MALALA, MATTHEWS AND MADDOW: Hopelessly devoted to being against!


Part 3—Phrenology’s return: Who will Malala Yousafzai turn out to be?

We can’t tell you that. We were so pleased when we watched the tape of her U.N. address that we seem to have misheard one part of what she said.

We were thrilled to hear this very unusual person make this declaration, emphasis hers:

“Dear brothers and sisters! I am not against anyone.”

We were thrilled by that declaration. We were so thrilled that, a bit later one, we thought we heard her say this:
MALALA, AS HEARD: We call upon all the communities to be tolerant—to reject prejudice based on cast, creed, sect, color, religion or agenda.

To ensure freedom and equality for women, so that they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.
It still sounds to us like she said “agenda.” (Her English is accented, as is everyone else's.) But according to the text of the speech as released, it seems that she may have said “gender” instead.

Since the bulk of the speech concerns the rights of women and girls, we like it better the way we heard it. We’d love to see a fresh new voice condemn intolerance based on agenda—to suggest that we should stop being against other people on that familiar old basis.

It isn’t that you can’t oppose the agenda, whatever that agenda might be. The suggestion would be that you ought to stop being against the person who holds it, just as “Gandhiji” suggested in his “eleven vows.”

You can listen to the address to determine what was said. The statement in question occurs right around the 14:40 mark of that tape.

For ourselves, as we watched that tape, we were instantly struck by a contrast: the contrast between what was being said and the steady diet of being against we now get at our “liberal” organs.

In what sorts of ways are we trained to be against? Let’s run through a few examples, featuring the shameless lengths to which we will go in our desire to loathe.

First example: On Monday night, October 21, Chris and Lawrence were certainly shameless in their desire to loathe. (For background, see yesterday's post.) Ted Cruz had told a stale old joke about the status of governmental Washington. But by the time our ranters were done, Cruz had said that all our cities, and everyone who isn’t white, simply aren’t part of America.

What kind of person has to embellish that way to make a case against Cruz? Before they were done, the ranters were dropping all manner of ugly bombs and blaming people in Texas today for a war which started in 1861.

Did the ranters really believe that Cruz made that racial declaration? We note that others on The One True Channel refused to play that card.

Chris Hayes played tape of Cruz’s remark; it may have been part of the corporate playlist. But he didn’t take that remark to the ugly places favored by Chris and Lawrence:
HAYES (10/21/13): Any moment, Senator Ted Cruz will take the stage at his big homecoming party in Houston, Texas. You see a live shot of that right there.

Just two days ago, Senator Cruz received a standing ovation from Texas Federation of Republican Women’s State Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

CRUZ (videotape): Thank you. That is a slightly different reception than I get in Washington, D.C. And having spent the past month up in D.C., it is really great to be back in America.

HAYES: Get it? Earlier the same day, Cruz spoke to the Texas Medical Association in Austin, Texas.

Just a quick recap, in case you found that confusing. Senator Cruz, having flown in from the foreign country of Washington, D.C. to his home state of Texas, is right now celebrating his great big homecoming in his home state of Texas.

The Houston Tea Party is more than willing to offer up its adoration, but Cruz has become one of the most polarizing figures in national politics...
To Hayes' credit, that was as far as he went. He snarked a bit about Cruz's remark, but he didn’t play race cards.

Later, a guest from Texas, Evan Smith, tried to introduce the secession card. Hayes took a pass on that too. We are glad he did.

Did Cruz make an ugly racial remark when he offered that lame old quip? Actually no, he didn’t. But various “liberals” are eager to train you in the ways of being against:

Remember the disgraceful ways Olbermann slimed Carrie Prejean? (Liberal leaders attacked his misogyny in private, refused to speak up in public.)

Remember the ways Rachel directed dick jokes at the tea-baggers night after night, for more than a week, while pretending to be embarrassed? (When Jon Stewart told her she shouldn’t have done it, she still wouldn’t say she wrong. Instead, she disputed the length of time involved in this sad episode.)

