Re: Maybe they don't want my vomit.

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I'm just saying that one's fear of opening up could be a rational appraisal of the size of one's tidal wave.

Three too-personal paragraphs deleted in fear of rejection.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:45 AM
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Aww, Bob, here you can't tell if we get up and walk away. It's a safe place.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:46 AM
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Trust doesn't have to involve opening up to other people, though, does it?

Or is that just the special sense you are using it with here?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:48 AM
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Very good observation.

3: If you trust other people, it implies that if you do open up to them, they won't run away, right?


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:50 AM
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One in particular, a student described cutting through high school to cope with depression.

Truancy is irresponsible, but not inherently tragic.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:50 AM
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ttaM's point is a good one.

Also, not counting here, I think I've learned a little bit about how to let little bits out without dumping all of one's problems on others.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:51 AM
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5: I thought the same as you at first, and then I realised what HG meant.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:52 AM
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Trust doesn't have to involve opening up to other people, though, does it?

I think trust necessarily has to involve making yourself vulnerable. It may not necessarily mean opening up, but that's a pretty common way to be vulnerable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:53 AM
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That's why you have to play trust games, to build up a sense of limits. Have one person stand on a box, and everybody else line up with their arms out. Then, have the person on the box vomit onto everybody's hands.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:57 AM
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9. Sifu, your drunken fraternity hazing ritual is supposed to remain a secret.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:59 AM
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So maybe "learning to trust" isn't the complete solution without simultaneously working through some of the depths of stuff piled up behind the wall.

True dat.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:59 AM
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The ideal of open communication, of really sharing everything with someone else, I think only makes sense if you have a shared life history with your friend that you open your heart to. Obviously easier when young than when old, or if you've stayed in one static place your whole life. IRL, people pay attention to who gets which information, paying more or less attention. Being slightly cue-blind and having something painful to share means that many people who need to pick carefully will have a hard time doing that.

I have a pretty hard time trusting people, myself. On the flip side, perceptive people understand much more than what is said, and can say something helpful without being explicitly prompted.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:00 PM
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To expand on ttaM's point: It helps a lot to remember that trust comes in all degrees and kinds. Robert Putnam has a nice distinction between thick and thin trust. Thin trust is the trust that extends out really far but only covers some actions. I trust the driver of my kid's school bus, whom I have never spoken to, not to sell my child on Ebay. What your student is worried about is really the thickest of thick trust, the sort that can't extend very far at all, where you trust people with your most intimate secrets. It is very rational not to extend this very far.

If you think if trust as an all or nothing matter, than the difficulty in creating super-thick trust will make you feel isolated. When the students says "I can't learn to *trust* *people*" she's making trust an all or nothing matter. She can't recognize that she is trusting people all the time, in little or medium sized ways, and this is keeping her linked with humanity.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:00 PM
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In extended contact with different groups of people in my twenties, I consistently fell into three day crying jags of joy and release. These were actually enjoyed and appreciated by those around me.

But they were not life-changing events. In other words when I fell back into my usual apparent sullen rage, people felt insulted & betrayed. Social skills require practice, and people willing to practice with you. I don't blame them, there was little profit with great frustration.

And yes, I spent a decade in therapeutic environments. I got tired.

The reason I hesitate, well, "The problem with self-analysis is the counter-transference." My own interpretation often involves irresponsibility, laziness, dependent-personality, blah blah blah.

OTOH, one shrink told my parents & I when I was ten that I would forever be alone.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:01 PM
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Yeah just to jump right into Humorless Day, trust is a mutual game, and if you trust somebody to take all of your issues on without first thinking about what they already have happening you fail at that game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:01 PM
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13 makes much sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:02 PM
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"right back into Humorless Day"

I certainly didn't mean to imply that I was being anything less than humorless earlier.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:03 PM
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three day crying jags of joy and release. These were actually enjoyed and appreciated by those around me.

After three children, I'm can't imagining enjoying or appreciating anybody crying for days at a time around me. I've already endured more than my share of that, thanks.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:06 PM
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Eh, I wish that I'd just deleted that second sentence.

CN: There's also trusting in somebody's competence as a professional. You don't need to feel comfortable sharing your personal history, if you want someone to build you an office tower, but you do need to trust the person.

I pretty much suck at trusting people--especially professionals. I'm hypervigilant. I need to find a happy medium between blind trust and hypervigilance. I waste a lot of time because of the hypervigilance. When I felt that the pharmacist and nurse practitioner had screwed up a bit by failing to communicate certain things to me vis a vis treatments for a yeast infection, I started reading everything I could about the different classes of anti-fungals, the pharmacology of the interactions between oral antifungals and other drugs and various alternative remedies for yeast infections, e.g., boric acid. I think that I probably spent 24 hours doing this, and I don't have chronic yeast infections or anything, and it's kind of pointless. I mean sometimes I'm just curious about something intellectually, but I was basically trying to make sure that I knew as much as the nurse, and the thing is that I don't ever need to know how to prescribe terconazole.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:06 PM
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18: see apo, as a parent, you just can't imagine the joy you would feel cradling mcmanus in your arms and softly singing him lullabies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:09 PM
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My new theory is that if I just stop telling people my innermost secrets, I'll forget what they are, and then I won't have to worry about them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:10 PM
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It's about time someone stood up for bottling up one's fears, anxieties, and traumas, and pushing them far, far, down inside, squishing them up into a tiny, acrid little ball where they can't hurt anyone ever again, ever.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:11 PM
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22: ain't that the truth.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:12 PM
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squishing them up into a tiny, acrid little ball

I do that. And I sell them to this guy who uses those acrid little balls as the center of a custom made golf ball. Which is used by someone on the PGA tour, but I can't tell you who, burning bright, in the forest of the night.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:18 PM
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My new theory is that if I just stop telling people my innermost secrets, I'll forget what they are, and then I won't have to worry about them.

Ha! I have a friend who made the decision to do this a few years ago. Another friend asked him how he was doing, and he dryly observed that he was doing pretty well, having decided to shelve his goddamned problems for a bit. It seems to have worked after a couple of years.

