Quote of the Month Collection

Current:

"[W]inning in court generally requires competent representation, which is ruinously expensive for normal people. It's not fair, it's not right, but it's true." ~ Ken

Previous:

"If Ivan Jurasinovic doesn't want Croats associated with atrocities and genocide, then he's a damn fool to abuse the mechanism of the state to charge critics with crimes to silence them, because that's how the perpetrators of historical atrocities act." ~ Ken

"It is insufficient to protect ourselves with laws; we need to protect ourselves with mathematics." ~ <a href="http://www.schneier.com">Bruce Schneier</a>

"I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I'm not a big-L Libertarian, although I have small-l libertarian leanings. If you asked me to summarize my domestic political outlook, you could do worse than this: I want to minimize the ability of people … who tend to encrust government… to tell me how to raise my family or live my life. I believe in free expression, free worship, free conscience, personal responsibility, the rule of law, strictly limited government (and the strict limitation of people with clipboards and people with guns and badges, thank you very much), and that the best society is one in which free people make free choices, not one in which you allow [anyone] to make the best interests of your children subservient to the best interests of a collective imagined by a smug self-appointed elite." ~ Ken

"What I do believe, though, is that systems come into existence and have their own incentives. No one needs to be a black mustache twirling villain in order for evil to happen." ~ Clark

"I've had at least 3 conversations with co-workers since Monday about Richard Jewell, all of which contained the phrase 'you mean he wasn't the one who did it?'" ~ Mike B.

"If you seek to silence me through abusive suit in England, no judgment you secure will be enforceable here. If you seek to harass me in the United States, our vigorous protections for free speech will thwart you." ~ Ken ad Britanniam.

"They mostly legislate at night. … Mostly." ~Popehat on Facebook.

"I've made many judges laugh because I am a snarky asshole. The most recent time was during an appellate argument when I blew a second-grade math problem (converting my client's sentence from months to years) and snapped 'that's why I had to go to law school.'" ~Ken.

"Some behavior does not merely show bad character. It displays a level of stupidity so alarming as to render the bad character secondary. It raises a serious question as to whether emergency personnel should be rushed to the scene to equip the subject with a ventilator in case he forgets to breathe." ~Ken.

"There are stupid lawyers, there are bullshit artist lawyers, and there are crazy lawyers, but even crazy stupid bullshit artist lawyers sound different than non-lawyers, as a result of being dehumanized by legal education and the practice of law." ~Ken.

10 Comments

  1. Bill Stade  •  Mar 5, 2013 @5:22 pm

    I agree about bad character being a problem, but I'm puzzled by your vehemence toward stupidity. People don’t get to choose how smart they are. There’s a continuum between profoundly retarded and pure genius. It’s just not right to pick on someone for their stupidity.

  2. darius404  •  Mar 6, 2013 @4:27 pm

    It may be better described as a lack of wisdom, rather than stupidity. We use "stupid" in all sorts of contexts where we're not referring to someone's intelligence at all but rather their common sense or knowledge. There can be an aspect of stupidity to BEHAVIOR or IDEAS without the person displaying or believing in them necessarily being an unintelligent person. I think that's what Ken is referring to.

  3. Robert Walker  •  Mar 13, 2013 @7:58 pm

    If you examine the inmates in a prison you will realize there are profoundly stupid people without morals. Honest persons with a commitment to doing good will find a welcome spot in the world regardless of their intelligence. Intelligent sociopaths learn to function following the rules because they win more marbles and keep them that way. But stupid evil persons must be watched until they die.

  4. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Apr 17, 2013 @9:28 am

    Bill,

    I think a distinction should be made between the honestly stupid, and those who have gone through life being passed because of their connections (race, family, ability to parrot political correct patter, etc.), and who masquerade as viable autonomous individuals.

    The developmentally challenged who find work as shopping cart herders or bag boys are often charming and useful members of society. The developmentally challenged who have managed somehow to pass the Bar are gumming up a system that is prone to blockages anyway. They need to be remanded to appropriate keepers.

  5. P. Thompson  •  Apr 26, 2013 @7:08 am

    I believe the kind of stupidity referred to here is the kind that prompts parents to ask teenagers the rhetorical questions:

    "What were you thinking? Were you even thinking?"

  6. Jack (the one with the cat avatar)  •  May 13, 2013 @9:26 pm

    Regarding behavior that we're accustomed to calling simply "stupid," I like to make a distinction between people who have an intellectual disability of some sort that is entirely beyond their control, on the one hand, and those who are willfully ignorant by their own choice and remain so by their own choice. People who are more than intelligent enough to possess the capacity for developing common sense, wisdom, and knowledge about important events and issues that affect them and those they care about, but who instead choose to fill their heads almost entirely with inanities and the laziest possible thinking, I loathe.

    If there were a deadly virus that would affect only the latter group, and I had access to it? Well, solving the overpopulation issue would be a lovely side-benefit.

  7. Gustavo Almeida  •  Jul 27, 2013 @1:21 pm

    "Stupid" is a vague term. Rather than simply saying "stupid" it is wiser to say "ignorant" for that indicates that one's stupidity is strictly one's fault.

  8. Tim  •  Nov 22, 2013 @12:52 pm

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -somebody wise, soon after the internet came to be.

    A way to put all your bad eggs into one basket, and forget about them. Try it.

  9. Steven H.  •  Jan 17, 2014 @11:06 am

    @Tim:

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -somebody wise, soon after the internet came to be.

    Sounds like something from "Time Enough for Love" by Robert Heinlein. And it predates the internet, even assuming it was original with him, and not something he was quoting.

  10. Jeff  •  Jan 29, 2014 @8:47 pm

    Bill Stade, if you're still reading this, I interpret the tirade against stupidity not as being against stupidity per se (you can't change what you were born with beyond limits), but against stupidity deliberately, egregiously applied with the intent of doing harm. "I know that most people think I'm a stupid bastard, but I'll pipe up anyway because I want my 15 minutes of fame for the hour. Who cares if people who don't look like me get killed?" And yes, we have been infested with too many of those stupid people in far too high places for far too long.

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