Saturday, January 12, 2008

Points to Ponder:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. [Friedrich Nietzche]

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Reviewing Past Site Intentions, Some Current Tidbits, and Weblogging Policy For the Indefinite Future:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

[Prefatory Note: Most of this was written and arranged on the evening of November 17, 2007. However, a few bits were added subsequently as we reviewed the text when time allowed for it and thought of additional points that were not covered in the original drafting which were fleshed out in the thread below. -ISM]

Readers may recall that a year and a week ago last Wednesday, we wrote on the subjects of the then-coming year (2007), a bit on foundational presuppositions, on warmer climates and the like. The post itself{1} was far more systematically laid out than the brief description just given but we want to touch very briefly on those key elements here as they play no small factor in what has been prevalent in our mind to a more explicit degree as last year unfolded.{2} They contribute to a proper understanding of what the future of this weblog's activity will involve from this point on in perpetuity. Without futher ado...

One of the plans for the new year (though not officially a resolution) is to figure out a way to live part of the year in a warmer climate. Seattle is fine about eight months of the year (and great about six of those months -particularly the summer months) but the first two and last two months of the annual cycle are the pits weather-wise. Adjusting my business to being almost completely mobile will help in that way -by the end of the month I should be able to run virtually everything by a laptop, cellphone, and fax machine.

That assessment was overly optimistic. It is true that the present writer has gotten to the point as of this writing where his main business can be run almost completely mobile -though state regulations being what they now are, he is to some extent still having to do a few things in a fixed office. However, that fixed office can technically be anywhere as long as there is proper licensing. The idea of living part of the year in a warmer climate{3} as far as being put on track towards being a practical reality took some time to jell into a cohesive plan. Nonetheless, as of roughly July of 2007, the outlines have finally solidified for us to make that desire a reality at some point in the new year.{4}

What has also formulated within the present writer is the steely resolution to make this happen. Little by little, steps have been taken to set that plan into concrete motion including the critical assessing of our current business templates which once everything is taken care of with the state compliance-wise will aid greatly in achieving our intentions in this area. Everything will be overhauled essentially and made a lot more efficient and productive along the lines of what was noted back in an October 2007 weblog post touching on Vilfredo Pareto's principle of economic efficiency.

Furthermore, other factors have since presented themselves which will further assist in this{5} but with enough ado on those points, the time is at hand to revisit what was written a year ago today and how it relates to what will be transpiring in the present writer's life in the near future on many fronts.

By this time next year, I will be thirty pounds or more lighter presuming there is no serious injury or some other significant unforeseen development.

Well, we are at that point now so an assessment of that intention can be viewed for what it is. To start with, this may seem like a minor point but often the life of your humble servant has seemed to have an almost dualistic element to it where the physical and mental elements interplay. And predictably perhaps (based on life precedents), the concern for setting down a template to make the warmer climate non-resolution an eventual reality resulted in your host not giving the weight loss resolution the focus it needed. As a result, he gained six pounds between the writing of those words and his birthday in late October.

The process was started the day after the birthday (October 22nd) counting calories, protein and other factors (such as water intake/regulation) as we did back in 1998 when three times the weight we are aiming for now{6} was lost both rapidly and with no evidences of massive loss whatsoever. After a setback over the weekend in which this posting was substantially drafted (November 17-18), things got back on track and we finished the Thanksgiving week strong -including a 1000 calorie elliptical session on Thanksgiving morning to offset our modest turkey consumption later in that evening. The bottom line was that your host still lost weight on Thanksgiving and over the following weekend -almost five pounds for that week incidentally enough all of which was lost in a five day period.

As of Sunday November 25th, the present writer was the lightest he has been in over six years having lost fifteen pounds in less than a month's time (thirteen in the first twenty-four days of November), held steady through December where two more pounds were lost. That put us over halfway to meeting the unofficial goal for the year that was set down a year ago last Wednesday with all of it being done in a little over a month's time.{7} Christmas was an unavoidable diet train derailing but suffice to say, body and mind as well as resolve are on track together as of this writing being posted and not in opposition to one another as has been the case oftentimes in the past ten odd years.

