Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's the system, stupid.

Oil and gasoline prices are soaring, and the usual shallowpated cafe-democrat ("every event must have have a cause" as Kant yawped back in the day) starts to point talons fingers. What Dodius the DNCocrat doesn't realize is, one, the petroleum crisis has been building for years. It's not strictly Bush's fault (though he and his cronies in Exxon did not help matters), any more than fluctuations in the stock and futures markets are. Politicians do not control the market (the pseudo-liberal barking "Bush is Hitler"! really helps the right with his moralistic whines). The actions of their economic advisers might have some effect on the market (via slashing interest rates, etc.) but the trading and industry issues ( refinery overheads, etc.) are the driving factors. The trading and pricing depends on the supplies, and reserves are being depleted.

Had she bothered with the cliffsnotes to Adam Smith, Dodius might have known that when supplies dry up, prices go up. Managers mark-up fast-selling items. Similarly, as oil reserves dry, the value of the barrels go up. It's a shame, but not really one person's responsibility--whether politicians, or some middle-eastern petrol-sheiks, or cowboy oil-men, or slimy British Petroleum execs. Yes, oil executives should be held accountable--Lee Raymond, enemy of the People--but the market itself--whether stocks or commodities--was built for capitalism (ie for autos, AND the oil and gas necessary to keep 'em running), and when the petrol dries up a few will become wealthy, and the masses will, more than likely, abandon their SUVs, fall into anarchy, or perhaps blossom into Hugo Chavezes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Leland $teinford

The shit that begetted the shit

"""‘We sometimes feel, in following the words and behavior of some of the characters of Dostoevsky, that they are living at once on the plane we know and on some other place of reality from which we are shut out.’""""

TS Eliot

Sunday, April 27, 2008


"Societies exist under three forms, sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments, wherein the will of everyone has a just influence; as is the case in England, in a slight degree, and in our States, in a great one. 3. Under governments of force; as is the case in all other monarchies, and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem not clear in my mind that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that, enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too; the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing."

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.

(TJ scares the crap out of mobsters and other machiavellians, including Xtian and/or liberal ones.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Prosecutorial Immunity on Trial

A somewhat interesting case now confronts the Black robe Posse (aka US Supreme Court): SCOTUS will be deciding on where responsibility lies in instances of wrongful convictions. One Goldstein, wrongfully convicted for Moider, recently won an appeal to 9th District (scumbags, regardless of a few PC decisions), and now some LA lawmen are rallying to appeal the decision at SCOTUS (meaning they disagree with 9th court decision). SO SCOTUS, if they ratify the 9th District's ruling, will have given some support to wrongful conviction actions.

Libertarians, authentic gauchistes--- or would-be August Spies--- concerned with the tyranny of the judiciary should not get their hopes up: Scalia & Co have consistently shown their Marshallian colors (ie Tory-rightist colors), and will most likely approve the appeal, and thus protect prosecutorial immunity: to do otherwise lessens the power of the Posse (opposing judiciary does NOT equate to Steinbeckian populism, either: OR, if it does, Viva e-Steinbeck! JS took on ID politics and faux-liberal PCness from way back). Chair-clown Ahhhnuld himself, official Mascot for the Cali-Oligarchy, recently vetoed wrongful conviction legislation.

Caiaphas (or Tony Scalia, circa 30 ad)

By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 13, 2008

""""WASHINGTON -- Prosecutors have long been shielded from lawsuits brought by people who were wrongly convicted. Even if a defendant is later shown to be entirely innocent, the prosecutor who brought the charges cannot be held liable for the mistake.

The Supreme Court has ruled that "absolute immunity" is needed so that prosecutors -- and judges -- can do their jobs without fear of legal retaliation.

But a California case that the high court is considering taking could open a back door for such lawsuits. Prosecutors in Los Angeles are urging the court to block a suit from a man who was wrongly convicted of murder because, they say, it will allow "a potential flood" of similar claims across the nation.

