Archives for: July 2012, 14
This is like a blogging Clash of the Titans. Last week, The Heathen Republican offered a tongue-in-cheek critique of my critique of his critique of liberal thought. He wrote to say, "I thought sure you'd highlight my moronic post, not a post where I quote somebody else..." Well, the problem with the implied challenge is that Heathen makes it a point to write decidedly NON-moronic posts. It's not reasonable to require me to find an exception. This week does not provide such an exception. Instead, he provides a very brief bit of classic logic against the unpopular, but constitutional, insurance mandate part of Obamacare. A reductio ad absurdum argument takes the reasoning behind a proposition and applies it to get to a conclusion that is absurd. Heathen suggests that Congress pass law requiring the purchase of firearms.
There are several ways to counter a reductio argument. One way is to deconstruct it, showing the re-application of logic to be flawed, different in some way from the original. Ryan is a frequent generous contributor here and provides lessons in logic at Secular Ethics. He deconstructs Heathen, piece by lonely piece. Before you tick off Ryan, always ask for a chance to apologize.
Actually, I answered a similar argument on the same topic a bit less deftly last year. I invoked a brute force application of history. It seems President George Washington, in his first term, did sign into law the Militia Act requiring adult males to purchase firearms in case they had to be drafted. Not a great need to do it today, but nobody challenged the constitutionality at the time.
A hundred or so years ago, G. K. Chesterton became well known as a skeptic about progressivism and conservatism. "The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes," he wrote. "The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, takes some of the half that Chesterfield wrote aimed at liberals of his day and presents it as representative of the man's philosophy. It is yesterday's discourse. Not really timeless. In those days, conservatives longed for slavery and liberals wanted to end lynchings. Chesterton thought truth was somewhere in the middle. Nice balance there, G. K. ! Political discourse has changed since then. For the most part, the left seeks to conserve a safety net that the radicalized right seeks to destroy.
Infidel 753 looks toward a future in which the phobias of Pat Buchanan type social conservatism are ill suited for effective leadership. A world of intolerance toward other religions, sexual orientations, and skin colors is one doomed to shrink to nothing.
Mark at News Corpse notes the laughter at Fox News. The hilarity centers on a DC police officer, part of an official escort, who is alleged to possibly have wanted to assassinate First Lady Michelle Obama. Fox News is undeniably ... well ... less than responsible at times. And the killing of political figures just doesn't crack me up the way it does a few others.
On the original news story, I'm in wait-for-details mode. Nobody has covered an obvious alternate explanation. The apparent threat was overheard during a discussion of possible future attempts on the First Lady's life. Seems reasonable that part of a legitimate discussion might center on how to and what might be used. Or not.
"The late Andrew Breitbart was a towering figure in the conservative media before his tragic death in March, a point even his harshest critics would concede," begins Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame. Well, yeah, in the same sense that Charles Manson was a towering figure in the Manson family, a point even Tommy will concede. Breitbart was your friend, Tommy, but sheesh. The guy was proud about the editing of videos to make it look like innocent non-public victims were saying the opposite of what they actually said. Some got fired.
Okay, so Tommy's other point is that surviving partners of Breitbart tweeted a speculative heres-what-he-would-have-wanted endorsement of Romney by the towering figure. And Romney glommed onto it as if the words had actually come from the now deceased smear artist. He is actually proud of the ghostly embrace from the grave.
Sometimes an example provides a better definition than, well, a definition. Vixen Strangely at Rumproast finds a quote that provides a glimpse of modern Antoinette class warfare. You may think it's from the Onion, but it's snot.
Slant Right's John Houk leads a hearty cheer for a homophobic rant for family values. Trouble is: John lives only in that part of the Bible that comes before Jeremiah, and only about half of that. Before he became a Senator and had to bite his lip until drawing blood, Al Frankin (D-VeryFunny) put it thusly: From what I understand, if you cut out all the passages in the Bible where Jesus talks about the poor, about helping out the least among us, you'd have the perfect container to smuggle Rush Limbaugh's drugs in.
James Wigderson reviews a decision on the main water supply in the region, a decision made by the city government of Milwaukee. The restricted sharing of water will hurt the rest of the region, and James is understandably upset by the selfishness. Self interest is not all a reasonable conservative might want from local government.
Papamoka at Papamoka Straight Talk lines up prospective President Romney with not-yet-President Washington back in the 1770's, and finds the comparison favorable to Washington. He finds a closer match when comparing policies of Mitt and another President George W..
Max's Dad believes the booing incident at Mitt Romney's NAACP appearance was a bit of a put-up job by the campaign. He puts it all in colorful, earthy, provocative terms. Heady poetry of inspirational offense. Or, as we sometimes put it: Yikes. Definitely duck-and-cover.
If you write frequently and love it enough to labor over it, Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot may make you weep. He describes Higgs boson, does it in historical narrative, doesn't use mathematics, makes it understandable and entertaining. When you're finished, you have an appreciation of science, the universe, and Tim McGaha. See what I mean? Makes the rest of us cry real tears in our watered down beer.