Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Adventures in Harperland, Part II: The Inevitable Post on Puffingate

Western civilisation has been blessed with many golden, sun-dappled eras of magnificent leadership.

We have been urged to love our enemies and to do unto others as we would have others do unto us.

We have been told to fight on the beaches, to fight on the landing grounds, to fight in the fields and in the streets, to fight in the hills, and to never surrender.

We have been told of a dream that, one day, we shall all be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.

But all of that was a mere rehearsal for the glorious advent of Stephen Harper, for, this week, his New Government delivered to Canadians, as an element of serious electoral discourse, the sight of a puffin taking a shit on the shoulder of the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

This, my friends, is the state of Canadian civic leadership in the Year of Our Lord 2008. It just exhausts all resources of invective.

The most depressing thing? Many people still plan to vote for these vermin. Unfathomable.

64 comments:

Catelli said...

In discussions with co-workers, I was expressing my outrage over this.

Overwhelming reaction?

"Meh, the other parties do it too."

Such is the level of regard for our political parties.

This blase acceptance bothers me on two levels. A) People refuse to accept that the Conservative party is constantly setting the standard for gutter politics beyond anything any other party has done before. B) That we don't expect or demand better, that we should just accept it 'cause that's the way things are.

Last I checked, the government (and by extension the political parties) worked for us. So therefore we have the right, the obligation to hold them accountable for this crap.

Those of us that feel that way seem to be a very small minority.

Aeneas the Younger said...

SF:

FYI ...

"Red" has hung it up again and is apparently in divorce proceedings. I think he means it this time.

I will miss that crazily intense obsessive bastard.

Aeneas the Younger said...

No sign of a Progressive Canadian or Green Candidate in Edmonton-Leduc yet ...

Aeneas the Younger said...

Should I hold my breath?

Sir Francis said...

ATY:

What?!

My Lord. I haven't been over there all day. I'll go over now and check things out.

Sir Francis said...

Well, you're right. It looks serious and rather permanent this time.

Perhaps this is just retrospective clarity, but he did seem a bit off to me over the past few weeks. And the tone of his comments in the threads of the last few posts was quite jarring--the anti-feminist stuff and the atypically sloppy spelling and syntax. Something just wasn't right.

Obviously, if blogging has taken a toll, Red is smart to suspend it. Sure, it robs us of something we've come to value, but what right have we parasites to make Red feel guilty about taking away something that isn't ours in the first place?

Still, it's odd and a bit unsettling how easy it is to become emotionally invested in the personae who communicate themselves to us through bits and bytes flitting across a screen.

Knowing Red, he'll be back soon, but with a completely different persona and "handle", to start from scratch and build a totally different readership. He's perverse that way...

Aeneas the Younger said...

I just enjoyed his independent cast of mind. We didn't agree on everything, but we agreed on what was important. I admired his openness and wit.

I don't suspect that his Blogging habit helped with the domestic arrangements, but I did glean over the years that the compatibility was in decline anyway.

I just hope the Family survives in their own way ...

Red Tory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Tory said...

How terribly perceptive.

Ti-Guy said...

"How terribly perceptive."

His voice haunts us still.

Rrrred, we hardly knew ye...

*sob*

Ti-Guy said...

And the tone of his comments in the threads of the last few posts was quite jarring--the anti-feminist stuff and the atypically sloppy spelling and syntax.

You crack me up, SF. You really do.

Sir Francis said...

Ti-Guy:

Glad I could oblige...

I was most struck by what he said about blogging being a total waste of time--a very clear-eyed statement, and unarguably true.

Strangely enough, that's not something I need to find out. I'm already perfectly aware of that, but I do it anyways--not obsessively, of course, or even in a committed way, but still...

I wonder if there is such a thing as a vocation that isn't, ultimately, a waste of time. I often walk home after a lecture, thinking quite highly of the pearls of wisdom I think I gifted my students with, and pass by a homeless wretch digging for something edible in a trash bin.

I instantly set my "achievements" beside the brokenness of the world, and realise that I've really contributed very little that will ever matter or endure.

But, to get anything done at all, to be even somewhat productive, we've got to be willing to waste a lot of time. If we can make a ton of money in the process, all the better--but, cosmologically, it's still going to be a waste, I'm afraid.

