Saturday, May 13, 2006

A still small voice

Years ago, while with Mangyan tribesmen I concluded that these hill people could read an alphabet unknown to me. The foliage, sounds, the shift in airs, scents -- all of these -- spoke to them as directly as words in a book, though I scarcely imagined how. Later I discovered that psychologist Julian Jaynes had advanced the theory of the bicameral mind, which helped explain what I'd seen. His book, the Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind suggests that our ancestors were instructed by voices and visions. They understood through a process of unconscious thinking as perhaps the Mangyans still do. Nature spoke to them, and they heard.

Jaynes asserts that until roughly the times written about in Homer's Iliad, humans did not generally have the self-awareness characteristic of consciousness as most people experience it today. Rather, Jaynes argued that the bicameral individual was guided by mental commands believed to be issued by external "gods"—the commands which were so often recorded in ancient myths, legends and historical accounts; these commands were however emanating from individuals' own minds. This is exemplified not only in the commands given to characters in ancient epics but also the very muses of Greek mythology which "sang" the poems: Jaynes argues that while later interpretations see the muses as a simple personification of creative inspiration, the ancients literally heard muses as the direct source of their music and poetry.

Jaynes inferred that these "voices" came from the right brain counterparts of the left brain language centres—specifically, the counterparts to Wernicke's area and Broca's area. These regions are somewhat dormant in the right brains of most modern humans, but Jaynes noted that some studies show that auditory hallucinations cause increased activity in these areas of the brain. For example, he asserts that, in The Iliad and sections of the Old Testament in The Bible that no mention is made of any kind of cognitive processes such as introspection, and he argues that there is no apparent indication that the writers were self-aware.

However that may be, Jaynes' theory intriguingly suggests that hunches, guesses and intuition may hold some validity. They are the end result of a logical process inaccessible to the waking mind. My own hunch is that in the last two or three months there's been a change in the tone of the blogosphere. Nothing definite, simply a change in atmosphere in proportion to the degree of abstract tendencies of the blogger. Authors who trafficked in ideas and concepts have altered the most. Some have paused to take stock, pleading disgust or confusion; still others have returned to writing as seemingly different persons; others seem to be suffering a kind of nervous breakdown, obsessed with hatred for one or more public figures or inventing new words and finding conspiracies in everything they see.

The least affected are authors who are largely descriptive. For example Michael Totten's review of Arabs in Israel is one of those blogposts which describes what it sees even when it finds apparent contradictions. His latest post asserts that Arabs in Israel are the subject of discriminatory attitudes; yet despite this they would rather live there than anywhere else. The Lost in Space robot Model B9 had a phrase: "it does not compute". And yet of course it does. Anything computes which has an actual existence. There are other examples. Publius Pundit is opposed to Evo Morales' oil nationalization policies yet understands the history of Latin American class and racial warfare that politically drive it. The Big Pharaoh is able to cheer for Alaa and the Egyptian opponents of Mubarak while aware that the Muslim Brotherhood might be the ultimate beneficiary of an upheaval in Cairo. The ever-humorous Tim Blair points out there are things we want which we may actually dread: high fuel prices because it will wean us off imported oil and high prices because we must actually pay them.

My own theory is that all the old divisions so sharply erected between September 11, 2001 and April, 2003 have been slowly eroded by the uncertainties of the world. The Left and the Right have seen their champions turn out to be all too human, and are confounded. Issues which are a wedge on both sides of the spectrum -- like immigration or Darfur -- have scattered interest groups around like balls after a billiard break. New issues like the resurgence of a hostile Russia, the spread of Marxism in Latin America -- even the malicious buffoonery of the Iranian President -- are crowding at the fringes of the now comforting world of the War on Terror. The old play is ending and yet the new one has not yet begun. And this bothers abstract intellectuals far more than it does the men in the field. A soldier can write with perfect conviction that "the world was a slightly better place every time I pulled the trigger" because he lives in a world of specificity, but the agonized thinker can find no such comfort in cold abstractions; abstractions now in need of repair under the weight of experience.

The need to keep mental furniture in order is the curse of the abstract thinker. A recent visitor from the Philippines told me -- not in so many words, but clearly enough -- about how the famous old Communists of the 1970s and 80s had all gone essentially crazy. Not clinically. But they were all of them gnawing at the ends of old plots, editing unread journals, scheming from miserable academic departments; haunting the peripheries of political life. He described this in quiet tones as we sat at some seaside saloon, a grey mist and rain having fallen over the bay; the perfect time he said "for Godzilla to come popping out of the water". And of course there was a better chance of Godzilla actually materializing than that those dusty old Commies should ever succeed at what they were doing. They knew it and that was the madness. It was better, I thought, to keep watching and have another beer. The Mangyans would have understood what the Comrades would never: that truth comes tiptoeing in upon a whisper for those willing to listen.

Elijah came there to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of Yahweh came to him, and he said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" ... "Go out, and stand on the mountain before Yahweh." Behold, Yahweh passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind. After the wind an earthquake; but Yahweh was not in the earthquake.

After the earthquake a fire passed; but Yahweh was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. It was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. Behold, a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"


Blogger Jamie Irons said...


This is brilliant; without having been able to pin it down, I have felt this tansition coming on exactly as you have described it. While not being a particularly abstract thinker (what Jung called "a thinking type"), I have been troubled by exactly the uneasiness you have portrayed.

While a resident at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute in the late seventies, I read Jaynes' book; because I have both read the Iliad in Greek and know something about hallucinations, I have never accepted his thesis, though I do think Jaynes is close to an intuition that has a bit of validity. The whole "left brain/ right brain" dichotomy has rather fallen into disrepute of late, but I think the dichotomy that you adumbrate here has much to recommend it as a model to help us think through what we're experiencing.

Jamie Irons

5/13/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


PIMF ;-(

Jamie Irons

5/13/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

And by the way, speaking of the name which should not be uttered, let me highly recommend my old professor's book,

Jesus and Jahweh: The Names Divine

Jamie Irons

5/13/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger ag1 said...

Simply delicious. Thanks.

Oh, and apparently, some of the books we read, and conclusions we draw are the same. :)

Thanks again.

5/13/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


A gorgeous piece of work!

"The Bible that no mention is made of any kind of cognitive processes such as introspection"

Consider Avraham. HaShem spoke to him and the rest is history. As to Avraham's personal take on the experience, the text is a blank.

Imagine yourself having such an ecstatic epiphany. You like me would undergo the Richard Dreyfus syndrome. The keyboard compressions would pop 24/7 as we obsessed, awestruck.

What you have said requires examination of the sort you imply: from that dormant place within us all.

5/13/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...


This process started in earnest in September - November 2005. You started speaking of it in:

The End of the Beginning'

Many of those "authors who trafficked in ideas and concepts" now have to accept fate and watch events unfold. On all sides. That whisper echoed in my mind a few months ago.

In the GWOT things will head toward toward the '3rd Conjecture' or the '2nd Conjecture'. In Iraq it is the Iraqis that will decide. In Iran it is the Iranians that will decide. In Saudi Arabia it is the Saudis that will decide. In Egypt it is the Egyptians that will decide.

We now watch - and hope.

All concepts and ideas are on the table and arguing them over and over again is rather boring...

Off to other topics, eh...

What was that whisper?

5/13/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Not all which a man knows, can be spoken; and of that which can be spoken, not all is timely; and of that which is timely, not all is suited to the capacity of the listener...

The left-brain/right-brain paradigm may NOT be a 'truth', but there are STILL symbols and music and colors and spatial relationships... none of which can be particularly well wrapped in words, yet which CAN be learnt and can be manipulated.

I hadn't sensed it on the internet, but now that D. Cat has articulated it, I can grok it in essence.

5/13/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

On a related note, are there are internal voices that entire can Cultures hear?

"...The aggressors in Culture War A are radical secularists, motivated by what the legal scholar Joseph Weiler has dubbed “Christophobia.”1 They aim to eliminate the vestiges of Europe’s Judeo-Christian culture from a post-Christian European Union by demanding same-sex marriage in the name of equality, by restricting free speech in the name of civility, and by abrogating core aspects of religious freedom in the name of tolerance. The aggressors in Culture War B are radical and jihadist Muslims who detest the West, who are determined to impose Islamic taboos on Western societies by violent protest and other forms of coercion if necessary, and who see such operations as the first stage toward the Islamification of Europe—or, in the case of what they often refer to as al-Andalus, the restoration of the right order of things, temporarily reversed in 1492 by Ferdinand and Isabella.

The question Europe must face, but which much of Europe seems reluctant to face, is whether the aggressors in Culture War A have not made it exceptionally difficult for the forces of true tolerance and authentic civil society to prevail in Culture War B. ...

... Earlier this year, an atheist math teacher in Scotland won an anti-discrimination case after claiming that his application for a “pastoral-care post” at a Catholic school had been declined on the grounds that the school reserved such positions for Catholics. ...

...In addition to matching their Dutch neighbors’ embrace of same-sex marriage and euthanasia—half the infant deaths in Flanders in 1999-2000 were from euthanasia—the socialist/liberal coalition governing the country recently adopted legislation permitting rent-a-uterus procreation. 2 As the Italian philosopher and government minister Rocco Buttiglione has put it, “Once, we used to quote Karl Marx when protesting against the ‘alienation,’ ‘objectification’, and ‘commercialization’ of human life. Can it be possible that, today, the Left is inscribing on its banners precisely the right to commercialize human beings”—and all in the name of tolerance and equality? ...

... a January 2006 resolution of the European Parliament condemning as “homophobic” those states which do not recognize same-sex marriage and referring to religious freedom as a “source of discrimination.” During the debate on that resolution, a British Euro-MP, equating traditional marriage laws with a “breach [of] the human rights of gay and lesbian people,” raised the specter of the suspension of EU membership against dissenting countries like Poland and Lithuania. ..."

The stories of Culture War B, the Mohammedan onslaught in Europe is interesting as well. Perhaps more so than CW A.

When viewed from an overwatch position it is safe to say that unlike the Philippines Communists of the 1970s and 80s these fellows, both the Secularists and the Mohammedans, are not "mad". They do not see their "life's work" as meaningless.

They are both winning.

When, in the end to two sides "square off" it'll be much to late for the Secularists to turn the Mohammedan tide.

The Mohammedans still believe the "voice"

5/13/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wow, nice post Wretchard, I'm wordless.

There are ways back to this wordless world you describe. D.T. Suzuki's books on Zen are probably the closest I've ever come to it.

There are examples from the real world, like the many stories of loved ones knowing exactly when their husband, son or brother dies on the other side of the world. Yogananda talked about it in his Autobiography of a Yogi, speaking of his teacher who felt a change in the world when a ship was torpedoed with great loss of life. George Lucas copied it when Obi Wan felt a "disturbance in the force." Old, old rumors of when the world was One.

Teaching yourself lucid dreaming may be helpful, or at least fun. You can fly, for example. The other morning I awoke from a dream that had a song in it, I remembered it clearly and could sing it for an hour or so, and then the day wore on, I probably typed too much, and then it was gone.

The bloggers who have lost their voice have battled on and on over the same points, until the repetition deadened the heart of the argument. That's what so cool about the Belmont Club, you bring up new things for us to consider, and while we focus on the GWoT, for example, you reliably enliven new ideas, like Godzilla rising from the misty sea once again.

5/13/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Another example of a 'thought and concept' author in flux:

The Anchoress: I'm Off On Politics for a While

Good article.

Who whispered in her mind...

5/13/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

check this out for an answer to the anchoress's feelings of wonder why "...that every good thing President Bush has done is to be negated because he hasn’t snapped his fingers and done what YOU think is the solution to the ...(insert your percieved) ...problem. ..."

It is a rather lengthy piece in the American Conservative and I'm not in total agreement with Mr Vlahos's conclusions, but the perspective is quite interesting.

5/13/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Asher Abrams said...

Wretchard, outstanding piece.

I remember reading Jaynes' book as a teen (my mom had recommended it). Even while we take some of his specific claims with a grain of salt, the basic truth of "visceral reasoning" seems to be more and more widely accepted by mainstream science.

