Saturday, November 05, 2005

Responding to the Archives Meme:

The instructions given were these:

On your blog...

Go into your archives.
Find your 23rd post (or closest to it).
Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
Tag five other people to do the same thing.

Step by step...

Go into your archives.


Find your 23rd post (or closest to it).


Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).


From some of [Mr. Dreher's] comments at In Between Naps, I see that he had a 900-word limit and only four hours in which to write. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 27, 2002)]

Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

This has been done already.

Tag five other people to do the same thing.

Five other people huh??? Okay, let me see...

Jeff Miller

Greg Mockeridge

The Mighty Barrister



SecretAgent Man
"Mea Culpa" Dept.

In light of the high degree of accuracy of many of your host's analyses and predictions over the years, it is important to balance the scales and be just as forthright in pointing out the misses as the hits. Or, for those who would prefer a musical analogy, in light of mentioning the strophes it is also important to make note of the antistrophes. And while this has always been a policy at this weblog to admit to a mistake to the extent it is made, two months ago, We posted a thread on the economics behind the gas price increases in which your host made an errant prediction. To quote what was said then:

[T]here has been a push for alternative fuel sources for decades by people who are utterly ignorant of how markets actually work.[...] These same people have sought to use the federal government to raise taxes on gasoline to try and shape the buying decisions of the public. Furthermore, the same people have sought to avoid the building of any additional oil refineries in the United States for about three decades making the refineries the weakness in the entire oil-into-petrol-into-your-local-gaspump chain if you will.

And of course if you add to the above concoction a massive storm devastating a key urban center with some of the very limited numbers of refineries in close proximity; inexorably you have a recipe for increased gasoline prices and why they will go up further as a result of the storm fallout over the coming months. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 10, 2005)]

In the above example, the prediction was based on the presupposition that there was major damage to refineries and other infrastructure in the vicinity of New Orleans: a presumption that proved to be false. And while not the only reason the prices of gasoline have come down, that there was less damage to some of the few refineries we have certainly contributed to that to some extent.

That of course explains the genesis of the error but does not excuse it, it was posted on A1 so the correction is made on A1 -not Q14, X7, or Z2 as is common for the MSM or other entities to admit to their frontpage mistakes.{1}

We would be remiss in not noting that the rest of the article where the discredited prediction was made is still very much worth reading.{2} And to say that such persons are legion in their numbers would not be an exaggeration in the least. But it was important to note this publicly and prominently; ergo your host has done just that. And (for the record) this is a prediction We are quite happy to be wrong about in case anyone was wondering.


{1} If they admit to them at all of course.

{2} Since it provides a kind of basic economics lesson for those who are ignorant of basic economics viz. these kinds of issues.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Miscellaneous Threads for Reviewing:

[Update: When posting this thread, I mentioned possibly adding some threads to the post later on. This has now been done with the new first footnote which has replaced the original one where the aforementioned intention was originally manifested. -ISM 11/05/05 3:20pm]

My comments will be interspersed in regular font.

Internet Rules--The Miers denouement shows the power of the new media (John Fund)

Though he has said nothing your host has not reiterated privately as well as publicly in recent years{1}; nonetheless, John Fund's observations on the growing power of alternative media are worth reflecting upon. Here is just a sample from the above article:

One that deserves study is how a lightning-fast news cycle, a flat-footed defense and the growth of new media such as talk radio and blogs sank Ms. Miers's chances even before the megabuck special-interest groups could unload their first TV ad. Ms. Miers herself has told friends that she was astonished at how the Internet became a conveyor belt for skeptical mainstream media reports on her in addition to helping drive the debate...

While only a small minority of Americans read political blogs, they tend to attract high-profile readers in media and politics with nonstop access to a computer. Such people influence the influencers. "The Internet processed all the arguments for Miers in record time and rejected them," says Rich Lowry, editor of National Review. "A few days before the Miers withdrawal her supporters had nothing left to say."

Liberals, who were largely bystanders during the conservative family feud over Ms. Miers, are now stepping forward to tar her critics as Grand Inquisitors. "The radical right wing of the Republican Party drove this woman's nomination right out of town," thundered Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Juan Williams, a National Public Radio and Fox News analyst, compared her critics to "a far-right Donner party. They're eating their own."

