March 21, 2009

On pretend common sense and consistent misunderstanding: an OUTLAW rebuttal

Ever more typical of Patterico, in his latest in a series of neverending posts and hypotheticals, he now characterizes my linguistic “approach” thusly:

I stand by my position that Jeff is wrong as a matter of his approach. We need not walk on eggshells to avoid offending those who will take offense no matter what we say. But we can’t use that as an excuse to say to hell with everyone who isn’t already rabidly committed to our side.

Then he doesn’t allow comments. Which, I guess that’s one way to try to get the last word.

Unfortunately for Pat, what he describes is not my approach, as anybody who understands my argument knows (I’ve maintained Pat doesn’t; this seems to prove it.). Not playing the left’s game doesn’t give us license to say whatever we want whenever we want in whatever way we want. Or rather, it does, but we can’t expect to do so without there being consequences. Knowing your audience and using media savvy is certainly one part of the rhetorical equation. But we can do that without conceding anything to faulty understandings of how language works — and how language works is a lesson we should be actively seeking to disseminate. Because regardless of how careful we are (revisit Bennett), or regardless of what we are acknowledged to actually mean (revisit Snow, who evidently was using “code words,” as professor Dyson, borrowing from a couple of Stanley Fish pieces that are nearly two decades old, seems to think is the only way conservatives can speak), so long as processes that aren’t interpretation are allowed to masquerade as interpretation, there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves against the linguistic attacks from the left.

It is a losing battle — and one we should expressly refuse to fight.

Rush Limbaugh’s statements — which prompted the left to take him out of context (he invited that, so he was aware that they almost certainly would) and prompted some “realists” on the right to quake in fear of how the “moderates” would react to that intentional, re-contextualized mis-characterization of Limbaugh’s argument (and he made an argument, not just offered up four words in a vacuum), resulting in strained pleadings about how we need to be more “precise” in what we say — perhaps achieved exactly what he hoped they’d achieve, which would suggest that he was as “precise” as he wanted to be, the result of which was to bait the media, the left, the White House, and the McCainian pragmatists on the right out into the open, where they could be shown either as opportunists or linguistic cowards.

They have prompted a debate about how conservatives should be operating in a political climate now completely controlled by Democrats.

I happen to think that a good thing. And what I’ve learned from my verbal engagements over the last few weeks is that there are conservatives who seem far more concerned with rehabilitating bad arguments and protecting their place within the GOP’s good graces than they are with fighting back against a corrupt press and an incoherent view of language that has allowed progressives to take control of the rhetorical battlefield, the result being to put conservatives always on the defensive, or to demonize them in advance, rendering their subsequent statements illegitimate or in some way tainted, knowingly or by some sort of magical ontological inscribing by the “code words” that bespeak their overt, hidden, or unconscious hate.

Patterico doesn’t agree with my approach because he has never truly understood it. And even as some people want to take me to task for being an impotent whiner who does nothing to help conservatism (whereas writing a largely unread manifesto is the height of activism, I guess), I’ll continue to fight the battle on this front, because to me, it is the foundation on which all battles are fought — and without a retaking of that battlefield, the skirmishes that break out on the terrain won’t much matter. Because in the long run, the objective of the left is simply to push us all into the sea.

The lines have been drawn clearly: I say as conservatives we use our idealism pragmatically, as a weapon against a political establishment that on both sides cares only about power. Others say we need to “play the game” — that we can’t win elections unless we woo the moderate middle, and we can’t do that unless we are very careful to make sure we cannot be portrayed as unintelligent, godbothering mouthbreathers and haters of all that is good and right and “elegant.”

I believe it’s been a mistake to embrace the latter strategy. And so I have rejected it, in the process, hoping to elucidate why it is a losing battle for conservatives: even when we “win,” we lose; and as McCain tells us to leave Geithner alone, I think it is clear to anyone who reveres the principles of classical liberalism that the GOP, in its current formulation, hasn’t a whole lot to offer us other than form letters begging for money.

So I fight — not with manifestos or calls to arms — but rather with essays and posts that I hope make it clear what is at stake if we choose to embrace the left’s linguistic assumptions as if they were an unmovable force of nature rather than a dishonest and calculated attempt to undermine the grounds for communication, reason, and meaning, with the end result being “right” determined by “might.”

This is not the America the founders envisioned, and it not one I wish to live in. So I’ll continue to make my argument, and if it gains purchase, I’ll have done what I can.

If it doesn’t? Well, I still will have done what I can. Which, while some may find it “trivial,” is in my estimation anything but.

OUTLAW!

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:10pm
387 comments | Trackback

Comments (387)

  1. I took my seven year old son snowmobiling for a weekend. A guys weekend. Some boys. My kid was the youngest. Lots of riding, followed by bottle of Black Velvet and beers around the fire. After I came back from a run he told me some of the adults threw him in a snow drift. Apparently he was stuffing snow down their necks and they told him that if he didn’t stop he was going to end up in a snow drift…well you know how that ended up.

    I told him that he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted, but that every choice he made had consequences. At seven he stopped whining about being thrown in the snow drift and got it.

    I get Patterico’s point in broadening the scope of people you are trying to persuade. I agree in principal. But the way Patterico and Allah are twisting this, it is as Jeff and others are not taking responsbility for what they say. Taking responsibility for your own actions is a central principal of classical liberalism.

    But calling bullshit on bullshit is critically important when the game is stacked against you.

  2. But we can’t use that as an excuse to say to hell with everyone who isn’t already rabidly committed to our side.

    Is Pat having a problem with straw in his diet? I don’t know how any one with a bit of common sense could restate your argument that way.

    The again, Pat obviously has a tough time getting away from being a dda where common sense is rare.

  3. One of the most common complaints one hears about politics is that “both parties are the same.” On many levels they are. But does that not mean that the correct approach is to strongly differentiate your core beliefs, and market yourself based on those core beliefs?

    Playing the game might look good to beltway insiders, but they are a very insular crowd and really have no idea what is going on outside their little circle of “movers and shakers.” There are a few Republicans who get it but many do not (I can think of 70-odd who don’t, who voted for that unconstitutional bill punishing those AIG employees for their contractually guaranteed bonuses). We need to get rid of the ones who don’t.

  4. I think it is clear to anyone who reveres the principles of classical liberalism that the GOP, in its current formulation, hasn’t a whole lot to offer us.

    That’s it, Jeff. That’s the very thing. Who, on our side — other than the opportunists — is sincerely excited about the present GOP retaking the White House and Congress? And I ask that as someone who was a GOP activist during the Clinton years, but who dropped out when Dubya (bless his heart) entered office.

    I’m not interested in stuffing envelopes, manning phone banks, distributing handbills, or erecting campaign billboards again unless it’s for a party (any party) that it stands for foundational principles — not just a will to power.

  5. Darleen, that is exactly right. It is as Patterico and Allah just selectively hear what Jeff is saying and parrot that editted (and completely wrong) version back to him as rhetorical challenges. It is exactly the type of behavior Jeff is railing against.

  6. Classical Liberalism is a concept this country was founded upon and was generally the dominant political philosophy until FDR and the Great Depression. Reagan was not identified as classically liberal, but he was probably closer to it than any politican since Eisenhower.

  7. So I’ll continue to make my argument, and if it gains purchase, I’ll have done what I can.

    It is gaining purchase. The sort of work you do on this front, along with some other growing phenomena (marked by stuff like Breitbart’s Big Hollywood), represents one of the most important trends in American politics.

    It represents the identification, at long last, of the true fuel that drives leftism: It’s culture and language, stupid. Conservatives have always understood this on some gut level, but they’ve fought the battle on the surface, and with the wrong tools, unclear on what’s really going on. What’s happening now is that we’re finally getting into the real innards of the thing, understanding how leftism’s cancer grows via the manipulation of language and cultural power. We’re starting to truly grasp how shaming and ostracizing are wielded to play to base emotions, and to leverage the power that results.

    These are breakthroughs. Big breakthroughs. And I am growing more and more confident that they will help lead us out of this infernal, century-long mess.

  8. Deal!

    I finally get to comment early on. AP and Pat are David Frum, Lindsey Graham, Buckley Jr., et.al. redux. Michael Steele needs to be replaced by Shelby Steele or the guy from Ohio. (yeah, I’m a racist cause I can’t remember his name) Leftist-lite does not resonate with most Americans, especially those who do not expect to have invites to future Georgetown dinners. Don’t know if I should cancel my NR subscription or actually get one to Rush. . . . (Limbaugh, not the band–I already ownmost of their work). . . .

  9. The solution is not clear. Is the GOP salvagable? Is a third party the alternative? I think the latter until I see Big L Libertarians and then I think…nope. Constitutional Party candidates are even worse. With the nonsense taught in public schools (starting even before kindergarten) and society, things are looking rather scary. But still, all you can do is speak the truth, teach your kids the truth, and hope other people listen. And I am still optimistic enough to believe there are a lot of people out there who get it and that real change can happen.

    I do not look at Patterico, Ace, and Allah as enemies, I like them all, I am just disappointed they don’t seem to get what is really going on.

  10. The 2010 elections won’t help the Republicans much if they keep this up. So, keep it up guys.

  11. Others say we need to “play the game” — that we can’t win elections unless we woo the moderate middle, and we can’t do that unless we are very careful to make sure we cannot be portrayed as unintelligent, godbothering mouthbreathers and haters of all that is good and right and “elegant.”

    And this is the fundamental mistake.

    Now, it’s absolutely true inside the Beltway — among the political insiders and system-players. Out here in the sticks, where the votes actually are, it’s the wrong strategy. The people among the nomenklatura who consider themselves “moderates” are so concerned with go-along-to-get-along that they have completely lost touch. The actual, real, living arguments for conservatism (and intentionalism) resound very nicely among the general population, and you’re more likely to gain their favorable attention by using them in forthright ways than by mealy-mouthing and trying to stay PC while making feeble attempts to get the point across.

    Regards,
    Ric

  12. Comment by geoffb on 3/21 @ 12:19 pm #

    If this is to be a metaphor argument, eggshells et al.

    The left is laying down a field of broken glass and hot coals. We are asked to crawl through it on hands an knees to get approval from those on the sidelines, rather than lacing up the hobnailed, steel toed, shitkicker boots and striding right through to kick their ass right proper. YMMV

    Well said!

  13. So despite the sophistry, and despite demanding to be right, and despite what one must conclude is a public official kissing up to appearances of all best intentions on the part of other public officials in the radically left-leaning Oprompta Administration, Pat’s basically calling the politically correct incapable of accountability.

    Which on its face makes sense, however the penalty of applying the insanity defense to roughly half the country is that you absolve it from playing by the rules of engagement. Constitution? Ultimately, who needs it, because that’s where this argument must end up and, darn it, if that’s not precisely where we’re going. Pat says it’s optional because roughly half the place can’t be expected to honor clear meaning, not least of which is the entirety of the majority in Washington DC.

    Because either the sum of politically correct leftism, like the sum of the Oprompta Administration, runs on sheer linguistic incompetence and unconscious bias — especially with regard to its very choice of interpretations of the words of others — or it’s corrupt: Intent. Purpose. Leverage. Aim. A corruption of the words of others for the purpose of political leverage.

    pw — and I assume Patterico — subsist on a heavy diet of sarcasm and left-baiting. Intent is everything. Except, apparently, when those sworn to terminate your primary rights and freedoms with extreme prejudice ask you to bugger off because you give them offense.

    Of which they’ll let you know. One day. By what end up being the irreversible terms of the majority.

    Dammit, this is simple. Especially when calling bullshit on bullshit is critically important when the game is stacked against you*.

  14. (I’m confused, Joe: Where are you getting this “geoffb” comment from?)

  15. Sorry Jonas. A couple of threads down. Jeff lifted his own comment from there to start this new thread.

  16. Ahh, gotcha. OK, confusion over, carry on.

  17. The present opportunists won’t even ask that you stuff envelopes, man phone banks, distribute handbills, or erect campaign billboards. If you sign on, it just puts you on the never ending solicitations for donations.

  18. It’s all machine, RTO. The sooner we realize that the sooner we can all go peacefully.

  19. Oh, and Jeff, it’s not trivial. It’s about all we have left, actually…

  20. I’ve posted on Patterico’s site before, and I’ve probably been a stick in his craw ever since I criticized his post-election declaration that Barack Obama was a “good man” as baseless and, more importantly, counter productive.

    He simply does not understand how we got to a place where Barack Obama can declare an anti-American bomber a respected professor, where Nancy Pelosi can declare illegal aliens “patriots” and ICE agents “un-American.”

    But he thinks his courageous stance on politeness toward those out to destroy the country is somehow going to be effective.

  21. It was mine from the Circulation thread. Made after Jeff G. wrote about this and before it became a thread of it’s own. Comment here. Thanks Joe. I was unsure if I should move it here.

  22. No, Steve, it’s about inside Republican party baseball, and it’s something the Republican party will continue to pay for at the polls, though they are to blind to see it

  23. Bill Maher and pals have a circle jerk on how Glenn Beck is is dangerous…

    I am not a big Glenn Beck fan. I have listened to his radio show a few times. I saw his CNN show about as many times as I have watched Olberman’s (which is around once or twice). I have not seen Beck new show on Fox. I have nothing against Beck, sometimes he makes sense, sometimes not, he is a typical TV populist (like Dobbs, Olberman, O’Reilly, etc.).

    But watch this clip which has the added hypocrisy of Olberman saying why he is a true believer, unlike Beck who is chasing gold (of course what Beck is saying is buy gold because the economy will crash, but you have to forgive retards like Olberman for missing that).

  24. I’m sorry Joe but big “L” libertarians are as nutz as Paulians. Looking for a 3rd party that will splinter the GOP is a redux of Perot/Democrats. And where is Ross today, eh?

    Look to the younger GOPers (mid-40’s and below). There are quite a few good ones, think farm team, that we all need to follow, encourage and support. We also need to shove out some of the Beltway incestuous “leaders” because they ARE more concerned in a short-term “winning” then long term building. Quarterly profits that leave a company weaker in the long term is toxic.

    We need less to figure out one “face of the GOP” while pushing back against the Left’s trying to make Rush or Coulter or whatever Object of Hate du jour they trumpet as the GOP face, and work through these debates on what the GOP stands for, marshall those arguments and start/continue using the media and meeting the Left full on and NOT ALLOWING THEM TO CONTROL THE DEBATE.

    There is a reason that thousands of people showing up with signs are NOT being covered in the MSM at the moment and that’s because they are anti-socialist “tea parties” (I did see a mention of them in the British press!!! Just as that was the only one covering the Obama snubs of Brown). But there will come a tipping point where the MSM cannot help but cover the demonstrations and we need to keep at that and other stuff to push it out to people who don’t pay much attention to political news except around election times.

    And as much as Breitbart got a foul deal on the Maher program, we really need to take this fight to Left venues, over and over again.

    The Alinsky/Ayers model has had a least a couple of decades of working as an inside job – to the point that students are scared shitless to piss off their professors. That is going to backfire on some as the students will not have happy memories of those profs and will reject the indoctrination after they leave. But we need to also support campus groups that run counter to the politically correct and outside groups that help them, like FIRE.

  25. Joe,

    I’m not a Beck fan either, but how long you figure it will be before Republicans join this circle jerk you think? Hasn’t one all ready?

  26. Well, Rahm, I’m positive the Republican party will continue to pay for it at the polls. As well they should. They tried to sell “Maverick” as a real conservative. When no conservative would have ever taken the position he did on campaign finance reform, or praised the fundamental “goodness” of a man who wanted to fundamentally transform the country be reinterpreting the Constitution 180 degrees out from its plain meaning in order to justify his redistributive philosophy. As if “reasonable people” can agree that the the Constitution can contain one thing or it’s exact opposite.

    On the one hand, you have a party that has the strength of certainty to declare certain things “un-American” and other things “patriotic.” On the other hand, you have a party that dares not question anyone’s patriotism, even if you can’t distinguish what one of their elected members in Congress says from what Zawahiri says. And that same party is reduced to hoping the other party succeeds in their socialist endeavors, and distances itself vigorously from anyone who dares not share that hope.

    Patterico says “We are not conceding an inch when we accept the fact that conservative spokespeople need to be clear-spoken” and fails to see the miles of territory he, and the Republican party, has conceded. That should be clear when he says that “Conservatives believe that Americans understand that freedom is the foundation of this country.”

    How can conservatives like Patterico believe that, when they are busy falsely praising people who want to destroy that freedom as “good” people who only “want the best for America?” Doesn’t he know that he himself has diluted that message?

    We shouldn’t be praising such people. We should be getting the message across that such people are un-American, and not abandoning that capability to the anti-Americans.

  27. Patterico’s final word, huh? Since when did he become Al Gore?

  28. Steve,
    The first thing you have to do is stop pretending the Republican party is the answer to any thing. Palin isn’t certain she should even speak before the damned thing. That should tell you all you need to know about it, the way it works, and most of the people that comment in its behalf. Where you can use the party to your advantage, do. Where you can’t, forget it. The big question you need to ask yourself is this. In 2010 will you be appreciably better off with Olympia Snowe, Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter and the rest in charge of Congress? If the answer is no. Well…

  29. BECAUSE THE REASONABILITY IS SETTLED!

  30. Dan sends me this, from S. McCain: “My opinion? I’m not sure that the entire Socratic dialogue, amounting to however many tens of thousands of words over the past two weeks, is as important as any 15-minute segment of the Limbaugh show.”

    Glad to know what I do matters.

    Yup.

  31. If you sign on, it just puts you on the never ending solicitations for donations.

    Years ago, I began writing expletive-laced responses on the forms and mailing them back, RTO. They never acknowledged me, and years later they’re still sending the same crap — “LIBERALS! THE TROOPS! HILLARY! TED KENNEDY! TAX AND SPEND ELEVENTY-ELEVEN!!!!!”

  32. GAEA DEPENDS ON YOUR ANSWERING THESE 1,296 HYPOTHETICALS!

  33. Yeah, we just mean to demean and demotivate. That’s what it’s all about.

    Thanks. I’ve fucking had it.

  34. Fellas,

    A man doesn’t need to be evil to be hated. All he has to be is right. It goes with the territory.

  35. Jeff, I don’t think S. McCain was slamming you, only praising Rush.

  36. Rahm, what gave you the impression I saw the Republican party as the solution? I don’t use Republican and Conservative as if the words mean the same thing.

    If the RNC was in charge of choosing the next Pope, we’d end up with a guy who’d “vigorously” defend the church with Patterico-esque statements like “Conservative Christians believe Christianity is the fundamental basis of Catholocism, but we can’t use that as an excuse to say to hell with everyone who isn’t already rabidly committed to our side.’ Those Satan worshipers are also good people who apparently love their children. So let’s show them what big hearts we have by inviting them into the ‘big tent’ of the Catholic Church and give them a turn at the helm. And let’s wish them every success.”

  37. I went over and looked. I think Judd is right. McCain doesn’t mean any insult to Jeff. I suspect the point we’re all missing here is that the Republican party is desperate to take back control of the House, but only under the same circumstances ( and with the same policies) they have campaigned under for the past ten years. In other words they only want back into power if they can continue to act the way they were acting in 2004. They do not understand that history isn’t going to let them do that now. Any calls to actually change the way the do business, financially or electorally will be greeted with complete terror.

  38. Steve,

    Sorry. Not my intention. But Republicans do use Republican and conservative as if it is the same thing. That’s a problem.

  39. And Republcains have done as much to harm conservatives ( especially fiscal conservatives) in the last couple of years as Democrats, haven’t they?

  40. Come to think of it Republicans have been pretty hard on Republicans with a history of fighting corruption as well.

  41. Comment by Rahm Emanuel on 3/21 @ 12:34 pm #

    The 2010 elections won’t help the Republicans much if they keep this up. So, keep it up guys.

    If the current Administration continues operating in such a shabby fashion, Republicans won’t have to do much of anything, just be there with buckets to pick up the pieces. The political pendulum is starting to crest, if not already swinging back, powered by the ineptitude of Obama, and his mendoucheous cabinet what’s full of idiots.

