Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Clive Crook has some interesting book recommendations including something called 'dreaming in Chinese'.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Adam Lanza didn't have a good time at the school in Newton. Of all the people described in the article I bet he would have had on a typical day the least serious mental illness diagnosis. The Atlantic had an article the other day about upper class girls having a less stressful time in middle class schools than in upper class schools. The idyllic Newton wasn't idyllic for him. I wonder if he wasn't initially put down by peers in kindergarten. At some point too a teacher may have slyly cooperated with this; so his thought was 'even the teacher!' You know it was a day or two before that we had the shooting in Oregon. Do you recall a reporter breathlessly asking someone who left the mall, 'Did you see anyone being carried out?' In terms of banning things, I'm up for banning CNN. This case does suggest an association between suicide and the desire to murder. 'Knowing yourself' may be better than expressing yourself.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When I read, regarding mother, that 'she needed to stay with him' I assumed that it was a family of modest means. After reading the linked article, it seems that it is not at all true that she 'needed to stay with him' except from her enmeshment. Now it may be that some placement was tried and he was able to object; so guardianship laws would need to be looked at. Regardless of what one thinks of psychiatry or psychology, one of the values of the professional playing a role is that we are independent of the family structure, and one of the developmental tasks of a child is to participate in relationships outside the home. One of the perhaps unfortunate effects of these murders is that kids may be withdrawn from schools for safety reasons. From a preventive standpoint, I don't know that we want to go just 'voting people off the island,' perhaps like Palladin I like being on it. He was weird because he 'carried his books in a black briefcase rather than a backpack.' If there were indicators of outward violence they weren't cited in the article.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Exit, Voice and Loyalty recommended at the Atlantic. Other reflections on Albert Hirschman. And yet more. Also here by Fukuyama.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

HuffPo has a good post mortem on the Romney campaign. This from a conference which included David Axelrod and senior Romney staffers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A recent post by Althouse led me to look up something. I went to PubMed and used the search term psychoanalysis and then chose the filter Clinical Trial which is in the left column (giving you at least pretty close to this article list).

The abstract of the third article in the list is: BACKGROUND: Psychotherapy is apparently an insufficient treatment for some patients with mood or anxiety disorder. In this study the effectiveness of short-term and long-term psychotherapies was compared with that of psychoanalysis. METHODS: A total of 326 psychiatric outpatients with mood or anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to solution-focused therapy, short-term psychodynamic and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapies. Additionally, 41 patients suitable for psychoanalysis were included in the study. The patients were followed from the start of the treatment and assessed 9 times during a 5-year follow-up. The primary outcome measures on symptoms were the Beck Depression Inventory, the Hamilton Depression and Anxiety Rating Scales, and the Symptom Check List, anxiety scale. Primary work ability and functional capacity measures were the Work Ability Index, the Work-subscale of the Social Adjustment Scale, and the Perceived Psychological Functioning Scale. RESULTS: A reduction in psychiatric symptoms and improvement in work ability and functional capacity was noted in all treatment groups during the 5-year follow-up. The short-term therapies were more effective than psychoanalysis during the first year, whereas the long-term therapy was more effective after 3years of follow-up. Psychoanalysis was most effective at the 5-year follow-up, which also marked the end of the psychoanalysis. CONCLUSIONS: Psychotherapy gives faster benefits than psychoanalysis, but in the long run psychoanalysis seems to be more effective. Results from trials, among patients suitable for psychoanalysis and with longer follow-up, are needed before firm conclusions about the relative effectiveness of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders can be drawn.
J Affect Disord. 2011 Jul;132(1-2):37-47. Epub 2011 Feb 12. Quasi-experimental study on the effectiveness of psychoanalysis, long-term and short-term psychotherapy on psychiatric symptoms, work ability and functional capacity during a 5-year follow-up. Knekt P, Lindfors O, Laaksonen MA, Renlund C, Haaramo P, Härkänen T, Virtala E; Helsinki Psychotherapy Study Group. Source Social Insurance Institution, Helsinki, Finland.

And the abstract of the second article in the list is: OBJECTIVE: Transference interpretation is considered as a core active ingredient in dynamic psychotherapy. In common clinical theory, it is maintained that more mature relationships, as well as a strong therapeutic alliance, may be prerequisites for successful transference work. In this study, the interaction between quality of object relations, transference interpretation, and alliance is estimated. METHOD: One hundred outpatients seeking psychotherapy for depression, anxiety, and personality disorders were randomly assigned to 1 year of weekly sessions of dynamic psychotherapy with transference interpretation or to the same type and duration of treatment, but without the use of transference interpretation. Quality of Object Relations (QOR)-lifelong pattern was evaluated before treatment (P. Høglend, 1994). The Working Alliance Inventory (A. O. Horvath & L. S. Greenberg, 1989; T. J. Tracey & A. M. Kokotovic, 1989) was rated in Session 7. The primary outcome variable was the Psychodynamic Functioning Scales (P. Høglend et al., 2000), measured at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 1 year after treatment termination. RESULTS: A significant Treatment Group × Quality of Object Relations × Alliance interaction was present, indicating that alliance had a significantly different impact on effects of transference interpretation, depending on the level of QOR. The impact of transference interpretation on psychodynamic functioning was more positive within the context of a weak therapeutic alliance for patients with low quality of object relations. For patients with more mature object relations and high alliance, the authors observed a negative effect of transference work. CONCLUSION: The specific effects of transference work was influenced by the interaction of object relations and alliance, but in the direct opposite direction of what is generally maintained in mainstream clinical theory.
J Consult Clin Psychol. 2011 Oct;79(5):697-706. Effects of transference work in the context of therapeutic alliance and quality of object relations. Høglend P, Hersoug AG, Bøgwald KP, Amlo S, Marble A, Sørbye Ø, Røssberg JI, Ulberg R, Gabbard GO, Crits-Christoph P. Source Department of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Norway.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

