all politicians lie” or “there are bigger issues” or “Hillary is a liar.”

Our problem in this country is largely cultural. When confronted with a blatant lie, we should call it out. Ben Carson — once thought by many to be a paragon of honesty, virtue, and strong values — won’t do that. It turns out that Carson is just another politician, spinning and saying things that make him look stupid and evasive and ridiculous.

Hillary Clinton is also a giant liar. To take one example of many: when she tells you she ran across the tarmac to avoid sniper fire, and the video shows her strolling around, greeting teenaged children, and looking as relaxed as possible . . . she’s lying. Honest people will admit that, and call it what it is: absurd and even pathological.

Yes, virtually all politicians lie at times. You might even be able to find me an example of Mike Lee lying, although I rather doubt it. But we’re on the cusp of electing one of the most dishonest human beings in recorded history — whichever one of these big government Democrats we pick.

There has to be a better way.

I’m doing what I can by arguing that we should refocus on principles: the Constitution, liberty, and the free market. Rather than focus on another stupid partisan election where we harangue each other to vote for somebody who really doesn’t deserve it, and who we know will not represent those principles, we instead spread the message of constitutionalism. I’m trying to do my part in some small way with the Constitutional Vanguard: our little army (almost 500 strong and growing) of constitutionalists. Reject the false choices Our Betters are attempting to shove down our throat. Sign up here.

The Thomas Sowell Reader: A Review

Filed under: Books,General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

Thomas Sowell is one of those authors most people know from his columns. But to me, his real strengths come across in his books. He is someone who doesn’t just make pronouncements from on high. He makes an assertion and then he backs it up, with example after factual example. His columns are too short for this sort of evidence-based argument, and so if you know him only from his columns, you owe it to yourself to check out his books.

Last night I finished The Thomas Sowell Reader, a 449-page book that samples the entirety of Sowell’s output. If you haven’t read Sowell’s books before, this is a great way to start. The book is divided by subject matter, and includes actual newspaper columns and whimsical short thoughts as well as longer pieces. When I didn’t feel like reading another book, this is the one I always picked up. I didn’t take notes, but there is great wisdom in here that will change the way you look at (and think about) the world. Sowell shows, with relentless facts, why different races or ethnicities have different outcomes, and probably always will. Like Charles Murray, he emphasizes the need to analyze the results of government policies by looking at long-term trend lines (e.g., poverty was already being solved before the War on Poverty, which halted our progress rather than helping us). He shows how the left’s incessant insistence on tinkering with society routinely leads to unintended consequences that hurt the poor and minorities. He shows how the free market is the greatest engine for economic advancement known to man. And he has essays about baseball, old-fashioned values, the need to ignore political correctness, and all manner of other topics.

A couple of things that stood out for me were a relatively short but very interesting biographical sketch of Karl Marx, whom Sowell studied intensely in his younger years. You will long remember Sowell’s portrayal of Marx’s contempt for other people and willingness to rely upon — and fritter away — other people’s money. Sowell also has an amusing and heartwarming set of autobiographical reflections at the end of the book. I have always wondered what Sowell’s background was, how he came to be so smart and such a clear writer and thinker, and where his values came from. Now I have a much better idea.

Check out The Thomas Sowell reader at this link. If you’re unfamiliar with Sowell’s book-length writings, you’re in for a treat.

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