Saturday, March 29, 2008

Having just finished a grueling elliptical workout about an hour ago (1750 calories burned and a gallon of water consumed in about two and a half hours) I decided to tinker a bit with the template of this weblog. Which reminds me...

For those who may have logged in and thought they were on the wrong site, rest assured this is Rerum Novarum. I am dabbling a bit with the template for the first time in a few years and have saved the original template to more than one private weblog for easy accessing should for some reason I decide to return to it. Certainly some of the features of the previous weblog template will be added to this one should I decide to continue along this pathway. Otherwise, it will revert back to what it has been for the past three odd years.

The various links and the like should be added later today after I wake up and have a few spare moments. But until that time, talk with you later.


"Everything's AlWright" Dept.
(Miscellaneous Threads Worth Reviewing on Jeremiah Wright)

Having already put in my own two bits on the matter of Jeremiah Wright and the Obama double standard, the following is a sequence of threads I happened to run across from others who have made similar notations on the matter. Without further ado...

Wright Connection Fatally Undermines Obama's Central Theme (David Limbaugh)

David summarizes well the point that I made in my own treatment of this matter in the following parts:

We must recognize the double standard that liberals typically apply to immunize themselves from accountability for bigotry. When the remotest connection can be inferred between a conservative and a bigoted supporter, there is always hell to pay. No excuses are permitted. Guilt attaches -- not even by so much as true association but by passive receipt of an endorsement from anyone the left believes to have bigoted views. Liberals, on the other hand, can be overtly racist toward conservative blacks like Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas and earn accolades rather than condemnation. And in Obama's case, we have more than passive receipt of an endorsement. We have more than guilt by casual association.

This is the reason I have at times been unsparing of those who would create double standards for "their own" that they will not allow for those who are not of "their own."

The bottom line is that we either judge whether something is or is not moral or ethical on the action itself or else we do so based on who commits the action. Only the former is truly capable of allowing us any sort of viable measure while the latter is ultimately worthless. Principles and ethics are either objective or they are not and woe to those who would presume that actions are good or evil based on who says or does something rather than on the intrinsic nature of the respective statement or action.

Geraldine Ferraro: Wright a "Racist Bigot" (Ed Morrissey of HotAir)

It is probably a rare situation when I agree with Geraldine Ferraro on anything{1} but on this matter, we are to a good extent quite simpatico.

An Elegant Farce (Victor Davis Hanson)

Insightful as usual from VDH. This bit in particular is worth noting in brief:

[T]o Obama, the postmodernist, context is everything. We all have eccentric and flamboyant pastors like Wright with whom we disagree. And words, in his case, don’t quite mean what we think; unspoken intent and angst, not voiced hatred, are what matters more.

Rather than account for his relationship with a hate-monger, Obama will enlighten you, as your teacher, why you are either confused or too ill-intended to ask him to disassociate himself from Wright.

The Obama apologia was a “conversation” about moral equivalence...

Obama is right about one thing: We are losing yet another opportunity to talk honestly about race, to hold all Americans to the same standards of public ethics and morality, and to emphasize that no one gets a pass peddling vulgar racism, or enabling it by failing to disassociate himself from its source — not Rev. Wright, not even the eloquent, but now vapid, Barack Obama.

The double standard continues it seems...hopefully Obama will not get away with it but (unfortunately) I do not place much confidence in the intelligence of the general public on these matters. Oh and one more thing.

Even those who try to claim that Wright's comments should be viewed in the context of his entire speech{2} often accept uncritically the one-sided portrayal of events he gives.{3} Those who would want context to Wright's speech should demand that people like Wright provide the context to every historical event they seek to misrepresent in propagating their delusions of reality. Otherwise, the deck is not properly stacked and again excuses are made for Wright that are not made for others of an opposing viewpoint.

And the ethical aspects of double standards aside, I will be blunt: this smells of racism to me. Think about it: the idea that Rev. Wright deserves some kind of kid gloves treatment or "explanation" for his abominable comments of the sort that Senator Trent Lott and Don Imus did not get for far more benign (but still inexcusable) offenses is disgusting. And that is the bottom line really except I want to give props to Geraldine Ferraro for her principled stand on this issue.


{1} And even rarer still that I would actually find out about such points of convergence.

{2} Yes, there have been those who have taken this approach to the issue at hand and it was both predictable as well as disgusting.