More recently, do you remember the way Alan Grayson dropped the KKK-bomb on millions of heads? (DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said she was “disappointed” by his remarkable conduct.)

Actually, there’s a good chance you don’t remember that! The repellent conduct was widely discussed—on Fox. But the Nexis archives record no instance in which it was mentioned on MSNBC.

On The One True Channel, we liberals are trained to be against, even to hate. And when The Hate goes crazily over the line, we’re shielded from such knowledge!

Didn’t we always say it was wrong when Fox played the game that way?

How pitifully dumb can our conduct become as we seek ways to be against? Consider the sad, pathetic piece they recently ran at Salon.

The piece was written by Lynn Stuart Parramore. Originally, it appeared at Alternet.

We’ll say this for Salon: they gave fair warning to readers, right in their headlines. This is the way the piece began, twin headlines included:
PARRAMORE (10/21/13) Inside the conservative brain: Tea Partyers are afraid/
To understand their worldview you have to know how they see themselves

As America is torn apart by extremists, maybe a deep dive into our individual and collective psychology is a good way to start figuring out what’s happening to us.

The problem, as it turns out, may be the difference in the way people view individuals and collectives; whether you’ve got a “me” or a “we” focus; and how big those categories happen to be.
You’re right! Those first two paragraphs are rather fuzzy. But the warning lights were flashing red in those headlines.

At Salon, we were going inside the other tribe’s brain to find out how “they” see themselves! But then, this is the way it’s always been framed by the world’s least enlightened souls:

“They” (Those People) are all alike! Something is wrong inside their brain!

Phrenology alert! It’s one short step to the oldest way of being against:

Those People aren’t fully human!

Go ahead—read the Parramore piece. Yes, Salon actually published this mess. The devolving journal was helping us learn how to be against:
PARRAMORE (continuing directly): john a. powell (his name is spelled without capitals) leads the UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and is considered a leading thinker on race and ethnicity. He spoke Wednesday evening in Manhattan at the Union Theological Seminary as part of a joint series on Economics & Theology put on by UTS and the Institute of New Economic Thinking. INET’s executive director Rob Johnson, along with UTS president Serene Jones and Rachel Godsil of the American Values Institute, joined powell in a lively panel focused on how issues of race and belonging inform what’s happening in America today.

powell thinks a lot about meaning and being—what philosophers call ontology. He pays attention to the multiple levels at which humans exist and our struggle to make meaning of our lives, both as individuals and as groups. Along with Godsil, he studies how biases operate in our unconscious, with profound consequences for how we react to the world and each other.

The Tea Party is a fascinating case study for how these questions and ideas play out. Its members are bonded in anxiety and terror—a very powerful glue—over what America is becoming: something other than the “real America” they wish to belong to. Their America is white, Protestant and Anglo-Saxon (it’s no accident that the right’s leading think tank is called the Heritage Foundation).

powell notes that while Tea Party members will tolerate a bit of diversity—the occasional Catholic or Jew—they primarily wish to protect the distinctiveness of their chosen group in the past, present and future. For them, someone like Obama represents the ultimate threat to maintaining this distinctiveness, the thing that makes them feel special. With his black/Muslim/immigrant associations he becomes the “trifecta of Otherness”—an unholy trinity that must be resisted at all costs. The Tea Partyer perceives the president as the incarnation of a malevolent force that will take from them and give to Others. He is both the incarnation and the welcoming committee for the Stranger who doesn’t belong in America.
We’d have to say that approaches “hate speech” of a familiar kind.

Powell “thinks a lot about meaning and being?” Try to pretend no one ever said that! Focus on the familiar old structure in which we are told these things:

“Biases operate in our unconscious, with profound consequences for how we react to the world and each other.” And those biases are found in the other tribe, not so much in ours!

There you see the classic formula by which we’re trained to hate. At no point does Parramore feel the need to offer evidence for her sweeping claims about the very unpleasant things The Other Tribe thinks.

Do all Tea Partyers have the unpleasant thoughts she confidently describes? So all Tea Partyers think that, “with his black/Muslim/immigrant associations, Obama becomes the ‘trifecta of Otherness’—an unholy trinity that must be resisted at all costs?”

