January 13, 2011

What Obama said — after the Tucson massacre — about "human understanding" and the "old assumptions" we ought to challenge.

Following the advice in the Shaker hymn that followed the President's speech last night, I kept it simple. I highlighted the passage in the speech about how we should take "a good dose of humility" and not "use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another." But I'm not a Shaker, and I'm a little wary when the most powerful man in the world advises the masses to be humble and come together as one. So I want to look at what he said just before that:
Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, "when I looked for light, then came darkness." Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.
But "there is evil in the world" is a simple explanation!
For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. 
How about: Jared Loughner is a lunatic? Okay, Obama said "exactly." Yes, I agree with his very minor point that we cannot know the precise content and etiology of Loughner's madness. But as we try to understand the political landscape of the real world where non-insane people live, those details don't matter. We have a simple explanation and it's a damned good one. Yet the President tells me I ought to "guard against" thinking in such simple terms. Why? Sometimes it is simple! Jared Loughner is a lone crazy guy. There is evil in the world and it burst forth last Saturday. It's not like labeling al Qaeda "evil" and moving on, because Loughner wasn't part of a web of activity. I think what we need to "guard against" is using Loughner as an example of some larger problem that we need to solve.

Obama continued:
None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind.
True. We can't know with certainty what his mental processes were, but we are justified in taking it as our working theory that the man was crazy in a way that doesn't relate to the real-world political issues that are worth putting our energy into trying to figure out — other than the real-world issue of identifying and restraining dangerously psychotic persons.
So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.
That's what Obama said just before the passage I highlighted in last night. He goes on to push back those who've used the massacre as an occasion to make partisan political arguments — something he's strongly correct about. All right, then. What are we supposed to examine? We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future. Does he mean old assumptions about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill? Does he mean gun control? Does he mean limits on free speech? Now, there are some details we need to hear about and debate. If freedom of speech is the "old assumption" we should be "willing to challenge," I'm going to fight.

263 comments:

1 – 200 of 263   Newer›   Newest»
PWS said...

The contrarian routine is tiresome. I barely visit here anymore.

Pogo said...

Well said, Althouse.

But I think Obama's words were empty of any actual reliable meaning, as usual.

The actions that follow are the only useful measure of the man. In action, he has remained quite predictable.

kent said...

If freedom of speech is the "old assumption" we should be "willing to challenge," I'm going to fight.

"Fight"... against someone who can rouse the comatose, with nought but the dulcet tones of His own heavenly voice -- ?!?

Oh... wait, though. Wait. That never actually happened at all, did it?

Ann Althouse said...

"The contrarian routine is tiresome. I barely visit here anymore."

Oh, PWS, we miss you so much when you're not here.

Scott M said...

I realize this is a bit of pessimistic American nihilism, but I don't know that the "most powerful man in the world" cliche still rings true. I would like to think that it does, but something fundamental inside says it doesn't and it's in large part our own fault.

SteveR said...

There's "evil in the world" doesn't comfort the afflicted. Its to say we have to choose not to be evil ourselves in spite of it being all around. Read the rest of Job, speechwriter.

Meade said...

PWS said...
"The contrarian routine is tiresome. I barely visit here anymore."

PWS wins the thread!

Cedarford said...

Scott M said...
I realize this is a bit of pessimistic American nihilism, but I don't know that the "most powerful man in the world" cliche still rings true. I would like to think that it does, but something fundamental inside says it doesn't and it's in large part our own fault.

==================
FreeTrade for Freedom lovers!, endless debt and overseas commitments, substituting not making things for a financial house of cards - ended that cliche.
Hu Jintao is now the "most powerful man in the world".

We have the most powerful military still, but really can't use it, except to drain us further on overseas policing that benefit others more than us, and nation-building adventures.

MadisonMan said...

No one comes here any more. It's too crowded.

Scott M said...

"Fight"... against someone who can rouse the comatose, with nought but the dulcet tones of His own heavenly voice -- ?!?

I heard the "miraculous" angle many times between last night and this morning's commute. My only thought at this point is simply...how could it be phrased in such a way that simply satisfies everyone?

If the facts are true, that he was there and, at some point, she did open her eyes, how in the world could he possibly communicate that to anyone without someone screaming implied miracle? Was he better off not mentioning it at all? That doesn't seem right as it is actually good news in the midst of a tragedy. If he would have removed himself from statement, merely saying that he was told she opened her eyes, the red meat crowd would say that he's implying that it was because he was there whether he says so or not.

Truly a damned-if-you-do/don't, wouldn't you say?

pduggie said...

"But "there is evil in the world" is a simple explanation! "

Nah. Its not an 'explanation'. Its a pointer to the mystery of lawlessness. A pointer to the deep darkness of the nobility of man in the image of God, yet man who departs from God and does great harm.

I think the citation of Job means Obama isn't offering a "simple" explanation.

Simple would be
"why did A do B?"
"the cause of A doing B is C told him to"

Mystery is

"why did A do B"
"Because there is evil in the world"
"Why is there evil in the world"
"This is a great mystery debated by philosophers and theologians for centuries. They all agree there is evil in the world though, and we shouldn't try to explain it with simple explanations"

WV: "archea"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It doesn't matter what Obama's speech writers wrote for him to say. All the pretty words and glittering generalites are meant to bamboozle us.

The proof is in the pudding. They just can't help themselves. Turning a memorial into a (military word alert) Campaign event.

Have they no shame!!! (redundant question....of course they don't) All they were lacking were some foam finger gloves and noise makers.

knox said...

Does he mean limits on free speech?

Sad we have to worry this *is* what he might mean... let's hope not.

I'm sure Loughner's quite pleased at what he's wrought.

Richard Dolan said...

The speech was interesting, mostly, for its eminently sensible and appropriate tone. Ann wants to concentrate on substance. At that level, it was mostly platitudes -- welcome ones, given the insane (!) attempts to spin the murders into a political tale, but platitudes nonetheless that were never intended to be parsed closely.

Cedarford said...

Meade said...
PWS said...
"The contrarian routine is tiresome. I barely visit here anymore."

PWS wins the thread!

========================
God, Meade! You must have given Althouse a hell of a good 60th birthday gift to think you are sitting pretty enough to doubly goad her like that.

Are you prancing around the house in shorts, as well?

Meade resurrects "Thread winner judging!!"

PatCA said...

"We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future."

Ever the blank slate upon which we can project our meanings.

kent said...

If the facts are true, that he was there and, at some point, she did open her eyes, how in the world could he possibly communicate that to anyone without someone screaming implied miracle?

By not baldly (and Messianically) stating that she'd opened her eyes "for the very first time" since being shot, maybe?

Ya think?

franglo said...

I don't get it. Sirhan Sirhan was crazy, but RFK's assassination has still been placed within a historical and social context, and had political effects. So it will be with this assassination.

The refusal to see any consequence in this event is irritating in the extreme.

pduggie said...

'We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future. Does he mean old assumptions about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill? Does he mean gun control? Does he mean limits on free speech?'

