Saturday, April 08, 2006

Miscellaneous Musings on Distributivism, Valid Theories and the Criteria Thereof, Illegal Immigration, Activism, Fundamental Rights, Etc. (A continuation post)

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Miscellaneous Musings on Illegal Immigration, Voting Issues, Audioblogger, Fundamental Rights, Activism, Distributivism, Valid Theories and the Criteria Thereof, Etc.

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"From the Mailbag" Dept.
(With Chris Blosser)

Chris' words will be in purple font and the review in red. And for those who are used to seeing me edit out the names of individuals to focus on issues, this will be an exception to my normal protocol. Without further ado...

Dale Vree reveals his ideological leanings in his review of Neo-Conned.

I am not surprised.

I've bristled at Vree's reference to "German Catholics have been blasted for not doing enough to oppose Hitler's wars" -- given that we are, after all, talking about Bush's war against Iraq, which is a far cry from World War II, except in both cases a bloody dictator was ousted. In any case, why mention "German Catholic resistance [to Hitler]" it at all?

It is called argumentum ad hitlerum or the "appeal to Hitler" fallacy. And it is about as low a blow as one can strike in a disputation. Such a tactic shows quite clearly that Vree has no shame whatsoever...hopefully his more ardent defenders are paying attention to it.

And as we know by now, IHS Press is much more than just another "Catholic publisher". . . . does one recall any other book that by a "Catholic publisher" that was prominently featured in a neo-nazi email newsletter ("Final Conflict"), or one of whose publishers have a history of involvement in neo-fascist ideological movements and fraternization with Libyan dictators?

Good points Chris.

Neo-Conned! (Vol. 1) and Neo-Conned! Again (Vol. 2). Edited by D.L. O'Huallachain and J. Forrest Sharpe. IHS Press. 447 pages. $25.95.

Briefly if I may...

Do true conservatives, Catholic conservatives, and other Catholics support the war on Iraq? Going by these two volumes, they don't.

But then again, Vree already showed that he was willing to misrepresent the church on the war issue (see my "Vreebird" thread for details) so that he does so again here hardly surprises me.

The first volume is dedicated to Just War principles. In this volume you will find articles by Pat Buchanan,

A barking moonbat on several issues.

Joe Sobran,

See my previous comments.

Tom Fleming,

No comment except that Justin Raimondo speaks highly of him (which makes me suspicious of him from the get-go).

Paul Gottfried,

He seems to have a fetish for so-called "neo-cons" and (with all likelihood) has not bothered to outline what he means by the term. And since (i) he has with all likelihood not bothered to define the term "neo-con" and (ii) definitions are required tools of thought, why should I take him seriously???

our own James Hanink,

No comment except to say if he is anything like Vree then I am underwhelmed (to put it nicely).

Edward Peters,

A good canonist but whose knowledge of the intricacies of just war theory are not to be presumed apriori.

Keith Fournier,

Like Peters, Deacon Fournier's knowledge of the intricacies of just war theory are not to be presumed apriori.

John Rao,

No comment except to say that if his understandings about just war theory are as off base as his misunderstandings of the person and thought of the late John Paul II, then I am beyond underwhelmed by him (to put it mildly).

Paul Likoudis,

James' brother??? If memory serves, he writes for The Wanderer...

and Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani.

Who died in 1979 and was at one time a highly authoritative cardinal in the Roman Curia. Nonetheless, this does not mean that he necessarily has (by virtue of those esteemed credentials) any particular degree of expertise on the subject of just war theory.

Notice however gentle reader that Vree seems to think that listing certain names of reasonably well-known (as a rule) commentators, journalists, or clergy somehow makes their opinions on a matter unimpeachable. Hmmmmm...fallacy fallacy, can anyone name the argumentation fallacy involved there??? Well, it is that one to some degree and also another which is called "appeal to the gallery." It should also be noted that a credible commentator would not fail to disclose important factors about some of those they cite as allies.

For example, Pat Buchanan believes that World War II was not a just war; ergo his stance on the Iraq war is as predictable as drunk fanny pinching at the Kennedy compound by "Uncle Teddy." In the case of the late Cardinal Ottaviani (God rest his soul), he believed that a just war was impossible in the modern world: something I covered in a post earlier in the year{1} and do not want to revisit at this time.

Of particular interest are: "Might Is Not Right: Why 'Preventive War' Is Immoral" by Fr. Juan Carlos Iscara, "Epistemic Inadequacy, Catholic Just-War Criteria and the War in Iraq" by Thomas Ryba, and "Iraq: Sovereignty and Conscience" by James Hanink.

I do not know about any of these sorts except that (i) I never argued for pre-emption viz. the war in Iraq{2} (ii) whether or not the Iraq war meets just war criteria or not is a controvertible subject. There are various factors to consider and different analysts may weight certain factors more than others. The idea that there is only ONE way to view the factors involved is another example of Vree dogmatizing his opinions where the church has not chosen to pronounce on the matter.

