Patterico's Pontifications


Conservatives Did Not Shame People Into Silence, The Left Did That

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:03 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Chicago Tribune reporter John Kass is particularly good today:

he lie we were told as kids was this: The end of American liberty would come at the hands of the political right.

Conservatives would take away our right to speak our minds, and use the power of government to silence dissent. The right would intimidate our teachers and professors, and coerce the young.

And then, with the universities in thrall, with control of the apparatus of the state (and the education bureaucracy), the right would have dominion over a once-free people.

Some of us were taught this in school. Others, who couldn’t be bothered to read books, were fed a cartoon version of the diabolical conservative in endless movies and TV shows. The most entertaining of these were science fiction, sometimes with vague references to men in brown shirts and black boots goose-stepping in some future time.

Women would become handmaids, subjugated and turned into breeders. And men would be broken as well. The more lurid fantasies offered armies of Luddites in hooded robes, hunting down subversives for the greater good.

But the lie is obvious now, isn’t it?

Because it is not conservatives who coerced today’s young people or made them afraid of ideas that challenge them. Conservatives did not shame people into silence, or send thugs out on college campuses to beat down those who wanted to speak.

The left did all that.

It’s there in front of you, the thuggish mobs of the left killing free speech at American universities. The thugs call themselves antifas, for anti-fascists.

They beat people up and break things and set fires and intimidate. These are not anti-fascists. These are fascists. This is what fascists do.

Neatly dovetailing with Kass’s assessment, as well as lending credence, one only has to look at Big Media’s hysterical reaction to the op-ed written by newly-hired New York Times columnist, Brett Stephens, who had the temerity to suggest caution on climate change:

Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong.

Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts. None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism…. Perhaps if there had been less certitude and more second-guessing in Clinton’s campaign, she’d be president. Perhaps if there were less certitude about our climate future, more Americans would be interested in having a reasoned conversation about it.

As a result of such heresy, liberals are canceling their subscriptions to The New York Times in mass numbers. All because an individual’s views fulfilled the very mission statement of the media outlet:

Only by having a staff as wide as it is deep, broad in perspective, backgrounds and experiences are we able to capture the multitude of voices of America and the world, with true fidelity.

The insidious closed-minded screams of the left deafen on a daily basis.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Professor Under Attack Is Defended By William Jacobson

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

I can’t do it justice, but this post is worth your attention. A lot of people at my alma mater have been involved in a smear campaign against a conservative pro-free market professor — and Bill Jacobson is fighting back. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen to people I know and it heartens me to see pushback. Any support you can give this guy would be appreciated, I’m quite sure.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Friday Morning News

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:54 am

[guest post by Dana]

Just a few news items on a Friday morning:

The learning curve:

He misses driving, feels as if he is in a cocoon, and is surprised how hard his new job is.

President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters in an interview. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, indeed:

More than seven months after a Dignity Health hospital refused a hysterectomy to a Sacramento-area transgender patient, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday on his behalf.

The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that Dignity discriminated against Evan Michael Minton, 35, a former state Capitol legislative aide, when he sought a hysterectomy as part of his transition from female to male.

Last summer, Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, part of the Dignity Health chain, abruptly canceled Minton’s surgery the day before it was scheduled to take place. His doctor eventually performed the procedure at another Sacramento-area hospital, but the initial denial still causes frustration and disappointment, Minton said. After months of reflection, he decided to take legal action against the San Francisco-based hospital chain.

“It devastated me, and I don’t want it to affect my transgender brothers and sisters the way it affected me,” Minton said Tuesday. “No one should have to go through that.”

Fear at the heart of intolerance:

I despise Ann Coulter. But, with everything I hold dear as an American, I also believe in what Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote: “[T]he ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution.”

