April 09, 2007

Strange Easter

Wrote about my Easter over at Chicago Boyz. Suffice it to say that finding a dead body after easter services will just throw your life right off. I may go more quirky than usual for awhile. I may not.

Posted by TMLutas at 10:46 AM

September 06, 2005

They're Full

I love this country.

When my wife called up to get the "more details" promised late last week for her to go for hurricane relief, she was told that they have plenty of volunteers to staff all positions already.

There are going to be dozens of federal medical camps (from memory, 40), a hundred and fifty people staffing each one and field teams in rougher conditions, and they're all full based on people coming in from closer to the disaster areas and already displaced doctors signing on for duty.

Posted by TMLutas at 11:50 AM

September 05, 2005


I've been posting elsewhere on Katrina because I don't want to fall too deeply into the finger pointing blame game. This is a time when we should be pulling together as a nation. For too many of us, this has not happened.

Personally, I'm getting ready to defend the home front for the next few weeks. Tomorrow, we should be getting enough information to figure out whether things are organized enough for my wife to go answer a call for doctors to help with hurricane relief and start the mammoth job of reassembling the patient files of entire US cities. There's a huge spike in medical demand right now just because of the record destruction, not to mention the increase of actual medical problems. Starting from scratch isn't an impossible task, or even a really difficult one. It's just very time consuming. New patient appointments always pay more than returning patients because they are just more work.

We long ago decided that one stays sane and the other can go and try for the brass ring. It's her turn and if JC Nationwide can swing the logistics, she'll push back her medical practice opening in order to take care of some people in trouble on the Gulf Coast. After all, they need doctors more than network administrators.

The logistics of moving doctors in for an operation like this is huge. You normally can't write a prescription for penicillin if you don't have a state license. Federal projects are one of the exceptions for that. The issue of malpractice suits is another worry. People are likely to be in a litigious mood and the "where were you two days ago" attitude is tailor made for trial lawyer exploitation and massive lawsuits. This doesn't even start to cover the issue of how your normal malpractice carrier tends to freak out if you practice "naked" in another state especially if you're not licensed there.

If things go massively wrong and we get hung out to dry on a lawsuit, the extra cost on our malpractice policy during the next three years could sink us. Malpractice rates shoot up when you're sued and shoot up even more if you're found culpable. If things are physically safe enough, I want her to follow her heart and go anyway. That's what we mean by solidarity and the only way to really teach it is to live it. We have three children. We have to teach it.

Posted by TMLutas at 03:54 PM

September 01, 2005

New Orleans

I don't know what to say to help New Orleans but I've got a blog and no excuse not to say something. Give what you can to Catholic Charities, that's a start. They do good work and are going to need the extra cash. They not only do the emergencies but also the hard, long slog that constitutes the road to recovery.

We're not ready, we're still not ready to deal with losing a city all these years after we started thinking about it on 9/11/2001. New Orleans isn't the worst that could have happened. It's a light reminder of a darker nightmare and we, americans without hyphenation or faction, weren't ready. There will be a next time. We should do better.

There is good news and bad, hope and fear in this disaster and I'm sure I'll mine it for further articles as soon as the sickness in my heart lets my thoughts out without too much emotion. So far, all I've had up to this point is unpublishable. Prayer, grief, and donations, that's all I can do right now and I hate myself for not being able to do more.

Posted by TMLutas at 02:37 PM

July 05, 2005

Walking the Line

Just a little vignette from a very good Iraq report series .

More than half of the patients in the hospital were Iraqis. Among the other half was a Romanian civilian who had been providing security until he got shot in the leg. Now, he was in healthy spirits, but in that Romanian way—looking askance with slightly raised brows as if to say, "I am skeptical, cynical, and clever . . . and I expect to suffer a thousand lies for every blade of truth, and I will drink you into submission and you will tell more than you intended you fool!" Actually, he seemed a pleasant fellow.

