Author Page for Scott Lemieux
(Admittedly Not Much) Shorter Glenn Reynolds: You illegal immigrants can keep your phony-baloney marching. We’ll take your labor, but when you make unreasonable demands on the polity like “not having a significant chance of baking to death when you cross the border” and “not be deported and denied the most basic protections by a nation that structurally depends on your labor,” forget it. And Mickey Kaus’ analysis of anti-immigration politics in California is remarkably astute–remember how Pete Wilson turned California into a hardcore Republican state? This will be even better for conservatives!
Exciting game, but arrrrrrgh. It’s been a bad three months: two Seattle teams in crucial games, both outplayed their opposition, but lost based on key plays by the opposition, bad mistakes in key situations and catastrophically bad officiating. Granted–as Art Thiel, unlike most of the Seattle media accounts I’ve read, identified–the real key play of the game was the stupid foul Jensen took on Williams’ last-minute layup, and that call was certainly legit. But between a gaping foul disparity that wasn’t remotely justified by the play, the missed goaltending call in OT, and (by far the most important) the farcically ticky-tack T on Roy–UW was robbed like a student leaving their laptop unattended next to Marcus Williams.
And what’s worse is that I wouldn’t say it was the worst I’ve seen in this tournament. I’m surprised that Yglesias didn’t mention it (and I certainly don’t agree with his premise, or for that matter pretty much any defense of the NBA on any level), but even by NCAA standards the officiating in this tournament has been unspeakably atrocious. There have to be some good college officials somewhere. Doesn’t there?
…via Pooh in comments (who offers his own take on the officiating), Deadspin suggests that Calhoun should pour himsef a delicious frosty mug of shut the fuck up. And like me, will be cheering for George Mason, who if they win will be forgiven for employing the man who wrote the worst law review article in world history.
Norbiz: “Well, at least he went down swinging like the craven, blame-shifting, pre-programmed, privilege-laden reactionary douchebag we know and love.”
As Marshall says (as well as Fontana Labs), one’s initial impulse is pity; fifteenth-rate plagiarist hacks have families too, etc. But then you remember that he not only threw his old editors and current pals under the bus after the jig was obviously up (and remember, he’s accusing his old editors of extremely serious breaches of journalistic ethics), but continues to blame them, issuing feeble, ludicrously implausible non-denial denials that do not take the slightest shred of responsibility. (Admittedly, he is getting the hang of it–many fewer falsifiable claims this time, with more “I could explain all this but those evil libruls would never believe me” crap.) And he wraps it all up the way he started his awful blog: by smearing the patriotism of his political opponents. So, the only way to conclude the sorry chapter of a sorry wanker and the clowns who inexplicably hired him is by reminding Marshall of Ambrose Bierce’s crucial amendment:
…In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
Well, now that I have an I-Pod I guess I have enough I-Tunes to do one of these things. Since my uploading of CDs has tended to old favorites, this will be so old-fartish as to make an audit pointless, so I’ll get right to it:
The Rolling Stones, “Parachute Woman”
Sonny Rollins, “St. Stephen”
Drive-by Truckers, “Ronnie and Neil”
Mission of Burma, “Einstein’s Day”
Low, “Cue the Strings”
Leonard Cohen, “Memories”
Pavement, “Ann Don’t Cry”
Warren Zevon, “The Indifference of Heaven”
PJ Harvey, “This is Love”
Miles Davis, “Yesternow”
Not bad, all things considered…
Erick at selfparody.org: “And now those opposed to Ben have googled prior writings that on the surface appear suspicious, but only because permissions obtained and judgments made offline were not reflected online by an out dated and out of business campus newspaper. But that’s all the opponents want – just enough to sabotage a career, though in the process they will sabotage themselves. Facts have no meaning. Only impressions have any bearing on this. The charges of plagarism are false, meant to bring down a good and honest man. The presented facts to prove plagarism are specious — products of shoddy work. One could easily think the producers of 60 Minutes II were behind them.” (This really is a remarkable paragraph, which gets funnier with repeated readings. Yes, what an unusual technique–proving plagiarism by pointing out that what appeared under someone’s byline first appeared elsewhere! There’s somebody whose opinion about what constitutes “shoddy journalism” I’ll take seriously…)
William & Mary’s The Flat Hat: “Late Thursday evening, several widely-read internet weblogs reported that a former College student plagiarized at least two articles while he worked as a writer for The Flat Hat. According to the websites Daily Kos and Atrios, phrases and full sentances of these articles were similar, and in some cases identical, to those of other authors. Ben Domenech, a student who enrolled in the College in 1999, is currently a blogger with Washingtonpost.com. While Domenech deserves the benefit of the doubt until all of the facts are known, if true, his actions would be deeply offensive to us as journalists and as students…The College’s honor code, the oldest in the country, is one of our most cherished traditions. It ensures our community of trust, allowing us to enjoy un-proctored exams and the ability to leave our personal belongings without fear of theft.”
