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:

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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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Points to Ponder:

For those who wonder why libertarianism cannot work in reality, spend twenty minutes arguing with libertarians and the reason becomes obvious! [Me (circa January 9, 2018)]

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

How The Free Market Spanked Seattle’s Government After It Tried To Dictate How Its Citizens Lived

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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Stunned family reunited with their missing pet cat 15 YEARS after the moggie went missing


Monday, January 08, 2018

We Were Wrong about Stop-and-Frisk

When claims are made that later data does not support, you can either ignore the data and continue to spout talking points divorced from reality or recognize your prior claims were wrong and change your view accordingly!

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Sunday, January 07, 2018

Ten more “hottest” takes on the Iranian protests

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Saturday, January 06, 2018

Ten “hottest” takes on the Iranian protests

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Monday, January 01, 2018

"Auld Lang Syne" Dept.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stoop
And surely I'll be mine
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn
Frae mornin' sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And here's a hand, my trusty fiere
And gi'e's a hand o' thine
And we'll tak a right good willy waught
For auld lang syne. [Attr. Robert Burns]


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing The fifth would pay $1 The sixth would pay $3 The seventh would pay $7 The eighth would pay $12 The ninth would pay $18 The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59 So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.' Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

The bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving). The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving). Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,' declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, 'but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that’s right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!'

'That’s true!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison, 'we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier." [Daniel J. Mitchell]

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Enemy Reaction 2017: Dallas Cowboys

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With a bit of tax reform done, President Trump wants to do "infrastructure" next. My predictions:

---The same folks who bellyached, bitched, and would not STFU about Obama and his infrastructure bill in 2009 will suddenly forget they are supposed to hate "big government boondoggles" and "adding to the debt" (like they did when Obama was in the WH) and instead laud, make excuses for, and generally support Trump planned big government boondoggles and debt additions. You know, because #TeamRed and all!

---The same folks who defended to the hilt Obama's stimulus and infrastructure bills as necessary, great, wonderful, etc will suddenly (now that Obama or Hillary are not in the WH) start bellyaching, bitching, and generally not STFU'ing about how what Trump wants to do is a bunch of "boondoggle projects" that "do not pay for themselves", and will "add to the debt" and all that jazz: stuff they did not care about for eight years when Obama was in power but now that they are not, #TeamBlue suddenly cares about this stuff you see!

Meanwhile, both tribes will be united in one way if nothing else: lashing out in butthurt fashion at those of us who were not born yesterday and who recognize fake principles and politically opportune #hypocrisy when we see it!

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots." [Elbridge Gerry (circa May 31, 1787)]

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"[H]eartbreak is transient, but regret is eternal." [Donna Provencher]



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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"Sport, properly directed, develops character, makes a man courageous, a generous loser, and a gracious victor; it refines the senses, gives intellectual penetration, and steels the will to endurance. It is not merely a physical development then. Sport, rightly understood, is an occupation of the whole man, and while perfecting the body as an instrument of the mind, it also makes the mind itself a more refined instrument for the search and communication of truth and helps man to achieve that end to which all others must be subservient, the service and praise of his Creator." [Pope Pius XII, Sport at the Service of the Spirit (circa July 29, 1945)]

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"For those screaming 'WAPO hit job' you had a candidate:

Who when asked if he dated teenagers as a 30 yr old said 'not usually'

Warned of shariah courts being established in Michigan and Illinois

Had surrogates tell a pregnant host 'Doug Jones wants to abort your baby'

Said America was better during the era of slavery.... TO A BLACK MAN

Wanted to repeal the 13th and 14th amendments

Had his wife counter charges of insensitivity towards Jews with 'my lawyer is a Jew'

Spent the final day of the campaign arguing over whether people had to take the oath of office on a Christian bible, and if homosexuality should be criminalized.

But please, please tell me how he lost due to a media hit job." [Kevin M. Tierney]

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Last night answered one question and it was this:

--Are we going to get a slew of articles on how the GOP is beyond redemption or on how the GOP is finished?

With Jones' win, it is/will be the latter.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Points to Ponder:

“I'd just like to thank Steve Bannon for showing us how to lose the reddest state in the union and Governor Ivey for the opportunity to make this national embarrassment a reality.” [Josh Holmes]

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One of the Trump loving radio folks apparently admitted saying in a tweet (in a tip to one of their advertisers) that she cut her twat while shaving last night and should have used a Harry's razor!

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A good summary of the Roy Moore situation can be read here:

No Moore Pretense

It would be so much easier if Moore supporters just admitted the guy was scum but to paraphrase FDR on Somoza "he is our scum." For those who play the "he's innocent" and "theres no evidence" cards, you are beneath contempt and would fit in well at the Institute of Historical Review!


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Monday, December 11, 2017

Quin Hillyer: Roy Moore's own words prove his falsehood

Quin Hillyer summarizes a core problem with the Republican Senate candidate from Alabama well in this article (I will quote the first few paragraphs here):

"Even if we don’t know for certain whether Roy Moore had sexual contact (of a sort) with 14-year-old Leigh Corfman, we now know that Moore has made a conscious decision to lie about his onetime relationships with teenage girls.

We know this from a combination of his own words and of new evidence that would be accepted as probative in any American court of law. (More on the evidence, shortly.)

The odd thing is that Moore’s initial reaction was to tell at least a simulacrum of the truth, only later to change to a flat-out lie. Often, a liar works in the other direction, at first denying everything and then admitting little dribs and drabs as new evidence warrants. Who knows: Maybe this strange evolution from partial truth to full prevarication gives an indication that, somehow, Moore’s conscience is warring with itself.

Either way, his willingness to move to full-fledged dishonesty helps undermine his onetime semi-believable denials of the worst of the charges against him. One fib does not prove that his other statements are lies, of course, but it does establish that he is not entirely trustworthy..."

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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes- and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible?" [Senator Barry Goldwater]

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It was brought to my attention recently that some parties with whom there were some some heated contentions with on some topics{1} has sought for reasons known only to themselves to try and goad persons such as your humble servant into a recurrence of those prior disputations. It is not my intention to mention any names on this, only to remark briefly that (i) I am aware of what they are trying to do and (ii) considering how it has been my practice for nearly ten years now to only discuss the issue in question at the time of year when it can properly be considered a live issue{2}, their attempting to raise it outside of that very limited time frame seems to indicate a hope on their part that they could get away with slipping their latest text dump by without comment to thereby proclaim that said latest text dump was "unanswerable" by persons such as myself.

I will only note briefly at this time that if the party in question had bothered to actually read what was written at this humble weblog and elsewhere many years ago, they would have learned that nothing they are offering now makes a dent in what was said here and elsewhere on the subject in question and their presumptive "smoking gun" in recent days is far from what they think it is.

I will however leave it at that and note that maybe if said parties want a real dialogue on the issue, they can act in a fashion more fitting of a dialogue{3} and approach this issue directly and during a relevant time for such discussions{4} if that is what they really want. I suspect it is not but I note these things briefly at this time nonetheless and with that will say nary a word on these matters prior to the relevant time to do so{5} if even then. It is too bad that others do not do likewise and while I suspect there are monetary reasons behind such reticence on their part, that is all I will say about these matters at the present time.


{1} Particularly one of a rather incendiary nature.

{2} Namely, the month of August.

{3} For a change.

{4} See footnote two.

{5} See footnote two.

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'Holy crap': Experts find tax plan riddled with glitches

I do not remember Politico being so concerned about "glitches" back when the "Affordable Care Act" was being rolled out...

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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Tax reform should reduce payroll taxes, cut corporate levy

This is what Congress should be doing with tax policy!

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Monday, December 04, 2017

Right on schedule, the Seahawks shock the league

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Sunday, December 03, 2017

Points to Ponder:

Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes- and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible? [Barry Goldwater]

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Saturday, December 02, 2017


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The growing list of "moves" struck from the old "playbook" in recent months include...

--The mall troll
--The strip-to-ones underwear (with or without robe)
--The ass smack
--The backrub into a six inch hand slide (up or down)
--The boob grab (from the front or the reacharound)
--The innocent kiss into a tongue probe
--The winkie presentation

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Points to Ponder:

“Constitutional protections for due process apply when the state is attempting to deprive a person of ‘life, liberty, or property.’ That’s why we have trials before we render civil or criminal judgments. That’s why due process is mandatory before state-mandated punishment in campus sexual assault tribunals. As a general rule, when the state is attempting to deprive you of rights you’d otherwise enjoy, due process attaches. Here, there is no state action. Roy Moore will not lose his life, liberty, or property if voters reject his bid for high office. 