{3} If not for lack of time, I could go through that speech and debunk so many of the "historical portrayals" he makes of certain events and explain the context behind them.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Points to Ponder:

Fifty years from now, Bush may be reassessed. Every president goes through that. Now Harry Truman is considered a great president. If you asked the man on the street in 1952 what they thought of Harry Truman, they would have said he was worthless. I mean he had a popularity rating that makes Bush look good. [David Keene (circa 2007)]

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Dialogue on John McCain and "Conservatism":

This is the text of an email I sent out on February 15, 2008. Barring the permission of the person whose email I responded to below to use their actual name{1}, this response will be posted anonymously. Their words will be in darkgreen font.

Michael Medved (or Michael Methhead as he was affectionately referred to by a caller to Rick Roberts, a talk radio local yokel) has the audacity to call McCain a Reagan Republican here.

I read that thread the other day actually.

What kind of Reagan Republican busts his ass to endear himself to the leftist media, sellout to the pseudo-science loving global warming touting, Algore worshipping, enviromentally ill wackos, whose significant legislative achievements also bear the names of the most radical leftist Democraps in the Senate.

I remind you XXXXXXX that it is nearly impossible to do anything legislatively without some degree of reaching across the aisle unless one party dominates the congresses and the presidency significantly. And as that has not been seen since the first administration of fdr, it is not something that can or should be presumed at any time. And as the most influential persons in the Democratic camp (and the ones therefore who have the most "pull" influentially) are the older and more liberal ones, that does not leave much of a choice tactically.

You would do well to remember that every conservative has had to make deals with liberals to get things passed and vice versa. Reagan never would have gotten his agenda through (the parts of it that he did anyway) without the help of O'Neill and before you claim that was cause they were in his favour, remember that he also was involved in policies that were not beneficial to the conservative cause. The tax increases that Reagan agreed to in 1982 is one example.{2} The mass amnesty from 1986 was another. More could be noted but on both of those suffice to illustrate my point adequately enough for now.

Now while becuase Reagan never was a Senator and therefore can we can never know for sure what kind of record he would have had there, it is more than safe to say that the Reagan we know and love would not have been caught dead acting anything like John McCain. Hell, even Bob "let's make a deal" Dole never would have been caught dead doing such a thing either.

Shawn, if you think McCain would govern more conservatively than even the not so conservative Bush, you really need to flush out your headgear.

Frankly, anyone but Huckabee among the candidates this year would govern more conservatively than Bush did. Other than the tax cuts and war in 2003, the surge in 2007, and two justices on the court in 2005 and 2006 respectively, Bush has been a disgrace. The budget grew over 30% with a Republican congress during the first six years of his presidency. As the only reason we got Alito was a refusal to accept Miers and as the surge only was announced after the Republicans lost congress, even half of those achievements can be taken away as minimal concessions W made. It would not be hard for McCain to be more conservative than W as the bar sure is not set that high.

I would advise that you put down the crack pipe and look at W's real record. The liberals who savage him have it all wrong: he is one of them. All the Republicans did in six years of congressional control with a Republican president is vindicate my decision after the 1996 elections to throw them under the bus. I saw this coming then in faint outline when the Republicans did not have the guts to follow through when Clinton called them on their bluff about the government shut down and when they achieved virtually nothing they solemnly pledged to do with the Contract With America except welfare reform and (eventually) a balanced budget. And the final straw for me was when the establishment stacked the deck to give the nomination to Dole in a year where probably any of the other candidates in a general election would have beaten Clinton. As Limbaugh and others pretended otherwise, I saw problems with the Republicans in congress then and in the establishment. But unlike them, I was not and have not felt any obligation to support them.

I supported W in 2000 partly because the thought of Gore as president was disturbing but also because he appeared to be an an energetic executive and I knew that such would be needed. This nation always needs an energetic executive as the federalists like Hamilton, Morris, Washington, Adams, and others (including Madison initially and then later on as president) realized and supported. W in that role has been horrible. I am not about to publicly bash him though as it is unbecoming to do so in the final year of a lame duck presidency but that does not means I will not say this in private to you and others -or say so publicly in a benign manner and leave it at that without explanation.{2} This is akin to the way I did not bash the pre-surge approach even though I thought it was short sighted and a failure (something I admitted on the blog only in mid 2007 after the surge was so obviously working) I am not going to give any additional ammunition to those who want to hang on the Republican nominee the W Bush record. But the reason is more tactical than any special affinity I have for W.

