Saturday, March 25, 2006

"Updating Rerum Novarum" Dept.

This is a continuation and completion of a partial update which was conducted back in January. Any minor explanations for what was added and what was not will be in purple font. Without further ado...

Weblog Special Reports, Commemorations, Retrospectives, Miscellaneous Stuff, Etc.

My History of Seahawk Predictions [>>>]

Rough Draft of My Amazon Album Review of Roger Waters' Amused to Death [>>>]

Miscellaneous New Year's Musings [>>>]

Revised Draft of My Amazon Review of the Album The Band [>>>]

A Very Rough Draft of My Amazon Album Review of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan (In Session) [>>>]

My Political/Social Musings

On Political/Social Subjects in General

Miscellaneous Musings on President Bush, Congress, Riders, and the CIA [>>>]

Briefly on President Bush's State of the Union Address [>>>]

On Able Danger and Hearings Being Opened in the House of Representatives [>>>]

This is a key issue for 2006 in my view.

On the US Constitution, the Fundamental Rights of Man, Etc.

On the Subject of America's Founding With Christopher Blosser and David Jones (Parts I-III) [>>>]

I await a response to the above three part thread from those who rashly proclaimed that the Framers built this nation on Masonic and that certain Catholic Framers who were Masons thereby sold their faith down the river in helping found the United States of America, etc.

Briefly on Claude Frederic Bastiat, the US Constitution, and Socialism [>>>]

On the Subjects of National Security, the Patriot Act, Etc. [>>>]

Some Confirmation Hearing Predictions [>>>]

Thus far, I am 6-6 on the predictions noted above...

Briefly on Originalism and Chief Justice John Roberts (With Kevin Tierney) [>>>]

On Political Election Topics

On Geopolitical Issues, the 2006 Elections, Shifting Voting Demographics, Etc. (Dialogue With Mark Bonocore --Parts I-IV) [>>>]

The above was a dialogue with Mark from late 2005 which covered a lot of pertinent election stuff. Those who think it is a saimo saimo dialogue (as if anything I do here is "saimo saimo) between two commonly labeled "conservative" will be in for a surprise should they read it in full.

On the Recent War and War in General

On Arguments Opposed to Military Involvement in the Middle East [>>>]

Points to Ponder on On Fighting Wars in a Timely or Appropriate Manner (Fr. James V. Schall SJ) [>>>]

Threads on the Atomic Bomb Droppings, Military and Statistical Calculations, the Moral and Ethical Aspects of the Subject Matter in Question, Etc. (A Rerum Novarum Recapitulation Thread) [>>>]

I decided to recapitulate divers threads on those subjects to enable me to prune part of the side margin on those subjects later on.

"Armstrong Illusions" Revisited [>>>]

The Arguments Opposed to the War in Iraq As Sent By Us to Our Dialogical Opposition For Their Development Thereof [>>>]

Yes, I am giving the opposition arguments to use because I want to see solid and reasonable arguments against the war for a change. (Having tired long ago of steamrolling the common garden-variety logically-challenged drivel from that camp.)

Bridging Reason and Faith: My Philosophical/Ethical Musings
On Particular Philosophical/Ethical Subjects

"Tracking the Ever-Elusive So-Called 'Neo Con'" Dept. (A Series of Indefinite Length) [>>>]

I still do not believe this mythical "neo-con" exists. Those who disagree can explain for me what a so-called "neo-con" is and how these "neo-cons" are identified. Until that is done, I believe in the existence of the mythical "neo-con" about as much as I do the proverbial "Invisible Pink Unicorn."

Points to Ponder on Putting Social Principles Into Action (Pope John XXIII) [>>>]

Points to Ponder on Value Relativism (Allan Bloom) [>>>]

Some Principles For Authentic Dialogue and the Proper Use of Sources in Papers [>>>]

In light of what seems to be a growing problem with people both having reconrse to illogical argumentation and misusing sources in position papers, the above post hopefully can play some small part in helping those with eyes to see what should not be done if the intention is authentic (read: honourable) dialogue.

Points to Ponder on Logic Being a Special Preserve of the Learned [>>>]

"Blosser vs. Blosser" Dept. [>>>]

On Zeal, Nature and Ecclesiology, Dale Vree and New Oxford Review, Etc. [>>>]

"Vreebird" Dept. [>>>]

Though there are a host of problems with his explanation on the matter, Dale Vree deserves credit for attempting to provice a working description of what a so-called "neo-con" is.