For a duffer in music How to Play Popular Piano in 10 Easy Lessons: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Learn to Play from Sheet Music or by Earis a great book, the octave, the postions on the keyboard, a begining in appreciation in the 'step up' in notes is even better on second reading of the first chapter. I bet his other booksare also good.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fr. Fox and the recent election lead me to reflect on the relation of Church authority in the state. The Church needs to be careful not to be too intrusive. As I blogged Oct. 12, Fr. Farkasfalvy was in Rome when John XXIII said he wanted to have a Vatican Council. The reaction of the Curia was, he says 'Why do you want to do that? With the doctrine of infallibility you can do anything you want.' But that's part of the point. When the Pope was elected, he told his intimates, 'You won't find me saying anything infallible.' So maybe even the Pope was a bit of a cafeteria Catholic. One possible interpretation of Pope John XXIII making the categorical statement that 'he would not be making any infallible statements' is that he didn't fully believe a Pope could do so. That the Pope was not capable of making infallible statements was an opinion expressed by John Henry Cardinal Newman. The fact that Cardinal Newman is now declared a saint would suggest that the opinion that the Pope is infallible is not of utmost importance. The affirmative decision that he is was made in Vatican I as the cardinals were hastily departing from their place of meeting as the French or Italian armies were bearing down on them. The Holy Spirit may guide them but that is asking rather a lot. As to what the Church should say, I think, fundamentally, the leaders of the Church have made errors in protecting the innocent such that they should by all means tell the faithful what is right or wrong but that those rules, for the faithful, must be made laws for others when there are opposing prudential arguments might be excessively intrusive.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Immigration Reform

In Dallas, you can drive down Northwest Highway and the sign on the bank says,'Acceptamos Matricula,' accepting the Mexican identity paper for opening a bank account. That is consistent with current U.S. law. Well, we accept their money based on carrying the card; how about accepting the bearer of the money. In the EU Frenchmen were moving to Ireland for jobs. That didn't mean they would vote in Irish elections or a referendum. Why not do the same here and have free flow of persons in the NAFTA area? That would instantly legitimize the Mexicans in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

There's no success like failure

"Republicans, in particular, seem increasingly desperate for the satisfaction of an electoral outcome that does not, let's face it, seem particularly likely," says Megan McArdle. I suppose I see El Norte, northern Mexico and southern Texas, as an unofficial part of the American nation and Republicans aren't going to win without some accommodation in attitude there. Romney lost having eliminated Perry and appealing to angry Republicans on that issue, one of several issues where anger didn't serve them well with the general electorate. Also Romney may have been a better Bush; but, once Bush had allowed the leverage debacle, those able to control the money are whipping boys and will be perversely, because it is a Democrat song, until 'the good times are back again' with wealth generating economic activity but the sons of Coolidge are going to have not to let leverage go to their heads or again their heads will be handed to them.
An Educated Man: A Dual Biography of Moses and Jesus by Rosenberg, David published by Counterpoint Paperbackmade note of several books in the closing 'letter to Benedict,' the Pope's Jesus of Nazarethseries, also Rabbi Neusner's A Rabbi Talks with Jesusthough The Brother of Jesus: James the Just and His Missionmay be more interesting, also One Destiny: An Epistle To The Christians

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Sandy and climate

Sandy, though a tropical storm, imparted more energy to the coastline because of its size than recent higher category storms.. Bloomberg endorses Obama because of his nod to climate change, however, in relation to Obama's industrial policy solution I might ask the mayor, 'How's that working out for ya?' If the Atlantic ocean is hotter, it has more energy to give and perhaps will. The solution might be to give it less energy. We might have the Air Force put a reflective umbrella in orbit high above the equatorial Atlantic. While the emperor of climate is at it, we might ask her if we could have el Nino rather than la nina as that determines drought or rainfall in Texas.

Friday, November 02, 2012


Althouse cited Mark Knopfler going with Dylan to WI. Texas Rose, a female blogger, had linked to Knopfler and a female country star I don't remember. Got the alum, terrific. has a $49 tablet at least so WSJ says today, 11-2, in a video about cheap 'rich items.'

