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More on What “Free Speech” Means [UPDATED]

[ 250 ] February 3, 2011 |

Since we seem to be getting some Althouse defenders in comments here, I suppose I should expand on a couple points:

  • There are, indeed, “free speech” principles that go beyond simple government censorship.  When people are fired for expressing political views or having political associations that aren’t relevant to their job performance, this is bad for “free speech” even if it’s not a violation of the First Amendment.
  • With that said, it’s ridiculous to say that principles of “free speech” mean that people are entitled to keep their job no matter what they say in the course of their job.   Fox News has the right to hire Glenn Beck to spout nutty, false, and pernicious conspiracy theories.   But saying that it’s irresponsible for Fox News to do so isn’t a violation of any plausible definition of “free speech.”
  • And, of course, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that Althouse actually believes in the ad hoc principles of “free speech” she criticizes nameless “liberals” for not adhering to.  She defended the firing of Shirley Sherrod even after the initial Breitbart video was exposed as a fraud. She didn’t object (and implicitly cheered) when Helen Thomas was fired for expressing anti-Semitic political views.  She was nearly giddy with excitement when Dave Weigel was fired for expressing political views on a private email list.   It’s not just liberals but Althouse herself who don’t believe in the standards of free speech she criticizes “liberals” for not practicing.

…To add to the comedy, Meade in comments:

That assertion [point #3] is belied by following each of your three links and actually reading what she said.

Needless to say, he doesn’t follow up with any argument explaining how Althouse wanting people fired for their political views is consistent with her more recent views about “free speech.” Since I’m sporting, allow me to get started by identifying two differences between Wright and Althouse, although I’m not sure that this is what he intended:

  • One the one hand, the liberal campaign to “silence” Glenn Beck exists largely in Althouse’s head, and to the extent that it exists has a long way to go to rise to the level of being “ineffectual.”   On the other hand, the much more systematic winger campaigns against Sherrod and Weigel were actually successful at getting them fired (or “silenced.”)  And, yet, Althouse strongly endorsed the WaPo’s utterly risible justifications for firing Weigel for his political views and also endorsed Breitbart’s reprehensible smear campaign against Sherrod.
  • It’s also worth noting that Wright’s questioning of whether it was responsible for Fox to give Beck a platform — whether one agrees with him or not — involved stuff Beck actually said on his show.   In the cases of Weigel, Sherrod, and Thomas they were fired for expressing views in private emails, a speech, and an interview respectively.   The threat to “free speech” seems even more severe in cases in which someone is punished for off-the-job speaking.

Comments (250)

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  1. [...] More here.   It’s easy to find examples illustrating that Althouse does not believe in the ad hoc [...]

  2. I have the feeling that what bothers you about Beck is not that he “… [spouts] nutty, false, and pernicious conspiracy theories…”

    I suspect that what really bothers you about Beck is that he’s very effective in demolishing your political positions.

    Don’t watch Beck because I’m at work when he’s on. But, I’ve heard and read that he tears the left apart, quite effectively.

    Such as his outing of Piven for advocating violence.

    This post is, thus, most likely a red herring. Why don’t you talk about what really pisses you off about Beck, which is that he’s kicking your ass?

    • FGFM says:

      Why don’t you talk about what really pisses you off about Beck, which is that he’s kicking your ass?

      Whatever you do, don’t throw me in that briar patch!

    • Holden Pattern says:

      Oh, good, Wrongful Death is back.

      • Malaclypse says:

        He was only gone a couple of hours. It seems, against all odds, he spent that time procreating. I’m assuming parthenogenesis.

      • Uncle Kvetch says:

        Let’s not be hasty. I would imagine that there are dozens, maybe hundreds of Althouse fans out there who could match WD for that special blend of cretinous stupidity and all-around a-holeness.

      • DrDick says:

        And dumber and more incoherent than ever.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      I suspect that what really bothers you about Beck is that he’s very effective in demolishing your political positions.

      Sure. You keep telling yourself that, and maybe one day you’ll believe it!

    • DocAmazing says:

      For all values of “effective” that include “barking mad”.

    • Hogan says:

      I have the feeling

      Well isn’t that cute. Do you also have a fact?

    • c u n d gulag says:

      Shouting Thomas,
      ‘Thomas,’ dear boy, if you didn’t have to ‘shout’ all of the time, maybe the voices in your head would lower theirs and you could have a moment of peace to reflect on how ignorant and hateful a stupid SOB you really are.
      You do make me laugh, I’ll give you that, though. I hope God forgives me for laughing at mentally challenged people. I only do it to the Conservative ones. But that’s a lot of laughter!

      Let me ask you, “If everything to the left is wrong, then how come NASCAR doesn’t make its cars turn right all of the time?” *
      How could GOD do this if He/She/It weren’t a Liberal?

      *This confuses the stupid all of the time.

      • Malaclypse says:

        I think I’ve found why Mr Shouty needs to shout.

        Especially, I stare at the young Chinese and Filipino women. In my mind, I’m still the dashing young man Myrna loved. An incredibly beautiful woman loved me! I almost have to restrain myself from screaming at pretty Asian girls.

        Ick.

      • DrDick says:

        If he stopped listening to the voices in his head, he would not know what he is supposed to think.

    • Uncle Kvetch says:

      Such as his outing of Piven for advocating violence.

      Prove it. Provide the cite in which Piven advocated violence. Otherwise, you’re expecting us to believe that she did so because somebody told you that Glenn Beck said she did. Which is really fucking pathetic.

      • Uncle Kvetch says:

        Still waiting…

      • Sofa King says:

        Well what do you deny in particular:
        (A) That she stated: “An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union”
        (B) That the riots in Greece actually resulted in death and destruction
        (C) She does not want an effective movement of the unemployed at all, and is happy with the status quo.

        • Sofa King says:

          My mistake, (C) should be phrased in the positive, so that you can deny it.

          (C) She is not happy with the status quo and wants an effective movement of the unemployed.

        • Hogan says:

          “Look something like”? Is that really all you’ve got?

        • kth says:

          I deny that the statement in (a) remotely contains an affirmation of (b). (A) taken by itself certainly does no such thing, nor does the essay in which the quote appears furnish any support for such an interpretation.

          • Sofa King says:

            That is a matter of opinion. She certainly does not disclaim (B), and since it is an entirely reasonable inference from (A), I think it is a reasonable (but not conclusive) opinion that she tacitly condones it. Particularly so when the speaker has ALSO said: “I have considerable respect for non-violence, but I don’t treat it as inevitably a necessary rule.”

            • kth says:

              That second quote is a regular “Up against the wall, motherfuckers!” (not)

            • DrDick says:

              Gosh a recognition that violence may be unavoidable in some circumstances. That certainly ranks right up there with calling for “second amendment remedies” (Angle) if you do not get your way at the ballot box, calls to shoot liberals in the head (Beck), or calling on your supporters to be “armed and dangerous (Bachmann).” Those liberals are clearly a violent and intolerant bunch.