The paper has gone out of business in the last few hours? Wow–you’d think they’d at least finish out the semester…
A terrific post by hilzoy, explaining why serial plagiarism is far from a trivial issue–make sure to read the comments too. And as Greg Saunders points out, there’s something particularly remarkable about somebody plagiarizing film reviews. As is often the case, the sheer laziness is some ways more damning than the utter lack of ethics.
What’s also remarkable about this Red State apologia–whose attempts to defend cases of plagiarism that couldn’t be more clear-cut with a bunch of nonsense about “permissions” did indeed make the post pure comedy gold even before Tacitus showed up–is its attempts to claim that every blogger should want any blogger to succeed. But why? This hire couldn’t have less merit, and it’s not just that he’s a lazy serial plagiarist. He’s an awful writer who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Take his famous argument that some judges are worse than the Klan. Even ignoring its offensiveness, it’s a remarkably clueless and illogical argument. Just to compound the silliness, let’s bring in Confederate Yankee, who attempts to defend this argument:
Domenech says that the worst judges, with the authority of the state behind them, are more dangerous than is a specific marginalized extremist group. Does anyone dare to argue the absolute truth of that statement?
Domenech then makes an allusion to the millions of children (of all races) aborted since Roe v. Wade was decided. No one can argue the fact that many more lives have been cut short by abortions than by lynchings.
Domenech is 100% factually correct.
For a second, let’s leave aside the quite remarkable claim that state action keeping in accordance with the rule of law is worse than stateless terrorism. Let’s explore the implications Domenech and CY’s contention that abortion is morally comparable to lynching, so the only relevant question is numbers. If this is true, it should be noted that the “worst judges” defense is irrelevant, because every judge in the federal courts is responsible for millions of “lynchings.” As you can see in his Casey dissent, Antonin Scalia himself “dismisses the value of all unborn lives”:
The States may, if they wish, permit abortion on demand, but the Constitution does not require them to do so. The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.
To state the obvious, if abortion is the equivalent of lynching, then Scalia is, in fact, worse than the Klan. He does not hold unborn lives to have inherent Constitutional value; he simply holds that the state may protect their lives, like they protect the lives of, say cats. Even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, there would be hundreds of thousands of acts morally equivalent to lynchings a year by their perverse logic. Domenech (and his lickspittle) are, of course, repeating the classic sub-freeper error of assuming that conservative judges believe the fetus to be a person, and liberal judges do not. But, of course, no judge does–whatever its status as an ethical position, as a legal position the idea that fetuses are “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment is a beyond-crackpot position, about as viable as claiming that the 3rd Amendment requires single-payer healthcare. And, of course, it is therefore accurate to note that his analogy of he nation’s judges to the Klan is spectacularly offensive lunacy.
And that’s the problem with Domenech, and (more importantly) the fact that one of the nation’s most important newspapers hired him–he’s dumber than a bag of wet rocks. He’s a lazy, fifteenth-rate hack who traffics almost entirely in stale wingnut cliches and lacks an even rudimentary understanding of the basic issues he opines on. This hire was an utter embarrassment to the WaPo even before the plagiarism charges emerged, and it’s now far, far worse than that. And, as I said previously, I think it’s more offensive to conservatives than anyone else. It’s tokenism in its purest form–”we’ll hire somebody who knows nothing much about anything, isn’t very bright, is much more a political operative than journalist, can barely string 5 sentences together and is so lazy he has to plagiarize goddamned Counting Crows album reviews. And conservatives be happy, because we’re throwing them a bone! Yeah, there’s no meat on it, but they’ll eat anything!” It would be genuinely pathetic if they were right, and any “conservative” who goes down with this ship is someone really not worth paying the slightest mind in the future.
…also see Doughouse Riley on why his youthful red-baiting (in early 2006, those were the good old days!) of Coretta Scott King matters.
…a comprehensive list of his plagiarism from DKos. What’s amazing is the not only may have plagairized a top-1o-albums list–a top-ten albums list!–for the National Review, he didn’t even cut out the Creed one. (Or, even worse, may have picked it himself!) Obviously, this is by far his worst crime yet…
In some good news–get it while you still can (i.e. before the GOP gets another appointment)!–today the Supremes ruled in Georgia v. Randolph that in ordinary circumstances one party cannot give consent to a warrantless search of the quarters of another party when the other party is present and refuses to consent. As Julian Sanchez notes, this is actually a quite narrow right–it would seem that a warrantless search of your living space can be consented to by another party if you’re not there, for example. Which makes it all the more striking that the decision was only 5-3, and of course had Alito participated it would have been 5-4. In a highly unsurprising development, Chief Justice Roberts signed on to the current belief of far too many federal judges that the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs should act as a sort of solvent that dissolves any Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights that might be inconvenient to the state’s power. Particularly specious is Roberts’ claim–echoed even more disingenuously pursued by noted supporter of women’s rights Antonin Scalia–that affording even this limited protection would interfere with the ability of the police to protect victims of domestic abuse. As Justice Souter points out, such circumstances would obviously permit the police to intervene irrespective of whether the abuser consents:
But this case has no bearing on the capacity of the police to protect domestic victims. The dissent’s argument rests on the failure to distinguish two different issues: when the police may enter without committing a trespass, and when the police may enter to search for evidence. No question has been raised, or reasonably could be, about the authority of the police to enter a dwelling to protect a resident from domestic violence; so long as they have good reason to believe such a threat exists, it would be silly to suggest that the police would commit a tort by entering, say, to give a complaining tenant the opportunity to collect belongings and get out safely, or to determine whether violence (or threat of violence) has just occurred or is about to (or soon will) occur, however much a spouse or other co-tenant objected. (And since the police would then be lawfully in the premises, there is no question that they could seize any evidence in plain view or take further action supported by any consequent probable cause Thus, the question whether the police might lawfully enter over objection in order to provide any protection that might be reasonable is easily answered yes. [cites omitted.]