On Reason and Logic [>>>]

Reasoning and Logic Revisisted With Apolonio Latar III (Parts I-II) [>>>]

Of or Pertaining to 'Progressivist' Philosophies (Falsely So-Called)

On IHS Press, Potential Fascist Connections, Antisemitism, Etc [>>>]

Points to Ponder on the "Chomsky Paradox" (Vasko Kohlmayer) [>>>]

These two are not grouped under the main heading of "philosophical/ethical" by accident...

My Theological Musings

On Certain Controverted "Hotpoint" Theological Subjects

For Preserving the Historical Record [>>>]

Santayana would be pleased with the above historical preservation (even if the party trying to revise the historical record in the above thread would not be).

On General Norms of Theological Interpretation [>>>]

The above thread is an illustrative example of why prooftexting without concern for proper context misses the forest for the trees -no matter what the subject matter of discussion happens to be.

Added From the Archives:

[Posted Under "Weblog Special Reports, Commemorations, Retrospectives, Miscellaneous Stuff, Etc."]

My Amazon Review of Albert Collins' Album Collins Mix [>>>]

My Amazon Review of Kitaro's An Enchanted Evening [>>>]

A Trip Down Nostalgia Lane [>>>]

Guest Editorial on BiPolar Disorder (Lisa Graas) [>>>]

"I'll Play the Blues For You" Dept. [>>>]

Basically, there is a lot of stuff in the archive which could be added in any given update. I decided on those threads to balance out the weblog a bit as they are among the earliest threads and the first six months of this weblog's existence is generally speaking underrepresented in the side margin compared to subsequent six month periods of time, etc.

[Posted Under "Of or Pertaining to 'Progressivist' Philosophies (Falsely So-Called)"]

The So-called "Bush Regime" and the "Free Tibet" Hypocrisy of the Braindead Communists and Their Sympathizers Progressives [>>>]

[Posted Under "On the Recent War and War in General"]

On the War and Certain Props for the Pope [>>>]

A couple of threads from the first part of 2003 during the ground war campaign and after my musings on sedition. Those who have accused me of "attacking the pope" can consider the latter thread and one written previously to it (contra JYB) to be a confutation of that silly presumption if anyone even thought it ever had validity to it.

Threads Relegated to the Archives:

"Engrave the Tombstone" Dept. (Musings on the Democratic Primary Race) [>>>]

Musings on the Iowa [>>>]

Musings on the Democratic Party Convention, John Kerry, Etc. [>>>]

Briefly on Hanoi John Kerry, the First Debate, and What President Bush Needs to Do in the Second Debate [>>>]

On the Second Debate [>>>]

A Brief Rerum Novarum Commentary on the Notion That a Kerry-Edwards Presidency Would Really Result in the "Stronger America" That They Claim on Their Campaign Signs< [>>>]

Briefly on the Supposed "Tora Bora Faux Paus" of the Bush Administration [>>>]

More on Terri Schiavo, an Activist Blogosphere Effort on Her Behalf, Etc. [>>>]

The above threads were either election related or specifically related to past events or circumstances (as in the case of the Schiavo thread). Readers can note that there are still Schiavo threads in the side margin as those threads (though written during that whole travesty) were written with general principles in mind not limited specifically to that one particular circumstance.

Clarifying Some Additional Points on the Atomic Bombing Subject (With Dave Armstrong) [>>>]

Abstract Theorizing and Hypothetical Wartime Situations With SecretAgentMan (Parts I-II) [>>>]

The inclusion of these threads and others on a recapitulation thread posted earlier this year makes it possible to remove some of the individual threads form the side margin; ergo the reason these have been relegated to the archives.

Miscellaneous Geopolitical Threads:

Between Venus and Mars, the Church of Rome Chooses Both (Sandro Magister) [>>>]

The above thread is an important one for those who want to try and understand the complexities of Vatican geopolitics as they pertain to the war in Iraq and many other factors...a most excellent overall overview by the ever-reliable Sandro Magister.

Jobs Americans Won't Do? (Rich Lowry) [>>>]

Great Care Should Be Taken in Interpreting Messages From God (Doug Bandow) [>>>]

It’s Time To Investigate Able Danger and the 9/11 Commission (Andrew McCarthy) [>>>]

Baseball: The Sublime Game (The Thoughtful Crab) [>>>]

A bit out of character with the threads around it but heck, spring training starts soon so why not???

