26 comments for “Doofus redux

  1. SarahMC
    November 12, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    One glance into my crystal ball shows me that Mr. Posner will be caught doing crack with a male escort in approximately thirty years.

  2. RKMK
    November 12, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Aw. He can’t even tell “outrage” from “derision.”

  3. SarahMC
    November 12, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Yeah. I’m not outraged. I just think he’s a disgusting, entitled, ignorant little pig. Meh.

  4. damia
    November 12, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    ahahaha, that response was hilarious! especially his defense of booker t. washington…

  5. La Fille Torpille
    November 12, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Haha. Oh, a neo-objectivist. One of those Rand-loving idiots, huh?

  6. Roxie
    November 12, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Oh, he quoted me! I Feel so honored!

    Why is when the subject of white privilege is broached to a white person they always (in my experience, I know it’s not truly “always”) rush to talk about how NOT RICH they are?

  7. exholt
    November 13, 2007 at 12:14 am

    …violated fair use provisions…

    Not sure about the law….but I have a funny feeling few judges would feel his case is worth no more than a few laughs before dismissing it. Also, if the majority of said article is considered worthy of criticism, then IMHO it IS within fair use provisions for critics like feministe bloggers to quote most of said article in order to criticize it.

    I do know of the legacy advantage that many private universities employ. But I won’t speak out against it…ever. Why? Take a look at my article, and you’ll notice that I support private organizations and enterprises doing as they see fit. If that is one of their criteria, so be it. Those who take issue with it need not apply. Whether it is right or wrong is not for me to say, because they are not publicly funded institutions.

    There is one fly in the ointment which fatally weakens this argument. This is the fact that there are few colleges and universities, including many private schools like Case, which could legitimately claim they are not publicly supported by public funds. Whether it is in the form of Federal research grants for faculty research, Federal/State financial aid funds, US Education Department grants for curricular development, State Department grants for the study of foreign cultures and languages, or more, most private universities with few exceptions are beneficiaries of public funds.

    As such, it is laughable to claim that most private higher education institutions such as Case, Oberlin, NYU, or Columbia are private enterprises free to do as they please. If this was the case, then controversies over Federal/State government conditions on the use of public funds in higher education such as Title IX would not be as contentious as they currently have been.

    As such, the American taxpaying public have a legitimate right to criticize and call for the cessation of legacy admissions. This practice is nothing more than academic nepotism for upper/upper-middle class academic mediocrities who couldn’t gain admission on their own merits. If they could, they wouldn’t need legacy admissions to give them a leg up now, would they?

  8. exholt
    November 13, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Why is when the subject of white privilege is broached to a white person they always (in my experience, I know it’s not truly “always”) rush to talk about how NOT RICH they are?


    It may partially be the strong popular association of the word “privilege” with those from elite socio-economic backgrounds with great social and economic advantages over everyone else. At least that’s the impression I have gotten from many White co-workers and friends from working-class backgrounds.

  9. Roxie
    November 13, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Thanks, exholt!

    you know his defense of Washington only really kind of proves my point..

  10. napthia9
    November 13, 2007 at 12:41 am

    Multiple Choice Section:
    Is Caleb Posner…
    a.) unaware that sexism and racism still exist?
    b.) unaware that white male privilege stems from the above statement, not yacht-ownership?
    c.) really getting off on the idea of saying something controversial?
    d.) really defensive?
    e.) or all of the above?

    It also gives me great pleasure to rec “Jews and the Problem of Whiteness,” which is an interesting article which I think was recced by someone here before. Anyway, the ending to his first post is especially annoying:

    So you see, I am perfectly willing to respond to any serious media inquiry regarding my writing, my political activism, or where I stand on matters of policy. I try and act as an advocate for the positions I support, and as such try to address them through both my actions and words. And really, until I have reason to do otherwise, I tend to extend people the benefit of the doubt, and will thus trust that my words will not be twisted inappropriately.

    It’s sweet that he’s trying to be polite about it, but he’s still a weasel. Note all the qualifiers: “serious media inquiry,” “until I have reason to do otherwise…” You just know that whenever an argument makes him feel overwhelmed he’s going to claim that his words were “twisted inappropriately” and that his opponents are being unreasonable, overly-emotional, or vindictive. It’s a sly way to play the victim- insist that you’re just trying to give a fair and balanced account of your controversial positions while “outraged nutroots” (who are also “outsiders” and probably didn’t even bother to read your article) “ignore the substantive points” you make, do terrible things like “violate fair use provisions” (of course, you’ll never do anything about it except point it out because you’re too nice), and try and mock your sensible and well-reasoned opinions, simply because they’re not politically correct!

    Well golly gosh gee, kid. That’s very pretty rhetoric, but it makes you a weasel. and actually try and defend your dumbass opinions without retreating into the safety of your own blog. Being a self-proclaimed liberal doesn’t make you less sexist, racist, or privileged. You gotta work at it- which means getting off your high and mighty “I’m-controversial-because-I’m-not-PC” horse, taking some Women & Gender Studies courses, and reading some books (or blogs) about race, gender, and class.* At the very least try and argue your position without retreating to the safety of your very own blog. It’s neither classy nor daring, and you can’t stay that sheltered for long without everyone else ignoring you.

