Saturday, August 19, 2017

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

Notes:

{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.

Notes:

{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 outthe 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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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Zinn's influential history textbook has problems, says Stanford education expert

This article was posted back when the present weblog was mothballed so I did not comment on it then. Suffice to say, those who know where to find them can find in the archives of this humble weblog plenty of less-than-flattering things about the methodology of one Howard Zinn so an article like this is most welcome to see.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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

Notes:

{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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MARCO RUBIO ASSASSINATION PLOT FROM VENEZUELA DETECTED BY U.S. INTELLIGENCE
Under the Monroe Doctrine (Roosevelt Corollary), this would give us a green light to intervene in Venezuela!

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Democrats and the Permanent Crisis

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Jury orders blogger to pay $8.4 million to ex-Army colonel she accused of rape

As far as I am concerned, false claims of rape should be punished just as vigorously as actual rape!

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Why I Was Fired by Google

Or to use one of the old weblog styled headings{1} as a commentary on this thread: "Diversity For Me, Not For Thee" Dept.

Note:

{1} For those who did not figure it out years ago, this was a style shamelessly borrowed from Mad Magazine.

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The police boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts is fully on

Let me make sure I get this straight: police are boycotting a donut shop?

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Monday, August 07, 2017

Weblog Threads on the Atomic Bomb Subject and Various Factors Involved in Objectively Assessing the Moral and Ethical Ramifications Thereof--A Rerum Novarum Recapitulation Thread (circa August 6, 2009)

The above thread from eight years ago summarizes every posting to this humble weblog from August 17, 2005 to August 23, 2008 on the subject of the atomic bombings of imperial Japan in WWII. For those interested in that subject, there is plenty there for their perusal.

Since taking this weblog out of mothballs earlier this year, I have written one post on the subject of war atrocities in general which referenced that thread. It can be read here for those who are interested:

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Other Russia: Poisonings, 'Accidents,' and Assassinations

Meanwhile we in America have #morons on all sides who imagine that our political parties operate the same way Putin and his thugs act over in Russia...

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

College Student Receives Apology Letter From Ex-Girlfriend. He Graded It And Put it Online. Then Things Got Really Crazy.

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Points to Ponder:

Every time I or someone else criticizes the police for shooting an unarmed person, particularly if they're black, someone inevitably says "well what about black on black crime?" as if the presence of one invalidates the concern of the other. Well today, like I do every year, I came to East Cleveland for the dedication ceremony for the 3 women (including my friend Shirellda) who were killed a few years back and at the same time there was a Stop the Violence march led by the Word Church. A TON of people marching. I didn't see not a single one of y'all that use "black on black crime" as a talking point out there. Nor did I see not one TV truck. Hopefully I'm wrong and they got footage of it earlier, but I didn't see them. So If you are not willing to put the keyboards down and get out in the streets and prove that you care about black on black crime for real, then sit the hell down and shut the hell up cause you really ain't about nothing and you're just using the existence of black on black crime as a way to defend the police. [Darvio "Kingpin" Morrow]

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Homeless booted from subways so de Blasio could have ‘clean’ ride

#Douchebag
#LimoLiberal
#Hypocrite




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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Points to Ponder:

“Nations that went down fighting rose again, but those that surrendered were finished.” [Winston Churchill (circa May 24, 1940)]

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Monday, July 17, 2017

On the Cruz Amendment to the Senate Obamacare Repeal Bill:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

I am no fan of Senator Ted Cruz for reasons I have noted in the past many times, albeit not on this humble weblog. However, a good idea deserves to be recognized whomever comes up with it and the Cruz Amendment to Majority Leader McConnell's bill is a good idea for many reasons. The first is that it actually targets the whole issue that Obamacare was supposed to be aimed at but never came close to achieving: lowering premiums. The second reason is a bit more subtle but this article notes it as well: acting as a hedge against future single payer.

For if folks have health care choices that lower their premiums as the Cruz Amendment allows for, then there would be no interest whatsoever in single payer later on which (as anyone with a normal intact functioning brain knows!) will never lower rates and will only jack them up higher while entrenching more government into the process. The Cruz Amendment operates as a hedge against this while leaving an option in place for those who for some odd reason actually like their Obamacare plan and giving everyone else actual options. And if people prefer non-Obamacare plans and choose them, then the market has decided on this matter and that is what is important, not what some dipshit bureaucrats decide arbitrarily to demand that someone obtain.


