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Knowing the truth

In preparation for writing an email reply to a twofer, I went to an article I had written on George Bancroft to copy a quote from him. I was reminded how happy I was to find a historian writing at length about the concept of citizenship at the time of the Country’s founding. While it’s nice that Bancroft provided a nice sound bite to use when arguing with twofers, what made me happy was that my understanding of how early Americans viewed citizenship grew, and what made me even more happy was that I could share with my readers what I learned – something so obscure that perhaps they didn’t already know it. (It’s not often that I find something that the well-read readers here haven’t already seen.)

Even when I found William Smith, writing in 1789 in a letter to the Charleston City Gazette, citing Emerich de Vattel in a way not friendly to my own views, I was still excited by the find which I quickly published. It is not by finding agreeable sources that we grow, but in confronting those that do not agree.

My motivation in research is not to win an argument or promote a viewpoint. My motivation is to understand the issues and publish what will help my readers reach informed conclusions. This is why I embed court decisions in articles so often, to encourage readers to get down in the trenches and read the details. I want to be what St. Paul described as “a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15 – NRSV).

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32 Responses to Knowing the truth

  1. avatar
    jayHG June 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    I’m a liberal, but I don’t make things up and outright lie about my views and believe that anyone who doesn’t share them is bad, etc. I find a lot of conservatives to have a “us versus them” mentality.

    For example, I would never have an abortion. I understand that it’s a legal procedure, and so that I never have to have one (or make a decision about having one) I am diligent about practicing safe sex. I get the difference between morality and legality. I find way too many conservatives who don’t. Their morals dictate EVERY aspect of their lives to the point where they think that their morals are akin to our laws that EVERYONE has to live by for the good of all of us.

    The point I’m making is that I don’t need to lie to bolster my liberal views. I allow them to stand as they are. You lose credibility when you lie and/or embellish.

  2. avatar
    richCares June 9, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Birthers, like the lynch mobs of the not-so-distant past, have their role to play in the unending hate that is the real fuel of the birther movement.

  3. avatar
    hermitian June 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Then you should be ashamed for absconding the title of Dr. without earning a PhD.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Abscond: “Leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to avoid detection or arrest.”

    hermitian: Then you should be ashamed for absconding the title of Dr. without earning a PhD.

  5. avatar
    Sef June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    hermitian:
    Then you should be ashamed for absconding the title of Dr. without earning a PhD.

    “He knows more than you do.”

  6. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) June 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    hermitian: Then you should be ashamed for absconding the title of Dr. without earning a PhD.

    Ah here you go again crying about using a nickname like Dr after you got your butt whipped on Amazon claiming there’s no way Doc had a Masters in Mathematics after being shown those with the same degree from the same period from the same school. You claimed Doc C claimed to be a professor and nowhere did you prove that claim. Do you run around yelling at Dr. J, Dr Seuss, Dr Dre, etc. Get over it henry.

  7. avatar
    JPotter June 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    hermitian: Then you should be ashamed for absconding the title of Dr. without earning a PhD.

    This is quite the obsession! You’ve been whining about this for months. Smear well still bone dry?

    You forgot a preposition there, but a better choice of verbs would have increased your odds. Better luck next time.

  8. avatar
    Rickey June 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    hermitian:
    absconding the title of Dr. without earning a PhD.

    It’s clear that you don’t have a PhD. in English.

    The word you are looking for is “appropriating.” Even “usurping” works. Neither applies to Doc, however.

    Do you realize that medics in the military are commonly referred to as “Doc?”

  9. avatar
    Sef June 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Rickey: Do you realize that medics in the military are commonly referred to as “Doc?”

    Maybe even anyone whose knowledge is superior. Or someone you may want to help you.

  10. avatar
    Majority Will June 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Rickey: Do you realize that medics in the military are commonly referred to as “Doc?”

    Bugs Bunny must think everyone has a doctorate.

  11. avatar
    JoZeppy June 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    …and they call Gene Simmons, “Doctor Love.”

    I wonder where they offer that PhD?

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Really? I guess nothing a birther does should surprise me by now. Dr. Conspiracy was styled after the Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater character Dr. Science (who also has a Master’s degree — in science).