In fact, the conservative critique of the Miers nomination contained almost none of the bitter invective that characterized the liberal assault on Robert Bork in 1987. Back then, Sen. Ted Kennedy set the tone of the attacks within two hours of Mr. Bork's nomination, when he charged that "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, and rogue police would break down citizens' doors in midnight raids."

In contrast, Miers critics routinely stipulated she was a good corporate litigator, a path-breaking legal talent and a good person. They emphasized two basic points: She didn't have the background for such an important appointment, and her judicial philosophy, when not unknown, was incoherent. It was the White House that suggested her opponents might be operating from "sexist" or "elitist" motives and that a knowledge of constitutional law wasn't a prerequisite for service on the high court.

Well said John!!! Moving on...

Bomb technology enters Iraq from Iran (Charles Aldinger)

Here is the opening bits from the above link:

Sophisticated technology and explosives to make improvised bombs killing U.S. and other troops in Iraq are apparently entering the country virtually unhindered from Iran, a senior British general said on Friday.

Royal Marines Maj. Gen. James Dutton spoke with reporters in a teleconference from Basra in southern Iraq a day after the Pentagon announced plans to increase efforts to find ways to defend against improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, used by insurgents that are the leading cause of U.S. casualties in the war...

Of course we are supposed to believe that a problem like this (which could be fixed with better border security) would somehow not exist if not for the US presence in Iraq. Somehow, if we pulled all troops out tomorrow and left the Iraqis with insufficient trained forces, somehow the Muslim theocracy Iran would leave the infant republic of Iraq (with its newly minted Constitution of representative government) alone. The word "naive" comes to mind to explain such a viewpoint (among other less savoury ones) but that is all that will be said on the matter at this time.

Economic Activity Jumps 3.8 Percent in Third Quarter (Randy Hall)

Not a bad third quarter of economic growth for 2005...

A nation of sheeple (Walter E. Williams)

Just a snippet from the above article to whet the appetite a bit:

President Bush informed the nation, during a press conference, that he might seek to use the U.S. military to quarantine parts of the nation should there be a serious outbreak of the deadly avian flu that has killed millions of chickens and 60-some people in Southeast Asia. That's the second time Bush has expressed a desire to use the military for local policing. The first was in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. 1385) generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the U.S. National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the U.S. Constitution or Congress.

It bears noting that those who sanction the notion of an "evolving Constitution" are incapable of arguing cogently against the increase of federal authority for matters of "security"; however, those who argue for a proper originalist understanding as Dr. Williams and your humble servant at Rerum Novarum are fully consistent in our opposition to such matters.

Ammunition for poverty pimps (Walter E. Williams)

Just a snippet from the above article to whet the appetite a bit:

Though I grow weary of pointing it out, let's do it again. Let's examine some numbers readily available from the Census Bureau's 2004 Current Population Survey and ask some questions. There's one segment of the black population that suffers only a 9.9 percent poverty rate, and only 13.7 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. There's another segment that suffers a 39.5 percent poverty rate, and 58.1 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. Among whites, one segment suffers a 6 percent poverty rate, and only 9.9 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. The other segment suffers a 26.4 percent poverty rate, and 52 percent of its under-5-year-olds are poor. What do you think distinguishes the high and low poverty populations among blacks?

Would you buy an explanation that it's because white people practice discrimination against one segment of the black population and not the other or one segment had a history of slavery and not the other? You'd have to be a lunatic to buy such an explanation...

To find out the explanation for the two divergent situations, read the article above.

Do we really care about children? (Walter E. Williams)

Again, just a snippet:

I cringe with disgust when I hear politicians say, "We're doing it for the children." What's worse is so many Americans mindlessly fall hook, line and sinker for the hype. Judging by our actions, Americans could not care less for future generations, and future generations will curse us for it...

Preach on Brother Williams!!!

Lefty Professors Crush Dissent (Beth Cleaver)

The above situation is not one that is surprising -indeed it has been a problem at colleges for a long time.{2}

Beth also has a fundraising project for the troops called Project Valor. Anyway, drop on over there and contribute what you can now or consider making a contribution soon. It is after all for a good cause.

