Welcome to my web magazine, Thoughts, Musings and Commonplaces, abbreviated as Thoughts Online Magazine, but not to be confused with blogspot. It has gone through many incarnations since January 22, 2002, when it began on blogspot, was transferred to hathaby.net because of the September 11th attacks (hathaby.net was hosted on fidpac, and the site was trashed in December of 2004). You see my tribute to the twin towers in the userpic. The primary writer around here is Arnold Williams. Instead of traditional "blog" posts, there are posts of varying lengths and topics. Instead of comments, there will be article-specific message boards. The look of the site, the writing style, the subject matter, the content, and the technological back-end will be identical to what you're used to reading a blog, but the change (as least as far as the FEC is concerned) will be drastic: this is a media outlet, not a personal blog (though their official position is that there is no difference, it is never safe to bet on governments being consistent or logical). Now residing in California, Mr. Williams intends to be identified as a Journalist pursuant to the California case "Apple v. Does" that said that even bloggers can be journalists, (as well as a recent Florida case. So there, FEC! Estate planning and tax planning have always been favorites occupations for this legally-licensed fellow (who only practices in Calfornia): the Internal Revenue Code & Regs are models of systems so complex that they are poorly understood by those who study them for years, and even more poorly understood by those who don't study them. I enjoy business formation, tax planning, real estate law, and real property management. The FTC has decided it wants disclosures, so here, have some. Happy?
A further profile:
Mr. Williams went to school at Stanford University and received a BA in Classics with Honors in Humanities, thereafter working at the Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino, California. He received his MBA from the University of Southern California Graduate School of Management and Business (now identified as the USC Marshall School of Business), and received his JD from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, which triggered his interest in logical analysis and economics. He is married to noted real estate investor Kathryn Smith Williams, currently disabled with Huntington's disease and dementia, and has a daughter, Joy, who absorbs all the attention he can give. Occasionally known as the Earl of Hathaby, and more correctly as Lord Williams or Baron Williams, he accepts democratic equality with pleasure. He lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, and enjoyed the neoVictorian aspects of the city before his wife, Kathryn, became ill with Huntington's disease, causing a quick relocation to Los Angeles, a city with better medical care. He is temporarily living in a succession of leased premises, taking his daughter to school in nearby Hancock Park, and hoping to get adequate care for his wife in place despite the general ignorance of the disease.
For MSM types, Mr. Williams is a Republican who contributes to Republican candidates for office, and a classical liberal (which means "conservative" to the MSM). He has great respect for Orson Scott Card, a Democrat, and quotes him frequently, because he seems to have a good take on a lot of things, and AJ Strata, another Democrat, for the same reasons, but this should not distract you from labeling him an "extremist" or "partisan". He also quotes, and approves of, Plato, St Thomas Aquinas, Epictetus, and Confucius, which means that he agrees with the wisdom of the ages, and therefore must be an "extremist." He is also a Christian, and believes that the King James Bible and Shakespeare "created" English literature, so he is a "reactionary." Satisfied? Oh, yes, "fundamentalist" -- he believes in moral right and wrong as universally applicable, and reasons on the basis of all five moral intuitions native to humanity, so believes that moral questions are complex but solvable. Finally, rather than "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" or some other primitive slogan, he prefers "From each according to his comparative advantage, to each according to his tastes."
I am not interested in dialogue for the sake of making unchallengable statements, but the search for truth is fascinating to me, and I'll be happy to discuss it over drinks. That's that, then.
Finally, at the suggestion of David Frum, a statement about classified information:I will reveal a secret government program when I can show that it violates the law or abuses the power given under that law. I will reveal such a program when I can demonstrate that it is dangerously in or incompetent in its design or execution. And I will not reveal such secrets unless I can show a compelling need to know and newsworthiness, and unless I can show that doing so will not put innocent lives and welfare at risk. If revealing secrets puts the nation, its agents, or soldiers at risk, I will not reveal them.
Based on the low standards in the profession, he has decided to describe himself as a ethicist when feeling contrary, and opine on such matters consistently with the poor logic and incoherent thoughts which characterize that "profession". Should any bioethicist attempt to make a case for the coherence of his thought, he will be ruthlessly demolished (some, like Peter Singer, are sitting ducks, so I'll leave them to the less sportsmanlike). You may look up the appropriate tag for examples.
He enjoys pre-WWI art, classical music , number theory, economics, combinatorics, and recreational mathematics; and reads the King James Bible, Shakespeare, and a surprisingly wide variety of books, including a large collection of poets. He also enjoys having a drink with convivial people or a "venti cafe latte breve, one splenda" with anyone at all at the nearest Starbucks.
This magazine is a collection of opinions, distractions, discoveries and descriptions. If you feel offended by these opinions, start your own magazine and argue all you want. If you believe that the FACTS offered here are wrong, please write him, link to the post and dissect it in your own magazine, or (least useful, given the spam out there) use the message board to say so, giving a source and using Toulmin argumentation. Mr. Williams makes corrections as he believes, reasonably or not, they are warranted. The best summary of the corrections policy comes from one of my favorite authors, Steven den Beste (to whom I owe wild gratitude for his writing): "[I]t's OK for you to disagree with me. It's OK for you to write to me and tell me so. It's OK for you to tell me why. It isn't OK for you to ask me to change what I write so that it more closely agrees with what you think I should have said. If your argument is convincing, I may change. But that will happen because and only because of the merit of your argument, not because I have any obligation to include points of view other than my own here, or to alter what I say to more closely match some mythical "balanced" point of view."