February 13, 2016

With the death of Scalia, "Clarence Thomas" starts trending on Twitter — full of ugly jokes.

104 comments:

Quayle said...

Definitely not vicious.

No viciousness here.

We would be appalled if anyone were vicious.

buwaya puti said...

What did I say about emotional climate?

CatherineM said...

I was just thinking some MSNBC talking head will say something tasteless while dancing on his grave and have to apologize. Of course there is Twitter.

Chuck said...

Justice Scalia always brought out the most vicious, venal, hateful lunacy in the Left Wing Netroots.

That was only Reason Number 1,517 why I adored him more than anyone in government in my lifetime.

buwaya puti said...

All this is piling hate on hate and inspiring hate.
This, stupid twitter though it is, is the significance of this event. It's the gasoline being poured out.
The fools don't understand their danger.

David Begley said...

Disgraceful, but entirely expected from the Libs.

Mr. Justice Thomas was admitted to Alpha Sigma Nu at The College of the Holy Cross and an alum of Yale Law School. The Clintons are Yale Law alums.

readering said...

Sounds like the school of humor a lot of commenters on this blog graduated from.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

This makes progressives look mean and ugly.

coupe said...

I just noted the names of all the racist tweets. They all sound wimpy. Now 'Carlos Danger' THAT was a name.

n.n said...

They had four choices: empathize, ignore, celebrate, or attack.

Limited blogger said...

Thanks for reminding us how vicious and nasty the left is.

Michael said...

The left loves nothing more than finding a black person who they can describe in front of a black person as a nigger. Clarence Thomas is that man. The left swoons at being able, justified!!, in using the term for Thomas. So as much as they despise him, they need him. For that.

Michael K said...

This could not be racist ? Could it ?

Rhythm and Balls said...

What do you want? A mandated national day of sadness or something? Is that possible in a democracy?

A dictatorship might mandate who to revere and who to revile. In a republic however I don't think you can do that.

Respecting someone's rights is a totally separate thing from having any respect for them as a person.

Real American said...

Leftists are fucking racist. That isn't news.

AReasonableMan said...

I don't really understand either the idolators or haters of Scalia. I would guess history judges him as a minor reactionary, over whom too much fuss was made during his lifetime due to the very politically polarized nature of the court.

Sebastian said...

I know, I know, politics trumps race, but aren't there at least a few blacks taken aback by what white Progs really think of them?

Quite apart from the vile racism, the treatment of Thomas is/has always been remarkably ignorant, particularly in treating him as a mere sidekick of Scalia. Wouldn't expect anything else from the intellectual heirs of Dem

By the way, AA, in teaching con law, do you ever teach the actual process and politics of con law, including the racial disparagement of Clarence Thomas? Would seem relevant to assessing the actual state of the subject.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Justice Scalia always brought out the most vicious, venal, hateful lunacy in the Left Wing Netroots.

As does Obama for the Right Wing Netroots.

As much compassion as he lacked for anyone who fell out of his pantheon of favoritism, as much disrespect as he had for the rights of anyone whom he felt should lack them, Scalia's rights were respected. And I doubt you'd have found threats against his person as had become routine against Obama.

But rights can be upheld. Respect cannot.

As Islamists and regressive leftists are discovering about the non-existent right to not be offended, there is no right to not be disrespected, either.

Respect engenders respect. Scalia had little of it for anyone who didn't fall in line with his narrow conception of a special, traditional view of the people and things that were important to him.

Unless you can prove otherwise.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Same with Thomas.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I don't really understand either the idolators or haters of Scalia.

I do. Scalia had little to no respect for people asserting a right that had not been well-understood in an ignorant past. That engenders huge disrespect in turn.

As for the idolators, he was a very articulate defender of everything traditional that he loved and thought should be applied in the present.

Both things were true.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Unless you can prove otherwise.

Ultraliberal Toobin said Scalia is in the top 12 most important justices in US history.

Now are you going to reconsider your opinion? Of course not.

Gahrie said...

Fucking idiots. Justice Thomas is his own man, which is precisely why the Left hates him so much.

Michael McClain said...

No surprise as to the comments posted by the LibCong.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Ultraliberal Toobin said Scalia is in the top 12 most important justices in US history.

So what, Zombie-Man? "Important" does not mean "well respected."

Now are you going to reconsider your opinion? Of course not.

Are you going to reconsider your confusion between the word "important" and the word "respected"?

Of course not.

Mao was "important". He got lots done. Much of it bad. Same with Stalin. And HItler.

Rhythm and Balls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theranter said...

More of the depths of racism that lie in the hearts and minds of progressives.

Eustace Chilke said...

Scalia did what he could for us and lasted long enough to deny Obama another appointment. Well done.

Thomas is doing as well against much greater hatred. May he outlive all his persecutors.

As for the leftards, fuck a bunch of commies.

Rhythm and Balls said...

