Friday, September 01, 2006

"Palace of the King" Dept.: A Tribute to Freddy:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

[Prefatory Note: While Freddy's name is generally rendered as Freddie, he changed the spelling to the latter late in life as he thought it would help in adapting to changing audience dynamics. (See what is noted in the text below for an explanation of this.) I have elected to use the original spelling on purpose. -ISM]

Casual blues fans are aware of BB King and those who can dig deeper into the real gritty blues know of his unrelated contemporary Albert King. I have made no secret about my view of the latter as the King of the Blues properly speaking. But certainly BB does not disgrace that moniker which he is often associated with. However, there is a lesser known King whose mention in such esteemed company is well-deserved and it is Freddy King. Like BB and Albert, Freddy developed a unique style that influenced countless musicians. And like Albert who sired a "son" in the blues in one Stevie Ray Vaughan (RIP), Freddy to a certain extent "sired" a "son" of his own in Eric Clapton.{1}

Each of the Kings had certain parts of their playing that to a degree characterized them. BB's approach was that of light jazz-influenced runs with a sweet vibrato trilling technique. Albert's was a style that alternated between sweet and sour, manfully rough yet soft and delicate with an emphasis on string bending, a chilling vibrato trill, and a very deep tone to accomodate his unorthodox upsidedown and backwards left handed style. Freddie borrowed bits from BB early on and Albert later on and fashoned a style that approached the intensity of Albert and the delicacy at times of BB. His vibrato was respectable and at times could send a chill up the spine. And while all the Kings were adept at instrumentals (particularly Albert and Freddy) and solid singers,{2} Freddy was arguably the best of any of the blues giants at just letting his guitar do the talking.{3}

Freddy King out of all the Kings was the most nimble on the fretboard. But like Albert and BB, he was sparing in his approach overall{4} and focused more on what was said and how it was said unlike the lions share of guitar virtuoso sorts who run all over the fretboard and make little if any sense. A master knows that true works of art are painted with a variety of colours. A good bluesman knows how to make love to the guitar figuratively speaking -some such as BB and Albert even naming their guitars with a woman's name.

Freddy made his mark and accumulated a giant share of his reputation playing in Chicago in the late 1950's and early 1960's under the tutilege of Chicago Blues godfathers Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters. He played at that time to overwhelmingly black audiences. Over time, blues as a form drew aficianados among the white rock and roll fans -in large part to many British and American bands giving the old bluesmen their long-deserved due.{5} Many artists were capable of adapting to the changing winds to a certain extent including both of his namesakes. But Freddy struggled in this area. Not musically as the "Texas Cannonball" was a potent musical force all the way up to the end. But in the area of attitudes and being open to some extent -despite a growing friendship with admirer and "son in the blues" Eric Clapton who even today speaks highly of him.

Indeed, Freddy's difficulty in adapting may explain part of why he is not as well remembered as the still-touring BB King and the late great Albert King (RIP).{6} And while I could say more -and Freddy can be spoken of without reference ot Albert and BB, I do not do so because he deserves to be considered in their company as a "King of the Blues" and not just in name. His was a blues master in his own right and he died young for a bluesman.{7} But he deserves to be remembered for his contributions to electric postwar blues. Rest in peace Freddy "Texas Cannonball" King. Hopefully this post can do its small pat in reminding people of how great you were and why you deserve to be considred amongst the Trinity of Kings of the Blues in more than just name.


{1} This is not to say that Albert did not influence Clapton and Freddie did not influence Stevie of course as there was some cross-pollenization in both cases -particularly with Clapton. But while Clapton ripped off Albert's stuff blatantly at times (particularly in his Cream and blind Faith days), he did not in doing this assimilate into his approach an intuitive understanding of the masterful nature of Albert's deceptively simple stylings the way Stevie did. However, he did do this with Freddy's signature riffs borrowing not only phrasings but actually demonsrating the aforementioned intuitive understaning of Freddy's appproach.

{2} An argument can be made that of the three Kings of the Blues, Freddy was perhaps the best vocalist.

{3} In this area, one must also rank the late great Albert Collins (RIP) in the top tier.

{4} Though any listen to his rendition of Five Long Years (a song covered by BB King and later Buddy Guy) gives a good idea of what Freddy could do when he really let loose.