Go in Peace Mr. President, Your Sin Has Been Forgiven (Greg Mockeridge)

The above thread constitutes Greg Mockeridge's take on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito in place of Harriet Miers.

In other news, House Speaker Dennis Hastert has taken a stand for freedom of expression on the Internet. Those who are interested in the continuing viability and influence of the alternative media should bear this in mind. Here is an except from a source I will not at this time identify:

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) issued the following statement after House Democrats rejected H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act. The bill failed 225-182. Under the House suspension rules, it needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

“Today’s action marks a sad day for one of our nation’s most sacred rights: freedom of speech. The federal government seeks to control and regulate the Internet, but the last thing this Congress should be doing is trying to stifle public debate online. This bill would have kept the hands of the federal government off of Internet speech and protected the online debate that’s underway. Our world has evolved and grown more technologically savvy. Lawmakers need to adjust to these changes. Unfortunately, opponents of online speech have decided to punish our changing technological world. It’s especially unfortunate that Democratic Leader Pelosi voted no to free speech. This bill will come back under regular order, and I encourage all those who support free speech on the Internet to make their voices heard.”

Note: When Congress passed campaign finance reform in 2002, the legislation did not identify the Internet as a target of regulation. But recently a federal judge ruled that the FEC's previous broad exemption of the Internet was impermissible, absent clear direction from Congress. HR 1606 would exclude blogs and other types of communications over the Internet from regulation by the FEC.

Remember this the next time the Democrats run for offices in your area and claim to be "for free speech." In truth, they cannot persuade people to their positions utilizing the tools of reason and logic and thus are being creamed in the alternative media viz. their influence.


{1} Among the threads where this theme has been dealt with are this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.

{2} A friend of mine who has gone back to college wrote a piece on the subject which was posted at this weblog as a guest editorial. Here is the thread if interested:

Guest Editorial On Colleges and Their Lack of Faculty Diversity (Tim Tull)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

To supplement what was noted yesterday in the last thread posted, it seems appropriate to note why the Democrats want to have these so-called "hearings" behind closed doors. In a word, it is so that the public cannot see them try to squirm out of their own prewar statements on Saddam Hussein, Iraq, WMD's and the like. To assist those who simply do not get it, I will emphasize it again for you:

Focus on Able Danger Stupid!!!

And that is the bottom line really.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

For those who think either the closed door Democrat congressional session on "pre-war intelligence" or the Libby indictment stuff this way are the "major intellgence story items of the day"--and further still, are salivating over perceived "damage to Bush's government" as a result of those issues--I have five words for you:

Focus on Able Danger Stupid!!!

For this is the real intelligence story and it is certain to not be pretty. However, if it is allowed to be swept under the rug, then Santayana will turn in his grave and we will have another 9/11 as sure as I am typing which point there will be all the predictable "what could we have done" questions which I would answer simply: "you should have focused on Able Danger stupid."

And that is the bottom line really...
Some Minor Weblog Updates:

Two additions to report on this minor weblog update:

--Inclusion of the body count logo from the Religion of Peace weblog.
--Inclusion of the link to my radio station.

Briefly on these additions...

I first made reference to the "religion of peace" weblog in the last miscellaneous threads installment of this weblog circa October 13, 2005. I have not added the weblog to the side margin yet (though I will in the next weblog update). However, adding the body count logo became a no-brainer after the bullshit from last week with the media making the 2,000th death in Iraq a front page story and the like. It is important to remember the kinds of vile animals masquerading as human beings which we are dealing with in this war on terror and not let the pseudo-"peacemakers"{1} hoodwink any more of the populace than they already have. But enough on that subject for now.

I have also started a new column category titled "music" under which I have included a radio station I have to some degree constructed from various music genres.{2} However, it needs further tweaking to play the mix as I would like it to. Nonetheless, I have decided to add the thread now and tweak with it via artist ratings when I have time to. Hopefully before Christmas it will be playing as I want it to{3} but in the meantime, what is there is what is there. Oh, it helps for those who have a yahoo account to log into it so they can get the "change channel" option. (Those who do not have a yahoo account and want to have the channel changing feature should create one.)