(Interestingly enough, Rabbinic tradition claims that the human propensity for idolatry was removed or mitigated in ancient times - so perhaps this corroborates Jayne's evolutionary theory after all?)

You've articulated something I've been thinking for a long time, and done it beautifully. Great job. Thanks.

5/13/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

"The Bible that no mention is made of any kind of cognitive processes such as introspection"

What's interesting about this is that it is not necessarily true, and it is not necessarily false.

Hamlet's is perhaps the most famous of all introspections, and you are correct that nothing like that exists in the Bible. What's wrong about your statement is that examples of uncertainty, doubt, questioning and hesitancy do exist in the Book--almost certainly literary examples of a cognitive process similar to introspection.

The difference between the Hamlet-introspection and the Bible's is not the addressor of the questioning, but the addressee: all praise and trust in Him, versus all praise and trust in me. The former always obtains; whatever happens in the world, Praise and Trust in God can withstand the storm.

The latter has quite a different dynamic, and quite a fatal weakness. It can lead to the madness you describe--the tenacious grip on a sinking ship. It can lead to irrational solipsism and amoralism; or, even worse for our species, it can lead to the willing away of the self, the sickness unto death--despair.

5/13/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

After reading Wretchard and The Anchoress and Chrenkov and Michael Yon and Roggio on the topic of today over a period of years now, your source document grinds my teeth. It could have been written in 2003 or some other period of ancient history.

Here is history fifty years from now: President Bush's greatest moment will the moment he did NOT don the purple fringed toga of an emperor.

And, by the way, Vlahos is 100% correct when he states that it is the republic that is the strong horse – not the autocracy. Proven again and again. But he is wrong to believe that only good can come of it. I would place President Bush more in league with Gaius Marius than Julius Caesar or Augustus. That is not all good, eh… And, remember FDR died in office after being elected four times.

My biggest concern now is that America may quickly become a defacto One Party State. And, yes, I understand and read the polls. But the oppositions defines nothing, argues nothing, and does nothing. When given the choice each voter in each district in each state will elect people who have meaning. Then power will shift to absolute.

I am much more worried about the next man – this man is a good man…

We can only hope we don’t elect a Sulla as Consul.

No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy

Semper Fi

5/13/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The world of people certainly appears to be adjusting--feeling pressure to adjust--to something rather large, to some fundamental change.

Maybe we're learning of limits in guiding change--encountering a reality check on our creative power. Whatever power we feel ourselves losing must be going somewhere. I hope it's to a higher spirit power and not to an alternate construct of Man.

Until I read the post and comments, I'd had the notion that Big Things happen on the millennial breaks. It suddenly dawned on me just now that my calendar is just one of several, and that there's really been only one other millennial break, and really, nothing much happened on it. Oh, poo.

5/13/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

A stunning insight, to be re-read and re-read again. No comment of mine would add anything. Congratulations and thank you.

5/13/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Christian Adams said...

Neither mine. All I can think is thanks for saying the unknowable. Or, "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." Or, it's time we start listening to the still, small voice.

5/13/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Yes. You're right. I have noticed several times in the last month how non-Americans described the impact 9/11 had on them, their lives and their world-view ... as if New York were located in THEIR state, and the 3,000 dead were *their* nationality and not American. There's almost a sense of small anger, "How dare you greedy Americans take the full responsibility for this event as just your own, and that your response should be just your own, too. We want to play, also." I don't think that shared entitlement was there three years ago.

The other thing I've been thinking is that the people of the Middle East survived in a harsh desert environment for centuries. How did they do that? There must have been some good things involved in their pre-oil Dune environment that enabled them to get along and survive as a culture, even if they didn't have the luxuries to enable them to get to the moon.

In the case of Saudi Arabia, in particular, I keep seeing where it's necessary to protect the "social customs" and not change anything that would harm those customs, and increasingly I'm asking, "WHY? Why is it necessary to protect those social customs which have ended them up where they currently are?" It might be a good idea to parse back to whatever the customs and beliefs of the Dunes' Bedouins were 80 years ago. Because whatever they were, they couldn't be worse than the "system" that Saudi's are forced to live under now.

Speaking to which, I'm now also seeing editorialists in Abu Dubai writing and asking what the definition of "reform" actually is. If "reform" is needed, what does that mean?

So that Wretchard's noticing that the paradigms are changing as time and the experiences of the last four years have eaten away the sands of certainty extends to the Other, too. As well as to the uncertainties currently facing Moonbat Libs vs. Blood-thirsty Neo-Cons.

5/13/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Apropos the change, and the resistance to it we see our polity, here is Alexis de Toqueville:

Amid the ruins which surround me shall I dare say that revolutions are not what I most fear for coming generations? If men continue to shut themselves more closely within the narrow circle of domestic interests and to live on the kind of excitement, it is to be apprehended that they may ultimately become inaccessible to those great and powerful public emotions which perturb nations, but which develop and recruit them...I cannot but fear that men may arrive at such a state as to regard every new theory as a peril, every innovation as an irksome toil, every social improvement as a stepping-stone to revolution, and so refuse to move altogether for fear of being moved too far. I dread, and I confess it, lest they should at last so entirely give way to a cowardly love of present enjoyment as to lose sight of the interests of their future selves and those of their descendants and prefer to glide along the easy current of life rather than to make, when it is necessary, a strong and sudden effort to a higher purpose.

I fear...that man will waste his strength in bootless and solitary trifling, and, though in continual motion, that humanity will cease to advance.

Nietzsche once said that the only true Christian died on the cross, that Christianity itself was comprehensively misunderstood, and the history of Christianity is the history of misunderstanding:

This "bringer of glad tidings" died as he lived, as he taught--not to "redeem mankind" but to demonstrate how one ought to live. What he bequeathed to mankind is his practice.

The secular Left derides the "What would Jesus Do?" crowd as reactionary and retrogressive. What's ironic is that, in terms of Toqueville's advance, if the WWJD crowd were to drop their religious identity they would be the most progressive beings of all.

Now, I realize not many will appreciate that. In the precise meaning of the word, it's quite unfortunate.

Jesus, not as the Redeemer, but as the objective: now there is a revolutionary thought.

5/13/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Hamlet wasn't all that introspective--he was just trying to figure out how to get back at unca. It's just another revenge play, albeit a very good one.

5/13/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Could Wretchard be hearing the feeling of a generational turning.

Has the fourth turning completed.

Some, including me, would say - not yet. There will be, shall we say, reminders that we are in a generation of flux, change, and renewal.

But, to me it seems as if the victors are defined.

As a side note, I think the other western cultural centers are starting to transition.

Just a feeling...

Kinda a voice...

5/13/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Re Aristides' post--I wonder, (this is not a sardonic or rhetorical question) under what conditions--if any--would Jesus have ever taken up the sword? WWJD against an armed imposition of the Koran?

The deToqueville quote is sublime--and the comments to do with the need for generational vision does bring up the question of the western "baby bust". It's usually ascribed to easy contraception and euthanasia, plus the unaffordability due to high welfare-state taxation. But those things are symptoms, not root causes--if it's deeper, if it's fear, then what is the fear? If it's fear of our own selves--and it must be that--what are we doing to terrify ourselves? What practice (alluding to Aristides' post) clouds--or dooms--our future? Is it the sense of no political solution to the problem of existence--is it a dread of Judgement Day?

5/13/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

We would not have the Bible at all if the Israelites had been better at empire. They wanted empire like all the others. They got clobbered again and again. This old song about we have been defeated cause we did not do well with our god--goodness sakes--the Assryians sang the same song--as did the Native Americans in their way--as for me I can't stand these monotheisms coming from Abram--they will gain success by blowing up the world--what I do like about the Bible is their writers seem to be very up front about what true scum they have had as leaders--take a good look at the great King David for example--nothing but a cut-throat and humper--also I like the fact that the very best folk in the Bible aren't Jews--Cyrus,Jonas etc.

5/13/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Also Job

5/13/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

agreed that the Imperial Presidency did not begin with Mr Bush.
It did answer the anchoress's lament, however.

Your fourth turning link is an interesting formulation.
This quote I found particularly pertinent to the current situation

"... The hugely popular Mexican War had just ended in a stirring triumph, but the huzzahs over territorial gain didn’t last long. Cities grew mean and politics hateful. Immigration surged, financial speculation boomed, and railroads and cotton exports released powerful new market forces that destabilized communities. Having run out of answers, the two major parties (Whigs and Democrats) were slowly disintegrating. A righteous debate over slavery’s westward expansion erupted between so-called Southrons and abolitionists—many of them middle-aged spiritualists who in the more euphoric 1830s and ‘40s had dabbled in Transcendentalism, utopian communes, and other assorted youth-fired crusades. Colleges went begging for students as a brazen young generation hustled west to pan for gold in towns fabled for their violence. Meanwhile, a child generation grew up with a new regimentation that startled European visitors who, a decade earlier, had bemoaned the wildness of American kids. Sound familiar? ..."

5/13/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I think David's story--dying rich and powerful, and equally miserable and alone--having everything the world could offer of gold and power, as well as boils and corruption--is an essay on paradox.

5/13/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Render unto Ceasar...

He'd have turned the other cheek, then paid the tribute, as demanded.

5/13/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Buddy--How does that go--from Frost--the withered hag that came with pail and rag-she used to be the picture pride of Hollywood--provide, provide.

5/13/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

Our Third Turning conflict was probably Vietnam...

This conflict, taken together with the conflict elements that reared up in the 90's (culture wars, immigration [assimilation], bioengineering, and others) portends a Fourth Turning. The Mexican/American war is a Third Turning conflict. The book is interesting - but not infallible...

Our situation is much, much more decisive than the Mexican/American War or the Vietnam War... We win or we loose...

My biggest problem is that we have a sizeable chunk of western culture still not in the game - or believing they can tiptoe around the game... That part of the scenario definitely sounds Third Turning...

5/13/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Abishag--picture pride of Hollywood.

5/13/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...


re: Jesus and the Sword.

I think one must conclude that under no circumstances would He have taken up the sword.

Jesus is the objective. Unfortunately, the sword is what lesser beings must use to get there.

5/13/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

What are you doing here, Elijah?

I have watched mountains move,
I have seen the earthquake,
I have witnessed fire

There is truth

That, I do know…

Allow me to take pause…

Let me see what has been wrought…

5/13/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

And move with purpose and direction toward battles not yet won...

5/13/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

"There are events in motion which cannot now be undone."
- Gandolf the Wizard (Return of the King)

Yes Wretchard, yes. I have been feeling this. The arguing and bickering between left and right going on for years now has come unmoored. Another way to say it: we have all been dropped in the jungle and we are all trying to learn the new language, interpret the signs, the wind in the trees the reactions of birds, what the night will bring...

5/13/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Ari--your last sentence--a good practical app of our need to accept our Original Sin-ful nature, eh? Proceed shizoid, or do not proceed--

Ah, the Mexican War, as with all of history, rising again to the present, to flatten out on the plain plane of PoMo deconstruction. Lincoln and the Whigs were agin it--ending the Whig party and Lincoln's career as a congressman--clearing his way to come in later from the wilderness to the White House, and to end slavery.

If we're going to re-argue that war, remind the Reconquistas that the territories ceded were actually purchased, Mexico couldn't administer them due to being broke from her war of independence from Spain only 30 years prior. Texas was free already (Alamo/San Jacinto), and the rest had been Mexico's only the 30 years--having been Spanish Imperial--that is, European--prior.

OT but as it pertains to the Third Turning--

5/13/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Once again W delivers brilliant and inciteful analysis. Maybe it can even be called "introspective" and "perceptve". Delightful!


5/13/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You are right about that, buddy.
The Navajo never thought of themselves as Mexicans.

But those "windtalkers" were as American as folk get.

5/13/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

It's said that the Battle of Iwo Jima--where USA paid 22,000 casualties and 7,000 KIA for a few squares miles of coral-with-a-landing-strip, might have been lost without the Navaho Wind-Talkers.

5/13/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They and Ira Hayes, never were Mexicans or Spanish.