{5} Eric Clapton has been particularly good at doing this.

{6} In his heyday, Albert King sold about equally between black and white audiences without changing an iota of his style: something that even BB cannot claim.

{7} At 42 in 1976: thirty years ago this December 26th.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On Woodrow Wilson From A Contemporary - And A Lot of What is Wrong With Much of What Passes For "Thought" These Days From Most People)

I sometimes think the man has no sense of things that penetrate below the surface. With him, the rhetoric of a thing is the thing itself. He is either wanting in understanding or convictions, or both. Words -phrases, felicity of expression and a blind egotism have been his stock in trade. [Senator Robert LaFollette]

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Miscellaneous Threads Worth Reviewing:

[Prefatory Note: Most of this post was composed from August 1st through August 9th or so. -ISM]

Briefly (if I may) on these threads...

Gibson's Film Career in Jeopardy After Anti-Semitic Comments (FOXNews)

I have almost always been what one would call a "chillin sort" when I have had more to drink than I should. However, one time when I was at my buddy Tim Tull's house back when we were in high school, we got blasted while picking out bass lines to The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. I remember learning in that session the 7/4 bass riff from Money: one of the few things I have a clear recollection of from that night. I do remember that we were drinking a nasty concoction of rot gut gin, vodka, and orange juice and that each mixture had less and less orange juice in it and I lost count around 12 or so. The gin was of the sloe variety so we were drinking away thinking we were quite stout drinkers (rather than the amateurs that we actually were) and all of a sudden, it hit all at once like (I would imagine) being hit by a stun dart where everything goes numb and in slow motion. Except in this case it was the reflexes and the vision.

Apparently, at one point I said less than flattering things about him including threatening to kill him.{1} There was nothing to provoke it at the time and I was quite embarassed the next day to find out what had happened -including that I broke a window with a small pumpkin and had a vomiting episode which got all over the carpeting, etc.{2} Nonetheless, people can say and do things when drunk that they would never mean or do when they were sober. For that reason, I do not consider the Mel Gibson episode to be any kind of a big deal. However, I expect to see a lot of people make a big deal out of it. I though have said all I intend to say on the matter for the indefinite future in this paragraph. Moving on...

Sr. Benedict's Boxing Club: Join Now and Take Advantage of Summer Discounts--Only $19.95 Per Session (Fumare)

I can think of many individuals who could use such lessons actually...

Do any of the following apply to you:

You believe that superior US Military strength is not necessary in today's world


You believe that the proper approach to statecraft is that which is embodied by Cardinals Sodano and Martino

Hell no.{3}

You believe that the Pope should be the one who makes the call when to go to war


Then chances are, you've been pummeled in the schoolyard--or are in imminent danger of it!

I agree 100% with that assessment of most (but not all) of those who take the position of appeasement in the face of Islamofascism. As far as the Church goes, statements by bishops -be they a conference of bishops, those in authority in various Vatican dicasteries, even those of Pope Benedict XVI himself are hardly ipso facto magisterial and therefore binding on the Catholic consience -whatever nonsense that certain self-styled "apologists" for the Catholic Church may assert. But enough on that matter for now.

Boer Farm Murders (The Right Perspective)

An appetizer if I may...

Andre van Tonder, a horse breeder and Boere farmer, discusses the recent murder of his parents at their farm near Vrede in the Orange Free State.

The farming district of Vrede is a region of agricultural plenty, including the Free State's largest stock fairs of maize wheat, mutton, wool, beef, dairy, products and poultry. The extremely savage and violent farm murders are obviously aimed at intimidating White commercial farmers into abandoning their farms, so the Communist ANC government's goal of distributing white-owned farmland to black squatter communities can be met.

Andre is eager to tell the story of the genocide on Whites, and the degeneration of South Africa under ANC control.

The odds of the MSM reporting on these issues in any prominent way is about 1%. For this is hardly uncommon in South Africa with the advent of the Communist African National Congress assuming power ten years ago. However, those who point this out are likely to be considered "racists": a situation that explains why many would hesitate to say anything. Another reason is the marxist double standard that impairs many who consider themselves "progressivists" or "peacemakers' or whatever nice candy-coated label they try to disguise themselves with to avoid being recognized for what they actually are.