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

David Brooks reflected on being addicted to polls recently. Part of an addict's problem is that he/she doesn't get the effect that he used to. We're not getting the same kick; so we try harder. The problem is not totally with ourselves however; the poll signals aren't as good. People can't be reached as reliably; so 'we' can't poll as well. We don't know when we know.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bush, Thoughts in the aversion to him

@Gregg, I think the problem with Bush is really more subtle. I've been reading American Nations lately, 'the eleven rival cultures of North America.' One of the author's postulates is that people adapt/conform to the first standing culture. New York is thus still culturally New Netherlands for instance. 'Greater Appalachia' extends at least to Midland where he grew up. He has some patina of Yankeedom and some El Norte which is also Texan. So for all his 'cowboy,' or at least so called by Yankees, but it really isn't, it's Appalachian simplicity, the other elements in his cultural personality come across as disharmonious especially to those who don't have a strong Appalachian perspective, 'people (who) have supported every war the United States has ever fought once the fighting began, regardless of cause, opponent, or consequences' and you are going to have trouble. So you might says he's a disarmingly exotic dish probably best served cold.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vatican II, the 50th anniversary

Fr. Farkasfalvy was in Rome when John XXIII said he wanted to have a Vatican Council. The reaction of the Curia was, he says 'Why do you want to do that? With the doctrine of infallibility you can do anything you want.' Ahh, but that's just part of the point. When the Pope was elected, he told his intimates, 'You won't find me saying anything infallible.' I think that is also a key to the criticism of Vatican II. Those who prefer a hidebound dictatorial Church, anhedonic but superior in attitude will identify with seeing a font of degeneration for the Church, put snarkily. Fr. Roch quoted Jacques Maritain in saying that the Church opposed error but that people had to freely seek for truth. I recall a book by him on my parents small personal book case.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Bob Stewart and I used to debate together. That was the best part about it. Knowing what a 15 year old Pakistani informs about debate was not intuitive to us. She gives crisp instructions for what to do. Kind of like ancient warfare we would run against the opponent with citations. Her opinion on the 1st presidential debate is also at the link.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Univision gave Obama a hard time about immigration and subsequently reported that Operation Fast and Furious led to the deaths of 16 Mexican youths. I am reminded of a story told me by 'Pickle' who happened to walk into my room in college when I had accidentally run into a former girl friend and was feeling blue. One day in Mexico the federales came to a rural area and the next day there were some young men hanging by their necks on a rope across a street. The sign 'This is what happens to people who sell drugs to the Americans' hung there also. Maybe it was the next day in the same area that there were some 13 men hung from telephone poles. 'This is what happens to people who kill our children' the sign said. The sadism did me good; I felt pretty good that evening. Going back to the Unvision story, I think it is more dangerous for Obama politically than his operation may realize.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Being in our debt really annoys some Muslims. The Libyans are in or debt for our air support allowing them to overthrew a tyrant and our ambassador is killed. You would think the population would not have participated in the plot but warned us. The U.S protected Saudi Arabia from the encroachment of Iraq, and we had 9-11 in response. A Los Altos Marine learned Arabic and stayed in the advance team to help out the Afghans and was invited to a predawn Ramadan breakfast, came and was killed there. It may be better not to do favors for Islamic nations. A related comment of mine is now on Dan Drezner's Foreign Policy blog.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Republicans and the American Culture

Ran into an interesting book: From this perspective, Gingrich supported El Norte and Perry gave evidence of finding it part of his culture but ran to his Appalachian roots under pressure. Also recently heard an author of 'Redeemers' on NPR. The book talks about Jose Marti and a Uruguayan author in part.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Republican National Convention

The commenters at this post on Just One Minute had great links to material of the last night of the Republican National Convention including Clint Eastwood at a couple of links and Mitt Romney's acceptance speech.

Monday, August 27, 2012


JAG (Just a Girl) had a comment in Volokh I thought rather definitive: there may be no way to measure the difference for a man who was circumcised to know if he has lost any sensation.... and they say they don't.... HOWEVER... speaking as a woman, who has dated men in the USA... and in Europe, where I currently reside.... There is a DIFFERENCE for the woman.... Men who have NOT been circumcised are FAR more sensitive, than men who have been.... This has been my experience.... and have also had many talks with girlfriends, about this issue as well.... and EVERY woman I have spoken to, on this issue, says that men, who are NOT circumcised are more sensitive... therefore making it more enjoyable for the woman.... as they respond more....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I suppose the model is Ronald Reagan; maybe the model has been misunderstood. Reagan stood on the Capitol stops supporting an antiabortion amendment. And you know he opened his presidential campaign near the site of a famous child murder in the South, and he went to a cemetery where SS were buried. With this history, I suppose you might expect him to have the USO bring flowers to SS graves. But I don't think that would be a correct conclusion. As an actor I suppose he was sensitive to how there is inertia in a drama, a preconception in our judgments. I suppose he saw that Southerners were typecast as racists, Germans as callous murderers, those against abortion as benighted. I suppose he didn't think that an original sin had been committed which would carry forward ad infinitum in any of these groups, and this was his way of saying don't cast them with this stain of sin. Let them arise in innocence to make their own choices, be seen for their present actions.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

