December 4, 2006

Long blog posts.

I'm not impressed. Try harder. Edit.

IN THE COMMENTS: Lots of speculation about why I wrote this post. I eventually burst a bubble of suspicion. Then some people get into a brevity contest. Sippican suggests the ultimate, iconic, brief blog post. I am inspired to create the ultimate, iconic, brief blog.

124 comments:

Jonathan said...

Hmm. No links, so are we to conclude you're disappointed with one of your own, or someone else'?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I think it's a glinky blogger. Or perhaps a named entry in the ABotPL*. Or maybe they're one and the same.





*Althouse Book of the Permanently Lame.

Drethelin said...

It could just be a general comment.

sbutler said...

Come now... is there anyone out there who doesn't know who she's talking about?

Simon said...

I don't think that "long blog posts," per se, should be considered problematic, only failure of concise expression of thought.

The problem with Greenwald's prose, for example, isn't that the posts are long, it's that they're needlessly bloated by bad writing and poor editing. But on the other hand, if you have a post where the ideas are concisely-presented within well-edited paragraphs, and it just takes three dozen concisely-worded closely-reasoned paragraphs to convey the idea(s) you're expressing, I don't think that's problematic at all. I remember Althouse taking Larry Tribe to task to task for a long, rambling post he made on Balkinization; there, too, I didn't think that the sin was the word count, but that that the same ideas could be conveyed in far fewer words.

There comes a tipping point where excessive devotion to blogginess actually starts to become unbloggy.

LoafingOaf said...

I'm often guilty of going on too long, including in comments on this blog, so I'm not entirely in a position to talk. It's a common problem.

But the worst-offending blogger I assume she's talking about is completely out of control with the filler words (sometimes 4 or 5 in one sentence!) and repetitiveness. I suspect he edits in reverse, adding more filler believing it makes his posts better.

Todd said...

How long was this post before you edited?

Ricardo said...

Long. Wrong. Concise. Nice.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

My edit: Long blog posts suck.

Alpha Liberal said...

Or you could address one of the points he raises on its merits.... But I guess there's this whole personal grudge match going on, which reminds me of every employment experience I've witnessed friends endure in academia. Lots of vicious office politics there.

I like Glenn Greenwald's writing and most of the substance he addresses. Some people out there have a great hostility toward people who defend our liberties from being cast aside in some half-assed effort to confront a band of terrorists. Disappointing if Althouse is really one of those.

sorry, am I going on? Oh no, I hear people don't like long posts.

Old Dad said...

Alpha Liberal,

Are you bragging or complaining?

Alpha Liberal said...

Perhaps this is an example of a long post.

On the other hand, it deals with a US citizen denied his Constitutional rights and tortured (via his imprisonment, alone if nothing else). All without a day in court, a right enjoyed since medeival days !

Let's spread freedom farther!

But, hey, if you want to spend your time debating word choices, sock puppets and long posts, well, those are just your priorities.

OTOH, can't you, Ann, and Glenn agree that citizens should not be denied their Constitutional rights even if John Ashcroft holds press conferences against them?

C'mon, you agree with Glen on this one. Don't you?

mcg said...

In memory of the great Ronaldus Magnus, I am going to mangle two of his quotes to poke a little fun at today's target.

It's not that Greenwald's posts are long, it's just that he writes so much that just isn't so.

Or even better, albeit a bit crude...

Greenwald's alimentary canal is like a baby's, with a healthy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. Only in his case, the situation is reversed.

Eli Blake said...

It depends if you have something to say or not.

And now that you've all drawn attention to today's Greewald post (which I'd probably have not even read otherwise, I have one comment:)

There is no reason at all to make the accused wear a blindfold on the way to the dentist. Like Ken Starr's ordering Susan McDougall to wear shackles and chains for her court appearance, this is a case of overkill that says far more about those who ordered it, than it says about the accused.

alphie said...

Word Count - The blogger equivalent of body count?

Garage Mahal said...

Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Icepick said...

Althouse is clearly pitiless for the pithiless.

Icepick said...

Peter Hoh wrote: My edit: Long blog posts suck.

Shorter still: Wordy? Edit.

Icepick said...

Moreso: Punchier!

Icepick said...

Or even: Pithier!

Icepick said...