Due process protections, absolutely, positively do not prevent voters from evaluating the veracity of news reports and judging whether a politician is fit for public office. It was entirely fair for voters to analyze the available facts about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal or the available facts about the financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation without waiting for the outcome of a civil or criminal proceeding. It is entirely fair for members of the public to evaluate Juanita Broaddrick’s claims against Bill Clinton without a trial. Similarly, it’s entirely fair for the public to analyze the available facts about Roy Moore before deciding how to vote.” [David French]

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"One of the advantages of getting old is that what the Byzantine liturgy refers to as the 'dread tribunal of Christ' that you're going to stand before puts the fear of God into you, and so you move to pray more. That already has had an influence on my spiritual life." [Fr. Robert Taft SJ]

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Free Campaign Strategy Advice For Republicans:

If you want to keep Jeff Sessions' old seat, you need to recognize the gift you have been given in Nancy Pelosi. When the leader of congressional Democrats has a colleague who has serious charges of sexual impropriety against him two of which he has been sued and also settled out of court on respectively and she refuses to call for their resignation for political reasons, you need to point this out. You need to hammer on the example of Conyers as well as Leader Pelosi's blatant assertion that Rep Conyers is too important politically to be sacrificed and say "see, it is obvious they do not give a damn about women and accusations of abuse, its all politics with them." Dare them to force Conyers to resign and publicly say they have no credibility on these matters until they force him out.

Yeah its a huge distraction but when you have been given such a juicy club with which to beat your opponent senseless with, you need to use it. If you do this enough, you will likely retain enough Republican and Independent voters to win Jeff Sessions' seat in two weeks time.

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Free Campaign Strategy Advice For Democrats:

If you want to win Jeff Sessions' old seat, you need to present the appearance of moral high ground. The eight or nine accusations against Roy Moore are for the most part serious and credible. However, those against John Conyers are even more so insofar as one accused him, one filed a lawsuit against him, and he agreed to settle with a third. If your leader Nancy Pelosi cannot even admit that Rep. Conyers should resign over his indiscretions (to say nothing of his seeming senility!), do not expect Alabama Republicans to take any calls you make for Roy Moore to step aside or any claims you make about Moore's unfitness for office seriously.

In short, if you want the moral high ground to castigate Moore and his supporters, you need to call for Conyers to resign and if you do not: brace yourself for Senator Roy Moore!

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"Because Trump SoHo is doing so well financially that its tough to keep up with it all, I have decided I need to remove my name from the project!" [Donald Trump]

Final Nights at the Trump SoHo Before Trump Checks Out

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

"One From the Vault" Dept.

This is a flashback to the archives of this weblog{1} from November 26, 2005...

Last night, I did not sleep more than an hour (if even that) due to a phone message I received about my friend Chris. We were five months apart in age and back in the days when titles such as "best friend" were used, he was my best friend. And the phone call was to say that Chris died the day before Thanksgiving in a hospital in Arizona. Pardon me if what I am about to write is disjointed...I am working off of virtually no sleep and because of the news from last night, my mind may not be clear. (Certainly my emotions are not stable as I write this.)...


I have had in mind for a while to see several people I have not spent much time with in recent years in the coming year (2006). And while I still intend to do that; nonetheless, I am hardly saying something original in noting that we all have those people whom we are close to who for a variety of circumstances we do not see much of over what can be a long stretch of years. Of course when this thought comes to our minds, many of us defend ourselves by saying that we will get back in touch with them "someday." Well, one of the first people on that list (if not the first) was to be my oldest friend Chris. But he died before I could do that and I will be asking myself for a long time when I think of him what I could have done there anything I could have set aside as truly less important to focus on what truly was more important.

One would think after all the family deaths in recent years that I would have gotten over putting friends and family aside as I did with my oldest friend. I told myself that I would see Chris "next year" aka "someday" and just because it was supposed to be next year does not remove the beam from my eye... [Excerpts from the Rerum Novarum Posting Remembering Chris (circa November 26, 2005)]

I do not have many things in my life I truly wish I had a reset button on but this is one of them. I miss you amigo and pray for you and the repose of your soul often.


{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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Points to Ponder:
(For Thanksgiving)

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” [Psalms 7:17]


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Miscellaneous Musings on Political Squabblings About Sex Abuse Accusers in General:

The following is a Rosetta Stone to all the above political wrangling:

--All claimants are liars and all accused are innocent and we need an impossibly strict burden of proof unless the claimants are against someone we do not like. If the latter is the case, then we pull a 180 whereas claimants are truthful and all accused are guilty and we need not even a reasonable burden of proof but instead, anything on any fringe site however badly sourced is adequate to indict them.

--All news sources we do not like are dismissed as Ferrk Nerrz unless the same source has something we like. If the latter happens, we will pull a 180 and cite the once-reviled source as suddenly reliable and above suspicion while forgetting our previous dismissal wholesale of said source.

--In all things #OurTribeRight and #YourTribeWrong.

Am I missing anything?

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

This Just In: Mike Pence’s Rule Against Having Private Dinners With Random Women Is Not Christian
"...In public relations you learn, very early, that P = R, that is, Perception = Reality. What you actually do is less important that what you are perceived to be doing.

In this point, both Catholic theology and Federal ethics regulations come into sync. Catholics are told it isn’t sufficient to avoid sin, you must avoid the occasion, i.e. exposure to the possibility, of sin. So if you are an alcoholic it is not sufficient to avoid drink, you need to avoid places where alcohol is served. As 'scandal,' that is behavior that could cause other to do evil, a person in a leadership position has the obligation to avoid situations that could lead to rumors being spread. Federal ethics regs say it isn’t enough to avoid impropriety, you must avoid the appearance of impropriety..."

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Obama Concealed Strength of al-Qaeda Before 2012 Election

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Public Service Announcement:

For those who do not like President Trump and talk about impeachment, even if somehow it is successful remember: impeachment does not actually remove a president from office. Instead, it is basically an indictment and as I said already, would have to be based on "high crimes and misdemeanors."

To prosecute said indictment against the president, it would involve a trial before the whole Senate which would be presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Then after the trial, if the charges were somehow proven, it would still involve a 2/3rds vote of the Senate to remove the president. That would mean all Democrat and Independent senators as well at least 19 Republican senators would have to vote for removal. And even then, you would simply get Vice President Pence as your new president.

Again, simply hating President Trump or not liking his policies is not sufficient.

This has been another public service announcement...

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Thursday, November 16, 2017


"Leah Corfman is not credible because she has been divorced multiple times."
So has Donald Trump
"Leah Corfman is not credible because she accused multiple pastors of hitting on her."

What is less credible, multiple accusations of minor improprieties or multiple acts of adultery? Corfman is said to have done the former, Trump is known to have done the latter.
"Leah Corfman is not credible because she filed for bankruptcy three times."
Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy FOUR times.
Do you still want to keep playing the "not credible game"?

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Briefly on the Virginia and New Jersey Elections:

The results of those election can be subject to mistakes on both sides meaning they can be over thought or under thought.

To over think would be to see it as an inevitable harbinger of either 2020 or 2018. Case in point: 2009 did not mean Obama was toast in 2012 and the resistance folks in 2017 should remember that the tea party of 2009 was a lot less robust in 2012. As for the 2010 comparison to 2018, its way too early and folks forget: the backlash of 2010 was because of political overreach by the Dems. The GOP has not overreached yet, heck it debatable if they have even reached at all yet. Either way, the whiter and hotter the populism of a moment, the shorter its political shelf life tends to be.

As far as under thinking, to dismiss these results as just the results of blue states and thus presume it has no bearing whatsoever on 2018 (or does not reflect on a lack of coattails thus far for Trump) would be a mistake that could lead to a political complacency that results in a correction midterm election rather than an election where GOP can build on their advantages nationwide.

In short, its possible to overthink as well as underthink last night's results for the GOP as well as for the Dems.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Points to Ponder:

Politics in a nutshell today:
My side's purported indiscretions: all lies and conspiracies by evil forces to destroy good noble people - innocent until proven guilty far beyond any reasonable doubt.
Your side's purported indiscretions: ipso facto true because your side is evil incarnate and thus irredeemable - guilty until proven innocent far beyond any reasonable doubt.
Any questions?

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100 Years of Communism: Death and Deprivation

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John Hillerman, Higgins on 'Magnum, P.I.,' dies at 84

Rest In Peace Higgins!


