Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Triumph of Hitler?

"Rage, rage for the dying of the light," said the drunk poet Dylan Thomas. Sorry, it was "against the dying of the light." And we love Dylan in his saying it. But for Hitler, as I read Rosenbaum's book, it was 'rage for the dying.' The purpose of the blackmail and counterfeit was to obscure a du, a thou outside the self which could and had caused pain which he revenged by murdering, and, yes, this included destroying a Weltanschauung, Judaism, that demanded that man see in himself another; 'and God (?in Cain) said to him, 'Where is your brother Abel?'" "Hier ist Kein warum (Here there is no asking why)," the SS guard told an inmate when an icicle he grabbed to slake his thirst was taken from him; the potential du could make no objection. Hitler didn't spare Dr. Bloch, his mother's Jewish doctor during her death, perhaps out of a transference split, projecting the blame for his mother's death onto the Jews, but more out of a counterfeit that 'ultimately he resolved to care for his mother.' But did Hitler win? Not in his life anyway. He killed himself when the persecuted other, he correctly knew, was coming to get him. Also an odd proof. He married Eva Braun. He acknowledged her as another. I know you're not impressed with the honeymoon.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Learning From 'Explaining Hitler'

Mr. Rosenbaum in 'Explaining Hitler' finds blackmail done by Hitler's grandmother and counterfeit by his brother and in what Hitler does. Though not the worst crimes, they are the signature crimes. This led me to reflect on a sort of blackmail my German heritage grandfather visited on my mother to keep her from going to law school. It also led me to reflect on that sappy title 'All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten' but with the twist of reconsidering that we all set out to 'adapt' in the world in part using the lessons of who we are from our parents and their view of us and our view of them and how they related. It also resonated with something I noticed for the first time in the Advent Gospels. To slightly bowdlerize the story to frame a question (and imply an answer), Mary thought she was pregnant and came to hear Gabriel talk to her and tell that her child was from G-d and would be a moral ruler. This apparently was accepted by her aunt Elizabeth who in the excitement was also able to conceive. Incidentally, the moral lessons from the third Sunday of Advent I think are wonderful. We have John going out to talk of repentance and I'm all ready for rules that would have you standing on one foot forever when he comes up with, for the police, don't falsely accuse people, for the tax collector, don't collect more than is owed, etc. Anyway, who is Christ to be after having this image from his mother with maybe a little talent for denial?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Putting depression in Christmas

Many adults get beaten down by Christmas. It is, in America, generally rescued by a 'Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus' attitude. In this attitude, people generally take a relationship in which there is a substantial power difference, an adult to a child, and treat the child very kindly. In this, we act as more or less all powerful and treat the child, the power deficient, in such a way as to raise them to our imputed stature. Finding ourselves as power deficient in relation to Christ as implied in Christmas is often more problematic. Also, being related to Christ in the season as opposed to our original parents in whom we first found a reflection of competency, especially when this provides a reminder that they are gone, can be difficult.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Currently reading Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum. He says that he started off to explain Hitler but then, given the uncertainties, found it useful also to look at people's 'explaining' as a reflection of themselves. As the author says,

I became fascinated with this phenomenon, when it came to Hitler, of "negative capability" (the quality first defined by John Keats as the ability to tolerate uncertainty without "irritable reaching" for certainty).

The book is wonderful certainly. Rosenbaum notes his "preference for Empsonian ambiguity;" definition anyone?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Talk and listen to the Iranians

Did business with an ex-pat of Lebanon; have some idea now what is meant by Arab courtesy. He used to work for Harari, the Lebanese president in waiting it seemed who was assassinated with the evidence pointing to the leadership of Syria. Rafik Harari, a Sunni, got his adult start in life supervising construction contracts for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. When James Baker says talk to the Iranians perhaps the point should be to find out if, like Cain, they hear G-d's voice asking them, 'What happened to your brother Abel (in this case Harari)?' Or are their consciences disposed to accept murder and, by implication importantly, proceed with murder. One could suppose that Syria is their client but they did not authorize this extraterritorial action. Failing this, one has to assume that their Holocaust denial conference is part of an exercise to reduce guilt over the wish for a coming Holocaust to the point that the anticipated pleasure in it would overwhelm restraint. Preemptive action against their devloping nuclear weapons then would seem necessary.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"There's no succes like failure.."

Poets are philosophers of course. Virgil, starting his epic with "Arma virumque cano," acknowledged that the sung poem was a classical cliche 2000 years ago (translation of Virgil: 'I sing of arms and the man'). Perhaps thus I recall 'Bob Dylan.' I was getting more room in my garage and set out, for a while, some things at the side of the house a few months ago. I was tasked to find the 'wreath wrapped in Saran Wrap that goes above the fireplace.' Well apparently that had been picked out of those objects and taken. The 'success' in this for the 'Christmas season' is that it shows that, though Christianity may be a religion, it is also something of a personality cult. Scrooge and other skeptics the angels do sing to you too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Virgin Mary and her extrapolation to Beauty

As some of you Muslims may not know, Friday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and there will be Masses similar to a Sunday. Avid reader will recall that I had spoken about the Church's noting that 'Mary is ever Virgin.' Your unauthorized theolgist will now, unlike Houdini, show you the magic behind this, and how this means the hottest appearing girls/women will be found at Catholic institutions, e.g. hospitals, Church. Start with, or in a sense, end with de Sade as a reductio ad absurdum. He wanted to destroy the narcissism of the woman other and have her totally. This, in some sense, would put the woman in the past tense. Grammarians et al. may wonder if you can 'have a Catholic girl' but, as she identifies with Mary, she definitely can not be, indelicately, 'had.' Thus she is gloriously independent and may present herself in her glory, will often be slim as an adolescent, the Jews whisper that the Church mistranslated the word for this as 'virgin,' and dress or appear fashionably. The bella donna reflects this.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Israeli Palestinian Problem

I did have one prominent 'My Daddy is bigger then Your Daddy' experience as a kid. Had a next door neighbor and whenever, his dad would play ball with us, he would insure that his boy got 'all the time' at bat and other disproportionate treatment. To me, the Israeli Arab or Palestinian conflict is similar. This is sure in that context. Condoleeza Rice is huffing and twittering from Jericho to Jerusalem; the main obstacle to the much demanded, prayed for, deal, cf. Tony Blair in recent post, is, well, "The sticking point is Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist." Oh, well, minor detail. Could go either way, right, Arab Dad?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Bets Are Down. The Bears Come to The Ring.

The Iraqi people are hoping for the government to stand up. Our two most high value targets have gone to the region for meetings with leaders there and left, Cheney to Saudi Arabia. Muqtada al Sadr has threatened to leave the government if Maliki met with Bush. In my experience in markets when ennui has destroyed hope or fear, persistence is its own rule, things change. Our leaders went there on business. The bears are Maliki and al Sadr. It will be decided between them. We have our bet down. It is now in the contest.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Becker-Posner blog has a nice discussion about the idea of raising the minimum wage and, below that, a friendly but insightful view of Milton Friedman. Becker and Posner simulblog if you will, sometimes in the manner of a debate.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Not Funny?"

I heard Michael Richards' apology today. Pretty good stream of consciousness. He is in checkmate. PC and Seinfeld won't let him go right, and he's dead left. But my schadenfreude finds this liberal dish a piquant flavor. The seriousness with which this is greeted! He is at a Comedy Club and some people aren't listening to him, upstaging him by talking and he does a send up/ role of a hypothetical, historical reaction. I shouldn't even try to compare this to the serious stuff which is accepted as normal: Tony Blair saying that the problem in Iraq is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is like the Swiss Guards coming at you with a knife a few hundred years ago and telling you that the problem with the Vatican choir is that there aren't enough high voices. You know how that is going to work out. The Reverend can have a spoon at 20 degrees off vertical in the potatoes on his plate and be posed with hands folded for Thanksgiving grace, and in his complaints say New York didn't fold; so "Hymie town." Cool. But get into a riff when the hood is dissing you in a Comedy Club. Now "This is not Funny." Attention Must Be Paid.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Truly shocked about Lebanon

The U.N. has totally failed in it's assigned mission to keep Lebanon from being a rocket base against Israel. The U.N. should apologize to Israel and withdraw. I understand Michael Totten has a new post from Lebanon; I'll have to look for it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

America moves forward as from Westmoreland to Abrahms

Asia Times has a couple of optimistic links on the possibility of Mr. Gates contributing to success in Iraq (and Iran). Alcibiades, at Keshertalk, expresses concern and Rumsfeld is missed. Woodward's recent book suggests that, as the saying goes, if Rumsfeld wanted your opinion he'd give it to you. He is a good man, a bright man, but that is a limitation. Regarding Gates, Fritz Ermanth says, 'he understands big agencies, big programs, lots of people and lots of money - from being the director of central intelligence, being in the national-security business all these years and running a big university.' Virginia Postrel finds that that running the university was harder perhaps than getting the football team to win, but Mr. Gates did it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Theoretical reflections on the Election, the U.S.