Ti-Guy said...

...and realise that I've really contributed very little that will ever matter or endure.

Guaranteed that when the Earth vanishes in a ball of flame and every last artifact representing the best of human civilisation is wiped out, the rest of the Universe will never know that we ever existed at all.

Sir Francis said...

Ti-Guy:

Indeed. Perhaps we Catholics cope better than others with the whole sub specie aeternitatis thing--otherwise known as "Fuck It All".

By the way, a few "progressive" blogs are gossiping about RT's demise and what they perceive as the ugly and unfortunate nature of the dénouement.

Gee. I guess being "progressive" doesn't include the capacity to accord a guy a break when he's clearly going through a difficult time after having provided several years of unremunerated, high-quality writing. What class...

Peter Burnet said...

Ti-Guy, that is depressing and I fear that kind of existential despair is spreading beyond the blogosphere.

Thanks and best of luck, RT.

Aeneas the Younger said...

"How terribly perceptive."

You know me Red - nothing gets in under my radar!

Snarky to the end. Just as we would have wanted ... (wipes tear from eye)

Red Tory said...

Peter — Funny stuff. I don’t know that it was an “existential epiphany” that life is a “vulgar absurdity” or whatever, so much as the wearied acceptance of the plain truth — I’m simply unable to balance work with my avocation of writing online.

As highly attractive and personally rewarding in some respects as the latter may have been, it was doing absolutely nothing to pay the bills; a fact my ex-wife loved to remind me of, and was quite starkly attested to by the $4.62 balance of my PayPal account when last I checked. In the “free market of ideas” mine were worth about $0.003/each.

Who in their right mind would spend any time on such a misadventure?

Incendiary racists are richly rewarded for their efforts — moderate liberals... not so much. There’s a lesson to be learned from that, I suppose.

Carrie said...

I'm shocked RT is really getting divorced. I thought he was kidding. Gah. This is awful.

As a regular citizen, for all of you who blog about the silly buggers in Ottawa and elsewhere, I appreciate it. Mainstream news doesn't cover half of what goes on. They tend to downplay things (Con tactics). Whenever a vote comes up, which is every year for a while now, I turn to all of you to get the real scoop.

I think all of you deserve to be paid. Maybe you could all get together and start something, a la rabble etc., and make it business paying venture. (I don't find anything of value at rabble very often) I would greatly appreciate it. You're the only balanced voices I've found and I direct average Canadians online to RT all the time. Now I'll point them this way.

Also, I saw in comments RT was kicked off Liblogs? WTF? He was one of the ONLY good bloggers on that thing. Jeez.

Peter Burnet said...

RT:

I had one for a few months following several years of intense, enjoyable blogging on various blogs with more or less the same gang--a pretty smart lot. Enjoyed it tremendously and tried to steer it towards more subtle argument and advocacy. Then one day I found myself heading to court for a trial and, instead of thinking about my client's case, I was trying to compose a devastating, witty reply to a commenter who I had been arguing with for years about the same things, making the same points in much the same language. Called it quits right there.

But Aeneas has pegged why blogging isn't forever. Too much extremism, invective and personal insulting. Eventually one wakes up and decides hate is very boring.

That's why I enjoy Sir Francis's writing so much, especially on Harper and the U.S. All those shades of gray. :-)

Red Tory said...

Actually no, I wasn't "kicked off" Liblogs as it turns out. It was a technical glitch, a "database error" or something... That just happened to coincide with my current disaffection and disillusionment regarding blogs, liberals and everything in general. ;)

Ti-Guy said...

But Aeneas has pegged why blogging isn't forever. Too much extremism, invective and personal insulting. Eventually one wakes up and decides hate is very boring.

Hate is ugly. Inchoate anger, which North American society seems to confuse with critical thinking, is what is boring. And what bothers me most is that inchoate anger makes me angry. In real life, I don't have to put up with it. But in this medium (and in the mainstream media generally), it's in your face all the time. If I ran a blog, the first people to be banned and their comments deleted would be the screeming meemies who show up just to let you know how incensed they are, either directly, or passive-aggressively.

Aeneas the Younger said...

