Idle thoughts while hanging out

Thoughts during a busy day:

Idle thought 1:  I want to have Mewt Gingney for my candidate.  Newt Gingrich is a completely principled conservative with, in his past at least, an unprincipled private life.  Mitt Romney is an unprincipled conservative with, from the past to the present, what appears to be a completely principled private life.  Separately, each is an imperfect candidate.  Combined into one super Republican . . . well, wow!   If I have to pick one, though, I’d go for Newt, since I’m voting for president, not husband.

Idle thought 2:  My mother is not well, and I was at her bedside entertaining her.  In keeping with my belief that laughter is the best medicine, I read to her two of my favorite funny posts (here and here), both of which happen to be written by military types.  It occurred to me that, while many in our military have extremely well-developed senses of humor, the same cannot be said for the Occupy crowd.  Have any of them said anything funny?  (Intentionally funny, I mean, not insanely stupid that makes one feel as guilty as if one laughed at a mentally disabled person for an inadvertent joke.)

Idle thought 3:  People often try to figure out what it is about the West that made it zoom ahead of all other cultures.  I’d like to suggest a trigger for the economic and intellectual explosion:  banking.  Being able to transport money easily and, even more importantly, being able to rent it, unleashed enormous creative, exploratory and commercial energy.  It’s rather striking, isn’t it, that the Occupy movement is directed at destroying banks. In other words, the attack really isn’t against just banks.  The attack is at the core of Western intellectual energy and civilization.

I’ll be the first to admit that banks are royal pains in the butt (I’m still sweating from the effort I had to make to assemble the 200 pages of documents I needed to apply for a re-fi), but I’m more inclined to blame controlling Democrat legislation for this insanity than the banks themselves.  Banks should be policed for fraud and corruption, but otherwise, they — and we — function best in an open market.

Idle thought 4:  I wasn’t in a rush to judgment regarding the Cain sexual harassment allegations, since such claims were a dime a dozen in the 1990s.  As the story develops, though, two thoughts occur:  if he did it, better we know now than later; and regardless of whether or not he did it, his and his team’s response to the story is appalling, which should concern us regarding his readiness for any upcoming fight directly against Obama.  I like Cain, personally, but I have strong doubts about whether he’s ready for prime time.  I’d rather see his flame burn out now than in October 2012.

Anything you guys would like to add to my list of idle thoughts?

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  • suek

    Disagree on the banking theory.  Europe has had banks forever – didn’t make the difference.
    My theory is two-fold.  First, the population concentration factor – Europe (and other places in the world) are pretty densely populated.  That density requires that society has lots of rules.  That means a hierarchy.  In most places, hierarchy is pretty cemented – you belong where you’re born.  Even in countries that are not hierarchal, there’s a tribal society – you place is determined by your tribe.  The leaders in both society types are responsible for solutions – not the individual.
    In America, the population was sparse.  Solutions to problems depended on the individual.  Creative individuals made stuff others could use, and the lack of either tribal or hierarchal leadership meant that success was totally individual accomplishment dependent.
    Secondly, America has been populated with the  black sheep, the non-conformists, the ambitious, the rebellious.  The “Don’t tell me what to do” people.  And the attitude was reinforced by the isolation of the land mass.
    I think that today, we’re becoming very much more densely populated.  The Dems hold the cities – where population is most dense.  Problems there are solved by the hierarchy leaders – not by the individual.  The individuals become increasingly more dependent on the leaders, and do less and less for themselves.  The ag areas of the country are more likely to be GOP…” When seconds count, the police are just minutes away” – so they do for themselves.
    I don’t know if it’s reversible – unless we have a major population decimation.


    suek – brilliant.
    I think you should lay claim to the Dense Theory.
    I just always thought that if you live in tall buildings in big cities and the landscape was obscured by the those very same buildings, it obscured clear thinking against clear horizons, – clear thinking.


    Idyl thought of the day:
    I miss the time in my life when the biggest problem was choosing what shoes to wear with a pretty dress.