My Lai

From a link in Popehat:
“the Lieutenant Colonel started his lecture abruptly. Listen Lieutenants. I want to make one thing clear, William Calley is a convicted MUR-DER-ER!”
Yes, the voice of authority. My understanding is that another colonel had called out the platoon the night before at 2 AM and had them stand at attention. He told them they were to kill everyone in the village. He had been a mortician in civilian life. The platoon had taken casualties approaching the village on foot apparently from female black clad female NVA, Relevant? When they helicoptered in, there was no resistance. Apparently the NVA had pulled out though a machine gun positioned outside the village prevented a counterattack. The platoon stood around. Calley raised his rifle and said he would kill anybody who didn’t start shooting. As the valedictory to historian John Keegan quotes in Volokh today, “Codifications of international law are a useful template for organizing the categories of a soldier’s duties. But, in the end, the culture relevant to respect for inter-national humanitarian law is not the culture of legality and the cult of lawyers, but instead it is the culture of the professional honour of soldiers, and what they are willing or not willing to do on the battlefield.” By the way, the colonel here was shortly shot from the sky in a helicopter, killed.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Hay Moros en la Costa

Wyo sis postulates a talion punishment for the acid attacks on a woman's face. I think it would be male castration. Being physically 'so pretty' for the female is equivalent to phallic narcissism in the male. In some sense the drill team or cheerleaders are appropriate, equivalent displays in the female to the football game for the male.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Was looking for the book Plotting Hitler's Death: The Story of German Resistancein commenting on a recent post by Ilya Somin and had to work a bit to get it. To make it more convenient for me I am including it here.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

London Olympics pauses to honor dead Brits, not Israelis

Here. David Brooks, as always, has a column worth reading but I particularly like his column on the mixture of harmony and struggle as exemplified in the Olympics. His mentioning of the Opposable Mind looks like a good business or strategy reflection on 'embracing the tension between contradictory ideas.'

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Shooting in Colorado

Having been at the VA awhile while the faculty was built I recall people coming and going. Dr. Altschuler, chairman at the Medical School, was always good at talking up the talents he recruited. One fellow was the 'best research student' this respected research doctor 'had seen' in his announcement of his coming at the residency graduation. Well it was Veni, Vidi, Vici except the latter was he left because he wasn't quite getting the respect he needed and went on to where he might. A few years later, I was in Dr. Fowler's office, he was chief at the VA, and he asked me did I know where so-and-so was. Well, no, in fact, I didn't. He was now running a little county MHMR clinic somewhere. I thought about this in relation to the guy that killed so many people, you know. He was 'in the process of leaving the medical school.' Well, the story I told is kind of typical of people who might be called to glory and schadenfreude may accompany their departure. But here's to all of them who went on and did something else in their lives, forgiving, in a sense, the trespass against their narcissistic desires.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Penn State and Paterno

The original 'I am sexy and I know it' person for me may have been a young woman that Asa W. "Bill" DeLoach, M.D., interim chairman of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern, interviewed some years ago. In morning Rounds he used to interview a patient in the hospital or ER. She had some history of what might be called sexual indiscretion. I won't get into, in the manner of alcoholic evaluation, well 2 beers is normal but a 12 pack etc., in this case partners, situations and present facts and figures because, in part, you know, I don't remember it. I remember her tentative affect, her sincerity, her innocence. She was Catholic and, it would fit for the story to have had a strict Catholic upbringing. Dr. DeLoach thought so, and this was not a jarring idea given the history. I pictured her when he said that the superego was so strict, too restrictive to live with, that it was excised. I recall an attractive classmate at Jesuit, Bob Barreuter, noting on a writing pad 'live' is 'evil' spelled backwards.

St. Augustine was if I recall correctly a Roman lawyer, libertine, and later formalizer of Catholic dogma among which is the doctrine of original sin. I think a certain potential logical problem in 'Christ having died for your sins' bothered him. What if you didn't have any sins? The centrality of the dogma about Christ demands original sin. Perhaps the harshness of this, original sin, is reflective of the ease with which Roman law was harsh if concurrent with logic.

This leads to an insight about potential weak points in Catholic culture. I have no doubt that Joe Paterno was a good family man and loyal to them. In the matter of sexual morality, he had undoubtedly found the Catholic morality too strict. So some parts of that morality were at least temporarily suspended perhaps, though he regretted it later, and he know that would be the case with others. The Church teaches consideration for your neighbors which helped with his relations with his wife, family and probably team but also made for a loyalty or protectiveness to Sandusky.