To wit: the war. All of McCain's newly found conservative sycophants are talking about how much of a hawk on the war Johnny Mac is. Let's see, he wants to close Gitmo, which means bringing terrorists here to the U.S. which would afford them constitutional rights. He also has been Shea-like on the torture issue sponsoring what Rush Limbaugh rightly calls the "al Qaeda bill of rights. He also uses Kerryequse global test lingo, lamenting about how the appeasement-loving "rest of the world" would view us if we used heavy handed interrogation techniques, even in ticking time bomb scenario question. I think Tom Tancredo had a great line in response to that when he said, "Worry about waterboarding? I'm looking for Jack Bauer." After all, effective interrogation and intelligence gathering (and yes, if that necessitates torture, which by the way is not intrinsically evil, in and of itself, despite how hard Mark Shea and Steve Dillard want to spin it, then so be it!) is essential to any war effort. And McCain has worked hard to undermine our ability to do just that. If McCain is a hawk, give me a dove, please!

This is a subject that McCain has firsthand knowledge about unlike you and me. I place very little stock in military advice asserted dogmatically by those who do not understand the environment involved. You certainly served in the military but to my knowledge (and correct me if I am wrong) you cannot claim any expertise in this area -and even if you could I would assess your statements in the same manner I do anyone else's.

My stance on the whole "torture" subject has been firm and unequivocal -both in what I have written for this weblog on the subject in particular{3} and also in my support for Steve Dillard's enterprise contra Rudy Guiliani despite certain points on which we were not in agreement with him.{4} Certain refinements in his presentation were obtained by us to secure and sustain our support{5} and in other areas we made our divergences known in expository format.{6} That having been said, there is a degree of politics involved when you have elections and politicians running for office.

All candidates have to try and come across as to some extent diplomatic on various "hot point" issues -even if the degree of nuance and carefully chosen words for doing that can bother those who consider themselves the "real deal." We both think highly of President Reagan and he did this too -albeit not to the extent of most who run for office. Do not forget this: the last conservative candidate who bluntly told people what was what was Barry Goldwater and we know what happened to him when he ran for president. We had Duncan Hunter this time saying what was what and he got nowhere. Fred Thompson understood the issues better than the candidates running ahead of him and yet he could not catch traction either.

You also need to remember what I said previously about how different offices come with different functions and the like. Senator McCain as a senator has a different role than he would as president and the difference of the office means a difference in how you go about doing things. To use a religious example, Cardinal Ratzinger when he was Pope John Paul II's CDF prefect approached issues one way and as Pope Benedict XVI his approach has been strikingly different. The difference is the positions: as CDF prefect, his role was preserving doctrine. As pope his role is guardian of the common unity and as the largest voice of Christian conscience in the world. We are seeing things from Benedict as pope that we did not see from Ratzinger the prefect and this is analogous to what a president does and what a senator does...not a perfect analogy but one that to some extent should be taken into consideration on this matter.

About McCain's allegedly seeking the VP spot on the John "F-ing" Kerry ticket. His denial wasn't all that passionate. I mean, if that wasn't true don't you think McCain would be screaming "HELL NO"?

Not necessarily. This is politics and those who scream and rant are quickly painted as lunatics. Furthermore, this is not the senate or house floor where tirades could go mostly unreported -this is a candidate running for president and anything of this sort would be a major media point of focus. McCain is not that stupid whatever else you may want to say about him.

I mean, any conservative in their right mind would, especially someone like Johnny Mac who can go ballastic with the best of them, would do at least that.

Depends on the situation and the place XXXXXXX. Going ballistic is not usually a good approach to take unless one does so sparingly. To succeed in politics you have to be Machiavellian: smile and pretend all is well for the cameras (maybe be a touch snappy but not too much) and save the stack blowing for private.

Besides, McCain actually did publicly state he would consider it if asked. And he also considered bolting the GOP but Jumpin' Jim jumped first first (say that real fast ten times) stealing his thunder.

What I do not understand is this: you are angry because we have McCain as a Republican nominee and have talked about throwing this to the Democrats in 2008 so that the establishment finally realizes that pretending that conservatives can be completely ignored is a policy that means certain defeat. But then in the past you have said that my voting for Perot was stupid because it essentially gave the election to Clinton as a lot of people approached this as I did. Now you seem to functionally advocate now what I advocated then.

