Grande "Conservative" Blogress Diva Ann Althouse Among the "True Believers" —What Really Happened?

I've been following with amazement and dismay the odd postings of Grande Conservative Blogress Diva Ann Althouse about Liberty Fund Conference that we both attended earlier this month. Her postings have created a bit of a tempest (Jonah Goldberg who attended the conference correctly called her post about the conference "odd") in the blogosphere. The Liberty Fund conference was on Frank S. Meyer. Apparently Althouse felt uncomfortable and she just had to let the world know in her rather oblique postings that she was "struck by how deeply and seriously libertarians and conservatives believe in their ideas." She found this "frightening."

Before I explain why her posts are "odd" let me offer a little background. The Liberty Fund runs a wonderful seminar series where participants discuss the works of philosophers (Rousseau, Montesquieu, Locke, Hume, Aristotle, Wittgenstein), economists (Smith, Marshall, Jevons, Bastiat, Hayek, Friedman), authors (Shakespeare, Austen, Flaubert, Thackeray, Camus) and other writers who shed light on the role of liberty, broadly defined, in human life. This particular colloquium focused on Meyer who is credited with advocating "fusionism" between conservatives and libertarians. My crude definition of "fusionism" (a term never embraced by Meyer) is an attempt to blend traditional conservative concerns with propagating virtue and order with libertarian concerns about excessive state power. A central theme is that a powerful centralized state would necessarily become corrupt and tyrannical undermining the values of both traditional conservatives and libertarians. For a former communist like Meyer, the perfect example of corrupt tyranny was the Soviet Union.

Anyway, Althouse bizarrely came away thinking that conservatives and libertarians were frightening "true believers." Why? Evidently because they took political and moral ideas seriously. Much too seriously for Althouse's comfort. For one thing, there was quite a bit of discussion about the relation of virtue to liberty. Meyer's argument is that liberty is the necessary prerequisite for practicing virtue. Apparently some conservatives, such as L. Brent Bozell, Jr. (see Bozell's 1962 essay "Freedom or Virtue?" which we read for the seminar) with whom Meyer was arguing, believe that the state has the right and obligation to coerce virtue. This is anathema to libertarians. The first concern of libertarians is state power and this paramount concern for the abuse of state power means that the state should stay out of private activities that traditional conservatives might consider vicious, e.g., personal use of recreational drugs, voluntary prostitution, and so forth. Anyway, this politico-philosophical discussion apparently confused Althouse. Perhaps her skills at abstract thinking have been dulled by all the time she spends dissecting the particularities of legal cases as a law professor.

In any case, I had never met Althouse before the colloquium nor even read her blog. When chatting with her over cocktails, she seemed pleasant enough if a bit vague. In casual conversation, she made sure that I knew that she had been a "hippie" back in the day. During the sessions when the group analyzed various texts from Meyer, she often seemed lost, not really following the discussion. As she has blogged, she was clearly out of her milieu.

One session at the end of conference was devoted to Meyer's defense of federalism-his idea is that the constitutional structure that divides state power among political subdivisions tends to limit the power of the state over individuals, thus enlarging the sphere of personal liberty. The tragic historical abuse of federalism was state-mandated racial segregation which Meyer defended. As I understood Meyer's argument, he believed that preserving federalism as bulwark against the growth of central government power was more important to him than vindicating the rights of black Americans.

Now here's where Althouse begins to get strange. During that session, as I recall, absolutely everyone around the table condemned Meyer's defense of federalism in the face of the real evil of state-mandated segregation. Everyone! But apparently not vigorously enough for Althouse. Although she did not say it during the sessions, she apparently believes that past racism means that federalism is tainted. She has not made very clear what that "taint" means for the future of federalism.

However, during the session, some participants did wonder if there was a way to rescue federalism and really re-establish states as 50 different "laboratories of democracy." Contemporary libertarians strongly favor federalism because it allows some states to permit gay marriage, physician assisted death, medical marijuana, concealed carry of handguns, and surrogate motherhood contracts and other private activities without interference from the Feds. I would be even more startled to discover that Althouse opposes these and similar cases of federalism. Of course, libertarians who are eager to prevent the state from interfering in the lives of citizens in order to enforce its version of virtuous behavior, support this kind of federalism. This point was made repeatedly in conference sessions. As I said, if Althouse thought America's shameful racist history meant that federalism is beyond rescuing (including the "good kinds" just mentioned), she had ample opportunity to make that point during the formal sessions. However, she can't expect everyone in the room who have been discussing these issues for years to just roll over and agree with her. Oh, by the way, did I mention that no one defended Meyer's views on federalism and racial segregation?.

During the session, in just the sort of intellectual exercise encouraged at Liberty Fund colloquia, another law professor sitting at the table offered an alternative legal analysis and history--as a thought experiment--in which the Supreme Court might have properly interpreted constitutional provisions and amendments in such a way as to outlaw state-mandated segregation and Jim Crow laws in the 19th century. That law professor pointed especially to Justice Harlan's powerful dissent in the infamous "separate but equal" Plessy v. Ferguson case in which he declared, "But in view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law." This professor argued that following similar abstract constitutional logic would also have outlawed school segregation without recourse to the sociological reasoning that was used in deciding Brown v. Board of Education. But, of course, events didn't turn out that way.

Liberty Fund colloquia strongly encourage conversation among participants outside of the formal sessions. Participants dine together every evening and are usually seated at tables of six or so participants in order to facilitate conversation. (Althouse weirdly and incorrectly refers to these rules that aim to encourage discussion as "cult-like" here.) After dinner, conferees are invited back to a hospitality suite for cocktails and snacks where they can talk further with one another for as long they like. As it happens, I was sitting at a table at the dinner in which Ann Althouse had her apparent epiphany about tainted federalism and her panic attack about the racial sensitivities of conservatives and libertarians.

What happened is that since she had not joined several of us in the hospitality suite the previous night, she asked what we have been discussing until 2 am. Some of my tablemates at dinner told her that I had provoked a spirited debate (lasting perhaps and hour and a half) about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I had asserted that state-sanctioned racial segregation was so egregious a violation of the rights of black citizens that it was absolutely necessary for the federal government to intervene to smash it. The whole political point of libertarianism is to strictly limit the power of the state over individuals. Mandating racial segregation via state power (as was done in the Southern states) is precisely the kind of state tyranny that libertarians detest. In any case, I think she found my view of the Civil Rights Act agreeable. During the discussion in the hospitality suite, absolutely no one defended state-sanctioned segregation and all agreed that Federal intervention was necessary to outlaw state-enforced Jim Crow segregation.

Once the topic had been broached over dinner, I turned to another tablemate who is a fervent Catholic intellectual to discuss some bioethical stuff. We had brought up transhumanism during one of the sessions earlier in the day. The two of us were having a perfectly civil conversation about the moral status of embryos. Anyway next thing I know, Ann Althouse is shouting at two of our dinner companions demanding that they prove to her (Althouse) that they are not racists! She kept asking over and over, "How do I know that I'm not sitting at a table full of racists?" This was completely bizarre! It should go without saying, but I will say it: No one at the conference could even remotely be accused of being racist.

Apparently, the three of them had been discussing the constitutionality of the public accommodations sections of the Civil Rights Act that forbids private businesses to racially discriminate among customers. That is an interesting issue where people ask serious questions about how to balance state intervention and individual choice. Anyway, it's an important issue over which people of good will may disagree-once state-enforced segregation is obliterated, will individual choices under equality of law and in a free market place end racial discrimination? Perhaps not. As Nobel Economics Laureate Gary Becker has argued if a minority group is a very small percentage of a population, then the costs of discrimination will be borne mainly by the minority and market forces may not be strong enough to overcome such discrimination. To me, the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that compelled private businesses to serve people of all races have largely resulted in beneficial outcomes. But beneficial outcomes may not be the only desideratum of state intervention. Consider the egregious violation of property rights that took place in the Kelo v. New London case. After all, forcing Ms. Kelo to sell her house so that the city could give it to a private developer is beneficial to the city of New London's tax base. Again, people of good will can have serious disagreements on where the proper limits to state power should lie. For example, should the Feds outlaw gay marriage, medical marijuana, concealed carry, surrogate motherhood even though some states want their citizens to have the opportunity to participate in those activities? Some conservatives would say yes. Libertarians would say no.

In trying to explain to Althouse why private discrimination might be OK, I later pieced together that my tablemates had posed the question of whether or not Althouse would want to have the right to refuse to serve KKK members if she owned a restaurant--say, the KKK members were planning to have a weekly luncheon meeting at her cafe? My interpretation of what happened is that because she didn't want to appear to be hypocrite, she refused to answer and kept asking more and more abstract questions about their example. When she was backed into a corner, she lashed out, suggesting that people who disagreed with her feelings were racists. Eventually, she was so upset that she began crying. Of course, at that point the possibility of civil intellectual discourse completely evaporated.

I was also astonished by the poise with which my tablemates handled Althouse. Our companions did not raise their voices nor dismiss her (as I would have), but tried to calm her down. In fact, Althouse made the situation even more personal by yelling repeatedly at one of my dinner companions (who is also a colleague) that she was an "intellectual lightweight" and an "embarrassment to women everywhere." In fact, in my opinion, with that statement Althouse had actually identified herself. Before Althouse stalked away, I asked her to apologize for that insult, but she refused.

I sure hope that Ann Althouse's behavior at the Liberty Fund colloquium is not example how "intellectual discourse" is conducted in her law school classes in Madison, Wisconsin. In her bloggingheads.tv discussion with my friend Jonah Goldberg (who was a participant in the Meyer colloquium) she keeps telling him that he shouldn't be her enemy. I may not be her enemy, but given her outrageous behavior and completely baseless insinuations about intelligent humane people, I sure don't want to be her friend. As she said, "I need to be more vigilant."

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  • AC||

    How very strange. Even her post makes it sound like she was out of her intellectual depth.

    She mentions another Reasonista being there; does he/she have any comments?

  • ||

    How very weird. Althouse wasn't out of her milieu, but rather out of her depth. As she frequently writes, she considers herself a liberal even though she's much more centrist, or conservative, than her colleagues in Madison (everybody is, except for East Coast and West Coast academics). But I think that she's probably as intellectually isolated as most academics are. I don't think that most academics are deep thinkers - they think they are, but they aren't. And they just aren't used to serious people pondering serious issues seriously, or to people actually discussing and exploring uncomfortable topics, like the federalism and segregation issues discussed at the conference. So on some level she realized that all these people were a lot smarter than she was, and that they thought about Big Stuff more than she did, and that really threatened her Enlightened Law Professer self-image and she freaked out. I didn't explain that well, but I trust someone will know what I'm talking about.

