Thursday, June 30, 2005

Why I've got to stop reading Volokh Conspiracy

No, not some new thriller by a Dan Brown knockoff, say perhaps Dan Brown. (aside - see Language Log, "Renowned author Dan Brown staggered through his formulaic opening sentence", which is a real hoot and will give you ammunition if you're a literary snob. Which you wouldn't have to be, to read this blawg, but it doesn't hurt)

I've got to stop visiting, because while I highly respect Eugene and Randy and Orin-not-Orrin, sometimes (whisper) conservatives (/w) post there. Not Juan the not-Volokh (jnov to friends), although his recent flamebattle with a certain liberal blogger drew some attention, see generally volokh and mr. leiter's web site, but other folks.

You know. The *conservatives*. Although they may not call themselves that.

Similarly, although Prof. Bainbridge is a really bright guy, and sure knows his wines better than I ever will, and although Ann Althouse is a lovely lady who clearly has the undying respect of Glenn Reynolds, I can't read them regularly. They're just so... so wrong. You know?

Not on everything. Not even on everything political. Only when their opinions, fueled by their intellects and experience, are... in my view... so utterly overwhelmed by prejudice against liberals, liberalism, liberty, and libras (i'm reaching here) that they just lash out. I'm almost doing the same thing, right now, in reverse. But I'm trying not to rant.

I write this non-rant because I am avoiding posting the rant I wrote against Mr. Zywicki, new trustee at Dartmouth (bully for him), in part because he didn't enable comments. I mean, not ranting about the comments-disabling itself, about something I was disabled from commenting on, both at Dartblog and at VC.

1. Trustee Rodgers, clearly a businessman, let loose with the brilliant comment that "If I ran this company like the government runs Social Security..." he'd be out of business. I may be paraphrasing. So be it. I wanted to leave a sarcastic but civil comment. But there were no comments allowed, in either place. So I started to write a letter to Mr. Zywicki (that name keeps getting harder to spell; can I call him Todd? Todd it is) that started out sarcastic and got worse and worse as it went along. So I shelved it.

Eh Nonymous' famous anonymous advice on e-mail e-tiquette, #1: Never e-mail angry. Corollary: don't comment while angry, don't blog angry. Shelve it, do what you'd do if given the phone while in a rage. Don't make the call. Would you want your peers to see you raging this way? Your mother? Let it cool off, save the draft, walk away, do something else. (Also see Bill Murray, Groundhog Day, to the Groundhog, Phil: "Don't drive angry.")

It's still saved, that angry draft. But why pick on Todd for something I disagree with that he didn't say, and merely quoted (perhaps approvingly)? It's not his fault I disagree with Todd's position, and think that the comment was a dumb one. It's more witty and wrong than dumb, anyway.

2. Todd comes out with something quoting a source to the effect that 70% of Americans wouldn't mind if we put up the 10 Commandments in Government buildings, essentially endorsing them. Because they wouldn't feel it was bad, not against their own touchstone of establishment, I suppose. What I should do is quote O'Connor, "we do not count heads" to determine the meaning of the Constitution, or something like that. I think that was what made Scalia snap back something about counting Heads of State in Europe over the death penalty, but that's not the point. The point is, she's right. I went off on a long rant about establishment and free exercise and Christian oppression of the rest of us, and monotheism and what it does and doesn't imply, and the statistic quoted above, and Scalia's statistic. On and on.

See rule #1, above. Upshot: I need to stop reading Volokh. Mostly tasty stuff, but the peppers are just too hot.

Possible correction: maybe I should spend less time reading things online.

... nah...