Some would view only reaching the halfway point of that non-resolution-but-stated-intention as a "failure" but your host does not as the process reaffirmed something he has known for many years and has written on at sundry times and in diverse manners on this weblog{8} and elsewhere; namely, the power of the mind to achieve the seemingly "impossible" when it has access to the correct information on methodology, the tools in place to assist, and the will to see it through.

I anticipate the following year will involve a greater exploration into the realm of foundational presuppositions than I have done in years past -how much more I am not certain as of this writing.

This area in many respects was tended to -sometimes in ways not anticipated when writing those words originally. But our focus has been here in a direct fashion more and more over the years with a particular focus in a number of subject threads written in 2007. The present writer wants to take this moment to call attention to three topics in particular which were composed as a direct result of both public as well as private correspondence on key issues which affect proper dialogue.

As one who has seen certain disturbing patterns over and over again in many dialogues on a variety of subjects, it is only natural that eventually attention would be called to them by us in proportion to how little they were recognized by the parties utilizing them. That pattern started in late 2003, picked up steam in 2004, and then really came to fruition in 2005 and 2006 publicly in a number of postings as well as privately at times with certain individuals. We had presumed (naively in retrospect) that not a few people who should have known better would realize upon having those matters pointed out to them but some of them quite evidently did not.{9}

When considering that some of the persons in mind who were running afoul in key areas were not unintelligent, it struck us that the subjects in question would do well to be fleshed out individually in a series of postings dealing directly with certain approaches to argument in general rather than merely addressing them in the sequence of longer posts on other subject matters which was previously our wont. For one thing, in the latter form, they may not be as evident to a casual reader of those threads due to how many other interconnected issues were dealt with. But without further digression, here are four examples of exposition on often overlooked key factors that can impede authentic dialogue on a whole variety of subjects in order from oldest to newest:

On the Difference Between Objective Meaning and Subjective Intention (circa February 27, 2007)

On the Appeal to Authority and Distinguishing Between Valid and Fallacious Appeals Thereof (circa March 8, 2007)

More on the Appeal to Authority and Distinguishing Between Valid and Invalid Appeals Thereof -Dialogue With Jonathan Prejean (circa March 24, 2007)

On Ad Hominem, Revisiting Argumentum Ad Vericundiam, and Considering the Core Principle That Is Behind Any Argumentation/Logical Fallacy (circa June 1, 2007)

Included in the above threads is a discussion thread from an astute friend who provided us with both some appreciated criticisms as well as the opportunity to clarify a couple of additional key elements in the overall matrix of the oft-misused "appeal to authority" (Lat. argumentum ad vericundiam) in argumentation.

While those threads are hardly the only ones which could be noted, they were nonetheless significant in that the subjects they covered are almost never discussed directly. As a result of that informational lacuna, the problems the posts outline are rarely realized by those who fall prey to them: a failure that results inexorably in said problems being perpetuated across a broad continuum of subjects discussed. (To the detriment of authentic and potentially productive dialogue on subjects where passionate diversity of opinions can often persist.) Anyway, that is another example of what was meant in the bit quoted above and also in the paragraph to follow.

It has been my goal over the years to try and move those I have spoken with towards reassessing their foundational presuppositions or the filter through which they strain all information that comes their way from divers sources. While doing this though, I have rarely done more than mention a few bits in passing about why I go about things this way but the long and short of it is this: it has the potential to save a lot of time and effort by cutting down on the ratio of useless discussion. This alone can help pave the way for much more potentially fruitful dialogue to take place. Plus, I simply loathe talking points approaches to subjects and always have[...] viewing such things as shutting off the thinking mechanism and creating an environment detrimental to the cultivation of one's intellectual capabilities.

One of the reasons we made the dialogual offer on the incendiary subject matter of the atomic bombings in 2007 is encapsulated in the above paragraph. The principle behind it is the same as all other subjects which could be mentioned: to promote potentially fruitful dialogue. If it can be conducted on a subject such as that, then by logical extension it should be able on a host of lesser troubling issues be able to be similarly handled.

One of my resolutions for the new year is to try and sketch these elements out in greater detail as circumstances may lend themselves to it. Of course that is the key really: events and circumstances have to lend themselves to discussing these matters and the treatment needs to be both contemporary to the subject matter and circumstance at hand as well as contain general principles which are timeless in their validity.