At no point does Parramore feel the need to support or qualify her sweeping statements. As she continues, she tells us what Those People think about Social Security:
PARRAMORE (continuing directly): As an illustration, powell looks at how Tea Partyers feel about Social Security, which is coming under vigorous attack just as default has been avoided. When asked individually, powell finds that the Tea Partyer likes the program a lot. But she only likes it for her own group—for people who have, in her view, “worked for it.” She doesn’t want the Others to have it because she doesn’t want to be connected to “Them.” “They” don’t work the way she does. “They” don’t care about America as she does. “They” don’t belong in America. This divide between the small group and the larger community can be leveraged by politicians who wish to sway them.
Do all Tea Partyers feel those ways about Social Security? And by the way:

How does powell know that anyone feels that way? Parramore never says. When we’re in training to be against, there’s no need to explain!

We shouldn’t even mention Malala in connection with this horrible mess. But when we saw her tell the U.N. that she isn’t against anyone, this is what we thought about—this growing, embarrassing mess, variants of which are being advanced all over the “liberal” world.

Tomorrow: Rachel Maddow, against

A basic point of fairness: We don't know what powell said. This is all Parramore’s account. She enters forty million minds, tells us what They are thinking.


  1. "It still sounds to us like she said “agenda.” (Her English is accented, as is everyone else's.) But according to the text of the speech as released, it seems that she may have said “gender” instead. Since the bulk of the speech concerns the rights of women and girls, we like it better the way we heard it. We’d love to see a fresh new voice condemn intolerance based on agenda—to suggest that we should stop being against other people on that familiar old basis."

    So it doesn't matter to you what she actually said. You're going to go with what you wanted her to say, then use that to advance your narrative.

    Good lordy, Somerby, has it finally come to this?

    1. Any stick to beat Somerby with. He says " seems she may have said 'gender' instead." Then he says "we like it better the way we heard it." He isn't pretending the speech said something it didn't. He is saying we should also condemn intolerance based on agenda. That is very clear. He isn't distorting her words, he is suggesting an additional basis for intolerance he would like to see decried.

      Perhaps the difficulty here is that Somerby doesn't say things directly. I confess that I still don't understand the difference between "intolerance for an agenda" and working to oppose the views I think will be harmful to our society. If this is a simple matter of respecting advocates of opposing views as people while working against their proposals, why not just say that? This whole language of not being "against" or showing "intolerance" for agenda is unclear, indirect, and doesn't communicate that point at all. It suggests that one should not resist an "agenda" that is pernicious. It suggests we have to treat all "agendas" as valid or good or else be considered intolerant. I don't think Somerby believes that, or Malala believes that either, since she calls for access to education for women. So what exactly are they saying? I don't get it.

      The good news is that we now know who lower case guy is -- Powell. Back in the 60s (influenced by e e cummings) college sophomores all over the country adopted that notation. It strikes me as pretentious and annoying because it inconveniences readers and calls more attention to self (with insistence on flouting typographic conventions) rather than self-abnegation. Professional psychologists are taught not to diagnose without a proper chance to evaluate a client, so those who diagnose whole groups are breaking professional norms. There are some empirical studies showing that people holding conservative political beliefs are more fearful and attuned to threat in the environment. That doesn't mean all Tea Party members are frightened people, but it doesn't mean Powell is completely wrong either. Further, it is a matter of small degree, and we are all fearful to an extent. It wouldn't be surprising if people who have experienced economic uncertainty would be more attracted to a set of beliefs (or promises) by a political party.

      I don't think Bob can declare himself against all generalizations on the basis that they do not accurately describe every member of a group. That would prevent study of people in groups entirely, eliminating social science.

    2. Good lordy, why can't commenters read for comprehension? TDH heard "agenda," but when he looked at the text of the speech, he read "gender." So he dutifully reports that he might be mistaken, but that he likes what he heard better than what he read, saying, "We'd love to see" a new voice decry intolerance based on agenda. "We'd" is short for "we would" which is in the subjunctive to emphasize what he wishes as opposed to the certainty of what he knows. How clueless do you have to be to conclude that TDH doesn't care what was actually said?