Also: slol!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:20 PM
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22: See, you don't need to bottle them. You can just ignore them. Bottling is really the wrong metaphor, anyway. Its a legacy of cheap Freudianism.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:24 PM
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squishing them up into a tiny, acrid little ball where they can't hurt anyone ever again, ever.

Until that day you crack and go postal. But up till then: golden.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:25 PM
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Do Americans have intimate secrets? I've experienced sexual abuse revelations as conversation starters at parties.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:25 PM
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Sexual abuse revelations are still considered shockingly intimate when they come from the perp.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:28 PM
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I am also in favor of bottling up your feelings.

Repress Yourself


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:33 PM
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re: 22

This is the way of my people.* [you have to imagine this said in the voice of a bad Hollywood indian]

Seriously, though, yes. That's part of what I was getting at in 3.

Helpy-Chalk's comments in 13 are interesting too.

and

Bottling is really the wrong metaphor, anyway. Its a legacy of cheap Freudianism.

Yeah, the weight of contemporary research seems to suggest that just shutting the fuck up and getting on with things is, empirically, the best option.

* Add in some heavy drinking and occasional violent episodes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:35 PM
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29 is, um, a good point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:36 PM
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For the record, I don't necessarily get behind all of this bottling up stuff. If your other option is unproductively ruminating, then sure, bottle away. But there's also productively working through something and outgrowing it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:39 PM
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I'm all for hiring people to listen to your boring, pedestrian problems.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:41 PM
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22 and 31 are true: After a major trauma, people should work through it with a body-battering regimen of heavy drinking, exercise, long work hours, meeting every friend they can call within 50 miles at every opportunity, horrendously ill-advised one night stands, and waking up with hangovers that could kill a buffalo at least once a weekend.

It's great for the abs (all that purging and crunches, doncha know), keeps you in touch with everyone, usually nets you a couple new friends from 3 am at some bar in a neighborhood you didn't think you'd ever gone to, and after several weeks will make any problems you had before seem like cake compared to the existential morass you've tossed yourself into. Good way to get yourself living like a normal human being again, or at least faking it at first.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:43 PM
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* Add in some heavy drinking and occasional violent episodes.

I sympathize with the stiff upper lip model, but this part doesn't sound particularly healthy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:45 PM
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The dollar amount that would be necessary to entice me to listen the "problems" of someone about whom I cared not one whit is not quite the same as the recent bailout of our friends Fannie and Freddie, but it is close. I probably should become a therapist.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:46 PM
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Er, I am sympathetic to.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:46 PM
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re: 36

Well, yes. That wasn't prescription, that was description.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:47 PM
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39: Only because of the occasional violent episodes. Never a need for that, unless your a genius paranoid billionaire who decides to convert decades-old rage into eternal fuel for a one-man vigilante crusade armed with super ninja skillz and an arsenal of sweet gadgets.

Then you should just go ahead and embrace them.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:50 PM
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I trust the driver of my kid's school bus, whom I have never spoken to, not to sell my child on Ebay.

Is your school district hiring? I could always use some extra cash.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:51 PM
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My inclination is to say that it's a bit of a vicious/virtuous spiral: if you basically have your shit together, then mostly bottling up is fine - acting out/wading through doesn't accomplish much, but it prevents moving on - but if you don't have your shit together, then the bottled up stuff will tend to come out in super-unproductive ways, and you won't have any awareness of where it's coming from - "What do you mean I'm angry!? FUCK YOU IM NOT ANGRY!!!1!!"

But yeah, I totally agree that not everyone everywhere needs to talk through all their shit. I guess, ideally, late teenhood/young adulthood is a good time to practice working through the (generally) minor shit that you're dealing with so that, when you're older, you can handle the major shit without necessarily freaking out or dumping it on people.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:52 PM
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40. Good thing Alfred was an Englishman. Image if he had been some new age type, instead of the Batman we might have Hugman, or something.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:53 PM
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After my divorce I started seeing a shrink who was crazier than me by several orders of magnitude. She was mostly useful for filling prescriptions for all manner of SSRIs, but she did have some pretty funny stories. Most sessions I would manage to get her talking about something or other and be able to avoid dealing with my own issues altogether. I now see that this was an entirely good thing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:54 PM
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39: oh, I realize that it was merely a description, but you did seem to be prescribing a bit if "get the fuck on with your life." That seems like basically sound advice, but how does one do that while avoiding the excessive drinking and bouts of violence?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:56 PM
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Most sessions I would manage to get her talking about something or other and be able to avoid dealing with my own issues altogether. I now see that this was an entirely good thing.

Maybe so, but it was unethical on her part.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:59 PM
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The main thing that bugs me about "bottling it up" and "letting it out" is the metaphor itself. Emotions aren't like liquids. To the extent that they extend over long periods of time they are more like habits, something you do repeatedly, rather than something you bottle and store.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:59 PM
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re: 45

Well, I don't really buy it that repression leads to violence. I was just kidding around with the idea that it does [and that Scots are prone to it].



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:59 PM
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I posted the following on the other thread, where it's also relevant. (Damn Heebie!):

I've talked to a Chinese woman who had dealt with an enormous family disaster during the Cultural Revolution (her standord-educated father's career was destroyed, and she lost 6 or so years of education). She said that the Chinese way of dealing with that is to "compartmentalize" it (her word, and the ethnic stereotyping was hers): put it in the past, consider it over and done with, and go on with life. It seems to have been a survival mechanism, and a way of being considerate of others. It's not denial and it doesn't mean pretending everything's OK.

I heard something similar about Cambodian refugees who were encouraged to relive their disasters in order to "get it out" and "work through it" as part of therapy. The therapy was discontinued because such a high proportion of the subjects deteriorated greatly during the program.

At the least, this shows a cultural difference, but I really believe that the East Asian way is just plain better.

One disadvantage Americans have in dealing with disasters is reflexive optimism. Disasters seem abnormal, or even seem like personal failures. This belief is not widely shared globally.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 12:59 PM
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IRL example: my mom was brain-damaged in a car accident when I was 19, then finally passed 11.5 years later, a week before Iris was conceived. Obviously, there was emotional shit to deal with there, but other than dealing with the 2 key events, plus one or two other periods that were hard, I went stiff upper lip. I find myself occasionally emotional about things (like dumb movies) in ways that probably indicate underlying emotional pain, and maybe I could explore and excavate that, but, you know, eh. I'm fine, it's a sad thing, but whatever is bottled up inside doesn't amount to much - I have trouble believing that I'd be better off in any sense if I sought help in "dealing" with what seem to be minor issues. And in the meantime, my life is fine and I don't have to imagine that I'm emotionally damaged.