  42. i agree.

  43. Don’t you love the ‘respect’ Obama’s garnering amongst our enemies? What happened to that ‘repair the world’s relations’ nonsense?

  44. On guard always now..overreaction possible.bad
    With
    Blackberry

  45. What happened to that ‘repair the world’s relations’

    I think it was to “fix” our relations, which most would take as meaning repair but is now being seen as in “I’m going to fix you good” way.

  46. Serr8d,

    Don’t count on that. Ninety Republicans voted for the bill of attainder that just whizzed through the House. The spendulus goes no where without the aid of three Republican Senators. John McCain stopped his whole campaign to help cram TARP down our throat. Both the Standard and the NRO went full blown ACORN on anyone that opposed the TARP plan as well. John McCain brought donw huge bucks from AIG, too. Don’t think for a minute that Republicans aren’t going to be up to their elbows in every disaster that comes our way over the next two years. Maybe they won’t be as hated as the Dems but they are going to be plenty hated. A fact the MSM they are slavishly devoted to will never let us forget. Not only that, Frum and Parker and those like them will still be flitting about reminding the base why it can’t stand the people who claim to represent it. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic…and judging by the Bill of Attainder thing, dangerous. There may very well be no cakewalks for any one in 2010.

  47. 2010,
    Remove, the incumbents.
    Repeal, all the socialist legislation.
    Repair, relations with our freedom loving allies.
    Revive, the free market economy (see #2 above).

  48. Americans are fundamentally reasonable people.

    Yikes.

  49. I think it was to “fix” our relations, which most would take as meaning repair but is now being seen as in “I’m going to fix you good” way.

    Or, as in, “fix” a male pet.

  50. Shorter Jeff:

    “I’m paying for this website, Mr. Patterico.”

    *

  51. “I’ll have done what I can.”

    That is more than most can say. Please keep up the good fight.

  52. “Ninety Republicans voted for the bill of attainder that just whizzed through the House. The spendulus goes no where without the aid of three Republican Senators. John McCain stopped his whole campaign to help cram TARP down our throat. Both the Standard and the NRO went full blown ACORN on anyone that opposed the TARP plan as well. John McCain brought donw huge bucks from AIG, too. Don’t think for a minute that Republicans aren’t going to be up to their elbows in every disaster that comes our way over the next two years.”

    Exactly right. Republicans claim to be conservative, but I can’t see what it is they’re trying to conserve. It certainly isn’t the Constitution. It must be their special perks.

    Meanwhile, our “spokesmen” like Patterico believe they’ve clearly stated something when they say “We prefer freedom to socialism, but those who prefer the exact opposite are just as good and patriotic as we are and only want the best for the country when they advocate socialism. And we certainly aren’t so ‘rabid’ as to suggest the Constitution has anything to say about it one way or the other. Just like it doesn’t say anything about ex post facto bills of attainder.”

    Remember, folks; the true “conservative” would never be so rude as to question the patriotism of any liberal who channels Ayman Zawahiri, or be so radical as to suggest for an instant that Barack Obama worked with and supported people like Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, or Bernardine Dohrn because he actually agreed with their politics.

    Mercy, no!

  53. I can’t believe someone actually likened debating Patterico to Socratic dialog. It rather reminded me of my efforts to explain to my dog why I don’t like him grabbing pieces of frozen shit on our walks and bringing them into the house.

  54. OT, but I wanted to report back from the Obama dealo I went to today. You know, one of those meeting to occur across the country to drum up support for Teh One’s plan?

    No. One. Showed. Up.

  55. Hey Steve, have you got a link to your source for: “We prefer freedom to socialism, but those who prefer the exact opposite are just as good and patriotic as we are and only want the best for the country when they advocate socialism. And we certainly aren’t so ‘rabid’ as to suggest the Constitution has anything to say about it one way or the other. Just like it doesn’t say anything about ex post facto bills of attainder.”

    Or is that a gist you’ve created? Cause in context it looks like a quote. And a quote from Patterico, at that.

  56. This is sooo boring! Why don’t you back to making fun of the way black people talk like you did in your last post?!

  57. Look, this isn’t that difficult. You cannot win if you allow your opponent to define your intent.

    Try to answer this question, “Do these jeans make me look fat?”

    Now understand that the mere fact that that question was used as an example makes me some kind of hypermasculine troglodyte with latent homosexual tendencies which are only bad because anyone who would write such an example is obviously a homophobe as well as a misogynist and is probably stupid. Actually, not probably, they are much more stupid than anyone who would not use that question as an example. Because after all, the person who used that question as an example didn’t understand the question to begin with, and therefore would never be able to answer that question.

  58. Jeff, my point was that Rush is so freaking ginormous, audience-wise, that any argument among bloggers about Rush is relatively insignificant. The notion that Patterico (or anyone else) is in a position to pronounce Rush out of bounds — and have any effect at all on what Rush actually does — is kind of silly. My remark was meant to try to put this intra-bloggatory discourse in proper perspective.

    Intentionality is everything, mais oui?

  59. three Republican Senators

    Yes, we have those three. But hopefully not for long. You’ll have the other 57 Senators and all 246 Democrats in the House who voted for Spendulous to wear as a nice, thickly feathered albatross noose.

    If there’s much of anything left to save after the inevitable trainwreck that’s coming, if Republicans can pick up the ‘Stop spending! Start cutting! mantra, we’ll be well positioned to point to another failed socialist experiment.

    Lots of if’s in there. This President, more than any other in our nations’s history, is on the verge of nation destruction CHANGE.

    Phoenix, ashes?

  60. “Why don’t you back to making fun of the way black people talk like you did in your last post?!”

    Um…uh….uh….um…uh….uh…

    Howzat? Asshole.

  61. Serr8d,

    I agree with you. But like you said, big ifs. Except for one thing. There will be plenty left to save. Not because of Obama, but because the average American is always his best when things are worst.

  62. No…………Really.

    Patterico speaks of the American people as “fundamentally reasonable,” and I believe this to be true.

    If this is true, then what are we worried about? Why should “Bills of Attainder” be any concern at all? Why ought we to be thinking about the socialist spatter all over anything our new administration touches? Or are such statements merely another instance of playing on the heartstrings of the American people in an effort to win their votes, while concealing from them the truth about us all, namely, that we are not fundamentally reasonable but prone to emotional and unreasonable outbursts (witness the furor over AIG bonuses) at every turn? Or put another way, why a Republic for which it stands, rather than a Democracy?

  63. Now you’ve gone and done it. This should set off another multitude of panicked Patterico postings on “Oh why, Oh why, oh why did we elect Rush to office??” and about how it’s upsetting Obama, Rahm, Carville and the rest of the WH anti-Rush team.

    Is there any doubt that if Rahm were to demand Patterico answer “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” that Patterico would quickly confess and churn out hundreeds of posts on why all those evil Republicans need to stop beating their wives, too. We are seriously talking about the easiest-to-dupe dope on the interwebs here and you just have to wonder how many NY bridges and FL swamps Patterico has been talked into buying.

  64. Rahm @61,

    Not sure how true that is anymore.

  65. RTO,

    It is. I know them. They really are the salt of the earth.

  66. Things will be getting worse..

    CNBC should be renamed imaginarium clouded in smoke with mirrors. Debt is being destroyed, as massive amounts of money and credit are being pumped into the economy in a futile attempt to save the un-savable. Unemployment is rising exponentially, as manufacturing and exports fall like an avalanche had hit them. The amount of Treasury and Agency bonds being bought by foreigners continues to fall. Bank and brokerage stocks are off 90% and the market over the past 21 months is off more than 50%. Credit spreads have widened to historic levels. The financial industry is imploding, yet in watching CNBC you would think everything was all right. The answer from the get go should have been to let all of these insolvent companies fail and sort out the mess as best we can. All those behind the scenes are doing is delaying the agony. They are subsidizing failure.

    But, but passing Spendulous gave Obama a few more months, couple years, to ready his socially correct third-worldy (but now we’re not, you know, UNFAIR!) nation. And, FAIL! is not what we ever wanted to hear, right?

    We’re all gonna be wielding shovels before this is over. But I prefer pitchforks, if it’s all the same to you.

  67. I don’t know. Salt of the earth, seems to me doesn’t favor a course of action, by a margio of over 70%, that sends nearly 200,000 service people into harms way and then changes their minds by a similar margin.

    Seems something like 40 to 50% of the population isn’t worth fighting for. And a sufficient portion of the rest aren’t willing to stand up when it counts–not that much better.

  68. “Do these jeans make me look fat?”

    This also represents another problem. The context of the question is that it is between two people who at least like and are courteous to each other.

    To the Left their political opponents are the enemy, other nations or groups meaning and doing harm to the USA are seen as neutral or as allies to the Left.

    For those on the Moderate Right those relations are reversed. Nations meaning us harm are enemies and political opponents are from neutral to friends.

    This is deadly and a losing way of thinking, for both sides. The Left will do no better against enemy nations than the Moderate Right will do against the Left.

    We must start treating others not as we wish to be treated but as they treat us. In the “Tit-Tat” game we are at “Tat” and have been for over 40 years in the political realm.

    The Right, all of it, needs to stop suckling on the “Tit” and start using “Tat” right back at them.

  69. Sdferr, that’s just the impression I’ve gotten from listening to McCain, Patterico, and others.

    My point being, if you didn’t really follow politics, who would you vote for. Democrats, who are certain about what they want to achieve and that they are right and their Republican opponents are not only wrong but evil.

    Or Republicans, who are only really clear about assigning the best possible motives to their Democrat opponents, go out of their way to insist to the voters that Democrats love this country that they fundamentally want to transform and hope loses a war just as much as they do, and can’t wait to reach across the aisle and help them out with their plans.

  70. Mine was a question addressed to form, not content.

  71. “Elegant” politics? Sorry, the only effective and “elegant” politician was Louis XIV. And he constructed that elegance to exercise his will upon the courtiers, who were so bewildered by those demands of elegance that they could not work against him. Otherwise, elegance is crap.

    Jeff G, if nature abhors a vacumn, then why is Obama?

    Or am I thinking of a double meat fuck, with an extra-large fuck, and a side of fuck fries?

  72. Seems something like 40 to 50% of the population isn’t worth fighting for.

    As a SWAG, I’d say that about 20% of the population is on the other side. About 40% are on the right side. And about 40% is…weak. Ill-informed. Poorly educated. Apathetic.

    Unfortunately, the 20% is solidly in control of our media and education system. It’s actually encouraging that so many people still choose the right thing when faced with a clear choice, IMO.

    Many of those who switched sides on Iraq did so because they were told the war was lost and they (rightly) didn’t want to see more American troops die in a lost cause. They were lied to, loudly and repeatedly. That may make them ignorant. It doesn’t make them bad.

    Most of wobblies won’t side with evil when it becomes clear what it is. Note how fast that “charge vets for their service-related injuries” plan went under the bus. Now, that may well come back, but if it does it’ll have to be disguised much better.

    As ill-informed as Joe Sixpack may be, he still doesn’t need a talking head to tell him that charging vets to treat their wounds is wrong. The overwhelming majority of Americans are fundamentally decent people living in a fundamentally decent society.

    The remedy here is to educate that wobbly 40%, not write them off.

    The Internet is helping with that, a lot.

  73. Maybe we need to start the Republican wing of the Republican party.

  74. RTO,

    That sort of cynicism is something you need to fight. A lot of those people soured on the war because Republicans were more than happy to lie down every time a Democratic offered an objection. Remember McCain and Graham during the torture crap? Remember how willing most Republican commentators were at first to throw the Haditha Marines under the bus? And still none of them have peeled the hide off Newsweek for its role in that. Remember how many Republican commentators, and bloggers were happy to give the TNR a pass on the Beachamp thing? Remember how Republican commentators and journalists were willing to man the ramparts to defend the AP during the Jamil Hussein thing? There were some Republican bloggers who were none to keen on Petereus when he was handed the job in Iraq as well. Remember the freaking NRO and Rod Dreher during Katrina. Did any of them ever goo back and jerk a knot in their press colleagues for lying all through that? Hell no. You can’t blame the nation for noticing that your side lost its nerve, and abandoned every fiscal principle it had pretended to have. And it is time you stopped trying. Become a better party and your support firms up. Keep this crap up and well, you get what you deserve.

  75. Could we sell the neologism, “Brigandize ‘em” for “Get Them to Read Their Rights” as analogous to “Mirandize ‘em” for “Read Them Their Rights”, SBP?

  76. “Comment by Rush Limbaugh on 3/21 @ 2:33 pm #

    This is sooo boring! Why don’t you back to making fun of the way black people talk like you did in your last post?!”

    Faux Rush ain’t too bright, is he?

  77. RTO isn’t cynical Rahm, unless, that is, you think James Madison was cynical.

  78. Sdferr: [blush].

  79. And those percentages we’re always tossing out about the American public. “Well forty percent of them are just stupid, etc. etc.” Well guys how many Republican politicians, journalists and bloggers are geniuses? Frum, Parker, Buckley, Brooks the people on the other side of this language debate. The journalists and politicians that went belly up during the Haditha deal. The journalists and politicians that went belly up during Abu Grahib, the journalists and politicians that went belly up for the first TARP deal, the journalists and politicians that went belly up on the Beachamp thing, the journalists and politicians and that went belly up during the Jamil Hussein deal. The journalists and politicians that went belly up during the Palin mugging ( by the way that was a good way to win over women, fellas). The njournalists and politicians that went belly up during the Libby trial…. I could go on sadly. An awful lot of Republicans are just pissed that voters have noticed they’re spineless, and are calling voters stupid for it. Good luck with that fellas.

  80. Any time you decide the people of the nation you want to lead are stupid, useless, base and greedy you are cynical Sdferr. Lord knows the people ain’t perfect, but they are to hell and back superior to any of the people plotting Republican election strategy right now. Once you forget that, and tailor your message to buying votes ( and fooling the rubes) instead of earning votes you are done.

  81. Yes he did and he was right about that… and how many Republicans voted for that nifty little bill of attainder again? You can’t toss your principles in the garbage then blame the rest of the country for it. It’s like an armed robber claiming his victim wanted to be robbed because he didn’t shoot back.

  82. Look I’m not trying to pick a fight with RTO. He’s great. I mean that. But damnit Republicans can’t keep acting like Democrats then raising hell because the voters can’t tell the difference. If Republicans are different they need to be different.

  83. The House of Representatives is fast on the draw. The Senate is more deliberative. (Gawd, I actually said that!)

    It’ll be closer there, in the Senate, I think. It may not pass. All we need is a one or two ‘principled’ Democrats.

  84. This is just an impression, but it’s the impression that I get: Patterico, Allah, etc, are like a marketing team trying to sell a product they don’t really like to an audience they don’t really understand.

    “You know what the kids like today? Fist bumps and Twitter. Can we work that into the message for a 24 hour poll bump?”

    It’s all a short term tactic that will continue to work less and less.

  85. If you had more principled Republicans back in 2004 and 2005 you wouldn’t need any principled Democrats now.

  86. Blowhard.

    Precisely. But don’t just hang it on those two. The whole party has been doing this stuff for ten years.

  87. Rahm, I’m thinking you must be referring to someone other than RTO who so far as I can see, said nothing about “stupid”, at least in this thread. The question I’m looking to, so not to speak any further for RTO, who is perfectly capable of speaking for himself, is, what is human nature and once we’ve got a handle on that, what is the shape of government to be? For the moment, I’m not immediately interested in the retail politics that seems to motivate your concerns. The question of principle, raised in the Declaration and put to work in the Constitution is the place to be looking.

    Why did the Whig party die? Lincoln was a Whig. Why was the Republican party born? Lincoln was a Republican. What did Lincoln know about principle that so many of our fellows seem to have forgotten? Was it that Americans are fundamentally reasonable? Odd, then why go to war, with so much reason at hand to prevent it?

  88. As this is a personal anecdote, weigh it accordingly.

    I’m essentially a libertarian. Just like half the comments you read over at Reason’s Hit and Run, I’m not a big fan of either party.

    When I read Jeff’s essays I feel like becoming more politically active and doing more to stop the growing state (regulations, taxes, speech codes).

    When I read Patterico or Allah (and yes, Rahm, the whole lot of them) I feel like tuning out, thinking, “Just another blow-dried purveyor of soft bromides and easy agreement.” Let’s face it, we don’t trust people who always agree with us and who never stop smiling. It sets the bullshit detector into conniptions. Give me a politician who will plainly say something I disagree with, no candy coating, and I start considering that he’s honest. That’s a start.

  89. Crap–

    Why can’t THIS Rahm Emanuel be running the country instead of the ballerina in Barry O’s ear who is. . . . .

  90. You’re right I wasn’t targeting RTO at all. Because Lincoln had the one thing the Republican party has thrown to the winds. The courage of its convictions. People notice when a party doesn’t mean one damn thing it says. Especially the party’s base. And once again blowhard, precisely.

  91. For whatever reason conservatives are typically more invigorated when playing the role of insurrectionists than when actually governing. We can only hope that after the internecine Republican bullshit dissipates that this train wreck president will finally bring clarity of purpose to everyone.

  92. RAO,

    You got someone a lot better than me. Someone who could pass an FBI back ground check ( which I never could) the Republican intelligentsia is still desperate to kill her. This Jindal fella is pretty good to so long as he stays away from the Republican strategists. You got the people there. You don’t have the party machinery or media.

  93. Somewhere I read that striving to capture popularity of necessity entails telling little lies (and sometimes big ones) to the audience on sale. That “of necessity” can stand here for “everywhere and always”.

    So ok, don’t insult your audience with the truth about them (and ourselves, insofar as being human, whatever it true of them qua human, is true of ourselves as well). This practical injunction does not, cannot apply to our efforts to seek to find those “truths we hold to be self evident”. That just wouldn’t do, would it?

  94. Just heard from Dan. Looks like he’s leaving PW at the end of the month and hanging up his own shingle.

    That’s too bad, but there’s not a whole lot I can do. That means this site will likely go cold from time to time, because there’s just no way I can stay awake until 4 in the morning making sure my arguments — which I find it crucial are understood — aren’t perverted, then get up and post the next day as if I’m fresh and clearheaded.

    So it is what it is.

    And frankly, I’m surprised he put up with me as long as he has. I wish him the best. And I wish myself the strength the keep it going here — but I somehow don’t think I can meet the demands every day for much longer.

  95. I’m sad to hear this. I too want to thank Dan for his care and attention to the site, for his accommodation our desires as well as his own for lo these many years. Bless ya Dan.

  96. Shit.

    Good luck to both of you.

    I’d say more but that’s all I have at the moment. Thanks and good luck.

  97. Remember, Jeff – It makes you stronger.

    Stronger.

    So you should be, like, hella strong by now.

    Thewy, even.

    .

  98. Waa?

    If you need someone to delete trolls… you know, I’m your gal.

  99. Missed an s there Friedy old chap.

  100. Dan: I’ve really enjoyed reading your work here, and you can count on me being a regular at your new site (not that I’m planning to leave here).

    A blog is a personal thing, and this will always be Jeff’s blog. You’ve done a great job keeping things going during the periods that Jeff has had to step away, but you’re still two different people.

  101. I don’t know that this is the time or thread to go into talk about finding a Dan replacement.

  102. you should be over with tom lifson and american thinker

  103. This comes at the perfect time. I don’t think I can commit to posting everyday, so I’m not sure I can ask for ad revenue.

    Tough decisions ahead as of April 1, when my contract expires. Go it alone? The way I’m routinely attacked (now by both sides)? Not bloody likely.

  104. Going for a walk. The 50 lb vest I’m wearing I’ll try not to look at as one of them Whitmerian “metaphors.”

  105. Note how fast that “charge vets for their service-related injuries” plan went under the bus.

    Nothing to do with the general public, everything to do with how it “looks.” Maybe I missed the public outrage and protests. I did see Democarats and Republicans running for cover. Becasue it could have got that far? They took counsel of their fear, not their better angels, so we’ll never know.

