Kos, Pwned

I’m capturing this history quiz here for posterity, before it scrolls off Twitter (not a permalink, which is why I’m doing it):

# #KosHistoryQuiz US const. establishes which 3 branches? (a) Exec, Judicial, Legislative (b) EPA, IRS, Sesame Street (c) Obama, Obama, Obama less than 10 seconds ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz who wrote the Marshall plan? (a) George Marshall (b) Penny Marshall (c) Josh Marshall (d) Marshall Law 5 minutes ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz Boston Tea Party was a protest against (a) taxes (b) tuition increases (c) insensitivity against the Founding Muslims 13 minutes ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz “1773” is (a) teabagger racist code (b) Chicago area code (c) L33t H4x0r code 24 minutes ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz how many lefty bloggers does it take to screw up a Palin-is-Stupid meme? (a) 1 (b) 1773 (c) how many do you got? 36 minutes ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz 1773 is (a) year (b) street address of Palin Derangement Clinic (c) Kos’ new nickname forever and ever 40 minutes ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz which party occurred in 1773? (a) Boston Tea Party (b) Boston Red Sox World Series party (c) Boston album release party about 1 hour ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz outline these Supreme Court decisions (1) Brown v. Board of Education (2) Plessy v Ferguson (3) Palin v Voices in Kos’ Head about 1 hour ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz which phrase is not is the constitution? (a) separation of chuch and state (b) right of privacy (c) ummm (d) potrzebie about 1 hour ago via web

# #KosHistoryQuiz what is the significance of 1773? (a) Boston Tea Party (b) year when GOP invented slavery (c) sales of Kos’ last book about 1 hour ago via web

# Bring a blue light and disinfectant. @DLoesch I’ll be on Parker/Spitzer tonight about 2 hours ago via web

# #tweetsfrom2009 Dear Lord, please give me more money than Suge Knight and a bigger package than Bret Favre about 2 hours ago via web

# MelissaTweets RT @TheSenator: For @pbsgwen, et al: http://tinyurl.com/2cw8fz2 #fail #eyeroll | LOL about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by iowahawkblog and 3 others

# @jimgeraghty if all those swing district Dems lose, the ones left in DC will be some heretofore unknown level of super-concentrated idiocy. about 3 hours ago via web

# ridiculers of Sarah Palin’s “1773” reference respond http://t.co/YFMHcnT about 4 hours ago via Tweet Button

# MattOrtega @RevDrEBuzz @tahDeetz @iowahawkblog You people are fools. I wasn’t questioning the date of the original Tea Party. about 4 hours ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by iowahawkblog and 5 others

# @MattOrtega mmm hmm. And you can see 1776 from your house. about 4 hours ago via web

# @jtLOL Will the following students please report to remedial history class @pbsgwen @markos @mattortega about 4 hours ago via web

# @pbsgwen What kind of wallpaper did Palin choose for her rent-free apartment in you head? about 5 hours ago via web in reply to pbsgwen

# #KosHistoryQuiz sum year of the Boston Tea Party and # of US states. Divide by latest MSNBC Nielsen rating. (a) infinity (b) math is hard

For those who need a little background on how Markos “don’t know much about history,” Bryan Preston has a good summary and links. Of course, Kos is the guy who thinks that Turks are Arabs.

And I’ve never been as impressed with Gwen Ifill as my supposed intellectual betters expect me to be.

82 thoughts on “Kos, Pwned”

  1. Um B Lewis your classics philosophers leave a lot to desire. I leave Plato since his philosophy mostly stood up, Aristotle seems to me rather hackish he gets a lot of his science awfully wrong even considering his time. Sure he got a few things, that he mostly got right or stood up but they allude me at the moment. Then the other two are primarily religious philosophers which is further out of my wheel house but cursory glance of wiki not the best source for such subjects but they don’t impress me . Think rather have Plato, Socrates, Locke, Bacon and Mills. And after that Niche and Machiavellian have other insights. Might even throw more Deming for modern education though that more narrow scope than others mentioned and lot of his teachings is applied to corporate cult Six Sigma.

  2. I’m fairly proud of that thread (given that it was written on the fly), and Leland, I think you should be embarrassed by your contributions to it.

  3. No Bob. The fact you started arguing with yourself was hilarity. Of course, you were owned in this thread too. You’re a red herring in Rand’s barrel.

  4. Leland, Your arguments were so lacking, I felt it necessary to suggest an opposing viewpoint for you.
    But nice mix of metaphors this time!

    Carl, I’ll meet you halfway. It is true that the Supreme Court’s rulings have been hard to understand at best and, in my opinion, they’ve been grossly inconsistent, but I picked prayer and not icon display on purpose. For prayers, i think the supreme court has been quite clear. Well, most of the time. Marsh vs Chambers is an exception. (Marsh vs Chambers concerned the constitutionality of prayers in a state legislature, and the constitutionality of a paid chaplain.)

