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Bloggingheads
12-28-2007, 01:22 PM

Allan
12-28-2007, 02:10 PM
Ann, why would anyone ever go to NBC for the news?
I don't even know what channel it is on my TV.

DaveW
12-28-2007, 02:53 PM
Ann, you're incorrect. You are watching the Today show on a one hour delay, just as the rest of us in the central time zone are.

I first noticed this a few years ago when you could see it was dark outside in their broadcast when it was already daylight where I am, and with them being on the east coast, that meant, you know....

In any event, that is why they weren't very excited about it during the time you were watching. It hadn't yet happened - or was just happening - when that segment was taped.

garbagecowboy
12-28-2007, 03:55 PM
The hypocrisy of Curt Schilling and of all the player's union head honchos (Tom Glavine, glad he's not a Met anymore) in resisting testing and now pointing fingers is unbelievable.

I've heard lots of people make excuses for the players: it was all the owners, the league ("Chicks dig the long ball."), the fans who wanted it, the players simply danced to their or our tune.

I call bullshit, for one.

First of all, and perhaps this is a more philosophical point, baseball is a game of numbers, which has been forever tainted by the players who juiced. In particular it is a game of counting statistics. Perhaps this is a general flaw in the baseball fan for putting such a mystical quality in these numbers, but for me the grandeur of the game had a lot to do with its history, and the way that players across eras can be compared via their counting statistics in relationship to certain well-established milestones. Since my grandfather, the first generation of my family to be born in America, grew up watching the Giants and Yankees in the 1930s, the game had been played more or less the same, with players obtaining more or less the same amounts of hits, home-runs, strikeouts, RBIs, etc, and following a similar career trajectory in how many of those stats could be obtained as the player aged. Those golden proportions of 90 feet between bases and 60 feet 6 inches from the rubber to the plate meant that counting statistics like winning 300 games, getting 3000 hits, or obviously, hitting 714 home runs meant something. What Hank Aaron accomplished was extraordinary: if you look at his career stats (http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/A/hank-aaron.shtml) he never hit more than 50 home runs in a season and beat the immortal Babe Ruth by being a great, consistent hitter.

Perhaps stimulants give an advantage (although I question to what extent stimulants had been in baseball before, say the 1970s) but there is unquestionably a categorical difference between the use of stimulants to concentrate and the use of anabolic and androgenic steroids to build muscle mass at levels the human body cannot usually obtain. Please take a look at these men and what steroids have done to their bodies (http://blogmuscle.files.wordpress.com/2006/10/jamfor.jpg) and tell me that "there have always been drugs in baseball." Yes, being stronger cannot turn a guy who strikes out all the time into a great hitter, but it can turn a good hitter into the best home-run hitter of all time. Don't believe me? I've got the numbers to prove it. (http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/B/barry-bonds.shtml)

From a statistical standpoint actually, no, there have not always been drugs in baseball. In addition to our blessed counting statistics, a modern generation of baseball fans have embraced the Bill James gospel which basically amounts to using appropriate rate statistics for evaluating player performance. And in fact, no one has ever done what Barry Bonds did, posting such an unbelievable increase in power after say the age of 25 when he was over 35 years old. His increase in OPS+ (http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bondsba01.shtml) from the time when he was 36-40 is literally without precedent in baseball history, and clearly caused by steroids.

The irony is that Bonds was a very talented player, who merely supplemented great plate discipline and a great hitting talent with anabolically stimulated power. The same can be said of Roger Clemens with regard to pitching. Yes, he would not have over 300 wins, likely, and he would not still be throwing the ball 90+ MPH at 44 years of age, but Clemens would have been in the Hall of Fame without using steroids. Bonds would have also been a hall-of-famer (although nowhere near as famous; think maybe Eddie Murray like career stats). However, these guys came in and literally re-wrote what kind of stats it was possible for an aging ball-player to do in the "waning" years of his career.

But not in a good way. Even HGH, which Andy Pettite copped to using, can badly screw up your joints. The other steroids which guys like Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Giambi, etc. were all clearly using involve serious long-term risks, such as destroying your joints, liver, shrinking your testicles, growing breasts, messing with your emotions and screwing up your natural production of hormones permanently. This is not shit to fuck around with. Certainly not something that little leaguers who want to make it to the big leagues think they will need to take to be even possibly able to compete with the big guys. The problem here is not only with the fact that my ideal of what a baseball player should be able to do is shattered, it's that there are thousands of high school ballplayers who want to make it to the minor leagues, and thousands of minor leagues who want to make it to the big leagues, who will be pushed to screw up their bodies with this crap. And if you don't think it's out there for anybody, that you need to know some shady clubhouse trainer to get the stuff or learn how to "stack" and "cycle," well, it's out there for anybody to see. (http://www.isteroids.com/) Take a look at some of their message boards. "Regular" people are doing it.

And ultimately I think the buck stops with the players. It was McGwire and Sosa who took what Jose Canseco was taking from the bodybuilders and used it to shatter Maris and Ruth's record. It was Bonds who saw the attention McGwire and Sosa got and rushed out to figure out how to do it himself. Each of these players made a decision to enhance their performance with these very dangerous chemicals in a very public fashion. A fashion that, ironically, leaves its fingerprint all over their stat-sheet. Hint: if a guy starts hitting more home runs when he's 40 than he did when he was 30, he's juicing. The players' response has been pathetic; McGwire's simpering, miserable display in front of Congress being only the most public of two equally pathetic strategies: cry and beg for forgiveness, or continue denying as all plausibility of your denial evaporates.

Not to say that there isn't plenty of blame to go around, and that the league must take decisive action. Maybe you get 2 strikes; 1 bad test = 50 game suspension. Your second failed test and you are out of professional baseball for life. The players union, the owners and Selig all need to come to this realization: a league where some of the players are juicing, some are jealous, and everybody is watching is no longer tolerable.

It is true that there is not as yet a reliable urine test for HGH and some other substances; this is a soluble scientific and technical problem, however. Testing must keep pace with the cheaters. The union should offer them no protection.

And finally, Bonds and Clemens and McGwire and Sosa should never be allowed into the Hall of Fame. In my mind, what they did is much worse than what Pete Rose did, because of how many young people will have been induced put this crap in their bodies because of them, how much worse they have tainted the reputations of all the athletes of their era, and what their conduct says about them as sportsmen. For all these reasons they deserve to be remembered as pariahs, not as demi-gods.

Ann Althouse
12-28-2007, 04:09 PM
Thanks, Dave. I appreciate the point about Eastern Time and Central Time, however, I'm talking about the part of the show on the hour, when Matt Lauer throws it over to the studio and a newsreader recites the top stories. If this segment is also prerecorded and shown with a time lag, it's going to look embarrassing and unprofessional, as it did. So I'm not letting them off the hook because they save the fluff stories about kids and food and drink and health care to run at a particular time in each time zone.

Moreover, when important enough news happens, regular programming should be suspended, and the news department should step in and show its depth. For the show to continue the way it did, without supervening news coverage of something that is so important to U.S. interests and to the world, is a concession that the network is not serious about news coverage.

And I don't give a damn about "The Today Show." It has not been my practice to try to obtain news that way. I get my news on line. I'm simply describing what I do sometimes when I want to see live video coverage of an important event. I went first to Fox News and CNN and then, for comparison, I checked out the networks — and was disgusted with it.

Quite apart from whether they're keeping up with the breaking news "The Today Show" is really bad. I mean, I suppose they're meeting somebody's needs, but I never want to look at that again.

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 04:35 PM
Ever since Steve's debut (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/295), I've been looking forward to his return. So much so, in fact, that I broke my longstanding vow to avoid everything to do with Ann Althouse.

Big mistake.

I do not understand why this woman is still invited to appear on BH.tv. Continuing from her earlier diavlogs that I suffered through, she still seems to know nothing about everything. As far as I can tell, her awareness of current events begins and ends with occasionally skimming The New York Times. It is truly amazing that she had no idea how to find out more about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Apparently, doing anything on the Web beyond posting to her own blog is beyond her. It even appears that she is stumped by the concept of changing channels on her TV.

It would have been nice to hear someone intelligent enough to talk to Steve about Ron Paul, steroids in baseball, and Hillary Clinton. It would even have been better if only his side of the conversation had been recorded.

ogieogie
12-28-2007, 04:44 PM
The Redeemer of the Name of Kaus exudes sanity in such excess that it seemed to me to spill over even to the other side of the screen.

I certainly agree with "waste" but I'd take issue with "complete waste."

