Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Season of the Witch

During the VN era, there was a song with the line, 'Must be the Season of the Witch,' a haunting rock song. Now we have the Michael Brown shooting, and riots, the misfired UVA rape allegations, and the Garner death; and injustices in some parts real and in other parts projected out of the preexisting anger of the accuser are played out in the reactions of victim identification. During VN we had the 'specter' of communism, and now I see the 'Season of the Witch' and see this time similarly. I wish we had let the Vietnamese vote to decide their country's status in 1956 but my feelings about the war have further thoughts, and I will leave it at reflecting on this Season.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Exorcism and Nonepileptic or Pseudosiezures

The discussion of the painting (1) The Miracles of St Ignatius Loyola might seem to disparage religion. My consultation experience and that of others (2) with ‘pseudoseizures’ or nonepileptic seizures and conversion disorders , the syndromes of the discussion, suggests that the syndromes may be variants of panic disorder and successfully biologically treated as such. Hypothetically the syndromes might be induced by the anxiogenic methods of sodium lactate infusion (3) or high dose caffeine ingestion (4). In reference to the painting and its discussion, if religious experience restructures the psychodynamic and psychophysiology of the sufferer, then indeed religious experience might be helpful.

1. Harris JC. Exorcism: The Miracles of St Ignatius Loyola: Peter Paul Rubens. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(8):866 2. Snyder SL, Rosenbaum DH, Rowan AJ, Strain JJ. SCID diagnosis of panic disorder in psychogenic seizure patients. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1994 Summer;6(3):261-266. 3. Liebowitz MR, Fyer AJ, Gorman JM, Dillon D, Appleby IL, Levy G, Anderson S, Levitt M, Palij M, Davies SO, et al. Lactate provocation of panic attacks. I. Clinical and behavioral findings. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(8):764-770. 4. Charney DS, Heninger GR, Jatlow PI. Increased anxiogenic effects of caffeine in panic disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 1985;42(3):233-243.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ebola and Politics

Socialism or family life is like an MC Esher print. It has areas or blocks of equal properties which fit together and then there is an edge in which the properties of the spaces change. The unseen disharmony of the same spaces can be covered over in an unseen way by some of the spaces until an edge. The failure of the CDC or simply its lack of effectiveness represents Obama's inability to cover an unseen disharmony. The U.S. is at risk from West African travelers. To allow the CDC to acknowledge this risk suggests that steps which disproportionately affect black people might be appropriate. That contradicts the internal domestic policy that something that 'disproportionately affects black people' is per se racist so would open a can of worms.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Books noted: Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer. Also Dying Unneeded: The Cultural Context of the Russian Mortality Crisis Also Max Hastings on the Marne and WWI more generally and Fromkin on 'Europe's Last Summer' (before WWI), the Prussian plan for war, and Fromkin on the war outcome 'The Peace to End All Peace.' DeLong also highlighted the classic book on the Marne recently, that by Sewll Tyng.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Nice economic and cultural discussion of Alexander Hamilton. It's in a Hamilton v. Jefferson mode.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Good for Indiana in trying to do something about the over zealous penalties for arrests. Maybe it will become a comparative advantage for the state. Elsewhere in the WSJ yesterday, the benefits of 'broken-windows policing' were emphasized by Bret Stephens. Part of the benefit of that is for the police to teach people how to behave. On the other hand to make people repeatedly humiliate themselves over past possible offenses may actually alienate people and contribute to disorder as seen in Ferguson.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Government, Pay to Play business, Corruption in Dallas