More of the depths of racism that lie in the hearts and minds of progressives.

No different from the routine epithets that right-wingers routinely levy at "teleprompter-reading" Obama. But when you do it, it's not racist, of course.

buwaya puti said...

The past wasn't ignorant.
The present is much dumber in many ways.
The technological illusion prevents a properly humble understanding of tradition. There is nothing in technology that has changed or improved human nature.
See Burke.

buwaya puti said...

Rhythm,
I suggest moderating your tone.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The past wasn't ignorant.
The present is much dumber in many ways.


Available knowledge and utilized knowledge are two very different things.

There is way more knowledge out there now then there ever was. This is in large part what makes anyone given a choice to prefer living now to living then.

It doesn't stop people from doing things that are as stupid or even dumber. But it gives them more of a choice in the matter than what was done to those forced to live under the kinds of social pressures then that don't prevail now. To people who prefer freedom, that's a great thing.

The technological illusion prevents a properly humble understanding of tradition.

That sounds like a pretty vague opinion. Some traditions were probably very effective, most ways of thinking were stupid. Burning witches was stupid. Blaming the plague on Jews was stupid.

There is nothing in technology that has changed or improved human nature.

Evolution may very well change human nature but you don't strike me as the sort of chap who gives much weight to evolution as a concept in general.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Rhythm,
I suggest moderating your tone.


There are some good arguments lurking beneath my tone that you might choose to address. And for whose sake and to what degree of moderation?

Scalia had very blistering and dismissive things to say about people when he was alive. I guess I respect him enough to think that was an example worth following. Was it not?

Roger Sweeny said...

Perhaps one good thing to come out of Scalia's death will be that people examine Thomas' jurisprudence more carefully and find out--who knew?--he is an important, independent thinker.

Birches said...

I love this gem from Glenn Greenwald on twitter: "Don't even try to enforce the inapplicable don't-speak-ill-of-the-dead "rule" for the highly polarizing, deeply consequential Antonin Scalia."

Seriously.

garage mahal said...

Where's the Civility Bullshit tag, Althouse>? That's right, that only applies to liberals.

It's silly that we're supposed to pay respect, or stay silent, for some arbitrary time, for someone we disliked. I would hope haters dance on my grave.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Where's the Civility Bullshit tag, Althouse>? That's right, that only applies to liberals.

Allow me to second that. Very emphatically.

Dude1394 said...

Liberals are the most racist bigots in our country. Bar none.

David Begley said...

Fully expected from Glenn Greenwald. Loser.

JPS said...

It's amazing, how full of hate some people can be and still think they're the good guys.

Laslo Spatula said...

I was with a girl who had interacted with Scalia, and -- of course -- inevitably hated everything about him.

I didn't really want to talk about politics because I wanted to fuck her in the ass, but she kept going on about the Evil of Scalia. Evil, Scalia: evil evil.

I played along -- because I wanted to fuck her in the ass -- and asked questions about the Constitution.

She stammered, then freaked out about the Patriarchy.

So I realized telling her about the Freedom promised in the Constitution was not going to help me fuck her in the ass.

But then she got going about Clarence Thomas. You know: the Uncle Tom shit,

So I said: did you ever read Erica Jong's "Uncle Tom"?

So she said: of COURSE she read Erica Jong's "Uncle Tom".

So I asked her if she was okay with the sex scene between Uncle Tom and Madam Magnolia.

And she said that -- of course -- that sex scene was Patriarchal, White and Hetero.

So: how could that scene be Patriarchal and Hetero when Uncle Tom was actually a woman?

THAT stumped her.

So then I fucked her in the ass.

You're welcome, Clarence Thomas.

I am Laslo.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Fully expected from Glenn Greenwald. Loser.

You know, David, this doesn't sound as effective when it comes from someplace other than the mouth of Donald Trump any more. You have to give it the same, low-raspy voiced, loose-lipped gruffness: Loozah!

In any event, I hope someone feels free to chime in on what will be the appropriate "mourning period" for the non-mourners. Because when that day comes, the commentary will be just as biistering as his own dismissive opinions and arguments. So get ready for it, it will come. Just let us know when the shock is gone and it's ok to proceed with natural reaction and need to contextualize all the harm he alone seemed to have so much power to do.

ddh said...

The best thing about the Obama era is all the racial healing.

buwaya puti said...

Rhythm,
It has nothing to do with utilized knowledge. The present has no understanding of the purpose of life, any better than the ancients. There is no technology of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics. There is no answer to why? Answering how? doesn't suffice.
As for freedom, what is that ? Is there an alternative to "freedom" ? What I see rather is the unavailability of tradition, and the elements of modern "freedom" are unavoidable. If you really wanted to (or say your average unfortunate teenager, so many have I seen), could you adopt the values and ethics of your grandfather? No, these aren't available.
"Most ways of thinking" were about perfectly ordinary things - making a living, mating, raising a family. Attitudes towards Jews and etc. were an occasional matter. Where we moderns fail is at the more fundamental ways of thinking, regarding survival, descendants, the society after we are gone.
Blaming the plague on witches or Jews is perfectly understandable error given the lack of technology. This is a common reaction to the unknown - today many well educated people blame Aspergers on vaccinations, or American Jews for things they dislike about Israel (as per my daughter at UCLA).