Oh, how true, how very, very true.

Posted by TMLutas at 04:16 PM

June 02, 2005

My Wonderful Librarian

My wife has a talent for finding books for me. She's the first to give me a true understanding of France and the problem it poses for Europe and she did it with a book she gave me for my birthday, a book that took me over a month to get through (and usually I'm a very fast reader). It was like I stepped off a cliff and instead of falling, I soared. Now she's gone and done it again in a completely different arena, my spiritual life. Partner, friend, lover, companion, my better half, and on top of it all, a great librarian.

I'll get around to properly reviewing The Need for Roots at some point but it's not the only winner she's graced me with.

{Ed: I stripped out the rest because the rest of the article turned into a review in truth and that doesn't fit with the title and the opening. It'll be the next item}

Posted by TMLutas at 09:34 AM

April 01, 2005

Pray for the Pope

It looks like the Pope may be in his final moments. I think that his final work may come to be seen as one of personal example, one of how to die a proper death. May he have success and may we all grow in wisdom from his witness.

Posted by TMLutas at 03:08 PM

March 19, 2005

Terri Schiavo Thoughts

Supposedly Terri Schiavo's in a persistent vegetative state. View the videos and you'll see it's a crock. That's not just my opinion, but my wife's who is an MD and very much against torturing patients with medical treatment past the point where it does any good.

I really don't think that people have thought through what Terri Schiavo is going through right now. She is given nothing to drink, nothing to eat. That doesn't sound like much. It's an easy sentence to say or write. When was the last time you hungered, you thirsted? I don't mean a momentary twinge that you immediately satisfy but really not eating or drinking for an extended period of time past when it starts to bother you. Try it for a bit, just to see the kind of discomfort a profoundly brain-damaged woman is going through.

You can't really get the flavor of it because you're capable of feeding yourself and can end the experiment at any time. If you decide to do the experiment, at whatever point you end it, please think that the pain, the mental anguish, the desperate impulse to go get sustenance, all that lives deep in our primitive brains and Terri most likely is capable of feeling that drive for food, for water just as you are but is incapable of satisfying it for herself. If her husband has his way, Terri will feel what you felt and continue feeling it in growing urgency and distress until she dies of it.

If we were to prescribe this as an end for murderers, it would be judicially invalidated as cruel and unusual punishment. Why it's legal to do it when there is no crime being punished is beyond me.

As a personal note, when I played a couple of the videos that Terri's parents had filmed of Terri, I asked her whether this woman was in a persistent vegetative state. Her response was "no, she's not. But if I'm ever like that, don't you dare do that [keep her alive artificially]".

In her own perverse way, she's horribly irresponsible as she hasn't left a written record of her preference. This puts me in a spot because I have somewhat different ideas on end of life care. I'll respect her wishes but I won't euthanize and I won't starve her to death.

Posted by TMLutas at 02:05 AM

January 19, 2005

Open Source Shampoo

After reading Lileks screed against Bath and Body Works, a solution seems very simple to me. If you're not going to use the formula anymore, either sell it to someone who can use it because they have a lower cost structure (possibly getting paid royalties in a license deal) or give it away for free.

Lileks' apopleptic goings on provide a highly entertaining whack to Bath and Body Works brand image which is likely to cut across their market demographics in odd ways. This is, after all, a man who makes a living out of talking about the strangest juxtaposition of things, from foods of the past to house decor that never should have been. Anyway, here's the screed (but visit his site, there's an awful lot of good things there):

An Open Letter to Bath and Body Works:

For a year I have enjoyed your “Aromatherapy” line of soaps and shampoos. It has nothing to do with the purported therapeutic benefits of the various scents, and we both know that there is no empirical evidence to suggest that slathering myself with these emollients will alter my emotional state in any way. If I find myself tense, coating myself in a thick paste of Orange Ginger moisturizer has no noticeable effect on my life, other than to make me feel unduly damp, and emit squishing sounds when I sit. But the aromas are nonetheless pleasing. If you have set foot in your stores recently, you will notice the accentuated preponderance of floral and spicy scents, as though someone had swabbed the walls with an expensive prostitute. I do not wish to smell like gardenias, which heretofore had led me to regard your line with disinterest But neither do I enjoy smelling like Oirish Spring or Dial or any other bar that starts its life with confident firmness but quickly devolves into a streaked lozenge covered with antibacterial mush; hence, my tentative foray into your shop last year. I soon came to appreciate the Aromatherapy line for its unique scents, which – if I may be so forward – were masculine in a way few other soaps dare provide.

It is frankly difficult not to smell like something, given the plethora of fragrances lurking in every product. I have sought, and found, a shaving gel that leaves no fragrance. I have sought, and found, a soothing balm for the freshly razored face that leaves a ghost of a scent that quickly demurs to whatever cologne you chose to apply. (“Pure,” Eddie Bauer, one drop on the carotid artery.) Antipersperants are likely to come in “sport” scents, which announce themselves like an unholy offspring of Brut and used sweat socks, shouting loudly as they come a’borning. To this messy farrago the common man adds the drab tang of bar soap and the soft, confused hue of botanical-infused shampoo; his clothes have the faint trace of Spring Fresh detergent, tumbled in Crisp Linen drier sheets.

The dog barely knows you.

I was delivered from this by Eucalyptus Spearmint. The soap and the shampoo worked hand in hand; they welcomed the lotion like a long-lost brother. The general scent was manly in fashion that recalled the barbershops of the Gilded Age; as one laved one’s chest one could conjure up images of bowler hats on the coat rack, well-thumbed Police Gazettes, shoe polish and cigars. A time of heavy coins and horse manure, warmish beer, a scandalous flash of ankle. When I finished my morning ablutions I had the momentary conceit that I smelled like Stanford White, and this mood carried me on its shoulders throughout the day

Last year you had a sale. I stocked up. I bought 15 bottles of liquid soap and placed them in the cabinet. The shampoo, being more dear, was purchased in a smaller quantity. I bought more as I ran out, leaving my reserve stock intact.

Last week you had another sale. The shampoos for the Aromatherapy line were discounted by 75%. I knew instantly what this meant: you had discontinued the product. The staff was cagy, but confirmed my suspicion with slight, knowing expressions and small tight smiles of sympathy.

I could understand if you had abandoned the line completely; such are the vicissitudes of retail. But to keep the line going while eliminating a crucial element of the aroma profile is an act of colossal arrogance and cruelty, knowing as you do that no other shampoo in the store meshes with such ease and familiar grace into the Eucalyptus Spearmint line. It goes without saying that the era of having a shower with identically sized and labeled bottles is over, and shall not come again. It goes without saying that you care little for this, or your hand would have stayed from signing the order to kill the product. It might well have flown to your mouth or throat, momentarily stunned at what you had almost set in motion.

I know I cannot influence your decision. But know this: I will never buy anything else at your store, because all you offer is flowery fluids I can buy cheaply at Target. I have a year’s supply of liquid soap, which I will use as ever. I will refill the empty shampoo bottles with Suave. Do you understand? Years of product testing, package design, ad campaigns, the whole lot: it comes down to Suave poured in your containers, not in the hopes you will not be unduly pained, but in the fervent desire that you will be pained unutterably, and go to your graves nursing the wound.

Damn ye, sirs. Damn ye.

Then again, he could always just get a custom shampoo made.

Posted by TMLutas at 03:17 PM

December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

It might be late, but it's very heartfelt. A merry Christmas to all and may the new year bring joy and happiness to you all.

Posted by TMLutas at 10:33 PM

November 21, 2004

Sin Accounting

I just took Dante's Inferno Test.

I guess I have to watch out for the sex and violence

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Extreme
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Low
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

HT: The Llama Butchers

Posted by TMLutas at 12:12 PM

November 05, 2004

And Now... SHATNER!

