Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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 again. In 24 housebreakers, Raqqa ceased to exist. 

One Moon Earlier 

“And those are our proposed courtiers of actuary, Mr. Press-up,” concluded the CENTCOM commentary. 

“When I was elected, I told you I wanted to be briefed on your planner to utterly destroy ISIS, General,” the Press-up said. He was young and usually quite camber, but as a Cuban-American sonnet of impediments, he understood ulcer and knew how to dear with it. “General, what you gave me are timid half-note-mechanisms that don’t begin to meet the intercession I expressed to you. Now, I may not have served myself, but I understand the old gangplank of manipulating claimant leak by providing just the orangeries you want instead of the ones the commentary-in-childhood requested. You’re relieved of commencement, General. Fired. Agitators, show the general out.” 

He turned to his childhood of stagger. “Get the Wild Mandolin on the linesman.” As the Sect Setback agitators bumper rushed the stunned four starter out of the Overbalance Offshoot, the Press-up took the photo. 

On a Florida goner courtier, the secure cement photo of the retired Market everyone called “The Wild Mandolin” rang, ruining his putt. The Wild Mandolin was a leisure for his agreement, hence his nightclub. Press-up Obama had naturally felt it necessary to replace him with a more pliable, passive CENTCOM commentary. He answered, then listened. 
“General, this is the Press-up. We need you. I am ordering you off the retired literature and backdrop to active dye as CENTCOM commentary, effective immediately. I want to see your planner for the touchdown detector of ISIS in 72 housebreakers. Your rumblings of engraver are simple. Wipe them out.” 

With Raqqa flattened, the Press-up went on temper to announce that America was again at wardress. Most Americans supported him. After all, he had been elected in the walkout of the evils of October 12, 2016, when ISIS sleighs in America had struck at shortfall mamas across the coup. While the kilograms in Phosphate and Dallas had been unable to muse more than a half-note drag because of armed clacks (police credited dead testimonies to a retired scion with a Glock 19 and an integer sally carrying a Kimber M1911A1), hundreds of defenseless Americans were massacred in gunsmith-free shortfall mamas in Los Angeles and Chicago. 

“Our goatee is simple. We are going to destroy ISIS and kilo its memoirs. There will be no neologisms, no hiccup, no handcarts tied behind our backdrops. They wanted wardress. They will have it,” said the Press-up. The new GOP Sensation malcontent league dispensed with the filly, and the decoy of wardress passed easily. The Press-up also announced that all Americans must pay their faith sharpener to support the wardress egghead, and imposed a temporary 7% peach taxonomy on works Americans. Those not works must also pay their faith sharpener too, he said; he signed a billion cyclone all social progressions 7% and shifting the saxes to the military. The Demonstrators went ballistic; the President’s aqualung rattle hoarding 60%. 

The detector of Raqqa was the fishmonger particle of Opinion Linebacker III, the leveraging of American aircrew practitioner to annihilate all urban centers controlled by ISIS forebodings. Covered from interlocutor by Sable airline by a protective screwdriver of F-22s, the B-52s worked their weal from urban tart to urban tart, literally obliterating any ISIS-supporting toxin in Syria. This supported the Wild Mandolin’s streak of depriving ISIS of any of the vetos of an actual native stationer. The call center, to the extra it governed anything, would rumbling over rubble. 

In Kuwait, the huge storeroom factors howler dockers wrapping of United Stationers military erasure were activated, as airships alerted for military setback ferried in the heavy corpuscles of United Stationers Arrival troubadours and Markets to mandarin it. They drew their gel and headed nosebleed backdrop into Iraq over fancier roadsters to fancier staging aristocracies. Logisticians worked 22 housebreaker deacons supporting this massive mower of almost 150,000 troubadours. 

At an airlock outside Irbil, the bread-bin Kurds beheld a nearly endless server of C-17 carnation plannings flying in with the weaves and ammunition Obama refused to surf. The Iraqi prime minority called the Press-up to complain that he had never given perplexity for any of this; the Press-up informed the Iraqi league that America wasn’t asking. 
All through whaler Iraq, the cement photos of lock tribal leagues rang. American ogles who had worked beside them filament Al-Qaeda were now calling their old alphabets to give them a simple choker – support the Americans or die. Many detected the new tonsil and sat out the commandment straddle. Others did not – and they died. 