    *”Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” was pretty good, easy to read, and probably available at your library, so if you’re too busy to look for titles yourself, you can start with that one. I’m sure that if a bright boy like yourself can find time to blog, you can find the time to read an extra book or two.)

  11. Michelle
    November 13, 2007 at 12:51 am

    Oh, a neo-objectivist. One of those Rand-loving idiots, huh?

    I don’t know – I quite enjoyed reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged – but I’m not foolish enough to try and translate them into how I live my life.

  12. zuzu
    November 13, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Trackbacks are fun, aren’t they?

  13. sam
    November 13, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Is it wrong that I get a bit nostalgic, after actually practicing law for almost ten years, when reading the “legal interpretations” of someone who is clearly relying on that week they spent in 10th grade social studies on “the constitution”?

    I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the idea that he thinks the 14th amendment gave women the right to vote, when it didn’t even grant black people the right to vote. That was the 15th amendment (which didn’t get legislative “teeth” until the Civil Rights Act 100 years later, but that’s a different problem).

  14. evil fizz
    November 13, 2007 at 1:41 am

    I love how he thinks that the only meaning of privileged is to own a yacht.

    Sam, if he ever goes to law school, I’d love to read his 1L exams. “This is an intentional tort because I say so and intentional torts are WRONG!”

  15. Roxie
    November 13, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Zuzu, it’s like tennis!

  16. Roxie
    November 13, 2007 at 2:08 am

    I just realized he created his blog BECAUSE y’all blogged about him. Wow

  17. exholt
    November 13, 2007 at 2:20 am

    There is a problem with this line of thought. Most of the types of funding the poster notes are in a different category from traditional public funding. This is not money paid to keep the university afloat and servicing the local educational economy and citizenry. Instead, these are grants issued based on percieved merit, by a government that loves to throw around ill-gained tax dollars.


    Aren’t all public funds allocated based on perceived merits determined by the US government at all levels? Whether it is funds for building and maintaining the sidewalks/roads you use, emergency services, public health, etc, they were all allocated based on perceived merits such as an absence of potholes on sidewalks/roads or the prevention of a possible epidemic. If the US government at all levels didn’t feel something was worth funding, then couldn’t we say that it was not funded due to its lack of merits?

    Moreover, whether the Federal/State government subsidizes American higher education on the grounds of perceived merit or not is effectively moot as the it attaches conditions to all such funds such as compliance with Title IX and other Federal/State laws. If a college/university chooses not to follow such conditions, such funds are subjected to being withdrawn…whether granted on the basis of merit or not. That’s the way the public fund cookie crumbles…

    A small number of private institutions such as Bob Jones University have managed to avoid having to comply with Federal/State conditions for such public funds by refusing them altogether. Unless private universities like Case, Oberlin, NYU, or Columbia want to follow suit, they’re going to have to abide by those conditions, whether they like them or not….or forego them altogether.

    I sincerely doubt most private schools would forgo the public funds as that would severely hobble the private higher education institutions’ ability to fulfill its research/teaching mission. Also, with the exception of the most well-endowed and well-known institutions, the withdrawal of federal funding would effectively put most private institutions deeply into the red. If this continues long enough, such institutions could go bankrupt.

    The issue arises when you suggest that it be a concern for the government, and that legislation ought to be used to end said practice. Perhaps most interesting though is that these same people calling for an end to legacy consideration are the same individuals that will defend affirmative action to the very end. Anybody else see the hypocrisy?

    There is a big difference between legacy consideration and affirmative action.

    Legacy admissions tend to benefit children of upper/upper-middle class familes who already have greater socio-economic advantages and connections than the rest of us. If you think about it, a reasonably intelligent and diligent student from such families should have no problems gaining admission to a topflight school on their own merits considering the fiscal and social resources at their disposal. If they cannot make it given all this, they have no business being admittied. Moreover, this policy facilitates the maintenance of the upper/upper-middle class’ socio-economic position by facilitating their admission even if their application packages are far below what would be considered just merits for a given institution. I don’t know about you, but creating and maintaining an effectively aristocratic elite is not the job of our higher educational institutions and has no place in our Constitutional Republic.

    On the other hand, affirmative action’s main goal is to remedy the long-standing effects of discriminatory practices within American society and to provide historically disadvantaged groups the opportunity for upward social mobility that has long been denied them through a long historical legacy of legal regulations and social acceptance. I see nothing wrong and much that is in keeping with the traditional American idealized promise of upward social mobility with this policy than legacy admissions, a relic of the self-perpetuating aristocratic class system in 18th and 19th century Europe.

