Patterico's Pontifications

11/21/2010

Some Professor’s Are Dummerer Then They Think They Are

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:24 pm

Sometimes the irony displayed by our cluelessly elitist leftist friends is so rich, you suspect that it has to be a put-on.

In our latest example, the fun starts with a Professor Charles Franklin in Madison, Wisconsin, who claimed that voters were “pretty damn stupid” when they voted for Republicans such as Russ Feingold’s opponent. (The journalist who asked him about it responded: “Thank you, professor… That’s the answer I was looking for.” Well of course it was!)

Ann Althouse wrote a blog post about it, and the good professor sent her an e-mail response. Here’s where the delicious irony starts. Here is a quote from the professor’s e-mail to Althouse:

Voter’s often act on little information and can be astonishingly unaware of things one might consider “facts”. A post-election Pew poll finds less than half (46%) know the GOP won only the House but not the Senate. And at times voters appear to vote for candidates who are likely to take positions at odds with the voter’s interests.

But in the Johnson-Feingold race, I think despite lack of details about Johnson, a majority of Wisconsin voter’s picked the guy they wanted, and for basically the right reason. Dems may be astonished at the rejection of a favorite son, but in making this choice I think voter’s properly expressed their preferences and matched them to the right candidate.

So I wish I had phrased this differently but that’s my bad, no one else’s. But I do not agree with the conclusion that voter’s were “stupid” to pick Johnson over Feingold. In fact I believe a majority got the Senator they wanted, and that is always good for a republic.

(My emphasis.)

One wonders how some professor’s get to be professor’s when their competence at using apostrophe’s is inferior to that of an average class of fifth-grader’s. Dare I suggest that some professor’s might reflect on whether the voter’s are just as smart as (if not smarter than) some of the professor’s who criticize the voter’s as being “pretty damn stupid”?

I Denounce These Sexy, er… I Mean Sexist Pictures of Meghan Kelly

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 12:23 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Mediaite’s Frances Martel has a post denouncing the recent GQ photos and article about Fox News anchor Meghan Kelly:

Megyn Kelly Feeds The Beast Of Objectification, Strips Down For GQ

It’s no secret that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly is a bit of a sex symbol– her America Live desk would probably not be made of glass if that weren’t the case. But this week she’s taken a leap from the coy to the boldly forward with a sexy photo shoot in GQ in celebration of being named one of 2010’s premier media personalities, and the results lie somewhere between the impressively attractive and the uncomfortable superficial.

Under the headline “She Reports, We Decided She’s Hot” (seriously), Kelly appears wearing a severely low-cut dress and staring rather lasciviously into the camera. She’s not showing any more than the average starlet– and looks much better than many of those– but is wearing a shockingly little amount of clothing for a newscaster on a national network. But she can pull it off, and barely looks like the sweet, giggly Kelly most tune in to see– in fact, she looks a bit like what we would have imagined healthy, pre-drugs Lindsay Lohan would have looked like at age 26 when she was 18 (for those counting, Kelly is 40 as of this Thursday). And she does no harm in selling her product, so long as the quality of her work is unaffected.

Well, I think this calls for an examination of the photographic evidence, right?

(more…)

(Stupid) Post of the Day

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:39 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Steve Benen (who took over Political Animal from Kevin Drum) explains that the Tea Party agenda is nothing less than a plot to destroy the United States:

NONE DARE CALL IT SABOTAGE…. Consider a thought experiment. Imagine you actively disliked the United States, and wanted to deliberately undermine its economy. What kind of positions would you take to do the most damage?

You might start with rejecting the advice of economists and oppose any kind of stimulus investments. You’d also want to cut spending and take money out of the economy, while blocking funds to states and municipalities, forcing them to lay off more workers. You’d no doubt want to cut off stimulative unemployment benefits, and identify the single most effective jobs program of the last two years (the TANF Emergency Fund) so you could kill it.

You might then take steps to stop the Federal Reserve from trying to lower the unemployment rate. You’d also no doubt want to create massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system, promising to re-write the rules overseeing the financial industry, vowing re-write business regulations in general, considering a government shutdown, and even weighing the possibly of sending the United States into default.

You might want to cover your tracks a bit, and say you have an economic plan that would help — a tax policy that’s already been tried — but you’d do so knowing that such a plan has already proven not to work.

Does any of this sound familiar?

(It goes on, but you get the idea.)

Yeah, there is a reason none, or at least very few people, dare call it sabotage.  Because it is so stupid.