I am disgusted with myself when I get caught-up in hateful exchanges (yes, that includes you too Ti-Guy ...), as I not only feel tremendous guilt about my participation, but also am given to remember why I left formal party politics 18 years ago.

I don't believe in ideology. I believe in reason. The truth is out there, but invariably it is in the middle. And no one sees virtue in the middle anymore.

You know - as an example - Mackenzie King did more to consciously Americanise Canada than any other Premier in our History; but, at the end of his days at Kingsmere, he did confess that it all went too far, and that he felt that if Canada was to survive as a distinct place in North America that it would have to remember the best of what it once was.

I relate this to you - not only because it serves my worldview, although it does do that I admit - but because is shows that with age comes wisdom, and that a man of obvious worldly success such as WLMK came to see that the central tenet of his belief system was fundamentally incorrect.

Of course, he was on his deathbed and could do nothing about it, but the point is that we all have to consider the fact that we COULD be wrong.

The only incontrovertible belief I hold is in a moderate and caring Divinity and the Monarchy - and that is because they both have stood the test of time for well over 1000 years. To me it seems reasonable that they exist and have proven to demonstrate efficacy to our Civilisation.

To me, almost everything else is up for grabs. It has to be.

Sir Francis said...

Called it quits right there.

I do hope you managed to finish your "devastating, witty reply".

Who was your client, by the way? Was it the Queen, or was it some scofflaw blackguard who fully deserved the doubtless catastrophic consequences of your unconscionable neglect?

I think all of you deserve to be paid.

My thoughts exactly. ;)

Eventually one wakes up and decides hate is very boring.

Ah ha! I think we've just discovered the secret ingredient of Stephen Harper's peculiar "charisma".

That's why I enjoy Sir Francis's writing so much... All those shades of gray.

LOL! Touché.

Yeah, I'm a "white or black, right or wrong" kind of guy. In the immediate post-9/11 era, this was known as "moral clarity", which, as it was used as pretext for indiscriminate bombings and fraudulent invasions, sank into disrepute. But I'm bringing it back, baby!

Red Tory said...

"a moderate and caring divinity..." How charmingly naïve.

Moderate? I suggest you consult your Bible (Psalms 139) and discover the original Stalinist “Big Brother”:

Jehovah, thou has searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, And art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, But, lo, O Jehovah, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, And laid thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: It is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascent up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in Sheol behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall overwhelm me, And the light about me shall be night: Even the darkness hideth not from thee. But the night shineth as the day: The darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou didst form my inward parts: Thus didst cover me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.

Or refer to Naham 1-2:

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.

As for love, John 2:15-16 has this to say:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world"

According to the Bible, one must forswear the material world and exclusively serve God — a mean spirited, all-intrusive, divine busy-body.

I could go on...

Your “moderate and caring divinity” is a pleasing notion, but nothing more than pure invention.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Red:

Perhaps. But if we could follow the "ethics", rather than the literal commands that the fundies call "religion", them maybe we could get somewhere.

Once again, extremism is the problem.

It's all about reason for me.

Aeneas the Younger said...

I believe Christianity is an ethic - and NOT a shopping list of rules & commands. I believe the Scriptures are to be interpreted through the prism of reason.

I am sure Sir Francis and Ryan would agree ...

Having said that, I respect your position on the matter. I do think it is unfair that you lump the reasonably religious in with the fundamentalists.

liberal supporter said...

How terribly perceptive.

I don't buy it.

There is an election just called, and suddenly one of the best voices we have is "quitting"?

I don't think so.

We know there has been a relentless campaign against RT. His real name and location are regularly published. Trolls regularly infest his blogs. Threats are made.

So who got to you? Who made the credible threat?

Was it Patrick?

Was it johnathon?

Was it fred?

Was it richard?



This sort of shit can and does happen. I don't put it past any of the shrieking far right people we keep running into. That is why I am extreme in my precautions to avoid being outed by these vigilantes.

Problem is, RT will have to say "oh no no, it's nothing to do with that" since the perp will be watching.

Just find a way to tell someone.

Who was it?

Red Tory said...

