Ron Paul Sucked in the Florida Debate

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About Funky Dung

Who is Funky Dung? 29-year-old grad student in Intelligent Systems (A.I.) at the University of Pittsburgh. I consider myself to be politically moderate and independent and somewhere between a traditional and neo-traditional Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, spent a number of years as an agnostic, and joined the Catholic Church at the 2000 Easter Vigil. Why Funky Dung? I haven't been asked this question nearly as many times as you or I might expect. Funky Dung is a reference to an obscure Pink Floyd song. On the album Atom Heart Mother, there is a track called Atom Heart Mother Suite. It's broken up into movements, like a symphony, and one of the movements is called Funky Dung. I picked that nickname a long time ago (while I was still in high school I think), shortly after getting an internet connection for the first time. To me it means "cool/neat/groovy/spiffy stuff/crap/shiznit", as in "That's some cool stuff, dude!" Whence Ales Rarus? I used to enjoy making people guess what this means, but I've decided to relent and make it known to all. Ales Rarus is a Latin play on words. "Avis rarus" means "a rare bird" and carries similar meaning to "an odd fellow". "Ales" is another Latin word for bird that carries connotations of omens, signs of the times, and/or augery. If you want to get technical, both "avis" and "ales" are feminine (requiring "rara", but they can be made masculine in poetry (which tends to breaks lots of rules). I decided I'd rather have a masculine name in Latin. ;) Yeah, I'm a nerd. So what? :-P Wherefore blog? It is my intention to "teach in order to lead others to faith" by being always "on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful" through the "use of the communications media". I also act knowing that I "have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors [my] opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and [I] have a right to make [my] opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward [my and their] pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons." (adapted from CCC 904-907) Statement of Faith I have been baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I, therefore, renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements. I hold and profess all that is contained in the Apostles' Creed, the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church. I am obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That is, I promote and defend authentic Catholic Teaching and Faith in union with Christ and His Church and in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter. Thanks be unto Thee, O my God, for all Thy infinite goodness, and, especially, for the love Thou hast shown unto me at my Confirmation. I Give Thee thanks that Thou didst then send down Thy Holy Spirit unto my soul with all His gifts and graces. May He take full possession of me for ever. May His divine unction cause my face to shine. May His heavenly wisdom reign in my heart. May His understanding enlighten my darkness. May His counsel guide me. May His knowledge instruct me. May His piety make me fervent. May His divine fear keep me from all evil. Drive from my soul, O Lord, all that may defile it. Give me grace to be Thy faithful soldier, that having fought the good fight of faith, I may be brought to the crown of everlasting life, through the merits of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Behind the Curtain: an Interview With Funky Dung (Thursday, March 03, 2005) I try to avoid most memes that make their way 'round the blogosphere (We really do need a better name, don't we?), but some are worth participating in. Take for instance the "interview game" that's the talk o' the 'sphere. I think it's a great way to get to know the people in neighborhood. Who are the people in your neighborhood? In your neighborhod? In your neigh-bor-hoo-ood...*smack* Sorry, Sesame Street flashback. Anyhow, I saw Jeff "Curt Jester" Miller's answers and figured since he's a regular reader of mine he'd be a good interviewer. Without further ado, here are my answers to his questions. 1. Being that your pseudonym Funky Dung was chosen from a Pink Floyd track on Atom Heart Mother, what is you favorite Pink Floyd song and why? Wow. That's a tuffy. It's hard to pick out a single favorite. Pink Floyd isn't really a band known for singles. They mostly did album rock and my appreciation of them is mostly of a gestalt nature. If I had to pick one, though, it'd be "Comfortably Numb". I get chills up my spine every time I hear it and if it's been long enough since the last time, I get midty-eyed. I really don't know why. That's a rather unsatisfying answer for an interview, so here are the lyrics to a Rush song. It's not their best piece of music, but the lyrics describe me pretty well.