5/13/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Purchases at the point of a gun are not binding, buddy.
You of all folk should know that. It becomes a voidable contract, made under duress. Subject to later review and modifications of terms.
All of US citizens will just have to adapt and change with the demographic tide.
The wave of history is swamping the decks, let US just hope the bilge pumps hold out.
Or all Americans will just have to learn to swim.
Me, the beach beckons and the swimming, for me and mine, it should be just fine.

5/13/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The Treaty of Guadalupe/Hidalgo--grand old-timey sounding title--but yes, as long as we're being honest, one can't be "for" Israel's Original Title without also (reading that lump-in-the-throat Ira Hayes link) realizing that we ought to give the whole shebang back to the Originals. I'm on Comanche land--guess I oughta give it back, and go see if the Oslo WalMart needs any old fool "greeters".

5/13/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

"What are you doing here, Desert Rat?"

Do not despair
All is not lost
Battles have been won
We have not lost

There is still more to do

Yahweh guides Elijah back to the fight.

Yahweh can guide Desert Rat back into the fray!

Just the viable discussion of the problem of the unassimilation (sic???) of millions into our culture is important. Who in power brought that up before 2004/5? It is now in the open. Open discussion will cauterize the wound.

The Mohammedans are not feeling confident. They have said so repeatedly for the past six/seven months.

My biggest issue is that we may quit before the conflict is resolved – we may win without winning. How do we know when the battle or war is won???

By the way, that phrase sounds too funny with your pseudo name… Yuk, yuk… Enjoy the swim. Gota go shopping here… Doing good, hard work. Keeping the economy perking…

5/13/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is the reason, buddy, that though I do not gamble and think it a harmful social practice, overall, I do support Indian Gaming.
If there is to be legal gambling, let the Indians profit from it.

Which is a far from the Host's topic as I need to flow.

5/13/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

I was recently talking to a friend who has been teaching at a college in Mexico. One of the things we talked about is the different way that students do research nowadays, compared to when I did my undergrad.

As he points out, not many undergrads hang out in the stacks of periodicals and academic journals these days. Not many in the library stacks at all. The utility of using the web for research is high, but I think there is a cost. The cost comes in attention span, and in the ability to focus and develop one's thoughts. We both deplored the fact that very few people graduate from college with an ability to write, much less make a sustained argument through an essay.

Anyway, one of the ways he gets around this is to require a set variety of sources:

At least x number of book sources, x number of published journal articles, and then however many web sources.

This may be a tangent, but since I just yesterday made the (exaggerated) claim that we're moving into a post-literate society, it's interesting to think that blogs are some of the 'voices in the forest' that we're hearing and tuning into. At least, I think this convo dovetails with Wretchard's post in an interesting manner.

5/13/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

I read the Jayne's book in the late 70's and it was definitely one of the most impressive books I have ever read. I still use some of the concepts today to teach medical students. I particularly like the idea of the "remnants" of the bicameral mind that exist in modern society--specifically in religion, in poetry, and in mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia). Also, the idea that consciousness is actually a relatively new development in human evolution (a few hundred thousands of years old as opposed to older) and that early man did not have the same kind of consciousness that we have today (i.e., his mind was "bicameral") is simply an astonishing concept--and explains so many things. As you re-read the Iliad or some other Greek classics from their oral tradition, you can begin to understand what Jaynes is talking about. An incredibly thought-provoking book that I highly recommend even today.

5/13/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

waitin' for Jr to return from his Marine adventures.
Twice to Okinawa, once to Iraq.
in four years.
Kid wants to make some "real" money and then head south. Thought I'd go along and see how much fun I could have, old though I am becoming.

5/13/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Your 10:23 AM


I just completed a round-trip to Macon. Through the entire drive, I considered some of the implications of this thread.

What you say of Jesus as messenger (and do forgive me if I am misreading you) fits well with my thoughts.

Consider: we moderns consider the unique aspect of Abraham's brush with the Deity to have been the Deity, the messenger. However, it may be the case, as the text's absence of elaboration implies, that for the period such encounters were commonplace. But, something must have been significant enough to persuade the text's author to convey the meeting of man and messenger. It seems that we are, then, left with the conclusion that it was not the messenger who was unique; rather, it was the message.

5/13/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Prior to the American Civil War, the United States was hardly divided over the issue of Slavery. It was a distant problem that came into focus during a period of transition.


The ME was not always a desert. It became that way.

5/13/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Allen, that distinction opens the Book of John--In the beginning the word was with God, and the word was God--the "with' gets me--it's the original distinction without a difference. Or something.

5/13/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God"
(John 1:1)

(leave it to me to gaffe the Good Book)

5/13/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Yes this is brilliant.
This is a new way of thinking about thinking.
I have used the idea of paradox to work with the same contrasting realities.
And from there I have been working with the idea of the imperfect hero. This makes the idea of hero much easier to handle. The MSM of course doesnt want to deal with the idea of hero at all. Except of course for Che.

5/13/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

In the beginning was a spider and the spider laid a web, and we are the web. This makes as much sense as supposing that god spoke the world into being. Here at least we have some dignity, as while me may be 'other' than god, at least we are of the same stuff. The children, and children they are, of Abram are the cause of most of our problems.

5/13/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

as while we

5/13/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

I'd argue that self-awareness is bogus. It's a picture with no use, unless you're into hyperbolic doubting as an exercise : how can I be sure it's a ball of wax, etc.

What it's a displacement of is the moral sense, which comes from being addressed, and in that moment made unique and irreplaceable. That moral effect is made theoretical, instead of moral, by the picture of self-awareness, serving to save you from having to act. In fact making you replaceable again.

If religion is the poetization of ethics, then the same thing could have been done in religious terms instead.

The theorizer can nevertheless have a crisis at any time.

5/13/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Like others commenting here, I read Jaynes in the 70's and although I'm not convinced he's totally right and I thought the end went too far into Von Daniken country, he's ideas have stayed with me and I'm glad to have read it.

BTW much of north Africa and the Middle East were the breadbasket of ancient Rome. Humans are responsible for destroying the area and turning it into a desert.

5/13/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

rhhrardin--must admit you lost me on that one--self awareness is bogus?--ego awareness may be bogus--what lurks behind? Who is voting republican on may 23, myself, or what?

5/13/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

And why?

5/13/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger DiscoveredJoys said...

I'm not sure about the left/right brain as a cause of the sense of uncertainty in the world at the momnet (although I'll think about it some more).

However I do agree that a lot of the old certainties are breaking down. Political parties have blurred their old identities. For any 'newsworthy event' there are immediately three new charities, a lobby group for change, and a lobby group for returning to previous values - and none of these pressure groups appear to be motivated by anything other than opportunity and celebrity.

The Web allows anyone to have their say, whether it is based in reality or not. We are all becoming acclimatised to having to revise our opinions every day, every hour, because there is too much 'information' (actually mostly opinion) to hold a steady view of the world.

No wonder we are confused and unable to reject far out fundamentalist crap.

5/13/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

rhhardin, there's a whole new school of philosophy building around that "use" idea--as far as i can grasp it--and is seen by some as the antidote to PoMo "how can i be sure" analysis-paralysis.
"Performatism"--outta California (not France!).

5/13/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

"At the beginning of G-d's creating of the heavens and the earth...G-d said...

By the way, the creation was not ex nihilo.

The plain sense of the text makes clear that the creation is on-going. Oh, and Homo sapiens is integral to the process.

Your 1:10 & 1:13 PM - word
"The Five Books of Moses"
The Schocken Bible: Volume I
Everett Fox

5/13/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Wilf said...


thanks for a truly great piece. to ice the cake, you used one of my favorite bits of the Old Testament to make an excellent point.

Now, I just have to go and listen to that still, small voice, and figure out how it all fits together, including some Kurzweil's stuff I have been reading lately about the singularity. Definitely I have need of a bit of mental space here.

5/13/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

I can no longer afford to partition out and compartmentalize personal 'spirituality' with 'political' beliefs. Such thinking is a false dichotomy. I am Harry S Truman.
The buck stops here!

5/13/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

Bet your son didn't figure on seeing the world the Marine Corps way. Okinawa and Iraq. He has certainly done his part. I don't think he saw those words on the recruiting tag things. Bucolic spots - both.

His time in the Corps will carry him through the tough times. He will be proud of it - and we are proud of him. While I never had, and never will have, the honor of wearing the EGA the Corps will alwasys be part of me - and I of it (that silly term Civilian Marine comes to mind - but the Corps changed me for the better).

If he went through MCRD San Diego I may have gotten to know him through computer blips and bleeps.

Once again, tell him thanks for a job well done.

5/13/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

As I may have mentioned before, I have noted in recent years that many people know things that they did not learn.

They clearly did not learn them because there is no reference source or expert that would have taught them what they know - because it is not true.

So where did such knowledge come from? Where did people learn that the Mona Lisa and other great works of the Masters were stolen from unknown African artists? Or that a handfull of lightly armed Communist patriots in black pajamas took over South Vietnam?

Was this knowledge the result of abstract thought or a still small voice?

An old joke: A man stands at a roulette table and suddenly hears a small voice in his head that says, "Bet on Black 23."

He does so and wins. The small voice then says "Bet on Red 19." He wins again.

Then the small voice says "Now bet it all on Black 15." He does so and loses.

The small voice says "Damn!"

5/13/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Common Cents said...

I know I have changed. Up until a month ago I thought people who advocated mixed rule in the house and senate a good thing rather simple minded. Now I think our government is better served by not having both houses in the hands of the same party.

5/13/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Now I think our government is better served by not having both houses in the hands of the same party.

There is only one party. It's called Lockeed Martin.

5/13/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Either Lockheed Martin or the Politburo--the former will pay you to work, the latter will just work you--take yer choice.

5/13/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Put another way, you can own shares in Leviathan, or Leviathan can own shares in you.

5/13/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger ed said...



What you describe as thought from the unwaking mind is something that computer programmers experience on a regular basis.

I'm a professional computer programmer with around 27+ years experience. I've had such intense programming sessions, that involved communicating solely through IRC, that I forgot how to speak verbal English. It literally took me a few hours to re-acquire speech.

It's a disconcerting thing when you cannot remember how to pronounce the word "what". It's an alien experience, a feeling of unreality as words you know have somehow evolved into something that you cannot know.


In a similar vein are those experiences that involve the unwaking mind. When I'm delved into a problem I visualise issues, solutions, programs as panels spread across my mind. What I find when this happens that interconnections appear that I didn't conciously put there. That resolutions evolve independently of my concious thought.

That a solution I've developed for one problem also includes solutions for other problems, problems that I hadn't at that time either recognized or thought of. It's a strange thing really but one that I believe many computer programmers are aware of and experience themselves.

Perhaps it's because we live in the mind so much rather than in the world.

5/13/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Cognitive evolution and the origins of self awareness - as per others, maybe, maybe not, but so what? The recent shift in thinking however - and I put it at the end of last year as well - may well qualify as a major paradigm shift, in the Kuhnian sense. I have made this point before, elsewhere, to an audience of thundering skepticism or deafening silence, but the nature of heuristic inquiry, if I can use that pretentious phrase, is changing from the controlled laboratory experiment with deterministic and reproducible results to a form of inquiry that is data intensive with long-term and short-term temporal components, statistical, and objectively inaccessible outside of a systems framework, usually a very complicated system. Economics and the environment come to mind. Which is why my teeth grind as well at the ‘empire’ accusation. Much too simplistic. Smacks of a desperate recycling of the Hardt and Negri work. Nothing wrong with a good defense but useless if the offense is home sick. In other words, fine to warn about potential traps, but no substitute for a game plan, let alone a vision.

The second point is sensory overload. The ‘malicious buffoonery’ emerging from leaders in the ME and many of the African countries is over the top and over the line. The magnitude of the corruption, the intractability of the hatred, the incorrigibility of the divinely inspired, and the hypocrisy of the desperate all conspire to weaken the will of people accustomed to institutions that try to deliver some form of logical and compassionate mechanisms to support social existence. But now the only solution seems to be walls. I would suggest that we are experiencing the limits of human tolerance to emotionally absorb the magnitude of the implied fabric, let alone intellectually follow the intricacies of the burgeoning players. When the emotional stress meter goes into the red zone, my mind shuts down or puts up a wall, but it doesn’t ‘go there.’ I think some of the ‘mental illness’ comes from people who don’t have the built-in self-protection.

