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May 31, 2009


Jim Ryan

Obama voter pulls race card on Sotomayor critics, says AA no big whoop, argues, "Shut up."

What happened to seeing through charlatan politicians? And protecting individual responsibility, individual achievement and self-reliance from being tainted by racism? Not cool anymore, I gather. Is having common sense the new paleo-con?


Excellent observation, TM.

Also, why is it more offensive to call Ms Sotomayor racist than call her critics racist? McArdle decides critics can't stand a brown person getting ahead. Well....to what do we credit the criticism against Roberts and Alito?
Does she not remember Joe Biden going on about how much he hated Princeton? Does she not remember Alito's wife leaving the Senate hearing room in tears? He wasn't brown, yet plenty of people couldn't stand the idea he was getting away with something.


What do you expect from Megan McCardle, herself a beneficiary from Affirmative Action.

It's not as if she was hired on merit. She was hired because she is a woman.

Heck, most women LOVE Affirmative Action. It helps them, and punishes their most deadly competitors, Straight White Men.


It is curious to see a post discussing the racist attitudes held by large segments of white American's starting off by citing HL Mencken's observation that he:

"once defined Fundamentalism as "the terrible, pervasive fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun".

In my line of work I wind up being paired for weeks at a time with different traveling partners of differing backgrounds and different beliefs. Some of them I consider Fundamentalists. In general, they are as much fun and full of jokes and laughter and decency in meeting folks from all around the planet as anyone else, with the exception that they abuse their bodies a lot less than I do from drinking beer, and usually Sunday morning they are up and out the door a heck of a lot earlier than I am. Besides, that, there remains only the frequently present awareness that the mass of society out there who don't personally know or deal with them, consider them exactly like HL Mencken's stereotype up above that Megan led off her column with.

HL Mencken's meme though is a powerful one. It allows someone, almost without even realizing they're doing it, to ridicule, demean, diminish and disregard those who are different from themselves, almost as effectively, if not more effectively, than Racism.

Charlie (Colorado)

In any case, Mencken said "Puritans" not "Fundamentalists". But then the rest of the quote is a paraphrase too. See, eg, here.


Thanks Charlie for correcting me and Megan. I took her quote as being factual in printing the word "Fundamentalists", so I responded to what she wrote.

I think we are all subject at times to the Pauline Kael syndrome; isolating ourselves socially or thru work, etc into groups where we wind up not knowing anyone who voted for Nixon or who is a Fundamentalist or a Green Peacer or a Home-Schooler etc. My response was simply commenting that because of my work experience with various "Fundamentalists" I knew her opening statement was a false stereotype, and that it didn't make a whole lot of sense to open a column on Racism with a slur just about as bad. Honestly, thanks for the correction. I appreciate it.

JM Hanes

It's ironic, daddy, that liberals can't even be bothered to say that some of their best friends are fundamentalists.....


Affirmative action for thee but not for me!


Yes, I thought that article was BS, too. This part in particular:

If you don't believe it, ask yourself why repeated studies show that resumes with identifiably black names get fewer interview offers than identical white resumes.
You know what I ask myself? Who did these studies, ACORN? Because I worked in managment for a very large well-known company for quite some time, and I know for a fact that this is pure BS.

In that part of Corporate America, the mere hiring of a white male is enough to draw attention, questions about other candidates who weren't chosen, etc. It takes guts to do that twice.

During certain periods, if you needed a person and had the authority to hire, the only resumes allowed for consideration were those of "minorities." (I hesitate to name the program, but believe me, it was an offensive euphamism for what it actually was.)

Just as an example, can folks here imagine the pickings for women or minority PhD electrical engineers or physicists? And can anyone guess how coddled they are once hired? How quickly they rise into management, middle management and beyond?

I've always been shocked by the unfairness of this sort of thing, but lately I've come to the realization that this has been a cancer in our society for decades, eating away at the ideal of basic fairness, and at the root of many of the problems we've been discussing.

Fannie and Freddie? Political Correctness and the assault on free speech? How did an unqualified Marxist get elected president? What's to become of the Supreme Court? All of these things are deeply tainted with the stench of Affirmative Action, a truly odious renunciation of our founding principles.



there is a brown person getting away with something somewhere. His name is Manny and and he's having a ball....

Jack is Back!

Matt, gets my vote for the Yankee fan "Snark of The Year Award".


nah, I just picked a name out of a hat..you know there's some guy named Manny soewhere getting away with something....Besides, I'm an Angels fan.


