Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No secret handshakes, II (BR's version)

ψ(ιx(φx)) ≔ ∃x(∀y(φy ↔ y = x) ∧ ψx).

(What means that? That's Russell's iota notation for definite descriptions (sort of the basis for any artificial language as well). It also means that whenever you assert something, you make an existence claim, and it means you usually are talking scheisse--any predications (such as the King of France is bald, or not bald) about non-existent entities are false)

So, an assertive sentence turns out to entail something like this in predicate form:

--There is an x such that x is Bubba the Sweatshop Boss (∃x(Bx))

--For every x that is Bubba the Sweatshop Boss and every y that is Bubba the Sweatshop Boss, x equals y (i.e. there is at most one Bubba the Sweatshop Boss, hopefully) (∀x(Bx → ∀y(By → y=x))) . That indicates uniqueness, a point which the greeks, classical mathematicians and even Frege had not quite grasped.

---Bubba the Sweatshop Boss is an Oppressor. (∀x(Bx → Ox)) (or, the Sweatshops of Bubba are Oppressive--An Oppressor would run an oppressive business, presumably)

So, one merely verifies that a Sweatshop X operated by Bubba does exist, and proves that X is indeed Oppressive, and calls the Better Bidness Bureau! QED.

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Secret Handshakes, I
History: Fundamental Conditions (Marx, the German Ideology)

"""""Since we are dealing with the Germans, who are devoid of premises, we must begin by stating the first premise of all human existence and, therefore, of all history, the premise, namely, that men must be in a position to live in order to be able to “make history.” But life involves before everything else eating and drinking, a habitation, clothing and many other things. The first historical act is thus the production of the means to satisfy these needs, the production of material life itself. And indeed this is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all history, which today, as thousands of years ago, must daily and hourly be fulfilled merely in order to sustain human life. Even when the sensuous world is reduced to a minimum, to a stick as with Saint Bruno [Bauer], it presupposes the action of producing the stick. Therefore in any interpretation of history one has first of all to observe this fundamental fact in all its significance and all its implications and to accord it its due importance. It is well known that the Germans have never done this, and they have never, therefore, had an earthly basis for history and consequently never an historian. The French and the English, even if they have conceived the relation of this fact with so-called history only in an extremely one-sided fashion, particularly as long as they remained in the toils of political ideology, have nevertheless made the first attempts to give the writing of history a materialistic basis by being the first to write histories of civil society, of commerce and industry."""""

"Du essen. Daher ist es dich gibt": a point which most theists, metaphysicians, idealist historians, and romantics (whether left or right) never quite realize. Marx, of course follows Thomas Hobbes here (and Hobbes had already said as much contra-Descartes), and is not so far from Malthus or Darwin really, except that he has a keener awareness of economics (not that his proposed cures for the disease of finance capitalism are so grand, taken across the board). Marx's writing also might serve as an effective antitode to the identity-politics of blogland, and various e-moralists, whether links oder rechts..

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"On The Campaign Trail With Dennis Kucinich" (from theonion)

"Despite trailing every other Democratic presidential candidate in the polls, Dennis Kucinich is still campaigning actively. Here is a sample day on the campaign trail with Kucinich:

6:45–7:00 a.m.: Unbuckle self from underside of the Straight Talk Express bus
7:45–7:50 a.m.: Gaze sympathetically at fly being shooed away from stack of syrup-slathered waffles
Noon–12:15 p.m.: Break down in tears in truck-stop bathroom, pull self together
3:00–3:30 p.m.: Stand in cornfield whispering policy to scarecrow
5:15–8:30 p.m.: Drive around South Carolina looking for vegan-friendly restaurant
8:45–9:15 p.m.: Pick John Edwards' brain
10:30–10:45 p.m.: Drop everything and call campaign headquarters to see if Leno, Letterman, O'Brien, Stewart, or Colbert called..."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein." (Nietzsche)

Friday, January 25, 2008


Toulmin's system suggests a middle ground might hold between the hyper-rationalism of analytical philosophy (and the science establishment) and the absurdity and anti-rationalism of postmodernism and marxist aesthetics (tho' we here at Contingencies once in a great while peruse the "textual idealism" of Derrida's Of Grammatology with amusement).

Toulmin's emphasis on practical argument also seems somewhat pragmatist: there are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to pragmatism--the "cash value of Truth" model, as Wm James called it---whether in terms of philosophy or politics. Toulmin, however, understands the problems --and unworkability--of the academic logician's worship of necessity and formal validity; one might think of Toulmin's approach as applied inductive logic, analogous to applied engineering mathematics (and contrasted to the "Theory of the Calculus" posited by those holymen Leibniz and Newton). Though it's unlikely Toulmin-fever will catch on soon, Toulmin offers a fairly comprehensible and sensible approach to communication--one that might conceivably be implemented on blogs, for example, if not the....San Phrancisco Cthulhucle.

