Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Dog Empathy

Jonah Goldberg at NRO brought this WaPo story on dogs to my attention. It is worth reading, and not only because it is a report based on the research of some Hungarian scientists(!) as reported in a recent issue of Current Biology (available on line only to subscribers), but because there is something to it. Here is the start of the article: "As any poodle, spaniel or mutt owner knows, dogs have an uncanny ability to read human body language, whether it’s following a finger pointing the way to an errant tennis ball or spotting a glance that signals an imminent trip to the park.

But animal behavior experts have debated for years how much of this dogged perceptiveness is inborn and how much is learned by being raised around humans. New research, however, indicates that the capacity to communicate with humans silently through gestures and glances has become an inborn talent as a result of the thousands of years that dogs have lived, worked and played with people.

’They don’t speak like we do. But there is communication,’ said Adam Miklosi of Eotvos University in Budapest."

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Dogs aside for just a moment, I’ve just finished reading Goldberg’s latest, wherein he concludes:

When you look at it from this perspective, it’s fair to say this administration is conservative. But it’s also fair to say it favors big government. What will make politics very interesting in the years to come is that "big government conservative" used to be an oxymoron. Now it means "compassionate conservative."

The "perspective" one must take is that the American people want, desire and long for this notion of "nanny government," And Bush is just givin’ it to ’em. It is an odd thing, probably the oddest thing I’ve ever encountered since I embraced Reaganism twenty years ago, that just at the very moment when I actually was beginning to believe that "conservative ideas" were winning, that we finaly have the liberal Democrats right where we wanted them and poised for the final (and hopefully mortal) blow, the whole definition of Conservatism gets changed into the very thing we’ve been fighting against.

I’m depressed.

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