  106. Maybe I missed the public outrage and protests.

    Well, the public never heard about it.

    It became clear what would happen if they did, though, and there’s no way to conceal something like that forever. Too many people with veterans in the family.

  107. Become a better party

    Problem there. I haven’t got a party to begin with.

  108. It’s decided, I’m going to listen to some punk rock and get drunk. Punks don’t care that the world eats mediocrity and craps out new episodes of the Celebrity Apprentice, they revel in it.

  109. Jeff’s got the front page back. That’s the most important thing. The OUTLAW movement, which is largely identical to Stacy’s WOLVERINES is the next most important thing, and I’ll always be behind that. I’ll stick around till Jeff’s back from Chicago, but there are those among you–many–who can be just as good at this as I am. Maybe better. And it’s time for you to step up.

    I can do more for the things Jeff and I believe in, which is more than 95% of everything that matters, if I’m posting on my own. I take my inspiration from all of you. All. You’re the self-selected best regulars of any site on the internet, and the reason is not that Jeff is easy. I’m not, either.

    OUTLAW.

  110. “Mine was a question addressed to form, not content.”

    I thought I was clear in terms of form as well. I was referring to “spokesmen.” Those like Patterico but not solely Patterico, and the impression I get from the whole thundering herd.

    The whole issue is bizarre. We have those who claim to speak for conservatives who dilute or distort conservativism, then when the pap doesn’t sell these same spokesmen say there is no market for conservativism.

    There might be, if the majority of people weren’t already convinced that “conservatives” were big government, big spending, campaign-finance and free-speech controlling liberals like the Republican party’s last nominee.

    Whom the establishment pols insisted was a real Reagan conservative.

  111. Okay, so speaking of not letting a crisis go to waste, I want to channel NPR’s fund drive a little bit. Over the course of time, I’ve donated hundreds to this site. But a long time ago, I realized that I’d never be able to donate financially what I owed to Jeff and all of you for its maintenance. So, I decided to write. Granted, this was a congenial solution for me. But I challenge each of you to consider what this place is worth to you, and to donate accordingly. I don’t care if it’s 30 cents per day, or a dollar, or a post now and then. Just keep this place going.

    And let’s find out what the best deal on ad revenue is going to be for Protein Wisdom.

  112. Class act, Dan. I’m lifting my glass to you.

  113. “They have prompted a debate about how conservatives should be operating in a political climate now completely controlled by Democrats.”

    I don’t agree with that. They only control their own behavior. Not mine or yours.(not yet, anyway. The Patricks of the world seem eager to award them control over our language, though. Its a stupid and cowardly gambit. He and David Frum are cordially invited to kiss my ass.

  114. Jeff, I just started reading your site, and don’t want to see it go away.

    I know it must seem forward, but if the fight is important to you try to find a way to keep this site active.

    If family comes first and all of that, then disregard my plea. But you are gaining purchase.

    I think the GOP, barring any epiphany, is moribund. A third party is not all that viable because even if a 3rd party pres were elected he’d need a decent sized contingent of 3rd party congress critters.

    Principled conservatism, spoken with verve and conviction can still move people. The middle can’t be counted on for permanency so chasing the middle, though necessary, has to be done in the same manner as a man who loves a woman, but will not allow her to emasuculate him.

    I’m not moved by Patterico and company one bit. And they lack the power to move others. The power to move has to come first, and that has to come from conviction and a fearless conviction at that. Castigating Rush is a fool’s errand. Breitbart noted in a recent interview that it’s imperative to stand by Rush and Coulter or be found DOA, and I agree. That doesn’t mean disallowing criticism of Rush, it means not rolling over like a fat, greasy seal because of the offended tastes of some.

    1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.

    Don’t let the site go to spent seed, unless you really have no choice.

    Again, forgive my forwardness if it’s offensive to you, and take care.

  115. i’m lifting my glass (of bulleit – yum) too. to dan and all the regular posters and to our host. also, i hit the tip jar. it’s not much. but i hope it helps some.

  116. And let’s find out what the best deal on ad revenue is going to be for Protein Wisdom.

    I can help answer that question. You have my contact…

  117. ccoffer —

    “they” in that sentence refers to Limbaugh’s remarks.

  118. The juxtaposition of D.C. punk rock and OUTLAW!: Minor Threat’s “I don’t wanna hear it”:

    I don’t want to hear it
    All you do is talk about you
    I don’t want to hear it
    Because I know that none of it’s true
    I don’t want to hear it
    Sick and tired of all your lies
    I don’t want to hear it
    When are you gonna realize…

    That I don’t wanna hear it
    Know you’re full of shit

    Shut your fucking mouth
    I don’t care what you say
    You keep talking
    Talking everday
    First you’re telling stories
    Then you’re telling lies
    When the fuck are you gonna realize…

    That I don’t want to hear
    Know that you’re full of shit

  119. I read Patterico a lot more than Protein Wisdom. It’s not that I wish to take Mr Frey’s side or am somehow opposed to Mr Goldstein’s arguments; it’s simply personal habit. But this whole kerfuffle, not about whether conservatives disagree with liberals and the Obama Administration, but the methods by which we should express our disagreements, seems silly — and rather uninteresting — to me. There are so many conservatives, with so many nuances in their points of view, and with so many different ways of expressing themselves, that you can count on it: every method of expressing dissent from the liberal orthodoxy will be employed by someone. Regardless of whom gets in the last word on this, Mr Frey will express himself as he is accustomed to doing, and Mr Goldstein will express himself as he is wont to do. But this bickering between tow reasonably well-known conservatives has reached, and long passed, the point of being counterproductive.

    It’s really time to end this one. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I’m guessing that most of Mr Frey’s and Mr Goldstein’s readers really don’t care who “wins.”

  120. Dana, are you familiar with the Asian game known to the Japanese as Go?

  121. Not in the least.

  122. Actually, sdferr, as a blog buddy, please elaborate, you’re constantly entertaining, I’m wondering where your metaphor will go.

  123. I’m guessing that most of Mr Frey’s and Mr Goldstein’s readers really don’t care who “wins.”

    That’s half well-guessed. But the emphasis is peculiar.

  124. Our esteemed host wrote:

    And frankly, I’m surprised he put up with me as long as he has. I wish him the best. And I wish myself the strength the keep it going here — but I somehow don’t think I can meet the demands every day for much longer.

    As many words as your produce, I think you could probably handle it. Yeah, I know: you’ve got to seek other revenue now, and perhaps get a non-blogging job as well, but this site has too well developed an audience to simply let it lapse. I’ll admit to having been an only occasional reader — I can’t read everything, you know — but this site is too good to die.

  125. Ok. I had hoped to use a game problem called a “ladder” in an analogy is all. Don’t play in (the red circled white stone in dia.1, played just prior to black1), I think, is all that Jeff is getting at. See the forth diagram down on this page for the worst sort of result.

  126. Okay, that broke my brain. Not knowing the rules of Go, I mixed the rules of checkers, chess and Connect 4 together. I now taste colors and smell recursive geometric shapes.

    So, thanks. Bastard.

  127. Here you go for Go, bh.

  128. Thanks for the link but it’s no help. I can no longer read, I now only see the tactile sensation of velvet and the sound of modem squawks.*

    *I sensed your comment with telepathy.

  129. Darleen:

    “The[n] again, Pat obviously has a tough time getting away from being a dda where common sense is rare.”

    That statement says more about you than Patterico, Darleen.

  130. In that case, can I recommend a shot of a decent Scotch as curative?

  131. Dana —

    None of this seems the least bit silly or uninteresting to me. The way we think about what constitutes a legitimate form of interpretation is absolutely crucial to how communication works. In fact, when I hear people tell me they aren’t interested in the foundation upon which everything is built, I can’t help but hang my head.

    I am not interested in winning any argument. I’m interested in correcting a faulty paradigm that has become institutionalized, without which correction we cannot but help to drift toward totalitarianism. It is inevitable based on the kernel assumptions that animate the particular faulty interpretive paradigm that we now seem to feel is some sort of given.

    I only care to argue with Pat inasmuch as he continues to try to pervert my position. And I only do that because I feel it essential that it be presented correctly, and spread by those who understand it.

    I’ve been writing about this stuff for years (see the left sidebar, where the topic has its own category); and no, I don’t accept that there are minor differences between what Pat was initially advocating and what I advocate — and his attempt today to add to my argument something that doesn’t belong needs correcting, because I don’t want anyone considering my argument to rule it out based on how someone else has distorted it. He keeps insisting he understands the argument. But if he did, how to explain the addition of something I have specifically noted is not part of what intentionalism demands?

    I certainly wish I hadn’t had to constantly correct Patterico. But he has kept it up, and this is too important a topic to me — and has been since this site started — for me to let errors go uncorrected.

    This is not about “winning” — at least, not to me. It’s about being correct. That is not a distinction without a difference.

  132. DRJ

    Really? Well, since Patt decided to treat me as if I were hostile witness on the stand where only I was supposed to answer each and every one of his hypos over and over again to his satisfaction and he never ever addressed any of my counter questions, including real life examples, where is that “common sense” that says one might like to stick to debate if that’s what you want?

    Jaysus on a Pony, Patt and I are both county workers and I don’t see how in the world he has missed how this “the listener is ALWAYS right when ‘offended'” has infected our respective work places for the worst.

  133. Banned at Patterico’s.

    After saying I’ve been commenting as Pendleton over there (I stated it in response to daleyrocks much earlier), I was only banned after taking umbrage with a “nk” taking personal, familial shots at Jeff.

    It is what it is.

    Patterico, you feel good about this?

  134. No fairs with the fucking having had it. I miss Dan already and he’s not even gone yet but I was avowed to click more at the Pub and then he came back but I was mostly just peeking with my berry thing. And now you tu Mr. Goldstein? I know what it like to wanna sing and have it beat out ya but you can still cultivate new Dans. Darleen is still game and Mr. Howard and TSI. But mal and rick and psycho and it would be sweet even if you asked nishi for a piece now and again and SarahW is sunshine always and sensible too. I’m missing a lot of people I should mention but I want to go brush my teeth right now.

  135. Speaking of which, over here I’ve commented as blowhard, President Buffalo Bill, George Michael, bust of Churchill, and about 20 other fake names. Never banned. I daresay it was the statement (nk shouldn’t bring Jeff’s family into it) and not the fake name.

    It’s Jer Olson, btw. It’s nice to meet you all.

  136. and btw DRJ, there are many of the attorneys I know, work with and respect that have over the years come to me for advice or just to talk things over because they have confessed to me that they DO feel law school stunted their “common sense”.

    One particular dda, family violence unit, used to regale me with stories of his time in a different county office where he took a common sense approach to many of his cases and another dda colleague that was APPALLED and OUTRAGED he wasn’t “pushing the envelope” as far as he could in prosecuting cases … even when “pushing” those cases would have meant a miscarriage of justice.

    So, I stand by what I have said, IN GENERAL the more advanced degrees in non-math/non-engineering arenas, the less common sense. Some of the most out-of-touch people there are are the academics that entered into the university and have never left it.

    Not having a goodly amount of common sense is not evil or bad, it’s just a lack, a disability as it were. If one can recognize that lack, then one can take the time to double check ones conclusions.

  137. So just, exactly, whom are you going after, Jeff? “The Left” (whatever that may be in your mind), Obama, or Patterico? Won’t you please consider how laughable you are? You cannot purge the “deviantonists” from the party, for not following the party line, when you are not in power.

    J

  138. Will I get banned over here for pointing out that nk is the type of scum who brings another’s family into disagreements?

    No? I didn’t think so.

    Classy Patterico. Stay classy.

  139. nk

    Are you projecting? Because I haven’t seen anything in JeffG’s writing that he wants the “power to purge” people from the GOP.

    WTF??

  140. Here’s what nk had to say over at Patterico’s:

    #

    This is going to be my last word on the subject.

    Hey, just leave Jeff Goldstein alone!

    The man graduated with a Master’s Degree in English and could not find a job.

    He was lucky enough to find a lady to marry who brought home a paycheck.

    He even managed to make himself indispensable by making her pregnant. That guaranteed him a minimum of seven years as “Mr. Mom.”. Taking care of the job security.

    In-between, the poor guy has to find a way to fill his time. Blogging is one way and mixing it up with delicate guys slathered in Jasmine-scented sesame-seed oil is another.

    So just leave him alone. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with me. And I don’t smell like Jasmine.

    Comment by nk — 3/21/2009 @ 7:13 pm

    Between these kinds of comments and suggestions that the only reason I argue with Patterico is because he stole Karl away and I am trying to gin up readership (truth? Karl gave me an ultimatum and I told him to follow through if he must; and when I post regularly, I have plenty of traffic), it’s a regular bash Jeff fest.

    Bringing my family into it, though, is out of bounds.

    Make all the homo jokes you want about me, nk. But bringing my family into this was a bad fucking idea. A really bad fucking idea.

  141. I stated this before, but there is disagreeing with someone, and then going way over the top. You may not agree with Patterico, and vice versa, but the response towards him seems to be over the top, way over the top. I have tried to follow this, but for the life of me, cannot understand what Patterico did to be accused of being a liar and insane. Alleged deleting of comments that were in moderation makes someone a liar and insane? Disagreement with each other does not make people liars or insane. Jeff G and Patterico are my favorite bloggers, bar none. They are also likely 2 of the most tenacious pit bulls, who have long had my respect. I wish there was a way to step back and quit with the friendly fire.

  142. It’s your passive-aggressive style, Goldstein. You give cock-slaps. And then you whine for sympathy when you get them back.

    My “references to your family” were not. They were things you said about yourself, at one time or another, asshole. Making some kind of whining appeal for another thing or another. I was not talking about your family. I was talkiing about you and the way you have defined yourself, publicly, relatively to your family.

  143. Dan – Your yeoman work has been nothing short of stellar. You will be missed, but I will surely stop by your new digs.

  144. nk, you’re a classy individual. I think you fit right in over at Patterico’s.

  145. Hell, I thought if there was a place where I could get some slack for intentionalism it would be here.

  146. Patterico, if that is your real name? (let’s pause theatrically) are you cool with nk? You stated as much (hey, give him a break) when you banned me.

  147. nk, we know what you are. You’ve made it clear.

    Now we’re wondering why Patterico is so cool with you.

  148. Darleen,

    Your original comment was that common sense is rare in ddas, not county employees or lawyers. That’s not only mean-spirited toward Patterico in particular but it’s unfair to generalize to all ddas. But if you truly meant your criticism to apply to all lawyers, then perhaps you should look in the mirror when you say it.

  149. Jeff G: “I only care to argue with Pat inasmuch as he continues to try to pervert my position.”

    I like debates such as the one you’ve had with Patterico, but it seems to me that choosing words like “pervert my position” escalates the tensions. I used to blog with Patterico and I believe I know him well. What I saw was someone trying to understand and clarify your position, not pervert it.

  150. JD

    Patterico came over here more than once and actively asked for people to come back and answer what he had written.

    I did and I answered on point and Patt has brushed me off, won’t answer my questions, and then acts like he does me a favor when he snarks at me.

    I don’t understand, unless its because well, I don’t have a JD and a bar card so I don’t count.

  151. Darleen – I understand that frustration, perfectly reasonable. I just do not see how that morphs into Patterico being a liar or insane.

  152. What I saw was someone trying to understand and clarify your position, not pervert it.

    You didn’t read the first part of this post, did you, DRJ?

  153. It’s your passive-aggressive style, Goldstein. You give cock-slaps. And then you whine for sympathy when you get them back.

    Oh, bullshit. I can take anything you’ve got. I’m not whining for sympathy. I’m pissed that you took it where you did.

    And don’t get familiar with me by using my last name like that. You don’t know me, and you hide behind a couple of initials while you break out the homophobia and parrot the same attacks lefties have lobbed at me for years. You’re no better than TimB.

    Fact of the matter is, there’s not one thing I’ve said to anyone I wouldn’t say directly to them. Whereas you hide and take shots in the bowels of a comment section on another site, while hiding your identity.

    It’s funny that you and a few others over at Patterico’s site have simply declared yourselves holders of the moral high ground. As for this:

    So just, exactly, whom are you going after, Jeff? “The Left” (whatever that may be in your mind), Obama, or Patterico? Won’t you please consider how laughable you are? You cannot purge the “deviantonists” from the party, for not following the party line, when you are not in power.

    — the answer is simple. I’m “going after” anyone who continues to embrace a view of language that will necessarily lead us toward totalitarianism.

    Had you bothered to read what I’ve written on this, I’ve made that clear — even noting here and in an interview on Breitbart TV that this is the kind of argument that will resonate with Democrats who aren’t committed to progressivism, and even to some who are but don’t yet recognize what that entails, structurally. So trying to pretend I’m some conservative blowhard and cheerleader is silly, and nobody here believes that, because they’ve had their disagreements with me.

    If you find it laughable, fine. If you think I’m aiming to “purge” people rather than change their mindsets, also fine. You’re wrong, and you’re entitled to your opinion — but your opinion is ill-informed and your conclusions are based on nothing I’ve said or written.

    Which is why instead of actually arguing, you sit back over at Patterico’s, all safe in your known anonymity, and take personal shots at me.

    I deplore people like you, and when they think poorly of me I take that to mean I’m doing something right.

  154. DRJ —

    What Darleen just said.

  155. Okay, I’m a fair sort. I don’t know. Now I’m not banned. Immediately after his request that I fuck off I typed “Okay”. Denied. It had never happened to me before. So I typed “Okay” again. Denied. Raised a stink about it over here and then suddenly I could comment over there again.

    His fault? His blog’s fault?

    I honestly don’t know and that’s about as evenhanded as I can be.

  156. DRJ

    In case you didn’t catch it, I’m not an attorney, but I work with them and am friends with them and if you want to check my bonafides, drop me an email and I’ll give you contact info for some of them, including ones that I had as baby dda’s and are now judges.

    I’ve met Pat and I admire much of his writing, and I don’t doubt his abilities as a DDA, but he is wrong in this and he certainly hasn’t been open to anyone that doesn’t answer his hypos to his preconceived notions.

  157. All that, bh, is less perplexing than to learn that get off my blog means not, you are banned but the host has suggested that he is not worth talking to.

  158. JD,

    Unfortunately, it would appear at this point that Pat is not really interested in understanding Jeff’s thesis. The most charitable interpretation that makes sense to me is to suggest that Pat is trying to rescue his original argument regarding Rush from its own weakness; a weakness exposed by Jeff’s ongoing work here. Pat’s argumentation has grown increasingly tortuous and when coupled with the fact that he has studiously ignored several intelligent and polite interlocutors makes it difficult to continue to impute good faith. Another interpretation that would seem to fit the facts is that there’s some sort of neurosis involved, and while that is not a particularly charitable interpretation, it doesn’t seem surprising that, out of exasperation at being continually misunderstood in such an aggressively convoluted manner, one might advance said interpretation.

    If there is a way to reinforce the popular perception of lawyer-as-sophist, Pat’s approach to this debate might just be the exemplar.

  159. Darleen and Jeff G:

    I’ve tried to read these discussions as they’ve proceeded, but I doubt I saw everything. These are Patterico’s words that I assume you find offensive (and correct me if I’m wrong): “But we can’t use that as an excuse to say to hell with everyone who isn’t already rabidly committed to our side.”

    Is that materially different than Jeff G.’s opinion, the one he linked above and said it represents his argument, entitled: “How I learned to stop worrying and love the f-bomb”? The title suggests an intensity consistent with Patterico’s conclusion.

  160. Yeah, Sdferr, that’s a good point. Maybe I was raised too well. I did take “get off my blog” to mean “get off my blog”.

    I was just surprised that I wasn’t able to type “okay” on two separate occasions afterwards.

  161. I honestly don’t know and that’s about as evenhanded as I can be.

    That stuff happens quite often with me and others, as I have pointed out on Patterico’s blog. It’s the commenting software, not Patterico.