Ran into an abolutely brilliant economics and political theory blog. Had drilled though a link, "Reihan Salam at the American Scene ponders the possibility that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens may retire," on the Wall Street Journal's freely available Opinion Journal.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Got Catholicism

The Church is really into the alpha and omega of life and sexual identification, e.g. the Virgin Birth, 'Blessed Mary ever virgin,' the priests being celibate like the Vestal Virgins of antiquity. S. Freud in Totem and Taboo said that religion, and he was originally raised by a Catholic nanny, was a recreation of a primal banding of the brothers against the father to kill him and have sex with.. Christ would pay for this sin against the primal Father in this supposition. Even the reaction of some raised Catholic women, e.g. The Liberal Chicks, to prioritize their votes over abortion rights might be seen as a rebellion against a Catholic imperative. It might be viewed as a fertility cult with everybody having their role to give us an eternal spring of 'good Catholics.' Jewish women are enjoined to have sexual relations with their spouse on the Sabbath, a view more toward the pleasures of sexuality perhaps. Pope Benedict views the eastern Rite Church as carrying forward original Catholicism. Priestly celibacy used to be a clear inspiration to bear the frustrations of child rearing by accepting a pain or penalty related to sexuality. That is not so obviously understood in the modern age and I think the Pope would change the rule to that of the Eastern Rite and will have priests allowed to marry.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kerry's Remarks

During the recent Lebanon war, there was a great Israeli commentary reviewing something said in the always pro-Arab Guardian, taking it apart, but, in the end offering congratulations to the clever propaganda effort for the Israelis, the Guardian's remarks subtly revealing that its position was that of a buffoon, and that the reporter would get their Israeli medal in a secret ceremony at the end of the conflict. Heh, you know John doesn't have the Medal of Freedom. Reporting for Medal (duty by the paperwork) again, ehh John!

True enough there is an event horizon staying beyond which may keep you from dying in Iraq. Plenty of smart people died in the Twin Towers, more than have died in Iraq, they can do so again; and we are doing our, perhaps we have a lot to be humble about, best to change the autocracies which most dispose this to happen again. Jesus probably would have been a lot safer had he been born in Caesar's household too. John's remarks always seem to contain that wisdom.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Economist (one of my linked bloggers had said all content was free. She works for them, apparently got the memo content confused) has a great lead article on the election, Iraq, and Bush. 'Don't punish the people of Iraq and by implication, also, ourselves (America) by leaving now when we can still get a better result because of the president's mistakes.' This point of view was valid for VN, and I believe we foolishly believe we can leave without the problem following us. I don't believe history will be as kind to us in Iraq. Part of the disappointment with the president perhaps reflects the contemporary view of history available in Woodward's new book, State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III, a good book.

The most interesting news has come out tonight about our 'coordination' of our acitivities with the Iraqis. Recently at Keshertalk, the following was noted,
Peters also points out the obvious about the Maliki Government and its effect on Iraq.

I lost faith in our engagement in Iraq last week. I can pinpoint the moment. It came when I heard that Maliki had demanded - successfully - that our military release a just-captured deputy of Muqtada al-Sadr who was running death squads.

As a former intelligence officer, that told me two things: First, Iraq's prime minister is betting on Muqtada to prevail, not us. Second, Muqtada, not the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is now the most powerful man in Iraq...

We had an American Iraqi born translator captured. We should pursue his captors, we are not mercenaries for the Iraqi government.

Monday, October 23, 2006

New Battle Dress Uniform for Iraq? It could be used against hardened cases. Be part of our 'flexible strategy.' Show Karen Hughes' creativity in coming up with a message for the Islamists, 'Why kill yourself. Heaven can wait.' As Nietzsche said, 'What doesn't make me psychotic, might improve my virtue.'

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Update on talk blogged July 10, 2006: Received 'Congratulations' from Dr. Gelenberg 'to the authors of the manuscript. It is accepted for publication.'

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Lancet Study

The Lancet article is an example of the 'idolatry of the question' which characterizes Liberalism. The basic syllogism in symbolic Logic is 'If A ] B,'if A then B.' Liberalism seeks to gain a desired ground, B, by finding a single proposition A which drives the conclusion B. Naturally such arguments often come in moral terms as they must drive an entire proposition in one hit. The Lancet article derives from the proposition excess death (A) means immoral activity. It claims that it has found this proposition A; therefore the conclusion B that the Iraq War is an immoral activity is established. At best the opponents of the argument are left to define for those making the proposition what level of A would qualify for a truth quotient. No syncretism involving other propositions is allowed. Having asked the 'tough question' ennobles the asker and makes any syncretism or finding of methodological flaws pusilanimous. In the current discussion here, this single question is accepted as normative. The American effort is to be judged entirely by one stipulated outcome among a range of effects. One might turn this method of argument onto the other topic brought up by the poster, the impact of the slave trade. By the same method of argument just employed for Iraq, one could say that the slave trade was a glorious success. The economic and intellectual status of blacks in this country is gloriously better than of those in Africa. Somehow, that 'if A ] B' was not employed. Overall I prefer my liberals to be more like the communist Chou-en-Lai, who, when asked if the French Revolution was a success, said 'it was too early to tell.'

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Appropriate government philosophy

The upcoming election is a cause for reflecting on political philosophy as Gagdad Bob does. I lost anger at conservative philosophy after dealing with a young diabetic at the VA happily, at least in some sense, living off a small non-service connected pension that let him withdraw from life. It has been said that VA has been funded pretty well because the Republicans support the military, the Democrats welfare. I suppose a liberal looks at my patient and thinks, 'What if I were too frightened at life. Would I be thrown out in the snow. I hate those conservatives who would do that to me.' But really the conservative is 'just worried about the cost of it' or more subtly what the contract was, the person accepted being potentially put in harms way to defend the Congress and the people. So, it's not an unwillingness to help, positive rights of FDR are accepted as long as the tax isn't too high. I do think there is something to social contracts though appropriately recognized additionally. The Workers Compesation system in my sample of experience has essentially ceased to exist beyond initial treatments, which is why I am loathe to vote for Texas Governor Perry. A society can constructively enter into contracts with people; our policy regarding ex-military is an example of how America recognizes that. In the minority, I feel that those of us whose origins are only a few hundred years in the Western Hemisphere though having used the land well by largely taking it from the previous wanderers should recognize their right to continue wandering if not automatically to be citizens here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Enquiring minds may wonder what one might learn about homosexuality from patients. Gagdad Bob had a good post on this in relation to 'perpetrators.' Homosexuality may be a more common issue in therapy than in life generally because of what might be called a rule of abstinence in therapy and traditionally, in general, for physicians. This promotes unburdening so to speak. However I am talking here about someone who identifies himself, and reasonably so, as homosexual. One of my patients grew up in a loving household, seemed not traumatized by his mother, and had homosexual feelings as, at least in retrospect, his primary sexual feelings from adolescence. The military was in a way no different that ordinary life where he didn't advertise his sexuality and got along. He was castigated however later in his nonmilitary career as homosexual, ceased gainful employment and, for a while, drank excessively. Later, after something of a depression, he talked to me about his experiences, seemed to look for a comforting mirror. For myself I came away from the experience thinking something of the standard liberal view that for some people sexual excitement is going to go in that direction. One 'fact of life' he told me was that homosexuals tend to have a particular sexual practice that they will engage in. Among his group, the people who did not get AIDS were those whose practice was fellatio. He thought the word 'gay' was traceable back to the 'gay nineties.' A subtext of that title was that the people characterizing the time were sexually uninhibited, without decisively countervailing moral constraint;... so free to express homosexuality. Those latter stayed in the 'gay' period while some other facet of self expression became most prominent in the general society with the passage of time.

In part what brings me to this post is the recent gay expressivity on the right. I guess this is to put in perspective every Democrats favorite congressman, "Howdy" Foley. Also known, not so anonymously, by the introduction, "Hello! My name is Mark Foley and I have been alcoholic 2-3 days now." A good Catholic girl is celebrating her fellatio and cunnilingus; I'll let you check with her about the spelling of the latter. Interesting comment there about the Samuel Pepys diary and mine, 34, at 10:36 AM; #37 wondered if this wasn't 'WAAAY too much information.' It may be that the various revelations and Foley's conduct are a part of attempting to gain, as my patient, a sympathetic mirror, perhaps in Foley's case because of feelings of conflict over his thoughts. So far there is smoke but no fire.

On the weightier topic of North Korea, Instapundit reports a view that NK may have been testing an Iranian nuke. An author on the Michael Medved show said that if the South Koreans will withdraw their support from NK then the Chinese will join the consensus. Similarly, the Russians and the Chinese oppose action against Iran; but, 'if the Russians can be bought off,' the Chinese again will join a consensus. All in all, an interesting hypothesis about 'the mind of the East.'

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Why Don't Republicans Need Bookmarks?" He Asks.
"I have no idea."
"They just bend over the page."
"Cute," I tell him. "Are you done?"
"Not quite. What did the GOP leadership say when it got everyone together to talk about the '06 elections?"
I cross my arms and raise my eyebrows.
He continues: "We've got to get everyone on the same page."