            • 400metres says:

              Soooo, if somebody notes that worker strikes and riots were necessary to the development to government and corporate respect for labor rights, that person is nothing but an advocate for violence because people died in that effort?

              If that’s the level of logic you’re operating on, it’s no wonder you clowns find Beck so compelling.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m new here but what a nice blog and comment section. Very revealing.

        Anyway, to answer, in her December 2010 Nation column, Piven wrote: “Local protests have to accumulate and spread — and become more disruptive — to create pressures on national politicians. An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece. . . .”

        “Like” the Greek strikes and riots? Whatever could she mean?

        • Hogan says:

          Maybe you’d like to share the rest of that sentence with the class?

          • Malaclypse says:

            “in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees.”

            Scary stuff. Thank God we have brave men like Mr Wrong and Mr Shouty, who bravely piss themselves in fear over this demonic woman.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sure, ok, the entire sentence is:

            “Local protests have to accumulate and spread—and become more disruptive—to create serious pressures on national politicians. An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees.”

            Does that make ya feel better? It does me, as it’s a, like, totally, totally, clear, like, incitement to, like, riot and throw like, totally, flammable liquids on like, bank clerks.

            All the ‘like’ and ‘totally’ thingy word like thingys are to like, totally, give, you, like, totally, time, to like, think.

            • Malaclypse says:

              as it’s a, like, totally, totally, clear, like, incitement to, like, riot and throw like, totally, flammable liquids on like, bank clerks.

              Very clear, as the words “flammable liquids” and “bank clerks” are nowhere to be found, outside your, like, totally fevered imagination.

              All the ‘like’ and ‘totally’ thingy word like thingys are to like, totally, give, you, like, totally, time, to like, think.

              See, I assumed they were designed to obfuscate the fact that you were bullshitting, Brave Sir Anonymous. For that, they would have been almost useful.

        • kth says:

          Actually the “revealing” thing is that most of Althouse’s readers seem also to be Glenn Beck viewers. I confess to being a little surprised that they are such rubes, given her own cultural pretensions.

          Not to pity that people as smart as her and Jeff Godlstein have readers better suited to Jim Hoft or Bob Owens is to be somewhat cold-hearted, methinks.

          • Ed Marshall says:

            When I used to watch bloggingheads, she would always try and brag up her commentariat. It’s the kind of thing no other blogger ever does, and I thought it was rather nice of her.

            Now I’m pretty sure, it was a defensive move. She is embarrassed by the fact that her readership consists of a bunch of low-rent, ignorant, dipshits and needs to preemptively praise the little retards to avoid someone else pointing out their incriminating existence.

          • Anonymous says:

            I read Althouse and enjoy her writing which never contains ad hominem arguments. I have never watched Beck.

            And?

        • mark f says:

          An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees. . . . Who indeed predicted the strike movement that began in the United States in 1934, or the civil rights demonstrations that spread across the South in the early 1960s? We should hope for another American social movement from the bottom—and then join it.

          So when she names at least four discrete social movements whose combined activist-caused deaths total up to, like, ten (far less than those caused by the respective authority figures), what she’s really saying is “eat the rich.” Got it. Good thing righties are so much better at penetrating the code than we lefties are, or else your heads would already be on pikes.

          • rea says:

            Her death toll, at least, is considerably less than Beck’s.

          • Anonymous says:

            “up to, like, ten (far less than those caused by the respective authority figures)”

            What ten? Enumerate and list please.

            What authority figures? What deaths did they cause? How?

            Like? Like? Surely valley girl talk, unless for fun, is code for “I am stupid”. Are you a conservative troll making fun of these poor retards? If so, very mean of you, but I can see how temptation might overcome you.

        • hv says:

          Um, disruptive?

    • el_donaldo says:

      Beck doesn’t even seem capable of finding and expressing an actual position taken by the left – he’s too busy swatting away the imaginary ones he thinks he sees.

    • John F says:

      Don’t watch Beck because I’m at work when he’s on. But, I’ve heard and read that he tears the left apart, quite effectively.

      Only in the already addle minded, Beck is pretty incoherent, there is no way he could pace an entry level course in deductive logic or any type of logic, he has no understanding of causality in any sense of the word

      • timb says:

        I enjoyed the idea that Beck destroys the left expressed by someone who never watches him.

        I’ve decided that if that makes Beck awesome, then I’ve heard and imagined that sex with Angelina Jolie is awesome, so that means I really enjoyed it.

        • Anonymous says:

          What is your comment supposed to mean other than that you are in your Mommy’s basement masturbating over the idea of beating up Beck to impress Jolie, whilst masturbating like a frenzied chimpanzee?

          Not that I entirely disapprove of any of that, but my God man, masturbating like a chimp does not require you to fling feces as well.

  3. FGFM says:

    This is turning into one of her better meltdowns.

  4. c u n d gulag says:

    The right:
    It’s ‘free speech for me, NOT for thee, silly…”

  5. mark f says:

    Althouse’s moronic armies have descended because she pointed out that you, Mr. Lemieux, have revealed yourself, by criticizing Prof. Althouse, to be another hater of free speech.

    • mark f says:

      Although one has to get surprisingly deep into the comments before someone accuses you of using Alinkyite tactics to try to silence her.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        If there’s anything that defines Althouse’s worldview, it’s that bad thing “x” (opposing free speech, being sexist, etc.) is exclusively defined by “criticizing Ann Althouse’s views on the merits.”

  6. Sure. You keep telling yourself that, and maybe one day you’ll believe it!

    You’ve just confirmed what I said.

    Remember? I don’t watch Beck because I’m always at work when his show airs.

    So, I’m not a fan or supporter. Absolutely no investment there.

    And, you’ve instantly transformed me into a Beck supporter.

    So, you’ve convinced me that I’m right. You fear Beck as an effective opponent. I do know that he got that commie in the White House fired. Apparently, he got the goods on Piven, too.

    And, I further suspect that he will continue to kick your ass. Your fear of confronting him head on about what he has to say is obvious.

    You might as well stick your ass up in the air and get used to Beck kicking it.

    • Nate says:

      Yeah, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” kicks everybody’s ass.

    • Holden Pattern says:

      And he even has Wrongful Death’s apparent cognitive disability, wich renders him unable to use the “reply” button. Fascinating.

    • DocAmazing says:

      If you are rooting for Beck to kick ass, you are a Beck supporteer. That’s kind of definitional. So we’ve at least established that you fail basic logic.

    • Cackalacka says:

      So you are not a supporter of Beck, but you are someone who supports him?

      Got it.

    • c u n d gulag says:

      Shouting Imbecile,
      “And, you’ve instantly transformed me into a Beck supporter.”

      You are a typical Conservative.
      Just like Beck.
      You have no ideas, nothing…
      And the only things you’re ‘for’ is whatever Liberals are ‘against,’ and you’re ‘against’ EVERYTHING Liberals are for.
      That is your sole reason for existence.
      Your raison d’etre (Hint: It ain’t a French breadfast cereal!).
      And such a shallow one.