As for evolution - I am a Catholic, and evolution was acceptable doctrine since the 19th century. And that comment was at best waspish.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Ha Rhythm, I was right! You are unable to reassess even when a liberal in good standing praises Scalia.

You're a brittle little man.

AReasonableMan said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
I do.


In the long run the politicization of the court and the resultant degradation of the court's authority will be seen as the big story rather than the individuals like Scalia. Scalia's behavior certainly contributed to that politicization but he has been part of a larger trend.

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher said...

I'm trying to remember a conversation in which RB took part where he did not make a complete ass of himself, but I seem to be coming up blank.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Rhythm and Balls said...

It has nothing to do with utilized knowledge.

Yes it does. Not everyone who utilizes knowledge well merits your dismissiveness of their flourishing or purpose.

The present has no understanding of the purpose of life, any better than the ancients.

That's nice. What if there is no purpose to it? What if being happy and loving others is all that matters?

I realize that might make your brain explode, but it's a perfectly sound and ethically defensible explanation.

There is no technology of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics.

Is that all? Maybe there is no buwaya puti writing these sentences, either.

There is no answer to why? Answering how? doesn't suffice.

More assertions without evidence. Rationally wrong.

As for freedom, what is that ? Is there an alternative to "freedom" ?

This is an American website.

What I see rather is the unavailability of tradition...

In the interests of concision and valuing time not wasted, I'm going to clip the blah blah blah and wait until you get around points with any desired substance that can actually be addressed.

"Most ways of thinking" were about perfectly ordinary things - making a living, mating, raising a family.

Don't forget: Being a serf, living on his land, being beholden to his right to send us into battle on his behalf, primer nocte... all great stuff serving wonderful purposes.

Attitudes towards Jews and etc. were an occasional matter.

They were actually usually an obsession. At least among the elites whose role it was to uphold the sense of superiority of their own church.

Where we moderns fail is at the more fundamental ways of thinking, regarding survival, descendants, the society after we are gone.

Make some money, draw up a will, and do your best to set a good example in the meantime. But too bad for you that less and less people care for how you emphasize supernatural beliefs in that equation.

Blaming the plague on witches or Jews is perfectly understandable error given the lack of technology.

Glad to know you think so. It helps illustrate the sort of weirdo you are. But in actuality, it was about seeing other people as beneath them so that the supposed "superiority" of the church could be upheld. There's no way you can hold ridiculous artifices such as that one to be so great, exalted, almighty and worth organizing your lives around unless you expend a lot of mental energy declaring the ancestor faith to be inferior, beneath it, full of scum, waiting to be massacred and retaliated against for still existing, etc., etc., etc.

This is a common reaction to the unknown - today many well educated people blame Aspergers on vaccinations, or American Jews for things they dislike about Israel (as per my daughter at UCLA).

They are not "well educated". They are "narrowly educated". Many people know a lot about a little, and then go after a lot of other things with the little knowledge that they lack about them.

As for evolution - I am a Catholic, and evolution was acceptable doctrine since the 19th century.

I guess I'm supposed to be impressed at how you get your pre-approved knowledge.

And that comment was at best waspish.

The founding fathers were WASPs. And I'm not sure why I'm supposed to care about your being a Catholic and rude to "WASPs" given what they've done and in contrast to whatever it is that you've accomplished, while bragging about needing a huge bureaucracy to approve what is or is not acceptable knowledge to you.

Laslo Spatula said...

Christopher said...
"I'm trying to remember a conversation in which RB took part where he did not make a complete ass of himself, but I seem to be coming up blank.

Anybody have any suggestions?"

I remember this:


Guys, conservatives. Ladies. The liberals are your new ally in all this. USE US!

Here is Bill Moyers posting Elizabeth Warren's definitive refutation of Shillary's claim that no donation ever influenced her public service.

USE IT!

The "left" is not the "left" you came to know and believed you hated. We are SPLIT. There are the liars, the elite, the media-brokers. The Boss Tweeds and Tammany Hall people. The Dixiecrats.

And then there are the rest of us. The honest, idealistic ones down with something better than all that. Wether you agree with it or not we know that you know that you want and demand HONESTY in this whole business, which is taking the country down regardless of other ideological differences.

HILLARY NEARLY LOST AGAIN! in IOWA! This is NOT a sure thing. We can take her! There is at least an even 50/50 split and we can toss her ass out! Finally and for good! Bernie's momentum can keep growing and overtake hers, put her in the liar's stockade and END THIS SHIT WITH THE CORRUPT LYING CLINTONS! He can do it! There are enough of us on the left to know that not every conservative is our enemy and that between Bernie and Trump we all have common goals and interests that we can accomplish and more selling out the people's business and the people's house is part of it.