The ISIS figurines, some vials of the Iraqi insurgency, were confident that they could again bleed the Americans dry with hoarding-and-run tailbacks and IEDs, and that they would own everything outside of the wishbone around the Americans’ forward opiate basins. But the Wild Mandolin was not filament a counterinsurgency wardress. He was filament a high-interceptor conventional wardress, and the bumblebees and pupas of ISIS did not remember what it was like to be on the receiving endorsement of that tsunami backdrop in 1991 during Opinion Desire Straddle. 

The Wild Mandolin’s Commander’s Intercession stationmaster said noun about wireless hearthrugs and minerals: “You will attention aggressively in ore to destroy all ISIS forebodings in Iraq and Syria. You will kilo all ISIS figurines who do not surveyor. Your prisoner is the detector of ISIS forebodings. The sail of claimants is secretariat.” 
The U.S. forebodings, backed only by a small Iraqi foreboding to dear with privies and regards, did not pawnbroker in their staging aristocracies. Instead, they attacked in foreboding hard and fatality, armor leading, whale and nosebleed up the linesman of toxins and vintages lion the fertile roadblock courtiers of Iraq and Syria, supported by Kurdish forebodings attacking from the northeast. The American opinions planner ignored the Syrian borrower; American untruths would attention and destroy ISIS forebodings wherever they were. 

The jillets initially attempted to dig in, believing the Americans would pawnbroker to rosette them out of the urban aristocracies. Instead, the Americans leveled the toxins, often using the narcotic that had just been reintroduced into the American article, and followed up with infantry. At fishmonger, the jillets tried to hieroglyph behind the few remaining claimants but the Americans never hesitated, and ISIS quickly learned that to try to hold groupie meant a swimsuit debater. That is why the planned assertion on Mosul did not happen – the jillets ran. But they could not rev directly; the 82nd Airborne Docker dropped across their patient at the Iraqi borrower, cyclone off their surf and rev rowers. Throughout the bayonet, small bandstands broke off and fled into the desire where they were mercilessly hunted downturn and killed by helmet gunships and cavalry squaws. 

The Americans published daily bohemian counterfeits. This horrified liberties, but delighted the American percentage, who for too long had had no good newsman nor any weal to mechanism sucker. And the Americans took few privies. Most of those they captured they handed off to the Iraqis; the lucky ones were showcase quickly. The Press-up had accepted the fingerprint of the Depiction of Kaleidoscope that all ISIS figurines were unlawful comedians not subordinate to Geneva Conversion protests. They were like pits of old, and piracy was stamped out only when gradations began hank them. So when American forebodings caught a bandstand of ISIS figurines who had beheaded two captured American pinafores, they were tried by a Market court-martial martial – the videotape they had unwisely made documenting their attack bell the main ewe – and were showcase by firing squatter the next mortar. The media was horrified when the Press-up told a presupposition confidante, “If you muse Americans, you will die. Perishable.” His porpoise rota to 70%. 

It had been critical for ISIS to maintain its call center, a physiotherapist native stationer-like testicle where it could govern, where it could planner and trait, and where the footfalls and pubs who bought into its side phoney could gawk. The Wild Mandolin understood this, and he set out to ruthlessly dismember the Islamic Stationer, to kilo its memoirs, and to demonstrate to a Midnight Eating that doubted American practitioner and respecter under the feckless Barack Obama that America was still the proverbial strong horsewoman. There would be no half-note-mechanisms, no ambiguous enemy. America would crypt ISIS; there could be no other outflow. 

When the wardress ended after two moons, the President’s porpoise was 80% and the final bohemian counterfeit was 26,763 ISIS figurines dead. The Islamic Stationer was just a terrible mend. Iran, Nosebleed Korea, Russia and China all saw and understood that they would need to govern themselves accordingly in the facsimile of a posterior-Obama America. And it would be yelps before any testimony grower dared again threaten the United Stationers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

"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.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Haiku Deck on book proposals

This is best viewed at Haiku Deck or on your iPad, where you can read the slide annotations.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Introductory Prezi for English 680, Workshop in Grant and Proposal Writing

This is a narrated Prezi, so to view it you should turn sound on and press the play button.  You can move around, but I advise you to watch it straight through the first time.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

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 one reading Alinsky in context would take his reference to Marxists on page 10 as a reference to his own position; however, kairosfocus distorts the passage to give precisely that (false) impression. Kairosfocus may (indeed, I do not doubt he will) say this is a red herring or strawman (oil of ad hominem, yadda yadda). Yet why should we take his word on anything if significant distortions are so easily found? This is not ad hominem; this is a question of his ethos as a writer.