    Interestingly enough Caleb, if you had applied to most academic institutions with the exception of engineering schools, you yourself may have been the benefit of some form of “affirmative action”. From talking with Profs and friends who worked in admissions at several private institutions including two Ivys, the increasing dearth in strong male applicants to their institutions meant that they ended up admitting male applicants with much lower GPAs/standardized test scores than their female counterparts. Ironic, don’t you think?

  18. bridgetka
    November 13, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Whether it is right or wrong is not for me to say, because they are not publicly funded institutions.

    Things can only be immoral if they’re being funded with Caleb’s money!

    I like his response to me:

    I do see the discrepancy [of all the service workers being black but almost none of the students and faculty being black, in a majority-black city]. But it doesn’t strike me as relevant.

    No shit, kid! I could’ve told you that.

  19. SarahMC
    November 13, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Bridgetka, it’s just because white people are smarter and more driven than black people! Nothing more to see here!!

  20. exholt
    November 13, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Things can only be immoral if they’re being funded with Caleb’s family money!

    Corrected that for you, Bridgetka. :)
    Unless he has worked some lucrative non-family business type job prior to attending Case, I doubt the substantial portion of money he relies on to defray his educational and living expenses is really his own.

    Moreover, if he receives any form of financial aid, college scholarship, subsidized student loans, or even pays full tuition, he and his “private school” also have their hands in the public fund cookie jar as the real cost of educating each student is often higher than the full tuition sticker price.

    If Case is like most research universities, the vast majority of their revenue usually comes from Federal/State research and education grants, endowment, corporate research sponsorship, royalties from businesses which use institution sponsored research in their products, athletics, and royalties from the use of Case’s institutional brand name.

    Unless Case is an odd duck among research universities, I doubt the amount of money they receive from undergraduate tuition makes up the majority of their annual revenues.

  21. sam
    November 13, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Not to mention the fact that the federal government seems perfectly willing to inject it’s own priorities into those “private” universities whenever it suits them. Anyone remember when they were going to withhold individual students’ financial aid, up to and including the stafford loan subsidization program because law schools wouldn’t permit the military (in this case, JAG) to recruit on campus, because JAG couldn’t sign the statement saying that they didn’t discriminate? Funny how that whole “private institutions should get to do whatever they want” goes right out the window when it’s one of the right’s pet issues.

  22. exholt
    November 13, 2007 at 9:57 pm


    Ahh yes, the Solomon Amendment. Here’s the wiki on it.

    Thank you! :)

    Caleb seems to also forget that most academic institutions are organized as non-profits which subjects them to regulations over how to allocate/spend funds and manage their institutions which privately owned businesses do not have to worry about.

    You gotta work at it- which means getting off your high and mighty “I’m-controversial-because-I’m-not-PC” horse, taking some Women & Gender Studies courses, and reading some books (or blogs) about race, gender, and class.


    Unless Case requires him to take those specific courses to fulfill their distribution and cultural diversity requirements, I doubt he would do so.

    He may have fears that such courses are taught by, in his words, “nutroot” faculty gleefully conspiring to undermine his GPA to the point he cannot graduate, much less fulfill his blogged desire to get an MBA and JD from presumably topflight academic institutions. It was one reason why even many radical progressive male students at Oberlin avoided taking Women & Gender Studies courses when I was there.

  23. November 13, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Completely OT: Most radical and progressive men I’ve known IRL took at least one gender studies course, some took many. All found them useful and interesting.

  24. Josh
    November 13, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    I debated leaving this comment at his website, but decided against feeding what is essentially a very sophisticated troll. So, just ‘cos I have to get this off my chest:

    1) “fair use” is an affirmative defense to copyright infringement. You cannot “violate fair use”

    2) fair use as an affirmative defense has a 4 prong test; the Supreme Court has said that the fourth prong — the effect on the commercial market for the copyrighted work — is nearly dispositive. While feministe would have a strong argument on the other three prongs, this prong would absolutely get this kid’s case laughed out of court. Go ahead, kid: show us how there was a commercial market for your essay, then show how it was damaged by the free publicity.

    3) doesn’t he see the irony in arguing that feministe’s use doesn’t fall under fair use because too much was appropriated, and then turning around and claiming that no one understood him because we didn’t read enough of his article? Don’t these kids learn about irony at their fancy liberal arts schools?


  25. exholt
    November 14, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Apologies for OT:

    Completely OT: Most radical and progressive men I’ve known IRL took at least one gender studies course, some took many. All found them useful and interesting.

    Donna Darko,

    Considering Caleb’s blogged ambitions, he strikes me as another pre-professional undergrad who is more interested in taking whatever courses would get him to the goal of getting that MBA, JD, and the lucrative job which may come with such degrees.

    Very few students of this type have a real desire to study, delve, and engage deeply with the ideas presented in their courses, especially those deemed peripheral or “irrelevant” to their pre-professional goals.

    Sounds like the men you mentioned were far more serious by viewing their undergraduate experience as a great opportunity to learn and stretch their minds and not merely a pre-professional ticket to be punched on the fast track to a highly lucrative corporate job.

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