As for the impact of the internet on college kids who can’t write, too complicated an explanation. Writing is a skill that can be taught and lack of said skill is simply another indictment of the educational system. The internet is not the culprit. It’s not your father’s desktop anymore and there is no indication that all the anticipated social dysfunctions have materialized or will. Then again, they might. I am hoping, more than predicting, that the sheer volume of information will ultimately have the great democratizing effect that was part of the marketing profile 20 years ago. IMO, the internet/digital phenomenon is just so big that we are only beginning to experience the tiny little voices at the edge of a huge universe.

5/13/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

So, In the beginning was the zaius and the zaius was dementia?

5/13/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Ed - good post. So much for lack of concentration. I used to program on a small scale relative to professionals but I've had identical experiences when someone would interupt me when I was using a very different part of my brain. It's a real phenomenon.

5/13/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Allen--that ole re-surfacing birth-trauma memory sure makes for visions of The Horror, The Horror of It All...Sam Peckinpah framed it visually in the open sequences of "The Wild Bunch"--the gang of laughing children dropping scorpions onto fire-ant mounds. Yes, all that is here, but...but...but....

5/13/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

So W uses his spidey senses to suss out the currents in the blogosphere? I can dig it.

Ed, this is a well known phenomenon. Golfers call it being in the Zone. Not sure what Zen masters call it. It's not specific to computer programming. The technical term for it is "flow state." See Flow (psychology). Oliver Sacks had a nice article about it in (I think) the New Yorker in the last year or so. (sorry no link.)

5/13/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Put another way, you can own shares in Leviathan, or Leviathan can own shares in you.

Me thinks it's more of a symbiotic relationship.

The Leviathan is...underneath

5/13/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Comediennes, writers, and artists call it 'channeling,' derivative of the 'flow state.' It is somewhat odd that nonverbal cognition receives so little attention. The smell test is violated I guess - too closely related to various psychic and unsavory phenomena.

5/13/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

What fascinates me about this post of Wretchard's is how it has fundamentally changed the tone of the interaction among us commenters.

Far less disputation and contumely than one usually witnesses here.


Jamie Irons

5/13/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

contumely n. , pl. -lies . Rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance; insolence. An insolent or arrogant remark or act.

I knew that.

5/13/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

"My biggest concern now is that America may quickly become a defacto One Party State. And, yes, I understand and read the polls. But the oppositions defines nothing, argues nothing, and does nothing. When given the choice each voter in each district in each state will elect people who have meaning. Then power will shift to absolute."

I'm not so sure "One Party State" is the way I'd describe it. We have had that historically when, after the Hartford Convention, the Federalists became an irrelevant regional party for about the same reasons the Democrats are in the process of doing today and we also had the sort of thing you are talking about when after the Civil War the Republicans were held the Presidency and Congress pretty much as they wanted from the time of Grant from the 1860s up until Grover Cleveland was elected in the 1890s and then pretty much stayed uninterupted again until the election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 (Leave out Cleveland and that's 1 party dominance for 72 years. Count Cleveland and that's still total dominance for a 30 year period followed by another period of dominance for about 20 years).

In the first case what happened was that the Democratic-Republicans in the absence of Federalist opposition fell apart into 2 factions that by the time of Andrew Jackson had hardened into the Democrats(Jacksonian) and the Whigs (anti-Jacksonian). In the second case the non-dominant party was able to return to power without hassle once they were able to find a reason to be elected and then after 1932 went on to their own run of dominance (Ignore 2 years of 1950s and the Democrats held both houses of Congress without interuption from 1932 to 1994 and they hung onto the Senate until 2004). I think the Democratic party may possibly shatter as you worry and will certainly have their status as "2nd Party" confirmed but I do not think that a tragedy for the nation. The Democratic Party has recovered from this sort of thing before and even if they did not the death of the Democratic Party would not be the death of the 2-Party system. ^_~

5/13/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I've only gotten to the 8:46 post referencing Anchoress, and I quote this:
"There is no way to debate because - no matter which side tries to get serious - a well-thought-out discourse is immediately shot down by the other side with a one-line-sneer, usually a specious one, that distorts or misdirects and never allows a thought to go forward. The disrespect between “sides” is staggering, and completely unproductive."

To the extent that this is a true or accurate reflection of the 'political' scene, we are OPPRESSED!

We suffer tyranny at our own hands, and refuse the freedom and dignity of courteous, thoughtful consultation and dialogue!

Once again, those who would dismiss Baha'u'llah as the most powerless of the meek, are brought by reality to look at the spiritual power which courtesy, and thoughtfulness, and courage, honor, self-respect and rectitude of conduct BRING TO A PEOPLE, when practiced BY that people!

5/13/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

Could it be nothing more than the smarties in this community beating back the trolls for a few blessed weeks?

5/13/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, I think that we wait with bated breathe for Mr Bush's speach, come Monday.

The political die is cast in Iraq, what we've sown is what we'll reap.

Both the quality and quantity of the yields are now beyond our direct control. We have chosen our Proxies, for better or worse.

In Iran and Warizistan, time marches on, we do not.
No amount of praise of bellyaches will change that, either.

If the Four Turnings theory is accurate, the cycles of history have US in it's grasp and Winter approaches.

Or is there is no time like the present?

For myself,
circles and cycles,
scenes we've all seen before.

when I was much younger, I really could fly, alot.

Age, drugs and rock & roll took their toll, grounding those flights as a crow.

5/13/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

...that ole re-surfacing birth-trauma memory sure makes for visions of The Horror...

A quiet evening in with Oedipus Rex is usually a good remedy...

...and besides, the grocery bill was way overdue anyway.


5/13/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Oh, jeez--the Owlsley was great for the Life Aloft--

5/13/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

dr. zaius, you were the perfect choice to lobotomize ole Charleton Heston--

5/13/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

We've reached a cusp, Wretchard.

The left-brain, rational/discrete data is washing over the Earth like a flood, literally swamping our ability to read/absorb in ANY sort of cognitive manner!

In the meantime, a larger and larger (albeit a small) number of voices are RECOGNIZING this overwhelming sea of knowledge, and are being pushed (and are pushing) to use the one resource which can give sense and order to this tidal-surge of data/info:

The consciously-invoked choice of meditating, for -say- a half-hour twice a day, in order to sift, synthesize and ALLOW SYNTHESIS PRODUCTS to become accessible to the only part of our brain with access to verbal speech, the logical left-brain.

It is THIS attending, to THIS small quiet voice, which can lift any and all of us from the onrushing crush of data-fatigue...

5/13/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mannning said...

This mood change reminds me of Alvin Toffler's Future Shock! meme. Changes of great importance, and portents of even greater changes, are arriving at our doorstep far faster than we can cope.

It is the Dutch Boy at the Dyke syndrome, where the leaks outnumber his digits. It is the dreaded feeling of being out of control, hoplessness, that paralyzes the mind, while behind or underneath or simply inside one, there is a rational voice trying to get through the noise to sort things out.

It is the information overload, emanating from the streaming sources we have today, that literally shuts down the conscious mind. One can't process it all effectively.

It is the layer upon layer of argumentation, thrust and counter thrust, that is ceaseless and galling, yet always there the next day. No closure, no completion, no put paid to any issue, but simply another round tomorrow.

Inner thoughts may have a chance, if one can shut out the world for a few moments of meditation.

Escape into meaningless entertainment seems to be the usual reaction, if only to shut out the world and to keep that voice from being heard as well.

We need to be grounded again...perhaps through meditation.

5/13/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Listen friends, and mark my words in this moment and this hour--
God is jealous for his name for his name is jealous.

Nor is this a charming flower to set before a man
nor one of his commands.

Yet, without Jesus, this is more than we can love as we desire peace,
and less than we can know as we desire joy.

For the sacred fire
that makes us liars--
I mean, that separates speech from dreams,
and separates our flesh from the future--
is God’s power manifested.
So, in the year and the hour-- for his sake, invest your desire in Jesus.
Follow his holy fire for right now. Right now he intercedes for us in heaven!

Some will say we are people of the way.
We are people of the way.
We praise his holy name Yahweh.
I am who I am.
I cause things to be.
I am the first cause of creation.
We praise his holy name Elohym.

And say “Thank you Jesus for your precious blood--
better, so much better than the blood of Abel.

5/13/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

jamie irons,

Your 5:17 PM - contumely

The Sages teach that G-d speaks the language of men. Often, men confuse the roles (always, myself excluded).

5/13/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard wrote;

"My own theory is that all the old divisions so sharply erected between September 11, 2001 and April, 2003 have been slowly eroded by the uncertainties of the world."

I gotta agree with you here but I wouldn't put it quite so...'diplomatically'. I would phrase it more like - The righteous theories propounded by the dogmatic foundered on the shores of reality. Fukuyama was one of the early ones to 'hear the voice speak'.

5/13/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Somehow, Ash, I think you're trying to declare victory in the sharp divisions that arose in one country--USA--after April 2003.

Please, sir, read the post--be worthy of your contumely!

5/13/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Absolutely brilliant, W. This will referenced as often as your Three Conjectures.

I'm not sure about left brain / right brain stuff. I have a different theory, roughly as follows:

1 Fish will be the last animals to discover water - if you're immersed in a meme, you won't be aware of it.

2 Priests, shamans, witch-doctors, Imams are the first group in society to detect change in the meme. They detect it by their declining ability to bully the young.

3 There is an initial fiery reaction from the Anointed at their loss of power, but it is then too late - the new meme is abroad, the rough beast's hour has come around.

4 Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

5 The old priestly class goes mad as they realise all the sacrifices they made for their God was a complete waste of their lives.

6 A new priestly class emerges.

7 Go to 1.

And so of course there was a better chance of Godzilla actually materializing than that those dusty old Commies should ever succeed at what they were doing. They knew it and that was the madness.

The Left is in phase 5, the Middle East, culture wars, Europe are in phase 4.


5/13/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just the Baby Boomers sensing Mortality.

What would have happened if the Money Changers had fought back?

5/13/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Brain" hasn't changed. One person in ten million has a brain like Wretchard's; 4,000 years ago, one person in 10,000,000 had a brain like Wretchard's. The only difference is; there was no internet.

He would have talked to himself, and people would have thought him quite mad. They would have either made him into a religious figure, or they would have killed him. It would have probably depended upon whether they were in a period of drought, or rainfall.

5/13/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Rufus 8:41, the money-changers DID fight back!

The clergy of Jesus' day did EVERYTHING they could to 'prove' Him wrong. A liar. A deceiver of men.

The clergy of the 1800's did EVERYTHING they could to discredit Baha'u'llah, crucifying him daily over a period of 40 years, and yet His message lives, in the hearts and minds of humans worldwide, who 'do all for the Glory of God!'

5/13/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

And HERE's a tiny voice that whispers, "Change is in the offing..."

5/13/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant, physically. Would they have had a fist-fight?

5/13/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change has always been in the "Offing." For thousands of years tired, old men have sat around and bemoaned the world going to "Hell in a hand-basket."

There have been wars, and rumors of wars. There have been Barbarians at the Gates, and surly, ignorant, disrespectful children. There have been anarchists, and intrigues in the councils of power. And bad weather.

Young people are busy feeding their families, and thus, pay no attention to the old men. Tribes elect, in one way or the other, younger men to govern the affairs of the group, and protect their interests. They give him plenty of wealth, and all the wives he wants. And, all the worries. When it doesn't rain they bitch. When it doesn't rain for a long time they kill him and get someone else.

They call the old men, "Council of Elders," and send them into their own coffee-shop, er .tent to bitch. Today, we call it the Blog.

5/13/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rufus, around here, the gas stations have a bench where the geezers sit and comment on traffic. The accursed youth call it the "dead-dick bench".

5/13/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other places it's called "The New Yorker."

5/13/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Your "dead dick..."

You guys haven't heard of Vitalis?
This is just hearsay, mind you, but they say it is not "still" or "small."

