Saturday, May 06, 2006

Justin Nickelsen's Ressourcement BLOG has been silent for a while...


Friday, May 05, 2006

Points to Ponder:

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood. [H. L. Mencken]


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On Hypocrisy and Liberal Behaviour)

John [Underhill] wrote me last week to call me a “hypocrite” because I, a) criticized gay activists for putting swastikas on a conservative student’s picture and posting it on the internet, and b) called them the “Georgia Tech Gay Gestapo” for doing so. John said that was an example of a “hypocritical double standard” because I called liberals “Nazis” for calling conservatives “Nazis.” But I respectfully dissent.

It was wrong for the gay activists to compare the conservative student to the Nazis because she had never placed swastikas on the internet. In other words, I was really applying the following standard to everyone: If you don’t put swastikas on stuff, I won’t call you a “Nazi.” If you do put swastikas on stuff, I will.

This all leads to a simple life lesson: If you don’t want people to call you a “Nazi,” don’t put swastikas on stuff. Or alternately stated: Liberals are victims of their own behavior more often than they are victims of conservative hypocrisy. [Mike S. Adams (circa May 3, 2006)]

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Points to Ponder on One Man's Fear of the Future

this is an audio post - click to play


More on Third Parties and the 2008 Presidential Election:

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE.

I have heard a lot of people talk on this issue saying that the Constitution party doesn't stand a chance in 08 and that if we vote for them, we would only being helping the democrats by taking votes from the Republican candidate. Well, no one thought the 'immgration' issue would fire up so quickly either. It took a few minutemen to light the fires, and look at it now! I am a firm believer in fighting for what's right. I think we can accomplish more than most people think.

Hello SSSS:

Historically third parties have lacked traction because they are focused on a few passionate issues and then (when those issues fade) they sink into irrelevancy.

A third party that could succeed would need to have a much more solid foundation than that. Certainly the Constitution Party has a good platform. However, then there is the issue of running every election cycle and depleting funds rather than saving up for a few cycles and putting oneself into a position to have a greater influence long term. Furthermore, there is running with no established trackrecord on an "anyone but the big two" pitch which is not how one will succeed at this.

Of course if the Constitution Party can do what they can to structure a promotional juggernaut and sit out elections for about four years to save up cash, and then try to win some smaller seats (mayorships of cities, state legislatures/senate seats, potentially a governorship or more, etc) and show by example a model of governance in those positions which is true to the ideals that their party espouses, that will provide motives of credibility for voting for the Constitution Party rather than against the Evil Party (Democrats) and the Stupid Party (Republicans) respectively.

Remember, the big two parties get a ton of federal monies and no third party does...this is why the constant running every two years is madness for the smaller party: they have no chance to get the exposure they need.

Any national elections to have a viable chance need to be in the future -say 16-20 years. Otherwise, we will have Libertarianism redux: a party that for thirty years has gotten nowhere because they run every election instead of picking their spots with greater care. I do not want to see the Constitution Party go the way of the Libertarians but that is the pattern that third parties inexorably take: which is why I propose a reworking of the third party concept as noted in my earlier posting to these comments boxes.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Briefly on Third Parties and the 2008 Presidential Election:

[Prefatory Note: I originally posted this material in the comments boxes at Texas Fred's weblog.-ISM]

As one who has sought to reconsitute the third party principle into a workable mould{1}, I do not see The Constitution Party as doing anything different than third parties have historically done. For that reason, they will not succeed anymore than doing the same thing over and over again expecting each time a different result will achieve the hoped-for different result.

Do not misunderstand me here: I want a viable third party and have for a long time...indeed ever since I voted for Perot in 1992 and shed myself of the Republican Party label back in late 1996. But I cannot see how 2008 will be the year this will happen at the federal level or even the state level...however much the others on this list (and yes, even myself) would want it to happen.

Basically we are in a quandry since if we throw the election to the Democrats, they will gerrymander the districts in a way that virtually guarantees them re-election in 2008 and for years afterwards. But if we vote for the Republicans then we are probably gonna get what we have gotten up to this point.

To be Continued...


