Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"One From the Vault" Dept.

As today would have been Chris DiSomma's 46th birthday, it seems appropriate to mark it with the following flashback to the archives of this weblog from 2008...

Chris was a special case for me though due to a variety of reasons -the closeness of our tie for one and the way in which our lives played out for another. I could say more but will instead note the previous threads below for your perusal if interested. And while each has some different material in it than the others, the thread from 2005 is the most complete of the threads -encapsulating some of my remembrances of him when he was alive and also though the passing of time has helped somewhat with regrets that in some form or another I will probably always have. Without further ado...

Let these threads serve as a cautionary tale for those who put off tomorrow what they could do today so far as reconciliations go with others. Oh and rest in peace amigo until we (hopefully) meet again in a much better place!!! [Excerpts from Rerum Novarum (circa May 25, 2008)]

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"Seattle is losing its reputation as a progressive city with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Instead, we are increasingly being viewed as a city with a heavy regulatory hand that is run by narrow-minded activists and a hypocritical and out of touch ruling bureaucratic city government." [Former Starbucks Executive Howard Behar (circa June 12, 2016)]

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Starbucks Is About To Woke Their Way Out Of Business

Its time for me to set up a craps table at my local Starbucks!

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Instead of a jobs tax, credit business for helping the homeless

This is an Op-Ed written by three Seattle area business owners/operators. What do they know about job creation? :::rolls eyes:::

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Friday, May 18, 2018

On Twitter, Weblog Formatting, and A New Subtag:

Twitter first launched to the public if my sources are right in the summer of 2006. I became aware of the phenomenon in 2007 but only launched my own twitter account in December of 2009 roughly around the time that this weblog was suspended in perpetuity.{1}Upon my return to blogging last year{2}, I on occasion made use of material from Twitter{3}or referenced the latter in postings but have never specified any weblog tags for such occasions be they primary{4} or secondary{5} in nature.

For better or worse, Twitter has become a pervasive force for communication and with a president who makes particular use of it{6}, it seems appropriate to me to subtag Twitter themed threads. So with my prior posting, I created just such a subtag for that posting as well as for use on any material posted subsequent{7}to it where applicable.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} Notification of Suspension (circa December 19, 2009)

{2} Notification of An Intended Return to Blogging (circa April 4, 2017)

{3} The only examples I am offhand aware of besides the present thread are the ones located HERE, HERE, and most recently HERE. Thus far, I have not blogged any Twitter material from my own account.

{4} Basically, every posting has some kind of primary post tag on it and the purpose of this is to insure that posts can be categorized without overlapping when it comes to primary descriptive tags. The secondary tags are simply a further notation of particular features to the post itself and in this area, overlap is basically a given. This format makes it so I do not have to do the sorts of arduous weblog updates anymore that were standard on this weblog from its founding through the last day of 2006: both lack of time as well as a desire to not do that anymore contributed to the post tagging approach we undertook last year even if it has been tweaked in minor ways since then. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 4, 2008)]

{5} I remember when the tagging feature was first made available on this platform roughly ten years ago and I set out in piecemeal fashion creating various tags for this weblog to better categorize posts for easier access and perusal by pertinent subject matter. As is my wont with rough drafts be they in writing or otherwise, the tags initially were longer and I ran into space limits. I noted this not long after posting the first thread on these matters with an expository musing detailing an even further expansion on the tagging method including the distinction between major[...] and minor tags. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 21, 2017)]

{6} This factor as well as the thought that I may use more Twitter material here over time are two notable factors that drove the present formatting decision. Even though I used the Facebook medium far more between the suspension of this weblog to the present day than I have Twitter, I have no intentions of making a similar subtag for Facebook material. This is in part because material here has often been duplicated there or material there near-duplicated here. I also simply have no interest in doing so at this time.

{7} I then did a few searches and retroactively sub-tagged the applicable postings I could find going back to April of 2017.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Area Man‏ 

Q: What do you think of MS-13 [gang with the motto "Kill, Rape, Control]?
Trump: They aren't people. They are animals!
Journolisters: Trump says immigrants aren't people!
So Journolisters think all immigrants are here to kill, rape, and control. Got it.

3:52 AM - 17 May 2018

Trump says enough batcrap on his own, go there if you want something rather than this kind of flat out lie.
Mark my words: this sort of msm blatant misrepresentation will get Trump re-elected if they keep it up.

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Hillary Clinton takes bitterness on world tour

I was going to comment on this article myself but this paragraph from the article says it all really...

Like a boxer who doesn’t know when to leave the ring, Hillary Clinton is a two-time political loser who hasn’t gotten the message she is unlikeable and unelectable. She would do herself and the country (not to mention the Democratic Party) a favor by retiring and leaving the scene of her political accident.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Seattle’s Mayor And City Council May Have Reached An Agreement On A Slightly Lower ‘Head Tax’

"I will take 'things to drive more businesses out of Seattle' for $1000, Alex!"

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ISIS terror chief who burned Jordanian pilot to death in chilling 2015 execution video is captured in Iraq

Hope he has plenty of sunblock.

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North Korea expands threat to cancel Trump-Kim summit, saying it won’t be pushed to abandon its nukes

This is why its never wise to spike the ball when you are nowhere near the endzone.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

On Good Apologists:
(Aka "Rare As Hen's Teeth" Dept.)

[Prefatory Note: I was cleaning out the draft folder a bit at this humble weblog and ran across this material which was prepared as a post back in December of 2007 but from what I can discern was never actually blogged. I am not sure why that is offhand but as the person I was corresponding with at the time was both my favourite Catholic apologist and has since passed on from this earth, posting it at this time gives me the opportunity to remember an old friend. The material here is posted substantially as prepared more than a decade ago except for the final words in purple font below. -SM 5/14/18]

The following was taken from a discussion list thread.

Someone asked me if Bob Klaus left Catholic Legate and I said I didn't know. Bob? Bueller?

I hope not. Much as apologists in general have ticked me off as of late, Bueller...I mean Bob is one of those I believe does it right and the Legate would be dimished if he left it.

That is kind of you to say, Shawn. I appreciate it.

No problemo amigo.

Unfortunately, unless I won the Powerball tonight I still need to earn a living -- which means I have a limited amount of time to work "my hobby" -- and hence I cannot work the Legate and Christian Forums at the same time.

Frankly Bob, that is probably a good thing that it is not your job the way it is with not a few whom I shall not mention. But for those who do make $$$ off of it, there is the at least implicit need to stir the pot and create controversy because that is what people react to. Well, that and the "if you do not send what you can, my kids and wife will starve" kind of letters. When there is no financial concern, the problem of being compromised is a lot less as is the temptation to put oneself in that position.

At Christian Forums I can directly and indirectly impact thousands of people at any given moment...and I enjoy the personal give and take with the people I deal with daily.

Give and take is fine. The problem I have with a lot of the apologists is that they are illogical. They base the veracity of a particular argument or position not on its intrinsic merits or lack thereof but instead on who says it as if that is the determining factor.

I see real-live conversions on a regular basis...this ministry is totally unlike any other I have experienced. We actually have a large area set aside for Catholics and Prots allowed. And they have their set-aside areas havens for all people of good will. It is "message boards" done right...and it's about time. As of today the board has had over 30 million posts since its inception a few years ago.