In "The Uses of Argument" (1958), Toulmin offered a schema featuring six components for analyzing practical arguments:

1. Claim: conclusions whose plausibility or trustworthiness or "merit" must be established (note the avoidance of the absolute category of "Truth"). For example, if a person tries to convince someone that poverty leads to crime, the claim would be “Poverty leads to crime.” Similar to a conclusion (in a modus ponens argument), or hypothesis (in terms of trad. phil of sci.)

2. Data: the facts appealed to as a foundation or ground for the claim. For example, the person can (and should) support his claim with data, statistics, and any other evidence showing significantly higher rates of crime in poor areas (higher than in middle or upper class areas) supporting his claim “Poverty leads to crime (or poverty has a causal relation to crime).” (so the statement would be, "crime rates are higher in poor areas than in middle or upper class areas: in effect, the minor premise in a modus ponens). Data obviously entails probability and statistical issues, such as sampling (perhaps "confidence intervals" should be attached to the data-statements).

3. Warrant: a statement which justifies the "movement" from the data to the claim (a warrant is similar to a major premise/conditional statement, in modus ponens). In order to move from the data established in 2---"there are higher rates of crime in poor areas than in middle or upper class areas"---there needs to be a warrant bridging the gap between the data and claim, and supporting his claim “Poverty leads to crime": "Since poor areas have higher crime rates (thando middle class or upper class areas), poverty has a causal relation to crime." Note again this is not "necessary" in a tautological or mathematical sense. The warrant itself generally is an inductive generalization (as with most generalizations of "social science"), and involves probability and statistical issues, such as sampling (a point which Toulmin may overlook--perhaps "confidence intervals" should be attached to the warrant as well).

4. Backing: the Wiki on Toulmin refers to these as "credentials designed to certify the statement expressed in the warrant"; but it is really an evidentiary question. If the warrant seems overly conjectural, incredible, or merely plausible (instead of "nearly always the case"), the arguer must introduce backing for the warrant. Not all poor people are criminals, and not all criminals come from poverty. IN many practical arguments (where people might grant a warrant/premise) this might not be a problem, but at the level of economics or sociology or journalism it could be. Nonetheless, the warrant-construction is generally not too difficult--no more difficult than say an economist suggesting the historical effects of lower interest rates on consumer spending and the economy at large (which is to say, if most economic or sociological generalizations mean anything, then Toulmin's warrant model can work).

5. Rebuttal: these are statements recognizing possible exceptions to the claim. An obvious one would be that some poor people are hard-working, and are not criminals. And there might be other factors causing crime, even among the poor--mental health issues, education, or gangs. The rebuttal, we suggest, may simply be a recognition that the claim depends on an "existence generalization" (some, or sometimes, or "often") rather than a universal (all): "poverty is one causal factor of criminal behavior, but not the only one." So the arguer must support his claim--and possibly the warrant--with additional evidence which would overcome the rebuttal. This could be difficult, but overcoming the rebuttal strengthens the argument.

6. Qualifier: words or phrases which express the speaker’s degree of emphasis or certainty concerning the claim (thus could be part of the rebuttal, really). Such words or phrases include “possible,” “probably,” “impossible,” “certainly,” “presumably,” “as far as the evidence goes,” or “necessarily.” The claim “Poverty definitely leads to crime” has more force than does the claim “Poverty sometimes may result in crime.”

The first three components---“claim,” “data,” and “warrant”-- are considered to be the essential components of practical arguments (as are the two premises and conclusion in modus ponens), while the second three-- “qualifier,” “backing,” and “rebuttal”--- are not always needed in arguments.

In terms of modus ponens, Toulmin's schema looks something like this:

1st premise/Warrant: "If poor areas have higher crime rates (than do middle class or upper class areas), poverty has a causal relation to crime." (Backing may be needed here--and since the claim is contained in the consequent, any rebuttals would be dealt with at this stage as well)

2nd premise/Data: "poor areas do have higher crime rates (than middle class or upper class areas). (Grounds/foundation/evidence may be needed here) . Note that this is the antecedent to the conditional in 1st premise.

Conclusion/Claim: “Poverty leads to crime.”