So again, as I know what some of you will say after reading much of this and accuse me of being some Cruzbot, I am not a Cruzbot or a Trumpbot. Nor have I carried water for the Republicans for more than two decades now unlike those of you who only recently thought it was cool to become an Independent voter. However, reason and ethics demand that a good idea be recognized and promoted wherever one finds it and on the issue of the Obamacare repeal, the Cruz Amendment is a welcome compromise to get to 50 votes provided (of course) that the repeal legislation also fully repeals the individual and employer mandates as well without any gimmickery attached to those elements. The end result of these three elements is a defacto repeal of Obamacare even if not a de jure repeal as well as a hedge against further movement in the direction of single payer. And considering how far we are from having the votes for a full statutory repeal, this is as good as it will get until we find 60 votes somewhere for a full statutory repeal.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"[B]e very slow to characterize your fellow Americans. I know that when people have to run for office they have to say 'I’m smart and my opponent’s dumb,' or 'I’ve got better ideas than my opponent.' That’s politics there’s nothing wrong with that. But, I get very very concerned when I hear people start characterizing their opponents as stupid. I still understand that because politics is a little rough and tumble at times, but I don’t buy it and when they start calling each other either crazy or evil. You and I, we don’t compromise with crazy people or evil people. And so, I don’t think that’s helpful. Generally speaking, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them crazy or evil.

By sitting down and talking with them, after having a good strong argument, going out and having a root beer with them, maybe showing up at the same church, maybe going to the hospital to see their kid when they’re having their appendix out, reminds you that they’re human beings too. There’s no reason to get all worked up as if someone is evil or crazy. For one thing, none of us are perfect and all-knowing, so this might be their right, and that’s why I don’t care for ideological people. It’s like those people just want to stop thinking. They know what they think, they don’t read anything but one newspaper that agrees with them or they watch only one television news show because it reinforces them, instead of listening to the ones that don’t agree with them. So, I think the way you get over it is, you take people one at a time and you give them the same credit you give yourself and your ideas." 
[James Mattis: Interview With A High School Student]

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

It’s Not Treason, but It’s Not Defensible, Either

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/449408/donald-trump-jr-didnt-commit-treason


The introduction says it about as well as I would have so I will simply quote it here as my comment on the rest of the article it is part of. Without further ado...

"One of the rules you should try to follow, if you talk or write about politics, is to apply the same basic standards and rules for longer than just whatever gets you through the current news cycle. That’s true of what you think is right and wrong and scandalous, and it’s doubly true of what’s legal and illegal. The rule of law exists so that we know what rules apply to our friends and political foes alike..."

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Q-and-A on the Vatican's recent instruction on bread, wine for Communion

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Points to Ponder:

Those who are gung ho about not vaccinating their kids and who refuse to should wear a scarlet V in public so if their choices result in others getting infected (or worse), said persons can be more readily identified for possible legal action (if applicable). [Me (circa July 8. 2017)]

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#AristotleCallYourOffice
#LawOfNonContradiction

The Left's Breaking Point

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Points to Ponder:

With age may come wisdom but certainly with age usually comes jadedness. [Me (circa July 8, 2017)]

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Hillary Clinton looks for her role in midterms

"Hillary should do what she does best...

- Help candidates set up unsanctioned email accounts

- Hand out drills for destroying your harddrives

- Hand out plastic red reset buttons

- Sell uranium to our enemies in order to help fund campaigns" ["Guomino"]



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Defense Secretary Mattis Grants Interview To High School Student (And It’s Pretty Good)

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Why Seahawks RB/WR C.J. Prosise can live up to the hype





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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Ultra Briefly on President Trump's Visit to Poland:

In my opinion, visiting Poland was a good choice for President Donald Trump. Why? Well, they are perhaps the most pro-American country in continental Europe for one and secondly, it is a good momentum builder going into his upcoming summit with Vladimir Putin.

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#KimJongMentallyIll
#ShitJustGotReal

North Korea 'successfully tests' its first intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska: Kim Jong-un could now strike US territory with a nuclear weapon, analysts fear

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Seahawks have hole to climb out of in order to get back on track on defense

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This is one reason why *some* of the slavish Trumpsters deserve to be laughed at!