What I am surprised by is that you did not realize this until now or (if you did) you did a good job of hiding it. There is a reason I am not a Republican anymore XXXXXXX -a reason why twelve years ago I told the Republicans to blow it out their pieholes. I was sick of this crap back then and over time my view has not changed. Welcome to the realization I had back then: that the establishment usually wins because they stack the deck against those who are outsiders.

Since George H. W. Bush repudiated the Reagan legacy and by that cost himself the election in 1992, this has been what we have had to deal with. Gingrich's congresses promised a lot and delivered very little and the six years we had of a Republican congress and president were shameful in their fiscal lack of discipline.

Can it be said that McCain has acted, in his political career, in manner "worthy of his suffering"? I think not.

His record is mixed but that is not uncommon for politicians of twenty years standing in DC.

He considered running alonside the unrepentant John Kerry, whose, 1971 testimony was played repeatedly in the Hanoi Hilton, according the POW's who supported the SBVFT in 2004.

Again, we have John Kerry's word on this and if you want to trust Kerry on this than you are being amazingly selective in what you will accept from him.

He panders to the media, many of whom who show more sympathy with his captors than they do the POW's.

This is "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" kind of stuff XXXXXXX.

This has always bothered the hell out of me about McCain.

Whether we like it or not XXXXXXX, the media is a necessary evil in a lot of this. Without them, it is hard to nearly impossible to get your message to a broader audience and with them, you have to deal with the fact that they have an agenda. (We have alternatives now that we did not have in years past but McCain is pretty old school in this regard to some extent.) Whatever prudence or lack thereof that you want to ascribe to Senator McCain in this area, it would be wise to view the situation for what it is.

Before you use the "President Reagan went over the heads of the media to the people" line, remember that as president there is a bully pulpit of sorts that senators and house representatives do not have. Unlike the president who can call press conferences by virtue of his position -and thus has a platform for making their views known apart from media spin- senators and representatives cannot do that unless they at least implicitly do something that appears to support the media weltanschauung. And a Republican who does not toe the Republican party line fits that in a way that a Democrat who does not toe the Democratic party line does not.

This is not to defend or excuse McCain mind you but instead to remind you of what he is up against. As president he would not be so constrained.

This is a mere synopsis of the problems I have with John McCain. His nomination perplexes me greatly.

He was not even in my top four of candidates. In order, my candidate choices ideally were 1) Duncan Hunter 2) Fred Thompson 3) Sam Brownback 4) Mitt Romney 5) John McCain 6) Rudy Guiliani. I would vote for a Democrat before I would vote for either Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul so I need not mention them. I only want you to realize in my saying this that I am not enthralled by McCain being the nominee either but we have what we have.

On one hand, a good case can be made that he is better than both Shrillary and [Obama]. It's one I would, under normal circumstances, instinctively embrace. But Rush Limbaugh makes the point that if we are going suffer in the next four years it is better that it be a Democrap holding the bag for it than a republican.

Limbaugh is not going to fail to support McCain. I remember in 1992 he said a lot of the same things about Bush's papa and then went out and supported Bush Sr. He will do the same thing this time -guaranteed.

Now, I'm not sure if I would embrace that view, but it can't be dismissed out of hand given what a McCain Administration would bring in the unlikely event he wins in November.

I remind you that a year is a long time in politics...McCain has lower unfavourable ratings than Clinton (and that is not going to change) and Obama is still quite unknown. The more Obama is drawn out, the less attractive he will be.

I think these are things we conservatives have to think long and hard about in the next nine months.

As a former Republican you have my sympathies. But you wonder why I have in various ways endorsed a third option in politics for a long time. But for all your talk about how that throws things to the Democrats, now you appear to be willing to do the same thing but directly instead of potentially indirectly. At least the indirect approach sets the table for something possibly coming out of it other than establishment retrenching. But then again, you seem to not recall just how Reagan was really perceived by the establishment: he was as distrusted by the "far right" as he was the "far left."