There is no simple explanation for what Obama said. He wants Left and Right each to challenge their own old assumptions. Maybe he's thinking about gun control. Maybe he isn't. He's saying "hey, whatever you are assuming, think twice. Make sure you are committed to it still in the face of this."

Evil acts are alway another reason to consider ourselves

Luke 13:1-5

"There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Lincolntf said...

It won't be Obama himself who gives us our next clue as to what the ultimate political outcome is going to be. It will be the lesser lights in the Dem Party, through the popular media, who will be in a position to affect the change they say they want. Will they continue beating the "Sarah Palin/Tea Party/Fox News" conspiracy drum or will they move on? I'll be watching the talking head shows to find out.

Scott M said...

I don't get it. Sirhan Sirhan was crazy, but RFK's assassination has still been placed within a historical and social context, and had political effects. So it will be with this assassination.

The refusal to see any consequence in this event is irritating in the extreme.


Apples and oranges. The congresswoman is not royalty.

shoutingthomas said...

This was a memorial speech.

Such speeches always contain a certain amount of boilerplate.

I'm not against the contrarian routine. But, I think in this case you've got to think of this more as a predictable corporate PowerPoint presentation.

This was not a policy speech. At least, I don't Obama intended it as such.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Superb, superb post. But I wouldn't put too much energy, at this point, into worrying about "challenge old assumptions" means. The simple explanation is that it doesn't mean anything.

AllenS said...

Yeah, but did Alpha Liberal get the message? Where is he? I'd like a comment.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man- that may have been Yogi's funniest line.

garage mahal said...

Nag nag nag.

shoutingthomas said...

Yes, I agree that challenge old assumptions literally means nothing in this context. It is HR department Diversity Speak boilerplate.

Much the same in the internet design business, every employment ad states that the job applicant must have "cutting edge" ideas.

Translated, this means that the applicant must know how to produce precisely the same types of designs currently fashionable in every shop in town.

AJ Lynch said...

I can't remember the last time I watched a Prez speech. Maybe 25 years ago- I just can't stand to watch them pontificate and prevaricate. I did make one exception and watched when Bush announced the invasion of Iraq in 2002 or 2003.

Greg Hlatky said...

The contrarian routine is tiresome. I barely visit here anymore.

How can we miss you if you never go away?

27183 said...

Up until now, I hadn't realized that blogger enforced some mandatory number of posts.

pm317 said...

All I saw in the speech and how the event was organized was the start to 2012 campaign. It is the race speech all over again and can't we all get along Rodney King moment for Obama after his cronies muck it up beating Palin and the tea party.

Also from what he said in his speech, he thinks Christina is his ticket to 2012 -- she is his hope and change -- 'I will be the best ever public servant that Christina hoped for, died for, blah, blah, blah.." Watch for that refrain next two years. And people like you will fall for it all over again and vote for him and he will go golfing another four years and joyriding in the Airforce One.

yashu said...

Lynx-eyed, Althouse.

Clyde said...

Madison Man beat me to the Yogi Berra line, but I was thinking it, too, before I read it there.

The other possibility was the old line about Oakland...

Paul Brinkley said...

PWS may win the thread, but Meade gets the assist.

As for the OP: this is just like a point made at the end of a History Channel show about the Kennedy assassination debunking all of the conspiracy theories. Someone said that when we witness an act of great evil, we want to believe there's an equally great villain behind it. The Holocaust had its Nazis. Kennedy's assassination should have had more than just a single deranged Marine, and Giffords should have had more than just a crazy guy with no established political affiliation. A great velocity should have a great force. It's physics.

Chaos theory, on the other hand, says one little spark might be all it takes. It's hard for people to accept.

Florida said...

" ... it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds," Obama said.

Who wrote this speech?

Certainly not Barack "I Want People Mad" Obama.

Certainly not Barack "Get In Their Faces" Obama.

Certainly not Barack "Punch Them Back Twice As Hard" Obama.

Certainly not Barack "We'll Bring A Gun" Obama

Certainly not Barack "Punish Your Enemies" Obama.

Jared Loughner did precisely what Barack Obama has been urging him to do: Loughner brought a gun, he got in their faces, and he punished his enemies.

Just like Barack told him to do.

Now Barack is wondering where Jared got that idea from?

You just can't make this shit up.

c3 said...

The speech was good insofar that it was focused on the victims, pushed back on those wanting to make political hay out of the shooting and conveyed hope going forward.

So is it a "new beginning" for President Obama? No. Was it a good moment? Sure. And now we move forward. I was never one to like the rhetoric or political gamesmanship from either "side". (And I certainly abhor someone like Bernie Sanders feeding off the dead to raise $$$ for his 2012 campaign.)

I would love to see a focus not on the shooting (including the mental illness, the gun, the ammo clip, the political commentary afterward etc) but rather what was going on up to the point of the shooting:

A centrist Democrat was holding an event at a local grocery store that encouraged her constituents to come out to meet, greet and discuss issues important to them. Apparently many responded to that invitation such as a federal judge, appointed by a Republican president, wanting to discuss the case backlog, several elderly constituents of both parties and even a 9 year old girl who was excited to meet her congressman. Thats the kind of representative I'd like (putting her specific political stances aside). That's the sort of low key event that I'd like to see happen regularly. And that's representative of democracy as I would like it to be.

That's more important than any speech at any event

HDHouse said...

Honest to God Ann you are out of your mind in nitpicking. I have serious doubts that having a talking partner has done you any good whatsoever and frankly this yuppie over-analysis is about as fascinating as counting angels on the head of a pin.

If you don't like Obama that much just say so and be done with it. I've been on this blog for a long time (5 years perhaps) and I've never seen you like this. It isn't pretty.

bagoh20 said...

If you read the accounts of his behavior with teachers and campus police in college, it's pretty clear why this happened; the guy was totally irrational - his brain was broken. Simple and pretty hard to prevent in a society that values personal liberty. Freedom isn't free, and unfortunately some of our citizens will pay the ultimate price for that. All that we are managing to do with all this is make the price higher. The future will see these people again and again, like earthquakes and hurricanes.

shoutingthomas said...

This posting leads me to believe that Althouse has never attended the required Diversity Training Seminar.

She doesn't recognize the standard phrases.

Challenging our old assumptions is at the top of the list.

Thinking outside the box...

Diversity is our greatest strength because...

Empowering our workforce with...

What's up, Althouse? You didn't have to attend the class? You've never done the exercise where a guy stands behind you and promises to catch you when you fall backward?

You didn't get the PowerPoint?

bagoh20 said...

We could use a competing disaster about now.

David said...

shoutingthomas said...
This was a memorial speech.

Such speeches always contain a certain amount of boilerplate.


The Gettysburg Address was a memorial speech. No boilerplate there. No bullshit. No calling attention to the speaker, rather than the person memorialized. No tshirts. No platitudes. No irrelevancies. No applause lines. No pathos, bathos or sentimentality.

Last night's speech was pure Obama. Lots of words, not much that's specific, a classic triangulation that can mean all things that people might want it to mean.

As Pogo put it, "empty of any actual reliable meaning, as usual."

No wonder it creeped me out.

holdfast said...