Berkeley should be the epicenter of the marketplace of ideas. Unfortunately, it has become the most intolerant place in America. I would feel more comfortable preaching for Sharia law in rural Mississippi than I would feel challenging the wage gap theory or speaking out against anti-Asian discrimination in admissions at Berkeley. In Mississippi, I would likely be ignored. Jeered at worst. In Berkeley, if you do not adhere to the Leftist orthodoxy, your speech is branded “hate speech,” and out come the shock troops to physically attack you or anyone who wants to listen to you.

Thus far, UC Berkeley has shown that it will use the cover of violence to suppress speech.

The Berkeley government has purposely and deliberately refused to protect right-wing protesters from attack.

Look who’s thanking the Wall Street “fat cats”:

Former President Barack Obama, less than 100 days out of office, has agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference run by Cantor Fitzgerald LP, senior people at the firm confirm to FOX Business. His speaking fee will be $400,000, which is nearly twice as much as Hillary Clinton, his secretary of state, and the 2016 Democratic Party candidate, charged private businesses for such events.

It’s also likely to be a source of criticism against the former president given Obama’s record of attacks against Wall Street bankers for making huge salaries while average Americans were suffering from the ravages of the 2008 financial crisis. Obama, a progressive Democrat, spoke frequently about Wall Street greed during his eight years as president, and now he’s accepting a speaking fee from the industry he singled out as the main culprit of the banking collapse.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are clucking about this “unfortunate” decision by the former president.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Who said it? “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”


Bill Nye the Science Guy Lays Some Transgender “Science” on You B*tches

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 am

This post has two videos that are just difficult to watch. You were warned.

The first is “Bill Nye The Science Guy” promoting a laughable grade-school quality rap about the wonders of transgenderism. “Versatile love may have some butt stuff” is among the lines you will hear in this wonderful little piece titled “My Sex Junk” — which The Science Guy introduces with this warm praise: “So you guys, this next thing, I feel, is very special.”

Watch the video, if you dare, to see the bow-tied self-declared Science Guy GETTIN’ DOWN to lyrics like “Who enjoys a Fleshlight in the cold moonlight?” Nye gushes at the end: “That’s exactly the right message, Rachel. Nice job.”

(I hope everyone gave it up for DJ Seahorse!)

I hope The Science Guy weighs in on a related critical topic of our times: whether it’s transphobic for a man to be attracted to a woman with lady parts:

Is it cissexist, or anti-trans, to say that you wouldn’t date a woman who has a penis? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

Fortunately for you, the complex aspects of this discussion are laid out by Riley J. Dennis, who explains to you why your natural biological urges are cruel and bigoted:

O brave new world, that has such people in ‘t!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

100 Senators Invited To White House For Briefing On North Korea

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:28 am

[guest post by Dana]

If, as the Trump administration said, “the era of strategic patience is over,” what do you make of this?

In an unusual move, all 100 senators were invited to attend a classified meeting later Wednesday at the White House to discuss the North Korea and its growing bellicosity.

Congressional aides told Reuters that the meeting was originally scheduled to take place at a secured room at the Capitol, but President Trump asked to move the meeting to the White House.

Salon reported that the meeting will occur in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building auditorium. It will reportedly be made into a “sensitive compartmented information facility”—which means top secret information can be shared. The briefing will take place at 3 p.m. ET.

Some aides on the Hill have expressed confusion about the circumstances of the meeting. Salon wrote, “this could be a preparation for war—or just a forced attempt at a pre-100 days photo op.”

The meeting will be attended by some of Trump’s top cabinet members, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—who will chair the meeting– and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

While President Trump spoke forcefully about North Korea yesterday, saying that, “The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable[.] The council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” and has both embraced and dismissed any sort of 100-day marker, we also know that this particular president knows a great photo-op when he sees it, or arranges it.



Ted Cruz: Let’s Make El Chapo Pay For The Wall

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Heh. A notorious drug lord paying for President Trump’s big, beautiful wall? Makes perfect sense says Sen. Ted Cruz. Just call it EL CHAPO: Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order:

“The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering,” Cruz stated.

“Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border.”