From little Miss Attila, who also has a great quote on Clinton's response to Chris Wallace at the bottom of the, ahem, page.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I just love it. Kerry and the all important high minded alliances and world opinion 'Gasp' are 'Ohh, Soo proper; can't think of doing without it;' but when little rape promoting, ethnic cleansing Sudan is told to lay off it's behavior, they have no compunction about saying, '**** you!'

Re: The Supervison of Foley

"But the father of all this misery comes from the decision made by Hastert and/or his staff to keep the parental complaint about Foley from the bipartisan Page Board. House procedures call for complaints regarding pages to be handled by the Page Board, and no one -- not even Denny Hastert -- has provided a single explanation as to why they neglected to do so," per Ed Morrissey. I thought nandrews3 in the 11:03 comment added something:
Captain Ed has been a voice of common sense regarding the House leadership, ever since he called out Hastert for lying about when he was notified about Foley's e-mails. That clumsy bit of attempted misdirection seemed to prompt Ed's call for Hastert's resignation as speaker. If others can't bring themselves to accept Ed's conclusions, maybe it's because they didn't notice that Hastert was jerking them around as well. Or maybe they just can't admit it.

Ed is also right about Hastert's refusal to follow proper channels and notify the Page Board about Foley's e-mails. There's no defending that decision, in retrospect. The thing to point out about it is that it wasn't some kind of mysterious anomaly. DeLay, Hastert, and their committee chairs spent years shutting House Democrats out of the legislative process. Keeping the Democratic member of the Page Board from knowing anything about Foley's e-mails was a simple case of the system working as it was intended to work.

Having kept all responsibilities out of the hands of the other side, House leaders ended up with nowhere to spread the blame, except to each other. (And George Soros too, apparently. Good luck making that charge stick.) Hastert is now left with the consequences, one of which is that his public reputation is fatally damaged.

Would you really want him showing up in your district? Everywhere he goes now, he's going to be a symbol of (a) the failure to protect pages from Mark Foley, and (b) the failure to accept blame and act accordingly. Apparently he doesn't even recognize this, but gleeful Democrats certainly do. Ed and a few other commenters recognize it too, and they have been patiently trying to get others here to accept reality. Looks like this may be an impossible task.

An earlier post in Jane Galt prepared me for the significance of Hastert's administrative mistake.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A psychologist, 'Gagdad Bob,' has some interesting thoughts on forming identity and the political uses of victimhood. Has another post on Foley 2 days earlier.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

In Jane Galt, there is a nice post on the improvement in economic conditions for everyone since the seventies. I was particularly struck by her response to the contention that it was harder to buy a house and a car with her noting that a higher percentage of people had them.

Father Postel, in charge of my alma mater, had the freshman to a retreat this Saturday. The kids had 'Agnostocere' on their shirts. The point was to know your relation to God. Each was to see himself as acceptably a different person (in that relationship). He had 5 volunteers come forward and taught them, as an example of a group action, 'dress right dress' which is how a platoon would space themselves to march abreast. They struggled, in answer to his question, as to what the school was; answer, 'a community.' And the point was that they didn't have to answer religious questions just by themselves. (We have in the internet a marvelous chance to create virtual communities for discussion, viz.) Then Father Postel had the most interesting observation from the Gospel of Mark. Jesus told the apostles 'to be quiet' about the answer that he was the Messiah the first time this came up in repsonse to 'Who do you think I am?' Father Postel then asked the students when Jesus realized he was God and, after they mumbled, said that the evidence in Mark would suggest that he grew into this realization, also noted that Jesus was "fully human" according to doctrine.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Commented at Althouse about the court case over slavery reparations. Strawman needed to put why he needed to repent right in front of himself for the High Holydays; yours truly was ever helpful. Annika is telling a tough story about the Virginia National Guard running away from the contractors they are 'protecting.' I was listening to ESPN sports, being interested in TO's psychiatric condtion or reaction thereto; it really is sobering that you can be so rich and (possibly) suicidal and was really excited to hear that 'Gagdad Bob' was coming on. Unfortunately it wasn't that Gadad Bob, a psychologist who brings you, for instance, 'parallel looniverses.'

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mark 8:31-38 and today's Roman Catholic readings

Alcibiades at Keshertalk has an interesting reflection on the Pope's controversial remarks. The link includes the thrust of my commentary as well. My reverence for the Cistercian who gave, as in my experience they always do, such wonderful explanations and correlations with the text of today's Gospel. An English portrait painter, ? Turner, said that a portrait was a 'picture with a little something wrong about the mouth.' Only when you have a great exposition do small minds have the luxury of making small, delightful rearrangements. The monk's byway into who is Satan was most transcendental. He told the story of Job from the standpoint of seeing Satan as a passive-aggressive servant of God. God is pleased with Job's faithfulness. Satan tells Him, 'Of course he is faithful. He is the richest man there (he appreciates his reward). Make him poor.. Make him sick and ill..' And yet Job said, 'The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed is the name of the Lord.'

The Garden of Eden story, further referenced by the monk, strikes me as Satan in a different category. The allegory of Satan's telling Eve that if she eats of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil she will be like God as a temptation to be bad in only a 'hood sense. It seems to me the development of the human, the growth of her brain as it is given in this story, is really one of making a cathexis for something desirable. In this case our advancement more clearly leads us to know the mind of the other. But, like, for example, marriage, it has its own complications which one has committed oneself to. My favorite story of my psychiatry professor, Dr. DeLoache, was his joking that the Church had it's priests be celibate because it knew 'how many souls for hell marriage produced.'

And finally, James 2: 14-18, for me informs us, as physicians, that to merely bask in the idealism of our profession, and not to seek out the subtleties in our patients and the IOM report on Gulf War Syndrome is to fail in not having works to go with our belief.

Friday, September 15, 2006

"You go fuck yourself. I say what I want." Oriana Fallaci now dead. Now we have intellectual, German Huckleberry Finn adding a historical perspective. Even religious or theological, mon Dieu. Muslim rage may not be seen its usual flatttering perspective. Note the complaint that this is the second time in 2 years something has happened before Ramadan as if the reflections of infidels should conform to its schedule. Nevertheless, what the Pope says, "..violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul," is softly beautiful. Crusaders (what the jihadists call us mockingly), go with God and with sweet reason.

The entire text of the Pope's remarks are here early in comments. I think it interesting that we touched on the Pope's themes and a time and place in history he references recently in Keshertalk.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Psst! Crusader

I had been wondering how big the contradiction was going to be. Early on almost no Ameicans were being killed in Afghanistan. I don't know if Pat Tillman could've got down and talked on a radio when the separated company came together again, but I digress. Afghans grow poppies for heroin. War # c is the 'War on Drugs.' 'Bad drugs hide in your hole.' 'Shoot drugs,' er, no. I wondered how long the Afghans were going to be so happy the Taliban weren't around that they forgot to eat. Apparently, there getting hungry and kids are starving in refugee camps and 'ourcapitalismisbasedonCalvinismandCalvanismis based onbeing partof the electanddoingrighthinkingthingsdrugtakings
notincluded.soyoucan'tsellit' is losing a lot, to be honest, in translation into Arabic. A politically conservative source says an open market could use their production for legal pain medications. Market closed; 'bad drugs' iterum iterumque as the Latins used to say. I think Suboxone could help blunt even the problem of drug abuse. Of course if you're a good Calvinist aside from pain medicine it would be compost anyway. I make a big distinction between being opposed to decapitating someone and allowing them to sell something there is a market for. I also think if you want to be intrusive, you need to be intrusive about use, not possession. Hat tip: The discerning Texan.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

He 'plays it by ear.'

Ann Althouse has been laying it down on 'The Path to 9/11.' My Jones of Dallas acquaintance took me to a trendy bar years ago. I went back a couple of months later, went to the bar to get a Black Russian, and the bartender told me the guy leaning on the bar facing me was 'Art Garfunkel.' Feeling as oblivious generally to popular music as the seasons, not being a farmer 'machts nicht,' I said something like half knowing but not wanting to commit myself about what he was up to, to which he told me, he "played it by ear." His 'Joe DiMaggio' bit had led to the isolative Joe asking a lawyer to look into whether or not he was being slandered and a marketing firm finding there was residual affection for him which led to a nice advertising career. Joe DiMaggio came to Dallas in the forties, went with a local girl to have dinner at her parent's house, a story I hear some 55 years later. Anyway, I wish Art would 'play this one by ear.'

