Who needs a navy ? (rewritten)

by John Q on October 4, 2012

First up, I want to apologize to readers of CT and LGM for what has been (for me, and I think quite a few others) an unpleasant experience. The post I wrote about naval expenditures was provocative, but I thought it fell within the normal bounds of blogging license – that was clearly wrong. Obviously, this is a question on which a little provocation goes a long way.

Also, although I had noticed that people had different views about the “lesser evil” question in relation to the US election, I hadn’t thought of this as a “blogwar” between CT and LGM and in any case I had no idea that this post would upset Rob Farley in the way it did. Had I known these things, I would not have put the post up, certainly not written as it was. When the fight blew up, I made a series of attempts to cool things down, but with little success (in fact, probably making things worse).

Coming to the post itself, it contained a fair bit of hyperbole and snark (though not directed at anyone personally). This was returned in full measure, pressed down and running over. I also wrote some things in a loose and sloppy way, leaving opportunities for misinterpretation that were taken up with enthusiasm.

I’ve been duly smacked for the hyperbolic/snarky/loosely worded statements in the post. On the other hand, reflecting the nature of this kind of fight, the critics haven’t engaged at all with the main arguments of the post. So, it seems to me that the best thing to do at this point is to rewrite the post, removing the hyperbole and snark, correcting some points where I think there was a substantive error, and expanding on points where what I originally wrote was misinterpreted, or where the critics have made points that need a response.

The majority judgement is pretty clear that I’m wrong on this one. Maybe so, but as I said, I haven’t seen any real response on what I regard as the central issues, so I’m going to restate my position and leave it at that.

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