    Frankly, I don’t know an easy way a skeptical Internet jockey could verify my MS degree. They might contact the Clemson University Library and try to get a 1974 Spring Graduation ceremony program.

    It does bring up the general issue of proving something that happened a long time, in this case 38 years, ago. I could scan my diploma, but that would be easy to fake and we know how much respect birthers have for scanned documents anyway.

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): hermitian: Then you should be ashamed for absconding the title of Dr. without earning a PhD.

    Ah here you go again crying about using a nickname like Dr after you got your butt whipped on Amazon claiming there’s no way Doc had a Masters in Mathematics after being shown those with the same degree from the same period from the same school. You claimed Doc C claimed to be a professor and nowhere did you prove that claim. Do you run around yelling at Dr. J, Dr Seuss, Dr Dre, etc. Get over it henry.

    I guess what he was saying is that Master of Science in Mathematics from the College of Mathematical Sciences is not a science degree. Curious twisting of words, nevertheless, I don’t know if I would style myself a “scientist.” I had an undergraduate physics minor, took a course in the philosophy of science, and did experimental design in my statistics courses. To me, a scientist is characterized by the use of the scientific method more than what their college degree is in. I mean, Corsi has a PhD in Political Science, and we see what good that does.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    I taught Calculus 106 as a Teaching Assistant. I still have a test I gave. I wonder if Hermitian would like to take it? But then how could he prove that he didn’t cheat?

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): You claimed Doc C claimed to be a professor and nowhere did you prove that claim.

  14. avatar
    Scientist June 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: To me, a scientist is characterized by the use of the scientific method more than what their college degree is in. I mean, Corsi has a PhD in Political Science, and we see what good that does.

    Political Science, when practiced by those who truly are interested in the truth, is a completely valid academic discipline. However, many academic disciplines, like literature, art, music, philosophy, etc., are perfectly valid, but are not sciences, because they are unable to test their hypotheses, and thus are descriptive, rather than scientific. IMO, Political Science is closer to those than to true sciences. That doesn’t mean this will always be the case-until the last 150 years or so, biology and geology were better classified as natural philosophy than as sciences. Economics is on the cusp of being a science. Political Science may be there soon.

    As for Corsi, his name and valid intellectual inquiry should never appear in the same sentence (I know, I just violated that rule). If he honestly pitched his screeds as potboilers, then he might have some minimal value for airplane trips (after you had read the inflight magazine and the Skymall catalog twice). But, honestly, I weep for the trees that died so his crap could be published. I mean if only they had been used to make toilet paper instead…

  15. avatar
    Rickey June 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Sef: Maybe even anyone whose knowledge is superior. Or someone you may want to help you.

    In the town where I grew up, everyone called the local pharmacist “Doc Phelps,”

  16. avatar
    Dr kenneth Noisewater June 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Really? I guess nothing a birther does should surprise me by now. Dr. Conspiracy was styled after the Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater character Dr. Science (who also has a Master’s degree — in science).

    Frankly, I don’t know an easy way a skeptical Internet jockey could verify my MS degree. They might contact the Clemson University Library and try to get a 1974 Spring Graduation ceremony program.

    It does bring up the general issue of proving something that happened a long time, in this case 38 years, ago. I could scan my diploma, but that would be easy to fake and we know how much respect birthers have for scanned documents anyway.

    I guess what he was saying is that Master of Science in Mathematics from the College of Mathematical Sciences is not a science degree. Curious twisting of words, nevertheless, I don’t know if I would style myself a “scientist.” I had an undergraduate physics minor, took a course in the philosophy of science, and did experimental design in my statistics courses. To me, a scientist is characterized by the use of the scientific method more than what their college degree is in. I mean, Corsi has a PhD in Political Science, and we see what good that does.

    Yeah that’s what he was trying to claim that you claimed you were a scientist. Multiple times we asked him where you claimed to be a scientist and he never answered. He then claimed there was no such thing as a masters of science in mathematics. When shown different colleges that offer the problem he claimed Clemson has never offered the program. When shown that Clemson currently offers the program he claimed it didn’t offer it during the time period you attended. When I showed him the linkedin profile of other Clemson grads from the same time period he changed the subject.