  • David Foster

    suek…population density, etc….I do think that many of our political and cultural divides come down to The City Mouse versus The Country Mouse. I’ve been thinking about doing a post on this,but it hasn’t gelled enough yet.

  • Charles Martel

    SADIE, my sweet, I am a skyscraper freak. If I could live atop the Fred F. French Building on Fifth Avenue in my cozy little worker’s house, I would be in heaven (that is, until I possibly reach the real thing). If a nutso knucklewalking conservative like me can walk around skyscraper canyons enthralled, yet clear-headed, it’s possible that the ability to see a clear horizon is more mental than just the occasional squint down 42nd Street in search of the East River. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    Yes, Charles Hammer, but could you do it day-in, day-out?

  • Marica

    Daniel. I am so ready to do the City Mouse/Country Mouse post. Stay tuned. 

    On Cain. My first exposure to him was via RedState. And I liked what I saw on paper, and was wiling to give him a pass on his Federal Reserve positions. There are three branches. A former Fed Res in the executive branch vs Obama, I can rationalize that. But I discounted him after the first debate and the bit of attention he got after it. There was something I couldn’t put my finger on that I didn’t like. But I wanted to be open minded– to give him a chance to get up to speed. And then I defended him to again and again. I will no longer. I don’t care what he may or may not have done, he’s shown that he doesn’t know what to do, NOW. 

    Further, I liked his explanation for why his family was out of sight in the early days. But now, let’s put ourselves in his, and his wife’s positions. If John were running for office, and someone accused John of inappropriate behavior, I, John’s wife, would be out there defending my man. (Not in a Hillary way.) Presumably, she knows him better than anyone else on Earth. Where is she? Where are his kids? 

    If Paul is still on the ballot when we get around to the Mississippi primary, I will vote for Paul. He’s consistent. I think a Paul/Bolton ticket would be something I could support. But this is the real world. 

    As Taranto suggested in one of his “best of the web columns,” I will hold my nose and vote Anti-Obama, even if that means I have to vote for Romney.

    Remember that congressional race somewhere in New York where the Tea Party candidate didn’t even live in the district he was running for? And he got trampled? It’s not surprise to me that we don’t have an “electable” candidate that represents us. 

    My hope is that someday we will. Meanwhile, I am focusing my attention on state & local races.  

  • Ymarsakar

    Sadie, that assumes the LA smog doesn’t cover it all up anyways.

  • Ymarsakar

    Martel’s special. He was born in a time without skyscrapers. So he doesn’t count,

  • JKB

    Well, formalized financing was certainly a real catalyst.  However, I believe the real driver of the West moving ahead was the concept that a man can profit from his ideas, i.e., patents.  That requires a good legal system to enforce, a benign executive and legislative to keep alive and secure property rights.  While such have come to the “West” in general, they were firstly and deeply English speaking country traits.  As William Rosen states in “The Most Power Idea in the World”, the steam engine was an English-speaking country invention.  Not that other nations didn’t develop elements but only in the English-speaking countries did they develop all the various parts and innovations all together.  

    As for the sense of humor?  Well, today I was thinking of a t-shirt we could market to many of the #OWS.  Anyone know how to get those printed up and marketed?  

    My thought was a shirt with the following:  “I screwed my way through 4-years at an elite private university and all I got was a lousy Liberal Arts degree”  On the back we could put:  “PMSLD”  (Pay My Student Loan Debt) 

    Perhaps such a shirt could help loosen them up. 

  • Charles Martel

    “Yes, Charles Hammer, but could you do it day-in, day-out?”
    Danny, yes, I could. That’s assuming I could live at the same standard the good folks at OWS are demanding: a large-enough salary for very little work that allows me to insulate myself from day-to-day life in Manhattan. 
    “Martel’s special. He was born in a time without skyscrapers. So he doesn’t count.”
    Ymar, my friend, almost true. I grew up in Los Angeles, which had exactly one skyscraper. As a kid, when I read about Chicago and New York, I felt like a border collie who has finally been told his real role. Like Ayn Rand, I love a building that soars. If you can put a bunch of them together, you’ve got a sweet EKG pattern of enterprise in steel and stone.