  162. DRJ,
    Howdy! Nice to see you here!

  163. Yes, DRJ. Nowhere have I said we need not consider what others not “rabidly committed to our side” might think — only that if they are thinking that way because we allow ourselves to be resignified by others (some do so innocently, others with malicious intent), that is our fault, and we should refuse to allow it.

    I don’t want to argue the whole thing again, but read the Bennett piece for a bit more context to the intentionalist position.

  164. Darleen,

    I thought you were a lawyer, probably because of the comments you’ve made about your work. I’m sorry your dealings with some lawyers made you question their common sense. I know many lawyers who have common sense and most of them vote Republican!

    And thank you for your clarification about your opinion of Patterico’s position as dda.

  165. The title suggests an intensity consistent with Patterico’s conclusion.

    A compelling analysis if you take the title as the sum total of the argument.

  166. Jeff G,

    Yes, I’ve read the Bennett article and I recall your opinions about how to handle the innocent, malicious and (based on my recollection) the uninformed. Would you agree with what Patterico said if the word “rabidly” were deleted, or is it still a perversion?

  167. Mr. Fikes, you seem like a good guy to me so I say cheers and all the best to you.

  168. Hi, Bradley. It’s a treat to run into you.

  169. My “references to your family” were not. They were things you said about yourself, at one time or another, asshole. Making some kind of whining appeal for another thing or another. I was not talking about your family. I was talkiing about you and the way you have defined yourself, publicly, relatively to your family.

    Oh, so I defined myself as having a masters and not being able to find a job? Is that before or after I was teaching while actively blogging — up until the time my son was born?

    Lie.

    It was I who said I was luck enough to marry someone bringing home a paycheck? Because we got married the summer after she graduated college. No career at that point.

    Lie.

    It was I who said I “managed to make himself indispensable by making her pregnant” — that “that guaranteed [me] a minimum of seven years as ‘Mr. Mom.’?” That doing so was “taking care of the job security”? Because actually, I only eventually decided to leave teaching because my wife made more money by the time our son was born — and because I could make money doing this that would equal what I’d be making were I to stay teaching and pay for full-time child care. As a writer, I had the better options for making money from home. And my kid has had a parent around his entire life. So —

    Lie.

    Blah blah gay innuendo.

    Lie.

    You’re a fucking liar and a pussy hiding behind a screen name. You came after me and my family. And as I’ve said, I don’t forget that.

  170. malaclypse the tertiary,

    Like judging a book by its cover, I agree it would be unfair to judge a post by its title. But titles give us clues about what follows and how the author wants us to think about what he writes.

  171. DRJ

    How do you read this:

    Because even were Republicans to begin winning elections based on their newly found ability to negotiate a hostile media bent on misrepresenting them, they’d be compelled to maintain the practice of carefully parsing their words, which means they’d always be at the mercy of those looking to attack and discredit. And such has the effect both of chilling speech and of determining in what way a message must necessarily be delivered.

    And when your opponents are making the rules, you are necessarily playing their game.
    To put it more forcefully, it is a fact of language that once you surrender the grounds for meaning to those who would presume to determine your meaning for you, you are at their mercy. […]

    If we are worried about “undecided voters” who get nothing but soundbite news, we must work to change the culture of how news is delivered. For my part, I don’t want to have to measure every word I say with the thought in mind that somebody is going to take me out of context. Instead, I’d like to be free to say what I mean, and when my meaning is obvious, I would like to know that honest people have my back — and will tell dishonest people to stop being dishonest, and uninformed people that they need to smarten up before they presume to join the conversation.

    and get

    But we can’t use that as an excuse to say to hell with everyone who isn’t already rabidly committed to our side.

    Really, DRJ, it’s as if Patterico was channeling Amanda Marcotte in one of her infamous “shorter” blurbs.

  172. Would you agree with what Patterico said if the word “rabidly” were deleted, or is it still a perversion?

    It’s still a perversion. We can choose to say the hell with them, if that’s our rhetorical strategy, or we can try to engage them in some way. And of course, saying to hell with them often works as a way to bait them into having the conversation.

  173. Hey, Patterico knows nk (in an internet sense) and stands by him.

    Case closed.

  174. It seems less like an academic disagreement now that I know that.

    But, them’s the breaks.

  175. Oh, does he.

    Excellent. So those kinds of manufactured personal details about someone’s life, attributed to that person by an anonymous internet commenter with an axe to grind, that’s part of the whole “civility” thing?

    Bitchin’

  176. But titles give us clues about what follows and how the author wants us to think about what he writes.

    Amazingly, I’m familiar with the exotic concept of the title. You helpful rejoinder manages not to address my point however which I’ll not repeat out of a genuine desire not to show disrespect for your intelligence.

  177. Darleen wrote:
    Really, DRJ, it’s as if Patterico was channeling Amanda Marcotte in one of her infamous “shorter” blurbs.

    That was my impression as well.

  178. Darleen,

    There have been so many words written that it’s hard to know what anyone thinks. I’m just trying to understand what is right and wrong about what Patterico wrote.

    Jeff G,

    I agree we don’t need to rehash the argument, but is it correct that you believe Patterico’s summary was incomplete? E.G., might you “say to hell with everyone” who is malicious or insincere but you would take a different approach to the innocent/uninformed?

  179. I like debates such as the one you’ve had with Patterico, but it seems to me that choosing words like “pervert my position” escalates the tensions. I used to blog with Patterico and I believe I know him well. What I saw was someone trying to understand and clarify your position, not pervert it.

    It seems to me you don’t understand the definition of the word pervert in this context.

  180. Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
    Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great!
    Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev’ry test
    O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.

  181. Jeff I hope you keep blogging. You are right about language and how it is being perverted. And if someone brought my family into a fight, I would be beyond upset.

  182. That beats egyptian jokes all to hell, hf.

  183. DRJ

    I’ve always been upfront with my background … I’ve worked over 10 years in the DA department, and have been the “go to” clerk for over 30 dda’s. I’m now with Probation as a Supervisor but still maintain my contacts with my friends in the DA office. They are family to me.

    I know lawyers with common sense too, but it is a rare commodity, rarer among them then in non-lawers. I would say I have found more “common sense” among engineers, nurses, and any number of service professions where MAs and Phds are unknown. My late paternal uncle was scary intelligent – photographic memory, multiple degrees including a couple Phds … man could barely negotiate everyday life. Sort of the “absent-minded professor” syndrome.

    I’ve also found that some professionals have a harder time leaving their work persona AT work. This sometime happened with my own dad — corporate ad exec — save all it took was The Look from my mom plus “Dave, you are NOT at work” and that changed on a dime. Pat won’t be shook from approaching this as a prosecuter and it certainly has put my teeth on edge.

  184. malaclypse the tertiary,

    I understood your point and I’m sorry if my reply was too mundane. I rarely comment here and I’m not adept at the quick-witted replies I’ve noticed from PW’s commenters. I’m more of a plodder so I appreciate your tempered response.

  185. I know how to do the clap-clap-clap part too, Sdferr but I’m saving it for the talent show. I just wanted to help make DRJ feel welcome. She is nice I remember from over at Mr. Patterico’s.

  186. I agree we don’t need to rehash the argument, but is it correct that you believe Patterico’s summary was incomplete? E.G., might you “say to hell with everyone” who is malicious or insincere but you would take a different approach to the innocent/uninformed?

    That would depend on the circumstances and context. Most likely I would call them out on the maliciousness and dishonesty. That’s not saying to hell with them, that’s engaging them.

  187. Just in case that moderation software starts acting up again over at Patterico’s:

    I understand nk’s intent.

    I will not allow his intent to be seized by people seeking to twist his words.

    He intended to be provocative, and it was successful.

    nk is a good guy, and honest. I stand by him. But then, I have the context of knowing him (through the Internet) for years. Others don’t. And so, they will certainly defer to my superior understanding of his intent.

    Anything else would be rank fucking hypocrisy. And I know there are no hypocrites here.

    Comment by Patterico — 3/21/2009 @ 10:40 pm

  188. Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand,
    With their summits bathed in glory, Like our Prince Immanuel’s Land!
    Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills,
    As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?

  189. Take away the sarcasm and I’m still seeing the clear statement.

  190. Darleen,

    I come from a family of engineers and teachers, and I completely agree there is a world of difference in the way they and lawyers think and approach problems.

    happyfeet,

    Was that for me? Either way, many thanks for one of my favorites.

  191. 189 isn’t really clear, blowhard. Is that you or are you quoting Patterico?

  192. Yup – that was for you and also I just got back today from the Coastal Bend sort of area is what they call it. It was springtime there and I miss Texas very much just now.

  193. After the colon B Moe, it was all a quote.

  194. What Sdferr said.

  195. Jeff G,

    I’m all for engaging people but it’s late and this debate is seemingly on its last legs. I don’t want to prolong it but I appreciate your response. Good night and best wishes, PW folks.

  196. After the colon B Moe, it was all a quote.

    Then Patterico doesn’t get it even more than I thought.

  197. “Then Patterico doesn’t get it even more than I thought.”

    That, and, well, he’s become an inflamed asshole.

    Shockingly enough, he’s now been quoted by the New York Times. Strange New Respect time.

    For those of you who didn’t see the Andrew Sullivan or David Frum conversion as it happened, here’s your chance. Pay attention.

  198. I’m 34. Life shouldn’t seem so predictable yet.

  199. quoted by the NYT, ouch.

  200. So Obama and nk are “good” in Patterico’s view?

    Hmph. Someone needs their morality meter recalibrated, IMHO.

  201. Oh, they are all tearing into me over there. It’s a delight.

  202. Here’s Patterico’s latest:

    Local radio host Larry Elder had a term: “victocrat.”

    It’s reserved for those who play the victim

    Pretending that one’s family has been attacked is a very effective ploy for the Victocrat.

    Brings in the sympathy and the bucks.

    But I don’t think it has happened here. And I won’t let my friend nk be smeared.

  203. “It’s a delight.”

    Yeah, and now Patterico’s acting obtuse. Amazing.

    I’d set him straight in the comments but he’s conveniently asked me not to comment. Funny how that works.

    With good faith like this who needs gonorrhea.

  204. Comment anyway. I have no support.

  205. You have support.

  206. More from Patterico, the civil and honorable man of good standing who tirelessly fights the falsehoods in the LA Times:

    #

    Now they’re blabbering about how I was quoted in the NY Times — with Careful Attention paid to 1) whether I’ve ever been quoted there before (answer: yes), and 2) why I’m being quoted (answer: to say Obama has a tin ear and is a poor communicator).

    So, nk: it has now been brought to my attention that your claims about Jeff’s family are ones that he says are inaccurate. I don’t want to seize your meaning from you; can you clarify it for me? I can certainly see where a *reasonable* person might be offended by your words, but I’m not sure that I should care about that. Perhaps you meant to praise Jeff and we just attached the wrong meanings to your words. Perhaps you were telling it like it is. Can you clarify for us?

    Comment by Patterico — 3/21/2009 @ 11:58 pm

    Yes, Nick. Can you?

  207. Glad to see he’s monitoring the comments here, though. TO PROTECT HIS HONOR!

  208. You know what? I can’t comment at Patterico’s. As a child an old woman told me that if I thrice spoke to a sophist and his pet idiot I’d become no better myself.

    Patterico, you’re reading this thread, good. I question your morality if you’d stand by one such as nk. I know you’re upset, but this?

    It might sound like a small criticism at this moment but that’s what you should think about when you calm down.

  209. I like that their attacks on me have been completely consonant with the way the nasty lefty blogs always attack me. They learn, these fellows. They admire.

  210. “They admire.”

    Yeah. I gotta say, I’m a little creeped out.

  211. I refer back to comment #119.

  212. nk is channeling Andrew Sullivan and Patterico is ascribing it to a weird sense of humor??

    oh.good.lord. talk about tin ears

  213. What’s amazing is that this post is really just another rally cry for fighting a faulty view of language. That they take it so personally is telling. I mean, I’m not the one who told him to wander into territory where he was likely to get his ass handed to him.

    In fact, I kept trying to warn him off. But, well, he suffered the indignity of being shown up over Rush. Must dedicate the next week to rectifying that taint to his armor.

    It’s like debating the Red Cross Knight.

  214. I was gonna ask him if he maybe thought saying something was “quite revealing” was at all revealing but I gotted tired. ok. Me I sleep perchance to not dream of having breakfast with Alyson Hannigan where we decide to meet up later after I play golf and then I get to the golf course and realize I don’t have her cell. And also I don’t play golf. Chantix is just stupid weird like that.

  215. It’s just a flesh wound! I’m invincible!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjEcj8KpuJw

  216. It’s easy to notice that nk is a bit off.

    But, Patterico though, I wouldn’t have guessed this development. I wouldn’t have. Even when we were going at it hammer and tong.

    I hope everything is alright with him.

  217. He closed the thread, saying I issued a death threat. Tongue in cheek, is my guess, but he’s still turned out to be an awful person. His reputation is undeserved.

    As is mine.

    People confuse conviction with bullying. Wear a fucking helmet, people.

  218. Okay, just for a real time bit of evidence? Patterico is off his rocker. His ending implication was a convenient bit of fiction.

    I read the thread and took away no such meaning.

  219. One more time to be clear: I read the whole thread in real time and find Patterico to be trumping up a charge.

    I hope Patterico is alright, like I said, he’s acting differently than normal.

  220. I like how he brought back the Timb trope that I’m just trolling for some crazy blog money. Sneaky that way. Money. Always looking for those angles I am.

    Of course, I’m biologically Italian. Does that change things, I wonder?

  221. Well, Jeff, you’re a Jew. You like the money, right?

    I assume that’s what they were saying.

  222. Pat went after Sully over the Trig stuff like a bull dog … and then he brushes off what nk said?

    and Pat was so eager to find a “death threat” he ran right by hf’s funny about Jeff “threatening the tree” as in threatening THE TREE (not threatening a person, threatening to hang the tree)

    what the fuck is wrong with Patterico? nk is just another Sully.

  223. HOW DARE YOU CALL HIM ANTI-SEMITIC! WHY, FEEL THE BURNING FIRE OF HIS OUTRAGE!

    He has brought that up on several occasions now.

    Is it a crime now that people are willing to contribute to my site? I mean, I haven’t asked in a while, but still? Should I try maybe to make my prose dull? Talk in conservative bromides?

    Probably worth a lot more that way, to be honest.

  224. Of course, I’m biologically Italian

    Oh, that explains the Mafia-style “threats”, eh?

  225. SHIT! I actually have a bottle of Ouzu here.

    I need to go do some shots and maybe watch some TV. No heavy bag tonight. Probably best: shoulders sore from the 40 lb sledge and the 2 miles I did in the weight vest.

  226. G’night, you fans and friends of the DEVIL!

  227. Again. I’m sorry I feel the need to say this because of Patrick Frey’s bizarre actions but here goes:

    I read the whole thread as it happened. I found nk to be creepy and worrisome with the family references and Jeff’s response to be perfectly understandable. I’ve been reading Patterico for awhile and have defended him on occasion on this blog and at one other even while disagreeing with him. So, I’m surprised at his reaction to the comments.

    I’m typing this comment at 2:55 am central, 3-22-09. JerOlson@gmail.com

  228. Just went to scan the thread in question at Patterico’s.

    Patterico is being a complete asshole. He’s consistently misinterpreted what Jeff has said, and it sure looks awful like he’s colluding with this “nk” twit to try to gin up false accusations against Jeff so he can shut off a debate he got himself into but can’t get himself out of without looking like an ass. Unfortunately, in so doing he looks like an ass.

    I’ve spent a fair bit of time enjoying Pat’s prior posts, but he’s gone off the deep end. This particular “nk” business is really, really crass. Jeff cracks a joke about HIMSELF being hanged (for knowing/mentioning someone else’s real name), and Patterico bans him for “threatening” nk.

    That’s a FALSE ACCUSATION, Patterico. And it’s bullshit, and I now think I was wrong all these years and you’re just a dishonest lawyer after all. I’m going to remember him as “that lawyer who can’t understand English and makes false accusations against people on the internet.”

    On top of all that, it’s the smarmy, passive-aggressive attitude that pisses me off the most. That’s one thing I do not tolerate well, people going underhandedly on the offense and then crying victim when it comes back at them.

    Unfortunately, Allahpundit+Patterico on traffic will guarantee that a lot of people will get headlines that make Jeff look like he’s to blame. The price of being an outlaw, I guess.

  229. Does Pat, perhaps, tip the bottle when he blogs late into the night? Some people get wild and some just get mean.

    Just saying.

  230. Catching up in my morning.

    “Probably worth a lot more that way, to be honest.”

    Short term gain. Long term pain.
    Digging your own grave means you live a bit longer but gives them the tempting option of burying you alive. So what have you gained really?

  231. “the smarmy, passive-aggressive attitude”

    AH, that is the descriptor I was looking for. Thanks for that. What you siad.

  232. G’night, you fans and friends of the DEVIL!

    Please allow me to introduce myself.

  233. Our esteemed host wrote:

    The way we think about what constitutes a legitimate form of interpretation is absolutely crucial to how communication works. In fact, when I hear people tell me they aren’t interested in the foundation upon which everything is built, I can’t help but hang my head.

    As someone who has been involved in construction for most of my adult life, I certainly recognize the importance of a foundation; without one, the structure above it fails. But the question necessarily becomes: are we talking about a foundation here, or a method of construction?

    To me, the foundation consists of a solid concrete of our basic principles, the concepts on which we build conservative thought: the primacy of the individual over the coercive power of the state, the belief that free enterprise produces wealth and that socialistic, political motives harm economic growth, and that people ought to be free in their beliefs, not being punished by the collective for what they think. That is the concrete out of which the foundation is built.

    This seems to me to be an argument not over the foundation on which we all want to build, but the building methods to be employed in creating the structure above. Just as there are many building trades involved in the construction of a house — would you buy one with just the framing and no drywall? — so there are many different methods of constructing our arguments, all of which can be part of the whole. The problems arise when stupid things happen, such as the carpenters driving a nail through the plumbing pipes.

    Well, we’re each fond of our own kind of construction. Professionally, concrete is my job, but without the electricians, the house wouldn’t be much. Everyone here wants to build the same house, yet we’ve got the DRJ and nk — both of whom I like — battling it out with Darleen and Jeff and blowhard. This looks like how Pandagon readers slam commenters whom they see as trolls (I’m one of the Pandagonistae’s least favorite trolls), and it’s an argument amongst people who believe the same fornicating things!

    Somehow, some way, two fine bloggers are winding up talking past each other. If you claim that Patterico is misstating your position, perhaps your position is somehow unclear to him. I wish you two would just meet in the middle — a casino in Reno, perhaps? — and figure out what the heck y’all are fighting about.

    And, to be fair, I’ll post this comment on Patterico as well.

  234. OK, no I won’t; he closed the thread. :(

  235. “To me, the foundation consists of a solid concrete of our basic principles, the concepts on which we build conservative thought:”

    None of which is possible without language to express and convey to others the meaning of those principles and concepts. Language is the vehicle to transmit thoughts, necessary to even be able to think them ourselves. This is what the Left has been attacking for decades. They wish to change the way language works in order to be able to control even the thoughts we can have internally.

    We will still have the words such as “freedom” but they will be hung on a different thing, such as “slavery”. This is what Orwell was on about.

    This gets into a “meta” thing of using language to talk about the use of language. I wish I could express this clearer. I’m pressed for time as Church is to start soon.

  236. Comment by Carin on 3/22 @ 5:40 am #

    Does Pat, perhaps, tip the bottle when he blogs late into the night? Some people get wild and some just get mean.

    Just saying.

    Carin (or Carrin if you prefer), I think you are right.

  237. A comment I posted on Patterico said:

    Ahhh! Well, my last comment hit the moderation queue, and being Sunday morning and all — and just 6:32 on the left coast where our esteemed host resides — it might stay there for a while.

    But I wish to posit an uncomfortable thought here: in this argument (or at least the argument on the closed thread that seems to have metastasized here), Mr Goldstein has won.

