Monday, July 15, 2013

Closing up shop.

Lem's place is now the gathering place for Althouse refugees, so I don't need to indulge in this any longer. I'll keep it up for now just because.

In the future I do plan on setting up another blog of my own. I've got ideas about what I want to cover (government, economics and their relation to society) and I've even got a title for the blog. I will probably start that one fresh under another nom de plume though. So I can't even tell people where to look at this point.

But if I'm going to start writing in volume again for a tiny audience (myself and about three people that have interest in my yammerings), I am not going to restrict myself to writing about someone else's blog. Again, the point here was for Althouse refugees to have a place to congregate, and that mission has been accomplished (in style, it must be noted) by Lem.

So, so long and thanks for all the fish, and I hope to see you at Lem's or Trooper's joints.

Icepick

Yeah, this is going to help....





Anyone else think we'd be better off if we put actual lunatics in charge of the media than the people we've got there now?

"There's an app for that."

Apple to probe smartphone charging death mystery

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/15

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/14

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Verdict in, everything quiet - so far....

Zimmerman found not guilty. The neighborhood has remained fairly quiet so far.

I was outside about a half-hour after the verdict was announced moving the car. There were sirens off in the distance, but that means nothing - there are frequently sirens. Hell, there was a stretch earlier this year where the fire trucks were up the street danged near every other day for about a month.

There were some raised voices up the street, too. But I couldn't tell what they were saying, and it may have had nothing to do with the Zimmerman case.

I did hear one seeming gunshot not far off. But even that might have just been a firecracker.

So far so quiet. We'll see what happens after tomorrow's church services.

...

Watching the news has been depressing. So many MOTHERS are saying that they will tell their sons to do exactly what Trayvon did, to not run if followed, and to attack anyone they think is "profiling" them. It is depressing to realize that so many people are so fucking stupid that they think that is both the safest thing to do, and the right thing to do. So many completely fucking stupid people.

It's also depressing to see how fucking stupid the NATIONAL news people are. The locals have been pretty good, at least on News13, but the folks on CNN and the NBC networks and Fox have been completely fucking brain-dead. There's no point in even going into the particulars.

Addendum: Based on what is being said by the people being interviewed, a non-black person has no right to self-defense if attacked by a black person. Apparently Zimmerman was supposed to lie there  until sweet little Trayvon caved in his skull.

Addendum 2: Al Sharpton is planning to come to Florida to stir up more racial strife.

Addendum 3: The NAACP is demanding that the Federal government get Zimmerman no matter what it takes. Presumably they will be happy with drone strikes.

Addendum 4: The NAACP says the the absolute worst crime anyone can commit is to NOTICE THINGS. They are demanding that all profiling be made illegal. Yes, they want thought crimes, and the repeal of several amendments of the Constitution.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Creeley23 asks the question we're all wondering about. [BONUS added.]

In the comments, Creeley23 asks, "So what are the theories on Althouse's meltdown?"

He has his speculations. Here's mine:
Personally, I think it is just one of those things that happens on the internet. I don't think that just Althouse had a meltdown, I think the whole commentariat had a bit of a meltdown. Althouse did throw fire on a couple of on-going flame wars, but the wars were already long standing affairs. She just dropped some fuel bombs before going nuclear.

There really were a lot of people getting extremely pissy about the gay marriage stuff (including me), and the whole "War on Men" thing has been a growing meme and an increasingly sore spot for a while now. Althouse picked the wrong commentariat to get contrary with on that issue.

Frankly, a lot of people were behaving badly. That's not to exclude Althouse, because she was also behaving badly. Mocking the losing side is NOT a classy move, and is guaranteed to increase the heat. The fact that she won't even acknowledge that's what she's doing just makes it worse.

Also, a lot of people think (rightly in my opinion) that the Professor is much more insulated from what's happening in the rest of the country than most everyone else. Sometimes she really does seem stuck in the young Boomer mythos, but times have changed. Hell, us Gen-Xers are starting to get up there in years now. This isn't the country of 1993 anymore, much less the country of 1973.

And then, to add to everything else, Mary showed up again. And that was the final straw. No one who has been subjected to that shit would want to put up with it again, and it has been an periodic problem Althouse has faced. (Other friends of mine have been subjected to that as well - Mary is a destroyer, plain and simple.)

So that was it, bad attitudes all the way around, napalm and fuel bombs (redundancy alert!), neutron bombs and a closed comment section.

And now there's a lot of butt-hurt all the way around, people are nursing grievances, and what was once one of the most entertaining large blog commentary groups (if not the most entertaining) is now kaput.

Mostly I think it was all simple human foibles (stubbornness, willfully refusing to acknowledge the other person's point of view, doubling down of stupid) all the way around, and that people looking for big explanations are just ignoring the obvious: Sometimes people just behave badly, even if they're not fundamentally bad people.