Some of us are your allies. We can make this happen."

Sorry for the long paste but I thought that was a constructive comment.

Sorry, RB, but I have to stand up, even when the people who I stand up for would probably rather I stay seated.

I am Laslo.


Rhythm and Balls said...

Scalia's behavior certainly contributed to that politicization but he has been part of a larger trend.

I think it's about 90% of it. He was really a true activist at heart. Watch now as that politicization decreases dramatically. I think it already has, in fact. The sense of screaming desperation in his Lawrence v. Texas opinion. The tone bleeds through his screeds in ways that I think a lot of people can see, and probably contributed to a decline in his relevance that had already been taking place, other than for the Heller decision. But time will tell. I think I can comfortably predict that the politicization will decrease dramatically. There are many many more conservatives who recognize and understand the importance of an open, heterodox understanding of jurisprudence - and you will see their renown continue to grow - and how much harder it will be for conservative pols to rally around this idea of getting jurists who will be uniquely ideologically committed to them and their silly priorities to the same degree that Scalia made it a point to be. Just you watch.

Robert Cook said...

"Ultraliberal Toobin said Scalia is in the top 12 most important justices in US history."

One can be important for having a negative influence as much as for having a positive influence, just as one can be well-known merely for being well-known, (a la the Kardashians, who, between them, haven't displayed a scintilla of wit, intelligence, talent, or any other quality that warrants their being noticed at all).

For all his vaunted brilliance, what rulings of Scalia were actually brilliant? Was he brilliant when he asserted to a reporter for 60 MINUTES that the Bill of Rights' prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment did not apply to the untried and unconvicted prisoners at Guantanomo because, not having been found guilty of anything, the treatment they received could not be considered "punishment"? (His point being that "punishment" can only follow a finding of "guilty.")

And...is Toobin an "ultraliberal?" What makes him so?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Sorry for the long paste but I thought that was a constructive comment.

Sorry, RB, but I have to stand up, even when the people who I stand up for would probably rather I stay seated.

I am Laslo.


Well Laso, I appreciate your willingness to stand up in my defense in a matter that you thought merited it.

AReasonableMan said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
I think I can comfortably predict that the politicization will decrease dramatically.


Certainly Roberts saw the danger, but too late I think. My guess is that we have crossed the rubicon on this one. Right-wing politicians have torn down the reputation of our public servants, our teachers, the Congress, every pillar of civil society other than the Army and the Police. The Supreme Court is their latest victim.

Gahrie said...

Was he brilliant when he asserted to a reporter for 60 MINUTES that the Bill of Rights' prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment did not apply to the untried and unconvicted prisoners at Guantanomo because, not having been found guilty of anything, the treatment they received could not be considered "punishment"

No..What he should have said is that the Bill of Rights did not apply to them because they were neither US citizens nor in the United States, but instead criminals in a foreign prison.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Was he brilliant when he asserted to a reporter for 60 MINUTES that the Bill of Rights' prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment did not apply to the untried and unconvicted prisoners at Guantanomo because, not having been found guilty of anything, the treatment they received could not be considered "punishment"?

Actually, I think this was brilliant - in a technical and narrow, lawyerly way. He brilliantly hones in on use of the word "punishment" to mean a legal sentence, which makes sense. This is why his powers of articulation were respected, even by liberals. Even by me. Is it an asshole thing to do? Does it go against the spirit of the constitution? Does it forget that meting out personal punishment as a sort of vengeance while in legal limbo might still legitimately be viewed as a form of personal, if legally abused "punishment"? Sure. So that's where his power lies. He was brilliant at picking apart words to get at a very narrow, if immoral but entirely legally defensible justification for having his way. And as a judge, that must be respected - in the same way that the legal team who got O.J. Simpson off the hook (or any of his ubiquitous white counterparts) must be respected.

Rumpletweezer said...

Garage,

I will not dance on your grave. Not because I hate waiting in lines, but because I've never allowed my soul to go into that dark place where such desires live.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Sorry. I meant to say "legitimately be viewed as a form of procedural, if legally abused "'punishment'" above.

Roughcoat said...

Kind of off-topic, but ... who are the ubiquitous white counterparts that O.J.'s legal team got off the hook?

Quaestor said...

Doesn't this qualify for the "racism" tag?

Quaestor said...

I would guess history judges him as a minor reactionary...

We're not talking about you, ARM.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Kind of off-topic, but ... who are the ubiquitous white counterparts that O.J.'s legal team got off the hook?

I'm typing fast so might have failed to make clear that rich white crooks get off the hook all the time, whether by O.J.'s team or one of the ubiquitous counterparts to them among the world of talented criminal defense lawyers.

openidname said...