None of which is to judge how other people deal with their own issues and tragedies; I'm just saying that a one-size-fits-all prescription of "talk through your feeeeeelings" is just as dubious as telling everyone to suck it up and move on.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:00 PM
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I'm can't imagining enjoying or appreciating anybody crying for days at a time around me.

Hey. Make an effort. Start by imagining your young child never crying at all for months on end.

Pretty shallow, apo.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:00 PM
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I was almost tempted to go presidential on 50 - it's sad, but not a big deal, so don't anyone make a big deal, please.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:02 PM
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I think people should suck through their talking and move it up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:03 PM
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How 'bout move it through their sucking and talking up?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:05 PM
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Emerson's observations above are great. I've seen similar things with Chinese people talking about the cultural revolution, or even Tiananmen in '89.

I'd add that the coping methods he's seeing in China and Cambodia are probably the norm worldwide and historically. There is something weird about our place and time in history that we deal with tragedy the way we do.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:05 PM
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50: Yeah but it sounds like you were able to accurately self-assess that you were basically doing fine. The problem is when someone is really not doing fine, but they are hamstrung from doing anything by massive amounts of fear about the can of worms in their mind. Then all this cowboy suck-it-up talk really fucks everything up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:06 PM
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54: I always talk up my sucking. It is the secret to my career success. mediocrity.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:07 PM
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Last time I share my innermost secrets with you callous cruel fuckers.

Suckered in again, like that In the Company of Werewolves movie. Oh, the humanity.

Last night, it was Johnny Skidmarks, with Peter Gallagher as a police crime-scene photographer. Car crashes. Long dead homicides. Rape victims. But Johnny learned to love again, with the help of recovering alcoholic Frances McDormand. Her trust-fund didn't hurt.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:08 PM
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Good thing Alfred was an Englishman. Image if he had been some new age type, instead of the Batman we might have Hugman

Yeah, and it's a good thing Alfred wasn't a Scotsman, or else Bruce Wayne would have gone around in an ice cream truck, wearing designer suits and steel-toed boots, and kicking the shit out of violent assholes everywhere...

Wait, that would've been an awesome comic book!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:08 PM
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Johnny Skidmarks

As distinct from the fetish porn of the same name, I assume.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:08 PM
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59: "oi, yer batman, ye oughta use a bat."

(Sorry for the dialect, ttaM. Your people's folkways mystify me.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:09 PM
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50: Yeah, that's rough in a lot of ways, but you're right. I've been pretty amazed at how much just breezing past some of the bad things (not really trying to forget them, but not actively trying to remember them over all the good things coming along) really makes everything go alright. For such a simple and stupid concept, it's remarkably effective.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:11 PM
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and that Scots are prone to it

Yeah, but that's the happy ones, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:12 PM
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50:

And in the meantime, my life is fine and I don't have to imagine that I'm emotionally damaged.

I'm just saying that a one-size-fits-all prescription of "talk through your feeeeeelings" is just as dubious as telling everyone to suck it up and move on.

Agreed. It's part of who you are: you get emotional at dumb movies. There it is. Our culture suffers from a cookie-cutter approach to emotional and behavioral prescription; it's one reason I find myself impatient at time with charges that this or that is "emo" or "toolish" or whatever. People differ! Thank god. You don't have to see clones around you all the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:12 PM
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You don't have to see clones around you all the time.

Some of the zombies are clones? Jeez, how can you tell?

Think I'll go get my kites ready.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:14 PM
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(Sorry for the dialect, ttaM. Your people's folkways mystify me.)

It's alright, it's me he'll hate more anyway. I think the Alfred = American equivalent would be a Bruce Wayne that wears a cowboy hat and super-baggy Tommy Hilfiger jeans and tools around in a stretch Humvee while attacking criminals with a bazooka and machine gun.

Dude. I should start a comic about this crime-fighting team.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:16 PM
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Why don't we all just bottle up our aweful memories and stiff lips and tears, and get on with what's important!

Sarah Palin


Posted by: thatguy | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:24 PM
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67: I'm afraid that I'm going to be emotionally scarred by the sight of Sarah Palin on the national stage for even one moment after November 5.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:30 PM
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JRoth is worried that he will be henceforth unable to masturbate to images of pornified librarians.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:32 PM
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Throughout it, she repeats this mantra of how she has not yet learned to trust people, and how she hopes one day she'll be able to trust people again.

Why would I ever want to trust people again? If people aren't trustworthy, then obviously trusting them is a bad idea. That's basic predicate logic. (Not really.)

In other words, that statement speaks to a bit of incoherence in the speaker's thoughts, or at least some pretty imprecise language.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:37 PM
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one's fear of opening up could be a rational appraisal of the size of one's tidal wave

Would also be a handicap later in life as one tries to form an intimate relationship, notwithstanding a precursor to depression as one tries to "stuff" [internalize] all the things that have been bottled up.


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:37 PM
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Do Americans have intimate secrets?

Their incomes. Much more personal than sex.

It's about time someone stood up for bottling up one's fears, anxieties, and traumas, and pushing them far, far, down inside, squishing them up into a tiny, acrid little ball where they can't hurt anyone ever again, ever.

Word. If I could follow this advice, I'd be much happier.

Also, rob has been observing up a CAT4 storm these last few days.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:40 PM
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||

I just want to say how annoying it is that the front page healine/link to the NYT article on the Palin interview reads, "Palin Says, 'I'm Ready' ." Oh. OK then. I suppose "Palin Says, 'I Have No Clue About Governance'" would open them to accusations of bias. But it would be true!

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:40 PM
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'Palin says "Let's go to war with Russia."'


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:41 PM
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Omigod, and 69 is totally true.

Why must Republicans ruin everything for everyone?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:41 PM
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69 (!)JRoth is worried that he will be henceforth unable to masturbate to images of pornified librarians.