It might be noted Toulmin's argument form is valid when put in form of modus ponens--though Toulmin most likely wanted to avoid the problems of inductive conditionals with his system). If warrant/1st premise is likely (strongly probable), the argument is cogent as any good inductive argument is--not "sound" as with modus ponens (at least one with necessarily true 1st and 2nd premises), but cogent.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The case against Billary (Hitchens):

""""""During the Senate debate on the intervention in Iraq, Sen. Clinton made considerable use of her background and "experience" to argue that, yes, Saddam Hussein was indeed a threat. She did not argue so much from the position adopted by the Bush administration as she emphasized the stand taken, by both her husband and Al Gore, when they were in office, to the effect that another and final confrontation with the Baathist regime was more or less inevitable. Now, it does not especially matter whether you agree or agreed with her about this (as I, for once, do and did). What does matter is that she has since altered her position and attempted, with her husband's help, to make people forget that she ever held it. And this, on a grave matter of national honor and security, merely to influence her short-term standing in the Iowa caucuses. Surely that on its own should be sufficient to disqualify her from consideration? Indifferent to truth, willing to use police-state tactics and vulgar libels against inconvenient witnesses, hopeless on health care, and flippant and fast and loose with national security: The case against Hillary Clinton for president is open-and-shut. Of course, against all these considerations you might prefer the newly fashionable and more media-weighty notion that if you don't show her enough appreciation, and after all she's done for us, she may cry."""""

Touche. However snide CH may be, a few of his points contra-Clinton are worth reiterating: Hillary has shown herself to be "indifferent to truth, willing to use police-state tactics and vulgar libels against inconvenient witnesses, hopeless on health care, and flippant and fast and loose with national security."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Crepsecule with Alex S.

Ah yeahh homie

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Reverend Obama, redux

You need additional evidence of BO's PC-conservativism? Barack praised Reagan while in the sticks Reno a few days ago, while again dissing the Clinton administration: "I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. They felt like with all the excesses of the 60s and the 70s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

Yes, Rev. Obama, he put us on a fundamentally different path: a fundamentalist path, a path which we still stumble upon. Rather improper comments, and the criticism from Edwards and Clinton seems quite appropriate, even if one does not agree to the Edwards' agenda in full. Reaganomics was not exactly a concept to be admired either--even from a moderate perspective. Who can forget corporate welfare, the S & L crisis, the bloated deficit, boomtowns for the wealthy and powerful, environmental disasters, and the rise of a theocratic "moral majority." The "sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship" doesn't quite do Reaganomics justice.

Reagan was arguably even less capable a politician and person than was Nixon (Christopher Hitchens, having met RR, called him a "senile lizard" or something). Anyone recall James Watt or Edwin Meese? After getting his mandate from the American zombies people, Reagan (or perhaps Reagan's bosses) awarded administrative jobs to various mafiosi and shady financiers, the effects of which are still to be felt (check the reports of Dan Moldea for Reagan's hidden connection to the NFL and professional gambling). As Dylan once said, "it doesn't take a weathervane to tell which way the wind blows": Reagan's celebration of Sinatra and Co. indicated fairly clearly the relationship between American politics, celebrity power, and organized crime, for lack of a better word. Obama taps into that power.

Obama's praise for Reagan should be counted as a rather significant faux-pas, but the spineless cretins who now make up the DNCocrats will probably let it slide. Obama's political strategy indeed bears a certain resemblance to Reagan's, even in terms of the "insider-ness"; as with most of the good ol' boys in the GOP, Obama too covets the position of American Mob Boss. The Obama posse might consider spinning Sinatra, say, doing "Chi-caw-go, my kind of town," at the DemCon in honor of the Reagan-Sinatra heritage.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Herren- und Sklavenmoral

"Herrenmoral sei die Haltung der Herrschenden, die zu sich selbst und ihrem Leben Ja sagen könnten, während sie die anderen als „schlecht“ (Wortstamm: „schlicht“) abschätzten. Sklavenmoral sei die Haltung der „Elenden […], Armen, Ohnmächtigen, Niedrigen […], Leidenden, Entbehrenden, Kranken, Hässlichen“[8], die zuerst ihr Gegenüber – die Herrschenden, Glücklichen, Ja-Sagenden – als „böse“ bewerteten und sich selbst dann als deren „guten“ Gegensatz ausmachten. Es sei vor allem die Moral des Christentums gewesen, die eine solche Sklavenmoral zum Teil selbst hervorgerufen, in jedem Fall aber begünstigt und sie dadurch zur herrschenden Moral gemacht habe."


Sehr gut.