The Feminist Racists are having a ball defending and protecting Sotomayor.

This figures since the every same Feminist Racists trashed, thrashed, humiliated, ostracized, threatened the female and the elderly white man in order to get their the smooth-talking bad-bay elected into the White House.

Feminist is the woman's worst nightmare, she rips out wombs and castrates balls; add Racist and everyone is living in hell.

Rick Ballard

"She was hired because she is a woman."

Not exactly. She was hired because she expressed opinions satisfactory to the editors of the Atlantic. She's Rockefeller Eloi to the bone and thinks there's a difference between Pigou and Keynes.

The Morlocks pegged her correctly and have found her very useful.


Well, don't fundamentalists, on average have more kids than other groups so clearly one aspect doesn't apply. I know it's the meme spread by "Footloose" and in it's more
noxious incarnations "Children of the Corn"
and "Betrayed" Were they more gullible than the urban progressives to some of the
stupider trends of the time, like the latter part of the 1920s boom, cynicism for it's own game, is a fool's game, the property of Letterman, Maher, Stewart, Rall,
Colbert; and who did they end up endorsing in the end. that is a remarkably stupid thing for McArdle to have said. I used to post on her blogs, but I stopped among other things, because she complained too much about the carriage returns, (sarc)
This shows there really is no defense
for much of Sotomayor's legal reasoning, on any number of areas, on environmental issues, or other areas.

Stealth Gay Academic Conservative

The oddest thing about affirmative action is that it is promoted as a vital program with no actual beneficiaries.

May I steal that, please?


Charlie, that was a great comment at the end, and if it came out a little condescending so be it; most of the people on that board, are even more clueless than she is.


on CNN International, John Kink is trying to use "when did you stop beating your wife?" questions on Kay Bailey Hutchison and McConnell regarding Sotomayor's nomination. Really using Limbaugh and Gingrich's reverse racism arguments.

Real Obama rah rah....Even the images are Maoist personality cult level.


I remember as a college sophomore back in 1978, I was in a seminar discussing the pros and cons of affirmative action (this was probably around the time of the Bakke case). I raised the possibility of a stigma effect on minorities from the perception that they didn't get in on their merits. The reaction of the professor was some mixture of horror and befuddlement, as if I'd asserted the earth was flat. I dropped the class.


A question about those firefighters, if they ruled against the city, then wouldn't that mean the Judges threw out the law? Wouldn't ruling against the city make Soto an "activist" judge as opposed to a "letter of the law" judge.

Now do we want activist judges or letter of the law judges?


No, it would mean that the judge didn't follow the law, much like Kelo, and Didden,
and Hamdi, Hamdan, Boumedienne, in light of
the precedence of ex parte Quirin andJohnson
v. Eisentrager. Of course, that's a perfect
reason to promote her to the top Court in the land.



I look at it as ethnic tribalism-the dems need every "race" and ascribed "group", who all think alike, at as many levers of power as they can manage. Sotomayor's "compelling story" about poverty, struggle, and race consciousness has to be oversold and the real basis of her power today-the ivy league credentialing process and her conventional progressive beliefs-are downgraded because it might make her confirmation hearings too difficult. (I recall Estrada was beat up about his Federalist Society membership [the Dems tried to make them into the Klan] and Alito was beat up over a bad parody editorial in an alumni magazine which he didn't write or edit. I don't see Sotomayor having to defend her membership in a racist organization or having to defend (or confess that she doesn't believe) their written materials).

Take the conversation that Sotomayor had with that "high powered" lawyer and his comment about firing the minority hires after a few years because they really aren't qualified. His comment probably best explains the odd career path that Michelle took, and for all the supposed brillance and credentials Barack has, why he ended up at a 3rd tier law firm defending slum lord Rezko, sueing banks on behalf of ACORN, and generally doesn't have much in the way of a paper trail for his so called brillant legal mind.


A question about those firefighters, if they ruled against the city, then wouldn't that mean the Judges threw out the law?

What law? Was there a law that said they wouldn't promote any firefighters unless the right minorities passed the exam?


"What law? Was there a law that said they wouldn't promote any firefighters unless the right minorities passed the exam?"

I think it was one of those 'title #' things and the city feared it would be the target of a civil rights lawsuit if they followed the test results instead of throwing the test out.

Of course, we can see how well that strategy worked. :) They were sued anyway.