Mario Savio said at the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in 1964, in the action that restarted leftism in America, "unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all! [Prolonged applause.] " Now the left, as exemplified by Ned Lamont this week, is for what he had considered adultery before. Further as an earlier commenter (on Ann's blog) elegantly pointed out, the left found 'sexual harassment' and brought us right thinking on that before there was 'just a private sexual life (as a fruit of official finagling).' It was the hit your head in viewing it inveterate finagling of the Clintons' that really torched their opponents by the way. Now they're for yanking as a fruit of their free speech. You asked, 'Why there are no campus antiwar demonstrations?' How can you have a rally if you might not have the latest set of cue cards. Their poor little minds are going, "Now I know Bush = Hitler and Theresenstadt = Guantonomo = Gaza. But Mussolini might have liked the opera. Am I still against him? I was against the 'destruction of human flesh' but am for Roe. Do I wear panties (and if so why?)? Are their panties in a wad? How can I demonstrate? What if I have cue cards version 1.0? Where is Mario when I need him? Where have you gone Mario Savio?"

Drag injury yields safety concerns - Top Stories

Drag injury yields safety concerns - Top Stories.

This street is the main street from the University to a bookstore, places to eat, off campus housing. It is like Main Street in a small town. I guess it is a small town Texas name for a main street from the fities where people might cruise or even race. Sharon (nee) Pearson from Taylor, about 30 miles from Austin, told me they used to make a circuit of the town. VP Cheney's wife said once that her husband 'had more interests (and, by implication, a self confidence to distance himself from doing this) in the small town in Wyoming where they grew up. My sense that I didn't feel 'in' with the practice contributed to my delight at finding that the light at one of the few main intersections in Taylor had the green on top. Sharon felt, briefly, a little offset fom being in the right attitude wise.

Texas is not hospitable to bikes. I brought a clunky Schwinn to Austin my fourth year. Was yelled at 'Go back to England' by 3 brawns in a GTO or somesuch. Other personal conveyance? You may see a horseman. In the city, I have only seen the occasional Negro riding in a residential area with few side walks. On a city street, I have only seen a horse drawn flatbed cart (once) and that was in Chicago. California has bike lanes. I saw someone who told me she 'used to go everywhere on her bike' in a Dallas suburb. After about 2 years of this, she was run into by someone in a truck who injured her pelvis and left a small numb spot. She now 'knows the bus schedule.'

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A leading psychiatrist, Wayne Fenton, was killed this weekend by a patient. Services occur at the synagagogue he attended. The main article on the blogosphere on this is at Shrink Rap, September 5. There are links to further articles at the end of that post.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A little fun

OK, I just sent in a manuscript, (letter really, covering material in my July 10th blog) which I am (anxiously, ? correctly) awaiting being (not really. How could it be?) trashed at the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry; so I'd like to have a little fun with the dominatrix fantasies over at the good Dr. Helen's. 'More than half of the reported sexual improprieties in prisons involve the female guards.' I'll leave you to go there seeing the anti(and pro)PC enthusiasm which starts off with the miscategorization of this as 'the committed' crimes with a few ,OK, relevant points of agreement in comments. I'd just like to point out, in related news, that Dallas is having a rash of bars having 'men's nights,' the men hopefully will come out with their buddies because they are afraid of all the submissive females that have barely (like that adjective do you, girl?) let them get to the bar. There may be some protection in a group approach. The quirkiness continues with water running uphill from the port of Galveston along with the Red snapper coming like salmon and jumping into fishermen's boats in our surrounding lakes. A couple of old fishermen have been heard to mutter, 'It aint sportin!' The 'H' organizations in the Middle East have confronted Olmert with their refusal to set off any more firecrackers even until each Israeli couple has 10 children each (Saudi Arabia is offering cash incentives to the couples); Kofi Anaan is angling for 12. Pope Bendict XVI went shopping for a new yarmulka with the chief Rabbi of Rome but is so at peace, in his little, conswervative German soul, now that the Rabbi said he can use his old one. Ahamadinehad, having a little trouble stepping out of character, threatened to wipe 'Rome off the map' if he isn't invited to a bar mitvah.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sex, Love, and Lock & Load

U Wisconsin Law Prof Ann Althouse had a question, 'Why no student protests against the Iraq War?,' to which I gave the following reply:

'But once I saw in the dark, and now I see in the light.' VN is the prism which draws the light which is broken into its components and we, the boomers, see America and its foreign relations. To understand the protests, one needs to go back to the fifties, to Lassie and Leave it to Beaver, sanitized from commie thought after the black list, and Eisenhower who said to his Press secretary he would answer a tough question by addressing it with an apparent sincerity and malapropism (which would cause people to lose interest and Daddy would take care of it). Then we had our War and maybe we weren't democratic because Eisenhower said 'they would only vote once' and didn't support the Geneva accords ending the previous war in 1954, and we faced the Vietnamese somewhat phase shifted and fighting against French colonialism and Japanese holding rice in warehouses, at that point directing the French, while 2 million Vietnamese starved. But they were patriots and collegial in their own Comintern, which is why VN has worked out better than North Korea. Suddenly the leftist virus was released and we, having been kept previously from exposure to it, were infected. And Richard Nixon freed us. We had our own 'communism' without knowing it which we inherited in fighting the identitarianisms of WWII and the Cold War. We had been owned by the state. But we were freed. The draft was not a law of nature like complementary winter and summer, mirabilu dictu. And we saw the signs of infection in ourselves, for example 'Cambodia' and 'communism' both start with 'C's; 'what the hey?' And the vitims in our own society when we went to work in it turned out to be victims a lot of themselves though it was hard to see that from the distance of a University, and even more we found it took real effort to produce and accommodate ourselves to it; so we, at least selectively, rid ourselves of the virus. But now the children are exposed to viruses all the time, which is possibly why they sometimes feel 'global warming,' but an overwhelming infection is not to be anticipated.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Origin of Islam

Aramaic was once the lingua franca of a vast area of the ancient Middle East, similar to what English is today or Latin was in Europe in centuries ago. It has now given way to Arabic, but according to some researchers, Syriac or Syro-Aramaic was also the root of the Koran. When the Koran was composed, Arabic did not exist as a written language. Aramaic, however, was still widely used between the 4th and 7th centuries in Western Asia. Ibn Warraq estimates that up to 20% of the Koran is incomprehensible even to educated Arabs because parts of it was, in fact, originally written in another, though related, language before Muhammad was born.

The author of the most important book on the subject – a German professor of ancient Semitic and Arabic languages – prefers to write under the pseudonym Christoph Luxenberg. Not because of lawsuits of “racism,” but out of plain fear for Muslim violence. According to Luxenberg, the chapters or suras of the Koran usually ascribed to the Mecca period, which are also the most tolerant and non-violent ones as opposed to the much harsher and more violent chapters from Medina, are not “Islamic” at all, but Christian:

“In its origin, the Koran is a Syro-Aramaic liturgical book, with hymns and extracts from Scriptures which might have been used in sacred Christian services. […] Its socio-political sections, which are not especially related to the original Koran, were added later in Medina. At its beginning, the Koran was not conceived as the foundation of a new religion. It presupposes belief in the Scriptures, and thus functioned merely as an inroad into Arabic society.”

An interview with Luxenberg is here. A Jew, wondering what the problem was from the Moslem faith, converted for 3 years. He says the problem is not the Koran but a commentary, perhaps alluded to in the interview with Luxenberg. Recently half of the Christians in Iraq have left. They are Aramaic speakers. It would be of interest to have Iraqi refugees teach us Aramaic. I had originally brought brought this discusssion up in an earlier post which I had shifted to 'Draft' but am reposting.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

War Morality. Haaretz answers the question in the air. Amnesty International don't hurt your noses on the trees.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Reaction to sacking of the head of the Vatican Observatory

Continuing the psychological discussion, Freud's conceptualization of cathexis in the Project for a Scientific Psychology is more central to the issue of depression than is the old canard about 'your angry at somebody and it is unexpressed.' Psychoanalysis is more like case law than a double blind investigation and we can overemphasize aspects of a case. The psychoanalyst might say, 'Life is about getting and giving up.' It is the 'getting,' the cathexis, that provides happiness; the difficulty in 'giving up' inhibits us from getting there. In therapy or development, one should emphasize the Aim, not the defense. The emphasis on anger may suggest that we should control, by aggression, the object that has not given us what we want, which may be to encourage a regression to a grandiose attitude. To reflect on recent posts, this is the Gentiles complaint about Trotsky or other frustrated Jews, that, for example in the case of the Russians, they were not treated as objects in themselves. But I was depressed today by the Pope's action. I very much liked the Jesuit who was head of the Vatican observatory for the position he took against 'intelligent design' and even more admired him for taking it. I understand that one can get into a transcendental feeling and it is perhaps best not to limit that a priori, but to assert it simply has no place in science. For me the syllogism: idiot = Pope, Pope = Jesus, QED "You're a good fellow Charlie Brown" works pretty well.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Self revealed in clothes

Was Kant the predecessor to Freud? As I understand it, Kant said we really can't perceive what is outside. We only have our senses of it. On the one hand that seems a mathematical quibble. On the other a kind of mystical insight. When I was young, someone asked me if I could believe that old comfortable in itself looking brown wood chair was made of atoms? Kant preceded the rise of Chemie. But really, from Kant it is but a derivative philosophical step to psychoanalysis which has our emotional life as a grounds for perception.