Ann Althouse
12-28-2007, 04:46 PM
BJ, my comments are about criticizing network news, not confusion about where to find the news. Try listening more carefully. You seem to have a bias against me that's affecting your comprehension.

InJapan
12-28-2007, 04:59 PM
Agree with Kaus about the hypocrisy in baseball about "drugs", but he could have gone farther. The frothing media when it comes to this topic is downright silly. Not only are HGH and steroids used commonly to treat ailments, they are key elements in the anti-aging therapies, which no doubt major media stars partake to keep their youthful appearance. The "drugs" = "steriods" equation so often used is nanny-state scare tactics.

Certainly there are risks to, for example, high schoolers who take testosterone but... given alcohol use, narcotics use, and STDs, the steroid abuse (of what otherwise would be a useful medication) seems like pretty small pickings, if what we are seeking is to improve teenager health and safety.

And as for adults... well, by definition an "adult" is one who makes decisions for themselves and lives with the results.

No more nanny-state, please.

InJapan
12-28-2007, 05:18 PM
Oh, and on Ron Paul, FYI Ann - the troofers as well as racist nuts *love* Mr. Paul's stances because he plays into their fantasies, whether he actually believes them or not. Mr. Paul has turned out to be quite the attention whore, who stumbled into two groups (those with serious BDS, and white nationalists) that are willing to shower him with money. Paul is what you get when Libertarians turn bad.

threep
12-28-2007, 05:25 PM
Dude, stop trying to scrub the world of things you disagree with. It never works, and ends up making people look whiny and pathetic.

gwlaw99
12-28-2007, 05:26 PM
Which war is he talking about that we've lost tens of thousands of people? Tens of thousands???

"That's a better positiion than we ought to fight it with a hand tied behind our back and lose tens of thousands of people"

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7707?in=00:48:30

basman
12-28-2007, 05:46 PM
I dunno. I like Ann Althouse in these diavlogs, which is the only place I ever experience her. She to me is very smart and quirky in a good way that does not undercut her intelligence. I find her sharp and lively about pop culture and I like her both sides of the brain combination of acute analytic intelligence--don't anyone kid themselves, she is very smart--and creative artistic sensibility.

I thought she was bang on and bracingly direct about the ludicrousness of Ron Paul and of those would devote themselves to his cause.

On the other hand, generally, I found this diavlog kind of draggy throughout, no fault of hers.

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 05:49 PM
Ann:

BJ, my comments are about criticizing network news, not confusion about where to find the news. Try listening more carefully.

Try speaking more coherently. Succinctness might help, too.

Besides, what makes you think you're delivering a fresh insight about the decline in quality of network news? Do you really think anyone interested and intelligent enough to watch BH.tv hasn't long since figured this out? The age of this phenomenon is measured in decades.

You seem to have a bias against me that's affecting your comprehension.

I do have a bias against you, but it's not in the political sense. I am biased against you because you take up space that could be occupied by someone else who might actually give me something to think about. I have never seen you prepared to discuss any substantive topic. Your areas of interest appear to be limited to talking about your blog, talking about yourself, talking about your feelings, talking about your feelings about yourself, and carrying grudges against people who mock you. Oh, and discussing the Clintons entirely within the context of The Dummy's Guide to Freud.

The only thing I fail to comprehend is why Bob keeps asking you back.

breadcrust
12-28-2007, 05:50 PM
Flogging (caning, etc.) should be used as an alternate punishment for short sentences. Instead of imprisoning new criminals with a bunch of old criminals who carry nasty memes, give newbies the option of corporal punishment. Intense pain tends to focus the mind, it's cheaper than imprisonment, and it might lower recidivism.

This should be tested in some "progressive" state, however. Flogging or caning in kooky, experimental Oregon sounds much better than in Kentucky or S. Carolina or some other state where people like George Allen display their nooses in their offices.

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 06:02 PM
threep:

Dude, stop trying to scrub the world of things you disagree with. It never works, and ends up making people look whiny and pathetic.

That's a fair point, and it's advice that I do sometimes follow. On the other hand, I believe that it's worthwhile to voice my unhappiness if it stems from a small part of a larger thing that I like overall. BH.tv is one of my favorite sites on the Web, and I think it's appropriate to register my feedback.

Also, I don't know that I agree that complaining never works. I'm hard-pressed to think of many changes that occur without the unhappy ones speaking up.

breadcrust
12-28-2007, 06:08 PM
bjkeefe,

Althouse knows law and it's silly that two lawyers spent the lion's share of a diavlog not talkin' law. But I blame Kaus, too.

I think the alternate blogger for Althouse (if she's not going to talk about law) should be the person who produces this thing: http://sparklepony.blogspot.com/. The twin obsessions with Condi and Ursula make for strong blogging and beat out Althouse's carrot stuff on any day: http://sparklepony.blogspot.com/2007/09/you-can-walk-in-ursulas-shoes.html

e511
12-28-2007, 06:08 PM
does anyone else find it weird to see s. kaus (so similar to m. kaus) on the left side of the screen?

garbagecowboy
12-28-2007, 06:14 PM
Yes, I was waiting somewhat for the fact that not only does his support come from people who "want the government to get out of the way of their making money" per Kaus but also, possibly to a larger extent, from complete nut-jobs who think that 9/11 was an inside job. (http://www.zombietime.com/sf_anti-war_rally_oct_27_2007/the_republican_anti-war_march/)

I mean, he's a bit too libertarian even for my tastes, but Jeepers H. Christmas, if you judge somebody by the company they keep, then yikes.

I do look forward to seeing the Ron Paul blimp, though.

garbagecowboy
12-28-2007, 06:17 PM
I'm going to bookmark this thread for the next time you call me a whiner.

skaus
12-28-2007, 06:17 PM
You are right, it is only 3900 U.S. military deaths. I am not sure what I was thinking about.

Obviously the total deaths are above 50,000, but that is not what I said.

threep
12-28-2007, 06:18 PM
See, I wasn't going to say anything (because that's how I roll) but this wasn't an entry of intense substance, period. It was two genial intelligent people talking about the politics of the day, not as insiders or specialists or professional pundits, but observers. To single Althouse out when Kaus wasn't exactly being let down belies the fact that your complaints don't exactly rest purely on their merits... Really I just spoke up because this has become a thing with you, heh.

uncle ebeneezer
12-28-2007, 06:29 PM
I agree with InJapan. Form a kid's health standpoint, we have much bigger fish to fry (diabetes, obesity, heart disease, alcoholism etc.) Unfortunately our culture routinely praises those who do that little extra to get ahead (kids taking ridalin to study, people taking beta blockers for nerves, women getting implants for more/better roles in movies, porn stars taking viagra etc.) With the kinds of incentives that are involved in sports, I'm never surprised that guys are willing to cheat.

Still pisses me off though, as an athlete. There was this team of Samoans in my co-ed softball league that CLEARLY belonged in a higher league. The chicks were hitting the ball well over my head in left field, and I'm quite fast and was playing WAY back. It was just ridiculous. My team was forever condemned to 2nd place because we could never beat them. They even got caught using an illegal bat. Don't get me started... Fortunately the incentives in my sports aren't anywhere near the level of pros, or I'm sure roids would be rampant.

I thought Ann was fine in this diavlog. Steve Kaus rocks. I'd love to see him spar with byron York, Jim Pinkerton etc. Sparks would fly for sure.

Does anyone else think that maybe Mickey does the whole Dem-hating just to be contrarian to his brother?

Brendan, your level of stress at AA appearances always astonishes me. She certainly gets under your skin. But to each his own. By the way did you see that you've been drafted for service (see my comment on the last Rosa vlog)?

All in all, a good diavlog. Have Steve back, and Ann too.

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 07:07 PM
GC:

I'm going to bookmark this thread for the next time you call me a whiner.

Sheesh. When was the last time I did that? You hold grudges longer than the carrot lady.

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 07:39 PM
threep:

... this wasn't an entry of intense substance, period. It was two genial intelligent people talking about the politics of the day, not as insiders or specialists or professional pundits, but observers.

Sorry, but I expect more from BH.tv, and it usually delivers. If I wanted idle chit-chat, I'd get cable TV.

I also reject 50% of your assertion of concerning intelligence. In his one previous appearance, Steve seemed to have a lot to say. In all of her previous appearances, I've not heard anything to support attributing this quality to Ann.

To single Althouse out when Kaus wasn't exactly being let down ...

I don't know what you mean by "Kaus wasn't exactly being let down."

Really I just spoke up because this has become a thing with you, heh.