    And she is not a conservative, by any means. She's pro gay marriage, pro choice, pro everything; she's just a hawk. And being hawkish does not make you a conservative. It just makes you unwelcome among Democrats.

  • ||

    Ron,

    Thanks for this insight into this weird event. I often check out Prof. Althouse's blog, and generally enjoy it, and was wondering if anyone here at Reason was going to comment about what happened, which has been sort of mysterious.

  • Guy Montag||

    You made a girl cry? What an awful way to treat the superior sex! Who is your next victim, Gloria Steinem(sp?)?

    But seriously, I get tons of this Althouseishness from the attendees at HOPE confrences. That is where I learned the term "urban urchen"* is somehow racist.

    Some people thingk the whole world is a Zionist conspiracy and others (they do overlap) think anybody who does not agree with them is a racist.

    *Usage was telling the story of my arrival and the hotel staff insisting I use the valet service: "I did not want some urban urchen driving my Jeep." Response was to the effect of: 'Take your racism elsewhere.'

  • Timothy||

    Althouse is really most at home discussing Project Runway, it's the only reason to read her blog.

  • ||

    @Ron Bailey

    In casual conversation, she made sure that I knew that she had been a "hippie" back in the day.

    Heh. Yeah. Sounds like maybe she was having an acid flashback.

    @stubby

    And being hawkish does not make you a conservative.

    I think you mean it didn't used to make you a conservative. These days, those who have co-opted the designation appear to have made hawkishness the litmus test of the brand.

    A worthwhile read.

  • ||

    Guy,

    Do you mean "urchin?"

    I'm not surprised that people would think the phrase "urban urchin" (which I have never heard before) was racist, as "urban" has become something of a euphemism for "black," as in "urban music" for hip-hop.

  • ||

    Althouse's "I was hippie, after all" thing annoys me, just like "I was at Woodstock" or "when we marched in ____". Like it's a mark of virtue or credibility - very Boomerish. I have a problem with Boomers in general. And I guess I share Eric Cartman's views on hippies specifically.

  • ||

    "Eventually, she was so upset that she began crying. "

    Really? You really made Althouse cry? Wow, I have to take back all of the nasty things I have said about Weigal. That is fucking awesome. I can't believe you made her cry. She calls herself a law professor? What a joke. Way to go Dave!!

  • ||

    It was Ron Bailey, probably at the direction of Big Tissue.

  • Christopher Fotos||

    The two of us were having a perfectly civil conversation about the moral status of embryos. Anyway next thing I know, Ann Althouse is shouting at two of our dinner companions demanding that they prove to her (Althouse) that they are not racists! She kept asking over and over, "How do I know that I'm not sitting at a table full of racists?" This was completely bizarre!

    I enjoy Althouse's blog, but you are talking about somebody who expressed sincere outrage when Glenn Reynolds did his first blind links to Pajamas Media's website. Bizarre is just part of the package.

  • Jim Henley||

    Ron, you have written a post that will surely be the number one result when people google "Ann Althouse's taint." That alone would be an achievement. But it's so much more, too.

    You should have pulled an Althouse on herself, and written that you "don't have time to explain yourself again to people that just aren't smart enough to get it."

  • johnl||

    So true. There is only one search result.

  • ||

    Still only one.

    Cthulhu 2012!

  • Bagger||

    "It was Ron Bailey, probably at the direction of Big Tissue."

    I didn't see a disclosure...

  • ||

    You mean, a bunch of conservatives and libertoids who disagreed with her teamed up on her during a political argument?

    Oh my goodness, the poor dear!

    Take it outside, perfesser.

  • ||

    Maybe Althouse just isn't very bright. It is not that hard to make a principled argument for letting the KKK eat at her hypothetical restaurant. All she had to say was "yes they are lousy people, but how does kicking them out of my restaurant help the situation? Maybe if they come there and have to be open about their views they might have to confront other views or at the very least be exposed for what they are. I don't see how racial discrimination and oppression of opinions no matter how vile is ever an answer and I think the government has a right to ensure that people do not engage in discrimination for that reason."

    I am not saying that is right answer but it is an answer. I don't see how the hypothetical is so difficult that it justified crying. I really wonder if she is very bright.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I don't. She isn't.

  • ||

    Yeah Joe,

    I wonder how many times Ms. Althouse has kicked around her first year law students in Torts or Criminal Law or whatever she teaches. She teaches the same class every year and thus knows all of the cases and all of the answers before the class starts. Law Professors are then able to brutally kick around their beleaguered overworked students. Something tells me Ms. Althouse wouldn't have much sympathy for a crying 1st year.

  • Timothy||

    Or, hell, it's pretty easy to say, "Look the KKK is a group of people who decided to voluntarily join. Nobody woke up one day and said, 'You know I think I'll be black from now on' so there's a difference of degree we're talking about here." I mean, you can argue from that position if you want to about free association...and I'd think a bloody Law Professor would be able to do that. Note to self: Don't attend Wisconsin.

  • ||

    wow. Holy Moly.

  • ||

    Mr. Bailey, I went to law school. If I could, I'd buy you a drink for this. Heck, making a law professor cry pretty much qualifies you for the Congressional Medal of Freedom as far as I'm concerned.

  • Ron Hardin||

    Wittgenstein?

    If he was discussed there, I'm sure it was completely wrong.

    Maybe the Tractatus.

  • ||

    If a tenuous grasp of Federalism, the law, and what constitutes legitimate racism is all thats required to be a law professor.....then maybe they will let me be one too! Nice going Ann.....you sound as stupid as my ex-wife!

  • ||

    Good point, John.

    She was also an astounding bully when debating war and anti-terror issues on her blog.

    As usual they bully is coward when confronted by someone her own size.

  • Lionel Hutz||

    >When she was backed into a corner, she lashed out, suggesting that people who disagreed with her feelings were racists. Eventually, she was so upset that she began crying.


    I don't use the word "hero" very often. But you are the greatest hero in American history.

  • grain of salt||

    very few geniuses I know go around marrying stupid women.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Or: "Your KKK scenario is hypothetical, while discrimination against people of color was, and still is, a very real and widespread social problem."

    Hell, I'm pretty libertarian, but I think everyone should be able to purchase a hotel room and a meal.

  • ||

    Ann has never struck me as a deep thinker. John pretty much hit the nail on the head with his apt description of a smug tenured professor. (In fact, she's the spitting image of my first programming professor: "all-knowing" until you get outside her limited sphere of experience.)

    Guy, I'm not sure if 'street urchin' is racist, but it's a bit gauche.

  • Guy Montag||

    mitch,

    Yes, that is the spelling I wished to have used.

    Also, thank you for pointing out the stupidity of misusing words. Urban is not race definitive in the slightest and my point was I did not want some "city boy" driving my 5 speed 4wd vehicle.

    Ooops! There I go again! I used the term "boy" and 'everybody knows' when a fiscal conservative uses that term it is about blacks!

    No matter that the Eastern European valet was one of the 'whitest' non-albino human beings I have ever seen.

    Almost forgot, over at Ezra's 'blog one can get the same treatment just by opposing 'single payer' prescription drugs.

  • CaptainMOAB||

    Libertarianism = less laws = less lawyers = no more job for ms. althouse

    no wonder she was scared

  • ||

    what a strange account. Sounds like a cardinal on the Roman Curia who has just discovered that a fellow cardinal holds heritcal views. Outside the rarified world of libertarian theology, nobody cares.

  • Jamie McCarthy||

    I'm not sure why I should believe any of this.

    Bailey begins by implying that Althouse began shouting during "a perfectly civil conversation about the moral status of embryos." In the next paragraph we learn that, no, the conversation was about "public accommodations sections of the Civil Rights Act."

    Three hundred words later, we learn that what had actually happened was that "my tablemates had posed the question of whether or not Althouse would want to have the right to refuse to serve KKK members if she owned a restaurant." Why not say that in the first place? I suspect the answer is that it biases the reader more thoroughly to present the two false contexts first. Since most of this article relies on the writer's subjective reporting ("shouting", "lashed out," "crying," "yelling"), this disinclines me to trust any of it.

    Regarding that question -- of course Althouse should suspect that anyone who would ask such a stupid question is a closet racist. If someone pretends that discriminating based on race is of similar validity to discriminating based on publicly proclaimed membership in a murderous, paramilitary terrorist organization, the logical assumption is that that person is a racist. Or unbelievably stupid.

    Other, less-likely, theories might be that the questioner is playing devil's advocate, or trying to quickly establish philosophical common ground so discussion can proceed more fruitfully. In Bailey's case, I note that his treating the question seriously, even suggesting that Althouse would "appear to be hypocrite" if she recognized the difference between skin-color discrimination and violent-terrorist discrimination, leaves these latter choices, at present, rather unlikely.

  • Dan T.||

    Shame on you Mr. Bailey for reducing that poor woman to tears. I sincerely hope there were no children present to witness that.

  • Rhywun||

    my point was I did not want some "city boy" driving my 5 speed 4wd vehicle

    And you chose to insult city people and/or blacks rather than politely declining the offer of a valet. Ah... reminds me of my days (years, actually) working in hotels. Being treated like a piece of garbage is the main reason I got out of the "service" industry.

  • ||

    Gee, maybe it really is about economic class rather than race.

    Anyway, I'm off to crank up the Model T. I sure wish we urban-types knew how to drive a stick!

  • Guy Montag||

    Jamie McCarthy,

    My take was more like what happened when I was discussing conservative ideas with a New Republic reporter with no expectation in the slightest that our 'date' would end up in a cheap leftist rag.

    Apparently her bad attempts at 'baiting' a juicy comment did not work, so she left that portion of the encounter out of the story. I suspect some element of Ms Althouse to be along those lines.

  • ||

    Bailey begins by implying that Althouse began shouting during "a perfectly civil conversation about the moral status of embryos." In the next paragraph we learn that, no, the conversation was about "public accommodations sections of the Civil Rights Act."

    Um, no. That's just your poor reading comprehension skills. It's pretty clear to me he was having a side conversation with another person, what with the, "I turned to another tablemate" and "The two of us were having a perfectly civil conversation about the moral status of embryos."