Democrats have made it clear they will not vote to fund a border wall. So Republicans, who need the Democrats’ votes to prevent a looming shutdown, presented a new spending plan today with no money going toward the construction of any border wall:

In exchange for backing off the border funding request, Republicans insisted on increases in border security and defense spending, including an unspecified amount to repair existing fencing and new surveillance technology to patrol the nearly 2,000-mile border, according to multiple House and Senate aides familiar with the ongoing talks. Democrats have indicated that they would support such a plan so long as no money goes toward an actual wall.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Review of Clinton Campaign Book, Part I

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:01 am

[guest post by JVW]

Last week (or was it two weeks ago?) I blogged on excerpts from the newly-published book about the Hillary Clinton campaign fiasco, Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. Now some of you failed to share my enthusiasm for this amazing read, a wounding barb that I tried not to take too personally. As of this writing I am 140 pages into this surprisingly long 400-page book (I’m reading about two chapters per evening, but I didn’t get any reading done on Friday or Saturday nights), but some of the nuggets contained within are just so good that I have to share them now, anticipating that it will take me probably through this coming weekend to finish the book.

As for general observations, my suspicions about the authors are mostly true. They appear for all purposes to be progressive Democrats who came into this project with a genuine admiration for Her Clintonic Majesty, the Once, Current, and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton, — jeeze, where was I? oh yeah — having covered her previously and written the book HRC on her political “rebirth” while serving as Secretary of State. They also thus far don’t make much of an attempt to hide their disdain for the current White House occupant. That said, the first third of the book makes it clear that Allen and Parnes came to question many of the assumptions they previously had made about Hillary’s competence, likability, and honesty.

Like any “behind the scenes” look, much of the juicy material in Shattered is based upon off-the-record conversations, though some key characters do go on the record to air grievances and settle scores. One general assumption that can be made about these books are that the characters who are most cooperative with the authors — and by cooperative I mean willing to really dish the dirt — are the ones who come in for the most gentle treatment. So with that in mind, here are some fun tidbits as told by Allen and Parnes:

1) A former Howard Dean follower who worked on Clinton’s 2008 campaign, Robby Mook became Hillary’s campaign manager for 2016. He comes across, at least in the first 140 pages, as the most disliked character of all. In the campaign’s first moments, Mook immediately gets into a territorial war with Hillary’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri, who was part of the Clinton inner-circle through her connection with John Podesta. Mook was also apparently distrusted by Bill Clinton, who chafed at Mook’s heavy reliance upon data when the Big Sleaze wanted more gut-level decision making. The Clinton insiders also criticized Mook for being parsimonious with funds, which is an astonishing thing to hear regarding a progressive. Clearly the John Podesta crowd ganged up on Mook when talking to the authors.

2) Virtually everyone in the Clinton Crime Family, from Palmieri to Podesta to Neera Tanden (who succeeded Podesta as president of the Center for American Progress) to unnamed major campaign donors to Bill Clinton himself, pretty much begged Hillary to come clean about her use of a private email server and to give a forthright and sincere apology for having used it. It was Hillary’s own arrogance and persecution complex that compelled her to hold out for months before finally issuing her rather dismissive apology which managed to be both incomplete and insincere at the same time. By the time the apology had come, the Hillary crew had been lying about the particulars of the imbroglio for months, and the impressive approval ratings she enjoyed when she left the State Department were irrevocably gone. Diehard Clinton loyalists still believe that an early sincere apology would have put the issue to rest immediately.

3) Joe Biden comes off looking dignified and classy in this telling. Allen and Parnes portray him as really not having the desire needed to run for President, but they relate the oft-told story of how Biden’s late son Beau implored his father from his deathbed to make one last attempt. In one of the most interesting anecdotes, the authors discuss a meeting of Biden’s very small campaign staff (Hillary had already locked up most of the establishment Democrat campaign operatives) in which a promotional video produced by Biden allies was screened. The film centered around the other great tragedy in the Vice-President’s life, the 1972 car crash that took the life of his first wife and his daughter, and used it as a backdrop to tout Biden’s resiliency and his dedication to public service (cough, cough). A number of Biden’s political allies from his generation — Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry to name but a few — would have loved the ad; Biden was appropriately horrified by it, and made it clear that this sort of melodrama would not be placed front and center of his potential campaign. Three cheers to him.