New World Man He's a rebel and a runner He's a signal turning green He's a restless young romantic Wants to run the big machine He's got a problem with his poisons But you know he'll find a cure He's cleaning up his systems To keep his nature pure Learning to match the beat of the old world man Learning to catch the heat of the third world man He's got to make his own mistakes And learn to mend the mess he makes He's old enough to know what's right But young enough not to choose it He's noble enough to win the world But weak enough to lose it --- He's a new world man... He's a radio receiver Tuned to factories and farms He's a writer and arranger And a young boy bearing arms He's got a problem with his power With weapons on patrol He's got to walk a fine line And keep his self-control Trying to save the day for the old world man Trying to pave the way for the third world man He's not concerned with yesterday He knows constant change is here today He's noble enough to know what's right But weak enough not to choose it He's wise enough to win the world But fool enough to lose it --- He's a new world man...
2. What do you consider your most important turning point from agnosticism to the Catholic Church. At some point in '99, I started attending RCIA at the Pittsburgh Oratory. I mostly went to ask a lot of obnoxious Protestant questions. Or at least that's what I told myself. I think deep down I wanted desperately to have faith again. At that point I think I'd decided that if any variety of Christianity had the Truth, the Catholic Church did. Protestantism's wholesale rejection of 1500 years of tradition didn't sit well with me, even as a former Lutheran. During class one week, Sister Bernadette Young (who runs the program) passed out thin booklet called "Handbook for Today's Catholic". One paragraph in that book spoke to me and I nearly cried as I read it.
"A person who is seeking deeper insight into reality may sometimes have doubts, even about God himself. Such doubts do not necessarily indicate lack of faith. They may be just the opposite - a sign of growing faith. Faith is alive and dynamic. It seeks, through grace, to penetrate into the very mystery of God. If a particular doctrine of faith no longer 'makes sense' to a person, the person should go right on seeking. To know what a doctrine says is one thing. To gain insight into its meaning through the gift of understanding is something else. When in doubt, 'Seek and you will find.' The person who seeks y reading, discussing, thinking, or praying eventually sees the light. The person who talks to God even when God is 'not there' is alive with faith."
At the end of class I told Sr. Bernadette that I wanted to enter the Church at the next Easter vigil. 3. If you were a tree what kind of, oh sorry about that .. what is the PODest thing you have ever done? I set up WikiIndex, a clearinghouse for reviews of theological books, good, bad, and ugly. It has a long way to go, but it'll be cool when it's finished. :) 4. What is your favorite quote from Venerable John Henry Newman? "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt." 5. If you could ban one hymn from existence, what would it be? That's a tough one. As a member of the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, there are obviously a lot of songs that grate on my nerves. If I had to pick one, though, I'd probably pick "Sing of the Lord's Goodness" by Ernie Sands.

14 thoughts on “Ron Paul Sucked in the Florida Debate

  1. Funky Dung

    Mickey Mouse, maybe? Seriously, as long as RP is running, he’ll have my vote. If he drops out, I’ll either vote for a nobody (Libertarian, Constitutionalist, Green, etc) or not vote at all.

  2. Tom Smith

    “…or not vote at all.”

    Mad props, homie. People get all over me when I say I’d rather not vote than vote for a crappy candidate. Seriously though, the lesser of two (or three, or four…) evils is still an evil.

  3. Pingback: The State of the Ron Paul Campaign @ Ales Rarus

  4. gbm3

    About other candidates:

    In the R. primary, being realistic, Sen. McCain (rosebud?) will prob. win. If he does, I’d rather have him win than Sen. Clinton or Sen. da Bomb. Sorry to say, voting third party will not send a message, it will send scary scary liberal judges to the top bench and abortion doctors in every city. (We have enough in MD as it is.)

    Yes, I am spouting recent R. propaganda, but at this point reality must set in.

    I’m ready for the back lash from FD et al. (closing my eyes , grimmicing for the hit).


  5. Funky Dung

    I’ve rethought my earlier comment about voting for Mickey Mouse. In 2000 I voted for Nader. In 2004 I voted for Peroutka. Both votes were to protest the corrupt two-party system. Looking back on the 8 years of evil that Bush, et al., have wrought, I must confess some regret (Try not to hurt yourself gloating, John). My ignorance of Bush’s true nature in 2000 makes my belief that he and Gore sucked about equally at least a defendable position. Also, I could not have foreseen 9/11 and how it would be abused to launch pre-emptive wars and infringe on civil rights. My choice in 2004 is less defendable, for obvious reasons.

    So, here I am in 2008. The candidate I backed isn’t going to win. He may not even speak at the national convention. What should I do? Well, I can’t in good conscience vote for trigger happy McInsane. You couldn’t pay me to. He plays lip service to life and family issues, at best, and he’s a warmongering neocon. Hell will freeze before I vote for that psycho.

    If in November it’s Hillary vs. McCain, I really do think they’re just about interchangeable. I will vote for neither. Between Obama vs. McCain, I’d probably hold my nose and pull the lever for Obamalamadingdong. He can’t possibly suck as badly as Hillary or McCain. In the unlikely event of Obama vs. Huckabee, I’d vote Obama. With Hillary vs. Huckabee, I might just hold my nose for Huckleberry.