The whole "challenging old assumptions" is pretty much lib/prog boilerplate. Happily I think it's just a bone to the left and he doesn't really mean it.

Maguro said...

Well, by the time Obama gave the speech, it was clear that A) Loghner was in no way a righty and B) The media's efforts to paint him as a Republican/Limbaugh/Palin/Tea Party-inspired political assassin had utterly failed.

Under those circumstances, giving a non-offensive, above-politics, memorial service boilerplate speech was an easy call. If Loghner had had any plausible association with the right - say if he was a registered Republican or had a patriotic bumper sticker on his car something - I'm pretty sure you would have seen a completely different speech. His nonpartisan magnaminity is purely tactical and situational.

Scott M said...

frankly this yuppie over-analysis is about as fascinating as counting angels on the head of a pin.

If one could actually count angels, previously and incontrovertibly having proved that they do exist, wouldn't it be one of the most astounding, awe-inspiring events in human history?

Flaccid simile, HD. Unflavored failsauce. Does that heal you or hurt you?

kent said...

Definitely glad, in retrospect, that they went with their second choice overall (free t-shirts), rather than their initial brainstorm.

Funny balloon animals would have been just so tacky, really.

franglo said...

Yes, it's right there in the second amendment-- the ironclad right of BATSHIT CRAZY MOTHERFUCKERS to buy SEMIAUTOMATIC HANDGUNS.

Don't tread on me bitches.

Hagar said...

Platitudes is as platitudes does.

Moose said...

You better quit this line of inquiry.

You're harshing Sully's buzz...

Pogo said...

Unlike hurricanes, we can coerce crazy people into evaluation when they threaten others, like Loughner should have been.

A coupla months back, in my lil old town, one of the 3 town almost-homeless schizophrenics that wander the streets was out doing his usual yelling inappropriate shit at people.

He went by a porch with 4 adult black males and yelled, you guessed it, the Mark Twainism.

They beat him to a pulp.

The insane have a tough life. They are more often victims, but sometimes they are victimizers. This is where we could do better.

bagoh20 said...

I know it's cynical, but I think you nailed it Maguro. He had no other option.

The Bush memorial speech after the Vtech massacre in 2007 was 10 minutes and could never be mistaken for being self serving.

Moose said...

Obama needs a new title.

Motivational Speaker in Chief.

David said...

"how in the world could [Obama] possibly communicate that [she opened her eyes] to anyone without someone screaming implied miracle?"

Why was Obama the person to communicate that fact? (Indeed, it turns out that Rep. Giffords had opened her eyes earlier and that it was reported by her doctors.) It seemed to me that was a family matter, not a public one. How could one not think of Obama's prior claim that his election would stem the rise of the oceans?

There are many reasons why this "memorial" was done at television Prime Time. The advancement of Obama was surely one of the most important.

Roger J. said...

At the risk of being cynical this is all about driving up your hit count so you get advertisers and can aspire to be the "top legal blog--not, Volokh has that hands down"

But this is a capitalistic society and althouse can milk this for all its worth--and more power to her--I believe in free market capitalism--as for reasoned argument? will leave it to the commentariat to deal with that.

Oh--and were I althouse, I would be doing exactly the same thing--I do admire her sense of capitalism (not unlike Sarah Palin)--theres always money to be made from the rubes--even if its as basic as a three card monte

PWS said...

Cedarford, I think Meade, like Ann, was mocking me . . . which I knew I ran a risk of.

But honestly, I like Ann's photographs and musings on feminism and some of the legal stuff, but the contrarian theme is worn out for me. I'm starting to suspect Ann voted for Obama b/c she thought he would win and then all her critique would be slightly insulated from charges of partisanship. Or perhaps, by voting for Obama, she was just being contrarian to her right-wing readers!

kent said...

Oh--and were I althouse

... all spelling and punctuation would have been as if done by an actual adult.

edutcher said...

People are saying how well The Zero did because the speech was standard Presidential fare and, therefore, non-standard for him. No "it's all about me", no "I'm a real live nephew of my Uncle Saul, born in a May Day parade". We'll see how long it lasts.

Ann Althouse said...

Does he mean old assumptions about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill? Does he mean gun control? Does he mean limits on free speech? Now, there are some details we need to hear about and debate. If freedom of speech is the "old assumption" we should be "willing to challenge," I'm going to fight.

Supposedly, the Lefties have given up on gun control, but they might make this a push for ZeroCare on the mental health basis.

Jim Clyburn, however, has talked about revisiting "the parameters of Free Speech", so we may be looking at enlisting in the All-Althouse Division.

HDHouse said...

Honest to God Ann you are out of your mind in nitpicking. I have serious doubts that having a talking partner has done you any good whatsoever and frankly this yuppie over-analysis is about as fascinating as counting angels on the head of a pin.

I guess the Lefties have learned they're not going to get anywhere calling anybody who disagrees with them, or questions what they say, haters. Now they're nitpickers.

I'd ask what HD means by a "talking partner", but I don't think we want to go there.

The Crack Emcee said...

We can't know with certainty what his mental processes were, but we are justified in taking it as our working theory that the man was crazy in a way that doesn't relate to the real-world political issues that are worth putting our energy into trying to figure out — other than the real-world issue of identifying and restraining dangerously psychotic persons.

Right - as long as you stay in politics you can't know dick - so why are you still talking about politics again?

Ann Althouse said...

"... I've never seen you like this. It isn't pretty."

Things men say to women to try to control them. Feminism 101. Try a trick I wasn't wise to 30 years ago, buddy.

The Crack Emcee said...

Kent,

"Fight"... against someone who can rouse the comatose, with nought but the dulcet tones of His own heavenly voice -- ?!?

Oh... wait, though. Wait. That never actually happened at all, did it?


No, it didn't - and I thank you.

bagoh20 said...

"Unlike hurricanes, we can coerce crazy people into evaluation when they threaten others, like Loughner should have been."

Like herding cats. It's possible, but will fail enough times that this stuff will never stop.

We should of course try and stop as many as possible, but our reaction to this kind of thing used to be better, so we definitely could improve that. What has happened with this one has been so insane it really is a little scary. Imagine if the guy really was a right wing, Tea Partier and was very outspoken about it.

ricpic said...

How exactly does the liberal therapeutic culture work if there is such a thing as evil in the world? It doesn't work. There is no talking cure that makes evil go away. So, as usual, Obama was just flapping his lips.

jayne_cobb said...

The speech will end up like most Obama speeches, which is to say it will be forgotten within 2 weeks.

MadisonMan said...

But this is a capitalistic society and althouse can milk this for all its worth--and more power to her--I believe in free market capitalism

That was my thought re: T-shirts at Obama's speech. Meh. Not my cup o' joe -- and a little tacky, IMO, but I applaud the person who made money doing it.

Cog said...

Now we know what can happen when a paranoid schizophrenic roams freely and unmedicated and also how he's able to get a gun permit and violently act out his delusions. Our assumptions over issues about how we should deal with the severly mentally ill and over gun control are the two legitimate political issues worth raising in the aftermath of the Tuscon massacre.

Ann Althouse said...