5/13/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the "Rain Forest," it's the one who can decypher the alphabet of sounds that doesn't get eaten by the Jaguar. The fisherman who can read the clouds doesn't get drowned in the storm. And, the programmer who can lose himself in the code can afford a good life for his family.

In July of 04 I told my Alabama Poker Professional friend, "Hoyt, if nothing happens in Iraq I think Bush can make it. He looked at me, and said, "Rufus, there will ALWAYS be something happening over there." I guess he hadn't heard about the "end of history." Thank God, I don't think Bush believed it either.

5/13/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

allen, i din't mean you or me, i meant the fella behind the tree--

5/13/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Ms they just call it Rufus' Bench.

5/13/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Your 10:07 PM


Good thing this came up, I forgot to check the male, no, mail today. You never know when you might need those coupons from Pizza Hut.

This is wrong, so I'm told.

5/13/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

In Mississippi, Hindus believe in reintarnation--

5/13/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Wretchard’s lead-in touched a nerve in me that has been irritated all day. At this writing it is 2:33 AM and I am still animated.

As the song said, “Somethin’s happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear. But let me run this by Belmont users, even at the risk of becoming roundly hated.

I am a Conservative. I am a Republican. As such, I have found myself valiantly attempting, over the past few years, to defend the indefensible. Try as I may to have it otherwise, this is the reality I see: Mr. George W. Bush is not a Conservative. He is certainly not a Republican, if my nearly forty years of membership is informative. Neither is he a Democrat nor a liberal. Mr. Bush is not a Liberal or a libertarian. It is my opinion that he is, for want of a better label, an Opportunist. And that is the problem I am having, as are so many others, recently, I suspect. How can one in conscience support an administration lacking any philosophic mooring other than opportunism?

Following a reference to the Anchoress given by Wretchard, I have read a host of blogs today touching upon indefinable, rampant discontent. Among others and other things, the Anchoress has been brought to the verge of actual physical revulsion by the current state of the blogsphere. I certainly feel her pain; it is mine.

Who can foretell the future? Who can say with certainty what will transpire should the Republican Party lose one or both houses in the fall? Simply put, no one can. What we all can know, however, is what is happening now; and, now, we find ourselves trying to put the best face on the unconscionable. Does anyone reading this seriously believe that the support of Hamas, for example, under any pretence or pretext, can pass the muster of conscience? How about the abject abrogation of the sovereignty of our border with Mexico? And, sadly, the list goes on, and has gone on for years, with all of us hoping that eventually there would be some acceptable pay-off.

Well, that “still small voice” may at long last be audible: There is none.

5/14/2006 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Thank you Wretchard for an interesting read.

I have also noticed this "transition" and what it seems to me to be is a mutual realization by the chattering classes and the internetters that they are not alone. There are new voices at the table that cannot be ignored and the new voices are realizing that they are being heard.

The old media is infuriated at the intrusion and the bloggers are brokenhearted that all their words have so little effect.

There may come a massive push to shut up the netters. That would be unlikely to work. They are looking at each other. The netters aren't going away. The powers that be sense a hole in the dike and are concerned their world will be flooded away like New Orleans.

For a brief moment there is a relative quiet.

Enjoy it. Maybe America is growing up.

Growing up

Jesus did not evolve.


5/14/2006 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

A May Comet Out Back

Spring rushes in the dark trees.

A Comet too tiny to see

By the Big Dipper's cup - the lower tip -

By tiny degrees.

A jet flies over.

The odd cloud wisp is lit by the city.

binoculars one can see


The dark branches of an oak tree

Tumbling past the Big Dipper,

Spread across the night,

The star-cornered cup and curved handle

That no hand gripped

To dip rain

But a comet
slipped through like rain.

The dog bays a basso ghoul

To chime with a distant yowling fire truck.

The wind rolls the trees & husks their red buds.

And all the
night breathes

With the leaves --Come!-- like

Butterflies from their cocoons.

It is the noon of Spring's night.

The Milky
Way sheathes the plants

With milk

Dogwoods, azaleas, the blooming quince

Burst with stamens and petals.

Still, beneath the electric yellow

Of street
lamps -- the bushes growl orange.

Winter's dead, howl by morning--

To leave the damp ground by summer cicadas.

5/14/2006 01:36:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

A not so “still small voice” is begging to be heard. http://www.humaneventsonline.
com/blog-detail.php?id=14791 - Gingrich: GOP 'Drifting Toward Disaster'

___ “The Senate bill is an absolute disaster.”

___”Americans support the House bill by a margin of 65% to 30%.”

___"Put border security first."

_84% say the U.S. should go after employers who hire illegal immigrants
_86% say the U.S. should cut off cities and states that refuse to enforce the law
_90% say English should be a requirement to become a citizen
_85% say citizens should have a voter-identity card to make sure only Americans are voting

___“The Senate is drifting toward a disaster of the first order,”

___"how many million people will be given a chance to come to America under the Senate bill?" Only 30-36 million

Let’s see, that would increase the US population by 10-12%. No big deal, if Senator Frist is to be believed; after all, he agreed to the Democrat version.

Oh, and by all means, let us not drift off topic. Instead, let's consider Twain’s “The Czar's Soliloquy”, it proves, beyond doubt, the intellectual firepower of Belmont.

5/14/2006 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

sparks fly & charles,

“Jesus did not evolve.” What does that mean? Well, I don’t know and, like Zarathustra, I don’t really care. What I do care about is accuracy.

We wrote our book. We are contented. If you want a book of your own, by all means, write one. But, please, make it your own. Don’t misquote and misattribute ours to validate yours.

We wrote, for example, that a young “woman” would give birth to a son. We did not write that a “virgin” would give birth. We wrote that she would give birth within three years. We did not write that she would give birth in seven hundred years. We wrote that the father of the child, author of the text, was the husband of the young woman. We did not write that the father would be a deity.

We wrote what we wrote for our own reasons. Saint Jerome made his translation for his reasons. And granted we did not contest the good man; our motto at the time being, “For Christ’s sake, don’t bake at the stake.”

I will stipulate that we have no recourse under copyright law. Should not basic decency, however, act as a moral constraint in this enlightened age?

Again, you are more than welcome to have a book of your own. We do not care; more power to you. We have repeatedly said the same to Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims. Everyone gets so upset. In fairness, may we not have a book of our own, one not incorporated of necessity into yours? That does seem all together reasonable and fair to me. What say you?

5/14/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

allen said...
"...Wretchard’s lead-in touched a nerve in me that has been irritated all day. At this writing it is 2:33 AM and I am still animated.
. How can one in conscience support an administration lacking any philosophic mooring other than opportunism?"...

We voted twice for a man devoid of introspection, more interested in his own personal condition than the condition of the nation he has sworn to protect. We have a man who cannot admit wrong or listen to experience. We have a man who revels and jokes about his lack of interest in history or intellectual pursuits. We have a president who has done more damage to US prestige since the Civil War.

Wretchard states.." For example, he asserts that, in The Iliad and sections of the Old Testament in The Bible that no mention is made of any kind of cognitive processes such as introspection, and he argues that there is no apparent indication that the writers were self-aware. However that may be, Jaynes' theory intriguingly suggests that hunches, guesses and intuition may hold some validity..."

Hunches, guesses and intuitions are not a strategy to run a great nation. My hunch, my guess, and my intuition is that the Republican Party is wrecked. It is time for a conservative third party.

5/14/2006 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

That's what Harold Bloom says--that the Old and the New Testaments are a contradictory graft. I say, "Can't We All Just Be Buddhists?"

5/14/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dog Bites Man

Guard Puppy

Tony's Dream Vacation Destination

Iraqi Warrior

Robert Ferigno,
and Frank Gafney all warn about laughing at the Iranian Buffoon.
Yoni and Gafney plead that we must not allow Israel to commit suicide with their West Bank Plan when Olmert comes asking for money.
"Friends Don't Let Friends Commit Suicide "
Also don't let them carry out policies to turbocharge our foes by giving them a communal training ground.

5/14/2006 05:19:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Buddy Larsen said...

That's what Harold Bloom says--that the Old and the New Testaments are a contradictory graft. I say, "Can't We All Just Be Buddhists?"

As for Harold Bloom well he should say the OT and NT are contradictory. However, the US will always be a mystery to men who are not well grounded in both the OT & NT because the USA was founded by men who were well grounded in both.

5/14/2006 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Fear not, those new thirty million will be just like us. Just ask Buddy.
(The guy that was touting GWB's sincere efforts THREE MONTHS after I posted the FACTS about his abandonment of Heartland/Workplace enforcement.)
Oregon Sheriff on Immigration

Back at the Justice Center in Pendleton, Trumbo has made a copy of his latest letter. This one is to the local newspaper. In it, he recounts the 2004 murder-robbery near Hermiston. Without naming them, he writes that two of the convicted men, sentenced to 25 and 50 years, will end up costing Oregon taxpayers at least $2.2 million.

"Somebody's got to say, 'Enough is enough, " he says.

As for Fox, the sheriff doubts he'll ever hear from him. In fact, Trumbo is beginning to think Fox doesn't care.
But for anyone who asks why his jail isn't filled to capacity or why no officer will respond to a call after 2 a.m., he has an answer requiring no speech.

He rifles through a drawer looking for "the list."

It is 15 pages long, single-spaced in fine print, naming every illegal immigrant who took up space in his jail last year. The inmates are listed each night they're in custody. Trumbo holds the list in front of him and doesn't say a word. In his mind, he doesn't have to:
Just the sound of all those shuffling pages makes his case.

5/14/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

But those Bilderburger followers you cited (refering to current occupant of White House) seemingly aren't too well grounded in the passions of the men who founded the USA.
Somehow those damn nativists thought Borders were important.
(I say, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.)

5/14/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


Can't we all just be Buddhists.

No. I prefer numbers.


5/14/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gingrich: GOP 'Drifting Toward Disaster'
Allen's great link:
The people want this to Stay America.
GWB and the Senate have other plans.

Buddy says it's all the same:
Always has been in Texas.
Disagree and you become Untermenchen:
"culturalist, nativist, hysterical, emotional, immature, (RACIST)
"not that there's anything wrong with that"
Papa GWB thinks we are all becoming too emotional about this:
Tune in for your Sermon on Monday.
Follow Your Leader!
(I've stocked up on new camisas para pistones for the family.)
...wouldn't want anything to wear out when the pumping action on our Southern Regions becomes intense.

5/14/2006 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

The Executive Summary

"Gingrich said he believes the provision in the Senate bill allowing 11 million people to stay in the United States could actually balloon to three times that amount.

“If there is an honest debate about how many million people will be given a chance to come to America under the Senate bill, we’re told the number is between 30 million and 36 million people,” he said. “When the average American learns that, they are going to be furious if the Senate Republicans allow that kind of bill out of the Senate.

“The Senate bill expands substantially who can be brought in as a member of the family,” he added. “So you take 11 million and add the other people, and we believe the real number is between 30 million and 36 million.”

5/14/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

When you brought up Yogi Berra,
It was like deja vu all over again. can observe a lot just by watching.

5/14/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

(and dreaming of course)
As a veteran of many years, I know.

5/14/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

That Oregon article says the farming areas have become just like California's in the 60's and 70's.
30 Million more will turn a majoritiy of the Nation into Calif:
Perenially Democrat, 3/4 Legislators w/"Hispanic Surnames."
Socialism, Transgenderism, Secularism for all!
La Raza!

5/14/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If that Senate bill were to become Federal Law, I'd vote against EVERY incumbent in Office today, forever

I would NEVER vote for a Republican President or for any other Republican, again, 'til I'm dead.
Since they control the Federal Government.
The buck stops with them.

5/14/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

Never again would they have the opportunity to lie, to me.

Cannot win a War against a third rate country or defend our own.
Those folks within the Federal Government are just not to be trusted with important matters.

They are lacking in responsibility.

The Democrats would not have lost the War in Iraq, as have the Republicans, with the ascension of Mr al-Sadr to the position of "Defender of Baghdad".

They may never have started it, but then they would not have lost it, either.
Spin as you wish, but them's the facts of the matter, on the ground.

I still believe Mr Rumsfeld assessment
"Same as Saddam"

5/14/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As to the continued containment argument,
500 Billion USD could have funded "containment" Forever.
An occasional plane shot at, compared to 20,000 US casualties.

