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August 28, 2007

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LAK

Amen.

We need more professors like Stone at the U of C. Instead we get papers on how 9/11 apparently changed the constitution forever, and why corporate CEOs deserve the ridiculous money they are paid.

Joan A. Conway

Similarity exits between Hitler's Paul Joseph Goebbels and the Germany's WWII Secret Police perhaps.

But Alberto Gonzales is a likeable bad guy, and another fall guy for the George W. Bush Administration.

The failure in American Capitalism is that the diverse people it welcomes into its shores are hold the standards and limits of American values without proper assimulation into its society.

Alberto went up the career ladder too fast to make a full transition into American culture and he subordinated himself to his boss, like a "good man" would do under Mexican culture, as the second in command, or the little man behind The Man.

I rather feel sorry for this individual, but then I have to think we are all instruments of the state in some way or another.

"There is no excuse, other than cronyism and personal weakness, for Gonzales’s confusion about his appropriate role, and in point of fact, he and future office holders could learn much from the extraordinarily disciplined and principled actions of some of his predecessors who also served our nation in perilous times."

Roach

When you put loyalty and ethnic diversity above competence as criteria for employment, this is what you get. Bill Clinton--the infamous appointer of the masturbation-obsessed Jocelyn Elders and the criminally convicted Henry Cisneros--learned this lesson himself more than once. He learned it a bit also with the fanatical Janet Reno, who, unlike Gonzales, actually authorized the operation leading to the criminal massacre of 93 American Citizens at Waco.

But hey, they were Christians, so we don't jerk tears for them like the brown non-citizens Muslims who we're supposedly abusing at Gitmo.

Your rank partisanship is a discredit to the law school. Where were you when Clinton was going after Christians, Gun Owners, etc.? Where were you when Reno was pereptrating McMartin-style hysterical child abuse prosecutions in Miami?

LAK

Come on Roach. Going after some cult stockpiling weapons is hardly going after christians, and joint cult suicide is hardly a government massacre or criminal. And enforcing international child custody decisions is hardly "child abuse prosecution." You sound like some ignorant backwoods hick. Er...Oh yea.

Erasmussimo

Mr. Roach, your hyperbole is self-discrediting. Anybody using such wild-eyed language invites disbelief. You call Ms. Elders "masturbation-obsessed" because she rendered a medical opinion that you disagree with, even though you have no medical training? Your statement regarding Mr. Cisneros is misleading -- Mr. Cisneros had not been convicted when Mr. Clinton appointed him; and I remind you that Mr. Cisneros was unanimously approved by the Senate. You call Ms. Reno "fanatical" without any justification -- I suggest that term fits you better. And you refer the the Waco incident as a criminal massacre when in fact no crime was committed by the law enforcement agencies. And your claim that "we" did not feel sadness over that tragedy certainly doesn't refer to anybody I have ever known.

Line by line, sentence by sentence, your post drips with absurd accusations. I would love to discuss any of these issues in a calm and rational manner, but you seem more intent on foaming at the mouth than discussing anything.

Lastly, it is certainly revealing that you engage in an attempt to distract attention from the topic of this discussion -- Mr. Gonzalez. I take it your comparison of Mr. Gonzalez with these others constitutes an acknowledgement on your part that Mr. Gonzalez was indeed indefensible.

Roach

Let's focus on one issue, Janet Reno, someone whom Stone has never criticized so far as I know.

She prosecuted a number of individuals in the mid-1980s in Miami under the rubric of "ritual child sexual abuse." These cases include the Country Walk Case, which you can easily google. The essential fraud of these cases, including their widespread use of highly suggestive interviewing techniques upon young children, have been exposed by Dorothy Rabinowitz of the WSJ, among others. These cases have led to life sentences for some of the accused, which sentences are being served to this day.

