Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It’s A Wonderment!

The title of this post comes from a phrase often used by Cole Younger, as played by Cliff Robertson in “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid”. It applies here to the returning visitor Geoffrey Kruse-Safford (and really, Dan Trabue as well). Here’s a guy that posts on topics that just make my head swim. Philosophy, science, the philosophy of science (or perhaps, the science of philosophy) are often topics into which he dives deeply. There’s no doubt that he is sincerely and totally fascinated with these topics, and he uses his blog to, among other things, explore and discuss these weighty things with his visitors. It’s all very impressive, if you’re into that sort of thing.

But, in a shocking twist, Geoffrey, like Dan, can’t seem to avoid missing obvious points in the opinion pieces of others. It’s really a wonderment!

Case in point: Geoffrey, like Dan, feign confusion in understanding the simple terms of my challenge, which was, once again, to visit AmericanThinker.com, select one of the many Obama related articles there, and defend BARRY against the critiques the author makes. What could be so hard to fathom in this challenge? Three simple steps. Cretins could do it.

But then he makes an attempt. You can read it and his response here. (In the comments section, you’ll find more examples of the difficulty liberals have understanding conservative commentary. Dan attacks the prose of the many fine writers there, as if he’s a journalism professor, rather than stiffening the spine and engaging in substantive rebuttal.)

Geoffrey begins by presenting the article he had chosen and immediately shows he missed the point. He thinks the article was about the religion of Obama’s father. It was not. Bear in mind, I read both the article and Geoffrey’s response to verify what I thought I saw and sure enough, he totally blew it. The article was about the left’s reaction to concerns about Muslim influence in Obama’s life. That’s the main point of the article.

In fact, there are a number of points Geoffrey made that show his lack of understanding in what I found to be an easy to read and understand piece. Here’s a few:

-He wonders as to the relevance of the faith of Obama’s father and compares it to, among other things, Nixon’s mother’s obsessive-compulsive disorder. Yet in the piece, the author shows examples of what relevance there might be. Geoffrey’s confusion is answered right in the article. To wit, what would be the perception of the Muslim world to Obama considering his Muslim connection? Yeah, to us it would seem there should be nothing about which to worry, but we are not devoted Muslims who are coming from an entirely different place.

-He accuses the author of “subtle racism” for mentioning the common practice of
omitting the race of a non-white crime suspect. Is Geoffrey saying that this doesn’t happen? Is he saying that it would never make a difference to a story? It’s certainly happened at least a few times since 9/11 that is, not mentioning that the suspect is Muslim.

Geoffrey then speaks of the middle of the article and that which has been disproved: Barry in a madrassa (perhaps not, but a Muslim school where he learned the religion), that he’s an apostate facing death (perhaps to some radicals, but this is covered in the Robert Spencer quote in the article), Barry’s Islamic middle name (Geoffrey’s right. It’s clearly Swedish), that we’re at war with Islam (Nobody says this. It’s radical Islam we fight. Big difference.)

Geoffrey ends by slamming AmericanThinker.com, which doesn’t surprise. For all his well-read background, he doesn’t display much in the way of understanding what he reads. He attacks it as a source of race baiting and religion knocking and accuses them of school yard tactics. Ironic. Typical.


blamin said...

Cole Younger – personally I love David Carradine’s portrayal of him in “Long Riders”, one of my all time favorite westerns; nothing but brothers playing brothers. The Carradine brothers play the Younger brothers; the Keach brothers play the James brothers, and the Quaid brothers play the Millers.

With all that talent, David (kung fu) Carradine by far acted the best part! Especially when he spoke of the “square heads” in the Minnesota Raid, that proved to be their (as a gang) downfall.

Enough of the fluff!

”The article was about the left’s reaction to concerns about Muslim influence in Obama’s life. That’s the main point of the article. “

Good luck with that one! That seems to be another one of those “off limits” discussions! (how dare you!)

Marshall Art said...

"Long Riders". Excellent movie. I, too, enjoyed the bros as bros angle.

"Good luck with that one!"

Indeed. It's called, "seeing what one wishes to see", and it makes debate with the left so incredibly frustrating. But we press on.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

It wasn't a lack of understanding. It was a refusal to regard an "argument" as serious because it is based upon demonstrably false premises, and "argues" a "position" that is false. I found other articles in that swamp of hubris that ludicrously calls itself American Thinker to be almost humorously bad, full of logical fallacies, factual errors, and bad grammar. It's a parody of serious right-wing writing, really. It's a humor site, like Sadly, No! for right-wingers, right? If these folks actually believe they are serious "thinkers" it's no wonder the right is currently bereft of new ideas.

Marshall Art said...

Yet, Geoffrey, you've made no case to support your blatantly partisan opinion. I've shown how you missed the point of the article you've selected to present, that is, how it wasn't about Obama at all. Are you willing to at least acknowledge that error? I've also pointed out how your charge of baseless accusations within the article were also supported. With which points are you having trouble?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

There's nothing "partisan" about stating that something is not factually accurate. There's nothing "partisan" about stating that someone falls in to a logical fallacy. There is nothing "partisan" about stating that a writer uses poor grammar.

Why should I "prove" anything when the leg-work has been done? It is simply a fact that Barack Obama is a Christian, and has never "been" a Muslim. It is simply a fact that, even had he been a Muslim, there is no principle of Islamic law that calls for the execution of apostates (some fundamentalist Islamic states, like Saudi Arabia, have that law on the books, but it isn't a part of Islamic law). It is simply a fact that, as a child, Barack Obama attended a school in the world's largest Islamic country, which is a far different thing from attending a private school funded by Islamic militants in Pakistan, the so-called "madrasas". These are facts. Using their opposite as the basis for an argument invalidates that argument from the get-go. Why should I feel beholden to consider an argument based on lies?

Marshall Art said...

Well, Geoffrey, it's a lie to say they are lies. More precisely, it's heavy handed to use the term, especially when considering that the article's author was not making the claims. What his point was, as I've explained, is how the left has responded to the claims, true or not. The left doesn't want to even talk about such things.

Now if we have to go over each of the things you've mentioned in your last, you are purposely deflecting the legitimate concerns. Frankly, I can't comment on what Islam teaches regarding apostasy, except to say that they take it a bit more seriously than does Christianity. It is true that they believe us all to be Muslim from birth, though many of us aren't yet aware. Barry was born of a Muslim man, making his "Muslim-ness" more of an issue for radicals, the people with whom the concerned opponents are, uh, concerned. It is the radicals that need to be considered because they are the ones making the noise. It would be folly to believe that such should be dismissed or not taken into account when considering a guy like Obama for prez, particularly when he thinks he's got the stuff to make them all play nice.

Next, to play semantics with the fact that he might not have been a student in a madrassa, but instead was a student of a school that taught Islam also ignores how this info plays out for the radicals he thinks he can persuade.

And finally, to call what Barry sat for "Christianity" is to further widen, if not eliminate, the parameters for describing just what Christianity is.

But nonetheless, the challenge was to discuss an article about Obama. This wasn't about Obama.