    Why not say that in the first place?

    Because he wanted to point out he wasn't paying attention to her conversation from the start, so he didn't know right away why she was so agitated. Are you a troll?

  • ||

    What I want to know is how I can get invited to such a free-food-and-drink bullshit session. Bravo!

    I just read Ms. Althouse's blog, and it seems a rather random collection of thoughts. She doesn't strike me as one who would want to sit around and discuss economics and philosophy. But then, none of my own 1L professors did, either.

  • Guy Montag||

    Rhywun and joe,

    Seems your reading is as bad as my spelling.

    I made no insult in the presence of the valet at all. That conversation happened at the Tick-Tock Diner long after the vehicle was parked.

    BTW, I did politely refuse the service multiple times and was actually "allowed" to drive it to the garage myself.

    Do you guys work on "Off the Hook" at WBAI? I am sensing a similar, ill informed, theme here.

  • ||

    Sounds like she's got some tough problems that have absolutely nothing to do with her opinions or intellect. Your colleagues were right for backing off when she started crying. It doesn't matter why she was crying, even if she was faking it as a defense mechanism, any constructive conversation with her was over. She really needed to be removed from the conversation at that point.

  • ||

    How kind of you to only insult the help behind their backs.

    Lemme guess - Republican voter. Am I right?

  • ||

    I predict that the number of conservative regulars who call Guy an elitist will be zero.

  • ||

    Video or it didn't happen! Would be so hilarious to see this on youtube.

  • Miggs||

    "urban urchin" = racist = republican

    Great line of logic, joe.

  • ||

    Who is Ann Althouse? And why should I care about anything she says?

    Seriously. The first time I heard about her was when some bloggers I do read linked to a post she wrote about some other woman I'd never heard of. As far as I could tell, Althouse was upset that the woman had moderately large breasts.

    Since then, I've seen a couple of other things she has written that are no more enlightening than the bosom debate was.

  • ||

    Joe,

    I will call him an elitist for assuming some poor guy couldn't drive his truck. The guy is a valet, he knows how to drive a stick. But I think Guy's worries have more to do with his love of his vehicle than a bad opinion of city people. Beyond that, Ron is still a hero for making Althouse cry. I can't wait to see her expanation for this on her blog.

  • ||

    I find Ron's post very odd.

    Why not, instead of giving me a gossip column, address the issue head on.

    Althouse:
    "Me, I find true believers strange and -- if they have power -- frightening. "

    Isn't this one of the primary reasons to take libertarian ideas into account when creating policy?

    Isn't there a difference between believing and understanding?

    I second Jamie's doubts that this is an unbiased account of the incident. The noble descriptions of the attendees sounds like something out of the knights of the round table: noble knights deal act with complete chivalry to barbarian law professor.

    Yeah, right.

  • ||

    But of course Joe - only Republicans insult service workers. There are no Democrat-voting men who don't trust anyone else to drive or park their precious cars. There are no Democrat-voting men who suspect that all parking valets, everywhere, are really like the valets in Ferris Beuler's Day Off. The only reason he refused to let the hotel valets park his car is because he is an elitist, conservative, Republican voting snob. There are no Democrat snobs, and there are no Democrats living in the suburbs and rural areas who suspect all city folk are idiots.

    And you have proven, once again, that you are morally superior to everyone who disagrees with you. How do you manage to be so virtuous while at the same time remaining alert to everyone else's moral failings? You must be exhausted.

  • ||

    that's "act" not "deal act"

  • ||

    joe,

    WTF are you talking about?

  • Rhywun||

    I made no insult in the presence of the valet at all. That conversation happened at the Tick-Tock Diner long after the vehicle was parked.

    Well, the story is only coming out in bits and pieces so it's hard to make sense out of it.

    Do you guys work on "Off the Hook" at WBAI?

    I have no idea what that is, so... No.

  • Guy Montag||

    John and stubby,

    Both incredibly close and have the right idea.

    I don't like *anybody* driving my vehicle, other than a mechanic for the rare occasions when I am not doing the repair, especially when I can't see what they are doing with it.

    In DC I do not recall any valet refusing to let me park my own vehicle. NYC is the only time I remember, ever.

    Yep, might be a little elitist for having a bad attitude toward city people, especially after all of the brilliant discussions we have gotten into about my 'accent'.

  • ||

    Dear Abby:

    I find myself reluctant to hand over the keys to my most expensive possession (I rent my domicile) to a complete stranger, even if he or she does work for tips. Am I an elitist?

    Obstinate in Ohio

  • Guy Montag||

    Do you guys work on "Off the Hook" at WBAI?

    I have no idea what that is, so... No.


    That is just what you want us to think.

  • ||

    Law professors do lean toward mugwump-ishness. Makes 'em feel safe if they're always on the fence. Then under pressure, it's Know Nothingism--"hey, you're taking this academic shit too seriously! Lighten up!"

    It's really sad if the profs are the only supposed intellectuals in your life and they cop out that way. Just another thing to not like about law school.

  • dhex||

    what is off the hook? i'm genuinely curious.

    "Law professors do lean toward mugwump-ishness."

    they secrete an addictive fluid from their penises?

  • Warren||

    joe,
    You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the epithet 'elitist'. One who states "I am superior to all others" is not necessarily an elitist. He may just be devoted to excellence. An elitist is one who says "I know best and therefore it is my place to, decide where you may live, where you may do business, how you may dispose of your property, what you pay your doctor, what your kids learn in school, etc. etc. etc."

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Longest. Bailey. Hit & Run. Post. Ever.

    (Julian Sanchez, stop posting in Ron's name!)

    Seriously, people were actually arguing virtue could be coerced? You have no idea how deeply saddened and frustrated it makes me to realize that some of those folks make a living by posing as scholars and intellectuals. [sigh...]

  • ||

    Being reluctant to hand over the keys to a stick shift car is not elitism. Observe enough folks who think they can drive a manual, and you'll also hesitate.

  • ||

    Miggs,

    That's "urban urchin who can't drive a Jeep" = anti-urban, anti-working stiff elitist = republican.

    John,

    "But I think Guy's worries have more to do with his love of his vehicle than a bad opinion of city people." Quote Guy, "my point was I did not want some "city boy" driving my 5 speed 4wd vehicle."

    stubby, Feel better? Good. "Only" is a harsh, restrictive word. I'm sure there are some Democrats to be found among the snobs who look down on working people. But not many.

    Son of an a!,

    Treating all people the same is, by definition, not elitist. If you single out certain groups of people, particularly based on their wealth or provenance - ie, "urban urchins," - then yes, you are a snob.

  • ||

    "As Nobel Economics Laureate Gary Becker has argued if a minority group is a very small percentage of a population, then the costs of discrimination will be borne mainly by the minority and market forces may not be strong enough to overcome such discrimination. To me, the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that compelled private businesses to serve people of all races have largely resulted in beneficial outcomes. But beneficial outcomes may not be the only desideratum of state intervention."

    It's easy to mistake all free market libertarians for consequentialists par excellence. ...but just because individuals can consistently choose for themselves better than the state can choose for them, well that isn't the end of the argument.

    Markets may mitigate for common stupidities, like racism for instance, but that doesn't mean stupidity won't persist regardless. ...and I'm not about to go into how our individual liberties are interdependent, how my freedom of speech depends on the rights of neo-Nazis, etc. although I believe that to be true.

    ...I'm just noting that, ultimately, my libertarianism has a qualitative component. To me, it's qualitatively better to live in freedom and suffer individual fools than to suffer a state that mandates an end to foolishness.

    I laugh at everyone who thinks the state knows, cares about and can execute policies that are in my best interest individually, true. ...but there's also a qualitative component as well. Even if the government could make better choices for me than I can, I'd rather make those decisions myself.

  • Guy Montag||

    dhex,

    http://www.2600.com/offthehook/

    It is the Wednesday evening hacker show on WBAI FM, in New York City.

    The fellow who was calling me a 'racist' for the UU comment was a regular contributor to the show at the time.

    Interesting side note, bernieS was sitting between me and the defender of all urbanites. Poor bernieS is one of the most non-confrontational and constantly happy people I have ever met. During the exchange he looked like he wanted to disappear under the table and his eyes were as big as serving plates.

    Full disclosure: I have been interviewed on that show in the past and know many of the folks who appear on the show.

  • Timothy||

    I'm sure there are some Democrats to be found among the snobs who look down on working people. But not many.

    Just all the famous ones.

    The rest just look down on rural working stiffs, which is, like, totally better.

  • ||

    Warren,

    "One who states "I am superior to all others" is not necessarily an elitist. He may just be devoted to excellence."

    True. It is only when one makes the jump to, "...and because of my superiority, I am deserving of freedoms and authorities beyond those available to others" that one becomes an elitist.

    To be an elitist, you need both: the belief in superiority, and the belief in authority based on this superiority.

    Which means one who lives an assuming, unpreposessing life, convinced of his own superiority, is not an elitist. Nor is one who believes in authority based on factors other than a sense of superiority - the consent of the governed, for example.

  • b-psycho||

    I only saw her site once, and don't remember what was on it. Sounds like a sissy to me.

    If the rights-based arguement on excluding people from private property doesn't get through, personally I would've went utilitarian for a second. Something along the lines of "if you're black, would you rather walk into an establishment & get deliberately shitty service because the owner is a bigoted moron, or see a sign warning you that they're such & go right past it?"

    Besides, the only reason that racial exclusion from private businesses was seen as so crippling was -- and continues to be, to an extent -- a relative lack of market power on the part of blacks. The more you can respond to prejudice by telling the perpetrators "well fuck you then, we don't need you anyway", the less powerful it is.

    BTW: in case there are any Althouse-esque trolls here waiting to call me a racist, I should inform you I'm black.

  • ||

    b-psycho,

    How racist of you to assume that your blackness makes you immune from accusations of racism...

    ;~)

  • Rhywun||

    That is just what you want us to think.

    "Hacker show"? That sounds like something I want to stay far away from. Unless it's the good sort of Neal-Stephenson-esque programmer hacker (I'm kind of one myself), as opposed to script-kiddie haxx0rs.

    I guess I can appreciate not wanting a stranger driving your car, even though I'm a non-driving "urban urchin" myself :) Anyway, it sounds like you were in NYC at the time, where "urban" pretty much means "black". No wonder you got chewed out.

