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No Apologies

Over the last couple of days, two postings of mine took a little criticism. That's nothing new, but these criticisms came across as fairly reasonable. I have no intention of apologizing for them, but I feel like I should explain why I made the choices I did.

First, on Friday I did a bit of live-blogging of the Hillary Clinton campaign office hostage situation. Some thought m attitude was a bit too flippant and casual for something that could have been a real tragedy, and called me on it.

I thought about it carefully, and decided to go with that tone. My reasoning was this: I was 99% certain that it would end peacefully. I know my "peeps" here in New Hampshire, and nearly all the time something like this plays out, it's a hoax. If it's a real bomb, they tend to detonate it quickly. And they tend to not let hostages go so fast.

Also, there had been sufficient reports that the guy was a drunken local who was pretty well-known to the local cops. It all added up, in my head, as "loser with mental issues looking for attention and to be taken seriously." Well, he'd assured the first part, but I could at least fight back against the second by treating the whole thing as a bit of a joke.

Had I been wrong, I would have apologized profusely and offered Kevin my resignation. But I was that confident about how it would play out, and was about seven kinds of relieved when I was proven correct.

Next up, I got a bit personal in my piece on John Edwards' tyrannical health care plan. I usually don't use such derogatory nicknames on major political figures. (Well, apart from "Ted Kennedy (D-Chivas)" or "William Jefferson Clinton," but they're special cases.) My point was that I considered Edwards' plan a grotesque intrusion into the private lives of every single American, and I took tremendous offense at that. My use of one of the more common insulting terms leveled at him was to indicate just how angry I was.

One of the best lessons I ever learned was to learn the rules very clearly. This will not only give you some great tips on how to stay out of trouble, but give you great guidance when you do choose to break them. It also draws tremendous attention to you when you do break the rules. It helps mark the difference between, say, e. e. cummings and our own nogo postal; between people who portray idiots (like Bill Fagerbakke and Richard Moll, to name two) and genuine gibbering, illiterate dolts like spurwing plover.

One example is the use of profanity. I don't use it that much. In fact, I make a conscious effort to keep my language "PG" at worst -- and a pretty mild "PG" at that. That means that when I do break my rules and use the stronger cusswords, it leaps out at regular readers and guarantees that my intention -- adding extra emphasis to the point I'm making -- will come through loud and clear.

So yeah, in both cases, I took a risk. But they were calculated ones. And, I think, they paid off.

I've been blogging for almost four years now, and I passed my 3,000th piece some time ago. Taking these kinds of risks every now and then keep me from getting bored and complacent.

And when they pay off, that makes it that much more fun to continue.


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Comments (19)

JT, I hope the commenters h... (Below threshold)

JT, I hope the commenters here are not getting overly sensitive. I took the meaning from your posts. You CAN be humorous and make a good point at the same time. In fact, you are very good at it. ww

Even in angry your tone is ... (Below threshold)

Even in angry your tone is mild. Don't let the PC police interfere with your winning style.

"My reasoning was this: I w... (Below threshold)

"My reasoning was this: I was 99% certain that it would end peacefully."

Yeah, you were certain that the insurgents couldn't keep fighting in Iraq 4 years ago, that middle east democracy would flourish like a damn breaking open... Even at 99%, I wouldn't take your word.

What kind of expertise do you have in hostage situations as a notary anyways?

Jay, I think your reporting... (Below threshold)

Jay, I think your reporting on the "hostage" incident at the Clinton office was just fine. It was never that serious of an incident to begin with. The staffers maybe didn't have much experience with mentally ill persons, but as long as they don't have a real weapon in their hand like a gun or knife, then they're likely bluffing about having the mental ability really required to build any bomb. I would have just kicked his ass and shoved him out the door like I've done with many other mental cases who pulled crap in my businesses before over the years.

The only real serious time was when I was overpowered by two drunks and beaten over the head by a heavy metal object and was bleeding and really out of it. Another was when a mentally ill guy pulled a machete on me and my customers. But I talked him down into leaving by offering him enough money to get himself a cup of coffee and leave my customers alone. Mentally ill people will pull crap when out of money, and you offer them coffee or cigarette money, and these losers will usually leave. 80% of mentally ill persons are smokers compared to just about 20% of normal persons. Smoking is a form of self-medication by the mentally ill to cope with their nervous and other psychiatric disorders and usually the lure of cigarette money will get you out of any serious weapon incident.