      I'd say that TDH's position on agenda-based intolerance is absurd. Some agendas can't be tolerated. In the 1830s, the British confronted a religious cult called the Thuggees, whose agenda was to join bands of pilgrims and gain their confidence so that they might garotte and rob the new acquaintances. This activity was justified on some folderol about the goddess Kali. The estimates of the number of victims runs from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. The British, unmoved by appeals to religious freedom, extirpated the group. It took them about forty years, and it seems doubtful that they would have been swayed by a lecture on agenda intolerance.

      We have our own political Thugs in this country, and while I'm not suggesting we employ the British methods in response to intellectual thuggery, I also see no point in a policy of saintly intellectual tolerance for such thuggishness.

      While I don't happen to agree with TDH on his campaign for agenda tolerance, at least I can understand what he writes.

    3. anon @ 11:39

      At no point do you feel the need to offer evidence for your sweeping claims about the very unpleasant things sophomores did in dropping capitalization of their names.

      I doubt it was a practice restricted to college sophomores, and was probably not done in many parts of the country at least to the same extent as it was done in others. It is also
      probably not exclusively due to the influence of the poet
      e.e. cummings

      My introduction to e.e. cummings came as a sophomore in high school. Those who took the radical step of emulating his lack of capitalization knew it takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.

      Throughout your comment you use phrases like "I think, and I know." Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself. To be nobody but yourself in a world
      which is doing its best day and night to make you like
      everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.

      I do salute you for your confession of confusion over Somerby's instructions on agenda based tolerance. You’re right! Those paragraphs are rather fuzzy. But we welcome
      any fresh voices who can clarify where it fits in the eleven vows.

    4. I'm sorry, but Bob's whole post about what he "preferred" Malala said, rather than what she actually said.

      And no, it's not possible he was mistaken. He's got the text. He WAS mistaken. But that doesn't stop him anyway. He just goes on about what he wanted to hear.

      Here's a tip. You want to write a column about "tolerance for agendas" whatever that means? Fine. Do it. But stop using Malala as your prop.

      I long suspected you only cared about what she said for its use as a club on your favored targets. Now, it appears, you don't even care about what she said.

    5. Anon@1:30: e.e. cummings appeals to high school kids because they have identity issues because they are adolescents. Adults grow out of it. I emphatically disagree with your comment about feelings being personal while thoughts are not. The whole point of many of our entertainments (sporting events, movies, concerts) is to experience shared feeling. Thoughts and feelings are both subjective experiences and both are influenced by others. If you don't know who you are by the time you reach adulthood, there are people who can help you with that. You CAN be special without using annoying typography.

    6. Somerby explicitly points out that he is not suggesting that we shouldn't oppose particular agendas.

      His concern is in the way we oppose the people who hold them. In the way that even our intelligentsia abandons standards of reason and logic in order to turn opposition into metaphorical monsters.

      It's not enough to make arguments against particular consequences of public programs, you must also suggest these ill effects are the calculated intentions of the people who contest you, etc.

      It's not enough tp differ with a fellow citizen over the scope and role of government,now you must argue that their druthers indicate a certain pathological psychology.

      This sort of opposing of *agendas* is no longer the province of ideological zealots and villagers easily persuaded to grab torches, but is now spearheaded by our intelligentsia. we've been abandoned by the people we most need to exercise restraint, thoughtfulness, and the desire examine and understand the intellectual underpinnings of even the views they do not embrace.

      In rendering our fellow citizens unapproachable, alien, reflexively pernicious, we become unapproachable, cut-off, closed.

      Thank you, Mr. Somerby for your dedication to the old standards of intellectualism and reason.

      You truly are an endangered species.