It is not always easy to properly mix the two but we certainly do what we can here at Rerum Novarum as part of an ongoing effort to cultivate reason and logic and help people come to see just how helpful those God-given natural lights really are. So another resolution for 2007 is to focus more on foundational presuppositions behind various philosophies as we run across them in the arena of ideas.

As was noted in that posting, these matters would be (and have been) dealt with in accordance with events and circumstances which lend themselves to dealing with them -even if sometimes the posts that get written are delayed for a variety of reasons for being posted as quickly as would be ideal.

Nonetheless, as this writer noted at the beginning of the present posting, there will be for the indefinite future a change in blogging approach here at Rerum Novarum with the focus being first and foremost on what will facilitate the host's ability to live part of the year in warmer climates. This means that even with more time for blogging when we finish solidifying and streamlining life overall in accordance with Pareto's Principle, that the time for blogging will by necessity be reduced as well. For the rest of the year at least if not indeed for longer still, the postings here will be not much less in number{10} even if they are overall noticeably shorter in length: following an overall pattern that longtime readers may have noticed was happening bit by bit as the last two years (particularly 2007) unfolded anyway{11} -at least as a rule.

The "miscellaneous threads for reviewing" vehicle (along with the "miscellaneous musings" one) will probably make even more appearances than in a normal blogging cycle up to this point because they both facilitate the coverage of a variety of subjects in a briefer fashion than the kinds of expository cogitations that have been a feature of this weblog to varying degrees almost from day one.{12} There are a variety of subjects that we have wanted to touch on as time allowed but are no longer going to allow for them in the indefinite future. Plus, that this is an election year that factor will be more in play than in most other election years -with a mixture of material of both timeless principles and contemporary significance which has been a longstanding goal of this weblog.{13}

Now we will still blog here at Rerum Novarum of course but to noticeably less of an overall extent than has been our wont even in recent years when we scaled the blogging back significantly from where it once was.{14} But what needs to be formally recognized at this time is that as demands on time increase and the various outside projects to which focus must be given priority have multiplied dramatically over the past year. For that reason, inexorably something has to give.

When they hit a point in time where they attain explicit cognizance of where various factors spanning an expanse of time finally are converging, it is at that point when a choice to needs make akin to what Robert Frost denoted in a poem of his which we blogged recently.{15} And said persons will either embrace that direction or they move from it. Your humble servant at Rerum Novarum has chosen the former route and that makes prioritizing an even greater factor than it has been to this point.

More could be noted and may be on this but for the time being this will have to suffice except for one more thing:

No additional projects will be taken on which have any potential of unduly detracting from our focus in the areas outlined earlier in this posting -though a few posts which are near completion (or are completed and not blogged yet) will be finished and posted in due course{16} with a list of them to be made in a "notifications" style posting to be made (if possible) in the coming week.

In light of all we need to do in a variety of areas -only some of which{17} are noted above or will be in the aforementioned forthcoming "notifications" posting- something must give and in our mind, it is the blogging as well as any other side activity that impacts our overall focus to any significant extent on the areas which to us constitute the greatest possible importance.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} On the Coming New Year, Warmer Climates, Foundational Presuppositions, Personal and Blogging Resolutions, Etc. (circa January 2, 2007)

{2} As with so much of what we have undertaken here at Rerum Novarum, deeper meanings are later found in even simple seeming matters such as these. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 31, 2007)]

{3} Your host loves Seattle but at the moment he does not like Seattle if that makes any sense -and since last winter (with the exception of the warmer weather of summer and the sunny weather of part of fall this year) that has been our view of the matter.

{4} There is not as of this posting a precise date planned for it but rather a range -that is all that will be said on the matter until a few currently-nebulous factors in the equation solidify into something of a definite nature.

{5} Including an offer to run a couple divisions of an additional business alongside the current one. There is also an additional business to be started up in the early part of 2008 -divisions which may well eventually be in different states from one another as well and has the capacity of both servicing clientele anywhere in the country as well as responding to a few areas of a timely nature insofar as the way the economic climate has been shaping up for quite some time now.