4) Unsurprisingly, the popularity of Bernard Sanders flummoxed the Clinton folks, especially the First Lady/Senator/Secretary. She had wanted to position her candidacy as a continuation of the Obama agenda, but with a very subtle promise that she would be even more progressive than he had turned out to be. Sanders blew up those plans with his “democratic socialism for all” schtick. Hillary quickly realized that no matter what she promised — free college, an increased minimum wage, the public execution of bankers — Sanders would simply promise even more. According to the authors, Hillary came to hold a great deal of disdain for her rival, believing that he was was a big-time grandstander who had absolutely no chance of implementing his bold agenda in a closely-divided Congress. I look forward to reading more about the two of them as the primary season drags on.

5) The cloyingly earnest progressive Martin O’Malley is such a nonentity that he rates only five mentions in the book’s index pages (in a 400-page book). The mismatched Jim Webb and the hapless Lincoln Chaffee rate only one, both on the same page. By contrast, Jimmy Buffett is cited twice (I know he’s a lefty, but is there any more unlikely Parrothead than Hillary Rodham Clinton?).

6) And one final observation to leave you with as I go back and read more of the book. I think I like this anecdote best of all. It’s so good, in fact, that I’ll let Allen and Parnes relay it in their own words (bolded emphasis added by me):

Because Hillary’s opponent was targeting the party’s progressive base, Bill had to suppress his instinct to hit back to avoid sparking a pro-Bernie backlash among ultra-sensitive modern Democrats. It was frustrating.

He was also learning that the laws of political thermodynamics had changed since he’d last campaigned for Hillary. Maybe it was an anomalous year, or maybe he just hadn’t kept up with the times, but Bill has surprised to hear how little voters wanted to hear a politicians’s response to attack lines. In the old days, he’d get a chance to make his case. He understood that millennials blamed his 1994 crime bill for the mass incarceration that Hillary said she would put an end to, but he struggled to accept younger voters’ reluctance to learn about the history of the law. . . .

We feel your pain, Bubba. We feel your pain.

Part II of this review will come down the road.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Don’t Be a Racist Who Makes Me Crazy: Look Into My Eyes When I Speak!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:54 pm

[guest post by Dana]

On the heels of President Trump sticking his finger in the eye of Big Media, let’s talk about eye contact: Oxford University has taken the position that students who don’t make eye contact might be racist. And you thought you had seen everything…

The university’s Equality and Diversity Unit has advised students that “not speaking directly to people” could be deemed a “racial microaggression” which can lead to “mental ill-health”.

Other examples of “everyday racism” include asking someone where they are “originally” from, students were told.

Oxford University’s Equality and Diversity Unit explains in its Trinity term newsletter that “some people who do these things may be entirely well-meaning, and would be mortified to realise that they had caused offence.

“But this is of little consequence if a possible effect of their words or actions is to suggest to people that they may fulfil a negative stereotype, or do not belong”.

It’s almost has if the university is dangerously close to espousing a particularly ugly brand of hate speech as they dismiss other cultures and various individuals who do not assign the same value to making eye contact. Consider individuals coming from Asia or the Middle East, or any place where making eye contact means something very different than what it does in the West. Why don’t the members of the Equality and Diversity Unit also consider the very real challenges that those on the autism spectrum have with making eye contact? Because, when you really look at it, the exclusion of certain ethnic groups and those with particular spectrum disorders really makes the Equality and Diversity Unit appear to be about anything but equality and diversity.

