Stephen W. Browne Rants and Raves

May 12, 2010

Books I can’t find anymore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stephen W. Browne @ 8:18 am

Over here, Jonah Goldberg has a column about the stunning loss of Senator Robert Bennet’s (R-Utah) loss of the nomination of his own party, in spite of his seniority and “connections.”

“Sen. Robert Bennett, an honorable and sincere politician, was brought down by the rank and file of the Utah Republican Party over the weekend. Bennett, visibly shaken by his loss, seemed as stunned as anybody that he didn’t pass muster with his own party.”

One of the commenters pointed out that as good as the news is, for those of us who want to see the Republican Party, or either party, cleansed of statist sell-outs, any “new blood” in office will immediately face a test of courage.

This brought to mind the distant memory of an old Jack Anderson column, a book review.

The book, Anderson said, was about how congressmen are corrupted by the office, and analyzed the process in some detail.

The question was, we actually do regularly elect idealists to office. We can’t be fooled all the time can we? So what happens to them once they get there?

I recall the intriguing suggestion that it starts with the franking privilege – though I don’t recall exactly how.

Can anyone help? I can’t recall the title or author, and it seems to have sunk without a trace.

It’s one of a short list of books I’ve seen or heard about, thought, “Gosh, I’ve got to read that when I have time,” put back on the rack and lost forever.

Another from about the same time, late ’70s I think, was from an article in People magazine. This was an interview with two social scientists, sociologists or psychologists, or perhaps one of each, who had done a detailed study on members of congress.

What they’d done was interview the madams of the 12 most exclusive whorehouses in Washington and asked about congressional clients.

They claimed about half of congress were regulars, with a strong preference for S&M.

They didn’t name names, and just ID-ed them as “a prominent New England senator,” or “a well-known Midwestern congressman.” One of whom had allegedly put about a dozen working girls in the hospital, and bought their silence, another of whom was said to like his girls to dress up as, well girls. You know, pigtails, lollipops, etc.

The interviewer asked, “What do their wives think of this?”

Answer, “Mostly they just thank God they’re not doing it to them anymore.”

Again, lost without a trace. I’d love to find that article, and that study. I wonder if it’s ever been followed up on? I recall that it came out before, and perhaps within the same year, as a national Libertarian Party convention held in Los Angeles. That would be…?

Another fascinating, though less salacious book, I found on the library shelf in Norman, Oklahoma and meant to check out some day.

It was something about children and philosophy. The blurb argued that children think in a genuinely philosophical way, and gave fascinating examples.

What kind of questions do children ask, soon after they are told about certain concepts, like infinity or God?

“When you go as far as you can go till you can’t go any farther, what’s after that?”

“If God made the world, who made God?”

And a fascinating display of a child’s thinking about relativity.

A little girl who had seen airplanes take off, took her first airplane ride. She was OK, but visibly a little nervous.

Then as the plane ascended, she looked around and said, “Oh. It doesn’t get smaller.”

Perhaps the basic philosophical questions sometimes sound childish, because they are the questions children ask about reality as soon as their minds begin to comprehend it.

And there’s one more I’d really like to see again, especially after blood work revealed I’ve inherited the family high cholesterol levels.

It may have been on the library shelf, or in a store bookrack. I have no recollection of the title. But I remember it was about cholesterol plaquing of the arteries.

What this book claimed was that plaque formation in the arteries is not a natural consequence of bad diet, but a genetic disease common to people of European descent.

That this is in fact, the white folk’s sickle-cell anemia, the gentiles’ Tay Sachs disease.

The corollary would be that Western medicine doesn’t recognize this because well, We don’t have that kind of thing. We’re white.

Anybody else remember any of these?

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