Friday, February 20, 2009

Rahm Emmanuel Has His Own Tax Problems

I have already predicted that the Blagovich scandal is going to come back and bite Rahm Emmanuel in the butt but yet another issue that the msm if they had done even remedial journalistic investigation in the 2008 election on then-candidate Obama and his associates would have uncovered.{1} But they did not and now we are forced to see yet another public figure who preaches on being "transparent" and "ethical" and all who does not practice what they preach{2}: a sad but growing trend in modern society in not a few manifestations thereof but I digress.


{1} Heck, if they had doneat least a tenth of the "investigation" they did into the wardrobe ingredients of Governor Sarah Palin they would have discovered this.

{2} This is a problem that not a few who are apologists for different agendas have and often in spades I might add.

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Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no

Like we need economists to tell us that the so-called "stimulus" will not work; heck, any casual perusal of the text will make it evident that at a minimum 75% of it is complete waste and political payoff that will not do a single thing whatsoever to aid in the creation of actual jobs. And I say that figure to be generous towards President Obama.

Considering how often there were bits and pieces stuck into this package that had no bearing whatsoever towards what the claim of the bill was, it seems an opportune moment to remind readers of the rider reform proposal that we drafted five years ago and revisited back in December of 2008. Tim Eyman in the state of Washington will be getting that material to make into an Initiative that hopefully will be ready for the state ballot in 2010. In the meantime, I need to get going on a second idea for even more radical legislative reform that has been in my mind at least as long as that one and though mentioned often has not been set out in schematic form yet. That is a goal I have to complete before the month of March this year.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Griffey Chooses Mariners

To post some off the cuff comments I made on this matter in another medium when someone asked me about whether I wanted Alex Rodriguez -a player I put a curse on back in 2001{1}- back with the Mariners...

I basically do not want A-Rod back because that he lied about the money, then cheated by using steroids, and then cheated on his wife basically that is three strikes. But even if we do excuse these things, I do not see that he is a very good teammate and to me that is important because chemistry on a team is important -A-Rod was a good teammate once but then it became all about him.

I prefer a player who is not selfish, a team player, one who inspires his teammates on the field and is a positive force of clubhouse cohesion off of it. I prefer a player who has faced genuine adversity to thereby know how when opportunity arrives to take advantage of it. I also want a player who is humble. For those reasons and more, I am very pleased to see Griffey return because first of all, he still can play the game, second of all, he is not gonna hit 50 and bat .315 anymore but I can see in a stadium built for his swing and running on the adrenaline of fan support a season of up to 40 HR's, 110 RBI's and a .290 odd average. All he needs is five healthy seasons at DH averaging 31 home runs and he will vindicate Aaron's record from the slime of Bonds. He also returns home today and we owe for this the influence of the second greatest player in baseball history and a living legend himself: one Willie Mays. [Excerpt from a Morning Correspondence circa February 19, 2009 @ 8:14am]

I say "second greatest player in history" because there really is no rational argument against my statement that the greatest of all time in baseball is the Big Bam himself for reasons I will relegated briefly to a footnote in this posting.{2} But I am pleased to see Ken Griffey Jr. back in Seattle and give a shout out to the great one Willie "Say Hey" Mays for being the deal cincher on this matter -someone who exuded class on and off the field unlike his godson whose name I shall not mention at this time.


{1} For those who did not remember this, I mentioned back in 2004 in a variety of mediums (including on this blog) my curse on A-Rod and what it involved and reiterated the contents of it earlier this month after news of A-Rod taking steroids came out.

{2} I went over this in some detail here:

On Baseball, Recent Milestones, Etc. (circa October 6, 2007)

In essence, I do not view this matter as debatable basically.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Points to Ponder:
(On Historical Airbrushing and Memory)

[I]t is pretty convenient to revise history when one person deletes all their stuff and reconstructs it from their memory. To put it charitably, the mind has an uncanny tendency to invent memories that serve its own ego. [Excerpt from an Email Correspondence (circa January 18, 2009)]

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On the Recent Controversy of the Reinstatement of the SSPX's Bishops in General and of Bishop Richard Williamson in Particular:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

[Prefatory Note: This text was substantially written on February 4, 2009 with a few final touches being put on it before this posting today. -ISM]

Considering my history of writing on matters pertaining to the SSPX in past years, those who are familiar with my stuff from back then may find my public silence on this matter to be odd. I should note first that the subject is one that bored me to tears many years ago because many of the points of reference were so open and shut that arguing with those who claimed otherwise was akin to arguing about the historical reality of the moonwalk or of the Holocaust.

Suffice to say, the recent developments in that saga seem to be apropo to go over here of which I will use some of my private correspondence to deal with to set the stage for what is to follow. I must admit that the latest announcement of the possibly move by the Vatican to do what it eventually did was met with skepticism by myself and another longtime friend who also has written on these issues. But when news came down that it was not a mere rumour this time, I dashed off this short note to those who included me on an email circular where the matter was being discussed:

Well for once the rumour was true.

