Patterico's Pontifications

5/24/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:22 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Spot-on:

Call it anomie or call it airsickness—we find ourselves in a land of confusion. Trump pays off a porn star and yet is hailed as a champion of Christian values. He mocks prisoners of war and calls dead soldiers “suckers,” and his MAGA base is thrilled by his patriotism. And, as Tom Nichols notes in The Atlantic today, Trump brags about his tight relationship with America’s implacable adversary, Vladimir Putin, claiming that the Russian president will release detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich “for me, but not for anyone else.”

To hear conservative Christians argue that personal character doesn’t matter, or to witness self-described constitutional conservatives defend a relentless attack on the rule of law, is disorienting. To see advocates of law and order embrace rioters who attacked the Capitol and beat police officers is baffling. To watch the party of Ronald Reagan embracing isolationism and following Trump in truckling to the Butcher of Ukraine, Putin, is bewildering. Mind-bending, also, is that, despite Trump’s fire hose of lies, 71 percent of Republicans describe him as “honest and trustworthy.” Recent polls suggest that Trump is leading President Joe Biden in the swing states that will decide the November election.

Maybe that’s why following the news these days feels like swallowing crazy pills. You don’t have to be a particularly cynical observer of American politics to recognize that, past a certain point, no norms endure that cannot be abandoned, and that any position can be flipped if doing so is expedient.

This is a gift article. Make sure to read it

Second news item

Rep. Ilhan Omar went after UCLA Chancellor Gene Block at a hearing today, blaming him for the violence that erupted on campus. In part:

You [Block] could have prevented this when an anonymous group funded and constructed a giant video with loudspeakers to play vile and disturbing footage.’

The pro-Israel camp set up screens outside the pro-Gaza camp to play footage from the October 7 Hamas attack.

I’m glad that Rep. Omar considers the images of the October 7 attack by Hamas as “vile and disturbing,” because the images were vile and disturbing, as was the attack itself. However, pretty sure her point wasn’t to condemn Hamas for their barbarity but to blame Block for allowing the protesters to be traumatized by the video.

Third news item

California Democrats shame themselves:

“Democrats don’t want the public to know they’re protecting pedophiles, that’s why they cut my mic on the Assembly Floor! This is not democracy–it is tyranny.” That is what Assemblyman Bill Essayli said after attempting on Tuesday to get his bill heard to require law enforcement to deport convicted illegal alien child sex offenders. Essayli tried to force a vote on AB 2641, to end sanctuary protections for illegals convicted of sex crimes against minors.

Assemblyman Essayli’s legislation was inspired by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) announcement that an illegal alien who raped an American child was released from California state custody. He says this is a direct result of California’s Sanctuary State laws for illegal immigrants.

A vote was taken, and not a single Democrat in the Assembly voted in support of hearing Essayli’s bill.

30 elected officials chose not to vote.

Offending the Latino voting bloc vs. protecting children? Should be an easy choice, but sadly, it’s always only about politics. The 30 who didn’t vote should have had enough backbone to do the jobs they were elected to do. Shame on California.

Fourth news item

JVW points out the absurdity of what is happening in Maine:

This is absolutely nuts:

A Maine city is weighing an ordinance to accommodate a large influx of homeless people—the vast majority of them migrants—with multiple housing options, including private single-family homes.

The migrants, described by one Westbrook city official as “new Mainers” who receive between 90 and 95 percent of the city’s welfare benefits, would be housed in private homes, churches and community centers under a proposed ordinance presented to city officials on Monday.

However, private residences and churches would not have to take in homeless individuals unless they expressed a desire to do so.

Well, you know the Third Amendment only prohibits the mandatory quartering of troops in private homes, so I guess the leaders of Westbrook are being mighty generous in not forcing their fellow “old Mainers” to quarter migrants. Moving right along:

Harison Deah, director of general assistance, made the comment about migrants making up just about all of the “new Mainers” requiring housing assistance, The Maine Wire reported.

He told officials on April 9 that his office has had to instruct migrants on how to do relatively basic tasks when housed, like using a thermostat. Those receiving tax-sponsored benefits are also taught how not to anger fellow tenants and neighbors.