The second volume is about the illegality and injustice of the war on Iraq.

Once again, subjects which are controverted yet Vree presents them as if they are only subject to one possible interpretation. This is highly disingenuous and though I can think of much worse to say, I will hold my tongue for the time being.

You will find articles by Robert Fisk,

Fisk is a moonbat but one of a special kind. I mean, this guy's work is so questionable at times that a blogosphere term was invented to describe interacting point by point with shoddy pseudo-"progressivist" drivel: fisking. (Readers may recall that I use this term on occasion myself.) No more need be said about him than that except that he is also perhaps an idiotarian...more on this in a moment.

Justin Raimondo,

An idiotarian as well as a moonbat. I do not unfortunately have enough time to unpack and confute the biblical scroll of his errors, logical fallacies, and the like as they are legion.

Claes G. Ryn,

No comment except that he seems to see the French Revolution under every nook and cranny ala the late Archbishop Lefebvre...except in the case of the former it is with the Bush Administration's foreign policy and not Vatican II as it was with Lefebvre.

Robert Hickson,

This is the bio sketch that I found when doing a google search:

Robert Hickson, USA (ret.), Ph.D., is a 1964 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer, and Vietnam War veteran. Following his retirement he served for many years in the intelligence and special-operations communities in varying capacities. His degree is in comparative literature and classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and he is a founding faculty member of Christendom College. Hickson has held professorships at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Joint Special Operations University at U.S. Special Operations Command, the John. F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, and the Joint Military Intelligence College.

As the site linked to the "neo-conned" book, presumably this is the same fella. Of course the biography is written in a way that readers will be inclined to presume he is an "expert" in these matters. But as I showed last year in dealing with a bunch of pro-offered "experts" on another topic, just because this fella has military credentials does not mean that he knows what he is talking about on this matter. For that reason, readers should not uncritically accept anything he says but take it all with a grain of salt much as with anyone else.{3}

Notice also that Vree cites this fella presumably because he is involved with Christendom: supposedly that is supposed to silence any Catholic critics of his work also as they would be "criticizing a brother Catholic" or whatever. Of course Vree himself is hardly constrained by such things as those familiar with the corpus of his writings are well aware; ergo, yet again we see a blatant double standard here.

and Mark and Louise Zwick.

See what I noted about Raimondo as the same comments apply.

Of particular interest are: "Neoconservatives, Israel, and 9/11: The Origins of the U.S. War on Iraq" by Stephen Sniegoski, "A Real Hijacking: The Neoconservative Fifth Column and the War in Iraq" by Justin Raimondo, and "The Iraq War and the Vatican" by Mark and Louise Zwick.

At least three out of the above four persons are moonbats. As far as the "neo-con" schtick, see what was noted about Paul Gottfried above.

IHS Press is a Catholic publisher,

Which has certain questionable connections that Vree does not disclose to his readers.{4} He is therefore guilty of suppressing key evidence aka "argument by half truth" if he is aware of it. And if he is not, then he should be made aware of it asap so we can see if he acts honourably here or if he sacrifices principles on the altar of ideology as so many people do (and as I have a sneaking suspicion he would do btw).

and these volumes show that Catholics are able to place their Faith above whatever country they happen to live in.

Notice the uncharitable presumptions on Vree's part: assuming that those of us who supported the war in Iraq (and still do btw) had to be putting nationalism over Catholicism.{5} Support or opposition to the Iraq war was not (and is not) a matter of the Faith. I really get pissed when I see people like Vree making that kind of assertion and people like Keating who all too often let them get away with it.{6}

German Catholics have been blasted for not doing enough to oppose Hitler's wars, and Pope Pius XII has been implicated, rightly or wrongly.

See what I noted above about reductionem ad hitlerum. As far as "blast[ing] German Catholics" for failing to show more opposition to Hitler, I have never done that because I am fully aware of the limitations that good people had back in those days. I am also well aware of the power of ideologies...indeed Dale Vree's whole thing against these so-called "neo-cons" has all the hallmarks of a kind of fanatical ideology. But I digress.

Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) opposed the invasion of Iraq, and a good number of American orthodox Catholics did so too.

So what??? A good number of American orthodox Catholic did not take that position and the popes never once said they had to.{7} But Vree's implication is that the Catholics who did not mindlessly parrot the slogans of the Holy See diplomats are somehow tainted and that frankly is unacceptable. But do not expect Keating to say anything about it...or Akin or any of the rest of them.

When the history of the war on Iraq is written, those neocon Catholics who supported it will be held up to ridicule, discrediting the Catholic Faith.

Notice now we have Vree claiming that the war issue is one which those who do not take his side are "discrediting the Catholic Faith." He is either really stupid or really disingenuous...and I am seeing more red than at a Che Guevera convention as I type this.

