Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Whiteheads, Blockheads, and Rising Up Out of the Old Grooveyard

Mentality is an agent of simplification; and for this reason appearance is an incredibly simplified edition of reality. --Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

What presents itself to us as appearance undergoes a transformation within the human person, a you-turn back in the direction of essence. In other words, being appears as appearance, which is all the senses can apprehend. However, that is hardly the end of knowledge, for there can be no knowledge at the level of the senses. Therefore, appearance is only the beginning of knowledge. Knowledge is the journey from appearance back to essence. You could even say that "essence became appearance so that appearance might become essence."

As HvB explains, what is given to us in the senses is always individual and particular. And yet, it always "points beyond itself to something that is more than it but does not lie outside it." This mysterious "something beyond" is the concept, or universal. This is obviously a precondition of knowledge. We don't just see red, but redness. When we see a beautiful woman, we are also aware of seeing an instance of beauty itself. When we listen to President Obama, we aren't just hearing lies, but the Lie as such.

HvB describes the essential two-way movement of the very possibility of knowledge: "the universal contains the particular just as much as the particular contains the universal. There is no single man who does not embody and possess what it means to be man, that is, the full, undiminished nature of man." (Bear this last point in mind for when we later discuss the ontological consequences of God taking on not just "a" man, but human nature. The answer may surprise you!)

Here again, this is a delicate balance. Go too far in one direction and you can end end up a materialist or bonehead atheist or metaphysical Darwinian. But venture too far in the other direction, and you unbecome a vaporous idealist or cavedwelling mystic with the lights on but nobody OM. Neither option is a satisfactory way to resolve the Enigma of Man. At least as far as we are cooncerned.

As Dupree says -- you will pardon his French, but it has a certain "tang" -- if I'm going to save my ass, I want my ass to be part of the package.

In other words made flesh, it hardly does us much good if only the universal is subject to salvation -- i.e., the atman -- but not the particular -- i.e., me. And as far as I am aware, Christianity is the only religion that actually saves the person. And this follows from the recognition that God is a person; and a person can only exist in relationship, which means that God must intrinsically be "in relationship." That being the case, then he would have to be three-in-one and one-in-three, for a static dualism cannot be a real relationship, just two poles of a monad.

Now, relationship is intrinsically superior to non-relationship for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which being that it makes love the highest ideal, or "first fruit" of God's interior relations. If you want to know where all the love came from, this is where. It is also where all the truth came from, for truth is always a relationship as well. Mathematics is always relational. Organisms would be impossible in a non-relational creation. Likewise, quantum physics reveals a cosmos not of ultimate "parts," but of internal relations.

If there is only a non-dual ground, then even truth is just illusion by another name, the only "truth" being the complete emptiness of the eternal void. Of course, the Buddhists could be correct about that, but I don't think so, for it renders the cosmos into a radically bi-polar entity with a dream at one end and a vacuum at the other. And if reality is just dirtbag that really sucks, Deepak is God.

In truth, there can be no void in the absence of its overflowing fulness. I'm an optimist. I see through the glass darkly half full. How did Whitehead put it? For the identical confusion plagues postmodern scientism of the Queeg variety. Let me see if I can dig it out.... Boy, lotta good stuff in here.... I could really get sidetracked....

Can't find the passage I'm looking for, but this one about modern materialism will do: "Clear-sighted men, of the sort who are clearly wrong, now proclaimed that the secrets of the physical universe were finally disclosed. If only you ignored everything which refused to come into line, your powers of explanation were unlimited."

Science and the Modern World is still one of the most thorough and unassailable debunkings of silly Queegism, which I did my best to playgiarize for you in chapter one of my book. Here is a good zinger about what this kind of malevolent fantasy can do to a mind: "It fixes attention on a definite group of abstractions, neglects everything else, and elicits every scrap of information and theory which is relevant to what it has retained."

