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Saturday, May 26, 2012


Donald Pay

Let's just say you are completely ignorant on the subject of Barack Obama. You try to fill in your ignorance with dumb questions and speculation. There's been a number of books written about Obama's early years in Chicago and his return there after law school. One book, "Young Mr. Obama," goes into considerable detail and puncture holes all through your baseless speculation. Maybe you should try to engage in a little scholarship before prattling nonsense.

Fred Jay

Smoking pot in your twenties is wild and crazy?! Boy KB you must've be a bore during college.

Donald Pay

Since we haven't seen your apology for your apalling lack of scholarship, let me correct you very briefly here. You can read up on this subject, and then profer your apology later.

Why did Obama never publish anything before or after he became a law professor? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he wasn't a law "professor" and had no intention of ever becoming a law "professor." It would help if you could get some basic facts right, and step out of your prejudiced view of what path a smart black person ought to follow.

Let's review a few facts. Obama was a lecturer, and he made it clear he wasn't interested in being an academic professor. Surely you know the difference between a "lecturer" and a "professor." And you know that, while someone on the track to becoming a "professor" is expect to publish, someone who has no interest in going that route isn't.

In Chicago after law school Obama was involved in non-profit activities and a job (one with a law firm) and he was writing a book during the time he was a lecturer. He was learning about and being active in local politics and in his community, as well, rather than hanging around with the law professors. This was smart, considering he wasn't interested in the academic life, but was interested in politics. He did write, but it was for a more local audience regarding political matters in Chicago.

During his time in law school he was assisting Laurence Tribe research and write books and articles. As President of the Law Review he edited articles.

Really, your constant attempts to de-legitiimize Obama does not reflect well on you. It shows a stunning lack of scholarship. You ought to be ashamed and apologize.


Great take-down Donald. That explains why Obama didn't "publish" in the "publish or perish" sense. Now I wish someone would explain what happened to the don't publish your political biases policy Northern State University used to impose on their faculty.

Ken Blanchard

Fred: read more carefully. Donald: I present evidence and arguments. You present bombast and, well that's it. Obama did write a book. It was supposed to be about constitutional law. It turned out to be about Barack Obama, the one subject he has ever been interested in. Obama was not required to publish. I think this did him a disservice. I am not criticizing Barack here, but the system that took all the weight off his shoulders.

A.I.: you say "I wish someone would explain what happened to the don't publish your political biases policy Northern State University used to impose on their faculty." I can assure you that neither NSU nor any serious university imposes any such standard. You have no idea what you are talking about. At any rate, this is a blog. Is it not precisely my biases that bring you back again and again?

I would point out that most of the post above defends Barack Obama against current criticism. I recognize the difference between my biases and fair analysis, which is more than I can say for my cherished interlocutors.

Donald Pay

Wrong again, KB. Obama was going to write a book on voting rights, but he was finishing law school and didn't have time at that point. He would soon be involved in voting rights, but not as an academic author of some dry text. Instead, he used his knowledge to organize Project Vote, and as attorney, he researched and filed lawsuits on the issue. Obama was always interested in how the law affected people and could improve their lives or protect their rights. Maybe you don't value that. I do. You seem to want to force your particular academic lifestyle on Obama.

I presented facts, which are documented in several books. You present your hallucinations. The University of Chicago law school is conservative, and the system there is run by conservatives. Nice try, but you FAIL. Try reading something, rather than making it up.

Donald Pay

If you read his little missive on Elliot, there's some hints in there about Obama. He seems to have absorbed how academia often presents literature and philosophy in dichotomies. He understands that authors and people in general have different points of view. He respects these dichotomies, seeing some good in each position. He places himself within those dichotomies, seeming to negotiate, accepting some aspects of both, rejecting some aspects of both. This is a very mature viewpoint for someone so young, one that the Tea Party Republicans, for instance, never learned.


The following, KB, is an excerpt from Policy 1:11 taken from the South Dakota Board of Regents Policy Manual and is referenced in another section of the manual as the Regents policy on political expression: The concept of freedom should be accompanied by an equally demanding concept of responsibility. The faculty members are members of a learned profession. When they speak or write as citizens, they must be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As learned people and as educators, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others and should indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.

These obviously are not hard and fast rules. They do, however, express an expectation that a professor employed by any university under the jurisdiction of the SD Board of Regents be extremely judicious in publishing accurate information. Referring to Obama as a professor and thus as someone who would be subject to "publish or perish" rules but for the special dispensation granted him because he is "Barack" was not accurate, nor were a number of errors I have pointed out in some of your previous posts.

You are correct in that NSU has no set rule against your publishing biased statements. But, the institution does expect you to base your biases on fact.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: I never mentioned anything about "publish or perish". In the post above I defend Obama. I think he probably is above average in intelligence. I think that the fact that people keep telling us over and over again how intelligent he is might mean something. I repeat here a passage from one of my earlier posts:

Tribe shielded his dazzling new hire from the mundane assignments that such positions typically require. "I didn't think of him as someone to send out on mechanical tasks of digging out all the cases," Tribe recalled.

I think that might have something to do with the fact that Obama was a lecturer at the U of Chicago but never did any scholarly work nor interacted with his colleagues. It might have something to do with the fact that he accepted an advance on a book that was supposed to be about "race relations" but turned out to be an autobiography. It might explain why he struggled to finish that book and had to be offered a second advance to complete it.

I think that the young Obama was done a disservice by his many admirers. You are free to disagree, but I have made a reasonable case. Crying for the teacher on the playground just makes you a crybaby.

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