Oh and those who get to change channels, do not do so simply because something unfamiliar is it blues, jazz, rock and roll, funk,country, or whatever. One of the goals of that station is and will be to get beyond format radio: something I have hated for about twenty years. Anyway, the station provides one with realplayer or other capabilities to listen to music as they read the sometimes-ponderous cogitations blogged to this humble weblog. Over time, I will tweak the playing themes by rating various artists, albums, songs, etc., and banning certain songs I am sick of from being played at my station. But until then, bear with me on the station please while I tweak it here and there as time allows for it.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} This is but one of the many masks which certain odious ideologues hide under to advance their sedition under the guise of being "more 'compassionate' than thou" as they advance policies which will inexorably lead to either greater wars or totalitarianism (whichever comes first).

{2} For example, while writing this post and working on business related stuff, I have listened to Tom Petty, Rush, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, The Cartigans, Terri Clark, Steppenwolf, Elton John, Louie Armstrong, Sheryl Crow, AC DC, and Pink Floyd with Johnny Cash's singing of "Unchained" playing in my ears as I finish typing this sentence. This is not a difficult link to is directly under the listing of recent posts and bolded.

{3} I plan to upgrade it to premium by then. Until then, there will be an occasional commercial on the station about every three or four songs usually about fifteen to thirty seconds long. I apologize for this but for the time being it will have to be dealt with...fortunately it is usually a launchcaster ad for the premium service.
Though it was overshadowed by the final rush of blogging in the days prior to the election last year, I do not want to forget this year to note the souls I will be remembering on this Feast of All Souls. Here is the list in the order of (i) father's side (ii) mother's side (iii) current and former parish communities (iv) other:

Richard Dunn McElhinney f
James Dunn McElhinney u
Teresa Mildred McElhinney gm
Paul Dowd McElhinney gf
McElhinney fam
Dunn fam
Flynn fam
McCann fam
Mark Usher sgf
Virginia Usher sgm
Usher sfam
Brooks fam
Hellstrom sfam
Leta M. Allen sa

David Kanski u
Mary H. Kanski gm
Harry Kanski gf
Harold Kanski u
Kanski fam
Haluk fam
Hruby fam
Duma fam
Rogowski fam
Denny fam
Omafrey fam
Ripplinger fam
Spence fam
Mel Clark sgf
Jane Clark sgm
Clark fam

James Jenner OP p
Joseph Fulton OP p
Blessed Sacrament Parish/Dom. Priory
St. Pius X Parish
Corpus Christi Parish

Jeff Cox cl
Rasmussen ext-fam
Tull ext-fam
Anselmo ext-fam
St. Blogs ext-fam
Mike Mentzer t
Mentzer tfam
Cipriani ffam
O'Grady ffam
Bannon ffam
Ziadeh ffam
Stein ffam
Smith ffam
Roy Sabin acq
Anne Sabin acq

While I am sure more will come to mind than just those later on, they are what will be noted at this time. The link to the Purgatory Project can be found HERE and I encourage all my readers to check it out and register the names of family and friends.{1}

Eternal rest grant unto their souls O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me]. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord on that day (2 Tim i,18).


{1} One should not presume that my recommendation of the above site constitutes a blanket approval of all or even many of the other threads they have posted there. Nonetheless, they do have a good thread on explaining purgatory written by Jimmy Akin which can be read HERE and which I do highly recommend.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

On the Niger Uranium Document Forgeries:

I am currently working on a thread of JYB material intermittently. Nonetheless, this one deserves to be brought front and center because of how it impacts the whole Plame and Wilson situation on which I have touched on a few times this year.{1} Nonetheless, Bryan Preston again shows why I have long viewed his site as a necessary read with this kind of crack reporting from a few days ago. Here is just a snippet:

Rocco Martino has admitted that the French paid him to make the fake Niger-Iraq uranium documents. If the Bush administration weren't in a fog largely of its own making, it would take this story and run with it. It locks in several important Iraq-related threads and thoughts as facts: The French are our enemies, the UN is corrupt, and Joseph Wilson isn't operating in good faith and never was.

The Italian businessman at the centre of a furious row between France and Italy over whose intelligence service was to blame for bogus documents suggesting Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy material for nuclear bombs has admitted that he was in the pay of France.

