Saturday, March 04, 2006

If the readers of this humble weblog could find it in their hearts to remember in prayer my father and pray for the eternal repose of his soul, it would be greatly appreciated. He would have been 65 today.



May his soul and the soul of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

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On Geopolitical Issues, the 2006 Elections, Shifting Voting Demographics, Etc.
(Dialogue With Mark Bonocore --Part IV of IV)

This is the fourth part of a four part thread with part three being viewable HERE, part two being viewable HERE, and part one viewable HERE. Once again, Mark's words will be in black font in this four part dialogual sequence with any citing of statements of mine prior to this material being in blue font and previous citations of Mark's words will be in fire coloured font. Any sources I use will be in darkblue font any exceptions to the pattern just outlined will be explicitly noted.

On 10/23/05, XXXX XXXXXXXX wrote:
In a message dated 10/20/2005 5:08:44 PM Pacific Standard Time, XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX writes:

PS Mark, I know you are in the movies...have you thought about offering the RNC your talents to make a documentary on Hillary Clinton for use in the 2008 elections???

Ha! If only, Shawn. :-) One of the biggest obstacles in my professional career is that I was a) not able to work with the liberals in Hollywood and b) I have never been able to find any real support from my "own people" --conservatives/Christians.

I wish I had the means to support such a venture actually...I might be able to contribute to such a project before 2008 if things go as planned. Monetarily, what would you need???

:-) Well, you're intention is very noble, Shawn; but unless you're Donald Trump's long-lost son, I'm afraid one person isn't going to do much. Even to make a decent independent film, one needs a minimum of about $2M, with a matching sum to get it distributed (which, to be fair, is usually supplied by the distribution company that picks up the film). But, if you ever win the lottery, I'll hold you to your pledge. :-) Hee hee.

Well, I pray to God I will win it but admittedly, I do not meet Him halfway by buying a ticket ;-)

The thing that gets me is that I know several Catholics (both as individuals and/or as groups) who could do this (and more) with no problem, but do not. They do devote such money to other projects (some worthwhile, some not); but they cannot see that evangelizing (shrewdly) through entertainment is the most effective means of taking our culture back.

On this matter, we are completely in agreement. Evangelization takes many forms and it seems that many Catholics only think of it in an apologetics context. I consider my weblog endeavours even when they deal with geopolitical issues and general moral/economic stuff (which the past two years has increasingly been the case) to be evangelization if not a form of pre-evangelization. Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi was IMHO a very prescient piece of writing thirty years ago. Unfortunately, not enough people are aware of it or what it actually entails.

I personally believe that all the apologetics and other apostolates that we conduct are "so much straw" compared to the very pressing need to evangelize (SHREWDLY) through the media. But, no one in the Church (or in conservative circles) seems to see this yet.

Why do you think I spend a lot of my freetime blogging Mark??? It is not just a chance to put out on paper much of what I muse on in private but also a means of influencing readers.

I hear ya, brother man. :-) The problem is that the real media players are indoctrinating a whole lot more people than we can online, and even than EWTN or other (very good) intellectual (or overtly religious) channels can. The secret is to control the mythology. If George Lucas was a Christian, can you imagine the thoughts and sensibilties he could have inspired in our culture via his media empire???

True but I would take a few hundred passionate and informed people over ten thousand apathetic ones. But I agree with you that the media needs to be shrewdly utilized. If anyone needs an example of the power of media, they can consider Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ and the success that movie had. Whatever one thinks of Mel or his motivations, that was a very shrewd piece of filmmaking on his part and demonstrated the power that one can wield with a good use of pictures.

My interest is in providing a consistent ethic for people of good will (be they religious or not) to use in navigating the minefields that are out there in the various media forms.

Understood. ...and of course commendable. God's speed.

Well, I do what I can however minor it is in the grand scope of things.

Rather, we still make the mistake of confusing the power of entertainment (how one can use entertainment to indoctrinate and communicate values) with propoganda. In other words, we consistently let the liberals and others "see us coming," and end up beating people over the heads with our messages, rather than cleverly weaving our messages into forms that are principally intended to entertain and even "dazzle," rather than "preach" to people. ...e.g. "Be as wise as serpents, but as gentle as doves."

I completely concur...hence what I do at Rerum Novarum. The audience is probably not huge but it has grown steadily and readers tend to be pretty loyal actually. Better a smaller band of loyal brethren than huge bands of fickle people -the former can influence completely out of proportion to their numbers after all.

Well, there is of course great value in converting even one man to the truth. So, it depends on what the objective is. I would prefer (if I had the ability) to paint with a slighly broader brush and do something about society in general.

Well, so would I but I try to be realistic about it and consider that these things take time. Plus, I am pretty much a clutz with cameras and that kind of media equipment so it is better to defer to those who know what they are doing with them aka "people like filmmaker Mark Bonocore" :)

And I have found this out the hard way in my personal professional experience when I've tried to work with conservatives and Catholics in media ventues. :-) Let me put it this way: They make me miss working with the Hollywood liberals. :-) They're that bad and that hard-headed.

I have no disagreement with that whatsoever my friend...they do not recognize as The General did that one must accommodate their battle strategy to the terrain if they are to be victorious.

Indeed, I think we need a few "Saint Sun Tsu's" in the Church right now. :-)

Indeed...I recommend his Art of War as a requirement for anyone who wants to be involved in apologetics of any kind. (I first became aware of it in college at the recommendation of some business professors.) It has served me well in many respects ever since because it is a good guide for life in general viz. how to handle the many battles we face in different contexts. I cannot help but think that Our Lord had the Art of War in mind when he mentioned being "wise as serpents and guileless as doves" because that is precisely what the book provides: a template to actually do that very thing. The context is war but there are battles in peacetime too...arguably just as important actually (such as the present war of culture).

Let us hope over time more people learn this who are in positions of significant influence.

Amen.

:)

PPS Would you be interested in writing a guest editorial on the problems with conservatives and Catholics in properly utilizing the media??? Just say the word and I will gladly give you the space to do it on all the weblogs which I control which are updated somewhat regularly. Who knows, maybe I can piss off (by proxy) another Catholic with some influence before 2005 concludes... ;-)

:-) I appreciate that, Shawn. Yet, I'm a bit pressed for time this month and next. Maybe we can do something early next year. I'm sure the problem will still be there then. :-)

Okay. If I may be so bold, how about we do it in the springtime of 2006??? We need after all to get a jump on 2008 and Moloch's attempt at a coup...err Hillary's run for president.

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On Geopolitical Issues, the 2006 Elections, Shifting Voting Demographics, Etc.
(Dialogue With Mark Bonocore --Part III of IV)

This is the third part of a four part thread with part two being viewable HERE and part one viewable HERE. Once again, Mark's words will be in black font in this four part dialogual sequence with any citing of statements of mine prior to this material being in blue font and previous citations of Mark's words will be in fire coloured font. Any sources I use will be in darkblue font any exceptions to the pattern just outlined will be explicitly noted.

Okay. I'm back. :-) Sorry I couldn't respond to everything in one "go."

No problemo :)

But, to continue ....

I wrote .....

(Mark B. circa 10/20/05) An artificial creation. Even Blacks who are millionaires will always have a chip on their shoulder. It's a cultural thing. For God sake, look at the numbers. Black and democrat are identifcal demographics; which is of course why the dems here on the East Coast are ruining the cities by constantly expanding Black neighborhoods and driving White people into the burbs. I saw this happen to Philadephia over the last decade or so, and the other cities are no different. The old, immigrant neighborhoods are all gone now, and there is not one section of the city with a solid White or ethnic-White population, whereas there are many areas with a solid Black population. This is no accident. It is a re-districting technique used by democrates to keep them in power. It is now impossible for a Republican (esp. a White Republican) to be elected mayor of Philadelphia, for example.

I am not familiar with Philadelphia but Seattle is no picnic either my friend, believe me :)

I believe it. Again, it is by design. "Black" and "Democrat" are the same demographic.

I think it has been a part of a larger project to "assimilate" certain ethnic groups into the wider culture which has taken place the past fifty years. Like most projects, I am sure there were some who had good intentions with this idea and others who did not. Indeed, I know that with some who sought this approach they were trying to weaken certain cultural groups...those who wonder why American Catholics were in a better position in the early 1960's to influence the culture than they were in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, etc. now have one of the key reasons.

On top of all this, there is no such thing as a true African-American middle class. Any "gains" made among Blacks are temporary at best (their children almost always slide back into an inner-city culture and income level), and all the houses that they supposedly "own" now (Black home ownership supposedly being at an all-time high) are due to HUD and other agencies that give them low interest loans, and cover them when they do not pay their bills on time. The debts that most Blacks in this country live with would terrify the average suburban working man. Yet, the infrastructure doesn't care because we live in a low-interest economy right now and Blacks are great spenders, whereas White people stash their money away. This situation won't last forever, though; and when it changes, you will see thousands of Blacks loose their homes and an increase in state-sponsored public housing to put a roof over their heads. African-Americans are one screwed up people (just ask a native African, they'll tell you ;-)) and there is no sign of the wholesale dysfunction going away any time soon.