Thus a problem with Catholicism may be that excessive moral demands are made on its adherents which may actually increase a rate of certain aspects of failure. One might point to a historical example and wonder if it played a role. There was the amusing concern during the election of John Kennedy that the Pope would be directing things here if he were elected. Maybe Catholicism did have an impact on the conduct of his presidency however. President Kennedy was not not sufficiently considerate of the strain that sending young men drafted into a war that was not a war in which national survival was at stake. This led to rebellion, an 'excising' of the obligation of the youth to the state. It was an excessively harsh superego demand, a demand ultimately done away with by the Quaker Nixon and a Jewish liberterian economist, Milton Friedman.

Monday, July 02, 2012

ACA operationally

Fr. James Lehrberger gave a sermon for the Freedom Fortnight. He compared the problem of the mandate in relation to Church institutions to MA excluding the Church from providing adoption services over its not qualifying homosexual marriage. The correct analogy is more one of electronic health records. I presumably will get some $850 for doing prescribing using an approved eprescribing service. My progress notes on Lotus won't be applicable to an electronic health record (EHR) format if, for no other reason, that they aren't an approved, certified, EHR. The Church is free to continue to provide the same health insurance benefits it does to its employees. It's just when those employees go to fill out their tax return they won't be able to check the box saying that they have approved health care and thus would have to pay the appropriate tax for the 'uninsured' at their income level on 1040 taxes.

Calle Corrientos 1936

The image of Calle Corrientes from 1936 by Haracio Coppola in his obituary is the most stunning photo.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The ACA decision

Well, the ACA was decided on this week and the forces of truth, justice and 'I've got mine,' that would include me, lost. I was pleased to have come close to having predicted it at Volokh, cf. commenter 'ride_it_like_you_find_it' (1,2). And actually I am impressed with the reasoning. TNC at the Atlantic links to a past post on Roberts, his quest to be a collegial chief justice, seeing that that is important in being most successful there. I think there is something more broadly collegial here that perhaps to el jefe is important.

I recall as a child riding through Wyoming, being nowhere, going nowhere, and a big, big billboard appears, "Impeach Earl Warren." Now let's stipulate that Brown v Board was rightly decided but then we get down to District Court Judge Taylor in Dallas deciding on a desegregation plan that has a chance at integrating the schools, and there is a legal opportunity to drive a more drastic decision at the 5th Circuit and voila, DISD is now 10% white, the schools struggle. Maybe winning your discord in court isn't the best solution. Chief Justice Roberts pointed out 'It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.' Maybe it would be better to find or accept a collegial or democratic solution.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The immigration issue hurts Romney

Obama favored more among Hispanics after last weeks announcement, looks like he might be up, generally by 8-10% in 12 swing states.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yoo Hoo, Iranians!

Trumpeting secrets about el jefe being de riguer, I'm like on board! Dowd reveals
Maraniss’s bookdepicts Obama on an intense odyssey of self-discovery, moving toward defining himself less as a half-white man with white girlfriends than as a black man who wanted to be part of a black community. His New York girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, told Maraniss that Obama confessed to her that “he felt like an impostor. Because he was so white. There was hardly a black bone in his body.” When she predicted that his future might be with a black woman — “That lithe, bubbly, strong black lady is waiting somewhere!” she wrote in her journal — he told her “he doubted there were any black women he would feel truly comfortable with. I would tell him, ‘No, she is out there.’ ”
Being black since like 50 years ago is hip; make that 80 years ago if you're like Jewish in Philadelphia. So you have a kid graced with 'black like me' features raised by white people who has gotten to the top by adopting some of the manner.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

In a discussion about the rivalry of Fort Worth with Dallas I recalled Dallas Public and Private: Aspects of an American City about Dallas before the Kennedy assassination, not so much an indictment as a period piece, a snapshot, which is quite good, motivated by the event. That led to events in Dallas and the September 11, 2011 Symphony performance of Brahms Piano Concerto no. 1 followed by Prokofiev's Symphony no. 5. On meeting the conductor later I told him that the Brahms seemed to mirror the German Way of Warof initiative and maneuver and the Prokofiev the Russian response. He seemed to indicate 'but of course.'

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Contemporary Discussion

As discussed in Volokh, the idea of homosexual marriage may presuppose that same or opposite sex object choice is a difference without further psychological implication. However it may be that homosexual object choice is a degree of narcissistic object choice which conveys more ego risks than a heterosexual choice. For instance there nay be a greater risk of guilt projected on to the object which leads to instances such as that of the gay porn star cited in Drudge today*, someone who chopped up another man and mailed his body parts. Certainly, some people psychologically may not have a choice in object and may be quite stable but encouraging viewing the choices as immaterial may be unfortunate for others. There are assumptions you are making as lawyers which are reductionistic necessarily.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A nice Bible translation,The Contemporary English version
"Robert still supported Mary and was there for her whenever he could be, but he had pretty much moved on," it says. A Spanish proverb: He who grabs too much squeezes little; Quien mucho abarca poco aprieta. Poor Mary, 'a childhood friend of the Kennedy family,' she believed in Robert. She looked up to him and was disappointed. To paraphrase Brutus in Julius Caesar, 'the fault was not in her but in her stars,' but she couldn't see that Robert grabbed too much but squeezed too little as the proverb would have it. Or that is a potential narrative.
Orin Kerr at Volokh has enjoyed PopeHat which I am adding to my Links. One of their links as to 'consumer products that didn't disappoint' was pretty funny.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I have long enjoyed this medieval picture of melancholy which David Rosenberg put on the book's cover . The book seems like an analyst's explication not in the sense that it is a psychoanalytic insight but rather that it takes the extant material and gives a possible reality in the reflection.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ann Althouse has been demonstrating the skills of a lawyer and a psychologist lately. Regarding the psychological portrayal, I commented at a nearby post.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What did Gingrich bring to the Republican contest?