I was in favor of taking down Saddam.
I was also in favor of winning the War.
We did the former, failed the latter.

Chickens do come home to roost.

5/14/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How short is your son?
I propose we Belmonteers demonstrate our gratitude for his service by making contributions here to make his countdown more pleasant.
My Gift from The Pacific

5/14/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

91 days.
On the phone with him now

5/14/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

The pause before the storm. the calm in the eye of the hurricane. That transcedent christian moment before the gate drops and the Lions come bounding out. I suspect the last days of August in 1914 and 1939 felt like this.

Something momentous is drawing near,
Mouth dry as cotton,
Limbs stiff with fear.
Yet unseen,
not yet felt,
I know it's coming here.

Who wrote about stareing into the abyss unitl the abyss stares back, then becoming the abyss?
That is where we are now.

5/14/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Menendez and Hagel were pleasantly surprised when GWB brought up his green card to (30 million) citizenship scheme at their secret meeting.

...more than even they had bargained for.

Course Hagel deserved it for getting the INS chief fired for doing his job when he busted Hormel's Pork Factory.

5/14/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


I was in favor of taking down Saddam.
I was also in favor of winning the War.
We did the former, failed the latter.

Chickens do come home to roost...

I second that emotion.

Our problem, though, is not only our indecisive and bungling leadership, but ourselves.

It certain looks like our "leaders" are not going to pay us any heed in a situation where we have virtual unanimity (stop illegals from crossing our borders), where their following our lead should be relatively easy.

But what about a case where the electorate is fairly evenly divided? And the American people just do not seem to want to win wars anymore and, in many cases, seem determined not even to recognize that we are in a war.

In dealing with this latter sort of situation, I give Bush more (but not much more) credit.

Jamie Irons

5/14/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

On the rational side, it would be easy to argue that introspection was practiced just no evidence exists. There are several reasons why no examples survived the journey thru the ages to arrive on our monitors. First, writing was not widespread before the last few centuries.
Of the various catagoeies of humans, the dreamers would be among the last to embrace writing. Cave Paintings, Statues, Ritual chants, Theater, all existed before writing. One wonders why.
My theory is that writing was kept as much of a secret as possible by the priestly, bureaucratic and bunisess classes.
Dreamers are seldom associated with the words "work" and "hard", so it would make sense that they take to path of least resistance and practiuce the arts that were available to them as opposed to inventing new ones.
Written documents surviving thousands of years is a matter of chance. It could just be chance that no works of introspection have survived for us to ponder.
Or perhaps they have. It's a pecular blindness of the literate to give extra weight to what is written down. Tell somebody a lie and they may or may not belive it. Write that lie down and let them read it and the number that believe the lie goes way up. That is why automoblie Dealers have those pretty brochures up front. They are 'free'.

5/14/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

It certainly looks like our "leaders"...


Jamie Irons

5/14/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"...My attitude toward the Republican "leaders" in Congress alternates between fury and contempt. Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman got them to lift their snouts from the public trough long enough to hear that disaster awaits them in November if they continue their free-spending ways.

But greed and fear are enervating. When gasoline prices soared in the wake of Iranian saber-rattling, it was Republican "leaders" who called for an investigation of oil companies, and offered that silly $100 rebate.

The bozos haven't figured out they're in trouble because their base is mad at them, and that anger won't be assuaged by pathetic gestures to appease the left.

I couldn't agree more with Peggy Noonan, who said: "One gets the impression party leaders, deep in their hearts, believe the base is ... base. They're trying to educate the base. But if history is any guide, the base is about to teach them a lesson instead."..."

Jack Kelly Unhappy campers
The Republicans' base is mad. The anger won't be assuaged by pathetic gestures to appease the left

5/14/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"But what about a case where the electorate is fairly evenly divided? And the American people just do not seem to want to win wars anymore"
Support for winning was overwhelming when we were.
...even MSM embeds.
(except for Ted Koppel)
Ditto, support for GWB when he said that sponsors of terror were no different than the Terrorists themselves and would be treated accordingly.. we are back to open-bordered compassion for
"The World"

5/14/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

No bragging here, but I predicted this on the morning of 9-11.
Dad knew better than us because of his knowledge of the inner workings of DC.
Son is more compassionate than we are.
Elitists, both.

5/14/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"...Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs, set to go off without warning. ... ... yet tens of thousands of trained terrorists are still at large. These enemies view the entire world as a battlefield, and we must pursue them wherever they are. So long as training camps operate, so long as nations harbor terrorists, freedom is at risk and America and our allies must not, and will not, allow it. ..."

Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia all prove the lie of the above statement.

" Our nation will continue to be steadfast, and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans and bring terrorists to justice. ... ... yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries. A terrorist underworld -- including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Jaish-i-Mohammed -- operates in remote jungles and deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities. ..."

Note all those included in the litney, note also the US now funds Hamas's infrastructure and humanitarian needs.

"...We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. ..."

As I have said, the "Long War" is the Course to long term defeat, a "spin" for current failures.

"... We can't stop short. If we stopped now, leaving terror camps intact and terror states unchecked, our sense of security would be false and temporary. ..."
Warizistan, Syria, Iran & Iraq prove Mr Bush correct.
We've stopped short, leaving terror states and terror camps intact and our sense of security, false. Look to the PKK operating with impunity out of Iraq for proof.

"... Our first priority must always be the security of our nation, ..."

Then why is the Border unsecure, another truth left unfulfilled

"... We are protected from attack only by vigorous action abroad and increased vigilance at home. ..."
There is no further vigorous action abroad and no vigilance on the Southern Frontier.

"... nearly doubles funding for a sustained strategy of homeland security, focused on four key areas: bioterrorism; emergency response; airport and border security; and improved intelligence. ..."

Katrina, Norco, AZ & Mr Foggo. All exemplify the failures.

"...We will improve intelligence collection and sharing, expand patrols at our borders, strengthen the security of air travel, and use technology to track the arrivals and departures of visitors to the United States. ..."

"track the arrivals and departures of visitors to the United States"

I guess he meant only those with Visas. Not the 13 million illegal visitors already in the Country or the 5,000 or so walking across the Border, each day.

"... Homeland security will make America not only stronger but in many ways better. ... ... Stricter border enforcement will help combat illegal drugs. ..."


Instead of Border Security we now track ALL of America's phone calls.
Big Brother is watching, you

Funny stuff, in retrospect.

5/14/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

John Samford 7:25
Writing was POWER, as was the ability to READ those marks and ciphers; likewise the ability to do basic math was POWER!

And for 7,000 years of recorded history, the POWER-HOLDERS recorded most of it, because they ACTIVELY RESTRICTED POWER to two classes out of all humankind: the kingly group and PRIESTS!

Now, consider for a moment the staggering assertion made by the Lord of Hosts:
"From two ranks amonst mankind have I seized power... kings and ecclesiastics!"
"I have given POWER to the people!"

quotes of The Glory of God, circa 1867CE.

5/14/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

I couldn't agree more with Peggy Noonan, who said: "One gets the impression party leaders, deep in their hearts, believe the base is ... base. They're trying to educate the base. But if history is any guide, the base is about to teach them a lesson instead."..."

Far be it from me to agree with Ms Noonan on anything, but that is exactly the criticism leveled at the Democratic Party - they became too elitist to represent the average voter, whatever s/he is being called these days.

Which explains my impatience with the bitter ideological divide. It is politics that has failed repeatedly, and, yes, Virginia, both sides do it. Founding Fathers had serious reservations about the long-term sustainability of political parties - struggled with the concept of noblesse oblige. But the American people took over and situation resolved itself in embrace of Parties. [Personal opinion - it satisfied an institutional outlet for aggression - read the speeches.]

The obvious extension is the role of the American people in allowing the political institution to decay. If someone can soundbite a position on that, go for it.

Opportunism is one explanation but doesn’t fully capture the superhuman effort required to break the kryptonite addiction to violent stalement in the Middle East. There is room for analysis, but not as much as the thinkers and strategists would like or suggest. There is a demand for action, but a reluctance to bear the burden of consequences.

I like ADE’s interpretation - very close to my own assessment - toil, boil, trial and trouble - the witches are salting the stew.

The “dead-dick bench”. LOL. I sense another goat story coming.

5/14/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"...BAGHDAD (AP) — An armed confrontation between two Iraqi army units left one soldier and one civilian dead Friday, raising questions about the U.S.-trained force's ability to maintain control at a time when sectarian and ethnic tensions are running high.
The incident near Duluiyah, about 45 miles north of Baghdad, illustrates the command and control problems facing the new Iraqi army, which the Americans hope can take over security in most of the country by the end of the year. It also shows that divisions within the military mirror those of Iraqi society at large.

The trouble started when a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army convoy, which police said was made up of Kurdish soldiers. Four soldiers were killed and three were wounded, police said. U.S. military officials put the casualty figure at one dead and 12 wounded.

The wounded were rushed to the civilian Balad Hospital. Police said that as the Kurdish soldiers drove to the hospital, they fired weapons to clear the way, and one Iraqi Shiite civilian was killed.

Shiite soldiers from another Iraqi unit based in Balad rushed to the scene, and the Kurds decided to take their wounded elsewhere, Iraqi police said. Iraqi troops tried to stop them and shots were fired, killing one Shiite soldier, Iraqi police said.

The U.S. account said an Iraqi soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade was killed in a "confrontation" as the other Iraqi troops were trying to remove their wounded from the hospital.

A third Iraqi army unit set up a roadblock in the area and stopped the soldiers who were leaving with their wounded, the U.S. statement said. American troops intervened at the roadblock and calmed the situation. ..."

The ISF has not even begun to "integrate" the Shia militias into the ISF and it is beginning to break down on ethnic lines.

Not the Turkish model of an apolitical Military, at all.

USA Today
Confrontation between Iraqi army units leaves two dead.

5/14/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... BAGHDAD (AP) — Efforts to create a national unity government in Iraq stumbled Sunday as a member of an influential Shiite alliance bloc threatened to form a new government unilaterally if rival groups did not scale back their demands. Sunnis said they may withdraw from the process entirely.
Under the constitution, Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki faces a May 22 deadline to form a government. Lawmakers have struggled with this task for months, hoping a new government will cool escalating sectarian tensions between Iraq's Shiite majority and the Sunni Arab minority.

As the 275-member parliament convened Sunday, Bahaa al-Araji, a lawmaker loyal to the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, denounced what he said was continued U.S. meddling in the selection of ministers for coveted Interior and Defense Ministry posts. He set a deadline of two days before the 130 alliance deputies act unilaterally.

"Within the past two days, the occupation forces have been interfering with certain names and certain posts," said al-Araji, whose group holds 30 seats. "There are also blocs participating in the (formation of) the government that have begun demanding more than what they are entitled to electorally."

"We have set a limit of within two days, and the (various) blocs should abide by this timeframe and act in accordance with the rules upon which we have agreed. Otherwise, we will form a government without regard to their demands," he said, singling out the Sunni Arab Accordance Front as one example.

Sunni lawmakers shot back with their own threats, with one member of the three-party Sunni Arab coalition that holds 44 seats threatening to walk out of the talks and the government. ..."

5/14/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

One final comment in support of the next 'turning' or 'wave' or 'shock'. I think this is related to Arendt's 'banality of evil' but different. People are tired - possibly bored if that is not too inciteful - of the 'malicious buffoonery.' Wretchard's phrase is hard to improve upon. The violence, the cowardice, the shallowness of the thought, the baseness of the emotion - the panoply of Shakesperian exploration into human psychology.

As a parent, you say 'enough already' when the kids cross lines. As a society/culture, I think we have reached a critical mass of those who have had enough. This is supremely boring and devastatingly destructive at the same time - a form of psychological vandalism that contributes nothing of value to our world.

It matters not a whit, if I convince anyone of this argument. Those people with the means who can, will move along - with or without you - either beind a wall or in a rocketship, as history closes in on the science fiction of the future. This is the small voice that is tuning in.

And I also agree with the numbers comment above. It's the technology stupid.

5/14/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger bioqubit said...