Public Service Announcement:

For those who do not like President Trump and talk about impeachment, remember: impeachment requires "high crimes and misdemeanors" to be viable. Simply hating the president or not liking their policies is not sufficient.

This has been a public service announcement...

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If You Refuse to Condemn Predators because of Politics, You’re Disgusting


"...The deflections are too predictable. There’s the 'Why are these women just coming out now? Seems suspicious!' comeback and, of course, the 'They’re just doing it for the fame! These women just want attention!' angle. Now, these comments actually are very important — just not for the reasons that the people making them think that they are. They’re important not as defenses, but because they’re perfect examples of an exact reason why these women may have been too afraid to come forward sooner: because they were afraid that they’d be ridiculed and doubted, and that no one would believe them..."

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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Holy Souls Prayer Register:

It has been a number of years since I made a posting such as this. In the interest of brevity, I want to renew the substance of my last weblog posting on this matter and include since that time many folks who have passed who are related to me either by blood, marriage, friendship, or other esteem as well as a number of folks among the living{1}. I cannot recall everyone I would want to have remembered in prayer but God knows their names and as a reader of hearts, I trust Him to know everyone I would mention if I could think of them all.

The link to the Purgatory Project can be found HERE and I encourage my readers to check it out and register the names of family and friends.{2}

For those who have passed on:

Eternal rest grant unto their souls O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me]. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord on that day (2 Tim i,18).

For those still alive whose names I have included in the current name submission{3}, they have been entered for perpetual masses to be offered for their spiritual benefit as well.


{1} As far as the new additions, I am not going to post their names here. Suffice to say, some have been mentioned before while others are new and many new ones are still among the living and are close to me by either blood, marriage, friendship, or other esteem.

{2} One should not presume that my recommendation of the above site constitutes a blanket approval of all or even many (or even most) of the other threads they have posted there. Nonetheless, they do have a good thread on explaining purgatory which can be read HERE and that I do highly recommend.

{3} See footnote one.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Seattle’s homeless crisis demands accountability
What has happened to Seattle in my time away from there?


NYC Terror Attacks -Live Feed

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Friday, October 27, 2017

On Revisiting the Death Penalty Question:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

As a result of the significance of some recent news items on this matter, it apparently is necessary to revisit this subject anew. To quote myself from many years ago on this matter:

The pope's personal opinion is not required for grasping... What is required though are the doctrinal principles behind a limited usage of the death penalty -if its usage is advocated at all. The pope's opinion on the frequency of the usage are no more binding than his opinion that the Didache is "the oldest non-Scriptural Christian writing." (Something he mentions in the same encyclical earlier on if memory serves.) Whether it is or not is a matter of scholarly debate...

With regards to personal opinions, they are not the deciding factor as the pope himself noted after stating his opinion then following it up with a qualifying term such as "nonetheless." The principle being bound is what follows that word or its equivalent within the text. As this is so often misunderstood, I will reiterate it with emphasis:

All that requires submission is the principle enunciated in the Catechism about bloodless means being the required recourse whenever it suffices to remove the individual in question from being a continued menace to society.

Obviously this is a principle which will have a different application depending on the nation and the circumstances...

As I noted earlier, the pope's teaching has forced me to do an about-face on the matter...[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 16, 2003)]


I can think of a few categories of people who could legitimately circumvent the rubric of mandatory non-bloodless means. Those people are the ones convicted of (i) treason or (ii) sedition. I also feel that (iii) serial murderers, (iv) drug dealers who target children, and (v) pornographers who target children. In my opinion, all of these deserve the death penalty. And at the same time, with these five categories, you would still have the 'rare if ever' situation present that should govern the application of the pope's teaching on restricting the use of the death penalty in society. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 16, 2003)]

As for the question of whether the use of the death penalty saves innocent lives, I have dealt with this matter before too and will cite from the pertinent posting at this time to avoid reinventing the wheel:

Readers of some time to this humble weblog are aware of your host's position on the death penalty. In doing a quick scan of the archives though, it does not appear that we have said anything in depth on the matter for a long time[...] so new readers may not be so familiar with it. To state it bluntly: I support it in some circumstances...

As a societal issue of contemporary relevance, the disputes over whether or not the death penalty should be used have a predictable pattern to them. While not indicative of an absolute on either side, generally speaking those who favour it tend to make arguments based on reason and logic and those opposed tend to do so on an emotional basis to which they add unconvincing arguments and manifest a kind of "faith" that their position is correct...

In the last five odd years there have now been documented about twelve different studies all of which reach the same core verdict: the death penalty saves lives. Anyway, as CBS News the other day published an article on the subject, it seems opportune to revisit this subject anew so here goes:

Death Penalty Deters Murders, Studies Say (CBS News circa June 11, 2007)

Of particular interest to me is this part of the text:

"Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it," said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. "The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect."

A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. "The results are robust, they don't really go away," he said. "I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?"

Statistical studies like his are among a dozen papers since 2001 that capital punishment has deterrent effects. They all explore the same basic theory — if the cost of something (be it the purchase of an apple or the act of killing someone) becomes too high, people will change their behavior (forego apples or shy away from murder).

To explore the question, they look at executions and homicides, by year and by state or county, trying to tease out the impact of the death penalty on homicides by accounting for other factors, such as unemployment data and per capita income, the probabilities of arrest and conviction, and more.

Among the conclusions:

Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14). The Illinois moratorium on executions in 2000 led to 150 additional homicides over four years following, according to a 2006 study by professors at the University of Houston.

Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect. For every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented, according to a 2004 study by an Emory University professor.

This should be common sense frankly but with too many people, they are deaf to this either because they do not possess common sense or because they place faith in certain authorities[...] who themselves are misinformed. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 14, 2007)]

As for my previous categories of exceptions to the rubric of mandatory non-bloodless means, I would revise the list a bit now. If recast in a new form it would read as follows:

I can think of a few categories of people who could legitimately circumvent the rubric of mandatory non-bloodless means. Those people are (i) convicted multiple or serial murders, (ii) drug dealers convicted on multiple charges who targeted children, (iii) sexual pedophiles convicted of multiple crimes of pedophilia, (iv) pornographers convicted on multiple charges who targeted children, (v) anyone who engages in or directs violations in the aforementioned areas who is already in prison. 

The above paragraph encapsulates my position as it has evolved since it was first publicly enunciated in a systematic form nearly fourteen years ago. My rationale for the changes above are as follows:

--In third world or totalitarian countries, it would be far too easy to kangaroo the court system and accuse folks of treason or sedition. For that reason, logic would mean to take that sword from their hands would mean to have to take it from every country's government's hands. As the desire to protect the innocent is my motivating criteria on all matters death penalty related, that is why I have come to see that those two categories I previously listed need to be omitted from the list of extraordinary circumstances.

--As for the broadening of two other categories, it is difficult to know where a murderer becomes a serial murderer so that means widening that category slightly to include all multiple incidents of murder. It is not that the murderer of a single person is deserving of being spared as much as seeking to make the use of the death penalty as rare as reasonably possible to ensure that we retain extraordinary circumstances here.

--Those who are convicted of drug dealing who have multiple charges of targeting children and convicted sexual pedophiles of multiple crimes of pedophilia are along the lines of my overriding principle of protecting the innocent. Children are the most innocent among us and those who would do this sort of damage to them in their most formative and vulnerable of years deserve the harshest punishment possible for their crimes as Our Lord made clear (Matt 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2).

--As for the final category, those who push the death penalty abolition and advocate for life in prison, if someone who is already in prison is still committing crimes and directing either drug cartels, gang activity, the murder of others, killing prison or security guards in prison, etc., then they obviously are not removed as a danger to society even behind bars and therefore must be removed from society definitively and permanently for the maintenance of just public order and the common good of society.

Even accounting for everything I noted above, it would still make the use of the death penalty very rare because I emphasize the word "conviction" in every example either explicitly or (as in the fifth example) by implication.

Now I can anticipate where this will go with some readers so lets address that elephant in the room right now:

When it comes to the question of interventions in the prudential order, it could happen that some Magisterial documents might not be free from all deficiencies. Bishops and their advisors have not always taken into immediate consideration every aspect or the entire complexity of a question...

Even when collaboration takes place under the best conditions, the possibility cannot be excluded that tensions may arise between the theologian and the Magisterium. The meaning attributed to such tensions and the spirit with which they are faced are not matters of indifference. If tensions do not spring from hostile and contrary feelings, they can become a dynamic factor, a stimulus to both the Magisterium and theologians to fulfill their respective roles while practicing dialogue.

