Monday, March 31, 2008

Kind of got involved in the comments, 3/30/08 09:25 AM, on the question of what kind of a person Barack Obama is. In researching my comment, I came upon a reference to an author who has written on Heinz Kohut, the foremost philosopher of narcissism if you will, and also, noted later in the reference, to Lincoln, a book called 'Lincoln's Quest for Union.' That's interesting because Barack does bring up the question of Lincoln and his actions.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Senator McCain apparently has said 'the issue of economics is something I've understood as well as I should.' When I was in New york recently, I was impressed by Michal Bloomberg, New York's curent mayor, in his press conference about the tragedy of the fallen crane somewhat near St. Patrick's Cathedral. Michael Bloomberg has made a fortune building a business that provides financial information. He has to have a great grasp of business and markets, would seem to be a good complement to the Senator. I hope they'll run together. It looks like Bloomberg has a chance with either party.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jerome Weeks has an interesting literary reference, Measure for Measure, to apply to the Spitzer scandal. Speaking, as Jerome does, of trying to correlate perhaps seemingly loosely related events, I'm disappointed no one to my knowledge has remarked on how the House Democrats put on the dirge of Greek tragedy over how the government or AT&T may have abused privacy in trying to trace terrorist links and then did not find a similar lesson in Spitzer being caught. Riddle me this. Why is it wrong to find if a man is talking to foreign terrorists by finding patterns in phone calls and appropriate to find that he is paying for prostitutes by following how he spends his money?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Got Virginity?

Obama made a good psychological point that people who experience shame may relieve it by demonizing others, and 'Anglos' have gotten used to accepting this. Oddly enough, my family has a history of experiencing the anger of black people in Chicago; my grandfather Hubert was mugged for his WWI bonus money as he was passing through Chicago. The demonizing anger may be a kind of narcissistic manipulation. As an example of narcissistic manipulation, Jack Kerouac wrote of riding on a bus across America that a 'young virgin started talking to me, and I didn't talk to her for 2 hours until I had her and then I began to tell her about herself,' and she was eager to yield herself to him. In his method, he made himself unapproachable until her neediness and his grandness was accepted. This is how the 'racist' is to deal with the anger celebrated and institutionalized by Jeremiah Wright.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'll admit I've been pessimistic about economic chances if Obama is elected but the families of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern might be busy. Obama is an engaging sort and it seems he likes to keep friends who might not feel they are being included by sending emissaries. First it was Austin Goolsbee to the Canadians and now it is 'los gringos' to FARC.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Roman invention of Jurored courts

Glenn Reynolds taking up the subject of jury nullification cites his paper which includes the origin of the jury. Our law, as tradition has it, is of Roman origin. This is evidenced in the early history of the jury, from the book This Was Cicero by H.J. Haskell 1942 Fawcett/Alfred A Knopf, p. 64

... As litigation increased, it was necessary to create additional courts. By the time Cicero was practicing, there were 2 civil and 6 criminal courts in Rome with elective judges...
The jury wheel was prepared by the presiding judge. The names of the prospective jurors we inscribed in an Album, or White Book... In Roman procedure, all the Senators on duty in Rome were regarded as law lords and their names were inscribed in the Album. Early in Cicero's career the 400 hundred senatorial jurors were supplemented by an equal number drawn from two other divisions of the upper classes: the wealthier business men and perhaps business men of lesser means. The wheel usually included over a thousand names.
Jurors for any particular case were selected form the Album by lot. Challenges were allowed to both sides and the ordinary jury in a criminal case included from 50 to 75 men. It is evident that the large Roman jury more nearly approached a public meeting than the modern jury of 12 men, so that oratorical training was emphasized in the education of an aspirant to the Roman bar.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Wall Street has what I thought was an informative article on why the Texas economy has done well and the Ohio economy poorly. I believe it's a free article.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

When I hear some news, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The Vatican announced recently, somewhat in defense of the Inquisition, that it killed only 1.8% of of it's prisoners of conscience or accused witches. There is kind of an asterisk that reduces the percentage in that the Church largely excludes figures from the Spanish Inquisition which it notices, mostly belatedly I assume, was an independent operation. 'Take that, Trotsky,' I guess since the communist figures are worse.

"Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was at the news conference where the study was presented, said that the lessons of history never come to an end.

Acknowledging the past was all the more relevant given the continued use of torture in the 21st Century, most notably by US troops against prisoners held in Iraq, he said" which just goes to show that things haven't really changed too much. Reality testing and humility are both still optional in princes of the Church. Perhaps the suggested defensiveness of the cardinal relates to being associated with a trespass, Church language for psychosexual aggression. When the Church had control of things, its prelates may have felt that the existence of the targets of its Inquisition implied some agreement with their trespass which is why we had the Inquisition to begin with.