"What's up, Althouse? You didn't have to attend the class? You've never done the exercise where a guy stands behind you and promises to catch you when you fall backward?"

Trust me, you do not want Althouse at an event like that.

Hagar said...

More fundamentally:
Why did Obama go there at all?

If my family was involved in this, I think I would take a great deal of offense to our loss being made the occasion for a party pep rally and a media event.

shoutingthomas said...

At the risk of being cynical this is all about driving up your hit count so you get advertisers and can aspire to be the "top legal blog--not, Volokh has that hands down"

At the risk of being smart, might I point out that the point of most human endeavors is to strive to be successful.

Scott M said...

"... I've never seen you like this. It isn't pretty."

Things men say to women to try to control them. Feminism 101. Try a trick I wasn't wise to 30 years ago, buddy.


"...it unhooks in the front."

Things women say to control men.

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

I heard the "miraculous" angle many times between last night and this morning's commute. My only thought at this point is simply...how could it be phrased in such a way that simply satisfies everyone?

If the facts are true, that he was there and, at some point, she did open her eyes, how in the world could he possibly communicate that to anyone without someone screaming implied miracle?


He could stop claiming it happened "for the first time" when he arrived, for starters.

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kent said...

No, it didn't - and I thank you.

Thank you, Crack. ;)

Jenner said...

AA-
Thank you so much for pointing this out. I too was puzzled when I heard this last night.

But in all the glowing praise he gets for his speeches, he always has these contradictory ideas. You can never tell what he means by anything. It's almost like what is government if words have no meaning?

Florida said...

"Or perhaps, by voting for Obama, she was just being contrarian to her right-wing readers!"

Like yourself?

No labels.

You're being a bully - engaging in hate speech. You can be better than this.

Why are you engaging in the same old plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness?

Just stop it.

Obama is begging you to just stop it.

Because you're not helping him.

kent said...

"Sit, Ubu! SIT!"

Things men say to control dogs.

lucid said...

This is a bit off topic, but it is in the area of challenging assumptions around the Loughner incident.

Some commentators, notably Jennifer Rubin with whom I often agree, have taken Sarah Palin (of whom I am not a fan) to task for using the term "blood libel."

Rubin's claim seems to be that this term may only properly be used to refer to a specific libelous myth about Jews. Even Jonah Goldberg thought Palin should not use the term.

Rubin also seems to want to claim that the word "holocaust" can only be used to refer to the Nazi program to eliminate Jews in Europe during WWII.

In my view, these are absurd claims on the part of Rubin and others. The term "blood libel" is ordinary language and was used for the libelous myth about Jews because it was a libel that involved spilling blood--not because the term was a proper noun or the name of a person or place. Blood libel, as Alan Dershowitz (no fading chutzpah-nik) has pointed out, is certainly now common language and has been used in multiple contexts.

Because Rubin is most familiar with their use in a particular context, that does not turn the words into a proper noun.

Similarly with the term "holocaust," (unless it is capitalized as "The Holocaust.") The word "holocaust" does not mean only the attempt to exterminate Jews during WWII. It is a common noun, a good word, and belongs to the community in general.

It is not Rubin's to control or to ascribe sole meaning to.

No particular interest group should get to claim common language as their own. IN this case, it is the practice of victimhood and an attempt to privilege the suffering and the moral authority of one's own group. 14 million people died in the Nazi concentration camps--not just 6 million Jews.

In general, the efforts of a particular political or interest group to control what language others may use is a totalitarian impulse.

I find Rubin's claims offensive.

Henry said...

"There is evil in the world" is simple, but correct.

The mathematician John Allen Paulos put it this way: "Bad things happen and they have to happen to someone. Why NOT you?" (Or something like that - I'm quoting from memory.)

Paulos point is to emphasize the nature of randomness (it wasn't Karma that caused the lightning strike), but it serves to point out how hard it is to DO SOMETHING about something that is very rare and very random.

* * *

I read the transcript of the speech and thought it superb. But it also mimics much of Obama's pre-presidential presentation. It's lack of detail invites projection. To the New York Times, for example, it's very clear that Obama is talking about gun control.

holdfast said...

lucid - I think Rubin's claims are a wrong and a bit ignorant. Using "holocaust" (lower case) to describe a terrible death-causing event is perfectly fine and common usage of the word. "The Holocaust" has become the common term for the Nazi genocide or Shoa. Although I tend to think that blood libel refers to various historical Christian and contemporary Arab calumnies against the Jews, anyone with a little common sense can see how it works to refer to a libelous assertion that one has blood on her hands.

That Palin has been a good friend to Israel and to American Jews counts for little for Foxman and the ADL, who always put their liberalism ahead of their Jewishness anyway. I don't know who thinks the ADL speaks for all Jews, but they don't.

garage mahal said...

It must be mightily frustrating to day after day after day pummel Obama and consequently see his approval ratings stay the same, and just recently see them go up. And then look at the bench for 2012......and see Huckabee and Palin, and perhaps, RomneyCare. Yikes. I suggest pacing yourself because it's going to be another loooooong 6 yrs to go.

Lincolntf said...

MM:
"I applaud the person who made money doing it."

They were distributed, for free, by event staff. The profit was purely political. Except for the printer, who probably made a decent buck. One more job saved and all that.

bagoh20 said...

"If my family was involved in this, I think I would take a great deal of offense to our loss being made the occasion for a party pep rally and a media event."

If that little 9 year old girl was my daughter, I would be pissed. I really don't get the thinking of letting the t-shirts happen and all the rest of it becoming all Wellstonian. The left is creeping me out lately.

Frank said...

PWS, come for the libertarian sophistry. Stay for the impotent professorial snark.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

A coupla months back, in my lil old town, one of the 3 town almost-homeless schizophrenics that wander the streets was out doing his usual yelling inappropriate shit at people.

He went by a porch with 4 adult black males and yelled, you guessed it, the Mark Twainism.

They beat him to a pulp.


Yea, one time a guy with Tourette's did that to me on the bus. Luckily, I knew what he had and felt for the poor guy, thinking if he had met up with anyone else,...

I just laughed to myself because it was funny:

Ni-ni-nig-NIGGER! YOU'RE A FUCKING NIGGER!

It was hilarious.

Jeremy said...

Is there anything president Obama can say or do that the local whiners and the Queen herself won't piss all over themselves about?

Give it a fucking break.

You all sound like 12-year old children.

Jenner said...

To all you who are saying don't nitpit, it's boilerplate, every speech has platitudes, blah, blah, blah:

Is it too much to ask of our public servants to say what they mean and mean what they say, no matter the circumstance?

Scott M said...

Only someone that actually gives a damn about polls, Garage. I would suggest the opposite to you and yours. Knuckle down and get at it quick because you're looking down the barrel of a potential Senate shellacking in 2012 whatever the presidential race does.

On a semi-related note and having nothing to do with our current president at all...does anyone else think it's a bad idea for the leader of the nation to have to split his time between governing and running for re-election?

HDHouse said...

In all the silliness that is this thread...simple gifts...at the end part of the link that follows. enjoy.

...Simple Gifts......

Jeremy said...

The Crack Emcee - Geee, any more "hilarious" stories for us?