But not so much: Review and truncate and, if at all possible or necessary, eliminate all extraneous verbiage, unnecessary modifiers, repetitive statements, meaningless statements, meaninglessly repetitive statements, repetitively meaningless statements, obscurantist technical jargon (At least for the non-technical audience. For the technical audience, of course, obscurantist technical jargon can be a way to pack a great deal of content into small packages. (See, for example, mathematics or physics texts.) So for the technical audience by all means use obscurantist technical jargon: do carry on!), logical fallacies (unless writing about logical fallacies and in need of giving examples or even listing the varieties of logical fallacy that one should avoid and edit from non-logical-fallacy-related writing), repetitive statements, meaningless statements, meaninglessly repetitive statements, repetitively meaningless statements, pointless asides (unless it's really entertaining, like that time you got impaled on a boom mike, because that's really really funny), and poor word choices. And be snappy about it!

Alpha Liberal said...

OK, this is funny. Let's compare posts:

Glenn Greenwald, in today's post about the shredding of a citizen's constitutional rights before an abusive government (with updates): 826 words

Ann Althouse, from last week, on why Andrew Sullivan won't link to her (with updates): 1,023 words.

Glenn's post is about as long as a long op-ed. Ann's is as long as a medium length magazine article.

Glenn's post deals with our identity as a free nation and draws attention to a crime against our nation's founding principles.

Ann's post? A bellyache about why she's not getting enough attention.

Ok, wingers. Now it's your turn to hurl vapid, meaningless insults without adresing anytihng of substance. It's the way things are done around here.

121 words.

Anonymous said...

Icepick: hee!

I write long on my blog often, but my blog is wholly unlike Althouse. Some of my favorite blogs write long, like neo-neocon and Belmont Club. Long works there.

On the other hand, Captain Ed tends to go long unnecessarily. MEGO, but I do check him out everyday just to see what topics he's hitting.

It's not the length that's the problem. It's the content:verbiage ratio, which should be as high as possible.

Sanjay said...

Respectfully, Professor A, A better post would've been:

Long Blog Posts
---------------

Unimpressive.

reader_iam said...

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
--Hans Hofmann

Words, like glasses, obscure everything they do not make clear.
Before using a fine word, make a place for it.

--Joseph Joubert

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
--Charles Mingus

One should aim not at being possible to understand, but at being impossible to misunderstand.
--Quintilian

People think I can teach them style. What stuff it all is! Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.
--Matthew Arnold, 1898

Few fail to fall short.

The Duck Goose said...

Greenwald's alimentary canal is like a baby's, with a healthy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. Only in his case, the situation is reversed.

Omigod!

That is almost funny!

Theo Boehm said...

Speaking of turgid nonsense, I, too, checked out the Glenn Greenwald post under subpoena here.

I really can't say if it was turgid or nonsense, though. My eyes glazed over in the second paragraph, and I fell into a reverie. I had this pleasant little dream about Ojai, of all places. I was driving around, enjoying the sunshine and summer flowers. When I awoke with a start, this awful, brown screen was staring at me from my laptop. I couldn't get out of it quickly enough to come back here. Sadly, it was still December 4th in Boston and 28 degrees, not June 4th in Ojai and 78.

Althouse should not be so hard on Greenwald. Awful as his blog may be when one is conscious, it can make for some very pleasant catnaps.

I wonder if Glenn Greenwald realizes that his long-winded, j'accuse style of writing is really a cure for insomnia?

Henry said...

AL, you offer a recurrent lamentation:

you could address one of the points he raises on its merits

That presupposes that an agenda is an argument. One might call this the "talking points" concept of blogging. A popular blogger bangs out some passionate banalities about the issue of the day (I'll see your Bolton and raise you a Padilla). Acolytes echo. Dogs bark. Moon sets. Another day gone.

Consider the possibility that the way an idea is framed is uniquely valuable in its own right. All of art devolves from this perspective and so, I suspect, does law.

VICTOR said...

How about:

"open thread"

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wickedpinto said...

Analyisis (spelling) content, and inclusion are all different things.

If O'reilly has a 1 hour show, someone who is inventive with the language, in a way that makes it entertaining, then god bless them.

If long posts are bad, then I say, NO original content is best. Just post your pictures, actually don't post your pictures, cuz they don't matter, since, they take up so much page space.