The process itself is formally identical to paranoid cognition, and leads to the ever-tightening spiral that Queeg finds himself in, in that more and more reality must be kept at bay in order to stay safe in one's familiar mental groove (which, ironically, is a mirror of natural selection, except that the person creates the mental environment to which he then adapts):

"Now to be mentally in a groove [read: cognitive environment] is to live in contemplating a given set of abstractions. The groove prevents straying across country, and the abstraction abstracts from something to which no further attention is paid. But there is no groove of abstractions which is adequate for the comprehension of human life."

Duh. Either you understand this, or you are a fool. You may be a highly intelligent fool, but a fool nonetheless. For you have never given a thought to thought and to how it gets that way.

Truly, Whitehead saw the coming of Queegism, the scientistic barbarians at the gates of civilization, almost a century ago. This is not personal. Queeg himself is simply a well-known stock character whose naive belief in a metaphysics-free knowledge is "a figment of the imagination. The belief in it can only occur to minds steeped in provinciality -- the provinciality of an epoch, of a race, of a school of learning, of a trend of interest -- minds unable to divine their own unspoken limitations" (and assumptions, I might add).

No. It is simply a truism that "no science can be more secure than the unconscious metaphysics which it tacitly presupposes.... We habitually speak of stones, and planets, and animals, as though each individual thing could exist, even for a passing moment, in separation from the environment which is in truth a necessary factor in its own nature."

And what is the necessary cosmic environment for a true thought?

(The answer may surprise you.)

58 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

if I'm going to save my ass, I want my ass to be part of the package.

:D

For a related tangent, see yesterday's Shrooms...

5/06/2009 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And what is the necessary cosmic environment for a true thought?

Hm.

...

If it's a surprising answer, then my first assumption is probably wrong. Also, this one is just generally tricky to answer. I know when I'm encountering ontological truth, because it sets the spidey senses tingling (for instance, HvB actually feels good to read), and for similar reasons I know when I have thought something that is absolutely true.

But the necessary cosmic environment? Well, first of course there has to be a cosmic environment, i.e. something that exists and is knowable, as well as someone that can know it. And vice versa. In other words, there has to be an Absolute that is truth.

But that seems too simple, so I'm probably missing something...

5/06/2009 08:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Drive-by Raccoon Proofer@Large said...

“Now, relationship is intrinsically superior to non-relationship for a whole host of reasons..”

Bob, if I may:

“Now, relationship is intrinsically superior to non-relationship for a wHoly Ghost of reasons…”

Thank you.

RR@work

5/06/2009 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I know…I know… gitcher own blog…

5/06/2009 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Good stuff by Spengler today.

5/06/2009 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

""It fixes attention on a definite group of abstractions, neglects everything else, and elicits every scrap of information and theory which is relevant to what it has retained.""

Think Jon Stewart's recent demo... "Jon, was Truman dropping the A-Bomb a war crime?" Jon crinkles brow, performs 'thoughtful place motions' (mental processing file search on 'war crime', description found: 'hurting people', does it appear that the a-bomb hurt people (careful not to step in, or allow any depth to splash over into mental processing), yep, gigo output: war crime) "Well yes, I think Truman was a war criminal'

5/06/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"No. It is simply a truism that "no science can be more secure than the unconscious metaphysics which it tacitly presupposes.... We habitually speak of stones, and planets, and animals, as though each individual thing could exist, even for a passing moment, in separation from the environment which is in truth a necessary factor in its own nature." "

Oh, very good.

Wackedementia could be curtailed from spreading the leftie virus, if that could be text-messaged to every student the moment their professor launched into "Now some facts are necessary while others are merely contingent, which is why we can easily imagine ice that burns or sinks, such aspects of reality are merely contingent...."

Their every lecture and point, is that everything, every fact, every 'trooth', are all disconnected, unintegrated and... magic place... relative.

5/06/2009 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"And what is the necessary cosmic environment for a true thought?

(The answer may surprise you.)"

Hmm... 'What is 'One Cosmos'?

5/06/2009 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

And of course after that, the ability to be wrong.

wv:shotraj
Wasn't me... must have been the deputy....

5/06/2009 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous HvB said...

