Patterico's Pontifications

10/24/2016

Steven Den Beste, R.I.P.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:11 pm

Someone that most of us here respected and cared about has passed away: Steven Den Beste.

You can read something about Steven here. Because Steven was a commenter here over the years — something that I found very humbling — I thought that the best tribute I could write would be to republish his first and last comments here.

The first comment Den Beste left on this blog was on November 29, 2004 — nearly 12 years ago. To appreciate the comment, you need a bit of background. I had written a post slamming the New York Times for its view on judicial filibusters. (That week, filibusters helped the Democrats — so that week, they were against them. Ask them next week and they might say something different, depending on whether it promotes leftist policies.) In addition to failing to check out the context for quotes they used, NYT editors also offered this absurd opinion:

According to Senate rules, changing the filibuster rule should require a two-thirds vote. But in the “nuclear option,” Vice President Dick Cheney, as Senate president, would rule that filibusters of judicial nominees could be ended by a simple majority.

That would no doubt put the whole matter in the courts, an odd place for the Republicans – who are fighting this battle in the name of ending activist courts – to want it resolved.

Den Beste responded by cutting right to the quick:

Article I, section 5 of the Constitution clearly says, “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings…”

The courts don’t have jurisdiction. Any attempt to get the courts involved would be a clear violation of separation of powers.

The last comment that Steven Den Beste left on this blog had to be fished out of moderation by JVW because it contained some (quite appropriate, as you’ll see) profanity. This comment was left on August 18, 2016, on JVW’s post about Obama getting away with ignoring floods in Louisiana:

For liberals, including most of the MSM, getting Obama elected was the triumph of a lifetime. They need Obama to go down in history as a good president, so that some other minority (or woman) can get elected.

Remember all talk about him being “like a god”, a “light worker”, and suchlike. No one says anything like that any more.

The problem is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to cover up the fact that the Obama presidency has been an unmitigated disaster in nearly every way. The big nightmare now for the left/MSM is that Obama will gain the reputation as being the worst president in US history, and that may mean the voters will shy away from minorites and women (unless they’re Republican).

People are starting to refer to him as a fool, a failure, a slacker.

The left/MSM can’t totally paper over all the failures and fuckups but they’re trying hard to paper over as much as they can.

You’ll be missed, sir.

P.S. Another person whom most of us respected rather less has also passed away: Tom Hayden. I have really only one thought about Hayden’s passing:

I would have liked to have read what Steven Den Beste had to say about it.

21 Responses to “Steven Den Beste, R.I.P.”

  1. Godspeed.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  2. I’m starting to really hate 2016.

    I’m going to miss you, Steven.

    SPQR (a3a747)

  3. I have really only one thought about Hayden’s passing…

    Use your imagination.

    “Thank you, Mr. Dooley. Next time you’re in New York, just call me up.” – Corie Bratter [Jane Fonda] ‘Barefoot In The Park’ – 1967

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  4. Dang.
    I still miss USS Clueless.

    Eric Wilner (3936fd)

  5. yes he was among the best of the early blogosphere, with his great original analysis,

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. Well, hell. This feels like losing Andrew did, frankly. One of the greats.

    DrSteve (5936a0)

  7. (Insert Carlin’s seven words here).

    Captain Ned (d080c3)

  8. What a sad day.  I heard about it just as I was putting in the DVD for “Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST” when I glanced at my laptop and found out about Steven’s death.  Once I finished my business, I darted to the Internet to read the depressing news.  This can’t be happening!  Does anyone have contact info for Steven’s brother?

    Dr. Stephen J. Krune III (93978a)

  9. I’m tremendously humbled that the last comment he left was on a post of mine. I’m guessing that I started reading this blog about the same time that Steven Den Beste did, and I always enjoyed his perspective on matters. And yeah, 2016 has turned out to be just a putrid year.