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Local Mom Claims Vaccines Caused Her Son’s Calvinism

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

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

Notes:

{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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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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

Notes:

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

{2} A Solution For Dealing With Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse (circa June 3, 2017)

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Request For Ethical and Rational Consistency To Various and Sundry Past Critics:

Whenever I would discuss my combox policy{1} in sundry times and in divers manners{2}at this humble weblog, I would get some critics who would take swipes at me claiming that by not having comments boxes here that for some reason, it denoted some kind of cowardice or fear of engaging in arguments with others. I have in mind particularly certain persons who engage in apologetics with this particular point: something I note briefly here so that the audience is not confusing to the reader.

Having noted that, I came across recently the following from canonist Dr. Ed Peters on why he does not enable comments on his blog. I will him at some length here and where applicable to a certain extent to Rerum Novarum both past as well as present. Without further ado:

Why comments aren’t enabled here

I have thought about enabling comboxes on my blog for some time. My reasons for declining at present are:
First, open comboxes are notorious occasions for grave sin (calumny, detraction, falsehood, even blasphemy). I won’t have it here, of course. But that leaves only monitored comboxes, and monitoring comboxes takes time—more time than I have and certainly more time than I wish to devote to, well, monitoring comboxes. Of course, if someone comes up with a way for me to get paid for monitoring comments, I’m open to reconsidering—my children are always screaming for more caviar and diamonds.
...
Now the kind of education offered here can take place quite well, I think, without entertaining questions (questions that are often ill-formed and/or inappropriate for many others in my audience), and without entertaining comments (comments that, if right, would add little to what I already said, and if wrong, would often require considerable time for me correct). It seems better for all concerned if I just post what I think... and leave it at that. Time will tell whether my analysis of various issues is, in the main, right or wrong.
Third—and mind, this comes from someone who often posts in others’ comboxes!—I find that combox discussions never really resolve anything; they are effectively interminable in that, no matter how thoroughly one might have answered a question or addressed an issue, there will always be one more bloke out there able to reword the matter in such a way as to suggest that it has not yet been adequately aired. And that is not counting the people who post as breand-new questions things that were expressly dealt with just a few posts higher up! Sheesh!

...
Anyway these are some of the reasons why I haven’t enabled comboxes on this site...

I am posting the above to ask critics (present and past) who have made or intend to make light of my lack of comments boxes at this humble weblog to either lob similar snide crap at Dr. Ed Peters or have the guts to do what a real Christian should do in these sorts of situations.

That is all for now.

Notes:

{1}Most recently reiterated anew HERE for those who are interested.

{2} This footnote will consist of a longer footnote from a previous post to this weblog in years gone by which encapsulates some of my references over the years to comments boxes and my policies with them. Without further ado...

#######
In order from earliest to most recent on the matter and excluding any postings that did not to some extend extend or amplify previous comments on this subject:

Unlike major media outlets the contents of this blog are not a result of intense focus group testing nor Zogby-like polling data mind you; Rerum Novarum does not function that way. (So those who wrote about adding comments boxes, nada as I do not have the time to police them and besides: most of those who inquired about the comments boxes are not the sorts I would long tolerate posting in comments boxes at my blog.) The reason I have the occasional "guest editorial" policy is to bridge the gap if you will in that regard. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 30, 2002)]

I also blog and interact with emailers if (i) it is a subject I have not blogged on before (ii) it is a subject that interests me (iii) the emailer is polite and (iv) the emailer asks challenging questions. If the emailer is not polite, then their piece becomes fodder for potential fisking in accordance with my mood at the time.

I also interact with stuff on discussion lists, blogs, and the message boxes at other blogs and all of that is potentially bloggable as well. (And usually I email the link to the person so they can read and respond to it if they want to.) [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 24, 2003)]

On the Comments Box Subject Revisited (circa June 6, 2005)

Briefly on Comboxes Again With Jonathan Prejean (circa June 10, 2005)

The Comments Box Subject Revisited (circa January 26, 2007)

#######

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The Video of Philo Castile's Fatal Shooting 

Those who wonder why I am not a rah rah cheerleader for law enforcement, I have my reasons. One is the widescale prevalence of civil asset forfeiture abuse. Another is situations like this where there is the kind of presumption of guilt a priori based on flimsy bs. In this case, a camera caught it but how often has there never been a camera there in these sorts of situations?