...it is only in the swaying between impression and expression, between the penetration of things into the knower and the exteriorisation of the knower into things, that the word is what it can and must be: the 'shaper of meaning'.

5/06/2009 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Haven't read the post yet but the wv was to good to pass by OC RUINS O, I hope B'ob can help ruin BHO.

5/06/2009 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

That's what I call WORD VERIFICATION.

5/06/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

HvB said "... that the word is what it can and must be: the 'shaper of meaning'."

ehmmm... 'shaper of meaning'... seems secondary to me, through interpretation and misinterpretation... enabler, yes... or that which gives substance for meaning to take shape through...?

5/06/2009 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's true Van, I have heard that the atom bombs dropped on Japan did hurt a few people. Fortunately, they were Enemies.

~~~DWIGHT EISENHOWER
"...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

- Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

- Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63

5/06/2009 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

too craven to name his empty self,

One thing to note is that Ike voiced his opinion from "... my headquarters in Germany...".

While deeply respecting Eisenhower, in my opinion, his judgment was not 100% perfect (pause for shock value! What a thought!), and I disagree with his assessment.

I also deeply disagree with his attitude towards western oil fields being nationalized in the Mideast... and the highway bill (our interstate system), the updated version of the bill which Madison wanted but vetoed because he thought it was unconstitutional... he recommended the states pass a constitutional amendment for it, so that such actions would be proper and would not corrode the substance and authority of the constitution.

As with most Republicans, usually decent well meaning people predisposed to do 'what is needed', even though it pains them, because they think it will make things better, not realizing that they are making the opening wedge for lessor successors to exploit for their own less than noble purposes.

Lincoln on the Morrill amendment - enabled the destruction of our nations education.

Roosevelt - trust busting, FDA, FED, pushing for nearly everything FDR did,

Ike - already mentioned,

even Reagan.

Any other authorities you'd like to argue from?

5/06/2009 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(yes... it's one of those days)

5/06/2009 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/06/2009 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

.


(stare)


(blink)


(sob)

5/06/2009 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van 11:40
Is that in response to whatever was written in Comment deleted This post has been removed by the author 11:39?

What the heck did it say?

5/06/2009 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah, now I'm wondering, too. Then again, if it made Van cry perhaps it's better not to ask...

5/06/2009 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re the HvB, certainly it's secondary to the question of the day, though it struck me as having some relevance. Mainly, though, it's part of a several-page section that had my head spinning rather a lot this morning. I feel as though I start most of the sentences with a decent grasp of the meaning, and then by the end I'm somehow tangled up in gordian knots. If most of HvB is extra-rich torte, this section's density is more like the entire cake compressed into pill form, with each sentence equaling at least a pill or two. I'd add the next sentence, but actually I don't think it clarifies much, especially out of the larger context (and it seems this all would be less dense if it could be read in the original German, because much of the meaning has to do with wordplay, though not of the humorous variety).

Aw, what the heck, here it is:

"As such [as the 'shaper of meaning,' that is - me], the word exists in an equilibrium between the efforts to circumscribe and order firmly a unified whole, on the one hand, and the 'remembered depth' of Being, on the other. Within this equilibrium, the word is at the same time indication and interpretation."

The bolded part I get - it's the stuff in the middle that has my brain stretching. And there's much more where that came from.

5/06/2009 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van,
The point of quoting Eisenhower is not to pretend he is an absolute authority, but to demonstrate that it is not a form of insanity to imagine that there were other options than dropping bombs. Indeed, it is the polemical all or nothing rantings that masquerade as arguments that get so tiresome here.
I also don't always agree with Eisenhower, but I think he was sufficiently aware of and burned by the military-industrial complex to warn of its power. It is this power that current conservatives refuse to recognize. Criticizing its machinations has become synonymous with treason, a mindset brought about by careful propaganda.
