Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day

'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the Coming of the Lord....as 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!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Strange situation of prostitution

Kesher talk has a recent post on prostitution in Israel. There are moral = religious issues in prostitution but also 'I and Thou,' as in other sexual relations, and business or contract aspects. I don't see why the pimps make the bigger share? Why isn't there an effective competition that lowers their share? At an extreme, why doesn't the prostitute stop a cop and turn 'states evidence' and bargain for witness protection and a new identity.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Tagged by Trish

Trish of Liberal Chicks is asking me to say 6 things about myself. Rather honorably, she has already ventured into this task herself and acquitted herself well.

OK

1. Went to Andrew Litton's next to last concert at the Dallas Symphony Saturday evening. He did Copeland's Appalachian Spring and Elger's Enigma variations it is called I think. Two things were different for me in the Copeland. First the liner notes were really helpful and it wasn't 'fanfare for the common man.' I had felt Copeland was puffed up in his titles, his perspective. The piece was written as a ballet for Martha Graham in the 40's, who named it from a line in a poem by Crane. The discussion of the piece suggested thinking of your marriage, your first home; so various milestone firsts including these came to mind through it and it really brought me to tears. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is said to have improved in it's string's and there was a clarity and travel in the music I had never heard in a recording. Sitting in the second row from the stage, for $39, probably didn't hurt. I had heard Nimrod from the Enigma variations at a memorial for Stanley Marcus, which I and my 2 secretaries attended on a work day something never otherwise done, there at the Meyerson a few years ago. That was one reason I wanted to hear the program. The Enigma is Elger's decoding into music of 12 people he knows, sort of an elegant variation of the game Trish has proposed. Nimrod, # 9 I think, I learn is in E flat major which is Beethoven's' heroic key. This person portrayed is apparently his agent, who was German, in London. In part, he recalled his agent's impassioned thoughts, brought into their dialogue, about Beethoven's music. Nimrod is a mythological figure, if I have it right, which translates into Jaeger, or hunter, in German. The piece was written in 1898. I liked the piece but was overwhelmed again by the Nimrod, cried, in part, for all the dead German hunters.

2. A patient, coming off mania, came in today. I had treated his fraternal twin at the VA. Somehow, it came up partially as a joke that he had some of his brother in him. His episode of mania seemed triggered by his disappointment at his brother's circumstances. His brother, he said, 'was killing himself with smoking and eating and no exercise. That's all he does and sleep. He smokes like a chimney.' He says his brother 'still recalled his first sin, ..' From a common perspective, his brother is someone who if you met you would probably think was lucky to have, and perhaps bound up in, his entitlements, but my patient recalls him 'as a boy who threw a paper route. He was the artistic one. He could sit down and draw you the plans for a house. Played trumpet in the band, was serious at school.' He left school 2 weeks before graduation, joined the Navy where he fell apart and came to be where he is. Since I had known the other, it was a revelation I felt.

3. I had a dream a week ago in which I recall the first dream appearance of my grandson Miles. He was crying and mad. I assume like the baby suspicioning Beelzebub as discussed in a recent post. I assume the baby is me and Miles is my reassurance as I feel toward him in the dream. This mechanism is like for the chassid in the Reward.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Agreeing with Mr. Bush, I too might rather be right than be president. Wait? He is president.

As I commented in the blog Catholic Analysis, I think really there is poetry and economic truth in the statement that, in this issue, jobs are created not destroyed. To me, who votes conservative typically, the May Day March was disturbing. I doubt that it was lost on the marchers that this was the traditional day for marches of communist armies. There certainly were the pictures of Che Guevara, the references to an oppressive America, this was 'their country,' so rules of citizenship were invalid philosophically etc. As one commenter said, 'the American flags were all new' (not evidence of an enduring interest). It seems naive to me to talk about protecting the border and view this as a problem of practical geometry. Responding to a criticism from a caller at a radio station, the Dallas mayor said this week that 25 years ago the local police on making a stop for some reason, would look into someone's immigration status if that seemed appropriate, no longer. If once you get 100 miles inland, 'there are no illegal aliens' as it says on the poster, then part of what you have done is emphasize smuggling, which of course has also terrorist implications, at the border. You still have no appropriate relationship with 12 (?) million people here. I think the problem for our country is that those who are for order, if you will, are also too niggardly with the allowed numbers for immigration or guest worker status. After all, there is 4.7% unemployment here but our official standard for entry would have had us with 12 million less individuals, who as a group have the highest labor participation rate. On the other hand the leaders of the immigrants, supported by them, apparently are communists who would destroy property rights, contracts and life as Castro, Chavez and Morales from Hispanic cultures do.

A blog, conservative in their lights, which has been kind enough to keep up with me, offers that a Zogby poll says that Americans 2 to 1 prefer the House immigration bill version to the Senate, prefer enforcement to guest worker status being granted. That's nice, and if that is the democratic decision, like William Faulkner, I know which side I'm on; but it may be a significant boon to Muslim jihadists who will see us then engaged in a 2 front war. Tongue in cheek, I see the Senate moving to an alternative to capital punishment. It has provisions for citizenship track status if you have been 2-5 years in the country. Can you imagine working for the INS and having someone sitting in front of you presenting WalMart receipts from 5 years ago, and you are asked to decide, 'Are these for this person? Are they real or are they fake?' Wash and repeat 25 times a day. A few days of that and you might wonder whether lethal injection wouldn't have been better. So there certainly is something to disagree with in the Senate version even though it touches on a guest worker status other than that status itself. A carrot and stick approach I think is appropriate. The carrot, guest worker status period, that's really what the illegales sought; the stick, DHS, and perhaps other, raids and deportation if not documented.

Update: Mike Pence (R-Indiana) has a bill pretty much like the above. I like it's feature of no limit on guest workers for the first 3 years.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day follies

The illegal immigrants are announcing their presence today. A British colleague was reminded of his medical school days when after a rugby game, he and his friends would go to any party any one of them had been invited to. Not invited they would crash one. One of them would knock on the door and, when someone came to the door, would engage or be engaged by the person answering. Meanwhile another would slip by and tap the owner of the house on the back and, when he would turn around, say, 'They're all right I know them,' and thus all would come in. In this case our guest workers are saying, 'We are this group over here who have broken into the party. You don't want your furniture smashed do you.'

It would have been a better sign of wanting to be an American if they had chosen July 4 for the demonstration rather than May Day, a day of communist power. Even the 'oppressed Vietnamese' who liberated VN proved to be quite the torturers. Che Guevera banners and all are demonstrating how glad they would be to bring their paranoid, grandiose, expropriating preferred form of government and enduring poverty to us. I was going to punish my Republican Senators for their hostility to nice illegal immigrant legislation. Not to put to fine a point on it, now I would say, "Unleash the dogs." The blacks won with some of these methods, less emphasis on their hostility. Here it won't work. We don't feel guilty for their being here. As for their not working, the Canadian land the Mcarthy's, my ancestors, moved to in 1823 wasn't missing them but was available and more productve with Irish farming techniques. Similarly here, the U.S isn't missing them. If they don't want to 'work the land,' Va a la casa in sud America.