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Friday, June 23, 2017

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

Notes:

{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, June 22, 2017

Finishing Most Expensive House Race Ever, Ossoff Calls For Campaign Finance Reform

 My comment: Its sorta like Jenna Jamison deciding to preach against porn.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"'Buy American' is as silly a concept as buying anything else just because of where its supposedly from. How about this: Buy Quality. If at times that means buying American then great but do not buy low quality shit of any kind, period!" [Shawn McElhinney (circa yesterday)]

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"Had Hillary won, everyone would have expected disappointed Trump voters to show a modicum of respect for the electoral results as well as for the historic ceremony of the inauguration, during which former combatants momentarily unite to pay homage to the peaceful transition of power in our democracy. But that was not the reaction of a vast cadre of Democrats shocked by Trump's win. In an abject failure of leadership that may be one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the modern Democratic party, Chuck Schumer, who had risen to become the Senate Democratic leader after the retirement of Harry Reid, asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite. Nor were there statesmanlike words of caution and restraint from two seasoned politicians whom I have admired for decades and believe should have run for president long ago—Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. How do Democrats imagine they can ever expand their electoral support if they go on and on in this self-destructive way, impugning half the nation as vile racists and homophobes?" [Camille Paglia]


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Friday, June 16, 2017

Trump To Republican Senators: The House Health-Care Bill Was “Mean”


In response to President Donald Trump at a meeting of Republican Senators throwing the Republicans in the House under the bus for provisions of their bill that he previously agreed to, Jay Cost produced a two thread Twitter rant that read as follows...

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
This is one of Trump's greatest failures.
2:29 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
He has no firm and fixed opinions on public policy, nor is he well versed in the details. So he vacillates.
2:29 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
In so doing, he cannot provide guidance to his allies in Congress, nor can he be called upon to broker deals as need be.
5:30 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
Making comments like this are deeply counter-productive. If POTUS is blasting his own party's bill now, who's to say he won't later?
2:30 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
And what happens then to the vulnerable members who supported it, *AT HIS REQUEST*? They're left to twist in the wind, alone.
5:31 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
Why would you stick your neck out for Trump when you have a reasonable fear that he'll be the one to chop it off?
2:31 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
Gee whiz. If only people had warned about this last spring, when there were other Republicans available who knew the basics of governing.
5:32 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
But no no no. We had to have somebody to tear the whole system down. Blah blah blah. Little did they realize that this is impossible.
2:32 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
Our government is indestructible. So when you elect a wrecking ball, you're just going to knock yourself over.
2:33 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
But go on and keep complaining about the #NeverTrumpers. They're the real problem, not the dunce you people insisted on making president.
2:34 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
There is nothing to deal with. Trump is who he is. He doesn't learn lessons. He's not going to change. So we just await the blowback.
2:39 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
I disagree. There's catharsis in a Festivus-style airing of grievances. Also, certain people need to be rebuked so they can't do this again.
2:42 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
Hannity Limbaugh Scarborough Switzerland Sessions Palin Murdoch ... all need to be called out continuously and aggressively.
2:43 PM - 13 Jun 2017

Jay Cost ✔ @JayCostTWS
Hewitt, aka Switzerland, adopted a stance of neutrality during the primaries that was as outwardly pious as it was deeply disingenuous.
2:46 PM - 13 Jun 2017

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195 Congressional Democrats file Emoluments Lawsuit against Trump
The odds of this actually succeeding? Maybe 10% at the most!

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

BREAKING: Bernie Sanders ADMITS Scalise Shooter Worked For His Campaign

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Texas Animal Abusers May Face up to a Decade in Prison Thanks to New Law

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Points to Ponder:

"But mom, Billy did it too!" [Nearly every political argument these days]

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Monday, June 12, 2017

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home dad?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then.

[Harry Chapin Carpenter]

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Blackballing Nat Hentoff

Its a couple years old{1}, but from time to time, its worth revisiting from time to time certain fundamental principles. One of those is simple: the left who claims to be so tolerant and wanting everyone to CoExist and all that crap really is not so tolerant at all. Witness their treatment of the late great Nat Hentoff, a fellow liberal who they went from lionizing to treating like a leper. Why? Because Nat Hentoff was one of my favourite men of the left: a man of principle. Furthermore, he followed where the evidence took him, even if he did not feel comfortable where said evidences took him. For more, read the link above.

And remember: the left is not the tolerant sorts they claim to be but instead are every bit as totalitarian as any of their most feverish imaginations of what folks on the right{2}are like.

Notes:

{1} And Rerum Novarum was suspended when this first came out.

{2} For those who have forgotten (or who never knew): I am not a fan of the left-right categories as a rule and not just because I do not fit comfortably in either one.

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As if I needed more reasons to loathe big government and bureaucracies!