In the dialogue, a two-fold rule should prevail. When there is a question of the communion of faith, the principle of the "unity of truth" (unitas veritatis) applies. When it is a question of differences which do not jeopardize this communion, the "unity of charity" (unitas caritatis) should be safeguarded.

Even if the doctrine of the faith is not in question, the theologian will not present his own opinions or divergent hypotheses as though they were non-arguable conclusions. Respect for the truth as well as for the People of God requires this discretion (cf. Rom 14:1-15; 1 Cor 8; 10: 23-33 ) . For the same reasons, the theologian will refrain from giving untimely public expression to them.{1}

I reference the above magisterial text because as I said previously, I anticipate the sorts of accusations that will come from some quarters. With all due respect to such folks, they are wrong in being critical of me for raising honest arguments and issues with regards to this kind of intervention in the prudential order. The principles outlined in footnote one above apply to magisterial documents and therefore it is even more applicable to statements from popes or other church leaders which are not themselves of a magisterial nature.

To be clear, I assent to the fundamental principle set down by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae on the issue of the death penalty.{2} Where there is a difference between myself and Pope Francis is in the application of the underlying principle. But to clarify further if anything I have already said in the body of this text or the footnotes is not sufficiently perspicuous:

  • I do not believe in a ruthless or bloodthirsty approach to the death penalty. 
  • I do not believe it is necessary for the sake of justice to have recourse to the death penalty.
  • I do hold to the principle that the death penalty should be legal but rare. 

However, even with those qualifications, I have some serious questions on whether or not Pope Francis or any of his recent predecessors has/had "taken into immediate consideration every aspect or the entire complexity of [this] question" (cf. Donum Veritatis 24) and with all due respect, until that is squarely faced and dealt with, their absolutist position on the matter is internally contradictory and I cannot pretend it is otherwise.

In accordance with magisterial teaching{3}, I do not present my own "opinions or divergent hypotheses as though they were non-arguable conclusions" (cf. Donum Veritatis 27). Nor do I go about "giving untimely public expression to them" (cf. Donum Veritatis 27). I strive indeed to be both respectful as well as discreet when publicly saying anything about these matters at all -that is part of the reason why I waited a few weeks for this issue to move out of the headlines before posting this material.

I cannot speak for others but I can say that the tensions between my view and that of Pope Francis "do not spring from hostile and contrary feelings" (cf. Donum Veritatis 27) and I am conscious of a right "to make known to the Magisterial authorities the problems raised by the teaching in itself, in the arguments proposed to justify it, or even in the manner in which it is presented" (Donum Veritatis 30). As my prior writings on this matter spanning fifteen odd years should more than adequately demonstrate, I have sought on these as with all pertinent matters "serious study, undertaken with the desire to heed the Magisterium's teaching without hesitation" (Donum Veritatis 31). However, for reasons outlined above, on the issue of the practical stance of recent popes on the death penalty, "[my] difficulty remains because the arguments to the contrary seem more persuasive" (cf. Donum Veritatis 31).

I await such time as Pope Francis or anyone else in the church hierarchy, church theologians, church apologists, etc are willing to deal with the actual sociological and scientific realities on this subject and take them seriously. Until they do, their absolutist position is one which I cannot in conscience give my intellectual assent. I recognize however "the duty to remain open to a deeper examination of the question" (cf. Donum Veritatis 31) and ask of those who espouse the more absolutist position to likewise engage in an "intense and patient reflection on [their] part and a readiness, if need be, to revise [their] own opinions and examine the objections which [their] colleagues might offer [them]" (cf. Donum Veritatis 29).


{1} Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Instruction Donum Veritatis on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, Sections 24-27 (circa May 24, 1990)

{2}I explained it years ago in the following way:

[I]f the Church recognizes the licity of judicious use of the death penalty (which by its very implication means rare) and states that the end of this is preservation of life, then if the end can be achieved in other ways that do not involve the taking of life, that is the route we must tend to. In short, Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium vitae, points to the fact that we have many ways to protect society from offenders. Because of this, he states forcefully that the traditional Catholic principle that bloodless means whenever possible are to be utilized is to be retained. Whatever arguments we want to make about the application of this teaching, they must proceed from the principle of what is necessary to achieve the end that the death penalty historically has been used for: preservation of life.

"All things are lawful but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful, but not all things edify" sayeth the Apostle (i Cor. x,22-23). The same is the case with the death penalty in the vast majority of cases where it may apply from a theoretical standpoint. And while the pope has not set any strict schedule in stone on how this principle is to be carried out, there is a moral duty to inform oneself and to act accordingly. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 3, 2002)]

And again:

[W]hile the pope may personally think that the criteria for just use of the death penalty is "rare if not non-existent", he prefaces the next part of his encyclical with a key phrase "in any event". This is significant as I see it. Here is the text:

"In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: "If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person."

I do not see how the Church can come any closer to banning the death penalty then this...[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 28, 2002)]

{3} See the material excerpted in the source referenced in footnote one.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

House Panels Probe Obama Administration Decision on Uranium Sale

Yet another Obama Administration scandal that comes out after the Resident left office!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Welcome Home, ISIS Fighters, All Is Forgiven

In a nutshell: British officials on this subject are dumb as a stump!

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Why Guys Get Turned on When You Orgasm — and Why That's a Bad Thing

So Cosmo which has written tons of articles on women's orgasms and how to get more/better orgasms is now saying that its bad if somehow a man likes it when his woman orgasms? Implied message to guys: get yours and leave her hanging because "its bad" otherwise!


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Hannity Calls On Any Senator Not Willing To Bend The Knee To Follow Flake And Corker Out The Door

There is a reason I have long loathed Sean Hannity but in a nutshell: he is an unthinking lackey of President Donald Trump and I hate unthinking lackeys of any political persuasion!

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Friday, October 20, 2017

"One From the Vault" Dept.

This is a flashback to the archives of this weblog from October 20, 2005...

I do not have time to comment on this issue unfortunately but Able Danger is back in the news. I want to take this opportunity to remind readers of what I wrote on this issue last month -starting with this tidbit:

I surmize that...the existence of Able Danger and its coverup will prove to be a huge black mark on the previous administration. And in light of Hillary's longtime designs on the presidency, Able Danger would not be a benefit to her cause to put it mildly... 

There is also this more detailed exposition on the subject posted on September 21, 2005:

On Able Danger and A Potential Defense Department Coverup

Readers will get a very good overview of the significance of this situation at the thread above. [Excerpts from the Rerum Novarum Posting Briefly Revisiting Able Danger (circa October 20, 2005)]

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.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Hey, who's up for a 24/7 Senate?

Like the Hardcore Championship in the late 1990's-early 2000's could be defended 24/7 as long as there was a referee nearby, we could have a 24/7 Senate for the rest of the fiscal year.

I hate to say it but this is probably necessary for the rest of the fiscal year to get certain key priorities done.

Though the proverb "no one's life, liberty, or property are safe whenever the legislature is in session" is one I as a rule agree with.

Every rule admits of its exceptions though.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Points to Ponder:

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me...


Several arrests made in 1983 'racially-motivated' murder

May the cops who obstructed justice in this case have their pensions stripped from them and given to the families of the victim.

And may they be held in disgrace for the rest of their lives.

But remember folks, the real crime is anthem kneeling!

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Hillary-Mentum! The Delusional Still See A Chance For Clinton To Become President

"Oh, Jawbone, when did you first go wrong?
Oh, Jawbone, where is it you belong?

[Two] time loser, you'll never learn,
Lay down your tools before you burn.
Ya keep on runnin' and hidin' your face,
Spreadin' your heat all over the place..."

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O.J. Simpson slides right back into the Vegas nightlife scene as he mingles with three women

He figured he"take a stab" at the nightlife again?


Friday, October 13, 2017

Tapper: Must Even Sexual Predators Be Viewed Through A Partisan Lens?

Its 2017 and Jake Tapper has become SOOOOO naive!

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Miscellaneous Musings:


--I have not said much about the Las Vegas tragedy because I am sick of folks playing politics with it -and not just those on the left!

--I have long noticed a pattern in that preachers who have daughters or folks who name their daughters after one of the theological virtues have a high degree of probability that said daughter will grow up to be a stripper.

--I have noticed that many folks have a problem with bumps of the baby and stock sort...and usually its many of the same people at that!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Points to Ponder:

The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. [Alexander Hamilton]

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Pauley Perrette Is Leaving NCIS After 15 Seasons

The show may be going into an irretrievable decline at the end of this season as another of the original four characters (and my favourite one!) leaves the show!