  • Guy Montag||

    All,

    Now that the joe distraction has been buried, unfortunately only in the metaphoric sense, the earlier link I posted is probably more interesting in the sense that some people pull the same crap as the esteemed law professor in more subtle ways. Even more subtle than joe does.

    When an individual insists on bringing up the race of merchants she has had bad encounters with, she is probably trying to see if you are of her like mind towards those races. If you don't respond, or even go to the point of a mild scolding, they might drop it and go on to other things.

    If they are a reporter or a 'blogger, they probably will not reveal those bigoted attitudes in their general writings, unless they are assigning those values to others.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    she made sure that I knew that she had been a "hippie" back in the day

    More than likely Althouse was a sophomore in high school during the Summer of Love so unless she ran away to San Francisco like my friend Debbie, she wasn't a hippie back in the day. Every school still had dress codes in the late sixties so she must have done her hippie time in college which was probably from 1970-1974.

    Still arguably the sixties and still arguably the era of peace, love, and dove, but a bit of a stretch to position oneself as a hippie, back in the day. Besides, she should remember when all the hippies died and then morphed into Flower Children.

    Now, if she means she was an early '70's braless and barefoot campus lefty with long blond hair, granny glasses, and kept a copy of the little red book and a bong in her leather purse, well, there were lots of those chicks, and that's okay.

    Hey, maybe we, ah, got together........Nah, prolly not.

  • ||

    What does Katherine MW have to say about this -- she mentioned in another HnR post she was at a Liberty Fund thingy -- why not name her?

    If I had to spend a weekend locked in a room with Jonah Goldberg discussing Meyers Fusionism I'd be crying too.

  • ||

    For the record, Joe, I think you are a decent, honorable, honest person with sincere convictions, and you're a loving daddy, which means you're a good guy; you're not malicious or hateful. But you are a hypersensitive, pofaced prig and your blind allegience to the Democratic party is intellectually crippling.

    "I'm sure there are some Democrats to be found among the snobs who look down on working people. But not many." I've disagreed with many of your opinions in the past, but I don't think I can ever take them seriously again. That kind of bias is no less ridiculous than my mother's view that one cannot be a Democrat and a practicing Christian at the same time.

  • Guy Montag||

    Rhywun,

    Even with the foreign accents, I expect others to communicate with me in English as I speak no other language. I can get by a little with German and Spanish or Italian, but the basic thing is I am speaking English, not 'street'.

    If we slip off into a bunch of slang, fine, but when I am using proper words I expect them to have brain enough to "get it".

    Off the Hook is a hacker show in the sense of 2600 Magazine, that has been around since 1984 and is easily researched to determine if it is the proper hacker flavor for you. If you have not googled it by now, I doubt that it is your 'thang'.

  • dhex||

    well yeah, if i heard someone use "urban urchin" i'd definitely squint twice.

    but i am a squinty kinda guy.

  • VM||

    "Ron, you have written a post that will surely be the number one result when people google "Ann Althouse's taint." That alone would be an achievement. But it's so much more, too."

    Jim: Ms Althouse seems fond of that word.
    From:
    Reconstructing Atticus Finch? A Response to Professor Lubet
    Ann Althouse
    Michigan Law Review, Vol. 97, No. 6, 1999 Survey of Books Related to the Law. (May, 1999), pp. 1363-1369.

    "For those entering the legal profession, who commonly worry that they will lose themselves in an overbearing and tainted alien culture"

    Alien taints? Oh my. Mercy.

    (BTW: give that little blurb a read. Ms Althouse is something. wow.)

  • Guy Montag||

    Is Ms Althouse as hot as Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin? If yes, I think I could forgive her for a half hour or so.

  • ||

    Witgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel. ...

  • b-psycho||

    Guy: since when was Ann Coulter "hot"? She's a stick figure.

    Y'know what would be weird? A fire-breathing, bible-thumping, war-mongering hardcore right-wing nutjob woman that physically resembled Beyonce...

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Well, I see that Ann and I don't share the same tastes in books or film. But, got dam, she likes the Byrds, so there you go.

  • ||

    In fact, Althouse made the situation even more personal by yelling repeatedly at one of my dinner companions (who is also a colleague) that she was an "intellectual lightweight" and an "embarrassment to women everywhere."

    Am I the only one curious to know who the dinner companion-colleague was?

  • M||

    When someone reads the lady's response to this Symposium, would s/he please post the link here? It's been a while since I've seen Rashomon. Thanks.

  • Guy Montag||

    BTW, I thought Jeff Lorbert was the Fusion pioneer? Am I behind in hipster lingo again?

  • ||

    My sympathies lean toward the Bailey side (though of course I don't REALLY know what happened), but someone should point out that Althouse has posted a reply.

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/12/heres-post-where-i-take-on-ron-bailey.html

  • ||

    I have it in good confidence that joe has never referred to anyone as a hick or a rube. Ever. Not even over a few beers. Everything he says is in press conference format.

  • Guy Montag||

    ACK!

    She is NOT as hot as Ann Coulter! But she is kinda cute.

  • Brian||

    I'm not one to make sweeping generalizations but law profs tend to be the dimmest bulbs in the academic drawer (second to education profs).

  • spree||

    Now do not laugh, but I am stuck on only one thing after reading this, then Althouse's reply.

    Did Ann Althouse EVER answer the question about whether she would retain the right to refus service to a KKK member who wanted to host a party if she owned an establishment?

    I know it is a silly thing to get stuck on, but nowhere did I see where she answered this and I am VERY curious as to whether she believes a business owner has the right to refuse service to someone.

    Means nothing in the scheme of things, I know, but it still sticks in my mind.

  • ||

    stubby,

    Democrats have their common shortcomings, intellectual or moral failures that are far more common among Democrats than among others. Snobbishness towards people who work for a living is not among them. That particular shortcoming is wholly incompatible with the beliefs that lead one to become a Democrat, so you tend not to find too many people who hold such opinions among Democrats. The willful blindness here is in the insistence that there is no correlation between egalitarian political beliefs and egalitarian social beliefs.

    Also, the next time you want to insult me, don't pussyfoot around it.

  • ||

    That's just it - I didn't want to insult you. Just wanted to point out the pofacedness, the priggishness, and the blind, deaf and dumb devotion to the Democrats. And the stick up the ass. Can't forget the stick up the ass.

  • Guy Montag||

    My first take on some opening questions in her response:


    Think about it. You're a middle-aged man, meeting a woman for the first time, having a drink, and she reveals some little fact about herself. What do you do? Smile and reveal some little thing about yourself and make connections? Or do you grunt a few syllables and decide she's a lightweight?

    I reveal that I was an Army Aviator and ask her for her phone number.



    If she allows the response through it will appear from 'Shooter'

  • ||

    Now that we have Althouse's response, can we get a few more from others at the table?

    Notice that it you add RB's description to Althouse's, you come up with two people with different belief's having a hard time communicating. This leads them to accuse each other of intellectual dishonesty and laziness.

    Maybe communication about these kind of issues is difficult. Ron, of course, had the advantage of being an in-group member, so he will get strokes for his description of the out-grouper as the crazy one.

    I think if Ron doesn't respond to each of Althouse's points in detail he will lose this pissing match.

  • ||

    Joe,

    you say Snobbishness towards people who work for a living is not among them. That particular shortcoming is wholly incompatible with the beliefs that lead one to become a Democrat, so you tend not to find too many people who hold such opinions among Democrats.

    I know many, many democrats, and that simply is not true. Indeed, it may be true that the elite far left (the academy, et al.) have a romanticized version of "people who work for a living" and like to wax poetically about the plight of the common man, those limo liberals will have nothing to do with such blue-collar people in practice. For you to claim otherwise is either an outright lie or ignorance. when was the last time John Kerry or Ted Kennedy hung out with a plummer or cab-driver for the day? Be real. Snobbery knows know political party.

    By the way, I regularly put in more than 70 hours a week at my job as a lawyer - am I someone who "works for a living"? Or, do you actually mean someone who makes less than $30,000 a year? I have a feeling that actual number of hours worked or effort put out is not what you are talking about here. You probably consider government employees who make good wages, barely work, and are in unions "people who work for a living."

  • ||

    "Did Ann Althouse EVER answer the question about whether she would retain the right to refus service to a KKK member who wanted to host a party if she owned an establishment?"

    Maybe not directly, but that is because she assumes you know her position (it is the standard position in the US)

    "Got that? He thinks the government should have left the private businesses alone to discriminate against black people as long as they felt like it."

  • ||

    Maybe communication about these kind of issues is difficult. Ron, of course, had the advantage of being an in-group member, so he will get strokes for his description of the out-grouper as the crazy one.

    Of course, it WAS Althouse who went right for the "racist" insult. But, of course, we know that anyone who disagrees with her must be a racist. If nothing else demonstrates that she is a liberal, except for foriegn policy, nothing else will.

    - GB

  • Timothy||

    I couldn't even read Althouse's response, and I'm not really a huge Bailey fan. Apparently not wholly endorsing the Civil Rights Act means that you "don't care about Civil Rights" and that means that the blonde lightweight should cry.

  • ||

    "Of course, it WAS Althouse who went right for the "racist" insult."

    Of course, they WERE discussing racism. It was the topic of the conversation.

  • Guy Montag||

    If she can't understand the difference between removal of mandated discrimination and the imposition by government of who one must do business with then she is in the perfect line of work for the fog that is her mind.

  • ||

    "But, of course, we know that anyone who disagrees with her must be a racist."

    I don't think that is what she said.
    She wondered if those defending the rights of racists might not be racists themselves.

    I don't think she is justified in such a claim, but it is not like we have evidence she would ask the question to anyone who does not "wholly endorsing the Civil Rights Act."

    As for her justification for crying. It is only a rationalization. She cried due to frustration with being alone in a crowd and having no compatriots to find support from...

  • ||

    Guy,

    You confuse people with businesses. If the business owner has taken advantage of government power to avoid liability for the actions of that business then there can be a reasonable expectation that the business adhere to government mandates regarding conduct of that business.

    Or is this distinction too difficult for you.

    See how easy it is to ignore the fact that others have an opinion for a reason.

  • ||

    As for her justification for crying. It is only a rationalization. She cried due to frustration with being alone in a crowd and having no compatriots to find support from...

    Hardling telling of a solid, intellectual mind, capable of rational debate about hard issues. Sorry, but that is just true.