The prison I work in requires a once a year 40 hour training week where we receive training in CPR, Firearms, Use of Force, Suicide Prevention, etc. This year, due to some racial tensions among employees, we had a diversity class. The instructor divided the class into groups and gave each group had a different scenario concerning diversity. The scenario he gave our group had employee Smith telling employee Jones that he believed AA was reverse razism. Employee Jones was insulted by employee Smith's remarks. The instructor informed the class that comments like this are against the policies of our employer and shouldn't be discussed in the workplace. I told the instructor this was also my belief and then asked him how we were going to solve problems if we couldn't even discuss them. He told the class that work was not the place to engage in talk radio debate. I figured I better keep my thoughts to myself before I found myself out of a job. An ice storm caused the cancelation of our training the following day and two months later when we were making up the day we missed, the same instructor was filling in for the sexual harassment instructor. I engaged him and said that since I was a fan of talk radio, I was offended by his comment. He replied with, "well I'm offended you called me a razist." I asked him how I called him a razist and he answered, "I'm the AA instructor and if you believe AA is razist then you must believe I'm a razist too!" At this point, I figured I better refuse to take his class before I found myself in the unemployment line!


"I look at it as ethnic tribalism-the dems need every "race" and ascribed "group", who all think alike, at as many levers of power as they can manage."

Agree. It's the only explanation for the opposite policies of on the one hand encouraging minorities to wall themselves off in physical locations/communities to wield more political power, and on the other hand demanding aa to better mix minorities with the greater society.


I raised the possibility of a stigma effect on minorities from the perception that they didn't get in on their merits.

Clarence Thomas talks about this in his book. After graduation, at the top of his class from Yale Law school he couldn't find a job and was told that employers assumed that a black man at the top of his class didn't get there on merit.

I see a similar thing with Amy. All sorts of people want to put her in the front of the line when they find out she is a lesbian. (That's gayness in the Northeast) It makes her uncomfortable. I advise her to take full advantage because if they are stupid enough to do it...

Danube of Thought

Mencken was, indeed, talking about Puritans, not Fundmentalists (I'm not sure the latter term was much in use in his day), and the quote is often shown the way Chaco presented it. It also appears this way:

"A Puritan is a person who lives in the fear that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time."

That is the way I remember it when I came across it at age eighteen, but I can't determine what text it was in. I became a Mencken devotee at that age, and stayed with him for many years. I put together a modest collection of his works, which I enjoy to this day. For those who are curious, there are a few essays I would especially recommend: "The Sahara of the Bozart," "The Hills of Zion," and "In Memoriam: W.J.B."

The latter was written three days after Wm. Jennings Bryan suddenly dropped dead, and is, shall we say, not entirely respectful. Hysterically funny might be more apt.


Seems to me that AA supporters suffer from a "pervasive fear that some (hard-working SWM), somewhere, is getting away with something." Probably by being rewarded for his value to the system.

Buford Gooch

I was an independent recruiter for about 15 years. I could charge a premium for minority candidates, particularly with large firms.


However Mencken wrote it, I wish to God he were around today. He had a profound irritation with politicians and pecksniffs.

Mencken would have flayed Democrats for their arrogance and ignorance, Republicans for forgetting their foundations, fawning journalists for their ignorance and pomposity, academics for their self-infatuation, and business leaders for their amorality.

As a master of language and admirer of its purpose, he would have sliced and diced voters as what he called "booboise" for being taken in by Obama and Axelrod.


There are two distinct,and mutually incompatable definitions of affirmative action. The first, as established by Civil Rights Act of 1964, is equality of opportunity.

So Hartford's action in publishing the source material for the test and making it available to all interested canidates, met the requirements of the 1964 act.

The problem was that the Supreme Court redined affirmative action, Griggs v. Duke Power(1973?) to mean equity of outcome. If the outcomes don't match demographics, the courts simply assumes discrimination.

The problem with the Court's Griggs' logic is that makes the counterfactual assumption that human capital is demographically proportional. It ain't.


Well, just for the record, I am a Fundamentalist (a single-fundamental Fundamentalist, in particular), and, also for the record, I deeply resent all the fun you fun-loving people are always having here on this blog.


PD, stop having so much fun resenting all the fun we're having poking fun at the fundamentalists resenting us having so much fun.


sbw, I'll have you know there was a deep, deep frown on my face when I wrote that.


With regard to affirmative action, someone explain to me how a black guy (well, half-black) transferred from an obscure West Coast school named Occidental College to Columbia after a year or two at Occidental when his most remarkable accomplishment seems to be that he was doing blow.

JM Hanes


"Obama's campaign was closer to 750 million dollars."

