Saturday, September 06, 2008

Miscellaneous Musings and Threads Worth Noting:

Briefly on a variety of threads...

Palin casts herself as Washington outsider

Just a sample:

"Here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."

I have nothing at the moment that discourages me from appreciating this pick for vp on the part of Sen. McCain. I may expand a bit on what I have already written about her{1} in the coming days or weeks.

Sarah Palin's speech a series of cheapshots

My combox comments on that thread suffice to give a brief take on my view of this so I will reiterate them now.

Essentially, I am surprised at the hypocrisy of those who would rake Gov. Palin over the coals for days and then when she punches back a bit, she is the one being juvenile. Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama were throwing plenty of hooks at Sen. McCain during their DNC speeches (particularly Biden) and I do not recall these same msm talking heads launching the same criticisms. Biden can go after McCain relentlessly and that is fine, the msm can slam Gov. Palin repeatedly and that is fine yet if Gov. Palin throws some shots at Obama and now that is "unacceptable"??? What a bunch of hypocrites!!!

I have never in my life seen a political candidate for president who has gotten more of an easy ride than Sen. Obama has. I really hope Sen. McCain exposes what I view as the five factors that would sink Sen. Obama's chances with anyone who is capable of being even the slightest bit objective on these matters. There is nothing in Sen. McCain's background or in positions he has taken that are comparable to them{2} and that is all I will say on the matter for the present time.

Gov. Sarah Palin's Speech

I fail to see how this speech is full of more "cheap shots" than the one delivered by Sen. Joe Biden. But enough on that for now and onto this interesting thread on Sen. Barack Obama...

Barack Obama, Aspiring Commissar

Here is just a bit more than a taste to whet the appetite for more...

This has led Kurtz, naturally, to scrutinize the relationship between Obama and one of his early political sponsors, William Ayers. Ayers, as we have previously detailed, is a confessed terrorist who, having escaped prosecution due to surveillance violations that came to light during his decade on the lam after a bombing spree, landed an influential professorship in education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). As he has made clear several times before and after helping to launch Obama’s political career, Ayers remains defiantly proud of bombing the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and other targets. He expresses regret only that he didn’t do more. Far from abandoning his radical politics, he has simply changed methods: the classroom, rather than the detonator, is now his instrument for campaigning against an America he portrays as racist and imperialist.

Obama supporters risibly complain that shining a light on the Obama/Ayers relationship is a “smear” and smacks of “guilt by association.” A presidential candidate’s choice to associate himself with an unrepentant terrorist would be highly relevant in any event — does anyone think the Obamedia would keep mum if John McCain had a long-standing relationship with David Duke or an abortion-clinic bomber?

But we are talking about more than a mere “association.”

Then there is the question of what the conservative talk radio hosts may be able to do to "stop Obama"...

Can conservative talk radio stop Obama?

I notice the article is weighed heavily on Sean Hannity whom readers of this weblog for some time probably know we have gone from "not that fond of" to "disgusted by.{3} But that point aside, we have to ask what we would do with Sen. Obama and that fascist so-called "fairness doctrine" he and his ideological allies are interested in reviving.


{1} On Sen. McCain's Selection of Governor Sarah Palin as His Running Mate (circa August 29, 2008)

On Governor Sarah Palin, Recent Revelations, and Ethical Standards (circa September 2, 2008)

{2} Those familiar with past statements in the archives pertaining to Sen. McCain know he has done some things that have riled me to no small degree.

{3} It is probably the case that many would presume that I have been some major promoter of Sean Hannity over the years because on several subjects he and I are to a degree simpatico. But on reviewing my archive briefly, I found only nine references to Hannity in it and they were covered in this thread earlier in the week.[...] But having done those things, here is my view on Hannity and as is my wont I am consistent. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 3, 2008)]

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Remembering a Music Legend:

As yesterday was the anniversary of the birth of blues master Freddie King{1}, I wanted to take a moment and remind readers of what I wrote on this occasion two years ago:

"Palace of the King" Dept. -A Tribute to Freddie (circa September 3, 3006)

I do not have much more to say at the moment than what was noted there though I do want to put a picture to words as well so here is Freddie in a 1973 live performance of one of his classics Have You Ever Loved A Woman. Enjoy!!!