Please get over your infatuation with nicknames.

5/06/2009 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post today, Bob. Your case for the spiritual utility of relationships was interesting.

Historically spirit people have shied away from relationships, particularly sexual ones, on the grounds that the limbic activation that ensues covers up the more primary relationship to spirit.

However, it is precisely the defeat and transmutation of the limbic emotional uproar which is the fruit of the relationship if love takes root; but this is hard to do.

My analysis after many years of study and experience is that relationships are spiritually risky but the potential benefits easily outweigh the risks.

One should take breathers between bouts of heavy relationship work to avoid spiritual fatigue.

As far as your question regarding the correct cosmic environment for a true thought, the question is too vague to be of much utility.
Rephrase and try again?

5/06/2009 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Anon 10:54
Still recycling the we did not need to do it meme I see. Doubledogdareya to read the 150+ comments on this subject posted on Bill Whittle's THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ATOMIC BOMBS.

Non-weenie test: gird your loins, man up & watch the video too.

Try your meme on some of those now-old-farts, but-then-youngsters serving-their-country-in-WWII commenters on that thread and see where you get.

Real History there, Bub, if you've the guts to face it. Or are you too wedded to your meme to even look at Truth?

5/06/2009 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

"And what is the necessary cosmic environment for a true thought?"

OOOH, I like riddles. Actually, I don't like riddles. But when I think on this question, the word 'differentiation' comes to mind. Differentiation is traction for the wheels of thought. Without it the wheels just spin and go nowhere. Or, to put it another way- if everything was the same there wouldn't be much to think about.

JWM

5/06/2009 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ximeze,

No offense, but I don't hold an opinion on the subject, actually. My meme, if one exists, is not that it was wrong, or the wrong thing to do at all, but to simply question the assumption that it was the ONLY thing to do. I like to look at the assumptions of an argument, see if they are weak or strong, and go from there.
My grandfather fought in Japan in World War II, so I have that point of view down perfectly, and I deeply respect it. He never fails to break into tears when he is begged to recount his experience.

5/06/2009 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie & Ximeze... I just tried updating the Ike post, deleted the wrong one, pasted the wrong notepad, repeat and rinsed over and again... sometimes I've just got to admit that trying to do five things across two PC's, doesn't have a pretty ending.

5/06/2009 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anonny said "The point of quoting Eisenhower is not to pretend he is an absolute authority, but to demonstrate that it is not a form of insanity to imagine that there were other options than dropping bombs."

If your point is that people can disagree on the same issue without questioning their patriotism, sanity, etc... 'Duh' is about all the reply that's worth.

The issues isn't a matter of people looking at the decision and saying "I wouldn't have made that decision because of x, y & z", the issue is people (lefties) yelping "No! Wrong! War Criminal!!!"

etc.

"Please get over your infatuation with nicknames."

No.

5/06/2009 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

"And what is the necessary cosmic environment for a true thought?"

A Vacuum?

5/06/2009 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Cory said...

We should learn from hindsight. But in general I have only a rather mild contempt for those who presume to know they would have done better than the people who actually lived the moment and assumed the responsibility.

This whole "Truman was wrong to use the bombs" thing is just another arrow in the quiver of those who hate and despise the west and America in particular. It wouldn't have made a bit of difference to such people if Truman had chosen differently and Japan had been reduced to slag heap after months of conventional bombing and invasion. They would still berate him and the nation.

Was Truman right? I suppose so. I do know that a whole lot of people were just happy to end the damned war. Sixty million butchered was enough.

5/06/2009 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I am 100% with this guy: "Don't start nothing, won't be nothing." It's so obvious, only a liberal could fail to understand it. The monsters will either fear us, or we will fear them.

5/06/2009 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yep.

On a much smaller scale, seems that also applies to idiots who barge in here swinging, then start whining when raccoons swing back...

5/06/2009 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Anon 1:50
but to simply question the assumption that it was the ONLY thing to do.