I dispute that. I haven't said word one about AA in months. I stopped watching her about two or three diavlogs after the meltdown with Garance, which, I see by looking at the archives, means she's had about ten more gigs since with nary a peep from me. If the old forums ever come back, you can verify this. (Wait, what's this (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/list.php?1)?)

I really did want to hear Steve Kaus again, which meant having to give AA another chance. Maybe that was a poor gamble on my part, but having rolled the dice and had snake eyes come up again, I decided to let off a little steam.

What can I say? We all have our pet peeves. One of mine is giving airtime to airheads. Or bandwidth to bozos, as the case may be.

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 07:44 PM
breadcrust:

Althouse knows law ...

I don't remember seeing any evidence of this on BH.tv. I've heard her say that she's a law professor and that Con Law is her specialty, but that's about it.

... and it's silly that two lawyers spent the lion's share of a diavlog not talkin' law.

Yes. I like it when the diavloggers bring a perspective from their areas of expertise.

But I blame Kaus, too.

It seemed to me that he tried to get her to bring in the legal point of view during the baseball conversation, but she declined. Instead, we got "I'm interested in pop culture;" a demonstrated lack of awareness of the history of baseball, especially the drug issue; and blatherings about what "people want to watch" and "something's wrong with American taste" shallow enough to make daytime TV talk shows seem Socratic by comparison.

I think the alternate blogger for Althouse ...

Sorry. I can't bear to contemplate any more appearances. That SparklePony site did look pretty funny, though.

TwinSwords
12-28-2007, 08:03 PM
I thought she was bang on and bracingly direct about the ludicrousness of Ron Paul and of those would devote themselves to his cause.
Agreed. She treated Ron Paul and his mindless followers with precisely the right tone and degree of seriousness. I think I'm going to rewatch that part so I can learn to project the same kind of contempt for those silly, silly people (Paul fans).

The ones who amuse me the most are the ones who reverently refer to him as "Dr. Paul."

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 08:03 PM
Uncle Eb:

Brendan, your level of stress at AA appearances always astonishes me. She certainly gets under your skin.

True dat. But don't worry, I'm as quick to cool down as I am to blow up. I'll stop yammering about AA in an hour or two.

But to each his own.

Yep. I grant that other people might (man, this hurts to type) actually like AA. It's hard to believe, but then some people also like watching "reality TV," listening to George Bush, shooting caged birds, visiting Disneyworld, and eating cottage cheese.

By the way did you see that you've been drafted for service (see my comment on the last Rosa vlog)?

You mean where I play a supportive role in your new government? If so, I accept. I believe I would be best suited for the position of Minister of Taste.

Your platform seems a little wishy-washy, but we can work on that.

;^)

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 08:19 PM
basman:

I dunno. I like Ann Althouse in these diavlogs ...

Yeah, but then again, you're also a fan of torture.

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 08:25 PM
GC:

I mean, [Ron Paul]'s a bit too libertarian even for my tastes, but Jeepers H. Christmas, if you judge somebody by the company they keep, then yikes.

You don't need to, to judge him. Watch him (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22379112#22379112) on "Meet The Press," and be very very glad that he's still polling in the single digits.

garbagecowboy
12-28-2007, 08:54 PM
The ones who amuse me the most are the ones who reverently refer to him as "Dr. Paul."


But... but...don't you know that Dr. Paul has delivered like... 500,000 babies?

bjkeefe
12-28-2007, 09:53 PM
Screen grab from guess where:

-------------

http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/3924/boohoore5.png

-------------

Pity party aside, they're mostly talking about carrots. I kid you not (http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/12/bloggingheads-forgotten-carrots-edition.html).

(She likes links. I heard her say.)

human
12-28-2007, 10:41 PM
Concerning Ron Paul's wacky ideas, Ann Althouse is worried that he would remove the U.S. from it "leadership role" in the world. And how are we leading? By spending more on "defense" than the rest of the world combined? By having a military presence in over a hundred foreign countries? Frankly, I'm ashamed of the present nature of our "leadership".

Globalcop
12-29-2007, 01:18 AM
As someone who disagrees with BJKeefe on pretty much everything, I can say Ann Althouse has brought us together on at least one thing: Please no more Ann Althouse.

DenvilleSteve
12-29-2007, 11:14 AM
Concerning Ron Paul's wacky ideas, Ann Althouse is worried that he would remove the U.S. from it "leadership role" in the world. And how are we leading? By spending more on "defense" than the rest of the world combined? By having a military presence in over a hundred foreign countries? Frankly, I'm ashamed of the present nature of our "leadership".

How else can the spread of nuclear weapons be stopped? International force is needed to prevent the gangsters and crazy Islamists from killing leaders of democratic movements and governments. I am proud of red state Americans who have put their lives on the line to protect the world from tyranny and destruction.

-Steve

rcocean
12-29-2007, 11:20 AM
Many here seem to be suffering from ADS - Althouse Derangement Syndrome. My, the BHTV Lefties never forgive or Forget, and they seem to be a little sexist too.

I enjoyed these two, neither is a ranting politico and both were reasonable (except when Little Kaus called Scalia and Roberts 'extremists' just like Paul) and made interesting points. However, unlike Althouse who can carry the conversation with anyone, Kaus minor is better as a listener/counter-puncher and needs to be paired with someone who can shoulder the conversational load.

ogieogie
12-29-2007, 03:18 PM
...Little Kaus...
...Kaus minor...

If I'm not mistaken, Steve would be Big Kaus, i.e. Kaus maior.
Kaus the Elder, that is.

David_PA
12-29-2007, 06:53 PM
Hmm ... read the posts before watching the diavlog and almost didn't watch it, they were so negative. I was pleasantly surprised. This is clearly among the better diavlogs. The rapport was good, there was a good amount of depth, no grandstanding, no demagoguing, no polemics, no unfounded ranting - and we got a decent amount of insight. Furthermore, the tone was pleasant - insight without fireworks and skewering, a nice change of pace from the sometimes-too-frequent jousting and off-target riposting. Or, put another way, more light and less heat. But ... no addrennies if you were needing a fix.

I'm inclined to agree with rcocean whose post above gives a possible reason for the negativity - that the BHtv regulars are a little sexist. Ann held up her side as well as Stephen. I'd be happy to watch them vlog again.

The only negative for me was that they could have gone a little deeper here and there, and challenged each other a little more. But, neither of these deficiencies is anywhere close to killing and I'd expect that if they were paired up more regularly this would happen naturally.

bjkeefe
12-29-2007, 07:20 PM
David_PA:

I'm inclined to agree with one of the commenters above who gives a possible reason for the negativity - that the BHtv regulars are a little sexist.

Nah. Among my favorites on this site are Rosa Brooks, Heather Hurlbert, and Jackie Shire. I'm happy to listen to anyone of substance.

Playing the sexism card is the sort of thing I'd expect from Althouse.

David_PA
12-29-2007, 07:30 PM
David_PA:



Nah. Among my favorites on this site are Rosa Brooks, Heather Hurlbert, and Jackie Shire. I'm happy to listen to anyone of substance.

Playing the sexism card is the sort of thing I'd expect from Althouse.

Whew boy, speaking of ripostes ...

I think you missed my point, Brendan. The vlogs don't all have to be Rosa-like analyses. Sometimes - fairly often in fact - what passes for depth coming from Robert Wright or Rosa is just intellectual posturing - the long-winded way to say something that can be expressed more simply and clearly. I definitely like Robert and Rosa, but I enjoy a change of pace too.

Althouse was fine and substantial enough. Now, if you were to make the weak-on-substance comment about Charlotte Hays, I'd certainly agree with you on that.

My main point though was that the vlog chemistry was good and the discussion was substantial, even sans fireworks.

bjkeefe
12-29-2007, 08:57 PM
David_PA:

To each his or her own. However ...

I think you missed my point, Brandon. The vlogs don't all have to be Rosa-like analyses. Sometimes - fairly often in fact - what passes for depth coming from Robert Wright or Rosa is just intellectual posturing - the long-winded way to say something that can be expressed more simply and clearly.

... them's fightin' words.

I'll grant that some people on BH.tv pontificate -- the canonical example is that guy who took the phone away from his ear every time he started talking, whose name escapes me and that's probably just as well -- but I don't accept either of your examples. Both Rosa and Bob are smart, and have an admirable reluctance to oversimplify. Could they, at times, be more succinct? Yes. But they don't posture by any stretch.

Althouse was fine. Still not really sure what you don't like about her - but maybe you said a while back, before I'd started tuning in.

It doesn't bear a long-winded answer. If you're really interested in looking beyond this page, you could search the old forum (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/list.php?1) (or wait for its contents to be imported into the new set-up). There you'll find very serious, thoughtful, arguments that have never been made in such detail or with such care. ;^)

But since you asked, here's a short summary of my complaints.

