Saturday, February 24, 2007

Anyone intersted in my take on why Xanax is the black sheep of the drug family? It is, in part, here; see comment 19. The drug does seem to have unique, at least at FDA authorized doses, euphorant properties for some people.
An English publication the Spectator has an article on the strategic situation and corresponding rhetorical positions of Iran and Israel which constitute a res ipse loquitur predicting future developments.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lent, VN, and Iraq

In 1967, from a bookstore on the 'Drag' at the University of Texas, I got "Lotus in a Sea of Fire" by a Buddhist monk. It was anti VN war, one needs to put VN=Lotus to see the theme, influential to me. Recurrently, in recent years, I have wondered what happened to that monk. Due to a recent issue of Commonweal, I know partially. A Vietnamese Catholic theology professor in D.C. went back to VN with his mother. The Catholic school in their village was gone but a serene Buddhist pagoda was there and his mother prayed before the Buddha. In today's Gospel, Luke:27-38, Jesus says 'to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic.' In Symbol, Dream & Psychosis there is an interesting discussion about how self criticism or guilt may be sexualized, how the ego may experience this pleasurably. I agree that we are presented with a new and useful ethic in the Gospel. As Father Peter says, this is the opening of the Lenten and this Gospel seen as pointing toward the death of Christ. According to Reimarus'it had not been his purpose to suffer and die, but to establish an earthly kingdom and deliver the Jews from political oppression-and in that God's help had failed him.' The example of VN, where we had the televised self immolation of Buddhist monks and innumerable, unpublicized examples of children sent to blow themselves up.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Libby Not Guilty! (perhaps)

As Tim Russert has authoritatively indicated, Americans like nice and innocently open though really Pontius Pilate seems more to be that than Russert now. We are not wearing 'Love YU Valentine's clothes' to a hanging. The jury was wearing such t-shirts today and a spokesman wished everybody a Happy Valentines Day. The shirts may have been the jurors first substantive conversation in relation to the trial. If so, NOT GUILTY on all counts. Fitz may need to keep shopping at Sears*.

*This relates to discussion of the Libby trial at Just One Minute Monday. Fitz, the prosecutor was wearing a seersucker suit, which seemed odd in the winter, and seemed somewhat crestfallen at how the Defense's case was going on its first day. One of the commenter's said it reminded him of the joke about the young man who meant to go Cox's to by a seersucker suit but, being confused, went to Sears instead. Fitz, like all of us, could change and say, in his closing argument, that he has trouble with Russert's testimony, it seems inconsistent, and Fleischer may have just said things because Fitz may have seemed to want to hear them at the time. Now he feels wrong for bringing the case but perhaps it is rather now that he is wrong and so he will leave it to the people, as represented by the jury having heard the evidence, in the U.S. Government vs. Libby

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Forget the Ways of Washington?

Mr. Obama was recently interviewed with his wife about his candidacy. Asked if they were worried for his safety as a candidate, his wife responded, 'A black man could get killed going to the gas station in this country..' That seems to me unchristian. The Lord's Prayer, says 'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.' Admittedly one reading of it is that we should forgive anybody anything. This usually means forgiveness of a favored class of transgressors in practice. A more nuanced reading is to see an analogy between the way God forgives us and the way we forgive others. God forgives us as we recognize sin and in doing so make an effort to reform our ways. Thus as God has forgiven us, we should not hold a grudge and, analogously, forgive others who have made an attempt to reform. I believe this country has made an attempt to reform in its race relations. The easy recourse to the cudgel of guilt is unchristian and in fact is an attempt to hold the rest of the nation in bondage. As Abraham Lincoln said, 'no man should own the labor of another.' White folks do look forward to the day when we can say, "Free at last. Thank God, I am free at last."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

An amusing letter from a German reader of a recent Economist article extolling Great Britain, rather insightful re: the relationship maybe since the passing of Queen Victoria.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Rudy and the Issues

The restrictive Sullivan law re: guns was passed before Rudy, or I dare say the rest of us, were born. IMHO, it is excessively demanding that Rudy 'enforce the laws that are on the books re: immigration' and then turn around and say, in his public career in NY, he should 'do your own thing' over a settled gun law. Different things jazz different folks one sees. Personally, I think John Edwards has a better position on the danger of being captured by female astronauts. He sees there are '2 Americas,' one, which he is in, where conceivably one might be kidnapped by an astronaut and the rest of us who he is going to be nice enough to recommend for kidnapping when he is elected.