Sounds like the kind of message board I could actually participate in perhaps -at least on occasion. What is the address of the place out of curiosity?


Frankly Bob, that is probably a good thing that it is not your job the way it is with not a few whom I shall not mention. But for those who do make $$$ off of it, there is the at least implicit need to stir the pot and create controversy because that is what people react to. Well, that and the "if you do not send what you can, my kids and wife will starve" kind of letters. When there is no financial concern, the problem of being compromised is a lot less as is the temptation to put oneself in that position.

That is why I said "win the powerball" - if I was independently wealthy and didn't depend on speaking fees and selling books (and gaining donations) for a living...then I could devote myself to my hobby full time instead of only part-time.

I have ZERO interest in becoming a "professional" apologist...for all the reasons you and I have discussed many times.

Give and take is fine. The problem I have with a lot of the apologists is that they are illogical. They base the veracity of a particular argument or position not on its intrinsic merits or lack thereof but instead on who says it as if that is the determining factor.

That's very true...and it is no different on our board in the apologetical forums. The thing about our board is that there are a few hundred individual forums (like rooms) each with its own purposes. And some of them are apologetical in nature -- most of them are not. Some are for Christians only - others are for anyone to post in.

There are plenty of bad apologists in the apologetical forums. However, there are many rooms within the website that allows for Christian and/or Catholic fellowship and catechesis, etc...

What I like is the large number of seekers who come into our area (called OBOB - which means One Bread One Body). There are several RCIA candidates and catechumens who participate and ask questions...which can be scary once you learn some of the poor catechesis many of them are receiving in their parishes.

Sounds like the kind of message board I could actually participate in perhaps. What is the address of the place out of curiosity?

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Met What?

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Points to Ponder:

"The Pope is the guardian of dogma and of morals; he is the custodian of the principles that make families sound, nations great, souls holy; he is the counsellor of princes and of peoples; he is the head under whom no one feels tyrannized because he represents God Himself; he is the supreme father who unites in himself all that may exist that is loving, tender, divine...

When one loves a person, one tries to adhere in everything to his thoughts, to fulfill his will, to perform his wishes. And if Our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, 'si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit,' [if any one love me, he will keep my word - Jn xiv, 23] therefore, in order to demonstrate our love for the Pope, it is necessary to obey him.

Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed; when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents; we do not place his orders in doubt...

[I] deplore...the conduct of so many...who not only allow themselves to debate and criticize the wishes of the Pope, but are not embarrassed to reach shameless and blatant disobedience, with so much scandal for the good and with so great damage to souls." [Pope Saint Pius X: Allocution (circa November 18, 1912)]


To Protect Free Speech We Must Demand This Professor Be Fired

To quote the most salient passages from this article:

"...I believe in free speech. I also believe in reciprocity. If conservatives are being shut down by de facto university actions–when the Federalist Society’s Josh Blackman lecture on, oddly enough, free speech was shut down, the dean of the CUNY law school said that demonstrations to stop a lecture were protected speech–then it is suicidal to go along with this lemming-like devotion to free speech. If free speech is transactional, I don’t have a problem playing that game...

We are not engaged in a war of ideas where we debate over a glass of chilled pinot grigio. We are engaged in a fight for freedom of speech and freedom of conscience with people who openly admit they are trying to deprive us of those rights. How is me supporting the right of this bloated bolshevik to say whatever she wants going to help guys like Josh Blackman, and Ben Shapiro, talk about conservative ideas? It won’t. In fact, it will just make the job harder as we’re fighting for get-out-of-jail-free cards for these 'people' while they are classifying us as Nazis. Why in the name of heaven would I line up to march silently into the gas chambers based on some abstract principle that, apparently, only my side is bound by? Not. Going. To. Happen.

No. I want this noxious troll fired. No. I will not support her right to say whatever she wants to. And no, none of this means that I don’t support free speech, it just means that I believe in social compacts and my support of your rights is directly linked to your support of mine." 

If you had asked me back during this weblog's original run, I would have taken the classic stance of conservatives to stand up for free speech even if I do not like said speech. I still in principle have that view but the political and social realities have changed so dramatically the last decade or so{1} that I have come to the same view as the above writer at least in a macro sense.  I can no longer however stand for the right of those who quite evidently would try and take the same rights from me. While not a complete left field development insofar as I have long recognized this principle in other areas{2}, it is the first to my knowledge explicit application of it to the principle of free speech in general.

And while I may write more on this in the future, at the moment, that is all I plan to say on the present issue in question.


{1} And while the degree of concurrence of my current views with past views across the general spectrum of outlooks has remained remarkably consistent; I would be remiss in not noting there have been a few changes: the most significant of which can be read here in a recent posting on the subject of immigration.

{2} For example, my stance on the Israeli-Palestinian discussion. I am no huge booster of Israel but I have long said I do not accept the validity of dialogue on their part with Palestinians because you cannot dialogue legitimately with those who operate from the presupposition that you should not exist and they would exterminate you if given the opportunity. In essence, I have expanded my principled  stance on this matter to the subject of free speech in general out of logistical survival one might say. Now, I will  it only not support the right of such persons to speak but I will actively advocate for their silencing until such time as they can reciprocate in the area of free speech where I am concerned. Bottom line: if you stand for free speech, do not think

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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Obama Killed His Own Iran Deal

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Friday, May 04, 2018

On Cobra Kai -My Thoughts Through Seven Episodes...

Cobra Kai is a homage in part to the original movies but the characters themselves are grown up and facing new challenges. Johnny's life has spiraled down since the pivotal crane kick while Daniel's has dramatically improved. There are all kinds of callbacks to the series either directly or in a sense of irony. At times I have seen through the first seven episodes thus far Daniel reflecting various characters of the first movies perhaps unconsciously (i.e. Kreese and Johnny from the first movie, Myagi's rival Sato from the second movie, etc) albeit in ways not perceivable to him. (He also comes off like Myagi in other contexts.) Meanwhile, Johnny is in the role of the underdog in this one and you see sides to him that you did not see previously including some back story that rounds out the character in ways you did not realize previously. Someone once did a video series on how Daniel was the real bully of the original movie and while I think that hypothesis is a stretch, its not entirely without merit and it seems the writers of this series went into this with that series hypothesis in mind at least in part.

Cobra Kai is not one of those later series specials they do of so many hit shows or movies which absolutely misses the point or does not have the magic of the original. This series echoes the magic of the original in spots, has flashbacks at key points, new character information one was not aware of which fleshes things out a bit. There are also new characters who have prominent roles in the series such as the bullied kid Johnny mentors, Daniel's family, Johnny's estranged son, etc. And of course the return of Cobra Kai and there is karate but like the Rocky films and boxing, the karate in the Karate Kid series has always been in a certain sense a secondary vehicle of sorts that teaches more valuable lessons than it would appear on the surface. I look forward to watching the last three episodes of the season tonight and hope they film a season two.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

While waiting for the Jaded Politics publication of my latest article on the Alfie Evans situation, he tragically died due to the NHS starving him to death. I went back and made revisions to the piece slated for publication to reflect that and also made the same changes to the duplicate text already at the Musings From Exile weblog. The revised version can be read HERE.

