Wednesday, August 01, 2007

For those who wish to continue tracking Chris's attempt to dialogue with Mark ...

I would refer you to the comments of the earlier entry. I think that the short form as to why Mark behaves as he does when it comes to Ledeen is that Mark has defined the man in his own mind as a representative of all that is evil when it comes to neoconservatives. The fact that he is now bringing Strauss into this is a clear indication to me as to just how far gone he is.

Also, this exchange in relation to this post is very interesting:
Corrupt? Do we have any evidence that he takes bribes or something similar? Or has "corrupt" lost any meaningful content other than as a fancy-sounding synonym for "really bad"?
Seamus | 08.01.07 - 10:04 am | #

Ditto. The firing of prosecutors was clumsy, but not illegal.
Peggy | Homepage | 08.01.07 - 10:11 am | #

Nor is there evidense that he lied. This if from July 29th PowerLine:

Today the Times confirms that Gonzales told the truth. The legal dispute that broke out in 2004 was about the NSA's "data mining" project, in which databases of telephone records were reviewed for patterns suggestive of terrorist cells:

A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program.
It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate. But such databases contain records of the phone calls and e-mail messages of millions of Americans, and their examination by the government would raise privacy issues.


What's comical about the Times' reporting is that the paper can't bring itself to acknowledge that this means Gonzales has been vindicated:

If the dispute chiefly involved data mining, rather than eavesdropping, Mr. Gonzales’ defenders may maintain that his narrowly crafted answers, while legalistic, were technically correct.
First, this paragraph of "analysis" is contradicted by the reporting contained in the same article, which doesn't say that the dispute was "chiefly" about data mining. It says it was about data mining, period. Further, there is nothing "narrowly crafted," "legalistic" or "technically correct" about Gonzales's testimony. It was truthful and fully accurate. He said that the legal controversy did not involve the program that was confirmed by President Bush, in which international communications where one party was associated with al Qaeda were intercepted. That is exactly what the Times reported today. The controversy involved a completely different program, which has been rumored but which the administration has never publicly confirmed. Yet the Times cannot bring itself to admit that Gonzales has been vindicated, and the Senators who called for a perjury investigation have been made to look foolish.
John J. Simmins | 08.01.07 - 10:35 am | #

"Corrupt" as in "making the AG office a rubber stamp for enabling war crimes instead of doing what it's supposed to do" (just for starters).

Remember the Torture Memos? That's what soured me on Gonzales.
Mark Shea | Homepage | 08.01.07 - 11:01 am | #

Remember the Torture Memos? That's what soured me on Gonzales.

So "corrupt" actually *is* just a synonym for "really, really bad."
Seamus | 08.01.07 - 11:11 am | #

Dictionary definitions aside, as Mark likes to remind us in relation to Ledeen, words have meaning. If you accuse a politician of being corrupt, people read that as covering a fairly specific criteria of activity, just as if he had accused Gonzalez of being a deviant. But it turns out that the reason Gonzalez is corrupt is because he just happens to be a bad person on the issue of torture. So because he is a bad person, all other charges against him must be true and all manner of invective may be hurled against him.

I find it very odd that someone so adamantly opposed to consequentialism appears to practice it on such a regular basis.

11 comments:

Roger H. said...

"Corrupt" as in "making the AG office a rubber stamp for enabling war crimes instead of doing what it's supposed to do" (just for starters).

Remember the Torture Memos? That's what soured me on Gonzales.


As if Mark read it, which I'm pretty sure he didn't. And even if he did, I'd challenge him to find exactly where Gonzales says torture is perfectly ok to do.

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

I have read the memos, and the reasoning they contain is by turns embarrassing and disturbing. Frankly Bush should have asked for Gonzales' resignation a long time ago, if for no other reason than that the man does not appear to be at all competent to do his job. But as Bush places such a high premium on loyalty, this is not likely to happen.

paul zummo said...

Mark is trying to be sarcastic here, but does anybody think he's really wide of the mark:

Many things, really, Zippy. I mean it's so hard to choose. For one things, there's my complete allergy to even minimal truthfulness. I lie about absolutely everything, just for fun. There's hardly anything I like more than leading people astray, even when it comes to trivial facts. In fact, I'm lying right now.

This is, of course, related to my staggering ignorance. I don't know a damn thing and I don't want to know. Facts are hard and complicated and I think we're better off without them.

Then again, there's my neurotic terror of all disagreement. The mildest difference of opinion fills me with a tyrannous need for approval and a violent urge to shout down the smallest independent thought. My readers live in continual fear of me and only the bravest have ever dared to disagree with me.


BTW, if I were a little less mature, I'd suggest that Mark and Zippy get a room.

Paul Zummo said...

I see the sock puppet has jumped on my previous comment.

For such sarcastic people, they're awfully obtuse.

Paul Zummo said...

And this, my final comment on Shea's blog if I can help it:

It's useful to note that Mark deleted my ever damaging comment, yaaaawn. Clearly such language cannot be tolerated.

All right, let's get serious. Not that this post will last for longer than the time it takes for Mark to look at the comment's author.

This blog was once a very useful resource, one of the most enjoyable blogs to read in the blogosphere. Over time, the unrelenting contempt for viewpoints that disagreed with mark's own became too much to take. So I just stopped reading (and the blog post that put me over the top wasn't even related to politics, but rather an incredibly cynical blogpost about worship styles, one in which I agreed with Mark's basic opinion, but couldn't take the way Mark just dismissed those that held contrary opinions.)

It's not the sarcasm, Mark. Sarcasm is the essential tone of the blogosphere. In fact, sarcasm is probably one of my favorite things about the blogosphere. Come on, I'm from New York, what New Yorker is going to hate sarcasm.