Rest in Peace "Texas Cannonball"...

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On Governor Sarah Palin, Recent Revelations, and Ethical Standards:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

[Update: Upon reading this post again today, the roughness of the text (drafted late last night) was evident to me so I tweaked it a bit in spots. -ISM 9/2/08 7:20pm]

The msm and the Democratic party partisans as a rule{1} are going to try and make plenty of hay in some recent revelations about Governor Sarah Palin once they cannot make the inexperience argument stick.{2} There will be for example attempts to claim a kind of hypocrisy in Gov. Palin supporting such things as "abstinence education" in schools when her own teenage daughter is now pregnant and that is something that we want to address right now in anticipation of the predictable barrage of msm talking points on the matter at hand.

Indeed somehow, certain parties will try to claim hypocrisy or otherwise chalk this up as some kind of moral or ethical failing on the part of Gov. Palin. I want to address this matter briefly and then set it aside as settled as far as I am concerned. For starters, I want to point to something my late father (God rest his soul) used to tell me when I was a kid about how "the first child can come at any time, it is the rest that take nine months." It was said tongue in cheek mostly but at the core of the statement is a general truism; namely that situations like this can happen. Nor does what happened in any way detract from the moral stances that Gov. Palin has personally taken on these matters.

For whether you agree with them or not, her position on this matter is at least consistent. Nor does Gov. Palin's stance on "abstinence education" receive any sullying from the situation of her daughter's pregnancy because her daughter made her own decision on the matter. Parents can tell their children a lot of things but believe it or not, children do not always follow their parent's advice and if they do not, it seems ridiculous to try and blame the parent as long as they have not been unduly negligent{3} in looking after their children.

To give a fair assessment, we should consider for example if Gov. Palin seeks to follow her own advice when unexpected situations present themselves to her and her family. And we can start by considering her reaction to being pregnant a fifth time. Gov. Palin after all had her fourth child at 37 and is 44 years old now. As fertility in women begins decreasing after the age of 35 (and even more rapidly after the age of 40), it stands to reason that this pregnancy was enough of a statistical long-shot to be safely called "unexpected." She espouses a pro life position and she showed via her example that she practices what she preaches. Furthermore, with regards to her child having Down Syndrome, she did not upon learning of this misfortune make an excuse to go against her principles but instead accepted the child as a gift from God.{4}

The additional subject of her pregnant teenage daughter will serve as an opportunity to point to part of why what we do at Rerum Novarum differs so significantly from what most bloggers do. We have stated many times over the years in various ways that our interest is to treat on the principles behind situations of circumstance as much as the situations themselves because if you think in principles, the capacity for utilizing reason and logic profitably increases exponentially. The principle here that needs to be focused on is the differentiation between public and private standards:

I am not about to try and make the argument that people are at all perfectly consistent in the views they espouse and those that they follow because we all know that is not the case with any of us. But should the fact that we all fall short of the mark in some form or another mean that we move the mark itself??? Or would it not be better for society as a whole if the mark stays where it is as a rule and we strive to conform ourselves to the mark???


[T]here seems to be a problem with people recognizing that public standards are important even if individuals do not meet them...

If instead of being recognized for what they are, violations of a recognized standard are ipso facto seen as calling into account the standard[...] rather than trying to conform themselves to the aforesaid standard, then we are in serious trouble as a society. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 24, 2006)]

Now Governor Palin's daughter probably went against the standards her family had with regards to sexual matters. But does that mean that Gov. Palin should endorse a lowering of the standard simply because her daughter did not meet it???

Consider also at how the fallout from the announcement has been handled: her daughter will be keeping the baby and will be marrying the father of the child. These are principles that would meet with the approval of Gov. Palin's Assembly of God Pentecostal faith so again, they are walking the walk not just talking the talk. Granted sometimes in that walking there has been some stumbling but we all stumble and fall. That should not lead to us trying to draw the standard down to us but try even if we continue to fail in meeting it ourselves{5} to promote a higher general standard for the sake of overall societal betterment.


{1} I say "as a rule" because Senator Barack Obama has explicitly stated (to his credit) that the Palin family situation was off limits politically.