ATY — Heh. We could have a rather interesting discussion about religion being some kind of fuzzy, generalized “ethic” as opposed to a “shopping list” of rules and commandants. I’m quite intrigued by the rather blasé theology of convenience that seems to inform the religious viewpoint of many Anglicans (or, as you like to describe them “reasonably religious” — itself a quite amusing, oxymoronic contradiction in terms).

Red Tory said...

Ah… the so-called “Liberal supporter”… a conspiratorial crackpot who refused to comment on any site that might potentially identify his/her location. Your opinion is worth precisely zero. Allow me to dispense immediately with all of your harebrained theories by stating they’re complete rubbish. Allow me to further suggest you get a life.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Here's a starting point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_humanism

Red Tory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catelli said...

Good luck to you Red, look forward to your return. (I can hope, can't I?)

I hope your personal and professional life settle out and reward you once again.

Your voice will be missed. From my perspective, your efforts at maintaining balance and reason were not entirely without benefit, if not in the monetary sense.

Aeneas the Younger said...

And here is a modern martyr to the ideal of Christian Humanism and ethics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer

Ryan said...

I suppose I will add an obligatory comment to a thread that somehow turned religious.

Meh, Red Tory and the rest can read the Bible in the same way that the fundies do--literally, that is. "But the Bible says this" they all say. It's fun to quote scripture self-righteously (from either end, mind you) and feel so good about yourself having transcended the foolishness of the buffoonery of the past into the age of perfect scientific progress. Yet, the human capacity for violence has increased exponentially along with supposed "progress." Modern secular humanism has it's own "theologies of convenience" as well you'll find.

There is an underlying spirit in the gospels which lends itself to physical or spiritual liberation. I for one, never truly appreciated the Bible until I was half-way through my undergraduate degree in English lit. Text is not God, but the Bible is full of a wisdom of a different kind--some contextual and some eternal. But they all point the in the same direction.

Ryan said...

And ATY--no need to justify that there is "good Christianity" out there. Canadian history, especially, has borne that out. One of the problems is that we have been trying to convince critics for so long that we aren't like the fundamentalists that we haven't spent any energy on bringing proof of the gospels. We would rather secularize the church with mainstream "liberal" values than bring the sacred into the world--to usher in the kingdom, so to speak.

Catelli said...

ATY:

It is interesting that you propose viewing the scriptures through a "prism of reason".

It was that "prism of reason" that finally caused me to lose faith altogether. Only recently have I fully embraced atheism (however reluctantly. I do find the atheist world a little cold and uncaring, but reason is what keeps me there.)

That reluctance does make me wish for some higher purpose or being. The thought that we are here just as an evolutionary by product is depressing to me. It is for that reason I find Richard Dawkins annoying. He purports that since this is the only life we have, and it is finite, to enjoy it while we can, and look around with wonder.

Well as Sr. Francis put earlier, you look around and you see a lot of "brokenness in the world". Many people's "finite" lives will exist in only misery and despair, and the only hope for them, from an atheist standpoint, is that they will cease to exist and with their consciousness all their pain and suffering. It is a depressing and morbid thought.

Don't mistake me, I do admire those like yourself that can hold on to their faith. I come from a religious family, and admire those of my relations that act as lights to the world both in their personal lives and with their faith. It is that illumination, that hope, that faith in a higher being gives. I find atheism/reason does not provide that same hope that same sense of purpose, even though that is where I now stand.

But regardless, I end where I started. If you apply too much reason in analyzing your faith, you may find as I did that faith couldn't stand the test.

Aeneas the Younger said...

catelli:

Thanks for your thoughts. Perhaps I do not convey my meaning clearly enough.

When I speak of "ethics" I do not mean "rules." I essentially refer the central message of Christ:

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" -- Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27 (also Leviticus 19:18)

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ -- Matthew 25:34-40.

An anecdote if you will; when I was younger and re-embracing my Faith, I became homophobic. Why? Because I believed that I had to be to be a good Christian. After all, wasn't it a sin?

However, as I came to understand the ethics of Christianity, I realised the (1) we are all sinners, and (2) it is NOT my place to judge others.

A homosexual man is first and foremost - a (hu)man. I must understand and accept this primary fact. He is part of this world and his sins are no worse than mine. In that there is an equality that becomes apparent. More importantly, is he a good man? Is he a kind man? Is he a nice man? Do I reject and abhor him merely because his sexual identity is different than mine? Is that the sum total of this man?

