Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday the 19th

I'm taking a break of about a week to attend to some nonblog things. Normally I wouldn't announce this, especially since I'm not exactly a supremely prolific poster and I don't anticipate much bated breath out there, but I also wanted to touch upon some other things.

1.I'm sorry that Micah Pyre decided to stop blogging, although I gather he still comments, both here and elsewhere. MP told me he came to feel very discouraged by the present state of affairs and didn't want to find himself preoccupied and overwhelmed by it, hence the break. I paraphrase, but needless to say he can amend my description in the comments if he wants.

One of the reasons I started a group blog was because I felt that a group of 3-6 or 7 or so bloggers sharing the "burden" of a lefty political nanoblog are less likely to feel discouraged knowing that x and y etc are also out there making a contribution to a shared effort, since I well understand what he means by getting discouraged, and inviting others to blog at my "home base" of Hugo Zoom was difficult for me as I found myself feeling territorial and excessively critical of other contributors' efforts, as the incredibly patient Rob Payne can well attest to, even though he's been too gracious to do so.

2. I hope both Bob from Pacifica and Rob Payne will continue to contribute here. (I think they live less than 100 miles from one another, unless Rob has moved again. Maybe I should encourage them to get together for a barbeque or something, unless that's something that people from California don't do.:^)

3. In the past I've invited people to blog here, but maybe I should approach that somewhat differently. (For example I've avoided inviting bloggers whom I didn't think would be interested.) So now I'm making a general invitation to interested parties to contact me at my yahoo addy if you think you might want to blog here. If you think you are interested I'd recommend you look here(1) and here(2) to my introductory statements describing the reason I started Dead Horse. Please note I'm not looking for persons to march in lockstep with my views, just persons who also feel that the ill health of US liberalism is an important topic for conversation.

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At May 22, 2009 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You summarized my thoughts very well, Jonathan. It's quite possible I'll return to blogging but for now I need to focus on some other things... it is tough to spend a lot of time day in, day out pointing at the fraudulence of Our Grand Obamessiah and his Lib-Pwog Prescience. Apparently my commentary on that line of thought isn't well tolerated by the folks at A Tiny Revolution, since Schwarz & Co have deleted my recent comments over there. I'd guess that deletion-frenzy is or was rooted in my criticisms of Bernard Chazelle's "lesser evil" rationales offered repeatedly in justification of heinous Fed Govt doings. Chazelle would do well to read some Arthur Silber, but I doubt he'd do that since Silber isn't an acknowledged "expert" among the Ivy League Pointyheads. And there's my criticism of Chazelle in a nutshell -- he's a Process Maven, a "formal intellectual" who loves hairsplitting distraction more than finding and solving problems. He doesn't care about solutions to problems, he cares only about crafting a Rove-like excuse for the ugly doings he'd prefer didn't happen, or he'd prefer to be able to ignore... one or the other.

Exasperation... futility... pointlessness.

-micah pyre

At May 22, 2009 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and PS:

I comment at Chris Floyd's blog frequently, under the name "blue ox babe," and at Black Agenda Report less frequently, under the name "micah pyre." Couldn't explain why I have chosen 2 different handles, it's just whimsy I guess.

At May 22, 2009 7:22 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Micah, I guess I just don't see how you see Chazelle as justifying malignant government behavior.

At May 22, 2009 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of torture he was more interested in discussing the situations where it would be permissible, than in considering whether it is ever permissible at all. Such intellectual posing may appear to be showing fake holism but to me it's classic liberal intellectual, process-maven nonsense where the goal is to come up with ever more creative excuses for things that nobody should be trying to excuse in the first place.

When I challenged him on this he dodged and deflected. Twice.

I find that pretty pathetic, honestly.

Now of course maybe you agree with Chazelle that it's a situational ethics we need, not a set of moral absolutes. I've known people who see the world that way.

-micah pyre

At May 23, 2009 8:55 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Micah, I don't hear Chazelle making excuses for torture, nor do I hear him suggesting a situational ethics regarding torture. Maybe I'm reading him less closely than you are, and I'm missing something.

FWIW, I'm going mainly by the body of his post, less so by the massive comment thread at Nell Lancaster's post, as some of the more verbose comments by Tony and "Not Exactly" left me a bit bleary-eyed and I started skimming.

At May 23, 2009 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going on the post where he created a 4-step analysis for where torture is justifiable. His analysis was pathetic, just a bunch of George Lakoff-styled polysllabic pomposity.

I can't say I have any respect for Bernard Chazelle, and the fact that he teaches at Princeton is just that much worse of a strike against him. I don't have the same awe and reverence for the Ivy League schools that most Americans have. I think they're cloaca factories... places where people are taught clever excuses for American Exceptionalism.

Basically I don't see how any of America's present problems are fixed by the hair-splitting that Bernard Chazelle enjoys. I'm sure his hair-splitting makes him feel clever, and earns him a lot of followers who are gulled and buffaloed by such pap. I just find it a destructive form of distraction, one that glorifies vague pseudo-justifications.

I'm not picking an argument with you, Jonathan. I'm just being candid about how repulsive I find Chazelle's line of "thought" on torture.

-micah pyre

At May 27, 2009 9:28 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Micah, I went back and read the 4 pt/5pt post again. OK, now I see what you mean, and now Chazelle's meaning is actually less clear to me. I think that after a certain point, with all the commenting both at his essay and Nell Lancaster's, my memory of who said what began to drift a bit.

At May 27, 2009 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't see him in a positive light.

Either of these is the case, both are bad:

1) he really does want to split hairs on when torture can be legitimate

2) he really doesn't want to split hairs, instead he imagines himself teaching via Socratic method, but he's failing MISERABLY at it

under (1) I've already expressed my thoughts above.

under (2) I hinted at my thoughts. if he's "teaching" here, he's a shitty teacher and I could do better -- yet I'm not employed at any college or university, let alone the cushy, high-profile, high-pay Princeton. am I jealous? categorically (that he's a teacher and I'm not), yes. specifically, no. I don't want to teach at Princeton, I surely don't want to teach whatever he's "teaching" with that style of vague polysllabic poseurship.

there's no legitimate analysis other than to say, TORTURE IS NOT PERMISSIBLE -- EVER.

I don't know Chazelle's personal politics, but he reminds me of Bibi Netanyahu or some other Zionist stooge when excusing torture.

-micah pyre


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