[Vision2020] Plagiarized excuses

Carl Westberg carlwestberg846 at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 5 07:21:39 PDT 2004

Joan advises Doug: "That's Reverend Banshee to you, Pastor."  Actually, I'm 
rather flattered to be called a Banshee by Doug Wilson.  Darby O'Gill and 
the Little People is one of my favorite movies.  Scared the heck out of me 
when I was a kid.  I kind of like to think Doug's comparing me to the young 
Sean Connery.                                                                
                                                          Carl Westberg Jr.

>From: "Joan Opyr" <auntiestablishment at hotmail.com>
>To: "Vision2020 Moscow" <vision2020 at moscow.com>
>Subject: [Vision2020] Plagiarized excuses
>Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 21:13:11 -0700
>Posted today (August 4th, 2004) on Doug Wilson's weblog, www.dougwils.com:
>Plagiarism, Aye
>Topic: General Ruminations
>As some may recall, a booklet that I cowrote with Steve Wilkins entitled 
>Southern Slavery As It Was was at the center of quite a hubbub last 
>February. What some may not realize is that Canon Press pulled the title 
>from their inventory around the time of that controversy. This was not 
>because we were at all embarrassed by the thesis of the booklet, but rather 
>because someone had informed us that there were some real problems with the 
>citations and footnotes. We pulled the booklet immediately, revised it, and 
>it is now awaiting republication in its new and refurbished condition. I am 
>posting this now because some of our local Banshees have got wind of all 
>this and have raised the cry of Plagiarism (between intermittent sobs of 
>I have pasted below a couple of quotations. The first is from a footnote in 
>the revised edition, which is forthcoming. I have deleted the gentleman's 
>name because I do not want to be one who associates him in any way with the 
>caliber of discussion on the likes of Venom 20/20. The second quotation is 
>from a letter of mine some months ago to interested third parties. The 
>upshot is "sloppiness, yes, plagiarism, no."
> >From the footnote:
>"In fact, we would like to publicly thank Dr. _________________, a gracious 
>Christian scholar (who differs with us enthusiastically), for alerting us 
>to some grotesque mistakes in the footnoting of our first edition."
> >From the letter:
>"This was a competence issue, but I believe the problem was primarily in 
>the area of editing and electronic transfers, etc. and not in the area of 
>thinking that Lincoln did a lot of bad things to the Constitution. But 
>whatever kind of problem it was, nostra maxima culpa, and it has been dealt 
>with. My deep thanks to Dr. ___________________ for catching this."
>These quotations above are provided for those who are interested in 
>reasonable explanations rendered by reasonable people.
>But for those who are on heap big warpath, regardless of the facts, I do 
>have a few rhetorical questions for them. First, if there is no such thing 
>as fixed truth, what could possibly be the problem with plagiarism? I 
>believe plagiarism is a sin, but of course, I believe there is such a thing 
>as sin. Second, if there is a problem with plagiarism anyway, despite your 
>ethical relativism, then are you willing to apply all your current rhetoric 
>to the doctoral dissertation of Martin Luther King, Jr.? If not, then why 
>not? Or perhaps is your outrage selective? Third, am I to feel honored 
>because these charges are being made by Dr. Nick Gier, a man whose 
>scholarship I have personally encountered? And last, rounding things out, 
>do you really think that any of these current tactics are going to get me 
>to back down? Do you not know that I have heeded the exhortations of Tom 
>Dear Visionaries,
>After reading this pathetic assemblage of lame excuses and "Hey, look 
>behind you" attempts at misdirection, I'm afraid I'm just not in the mood 
>for Tom Petty.  Give me the Ramones; I wanna be sedated.
>I taught freshman composition for a number of years, and I've heard better 
>dodges than these from drunken fraternity boys.  It is no defense for Doug 
>to point at Martin Luther King's plagiarism and declare that because King 
>did it, too, Doug's own intellectual thievery doesn't matter.  Please.  The 
>cat has no right to barf on the sofa just because the dog took a dump on 
>the rug.
>Come on, Doug -- you can do better than this.  And if you can't, then I 
>suggest you start plagiarizing your excuses, as well.  Try cribbing from 
>Jake Blues in this classic scene from The Blues Brothers:
>Jake: Oh please don't kill us.  Please, please don't kill us.  You know I 
>love you baby, I wouldn't leave you.  It wasn't my fault.
>Carrie Fisher: You miserable slug.  You think you can talk your way out of 
>this?  You betrayed me.
>Jake: No, I didn't.  Honest.  I ran out of gas.  I had a flat tire.  I 
>didn't have enough money for cab fare.  My tux didn't come back from the 
>cleaners.  An old friend came in from out of town.  Someone stole my car.  
>There was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locusts.  It wasn't my fault!  I 
>swear to God!
>Carrie Fisher: Oh Jake, Jake, honey.
>See?  Works every time.
>Joan Opyr/Auntie Establishment
>PS: That's Reverend Banshee to you, Pastor.
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