      You are called “Conservatives” because you ‘conserve’ energy this way by not having to think for yourselves.
      You are lemmings who blindly follow your leaders – like Beck.
      And as long as that asshole is ahead of you, you’ll follow that asshole wherever it leads. Even off a cliff.
      That’s conservative speak for “keep your eye on the prize…”

      Conservatives, enjoy your last moments – you are doomed in the long term by demographics and human evolution.
      Let’s just hope there are some of use left standing after your death throes.

    • nate says:

      Shorter Shouting Thomas: Don’t tease the panther.

    • DrDick says:

      The only thing that bothers me about Beck is his consistent dehumanizing of his enemies and violent eliminationist rhetoric which is likely to inspire the mentally impaired such as your self to commit profoundly stupid and violent acts. That and the fact that his unfounded and fact free lunatic rants are presented as truth and not the surreal fiction that they are. The fact that you and others actually buy that load of rotting excrescence is actually rather amusing.

    • hv says:

      Absolutely no investment there.

      …you’ve instantly transformed me into a Beck supporter.

      How dramatic!

    • timb says:

      yep, getting the scalp of a minor functionary in the Obama administration and a 78 year old retired professor to fear for her life are major changing points in American politics. When Beck actually gets someone elected to township assessor, it will be a step up.

      The only thing Beck is good at is wearing Vick’s vapor rub to induce tears and trick enough rubes into buying gold that he could build himself a castle far, far away from them

    • Anonymous says:

      Hallo Tom, nice reading you, why do you come here to laugh at these poor retards and mongoloids, it’s quite cruel of you, we conservatives really should not do that. Much.

      • hv says:

        we conservatives really should not do that

        Despite your cloak of Anonymous, I am very willing to accept at face value the idea that your argumentation skills and ability to mock liberals is of the exact same caliber as Shouting Thomas.

  7. FGFM says:

    Remember? I don’t watch Beck because I’m always at work when his show airs.

    So, I’m not a fan or supporter. Absolutely no investment there.

    And, you’ve instantly transformed me into a Beck supporter.

    Next, you’re going to tell me that you’re a lifelong Democrat.

  8. Holden Pattern says:

    I think that “Free Speech” for American conservatives, just like any kind of “freedom” or “liberty” for them, means “the freedom for conservatives to do whatever they like free of any consequences or criticism”.

    And that kind of freedom of course operates in a zero-sum world — any boundaries placed on their freedom to exercise their rightful privileges, even criticism of their actions, is in their view illegitimate and should be illegal / unconstitutional / prohibited. No amount of reasoning and no number of counterexamples will convince them otherwise, because their fundamental premise is that limitation of their special privileges is victimizing them, the natural owners and rulers of the world.

    [Cue wingnut whining about affirmative action]

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      I think that “Free Speech” for American conservatives, just like any kind of “freedom” or “liberty” for them, means “the freedom for conservatives to do whatever they like free of any consequences or criticism”.

      FTW.

    • kth says:

      That’s quite obviously how Sarah Palin and Laura Schlessinger view the First Amendment: both cited the threat, not just to their “free speech rights” (i.e., the way Althouse broadly but selectively bestows them), but specifically cited the 1A:

      Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence”isn’t American,not fair”

    • hv says:

      Also, the “free” market.

      • Anonymous says:

        “”free”"? Why the quotes? Surely even you commies agree that a truly “”"”"”free*”"”"”" market is a good thing?

        *Free= free of the control of monopolists, who are not capitalists, and who seek to distort the market in their favor, and commies, who are also not capitalists and who also seek to distort the market in their favor.

        Whoa, I seem to have discovered an new truth.

        Has anyone ever seen a market distortion which actually aids the poor? Not me.

        • hv says:

          The quotes was because conservatives do the same thing with the free market that Holden Pattern was describing in other areas. The quotes represent the lack of commitment on behalf of the passionate conservatives.

          Since you have clearly misunderstood, we will just pretend your embarrassing little commie rant never happened.

          I’ve said it before, following the conservative talking points will lead you to very embarrassing results outside of the bubble. The talking points are crafted for inflammation, not validity. Use at your own risk.

        • The Wrath of Oliver Khan says:

          Has anyone ever seen a market distortion which actually aids the poor? Not me.

          Minimum wage laws?

          And please, before you try to convince me that minimum wage laws actually act as a drag on wages at the low end of the income scale, please bring at least a handful of legitimate citations to back you up.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Has anyone ever seen a market distortion which actually aids the poor? Not me.

          Beyond the minimum wage laws above, we also have:

          Earned Income Tax Credit (bonus shout-out to Mr Wrong – it was enacted by that commie Richard Nixon)

          COBRA subsidies included in ARRA

          Head Start

          Medicaid

          LIHEAP

          And that was off the top of my head.

          Whoa, I seem to have discovered an new truth.

          Sadly, as they say, No!

  9. Next, you’re going to tell me that you’re a lifelong Democrat.

    Just as Althouse says, you don’t have any effective arguments.

    That was a limp dick response.

    No wonder Beck kick your ass. He doesn’t have to be very smart to be smarter than you.

    • jdkbrown says:

      Clearly you’re not aware of all internet traditions. Where Althouse and LGM are involved, that should be “tiny penis response.”

    • A Pedant says:

      So you’ve rocked up at a post about person x, commented with “person y is so much better than you therefore I win” and rebutted all counter-argument with “See this is why person y is so much better than you.”

      There should be a category of Nobel for that level of commitment to developing rational discussion.

      By the by, for someone who never watches Beck, you seem to know a lot about his show.

    • dave says:

      I didn’t realise one needed an erection to have an argument. I always thought they called that “Thinking with your little head” for a reason.

    • hv says:

      The turgidity setting of our dicks was a deliberate attempt to match your level of discourse.

    • Dogsbody says:

      It’s with great humour that I’ve been reading the drool you’ve flinging around here, yet there is one thing that has me baffled; I have been scouring the internets for evidence of these Beckian arse kickings, but there doesn’t seem to be any. Would you do us the favour of providing these gems so that we may be enlightened?

  10. Shouting Thomas,
    ‘Thomas,’ dear boy, if you didn’t have to ’shout’ all of the time, maybe the voices in your head would lower theirs and you could have a moment of peace to reflect on how ignorant and hateful a stupid SOB you really are.
    You do make me laugh, I’ll give you that, though. I hope God forgives me for laughing at mentally challenged people. I only do it to the Conservative ones. But that’s a lot of laughter!

    Let me ask you, “If everything to the left is wrong, then how come NASCAR doesn’t make its cars turn right all of the time?” *
    How could GOD do this if He/She/It weren’t a Liberal?

    *This confuses the stupid all of the time.

    This is just the sort of childish, pointless stuff that Althouse points to constantly as the downfall of the left.

    Thanks for the demonstration.

    • c u n d gulag says:

      Ah, the old conservative, “I’m teflon, you’re glue…”
      How very original.