We shall see. The Democrats have promised them the moon and stars for seventy-three years now and have not delivered.

But neither have the Republicans, nor will they.

The Republicans have not promised them anything except freedom...albeit the latter has been rather loosely defined.

Most Blacks in America would rather have the promise of free stuff someday than be told that they have to succeed on their own ---that it's all up to them (the Republican doctrine). It's simple human nature, esp. coming from the cultural position that Black Americans are coming from.

We have been seeing in the past twenty-five odd years a trend across all demographics moving away from the old structures that favoured the Democratic base at the state and local levels Mark. Furthermore, unlike in the past, there are actually activists in the black community seeking to encourage a more Republican approach to these matters (albeit they do not call it that).

Then the demographic will always stand against us, ergo they are (as "Reverend" Jackson would say) "a moot point." :-) And so, the Democratic technique of securing a Black majority in every major American city is something to worry about.

But if we can get 15-30 percent of them consistently, that will break a major constitency for the Democrats.

If their present population stays the same. But, it's growing. :-) And, not only that, but lower-income White people are consistently inter-marrying with them, and becoming part of their "urban" culture. This is not a good thing.

True. However, this happens to be the demographic that the abortion-promoters most frequently target so (to some extent) they are keeping this growth in check.

The only way the constitency works is consistently delivering a 90% black vote...shave a bit of that off and the constituency is broken.

I believe Dick Morris says it has to be 1/3rd. I don't see that happening any time soon.

It can be done with 20-25% approximately. Bob Dole got (if memory serves) 13% of the black vote in 1996. Of course the reason he got it was Jack Kemp on the ticket...that is what Republicans need: someone such as Kemp. He is bright, economically solid overall, has spent a fair amount of time in the inner cities, and has demonstrated explicitly compassion for the inner-city people. This is the sort of leader the Republicans need to make the best inroads in that area. I think Karl Rove is right that the constituency to court for Republicans is the Hispanic; however they are not going about that correctly at the present time.

And, given the nature of the issue, the conservatives are more than happy to believe the fairy tale too, since they also have Black friends and colleagues and don't want to appear "racist"

Mark, it cannot be denied that there is a broader base of blacks with greater financial capabilities than there was twenty-five years ago.

It sure looks that way, huh? :-) But, two things: This did not create a culture of Black conservatism (most are still liberals).

Old habits die hard. There are a lot of conservatives who still vote Democratic or at least relate to them as "their people." My late father did. From 1964-2000, he only voted Democrat for president twice (both times against Nixon). But it was not until the late 1980's-early 1990's that it was pressed upon him (by me) that he was wrong to identify himself as a Democrat since he was far too conservative for that label to stick north of Mason Dixon. But he was a union man and need I say more??? The same kind of "brand loyalty" applies here with other groups...there is a knee-jerk reaction against Republicans based on decades of lies from the Democrats.

Heck, it was even spun that the Democrats supported the civil rights movement and the Republicans did not. I have news for you: it was Republicans who got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed and the Voters Rights Act of 1965. The party of slavery opposed both of these measures but the revisionists managed through the old media monopolies to convince the blacks that the opposite was the truth.

It did not improve Black family life or produce a situation in which affluent Blacks pass their wealth down to their kids in legacy

That is common to people who come into wealth for the first time and do not know what to do with it.

(Blacks are terrific spenders ...which is why so much of the consumer market and Madison Ave. advertising is geared toward them ...ever notice that? ;-)), and a large percentage of the "greater financial capabilities" that you refer to are in the form of what might be called "societal junk bonds" ---that is, the fact that credit card companies and other institutions (both commercial and governmental) keep giving them the ability to buy, putting them in debt up to their eyeballs. The housing situation is the same. This facade can drop at any time, and a lot of Black Americans are going to be seriously screwed.

True.

And the more someone has financially, the more they become aware of just what a predator the federal government really is.

That is the "rosey picture" I refer to. :-) You are assuming that Blacks in America really understand this or have the cultural ability to understand and implement it. Most do not.

See my previous statements.

They see the government as their "protector" (esp. when it's run by democrats). And, since you admit that most Blacks will continue to be duped by Democrats, it therefore follows that their culture will always call to them to "give back" --that is, to support their less fortunate "homies" via the governmental security blanket. The only way for a Black man in this country to TRULY pull away from that, is to follow the OJ Simpson model and turn his back completely on the Black "community" (they seem to love that word ...which really means "ghetto," btw ;-)) and become what Blacks refer to as an "oreo" --that is, "Black on the outside, White on the inside."

You may find this strange (in light of all I have said) but I agree with you on this one. The "community" they refer to is a self-perpetuating spiral of sorts and what is needed is rebuilding or leaving it if they want to avoid being sucked down into the morass.

Look at OJ before the trial. He lived in a White neighborhood, had a White wife, all his friends and business associates were White, his career was geared toward a White audience for the most part, etc., etc., etc. By conservative/Republican standards, OJ "made it." And, when he was accused of murder, Black people saw this as the just reward for what he had done ---how "Whitey had to get him" because he had too much success. This is why Black America rallied around him --not because they particularly liked him, or because they thought it was good that two White people were killed, but because it validated their culture to see OJ beat the rap ...after they had "welcomed him home," of course. And I point all of this out to illustrate how it's much more than a financial issue. It's about "loosing one's Blackness" and the cultural ties connected to that. Unless ALL Blacks become conservatives, then none of them really will. There will be Black Democrats, and minority "apostates from the cause." That's all. We are dealing with a highly tribal society here.

Then we need to create a new "tribe" of sorts...not necessarily a large one but 20-25% of the population.

The way out of the mix is to increase the financial base of the black community overall with a program encouraging investment in the urban communities by businesses along with promoting the responsibility that is necessary when one comes into monetary largesse.

Try it. :-) It won't work.

It has not been tried.

You are trying to apply a very "White" solution to a non-White culture.

If that does not work, then look to build a different "tribe."

It is not an easy fix but it is what will be needed if they are ever as a group to escape the vicious cycle they are in.

But, only a White man really sees it that way, Shawn. :-) The problem is that most Blacks think they are fine, that eveything is the White man's fault, and that they are beyond criticism. And, even when ...make that, especially when ...a successful Black points out the real problem to them (as Bill Cosby did referring to the specific problems with Blacks and education last year), they become outraged and immediately accuse this person of "getting too White." :-) This is one screwed-up people --an uncivilized people, meaning that they have no direct or intimate connection to our Western Civilization. Capitalism alone is not going to fix them. It's going to require much, much more.

I do not believe "capitalism alone" fixes anything Mark.

Shawn, do you live anywhere near a Black neighborhood or a predominately Black city? I do. :-)

I have spent time in black neighbourhoods in Seattle Mark.

Hee hee. :-) I don't mean to make fun, Shawn, but a Black neighborhood in Seattle is like the suburbs here. Seriously. :-)

Rainier Avenue in Seattle is predominantly black as is Martin Luther King Jr. Way which intersects it.

To see what it's really like, you have to spend a day in Harlem, or North Philadelphia, or Watts. In fact, a Black buddy of mine, who is an AC (Assistant Cameaman) from Los Angeles came here to Philly to work on a movie one time. We were driving through North Philly and his reaction was hilarious. He said, "Dear God, this is a REAL ghetto! Those brothers ...meaning the gangs ... causing all that trouble in LA ought to come here and see what a gangster neighborhood is really like!" :-) He was literally frightened. And it's that way, not only in Philly, but in all the East Coast cities: NY, Boston, Baltimore, Wilmington...and, perhaps worst of all, D.C. These places look like Nazi Germany after the War. They are that bad.

And easterners wonder why many people out west despise them (present company excluded of course). Nonetheless, if what you say is true, then it explains why we are approaching this so differently.

It is amazing that people can actually live like this. But, no one wants to build or conduct business there, because it's too dangerous and someone will just destroy your enterprise. OJ himself found that out the hard way in LA, since most of the fast-food franchises that were destroyed in the 1992 riots (in Inglewood) were owned by him. :-) None of them bothered to rebuild.

Methinks this is what Jack Kemp had in mind with the whole "enterprise zones" idea: situations such as what you have in Philly. (I can see why you are approaching this as you are after the above description.)

I have black friends (albeit not many) and some black associates. But I will not allow this to become a "you cannot discuss this without experience" argument since that is a fallacious form of argumentation.

Oh, I certainly agree. And that wasn't my point at all. My point is that it helps to see it up close in order to understand the real nature of the problem. Trying to solve it "from afar" --that is, from the point of view of suburban White America, doesn't work. This is of course what most White conservatives do. And those Whites who do explore the problem closely are usually liberals who just want to pretend they "feel their pain" or who get won over to the Black mentality, which of course cannot fix the problem. What is necessary is for White conservatives to truly analyze the problem up close as opposed to just "on paper." If they did this, then they would see what I am arguing for here ---the idea that the problem is primarily cultural, not economic, and not to be fixed by a capitalist remedy.