I mean, really...that was really, really..."hilarious."

Duh.

bagoh20 said...

"I suggest pacing yourself because it's going to be another loooooong 6 yrs to go."

If I was a Democrat, that 6 years would scare me more. That's a long time to be in charge of failure. All the time watching your ideas for America being discredited in Europe and having Republican being the only protection the voters see here.

Florida said...

"I suggest pacing yourself because it's going to be another loooooong 6 yrs to go."

I believe another lunatic lefty will assassinate Obama long before 6 years from now.

After all, he hasn't closed his gulag at Gitmo, he's sent 30,000 more killing machines to murder more brown people in Pakistan, he re-upped the Patriot Act, he's still against gay marriage, he gave his rich Wall Street buddies a two-year tax cut and he's dissed his terrorist buddy Bill Ayers.

I really do fear for his life.

I fear some lefty may bring a gun, get in his face, and punish their enemy.

David said...

Bush's speech to the convocation at Virginia Tech after the massacre there is available on You Tube. It is less than six minutes in length. It contains no preaching, no advice, no empty generalizations. It's an expression of sympathy and reassurance, without a single applause line, an expression of faith in the power of prayer and human empathy.

It was delivered by a man who did not put himself at the center of the event.

It almost certainly was not written by a 28 year old who likes to grope cardboard cutouts of female public figures or go shirtless in bars in Georgetown.

The Crack Emcee said...

PWS,

Honestly, I like Ann's,...musings on feminism,...

Oh, Jesus fucking Christ. Go away. Please. She's 60 now. A big girl. All grown up.

No need for any more of that.

Jenner said...

The "expand our moral imaginations" phrase is the one I really want explained. It doesn't sound very moral on the face of it.

garage mahal said...

Only someone that actually gives a damn about polls, Garage

The right cares about polls. When they say what they want them to say. Right now not looking too good for the Red Team. But, I'm sure health care repeal next week will go awesomely.

kent said...

You all sound like 12-year old children.

Can't be. None of us are worshipfully intoning "Mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm" in His name, all glassy-eyed and solemn.

Ann Althouse said...

"In all the silliness that is this thread...simple gifts...at the end part of the link that follows. enjoy."

LOL. I love the way HDHouse comes over here, bitches about whatever I say, then links us over to his place and directs us to "enjoy." Why would anyone imagine that his place is a source of enjoyment? He seems so much to want us to come over there and read him, but really... it's absurd!

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

"Self-pity isn't sexy."

Things women say to men to try to control them. Welcome To The Real World 101. Try a trick I wasn't wise to 30 years ago, Missy.

And, yea, I'm just fucking with you.

Scott M said...

I love the way HDHouse comes over hear, bitches about whatever I say, then links us over to his place and directs us to "enjoy."

Given HD's level, I assumed it was a link to Hello Kittie's Island Adventure and didn't bother.

bagoh20 said...

"He went by a porch with 4 adult black males and yelled, you guessed it, the Mark Twainism.

They beat him to a pulp."
.

Now reverse the races, and see how the reaction strikes you. Crack's reaction was the right one, especially when it's 3 on one. With power comes responsibility.

kent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The "speech" at the memorial service was pure Obama Campaign material. He says nothing much at all about the profound problems other than "trust him", he knows what we need. His delivery of that con job speech is done in a smiling and concerned bedside manner. We want to trust some authority figure, and he is willing to do that job. But after 2 years of watching Obama cunningly attacking the American energy industry and loot the treasury, why would any strong minded voter fall for this same old Lucy holding the Football offer?

Jeremy said...

Bag-Oh-Shit - "having Republican being the only protection the voters see here."

Yeah, they did a real bang up job during the Bush years.

Duh.

bagoh20 said...

or 4 on 1.

The Crack Emcee said...

ricpic,

There is no talking cure that makes evil go away.

There's one that could help - if we implement it nationally - and that's critical thinking.

But, as Pogo said yesterday, that idea seems too reasonable for for our always wanna be crazy culture.

Bernie Madoff is so pleased. His dead son - not so much.

JAL said...

@PatC
"We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future."

Ever the blank slate upon which we can project our meanings.


Bingo.

My thoughts exactly.

Was it good? Don't know. Bad? Not like some he's done.

But the trick with BHO is that people hear enough of what they want/need/desire to hear.

The "old assumptions" ...

Mmmmmm .. ... . That's the question, isn't it?

Roger J. said...

Re HDHouse--who by the way said he was thru with the blog a month ago--now he is taking to pimping his own blog (bad form HD)--he can take solace in his order of the soviet union and 9 patents, however--great job HD

Jeremy said...

Queenie - Stop whining.

You and the rest of your loyal teabagger followers are the ones who are "absurd."

This is by far one of the most negative, hateful sites on the internet.

All you and your sycophant buddies do every day of the week is whine and bitch about everything you feel doesn't fit into your little wingnut world of politics.

ricpic said...

He went by a porch with 4 adult black males and yelled, you guessed it, the Mark Twainism

They beat him to a pulp.


Hey Pogo, if that insane guy had just added pleez to the N word he would have been alright.

bagoh20 said...

"Yeah, they did a real bang up job during the Bush years."

At least we agree that the Dems in congress since 2006 have been a disaster, regardless of who is President. Agreement is refreshing.

Meade said...

The Crack Emcee said...

"Self-pity isn't sexy."
"Things women say..."

They do? I've never heard a woman say that.

kent said...

This is by far one of the most negative, hateful sites on the internet.

Somebody needs a hug.

Roger J. said...

Hey--J man's back--welcome back dude--we won--get it over it. Just here to bitch and whine are you--bitch and whine. welcome back dude--we really do love you

E.M. Davis said...

If the facts are true, that he was there and, at some point, she did open her eyes, how in the world could he possibly communicate that to anyone without someone screaming implied miracle?

"It was nice to see her open her eyes."

Which places the emphasis on Giffords, but does not assume that she hadn't opened them before. But that line above must be placed at a distance from any mentions of the word "I".

bagoh20 said...

"if that insane guy had just added pleez to the N word he would have been alright."

Now, I would beat him up if he said: "N-word, please, N-word please!" That shit would need a knuckle remedy. PC line of crap.

edutcher said...

The Lefties must think it's safe to come out.

Jeremy's here.

Ann Althouse said...

"What's up, Althouse? You didn't have to attend the class? You've never done the exercise where a guy stands behind you and promises to catch you when you fall backward?"

Trust me, you do not want Althouse at an event like that.


She brings a helmet and she knows how to use it.

bagoh20 said...

"They do? I've never heard a woman say that."

Oh shit, that's gonna leave a mark.

David said...

“If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today.”

--Barack Obama

kent said...

"Drop the webcam and back away from the six-year-old, pal... slowly."

Things men say to control Scott Ritter.

Frank said...

"[T]he right of the people to peaceably assemble" doesn't include the right to bring weapons to a political rally.

One would think a dim-witted narcissist like Althouse would recognize the distinction.

E.M. Davis said...

Trust me, you do not want Althouse at an event like that.

You wouldn't want Karl Malone there, either. Third person much, Professor?

