Thursday, July 30, 2009

Off with their heads (Queen Feinstein on health care)

""Senator Dianne Feinstein has already taken a hammering from Dems and health care reform advocates for casting doubts on the prospects of President Obama’s health care reform efforts. MoveOn, for instance, aired an ad against her in California, demanding she show some leadership and fight harder to get the president’s reform plan passed.

Now Feinstein has hit back at the criticism from the left in an article about lefty groups targeting Dems for waffling on key components of health care reform:

“I do not think this is helpful. It doesn’t move me one whit,” she said. “They are spending a lot of money on something that is not productive.”

That sharply dismissive tone won’t exactly smooth over tensions......""""

DiFi whines in her predictably centrist-DINO tone. Just as predictable has been the blogocrat reluctance to criticize the DINOcrats and the blue dog types, who like, this pedazo de mormon mierda, cunningly argue for a conservative sort of taxpayer-funded plan which would release business owners from their obligation to pay ever-increasing healthcare premiums for their employees (premiums have recently gone up on all businesses, due to actions which the Demo's voted in). Brighamius is of course too stupid to realize even the Leahy plan will keep the higher premiums on businesses intact for most part (Leahy sort of dissed Medicare).

In effect, a single-payer plan--even Medicare, supposedly "socialized medicine"-- could be a windfall for corporate America, if the DINOs pass on the premium cost to normal citizens by substantially increasing Fed taxes (as Obama seems to favor). The Tri-committee plan--perhaps similar to Hillary's plan-- does appear to provide citizens with the most coverage, though financing has not been worked out. It does not seem nearly as "centrist" as Obama's own bill, which does give many big corporations the windfall (Contingencies has not as of yet mastered the murky waters of the healthcare Lagoon). The blue dogs are stalling on it, of course, mostly because they don't want to piss off the business owners, insurancemen, and doctors. Instead of passing off the tax-increases to the public or, in DiFi style, appeasing the nobles of business and medicine , they should grow some spine, and DEMAND higher premiums on companies to cover it, and also ensure that companies don't merely slash wages to pay for it. Curtailing or capping management salaries might work...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Churches are trade unions (ACGrayling)

This blasphemous, bawling piece of british garbage gent entertains at least:

So I repeat: in a free society people must be allowed to believe what they like, even stupid, ignorant and absurd things, provided they do no harm to others. Religious organisations have every right to exist and have their say, just as any other self-selected, self-constituted interest group does, such as trade unions and political parties. But religious organisations have to recognise that they are such groups, and nothing more than such groups – that they are civil society organisations like trade unions, existing to protect and promote their own interests – and although they have the same rights, they do not have any greater rights.

And here is the problem: the religions think they have much greater rights than anyone or anything else – rights to be heard, to be exempt from laws, to be awarded special privileges, to be given our tax money to run their own schools, to have representatives in the House of Lords (26 bishops plus all those retired bishops and archbishops who are now life peers), to be given hours and hours of air time on publicly funded radio every week, to have charitable status, to have their hospital chaplains paid for by the public purse, and so on and endlessly on, getting a huge slice of the pie out of all proportion to the realities: which – as an indication of the overall picture – are that about 3% of the population go to Church of England services every Sunday, less than 10% of the population going weekly to any church, temple, mosque or synagogue. And the state goes along with it!

How can this be tolerable? All religious organisations should be relegated to the status of private self-selected and self-constituted NGOs like trade unions and other lobby groups, should survive on what money they can raise from their adherents, should have the same and no more than the same rights and entitlements as any other such organisation and should stop getting privileges, money and an amplification for their views (views, never forget, derived from the beliefs of illiterate goat-herds in ancient times) from government.""""

Contingencies also agrees that voluntary self-euthanasia should be a right, though a carefully delineated right.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bellum omnium contra omnes

(James Poulos)
""""One drawback of Leviathan is that Hobbes, the great theorist of the individual, doesn’t theorize the kind of individual that emerges in real life in the wake of, say, Napoleon. (This is a kind of individual different yet from the one we associate with the Revolution itself.) Already within Hobbes is the promise that great freedom awaits those savvy enough to surrender their political liberty. Yet the specific interests and passions of individuals ready to dump political liberty today, of course, look rather different than they did in Hobbes’ time. Now, the character of these differences could be summed up as, or chalked up to, certain developments in capitalism or technology — to the outworking of the relations between man and money on the one hand and man and nature on the other. On the other hand, we could consider that the rise of individuality as a moral ideal has been changing the way we relate to one another in a way that’s more cause than consequence of the man-money and man-nature relationship. It’s significant that this development remains only implicit in Hobbes."""""