Basically, I think she's vacuous -- she's has never come close to making me think. She's supposed to be a law professor, but has yet to say anything that I've heard to make me believe it. (Note, for example, her self-promotion (http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/12/what-various-law-types-read-in-2007.html) of her latest submission to Legal Times. Somewhere, Harriet Miers is weeping.)

Okay, she doesn't want to talk about her day job. Fine. As I see it, the rest of her schtick consists of saying she's interested in feminism and pop culture, while failing to offer any in-depth awareness of either of these subjects. She's a feminist the way some of my relatives are Irish -- they only bring the Erin Go Bragh when they want an excuse to take offense. And as for pop culture: as I said above, her awareness of the world seems to stem solely from glancing at the NY Times. I'd add another source: an obvious obsession about feeling frumpy around her students, which manifests as shrill and incessant complaints about about pop culture, invariably beginning with "I just don't understand ..."

And then there's her on-camera personality. She's loud. She interrupts too often. She's long-winded, and worse, meandering. Her sense of humor begins and ends with the sort of double entendres that most of us found tiresome by the end of junior high. She smirks. She talks about blogging way too much, as though she's the only one in the world who does this. She has a giant ego, a vicious streak, and a very thin skin -- she's eager to say catty things about people she doesn't like or agree with, but has a tantrum whenever it comes back at her.

I come to BH.tv to listen to people who are smarter than I am discuss topics more deeply than I've considered them. AA doesn't deliver, and it bugs me that she gets to be on so often, when there are a million other voices I'd rather be hearing. I acknowledge that other visitors to this site may not share my exact desires, but it seems to me that there are 500 channels out there, filled with the same sort of airy chit-chat and shallow thinking that Ann Althouse epitomizes. Why can't those other people just turn on their TVs?

So much for a short summary. Sorry about that, Floyd.

David_PA
12-29-2007, 09:57 PM
David_PA:
I come to BH.tv to listen to people who are smarter than I am discuss topics more deeply than I've considered them. AA doesn't deliver, and it bugs me that she gets to be on so often, when there are a million other voices I'd rather be hearing. I acknowledge that other visitors to this site may not share my exact desires, but it seems to me that there are 500 channels out there, filled with the same sort of airy chit-chat and shallow thinking that Ann Althouse epitomizes. Why can't those other people just turn on their TVs?

So much for a short summary. Sorry about that, Floyd.
Floyd??

Ha - didn't realize you and Ann had such a history. Well, if she has the guts to come back on BHtv after absorbing that rant, you at least have to give her credit for not being thin-skinned, unless she's deaf.

Maybe we should pair Ann up with you, B!

She did interrupt too much in the blogging segment, which was probably too silly to have included, esp. with Stephen playing too much the neophyte.

But, in other segments, she was more substantive. Stephen actually expands on one of Ann's points about Hillary on his blog - that her secretiveness about her views during Bill's admin put her in a double bind. Not only is the secrecy itself a problem, but because of it Hillary isn't taking credit for any independent thinking she may have had during the Bill era and thus is in the anti-feminist position of saying that her strength is that she was "there", but as a wife, not as a politico.

I don't recall your trying to run off Charlotte Hayes for her far-short-of-smart stances.

I'm definitely not taking the position that Ann is of the caliber of Rosa or Robert. I'm only saying that I don't think she deserves such castigation. Surely, there are other BHtv vloggers than Ann who don't discuss topics "more deeply than you've considered them" or who aren't "smarter than you".

bjkeefe
12-29-2007, 11:20 PM
David_PA:

Floyd??

Sorry about that, David. I guess you're not as fond of obscure Pulp Fiction quotes as I am. That's what Butch said (under his breath) when he found out from the taxi driver that he'd killed the other boxer.

This vlog was a much better conversation than the one with Bruce Feiler. He wasn't conversing at all. I don't see you trying to run him off.

Again, a matter of taste, upon which we differ. I did have a thing (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=67341&postcount=4) or two (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=67387&postcount=11) to say about his style, but I didn't think he was a disaster. He seemed to me to be knowledgeable and well-prepared, if a bit unpleasant in manner.

And, I don't recall your trying to run off Charlotte Hayes for her far-short-of-smart stances.

Musta missed this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=67020&postcount=3), this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=67021&postcount=24), and this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=67077&postcount=33).

Okay, I didn't explicitly try to run her off, but I think I was clear enough about hoping she'd never return.

Which leads me to the next part. Bruce has been on three times, Charlotte once. Ann? Let's ask the handy search page (http://bloggingheads.tv/search/) ... Result? Twenty times.

I'm definitely not taking the position that Ann is of the caliber of Rosa or Robert. I'm only saying that I don't think she deserves such castigation.

Well, you did ask me what I thought. I'll leave it alone after this post.

Surely, there are other BHtv vloggers than Ann who don't discuss topics "more deeply than you've considered them" or who aren't "smarter than you".

Perhaps. (I'm interested to hear your nominations.) But none come close to the badness of Ann or the frequency of her appearances.

DisturbingClown
12-29-2007, 11:34 PM
RE: Ron Paul

Any non-mainstream candidate is going to have some crazies as a portion of his support. Hell, I'm sure the mainstream ones do as well. I understand Paul isn't going to be to everyone's taste but pointing out some weirdos who support him isn't any sort of substantive critique. He has publicly stated that he thinsk the 9-11 conspiracies are silly, so it's unfair for people to keep on smearing him with the association.

David_PA
12-29-2007, 11:50 PM
David_PA:

Sorry about that, David. I guess you're not as fond of obscure Pulp Fiction quotes as I am. That's what Butch said (under his breath) when he found out from the taxi driver that he'd killed the other boxer.

Perhaps. (I'm interested to hear your nominations.) But none come close to the badness of Ann or the frequency of her appearances.

Sorry, missed the Floyd reference and it's one of my favorite movies.

Let's start with Bill Scher & Conn Carrol, who shall we say aren't exactly boy geniuses. Their latest was mostly yawn-ish, with an insight only here or there. It made *me" feel a little smarter though ;-).

This was the first time I'd seen Ann, since I only started coming to BHtv about a month and a half ago. I'll grant that she could get tiresome. However, Stephen, on the other hand, if you could get him talking more would be even more interesting. If Ann is the only attractor who could get him back, would you consider that a fair trade?

bjkeefe
12-30-2007, 01:03 AM
David_PA:

Sorry, missed the Floyd reference and it's one of my favorite movies.

Not to worry. I did say it was obscure. For some reason, that movie really rang the cherries with me. For a year or two after it came out, it was almost impossible for me to get through a conversation without letting loose a direct quote or two. Pretty soon, the sight of me about to take a bite out of a cheeseburger would cause immediate evacuation of the surrounding area.

In my own defense, I have never once said, "Garçon! Coffee!" to any waitress. (That I didn't already know, I mean.)

Let's start with Bill Scher & Conn Carrol, who shall we say aren't exactly boy geniuses. Their latest was mostly yawn-ish, with an insight only here or there.

I agree, they're not among my favorite BH.tvers, either. And I also agree that they're not geniuses, although I'd say they're fairly well-read in their field and always come prepared. Their blogosphere wrap-up thing is getting a little old, especially now that Conn isn't in the blog aggregation business anymore. But they're not brutally painful -- I'm always up for a little political gossip that I might have missed during my own trawling. They don't make me hostile. Sleepy, maybe, at worst.

... Stephen, on the other hand, if you could get him talking more would be even more interesting. If Ann is the only attractor who could get him back, would you consider that a fair trade?

Steve was quite good in his debut with Bob, and I had hoped they'd bring him back a lot sooner than they did. Everyone wants to see him paired with Mickey, which Mickey flat-out vetoed for a while, although he did show a hint of relenting recently. I'd like to see him paired with pretty much any conservative (he and Bob share too many political opinions; the debut was fun because it was mostly gossip about Mickey).

Any conservative other than Ann, that is. As I noted in my opening salvo in this thread, I had been skipping her appearances for months and only watched because Steve was on. By now, my answer should be obvious, but for the record, on your trade offer: I'd regretfully miss Steve for the benefit of missing Ann.

Come to that, it's hard to think of what would get me ever to watch her again. Which I'm sure will come as a relief to a big chunk of the rest of the forum readers.

Incompetence Dodger
12-30-2007, 02:17 AM
This was the first time I'd seen Ann, since I only started coming to BHtv about a month and a half ago. I'll grant that she could get tiresome.

