Dear Mr. Pomeroy,
Bravo! A most inspired parody of intellectual discourse! So many fallacies in just 3 paragraphs! I've just started running David King's "Fallacies" column in Port of Call, but you're obviously already a past master. I have to admit that closing such a collection of gross distortions and outright fabrications with the utterly disingenuous claim that "most of us appreciate factual honest articles and do not appreciate diatribes, personal invectiveness or misinformed opinions" was a priceless satire.
I was particularly impressed when you managed to associate me with assorted sociopathic serial murderers in the guise of complaining about the "invective" in MY prose, and the violent criminality inherent in the principles I was advocating! All these years I've been suffering from the delusion that I'd gotten my homicidal ideas about individual freedom, personal accountability, and voluntary societies of freemen, from the enlightened wisdom of men like Washington, Jefferson, and Mencken - never once suspecting that my actual inspirations were Manson, Son of Sam, and Bundy! Whod've thunk it!!
I did have one small problem with your fine burlesque of using false claims of offense to camouflage outrageous unfounded accusations and personal attacks...I don't seem to "get" the punch line. I did "get" the absurdist humor in your claim that "fortunately, our laws generally promote the common good and protect us from people who cannot or will not learn how to live in a civilized society". But then I've read our nation's founding documents and supporting materials like the Federalist and Antifederalist papers, and have spent half a century actively seeking to understand the rights and obligations of freeman citizens in a free society. Alas, I must admit the humor of the rest of your piece is a bit too esoteric for me. Obviously, the sophistication of your humor exceeds my humble ability to appreciate your brilliance.
You couldn't possibly intend for your complaints to be taken seriously, since that would mean that you actually believe that your utterly specious accusations have some connection with what the author of the original article and I actually wrote. Dr. Mason has confirmed that my "retort" to Ms. Westerfield reflected a reasonable interpretation of the actual content of his article, so I know that (at least in this specific instance) I'm not the one having a problem "reading with integrity" - making a good faith effort to interpret the author's words to mean what the author intended them to mean, not what the reader might want them to say.
I thought I was rather emphatic about the need to "read with integrity" in my reply to Ms. Westerfield. Attacking me for advocating positions that are diametrically opposite to my actual positions clearly demonstrates a failure to read with integrity what I wrote about reading with integrity - which I admit does provide a certain ironically absurd twist to your letter's malicious descent into delusional fantasy. So maybe your accusations are an attempt to make a joke of some kind - or someone - after all. Or are you really intending to admit that you utterly failed to accurately interpret two exhaustive explanations to the contrary, and still harbor the fantastical delusion that either piece was actually advocating driving while incapacitated for any reason?
Someone capable of reading with integrity would have noted my specific statement that I consume little alcohol myself - even when not driving. They would have further noted that far from advocating that others engage in driving while intoxicated, I don't want any of the other drivers on the road with me to be incapacitated, distracted, or otherwise compromised by any activity or condition that interferes with their obligation to apply their full attention and abilities to competently operating their vehicles. Not only do I not want to be harmed by drunk drivers, but it seems entirely reasonable to me to also not want to be harmed by irresponsible drivers distracted by cell phones, children in the back seat, eating a burger, drinking coffee, fiddling with their stereos, falling asleep at the wheel, etc. And somehow from this you managed to get the idea that I was advocating drunk driving?
Or are you really trying to say that irresponsibly causing the deaths of others is only "bad" when alcohol is involved? Are you really trying to say that the wrong committed against the victim is somehow different if the killer is soberly exercising such arrogant contempt for the rights of his fellow citizens that he can't be bothered to pay attention to his driving? Does it really make a meaningful difference to the victim whether the violation of his most fundamental rights was the result of his killer's negligent ingestion of intoxicants, or his killer's negligent contempt for the fundamental obligations of a driver? Are the dead any "deader" one way or the other?
I'd like to suggest you read some of the many other articles I've written over the years, but I shudder at the thought of what you might want to believe they say. Since you've so eagerly embraced the "freedom" of the slave, I have no illusions that you would be willing to accurately interpret my explorations of the freedom of a freeman. Someone who believes that unjust laws must be obeyed lacks even the most basic understanding of what it means to be a freeman, or a true citizen of a free society. You'll no doubt feel quite comfortable in the authoritarian police state that is rapidly destroying real liberty in America - at least until the midnight knock on your door when they come to take you away for unknowingly violating one of the millions of obscure laws. But at least you'll have the comfort of knowing that the terror that finally turned its malignant attention to you, had long before "cleansed" society of all the dangerous free thinkers like me.
If your unfounded attack isn't a satire, then I agree with your point that apologies are in order - but they're owed to me not by me. As for the logical absurdity of resigning out of "respect" for the aggressive contempt you've demonstrated for the true meaning of my prose, I'd guess it's probably even less likely than your apology.
I eagerly await your interpretation of what I "really" wrote in this letter...
Yours in Fellowship,
Kort E Patterson
Still Director, Region 7
Still Editor, Port of Call