Thursday, February 21, 2008

Notification of Several Upcoming Post Projects:

[Prefatory Note: This posting was drafted on January 3, 2008 (and lightly tweaked today) in anticipation of the posting from January 11, 2008 which we touch on in the next paragraph. It intends to touch on past projects in various states of completion (or which were intended but barely if actually started) of which we intend in light of the January 11th posting to carry through to completion. It is possible that we may run across and add to the list some others when going through and pruning the numerous drafts in the archives. However, for now, what is noted below is all that we plan to tend to completing of the projects prior to that time. -ISM]

In lieu of what we outlined recently about the wheres (and most of the whys) of the change in direction and emphasis of this weblog which has officially taken place, it seems opportune to note for readers of this humble weblog some of the upcoming projects from the various previously-intended ones which we plan to complete for posting in the coming days, weeks, months, etc of this humble weblog. (Precise dates are not possible; ergo the ambiguity so noted in the latter statement.) Without further ado and in point by point format we will be completing the following:

--A post mentioned on many occasions{1} on the importance of a third way in politics between the two common points of reference of the modern political climate; namely between what is unlawful and what historically does not work.

--A post dealing with the history of presidential front runners in light of the 2008 presidential election year.

--An dialogual thread on the subject of appealing to authority which has been in the draft folder for many months but not used on the blog yet as of this writing.

--A response to an emailer on a thread posted to this weblog late in 2007 on the subject of logic.

--A response to an emailer on a thread posted to this weblog in mid 2007 taking issue with Claude Frederic Bastiat's theory of the fundamental rights of man as represented on this weblog by us.

--A response to an emailer on a thread posted to this weblog late 2007 taking issue with some threads we posted earlier in 2007 on the subject of distributivism and our representation of it.

--A thread defining and explaining the proper meaning of two terms touching on philosophy, theology, and ethics which we are tired of seeing misrepresented in the public square by presumed "social commentators."

--A thread on many of the rational problems with the foundational presuppositions behind conspiracy theory advocates.

--A thread dealing with the flawed representation of statistics on African-American middle class home ownership the past twenty-five years by those much more interested in fanning the flames of racial and cultural strife than being forthright and truthful about the facts of reality.

--A trio of threads -one of expository nature and a couple others of a dialogual nature- dealing with a serious criticism we have of the methodology of Pope Benedict XVI on an issue of contemporary importance.

--A dialogual thread on the new (as of this year) US Ambassador to the Vatican and some of the possible geopolitical ramifications thereof.

--A variety of "points too ponder" excerpts on tap along with some planned excerpts from classic writings, and some more poetry which are already on tap and ready for posting as of this writing.

--The answer to an interesting "test" which this blog and its archives were subjected to some time back.

--The posting to this weblog of a couple of state initiative ideas we intend to give to a key initiative pusher in the state of Washington to hopefully start a nationwide movement of legislative accountability at the state and federal levels of government.{2}

--A dialogue on the moral and ethical principles behind the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki if the previously-agreed upon dialogual format is still acceptable to the party who accepted my invitation of the previous year and met the minimal requirements requested thereof.{3}

--A thread written with the latter project in mind which may be formatted into a general principle statement apart from that project -in content the two threads would be substantially the same even verbatim in spots but each will pertain to a somewhat different (even if somewhat related by logical extension) context.

The threads noted above are in various stages of completion from ready to post to needing to be written- though many of them are most way towards being finished for posting as of this writing. They are also the only projects already undertaken which we have any intention of completing anytime soon -all others being presumptively abrogated from this point forward in perpetuity to insure that our priorities as set out previously are in order and are not deviated from.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} Ron Paul belongs to a school of thought on Constitutional matters which is intrinsically flawed and historically unviable for reasons I will explain in an upcoming posting on constitutional matters to this humble weblog. However, I do not in that posting go into much detail on this in Paul's specific case. Nor do I intend in this one to do anything more than address one aspect of Rep. Paul's campaign platform (the "antiwar" platform) and do so indirectly at best. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 26, 2007)]

{2} We have sketched out the basic ideas and principles behind the initiative ideas before -either in some detail on this weblog or in some pointers of other ideas we intend to develop into a coherent plan of action and leave to the experienced initiative pusher the role of crafting them into ideas for the public ballot in if not the 2008 election than at the very least by 2010.

