March 27, 2011

Why didn't Scott Walker realize he was talking to a prankster who was only pretending to be David Koch?

Because Walker had never spoken to David Koch in his life.

That fact begins a Weekly Standard article called "The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics." Toward the end:
As the assaults piled up Charles [Koch] couldn’t help thinking of Schopenhauer’s “Art of Controversy.” The German philosopher had noted that people who can’t win an argument through reason attack their opponent’s motivation. “I thought I was cynical enough,” Charles said. “But that was pretty shocking, to see what we’re up against, or what the country’s up against: to have an element like this.”...

To Charles, the call for bigger government was egalitarianism run amok. Liberals, he thought, fetishized equality of condition at the expense of personal liberty. “They cannot stand that some people are better off than others,” Charles said. “I think part of it fits Mencken’s definition of a Puritan: someone that’s miserable because he knows that someone, somewhere, is enjoying himself. He cannot stand that. And I think they all slept through Economics 101.”

102 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Isn't that one of the lessons in Law school?

If the facts favor you, argue the facts.

If the facvts don't, but the law does, argue the law.

If neither does, pound on the table and posture.

The fact that the Dems are pounding on the table, tells you a lot about both the political facts and the law.

traditionalguy said...

Great article by a fine writer. Thanks for the reading assignment, Professor. The left is the worst example of Stalinist Goals accomplished among us by a "vilification machine" using symbolic enemies, and with zero interest in the truth. We saw a hint of that in Sweet Old Bob Wright who was incensed that a Truthful Reporter with a video could withstand his, oh so fair, equivalence vilification of Tea Party and Hillbillies that his attack operation was currently filling the old media.

shoutingthomas said...

We had our own little public employee demonstration in Ulster County yesterday. I put up a few pictures on my blog.

Leland said...

"slept through economics 101." I'd say more like never took the class beyond opening the NYT and reading Paul Krugman. And sadly, they will likely arguing that's even better than taking a class.

As for the Koch/Walker tie in, has anyone else noticed a desire to politicize corporation. One could easily make a list of top companies and just identify as "right" or "left", when few want any such distinction. I think it just a technique to drive graft towards politicians.

shoutingthomas said...

My favorite comment about the Koch monster was made here at Althouse.

The commenter laid into the Koch brothers for receiving lavish "compensation," as if they were employees who receive a pay check.

That the Koch brothers are owners of businesses, that they produce wealth and jobs.... well, apparently that doesn't matter. What matters is that they make too much money, and apparently the government ought to have some say in how much money they make.

Because business owners are just the same as public employees who are paid by the taxpayers.

foxtrot said...

shoutingthomas says:

"What matters is that they make too much money, and apparently the government ought to have some say in how much money they make."

That rule only applies to Republicans:

George Soros' wealth is within reasonable limits, as is John Kerry's...

Lgbpop said...

Slowly drifting away from topic, but since vilification by the leftists of corporations was mentioned - has anyone noticed the deafening silence from them about General Electric's tax bill?

Maybe the Kochs should buy GE and get instant cred.

Lincolntf said...

Yesterday's story about the Florida reporter confined at a Biden fundraiser glossed right over the fact that the event was being held at the home of one of those eee-vil gazillionaires the spiteful little children in the Dem Party are always vilifying. They love their own big money men, and will do anything to please them, but when anyone with two dimes to rub together supports conservative ideals, the shitbags demand a Congressional inquiry.

shoutingthomas said...

After reading the article in its entirety, I gotta say:

The left is right that the Koch brothers are the enemy they should fear.

The Koch brothers are producers of energy and petroleum based products... the stuff we need to build a prosperous, modern society.

The left has declared war precisely on this aspect of our economy.

We are supposed to live in a virtual Garden of Eden. The production of energy and products is supposed to be without any cost in the environment or in human life. Better to live in poverty than to be a pragmatist.

This is the product of liberal education since the 60s. We've got a ragtag army of loonies out there who know how to write an essay that envisions a Utopian Garden of Eden, but who have no idea how to produce anything. Those loonies despise people who are pragmatists and producers.

vet66 said...

This situation would be comical if it weren't so toxic. In this corner we have "evil" corporations who provide jobs and investment opportunities and make America strong. In the other corner we have useful idiots doing all in their power and infinite stupidity biting the hand that feeds them. Manning the spit bucket for the useful idiots are the corporations who shelter their money in off-shore accounts to avoid paying taxes while providing jobs to rube chinese in the hinterlands next to the spice trail.

G.E. and Soros are representative of the worst in capitalism perverted by moral relativism, opportunism and greed. Gordon Gecko would be proud.

ricpic said...

Although Charles Koch is correct there's another element at work in the call for bigger more "compassionate" government and that's the effortless endless MONEY FLOW.

Conserve Liberty said...

