De te fabular narratur

by Chris Bertram on May 29, 2004

I just read “a particularly egregious column from Jonah Goldberg”:,,482-1126901,00.html in the London Times. The Times is only freely available to people within the UK, so I thought I’d surf over to the National Review Online to see if the content was also posted there. I didn’t find the Times piece, but I did happen upon “Goldberg’s take on the Instapundit-Yglesias spat”: which concludes:

bq. Yglesias would improve his arguments if he stopped his recent habit of increasingly asserting bad motives on anyone he disagrees with.

Back to the Times, where Goldberg begins thusly a column aimed at critics of the administration’s Iraq policies in general and Anthony Zinni in particular:

bq. HERE we go again. It is time to blame the Jews. That seems to be this month’s explanation for the Iraq war. Obviously, this is hardly a new idea on either side of the Atlantic, particularly for readers of, say, The Guardian or Le Monde. But in America, the emphasis on the theory has reached almost French proportions

“[A]sserting bad motives on anyone he disagrees with” ?

Heavy Lifting

by Belle Waring on May 29, 2004

A recent post on our blog about whether any of the situations in the Alanis Morrisette Song “Ironic” were, in fact, ironic, has garnered unexpected interest. I looked at the lyrics more carefully, and I think perhaps half could be said to qualify in an extended sense, that is, they seem like dramatic irony. So: “rain on your wedding day” is unquestionably not ironic, it’s just somewhat unfortunate. But I’ll give her “death-row pardon two minutes late”, I guess, if we accept a certain notion of irony I outline below.

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Physician, Heal Thyself

by Kieran Healy on May 29, 2004

“Glenn Reynolds”: responds to criticism from “Matt Yglesias”:

bq. Instead of blaming the messenger, perhaps a bit of soul-searching would be in order.

You said it, mate.

Professional Misconduct

by Kieran Healy on May 29, 2004

“Eugene Volokh”: has an interesting post about unsolved or unexplored issues in First Amendment doctrine. His topic is Professional-Client Speech:

bq. Many professional-client relationships — lawyer-client, psychotherapist-patient, accountant-client, even often doctor-patient — mostly consist of speech. Sometimes, of course, they involve physical conduct (surgery) or the submission of statements to the government (a lawyer arguing in court). But often they consist solely of two people talking with each other, one asking questions and the other giving advice. And yet this communication is often subject to speech restrictions and speech compulsions that would generally be forbidden in other contexts.

He gives five examples, including professional negligence, professional advice being dependent on a license (a prior restraint in other contexts), and banned sexual relations between professionals and clients (doctors, etc). “What should be the proper analysis be under the First Amendment?” he asks. I have no idea, of course, because I’m not a lawyer. But sociologically, these restraints are generally self-imposed should be seen as constitutive of professional authority in the first place. A professional association that endorsed this kind of lawsuit would be making a big mistake.

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