Saturday, September 17, 2005

War, Individuality and the State

Jane Galt, see sidebar, requested recommendations for books to read. One of the two that struck me was Leftism by a Central European author Kuenhelt-Leddihn who recalls the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This reminded me of hearing that Freud had a nephew in the Army in WWI and supported this side. Dreadnought is supposed to be the best book on the origin of WWI. I started it; it was easy to read, a good read, but I succumbed to the 'one more book where am I going' syndrome, hadn't heard this comment about it then. It has been suggested that countries fail for a blind spot for 'too much of a good thing,' e.g. Britain for Empire, Prussia for militarism. Though the German Kaiser who seems to have passively instigated the war by positioning his Army for war and then telling his generals, 'Nah, forget about it,' to which they said, "But our (maneuver) plans are revealed, we must go forward!"; and who should have followed up with "Plans, Schmans. Go back to your bases," the ultimate (ok, innuendo) cause could be seen as Britain's drawing a diplomatic ring around Germany. The Kaiser had read a book by the American Mahan, Sea Power, that was read in the sixties by every first year NROTC cadet and had to have it. Well that bothered the h.. out of the English. As my almost father-in-law Pinkie said, they could see in Liverpool that Germany was outselling them in (I forget; maybe it had something to do with the azo dye the Germans had come up with or their shipping rates). He was from Bremen. This was like the US and Mexican mammas or whoever, at the moment, is scaring the bejeebers out of us. This is also why you see battleship tonnage of the opposing sides as if this produced the war. It produced disarmament conferences afterwards. Queen Victoria's beloved dead husband had been German, which one might think would have bound the countries but seems instead perhaps to have inspired (a phobic?) fear in the English. This is where I expect to come from in reading Kuenhelt-Leddihn in part. The other notable book is The Origins of War which shows evidence that war didn't develop until the bow and arrow suggested advantage for aggressive combat formations.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

'Purified pleasure ego' is a concept in psychoanalysis. An ego functioning in that state would find any discomfort not related at all to its own actions but due to faults in others. In political and personal terms, one might think this is just 'expressing your feelings,' however behavior which might be seen as related to this is associated with a poor political outcome, cf. The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith. Nevertheless, in administration, it is desirable to find the solvable overlooked issues for people with this ego function or represented by them.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Pictures of parked New Orleans buses and info on 'looting' pictures

The pictures and links of Law Professor Reynolds, at, show one of the grand things about a good lawyer. Assemble the facts, and res ipse loquitur (Latin for the facts speak for themselves). The ambivalent emotions and uncertainty aroused by, say, Clarence Page's column in the Dallas Morning News today are largely resolved.

Bryan, Please!

Went to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presentation of Eastern European composers. Worthwhile and depressing. Worthwhile in the Dances of Galanta by Kodaly and the echo of the gypsy orchestra, the dance of the clarinet, which may have somewhat the same use and quality as in New Orleans jazz; also the transformation of the Dies Irae by Liszt into the Totentanz was moving. It would be interesting to hear the 'real' Dies Irae first and then Liszt's version. Miguel Harth-Bedoya, the conductor, turned around and said so nicely to the audience, "That's OK," when it had, in part, clapped for the Slavonic dances when he had finished the first of 4.

I wondered why the 2 pretty ladies an empty chair away from me left before the encore. Then on leaving the upper gallery, was waiting on people coming down from above, looking at some old ladies, pretty women, and fat men, thinking I would proceed onward when they let me, amused that for all the people, and I wouldn't have been 4 minutes for all of them, nobody took a break for me waiting to let me in, secretly proving a point I have. Then, a voice from behind, "Are you just going to wait for all these people to leave?" Me ironically, "Well they are falling down (at least potentially, and I didn't want that to happen)." No comment from the balding man, who pressed quickly on down the stairs as we got to them. People in Dallas and Fort Worth really are not friendly. Business and family (period). This was echoed, of course, in driving home as The Lexus vied with the Mercedes to see who could drive most daringly; it was actually the pickup truck and his follower weaving in an out of traffic, even on to the margin of the road as they scurried up North Loop 12. "Forgive us our trespasses as those who trespass against us" is a good prayer here.

The exception to this is Highland Park. I can picture, from maybe 15 years ago, walking near Armstrong street and, a somewhat older man, saying, "Hello." It would be an interesting history of culture to know how this came about. I remember an analyst talking about seeing the burden of social prominence in someone from Highland Park, about his age, that he was accompanying, as an aid at the local state hospital, to shock treatment. But whether it was Taylor Hunt's father talking about his ability to take flights with all the advantage miles he had accumulated going back and forth to Bunker's bankruptcy trial in New York; or Taylor being put down by a teacher in class and gallantly, verbally eviscerating him in riposte, it sure made it more fun to go outside there than anyplace else in DFW.

Bryan. Bryan Williams, MD, G-d spare me the verb, was Dean of Students at Southwestern Medical School. We had a graduation party at his house on Beverly in Highland Park in '73. With Picasso's covering the walls, the music, my dad's smile, a fruition, it was a moment to draw assurance from without thinking about it in thin times ahead. The last time I saw Bryan, he was walking on the piazza of the school in the summer. There were only a few people about. "How can anyone live here? It is so hot," he called out with some bonhommie. He came to our 25th reunion. I didn't. My anxious scheduling to make a living paved over my possibly scheduling to go before I could get to it. After the party, he went home and, according to the school paper, "died a natural death."