Rest in Peace Alfie!

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Friday, April 27, 2018

My latest contribution to the Jaded Politics project courtesy of the Musings From Exile weblog{1} can be read HERE.


{1} "I link to the Musings From Exile weblog version so I do not trigger a trackback to it on the main page; thereby ensuring that I keep Rerum Novarum separate from that project." [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 8, 2017)]

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Monday, April 23, 2018

CNN Reporter in North Korea Left ‘Speechless’ By Nuclear Announcement: ‘Huge Win For President Trump’

It has to be said in the interest of fairness: from all appearances thus far, this is a significant foreign policy triumph for President Donald Trump!

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

My latest contribution to the Jaded Politics project courtesy of the Musings From Exile weblog{1} can be read HERE. Its substantially the same as an earlier posting to this humble weblog{2}, just fleshed out a tad more and with some pictures.


{1} "I link to the Musings From Exile weblog version so I do not trigger a trackback to it on the main page; thereby ensuring that I keep Rerum Novarum separate from that project." [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 8, 2017)]

{2} A Dialogue on Conservative Republican Hypocrisy (circa April 3, 2018)

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Six days to go… Seahawks predictions & thoughts

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Bruno Sammartino documentary will air on WWE Network after Monday Night Raw next week

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"Often times, when we feel like we can't do something that we want or need to do, all the factors are in place, but we come across a roadblock. The roadblock is telling us that we can't, shouldn't, or will not. The roadblock is our mind and our mind is establishing our limits. It's up to us where we set it. Next time you listen to your mind telling you that you can't or don't have the skills, talent, or will to make it happen, it's up to you to set your limit to be greater than or less than what your mind is telling you." [Bronson Nair]


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"Subsidies & price fixing are natural follow-ups to a tariff war. Soon Trump will announce a five-year grain plan and pose for posters with patriotic farmers." [Garry Kasparov]

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In Response To Growing Number Of Fistfights, London Mayor Bans Hands


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"One From the Vault" Dept.
(Revisiting An Old False Dichotomy)

[Prefatory Disclaimer: The material below was first published over fifteen years ago in a third revision to a longer piece I wrote a few years previously. As I have again seen the false dichotomy presented as of late, it seems appropriate to revisit the material below excerpted from its original source and tweak it a bit to be republished independently on this humble weblog at the present time. -SM]

The "Dogmatic/Pastoral" Artificial Dichotomy:

There is some truth to the assertion that the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council was "predominantly pastoral in character" but the dichotomy made between "dogmatic" and "pastoral" - as if something "pastoral" is automatically not "dogmatic" in any sense whatsoever -  is frankly a facile one. It has no support whatsoever from the Magisterium of the Church and therefore it should not be handled with the kind of smug certainty that many so-called 'traditionalists' like to utilize it. At the very least, it seems to this writer that "pastoral" and "dogmatic" as concepts should not be interpreted in a vacuum. Instead, the meaning of the expressions should be sought in light of the way pastoral theology and dogmatic theology respectively are viewed. The following quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia article Pastoral Theology defines this concept as it applies to theology in general:
Pastoral theology is a branch of practical theology; it is essentially a practical science. All branches of theology, whether theoretical or practical, purpose in one way or another to make priests "the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" (I Cor., iv, 1). Pastoral theology presupposes other various branches; accepts the apologetic, dogmatic, exegetic, moral, juridical, ascetical, liturgical, and other conclusions reached by the ecclesiastical student, and scientifically applies these various conclusions to the priestly ministry. [1]
Before delving into all that pastoral theology entails, a look at how it differs from dogmatic and other fields of theology would be in order as well:
Dogmatic theology establishes the Church as the depository of revealed truth and systematizes the deposit of faith which Christ entrusted to His Church to hand down to all generations; pastoral theology teaches the priest his part in this work of Catholic and Christian tradition of revealed truth. Moral theology explains the laws of God and of the Church, the means of grace and hindrances thereto; pastoral theology teaches the practical bearing of these laws, means, and hindrances upon the daily life of the priest, alone and in touch with his people. Canon law collects, correlates, and co-ordinates the laws of the Church; pastoral theology applies those laws to the care of souls. In brief, pastoral theology begins, where the other theological sciences leave off; takes the results of them all and makes these results effective for the salvation of souls through the ministry of the priesthood established by Christ. [2]
In "presuppos[ing] the fields of apologetic, dogmatic, moral, juridical, and other fields of study in its applications to the care of souls", pastoral theology would not be divorced from the other sciences. (Indeed to some extent it would rely on them.) Hence one could accurately say that pastoral theology is indirectly concerned with dogmatic theology as well as moral theology and juridical theology (canon law). Transposing these distinctions onto the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council by corollary extension, it could be logically asserted that a Council that was "predominantly pastoral in character" would nonetheless have an indirect foundation in dogmatics; consequently a "pastoral council" would be "indirectly dogmatic" and presupposing the foundation of dogmatic theology in its pronouncements. (Which by asserting that the Council unlike previous Councils was not "directly dogmatic" is precisely what Pope Paul noted in several general audience speeches in the final thirteen years of his reign.)

By contrast, most of the earlier ecumenical councils were "predominantly dogmatic" but that did not detract from the fact that most of them also issued canons of disciplinary import as well. The distinction would be that most of the earlier councils were called to resolve a doctrinal crisis and disciplinary issues were an addendum issue if they were treated on at all. (Councils such as Constantinople II and III did not treat on disciplinary matters at all whereas by contrast of the five Lateran councils only the fourth was not predominantly concerned with matters of discipline.)

With the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, it was called not to address any one point of doctrine but instead to address the application of all Church doctrine to more effectively meet the conditions of the modern age. In the process, (i) previous dogmas of the faith would be reaffirmed, (ii) previously declared doctrines reasserted and perhaps developed a bit further, and (iii) theological controversies which touched on matters closely joined to dogma would be settled. Further still, (iv) doctrine would be developed to meet the needs of the age in certain parameters, (v) the disciplinary code would be revised, and (vi) the overarching approach in all areas would lean more to doctrinal exposition and its application then to dogmatic formulations. The tools used for this process would mirror those used in pastoral theology and include the following:
Tradition and the Holy Bible...are the first sources of pastoral theology. As evidence of Tradition the decrees of general councils are of the highest moment. Next come pontifical [documents]; decrees of Roman Congregations...the various sources of dogmatic and moral theology and of canon law, in so far as they bear directly or indirectly upon the care of souls. Decrees of various provincial councils and diocesan synods together with pastoral letters of archbishops and bishops are also among the sources whence pastoral theology draws. [3]
If one reads the index of every document from the Second Vatican Council, they will see copious references to Sacred Scripture. There are also numerous references to the documents of the General Councils. (Particularly Vatican I and Trent but there is also more than thirty references to other ecumenical councils - particularly the councils of Florence, Nicaea, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Lateran IV, Constantinople IV, and Nicaea II.) There are also numerous references to documents from the papal magisterium - particularly Pius XII, Pius XI, John XXIII, and Leo XIII - along with various other papal pronouncements. (Such as Allocutions and Radio/General Addresses.) Included in this mosaic are references to the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church among other sources. Finally, the use was also made of documents from plenary councils which had received papal approbation, decrees from the Roman Congregations, etc.
Consistent with the understanding of "pastoral" in theology, the Second Vatican Council certainly meets the criteria in its usage of sources spanning the dogmatic, moral, and other fields of study. As far as the dependence of pastoral theology on dogmatic theology, the Catholic Encyclopedia article Dogmatic Theology had this to say about the correlation:
Pastoral theology, which embraces liturgy, homiletics, and catechetics, proceeded from, and bears close relationship to, moral theology; its dependence on dogmatic theology needs, therefore, no further proof. [4]
And just as "no further proof" is needed to demonstrate the dependence of pastoral theology on dogmatic theology, there is no further proof needed to refute the facile dichotomy of "pastoral" and "dogmatic" when it comes to Vatican II when compared with most of the previous ecumenical councils. It suffices to say that most previous councils were directly dogmatic and indirectly pastoral whereas with Vatican II the converse was the case. But it does not suffice to say that the predominantly pastoral character of the Second Vatican Council precluded any active dogmatic elements at all and (as a consequence) any formal infallibility.