To be perfectly honest, of all Black leaders, I think that Malcom X (who was an idiot otherwise) got a large piece of the puzzle right. He called for Blacks in America to establish their own nation. Now connect that to what Ben Franklin said to justify our split from Great Britain. He said how Americans are a different people --how they are rougher, simpler, more violent, less refined; and then topped this off by proclaiming, "We are a new people, we require a new nation." Well, .... I think that Black Americans are a true people unto themselves. They (for the most part) certainly see themselves this way. And so, if they are a people, we do them a great injustice by trying to force-fit them into our people --our nation. They should have their own. And I think it will eventually come to this.

Hmmmm, that is possible certainly.

Let me tell you from experience, it's not that way in reality.

Depends on what part of town you are in. In neighbourhoods it is mixed. In the projects, your assessment is correct.

Well, the "mixed" neighborhoods here don't work either. :-)

There the result is mixed at best. (But then again, Seattle is a wholly owned subsidiary of liberalism which explains the mixed bag at best situation.)

Most Black people in this country do not have the same concept of ownership that White people do. Rather, all is transitory to them, and the government is always there to bail them out if they get in trouble. That's how they look at it for the most part. This is why Blacks (as a people in this country) will always be Democrats. In essence, we never really got rid of slavery, Shawn.

You are talking to someone who has asserted often over the many years that the Democratic party is and always has been the party of slavery Mark.

Well, then we are on the same page. :-)

Different paragraphs though in spots :)

All we did was take "ownership" and "responsiblilty for" the slave culture away from the private sector in the South and give it to the state and federal governments. Think about it. One can point to all the Black "success stories" you want. They are far from the norm and do not address the real problem.

But there are always necessary precedents that need to be established before you can cultivate growth Mark. I agree with you that by themselves they do not address the problem but they can form part of the solution.

If you have 300 years to spare, perhaps. Look around. Do you think our civilization is going to last that long? :-)

If things do not start changing then the answer to that is no.

(Shawn M. circa 10/19/05) But that is changing slowly and I predict in thirty years, more blacks will vote Republican than Democrat. It happened before (circa 1865-1932) and it will happen again.

What Republicans and Democrats were in 1865-1932 is very different from what they are today, Shawn. We are talking about a socialist state. The Republicans took care of the Blacks in the early days;

Define "the early days" Mark.

I refer to the transition after the Civil War. The Republicans freed the slaves; ergo the Republic became "massa." That is of course understandable.

Freedom is not a state of mind easily cultivated. I would argue that the blacks as a rule never had it properly cultivated.

And in what sense are you claiming that they "took care of the black" since, say 1865??? By passing the fourteenth amendment??? That was not an innovation but instead a recognition of rights that they had been denied up to that point.

:-) Frederick Douglas' old argument? I think that argument is full of holes, Shawn. I don't think there is any reference (implicit or otherwise) to the rights of African slaves in our Constitution. This was an interpretation created by the Abolitionists, just as "sola fide" was created in the mind of Luther and not in the NT.

The Constitution was built upon the Declaration of Independence which proclaimed that "all men [were] created equal." The blacks being people too would therefore fall under that umbrella.

Furthermore, the fifth amendment in the Bill of Rights noted specifically that:

"No person shall be...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

The slaves were deprived of all three and there was no due process of law involved. The fourteenth amendment therefore was giving to them what they had been denied up to that point despite the fifth amendment's clear injunctions to the contrary. Ergo, my original argument remains intact.

As for taking care of them, the Republicans (mostly to rub the Confederates' faces in it) granted all sorts of benefits and concessions to the Black slaves after the war (e.g. appointing Black judges in the south, etc.). This was the primary reason why the KKK came into being.

A bit of a simplistic interpretation but I will let it slide for the time being ;-)

the Democrats took that over and made it into a seriously socialist phenomenon ( e.g. "It takes a village" --an African proverb). Trust me, Republicans are not going to win these people back with a doctrine of personal responsibility and the pursuit of personal excellence. Even the Whites in this country would rather have the state take care of them than seek success on their own. In a climate like this, do you think that Black America will become Republican??? :-)

Three points:

---I do think over time the blacks in America will become a majority Republican constituency again...how long it will take I am not certain.

a) You are very optimistic; and b) expect the Second Coming first. :-)

You mean Christ's final coming I presume. One could argue that Christ came again within the generation of the apostles as He predicted He would...but I want to avoid getting into preterist arguments since that would distract from the subjects at hand.

The demographics the past twenty-five years have shifted significantly and they are continuing to move in a fashion opposed to the old alignments.

If you say so. I see the reality behind the numbers up close, however. :-)

Philly is not the rule Mark but the exception...

And it's not pretty.

I have never heard anyone say Philly was actually "pretty"...

We do not have to worry in the short term about anything except getting a little from that group more than we have. Depending on the election, the black Republican vote is 10-15%. If we can shave off 10% more from that base (which can be done and would not be that difficult to do) then the black Democrat constituency is broken. The Democratic party has a bunch of groups which they require a near unanimity on to win elections -among them the blacks and the liberal Jews: 90% of which always vote Democrat. All that is needed to make those blocks not do their part is a small percentage of them more for our side...10% each.

And as long as the Democrat machinery keeps dominating the major cities, what then??? Remember, Bush won by a narrow margin. If Ohio had had a better Black turn-out, he would have lost. Most of the Red States are in rural areas.

This is true.

---The Republicans have only recently began taking notice of the black constituency. Reagan's economic policies built the black middle class (what of one there is) but he did not directly target the black community. (Indirectly yes via "enterprise zones" but not directly.) Bush Sr. took the first steps in appointing the first conservative black justice to the court and Colin Powell rose to stature as head of the Joint Chiefs. For all of his talk about being "ethnically empathetic", Clinton did not do diddley squat in this area. Meanwhile, for all of his problems, W has at least shown through appointments of qualified minorities to key positions in his administration that the Republicans do not represent the stereotype that was often portrayed.

Indeed, W's administration may well be shown in the future to have been the turning point for consideration of the Republican party by blacks. Only time will tell but progress has been made.

:-) At the risk of sounding racist ...AGAIN .... I think that both Colin Powell and Condie are incompetent "poster children."

Condoleeza Rice is a very brilliant woman actually. I heard her speak when I was in college back when she was billed as a "Soviet expert" and she was a qualified pick by the president. As far as Powell goes, I am not in a position to say...certainly he was not a good Secretary of State but compared to Half-Bright his predecessor, he comes out looking like Einstein...

I suspect that many of the idiotic moves of the Bush administration are probably their fault, or caused by the general lack of Machiavellian excellence in this administration --its failure to implement and take advantage of the real, conservative talent of the Republican party. Do you seriously believe that Colin and Condie are the best there are?! COME ON! What about James Baker? What about Lawrence Eagleburger?

Frankly, Walter E. Williams (black economist from Georgetown and probably my favourite columnist) is brighter than both of them put together. It is not a race issue Mark, it is appointing qualified people.

...and there are hundreds more where they came from. Instead of drawing on some real political geniuses out there, Bush (who is no real conservative anyway ...just better than what's run against him) has a government that looks like an Affirmative Action rally! :-)

I agree with you that Bush is no conservative.

Let's be brutally frank: Black Americans come from a savage culture and (partailly due to the fault of Whites) subsist for the most part in a savage culture today.

European pagans were once savage too before they were converted to Christianity. Sorry my friend but I do not buy your first argument.

That's because you fail to implement it historically. :-) And HOW LONG did it take to civilize the European pagans? Centuries. We've under 140 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, and only about 40 years since Civil Rights. And how long after civilizing the pagans of Europe was it before Rome looked to them as true leaders of the civilization? The Franks became Christians in 486. Charlemage was crowned Emperor in 800. That's quite a while. :-)

I am not denying that there is a time factor involved here. However (with all due respect), time is capable of greater movement today in not a few particulars.

What's more, the European pagans were civilized through indoctrination into a "state cult" and a Covenant, making them, in a religious sense ( i.e., system of intimate belief), one people with those who civilized them. Does any of this apply culturally to Black America? No. Our cultural links to them are merey popular (i mperfectly popular) and legalistic. There is nothing beyond this.

I (of course) favour building structures of this sort. But I am but one man Mark and the number of people who view these things correctly is still in a serious minority. Hell, I have had a hard enough time finding interest in these matters with Catholics at St. Blogs and on discussion lists who SHOULD find it of interest if they are truly interested in changing the culture we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, it is easier to gripe about the surface and superficial even among those who are our brethren in the faith.

Furthermore .... As I said above, the only way to truly civilize someone is to have them break with the savage culture to which they belonged. When Charlemagne's Christian Franks faced the pagan Saxons or Frisians --their ethnic Germanic cousins --they did not see themselves in them, but considered the Romans and Byzantines to be "their people" --sharing the same faith and the same civilization. It would have to be the same with "civilized" Black Americans -- i.e., the "oreos" referred to above. And look at the result. Colin Powell is the first Black man to be Secretary of State. Condie is the first Black woman. Does Black America care about this?! Is it proud of it? HELL no! :-) They are just "Uncle Toms" and "oreos." They're not "Black." That's how the culture sees it.