{6} We do not want to delve into this subject at the moment except to say that what was done was what by most "conventional wisdom" accounts of weight loss was next to impossible. This is much the way in years past your host was able to make the kinds of progress in the gym which "conventional wisdom" would see as next to impossible if all the factors of the equation are looked at. Or to quote a bit from the archives on the matter:

[We] used proper methodology and therefore were able to make progress predictably and constantly: two factors which conventional wisdom would claim cannot be done without (i) favourable genetics or (ii) chemical enhancement. Those who wonder why I have little use for "conventional wisdom" in *any* field: it all goes back to this. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 21, 2003)]

As noted before, if there was more focused on certain key factors at the time, the results would have been even greater still but enough digression on that.

{7} Fifteen pounds in thirty days thirteen pounds of which were lost in the last twenty-four days (nearly five of those in the week of Thanksgiving including on turkey day). This is said not to boast but to show what can be done when one sets their mind to achieving a goal, focuses on the productive elements involved, disregards the inefficiencies which frequently creep into the mix, and is willing to go all out in goal attainment.

{8} To note a couple of the threads in the past year or so that have touched to various degrees on this subject:

Notes on the Indictment of Barry Bonds (circa November 16, 2007)

On Vilfredo Pareto and Notes on Applying A Basic Economic Principle to Life In General Including Blogging (circa October 13, 2007)

On the Intensity/Duration Equation, Physics, and Trying to Understand Engineering Majors With Tim Tull (circa December 17, 2006)

{9} Frankly, at least a couple of them probably still do not but at the very least, these matters are explicitly sketched out now for future reference if necessary.

{10} Your host does have a kind of self-imposed monthly blogging cycle quota which he has explicitly been aware of and followed for a bit over two years now. (Implicitly it was followed from day one and has only not been met once once: though we were not conscious of it at the time.)

{11} This was dictated as much by circumstances as it was any conscious intentions to do so on our part otherwise.

{12} However, despite the reputation for lengthy cogitations that we have had over the years, even strictly by the numbers, a majority of the postings to this weblog from the beginning have been of a briefer nature than the longer postings. This makes to some extent what we will be doing a kind of blogging ressourcement movement now that we think about it.

{13} [L]ife itself is a process of growth and development across a broad continuum. This includes weblog writing and interests. We have no problem admitting that it took a bit of time before this weblog really started to take a discernible shape and some of the features and/or principles which have become standard or typical over time were in the "finding their feet" stage early on...back before your host sought to as much as possible make this weblog's contents have both a timeless and general applicability and also a particular circumstantial one.[...] But that is all that this writer intends to say on the matter at the present time except to say that yes, we have even categorized the obsolete or otherwise no-longer-of-any-real-value chaff from the archives. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 15, 2007)]

{14} Those familiar with this writer's stuff from prior to the blogging days know that even more volume used to be involved back then than has as a rule subsequently been the case for a variety of reasons (including conscious efforts by your host to economize in this area overall).

{15} The Road Less Traveled From Robert Frost (blogged on November 26, 2007).

{16} We will make a note of most of them in a posting to follow this one at some point -unless some of them are finished and posted before that post is tended to of course (at which time the draft currently written for that purpose will requires some editing before it is posted).

{17} Another of the "outside projects" we have decided to focus on dovetails with something we wrote on over the years -most recently back around Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2007. To quote from the latter posting briefly:

I want to remind readers of what I wrote at this time last year about the Christmas season and giving. And while this season is one where giving has a special place, it should not be the only time of year. Try at whatever time of year though to do what you can to avoid taking any more of the spotlight than you have to. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 22, 2007)]

For reasons noted in the Christmas posting of 2006, no details will be given on this weblog unless they are specifically to solicit the assistance of others. It is an ambitious project and one if brought to the attention of the readers would be specifically to request their assistance rather than in any way call attention to ourselves on the matter in question. (In following the principles we have expounded on before at sundry times and in divers manners at this humble weblog.)