Generally this is considered a risible question. The first thing that Newt brought was that he gave pause to what seemed a xenophobic reaction to Mexicans without papers. Romney effectively used this before to eliminate Perry from the race. It didn't happen that way with Gingrich. As for a positive idea, his idea that kids might work was a good. I can recall trying to get a job unsuccessfully when I was 13 or 14 during the summer. The first place I went to was a construction site where I talked to someone about the possibility; his son was going to work with him he told me. Of course, I was too anxious about being able to make a living. I should have accepted that when I got my education I would find a job. That is the implicitly recommended denial for a happy adolescence. Normal, I might now be like the thousands of unemployed college kids, newly graduated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Mel Gibson Film Festival?

After the comments in a piece on the Atlantic blog, I'd like to be able to attend one. I missed the crucifixion movie accepting the negative publicity. Apocalypto sounds good too.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Reply to Nichevo

The Christian identifies with Christ. A narcissistic masochism might be to say 'I am beautiful, valuable because I suffer in this.' For example, one of the changes that came with Christianity is monogamy. Rather than thinking 'if I had more money then..' the ideal is to say 'I will listen to my neighbor, my wife.' Christ was transformed into eternal life by choosing to suffer horribly and die; Jews say by their unbelief 'No he wasn't.' The Christian in various circumstances may not wish to choose suffering, may not want to find narcissism in a masochistic position and the Jew would seem to say to him 'You might be beautiful without it,' a forbidden wish.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Gospel reading for Sunday may be the dream of Thomas. The fact that that this took place in a morning period is nicely illustrated by the first reading which conforms to our present practice of bring food to the home of the deceased for the mourning family.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Oh Lord! Please don't let me be misunderstood

Happy to run into the definition of "the hapless human being , the shlemihl, who has anticipated nothing*." That's kind of me the last few days though. DB at Volokh Conspiracy deleted my comment where I agreed with him and my comments at Althouse have disappeared after I took on her 'just kidding' about Jesus having a Platinum membership in Rasmussen polling and wanted some matzo ball soup. That could however have been external to Althouse. We'll see with a recent comment on the presidential detail in the Columbia prostitution scandal. It's been the season for shlemihl or 'Please don't let me be misunderstood' lately. Trayvon went out wearing a hoodie but didn't want to be seen as a hood and died for it. Women have been taking BCPs and don't want to be taken out of the polis as 'sluts' by El Rushbo and will take out the Republicans, who also might feel misunderstood.

* page 66, The New Yorker, Jan 12 2009, in an article on Hannah Arendt, 'The woman who redefined evil.'

Friday, April 06, 2012

Romney emerges.

Reflections on Good Friday

"Are you not of more value than they[birds]? "

The objection of Pam raises for me an interesting emphasis which provides a justification for a French paleontologist and Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin, who might otherwise seem heretical in relation to Catholicism. His view was that evolution went from God to realization of God. The birds would be, yes, on a lower level.

Birds also may be a reminder of life going on without a centrality in humanity. A veteran recalled a battle in VN in which an enemy massed and attacked with their weapons and we responded with flechettes or other direct fire, and he recalled the birds simultaneously going about their usual life outside the fields of fire.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Let me follow you OT regarding the potassium. The solution of our blood might be seen as the re-creation of an ancient ocean, an ocean which contains potassium. Our bodies live in this ocean and our cells contain it as do the cells of any other living thing. There are foods that are high in potassium, orange juice or bananas, and if someone is in or near renal failure where potassium excretion is compromised... also perhaps they were taking a potassium sparing diuretic so should avoid potassium pills and they might, out of excessive caution, avoid those and similar fruits.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin

"776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force."

