Wednesday, July 05, 2006

To add a thread to the miscellaneous thread installment posted back on the third...

Culture Wars' Troubling Praise of Israel Shamir (Christopher Blosser)

I have spoken before on the importance of properly vetting one's sources.{1} The reason should be obvious but unfortunately it often is overlooked. Essentially, there is a connection between those who are not inclined to want to reassess their foundational presuppositions on a reasonable basis and an inability on their part to maintain a sense of perspective. The latter results oftentimes in some pretty glaring blindspots on the part of such ideologues where they accept any argument they can find without concern for either (i) the solidity of the argument itself or (ii) the particular source they get it from. This is an example of the argumentation fallacy of provincialism in a nutshell.

Christopher's article outlines the latter problem with the magazine called Culture Wars which I subscribed to about six years ago (for about a year).{2} Anyway, give the above a read if you want to see a snapshot of what is wrong with ideological approaches to issues and what such persons and groups inexorably have to resort to when they refuse to call into question their operative presuppositions from time to time. But enough on that subject for now as it is brief sabbatical time now...should be back on Monday or so...same Bat time...same Bat blog ;-)


{1} This is an important area to consider when seeking to viably advance one's views in the arena of ideas.

{2} One of the reasons I let the subscription expire without renewing it was because of traces of this problem. However, the primary reason at the time involved an even greater problem which I will not go into at the moment except to note that it has been commented upon by various personages in recent years.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Miscellaneous Threads Worth Reviewing:

[Update: See this thread for an addition to the material below which was deemed appropriate to cover briefly in a followup thread. -ISM 7/05/06 3:00pm]

Lots of stuff to touch on briefly before taking a sabbatical for at least a few days if not more...

Was the Pope a Nazi? (Mark Riebling)

Yeah, this subject has been done to death but to his credit, Mark Riebling has some original contributions to this subject matter. Those who are not Catholic but who at the very least have a respect for both history as well as truh will find Mark's piece to contribute in this area quite nicely.

Murtha's Charade! (The Dumb Ox)

A brief snippet if I may{1}:

The Dumb Ox revealed back in early DECEMBER 2005 Murtha's troop withdrawal antics as part of his scheme to avoid ethics and criminal corruption charges...

Now those of us manning Rerum Novarum were hardly completely ignorant on this matter though it did not seem appropriate to comment on at the time. However, with an election coming up soon and with a lot of skeletons on the closet of John Murtha{2}, we are at the point now where it helps to remind people of the kinds of double standards involved viz. the whole "ethics" issues with government officials. But enough on that for now.

Iraq and the WOT - A Roundup (Christopher Blosser)

A good collection of threads on the subjects covered on Iraq and the War on Terror courtesy of Chris' Catholic Just War BLOG.

WMD's? What WMDs? (Greg Mockeridge)

Readers are advised to consider what your humble servant has said all along on the subject of WMD's -recently recapitulated to some extent in an audioposting for your convenience.{4}

Bush Goes Jogging With Iraqi Amputee (Christopher Blosser)

A minor bit this is true but it is nice to see a politician follow through on the kinds of "lets do lunch" offhand comments made to people they visit in hospitals or whatever.

Oh, lest we forget to note it publicly, a happy Blogiversary is extended to Frank Trainor from Franktalk. For those who do not know, Frank is a genuine songwriter who has written for (and personally met) many of the greats out of Nashville and elsewhere. Certainly this interests your host for many reasons and (perhaps) we can get Frank's take on some of those persons in the coming weeks and months.

Mark Shea's "Torture Poll"

This whole scenario is reminding us of something spoken of last year pertaining to those who use terms they do not bother to define or who otherwise shirk from doing so when challenged to do so.{5} But enough on that matter for now.

And finally, among the threads from this weblog which I want to revisit for inclusion in this posting are two from last year at this time:

Points to Ponder on the Many Masks of Modern Marxism (circa July 3, 2005)

America the Beautiful Revisited (circa July 3, 2005)

As the fourth of July is tomorrow, I would like to wish readers and listeners of this humble weblog a most happy and blessed Independence Day.


{1} And since it is my weblog, I will do as I like on this matter of course :)

{2} It's odd that the media, which has been fairly unbiased in going after corrupt politicians recently, has gone silent on Mr. Murtha's questionable actions. Or maybe it isn't. Since December, Mr. Murtha has become the darling of the antiwar crowd, and, as we've seen with other such darlings, scrutinizing their behavior is considered disrespectful. But as we're on the subject, few might recall that after the massive 1980 Abscam scandal, Mr. Murtha was named by the FBI as an "unindicted co-conspirator." [The Washington Times: The real Jack Murtha (via Dumb Ox News)]

{3} Anyone who is surprised at the double standard here email me and I will sell you my shares in the Hope Diamond real cheap...

{4} Miscellaneous Musings on the Death of Zarqawi and the Presence of WMD's in Iraq--An Audio Post (circa June 23, 2006)

Greg also makes mention in his article of the Syria Hypothesis which is something your host has opined about for a few years now at sundry times and in diverse places (including on occasion at this very weblog believe it or not).

{5} [W]atch those who are incapable of giving a reasonable working definition of "rights" to claim that there is one. Definitions are the tools of thought and frankly, those who are not willing to define their terms do not deserve to be taken seriously...whether they are misappropriating the term "rights", "neo cons", or whatever. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 26, 2005)]

The request here is for a "working definition" and that is what one should strive for in my view: something that gives at least a reasonable approximation of what a term means if one insists on raising it as a kind of shibboleth in disputations. Or as your host noted in an email correspondence from June of this year:

One of the problems I have with most bloggers or commentators in any genre is their frequent unwillingness to define their terms. Failure in this area is both dishonest as well as lazy. [Excerpt from an Email Correspondence (circa June 23, 2006)]

The above thread was sent in a private email shortly after this post was published earlier in that day. Oh and the request for people to define their terms is far from being an unreasonable one. Instead, it is the minimum that any commentator should do if they expect people to take them seriously in the arena of ideas. And that is the bottom line really.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On Secular Religious Zealots)

[I]f Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm. [Ernesto "Che" Guevara]