"Threadbared," isn't that a clever neologism? One smiles at hearing the word. Dr. DeLoache, noted in the left column, in discussing someone psychotic he interviewed who had presented himself bizarrely in public, said that it was our appropriate ideal to 'stand naked in the world.' One senses that he did not mean that literally but in ways that one can imply, and I thought it was his most gracious statement about a patient, who could be seen as an ideal. The blog "Threadbared" takes the Kantian/Freudian notion that in our clothes what we perceive as fitting the occasion may, without our sensing it, express ourselves 'nakedly to the world.' The post "What are friends for" cleverly takes up the unconscious expression of an identity arising out of the relations of 3 people.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Trotsky and Shoah

Kesher Talk's recent noting of Trotsky sparked in me a reflection on how much Jewish involvement in the Red revolution in Russia sparked a German response against the Jews as 'the river in which the revolutionaries swim' to adapt Ho Chi Minh. Solzhenitsyn has a recent book 'Alone Together' or 'Two Hundred Years Together'* which ideally would cast light on the reality in Russia. Though it has been used as a polemic for answering my question positively, the reality, cf. the generous review of noted scholar Richard Pipes and another very interesting Russian source review, seems to leave the ascetic author correctly viewed as autistic. One could view the evidence as suggesting that the hypothesis of my opening sentence is an intellectual bridge too far.

The psychological fact would seem to be that Trotsky's action challenged those who believed in Jewish dhimmitude and the role of the Jew in this challenge became the primary problem with communist Russia, its other defects flowing from that, rather than the Red revolution being an unfortunate totalitarianism destroying the world of Chekov and Tolstoy and common men in which some Jews, ? apostate, but mostly others, nonorigined participated. Nevertheless, it would have been better for the Jews and everybody else, given Lev Davidovitch Bronsteins's being successful as head of the Red Army, if he had followed that admonition which almost undoubtedly occurred to him, "Es ist nicht bar dir." As Anna Freud told me in a letter of August 9, 1971 " is very necessary to come to terms with oneself before one is really able to do something drastic about the environment, whether the drastic action is positive or negative."

*compendium of reviews here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tres Leches of religious dessert o quatro o dos o uno

Was interested, consequent the DaVinci code, in the feast day or Memorial Day of Mary Magdalene which occurred in the Catholic calendar 22 July. One might focus on the experience of Mary Magdalene, which is the fulcrum of Christian faith. In the Gospel, John 20:1-2, 11-18, Mary goes to the tomb and finds Jesus not there. She enquires of a man she finds in the vicinity, ? the gardener, where he might have been moved to. He speaks. She sees that it is Jesus, and she says 'Rabuni, which means teacher in Hebrew.' The priest who discussed the Gospel passage in the course of a Mass did not talk with disdain of caring for those lesser than us but rather that 'we all have had the experience of finding our Lord in others I think, a family member or someone we know in business ... and hopefully others have found Him in us,' one might say a Gnostic perspective. This is a message in the book reviewed by Oswald Sobrino on this feast day. This book and review give a Spanish noble attitude, which is distinctive and attractive in its chivalry, which finds the Lord in the other.

'It is not unusual for a pack of animals to function in a group but what makes the species man successful is its ability to trust its understanding of the intentions of another, an outsider.' After the delirium of the creation of the earth and sky and our first parents, what strikes me as the coming into a consciousness of the real in the Bible is the competition of Cain and Abel, which has perhaps the most dramatic denouement in literature when the murderer finds in himself the voice of G-d saying 'Am I my brother's keeper?' Thus of course the discovery of the perspective of G-d coming from man appears early in the Bible. Returning to Mary Magdalene, she respectfully calls Jesus 'Rabuni.' In this we do not find the fierce hostility to other Jews heard in other parts of the Gospel. Less emphatically do we not not hear a differentiation between a G-d and man. Being the dearest part of the Christian faith, this experience would seem least likely to be corrupted in the retelling. In the day's Gospel, perhaps we find the Gnostic hope, the transfer of the life of God in another. It is said that the early and main part of the Koran is of Syriac origin in Aramaic and was Christian prayers to be carried to the Arabs. Being from about the fourth century it may have been before the suppression of the Gnostic heresy. The Gnostic view would seem to be on a delicate balance in terms of helping I Thou ethics. If we should find the Lord in ourselves and others, then, given sufficient rank as the monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella had in Spain, to make that easier, others should be like us. My friend Dr. Perez, whose father was the foreign minister of Ecuador, said to have helped Jews escape from Europe, once, in speaking of his origins, pointed out that his name was really the same as the prime minister of Israel. There is an amusing story that the Spanish language changed when a crown prince could not pronounce a consonant and the 'dj' sound that he gave it became proper Spanish. Perhaps such a transformation in needing to find the Lord in others has occurred in Islam.

Reflections on 'Belmont Club'

Solzhenitsyn's austerity, ironically, represents an increase in our 'material possessions.' The conjunction of his views and ours can lead to statements that a Texas girl might call a "hoot," one such "It is not possible that assessment of the President's performance be reduced to the question of how much money one makes or of unlimited availability of gasoline."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Comes from Le Monde an interview with French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, who describes how his country's diplomatic goals were served by negotiating a ceasefire which left Hezbollah intact.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

An interview with the former Israeli Defense Force Intelligence Chief

"The root of the problem lies in how the residents of the Middle East look at the world and at their situation," Kuperwasser says as he expounds upon his doctrine about Israel's neighbors. "The approach that unites all the extremist elements in the Middle East, and enjoys political clout in the Middle East - because it speaks to the guts of the masses - says they are victims. They are not responsible for their fate. The reason their situation is not good is because someone had it in for them. The perception of Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Qaida, Iran and Syria, and of many among the Arab public, many of the people on the street, is that these outsiders, the Israelis and the Americans, are responsible for their fate because of their ambition to exploit them. That is a philosophical conception. And therefore Israel is a threat by its very existence, even when it does not shoot. They have a deep sense of victimization."

Maybe there is something to that feeling?

"It's nonsense and is not grounded in anything. It is a very good method to absolve yourself of responsibility for your fate."

A great interview. Mohammed confirms the above point in a more sympathetic and disappointed fashion.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Jew in Catholic Theology

Mr. Sobrino had an intersting post and comments in 'The War and a Teaching Moment for Catholics.' The folowing was a submission for comments that was not accepted, from Commonweal:

the Gospel of John portrays Jesus telling his disciples, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). If Jewish covenantal life with God has never been invalidated, however, do Jews need baptism to be in a saving relationship with God? On the other hand, if Christians do not seek to convert the Jews, hasn’t a fundamental Christian teaching been jettisoned, namely, that Christ is essential for everyone’s salvation?

The answers to such questions depend on how (the recent encyclical) Nostra aetate is interpreted. And some recent interpretations show how pivotal that declaration remains. In a November 2005 essay in First Things, Cardinal Avery Dulles offered a minimalist reading of Nostra aetate, claiming that the council “left open the question whether the Old Covenant remains in force today.”

There are several problems with this assertion. True, the declaration did not explicitly use the word “covenant” to characterize the enduring relationship between God and the Jewish people. Yet by rendering Romans 9:4-5 in the present tense (“to them belong the covenants”) and by invoking Romans 11:28-29 (“the Jews remain very dear to God, for the sake of the patriarchs, since God does not take back the gifts he bestowed or the choice he made”), Nostra aetate clearly affirmed the special relationship between the people of Israel and the God revealed in the Bible. This affirmation was later echoed by Pope John Paul II, who unequivocally and repeatedly stated that there exists “a covenant of eternal love, never revoked by God” between God and the Jewish people. More recently still, Pope Benedict has observed that “the favor of the God of the Covenant has always accompanied” the Jewish people, from biblical times to the present day, “giving them the strength to overcome trials.”

Two lines of registration are required at Commonweal to read the whole July 14th article, one of the best at this Catholic lay magazine.

Update: Mr. Sobrino this from Ignatius Loyola, Jesuit founder, in his Aug 15 blog:

At another point in the book, an Italian cardinal is quoted as comparing Escrivá to Saint Ignatius Loyola: as the Spaniard Loyola was the saint who implemented the Council of Trent, so the other Spaniard Escrivá was the saint who implemented the true vision of Vatican II (Allen, p. 17). (By the way, before reading this quote from a cardinal, I had written much the same thing earlier in this blog.) Here is what Loyola himself said about the possibility of being Jewish: "I would consider it a special thing to be united to Christ, our Lord, and to Our Lady, the glorious Virgin Mary, with ties of blood!" (quoted in Roy H. Schoeman, Salvation is from the Jews, Ignatius Press, 2003, p. 341).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lamont, an archetype?