      I’d love to argue facts and reason with you, but you obviously only believe whatever facts have been implanted between your ears, so reasoning with you would be like discussing “The Uncertainty Principle” with a rock, only less entertaining.

    • c u n d gulag says:

      Also, I might be able to take you a bit more seriously if you even had one clue about what Liberalism was really about, had ever even bothered to find out what he’s railing on about.
      But it’s hard to even begin disussing anything with someone who hasn’t even watched Beck for himself, but just believes something based on hearsay.
      Just believing things based on hearsay is one of the very definitions of being a Conservative.
      So, congratulations, you’ve proved MY point.

      Now go away.
      I have better things to do.
      Like wait for the snow to thaw so I can discuss Heisenberg with a piece of shale in my back yard.

      • Lincolntf says:

        Understanding Liberalism is simple. A contempt for the individual manifested by a an irrational worship of the State.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Thank you! Now that you have made your point so eloquently, I have seen the light and repent of my wicked, wicked ways.

          • Lincolntf says:

            Oh, but you’d never really repent would you?
            I’ve seen the spittle-flecked dolts and braindead “activists” like the ones who support Van Jones, Code Pink, etc. and I know you people never quit. You wouldn’t know what to do with yourselves if you couldn’t get your frothy hate on every day.

            • Malaclypse says:

              You found me out, using your wily ways! I have been found out by your powerful intellect, and I stand guilty as accused. You are correct, I use my spittle-flecked, frothy hatred to subvert all that is sacred and holy about these United Snakes. I mock motherhood and apple pie. I hate my child, because, well, because Glenn Beck says we radicals hate children, so hate I must.

              Now that I have confirmed your paranoid pipe dreams, will you go away?

            • c u n d gulag says:

              I think you’re missing a letter there.
              Shouldn’t it be ‘Lincoln-WTF?’

              Anywhoooooo, project much?
              PS, you might need to look that up under Freud. I suggest “Google” if you know how to use it there Gump.

        • hv says:

          …manifested by a an irrational worship of the State. (sic)

          Conservatives hold a monopoly on the rational ways to worship the state.

        • brad says:

          The State was great, but I save my irrational worship for Mr. Show.

        • Dogsbody says:

          So, you don’t know what liberlism is either.

      • timb says:

        Has the shale heard about these “ass-kickings?” I was hoping someone had….

  11. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    If I didn’t know that Glenn Beck has probably millions of more remunerative ways of spending his time, I’d almost be tempted to suggest that

    Shouting Thomas:Beck :: Sprezzatura:Lee Siegel

    But one of the advantages that Beck has over Siegel is that he has tens of thousands of folks willing to do this work for him.

    Sock puppetry is for little people.

  12. Henry says:

    Fox News has the right to hire Glenn Beck to spout nutty, false, and pernicious conspiracy theories. But saying that it’s irresponsible for Fox News to do so isn’t a violation of any plausible definition of “free speech.”

    That’s a rather odd inversion of what Bob Wright actually said in the BloggingHeads episode that started this whole thing.

  13. Walt says:

    Can you guys switch to a policy where obvious bullshit trolling by either a) someone we’ve never seen before, or b) recidivists gets instantly deleted? It’s one thing if a conservative shows up and wants to argue. It’s another thing if the only thing they have to say is the most transparent attempt to just be annoying.

    • Lincolntf says:

      “Can you guys switch to a policy where obvious bullshit trolling by either a) someone we’ve never seen before, or b) recidivists gets instantly deleted?”

      Please tell me the irony is intended.

      • Holden Pattern says:

        Conservative dedication to private property rights seems to go right out the window when they want to troll a liberal blog. Never mind that there are exactly zero barriers to entry for anyone who wants to set up their own blog and rant at length.

    • c u n d gulag says:

      WAlt,
      Pissing off Liberals is all that Conservatives stand for anymore, if they ever stood for anything else before.

      They live to annoy.
      It is their O2.
      Without the ability to annoy, they would be like those poor, dying, oil-stained fish along the shores of the Gulf. Mouths opening and closing, as their lives recede.

      • Lincolntf says:

        At least it’s not our CO2, right? Have to tax it if it was.

        • Jay B. says:

          That’s a larf! You must kill em at the Bund Hall.

        • mark f says:

          I didn’t think this thread could get any stupider. Lincolntf has pantloadian talents, it seems.

          • mark f says:

            So I’m bored at work and I threw Mr. Lincoln’s name into the old Google machine. This is the best quote I found:

            You’re still pleased with passing a bill you never read, but that has already put our economy into worse shape than ever before? You, like so many of your corrupt and incompetent colleagues, don’t take anything about your job seriously except re-election.

            To whom was this directed? Mickey Kaus.

  14. John Emerson says:

    My guess is that 10-20% of Americans are to the left of Maddow, Olbermann, and Krugman, who are all safely center-left, but we get no representation in the major media. (Maybe Schultz counts. Ratigan doesn’t).

    And Olbermann is gone.

    • John F says:

      Ron Kuby used to have a radio show in NY (linked with Curtis Sliwa- now that’s an odd pair…)

      Kuby claimed to be an actual “red,” but his actual philosophy seemed to be an odd mashup of socialism and libertarianism-

      or maybe not so odd, the teaPartiers conjoining of libertarianism with theocratic-authoritarianism is arguably and even greater incongruity

      • Lincolntf says:

        Theocratic-authoritarianism? What a howling douchebag.
        Lemme guess, you’ve attended zero actual Tea Party events.

        • John F says:

          nope haven’t attended one, work with some who have, one whop still goes, and yes “howling douchebag” is a very apt description of that particular individual

          with respect to Theocratic-Authoritarianism- ok I made that up on the spot- but how else do you describe people who believe that certain individual should be deprived of rights that everyone else has because that person’s “god” told him those people were unclean and deserving of the same rights as everyone else? How else would you describe people who want the government to teach their creation story from their Holy Book(AND NO ONE ELSE’s) in public schools, people who want THEIR prayers to THEIR deity (and no one else’s), read aloud in public schools.

          OK, not all teapers are like that, there are some actual libertarians in there, but mostly it seems to be the same old white male knuckle walkers

        • I have attended Tea Party events, mostly at churches with huge American flags flying outside the door. Their arguments that the State should enforce God’s laws–except perhaps for the “rendering unto Caesar” part–looks a lot like “theocratic authoritarianism” to me.

      • Jay B. says:

        I think socialism and libertarianism can work in a sense — I consider myself somewhere along those lines — so long as the “libertarianism” comes down on the civil side.

        The state protects the public interest as a check on corporations while individual rights remain protected from state control. Of course, to believe along those lines, money can’t be the only important organizing principle in life, taxation isn’t theft, you believe in a rational self-interest in social programs and corporations aren’t citizens.