The Clinton office folks should have sized this hostage guy as not having a bomb. Almost every "bomb" case turns out to road flares or even less and got rough with him and shoved his ass out the door. It shouldn't have drug out for hours and wore everyone down with a combination of fear and boredom. It was poor crisis management by the Clinton staffers in my view.

Jay, you're why some of us ... (Below threshold)

Jay, you're why some of us come here in the first place. No apology necessary.

BTW, did you get my email?

Jay, I don't always agree w... (Below threshold)

Jay, I don't always agree with you, but I had also thought early on during the "crisis" that it would turn out to be a non-issue or non-incident.

So look on the bright side: The ONE time that you thought that you were wrong (and in agreement with me) and you apologize - you didn't HAVE to....

But it's all good.

On the Edwards issue, you were 'right-on' too.
It's not name-calling if the name fits....


One of the reasons I was fi... (Below threshold)

One of the reasons I was fine with humor on the hostage issue was not just that 99% of the time these things work out OK, but because, since it happened to Hillary you knew it was only a matter of time before it was turned into a puff piece for her. Had it happened to Obama or Edwards, they would have dealt with it and that would have been the end of it. But there is nothing the Clinton's won't turn into a political opportunity, and that includes tragedy. She even found a way to make this into a gender issue by claiming extra confusion and fear 'as a mother'.

In short, the comedy was coming. You just beat her to the punch.

As for Edwards and health care, he deserves some scorn. It is frightening indeed when democrats threaten government intervention 'for your own good.'

Well, jp, I was right this ... (Below threshold)

Well, jp, I was right this time... and the "insurgents" would have been tapped out a long time ago if it wasn't for materiel from Iran and reinforcements from Saudi Arabia (among others).

Thanks for reminding me about my notary status. By the power vested in me by the state of New Hampshire, I now pronounce you a legally-certified asshole. That'll be five bucks.


jp2:"What kind... (Below threshold)


"What kind of expertise do you have in hostage situations as a notary anyways?"

Obviously much more than your expertise at producing on topic, coherent and civil blog comments.

And congrats on your new status as a state recognized asshole.

and the "insurgents" wou... (Below threshold)

and the "insurgents" would have been tapped out a long time ago if it wasn't for materiel from Iran and reinforcements from Saudi Arabia

And I'd have double the money I have now if it wasn't for my money not doubling.

Twice of nothing is still n... (Below threshold)

Twice of nothing is still nothing.

This is one of the only blo... (Below threshold)

This is one of the only blogs left that I read on a regular basis and I tend to read your posts first. I guess I never comment because I agree with you most of the time.

I never blinked at your hostage post. Worrying about what it could have turned into seems kind of silly to me. Never thought it would end badly either.

As for Edwards' imposed health care plan? Forcing people who can't afford health care to pay for health care? The answer is setting up people for failure? Not to mention the burden on the government for maintaining all those records.

Alright, Jay, who busted yo... (Below threshold)

Alright, Jay, who busted your chops- jp?

Please let me know so that I can assure you that you did nothing wrong. The fact that jp had something to say alone is reassuring.

JayI thought it was ... (Below threshold)

I thought it was a well done tongue in cheek and brief respite from the breathless MSM coverage of St. Hillary sequestered in DC.

Hi Jay,"...genuine g... (Below threshold)

Hi Jay,
"...genuine gibbering, illiterate dolts like spurwing plover"? Bless his heart, he is more honest and on topic than some people who post here!

Senator Clinton used that d... (Below threshold)
Eric F:

Senator Clinton used that day as free political advertising, and they're coming down on you? Crazy.

Twice of nothing is stil... (Below threshold)

Twice of nothing is still nothing.

So you're insulting my money, now?

Wow, your apparently desperate need to be a prick takes you in some pretty weird directions.

Wow Brian, I must have hit ... (Below threshold)

Wow Brian, I must have hit you in the wheelhouse. You have no idea if I was just trying to be funny or nasty. You naturally assumed the latter. That is a sad statement on your intellect. You are apathetic human, get help, and frankly a sense of humor.

Thanks for remindi... (Below threshold)
Thanks for reminding me about my notary status. By the power vested in me by the state of New Hampshire, I now pronounce you a legally-certified asshole. That'll be five bucks.


Five bucks? That's too cheap...
I agreed one hundred percent on your take about
the Edwards proposed tyranny.






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