Yeah, we got that the first time. It was never the ONLY thing to do and was weighed against other options/plans at that time. See the evolutions of Ops Downfall & Ketsugo. One plan was to not invade or bomb at all, blockade the Home Islands & just starve them into giving up. Cute, huh? We'll save Hiroshima & Nagasaki from Nukes & everybody in the country gets to die.

Small point of order: No Allied forces 'fought in Japan in World War II': it was over - thanks to the A-Bombs - before we set foot on the Home Islands. Plenty fought the Japanese elsewhere, such as the 'protectorates' of Iwo, Guadalcanal & Okinawa.

Whence comes your notion of 'the assumption that it was the ONLY thing to do?'
Really, I'm curious.

5/06/2009 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ximeze, I don't think anony was actually even starting from that assumption. Going by its comments of the past few days (and over time in general), it has a warped idea that by "testing" our "assumptions" it will actually prod us, somehow, into being better and more spiritual people (according to its own definition of what a spiritual person actually is). It actually, laughably, believes itself to be beneficial.

5/06/2009 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

Julie,
Thanks for sharing that link to Mushroom's post!

5/06/2009 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

I hadn't known that non-locality has been experimentally proven -- but then I'm hardly an expert. Noted that Sci-Am gives a cursory nod to a possible "spiritual dimension".

Hey, it beats the usual global warming pabulum they serve up most of the time.

5/06/2009 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Also noted from the same article above, that boffins (as the Brits call them) from Osaka U. have confirmed Hardy's paradox.

The beautiful thing? All of this serves as a resounding "hard" confirmation of coon theory.

5/06/2009 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Julie,
Cooncur. Early on there was more than a whiff of 'spiritual people believe this way' etc.

****************************

Thanks for those Spengler links this morning. Did you by chance follow the linkydink in the body of the first one to read The gods are stupid , written 3/31/09 for his old site?
It's a gem.

5/06/2009 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

From Julie's Spengler post:

The “Good God/Bad God” apposition that naïve writers posit between Old and New Testaments is not only wrong, but it is drooling idiocy. God’s love is what is terrifying, for it consumes the individual ego and annihilates the human sense of self. If you don’t believe the Rav, go read St. Teresa of Avila.
To approach the sacred is dangerous.

5/06/2009 05:09:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"Please get over your infatuation with nicknames."

No.


Haha hahaha Heh

ximeze hearts Van

5/06/2009 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yep, I did. Great way to start the day :)

In other news, if this is true, it's schadenfreudically delicious. Granted, there are only a couple of sources and I don't know if they're for real, but the coupons are apparently legit.

5/06/2009 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(I meant, I did read stupid gods article; dang, you guys are fast)

5/06/2009 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

NB:

Nonlocality has absolutely been proven. See pp. 52-53.

5/06/2009 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“And what is the necessary cosmic environment for a true thought?”

Intimate experience; love.

(Second guess: freedom)

5/06/2009 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anonoffendingmouse said “No offense, but I don't hold an opinion on the subject, actually”

Ah. So you’re indifferent to the issue… except to try to stir people up with… hmm... somehow that seems worse.

“I like to look at the assumptions of an argument, see if they are weak or strong, and go from there.”

And then… just testing for no purpose? Not bothering to drive on towards a resolution? Just round and round the dithering-bush… pomofo-ishly?

Yech.

“My grandfather fought in Japan in World War II, so I have that point of view down perfectly, and I deeply respect it. He never fails to break into tears when he is begged to recount his experience.”

Ok. My Aunt & Uncle (great A & U) were prisoners at Santo-Tomas from the fall of the Philippines, to its liberation – barely escaped a last minute execution before being liberated (incidentally, they later moved to Japan & lived there for several years, loved the people, loved the place), Ed, at 6’3 was 95 lbs… but as relates to the issue (‘argument’ seems the wrong term for someone who just likes to test assumptions for no purpose)… so what? What relevance in mentioning that, if it has no affect upon your reasoning? Just to prove that you can have deep respect for those who had first hand knowledge… and not be moved by it? Is that a good thing? ‘My grandfather breaks into tears, but ain’t no skin off my nose’…!