{2} The attempt to claim that Gov. Palin's limited experience cancels out that argument being used against Sen. Obama misses one key distinction between the two: executive experience. As a former mayor and current state governor, she has more experience in a role very similar albeit on smaller scales than that of the presidency. By contrast, Senator Barack Obama in his time in the US Senate and the Illinois legislature has no executive experience whatsoever.

{3} I say "unduly negligent" because it is never possible for parents to keep an eye on their children all the time. Furthermore, when it comes to child rearing because too much parental strictness can be just as dangerous as too much parental laxity. A balance needs to be struck in other words and sometimes despite the best of intentions children can turn out differently than parents might like. (Sometimes better and sometimes not.)

{4} Palin Confirms Baby Has Down Syndrome (Anchorage Daily News circa April 21, 2008)

{5} We risk in a situation such as that becoming a civilization of the least common denominator: hardly anything that could be logically viewed as either "progressive" or "enlightened" whatsoever the promoters of such a society would label it as. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 24, 2006)]

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

On Senator Barack Obama's Choice of Joseph Biden For Running Mate:

Though I wrote this text (sans the first paragraph and seventh footnote which were composed today) back on August 25th, the delay in posting was due to Senator John McCain's impending announcement of a running mate upon which I wanted to get my long-held prediction of whom it would be in under the line so to speak. Then, when my usual political prognosticating skills failed me when Sen. McCain chose the dark horse Alaska governor Sarah Palin, I wanted to put down some ultra-preliminary thoughts on that which I will probably expand upon in the coming days and weeks. (I am still stunned by the news on that front admittedly in more ways than one; ergo the brief nature of my still undigested first thoughts as expressed in that posting.) But now with those more immediate tasks being tended to, it is now time to weigh in on the choice of Sen. Joseph Biden by Sen. Barack Hussein Obama so without further ado...

There are going to be plenty of people who will write long threads on why Senator Joseph Biden should be rejected as vice president and second in line for the presidency. Some even have set up sites on the matter such as Steve Dillard and Christopher Blosser's latest Catholics Against Joe Biden. And while they will undoubtedly post a lot of material to point out Sen. Biden's views and how they are incongruent with Catholic principles, my approach to the subject of Sen. Biden is much simpler.

As I see it, if there is any more reason to question the fitness of Joe Biden to be either vice president or president of the United States, this is the reason why in a nutshell:

I strongly support Roe v. Wade. I wouldn't have a specific question but I would make sure that the people I sent to be nominated for the Supreme Court shared my values; and understood that there is a right to privacy in the United States Constitution.

And no, I am not saying that the reason he is unfit is because he supports Roe v. Wade though that is itself problematical in more ways than one as I have noted not a few times in the past.{1} The reason Sen. Biden is so unfit to be president or in any position to be president is his stance on a presumed constitutional right to privacy. And I say this as someone who personally believes such a right should exist at the federal level. Or as I noted last year when discussing the subject of presumed "constitutional rights" paraded around by not a few people advocating various agendas:

I cannot recall if I have said this on the weblog in the past or not (as I cannot find anything in a quick archive search) but I am not opposed in principle to the idea of a federal right to privacy. The problem is, there is no constitutional foundation for such a position; ergo those who want to see one should do what they can to amend the Constitution to reflect that right. Otherwise, they should have the decency to admit that they do not give a damn about the Constitution at all. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 29, 2007)]

The bottom line is that what is and is not "constitutional" is not a matter of personal whim but must conform itself to objective criteria. I am not saying that the constitution is a brittle document by any means but the idea that the words themselves somehow "evolve" to mean different things depending on the whims of various agenda provocateurs (regardless of whom they are{2}) does not sit well with me either. The very notion is so absurd on its face that I have sought to illustrate it via absurdity in the past but thus far no "evolving constitution" proponents have stepped up to accept my challenge.{3}

But at the same time, lest anyone think such a position of mine involves an interpretation that is too literalist, I have had a completed text on tap pertaining to how constitutional issues need to be viewed to bridge the gap between the extreme unconstitutional approaches of those who commonly consider themselves "progressives" and the extreme unworkable approaches common to many who consider themselves "conservatives." It has been mentioned probably a half-dozen times or more since the first jottings of a draft were put together earlier last year{4} and most recently mentioned in a notifications posting to this weblog.{5} But that is neither here nor there presently speaking; I merely note it there so my approach to Sen. Biden's judicial perversion{6} is properly understood in a nutshell for the time being.