  15. LR says:

    I’m a Libertarian.
    I know that my political views played a role in my being fired from one job because the president of the company once, when confronted with information contrary to his views of the industry marketplace, stipulated to me “I’m a Democrat and I can’t stand you right wing nuts. You think you know more than all of us.” When my information proved correct and he was to be embarrassed, he forced me to put together a report that I stated vocally “is not my work, but I have been asked to deliver” when I gave it to the executive board.
    I was then told I was “insubordinate”. This kind of behavior is very typical of the people I have worked for who I know are vocal left of center. I have had 3 of them, and all of them persecuted me for my views, even though my views never impeded my job performance (in fact, I operated at a very high level, providing good information and always received excellent job reviews).

    I did work at Fox News, too. You’d be astounded at the number of Democrats who work there. I know I was. Interestingly, it was the absolute BEST place I’ve ever worked. So, apparently, while spouting what is considered drivel is “bad”, you have to respect that they are at least fair and even handed.

    Unfortunately, very few people are aware of the nasty, underhanded behavior politically Left people engage in. I’m not saying people on the Right don’t do the same thing (I’m certain some do, it makes no sense to imply they are pure). But it’s absurd to think the left is somehow clean of any moral underhandedness.

    In my experience, I have ONLY been treated poorly by vocal, active Democrats. I have had several good managers who are Democrats. So don’t take this as a statement that all Democrats are bad. But there is no question that all – and I do mean ALL – of the Republicans I’ve worked for have been excellent managers. Truly fair to everyone, even if they disagree with them.

    I’m a small sample. I’m not statistically significant. But in my experience, I can only speak from what I know. Over time, I’ve learned that the most vocal Dems are the nastiest people I’ve worked for. (I’ll toss in that not only are they nasty – but they take the lion’s share of bonuses when offered. I’ve never seen greedier people in my life. Yet they are the first to want to cut the salaries of people who work for them.

    • mark f says:

      Some ancient Italian maxim fits our situation, whose particulars escape me.

    • John F says:

      My personal experience has been, let’s say, different. The biggest #####s I’ve worked for were rightwingers.

      Not that I haven’t met ##### lefties, I have, but I’ve never worked for them.

      It’s also possible that while you may never have had a problem with a “republican” manager- some of your coworkers did (And didn’t confide in same to you for obvious reasons)

    • Modulo Myself says:

      Did the liberals say you sound like a robot, or just as if you were completely full of shit? This is important.

    • kth says:

      I actually believe that you aren’t making this up from whole cloth, which is to lend you more credence than you probably deserve. But the inference you draw is–despite your “I’m a small sample” attempt to disclaim it–so bogus that I have to wonder if your judgment isn’t equally faulty in other areas as well. Which may have been the root cause of your work issues.

      Here’s a hint: we libs have no doubt plenty of failings, but suspecting that other people secretly think they are smarter than we are generally isn’t one of them.

      • Holden Pattern says:

        Cuz why do you believe LR, exactly?

        • Ed Marshall says:

          Because I could imagine wanting to fire him.

        • kth says:

          Only because in my experience it’s harder to make things up from whole cloth than to stitch them together from scraps already at hand. But maybe that’s just my own laziness showing.

          • Ed Marshall says:

            Yeah, I don’t believe the “you think we are smarter than you” bullshit for obvious reasons (it’s interesting projection though). There probably is something there though. I know I’ve had work situations that went from good to bad when me and a superior figured out each others politics.

    • Jay B. says:

      Any resemblance to actual persons, either living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

      OR

      At-will employment: When the retard meets petard.

      • Tom M says:

        I didn’t know retard was Italian. Here I always stressed the first syllable.
        Learn me something darn near e’er day.

    • Malaclypse says:

      I have had 3 of them, and all of them persecuted me for my views, even though my views never impeded my job performance (in fact, I operated at a very high level, providing good information and always received excellent job reviews).

      They gave you excellent job reviews? Those tyrants! That sort of persecution would never happen if Reagan were still alive. I blame the fluoride in the water, myself.

    • Jay B. says:

      Shorter LR:

      Dear Reason, you’ll never believe this, but…

    • The Wrath of Oliver Khan says:

      But there is no question that all – and I do mean ALL – of the Republicans I’ve worked for have been excellent managers. Truly fair to everyone, even if they disagree with them.

      This is about 180 degrees from my experience.

      So which one of us wins?

    • B^4 says:

      Too bad you didn’t have a union to protect you from your Randian superman boss.

  16. PeeJ says:

    Helen Thomas was fired for expressing anti-Semitic political views.

    I would hesitate to characterize her statementas that way. Anti-Zionist to be sure, but not necessarily anti-semitic unless you subscribe to the ridiculous “anything bad you say about Israel is anti-semitic” line of crap.

    • MPAVictoria says:

      Hmmm.. From what I recalled she called for Jews, some of whom are holocaust survivors, to go back to Germany. If it wasn’t anti-Semitic it was at least stupid.

    • Kate says:

      I think it went beyond saying “something bad” about Israel, PeeJ. Not only did she suggest that Israel has no right to exist (or at least, to exist in Palestine), but she suggested that the Israelis should “go home” to Poland and Germany. That’s either anti-Semitic or just breathtakingly stupid. Now, “off-the-job” anti-Semitism may not be sufficient to get someone fired, but spectacular stupidity might be, dontcha think?

  17. actor212 says:

    When people are fired for expressing political views or having political associations that aren’t relevant to their job performance, this is bad for “free speech” even if it’s not a violation of the First Amendment.

    Van Jones.

    QED

  18. Uncle Kvetch says:

    I did work at Fox News, too. You’d be astounded at the number of Democrats who work there. I know I was. Interestingly, it was the absolute BEST place I’ve ever worked. So, apparently, while spouting what is considered drivel is “bad”, you have to respect that they are at least fair and even handed.

    I “have” to? Because some anonymous commenter said so somewhere on the Internet? Sweet Jesus. You need to meet the guy upthread: “I’ve never watched Glenn Beck but somebody told me he kicks ass, so suck on it, libs.”

    This thread has been nothing short of magnificent.

    Hey LR, I’m an anonymous dude on the Internet too! If I told you that you have to run out into the middle of the street right now, wearing your underpants over your head…and nothing else…and sing “I Enjoy Being a Girl” at the top of your lungs for 15 minutes, or else the entire universe will collapse on itself…what would you do?

  19. rcocean says:

    He’s a professional political scientist/historian. One would think he’d want his deductive argument to be seen as being valid.

    Really? I find that hard to believe. Not the “PolySci” (haha, the ‘scientist’ in “political scientist” always makes me laugh) – but the “historian” part.

    What is Scott a historian of? “Mork and Mindy”?

    • Malaclypse says:

      What is Scott a historian of? “Mork and Mindy”?

      You really are too stupid to google, aren’t you?

      • rcocean says:

        Sorry Scott. I thought you were an actual Historian who wrote books and well, studied history. From “Googling” your bio it seems your just a “Professor” at some obscure College called “The College of Saint Rose” in the Department of “History and Political Science” which – I guess – is why you call yourself a “Historian”.

        No doubt working at “The College of Saint Rose” gives you little pay but lots of spare time.

        Maybe if you attack Althouse enough, some Lefty will give you a job at a real University.