As for Waco, clearly it's a complicated case and there was massive malfeasance by the adults at the compound. That said, to ram a building containing Americans and their children with an APC, procured under fraudulent claims to the military that drugs were involved, after a 51 day siege, and then to fill that building with CS gas that America cannot even use against our worst enemies in Afghanistan under international law is a bad thing. And when that brilliant decision to use force, following a crisis-precipitating earlier decision to use excessive force, leads to the death of nearly everyone in the compound, yeah I think that's negligent, very bad, shows disrespect for human life and the accused based on prejudices against so-called cult members and gun owners, and is basically indefensible.

None of the Davidians who survived were found guilty of homicide; and they won a multimillion settlement for wrongful death stemming from the government's actions. I suppose if this were a mosque containing America-hating Muslim extremists we could expect some tears from you all, though, huh?

I think it's funny that you--LAK and Erasmussimo--all expected reasoned discourse from me or anyone after the constant spewing of half-truths and propaganda from Geoff Stone. Conservatives who write balanced and scholarly books such as Herrnstein and Murray and Robert Bork get tarred as racists, elitists, etc., so there' really no point in us expecting good will no matter how we say what we say. No, I write to give my allies some ammo, to persude the occasional moderate, and hopefully to remind you people that you don't have the monopoly on brains and indignation or irreverence.

Roach

Also, for the record, I don't like Gonzales and never did. I didn't like him because he was not that bright, like so many affirmative action appointees at every level in American life. I also didn't like him because he revealed himself at various times to be a liar, inarticulate, and lacking in an independent mind. In other words, he was the worst kind of advisor.

I didn't disagree with him on GITMO, nor most of his pronouncements on Presidential Power as it relates to the War on Terror and the right to dispatch US Attorneys that do not stick to the DOJ's game plan. But everything he said and wrote that was of any interest was clearly ghost written by someone much further down the food chain. He was a mediocre business lawyer, at best, and had no place in this role. I used his failures as a spring board for a broader discussion of affirmative action, cronyism, and the double standards that liberal critics of Bush have with respect to the use and abuse of federal power, particularly under the last Democratic President.

Erasmussimo

Mr. Roach, you misrepresent the Country Walk case. The crux of your misrepresentation is your failure to note that the two most critical elements of the prosecution (the leading interrogation methods and the laboratory confirmation of gonorrhea in one of the victims) were not revealed to be unreliable until long after the case was decided. At the time, the evidence was enough to convince a jury. Now that we know better, it would certainly serve the interests of justice to review the case. But to blame Ms. Reno for an error that at the time was not regarded as erroneous is an abuse of intellectual integrity.

I agree with you that the Waco case is complicated; I'll go even further and acknowledge that Ms. Reno's judgement proved in the end to be faulty. However, I an unwilling to accept a trashing of Ms. Reno's reputation for a tricky judgement call made under conditions of great uncertainty. Could you honestly say that you or anybody would have predicted the mass murder-suicide that ensued? Her fundamental mistake was a failure to understand the mind of the cultist; Mr. Gonzalez' mistakes were all failures to understand the Constitution. Ms. Reno's mistake set no precedents, wrought no permanent injury to our government; Mr. Gonzalez' mistakes created horrific precedents and did great harm to the Constitution.

"I suppose if this were a mosque containing America-hating Muslim extremists we could expect some tears from you all, though, huh?"

Yes, I decry any unnecessary loss of life. Don't you?

"I think it's funny that you--LAK and Erasmussimo--all expected reasoned discourse from me "

Yes, I expect reasoned discourse from you. Your acknowledgement that you are incapable of engaging in reasoned discourse disappoints me.

"I write to give my allies some ammo"

So you reject the notion of reasoned discourse in favor of a militaristic notion of bludgeoning ideas you disagree with. Have you no interest in finding the truth? Is your only purpose here to sling mud and cheerlead?

Roach

I think your defense of Reno is misplaced; you don't need to be a PhD to know that leading interrogation methods of young children will generate all kinds of unreliable evidence.