Miscellaneous Musings:

I remember back when Bush was president. Specifically, there was a point where Republicans controlled congress, nothing was getting done, and lots of party loyalist sorts and/or conservatives spent a lot of time whining about the nothing burger of flag burning and trying to outdo one another in trumped up "outrage" and pseudo-"patriotism."

Now we have Trump as president with a Republican controlled congress, nothing is getting done, and probably a lot of the same folks along with others are now whining about the nothing burger of anthem kneeling and trying to outdo one another in trumped up "outrage" and pseudo-"patriotism."

PT Barnum was right as was the author of Ecclesiastes.


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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Miscellaneous Musings on the Critics of Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis:

To supplement the prior two posts I have published on these matters{1}, these are some random musings I have posted in various forms of social media in the past month or so...

--I wonder how those who are so rigid in one way would like it turned on them? Say those who habitually engage in calumny be told they could not go to communion because to allow it would be to encourage them to remain in their lying state.

Or those who make defacto gods of various cardinals or other bishops after their own liking. We cannot allow them to go to communion lest we confirm them in their sins against the First Commandment.

Or those who have any sort of habitual sin, no matter how they strive to overcome it...we cannot allow them to go to communion because we then encourage them in their sin.

--Remember, not every objectively grave act is automatically a mortal sin. There are a number of potential mitigating factors involved in an individuals subjective culpability for an objective mortal sin.

I think these are matters for someone to work out with their confessor viz if any such matters apply to them at all. Also, that applies to ALL sins, not just ones specifically set aside for special denunciations by various folks be they conservative, liberal, or whatever.

--I find it interesting that those who whine often about Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia accept without complaint the vicious novelties of that apostate Callistus. Why he obliterated tradition when he appealed to Matthew 16:18 to justify radical and unprecedented reforming of penance protocols from the tradition of only being allowed to receive the sacrament of penance once in a lifetime and for adultery, fornication, and murder to actually be forgiven in said sacrament instead of only after a lifetime of penance. Who did he think he was? And just think: he never bothered to answer the written critiques of Hippolytus and Tertullian -basically dubias of their age from custodians of the TRUE tradition!


{1} Those postings can be read here:

Very Briefly on the Dubia Subject

More on the Controversial Dubia Subject

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Federal Government waived the Jones Act to allow non-US ships to carry goods into local ports in Florida and Texas. The Government has chosen not to waive the Jones Act with regard to Puerto Rico.

What is the Jones Act? It is a law which states that when goods are being shipped from one US port to another US port, those goods must be carried on US flagged ships, which are constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens and whose crews consist of US citizens and US permanent residents.

This is absurd! What this does is add unnecessary costs to shipping of goods purchased by US citizens. It also gives the FedGov authority to decide how shipping takes place in the event of natural disasters.

In today's world, this law is garbage. Protectionism is a solution advocated by people who live in a fairy tale world. It doesn't work. It doesn't save jobs. It only makes things more expensive for the average American. And it impedes recovery after disasters." [Imre Beke]

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Transgender Books For Kindergartners, Disallows Parents To Remove Children From Class 

Public schools are often nothing but little propaganda mills.

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BREAKING: Changes To Graham-Cassidy Won’t Change Rand Paul’s Vote
Rand Paul you are a selfish pile of shit!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Is Seattle’s Slow Start Just Its Typical Routine, or a Sign of Larger Problems?

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Miscellaneous Musings on Weblog Formatting/Maintenance, Etc.:

In posting the most recent thread pertaining to the president and the issue of the Iran deal, I found myself thinking of the subject of war and remembered that one of the tags on this page that I have utilized for a long time is the War/WOT/Etc. tag. 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{1} and minor tags.{2}

Basically, after taking some time in years past to thoroughly categorize every post in my weblog archive. It took no shortage of time because of a principle I have utilized from day one that I do not purge or otherwise airbrush my archives because of a concern that I have for history being accurately reported, even when the latter is not to my own benefit. Or as I noted when detailing the largest such formatting project of its kind:

Essentially, we would be less than fully honest if we did not admit that there are some postings in the archive which we do not find to be of value anymore for a variety of reasons which we are not going to delve into at the moment[...] except to note one significant reason which went into this determination.

For you see, your host has refused to purge his archives of stuff which in retrospect he regrets posting. Part of the reason for this is principles as we have been critical of others for trying to airbrush the historical record at their own sites to avoid telling the truth about their past actions or statements in a given point of time. But another reason is that life itself is a process of growth and development across a broad continuum. This includes weblog writing and interests.

We have no problem admitting that it took a bit of time before this weblog really started to take a discernible shape and some of the features and/or principles which have become standard or typical over time were in the "finding their feet" stage early on. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 15, 2007)]

In the interest of fairness, I have to note that I later made exactly four exceptions to the above rule in the interest of attempting to foster a greater atmosphere of both civility as well as charity. And while all the effort I put into that endeavour was unfortunately not appreciated or reciprocated by those for whom it was intended; it would be less than honest if I did not admit to the above exceptions to my general rule. But that is neither here nor there as I am getting off the general point of this posting; ergo, lets return to it now.

After finally getting a general pattern of tagging down, I had to later on do a mess of reformatting to condense a number of tags as I found space constraints in this area to have hit a kind of critical mass. Today's revisions are much less extensive; however, as it was a stretch of years since anything of this sort was undertaken, it seemed appropriate to explain my rationale a bit at this time.

So as I posted a thread yesterday which could indirectly pertain to the subject of war, I found myself thinking the previous tag which I created for that subject was to a certain extent obsolete at least in my mind. So I decided on the following revision to the pertinent tag


It has been used on this posting but changed on all previously tagged postings of its type and will henceforth read as follows:


I also decided to change the description of this weblog which from its founding up to the present read as follows:

My musings on ...well...basically whatever I want to muse on...
It will henceforth read:

Musings on whatever I want to muse on...
All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} So while the weblog probably will not be close to fully and thoroughly archived until summertime but as it is, the entire weblog has been given a preliminary go-through. While still far from complete, it can now be said that nearly 100% of the posts to this weblog can be broken down into eighteen non-overlapping primary categories. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 15, 2007)]

{2} Taken together, the eighteen categories above comprise by our count 100% of all posts to this weblog as primary categorizations. But besides those primary categories, there are also various additional tags including the following which will at some point be added as applicable to all the various postings on this weblog to which they can be ascertained to apply[.] [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 15, 2007)]

{3} I go over this matter in the following thread:

Commemorating A Controversial Anniversary (circa August 17, 2017)

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Trump: I’ve Decided What To Do On The Iran Deal, But …

In the words of that great western philosopher Meatloaf "What's it gonna be boy, yes or no?"

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A Way Out for Democrats: The President Offers a Deal

Here is just a taste of the article, click on the link above for the rest...

"...What is extraordinary about this is the fact that the social-policy program could be readily embraced by the Democratic Party consistent with its heritage and mission. But there is a hitch; the president proposes to make a deal. All the Democratic Party would have to do in exchange is to accept some modest tax and trade proposals and give up its identity politics. The master of the “art of the deal” has shaped a scenario in which the Democrats in Congress could throw the Republicans completely on their heels by embracing the Trump agenda and paving the way to re-brand Trumpism as old-fashioned Democratic policy. 

But the cost! The cost! No more identity politics! That is what it would mean to resume the authority to represent the great American middle. President Trump crafted his inaugural address as if he was very consciously aware of this and thus for its very sake. That is the meaning of his assertion, “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” To the progressive Left, it has been the case for some time that patriotism is simply a screen for racism. They would have to abandon that posture to strike a deal with the president. Would the Democrats strike a bargain that could pave the road to their return to dominance? Or will they cling to the cul-de-sac approach that has for the moment grounded them? That is the question of the hour..."

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Points to Ponder:

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. [Alexander Hamilton]

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

When the U.S. Almost Went to War With North Korea

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Demonstrators Shout Down Pelosi At San Francisco DREAM Act Event

To be clear: if anything is done with DACA{1}, those folks should be kissing our feet for being so generous.

For those who want to act like spoiled children, you could always be shipped somewhere else, remember that!