Long for the sake of being long is different, but that is not the commonality, thats AJ's specialty (no offense AJ) but if all that blogs do is offer a one line of snark, or a picture, without description? then why do we bother?

answer is, that we don't, You do exactly what you judge, it's just a question of length.

sometimes someone can make a long post entertaining enough to read.

EJECT EJECT bores me, but ace entertains me, so does wizbang, and many others.

Put it this way, I will read a long collumn of my own crazy ass, but not a short story, I will read a short story by ace, but not (as yet) a novel, and I will read a novel by Gibson, but not a saga.

there are degree's of expression, and you are an expressionist!!!!

I'm SO GONNA SU!!! can I hier you to describe my BS tort?

Bruce Hayden said...

I suppose that this is about Greenwald, but maybe there was too much brevity in this post. I really don't know for sure what Ann's point really is, so, I will do my usual job of rambling.

I should start that I hated law school (and other) tests that were this open-ended. I knew that the prof had something in mind, but also knew that if I ranged too far afield, I would be penalized. I was never that good at guessing what I prof wanted, and so did far better on much more highly targetted questions.

Now to blogging. Someone pointed out awhile back that much of blogging can be divided into linking and analysis. Reynolds at Instapundit and Drudge are experts at brevity in the linking type of blogging - indeed, I often have to follow Glenn's links just to find out what he is saying "heh" about. Maybe too much brevity sometimes.

Analysis blogging is by necessity a lot more wordy than linking blogging. But here, I would suggest that there is still a difference between mere opinion, and trying to make an argument. I would further suggest that it is really the later where spending a lot of time crafting your arguments is realistic. My blog is read, at best, by a handful of people, and so the effort of making a cogent argument is not nearly as warranted as by a Greenwald or an Althouse, whose blogs are read by many thousands.

Finally, if Greewald's blog entry was that poorly written,then ultimately he is going to lose readership, and, thus, impact and importance. Ultimately, the blogosphere is going to gravitate toward those who make similar points more concisely.

Revenant said...

Some people out there have a great hostility toward people who defend our liberties from being cast aside in some half-assed effort to confront a band of terrorists.

As other people have demonstrated that it is possible to defend liberty without being a dishonest jackass, I see no good reason to excuse Greenwald's behavior on the grounds that his heart's in the right place.

hdhouse said...

ERTNOG (for those who remember their 11th grade literature books)

Anonymous said...

I'll stick with Strunk and White: Omit needless words.

Goesh said...

Since the world revolves around us each and all, the blabbering will persist.

Ann Althouse said...

Alpha: You assume I was writing about Glenn Greenwald. I wasn't. There are a number of bloggers who seem to think that writing two screens' worth is better than writing a tight paragraph. They seem to believe they've put in a greater effort and should be thought more highly of for it. But they haven't and they shouldn't. And when they turn around and disrespect those of us who put the work into writing concisely and paring things down, well, then I'm pissed.

Ann Althouse said...

Eli: Perhaps there is a fear that he will communicate in code by blinking.

Ann Althouse said...

Joan's right. It's not the length of the post so much as the substance in relation to the number of words. (Alpha goes awry missing this point.) A secondary thing is the length of individual sentences and paragraphs. The look and feel of the text counts. Finally, it's important to write with some style. Some folks have no ear, no humor, no sharp edge.

MadisonMan said...

It was interesting to see which specific was attached to the vague beginning, and how many words were used in attaching it.

Robert Burnham said...

When you're writing at the speed of blog, it's hard to be concise. The medium's nature encourages people to write fast, fast, fast.

But very few can write intelligibly and briefly at high speed.

Or is Ann getting hit with big bandwidth changes 'caus we all just blather on?

reader_iam said...

I don't know to whom you're referring, and don't need to--but is it the disrespect more than the writing that's bothering you here? Otherwise, why not just ignore the blog(s) and the writing?

Not snark--just curious.

Anonymous said...

Who was it that apologized for a long letter because he did not have time to write a brief letter?

SWBarns said...

I am sorry for the length of my [blog post], but I had not the time to write a short one. --Pascal (maybe also Twain)

"alimentary canal is like a baby's" --Reagan

Ann Althouse said...

Robert: Blogger has never cost me one cent. No matter how much I write or how long the comments or how high the traffic -- it's free. There isn't even an upgraded version that you can buy.

Anonymous said...