Last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals set off alarms among prosecutors in the West when it ruled that supervising prosecutors could be sued for alleged management failures that led to a wrongful conviction. Its ruling cleared the way for Thomas L. Goldstein to sue former Los Angeles Dist. Atty. John K. Van de Kamp.

The suit does not allege that Van de Kamp, the county's chief prosecutor from 1975 to 1983, played a direct role in Goldstein's wrongful conviction for a shotgun murder in Long Beach in 1979. Indeed, Van de Kamp said he was unaware of the details of this case until decades later when the conviction was reversed......""""



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Evidence falsification (per Screepture).

We could go into a lengthy discussion of proof, evidence, and the manipulation of evidence, verification, Kant's categorical imperative---not to say rights to free speech---- etc., but "Thou shalt not bear false witness" about sums it up. Guess yr toast, liars. Libel, defamation, prevarication itself, of course will generally suffice as evidence for vindictive stoner-hicks, or wannabe-Himmlers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Does religious faith do more harm than good?

"Das Christentum gab dem Eros Gift zu trinken - er starb zwar nicht daran, aber entartete, zum Laster." (Nietzsche).

That's a key question that many in the theism/agnostic/atheism debate overlook. Here's one religious pragmatist's take on this problem:

"""""Similar ethnic, class, and nationalistic disputes underlie pretty much every fight that looks on the surface to be about religion. Suppose the Christian and Islamic faiths vanished. Sept. 11 might still have happened. Within the Arab world, where many resent the West, violent fanatics might have vowed to kill themselves solely on secular grounds. Indeed, it can be argued that since the mass murderers of Sept. 11 openly violated the Quranic prohibition against killing the innocent, they weren't true Muslims anyway. What they were was terrorist fanatics. And a certain number of people like this would exist in the world whether religious faith existed or not.

Men and women of all faiths must feel deeply chastened about the continuing violence in the name of religion. We ought to feel the very worst about violence, or hatred, perpetrated by those who say they believe what we believe. But this does not mean we should give up those beliefs. Rather, we must work to make belief sincere. Only then is there a chance the violence will stop.""

We here at Contingencies do not entirely agree with this. Certainly hysterical worship of religious dogma (whether xtian, muslim, jew, or new-agey folderol) can and DOES have some causal relation to the acts perpetuated by zealous believers. That's a rather obvious point, however difficult to confirm or verify (not so difficult when say some fundie idiot starts quoting the Book of Revelation (a text whose message he believes in) as grounds for, uh, converting the 3rd world into glass). Indeed even the benevolent sort of religious belief--say in miracles--does most likely result in creating false expectations and vague, mystical hopes. Maria Hernandez and her familia struggle to make ends meet, and go to mass each week as the Padres insist. Alas, La Misa does little in terms of providing material goods (perhaps even health risks involved). Maria does not need to witness the miraculous appearance of the Virgin of Guadelupe; at least if La Virgene appears in say Tijuana she should toss out mucho dinero, and shut down some bordelloes.

Protestant-bonehead sects are another matter. That's the boot-camp form of xtianity, and poses greater danger than does the humble faith of poor catholics (one doesn't worry too much about the flock, but about those who tend the flock). The causal relation of the bonehead xtian's faith to his acts may not seem as obviously superstitious as the catholic's belief in La Misa, miracles, or intercessionary prayer: the problem is that Bubba the Baptist worships a Sergeant Jesus, like in a Fnord 150 (or Abrams tank), a figure who has no relation whatsoever to the figure of the New Testament, assuming that the person aka JC existed. Mike Hucklebee-style Xtianity does, indeed, seem inherently dangerous. The catholics may tend to be superstitious (though the ritual has a certain sublimity); the anti-rationalist, Darwin-despising American protestant, however, generally is tooo schtoopid to even bother with, and should like any infantryman in the Sturmabteilung be, at least theoretically, shot on sight.

ah yeah who could aks fer anythang more (except maybe kevlar, kevlarius)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Agnostic vs Atheist

Russell made an interesting distinction between agnostic and atheist:

""""An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism. His attitude may be that which a careful philosopher would have towards the gods of ancient Greece. If I were asked to prove that Zeus and Poseidon and Hera and the rest of the Olympians do not exist, I should be at a loss to find conclusive arguments. An Agnostic may think the Christian God as improbable as the Olympians; in that case, he is, for practical purposes, at one with the atheists."""""