Well, that explains it. You've walked into the middle of the movie, so of course you don't understand what all the fuss is about. I'm only halfway through this diavlog so far, so while it could go off the rails in the second half, I'd say this is one of Ann's better performances (as someone upthread noted, maybe all the sense on Steven's side of the screen bled over). If it were my first exposure to her, I'd be wondering what Brendan and the others are on about, too. If you really are interested in the background to all the aminus, I suggest looking at past appearances in the following order: 1) Ann and Garance Franke-Ruta; 2) the Ann and Bob Wright diavlog that followed immediately afterward; 3) Ann and Robin Givhan; 4) Ann and Jonah Goldberg. Enjoy!

DenvilleSteve
12-30-2007, 10:27 AM
Many here seem to be suffering from ADS - Althouse Derangement Syndrome. My, the BHTV Lefties never forgive or Forget, and they seem to be a little sexist too.

They are godless democrats. possibly possessed by satan. Contrary points of view sting them like holy water in an exorcism. What I cant figure out is how can democrats avoid facts so frequently ( the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to the world today ), yet they all appear to reach the same political conclusions.

-Steve

human
12-30-2007, 10:38 AM
How else can the spread of nuclear weapons be stopped? By making a real effort to rid the entire world of them, beginning with our obscenely large stockpile.

DenvilleSteve
12-30-2007, 11:24 AM
How else can the spread of nuclear weapons be stopped? By making a real effort to rid the entire world of them, beginning with our obscenely large stockpile.

I dont see how that works. What are the sequence of events you predict will take place? The US gets rid of its nukes. Do Russia, China, NK, Israel, France, India, Pakistan and the UK follow and destroy theirs?

Better, in my opinion, to have invaded Iraq and removed the Baathists from power. That reduced tensions in the area ( in terms of countries attacking each other ), which lessened greatly the need of Iran to have nukes of their own.

The facts support this view. In 2003, after Saddam and the Baathists were removed from power, Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program.

-Steve

AemJeff
12-30-2007, 11:51 AM
I'm inclined to agree with rcocean whose post above gives a possible reason for the negativity - that the BHtv regulars are a little sexist.


Wow, Dave. A little sexist? Have you actually seen any of the folks who have expressed reservations about Althouse generally beating up on the female diavloggers here? In what way is Althouse, whose welcome among commenters here was damaged by her obviously disingenuous attack on another female diavlogger and her obvious pleasure in the reaction ("I've gone viral!" - Ann Althouse), representative of women generally? She's a self-promoting bully and last I checked, that was a gender-neutral observation.

There is a core of conservative commenters here who are constantly bitching about the lack of respect they get from the commentariat here. It's dishing this sort of random, fact free horse manure that damages their reputations, not the point on the political spectrum they occupy.

David_PA
12-30-2007, 12:26 PM
Wow, Dave. A little sexist? Have you actually seen any of the folks who have expressed reservations about Althouse generally beating up on the female diavloggers here? In what way is Althouse, whose welcome among commenters here was damaged by her obviously disingenuous attack on another female diavlogger and her obvious pleasure in the reaction ("I've gone viral!" - Ann Althouse), representative of women generally? She's a self-promoting bully and last I checked, that was a gender-neutral observation.

There is a core of conservative commenters here who are constantly bitching about the lack of respect they get from the commentariat here. It's dishing this sort of random, fact free horse manure that damages their reputations, not the point on the political spectrum they occupy.
Ok, so I was wrong about that. The negative reaction to AA didn't have anything to do with sexism. Having not seen any Althouse diavlogs before, I didn't understand the reason for the negative reactions and thought that the sexism claim put forth by rcocean might have been correct. Notice that I said "inclined" to agree in my original post. I should have said, "Is there any merit to the claim made by "rcocean" that the negative comments about Althouse have a sexism component?"

It's a lot more clear now what the problems are with AA, though I'd need to go back and review the 4 diavlogs that 'Incompetence Dodger' recommends to get a really clear picture. I'll try to find the time to at least review parts of these because I don't have any idea what AA's views are. However, with what's been said, it's going to be really hard to get up enough interest to review them. Will probably just accept the prevalent view here of AA and leave it at that.

David_PA
12-30-2007, 12:28 PM
Well, that explains it. You've walked into the middle of the movie, so of course you don't understand what all the fuss is about. I'm only halfway through this diavlog so far, so while it could go off the rails in the second half, I'd say this is one of Ann's better performances (as someone upthread noted, maybe all the sense on Steven's side of the screen bled over). If it were my first exposure to her, I'd be wondering what Brendan and the others are on about, too. If you really are interested in the background to all the aminus, I suggest looking at past appearances in the following order: 1) Ann and Garance Franke-Ruta; 2) the Ann and Bob Wright diavlog that followed immediately afterward; 3) Ann and Robin Givhan; 4) Ann and Jonah Goldberg. Enjoy!

Thanks - I should do this but as I said in the post above, it will be really hard to get up enough interest to do so.

bjkeefe
12-30-2007, 12:33 PM
DenvilleSteve:

What I cant figure out is how can democrats avoid facts so frequently ( the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to the world today ), yet they all appear to reach the same political conclusions.

It seems to me that a simpler theory is this: Democrats don't ignore facts nearly as much as you think, and that is why they share a lot of conclusions.

And let's not forget which party dismissed the other as "the reality-based community."

bkjazfan
12-30-2007, 12:35 PM
There has not been or probably will there probably never will be a defamation lawsuit brought by any athlete accused of doping. Now, why is this the case? It has been a part of Anglo law for hundreds of years. There are I am sure plenty of talented lawyers out there who specialize in it. Could it be that Roger Clemens and the others are all guilty of doping? Oh, I think Barry Bonds started a lawsuit againt the San Francisco Chronicle reporters who blew the led off of his insatiable need for "juicing" but dropped it? Gee, I wonder why?

human
12-30-2007, 12:39 PM
I am not suggesting that we dismantle all our nuclear weapons unilaterally, but until we make a real effort to begin the process I don't think we can ever hope to have a nuclear-free planet.

bkjazfan
12-30-2007, 12:42 PM
I was surprised how little both Ann and Steve knew about Ron Paul's background.

David_PA
12-30-2007, 12:49 PM
David_PA:

Not to worry. I did say it was obscure. For some reason, that movie really rang the cherries with me.

It was a great movie. One of my friends who's normally too much of a stiff, was effusive about it and saw it 4 times.


I agree, they're not among my favorite BH.tvers, either. And I also agree that they're not geniuses, although I'd say they're fairly well-read in their field and always come prepared. Their blogosphere wrap-up thing is getting a little old, especially now that Conn isn't in the blog aggregation business anymore. But they're not brutally painful -- I'm always up for a little political gossip that I might have missed during my own trawling. They don't make me hostile. Sleepy, maybe, at worst.
I agree. You understand that I was compelled to find an example to try to at least poke a little hole in your prevalent reason for not liking Ann - 'that she's not substantive enough'.


Steve was quite good in his debut with Bob, and I had hoped they'd bring him back a lot sooner than they did. Everyone wants to see him paired with Mickey, which Mickey flat-out vetoed for a while, although he did show a hint of relenting recently. I'd like to see him paired with pretty much any conservative (he and Bob share too many political opinions; the debut was fun because it was mostly gossip about Mickey).

Any conservative other than Ann, that is. As I noted in my opening salvo in this thread, I had been skipping her appearances for months and only watched because Steve was on. By now, my answer should be obvious, but for the record, on your trade offer: I'd regretfully miss Steve for the benefit of missing Ann.

Come to that, it's hard to think of what would get me ever to watch her again. Which I'm sure will come as a relief to a big chunk of the rest of the forum readers.

Ha. In the interest of playing my politics right as a relative newbie at BHtv, I'm not going to offer Ann any more support, and will leave that to someone who's seen her more ... if such a person exists and is brave enough to say so in a post ;-).

Getting Stephen to be more of regular is something that would be great. At this point, I don't care that much about the pairing except for wanting someone to draw him out a little more.

DenvilleSteve
12-30-2007, 12:55 PM
I am not suggesting that we dismantle all our nuclear weapons unilaterally, but until we make a real effort to begin the process I don't think we can ever hope to have a nuclear-free planet.

Thanks to the republicans dogged insistence on missile defense research and deployment, the US soon be able to do exactly what you are asking for.

As I understand it, the thousands of nuclear weapons were intended to guarantee some weapons would survive a Soviet first strike and in turn destroy that country. Mutually assured destruction. With missile defense, which democrats oppose despite the facts which support the idea, the US can unilaterally reduce its nuke stockpile.

