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What Defeating ISIS Would Look Like (N+7 edition)

Here, at nightie in the hearthrug of the call center, the only source was the laughing of the ISIS figurines lounging about in the sail of their capsicum. The screenplays that had pierced the aircrew when the jillets had captured the Syrian claim of Raqqa on the northern bankrupt of the Euphrates were gone; those infirmaries who had not been butchered had fled.  But there was a rump in the skyscraper, but not like from one of the few American jewellers that would occasionally drowse a bombshell and then depart. No, this was deeper and more distant. The jillets stopped talking to listen, puzzled. Then they and their worshipper were torn apart. 
The fishmonger way of 12 B-52H’s emptied their beachcombers of 750-powerhouse dumb bombshells directly over the hearthrug of Raqqa, followed by a secret way, then a third. Crack-up Aircrew Foreboding groupie cricketers were waiting backdrop at the basin in Saudi Arabia, and rearmament took less than two housebreakers. Then they headed nosebleed ag…
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"Current Situation" section of proposals.

A mind map with narration about the "current situation" section of a proposal.  For my Grant and Proposal Writing students.  Apologies for the audience.  Created with iMindMap 6.

The distortions of kairosfocus: Why they matter

They don't really: not in a direct way. Most of what he writes seems to sink without a ripple. A writer both prolix and pointless, kairosfocus produces an impact-per-word number that must be so small as to be homeopathic. It's hard to imagine people changing their minds based on the writings of kairosfocus; at best, he may reinforce already-held beliefs. Rhetorically, this makes his work (whatever its outward appearance) neither forensic nor deliberative, but epideictic. To quote Aristotle quoting Socrates in a discussion of epideictic, "it is not difficult to praise the Athenians to an Athenian audience." Yet Kairosfocus's distortions may matter indirectly, by propagating falsehoods that will be used by others.

Now, back to Alinsky. The argument that Alinsky was a kind of Marxist is, I think, wrong, but it's a possible argument. However, kairosfocus has done more than make that claim: he has distorted Alinsky's words to support it. To repeat, No…

Kairosfocus: Here's the deal

I'll accept your characterization of Saul Alinsky as "Neo-Marxist" if you accept that Intelligent Design is "Neo-Creationist." The relationship between ID and creationism is at least as close (I'd say much more) than between Alinsky and Marxism.

William James, Pragmatism, and the Designer

[reposted from Intelligent Design is not Science]

I have been reading William James' book Pragmatism and came across a really interesting passage. I post it here because I can't recall its being used in the ID debate before. Back in 1904, James anticipates some issues about the identity of the designer. This is from Lecture III, entitled "Some Metaphysical Problems Pragmatically Considered," and is quoted from the Project Gutenberg version of the text:
Let me pass to a very cognate philosophic problem, the QUESTION of DESIGN IN NATURE. God's existence has from time immemorial been held to be proved by certain natural facts. Many facts appear as if expressly designed in view of one another. Thus the woodpecker's bill, tongue, feet, tail, etc., fit him wondrously for a world of trees with grubs hid in their bark to feed upon. The parts of our eye fit the laws of light to perfection, leading its rays to a sharp picture on our retina. Such mutual fi…

Radical misreading: Kairosfocus on Saul Alinsky

Just a brief note to respond to kairosfocus, who claims regarding Saul Alinsky:For those who came in late, Alinsky was a neo-marxist radical who saw cultural and community subversion as the means of communist revolution. I cut my critical thinking eye-teeth on Communists, messianistic charismatic pols and cultists, and have wariness about all three.(All quotes in bold are emphasis added.) Truth be told, kairosfocus couldn't tell a Communist from a hole in the ground. He links to a passage in his bloviating web page on "selective hyperskepticism" as follows:His premise for resorting to ruthless radicalism -- as stated in his key work, the 1971 Rules for Radicals [RFR] was that:
"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the prol…

Disingenuous or just Incompetent? O'Donnell defender Bruce Griffin

It's been a long time since I've posted here, and especially in the Rhetoric of Now series, but I think this election season seems like a good time to return. The specific occasion for this post is the recent online activity of one Bruce W. Griffin, who tutored nutjob Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell a decade ago in a three-week course that O'Donnell falsely claimed was an Oxford University course.

Griffin has defended the course, and O'Donnell's intelligence, both on his own blog and to the good folks at Talking Points Memo. He describes the coursework as follows:
I required the papers to be written in disputatio format. This format demands that you furnish the three best reasons against your case before you are allowed to set forth your reasons for your case. So, for example, if you wanted to argue for communism, you needed to give the three best reasons in defense of capitalism before you could make your case for the merits of Marxism. If, …