November 13, 2002
More On 'Hesiod' III

'Hesiod' continues to call his enemies 'chickenbloggers' and to sneer at them if they think a 'chickenblogger' is the same thing as a 'chickenhawk'. (See for instance his own comment #8 on his post of 11/13, 02:01:22 PM.) Just to confuse us, he has never explained what he meant by this distinction except once in a comment on this post at Aaron Haspel's God of the Machine. Haspel's post was nearly six weeks old when 'Hesiod' first posted his explanation, so I imagine very few have read the latter. Here is how he defines his term:

"Chickenblogging" has NOTHING to do with the Chickenhawk concept.

Are there Chickenhawks who are ALSO Chickenbloggers? Yes. Lots of them.

Chickenblogging denotes a style of argument or rhetoric. It has nothing to do with ideology, although it seems to be practiced most frequently by those on the conservative side of the spectrum.

(When asked for examples of left-wing 'chickenbloggers', he was too chicken to provide any.)

It involves pickng out minutiae or erecting straw men, and beating them to death without addressing the most powerful or troublesome arguments of your opponent. It also denotes a belittling debate style.

It advances ad hominem attacks, and irrelevant nitpicking in place of substantive debate.

As usual with Hesiodic insults, this describes his own method of argument perfectly: he is himself the quintessential 'chickenblogger', though I prefer the much clearer term 'chickenshitblogger'. Consider for instance his habit of "[not] addressing the most powerful or troublesome arguments of [his] opponent". It's been almost two months since I offered some serious objections to Hesiod's argument that Saddam Hussein can be contained and war is therefore unnecessary. (Go to this post and scroll down to 'Skipping a bit . . . .'). The objections can be summarized as follows:

  1. How can 'Hesiod' possibly know that Saddam is not suicidally insane? As far as I can determine, he has neither the expertise nor the opportunity to form an opinion.
  2. Given the horrendous consequences if Saddam were to use a nuclear weapon, wouldn't it be worth risking a great deal to prevent him from acquiring them in the first place? After all, even a 3% or 5% chance of a war that would kill hundreds of thousands or millions of people is a frightening prospect.
  3. Saddam is an old man -- in his late sixties, as far as anyone can tell. (He must dye his famous mustache.) Unless he is removed from power, it is therefore certain that he will, some day in the not-too-distant future, leave his soon-to-be-acquired nuclear weapons to such unknown quantities as Qusay or Uday or whoever else can seize power in Iraq. Even if he is sane, are Qusay and Uday? By all accounts, no. Are all the other possible candidates insane? We don't even know all their names. Pervez Musharraf seems perfectly sane, but we still worry about Pakistan's nuclear weapons, because Musharraf will not live forever and we do not know who will come next.

'Hesiod' has never attempted to answer any of these objections, or dozens of other serious objections that have been offered (by myself and others) to various things he has written. He prefers to spend his time calling others every foul name in the book and getting all bent out of shape if anyone calls him far milder names such as 'Hayseed'. To paraphrase the South African diplomat in Lethal Weapon II, "who is the dickhead chickenblogger now?"

Posted by Dr. Weevil at November 13, 2002 07:05 PM

The whole affair was weird. I suspect he was ego-Googling for "chickenblogging" on day and ran across my post. In any case, his style of argument is the same on my blog as it is everywhere else.

Posted by: Aaron Haspel on November 13, 2002 11:53 PM

Well, Hesiod now has comments on his web-site. And one of the things he decided to blog about was the state of the Chinese banking system. Which, for some unfathomable reason, he then uses to imply that the Dubya Administration should pay more attention to than the war w/ Iraq. Without ever actually saying exactly what it is that this (or ANY) administration could/should do about it.

I pointed this out in his comments section and inquired as to exactly what it is that he thinks Dubya and company could possibly do. I look forward to seeing whether he actually responds to my query or not.

Posted by: Dean on November 14, 2002 09:46 AM

Shouldn't that be, "...calling others every fowl name..."?

Posted by: Pink & Fluffy on November 14, 2002 02:17 PM

It involves pickng out minutiae or erecting straw men, and beating them to death without addressing the most powerful or troublesome arguments of your opponent. It also denotes a belittling debate style.

It advances ad hominem attacks, and irrelevant nitpicking in place of substantive debate.

Describes Hesiod to a 'T'. He once attacked Robin Roberts and myself for pointing out how he is using guilt by association with regards to Steven Hatfill ('person of interest' in the anthrax letter case). He then said, "When Robin Roberts and Steve Verdon give a shit about Padilla then I'll take them seriously."

I pointed out that I had a couple of posts on that issue and that I was rather concerned about it as the Administration was being extremely vague for my tastes.

Not a peep from him on it and I still get the abuse. So...he is a chickenblogger and a liar.

Shocking, I know.

Posted by: Steve on November 14, 2002 02:56 PM

*sigh* Hesiods website (now with comments) is like cheap entertainment.. it makes me laugh.

Posted by: amy on November 14, 2002 03:29 PM

Let's see how long comments will last... He's got the bellicose style of someone who knows he's outclassed in every argument and has to resort to namecalling. Now that he's got comments on, he has to deal with well-written rebuttals, and he can't hide from 'em...

My bet is he'll look for some provocation and drop comments as soon as he can.

NB: The new, emasculated "Tapped" links to Hesiod regularly. More proof that the new Tapped is following TAP into wacky-left oblivion...

Posted by: Andrew S. on November 14, 2002 06:08 PM

There are many, many cogent arguments one can make to show how deep Hesiod's head is in uh...the sand. Okay, let's go with 'the sand.'

All off them, however, eventually distill themselves to the tautology that he is a mind-numbingly narcisstic, arrogant, and spectacularly WRONG bloviating gasbag. So I just generally start there and save a lot of time and energy.

Posted by: Bill Whittle on November 17, 2002 04:31 AM