Ehh, some of them are funny, even if you don't agree with them.

The ones I don't like are the ones like Pizzaolo Mike's, in which the dancing on the grave has begun.

robother said...

The principal trope in the twitter grab is an insult aimed at Clarence Thomas: that he is incapable of deciding any case before SCOTUS on his own, and that his opinions were literally drafted by Scalia. That this is a racist lie cannot be emphasized enough.

My main area of concern with SCOTUS decisions during my career was in the area of Establishment Clause prohibitions on state aid to private religious institutions (colleges, schools, hospitals). Scalia's original intent and Thomas's natural law approach to these questions resulted in quite differing opinions and legal standards (even when they both concurred in a decision, much less when they did not.)

Michael K said...

"Right-wing politicians have torn down the reputation of our public servants,"

The "public Servants" have needed no help to destroy the concept of "Civil Service."

Lois Lerner needed no help at all.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The principal trope in the twitter grab is an insult aimed at Clarence Thomas: that he is incapable of deciding any case before SCOTUS on his own, and that his opinions were literally drafted by Scalia. That this is a racist lie cannot be emphasized enough.

That's right he's plenty articulate! He even wrote the phone message that his wife Ginni left on Anita Hill's voicemail!

MikeR said...

As the liberal commenters here demonstrate so well, they respect no one who doesn't agree with them.

Birkel said...

The Leftists wish to pretend, and have others pretend, that they are anything but partisan little bitches. My best wish is that we cannot pretend this bill shit is true.

I will be calling U.S. Senators' offices and agitating for conservative principles.

Krumhorn said...

Certainly Roberts saw the danger, but too late I think. My guess is that we have crossed the rubicon on this one. Right-wing politicians have torn down the reputation of our public servants, our teachers, the Congress, every pillar of civil society other than the Army and the Police. The Supreme Court is their latest victim.

Oh that's rich!

I trace the divisive nastiness straight to the Bork nomination. It has been a free-fall ever since. Pubes on Coke cans were a natural extension of the craven viciousness of you lefties. The Gramscian slow march through our revered institutions has finally culminated in the corruption of hard science. Man-caused global warming is "settled science" and heaven help the poor devil who offers a dissenting view.

Teachers and their unions are the instruments of their own fall in public esteem. The faculty lunges of our colleges and universities are stuffed to the cathedral ceilings with looney boomer libruls who have not actually worked, truly worked, a day in their coddled lives. Sinecures will have that effect.

Scratch a leftie, and you'll find a tyrant screaming to be let out.

- Krumhorn

chillblaine said...

It's thinly disguised hatred for Scalia co-mingling with contempt for Thomas's circumspection. Progressives are just regular people with personality disorders.

Robert Cook said...

"No..What he should have said is that the Bill of Rights did not apply to them because they were neither US citizens nor in the United States, but instead criminals in a foreign prison."


That would have been inaccurate. Guantanamo is American territory, and American law prevails there. Our laws and Constitution apply to anyone in our custody. We cannot legally torture or imprison without adjudication of guilt non-nationals in our custody anymore than we can nationals.

Robert Cook said...

"...that's where his power lies. He was brilliant at picking apart words to get at a very narrow, if immoral but entirely legally defensible justification for having his way. And as a judge, that must be respected...."

Not in the least. It's not brilliant, merely the torturing of words to mean anything one wants them to mean. That is a hallmark of all who use the law to behave lawlessly. It's that kind of perversion of language and the law that made Scalia contemptible.

Brando said...

Hilarious because of course black people cannot think for themselves! It's all Steppin Fetchit for these wonderful leftists, who love black people so long as they parrot the right lines.

Some ugly racism there.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I do take responsibility for these lost souls.

I had opportunity/chance to effect change and I did not.

Only because of my personal failings.

Nichevo said...

I'm obliged to say that rhythm and balls every so often stands up on his hind legs and acts like a man. Usually when a woman is trying the usual womanly games.

But R&B, you are so terribly wrong headed in this matter and I can see that you're never going to be able to realize it. I thought you were older but I think you like the wisdom that age would have brought you about how to treat other human beings. There is really no compromise with you, no rest, no cessation from anklebiting. It is lowering all of you who are doing it. I am a little more disappointed in you than in some others. You are betraying your own humanity.

One man's opinion, which will soon be lost like tears in rain, cuz I guess he hurt a bitch's feelings one time.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Not in the least. It's not brilliant, merely the torturing of words to mean anything one wants them to mean.

Was Scalia wrong to relegate "punishment" as described in the constitution to sentencing?

I don't think he was.

The tortures that were carried out were not sentences. They were procedural applications of some sort on people who had not been sentenced to any judgment by a court, and hence were not yet proceeded to what is in a legal sense the "punishment" phase (of sentencing).

In that one, I think he was entirely on sound grounds. Maybe he was wrong. But I don't see how his argument was wrong.