Me.

MadisonMan said...

I.

Henry said...

.

reader_iam said...

Hmmmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

But enough about me.



































































































What do you think about me?

Eli Blake said...

Ann:

With who? Mr. Padilla has been held in solitary confinement for years, and it's hard to imagine who would know he was going to the dentist and who and how they could continue to communicate with him.

This seems to go to extremes. Frankly, I believe the blacked-out goggles and the attached sound suppressing device (so that he also couldn't hear anything) are a sadistic way of continuing his sensory deprivation.

Anonymous said...

?

Anonymous said...

?

Ann Althouse said...

Sippican: Check the update to this post.

Eli: Since he was being filmed, anyone might get to see him. I think there's good reason to think that members of conspiracies have a code for signalling to each other after they are captives.

Doyle said...

Perhaps there is a fear that he will communicate in code by blinking.

Wow. And I thought "scared stupid" was just a figure of speech!

Ann Althouse said...

Doyle: I'm not saying Padilla deserves to be treated the way he has over the years, but I am responding to the assertion that there is absolutely no conceivable reason for blindfolding him. Plainly, I have refuted that.

And calling your opponent stupid is incredibly lame... an admission that you have no substance.

Doyle said...

Plainly? Have you ventured a guess as to whom he would be communicating with? Or at what point he would have devised the code with his co-conspirators? Is it Morse? So many questions.

Maybe the scarier the government can make him look, the less the outcry over an American citizen being imprisoned without charges for so long. Wait what am I saying? Once Americans know him as the Dirty Bomber, of course we’re not going to make a stink over due process.

All hail King George!

The Exalted said...

Eli: Since he was being filmed, anyone might get to see him. I think there's good reason to think that members of conspiracies have a code for signalling to each other after they are captives.

interesting theory. its a good thing all those charged with conspiracy are treated in this manner during their multi-year incarceration prior to trial, as well as prior to their being charged with conspiracy.

Garage Mahal said...

You can't try him, because you tortured him, and you can't kill him either. So what do you do? Nothing. Let him sit and rot like every other detainee.

750 people have been sent to Gitmo. 287 have been released, leaving 450 still there. Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA Bin Laden Unit, said less than 10% of the Guantanamo Bay detainees are of high value, with knowledge of terrorism.

So of 750 prisoners, only approx 50 were even worth our time, and to my knowledge not one single Gitmo detainee has been tried of anything. Pakistan accepted money from Al Qaeda, and the Taliban for a safe exit, and gave us cab drivers, and pizza delivery guys that got sold out by warlords.

Torture aside, I can't see how you couldn't see this as a colossal failure.

Ann Althouse said...

Doyle: You don't seem to understand English. The issue was whether there could possibly be a reason. I have plainly shown that there is a possible reason. I didn't say that plainly showed that was the reason

The Exalted said...

Doyle: I'm not saying Padilla deserves to be treated the way he has over the years

its not really about what padilla "deserves" is it?

El Presidente said...

Doyle,

Ever heard of Jeremiah Denton? He used a blink code, yes it was Morse Code, to communicate while he was held as a POW by Vietnam.

Eli:
A better guess is that it is harder to assault the guards when you can;t see or hear them.

Doyle said...

That's right, free your mind from such petty constraints as plausibility! It will make the Bush administration's justifications for its lawlessness go down much smoother.

el pres: I have heard of him, yes. He communicated that he was being tortured. But how is that relevant here? Have we been known to torture people? Oh. Right.

I mean what's he really going to say: "I am being imprisoned without access to the judicial system!"

Well, duh, Jose! We've known that for years.

El Presidente said...

Doyle: Moral equivalence is apparently your primary language.

Doyle said...

Is moral equivalence a language now? I thought it was mostly a phrase that wingnuts trot out to describe insufficiently pro-American observations.

Anonymous said...

There could be a reason that someone would suggest something as dumb as blinky-code. Perhaps moon-rays, from a moon of Saturn. Plainly, I have shown there is a reason for the suggestion of blinky-code.

Gregor Samsa said...

"Eli: Perhaps there is a fear that he will communicate in code by blinking."


Intellectually dishonest blog comments. Try harder.

Pinko Punko said...

I am starving on the substance of this post.

Gregor Samsa said...

Pinko Punko is wasting away folks. He is a mere shadow of his former self!