Mr. Zimmerman took it upon himself, in a self styled manner of police, to initially provoke the use of force against himself, the use of defensive force, by Trayvon Martin so should not be exculpated from charge or prosecution by the castle law based on my understanding of the facts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

R. J. Simon and Romney derangement syndrome. Steve Smith has a great link to Peter Suderman.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pot black

Charles Murray recently published a book on the cultural divide in America, a two Americas divided by out of wedlock births, stability in marriage and employment. This divide, which is also associated with income, seems relatively new in its percentages in the population. Part of what contributes is the decoupling of sexual relations with birth due to the technical advance of the birth control pill. A signal of the appropriateness of decoupling of sexual relations with marriage would be societal mandated 'free birth control pills.' It is for this reason that the University of Notre Dame health insurance, for instance, does not cover birth control pills except for gynecological reasons. Mr. Rush knows nothing of the sexual history of Miss Fluke nor cares to. She looks like a prim young lady who is capable of delayed gratification but I believe that her academic position encouraged what he viewed as, in the language he learned in junior high, slut like behavior which he thought should be drawn exception to.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Beneficial Effects of Radiation

In the early 1980s, a Taiwan steel company accidentally mixed some highly radioactive cobalt-60 into a batch of steel rebar. The radioactive rods were then used in the construction of 1,700 apartments. As a result, people living in these buildings were subject to radiation up to 30 times the normal amount received from the natural background.
When dismayed officials discovered this enormous error 15 years later, they surveyed past and present apartment dwellers expecting to find an epidemic of cancer. Normal incidence would have predicted 160 cancers among the 10,000 residents. To their astonishment, the researchers discovered only five cases of cancer—97% lower than the anticipated amount. Birth defects were also 94% below the anticipated rate. These findings were published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons in 2004. As one researcher phrased it, exposure to high levels of background radiation had apparently bestowed upon residents "an effective immunity from cancer."

The residents of the Taiwan apartments experienced 10 times the level of radiation as is prevalent in the evacuation zone around Fukishima. The etiology of radiation-related disease is well-known. Radiation can cause DNA damage but the body has repair mechanisms to deal with it. Last December scientists at Berkeley made microscopic videotapes of these cellular repair sites in action. "Our data show that at lower doses of ionizing radiation, DNA repair mechanisms work much better than at higher doses," wrote Mina Bissell, a world-renowned breast cancer researcher who co-authored the report. "This non-linear DNA damage response casts doubt on the general assumption that any amount of ionizing radiation is harmful and additive." Other researchers speculate that low radiation doses may immunize the body against cancer and birth defects by stimulating these repair mechanisms into greater responsiveness, just as vaccines stimulate the immune system. That would explain the low cancer rates in Taiwan.

The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2012, link

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Went to the Democratic Dallas Bar Senate Public Forum this evening. The best line was from Adelle A. who announced that 'her constituents were comfortable with keeping the retirement age 65' in response to McKenzie's question on 'saving Social Security.' Paul Sadler who wrote the education laws for Texas in the 90s from the Texas House thought direct government negotiation with pharma and price controls were the solutions to expanding Medicare costs. A bright guy, he expects to win the nomination on the Democrat side and bank on a favorable Democratic wind in November; he isn't taking any political chances it seems.

Inspired by Derek Lowe*

As I understand it, the elder Koch came up with a cracking process that yielded more gasoline out of a barrel of oil. This is an improvement in efficiency similar to what you were indicating would be an economic technical advance. As Paul Harvey used to say 'And now (in an amazing set of events) you have the rest of the story.

This 'rest of the story' might be of interest on several levels. It casts a hypothetical light on Stalin who, though he 'wanted to be a good Marxist' as he told his daughter to be, also considered the economic cost of inputs, i.e. in some sense was a capitalist. That may have been a reason for his success. Also in this discussion, as you point out, the implied assumption is 'big financial commitment' or commitment to a pyramid. What the president of the Pharma firm said was he wanted science but he wanted to change the cost of his inputs. When I went to the University of Texas tuition was essentially free. Is that the same as spending $17,000 a year on tuition?

The comment

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I didn't suspect it, but the usual suspects appear to have usual suspects of their own. We do seem to be entering a time of tribal identifications. Like Obama and the naturally innocent of Rousseau against the evil Kochs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beldar has posted his endorsement of Ted Cruz for Senate. There are going to be 2 debates in March on successive Thursdays at 5:30 PM at the Belo Mansion on Ross Ave in Dallas for the candidates. I have wanted to be inside the mansion and plan to take a little vacation and go. The notice was in the Dallas Morning News.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Century of the Icons

Obama was elected because people saw his struggle as, Keynesian and Democratic, preserving the icons of America, of GM. He himself is an icon of our goodness, our support of the Other in the black struggle. Even in California a cause wins supporting the icon of marriage. The Catholic Church is being attacked. Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meum, 'To God who is the joy of my youth,' an icon of our youth, shall it be taken away? No, an America which responded to the attack on the icon of New York to begin the century will struggle with Rick Santorum to preserve it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

On one visit, Kennedy was embroiled in one of the most defining moments of his presidency, the Cuban Missile Crisis. For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the Soviets were at a nuclear standoff.
Although historians have dissected Kennedy’s actions, none was privy to what he confided to Mimi.
“I’d rather my children red than dead,” he told her.


