Friday, March 30, 2007

Double Binds and the Way to True Peace

The double bind that Britain is being offered: the British should admit that they had violated Iranian space and their sailors will be released. You can have peace but only on condition of violating your perception of reality. The upshot of that is though that you have now acceded to the mullahs as they who specify what is real. This is a painful spot for cultural relativists, non "racists" in common speak, who here go from respect for others to collapse of their own ego/autonomy. The solution in the West so far has been to bend our perceptions without acknowledging that we have done so except perhaps in displacement. Muslims appear as earnest students and then fly planes into buildings killing 3000, and our chant becomes 'Bush lied; people died.' Newt Gingrich suggests a gasoline blockade and damaging Iran's only gas refinery pending the release of the sailors.

There is a stunning difference in good sense between the articles in the journal Commentary, Jewish I believe, and Commonweal, Catholic, over the issue of Iraq. The article in Commentary is here, from the WSJ free site Opinion Journal.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

In music, I sure have enjoyed Kenny Davern. On the death of Davern, Terry Teachout, WSJ reporter recommended the album he did with Dick Wellstood as his best. That is in the blog About Last Night cited in the left margin. A high school friend who went to Loyola NO was a clarinet player, don't know that he took the locale opportunity to do any jazz work, should have. We joined the band together and played in a loft of an old building. The flute was free or $15; so I played it. I don't know that I've been as honored, though also a bit guilty, as when I left and Mr. Holman the old band/ orchestra director said, publicly as I was leaving with the band there, 'Where would the United States be if, like you, the soldiers had left George Washington?' It must have been February; I was going to run track with Frank Joyce, who would die a year and a half later of Addison's disease. I will always remember the brown mottled color it gave to his shins. If he had gotten more sick before the end of the school year, I do think my father would have visited and diagnosed him. I do wish I could have continued the flute, run track, and not been in denial about the potential seriousness of Frank's illness.

Things that I thought were notable in journalism this last week. Commonweal continues on some parallel universe to me. They had their lead article on Darwin. The fact that intelligent design was never mentioned must make them some kind of intellectual. It was about Darwin the standard British imperialist really; I sent the editors this note commenting also on their Iraq editorial (I think you can see Commonweal with a simple registration):

Christ spoke correctly of the Darwinian success of humanity when he said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall inherit the earth." Man almost uniquely has the capability of seeing the stranger in himself. The 'poor in spirit' see themselves as one among others. Your article was of interest to me as an amateur historian who prefers to see the war disaster of the twentieth century as due, first of all, to the defense of the British Empire which had as a consequence preventing German competition by, firstly, preventing German military movement by a constraining web of alliances. Thus, when the Kaiser went to confront terrorism in Serbia, World War I started. As has oft been said, the failure, the European wars in the West, has led to a self hatred. In Iraq, the U.S. does not seek dominion; there are only 50 American troops in the Kurdish sector. We are in Iraq as police. Police are necessary when an individual or group grossly violates the principle of seeing others as equivalent to themselves. Catholics are correct in seeing that even especially for the police it is necessary to be "poor in spirit."

I was glad to see that Piestewa's parents and children got the house she dreamed to give them (article in the LA Times). Her friend Spc. Lynch, the young woman injured and rescued in the first weeks of the Iraq War, asked Extreme Makeover Home Edition to provide it; ABC did. Piwestra, a young woman from a reservation, you may not recall was with Lynch and killed. Instapundit connects to some funny/awesome pictures and videos from the line 'the troops prepare to be defunded.' See 'the British' link in comments. I liked the British 'On the way to Amarillo' and the 'mercenary sniper' video noted in column right on the British video page.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Libby Guilty!

Well, I'm terribly sad about that. One of my patients said to me that it 'was poetic justice,' fits the Bush lied theme. Have previously posted on aspects related to that idea. The jury near to conviction wore their Valentine's Day love you shirts. I can believe in hangings but wearing a Valentine's shirt and treat the victim like a cockroach just shows a depth of contempt for a Republican that was trying to help his country that shocks me. Valentine's can be a dangerous holiday; a day of oral sadism.

One of the posters on Just One Minute, JOM, which I have been visiting frequently on the Libby trial says:

'The jury bought Fitzgerald's premise that ALL OF THESE WITNESSES couldn't be wrong. Even though each witness individually was a zero, the jury added all the zeros together and came to Guilty.

Each witness was allowed to have a bad memory but Libby's own bad memory was enough to vote guilty on, according to the jury.'

Another poster:
'Dare I say this? Some of the blame for this ridiculous trial and verdict must go to the White House - that's President Bush - for requiring that everyone completely cooperate with the "investigation" (a.k.a. "witch hunt") or risk being fired (and deemed "guilty" by implication). By exhibiting such naivete, Bush painted a big red bulls-eye on his entire administration.' The ground was shifting a bit under his feet. Bush, used to being liked at that point, reached to his enemies to maintain his status; his staff must have failed him. Somebody(s) really failed Libby.

There is a call for a pardon. I believe Libby is a victim of the war on terror, a 'friendly fire' victim if you will. At this point, the most important thing to preserve is honor. I think the president could best do that by sending a memo to the director of the Arlington National Cemetery that when the time comes, I. Lewis Libby, if he wishes, should be buried, with honors, there. The press secretary should announce this having been done.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Jon Allen gave a psychiatry lecture recently on 'mentalizing' as a basis of therapy. Some books on the subject. Fonagy is a key author.