Sarah Palin is dead? Oh, after Nov. 5 she will be dead. Is this some "Manchurian Candidate" scenario oozing out from your buried guilt and patriotism, Rob?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:44 PM
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It would be irrational, as I gather we've already covered, to expect that dealing with the entirety of one's tidal wave would necessarily constitute a valid test of trust. But this bespeaks a much more basic problem, which is that fairly traumatized people have a tendency to develop warped senses of what really constitutes or should constitute trust and intimacy. People who have been repeatedly abandoned or betrayed often develop a pattern of behaviour, for example, wherein they'll try to test (often by openly screwing with or manipulating) people around them to the point that even their closest friends lose patience. When they do, voila; trust issues validated. A sort of bitter consolation.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:47 PM
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No, TLL, Palin's already ruined that genre for me. It has nothing to do with her death (which, I suppose, I hope happens at a ripe old age).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:48 PM
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68: I've already cleared my schedule for the week after election day in case I need to take on the therapeutic regimen described in comment 35 with such zeal that I can't even make it into work.

Also, after reading 69 and 75, I'm very happy that my young age makes Ms. Palin read far too much as "Friend's Mom" for "Sexy Librarian" to ever even begin to register. Plus all the hot librarians these days totally have great tattoos.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:49 PM
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77: Sounds like the borderline personality, as my sister describes them. They go from idolizing and adoring people who help them to feeling betrayed when at some point they fail to respond completely wholeheartedly to some excessive demand. Testing people's givingness is their game.

They're not strictly mentally ill according the the DSM-IV, but they have problems and are almost impossible to treat. My sister (no joke) prefers dealing with thugs and hostile ex-cons.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:51 PM
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YOU'RE JUST LIKE ALL THE REST, DS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED EMOTIONAL CRIPPLE | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:53 PM
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77. Or developing a lifelong doormat habit that suppresses everything because one never learned how to address conflict in a healthy way.


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:53 PM
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56: The suck-it-up talk I was putting out wasn't cowboyish, it was Chinese. In no way macho, it was a very mild mannered woman who told me about it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:54 PM
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79.very last is true, ime.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:54 PM
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the sight of Sarah Palin on the national stage for even one moment after November 5

Steel yourself. If Obama wins, I expect her to make a serious run in the GOP primaries in 2012.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:54 PM
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80: DBT is supposed to be effective with people with borderline personality disorder. Marcia Linehan who developed DBT has argued that they're not actually being manipulative at all. If they knew how to manipulate people, they would be interpersonally effective. It's just that many of them have intense distressing (and positive) emotions and don't know how to regulate them.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:55 PM
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85 is right. She's not going away. Our best hope is that she tries to improve her career by swinging toward the center.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:58 PM
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With all due respect, BG, I Googled and I think that the Drive-by Truckers are a fine band, bu not effective therapy for this particular condition.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:58 PM
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People who have been repeatedly abandoned or betrayed often develop a pattern of behaviour, for example, wherein they'll try to test (often by openly screwing with or manipulating) people around them to the point that even their closest friends lose patience. When they do, voila; trust issues validated. A sort of bitter consolation.

Ah, so glad to be done with that particular game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:58 PM
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I'm very happy that my young age makes Ms. Palin read far too much as "Friend's Mom" for "Sexy Librarian" to ever even begin to register

Bristol's Mom Has Got It Goin' On
http://saintsreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82680


Posted by: Fountains of Wasilla | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:59 PM
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80. BPD - viewing people in terms of either all black or all white, threats of abandonment triggering angry abreactions, sometimes self-mutiliating behaviors. Pls. note: not all trauma victims end up Borderline; some end up with dissociative disorders whose symptoms are depersonalization and derealization.


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 1:59 PM
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80: Exactly.

86: Well, the sort of person I'm describing is interpersonally effective over quite long stretches. They don't consciously think of themselves as manipulative (at least not that often or not at root); they just want to know whether people really love them, is all. Pretty common I think among abusive/obsessive boy/girlfriends.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:00 PM
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I think that the Drive-by Truckers are a fine band

Drive-By Truckers was one of those bands that I knew I was supposed to like but never got around to listening to. I picked up Southern Rock Opera about a month ago and holy shit. I'd really been missing out. They're awesome.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:01 PM
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88 is funny. I just repeated the search, and i'm sure you found your way to the second link.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:01 PM
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The drive by truckers are great for exactly the sort of treatment described in 35. *Alabama Ass-whupin* in particular is a good soundtrack to a bender


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:02 PM
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Harping on something I've harped on before, but Palin's optimism about being able to handle the job is a perfect storm of self-help, Andrew Carnegie, magical thinking, and prosperity theology. Against all odds, God and the entire structure of the universe converge to enhance one enchanted individual's magical career path. She didn't need to prepare herself, but relied on God, and now she's being blessed. It's a creepily greedy, self-centered religion.

This isn't an Obama election strategy suggestion, or a suggestion for actual repression, but people have to talk more about how evil some Christians are. Not just because they're homophobic, anti-evolution, or right-to-life, but in other ways too. In a way they've triumphed by making the social issues the whole story. They're really capable of getting everyone killed, and they're actively irresponsible and reckless in almost every area of public policy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:07 PM
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Are you people all simultaneously having as shitty days as I am? Might we be able to have a non-depressing thread? Puppies would be acceptable.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:07 PM
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You know, foolishmortal, some of us find adorable puppies to be intensely depressing.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:10 PM
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We could have a "killing puppies for Satan" thread.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:11 PM
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97: Or a Heebie-Geebie Brain Teasie!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:11 PM
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Steel yourself. If Obama wins, I expect her to make a serious run in the GOP primaries in 2012.

My hope - and I said this the day she was picked - remains that she will flame out so spectacularly that she will never be taken seriously as a candidate for national office. She's obviously dangerous, not just for her (frighteningly rightwing) views, but also for her devotion to lying and view of public office as a tool for score-settling.

The adoration she's getting from the crazy-right base is ostensibly good for her future, but if she comes away from this election tagged as A. A Loser (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease); B. Not Serious (still possible, based on the Gibson interview), and C. A Rightwing Nutjob (along the lines of Coburn or Bauer), then the rest of the Republican electorate will reject her.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:13 PM
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Or yeah, what PMP said. That works too.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:13 PM
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Puppies would be acceptable.

