Thursday, May 11, 2006

Spittle and Ink Spits Some Venom

I got Mark from Spittle and Ink all pissed off over my jury duty service post. The amount of anger and condescension in his writing reminds me of Paul Manata.

Let's see what he has to say:

So, as if following some right wing script, he starts his argument with an inference to being persecuted for his unique stand on things. Giggle.

Mark wastes no time in setting up strawmen. Getting kicked out of Jury Duty is not persecution of any kind, nor did I infer that it was. Mark quoted me saying, "Before I even first reported to the courtroom, I already suspected that my individualist and market anarchist views would get me kicked out, and today they did," and obviously it has no inference to any kind of persecution.

Mark sets up another strawman, claiming that I am inferring that my "intellect" got me out of Jury Duty:

Then, natch, he switched gears. Now it wasn't persecution that would get him out of serving, but his advanced intellect.

Mark then quotes me at length. I don't want to repost it here for the sake of brevity, but feel free to read my jury duty post and see for yourself that I never infer or claim that my "intellect" had anything to do with it. I was fully consistent with my original claim (that Mark even quoted and misrepresented): "Before I even first reported to the courtroom, I already suspected that my individualist and market anarchist views would get me kicked out, and today they did." That's it. No more, no less. I have views that are not compatible with the jury requirements set forth by the judge and the attorneys, and I got kicked off the jury box because of it.

Mark continues:

Wow, so controversial! (And yet, his views on minimum wage are so stunningly in rigid lockstep with every other bland, mainstream Republican in recent memory.)

What a coincidence! My views on one issue, minimum wage, are the same as some Republicans. Strange that my views on the mere existence of government are not. So a few Republicans want to abolish some of the same "laws" that I do. Good for them. Mark's attempt to paint me as being in some way aligned with a statist Republican falls flat on the most fundamental level.

The insulting tone is literally dripping off this guy's keyboard. I'm not the one claiming that my views are controversial. It is the judge and the attorneys (well, mostly the attorneys) who claim that my views are controversial. The attorneys judged me not able to serve impartially as a juror; I told them that I thought I could.

Mark then proceeds to tell us about his Jury experience. His experience, and his description of it, is quite different than mine:

I went in on Monday for jury selection. Because I wasn't predisposed to not serving, as Kinney admitted he was, I didn't waste time throwing up obstacles.

The strawmen never quit. Mark is either delusional, or dishonest. I did not throw up any obstacles whatsoever. I followed the oath that they made me take. I gave the honest truth to every question asked of me. I did nothing to escape jury duty. What I did do, is make a bet that I would naturally and legitimately get kicked off the case, and I won.

It is true that I did not want to serve, but I did nothing to cheat my way out of service. I'm not even against serving on a jury per se, but the only reason I didn't want to serve this time was because it was a three-week-plus case. I got real work to do at my job, and I don't want to be behind three weeks or more when I come back to it. It took three days of jury selection just for them to get to me. Mark's case, lucky for him, was over in two days. Not too much of a time commitment for him to worry about:

The trial I was considered for was a burglary. So long as the death penalty wasn't involved (it wasn't) I didn't see any reason to make excuses and "get out of it." Within two hours of my arrival, I had been assigned to a jury and told to report the next day. By noon I was sipping coffee at home.

Yesterday I appeared at court for the trial. We were told it would take one or two days, and in fact we finished on the first day, albeit late into the evening. The case was absolutely insane. The alleged victim claimed he came home and saw someone robbing his house. He chased the guy in his truck and the two cars collided a few times. Cops arrived, arrested the alleged thief, and thus the trial. Unfortunately, the evidence showed quite an opposite story. There was no evidence of a robbery. In fact, the guy wasn't a thief but a door to door salesman. The two cars hadn't collided in a chase, but happened when the homeowner -- who just assumed his house had been robbed -- intentionally rammed the other guy, trying to kill him. It also came out that the homeowner had lied about there being stolen property -- there wasn't anything stolen, although that hadn't stopped him from getting insurance money for the missing goods. In the end the evidence was overwhelming that the defendant not only hadn't committed a crime, but was himself the victim of attempted murder... all for just knocking on the guy's door. What sucks, of course, is that the homeowner not only got off without a single charge, but made money from his insurance company in the process.