    I often go before hostile judges, panels, etc., and have to argue. I don't cry because of it. Such behavior of a law professor in an intellectual argument is simply shameful, and makes me wonder whether she should ever be taken seriously as a thinker again.

  • ||

    Mainstream,

    discussing racism and how the federal gov't should respond to it is not the same thing as calling everyone who disagrees with you a racists. I think you know that and are simply trying to spread fog.

    It is a typical tactic of the left to call anyone who utters anything they don't like to hear a racist. It is immature and shows a lack of intellectual ability. It is a good thin Althouse does not actually practice law, she would not last a day.

  • KMW||

    I am, of course, the "colleague" mentioned above. I don't know why the bulk of Ann Althouse's ire was directed at me-other than that I am, as she describes me, "very young, in [my] mid-twenties" and was smiling while delivering a fairly run-of-the-mill hypothetical about the limits of private property. She has her facts wrong, and her fury was and is badly misdirected. Ron's account of events is quite accurate, though I would add that he didn't hear the earlier part of the dinner discussion where I spoke extensively about my abhorrence of racism and my admiration for those who fought racism at the private level with boycotts, sit-ins, and marches, just as Althouse wishes libertarians would do more often. By then she was already quite worked up, and so may not have processed this portion of the discussion fully. Overall, the Liberty Fund conference offered excellent intellectual discussion and a chance to meet smart people who care passionately about ideas. Too bad the last few minutes of the last dinner were so out of tune with the rest of the experience.

  • VM||

    "when was the last time John Kerry or Ted Kennedy hung out with a plummer or cab-driver for the day? Be real. Snobbery knows [no] political party."

    what the hell are you talking about? nor does that sort of snobbery know any economic boundaries or racial ones. That's weaker than the coffee down at juvie.

  • ||

    Great Banana

    I ain't trying to spread fog.

    I wonder if you see a distinction between being in a discussion about racism and asking "are you a racist" and being in a discussion and saying "you are a racist."

    I also wonder how you conclude that she "called everyone who disagreed with" her a racist.

    "a typical tactic of the left"

    Black and white much?
    Have you heard of the color grey?

  • Warren||

    Wow. After reading her reply, it's clear the woman is a combination of fragile ego and stunted intellect.

  • ||

    KMW,

    "She has her facts wrong"

    Please elaborate.

  • ||

    I suspect I have probably already said this at one point here, but, in response to joe, I feel the need to point out that many of the people I know who vote for Democrats will often say things like, "Where I live in Brooklyn there are lots of stinky working class white people who probably watch NASCAR," and "My grandmother lives in an industrial town where nobody reads books," and the like. These are academic leftists who would vote for Castro or Chavez if they had a chance, so maybe they aren't really representative of Democratic Party members.

  • ||

    I am outta here,

    But an interesting comment from Althouse's blog...

    "Wow... this exchange really presents the event in a different light from what I perceived from your exchange with Jonah. When I watched the Blogging Heads video I couldn't help but think that you and Jonah were just misunderstanding and talking past each other. This is different.

    I've always considered myself to be a "libertarian leaning Republican" but this shows up the true believers to be rather foolish. I was just a kid in 1964 but I remember taking seriously the idea that you couldn't legislate racism out of people. But I was really surprised to see how quickly the country got used to the idea of integration. Within a few short years it just seemed silly to think that blacks were once barred from some restaurants and hotels. How anyone could argue against this incredibly positive outcome based solely on ideology is beyond me."

  • Guy Montag||

    MainstreamMan,

    I am not confusing anything.

    As a matter of fact, I have received the discrimination that is being touted about by you and your crusader buddies too. No, I did not like it and I was under the impression that it was illegal, but it does not seem to be in DC and I do respect the right of the business to admit in the doors who they wish.

    I do not support the government telling anybody who they may or may not serve or even what sort of accomodations they must have (non smoking sections, smoking bans, bathrooms, etc.)

    Said discrimination was being told to move along when I approached a line of people waiting to go into a bar. The line consisted of mostly 'black' men and women, some 'white' women and yes, I was in proper attire and very sober.

    Several years later I was told by a bartender in DC that they indeed do get to reserve the right to refuse service to anybody for any reason. Not sure if this is legal, but I know it is a practice there.

    Oh, before you turn this into a lynching endorsement . . . never mind.

  • KMW||

    Mainstream-- I mean only that Ron's account is the more accurate version of the dinner conversation's content and tone.

  • ||

    Althouse is a liar who will write anything without allegation if it stirs up controversy on her blog.

    She doesn't care anything about ideas, except on how their portrayal will boost her blog hits. She makes allegations without evidence, and thinks everybody will forget about them when she jokes around later.

    It crosses a line when she lies about former students on her blog though.

  • VM||

    Sure, Mitch. To characterize those anecdotes as "all liberals do this" doesn't do anything to the discussion, it doesn't further your arguments, and is as dumb as the "why do you hate America" line of argument of elements on the right.

    "Academic left". Balls. Academic leftists? Saying some of those things? What the hell, at a school that only takes ACTs, and low scores at that? Just don't believe that characterization you're throwing out.

    Actually, your statements make Joe much more sympathetic here. Sorry for throwing cold water on the pile on Joe brigade, but between these comments, the really tough "military lawyer's" fear of academics, Mr. Crane has been proved right again.

    Mr. Mainstream Man. Or would that be "Mr. Man"? Please introduce gray to more here.

    (all we need is that asshole yelling "DEMAND CURVE" and that dickhead Clothier from years ago, and we'll hit for the cycle)

  • ||

    Wow. After reading her reply, it's clear the woman is a combination of fragile ego and stunted intellect.

    I second Warren above, at 3:06.

    She should take care to pick her targets more carefully though, not lying about former UW students online.

    Boosting your blog numbers by inventing controversies like this one -- using things like segregation and gay rights, and misportraying the views of others -- is sick.

  • ||

    Interestingly, Althouse has the moderation on for the comments to her response. That is very rare for her. God, she really is being defensive. I doubt my comment calling her out for being a lawyer and crying at the hands of Ronald Bailey will make it on.

    I don't always agree with Bailey, but I have never read or heard anything that would indicate that he is a liar or a slanderer. Who has the motive to lie here? Why would Bailey make all of this stuff up especially when there were several people were there and could dispute his account? I can't see it. I believe Bailey.

  • Guy Montag||

    It should go without saying that if I were running a business anybody who could make a purchase would be served and anybody who caused trouble would be banned.

    However, as I have stated in the past, no point can be made to a Leftist without the accompaniment of blunt-force-trauma.

  • b-psycho||

    I asked her that hypothetical I posted here. Let's see if she answers it.

  • ||

    Somebody ask Professor Althouse what she is doing at the UW law school to "prove" that she is not a racist.

    I don't recall many minority students voluntarily enrolled in her classes -- and she is known as one of the few there who does not contribute anything outside of class to help these causes that she wants us to believe she so vigorously defends against the libertarian "racists".

    Actions, not words Professor. Particularly when your words don't hold water. Anybody who believes that bit about her crying over a cause... she's got a blog ad to sell ya, folks!

  • VM||

    Former: good call. And third Warren's notion here. I know a really tough military lawyer who could soo (sic) them.

    Maybe her ego got bruised when the window on her Audi TT got stuck.

  • ||

    Guy,

    I still think you are conflating people with businesses.

    Let's ask it in another way.

    What are your thoughts on government creation of an abstract entity that sheilds individuals from legal consequences for their actions?

    Do you think that abstract entity should be afforded the same consideration in a dispute as a living human?

  • ||

    Mainstream,

    I wonder if you see a distinction between being in a discussion about racism and asking "are you a racist" and being in a discussion and saying "you are a racist."

    I also wonder how you conclude that she "called everyone who disagreed with" her a racist.

    "a typical tactic of the left"

    Black and white much?
    Have you heard of the color grey?


    Why would she suddenly decide, which she states quite clearly in her own blog, that the people at the dinner "might be racists" based on what they were saying. Nice use of the "might be" by her, she doesn't actually say it, just implies it quite strongly. And, the implication is based entirely upon a political/philosophical discussion they are having. thus, she clearly hears them say things about how far teh federal gov't should to in combating racism, does not like the same, and immediately decides "these people might be racists" gets into a panick attack and starts crying. She also implies the racism charge in several different forums thereafter.

    So, please do us a favor and be real. I understand quite clearly what she herself has said. do you? Apparently not.

    Please find me examples where conservatives have tried to shut down political arguments by calling liberals racist. then we can talk about "black or white much". In this particular instance, it IS black and white.

    Sorry, try again next week.

    - GB

  • Guy Montag||

    Nice attempted obfuscation of the corporation and I believe that corporations are a perfectly fine method of reducing personal liability when multiple owners of the same assets are involved.

    When the discussion is about diners and sandwich shops, the assumption is normally a single propriator and not a corporate entity.

  • gahrie||

    I am hardly a defender of Althouse. In fact I have been highly critical of her concerning her writings about this symposium, both on my blog and her blog.

    However, just to clear things up, she has enabled comment moderation not to censure those commenting on this issue, but in order to deal with a particularlly obnoxious troll. (who has shown up over here I believe)

  • scr0d||

    Great Banana,

    It is a good thin Althouse does not actually practice law, she would not last a day.

    Wikipedia says she was a litigator at SulCrom. Which in your 70-hr a week circles means she has a bigger legal dick than you, unless perchance you're in one of the few firms at that level. Just sayin.

  • ||

    I just wish she'd pick a side and stick with it. All this twisting and turning, fixing yourself up as whatever identity you want to assume this week is odd.

    I guarantee if you keep watching, she'll be back on the libertarian team when it suits her purposes. She got the free trip to Chicago and eats, right? She's still running in the "conservative" contest. Yet now she's crying to us that she's a good friend to those who unequivocably support civil rights?

    Sure, try crawling in with the warm liberals -- surely they'll have you, when the other fellas recognize you're just a tease there to stir up controversy and throw around labels.

    Go away Althouse until you make up your mind really who you are and where you stand on these issues independent of what the controversial blog hits can do for you.

  • ||

    VM,

    "when was the last time John Kerry or Ted Kennedy hung out with a plummer or cab-driver for the day? Be real. Snobbery knows [no] political party."

    what the hell are you talking about? nor does that sort of snobbery know any economic boundaries or racial ones. That's weaker than the coffee down at juvie.


    My point was that Joe's asinine comment about democrats not being snobs was stupid. there are snobs in both parties. And, probably to the same extent.