Stop the Murders (The Right Perspective)

Again, just a taste...

Oom Johan Pienaar, Secretary of the Boervolk, relates what is being done on a diplomatic level in South Africa to act against the more than 2,000 murders of Boer farmers that have taken place there since the Communist ANC took power in 1994.

Again, the MSM silence is and will remain deafening for ideological reasons.

Brits to Blair: Split With Bush (Gordon Prather)

Homegrown 'Islamic fascists' (Gordon Prather)

There is nothing of worth in the above threads except to point out to you readers why reason and logic are so important and what happens when they are neglected by those who attempt to examine various positions or philosophies. I am reminded of the old TV commercial with the tagline "This is YOur Brain on Drugs, Any Questions???" But by all means my friends, read the above threads. Anyone who thinks they are "paragons of sound rationale" can feel free to email me about them. Moving on...

Tree Huggin Hippie Crap (TheLittleOrangeFox at Outlaw Republican)

Just a taste...

What do you get when a hero dies and a mother cries?

A tragedy.

What do you get when a hero dies and a mother neglects his grave stone for two years while whoring herself off to third world socialist dictators and nut-wing celebrities for photo-ops while spending her son's insurance money on huge left-wad protest against one solitary man she claims will not see her but previously DID see her?

Um, a "professional-apologist-in-training"??? ;-) As Larry the Cable Guy would say after that kind of statement "Lord I apologize for that...bein' with the starving Pygmies in New Guinea. Amen."

Maybe I have taken the wrong approach the past ten years of my Independant political life. (Well, ten years this coming November anyway.) Perhaps I should have styled myself as an "outlaw Republican" instead of telling the Republicans to go pound sand for their party stupidity. Will have to ponder that a bit but for now, I remain an Independant voter and can do no other (God help me).

Gender difference, not gay marriage, at center of family fight (Michael Medved)

Hats off to Michael Medved for coming up with a different way of looking at this incendiary issue. (My own musings on this matter from February of 2004 can be viewed HERE for those who are interested.)

The Blind Leading the Evil (Joseph D'Hippolito)

Though not as good as his stellar July piece Pontificating on Israel (posted in an August 12, 2006 miscellaneous threads installment); nonetheless, Joe does not disappoint in this very worthy followup thread. Those who would savage Joe for apparent "attacks" against problematical Holy See geopolitical positions would do well to remember the words of the Dominican Melchior Cano who at the Council of Trent noted the following to critics of church reform who defended the status quo:

"Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See—they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations." [Melchior Cano]

This counsel needs to be considered at all times with respectful but constructive criticism not seen as detrimental -particularly in areas which do not pertain to Catholic doctrine in direct proportion to their distance from the latter respectively. Moving on...

Mel Gibson and Politics of Bigotry (Brent Bozell)

Thanks are in order to Greg Krehbiel for bringing the above thread to my attention.

The state of ecumenical dialogue (Bill Cork)

I have to concur with Bill on his assessment here. Frankly, ecumenical dialogue seems at times to be impossible within the Catholic Church amongst fellow Catholics; ergo, that it would fail with other Churches and ecclesial communites to some extent is understandable. Nonetheless, those who can stomach it and remain true to the core pinciple of seeking truth have my best wishes for eventual success. But the present appraisal of the endeavours on the whole do not look promising.


{1} According to Tim, I attacked him near the top of the stairway and he shoved me down the stairs. After tumbling down, I got up and came up the stairs again and he shoved me down again. (I have no recollection of any of this so I have to go on his account of the events of that night.)

{2} I can count the number of times this has happened in my life on less than four fingers -and three of them were when I was under 21.