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Friday, June 09, 2017

To Briefly Address Both American Political Extremes:

Note to the #BlueKoolAidBrigade:

Attempting to prove President Trump lacks competence, lies, or is an asshole does not rise to the level of obstruction of justice or any other crime.

Note to the #RedKoolAidBrigade:

Attempting to prove President Trump did not engage in obstruction of justice or any other crime does not disprove claims that Mr. Trump lacks competence, is a proven liar, or is an asshole. (Nor does it prove such things either.)

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Theresa May must go - and go now

Theresa May's idea for holding an election unnecessarily right before major talks on one of the biggest issues in Britain today (Brexit) is in the words of Blackadder "[the] worst idea since someone said ‘yeah let’s take this suspiciously large wooden horse into Troy, statues are all the rage this season’.”

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"Few things annoy me more in the economic sphere than giant businesses which seek to use the law to crush their smaller competitors. The law is supposed to provide justice for all and that does not happen when you have larger groups connected in various ways with government agencies which use the law as an instrument of their perverse plunder.

My general philosophy with buying anything is to go with smaller business over larger business whenever its reasonably feasible to do so and folks who want to do that should have the freedom to do so if they choose." [Shawn McElhinney (circa June 6, 2013)]

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Headdesk: GA-06 Candidate Says She “Does Not Support A Livable Wage”

When you fight an enemy on their own chosen turf, this is what happens!



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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

"One From The Vault" Dept.

 I am re-posting at this time the link to an expository musing from eight years ago. Without further ado:

On D-Day and Writing Photographs (circa June 6, 2009)

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Norm Macdonald on Why He’s Tired of Trump Satire and the Joke He’ll Never Tell Again

I am not sure if its good or bad but I relate a lot to what Norm Macdonald says in this interview on the political stuff.

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Imams refuse to give Islamic burials for London attackers in 'unprecedented move'


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Saturday, June 03, 2017

Trump takes travel ban appeal to Supreme Court

The cat was let out of the bag when some of the judges who implemented injunctions against the travel ban more or less said that while its unconstitutional if President Trump does it that if Resident Obama or a President Hillary Clinton had done it, it would be constitutional. Nice try folks but constitutionality is not a matter of feelings nor is it that subjective.

I look forward to SCOTUS striking the ban on the travel ban down soon!

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ESPN FPI Rankings 2017: Seahawks slated with 76% chance to win division, 23% to get number one seed

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Firm involved in DNC lawsuit got ‘voice changer’ call from Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ office

Seriously, right when you want to talk about another area where the Trump Administration is incompetent, these folks have to basically say "hold my beer" and limbo the bar! LOL

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A Solution For Dealing With Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse:
(Musings of your humble servant circa May 6, 2015)

I believe this is a good subject for the 3 or 4 serious presidential candidates to focus on that could resonate well with a public that is justifiably suspicious (at best) of the meddling nature of the federal leviathan; namely, civil asset forfeiture reform.

I suggest not only stricter rules are needed in this area but the importance of removing any temptation to harrass citizens without just cause for doing so. For that reason, the only persons who should ever be targets for civil asset forfeiture at a minimum should be folks who are formally charged with a crime. If the government is not willing to do that, then they have no business meddling in the affairs of private citizens. To dissuade the government and its agents from violating this principle, there should be an appropriate penalty so here is what I suggest:

If someone not formally charged with a crime has assets seized, the government should reimburse them 300% and whomever screwed up either gets fired or (at a minimum) a 50% pay cut!

The benefit of the doubt should always lay with private citizens along with the presumption of innocence, not with the government and its agents "erect[ing]a multitude of New Offices, and send[ing] hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."{2} And as the only way meddling bureaucrats will learn is to be given sufficient penalties to dissuade them from abusing their functions, the aforementioned ones should suffice -though I would also be willing to consider seizing the assets of any federal agent who seizes the assets of any person not formally charged with a crime.


Notes:

{1} Yes, most of the candidates running who ran are were clowns!

{2} Cf. Declaration of Independence.

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Friday, June 02, 2017

Points to Ponder:

"People as a rule (no matter whom they are) have a tendency to adhere to or endorse outlooks that serve for the most part to reaffirm what they want to believe whether they realize it or not. And this goes double for virtually anyone who would have the temerity to deny this in their own case by the way. Indeed, those who would claim they have no vested self-interest whatsoever in a position or outlook that they endorse should have their views taken with at least a shaker full of salt if not more." [Shawn McElhinney (circa November 21, 2012)]

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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Repudiating The Paris Agreement Is Just The Latest In Trump’s War On Environmental Extremism

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Jack Nicklaus says Tiger Woods 'needs our help'

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Bluntly on Lay Ecclesial Hypocrisy...
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

One positive about the pontificate of Pope Francis is he is exposing many conservatives as Pharisees. One problem is Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI inadvertently gave not a few conservatives the false idea that conservatism is the Catholic Faith and that is not true at all.