I would love for Koch Industries to publish its total number of employees, total payroll, total tax paid (including all state and local taxes) and the payments made to FICA and Medicare through withholding on behalf of its employees.

Contrast that with what the Koch brothers received in total income from the companies.

The contrast would be astonishing, but the left would still find fault.

DADvocate said...

...fetishized equality of condition at the expense of personal liberty.

A very concise statement of the left's position. The left would rather create a prison of "equality of condition" than allow the continuation of the system that has brought us the tremendous progress that has given us the greatest comfort, safety and wealth in history.

Marilee said...

Riddle me this. Why is it okay for the left to have monied supporters,(unions, Soros, GE, etc) but not the right. Really, it boggles the mind.

Pastafarian said...

These are some great points, shoutingthomas, and other commenters.

When I talk to my children about important skills to acquire in school, I emphasize the ability to write an essay.

Now, this is partly because I think it’s a fundamentally important ability, in its own right. I’m not sure which direction the cause-and-effect arrow points, but the ability to write coherently, and the ability to organize one’s thoughts, seem to go hand-in-hand.

(As is obvious from my halting run-on sentences and reliance on the “-“ and such, I don’t hold myself up as a model in this regard.)

But another reason that I emphasize this is the fact that our society and economy place an inordinate amount of value on this skill. I think the primary reasons for this are laws that create a fertile-enough ground to grow a crop of over one million lawyers; and a bloated government full of bureaucrats. These people are among the highest paid yet least truly productive members of society.

If we could remove these two factors that distort our economy through tort reform and drastic reduction in the size and scope of government, I think the system would reach a point of equilibrium closer to what it was in better economic times, when people who could actually make, grow, or extract something were valued more than people who could talk about it.

Michael K said...

George Soros' wealth is within reasonable limits, as is John Kerry's...

John Kerry got his money the old fashioned way; screwing a drunk.

michaele said...

What an interesting article.
I very much hope that David and Charles Koch have done a good job instilling their values in their children so that the next generation, New Koch, is more successful than the soft drink. America is so much richer because of the vision and endeavors of these two men.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

The reverse could be said too, Marilee, why is it acceptable for the right to have moneyed supporters like the Koch Brothers throwing their money around, holding policy conferences with Supreme Court justices in attendance, etc., but the Right finds Soros to be a sinister, shadowy figure because he donates to the Left?

Seems to me there is an element of hypocrisy on the Right and the Left. But at least the Left isn't accusing the Koch Brothers of being Nazis or otherwise resorting to Protocol of the Elders of Zion-style tripe. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-10/glenn-becks-anti-semitic-attack-on-george-soros/

shoutingthomas said...

First, I don't care what Soros does with his money.

Second, your characterization of Beck as an anti-Semite is absurd. While I never watch his TV program, I have watched excerpts from it on the Atlas Shruggs site. He is one of the few U.S. media people who have seen fit to focus on the slaughter of the Fogel family... those infamous "settlers" murdered by Arab terrorists.

PaulV said...

Reasonable doubt, Soros was convicted of insider trading and has made money manipulating currency. It seems he was also Nazi collabrator. Has he ever produced any wealth or just gamed system to get his?

sane_voter said...

Don't know if the Koch brothers are funding any of the recall efforts to remove the Dem fleebaggers. But if you want to help, donate to the Republican State Leadership Committee. See more on their efforts here.

DADvocate said...

But at least the Left isn't accusing the Koch Brothers of being Nazis...

Haven't you seen the signs and placards carried by the Wisconsin protesters? At the least the left is accusing them of being Nazi supporters.

I always wonder. Are you lefties really that ignorant or just trying to see what lies you can get away with? In my experience, there's no lie to small for a leftie to tell.

garage mahal said...

Because Walker had never spoken to David Koch in his life

Why would Walker tell a complete stranger he considered planting troublemakers at the protests? Or detail his ruse to trick Democrats into stepping foot into Wisconsin? Or that he might need Koch's help in supporting Republicans taking hard votes in swing districts?

Pogo said...

"... I think they all slept through Economics 101.

It's fruitless to try to read the words or decipher the acts of the left by the measures of logic or truth or economics or history.

It's all directed at gaining power by any means necessary, including propaganda and character assassination.

One no longer needs to know anything about a leftist claim other than that it is leftist.

That is, it's probably bullshit, or a variant of bullshit.

Crimso said...

"Riddle me this. Why is it okay for the left to have monied supporters,(unions, Soros, GE, etc) but not the right. Really, it boggles the mind."

Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.

"but the Right finds Soros to be a sinister, shadowy figure because he donates to the Left?"


No, they find him shadowy and sinister because he's shadowy and sinister. His various (ostensibly altruistic but downright Orwellian) initiatives and foundations and whatnot notwithstanding.

shoutingthomas said...

Oh God! Here comes our own far left crank!

