Thursday, July 31, 2008

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, several posts take on the significance of the decision overturning the Louisiana law on a death penalty for child rape and the significance in a case based system of the decision. It brings to mind the issue of cased based systems in psychiatry. Psychoanalysis is a cased based system as least as started by Freud. The dynamic of repressed homosexuality as essential in paranoia is a result of the Schreber case. The idea, not really so useful, that depression is 'anger turned against the self' arises from a case where a woman was said to be depressed and accused herself of being a robber when actually it was her father, who had recently died, who was a robber. One could elaborate this. One thing it 'solves' for me is the fact that it is an English lawyer, Roger Bacon, who, apparently correctly, is given much credit for our cultural evolution toward science. Case law suggested an impetus for finding derivative patterns in nature.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Sacramento Bee suggests that the deficit would go up more under the tax plan of McCain than that of Obama, probably doesn't include spending though.
The Border Patrol caught 77 smugglers with 100,000 lb. of marijuana who were trying to move in the chaos of fleeing from hurricane Dolly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Megan McArdle blogs about the silliness of Al Gore. The Republicans could use a gift of him being added to the Obama ticket. I'd like to see Larry Summers on the Republican side. His recent comments on the economy, linked by the Economist blog as 'articles for the day,' were quite good, and I think he'd make an excellent running mate for McCain.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Following the n-word discussion, started, on my part, here. The Mac & Cheese was a different idea of Ms. McArdle's which was fun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A presidential contest is like a heavyweight championship fight. The champ wins the draw; the challenger has to beat the champ. This metaphor is perhaps a little harder to apply than usual this year. Who is the champ? McCain; ever heard of Bush III; he is also the senior man in experience. The 'Champ' however starts out behind because of the low approval rating of the champion he is replacing, Bush. Nevertheless, Obama needs to beat the Champ on the latter's issue, military security. The Champ may also enfeeble the blows of the challenger if he can win the battle over 'change' and the economy, e.g. Free Trade as a first principle, fiscal restraint, contra crony capitalism as represented by the former Fannie Mae chariman and Obama's VP selection committe chairman Larry(?) Johnson.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You know when a bull like DeBakey dies it is the natural order of things. Not that I know either well, but I found him reminding me in his aggression of Dr. Donald Seldin of UT Southwestern Medical School. I thought of Dr. Seldin's reputation for a painful level of aggression. One hears such stories about people but unremarked, and really why the story is enjoyed, is because, in part, of the virtuosity of their professional conduct. I can still recall Dr. Seldin's lecture to our new sophomore medical school class, the pathos of the situation of the middle aged black man who had renal failure probably from having had strep impetigo and from one of the antigens of the staph leading to the development an attack on the man's kidney. Dr. Seldin was dry in the interview but then told us how the 'Present Illness' should be organized with historical factors and symptoms appropriate to our ultimate diagnosis and also pertinent negatives. He developed a differential diagnosis and invited our opinions. For some reason I spoke up in favor of a syphilitic kidney; it's useful as a teacher apparently to allow a little participatory idiocy. I have thought of it subsequently when I see a nurse practitioner try to develop a present illness or I have read other evaluations. It was virtuosic, like Stern playing the violin and then teaching us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The issue of racism and how to deal with continues to be of interest at Megan McArdle's blog; yours truly here.
Following some views on the physician's reimbursement vote re: Medicare.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Totem and Taboo points out that it is taboo to harm the totem of the tribe. Judaism has a history of what might be called the error of the Golden Calf. This is a rejected step in its tradition; yet Kosher rules prohibit the eating of the 'calf in it's mother's milk' and the eating of meat and a milk product together is forbidden; it is a taboo. Another officially rejected practice in the Bible is the sacrifice of first born children. Yet the abortion of a foetus is permitted as a prehuman. So in some sense the recognition of the taboo animal and the offering of a first (not yet) born may be carried on. From our Western or Greek perspective, Euripides did bring to the fore empathy, this attitude may seem Eastern, foreign, Oriental in an old sense as I commented.
Now that the nominations have been decided, bicyling and car trafffic is a hot topic.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ending racism as I know it. And re: hippies and their point in a McCain ad (8:07 PM down a ways.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Reverberations from the Civil War

Megan McArdle has a great post. To say it is about war of aggression and the Civil War doesn't do it justice. To append my comment:

worth pondering when considering a war of aggression. Unless a conquered population is exiled or annihilated, you create enemies for your grandchildren to deal with.

Thus was the Union "preserved." As is obvious but also sometimes profoundly learned in romantic relationships, sometimes to love someone means having to let them go. One of the ironies of the Civil War is that Lincoln fought the war because the Southerners 'wouldn't let the slaves go.' He should have led by example and let the Southerners go.