The Jerk said...

Or maybe they fear he has deadly laser eye beams. Or the power to hypnotize or turn people to stone with a stare. So many possible reasons for those goggles.

Gregor Samsa said...

I am blinking a message to you right now!!! Do you understand comrade?

Gregor Samsa said...

Stoopid blink tagZ!

Garage Mahal said...

I am blinking a message to you right now!!! Do you understand comrade?

*blink* *blink*
*blink*
*blink* *blink* *blink* *blink*

Gregor Samsa said...

*blink* *blink*
*blink*
*blink* *blink* *blink* *blink*


I understood most of your message until the last part - something about "guitar" and "Edgar." Hmmmm....?

dave said...

i hereby certify this post 100% substance-free

Anonymous said...

All right, Ann. So you stumbled on a (convenient and lawerly?) reason for covering Padilla's eyes. Now... about those ear plugs? Traffic noise might shatter him? Home-made (and Satellite-readable) microdots on his earlobes?

Pinko Punko said...

20 minute freedom rock guitar jamz perhaps?

One possible way to prevent Padilla from communicating with the world would be to chop off his head, but immediately freeze it in liquid nitrogen. With possible future medical advances we may be able to reanimate him, or at least build a time machine to interfere with his planning, thus giving him his life back. Either way, we'll have to develop snortable nanobots before any of this comes about, and I think with his head is safely away in a freezer somewhere, I'll be able to sleep better.

Gregor Samsa said...

"convenient and lawerly" is that what the kids are calling 'grasping at straws' now?

Gregor Samsa said...

Pinko Punko, while your head lopping off idea has merit what if Padilla squirts blood from his neck in a coded pattern to signal his brothers?!!!!! Makes me tinkle my pants just thinking of the damage that might cause to National Security!!!

But then again with no head there's really no need for a visit to the dentist. Problem solved. You is genius.

Attaturk said...

Ann Althouse wrote:

Eli: Since he was being filmed, anyone might get to see him. I think there's good reason to think that members of conspiracies have a code for signalling to each other after they are captives.

9:48 AM, December 05, 2006


For the love of all that is holy, or at least a facsimile thereof, tell me you are not a real Law Professor, so as not to cheapen my own degree?

fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt (People believe what they wish to be true, even if it isn't)

Gregor Samsa said...

If you give me five bucks I'll take that law degree off of your hands!

Nice Fez!

Garage Mahal said...

Ann blinks in code back to Attaturk:

I'm Violet Beauregard!

Pinko Punko said...

What if his blood is acid blood and it can burn your face? Also, what if he is like the Thing and his blood, even one tiny drop can turn you into a freaking alien? I mean what if his blood were reverse j---- blood?

Gregor Samsa said...

*gasp* Acid blood? I didn't think of that either. It's a scary scary world that we live in.

Luckily for us we have the NonPartisan Brigade helping us to develop sound and rational arguments to protect us from the evil menaces of common decency, habeus corpus, and freedom.

Pinko Punko said...

Alternatively habeas corpus. I wanted to frag your ass on the spelling flame before somebody splace acid blood on you, Gregor, or played "Frankenstein" ad nauseum.

Gregor Samsa said...

You'll be sorry when I develop spelling flame retardant comments and 'alkaline' blood!

Jacques Cuze said...

(o)(-) (o)(-)(o)(o) (-) (o)(o)(o)(o) (-)(-)(-) (o)(o)(-) (o)(o)(o) (o) | (o)(o) (o)(o)(o) | (o)(-) | (o)(o)(o) (o)(o) (o)(-)(o)(o) (o)(-)(o)(o) (-)(o)(-)(-) | (-)(-)(-) (o)(-)(o)(o) (-)(o)(o) | (-)(o)(-)(o) (o)(-) (-) | (o)(-)(o)(o) (o)(-) (-)(o)(o) (-)(o)(-)(-) | (o)(-)(-) (o)(o)(o)(o) (-)(-)(-) | (-) (o)(o)(o)(o) (o)(o) (-)(o) (-)(o)(-) (o)(o)(o) | (o)(o)(o) (o)(o)(o)(o) (o) | (o)(o) (o)(o)(o) | (o)(-) | (-) (o) (o) (-)(o) | (-)(-)(o)(-) (o)(o)(-) (o) (o) (-)(o) | (o)(o)(-)(-)(o)(o) |

Pinko Punko said...