I mean two could play this game.  Suppose you wanted to destroy the American economy—or better yet, America itself.  Well, first you would run up massive debt, putting us in hock with countries that hate us, like China.  Then in order to pay for that debt, we start printing money driving inflation through the roof.  And what does that debt pay for?  Jobs programs that don’t actually create jobs with any efficiency.  So you got millions in debt, nothing to pay for it.  And then you raise taxes, including on the most wealthy and most mobile members of society.  You put in a thousand regulations.  You put in a health care bill that will drive up the deficit even further, lying to the CBO about your budgetary intentions in order to claim it is deficit neutral, throwing people out of their insurance and threatening the entire insurance industry with bankruptcy.  You sit with your thumb up your @$$ while the gulf coast is coated in oil and even prevent individual state governors from helping themselves during the crisis and refuse the help of foreign nations.  Then based on the spill that you actively made worse, you misrepresent the views of scientists and experts to impose a disastrous moratorium on drilling, making us even more dependent on foreign oil.  You needlessly insult strong allies, do nothing about a growing Iranian nuclear threat, refuse to support democracy in that country. and bow to the King of Saudi Arabia, the Emperor of Japan and even the mayor of Tampa, I guess because she is Asian.  You then signal surrender in two foreign wars where the casualties are historically a pittance, and then you claim some sort of major triumph in getting Russia to agree not to nuke us.

Does any of that sound familiar?

The difference between your paranoid fantasy, Benen, and mine, is the policies I have described are mostly not proposals, but actual things Obama has done for the last two years, with results we don’t have to generally speculate about because we are living with them now.  And so it really is a question of is Obama doing all this on purpose, or is he really that incompetent?

I mean if keeping spending low, debt low, taxes low, regulations low is an act of deliberate sabotage, then OMG!  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and so on were all engaged in deliberate attempts to destroy America!

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Snark Fail: Gawker Mocks Sarah Palin for Her Supposedly Stupid, Yet Ultimately Correct Legal Position

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:53 am

Almost daily, it seems, some liberal moron criticizes Sarah Palin for being stupid — and then gets shown up. To take one recent and memorable example, she was taken apart for telling Tea Partiers to “Party like it’s 1773.” Stupid Sarah Palin! The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776! Except that, er, the Boston Tea Party (which inspired the Tea Party movement) occurred in . . . 1773.

With that as background, relish this gem from Gawker:

Did you catch the excerpt we posted yesterday from Sarah Palin’s new book? Sarah did. She tweets with rage: “The publishing world is LEAKING out-of-context excerpts of my book w/out my permission? Isn’t that illegal?”

[Sarah: If you’re reading this—and if you are, welcome!—you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the law. Try starting here or here. Or skip the totally boring reading and call one of your lawyers. They’ll walk you through it.]

By now, you’ve guessed the punchline. Palin’s publisher Harper Collins sued Gawker, and a judge pretty much instantaneously ordered Gawker to pull down the excerpts. Next comes the part where Gawker pays monetary damages.

Hey Gawker legal geniuses: if you’re reading this — and if you are, welcome! — you may want to take a moment to actually read the links you posted. Here is one quote you might have found instructive, had you bothered to click on your own links:

[Y]ou will have a stronger case of fair use if the material copied is from a published work than an unpublished work. The scope of fair use is narrower for unpublished works because an author has the right to control the first public appearance of his expression.

Sarah Palin’s book comes out Tuesday. The fact that it is (as of yet) unpublished, is a huge factor against you. In fact, the case that immediately sprang to mind when I read your idiotic snark was the famous case where the Nation published excerpts from Gerald Ford’s unpublished memoirs. Was that case mentioned in the links you gave Ms. Palin? Oddly enough, it was!

Not a fair use. The Nation magazine published excerpts from ex-President Gerald Ford’s unpublished memoirs. The publication in The Nation was made several weeks prior to the date of serialization of Mr. Ford’s book in another magazine. Important factors: The Nation’s copying seriously damaged the marketability of Mr. Ford ‘s serialization rights. (Harper & Row v. Nation Enters., 471 U.S. 539 (1985).)

Finally, there is the asshole factor — another point mentioned in one of your links:

When you review fair use cases, you may find that they sometimes seem to contradict one another or conflict with the rules expressed in this chapter. Fair use involves subjective judgments and are often affected by factors such as a judge or jury ‘s personal sense of right or wrong. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court has indicated that offensiveness is not a fair use factor, you should be aware that a morally offended judge or jury may rationalize its decision against fair use.

Somehow, a bunch of snark mocking a correct legal position — and snidely advising the correct party to consult a lawyer if reading is too hard — seems to fail the “don’t be offensive” test. But maybe that’s just me.


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