Cuter than a puppy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:13 PM
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then the rest of the Republican electorate will reject her.

JRoth's faith in the wisdom of the Republican electorate is also cuter than a puppy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:15 PM
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One of my sister's problems is that she does group therapy, and the borderlines are always recruiting allies within the group. I'm forwarding that link to her though; I really doubt that her agency is up to it though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:15 PM
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Are you people all simultaneously having as shitty days as I am? Might we be able to have a non-depressing thread?

I woke up totally stressed out about the election, and only wanted to think about non-election things, yet mopey came out. Sure, we could have a brain teaser thread! Hang on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:15 PM
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cute

bender soundtrack


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:16 PM
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I thought LB was going to give us happy McArdle thread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:17 PM
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re: 66

I don't find that stuff remotely offensive, tbh. Funny, rather than offensive.

It's a big staple of TV comedy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLxLmFhROqY

More importantly, here's Scottish trauma counseling in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-WGb56mYuA



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:20 PM
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Andrew Carnegie

Steel magnate slash union buster slash philanthropist?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:23 PM
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||

People of the blog who live in New York: Let us stop talking about trauma, trust, and vomit. Instead, let us meet at 9 this evening at Fresh Salt to celebrate A White Bear's birthday.

|>


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:24 PM
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JRoth's faith in the wisdom of the Republican electorate is also cuter than a puppy.

No! I just think that this election could derail her. Probably not entirely, since McCain was supposed to lose, and she obviously has made things closer. But if she implodes during the VP debate, the chunk of Republicans who aren't Real True Believers will find someone else to be a new face - Palin is red meat for Dominionists, and they're not the whole party (1/3-1/2 of it, I think).

If anyone turns up audio of that "So Sambo beat the bitch," she's probably assured of the nomination for however long it takes her to win the Presidency.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:25 PM
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111: Capital idea! And you can lift a glass for those of us who'll be hiding under the furniture ...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:25 PM
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It's about time someone stood up for bottling up one's fears, anxieties, and traumas, and pushing them far, far, down inside, squishing them up into a tiny, acrid little ball where they can't hurt anyone ever again, ever.

Twelve months ago that someone would have been me. I still sort of believe in it. There's nothing as hard to abandon as a coping mechanism that has served one well for decades.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:27 PM
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110: I'm gonna hafta go with DALE Carnegie.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:32 PM
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Dale.

If I ever needed reassurance that I do not understand the American people at all, the success of the Palin nomination gave it to me. I really believed that a lightweight, ignorant fanatic would hurt McCain, and that was before I knew she was a serial liar with a pregnant teenage daughter. Even a lot of the winger intellectuals did a double take.

So where I was thinking that Palin would harm McCain and turn the quasi-sane Republicans against the Armageddonists, the opposite has happened. Even if McCain loses disastrously, Palin won't be blamed, and the loonies will continue to control the party.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:36 PM
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i would try to attend if not rain and a cold sore and friday, evening
Happy Bday, AWB!


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:37 PM
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Palin is red meat for Dominionists, and they're not the whole party

There's another chunk of the party though, at least as big, that gives not a shit what her philosophy is and won't ever be bothered to find it out. For them, she's just the hott hockey mom who's in the NRA and sticks it to metrosexual liberals.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:38 PM
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the weight of contemporary research seems to suggest that just shutting the fuck up and getting on with things is, empirically, the best option.

Do you have anything to link or cite to support this, ttaM? It is very much not my understanding. I'll add that my exposure is mostly limited to research done in America and the UK; if you are referring to comparisons of cross cultural responses to trauma, I don't know anything about it.

That is to say, I don't think "the weight of empirical research" is necessarily right in its "answer" to such a vague, ill-formed question as "what is the best response to trauma?" nor do I think psychology is yet equipped in general to offer a lot of normative prescriptions, and should be especially circumspect about them when the contradict folk wisdom, but to the extent that it has offered an answer, I'm pretty sure that "just shut the fuck up" is not it. In fact, I know of some research that has suggested that the most unproductively repetitive responses are the consequence of efforts at thought suppression--I'll provide cites if you're interested.


Posted by: cynique | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:39 PM
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There is something weird about our place and time in history that we deal with tragedy the way we do.

This is true, and one thing that can be said for the "feeeeeeeelings" approach is that it beats the hell out of the dealing with an unusually cushy sort of existence by starting a bunch of wars to give yourself a chance to be all manly and stiff-upper-lip.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:43 PM
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One flaw in anecdotal impressions of the values of therapy is that the people who get therapy aren't always the ones who need it most, and some of the therapy addicts give it a bad name. Furthermore, there are many, many types of therapy. All along I've been specifically talking about the "get it out, work it through" type.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:44 PM
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If I ever needed reassurance that I do not understand the American people at all, the success of the Palin nomination gave it to me.

So you're saying McCain is a better politician than you? Not too surprising.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:45 PM
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re: 119

The literature I am thinking of was work in the UK -- it may have been a meta-analysis of published papers rather than a piece of experimental research -- and was concerned with 'talking cures' and approaches that asked the patient to talk through or relive verbally their experience. It wasn't concerned with CBT or other therapies, and it was looking at responses to particular types of traumatic experiences. It wasn't a general dismissal of all therapy for all people in all circumstances.

I don't have a cite. If I get time I'll try to look it out. It was a while ago that I read it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:45 PM
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If I ever needed reassurance that I do not understand the American people at all, the success of the Palin nomination gave it to me. I really believed that a lightweight, ignorant fanatic would hurt McCain, and that was before I knew she was a serial liar with a pregnant teenage daughter.

Mega-dittoes to that. OTOH, it's still early yet.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:46 PM
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I disagree. I think that obsessing about one's feelings is significantly worse than dropping cluster bombs on children's playgrounds. In my experience, anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:47 PM
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||

Oooh! The wind just picked up and there are now clouds overhead!

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:48 PM
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126: we're not seeing anything yet ...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:49 PM
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122: I'm pretty sure it was Rove, not McCain.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:49 PM
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127: Nothing? Maybe this isn't Ike then. But it's not as calm and sunny as it was earlier, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:53 PM
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Maybe this isn't Ike then.