Let that sink in for a minute. The French paid a man to conjure up fake documents related to Saddam's WMD ambitions and floated those documents to the US and UK...

Now as I have noted before{2}, there was an abundance of adequate rationale for utilizing the military option in Iraq when we did. This also explains in technicolour why your host has an ingrained loathing for the French government and has for a long time: they are collaborationists with the enemy. They have manifested this pattern of disingenuousness for at least sixty-five years now and now they have done it again. But enough on that for now before I really come unhinged. The bottom line is this: the French government cannot be trusted anymore than the UN can be and the sooner this is realized, the better.


{1} To note the more significant ones, there is this thread:

Briefly on the Karl Rove Situation (circa July 14, 2005)

And this excerpt from another thread.

Certainly the actions of Wilson and Plame in seeking to undermine the Administration as they did were just cause for outing them.{2} I realize that those who would lionize persons such as Deep Throat would find such a position apalling but then again I have already explained why those who view the Deep Throat situation (and by logical extension the Wilson-Plame situation) as "noble causes" of sorts are seriously askew in their operative viewpoints on these matters.{3} Ergo, no no more needs to be noted on it at this time. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 16, 2005)]

{2} Among the seventy odd threads through March 20, 2005 where this is pointed out (sixty or so of which are viewable HERE), the most fundamental of them is this onefrom February 9, 2003 where the first fully synthesized argument for the military option was promulgated at this weblog. I have not in substance departed from what I wrote then--seeing no rational arguments to persuade me to even consider it. If anything, I have developed further my position as enunciated there with the passing of time.
Jeff Miller notified me that he took and ran with a suggestion I made yesterday about a parody on the "Dancing Itos" as applicable to Judge Samuel Alito (or the "Dancing Alitos"). Well done (as always) on the parody Jeff!!!

Monday, October 31, 2005

It is Halloween; ergo the following "quiz" seems apropo...

Your Monster Profile

Brutal Murderer

You Feast On: Jack and Coke

You Lurk Around In: Closets

You Especially Like to Torment: Hippies

Well, it got two out of the three right :)
Miscellaneous Notes:

This being Halloween, it bears noting that I actually contemplated disguising myself as a moonbat and blogging intermittently throughout the day in like manner. The posts would have been short and vitriolic and would have used such labellings as "neo-cons" along with making assertions without bothering to substantiate them and all the other antics common to those who delude themselves into thinking they are substantive commentators.{1} But since I have been misunderstood before when doing weblog pranks{2}, I decided not to since it would take more time to explain it than it would be worth. But enough on that point.

On the Supreme Court nomination, it is clear that President Bush is again not going with the best possible strategery as outlined by your host in a recent blog entry. But at least he has diverged from the Miers trainwreck and I can see nothing functionally wrong with this choice. From what I know of Judge Samuel Alito{3}, he is a jurist with a sound constitutional mind so there will be no objections to this nomination except for minutiae stuff{4} which in no way will impede the support of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum. (Our support is not as vigorous as some in the blogosphere have thus far set forth; however, it is still quite ample.) Hopefully a solid batch of supportive responses will be par for the course for those who vigorously opposed the Miers nomination but only time will tell if that will be the case or not.


{1} But instead are either (i) mindless parrotters of "arguments" which are frequently pathetically easy to confute, (ii) cowardly evaders of substantive critiques of their facile "arguments" or both.

{2} An incident from over two years ago with Sandra Meisel particularly comes to mind where the target of the satire wrote me an email. She was quite obviously teed off at me and did not realize that the whole posting she objected to was a parody. And while not the only example that comes to mind, that one signalled a kind of seachange in my approach viz. parodying. Readers should not presume that I ever deluded myself into thinking I was another Curt Jester of course. However, I do occasionally dabble in satires and song parodies...just not nearly as much anymore since the incident noted above.

{3} I have to say it, I immediately thought of Judge Lance Ito when I heard the name. And for that reason, I have to ask if anyone will come up with a takeoff of the "Dancing Itos" and call it the "Dancing Alito's" ;-)

{4} For example, it will not be the pier six brawl that we would have had with a Janice Rogers Brown nomination but there will still be a fight and for that I am well pleased.