Why would Walker tell a complete stranger he considered planting troublemakers at the protests?

He made a non-commital reply to get the crank caller off his back.

Or detail his ruse to trick Democrats into stepping foot into Wisconsin?

So, you're more concerned about this than the Fleebaggers absconding to Illinois?


Or that he might need Koch's help in supporting Republicans taking hard votes in swing districts?

Wanting Koch's help is evil? No, it isn't.

You're crazy as a fucking bedbug, garbage.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

Did you bother to read the link, shoutingthomas, or is his interest in a strong Israel (that can bring about end times a la the book of Revelations) sufficient to cloud your judgment and close your mind?

PaulV, Soros wasn't a Nazzi collaborator. He was 14 and a mere spectator-he had no role in collaboration.

And yes, a French court convicted him of insider trading fourteen years after the alleged activity-not exactly what US law considers to be due process. But if you want an example of prominent billionaires donating to the Right accused of insider trading, I'll point you to the Wyly brothers. They were indicted last July, so, not convicted, at least at this point, but given the shadiness of Soros's French conviction, seems roughly equivalent.

So, again, rich billionaires on both sides of the equation, Right and Left. Rich billionaires accused of insider trading on both sides, too. What is the obsession with Soros?

edutcher said...

The Lefties always think they're so much smarter than everybody else, but, more and more, they keep getting shown up for the idiots they really are.

"The German philosopher had noted that people who can’t win an argument through reason attack their opponent’s motivation."

Hmmm...

Sounds like some phony folksy.

shoutingthomas said...

We had our own little public employee demonstration in Ulster County yesterday. I put up a few pictures on my blog.

Regarding all the bumper stickers with the car attached, does anyone else wonder if people like that are trying to impress everybody else or just trying to convince themselves?

garage mahal said...

He made a non-commital reply to get the crank caller off his back.

LOLZ

somefeller said...

The Kochs seem like basically decent people who are becoming cartoon villains in all this. That isn't a good thing, but it also isn't a surprise. If you participate in politics at almost any level and are involved with any organizations, you'll get hit with attacks and, if you're doing a good job getting your goals met, conspiracy theories. You can see that in the comment boxes here, after all. And I certainly like the fact that the Kochs spend lots of money in philanthropy. All that having been said, it seems to me that perhaps they slept through the part of Economics 101 that talks about the need for a strong state to be able to enforce contracts, deal with market failures and provide necessary baseline regulations. In other words, the mixed economy that has been the structure for the West's economic strength, libertarian fantasies of minarchist states notwithstanding.

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shoutingthomas said...

garbage,

Walker, as you've more or less admitted, did not commit any act that is questionable from an ethical or moral standard.

He's got a right to seek campaign financing from the Kochs.

So, what the fuck are you talking about? Making things up, as usual.

You'll say anything. You'll invent anything. You are completely unethical and immoral.

This is why you suspect the same in others.

David53 said...

@ Garage

Why would Walker tell a complete stranger....

Because he knew the "Koch Industries PAC had given $43,000 to Walker’s campaign"?

Do you think every rich person who makes contributions to politicians talk to said politicians?

somefeller said...

Edutcher says:Sounds like some phony folksy.

Hah! Lamely name-dropped again before I had even posted a comment.
Here's another song for you, you sadly obsessed fellow.

Freeman Hunt said...

Garage, did you read the transcript of the call?

There is nothing for Walker to be embarrassed about in there.

When the Koch-impersonator said "troublemakers," I thought he meant getting pro-Walker protesters out there to mix it up. Walker may have thought the same.

Even if he didn't, his most positive comment about the idea is "because we thought about that," before he goes on for a long time about why it's a bad idea. "We thought about that," could mean that someone threw the idea out at a brainstorming session. It could also mean, "Your idea is stupid, but I want to give the appearance of carefully considering what you have to say, so I'll say that we thought about that idea of yours, but it just didn't work out."

The bit in question:

Murphy: Right, right. We'll back you any way we can. But what we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that — because we thought about that. The problem with — my only gut reaction to that would be, right now the lawmakers I've talked to have just completely had it with them. The public is not really fond of this. The teacher's union did some polling and focus groups I think and found out that the public turned on them the minute they closed school down on them for a couple of days. The guys we've got left are largely from out of state and I keep dismissing it in all my press comments, saying ehh, they're mostly from out of state. My only fear would be if there's a ruckus caused is that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has to settle to avoid all these problems. You know, whereas I've said, hey, we can handle this, people can protest, this is Madison, you know, full of the '60s liberals. Let 'em protest. It's not going to affect us. And as long as we go back to our homes and the majority of people are telling us we're doing the right thing, let 'em protest all they want. So that's my gut reaction. I think it's actually good if they're constant, they're noisy, but they're quiet, nothing happens. Sooner or later the media stops finding them interesting.