The Crack Emcee said...

Jeremy,

The Crack Emcee - Geee, any more "hilarious" stories for us?

Sure, J - how about a non-Tourette's story?

I was assistant manager at a place called "Okie Dogs" on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood, and at least several times a day, I got called a nigger. Well, one day, I'd had it and I promised myself the next guy to say that to me was going to get it.

Now, I'm not a bad guy or anything, so I actually let the shit slide until the 9th guy said it (yea, I counted) and then I lept over the counter and, to the horror of the customers, I beat the living shit out of the guy. Sent him to the hospital (to my later surprise) and then got the fuck up out of there before the cops arrived.

I moved to san Francisco the very next day and never lived in Los angeles again.

What do you think, Jeremy, is that more your style?

BJM said...

@Meade

Irony is lost on PWS's ilk.

What I want to know is who paid for this?

The Dems are back on the attack, criticizing Boehner for not taking a govt plane to AZ after the DC prayer meeting for Giffords. What part of the last election are they too unintelligent to not understand?

The Crack Emcee said...

Meade,

They do? I've never heard a woman say that.

I never knew you were a broke black foster child alone in the world, either.

Learn something new every day,...

The Crack Emcee said...

bagoh20,

I would beat him up if he said: "N-word, please, N-word please!" That shit would need a knuckle remedy. PC line of crap.

That's why I love you, baby!

wv: "undies" - what I see every time Meade tries to get "macho"

sunsong said...

"We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future."

That is a progressive idea - which I like. What is the harm in challenging any assumptions? Assumptions can be wrong. It was assumed that slavery was just the way it was. That *assumption* needed to be challenged.

More personally, there is wisdom in questioning why we do or don't do certain things in our lives. And there is value in *questioning authority*. Just because someone who calls themself an *expert* says something - doesn't mean it is right for you.

All that said, I doubt that free speech is in any jeopardy at this time. I doubt that the second amendment is either. There may be debate - but I believe Americans still value their freedom.

What interests me is whether Obama meant what he said last night. We know he can give a great speech. We know he can say, very well, what people *want* him to say - but he doesn't necessarily mean it. If he meant what he said last night - that will be wonderful.

What also interests me is how the dems, their base and the left will respond to what Obama said. We were told, essentially, to shut and not *feel* anger or rage about what was happening in DC. We were told it wasn't ok to feel anger - which is a very backward view of emotion.

What happens now when it's the left's turn to *feel* anger and rage? Will it miraculously be ok to feel again and to express those emotions and that dissent after Obama's call to speak in ways that heal?

That will be fascinating to me.

bagoh20 said...

C-mon Crack, 9 guys called you that in a day? I just don't believe it unless they were Black. I can't remember ever seeing a white guy call a Black guy that in real life in Los Angeles. I'm sure it happens, but 9 times? Are sure sure it wasn't written on your name tag or something?

The Crack Emcee said...

Bagoh20,

Oh shit, that's gonna leave a mark.

Yea - except it's in his "undies"

I seen 'em.

Sofa King said...

O HAI JEREMY! I kind of figured you'd be back around this time after the election. How did your 90-day psychiatric evaluation go? Not too bad, I guess, if you've got internet privileges back!

David said...

"It seemed to me at over 30 minutes, it was an extraordinarily long speech for these sorts of situations.

--Paul Begala, Democratic strategist

Clinton, at Oklahoma City: 9 minutes
Reagan, after Challenger explosion: 4 minutes
Bush: at Virginia Tech memorial: under 6 minutes
Lincoln, at Gettysburg: about 2 minutes (10 sentences)

kent said...

More evidence that Obama lied -- openly and contemptuously -- to eager, willing supporters (read: rubes) last night, re: Giffords not opening her eyes until she first heard the sound of His sweet, sweet voice:

Giffords is in a drug-induced coma in intensive care. Doctors frequently awaken her to check her responsiveness, and she could open her eyes and respond to simple commands Sunday - an encouraging sign, said Rhee said at Monday's briefing.

Oh, this is so going to boomerang. BIG-time.

Roger J. said...

Hey J man--how they hanging dude--missed you and your incisive commentary--your our favorite asshole--welcome back dude

The Crack Emcee said...

bagoh20,

Are sure sure it wasn't written on your name tag or something?

That's funny - really. Naw, dude, it was "back in the day", remember? When blacks and hispanics were still fighting for territory? (The hispanics won.) This was blacks vs. whites territory, when Rap still wasn't music and skateboarders had just discovered swimming pools.

I guess you had to be there.

David said...

"Oh, this is so going to boomerang. BIG-time."

No it's not. The CW is already out there.

Meade said...

The Crack Emcee said...

"I never knew you were a broke black foster child alone in the world, either."

Things broke black foster children alone in the world say to suckers to try to control them.

kent said...

"KLAATU BARADA NIKTO!"

Things men say to control robots.

dbp said...

garage mahal: Poor Alhouse, sniping away, day after day, at the president and yet his polls are as unmoved as an Easter Island statue's expression.

Or rather, poor garage mahal: Does he really think Althouse: 1. Thinks she can move national polls? 2. Really gives much of a damn what the latest polls show?

JAL said...

@TG why would any strong minded voter fall for this same old Lucy holding the Football offer?

I love your gentle way of illustrating serious crap, TG.

Was the speech ok? Probably.

Was it an inappropriate EVENT?

Yeah. It was.

Tee shirts???!!?!! What is it with the left and tee shirts so everyone can Look The Same? Something to do with the psychology of Groups and Groupieness which is the creep factor that goes along with the Community Organizer in Chief.

It was a political event. I am so tired of him lecturing. Lecturing. Hectoring with civility.

And so we give him credit for toning down the rhetoric Wednesday. Sort of.

It's not only the economy. It's the modifiers he uses.

Do not try and kick that football. It's a useless exercise.

Oh yeah. One more thing. The people should not have been applauding. Yeech.

BJM said...

@Scott

No, I wouldn't say that.

It was a crass, calculated exploitation of Giffords to shore up his poll numbers by providing a feel good sound bite for the poodle dog media.

The tell? His eye opening remark was not in the released text, it was added after he visited the hospital. Are we to believe that he or his advance team didn't have up to the minute information about the victims and Giffords in particular?

Obama doesn't do spontaneous convincingly, watch his delivery and body language, he's in campaign mode, the only way he knows to address a live audience.

JAL said...

And why was Eric Holder there? Because of Judge Roll? Is Holder on Gifford's short list for dinner?

It could have been a community interfaith memorial at which the token DC nationals came and bowed their heads with the community.

Naaahhhh...

knox said...

If you don't like Obama that much just say so and be done with it. I've been on this blog for a long time (5 years perhaps) and I've never seen you like this. It isn't pretty.

This exemplifies the spirit of the lefty comments here since Obama took office.

Almost none of them actually defend what Obama does. It's more like: "How dare you find fault?!"

Revenant said...

That is a progressive idea - which I like. What is the harm in challenging any assumptions?

"Challenge" means "a demand to explain, justify, etc". Questioning assumptions is smart. Challenging them is asinine, unless you have legitimate reason to think there might be something wrong with them.