I agree with you. (For that matter, throw in Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.)

It was no different for the ethnically-Vandal Roman general Stilicho. He was a German like the German barbarians he fought against. But, did they see him as a German? No. They saw him as a Roman sell-out. :-) Ergo, we are still in a cultural situation in which most Blacks are not Americans are we are (culturally), but of another "nation." And, if a Black joins us and serves with us, he suddenly no longer belongs to their nation. This is simply the reality. And it is not something that the liberals imposed on them; it's what most Black Americans believe.

Thankfully, they are only twelve percent of the population huh???

Lastly, ... While the pagan Europeans were "barbarians," they were not "savages." There is a difference. A "savage" is a human being who lives like an animal. A "barbarian" is merely an uncultured human being. The worst pagan tribes of Europe still shared many basic values with Greeks and Romans, even Christian Greeks and Romans. The pagan Celts had a lofty and noble sense of moralty (which is why Christianity took off so quickly in Ireland), and the German pagans, as Tacitus tells us, were "salt of the earth" and very loyal to their monogamous marriages, etc., whereas Romans of the day were not. Now look at the "back woods" West Africans who the sea coast West Africans (influenced by centuries of Berber, Arab, and Portuguese culture) sold into slavery. These people were savages. They had no sense of civilized marriage or proper respect for human life, even among their own kind! And while certain tribes were a little better than others, if you compared a 17th Century Mandingo to a 3rd Century Visigoth or Slav, you would see a remarkable difference. But, this, again, is something we are not supposed to talk about or explore. :-) Rather, we are suppose to see tribal Mandingos as our cultural equals in every way. Praise be to Alex Haley, custodian of "historical truth"! :-)

Your points are noted. But to deal with this properly is to deal with the failure to evangelize the culture of Africa for centuries in part.

The second one (that there is a savage culture today which exists in part because of what Whites did) is certainly true.

Yes, insofar that White's perpetuated it. But, we did not create it, as is often the argument.

I said "in part" for a reason...

When Romans, for example, took Celtic or German slaves, these people (even if abused) were implemented into Roman culture. The Blacks were held at a distance and never permitted to adopt mainstream American culture as their own. Thus, they invented their own "bastard" culture; and, because our true national culture is so sick, this bastard culture had become validated and adopted as a norm. How sick is that?

Good points.

No one dares to say this because they fear being called a racist. :-)

You have said it and (if I blog this) I will have said it too by concurrence (to some extent). Frankly, I do not care what people call me...I have been called worse than a racist in my day, believe me ;-)

Well, of course. You are, after all, a stinking Irishman! :-) ...JUST KIDDING!

ROTFL :)

I figure if we're going to be "racist," let's be racist all round. Now call me a dego wop and be done with it! :-) Hee hee.

Thou hast said it ;-)

Yet, we are also living at a time when White people are also slipping back into savagery ---when Western civilization is falling apart (due to all the "freedoms" with have via democracy --the ability to determine "truths" all on our own and without any culture or "cult").

We are seeing problems in this country because claims of freedom are not checked in the name of the common good anymore.

But, if "Freedom" is our only mantra, why should they be?

Freedom has never been the only mantra...and to the extent it is today it has been bastardized.

In our republican form of government, this is institutionalized but guess what: it is not followed. Why do you think the whole Miers nomination has gotten so many people livid??? The reason is because of uncertainty as to what her philosophy is. The Constitution forbids justices from legislating. They are not allowed to invent law yet that is what we have seen in recent decades -particularly since 1954 and Brown vs. Board of Education.

Yes, but this is what our government is evolving into. And, as I said before, there is no mechanism in place to stop this "evolution" / "deevolution" ...call it what you will. Republics unwravel after a while. We are seeing it happen now.

When laws and precepts are not enforced, this happens. The US government structure is different in many respects from the republics of old and those differences are significant. For example, unlike older models there are structures in place in our laws to prevent this but they require a proper respect for the rule of law and also of legitimate authority. If those are lacking, then we see problems but that should not surprise. After all, when those are lacking, no form of government is sufficient. That is why in the end, all governments must have a moral/religious foundation to them if not explicitly than at least by logical inference.

Republicans are asking us to take personal responsibility for ourselves and use our Constitutional freedoms to pursue excellence in our civilization. Tell me, from what you know of human nature, do you think people are really going to go for this??? :-) Do you see us really doing it? I don't.

Not without having certain safeguards in place.

Such as??? :-)

To go into that would involve more time than I have here. Besides, it is a subject I have discussed on previous occasions.

And a real respect for the US Constitution would provide some guidelines for that..

How do you legislate "respect"? :-) As I said before, you're counting on human nature. I think that is a mistake.

"Respect" is legislated by virtue of legitimate laws and the proper enforcement of them. It may not be internalized but at the very least it can be externalized through compliance.

along with a recognition that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin of course.

Ah, Brutus! You are a true thinking man and the last of the Romans! :-) Yet, the Ostrogoths are at the gate. ;-)

Well, go to the gate and give them faulty directions...tell them that the city of Rome is actually 1000 miles further east ;-)

And if people who are heirs to Western Civilization are not doing it, do you seriously believe that the Blacks are going to? Something's got to give. If history teaches us nothing else, it teaches us this. The handwriting is on the wall. Indeed, if our ecomony collapsed tomorrow, and we were plunged into another Great Depression, we'd be knifing each other in the streets!

In some quarters, sure.

In the quarters that matter. I'm sure small towns in Kansas will escape that. But, not the capitals.

Maybe not on the eastern seaboard...but there is more to the big picture than the eastern seaboard my friend. (I realize that those inside or close to the Beltway do not often consider this but it is true.)

But there are also some safeguards built into the economy which mitigate against what happened in the Great Depression. For example, you do not have every yahoo and his brother investing on 90% margin anymore as you did then (novices are limited to 50% and experienced investors can go to 70%). The market crashed in part because everything was overleveraged and by people who had no business involving themselves in that. There are also stricter regulations on investment brokers and how the margin requirements are set as well -not just the limited leverage amounts noted above.

This is all true. But, something like the Depression can still happen. All it takes is for the terrorists to nuke NYC or some other kind of big disaster. Look at the dip the economy took because of Katrina. And that's just lil' ol' New Orleans.

Well, to go into how bass ackwards New Orleans city, county, and state governments are would be to write a book. They are hardly par for the course nationally by any stretch.

My point is that our civilization depends entirely on the economy right now. If that rug was ever pulled out from under us, we'd be in real trouble.

Perhaps.

This is one of the things that scares me about Republican philosophy. It presupposes financial and economic success, and assumes that a healthy civilization comes from that ( e.g. our approach to Iraq). In other words, it assumes that "freedom" leads to economic success, and ecomomic success is all a country really needs to be content. But, as John Paul warned us, this is a short-sighted view.

That is only one part of the Republican philosophy

True, but it is the most important part. :-)

According to whom???

If anything, you are espousing a Libertarian philosophy Mark, not a Republican one.

No, I am espousing the core of Republicanism, which is rooted in capitalism.

Your view is what Libertarians espouse Mark. The Republican party historically has had moral and economic foundations.

Libertarians are the ones who promote capitalism unfettered by moral constraints. Republicans who are true to classical Republican principles do not.

Go re-read what I wrote above, Shawn. I refer to our presumption (per our policy in Iraq, etc.) that financial success is the basis of civilization (as opposed to "cult," which produces "culture"). This is the very thing that you (a Republican)

I am a registered Independent and have been for nine years Mark.

are asserting when you say that Blacks will advance from what they presently are as soon as they attain more financial success and need to preseve it. This is a Republican belief --- i.e., freedom = opportunity = enterprise = financial success = civilization. But, a healthy economy is presumed in this. For, without a healthy economy, thre is no opportunity. Yet, a true civilization should be able to exist without the opportunity. This is why I cited the Great Depression --to illustrate how we were civilized enough back them (because of our religious values, etc.) to maintain civilzation during a disaster. That would not be the case today, or twenty years from now (given the way we're going).

Again, it is the Libertarians who focus solely on the economic issues and relegate moral matters to the back burner. Classic Republicanism views the man integrally and sees moral issues as surpassing economic ones. If you want to claim that the problem today is that Republicans are not true to their own core principles oftentimes, you will get no argument from this former Republican. But to outline a Libertarian approach to issues and claim it is Republican is not accurate my friend...not even close actually. More on this to follow...

To be Continued...

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On Geopolitical Issues, the 2006 Elections, Shifting Voting Demographics, Etc.
(Dialogue With Mark Bonocore --Part II of IV)

This is a continuation of the previous thread (titled Part I). Once again, Mark's words will be in black font in this four part dialogual sequence with any citing of statements of mine prior to this material being in blue font and previous citations of Mark's words will be in fire coloured font. Any sources I use will be in darkblue font any exceptions to the pattern just outlined will be explicitly noted.

I also do not believe you fully appreciate the machinery that the Framers set in place. The Framers were not ignorant of human nature by any stretch.

I agree. But, what the framers set in place is not what we have today. The framers presumed a culture controlled by educated, White, male, landowners --the fathers of Western Civilization. In essence, they took power away from a king and placed it in the hands of 18th Century "knights." Magna Carta did nothing different.

