Wednesday, February 22, 2006

LRC picks
A warrior against war
I don’t think the whole of Southeast Asia…is worth the life or limb of a single American [and] I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty bloody dollar crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own design and want, that they fight and work for.
- Gen. David Shoup on Vietnam

Or Southwest Asia.

Darwin as holy writ
“The great sociologist of religion Emile Durkheim called the contrast between the sacred and the profane the widest and deepest of all contrasts the human mind is capable of making,” wrote the late Robert Nisbet. “Everything above the level of the instinctual, Durkheim concluded, began in human veneration, awe, reverence of the sacred — be it a god, spirit, grove of trees, or lake or stream. Religion in the sense of gods, churches, liturgies, and bibles emerged in due time from the primitive sacred essence. So did the rest of human culture, its signs, symbols, words, drawings, and acts.”
Partially true. Take this natural religion found universally in fallen man and add revelation (a God who’s not somebody’s invention/projection) and reason rightly defined (objective truth, also not man-made, as the Schoolmen and in turn classical Anglicans saw ‘reason’), conforming yourself to the last two, and you get Catholicism.

(Then there was Chesterton who, trying to come up with the heresy to top all heresies, ended up re-creating orthodoxy.)

As I’ve blogged before, the fallible but admirable William Jennings Bryan (an evangelical* with socialist-like politics but a man of peace) wasn’t the bigot or idiot Inherit the Wind made him out to be. He read the textbook Scopes was using, giving it a chance, and was appalled. It taught things about man that essentially are racist. (Remember The Great Gatsby? Nazi ideas were hip in the 1920s. Margaret Sanger certainly liked them.)

Speaking of big names like Darwin’s, I’ve been told that Freud’s ideas are to psychology as alchemy is to chemistry.

Happy 60th birthday tomorrow, Mr Sobran.

War of the quailhawks
As regular readers know, my final words on Messrs Cheney and Whittington are ‘it was an accident’ and ‘Whittington was to blame really’ (walking into the line of fire without telling his friends). That said... canned hunts?! Incidentally, proto-neocon Theodore Roosevelt indirectly started the popularity of teddy bears because he saw such hunting, correctly, as unmanly: he wouldn’t shoot a captured animal like that.

More to the point here, the neocons thought Iraq would be such a lark, a canned hunt. How wrong they were.

Video: Interview with Gore Vidal

*Once such people knew not to glorify the military.

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