Maybe it's God.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:55 PM
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129: well, not much. weird dense cloud cover, but not windy yet....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:56 PM
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update to 131: went to have a better look -- i can see storm cloud to the south now.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:58 PM
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126: Quit trying to cheer us up with your fluffy white clouds. That reminds me of the worst Stevie Wonder video ever.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 2:58 PM
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97: I'm having an incredibly shitty day, but now I'm listening to Mississippi John Hurt, so everything's OK.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:04 PM
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Explosive War: The Great War On The Dolomites


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:06 PM
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For them, she's just the hott hockey mom who's in the NRA and sticks it to metrosexual liberals.

Put me in this group. I am in the WF Buckley camp of rather being governed by the first page of the Boston phone book over the Harvard Faculty. I don't think that the actual governance is that hard, so that "experience" is not the most important qualification. The political philosophies get in the way, so the culture wars become governance issues, which is bunk. I was bothered by the Gibson interview in that I think Palin thinks she is smarter than she is, and that will lead to real trouble.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:06 PM
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Sarah Palin Sarah Palin Sarah Palin Sarah Palin

Oh for crying out loud. Everything would be exactly the same if he'd picked Pawlenty. This Palin obession is incresingly tiresome.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:09 PM
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Or Dan Quayle. He's still only 61.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:11 PM
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136: Bob and TLL agree on something!

I think that Bush should have put an end to the "random person out of the phone book" joke. He was actually presented as such, as an ignorant good ole boy, but that was too good to be true. He was a front for a graft and ideology machine, an so will be every Everyman or Everywomen we ever see running for office again.

Palin likewise. She represents evil, dishonest, selfish, deluded, superstitious Christians. (The modifiers are there because not all Christians are like that. Too many of them, though.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:12 PM
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For them, she's just the hott hockey mom who's in the NRA and sticks it to metrosexual liberals.

Yeah, but that group can be turned off if she turns out to be a loser.

I don't think it's likely at this point, but I still think it's possible - she's 2 weeks into a 10 week audition, and she's made a lot of mistakes without adding any new positives (other than pissing off libs, but that's not a rare trait for Republicans).

I don't think that we should take these last 2 weeks as an accurate sounding of her national longevity, is all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:18 PM
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I am in the WF Buckley camp of rather being governed by the first page of the Boston phone book over the Harvard Faculty

Nobody is being offered either of these choices.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:19 PM
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I think that Bush should have put an end to the "random person out of the phone book" joke

Meh- Bush 43 could hardly be counted as random. Jury selection is closer to what I mean, but then again who wants to be judged by twelve people not smart enough to get out of jury duty. There is a selection bias to everything.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:19 PM
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Palin also pumped up the Republicans' zombie army.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:21 PM
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Yeah, seriously, 139.2 gets it exactly right. Turns out running the world's biggest/richest country isn't something that can be done with ol'fashioned common sense and a healthy self-regard.

Among other things, there are a lot of hard decisions, and the only way to get them right is to be able to get smart about them in a hurry. A lifetime spent avoiding such smart-getting is not good preparation for this.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:23 PM
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One thing that's coming out is that Palin is intensely disliked by a lot of Alaska Republicans. Politics must be pretty individual there, like New York City politics. She is not getting unanimous support from back home at all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:24 PM
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136 makes me question TLL's ability to learn from experience. Car mechanics get better with experience. Hookers get better with experience. Is being the President of the fucking United States so much easier than being a car mechanic or a a hooker that experience is completely irrelevant?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:26 PM
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Is there a meaningful Democratic Party in Alaska? Or does one have to be a Republican to be elected, and such sniping is the same as would be if there were a functioning opposition?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:28 PM
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||

The names "Ari Berman" and "Ari Melber" are easily confused. Is one of them our Ari, and if not, can his name also be confused with theirs?

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:30 PM
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The Republicans are strongly dominant, possibly as much so as the Democrats in NYC.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:31 PM
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So, I've been hella busy recently, but has anyone pointed out that fewer people have voted for Sarah Palin for anything than currently live in the city of St. Paul?

I really can't see her candidacy as anything but the desperate act of a campaign in deep distress. Wasn't there an assistant dogcatcher in Wichita that McCain could have called on?

Eh, if Obama wins things stand a very tiny chance of getting a little bit better, and at the very least, there's more breathing room for the people who most need it.

If McCain wins, things probably aren't going to get that much more fucked up, we'll have lots more fun with Sarah Palin jokes and the music might get better. Plus we'll have 4 more years of popular front organizing, which will come in handy as the RNC cases go to trial. (Thanks again, principled liberals, for your support of the folx who got busted! Aside from meeting Starhawk, that was the best part of the whole sorry affair.)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:31 PM
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Is there a meaningful Democratic Party in Alaska? Or does one have to be a Republican to be elected

Palin was preceded as governor by a two-term Democrat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:32 PM
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Is being the President of the fucking United States so much easier than being a car mechanic or a a hooker that experience is completely irrelevant?

Either way, even the best President has only eight years on the job. If experience were the only thing that mattered, we would only elect as President former Governors of California, New York, Texas and Illinois. Which is pretty much the case, with a few generals and Senators thrown in.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:33 PM
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If McCain wins, things probably aren't going to get that much more fucked up

I think this is wishful thinking.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:33 PM
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Everything would be exactly the same if he'd picked Pawlenty.

Do you really believe that?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:35 PM
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Any inexperienced President will just be a stooge for someone behind him, like the idiot-kings of Europe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:36 PM
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If McCain wins, things probably aren't going to get that much more fucked up, we'll have lots more fun with Sarah Palin jokes and the music might get better.

We'll have fun with Sarah Palin even if she loses. Ann Coulter didn't have to win any elections to become a media darling. As for your first paragraph, I appreciate that the Democratic appointees to the Supreme Court are almost as hostile to workers' rights as Republican appointees, but there are a lot of other issues on which they differ.

Palin also pumped up the Republicans' zombie army.

