Monday, February 15, 2010

Going to Beixing for Two Days

The Kaulins Family will be going to Beixing (J's hometown) for two days. So, AKIC blogger won't be able to make any posts. So, out of the generosity of his heart, AKIC blogger will give you rare readers an entry to satisfy your appetites for the two days.

Jacques Maritain on America

Obviously, all over the world businessmen interested in making profits may happen to like America, to learn a great deal from her, and to admire her material activity -- they envy her and will never really love her. Obviously, many persons endowed with genuine spirituality may happen to detest and slander America because they don't know her. But the significant thing for me is that I have never met any real contemplative, any true soul of grace, any man genuinely aware of the ways of the spirit, who, knowing America in actual fact and through personal experience, did not have for her a love in which his very love for mankind and a sort of reverence for the workings of divine Providence were involved. Despite all human defects, such as those mentioned in this book, genuine spirituals love America. Her worst enemies are pseudo-spirituals.

America can be slandered and unjustly hated in many various ways. She has political enemies, who foster in her regard a hatred which is violently vociferous but which is a matter of expediency, and can shift to as noisy a fondness and flattery the day it seems tactically advantageous. The natural enemies of America are the pseudo-spirituals, the false witnesses of the spirit. Theirs is the absolute and irreducible, the mystic hatred of America.

This hatred is peculiar to people who look for the divine and are captives of the flesh, and of the void, who thirst for spiritual experience and turn to spurious substitutes for it. It is only in anger and indignation, it is only against someone or something that they can recoup, and bear testimony to the sublimity of the very things they failed to attain. To compensate for their frustration and resentment they need a world-wide scapegoat, a symbolic continent great and powerful enough to arouse mankind's hopes, and perverse enough to betray them -- the nightmare[42] of their America.

David Warren

I have long observed a disposition towards "black humor" is a reasonably accurate predictor of orthodoxy in religious belief, and soundness of political judgment. Add an indubitable propensity to self-deprecation, and you might even be able to trust the fellow. (Or the girl, as case may be.)

Jewish Saying

"A clever man and a wise man are different in nuance. A clever man is good at emerging from certain circumstances, but a wise man is good at joining the circumstances."

The Exile of being a Parent

The culture in which we live today is not particularly child-friendly, despite appearances to the contrary. Almost everyone loves a well-dressed, well-behaved child, but understanding of the truly difficult and unavoidable aspects of child rearing is scarce. Furthermore, the narcissistic self-indulgence of parents who are unwilling to properly discipline their children is not true child friendliness.

In the article from which I have pulled the quote, stories of parents with young children experiencing exile are told. I think of the stories as I reflect on my experiences with Tony in public. Taking him to public events can be a pain for me, but when I chase him around or take care of him, and so feel apart from the party, I do have to realize that I am not missing anything.

I also observe that the Chinese seem much more tolerant of Tony than Expats.

Rabbi Doven Rosenfeld

We are doomed to live in a universe we cannot make sense of. We were forced into it. We would not have wished creation upon ourselves or anyone else. We are consigned to a world which we would not have wanted to be a part of -- simply because to us it really does not make sense.


The following quote comes from a 1965 National Review article. I find it to be an interesting take on the phenomenon which I call the Mental Disease of our time (other manifestations include Palin and Bush bashing).

The usual mistake most Americans make in dealing with people of other nations stems from the notion that “human beings are more alike than unlike” (the result of the successful assimilation of millions of immigrants) and the rather idealistic determination to treat others as one would like to be treated oneself: “What would my reaction be if I were in his shoes?” The American is not aware that to be in somebody else's shoes is to be another man altogether, and so this commendable phrase really makes no sense. The other mistake derives from pragmatism. Americans are by nature generous and quickly forget insults and injuries. Europeans, on the other hand, not only have long memories but, their comparative lack of generosity often makes them spiteful and even envious. Envy is Europe's most widespread and terrible disease. After a great upheaval Americans will ask themselves “Where do we go from here?” whereas Europeans, their gaze always fixed on the past, will continue to act under the influence of past experiences, memories, and grievances. (In this respect the Latin American is very much like the European; events that took place 400 years ago have not in the least been effaced from historic memory.)

Personally, I have to always try to keep my European and American sides in balance. The worst of me comes from my Europeaness (e.g. my lack of generosity).

Let's just all fly naked!

Is Naturism the answer to airport security problems?

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