You forgot to subtract the $800,000 or so he gave to ACORN in Louisiana.

Team Obama did indeed do a heckuva job here in NC. They probably fooled McCain when they let it slip that they were pulling their resources out of the state. Alas for Mac, in Obama $$, that just meant confining their TV spots to primetime, and dividing Tar Heel appearances between Michelle and O from week to week.

JM Hanes

Oops, that last was intended for the Date thread. I blame Typepad!

JM Hanes


"However Mencken wrote it, I wish to God he were around today."

I'm afraid he'd get as little notice as P.J. O’Rourke does. I followed a link to his piece in the WSJ yesterday and started to read without realizing he authored it. Only a few paragraphs into it, I wondered, "Who is this guy? He's really good!" -- and slapped my own se'f upside teh head, when I checked the byline. Nobody can string together as many LOL metaphors in as little space as he does and actually make it work.


"The oddest thing about affirmative action is that it is promoted as a vital program with no actual beneficiaries."

Well I was thrown off the admission list for Medical school back after the Bakke decision so I take issue with the premise that no one benefits.

Since I was a white Male, my career decisions were definitely affected and it follows me to this day.

The minorities that gained admission gained financially and got a undeserved career based on merit or grades.

I had to start my own business to succeed in America since at the time they were only hiring minorities at fortune 500 companies.

Talk about descrimination against white men, you do not know the half of it.


Mencken was slandering Puritans, too. They were noted as great brewers of beer, and something like 60% of puritan girls were already pregnant when they got married. They saved their expensive black clothes for going to church and formal portraits, the rest of the time they wore bright colors.


MayBee & narciso,

In Kelo, the SCOTUS followed the law. The Constitution gives the government the right to take private property for "public use" with "just compensation."

Now who do we want to define "public use" do we want our elected officials to define the term or do we want unelected judges? In Kelo, the SCOTUS said that the elected officials get to decide what is "public use" not the unelected judiciary.

Now if you wanted the SCOTUS to side with Kelo and not the city, then you are asking for an Activist Judiciary who'll over-rule the elected officials.

And that's the same thing in the Ricci case. You might not like the law, but that law was passed by elected officials, approved of by precedent and considered to be constitutional. But if the Judge overturns the law, then we are asking for an Activist Judge.

So whatever you want to call Sotomayor, you can't call her a Judicial Activist.


Stop playing dumb, Dervin. The notion that the Kelo taking was for a public use is simply laughable.

JM Hanes


The objection to Sotomayor in Ricci is that she first tried to dismiss without reference to law at all, and that the subsequent majority dismissed without ever bothering to address or resolve the underlying legal conflicts either. Perhaps that's why you yourself, are apparently unaware that there was more than one law at issue, and that if there were no Constitutional questions at issue as well, SCOTUS would not have agreed to hear the case. Before you try to define activist adjudication, I suggest checking out what judges are expected to do first.


Confirming Sotomayor is akin to sticking lipstick on a very far latino pig.


cathyf, should the courts or the elected officials decide what constitutes "public use?" The SCOTUS said the elected officials should decide, and in the wake of the decision, there were many state legislators who introduced and pass laws limiting the definition of "Public Use" which is what we want.

JM Hanes, once again, should the elected officials resolve the conflicting laws, or should the judiciary?

Now if you want the judiciary to make these decisions, then you want an activist judiciary. Or do you only want an activist judiciary when they agree with you.


Have they ever done a similar study with "super-white" or dare I say it "redneck" names?

Job applications for "Cletus T. Hogwoller", "Jedediah Waldrip", "Bubba Millerson", etc.

I'd honestly be interested in the results of that one.


--JM Hanes, once again, should the elected officials resolve the conflicting laws, or should the judiciary?--

Umm, that is one of the very few legitimate things the courts are supposed to do.

One of the others is for the court to limit laws which clearly go beyond legislative prerogatives. If the legislature declares a clearly private use to be a public one for the purposes of eminent domain, a properly operating court tells the legislature to cease and desist.
Since the court failed to do so the properly acting legislatures were forced to declare their respect for the constitution, something they had not had to do prior to the courts acquiscence to a legislativwe power grab at the expense of citizens rights.



Thanks for the PJ O' Rourke Car link. Reminds me of a completely stupid local discussion we've been having up here that I've neglected to mention. We have great bike trails in Anchorage, but our City Council has proposed spending 63 million for no new bike-trails, but simply for improvements to existing ones. Their stated reason is that Biking is more environmentally friendly, and they think that in Anchorage Alaska, despite massive snow fall and freezing temps 8 months out of the year, that somehow they will be able to upgrade our existing bike-trails so well that people will elect to use their bikes in the middle of winter to go to work or shopping etc. Unbelievable. A second grader would know better.