    Let me repeat, Gerry, there is NO F***ING WAY I will vote for the murder-happy, central bankmongering police statist McCain. A vote for him is a vote for WWIII.

  6. Jerry

    Gbm3, I understand your points, and have voted for Bush with that logic. However, the conservatives have proven to be their own worst enemy, and McCain seems raring to go after Iran and kick up a few more hornet’s nests while we’re still struggling to handle what Bush started.

    I will not vote for a pro-choice presidential candidate, but neither will I vote for anyone who claims to be pro-life without question. McCain was little more conservative than Romney on the life issue, and he is an embryonic research supporter. Since much of his popularity seems to stem from his willingness to thumb his nose at conservatives, I think Romney would be a better pro-life candidate–at least Romney might have stayed “bought”, since he specifically reached out to religious Christians in his campaign.

    Voting uncritically for any Republican who claims to be pro-life could undermine the cause, much like uncritical support for “civil rights” has allowed politicians like Sharpton or Jackson to beat us over the head with MLK Jr. whenever their behavior has been called into question. Neither the pro-life nor the civil rights movements are identical with a particular candidate or party, and ignoring that has been damaging to both. (Note to pro-lifers: I consider supporting Feminists for Life and the pregnancy care centers in times like this particularly important, since they help establish a culture of life that does not depend on voting trends and whether one party or another is making a particular fool of itself.)

    A good loss would probably do wonders for the GOP–perhaps it would allow Republicans to question Bush’s policies without being shouted down, and would allow some of the new blood that the Paul campaign brought in to come into their own. This wouldn’t be the first time that it had to get worse before it got better.

  7. gbm3

    Well, I can’t in good conscience vote for trigger happy McInsane. You couldn’t pay me to. He plays lip service to life and family issues, at best, and he’s a warmongering neocon. Hell will freeze before I vote for that psycho.

    Let me repeat, Gerry, there is NO F***ING WAY I will vote for the murder-happy, central bankmongering police statist McCain. A vote for him is a vote for WWIII. -FD

    FD, I respect your position, but there is no need for the f’ing.

    I agree with most of your points, but I don’t think he’s trigger “happy”. He has defended the professional military’s judgment and has talked about victory in Iraq, but I do not believe he wants to charge into another country (I heard somewhere (sorry no link) that he’s willing to work with the UN regarding Iran as the UN is also not happy about the situation). He wants to clean up past messes to the best of his (and his advisers’) ability.

    As far as lip service to life issues, the vote that everyone is talking about (ESCR) was a terrible decision, but it’s better to the dozens of votes and sponsored bills (ex: ) that the Dem candidates accepted (etc.).

    As far letting the R. party loose, it will probably send a message that Bush Jr. did a terrible job and that the R. party must rethink its position (towards Dr. Paul’s platform), but, in my humble, imperfect position, getting more Constitutionalists on the bench is more important to me (the sinner I am, and all them those ye polo shirter politico persons).


  8. gbm3

    One more thing.

    Obviously, I’m a one issue voter on abortion. There are two main points to this stance: 1. it’s a numbers game, hundreds of thousands die in abortion each year ( ), while in the Iraq war, less than 5000 ( ) have died (I assume pre-birthed human persons are equal in value to born adults). 2. The only way to change the laws is a. amend the constitution to i. include the Declaration of independence defining “life” as all human life from conception to natural death and/or ii. define human personal life from natural conception to death or b. overturn Roe et al. from the supreme court. In order to change 2a-b, one must elect as pro-life a candidate as possible; directly relating to the president, I must vote for the candidate more likely to appoint a pro-life judge; in this election, McCain most likely will, in my judgment.

    Furthermore, I do not believe McCain himself and his cronies will push us into WWIII (see above comment); it’s a judgment call with which FD et al. obviously disagree.

    Please provide more information, if you would, to demonstrate that McCain will start WWIII. I would like to see it. (I can’t really prove he won’t (in the negative).)


  9. Jerry

    GBM: McCain still refers to old Vietnam captors as “gooks”. He speaks lightly of sending our children to Iraq as he says he’s fine with a 100 years of Iraqi occupation, citing our continuing occupations of South Korea and Germany, never mind that Koreans and Germans don’t have memories of Crusades and a religion that often defines itself by those old wars. (Never mind that those occupations have lived past their useful lifetimes some time ago.)

    I don’t know about WWIII or anything, but I see a loose cannon who is quite comfortable with fighting and endless military actions and racial slurs (consider that Vietnam is a friend and possible counterweight to Chinese influence in Southeast Asia–do we need this embarassment in the Senate, let alone the White House?). We need someone with a calmer head, who actually learned the right lessons from Vietnam.