So when we, the jury, left at the end of the day we knew without any hesitation that we had helped an innocent man stay out of jail. We protected this man's individual rights and personal freedom. And it only took me a day and a half of jury service.

So Mark boasts about protecting someone's rights in only a day and a half's time. Mark also implies that I didn't protect someone's rights due to his imagined attempts by me to escape jury duty. But even worse, Mark gives us no information on the things that my post focused on: the juror selection process, the questions the attorneys asked, the principles involved, etc. Mark simply gives us a rundown of the case, and then vaguely suggests that they reached a verdict, although it isn't exactly clear. Mark's jury experience, and his write-up of it, is totally unrelated to mine, especially considering his misrepresentations and strawman attacks.

Immediately after boasting about his day and a half jury service, Mark rails against individualism. Oh, the irony:

I think it's important to remember that when you hear the word "individualism" it really just means "sociopathological selfishness." All that matters is what's important to yourself, and everyone else can go fuck themselves. Anything involving a room with more than two other people in it is to be avoided. If that means other people's rights are trampled on, so what? Your "individualism" isn't affected.

Mark is full of empty assertions. Indeed, they are required in order for him to prop up and hack down his strawmen. Individualism quite specifically does not say "so what?" to the trampling of rights (click here for a cool animated clip about self-ownership). The trampling of an individual's rights comes from opponents of individualism: collectivism and statism, with their coercion and their monopoly of power. That is the philosophy that Mark subscribes to.

Honestly, for Mark to claim that "individualism" means that another individual's rights can be "trampled on," means that he obviously doesn't even understand the what it's title means, let alone the meat of it's arguments.

Mark then throws a punch for those who are oppressed under the collective boot of "Boards of Directors":

(Notice, however, how "market anarchists" can never quite explain how they feel about corporate Boards of Directors or other power-wielding, freedom-limiting groups that comprise their pro-capitalist enterprises.)

Boy is that statement loaded! Not only that, but it's self-defeating. If the compromising of capitalism is bad as he says it is, then the monopolistic, coercive, anti-competitive entity that is "government" is a very bad thing, isn't it? If anti-competition is "freedom-limiting" as Mark implies, then he doesn't have much justification for a monopolistic, taxing government that forces you to follow it's rules and buy it's products and services, does he?

Maybe market anarchists don't tell Mark how they feel about Boards of Directors because his own argument is much more of an argument against the state?

Now comes some ad hominem fun!

Well, that's okay. While libertarian, individualist, freethinking, market anarchists like Kinney are avoiding things like jury service,

I served twice as long as he did.


I don't like providing support to an entity that dissatisfies me. I won't patronize a store that provides a crappy product or service.

running for office,

That's like an atheist Pope. Next, Mark will explain how baldness is a hair color.

active participation in society, bathing, etc.

This is getting pathetic. This guy has no idea! I wonder if Mark would like to back up anything he says? Maybe he would like to compare which of us more actively participates in society? I'll bet $5 on myself!

-- and restricting their activities to typing up snarky little blog entries...

Mark totally sucks at research. Every single one of his assumptions is wrong. All of his strawmen are easy to point out. All of his arguments fail.

Why does Mark feel such a need to respond so with such a personal and insulting tone to what was a political and governmental-themed (not to mention positive and cheery) post? Is he projecting? Does he have something to prove?

Oh wait, now I get it! Mark has a parody statement! Silly me. I should have realized that Mark meant everything he wrote to be total bullshit. No person could logically be that good at truly being that dumb, unless of course they were only doing a parody (or they were a Republican, giggle).


Aaron Kinney said...

What I meant about not being against serving on a jury per se was that, although I recognize that I was being coerced into jury service, my job does pay me for it, and it is an interesting experience, so it is a bit of coercion that I would not mind going through for its entertainment value. While I dont like forced jury duty in principle, I am not interested in cheating or lying to get out of it.

However, a 3 week case leaves me 3 weeks behind at work, and that would be a pain in the ass. So I was glad that I naturally got out of it.

Libertarian Jason said...

Another excellent post...

FYI.. This is one of my favorite blogs. Keep up the great work.

Aaron Kinney said...

Thanks Libertarian Jason! :)