Ah, but there were other Catholics who opposed the war, many of whom appear in these two volumes, who bring credit to our Catholic Faith.

See my previous comments.

Dale Vree's Ideological Drivel Posing as a "Book Review"

Frankly, I am not sure which is worse: that Dale Vree is given ANY credibility after spewing this kind of garbage or that Keating, Akin,{8} Matt, and the rest are going to play the Honorius game and refuse to give Vree the public smackdown that he deserves for this. Those who wonder why I am fed up with so-called "Catholic apologetics" in recent years now have your answer: it is this kind of look-the-other-way garbage that has gone on for FAR too long now.

But gee, if Dale only flirted with the sspx or something like that...THEN Keating and company would say something and you all know damn well I am right about this.{9} There is in other words an obvious double standard here which (along with their illogic, their lack of basic charity, and also their countenancing such theological stupidity by Vree as noted above) is inexcusable.

I am well aware of Keating and Matt taking the same view on the war as Vree does positionally. However, they are both presumably smart enough not to blur the theological distinctions as Vree is so obviously doing. And Vree has been doing this stuff for quite some time whereas Keating and Matt have not publicly rebuked him. I hope this is not because they place ideology over principles but (I must say it) I have a sinking suspicion that it is{10} and that is not a comforting feeling I assure you.


{1} On account of the great development of communication in modern times and the desire on the part of nations to extend their interests to all parts of the world, excuses for war are now all too frequent...

A regime may be under the impression that it can engage in a just war with hope of success; but in fact secret weapons can be prepared to such effect nowadays that they, being unforeseen, can upset and utterly thwart all calculations...

In practice, then, a declaration of war will never be justifiable...[Alfredo Ottaviani: The Future of Offensive War (circa 1947)]

Now Dave omits these parts because he is only interested in noting what he can from the source for his own agenda. But to examine the context of Ottaviani's text, he was opposed to all modern warfare period. Dave however believes WWII was a just war if memory serves but he quotes Ottaviani in a way that does not reveal that Ottaviani does not appear to agree with him on that point...presumably banking on his post being so long that no one would bother to factcheck it: perhaps a good gamble to try with a lot of people but not with me. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa January 23, 2006)]

{2} I am not saying this cannot be done mind you, only that I have not sought to do it.

{3} Particularly since he obviously got his higher education right in the midst of early to mid 1960's which was a period where there was no small degree of historical revisionism taking place (and of recent history at that).

{4} See these threads for details:

IHS Press, Potential Fascist & Antisemitic Connections, Etc.: A Chronicle of Disturbing Patterns (Christopher Blosser)

A Look at the Legion of St. Louis and its Extremist Connections (Matthew Anger)

Some comments I wrote on this weblog pertaining to the above threads can be read here:

On IHS Press, Potential Fascist Connections, Antisemitism, Etc. (circa March 1, 2006)

{5} I am thinking of coining a term to describe what Vree and company are doing here and it is this: neo-Gladstonianism. And yes, I can substantiate my use of that term if called to do so unlike those clowns and their whole "neo-con" schtick which they do not even have the decency of defining the meaning of.

{6} Keating's stock continues to fall in my book like Germany's economy in the 1920's because of crap like this but I digress.

{7} Furthermore, I and some others (including Chris Blosser if memory serves) pointed out some key war presuppositions which Ratzinger (and presumably JP II) operated from which were fallacious; ergo giving good reason to call into question the arguments they made and the subsequent conclusions they derived thereof.

{8} In Akin's case by default as he allowed Peters to defend Vree against Vere last month on his weblog. (The crappiness of Peters' arguments --and the argumentation fallacies he engaged in-- is something I will not go into at the moment for the sake of my own sanity.)

{9} Considering my past writings against the sspx and others of that ilk -which are far too numerous to make a brief listing of them here- I can hardly be accused of favouring them in any way with the above statement.

{10} Should either of them actually publicly rebuke Vree over his garbage, I will gladly amend this note to note that I was mistaken about their characters (something I want to be able to do lest anyone wonder).

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On War)

War is not pretty, it is brutal; it involves doing things that most of us don't like to think about and usually don't have to watch. The young in particular tend to be softhearted and vulnerable to the sight of human suffering, not hardened by life experiences (unless, of course, they've been subject to great violence early in life, which the vast majority of us fortunately had not been). That kind of empathy is a good thing, by [the] way, not a bad one. But those reactions, which are primarily emotional in nature and go very deep, can short-circuit cognitions about why a particular war is happening, and why it might be "the lesser of two evils," despite the horror. ["Neo-Neocon" (circa May 12, 2005)]

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Lane Core Jr returns (it seems) from a well-deserved blog sabbatical


Points to Ponder on Human Capabilities (William James)

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