Learning more history, that Lamont is the grandson of Corliss Lamont, who... Well here is how the story goes. Corliss' father was a director for JP Morgan investment banking and became a wealthy man. Corliss was then wealthy by inheritance, became a fashionable Communist and was head of the ACLU from 1932-54. He continued his devotion to lefitsm through his life. Intersting this wind of history and suggested ambivalent conflict with the father should come through into current events. It perhaps sheds a little light on the current problem in the Democratic party. In a view the stuctural theory of personality analysis, there is the idea that ruler of self expression or superego holds in check infantile expression. The ego or operational area of the personality is ideally to some extent neutral in this fight. On occcasion though the ego gets identified with the unaceptable impulses and then essentially attempts to compromise itself to get out from under the guilt.

Good Points

Jewish authors essentially say work with the neighbor Lebanon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"Indeed, it is more than likely that many of the civilian casualties being repeatedly mentioned in the media are in fact Hezbollah fighters killed while hiding in civilian clothes. This does not excuse Israeli mistakes that have undoubtedly cost the lives of genuinely innocent civilians, but exaggeration and Hezbollah tactics of mixing combat fighters among civilians clearly accounts for a fair percentage of the lives lost so far," reports Asia Times.

'Mothers don't let your children grow up and date Nasrallahs.' The country of Lebanon seems to have decided to date Nasrallah. Southern mothers were clearly not in control. Pity. "Crying shame."

Inspired by an Israeli article reprinted in Annika's Journal

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Reuters reports that '10 Israeli soldiers were killed in a rocket attack.' Pretty much a random shot that could have gotten anybody outdoors. They were reservists, military age civilians about to become soldiers perhaps. On the other hand, I read of the soldiers coming back from Lebanon that there is a concern about using the Air Force against firing positions for Hizbullah. There may be women and children there, but they are not civilians. They are draftees. Of course I know that Jews have suffered, cf. my comments in Haaretz, as what I call draftees or what you may call hostages. You are not fighting an aggressive war which Leviticus prohibits. They like calling you Nazis, and you can favor or abjure thinking of yourselves as Panzergruppe Yishrael, but few of you are going to be given an opportunity for Argentina. There are military necessities.

An example of Israel's Rules of War.

"But is not the evaluation of a war in terms of its justice a practice of conscience?" Leon Wieseltier will take you, perhaps after registration, to some agreement and a window to why there is not 'proportionality' in sympathy to take up Nathalie's question from a previous post.

To put this in further perspective, see here.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

John McCain, R-Ariz. spent 5 years as a POW and has 7 children, one of whom just joined the Marines. I'd say that's doing pretty well. I'd like to see Rudy Giuliani run though. At this point, we need somebody who knows how to police a large city, Baghdad.

Met a man from Cairo today. Cairo, IL that is. Put me in mind of the grandiose Texan humor to have towns named 'Paris,' 'Athens.' I don't know if you know this, but the one state in the world where Neanderthals have the right of return is Texas. We try to signal that with our town names. Also put me in mind of Jim McMahon. He was several years older than most of a group of friends I hung out with on Portsmouth Street before I was deported. Remember riding around on bikes one day with him, the freshman philosopher, teaching that 'Every dog has his day!' He did become a philosophy teacher at Southern Illinois University, history of ideas, and got teacher of the year award. He got the 'crucify you award' the next year, was fired. He was working then as a motorcycle mechanic that year I talked to him and, ever the philosopher psychologist, said, 'You change your group of friends.'

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hezbollah enteritis

'In Qana, grocer Hassan Faraj -- who had sworn a day earlier never to leave -- jumped at the chance to escape. He shuttered his shop and loaded his wife and child into a van to go north into the mountains.

"My mother is very unwell, I must go and see her," he said, explaining his change of mind and insisting he was just dropping off his family to return.'

It seems to me one day he was sucking up to the local brave Hizbollah heroes, defenders of international law, candidates for Order of the Maltese whatever from the Vatican Pharisees office, etc. Then something changed his mind. The whole world hates the perfidy of the Jews at Qana; what is so hard about saying, 'They're terrible mean and nasty. They blew up the building and killed my cousins and the children,' sob, ('and a couple of nice people who hadn't paid their bill,') (blows nose). 'My holy duty from the Koran is to protect my children,' sob, sob, "I must quit this lovely place of my birth and leave it only to the Hizbollah heroes, who by the most sweetest of graces will courageously stay..' Why not? Because, he doesn't want his heroes to misunderstand and think that he is criticizing blowing up the building. He doesn't want them to get confused and think he might be thinking of their guilt, nor does he want to stay where he may have just seen useful dead examples of "Israeli injustice." Love for your sick mother gives you a better exeunt.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Yates case and the idea of a split mother.

"I personally don't think mental illness absolves one of personal responsibility. Nor does the criminal law; the insanity defense is a narrow category, which exculpates the defendant not merely because he's ill, but because he's deprived of volition regarding the acts in question. Which is not to say that Yates case turned out right," Brian in comments, #50, on Patterico's blog.

That is well put. Liberal Chicks and Dr. Helen have commented on the Yates case. A Catholic might wonder how this case is different from abortion; like good mathematicians we may know that the answer is "obvious." Yet still I think this question brings us to something poetic, sad regarding the Yates chidren, and perhaps correctly insightful about individual development.

"In the begining was the Word and the Word was with God." This begining of a Gospel mirrors our feeling of the begining of any human life. Life sems to begin with the impression of the mother and the child is part of the mother. In the Gita, Oppenheimer famously quoted, 'I am Vishna. I am the creator of worlds; I am the destroyer of worlds.' A patient had intrusive thoughts about harming her children, not that she wanted to carry them out. The patient had had an alcoholic mother for whom she had to cover 'because what would the neighbors think.' The therapist surmised that the patient experienced mother's attitude, shown in other ways as well, as a kind of attack on her which she was reexperiencing, as if from the other side, now that she was a mother. At the same time, mother felt intensely for the therapist; one might say that she saw the 'creator of worlds' aspect of Vishna in the therapist; so that, in sum, she was working through the anxiety or perception of both, which is what she did. And ultimately, we are released by or feel we escape from our mothers. The Yates case is an exception, but the jurors, reperesenting us, may have realized that this is not perfectly easy to do and had some sympathy for Andrea, a Vishna without knowledge.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Spanish Civil War

Another view of the Spanish Civil War. I don't offer it to be critical. It is mainly relevant to show how the Eurpean elites clung to a nation state (balance)hope for peace really based on the situation created by the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia in spite of evidence and still do. By prolonging the 30 Years War and in weakening the Catholic, but also with a small "c" for ruling many different cultural/religous areas, King of Spain and Austria, this was Cardinal Richelieu's creation to uplift, in spite of the terrible suffering and death it caused, the King of France. On Richelieu's death the Pope is reported to have said, "If there is no G-d, he (Richelieu) did quite well for himself. If there is, he will have a lot to answer for."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Liberal Republican Like Dad

Peggy Noonan wonders why Mr. Bush calls our foreign minister 'Condi' and has other heartfelt thoughts. I can't disagree about forced informality. I was told to call the boss, 40 years older, at a technology institute 'Jim' when I was in college, would have been comfortable calling him Mr. X. Felt so alienated I became a doctor. The WSJ was kind of enough to include my thoughts on "W" and Ronald Reagan in their "Reader Responses":

Know? Trust? No Bush would start his presidential campaign near the Tallahatchie River where Emmett Till was killed. Reagan did; Southern strategy I guess. "W" is a liberal Republican like his dad. His school is practical politics. Part of his insistence on being himself was abjuring reading conservative political philosophy, "Leftism" by Kuenhelt-Leddihn for example, which could have better led him away from clichés about what America should be and was, though he has an insider's experience reflected in saying "Condi."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Great post in a free site of the WSJ on the value of the Iraq invasion in changing the politics, 'setting the stage for the destruction of Hezbollah,' of the middle East. Spine tingling for correlating it with the military usefulness of Caesar's seeing that 'Omnia Gallia est divisa in tres partes.'

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hamlet and the Middle East

To die at home (soothed by words of the thin Othello Kofi Anaan) or to die in battle with the cur like words of Nasrallah spoken over you; that is the question the Israelis face. This sea of troubles may be easier for the Israelis with a tradition feeling being, life, and development. For me, the fact that a man Zidane has arisen from the life of the enemy gives hope.

Saudi Arabia, doing sweet violence to our expectations, the prince's peace plan had intent, is condemning Hezbollah. Djerejian is concerned that Israel has overreached, should have just looked to southern Lebanon lately. He answers himself later by saying that the Iranians have increased the tactical skill of the Muslim offense. The Iranian safe haven in Syria may be a strategic objective in the present conflict. I suppose that I stand with Shakespeare in recommending "to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them." Have the Israelis asked the Saudis if they might help in the struggle against Hezbollah?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Prospective letter

Going to get to talk with the great attraction of Truluck's on McKinney with me Wednesday, July 12, truly a great seafood place. A new idea will be that ziprasidone's stimulation of the 5-HT1b receptor is what causes sedation or activation (in ~ half the patients). This occurrence relates to my low dose roll in of the drug for a patient and clinical examples will be given. Primary references supporting the neuropharmacological discussion are Stahl's J. Clin Psychiatry article and Richard Green's Neuropharmacology of Serotonin with more modern Abstracts on animals transfected to have increased 5HT1b receptors in the dorsal raphe, also ziprasidone being the only neuroleptic studied that is a partial agonist at the 5HT1b receptor, the rest inverse agonists. Special attaboys for seeing in the structure of Stahl's really very informative paper an interesting deficiency in his discussion of the 5-HT2c/D2 blockade balance section of his article which seems, for several reasons, in error. The role of cryptic mixed bipolar in treatment resistant depression mentioned, example given.