We also saw from so many of these same folks a papal worship in the prior two pontificates that treated every word from the pope as some all-hallowed requirement of belief which the same folks do the exact opposite in denigrating and ignoring Pope Francis in areas not only of faith and morals but church discipline and government. Too many hypocrites about on the conservative side. It was long time to trim the boat a bit but lest I forget, those liberals who denigrated and ignored Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI but worship and exalt Pope Francis' every hiccup are just as big a hypocrites.

Folks need to remember that the Faith is not one and the same with conservatism or liberalism.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

General Questions For the Seth Rich Conspiracy Promoters:

Are you really all that concerned about Seth Rich homicide or are you just trying to find a political club to beat Hillary and the Democrats with that you will grab at anything?

Washington DC has long been a murder capital as conservatives love to claim in their pro gun propaganda in counter to the Democrats anti-gun propaganda. A person who walks home alone at 4am in a dangerous town (or a dangerous part of any town!) is asking for trouble.

There were over 140 homicides in DC in 2016. In fact, here is a list of unsolved homicides in DC from 2016.

Prior to me posting this, could you have named even one other DC homicide victim in 2016 other than Seth Rich?

If you could not, you should seriously take stock of what your motivations are here my friend because they would appear to be politically self-serving and not genuinely interested in justice.

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Points to Ponder:
(From the Archives)

Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent. [Napoleon Bonaparte]

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Briefly on Grieving:

When it comes to grieving, it is difficult no matter which side you are on. When you are the one who has gone through loss, oftentimes those who reach out are very awkward in how they do it and can at times unintentionally offend in how they do it. It helps those who are hurting to remember that.

For those on the other side of the fence who are reaching out to someone grieving, remember that no two people grieve in the same way. As much as possible do not take rebuffs personally (if they happen) and patiently try to find different ways to reach out until something works.

Greater patience and love on all sides is something we all should strive for.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

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

Notes:

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

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Points to Ponder:

"Contributing to polarization via argumentation fallacies is no laughing matter." [Shawn McElhinney]

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Points to Ponder:
(From the Archives)

Politics is the art of the possible not the art of the perfect. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 16, 2009)]

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

My latest contribution{1} to the Jaded Politics project courtesy of the Musings From Exile weblog{2} can be read HERE.

Notes:

{1} It is substantially the same as an article I posted to this humble weblog yesterday.

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

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Meanwhile In Dumbfuckistan" Dept.

A bit of backstory is needed on this one so here goes:

About a month ago, the recently elected chair of the Democratic National Committee proclaimed that pro life people were not welcome in the Democratic Party. Here were his words:

"Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health...That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state."

Since that time, the Democrats have dumped a ton of money into one special election that they lost{1} and there are four more special elections coming up: one in May{2} and three in June.{3} Other than CA-4 in which the Democrats will hold serve, they could very well lose the other three elections which are in Republican favourable districts. Recent polling has the Republicans leading in MT-AL,{4} favoured over the Democrat in SC-5{5}, and its a dead heat in GA-6.

So, as the Democrats are literally sweating to produce a notable victory since the November election that they can hang their hats on, DNC Chairman Mao Tom Perez is now walking back his self-inflicted wound from a month ago. But what is he going to do about this? Well, funny you should ask:

Perez plans to meet with Democrats for Life of America and its executive director Kristen Day, but … the date has not yet been set. The meeting will take place at DNC headquarters in DC too, which makes this less an outreach than a grant of a schedule slot. That’s the only meeting set up for the purpose of engaging a “big tent,” which seems to indicate that Perez doesn’t plan to get out much in other areas to engage pro-life Democrats and independents. In fact, it doesn’t look like he’s getting out at all.

I do not see how this will accomplish anything in terms of placating a faction of the Democratic Party that has been marginalized in recent decades and then told to STFU and GTFO just last month by the reigning DNC Chair. Considering how vulnerable the Republicans are due to the self-inflicted wounds of President Donald Trump in recent months, this barrel-swallowing by Chairman Mao Perez makes no sense and only seems to confirm what many of us have suspected about the leaders of Dumbfuckistan the Democratic Party; namely, that they have no idea why they lost and therefore do not know what they need to do to put out a winning political coalition in the Trump era.