  • Guy Montag||

    Please find me examples where conservatives have tried to shut down political arguments by calling liberals racist. then we can talk about "black or white much". In this particular instance, it IS black and white.

    Um, I call SUV hating Leftists racist on a regular basis and point out to them just who the people driving SUVs are in Northern Virginia and DC. Granted, I am usually doing it after they try to say I am automatically 'racist' because I don't vot for Communists or Democrats and it is a mirror being heald to their silly assumptions, but I do it on frequent occasion.

  • ||

    Wikipedia says she was a litigator at SulCrom. Which in your 70-hr a week circles means she has a bigger legal dick than you, unless perchance you're in one of the few firms at that level. Just sayin."

    That just means she was an Ivy league troll who spent her days in the office reviewing documents and writing memoradum. At firm like that you have to be a partner to ever see the courtroom. Note she didn't become a partner and instead became a teacher. If this is any indication of her intellectual fortitude she wouldn't last 10 minutes in a courtroom.

  • ||

    Wikipedia says she was a litigator at SulCrom. Which in your 70-hr a week circles means she has a bigger legal dick than you, unless perchance you're in one of the few firms at that level. Just sayin.

    Being at a big firm doesn't make one a good litigator. Nor does it mean she ever actually litigated anything. How long was she there? She could have been there fresh out of law school for her first five years and thus never even argued a motion. Who knows. but, maybe she did do a lot of real litigating (and yes, I did work at a big firm for a # of years).

    However, the crying jag at this conference does not lend itself to her ever having been involved in real litigation. It just doesn't. If you can't hold up under the withering pressure of dinner conversation, I don't see you doing too well in a trial, or before a hostile judicial panel, etc.

  • ||

    VM,

    I don't quite understand what you are getting at in your response to me.

    Sure, Mitch. To characterize those anecdotes as "all liberals do this" doesn't do anything to the discussion, it doesn't further your arguments, and is as dumb as the "why do you hate America" line of argument of elements on the right.

    I didn't say "all liberals have contempt for working class people;" I was just arguing that some people who vote for Democrats do.

    "Academic left". Balls. Academic leftists? Saying some of those things? What the hell, at a school that only takes ACTs, and low scores at that? Just don't believe that characterization you're throwing out.

    Are you suggesting that there is no such thing as an academic left, or that I am lying when I relate what such people have said to me? And what school are you referring to?

  • ||

    The reason this whole episode has my dander up, is that I have been involved in these arguments with people, where I am taking the position that the federal government does not have the power to do X in order to stop Y bad thing (homophobia, racism, etc).

    I have been on the receiving end of the "you must be a racist then" line of reasoning. Hearing someone who is a law professor (and allegedly centrist or slightly right-of-center) immediately go to that imbecilic argumentation technique is really, really disheartening.

    It means that this country's collective IQ is even lower than I imagined. If someone like Althouse can truly believe such asinine arguments - to the point of having a panic attack from being in the same room as the perceived "racists" - we are truly doomed. If our intellectual elite is of Althouse's caliber, then we are not very bright.

    If every argument raised about the scope of federal power is to be met with "then you must be a racist, homophobe, sexist, or whateverist", why not just relax and submit to big bothter and newthink right now? It becomes clear that logical analysis is no longer required.

  • ||

    Improved dialog, courtesy of whoever wrote the screenplay for Stripes:

    MONTAG: I don't like *anybody* driving my vehicle, other than a mechanic for the rare occasions when I am not doing the repair, especially when I can't see what they are doing with it.
    VALET: Lighten up, Francis.

    ALTHOUSE: Are you a racist?
    MKW: No, but I am willing to learn!

    If they ever do another dramatization of The Passion of Ayn Rand, they must get Althouse for the title role. Only the cape and the cigarette holder are lacking.

  • ||

    Wow, you sure are a group of charmers, not to mention intellectuals! Good thing you're not actually in power anywhere. Keep up the colloquies, and have fun discussing liberty while reading the works of a man who wanted the National Guard to be used to stop desegregation.

  • ||

    Banana you are exactly right. This idea that anyone who doesn't support a federal sollution to bad behavior really supports the behavior drives me batty. Althouse should be ashamed for making such a stupid lazy argument.

  • ||

    Folks: She is a liar who doesn't know or care who she is writing about or responding to. If she can get herself worked up, and come out smelling like a rose on an issue while painting everyone else as a "bad enemy" she will.

    Look as that female blogger who lunched with Clinton. Look at Andrew Sullivan. Look at Goldberg. Look at the Moderate Voice. She wants controversy, not to be taken seriously. The fact that you scholars spoke seriously about ideas showed her up -- she had to create a controversy to call her own, one where she could come out smelling like a rose, and the rest of you as racist enemies.

    She likes to paint gay activists in a similar negative light you'll note; anyone who does not come at an issue in the manner she deems correct gets smeared. Get it you racists?

  • Jadagul||

    Seems to me like this is sort of a worldview and experience clash-lots of people who've never been exposed to libertarian-type thought in a serious way honestly can't believe that people honestly believe the sorts of things they say. I did a math research seminar over the summer, and one day we got into a political conversation (where I opposed the minimum wage). I could actually watch the arguments I was making fail to penetrate; the people I was talking to couldn't process the fact that I actually thought the minimum wage was a bad idea (this isn't a criticism of those people, though. They were all really bright and talented mathematicians; they just hadn't ever put serious effort into political thought, and hadn't heard these ideas and arguments before). It was like a conversation you'd imagine between an eighteenth-century Salemite and an atheist, or between most of us and a true believer in magic: "Wait, you believe what? No, really, you're just teasing me, right? You can't actually believe that."

    Sounds like Althouse can't figure out (and she says this on her blog) how anyone could really, actually, honestly believe that outlawing private racial discrimination was a bad idea. I don't think it was clearly, obviously, and definitely wrong, but I lean towards opposing it and in any event think there are real arguments against it. Althouse's reaction is "private discrimination was really, really bad; obviously we needed to do something to stop it, and anyone who believes it would have gone away on its own is hopelessly naive or deliberately blinkered. So we had to use the force of law to stop it." She stated somewhere in the comments thread of the post Ron linked to that this should be a primary criterion for evaluating a political philosophy; any normative approach to government that doesn't allow the Civil Rights Act's provisions against private discrimination is ipso facto false, because those provisions were so obviously necessary.

    Contrast this to someone like, say, joe, who (I believe-correct me if I'm wrong) thinks that these provisions were good and necessary, but only thinks we're wrong, and not prima facie nuts, for opposing them. It would be possible, if extremely difficult, to convince joe; Althouse has announced that any argument with that conclusion is by definition false.

    But since Althouse doesn't think anyone could really believe that this makes sense, she's left with two possible explanations for why Ronald Baily, KMW et al. believe what they do: first, they're ideologues so blinded by their commitment to an abstract ideology that they can't react to real-world concerns; fiat justitia ruat caelum (note her dismissive response to downtownlad: if he's willing to sacrifice his immediate well-being to his ideals of freedom, he's just an ideologue). Second, they're racists who are using this ideology in order to further their segregative goals (as it sounds like Meyer might well have been). At some point during the night, her inability to penetrate what she saw as deliberate ideological bullheadedness led her to believe the second might be true; note that in her response to Bailey she complains that her interlocutors were "defending the rights of white people," implying that they're sacrificing the rights of black people.

    Note that this entire discussion surprised me; I've only read Althouse a few times, but I'd always thought she made a lot of sense. But I read the first post Ron linked before I read Ron's account, and I was really disappointed by it.

  • Warren||

    I don't see this as much of a he said/she said problem, is as far as I don't see much difference in the facts between the two accounts. Ann's main points of contention is that Ron mischaracterized what was going on in her head. We should defer to Ann on those point. Still, Ann's response serves to validate Ron's account. Her tone strikes me as a flummoxed freshman, encountering discourse differing from her internalized dogma for the first time. She truly is horrified that people take libertarian ideas seriously. She refuses to accept that they can be practically applied in the real world. And she insists that anyone, who would hesitate to call forth the powers of the federal government against any racist behavior, must themselves be racist. It really struck me that she seemed to think that the only way someone could disagree with her is if they didn't understand what she was saying. And then having to confront the (terrifying) reality, which can only mean that they are awful awful people. Also she seems to have her own private definition of the word 'obtuse', which near as I can tell, she means 'irrelevant'.

  • ||

    Althouse should be ashamed for making such a stupid lazy argument.

    Keep reading -- she's proud.
    She was "trapped" in small rooms with these racist.

    The only thing standing between and a return to, or a permanent second-class status, is the power of benevolent law professors like her.

    She must be VIGILANT. Only her voice and her views can protect the underdogs. And if we all don't cheer her on and recognize her power, why she has the power to lie and smear you too! Even if you're upperclass white scholars pretending you're not racists (really man, have you read the follow up comments she's letting in? LOL-- anything for controversial links)

  • ||

    Having read both of the battling posts and all the comments to them (up till I started writing this), I think I see what Althouse's problem was. She was trying to make the point that empirical evidence showed that, if left alone, the market would not have enabled blacks to get a fair shake (a proposition that Bailey himself refers to above, w/r/t Becker). The other people at the table apparently kept saying in response that government coercion is bad. By doing so, they failed or refused to confront the possibility that without government coercion, blacks could have remained an underclass forever. And I guess it got ugly.

  • VM||

    Mitch - good point - none of the above, nor am I denying this hyperliberal/quasi socialist "academic left", but I certainly don't think it's as widespread as people seem to believe, nor is it omnipresent.

    There are some here for whom the crusade is against such a beast (whether it be academia, war hawks, doves, "free market" advocates, corn syrup, guns, climate change, or what have you), and they'll find "evidence" for it and have anecdotes for it till the cows come home.

    You probably are familiar with the similar crap you might get from acquaintances who come up with redeculus (sic) portrayals of libertarianism or of free marketeers. They seek them out, and they interpret situations to fit their idea. Then give the "libertarians think this. I know a lot of 'em. This is what libertarians think. Some libertarians." You probably fall out of your chair, laughing: not sure whether to buy them a drink or to have them deported to Norway.

    However, getting into the anecdotal arguments about "liberals do this" "conservatives do that" doesn't further the debate. Rather, it seems to underscore that tilting at such stereotypical windmills (e.g., "academia" or "conservatives" or "libertarians") is rather fruitless.

