Thursday, September 30, 2010

The good and the bad, side-by-side

Within the past six weeks, I've been pleasantly surprised by three different websites that I usually disagree with. I have never shied away from vocally disagreeing with people, so the least I can do is extend a little credit from time to time.

Of course, each site has also said something jaw-droppingly stupid since then within the scope of my usual interests, so I'll take note of that, as well. I discuss the details below the fold.

At the beginning of the month, the Illinois Family Institute put together a surprisingly well-balanced take on the misnamed Ground Zero Mosque to kick the month off. Not only do they give, unequivocal support to the right of the Muslims to build the structure, they make a direct comparison to churches all over the country that are facing restrictions on building based on zoning codes. Sure, they forget to mention that some 60+ Muslims (not including the terrorists, of course) were killed on 9/11, but for the IFI, it's better than I ever expected to see. Of course, they have since followed it with the traditional confusion of being anti-bullying with pro-homosexual and some willful blindness to the funding priorities of Republicans in the midst of a rant where they somehow think there are no warnings in the media concerning promiscuous sex. Still, 1 out of 500 is better than 0 out of 500.

Just a couple of days prior to that, Martin Cothran of Vital Remnants showed unusually good judgment in his dismissal of Glenn Beck as a leader for the conservative movement, and more importantly to me, his confirmation of the fundamental personal credibility of Dr. King. There are rare occasions I think Cothran could be promoted from pure blog fodder to the "a little of both" category, that he might one day actually produce information that would be worth reading. Then, he drops a couple of truly stupid posts that arbitrarly criticize public pensions without examining overall total compensation at all and a little gem about Jerry Coyne pulling the last sentence out of context and portraying it as being about something else. With such poor investigative and reading skills, I see little chance of anything valuable coming from his site.

The earliest came from the keyboard of Dr. Feser, with a smack-down of the attempted rebranding of "suicide bomber" to "homicide bomber" by conservatives. While I disagree with his take on Dr. Vallicella (if not paranoid, Dr. Vallicella certainly seems pathologically fearful of Muslims, and his attempts to rationalize his fear bring me regular amusement), otherwise his post was clear and well-thought-out. Of course, that's not going to change his devotion to an outdated metaphysical system, such as exemplified in his incorrect generalizations on same-sex marriage or the grandiose claims regarding classical theism and it's importance today.

Even stopped clocks are right twice a day. Still, three such posts in less than month created quite a surprise for me.

Read more!