Oh and as for Senator Biden's statement that "the next Republican that tells me I'm not religious I'm going to shove my rosary beads down their throat", a question comes to mind which we must put to the senior senator from Delaware; namely this:

--Does it have to be a Republican???

For though your humble servant is a longtime Independent voter{7}, we would have no problem telling Sen. Biden he is not religious and he can give it the old college try on us if he likes. Heck, we would even be willing to pose as a Republican if need be :)


{1} Perhaps most completely in this thread:

On Fundamental Rights, Common Law Principles, and Abortion (circa February 1, 2007)

{2} No matter whom they are and I say that about those who claim that the constitution either embodies the right to an abortion or outlaws abortion: both presumptions are erroneous. And as allowing those who agree with you to engage in the same sort of constitutional manipulation as those who do not agree with you (and whom you would castigate for doing so) is both illogical as well as unethical, no more needs to be said on the matter at this time than that.

{3} The same concept has been reiterated numerous times in the past starting on this weblog with these words:

The writer of this post would like to take this opportunity to to invite anyone who believes in an evolving constitutional interpretation to email him if they are fans of Texas Hold 'Em and are interested in playing for money. For your humble servant is not only a pretty decent poker player but he also has in mind starting a game with people like you for money to illustrate by demonstration the logical absurdity of your positions: Texas Hold 'Em with "evolving rules."[...] Something tells your host that such a game would amply clarify the absurdity of the "evolving constitution" position in precise proportion to the amount of money the promoters of the "evolving constitutional interpretation" theory lost their cash in the afore-proposed card game. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 25, 2005)]

Oh and lest I forget to mention it, I owe some credit to Dr. Walter E. Williams for the germ of the idea expounded upon above.

{4} With the election on the horizon for 2008 and wanting to avoid for the sake of his own sanity too much focus on those issues beyond what is necessary to do, it seems appropriate to write as time allows on some of the systems and principles that shaped the outlooks of the Founding Fathers of the United States.[...] Part of the reason for this decision is because there is a significant imbalance in politics today and we want to propose a remedy for the common problems inherent in the political approaches of both major parties. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 17, 2007)]

{5} The long-talked about and finished[...] posting on the necessary third way in politics that is needed between the nonsense approaches of the radical conservatives and the radical liberals which are unworkable and unconstitutional respectively. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 2, 2008)]

As I noted in the above excerpt, the thread has been in a form requiring of a final review before it is ready for posting. (If memory serves I finished it in the final week of 2007.)

{6} I do not intend to go into the subject of judicial perversion at this time though suffice to say, it has been covered at sundry times and in divers manners at this weblog in years gone by and will be again as circumstances or my mood to discuss it again present themselves.

{7} Lest more recent readers think my disgust with the Republicans is something of recent vintage, here are some threads from newest to oldest via the archives:

As a twelve year independent voter...I have to look at the alternatives and put my "ideal candidate" mould aside. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa January 9, 2008)]

But then again, it is easy for someone such as myself who has long been independent of the two main parties to take that stance. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 3, 2007)]

Thank God the present writer is an Independent voter of ten years standing is all he will say about that at the present time. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa November 24, 2006)]

But one advantage to being an Independent is that I have no sense of "party betrayal" on the matter; hence I am more detached in some ways from it than loyalists are. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 10, 2005)]

Two years after the 1994 midterms, I divested myself of the Republican moniker and have remained an Independent voter. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa November 6, 2004)]

[F]or the record, this Independent actually has contemplated the idea that Bush needs a fight against someone like Lieberman. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 9, 2003)]

I identified myself as a Republican in the mid/late 1980's and the early 1990's. Since the 1996 elections, my eyes were opened and I stopped affiliating with the Republicans seeing in far too many of them a profound betrayal of classical conservative principles. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa November 6, 2002)]

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