    Upon reading Banana's newer comments, I do completely understand whence he comes.

    MSM seemed to be pointing out that there are probably lots of good places to attack her ideas directly - use quotes, point out inconsistencies, etc., but if the first line of attack is to throw out a generalization (without providing direct evidence that the generalization is the best way to go), you're already lost. (reference to PJ O'Rourke's views on racism from "Parliament of Whores" IIRC)

    Between yours and the Banananananana's comments, I'll just keep drinking and sit the next few plays out. Much much too confused here for anything. I do, in all seriousness, appreciate you taking the time to comment. But I do concede from yours and his comments that I'm just too darned torked (sic) up on corn syrup to be of any use.

    /kicks pebble.

  • ||

    Well, I see that Ann and I don't share the same tastes in books or film. But, got dam, she likes the Byrds, so there you go.

    That's awful! How can I, in good conscience, ridicule someone who likes the Byrds?

    Sometimes, life just ain't fair!

  • ||

    Are you suggesting that there is no such thing as an academic left, or that I am lying when I relate what such people have said to me? And what school are you referring to?

    I recall the flabby freeloading Jonah Goldberg "write" something about this recently. In fact, Jonah might as well be a Libertarian, there is no difference in the modern-day version anyway.

    Whenever I see "Leftist" it's a given the person that wrote it is just another wingnut. We'll all remember the the true defenders of Liberty while Bush has been wiping his ass with the Constitiution for the past 6 years, and leading disasterous foreign occupations.

  • ||

    KMW should have taken a page from Sarah Silverman's play book:

    Yes, I am a racist. I love Chinks.

  • Rhywun||

    Oy. This thread is out of control; I'm bailing.

  • VM||

    "We'll all remember the the true defenders of Liberty "

    The Shriners?

    Mark - thanks for underlying the usefulness of such broad brush statements. Way to go. (You'd get points for insulting Goldberg, but you lose 'em all by suggesting that libertarians are close to him).

    If you're implying democrats, by the way:
    Preemptive war in Yugoslavia with no US interest.
    Clinton's desire to expand NATO
    The democrat-controlled senate voted to give Bush the powers to go to war
    What about the dems and the post Oklahoma City bombing? They liked some of those laws. And those that voted for PATRIOT. mmm Good.

    I'd say we have one side trying to out-do the other side in terms of absolute twaddlenockery and quibbledickery.

  • Larry A||

    Anyway, Althouse bizarrely came away thinking that conservatives and libertarians were frightening "true believers." Why? Evidently because they took political and moral ideas seriously.

    "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Barry Goldwater

    Meyer's argument is that liberty is the necessary prerequisite for practicing virtue. Apparently some conservatives, such as L. Brent Bozell, Jr. (see Bozell's 1962 essay "Freedom or Virtue?" which we read for the seminar) with whom Meyer was arguing, believe that the state has the right and obligation to coerce virtue.

    This is a no-brainer. Virtue consists of resisting vice. If the state prevents individuals from chosing vice, it thereby prevents those individuals from practicing virtue.

  • ||

    Here's the latest from the Professor as she twists the facts of this controversy, so she and only she comes out smelling like a rose. Worship me, o minority brothers and sisters everywhere; it's not about my art project blog this time -- really it's about you, my subjects:

    If anyone at that table had had the decency to say sincerely that they cared about civil rights and wanted to find a way to make it show that they hated racism, I would never have gotten angry like that. You suddenly became very vicious toward me, in defense of your friend. It looked really ugly. I was just begging for people to care about racism. Your colleague had an infuriatingly insolent smirk on her face for two hours. I tried very hard to deal with it, but it was just too much for me in the end. You did nothing to reach out toward me, a moderate, who came to the conference interested in libertarians. You completely alienated me and lost me as a potential ally, which was surpassingly foolish politically.

  • Not A. Regular||

    So Althouse cried at dinner. Moving on...
    How about the substantive issue she was apparently trying to discuss at the time? Does the evidence of benefit from the federalist approach to civil rights have any bearing on the validity of Frank S. Meyer's ideology? Conversely, does the use of Meyer's principles to oppose civil rights for blacks indicate a flaw in the ideology that requires cure? If so, can the ideas be improved so that they are not susceptible to exploit?

  • Never after midnight||

    Ann Althouse regularly picks fights to get blog traffic. You've just obliged her.

    Don't feed the troll.

  • Guy Montag||

    She reminds me of the pro-drug crowd. Some of them trip around here too and if I could remember where they responded to me I would post it here.

    I happen to be all for legalizing the drugs that are illegal now, but I don't advocate their use, so some of the pot jihadists feel the need to toss a fit when I remind folks that inhaling any smoke damages your lungs, just like when I smoke tobacco.

    Same wacky mindset. For Ms Althouse it is 'what? you don't believe equality must be legislated? you are a racist/sexist!'
    Um, no I think that laws that discriminate should be eliminated.
    'You really are racist!'
    No, I don't discriminate on the basis of race. However, I do on the basis of sex for certain activities.
    'You are homophobic too!'

    Willie Nelsonoids: I think drug laws should be eliminated, but I don't think it is wise to use a lot of the drugs that would be legal.
    'What? You have been fed full of fairy tales! How can you be so anti-drug?'
    What is wrong with being anti-drug? It is my choice not to use them. I must be pro-choice too since I chose not to use.
    'The government has brainwashed you maaaaaaannnn.'

  • JimK||

    "Ann Althouse regularly picks fights to get blog traffic."



    It certainly seems that way lately. Every third post is either about a fight or about voting for her for some award or another.

    It's coming off as literally nothing more than a lot of preening while simultaneously playing the put-upon female victim - which is sort of at odds with the ideals of feminism, but what the hell do I know, I have testicles. I can't be a feminist according to some.

  • Guy Montag||

    What is fetid juice?

    Is it organic? Can it be cloned? Is it kosher? Does it need Tabasco?

  • Guy Montag||

    Wow, I can't believe that I shot right past this (Shooter is me):


    Shooter said...
    Think about it. You're a middle-aged man, meeting a woman for the first time, having a drink, and she reveals some little fact about herself. What do you do? Smile and reveal some little thing about yourself and make connections? Or do you grunt a few syllables and decide she's a lightweight?

    I reveal that I was an Army Aviator and ask her for her phone number.

    1:31 PM, December 29, 2006

    Ann Althouse said...
    Yeah, you're a libertarian ideologue.

    1:32 PM, December 29, 2006



    Where do I get the card for my wallet?

  • ||

    Listen I have to ask:

    Just how much drinking was going on that night? I strongly suspect the alcohol factor may have had something to do with the labels, the namecalling, and the tears. Call it a personal hunch.

    Some folks "compete" in their drinking, and bodywise we are not all created equal, no matter how convinced one is that they can drink it up hard like one of the young guys.

  • ||

    Former Student,

    Can you share a little of your background and history with Ms Althouse?

  • ||

    Guy M

    "Nice attempted obfuscation of the corporation and I believe that corporations are a perfectly fine method of reducing personal liability when multiple owners of the same assets are involved."

    Nice dodge of the question. Should corporations be afforded "rights" or expect to have to submit to government regulation in exchange for limited liability?

    "When the discussion is about diners and sandwich shops, the assumption is normally a single propriator and not a corporate entity."

    Do you really believe that sole proprietorships dominate the relevant industries in this country? They may in terms of numbers of businesses, but in terms of number of people served? I believe it is a fairly small chunk of the relavent businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc...).

    But maybe I am wrong about that assumption (got any good numbers for me?).

    Sole proprietorships and corporations are distinct cases in terms of the logic of this issue (it is easier to make a case for placing requirements on corporations). But I still think business activities in the public sphere are distinct from those of individuals even when the business is a sole proprietorship. The smaller the town, the more power a sole proprietorship has over the services they provide. In many cases they have a local monopoly. It is easy to abuse that status.

  • Mark||

    VM

    I advocate none what you listed above i.e Yugo-NATO-PATRIOT. Im a liberal, albeit a very pragmatic one. And I realize I was a dick on my first post here -- but man, Goldberg? Maybe it was a screw-up, or someone else cancelled.

  • ||

    Great B,

    re: liberal vs. conservatives using the "racist" card.

    "In this particular instance, it IS black and white."

    I think that answers my question.

    As to your call for examples...
    I would reference you to any thread on affirmative action in the general blogosphere. Examples will be easy to find.

    If we use the term "race" in its older sense it would be "racist" to attribute attitudes and actions to individual members of a group based on their affiliation with that group. Is there something wrong with pointing this out to someone when they do it (or "may be" doing it)?

    I tend to prefer the term "bigot" to "racist" in that it gets rid of the problems involved in defining race narrowly but describes the important attitudes and behaviors.

    Very few people see themselves as bigoted, but we all are in some way or another. It is a natural part of how our brains work (categorization being a fundamental aspect of all cognition). Due to this it is important to be aware of how we are biased and how those decisions may impact our attitudes, beliefs, and actions. It is easy to justify/attack the actions of a bigot, accuse another of being a bigot. It is very hard to recognize the same tendencies in ourselves. I have a bias against naive reductionists, dogmatic thinkers, and anyone who thinks they have figured it all out. I am a bigot in my interactions with them.

    You think this issue is black and white... that is the first danger sign that your inner bigot is emerging in an issue.

  • ||

    Oh, I don't drink much myself.

    But it's interesting to throw that into to the mix and watch what happens to otherwise sober people. Sometimes they start shooting off allegations that they have no evidence of, that they can't back up.

    Later, some try to just play it off... but sometimes you tend to see a pattern. Maybe a similarity in those being verbally bullied. It's less external, more internal based sometimes.

    You'll all see it this weekend if you know the folks you're with and toss the alcohol into the mix. SPot any such patterns a few hours into the night? Ideas are big, but the folks behind them, tinkering on them continually are bigger too. DOn't fail to observe what you see, and chart those patterns, folks!

  • ||

    I guess that, by Leftstream Man's logic, associations - labor unions, frex - could have their members' rights cramped by legislation, because those organizations aren't persons, either.

    I would end the pretense that corporations are the creations of the state, which is a remnant of the royal power to grant special privileges to favorites. They are more properly the creation of their owners, and are merely registered with the state, which has set neutral requirements for their existence. Our state governments don't allow one incorporation, and deny another when both meet those requirements.

    The wisdom of limiting liability is another question.