An important clarification. When He manifests Himself via some righteous Wagnerian trumpet section, maybe some will change their mind. More seriously, the intelligent agnostic refrains from the table-pounding characteristic of some vulgar gung-ho atheists (except when Falwell-like morons, or Wright-like morons, call into question the separation of church and state). He might respect certain aspects of religious tradition, say gothic cathedrals (he might not respect others).

A rational Deity would seemingly want His creatures to be rational, would be not?? A rational approach to the God debate requires examining the evidence (instead of blindly following dogma, whether religious, or anti-religious). Alas, little evidence exists which would confirm the presence of a Deity (is the black plague, not to say 20th century history---part of Providence?): the agnostic, even the strong agnostic, however, grants that a Deity (or deities) cannot be conclusively disproven to exist (very difficult to prove a negative assertion as Russell, that glib wizard, also noted).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Franz Schubert Now On Youtube


Monday, April 07, 2008

Hitchens on a piece of shit named Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Hitchens' point in regards to Obama's underhanded attempts (from "The Speech"--- a fine example of BO-Speak) to equate Ferraro's tame remarks with Wright's fundamentalist lunacy should be required reading for.....all. However obnoxious, petulant, and bitchy Hitchens may be, his writing's about as close as American blogjournalism comes to upholding Madisonian principles.

"""""That same supposed message of his is also contradicted in a different way by trying to put Geraldine Ferraro on all fours with a thug like Obama's family "pastor." Ferraro may have sounded sour when she asserted that there can be political advantages to being black in the United States—and she said the selfsame thing about Jesse Jackson in 1984—but it's perfectly arguable that what she said is, in fact, true, and even if it isn't true, it's absurd to try and classify it as a racist remark. No doubt Obama's slick people were looking for a revenge for Samantha Power (who, incidentally, ought never to have been let go for the useful and indeed audacious truths that she uttered in Britain), but their news-cycle solution was to cover their own queasy cowardice in that case by feigning outrage in the Ferraro matter. The consequence, which you can already feel, is an inchoate resentment among many white voters who are damned if they will be called bigots by a man who associates with Jeremiah Wright. So here we go with all that again. And this is the fresh, clean, new post-racial politics?""""


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Crack ho radio

""""Rhodes' Don Imus like foul mouthed rant is SOP for a core of so called progressive writers that post on the Huffington Post, and write for the Nation, Mother Jones, Daily Kos, the Underground Democrat, and a handful of other leftist sites. They have feasted at the hate Hillary trough. Rhodes' Don Imus like foul mouthed rant is SOP for a core of so called progressive writers that post on the Huffington Post, and write for the Nation, Mother Jones, Daily Kos, the Underground Democrat, and a handful of other leftist sites. They have feasted at the hate Hillary trough. Their shrill diatribes, name calling, slanders, slurs, distortions and flat out lies should make the hard guys at Fox Network turn red faced. One time radical Jane Fonda kicked off the progressive's clinical obsession with Clinton bashing some months ago when reports surfaced in the Guardian and other on-line sites that Fonda called Clinton a ventriloquist for the patriarchy with a skirt and a vagina. Fonda hotly denied that she said anything of the sort.""""

Good point, Earl, and rather unusual to discover such dissent on Airheadiana.com. Leftist pundits like Rhodes have more or less appropriated the techniques of Limbaugh.