In a certain sense this is true.

The problem was that the framers were also idealistic children of the Enlightenment and believed that this dynamic could apply to "all men," and thus left open holes in their design which later generations "filled in" with elements that are alien to the original design.

There are certain rights which all people have Mark. In Claude Frederic Bastiat's classic nineteenth century formulary, these were life, faculties, and production. And they were understood to be rights which all people had and for which law was first put into place to protect. (Long subject and I cannot do it justice here; ergo that is all I will say on it at this time...having revisited this theme at least seventy times at my weblog in the past three plus years.)

As far as the framers go, I would argue that they did NOT leave holes in the design as you assert. Instead, the design was ignored when it did not suit the whims of certain minority groups. The framers were not fond of minority groups at all but established within the American government system a way of containing them. We have seen the past sixty odd years a departure from this design and need to regain a proper understanding of it.

The problem we have is not the Constitution but those who do not follow it. Judging the Constitution by the state of the nation is like judging Christianity by the state of the world: neither comparison is fair when the problem in both cases is the same: more American and government officials than not failing to follow the Constitution and most of those who claim to be Christians not following Christian principles.

But, Shawn .... If one looks at the corrupt Papal court of the 16th Century (for example), one can see a mechanism for turning it around --e.g. Christ's promises, the grace of God, the fact that the corrupt Papacy still considered itself bound by orthodox Catholic doctrine (even though, by its actions, it contradicted it), etc. But, what mechanism is there to fix the ills of American society and turn it around from its present course of destruction??? :-) There isn't any; aside from a naive belief in human nature (big mistake).

The system that was set in place has natural checks and balances within it Mark. Far from being the "naive believers in human nature" that you presume, the framers were actually (in general) quite pessimistic about human nature. That is why there are all the checks and balances in place -an inherent distrust in giving any one group too much power.

Returning to the boundaries set by the Constitution is what is the mechanism is that will fix things. That and a reinvigoriating of overall morality as well -since the Constitution was designed for governing a moral people not an immoral one.

So many Republicans go one and on about "activist judges" who legislate from the bench; and how, if we can only get rid of them, everything will be fine. :-) Okay. But, how are we going to do that? There is no system in place to correct it.

The system is the same as with anything else Mark.

Nor is one likey to be established. Rather, the hope is in some kind of "cultural" (read: religious) revival in America in which the people themselves will demand virtue from their leaders and not stand immoral decisions from the bench. GOOD LUCK! :-)

Well, we shall see exactly how far things like Kelo get now shall we??? Properly played, Kelo is the key to getting what we want from justices because it hits a lot of people where they live (and literally at that).

The people are corrupt, and getting more corrupt every day; and human nature stands against this Republican hope. The only hope for Christendom (our desired Christian civilization) is a change in government ---a monarchy. For, the Catholic Church was able to come back from the brink BECAUSE of its monarchial leadership.

Now you are contradicting what you said in your apologetical disputes with Jason Engwer years back. He insisted that the monarcial features of the papacy were somehow intrinsic to it and you argued (correctly) that they were not. Indeed, your entire approach to this subject was so good that I remember thinking that it should be packaged and given to all neophyte apologists as how to approach the papacy viz. the sad sack arguments raised by White and company seeking to find Pius IX in the Bible and in the early church. However, this means you have set down a standard to which I will hold you to now.

In light of your past positions, you cannot come along now and argue for monarchy as if the papal leadership is somehow intrinsically monarchial and avoid the trap of Non-Contradiction springing on you my friend.

The United States has nothing like this; nor can a Republic stand in a time of societal and cultural chaos, which is what we are beginning to experience right now, and will almost certainly experience much more dramatically in the future.

This argument reminds me of the one that trads use against the revised missal where they claim that abuses we see in the dioceses are a result of the revised missal rather than a (i) refusal of the priest to obey (ii) a refusal of the local ordinary to enforce the rubrics and (iii) the refusal of Rome to get the local ordinaries to do their job. Likewise, in a monarchy where there was no enforcement of the laws or where the law of the land was deliberately ignored or flouted, you would see nothing different than what we are seeing now in America. The whole thing boils down to a proper comprehension and respect for law, the legitimate authorities not going beyond the limits to which they are allowed in the law, and the enforcement of legitimate laws of the land. The formula is the same in any government model you choose and there is nothing "magic" about monarchies in any of this Mark.

We are in the midst of a civil war; we just don't admit it because that would interfere with our pursuit of "making a nice living." The Cold War between atheistic secular-socialism and Western/Christian civilization didn't end; it just moved down to the domestic societal level . In order to end it, we need "the Tzar" back.

See my previous comments. The whole notion of a "culture war" which has been bandied about the past twenty odd years is essentially another way of saying what you are saying.

I believe this is what the Madonna was really getting at at Fatima ---the need for a Christian Emperor of some sort in order to maintain a secular Christian society. Without this, we are "flying blind" ...

See my previous comments.

as we have been for 230-odd years of monarch-less, Republican government in the "Christian" West.

There is a significant difference between the government structure in America and the ones in Europe Mark. I do not find the kind of indiscriminate lumping of kinds as you have done very helpful...it is no more fair or accurate than if I were to point to Hitler and Stalin as examples of "monarchy" in an apologetic against monarchial governmental forms.

In this, we are like Protestants who assume the Trinity and other Catholic dogmas while thumbing their noses at Papal authority and assuming that it is not needed.

There is a difference between civil and spiritual government Mark...in one there is a diversity of forms allowable and in the other there is one Divinely Willed approach to take. I remind you that God was not pleased with the Israelites insisting on a king over the system of judges they had. God was displeased (cf. 1 Sam. viii, 10-18) and sent them Saul as punishment for them not trusting in His Providence. I happen to believe there was something in that even that those who repine for kings and queens to rule fail to take into consideration. Plus, I think it had something to do with God being Triune and the idea of a king is not the best representative therefore of God.

It's easy to stand on shoulders of giants, without acknoweldging that the giants are there.

True.

But, when one has stepped off of those shoulders (as our present American / Western civilization has done), one suddenly feels the need to look down and ask what is missing.

In some respects this is true but you are carrying the analogy too far. For one thing, lumping all western governments into the same mould. Again, it is as if I was arguing against a king based on the policies of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. You would rightly criticize me for such simplicity; ergo when the shoe is on the other foot, expect me to point this out to you my friend.

Well, as long as you view the US as a democracy, I am not surprised ;-) And no, I do not want a "Christian monarch." I do want leaders who are moral and (preferably) Christian. But when you place the authority in the hands of human monarchs, it is a fragile thing as history well demonstrates and leads to more uprisings, wars, persecutions, etc. than a properly functioning representative republic does.

You are very religiously American, Shawn. :-) ...That is, you believe that republics are superior to monarchies without warrant.

Why do you believe I have no warrant for my views Mark???

Looking at true history, society has always been much more stable and prosperous under a monarch.

This is debatable actually, particularly the second part. With the first, I suppose it depends on how you define "stable" since when power is wielded in the hands of a king, it is easier to crush opposition than in a Republic. But not all instability is a bad thing, particularly when the king is tyrannical.

As far as how "prosperity" is defined, your assertion has more problems since America (despite her faults) is the most prosperous society in history -both in actuality as well as potentiality. If I play my cards right, I could make $200,000 or more in 2007 and I come from a very unprivileged background. By contrast, in kingdoms of the past, mobility of status was not only limited but even unlikely...a serf was not likely to be a nobleman no matter what he did in his lifetime. Again, I suppose it depends on how you define "prosperous" but both your propositions are questionable -particularly the second one.

A monarch can preserve a "state cult," which is the very thing we are lacking and the very thing that Evagelicals and conservative Catholics really want, but haven't come to terms with their own desires yet.

They can also abolish one and actively promote false cults just as easily...

My point, however, is that you no longer have the cultural infrastructure to choose leaders who follow your religious values and beliefs, but merely people who can play to them for political gain against the opposition, which also has its representatives.

Part of the reason I have latched onto Bastiat's theory on law --and developed it further in light of contemporary realities--{1} is because of this reason. However, I have approached the subject in a manner that does not take religion into account at all but (at the same time) is not incongruent with religion. The reason for this is simple: I want to be able to persuade the non-religious to viewing things from a paradigm that by implication places an infrastructure of sorts on how ALL issues are viewed.

George Bush is nice, but he is a heretic; and as long as he is a heretic, we will not have a truly Christian society. ...nor will any other nominal American Christian leader (whether Prot or Catholic) give us that.

See my previous comments.

What I want is an informed populace who place the common good over and above their own self-interests when there is a clash between the two.

Uh-huh. :-) And this is your American religion speaking.

Mark, if you followed my weblog [with greater care], you would realize how far off kilter the above assertion on your part is.

It is a dream; and an outdated one that does not speak to the real character of the American people. It presumes a Christian society; it presumes a certain level of control over Original Sin, which a Christian society has. But, needless to say, we are no longer a truly Christian society but a proudly secular one; and unless something substantial is done to stop our present course of development (e.g. the rise of a Christian monarch), we will not be a Christian society at all.