Dean Esmay lets us know about possibly the best album of the year. Don't argue, just listen and tell me if that's not a great bit of genuine social criticism, pop culture, and a fundamental appeal to authenticity that will likely play in both red and blue america (though for different reasons). I'll have a smile on all day.

You can get the album here.

Posted by TMLutas at 12:12 PM

August 05, 2004

Missing Person Report

The Religious Policeman is a very good Saudi blog, funny, irreverent to self-important officialdom and the best advertisement for Saudi Arabian society they've got going for them. He's been on vacation and said he'd be back by late July. It's now August 5 and his latest post is still dated June 22. I'm starting to get worried as he's been certain from the start that he has gone over the line of what the uptight KSA security forces are willing to tolerate as far as liberalism goes.

So how does one inquire after the health of a pseudonymous blogger?

Posted by TMLutas at 02:42 PM

July 23, 2004

The Olympics' First 10

Just heard a story on NPR hawking a book on the Olympics. Among other things, a cheating story surrounding the 1976 women's gymnastics competition caught my attention. It appears that in order t screw the Romania team out of the team victory, the Soviet & other satellite judges were inflating USSR women's scores, giving them 9.9 and 9.95 scores. When Nadia Comenichi came and gave a clearly superior performance, they had no choice but to score her higher but there was no higher score but 10.

It just goes to show, even when you're the little guy, even when you've got everything stacked against you, sheer talent and drive can get you to the top.

Posted by TMLutas at 09:00 AM

July 20, 2004

Space Inspiration

Another favorite bit of relaxtion of mine is 21st Century Fox. Today there's a very inspiring bit of space advocacy. Go and take a trip through their archives.

Posted by TMLutas at 09:45 AM

July 07, 2004

Making My Dad Happy

My dad is a tough customer to please and he's not truly sold on all this fancy shmancy Internet stuff. About two and a half years ago, he gave me a problem to solve to let me 'show off' e-commerce. He wanted me to find and get him a very special movie, The Leopard, with Burt Lancaster.

He doesn't make things easy. It's a 1963 classic but wasn't available anywhere for any price. I've always felt guilty about not finding the thing for him and periodically type the title in as a search string. I really started getting intrigued when it Rick Brookheiser pronounced The Leopard as "one of the two most conservative movies of all time". But always, no luck. At most I could come up with a non-region 1 coded disk with a German translation which would simply not do.

Today, bingo:

It's on its way dad.

Posted by TMLutas at 05:49 PM

June 22, 2004

Ah, Interview Day!

Today's the big day. My wife is going for her citizenship interview (thus the low level of posting around here lately as I gave her too much information on various subjects lightly covered in the BCIS interview). I still remember all the crazy days that started off with our meeting, educating her in the fine points of why she never, ever, ever wants to get a "J" visa and going through all the crazy paperwork hassles that immigration puts you through.

We're finally at the last hurdle, and when she passes (as I'm sure she will) she'll be taking the oath as soon as possible (though I don't know if Chicago provides for same day oaths).

Posted by TMLutas at 09:15 AM

May 08, 2004

I Just Saw Big Fish, You Should To

I just rented Big Fish on John Cole's recommendation. He's right, it's a great movie. The only issue is whether to buy it for repeated viewing.

Posted by TMLutas at 07:19 AM

April 11, 2004

A New Good Guy Heuristic

One old rule of thumb that I've heard ad nauseum was that countries that have McDonalds don't go to war. Thomas Barnett's come up with a new twist on the tale. It appears that there is a Martha Stewart imitator running around the PRC, teaching such exotica as, I kid you not, barbecuing. His rule of thumb is that any country with a Martha Stewart is simply going to be too busy with doilies to really get into the role of worldwide bad guy.

It's an interesting theory, to say the least.

