Sunday, October 23, 2005

I and Thou and the Civil War

Storm Over Texas is based on the hypothesis that 'passions unleashed during the political process of bringing Texas into the Union released forces that eventually led to the Civil War.' Inter alia, it is also the early history of the Democratic and proto-Republican parties. But it is more fascinating than that. From the ascension of the Democrat Pierce to the presidency and his passive-aggressive betrayal of his supporter, Van Buren's, suggestion for Secretary of State to the refusal to work with Stephen Douglas, it is a story of the narcissism of southern Democrats, a refusal to appropriately respect and value Democrats outside the region. It is tempting to see this as associated with a corrupting effect on I-Thou relations of slavery though certainly not all slaveholders, for example Robert Waller of Mississippi, who is often in the story, showed this. If anyone knows where I can find more on the story of Thomas Jefferson seeing a 'fireball in the night' over the Missouri situation I would be interested. 'Dance with the one who brung you,' was Sam Houston's now hackneyed way of attempting to get this ethical problem addressed.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I have been hearing Gabriel Faure's Pavane all my life I realized tonight. I remember hearing it as a child on the university of Illinois station in Chicago. Such a pretty song; the Dallas Symphony program on WRR just played it. That and 'Spanish Dances.' You sometimes think that if they aren't one of the classical fossils they never make it on these programs but not so. Also Mr. Haas, such a lovely show I was confused I heard he had died but it continued, did die at 82 earlier this year I just went to his website for details on the Schubert, just had a selection of syncopation from Schubert, Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished), Philips 64516, that was really nice. Why do they write such things? Because, as Mr. Morris said of 'Clinton,' they can? Such a statement reminds you of the French revolution as described in Leftism below in a sobering way. I also happened by the gas station that WBAP did a program on pre-
Rita where they said people were gas hoarding. There were a lot of people there when I went to St. Paul, nobody but the panhandlers when I cam back, out of gas but not of free Monday coffee, that chocolate with spiced a little pumpkin is great, after a Cowboy victory. The reason., 265 gas; it's 287 out where I live. Of course that is the same differential it was pre-Rita when there was plenty of higher price gas. Didn't have any polemic value today; the TV had pictures of folks at the pump but the price was out of focus. To paraphrase an old saying, the brave man dies only once; the coward watches TV. Thank you Karl for your conveying music to us, and thank you for having your last name the same as my middle name. You were fortunate I think to have your Jewishness, and thank you to America for accepting you and it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Harriet Miers Revealed as a Secret?

"What do people say behind your back?" she was asked in a profile for the Dallas Morning News. 'They don't know what I'm thinking,' she said. I listened in on Dallas City Council meetings when Harriet was there. This was kind of like listening in on an Elizabethan bear baiting where the council person was the bear demuscled to human size and penalized for snarling and the 'oppressed but newly unleashed' were dong the baiting. Harriet played this masochistic game well, always the Southern lady seeming to accept, publicly and with grace, that she couldn't get the right answer just like the Elizabethan bear couldn't lay a hand on its attacker though likely the bear had more of a chance. I understand she gave way, after defense, to the bear baiters' force.

She had brothers, Robert Lee M. and Jeb Stuart M. How odd is that if these were not, and how could both be, family names? Harriet was blessed by the fact that there were no generals of the fair sex in the CSA. Her brothers probably felt, asked to think or form personalities, that that was really unnecessary, they just needed batteries to carry forward their assigned identities (see "Under My Thumb"). Harriet learned never to reveal anything like a need for a name or a real thought because that could be a means for someone to intrude on you, take you over. If she nevertheless identifies with, the now historical, Robert Lee, she identifies with defeat. Lee was always better in the defense than on offense, cf. Lee Considered. Her record on the court is likely to be analogous to that of her City Council performance, magnificent defeat from a conservative point of view. Until Yogi Berra comes forward and says that he dated her and "..." that is my estimate.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Antidepressant orders decrease 20 percent

This headline appears over a small article in the Dallas Morning News, bottom of page A13 today. This means there probably have been more suicides than there would have been without the intervention of Joe Barton (R-Ennis). A couple of years ago the Archives of General Psychiatry published an article looking at prescription of antidepressants in adolescents. Increasing prescription was correlated with a drop in completed suicides in the geographical areas surveyed from 1991 - 2001. Meanwhile, U.S. MEDICINE reported that an FDA official, a physician, testified as a an expert witness in malpractice litigation involving Zoloft and his office at the FDA was stripped of its $400,00 budget by Joe Barton, head of the Commerce Committee, who controls the budget there, and who recently subpoenaed e-mails at the FDA. Congressman Barton, subsequent to his stripping of the official's budget, 'Wanted answers as to the dangers of antidepressants.' 'Yes, Sir,' FDA officials said, and he got answers. The 'answers' Mr. Barton wanted were not hid in the back of the teacher's book. Dr. RH Weisler reports reviewing data that pollution releases from chemical plants have been correlated with an increase in incidents of child abuse and of other psychopathologies. It would be interesting to see if this research might apply to the Texas Industries plants burning tires in Mr. Barton's district, contributing so much to Dallas pollution.