Robert James Fischer, RIP

"Marx was a very keen chess player... Lenin was keen on chess although he he gave it up because he said it was interfering with his political activities..Marx was a bad loser apparently.. Lenin was a good loser"

(Alexander Cockburn)

Karl Marx (pawn-pusher)

(21) Spassky,B - Fischer,R Reykjavik-Wch Reykjavik (21), 1972

BF mit Schwarz ( with his fave Sicilian defense--Kan variation, methinks)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bd3 d5 8.exd5 exd5 9.0-0 Bd6 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bd4 0-0 12.Qf3 Be6 13.Rfe1 c5 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Qxf6 gxf6 16.Rad1 Rfd8 17.Be2 Rab8 18.b3 c4 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.Rxd5 Bxh2+ 21.Kxh2 Rxd5 22.Bxc4 Rd2 23.Bxa6 Rxc2 24.Re2 Rxe2 25.Bxe2 Rd8 26.a4 Rd2 27.Bc4 Ra2 28.Kg3 Kf8 29.Kf3 Ke7 30.g4 f5 31.gxf5 f6 32.Bg8 h6 33.Kg3 Kd6 34.Kf3 Ra1 35.Kg2 Ke5 36.Be6 Kf4 37.Bd7 Rb1 38.Be6 Rb2 39.Bc4 Ra2 40.Be6 h5 41.Bd7 0-1 (take that russ-ski)

Note the moves starting about 18-19- 20 and the great bishop sacrifice/check on h2: Spassky has been doing quite well if perhaps a standard "control the center" type of playing, and then 20 Bxh2+--the tolling of the bell starts (or so it seems). For the end game BF has R and R to Spassky's R and B. How far does Fischer set up the bishop sacrifice in advance? Masterful defensive playing from BF--though methinks a Karpov or Kasparov playing white would probably have seen that possible combination by 16 or 17 and avoided it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Huckabilly Constitution

The latest fundie-politician to come up the pike from Dixie recently expressed his viewpoint that, like, Madison, Jefferson and Co were full of mierda: "I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

Really, the Huckster makes an interesting theocratic belch here. Does he mean to imply (as other comments of his indicate) that the Old and New Testaments should be considered infallible? Were Huck to win and somehow enact his Baptistocracy, the clerics would need to decide which sections of the "word of the living God" to enforce: all? some? who decides? The infallibilists would seemingly be committed to upholding the entire Bible, including the code of Leviticus, which not only features various prohibitions against the usual suspects--the adulterous, the incestuous, the queer, the heathen, etc.--but against, say, pork and shellfish eaters. Ye shall not eat of the squid of infamy! (Perhaps a more frightening theocracy would follow from a Mitt Moroni victory: not only are alcohol, coffee and tobacco banned, the Golden Plates of Nephi could appear at courthouses and other public institutions, and public schools may offer mandatory classes in Mormonic egyptian (the language of the Angel that dictated the glorious visions to Joe Smith). Musick by the Osmond phamily, and nothin' but fiery serpents for the Wicked.)

That may seem palpably absurd. Yet the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Koran are chockful of absurdities and contradiction (for one, the Kissinger-like scribes of the OT insisted on "an eye for an eye", and enjoyed contemplating the deaths of babylonian infants (see Psalm 137); while the fruitier JC yawped "forgive thine enemies"). Additionally, modern physical science--starting at least with Lyell and Darwin--obviously falsified Biblical accounts of natural history (that was reinforced with C14 dating of fossils, and other chronological techniques).

Few in the MSM, not even the so-called liberals, have challenged the Huckabee sort of enthusiasm (or the more subtle theocracy that Romneyoid promotes) nor dared to mention a Darwin or Thomas Jefferson for that matter. (both Hillary and Obama court fundamentalist churches who question Darwinian evolution and uphold Scriptural infallibility; Obama has himself questioned the separation clause of the 1st Amendment.) The predictable resentment and rage against Chuckabea from the Kossacks and the so-called left seems fairly ineffectual and tame as well. What's needed is a re-animated HS Thompson to appear on Scarsborough Kountry, in his aviator shades, sipping Wild Turkey, and while gazing at pics of the Huckabees, to solemnly intone the words: phuck those people.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Toastmasters from Hell (How not to write, continued).

"Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good ground for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones."

(Bertrand Russell)

Another ignis fatuus of Cyberia offers up deep thoughts on campaign strategy:

""""Had Sen. Clinton done her duty in that first regard, then all she would have needed was the toughness to become a lightning rod for rhetorical hostility from political conservatives and other hawks. Having endured just about as much malicious language as any living politician, I believe she could have weathered the darkness while at the same time serving as a beacon of hope to that tiny minority of us who retained a capacity to distinguish warmongering from patriotism. Had she done that, the vindication that predictably comes to those who champion realism in the face of popular alternative viewpoints would have propelled her into office with the kind of popular mandate not seen since Reagan-Bush in ‘84."""""

Dementia-weed not only wields a powerful trailer-park salesman rhetoric, he predicts the future! (and even possible futures that coulda happened: "Had she done that"). He also has some strategical advice for Ms Clinton ala the Today show. Intense. His slogans and pep-talk do not quite overcome the syntax errors, however: "Having endured just about as much malicious language as any living politician, I believe she could have weathered the darkness....." D-weed himself is a politician who endured malicious language? (That's the error of "amphiboly"). Well, perhaps he did: the malicious retorts of any Podunkville metro-editor responding to his gaseous letters to the editor before deleting or tossing 'em in the Schmutzsack.

