Is A Independent Of B?

Eric is asking if A should be held responsible for the statements of B? I think it depends on the degree of the association. You know kind of weighted. Or in more technical terms. Fuzzy logic.

One thing we can say for sure (assuming humans are free actors and can choose acting against interest) is that A is responsible for his association with B.

So let me get right to Obama. He chose his minister. He chose his wife. Seems like two strikes right there.

Barrak H. Obama and his charming wife both come from American University culture. Wright has a Masters Degree from University of Chicago Divinity School. The very same school Obama taught at. The very same school his wife has a connection to through her job at the University Hospital and her previous job as a Dean at the University. Do I detect a network here? Or is this just guilt by association? Some one needs to chart out the social network.

The question is: is a member in good standing of that culture qualified to lead America? Woodrow Wilson any one? Leftism (and socialism/progressivism) has been a part of that culture for a very long time.

posted by Simon on 03.16.08 at 06:34 PM










Comments

Regarding University of Chicago connections, recall the Chicago Boys, University of Chicago trained economists who worked for Pinochet.

Here is the href="http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Declaration_of_the_Breakdown_of_Chile%E2%80%99s_Democracy">Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile�s Democracy, which passed the Chilean House of Deputies 81-47, a strong 63 % majority, three weeks before the coup that toppled Allende, lest one consider the Chicago Boys to be pure villains.

Gringo   ·  March 16, 2008 9:42 PM

Please delete the previous post.

Regarding University of Chicago connections, recall the Chicago Boys, University of Chicago trained economists who worked for Pinochet.

Here is the Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile’s Democracy, which passed the Chilean House of Deputies 81-47, a strong 63 % majority, three weeks before the coup that toppled Allende, lest one consider the Chicago Boys to be pure villains.

Gringo   ·  March 16, 2008 9:47 PM

is a member in good standing of that culture qualified to lead America?

I'd have voted for Milton Friedman for president, but not for Barack Obama.

But as to associations, even close associations, I've had close friends who are total commies. The idea that I should be held accountable for what they say or think is worse than holding Mary Matalin responsible for the statements of James Carville. And they're married.

God forbid that someone else might be held accountable for anything I might say....

It's a very sobering thought. And a very unfair one. Because fairness has nothing to do with it.

Eric Scheie   ·  March 16, 2008 11:11 PM

Yes. But would you pick a commie as your spiritual mentor TODAY?

All we have to judge Obama by is the company he keeps.

M. Simon   ·  March 17, 2008 12:11 AM

As to the fuzzy logic:

We define people and evaluate their judgment based on their deeds, their associations and their words. All three tell us much, as does any dissonance among the three. Do the words match the deeds? Are the associations consonant with the words and deeds? Of these three, probably the most difficult and fraught with potential for unfairness lies with assessing associations.

That said, one of the oldest sayings that we have in the English language is that a man shall be known by the company he keeps. Indeed, the saying itself has ancient roots, deriving from Book of Proverbs 13:20. Taken past its reasonable moorings, this can lead to an unfair assessment of guilt by simple association. But to dismiss the importance of associations on that ground alone would be a rejection of the wisdom of the ages. And the longer and deeper the associations, the more important they are in assessing the judgment and character of an individual.

GW   ·  March 17, 2008 1:58 AM

Does it really matter who you pick to council you on imaginary beings?

Seems like believing in any form of Great Wombat in the Sky should disqualify you from running America.

Unless your goal is to turn the whole country into a global joke, of course.

Mission Accomplished.

alphie   ·  March 17, 2008 3:29 AM

The essential part of Obama's relationship with Wright and the church where Wright is pastor is that Obama has chosen to have the relationship and a member's relationship with a church is customarily considered by most people to be a fundamental aspect of the member's belief system.

Or are we to think Obama's association with this church is casual and mostly meaningless? Horrors, political expediency as usual.

Bob Thompson   ·  March 17, 2008 8:19 AM

I am reminded of the crack from William F. Buckley:

“I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”
I can think of at least two reasons why there seems to be much more emphasis on relations than on actual content this election. First is that Obama, as a previously not very well-known politician with a good chance to win a major party’s Presidential nomination, he is going to get some scrutiny regarding his friends and associates, simply because the public has no track record on his friends and associates. The public already knows about the friends and associates of Dubya, Hillary, and Ted Kennedy, for example. A second reason for the emphasis on relations is because much of the time Obama has spoken platitudes instead of concrete policy proposals. CHANGE. As if the CHANGES that Code Pink, Joe Six Pack, Osama Bin Laden, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Modern Language Association want were all the same!

Obama has not pulled his platitudes and “all things to all people” approach out of the hat. Here is an excerpt from an article on Obama in law school.

“ Surrounded by students who enjoyed the sound of their own voices, Mr. Obama cast himself as an eager listener, sometimes giving warring classmates the impression that he agreed with all of them at once…According to Mr. Ogletree, students on each side of the debate thought he was endorsing their side. “Everyone was nodding, Oh, he agrees with me,” he said…..His speeches, delivered in the oratorical manner of a Baptist minister, were more memorable for style than substance, Mr. Mack said….In dozens of interviews, his friends said they could not remember his specific views from that era, beyond a general emphasis on diversity and social and economic justice..”
Because Obama has given little concrete evidence about who he is and what he stands for, the search is on for another way to figure out who he is: who his friends are . Remember the old saw: “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Obama is not an empty suit reading from a teleprompter, who would be lost without the teleprompter. He is an extremely skilled improvisational speaker. In law school, he developed an improvisational style, in part based on Reverend Wright’s preaching, which enabled him to tap into opposing sides, giving opposing sides the impression that Obama agreed with them. If he is an empty suit, it is because it is difficult to discern what his core beliefs are.

Gringo   ·  March 17, 2008 9:57 AM

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