As for asking for support, that's what you're supposed to do when you talk to your backers.

foxtrot said...

Speaking of funding, isn't Obama is one of the biggest campaign fund whores of all time, even taking money from BP?

shoutingthomas said...

Speaking of funding, isn't Obama is one of the biggest campaign fund whores of all time, even taking money from BP?

Not one of the biggest campaign fund whores of all time... but, the biggest in history.

First presidential candidate to turn down public financing because it would have limited his fund raising.

shiloh said...

AA you et al can apologize, rationalize for Walker 'til the cows come home, but the simple fact remains, he was punked rather badly.

ie political amateur hour/theater.

As an AA lemming said in a previous thread, "nothing to see here" let's move on, shall we ...

take care

edutcher said...

somefeller said...
Edutcher says:

Sounds like some phony folksy.

Hah! Lamely name-dropped again before I had even posted a comment.


Also sounds like recognition-obsessed shiloh.

Don't you lurk all the time, feller? Want to sound like some good ol' boy around the cracker barrel in the general store, feller? Just as your alter ego has a Jesse MacBeth military record, feller?

somefeller said...

Edutcher fumes:Don't you lurk all the time, feller? Want to sound like some good ol' boy around the cracker barrel in the general store, feller? Just as your alter ego has a Jesse MacBeth military record, feller?

Er, no, actually I suspect you comment here a lot more than I do. I mostly just keep that to weekends and occasional evenings, and generally don't comment obsessively about people who haven't made comments on a particular posting. But if reading Althouse is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Also, I don't think anyone would confuse my voice for that of "some good ol' boy around the cracker barrel in the general store". Condescending yuppie jerk, maybe, but good ol' boy? Nah. The "feller" reference in my stage name is a thin reed for that claim. And as far as alter egos and someone called Jesse MacBeth (was he in the Scottish Play?) are concerned, I have no idea what you're babbling about. Anyway, gotta get to the gym for the Sunday workout. See ya.

garage mahal said...

When the Koch-impersonator said "troublemakers," I thought he meant getting pro-Walker protesters out there to mix it up. Walker may have thought the same.

I can't see how that reflects well on either Walker or pro-Walker protesters. You're basically saying pro-Walker protesters are troublemakers. Oh well.

Comrade X said...

garage's favorite crank caller Ian Murphy:

So, 4000 rubes are dead. Cry me the Tigris. Another 30,000 have been seriously wounded. Boo fucking hoo. They got what they asked for—and cool robotic limbs, too.

David53 said...

@Shiloh,

Didn't think you could start posting without specifically mentioning AA. Why do you feel the need to constantly post "AA". Are you feeling punked?

AS usual you marginally address the issue. Read Freeman's comment and please point out what you call punking.

Blessings and peace to you ;)

Freeman Hunt said...

You're basically saying pro-Walker protesters are troublemakers.

No. The idea would be that any show of opposition to the protesters would ratchet them up, thus making (mild) trouble.

We've seen, even as regards the polite Althouse and Meade, how some of the protesters respond to anyone who disagrees with them.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

That fact begins a Weekly Standard article called "The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics."

Lol. Very unoriginal.

His political tribe even conserves other people's valid ideas and observations.

BTW, where's the mention of anything having to do with paranoia in the excerpt?

wv: cheati. Krauthammer cheatis by churning out copy without having anything relevant to say.

shoutingthomas said...

So, garbage, you've once again admitted in an ass backward way that Walker didn't do anything unethical or illegal.

So, when are you going to STFU?

There's nothing there, garbage.

shiloh said...

It "appears" I have another incoherent groupie, David53. I am truly blessed! ;)

As the discombobulated rationalizing/apologizing marches on ...

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

We've seen, even as regards the polite Althouse and Meade, how some of the protesters respond to anyone who disagrees with them.

Lol. Freeman's idea of polite behavior apparently includes stalking.

David53 said...

@Garage,

Why would Walker tell a complete stranger....

Because he knew the "Koch Industries PAC had given $43,000 to Walker’s campaign"?

Do you think every rich person who makes contributions to politicians talk to said politicians?


Don't feel a need to respond to my question? Oh well.

vw: weasin

shoutingthomas said...

Oh my God, shiloh and Ritmo have both shown up, determined that this should be all about them!

Abandon all hope! The bottom of the postings raving will now commence!

Time to move on to a new posting.

shoutingthomas said...

And shiloh, before I leave this posting, I want to make you happy.

I noticed you and I was irritated by your presence today.

There's your imaginary victory for today! Your life should be completely fulfilled.

David53 said...

I wouldn't say you are blessed Shiloh, I would say you are cursed with Alhouse derangement syndrome.

But you can get better. .-)

shiloh said...

shoutingthomas

Bye :)

>

before I leave yada yada yada lol

Again, the prosecution rests!

shoutingthomas said...