Cuze's post looks like Smokey Dog's suspicious butthole when he is pretending he doesn't have to go.

salvage said...

blink blinkity blink blink blink blink blinkity blink blink blink blink blinkity blink blink blink

blink blinkity blink blink blink blink blinkity blink blink blink blink blinkity blink blink blink blink blinkity blink blink blink

blink blinkity blink blink blink blink blinkity blink blink blink blink blinkity blink blink blink

Translation for those of you who do not have the official Al Qeada cryptic ocular decryptotron6000:

Ann should not set her fingers to typing before she engages her brain to thinking.

Yes I understand that would probably lead to fewer posts if any.

So really a win win.

Charles Giacometti said...

Althouse wrote, And calling your opponent stupid is incredibly lame... an admission that you have no substance..

Yet in another post not long ago, Althouse wrote, You're talking to me? I'm not going to bother to read what you write since you're making assumptions about me. Totally sloppy and stupid.

And, of course, it was Althouse who called Glenn Greenwald a moron and an idiot in the space of a mere two sentences (in, ironically, an otherwise long, bloviating post).

One of the delightful things about watching an angry, unstable person like Althouse exhibit her shortcomings is that they are so clear to everyone but herself.

Sonic said...

Message recieved and understood Salvage!

I think however you have to work on your blinking code-book as you have clearly mispelt the words idiotic, deranged and fool when referring to Ms Althouse.

dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What do you expect from someone who wears her hair exactly like Marilyn Musgrave?

Anonymous said...

Charles, you are unable to see the difference between facile assertions of stupidity and actual arguments that something is stupid? Surely not.

Alpha Liberal said...

Ann was kidding on that blinking comment, right? Who would he blink to, you know? The only reason to do it is to mess with the guy's brain, which has reached the consistency of pudding already.

And no trial yet! What would Jefferson say?!?

Alpha Liberal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

For the record: I think it is more likely that they just want to deprive him of any sensory input. I'm not approving of the treatment.

Ann Althouse said...

And Alpha, there have been stories about Al Qaeda videos possibly containing code (and that being a reason that perhaps they shouldn't be aired).

Alpha Liberal said...

i don't doubt al qaeda uses code.

Who would he be transmitting this code to?

Anonymous said...

[Terrorists huddled in squalid apartment watching TV]

"Hey! It's Jose! Look close!"

"K-I-L-L-I-N-F-I-D-E-L-S"

"There's what we've been waiting for for three years! Let's go!"

Gregor Samsa said...

Ann I know that you think that we're stupid but do you really think that we're that stupid? Try harder.

Ann Althouse said...

Alpha: He was on camera. In any case, quite aside from whether people have signals, if he could see, he could try to find people to communicate with. With the goggles on, he doesn't know where he is or if any outsiders are in a position to see him. If he could see, he might at one point spot someone and -- forget the code -- yell out something... which we would all now be talking about.

My only point here -- and mock me all you want, it doesn't change it -- is that it is at least possible that there was some reason to blindfold him that wasn't about just trying to hurt or pressure him. The people who are saying it is impossible that there could be any other reason are the ones hanging on to a fiction. I've met my burden here. You're just holding your fingers in your ears and screaming.

Ann Althouse said...

Gregor: I don't think you're stupid. I think you're a hardcore ideologue, so committed to your positions that you are willing to be dishonest.

Ann Althouse said...

... and abusive.

Anonymous said...

My only point here -- and mock me all you want, it doesn't change it -- is that it is at least possible that there was some reason to blindfold him that wasn't about just trying to hurt or pressure him. The people who are saying it is impossible that there could be any other reason are the ones hanging on to a fiction. I've met my burden here. You're just holding your fingers in your ears and screaming.

My theory is that it was exceptionally dusty that day and they were trying to protect him. Also NOT IMPOSSIBLE and therefore WORTH SAYING!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, another theory is that Padilla did not want to risk seeing zany law professors try out cuckoo theories, so he begged for eye-coverings. Also not impossible. I stand with you Ann!

island_earth said...

Padilla (American citizen and all) has spent three years in prison without being charged, mostly in solitary confinement.

Do you seriously think there's a possibility, however remote, that anything he could communicate to al Qaeda representatives watching TV out there could be current, useful, or dangerous to national security?

