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Blog Wars 2006?

Wow, I'm writing this blog for what, a week? And already I'm on the verge of a blog feud?

The problem comes from this post. Which was responded to here. I then responded in his comments.

Now, here's the problem: I enjoyed an earlier feud with Dean Esmay at my previous blog because I think Esmay's an asshole. But I like Callimachus and his blog partner Reader I_A_M. I like them both, I respect them both. I don't really want a feud with Cal or with the Done With Mirrors blog, which is consistently one of the best-written, most informative blogs around. A compliment from Cal gave me the name for this blog.

So tell me: am I wrong? Am I being oversensitive?

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“Blog Wars 2006?”

  1. Blogger Cantankerous Bitch Says:

    Oversensitive? I don't think so. Cal misrepresented your post quite blatantly. Perhaps this is some bizarre promotional techniqe to send traffic to your new digs. Or, perhaps he's pulling the same old same old RW bullshit that entails taking quotes out of context, and warping the original meaning in a school yard-esque attempt at a character smear. If that's the height of his response to your original piece, then perhaps he's hit his rhetorical peak and is hoping for company on the way downhill.

  2. Blogger cakreiz Says:

    My counsel, which is worth relatively nothing, is that it's not worth a flame war. As I often do, I scanned the post and missed the last paragraph entirely. Knowing your beliefs, I was puzzled by the piece, which edged closely to a Jack Grant "the WOT is a hoax" feel.

    Cal conceded in his comments (I think) that he only read Donklephant's summary of your piece. As we all have done, he reacted and wrote. My thought is that you're both incredibly talented thinkers and writers- and more importantly, fair people.

  3. Anonymous PatHMV Says:

    Yes, you're being oversensitive. We distinguish between different kinds of death all the time. A murder is a very different thing than a car accident. It may techincally be irrational to fear getting blown up in a plane than we fear being killed in a car crash, but it's very, very human.

    Your larger point, telling the world: "Don't Panic", is certainly valid, but your typically ascerbic way of phrasing it concealed that point some what. And it's entirely legitimate to point out the shortcomings of your logical argument by showing how it might apply in other circumstances. That the other examples make you uncomfortable ("don't worry about illegal abortions, because car accidents kill many more women") doesn't make them less legitimate. It's the exact same argument you made, which can be generically stated: "Don't worry about X, because Y causes many more deaths per year".

  4. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:

    Well, I would never diss Cal's writing. He's a good writer and he's a smart, very erudite guy. I don't know what this is about, but since I've flown off the handle once or twice myself I'm inclined to write it off to 'bad day at the office.'

    Okay, here's the plan: we pick a nice little Swiss village, I get one chalet, he gets another, you shuttle back and forth like Bill Clinton at Camp David and bring peace. There could be a Nobel in it for you.

    Don't worry, no flame war. Cal's not Esmay.

  5. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:


    You make some good points. Part of what pissed me off was that Cal knows I wasn't implying a disregard for those deaths. But his implication was that I did.

    Your point that we see different deaths differently is an excellent point, and one I agree with entirely. Had Cal made that point without cutting my post unfairly I'd have nodded along.

  6. Blogger cakreiz Says:

    I like the shuttle diplomacy thing... it makes me happy. Look what it did for Kissinger.

  7. Blogger amba Says:

    How it looks from here: you're a "nothing is sacred" kind of guy (well, almost) and you trod on something that to Cal is sacred.

    The piece was your hyperbolic way of saying, "That the worst you guys can do?" On the one hand, like Israel, we hold every life sacred, so even one life taken in that particularly horrible way -- a risk that one did not agree to take on, like driving a car, or smoking -- is unacceptable

    On the other hand, maybe you're saying, it is now a risk that we do have to agree to take on, in the sense that while we will never accept it, we will not let the threat of it paralyze us. Each of us can only die once. The only way not to be terrorized is to say: Yes -- to heart attacks and lightning strikes and car crashes and falls in the bathtub and safes falling out of windows as I walk by, there is now added the possibility that I will die in a terrorist strike. At present, it is not a high enough likelihood to, say, declare martial law or shut down all civil liberties.

    However, there's always the risk that they'll take you (us) up on (y)our taunt and answer the question, "Is that the best you can do?" Someday there will be a suicide bomber with a loose nuke. The fact that they haven't been able to do that yet doesn't mean they don't want to, or that they wouldn't if they could. They would. They will if they can.

  8. Blogger Cantankerous Bitch Says:

    Part of what pissed me off was that Cal knows I wasn't implying a disregard for those deaths. But his implication was that I did.

    And that's what I found grating. For someone that knows you, knows something of your positions, it struck me as simply tacky.

    Part of what's kept me a regular reader is that you typically don't fall for partisan short-hand hackery, in which swipes are made based on a passing glance (at best) of someone's opinion. Fine writer or otherwise (and I'll gladly defer to your judgment on that one) it was sloppy rhetorical pugilism unworthy of you, your readers, and your legitimate critics.

    There are countless things we (left, right, middle) can spend worthwhile time hammering out. Hammy indignation based on an unfair reading of each other's posts shouldn't be among them.

  9. Blogger reader_iam Says:

    I considered putting my own two cents in, but I'm thinking that's not of interest, since y'all have your own thing going.

    Is it?

  10. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:

    We always want to hear from you.

  11. Anonymous gn Says:

    Ah ... shades of the Cal/ Justin range war of perspectives.

    1. Cal is extremely adept at making one reconsider, slow down, hurl expletives, etc. and that is what makes him extremely readable.

    2. Takh. has those same qualities in a more caustic, gritty and humorous fashion.

    I would suggest that each of you stop and take a deep breath .... and commence because , after all, "It's just a flesh wound"!

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