Then, Scott Greenfield tried to kick John Regan’s ass and “revealed” that John Regan was also commenter “John R.”.
Then, Bennett updated his post to write of John Regan that “it might be better for the criminal-justice system if he stays in Canada.” Bennett’s reversal of his reversal was based on the following comment left by John R. at Greenfield’s blog in 2010, which both Greenfield and Bennett at the time adjudged “scary bad”:
In my opinion there’s only one way to reliably win for a criminal defendant at trial: you have some evidence that is devastating to the prosecution’s case, you disguise it so that neither the judge nor the prosecutor knows what its significance is, you get it into evidence on some other ground, and you don’t say another word about it until you close.
I tried to leave a comment on Bennett’s post countering what seemed to me an unfair assessment of John R.’s 2010 comment, in which I repeated something I wrote here about Vincent Bugliosi’s account of his successful defense of a client charged with aiding and abetting her lover in the murder of another couple on a deserted atoll in the Pacific in 1974:
What was especially noteworthy [about the closing argument] were some very compelling inferences from the evidence Bugliosi drew for the jury, inferences which had not occurred to me despite my familiarity with the evidence from the first part of the book. In that important sense the closing argument presented a “surprise ending” in line with the best detective stories. Something that was staring you in the face all along is finally revealed in its true significance.
Bennett deleted my comment like a little bitch. After I told him to fuck off, he wrote: “Excellent. Nutjobs of the world unite. You have nothing to lose.” If I’m not mistaken, Bennett is calling me a loser. He’s saying that, in contrast to him, a rich man with everything to lose, I have nothing and am nothing. I take that as a compliment.
On a lighter note, Mike at Crime & Federalism has a post up today quoting Benjamin Franklin on the Socratic Method:
While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English grammar (I think it was Greenwood’s), at the end of which there were two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic method; and soon after I procur’d Xenophon’s Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are many instances of the same method.
I was charm’d with it, adopted it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter. And being then, from reading Shaftesbury and Collins, become a real doubter in many points of our religious doctrine, I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore I took a delight in it, practis’d it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved.
I continu’d this method some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced any thing that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or I should think it so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or it is so, if I am not mistaken.
This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engag’d in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure. For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention.
If you wish information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet at the same time express yourself as firmly fix’d in your present opinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error. And by such a manner, you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasing your hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire.
I commented: “The so-called blawgosphere would be a bigger place if its denizens took Franklin’s thoughts on the Socratic Method to heart.”