Again, the prosecution rests!

Another imaginary victory for our great hero.

You don't have the credentials to be a prosecutor, except in your imagination.

Althouse does. Too funny!

Yes, you've irritated me again, slacker. Toke up another hit and tote up another imaginary victory!

You can't accomplish anything in the real world. But, you can be irritating as hell. You win that one.

What a victory!

And, now, this thread will be all about how irritating shiloh can be. Very irritating, indeed. What an incredible accomplishment. Almost the same as being able to do something. Almost.

shiloh said...

shoutingthomas

You're still here ?!?

Nooooooooooo! lol

David53 said...

@Shiloh

before I leave yada yada yada lol

Again, the prosecution rests!


Sort of like when I asked you to point out the "punking" and you responded with a "It "appears" I have another incoherent groupie"

Well Mr prosecutor? No answer? I figured as much.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Oh yes, Stephen. It should all just be about me!

Seriously, dude. Try to chill. It's nice out here. If you want to fight with Shiloh, that's ok. But I won't be bothered with crankiness!

BTW, I drove through Western New York state last weekend. I don't think I came close to the hippie haven of Woodstock, but in a few weeks I might be off traveling again and get closer. Would you like to hang out? We'll even hobnob around the local cafes or watering holes, check out a farmer's market, make fun of the far fringe lefties or maybe even just the average typical liberals and academic jerks. It'll be a hoot!

Whaddaya say, my man?

shoutingthomas said...

I'm a generous soul, shiloh.

You clearly have nothing else in life but these imaginary victories achieved by annoying the hell out of people who have the temerity to disagree with your politics.

Throw turds as you please!

I'm just trying to give you some pleasure and justification for what is obviously a very starved existence.

Is there any other way in which I can serve you?

Fire away! Declare yet another great imaginary victory! I am at your disposal!

shoutingthomas said...

I'll have a drink with you Ritmo.

Why not!

My e-mail address is available at my website:

www.harleyscars.com

shiloh said...

David53, perhaps you missed:

As the discombobulated rationalizing/apologizing marches on ...

ie "troublemakers" = mix it up

take care, blessings

>

no shoutingthomas, you're just a fool, and I'm being extremely generous!

Lincolntf said...

The difference between Right and Left billionaires is the same as the difference between Right and Left regular folks. One side wants to use their wealth to increase freedom, the other to snuff it out.

The hilarity factor ratchets up when one considers bloated fat-cats like Kennedy, Dodd, Kerry, etc. spending their entire careers wallowing in piles of vomit-soaked cash while the useful idiots on the Left declare them "Champions of the little guy!".

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Sweet and cool. Thanks Stephen.

A guy that with a good Harley or two is all right in my book.

David53 said...

@ Shiloh

ie "troublemakers" = mix it up

LOL that's the best "punking" you've got?

Sounds like Walker is going to get impeached pronto.

Keep on believing man .-)

shoutingthomas said...

no shoutingthomas, you're just a fool, and I'm being extremely generous!

There you go, shiloh! I've given you the blessing of declaring yet another imaginary victory!

I'll do this for you all day. Well, I've got to got to work soon, but up until then, I'll give you the opportunity to throw turds and irritate the hell out of everybody.

Your life will be complete. You won't have to come up with a single substantive idea... as if you could.

Toke up again, imaginary hero! It's all about you!

I am at your service.

Canuck said...

I find it deeply ironic that the author is riffing on Richard Hofstadter's 1964 "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." Prof. Hofstadter is, of course, one of our great historians.

Bill Cronon is another great historian. The Wisconsin State GOP is trying to silence and intimidate him. I assume the goal is to get Cronon fired.

I've been trying to figure out what exactly was their goal aside from intimidation? Did the state GOP start this with the goal of getting him fired? Was it a warning to other academics not to write articles about politics or the GOP?

I wonder if Prof. Hofstadter was targeted after he published the "The Paranoid Style in American Politics?" I doubt it, but the party has changed.

shoutingthomas said...

Bill Cronon is another great historian. The Wisconsin State GOP is trying to silence and intimidate him. I assume the goal is to get Cronon fired.

I'm sure you know that silencing or intimidating Cronon is unlikely and getting him fired is impossible.

I don't entirely approve of what the GOP is doing in this event, but both sides seem to have declared total war. Can't see much difference in tactics.

shiloh said...

Why is it conservatives are always the fools who say they are going to leave for good, but never do.

Rhetorical question.

never say never ...

Canuck said...

"Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention."

-Hofstadter

What is the goal with Cronon? Are they trying to eliminate dissent? Get him fired?

Why target him?

Pogo said...

The left has used 'Follow the money' as their guide to evaluating the right.

In similar fashion, one need only 'Follow the power' to answer fully one's queries about the writings, actions, and purposes of the left.

shoutingthomas said...