Posted by TMLutas at 11:42 PM

March 27, 2004


Thomas Barnett (of Core and Gap fame) is at his father's death bed. As he blogged it with comments open, maybe it might be a good idea to put any condolences you care to offer there.

Posted by TMLutas at 02:59 PM

February 27, 2004

The Physicality of Christ's Suffering in The Passion of The Christ

Andrew Sullivan claims that Mel Gibson's theology is creepy and he has a "psycho-sexual obsession with extreme violence". I've yet to see the film but AS seems to have his own obsessions in rejecting Christ's passion as a physical event. The truth is that there are many roads to understanding Christ. Some of these roads are more intellectual, more analytical, others are richer in ritual and habit, while others focus on physicality.

Which road you take, as long as it is sound, does not matter as much as the final destination. In a world filled with horror, cruelty, and public executions, a brief description is surely enough. If you've seen a crucifixion, you understand it and don't need to go into the details of a particular instance to understand very well what kind of suffering is going on.

But that's not 21st century America, a nation so removed from the reality of roman style law and imperial brutality that such a depiction is entirely new to our experience. It shocks us and brings us to a profound knowledge of the reality of the physical suffering that Jesus Christ underwent.

If such graphic violence were to be made into a habit, it would be disturbing and wrong because we would risk becoming inured to it, no longer shocked because we have seen it all before, and once again we lose the reality of the event.

The calibration of the human spirit should neither find evil and violence entirely foreign and outside of its personal observation, nor should it become too intimate with it and used to such depredations. For Catholics and other apostolic christians, we have our experts, the church hierarchy, to deal with such fine points and if Gibson had truly gone too far, you would be hearing condemnations from the pulpits and not recommendations to see it from high church officials.

I can understand Andrew Sullivan has a bone to pick with the Church because of its position on homosexuality. But I think that his difficulty with his Catholicism is a bit more than he lets on. Perhaps he should ask why so few hierarchs are opposed to this film if it reeks so much of a deranged creator going beyond the bounds of proper artistic interpretation?

Posted by TMLutas at 11:50 PM

February 18, 2004

Passion Censorship

The Llama Butchers have an item up comparing controversies over Gibson's and Scorsese's visions of Christ's Passion. Personally, of the four camps, I'm in favor of number two, but for what I think are legitimate reasons.

What offended me about the Scorsese film wasn't anything necessarily in the film. Instead, I found the marketing campaign to be highly offensive. Temptation was a Universal Studios release and I recall it having minimal advertising, minimal exposure beyond press releases and hyping the banned nature of the film. They twigged the noses of the faithful to do their advertising for them so they could save a few bucks. I found, and still find, that to be morally offensive. I've never seen the film and refuse to on those grounds to this day.

Passion, by contrast, is an independent release and I've seen ads for it several times already so it's being properly promoted without relying so heavily on the surrounding controversy. For me, it's also a plus that there are no mass letters being read from pulpits condemning the movie and ordering everybody not to go but whatever its merits or flaws are, at least they're honestly earned.

Oh, I guess I should make things clear. I don't believe in censorship of either film, but I obviously believe in boycotts.

Posted by TMLutas at 03:12 PM

February 16, 2004

Spend, Michael, Spend! II

A Hit & Run item on Eminem's quest to buy Michael Jackson's Neverland renews my hope that the deposed 'King of Pop' will soon become just one more uninteresting (because now he's poor) has been and we can all go on with our lives without hearing about his latest insane plan.

Posted by TMLutas at 02:14 PM

Hats Off Dad

I've met a few amazing people in my lifetime with something of a strange ability to make decisions and predictions, seemingly based on nothing, that had a very high degree of accuracy. Universally, they have been unable to explain it properly so I would understand what they are doing and how I could replicate it.

I always said that I would never allow myself to get into such a position, that I would concentrate on figuring out the mechanics of my analysis sufficient to explain, at least to my own, what's going on. As I get older, I find my own analytical abilities develop and mature and see now that I was a bit of a fool to think that the problem wouldn't crop up.

