Saturday, June 24, 2006

Miscellaneous Musings on the Death of Zarqawi and the Presence of WMD's in Iraq

this is an audio post - click to play

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Some Recent and Future Weblog Additions, A Reappraisal of Site Principles, Reapplying Said Principles, and Other Applicable Tidbits:
(Aka "Miscellaneous Notes" Dept.)

The fee-ling is gone
I won't be your fool again...
The feel-ing is gonnne away...
I won't be your fool again...

What you have in front of you is the thread spoken of earlier this week. And as was predicted by us last week, some unsavoury sorts took a "ready, fire, aim" approach to some of the side margin additions without giving us the opportunity we requested to explain their inclusion here first. Coincidentally (perhaps), these are the same sorts of people who try to claim they model themselves after Jesus Christ and Saint Paul. That such people often fall into the "ready fire, aim" category and (just as concidentally perhaps) they will at some point go back and either delete their comments or revise them to remove the more odious parts should someone bring it to their attention.

Indeed, the above scenario was already anticipated (and briefly explained) by us in a recent audioposting along with the kind of challenge these sorts of people shirk from in true yellowbelly fashion ala a vampire fleeing from a crucifix. But enough noting on noting predictions on our part which have either already been vindicated or at some point will be in the future and onto the promised explanation at hand for the various changes that have been made already (or remain to be made in the future) at this weblog.

Now readers of (and listeners to) this humble weblog have probably noticed some new additions to the side margin in the blogroll department. As your host has started the laborious nature of preparing a weblog update (the first since February of this year), it seems appropriate to note briefly what these webroll additions are for and why they were added particularly since it is not often that structural adjustments are made to the weblog akin to what will be done in a peacemeal fashion in the coming days and weeks ahead.

To start with, there has been a longtime tiring on our part of certain typecasting tendencies that are common amongst certain kinds of people that have been applied to the present writer (and by logical extension, this weblog) over the years.{1} This element of the equation may be touched on more in detail later on when an email correspondence from last year is blogged where the subject was dealt with to some extent.{2} The bottom line though is that there are and have been interests that significantly exceed what has been written on thus far either in this weblog or in past essay or message board formats by us. After all, your host is reasonably well read on more subjects than can be casually listed but the problem is, this does not often translate well in a society of soundbytes where people seek to label others{3} in various ways to try and "categorize" them. However, as that is something that the present writer has bitched on a few occasions in the past, there is no desire at the present time to delve anew into that subject.{4}

Part and parcel to the latter circumstance is the recognition that certain circles that your host had afflilated with over time had little if any interest in considering some of the creative ways put forth on this weblog for dealing with problems in society which were not only logical and rational but also consistent. One can only watch the same people miss the boat over and over again before realizing that they are either unwilling or unable to think beyond whatever their chosen masters happen to be. Or to quote from the late great Mike Mentzer who long ago (in your host's younger days) influenced our intellectual cultivation:

[W]hat I observed [with other people] was abject conformity and the desperate desire for the safety of will-less passivity. Not passivity of the body, but passivity of the mind…They were either unwilling or unable to think beyond the confines established by the pack…They lead blighted lives, bereft of any interest in science, philosophy, morality or art… They were merely passing through existence, as cultural ballast, individuals that never looked up, held nothing sacred; while I and others seeking to achieve the ideal were righteously doing what truly, in logic and reality, was of fundamental importance.

Whatever differences exist between this writer and those whose webrolls he has affiliated with in recent months,{5} at least there seems to be as a rule a similarity in looking for viable solutions to problems rather than regurgitating tired old formularies in a blind and uncritical fashion. The latter tiring and predictable pattern was recognized a long time ago by us but frankly it did not seem worth noting at the time publicly. However, the season has arrived to note it since we do not intend any longer to entertain such people here at Rerum Novarum either explicitly or by implication.

