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.