    7. You know, I think if you try really, really hard next time, Cecelia, you can be even more fawning.

    8. Anonymous @1:54P,

      What's so difficult about this for you? TDH wants us to stop hating our opponents, to stop classifying them as "the other," and to stop making knee-jerk judgments about them. Malala Yousafzai wants the same thing, and TDH points to her in the model role to which she's been assigned. It turns out that TDH has an even more expansive definition on not hating than M.Y., but I don't see how this invalidates her as an example for good or how TDH uses her as a prop. His argument stands or falls on its merits.

      It's clear that TDH does care about what M.Y. says, enough so that he's careful to point out that he misheard what she said. He's still in violent agreement with her. So what's your point here?

      I'm not sure TDH's prescription makes a lot of practical sense. Is there a difference between hating Ted Cruz and holding in contempt his political agenda, strategy, tactics, and dishonesty? But that doesn't stop me from understanding what TDH writes.

    9. What is "difficult" is that in the very same breath, not even the next one, "TDH" then launches into his usual stick of hating his opponents, classifying them as "the other," and makes knee-jerk judgments about them, all the while using Malala as cover for the few people he has left who are so intellectually challenged they can't even see what is before their face.

      Sure "TDH" cares bout what "M.Y." says, but not enough to practice it himself. Only enough to demand that those "others" practice it. And only his chosen "others". Never himself.

      As for the practicality of loving thy enemies AND his "agenda," well Joe Biden sure showed how to fight back. There is probably no more decent human being in public service today than Joe Biden, and he left pieces of Paul Ryan all over the stage after their debate. He wasn't going to put up with his "malarkey" and said so. Quite emphatically.

      "TDH's" buddy, Al Gore? Tried to play it nice and not get his hands too dirty directly confronting the lies said about him and his character in a classic Karl Rove whisper campaign that he KNEW was coming.

      For instance, before the sun set on the day the "invented the Internet" press release went out, Gore should have ran through that open door, trumpeting the many, many things he did to bring the Internet out of the Defense Department laboratories and into wide, commercial use.

    10. Irish Guy, your argument is a straw man.

      No one has argued that the philosophy of the The Great Souls is one of ignoring wrongdoing or wrongdoers.

      King didn't ignore racism, he countered it with action and with an appeal to the best in people.

      No one has suggested that politicians, like Gore, shouldn't defend themselves. However let me remind you that Gore is dependent upon a media that would lay aside it's own ambitions and narrative to air and discuss his defense.

      You see it is even in the interest of you folks on the side of the angels to champion the cause of good-will in our national debate.

      You say that VP Biden is an honorable man, and I believe that too. However, I hope you aren't suggesting that Biden would stoop to the tactics of O'Donnell and Matthews in countering Ryan. That Bjden would make a charge on tenuous bullshit and then self-righteously tell himself that means did not matter because Ryan is a bad man anyway.

      I hope that Biden never impugned and wrote-off whole groups of average people, and whole states of them.

      I don't know why someone would turn a superior ethos and the legacy of MLK and Gandhi into the territory of insipid losers, merely to level a mere hypocrisy charge against a blogger for esteeming and championing that ethos.

      I don't know why someone would detest even a reference of optimism and peace.

      No matter how much they trumpet the cause, please know that you are in the presence of people who love war for war's sake. Run.

  2. Do we understand The Good Paster to say that he believes the Tea Party right are not serious in their passion to dismantle Government programs like SS? As the good doctor explain long ago, people tell us things with their jokes, and that's what Cruz's joke was about.
    MLK was dedicated to not hurting people, but he was most certainly AGAINST things. Not just the U.S.'s racism, but also against "nice" people like David in Ca and CeliaMe who would have done all they could to fight him in his day. He presents no evidence to suggest that Tea Partiers are more balanced than Powell suggests, because he can't. The good Paster, I'm afraid, would bring a candy bar to a knife fight. And then go home and right furiously about the dumb liberals who brought candy bars too.

    1. Greg, right after the gas attack in Syria when Obama was threatening military action, a right-wing, Tea Party relative of mine blasted an e-mail to his entire list, including me, about "Baskin-Robbins' latest flavor -- Baracky Road."

