Thursday, May 23, 2002

Call me "George"

Again the limited size of comments fails me, so I'll address this here.

Now Mr. Den Beste takes issue with me, aka "George". Why?

Two posts down you'll see a post entitled "Snuffing the candle at both ends". This is the original version:

You'd better not disagree with Steven Den Beste. You'll find yourself in elite company, such as with the creeps that killed Daniel Pearl.

The only real solution for such people is to have their faces rubbed in the reality implicit in their attitudes. Anyone who opposes fetal cell research should spend a day helping to care for someone who suffers from advanced Parkinson's disease, for instance. Anyone who opposes physician-aided euthanasia should watch the documentary prepared in the UK which showed what Diane Pretty's life was like before she finally died the horrible death she most feared.

And people who try to claim moral equivalence between the US and the Islamic Fundamentalists we face should watch the video of Daniel Pearl having his throat cut and then being brutally decapitated. Then they should be asked to explain just how it was really America's fault that he died.

Do people who oppose fetal stem cell research cause Parkinson's disease? His parallel doesn't hold otherwise - it's between them and the guys who cut Daniel Pearl's throat on videotape. That is totally out of bounds.

Yeah, let's put euthanasia in play, so you can browbeat possibly curable people into suicide because Junior wants all of his inheritance ("Here Doc, I'll split it with you"). Let's put pressure on doctors to contain costs by pulling more plugs. Let's establish a market in human life ("But honey, if you say OK, the insurance company offered us a lot of money!"). Let's start down the mother of all slippery slopes...

I have a better idea. Let's start with an apology for one of the most asinine parallels ever. And I'll challenge Mr. Den Beste to see if he can identify any potential downside to euthanasia.
I have a problem with drawing parallels between those creeps and people who oppose euthanasia (between cold-blooded killers and those who oppose it no less), just like some people don't like constant invocations of Hitler. Anyway, although I've seen him here from time to time, I sent an email to Mr. Den Beste as a courtesy.

But the original post was more heated than what I usually write, and I took another look after I had sent the email. Then I recognized the faulty parallel, which had been my inspiration for proposing an apology. So I took the post back down, noted it as having been changed to what you see in the previous post, and reposted it. Whoops, I guess I shouldn't have sent the courtesy email.

Then I checked my email. SDB had written a calm, reasoned email that noted a couple of things I had written. Crap - he'd already seen the original version. I replied that I had revised and reposted, and but for an innocuous title change (I think the original was "Let's put this one to rest") the post has remained the same since.

I went on to something else, then about 10 or so I picked up email #2 asking me who I was to ask for an apology, etc. Yes, the tone had changed. What I didn't know at the time was that subsequently he had also replied on his blog at greater length.

In reply I noted that we had crossed in the mail and I had already told him about the recall. Then I got his 3rd reply, which directed me to his post without comment. I had just come back from that when I saw the comment to the previous post where Godless Capitalist figured out who "George" was.

I leave it to the reader to determine the accuracy of Mr. Den Beste's characterization of my initial post, which in any case had been withdrawn well before his post appeared (note that he's in San Diego, CA, 2 hours behind me), and he had also been notified of this.

I must say, I learned a lot about myself. For one, I'm pretentious. Also, I'm trying to suppress alternate points of view (where have I heard that line before?).

On the other hand, who else can claim that Mr. Den Beste has mentioned their bodily orifices on his blog? Do you suppose I could sell pictures of them?

C'est la vie. We've all learned something new now, haven't we?

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