I came to see that he is my Brother, and I am my Brother's keeper. His essence is no different than mine. He is different than me, but that does not mean that he is lesser than me.

To me, this central ethic within my Faith must be the guiding light.

Do I practice it well and consistently? No. Do I transgress the ethic from time-to-time? Yes.

This is the central struggle within my own heart, which is why I had to leave politics. The partisan conflict brings out the very worst in me - and I loathe how I come to behave in the arena.

This is why I become so angry about unthinking partisanship - whether it be based on a political party, or on a cultural identification - or some such other parameter.

Unthinking and reflexive partisanship reminds me of the "beast in me." It runs counter to the Golden Rule.

At any rate, the faiths that core their belief around the Old Testament and Biblical literalism remind me of unthinking partisans.

How did Christ command us to live? That is more important than what the Book of Genesis tell us happened some unmeasurable time ago.

This is what Christian Humanists and Christian ethics are concerned with - how to live a better and more ethical life. NOT a purer and more self-righteous life.

Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness diatribe here. I just think living with a sense of justice and concern for other human beings trumps some arcane and ancient rule about sexuality. That is what I mean about using reason. Isn't the core of Christ's teaching more important the the commands of the Old Testament? Christ taught an ethic - not a system of rules.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Which is another reason why Harper trumpeting his "faith" annoys me. It is all an act. He is playing a role.

Aeneas the Younger said...

catelli:

Also, I am not looking to prove that God exists. That's an "Article of Faith" that drives Red crazy.

I am trying to use reason to understand how to live a good life.

Do you have to be a Christian to live an ethical life? No.

For a real Christian-thinking person it is the framework of their ethical life.

Are most Christians THINKING Christians? Again .... No.

Most "Christians" live by a situational faith and buy only that which they are told. This is my central problem with formal Roman Catholicism (sorry Sir Francis ...).

But God gave us Free-Will and expected us to use and apply it.

Some of us try to.

Aeneas the Younger said...

I always simplified reformed Christianty as:

Faith + Reason.

Catelli said...

Actually ATY, I did understand your meaning. It was where I was in my faith at one time, as part of my evolution to an atheist.

I came to see that he is my Brother, and I am my Brother's keeper. His essence is no different than mine. He is different than me, but that does not mean that he is lesser than me.

To me, this central ethic within my Faith must be the guiding light.


This is what Christian Humanists and Christian ethics are concerned with - how to live a better and more ethical life. NOT a purer and more self-righteous life.

Those are the attributes that I admire. Faith is an inner journey, and using it for self-betterment and as a yard stick to measure oneself against, can make it a valuable asset.

It is that aspect that I have not found a replacement for in my life as an atheist. I do it because I want to, but that doesn't suffice sometimes.

I do like to think that the dual aspects of my life do add important perspective, and keep me in balance when discussing matters of faith and religion with those that do not share my current viewpoint.

Thank-you for your thoughts. They were most illuminating.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Ryan wrote:

"We would rather secularize the church with mainstream "liberal" values than bring the sacred into the world--to usher in the kingdom, so to speak."

This is the problem with the takeover of the Protestant realm in Canada by American Evangelical Churches. It is why I remain consciously Anglican.

Aeneas the Younger said...

catelli:

No. Thank-You.

My journey went from a culturally-observant Anglican to agnostic and back to classical Anglicanism (of a sort) again.

I have been where you are. You are correct - it can provide a counter-balance and solid perspective.

I wish you luck on your journey.

Red Tory said...

ATY — Your "ethical" construct of religion isn't lost on me — quite far from it. I just find it kind of funny that you place religion as being the central and primary tenant of your whole political outlook even though the existence of your God is a highly dubious fiction, as must everything that derives from it by way of authority. There's a rather illogical and magical conundrum involved with your philosophy in that it must first defy reason in order to exist at all.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Red:

Are you saying that Jesus Christ did not exist - as a sentient man?

I don't know if that has ever been disproved.

Perhaps you are referring to a monotheistic "God" ?

At any rate, we could do worse than live by Christ's ethics. If God does not exist, the ethics certainly do.

Aeneas the Younger said...