The problem and mechanisms complete with deniability and, yes, ambiguity of government corruption were on display in last Sunday's, July 27, Dallas Morning News. The problem: 'Entities backing the Dallas hub filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010. Allen, who had guaranteed loans for the project, filed for personal bankruptcy later that year.' 'Allen, who declined to hire Price's consultants, had refused the effort to shake him down.' Price's alleged scheme impeded economic development and was unjust to Mr. Allen and his investors. Eerily, we also had the story of Bill Moore and Recognition equipment which 25 years ago was trying to get a U.S. Post Office contract. A Postal Service board member suggested to Bill Moore, the REI executive that he hire a John Gnau, paying Gnau's 'consulting firm' $30,000 a month, a lot of money especially then, to help get the contract. Gnau and the board member were shortly to be convicted; there was a kickback to the board member. Bill Moore 'didn't know' but might have suspected I guess. He himself wasn't convicted when he himself was charged but didn't win his suit against the postal employees who got him charged also when Mr. Moore's case against the government employees finally went to trial and was reported in the paper July 27. Further commentary on the current event is here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Romney may be making his contribution to America by highlighting a good hiking trail. I think Romney is showing off. The comments about him are positive. I think maybe Romney here gives me an insight into Mormonism as a super Protestantism. The Calvinists saw God as having an elect; and it was by faith that you might be a member. No works, i.e. charity, were required. So ostentatious displays of material success show that you are part of the elect. Inriguining that those following and commenting on Ann Althouse's blog, she being raised, I speculate, as a secular Jew, are of that persuasion.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A new government for Gaza

A government that deliberately puts children next to offensive rockets for the purpose of their being killed as propaganda pieces is committing a war crime. Hamas has shown itself thus criminal and an improper government, the UN an unreliable interlocutor. Ideally the Israelis should remove Hamas and give the territory to the Egyptians, who have done the only surprising thing in this conflict, blowing up Hamas tunnels or allow the people there to choose another protectorate such as the Arab League.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The progression of the Diagnostic Codes in Psychiatry and archaeological implications

All official diagnoses have a numeric code attached to them. It struck me a while back that there is a bit of history implied in those codes. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, combined type is 314.01, inattentive type alone is 314.00, but hyperactive type alone is 314.01 which I suppose suggests that the original perception of the diagnosis was of something associated with hyperactivity and only later was it seen as useful to consider the criteria and make a diagnosis in the absence of hyperactivity.

Perhaps there is a psychiatric resident's progress or the fields progress implied in the mood disorder codes. As a first year resident you confront the awe inspiring threatening pellucid black cloud of Major Depression, 296.2. Getting something of a grip, you find that the patient did too but lost it and progressed to 296.3, Major Depression, recurrent. But there is more to mood disorder. Sometimes the patient might have prominent irritability or high moods and be in Bipolar I disorder, manic, 296.4. And sometimes they have been there but are in a state perhaps now indistinguishable from Major Depression but, having been to 296.4, they are now at 296.5, Bipolar I disorder, depressed. And, finally, or not, they may be having alternating or mixed states together and, no longer a child in psychiatry, you see Bipolar I Disorder, mixed, 296.6.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why aren't 2nd term presidents popular?

Megan McCardle asks. Of course, notpresidents aren't all that popular either. It's like playing poker. You've got to put together a hand that wins you the office. Recently this has been harder for a Republican candidate though Bush drew into a straight almost busted by his past alcoholism in light of Clinton's misbehavior and our desire for propriety. What might be considered an anti-Republican constraint affected Bush later in the game though in that he effectively was told he had to sell a casus belli on Iraq to the U.N.; so he emphasized the likelihood of present WMD in Iraq. Ever after, 'he lied;' actually he presented his best evidence at the time about which there was rough consensus, kind of like global warming now; and he was probably more concerned about future dangers. Hubris plays a role. It may be that of the American people who can demand that other people not idealize communists as Eisenhower and Dulles and Kennedy, following through the presidential door, did in VN. Or it can be that of a man such as Nixon, who, perhaps following the example of predecessors, breaks'little laws,' but, in his case, wants meticulous evidence of what he did. Obama plays his cards by not leaving 'one scintilla of evidence' which satisfies his partisans completely. Others not so much.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Popular art in Dallas