What's Inflation? (Dr. Walter Williams) [>>>]

Basic Economics (Dr. Walter Williams) [>>>]

Random Thoughts (Thomas Sowell [>>>]

Big Profits for Big Oil: Who Cares? (Chris Burgwald) [>>>]

The Bush Iraq P.R. Machine Is Running Better, But Still Needs Work (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]

Huge Weapons Cache Found (Ryan Lenz) [>>>]

Iraq Stubbornly Continues to Not Be Quagmire (Mac Stansbury) [>>>]

All Praise Prof. Alan Dershowitz (Tony Blankley) [>>>]


Matthew Anger's Fringewatcher BLOG [>>>]

[Update: As Matthew Anger changed the above weblog into a website article, I obrogated the above weblog with his Theological Conservative blog and added the aforementioned website article to the scroll not long after that. -iSM 4/04/06 5:45pm]

Basically Matthew Anger is doing something so a lot of us do not have to do it: keeping an eye on the fringes.

General Magisterial Texts:

Deus Caritas Est Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI [>>>]

All modifications in this weblog update and previous minor ones prior to the last major update are made in perpetuity all things to the contrary notwithstanding, even threads worthy of special mention.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

A Most Urgent Request For Prayers:

I was made aware of the following via the grapevine today:

Prayer Request: My son has fallen into a coma and is in critical condition, I would be very grateful for any who would pray for him, especially at Mass at the Consecration / Elevation. He recently returned to the Church and had the Sacrament of the Sick yesterday. Thank you. ---SH

[The material in the next paragraph is an update since yesterday - ISM 3/20/06 3:00pm]

Monday. The next 24-36 hours will be critical if my son, 28, is to avoid being designated "brain dead," or impaired which God forbid. Should he awake, even partially, it will remain to be seen what if any long term damage was done. Thank you for your prayers. He apparently vomited in his sleep, deep into the night after St. Patrick's day dinner with us and other visits with other friends Friday; it went into his lungs, causing a heart attack and depriving his brain of oxygen, causing also pneumonia, kidney failure, etc. His state was not discovered until the next day at 1 PM by my daughter who had stayed over at his apartment for the night. Previously she thought he was just sleeping. When she finally tried to stir him his lips were blue. His kidneys have rebounded somewhat but no improvement yet in the "higher functions of the brain" affecting coma. The question is how long his brain was deprived of oxygen. Needless to say our hearts are broken. He had just returned most sincerely to the Church, and our hearts were warmed Friday when he was the one who asked us to make sure we prayed together before St. Patrick's day supper. Is it possible he had too much alcohol after he left here? Yes. With his other friends we do not know. He only had a Guinness when with us. Some prescription drugs were found in his system. He was not depressed, but had been treated for an anxiety disorder. Quite to the contrary of depression; he spoke in joy about his new girlfriend and his future at work (he is an engineer). ---Stephen Hand

[This thread will be updated as more is learned of this situation - ISM 3/20/06 3:00pm]

Personal differences are but so much straw when faced with matters of eternity. For that reason, if all readers of this weblog could please offer prayers for Stephen Hand's son (as well as for Stephen, his wife, and the rest of their family to receive the strength to handle whatever God wills in this circumstance), it would be greatly appreciated.

[Update: Things are not any better on this front. Here is the latest. -ISM 3/21/06 2:30am]

A Cry to Priests, Theologians, and My Sisters and Brothers for Help

Today my family and I were given heartbreaking news, that my son's cerebral cortex, which controls cognition / thinking, has been damaged beyond human hope due to having been deprived of oxygen "for apparently a long time" sometime between Sat 12:30 AM and 1 PM (an 11.5 hr window). This means, we were told, the "thinking part" of his brain is "gone forever," barring a miracle, and that within 48 hours we should make a decision to take him off artificial life support "and give him peace". We asked for a second opinion and received the same answer, breaking our hearts altogether.

Apparently this morning, at the same time, they began feeding my son liquid nutrition / food through a nasal tuble. When I asked the doctors whether he would die from just the removing him from artificial life support, they told us not necessarily. He would, they said, because of his youth, more likely die first of dehydration and lack of nutrition. This means starvation and filled me with anxiety. We need help here to be morally certain in making a family decision. Is this removing of a nasal tube identical to the situation Terri Schiavo was in? Would this mean "actively killing" my son? Please, if you can find it in your heart to send me a brief, preferably official document, clarifying this for us, I / we would be most grateful. I am very reluctant to remove nourishment for the very same reasons the Schiavo's were. Am I missing something here? Is there some factor which makes the cases different in any essential way? Under what terms, if any, is it allowable, according to the Church, to remove nutritional support once it has been introduced?

Please pray that God's will is done, and for my family. The agony of watching a beloved son in what is being called an irreversible coma, is almost too much to bear. So we cling to the cross. Help us, if you can, to know what His will is in Heaven in regard to all this. Perhaps I should know all this myself, but I feel shamefully in deep confusion. Thank you. Send your replies to and thank you in advance for understanding that I may not be able to reply immediately. ---Stephen Hand