Sometimes, not always but sometimes, there is a very real observer effect, especially in personal social predictions and family acts of leadership. You say "this shall happen", but if you explain why it will happen to one of the participants they will change their behavior, invalidating your prediction, ruining your plans. Things are balanced that finely that you must leave them just so and no more or less will do.

So hats off to my Dad and all the other wise old men who I pestered with questions on such subjects in my youth. I'm starting to get it now.

Posted by TMLutas at 08:50 AM

February 13, 2004

Very Late Movie Review

Believe it or not, I just got around to seeing Return of the King (thus the bloggus interruptus of the past few hours). First, on the odd chance you haven't seen this move, go see it unless you're under about 14 or so. If you are, read the book instead and catch the movie later on DVD where it won't overwhelm you.

Since there have been wagonloads of copy written about the film, both the high points, and the obscure points, there isn't much to say other than hats off to all the makers, the players, the computer wizards, they said it couldn't be done.

You proved them wrong.

Posted by TMLutas at 08:23 PM

February 06, 2004

Family Moments

Something cute and happy, a photo album of my children.

Posted by TMLutas at 10:37 PM

February 05, 2004

Hat's Off

When James Lileks has a craw full of bile, step back to get out of blast range but pay attention. It's a beautiful work of art. Just go read it.

Patrick Stewart is immolated with class, grace, and style. John Kerry and the Democrats are ground to a bloody, twitchy detritus. I like it.

Posted by TMLutas at 09:13 AM

January 29, 2004

Baby Blogging III

I don't pretend I'll ever truly understand women. As I went in the OR, I get one little death threat and that's it on the unhappiness parade as she get's sliced and fileted (otherwise known as a cesarean section. She wanted me there with her though I can't figure out why.

Well, she made it through the operation and hopefully will forget to "kill me later". She usually does, God bless her.

Posted by TMLutas at 06:30 AM

Baby Blogging II

Cut her up, sew her up, take a baby out in between, I never feel I'm as useless as when I'm in the operating room with my wife. I really have only one role (besides taking a bit of abuse). If things were to go very badly, I have the job of saying who lives, and who dies. That's it, my minor errand in the affair, judge of who shall live and who shall die.

Thank God I was useless.

Posted by TMLutas at 06:26 AM

Baby Blogging I

Alma Lutas, born 9 lbs 2 ounces (4.153Kg) joined the family today at 02.58 CST. Healthy, beautiful, and remarkably good tempered. She's my littlest girl and I love her.

Enough gushing. More serious baby blogging to come.

Posted by TMLutas at 06:21 AM

January 28, 2004

Gone To Hospital

Baby's breech, previous c-section, for those who believe pray for our health.

Posted by TMLutas at 11:57 PM

January 27, 2004

Personal Stress Reaction

There will be random strangeness occurring over the next three days here. Stop in anyway, you may find it entertaining but sometime during that time period, I'll be welcoming a new addition to my family. If the ultrasound's right, it'll be Alma Lutas (no middle name) coming to joing her big brother and sister George and Maria (also no middle name)

Sometimes stress causes me to write, sometimes it shuts my muse right down, it's extremely variable. And then the subject matter gets even more variable as my mind flits from subject to subject. Oh my, I've actually made a posting link to the name of this blog. I never thought that would happen.

See what I mean by the variability thing?

Posted by TMLutas at 06:21 PM

Who Owns You?

Who owns you? Do you own yourself or are you the property of someone else. There are three mainstream western answers.

1. Libertarian: You own yourself
2. Authoritarian/Secularist: The state owns you
3. Monotheist/Religious: God owns you

The third is actually most flexible because God, through the provision of free will, is the most absentee of landlords so being owned by God isn't, in the normal course of affairs, very much different than being self-owned. Being owned by the state justifies all sorts of statutes, some wise, some not so wise. And being self-owned is generally fine for everyday use though you do get into some difficulty around the margins where people are calmly, rationally discussing the circumstances in which it is ok to eat someone else.