[1] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article Pastoral Theology (c. 1913)

[2] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article Pastoral Theology (c. 1913)

[3] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article Pastoral Theology (c. 1913)

[4] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article Dogmatic Theology (c. 1913)

Additional Notes:

The citations from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) article Pastoral Theology were obtained at the following link:

The citation from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) article Dogmatic Theology was obtained at the following link:

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“Local Control” Must Not Be a Weapon Against Individual Rights

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My only criticism of the Scooter Libby pardon is timing and the sense that its being done now as a distraction from something else.

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Trump To Larry Kudlow: Go Take A Look At The U.S. Maybe Rejoining TPP

President Trump called TPP a "rape of America." I guess by his lights he buys into Todd Akin's concept of "legitimate rape."

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Not an apologetic for Pope Francis or Gaudete et Exsultate.

I find it amusing that the Apostle Paul and church fathers like Jerome hurled more invective than Pope Francis does but those who whine about the latter do not seem to have a problem with the former.

Is it perhaps because as much as these folks love papal condemnations of things they do not like and papal condemnations aimed at other folks, they have a problem when they are the target or something they like is on the receiving end of a chastisement?

I am reminded of what St John of the Cross said once about these sorts of spiritual gluttons:

"You will find that many of these persons are very insistent with their spiritual masters to be granted that which they desire, extracting it from them almost by force; if they be refused it they become as peevish as children and go about in great displeasure, thinking that they are not serving God when they are not allowed to do that which they would. For they go about clinging to their own will and pleasure, which they treat as though it came from God; and immediately their directors take it from them, and try to subject them to the will of God, they become peevish, faint-hearted, and fall away. These persons think that their own satisfaction and pleasure are the satisfaction and service of God."

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“Local Control” Must Not Be a Weapon Against Individual Rights

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018


A tip for #AlwaysTrump folks: if the president does or says something that you whined and complained about when Mr. Obama did or said it, have the guts to condemn the same stuff now unless you want to be viewed as a unprincipled hypocrite...

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A tip for #NeverTrump folks: if you support a position or policy but cannot give President Trump credit if he supports and/or seeks to implement *the same position or policy you support*, then you damage your own credibility.

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Monday, April 09, 2018

Pope Francis' new Apostolic Exhortation In Gaudette ex Exultate

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I am amused in equal measure by those from #TeamRed who insist the president is innocent and there's nothing to the special prosecutor stuff and those from #TeamBlue who think every story that comes out on that stuff means "Muller is closer to arresting Trump."

Anything to sustain the particular gimmick desired it seems!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

On the One Year Anniversary of My Return to Blogging:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It may have seemed counter-intuitive to have returned to blogging after this medium more or less faded from general importance with the rise of more interactive social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But as helpful as those features can be; at the same time, a growing concern for censorship and other factors led me to consider taking this weblog out of mothballs and using it again. Or as I said a year ago today:

Though it has been pondered a bit in sundry times and in divers occasions to return to blogging, I could not find the motivation to do so apart from one specific circumstance a few years ago.[...] However, the motivation previously lacking has been found now with my planned involvement in an extensive writing project that I may touch on a bit here and there if I feel so inclined to.

While I will mainly be blogging on a new weblog that I have set up for that purpose[...], it is also likely that I will resume blogging here as well on subjects that will not be germane to the subjects to be written on there. However, upon resuming blogging at this humble weblog, I will not have any set schedule for it as I did in years past where I sought to blog on this humble weblog at certain self-prescribed intervals of output.

Anyway, that is all for now until further notice. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 4, 2017)]

As for the project I have been involved in intermittently, it is one where I write pieces here and there with no set schedule. While it is in some form of existence at least, I will continue to dabble from time to time on this humble weblog.

Coming up in the following month are a few pieces which I finished last year and which will treat on an issue of controversy. As those who followed this weblog in years past know, I am no stranger to wading into controversial matters and I am sure as with some issues in the past, this one will sever more ties as some prior ones have.{1} But as with everything, if I think something has to be said, it will be said and there are unfortunately not a few folks who cannot deal with anything that disrupts their chosen narratives in various and sundry areas of study or thought. But that is neither here nor there.

In short, this weblog will remain in somewhat regular use more along the lines of how it has been over the past year with fewer long drawn out pieces compared to the way things were in their heyday here. Some of those longer threads from years past will be revisited either in abridged or other forms where warranted or if I feel inclined to as the lions share of what I have written on here in years past was intentionally done with both contemporary as well as more timeless threads to it.

On and before concluding the thread you are reading, it seems appropriate to remind people of what my combox thread policy is here and why I have it so this reminder thread from roughly a year ago suffices to do that. So with that reminder in conclusion, onward and upward we go here at Rerum Novarum{2} in some form or another!


{1} To list one such prominent matter from years past:

Commemorating A Controversial Anniversary (circa August 17, 2017)
{2} I am considering the possibility of retaining a long term interest in blogging again of perhaps changing formats and even weblog names. Only time will tell if those ideas come to fruition or not however.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

A Dialogue on Conservative Republican Hypocrisy:

My words will be in regular font.

Eugene Craig 

2014-2017 Black Lives Matter: Law enforcement is tainted and biased

GOP: No it's not and Blue lives matter

GOP: Release the memo. Law enforcement is tainted. Protect POTUS

BLM: Oh now that you are the victim its tainted. * inserts side-eye*

One small difference, those clamoring to release the memos aren’t calling for and perpetuating violence. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the release of the memos, any suggestion that is even remotely equal to the racist thugs of BLM is beyond disgusting! 

Wanna talk about what is truly beyond disgusting? 

[H]ow do we know that is even true? 

Practice some due diligence.

Who’s even heard of The Root? 

Just because you have not heard of a source does not ipso facto make said source an erroneous one.

For all we know, it could be a Fake News site. 

Merely dismissing a source without reading it is as a rule{1} not a very responsible thing to do. If you check closely, among the sources cited is the Baltimore Sun:

I suppose they are Fake News too?