Update: Kim Collins, Joe, Norris and others from the second year came.

Update: Put the ideas off in a prospective letter to the Editor at The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 9-4-06

Update on talk, 10-20-06: Received 'congratulations' from Dr. Gelenberg 'to the authors of the manuscript. It is accepted for publication.'

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What did you think of the World Cup? Everybody gets to play psychoanalyst now and say, 'I know what Zidane was thinking. It was ...' It seems to me he didn't want to follow ABC's marketing strategy.


Alcibiades has a good review of the incident including videos of that and other plays of the Italian player involved. Heather Hunter shares sexual thoughts.

Friday, July 07, 2006

"Reagan" to me

'Our lives are like the grass in the fields. It grows in the morning and is cut down in the afternoon.' Is that the way it goes? It is a calming metaphor. One imagines the structure of grass to be fairly simple. The sun and rain and earth lead the grass to begin again. Reagan Andrews, Jr. died. I can remember him at my dad's funeral and with Connie at a little reception Beverly and I had over at her parents house before our first son was born. I felt good; they were there. I hadn't seen him in a while. I remember a comment he made about the Southern aristocracy after the Civil War, that it 'just disappeared.' And I wondered if there wasn't memory of that in the house off Walnut Hill Lane in well-to-do Dallas where his parents lived. He went to the Air Force when he was 20, listened to Russian shortwave broadcasts from Turkey, came back and got a Ph.D. in Psychology. Those Russians whose love life was on the short wave, heh, no problem. Connie said that 'his time in the AF greatly influenced his life,' which reminds me of a story from Russia. The Russians have a crack fighter group like the Blue Angels. They did a demonstration in China once and were flying back into Russia. The radio crackles, 'What are you doing?' Explanation given by pilot. 'You do not have a flight plan in our system. You do not have permission to enter. We will send our interceptors up to shoot you down.' Pilot leader, "Send up your interceptors! We will see who returns to Mother Russia." With that, they flew unmolested to their base.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A myth of the primitive?

A recent book says some 2 billion would have been killed if we had had primitive tribal life in the 20th century. It's an interesting thought. Right now the Ayammarra Indians, Bolivia, are going through a period of seeking the pre-Spanish idyll, WSJ front page 7-6. Rousseau published on the innocence and beneficence of the primitive and this myth has driven various revolutionary movements since. Interesting that that the 'class struggle' or other issues could serve as screen memories to an idyllic time in infancy, a memory that is a part of normal development. OTOH in a book I commented on before, end of post, the author argued that their were no 'man on man' pictograms before the invention of the bow and arrow, which gave in 'economic' terms an advantage to an organized assault.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Soccer and a great link

For those of us who haven't had the time to watch much soccer. Fifa's world cup site is absolutely wonderful. The first thing about it, there are no advertisements before the video clips! Viva soccer huh! Go to the middle of the web page in 'Germany 2006 Highlights' and click on 'Full Video Highlights' and your good to pick out something. The German coach has come in for praise, the WSJ talks of a 74 yo woman who has the flag tatooed on her hand and around her neck, apparently the tatoo de jour for the Germans. Well, Italy beat them today, and those goals are in the upper left corner of the 'MATCH HIGHLIGHTS' section. One of the orthopods I run into at lunch complained that the Brazilians were allowed to beat Ghana by not having 'off sides' called on them. If an offensive player is between the last defensive player and the goal when the ball is kicked to him that is 'off-sides.' You can see the relevant plays; just click on the icon for the game. But compare to France vs. Spain; it looks like the referees will accept being 'in the neigborhood' which may be best practice. It is a hard call to make; and, in US club soccer, it seems to mean that the offensive player has raced beyond the defense regardless of their status at the time of the kick. We have become too accustomed to severe calls; to me the ref for the Brazilian game got it just right. And of course the Brazilians played it right. Really, once you hear the rules and see the Brazilians play, then you know the rules of the music. And I just loved their goalie kicking the ball out on a quick unexpected shot position; an insect couldn't have had better sudden coordination of its leg.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bolivia, People and Language

In my limited travels, I have come to love Bolivians and Italians. Visiting Santa Cruz, about which is this blogpost, has been one of my faraway wishes. My comments in the link and the response about Bolivian Spanish reflect this:

When I was in the altiplano, they talked of the ‘Chacoa gezza’ phonetically. Any comments on the variant to the word ‘guerra.’ One veteran we examined probably with an atrial fib, on learning that we could do nothing for him, conversed with some associates seemed to offer that his problem was ‘nerves’ and walked off with a real bearing given honor and respect a part of which was his having been part of the ‘gezza.’

Comment by Frank IBC — 6/30/2006
Bolivians tend to pronounce the letter “r”, specifically the “erre”, like the English letter “z”, or possibly a voiced version of the Castillian “zeta”.
Little Miss Attila calls him 'Hitch.' He came up with an article the key etmology of which might be the Americanization of The English prounciation of the word 'below.' I' still hold his discrediting of the American soldier in VN against him. With this article and a box of Chardonnay from Target*, well you just need company for the party.

*from WSJ 6-28 on house wines at grocery outlets: 'Chardonnay from 7-Eleven, called Thousand Oaks, was actually pretty good -- light and almost as refreshing as a Slurpee -- though overpriced at $7.49 and ultimately not among our favorites. A boxed Australian Chardonnay from Target was quite good and a real bargain at $15.99. Overall, Sauvignon Blanc was the best bet on a varietal, while Chardonnay was the worst. Cabernet was more reliable than Merlot.

Albertsons did well in the tasting on the strength of two brands called Q and Origin. Other Albertsons house brands, Flourish and Voyage (in a box), didn't taste good. Safeway's house brands, Firefly Ridge and Diablo Creek, were just OK or worse. A Harris Teeter offering called Fish Eye was consistently disappointing, although one of its low-priced Oak Creek wines, the Cabernet, was pleasant drinking for $3.99. We didn't like the Charles Shaw Merlot, Cabernet or Chardonnay. In the past, we've said that the best of the "Two-Buck Chuck" wines is the Sauvignon Blanc, but we didn't see it this time. Kroger's Arrow Creek brand was impressive: Both the Chardonnay and Merlot were among our favorites and the Cabernet was OK. They cost $9.99.'

Friday, June 30, 2006

Fouad Ajami has an excellent article in relation to the president's recent statement repeating his request that the (rich) Arab countries give assistance to the Iraqi government including some facts on the geography, and thus population, of Iraq in relation to adjoining states. A part, from behind a subscription wall, is quoted here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In the best tradition, like our Marines, the Israeli military is leaving no man behind; nice photo of tanks moving into position. They have also said they will grant immunity to no one. Apparently the commander of the kidnappers is in Syria. Not acting out of bravado, the Israelis are apparently talking to Abbas and Hamas officials
Patterico has struggled with some Coulter quotes from 'Godless:..'. The best opinion seems to be that of Mark Steyn.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kesher Talk has uncovered evidence of an outbreak of rationality in American Protestantism and reciprocates with mentioning what sounds like a good book on Jesus from one of the participants. Dr. Helen talks of social isolation. One of the things we do naturally is let people have kind of a manic perspective, i.e. grandiose, superior, without confrontation in a new social setting so as to allow relationships among the group to form. The New York Times reports, from Pew, '65% of Muslims in Indonesia said the 9/11 attack were not carried out by Arabs, 35 to 65% of Muslims elsewhere did' (Dallas Morning News June 23,2006, p. 13A). This is the kind of thing and rationale, in my opinion, that the NYT and Pew are doing. The Dallas Morning News makes it a lot easier to orient oneself to the manic position of the Muslim world by citing believed 'facts' which are easily seen as evidence of denial. In the face of this, sometimes you enjoy some music of persistence with some tonality of an archaic Protestant hymn.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Roger Simon nicely displays the conventional wisdom on problems in our public schools. I see the problem a little differently as noted in comments.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bob Sturm, sportscaster, discusses the end of hoop dreams for the Mavericks, a.k.a. the 'UN Peacekeepers,' in a late decathecting comment by me.

