Thursday, October 05, 2006

More on Cecilia Flynn:
(And Another Recent Passing of Note)

I posted a thread the other day on my great Aunt Cecilia Flynn, God rest her soul. Some stuff I found out about her recently (from her obituary) include that she was a navy captain in WWII, she landed in Normandy and helped set up the first hospital there, and was attached to Patton's Third Army in the sweep across Europe. I never knew any of this because she never talked about it. (She met her husband the late Edward Flynn in a Vancouver VA hospital in 1945 after he was messed up in the European fighting. They were married in 1949, had two kids, and a successful marriage of 55 years up to Uncle Ed's passing in January of 2004.) All of this reminds me of the acid test I always use to distinguish true heroes from false ones.

I always viewed John Kerry as a phony in 2004 and the primary reason was not his flip flopping though that was also one of the reasons. To me the giveaway was the way he dealt with his military service. True veterans that I have known throughout my life do not do that and indeed do not talk about their awards or those subjects unless someone asks them about it. And (when asked) they never speak of it as arrogantly as Kerry did. But enough on that for now.

Please also remember my longtime good friend Tim Tull's cousin who died in an accident about nine days ago. (God rest his soul.) He left three children and a wife, a business that was failing, and because of a preexisting heart condition, no life insurance. (They would not give it to him.) The family is in deep kim chee financially and I hope to get an address where people can send them donations in the coming days should they want to make a genuine difference with contributions. In the meantime, prayers for him and his family would be most appreciated.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Prayer Requests:

Basically, the death toll the past six years amongst family and friends is now up to 24 (the second this year and the fourth since last Thanksgiving). This time though it was an expected death of sorts which while easier to deal with nonetheless still has its problems. Therefore, any prayers for my late great aunt Cecilia Flynn and her family would be most appreciated. She was 94.

Those who recognize the name Flynn from past prayer requests would have excellent recollections indeed as her husband Ed Flynn passed away in January of 2004. I noted that at the time and in the midst of a situation where some insular sorts thought I should have been more focused on their little public pissing matches rather than on the two family deaths (and funerals) I dealt with in that month -one of which I knew was coming early in that month. (Admittedly Ed Flynn's death was surprising not cause of his age but cause of what we were dealing with viz. Uncle Mel at the time.) But lest I digress further on that factor --of which I still have some residual lividness admittedly-- this post will be wrapped up with a note that I will be back to normal blogging hopefully in a day or so.

The sad thing is, this Friday will be my fourteenth seventeenth funeral in six years -I basically have no emotion about this kind of stuff anymore even with an aunt such as Ceil who I quite liked. If nothing else, I have become pretty good at counseling others how to deal with the grief, financial factors viz. estate issues, etc. Maybe though I need to ask for additional prayers for myself that I regain the ability to have emotions about these things.

[Lord, please] remember Cecilia Flynn, whom you have called from this life. In baptism she died with Christ: may she also share in his resurrection. [Roman Missal Eucharistic Prayer 2: From Masses for the Dead]

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Monday, October 02, 2006

"Tracking the Ever-Elusive So-Called 'Neo-Con'" Dept.
(A Rerum Novarum Challenge Revisitation/Reiussuance Thread)

[Prefatory Note" What this is essentially is an indirect resumption of a series that has lain defunct since your host dispatched with the logical inconsistencies in the approach to this subject taken by one Dale Vree in March of this year. With the election just around the corner, it seems apropo to reissue this challenge; ergo your host has done that at this time. -ISM]

As it has been a longtime since this series has been added to and as your host is not about to go looking for people to answer this challenge -preferring that people respond to him on the matter instead- it seems appropriate to outline the challenge we issued last year which thus far has not been answered by those of the weltanschauung who froth at the mouth about these so-called "neo-cons." The following revisits that challenge from the archives with only the most minor of tweaking to the original text itself:

Readers of this humble weblog are asked to consider what the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, and the existence of aliens have in common. In all three cases, there are those who are in varying degrees obsessed with proving the existence of those creatures but thus far, there has been no incontrovertible proof brought forward. However, despite that and the way some of those zealots can react when their hobby or (perhaps in some cases, livelihood) is challenged, at the very least they have brought forward some evidences (whatever else you want to say about them) to attempt to substantiate the claims made. The same cannot be said for zealots of another type and with a different agenda...the latter being the subject of this thread posting you are currently reading.

There are after all certain individuals who similarly have a kind of fetish with the term "neo con" and like to use the expression (usually in a derogatory fashion) in application to a lot of different people. This attitude is of course similar to a kind of cultic deadagenting whereby the cult member seeks a pre-emptory assassination attempt of the character of a critic rather than have the common decency to consider the criticisms made on their merits or lack thereof. Your host cannot be the only one who believes that if the zealots who love to throw around the term "neo con" in a blanket and derisive fashion were to meet us all at least as far as the apologists for Nessie, Sasquatch, and space aliens have that the aforementioned people could be taken at least somewhat seriously. However, that has thus far not happened. With that in mind, our intention with this series (and any additions to it) is to assist the aforementioned ideologues in establishing what could be called motives of credibility[...] for their claims.

