Saturday, September 09, 2006

"None Dare Call It A Conspiracy" Dept.

[Update: It seemed appropriate as this post was written on the fly to go back and excerpt parenthetical sentences within the body of the piece and move them to footnotes for less post congestion; ergo, that is what I have done. -ISM 9/17/06 12:10pm]

Those who have reasonable familiarity with your humble blog host --including those who knew of him even before he was blogging-- know that the subject of conspiracy theories is one that has been touched on by him at sundry times and diverse manners both at this weblog and also in other mediums in years gone by. The present writer has written as of late on several problems with apologetics methodology and the mentality that those who cloak themselves in this mantle can often fall prey to. And while it is customary to link to various threads substantiating assertions made, in the case of this posting it would only serve to detract from what is being posted here on an individual your host has written on before and a serious problem that he has. Among the contributors to this project are some whom this writer feels are credits to Catholic apologetics in general or over time will be once again. But without further ado, let us get to the project:

On Robert Sungenis and the Jews

The willingness of those to contribute to this project -which your host has known was in creation for quite some time now- is to be commended. Thanks therefore are in order to Mr. David Palm, Dr. Art Sippo, Mr. Michael Lopez, Mr. Matthew Anger, Mr. Ben Douglass,{1} Mr. John Novotny, Mr. Jacob Michael and Mr. Patrick Morris. And thanks are particularly in order to Mr. Michael Forrest who was the long holdout on this matter and to whom the lions share of the credit for the above compilation belongs. Indeed, the present writer in light of past problems with now estranged friends of his own can see a parallel to Mr. Forrest's own reassessment in retrospect of the habitual pattern of failing to give due scrutiny to friends. Or in Mr. Forrest's own words:

While others decided they had to leave, I continued to defend and excuse things that I should not have in retrospect because I had neither the time nor inclination to see them more clearly. And candidly, the absolute confidence and assertiveness with which Bob responds to seemingly all issues and objections also made me doubt my own eyes at times. But I think perhaps there was a part of me that actually wanted some of his explanations, defenses and excuses to be true and so I accepted them. It was only over time and through circumstance that I was forced to recognize that my friendship with and respect for Bob had caused me to be unduly tolerant and deferential.

Mr. Forrest also asks readers who peruse the thread to carefully consider the information presented below in its entirety. In light of how Mr. Forrest has shown the same care and concern as your host to carefully and thoroughly document his assertions, it seems appropriate to concur with him on that point at the very least. Those who take the time and are willing to go through the effort to carefully document evidences to establish or defend a theory deserve their work to be properly respected by those who would presume to interact with it.

It is not easy to publicly take to task friends when they have strayed and it is certain that Mr. Forrest will receive a lot of slings and arrows from the camp of Mr. Robert Sungenis.{2} But principles are what is important as is the issue of ethics and truthfulness. It does no good for someone to give a free pass to friends in this area when they would upbraid non-friends for the same antics. For that reason, We at Rerum Novarum unreservedly commend the above personages who are taking an active stand on principles in the public confronting of Robert Sungenis on these matters and hope that the project to which they have contributed bears its desired fruit in the future.{3} While I would not have a problem noting them on this blog again if someone contacts me on the matter, to link them to this post would be to distract from the work of Mr. Forrest and others which needs to be noted publicly.

[Update: Bob Sungenis' Open Letter Via Envoy -ISM 9/28/06 3:58pm]

[Update: Jacob Michael has written a thorough response to Robert Sungenis' response to the piece below. If nothing else, this writer must commend Jacob for the solidity of his logic and use of reason in the above article. -ISM 9/28/06 4:00pm]


{1} I recognize that Ben Douglass was more of a "hostile witness" in the above project and not an active or consenting participant. However, that he has shown a concern on these matters -even indirectly- is worth some recognition as I see it.

{2} As will I am sure the others who actively contributed: all of them at one time good friends of Mr. Sungenis'.

{3} Even if in certain matters there are areas of disagreement on either issues pertaining to those noted, terminology used, etc.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Miscellaneous Musings on the Importance of Vetting Sources

this is an audio post - click to play

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Today is the sixty-third birthday of one of rock and roll's most distinctive songwriters and one of my all time favourites: Roger Waters. To commemorate the occasion, I want to remind readers of an album review I did last year for his 1992 solo album Amused to Death - another masterpiece from a man who has made more than a few of them in his career.{1} Oh and for those who find it funny that I would give such high marks to an album where the artist and I have significant disagreements on geopolitical matters{2}, I remind you that I am not and never have been one who bases my friendships with others on whether or not they agree with me. As not a few others do this -be they so-called "progressivists", so-called "conservatives"{3} or others, it seems apropo to note the latter briefly at this time. Happy birthday Roger and may your father's soul{4} rest in peace with the faithfully departed.


{1} Two of them are among the greatest selling albums of alltime: 1973's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall from 1979. The Amused album -while not selling anywhere near what the latter two sold- is nonetheless in terms of quality deserving of being mentioned with them.

{2} On the subject of war in general Roger and I have some disagreements: that is all I will say on it at the present time.

{3} This is not a problem that is the sole franchise of the so-called "progressivists", "so-called "peacemakers", or whatever of course.

{4} Roger lost his father in Anzio, Italy in 1944: an event that had profound explicit and implicit branding on him viz. how he approached songwriting and the subjects he has sought to write on over the years -both with Pink Floyd and since 1985 as a solo artist.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On Love and Beauty)

[P]rofundity and beauty lie precisely in decisiveness. Only in it can love mature in all its beauty. A beauty made up of nothing but harmony is not a real beauty. Real beauty also needs contrast. Light and darkness complement each other. Even the grape needs rain to grow, and not just sun; not only day, but also night. [Pope Benedict XVI]

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes on September 2nd, 3rd, and 4th -Anniversaries, Remembrances, The Calm Before the Storm, Etc.

this is an audio post - click to play

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