We shall see how long this takes place cause [Bishop] Wiliamson will have to play nice and if he does not, will [Bishop] Fellay discipline or expel him? We shall see...[Excerpt from an Email Circular (circa January 24, 2009 @10:05am)]

When pressed further for some additional information on the matter, I included this bit for consideration:

Basically there has long been a split amongst the bishops of the SSPX. You have [Bishops] Fellay de Galaretta on one side who are more moderate and willing to try to find an accommodation that is consonent within certain parameters, you have [Bishop] Williamson who is basically a tinfoil wearing whackjob and I say this as someone who had a number of conversations personally with him in years past (read: pre-2000 -he is a nice guy personally of the sort you could talk amicably with over coffee but has some very weird views basically). Then [Bishop] Tissier de Mallerais is sorta a freelance sort who aligns closer to Williamson and is more of an uncertain one. The point is, there is not unanimity with the bishops on any one policy or view and Fellay though personally more sympathrtic all along with a Rome accommodation also as district superior needed to speak for the group as much as himself personally.

But speaking as a former chapel attender where Williamson was an occasionally the celebret and where there were some who were very out there on many issues most of the attendees are average people who did not seem to buy into the extremism. The kooks were a very vocal and rather forceful minority basically. I am not sure if that was the same all over but at the very least it would seem to represent the norm -though we had Fr. Christopher Hunter as pastor in my tenure (he is now in Veneta Oregon) who was both one of the most easygoing and moderate of the sspx pastors (not to mention being very intelligent: he and I had some wonderful conversations on everything from Thomism to Vatican II to the whole Davis vs. Armstrong debate in jazz). My guess is Williamson will become a lone ranger and de Mallerais despite sympathies will be drawn int the orbit with Fellay and de Galaretta. [Excerpt from an Email Circular (circa January 24, 2009 @9:47pm)]

Later in the week, I heard that one of my questions was answered when Fellay moved against Williamson to try and silence him. My note to the aforementioned group was as follows:

It is nice to see that Fellay has taken this step:

It shows that he and the others are serious about this. The question is what happens when Williamson does not stay silent if that happens? But as for now, it looks good. [Excerpt from an Email Circular (circa January 28, 2009 @6:05am)]

Well I did not figure that would end the matter but little did I suspect that it would develop into what it has with Pope Benedict XVI receiving a lot of criticism for this decision. First we have the pope's brother taking on German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

Father Georg Ratzinger vs. Chancellor Angela Merkel

Then there is the usual suspects from the kook opposite fringe calling for Pope Benedict XVI to step down along with understandable hurt by Jewish groups as well diplomatic stances taken by senior Vatican diplomats such as Cardinal Walter Kasper -all of which is touched on here:

Call for pope to step down over Holocaust denier

Finally, we have the pope himself not only denouncing the position taken by Bishop Williamson but also requiring that he denounce the position himself to be restored to his functions as a bishop:

Holy Father "firmly rejects" Bishop's unacceptable theories

The bottom line as I see it is that this can only help the SSPX long term because there has been an undercurrent of this kind of tinfoil hat wearing kook conspiracy theorizing practically since the very beginning and it has only gotten worse with time. It is one thing for a group like this which is not in full communion with the Catholic Church to have its authority figures talk in this fashion and it is another when the path to restoring their communion through the lifting of the excommunication incurred for the schismatic act of episcopal consecration contrary to the express consent of the Pope{1} brings this stuff to the surface from where it was long submerged.

Some positive steps have been made in the direction of mending this tear in the ecclesial cloak, some obstacles still exist{2}, etc. But the bottom line is, poisons such as those can only be expelled when they are recognized for what they are and a public airing out of them is made. Nothing positive comes from burying one's head in the sand and pretending that serious problems{3} do not exist when they do. Would that more people recognize this principle both in general as well as in particular circumstances which they do not care to talk about but I digress.


{1} The prior claims of the SSPX that they were never in schism or that the excommunications were not valid were refuted in detail by this writer nearly ten years ago. It is moot to revisit them now but I note this here anticipating what some who take pleasure in this event coming to pass will attempt to claim. (We do not endorse airbrushing the historical record here at Rerum Novarum either ourselves personally or by others who would do so whatever their intentions for doing so may be.)

{2} The claims of the SSPX that the Pope in his motu proprio restoring the full privileges of the use of the older form of the Roman Missal in doing so supported their long enunciated views on the matter is at best a half truth (to put it nicely). I do not intend barring a specific request to do so (and also being in the mood to do so) go into this matter again having done so in years past.

{3} And yes, Holocaust denial is a denial of actual history and therefore a grave offense against the truth.

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