  • Charles Martel

    JKB, after reading the reports of various sex crimes at OWS encampments, I suspect that for most of the demonstrators, screwing their way through four years of college was done in a stupor.


    “….screwing their way through four years of college was done in a stupor.”
    Like some students from Occidental College 😉
    Back to NYC skyscrapers – I spent a good deal of my childhood and well into my adult life shuttling between Philly and New York firmly convinced that the NJ Turnpike was built to protect the Pa. bible huggers from New Yorkers.  I am sure I’ve mentioned that I have a brother and SIL who live on the West side, properly registered Democrats. Had it not been for my grandparents, who lived in Washington Heights, registered Republicans – the trips to NYC would have been total hell!
    The New York skyline is most impressive and best seen from New Jersey.

  • Mike Devx

    Ymar: “Martel’s special. He was born in a time without skyscrapers. So he doesn’t count.”
    Charles Martel: “Ymar, my friend, almost true. I grew up in Los Angeles, which had exactly one skyscraper. As a kid, when I read about Chicago and New York […]”

    Charles, you deceitful scalawag.  We all know you were born in 688 AD.  According to Wikipedia, you were an illegitimate son of Duke Pepin II.   An illegitimate son who rose to save Western Civilization from the Muslim horde, how about that.

  • Mike Devx

    Book says on item 4: regardless of whether or not he [Cain] did it, his and his team’s response to the story is appalling

    Well, a political response should be judged ‘apalling’ only if it fails spectacularly, no?


    The survey [South Carolina GOP Primary] was conducted on Tuesday night following two days of media coverage concerning allegations of sexual harassment against Cain.

    The first Rasmussen Reports poll of South Carolina’s Likely Republican Primary Voters shows Cain with 33% support, Romney at 23% and Gingrich at 15%. Texas Governor Rick Perry earns nine percent (9%) of the likely primary vote, Texas Congressman Ron Paul five percent (5%) and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann two percent (2%). Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman each pick up one percent (1%), as does “some other candidate.” Ten percent (10%) remain undecided. 

  • Mike Devx

    A followup on Book’s Item 4: I’m reserving judgment for about two weeks on this one.  We should have the details by then, non-disclosure agreements or not.  Other allegations “coming out of the woodwork” should have occurred by then as well.

    It looks to me like a vast rush to judgment by the Left, the Media, and the RINO Establishment to derail this candidacy NOW.  Cain has been riding high for three weeks, continuing to surge.  Only two months left until the Iowa Caucus.  If they were going to bring him down, it would have to be NOW.

    So I’m reserving judgment.  If there’s a “there” here, we’ll know it within two weeks.

    At this point, GOP voters are not turning on Cain.  (Perhaps his negatives among his non-supporters are rising due to the ambiguous, anonymity-laden controversy…?)

    Man, if *this* doesn’t stick, and the “racist card” can’t be played effectively anymore… what are the Dems going to do?

  • Ymarsakar

    Mike Devx caught on! Martel’s obviously getting senile in the Long Loong centuries…

  • Ymarsakar

    Btw, in Japanese comedy series, it is often a two person act. You have the Fool or person who says outrageous things, and then you have the tsukomi (straight man) who corrects the bakamono with a sharp hit or a verbal correction or some other comedic response.

    What are they going to do about it, MD asks? If I were the evil Demoncrats ,I would make up a story and frame my target for it. Engineered crisis has more than one use.

  • suek

    >>If you can put a bunch of them together, you’ve got a sweet EKG pattern of enterprise in steel and stone.>>

    I’m not a skyscraper person. I dislike heights intensely. I’m not totally phobic – if there’s reason, I can control my feelings – but I’m pretty darn close.

    Nevertheless…I love that description!

    The thing on Cain’s situation that absolutely boggles my brain is the latest: Anonymous woman who claims to have been the “victim” of Cain’s inappropriate attention(whatever it was) wants to be released from her “no comments” restriction because of the fact that she is now part of the public discussion.

    Even though we don’t know who she is.