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Points to Ponder:

What is racist about wanting secure borders and a secure America? What is racist about not wanting people to sneak into America and steal benefits we have set aside for legal aliens, senior citizens, children and other legal residents? What is it about race that entitles people to violate our laws, steal identities, and take the American Dream without paying the price? For about four decades American politicians have refused to secure our borders and look after the welfare of middle class Americans. These politicians have been of both parties. A huge debt to American society has resulted. This debt will be satisfied and the interest will be high. There has already been riots in the streets by illegal aliens and their supporters. There will be more.

You, as a politician, have a choice to offend the illegal aliens who have stolen into this country and demanded the rights afforded to U.S. citizens or to offend those of us who are stakeholders' in this country. The interest will be steep either way. There will be civil unrest. There will be a reckoning. Do you have the courage to do what is right for America? Or, will you bow to the wants and needs of those who don't even have the right to remain here? There will be a reckoning. We will not allow America to be stolen by third world agitators and thieves. [David J. Stoddard U.S. Border Patrol (Ret.)]

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On the Candidacy of Mike Huckabee and the Political Stupidity of Pro-Lifers:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

[Prefatory Note: This is a near-verbatim text which we wrote yesterday during lunch for another site when the outcome of the New Hampshire primary was yet to be revealed. Some additional links from this weblog were added which the site the original text was posted to would not accept along with two additional footnotes that came to mind when formatting the original text for posting. -ISM]

Hucksterbee's nomination would be a complete disaster of 1964 proportions for the Republicans with one significant difference: at least Goldwater's political immolation planted the seeds that started the modern conservative movement. Hucksterbee will be carried along by the media because they are salivating at presenting Hucksterbee as another Pat Robertson if he was nominated. But prior to that, they will give him whatever life support they think he needs. And that brings me to the subject of the traditional electoral pro life hari kiri.

The pattern of the modern Court with Roberts as chief justice is not one of legislating from the bench. And with us on the verge of two more court replacements (at least one in the next presidential term) -ask yourself who is more likely to replace Ginsberg or Stevens with a juror of the mould of Thomas, Roberts, Scalia, or Alito.

A McCain presidency or even one with Don Guiliani would have a much greater chance of getting another originalist on the court. Similarly those who would refuse to vote for Mitt because he is a Mormon: Hucksterbee's pathetic attempt to make the job of the presidency one of a religious test deserves the swiftest of rebukes.

As a twelve year independent voter who was annoyed at many of McCain's deviations from the conservative orthodoxy and who does not favour him for the nomination, I have to look at the alternatives and put my "ideal candidate" mould aside. (And as Duncan Hunter is the longest of long shots to win, that is a reality for me anyway.)

A McCain presidency or even one with Don Guiliani would have a much greater chance of getting another originalist on the court -McCain because he is overall pro-life in his outlook and Guiliani because (i) he keeps insisting he wants an originalist on the court and (ii) he is interested in outcomes and knows that a deal will have to be struck with the conservatives in lieu of other areas he is questionable on. And I say this as someone who does not want Guiliani to get the nomination.{1}

As far as the pro lifers doing their traditional geopolitical hari kiri, Hill, Edwards, and Obama would never nominate a genuine originalist for the high court. EVER. They would not even give such a person a chance. Do you the reader honestly think that McCain, Thompson, Hunter, Romney{2}, or Guiliani would do a worse job{3} in this area than any of the Dem major candidates???

A Hucksterbee nomination would be a disaster. As far as those who would not support Romney because of his Mormonism, as a friend of mine noted "it is better to be ruled by a wise Mormon than a foolish Baptist" -an apropo paraphrase of Martin Luther's dictum on wise Turks and foolish Christians.

I do not want to have to go through twenty more years of self-inflicted damage akin to the way the prolifers in their political stupidity in the 1986 elections got us Anthony Kennedy on the court instead of Robert Bork in 1987 and the high court voting difference in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey in 1990 which retained Roe. Religious pro lifers had better learn Jesus' advice about being "wise as serpents and guileless as doves" darn fast unless they want to go a long time undoing the damage that their 2008 election stupidity would foist upon us with a Hucksterbee nomination -and that is apart from Hucksterbee's naive view of economics which is beyond the scope of my time or inclination to go into at this time.