    Why do I say that? As nearly as I can tell, after all of the permutations through which this argument has gone, our host took the position that we must be more mindful of our audience if we wish to be persuasive, while Mr Goldstein was saying that our host’s argument surrendered the terms of the debate to our enemies, and allowed them to control the language.

    Yet this debate has devolved into precisely the terms that our host spoke against. Whether someone’s words can be interpreted as internet death threats is debatable, but I rather doubt that Mr Goldstein ever intended to fly to the Windy City to assault nk. Nevertheless, the tenor of the debate is exactly that against which our host took his initial opinion!

    Like Sylvester Stallone said to Brian Dennehy in First Blood, when he had a knife to the sheriff’s throat, Let it go.

  238. To me, the foundation consists of a solid concrete of our basic principles, the concepts on which we build conservative thought:

    To which you conclude:

    Somehow, some way, two fine bloggers are winding up talking past each other. If you claim that Patterico is misstating your position, perhaps your position is somehow unclear to him.

    Chose one of these statements or the other, Dana. And see #230 for the nub of it. I had a duplicate reaction and I approve that comment.

  239. GeoffB: Ahh, well now you’re getting into Plato’s Theory of Forms, in sort of a reversed direction. But as to the foundation, neither Patterico nor our esteemed host here disagree on those basic principles.

    However, I have to admit: I’m not sure that my contribution to this discussion is helping matters.

  240. JHoward wrote:

    Chose one of these statements or the other, Dana.

    I needn’t, since they refer to two different things. On the basis of conservative philosophy, Messrs Frey and Goldstein are in very substantial agreement. This is an argument about how to express and advance those principles.

  241. Then your analogy is flawed.

  242. Come on, Patterico. We are all just electrons floating around in Al Gore’s internets. The real me has nothing but the best will for the flesh and blood Jeff Goldstein and I have no doubt that he feels the same way about me.

    Comment by nk — 3/22/2009 @ 1:29 am

    I have doubts.

    Comment by Patterico — 3/22/2009 @ 1:49 am

    Really, why does Patterico have doubts? Or those doubts a little deeper than about Jeff G’s intent?

  243. I see Jeff as Churchill and Pat as Chamberlain.

  244. I just left a comment at Patterico’s (who yesterday told me to ‘bugger off’ on RS McCain’s thread), but I’ll repost it here to save breath..

    I enjoyed a night out on the town and missed this session, this so-called ‘death threat’, and I see it’s not here anymore. So much for evidence preservation and presentation. Now I have only (extremely) biased commenters (and site owners) to rely on. We know where that goes, don’t we?

    nk’s comments seem extremely dickly to me. I don’t know him (her) but going where he (she) went wasn’t called for. The jasmine – provolone comments above were only the start of a progressive (KOS-DU styled) degeneration. You, nk, have PW in your sidebar; you should know what Jeff’s been through. To go there as you did is base.

    Patterico, I’ve lost respect for you.

    Yeah.

    Andrew Sullivan, without the provolone.

  245. I cant’ tell you how important I think this fight is. Advancing and/or recapturing solidity here is nothing less than battling for truth. I’m a big of fan of Arippa’s Dilemma, so I’m no infallablist. But fallabilism does not imply futility of fight.

    I love these quotes:

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer

    “If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.” Emile Zola

  246. Comment by Dana on 3/22 @ 7:00 am

    Dana, I’ve used the construction analogy before during this whole debate but differently. A house stands because of someone’s will — their INTENT. All the mechanics of construction – pouring of concrete, use of hammer/nails/drywall, — are methods to express that intent to build a house. You can do a lousy job out of lousy skills even if your intent is sincere, or you can build a house that LOOKS good but is lousy because your intent was to deceive, or you can build a sound house that someone who doesn’t like you personally will declare lousy because they don’t like the color of the paint you put on the walls.

    Patterico is being the HOA that demands you keep your house color at one of 5 shades of beige least you offend.

  247. This seems to me to be an argument not over the foundation on which we all want to build, but the building methods to be employed in creating the structure above.

    Jeff’s argument doesn’t have to address political principle at all, I think, Dana, though he describes his own political principles as Classical Liberal ones, they are not the point writ large. His argument is about language, human speech, every language everywhere, whether ours, a Communist Chinese’s, or an ancient Greek’s. The paradigm he fights against has built into it an inherent contradiction which, when unnoticed, quickly becomes a trap of distorted intent and the easy lie.

    Under the terms of your building analogy, Jeff’s argument is more akin to the effects of gravity being a precondition of every action any builder may take, and the paradigm he fights against likenable to an assumption of levitating everything into place as though in zero g.

  248. For clarity, I ought to have added to that last sentence this clause: “Under the terms of your building analogy, Jeff’s argument is more akin to the effects of gravity being a precondition of every action any builder may take, and the paradigm he fights against likenable to an assumption of levitating everything into place as though in zero g all the while your own feet stay miraculously affixed to the earth.”

  249. Dear Jeff,

    I don’t think these things can get out of hand if people quit typing soo much. Also being someone who’se been threatened, had my children threatened with beheading(live in the middle east), been shot at, been stabbed, you need to learn that the NK thing was a beautiful nasty poke at someone who can be as nasty as he wants and quite frankly has been.

    Your conduct in that thread trying to out insult someone did not do you any honors, did nothing to restore this now vision of a frustrated blogger out of control.

    I had great sympathy for you when your kid was attacked by that whack job and I admire your tenacity – even in the face of total ridicule. If you truely are a conservative for a cause – then you will more greatly understand why Patterico and others like him do and say what they say.

    If you are trying to be the next essayiest in chief – good luck – but I’ll give you a hint – talent only goes as far as content.

  250. Darleen, Patterico has expressed his opinion that argument in certain forms is less than effective, and may even be counterproductive. That is his opinion, to which he has a right. Our host here has said that to take Patterico’s advice is to surrender part of our arsenal, and, inter alia, makes our arguments less effective. That, too, is an opinion.

    And with freedom of speech, and internet publication open to all, both “sides” will continue expressing their views in the manners which seem more effective to them; Mr Frey will not be able to silence Mr Goldstein, nor will Mr Goldstein be able to force Mr Frey into making his arguments in any fashion other than as Mr Frey sees fit. The validity of the conflicting opinions cannot be tested, because we won’t be able to work solely with one form, and then the other, to measure the response. Heck, it’s at least possible that the most effective thing conservatives could do would be to do nothing, and let the libs fall flat on their ugly faces.

    But one thing of which I am certain: this argument, in which neither side can prove its opinion to be the correct one, has gotten wholly counterproductive. We need to fight the liberals, not each other.

  251. We all want to fight the dirty socialists Dana but it’s a question of one’s proper tone. Does one say fie on you, dirty socialists, good men all though you may be or does one say get your Soros sodomized ass out of my White House you deranged dirty socialist piece of shit?

  252. That is his opinion, to which he has a right.

    Who is taking away Patterico’s right to an opinion? But when he mischaracterizes someone else’s opinion, through ignorance or malice, should he expect no argument in return?

    As I said up thread to DRJ, Patterico’s “summary” of JeffG’s argument is a snarky Amanda Marcotte “shorter” blurb. Startlingly beneath what I have come to expect of Pat.

    nk is just another Andrew Sullivan.

  253. Borrowing from one of David Thompson’s questions [he asking about this: “I quoted a chunk of Derrida prose that’s hilarious nonsense. I’ve defied several Derrida enthusiasts to explain what this particular passage means, or might mean if you squint and tilt your head, but no-one has managed to tell me.”] in the piece Dan linked at the Pub today, I wonder, is this description in any way akin to what was going on at Patterico last night, with the prank aimed at Jeff?

    **Much of the essay is willfully incomprehensible, like some Dadaist prank that no-one dares to mention. And there seems to be a taboo against even entertaining the possibility that such a thing could happen, and happen quite often, with little if any protest from colleagues and students. It’s unthinkable that such a con could be perpetrated, and maybe that’s why it goes on happening.

    I sure appears to be some sort of game (played mostly in collusion by Pat and nk) to me, with the rules and goals unstated, though alluded to here and there as it ran its course.

  254. Patterico has expressed his opinion that argument in certain forms is less than effective, and may even be counterproductive. That is his opinion, to which he has a right. Our host here has said that to take Patterico’s advice is to surrender part of our arsenal, and, inter alia, makes our arguments less effective. That, too, is an opinion.

    I have been specific as to when and how certain rhetorical moves cede ground, and moreso, I have shown why and how. I have never said anyone has to argue a particular way; just that certain conditions be met for what gets described as interpretation.

    Having said that, trying to shape your argument so that it makes it more difficult for you to be taken out of context is a losing battle. And when, in order to try to do you so you end up either diluting your argument’s force or becoming weary from the efforts to communicate, you have let your opponent’s control the battlefield of ideas.

  255. The Left demands any debate exist in a world were consequence is never acknowledged, where pet theory is accepted as truth, and victimhood is a prerequisite for status. Where basic concepts hold reciprocal meanings, there is only win or lose.

    If you don’t agree then you are shunned; nay, not just shunned, but ridiculed and destroyed should your position be deemed a threat. So there is no debate with the Left. There is only victory over or defeat at the hands of the Left.

    If you decide to fight somebody, then call them up and ask where to show up, what time to be there, and what weapons you are allowed to bring, you shouldn’t be surprised to have your ass handed to you.

    This ass handing over is exactly what the Republican partisans seem bent on seeing happen. Patterico is a lawyer?

    Did somebody detonate a stupid bomb in low orbit over Kansas and we just missed the flash?

    Bills of attainder, trying to kill the all volunteer military, chasing away the competent/ethical financial types after the bad have already safely parachuted away, rewriting HS doctrine to conform with the worst flights of black helicopter conspiracy buffs, and Nancy and Harry’s Immigration non-enforcement Road Show…

    Something’s got to give. Something is going to give.

    And I’m off to check zeros on rifles. Enjoy.

  256. Darleen,

    Jeff’s opinion was not mischaracterized. Thousands of words to the contrary. Now you can move on, or you can keep digging. Everyone saw what was said when and why.

    Jeff’s behavior is about, (well and now yours) all any bystanders like myself are going to remember.

    And DRJ can attest – I aint no Patterico sychophant – if there was such a thing.

    And arguing over the proper arguments concerning about how to argue over someone elses public argument is argueably why Obama and that old guy was all we had to pick from last election.

    Patterico is an outstanding person, who does all of us a deep public service at the real expense of his personal well being and that of his family. Its real dangerous to be a prosecutor – even Federal one’s go missing

    Enough grandstanding, after seeing what Jeff wrote at Hotair – shark has been jumped bridge has been burned. Patterico has something most donit a proven record of public service.

  257. Perhaps if we move on to a more provocative and important question. The Pico clan is mired in the truly great question of the day: are egg rolls better still hot from the Chinese restaurant microwave or the next morning, cold from the ‘fridge?

  258. As has been noted by many of us before, the basic problem here is that people like Patterico are in deep denial. They’re strongly invested in the status quo (I mean, who could possibly be more invested in the system than a prosecutor, for Christ’s sake?*).

    They want to believe that Obama is a “good man”, rather than an incompetent Communist thug, so it’s necessary that we wish him well.

    They want to believe that the perpetually offended really are offended, rather than dissembling grievance pimps, so it’s necessary that we consider their “feelings” before speaking.

    It’s the same sort of thinking that makes others believe that a strongly-worded reprimand from the UN will deter a Saddam Hussein or a Kim Jong Il.

    These people are not like you. They are not “reasonable”. They are evil. They are cynically exploiting your belief that everyone is fundamentally “reasonable”.

    * I’m no bleeding heart, I hasten to add. I’m sure that the overwhelming majority of the people that Patterico puts in jail deserve to be there. I’m just pointing out that he has to believe that the system he’s working for is good, and honest, and “reasonable”. Otherwise he’d find it difficult to look at himself in the mirror in the morning.

  259. Dear EricPWJohnson,

    I don’t think these things can get out of hand if people quit typing soo much.

    I don’t think you understand the nature of this debate. At least the above comment would seem to indicate as much. What is at question here is the possibility that one might type anything whatsoever and expect that communication can occur. There is a creeping lingustic fascism that has eroded that expectation. Some principle of decorum whch you seem to be advancing -with your just-don’t-type-so-much rhetoric not only fails to address this threat to our individual agency, it actually redounds to it.

    Also being someone who’se been threatened, had my children threatened with beheading(live in the middle east), been shot at, been stabbed, you need to learn that the NK thing was a beautiful nasty poke at someone who can be as nasty as he wants and quite frankly has been.

    For my part, I’d like to see Jeff become less personally injured by those who would seek to defame him if only because I think his argument’s formulation is unique and uniquely important. I want to see him become as effective as possible in giving it voice. I don’t like that he’s distracted by unserious people. That said, your use of “you need to learn” strikes me as the height of sanctimony and frankly leaves me (and I’m sure other readers) with a greater desire to fart in your general direction than to give your comments weight. But YMMV.

    Your conduct in that thread trying to out insult someone did not do you any honors, did nothing to restore this now vision of a frustrated blogger out of control.

    “this now vision”? The vision being promulgated by people unwilling to address themselves to Jeff’s argument you mean? That vision? I’m sure Jeff’s very worried about that.

    If you truely are a conservative for a cause – then you will more greatly understand why Patterico and others like him do and say what they say.

    So you assert. Assertion without evidence is fun.

    If you are trying to be the next essayiest in chief – good luck – but I’ll give you a hint – talent only goes as far as content.

    Yay, more sanctimony. Since we’re making assertions here, let me say I think it is precisely this kind of oh-so-moral posturing that people find so loathsome about conservatives. Goodonya for personifying it.

  260. the NK thing was a beautiful nasty poke at someone who can be as nasty as he wants and quite frankly has been.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    But the facts are, I’ve made arguments. At some point, someone decided that forceful arguments are now “nasty,” else I have no way to explain how the sheer volume of my attempts to make my point clear, and the patience I’ve shown in doing so, comes to count as nastiness. It is not “nasty” to point out errors of thinking. And it is ridiculous to say that were I truly interested in conservative causes, I’d respect the kinds of arguments that I think hurt those causes.

    I am not of the left. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But that doesn’t mean that all opinions are right and need be respected.

    Patterico lied about my having dealt with his hypotheticals; he misrepresented my position in a post where he declares his own thoughts “the final word'; to people who have watched him in the comments here night after night, he has come across as increasingly aggressive and increasingly demanding that things be dealt with on his terms.

    Sorry, but I’m not on trial. If I don’t want to answer a set of loaded and (frankly) useless hypothetical about a boy, a dog, and a black man, I don’t have to. Visual cues, tenor, era, etc — all these are left out of the equation. The whole exercise, in fact, was designed to rehabilitate a point of Patterico’s that I’ve consistently told him has no bearing whatever on my argument.

    So you can pretend that nk’s comments last night were warranted; forgive me for not agreeing, and forgive me too for judging Patterico unworthy of respect for luxuriating in them.

    It was as if they’d finally found a way to put me in place. Which is something they couldn’t do with their argument, and as opinion grew against their position, they became increasingly enraged and increasingly likely to lash out at me personally.

    I didn’t cover myself with honor? I beg to differ. I confronted the man who, using an assumed name, spread lies about my family and me.

    I don’t forget those things. I haven’t. I won’t.

  261. There might be something to that, Sdferr.

    As a practical matter, it’s probably wise to avoid interaction with Patterico and some of his commenters. Nothing to be gained.

  262. If you are trying to be the next essayiest in chief – good luck – but I’ll give you a hint – talent only goes as far as content.

    So, just where do we show up at noon with our Nerf bats? Are we supposed to bring shotgun shells, or did you find a government program to provide them for you?

    Let’s try to resolve this in a reasonable amount of time. Some of us have court later.

  263. Eric —

    You’ve made your opinion — ill-informed though it may be — quite known.

    If you don’t like what I write or don’t find me useful to conservatism, don’t read me. Looking at your comments, I doubt you’re my target audience anyway.

  264. A hearty “right the f on” to mala the t’s answer to Mr Johnson. And to blowhard, I think I’d mostly concur, save for the reservation that somethings yet unknown may want a response.

  265. Morning. I just want to say that it’s probably natural for a pissed-off Patterico to dig his heels in about his long-time odd duck commenter. But wrong.
    NK went seriously past uncool. You don’t drag a man’s family into personal insults, period, but he insulted them as well.

    The defense seems to be some posit that the family wasn’t personally attacked, but they were. NK called them meal tickets. Unloved, used. His wife a willing dupe to a scheming layabout. Nk has a child and I”m sure family he loves. How would he take it if someone held up his daughter as some meaningless prop to him, a way to get fed or keep him from needing to bad groceries in his retirement? Asserted his his daughter has no love or value besides meal ticket or prop.

    I hope Patterico wakes up and realizes that those remarks were over any objective line of uncool, even if it were TRUE, even if Jeff deserved insulting or criticism. He may never admit it, but I hope he realizes it.

  266. S,B, and P –

    “These people are not like you. They are not “reasonable”. They are evil. They are cynically exploiting your belief that everyone is fundamentally “reasonable”.

    Shucks, that’s what I meant to say. I’m too wordy before the coffee kicks in.

  267. Jeff’s opinion was not mischaracterized.

    Yes, it was.

  268. this is really very simple. pat and jeff are not even engaged in the same argument. and pat can’t seem to acknowledge that. from what i’ve seen he, and some readers, still haven’t understood the basics of what jeff’s argument is or the foundational assumptions which underpin it. whether that ignorance is willful or not i can’t say, and i am sure it varies by individual.

    jeff’s point is easy for me to understand, since i spent many years immersed in semiotics and linguistics. but i’ve seen plenty of commenters this last two weeks who simply don’t yet have the technical vocabulary to understand or discuss these issues. they don’t really get the differences between a sign, a signifier, a signified, a referent, an index, a symbol, and on and on and etc. and confusion arises from the differences between the loose way these terms are used in their mundane, debased, everyday sense and the highly specific way they are employed by linguists and others engaged in the study of language as a thing in itself.

    fwiw i think jeff does an excellent job of explaining his philosophy of language, which i obviously share, to people who lack the background and vocabulary which we (and dan and many others here) share. and all without getting bogged down in a bunch of annoying jargon and technical minutiae.

    and i don’t know… but maybe it’s necessary to provide more background and basics? i know when i first started reading about how language functions, nearly 30 years ago now, it took a few years for the paradigms to really sink in and become fully comprehensible to me. so maybe some folks just need some time to soak in it, some time to let it soak into their brains.

    as much as i’d like to i can’t force everyone on al gore’s internets to sit down and read pierce and saussure and eco (who is often LOL funny) and all the rest. and i wouldn’t wish derrida on my worst enemy. =P but maybe there needs to be a tutorial on the basics, and the basics of the vocabulary? (and if such exists in the archives — in one place, not spread over many essays — and i’ve missed or forgotten about it forgive me for my fail, please.) nothing overwhelming, which would probably be counter-productive anyway. just the basic outline what your average college student would get on the first day of an intro 101 class.

    i doubt our host is up for that task right now. maybe someone else who is trusted ’round PW could do it? maybe dan, maybe someone else? or even find a link to a clear, concise tutorial? i’d offer to do it. but i’m actually a film scholar person, not an english scholar person. so i would probably stress all the wrong things and could potentially add to the confusion.

    all i know is i’m sick of seeing my beautiful language savagely raped on a daily basis. and i despair of dealing with people who don’t even have the tools to comprehend that that’s what’s happening. don’t understand that it alweays, unfailingly leads to totalitarianism. and that this is true even if ‘your team’ is in power.

    also, pat needs to get the defensive sand out of his mangina and at least try to understand what jeff’s argument is. because thus far he has NOT demonstrated that he has understood it. and not understanding this is a danger to us all.

  269. Ah, I see they’ve begun to take me to task for my “anger” on a new thread. Patterico, we’re told, has been patient and giving throughout all this. I, on the other hand, stormy and surly — unwilling to engage. In fact, that’s my MO, apparently. I don’t engage on the issues. Me. Me.