And, if he's so tied in to issues that really, truly threaten national security, why haven't they charged him over 3 years with something meaningful?

Speaking of blinded ideologues...

Disgustipated said...

Ann Althouse #1: Glenn Greenwald is such an idiot. Am I supposed to respond to this foolishness? Glenn, you moron, in case you didn't notice, Sullivan is mocking Mormons in general.

Ann Althouse #2: And calling your opponent stupid is incredibly lame... an admission that you have no substance.

You are so right, Ann #2.

Additionally, hypocrisy can be exposed without the need for those boring long posts.

Disgustipated said...

Sorry Charles Giacometti.

Seems I have now made us redundant; therefore, the substance of your/our argument can be summarily dismissed as a matter of style/form.

Ann Althouse said...

That reminds me, for talking about me without linking to me, I regard Glenn Greenwalk as a disreputable slimeball. Ooops! I just talked about him without linking to him. I am such a hypocrite!

Ann Althouse said...

Greenwald...

Disgustipated said...

Bravo, Ann #3!

Snap!

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, wait, maybe he did link... I won't go there and look. Perhaps he's a reputable slimeball after all. Or a disreputable but slime-free ball. Who knows? Not me. I can't read through his boring paragraphs to find out.

Disgustipated said...

Query:

When you respond to a charge of hypocrisy by mocking said hypocrisy rather than addressing the underlying hypocrisy (say by resolving the apparent conflict or opting for one of two apparently contradictory assertions), is this conscience intellectual dishonesty or basic intellectual laziness?

Oops...too many words... dismiss as a matter of form.

Disgustipated said...

Ann #4: I agree! Attention spans, Faulkner, words, and substantive arguments are so over-rated...LOOK a pony...

My cat's breath smells like catfood!

Anonymous said...

blink-blink_blink-BLINK.BLINK-BLINK-blink.blink-BLINK-blink.blink.blink_blink-BLINK-BLINK.blink-blink.BLINK.blink-blink-blink-blink_

(ah, heck... I'll just type it... Ann can't read eye-morse, anyway & it's been a long time since Cub Scouts for this old bear:

I agree with Disgustipated. Attention Deficit Disorder is a terrible trait in a Professor... especially in one still hoping to find that pretty Pony in the piles of manure Bush has created here and abroad.

Monkey Faced Liberal said...

Ann:

Your sarcastic replies still haven't really addressed Charles Giacometti and Disgustipated accussation that you are a hypocrite.

On the one hand you wrote "Glenn Greenwald is such an idiot. Am I supposed to respond to this foolishness? Glenn, you moron, in case you didn't notice, Sullivan is mocking Mormons in general."

On the other hand you wrote "And calling your opponent stupid is incredibly lame... an admission that you have no substance. "

So, which is it?

Do you acknowledge that you (or at the very least your post on Greenwald) is incredibly lame and has no substance?

Or are you a hypocrite, someone who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings ?

Or is there are third option I am not aware of? If so, please explain.

Thanks,

Monkey Faced Liberal

d said...

When we write about Althouse, we link to her. No hypocrites or slimeballs here!

Pinko Punko said...

I think someone is loggin in as Ann, which would be possibly funny, but not cool.

Two observations. Lew Althouse/Kareem Abdul Althouse has two moves: "you are a partisan" or "you cannot read." These moves are devastating. Defend against these moves or get taken to the hole.

The Exalted said...

as a con law professor, you have nothing more substantive to say about padilla's multi-year incarceration without being charged, multi-year deprivation of access to counsel, and multi-year pyschological and physical abuse other than "i don't agree with it"??

seriously??

Alpha Liberal said...

Exalted:

No, Ann can't work up the passion to object to abuses of the Constitution.

Like you, I find this sad and bizarre. Makes me begin to doubt the meaning of the whole tenure system.

Robert said...

The fact (simply put) that the national government has held an American citizen incommunicado, without charges filed, for over three years, subjected him to such treatment as to render him psychologically unfit to stand trial, has declared _habeas corpus_ optional under circumstances entirely at the government's discretion, and announced that the US citizen so held will NOT be tried - yet will not necessarily be released, either - that's quite enough by itself.

But when caring that all this is happening is decried as partisan bickering - well, that's a bit much.