      It went like this: Baracky Road is half-vanilla, half-chocolate, made in Africa, bitter tasting and so expensive that just two scoops would leave you bankrupt. And "liberals in Congress" have all banded together to require all Americans were required to buy two scoops.

      Ha, ha.

      Now following the Gospel According to Somerby, it would be wrong to say that "half-vanilla, half-chocolate" and "made in Africa" contained any racist undertones at all, because, after all, mean things are said about every president.

      And of course, it would be doubly wrong for me to e-mail this relative back and tell him that if he is going to send racist jokes around, please keep me off the list.

      But I did it anyway.

  3. The Malala story is as suspect as the Neda story out of Iran. The US is drone bombing 7 year old boys collecting firewood and their families don't get to give speeches at the UN.

    Collecting firewood is more important in that area of the world than goingto school.

    I have never seen a member of the Tea Party in real life. The Democrats and the mainstream media are trying very hard to drum up a big bogey man of the "Tea Party." The "Obama Birther" angle on the Tea Party was entirely created by the mainstream media. Its a big operation and maybe the public isn't being taken in by it. Here in New Jersey, Cory Booker ran his entire campaign on how much everyone is supposed to hate the Tea Party. That was pathetic. He had a shoo-in election and at least ten times as much money and all he wanted to talk about was the Tea Party and abortion. His margin of victory was 10% and Obama's a year earlier in NJ was 18%.

    1. I have seen and talked to lots of them. They wave signs on street corners in my semi-rural small town. They live in an alternative reality in which many "facts" they believe are asserted as truths. They tend to deny listening to Fox or Rush but then repeat as gospel whatever is said there. You cannot get them to let go of anything by presenting your own facts, because they consider them suspect and you deluded. Aside from that, they are nice people. I try not to discuss politics with them because it ends in frustration.

    2. Apparently, Lionel thinks that Booker lost his election by 8% because his margin was 10% and Obama's was 18%. Obama was running in a Presidential election that was held on the usual Tuesday. Booker was running in a race to fill a vacant Senate seat in an off-year on an off-day. I've read that you have to go back to 1936 to find a wider winning percentage in an off-year New Jersey Senatorial election.

    3. Also, with less than a week before the 2012 election, there was this thing called Sandy, and a joint appearance by Obama and Christie.

      Not that NJ was ever in doubt, but Christie all but endorsed him.

  4. Bob,
    Good God!
    The God we worship in the Old Testament says "An eye for an eye"; "Vengeance is mine".
    Your advice to people of color is "Love your enemies" even if they want you dead. And try to kill you.
    Be heroic.
    Ghandi; MLK; Mandella; Malala.
    All people of color. Be heroic and die.
    Won't happen to me Bob.
    Liberals, do NOT critique racists.
    If Tea-Partiers portray Obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose; Not a big deal. Racist? I don't think so.
    Die for the cause. Your "moral" superiority is more important than your life.
    Zimmerman can kill a black youth based on his suspicions. People of color? Submit to people who want you dead. Do not hate them. Let them kill you.
    Not me Bob.

    I have a gun.
    If the racist bastards threaten me, my children or my grandchildren, I will kill them, if I can.


    1. Yeah Zimmerman killed a black person based on his "suspicion" that he was getting his head beaten against concrete and "suspicion" he might end up a vegetable or dead. Agreed.

    2. Unfortunately, the Zimmerman/Martin case was reported in a way that gave the impression that the main enemies of blacks are the racist whites (really should be, "racist non-blacks".) However, based on actual crimes, the main enemies of blacks are other blacks. I say this because most violence against black Americans and most murders of black Americans are committed by black American criminals.

      IMHO this sort of misunderstanding led a judge to invalidate New York City's Stop-and-Frisk law as racist, even though that law was helping to save the lives of black people.

    3. Right. When all else fails, let's go back to discussing Zimmerman.

    4. A bit of good news for blacks in New York City.

      A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked a judge's order requiring changes to the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk program and removed the judge from the case.

