Monday, June 11, 2007

Personal Aside: Excuse Some Technical Difficulties the Last Few Days, Folks…Ah, Note the Deft Parsing on Pfleger and the Philosophy of Pyrrho.


Excuse Us.

You know what technical difficulties are. They’re bugs which get into the machinery in every business…including the Internet. My bosom buddy Jake has fixed them up now and we’re ready to go ahead.

Sorry for the delay.

Deft Parsing.

To some of us who are not philosophy Ph.D’s, the statement issued by Superior street regarding Fr. Michael Pfleger looked like a rebuke. That was at first blush. On re-reading, not so.

Parse it as the writer obviously did and it goes like this:

1. Some report Fr. Pfleger said such and so.
2. Saying such and so is wrong.
3. It is up to the police to decide if he said such and so.

It is a brilliant example of skeptic philosophy. The Stoics and Epicureans laid down certain theoretical principles from which they deduced canons of conduct, always keeping in view their aim to make people happy. Essentially it takes after the teaching of Pyrrho, the chief Skeptic, who argued: (1) Real things are neither beautiful nor ugly, large of small. (2) We have no right to say they are the one as we have to say they are the other.

Ergo in this case: The fact that an audio and video tape was made of the remarks does not establish authenticity. It is up to the police to make the judgment.

In contrast, the recording of Fr. Pfleger shows him saying that the gun shop owner will be dragged out of his shop like a rat…and we “snuff you out.”

Here is what a partial transcript showing the threatening words from May 31:

“John Riggio! R-i-g-g-i-o! We’re going to find you and snuff you out! You can’t keep hiding because you’re afraid! Obviously you know you’re doing something wrong [sic]. Like a rat, you’re going to hide because you know you’ve got to hide [sic]. Like a rat you’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out! We are not going to allow you to hide when we’re here!”

Consider now if the speaker was a priest or minister shouting in front of an abortion clinic. “We’re going to find you and snuff you out!” Do you think the print media would refrain from publishing the original death threat? The “Chicago Tribune” or the “Sun-Times?” Or the “Herald?” Or the “Southtown”?

Pfleger’s own website explains: It says the media were there and they don’t construe “snuff out” as a death threat. That again is skepticism: forego all theoretical inquiry and disclaim all certainty of knowledge. They were on hand, saw and heard Pfleger but did not construe “snuff out” as a threat of murder. That tells you all you need to know about the media, does it not? Twisting themselves into pretzel form to pass up “snuff you out.” And then reporting without giving an opposing view Pfleger’s explanation that he doesn’t know “snuff you out” means murder in Chicago parlance.

Then, yesterday in the “Tribune,” on the front page a long disquisition about “hate crime” with no mention of Pfleger’s shout. If this isn’t the teaching of Pyrrho…that there is no verifiable certainty…I don’t know what is. You were there, you heard it, you heard the recording of it but it is inconclusive as to whether there was a death threat…because in the church of liberaldom gun control is the apparent good…in whatever form. It doesn’t matter that there is already stringent gun control; there must be more. It doesn’t matter that a priest issues a death threat; he is justified under relativism to threaten murder in order to preempt further murders.

Of course, if a conservative priest or minister threatened an abortion clinic owner with being snuffed out, the media would report it as a death threat. Of course…and they should. But the hypocrisy comes when a media favorite, radical priest Pfleger, standing next to another media favorite, Rev. Jesse Jackson lets his anger get away from him. The print media refuses to publish the story…until the Sun-Times caves after 48 hours and publishes the Cardinal’s statement. Nothing from the “Tribune” yet. The editorial board is obviously determined to believe ala Pyrrho that truth is what you want to believe.

The Pfleger Moment is the most dramatic proof that most of the liberal print media in Chicago have an agenda that not just shades the news but holds it back.

Now you can help me. The other night on Channel 7 there was a panel discussion on gun control…with Ron Magers hosting, Cheryl Burton participating and Fr. Michael Pfleger one of the panelists. I missed it. If any of you saw it, tell me if the Pfleger shout at the owner of the gun shop was brought up. Or if you would by chance have a tape, I’m interested.


  1. There is a link at channel 7's website. Try

  2. No, they did not bring up the "snuff" remark. It was a gathering of socialists and bureaucrats convincing themselves that if they only had more money for more programs...and, of course, could only export Chicago-style "gun control" to the rest of the country...

    I posted about that here, including a link to the program:

  3. I've heard Pfleger claim to be pro-life. He should prove it by protesting in front of abortion clinics as often and as passionately as he protests in front of gun shops.