I am not devoted to the idea of "the magic man in the sky" concept of God.

That is for children.

Catelli said...

There's a rather illogical and magical conundrum involved with your philosophy in that it must first defy reason in order to exist at all.

Ahhh, but Red, is that not the definition of faith? Faith is illogical.

Faith and Reason co-exist, its part of our dual-nature as humans. If I remember the context correctly, there was a research paper published that claimed our need for faith is an evolutionary trait, it evolved and stays with us a competitive advantage.

Layers within layers.

Aeneas the Younger said...

I still think you take these things too literally. Which is why you are railing against the literalism of superstition. Fair enough ?

Catelli said...

Ah yes:

Here http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20361761-29677,00.html

and here
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/120700.php

in a sense, arguing against someones need for faith is arguing against their need to breathe.

Its part of who we are.

Aeneas the Younger said...

"Faith and Reason co-exist, its part of our dual-nature as humans."

This duality is at the core of the human condition.

That is why I cannot be an adherent of a Church that builds their edifice on Faith alone.

It is also the reason why I cannot be an adherent of a Group that relies solely on Reason.

To me, Roman Catholicism and Atheism are polar opposites. They both exist at the extreme margins of human consciousness.

Fascism and Communism occupy the same relationship - to my mind anyway.

Aeneas the Younger said...

I cannot wait for Sir Francis to jump in on this one!

Catelli said...

As much as I am enjoying this, I have to pause and get some sleep.

As Red put it in his goodbye, blogging doesn't pay the bills. However, work does, and for that I need some rest.

However unsatisfying that work can be.

Another duality to explore?

;)

Red Tory said...

Did Jesus exist? Questionable. Also beside the point. You place faith and dubious assertions that you don't even seem all that clear about with any degree of certainty as key to your political thought that you assert with absolute confidence and righteousness. I find this mix of ideas rather curious.

Sir Francis said...

ATY:

I cannot wait for Sir Francis to jump in on this one!

LOL! Nope. Not taking the bait on that one.

As the only Catholic in the vicinity, I think I'll just watch the starving lions on this thread prowl around from the safety of the cheap seats, thank you very much...

Red Tory said...

I should have adopted that attitude regarding religious matters. Much more efficient than discussing them.

Peter Burnet said...

Give it up, ATY. The layers of philosophical protection the modern secular mind surrounds itself with are thicker than the concrete that envelopes a nuclear bunker. You are arguing with a man who is terrified some American fundamentalist wingnut will be elected to high office and start pushing buttons to hasten the Rapture, but who thinks it is really cool scientists are trying to replicate the Big Bang.

Aeneas the Younger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aeneas the Younger said...

Again, I find myself in the "meaty middle" ... philosophically-speaking.

I am a little surprised Sir Francis chose not to play, but I respect that choice. For the record, I do not challenge the need for mysticism and reverence that the unreformed Church can provide. I just reject "blind" faith, the notion of Papal infallibility, and some of the Churches Law that seems to have little basis in the Christian ethic - such as Priestly celibacy.

But that is just me trying to establish a dialogue. I still think Red and Sir Francis are marvellous fellows however, and I think we have more in common that that which divides us.

If Red has in fact given up his hobby of throwing-up 30 or so thought-provoking posts per day, then I at least hope he sticks around for the repartee.

Aeneas the Younger said...

"You are arguing with a man who is terrified some American fundamentalist wingnut will be elected to high office and start pushing buttons to hasten the Rapture, but who thinks it is really cool scientists are trying to replicate the Big Bang."

*Fundamentalist wingnuts in the USA are play-acting for the most part - the ones with communal power anyway. Sara Palin is as fake as a Four-Dollar Bill.

*I am interested in the science that is unearthed in the Big-Bang experiment - I have no problem with it. I do think mankind has other priorities of of a more pressing temporal nature at the moment, but since we have surrendered out lives to technique, there seems to be no choice but to sit back and watch it all unfold. I am a Grantian conservative after-all. Que Sera.

Aeneas the Younger said...

" ... your political thought that you assert with absolute confidence and righteousness."

Confidence - yes. Righteousness? I don't think so.

I know I am on the losing-side of the debate. I am engaged in a Lamentation.

