Megan chucks a spear at Obama

Miss McArdle is entirely correct in the body of her post on correctly apportioning blame for the recent financial debacles. But as for that title, well, I’m confident it’s just a typo. She’s not generally the too-clever-by-half sort. But I laughed, I did:

Obama goes for the jungular

Obama is seeking to blame the current crisis on the Bush Administration

The blame for the problematic state of the economy lies squarely with the Federal Reserve. It should be abolished and the money power returned to the several States; if it is not, the nation will go bankrupt and be broken by forces much stronger than mere partisan politics. The Bush administration can quite reasonably be blamed, however, for granting the taxpayer guarantee to Fannie and Freddie debt, as well as for its literally criminal decision to keep those massive liabilities off the Federal books.

I am truly enjoying the Obama campaign. Between the “lipstick on a pig” experiment in self-immolation and the recent decision by the Great Speechifier to carry his teleprompter around like a childhood blankie, it just keeps getting better every day. I’m won’t say I share the despair of his Democratic devotees, but I am starting to think I might just feel a little bereft without him in the headlines after the first week in November. He’s such a natural unintentional comedian.

In which we are delighted to be done

Finally, at long last, I can announce that Summa Elvetica is complete. It will be available for order soon as one of the three launch titles from Marcher Lord Press. To tide over those who happen to be interested, here’s a bit from the author’s note that was requested by the publisher:

This novel did not proceed according to plan. It was originally conceived as an epic philosophical trilogy, in which the reader would be immersed in medieval scholastic thought and explore various facets of some of the great philosophical debates that took place both within and without the Catholic Church. Misunderstood by most modern intellectuals and ignored by the irreligious authors of modern fantasy fiction, the great scholars of the church were no close-minded ideologues, but rather brilliant men who conceived and refined many of the rational mechanisms that we today take for granted. It is not a coincidence that William of Ockham, author of the Summa Logicae and known for the logical principle that bears his name, was a Franciscan monk.

While the logic of churchmen such as William of Ockham, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis, and Thomas Aquinas most certainly has its flaws, the fair-minded reader must admit that their philosophical methods, however alien they may appear to modern eyes, are rather more reasonable and straighforward than the shamelessly manipulative Socratic method made famous by Plato. Unfortunately, my initial goal of assigning roles for the diverse schools of philosophical thought to each of the conventional fantasy races foundered on my inability to meaningfully connect it to the story of the prospective young priest travelling to the elflands.

I note in passing that two books in one year tends to somewhat belie the Original Cyberpunk’s contention that blogging is bad for your writing. In the OC’s defense, he only referred to fiction writing, and furthermore, my career as a novelist is about as close to nonexistent as a writer whose books are regularly published can be. I’m not complaining. I primarily write for my own entertainment and there is almost no way that a novel like Summa Elvetica would ever get published by any large publisher, be they mainstream, genre, or CBA, even if I was a much more talented writer.

I’ve renounced any thought of embarking on a new fiction project anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t revel in my favorite part of the process, namely, thinking about what I might write next. I’m interested to know what people here might favor, with the usual caveat that I won’t hesitate to ignore even a unanimous consensus. I have a few ideas. I could complete David the Hero, the first book in the Chronicles of King David. I have an idea for an Internet fiction project similar to the OC’s Weres Anonymous, sort of an outrageously violent, darkly humorous take on the Harry Potter thing. That, however, would require about five reliable co-writers able to contribute on a weekly basis, which my experience with open source projects informs me is improbable. It would also greatly benefit from the OC’s involvement, which is even less likely given his commitments. The thought of writing a parody of Lord of the Rings has occurred to me, not a silly and flatulent Bored of the Rings-style one, but rather a politically correct one which shows Sauron to be the equalitarian, trans-gendered champion of the racially oppressed and differently abled peoples of Middle Earth. But that’s probably been done to death already. One SF/F publisher was also interested in a serious military take on dragons, probably due to the success of the Novik novels, which I like but have very little in common with my particular concept. And then, there’s this great idea for a strong, independent woman torn between her love for a vampire prince and a werewolf chieftan….