As a mental exercise, while one day walking by a lake, I pretend that I knew nothing. I temporarily threw out everything I understood to be true. Pretending to be in this state of mind, I watched as the wind blew across the water of the lake. It created a darkening effect where the wind touched the water.

I immediately thought that had to be some kind of person or "entity" that could do that. I did not have the notion that wind exerts pressure that creates waves on water. Similar versions of anthropomorphizing would be applied to rain, clouds, lightning, etc. I don't think this fits Jayne's thesis.

Also, I have been struck by how people talk to television sets and radios. It is so utterly irrational. Then I read about primitive cultures that have conversations with imagined spirits. That suggests they think of themselves as relating to something separate from themselves. I see talking to spirits and television sets as springing from the same cognitive wellspring in the human mind.

His argument about the lack of reflective mental activity suggested in the Bible and other works from centuries ago strikes me as having some validity. But I am not entirely sure about that. Plato and Aristotle are just two examples of many reflective people from ancient times.

5/14/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Doug said...

But those Bilderburger followers you cited (refering to current occupant of White House) seemingly aren't too well grounded in the passions of the men who founded the USA.
Somehow those damn nativists thought Borders were important.
(I say, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.)

5/14/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To All,

Me thinks I know where Wretchard was going with this post.

Elijah, Let us talk...

The above posts to a compilation of links that I think tie together. A compilation that includes Wretchard, Scott, Roggio, Bush, Altos, Major Mike, Den Beste, TigerHawk, VDH, Barnett and actually some of mine...

Why We Fight
Overall of Strategy
Knowing the Enemy and our Weaknesses
The Battle and the Victory

and, having not won yet, moving on...

Kinda arogant to try to do this, but... And too many links to put it here. I keep most of these on a link list benignly titled "My Favorite Posts"

Wretchard's post got me reading through them again - at least those that mapped to this thought.

I put this post in that link list. I think I will frequent it often.

Great comments as well...

5/14/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

mbarr350 has written a post, on the previous thread, directly on the subjuect of introspection found in the Bible.

Not be a Bible reader I would niether dispute nor confirm his findings on the subject. Those of you whom are, should check it out.

5/14/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Interesting paper on the "Naturalness of Religion", here.

On the question of cognitive differences within cultures and over time, I would strongly recommend Giambattista Vico. His thesis is not necessarily cognitive in emphasis, but if one has even a minor background in the subject Vico's insights can reach the level of profound.

5/14/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Wretchard is the Shockwave Rider!

5/14/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Also, I would recommend The Dialogic Imagination by Bakhtin, especially his concepts of heteroglossia in socio-ideological languages and how they can affect (impede and refract) communication between individuals with different apperceptive backgrounds.

The lesson is this: it is almost certainly not capacity that separates us from other cultures, both current and distant. It is use.

5/14/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger mbarr350 said... The Bible that no mention is made of any kind of cognitive processes such as introspection, and he argues that there is no apparent indication that the writers were self-aware

Introspection -websters

an examination of one's own thoughts and feelings

1 Samuel 27:

1 But David thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines.

Ecclesiastes 2:

I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good."

Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
and also madness and folly.

My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.

The wise man has eyes in his head,
while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize

Song of Solomon 3:

All night long on my bed
I looked for the one my heart loves;

Ezk 24:25

...the delight of their eyes, their heart's desire, ...

Proverbs 12:

A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.

5/14/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."

5/14/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bill Quick

Daily Pundit

5/14/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Re Dr Sanity, 12:41:
What happened to Truepeers?
He posted something elsewhere some time ago re:
Earlier appreciations of reality, that were eye-opening for this mere mortal.

5/14/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Hezbollah's Presence in the United States

5/14/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Check out the comment on my Bill Quick link, re:
"Bush budget scraps 9,790 border patrol agents
President uses law's escape clause to drop funding for new homeland security force
Michael Hedges, Houston Chronicle
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
We don't HAVE ENOUGH MONEY to secure the borders, yet, 'Rat!
Frist said something similar last week about not being able to afford as much fence as the Israeli's have already built.
$1.9 BILLION more for studies and Drones, and whatnot, however.
Follow the money, follow the corruption.
But we JUST DON'T HAVE ENOUGH to build that fence!
(or enforce at BILL CLINTON levels)
Pre 9-11, don'tcha know.

5/14/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Retired Adm. James Loy, acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, said funding only 210 new agents was a
"recognition that we need to balance those things as we go on down the road with other priorities."
"Down the road" with other priorities, indeed!

5/14/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger John Sadowski said...

Another great post Wretchard!

5/14/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"A Hill Puke"
re: Goss arrival at CIA.
Duke gone, (B-1 Bob too) Libby engaged, yet the Clintonistas carry on as the Wilson-Plames become rich.
I just love our compassionate New Tone.
How many ways can you spell
E U N I C H ?


5/14/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Buush Legecy
Willful abandonment of the Law

My phone company, Qwest, would not comply with the NSA request for the phone data. Citing illegality of the procedure, without a Warrant. None was forthcoming.

Verizon is being hit with a $5 Billion USD class action lawsuit for the alledged illegal action of turning over the data.

Happy I am not a Verizon stockho;der, or customer.

5/14/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Just wanted to comment that I don't know what all the angst is about. Things haven't "worked out" as they were sold? Well, frankly, no shit they haven't: no one can predict what's going to happen, so we oughtn't get all weepy when the need to endure kicks in. Who could've foreseen the pure stupidity of Arab and Muslim culture, its fundamental decadence? Of course "we don't understand it": the goddamn Arabs don't "understand it." It isn't a quantity to be understood, merely survived, and hopefully - evidently - exploited. Of course the nativists and the soccer moms are worried. And if that's what our effort is based on, then it will fail. But Ahmedinejad's still wailing, the whole Islamic world is in a ludicrous ferment of super-stupidity and a historical effort to place the most vicious spin on their pathetically backwards and barbarian-to-begin-with one native cultural product - and here everyone gets weepy while everything gets hard. Or something. Because no economic problem can actually be attributed to the war and by the way 2500 dead in two country-sized wars is still, whatever the faggot media yammers endlessly about, is still infintessimal. So please, stop your whining.


Jesus. It's like cultural divide you cross when you walk into an old law partner's office and he asks you how to send the goddamn email he's pecking out with two wizzened, incompetent fingers. You point to the SEND button and he looks at you in half amazement.


5/14/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

12 Billion USD for "reconstruction" in Iraq,
12 Billion USD for enhanced "security" in Iraq

Not even $1 Million USD for a border security fence.

It's because the Federals are "broke", doug.
Not just Financially but Morally and Ethiclly

5/14/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

3:44 PM,
We call that the
New New Free Market Enforcement, paradigm, 'Rat.

Going on all over the Country in a multitude of businesses and pursuits.

Govt rewards or excuses lawbreakers.
Those following the law suck the Big one.

5/14/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Wrong answer, dan
The President says you are wrong.
We are not in a clash of civilizations.
We are not a War with the Religon of Peace
Where did you ever get that idea.
Cite the speach
Cite the Law

You are projecting your feelings, desires and ideas onto the Govenment, which does not share them.

It is not the reporting of the News that is the problem, it's the News itself.

Mr al-Sadr and his men attacked and did battle with the US Marines, now he is the "Defender of Baghdad" and his proxies ARE the Iraqi Government, the US News Media is not to blame for that.

5/14/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cold Comfort to Ponder the Free Lunchistan Norte that Dan likely will live to experience.

5/14/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr al-Sadr pledged his Mahdi Army to defend Iran from US aggression, so he is the Mullahs's proxy, Mr Maliki is Mr al-Sadr's proxy. He had promised to integrate the Mahdi Army into the ISF.

There by making the Mullahs of Iran the Government of Iraq, by proxy, once removed.

Dan Rather is to blame, of course.

The Border fiasco, is Walter Cronkite is to blame for that?
If not he, who?
The names of the defendents are?
The stories were published and broadcast, where?
Did CNN hand out all those Mexican flags in LA?
Now that would be a story

5/14/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The law signed by President Bush less than two months ago had a caveat that went virtually unreported at the time.

A summary, published by the Senate Government Affairs Committee, required the government to increase the number of border patrol agents by at least 2,000 per year,
"subject to available appropriations."

But 210 is a start.
Like those 2 citations for employing illegals in the entire USA in the year 2004 AD.

In W we trust.

5/14/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All others, pay cash

5/14/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There is only one person, in Iraq, with more influence then Mr al-Sadr, Imam Sistani.

Mr Sistani is 75 years old with a failing heart. He recently was in London for treatments, at 75 the actuarial tables for his long term prospects are not positive.

When he passes, Mr al-Sadr will be "the Man" in Iraq.
His daddy, killed by Saddam, would have been so proud.

5/14/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But, but, what about the families of Our Soldiers that HE killed?
Compassionate Democracy's a Bitch!

5/14/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember, doug, when we were all so enthused to read about that Red on Red combat.
Proof we thought that the Insurgency in Iraq was on it's last legs.
No such crowing now that Blue on Blue fighting has started to break out.
If the MSM was really out to sink the War effort, that story would still be all the rage, instead it's been kinda buried.

5/14/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Although this thread began with introspection, sometimes introspection can benefit from empiricism. With that in mind, ruminate on the numbers below, provided by Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, titled, “Committing the Crimes that No Americans Will Commit.”

55,322 illegal aliens were arrested 459,614 times, averaging 8 arrests per capita

55,322 illegal aliens were arrested on about 700,000 charges, or 13 per capita

15% - property crimes, i.e. burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and property damage, etc.

12% - violent crimes, i.e. murder, robbery, assault, and sex-related crimes, etc.

58% of arrests – California

14% of arrests – Texas

8% of arrest - Arizona

5/14/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's kinda deep for them to cover.
Plus, they have the Real Wars to Fuel here at the CIA, Borders, GOP Prosecutions, New New Civil Rights (for Illegals) Marches, and Finally, the Elections.

5/14/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Good to see My Old Home State leads the way, Allen.
Oregon Sheriff assures they're following the lead.
What would VDH know?
He ain't even from Texas!

5/14/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In times of intense Introjection, I don't spend too much time with Introspection.
Thank George for that.

5/14/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Very few stories, print of broadcast on Mr Makili or Mr al-Sadr, either.
No SCIRI exposes on CNN, MSNBC or FOX News.

If the MSM was really & truely out to "get" Mr Bush and his Administration, those radial Islamists would be all we'd hear about.

Instead the silence is golden.

It is also a blessing for the Administration, the ignorance of the US Public is bliss for the Administration's War & Political Efforts, in Iraq.

If more people understood who was who, & what was what, in Iraq, it be even worse for the President.

5/14/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Sad to say, there will be no introspection for these party activists: "19,579 dead people still on the rolls." - Betsy's Page @

I could find no comment on their polling numbers with reference to illegal immigration.

5/14/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Demonize Mr al-Jafaari, but praise his spokesman, Mr Maliki. Oximoranic, I'm afraid.

That's the greatest or worst thing about Bloc Politics, individuals mean little, the commonality of group is all that matters.

In the US there is only one group that acts electorally as a bloc, the Blacks. It has not really worked to their long term advantage.

But a Bloc system is what we let them institute in Iraq, must have been Peter Jennings fault.

Not the fact that all those State and Justice Dept billets have stayed empty for three years now.

5/14/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Could Afghan and Iraqi insurgencies muster operational ties?:

The prospect of a coordinated operational alliance between Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq clearly concerns NATO and other countries with troops in Afghanistan.

But that nightmare scenario would seemingly require Iranian cooperation to provide a transit route. Contributors to jihadist websites have pinned their hopes on a further deterioration of relations between the West and Iran.

Afghan/Iraqi Insurgencies

5/14/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's the Dead Man Talkin from the Grave, 'Rat.
Again, too complex, 'Rat, plus I think they, like some of the Dems, want to avoid the Trashing the war effort/our soldiers image and resultant condemnation from the public.
Anyways, why bother.
Plenty of grist for the Paper Mills right here at home.

If they REALLY wanted to see W thrown out on his keyster, they'd research the REAL story on Illegals and the Bogus Bookeeping about what a BARGAIN their low wages are for America.
And W's invitations for more.

