Blogs > Cliopatria > PA-NY Battle

Jan 4, 2006 10:50 pm


PA-NY Battle



The New York Republican Party has been doing its best to make itself irrelevant--most recently when state Senate majority leader Joe Bruno floated the name of Donald Trump as a possible gubernatorial candidate this fall. Trump quickly shot down the idea.

Now, from PA, comes news that Lynn Swann is seeking the GOP nomination for governor. The GOP isn't exactly bringing its"first team" against incumbent Ed Rendell--the frontrunner is former Lieutenant Governor William Scranton, who lost a gubernatorial race 20 years ago and whose website lists coordinating the response to the Three Mile Island accident as his most relevant government experience--but for anyone who's ever seen Swann do a college football sideline report can't help but cringe to picture him in a debate with incumbent Ed Rendell.

Perhaps the Cliopatriarchs in Philadelphia for the AHA convention can set aside some time to coach Swann on the issues of the day?

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chris l pettit - 1/7/2006

I have always criticised Palestinina atrocities as much as I have criticised Israeli ones. I am CONSISTENT in pointing out the paucities of each side's position. There is no moral hierarchy, there is only violations of universal laws. TO say there is a moral hierarchy is to say that the Rwandan genocide was higher on the moral hierarchy than the Holocaust, a ridiculous and highly ideological position. KC is not consistent...he is ideological. All I ask is consistency in arguments.

Should I take the position that I could be wrong? Sure...it could be like in South Park, where everyone gets to hell and finds that the Mormons are the "chosen people." Look...religion and ideology have their places in individual thought...but have no relevance when speaking of the topic of universal governance and the community of humankind. One can only base their arguments on what has been articulated and universally agreed upon by society as a whole...this is the essence of international law and universal human rights. For those of you narrowminded enough to think that international law is simply treaty agreements of states, I will remind you that customary law takes into consideration religious and cultural principles, and allows for the contribution of historical and societal movements.

And my apologies, guys, but there are those scholars who have the training, impartiality, and non-ideological mindset to explain and interpret such issues as human rights, universal governance, and international law. I do not question the finer aspects of your historical positions and analysis. I do not question Dr. Dresner's authority on Asian history in regards to the factual occurrences and what they mean in the bigger picture. To use another example, you would not want a mechanic to be doing your heart surgery. SO when I tell you that a position is ideological and violates fundamental tenets of itnernational law and human rights, you would do well to listen and take note. I do not speak of a matter of my own moral standards...they are irrelevent in this debate...and you may find that if I were to express them, they may be similar to your own (the pro-life position for example). However, I realise that they are ideological and irrelevent in a debate that naturally involves universal rights. Many of you have not reached this point...and I cannot start to explain why...whether it is the culture, the social environment of your upbringing, indoctrination into various ideologies, etc. In my work for the ICRC in introduction universal human rights and international law into primary and secondary school curriculum in SE Asia, we have found that children are much more logically capable of understanding and articulating human rights and universal values than are adults. Our sociologists have theorized that this is because children have not become entrenched in their various artificial hierarchies that include the identification of the "other", false pride in ones nation or religion, and the other ideologies that necessarily give rise to conflict and prejudice. It is because of this that there has arisen a large youth anti-conflict movement in Sri Lanka at present. SO your telling me that my position is incorrect simply flies in the face of real life evidence of the embrace of universal rights and international law. There is a concept in international law that, just because a principle is repeatedly violated...even by a majority of the actors, it does not cease to exist or lose its authority. This may sound arrogant and self righteous to you, but think of the ramifications. If the opposite were true, that would mean that there was no law, no rights, etc...and that rules articulated would depend on who was in power and who could impose their ideology on others by force or enforcement. This is the essence of legal positivism and the underlying current behind many of the positions you take.

Look...I just want consistency. If you are taking ideological positions...you cannot complain that anything violates some sort of universal standard of the way things "are supposed to be." All you can state is that something offends your ideological sense of morality that you seek to impose on others...or at the least convince others is the best way to do things (a principle highly questionable in and of itself). You cannot utilize words such as "law" "morality" "rights" or whatnot. KC cannot complain that he is being "discriminated against" or that "conservatives" are being "targeted"...this is acceptable under your ideological structures of thought since you resort to the same imposition of ideology in your arguments. All you can claim is that you don't like it because it disagrees with your own individualized, self righteous ideological sense of what is right or wrong.