Admittedly, the present writer was maybe a bit naive in presuming that good ideas which were presented logically would appeal to a cross-section of those who were of good will amongst those with whom we were affiliated.{6} Nonetheless, we harbour no such illusions anymore and therefore have decided to focus elsewhere where potentially these kinds of ideas may find an audience willing to assimilate them and (perhaps) contribute to their further elucidation and propagation amongst the populace at large.{7} Basically, the blogroll the present writer had occasionally toyed with in years past on a private weblog{8} will be installed here is currently being built in spare moments and should be ready for unveiling over the weekend if not sooner to facilitate easier monitoring by us in the months ahead. Rather than viewing what will transpire as a definitive burning of bridges, longtime readers should see this as a separation of certain allegiences that are no longer viewed as adequate.

For one can be critical of systems or structures without being critical of people who operate within them -either out of habit or otherwise. And those who have been closest to the present writer in recent years need not think that what is in the works at this weblog will in any way detract from either that or their friendship with us. After all, your host has never made personal differences a reason for breaking up friendships however much others may have done this either in the past or at the present time.{9} And while for a long time we viewed this as adequately implied in everything we have done at this humble weblog, in light of the permutations currently taking place or which are in the works, perhaps no time like the present is more appropriate to explicitly state this to remove any doubt whatsoever on this matter.{10}

Now regular readers are hardly unaware that Rerum Novarum was enrolled in the American Conservative Blogroll a while back.{11} Of more recent vintage was our inclusion in the Children of the Confederacy Blogroll as well as a pending application for involvement in two other webrolls. In light of these activities, it seems appropriate to briefly note what the intentions of the above involvements on our part involve.

The reason for involvement in the American Conservative Blogroll is for networking purposes with a group who share general principles (if not how said principles are to be applied) in actively engaging the culture wars. The reason for involvement in the other two affiliations (not named as of this writing) are for similar reasons as the affiliation with the American Conservative Blogroll. The Children of the Confederacy involvement was more a whim on the present writer's part after considering how southern in many ways he is for one not born or raised in Dixie.{12} Basically, a long-sensed need for proactive approaches to make the present writer's ideas for fruitfully combatting the problems in society today reached the point of no return recently. It therefore seemed appropriate to us to write the present posting to explain some of the factors involved. And while more could be noted on this subject,{13} at the present time that is all your humble servant intends to say on it.

If anything, the aforementioned upcoming posting of an email from last year will point out how this decision is actually one of being true to the present writer's long-held principles. For much as Ronald Reagan once said that he never left the Democratic Party but the Democratic Party left him, the present writer has not changed either in his core principles or on any other subject of a significant nature over the years. What has changed though is the surrounding landscape and certain intuitions that your host had from time to time{14} being manifested with greater clarity by various parties to an appalling degree.

In summary, the mask was removed and what was revealed was what was truly underneath it all along. And while the latter is something the present writer may touch on if he feels inclined to in the future, that is all that will be noted at the present time except (of course) that we at Rerum Novarum want no part anymore be it explicitly or tacitly in giving support to reactionary, blind, and unthinking sophistic timewasters.


{1} Certain episodes --both already past and also to some extent ongoing and/or unresolved as of this writing-- essentially made this decision on our part inevitable as we consider it now in retrospect.

{2} Some additional situations and circumstances since that text was written will probably be touched upon in a subsequent posting should your host be inclined to deal with those subjects.

{3} That is not to say that labels on occasion cannot be qpplied of course; however accuracy should be the goal in that endeavour whenever it is utilized: something your host does with care unlike the vast majority of people out there regardless of their particular socio/political/religious operative presuppositions.

{4} We may write or contribute to writings from friends and associates on some of these matters in the coming months depending on the present writer's available time for such things as well as our mood for discussing those subjects. (Suffice to say, this writer is aware of certain projects from other parties currently in draft form which would adequately address some of these problems when completed but enough on that for now.)

{5} Even if the latter affiliation was (and is) more of a loose confederation than a coordinated effort.

{6} Certainly there are a few differences though noting what has been discerned thus far is not necessary as it does not detract from the general rule we noted in the posting above.