Notes:

{1} I refer here to KA-4.

{2} I refer here to the Montana At Large seat election on May 25, 2017.

{3} I refer here to CA-4 on June 6, 2017 as well as GA-6 and SC-5 on June 20, 2017

{4} The poll here is a Democratic Super PAC's poll.

{5} The runoff election there is currently too close to call.



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Thursday, May 11, 2017

"One From The Vault" Dept.

I found this in the archives of the draft folder when doing a search for something. Apparently it was a bit being worked on for a while and finished on August 5, 2008 but for some reason, I never posted it. Since so many of these same kinds of arguments could be tweaked and directed towards Donald Trump or any Republican in the White House, I have decided for fun to lightly tweak and publish the material at the present time since the principles outlined in the text below are just as valid now as they were then even if every little detail may not be. Without further ado...
Oh brother...
Environmetally unfriendly read Kyoto,

Kyoto would cost a ton of money and do nothing whatsoever to change things.

no sane person doubts global warming. 

More like no sane person buys into this garbage and that is why Gore and his ilk are being sued by a few parties including the founder of the Weather Channel who has accused Gore of being the lying fraud that he is. The earth was warmer in the 1940's than it is now, it was warmer during the Renaissance than it is now, it was warmer in the eleventh century than it is now: with the latter that is why Greenland was named "Greenland" because it was green not the icebox it has subsequently become. However, the earth is also warmer now than it was in the 1970's when they were claiming "global cooling" and predicting a coming ice age.

These things are and always have been cyclical and the overwhelming majority of the factors involved are outside of man's control. Meanwhile, the ones that are in our control it is debatable to what extent they even matter except in the most localized of incidents.

The problem with people today is they have no sense of perspective on these matters and will believe whatever fits their inclinations. Furthermore, you have historians and scientists today who let their politics or personal views cloud their professional judgment much as you do judges and other people in positions of authority. The idol of "creativity" in jobs where "creativity" is not part of the description and only leads to confusion as a result.

Katrina totally mishandled due to cronies appointed to positions that should been held by bureaucrats. 

As if bureaucrats are to be trusted with anything...I am not defending the appointment of cronies by any stretch but the idea that somehow bureaucrats are to be trusted as competent is a comment that can only be made by someone naive as to the inefficiencies of bureaucracies. Katrina happened in large part because of weaknesses in the state system of Louisiana going back decades -decades I might add of mismanagement by democratic governors and legislators. Furthermore, it is not the role of the federal government to be handing out money for disaster relief anyway: something else that many folks apparently are unaware of.

Osama - still on the loose, fumbled at Tora Tora.

Yes, Bush was on the ground over there personally overseeing everything...how could we not know this. Phuleeze ;-)

Iraq - billions wasted, 4000 dead, no weapons of mass destruction.

The level of casualties in Iraq is ridiculously low by historical standards and still people whine. I trust most people believe the Civil War was fought for just causes and General Grant in winning that war lost on average 1700 soldiers a DAY in the final year. Both sides combined lost 625,000. There were whole battles in WWII where we lost significantly more than 4000 - Okinawa and Iwo Jima come to mind, so does the Battle of the Bulge and D-Day. Other examples could be noted but this suffices to illustrate my point.

I do not say these things to deprecate those who lost their lives in Iraq but instead to point out the ridiculous lack of historical perspective people today have as well as their overall weakness.
As far as weapons of mass destruction, it is interesting how many people think that was the only reason for the war -the belief by all the major intelligence agencies in the world that Saddam had them notwithstanding.

At any point since 1991 we could have lawfully gone back into Iraq because Hussein never abided by the terms of the ceasefire. And however this was dealt with in that interim, it was becoming evident that something was going to be done about Saddam at some point: that is why President Clinton reoriented the approach towards Iraq to be one of "regime change" in the late 1990's. And after 9/11, it was decided that certain things could not be tolerated anymore and one of them was the situation in Iraq after 1991.

But the media as is their wont never presented the full picture on this matter, focusing only on the WMD subject. As far as whether or not there ever were any -and a variety of sources (including former Iraqi generals) telling us they were moved to Syria in 2002 notwithstanding- it nonetheless was not the sole justifying reason.

