Thursday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. The President’s 2nd Amendment remarks noted.
  2. Education and results.
  3. Rotten to the core.
  4. So, what is liturgy?
  5. And speaking of churchly things, how about why Lent?
  6. Zeitgeist = angst?
  7. Whatever your notion of abortion and birth control, uhm, any sane view of goverment as limited puts this as a thing government should not pay for or do.
  8. Speaking of ethical dilemmas … here’s one for ya.
  9. Let’s see we have a President who in school specifically notes that he sought out Communist and Socialist teachers … seems to me the speaker is wrong, Mr Obama called himself that first.
  10. Some more discussion of raising the minimum productivity floor. When I asked for explanation how the President feels this is a “middle class” offering … I got nada. Gosh, that’s a surprise.

13 Responses to Thursday Highlights

  1. Let’s see we have a President who in school specifically notes that he sought out Communist and Socialist teachers … seems to me the speaker is wrong, Mr Obama called himself that first.

    I’ve sought out Christian blogs. If I should get hit by lightening tomorrow will you champion my cause for sainthood? I’d rather have a leader who sought out different ideas to study in his youth than one, like, say, Sarah Palin, who instead sought out only ideas associated with popularity.

  2. Boonton,
    I see, you live in some fantasy world in which Mr Obama was seeking out left leaning professors because you think he disagreed with them and their ideas. Gotcha.

    I’ve sought out Christian blogs. If I should get hit by lightening tomorrow will you champion my cause for sainthood

    If you sought out and strove to learn from those who were deemed close to living Christian saints in your youth to learn at their feet … we might call you Christian (not a saint). And how is being called “saint” equivalent logically to being called socialist? Hmmm?

    And on Ms Palin …. you’re making things up again. I should tease you about her more, you really lose all rationality when her name comes up.

  3. Boonton,

    I’d rather have a leader who sought out different ideas …

    OK. So he sought out Communists. What other ideas did he seek. Did he seek out market economists to study with? Cite? Did he seek out small government libertarian ideas? cite? We only have evidence he sought out (like you pretend Ms Palin did) one school of thought it seems. Which is apparently not the sort of leader you like. Alas. Cheer up, he’s not the sort of leader I’d like either so we can commiserate together.

  4. I see, you live in some fantasy world in which Mr Obama was seeking out left leaning professors because you think he disagreed with them and their ideas. Gotcha.

    Irrelevant why he ‘sought them out’. Seeking out a set of teachers or books hardly commits one to said idoelogy.

    If you sought out and strove to learn from those who were deemed close to living Christian saints in your youth to learn at their feet … we might call you Christian (not a saint).

    Ohhh you mean simply seeking out Christian blogs to comment about things doesn’t make me a Christian, let alone a saint?

    Thanks for falling into my rhetorical trap!

  5. Boonton,

    Irrelevant why he ‘sought them out’. Seeking out a set of teachers or books hardly commits one to said idoelogy

    The second part is true, but of course, why did he find this important to mention in his biography then if it wasn’t something he connected with? And you noted diversity. What other opposed ideas have you noticed he’d sought out in the same way? Hmm?

    Thanks for falling into my rhetorical trap!

    How is your logical error a rhetorical trap?

  6. The second part is true, but of course, why did he find this important to mention in his biography then if it wasn’t something he connected with?

    ‘connection’ != committment. Christopher Hithchens had a lot of connection to religion, Christianity in particular. He was better read on both the Bible and major Christian thinkers than most devout Christians, yet he wasn’t one.

    As for your question, if you really want to know why don’t you get his biography and read the relevant chapter rather than relying on snippets, stripped of their context, that circulate the sewer level of right wing internet discourse?

  7. Boonton,

    As for your question, if you really want to know why don’t you get his biography and read the relevant chapter rather than relying on snippets, stripped of their context, that circulate the sewer level of right wing internet discourse?

    You’re the fan and his defender. Defend away (or perhaps you are disillusioned with his non-diversity as I suspected). Show me that diversity you cite.

    He was better read on both the Bible and major Christian thinkers than most devout Christians, yet he wasn’t one.

    It’s my understanding that his attacks on historical Christianity were poorly based on bad history. Is that what better read means?

  8. Poorly based on bad history? Sounds like a double negative to me. Do you mean he made good attacks whose premises were false (i.e. bad history) or he made poor attacks based on accurate history (faulty conclusions)? It’s possible that both could be true, but usually that sort of assertion is more an indication that the attacker hasn’t really bothered to learn much about the person he is attacking.

    You’re the fan and his defender. Defend away …

    I’m under no obligation to provide a well researched defense to a poorly researched attack. As accusor the first responsibility falls to you. If you forfeit the field to me automatically.