No, the problem is the contempt - absolute snivelling contempt you show to people that have different opinions. It's like you don't even read what people are writing. This thread is the perfect example. No one's really defending Ledeen here, and yet we're all just "consequentialists" because we happen to disagree with the way you've framed Ledeen's writing. There's no attempt whatsoever to even address the arguments other than through a wave of the hand. Throw some ad hominem, sprinkle off a few tired cliches, and just dismiss others. Lovely. Surely a Christian way of blogging.

And no, my comment on CFF was NOT a Christian thing to write. That's why I stay away from this blog and others like it. Quite frankly it brings out the worst in me. I think you bring out the worst in a lot of people, Mark.

Donald R. McClarey said...

Well said Paul! I post on the internet for fun. Catholic and Enjoying It, once upon a time, was a fun place. Mark would often make comments I disagreed with but I enjoyed mixing it up with him and others in the comboxes. However, with the advent of the torture debate Mark eventually decided that he would brook no dissent on that point. His tone became one of constant hectoring and abuse. Not much fun anymore, not even for Mark I suspect.

Paul Zummo said...

Paul, my good woman:

Well, at least I get to break open my favorite non Roger Waters Pink Floyd lyric.

And I open my doors to my enemies.
And I ask can we wipe the slate clean.
But they tell me to please go fuck myself.
You know you just can't win.

Phillip said...

"However, with the advent of the torture debate Mark eventually decided that he would brook no dissent on that point. His tone became one of constant hectoring and abuse. Not much fun anymore, not even for Mark I suspect."

You mean its now "Catholic and Not Enjoying It?"

Mrs. Zippy said...

BTW, if I were a little less mature, I'd suggest that Mark and Zippy get a room.

How dare you?!? Zipp is absolutely heterosexual and so moral that he even lectures me and the kids almost daily (which, honestly, makes me glad when he's off playing at Mark's so often). Honestly, you boys have such perverse minds!

Anonymous said...

Well, at least Mark did not delete your comment the way he did mine. Here is the full text so that it remains on the record -it was an interaction with Paul's last posting -Paul's words in italics.

It's useful to note that Mark deleted my ever damaging comment, yaaaawn. Clearly such language cannot be tolerated.

All right, let's get serious. Not that this post will last for longer than the time it takes for Mark to look at the comment's author.


The politics of personalities seems to drive a lot of what goes on at this blog these days.

This blog was once a very useful resource, one of the most enjoyable blogs to read in the blogosphere.

This used to be an excellent blog. I will wager that Chris, Victor, Shawn, and others who have been critical of its proprietor would say the same thing.

Over time, the unrelenting contempt for viewpoints that disagreed with mark's own became too much to take. So I just stopped reading (and the blog post that put me over the top wasn't even related to politics, but rather an incredibly cynical blogpost about worship styles, one in which I agreed with Mark's basic opinion, but couldn't take the way Mark just dismissed those that held contrary opinions.)

Unfortunately, the facile approach that Mark takes to geopolitical issues has also seeped into a lot of the apologetical postings and others that to some extent pertain to the latter.

It's not the sarcasm, Mark. Sarcasm is the essential tone of the blogosphere. In fact, sarcasm is probably one of my favorite things about the blogosphere. Come on, I'm from New York, what New Yorker is going to hate sarcasm.

Mark used to say that sarcasm was like lemon juice and a little went a long way. I remember taking that observation to mind myself in years past when I used (in retrospect) far too much of it myself when trying to advance arguments and make points. It appears that Mark has forgotten his own wise counsel from years past -or perhaps he believes it is supposed to apply to others and not to him.

No, the problem is the contempt - absolute snivelling contempt you show to people that have different opinions. It's like you don't even read what people are writing. This thread is the perfect example. No one's really defending Ledeen here, and yet we're all just "consequentialists" because we happen to disagree with the way you've framed Ledeen's writing. There's no attempt whatsoever to even address the arguments other than through a wave of the hand. Throw some ad hominem, sprinkle off a few tired cliches, and just dismiss others. Lovely. Surely a Christian way of blogging.

Paul, that is as good a description of what Mark has been doing as any I have seen. Or at least for a short description. (I have seen others say the same thing in a lot more words but there is something to be said for brevity.)

And no, my comment on CFF was NOT a Christian thing to write. That's why I stay away from this blog and others like it. Quite frankly it brings out the worst in me. I think you bring out the worst in a lot of people, Mark.

Mark will probably delete this post (or selectively edit it) but I have to ask if I am the only one who sees in what Mark has become what Billy Joel once outlined in his song Angry Young Man. Particularly apropo for our host are these verses:

###Give a moment or two to the angry young man,
With his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand.
He's been stabbed in the back, he's been misunderstood,
It's a comfort to know his intentions are good.
And he sits in a room with a lock on the door,
With his maps and his medals laid out on the floor-
And he likes to be known as the angry young man...

And there's always a place for the angry young man,
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand.
And he's never been able to learn from mistakes,
So he can't understand why his heart always breaks.
But his honor is pure and his courage as well,
And he's fair and he's true and he's boring as hell-
And he'll go to the grave as an angry old man.###

I pray that someday Mark may realize what he has become and that Mr. Hyde will again revert back to Dr. Jekyll.

Sancho Panza | 08.03.07 - 6:02 pm | #

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

I find it very odd that someone so adamantly opposed to consequentialism appears to practice it on such a regular basis.

Why? Isn't that what hypocrites do, preach to others about the very sins they committ themselves?

Mark missed his calling. He should have been a Catholic bishop. He would've been perfect.