Occasionally, D-weed even loses control of his 10th grade Civics speech, as here: "The vindication that predictably comes to those who champion realism in the face of popular alternative viewpoints would have propelled her into office." Yes propelled by vindication! Now, that's refines the deflination of unsoliciphated and irrevulant syncrastical mutterance! Hail Sergeant Dogberry.

Also to be noted are D-weed's repeated uses of auxiliaries--woulds, coulds, and shoulds. That's not merely an indication of, uh, verbal incompetency, but a type of mendacity (and most likely a sign of criminal insanity as well). That might be termed the "subjunctive fallacy", common to leftist scumbags, two-bit political moralists, and wannabe-Marats all over Blogopolis. Or maybe it's better termed paranoid schizophrenia. Either way, no human, especially not D-weed on his crack buzz, knows what "would have happened" in terms of politics or history.

A wannabe-Marat such as D-weed doesn't generally concern himself with established fact or provable assertions, of course: he relies on the insinuation or suggestion, either sinister or sentimental. (D-weed and the NWacheks have yet to allude to Hillary Clinton's massive corporate-sponsored campaign war-chest (BO's a few million behind), about triple the size of John Edwards', and about 20 times that of a Huckabilly or Ron Paul). He manipulates his audience with slogans and trite metaphors: a "lightning rod", "weather{ing} the darkness", a "beacon of hope". (how does one "weather the darkness"? STFU) Like any salesman or low-rent sophist, D-weed also makes use of informal fallacies to score points. He creates the image of the hipster clique who, like, knew the score: "that tiny minority of us who retained a capacity to distinguish warmongering from patriotism": sort of a reversed Ad Populus. (and mistaken as well---the zombies of DailyKOS and similar ugly, Tory-marxist sites are hardly a tiny minority. That a Kossack once in a while says something correct---even in regards to investigating possible mis-rep by Buscho in regards to the war-effort (oh wait, that's no longer cool: chanting "Huckabilly" is) does not excuse the KGB tactics).

Ansteigen an Die Zug, schwein.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Reverend Obama, continued.

Consider the connotations of the modern "Mega-church": most consumers in the Thanatopolis most likely think of white-trash baptists, biblethumpers who deny Darwinian evolution, televangelists, beerdrinking, hellraising capitalists, GOP hawks who thought Nixon "soft", Annie Coulter fans, etc. Most humans would assume the megachurches thus write big tax-deductible checks to their favorite biblethumping Republican politician, when the Bingo Parlor opens election cycle kicks in. Think again. Religious organizations and clergy-peoples now donate a greater quantity of their tax-free shekels to Democrats than they do to GOP candidates (this started with the campaign of that good xtian Bill Clinton in early 90's). Indeed the leading religious fundraiser in the 2008 Prez race is not a GOPer, but Barack Obama, who outdistances 2nd place Mitt Moroni in terms of moneys accepted from religious organizations by a rather substantial margin (BO also outdistances all except Dame Clinton in terms of corporate fundraising: Hill and BO's war-chests are nearing $90 million each---while a Huckabee has not quite cracked $3 million (google 'er (btw Google execs approve of ObamaCorp. too--as do those great progressives Melinda and her wife Billy Gates).

Rev. Obama's appeal to the pious extends beyond simply taking their tithing change, however (in fairness, it might be noted that clergy-bucks hardly match up with, say, donations to candidates from oil executives). As noted in previous posts, BO in fact campaigned recently on a "40 days of Faith and Family" platform, not so different in spirit and substance from a bonehead baptist tent-revival meeting (readers of Contingencies in the El Lay area who were targeted by Bethel AME/Obama spam know what we be representin' about here) Obama also attends a church which distributes creationist pamphlets (see Hitchens' recent interesting anti-Obama essay here). Additionally, BO has on occasion made some slightly peculiar comments in regards to the separation clause of the 1st Amendment.

Obama, given the support he has received from corporate and religious organizations, appears as likely to gain the conservative nomination as does Dame Clinton.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Bubbanius on Modern Pedagogy (how not to write, cont.)

Deep thoughts: "‘Don’t tase me, bro’ — a famous phrase, now." (funny, that happened at a Kerry rally. So Kerry must be counted as part of the Oppressor now too. Cops and campus police are mostly democrats, anyway, and generally members of those massive police unions. So the Taser-specialist, was, one could safely bet, a Dem.).