      The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the decisions of Judge Shira Scheindlin will be stayed pending the outcome of an appeal by the city.
      The judge had ruled in August the city violated the Constitution in the way it carried out its program of stopping and questioning people.

    5. Anonymous @1:14P,

      When the Old Testament says "An eye for an eye," it means no more than eye for an eye, i.e., compensation for harm must be proportional. In any case, Jewish law requires that such compensation take the form of payment for the damages.

      When the Old Testament says "Vengeance is mine," it's quoting God, who thereby reserves vengeance for Himself, thus depriving you of its satisfactions.

      You have a gun? Too bad. 'Cause if you're no better at handling firearms than you are at understanding the Old Testament, you're more likely to kill yourself, your children, or your grandchildren than the imaginary racist bastards who are threatening all of you.

      Be careful, OK?

    6. AnonymousOctober 31, 2013 at 6:22 PM -- Judge Scheindlin was the one who brought in Zimmerman/Martin. In her (now unanimously overruled) decision, she referenced that case several times. She reasoned that the popular (albeit entirely wrong) interpretation of the Zimmerman case helped prove that NYC's stop and frisk law was unconstitutional.

      Although she's clearly a bright person, she has a reputation for basing judicial decisions on political reasoning. This was not the first of her newsworthy decisions to be overruled.

    7. Scheindlin's opinion and order of 8/12/13 does not contain the name "Zimmerman," and does not rely on any "interpretation" of his trial. The opinion references Martin only to quote comments on the stereotyping of black men.

      NYC doesn't have a "stop and frisk" law. It has a police department policy of conducting police stops in a broad manner.

      Scheindlin specifically did not rule that stop and frisk was unconstitutional, just that NYC methods were overly broad.

      You haven't got the slightest idea whether Scheindlin is bright or whether she has "a reputation for basing judicial decisions on political reasoning," do you? I'm guessing that once again instead of finding these things out for yourself, you found something online that you agreed with and adopted it unquestioningly. And I even think I know your source: Noah Rothman.

      How'd I do?

    8. Scheindlin specifically did not rule that stop and frisk was unconstitutional, just that NYC methods were overly broad

      Quibble. She ruled that S&F, as practiced, was unconstitutional, perhaps because it was overly broad.

      The opinion references Martin only to quote comments on the stereotyping of black men.

      Quibble. Martin is famous only because he was killed by Zimmerman. The supposed stereotyping of Martin was allegedly committed by Zimmerman, except that there was no evidence that Zimmerman stereotyped Martin based on race.

      Regarding my other two claims, Scheindlin has an impressive educational background and has had other high-profile decisions reversed, because they were based on political reasoning, rather than legal reasoning.

    9. It's only your ignorance of the law that leads you to believe that the difference between over-ruling a law and over-ruling its unconstitutional application is a "quibble." Stop-and-frisk is a legal procedure under the Supreme Court's opinion in Terry v Ohio, which is why Scheindlin didn't and couldn't declare the practice illegal. But the stop requires articulable and reasonable suspicion on the part of the police. And the frisk may only be used to insure the safety of the police. Wholesale stops of dark-skinned people violates equal protection, and the appeals court is scheduled to decide the case on its merits next year.

      It's only the fact that you rely on the reporting of others that leads you to believe that the alleged stereotyping of Martin by Zimmerman played any part in Scheindlin's ruling. It didn't. She referred to the statements of black people (including Obama) as they related their experiences during the controversy. Remember that I've read the judge's ruling (as usual). You, not so much (and also as usual).

      Regarding your other two claims, I'm not saying that the judge doesn't have an impressive resume, and I'm not saying that she hasn't had other high-profile cases reversed. I'm saying that you have no clue about either her background or the reason for any reversals of her decisions because you've once again accepted the word of someone whose politics you agree with instead of looking up the facts for yourself.

      It's Noah Rothman, right?

      When the new mayor, a critic of the stop-and-frisk policy, takes office, it's likely that he'll drop the city's appeal, and Scheindlin's order will probably be reinstated.