Why is it conservatives are always the fools who say they are going to leave for good, but never do.

shiloh, I think you just set a record for posts on this blog that say absolutely nothing.

You are the King of Nothing!

I salute thee! And, I want to give you yet another opportunity to irritate the hell out of the commenters on the blog by declaring yet another great imaginary victory.

I remain at your service, although it appears that I will have to go to work soon. Duty calls! But nothing excites me more than your empty postings and imaginary triumphs.

I can do this all day. Well, at least until I have to go to work. Which is in about 20 minutes.

It's no trouble at all. You don't even need to thank me.

shoutingthomas said...

OK, shiloh, jigs up!

I'm going to do yoga for about 20 minutes.

So, you'll have to throw turds and declare imaginary victories by yourself for that period.

But, I'm here in spirit for you. Take another toke. Close the door to mommy's basement. Go to it, buddy!

Canuck said...

"I'm sure you know that silencing or intimidating Cronon is unlikely and getting him fired is impossible."

Yeah, but that's because the geniuses over at headquarters didn't do minimal research on who Cronon is.

But if they had targeted someone who was untenured? If the administration was worried the state would cut funding if they didn't fire the prof?

They were trying to silence an academic who disagreed with their party line. They targeted him before he published something in the NYT. They targeted him after he published an entry on his non-academic blog.

Chilling.

Samantha said...

It's a Rorschach test, Marilee. We all bring our prejudices to the table.

kate said...

Because Walker had never spoken to David Koch in his life

Oh, but he wanted to so badly...

Paul Zrimsek said...

All that having been said, it seems to me that perhaps they slept through the part of Economics 101 that talks about the need for a strong state to be able to enforce contracts, deal with market failures and provide necessary baseline regulations.

Where are you getting the idea that the Kochs are anarchists? A state that did nothing but enforce contracts, provide baseline regulations, and deal with that subset of market failures which a state can deal with constructively, would be a lot less strong than the one we've got now.

shiloh said...

Let the record show shoutingthomas says I'm the King of Nothing, and yet he's totally obsessed w/me as he keeps replying ad nauseam.

'nuf said!

Synova said...

"The reverse could be said too, Marilee, why is it acceptable for the right to have moneyed supporters like the Koch Brothers throwing their money around, holding policy conferences with Supreme Court justices in attendance, etc., but the Right finds Soros to be a sinister, shadowy figure because he donates to the Left?"

One side demonizes "big money" and the other doesn't?

So pointing out that the left is rife with Soroses and no end to inherited fortunes is pointing out hypocrisy.

It's not the standard of the right being held to when Soros is criticized but the standard of the left.

And really...

"But at least the Left isn't accusing the Koch Brothers of being Nazis or otherwise resorting to Protocol of the Elders of Zion-style tripe."

You typed that with a straight face? "Nazi" is the first thing out of a leftist mouth no matter who they're talking about.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh yeah? Okay fine! Then explain to me the palm trees in O'Reilly's segment on the Madison protests.

* runs *

Canuck said...

"One side demonizes "big money" and the other doesn't?"

One side demonizes academics and the other doesn't?

Synova said...

"One side demonizes academics and the other doesn't?"

This is a good point. Yes. Like how one side demonizes academics and the other doesn't.

When someone on the left makes appeal to authority, particularly the Ivy League or some such, it's not hypocritical, it's just stupid. Because appeal to the authority of academics is their *thing*. And denigration of someone with a degree from a state school is also their thing.

How this goes together with supposed advocacy for the little guy, for the poor and working class... well I suppose that so long as the egalitarianism doesn't conflict with the elitism too much it's all good. The best part of elevating academics is that the elitism can be had without unseemly wealth. Win, win.

The philosophy described in the the article about the Koch brothers doesn't have that elitism even as it doesn't have the demonetization of those who have a great deal of wealth.

The idea that business *must* have gotten it's profits off the exploitation of the worker is a marxist assumption, and we see it now... sure, calling Michael Moore a moron is an insult to morons, but we see it in Obama, too, and no end of people on the left. To these people business isn't the backbone of growing our economy, progress and wealth, it's the exploitative enemy. Big business, little business and everything between.

And one wonders... Why does Soros support policy so contrary to his self interest? Or perhaps it's not against his self interest at all to have a bigger government, more extensive control? Because HE has the resources to make that work for him. Mom and Pop operations don't and can't.

Synova said...

I like how the article begins with pointing out that the Koches advocate a liberal economic policy.

Later it says "progressive" is used because of negative connotations of "liberal."

I see "progressive" as far more negative than liberal. The only problem with "liberal" is that liberals... aren't.

But progressives aren't, either.

If we want to talk anti-progress, anti-technology and even anti-science, we need to talk about the neo-Luddite movement to demonize growth, energy, and progress itself. It's all about turning in on ourselves, doing with less instead of developing more, being smaller.