    I reiterate that the prolife movement must be willing to discipline its own, and not just give a blank check to anyone who happens to fill out the right responses to those questionnaires that the NRLC sends out to see what candidates think on an issue. And heck, McCain wanted to expand embryonic reserach, and was pretty prochoice on the whole until he wanted be president in 2000. Will you really get any more favorable numbers from this guy, who may well expand the war on those who are unborn and those born alike? Do you like the idea that he’s promising our children’s and grandchildren’s lives to occupy a country that doesn’t want us there? Heck, he won’t be alive then, let alone a presidency, so why is he making promises for an endless occupation?

    An Obama or Clinton presidency doesn’t sound fun, but a McCain presidency threatens to link prolifers even further with a war machine that nobody outside of the GOP’s inner circle likes. I don’t want that albatross around our neck–oh sure, not every pro-lifer is conservative or a Republican, but we are stereotyped that way, like it or not, and Bush’s policies are not making it any easier to fight that. Nor is meekly voting for any Republican who claims to be pro-life (whilst wanting to break up embryos for research) despite being a trainwreck on every other front.

    I know we sometimes must compromise, but ultimately we must remember that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, but that no similar promise was ever made about a government. The Republicans are not the last final hope for the unborn or those who are born. I do not lightly abandon a pro-life candidate (I reluctantly voted for Bush in 2004), but McCain’s pro-life credentials are dubious, and he is doing enough to discredit and harm our country that I think he is a poor friend to have. I won’t vote for a pro-choicer, but I won’t vote for him.

    I will also continue to support Fems for Life, Birthright, CareNet and the groups that are changing the culture itself by changing hearts of individual people. A republic gets the elected officials that it deserves, so we should work to help build our culture and maybe get a better crop politicians than sorry lot we’re stuck with right now. Worrying about elections to the exclusion of everything else is like slapping a bandaid on a gunshot wound. The issues go deeper than that. Rome did not become Christian because Constantine converted, Constantine converted because Rome became Christian. Let’s look at our current issues through that lens.

  10. gbm3

    Jerry, thank you for your points. The debate we’re having reminds me of the interview I heard of SUSAN JACOBY with Bill Moyers ( ). She is a whaky one, but one point she was saying was that we should listen to people who do not have our opinion so that we may learn from each other. She had said that only those who agreed with her attended her talks.

    BILL MOYERS: Yeah, why is it we’re so unwilling to give, as you say, a hearing to contradictory viewpoints? Or to imagine that we might learn something from someone who disagrees with us?

    (Please see interview around the above quote. I won’t copy it here.)

    I won’t vote for a pro-choicer, but I won’t vote for him. -Jerry

    If I may, who will you vote for? I assume not Obama or Clinton. (?)

    Could you address my concerns about the judges? I here you on the foreign issue BIG problems. I’m trying to figure out if they’re more important than the SC appointments; I believe there will be at least one.

    Please understand that I am willing to change my mind. I just haven’t been convinced yet. Maybe ya’ll had enough with this, understandably. I just ask that you respect my way in this. (in the end, His will be done!)

    (Please note my new blog (Started) at .)

  11. Jerry

    Re. who to vote for, I’ll write in Paul, or depending on what’s going on with the Libertarians, I’ll vote for that person.

    Regarding judges, they are a notoriously flaky bunch–Kennedy, you’ll recall, played up his pro-life credentials as a conservative judge only to go 180 degrees in the other direction in the Casey decision. McCain’s pro-life credentials are dubious, and he can score quick points as a “centrist” Republican who is not afraid of fundamentalism by appointing pro-choice or mildly pro-choice justices to the Supreme Court. He can avoid a lot of bickering with the Democratic majority that way as well, and stick to more important issues like waterboarding terrorists and bombing Iran (I don’t see the Dems losing their majority too soon, though Reid and Pelosi are doing their best in that regard).

    In politics we should remember a line from Uncle Screwtape to the effect that the devil would rather not have us gain the world in return for our soul, but rather sell our soul for nothing. I see voting for McCain as an embarassment for a cause that has already suffered too many at the hands of Bush/Cheney. Given that McCain is not nearly as pro-life as he has presented, we may not stand to get what little we did from Bush.

    Again, we need to changing hearts and minds first and foremost; judges (thank God) cannot change the culture on their own, and we should not be sacrificing our integrity to back a candidate who stands to cause serious damage to our cause and numerous other issues here and abroad.

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