Dissents Of The Day

The in-tray is still inundated with readers upset over the ongoing Dish debate over Jihad:

Dude, please pay attention to every word in the excerpt you’re trying to refute here. Words like Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 11.49.31 AM“compounded” and “linked to changing behaviors,” and even “depression.” For someone who’s been on the case regarding brain injuries in the NFL and some of the tragedies those injuries may have helped set the stage for, you seem rather inconsistent to label even considering this angle as “parody.” Even if you don’t want to stray to far from focusing on the religious aspects of this attack, wouldn’t finding similar damage to Tamerlan’s brain at least help advance awareness in the debate about sports in America?

Yes, maybe. But my mockery was not about CTE, which is a serious condition (but not often found on those as young as Tamerlan). It was about some ideological liberals’ desperation to find some kind of way to blame this on anything but Jihad. Why?

Another reader:

What is up with you this week? “liberal wish-mongering” “liberal bullshit” “high-minded nonsense”. Is this how you shore up your conservative bona fides these days?

It is dispiriting to read a usually articulate and considered writer flailing about, knocking down strawmen for what seems like no purpose. Are you getting lots of hate mail? It’s worth noting that your moral compass with regard to terrorism does not work very well, as you highlighted a couple months ago during the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion. You have admitted to a form of post-9/11 PTSD. Perhaps it’s worth taking a step back and remembering that “to see what’s in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

I am not a blogger who tries to shore up my liberal or conservative “bona fides”. I have offended both sides just as much over the years, depending on events and issues. I write what I think is true. I think a desperate search for something other than religious motivation for the terrorism is a form of denialism. Another reader:

For a guy who over reacted rather shamefully after 9/11 (“fifth column”, support of the Iraq war) maybe you want to tone down the utter confidence in your understanding of what has just taken place, a confidence that is producing rather routine snide dismissals of anyone who wants explore the issue in directions you disagree with, or simply want to say “we don’t know yet”. You may be entirely right in your assessment of what took place, but there is going to be a lot more information to come out. Neither your finest, nor more interesting moment. Frankly, rather brutish and bullying.

The most original reaction:

Your smug knee-jerk rejection really crottles my chitlins.

Knee-jerk rejection? When I explicitly wrote: “Yes, we can explore every angle.” One angle a little more fruitful might be a check on his testosterone levels. He looks a little juiced to me in the photos we have. And that could exacerbate his religiously-inspired violence. CTE seems much larger a stretch.

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(Photo: Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L) fights Lamar Fenner (R) during the 201-pound division boxing match during the 2009 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions May 4, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah. By Glenn DePriest/Getty Images)