  9. Actually doing a slight bit of research, the context appears to be revolving a motive of simply trying to find some nich to fit into during his college years after a breakup with a gf.

    To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed necolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated. But this strategy alone couldn’t provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerated. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2008/06/obamas-dreams-of-my-father/

    A hodgepodge of more or less random clicques doesn’t sound like either a communist or Marxist to me.

  10. Boonton,
    Let’s see, you highlighted Ms Palin for her motives in her choosing her reading. She (you claim) selects her reading material based on what will make her popular … and here you have Obama admitting he’s selecting his friends, acquaintances and what he reads based on … what will make him popular, i.e., “not be seen as a ‘sellout'”.

    I’m not seeing the diversity, or the depth, you claim. I’m seeing a shallow conformist trying to conform to cultural norms in the group(s) he wants to belong.

  11. Boonton,

    I’m under no obligation to provide a well researched defense to a poorly researched attack

    Uhm. I didn’t accuse anything. You made claims, I asked you to back them up.

  12. Boonton,

    Poorly based on bad history? Sounds like a double negative to me. Do you mean he made good attacks whose premises were false (i.e. bad history) or he made poor attacks based on accurate history (faulty conclusions)? It’s possible that both could be true, but usually that sort of assertion is more an indication that the attacker hasn’t really bothered to learn much about the person he is attacking.

    OK. Let’s get a little more concrete.

    Christopher Hitchens had a lot of connection to religion, Christianity in particular. He was better read on both the Bible and major Christian thinkers than most devout Christians, yet he wasn’t one.

    What are you talking about. Can you cite an example or two of this and we can talk about it?

    Would you saw Mr Hitchens was “drawn” to reading Augustine (perhaps so he wouldn’t appear a sellout? Or because he wanted to be popular)?

    And for the record “most devout Christians” is a strange statement. Most people, esp. in the US, are remarkably not-well read. Presumably you’re not being literal but talking about his (or our) peers. In which case this probably isn’t true.

  13. and here you have Obama admitting he’s selecting his friends, acquaintances and what he reads based on … what will make him popular, i.e., “not be seen as a ‘sellout’”.

    Kind of an odd morphing of the past tense into the present tense.

    Clearly your original assertion that Obama was a communist has now gone down in flames. You now want to move onto a new attack…that he was somewhat superficial and intellectually lost in his early 20’s. This isn’t much of an attack, though. Who isn’t flighty in their youth and since your main source of evidence is Obama’s own words honestly describing himself in a self deprecating manner this criticism just doesn’t seem very sticky at all. So you now turn to another rhetorical trick of trying to swap tenses around hoping you won’t be noticed.

    Uhm. I didn’t accuse anything. You made claims, I asked you to back them up.

    Actually you opened with an assertion that Obama called himself a Communist and/or socialist. You seem to have a lot of difficulty handling timelines. Are you suffering from a chronologically based learning disability? Please advise if I should be cutting you extra slack?

    What are you talking about. Can you cite an example or two of this and we can talk about it?

    OK Hitchens quoted often and extensively from the King James Bible, noted religious poetry, notable religious fiction writers (such as Evelyn Waugh) but also very obscure ones such as Guy Thorne’s When it was Dark, forgotten about today but aa pseudo-Divinnci Code type book back in 1904) as well as the deeper works one might read by Christians like Augustine or related thinkers like Maimonides.

    Relative to Christians and other religious people he debated, he was often better read in their foundational texts than they were (not always).

    You ask why was he ‘drawn’ to such reading? Well clearly some of it was from a classical English boarding school education which pushed some of that on him as a child (King James Bible, major english poets etc.) Clearly he must have felt some level of ‘drawnness’ since he clearly went beyond many other classmates. Your assertion seems to be that someone drawn to a particular line of thinkers must be drawn to be a member of their cult or ideology. Yet Hitchens demonstrates this is not true, for whatever reason he was drawn to be well educated on Christian thinkers, it wasn’t because he was drawn to be a Christian.

    This means we don’t have to address why he might have been drawn to such work. It is enough to simply establish that one may be drawn to a body of work without being drawn to be a disciple of that work. So one can just as easily be drawn to study Marx’s writing but not be drawn to being a Marxist…or Ayn Rand without being a Positivist or Plato without being a Platonist. Even if Obama had written then that he was drawn to study Marx or Lennin or whoever you couldn’t simply conclude from that he was ‘calling himself a communist’. But even worse for your case, Obama didn’t write that. He said he was drawn to hang out with socialist and communist teachers and other ‘niche’ figures. This, I think, clearly demolishes your case..

    If you don’t see why, consider that he said he also sought out “punk-rock performance poets”. Does that mean he was calling himself a punk-rock performance poet?

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