{1} Plus, there are these two "commitments" as listed on Guiliani's site:

I will increase adoptions, decrease abortions, & protect the quality of life for our children

I will reform the legal system & appoint strict constructionist judges

Rudy saw what happened when Bush tried to push Miers on the conservatives. He is no dummy and realizes that his stock is not high with the same constituency who rebuked Bush on Miers and illegal alien amnesty.

{2} Dialogue on Mitt Romney, Conservatives, and the Judiciary (circa December 16, 2007)

{3} I exclude Ron Paul from that list because he would be a trainwreck as president and not only because of his significant ignorance of American history and the proper understanding of basic constitutional issues. This is subject we will cover soon on this weblog in general (the post is already written) though a bit of a foretaste as far as Paul is particularly concerned was touched on in this thread for those who are interested:

On the Constitutional Standing of Wars Undertaken Without a Formal "Declaration of War" (circa December 26, 2007)

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Friday Lunchtime Analysis of the Upcoming New Hampshire Primary and Subsequent Candidate Viability:
(Dialogue With Kevin Tierney)

This is a continuation of sorts of a previous dialogue which can be read HERE.

Kevin: well, next week we find out if the republican party is truly brain dead

me: indeed. Edwards needs to win or place in NH to still be viable; otherwise it is a Obama/Clinton race

Kevin: I can understand why people voted for huckabee, I think they are wrong, or are ignoring reality

me: meanwhile, Paul is [basically done]

Kevin: Paul did [a lot] better than expected though

me: Hucksterbee is not likely to win NH

Kevin: if Obama wins NH, we're looking at the dem nominee

me: Duncan Hunter is apparently putting some eggs in NH where in IA he had none

Kevin: which Rudy or McCain could dispatch easily

me: Guiliani's strategy is really risky

Kevin: I think Romney is toast unless he wins in NH convincingly well with Romney losing Iowa and McCain winning NH, it just might work

me: the two who did best in IA are Thompson and McCain in terms of establishment

Kevin: the true victor of last night was Rudy though there's a reason Rudy has been awful chipper the last 24 hours

me: I think Romney can lose NH and still be the nominee

Kevin: no he can't

me: but he needs to win elsewhere. Wyoming. Michigan. Somewhere in an early primary{1}

Kevin: Romney put too much time and investment into the two early states to lose

me: or he will be done. On the Dem side, Edwards needs to win SC and place well in NH or he is done. McCain is amazingly resilient in appearance -he looked to be toast a couple months ago.

Kevin: if Romney loses NH, expect Don Giuliani to make him an offer he can't refuse

me: lol. You mean VP?

Kevin: or some other high level cabinet position to bring Romney aboard

me: Ambassador to outer Mongolia will not swing it?

Kevin: though in all honesty, Iowa's influence on the GOP is not as pervasive as it is on the Dems

Bush the younger is the only exception. Reagan got trounced in Iowa, as did Bush the elder.

me: Iowa is not a Republican maker the way it is for Dems

Kevin: I agree with most, SC is the true kingmaker of the GOP

me: NH even does not require a win from either party however to not place or show in NH is to mean you are done barring some miracle. That is why Rudy's strategy is so risky -if he is not top 3 there after placing so badly in IA then he is in big trouble.

Kevin: as long as the race stays divided, with the new super Tuesday, he has a chance and if it stays divided, people may view him as the last hope to prevent the GOP from driving off a cliff.

me: Wyoming will be a factor this time if only to allow someone who has not done well to this point to get on the board and get noticed

Kevin: because lets be honest, Hillary won't be there to unite the GOP very likely. If its Obama vs Huck, I'm predicting an Obama slaughter

me: Obama would win easily. So would Hill.

Kevin: If it is Hillary vs Huck, Huck would win, but would do vast damage to the GOP.

me: you think Huck would win? I do not see how [as] he is the classic "cannot win the big show but can perhaps win nomination" kind of guy like McGovern in 72, Dukakis in 88, Mondale in 84. That is my gut on him anyway.