And as a second indicator of the brainpower of our City Council...one of our old town bike trails runs near a salmon creek, and last year a teenage girl was attacked and almost eaten by a bear while biking there. So what has the Council decided is the solution to dealing with this section of energy and environmentally friendly bike trail? Well, when the summer salmon start running, rather than shooting the bears coming into town, instead we will simply close the bike path to bikers, so they'll have to use their cars. Problem solved.


Confirming Sotomayor is akin to sticking lipstick on a very far latino pig.

Knock it off, Moby.


JMH, I just lobbied my college for having P.J.O.'s "On the Wealth of Nations" as one of six books for their core course covering the period 1750-present.

And re: Mencken on the Puritans. I suspect Mencken did not know of their fondness for beer. The knowledge would have mellowed his opinion. The quite secular Mencken thought beer a divine creation.

Danube of Thought

Dervin, I have no difficulty in allowing the decisions on what constitutes a "public use" to be made by elected officials, provided that a public use is in fact involved. Unfortunately, the constitutional threshhold of a public use was not reached in that case; rather, the taking was justified as being for a public purpose. Two very different things, as we have seen.

That expansion of the language allows local politicians to seize the property of unfavored people for the benefit of those they favor, and the dangers in such a practice are evident to anyone who has experienced local governments in, say, Chicago or Bayonne. Or a lot of other places.


"affirmative action distorts the college grading process as well as the recruitment process then equal resumes aren't really equal". this is the crux of the problem. it's a dirty little "secret" that noone will talk about but that most every non-minority at a top 10 school has witnessed first hand. Many [not all] of the AA applicants lack the skill sets and abilities of their classmates and never really "catch up." Many are bright and the experience scars them for life. Most would have been better off at schools one tier below, where they could compete on an equal basis and own their achievements.



Your arguement could be used for all court cases based on the constitutionality of laws.

If the legislature declares any law constitutional, who are the courts to disagree, right?

Either you believe the courts have a role in this or not; your argument goes back to Marshall.

George T. Talbot, Ba in Ed, MA, CWAES, PhD, MD, etc.

With a PhD in hand, I was advised that the school I had applied to was giving the position to "MS so and so, an aspiring MA candidate". Affirmative action is discrimination, despite any attempts to make it look nice.


The above referring to Marbury v. Madison


National Council of La Raza. Enough said.


Kelo was about a developer, taking private land, for a private purpose, including a pharmaceutical plant, and then advancing the increased tax revenue, That's something tantamount to feudalism in my book, not anything in the American experience.


Fundamentals are essential to winning in baseball, football and basketball. Anyone who hates fundamentals are big time losers


The most remarkable thing that Megan wrote was that she was a libertarian. Yet, somehow, she voted for Obama and the biggest extension of government power in 70 years.

Her blog is interesting however in that the comments are invariably far more intelligent than her initial posts. Is there a term for this kind of dynamic in the Internet world?

If not there should be.


Confucius spoke to this: To fail to speak to a man who is capable of benefiting is to let a man go to waste. To speak to a man who is incapable of benefiting is to let one's words go to waste. A wise man lets neither men nor words go to waste.(Confucius. Analects. Pg. 133.).

You decide Megan's character.

Danube of Thought

The thing to bear in mind about the ancient power of eminent domain is that it has always been exercised by the state. In this country since the Revolution, that means elected officials; before that, the Crown.

The limitations placed on that power by the constitution were limits on the exercise of executive power, and there is no institution but the judiciary to ensure that the power is not abused. It certainly seems to me--and to many--that it was abused in the circumstances of Kelo, and the Court failed in its duty to restrain the state.

It is kind of silly to cast the issue as one in which elected officials, as opposed to unelected judges, make the decisions. It has always been the elected officials who do that, subject to the limits of the constitution. The only decision left to the judges is whether the state has exceeded its power.


If Megan McCardle wants to know why study after study shows blacks getting fewer employment ops than white, I offer the following explanation. In the late 60's my company's ceo decided to reach out and hire minorities. At least a half dozen were hired into responsible positions. They all failed badly, and I mean badly nearly wrecking the company. I heard of many similar AA hire stories at friends' companies. End of experiment. From then on minorities had to have proven track records to be hired, no more growing into or on the job.

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