-Steve

David_PA
12-30-2007, 01:00 PM
They are godless democrats. possibly possessed by satan. Contrary points of view sting them like holy water in an exorcism. What I cant figure out is how can democrats avoid facts so frequently ( the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to the world today ), yet they all appear to reach the same political conclusions.

-Steve Didn't you mean to capitalize the "g" in godless?

You're kidding, right? The neo-cons reasons for going into Iraq were fact-based?

Senator Biden had the facts right about Pakistan - over a month ago - long before any republican knew how to even spell it.

Democrats are more concerned about nuclear weapons than republicans are. No one on either side of the aisle has proposed a politically viable way to reduce nuclear proliferation. Do you know a way to make that happen?

Give us another example of a fact Democrats are avoiding. You're first one doesn't make any sense.

TwinSwords
12-30-2007, 01:06 PM
It's a lot more clear now what the problems are with AA, though I'd need to go back and review the 4 diavlogs that 'Incompetence Dodger' recommends to get a really clear picture.
You really don't need to watch four hours of video to catch up. The few short minutes when Ann suffered an on-camera mental collapse should suffice. What we know about Ann is that she has an extremely delicate mental condition; she's one breakdown shy of diapers and permanent retirement.

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/202

Ann has two charming qualities: she's mean, and she's dishonest. Both are on display in this clip. And if this clip wasn't incredible enough, Ann then proceded to blame the episode on Garance!

If you're interested in more background on the events leading up to this, the entire fiasco was written up by Lindsay Beyerstein (http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2006/09/lets_take_a_clo.html).

All in all, this was one of the more amusing events of the blogosphere in 2007.

bjkeefe
12-30-2007, 01:32 PM
bkjazfan:

There has not been or probably will there probably never will be a defamation lawsuit brought by any athlete accused of doping. Now, why is this the case? It has been a part of Anglo law for hundreds of years.

Aren't defamation lawsuits really hard to win under the US legal system? It is my understanding that we're night to the UK's day in this area. I believe that one of the things you have to show as a plaintiff in a defamation suit is how you have been harmed. That all by itself is a pretty high bar to clear -- any athlete named has been making bank for years, even as rumors swirled.

I think you're right to speculate about another piece -- it seems obvious from a glance at the respective physiques that there really is some there there.

Final piece: despite the attendance figures and other indications cited by pundits in support of the idea that "the fans don't care," I don't think the players would have much of a chance on the PR front if they did start going to court to complain about these accusations. If I were making a seven- or eight-figure paycheck from salary and (more importantly) endorsements, I think I'd be inclined not to stir the pot, much like movie stars bite the bullet regarding the gossip rags.

bjkeefe
12-30-2007, 01:40 PM
David_PA:

I agree. You understand that I was compelled to find an example to try to at least poke a little hole in your prevalent reason for not liking Ann - 'that she's not substantive enough'.

Yeah, no problem. Have no reluctance to dispute me whenever -- I have a relatively thick skin and try to maintain a willingness to be corrected. That said, I'll often argue back, just because I like to argue.

Your example was not without merit, is what'd I say about this specific instance. I think it pales in comparison on the vacuous scale, of course.

In the interest of playing my politics right as a relative newbie at BHtv ...

Wait. What's this nonsense about waiting to become informed before expressing an opinion? That's no way to fit in!

But seriously, I appreciate that attitude, and I do love that this board is characterized by the overwhelming majority of commenters seeming to have some bases for their opinions.

TwinSwords
12-30-2007, 01:45 PM
Hmm ... read the posts before watching the diavlog and almost didn't watch it, they were so negative. I was pleasantly surprised. This is clearly among the better diavlogs. The rapport was good, there was a good amount of depth, no grandstanding, no demagoguing, no polemics, no unfounded ranting - and we got a decent amount of insight. Furthermore, the tone was pleasant - insight without fireworks and skewering, a nice change of pace from the sometimes-too-frequent jousting and off-target riposting. Or, put another way, more light and less heat. But ... no addrennies if you were needing a fix.
I've never watched an Althouse diavlog I enjoyed, and have very little respect for the woman, owing to her dishonesty and viciousness. But I would have to agree with your assessment above. Ann was actually pleasant in this diavlog. If she was always like this, I would like her. As someone else said, Steve's reasonableness may have bled over onto Ann's half of the screen. Ann actually was polite and friendly for a change.

Part of Ann's problem is that she gets angry if you disagree with her. She readily admits she's not qualified to comment in depth on most of the issues normally discussed on BHTV. And, where most people can encounter disagreement without getting angry, Ann cannot. If you just hint that George Bush might be imperfect, for example, she flashes red hot. If you actually challenge one of Ann's ideas, she goes nuclear. It's pretty ugly.

After several embarrassing outbursts in a row, an effort was apparently made to pair Ann only with people who agree with her about everything. This is what started the incredibly boring era of her diavlogs with David Lat, Annie Gottlieb, and Robin Givhan. Those diavlogs are all highly recommended as treatments for chronic insomnia. Or if you are considering suicide, but wavering, not really sure if you want to pull the trigger; put one of those on — it will settle the question and you will soon be happily on your way to the next life.

Brendan is right when he points out that Ann rarely talks about anything of substance. What would be interesting would be an Althouse-Brooks diavlog about the legal issues surrounding the Bush administration.

But I don't think Ann would ever agree to that, and I have no idea why. She's obviously qualified, and she appears to be a major supporter of the extremist legal agenda of the Bush administration. But it's a subject she studiously avoids on her blog and BHTV.

TwinSwords
12-30-2007, 01:47 PM
But since you asked, here's a short summary of my complaints.

Basically, I think she's vacuous -- she's has never come close to making me think. She's supposed to be a law professor, but has yet to say anything that I've heard to make me believe it. (Note, for example, her self-promotion (http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/12/what-various-law-types-read-in-2007.html) of her latest submission to Legal Times. Somewhere, Harriet Miers is weeping.)

Okay, she doesn't want to talk about her day job. Fine. As I see it, the rest of her schtick consists of saying she's interested in feminism and pop culture, while failing to offer any in-depth awareness of either of these subjects. She's a feminist the way some of my relatives are Irish -- they only bring the Erin Go Bragh when they want an excuse to take offense. And as for pop culture: as I said above, her awareness of the world seems to stem solely from glancing at the NY Times. I'd add another source: an obvious obsession about feeling frumpy around her students, which manifests as shrill and incessant complaints about about pop culture, invariably beginning with "I just don't understand ..."

And then there's her on-camera personality. She's loud. She interrupts too often. She's long-winded, and worse, meandering. Her sense of humor begins and ends with the sort of double entendres that most of us found tiresome by the end of junior high. She smirks. She talks about blogging way too much, as though she's the only one in the world who does this. She has a giant ego, a vicious streak, and a very thin skin -- she's eager to say catty things about people she doesn't like or agree with, but has a tantrum whenever it comes back at her.

Brendan,
That was an absolutely first-rate description of Ann. Nicely done.

bjkeefe
12-30-2007, 02:14 PM
Twin:

hat was an absolutely first-rate description of Ann. Nicely done.

Thanks. I also enjoyed yours (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=67648&postcount=28), especially the part about the sporific and suicide-provoking pairings with The Other Anne, et al. Glad I missed 'em.

I think the all-time most nauseating AA appearance, however, was the time she was on with Instapundit and Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser. That was back before the boycott, but pushed me heavily toward that eventual outcome. As I remember it, it was an hour-long support group meeting whose mutual reaffirmations spanned from "we're not conservatives" to "liberals are mean to us."

David_PA
12-30-2007, 02:29 PM
I've never watched an Althouse diavlog I enjoyed, and have very little respect for the woman, owing to her dishonesty and viciousness. But I would have to agree with your assessment above. Ann was actually pleasant in this diavlog. If she was always like this, I would like her. As someone else said, Steve's reasonableness may have bled over onto Ann's half of the screen. Ann actually was polite and friendly for a change.
Thanks - this version of my original post has several edits making it a fair amount different from the version to which Brendan originally responded. Steve definitely has reasonableness to spare.



Brendan is right when he points out that Ann rarely talks about anything of substance. What would be interesting would be an Althouse-Brooks diavlog about the legal issues surrounding the Bush administration.

But I don't think Ann would ever agree to that, and I have no idea why. She's obviously qualified, and she appears to be a major supporter of the extremist legal agenda of the Bush administration. But it's a subject she studiously avoids on her blog and BHTV.