{3} This intention was never realized last year for a variety of reasons. Truthfully we are quite sick and tired of the subject matter and covering it again would serve as a kind of penance for us; nonetheless, as a service to dialogue we would be willing to deal with it once more under the previously enunciated conditions and with the party we agreed to discuss it with if they remain open to the idea in the new year.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Musings:

Three bits briefly as that is all I have time for at the moment...

Communist Totalitarian Murderer Stepping Down

There is irony in many who evince such a visceral hatred for certain Presidents of the United States (past and present) but they will mourn the stepping down of someone who for nearly fifty years has a track record of failure longer than the Rocky Mountain chain. To read the above thread sans several of the comments box bits{1}, Castro sure comes across sounding downright benign but he was anything but that. But that kind of characterization of him fits the template of those who advocate for socialism which is basically marxism with a smile. Or as we wrote sometime ago about the reality of socialism as compared to the abstract in discoursing on marxist double standards:

The marxists --and every promoter of socialism is a defacto marxist in some form or another[...]-- have a notorious double standard from which they operate. Essentially, they judge their own policies not by the uniform and undeniable[...] failure of their policies every time they have been tried. No, with the marxists it is on the intentions behind their policies that they focus on. But they then judge their political enemies -and America is probably first on that list- by the results of their policies. And since America --despite its overall success as a bastion of freedom unlike any nation in history-- is imperfect, then there are always points that can be focused on to America's discredit. But the marxist intentions of a "paradise on earth" are far more idyllic than the even the significant results that America has achieved. For that reason, the results of marxist policies are ignored while the intentions of the marxists are their point of focus.

Now granted, the marxists fabricated a lot of stuff to make things appear even worse than they actually were but that point aside, there is enough in the historical record without fabrications to enable America to always look bad next to the ideal that marxists claim to repine for. And that is the secret essentially to why marxists can lie, cheat, steal, murder, and commit any atrocity and still be held up as icons for the marxist cause ala the near-veneration of predators like Castro, Guevera, Ortega, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, Lenin, etc. by not a few who disingenuously claim the mantles of "progressivist" or "peacemakers." [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 20, 2005)]

This fundamental double standard explains the irrationality of the socialist weltanschauung at its core so no more needs to be said about it at this time except to exhort readers to watch how many weep for Fidel and yet compare President George W. Bush to the Nazis. Yes folks Bush Derangement Syndrome (or BDS) in its full solipsistic glory will be on display if it is not already. But enough on that and onto the next point of blog host interest.

Court Rejects ACLU Challenge to Wiretaps

It is very pleasing to see the ACLU get a kick in the teeth even if indirectly by a court that under the guidance of Chief Justice Roberts seems to be more and more realizing the true function of the Supreme Court as an interpreter of law and not inventor of law.

Those who have a problem with restrictions on free speech in a time of war can reference Schenck vs. United States (1919) where the Supreme Court upheld the legitimacy of the US Sedition Act of 1918.{2} It is both rational and correct to recognize that the wide span of rights ordinarily enjoyed in peacetime are to some extent abridged during a time of war. Loose lips sink ships after all.

Rush Limbaugh Interview by Time Magazine

One thing I am not surprised by is Limbaugh's approach here. It irritated me in 1992 and 1996 when he did the same sort of thing as he is doing here this but not this time around.

Strangely enough, I know some who find my irritation from previous years to be strange or otherwise try to claim my principled stances taken then{3} were somehow ill-advised or otherwise improper but who are probably beside themselves now when the same situation presents itself -with with Limbaugh in particular and with the issue of how candidate inevitability is dealt with in general.

But I will highlight some more on that subject another time when the impending nomination Senator John McCain is dealt with in more detail than I have thus far -particularly since his nomination by the Republican party moved to the realm of the certain{4} from the realm{5} of the still speculative.