    Let the lawyers frame their evidence. I have no use for them.

    Evidently, I’ve been banned at Patterico’s for issuing a “death threat.” So far as I’m concerned, this is a perfect metaphor for the trajectory of the whole debate. Not coincidentally, it also gives Patterico cover for preventing me from defending myself, and gives his commenters free rein to go after me, knowing I can’t reply.

    Pat had his ass handed to him. I kept telling him at the outset to go read my earlier posts to learn what it is I was arguing. He wouldn’t. Eventually, this exchange broke something inside of him. And now he’s being propped back up by those telling him he’s the better man that I.

    It’s surreal.

    And frankly, it’s why blogging has become a joke.

    ****
    About the death threat:

    (going from memory, paraphrased):

    Pat: Do you want me to ban Jeff, nk?

    nk: No. Give him more rope.

    me: Am I to hang for knowing your real name? Fine. You bring the rope, I’ll bring the tree.

    hf: I hope the tree doesn’t get hurt.

    Pat: DEATH THREAT! EVEN HAPPYFEET AGREES (shut down comments, ban Jeff)

    Email blowhard all night.

    Today:

    Jeff is evil and angry. Nk didn’t go after Jeff’s family! He just went after Jeff. Jeff bad. Patterico reasoned and good! Patience of a saint. Only cares about the argument. Whereas Jeff, he isn’t trying to help conservatism. He’s just angry.

    As I say, surreal.

  270. Jeff’s opinion was not mischaracterized.

    Yes, it was.

    What’s more, it would appear that it was never understood. Which, no wonder it was mischaracterized. I would be just as dubious were Pat to make pronouncements regarding number theory that displayed the same lack of command of the domain married with the recalictrant demand that oh yes he does understand it.

  271. …blogging has become a joke.

    Nope, certainly no more than this is a joke:

    And if I am to estimate the penalty justly, I say that maintenance in the Prytaneum is the just return.

  272. I think mischaracterized is giving them too much credit. They missed it by a mile.

  273. i can’t force everyone on al gore’s internets to sit down and read pierce and saussure and eco

    I haven’t really read Eco (other than his novel, Foucault’s Pendulum, years back). Suggestions on where to start with him?

    I’d add Shannon, Hamming, Wiener, and Bourdieu to that list (Bourdieu was a lefty, but had some interesting insights nonetheless). Maybe William T. Powers for the outré viewpoint.

  274. louchette –

    The difference between fencing and axe fight is that one discipline calls for rules and observes a fairly rigid etiquette. Axe fighting… not so much. But in the end one side loses and the other wins, and the issue is decided.

    I have read Jeff for over five years. Maybe more. I immediately respected his focus and scholarship on communication and its employment as a weapon in our societal battles. When he began speaking of investing time into a serious martial art and ultimately moved into catch wrestling (which is emphatically a tier one lethal and direct combat form that can be effectively practiced by the average Joe) I lauded his decision to walk away from the Ivory Tower world. I may have even commented to that effect; I don’t remember now.

    When academics debate, the debate is always characterized as…. academic. Unfortunately for the rest of us (“those of us “who simply don’t yet have the technical vocabulary to understand or discuss these issues?”) the negative fallout of the apparent surrender to progressive theories in said debates has metastisized through our education system and popular/political culture to the extent that while the polite fencing goes on on pundit shows and in court rooms where the Constitution is parsed and pruned to selective deconstruction and failure, the axe men are growing in number ready and waiting for the logical next step in the conflict. This next step is where the traditional function of representative government departs so far from “represent” and so clearly to “rule” that elections between those who believe in foundational principles of individual RESPONSIBILITY and the government’s first duty to be servants and not masters and those who just want a babysitter and/or instrument of vengeance against an oppressor (most often tailor – manufactured for specific demographics) are deemed to be a threat against the rulers.

    We are there. 2010 will be a cusp. ACORN doing the census, card check rammed through within the next few days, open borders by decree vice the practice of willful ignorance of the last three decades. The calculated devastation of our economy by priming the pump for a massive hyper inflation cycle. Presidential decrees halting domestic energy exploration and development. The use of tax law as a naked bludgeon against scapegoats arrived at by parsing daily political polling. The operating principle of “let no crisis go to waste”.

    The difference between Jeff and Patterico are based on perspective. In my opinion, Jeff sees communication as the weapon by which the totalitarians will introduce the axe to the argument. Are about to introduce, I should say. But he won’t, because that’s just crazy internets talk.

    Patterico? He still thinks words are the last word in the argument before us. How a prosecutor, exposed to the daily run of man’s inhumanity to man, can think that for one moment, is frankly beyond me.

    Just my … two dollars and forty two cents. I’ll shut up now. Still time to get across the lake if I hurry.

  275. Back from Church and before yardwork I’m going to try to fleshout what I meant in #237.

    This is my take on the argument, no one else, and I claim no expertise, I’m a layman in these matters.

    I make a statement. I use word “A”. This word has multiple meanings, five of which are in any dictionary. I mean it to have meaning “A1″.

    Someone reads/hears what I stated, they take word “A” to mean “A3″ not the “A1″ I intended. No matter what I say, what context I put it into, they insist that word “A” always means “A3″.

    What they have done may seem minor but it is not. From now on I cannot use “A” to express any meaning other than “A3″. All those other ideas/meanings can now only be expressed by using phrases, sentences, perhaps paragraphs.

    They become complex to discuss. Complex to even think about. There is now no simple “handle” to hold those other ideas. They become washed out, faded, intangible to think and express.

    That is not the end of it however. Once meaning “A3″ has become the only meaning for word “A”, all previous texts that used that word have now had their meaning changed. Changed to something other than what their author said.

    This is just one word. This has been going on for many words. Whole areas of thought are being ruled out of existence, unthinkable, by the lack of a simple way of saying them.

    This is not even getting into the use of language to conflate ideas in ways that extinguish the ability to think of two things as being different from each other. Which is another trick used by those who wish to limit debate and thought. A topic for another time.

  276. this is, of course, subjective… but for eco, on the technical side i’d probably start with ‘semiotics and the philosophy of language’ or ‘the limits of interpretation.’ because i think them more clear and concise than some of his other work, especially for a layperson. i don’t agree with him on everything, but he gets a lot of stuff right. and he’s man enough to admit when he’s wrong, and that has allowed him to hone and refine his positions over time, rather than just reiterating them.

    also, he’s always very entertaining. if you want something lighter, less technical, more about how language works in the everyday world and not in theory i can’t recommend ‘travels in hyper-reality’ strongly enough. it’s really a delight to read, particularly the essay ‘lumbar thoughts,’ even if it is something of a literary prank.

  277. But one thing of which I am certain: this argument, in which neither side can prove its opinion to be the correct one, has gotten wholly counterproductive.

    wth, Dana? What exactly was that? This debate doesn’t lack for proofs, it lacks for mutual integrity.

    The proof is in there alright, but by their illogic your canards amplify the problem. You don’t see this? If you ache for peace, start with justice, which is to say the meaning of principle and the principle of meaning.

  278. Interpretation and Overinterpretation is what I generally recommend of Eco to the lay person, because it a series of debates between Eco and Culler, a deconstructionist, that was given before an audience at NYU (if I remember correctly). It is therefore quite accessible.

  279. Oh. And publishing the real identity of those who go after your family now makes you like Frisch.

    These people deserve their anonymity? Else how can they go after your family in peace?

    Do, Jeff, show some civility. Have you learned nothing?

    Surreal.

  280. publishing the real identity

    Does this refer to something, an event that is, or a hypothetical stance?

  281. I was busy writing a post (and doing a photoshop) so I just got back here

    EricPWJ at 260

    Jeff’s behavior is about, (well and now yours) all any bystanders like myself are going to remember.

    I don’t need to defend Jeff, he’s more than capable but WTF are you talking about concerning MY behavior? Be specific because I wasn’t the one dragging other people’s families into the debate.

    You make an allegation about me, back it up, meshugganah.

  282. http://patterico.com/2009/03/19/points-of-agreement-on-interpretation/#comment-475494

    This comment, paraphrasing, “I know where he’ll be, it’s close to me, I’m tempted to show up and take pictures”, was what first made me wonder about the guy. This comment was made even before the extremely personal one that let me know exactly how much he seemed to dislike Jeff.

    I’ll say it again. nk gives off a worrisome vibe. I’m amazed that Patterico is friendly with this guy.

  283. The comment that I linked to above:

    You know, I live in Chicago, and I have half a mind to pay the $250.00 entry fee at Tony Cecchine’s Gym, just to snap some photos of some power-glutes using their submissive scissor holds. I could probably recoup the money by selling them to Andrew Sullivan.

    Comment by nk — 3/21/2009 @ 12:51 pm

  284. To state this as clearly as possible. All interaction came after nk linked to where Jeff would be on a certain date, saying that he’s tempted to be there himself.

  285. I can’t cope with the language thing, as I don’t have the words.
    But nk’s sullying of Jeff and his fmaily is so…typical. It’s typical of the left to mock that which they pretend to want–a man who actually parents the child–and it’s apparently typical now for whatever the hell nk is politically to also mock that which “we” all “agree” is a laudable situation: a man who parents the child. Both because they can question the man’s “masculinity” and thus imput upon him some kind of homosexuality–the kind they SAY is homophobic, but that they really revel in as a method of attack.

    See, I just don’t got no words.

  286. EricPWJohnson – Patterico’s “public service” makes him above having to make a rational argument or not act in a bizarre manner? I’ll see his public service and raise you a ‘mutated half-twist chickenhawk argument’…

    Bah.

  287. I ordered one book by Eco when I ordered “The Analects” to make it over $25 for the free shipping. It is “Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (Advances in Semiotics)” which I hope will be useful to read.

  288. Wrestling is to homosexuality as Goth is to threatening.

    “I do not think that word means what you think it means…”

  289. Now Patterico is running around accusing people of being false accusers, rather richly ironically.

    I haven’t read every exchange in the whole Patterico/Goldstein exchange, but it seems from what I have read that all along Patterico has been treating it like a game – to see how much traction/entertainment he can get out of deliberately misinterpreting Jeff’s words and then trying to use the misinterpreted version against him. I’m not even a lawyer or linguist and I seem to have managed to understand Jeff fairly well, at least to the point where the next thing he says on the subject makes sense combined with the last.

    Patterico has, also ironically, proven Jeff’s point that abandoning intent leaves you powerless in the hands of every douchebag who manages any measure of “authority” in a given arena. Patterico has ignore Jeff’s intent, applied a new “interpretation” on Jeff’s words that he declares “reasonable,” and then uses his authority to “end” the discussion.

    Anybody who’s ever had a dispute with an academic despot, like a humanities professor, recognizes the pattern.

  290. Oh, the things you can say when you’ve banned your interlocutor.

    Here’s Patterico today, responding to another commenter’s critique of nk’s musings:

    Will probably make everyone angry by saying this but while it’s certainly true that Jeff G can on occasion be a – and I mean this in the best possible way – a humorless prick, someone joking (I assume) about tricking his wife into supporting him and conceiving a son just so he could guarantee hisself blogging time was a bit over the line.

    I can agree with that. I think calling me a liar and insane based on nothing was a bit over the line as well. But as Bradley noted, the Dick Durbin-style non-apology for that was accompanied by a new round of identical accusations, and while I can’t speak for nk, it appeared to me that he may have felt like he was fighting fire with fire — over-the-line rhetoric with over-the-line rhetoric.

    For days the strategy has been this: call Patterico dishonest and unprincipled, and then if he says he’s not, call him thin-skinned for complaining. Mock the idea that I actually have honor, by referring to my HONOR in sarcastic all-caps. And so on.

    My impression was that nk was saying, enough is enough. I wouldn’t have done it that way, but nk is nk. Was it over the top and inflammatory? Sure, I think nk would acknowledge that. But I don’t think nk’s intent was to attack Jeff’s family. He explicitly said that was not his intent and I take him at his word.

    First, I apologized to Patterico for accusing him of deleting a comment that showed up at first then got caught in moderation. I don’t know how his commenting software works, but I was willing to accept that explanation.

    But having done that — apologize for an accusation I made that was wrong — does not compel me to apologize for accusations that I made that I believe are true. And in fact, I don’t understand how apologizing for something you believe deserves an apology is undercut by not apologizing for those things that don’t. Is this really how lawyers operate?

    I mean, how does one instance speak to the other? These are separate incidents.

    Patterico is now saying I called him a liar and insane “based on nothing.” This, again, is another load of self-serving bullshit. I called him a liar for continuing to insist that I hadn’t answered his hypotheticals. Which I demonstrably had, as my links proved. He’s made no correction, and I assume by his continued suggestion that I have no reason to call him a liar, he is standing by that original lie

    What would he have me call it? He is making a false claim and defending it despite having received from me an answer to that claim and proof that the claim is false.

    If Patterico doesn’t like being called unprincipled or acting on bad faith, there is a way to fix that. Stop being unprincipled and acting on bad faith.

    Just last night, he wrote that I “accused him” of trying to get the last word. Does he not realize that his post included the suggestion that his post was to be the last word — and that closing the comments reinforced that suggestion?

    This is all truly Orwellian.

    The facts are clear. Pat wrote that I had conspicuously avoided something. I hadn’t. I’ve made that clear to him on numerous occasions, long before he posted (again) that I refused to answer his hypotheticals.

    That is a lie. If he doesn’t like it being called a lie, he can rename it what he likes. But to ban me, and pretend that he’s been the reasonable angel falsely accused of bad faith — and then watch as his regulars eat it up — is a sickening sight to behold.

    It’s almost as if Patterico has convinced himself of this — something that, to do, requires that he completely bracket my previous corrections, and that he make sure I’m not available to defend myself yet again.

    Surreal.

  291. You know, I live in Chicago, and I have half a mind to pay the $250.00 entry fee at Tony Cecchine’s Gym, just to snap some photos of some power-glutes using their submissive scissor holds. I could probably recoup the money by selling them to Andrew Sullivan.

    Evidently Patterico didn’t see this as a threat of any kind.

    Perfectly harmless, this. Also, I must be teh ghey. Like all those guys who’ve added ground fighting to their arsenal.

    Interestingly, catch wrestling is designed to end a ground encounter as quickly as possible. I don’t happen to like rolling around with men, particularly those who want to do me harm. NTTAWWT.

  292. jeff– yes, i forgot about that book. i should have googled, not gone off the top of my head. i agree with your recommendation.

    tmjUtah –

    >>Patterico? He still thinks words are the last word in the argument before us. How a prosecutor, exposed to the daily run of man’s inhumanity to man, can think that for one moment, is frankly beyond me.

    i’ve wondered about that one myself. but i still think pat does not get it. and that they are not having the same argument.

    i hate all politicians. i think they are all scum. and think that except for a very few cases (like providing for defense) government is always the problem and never the solution. i just usually hate the D’s more than the R’s. but more and more i can’t barely tell the difference. as someone said, the R’s are now the other party of big government. and they are too often a party to language being debased, since most never or rarely fight back against it’s dishonest use and malicious, disingenuous interpretation.

    anyway, when certain things are too taboo to say, or when the words to say them have been removed from circulation we’re all fucked. and when someone else can define what your words mean and then force you to defend that definition as if it was your own we’re all really, really fucked. regardless of which side is in power.

    as someone said the other day, i can’t remember who… we’re (we being folks who believe in the foundational principles and documents of this republic) simply losing slower. and that is not acceptable to me.

  293. Also, I noted that I’ll deal with this the way I’ve always dealt with anonymous cowards who invoke my family.

    Have I any history of violence against them? No. But I do unmask them and make them put their names to their commentary. I find that when they don’t have the comfort of that anonymity, they tend to stay more on topic.

    Nick knows what I mean.

  294. By the way, much love to Karl for wading in and taking away the trope that I treated him poorly by providing him the keys to my site — up until he decided I had to choose between he and a commenter.

    That is now “mistreatment.” Which, those of you who I didn’t give the keys to, why, that’s assault!

    By the way, I’m being facetious. Karl hasn’t seen fit to give lie to that line of attack.

    I’m just the great big dick who threw him off the site.

  295. Patterico has, also ironically, proven Jeff’s point that abandoning intent leaves you powerless in the hands of every douchebag who manages any measure of “authority” in a given arena. Patterico has ignore Jeff’s intent, applied a new “interpretation” on Jeff’s words that he declares “reasonable,” and then uses his authority to “end” the discussion.

    Precisely! And in tar baby fashion, Pat has embroiled himself in the trechery of that gambit. He’s complaining about how he’s been misrepresented and so forth and this very debate has grown into a “who can wield more blog juice to lambaste the other” affair. Why? Becuase it isn’t about the thesis anymore because of the sophistry. Take away intent/agency, you take away the possibility of debate. Take away the possibility of debate and you’re left with naked lust for power.

  296. He has even trumped up a ridiculous charge as a pretense to keep me from defending myself. I suspect he’s feeling much more secure now that he’s done so.

    He can frame the debate any way he likes and he doesn’t have to run up against inconvenient facts thrust back at him.

    I’d say, from a performative standpoint, case closed and game set match to the intentionalist.

  297. Jeff Et Al
    Like I said, your behavior is exactly that. That’s all people will remember, this pleading and recriminating is now in a vacuum, no one cares – personally, I just think that someone slammed you, slammed you well, slammed you personally and it must have hurt thus the childish and community college level debate team rhetoric. The usual phantom excuses of a debate lost, but someone is still shouting from a darkened podium is the image you are leaving with the public.

    The problem I have seem with the un/underemployed bloggers vs the working people of stature who maintain a blog is the time honored tripe of illusion of personal superiority in ideas.

    Indeed you have made many arguments, wasted billions of bits and I cannot imagine anyone reading this lengthy back and forth. All they are going to remember is the childishness and the community college debate rhetoric.

    Like I said, move on, do good things, this is not one of them. You are not making good marks for yourself and this is not in your best interests

  298. Darleen

    Like I said – you just answered yourself. Perfectly. I might add.

  299. oh please with your accusations of childishness and teh sneering at the community colleges. Who do you think you are, Jared Padalecki? You so are not even.

  300. EricPW

    Darleen

    Like I said – you just answered yourself. Perfectly. I might add.

    Oh my, the PeeWee Herman approach to “proving” a point. Project much, EricPeeWeeJohnson?

    And what is this “under-un employed” schtick? A sidedish of classism? Only people with JD’s need blog? A variation of the chickenhawk meme?

    Eric, you can’t cite one thing about “my behavior” so it’s the passive-aggressive “Well, if you don’t know, I certainly can’t tell you” gambit.

    Sorry, I don’t go there. My abusive ex-husband tried to be a master at it. So, little boy, go teach your grandma to suck eggs.

  301. The problem I have seem with the un/underemployed bloggers vs the working people of stature who maintain a blog is the time honored tripe of illusion of personal superiority in ideas.

    […]

    wast[ing] billions of bits

    Your every comment drowns a penguin.

  302. Patterico jumps on the Jeff has no job bandwagon:

    I’m going to do my best to go into silence on this. It’s a battle I can’t win. You can’t fight someone with no job who has all day to sit around and libel you, and who has the world scared to take him on in public.

    All you can do is go about your life and ignore it. I am going to try my best.

    I’m now “libeling” Patrick.

    And raising a child? Not a job.

    Hear that, ladies and gents?

    Perhaps Patterico should have been more careful about how he put that.

  303. JeffG

    I jumped in at that last comment…but you know, I’m just a syphocant victim WITH NO BAR CARD.

  304. The problem I have seem with the un/underemployed bloggers vs the working people of stature who maintain a blog is the time honored tripe of illusion of personal superiority in ideas.

    I think we’re seeing the new talking point emerge.

    Quitting your teaching gig to stay at home with a child is just a form of unemployment. Whereas Patterico, by virtue of being a working person “of stature,” cannot have his ideas challenged by the likes of me.

    ’tis UNFAIR! I have nothing else to do but tear down heroic public servants — not because I think their ideas are faulty, but because I’m suffering from the “illusion” of “personal superiority in ideas.”