    As for this:

    But I still think business activities in the public sphere are distinct from those of individuals even when the business is a sole proprietorship.



    That may be a policy consideration, but it has no black-letter backing in the constitution. You want to enforce your taste on the operation of somebody else's property. Now, unless that restauranteur, hotelier or gas station owner has contracted with the state to guarantee service to all comers, as was often done by states that rented land to vendors along limited access highways, the government should butt out.

    That doesn't change my opinion that the only provider of one of those services who was not so constrained and practiced invidious discrimination would be, to be kind, a jerk. I'd patronize a competitor, should someone start up a rival operation.

    Kevin

  • ||

    I fell asleep here -- is there something substantive here, or is just another blogosphere pissing match?

  • JimK||

    Wow. Ann's latest comment is very telling:

    "They utterly failed to respond to my need that they show that they cared about the terrible history of racism in the United States and the reality of human suffering."



    I think she just confirmed that everyone who said she was overly emotional and out of her depth was absolutely right about her.

  • ||

    Kevrob,

    "I guess that, by Leftstream Man's logic, associations - labor unions, frex - could have their members' rights cramped by legislation, because those organizations aren't persons, either."

    Hmmm... are they provided privledged protection by the government through something along the lines of limited liability? I think in some cases there are arrangements that would qualify.

    Otherwise I think they are covered by the 1st.

    It is the trade of government protection for limited liability that, in my mind, provides justification for regulation of business, or at least corporate, actions.

    "I would end the pretense that corporations are the creations of the state"

    You are confusing creation of the particular corporation with the creation of the category "corporation."

    "That may be a policy consideration, but it has no black-letter backing in the constitution."

    We agree on this one. But aren't we talking about policy? There is lots of smart policy that has neither black-letter backing or refutation in the constitution.

    "You want to enforce your taste on the operation of somebody else's property."

    This is the same Kevrob who was arguing that a certain rancher in Kansas should be forced to include/allow prairie dog extermination on his land as part of how he operated his business on his own land. Just checking. That seemed a clear issue of taste to me, but you argued for intrusion into his business based on the impact his inaction would have on others in his community.

    Try that logic here.

  • Paints himself blue||

    When an individual insists on bringing up the race of merchants

    ....as Bonaparte called the British...

  • Guy Montag||

    MainstreamMan, thanks for the sophomoric bullshit. I did not dodge the question and you restated my answer as a question.

    I have no time for the likes of you and your juvenile, endless "but why?" series.

    MainstreamMan | December 29, 2006, 7:36pm | #

    Guy M

    "Nice attempted obfuscation of the corporation and I believe that corporations are a perfectly fine method of reducing personal liability when multiple owners of the same assets are involved."

    Nice dodge of the question. Should corporations be afforded "rights" or expect to have to submit to government regulation in exchange for limited liability?

    "When the discussion is about diners and sandwich shops, the assumption is normally a single propriator and not a corporate entity."

    Do you really believe that sole proprietorships dominate the relevant industries in this country? They may in terms of numbers of businesses, but in terms of number of people served? I believe it is a fairly small chunk of the relavent businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc...).

    But maybe I am wrong about that assumption (got any good numbers for me?).

    Sole proprietorships and corporations are distinct cases in terms of the logic of this issue (it is easier to make a case for placing requirements on corporations). But I still think business activities in the public sphere are distinct from those of individuals even when the business is a sole proprietorship. The smaller the town, the more power a sole proprietorship has over the services they provide. In many cases they have a local monopoly. It is easy to abuse that status.

  • Della||

    Murphy: This is obviously Act I of a romantic comedy. I'm picturing Kate Hudson as Althouse and Hugh Jackman as Bailey, with Charlie Sheen as Radley Balko.

  • ||

    I read Althouse regularly. She is nuts, to put it in simple terms, and an intellectual lightweight. She is on a downward spiral, and I suspect she will give up blogging shortly and head for some rehab somewhere.

  • ||

    Guy M,

    Why so threatened? I was just asking for a straight answer. You did not indicate whether you felt the government should be able to place restrictions on the behavior or corporations. You simply stated that you thought they were a good way to limit liability in a partnership. That was not the question. You dodged the main issue at hand.

    But if calling me names is much easier than wasting your time writing a sentence like

    1) "No, I don't think government should be allowed to regulate business in exchange for liability protection"

    Or

    2) "Yes, it would be a reasonable condition of limited liability protection that the business be required to follow certain community standards."

    Then I guess you don't have much standing to criticize Althouse.

  • Guy Montag||

    If Professor Althouse is truly against bigotry then perhaps she should stop practicing it herself, like what is described by both her and the other attendees from that gathering.

  • ||

    Charles-Then why do you read her?

  • ||

    Then why do you read her?

    It's fun to watch a professor display a lack of reasoning skills, an ugly mouth, and best... TEARS! when she isn't paid enough attention and does not accept the ideas of others.

    She was YELLING that the others present were RACISTS, and then she burst into tears before storming off. A Law Professor. At a conference of intellectuals discussing ideas.

    She was so threatened or scared, that she started flinging verbal poo -- calling others present RACISTS, then she started CRYING, instead of downplaying it she made NASTY COMMENTS about her all-expenses-paid experience, and again repeated the RACIST meme on her own art project blog. She didn't mention the CRYING JAG though. How does this represent professional women, female attorneys, or University of Wisconsin folks? I can guarantee you this -- most don't start NAMECALLING and CRYING when their ideas aren't receiving enough attention at a forum organized and paid for by a specific group. If events occurred as the professor described, why not WALK AWAY? Before the tears and racist taunting. Then she came up with the "trapped" language. Hint: pull out your cell phone and call the cops next time you are that trapped and threatened then. Calling folks RACISTS with no proof and then CRYING about it ... hell yeah, I read her blog.

    Show me a TV show about a whiny princess professor who's losing her teeth and still thinks she's queen of the ball intellectually. Best cheap comedy around!

  • ||

    Plus, since her whole blog was built on links from the InstaLump for supporting for President Bush and his administration, plus the idea that the US is smart in temporarily shelving the Bill of Rights at home and employing dubious tactics in "fighting back" against Iraq... we loyal readers have to stay tuned to see when and if she admits she's been talking out her ass from the start. Just like the InstaLumper and his pimpin'hot wife. Heh!

    Or do you suppose they won't want to talk war and politics anymore and will just become full-time reviewers of cheap comped goods sent their way? For intellectuals, these professors sure do sell themselves cheaply.

    Fun to look on at their intellectual progress and accuracy as the years pass... RACISTS!

  • ||

    Shem,

    I read her because I like laughing at stupid people, and Althouse and her sycophants are hilariously crazy and ill-informed. I tripped on her because of Instarube. 99% of his links are to absolutely batshit crazy, ill-informed, and angry people. As best as I can tell, she is the queen bee of the Instarube-led ignoranti.

  • ||

    Oh sounds like she's getting out of the political and legal analysis business. That's just not for her, say the most recent post.

    Sounds like after that CNN election night gig and her tearful encounter with the young libertarians she is re-evaluating who she wants to be in the New Year. That reminds me of a song:

    She's an old hippie
    and she don't know what to do
    Should she hang on to the old?
    Should she grab on to the new?

  • ||

    Lightweight describes her best. And being petulant and throwing temper tantrums when cornered -- also typical.

    Her primary style is to write loopy remarks and then deny that they mean what is the most obvious inference to draw from the vague remark. She will not explain the remark -- supposedly part of her "technique" is to "make you think" by writing in this weak manner. If you press her on the ambiguity, you allegedly just don't have the smarts to grasp her higher lesson.

    I think being a law professor and using socratic methods in the classroom has infected her brain. Law professors can get away with vagueness by using the socratic method -- but it can degenreate into a power trip when someone challenges the questions. Just as it can hard to make a clear point with declarative statements, it is tricky to do so with the implications of a serious of questions. Except that you have to defend declarative dstaements -- you can pretend you don't have to defend questions.

    She seems bright enough -- just lacking emotional intelligence which undermines her thinking and causes bad behavior when challenged. Her favorite stunt is to delete strong counterarguments by falsely calling them "personal attacks," and compound the sin by making a personal attack on the commenter based on the false claim that the deleted comment was a personal attack.

  • ||

    And this is what Adler and Drezner think is the last word? Oh, you boys are showing all the signs of desperate denial. Let's remember what the subject is.

    It's racism, right? Throw Jacob Levy in, and you've got her oddly calling Jonathon and Daniel "boys" with commenters referring to the 3 Stooges. Then there's the Goldberg showdown.

    Is it anti-Semitic to publically refer to Jewish men you disagree with as "boys"? Are the majority of these Jewish indeed, by race if not practice?

    Is it offensive to ask questions like these, similar to throwing around other labels like "racists" ? Does it stall or further the discussion to have public attack conversations like this one?

    Would these discussions fare better if only food -- hell, hold the sugar desserts too -- and no alcohol was served at these intellectual dinners? Not a Mormon, but I surely bet they would...

  • ||

    More Althouse:
    I think what happened is that I deliberately wrote a personal, impressionistic style of post because I did not want to say anything bad about anyone. I had done something that was meaningful to me, but I didn't want to disrespect anyone, especially Jonathan Adler, who put the conference together. But when Ron Bailey launched a huge, conspicuous, brutal attack on me, I was forced to say more. I have still held back from saying everything I could say, even about the brutish Bailey.

  • sathi2000||

    I knew nothing of D&D, but from that day forward, Gygax became a hero of mine. I figured anyone who could provoke such a conniption from a Bible-thumping bubblehead was all right in my book. R.I.P. Mr. Gygax...
    http://www.mirei.com

  • منتدى||

    tanks

  • SIV||

    KM-W FTW!

  • Austin Remodeling Contractors||

    I can only assume that Gygax's mausoleum will be an extensive underground complex that is evenly divisible into ten foot by ten foot squares.

  • ||

    This is anathema to libertarians. The first concern of libertarians is state power and this paramount concern for the abuse of state power means that the state should stay out of private activities that traditional conservatives might consider vicious
    Austin Roofing Contractors

  • ||

    The first concern of libertarians is state power and this paramount concern for the abuse of state power means that the state should stay out of private activities that traditional conservatives might consider vicious
    Mother's Day Flowers

  • ||

    Electing retards like the Conyers' (both of 'em) is why Detroit has become a festering pustule on the asscheek of the Midwest.
    restaurants

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