This is, of course, obviously correct; one person being in potential physical danger obviously provides the exigent circumstances necessary for police to enter a domicile and conduct a plain view search, and the attempt of the dissenters to bootstrap police powers that do not involve such circumstances from a spurious invocation of domestic violence should be rejected out of hand.
In addition, there’s an interesting concurrence by Stevens, noting the flaws in particular forms of “originalism” that purport to fix the Fourth Amendment’s meaning as it was understood in 1791, pointing out that changes in the common law conception of marriage would have a large impact on questions of 3rd party consent. It’s always useful to be reminded that the claim of “originalism” to produce determinate results is quite clearly bogus, which would be true even if the methodology was applied rigorously and consistently, which of course Scalia does not.
…MORE PERSPECTIVES: Orin Kerr explains the competing positions in terms of his four-part typology of Fourth Amendment interpretation; SCOTUSblog, as most interested parties will know, has detailed analysis; and Fantasy Life explores some broader implications of the doctrinal fight.
Increasingly frequently is the question asked: what is the most unintentionally hilarious piece of unreconstructed dumbass wingnuttery to emerge from the less-than-robust mind of the Washington Post‘s new star blogger, Ben Domenech? Sure, his creationist wankery provides some real gems. Still, I’ve got to vote for this:
Antonin Scalia openly questioned the Catholic Church’s opposition to the death penalty today, proving once again that he is a man of deep spiritual intelligence, a modern St. Augustine of jurisprudence.
Yes, if there’s any one characteristic I would look for in a latter-day Augustine, is that he would believe that the teachings of his church should be revised to be in perfect accordance with the platform of the Republican Party in 2004. (I guess that’s why Scalia can have a clear conscience about subverting every legal principle he’s ever espoused when dealing with the most important decisions of his judicial career. After all, not having the correct religious leader in power would probably constitute “irreparable harm…”)
In a sense, this proves that some right-wing whines about the post are true–if the Post sees this moron as a representative of “Red America”, they really are condescending…
I was planning an omnibus post commenting on some of the great stuff that has been written over the past few days. This chart by ampersand, however–which neatly summarizes one of my longtime hobbyhorses in chart form–deserves its own post:
All the pieces of the puzzle are now in place!
Well, that didn’t take long. As predictably as the tides, via Greenwald I see that Glenn Reynolds has flat-out compared Mearsheimer and Walt to David Duke. Obviously, comparing scholars to a Grand Wizard of the Klan solely for publishing a paper whose conclusions you disagree with–with absolutely no evidence that either of them remotely share Duke’s fascist worldview–is beneath contempt, but par for the course where Reynolds is concerned. I can’t put it better than Dan Drezner, although I admittedly in this case I would put it in nastier form:
I didn’t say this explicitly in my last post, but let me do so here: Walt and Mearsheimer should not be criticized as anti-Semites, because that’s patently false. They should be criticized for doing piss-poor, monocausal social science.*
To repeat, the main empirical problems with the article are that :
A) They fail to demonstrate that Israel is a net strategic liability;
B) They ascribe U.S. foreign policy behavior almost exclusively to the activities of the “Israel Lobby”; and
C) They omit consideration of contradictory policies and countervailing foreign policy lobbies.
The paper is in many respects shoddy and tendentious, and should be criticized on its merits as vigorously one pleases. But to compare two distinguished scholars to a vicious racist and anti-Semite with no supporting evidence whatsoever is utterly reprehensible.
To further underscore Reynolds’ mendacity, let’s compare his reaction when Harvard’s President made, if anything, more ill-informed and tautological assertions about female inferiority to justify his awful record in the hiring and retention of female faculty. If you can put someone in the Klan for disagreeing with you about American foreign policy toward Israel, surely vigorous (but far less severe) criticism of Summers’ views by people who know far more about the subject than he does is acceptable, right? Nope: his reaction, of course, was to “indeed” a post whining about how unfairly poor Larry was being treated.
So to summarize Glenn Reynolds’ views on academic inquiry: if you agree with Glenn Reynolds, you should be insulated from any but the mildest criticism. If you disagree with Glenn Reynolds, you can be baselessly compared to David Duke. The usefulness of this standard I leave to your judgment.
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