September 2009

Are You Experienced?

September 30, 2009

“Ah, have you ever been experienced?” Despite the political space between us, I am a great admirer of Yaacov Lozowick. I link to him with praise and pleasure, and I offered a particular shout out here. He has written kindly of me. But yesterday he erred. He repeated the conservative mini-meme, in a post titled […]

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Afghanistan: Reading the Evidence

September 29, 2009

To a very large number of college students, the word “opinion” refers to an expression of approval or disapproval. It is the “yea”-“boo” theory of thinking and argument. Like. Dislike. Approve. Disapprove. Disapprove strongly – “O no you dit-ten!” This dangerous misapprehension is oddly counterbalanced by the equally deleterious belief that the modifier “just” is […]

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Eating Poetry (II)

September 28, 2009

Of Mere Being The palm at the end of the mind, Beyond the last thought, rises In the bronze decor, A gold-feathered bird Sings in the palm, without human meaning, Without human feeling, a foreign song. You know then that it is not the reason That makes us happy or unhappy. The bird sings. Its […]

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The Dominating Mentality of Conquest

September 26, 2009

There, I said it. Conservatives have sometimes been annoyed by my use of that term – dominating mentality of conquest. It is not the kind of language I like to use. It bespeaks a manner of, in this case postcolonial, academic jargon I disdain. Heidegger said that “Language is the house of being.” Jargon closes […]

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Redskins Redux

September 24, 2009

Indian Country Today reports that the litigants in the suit to force The Washington Redskins football team to change its name have decided to take the case to the United States Supreme Court. They filed a writ of certiorari petition with the court on Sept. 14. Readers of this blog will recall that I first […]

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Looking at the Way We Look at Things II

September 22, 2009

Confirmation Bias: Even If You Like the Cat When I review with students the fundamentals of academic and intellectual honesty, I take it beyond the obvious perils of plagiarism. I explore with them the massive managerial task of sifting, sorting, and employing the evidence and arguments they have gathered through research, my principal focus in […]

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Sorry I’ve Been Away

September 20, 2009

Sorry to have been so mostly silent the past week or so, but I’ve been traveling more than usual and then had a little off-road biking accident that rattled my head a bit. The doctors say I’m fine, and bound to be no more bothersome than usual, but I will now offer the suddenly especially […]

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Looking at the Way We Look at Things

September 16, 2009

Shadow Play Julia and I were riding up in the big cab of the motorhome. I was driving, she was taking notes, and we were both looking out through the panoramic window on America that has always been the continually renewable charge – along with that of just packing up our home and taking it, […]

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September 14, 2009

Photographs by Julia Dean

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Eating Poetry* (1)

September 13, 2009

The Poem You Asked For My poem would eat nothing. I tried giving it water but it said no, worrying me. Day after day, I held it up to the llight, turning it over, but it only pressed its lips more tightly together. It grew sullen, like a toad through with being teased. I offered […]

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How We Lived on It (2)

September 12, 2009

from Jammin’ the Blues Directed by Gjon Mili Sax: Lester Young & Illinois Jacquet Trumpet: Harry “Sweets” Edison Piano: Marlowe Morris Drums: Philly Joe Jones & “Big Sid” Catlett Guitar: Barney Kessell Bass: Red Callender Dancers: Lindy Hop legends Archie Savage and Marie Bryant Full ten minute short film available at Daily Motion.

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Conservative-kido: A Shrink Sidesteps a Scribe

September 10, 2009

ShrinkWrapped is, well, a shrink. A self-described libertarian-conservative psychoanalyst who blogs. We read each other – I think a little like peering into that backyard telescope at a galaxy far, far away. He says he attempts to be a reasonable libertarian-conservative, as he kindly offers that I attempt to be a reasonable liberal blogger. It’s […]

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GOP: Gone Off Prozac

September 8, 2009

Is there any way out of it – the hateful conflict between left and right even within the roughly agreed upon ideal borders of a representative democracy? Why should we think so? The right, we know, does not utopias envision. The left sees them well enough, but those ideal worlds all lack one thing – […]

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God and Man at Charleston

September 6, 2009

Photographs by Julia Dean

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How We Lived on It (1)

September 4, 2009

Song: “Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois,” by Sufjan Stevens, from Come On, Feel the Illinoise! Video: Jym Davis

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September 2, 2009

One of the most misused and abused forms of argument is that by analogy. One thing is compared to another, the first intended to be understood in terms of the other as a way of facilitating understanding. The reason for arguing by analogy is that understanding complex subjects and arguments is hard: the analogy, like […]

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Hamas and War Crimes

September 1, 2009

We approach a more complete understanding of the Hamas definition of a war crime. One wonders if the U.N. will accede to Hamas wishes, and what conclusions one would then have to draw about the U.N. It’s worth wondering too, as many consider the hardships of life in Gaza with purported compassion and complaint, whether […]

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Know Them by their Limping

September 1, 2009

Reader Naomi, clearly the kindest of spirits, invoked in comment, in response to yesterday’s span of unproductive hours (even in leisure) this Hebrew prayer, Tefilat Haderech, for the traveler: May it be Your will, LORD, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and […]

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