Clearly, members of the Equality and Diversity Unit are blind to reality and can only stumble their way through the darkness searching for yet another way to confirm their own victimization by giving birth to the ugly authoritarian lurking inside their soul. They are carriers of the worst sort as they continue to weaken a generation in their mission of telling others what to think, what to feel, and what to believe because they alone are the standard bearers of what is morally and culturally acceptable.

In contrast to this blithering madness, Dr Joanna Williams at the University of Kent, put the kibosh on the silly, self-indulgent “hyper-sensitivity” of students, as well as nailing the authoritarianism of the adults supposedly in charge:

“Essentially people are being accused of a thought crime,” Dr Williams told The Telegraph. “They are being accused of thinking incorrect thoughts based on an assumption of where they may or may not be looking.”

“Instead of people seeing each other as potential friends, equals, these re-racialise academia, they force people to see each other as a person of colour, they force people to be put into boxes about identity.

“It is really problematic – it means people can’t relate to each other naturally, they have rules in the back of their mind and they can’t be spontaneous as their interactions are all overlaid with the desire to follow all these rules.”


President Trump Sticks His Finger In Eye Of Big Media – Again

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:29 am

[guest post by Dana]

As you might recall, back in February, President Trump tweeted that he would not be attending the annual White House Correspondent’s dinner. Of course, there has been no love lost between Big Media and President Trump. Post-election, that is.

This weekend, the president announced that instead of attending the annual schmooze-fest of politicians, members of the media, and A-list celebrities, he would be holding a “BIG” rally in Pennsylvania on the 100th day of his presidency. According to staffers, this is not about the media, but about the people:

One senior White House official said the decision to hold the rally on Saturday night was less about the correspondents’ association dinner and more about how to spend the hours around Trump’s 100th day.

“The media is trying to make this about them when, respectfully, it has nothing to do with you guys,” said the official. “It’s about focusing on the people.”

It is certainly amusing to consider that any number of reporters that would otherwise be attending the annual dinner will now be compelled to travel to PA to cover the rally, and the very president whose “roasting” they would have wholly supported.

No matter if one has a less than favorable view of our president, when intentional and misleading reports like this from The New York Times are published, it’s amusing to see the president up the ante and push back against such a powerful and biased entity: Last week, Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots visited the White House to be recognized by the president, as is the tradition. The Sports section of the New York Times, in reporting on the visit, tweeted a side-by-side photo of the team’s visit last week compared to their 2015 visit to the White House when President Obama was in office:


As much as President Trump has demonstrated his slight obsession about crowd sizes, this comparison by The Times was found to be a bit misleading. According to The New York Times Public Editor:

The problem, however, was that the photo taken Wednesday included only players and coaches, whereas the photo taken during President Obama’s tenure included over 40 additional support staff – who, this time around, were seated on the South Lawn – which greatly exaggerated the difference.

When this discrepancy was pointed out by the New England Patriots, the Times Sports section tweeted their mea culpas, and removed the picture. And after readers weighed in, Sports editor Jason Stallman offered this explanation to the Public Editor:


In response, the Editor gushed:

Bravo to the Sport’s editor for his honest response. Regrettably as the readers say, it gives ammunition to those who doubt The Times’ impartiality in matter of politics.

The only problem being, it was the Public Editors that reported:

The New York Times Sports section covered the visit, viewed through the political angle that several players skipped the event: only 34 players attended compared with the nearly 50 that attended the last time the Patriots won the Super Bowl, in 2015, when Barack Obama was president, according to a team representative.

Quite obviously, those who doubt The Times’ impartiality in matters of politics, do so with very good reason.



Sunday Evening Music

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:57 pm

Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K. 503.

As I continue a weekend filled with work, I am listening to this, and thought you should too.

P.S. The state of being preoccupied by work is expected to last several weeks. I am not abandoning the blog, but though the rest of this month and all of May I expect to leave it primarily in the capable hands of JVW and Dana. Please join me in extending heartfelt thanks to them for all they do.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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