    But I disagree with you about the establishment clause being “plain as a pikestaff.” I mean, I think it is, and you think it is, but apparently we completely disagree with each other over what it means. And legal experts disagree too. Marsh vs Chambers received different rulings all three times it went to court (district court, appeals court, supreme court). And even at the Supreme Court, justices dissented. If the establishment clause was really so easy to understand, you wouldn’t get such diverse opinions about it, even from legal scholars.

  5. I think you’re wrong about that, bob. As the saying goes, hard cases make for bad law — and that’s the problem, according to me.

    I disagree that you and I would disagree about the meaning of the establishment clause in most cases. Should Congress pass a law giving Catholic bishops an automatic Senate seat? Hell no! Do you disagree? Would anyone? Should Congress establish a Holy Office of Inquisition? Of course not. And so forth.

    So when you say we “disagree on the meaning of the establishment clause,” what you really mean is that we would disagree at the margin, way out on the legal frontier, in truly weird cases where Congress’s power is being stretched to the utmost, the very limit of what the Constitution allows — or similarly being constrained to the utmost. It’s only there, very near the border, where you’re saying it’s in some penumbra or emanation, and I’m saying nonsense, that plain common-sense agreement breaks down.

    And that, I think, is the problem. There are too many hard marginal cases that the Supreme Court is deciding, because it can, and because competing interests find it cheaper and a more complete victory to ask them to, instead of working it out themselves. (When your kids get older, you’ll learn that there is value in terms of promoting awareness of others, civility, maturity, and self-reliance in not deciding every single damn case that your “citizens” will bring to your “Supreme Court of Dad” to adjudicate. You’ll find that a certain amount of work it out between yourselves, but no hitting is a good idea, in the long run.)

    If everyone knew that the inevitable result of a marginal case, where reasonable men and different branches of the government can disagree, being brought were simply paralysis, inaction, the government locking up solid like a 450 hemi at the red line when all the oil drops out of the pan screeeeeeeeeekCHUG — why, I think people would learn to avoid those marginal cases.

    People would say: look, there’s no clear consensus on this issue. This is simply not something that can be decided collectively. We’re going to have to leave it the hell alone, leave it up to individuals — families — local school boards — neighbor talking to neighbor — firms negotiating with each other equally — to work it out, without the “benefit” of a central one-size-fits-all “solution” jammed down from Washington D.C.

    Which suits me and all lovers of liberty just fine. We see no need to have every single damn question, moral or economic, decided by 9 geriatric book-dwellers in black robes with uncalloused hands. We don’t need instructions on living life from God, King, or country. We’ll figure it out ourselves, thanks anyway.

  6. “How can I put this without being rude…?”
    Sorry let me be rude, you were saying something about being pompous?

  7. I’m fairly proud of that thread (given that it was written on the fly), and Leland, I think you should be embarrassed by your contributions to it.

    If we can’t be proud of our successes, then let’s at least be proud of our failures.

  8. Exception for Carl, of course. Carl, regarding your comment on solving things locally, I think you underestimate how bad things would get in small towns for people with minority positions (religious minorities, for example) without recourse to the protections offered by all three branches of the Federal government. What you think of is no big deal “just work it out” I suspect would be considered life-ruining by someone else in a situation where they either move away and abandon things precious to them (land, livelihood, etc) or they have to put up with a lifetime of, at the very least, bigotry which is, and this is key, paid for by their taxes and endorsed by their very own government. I’m very sorry I don’t have time to compose a better and more specific reply, as I think you deserve it.

  9. Bob, is the scenario you descibe any worse than the false sense of legitimiacy and power given to those evil men across the board when the SCOTUS returns the wrong decision? /snark

  10. Titus, I think that’s a fair question. First, I look to the whole Federal government, which of course includes locally elected congressional representatives who, together, can override any supreme court decision. My answer to you is simply that in the history of this country, the Federal government has gotten it wrong plenty of times, but individual small towns have gotten fairness and liberty wrong much more often, and one of the reasons for this is the same as the reason that high school sports teams have divisions based on enrollment numbers — bigger talent pools are helpful. And there are related reasons, all having to do with reduced competition in a small town — I shouldn’t need to point out the ways life in a small town can get ugly. There are tons of benefits to to having many sorts of decisions be made at as local level as possible, but protection of the minority isn’t the kind of decision that benefits from increasingly local control.

  11. My answer to you is simply that in the history of this country, the Federal government has gotten it wrong plenty of times, but individual small towns have gotten fairness and liberty wrong much more often,

    First, I don’t know how you’re scaling your data to make proper comparisons (/snark) between the two, nor I would I (/snark) even begin to argue on behalf of the wisdom of local governments. IME, the state (at whatever level) is the workhorse of oppressors, and the production of liberty is largely a DIY project. Likely we’re arguing different points (/snark).

  12. Lots of snark, but no substance from my critics.

    The substance came months ago. You didn’t fix your errors or your views. There’s no reason to continue to give you anything other than snark.

  13. I didn’t bring it up again. But there is no reason to be nasty. I never did anything to hurt you.

    We could start all over again: Some politically-minded Americans like to declare “we are not a Democracy, we are a Republic!” And when they say that, I want to know what they mean.