See my comments previous to the last two (aka the last full paragraph comments).

Christianity will be something totally separate from American culture, and "Freedom" will be the chief deity of this state. It is "Freedom" that we are proposing to the Muslims in Iraq in place of Allah, just as "Freedom" has replaced Christ here in the West. Smart devout Muslims know this, and oppose our exporting of Americanism because they think (quite rightly) that it will undermine the morality of their culture in the same way they see it doing to us in US movies and TV shows, etc.

See my previous comments. The problem is not the notion of freedom but how that notion is understood. Freedom is an inherently Christian concept Mark but (once again) this requires some explanation to many today who have an inauthentic view of what freedom actually is.

I want a government that recognizes the proper boundaries of law and does not traverse them.

But law is ultimately a religious thing, Shawn.

At bottom, a proper approach to law does bring one back to religious roots this is true. (I have never said otherwise.)

Look at our old Pontifex Maximus discussion ---how the P. Max. of the infant Roman city-state was the bridge builder / keeper across the Tiber; and the way to stop the semi-barbarian Latin tribes from burning down the bridge was to dedicate it to a god. Ergo, the bridge keeper became the priest of the god. The reason the liberals feel free to twist the laws any way they please is because they have no sense of the Divine (i.e., ultimate truth) and no fear of Divine retribution for sin ...even in a practical cause-and-effect sense. For them, man is the measure of all things.

There is truth to what you note above.

And, Shawn ... Isn't this how the Roman Republic really fell?? Think about it. The Emperor had to become a god because there was no other way to maintain societal / politcal unity when different Roman factions (Marius, Sulla, etc.) began to twist the ancient, "divine" laws of the Republic to their own advantage. But, the "Divine Augustus" (or his "genius" --the "divine power" that gave him the right to rule) corrected this problem. Modern Americans, however, have lost their "religious" sense of right and wrong. They know that politicians are corrupt and valueless, and so they are that way too. No one stands for anything anymore; and since no one stands for anything, everything is in a state of cultural flux. What can change this? What can correct it?? ...Practically, not naively. ...Not by wishful thinking, but seriously.

It is a good question Mark and I have proposed for years a methodological solution to it.

I have no faith in the American people. Our national character (the thing that made us great --our consistent religious goodness) has been undermined. ...mostly by the media, which is the liberals' tool.

I believe we need to appeal to the better angels in our nature and that in general this approach can work. However, it must be done properly and it must speak to people in terms they understand but frame those terms in a specific context. Furthermore, it must be at most implicitly religious since it must be able to persuade people of good will who are not generally speaking (or by any normal measure we would make) religious.

I want a government that respects the Constitution in deed as well as word. I want a populace that recognizes Ben Franklin's dictum that the Constitution of the United States was created for a moral people and is wholly inadequate without that foundation.

BINGO! But, one cannot legislate morality in a system in which the PEOPLE (and not God) determine what is true. This is the fatal flaw of our Constitution. It depends on a moral people, which of course depends on Christian civilization; and Christian civilization (that is, secular civilization, not the Church) depends upon a CHRISTIAN MONARCH, e.g., Constantine who created it! See where I'm going here??? :-)

You are presuming that people have to be explicitly Christian to be moral...that is the flaw in your argument. I do not make that mistake in how I approach these matters Mark. I would argue that all who are moral people are at least implicitly Christian but then again, I am only approaching these matters from an implicitly religious subtext. The core foundation is one of basic logic and common sense and actually proposing it to people in both non-technical format as well as (when it is applicable) pointing out how it is applied in various circumstances.

However, I am more concerned with promoting the approach more than actual examples since if the former is accepted, the logic of the latter falls into place. However, if you try to do it by dealing with the latter first, there is the risk of running into kneejerk reactions by people who have overly emotional approaches to issues.

Both Christendom and Islam are monarchal civilizations. Both require a "defender of the Faith" ---a "Christ on earth" (as the Byzantines called their Emperor) to speak for God in the secular sphere and to maintain societal morality. We will simply not be able to restore societal morality (in the sense of the type of Christendom that the Religious Right really wants) without such a Christian monarch. If the Catholic Church needs a Papal monarch to maintain its doctrinal unity, how in the world can we expect Christian secular civilization to maintain a common morality (and thus a common law ---a common sense of right and wrong; a common interpretation of the Constitution) without a secular Christian monarch??? :-) This is the problem; and whether one is prepare to admit it or not, it is the only possible conclusion.

For reasons I have gone into elsewhere (not just these recent emails) the idea that what you propose is "the only possible conclusion" is not correct. As far as the "papal monarch" idea goes, either you need to apologize to Jason Engwer and retract your previous apologetics on the nature of the papacy or you need to retract the above assertions and retain your (very fine) papal apologetical approach. I for one hope it is the latter which you choose but choose you must for the Law of Non-Contradiction looms and without such a choice, you have made shipwreck of it. More to follow...

To be Continued...

Note:

{1} Among the many threads on the present weblog where the project in question was undertaken was this dialogue with Kevin Tienrey on the role of law in a just society circa early 2004.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

On Geopolitical Issues, the 2006 Elections, Shifting Voting Demographics, Etc.
(Dialogue With Mark Bonocore --Part I of IV)

Mark's words will be in black font in this four part dialogual sequence with any citing of statements of mine prior to this material being in blue font and previous citations of Mark's words will be in fire coloured font. Any sources I use will be in darkblue font any exceptions to the pattern just outlined will be explicitly noted. And while admittedly I wax and wain a bit on the whole Hillary election thing, in general my views are what was expressed when Mark and I conducted this dialogue on a discussion list last year.

Mark (and company):

I have moved this discussion to a different thread because it was simply getting difficult for me to follow after a while. For the sake of easier reading, I have divided this response into four parts and (along with the previous threads) may blog it if time or circumstances permit it. But without further ado...

On 10/22/05, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX wrote:
In a message dated 10/20/2005 5:08:44 PM Pacific Standard Time, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX writes:
I am aware of what they are trying to do Mark. It is just that they have not adapted yet to the alternative media formats. Their sort only dominates when they can handcuff disputations and set it up so that it is several libs against one token conservative. But in the alternative media (which is the future of media), they not only cannot do this but they are at the mercy of people being able to select what they want and do not want to listen to or watch.


True. But, you don't think Hillary's going to let Sean Hannidy or Fox News moderate her debates, do you? :-)

She will have to engage the alternative media to some extent Mark...this is not 1992 where it could be avoided (or even 1996 when it was still an upstart). The alternative media has been the deciding factor in the past three elections (2000, 2002, and 2004) and Hillary is smart enough to know that they cannot be avoided completely if she wants to move beyond her base of supporters.

As a result, newspaper circulation has declined significantly, the major news programs are losing ratings, and FoxNews is beating CNN, MSNBC, and CBS combined!!!

Again, all true ... But most people who can vote don't watch the news. Many get their politics from John Stewart's Daily Show on Comedy Central! How scary is that?

My sister just ordered a "John Stewart in '08" sweatshirt Mark...I am not unaware of this. However, most [with my sister's outlook] know that The Today Show is a fake news program.

On the radio, it is not even close..are you aware that Air-America is on the verge of collapse because they cannot turn a profit??? No one is listening to them except the "bush-is-hitler" crowd and they are a very small minority at best. In cyperspace, the libs are also losing the war of persuasion. All they have is scaremongering propaganda and prevarication and guess what: those cards are not playing well anymore.

Yes. But, might I suggest that you are an intellectual with intellectual tunnel vision here.

I have been called a lot worse than that before so go ahead ;-)

Again, the vast majority of Americans (who have the same right to vote as informed and sensible people) don't follow politics or the news. It is this "mob" that the dems will try to appeal to.

And a good percentage of those people do not even vote to begin with...a key factor you are not taking into account. By contrast, people who view things as we do generally speaking are a growing number and we do vote.

They just need a good reason ( e.g. a dip in the economy; some disaster in Iraq, etc.) to do it. This is why Bush is commonly blamed for everything bad that happens, and that mentality trickles down to the common man, who is willing to believe it. Katrina = Bush's fauly; the riot in Cleveland = Bush's fault; Sadam's trial is postponed = Bush's fault. :-) The technique is to establish a psychological "manta" of sorts for the idiots in our society. And we have no shortage of idiots.

But need I remind you that this tactic failed in 2000, it failed in 2002, and it failed in 2004??? As long as the Democrats do not give people a reason to vote for them, human nature is not to change course; ergo apathy in this case plays into our favour.

And do the people who can vote really care anything about this??? I refer to the soccer moms and the other disciples of Oprah. :-) It's not about ability, it's about popularity. Scary!