"Neocons pay good money to right-wing students for illegally taping their professors, to ‘catch’ them in liberal biases."" Evidence or citation for that claim? Not exactly "liberal" biases, Bubba, anyway: Jefferson was a liberal. And it's not a crime to tape any instructor's lectures, moron. The biases lean a bit more towards those of Karl Marx and/or one Jacques Derrida (ever make it through a bit of Sokal and Bricmont, Bubba?). Bubba has no problem, apparently with say radical muslim professors--or communists--- in the Ivy League, or UC edu-gulags, teaching the words of the Prophet--- or Mao-- alongside courses in haploids, Heisenberg or GWF Hegel. He and those of his ilk seemingly don't mind when the latest PoMo du Paris takes his place at the podium and asserts, categorically, that Logic, rationality and western science are all delusions and the product of Western imperialism.

At Bubba U., there would be no history of Maoism or Stalinism, or Islam for that matter. Just some pics of Evil Incarnate: the Neo-Cons, alongside Hitler and the Waffen SS. (any rational dissent opposed to the NW paranoia festival has already been blocked and moderated).

"Homeland Security’ in and of itself was a ridiculous idea, a trillion-dollar boondoggle used primarily to harass Code Pink and Texas Democratic lawmakers, and to install the illegal domestic spying system so sought after by the criminal class, i.e., Neocons."

Ah Bubba might be referring to Diane Feinstein or Jane Harman, who in fact argued for a harsher, more Orwellian version of the Homeland Security act. A few weeks apres-911, DiFi in fact suggested that a nationwide cyber-ID system be implemented. Then the dreaded Neo-cons. Wow. Bubba can barely control his latent anti-semitism and general muddle-headed idiocy when he begins to intone his favorite epithets. You mean like Wolfowitz, Podhoretz, Abrams, or Lieberman, Bubba? Those are the neo-cons. Yes, Abrams sucks. The good ol' boys, even the sinister Rove, mostly work for 'em. And uh so does the Clinton gang. After chuckling at Bubba's hick belch here ("Rusticus," as EP would aver), insert it in the SPAM Spam BACON & Spam file, and flush.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A place you'll nevah Be

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reverend Obama, cont.

Here's a quote from a front-runner in the US Prez audition election battle:

"Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

Did that issue from the piehole of the hillbilly bapteest Huckabee? Perhaps a bon mot from MittBot, personally guided by the Angel Moroni? A pious genuflection from altar boy Roody G.? NYET. That's Kid Obama representin', a few months ago (before commencing his "40 days of Faith and Phamily" tour of protestant churches across the USA). Had one of the GOPers yawped that, many liberals and secularists--and atheists--would have turned Sally Fields, waxed righteously indignant for a few days, brought up the separation of church and state, referred to Jefferson, or Darwin, maybe Richard Dawkins---or Marx-- innate rights, and so and so forth. The BO, however, has been granted a sort of tactical dispensation, and appears to be immune from the secularists' criticisms.

* * *

We here at Contingencies have been slightly impressed with some of Senator Edward's recent anti-corporatist rhetoric--if not anti-Tory-yankee rhetoric---which bears some resemblance to "economic-realism" for lack of a better term. We might not agree with Edwards' platform and policies across the board--just as we might not agree with the ideological "message" of some harsh, naturalistic novel by Theodore Dreiser, yet still respect Dreiser for having written it (Sister Carrie for the Peoples!). Edwards walks the talk, sometimes. But his economic-realism doesn't make it in the Simulacra of American politics: Reverend Obama's sermons and Hillary's sob-sistah act apparently do, unfortunately, as does the flag-waving of the right.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hysteria, Inc.

William F. Buckley........on yahoo? Whoa.

"No. 1 was Mrs. Clinton, with $89 million. Much of the money received reflects the donors' attraction to a favorite. In some contests, only the winner matters; this is not quite the case in a presidential race, because the runner-up may gain influence from a strong showing. And there can always be the candidate who is campaigning on a novel doctrine that catches the favorable notice of the backers.


"Surprisingly close to Mrs. Clinton's $89 million was Barack Obama's $79 million. This presaged the revolution that was. Next in line were three Republicans: Romney with $62 million, Giuliani with $47 million and McCain with $31 million. Then came Edwards at $30 million. A caution: These figures do not disclose self-financing. Thanks to the Buckley-Valeo bill--co-sponsored 30-some years ago by the sainted junior senator from New York, on the grounds that then-new campaign-financing law violated freedom of speech--no limits are permissible on what John Edwards can give to Edwards for President."

"Then there are a few eclectic distributions. Who on earth gave $13 million to Senator Dodd, and why? And meanwhile, Huckabee, with $2.3 million, was down near the bottom of the list, behind candidates such as Joe Biden and Sam Brownback."