{1} Or to quote verbatim a couple for the responses to this story -names pasted to the end of the quotes instead of before for the sake of continuity:

Who wrote this story? Pravda,the New York Times or some other propaganda agency? Ask the Cubans in Miami about castro and you will get a whole different story.Why let the facts get in the way of a leftist fairy tale.Che Guvara was a murderous thug too.Get the story straight comrades! [Dan in N.J. February 19th, 2008 - 10:41 am]

It is unfortunate that this man one day will die without being held accountable for his crimes to the Cuban people and to other people in the world. He deserves the same summary justice that he has meted out to so many of those who opposed him. His stepping down does not mean anything because Cuba continues to live under one of the most tyrannical and repressive regimes in history. [Ganto February 19th, 2008 - 11:00 am]

And this one which really summarizes the view of your humble servant so succinctly we could have written it ourselves:

Only someone as ignorant as andr59 could believe that anything good came of the Castro dictatorship. To continue to call him a “president” is an insult to the tens of thousands he killed and the millions he impoverished. Compare Cuba, Haiti, El Salvador, and Colombia? Easy. Cuba had the same thug for decades, rather than changing guard with other murderers. Oh, and Fidel Castro, as a drug dealer, makes Pablo Escobar look like a corner dime-bag dealer. The less you know about how evil Fidel really has been, the more idiots like andr59 somehow believe he is a savior. Cubans, in Cuba not in exile, are anything BUT proud and independent. You need to stop watching Michael Moore and the Motorcycle Diaries. [VicenteGarcia February 19th, 2008 - 12:48 pm]

{2} [I]t seems appropriate to summarize the principle in question by recalling a points to ponder thread from earlier this year which cited a US Supreme Court case which upheld the US Sedition Act in the following words:

When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right. [Schenck v. United States (circa 1919)]

The common knowledge involved here should be obvious but many do not get it and some of them have expressed anger at being referred to by us as poster children for why we need another sedition act in a time of war.[...] But before this position as recently enunciated by us is viewed as shocking, let us revisit anew what sedition does and does not consist of. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 5, 2007)]

{3} My general principles which those stances were taken on have not changed even if my views on how to best implement those principles has in that time undergone more than one revision.

{4} To summarize what has been said thus far, review the thread from February 16th located here and consider what we wrote back on February 9th in two separate blog postings:

There have been a number of friends who have expressed a degree of shock and even anger at the idea of John McCain as the nominee in November for the Republican Party. Not being a Republican myself[...], perhaps that is the reason this does not infuriate us as much which is not to say that this was pleasing to us either. In the coming weeks, we may through notes already written to others or in the process of being thought out[...] explain our views on this beyond the sketchy probabilities we have noted up to this point on the weblog. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa February 9, 2008)]

Additional points for reflection on the inevitable McCain nomination can be read here as well.

{5} There is one factor no one is considering and it is this: McCain made a lot of his deals in a situation where one tries via politics to achieve the art of the possible. (In other words, working with less than ideal circumstances.) It is possible as president that he would be more conservative governing overall than it would appear on the surface to us now and his time in Washington making him less likely to be taken in by the system than others. It is possible so if it happens, you heard it here first. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa February 1, 2008)]

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Kevin Tierney in this thread shows three factors which I believe are important in any attempt to discuss an issue on which principled positions are taken; namely (i) recognition of the importance of dealing with reality and not one's particular flight of fancy or how to know when a battle is lost, (ii) how to approach a situation fairly regardless of particular preferences{1} on the matter, and (iii) the importance of balancing a variety of factors of a personal and prudential matter when dealing with issues in reality as opposed to the abstract.

These are important lessons to be learned in politics as well since defeat on issues in politics is something that happens to people of every particular view at some point or another. For those who may not consider these lessons if enunciated in a political context, perhaps if they are stated in a religious one they may give it some consideration and revise their approaches accordingly.


{1} I say "particular preferences" here because Kevin makes it clear in the thread above his opposition to the policy being undertaken. Liturgically as a Catholic he also knows that in the Catholic religion the pope is "the decider" ultimately on these kinds of matters (either in concurrence with an ecumenical council or individually) and therefore his stance here honours the rule of law if you will regardless of personal preferences on the matter.

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