        • Ed Marshall says:

          Any decent community college will probably teach you how to capitalize words correctly.

        • Jay B. says:

          Liberals are the real elitists.

          • Scott Lemieux says:

            is why you call yourself a “Historian”.

            Cites, please.

            • rcocean says:

              OK, so you’re not a Historian. Good for you.

              I guess.

              • Scott Lemieux says:

                Well, it’s pretty obvious — given your, ah, unique ideas about the workloads of professors at liberal arts and R1 colleges, how the academic job market works, etc. — that my academic credentials are superior to yours, so I’m not sure what any of this proves. Which is precisely why I don’t talk about credentials; I talk about ideas. And I can’t blame you for preferring the ad hominem — Christ knows I wouldn’t want to defend anything Althouse said on the merits either.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Ooooh, burn! I guess to show off my intellectual credentials to the Althouse lickspittle community I should blog less about the Supreme Court and more about sixth-rate reality shows…

      • rcocean says:

        Spoken Like a true intellectual. I mean, who wouldn’t pay mucho Dinero to have their 19- year-old taught by YOU. Judas Priest. Anyway, congrads on getting a soft Prof Job that allows you to blog 24/7.

        I’ve never heard of your College. Has anyone of note ever graduated? I think I’m going to threaten my daughter with it. “Better study harder, Miss RC, or you’ll end up at the College of St. Rose”.

        • map106 says:

          It’s “congrats” buddy.

          And didn’t I read something about ad hominem?

          And your credentials are?

        • IM says:

          Anyway, congrads on getting a soft Prof Job that allows you to blog 24/7.

          You mean like Althouse?

        • Jay B. says:

          And then she’ll respond, like they do, those scamps, “well dad, tell me again, how exactly did Oklahoma State best prepare you for the call center?”

          • Malaclypse says:

            I suspect the conversation will be more along the lines of “No daughter of mine will go to one of them elitist socialist schools!” followed by “Dad, you know I have that restraining order on you. Please don’t make me use it again.”

    • Ed Marshall says:

      Have you ever taken a poli sci class?

      • DrDick says:

        From the available evidence it would appear that (s)he never finished high school. Certainly seems profoundly ignorant of the nature of higher education.

  20. Michael H Schneider says:

    Christ knows I wouldn’t want to defend anything Althouse said on the merits either

    Appeal to authority!! That is an Ad Hominem, lose five points.

    Besides, we want a cite. To a written statement by Him (‘Personal Communication 2011′ will not do) and it better be a sworn statement, under oath.

    On an earlier subject: I remember the 60s when we believed in individual freedom to contract. I remember hearing Dylan, Pete Seegar and Woody Guthrie sing Guthrie’s famous ode to this freedom, “I dreamed I Helped The Pinkertons Beat The Crap Outta Joe Hill Last Night”.

  21. [...] after Appomattox? I remember when the left used to listen to such Dylan classics as “Bells of Freedom (Ring Out Against the Tyranny of Access to Medial Care)” and “I Dreamed I Helped The [...]

  22. wengler says:

    The 30 minutes it took to read this entire comment thread were profoundly entertaining.

    Please invite these Beck watchers over here more often. Their arguments are as incoherent as the Professor himself, but the sheer joy of dissecting them provides better entertainment than a Paul Campos BMI post or a Charli Carpenter Wikileaks concern post.

  23. [...] February 5, 2011 in Uncategorized While a lot of you were digging out from the Hellsnow we were experiencing Springtease. It’s good to get out of the house in something more flexible than a lunar suit every now and then, but you know it’s still winter, and it’s going to come back and mess with you for awhile. Like today. February is a black month for me. I was born in it, and I get the feeling it’s the month I’ll tip my Jello over, agape, watching The Price is Right, or some Armani preacher winking at the members of the choir he’s currently boning. That’s one of the reasons my thoughts turned to Sylvia Plath yesterday while I was reading Anne Althouse’s preliterates who’d come out for a hosing at Lawyers, Guns and Money. [...]

  24. [...] she makes no attempt to square this position with her recent arguments that principles of “free speech” mean that conservative commentators should have [...]

  25. [...] a living express political opinions in private! Skreeeeee!!!!!!!!) so stupid they could only impress Ann Althouse and a particularly cowardly editor at the Washington Post, this current one is so feeble it [...]

  26. [...] it taken into account, you are not enjoying free speech: you are enjoying censored speech.”  This kind of argument is so transparently silly it’s clear that even the commenter can’t possibly believe [...]

  27. […] seem to have to go through this every year or two, and based on some of the commentary surrounding Brendan Eich apparently we have to again.  […]

  28. FGFM says:

    Aw, her little Internet hubby showed up to defend her, how sweet!

  29. Scott Lemieux says:

    That assertion is belied by following each of your three links and actually reading what she said.

    Um, it’s really not. Please do explain how once can simultaneously 1)celebrate David Weigel being fired for expressing political views in private and 2)argue that it’s inconsistent with “free speech” to believe that it’s irresponsible for Fox to give Glenn Beck a platform.

  30. Lincolntf says:

    And you manage to avoid the fact that you’re commenting on articles you’ve never read. Real bunch of whiz kids hanging out at this blog today.

  31. FGFM says:

    And you manage to avoid the fact that you’re commenting on articles you’ve never read.

    I didn’t comment on those articles, but I read her garbage all the time and those examples are typical.

  32. FGFM says:

    Don’t teabag on me.

  33. Jay B. says:

    Please do explain how once can simultaneously 1)celebrate David Weigel being fired for expressing political views in private and 2)argue that it’s inconsistent with “free speech” to believe that it’s irresponsible for Fox to give Glenn Beck a platform.

    Timecube.

  34. Jay B. says:

    Actually, it’s more germane than I thought.

    He seems to complain that “evil educators” are censoring his right to express himself and that free speech is bullshit — while expressing himself to his heart’s content. It’s a perfect distillation of the conservative mind.

  35. John F says:

    That’s people who self identify as liberals- my guess is that most people who self identify as liberals are at the left end or past the left-end of actual liberalism

    most generic liberals self identify as “moderates”
    I also know more than few hard right wingers who claim to be moderates- and I know some people who I would consider “moderate” (believe in most conservative “family values,” but do not want to undo the New Deal) who self-identify as “conservative”

    You can’t do the poll by letting people identify themselves- gotta ask questions- have them answer on a scale…

    Plus- if the Country really had a 40 conservative/40 moderate/20 liberal split- you wouldn’t be seeing the 50/50 elections we’ve had the past 20 years, instead the Repubs would be sweeping like the Dems did from 1932-44

  36. Malaclypse says:

    They don’t exist other than in your mind.

    If we don’t exist, who are you arguing with here, Mr Wrong?

  37. DrDick says:

    We already had this discussion and I pointed out that those polls are meaningless as there is no consistent understanding of what the basic terms mean.

  38. Jay B. says:

    Well, if the estimate is 10 to 20% to the left of Krugman and 21% self-identify as liberal, it’s still quite possible that at least “10%” (of the ’10 to 20%’ estimate) of Americans are to the left of Krugman!

