Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Plato's Retreat

My friends, we've been getting away with this gentle mockery and spoofing buffoonery for a good many years now, but it had to happen sooner or later, and I'm afraid World O' Crap has finally met its match.  At first I thought this would be merely another wingnut scouting report, yet another toe-dipping test of the tepid waters at Townhall.  But then I reached the bottom of the article, and realized-- too late! --  that I had locked horns with a professional philosopher:
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet. ... Kerwick has taught a variety of philosophy courses as an adjunct instructor for nine years at a range of schools. He is now seeking a permanent residency as he continues his research into classical conservatism.
Personally, I like the idea of an itinerant philosophy professor, pushing his cart through the cobbled streets at dawn, crying "Syllogisms and peritropes, alive, alive, oh!"  But I'm just a Right Brain slob who never trained in critical thinking, and am clearly unequipped to match wits with a skilled rhetorician.  Unfortunately, I'd already cut 'n' pasted his post into my browser, which is the blogger equivalent of lifting your hand after moving a chess piece, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out...

All right, Prof, let's get our proofs on!

Amnesty Nonsense
Let’s be blunt: anyone who endorses anything remotely resembling the “comprehensive immigration reform” currently bandied about in Congress is either a fool or a liar.
And since everyone is Congress is a fool and a liar, this postulate cannot be disproved! Please proceed, Professor...
Amnesty — and make no mistakes about it, “comprehensive immigration reform,” “a pathway to citizenship,” and whatever other euphemisms its apologists invoke do nothing to change the fact that it is amnesty that they favor — is a fool’s errand of epic proportions. This becomes obvious once we consider it in light of an analogy from everyday life.
Whew, an analogy. I thought he was gonna beat me about the head and shoulders with a more complicated rhetorical device, like an allegory, or a metalepsis.
You’re married.
True, but I wish you'd keep my personal life out of this.
Chief among the obligations inherent in marriage is that of fidelity.
And putting the cap back on the damn toothpaste.
Your spouse has chronically failed to fulfill this most basic of duties. 
Exactly!  Am I the only one around here who cares that the mouth of the tube is clogged with a petrified geyser of Crest?
Finally, you’ve had enough. Upon threatening your philandering spouse with divorce, she acknowledges that your marriage is “broken” before swearing to not only change, but change radically
I could tell she was trying to spice up our apolitical love life when I found she'd placed a copy of Saul Alinsky's marriage manual, Rules for Red Hot Radicals: A Prurient Primer for Fornicating Fabians in the magazine rack next to the toilet.
Not only will she stop cheating, she promises to transform herself into the epitome of the loyal and loving wife.
So you're saying June Cleaver was heating up the house with torrid sexytimes while Ward was off doing his vague job in his nondescript office?  No wonder she always had a pearl necklace.  (By the way, was it Lumpy?  I always suspected she had something going on the side with Lumpy.)
While you would doubtless want to believe this, you could not do so.
The italics simply would not let you!
Unfortunately, none of the good sense on display here is present in this debate over amnesty — even though the reasoning for the latter is identical to the reasoning of the unfaithful wife.
I don't know why they don't just scrap the immigration reform bill and pass Lady Chatterley's Lover.  Since the current legislation apparently requires that our spouses slut around behind our backs, this would have the same effect, with the added benefit that it'd be one of the few bills Congressmen would actually read, albeit in the Cloakroom.
It is among the most basic obligations of a government to secure its country’s borders. As fidelity is essential to preserving the integrity of marriage, so too is border security essential to preserving the integrity of a nation. Indeed, a government that fails to secure its borders is unfaithful to its citizens.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon our representatives to immediately appropriate funds to build a fence around our wives' vaginas.
First, if the government can’t or won’t fulfill its most basic and simplest of obligations in securing the country’s borders now, there is zero reason to accept its assurances that it will fulfill this duty as well as a bunch of new duties later. As my old martial arts instructor used to say, you’ve got to learn how to walk before you can learn how to run.
I like how smoothly he slipped in that reference to his training in the manly art of fisticuffs and footicuffs, but I gotta say, if that's the kind of advice his martial arts instructor was dispensing, the Professor wasn't getting his $65-a-month's worth.
With respect to this issue, our government hasn’t yet learned how to walk or even crawl. But the Gang of Eight and their accomplices in the media would have us believe that with the stroke of a pen, the federal government will instantaneously become a marathon runner.
I also like how the terms of debate have changed from "immigration is adultery" to "I took karate!" to "Congress is a toddler that lacks the cardiovascular conditioning to compete in distance running events!"  You have to admit, that is one flexible analogy.
Second, border security is as big of a non-negotiable in governing as fidelity is a non-negotiable in marriage. 
And now we've veered wildly back toward the swarthy gardener who's humping his missus.  You know what, Professor Kerwick -- why don't you stop the analogy and let me off here.  I'll walk the rest of the way to your point.
The citizens of the United States should no more have to negotiate with their government to secure its borders than spouses should have to negotiate with one another to refrain from engaging in adultery. Spouses owe it to each other to be faithful. Similarly, the government owes it to its citizens to secure their borders.
Unfortunately, our government is a newborn that can't even crawl yet, so it's not likely to outrun immigrants darting across the border.  Also, somebody should turn Congress onto its back before it smothers.
However, when Marco Rubio or Chuck Schumer or any other politician favoring amnesty tells us that, in order to secure the border we must first place millions of illegal immigrants on a “pathway” to citizenship, what they are essentially saying is that we, the people’s elected representatives, will not discharge our constitutional duty unless you go along with what we want.
What do we want?  Emphatic typeface!  When do we want it?  Now!
Finally, when Chuck Schumer, Marco Rubio, and their allies in Washington inform us that our immigration system is “broken,” they admit, albeit unwittingly, that they, Republicans and Democrats alike, broke it. 
Not necessarily.  It might have been that Not Me asshole.

