Friday, July 22, 2005


Several months back I remarked about Roger Ailes, the chief dog at the Fox News liars club, who was a big time pooch with the Bush Sr. White House. I mentioned his troubles with his kennel of origin and pointed out that conservatives are often people who make fun of what they call "touchy-feely types" who have worked on their issues and sought counseling to deal with troubling personal issues. It's a claim among such conservative types that liberals, who often find the courage to face and work through their pasts, are too understanding of others, and conservatives often mock people who try to do something about personal problems other than ignore them which is what conservative types usually do.

Conservatives frequently sweep their pasts under the carpet and think they've thus escaped them when they actual spend the rest of their lives teetering precariously on uneven footing. Their imbalance is all too obvious to those of us who have had the courage to do the hard emotional work required to face and deal with personal troubles.

You can see conservatives' pasts working through them as if they carried signs on their chests, reading, "Troubled Childhood". Their disfunction is obvious to anyone even partly schooled in neurosis, yet they think themselves fully clothed and covered. They are emperors without clothing. Their inability to find the courage to face their pasts makes conservatives mean, nasty infighters with little compassion for others because they have no compassion for themselves.

Here's some facts about Carl Rove, another truly conflicted personality and cutthroat person, like Roger Ailes and George Bush. NEWSWEEK (July 25, 2005) describes Rove's tactics thusly: "In the World According to Karl Rove, you take the offensive, and stay there. You create a narrative that glosses over complex, mitigating facts to divide the world into friends and enemies, light and darkness, good and bad, Bush versus Saddam. You are loyal to a fault to your friends, merciless to your enemies. You keep your candidate's public rhetoric sunny and uplifting, finding others to do the attacking. You study the details, and learn more about your foes than they know about themselves. You use the jujitsu of media flow to flip the energy of your enemies against them. The Boss never discusses political mechanics in public. But in fact everything is political and everyone is fair game."

As you can read, Carl Rove is a very nasty character to whom winning and losing are the only values. Other than that, he has no values. He's part of the problem with the world rather than part of the solution. He's still stuck in evolutionary short pants, one of the animals with a highly-active lizard brain. But we should really have compassion for Rove because it's so obvious how his troubled past creates his pugnacious present. Carl's dad walked out on the family when Carl was 19 and the year following his dad's abandonment Carl learned that the man he thought was his dad was not his dad at all. Carl and one other brother were actually fathered by another man. Carl's psychic self lost two fathers in back to back years. Then, also and most troubling, Carl's mother killed herself 11 years later. Now if those aren't huge markers for psychological problems, I'm a Texas jackrabbit. So, of course, Carl, abandoned by everyone most important to him, would be drawn to a man who puts loyalty to friends above all else, and of course, Carl would become W's sycophantic attack dog. Carl Rove is an embattled personality. It's in his bones and genes. He's nurtured and natured to be a devious trickster who sees the world in black and white terms and to cast everyone into only two categories: friend and enemy. It's kind of sad, really.


"It has come to pass that for almost 4 billion years the essential chemical processes of life have remained the same." —Harold Morowitz

In the following poetic passages, with a great gap between the first and second passage, Harold Morowitz explains how chemical process created the first cells and remain in all forms of life to this day. His entire essay, "In The Beginning"' may be found in MYSTERIES OF LIFE AND THE UNIVERSE, p. 55. He is a professor of biology and natural philosophy at George Mason University.

[Open quote] One of the basic rules of chemistry known to every schoolchild and every chef is that oil and water do not mix. This rule also has exceptions, such as: soap removes grease from soiled clothes by floating it away in water, and egg yolk combines the oil and water of mayonnaise into a smooth mixture. These exceptions always involve structures called amphiphiles, which have the property of partitioning so that one end of the molecule is in oil and one end in water. Amphiphile means "loving both"—oil and water. Among the molecules brought to the surface of the early Earth, or made there by the action of the Sun's ultraviolet light on molecules of terrestrial origins, were these amphiphiles.

Amphiphiles are strange entities; they are not completely at home in either oil or water. In the waters of the ocean, when these molecules collide the oil-seeking parts adhere to each other, while the water-seeking parts interact with the aqueous surroundings. This results in collections of amphiphiles called coacervates (from the Latin meaning "to heap together"). Membranes are coacervates made of amphiphiles bonded together in sheets two molecules thick, the oil-seeking ends forming the interior of the structure and the water-seeking ends the exterior. We name these membranes bimolecular leaflets because they measure two molecules across. These spontaneously forming entities are a core structure of life—like all such structures, a gift of the laws of nature.

In obedience to the inexorable laws of physics and chemistry, biomolecular leaflets have one more remarkable property. In water they spontaneously form into closed shells called vesicles. Thus when the first bimolecular leaflet formed and arranged itself into a vesicle, something radically new entered the world. The membrane became a barrier to separate the interior waters of the vesicle from exterior waters. The partitioning of the inside from the outside is the beginning of individuality. In some vague and primitive way, the distinction between the I and the Thou was beginning to appear. . . .

Long before there was life as we know it, a great evolutionary branching of species of vesicles with memory molecules took place. More and more elaborate and sophisticated networks and memory-storage devices developed. One pathway to memory and metabolism eventually proved to be far more efficient than the rest. Along this evolutionary pathway there developed a species of vesicle that outcompeted all others. This species was the universal ancestor, for its descendants also speciated, but they preserved the intermediary metabolism and method of storing information that emerged from primordial evolution. All life on earth— grasses and fruit trees and fowl and beasts of the field—carries within every cell the metabolism and molecular genetics of this universal ancestor.

It has come to pass that for almost 4 billion years the essential chemical processes of life have remained the same. Mountains have risen and eroded away; continents have migrated over the surface of the planet; magnetic poles have shifted. All manner of geological changes have occurred. Through it all, the basic chemistry of life has remained fixed since the original ancestor. It is the most permanent feature of the Earth that we know. Therefore, the biogeochemical beginning is still within us: our cells are vesicles wherein the interiors are separated from the exteriors by amphiphilic bilayer membranes. These membranes are a tangible reminder of the beginning and the interrelatedness of all things.

And so it was that primordial chemistry begat amphiphiles, and amphiphiles begat vesicles, and vesicles begat pyrophosphates, and pyrophosphates begat keto acids, and keto acids begat amino acids, and amino acids begat nucleic acids, and nucleic acids begat the genetic code. And chemicals formed the first cells, the universal ancestor. This is the first book of generations. [Close quote]

"Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice." —Will Durant, historian

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