I agree with you on the loss of innocent life; I think it's notable there are so few liberal critics of Waco, Camille Paglia excepted, in what I consider an egregious misuse of government and military power.

I don't disagree with reasoned discourse, but there's a time and place. If someone is a nihilist, a dishonest liar, prone to ad hominems, prone to changing the rules and goalposts of discussions, then I'll switch my tactics. My audience is not my interlocutors or you per se, but the uncommitted on the sidelines and my occasionally flummoxed allies who may need to see how their positions can be defended in the crucible.

But if you or someone says, "I don't believe in truth, let's talk" or, alternately, "this thing is bad, but this same thing done by my crony is good," I don't see much use in according that person the same respect. I think Stone is a liar, a hack, and a propagandist of the first order. I also think he's unpatriotic, does not care about terrorist assaults on the country, and is a naked partisan for himself, the Democrats, gays, subversives, and minorities. He does this not out of a feeling of justice, but because he believes he and his groups--cosmopolitans, urban dwellers, professionals, ethnic and religious minorities, legal elites, his lesbian daughter--will benefit thereby. He defends his particular interest under the rubric of universals, but he makes particular exceptions to these same principles likewise to benefit his individual interest. His disregard for the depradations of the Clinton administration's AG is the best example of this, as is his defense of the activism of prior generations of Supreme Court Justices.

reshufflex

Sorry, Stone. Shakespeare had it right. The sad truth is that the whole of the attorneys general (a pluralization which alone is enough to make one eagerly embrace apoplexy) have been a dull mosaic of legal stiffs, do-nothings, empty-suits and political hacks.

Few served the nation for more than two or three gainful years, usually as a result of chronic ennui, alcoholism or ineptitude dogging them from a checkered past, nor added anything of note to the social compact except when sleeping with another man's wife, perhaps, or arresting one who slept with his own.

Almost none ever parlayed their hiccup of an expedient, appointed legal career into much noble (on a Shakespearean scale), opting instead most often for a fast escape into the seemy side of payoff capitalism or corporate theft. Follow the money. Those like Kennedy, Bob not John, who did fathom and feign a transcendent role amidst the morass of injustice and the forlorn also had to wrestle with their own skeletons. Ask MLK how he felt about Kennedy's secret wiretaps on him-via the FBI-based on the old McCarthyism canards. Shssh. Let them all RIP. Best not to upset the lords and disciples of Camelot.

Oh, but it gets worse. We could, of course, trot out the two prior gems-Ashcroft and Reno-but their individual and collective mal-legacy actually pales in comparison to earlier scalawags such as John Mitchell and Ramsey Clark. Yes. 'Tis true, dear reader. The GOP has no monopoly on villainy, much as the professor would have you believe.

Either of those dupes-one from the right, one from the left-could easily have been hanged in public and not a soul would have shed a tear, save for those bothered by the stench. Or in Clark's case, by the enemy.

Sad to say, but for every angel that you give us, Stone, a demon awaits. Alberto is by no means alone. Not by a longshot.

Not to worry. The As/G rarely change the law as much as they briefly reshape it, even if they were a bevy of Platonic guardians, which they most certainly are not.

FrankMCook

For what it's worth Shakespeare put those words in the mouth of an anarchist who was saying that killing the lawyers was the first step to over throwing order.

It's also worth noting that while I seldom agree politically with my friend and classmate John Ashcroft, he did demonstrate, as I knew he would, honor. Even from a hospital bed, he understood when to say no.

Clark spoke at the law school when I was a student. I must say I was impressed. This was of course years before he took the obligation to defend to what many would consider an extreme. It is worth recalling Professor Malcomb Sharp who wrote about his defense of the Rosenbergs under what I remember was entitled A Conservative Fellow Traveler. Undertaking the defense of an unpopular client is not the same as supporting the client's cause.

BAC

Eras described Prof. Stone's post best when he said:

"Line by line, sentence by sentence, your post drips with absurd accusations. I would love to discuss any of these issues in a calm and rational manner, but you seem more intent on foaming at the mouth than discussing anything."

