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.