[See also Acting Like A Lawyer ]
Original source: http://legalminds.lp.findlaw.com/list/cyberia-l/msg17675.html
Subject: Re: Ruling in _Intel v. Hamidi_ -Reply
From: "Andrew C. Greenberg"
Date: 10 May 1999 01:22:21 -0000
Wiseman responding to Godwin
>:Those who use paraphrases to distort what an opponent says are engaging in
>:something more than rhetoric -- they're indulging in intellectual
>Were I you, I would have stopped reading here and just "bozofiltered"
>you. You may accuse me of many things. I may make errors of law. I may
>make errors of fact. I may make logical errors. I may even join a thread
>and ask questions which you (and perhaps others) think are stupid. But
>for _you_ of all people to accuse me of intellectual dishonesty is
>unacceptable. Your word games, your logic chopping, your avoidance of the
>real issues, your twisting what others say, your denying that you ever
>meant what others reasonably infer from what you say, all of which we have
>all observed here recently, make the accusation supremely hypocritical.
More than Professor Wiseman may know. The hypocrisy lies with the fact that this is the same Mike Godwin who wrote not long ago to Seth Finklestein:
>I do not welcome being insulted, however, although I look forward to your
>next opportunity to call me a liar to my face. You may be disconcerted at
>how strongly I express my feelings about such a gratuitous and false ad
>hominem attack, especially when you can't hide behind your keyboard.
And then, of course, as he resigned from this forum the first time:
>I am very tired, as a
>result, and no longer have the energy I once did to engage here with those
>I took to be saying destructive or incorrect things, or even to contribute
>positively to those discussions in which there is no great wrangle as to
>what the law is or should be.
>The latest attack on my motives from Michael Sims, like the recent attacks
>from Seth Finkelstein, has reminded me forcefully of the ironic maxim that
>no good deed goes unpunished. As I remarked privately to Peter Junger
>recently, not even my foes on the religious right have attacked me with the
>bitterness and ruthlessness that I have received from people on this list
Mike's attacks on Professor Wiseman were far more vicious, bitter and ruthless than any of the remarks levied at him by Michael or Seth, who merely felt he was misquoting them, and who called him a liar therefore. Mike took great umbrage at being called a liar (and I agreed with him then).
Never, did they attack with the ad hominem invective Mike directed to a reasoned remark from a reasonable person, going so far as to criticize Professor Wiseman's professional standing and personal integrity.
I never thought I would apologize to Seth Finklestein for doubting his characterizations of Mike Godwin's rhetorical conduct. While I do not condone what Seth did then (calling Mike a liar), I doubt his remarks no longer. Mike has simply gone beyond the pale, and his words will be remembered and restated should he ever try to repeat this again. Indeed, in his own words:
>I don't lie. Even
>if I were not ethically opposed to lying about public issues, as a
>practical matter I would choose not to do it, because it is too easy to get