Lackawanna Blues

Preach on, Brother Roach.

Gonzales was a disgrace. Kind of like Geof Stone.

At least Gonzales never held a press conference where he accused all of his critics of being Jews and Protestants out to get him for being Catholic -- the functional equivalent of what Stone did when he slandered the Catholics on the Supreme Court earlier this year.

LAK

Lacksabrain, instead Gonzales, as cheif law enforcement officer, approved a patently unconstitutional surveillance program absed on the most specious of legal justifications. Instead, gonzales politicized the Justice Department to a degree enver seen before that cuased many top staffers to resign.

Your pathetic attempt at casting Stone in some kind of negative light only reveals that even you know that your religion is noting but a 2000 year old cult of which you are deeply ashamed, and should be as an intellectual. Stone actually has respect for our constitutional rights, and rightly criticized a bunch of right wing religious wackos on the court for imposing their entrenched bizzare religion on the rest of us.Now go transsubstantiate yourself into a rodent and scurry away, you pathetic cultist.

Lackawanna Blues

Remember, LAK, I love you. Jesus loves you. No matter how many times you insult the Mother Church, She will always welcome you with open arms.

I love Geof Stone too. I feel his actions are disgraceful and wrong. He is an anti-Catholic, as apparently you are too.

I will continue to pray for your immortal souls.

LAK

And I'll continue to pity you for wasting your only life on ghost stories and cults you are too cowardly and small minded to overcome. All that spiritualism wasted on illusions, when that "love" you supposedly have could be spent on humanity. Such a hypocritical shame in the end. But you'd better go protest som abortion clinic while the poor rot in out country and innocent people are killed every day due to serving the interests of our industrial war machine. Say Laksabrain, what religion were your partents? So much for freedom and individuality huh? Your religion blinds your reason. Stone is one of the good guys, looking out for you against the very real antidemoctratic forces that are a work in organized religion and the military industrial complex.

Lackawanna Blues

I'm so very sorry for you, LAK, that you cannot enjoy the fulness of life that comes from the love of the Risen Christ.

Having said that, your well-worn and cliched left-wing opinions do not appear to arise from any serious consideration of opposing views (have you ever even read Michael Oakeshott, Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk?) but rather from what I call the MTVization of elite American culture. Except for you it is probably The New Republic or (gasp) Salon.

It is probably hard to overcome the dominant ideology (secular humanism-nihilism) in American elite culture. And in fairness you do not seem up to it. But we all have our failings. As always I wish you only the best of luck in finding happiness.

By the way, since you are so intent on insulting Christianity and Catholicism, would you mind also giving us your views Islam? I take it Islam to you is an absurd/perverted "cult" filled with "ghost stories." Just put it on the screen so that I am not putting words in your mouth. I want to make sure you hold these feelings about the religion of our enemies too.


LAK

Oh, I certainly do fella. I have equal disgust for all organized religions, certainly islam. Don't be so pathetic in your arguments. And I'll note that "our enemys" have come from all religious backgrounds over the years, the least of which are fellow "Christians" in the last 200 years.

Have you ever considered why the educated elite reject irrational ghost stories about virgin births, walking on water, infallability, and other nonsense involving some ignorant notion of a theistic god? Seriously, do you see it as just some sort of coincidence, or do you recognize the role of education, the creation of wealth and social stability in the dying of your cult (Better hit up the poor in S. America and Africa quick!!)

I don't need MTV to understand why religion is worthless. I have the enlightenment and modern science to fall back on for far more compelling arguments about why 2000 year old cults are patenetly ridiculous and how you are too sheepish to recognize the institutional social interia that is at the foundation of your pathetic subserviaence to irrational authority.

