Lee Harris, whose work I have enjoyed, seems to be back to writing again. His piece on whether Iran is a "rational actor" is exemplary. People assume that if a group is a "rational actor" then they are like "us" and can be easily dealt with. Way too simple. Rational actors can be as dangerous as irrational ones.
Reminds me of the knee-jerk criticism that when you are hard on a particular group you are guilty of "dehumanizing" them. Well, when conflicts reach a certain pitch, a lot of that happens, and necessarily so, if you want to survive. Cause you can bet that they're gonna dehumanize you. But the groups I dislike, no matter what I call them, are dangerous to me and what I value precisely because they are human. The feral gang, for example. Or one of Obama's sons. If they were Orcs, they'd be less dangerous.
Watched a mid-80's PD James mystery last night. The lead detective wore a three-piece corduroy suit in earthtones. I had one just like it. Except for the color, I still like the look.
Referring to an earlier post, I was wondering where in the blogosphere or public life do most of the speech codes and intellectual taboos lie. Every group has them, but it seems to me that it is in the domains ruled by the progressive, enlightened, open-minded and forward-looking that you have by far the largest energy for generating Shut Up-ness. The descendants of the Berkeley Free Speech movement created university Speech Codes. Big Brother in bell bottoms. Funny how that happens.
Still enjoying a line from Samuel Huntington about the political change brought about by the Sixties Generation: the arrogance of power was replaced by the arrogance of morality.
An amusing switching of places between troglodyte Catholicism of yesteryear and the splendid ethics of the Secular HighMinded: "error has no rights." Aquinas compared the punishment of heretics with the punishment of counterfeiters: if the State protects its economy by force and coercion against producers of false money, how much more the immortal souls of believers against the producers of false religion? In our day, the issues have changed and the inquisitors wear different clothes, but the mindset continues.
I was waiting for a friend at a local cafe yesterday afternoon. Unlike today, it was bright and temperate. Though I tried to distract myself in the meanwhile by reading on my smart phone about Israel's problems with Iran (scary stuff), I could not help but overhear the conversations around me for a half hour. I know it's judgmental, but inane is the word. (And these were straight people, by the way, mixed male and female.) I humbly hope that when my friend arrived, our gabbing was not quite as inane. I used to have a theory that since God is omnipresent and can, indeed must by definition "hear" not only all the conversations the human race has ever had, but all the thoughts in our billions of heads, to say nothing of all the prayers, that He was long ago driven mad.
I take Blogger for granted. Even grouse now and then about some of its features. But really, it's amazing. And totally free.