Tell me how it was, if you disagree.

Rhythm and Balls said...

But R&B, you are so terribly wrong headed in this matter and I can see that you're never going to be able to realize it. I thought you were older but I think you like the wisdom that age would have brought you about how to treat other human beings. There is really no compromise with you, no rest, no cessation from anklebiting. It is lowering all of you who are doing it. I am a little more disappointed in you than in some others. You are betraying your own humanity.

Listen, man. I realize this is a bit unpopular, gauche and even to the consternation of many regardless of political leanings. But I just think that Scalia was a dangerous and destructive man - even if in a very subtle sense. No, he didn't arouse a sense of danger, but maybe neither did Karl Marx when he died. Which begs the question, what would have been your response to the death of Karl Marx?

That's a bit of how I determined my response to Scalia's death.

He didn't break any laws. (Despite wielding insane power in deciding how to re-configure them). He was probably good with his family and the people who knew him personally.

(Which I did not. And neither did any of you).

But maybe the same could have been said of Karl Marx.

And of what I do know, or anyone knows, there is an overwhelming case to be made that it was especially bad.

People die every day. Even judges.

Good people. Bad people. Completely mediocre and un-noteworthy people.

The vast majority of whom leave almost no impact commensurate with the impact of A. Scalia.

But I can comment on what he did. And I think that what he did has left a very bad legacy in this country. No, I don't respect him professionally. Even though I respect that he was very good at it and did it within the guise of the system that we have. He did it legally, and legitimately.

He legally and legitimately turned our most precious legal traditions and legitimating principles against themselves.

It was destructive, in the end. It was wrong.

I wished him no ill. I wish no ill to his family.

They're entitled to mourn.

And I'm entitled to care no more about him than I need to for any of the other countless deaths that occurred today.

What significance or importance does he have, personally, to me?

Again, none. I did not know him personally. The only reason I even know anything about him is because of the importance of what he did to this country.

So why am I obliged to commemorate all that as a good thing? I'm not, am I?

You're telling me to take personal and make positive the passing of a man whom I didn't know personally and whose only impact on me or my country I can see was overwhelmingly negative.

Why must I be obliged to partake in a fake commemoration? Why must I pretend that he left a positive impact on me or anything I love?

Because he didn't?

Does honesty have any place in civic life any more?

I realize that if you don't have anything good to say, you often shouldn't say anything at all.

But I would prefer to confine that to people who are decent enough to care to do good things.

Or else the advice loses any meaning.

Gahrie said...

It's not brilliant, merely the torturing of words to mean anything one wants them to mean.

yeah ...didn't he get it...you're not supposed to look at the words and figured out what they mean....you're supposed to decide the outcome, and then invent shit like "emanations from a penumbra" to justify the outcome.

Gahrie said...

Guantanamo is American territory, and American law prevails there.

No it is not, which is why the terrorists were placed there in the first place.

"The Cuban–American Treaty is a lease of property, and consists of two documents. The first was finalized in February 1903, and the second finalized in July 1903.

The treaty stipulates that Republic of Cuba lease to the United States specific lands in Cuba, most notably the land that surrounds Guantánamo Bay, for the purpose of coaling and naval stations, for as long as necessary. The lease stipulates that the United States "shall exercise complete jurisdiction and control", while recognizing "the continuance of the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba"."

jr565 said...

Rhythm and balls wrote:
I think it's about 90% of it. He was really a true activist at heart. Watch now as that politicization decreases dramatically. I think it already has, in fact. The sense of screaming desperation in his Lawrence v. Texas opinion. The tone bleeds through his screeds in ways that I think a lot of people can see, and probably contributed to a decline in his relevance that had already been taking place, other than for the Heller decision. But time will tell. I think I can comfortably predict that the politicization will decrease dramatically. There are many many more conservatives who recognize and understand the importance of an open, heterodox understanding of jurisprudence - and you will see their renown continue to grow - and how much harder it will be for conservative pols to rally around this idea of getting jurists who will be uniquely ideologically committed to them and their silly priorities to the same degree that Scalia made it a point to be. Just you watch.

its quite telling that you see the activism in Scalia, but don't notice it in liberals or liberal justices who believe in a living breathing constitution and are committed to that ideology being pushed by the left. Why do you suppose politicization will decrease? Based on?

jr565 said...

"It's not brilliant, merely the torturing of words to mean anything one wants them to mean. "

Living breathing constitution.isn't that what that definition implies?

Nichevo said...

Benny Hill Missy Bonham is always good advice. Wow that's pretty lame voice to text. I'll have to type it.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum, is always sound advice. It's possible to criticize him without descending to the gutter. It's one o'clock, I haven't got the heart, but if Obama were to die in office, a man who I utterly despise and loathe, I would try to contain my glee and display some degree of decorum.