The other problem with the statement is that it implies that there are assumptions we SHOULD be challenging, but aren't. Well, what are they? I challenge every assumption that needs to be challenged, so far as I know.

Scott M said...

Can I challenge the assumption that we need a civilian national security force just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded as the US military?

cubanbob said...

"franglo said...
I don't get it. Sirhan Sirhan was crazy, but RFK's assassination has still been placed within a historical and social context, and had political effects. So it will be with this assassination.

The refusal to see any consequence in this event is irritating in the extreme.

1/13/11 9:55 AM"

Your premise only makes sense if you believed that RFK would have been elected president in 68. No democrat was going to get elected that year. Too much craziness going on and the voting majority, Nixon's silent majority, wasn't going to vote for a liberal democrat. Johnson knew it which is why he bailed out from running.

The only real political assassination in this country's history was that of Abraham Lincoln.

I watch the 'memorial' last night. It was bizarre to say the least. While Obama went on far too long, it really seemed that he was uncomfortable being there. Not for the usual criticisms of him being a cold fish, a narcissist and so but rather that it appeared to him that the 'ceremony' was inappropriate or in bad taste. Which it was. More of a pep rally than anything else. Another odd note was the amount of 'eulogizing' about the congresswoman who is not dead and relatively little eulogizing for the truly dead.

JAL said...

@c3 about Giffords' sidewalk meeting with the consituents --

I liked that also. Nice. If more congress critters did that it would be great. Has a sense of I workk for you.

The point that an apparent paranoid schizophrenic shot up the meeting should be put in the context that sometimes paranoid schizophrenics do things like that.

And the reasonable follow up on that is discussion and exploration of how to find a better way to protect freedom, privacy and community and individual needs.

Paul Brinkley said...

Actually, dbp, national polls DO show a decline of 0.78 +/- 0.18 percentage point drop in Obama approval over the last 100 days, and it is largely attributable to Althouse activity. I have the study right here. The science is settled.

Joe said...

Not cynical enough here. You forgot the bullshit about how we need to live our lives according the vision of a nine-year old.

The whole thing boils down to the canard of "we must be civil, by which, you must all agree with me."

Alex said...

garage: Nag nag nag.

Worship, worship, worship. Garage - ask yourself what did YOU do the last 5 days to calm things down? Or did you pour kerosene on the inferno?

Alex said...

I'm sick and tired of Obama lecturing me on how I have to think and behave. Maybe he should tell his cretinous supporters that.

HDHouse said...

Interestingly enough Ann, a number of folks found there way over and by my analytics listened to simple gifts and pehaps enjoyed it. Perhaps not. But it is commercial free and I don't beg for money on it nor do I pout and whine and pose endless hypotheticals to draw traffic from the red meat crowd who now feasts on your daily dose.

I'm sorry you and this once fine blog have turned out the way you have. I mean that. I am ashamed for you to have come to the conclusion that playing to an audience with half a deck is a desireable way to spend your valuable time.

See ya.

shoutingthomas said...

I'm sorry you and this once fine blog have turned out the way you have. I mean that. I am ashamed for you to have come to the conclusion that playing to an audience with half a deck is a desireable way to spend your valuable time.

HenHouse is really smart. Just ask him. He'll tell you. Incredible IQ, although that's just a social construct.

And he listens to classical music. Because he's so smart.

When was the last time you told us, HenHouse, about your incredible IQ?

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Bottom line:

Obama didn't say one word until it was safe to do so, only then did he stand up and pontificate to both sides.

Wise sage that he is.

But look at how many people are falling for his schtick.....again.

Maguro said...

See ya.

Right...you'll be back within 45 minutes with another sniveling, incoherent left-wing whine. Who are you trying to kid?

c3 said...

Things men say to women to try to control them. Feminism 101. Try a trick I wasn't wise to 30 years ago, buddy.

Ouch!!

master cylinder said...

hdh-
I'm usually lurking when you are slugging it out here...
your last comment sounds like something I would say to myself. But I can not look away. The contrarian routine is indeed tiresome.....but I can not look away.

Calypso Facto said...

I'm usually lurking when you are slurring it out here...

Fixed.

chickelit said...

You and the rest of your loyal teabagger followers are the ones who are "absurd."

Who whinges unhinged?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm sorry you and this once fine blog have turned out the way you have. I mean that. I am ashamed for you to have come to the conclusion that playing to an audience with half a deck is a desireable way to spend your valuable time.

See ya



Wyatt Earp: I just want you to know it's over between us.

Curly Bill: Well... bye.

Tombstone, 1993

Revenant said...

HDHouse,

The whole "that's it, I'm leaving!" routine works if and only if the people you're talking to like you.

Did you ever notice that even the other lefties almost never respond positively to your comments? Think about it.

Scott M said...

@Revenant

No leftie is an island. It does take a village, you know. And Ociania has always been at war with Eastasia.

jr565 said...

Pduggie wrote:

I think the citation of Job means Obama isn't offering a "simple" explanation.

Except there is a simple explanation with Job. The devil said that he was good only becuase he was blessed. He wouldn't be so good, if he had all his blessings taken from him. And God then tested him.

Roger J. said...

Ah HD House--the ultimate lose with the order of lenin and 9 unsubstantiated patents--pimping his own blog after already once promising to be gone.

You are a loser HD--and you will be back because no one responds to your bullshit on your own blog, and you live to provide your faux jejune comments-and you cant stand it when you are ignored.

God man--get a life--really you are a loser. Pathetic loser.

jr565 said...

HDHouse wrote:

If you don't like Obama that much just say so and be done with it. I've been on this blog for a long time (5 years perhaps) and I've never seen you like this. It isn't pretty.

Why does the left then give Ann so much to nitpick about? And you want to talk about nitpicking? Trying to, when smearing Palin with culpability fails the discussion then turns to whether she used "blood libel" correctly.

Scott M said...

@HD

On a lark, I went ahead and gave you a page click. I see a whoooole lot of articles with 0 comments. What's the definition of an echo chamber? How long can someone persist at something expecting different results (ie, a comment on something you said) before it's considered insanity?

"More people have looked at this t-shirt than have ready your blog"

Before today, I had always thought that was just a joke t-shirt.

Marshal said...

"@HD

On a lark, I went ahead and gave you a page click. I see a whoooole lot of articles with 0 comments."

He's throwing red meat to his base.

dbp said...

Shh Paul, we know that Althouse has her well manicured hand on the levers of public opinion. I was just trying to discourage garage. If he knew, that would cause him to redouble his efforts here. Nobody want that!

Trooper York said...

Jeeez is January National Flounce Off month?

Scott M said...

He's throwing red meat to his base.

He has no base. There are no answering comments. He's got about as much base as an inverted pyramid.

Roger J. said...

HD House will be back--this blog is the only attention the fool gets--and he needs he attention more than the scorn he deserves--Kind of sad, really.

garage mahal said...

Hey there's Trooper. I know the Pack is on at 8:00. Did you know what time the Giants are playing? :)

Roger J. said...

garage--thats cruel-- :)

Marshal said...