[Snipping heap big historical documentation on my part pace Mark's earlier comments]

That is an excellent historical analysis, Shawn; but I think you're missing two elements --the two elements that the modern Democrats rely on: 1) the power of the media, which is a far more useful tool than it was in the days of Roosevelt; and I'm not talking about news programs and the like, but the ability of the entertainment industry ( e.g. TV, music, movies, etc.), which has a air of "royality" about it for most Americans, to indoctrinate people on a cultural level and weaken the resolve of their nominally Christian/conservative convictions (there was nothing like this in the days of Roosevelt or JFK ...I refer to a united liberal control of the entertainment industry),

The same media who has pulled out all the stops the past six years and failed to carry the day in a single election??? Mark, I think what you are not recognizing is that this approach has run its course aka what Arianism did by the late 300's. Will it still be a factor in the next election and into the future??? Sure the same way the Arians were after 381 or so. The MSM's heyday was 1964-1994...starting with the Johnson political smear of Goldwater and ending with the Republicans sweeping into the Congress. Since that time, they have been losing ground on all fronts and have been throwing more and more public temper tantrums. And the past six years, things have solidified and we are seeing a paradigmatic tilt in the direction of the MSM having significantly less influence and diminishing by the year.

and 2) the growing stupidity on the part of average Americans.

Actually, I think the stupidity factor also peaked sometime in the 1990's. That is not to say that there is a shortage of stupidity out there today...God knows there is not...but I am not so sure anymore that this is a growing factor anymore.

If some TV news show did a man-on-the-street interview in c. 1960, the man-on-the-street would be reasonably well informed ( e.g. knowing who the Vice President was, etc.); the interviewer would get intellegent answers to their questions, and the person would respond in full sentences. If one does a man-on-the-street interview today, unless it's someone like yourself (a rarity), they will get blabbering nonsense and a lot of blank states and embarrassed laughter. This is the fruit of a liberal-run NEA and intentionally declining standards in our school systems. In short, people have been "dumbed-up"; and "dumbed up" people are easily led ...to vote Democrat. :-)

I would have agreed with your analysis ten years ago Mark. However, the structures were different then...the MSM had a monopoly on public discourse and there were no substantial alternative voices. Again, voter turnout in 2000 and 2004 was high (particularly 2004) and we know what happened in those elections. 2002 was not high but midterms generally are not anyway. 2006 will be a midterm election and low voter turnout favours incumbants as a rule. You still seem to be seeing things through the lens of a monopolistic MSM apparatus I am afraid...

The one and only thing that seriously threatens Hillary's bid (not that Bush has made the same mistakes as his dad and allowed the media the demonize him with no response or counter-move) is the war and the threat of terror.

There is also the economy. If it remains strong through 2008, she will not win. PERIOD.

Could be. But Carval et al are very clever.

True. But they have a lot more against them now than they did in the 1990's Mark. It is not the same playing field anymore and if Carvel does not realize this (and I am not so sure he does actually...based on what I have seen of him on the talking heads programs the past couple of years), he will not be as effective as he was in the past.

If the person the Republicans pick can be demonized, it will be relatively easiy to position Hillary as the one who will "preserve our present prosperty."

That is why you are not likely to see a front runner prior to the 2006 elections...

making it seem as if the Rep is an outsider who will want to take it away from us.

Again, this is from the old playbook which has failed to work the past three elections (read: since the coming-of-age of the alternative media).

If Gingich runs, I am confident that they will do something like this.

Gingrich would be a good choice to act as a distractor...he cannot win the nomination but for people like the Dems to spend their time and money demonizing him to allow someone else (i.e. a mirror opposite of Gingrich) to be the nominee: in baseball they call this a "changeup."

Hillary = a Senator whose been "keeping America strong" ....as if she was part of the Bush administration, etc. :-)

Um Mark, put the peyote down...NOW!!! ;-) ;-) ;-)

It's hilarious, but look at what people will believe these days!

You are approaching this without recognizing the change in political dynamics the past eight years...almost like Mondale in 1984 with all due respect ;-)

I should note that lest this be misunderstood that I actually do appreciate you playing "Mr. Thunderstorm" here since I am sure there are many who hold your view in at least a macro sense. My response here is one of cautious optimism based on historical precedent -both the previous hundred years of presidential history as well as the last three elections in the age of the increasingly discredited MSM.

But, the liberals are working on this too. Have you seen that new show on one of the networks starring Gena Davis, called "Commander in Chief." It's about America's first woman President, and notice the title. :-) She becomes President during the war on terror, etc. No accident.

True. However, Geena Davis is a babe and Hillary is not.

I know a lot of people who think otherwise. :-) ..sick people, to be sure; but Hillary is considered very "easy on the eyes" in some circles.

Maybe at a blind person's convention...though frankly Hillary could get a grimace out of Ronnie Milsap.

Women also tend to see her this way --i.e., her new "warm and motherly" (vs. "cold and dykey") make-over via her Senatorial run. :-)

In New York sure but winning in NY does not translate into winning nationally. You may not know this being from Philly and all but we folks out west here (with our "stagecoaches", "shootumups at noon", and "tumbleweeds") as a rule despise you eastern folks as uppity elists bums, etc. (Present company excluded of course.) We are aware that back east there is a general view that everyone west of the Hudson River (and south of Mason-Dixon) are a bunch of "inbred Jeds." Hillary has sought to identify herself as an eastern establishment type and that does not play well out here anymore. If you do not believe me, ask Howard Dean, John Edwards, John Kerry, Paul Tsongas, and Michael Dukakis.

The only times an eastern establishment type mentality has succeeded is when packaged in "good 'ol boy attire." That explains Clinton, Carter, and LBJ. I remind you that Humphrey failed in 1968, McGovern in 1972, and Mondale in 1984. They were all northern liberals -in Humphrey's case a more honourable northern liberal but the same stigma nonetheless.

Hillary would have been wiser to have run as a Senator from Arkansas (or some other southern state) to set herself up presidentially but she would not have had a prayer in Arkansas. That is why she went with New York where being liberal gives you a thirty point head start in the polls if not more.

Again, Mark, truth be told: we "rednecks" despise the eastern establishment and its self-anointed "ivory tower intellectuals." That may not be evident from out there in Philly, etc. but trust me: it is true. And if you doubt me, look at the presidential maps in 2000 and 2004 and check out all that red. (Though in truth, we should be blue since the Democrats are the true marxists and thus are properly coloured red.)

Even in Washington state, the last governors race needed to be stolen from us by the corrupt King County machine...which in this election coming up there are actually lifetime Dems supporting one of the GOP candidates because of a recognized need to break the back of the city machine. There is even talk about partitioning off King County after the city limits into another county...that is how pissed off many KC residents are with the way their county is monopolized by the Seattle machine (and has been for decades now).

My point is Mark, we are seeing a seismatic shift taking place with a political realigning which started in 1980 and has been moving ever since (with very few signs of stopping). This political realigning is to our advantage; ergo I am cautiously optimistic most of the time.

I'm taking that line directly from a Saturday Night Live sketch. My hope of course is that she ages badly over the next two years. :-) Yet, there's always plastic surgery, I suppose.

She is not to be underestimated certainly. However, you overestimate her.

This is an attempt (not a very successful one, I'll grant you) by the media machine to get America ready and comfortable with Hillary by casting, not a dykey shrew, but a "Mary Tyler Moore" type actress in the role of the President --the hope being that it will help people to embrace the "icon" that Hillary will personally fill.

But Hillary does not have the physical looks of Geena Davis or 1960's-1980's Mary Tyler Moore. See my previous comments.

Sorry, I think I didn't make my point clear enough. The reason I mentioned Mary Tyler Moore was because she is an icon of "the girl next door" in American mythology. Geena Davis has this same quality, which is why they cast her as the President, rather than Glenn Close or Meryl Streep, etc.

Close would have been a good actress to try and clone Hillary for a TV show...except Close is easier on the eyes.

Now, granted, Hillary is no girl next store. But, the mentality in casting Geena Davis is to get Americans comfortable with a female war-time President who is archetypally female. For, if a "girly-girl" can be president during a war, then so can Hillary. Admittedly, it's a pretty lame attempt to win over the psych of the country. But, they're trying. ...and it could have worked. :-)

Wouldas and couldas do not escape from the fact that it has not been working.

So far, the show's ratings have been terrible. :-) But, give the liberals a chance. That's just one tactic of many for trying to influence the American electorate. You ain't seen nothing yet. :-)

Actually, we saw a lot in the 1990's with the BS over so-called "budget cuts", we say a bunch of BS in the 2000 presidential campaign, we saw even more BS in the 2004 campaign as well. There is nothing new in any of it nor will there be in what they will try for 2006 or 2008.

I agree Mark but perhaps you should consider what the bad ratings for that show signify in part. I have heard through the grapevine that it is not a bad show. They certainly have good actors ( i.e. Geena Davis, Donald Sutherland). So the show is not failing because it is a bad show but instead for another reason.