{1} "My Kingdom for a Viable Third Party" Dept. (circa November 6, 2004)

"My Kingdom For a Viable Third Party" Dept. Redux (circa November 11, 2004)

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On Texas Music and the Blues)

Even though Texas music in a lot of ways is rough-and-tumble, it also seems to me to be about feeling better. Like there's always a good time in it. Even if it's a real down blues tune. Albert King described something to me one time that really made a lot of sense: No matter whether it's a real down song about everything going wrong or whether it's the upside of it-found something new or got it together with my woman, or whatever it's all to soothe, the blues is all to soothe. Whether you got to get mad first or you've already been mad, it's all to soothe. And I think that's one thing that a lot of people miss about blues. [Stevie Ray Vaughan (circa October 1989)]

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Revisiting the Flawed "Chickenhawk" Argument:

The material in this posting was originally blogged back in October as a birthday fisking under the title Another Flawed Argument From Pseudo "Peacemakers" Bites the Dust. Without wanting to reconstitute the entire post at this time, I nonetheless want to remind readers of why this kind of argumentation is so flawed. For that reason, a truncated version of the earlier posting will suffice to avoid reinventing the wheel unnecessarily. Without further ado, here goes...

To show just how prescient your host actually is --and how utterly predictable certain critics often are-- the following was written in response to a thread your host had not actually read. Originally circulated on a private thread (and the content of the thread later confirmed by those on the email circular), let this serve as an example of why it is a waste of time to interact with most critics. We are interested in ideas here at Rerum Novarum not mindless babbling by those who are not interested in actual dialogue and prove this continually by their words as well as their actions.

First of all, the title of the thread to be responded to here had the word "chickenhawk" in it which is a codeword which tipped me off immediately as to what the subject would be about...[S]ince the critic in question raised a common (and pathetic) objection by partisans of their particular war weltanschauung, it is for that reason that We will demonstrate the fallacies in this kind of argumentation.

This whole situation began as We knew it would with the person in question making the argument that your host knew they were making: essentially the old "if you support the Iraq war, why have you not enlisted by now"??? chestnut. By doing this, they were being both inconsistent as well as hypocritical themselves. For in defending themselves against the notion that they are daisy chain-wearing pacifists, some of them have asserted that they supported a military intervention in Bosnia in the 1990's under the rubric of "preventing ethnic cleansing." Correct Us if We are wrong but We highly doubt (to put it mildly) that the critic in question and the lions share of their allies were rushing to enlist at that time.

Furthermore, there is the issue of what would happen if everyone who supported the war went to enlist. To start with, the economy would go in the toilet faster than you could say "most pseudo-'peacemakers' are red diaper doper babies." In fact, we probably would not have an economy since a large proportion of those who support the war are those of the more technically skilled jobs, computer technicians, engineers, business owners, enterpreneurs, etc. Meanwhile, most of those who bitch about these things either are unemployed or contribute nothing to the economy except being a worker.{1} But then again, marxists love indescriminately tearing down existing structures to begin anew so maybe that is the modus opperandi of the critic in question and most of their allies.

There is also the fact that not everyone has the physical tools to be a soldier. In the case of your host, there are particular afflictions which have either impeded his mobility in a military context or his eyesight which to some extent affects vision for things such as precision shooting. He is okay on the rifle range but rather hit and miss with accuracy. This is fine in civilian situations but certainly not up to the qualifications of a professional soldier. As for the rest, there are also these factors to consider -taken from an email sent to someone on a discussion list regarding knee injuries:

I hyperextended my right knee very badly in late 1997...was shoveling snow next to a vehicle and my foot slid under it partway. I am sure it did not help that I weighed about 230 at the time...the knee was subsequently hyperextended several more times in later years along with the left knee a time or two. In mid 1999, I was lifting a bunch of carpet from the floor of my grandmother's home and tore cartilege on the side of the right knee. As a result of the two traumas (I never had surgery for them), my right knee bothers me a lot at times...particularly when my water consumption falls below a gallon a day for more than a few days at a time. (I then am in the position of playing "catch-up" and have to drink even more to compensate.) I mention this because water is wonderful for the joints...when my consumption is where it should be (which is most of the time), there is only (at most) minor aches and pains but when it is not, the knees creak and crack particularly the right one...

If your son's knee problem is anything like mine, it can (but not always) be aggravated by jolting movements like running. It is also likely aggravated by cycling or any kind of repetitive motion where there is knee trauma but it would not be affected by lifting things. (Hard to explain but I can lift a lot of weight and it does not bother my knees.) [Excerpts from an Email Correspondence (circa September 20, 2005)]

In early 2002, a friend of your host's who is in sports medicine examined both knees and concluded that your host has a stretched ACL in his right knee. That explains why at times if the right foot gets stuck even for a moment in a pothole or some other surface indentation (if outside for example) that it can hyperextend a bit whereas with the left foot this rarely happens.