Furthermore, the Reagan years were an aberration of the past hundred ten odd years, there were only three non-establishment Republican candidates: Teddy Roosevelt, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan.{7} TR only became president because the establishment plan to shut him up by making him vice president backfired when McKinley was assassinated. He was able to get elected on his own in 1804 and if he had not died when he did, probably would have won in 1920...a story for another time altogether perhaps.

Goldwater broke the back of the establishment in 1964 along with the Democratic stronghold of the south though he lost in a landslide thanks to the establishment doing their part of not supporting him as they should have. But he made an important breakthrough because other than his home state of Arizona, all the states he won electorally were in the deep south: a break of the "solid south" which had been dominated by Democrat electoral power since 1856. This paved the way for Nixon to come through in 1968 and then even more spectacularly in 1972 but Nixon was an establishment candidate. He was replaced by Ford in 1974 and in 1976, the entire establishment supported Ford against Reagan -even Goldwater who basically brokered Nixon's resignation supported Ford over the candidate who was ideologically much closer to himself.

And if not for Carter being such a horrible president, Reagan would probably not have been elected in 1980. There was that and also because Carter and his advisers made the same mistake in 1980 that Governor Pat Brown and his advisers did in California in 1966: they presumed Reagan was easier to beat than the other major candidates so they sabotaged the front runner to get Reagan as an opponent. So Reagan got the nomination, resisted the attempts to paint him in demonic colours that the Democrats tried to do, and won in 1980 by significantly dominating the south -winning all but Georgia and West Virginia. He added those states in in 1984 when he swept the south: the second time a Republican had ever done that. (Nixon was the first in the 1972 election to do it.)

Bush Sr. ran as carrying Reagan's mantle the same way that Taft ran as carrying TR's mantle in 1912. And just as Taft was a huge disappointment, so too was Bush Sr. and both of them lost re-election in three party races. The Republicans in 1916 as in 1996 went with an establishment candidate and need I go on???

The bottom line is, what we saw this year is historically more probable than not.{8}

For what could be a response to Medved's Kool Aid drinking (although it isn't actually) Rush's little brother has this to say.

David is wrong: McCain is not "liberal lite." Compared to Obama (8%) and Clinton (9%), McCain's lifetime conservative rating is 82.3%. That is lower than the ratings of Tancredo (97.8%), Brownback (94%), Hunter (92%), Thompson (83%). I am not sure about Guiliani and Romney but if we consider the flopflop of Romney and Guiliani's views on certain core conservative issues where he is seriously lacking (unlike McCain) it seems probable that both of them would finish lower than McCain on that score. (The American Conservative Union does not rank governors or mayors so this is a nebulous area

P.S. You may have heard of Rick Roberts. He fills in for Michael Weiner (aka Michael Savage. Weiner is his real name).

I am familiar with both Rick Roberts and also Michael Savage's real name. It is Dr. Michael Weiner Ph.D. by the way...Savage likes to remind people of his degrees to the point to where it is as annoying as listening to Rush carry water for the Republicans used to be. But I digress.


{1} In accordance with our long time usage of private correspondence in particular circumstances which was expounded upon with some detail over two years ago on our miscellaneous weblog.

{2} I decided by the nature of what we are dealing with here -as well as a lack of time to revise this thread to be more benign- to simply reproduce with minor at best revisions what I originally wrote in response to this emailer. However, having said what I have, do not expect much else along these lines from this writer during the election year for reasons noted in the text above.

{3} To note some key examples briefly from the archives:

Eric Johnson vs. Mark Shea on Torture (circa July 17, 2006)

On Torture and General Norms of Theological Interpretation Contra Certain "Apologist" Fundamentalist Hermeneutics--Parts I-III (circa October 13, 2006)

On Torture and General Norms Revisited -A Response to Dr. Scott Carson (circa October 25, 2006)

More on Torture and the Problems With Trying To Discount the Historical Record Explicitly or Otherwise (circa November 1, 2006)

On Torture, the Limitations of Dignitatis Humanae, Logic, Etc.--A Response to Dr. Michael Liccione (circa November 14, 2006)

Defining the Word "Torture" Since No One Else Will (circa November 18, 2006)

{4} On the Catholics Against Rudy Website (circa July 12, 2007)

{5} Miscellaneous Notes (circa August 14, 2007)

{6} Clarifying a Previous Endorsement of Catholics Against Rudy (circa August 29, 2007)

{7} The Democrats had only one -Harry Truman- in that same span of time if you exclude the thrice defeated William Jennings Bryan.