Also cited are the New York Daily News, the Times Union, and NBC News. More Fake News I suppose because they do not fit the squawk radio narrative on these things? 

those cops in the Freddie Gray case, who were rightly acquitted, under the bus

Yes I know, #CopsDoNoWrong as far as some conservatives are concerned. When someone dies in police custody, someone should be held responsible but police rarely are. And of course most conservatives are due to their ideological blinders unwilling or unable to admit that maybe, just maybe a movement like BLM may have within its ranks folks who have legitimate grievances. Nah, they gotta focus on the cranks and kooks and paint them as the entirety of the movement because that fits the narrative they want to believe. Strangely, I seem to recall many of the same folks who do that were livid when more liberal elements of the media did the exact same thing to the Tea Party. Oh but that's different I suppose because that was *patriots* being targeted rather than various and sundry "urban scum", right?

I have to say this anti-cop posture you have taken recently is seriously troubling.

There is nothing recent about it. I have long been ambivalent at best about law enforcement{2} with very good reasons. Beyond what I have actually seen as well as in my youth dealt with, there is also the fact that there are a LOT more dirtbags in uniform than head-in-the-sand conservative "law and order" sorts care to admit to. But when they are not on the receiving end of the corruption, conservatives do not give a shit about this stuff generally speaking. But if they are the ones in the crosshairs? Well then they squawk like stuck pigs and will not stfu about it. And truthfully, I do not have sympathy anymore for those sorts of conservatives who only make a fuss when it involves them and otherwise make excuses or shoot the messengers when it involves bad news which does not.

Not only are there more dirtbag cops than conservatives as a rule care to admit to but even cops who are not dirtbags far too often succumb to pressure not to rat out one of their brother or sister fellows in blue. As a result, things like what happened to Freddie Gray so often result in acquittals, not because the cops are innocent per se but instead because too many supposedly "good cops" refuse to cooperate or otherwise obstruct prosecution attempts of fellow officers. 

The bottom line: we need serious criminal justice, sentencing, and police reform in this country. But as long as the myth of "cops do no wrong" is perpetrated (coupled with the "well, maybe some do but its only 1% of them" nonsense), its not going to happen. But I digress.


{1} I say “as a rule” because every rule admits of exceptions. But they are reserved for sites with a demonstrated history of frequent false news reporting. Also, something is not false simply because it does not fit a person’s particular ideological template be they right or left.

{2} “When I was younger, my first car was a 1975 Dodge Dart. Mechanically it was sound but electrically not as much. One of the problems it had was lights would go out in the running boards, license plate area, tail lights (particularly on the right side as I recall), etc far more frequently than would be the norm. And I lived in near a small town where the cops basically funded the town with tickets -I think you may see where this is going. In that area and a number of other places, I was pulled over at times so frequently that even many years later and to this very day, I am at times highly uncomfortable when I see a police car behind me or alongside me in traffic.[...] I have to constantly fight the temptation to change lanes, pull into a parking lot of a place I am not going to, etc and let the cop car pass before I get back on the road. And while I do not do the latter nearly as often as I used to, I still from time to time out of long ingrained habit do it. While not the only personal experiences I have had with law enforcement officials, I posit the above to point out a psychological phenomenon that is hardly unique to myself. And I am as white as white can be!” [Excerpt from the Jaded Politics Article On Anthems, Protests, Free Speech, Hard Truths, Etc. (published December 3, 2017)]

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Prayer For Good Friday:

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Trans-Siberian Railway Nicholas II's Key Success

With this link, I am inaugurating a new subthread for this weblog titled "History" for links or material that has a historical connotation to it.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spanish court remands Catalan presidential candidate in custody

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Michael Bennett Taken into Custody on Assault Charge, Expected to Post Bond

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Rising Homelessness Among Working Californians

This is a problem in more places than just California and has been a problem for many years now.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Seahawks sign ex-Vikings DT Shamar Stephen

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Seahawks sign Tom Johnson

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Hero Policeman Traded Himself For Female Hostage, Was Killed By Terrorist

"Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." [John xv,13]


Report: Ex-Seahawk Michael Bennett indicted on felony charge

He's not a Seahawk anymore, that is all I will say on it.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Lessons from Germany’s ‘Spring Offensive,’ 100 Years Later

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Report: Seahawks agree to terms with offensive lineman D.J. Fluker

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"...Bus stop rat bag
Ha, ha, charade you are
You fucked up old hag
Ha, ha, charade you are
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass
You're nearly a good laugh
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel
You're hot stuff with a hatpin
And good fun with a hand gun
You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry..."

Video: Hillary Almost Falling On Her Face Symbolizes Failed Campaign And The Nonsense She Spewed In India

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Ted Cruz says Cambridge Analytica assured him its voter data methods were legit after Facebook leak

Ted Cruz's slimy lawyer tactics continue...

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Before you burn all your Seahawks jerseys, take a minute

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Points to Ponder:

If the 2nd Amendment does not cover semi automatics because (as the argument goes) "the Founders only had muskets and could not have foreseen semi-automatic guns", then how does the 1st Amendment (by that same logic) cover anything other than spoken public words, hand written letters, and newspapers? [Me (circa March 9, 2018)]

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

So The Democrats Have Decided To Run On Abolishing ICE

Donald Trump is not all that but his potential 2020 opponents really are a special brand of stupid if they think this is a winning presidential campaign issue!


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Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Man Who Knew Too Little

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Hillary On 2016: I Won The Places That Aren’t Looking Backwards

Gee, think #Hildabeast just helped write some GOP ads in swing states this fall?

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Thursday, March 08, 2018


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Friday, March 02, 2018


I believe that neither liberals nor conservatives as a rule{1} really believe in the full Bill of Rights.

The Amendments Liberals do not believe in:

Part of the 1st, the 2nd, the 5th (most of it anyway!), the 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th amendments.

The Amendments Conservatives do not believe in:

The 1st (apart from Citizens United!), the 4th, about half of the 5th, the 6th, the 7th, and 8th amendments.

{1} Strangely, they both agree on the 3rd and the non-self incriminating part of the 5th.

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Thursday, March 01, 2018

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH: Letter Placuit Deo To the Bishops of the Catholic Church On Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018


I will not listen to any purported "solutions" to school shootings or kvetching about lost lives from anyone who blames objects rather than people because such people are too dim to be reasoned with.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"I have come to recognize over time as I have aged (and hopefully done so with some measure of grace!) that divisions between family and friends should have a statute of limitations. Meaning, its normal to feel anger and resentment over some things but there should be some time reasonable time period you decide on that acts as a 'statute of limitations' whereby after said point, you force yourself to forgive and mend fences.

When you are younger, such a time period may be of longer duration by nature as young folks usually think or by default act as if they will more or less live forever. However, the older you get, the shorter the time frame should be. Why? Because carrying grudges only hurts the one who carries them and thus forgiveness can lead to needed healing.

I cannot recall anyone ever saying they regretted keeping a grudge but countless folks have regretted grudges when the time passes for amends to be made. So as you age (and hopefully with some degree of grace!), establish a uniform statute of limitations on any past grievances with others and shorten the time period as you grow older." [Me (circa February 27, 2017)]



If you whine about the Parkland 17 but support Planned Parenthood's slaughter of more than 17 x 50,000 annually, kindly do us all a favour and shut the f up!