  17. avatar
    Dr kenneth Noisewater June 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    It shouldn’t surprise you though Doc, Henry is the same guy who claims there was a conspiracy against Breitbart where he was somehow killed by 1. A heart attack gun, 2. A laser death ray, 3. a wayward bolt of electricity from an access cover plate, 4. A jagged street lamp, 5. Starbucks workers who sprayed the sidewalk with water and many other conspiracy theories.

  18. avatar
    JPotter June 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    JoZeppy: …and they call Gene Simmons, “Doctor Love.” I wonder where they offer that PhD?

    American Academy of Clinical Sexologists, Inc. (AACS)
    http://www.esextherapy.com/

    Run a search for phd + sexology for many more hits.

    Or, if you think Mr. Simmons is more interested in emotional phenomena ( 😉 ), try “phd emotional studies” …. various offerings in phd-level psychology departments.

  19. avatar
    JPotter June 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I taught Calculus 106 as a Teaching Assistant. I still have a test I gave. I wonder if Hermitian would like to take it? But then how could he prove that he didn’t cheat?

    He’s never demonstrated any ability or willingness to put forth that kind of effort. He prattles on about “original intent” yet has never demonstrated any understanding of colonial / Revolutionary America. Ask a basic question, and its crickets.

    He has no interest in credibility, just wants to spew. He’s so nutty, It’s hard to believe he isn’t just pulling chains. But he’s too consistent in style and character, long-lived, and diligent (only in the sense of volume / output). He’s really out there!

  20. avatar
    hermitian June 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    I suggest that you put that Dr. where you keep your degree — where the light doesn’t shine.

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Pitiful.

    hermitian: I suggest that you put that Dr. where you keep your degree — where the light doesn’t shine.

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    I wouldn’t say that because I don’t see myself that way. BTW, the owner of the local pizza restaurant always called me “doctor.” I wondered about that until I found out that he calls everybody doctor.

    Dr kenneth Noisewater: Yeah that’s what he was trying to claim that you claimed you were a scientist.

  23. avatar
    bovril June 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Hermy Dear,

    Do tell, what mechanism and chemicals were used in the “heart-attack” gun in your opinion..? A fascinating idea, do flesh it out for we poor Obots

  24. avatar
    y_p_w June 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I guess what he was saying is that Master of Science in Mathematics from the College of Mathematical Sciences is not a science degree. Curious twisting of words, nevertheless, I don’t know if I would style myself a “scientist.” I had an undergraduate physics minor, took a course in the philosophy of science, and did experimental design in my statistics courses. To me, a scientist is characterized by the use of the scientific method more than what their college degree is in. I mean, Corsi has a PhD in Political Science, and we see what good that does.

    What exactly is a “science degree” anyways? Does it have to be a “Bachelor of Science” or “Master of Science”. At my alma mater, a whole slew of majors are covered by the College of Arts and Science, which grants the A.B. (not sure why they reverse it), M.A., and Ph.d. Physics, chemistry, and other hard science majors are covered. Some majors (or similar majors) can be obtained via different colleges, where some grant the B.S and M.S. degrees. This holds for chemistry (there’s a separate College of Chemistry), computer science (one can choose a computer science emphasis as an electrical engineering major), and biology (College of Natural Resources).

    Honestly though – I always thought that a Bachelor of Arts in physics, biology, or computer science sounded rather odd. I know it’s really just a semantic thing, but they decided to do things differently. For most people the titles don’t matter for much, but as we’ve seen, birthers like to parse every last word.

  25. avatar
    Keith June 12, 2012 at 1:41 am #

    Dr kenneth Noisewater: Yeah that’s what he was trying to claim that you claimed you were a scientist. Multiple times we asked him where you claimed to be a scientist and he never answered. He then claimed there was no such thing as a masters of science in mathematics. When shown different colleges that offer the problem he claimed Clemson has never offered the program. When shown that Clemson currently offers the program he claimed it didn’t offer it during the time period you attended. When I showed him the linkedin profile of other Clemson grads from the same time period he changed the subject.