{7} Some of this was noted in a weblog posting from last year titled On "Social Commentary" and St. Blog's "Awards" posted on February 7, 2005. The parts particularly germane to the context of this posting are the following ones:

[L]et us get real: if we really want to get technical about it, (and modesty aside for the duration of this note) this category should be a three blog race between Rerum Novarum, Southern Appeal, and Dust in the Light. No one else who is nominated in that category of the "big five" finalists has anything particularly original to offer in these areas. All of which (thus far) confirms my long-viewed assessment about the "worth" of these kinds of awards: the predictable ones win and those who are truly creative in their analysis and suggestions (as in the three noted above are to some extent) tend to be more marginalized. But of course as assertions by themselves are cheap, here are several examples which pertain to the subject of social commentary as dealt with at Rerum Novarum --all of which are to some degree original (either in and of themselves) or in my development/refining of the underlying concepts involved.[...]...

I should note that it is my concern for ideas such as those noted above reaching a broader audience that I have made any issue out of this "award." It is certainly not for the sake of the "award" itself -heck, I am frankly surprised that anyone would nominate this weblog for a specialized kind of category when it does not categorize well by my own admission. But at the very least, if Rerum Novarum is nominated for this category, then it deserves to be in there with weblogs which actually fit the category itself...This proves that the so-called "award" process in general is merely an exercise of nominating people for the sake of nominating them -not because they actually fit into the category to which they are being nominated. I need not explain further why this cheapens any pretense of a genuine "award" being offered here presumably; ergo I will not belabour this point further.

In closing, the "award" in and of itself is something that I frankly could care less about if not for the ideas I have worked on at this weblog over the years and crystallized into viable policies and principled arguments. It is with an eye towards reaching that broader audience with these concepts which is why I raise these issues at all at the present time. For that reason, "social commentary" nominees should be able to make a case for similar contributions[...] and not merely be there because they were nominated in every category under the sun regardless of their qualifications to be in a respective category thereof. [Excerpts from Rerum Novarum (circa February 7, 2005)]

Thankfully, Southern Appeal won the category for 2004 and some of those who had no business being nominated did not. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for 2005 where at least two of my three pre-voting predictions came to pass and in not a few places, people "won" for categories they had no business being nominated for. In the meantime, banners are posted, people "campaign" for this stuff, and serious and principled ideas that (if considered and promoted) could create a seismic shift in the foundational presuppositions of many who are on the wrong side of the culture wars get ignored. Pardon those of us who think the latter is inexcusable and refuse in the future to in any fashion whatsoever contribute to such negligence either explicitly or (as occasionally was the case in the past) tacitly via our silence on the matters in question.

{8} Briefly on Blogrolling Formats (circa April 22, 2003)

{9} The names of the parties we have in mind will not be mentioned in order to protect the guilty and avoid making this a matter of personalities rather than the principles that are involved here.

{10} We do not after all want friends being at a loss as to how to interpret what has taken place and is in the process of taking place; ergo this clarification is being supplied by us at the present time.

{11} On the American Conservative Webring and Our Involvement Therein (circa April 19, 2006)

{12} And whose ancestors during the War Between the States fought for the west ;-)

{13} Other facets will be covered in the posting of an email from last year which will highlight other elements and explain why this realignment is not as much of a break as longtime casual readers may presume.

{14} But the present writer generally did not speak about these matters publicly.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On the Violent Death Rate in Iraq Compared to Many US Cities)

According to [Rep. Steve King of Iowa], the violent death rate in Iraq is 25.71 per 100,000. That may sound high, but not when you compare it to places like Colombia 61.7" per 100,000 death rate, violent death rate. South Africa, has a higher violent death rate per 100,000: 49.6 per 100,000. Even Jamaica has a higher violent death rate than does Iraq: 32.4, and Venezuela comes in at 31.6 violent deaths per 100,000. "How about the violent death rates in American cities? New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina was 53.1," violent death rate per 100,000. "FBI statistics for 2004-05 have Washington" DC's violent death rate at 45.9 per 100,000; Baltimore at 37.7 per 100,000, and Atlanta at 34.9 per 100,000. The figure again from Iraq, 25.71 per 100,000, and that includes the war. [Rush Limbaugh]


Sunday, June 18, 2006


Any prayers and well wishes for my mother on this day (her birthday) from the readers of Rerum Novarum would be greatly appreciated.