Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ron Rosenbaum was asking a question about Afghanistan. His questions if not his acceptance of answers are pretty good. Was listening to Abdullah Abdullah on FNS. He pointed out that people risked their lives to vote in the last election; I believe some 11 people were killed. That Karzai would have engaged in massive fraud in such a circumstance is prima facie evidence that he doe not respect his citizens as others in any sense implied in Buber's book 'I Thou' and thus does not support 'democracy.' Also our interest in destroying the opium trade may not be democratically supported. It seems to me that Obama may be appropriately backing us into the cities. From there we can support our interests in interdicting terrorist facilities and give some support to the Afghan people.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Following Volokh on a product liability suit over a Louisville slugger bat delivering a fatal ball at a pitcher.
"You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

This is from last Sunday's Catholic Gospel reading. One of the mysteries of the Catholic religion is the tendency of its members to be anti Jewish. Here Jesus is talking about Romans lording over them. Why doesn't the ill will stick with the Romans? From a Catholic theological point of view it is wrong to blame anybody, maybe Adam, maybe ourselves. From the point of view of the passion story in natural law, some Jews and Romans might be seen as at fault.

As the Mass proceeds, the priest takes the role of Christ and says 'Hoc est enim corpus meum.' Well he used to say that (in Latin); now he says it in English 'For this is my body.' In that he is said to be equal to Jesus Christ. A bit earlier however he plays a different role in the passion play. He has water poured over his hands as he washes his fingers in a bowl. Here he is playing the role of Pontius Pilate, a 'ruler of the Gentiles etc.' So the priest = Pontius Pilate and the priest = Christ. Well this all happens in liturgy. It makes me wonder what earlier liturgies were like. I'd be interested to know about an ancient Egyptian Coptic liturgy which is still practiced and official.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A fascinating quote from George Orwell talking of Dali's autobiography and a moral problem perhaps accentuated in artists. Orwell could have taken his analysis further and seen Dali as having lost in expectation, that is suggested in the Haley's comet vignette, and taken to inflicting pain on others obsessionally as he, in recollection, would have experienced it as a child.