This from the story of the intern seduced by JFK. How about all of our generation that went to VN? We were terribly used. I guess you can argue the counter-factual and wonder if the counter-revolutionary Cubans had had air support at the Bay of Pigs, would they have won, would we have gone in after them. However it was pursued, if we lost in the action, would it have devolved later to a nuclear war, were Nixon president. He would more likely have bombed on discovery of the missile sites and nuclear armed missiles, unbeknownst to us, were already in Cuba, but he was good calculator of chances, a good gambler. I can remember waking up at about 2 AM the night of Kennedy's election and hearing Nixon optimistic about returns, and he did probably win except for fraud in Illinois.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Polish poet dies

Wislawa Szymborska and references in the Atlantic. The cat one and statistics are my favorite; she wrote a weekly coumn in Polish called not required reading.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well, as you know we had terrible news tonight, Newt got bit in the behind in Florida, but the worst of it, you know that liberal lamestream media, well Newt called Mitt to congratulate him. .. Then Newt went onstage and said how he felt about it, congratulating Mitt for a hard fought primary and saying that he’d clear his throat and stay in bit longer but, as Mitt requested that he do for Mitt’s campaign, he was going to act like a grandiose loser, like the Roman Republic was going to crash and it was just him Brutus against the empire and just play to type. The media of course went along with this (wait, well that’s partly true).
It is kind of ironic, maybe. You don't, I suppose, in business talk to a private equity guy unless you need a turnaround and are willing to relinquish (some) ownership. The Republicans are seeing if they can get used to that with Romney, a private equity guy to whom they will have to relinquish some ownership even if he is not one of 'them.'

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good article on Mitt Romney's tax return with application to many in the WSJ today, also the teenage mind, and Japanese perfection as applied to the consumer experience. The New Yorker has a good article on imprisonment and I enjoyed one from Jan. 2009 on the movie Defiance.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ann A. linked to:

The CNN Debate, Feb. 26

Gingrich didn't defeat Romney in SC; the Washington Post did when Romney didn''t have an answer to the Cayman's island question. Gingrich and Perry showed that Romney didn't have good defenses against the class warfare plays. I appreciate Gingrich's defense of the Catholic Church most notably about adoption in MA. I'll vote for him (not solely) for that reason. My impression is that the loss of the Speakership was tactical for the Republicans. Though the underlying problem was not a bid deal, they didn't want to use their political capital in defending him; I haven't seen that episode discussed. Overall, the debates have given us a chance to know the candidates. We develop favorites and, yes, grudges but like in a relationship, past issues are also discounted in going to the future. I understand Romney better, see black intellectuals, TNC at the Atlantic, and others are offended by him and will support Romney. Santorum also impressed me tonight in explaining where Obama was coming from in the SOU. Rush, linked through Drudge, had some interesting comments. Gingrich instead of promising Bolton for Sec. of State should promise Ron Paul as Drug Czar.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Thoughts on the race after Saturday's Republican debate

I thought Romney had a good night. I'm mystified somewhat by his take on the Chinese currency question. I'd have to defer to Greg Mankiw's argument on this. The Chinese change the ratio of dollars to yuan by buying our Treasury instruments. Thus they make the dollar more dear, the yuan less so. Romney is thus demanding that the Chinese buy less of our debt which would make our debt service more expensive. I suppose he knows this but doesn't want to explain it in Ohio and will change his position given cover as Gingrich did for him on the immigration question. It's that sort of thing though that bothers me. Here I don't know know if he believes something or if he figures the voters are too stupid/ prejudiced to be talked to. I suppose the currency position polls well, and maybe he has set it up as a defense against Huntsman. He seemed awful ready to counter punch him over the Chinese issue.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A blog post by Ilya Somin in Volokh Conspiracy reminded me of a former German named Pinkie.

One of the commenters (Joe Horton): It seems to me that the Nazis got power not so much by getting votes (which they were able to do in a number of ways) so much as by killing, or at least beating the cookies out of people and families of people who disagreed with them. Once legitimate law enforcers were cowed by the apparent burgeoning Nazis, they, too, came under the spell. This is all pretty well described in the recent book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, which details the ambassadorship of William Dodd to Germany in the 30’s. It makes fascinating, if chilling reading.
Another (SteveMG): Sydney Hook, in Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century, says he was immediately shocked and frightened at seeing Hitler speak. His ability to mesmerize the audience, his outright racial appeal, his open promotion of violence, his appeals to “blood”, it was all there.

Erik H adds at the end a book which also looks interesting,

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

David Brooks has called Santorum a working class conservative, a Volokh post a big gubmint conservative. It was interesting to see him cite his grandfather's leaving Italy in the 20's when Mussolini came to power as to my not real informed speculation Mussolini was also a big gubmint conservative in a way; probably just went a tad far for the pops. Anyway, Santorum is kind of a Catholic Social Welfare kind of conservative apparently; so at least in a religious social sense it's nice that the evangelicals would have him. It's interesting how Iowa broke - quite polar with Santorum and Ron Paul, the latter a simplistic libertarian true enough but also simplistic enough to be anti-libertarian also.