Friday, April 04, 2008

J.S. Mill on dissent

"The worst offence... which can be committed by a polemic is to stigmatise those who hold the contrary opinion as bad and immoral men. To calumny of this sort, those who hold any unpopular opinion are peculiarly exposed, because they are in general few and uninfluential, and nobody but themselves feels much interested in seeing justice done them; but this weapon is, from the nature of the case, denied to those who attack a prevailing opinion: they can neither use it with safety to themselves, nor, if they could, would it do anything but recoil on their own cause.
In general, opinions contrary to those commonly received can only obtain a hearing by studied moderation of language, and the most cautious avoidance of unnecessary offence, which they hardly ever deviate even in a slight degreee without losing ground: while unmeasured vituperation employed on the side of the prevailing opinion really does deter people from professing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who profess them."
- John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty"

A maxim generally overlooked by demons, whether they par-tay at the GOP country club, or at the Demo union halls.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Dreyfus affair ranks as one of the most significant historical events of Europe prior to WWI and WWII; some historians have gone so far as to claim the Dreyfus affair resulted in the rise of fascism itself and to the Vichy. The facts, as far as they can be ascertained, concern a jewish artillery officer, Dreyfus, accused of spying for "le boche"---the Germans, France's mortal enemies---and passing on info regarding a cannon, I believe. Dreyfus was found guilty and sent to Devil's Island off of French Guinea for a few years, and it's quite probable that he was framed, and the evidence manipulated (though it's not entirely clear). The Dreyfusards were the supporters of Dreyfus, and included many leftists and intellectuals, and most famously the novelist Zola, a writer "who delights in stinking" said Nietzsche, (a few years prior to Dreyfus, and a few years before FN succumbed to madness, whether natural or syphillitic). Those who held him to be guilty, were the anti-Dreyfusards.

Current opinion (including that of Wiki, as well as Jeff Jacoby, who has recently penned an op-ed ode to Dreyfus and Zola's pro-Dreyfus broadside, "J'accuse!" demanding justice, etc.) holds that the anti-Dreyfusards were made up of the usual french-right suspects: catholics, royalists, militarists, bourgeois, proto-Vichy, cheese-eating surrender monkeys fond of infant-cannibalism, who knows what. That is not entirely correct. The anti-Dreyfusards had every reason to believe that Dreyfus was guilty. Moreover, sentimental zionist liberals hacks like Jacoby mistakenly assert that the anti-Dreyfusards were all anti-semitic rightists, if not sort of Goebbels-in-potentia. Not correct either. There were anti-semitic anti-Dreyfusards, and non-anti-semitic anti-Dreyfusards (Verstehen Sie das? gut). Even some jewish people (hardly rare in the French military, or french bourgeois for that matter) believed, rightly or wrongly, that Dreyfus had indeed spied for "le boche": he had family ties to Germany, for one.

We here at Contingencies are not exactly defending the French right (though they, even a La Pen, are hardly scarier than the French "la gauche"). Some of the extreme anti-Dreyfusards did later join the Vichy parties, and were rabidly anti-semitic (though even that does not imply they would have approved of Auschwitz---). Others rightly noted that the Dreyfus affair was not sufficient cause for the outrage of Zola and his leftist pals (in typical french marxist fashion, Zola and Co. had no problem defending a wealthy jewish officer when it advanced their cause). Jacoby, in the usual corporate Lib-Speak, terms Zola's rant "part investigative reportage, part impassioned advocacy." Really it was mostly impassioned nonsense with some impassioned rage at all things French, "ressentiment" as Nietzsche might term it.

The Dreyfus affair indeed bears some resemblance to many modern media scandals (say something like Scooter Libby): a slight injustice becomes a rallying cry for a few journalists (and journalism and zionism have, for years, been quite comfy), and creates a near-panic situation. Facts are ignored by all sides (including by the right), and the herd mind takes over. Eventually it's settled by tank divisions, like those of Jodl and Zhukov (...........to be continued).
Custom Search

Blog Archive