Annika comments on what a good shot Giuliani should have at the electoral college.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Annika in her journal recently brought up her essay on Leopold and Loeb and the 'crime of the century' in Chicago. I commented in part:

One thing that is possibly missed in the understanding of the 2 criminals is the significance of the luminosity of their prior achievements, their graduations from noted colleges at times others would be starting college. I imagine that mother or father for each may have driven them very hard. They may have imagistically reexperinced this as a thought to murder when they saw themselves as adults, pseudoparents, in relation to the younger boy.
I feel bad for the kids killed, tortured first, today in Iraq.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Liberalism and Catholicism collide in Commonweal's article "Benedict at Auschwitz." My thoughts are in the comments, June 17. Jews continue to seem to be an inordinately useful and seemingly fissionably combustible chemical reagent in politics and society. In Pfaff's piece in Commonweal, we learn that the 'clash of civilizations' involving the U.S. and Islam 'results from Washington's largely uncritical support of Israel,' the war in Iraq has as one it's main cause 'to defend and promote Israel's security interest,' and, in case the complex sentences are interfering with your learning, 'Jihad terrorism is merely a sideshow in the affair.' Goebbels call your agent; is methodology patentable? And then again a good article from an American student in Germany on what the pope said in the class he taught as a professor in 1968.
Dr. Helen discusses what a girl might do.
Patterico gets a tad vulgar to asks if Ann Coulter is anti-semitic? Also in Patterico, filed under Morons, 'Are those who believe in evolution brainwashed?' This is an Ann Coulter assertion. My comments are there.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The metal hawk brings Zarqawi to ground.

Considering Berg's view, a respectful interview with whom was the first item on the Michael Medved radio show, is a way of shrinking from joy at our victory. It should be tempered not by deluded masochism but by consideration of some good men who fought lawfully to achieve it (realize it is standard on a mission of this sort to have an Air Force combat controller on the ground).

Perhaps the tragedy just referred to suggests why Zarqawi felt free to prance around Iraq. He may have had agents in our allies. Perhaps this was an example of a suicide crash or sabotage by one of his agents who knew of a mission to kill him. Surviving like that could give you some bravado. For whatever reason he had it, the scourge of his life is finally at an end.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Aint that a shame

Kesher Talk has addressed the issue of an anti-Israel policy appearing as a sophisticated, caring and encouraged gesture among well to do teenage students. Right Thinking Girl has brought up the issue of whether or not to be for Homosexual marriage in a manner reflecting that of many considerate people. Somehow, when I get to this point I think of the "it" recently divorced female physician at the VA, and me the cockroach that has avoided Raid, who would always put in her notes " homocidal ideation..." The reason for both 'caring' behaviors which their advocates are trying to induce is in the interest of shame reduction. The usual argument is over whether or not homosexuality is natural. A really more fruitful enquiry would be over whether shame is natural in homosexuality. I think it is as well as masochistic or sadistic satisfaction. For me, it is an anal level sexual identity and there is shame in anal level expressions. To leave this beginning of psychodynamic enquiry, look at political level expressions. 30 years ago we had the demonstrations to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. I think this was in large part, by it's proponents, to protest against shame. If this was all society's problem, then I think this would have solved it. Now we have another step to 'normalize' homosexuality, which I think betokens an internal shame rather than social stigma. For the Muslim, whose proxy here is the Palestinian, submission to Allah yields, according to the Koran, dominion over all nonMulims. WTF, the Israelis appear to have more money and don't even have Allah's gift of oil. The Israelis have stayed in land they have the nerve to claim rather than joining the sea fishes as the Arabs and Allah, of course, would have seemed to prefer. What a terrible narcissistic insult. How shameful that the Arabs do not have the status granted by Allah. If dominion is what Allah grants to men who are Muslims what part of this equation, description, are they not? So to be pro-Palestinian is to fight against Palestinian shame. Let's all be nice.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day

'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the Coming of the he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.' Sometimes one does make an attempt to live up to that view perhaps partially with pride and arrogance and one's life may be injured or cut short. The soldier preserves civil society. In science, that sacrifice can be in promoting knowledge and health. In law, it can be serving as a warning to antisocial behavior, as in the government's pursuit of Lay and Skilling. It is good that this day accepts the sacrifice for the main motive and brings peace from recrimination at ancillary error. A patient whose forbearer fought in the Revolutionary War said, 'I could never turn my back on the flag as General Lee did.' May we accept the peace of Memorial Day with him.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

'Empirical claims are at the heart of Christianity.' Events in Christ's or Christian history can be looked at, I am happy to hear you imply, in the light of continuing observation of similar phenomenon and their interpretation. Empirical science requires that one repeat an event and see how outcomes change in association with varying inputs, something rather difficult with the Resurrection.

A rabbi said that one of the oldest prayers is 'May the face of God shine upon you.' A book 'The Hidden Face of God' develops the idea that new religions emerge as a sense of the face of God being unrecallable or distant occurs. Marxism can fall into that view. A recent Wall Street Journal article remarks that what Adam Smith called civil society, capitalism in the Marxist critique, empiricaly gives better outcomes for the poor, viz. all the Mexicans in the U.S., than a statist or Marxist society. Yet Marxism, as recently promoted by Eva Morales in Bolivia, surely persists because it brings an experience of the face of God to people with ideas of 'brotherhood,' 'fairness,' e.g. those damn rich men not getting their camels through the eye of a needle, and 'from each according to his means,' which is necessary in a family. All in all a present Messianism which, for some, represents the face of God and which can have some empirical validation by Pres. Chavez delivering free food and medical care (from nationalizing oil resources).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Trish has an awesome short story. A pious Catholic is excited that the Da Vinci Code movie will lead to learning. I'm led to this post by his response to my comment about Mary Magdalene. We Catholics evolved this view that Mary was a prostitute really with little evidence. He happily chirps away that it doesn't matter because she quit, but when I commented in his post mentioning 'his fornication' that it wasn't good to brag, well I didn't comment, because it was blocked as not being on topic. Who knew that the (Catholic) male was the more modest of the sexes? As a middle aged lady told me, 'You can't rape a man' which goes to show you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rule # 1. The boss is right. Rule #2. When the boss is wrong, refer to rule #1.

O'Grady's blog reports on the good police and military being killed in Mexico and the damage to their emerging free market and democratic institutions secondary to the U.S. market for drugs of abuse. One day, driving back from Dallas after our weekly lunch out, I kidded my appointment secretary, 'You can tell Irving is a holy place. It (being dry for which she, Baptist, of course voted) is surrounded by temples of liquor stores.' We were about to cross one of, semi-originally, the Tres Rios. There were 2-3 liquor stores on either side of the road, one with a cantilvered 2 story appearance (like a Church or synagogue). Similarly holy America is surrounded by cocaine warehouses. I think it is OK to tell society "no" to marijuana, cocaine, etc. but really only until you get to and past a Tipping Point. Then such a simple rule is no longer appropriate. As Ronald Reagan said when he withdrew our forces from Lebanon, on to ships, 'We have moved to a more defensible position.' That position, in my view, is to monitor people, in various situations, for use.

Not like Captain Renault in Casablanca, I was shocked to read that the Mexican legislature had voted to decriminalize possession of limited quantities of typical drugs of abuse. I felt more like Captain Renault on learning that 'our government objected' and the legislation was halted. We, as individuals, may not have official rights to speak of in Mexico but practically our government vetoes legislation there. OK. I'd be more thrilled if this worked out to be pro-democratic, pro-competitive, or even pro-public order in Mexico. The 'our government objected' remark suggests Mr. Bush has more stroke in Mexico than one might have thought. I would be interested in knowing further about how this measure was turned back.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The NSA Controversy

Trish brought up the question of the day, which is about the NSA records. Just happened to run into an article in the Washington Post which supports it and explains it, I was going to say "well," but agreement is elusive.

To me this follows, as Aldous Huxley so poetically puts the general argument in the Grey Eminence, as a logical follow on to our intelligence failure re: 9/11. One thing I would somewhat prefer not to feel isolated on is the trial of Moussaoui. Should America rise to the artistic rigor of a Three Stooges movie? There, Larry will appear to do something stupid and Moe will hit him over the head with a wrench for it. Then Larry will tell Moe what Moe doesn't know about the deal in question, which shows that Larry is smarter than Moe, perhaps yucking it up in the process, 'Ahh, ahh, ahh!' Moe goes and finds that this is true and says, 'You think you're so smart, huh' and hits Larry over the head at which point Curley will comment and Moe will get aggravated, push Curley, and yuck it up himself. In the current American analogy, Moussaoui = Larry does something stupid. He trains to fly but not to land. Moe = FBI gets wise to this and tells him it's stupid. Larry doesn't tell Moe that he should have looked on his computer, cf. 9/11. Now Moe, speaking for us, is all mad that, as Trish said, he 'was out to lunch' and so Larry should really get hit over the head. No offense, but we seem to be saying, "Mr Mossaoui, we know you have only been in this country a short time but we really expect you to abide by our 3 Stooges convention. We know Moe is stupid (deperately wants to abide by privacy rights so everybody can feel uninhibited about being as obscene as they can possibly get to as Dr. Freud told us was abolutely necessary for our mental health) but PLEASE you are supposd to tell Moe what is really going on so that Moe doesn't appear 'criminally stupid,'" not that that would be reason enough to want a change in OUR behavior. Yes we can! WE can get the role of Curley!