Guys like Scalia play at a level that few will ever know. I wonder if, even seen through their partisan lenses, his colleagues on the court would agree with your view.

The thing that this kind of thing does in terms of reflecting on you is it makes one wonder if you have any limits.

Rhythm and Balls said...

But the presidency is a ceremonial office (at least in part). Being a Supreme Court judge is not. SCOTUS judges don't have to represent "all the people" as presidents are supposed to. There's a difference.

I mentioned Karl Marx. What if he died today, also? What if he was usually well-mannered and perhaps had a good family life? Would that change the vitriol he'd receive?

As for SCOTUS colleagues, I don't doubt he was charming. But again, why do I have to commemorate it? I didn't know him personally. He never put any of his "charm moves" on me.

Of course I have limits.

I just like to get a good idea of how to define them first, before going along with placing them around the places that convention or herd-think alone tells me they should be.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Right. As he said, the constitution is "dead". Which sounds like a way of saying that it might as well be irrelevant, that we shouldn't think of how it would have applied to a time in which it wasn't written. Conservatives complain about insufficient respect for rule of law? That's what happens when people are told that the constitution wasn't written with a mind for application to a future in which abstract concepts could still be recognized and respected and analogized, even if nearly every concrete physical and social reality around us had changed.

Rhythm and Balls said...

...if ... were to die in office, a man who I utterly despise and loathe, I would try to contain my glee and display some degree of decorum.

Oh, I'm trying. Trust me. I'm trying!

What if Obama had been deposed in a coup after declaring martial law. Don't tell me you wouldn't feel some personal limits wouldn't be tested, as hypothetical as that scenario would be.

There are exceptions to every rule.

furious_a said...

Definitely something I'm going to have to raise with Twitter's Trust and Safety Council.

DPRK couldn't have named their Internet Censorship Bureau any better or more Orwellian than that.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I view Scalia as someone who declared a coup against the constitution. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe what he did ultimately led to a greater respect for the constitution. I admit I'm not being completely objective here, as much as I think his utter lack of any objectivity toward Roberts after the ACA ruling showed absolutely none of the essential and expected and traditional decorum whatsoever. But it's things like that which allow me to feel that I can test whether my antipathy for him is warranted, the particular occasion notwithstanding.

jaydub said...

Garage: " I would hope haters dance on my grave."

You flatter youself in thinking anyone will notice your passing.

Hyphenated American said...

Rhythm and balls, I am happy you are back. A few months ago we had a debate about constitution, and you claimed you would quote the founding fathers, to prove that they did not see 2nd amendment as an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Have you found those quotes, or are you conceding that you were wrong?

Hyphenated American said...

I challenge all liberals to explain how the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion in all states based on "penumbras" did not politicize the court.

Robert Cook said...

"Was Scalia wrong to relegate 'punishment' as described in the constitution to sentencing?"

Yes. Persons under detention by US authorities who have not been tried or convicted of crimes are entitled to due process of law, and if that does not include protection against harsh or abusive treatment--or torture--then the very concept "due process of law" and the protections against government power guaranteed by the Bill of Rights mean nothing, but are merely cynical lies. It creates a situation where persons presumed innocent of any crime may be subject to treatment prohibited by the Constitution, merely because they have not yet entered the ranks of the "guilty." Talk about Kafkaesque!

Laura said...

Just in time for Black History month . . . well at least, they are poppin' the love for Valentine's Day, just like de pickin' dat cotton demselves. Why no cotton glove of love for Frederick Douglas? Sarah Rector? Booker T. Washington? George W. Carver?

Golf clap, folks.

Owen said...

Two things. Those who dance on graves are IMHO wounding their own character and will regret it.

And (a bit OT but R&B's assertion opened the door): Those who think we moderns have moved beyond witch-burning should study the excesses of climate change "science."

damikesc said...

Is it not sad that our liberties are threatened by the death of one lawyer?

Doesn't that mean that the system is totally fucked up?

Robert Cook said...

Is it not sad that our liberties are threatened by the death of one lawyer?

Who...Scalia? Hardly! Our liberties are threatened by many other factors, (in fact, they are pretty nearly moribund), but not in the least by Scalia's death.

But, yes, our system is totally fucked up. There's really no salvaging it through the continuing voting every four years for the Republican tool of the Wall Street/military/financial complex or the Democrat tool of the Wall Street/military/financial complex.

rhhardin said...

The left needs higher quality insults.

Robert Cook said...

"'Guantanamo is American territory, and American law prevails there.'

"No it is not, which is why the terrorists were placed there in the first place."


Yes, that's the reason the Bush administration put the alleged (and, as it turns out, mostly innocent) terrorists there, to evade the rule of law. However, the Supreme Court slapped them down, ruling against the Bush cabal in "Boumediene v. Bush," (2008).

MikeR said...