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I’m Glad I Got Booed at CPAC

CPAC jumped the shark years ago Mona, that they booed you is nothing to get bothered about.

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

"Just the other day
I heard my friend say
Life was oh so bad
Love was all he had

You know all day long
I sing sad songs
Got the blues feel
Things no doctor can heal

You know thats ok
I never change my ways
Maybe I am wrong
But I'll soon be gone..."
[Ronnie Van Zant (circa 1970)]


Sunday, February 18, 2018

"One From the Vault" Dept.

The following is a flashback to the archives this weblog {1} from 2003...

"[B]y my own admission I am rather resolute about not being put in a box of any kind. The reason of course should be self-evident: that he who controls the vernacular controls the parameters of the debate. Instead, I prefer to control the vernacular myself. And if I cannot control the vernacular myself, at the very least I will not let others do so either.

For when we get down to brass tacks, all forms of engineering - be it social, philosophical, theological, political, medical, scientific, legal, or otherwise - is preceded by verbal engineering. This is why I refuse to cede to the extremists of any stripe their own choice of terminology. Instead, I refer to them as they are...

[W]hen we let counterfeit philosophies or outlooks coin their own noble terminology, we provide them with a shibboleth of their own to mindlessly parrot and/or cloak themselves in to with greater ease attempt to (and potentially succeed at) confusing the unwary. Allowing them to control the language and eventually they will control the terms of the battle...

I for my part want nothing to do with this scuffling nor will I allow others to label me - even if they attempt to do so as a kind of 'reference point' in a discussion. Again, I either control the vernacular or we relegate it to a stalemate. The moment I as a rule allow others to do so is the moment that I begin to give control of the arena to someone else. And that my friends is (i) not something I have ever done and (ii) it simply is not going to happen at any time in the future." [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 30, 2003)]


{1} In posting this thread as I have, it necessitates creating a new primary posting tag so with this posting, consider the primary posting tag Vault Flashback to be added to this weblog for the current and future postings where applicable. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 20, 2017)]

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Thursday, February 15, 2018


I am thinking at some point this year to address a couple of topics of controversy from past year in a completely different way than was previously done on this weblog or elsewhere. The only question I have is what sort of time I will have to work on them -one would be published in August if its done at all this year.

Anyway, I just wanted to note this thought I have had recently in brief here as I may refer back to it at a future point.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner." [Senator Barry Goldwater (circa 1962)]

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Buy Your Popcorn. BuzzFeed Sues The DNC Over The Trump Dossier

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Mitt Romney Will Announce His Run For Senate Thursday

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Elizabeth Warren doubles-down on claim to be Native American in speech to Native American group

Her Indian name: Sitting Bullshit!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings on Bubbles Political and Otherwise:

Though some of what I am about to say has been said on this humble weblog in the past; some of it is new information. Having noted that, I want to clarify that I enjoy being outside the various political bubbles and it seems few folks who seek to follow the news and world events are willing to do this.

Now in my case, it admittedly came in stages. I listened to talk radio close to around the clock from 1991-1996 but left the Republican Party after the 1996 elections. I started using Drudge to get my online news in 2000 while dialing back my talk radio consumption and watching more Fox News. I really cut back talk radio after I gave Limbaugh the heave after the 2006 elections along with Drudge who had begin courting conspiracy schmucks and featuring them. I changed my primary news source online to Real Clear Politics and its subsidiary pages around that time as well but I still consumed Fox and other cable news regularly until I cast Fox and other cable news aside when the bubble created by Fox propaganda around the 2012 election was burst on election night. I swore on that night that Fox and the others could go to hell and I have not regretted my decision one iota since.

Now if I listen to talk radio at all its local stuff or sports 90% of the time. I avoid all television and radio news and get my news in small doses online from various sources via the Real Clear aggregators. Though a longtime Independent voter, it took a while to completely free myself from the various bubbles of the right but I am glad to be and it pleases me when I see and hear of others freeing themselves as well...

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"If you’re fine with the U.S. government using paid-for opposition research to justify spying on persons connected to presidential campaign staff, then nothing I can say will help you understand how worrisome this disclosure is. Except maybe this: switch the candidate’s name you hate with the one you like. That means President Trump surveilling staff from the Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign after a dossier commissioned by the Republican Party links them to China. You’d trust Trump, and every future president, with that, right?

The involvement of the intelligence community in the 2016 presidential campaign, clumsy and disorganized as it appears to have been, will be part of the next election, and the ones after that. If you’re in search of a constitutional crisis, here it is. After all, when we let George W. Bush create, and Barack Obama greatly expand, the surveillance state, didn’t we think it would eventually come to this?" [Peter Van Buren]

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

A contribution to the Jaded Politics project was posted to the Musings From Exile weblog{1} back on October 2, 2017 which can be read HERE. I did not mention it earlier because for a variety of reasons, the piece originally scheduled for that date was not actually published to Jaded Politics until December 3, 2017.

I was not aware of the publication being approved until about a week ago when going to the page to reference material for a column currently being drafted. Anyway, I apologize for not notifying readers of this humble weblog of it until now.


{1} "I link to the Musings From Exile weblog version so I do not trigger a trackback to it on the main page; thereby ensuring that I keep Rerum Novarum separate from that project." [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 8, 2017)]

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

A contribution to the Jaded Politics project was posted to the Musings From Exile weblog{1} back on September 27, 2017 which can be read HERE. I did not mention it earlier because for a variety of reasons, the piece originally scheduled for that date was not actually published to Jaded Politics until December 3, 2017.

I was not aware of the publication being approved until about a week ago when going to the page to reference material for a column currently being drafted. Anyway, I apologize for not notifying readers of this humble weblog of it until now.


{1} "I link to the Musings From Exile weblog version so I do not trigger a trackback to it on the main page; thereby ensuring that I keep Rerum Novarum separate from that project." [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 8, 2017)]

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Points to Ponder:

"'REAL socialism hasn't been done yet' is in itself an argument against socialism. If your system is so susceptible to abuse that it happens literally every time you try it, what does that say about your system?" ["neontaster"]

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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

"One From the Vault" Dept.

The following is a flashback to the archives of this weblog{1} from 2009. Without further ado...

Now certainly one problem the GOP has had in the past twenty years is the attempt to placate moderate voters at the expense of principles. It is one thing to reach out to others -indeed this is always well and good. However, one can also take any good thing too far and the GOP was showing an unwillingness oftentimes to take stands on principle against the Democrats. There was also a perverse sense of entitlement to the GOP elections at the presidential level since 1988 and even before that time. Part of the problem with that kind of political entitlement mentality was that people presumed in 1988 that George H. W. Bush would be a worthy successor to Ronald Reagan rather than Jack Kemp and Bush won the nomination that year (followed by a healthy election landslide) by giving indications that he would continue to follow in Reagan's footsteps. He then betrayed this trust and that was what started the ball rolling in the direction we saw in the past twenty years. Another problem in that interim was the message that the GOP received in the 1994 midterms after Bill Clinton's election triumph over President Bush and Ross Perot two years earlier.