The readers are reminded before we begin this thread (and potentially add to it over time) that your host has sought to point out the inappropriateness of this kind of labelling on many occasions...the core problem is the same even if there are varying frames of reference if you will. And with the case of certain personages who love to use this term who have thus far shirked in true chickensh*t fashion from taking responsibility for their own past and present statements, it seemed appropriate to your host to issue a very simple challenge to such people to identify the characteristics of what a so-called "neo con" is, what their underlying philosophies are, what are signature issues where they have readily identifiable positions, etc.

This is surely not a difficult thing to do; however, the manner in which the perpetrators have fled like vampires from a crucifix from the aforementioned challenge has been for us very telling to say the least. Certainly we understand why they want to avoid that one so it seemed appropriate to issue the second and much easier challenge: produce evidences to argue for the existence of these so-called "neo cons." We at Rerum Novarum first noted this idea publicly in late October of 2005 in an audioposting[...] and followed it up a bit later with a brief revisiting of the subject with Christopher Blosser. In other words, it has not been for want of trying on the part of some people to challenge these kinds of people to put up or...well...you know the rest.

The aforementioned unsavoury sorts (to put it nicely) have ignored such simple requests for accountability and have continued to prattle on about these so-called "neo cons" including labelling certain parties as such when they have not bothered to explain what their criteria is for doing this. Your host must confess as a result of these circumstances that he has greater faith in the existence of Nessie, Sasquatch, space aliens, etc. than he does for those carping critics actually proving either (i) the existence of their fabled "neo cons" or (ii) that they even have a spine themselves and are not invertebrates. That is all that we can conclude based on what has happened to date which is why it seems appropriate to establish a series where this issue can be dealt with intermittently.

The idea for this series came about unexpectedly when your host found in his email a note from a reader who had responded to the previously noted audiopost challenge and sent in some proposed critieria. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 4, 2005)]

The footnote excised from the text above read as follows:

What is meant by motives of credibility are criteria that themselves contribute to substantiating the potential veracity of what is being asserted. Thus, for those who propagate and widely apply the term "neo con" who do not bother to provide said motives of credibility for their usage and application of that term, there is no reason to presume that they have any credibility on the matter in question. [Ibid.]

It also seems apropo to note the genesis of this challenge as we conceived of it last October; ergo the following transcript from an audiposting at that time will clarify these matters so readers know what we are looking for in issuing this challenge:

Geopolitics is a complex...labrinyth if you will and it is frequently misunderstood, mischaracterized by overly simplistic people....Now, one of your host's intellectual mentors Mike Mentzer used to be fond of saying that definitions are the tools of thought. Now, since definitions are the tools of thought -and we challenge anybody to argue otherwise- then the lack of definitions on the part of those critical of the so-called "neo cons" is basically all we need to know about the quality of their thought. However, your host wants to help these people out. He requests from anyone listening to send to your host...lets see...various points if you will, characteristics, identifying marks of what is a "neo-con." Can someone be a "neo-con" based on one issue??? Or must/is there a panorama of issues if you will that all kinda coalesce and create the/what one might call the "neo-con weltanschauung."...

What constitutes a "neo con"??? Are there certain issues of more weight than others??? Are there certain issues that are dispensible or in other words a "neo-con" may or may not think this??? And are there certain issues that are absolutely indispensible as in "a 'neo-con' definitely thinks this way and anybody who thinks this way has to be a 'neo-con"??? Something, some pointers, a list if you will of identifying marks so that we can at least know who these so-called "neo cons" really are. Your host would be very interested in that so anyone who can help out in that area, drop us a line. [Excerpt from a Rerum Novarum Audio Transcript (circa October 27, 2005)]

That is the essence of the challenge we have advanced and we reiterate it anew at this time to anyone who has frequent recourse to utilizing this term "neo con" or labelling certain people or issues as such indiscriminately. Kindly define your terms. Because until you do, this writer will continue to resolutely deny the existence of these so-called "neo cons" and look on those who kvetch about them as having less credibility than those who claim the existence of Sasquatch, aliens, the Loch Ness Monster, a huge Jewish conspiracy, or whatever. For at least those sorts bring forth evidences we can examine and subject to fundamental rules of logic and reason. And until those who decry these so-called "neo cons" act likewise, they cannot be expected to be taken seriously by anyone with a normal intact functioning brain who respects the importance of logic and reason for analyzing abstract ideas which are set forth as probable descriptions of reality.

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