{3} Briefly on the Vatican Diplomatic Corps and the War in Iraq (circa September 27, 2004)

{4} [S]ince the authority recognized by the [Catechism of the Catholic Church] to levy war is the secular authority, it is to this authority where the judgment is levied, not that of the pope. This is easily demonstrated with Catholic sources -indeed I have done so many times already. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 6, 2005)]

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"C'est La Vie" Dept. on the David Armstrong Affair:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

[Update: Against my own better judgment, I allowed myself to be drawn into dealing with Mr. Armstrong. The latest dispatching thread can be read HERE though readers should consider what the thread below says before reading the subsequent offering for the most accurate picture of this tragic situation. -ISM 9/28/06 4:20pm]

I spent more time than I should have pondering how to respond to the latest round of revisionism from one Dave Armstrong. Part of me considered posting a whole bunch of stuff on this matter and continuing the obliteration of David's portrayal of events with systematic and factual accounts of reality. But then I had one of the benefits of my past writings reminding me of a core problem at the heart of this whole circumstance. In a sentence, I remembered my Altered Eye Alters All posting from August 23rd and the problem I noted with dealing with those who have a problem with solipsistic approaches to reality. A weakness if you will in all of this is the natural motivation to respond to attempts made by others to distort my positions on issues or to impugn to me the most malicious of motivations. At some point, one has to resist the temptation to fight on and recognize when all is said that can be said.

For it is only so far that reason and logic will take someone. Word was received by your host via email that Dave is again publicly going after me on his weblog. In yet another bizarre episode of this unfortunate circumstance, he is appearing to take a special joy in noting that I have quoted him in the "Points to Ponder" series on this weblog before. That is of course true and I readily admit it. However, before getting to the meat of this posting and the final curtain call of this tragic situation,{1} I should note that I do not always agree with the words used in that feature. This has been noted before and the persons cited in that series run the gamut from Jesus Christ and St. Paul to Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Che Guevara. (Quite a spectrum I am sure you would agree.) When seen in that light, Dave should not immediately presume that my citing of his words in that feature guarantees that I must have agreed with him.{2} But enough on that minor point and onto the purpose of this posting.

I see in the most recent threads Dave has put up that once again he is proof texting my work and seeking to manufacture straw men to then topple and proclaim victory. It is a sad spectacle since Dave is doing nothing more than the very excesses that makes a lot of what passes for "apologetics" so repugnant to me. And while I do at time set traps for my opponents to stumble into, it would not be honest to say that I concocted this as a ploy to trap Dave. No, this time his entrapment was for the most part serendipitously self-inflicted. It all gets down to the elements of logic, reason, and the objective presentation of the facts of reality. And no matter how much he publicly proclaims presumed new discoveries, those who can look at the evidences without bias can see that Dave's portrayals are at variance with reality.{3} It is sad to see someone I once respected so much make such a poor showing as he repeatedly has here but it is a casualty to the methodology of certain "apologist" sorts.

For those who are concerned with the facts and actual history, proof texting will get them nowhere. I have dealt with more than enough debunking of Dave's misuse of my work to believe that there is a deeper problem than his continual attempts to smear me. And while I have dealt with the historical revisionist attempts by Dave a lot already, the issue of the deeper problem at work here has not been touched on much and I want to do so right now as it has not gotten as much attention.

Those who would trust my estranged friend's mischaracterizations of me would presume that I cannot get along with anyone -that everything and everyone is a fight or a "villain to vaporize" or whatever. This is of course easily debunked by looking at the lions share of the dialogues that I have posted to this weblog. Between them and many other private correspondences, the amicability percentage is at least 98%. Easily.

Even on the issue where Dave and I butted heads, I had a few friends disagree with me on the same subject Dave did and I am still good friends with all of them. None of this meshes well with Dave's attempt to caricature me as one who does not work and play well with others. But then again, it seems to matter not who would try to dissuade him of this view: such persons immediately go from the side of the angels to the devils henchmen with you. How sad it is that Dave in doing this vindicates something Tim Enloe told me last year that I thought was a rhetorical exaggeration (to put it nicely). But then again, I still naively thought I could reason with Dave then. And for some reason, I thought that enough time had passed and enough distance from the January event (read: the last attempt at rapprochement) to try to reason with him again. Obviously, I was wrong again to think Dave would handle these matters reasonably. What else can logically be concluded from this???

Of course a key reason that I got along just fine with those friends who did not agree with my position on the subject where Dave and I tangled (despite principled and firm disagreement on the issues) was that they did not act unethically as Dave did and furthermore,{4} they also made some actual arguments to interact with.{5} And there were also no insinuations of heterodoxy simply because I disagreed with them in certain applications of Catholic principles in areas which we are obviously dealing with theologomenon and not Church teaching.