Well, I think the show is failing because of the "law of diminishing demands" ---a little facet of business that the entertainment industry never seems to learn. The target audience for the show is already occupied with "The West Wing." So, I think that's the real problem. For example, if you put on a show about a red-haired kid with his "cool" Italian buddy growing up in the 1950's while "Happy Days" was already on the air, it would not do well because "Happy Days" owns the market. The producers of "Commander in Chief" basically concluded that their show will be successful because it's "The West Wing meets Gilmore Girls" (or however they pitched it). :-) In other words, they overestimated the popularity of "The West Wing" with audiences (assuming that folks "couldn't get enough" of West Wing), and perhaps their blind spot was their desire to use the popularity of West Wing (which was created during liberal Hollywood's euphoria over Clinton) as a piece of propoganda to promote Hillary. The interesting thing, of course, will be to watch whether or not the network actually pulls the show. :-)

Your analysis is good but it points out the weakness in our adversaries. As for whether the show will or will not be pulled, here is my prediction: not before the 2008 primaries.

Hollywood has a history of permitting failing financial enterprises to continue because they support their ideologies. ...i.e., every anti-Christian movie ever made ( e.g. The Last Temptation of Christ) looses money, yet Hollywood continues to make them. Why? :-) I thought it was "show business"? Not.

Precisely.

But, these only work with thinking people. What about the millions upon millions of morons out there, all of whom have the same vote as you or me?

I am one who favours making voters not of equal weight.

Amen! :-) White, educated, male, landowners. :-) ...Okay, at least educated landowners. Hee hee.

I favour everyone who is of age being able to vote. However, votes should be weighted by various factors. We need to recognize that the current voting criteria has been outstripped and adjust it accordingly.

And I have serious problems with women voting too.

And people wonder why Mark is a bachelor ;-) ;-)

They consistently prove (as a demographic) that they don't know what they're doing ---that they do not make reasonable, but emotional, choices ( e.g. "Oh, he's so handsome, so I'm voting for him.").

But now you are engaging in your own kind of activism Mark. It is the heighth of inconsistency to rail against self-serving activism from the so-called "left" and then do it yourself. This is a major reason why the Miers nomination is in trouble...people like me who do not want to see activism on any side.

It is no accident that Black men were given the vote in this country before women were. An all-male (head of the household) electorate produces unity in families, which in turn are the building-blocks of society. Giving women the vote has pitted wives against husbands and done much to undermine the structure of the family. No one is willing to address this right now, but history will see it very clearly.

We shall see...

I have not worked out a system for it yet but it would start with a civics test. Those who cannot pass it either lose half a vote or those who pass it gain a half a vote.

Actually, I think one has to be careful there, given who will design the test. :-) If it's some state bureaucracy, you can bet that liberals will have their hand in it to tilt things "leftie" and disqualify those who think differently than they do. I think the better test would be being a "mench" (the Yiddish word) in the local society. If you are a known doctor, or other professional, who has attained a certain ("patrician") standard in our fluid society (in which a poor person can advance himself through opportunity in education and the economy), then your vote counts more than that of an unemployed crack addict. I think this is justice.

That is part of it yes. However, then there is the issue of anyone using the federal government for their own self-interests. The role of the federal government is supposed to be a small one for many reasons. Claude Frederic Bastiat noted them as succinctly as anyone when he explained that the role of law is justice plain and simple. And using the federal leviathan to rob one class of people to enrich another is no more just than if you were to rob your neighbour to enrich yourself.

Another way to deal with it would be to base it on income tax returns. If they must tax our income, then it should benefit out right to vote. So, if you're "flipping more of the bill," you should get more say in how the government spends your money.

See my previous comments.

Then there is private property ownership. Since those who own property should have a greater stake in controlling the federal leviathan, a half a vote more for property owners. Then there is marriage...it is a stable bedrock of society and contributes to both just public order as well as society's common good. For that reason, half of a vote more for married people than unmarried people.

Good ideas.

By this scale, a married property owning person who can pass a civics test would have three times the voting influence over someone who does not own property, is not married, and cannot pass a basic civics test. Oh and btw, those who get divorced are stripped of the half a vote they gained when they were married.

:-) Very nice. They should also be taxed more (the woman as well as the man), since they are damaging society. It's too easy to get out of a marriage today. The personal "pursuit of happiness" does not give people the right to mess up society for everyone else.

(Shawn M circa 10/19/05) This is where I have sought to address things through the matrix of Bastiat's three fundamental rights of man Mark. My contribution to that classical theory is to bring out in greater explicitness the implied "common good" aspect in Bastiat's work and add to the equation the principle of "public order" as defined by [Dignitatis Humanae]. The long and short of it is this: I have sought to codify an explicit template for addressing ALL societal issues that is completely consistent and not at all arbitrary. And in doing that, inexorably one must seek the needs of the many over the wants of the few. (Mr. Spock was right in essence.)

These people are not influenced by intellectual argument, but by the content of media entertainment and their "feelings." The liberals know this; we haven't learned to do it yet ...nor do we seem driven too. It's all about the packaging, my friend. The media can sell people feces if it's packaged correctly and has a catchy jingle. :-)

I know Mark. However, there is a growing percentage of people who have learned the way the media distorts things...have you read Bernie Goldberg's best seller Bias by chance???

I have not. But, I would submit that that "growing percentage" is among educated, thinking people (who are also commonly led by the media), not among the majority of Americans.

But again, most Americans who are uneducated do not vote. And all the media attempts to get them to do so have as a rule not been successful. It is one of the few benefits we get from the general apathy actually...

Look at at how Arius converted 80% of the Empire --not with sound theological argument, but with catchy hymns ( e.g. "There was a time when He was not."). It's this easily-led moron factor that Hillary and the Clintons will use against us. If Kerry had tapped into it successfully in 04, he'd be the President right now. The Clintons are far more skilled at it.

You overestimate the jingle factor.

Do I? :-) And how many Catholics blindly follow both the jingles (and so the advertised "morality") of the singer who calls herself "Madonna"? ...or plung in your more modern example. What you have to appreciate is that Bill and Hillary are not political figures. They're "movie stars." ...ergo, they are "media royalty."

See what I noted previously about the media and their actual influence on these matters. Might I suggest that as a man of the media you are overestimating things a bit in the current milieu???

Futhermore, neither John Kerry nor Hillary Clinton has the kind of "pied piper" charm that Bill Clinton did.

Bill wasn't running with Kerry. :-) ...nor was the media machine really behind Kerry. ...nor could it be, since Kerry didn't have any "media magic" ---that's what pretty-boy Edwards was for, and they didn't use him properly.

It is true that he was a master manipulator but he was also naturally charismatic and personable. Kerry was not and Hillary is not. And this is a more important factor than the "packaging"

Shawn, did you ever hear anyone describe how Fred Astair made Ginger Rodgers "look good" when they danced?? :-) Astair was the real dancer; she just followed his lead. Bill and Hillary have the same media dynamic. If he gets up there and looks at her with "love" in his eyes, etc., it will "read" for people. This is the act. :-) It's a stupid one, and we see it (because we know better); but most Americans do not.

I disagree with you Mark for one good reason: Bill Clinton has a trackrecord of not having good coattails to hang on. You appear to not take this factor into consideration at all and it is a significant one.

You give Carvel too much credit. Dick Morris was the brainchild behind the Clintons and their election/governing "triangulation" strategy.

[Y]es, Morris kept in in power; but Carvel got him elected.

In a three party election where the third party seriously took from the incumbant. That was FAR more significant than anything Carvel did...

He is on our side now Mark

Is he? :-) I'm not so sure about Morris. The man is the devil, even if he's really on our side.

Sometimes you have to play the hands you are dealt in politics Mark...

and does not like Hillary at all.

Is that real? I don't know.

From all appearances yes. Morris appears to have liked Bill personally but not Hillary. Furthermore, Morris appears to have had a paradigm shift after 9/11 much as ex-marxist Christopher Hitchens did.

At the very least, Morris will cancel out Carvel if the Republicans listen to him.

Well, that's the thing; the Republicans don't listen to him. Maybe that's a wise decision; I don't know. Also, Morris' "Hillary vs. Condie" idea seems really wacky to me. Condie could probably win; but it almost seems like Morris is trying to set the Republicans up.

Condi would be best as VP on the ticket.

And hopefully Mary Matalin can successfully run blocker against Carvel on the homefront...she is married to him last time I checked.

Thus proving the the world is weirder than one can possibly imagine. :-) Actually, my friend Mike and I have a theory about that. Matalin never moves her face, and Carvel is overly-animated to the point of cartoon-like elasticity . We think that Matalin was attracted to him on some deep, genetic level, in the hope that her offspring will be normal, by cancelling each other's genes out. Hee hee.

Perhaps...a strange theory but no stranger than some I have heard ;-)

I personally think that democracy is fundamentally flawed and alien to Christian civilization (the very thing that we and our Evangelical friends really want); and as long as our present Constitution is in place, the liberals will eventually win the game due to their realistic take on human nature.

We have discussed this before. I remind you again my friend that this is a respresentative Republic and differs significantly from a democracy in many key respects.

Semantics. Call it what you like. The point is that people in this nation decide their own political destiny, and thus determine the culture. That is a mistake. A mob cannot be trusted to discern and determine truth. This is what a king is for. This is what the Divine right of kings preached; and its doctrine was very Catholic.

Actually, you are wrong about this Mark. However, you are right about the mob part of it which is why this nation was constructed as it was. More on this to follow...

To be Continued...

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