Fivethirtyeight.com suggests that even during the bounce period the purplish states barely changed, while McCain has gone from having 18-point leads to 38-point leads in places like Oklahoma and Idaho. In those places the Democrats are intensely demoralized and everyone knows what the outcome will be, so you can't really interpret the popular vote there as being the same as it would have been if its outcome were in doubt.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:38 PM
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Any inexperienced President will just be a stooge for someone behind him, like the idiot-kings of Europe.

As opposed to the experienced President, who is a stooge for a better hidden person behind him.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:49 PM
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Clinton was no one's stooge. GHW Bush was no one's stooge. Even Reagan and Dubya weren't, really. Maybe Harding or Coolidge was.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:54 PM
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150: and the music might get better
What?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:55 PM
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159: The depression gave us the blues. (Actually, blues predate the depression, don't they?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 3:58 PM
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There's a theory that the "depression" diagnosis was a product of the depression. Oddly, Keynes speaks of economic depression psychologically, as a "depression of animal spirits" I think. There's something out there spelling this all out, but I can't find it.

There's also the Tarim depression in Asia. People tend to forget that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:02 PM
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re: 160

Yeah. They predate it. The basic form predates WWI and there were plenty of recordings prior to 1929.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:03 PM
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Economic recessions do seem to produce good music, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:05 PM
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The "power behind the throne" is just a person to whom the president, who holds all the de jure power, has delegated powers of decision-making. Every president delegates power to lots of people; the inexperienced president would be more likely to also delegate de facto power over making decisions that a more experienced president would make himself. But Cheney only had power to do stuff because Bush trusted and respected him. Cheney is at most slightly more evil than Bush.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:07 PM
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Clinton was no one's stooge. GHW Bush was no one's stooge. Even Reagan and Dubya weren't, really

As I said, the true power was better hidden. The Illuminati have a sense of humor, which is why we get the occasional Dubya.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:08 PM
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There's a theory that the "depression" diagnosis was a product of the depression. Oddly, Keynes speaks of economic depression psychologically, as a "depression of animal spirits" I think. There's something out there spelling this all out, but I can't find it.

A product of which depression? I don't think that's right. I know in Wodehouse novels there are joking references to people's moods being affected by "V-shaped depressions", which is an analogy to weather patterns, not to economic events.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:10 PM
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Weren't the blues an outgrowth of "slave" music?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:12 PM
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Product of the 1929 depression. Not the Tarim depression.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:13 PM
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Glad to see minn again

A lot of the lefty blogs keep running with the experience/qualification thing. Practically, I simply think this is refuted by the vast number of deeply experienced over-educated assholes. It wasn't as if the Iraq war supporters, or the future Georgian war supporters, have a shortage of degrees, qualifications, experience, knowledge. Trust me, I really wish I wasn't an anti-intellectual, but there isn't much empirical evidence that it matters to my policy preferences how smart or qualified a politician is..

Michael O'Hanlon says Palin is fine & dandy on foreign policy. Nuff said? Whatcha gonna say, O'Hanlon's an idiot or knave?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:15 PM
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future Georgian war supporters

You know, I am basically an isolationist, and would prefer G. Washington's "no entangling alliances" type of foreign policy, but if a country is our ally, then we are bound to defend them, regardless of the enemy. A shooting war may not be in the cards, but if we are bound to support a (nominally) democratic country in Russia's near abroad then that's Russia's problem, not ours.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:21 PM
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We don't like Palin because of her values, beliefs, policy preferences. I don't think her qualifications have anything to do with it.

A Democrat, liberal or socialist with a similar background and qualities and complete agreement with our common agenda would be enthusiastically supported by the left blogosphere.

If paragraph two is untrue, then we really do have some problems with class/tribal markers trumping political interests.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:25 PM
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Everything would be exactly the same if he'd picked Pawlenty.

Do you really believe that?

Yes. Well, I believe the polls right now would be the same. Palin might help a bit more with evangelical turnout in november, and/or repel a bit more independents. But she won't make a big difference any more than any other VP.


The not-huge convention bounce is hardly surprising.
If it lasts, it'll be because of the convention and McCain's attacks (and media complicity), not Palin.

McCain has 60 percent approval, a history of fighting/disagreeing with Bush, and above all, the media is pro-republican. That's your problem.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:26 PM
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171.3: Nope. Some of us just value a track record of competence and appearence of intellect/judgement very highly, and feel that well-intentioned policy goals will still turn out for naught with the wrong person in charge of them.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:28 PM
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but if we are bound to support a (nominally) democratic country in Russia's near abroad then that's Russia's problem, not ours.

Umm, no.

Agonist is all over Steve Clemons today for supporting MAP for Georgia. Hell, what powerful Washingtonian doesn't? At least MY appears resistant, but his commenters are calling him a Russia Appeaser.

Happening again, only five years after the last time. The smart experienced pros are killing us.

True in macro-economics too, of course.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:32 PM
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deeply experienced over-educated assholes

Sure, experience isn't enough by itself, Bob. But that doesn't mean that a complete lack of it isn't a problem.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:33 PM
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blues an outgrowth of "slave" music?

Allan Lomax would probably have agreed with this, viewing influences of Vaudeville and country music as a corruption. IMO this view is a distortion. The earliest recordings (Blind Lemon Jefferson, say, or Sylvester Weaver show as much vaudeville and country as anything else.

The case for the call-and-reponse tradition in US pop music coming from Africa is something else again, but lots of blues lacks this.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:33 PM
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173:Hell, Vietnam didn't fail because McNamara & Westmoreland were dumb. Iraq didn't fail because Rumsfeld and Cheney were dumb.

Maybe Petraeus was better because he "wrote" the counter-insurgency manual, but most of these kinds of judgements are made after the events.

Jimmy Carter was wise/smart here, but lacked smarts abilities there. All post hoc. I simply am not seeing the predictive or analytical value in the real world.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:44 PM
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169: O'Hanlon is both, as we know, but mostly a knave. He'd be happy to be the power behind Palin's throne, IYKWIMAITYD.