    Strange that I then test these theses by making them public, but then, he’s on a roll. Also, he seems to miss that I’ve shouting from a darkened stage because I’ve been banned, unable to defend myself.

    Watch the smear campaign grow.

    Hey, Patterico. Given that you’re reading this, you lied again. I answered your dog hypothetical as well. I linked to it. That you didn’t like my answer is not the same as my not answering it.

    But it’s okay. So long as I’m banned, you can claim “libel” even as you lie and lie and lie.

  305. MCPatterico.

  306. Thanks, all. The suggested Eco works are on my library list for the next time I’m on campus.

  307. You also can’t debate someone when they are right and you don’t understand the fucking premise.

  308. Oh, the things you can say when you’ve banned your interlocutor.

    Well, tell me here then: Why do you keep insisting Patterico is a liar? To lie, one must know what the truth is, and consciously decide to tell an untruth about it. I haven’t seen evidence that Patterico is deliberately misstating the facts.

    Why not just say Patterico doesn’t understand your argument and let it go at that?

    And why call him “insane”? What is that supposed to prove?

  309. I think Jeff G’s argument is asserting its vitality all over the place.

    And I do understand it. Perhaps not with the erudition of many here, but I do understand it.

    This is still about Rush, in my view. So, I’m going to express my thoughts.

    At the end of the discussion that included Rush’s now famous four words, he said: “there, I said it.” The preceding talk and context and tone led to him having to acknowledge that the statement would rankle, at best, and unleash a Total Society backlash at worst. And that’s exactly what happened.

    However many weeks have elapsed now, show that the public is beginning to understand Rush’s thoughts. I would say that those thoughts run something close to, Obama’s failure means the prevention of a Total Society and the salvation of the Constitution and the Country. To have given in to the call to reject Rush ad alta voce would have neither advanced nor negated results that I just mentioned and would have done even more damage to the ability of Conservatives, to say to those who think they own language regardless of the author’s intent, you’re wrong and here’s why.

    I don’t think Jeff G’s polemic has been personal, even when it’s been hot.

    I can’t imagine those who went after Rush would have gone after a leftie for uttering the same thing when Bush came into office. Yes, the Country is under a greater threat than when Bush was inauguarted, but to hope for his failure, as Carville did, was no different and I don’t think Carville meant he wanted to see people suffer. That he took it back, following 9/11, is not really that impressive. I don’t know about other people, but Carville’s comment, had I heard it at that time, would have just rolled off. And it did roll off the populace because many people became aware of Carville’s comments following the dust-up with Rush.

    Look, to bow in obesiance, to people who think they can dispossess the author of meaning and intent, is to not realize the eternal nature of this struggle. It will never be won because the itch to dispossess is the itch to tyrannize.

  310. There’s a funny (odd) connection here to the Theaetetus — which is mostly about error, pinning down the sorts or kinds of errors we make, distinguishing them from one another and truth, while making room for the possibility of communication — and wrestling as a metaphor for grappling with an argument. Old Theodorus, who wants no part in the argument with Soc., though he does want to stand to the side and maintain the position of his teacher, Protagoras and P.’s early formulation of the relativist’s argument that “Man is the measure of all things” looks a lot like Patterico does right about now.

  311. I have pointed out repeatedly where Patterico lied. I answered his hypotheticals. I answered his concerns. You weren’t reading the threads here, or else you’d know that.

    Patterico knows I answered his hypotheticals. I’ve answered them in threads in which he was participating. I’ve linked to those answers on his site. And yet he still pretends I haven’t, and states publicly in posts that I haven’t.

    That is a lie, by your definition.

    And as I explained already in a thread I know you were active in, I wasn’t suggesting Patterico was clinically insane — just that his obsession with my answering his hypotheticals was bordering on the obsessive and downright kooky. I had tried repeatedly to get him to let it go. Why should it matter that I engage his hypotheticals? He’d already conceded they had no bearing on my argument.

    Is this an attempt to put me on the defensive about “insane”? Fine. Interpret it how you see fit.

    Why not just say Patterico doesn’t understand your argument and let it go at that?

    Anybody want to take this one? Christ, I don’t know how many times that’s precisely what I tried to do.

    Patterico left dozens of late night comments here. I tried to explain things. I walked through the arguments. At some point you have to say, as I did, you just don’t get it.

    I’m not the one who wouldn’t let it go once we reached that point. As everyone here will tell you.

    This is why you should have both sides of the argument instead of relying on Pat’s reputation for honesty and good faith. He hasn’t shown it here.

  312. Jeff G,
    I’ll take a look into what you outlined.

  313. Life is too short for this. Patterico is removed from the RSS feed. He offers nothing I can’t find on some other right-leaning “utterly conventional thought of the day” blog.

    Added benefit? I now won’t be tempted to read some of his creepier commenters.

  314. Bradley

    When Patterico keeps repeating that Jeff has “never answered by hypotheticals”, and Jeff has and even LINKED to his answers, then at some point the allegation becomes a lie.

    And, IIRC the “insane” charge was clarified by JeffG that he found the situation of Pat’s constantly saying “avoiding my hypos” was “insane”.

    Certainly, there can be a crossroads that both parties will never meet, but it has been Pat that has kept this going by his insistence he has the last word and that last word is a distortion/mischaracterization/perversion of Jeff’s argument. His obsession with that is mindboggling because I’ve been reading Pat for a long time and I’m wondering what is going on since it has lead to him supporting nk’s indecent attacks on Jeff and some really classist statements about stay-at-home-parents. Not to mention that Pat has more than once gone to imputing motives to Jeff that he is only doing this “for the money.” Right out of the pages of Pandagon or DailyKos.

    But I don’t have a bar card, so what do I know, eh?

  315. Darleen,
    There has been so many comments on this topic that sorting through them is a headache-inducing task. And as I said on Patterico’s blog, I find the hypotheticals themselves excruciating.

    But this should be easy to answer. Just provide the links to where Patterico said Jeff G. has not answered the hypotheticals, and the links to where he has indeed answered them.

    There probably is a comment with all these links, so a quick pointer would help.

  316. I think chasing around after a kid all day is hard work, but then I am pretty stupid. I even think community college debates are a good thing.

  317. All was answered in the comment that got eaten. Which is why I was so exercised about it being eaten. It’s up near the top of the closed thread wherein I offered to bring a tree to my own hanging as a death threat against the guy with the rope and slip knot.

  318. That community college crap Mr. Johnson vomited up is a canard, plain and simple. After all, what was Shakespeare’s license to write his plays, or Einstein’s credentials to challenge the great Newton’s conception of time? Fuck that.

  319. Also, Bradley, I see from your comments over at Patterico’s that you’ve already condemned me. So why pretend to look into anything? You reached the conclusion first and posted it. Will you really now do anything more than look for ways to jam my actions into your already public conclusions?

  320. i hate all politicians. i think they are all scum. and think that except for a very few cases (like providing for defense) government is always the problem and never the solution. i just usually hate the D’s more than the R’s. but more and more i can’t barely tell the difference. as someone said, the R’s are now the other party of big government. and they are too often a party to language being debased, since most never or rarely fight back against it’s dishonest use and malicious, disingenuous interpretation.

    But, sir, if not politicians, what tool shall we use to govern ourselves?

    Even the Soviet commies managed their day to day and year to year via politics. Politics is getting mostly your way and being cool with that, vice implementing your agenda over the smoking ashes of the bones of your opponents… which is the valley we find ourselves peering into now.

    I like politics. Nobody ever wrote perfect rules. I think the Constitution represents the single most practical statement of idealism ever enacted into law. We haven’t done the due diligence to protect the foundations of our system. That is not a crime to lay at the feet of men in government; after all, most of the founders accepted and implicitly warned that governance was just a path to tyranny if the governed did not watch and act in their own defense. Remember “water the tree of liberty”, etc?

    It is essential that in politics, like law, one calls bullshit early and loudly on attacks against basic principles and then defeats such attacks. Yep, we’ve fucked up. Find me a “right to privacy” in Jefferson’s or Hamilton’s writings. We need look no further than Sunday morning punditry shows and our 401k’s to see the tip of the iceberg, but it is the polity that has elected Obama that illustrates the rent torn in the hull of our ship of state.

    Our error is in letting our politicians switch from representation to rule.

    They face their final hurdle in 2010. We will see who will go gently into that dark night.

  321. Patterico’s like the proverbial student who’s been begging for an “A” from the professor and doesn’t like the answer. Sometimes, I wonder that you have this patience, Jeff. Be what may, your work is important.

    Carry on!

  322. Will you really now do anything more than look for ways to jam my actions into your already public conclusions?

    If you show that you answered the hypotheticals and that Patterico said otherwise, I’ll post the evidence at Patterico’s and ask him to answer it. That should be very easy — just post the links here.

    But yes, you have been baiting Patterico, calling him “insane” and acting in bad faith. Just make factual claims that can be verified, and you’ll be on much firmer ground.

  323. I guess I should also point out that this idea of Patterico’s that I’m out to destroy his reputation is silly. He proffered an argument. I disagreed and countered it. Are we not allow to disagree now? To disagree with conviction?

    Believe it or not, someone’s reputation doesn’t always cross my mind when I’m debating on the merits of an argument. And in fact, Patterico was only mentioned in my Hot Air piece because he specifically noted he wanted me to address a particular new post of his. Which I did, as a courtesy.

    This even after, as some of you will remember, Patterico pre-judged my piece and made snide comments about what the argument would be. So he wasn’t really worried about my reputation all that much, it would seem, when he was concerned of preparing the ground for what he assumed would be some sort of attack on his reputation.

    He seems to worry quite a bit about that, in fact.

  324. Jeff’s already made his case, Bradley. It’s there for all to see. Do your own homework.

  325. Bradley

    Will you hold Patterico to the same standards where it concerns “bad faith”?

  326. here. I’m not going to comb through the comment threads here all day pulling out the instances wherein Patterico accused me of not answering his hypotheticals.

    Luckily, I addressed and linked some of that stuff here, under “related”. But there were many more such instances.

    As for the “bad faith” bit, on what grounds do you base that accusation? Because it’s ludicrous.

  327. Oh, Bradley is going to post the links and let the commenters decide.

    Of course, he could just scroll up to the top of the thread that was closed and see the comment, the links having been provided in the very comment eaten by Patterico’s software.

    Beyond that, I doubt very much he’ll comb the archives here. So again, without my being able to defend myself, this is all very much a show trial.

  328. Darleen,
    Of course I will. I think it’s obvious the two were very upset with each other last night.

    I’m going to stick to the most serious charge, that Patterico lied about Jeff G.’s answering those excruciating hypotheticals. Documenting this should be easy. All one has to do is link to where Jeff G. answered the hypotheticals, and to where Patterico has denied that Jeff G. did so.

    I personally would like to have that matter settled. So post the links, and we’ll see how Patterico responds.

  329. Jeff G.
    You could have just posted your links here, but I’ll look up that comment.

  330. More from Pat: “And everyone’s scared to call [Jeff] on it. I won’t do what others have done and name names, but it’s stunning how many people have e-mailed me with concerns about his behavior, but won’t call him on it explicitly in public.

    If you won’t name names, you shouldn’t bring it up.

    I wonder if you’ve found it equally as stunning how many people, over the past week or so, have rejected your position. Take comfort in your emails, because they play to your ego and sense of wounded honor, Pat. Me, I take comfort in that the ideas you were pushing have been rejected, which I take to be a very good start on the road toward repairing communication and reasserting classical liberalism.

    Different agendas, I guess.

  331. I POSTED THEM HERE, BRADLEY. LOOK UP.

    Jesus.

  332. Would someone with posting privileges at Pattericos please just go link my #330.

    Thanks.

  333. I’ll admit it, I sent him an email.

  334. Me, too.

  335. Jeff G. I just saw your comment. I was already looking at your link, to comment #6.

    I found this as your answer, but was there another?

    Fine, I’ll take a shot at ‘em.

    1. What is this boy doing outside without a parent when black men are roaming around. Black men are filled with the hatred of years of oppression. Personally, I’d move to Connecticut.

    2. Welcome to Darien! Here boy!

    ——————–

    Wading through hundreds of comments and backs and forths is pretty difficult. My head hurts.

  336. That’s one answer to the dog hypotheticals. There were a pair of in-depth answers to the hypothetical Pat left in the comments. I linked to the hypothetical and both my responses.

    As I noted about the dog stuff, Fred (another commenter) had answered them just fine. No need for me to pursue that one further.

    And I also pointed you to several instances where Pat actually showed up and tried to taunt me into dealing with what I thought were pretty lame examples — ones that as he himself finally admitted had nothing to do with my argument.

    Naturally, I can make all these points here, but you get final say on how they’re presented and what gets presented over there.

    Why not just post 330 with all its links?

  337. Apart from the acrimony, the split here isn’t all that surprising. I haven’t checked Gabriel Malor’s position (if he has one), but I’d bet it would be similar to Patterico’s.

    Because of the lawyerism. I mean, we’re talking about a profession that’s paid $250 per hour to write acres of gibberish so detailed that no one could possibly misinterpret it. It really seems to be the way they think people should communicate.

    Jeff seems to want people to take an extra step or two to communicate the way they naturally do – only more effectively. Lawyers seem to want people to communicate in an unnatural way that (magically) avoids misinterpretation – which is fine if you have severe OCD and only want to have 2-3 conversations a month.

    I think it’s actually kind of the first amusing part of this that Bradley has asked for the same thing about 5-6 times after it was given, especially since it was given in the thread we’re talking about. :)

  338. That’s one answer to the dog hypotheticals. There were a pair of in-depth answers to the hypothetical Pat left in the comments.

    As I noted about the dog stuff, Fred (another commenter) had answered them just fine. No need for me to pursue that one further.

    ————-

    Okay, let’s be clear: You gave one short answer to the dog hypothetical, the one I quoted. However, Fred gave in-depth answers, and you decided not to duplicate what Fred had already done.

    Is that correct? Or am I missing something and you did respond somewhere else with a full answer to the dog hypothetical?

  339. Coming soon on Fox: “Dog: The Hypothetical”

  340. Bradley

    The debate about intentionalism between Pat and Jeff has ranged not only here through tread comments as well as posts for days, but also at Pats, hotair and even ace’s place. Pat has accused Jeff and others, including me, of “ducking” his hypos. It won’t be easy to track all the links. When Pat has been pointed to the answers, he STILL finds problems with those answers “you didn’t answer them AS WRITTEN!!”… here:

    Comment by Patterico on 3/17 @ 10:29 pm #

    “Ace continues to say the whole thing is “trivial,” even as he launches yet another thread on the topic, and even as he continues to freeze me out while pushing (along with Hot Air) this lawyerly idea of language that does nothing but weaken our ability to communicate.”

    I have been trying to debate this with you, and oddly, I am being ignored. I posed a series of hypos, Jeff, and I was more interested in your answers than anyone else’s. Yet you peristently refuse to answer them as written.

    You answered the parts you wanted to answer and then wrote a post mocking the questions.

    Why not answer them? I think they would crystallize what our differences are. Pretend the boy is a man if it makes a difference.
    ————————————-
    Comment by Patterico on 3/17 @ 11:00 pm #

    In a 549-comment thread, I see where you half-answered by saying that the black man was just reacting, not interpreting. I pointed out (repeatedly) that this was an unwarranted assumption on your part; you returned to the thread but I don’t see where you responded to that argument.

    I can’t find the part where you asked me my point and I responded. But I believe I did.

    Why do you have to know the point anyway? You think this is a trap? I’m illustrating points with the hypotheticals, but they’re not traps. They’re designed to get at how you analyze these issues.

    If you want to refuse to annswer them, that’s your right. I thought it would make an interesting discussion.

    Believe it or not, I know something about divining intent. I do it in my profession too — and there are real parallels, as I argued on Ace’s thread: the fixing of intent at the time of the act (utterance), and the need to interpret it afterwards without necessarily relying on the actor (speaker). My examples illustrate some things I have learned about intent over the years, and echo (some of them) arguments made by SarahW.

    Again, it would be an interesting discussion.

    ————
    Comment by Patterico on 3/17 @ 11:12 pm #

    The short version on the meaning of the hypos: many of them are an exploration of how and whether the knowledge of others’ reaction affects intent.

    You say it doesn’t; great. I want to see how it works in an example.

    I believe I re-explained the hypos in Ace’s thread, as well, in one of those horrid block-text comments that nobody read because the carriage returns were all lost because I posted from a phone.

    To save work, I’ll recover one and make it legible. Here we are:

    The best example in my post is the last one, because I don’t tell you the speaker’s true intent. You divine it with clues. But the other ones, I think, also go to an interesting issue: when you know something will happen, to what extent can you be said to intend it to happen?

    What if Obama said: it sure would be nice if someone was to rub out Rush Limbaugh.

    If he says that to his wife, that’s one thing.

    If he says it to a Mafia killer, it might make it more likely that it would actually happen.

    And if he said it to Rahm Emanuel, he might as well be explicitly giving the order.

    Same phrasing: but the likely reaction of the listener can actually change the way we perceive his intent.

    In my examples, you have someone say what he was going to say anyway, knowing it will likely offend someone. You have another in which he actually chooses the more offensive phrasing, but purports not to be trying to offend. In others, he behaves in ways consistent with a desire to offend.

    Does any of this change the way we perceive his intent?

    These concepts interest me because 1) we never truly know someone’s intent in real life, and 2) in my line of work, we look to external cues to make judgments about people’s intent. If the guy pointed the gun and pulled the trigger, screaming “Die!” . . . it tends to suggest an intent to kill. And while we strive to know what he REALLY intended, we can only make our best, most reasonable judgment based on everything we know. And we can’t just take the dude’s word for it that he didn’t intend to kill, if all available evidence points to the conclusion that he did. Again, I bet Jeff disagrees with this less than many realize.

    That’s what I said at Ace’s, dozens of comments before you said I conspicuously refused to answer what the point of the hypos is.

    So there. You can rest assured it’s not a trap. If it is, I gave away the secret so you won’t get caught.
    ———————–
    Comment by Jeff G. on 3/18 @ 9:57 am #

    I don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about people going to jail for being misinterpreted, which is why I didn’t respond to it. This sounds like you “writing your own text” of what I’m saying.

    Huh?

    No, that’s me answering the hypothetical. And the language was all mine and fully intended. Little attempted digs using phrases you’ve picked up only work when you have an idea about how to use them.

    Let me explain what I was talking about. In your hypothetical, Obama says the same thing to 3 different people. You note “Same phrasing: but the likely reaction of the listener can actually change the way we perceive his intent.”

    Aside from the fact that it is unclear who exactly “we” and “his” refer to here, I took a stab at explaining how this works from the standpoint of intentionalism, thinking that’s what we were discussing all these days.

    So, again: in each instance, Obama means what he means. Who his audience is may affect how they determine what they believe his meaning to be, using all available tools of interpetation at their disposal, from biography to tone of voice to intertext (has he asked this of them before with respect to someone else? Did they carry it out? Was he pleased, horrified, silent…?) to the asking for clarification. In each case, they will be appealing to what they believe is Obama’s intent. Because if they aren’t, they aren’t interpreting him — they are merely adding their own intent to his signifiers / auditory signals.

    If each then proceed to act on what s/he believed was Obama’s intent — and all three of them, let’s say, go rub out Rush Limbaugh, and they were caught — then in a court of law, what would happen?

    Obama being Obama would likely argue that he never meant for anyone to rub out Rush Limbaugh. I was joking, he’d say. I’m the President; I don’t order hits! He would say that he never meant, in each instance, to be taken at face value. Did he? Well, that depends on what he meant. But an argument could be made that he didn’t mean to be taken at face value — in which case, if a jury bought that argument, the killer would go to jail either for interpreting Obama correctly (if he intended the initial utterance as an order), something he subsequently denies they did; or else Obama will go to jail for not properly signaling his intent (if he, eg., was only joking and never intended to be taken seriously, but the jury doesn’t believe him).

    Other permutations follow along these same lines.