Sorry folks, I know it’s a bit of troll kibbles, but difficult to let this go… anonoffendingmouse apparently feels that ‘testing’ an issue, with no intention to resolve the issue… is somehow a virtue. I think it is a deplorable vice. Note, I’m not saying that you always will arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, or that you should push for one that doesn’t have sufficient grounds for a conclusion, or that you should fake a position when you honestly can’t decide – there are many issues that may never be resolved – but it isn’t a goal. There are very legitimate issues that people come to entirely different, principled, conclusions over, people can agree on principles and yet adamantly disagree on their implementation – look no further than Hamilton and Madison for a very relevant example for Americans – but to just look at assumptions, testing, probing, not resolving, not attempting to resolve, just to bait people for the fun of testing, oh look, I’ve got traumatized relatives on this issue, but, no offense, I’ve no opinion …”… anonoffendingmouse, please feel free to take as much offense from this as you feel you need to, please, but personally, I think it is sick.

Seriously.

5/06/2009 08:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama and Biden eat at place called "Hell Burgers" today, and you guys can't manage to make a cheap crack about it? Standards are slipping.

5/06/2009 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

So Biden says to Obi, "I'll gladly pay you in 2036 for a hamburger today."

5/06/2009 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Mike O'Malley said...

ximeze @ 3:41

Hello ximeze!

I don't have a link handy but I recall that Japan was on the verge of mass starvation in the fall of 1945. It wasn't until after the second bomb that a decision was made to surrender. The Japanese War Party had been determined to hold out to the end and had commandeered much of the harvest and food supply for military use. The Japanese merchant fleet sat at the bottom of the Pacific and East China Sea and the Sea of Japan. But because of the Atomic bombing, the US occupation force began to arrive in Japan weeks after the surrender and within two or three weeks latter the US occupation authorities realized the condition of food supplies in the Home Islands. The US immediately began to rush in massive shipments of food and just barely averted famine. If US occupation had been delay until November or December 1945 approximately one quarter (25%) of the Japanese civilian population would have starved to death by the summer of 1946 or so.

It seems that the Left is replaying Stalinist aggi-prop, talking points used by CPUSA to demonize Pres. Truman much the same way and the Sorosian-DNC Left demonized Pres. Bush. The KGB was using CPUSA to buy Stalin enough time to develop atomic WMDs.

BTW: from my experience as a former Leftie I'd recommend that someone insist that Anon provide his sources for that quote from Pres. Eisenhower. From my experience it is funny how too often similar standard quotations of Eisenhower convey a very different meaning when read in full and in historical context.

BTW: I seem to recall that neither Macarthur or Eisenhower were brief about the atomic bombings before they occurred. I could be wrong on that point, but that would mean that Eisenhower's view were based upon more limited information than provided to Pres. Truman at the time and that Eisenhower's views might have been strongly colored by hindsight.

5/06/2009 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, I think this word describes it, or near enough anyway.

5/06/2009 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Well, you know, more people died in the fire bombing of Tokyo, than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People miles out of town suffocated as air rushed in to feed the firestorm.

I guess firebombing would have been an alternative. A waste of gas, men and material, but an option.

People that think Nukes are so awful forget, or were not alive for the HUNDREDS of above ground tests that occurred, that did not kill the planet, cause nuclear winter, etc. etc.

-Luke

5/06/2009 09:47:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Mike,
My Japanese former Mother-in-law confirmed that starvation scenario, even tho they had land for growing stuff. Kempeitai would come & take everything, refugees & passers-by stripped what was left. No fit men to protect anybody or anything, so the kids would walk further out into the country, often for hours, to see if they could steal a potato or two from somebody else. Get caught, get beaten, & hopefully not to death.

That was for the 12 of them. So Eldest Son joined Kamikaze-training 'cause they sorta-got-fed, he'd not be taking food from his family & sometimes could actually bring them some. Conditions were hideous & getting more violent by the day as people tried to survive. 'Occupation saved our butts' is what they said to me repeatedly about those years.

5/06/2009 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mike O'Malley said...

Thanks Ximese

and hello Van.

@ 5/06/2009 01:22:00 PM Anonymous said: I also don't always agree with Eisenhower, but I think he was sufficiently aware of and burned by the military-industrial complex to warn of its power. It is this power that current conservatives refuse to recognize. Criticizing its machinations has become synonymous with treason, a mindset brought about by careful propaganda.Anonymous' point above undoubtedly relies on one such standard misquotation of Pres. Eisenhower's farewell speech to the nation on January 17, 1961. Here is an example of the use the Left puts this speech to:


Here is the speech itself in full http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu
/~hst306/documents/indust.html

Notice what portions of this speech that the Left always seems to leave on cutting room floor:



A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
the standard quotation misused by the anti-American Left was spoken here (see here http://sourcewatch.org/
index.php?title=Military
-industrial_complex ) , to be followed by Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

* and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.
.

We can see that not only was President Eisenhower telling us that our military establishment was “A vital element in keeping the peace”, he warned us about the corrupting influence on American research and scholarship of expanding Federal spending. He also warned us an “ equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite” which if updated to include Post-Modernist Left-wing academia would be well past time to heed.

.

.

Ximese, Van and all, should we not call upon Anonymous to revisit and RETRACT his comment of 5/06/2009 01:22:00 PM? It would seem to be worthy and healthy effort for Anonymous to visit the links I have provided above, and then to observe and to acknowledge how he has mislead us about Pres. Eisenhower.

5/07/2009 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mike O'Malley said...

This would seem to be the source of Anonymous' quotations in his 5/06/2009 10:54:00 AM comment:

http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm

5/07/2009 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

While millions die, decade after decade, from malaria in the third world we are still kicking-around possible alternatives to DDT. Millions dying is certainly an alternative that has been selected. Certainly that should be placed back on the table.

Why didn’t we just pull-out of Japan? Where were the time tables? Endless war.

Where are all the anti-war protests now, by the way? Those demands for time tables? The billions spent every month over there while the war on poverty still wages on over here?

Truman did what he was hired to do; what millions hire American Presidents to do generation upon generation when new citizens are born into this great nation of freedom. At 18 they can leave if they don’t like the contract – that is also in the contract, unlike some countries.

Truman simply followed through on his oath. It’s all in the Preamble. “Provide for the common defense” does not mean “your common everyday defense”, or a “proportioned response”. Those may be appropriate in endless games (unless you want to win) or comment windows – but even then, only up to a point. By “common” it means protect us all. “Secure the blessings of [our] liberty”. Slavery was on the way. It was Truman’s job and we hired him to do it. And not just those Americans back then hired him. All future generations he could never know, except to know that they deserved the right as much as he did, since the Founders hadn’t sat around waiting for Independence to sprout out of the ground. They recognized the right to freedom always existed, and they acted. And they were right, so says the millions upon millions to be born here in freedom and around the world after Truman’s act, after the Founder’s act.

Speaking of posterity, Prez Wimpy on the other hand, through the release of the so-called torture memos, has removed a tool in the peoples’ arsenal. A tool permanently denied of all future American presidents. And all future America citizens have been denied their right to be defended under any similar circumstances, which will come, in this permanent, post 9/11/01 world.

5/07/2009 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

OT

A friend sent me This. I felt I needed to "share" it.

Please forgive me.

5/07/2009 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Brazen, there's a "Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities"? Huh.

The parade was surprisingly tame this year.

5/07/2009 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

The "Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities" is a completely self-appointed group. The name they chose is obviously intended to mislead some into thinking they are a an official branch of the archdiocese (a facade which the local papers are more than willing to accommodate).

The puppets represent a spiritual sickness to me. As inverted man is looking up (↓) he must work relentlessly to convince himself that he is looking into the light rather than the darkness or else face the grim reality of his predicament.

5/07/2009 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I kind of figured they were self-appointed. If they were Episcopal, I'd be more likely to believe they were legit. But indeed, the whole parade and puppet thing is very inverted.

5/07/2009 09:26:00 AM  

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