You fail to see that you as an individual only exist because of your relationships with others. The relationships are what give rise to the individual...not the other way around. Because of this concept of interrrelatedness, you have no right to take ideological positions that impose your individual ideas of morality on others...you have an obligation to search for universal rights and laws...such as those articulated in international law.

By all means continue to take the positions you do...and you will because you are sociologically conditioned to do so and are convinced that you are right...but at least be consistent and when you choose to complain, dont say it violates some universal standard...it only violates your narrow sighted ideology.

Dr Dresner,

I fail to understand why you seem to think that the statement I made falls into or comes close to a personal attack. Ideology is, in its essence, being blinded by ones own individualistic opinions to the point that one fails to see that one is simply attempting to impose ones own sense of morality on a cetain issue (or interpretation thereof) on the rest of a social group or society as a whole. This is the essence of what is undertaken by power brokers, politicians, moral entrepreneurs, etc...and has been studied in countless sociological and criminological scholarly endeavors. Now, in terms of interpretation (again something that happens within ones own ideological framework), I can see how one could take the individual position that one is being subject to attack, but that is a misinterpretation of what is said by framing it as an attack on ones own individual sense of morality...not framing the statement in the sense of society and humanity as a whole.

Thanks for catching the Yogi Berraism by the way...I am amused by the mangling of the English language that I achieved. however...that mistake has little or nothing to do with the core topics we are discussing...so I would hope in the interests of integrity you would not try to distract from the core disagreement by invoking silly mistakes...it is like saying that I am ugly or single, or I spell in a South African fashion with an "s" instead of a "z" and we should concentrate on that instead of my larger point.

By the way Jim...after your blatant ideological statement about the "moral hierarchy" concerning the Israelis and the Palestinians...I highly doubt you have any standing to make any statement about "rationality" and "responsibility" outside of your own ideology. Consistency, my friend...once again it dashes the universal credibility of a scholar on a topic. You might as well have argues that there is some sort of ifference (besides ideological) between "terrorists" and "freedom fighters."

CP


Jonathan Dresner - 1/6/2006

So...by all means make empty threats...even carry them out if you must.

If they are carried out, then, by definition, they are not empty threats.

Unfortunately, you are part of a large number of individuals too blinded by their own selfish positions to understand interdependence and the community of mankind as a whole.

That is a personal judgement bordering on ad hominem. It's pretty typical of the way Mr. Pettit starts off his arguments, too. That is, of course, prima facie evidence with regard to Mr. Pettit's challenge -- "I challenge you to actually find an insult and point it out to me." -- and his supposed universality and moral consistency do not preclude those being ideologies in themselves.

I could go on, but I have work to do.


Jim Williams - 1/6/2006

Boy, Chris, this post gets the prize as the most narrow-minded, self-congratulatory, self-righteous Cliopatria post of 2006 (unfortunately, someone else will soon supersede it). Try to approach those with whom you disagree with tolerance and acceptance of the possibility that you, not they, may be wrong.

I agree with part of what you say about Israel, but Muslim governments and societies, including the Palestinians, also should be held accountable to the same moral criteria that Israel is held to. At this point, the Palestinians seem to me lower on the moral hierarchy.

Ralph, please tolerate Chris's flaming. It serves to highlight the more rational and responsible. Have a great time in Philly!


chris l pettit - 1/6/2006

Dr Luker...

Maybe I should listen, given the part of certain parties in the Rebunk scandal...

Look...your credibility as a scholar is without question. Your ideological stance however, is reproachable. I have constructively criticized your positions regarding "academic freedom" as being as problematic as Horowitz's because they still involve the imposition of ideology and deny the core roots of the right to education. I am sorry if you ignore or deny the existence of law, particularly based in human rights...which is universal and based on overcoming the imposition of ideology by some sort of a majority, moral entrepreneurs, etc. Unfortunately, you are part of a large number of individuals to blinded by their own selfish positions to understand interdependence and the community of mankind as a whole. Is it age? Living in the US too long and not having to spend months living among those who suffer from the type of things you advocate at times? I don't know. I have defended parts of your positions for a long time. I find it funny that you are so uptight that you cannot take criticism when it makes your positions look foolish. I have not once seen you admit that your basic fundamental assumptions may be incorrect.