    In every case, what Obama meant hasn’t changed; the way his audience interprets him is based on a number of factors; and the ramifications of his utterance in a court (if his lawyer is good) of law will turn on whether the argument can be made that he never intended his utterance be interpreted as an order.

    If a prosecutor were to try to convict him on what a “reasonable person” might believe his words signaled — regardless of his intent — he should counter that those same words, conceived of as delivered ironically, completely changes the meaning of the “plain words.” And so we’re back to determining what it is Obama meant.

    From this example, I extrapolated out the following with respect to all such cases:

    The fact that you can go to jail because what you meant was misinterpreted, or the fact that you don’t because what you meant was uttered in a context that gives you plausible deniability, speaks not at all to what I’m interested in from a theoretical standpoint — though I would hate to see someone jailed because they weren’t clear about what they meant, and someone else decided to write their own text and act on it.

    Meaning, quite simply, that in this particular hypothetical, had Obama not intended for Rush Limbaugh to be rubbed out (he was joking, and never intended to be taken seriously), he might still go to jail for it — all because he wasn’t clear about his meaning, signaling his intent poorly — and a jury concludes that they don’t believe he didn’t intend for a hit to take place. His meaning hasn’t changed, but he is being punished for not expressing it clearly enough. Or worse, he could be convicted on the grounds that, even if he didn’t mean it, a “reasonable person” could believe he did, and so act on what they heard as a command. Or put another way, acting on their own intentions, which they have then turned around and attributed to Obama.

    Conversely, had he intended to have Rush wiped out, but he later argues successfully that that formulation is clearly not what he meant (authorial fallacy), perhaps the jury buys it, citing the casual context in which he “joked” with his wife or Mr Emmanuel, which created plausible deniability for Obama and reasonable doubt in the mind of the jury. With the mafia guy, he’s likely fucked.

    Again. None of this has changed what he meant.

    That is your hypothetical, addressed from the perspective of intention and what constitutes interpretation — and also from the perspective of how context, which gives clues to interpretation, can potentially effect how people divine intent.

    What more is there? Or is that, unhappy that I addressed this hypothetical, you now are demanding I address your new set of questions?

    Sorry. I used to get paid for this. You want more answers, pony up a semester’s worth of tuition.

    —————

    Here just a few examples, Bradley, you can read the hole thread around ‘em

    http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=14553

    I may be misinterpreting Pat but he seemed miffed because he found JeffG’s fictional conversation post as a personal insult aimed at him. As you can see, Pat does repeats a hypo he posed at Ace’s and Jeff answers ON POINT. At other parts Pat admits on Jeff’s thread that Jeff did answer, but not in the way Pat wants Jeff to answer.

    Pat wants his hypos answered his way even if they are only tangentally tied to an intentionalism debate.

    On his manners/pc thread, I answered Pat’s 4 points directly and not only did Pat never answer me, but he decided to be nasty to me when I pointed it out to him after he started saying *I* never answered his hypos.

  341. Bradley, et al.,
    Regardless of accusations of lying, etc. which are besides the larger argument, all of Patterico’s hypotheticals seemed designed to get to the same, single question: in what circumstances is it required that we dispense with authorial intent because “reasonably” people would believe offense might be taken. Pat says sometimes, Jeff says never, because to do so would, inch-by-inch, appropriate the speaker’s meaning to the will of he listener, and given the current political climate, it is the meanings intended by conservatives that will be usurped.

    But there is still a larger question here. Ontologically, the act of appropriatinig another’s meaning is to deprive him of his own will, it is to negate the other, whose intents are being used against him; it is to extinguish the very personhood of another by denying him his free will to determine his own meanings. This is simply an act of totalitarianism.

  342. Hey Bradley, just for grins, I thought I might ask you what you thought of Patterico’s poll on Rush Limbaugh’s meaning a week or so back? In particular, did you conclude, as I did, that Patterico had set out to construct a poll/condition that would necessarily lead to precisely the conclusion he wanted to get to all along, namely that Limbaugh had been ambiguous, by setting out his two hypotheticals, which didn’t and couldn’t entail RL’s meaning, but left most people scratching their heads and wondering aloud, “Where is Lambaugh here? We don’t see him?” Neither of the choices you’ve given us, Pat, fit the rhetoric we saw deployed!

    And then as a sort of concession, Pat puts up a third alternative, fashioned in an utterly spastic If A, then B, If C then D (or whatever it was) that still held Limbaugh at arms length, like he had the fucking cooties or something, all the while pretending that he, Pat, was so earnest at getting to the heart of Limbaugh’s message.

    And then, as predicted, reaching his obvious conclusion, Look at all this disagreement in my commenters over what Limbaugh said! He therefore must have been ambiguous! Q.E.D.!

    Or did you think the whole thing an honest effort?

  343. Aside from dealing with the idea of context vs intent, and referencing the dog examples in order to explain why they weren’t relevant to my argument, no, I didn’t answer them 1-6 the way Patterico demanded.

    I did, however, answer in depth the hypothetical Patterico offered up (first on Ace’s site, then on mine) to be used, on his suggestion, by those who didn’t want to deal with the (contrived and racially charged) dog hypotheticals. And I only answered that one to show how intentionalism is not bothered by his kind of conditionals.

    Not that any of that matters. What is really being argued here is that to answer his hypothetical, I had to answer them the way Patterico wanted me to answer.

  344. Darleen, thank you for finding those examples.

    Is there any one post by Jeff G. you can point to that most fully tackles Patterico’s dog hypotheticals?

    What I mean is, I see a number of references and replies, but is there a full point-by-point answer by Jeff G.?

    This by Patterico appears key:
    “Yet you peristently refuse to answer them as written.

    You answered the parts you wanted to answer and then wrote a post mocking the questions.

    Why not answer them? I think they would crystallize what our differences are. Pretend the boy is a man if it makes a difference.”

    If someone has replied to your hypothetical, but not in the prescribed manner, is it really an answer? There’s a hermeneutic puzzler for Jeff G.

  345. Jeff G.
    Missed your comment, which confirms what I thought:

    “What is really being argued here is that to answer his hypothetical, I had to answer them the way Patterico wanted me to answer.”

    That is a matter of interpretation. It’s not a clear-cut case of one or the other lying. So there is room for each granting the other side the benefit of the doubt.

  346. If someone has replied to your hypothetical, but not in the prescribed manner, is it really an answer? There’s a hermeneutic puzzler for Jeff G.

    Not a puzzler at all. I answered them as written. I just didn’t answer them in detail.

    And the other hypothetical I answered in detail.

    Patterico was making demands not only that I answer, but about the way I answer. Are you seriously ready to suggest that because I didn’t answer Patterico in his “prescribed manner” that I haven’t answered him?

    Yeah. I can see where the lawyers have decided to take this one.

    It’s all about the good faith.

    And why the bracketing of the hypothetical I did answer in full? Was that not as prescribed? Did Pat not offer it as an alternative to the dog hypotheticals?

    Whatever. I can make this case myself, but I’m not invited to do so. Show trial.

    Say what you want.

  347. That is a matter of interpretation.

    You just can’t make this shit up.

  348. In defense of lawyers, they are trained to think by trying to tear down arguments and seeing what stands. Yeah, that’s a gross over-simplification but law school equals venn diagram love among all its other wonders.

    IMO, Patterico did get the prickly pie treatment.

    Now he’s so mad and insulted he’ll take NK’s cheap cracks in his defense with some satisfaction at the anger they cause, and thinks of JeffG as pot of hot nitroglycerin whom everyone walks on eggshells around lest he ASPLODE at them, right in the face.

    Is there anything to be done about this now? Kiss and make-up seems to be off the table for the present. I wish Patterico would acknowlege the line crossed by NK,in defense of Patterico. Otherwise, just let this all go, cause it’s gone.

  349. What’s a prickly pie?

  350. What does it mean to answer them as written? That I have to answer in accordance with his view of what is an appropriate response, or in accordance to what I believe is an appropriate response?

    There is no wiggle room. Pat says I haven’t answered them as written. I have. I just didn’t do so in the way he wanted me to in one case – which is the case you both want to focus on.

    How does the other hypothetical and my answer fit into Pat’s proclamation? It was his hypothetical, offered up for answer, and I answered it. Twice. In detail.

    He notes that it touches on the points he was interested in. The mechanisms are the same for all the hypotheticals, so why repeate myself?

    I answered what Pat was asking. He says I didn’t. Not true.

  351. Let me explain what I was talking about. In your hypothetical, Obama says the same thing to 3 different people. You note “Same phrasing: but the likely reaction of the listener can actually change the way we perceive his intent.”

    Aside from the fact that it is unclear who exactly “we” and “his” refer to here, I took a stab at explaining how this works from the standpoint of intentionalism, thinking that’s what we were discussing all these days.

    So, again: in each instance, Obama means what he means. Who his audience is may affect how they determine what they believe his meaning to be, using all available tools of interpetation at their disposal, from biography to tone of voice to intertext (has he asked this of them before with respect to someone else? Did they carry it out? Was he pleased, horrified, silent…?) to the asking for clarification. In each case, they will be appealing to what they believe is Obama’s intent. Because if they aren’t, they aren’t interpreting him — they are merely adding their own intent to his signifiers / auditory signals.

    If each then proceed to act on what s/he believed was Obama’s intent — and all three of them, let’s say, go rub out Rush Limbaugh, and they were caught — then in a court of law, what would happen?

    Obama being Obama would likely argue that he never meant for anyone to rub out Rush Limbaugh. I was joking, he’d say. I’m the President; I don’t order hits! He would say that he never meant, in each instance, to be taken at face value. Did he? Well, that depends on what he meant. But an argument could be made that he didn’t mean to be taken at face value — in which case, if a jury bought that argument, the killer would go to jail either for interpreting Obama correctly (if he intended the initial utterance as an order), something he subsequently denies they did; or else Obama will go to jail for not properly signaling his intent (if he, eg., was only joking and never intended to be taken seriously, but the jury doesn’t believe him).

    Other permutations follow along these same lines.

    In every case, what Obama meant hasn’t changed; the way his audience interprets him is based on a number of factors; and the ramifications of his utterance in a court (if his lawyer is good) of law will turn on whether the argument can be made that he never intended his utterance be interpreted as an order.

    If a prosecutor were to try to convict him on what a “reasonable person” might believe his words signaled — regardless of his intent — he should counter that those same words, conceived of as delivered ironically, completely changes the meaning of the “plain words.” And so we’re back to determining what it is Obama meant.

    From this example, I extrapolated out the following with respect to all such cases:

    The fact that you can go to jail because what you meant was misinterpreted, or the fact that you don’t because what you meant was uttered in a context that gives you plausible deniability, speaks not at all to what I’m interested in from a theoretical standpoint — though I would hate to see someone jailed because they weren’t clear about what they meant, and someone else decided to write their own text and act on it.

    Meaning, quite simply, that in this particular hypothetical, had Obama not intended for Rush Limbaugh to be rubbed out (he was joking, and never intended to be taken seriously), he might still go to jail for it — all because he wasn’t clear about his meaning, signaling his intent poorly — and a jury concludes that they don’t believe he didn’t intend for a hit to take place. His meaning hasn’t changed, but he is being punished for not expressing it clearly enough. Or worse, he could be convicted on the grounds that, even if he didn’t mean it, a “reasonable person” could believe he did, and so act on what they heard as a command. Or put another way, acting on their own intentions, which they have then turned around and attributed to Obama.

    Conversely, had he intended to have Rush wiped out, but he later argues successfully that that formulation is clearly not what he meant (authorial fallacy), perhaps the jury buys it, citing the casual context in which he “joked” with his wife or Mr Emmanuel, which created plausible deniability for Obama and reasonable doubt in the mind of the jury. With the mafia guy, he’s likely fucked.

    Again. None of this has changed what he meant.

    That is your hypothetical, addressed from the perspective of intention and what constitutes interpretation — and also from the perspective of how context, which gives clues to interpretation, can potentially effect how people divine intent.

    What more is there? Or is that, unhappy that I addressed this hypothetical, you now are demanding I address your new set of questions?

    Sorry. I used to get paid for this. You want more answers, pony up a semester’s worth of tuition.

    Prickly pear treatment? Or me giving up my time to accede to one of Patterico’s demands that I address a hypothetical that those who understood my argument should have had no problem dealing with.

  352. I need to get out of here.

    Surreal.

  353. Patterico: “Objection, your honor! The witness is being unresponsive!”

    Non-existent judge in Patterico’s imaginary courtroom: “Sustained.”

    The rest of us: “WTF?”

  354. Bradley’s bad faith shines through, as he deliver his verdict thusly:

    #

    It appears the difference of opinion was based on hermeneutics. Yes, Jeff G. replied to Patterico’s hypotheticals. However, the replies didn’t address the hypotheticals in the manner Patterico asked for. So in the sense Patterico meant, Jeff G. didn’t reply.

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 3/22/2009 @ 2:33 pm

    Tell me, how did my reply to the Obama hypothetical not address the hypothetical in the manner Paterrico asked for?

    How did I therefore not reply in the sense Patterico meant.

    Like I said, show trial. From the start, before embarking on his “investigation,” Bradley’s opinion was this:

    #

    Patterico,
    Those who are even remotely fair-minded are going to see Jeff G.’s wild accusations against you for what they are, and be repulsed by them. Jeff G.’s calling you insane is especially rich.

    I have posted a few comments on PW, nothing much, but I’ll try to do more.

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 3/22/2009 @ 12:38 pm

    Nary a mention of the other hypothetical. Nary a mention that to answer something “as written” or “as prescribed” doesn’t mean you need to answer them in a way Patterico expects.

    Show trial.

    Congrats to the shining beacons of truth and freedom, who have not only locked me out of defending myself, but who have then issued a verdict that ignores the thrust of the indictment.

    Fuck ‘em all. I’m through with them and I’m through with this.

    They win. Truth loses. And me — the prickly pear — is gone.

  355. Bradley’s a douche. Is that open to interpretation?

  356. So in the sense Patterico meant, Jeff G. didn’t reply.

    So in the sense Jeff G. meant, Patterico lied.

    How’s that, Bradley?

  357. Why hasn’t Bradley spent some time here discussing his hair-splitting conclusion, if not the questions we wonder on? Is that distasteful or outlandish? A waste of time wherein no one learns, no one benefits? His carefully attained equilibrium undone by an inadvertent elbow? What, I wonder?

  358. Nice argument.

    Hey, who stole our country?

  359. Bradley’s bad faith shines through, as he deliver his verdict thusly:

    ————–

    So now you’re the victim of a “show trial”. Enjoy your martyrdom.

    At least I know for certain what you’re really like.

  360. And I you, Bradley. You ignored the other hypothetical. You ignored my answer about dealing with Pat’s hypotheticals “as written.” You simply reached the conclusion we all knew you’d reach.

    But while you’re still allowed to post here and answer me, I’m not afforded the same courtesy over at Patterico’s. Because, you see, I made a “death threat.” So I get a dishonest little snake like you as my filter.

    Show. Trial.

    Enjoy being the bureaucrat in a Kafka story.

  361. Bradley

    How does it feel channeling Pandagon?

  362. Bradley, you started your “examination” with the conclusion. Your questions were still answered in good faith.

    And you STILL ignore the answers and go off on a tangent to “prove” your preconceptions.

    Why did you do that?

  363. Jeff, don’t stres. Just stand on the truth and watch them run aground.

    It’s sad, and probably not over.

    I like the part where almost every “I don’t want to talk about this anymore” statement by Patterico includes another slam at Jeff. Almost canonical passive-aggressive “last-word” behavior.

    I’m a little saddened by Stashiu’s “didn’t bother to check” bandwagon-jumping, but there you go.

  364. Said it before, will say it again:

    Patterico (and, I suspect, Bradley) are from a legalistic culture where the only goal is to “win”. Truth doesn’t enter into it. At all.

  365. Anybody go over to Patterico’s and make my case? I’m not allowed, you see. Because when it comes to my own hanging, my bringing the tree is a death threat. To the guy with the rope.

    Or something.

  366. Comments are all closed. He’s got his fingers in his eyes.

  367. tmj — i don’t like going to the dentist or the gynecologist much either. but i recognize their necessity of my doing both. doesn’t mean i gotta like ‘em.

    as far as our system of government goes… i think it the worst system except for all the others humans have tried, paraphrasing what some wise man once said. or it was that once, but i see it quickly slipping away.

    and yes, bullshit must be called early and often when it’s spotted. but that hasn’t been happening much. and the more the language becomes debased and the more interpretation becomes perverted, the more difficult that task becomes. case in point: see darlene’s ‘brain drain’ post. amazing that now we’re faced with actual freakin’ fascism in the true uncorrupted sense of that word. but that word has been thrown around so promiscuously the last 8 years to describe bush, or just whoever someone thinks is icky, that its meaning is no longer clear to many people, particularly those who may never have known its original meaning to begin with. what word can we use to name the things described in darlene’s post, to accurately describe what’s going on, if fascism isn’t really available to us as meaning what it’s supposed to mean?

  368. paraphrasing what some wise man once said

    Winston Churchill.

  369. It’s in a different thread now, Diana.

    They don’t like my macho stuff. It’s too NASCAR. Taking shots at people’s family, though, is okay, because it’s all in good fun — and no one loses teeth.

    Remember, should we ever wish to chat, Patterico will happily sit down in front of his computer with a glass of wine…

  370. Here’s the thread where Bradley J ignored my (and others’) attempts to give examples — which we did — and then issued a judgment that ignored all of them.

    They’re still bashing me. Pat’s a standup guy. I’m something of a thug. Who, like, wrestles and stuff. How outre!

  371. Says Bradley:

    #

    No worries, Dmac. I just tried to reason with Jeff G., and he told me I was acting in “bad faith” and conducting a “show trial.”

    I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about that sad, sad person.

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 3/22/2009 @ 5:40 pm

    Yes. He tried reasoning with me. Is how it happened.

    Note to Bradley: I’m not allowed to defend myself. You set out to prove your conclusion, which you’d offered in advance. You mentioned nothing of my argument.

    I’m the sad person?

    Heh.

  372. louchette –

    doesn’t mean i gotta like ‘em.

    I agree, and now understand the point you were making.

    Ma’am.

    Yes, he CAN be taught…

    As far as the “fascism” thing goes, I see a future where ACORN gets to wear cool uniforms. I see a future where “relief” is blatantly attached to “political reliability” measured by race and/or the presence of religion. I see a future where Team Tmj answers “four, human” on the census, and lets it go at that.

    I need to get started on the census protest movement soon. Working seventy hours a week (blessfully only fifty nine last week) leaves little time for activism. It is crystal clear that Obama and his band of useful idiots fully intend to corrupt the census and thus the mechanism of elected representation by population, and I’m going to ask folks to resist the effort.

  373. Okay, nevermind then.

  374. I really don’t get the reading wherein your offer to bring the tree to your own hanging is taken as a death threat? I mean, what is that? Besides retarded, that is?

  375. Oh … grand. You’d think they’d keep the crap on relevant posts. I’ll check again.

  376. you don’t fish

  377. I really don’t get the reading wherein your offer to bring the tree to your own hanging is taken as a death threat? I mean, what is that?

    That’s Patterico proving he doesn’t know what “reasonable” means.

    There is no way Jeff’s comment could “reasonably” be construed as a death threat, any more than what Limbaugh said could “reasonably” be construed to mean … whatever the fuck Patterico was arguing some people would think it meant.

    If ‘Rico were to set out to prove the validity of Jeff’s position and the bankruptcy of its opponent, I don’t know how it could have played out any differently.

  378. Pingback: In response to a public lynching: Patrick Frey has no honor. In my opinion. Which qualifier, like, saves me from a libel suit I think [updated to include linked "annotations"]

  379. So it’s OK for Jeff to post a name. That’s what this has come down to.

  380. Except that I never posted a name.

  381. Then what is your point about identities? The internet is a convenient game.

  382. I know it. And he knows I know it.

    It’s teaching civility by way of tough love.

  383. Pingback: On blogging and its discontents.

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