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.