{1} Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

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Points to Ponder:

To a degree unprecedented in human history, super-majorities in the West experience few impediments to earning and accumulating wealth—other than those they (or their parents) impose by ill-considered uses of their freedom (which turn out to be significant, often insuperable impediments). Age-old expectations of marriage and children have become choices. We can even choose to become male or female. In this context, voting for a 'socialist' does not mean signaling a return of Marxism. It reflects the fact that, thirty years after the end of communism, some voters haltingly recognize that our freedom must be directed toward enduring ends if it is to serve something higher than itself. And in our age, which has taken economics to be the key to almost everything, that intuition naturally comes into focus with calls for limits on economic freedom.

Retro-socialism is a dead end. But in the absence of alternatives that promise stability and relief from the existential exhaustion of perpetual dynamism, Sanders, Corbyn, and others on the left are likely to garner support. The same can be said for populist sentiments that endorse nationalist economic policies of protectionism and subsidies that fly in the face of free market principles.

Michael [Novak] was right in his time, but times have changed. The truth about the human person has a side other than the one that seeks dynamism and openness. This side requires permanence, not in the superficial form of a frozen status quo, but rather in ends, purposes, and projects to which we can entrust our loyalty. This side of the human person has gone unfulfilled in recent decades. Today’s crisis is one of reliable loves.

It is time, therefore, to set aside the notion that the problems we face in the West can be solved by stiffer doses of economic freedom. In parts of Asia, Africa, and other areas of the world, this prescription has merit. But here it’s pure homeopathy. What we need is quite different. [R.R. Reno (circa September 10, 2017)]

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A few busybodies have destroyed a dream for NYC

Radical environmentalists are among the spawn of Satan!

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Cigar Thoughts, Week 2: Seahawks, drunk and flatulent, stagger to 12-9 win over the 49ers

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Feinstein: Some Of My Best Friends Are Catholic



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Thursday, September 14, 2017


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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Points to Ponder:

In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. [Alexander Hamilton]

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Scott: Trump tried to convey his intent in post-Charlottesville remarks

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Arrow still points up for Seahawks, but offensive line must be better

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Brandon Browner charged with felony after arrest in L.A.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Officials made an error on Jeremy Lane ejection call

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Saturday, September 02, 2017

Seahawks 2017 roster cuts tracker: Who does and doesn’t make Seattle’s final 53

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How Google Uses Its Power To Silence Critics

Google is a monopoly that needs to be sued under the Sherman AntiTrust statute.

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Points to Ponder:

"The cigar is a great resource. It is necessary to have traveled for a long time on a ship to understand that at least the cigar affords you the pleasure of smoking. It raises your spirits. Are you troubled by something? The cigar dissolves it. Are you subject to aches and pains (or bad temper)? The cigar will change your disposition. Are you harassed by unpleasant thoughts? Smoking a cigar puts one in a frame of mind to dispense with these. Do you ever feel a little faint from hunger? A cigar satisfies the yearning. If you are obsessed by sad thoughts, a cigar will take your mind off of them. Finally, don't you sometimes have some unpleasant remembrance or consoling thought? A cigar will reinforce this. Sometimes they die out, and happy are those who do not need to relight too quickly. I hardly need to say anything more about the cigar, to which I dedicate this little eulogy for past services rendered." [The Duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt]



Charlie Hebdo cover casts Harvey victims as neo-Nazis

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Friday, September 01, 2017

Seahawks reportedly trade Tramaine Brock to Vikings for 7th round pick

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It’s official: Sheldon Richardson traded to Seahawks for Jermaine Kearse, draft picks

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"Dictatorship is near when liberty becomes license.” [Will Durant]

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Seahawks 20 Vikings 13: Winners and losers from Seattle’s injury-riddled victory

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Dick Gregory, Trailblazer of Stand-Up Comedy, Dies at 84


Jerry Lewis, Nonpareil Genius of Comedy, Dies at 91


Saturday, August 19, 2017

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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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Commemorating A Controversial Anniversary:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

Maybe in retrospect, I should have seen it coming but twelve years ago at this time, I posted the first of what would ultimately be forty threads on the subject of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the use of atomic bombs there back in 1945. (On what was then the sixtieth anniversary year of those events.) What had motivated this decision were many factors but in a nutshell: I had grown tired of seeing the same very lame purported arguments wielded by those who engaged in public moaning about these matters. I therefore decided to write on this subject intending to explain it all to a certain degree. The locus was the profound problems I had with ivory tower revisionist pontificators{2} on this matter -both of the academic as well as the ecclesial variety.{3} I took issue not only with the revisionist matter and its inherent problems but I also sought to explain the military and statistical calculations as well as the moral and ethical aspects of the subject matter in question.{4} Little did I realize in the process the volume of material that would issue forth from these fingertips nor the vitriol that would precipitate -particularly from some of the parties eventually involved.

It seems appropriate at this time to commemorate this rather controversial anniversary, highlight some of what developed from it, and perhaps to serve as a lesson of sorts of the sorts of unintended consequences that can develop from seemingly innocuous actions. Having reiterated anew all the threads in this series from August 17, 2005 through August 23, 2008 in a recent weblog posting, I do not intend to go over those materials again at this time. Nor do I plan to open up any fresh threads on this subject except a small bit I will touch on below which made up one of a series of social media postings whereby I was drawn into discussing these matters publicly in something approaching more than a fleeting bit for the first time in about nine years.{5} I will also replace with the term Name Withheld any personal names in prior sources referenced because what is important here as always with me is the principles enunciated, not the persons involved. Without any further ado, let us get to the meat of these musings now.

After the aforementioned recent social media flareups and my being drawn into them, the idea came to me to consider returning to a kind of metaphorical ground zero on the issue in question and to take some time in reflecting on various and sundry events that happened in this experience. To start with, trust was eventually violated and numerous friendships were inexorably broken. I realized quickly once feedback on the original posting began coming in that this issue was much bigger than it would casually appear and that the emotional component for so many folks was a blinder they had on. As a result, their objectivity in approaching this issue more so than many others of a similar degree of complexity was obscured. I cannot say I was fully blindsided as I did in posting a thread on normative and non-normative argumentation days before the August 17th posting do so because I anticipated the sorts of responses I would likely get from many quarters. It was less the kinds of arguments I would get than the volume and degree of the vitriol that would come my way as a result of said posting. After wading through and dispatching with legions of argumentation fallacies from many folks{6}, I saw with even greater clarity than I had previously just how rationally bankrupt the apologetics oligarchy was whenever its practicioners ventured outside of boilerplate issues.{7}

Indeed apart from the latter, whenever such folks sought to cobble together purported rationales for their ingrained confirmation bias on peripheral issues, they inexorably made a rational mess of things to their own discredit. I remember during a private correspondence thread where there were several participants becoming white hot livid when private correspondence was breached by one of those I was behind the scenes seeking to dialogue with and at that point, a switch flipped and with the person in question, my usual diplomatic niceties melted like a snowball on the sun. From that point on, invective became far more piercing and the goal became one of vanquishment beyond my actual arguments.{8} Looking back more than a decade, I view it as a mistake allowing myself to be affected as I was.

In essence and these preserved archives supply reams of evidence to substantiate me{9}, I have high expectations of those I converse/dialogue with. For example, I expect them to evince a certain predisposition in approaching subjects of discussion. I expect the most basic degree of respect and courtesy.{10} I also expect them to know something of what they speak{11} and to conduct themselves in a manner befitting the discipline of the dialogue.{12} These expectations were so often not met but it was not because of a lack of effort on my part.

For example, after labourious efforts to facilitate a proper dialogue on the atomic bombing subject and finally succeeding in the process{13}, years later in the interest of facilitating some sort of rapproachment with a party I shall not mention, I quietly and without fanfare undertook an unprecedented project whereby I whitewashed four postings of my archives. I had many reasons for deciding to do this and only two which were opposed to it: namely, the time it would take to do it and the fact that I hate historical revisionism of any kind. But in the interest of once again facilitating an environment for if not dialogue than at least somewhat amicable rapproachment, I reread all my previous postings on this subject{14} and discerned where things really began spiraling out of control in the invective department. There were four postings in particular from January 2006August 2006August 2006, and September 2006 which were by these eyes and in retrospect atrocious affairs insofar as the arguments made had taken on far more invective than could be justified objectively speaking{15} to the extent that sort of thing ever can of course.{16} With this in mind, I enlisted a third party who had no involvement in the prior interactions to review those threads and suggest areas where improvement could be made.{17} Once they had done that, I thoroughly revised the aforementioned postings, republished them, and appended to the end of each the following update:

[Update: It was recently pointed out to me by a few people that the tonality of this posting detracted from the substance of the points I was making. I do not deny that I was in an irritable mood when I drafted it and my mood was hardly unjustified. However, that does not mean that the manner whereby I responded is automatically appropriate or without deficiency in prudence. So with that in mind, I decided to revisit this posting from 2006 where invective so suffused the arguments I made as to render them far less persuasive to casual readers than they otherwise could have been.

