Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm still smiling...

I dropped by Maddy's site for a little visit, and to my complete delight saw that she had mentioned me and my blog. And had given me the 'Banana Award for Blog Yumminess'. So, thank you again, Maddy. That's made my last several days a little more buoyant. And I'll display it proudly.

I've needed some buoyancy with Scott coming down with the latest affliction going 'round: some sort of high fever-juicy-congestioned-cough-like-mad malady. That was Saturday afternoon when it hit and his fever was still up tonight. So we're probably looking at a visit to the dr tomorrow if he's not looking a little better in the morning. This one has knocked the starch right out of him. Our usual rule this year is I've kept him home for a fever or diarrhea and right after the bus goes by he's entirely vigorous, energetic, and expecting entertainment. Not this time.

I've been making a little headway on the open-mind project though. I'm a little over halfway through Norman Podhoretz's book: "World War IV/The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism". I found a good quote today by Susan Jacoby, a fierce advocate for secularism in American political culture. A few years back she wrote a book called "Freethinkers", which challenged the assertion that the founding fathers of the US intended this nation to be a Christian nation (at least in the sense that the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons would have us believe). She was distressed to find that the people who came to hear her talk were all in agreement with her already. She lamented the absence of people with an opposing viewpoint coming to hear her out: "To see whether or not the devil has horns."

Podhoretz, on the other hand is blatantly preaching to the converted. He is not attempting to persuade anyone who doesn't agree with him already--he's already assumed a shared starting point that dismisses any disagreement as 'hating America'. He reminds me of a used car salesman who clinches a sale by steering his customer past any flaws so they don't have a chance to look more closely. For that reason his horns don't seem that sharp. I just don't feel that he's transparently analyzing facts and drawing sound conclusions.

What's true is that since this book was written in the fall of 2006 his ilk has largely been removed from places of influence within the Bush administration.

It is interesting to study them though, those far out on the right wing.


Maddy said...

I was born in Plymouth. I was genuinely surprise when I arrived here to find that the Pilgrim Fathers' principals of separation of Church and State had gone so badly awry.
Best wishes

Suzy said...

Those far out on the right wing tend to get a bit scary for me....
It's similiar when I went to Catholic School in the 1950's and was taught that only Catholics would go to heaven who were in the state of grace- and all the others went straight to hell.
Not too narrow minded...
Great post.