So now us refugees wander the lonely sands of the internet, looking for fellow exiles. 
What's needed now is for everyone to "Hug it out, bitches!", but that ain't happening.

BONUS: Who wrote:
I don't think diagnosing them as crazy or non-crazy is helpful. Those who are behaving like assholes need to be called on it. Plain and simple.  
Answer after the break.


Cow Appreciation Day FAIL

Brazilian man dies after cow falls through his roof on top of him The damaged roof after the cow plunged through it

Never let your cows parachute into populated areas - you never know where they'll land.

(First non-Althouse-related post.)

"There's been much speculation — some of it stupid and ugly — about how Zimmerman's antagonists will react if he's acquitted."

- Althouse

The only problem with this is that Zimmerman antagonists were at the courthouse yesterday chanting "No justice, no peace!" Anyone want to bet on how the jurors might interpret such chants if they hear them?

And it isn't so stupid to speculate about riots when (a) Zimmerman antagonists have been threatening to riot, (b) the police are taking this very seriously, (c) community leaders are worried that their people might riot and (d) there was looting last year at some of the anti-Zimmerman rallies in south Florida last year.

It is stupid to pretend that this isn't a real problem.

...

With any luck, it will be raining all across Central Florida when the verdict is announced. The should help keep things cool here. 

Caught looking.

Couldn't get any time to blog yesterday until 1 in the morning, at which point I didn't care. Blogging daily is a grind.

Looking at Althouse's posts yesterday, I just want to make one comment. She encouraged people to start their own "journeys", start their own blogs. Those with stuff worth listening too would thrive, those that weren't wouldn't, and so on. She then launched Lem's blog, after which he got hundreds of comments.

But here's the thing: blogging is no more like commenting  than giving a speech is to having a conversation. Lots of comments are merely asides, attendant to a conversation but usually not worth much exposition. Furthermore, schtick that works really well in comments may not work as a blog.

Finally, not everyone has the time or energy to blog every day. Blogs are similar to newspapers in that their immediacy is a good deal of their charm. People that can't blog every day simply aren't going to keep readers no matter how well they blog, and they will fall by the wayside.

Signed,
A Weathered Traveler

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/13

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/12

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

Note: I did do better yesterday. But a lot of the posts at Althouse just aren't much fun without comments. The metaphor I keep seeing is that Althouse is now like an empty room. I think it's more like a big,old house, with high ceilings and no closets in the bedroom, just old armoires. And Althouse is now the last member of the family, walking from room to room, talking to ghosts only she can hear (those "emailers" such as Freeman Hunt), discussing topics from long ago (Bob Dylan, the Scott Walker recall). It's got a big, sad, lonely feel to it now.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three posts I don't care about, and one that is kind of interesting.

Althouse has had three posts this afternoon on boring stuff like reality TV, her never ending BobDylan fixation, and Wisconsin politics. (Apparently Wisconsinites are just as jingoistic and parochial in their desire to be Number 1 as any other set of people.)

And then there is a mildly interesting post about the difference between travel and tourism. Two travel writers make a big deal out of travel being superior to mere tourism, and Althouse takes them to task. At least before she gets side-tracked by her fixation with My Dinner with Andre.

My own take is that travel is something you do for work, or when you're on the lamb. Therefore I much prefer tourism. But then I always liked crapping on real toilets. (Travel is likely to get you either crapping in the woods, hoping that you don't piss off the bears, or stuck with things as described here.)

ADDED: It's not an empty room, or a empty old house. It's a desert

Ozymandias 
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Althouse can't make enough penis references...

... so she gets help from another "reader".

Phallic symbol of the day.

I still say that "reader" is a demotion from "commenter". Also, yet another post driven by "reader" email.Was the blog always driven this much by "reader" supplied content?

I'm pretty sure we're not going to see the media reporting that Obama is the first self-identifying black President whose father is Kenyan anytime soon.



Not in every single article. Which makes Zimmerman more special than the President, I guess.


Althouse has another post driven by "reader" email:

"Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic."

Words and meanings are discussed, as well as framing.

Fear of a guilty verdict.

Althouse has a post up about Professor Jacobson's concerns about a guilty verdict:

"I have a really bad feeling about the Zimmerman verdict."

Jacobson (of Legal Insurrection) writes, and is quoted by Althouse:
Logically, it should be a slam dunk of “Not Guilty” on all charges, since the evidence clearly shows Zimmerman was acting in justifiable self-defense as he was being beaten by Trayvon Martin. Or at least there is a reasonable doubt as to self-defense, which the law requires result in a Not Guilty verdict.