Kevin: he'd have a high negatives Hillary, and the rest of the GOP would swallow their animus but if thought fratricide was bad with President Bush, just wait til you see a President Huckabee he would be a guaranteed one termer and the GOP would be sundered.

me: and unlike Goldwater, the conservative movement will not rise like the Phoenix from his electoral immolation. Huck needs to be defeated and early but here is the kicker: no matter how badly he does, the msm will make him always sound "one hill from the shining city" cause as you said (and astutely at that) some time back Huck is roadkill that they are salivating for. He is a chance to say it is the second coming of Robertson who I remind you did very well in IA in 88.

Kevin: since whether or not one will say it publicly, Bush has done much to destroy the GOP coalition, and I'm not talking Iraq

me: Huck is the only candidate to have the taint of the "fundy coalition" on him. Romney is religious but he cannot be lumped in with that group as many of them view Romney with derision. You know, the whole "he is not Trinitarian" thing which is not the sort of argument that needs to happen here in the election where no religious tests for public office are supposed to be administered.

Kevin: one will see what happens, but things got a bit more interesting

me: True. I did not say Edwards needs to win SC because of the power of that primary as a major kingmaker though it is that of course. I remind you Buchanan won SC in 92 along with NH{2} so it is not bulletproof. Hunter and Thompson along with McCain have eyed it as must have for them and I cannot disagree. In Edwards case, it is his home state which he failed to carry as VP for Kerry in 2004. Edwards wins it and stays in or he loses it and is finished. He does not have (and would not get) the finances to go all the way otherwise.


{1} As I noted on Saturday evening, this happened in Wyoming with a huge Romney caucus win.

{2} [Update: I misspoke here: Buchanan came in second in 1992. I had 1996 in mind when he came in first but mixed the two up in the chat; ergo this footnote of correction and the adding of the "mea culpa" post tag. -ISM 1/09/08 8:29pm]

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Points to Ponder:

Everyone has the right to renounce past views. But not to make up that past. It is beyond brazen to think that one can get away with inventing not ancient history but what everyone saw and read with their own eyes just a few years ago. And yet sometimes brazenness works. [Charles Krauthammer]

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Miscellaneous Threads Worth Noting:

I should note as I post this thread which was prepared a few days ago that right when I am about to blog that frequently-mentioned post explaining the direction in which the weblog will be officially going for the indefinite future{1} that a major event comes up that gets in the way.

In the case of Sunday, it was a variety of factors in "real life" which were the culprit and today it is the knowledge of the next major primary being tomorrow. Between that and the usual political aftermath, the timing is again not right. For that reason, I have in mind posting it either Thursday or Friday of the coming week. But without further ado, onto the threads this posting intends to highlight.

Terror on the Run (Ralph Peters)

The best story of 2007 which is rarely being reported if at all is dealt with in the above piece from the online New York Post. Here is the core of the piece in a summary excerpt from the thread:

The year was a strategic catastrophe for Islamist terrorists - and possibly a historic turning point in the struggle against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

That is correct folks though readers of this weblog know our views on why things changed in 2007 in Iraq the way they did -though we have put in a footnote a few threads and post excerpts in order from oldest to newest{2}to serve as a reminder for those with short memories.

The Necessity of Democratic Survival in Pakistan (Charles Krauthammer)

The last two paragraphs of the article above may well serve as a future "points to ponder" installment.


{1} Which has been mentioned in five separate threads excluding this posting:

Miscellaneous Musings (circa November 18, 2007)

Miscellaneous Notes (circa November 22, 2007)

A Brief Note on an Upcoming Posting (circa December 11, 2007)

Miscellaneous Musings and Christmas Wishes (circa December 22, 2007)

On "Auld Lang Syne", Its Meaning, and the Reasons For Our Annual Lyrical Posting Thereof (circa December 31, 2007)

On the war front, the Iraq surge strategery is on the whole going pretty good. The Bush Administration is wisely understating this a bit in the period before a progress report due in September is released. No matter what the report says, it is going to be spun in as negative of a fashion as the msm and its willing seditionist comrades allies in the Democratic party and other places have a vested interest in seeing defeat in Iraq by any means necessary. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 11, 2007)]

On the Iraq Situation, the Military Surge, and Playing Politics (circa August 21, 2007)

On the Situation in Iraq as of Early November 2007 (circa November 9, 2007)

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