On this issue, Dave has shown that he does not understand the issues involved and he cannot make a non-normative argument in response to my non-normative ones.{6} I tried to discourage him from discussing publicly an issue where I knew he was seriously out of his element. Then, after he failed to heed those suggestions and his attempts at "argumentation" were destroyed, I sought to get him to fess up to his breaches of ethics and he would not.{7}

Then, when I was notified of assertions Dave made about me in other mediums, I sought to undertake a more systematical outlining of what I noted before shorn of almost all invective. What I outlined in two postings this month{8} is irrefutable by Dave and that is why he continues to ignore it.{9} Now, we have his latest attempts at public spectacle{10} for what reason I have no idea. I suppose one could speculate that it was to generate more $$$ for his apologetics endeavours{11} or even simply because he cannot let what happened last year go.{12} But ultimately, his reasons for why he did this do not matter. Once again, I did not in any way compel him to have to respond to anything on that subject. And (furthermore), it was never necessary to make this an issue of personalities though that is what he chose (for some reason) to do.{13}

Oh and do not be deceived: Dave knows full well that I did not smear him at all -not last year, not earlier this year, and not at the present time. Instead, I made assertions that I more than adequately substantiated. My logic was solid and my reasoning unimpaired. But Dave cannot admit to this because his apologists ego gets in the way.

The apologetic mindset{14} involves always having to win arguments. And rather than showing some humility and admitting it in circumstances where they may have bit off more than they can chew on something, it is viewed as better by them to shoot the proverbial messenger.{15} I have tried every conceivable way to get through to Dave and nothing has worked. I see no reason to say anything else except to correct his latest attempt at manufacturing some supposed double standard on my part and then bid him farewell. The Bible says that certain kinds of demons are only cast out by prayer and fasting...I am not saying Dave is possessed but this has to be one of those kinds of difficulties where something beyond the normal protocol is needed. For I must confess that while I have sought to reason with Dave and have employed solid logic to try and get through to him, I have almost certainly not prayed enough for him. Nor have I fasted either. And though I am loathe to say this publicly{16}, I am in the process of losing about 25 pounds in the next seven weeks...the inconveniences in that endeavour I will offer up for my estranged friend. But enough on that point for now.

Dave has attempted to counter my assertions of him violating basic ethics{17} by claiming that I blogged something that he did not want blogged. This charge has no merit really and Dave needs to be honest with his readers about it. For I did nothing but follow my correspondence policy to the letter which --for those who do not know-- has been consistently noted for all to see in my side margin for the past four years. Here it is as it reads in the side margin -and to which Dave was not ignorant of as it was mentioned when the whole Hand fiasco{18} was taking place:

Any correspondence will be presumed eligible for blogging unless the sender otherwise specifies. This is referred to as the Welborn Protocol and is a policy that will be followed at Rerum Novarum. (Though name and email information will as a rule not be posted without explicit request to do so by the sender.) [Email Posting Disclaimer From the Side Margin of Rerum Novarum]

The difference between what I do with correspondence and so many others do is that I am upfront and objective in my handling of it. That is the first difference. The second is that I explicitly told Dave and everyone else that was on the thread which I posted on August 17, 2005{19} that (i) I reserved to myself the right to blog the material later on in some form or another and (ii) that when I did so I would not mention the parties involved by name. I also noted in that email that if Dave wanted, I could mention him by name to show that two Catholics could amicably disagree on the issue and not act the way Stephen Hand had earlier that year. And though Dave never specifically asked to be unmentioned, I decided after some reflection on the matter to go along with normal blog protocol and not mention the names of anyone in the thread.

For someone looking to make a villain of people, this would be an odd way of going about things as I am sure anyone looking at these matters objectively can agree. My reason (at the time) was because I knew what Dave had said in the material{20} was off the cuff and that to present that as if that was the best argument that could be made for his view would be to erect a straw man. This would have publicly set my friend up for looking bad and I did not want that to happen. That is why I held back until three attempts to get him to take the subject private failed to achieve its intended purpose.

If Dave was thinking clearly on this issue, he would realize that reiterating this stuff over and over as he is doing only to have his attempts easily dispatched does not help his credibility at all. Instead, it causes people to question his veracity on issues where frankly they should not--and yes folks, unlike the manner in which Dave has treated me, I will not play tit for tat and assert (implicitly or otherwise) that there is not material of worth in the corpus of Dave's writing. I even have a post of stuff in draft form outlining some of this stuff -including certain elements that I recognize I owe a debt of sorts to Dave on- but after his banning of Greg for absolutely trivial stuff{21}, I do not see why I should even bother with that now.