As opposed to people who cannot respect anyone who disagrees with them, there's Cass Sunstein: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-02-14/the-scalia-i-knew-will-be-greatly-missed
As usual, those who really know something about something know that others can disagree. It's the cheerleaders who only see one side.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Persons under detention by US authorities who have not been tried or convicted of crimes are entitled to due process of law, and if that does not include protection against harsh or abusive treatment--or torture--then the very concept "due process of law" and the protections against government power guaranteed by the Bill of Rights mean nothing, but are merely cynical lies.

You're circuitously arguing yourself into a catch-22. Not all "treatment" of the detained is punishment or even part of due process. In the course of an arrest or even an attempted arrest, an officer is allowed to not only restrain, but to use physical force to do so. In an unruly, mob-like situation, this can become confrontational to the point of what we would call an assault under other circumstances. An officer is even allowed to use firearms or even deadly force in the event of flight, depending on the circumstances. These are commonplace scenarios whose appropriateness or usefulness may be debated within the context of the specific sort of event, but none are taken to be de facto abrogations of due process. The only way that torture differs from any of that is in the fact that the proposed violation that the tortured suspect would be committing is withholding information on gross violations of law resulting in mass casualties - violations in which the suspect may indeed be a conspirator and therefore legally culpable for them. If it's legal for him to do that, then the physical force against him to prevent it could be termed illegal. But that's not a given assumption.

Using physical force to restrain is not going away. Restraint of the commission of an imminent terrorist attack through the production of evidence not willingly available absent means that the suspect will respond to seems generally reasonable. It is conceptually not much different than using physical force to search and seize evidence or contraband - an act that can also be performed against the wishes of the suspect or under stress or duress or other methods of physical force.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Those who think we moderns have moved beyond witch-burning should study the excesses of climate change "science."

Oh, really? In that case I'd like to study ways of tying deniers like you to wooden stakes and burning you alive. Or drowning you. Whichever form of "witchcraft punishment" you'd find to be better suited to the situation you fear is happening.

Steven said...

Evolution may very well change human nature

Only someone who knows absolutely nothing at all about the actual scientific theory of evolution could possibly imagine that evolution could change human nature in a period of time relevant to the issue of interpreting a Constitution a mere 227 years old. Your beliefs on the origin of species are as ignorant and faith-based as any creationist in the world; you just mouth a password and imagine it proves your virtue.

Robert Cook said...

"Not all 'treatment' of the detained is punishment or even part of due process. In the course of an arrest or even an attempted arrest, an officer is allowed to not only restrain, but to use physical force to do so."

Apples and oranges. The physical force appropriate to an officer making an arrest must be proportional to and necessary to restrain a person physically resisting arrest, or to protect the officer and others from harm. (Of course, violations of this requirement are rife today.) But, we're not talking about force that may be (actually) necessary to subdue someone resisting arrest with violence.

A person in detention and who is compliant cannot be beaten, water-boarded, hog-tied, placed in stress positions, subjected to extremes of hot and cold, etc., etc. Such abuse of prisoners cannot be waved away as acceptable because they haven't been found guilty of a crime and therefore no "punishment" is being enacted. Once one is in custody of the state, any treatment to which one is subjected, even if it is only detention, is punishment.

Rhythm and Balls said...

A person in detention and who is compliant cannot be beaten, water-boarded, hog-tied, placed in stress positions, subjected to extremes of hot and cold, etc., etc.

Compliant with what, though? If the state demands refused evidence for a crime in progress to which they might be a conspirator, how is the use of physical force different from using physical force to obtain a blood sample, to sedate, to restrain, to obtain evidence of hidden contraband - even internally hidden/ingested contraband, etc., etc., etc?

Such abuse of prisoners cannot be waved away as acceptable because they haven't been found guilty of a crime and therefore no "punishment" is being enacted.

I have cited examples above of non-guilt assigned acts not determined by a court to have been a crime in which the state is clearly allowed to use duress to better "convince" the apprehended to comply with something. These methods are not called "abuse" because their use for those purposes have not been, and will probably never be, challenged.

Once one is in custody of the state, any treatment to which one is subjected, even if it is only detention, is punishment.

Cite your source on this. I've already provided examples that are almost identical in their essential elements and they are not called "punishment," even though they, too, might be likened to it.

Mike said...

So much hate on the left!

Robert Cook said...

R&B,

You, like Scalia, are talking legalistically. I'm speaking of the hard, physical reality of a human being in the custody of United States local or federal authorities, not tried, but simply awaiting further legal proceedings. Simply being deprived of one's freedom is--existentially--punishment. Add to that physical abuse of whatever kind against a compliant or bound and helpless prisoner, and the authorities have committed abusive treatement: torture. This does not require a legal finding, and to argue the matter in such fashion--as Scalia did, and you are--is the hallmark of a state automaton, a soulless "clerk," for whom the men and women they process through their jails are mere things. An army of such clerks enabled the Nazi regime--(as with any totalitarian state)--to carry out their years of atrocities.