Don't develop energy, no nukes, no drilling, no wind farms in my view, no outer space, no high yield crops, no irradiated vegetables and fruits when we could let them rot...

Liberal markets, liberal government, openness, freedom and development. "Liberal" and particularly "neo-liberal" means open-markets and liberty and capitalism to the rest of the world. That word should be reclaimed.

And we should reclaim Progress as well from the anti-progress moralists.

shiloh said...

You typed that with a straight face? "Nazi" is the first thing out of a leftist mouth no matter who they're talking about.

There are generalizations and then there are inane generalizations.

Actually, conservatives use the 'N' word quite frequently when their emotions totally consume them.

And they foolishly use the other "N' word as well ...

Pogo said...

"Actually, conservatives use the 'N' word quite frequently"

Numbskull.

shiloh said...

Actually Pogo, nitwit is the preferred term of endearment for incoherent conservatives at political blogs ...

take care

Canuck said...

"This is a good point. Yes. Like how one side demonizes academics and the other doesn't."

I'm glad we agree that the Wisconsin State GOP attempt to attack, silence, and fire Prof. Bill Cronon is wrong.

"Because appeal to the authority of academics is their *thing*. And denigration of someone with a degree from a state school is also their thing."

I disagree. Many people who are "left" are not academic snobs. You may wish to be wary of stereotyping people. I've met snobs of all kinds, shapes, sizes and political persuasions. I've met academic snobs who are very liberal and academic snobs who are very conservative. I've met snobs who are a-political.

It is the paranoid mindset that seeks to vilify and sterotype large groups of people.

btw - Bill Cronon came back to University of Wisconsin because he loves Wisconsin and he loves that University. Any Ivy would hire him in a second because he is an academic star. But he values a state, public education.

Canuck said...

You know, Richard Hofstadter's point was that the paranoid tradition in American politics was not restricted to one political group.

He would argue that this tendancy is found in both the left and right traditions in American history.

His point was that the paranoid tradition is a strain that runs through American political history.

I can see this tendancy in all sides of what is going on in Wisconsin. In fact, the polarization of Wisconsin is what makes this so sad.

Alex said...

Oh well, another knee-jerk defense of WalkerHitler by Althouse.

/Ritmo

shiloh said...

You may wish to be wary of stereotyping people.

Our blog "hostess" does it daily, not to worry. ;)

One inane generalization after another as it's a self-fulfilling evolution as she feeds her flock the raw conservative meme meat they crave.

It's a quite interesting procession as the usual suspects, as a rule, are the first to post on each thread reaffirming the conservative agenda of each offering!

Again, supply and demand at Althouse. :)

Canuck said...

Let's talk about paranoia.

I thought that left groups were being very paranoid to single out the Koch brothers. I still think they are over-the-top.

However, what now has arrested my atention is the ALEC. (The American Legislative Exchange Council.)

Cronon posted a blog about the history of the ALEC. It was a scholarly look at the history of the conservative movement in the United States, which he respects. He also believes that historians have not given enought serious attention to the depth and development of convervative intellectual and political instituitons.

It was after Cronon wrote this blog posting that the Wisconsin Republican GOP targeted Cronon.

Why? This was before Cronon's editorial in the NYT. What was it about ALEC that would cause the GOP to attempt to silence and target a history professor who wrote a little blog?

(It's sort of interesting that somebody from Koch is on the board of ALEC.)

Not to be paranoid, but why doesn't the GOP want Cronon to write about ALEC? When they start to come after us, I don't think it's paranoia to recognize the attack and investigate.

Canuck said...

Here is the blog post about ALEC that caused the Wisconsin State GOP to target Cronon:

http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/15/alec/


The blog post is quite scholarly and even has a bibliography. I found it very surprising that the Wis. State GOP would bother to target Cronon for this blog post. (They targeted Cronon before his editorial for the NYT was published.)

Isn't it curious that the State GOP would target Prof. Cronon because of the blog post?

Is it paranoid to wonder why Cronon's historical investigation of ALEC prompted the GOP political attack on him?

ken in sc said...

I met a guy who was in Auschwitz. He was in the Polish resistance-at age 16. He said if the Nazis had known what he was up to, they would have killed him. Because they didn't, they just sent him to Auschwitz, where he pulled a sledge full of dead bodies from the gas chambers to the ovens. He had the tattoo on his arm. He never told his children what it meant. He told them it was his phone number. He went to school on the Polish GI bill and became an engineer at General Electric. He retired in South Carolina. General Electric used to be one of the good guys—when Ronald Reagan was it's spokesman. Maybe someday GE will be one of the good guys again.

Revenant said...

Good article. Thanks for linking to it!

shiloh said...

From Walker embarrassingly getting punked ~ to Auschwitz ...

Lincolntf said...