The funniest thing is...it is not about me at all. I could care less about my position...I just want to play my part in humankind, promote human rights...you know...the kind of things CHRIST might have done. You want to make this about me...go ahead...it only demonstrates your narrow individualistic way of looking at things.

KC is, and will continue to be, an ideologically biased academic. This destroys his credibility on many issues. He cannot make any argument about the violation of law, morality, or rights, because the ideology he supports necessarily promotes curtailing universal rights and imposing of rules that his ideology finds agreeable. His defense of Israeli violations of international law and human rights are indefensible and unable to stand up to critical analysis. A "right to life" position is indefensible in light of what science has demonstrated through experimental analysis and observation. Any position based in faith or fundamentally flawed assumptions has no place outside of your own individual pursuits or the group of ideologues which you favor.

With all your work in the civil rights field, I would have expected you to be more tolerant, more ready to admit your assumptions, and more ready to actually examine problems in what you profess. You have proven before that this is the case...and have acted like a curmudgeon at times. With the respect I have for you...I expect more.

So...by all means make empty threats...even carry them out if you must. Hide behind your ideologically biased barriers and retreat from any semblence of sensible discussion. Deny that there are universalities and legal principles that you, even as an individual are required to uphold. Continue to fool yourself into thinking that you are following any of the wisdom articulated by He who you call the Savior.

If it comes down to that helping...maybe you should think about what Christ would do. To paraphrase from Kingdom of Heaven...religion and holiness is in the mind and the heart...and in the actions you take daily to be a good man, protect the less fortunate, protect the community of humanity. Much of what KC advocates blatantly violates those words. Some of what you support, your actions, your threats, do so as well.

For what its worth, I apologize for any "insults" you may have felt were directed towards you. Saying you are ideological is not an insult...it is fact, and I back it up. My usage of the word ignorance is not the Western usage...and I have consistently made that well known...in Eastern thought, ignorance is being so based in ideology and fundamentally flawed assumptions that one cannot criticaly analyze ones own thought...this describes a lot of what you and KC do to a "t." KC...and to a lesser extent you at times...should be ashamed of what you advocate and do in your scholarly positions. So should I...every time I fail to defend humanity and the less fortunate from those who blindly advocate those ideas that violate international human rights law and the universal principles that govern mankind and are inherent in every religion and society you can find.

It amuses me that it is you who resorts to the attacks that I am a part of a bygone era of insults at HNN. This is like the pot calling the kettle black...and you know it. Insulting me in such a manner while scolding me for supposedly insulting you? That is really funny. I challenge you to actually find an insult and point it out to me. Remember...an insult is a personal attack (usually based in ideology) that does not criticise a persons positions, or relates them to a person in a way that attack the individual, and not his views. Find a statement where I fail to explain why someone is stuck in ideology and is missing the point, or simply ignoring something that applies to them...which then destroys their credibility on the issue.

Maybe you should take a long look in the mirror...I am confident that I have support in my positions in science, history, law, morality, critical thought, logic, impartiality and the denial of individualism and ideology...can you say the same thing?

CP


Ralph E. Luker - 1/5/2006

Chris, Let me explain this to you: we do not post at Cliopatria simply to allow you to insult us. I cannot remember a comment by you in the last six months that offered a constructive argument or, even, constructive criticism of an argument. You are a legacy from a time at HNN when the point was to insult. That time, fortunately, is largely past. Here's my warning to you: if you persist in _merely_ insulting people, you too will be past.


chris l pettit - 1/5/2006

Can you imagine those two in a debate? Maybe as their running mates they could get Lisa Guerrero and Robin ROberts.

Maybe OJ could get in his Naked GUn character...and they could put Swann in one of those hideous mustard yellow MNF jackets.

The great thing is that it would be as relevant as 95% of the other political figures and races in the US...given the level of ignorance and ideological idiocy that exists at the moment. Would you actually argue that Giuliani, with all his "experience" in government (violating human rights, ideological propagandizing, etc), is any better than Swann? Actually...you probably would...which says enough...

CP

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