I have heard some try to posit the excuse that the GOP "did not know how to govern while in the majority" and while this may have been true in 1994[...], it does not explain problems in subsequent years. It certainly does not explain what we saw when George H. W. Bush's son was elected and the GOP led congresses of the first six years of his presidency.[...] But there was also the sense of "entitlement" in the GOP where they viewed whoever came up short last time as "due" the next time. We saw this with Senator Bob Dole in 1996[...], we also saw this in 2008 with Senator John McCain.[...] However, there is also a problem of nostalgia that while I have seen it addressed recently has been the source of criticism by some from the more conservative persuasion.

If there is one thing that has become an annoyance as of late it is reading the words of those who present facile solutions to the GOP's problem. Yes there were problems with letting the so-called "RINOS" have too much control of the party apparatus. But there is also the problem of opposing extremes with extremes; namely, those who would respond to an overly wide tent mentality with one that is much too narrow... 

It is all find and well to raise the banner of Reagan as many do but you have to know what Reagan really stood for and how he operated politically or else you will not learn from the past so that it informs your future: learning from the past being a hallmark of proper conservative philosophy...

It is all find and well to raise the banner of Reagan as many do but you have to know what Reagan really stood for and how he operated politically or else you will not learn from the past so that it informs your future: learning from the past being a hallmark of proper conservative philosophy...[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 16, 2009)]

On the anniversary of President Reagan's birth, revisiting some material I wrote in years past about him seems apropo.

May he rest in peace.


{1} In posting this thread as I have, it necessitates creating a new primary posting tag so with this posting, consider the primary posting tag Vault Flashback to be added to this weblog for the current and future postings where applicable. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 20, 2017)]

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Security Cam Catches Brazen Package Thief Trying To Flee Porch Only To Fall And Break Her Leg


Monday, February 05, 2018

‘Frasier’ star John Mahoney dead at 77


Sunday, February 04, 2018

Trumps hosting Super Bowl watch party at Palm Beach golf club
Think of the Trump supporters who "boycotted the NFL" and "boycotted the Superbowl" while President Trump hosted his own Superbowl viewing party in Palm Beach!
At least Mr. Trump got to see a pretty compelling game 

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

On the Changing of One's Positions:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It is very rare that I can say that I have actually changed in any real substance a position I have previously taken over the past thirty years of my life. However, it bears noting in the interest of disclosure that my approach to the subject of amnesty which was once as hardened as stone against any movement whatsoever in this area as recently as a bit over ten years ago or more has undergone some change. This weblog was suspended in December of 2009 and not reactivated until April of 2017. As a fair amount of time had passed where this weblog was dormant and as I work very hard to be consistent in every position I have taken, it is only rational that I acknowledge what could appear to be a glaring contradiction in a position currently held versus one previously held.{1} And in researching past threads of this weblog for a piece I am currently writing on a different subject{2}, I was reminded of my previous position on amnesty as I had quite often publicly stated it. Therefore, I want to in the interest of proper ethics at the present time address this matter directly.

As for the precise moment when my position changed from what it was to what it currently is, I was able in other communications mediums to find an example of my previously set-in-stone position as recently as June 19, 2013 when I said the following:

[L]ets see, the two biggest issues on Capitol Hill right now are immigration reform and amnesty with the Senate trying to ram through an amnesty-laden bill before July 4th. Meanwhile, Tea Party folks are holding an "Abolish the IRS" rally in DC for today. Those who wonder why I have in the past year viewed the Tea Party as having jumped the shark, here is a crystal clear reason why!

However, I was also able to find a comment on another thread from June 13, 2013 where I stated the following:

Getting back to the immigration reform proposal on the table now, I do not see how S 744 is a net positive for Republicans. The best time to deal with immigration reform is after the 2016 election if the GOP can retain the House, gain the Senate, and win the presidency. At that point, they can address this issue with a far better bill than the crap being offered up here.

And then there is this posting of mine in another communications medium from April 18, 2014:

[I] heard that Nancy Pelosi sought to use the Holy Thursday footwashing ritual to play the role of Jesus and wash a couple of immigrant childrens feet to push amnesty for illegals and I am wondering: can we nail her to a cross for illegal immigrants on Good Friday?

It would appear that pinpointing in writing a precise eureka moment where my view changed is probably not possible to do. However, I can narrow down a range and it is over the past few years where I have taken more time to think with greater care on this particular matter in all of its particulars which caused my position to change. It has changed to one which is in my view more reasonable and humane than the position I had previously taken.{3} And while I may well in the coming weeks and months blog some materials written in the period of this weblog's suspension where I delve into this matter more precisely, it makes sense to me to first acknowledge in a forthright manner that any appearance of inconsistency between my past enunciations on this matter and any future ones on this humble weblog will not be imaginary ones.

In short, there has been a change in how I view this matter so consider this posting to be a public acknowledgement of the matter that may be referenced if needed from this point onward in future postings on the matter in question.


{1} Should such a phenomenon actually exist or be brought to my attention.

{2} It will be for Jaded Politics.

{3} "Last I checked, being in the country illegally is at least a misdemeanor. So as citizens with misdemeanors can satisfy their violations with paying fines and jail time, why should illegals not be able to do likewise? [Excerpt from a Communications Thread (circa June 14, 2014)]

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Woman denied emotional support peacock on United flight

Truth is at times stranger than fiction!


The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" [Matthew 23:29-33]

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings on the First 2018 Government Shutdown...

Having already explained last week how one can logically figure out how to ascribe blame for the shutdown, let us now consider what the deal struck to reopen the government means based on what the demands were that precipitated the shutdown to begin with. See my first comment for details...

Originally, the Republicans wanted a clean CR whereas the Dems wanted a six year extension of the CHIP program as well as a legislative solution for DACA. Republicans agreed to the former but balked at including the latter in an appropriations bill. The Democrats then withheld enough votes to shut down the government when they did not get DACA in the CR resolution. So Republicans wanted a CR without DACA in it and the Democrats insisted it be included.

The resolution to reopen the government does not have DACA in it. Therefore, the Republicans got what they wanted on the primary point of contention and the Democrats did not.

So insofar as one can rationally conclude that in terms of who "won" to the extent anyone actually "wins" in this stuff, the side that got what they wanted is logically the "winner" in this meaning the internal polling for the Democrats must have been pretty awful for them to have caved so quickly.

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‘Trump Was Merely Sharing The Gospel With That Porn Star,’ Explains Jim Bakker

I was literally making this same joke to people for a few days before I saw this!

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings:

Whose fault is the shutdown?

Consider the House vote. A resolution was passed 230-197 in the House to fund the government. The yes votes were 224 Republicans and 6 Democrats. Meanwhile the no votes were 11 Republicans and 186 Democrats.

Consider the Senate vote. 60 votes were needed to break a filibuster and 45 Republicans voted yes along with 5 Democrats. Meanwhile 44 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted no. There was one Republican who did not vote. When you remove McConnells no vote which was a parliamentary trick to enable for a fast revote later on, 46-4-1 for Republicans and 5-44 for the Democrats. Furthermore, even if all 51 Republicans voted yes along with the 5 Democrats, they still would have been 4 votes short of the needed 60.

Consider that President Trump would have signed the bill upon it passing the Senate if it had done so.

There is no way this can logically be pinned on the Republicans so...


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Friday, January 19, 2018

On the Probable Government Shutdown:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

There are too many conservatives who are really #clownservatards and incapable of recognizing a political gift when its given.