You're performing again, Bob, as is T. L. Leech, but what you need for your argument is a non-fictional ignoramus who governed well. You also have to switch from your formal argument, poor as it is, to an argument that in these times, an Armageddonist can govern well.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:47 PM
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Bob, the problem with your historical comparisons is that we've never had a president we agreed with politically who was incompetent. The very idea is impossible. We're the technocrat party. If there's a politician who is ludicrously inexperienced and incurious, and aspires to be a governor, senator or president, it's going to be a Republican.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:50 PM
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175 to 177

This a gigantic country of 300 million people, Bob. If we want someone with intelligence, knowledge, experience, solid judgement, AND basic views/assumptions that somewhat match our own, that's not too much to ask.

In fact, I'd expect everyone to want the first three, since they seem sort of self-explanatory. Those are three traits that would typically make someone a more effective advocate and successful manager for their policy goals. The last two are very much in-the-eye-of-the-beholder measures, and I can see why voters would not necessarily agree on them.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:52 PM
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A country where an incompetent Socialist could be elected would not be the United States. This is a country where an incompetent Armageddonist can be elected.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:52 PM
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Scarlett Johannsson? Too young.

It is a sad commentary on our times that I can't think of any auto-didact lefty organizing heroes. 1900 had a ton. Where have you gone, Bill Heywood, a degenerate nation...


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:54 PM
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Floyd B Olson, America's most successful Socialist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 4:59 PM
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159: Actually, Nathan, it's a namesake of yours of my acquaintance who used to argue to me that American "alternative" music gets better when there's a Republican in the White House, and declines under the Democrats. Obviously, it's pretty easy to find counterexamples to this bromide, but I like to repeat it to myself to help feel better when things are lousy.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 5:03 PM
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There is even a causal explanation.

The Clintons of the early 70s were not the Clintons of the 90s and 00s.

It was precisely knowledge, experience, and competence the led Obama to support the FISA bill.
That shit corrupts.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 5:05 PM
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182: Why do they have to be an auto-didact?
Mankiller/Laduke in '08!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 5:05 PM
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"intelligence, knowledge, experience...Those are three traits that would typically make someone a more effective advocate"

How soon we have forgotten 2002. How little we have learned.

Wait. Not "we".

Oops. Another flip. Bush had a lot of help. But I still give him most of the credit/blame.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 5:45 PM
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170

"You know, I am basically an isolationist, and would prefer G. Washington's "no entangling alliances" type of foreign policy, but if a country is our ally, then we are bound to defend them, regardless of the enemy. A shooting war may not be in the cards, but if we are bound to support a (nominally) democratic country in Russia's near abroad then that's Russia's problem, not ours."

This is crazy. Did the Senate ratify some treaty with Georgia when I wasn't paying attention? The United States can't defend Georgia against Russia without taking insane risks and thus should not promise to try. What is in it for us?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 6:34 PM
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It seems to me that the Georgia situation is very parallel to the Cuba situation many years ago in reverse. If the Bay of Pigs invasion had actually succeeded and the Castro government was overthrown, would the USSR have gone to war with the US to reinstall Castro? That seems unlikely.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 6:39 PM
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A lot of the lefty blogs keep running with the experience/qualification thing. Practically, I simply think this is refuted by the vast number of deeply experienced over-educated assholes.

Let us speak now of the difference between necessary and sufficient.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 7:48 PM
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What is in it for us?
i wonder what would you find worthwhile any effort, just in general, any cause


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 8:08 PM
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Oddly enough I think that particular comment of Shearer's is completely correct.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 8:12 PM
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politics politics politics. bleah.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 9:21 PM
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you said it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 9:22 PM
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I would endorse a conversation about really small robots. Let me know how it goes!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 9:23 PM
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169 from Bob:

Trust me, I really wish I wasn't an anti-intellectual

That pretty much captures it, doesn't it? Why don't you get over it? I've become so thoroughly disgusted with this line that I can barely speak to it. The sooner it disappears from the national dialogue (tm), the better.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 9:53 PM
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There's some neat small robots.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 9:54 PM
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The small robots have gone completely over my head. I was talking about the resurgence of the culture wars, which try my patience. There's an interesting post by henry on CrookedTimber recently about a panel discussion on Nixonland on this topic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 10:15 PM
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192: James is on fire today. He also nailed shit in this week's Puzzler thread (as is usual, to be fair).

I would endorse a conversation about really small robots.

Tiny Robots! One of the most exciting things about the coverage list I picked up when I became an equity analyst was the several companies in medical robotics. There was one particular area of competition that I characterized as "Tiny Robots versus Giant Magnets", and my friends and I would often picture the struggle between the two corporations as an actual fight between their technology.

Suffice to say, tiny (though not nano, by a long shot) robots are pretty damn good at ventricular navigation, and way cheaper than the torn-from-science-fiction giant magnets alternative. We'll see what kind of success they get in the long run, but it's always a fool's errand to bet against the tiny robots.

(This comment brought to you totally Becks-style between bars)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-12-08 11:03 PM
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In my experience, people who tell you 'I'm afraid to trust' actually aren't. I mean, they're already telling you something personal by telling you that, right? Maybe they don't have any friends because they're always talking about their cutting and their depression and the divorce. Not to sound like a dick, but most teenagers don't want to dwell on that kind of stuff (or, come to think of it, anything that involves other people's problems).

In other words, you don't have any friends because you're moody, Emma, not because you're a bad truster.


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 09-13-08 2:08 AM
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200: Well, trust isn't monolithic. And for some people, like me, telling others personal info doesn't really require any trust. It's other things that are necessary for intimate relationships (romantic or otherwise) that require trust.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-13-08 8:21 AM
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Or equivalently, some people don't have any problem trusting others with personal information, but do have problem trusting others to actually take certain kinds of actions in certain situations. I mean, what are they going to do with a revelation that I'm depressive? Stick voodoo pins in it? On the other hand, in a situation where I'm trying to rely on them for support, it's all to easy for them to say the wrong thing or just fail to recognize my need. So, better not to show any need.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-13-08 8:29 AM
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Of course 201-202 would have been better 16 hours ago. Anyways!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-13-08 8:30 AM
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179: CN, that's not entirely true. There have been plenty of Democratic governors in MA who were sound on the basic framework of issues but not competent. (Sifu might say that Deval Patrick is one.)

And not all Democrats are technocrats. The attorney general who ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Mass last time around was not a technocrat.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-08 7:02 AM
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