Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Structure of Street Logic

Freddie, if I recall correctly, the racist complaint arose in the following context. McCain made a criticism of Obama’s position; Obama responded that ‘they’re going to criticize me for not looking like the presidents on the dollar bill.’ It went on further as you suggested. This exchange was something like the recent exchange where McCain said Obama had said the surge was wrong, had voted against funding it, now recognizes violence is down (implication: it succeeded) but still won’t recognize the error. Obama responded that ‘it’s improper to question his patriotism.’

In my practice experience ‘street’ logic or argument goes as follows:

I. ‘I like you and sure wouldn’t want to see aggression (which would be detrimental to you) happen.’

II. ‘My arguments a1, a2, a3 lead to my desired result b.’

III. ‘Not b however will result in the aggression referred to in I above.’

IV. ‘So grant me b and we’ll allow that it was due to the sequence of a arguments above.’

This is the formal structure of what Obama has been telling us and McCain.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Orin Kerr graciously shares some Jewish mother jokes. The explanation for 'Sitting Shiva' is in his second linked here. 'Why don't Jewish mothers drink?' Because alcohol would interfere with their suffering. 'Ha, ha, ha,' as Pinky used to say.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Constantine's Sword is a wonderful book in spite of the fact James Carroll starts off with Rabbi Heschel's opposition to the VN War. This brings up the overtones of 'stabbed in the back' and the Jewish connection to, particularly, Russian communism. In sorrow over the past, I would forgive the Jews their mistake but, at the point when it mattered, some of the past had not yet happened. I am inclined to think of their actions in terms of a Texas boss who would say, 'I don't know that I'd do that.' The sweep of his book is amazing though as it takes off from there into the kerygma after Christ's death. So much is posed fresh: an explanation for the feeling of the Resurrection, an idea of 'prophecy historicized' in the Gospels, just bulls eye confirmation in the Gospel of John, the competing diversity of narratives with little rancor, the Roman toleration of diversity and accommodating the Jews after the fall of the Temple. Then Constantine, murderer of son and wife, and the one who insisted on a single dogma leading to killing of pagans who didn't convert, heresy instead of diversity, wage and price controls, having to stay in your father's profession. Enough to wonder why Christianity isn't seen as a reason for the fall of the Roman Empire. Perhaps I shall say more, a book wonderful in its challenges.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I agree with Ilya Solmin at Volokh that Georgia seems to have come out surprisingly well in the recent war with Russia over it's (former) territories. I don't have any trouble with the Ossetians being Russians if that is there decision. 'Secession' brought up our civil War. Over slavery or not; my thoughts of the South are part of the comments on a Volokh blog post on the subject.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Glenn Reynolds is concerned about drug resistant bacteria. Merck appears to be making progress, viz. a phase 1 trial, apparently related characterization here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Volokh has a post on Solzhenitsyn with comments that give a good critique of AS work. Suggestion regarding his works and those of other Russian authors and movies about the communist era are also there.