    You can even check the math (it’s pretty easy). And that’s if you believe that “liberal” means the same thing to everyone.

    Amazing. Innumerate and obtuse? You must be quite the lady’s man.

  39. John F says:

    What the elections suggest is we have:
    40 Conservative
    20 moderate
    40 Liberal

    I’m not talking party affiliation, I know of more than a few “independents” who are either hard left or hard right- there in the Conservative or liberal camps- and their votes really are not in play.

    So basically, nationally, I see either party’s floor at 40- and ceiling at 60. Neither is actually likely to reach either the floor or ceiling.

  40. Modulo Myself says:

    You’re thinking of Bon Jovi, not Dylan. This is the basic condition of Althouse fans.

  41. Ed Marshall says:

    Ok, who is this really? No one is really this stupid. It’s a gag, right? The “Bells of Freedom” has me laughing my ass off.

  42. Jay B. says:

    Complete analogy fail. And laughably anachronistic. And stupid. You think Dylan was against unions? You think Havens opposed the Civil Rights Act? Do you think that Mario Savio was opposed to taxing the rich?

    Freedom isn’t just “free from taxation, to help our corporate overlords”, like you losers conceptualize it. It’s a concept of human dignity.

    And government can help foster it, in fact, it’s why they formed a fucking government in the U.S. in the first place. Let’s see…We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    I know, it’s folly to bother, since you are an idiot, you have no comprehension of what actual communism is, nor the difference between health insurance reform and actual health care, but you trying to co-opt people who would hate your bootlicking Bircher/Babbit ass was pretty much the height of mendacity.

  43. Malaclypse says:

    Who would have guessed at that time that those who fought “the system” now *are* the system. They are “the man” and want to wield that power over others now that they’re in charge.

    It all went to hell after President Hoffman imposed mandatory cannibalism. Before then, it was all about freedom, but once the cannibalism started, it was all about exercise and lean meat.

  44. DrDick says:

    You are being far too restrained here.

  45. Scott Lemieux says:

    Hold on a sec. WD is right: Dylan’s little-heard bootleg “Bells of Freedom” is an impassioned attack on the UAW and the Civil Rights Act. Why he included “Chimes of Freedom” on Another Side instead I have no idea.

  46. kth says:

    all the chapel chimes were ringing
    in the little valley town

  47. hv says:

    My guess is Berube.

  48. Jay B. says:

    What in the living fuck are you talking about?

    Again, you don’t know what a collective is, you don’t know what socialism is, you have no idea what a government is, you quote the Declaration of Independence like that is supposed to prove something, individual liberty does not = no taxation, you obviously don’t understand the basic concept of liberty or, if you do, you can’t articulate it. You also don’t understand God or basic language: note that “Their Creator”, was written in such a way (note they used “We” when they meant themselves — if they wanted to address a specific “God”, they would have used “Our Creator” or “Our Lord”, but they didn’t) could have meant Jesus’ dad, Allah, Gaia or what ever other entity the person with the unalienable Rights believes in. They neither feared God, nor discounted that others may believe in something else.

    Since you can’t define socialism, liberty or free speech, to say nothing of understanding how government is neither inherently good OR bad, it’s less an argument that you’re making than a string of verbal spasms that have the same relationship to actual reality as the Mets do to winning baseball.

  49. Malaclypse says:

    Yes, but he does have an appropriate moniker.

  50. jsmdlawyer says:

    First off, dipshit, Scott Lemieux never said that it was “irresponsible for the Post to give Dave Weigel a platform.”

    What Scott said was

    She was nearly giddy with excitement when Dave Weigel was fired for expressing political views on a private email list.

    As for that point, there’s this, just for starters.

    Are you just too stupid to use Google? The search was “Althouse Weigel.” Y’oughta try it some time.

  51. Scott Lemieux says:

    Please explain where she argues that it’s irresponsible for the Washington Post to give David Weigel a platform.

    Seriously, is there some subtle distinction between that and “strongly applauding the firing of David Weigel for his private political views” that I’m missing? Do you have an argument here?

  52. Patrick says:

    What a compelling argument.

  53. Malaclypse says:

    Mr. Jay B. wants to engage me to make some minutia technical point why he believes the overreach and oppressive moves of the federal government he champions at the expense of liberty may not technically qualify as ’socialism’ as he chooses to define the term

    Okay, then, you define the damn term. Use examples. I’ve been asking you to do that all week, Mr Wrong.

  54. kth says:

    The bottom line is you can promote individual liberty above most other rights…or not…and that is what divides us.

    With respect, what divides us is the notion that all deviations from minimal government are the same. But it is not quite accurate to say that there is *no* relation between police force fascism typically found in places like rural Texas and Mississippi, and nanny-state annoyances like trans-fat or anti-smoking regs in SF or NY.

    In fact, there is a relation, and it’s inverse: the places where there is the least respect for the rights of the accused are just those places where the rights to carry guns, to low taxation and lax regulations, are most secure.

  55. fluffytuna says:

    WD! Man! I finally got it! You’ve landed a “freelance” gig with one of those Koch-y outfits that pays you per post to troll enemy blogs. You’re in the money now.

  56. Scott Lemieux says:

    tries to draw a parallel where there isn’t one.

    Except that, you know, there is. Weigel was fired for expressing political views in private emails, mostly before he even took the job. According to Althouse’s 2011 definition of “free speech,” this is a straightforward violation — and yet not only did Althouse not think it was objectionable she thought it was great. As I say in the update,to the extent that the cases aren’t parallel this hurts your case rather than helping it.

  57. kth says:

    “Burn Davey Burn” doesn’t qualify as giddy excitement? Really?

  58. hv says:

    This part:

    One of the problems that might be somewhat solved is the cheeky smugness of the young journalists. The exclusive little club turned deadly for one of its members. And isn’t funny how people who should be in the know still don’t get modern technology.

    Does it sound like she is a) happy or b) sad at the turn of events?

  59. Malaclypse says:

    No, here’s the first off, jsmdlawyer.

    Get off of my lawn!

    That aside, where’s the “giddy with excitement” part of the Althouse blog post that you’re so sure you see, Mr. Real Man of Google Genius?

    Well:

    So David started letting his need for lefty approval express itself on the email list, the Journolist, where the cool kids were being intimate and snarky….One of the problems that might be somewhat solved is the cheeky smugness of the young journalists. The exclusive little club turned deadly for one of its members. And isn’t funny how people who should be in the know still don’t get modern technology.

  60. jsmdlawyer says:

    Princess Box Wine is extraordinarily protective and expansive when it comes to “free speech” for conservatives, not so much for anyone else. If the linked article doesn’t help you see that, I can’t help you. You’re either myopic or stupid, or probably both.

    Yelling “naaaaah naaaah, I can’t hear you” is not a “deductive argument.”

  61. Scott Lemieux says:

    That was after making an unfounded assertion that I called him on.