I remind you also that even the UN voted on resolution 1441 15-0 but when it came time to vote for the actual use of force (rather than merely another toothless scolding from the UN) there were three nations voting against (Russia, France, and Germany) all of which were found to be receiving kickbacks from Hussein. Or have you forgotten about Oil-For -Food and that whole racket?
If determining the justness or lack thereof depended on a unanimous vote of the UN Security Council (itself a dubious proposition) and the parties voting "nay" did so because they were in Hussein's back pocket, that makes appealing to that UN vote to justify the assertion of "unjust war" a most pathetic and embarrassing stance to be taking.

Tax laws favoring the wealthy

The wealthiest 5% pay roughly 75% of all income taxes. How does this "favour" them?

while borrowing to run a war our children will pay for.

The problem with borrowing money is a problem this is true but is it a problem in principle or simply because the money is being used for something you do not approve of? If you say the latter then you are without principle, if the former than at least there is hope.

Stopping alternative sources of energy with his oil cronies,

And who is going to develop these supposed "alternative sources of energy"? It is not the role of the federal government to do this and even if it was, the federal government's history of incompetence on these kinds of matters gives us a good read of how successful they would be with this one.
The problem with economically ignorant liberals is they are all in favour of taxing the "rich" who often own the sorts of large businesses with the capital to fund research into these matters. (Not to mention business owners in general most of which are small business owners: they are often lumped in with the "rich" also.) Then they complain when alternative sources either are not available or are too expensive for average people when they are.

These things do not just grow on trees but require research, planning, and the risk of capital in speculative enterprises. But continue to whine about "the rich not paying enough" and levying more and more taxes on them so that they do not invest their capital in development in these areas. That is what happens when you have so many economically ignorant people -and a good chunk of the latter tend to vote democratic.

laws disregarded,

Yet I will wager that you have no problem with the idiotic notion of an "evolving constitution" which (if I am correct about this presumption) makes your complaint here have no merit whatsoever.

civil liberties violated.

This is a broadbrush term that you do not bother to explain further; ergo it is worthless until you do.

Firing of DA's for political reasons.

Where you this mad when Clinton fired all 93 federal attorneys upon taking office or is it just with this president firing 8 of them that makes you so mad? Or was Clinton's firing of all the attorneys altrustic and not political in nature?

My stance on what both presidents did is that as chief executives they have complete authority over that department so they can do what they want on it -and I say this despite believing that Clinton's firing of all the attorneys at once was wrong from the standpoint of having no continuity in this area where historically there always had been. But despite that, he was president and had the right to do what he did. That right did not cease when W became president.

Failed immigration policies.

I do not disagree with you on this one but the problems go back prior to this administration.

Disregard for separation of powers.

More useless talking points. Specific examples would be helpful here.

Politicizing the Supreme Court,

Are you nuts? The ones politicizing the Supreme Court are and have been the democrats. The idea that they would ask any justice how they would vote on hypothetical issues and use that as up or down criteria is abominable. But with the democrats, that is why they sandbagged Bork, sought to sandbag Thomas, and the like. Show me where the republicans did this with Clinton's nominees and his nominees are among the worst in history if you care a whit about the actual Constitution and the interpretation thereof as opposed to inventing things out of whole cloth.

alienating all our allies and many other countries in the world.

You realize I presume that a universal negative like "all" can be disproved by one contrary example. And when many of those who are "alienated" were on the take from Hussein, I frankly do not give a damn if they are "alienated" though in the case of France and Germany I am willing in light of the presidencies of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel to consider the possibility that they have changed courses and are no longer collaborationists.

His financial policies have had a hand leading us into a recession.

What exactly are you referring to here? First of all, there is no definite proof that we are in a recession yet -even if it is looking more and more that we may be. There are certain measurements that all must align for that determination and thus far, they are mixed. Secondly, what exactly has Bush done personally that affects the economy negatively? If you want to claim that he did not wield his veto pen to discipline the Republican congresses of the first six years of his presidency, then that is a viable criticism. (Though the current congress appears to be more money-hungry and wasteful still but at least Bush found his long-lost veto pen to use on them.)

Have I left anything out.

Most of what you list is a bunch of either ignorant gibberish or terms which require further examination to see if the criticisms are even viable ones.

Bush is a disaster.

Bush has not been a great president this is true. He also has been disappointing in a number of areas. Nonetheless, your attempts to "prove" he is a "disaster" are seriously wanting.

Only blindly ignorant conservatives could rally to Dubya.

Considering the degree of ignorance of reality in your comments, I would not be so quick to call other people blindly ignorant if I were you.

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