I'll take Russell, Marx, Hegel, Nietzsche, Einstein, Freud and pretty much every other top thinker in the last 250 years anyday over some two bit academics nobody has heard of. Your best bet at trying to ground your sheepish devotion to irrational authroity would probably be Kierkegaard in my book, but even he can't make the jump from faith the Christianity in any compelling way. That was Pascals proble too you know. He may have been right, one might have nothing to lose by being religious, but sacrificing mice to invisible blue cats who live in maple trees is just as viable a religion to devote oneself to as Christianity "just in case it might be true."

Honestly, you should hang out at the Liberty University blog Laksabrain. Your anti-intellectual nonsense would probably be better recieved there. Seriously, why don't you transubstantiate yourself into a bee and fly away. Or maybe go molest some boys?

LAK

And I hope you recognize that once you let go of all the institutional nonsense that you grasp onto so tightly for your fearful and cowardly sense of existential security (heaven and hell? Immortal souls? Sacrificed sons? Original sin? Miracles? Angels? Vengenful Gods? Infallible popes? Women as second class humans?) you have a chance at a true appreciation of the glory of God. If you want real happiness, if you want a sense of how incredible the universe is, how beautiful and ordered it can be and how chaotic and diordered it can be, if you want a sense of how little we know about the Universe, how profoundly big it is and how profoundly small we are, if you want to understand how little we actually know and how much we will never know, getthee to the physics depatrment and see how Eigenvalues work, how Hamiltonians work, how general relativity works, how you can dervive maxwell's equastions. That is the stuff of profundity and beauty and God. Not ghost stoires. If you want to know love, get thee to the philosophy department and realize all human beings are worthy of love and respect, even those muslims you seem to think are all our enemies, even those poor you would seek to keep poor through your conservative politics, even those women who you would condemn for getting pregnant and ending the pregnancy.

You see Laksabrain, you and every other Christian who beleives that non-believers are going to hell are hypocrits. You know nothing of love and respect for humanity. The fact that so many of those "married" to God are just ostricized homosexuals whose only outlets are sex with children should give you deep pause about what is going on in your irrational belief system. Just becasue you give up institutional irrational authority found in your cult, soesn't mean you haev to lose your soul and spirit and wonder at the glorious nature of the universe.

Lackawanna Blues

If by "some two bit academics nobody has heard of" you are referring to these gentlemen, then I'm very sorry for you that you are the "nobody" who has not heard of them


What is even sadder is that you have never heard of Richard Weaver -- famous University of Chicago professor that he was. I guess you must not have been educated in the liberal arts at Chicago, or that you are the product of the recent dilution of the Common Core.

In any event, like I said, you've never bothered to read or address any of the greats that have led people like Roach and myself to where we are, and instead just hurl insults.

I'll leave it to our readers to decide who is the more sane.

LAK

Awesome:

"Kirk declined to drive, calling cars "mechanical Jacobins", and would have nothing to do with television and what he called "electronic computers."

Russel Kirk converted to Catholicism in 1963"

I know who Weaver is, but only becasue I'm a U of C grad. I promise you few others in the world know who he is, and for good reason.

Lackawanna Blues

What a profound substantive remark. You must already have read and digested The Conservative Mind.

Good work.

LAK

coward. That's all you've got to say for yourself? Figures. Those who beleive in some kind of athropomorphic theistic God are most scertaionly small minded and incapable of defending their beliefs in any rational matter. But I'm sure God is a white man and has an enormous von-schtupper.

Back to the issue at hand. Gonzales was a spineless idiot who didn't understand his obligations as AG to the rule of law and the American people. Say what you will, Reno never put politics above the admintration of justice, even if she screwed up sometimes. Gonzales willfully did, and for that he should be ashamed and was rightly forced out of office.

Roach

Since when do we learn to love and hug each other from philosophy. I don't think Wittgenstein and Carl Schmidt would truck with all that. Spinoza is out of style, like trucker caps, you know?

LAK I wish your contempt for religion, widely held by your fellow liberals and Democrats, were more widely spoken of in the '08 Presidential race.

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