    As a strategy to figure out what they mean, I’d like to figure out how the definition of republic that is being used covers four quite lovely and democratic countries: Canada & Australia (some reserve powers), the UK itself (reserve powers oddly less clear than Australia, having not been tested as recently), and Japan (no reserve powers whatsoever).

  14. Oh nonsense, Bob. I was talking about Supreme Court cases on the margin, where lots of people disagree. If lots of people disagree, then ipso facto there will be a variety of solutions adopted at the local level, depending on local prejudices and facts on the ground.

    It follows, therefore, that there will be sufficient heterogeneity among your “small towns” that the solution for anyone who finds one small town uncongenial is to simply move to another small town that is. That, indeed, is the strength of the Republic — the fact that it allows lots of different local solutions to the ambiguous, difficult problems of life, and you, the individual, can pick your preferred solution and your preferred community. Furthermore, we encourage ideological competition: if your small town solution is, in the end, much more broadly satisfactory than some other town’s, you will find yourself the beneficiary of internal migration — and your small town will grow large in population and influence and fame, while the less friendly town will dry up.

    You keep conflating marginal cases, where reasonable can may differ, and non-marginal cases, where indeed the Supreme Court can readily make 8-1 rulings, and they will be hailed far and wide as obvious and necessary. Those cases mark things like Do not lynch blacks or Do not burn lesbians as witches and so on. In those cases the rulings are clear, everyone agrees, and you’ll get no grief from me.

    But let us not confuse those with the marginal penumbrated rent-seeking cases that have contributed so much to the loss of respect the people have suffered for our government. One of the keep reasons for a limited constitutional government is that it is best guaranteed to keep the trust of the people, and avoid periodic reformulations and revolutions, such as plagued the European model for centuries.

  15. Post-Script: bob, here’s a challenge for you: name one of those narrowly-decided (or hugely controversial) Supreme Court cases that made a big difference to the ability of minorities to live in the United States without persecution.

    If you want me to meet the same challenge from the other side, and name narrowly-decided or controversial decisions that have eroded trust in the Republic, that’s easy: Raich, Kelo, Roe, Dred Scott.

    Mind you, when you find your cases, be sure they aren’t mere ratifications of what was already being achieved by other means. I don’t think the Slaughterhouse Cases qualify, for example, because the principle that black people were citizens had already been decided by Grant’s force of arms (both before and after 1865), and it was just a question of how far and how fast things would change. What you need to find is a case that completely overturns the work of the Legislative and Executive Branches, is not in line with the popular mood — and which significantly improves the lot of your persecuted minorities.

  16. Carl, you may be amused to know that Bob-1 is essentially making what I will forever call The Skeletor Argument. I kid you not, this is the actual argument I saw made by one statist on the ‘net a few years back. To paraphrase: Skeletor and He-Man all own various plots of land, but Skeletor fiendishly buys-up all the land surrounding Castle Grayskull and denies him access to easements (roads) and the outside world. This is bad, therefore the sky’s the limit on government power, etc. What he totally misses is that the purpose of our government is to allow well-meaning people to be good neighbors. If we take the po-mo thought to Skeletorian extremes, that all interpersonal differences are just war-by-other-means, common law is the wrong tool to begin with.

  17. I’ll retract that–he’s not making “essentially” the same argument, but the point is related: if Skeletor is really out to get He-Man, he’s going to find 100 different and creative ways to do so before the first one hits the SCOTUS calendar.

  18. Well, and there’s a peculiar unexamined assumption underlying a Skeletor argument, T. How did Skeletor get rich in the first place? In a free economy, you can only get rich if millions of customers — all poorer than you — voluntarily fork over their hard-earned cash to buy your product or service. You have to actually be doing something socially valuable to get rich. You can’t be a selfish bastard — because who would pay you to be a selfish bastard, when you can get selfish bastardy for free from any schmo on the street?

    So how is it that Mr. Hypothetical Rich Bastard spends several decades having all the instincts and goals of a socially beneficent He-Man, and then zap as soon as he reaches some magic point of wealth, he turns into a monster who not only will use his wealth for selfish evil purposes, but who apparently doesn’t care if he stops earning more wealth (as he will surely do as soon as the peasantry get wind of his Castle Grayskull skullduggery)?

  19. I’ll comment here as soon as duty allows it. I expect to discuss Brown vs the Board of Education, and why Carl’s criteria shouldn’t rule it out. Will also reject “love it or leave it”. I’m bet religioustolerance.org’s section on supreme court cases has more fodder as well.

  20. Oh dear, Bob. I really don’t recommend that choice. Be sure you explain why it’s wrong to consider Brown merely the undoing of the previous Plessy mistake. But honestly, it’s going to be very hard for you to establish that, in the great sweep of time, it was the Supreme Court, Dred and Plessy notwithstanding, that liberated the black man — and not Grant’s mudsloggers and the Radical Republicans in Congress.

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