Only now, after decades of breaking the system apart piece by piece, they expect for citizens to trust them to construct a new system that is better than ever, a system that will magically solve all of our immigration related issues once and forever.
Oh, I doubt most Americans believe this solution, even if it works, will prove effective for eternity, because we've all shopped for crap in this country and realize our entire system is based on planned obsolescence.  I am intrigued, however, to discover that the Gang of Eight is dabbling in sorcery (I imagine them all wearing black tights, powder blue jerkins, and big flowy capes like Dr. Strange as they ensnare Subcommittee witnesses in the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak).

I'm also interested to learn that when his strawman argument fails, the trained philosophy professor will accuse his opponents of witchcraft.  Then maybe throw one of those ninja smoke-bombs at the floor and vanish like Lee van Cleef in The Master.
To take seriously such a claim is to expose oneself as a fool. To ask others to take it seriously is to expose oneself as a liar.
And to study the writings of Dr. Jack Kerwick, migrant philosopher and cuckold, is to learn that these two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


Carl said...

Kerwick is an old English name. Kerwick probably didn't want to see the filthy mudblooded Micks here either.

Logical inconsistency: Kerwick's ancestors were immigrants here. Ask any native American.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

So he's a character on Game of Thrones?

J Neo Marvin said...

leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out...

"Moore," I said, "Do you then have apples in that basket?"

Yastreblyansky said...

Wouldn't it be sensible for Mrs. Kerwick to pay the professor a substantial fine, and then get in line? I mean, as long as she doesn't get in front of the other women who would like to marry him.

Scott said...

"Moore," I said, "Do you then have apples in that basket?"

I knew one'a you guys would get that.

Keith said...

June Cleaver would have preferred Lumpy to Eddie Haskell. Think about it. Lumpy wouldn't pawn her pearl necklace.

trashfire said...

Kenwick has inadvertently proven Edie Brickell's theory that philosophy is a talk on a cereal box.

Li'l Innocent said...

Saul Alinsky's marriage manual, Rules for Red Hot Radicals: A Prurient Primer for Fornicating Fabians in the magazine rack next to the toilet.

Fabians, tush! Mere Socialists. Limp sisters. You mean "Titillating Trots" or "Kinky Kropotkinites", probably.

(Wish somebody would explain the apples in the basket thing so I don't hafta go searchin'. I've had a long day.)

Scott said...

Li'l wins: Titillating Trots, it is!

The apples in the basket thing is a bit from Beyond the Fringe: Jonathan Miller As Bertrand Russell

grouchomarxist said...

You're right: there is something mighty appealing about the idea of an itinerant philosopher. Except I see it in a Western setting:

"Thank God you were able to demonstrate the superiority of deontological over pragmatic ethics to those cattle rustlers! This town could use a philosopher like you."

"That's mighty tempting, ma'am, but I have a categorical imperative to be moving on. My work is done here, and there's other folks need enlightening."

Cue theme, and with a "Hi ho Noumenon, and away!" the Lone Kantian gallops off into the sunset.

Chris Vosburg said...

Oh, come on. Face it, a "Doctorate in Philosophy" from Temple U is just a degree in Godbothering.

Fearguth said...

I have an acquaintance with a Ph.D. in Religion from Temple University. Funny thing: he has never wanted to talk about religion. Too bad Mr. Kerwick didn't have the same reaction to his doctorate in philosophy.

Woodrowfan said...

He has a PHD? From a real school? Really? Because he clearly failed logic. Wow.

Dr.BDH said...

The Family Circus rewrite is one of the best things I've ever seen on World o' Crap. More, please.

Also more Beyond the Fringe refs. E.g., "There wwas only one question on the mining exam: 'What's your name?' I got fifty percent on that."

Chris Vosburg said...

GrouchoMarxist writes You're right: there is something mighty appealing about the idea of an itinerant philosopher. Except I see it in a Western setting:

Master Po: We do not see the wind, Grasshopper: we see the wind's effect.

Kwai Chang Caine: I knew it! It was you who farted, wasn't it, Master?

Weird Dave said...

I swear to Claude if that is not another picture of a cracker ass.