  • suek

    >>I just always thought that if you live in tall buildings in big cities and the landscape was obscured by the those very same buildings, it obscured clear thinking against clear horizons, – clear thinking.>>

    I’ve always thought that living in very high places warps one’s mental approach to other people. Have you ever seen Hitler’s “Eagle Nest” in Berchtesgaden?? I’m not sure which comes first … the height and looking down on the little dots which comprise the rest of mankind, or the looking down on mankind as little dots of unimportance and seeking the heights that allow the mind to envision soaring above them all.

    But I do think that ensconcing oneself above the rest of the world tends to be mind warping.

    (solved the problem of the emailed responses. There’s a new box at the bottom of the reply box, which says “notify me of followup comments via e-mail”. I don’t recall seeing it there before. It also has a “manage subscriptions” link (if I’m unintentionally subscribed) that allows me to turn it off. Thank heavens! My email box has been _full_ of Bookworm Room replies for the last two days! Have to do a major email box clean-out this weekend!)

  • David Foster

    It’s been argued that desert vs forest environments have an effect on the kinds of religions that evolve in an area.

  • nathan

    I agree with the Theory of Density in this way: in a big city, people lose connection with their neighbors.  They are more likely to accept the liberal idea that there is somebody else – an unseen “them” – who will pick up the tab for things like education and health care.  The thinking went, “Don’t worry, somebody else – rich people and businesses – will pay for my needs.  That is fair.”  This Progressive welfare state model worked pretty well in the second half of the 20th century.  It is now utterly broken.  Progressives won’t accept or don’t understand that the hidden benefactors of liberalism don’t generate enough income to close the budget deficit.  It is so ironic that Progressives, who accuse conservatives of avarice, are using their own greed to hurt our country because no amount of government is ever enough.

  • Ymarsakar

    In other news, I have a movie I think the spouses and Leftists of folks here, such as say Mr. Book, would like LOVE

    “Che” is a two-part 2008 biopic about Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro. Rather than follow a standard chronological order, the films offer an oblique series of interspersed moments along the overall timeline. The 720p BluRay release for this 2-part film was from scene group REVEiLLE.
    On November 26, 1956, Fidel Castro sails to Cuba with eighty rebels. One of those rebels is Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Benicio del Toro), an Argentine doctor who shares a common goal with Fidel Castro – to overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Che proves indispensable as a fighter, and quickly grasps the art of guerrilla warfare. As he throws himself into the struggle, Che is embraced by his comrades and the Cuban people. After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution. The story of the Bolivian campaign is a tale of tenacity, sacrifice, idealism, and of guerrilla warfare that ultimately fails, bringing Che to his death. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world.

     I want to have Mewt Gingney for my candidate.
    What was that Book? 

  • ELaineT

    Idle thought #3) 
    Banking might have been part of it; certainly being able to move money around and rent it helped develop trade, fund exploration, etc.  It’s not enough, though.  I think Christianity is a large part, because as the theology developed they kept (or created, I don’t remember well enough) the idea that the world is rational and, as part of God’s creation it is good to study it.  Hence:  science.  Remember the fuss about Pope Benedict’s Regensberg speech a few years back?  Part of what he said dealt with the fact that in Catholicism and all the Christianity descended from it, God always acts with reason. 
       – speaking only for myself, His reason is often obscure, but that’s a digression from the point.
    Westerners/Christendom believed the creation could be understood through reason, so they invented science and kept it going, instead of shutting it down as happened AIUI with Islamic culture and Chinese.
    There’s also the competition factor.  Europe was made of various sized nations all in competition, and the wealth followed trade and science.  A lot of the science and technology developed also had to do with warfare.  Countries that shut down inquiry – like Spain – turned into backwaters.

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  • bizcor

    JKB #10 “Well, today I was thinking of a t-shirt we could market to many of the #OWS. Anyone know how to get those printed up and marketed?”

    As a matter of fact that is exactly what I do for a living. Imprinted ad specialties.

  • bizcor

    For those of you who have not read “The 5000 Year Leap I recommend it. The author explains how this country progressed so far so quickly.

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