Marc Ramirez recently reported on salvaged elements of Dallas history, appealing decorative sculpture. When I moved here many years ago, I realized in the summer heat I wasn't in Chicago, mostly a loss, but the gigantic tableaux picture of the Mexican woman in the land at the El Chico on a large open wall was intriguing and reassuring. This I believe still is at the Lovers lane location now near the Tollway. One author has called the regional culture El Norte, and for me this picture better represents the ongoing issues of adaptation that the imposing Amercan culture faces than did the hitching stake did at the DMA.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Slate has a couple of great articles: One on the development that made Paris stand out really as an international city, one on Trey Gowdy R-S.C., the appointed chairman of the House Select Committee looking into the Benghazi issue. Reading the Volokh Conspiracy has left me really impressed with the skill in law in organizing an argument or logical proof and Gowdy, in a video clip there, really shows that skill. Speaking of satisfying a social need, which is the accomplishment in Paris, Dallas would make an advancement in shifting the time of school break for kids to a time other than summer, the heat being so restrictive here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Medications reduced violent crime in people taking the medications, Depakote and 'antipsychotic' medications, a study published in Lancet found.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tom Maguire really brings a review to the Picketty Inequality thesis, justifying the title of his blog, JustOneMinute.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Ken White provides comic relief. And a sobering review, in passing, on Putin and his treatment of the opposition in Russia.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

An Appreciation of John Roberts

David Brooks analyzes the implication of the McCutcheon decision in the setting of campaign finance reform. David Brooks keeps at it with an instructive comment on Passover, also the 'Common Core' kerrflue.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Women Lawyers and the Catholic Church

The Judge's example from his own life is a door to a different perspective. One of his daughters was marrying in a Catholic Church; from his viewpoint another daughter's breasts were too exposed though he wasn't 'provoked.' If a kind word about the Catholic Church may be allowed as a Lenten Penance, the faith perhaps promoted a culture where women can feel beautiful without being provocative. Perhaps in part it is the persistence of the 'ever virgin' Mary, beautiful without being provocative, or some legacy of the 'women from Galilee' who accompanied Jesus to Jerusalem; he recognized a right not to be divorced. There are typically young women at a Sunday Mass who may look and feel more beautiful at that time than any other, and they are not being provocative. Perhaps too the women lawyers are not selling something in their dress but celebrating something, being able to be lawyers makes them feel, at times, more beautiful women.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How the Jews became Chosen

God asked the Greeks if they would be interested in Commandments. 'Name one,' they said. 'Thou shall not commit adultery,' God said. 'Not interested,' said the Greeks. The Arabs also got to an example, 'Thou shalt not steal.' 'Thanks, but..'was the reply. He asked the Jews if they were interested in Commandments. They answered, 'How much are they?' 'Free,' He said, to which they replied, 'We'll take 10.'

Friday, March 14, 2014

Aks or Ask

"Aks" is a perfectly legitimate variant of "ask" that's been part of English for nearly 800 years. From the romance King Horn (c. 1250): He axede what hi soghte Other to londe broghte.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Primary Day tomorrow

I have been so busy.I am inclined to vote for Corona and David Dewhurst and am surprised the Morning News didn't endorse Dewhurst. Inclined to go with them on the other candidates but given we disagree on the latter may defer. Decided instead against Dewhurst and for Dan Patrick, yes, their recommendation.

Monday, February 03, 2014

In Honor of a Colored Musician

Ann Althouse makes a blog post about singer Sam Cooke. In the comments I learned the sad story about the death of the man with most melodious voice in pop music. One of the commenters has links to his songs. My favorite is Wonderful World.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mainly Irish history

Great post on Irish history and Catholic or Protestant massacres including more recent Orthodox Serb history which, not mentioned there but in a book about him, Pius XII supposedy supported.

Sunday, January 05, 2014


Part of the cultural background for right and wrong and ideals are readings from the Bible. But the Bible provides angry and empathetic viewpoints that can be hard to reconcile. I came to Jews and Anti-Judaism in the New Testament: Decision Points and Divergent Interpretationsas he commented on Gregory Baum's earlier work. It is an excellent analysis of the problem brought up in its title. It gave me a new perspective on the New Testament. Along with taking the arguments seriously, it occurs to me that in some sense the modern age is anti-Christian just in the thought 'it is hard to consider such things without data.' Nevertheless, I wonder if, in considering the wisp of an ideal, and, wondering if I could have studied Latin more, I will be reading Paula Fredriksen's Augustine and the Jews, being 'prepared to look for more positive models and constructive patterns of interpretation.'