If Dave can go at least so far as to reinstate Greg's posting privileges and show some degree of equity in his moderation of his comboxes and maintain this position for a reasonable amount of time, then I will reconsider my present stance on this. But not until then for to ban or silence serious criticism in order to make public displays against more insignificant challenges is not a sign of honour. I could say more but I trust that what is written in this posting is enough to outline in expository format the events of last year and since as well as the not-insignificant issues I have had with the methodology of Dave Armstrong on the subjects of controversy last year.Ergo, I will simply say in concluding this thread three words to Dave Armstrong:  C'est La Vie.

[Update: It was recently pointed out to me by a few people that the tonality of this posting detracted from the substance of the points I was making. I do not deny that I was in an irritable mood when I drafted it and my mood was hardly unjustified. However, that does not mean that the manner whereby I responded is automatically appropriate or without deficiency in prudence. So with that in mind, I decided to revisit this posting from 2006 where invective so suffused the arguments I made as to render them far less persuasive to casual readers than they otherwise could have been.

To potentially render this enterprise more fruitful, I asked someone to act as a third party editor of sorts to review the postings and make suggestions of areas to be revised and others to be removed. (This person had no part whatsoever in the original controversy and to my knowledge is on good terms with all parties involved.) They agreed to review this post and made a number of suggested corrections. In every suggestion they made, I promptly made revisions where recommended and removed material that was recommended to be removed and resubmitted the proposed adjustments to them for follow-up critique, etc. This process continued until areas originally found problematical were adjusted to their satisfaction at which time I made the adjustments to the posting itself and republished it.

The revised posting before you is far more focused on my original arguments and hopefully provides much more light than heat unlike what was written previously. And though I stand by the substance of my original critiques, I do nonetheless profoundly regret letting my anger get the better of me in how I originally responded to Dave Armstrong in this post and extend to him through this effort as well as in words a most sincere apology. -SM 10/2/13]


{1} Well, "final" until someone gives me a head up that Dave actually wants to attempt a meaningful rapprochement or something. I will not delete the threads in the archives in such an instance; however, I would gladly update them to note any changes that would be involved in such a situation (which would include a public retraction of any invective). The latter (when utilized) was never more than an ornament to my solid argumentation anyway...and its usage was (as it always is) a judgment call which people can agree or disagree on. And a few chastised me for the occasional invective admittedly even when they either supported my arguments or admitted that they were now agnostic on the subject of dispute after previously siding with Dave's position on the matter...a situation to which my arguments no doubt contributed to.

{2} Heck, if Dave is feeling particularly like treasure hunting, he would note that in about 250 installments of that series over four years there are five citations of Stephen Hand and one of Greg Mockeridge. Imagine that, I cited Stephen five times as much in that feature as I have Greg Mockeridge!!! And no, it does not mean I agree with him five times as much as I do Greg anymore than the fact that Greg and Che Guevara being cited once apiece means I agree with them equally either. Or Adolph Hitler's one citation and Dave Armstrong's one (if memory serves) citation in that feature. Again, context matters and knowing what the purpose of any particular feature is does not hurt either.

{3} Originally I referred to Captain Queeg in this part of the posting but that part has been excised as (in retrospect) highly inappropriate.

{4} But not as important as the ethical violations I have outlined.

{5} Though in the interest of disclosure, I must confess as I have from day one that (the normative and subjective nature of his attempts aside), Dave did with that one subject actually make viable arguments -their failure to stand up to legitimate non-normative scrutiny notwithstanding of course.

{6} Instead, he resorted to subjectivist and normative argumentation.

{7} My use of the ad hominem was valid even if of questionable prudence, not invalid as he has erroneously asserted again and again.