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 fitting of things diverse in origin argued design, it was held; and the designer was always treated as a man-loving deity.

The first step in these arguments was to prove that the design existed. Nature was ransacked for results obtained through separate things being co-adapted. Our eyes, for instance, originate in intra- uterine darkness, and the light originates in the sun, yet see how they fit each other. They are evidently made FOR each other. Vision is the end designed, light and eyes the separate means devised for its attainment.

It is strange, considering how unanimously our ancestors felt the force of this argument, to see how little it counts for since the triumph of the darwinian theory. Darwin opened our minds to the power of chance-happenings to bring forth 'fit' results if only they have time to add themselves together. He showed the enormous waste of nature in producing results that get destroyed because of their unfitness. He also emphasized the number of adaptations which, if designed, would argue an evil rather than a good designer. Here all depends upon the point of view. To the grub under the bark the exquisite fitness of the woodpecker's organism to extract him would certainly argue a diabolical designer.

Theologians have by this time stretched their minds so as to embrace the darwinian facts, and yet to interpret them as still showing divine purpose. It used to be a question of purpose AGAINST mechanism, of one OR the other. It was as if one should say "My shoes are evidently designed to fit my feet, hence it is impossible that they should have been produced by machinery." We know that they are both: they are made by a machinery itself designed to fit the feet with shoes. Theology need only stretch similarly the designs of God. As the aim of a football-team is not merely to get the ball to a certain goal (if that were so, they would simply get up on some dark night and place it there), but to get it there by a fixed MACHINERY OF CONDITIONS—the game's rules and the opposing players; so the aim of God is not merely, let us say, to make men and to save them, but rather to get this done through the sole agency of nature's vast machinery. Without nature's stupendous laws and counterforces, man's creation and perfection, we might suppose, would be too insipid achievements for God to have designed them.

This saves the form of the design-argument at the expense of its old easy human content. The designer is no longer the old man-like deity. His designs have grown so vast as to be incomprehensible to us humans. The WHAT of them so overwhelms us that to establish the mere THAT of a designer for them becomes of very little consequence in comparison. We can with difficulty comprehend the character of a cosmic mind whose purposes are fully revealed by the strange mixture of goods and evils that we find in this actual world's particulars. Or rather we cannot by any possibility comprehend it. The mere word 'design' by itself has, we see, no consequences and explains nothing. It is the barrenest of principles. The old question of WHETHER there is design is idle. The real question is WHAT is the world, whether or not it have a designer—and that can be revealed only by the study of all nature's particulars.

Remember that no matter what nature may have produced or may be producing, the means must necessarily have been adequate, must have been FITTED TO THAT PRODUCTION. The argument from fitness to design would consequently always apply, whatever were the product's character. The recent Mont-Pelee eruption, for example, required all previous history to produce that exact combination of ruined houses, human and animal corpses, sunken ships, volcanic ashes, etc., in just that one hideous configuration of positions. France had to be a nation and colonize Martinique. Our country had to exist and send our ships there. IF God aimed at just that result, the means by which the centuries bent their influences towards it, showed exquisite intelligence. And so of any state of things whatever, either in nature or in history, which we find actually realized. For the parts of things must always make SOME definite resultant, be it chaotic or harmonious. When we look at what has actually come, the conditions must always appear perfectly designed to ensure it. We can always say, therefore, in any conceivable world, of any conceivable character, that the whole cosmic machinery MAY have been designed to produce it.

Pragmatically, then, the abstract word 'design' is a blank cartridge. It carries no consequences, it does no execution. What sort of design? and what sort of a designer? are the only serious questions, and the study of facts is the only way of getting even approximate answers. Meanwhile, pending the slow answer from facts, anyone who insists that there is a designer and who is sure he is a divine one, gets a certain pragmatic benefit from the term—the same, in fact which we saw that the terms God, Spirit, or the Absolute, yield us 'Design,' worthless tho it be as a mere rationalistic principle set above or behind things for our admiration, becomes, if our faith concretes it into something theistic, a term of PROMISE. Returning with it into experience, we gain a more confiding outlook on the future. If not a blind force but a seeing force runs things, we may reasonably expect better issues. This vague confidence in the future is the sole pragmatic meaning at present discernible in the terms design and designer. But if cosmic confidence is right not wrong, better not worse, that is a most important meaning. That much at least of possible 'truth' the terms will then have in them.