My only sure political view is that of Constitutional Monarchy and the Westminster system of Parliamentary Democracy. I defend that with confidence, because it has been shown to work and it is the least objectionable system I have observed and can conceive of being. That does not make me "righteous", but rather more a defender of a successful convention.

You know, Reddo, Canada has been a pretty good experiment compared to the good 'ol USA. We change out governments more often and we have a pretty good diversity of political representation. As well, our republican movement is weak and marginalised.

That does not mean we are not screwed though - we care so little for what Canadian Civic Values mean and represent, that we are allowing them to "pass away as if in a dream."

Red Tory said...

Confidence - yes. Righteousness? I don't think so.

The word has negative connotations, but it’s applicable I think — and more than that, quite necessary. One can hardly advocate the notion of monarchy without it.

Aeneas the Younger said...

From Wikipedia:

"Righteousness (also called rectitude) in this article refers to the important theological concept in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. It is an attribute that implies that a person's actions are justified, and can have the connotation that the person has been "judged" or "reckoned" as leading a life that is pleasing to God. Righteousness is also used as an attribute for God. Psalm 2 speaks of one being shielded by God and receiving favor because of righteousness."

Perhaps you mean to use the term in a different way?

I accept that The Queen has a divine right (1000 years of Monarchy would seem to verify that claim), but I do not think that this right is absolute.

I concede some of Hobbes.

liberal supporter said...

Ah… the so-called “Liberal supporter”… a conspiratorial crackpot who refused to comment on any site that might potentially identify his/her location.

Perhaps you could elaborate on "so-called". That is simply what I call myself. I chose the name because I first commented on BT blogs and wanted there to be no mistake that I am not one of them. I do tend to defend the Liberal viewpoint, so what makes me "so called"?


Your current attitude makes me feel completely vindicated in my refusal to comment at your site (actually I refused to access it at all) once you moved off blogger.

I simply don't need someone, who is currently lashing out at everyone else, unilaterally decide to release information that would make my life hell. Though quite frankly, I am not concerned about that from you. My main concern (not just about you) is about your accounts being compromised, and someone else gaining information about me. You produce great content, but your system level skills seem weak enough that your computing environment could be compromised. Especially considering you are targeted by various people.

Call me conspiratorial if you wish. I don't see it that way. Every time I drive my car, I do things to avoid being killed. I've never been in an accident in an intersection, yet every time I approach one, I assess the situation for cars running the light on the cross street. Does that make me paranoid? A conspiratorial crackpot? I consider "conspiracies" as a possibility every day too. I dismiss all those pretty quickly, but I never simply stop thinking about possibilities.

I don't find the habit of looking both ways before entering an intersection is consuming my life or causing me to hide under a tin foil hat. Nor does looking at all the possibilities in any situation. In fact, it is my opinion that looking at all the possibilities is what accounts for my career success. Some call it "thinking outside the box". Do you consider that as being a "conspiratorial crackpot"?


Your opinion is worth precisely zero.

Duly noted.


Allow me to dispense immediately with all of your harebrained theories by stating they’re complete rubbish.

Good to hear. I even believe you.

If I was really producing "harebrained" theories, I would suggest that your systems have already been compromised, and someone else has usurped your online identity. That would go a long way to explain the personality change that I am observing.


Allow me to further suggest you get a life.

Another uncalled for comment, but one that again convinces me that I am right to maintain a high level of security. In fact, at times I wish I did have less of a life, and I could be more active online.


This whole "security" thing is a big deal for me. I still recall guys in high school, openly smoking pot and even dealing it. Everyone just thought nothing of it, then one day they are gone. Busted.

Perhaps to you it is all fun and games. I'm sure people in other countries in the past thought the same until some dicatorship is suddenly installed, and their supporters have nice long lists of people who end up being the first to be killed. Madame Defarge, anyone?

Don't ever think "that could never happen here".

Red Tory said...

Hmmm. Sounds a bit crazy to me.

It’s a rather sad comment on your life that you feel so threatened by… well, I’m not exactly what — nefarious powers who you suspect might stealthily “compromise my accounts” and thereby find out something about you.

Pass that off as reasonable circumspection if you wish, but I’d call it delusional, egotistical paranoia.

In any case, good luck with that.