Monday, February 27, 2006

Iran more exposed to risk in the disorder in Iraq than the US?

Spengler has an interesting post on this hypothesis now. Also of interest is his link through the heart of darkness to a book by Aldous Huxley on an origin of the European madness, Cardinal Richelieu and his spymaster. Part of the experience is to look back on the Hapsburg empire, the patron of music from at least Mozart to Strauss, the home to Freud, and a government beyond nationality.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sympathy for Dubai

Your humble author has been accused of 'projection' in his seeing narcissism in Muslim actions. People play a reciprocal neuronal process in assessing an encounter with others. If that reciprocal process tells them that the other is enraged and threatening then they engage in flight or flight from the other. That a 'fight or flight' reaction is appropriate to engaging the Muslim other is demonstrated in spades by the public and political reaction to Muslims owning a port process here. One can charcterize the Muslim behavior as narcissistic as I have or tyrannical as instapundit does etc.

In the case of the port business, Muslims approach us with an apparent commercial desire. Contrary to the construction in the The Death of A Saleman, for a person, including the Muslim to engage in commerce, is for him/her to recognize others and find value in this, himself, his sevice and his acceptance. It is in the context of such a Muslim approach that Jesus' "Turn the other cheek" is appropriate. We do not violate natural law, as St. Thomas Aquinas would not have us do, by submitting in attack but rather we allow some individuals with characteristics of the other to establish a different relationsip with us.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Grandiose Self and Muslims or Jihadism

You know the ad where the thoroughly nerdy guy says 'I am .. (whovever the big deal is)!' Heinz Kohut wrote an accessible book on narcissistic transferences. Transferences are the relationships that a person develops with others based on their state of psychological development. In a psychoanalysis, which involves one person, the patient, saying whatever comes to mind and there not being external contingencies in the relationship, a person tends to go to type, to the person he or she is. This might be a narcissistic transference. One of the transferences is the grandiose transference, the other is the mirror transference. In the grandiose transference, the self feels 'I am everything' and as necessary corollary to that 'You are nothing.' In the mirror transference, the self idealizes the other and, though nothing, has value due to the idealization. One could view, psychologically, communism as an idealization of 'The Working Class' in either or both transferences. I cite this to give some sense of how one might adapt this transference idea to a social or political context historically. The odd thing is that we 'just had the end of history' and immediately, it seems, we have another set of people seeming to claim, "I am the Grandiose Self!"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A columnist with the nom de plum of Spengler compares and contrasts the Western and Islamic worlds as to their cultural evolution to give perspective on the current humiliation. Heine's poem in footnotes is good. More interesting columns are found at side left there, click 'The Complete Spengler.' Also, Nathalie, not only do you have my sister's name but you are going ahead and making sense.

Al Jabar taught us that there can be placeholders x and y in a statement such that, for any random value of x, we can calculate the value of y. Thus we don't have to memorize or create a table. Similarly, a phrase like 'Yankee, Go Home' conveys a message to Paul Hamilton or Michael or any other person, male American citizen, not inclusive of people, if there are any, just with the name 'Yankee,' and conveys also a sentiment about that class to a nonmember except to Tom Hanks in the character he portrayed who knew he wasn't being talked about. Similarly, there is a class of people with the name Mohammed and their name is associated with being a member of a religious class which is called Mohammedan or Muslim. This class might be represented by a member Mohammed, x, which we might translate into the category, y, of being Muslim. Now when a picture, let us for the sake of argument call it a cartoon, is made of Mohammed, or x, that depiction is not of a particular historical person but rather is taken as an instance of a person in class y, Muslim. Thus no image of the person for whom Mohammed is named is made.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dean's world talks about how Christianity is also a religion of submission. Good Catholic that I am, the rigidity of the Mass didn't appeal to me today; so I went to a Methodist Church. The celebrant used Mark 1: 29-39; in it "he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him." Mark says Christ had demons in so many words. Well, I can't say you heard it here first. That may be why it is so hard to read the New Testament. Passages can be taken with a hard stricture or in a more nuanced way, but it is just those passages that fall into a person's unconscious fears that will bind them painfully. George Orwell's 1984 and particularly the ending is an externalization of that phenomenon. The Catholic Church has an annually recurring set of Scriptures that go with Mass one of which is 'It is as easy for a rich man to get into heaven as a camel to get through the eye of a (the) needle.' Being bound by that stricture and imagining that Jews weren't has, I think, been the biggest cause of Catholic antisemitism. Thankfully, Leftism informs me though that it was the German Lutheran areas that voted for Hitler. Luther was a famous antisemite; perhaps the mechanism has in some way to do with what I am discussing. Also, I think that a reaction to an overly severe conscience, which the person associates with 'religion' or religious teaching is why there is the 'Piss Christ' and why The Boston Globe, among others, has defended it. Max Ernst's 'The Virgin spanking Christ' was done without goverment funding. I'll let you decide; I wish I could find a better link.
In the first comment in Augean Stables, it is pointed out that Hamas did not get a majority of votes in the Palestinian election. Representatives were apparently elected out of single member districts and perhaps needed a plurality of votes. The comment author suggests that proportional representation would have been a better system. I think, as in primaries here, runoffs would be better.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The president goes to OA

Hello, my name is George Bush and I am addicted to oil. I spend money on oil when, if I didn't, I could move out of the neighborhood where Hamas is celebrating and shooting off guns and making me feel not included. Well, I am moving out by 2025; so they can stop celebrating NOW! It was bad enough that my daddy moved to Texas. I don't know if you've noticed but I've gone a little native. Luckily enough, I've got enough money left over that our great imagineers can begin working on pie in the sky. And you now the great thing about democracy is that you can have any flavor you want. I know some of you, even in Texas, miss strawberry rhubarb pie. Fresh rhubarb is hard to get in Texas but when pie is delivered from the sky you will be able to get any flavor you want.

Some of you may think that I am not only addicted to oil, but also I am smoking something. Well, that brings up another subject. Many of you are concerned about illegal immigration. As you may not have noticed our policy is changing from one where we forswear, at least publicly, addictions to where we manage them. That is why my friend John McCain is introducing the marijuana and cocaine etc. liberation act. All formerly illegal aliens on bringing in the various wondrous substances and on delivering them to one of our people who freely decides to spend his or her welfare money on it, will get a note from said person and will then go to the federales of their choice and get a temporary residence permit. Voila, we succeed in everything. And whatever you're smoking I'm with you.