Now, lest this be misunderstood, your host is by no means lame in his knees...The problem is not one of functional knee strength but instead of having a significantly stretched ACL in the knees particularly the right one. Because of this, one wrong step into a pothole when on a patrol and the right knee would with the greatest likelihood be hyperextended (and possibly the left one if misstepping with that leg: not as certain as with the right knee). And if running with a pack on in the war zone and that happened, with the greatest of likelihood there would be incapacitation and thus your host would be a sitting duck. But that is neither here nor there, the argument itself is fallacious and shows what happens with those who [fail] to utilize a very elementary exercise of the thinking mechanism to avoid such irrational arguments. But this goes beyond the actual example noted above in the case of your host.

For those who make such arguments as the sorts of people who have recourse to the "chickenhawk" schtick inexorably spring a logical trap unless it can be shown that they have enlisted whenever they have supported military intervention at any time.{2} And as not a few of them favoured military intervention in Bosnia in the 1990's, you can judge them by their failure to enlist at that time to see how hypocritical they really are by making military enlistment a requirement for anyone who has supported the present military involvement in Iraq.

The bottom line is, those who are in the military enlisted with an awareness of the risks involved. They were not forced to enlist via the draft so this whole argument is absurd.{3} And further still, to Our knowledge, most of those who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq are (and were) supportive of those interventions!!! Ergo, We fail to see what these kinds of arguments serve except as crutches for moonbats who are incapable (or unwilling) to exercise their gray matter a bit and make actual substantive arguments. But then, these guys are (as a rule) professional dodgers it seems: dodging the draft back in the Vietnam days (if they were alive and of age) and dodging rational argumentation ever since. Finally, there is one more argument that undermines the argument that all supporters of wars should enlist and it is this:

If everyone in support of the war went to Iraq, other than the serious overcrowding that would be involved among the other things already noted, there would also be a surrendering of the homefront to every kind of seditious specimen imaginable!!!

If Vietnam taught us anything, military superiority is not adequate by itself, there must be moral fortitude on the homefront as well. And if all that was left in America were either those agnostic on the war situation or in varying degrees opposed to it, the ultimate result would be our defeat if we were not out to completely wipe the country off the map. (And of course we would not seek to do that at all.)

In summary, the argument that those who support a war are hypocrites if they do not enlist militarily has more holes in it than Swiss Cheese. And those who make this argument are irrational for making it for reasons noted above.{4} But there are many ways to support a war effort -one of which is to keep the homefront adequately secure from those who would undermine the war effort from within in true termite-like fashion. And whether such people do these things because of an illogical solipsistic situation, because they are marxists posing under the mask of being "peacemakers", or whatever else: such people are what the Framers meant when they referred to enemies "both foreign and domestic." And leaving such people unopposed on the homefront would be both suicidal for the nation as well as monumentally stupid. That is another reason why there needs to be on the homefront in a war people willing (as well as able) to combat such people and their propaganda.


{1} This is a role which is not to be disparaged of course. Nonetheless, in truth it is easier to fill this position than that of the enterpreneur who creates jobs for others, etc.

{2} Obviously this would not apply to those who made these arguments who were in the military already or who have served: those people avoid the charges of blatant inconsistency and hypocrisy in making such arguments and only have to deal with the fact that the argument itself is a weak one.

{3} If they were forced to enlist, then the "why do you not enlist" argument would have some legs to it.

{4} They are also hypocrites if they have not enlisted themselves for military operations which they have claimed to support for various reasons (i.e "ethnic cleansing", etc.).

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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On the Citing of Polls or Statistics to Buttress Argumentation)

Readers who wonder why those of Us at Rerum Novarum are not so quick to jump into the citing of polls or statistics to buttress Our arguments do well to remember Mark Twain's dictum about the three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Well, We are sure that if Mr. Twain was alive today, he would say there are four kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, statistics, and polling data. [I. Shawn McElhinney (circa August 25, 2004)]

For additional and more recent mutterings on polling from your blog host, see the audiopost located HERE and the post located HERE. -ISM

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