"You were part of the problem"
Man, what a shame. Less than 48 hours ago, we had, out there, a relatively straightforward moral and legal question to ponder:
"If a man is an active supporter of a particular government and prime minister, is it fair (and legal) to opine that he is at all responsible for the consequences of the spending and policy decisions of said gov't and PM?" I think it probably is, as long as you're not holding him personally and directly responsible for a specific consequence in the absence of evidence.
Unfortunately, that question has now been relegated to a side note in the kerfuffle that is Kinsella v. mouth-breathers, and that is most certainly to Warren Kinsella's benefit. The original post by Damian Brooks which made the argument above has been withdrawn, so that people now stumbling onto this story are unable to judge it for themselves. My quasi-summary is here; the offending sentence from Brooks' post was most certainly, referring to Liberal "support" for the military, "You were part of the problem". Kinsella, on his own site, is now characterizing this as dually "one of them wrote that I was actually responsible for the death of this child's father", and "if someone publishes that I killed a soldier...".
The post that IS still up that Kinsella objects to (by Ian Scott) represents a much less interesting question. While it doesn't appear defamatory either, it's much less mature insight than Brooks', it's rambling, and it pretends to insult Kinsella's parents, one of whom died a few months ago. In short, it's exactly how Kinsella would portray Canada's "right-wing" blogs if he could write it himself.
I said before that few or none of us doing this web-comment thing are in it to make enemies and cause serious trouble. I still believe that's still mostly true, although there are a few who wish to drop trou with Kinsella and get out a ruler. I don't see why you'd want to get into it with someone whose #1 career skill is "winning arguments". His post today underlines that pretty well; he manages to combine ad hominem attacks with quotes that aren't exactly "quotes" and characterizations which are not so wrong as to be false. I mean, wow!
- Rightist bloggers are mostly guys and white (and "aroused" by Mark Steyn's website)
- This is an "avalanche of hate"
- He gets hate mail which he doesn't quote from directly, but characterizes as Puce-style (Jean Chretien's conversations with his homeless buddy come to mind here)
- Paints all his detractors as people who would sympathize with someone who uses the term "race-mixer" (presumably as a negative - again, it's unattributed)
UPDATE (minutes later): Kinsella also makes a bit of an issue about people not using their real names. I know this is also a big talking point whenever blogs are discussed in large media. Anyway, I'm Matt Fenwick. I never wrote this site under an alias so that readers wouldn't know who I was - most of you who have received an email from me know this. It was so that people who know me, but don't know I have a blog, wouldn't find out via Google. You may think this is equally gutless, I don't really care.
So I don't get tarred with a wide brush: my name is Matt Fenwick, I'm a Leo, and I'm presently wearing a golf shirt and Dockers.