I'm a follower of the third alternative, God owns me, in a way that's heavily influenced by the idea that He's given me free reign to develop myself in a direction of my choosing short of very broad limits. These limits mostly consist of self-harm.

I would suggest that the further down the road to self-ownership you travel, the more circumstances you will find that present viscerally horrifying things that this model has no way of dealing with. Now such a reaction could be that one is just too squeamish but it can also be that your native common sense is telling you something that your intellectual framework just isn't built to handle and that it's your intellectual framework that needs to give.

HT: Brownian Notions

Posted by TMLutas at 11:08 AM

January 23, 2004

Congrats Bruce

Congratulations to Bruce Rolston who has taken slings and arrows aplenty for "temporarily bringing another, more hyperactive author onto his page" (that would be me). Despite this horrible error in judgment, he earns Colby Cosh's Canadian blogger of the year award for 2003.

Posted by TMLutas at 04:07 PM

Open Your Eyes, Open Your Mind

In Jay Nordlinger's most recent Impromptus comes the following item:

When I was in college — studying anthropology — Ruth Benedict was a big joke. Yes, she was. She had written her book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword — a study of Japan — at the request of the government (for we had been attacked by the Japanese and were fighting them). She had done so without benefit of visiting Japan, using only the resources of libraries in New York. In my circles, the book was thought to be a hoot: slipshod, ill informed, tainted because it was requested by the government, imperialist, etc. (You remember what it was like to be in college.)

I took the opportunity to ask a distinguished Japanese intellectual here about the book. He replied that it was a great one, still holding up, still widely read and studied in Japan, a masterpiece of national and cultural analysis.

Great insight can be achieved by perceptive people even without first hand evidence. Even without any new information, nothing that any normal person could see. They look, they see what everybody else sees, but what they perceive is extraordinary.

This phenomenon afflicts every field of endeavor. The first place I noticed it was in the hard sciences, specifically optics. Uncounted millions had seen dew gathered on plants, had seen how the curved water drop made the structure underneath appear larger. In essence, they all saw all they needed to see to discover the lens, the microscope, the invisible world that would have revolutionized their understanding of the world. And they perceived nothing.

There is no reason not to suspect that the same thing is going on countless times every day into our own era. And there has never been an era more prepared to receive a new and revolutionary insight.

Open your eyes
Open your mind
Don't just see, perceive

Posted by TMLutas at 03:24 AM

January 22, 2004

Why Do You Care?

I'm not voting for Howard Dean. I won't be voting for any Democrat absent an assassination and the trepanning of the entire RNC leading to Carrot Top gaining the nomination for the GOP (and even then I'd put the Democrats below other alternatives).

My father still hasn't forgiven the Democrat party for Yalta. If he ever gets past that he'll have to start right over with Truman. Yet he wants to watch the Democratic primary candidates debate. I can't for the life of me understand why? There's plenty of time to get to know the nominee before the convention (the idea of a brokered convention being unbelievably remote) and it doesn't take too long to get the measure of most politicians if you actually pay attention to what they say.

But with all that, he wants to waste a half hour or hour of his life on them, the eventual nominee and the also rans. He can't explain it. He just wants to see them.

His reaction, by my estimate, is much more common than mine. I'll respect them as people who are trying to do the right thing (until proven otherwise) but once I've figured out that somebody's not right for the country, my interest in following the minutiae of him proving it on national TV is low.

Neither of us can understand the other's attitude.

Posted by TMLutas at 07:35 PM

November 10, 2003

Who Says the US is Invincible?

The US gets beaten at its own game. Maybe in baseball they don't just whine about hyperpuissance but just buckle down and do something about it.

Congratulations to Mexico. We'll get ya next year...

Posted by TMLutas at 08:51 AM