Friday, October 15, 2004

Two sides to every story, etc.

Since a lot of people seem to be counting, the Kinsella threat-of-whatever is not new, and has not been confined to four bloggers (Brooks, Ianism, Shamrocks, Daimnation).

Please refer to this old apology at Let It Bleed, and note:
  • Bob Tarantino is a lawyer as well
  • Apology appears to have been made a full calendar year after the original post was made
  • If you consider defamation to be a "shades of grey" thing, rather than black/white, Bob's apology appears to be for comments rather more defamatory than what Brooks, Ian, and Patrick wrote.
Take it all for what you will; I just thought I'd bring it up because it seems to have disappeared down the memory hole (or more likely, most of the folks active in the present discussion were less plugged-in back then).

Sorry to Bob if he was hoping it would stay there. Maybe now this statement, about me in July, makes a little more sense to everyone else:
...plus, Jerry sometimes wonders whether Kinsella is a [deleted on advice of counsel].

3 Comments:

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Shamrocks! said...

Jerry:

You are providing some valuable insight. I have a feeling this whole thing is basically a very powerful way to advertise his new punk rock book, which just happens to be coming out next month. By making a mostly right wing blogosphere extremely angry, he is building some credibility with the mostly left wing punk establishment.

Just an idea.

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick:

I think you give Kinsella far too much credit if you really believe that this is just a marketing ploy to sell more books.

I much prefer Matt's conclusion that he is simply an occasionally insightful jerk.

I honestly believe that he simply took the blogger statements, which I also read before they were pulled, far too literally.

Having said that, I think the whole controversy is ridiculous.

On the more interesting general question:

1) The idea that decreased military funding CAUSED the accident on this submarine is tenuous at best. As a hypothetical, how much money would have to be devoted to military spending to absolve the government and their supporters from these sorts of accidents? Is it even possible? Couldn't we always spend more?

2) Even if we accept that decreased military spending contributed to this particular submarine accident (which I can't accept), is there any evidence that Kinsella was in any way responsible for this decreased spending?

Most interestingly:

3) What does it really mean to say that "active supporters of a particular government and Prime Minister" are "responsible for the consequences of the spending and policy decisions of said government and PM"?

What exactly does this responsibility entail? Does this mean that individual citizens who don't support (i.e., vote for) a particular government are totally absolved of the actions of their government? Should non-Liberal supporters be able to sue Liberal supporters for the missing Adscam dollars? Should non-Conservative supporters be able to sue Conservative supporters for the Mulroney deficit budgets? Can anyone but Liberal supporters take credit for any positive actions by the Government of Canada over the last 12 years? What about citizens who vote for a Government but then decide halfway through a mandate that they don't like the direction the Government is taking? Are they still responsible or not?

In our current political system, in which we anonymously elect individuals to represent our views rather than voting on every decision individually, can anyone except the elected representatives be held responsible for their actions? Afterall, elected officials necessarily represent an incredibly broad spectrum of ideas.

It seems to me that equating the spending and policy decisions of elected officials with the specific beliefs and intests of particular citizens assumes a far too direct relationship between voter and policy. Our system simnply doesn't work that way.

So, there must be some sort of collective responsiblity, and it seems to me that our democratic system imparts this collective responsibilty on ALL citizens, not simply those who voted for the decision makers. I can't see how any other option makes sense. By participating in a democracy we ALL agree to accept the will of the majority, and this acceptance is more than symbolic - it also entails taking responsibilty for the consequences of this will. Democracy is an inefficient, expensive, difficult, frustrating system, which frequently results in OUR government making decisions that particular individuals disagree with; but, it is the system that we all have agreed on, and we ALL need to accept the responsibilty for the results.

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick:

I think you give Kinsella far too much credit if you really believe that this is just a marketing ploy to sell more books.

I much prefer Matt's conclusion that he is simply an occasionally insightful jerk.

I honestly believe that he simply took the blogger statements, which I also read before they were pulled, far too literally.

Having said that, I think the whole controversy is ridiculous.

On the more interesting general question:

1) The idea that decreased military funding CAUSED the accident on this submarine is tenuous at best. As a hypothetical, how much money would have to be devoted to military spending to absolve the government and their supporters from these sorts of accidents? Is it even possible? Couldn't we always spend more?

2) Even if we accept that decreased military spending contributed to this particular submarine accident (which I can't accept), is there any evidence that Kinsella was in any way responsible for this decreased spending?

Most interestingly:

3) What does it really mean to say that "active supporters of a particular government and Prime Minister" are "responsible for the consequences of the spending and policy decisions of said government and PM"?

What exactly does this responsibility entail? Does this mean that individual citizens who don't support (i.e., vote for) a particular government are totally absolved of the actions of their government? Should non-Liberal supporters be able to sue Liberal supporters for the missing Adscam dollars? Should non-Conservative supporters be able to sue Conservative supporters for the Mulroney deficit budgets? Can anyone but Liberal supporters take credit for any positive actions by the Government of Canada over the last 12 years? What about citizens who vote for a Government but then decide halfway through a mandate that they don't like the direction the Government is taking? Are they still responsible or not?

In our current political system, in which we anonymously elect individuals to represent our views rather than voting on every decision individually, can anyone except the elected representatives be held responsible for their actions? Afterall, elected officials necessarily represent an incredibly broad spectrum of ideas.

It seems to me that equating the spending and policy decisions of elected officials with the specific beliefs and intests of particular citizens assumes a far too direct relationship between voter and policy. Our system simnply doesn't work that way.

So, there must be some sort of collective responsiblity, and it seems to me that our democratic system imparts this collective responsibilty on ALL citizens, not simply those who voted for the decision makers. I can't see how any other option makes sense. By participating in a democracy we ALL agree to accept the will of the majority, and this acceptance is more than symbolic - it also entails taking responsibilty for the consequences of this will. Democracy is an inefficient, expensive, difficult, frustrating system, which frequently results in OUR government making decisions that particular individuals disagree with; but, it is the system that we all have agreed on, and we ALL need to accept the responsibilty for the results.

- jass

 

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