    JVW (6e49ce)

  10. USS Clueless was one of my daily go-tos in its day. I even had correspondence with the great man once which I’ve kept since. Vale Steven.

    Craig Mc (c8ba9d)

  11. Longtime lurker. I’m sorry to learn Steven Den Beste is gone.

    But I don’t see any profanity in that last post. What did I miss?

    creeper (6b161b)

  12. But I don’t see any profanity in that last post. What did I miss?

    creeper (6b161b) — 10/25/2016 @ 3:10 am

    Look at the last line in the quote, about 1/2 way through.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  13. The problem is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to cover up the fact that the Obama presidency has been an unmitigated disaster in nearly every way. The big nightmare now for the left/MSM is that Obama will gain the reputation as being the worst president in US history, and that may mean the voters will shy away from minorites and women (unless they’re Republican).

    My one hope at the start of the Obama presidency was that the electorate would recognize how pathetic progressive policies actually are and therefore get it out of the system for the foreseeable future. With the election of Hillary, my hopes are dashedd

    joe (debac0)

  14. I had started out claiming that Obama was the worst president since Jimmy Carter. As time wore on, I claimed that he was the worst president in the last 100 years. Now I find that Mr Den Best is
    right: Obama is the worst ever. If elected, Hillary may win that dubious dishonor.

    Bar Sinister (f5ce19)

  15. Does anyone have contact info for Steven’s brother?

    To his credit, Steven would have had a laugh at this ghoulish attempt at humour.

    JP (f1742c)

  16. Joe, Mrs. Clinton has not yet been elected. She is ahead in most of the polling right now, but the election has not yet happened. And… Mr. Obama may be the worst-ever president, but Mr. Carter set a very high (low?) bar for that distinction, and Mr. Obama may yet do something correctly.

    The point to this comment? I will miss Mr. den Beste’s commentary and right-on-the-money observations and conclusions. And I am going to re-read some of his older stuff, just to remind myself of the quality bar that he raised for everyone else to aspire to.

    Ward Gerlach (f20291)

  17. I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this subject, but “the worst President in history” remains James Buchanan. Nobody in the twentieth or twenty-first century even comes close.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  18. The server that hosted USS Clueless has gone down, but I have the content archived here.

    My own tribute, as well as an explanation of how I had that archive on hand and can host it, is here.

    Erbo (306460)

  19. Now I find that Mr Den Best is right: Obama is the worst ever. If elected, Hillary may win that dubious dishonor.

    I doubt that Hillary could match or overtake Obama. She can be bought while he truly believed his sh*t smelled like roses.

    Ken in NH (07b1c4)

  20. I am, and will remain, clueless with the loss of Mr. Den Beste.

    Those were the days, my friends…

    and they have ended, in more ways than one.

    Dan S (e312ac)

  21. Sad.

    I worked with Steve at Tektronix, and like nearly everyone who was
    there at the time, including his brother, he was brilliant. But those of us
    “hanging” at his apartment in Beaverton sort of took that for granted…

    I’d lost track of him over time – I knew he was “blogging”, which sort of surprised me since most of us who, like him, were there at the inception of UseNet became rather cynical about the degraded signal-to-noise ratio on the eventual Internet. He had to have given much more than he received out here.

    But I’m glad the net was here for him, since – as is apparent from his postings on “metafilter” – that he was so abysmally lonely and deprived of companionship, and used the net as a surrogate. If I”d known that, I would have tried to do something to help, though I can’t think of what. It sounds like he got used and thrown away by some woman, too, though – and lady, if that’s what happened, and you’re reading this, believe me: I will be waiting for you in Hell, with a blowtorch and an electric drill – You have messed with an O.G..

    That said, if Hitlary gets elected, I have no doubt that Steve would agree that
    a storm is indeed coming, and that he didn’t miss his exit. He wouldn’t have wanted to be here to hear the bells toll the end of the Grand Experiment.

    Merinas van der Lubbe (98cfc9)


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