Who woulda thought massive Govt (Debt financed) Spending would have a stimulative effect on the economy?
No, in fact, it's ALL due to the Tax Cuts, and all Our Amigos doing the hard work that lazy, emotional, vigilante-prone Americans won't do.

5/14/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That was a point I tried to make the other day, doug.
$500 Billion USD to fight the War in Iraq.
Only S6 Billion USD made it into Iraq's GDP since the Invasion, according to the numbers that buddy provide the other day.

Where did all that other money go?
It's not Guns & Roses, no, we're back to
Guns & Butter

Maybe it's just a Texas thing

5/14/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


5/14/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

by Madeline Albright:

The time has come to start looking beyond the Bush administration to its successor. Our new leaders, of whichever party, will face daunting challenges, including that of redefining what America stands for in the world.

Their "to do" list is sure to include winning the battle of ideas — as we should have long ago — against the likes of Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, halting nuclear proliferation, devising a sensible energy policy, and restoring America's reputation as a supporter (and observer) of international law and human rights.

Mideast Mistake

5/14/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Pixy Misa said...

I've read the Iliad and the Odyssey - albeit not in the original Greek - and there is no doubt but that Jaynes is full of it. The author and the characters or those epic poems are exactly the same as people are today. To whatever extent their minds were bicameral, our minds are bicameral today.

Yes, our brains are divided left-to-right, and yes, certain types of processing are predominantly handled by one hemisphere or the other. But this has not changed in any way since the time of the Epic of Gilgamesh, much less Homer's day.

And they damn well were introspective; there's no question about that. Jaynes' great insight seems to be that Homer wasn't James Joyce.

5/14/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Klaus said...

These are the truths that are being sensed by the abstract thinkers:

Iran is going to start a war and maybe nuke Israel in the process.

Marxists are on the rise in Latin America.

Russia is returning to a totalitarian dictatorship.

The US is finally confronting illegal immigration.

Europe might be lost to Islam.

The fiscally responsible party in US politics has turned out to be a huge failure.

The radical left has alligned itself with radical Islam.

What do these truths mean for the next 100 years? Will they turn out to be truths at all? It may take a few more years to sort things out and develop an intellectual framework to deal with these issues.

5/14/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Max_1 said...

Re: Jesus and the Sword.

I think that "turning the other cheek" is easier to do when you dont have a wife and kids.

I know that my own capacity for protective violence has increased with parenthood.

If an intruder is in your house with a knife the natural instinct is to run away and avoid if your single and to run toward and pre-emptively attack if you've got a wife and kids asleep in the next room.

5/14/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Their 'to do' list is sure to include winning the battle of ideas..."

I'll tell you what: "Battle of ideas" is fast becoming quite as cringe-inducing as "hearts and minds". How about we FOCUS - at ALL the necessary levels - on reaching out and touching the f-ing bad guys? Shall we try THAT idea on for size? Hm?

5/14/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

the pubbies have a problem. their choices like those of the people on flight 73 are between certain death and near certain death.

If they allow the illegals citizenship--the illegal/legals will do what they did after 1986: vote democratic and tip the country to a democratic majority as they have done in california and that because after 1993 in California many mexicans began voting in california to preserve gov bennies--for which the dems excel. There won't be social security benefit for Americans of retirement age from the illegals/legals because they will suck up what ever they put into the economy--as they are now. They won't yield a net gain. ie they won't pay for anyone's social security.

Everyone but everyone who has ever been to any government building that dispenses anything from health care to drivers lisences can't help but notice that the place is swamped with foreigners. Basically the welfare state system set up in the 1960's is being totally gamed by foreigners.

What the president looks like he is about to do will demoralize the republicans bringing on the effects of the 1992 & 1996 elections. There may not even be a third party but when W builds in a reversal of the fortunes of the war of 1848--it creates a kind of passivity in people when they see their leaders commit them to the status of world historical losers.

If Bush decides to put up a wall and expel the illegals then there is a chance to preserve Republican majorities. It would be helpful to promise that the USA will kill the cost of water desalination and transport so as to make it economically possible to turn the deserts 1000 miles from any desert seacoast -- green. (this would increase the habitable size of the USA by a third and double the habitable size of Mexico.)This work is already ongoing and will be accomplished in five years or so--or in about the same time frame that GM promises to have a cost effective fuel cell car. For GM as it is for the GOP its do or die time.

5/14/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Pixy Misa said...
And they damn well were introspective; there's no question about that. Jaynes' great insight seems to be that Homer wasn't James Joyce.
This I think is closer to the Mark. At the time of the reformation in the early 1500's one of the Arguements of the Catholic clergy against translating the bible into german english french or dutch was that if people knew what the words meant they would be able to invent all sorts of heresies. Therefor it was best to keep the knowlege close to the vested clergy who would keep doctrine well regulated.

The catholics were right on this count. By the 19th century all sorts of wierd denominations believing all sorts of wierd things had crept into christendom. And by the end of the 20th century most of Europe's churches were evacuated altogether because the pastors simply didn't believe what they preached.

But imho by far the greatest effect on theology was the gutenberg press because it enabled something very different: The modern novel form which has its roots in the 18th century.

It is from the novel form that we get modern self consciousness--or, fear -- if you will. Why? Because the novel form provides a model for internal dialogue in which a person makes an idol of themselves and then have idols speak to each other. These idols, of course, are weak reeds. And therefor, the fear.

What's the alternative? Prayer. But in this case instead of the dialoge being between a man (idol) and himself (idol) --by prayer the creature speaks with his Creator. The Creator is not an Idol--and for those who love God there is no fear ie self consciousness--for perfect love casts out fear.

The 19th century trope that if there were no God then man would invent Him--is a philosophical proposition.

Now understand. There is a distinct difference between philosophy and theology, greek thinking and jewish thinking. Among the English, guys like Bacon in the 18th century tried put the theology and philosophy into the same heirachy of knowledge but they are not in the same heirachy.

Simply put: philosphy ends in the personality and character of man. Theology ends in the personality and character of God. Philosophy states that man is the measure of all things. Theology says that God is the measure of all things. Science is a philosophical endeavor. Because it begins with the proposition that man is the measure of all things. However, law is a theological proposition because it begins with the proposition that God is the measure of all things. (Now you can have a god king lawgiver as in the case of Ramses or Stalin--but in this case you have defined God as man an his subjects slaves.)

In the modern age we live in now the Creator is understood to be the being that created the Big Bang.

This is a Being quite off the scale as the ancients also believed HIM to be.

5/14/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pixy Misa is a Pixy after my own heart.

5/14/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and Euclid was Triangulatin long before Bubba.

5/14/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

PC represents the antithesis of Unalienable Rights.
The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that Man, The Individual, is endowed at birth with rights which are unalienable because given by his Creator.

The Only Moral Basis

2. This governmental philosophy is uniquely American.
The concept of Man's rights being unalienable is based solely upon the belief in their Divine origin.

Lacking this belief, there is no moral basis for any claim that they are unalienable or for any claim to the great benefits flowing from this concept.

God-given rights are sometimes called Natural Rights--those possessed by Man under the Laws of Nature, meaning under the laws of God's creation and therefore by gift of God.

Man has no power to alienate--to dispose of, by surrender, barter or gift--his God-given rights, according to the American philosophy.
This is the meaning of "unalienable."

5/14/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Here's a discussion of the singularityat Stanford on Saturday morning.5/13

5/14/2006 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

Nice post! OTOH, from the Israeli POV the situation has not changed. The danger is as great as I have seen in my lifetime. (Too young to remember Yom Kippur War...) But in this very situation, ideology appears to be a luxury for the average Israeli voter.
I am sorry no one rose up to defend Moses against bobalharb. Moses was unquestionably a great person, despite what happened to the Midianites, and he is clearly not to blame for what happened to Korach. Moses was great because he was humble, self-effacing before Hashem, and willing to share power in any situation where Hashem granted it to him. Moses warned the people against having a king or thinking they had a right to empire. And Aaron--what is he that bobalharb protests against him? (Since it was less than optimal to have a king, even the greatest king must be seen to have flaws)

5/14/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

The place where "hearts and minds" or "the battle of ideas" now matter, is in Iran. In part because if one day we do take up the military option there, we're gonna need that behind us. Not to put too fine a point on it: ...REALLY, REALLY need that behind us.

5/14/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I say give this New Idea in which Mexico gets to run their country however they want, while insisting on their right to decide how we should run this country, more respect.

All's fair, and all that.
Us Self-Loathers gotta take whatever we can get.

5/14/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Robert Feriggno says Mahmud really takes this stuff seriously:
Hojjatieh is a semi-clandestine Iranian organization which is radically anti-Bahá'í and anti-Sunni.
The group flourished during the 1979 revolution that ousted the Shah and installed an Islamic government in his place.

However it was banned in 1983 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the revolution.They believe that chaos must be created to hasten the return of the Mahdi, the 12th Shi'ite Imam.

Only then, they argue, can a genuine Islamic republic be established.
The current president of Iran Mahmud Ahmadinejad is rumored to be an advocate of this group.
But he would be better advised to focus his speeches on practical rather than religious issues, said former Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi.

"Of course, we must pray for the return of the Imam, but we must also tackle inflation and unemployment," the reformist cleric told Reuters.
Anything to add, Karridine?

5/15/2006 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

Parallel Universe

5/15/2006 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE - Come Home, Mr. President by Rep. Tom Tancredo

5/15/2006 01:27:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Again: We don't have to believe this stuff, but it helps us deal with THEM if we believe that THEY BELIEVE this.

Now: The 12th Imam that they're waiting for is prophecied to come in the Year 1260AH, which is the year 1844 on the Common Era calendar.

When He came however, (and I'm not even quoting all the Christian Scriptural sources which point to 'time, times and half-a-time' = 1260) He had a body that every eye could see, and spoke with a voice that every ear could hear, and he called humankind to righteousness, chastity, purity of motive, honesty, forthrightness, and the independent investigation of the truth, which meant "NO MORE PRIESTHOODS"...

So the imams and mullahs scorned him and ridiculed Him from the pulpit. But every time they did, His fame spread.

And on top of hundreds of thousands of people being attracted to His cause, He was getting converts from among Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Druze, and Hindus!

So in order to prove Him wrong, they imprisoned Him after a sneering kangaroo court; beat his feet bloody; and then hung Him before 10,000 curious and antipathetic onlookers and called Armenian Christians to kill Him.

(This, to sidestep a Muslim prophecy that when the Holy One came, Muslims would kill Him!)

But 750 riflemen firing point-blank didn't kill Him, only cut His bonds.
A Muslim regiment was hastily brought in, and martyred Him July 9, 1850.

Later, one of His followers learned that He was Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God, the Lord of Hosts. He, in turn, was with us for 40 years, as prophecied by Micah (Micah 7:15)

Now, IF Baha'u'llah IS the Holy One from Creator; IF He IS God Made Manifest for this Day and Age, then He brings Teachings, explanations, an outpouring of Knowledge (water) and Love (fire) which CAN guide humankind today.

But IF He IS divinely inspired (and we know for a fact that He NEVER went to school or had tutors!) then by turning AWAY from Him, Ahmadi-Nejad turns AWAY from honesty, responsibility, justice and knowledge.

See for yourself: Does Ahmadi-Nejad publicly espouse compassion, tolerance and restraint? Or does he call, repeatedly, for genocide, terrorism, thuggery, blackmail and domination?

5/15/2006 03:20:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

To amplify Doug's discussion of 'unalienable' rights/responsibilities:

When the Revolution of Young Turks freed all political prisoners, the son of Baha'u'llah, 'Abdu'l-Baha, came to America for a 9-month visit.

He spent almost every day of his stay, giving public talks at synagogues, churches, town halls, auditoriums and schools. The collected talks are published, and still in print, as: "Promulgation of Universal Peace"

He had much public, rational praise for America, while calling humankind AND Americans (lil joke there) to his vision of a unified world community, under a Just and Compassionate God.

'Abdu'l-Baha also publicly praised America's commitment to human rights, but predicted the World Wars AND the rise of the Left...

5/15/2006 03:41:00 AM  

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