Never under-estimate the political and financial power of Pathos. Hysteria Clinton, for instance, sitting, or perhaps squatting on the top of the campaign shekels heap, has raked in $89 million in donations (compared to say $2.3 million for Huckabee--who's representing the American working class?). The only way Boy Obama might compete with that is with some from Chair-sistah Oprah.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


"Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon
'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel."

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a
waste of time.

No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American

The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that
they try to make us do as they think.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

Ein Alt fur Fruehstuck, bitte

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right.

[T]he only thing wrong with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was that it was the South, not the North, that was fighting for a government of the people, by the
people and for the people.

The whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all
ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and
behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and
under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the
noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital
crime against society.

In f-n dubitably.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Lancet Report lies (McMendacity II)

Perhaps some humans out in consumerland recall that geek-speak maxim, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). GIGO sort of reduces the problems with the Lancet report, and one might say the Lancet ideology (the Lancet researchers purport to offer an estimation of civilian deaths in Iraq) into a pleasant conceptual package. The Lancet ideology has unfortunately become part of the accepted lies dogma of the contemporary PC left.

Rationalists would do well to keep GIGO in mind when reading high-powered demographics (especially when there are Dems, marxists, dixie evangelicals, or Kennedy's involved in the research). Anyone who assumes the reliability of data they have no aquaintance with, especially when it's not being released (academia depends on that "transparency" of data--and peer review---not withholding of evidence) has in essence taken sides with zealots.

Say one was to recreate the Lancet research, using their data (i.e. their hunches). Before inputting the numbers into the little SPSS app, grinding out mean, standard deviation, confidence intervals, obtaining a bellish-curve (maybe one with a few cracks) how do we know that the data collection of the Lancet researchers (and the sample itself) should be assumed to be reliable? However "vulgar" empirical questions concerning verification seem to some, they ALWAYS remain an issue with high-powered, politically-significant studies. In many journals that withholding of evidence (a "peer review" requirement) would prevent their study from being published. Americans, excepting maybe military personnel, weren't there anyways. So consumers are taking their word--and their spurious demographics---- on faith. Iraq Body Count, on the other hand, works from confirmed deaths, formerly known as facts.

Noting the prevalence of the Lancet hoax in (in ways, more pernicious than 911 conspiro-nut claims) some humans may be tempted to take down their pic of Harry Truman or Eleanor R., and cancel their Dem registration: that is, if they didn't after 9-11. Don't take Contingencies' word for the Lancet BS, however; consider some of the Tenured mafia thoughts:

""""Professor Spagat says the Lancet paper contains misrepresentations of mortality figures suggested by other organisations, an inaccurate graph, the use of the word “casualties” to mean deaths rather than deaths plus injuries, and the perplexing finding that child deaths have fallen. Using the “three-to-one rule” – the idea that for every death, there are three injuries – there should be close to two million Iraqis seeking hospital treatment, which does not tally with hospital reports. """""

“The authors ignore contrary evidence, cherry-pick and manipulate supporting evidence and evade inconvenient questions,” contends Professor Spagat, who believes the paper was poorly reviewed. “They published a sampling methodology that can overestimate deaths by a wide margin but respond to criticism by claiming that they did not actually follow the procedures that they stated.” The paper had “no scientific standing”. Did he rule out the possibility of fraud? “No.” """""



The IBC's rebuttal of Lancet should especially be noted: the IBC people for one wield a few nice reductio ad absurdum sorts of arguments (they may not be contradictions, but induction rarely offers contradiction): ""On average, (according to Lancet) a thousand Iraqis {would have been} violently killed every single day in the first half of 2006, with less than a tenth of them being noticed by any public surveillance mechanisms."
There are many other such rebuttals. Bias of course should be kept in mind: the skeptics might work for the Oppressor.

"""""Still, the authors have declined to provide the surveyors' reports and forms that might bolster confidence in their findings. Customary scientific practice holds that an experiment must be transparent -- and repeatable -- to win credence. Submitting to that scientific method, the authors would make the unvarnished data available for inspection by other researchers. Because they did not do this, citing concerns about the security of the questioners and respondents, critics have raised the most basic question about this research: Was it verifiably undertaken as described in the two Lancet articles?

"The authors refuse to provide anyone with the underlying data," said David Kane, a statistician and a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Statistics at Harvard University. Some critics have wondered whether the Iraqi researchers engaged in a practice known as "curb-stoning," sitting on a curb and filling out the forms to reach a desired result. Another possibility is that the teams went primarily into neighborhoods controlled by anti-American militias and were steered to homes that would provide information about the "crimes" committed by the Americans.""""

And it's just pure coincidence that George Soros, millionaire communist and hater of the USA, provided the seed money for the research.