{8} I wrote a bit on this subject long before this email was received but it was in draft form until earlier this month when it was blogged. The subjects covered were the historical background of presidential front runners as well as presidential underdogs and can be read HERE for those who are interested.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

On Miscellaneous Matters:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

First of all, I hope all readers of this humble weblog have a happy and blessed Easter. Without further ado...

--With Italy's most prominent Muslim writer receiving baptism at the hands of Pope Benedict XVI on Holy Saturday, I am curious to see how the mainstream Muslim community responds to this event. As the article itself notes, there are some in the Muslim community who view Muslims who embrace other religions as apostates and advocate their deaths:

There is no overarching Muslim law on conversion. But under a widespread interpretation of Islamic legal doctrine, converting from Islam is apostasy and punishable by death — though killings are rare.
Egypt's highest Islamic cleric, the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, wrote last year against the killing of apostates, saying there is no worldly retribution for Muslims who abandon their religion and that punishment would come in the afterlife.

Killings may be rare but this man was possibly Italy's most prominent Muslim writer so he may have greater need of protection than he did previously. Let us also hope that the opinion of Egypt's Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa receives a wide circulation and adherence by Muslims in general.

--On another note, that Muslim writer whom Pope Benedict XVI baptized (Magdi Allam) recognizes that by this action he has made himself in even greater danger. His response to this seems fitting to recall considering the holiday which Christians celebrate today:

I realize what I am going up against but I will confront my fate with my head high, with my back straight and the interior strength of one who is certain about his faith.

May God give him the graces needed to handle whatever comes his way from those who cannot follow what Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa noted and abandon any notions of "retribution" against Allam and others like him. Obviously Christians and Jews do not agree with him that there would be punishment for Muslims who embrace other religions in the next life (as the Grand Mufti Gomaa does) but hopefully all parties can agree to leave this matter to the individual consciences of the persons involved and in the hands of the very God all sides claim to worship and let Him settle the matter as He will.

--Also in the spirit of this holiday is the following core belief at the heart of Christianity:

There can be no resurrection without a crucifixion

Other than recommending the above thread for your perusal, additional comments on the matter escape me at the moment so I will not bother trying to bluff and come up with something clever or additionally insightful. Give it a read when you can...though after finishing this weblog posting hopefully.

--I have been intending for a long time to complete a review I started in mid 2005 on David Armstrong's book The Catholic Verses. Considering the difference in my friendship with the author since that time, some readers who followed those threads at the time{1} may well presume that I will change both my rating of the book as well as my previous views of the book in some sort of personal grudge or whatever. However, I do not and never have operated that way -viewing objectivity as an important component in discourse that as much as possible should transcend personal views.{2}

And while I do not have time to go over the book material again, I will review briefly each section to help with my overall recollection when fleshing out the bare bones sketch I made of the book nearly three years ago.

--As far as Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy feeling slighted because Karl Rove does not read MVRWC, he does not read Rerum Novarum either -not that that will serve as any consolation on the matter. Remember Beth, music with genuine soul rarely receives the circulation that manufactured "pop music" does but the quality of the audience is significantly higher. Always aim for quality over quantity: that is my motto on these matters.

--I am about to send to a friend of mine a second installment of a private conversation we are having on John McCain. The first part of that conversation has been formatted for blogging to this weblog in the coming days and the follow-up thread will be formatted in the coming week for posting though I may have to break the follow-up thread into sections to make it easier to digest for the casual reader.

I have not said yet on the weblog in an explicit fashion my views about John McCain either as a nominee or as a potential president but those dialogual threads will spell it out without ambiguity as well as outline some views I have long had about (i) President Bush and his administration in general and (ii) certain tendencies in the conservative movement which bother me greatly.