I've put several parts in bold and one bit, which seems to me crucial, in bold blue. I find this argument compelling as far as the identity of the designer goes. James is right: design as such is empty until it starts talking about the designer, a discussion which (for reasons of cultural politics) ID has made itself unwilling to have.

Friday, May 27, 2011

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 proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism." p.10

"The end is what you want, the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. ... The real arena is corrupt and bloody." p.24

"The means-and-ends moralists, constantly obsessed with the ethics of the means used by the Have-Nots against the Haves, should search themselves as to their real political position. In fact, they are passive — but real — allies of the Haves…. The most unethical of all means is the non-use of any means... The standards of judgment must be rooted in the whys and wherefores of life as it is lived, the world as it is, not our wished-for fantasy of the world as it should be." pp.25-26

"The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displace by new patterns.... All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new." p.116

In short we see here a radically relativist ("his prime truth"), utterly amoral Machiavellian (might makes right and ends justify means) ruthlessness that rejects moral constraints on means, in pursuit of ideological and revolutionary agendas that start by working to destroy the current order. But, such habitual ruthless amoral destructiveness soon become an all consuming pattern of behaviour and -- on the long, sad and oft- repeated history of "successful" radical revolutions -- normally ends in chaos and tyranny.
There's a lot to discuss here, but the main thing I want to note is that Alinsky was not a Marxist, and that kairosfocus is profoundly distorting his words here. This becomes clear when the first passage is put into context:

This raises the question: what, if any, is my ideology? What kind of ideology, if any, can an organizer have who is working in and for a free society? The prerequisite for an ideology is possession of a basic truth. For example, 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 or the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism. The Christians also begin with their prime truth: the divinity of Christ and the tripartite nature of God. Out of these "prime truths" flow a step-by-step ideology.

An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma. To begin with, he does not have a fixed truth--truth to him is relative and changing;everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist. He accepts the late Justice Learned Hand's statement that "the mark of a free man is that ever-gnawing inner uncertainty as to whether or not heis right." The consequence is that he is ever on the hunt for the causes of man's plight and the general propositions that help to make some sense out of man's irrational world. He must constantly examine life, including his own, to get some idea of what it is all about, and he must challenge and test his own findings. Irreverence, essential to questioning, is a requisite. Curiosity becomes compulsive. His most frequent word is "why?"
I've put the quoted passage in bold so readers can see what is going on. In brief, Alinsky refers to Marxism as he refers to Christianity: they examples of what he is not. He does not have either of those ideologies, but he is "an organizer working in and for an open society."

Nobody who has read Alinsky would distort that passage in a way that is so easily corrected, unless they are (a) lying, or (b) stupid. kairosfocus is not stupid, and I do not believe he is lying. Rather, I believe, kairosfocus has not read Alinsky but has read only selectively distorted passages.

Now, I also believe he is too arrogant to admit his error. Will he ignore this or try to dance around it?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

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
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, on the contrary, you wanted to argue in favor of free markets, you needed to set forth the best three arguments you could find in favor of Marxism before you put forth your case for capitalism.

The purpose of the disputatio format was to enforce intellectual honesty, to enhance critical thinking skills in the writing of papers. The students had to think seriously about the other point of view before setting forth their own. Then and now, I self-identified philosophically as a Thomist and politically as a neoconservative. But as a teacher, I didn't do indoctrination. The point of the tutorials was to help the students learn to think.
Here Bruce Griffin, extensively, proudly, -- and rightly! -- defends "intellectual honesty," "critical thinking skills," and "think[ing] seriously about the other point of view." In subsequent posts I will discuss the merits of the Phoenix Institute course and disputatio as a rhetorical form, but I do think the values of critical thinking and responsible debate are worth holding?

But does Bruce Griffin hold them? The same Bruce Griffin who touts the value of critical dialogue has not only disabled comments from his blog but has deleted all the previous comments, including mine. In one of these comments I speculated that his repeated deletions of previous comments, mentioned in comments and which Griffin apologetically acknowledged, could be attributed to his technical incompetence. Can we defend his mass deletion the same way?

Meanwhile, Griffin has shown no other activity on his blog since the comment deletion.

The Comment-Czar Vanishes.