I’ve said it before, this was a case which never should have been brought, and it wasn’t. Not until a carefully orchestrated professionally managed publicity campaign based on false racial accusations, resulting in a Special Prosecutor....
Althouse retorts with
I don't have a bad feeling. And I don't feel drawn to this cynicism about jury trials. I think the case has been tried on the evidence — to a sequestered jury. The racial politics and folk sociology that have permeated the media were not part of the trial, and I expect the jury to handle the case properly.

I understand the point of commentary like Jacobson's and the people on the other side as well. They're laying the groundwork for the political use of the case after we see the verdict. All the hot air about the outrage that will meet an acquittal has stirred up a need to puff about the outrage that should accompany a conviction. But are we a nation of hotheads or do we believe that we have a rule of law? If we want the jury to look at the actual relevant evidence, why don't we wait and hear the closing arguments and see what the jury does? Why anticipate lawlessness? 
 Much to respond to in the Althouse response.

First, we have no idea how much of the racial politics have reached the jury. One potential juror got caught out as someone who had been campaigning for the trial and conviction of Zimmerman. How do we know the other people on the jury really didn't come to this with preconceived ideas? One can never be certain about these things. We do know that the President himself has had his DOJ act to make certain that Zimmerman gets fucked in the ass.

Second, even though the jury is sequestered, that doesn't mean that someone somewhere isn't whispering something in their ears. We don't really know what they may be finding out.

Third, one can cite plenty of examples of the country being hot-headed or a nation that believes in rule of law. But it is impossible to now remember the LA riots that followed the Not Guilty verdicts in the trial of the police officers who beat Rodney King.

It is also impossible to ignore Prof. Jacobson's point that the trial wasn't brought until after much racialist politics had been brought to bear. No Al Sharpton, no President Obama adopting Trayvon as the son he never had, and this story (which was a non-story here locally*, initially) would have never garnered any national attention. Throw in the President ordering his DOJ to investigate Zimmerman for civil rights violations and the DOJ actively organizing protests against Zimmerman, and it is hard to take talk about this being a nation of laws seriously. And that ignores the IRS scandals, the HHS scandals, Obama enforcing or suspending laws willy-nilly, and so on. This is no nation of law anymore.

Also, it is impossible to take the notion that there won't be any violence if Zimmerman is acquitted seriously. Perhaps there won't be. But there are plenty of "No justice, no peace" type folks around, complete with tee-shirts that say that on one side, and "Justice for Trayvon" on the other. It's really easy for a lily white law professor living in a nice neighborhood in Madison Wisconsin to take the attitude that concerns over violence are exaggerations for political effect, and it is quite another thing to take that attitude in places on the firing line. Especially if one is lily white in a black neighborhood, as I am.

I should also note that having various black celebrities (e.g. Spike Lee tweeting out what he believed to be Zimmerman's home address, Russell Simmons stating that Zimmerman will pay whether he is guilty or innocent) making threats against Zimmerman doesn't make for a believable case that we have NO reason to fear violence. Nor do all the threats against Zimmerman that have been tweeted out, apparently with no concern from law enforcement that numerous people are threatening to off Zimmerman and his family.

So is Althouse seriously stating that lawlessness shouldn't be anticipated? Does she really think law enforcement agencies shouldn't make preparations for violence when violence is being explicitly threatened?

(I should note that law enforcement agencies in the city of Sanford, Seminole County and Broward County have taken the opposite position, and are actively preparing for potential violence.)

* I live in Orlando, Florida, Sanford is a short drive away, and I've got friends who live in Sanford.

Mini-grab-all, early morning addition, 2013/07/11

Althouse has a short post on cats being sent to Vietnam, a post about crime going up in Milwaukee (it's the cell phones as easy targets on the street) leading her to be happy that Tom Barrett didn't win against Walker last year (Madisonians want nothing to do with Milwaukee if it means their cell phones will be at risk), and another post answering an email from a reader about the OED, which turns into another chance to push the Amazon portal.

That's two posts today (and counting) driven by reader emails.

Bin Laden and hats and stuff from "readers". UPDATED

Althouse starts the day off with more on the bin Laden hat story:

That story about Bin Laden wearing a cowboy hat needed a picture, "even if only an artist's rendering."

She manages to link Freeman Hunt's comment to the George Zimmerman trial.

Enough with the hats already! 

PS I want to see the Chip Ahoy version with bin Laden in a hoodie eating some Skittles and drinking ice tea.

Catch-all Thread for comments: 2013/07/11

Okay, trying to keep up with a tenured professor with grown children, money and time to burn, with a retired spouse is pretty damned hard. It shouldn't come as a surprise that law professors have a good niche in the blogosphere: They're well positioned to have the time and resources to blog a lot.

So, since I won't be able to comment on everything in as timely a manner as I would like, here is a thread for people to comment on until something better gets posted by me. Enjoy!

The Daily Grab-All

So, couldn't get to the blog thing at all today. So here's a grab all for all the Althouse stuff.