Speaking of getting punked, the illegal war for Libyan oil seems to be turning into quite a quagmire. Is there anyone in the Democrat Party with the will to reign in the Warmonger-in-Chief before it's too late? Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc. all teeter on the brink while he's dancing the night away in Rio and signing oil contracts with Petrobras. Someone, please, have him committed or sent to rehab before he does any more harm.

Apfelkuchen said...

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/27/koch

"Billionaire self pity and the Koch brothers" , don't you just want to give them a hug?

Apfelkuchen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skookum John said...

@somefeller: "Market failures" don't exist. To speak of "market failures" when you don't like some fact of economic life is akin to grumbling about "gravity failures" when you trip and fall.

peter hoh said...

I don't have a problem with people and companies who make money for providing goods and services. I have a problem when people and companies profit from insider trading, crony-capitalism, manipulating government contracts, monopolies, and other shenanigans.

AST said...

It comes down to the definition of "fair." The left believes that it's unfair that some people have more than others and seeks to use government authority to rectify that. Of course that places them in the position of judge over who should pay and who should receive more.

But another view of fairness is that it's not fair to take what someone has worked for and earned and give it to someone who did nothing to produce anything.

This is a crucial issue because our whole system was based on the second view. Most of us believe in a God who judges us according to our behavior during mortality. Even Hindus and Buddhists believe that to achieve nirvana we have to live our lives in a certain way. Freedom and the right to private property have no meaning if the first definition holds. I think most of us heard that "Life isn't fair," more than once growing up, and even have told it to our own kids. Also, economists frequently invoke the statement, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch," or TANSTAAFL. It's been described as the study of the allocation of limited resources.

What strikes me is the position of public labor unions, which constantly invoke fairness, but actively oppose it in action. The demonstrators seem to view themselves as victims, fearful of losing the advantages they've achieved through the unions, despite the fact that if real justice applied, many of them would be fired for incompetence.

The fact is that nature is not fair in the first sense, but it is in the second. The Judeo-Christian tradition seeks to deal with this through atonement with a merciful God, but that will only come at the end of time. Until then we have to overcome our natural impulses and learn to share and be kind, but that only applies on a personal level. We will not be judged by sharing that is imposed on us, but by our own choices. This is why Jesus told the rich young man to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, not to give it to the government. It's also why he said render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

AST, it doesn't bother me that the rich have more than the rest of us. What bothers me is when some of them use their influence to take more from the rest of us.

What do I object to? How about pro sports team owners who use threat of relocation to extract public financing for stadiums for their teams (and thus increasing their revenues and the value of their franchise)?

How about deals that take private property from people and turn it over to a private developer (Kelo, Texas Rangers, among others)?

How about Enron? The ethanol scam?

I think there's room for the right and the left to join together in opposition to these abuses of our economic system.

I understand that drug companies take risks when they set out to develop new medications. I accept that they get to charge what the market will bear. A good drug that works ought to bring quite a reward to the company that developed it.

However, that's not the case with progesterone. What used to be available for $10 a dose is now going to cost upwards of $1,500. Link. This doesn't appear to be justified -- and seems entirely to rest upon a government action. None of the right-of-center blogs I read seems to have noticed this story.

And that gets to another of my tests of whether something is real capitalism or if it is closer to crony capitalism.

As I understand it, capitalism entails a certain amount of risk. Where there is no risk, I suspect that something isn't quite right.

I've heard that Rahm Emanual made something like $20,000,000 by being an investment banker for 2 years. My guess is that he risked none of his own money to "earn" that payout.

Speculating with other people's money, or skimming off a percentage of a merger or IPO seems to me to be something other than what Milton Friedman was talking about when he explained the free market.

Marshal said...

Canuck said... in part
"They were trying to silence an academic who disagreed with their party line. They targeted him before he published something in the NYT. They targeted him after he published an entry on his non-academic blog.

Chilling."

Very strange conclusion. The GOP criticizes him because they disagree with his assertions. The left concludes that criticism is somehow "chilling". I wonder what Canuck thinks of Paul Krugman, who criticizes everything. Is it "chilling"? What special status do academics hold making criticism of their their ideas out of bounds?

Elsewhere Canuck suggests the goal must be to get the professor fired, even though he has tenure. When confronted with this fact, rather than recognize that criticism is about ideas, he asserts that even though tenured the goal is still to get him fired. But now assert those attempting it are simply idiots, despite the fact that the original assertion is transparently wrong.

This is how the paranoia works. The left leaps to the most extreme conclusion possible. When they realize it is unsupportable they continue to pile on additional unsupported accusations until the conspiracy is complete.

An it all comes from someone who who sincerely believes he's making sense, not simply a jackass trying to insult everyone like garage or shiloh. And lefties graduate without the ability to carefully examine their assumptions and thought processes because their leftist professors know self examination is the end of the left.