    Good lord. What an absolute moron. Makes an assertion that one would assume he expects to be believed, but is in fact easily demonstrated to be wrong. So instead of checking to see if he’s in the ballpark and can make some kind of rational statement he doubles down with more random crap. and is demonstrated to be wrong again. Then does it again?!?!

    How can someone pull stuff from the ol’ fecal oriface like that, and just keep going when it is clear that other folks find it fairly trivial to refute?

    This person is clearly not trying to make a point of any kind for or against anything or anyone. They are just typing bullpucky because they can, they’re bored down in their momma’s basement, and they need someone to respond to them, to relieve the tedium of their dreary, listless existence, for even the briefest of.

    They don’t care if they are being beat up on or ridiculed, at least they are getting some attention.

  26. avatar
    Northland10 June 12, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    y_p_w: Honestly though – I always thought that a Bachelor of Arts in physics, biology, or computer science sounded rather odd. I know it’s really just a semantic thing, but they decided to do things differently. For most people the titles don’t matter for much, but as we’ve seen, birthers like to parse every last word.

    In some schools my degree would have been a BA, but in mine, it was a BM, which brought relief.

  27. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) June 12, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Keith: Good lord. What an absolute moron. Makes an assertion that one would assume he expects to be believed, but is in fact easily demonstrated to be wrong. So instead of checking to see if he’s in the ballpark and can make some kind of rational statement he doubles down with more random crap. and is demonstrated to be wrong again. Then does it again?!?!How can someone pull stuff from the ol’ fecal oriface like that, and just keep going when it is clear that other folks find it fairly trivial to refute? This person is clearly not trying to make a point of any kind for or against anything or anyone. They are just typing bullpucky because they can, they’re bored down in their momma’s basement, and they need someone to respond to them, to relieve the tedium of their dreary, listless existence, for even the briefest of. They don’t care if they are being beat up on or ridiculed, at least they are getting some attention.

    He’s a troll of the ultimate kind just check out his amazon threads. He filled an entire thread on amazon with BS until it closed. Amazon closes a thread on the discussion boards automatically at 10,000 posts. The worst of it is his shifting rationales of how he thinks Breitbart was murdered.

    http://www.amazon.com/your-amusement-Obama-Breitbart-Killed/forum/Fx3O0GUS5OOQ7GV/Tx8YDXSWB2T9BG/1/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1936488299

    This thread started as a joke and quickly turned into one when Henry claims to know more than the coroner, doesn’t like the coroner because he’s indian and has a name Henry can’t spell. He then repeatedly misspelled the coroner’s name when pointed out he was butchering the name he claims that’s how it was listed. When shown that’s not how it was listed he still blames the guy for having a hard to spell name. Since then he’s determined Breitbart was either electrocuted by an access cover plate on the sidewalk, killed by a CIA heart attack gun, a laser, knocked into a jagged street light pole, tasered, etc. It’s sad to see him ramble on.

  28. avatar
    Majority Will June 12, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Since then he’s determined Breitbart was either electrocuted by an access cover plate on the sidewalk, killed by a CIA heart attack gun, a laser, knocked into a jagged street light pole, tasered, etc. It’s sad to see him ramble on.

    Breitbart was Wile E. Coyote?

  29. avatar
    JPotter June 12, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Majority Will: Breitbart was Wile E. Coyote?

    And Spy.

    In that long-running fever dream, Breitbart was the most unfortunate man on the planet, at least for a few minutes that one night.

  30. avatar
    Thomas Brown June 12, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Keith: …Makes an assertion that one would assume he expects to be believed, but is in fact easily demonstrated to be wrong. So instead of checking to see if he’s in the ballpark and can make some kind of rational statement he doubles down with more random crap. and is demonstrated to be wrong again. Then does it again?!?!

    How can someone pull stuff from the ol’ fecal oriface like that, and just keep going when it is clear that other folks find it fairly trivial to refute?…

    Now you know why John Woodman is so lonely among the RWNJs. He ought to collect all the sane conservatives and have a running poker game.

  31. avatar
    Thomas Brown June 12, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    hermitian:
    I suggest that you put that Dr. where you keep your degree — where the light doesn’t shine.

    Who gives a rat’s ass what you think?

  32. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) June 12, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Majority Will: Breitbart was Wile E. Coyote?

    Apparently so