Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It seems appropriate to find a bit of humour in this election season so here is a bit from one of my alltime favourite shows The Black Adder from the show's third season:

Black Adder: Dish and Dishonesty Part I

Those who are fans of House will recognize the actor who plays the Prince of Wales in the above episode.

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I am compiling some stuff for an election analysis which will be posted later this week. It will vindicate a bunch of things I said all along and also admit to one point where I will have to eat some crow...gotta make sure I have a full salt shaker handy for that one. But briefly, this result does not anger or depress me in the slightest. As for why that is, there are a few reasons and I will explain them in the upcoming election analysis thread when it is posted.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Points to Ponder:
(On Fatigue)

Fatigue is an efficacious obstruction on this side of which our usual life is cast. But if an unusual necessity focuses us to press onward, a surprising thing occurs. The fatigue gets worse up to a certain critical point, when suddenly it passes away, and we are fresher than before. There may be layer and layer of this experience...[a] third and fourth wind may supervene. [William James]

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As your host has already voted, it seems appropriate to note that the media attempts to portray this as a "blue wave"{1} may be premature. These threads from card carrying liberal Democrats are worth considering before you go vote:

Thank God I Voted First (Michael Kinsley)

A small taste to whet the appetite:

Older readers may recognise this formula. It's Vietnamisation - the Nixon-Kissinger plan for extracting us from a mistake.


The Only Issue This Election Day (Orson Scott Card)

Again, a small sampling:

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war.

Again, if you are thinking about giving the Democrats a shot at congressional power, kindly consider the above threads before you do it.

Note:

{1} How on earth the socialist so-called "progressivists" got their opponents tagged with the colour red rather than themselves is something I would be interested in finding out about.

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On the Election and the Attitudes of Self-Identified Conservatives:
(From the Mailbag)

This is an email response to the link posted to this thread. My interlocuter's words will be in shale font.

Frankly, I would like to know what conservatives should expect. I seriously believe that one of the problems social conservatives face is that they've become too much like social liberals: They expect politics and government to become the first option and last resort for political change.

That sounds contradictory. Are you saying that the conservatives are approaching this from contrary premises??? That is certainly an interesting hypothesis and one I cannot say in my experience is argumentationally problematical.{1}

Of course, political activism is important but it's not the be-all and end-all of social activism.

Political vigilance is important of that there is no doubt. Perhaps part of the reason for the political activism approach being predominent by certain sorts often labeled "neo-conservatives"{2} is because some of them changed their geopolitical weltanschauung but did not alter their foundational presuppositions in the process. It is akin to how many former fundamentalists who become atheists act the same way as fundamentalists in how they approach scholarship, textual interpretation, and the like.{3}

Cal Thomas made some very salient points about religious conservatives' activism several years ago, saying not to expect too much from the political system and to avoid being conformed to its image. Well, I guess Thomas isn't as popular as James Dobson is in such circles.

Perhaps so but at the same time, there is always a temptation to political apathy. I will take someone who is active even if for the wrong causes than one who is politically apathetic any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The reason for this lies in the laws of motion and the greater ease of reversing an object in motion than to start a motionless object moving. Or as this writer has noted previously:

I remind you of the theories of motion as discovered by Sir Isaac Newton. If an object in motion will remain in motion, then attempts to stop that object will not succeed without a greater or equal force being involved. In light of the manner whereby intensity and duration are inversely proportioned, an intense reaction cannot sustain itself for very long in opposing an object in motion...

What must be attempted is to reverse the direction of the moving object but the approach taken has to be one focused on success over the long term. For that reason, the intensity behind such an approach has to be by logical necessity of lessor import if there is to be a conceivable reversal of trends that will be more than illusory. [Excerpts from Rerum Novarum (circa August 11, 2004)]

This is why your host does not go all out with intense political focus all the time: it is physiologically not possible to operate at high intensity for duration; ergo the best way to approach geopolitical stuff is with short bursts of intensity in brief periods with a degree of infrequency. Other than that, focusing elsewhere or addressing these issues with greater frequency but much less duration is the approach to be taken. Notice I am not saying do nothing, only that it is imperative to avoid burnout physiologically to recognize that intensity and duration are two sides of the same coin and cannot be realized at one and the same time.{4}

I'm quite disturbed by the caterwalling about the Republican Party from various people (including and especially Rod Dreher, a man whom I respect enormously for his courage in covering the clerical sex-abuse crisis). It is as if people are imitating the propaganda disseminated by the media and their acting-like-a-decapitated-chicken act.

Well, we do not have very good options right now. It needs to be made clear that any support for the Republicans is done grudgingly and not because people think they are that good a party because they are not.

I don't suggest that the GOP is The Best Of All Possible Parties; no political party is, really. But I'm sick and tired of all these decapitated chickens acting without any foresight or long-range vision, especially concenring Iraq and Muslim terror.

I understand that but at the same time, we must avoid being one-issue focused here. Granted national security is a huge issue and definitely must be at or near the top of the list of anyone who actually is concerned with the survival of not only themselves but also civilization. But we cannot let these guys off the hook in the myriad of areas where they are screwing up. They need to be told in no uncertain terms that they are not being approved of in this election as much as their opponents are being rejected.

Yes, Iraq is a mess.

Well, Iraq is actually going better historically than most wars have in our country's history. There is always this kind of cleanup after wars and unfortunately, most people are unaware of history and do not know this.

Yes, the Bush Administration had a chance for greater success than it has achieved.

True.

Yes, the president has not communicated the long-range goals effectively

Without question.

(I never thought I'd live to see the day that "freedom" and "liberty" would become mindless cliches).

Well, "civil rights" and "choice" are mindless cliches to many people. That is what happens when words are not explained as to what the user of the word means by it. Or to note for the umpteenth time a most relevant quote from the late original thinker Mike Mentzer: definitions are the tools of thought.

Nevertheless, the situation is still in quite a bit of flux -- especially considering that the increased violence is, I believe, intended to make Americans soil their underwear, politically speaking. And nobody takes that latter possibility into account?

Well, some of us do. Certainly, in the MSM such are the exception rather than the rule.

Furthermore, nobody cares (let alone understands) that the whole purpose for encouraging democracy in Iraq is to prevent the formation of an authoritarian regime that could serve as a terrorist base, much like Afghanistan did?

Well, that is one reason certainly and not an unimportant one.

I have never been as ashamed of the media and of the pseudo-intellectual "chattering class" as I am now. The blood of future innocent victims of terror will be on these bastards' hands.

True.

Sorry for the rant.

No problem.

Notes:

{1} Though obviously as one who values the law of non-contradiction, I find it problematical from that standpoint.

{2} I use this term merely as an expedient marker and quite reluctantly for it remains undefined and I have sought over the years --particularly in the last year and most recently HERE-- to try to get those agenda provocateurs who regularly utter the word to be intellectually honest. Or as I have written elsewhere on this blog in the past:

There are...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 having the common decency to consider the criticisms made on their merits or lack thereof...

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. [Excerpts from Rerum Novarum (circa December 4, 2005)]

The bottom line is this: these sorts can either define the term or (to paraphrase Chris Farley's famous "motivational speaker" Mat Foley) "shut their yappers."

{3} The same is the way of converts to outlooks different from previous ones: the dogmas if you will change but quite often the manner in which they approach issues does not. (And this can cause no small amount of problems later on but I digress.)

{4} This happens to work against the Democrats in elections as a rule. (And the more they ratchet up the punditry and shriek like the moonbats they often are, the worse it generally is for them as they fail to recognize the inverse relationship noted above between intensity and duration.)

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