Anyhow, there’s no need to decide anything now, so I shall merely take my time luxuriating in the writer’s favorite occupation of kicking around ideas, pretending to do research, and not doing any actual writing. In the meantime, we can also start thinking about the topic of the next Voxiversity. Whilst I have the Landmark Herodotus, it is right out for number two. Feel free to throw in your suggestions.

Obamanation loses it

The usually deliberate John Scalzi is beginning to show some signs of electoral stress himself:

It’s entirely possible that McCain campaign will benefit from a critical mass of people — and not just dyed-in-the-wool, will-vote-Satan-into-office-if-he-wears-a-flag-pin Republicans — who have been primed by years of intentional and structural undermining of the legitimacy of fact, to accept bald-faced lying as just another tactic; people, in other words, who know that they are being lied to, know the lies are being repeated in the face of factual evidence, and know the campaign knows it is lying and plans to continue to do so all the way to the White House… and see that sort of stance as admirable. Can you blame McCain for taking advantage of this dynamic? Well, quite obviously, you can, and should. It’s one thing to imagine one’s self a “maverick” for speaking truth to power; it’s quite another thing to be a “maverick” by deciding to lie one’s way into power. However, it’s also amply clear that many who should blame him, or would be outraged by Obama lying in such a transparent and recurrent fashion, won’t.

Setting aside the amusing notion that any Democrat other than Walter Mondale has ever told anything even remotely approaching the truth about their governing intentions, in my opinion Mr. Scalzi is too close to his favored candidate and it’s shredding his ability to analyze the election properly. McCain’s campaign is lying, as politicians do, but the lies are minor and they mostly involve exaggerations of the facts. If McCain were to tell whoppers – such as posing as a champion of ending illegal immigration or free speech – he’d suffer badly. He’s keeping it within the rules of the game.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is lying about who he is and he has been lying about who he is from the very beginning, even in his own autobiography. The man is obnoxious, a near-complete fraud, and many people sense that and dislike him; he can tell the absolute truth for the rest of the campaign and it will make no difference at all. The fact that his campaign is run by strategists who think they’re still running in a Democratic primary hasn’t helped him.

Does this mean the electorate is stupid? Of course it does, most people are idiots. Most people at Whatever are idiots too, functionally if not literally. I mean, those who are still in denial about Liberal Media Bias may as well sign up for the Flat Earth Society and the Holocaust Deniers League while they’re at it.

I understand why Democrats are furious to the point of hysteria. They absolutely should win this election in a landslide and if they had nominated Hillary, they would have. But they didn’t. Instead they unwisely nominated a smooth self-promoter who is so hopelessly amateurish that he can’t even attack a Republican president presiding over the worst financial meltdown in the country’s history. Obama fans had better get used to the notion that he’s going to lose, since he’s probably going to lose worse than people thought McCain would a month ago. Remember, those who say he’s still a winner are the same folks who said Palin was a terrible choice by McCain that would blow up in Republican faces.

But Democrats should be consoled by the fact that it doesn’t matter who wins since Bernanke is going to be calling the shots anyhow. The economic meltdown will continue, Republicans will bear the blame, and Hillary can ascend the Cherry Blossom Throne four years later than scheduled, just in time to reap the rewards of a economic bounce-back.

Help a sister out

Brooke from Rachel’s blog requires assistance of the sort that the Ilk are generally well-qualified to give. Anyone live near her and willing? Cookies are promised!

RW Donn said: For those of you who DON’T own guns . . . WHY?!!?!?!?!!!?????

Brooke Says: Because I have never had anyone to take me out shooting, as I consider having a gun to be much like a car – you should have someone show you what to do. So if anyone in Phoenix who is a gun owner would like to take me to the range and show me some basics, dinner is most definitely on me, and I’ll assuredly throw in some cookies or something.

You know, I’ll be just a little disappointed if someone lives near her and Nate and Jac don’t have to ride out there and do it themselves.