Case in point, those responding to a probable government shutdown with #releasethememo. There are too many Captain Ahab's on the #clownservatard front who have spent literally years (and sometimes decades!) predicting Obama and/or Hillary would be exposed, arrested, etc. These same folks now are stupidly kvetching about a memo they think will be another smoking gun in their long list of predicted (and failed!) smoking guns. Meanwhile, a political gift is about to be made of the sort that rarely comes around and they are sabotaging it with their latest white whale obsession.

For you see, usually when there has been a government shutdown, the Republicans have caused it and gotten boned politically as a result. However, what we have now is the Democrats pushing for one who have picked a hill to die on in DACA which even among those who support it is not a high priority item as a rule. (If anything its higher priority for those who do not support it!) The same Democrats who pitched reams of apocalyptic talk in 2013 about how social security recipients, children's health care, and a whole host of other vulnerables would suffer as a result of the prior shutdown are themselves pushing for a shutdown now. So either they lied about the effects of the last shutdown or they told the truth but would inflict all the supposed suffering on the same vulnerable for what? Not something that benefits Ma and Pa America in Peoria but instead for illegal immigrants. Yes the same Democrats who decried a shutdown over something that would have helped Americans in 2013 now will push for one to help illegals. The optics of that are politically disastrous for the Democrats.

But what do clownservatard white whalers do? They distract with the whole memo thing rather than get out of the way of their political adversaries willingly cutting their own throats! Rather than table the silly memo thing and let their opponents cut their own throats and hang themselves by owning a shutdown over helping illegals (read: something they would NEVER do for American citizens!) they are getting in the way of their opponents committing political seppeku with another #MobyDickMoment of the sort they have foolishly wasted time and energy on for years to get nothing out of it.

A tip: if there is anything to this memo, table the damn thing right now. Let your opponent cut their own throat tonight (or reveal to the DACAites that they are merely a political pawn and they do not give a shit about them if they refuse to shut down the government over DACA as they are claiming they would do right now!) and let the political fallout over this stunt wreck your political foes for several days first. Then if you must, chase the memo thing. But do not get in the way of your opponent willingly cutting their own throat first. Unless you want to lose yet again as you so often have on these matters over the years in which case, as you were.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

On Ethics, Principles, “Going Off the Deep End”, Etc.
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

The purpose of this note is to address something not a few folks have been saying to me in various and sundry ways as of late. My words will be in regular font. Without further ado...'re going off the deep end.

I realize the point I am raising is one that is uncomfortable for many of todays Trump supporters who yesterday criticized Obama (or Clinton) for the same sort of matters. But that is neither my problem nor am I going off the deep end unless seeking truth and consistency are now off the deep end. Are they?

I heard for twenty-three years from Republicans and conservatives that character was important, ethics mattered, and the Republicans go after past Democrat presidents on these matters. And even though I left the Republican Party more than twenty years ago, I still on some level respected Republicans for taking these stands and generally voted for them. Then one to two years ago, everything changed. Now ethical problems or problems in character are not beneath the president or to be frowned upon but indeed they are either to be ignored, have excuses made for them, or even (God forbid!) celebrated. What changed?

Ethics and principles either matter or they do not. Character and expecting a higher degree of ethics from presidents either matters or it does not. If it does not matter now, then those claiming it mattered when Obama and Clinton were president did not believe what they were pushing for so many years and they owe those men an apology.

That (to be blunt) means the Republicans and many Trump supporters lied through their teeth for more than twenty years on these matters only to abandon their long claimed positions when it was suddenly politically inconvenient for them to espouse them. So if they were a bunch of liars for so many years, why should I believe them now? Why should I believe or trust anything a Trump supporter says now which flatly contradicts what they were saying just a couple years ago? And once Trump is gone and the same folks who kicked long held conservative core principles to the curb recently suddenly start parroting them again, why should I or anyone believe them then?
Or to summarize all of this briefly:

Kindly explain to me how expecting ethical and principled consistency from folks is going off the deep end when it is what conservatives have done for DECADES until only very recently. Now when suddenly its inconvenient, these matters are (at best) ignored. 

With all due respect, folks who talk like this should take a long hard look in the mirror and consider what has been done.

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2011 Interview With Stormy Daniels: Trump Cheated On Melania With Me

I am sure the Moral Majority and Religious Right folks will find a way to say what was reported here was acceptable "because Trump" of course and presumably even though it happened before the #GreatMoralParadigmShiftOf2016, a dispensation has been retroactively granted to Trump by these folks nonetheless. And as the claim made by Stephanie Clifford (aka "Stormy Daniels") was corroborated by two named persons and the claimant herself took and passed a polygraph at the time of the interview six plus years ago, I trust that is enough probable evidence for those from the #EscalatedBurdenOfProof crowd which has really grown in number since January 20, 2017. But that is neither here nor there.

I do have one exit question though and it is this:

--Will the Moral Majority and the Religious Right folks ever apologize to Bill Clinton?

I mean the whole "but ethics and character matter" schtick: they obviously did not actually believe those things. (I base my claim on their subsequent actions and statements.) So they rightfully owe Bubba an apology if we take their current statements and actions as their real positions on these matters.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Where are you going I don't mind
I've killed my world and I've killed my time
So where do I go what do I see
I see many people coming after me

So where are you going to I don't mind
If I live too long I'm afraid I'll die
So I will follow you wherever you go
If your offered hand is still open to me
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one. [Dave Davies]


On the "Escalating Standard of Proof" Position Taken By Many Trump Supporters:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It is the considered opinion of your host that these folks are establishing a dangerous precedent implicit in much of what they are saying. I have seen claims of such-and-such was "never established in a court of law" or "there was no sworn statement" as if we cannot ascertain something or take as probable any claim not meeting said standards.

If we are going to now require sworn testimony on everything, then we have really moved the goalposts. (Heck, imagine if Woodward and Bernstein had needed sworn testimony from "Deep Throat" before they could do or say anything!)

I remind readers that the Supreme Court, in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos ruled that government employees are not protected from retaliation by their employers under the First Amendment of the Constitution when speaking pursuant to their official job duties. So anyone from the WH who went on the record with claims with a sworn statement could easily lose their job!

This approach if institutionalized would ensure that there is no motivations to try and correct problems in government or elsewhere but instead would protect the status quo as well as abusers within the latter. I know many who make these claims never explicitly or consciously do that so I would simply recommend greater consideration of the implicit ramifications of this new standard that they few others have been advocating for as of late.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration

Well well well...

"Three White House officials said Perdue and Cotton told the White House that they heard 'shithouse' rather than 'shithole' allowing them to deny the president’s comments on television over the weekend. The two men initially said publicly that they could not recall what the president said..."

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Monday, January 15, 2018


I have noticed that apologists for the Trump administration who are pushing the "lowest black unemployment numbers in decades" story as well as the 4.1% u3 unemployment figures now are many of the same ones who when Obama was in the WH were pushing things like "labour participation rate" (which has declined by .2% for blacks since Obama left the WH!) and the u6 unemployment figure (standing at 8.6%) which they once said were the *true unemployment figures.*

Gee, looks like some folks have been #MovingTheGoalPosts again to me!

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