--After completing Friday's posting of miscellaneous mutterings{3}, I realized that I was long in need of creating a tag for postings on Senator Hillary Clinton. There are posts in the archives going back to June of 2003 on her but when we first set out in early 2007 with the ambitious intention of tagging every post in this weblog's archive with at least one primary thread{4} and coming up with a variety of secondary threads{5} for further classification. However, after after achieving this purpose and blogging on the matter,{6} further thought on what we had accomplished with that endeavour and some experience in its utilization, we realized that more was needed. For despite our best efforts, some primary thread classifications were not as useful as they first appeared{7} and some subjects could use secondary tags of their own for greater precision of categorization.{8}

Having finally resolved the primary categorization tag and eliminating any known overlapping there, it has been our custom to devise certain secondary tags for further delineation of the blog subjects as we have perceived the need.{9} And though we intended to attach an update to Friday's thread to explain all of this, it seems appropriate to note it here instead with the following bit in blue font representing the original blurb written for that purpose:

In light of the increasing references to both parties, I decided to do with them what I did earlier this year with Senator John McCain and create two new categories -one for Hillary Clinton and one for Barack Obama. This was done After a search of the archives for their names, those tags have been applied retroactively through the archive -though in Sen. Obama's case that is not as significant as it is for Sen. Clinton of whom we have had some things to say over the years.

Anyway, that is all we have time for now but once again, we hope all readers of this weblog have a happy and blessed Easter -whether they are explicit believers in Jesus Christ as Saviour of mankind, of good-will and possessing of an implicit faith in Him{10}, or even those who do not that they may come to realize as Pope Benedict said on Holy Saturday when referring to the power of baptism and its ontological significance:

"We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another...[t]hus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close."

Christos anesti!!!

{1} I am not about to list any of them here as this issue ran its course and I have no time nor inclination to rehash it now. I will note however that the lengthy expository post from January 11th where I discussed the necessary paradigm realignment of this weblog for the indefinite future highlighted some postings which were at the very core of my opposition to Mr. Armstrong's methodology as it pertained to his interactions with me personally. Here they are in list form for those who are interested:

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)

I should note before wrapping up this footnote that the problems enunciated in those threads are not unique to Mr. Armstrong nor are they applicable to the lions share of the work he has done -just certain areas and interactions with certain persons (not just with me). That is all I will say on the matter for now though.

{2} Those who go from one extreme to the other in viewing others based on personal disputes highlight what is wrong with dialogue in general in today's day and age. This however is a subject to deal with in more detail and explicitly for another time perhaps --though a long-planned and oft-mentioned upcoming posting will deal at least implicitly with the matter by logical extension.

{3} The main subject of that thread is the contradictory fashion in which the msm treated Obama's allegiance to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the manner in which they reacted to past comments made by Don Imus and Sen. Trent Lott. (The latter piece was also the 2400th posting to Rerum Novarum since its inception sixty-seven months ago yesterday.)

{4} The purpose of a primary thread is to make a general distinction of subject matter without overlapping from one subject to another.

{5} The purpose of a secondary thread is to make a further distinction of subject matter. Usually it does not matter if secondary tag classifications overlap except in certain limited circumstances where distinction of subject matter is in my view warranted -though I did not at the time the posting in footnote six was made realize this would become a factor the further I went in making distinctions of categories.

{6} On Some Upcoming Postings and Weblog Formatting (circa May 15, 2007)

{7} For example, the "personal" and "personal musings" primary categories which were eventually dispensed with and made into two secondary tags, one dealing with "prayer requests" and one dealing with matters which were "particularly personal." Sometimes those two categories overlapped; ergo my decision on that matter and reclassifying the lions share of them into the "miscellaneous threads/briefer musings" primary category. Another set of primary categories which received similar treatment were the "weblog maintenance/updates" and the "weblog maintenance/updates/plus musings" which were reclassified into either "miscellaneous threads/briefer musings" or "expository musings" primary categories depending on the manner of construction of each thread.

{8} Hence, since the May 15, 2007 posting noted in footnote six, we have come up with additional secondary categorizations from the ones originally decided on and noted in the May 15, 2007 thread including the following ones:

--Duncan Hunter
--John McCain
--JunkYard Blog: The Bryan Preston Years/Bryan Preston
--National Security
--Prayer Requests
--Particularly Personal
--President Bill Clinton
--The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Apologetics
--The John Roberts Court

{9} More secondary category tags will be created and added to the weblog on an as perceived basis and rarely will I draw any attention to them explicitly. However, in fairness since I mentioned explicitly in February forming a category on Senator John McCain and applying it retroactively to our archives (so readers could peruse everything we have said about McCain over the years on this weblog) it seems appropriate to make a similar explicit statement with regards to the other candidates still in this contest. So with the Friday posting, the categories for Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton were made and retroactively applied to our archives.

{10} On Implicit Faith (circa December 13, 2006)

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