{8} "An Altered Eye Alters All"--Miscellaneous Notes on Integrity (circa August 23, 2006)

{9} While attempting to construct a fictitious sequence of events while opining about mythical conspiracies, etc. on my part. For more on this, see the following posting:

Setting the Record Straight on Old Controversies For Preserving the Historical Record (circa August 16, 2006)

{10} There is also the fact that Dave has basically done everything he can to get readership including continually trying to manufacture conflicts as people are naturally drawn to them much as they are to a trainwreck. Dave is also quite good at casting himself as the martyr. There will always be a certain large segment of humanity that is drawn to that sort of thing -even if only out of curiosity. And that is really all one needs to do to manufacture "hits" to a site. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 16, 2006)]

{11} Dave also presumes that I have a "double standard" in my approach to the entire notion of those who do apologetics for pay. In reality, my position is quite consistent and explainable without difficulty; however, that is a subject I will have to deal with another time if I do at all.

{12} This is a matter of historical record and I will not mince words as to what happened.

{13} I am at a loss to figure out why he chose to do this and (admittedly) after all that has transpired, I view this much more cynically than I once did. One can only give the benefit of the doubt so much without being viewed as naive: indeed, some who contacted me basically told me I was that in my attempts to reason with Dave: particularly in the attempts made this year. I refused to accept the evidences that were so manifestly obvious to others: in retrospect, I was naive but my intentions were good. (I wanted to give my friend a chance to avoid losing face publicly.)

{14} I should note before this is done that it is my usual instinct to focus on issues and avoid personalities; however, since doing that in this case would allow too many people to presume that they are innocent of what I am outlining above, three names will be mentioned of Catholics with a reasonable web presence. Though many more could be named than three, I will settle at this time for naming David Armstrong, Mark Shea, and Stephen Hand. I like all three of them personally -particularly Mark. Nonetheless, all three of them evince a serious lack of properly understanding general norms of theological interpretation -particularly on what is and is not magisterial teaching. For this reason, on certain pet issues of theirs which fall under the latter classification, they show an incapability (or unwillingness) to engage in authentic dialogue. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 5, 2006)]

{15} For those who invariably expose their respective ignorances on certain subjects have had the temerity to show them up and not accept uncritically said parties' unsubstantiated assertions on the matter.

{16} And because I have publicly said this, I expect no reward for it from God...though I hope He will see fit to help Dave as necessary to obtain a clear picture of what has transpired in reality.

{17} Assertions I have substantiated to the point of being (modesty aside for a moment) irrefutable by him or anyone else.

{18} I noted the distinction explicitly in July of last year and how it differed from Stephen Hand's correspondence protocol in these words:

About the only difference between the two is that I am far more straight forward than Mr. Hand is. For I use objective criteria for my email policy (i.e. "all correspondence") rather than subjective criteria (i.e. "email flamers") which allows for equivocation and hence disingenuousness.[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 2, 2005)]

Readers will note that I was defending not only my own use of correspondence in that thread but also Dave's!!! But then again, Dave had not acted unethically up to that point and I did not envision how he would act less than two months later.

{19} The thread was first circulated privately on August 12, 2005 in substantially the same form (approximately 97% the same) as what was eventually blogged five days later.

{20} That generated the bulk of what I wrote in the first Hiroshima posting.

{21} If Dave was being consistent in his approach, he would have to ban himself from his own comboxes since what he banned Greg for was all minutiae and Dave's misrepresentations of me were far graver objectively speaking!!! (This for those who do not know is an application of the Scholastic "from lesser to greater" argumentation principle.) Some of what Greg was banned for was actually Greg showing his ability to self-deprecate a bit: a concept that seems foreign to Dave unfortunately. Again, those who would write attempted satires of others or compose little joking tidbits who cannot self-deprecate should avoid using any kind of humour whatsoever in their work if they do not want to appear to be involving themselves in a double standard viz. what they will do to others vs. what they will complain about when the same approaches are used against them. And that is the bottom line really.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

I apologize to my readers for taking so long to get the long-overdue "miscellaneous threads" posts put up on this site. (Things have been hectic on many fronts.) The first of those threads have been moved to the front of the line for completion and posting...hopefully by Monday.

With the dog days of summer posting-wise nearly over, we will be in the final stretch electionwise starting the Tuesday after Labour Day. Until then, it is difficult admittedly to motivate myself to write on much but I will get those miscellaneous threads done before the Tuesday after Labour Day. And hopefully if before then if not at that time revise the various other articles at this site which I noted earlier in the month needed to be done.