The average client is on general assistance for between one and two and a half years, Deah said.
Assistance would come out of the pockets of both statewide taxpayers and those in Westbrook, the latter of whom would be on the hook for approximately 30 percent of the costs.

“I do not believe the entire homeless shelter proposal is beneficial to the property taxpayers and residents of the city of Westbrook,” resident Martin Malia said during a May 7 Planning Board meeting, according to The Maine Wire. “Last year, the property taxpayers were burdened with an 8.8 [percent] tax increase.

He also expressed concerns about migrants coming to the city to take advantage of a system paid for by citizens already there.

Taking up to 95% of the town’s welfare spending, and remaining on public assistance for one to two-and-a-half years? Remember when the pro-illegal immigration crowd tried to tell us that immigration (including unlawful immigration) was a win/win for our economy? These people are complete frauds. And anybody who voted for these clowns deserves to be hit with an 8.8% property tax increase as a consequence of their own stupidity.

Fifth news item

This, by the UN General Assembly, is indefensible:

The President of the UN General Assembly has called a meeting of the assembly to pay tribute to Ebrahim Raisi, the president of Islamic Republic, or as we Iranians used to call him, the Butcher of Tehran.

Imagine the irony: honoring the man in New York who sent killers here to assassinate me. I’m alive and well, and proud to be honoring his demise instead.

Once again another disgraceful event honoring autocratic regimes at the UN.

…I strongly condemn the actions of the President of the UN Assembly.

This action not only betrays the Iranian nation but also undermines the values of democracy, dignity, and human rights that the global community holds dear.

Raisi, who personally lashed, tortured, and exploited thousands of innocent people, symbolizes the brutal oppression faced by countless Iranians. Honoring such a dictator is an affront to every single victim of his regime and to the principles of justice and humanity.

Sixth news item

Making a strong case as to why appeasement won’t work with Putin:

Mr. Biden and aides believe there’s a red line that would unleash a more severe reaction from Mr. Putin. They just don’t know exactly where that is, or what the reaction might be, says NYTimes

There is no way to win the war with such beliefs.

These beliefs shape a policy of containment. The problem is that it is Ukraine that is contained, not Russia.

An example of such a policy is a ban on Ukraine to use the US weapons to strike Russia.

Zelensky to NYTimes. Key points.

1. The U.S. policy of no strikes on Russia

Zelensky: I have asked Blinken, I have asked Sullivan, I have asked everyone … let’s us strike Russians when they gather at the border to attack us.

NYTimes: But the consensus around that policy is fraying

Indeed, what we saw yesterday was a serious pushback from the House

First, Ukraine President Zelensky. Now, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman McCaul!

They demand Biden administration finally lets Ukraine strike Russia on its territory.

McCaul says it is Sullivan behind the flawed policy.

Just recently Zelensky said that he has asked Sullivan and Blinken to let strike Russians gathering just across the border to attack.

But the U.S. says no…

During his recent visit to Ukraine, Secretary Blinken made a remark that was interpreted as a change in policy. But Pentagon and the White House were quick to rectify that perception. This is a long standing policy that puts Ukraine at disadvantage.

Zelensky actually went further and said that the U.S. is afraid of Russia losing. But the implication of this policy – the war will go on.

Nevertheless, the U.S. administration has asked Ukraine not to hit Russia at all, even with Ukrainian made weapons.

Can you win a war without hitting hard enemy strongholds?

Why does the administration believe that Putin can be reasoned with?

When has Putin ever shown that there is a red line for him that he will not cross?

Seventh news item

No backsies. The emotional damage to this family is already done:

American Airlines is changing direction after saying that a young girl was negligent after being recorded by a flight attendant in the lavatory.

In the filing on May 21 the airline claimed that one of the plaintiffs, a 9-year-old girl, was recorded in the bathroom through her “own fault and negligence.

“[The] Plaintiff’s use of the compromised lavatory, which she knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device,” American Airlines response to the petition said.

In a statement to USA TODAY, American Airlines said that there was an error in the filing.

“Our outside legal counsel retained with our insurance company made an error in this filing. The included defense is not representative of our airline and we have directed it be amended this morning,” an American Airlines spokesperson said in a statement. “We do not believe this child is at fault and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously. Our core mission is to care for people — and the foundation of that is the safety and security of our customers and team.”

Have a good weekend.

—Dana


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