To potentially render this enterprise more fruitful, I asked someone to act as a third party editor of sorts to review the postings and make suggestions of areas to be revised and others to be removed. (This person had no part whatsoever in the original controversy and to my knowledge is on good terms with all parties involved.) They agreed to review this post and made a number of suggested corrections. In every suggestion they made, I promptly made revisions where recommended and removed material that was recommended to be removed and resubmitted the proposed adjustments to them for follow-up critique, etc. This process continued until areas originally found problematical were adjusted to their satisfaction at which time I made the adjustments to the posting itself and republished it.

The revised posting before you is far more focused on my original arguments and hopefully provides much more light than heat unlike what was written previously. And though I stand by the substance of my original critiques, I do nonetheless profoundly regret letting my anger get the better of me in how I originally responded to [Name Withheld] in this post and extend to him through this effort as well as in words a most sincere apology. -SM 10/2/13]

Ultimately as the party this was addressed to showed they were either unwilling or incapable of separating the core of actual argument from the adornment of its mode of expression{18}, nothing came out of it but at the very least, it served to show the degree to which I will go to see a potentially fruitful dialogue emerge -or a previously detonated bridge be possibly reconstituted.

There has in summary been no small degree of controversy on the issue in question. Before I wrap up this look down memory lane of sorts, I want to include something I wrote after recently being drawn back into the atomic bomb subject for the first time in a long time. I remember touching ever so briefly on this matter in years past{19} but decided to actually flesh it out a tad bit more since a friend recently raised anew the issue of General Dwight D. Eisenhower being an expert on the issue of the atomic bomb and his stated view that it was unnecessary in a book he wrote after leaving the presidency. Without further ado...

As I pointed out years ago[...], General Eisenhower was not in the position to know everything on these matters that Truman and his cabinet were for a variety of reasons. (Its too detailed to go over in a combox.)

Furthermore, President Truman's Secretary of War Henry Stimson kept a pretty up to date tally on those officials regarding the use of the atomic bombs taking particular care to highlight those who dissented from what the president discussed doing. Stimpson's diary mentions meetings with General Eisenhower twice in the weeks before Hiroshima without any mention of a dissenting Eisenhower statement. This is pretty significant because Stimson’s diaries are quite detailed on atomic matters and a dissent from not only a five star general of the United States Army but also the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe would surely have not been overlooked.

What the evidence we have to go off of pre-Hiroshima points to is no noted objection by General Eisenhower at the time. Now he did have issues with it later on but it would appear that he engaged in a lot of postwar second guessing on these matters after the fact.

Presenting that material to add to the Ike debunking in prior years{20} is all I intend to do insofar as any new material on these matters is concerned at present. And with that, I will conclude the remembrance of this controversial anniversary in these words whereby I put an end to the most significant of the controversial public arguments on this matter many moons ago and take my leave on these matters for the indefinite future:

It is never easy for someone whose public performance was so wanting in substance ala what happened with [Name Withheld] last year to deal with what transpired. Furthermore, the longer he continues trying to explain away what happened, it will only be tougher still for them to look at these matters with any sense of objectivity. But at some point it is repeating oneself so while I will not say these subjects will never be touched on again, lets say that after I post a long-planned dip into the email mailbag tomorrow (which will be updated to reflect the current situation a bit), I do not foresee saying anything in the immediate future about this unfortunate saga again. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 21, 2006)]

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} To reference two such postings of the time:

Though I will deal with them in detail later on in this multipart thread, I will give a brief prelude to them by noting for the reader at this time that the veracity of the citations posited by Doug Long (and uncritically parroted by [Name Withheld]) will therefore be a primary purpose of the thread following this one. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 6, 2005)]

And again:

As I have pointed out in not a few threads, the presumption that the Japanese were ready to surrender was an erroneous notion. Furthermore, as I noted in dealing with the MacArthur quotes, the MAGIC cables do not appear to be anything that General Eisenhower knew anything about. He may have known about Venona at the time due to his status as Supreme Commander in Europe but Venona was Soviet-focused and had nothing to do with what happened in the Pacific arena. Indeed, by the time he would have learned about these things as president, he would not have had time to go back and review stuff from 1945 as he had a country to run by that point after all. And (of course) in 1963 he was out of the loop completely and could not have accessed them even if he was inclined to. The following observations from the aforementioned internet interlocutor “Hiroshima_facts” are also of interest on these issues:

Funny how Stimson, who always recorded dissent from officials regarding the bombs, failed to record anything about Ike.

Even funnier how Ike's own early depictions of the encounter claimed that he did not voice any vehement objection.
 [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 6, 2005)]

{2} This wording actually involves some of the title of the first article posted in this series:

On Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Profound Problems With Ivory Tower Revisionist Pontifications (circa August 17, 2005)

{3} I decided to address this indirectly at the time. Unfortunately, subsequent developments made it necessary to take a more explicit approach to this facet of the equation.

{4} This wording is nearly verbatim to some of the title of the first recapitulation thread I posted on this subject:

Threads on the Atomic Bomb Droppings, Military and Statistical Calculations, the Moral and Ethical Aspects of the Subject Matter in Question, Etc... (circa August 28, 2005)

{5} Now without further ado, here is a recapitulation thread of all postings I can think of culled from past such threads and added to this year with the stuff from 2008 and some of the threads from 2007 which will be listed by year (starting with the oldest threads). This posting will stand in perpetuity as all I intend to say on this subject in 2009 and perhaps in the years to follow.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 9, 2009)]

{6} A number of which I once believed should have known better.

{7} I can pretty clearly remember when my general disdain for apologetics began growing at a discernible rate -it was back in early 2004 when significant life events continued their compounding and served to focus my mind more firmly on the general absurdity of so much of it and the sorts of unsavoury characters involved in it.

{8} The substance of which I might add was never even close to remotely refuted.

{9} If you doubt me, check any thread of this weblog in the Internet Archive and you will see exactly what I mean.

{10} One can only deal with that sort of thing for so long and then one can lose their temper (mea culpa!!!). I suffer from exalted ideals in some sense it seems because I expect a lot more from friends than what [Name Withheld] has cared to show and my publicly manifested anger (whatever its merits or demerits, rightful application or overly excessive applications thereof) was because he fell so far short of what I expected from him. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 16, 2006)]

{11} [M]y friend, with all due respect, you are not engaging in dialogue on this subject yet. Instead, you are merely making assertions and stating names of people who agree with you. That is a fallacious approach to argumentation of no small import. Indeed, I have discussed the argumentation fallacies involved here not a few times including in two weblog postings -the first of which was posted in August of 2004 and the second in May of 2005.[...] With both postings, I pointed out five principles that needed to be taken into account for valid argumentation if seeking to argue from authority -three of which were as follows:

--On topics which are of a controverted nature (or where there are disagreements among recognized experts), it is fallacious to accept the opinion of an authority.

--In areas where there is disagreement among recognized experts, individuals then have to turn to various sources. However, whatever the sources turned to, the purpose cannot be for conclusions or opinions of said authority.

--Appeals to any presumable "authoritative" source should take into account (to the extent this is possible) the trackrecord of accuracy of the source being utilized. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 14, 2005)]

It cannot be denied that the subject we are discussing is one where there are disagreements from recognized experts on the matter...we can surely agree on that as it is a well established fact beyond debate. For that reason, it does not suffice to merely posit the opinions of experts whomever they are. You have thus far done this a lot and have not interacted with my actual arguments or the threads from our mutual friends [Name Withheld],[...], and also the points noted by my very good friend [Name Withheld].[...] It is not a matter of merely disagreeing with us my friend, there must be posited viable arguments by you in return...

Dialogue must involve some form of interaction and exchange of viewpoints. Thus far this has been a monologue of sorts between you and I.[...] I say this because posting names of people who disagree with me and [Name Withheld] -and not considering the sitz im leben in the process- along with posting pictures to try and draw on the emotions of readers is not achieving that. In your other use of sources, you are heavily positing conclusions of others but conclusions and opinions are not what should be our concern here. It is the arguments advanced by said parties that is the issue.

