Protein Wisdom (blog)
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (December 2013)|
Protein Wisdom is a constitutional conservative / libertarian weblog created by former academic and sometime fiction writer Jeff Goldstein—a self-described classical liberal.
Barrett Brown of The Huffington Post has described the blog as catering to "one of the most collectively cerebral audiences one may find within the right side of the blogosphere."  Goldstein's respect for the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson is an enduring theme, as is his sardonic allusions to such popular cult figures as Martha Stewart and the fictional Billy Jack. The blog is known for its bawdy overtones, surrealistic sense of humor, and biting wit. The site moved past the nine-million-hit mark in March 2008; Goldstein is noted for his eccentric, intellectual work, best captured in his oddball collections of posts (e.g., "red pills found behind the sofa cushions," and "the protein wisdom conceptual series"). He's also known for his highly ironic entries (one of which was picked up by Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post), and discussions of hermeneutics (from an intentionalist stance), with a concentration on how interpretive strategies both inform and reinforce certain philosophical assumptions and, by extension, social policies. Goldstein is particularly critical of identity politics, racialism and multiculturalism. The blog's title comes from a line in a piece of Goldstein's fiction, written during his years at the University of Denver, and relates to the idea of the possibility of genetic memory; any connection to other iterations of the phrase are coincidental.
Goldstein vocally opposed the abrupt change of financial arrangements by Pajamas Media in 2009, which deprived him — and other bloggers such as The Anchoress and Ace of Spades HQ — of income from PJM-mediated advertising. He also publicly chastised those he refers to as GOP pragmatists or realists for their criticism of Rush Limbaugh's answer to a question about the coming Obama presidency, once again relying on linguistics and hermeneutics to make the point that "losing more slowly" is still losing, and that there is nothing more pragmatic, as a political strategy, than standing on principle
Deborah Frisch incident
On the 4th of July 2006, University of Arizona adjunct professor Deborah Frisch started writing comments at Protein Wisdom. Two days later, she wrote "You live in Colorado, I see. Hope no one JonBenets your baby." She then added: "I reiterate: If some nutcase kidnapped your child tomorrow and did to him what was done to your fellow Coloradan, JonBenet Ramsey, I wouldn't give a damn." She later resigned and apologized, saying "I don’t think professors should do that. I crossed the line." Her behavior gained nationwide news coverage. Following further incidents, Goldstein obtained a restraining order and preliminary injunction against her. Goldstein has said he took temporary breaks from blogging to deal with continued harassment from Frisch, who has faced continued legal problems since her relocation to the Pacific Northwest. Goldstein has been accused by some of "overreacting," whereas others from the "Gerbil Nation" (those who track Dr. Frisch's movement online) have applauded him for "standing up to her." Conservative bloggers have alleged cyberstalking and other strange behavior by Dr. Frisch since then.
Protein Wisdom today
Goldstein is a writer and producer of martial arts videos who remains in Colorado. Though Protein Wisdom reflects his own voice, it also relies heavily on the work of his co-bloggers, such as Darleen Click—who lives in the desert in Southern California.
After the 2010 midterm elections, Protein Wisdom for a time placed less emphasis on the linguistic/academic dissection of news coverage, and became a more full-blooded constitutionalist voice, emphasizing news summaries and straightforward commentary on the issues of the day while also outlining, in his nascent "outlaw" movement, fundamentals that would later find greater voice in the TEA Party's coalition, most particularly with respect to its burgeoning break with the GOP establishment. By 2013-2014, the site once again has focused at length on hermeneutics and their legitimacy, arguing that Originalism is, from a separation of powers perspective, the only legitimate form of judicial interpretation, a manifestation of intentionalism applied to legal documents written (intended) and passed (via corporate intent) by a legislature, whose function under the Constitution is to write law. Goldstein argues that "You cannot sustain for long the veneer of coequal branches of govt once you empower [the] judiciary, under [the] guise of interpretation, to rewrite law," because to shift that proxy legislative power to the judiciary "makes a mockery of legislature & realigns [the] power of supposedly coequal branches"—the resultant systemic alteration creating the conditions for judicial oligarchy.
Goldstein also answered scholar Danielle Allen's claim that a punctuation error in the Declaration of Independence has led to a "routine but serious misunderstanding” of the document," arguing that, even were we to accept the punctuation change, the meaning routinely gleaned from the clausal connections, namely the primacy of individual liberty, is actually strengthened by the punctuation change, and that proof of Jefferson's intent becomes manifest in the practical application of the Declaration's principles, encoded in the Constitution.
- Brown, Barrett (Oct 6, 2009). "Protein Wisdom and the Radness of Crowds". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
- Kurtz, Howard (February 9, 2007). "Strafing the Speaker". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Goldstein, Jeff. "red pills behind the sofa cushions". Protein Wisdom.
- Goldstein, Jeff. "the protein wisdom conceptual series". Protein Wisdom.
- Goldstein, Jeff (May 16, 2006). "Somebody’s been hitting the frozen rum drinks, I see! (UPDATED)". Protein Wisdom. Retrieved 2007-06-06.[dead link]
- "Goldstein, Jeff (December 1, 2005). "Defining the terms: racism, feminism, and the problem of identity politics". Protein Wisdom. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
- "Goldstein, Jeff (Jan 17, 2007). ""There's no such thing as 'race," (and it's a good thing, too)"". Protein Wisdom. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
- "Goldstein, Jeff (September 1, 2006). "The Limits of Boutique Multiculturalism". Protein Wisdom. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
- Calhoun, Patricia (July 20, 2006). "Blog Eat Blog". Denver Westword. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Smith, Kim (July 11, 2006). "UA lecturer resigns over blogs furor". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Hume, Brit (July 12, 2006). "Professor Goes Postal". Special Report with Brit Hume. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Goldstein, Jeff (July 12, 2007). "Thanks, everyone". Protein Wisdom. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- "Deborah Frisch Timeline".