I'd definitely want to see that. Ann: How 'bout it?

jmcnulty
12-30-2007, 03:02 PM
I do not understand why so much vituperation is directed at Ann Althouse. I think there is some astonishment and bitterness that a youngish blonde (and a LAW professor to boot, training OUR young!) is NOT a doctrinaire liberal. I will not claim her as a conservative, because she is not doctrinaire about anything. I would probably classify her as a sensible or realistic libertarian (as opposed to the loony Dr. Paul, who apparently thinks America should be a Switzerland with nukes). How would you compare her to Mr. Scher, who just repeats whatever he has read on Lefty blogs? Her insights are good -- for example the phallic signifigance of the carrots in the Clinton "Sopranos" commercial was obvious, if denied by Lefty bloggers -- and she is very good at decoding messages that are being sent to us by the candidates, which are not restricted to health care plans, and the culture. The Clintons are experts at sending such messages "under the radar." You seem to denigrate her because she does not parade her erudition. She tries to seem norrnal and down to earth, qualities that are not valued here in at Bloggingheads.tv. I think she is very self-confident. She does not need to PROVE how smart she is. Where she is speaks for itself. I wish that I had known a professor like her at law school. Try to be more polite about her in your comments. I enjoy her blog very much.

TwinSwords
12-30-2007, 03:13 PM
I do not understand
Well said, McNulty. The first step is to admit you have a problem.

TwinSwords
12-30-2007, 03:17 PM
I do not understand why so much vituperation is directed at Ann Althouse. I think there is some astonishment and bitterness that a youngish blonde (and a LAW professor to boot, training OUR young!) is NOT a doctrinaire liberal. I will not claim her as a conservative, because she is not doctrinaire about anything. I would probably classify her as a sensible or realistic libertarian (as opposed to the loony Dr. Paul, who apparently thinks America should be a Switzerland with nukes). How would you compare her to Mr. Scher, who just repeats whatever he has read on Lefty blogs? Her insights are good -- for example the phallic signifigance of the carrots in the Clinton "Sopranos" commercial was obvious, if denied by Lefty bloggers -- and she is very good at decoding messages that are being sent to us by the candidates, which are not restricted to health care plans, and the culture. The Clintons are experts at sending such messages "under the radar." You seem to denigrate her because she does not parade her erudition. She tries to seem norrnal and down to earth, qualities that are not valued here in at Bloggingheads.tv. I think she is very self-confident. She does not need to PROVE how smart she is. Where she is speaks for itself. I wish that I had known a professor like her at law school. Try to be more polite about her in your comments. I enjoy her blog very much.
But seriously....

You make some semi-decent points. Ann isn't the embodiment of evil, or anything. She's dishonest, and she's mean. But I read her blog regularly and she occasionally posts something interesting and worthwhile. She's a great photographer, and can seem like a nice person when she's not lying or attacking other people.

Of course you are correct that much of the opposition to her is fueled by her support for Bush and her mostly silent endorsement of his radical legal agenda.

TwinSwords
12-30-2007, 03:21 PM
I think the all-time most nauseating AA appearance, however, was the time she was on with Instapundit and Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser. ... As I remember it, it was an hour-long support group meeting whose mutual reaffirmations spanned from "we're not conservatives" to "liberals are mean to us."

Good lord. Once again, that's the perfect description.

One of the things I find most amusing about Ann and the Perfessers is their insistence that they aren't conservative. Sure, they aren't Huckabee or anything, but you can't be enthusiastic supporters of the most extreme right wing administration since the 19th century and NOT be a conservative.

DenvilleSteve
12-30-2007, 03:22 PM
Didn't you mean to capitalize the "g" in godless?
Once I start capitalizing I am not clear on when to stop.

You're kidding, right? The neo-cons reasons for going into Iraq were fact-based?


The facts are clear that Iraq no longer has a nuclear weapons program and Iran has discontinued its. Without the removal of Saddam and the Baathists that would not be the case. The world is much safer because of George Bush and the large number of Red State volunteers to the US military.

Senator Biden had the facts right about Pakistan - over a month ago - long before any republican knew how to even spell it.

and what facts would those be? Do democrats actually listen to what pompous US senators have to say?

Democrats are more concerned about nuclear weapons than republicans are. No one on either side of the aisle has proposed a politically viable way to reduce nuclear proliferation. Do you know a way to make that happen?


it is hard to say. each situation is different. But, definitely take advantage of opportunities like the invasion of Iraq to remove a major proponent of nukes from the playing field. Targeted assassinations of those with nuclear know how should be considered.

-Steve

bjkeefe
12-30-2007, 03:38 PM
jm:

You've got some nerve using this adjective:

... the loony Dr. Paul ...

when one sentence later you say this:

... she is very good at decoding messages that are being sent to us by the candidates ... The Clintons are experts at sending such messages "under the radar."

All I can say is that I hope you're keeping up with the latest research (http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/).

jmcnulty
12-30-2007, 03:56 PM
Response to Bjkeefe:

I keep up with the research on protective headgear, but I spend most of my time trying to insure the purity of my "precious bodily fluids." Oddly enough, while 30 years ago the Right was lampooned with being anti-flouride, today it is the Left making noise about potential health risk of injesting floruide.

TwinSwords
12-30-2007, 04:06 PM
Response to Bjkeefe:

I keep up with the research on protective headgear, but I spend most of my time trying to insure the purity of my "precious bodily fluids." Oddly enough, while 30 years ago the Right was lampooned with being anti-flouride, today it is the Left making noise about potential health risk of injesting floruide.

Yeah. I wouldn't expect you to be aware of it, McNulty, but there is a difference between concern about potentially adverse health effects of fluoride, and lunatic fantasies about fluoridation as a communist conspiracy to take over America.

It tells us a lot about you that you don't see a significant difference between the two.

David_PA
12-30-2007, 04:29 PM
The facts are clear that Iraq no longer has a nuclear weapons program and Iran has discontinued its. Without the removal of Saddam and the Baathists that would not be the case. The world is much safer because of George Bush and the large number of Red State volunteers to the US military.
Iraq never had much of nuclear weapons program. The world is actually less safe because of Iraq, the debacle of which was a major recruiting tool for Al-Qaeada.


and what facts would those be? Do democrats actually listen to what pompous US senators have to say?
Biden is (was) correct that Pakistan is the area in which we ought to be concentrating our anti-terror efforts. Not Iran. (Though perhaps Iran will become a real threat again.)



it is hard to say. each situation is different. But, definitely take advantage of opportunities like the invasion of Iraq to remove a major proponent of nukes from the playing field. Targeted assassinations of those with nuclear know how should be considered.
-Steve
The invasion is what was the problem. A containment approach with Iraq would have been much more wise and our military wouldn't be bogged down. It could have been used judiciously in Pakistan with much great anti-terror effects.

jmcnulty
12-30-2007, 04:55 PM
Did you really say the following about the U. S. military: "It could have been used judiciously in Pakistan with much greater anti-terror effects."

Is this similar to the Obama "invade Pakistan" statement? So if I understand this right, we are supposed to leave Iraq -- where we are winning -- to invade Pakistan, a country that has atomic bombs and the missiles to deliver them, in order to enjoy "much greater anti-terror effects."

And what is the government of Pakistan supposed to be doing while we are invading the hinterlands, or are you proposing that we garrison Islamabad too?

You don't think that the Arab or Muslim world would see this as even more imperialistic action by American than the attack on Iraq, a country that we thought was poised to develop nuclear weapons and with whom we had been exchanging shots for years? Isn't Pakistan even a larger and more populous country than Iraq? Maybe we should ask the Indians to help us invade; I am sure that they would be willing.

If you think Iraq was a mad war of "choice," then what would you say about a war on Pakistan, a country that claims to be our friend? What would the Pakistani's think of Musharraf then? Would be still be a candidate?

Obama's comment made Hillary look like Pericles. It is best to ignore it and chalk it up to inexperience, with the assumption that he is a smart guy and would not actually do it if in office. Huckabee said something about Pakistan that was a foolish, but I am not sure that he is a smart guy -- he is a nice guy though. Still, I would not want him in the Oval Office calling the shots if he thinks Afghanistan is to the east of Pakistan. Bad advice? Hell, doesn't he have a map?

DenvilleSteve
12-30-2007, 05:29 PM
Iraq never had much of nuclear weapons program.


so what did Israel bomb in 1981? sand? Iraq was being closely watched and threatened by the US military. There was no way the sanctions against Iraq could have continued much longer back in 2002.


The world is actually less safe because of Iraq, the debacle of which was a major recruiting tool for Al-Qaeada.