  5. "The repellent conduct was widely discussed—on Fox. But the Nexis archives record no instance in which it was mentioned on MSNBC."

    Well, if it was on Fox it must be true.

    You know, I have lost count of the sharks this blog has jumped since the glorious days of "Bush really didn't lie, and Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame had it coming."

    1. So why do you remain here to bother the rest of us?

    2. Simple.

      Bob's hobby is beating dead horses. My hobby is beating dead blogs.

    3. Anonymous @2:43,

      There's a typo in your comment. That should read "My hobby is beating straw men."

      You're welcome.

    4. No deadrat, unlike your leader, I say what I mean and mean what I say.

      And of course, if you were honest with yourself, you would ask yourself about the last time you actually learned anything from Bob that was in the least bit beneficial?

      Amanda Ripley wrote a bad book? Great, I wasn't going to buy it anyway.

    5. No, Anon6:02am, if you really said what you mean you would have confessed that your hobby was trying to beat to death blogs that you dislike.

      That would be you being honest with yourself and others here.

      Either way, yours is not a hobby that reveals a passion for learning anything at all.

    6. Ah, of course. Bobinista logic at it's finest.

      Evidently, when I say "dead blog" I leave open the question of whether I like said blog or not, and am being completely dishonest when I don't proclaim whether or not I "dislike" it.

      Well, Cecelia, let me put your fevered mind to rest as I reclaim my honesty.

      This blog stinks. It is really, really bad. Gawd awful, stink on ice bad. Which is why it has such a pathetically low traffic count.

      Its sins stand before you -- years of harping on trivialities without anything new or of substance to say, fudging statistics, inserting words into quotes that were never spoken. In short, the sins this blog is quick to accuse others of committing, but never itself.

      Now be sure to rush to your Bobinista defenses of "troll" and "why don't you just leave."

      Not going to. If dissent and ideas other than your own trouble you so much, well, I can't help that.

      But like this blog itself, I find much sport in picking low hanging fruit and watching its few remaining fans flail away in defense of the indefensible.

      Call it a guilty pleasure.

    7. In other words, you're about spending your time on a blog you detest in what in your words is little more than the motive of getting even.

      You're here to tell us how unworthy the blog and blogger are while spending much time and energy in doing it.

      You're here to beat a blog and a blogger, and the people who enjoy the blog.

      That's called being a troll.

    8. Vanquisher of straw men who's Anonymous @ 6:02A et temporibus aliis,

      It's not as much fun for me if I have to explain my little jokes. I didn't really mean that there was a typo in your comment. I meant that you attack TDH for failings not his own but only of our own conjuring.

      You can't even keep straight what it is you object to. Is it really that TDH doesn't say what he means and doesn't mean what he says? 'Cause I have no trouble discerning his meaning even when I disagree with him. I thought TDH's sin was that he's a hypocrite, i.e., he doesn't do what he says.

      Is the problem that nothing TDH writes is "the least bit beneficial"? Really, considering the intellectual level of your own comments, it takes some nerve to run down the quality of this blog.

      Is the problem the utility of the blog? TDH reviewed a book you weren't going to buy anyway. Bummer. Perhaps you should submit a list of books that you might buy in the hopes that a helpful review will be forthcoming.

      If the blog is so awful -- Gawd awful, stink on ice bad -- has nothing useful, new, or substantive to say, what are you doing here? I'm not asking you to leave; I just don't understand why you're still here. And I don't think you're a troll, since you seem quite sincere in your own harping.

      You say you get guilty pleasure from finding what you think are errors in TDH's writing? To each his own pleasures, but as for finding errors -- you're doing it wrong.

  6. inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale lay inhale exhale off inhale exhale bob

  7. Pardon me, sir.

    While demonstrating your ability to repeat verbs in fairly consistent patterns, did it occur to you some readers would interpret your inserted exhortation to "lay off bob" as instructions to the blogger while others would figure it was aimed at critical comments. Or did you hyperventilate and not notice?

    1. inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale. . .

  8. inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale exhale leave inhale exhale bob inhale exhale alone

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