    Nope, sorry, To “call me on” something you’d actually have to explain why my arguments are unfounded. To this point, you’re offered nothing but bare assertion that plainly contradicts the linked posts.

  62. Malaclypse says:

    Damn you, hv!

  63. Malaclypse says:

    If you have a definition of socialism, you might be entitled to ask for information in return, Mr Wrong. But you don’t, because you are not very smart, just very scared.

  64. Hogan says:

    places like rural Texas and Mississippi,…

    You think Texas is a rural place

    Do you not think rural Texas is a rural place?

  65. Jay B. says:

    …police force fascism typically found in places like rural Texas and Mississippi,…

    You think Texas is a rural place with fascist police forces? Have you actually *been* to Texas? Houston? Dallas? Austin? San Antonio?

    Reading 101 FAIL. Hint: “rural Texas” refers to the rural parts of the state, it does NOT, however, refer to the character of the entire state. Which is also comprised of urban Texas, suburban Texas and Waco. Do you get paid to be this dense? It’s gotta be a joke, right?

  66. kth says:

    Hi, no, I actually grew up in Houston. Nice town, full of friendly people. I didn’t mean that the whole state was like that; rather, I intended the qualifier to apply to the rural parts, not that the cities in Texas are like that. Specifically I was thinking of towns like Tulia (town about 50 miles south of Amarillo), where about a quarter of the town’s black population was railroaded to prison (most subsequently freed thanks to muckraking by the NY Times) on trumped up charges by corrupt law-enforcement.

    My assertion about the inverse relation between low taxes and police brutality is a hypothesis, to be sure, though if you search Radney Balko’s muckraking site theagitator.com (he’s a card-carrying libertarian, the one in a thousand who cares about civil rights), you get a lot more hits for Mississippi than you do for Vermont or Wisconsin.

  67. map106 says:

    I’ll ignore the “rural” qualifier, just as you apparently did, to tell you of my impression of Austin, which I have visited every four years for the last thirty. My brother and his wife live there, and “the family” always gets together for Christmas (or should I say “the holidays”?).

    Let me further preface this by informing you that my wife is Black, while I and my family are White.

    In the mid to late-90s, we attended a New Year’s Eve celebration at the famous Barton Creek, of which my brother and his wife are members. Near the end of a celebratory revue, the powers that be on the entertainment committee saw fit to include a black-face skit. Black-face. In the 90s. And the crowd went wild. Of course, my wife’s was the only black face in the crowd.

    Both my sister (white) and my wife (black) relatively silently responded: Well, consider the source. My wife, an M.D. is supposed to put up with this and merely respond with a “consider the source”. To do otherwise, of course, would be too PC-ish, and a violation of First Amendment rights.

    Flash forward to 2010: While my SIL, sister, and I are in a car, my SIL (the Texan), an Ed.D, professor at the U of T, laments the renaming of Simkins Hall, a dormitory at the UT law school, renamed after it was learned that Professor Simkins and his brother founded the Florida state chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Her reasons: history was being destroyed and the prof was merely a man of his times.

    Tell me again how wonderful Austin is.

    I know this is tl:dr, but what the hell.

  68. DrDick says:

    Having grown up in Oklahoma and spent the first 35 years there, I can attest that most of Texas is decidedly rural. Indeed, much of west Texas, especially the Panhandle, are virtually uninhabited. To call law enforcement there, or in Dallas and Houston, fascist is actually to flatter them. Boss Hogg would be a liberal in those areas.

  69. The Wrath of Oliver Khan says:

    You think Texas is a rural place with fascist police forces? Have you actually *been* to Texas? Houston? Dallas? Austin? San Antonio?

    Have you ever been to the places that are found in the spaces between those cities?

  70. Scott Lemieux says:

    Does it sound like she is a) happy or b) sad at the turn of events?

    It’s a real puzzler. Perhaps Meade can give us some kind of Straussian decoder ring that can allow us to read that post as strongly criticizing the WaPo for firing Weigel for expressing political views in private emails, as her most recent ad hoc views of “free speech” would certainly require.

  71. Scott Lemieux says:

    By “turn of events” do you mean Dave Weigel was outed as having low journalistic standards?

    Sorry, no. I’m not aware of anybody — most certainly including Althouse — who identified anything problematic about Weigel’s reporting. He was fired solely for his emails, and that’s also the only basis Althouse uses to criticize him.

    I’m also interested to know in what sense Glenn Beck’s nutty conspiracy theories constitute “high journalistic standards.”

  72. hv says:

    That’s how Althouse does giddy.

    I hate to break it to you, but she is no longer a schoolgirl.

  73. Malaclypse says:

    Berube would use the reply button.

  74. kth says:

    and one more thing! because we are currently engaged in a food fight, my formulation was needlessly strong. It suffices to point out that there has been, to my knowledge, no positive or direct correlation shown between the things sane people agree are repressive (e.g., no-knock police raids), and things insane people call tyranny (e.g., the near-abolition of cigarette smoking in NYC).

  75. Scott Lemieux says:

    So, to summarize, the only substantive argument made by Meade is that Althouse actually supported Weigel’s firing for reasons other than his private emails, even though ahe doesn’t discuss anything but his private emails. Well, I’m convinced!

  76. Scott Lemieux says:

    JournoList revealed Weigel to have a conflict of interest

    What conflict of interest? What, blogging about conservatives means you can’t acknowledge Pat Buchanan’s anti-Semitism? Why? This argument is a feeble tautology — sure, he was fired for his emails expressing his political views, and Althouse strongly approved of this, but it wasn’t about the views, it was about a non-existent “conflict of interest.” Right.

    On top of that, neither Ann Althouse nor anyone I know of on the right or center ever called for or suggested that Sherrod, Weigel, or Thomas should suppress their political views or be fired or in any way lose their freedom of speech.

    Except for the fact that all three of them were fired for expressing views outside of work, because of a systematic attempt (clearly right-wing in the first two cases in particular) to get them fired, and Althouse not only didn’t raise any objection but approved of both firings. While, conversely, the left-wing movement to “silence” Glenn Beck is trivial at best.

  77. Scott Lemieux says:

    Yeah, the slowly leaked emails targeting Weigel on the Daily Caller, causing days of hysteria on conservative blogs about one of the most pathetic non-scandals of all time (political journalists! Have political opinions! That they express on emails!). All just a random coincidence! Surely nobody could have predicted that there would be professional consequences for any of the deliberately chosen targets, heavens no.

    I think I’m beginning to see why Althouse commenters are so impressed by puddle-deep kindergarten homilies about how better ideas must immediately and permanently triumph in the “marketplace of ideas.”

  78. hv says:

    Actually, it pays per offended reply, not per post. Early versions of the project paid per post, but they quickly went under.

  79. rm says:

    Yes, his song The Trees is such a staple of his live shows, I wonder why he’s never recorded it. Just goes to show it’s all about individual freedom!

  80. Dogsbody says:

    What a compelling argument.

  81. hirst says:

    FUCK! that’s going to give me nightmares.

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