I dont see the evidence for that. Sure seems like there have been fewer terror attacks against western targets in the last few years than prior.


Biden is (was) correct that Pakistan is the area in which we ought to be concentrating our anti-terror efforts. Not Iran. (Though perhaps Iran will become a real threat again.)


I still dont know what that means. "... We ( meaning the red state american military ) ought to concentrate anti terror efforts on Pakistan. ..." Targeted assassination? Capture and torture? or just endless meddling and pontificating by US Senators?


The invasion is what was the problem. A containment approach with Iraq would have been much more wise and our military wouldn't be bogged down.


why contain the country when you said they never had a nuke program?

Iran had a nuke program. For that reason alone Saddam would have started one of his own. The problem with containment is it could not be sustained politically for much longer than 2002. How do you get the UN to go along with continued containment when Iran is not subject to containment?

Better to invade Iraq and then apply international pressure on Iran to discontinue the nuke program it had no justification for.

-Steve

David_PA
12-30-2007, 08:26 PM
There was no way the sanctions against Iraq could have continued much longer back in 2002.
Really? Why is that?

I dont see the evidence for that. Sure seems like there have been fewer terror attacks against western targets in the last few years than prior. Feeling good about Al Qaeda's weakness in Pakistan, are you?

I still dont know what that means. "... We ( meaning the red state american military ) ought to concentrate anti terror efforts on Pakistan. ..." Targeted assassination? Capture and torture? or just endless meddling and pontificating by US Senators? How about using our powerful military to concentrate on Al Qaeda where it is strongest - in and around Pakistan?


why contain the country when you said they never had a nuke program? ... because it could have obtained one. But, it didn't have one in 2002 because containment and sanctions were working.

The problem with containment is it could not be sustained politically for much longer than 2002. How do you get the UN to go along with continued containment when Iran is not subject to containment?
You are comparing the UN stance in 2002 with it's stance today. In 2002, the UN was all for continuing sanctions against Iraq - even stronger ones. Iraq, as we found out after we invaded, had been crippled by the sanctions.

The reason the UN won't go along with sanctions against Iran now is because of the most recent NIE report. The good thing about that report is that the US isn't about to attack Iran any longer. The unfortunate thing about the NIE report is that we need to keep a close eye on Iran and sanctions against Iran will be needed if they aren't already - and both of these things are now harder to do.

Incompetence Dodger
12-30-2007, 10:12 PM
I think the all-time most nauseating AA appearance, however, was the time she was on with Instapundit and Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser. That was back before the boycott, but pushed me heavily toward that eventual outcome. As I remember it, it was an hour-long support group meeting whose mutual reaffirmations spanned from "we're not conservatives" to "liberals are mean to us."

That one was going to be no. 5 on my list, but I'm sure that my political and regional biases against Reynolds and Dr. Helen are part of the reason I loathe that diavlog so deeply, so I left it out as I didn't want to muddy the waters. I wanted to keep the focus of my criticism squarely on Ann. BTW, I'm not saying I'm proud of my biases or anything (particularly the visceral reaction I had to Dr. Helen's accent), but I have to acknowledge that they exist. None of which is to say that the Ann-Instapundit diavlog was anything less than a soul-crushing, eye-gouging experience.

On a somewhat related topic, someone (Brendan I think) denied that sexism plays any part in the vitriol with which Ann gets criticized. Oh come on. I think it's almost self-evident that sexism is at the root of the type and intensity of attack that female bloggers have to put up with. It's not just Ann--Megan and Garance, for example, come to mind as being attacked regularly in a way that is steeped in sexism. Which is really too bad, as all three have written things that richly deserve criticism, even outright ridicule.Which is too bad, becuase such discussions then get sidetracked onto topics like sexism, feminism, female bloggers etc. and off the original criticism, which as I said is often richly deserved. Better, I think, to acknowledge that the sexism exists but also to note that it doesn't invalidate the criticism.

bjkeefe
12-30-2007, 10:45 PM
ID:

For the record, I don't think sexism plays a role in my dislike of Ann (or Megan, for that matter). I like the all the rest of the female diavloggers that I can think of, and I really like three of them: Rosa, Heather, and Jackie.

And if you want to go that route, are you also going to accuse female commenters of sexism every time they express a dislike for a male diavlogger?

I'll grant that sexism exists. But why invoke it as an explanation, unless there's some clear reason to? As far as I can recall, every criticism made of Ann in this thread has had to do with her manners or intellect. Or lack thereof, to be precise.

Incompetence Dodger
12-31-2007, 02:27 AM
ID:

For the record, I don't think sexism plays a role in my dislike of Ann (or Megan, for that matter). I like the all the rest of the female diavloggers that I can think of, and I really like three of them: Rosa, Heather, and Jackie.


Hang on, Brendan. I must not have been clear. I wasn't referring to sexism on the part of you or any individual. I was referring to the sexism that, to me at least, seems pretty apparent in aggregate in the comments sections of, for example, Megan's blog when she says something particularly benighted.

Moreover, I think that the vast majority of that kind of sexism is of a second-order variety. By that I mean it's not a "get back in the kitchen and fix me a sandwich" kind of thing, but rather that in a fight some people think any weapon will do.


And if you want to go that route, are you also going to accuse female commenters of sexism every time they express a dislike for a male diavlogger?


The whole reason I brought this up was to avoid having valid criticism devolve into disputes about sexism etc., so I'm a little reluctant to get into this, but: Do you really think there is an equivalence here?



I'll grant that sexism exists. But why invoke it as an explanation, unless there's some clear reason to? As far as I can recall, every criticism made of Ann in this thread has had to do with her manners or intellect. Or lack thereof, to be precise.

Well for one thing, Ann has in the past not hesitated to play the sexism card (to be fair, she doesn't cry "sexism" so much as "why are they so mean to little ol' me? They must really have issues with outspoken women.", but it's the same thing) as a diversionary tactic. I'm trying to head that kind of thing off at the pass.

I concur completely about Rosa, Heather, and Jackie, BTW.

bjkeefe
12-31-2007, 07:32 AM
ID:

Hang on, Brendan. I must not have been clear.

I'll share some of the blame -- I might have read your comments a little more carefully. But thanks for clarifying what you meant, and I'm sorry for my part in the confusion.

Now that I understand where you're coming from, I quite agree with what you said about sexist remarks in other forums being used as a rhetorical weapon, and about some women hurling that accusation in response to legitimate criticism.

Do you really think there is an equivalence here?

Obviously I don't. I asked if you thought female commenters could be called sexist for criticizing male diavloggers to be ridiculous on purpose, to illustrate the disagreement I had with you. Before I understood what you were saying, I mean.

uncle ebeneezer
12-31-2007, 01:02 PM
Brendan, I'm afraid that the Minister of Taste position is already taken by myself. Frankly, you're more qualified for important policy decisions instead of trivial matters.

I had a feeling my platform would be a bit moderate for your taste!

Happy New Year.

bjkeefe
01-01-2008, 02:20 AM
Uncle Eb:

Brendan, I'm afraid that the Minister of Taste position is already taken by myself. Frankly, you're more qualified for important policy decisions instead of trivial matters.

I dunno. I tend to obsess over the trivialities and display masterful indifference to the big issues, but if you say so ... How about I apply for Grand High Exalted Mystic Nitpicker and Minister Plenipotentiary For Elements Of Style?

Happy New Year to you, too, and to all the rest of the Moose-Deploying Brigade.

uncle ebeneezer
01-02-2008, 11:19 AM
Your application has been received and is being reviewed. If there are no less qualified minorities or illegal immigrants available, you just might get the job (you know, we liberals are all about keeping the white man down.)

Happy 2008.

PS how long before we get a diavlog on Bhutto/Pakistan?

bjkeefe
01-02-2008, 03:15 PM
uncle eb:

PS how long before we get a diavlog on Bhutto/Pakistan?

In some ways, I hope: a long time. I've heard and read enough uninformed speculation on that topic over the past week to last me a lifetime. I'm starting to wonder if anyone in this country has the slightest idea of what's going on in that country.

garbagecowboy
01-02-2008, 03:18 PM
Perhaps Bob could get a Pakistani in Pakistan, or at least a Pakistani-American. I knew several of the latter in college, and most had family in the country and a finger to the pulse, so to speak, of what was going on on the ground. I'd bet a diavlog between, say, Bob and a Pakistani professor at some American university would be pretty good.

bjkeefe
01-02-2008, 03:29 PM
GC:

I'd bet a diavlog between, say, Bob and a Pakistani professor at some American university would be pretty good.

That sounds like a good idea. Bob's almost always prepared to give at least a good interview.