I have put forth a theory[...] on this matter and it deserves interaction. Thus far, you have not done that in a fashion befitting a viable counter-theory. This is an area where we can disagree certainly but what sets those on this list apart from persons such as [certain-parties-who-shall-remain-nameless] is the willingness to enter into the arguments of the other. You have not put together cogent arguments yet but instead have merely quoted persons and opinions. I am afraid that will not do my friend...not by a long shot. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 28, 2005)]

{12} Another subject I have written on a number of times, particularly here:

Some Principles For Authentic Dialogue and the Proper Use of Sources in Papers (circa February 9, 2006)

{13} Here are those threads for those who are interested:

My Preliminary Musings on the Anniversary of Hiroshima, on Revisiting This Subject, and on "Blackadder" (circa August 6, 2008)

Some Additional Musings on the Subject of the Atomic Bombings Subject and the Importance of Doing My Part to Facilitate Potentially Fruitful Dialogue (circa August 7, 2008)

Principles of Proper Dialogue -Part of a 2007 Joint Declaration by Shawn and "Blackadder" (circa August 10, 2008)

Response to "Blackadder" on the Atomic Bombings -Part I (circa August 14, 2008)

Response to "Blackadder" on the Atomic Bombings -Part II (circa August 23, 2008)

{14} Which I might add is more than any critic I ever had on these subjects had the decency to do. And in my case it was reading all of the postings back to back in a short timespan to refresh my memory of their content. (Rather than spread out the span of several years as was originally the case for other readers.)

{15} I have always sought to operate in this fashion. Or as I said many moons ago on the subject with some phrasing I borrowed (however subconsciously) from the late great Mike Mentzer:

Unlike the lions share of people from various outlooks who set forth opinions in the public square, the present writer does not expect anyone to accept any of his statements as some kind of arbitrary out of context injunction simply because he says it. This would base the veracity or lack thereof of his statements on a subjectivist context and would imply that truth does not objectively exist.

If you learn to think in principles you learn to think logically. Principles make thinking a lot easier and one of the goals of your host is to focus as much on principles themselves and in how those principles are to be fruitfully applied. For that reason, we will continue to press certain parties who do not seem concerned with principles and logic -either wholly or on arbitrary subject matters- to reconsider their positions. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 30, 2006)]

{16} Anger can be understandable at times but excessive rhetoric or invective really is a spice best used gingerly if at all.

{17} Mainly because I wanted to make sure any changes made were for objective reasons and not to try and appease anyone's ever-shifting subjective dispositions.

{18} See the content in footnotes ten and eleven as well as these examples here posted in chronological order and separated by ### markers:

I have already explained HERE why [Name Withheld]’s methodology is so fatally flawed from an intrinsic standpoint so I shant reiterate it anew in this thread or in the thread following it except (at most) briefly and in passing. Hopefully [Name Withheld] will change his mind and make this a dialogue but I am frankly near the point of no return viz. assuaging my doubts that this is possible. He may be able to fool those who react to this issue as a result of either emotionalism or the historical revisionism that passes for "history" in today's school system. However, those of us who know better will not be swayed by his overall lack of anything resembling an original argument.

Now to casual readers, it may appear that he has made an argument with the interaction with my thread on double effect. But that would be an erroneous premise for reasons I will soon make apparent. In scanning his various threads, the very things he says make it clear that my assertions that this is no actual dialogue are correct. For example, in one of his latest assemblages of random out of context citations (where he now fancies himself as someone who actually is familiar with MAGIC), [Name Withheld] repeats the assertion that Brigader General Carter Clarke was an expert on MAGIC and applies it in the context of him knowing about MAGIC with regards to the Japanese situation. Of course readers of my last post know that I have discredited Colonel Carter Clarke (he was a colonel in 1945) as a credible authority on this subject. But [Name Withheld] ignores what I wrote and again posits Clarke as a viable authority, which only shows that he is not assimilating my arguments...
[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 6, 2005)]


The same thing happened when [Name Withheld] reposted an argument I shredded in detail as if reposting the discredited argument meant it was still a viable one. Here is how I responded to that in a previous brief posting:

I would be remiss in not noting that you seem to be posting anything (and from whatever dubious sources) in a disjointed fashion to try and make your case. For one example of many which could be mentioned, you cite Ralph Raico and treat his stuff as "much needed information." [Name Withheld], I absolutely destroyed many of the arguments he makes in my posting…particularly his regurgitation of the 46,000 figure:

But the worst-case scenario for a full-scale invasion of the Japanese home islands was forty-six thousand American lives lost.

I explained in detail and with actual mathematical models of battlefield casualties in the Pacific theatre why that figure was a pipedream. You not only do not interact with my arguments but you place them on the same plain as Raico's drivel...

Remember, people can say anything and I have not merely undermined many of the arguments from many of the sources you cite but have obliterated them. You cannot expect me to take your reposting of them as if they are still viable to be serious…that is not only not authentic dialogue but it is its very antithesis.
[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 6, 2005 citing a combox posting from August 27, 2005)]


Most recently there was a revisiting of fallacious forms of Argumentum ad Verecundiam as being utilized by a friend of this writer in precisely this kind of context. Though dealt with in more detail in two rather long threads from September 6th, a previous posting from August 28th dealt more specifically with the Argumentum ad Vericundiam aspects of this -the latter of which can be read HERE for those who are interested. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 9, 2005)]


It seems that a certain very confused friend of this writer has sought to respond to a recent "points to ponder" thread by taking issue with the person whose words were posted. As the confused friend in question recently was on the receiving end of a pretty thorough drubbing by yours truly viz. some "arguments" they sought to propound on a subject which they were by their own admission not well informed in[...], it seems that they presume that they can avoid admitting to being taken to the cleaners in their attempted "arguments" by going after the person of Glen Whitman. Those who can figure out what fallacy this involves are ahead of the curve but I will explain it briefly for those who are still reading and for whom the penny has not dropped yet. Nonetheless, before I do that, I will briefly make a defense for the person of someone I have never met or corresponded with.[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 11, 2005)]


As a proposed dialogue on a very complex and touchy subject matter in recent weeks has resulted in the exact opposite of my initial intentions occurring (i.e. matters non normative, objective, and issues based have been transmuted into normative, subjective, and personal), it seems appropriate at this time to put an end to it from my side of the fence if you will...

Readers who have followed the series of events are aware of these two points if nothing else:

--I have set forth very trenchant arguments covering the spectrum of complexities of the subjects in question.

--I have explained in reasonable detail why the attempts to counter my arguments have failed from a logical and non-normative standpoint.

Those points have not been countered with anything representing rational argument; ergo I have said what I intend to say on them and do not intend to say any more. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 12, 2005)]


Allow me to preface this post with an excerpt that will encapsulate what the aforementioned post itself will deal with.

When you take it down to brass tacks, [Name Withheld] does not make his own arguments on the subjects I raised. Instead, he makes a laundry list of people who agree with him irrespective of their actual agendas or the arguments they advance to arrive at their conclusions and opinions. This is nothing more than the fallacious form of appealing to authority which I pointed out in my last posting. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 6, 2005)]

Now for those who read the first quote of this posting and decide to not read the rest of it, I frankly do not blame them as I really did not want to have to go into this again. However, it is obvious now (if there was ever any doubt previously) that [Name Withheld] has a problem over how things went down last year when he tried to discuss a subject in the public forum that he (by his own admission) was not well-read on...

Unfortunately, [Name Withheld] again sought to take a private discussion public without warning or warrant to do so and yet again refused to actually consider what I outlined in a couple of email circulars on what I saw as problematical with his whole approach to the controversial issues in question. Thus, with the continual refusal to interact with my actual arguments and another public attempt to grandstand by [Name Withheld] undertaken, I cannot stand by and let these diversions from the subject at hand go unanswered...

Due to the fortunate circumstance of a rare block of time to do so, I decided to interact with [Name Withheld]'s original posting and ignore all of his subsequent attempts to deny what he really said and did. The real beef I had was him in this whole incident can be boiled down to a few points, namely (i) his violation of the private forum with posting on matters discussed there publicly without prior notice, (ii) what he wrote originally, (iii) the poor quality of his argumentation, and (iv) the objective lack on his part of following the disciplines of a proper dialogue. Later on, this spread to (v) all of his subsequent attempts to distract from that by claiming he did not say and do what his own words reveal by any objective review. For this reason, those subsequent posts will be summarily ignored in this posting except where needed to clarify certain points subsequent to his original posting...[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa January 23, 2006)]

And from there we were off to the races so to speak and things took a darker tone. (Yes I was responding to attempts at revisionism that were far from ingenuous but I could have also handled my part of it better.)

{19} See the end of footnote one.

{20} See the second link posted in footnote one.

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