Scott,

You ruin the humor when you explain it.

Trooper York said...

I stand second to none in the number of nasty fights in this comment section with hdhouse. If you read some of my comments to him...well they are pretty bad. The only ones that were worse where with the “wonderful guy.”

With that said I do read his blog and drop a comment or two. Although my tastes in music run more to gangsta rap, the Pussycat Dolls and the latest tunes from American Idol.....his classical interludes are normally soothing and interesting. He also has some lovely posts rhapsodizing about the simple joys of family life.

We are not all of a piece. The essence of what the incompetent current resident of the White House was trying to convey in his own self aggrandizing way ....is that we should at least open ourselves to the other side’s viewpoint. Something which of course he fails to do but the idea is a good one.

Hdhouse’s blog is worth a look now and then.

You can always learn something new from a different viewpoint.

Even from a senile communist. Just sayn’

Scott M said...

Granted, but I needed a way to work in that pyramid gag. Never let a crisis go to waste, even if it's HD's painful lack of feedback.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm usually lurking when you are slugging it out here...
your last comment sounds like something I would say to myself. But I can not look away. The contrarian routine is indeed tiresome.....but I can not look away."

I think I wrote an interesting, thoughtful post. How is it a "contrarian routine"? You just don't like what I'm saying. It's too powerful. If it were just a knee-jerk, automatic thing, there wouldn't be so many readers. I call bullshit.

Roger J. said...

ya know trooper--you are an awfully good guy--and you know about gary owen--you are hereby, by the power vested in me, an honorary cavalryman (and I think drill sgt would concur) but you got to get rid of that nice streak--never apologize--its a sign of weakness (who said that)

chickelit said...

Meaty Beaty Big & Flouncy

Who's Next?

Trooper York said...

Laugh now Monkey boy but the Packers will soon just be a fond memory. But congratulations on your success so far this season.

The Pack is approaching road kill status. Which is of course only one more reason to cement your affection for them.

Good luck.

Marshal said...

Trooper,

There have to be lefties who aren't as reflexively dismissive and arrogant as HD. Learn the other viewpoint from someone with class.

Freeman Hunt said...

frankly this yuppie over-analysis is about as fascinating as counting angels on the head of a pin.

I have to agree with Scott.

If you found angels on a pin and could count them, that would be extremely fascinating.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The only thing missing last night were the fake columns. It was pure pep rally. College kids screaming for Obama at what was billed as a memorial event.

It was really sad to see the victims victimized again.

But I guess they can always take solace in the fact that the media thought Obama was "awesome".

Trooper York said...

RogerJ said....
never apologize--its a sign of weakness (who said that)

That would be Captain Nathan Brittles in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon."

I don't appolgize for hd. I just have compassion for the addled elderly among us. And different voices always make for a better conversation. Even the senile inchoerent ones.

If just for the comic effect and the straight lines that he provides.

We will all end up peeing our Depends in our Little Rascal scooters someday. It doesn't hurt us to humor and old man. Just sayn.

Trooper York said...

I mean shit. Some of us are even
60.

Ann Althouse said...

"But it is commercial free and I don't beg for money on it nor do I pout and whine and pose endless hypotheticals to draw traffic from the red meat crowd who now feasts on your daily dose."

HD, you can't praise yourself for failing to monetize a blog that doesn't have much traffic. Get it up over 20,000 a day and then you can preen about your willingness to write without making any money from it.

Similarly, the notion that you could draw traffic if only you'd stoop to what you call "red meat" is a complete fantasy. The internet is full of no-traffic blogs that react to everything that happens with inflammatory ideological writing. You want readers and you don't have them and you come to my blog, which you don't like, in order to get the audience you can't get on your writing ability.

Like various other commenters who've flounced off from my comments section, you're wallowing in vanity about how the readers who are here are somehow rightfully yours. Bitching at me is a manifestation of your wounded narcissism. I would be embarrassed if I did that.

chickelit said...

I concur with Marshall. Several thinkingman's lefties have either left or have not been heard from in a while.

Marshal said...

""... I've never seen you like this. It isn't pretty."

Things men say to women to try to control them. Feminism 101. Try a trick I wasn't wise to 30 years ago, buddy."

This isn't a method to control only women. Poseurs do this to everyone.

Lincolntf said...

Game, set, match, Althouse.

garage mahal said...

Laugh now Monkey boy but the Packers will soon just be a fond memory

That's what you said last week.

Did I tell you the Packers are going to the Super Bowl?

Roger J. said...

Troop: check your St Martens post--I would be privileged to send you a genuine cavalry saber. the post has my email.

Meade said...

Trooper York said...
I stand second to none in the number of nasty fights in this comment section with hdhouse. If you read some of my comments to him...well they are pretty bad. The only ones that were worse [were] with the “wonderful guy.”

So. I knew it! It was Trooper's use of violent metaphors and uncivil rhetoric that led to Bissage's murder. No doubt Trooper is folding Bissage's blood into his cannoli dough as we speak!

Trooper York said...

"Marshal said...
Trooper,
There have to be lefties who aren't as reflexively dismissive and arrogant as HD. Learn the other viewpoint from someone with class."

I hear what you are saying but I love the pompous and arrogant that have no right to that opinion of themselves. They are so much fun. It's like Ted Baxter was trying to channel Albert Einstein. After he had a stroke.

It’s a laugh riot

Trooper York said...

Bissage isn't dead.

I know because I didn't get the
t-shirt. Just sayn'

Roger J. said...

OK Meade get out of this--and if you want a challenge sir, take your bride on the Wisconsin Birkenbiner run--its the US portion of the world loppet cross country ski competition. 12 races in twelve weeks--quite a challenge.

Trooper York said...

Thanks Roger. I will email you.

Roger J. said...

Troooper: It will be my privilege

Meade said...

Did I tell you the Packers are going to the Super Bowl?

Yeah, George Mahal, ya did. Uh huh. But tell the story again, George, will ya, George? And don't forget the part where we'll all live off the butterfat of the land, George. And I'll have a puppy. Right, George?

Trooper York said...

Garage, you haven't told me the Packers are gonna win the Super Bowl. But keep on dreamin' buddy.

Plus this has been a great day for the New York Football Giants.

Lawrence Taylor plea bargained down to a misdemeanor for banging that underage prostitute. A win/win anyway you look at it.

chickelit said...

No doubt Trooper is folding Bissage's blood into his cannoli dough as we speak!

I think Trooper's writing a new blog series to be called "You Cannoli Live Twice"

Trooper York said...

Plus reptiles don't have blood. Or very much blood.

Although there is a market for the skin he had shed. Just sayn'

Roger J. said...

Chicelit: flag--intentional pun, 15 yards

Trooper York said...

"Like various other commenters who've flounced off from my comments section, you're wallowing in vanity about how the readers who are here are somehow rightfully yours. Bitching at me is a manifestation of your wounded narcissism. I would be embarrassed if I did that."

Hee, hee.

Scott M said...

Bitching at me is a manifestation of your wounded narcissism.

Can narcissism ever be wounded? If something bad happens, the narcissist would blame everyone but himself no matter what.

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