"""""Critics say that the surveys used too few clusters, and too few people, to do the job properly.

Sample size. The design for Lancet II committed eight surveyors to visit 50 regional clusters (the number ended up being 47) with each cluster consisting of 40 households. By contrast, in a 2004 survey, the United Nations Development Program used many more questioners to visit 2,200 clusters of 10 houses each. This gave the U.N. investigators greater geographical variety and 10 times as many interviews, and produced a figure of about 24,000 excess deaths -- one-quarter the number in the first Lancet study. The Lancet II sample is so small that each violent death recorded translated to 2,000 dead Iraqis overall. The question arises whether the chosen clusters were enough to be truly representative of the entire Iraqi population and therefore a valid data set for extrapolating to nationwide totals."""""


Preposterous! He's probably a neo-con, and so we don't have to pay attention to the fascist punk. Really, on closer inspection, the Lancet does not even appear to be an analysis of mortality ratios. It's a study (or poll, really) regarding various anecdotal reports of deaths--alleged deaths. In effect, it's a large collection of hearsay evidence--and really inadmissable. But it serves a purpose. The little undergraduate confidence intervals, the rest of the stats hype (ANOVA! whoa), the APA format, are there to impress, like little leftist undergraduates. The fact that the researchers do not submit their research/data collection to peer review makes it mostly irrelevant, except as an example of gauchiste agit-prop disguised as academic research. Bukharin and the Cheka boys most likely blow some infernal kisses to the JohnsHopkins comrades for a prevarication job well done.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Quote: "a 95% white state just voiced their full and overwhelming confidence in a black candidate.”

Obviously McM. didn’t quite make it through stats back at ye olde Stargell State. A state didn’t "voice" anything. There are about approx. 2.9 million Iowans. 220,000 of those Iowans voted in the Demoncratic caucus. 38% supported BO, most likely because they were told to. That is about 83,600 humans, er Iowans. So 2.9 % of Iowan Children of the Corn voted for Kid Obama: not exactly a mandate, except to the MSM gauchistes who have decided upon Kid Obama as the Hipster candidate, and thus most deserving of a win (notwithstanding his routine biblethumping, fiscal conservativism, etc.). What do you wager the racial breakdown of that 2.9% has nothing to do with the racial distribution of the state as a whole. McM's statement embodies a fallacy of aggregation, common to blogger leftists who mistake politics for their favorite rap-star popularity contest.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Reverend Obama

Barack Obama has, over the last few months, quite clearly demonstrated that he has no problem appealing to religious conservatives. He also accuses secularists of being overly preoccupied with the separation clause, and too attached to the idea that "constitutional principles tie our hands": a statement which, if uttered by a GOPer, would have surely provoked panic and a few days of Sally Fields-like righteous indignation among the gauchistes of blogland.

AS Hitchens recently noted, a candidate's religious affiliations should be on the table (as should Article VI, if only to a few cynics). The gauchistes relish attacks on fundies such as Chuckabee and Mormonic Mitt--so why not on Rev. Obama? Consistency matters. Obama biblethumps nearly as much as the rightists do--he stands up on stage with preachers, even conservative hick preachers, and chats about his relation with Jee-zuss, his personal savior. Even Christian bloggers approved of his recent tour of the mainstream Jee-zuss businesses:

"""""God-o-Meter--like so much of the news media--was impressed with Barack Obama’s appearance last Sunday at a Greenville, SC megachurch as part of his campaign’s “40 Days of Faith and Family” tour of the state. After all, the conservative evangelical congregation’s previous political guests were Sen. Lindsey Graham, Gov. Mark Sanford, and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, all Republicans.""""""


(that's no endorsement of Beliefnet, another brainless fundie site)

Can ah, ah get a wit-ness?

Others have noted Obama's occasional conservative tendencies (including his odd suggestion that Ms Clinton's health care proposals might offend some insurance execs). Obama may not be a rightist biblethumper per se, but he does have the support of many religious organizations (both Xtian and muslim). Secularists should feel a bit uneasy supporting someone who throughout the Fall of 2007 stood in pulpits in protestant churches across the USA (including churches notorious for denying Darwinian accounts of evolution), rallying support for his "40 Days of Faith and Family” platform. No other democratic candidate has been so willing to court the fundamentalist vote, Hillary included (nor has say a Ron Paul, who has made a few interesting comments in support of Constitutional principles, notwithstanding some issues).

In fact a new study from the Center for Responsive Politics (you can do the googlin') reveals that BO "has received more money from clergy than any other 2008 presidential candidate, Democrat or Republican." He's received three times the amount of shekels from clergy than has the top Republican moron, Mitt Romney. We here at Contingencies can only say like, phuck that freak.
Custom Search

Blog Archive