And to think some Contingencies fans considered references to Hobbes obscure and antiquated! Actually Poulos perceives a different Hobbes than we do. He also makes rather extreme demands by suggesting that TH (or any thinker ) failed to anticipate some historical event X . Regardless, the classic reduction of the state of nature in Leviathan, and the material concerning "omnia bellum contra omnes" hints at a anarchistic world of Napoleons (or would-be Napoleons):

“ the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short..."

Hobbes thus did consider potential Napoleons--both in the pre-society, state of nature (see the brief paragraph in Book XV contra-Aristotle's "magnanimous man"--i.e. frat boy tories the world over, of whatever race), and in civil society--with a tyrant or dicatator who no longer upholds the citizens' covenants are considered nulled/overturned. Indeed at times a protestant "leveller" aspect appears in Hobbes--probably one reason the royalists distrusted him (though the puritan levellers took him to be a...royalist). Leviathan is not Machiavelli--tho' Poulos seems more drawn to machiavellian politics than to Hobbes contractualism. It just goes to show that one never knows even old, dead white philosophers like Hobbes still matter to some in cyberland.
Ave atque vale

Gidget, known for the tagline ‘Yo quiero Taco Bell,’ died from a stroke.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here come those santa ana winds again....

Dan days

"The seasonal Santa Ana winds are hot, dry, strong gusts which blow westerly across Southern California between September and February. "Santa Ana" is Spanish for "Saint Anne" and refers to the Santa Ana Canyon near San Diego where the winds were thought to originate (in reality they come from near the Rocky Mountains). A boon to surfers but a nemesis to firefighters and homeowners, the hot winds are said to fuel aggression and can even foretell a coming earthquake — the so-called "shake and bake" syndrome."


Ray Chandler called it Red Wind:

""There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.""

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Plutocracy, ObamaCo-style

"""""Goldman Sachs exemplifies the domination of the banks over government policy and both political parties. It has supplied the top personnel for government economic policy-making in the Democratic Clinton, Republican Bush and Democratic Obama administrations. Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, formerly the CEO of Goldman, saw to it that the government bank bailout paid especially rich dividends to his former company. This included a bailout of AIG that allowed the company to pay off billions of dollars in derivatives debts to Goldman at 100 percent.

The list of former Goldman Sachs employees holding top positions in the Obama administration includes:

• Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, who is the chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (himself the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York).

• Reuben Jeffery III, former managing partner at Goldman Sachs, who holds the post of undersecretary of state for economic, business, and agricultural affairs.

• Neel Kashkari, former Goldman Sachs vice president, who is the assistant secretary of the treasury for financial stability, responsible for administering the TARP funds.

• Dianna Farrell, former financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, who serves as deputy director of the National Economic Council.

There is a word to describe this type of socio-economic order: Plutocracy, i.e., rule by the rich. This is the reality behind the increasingly thin veneer of democracy in America.

The Obama administration in an instrument of the plutocrats, and the American people are the victims.

There is no way this can be reversed within the framework of capitalism. The only social force that can end the dictatorship of the banks is the working class. It must be mobilized as an independent and revolutionary political force in opposition to Obama and both parties of big business.

The fortunes obtained through fraud and socially destructive means must be expropriated and directed toward providing social relief, rebuilding industry and the country’s infrastructure, and guaranteeing jobs, education, housing and decent living standards for all. The practices of the banks, hedge funds, CEOs, big investors and speculators must be investigated and exposed to public view, and those responsible for the economic disaster held accountable.

Socialist policies are needed to break the stranglehold of the financial aristocracy. The banks must be nationalized and turned into public institutions, under the democratic control of the working population. Only on this basis can economic life be organized according to social need, rather than private profit and the accumulation of personal wealth by a small minority.""""""

Contingencies usually agrees with the marxist diagnosis of the disease of finance capitalism but not always with the proposed marxist treatment (there are to be sure groups more radical than WSWS). The financial aristocracy needs to be dismantled though that doesn't mean Labor and a few marxist academics are the only ones who can stop it. Marx hisself was no syndicalist or worshipper of the trade unions. The bolsheviks arguably came into power precisely because they refused to kowtow to the union bosses of the time (though they were stronger in Europe than the czar's Russia). VI Lenin may have communicated with the De Leonist sorts, but the bolsheviks were quite aware of the drawbacks of De Leonism, and other types of syndicalism (including the anarchist sort). One drawback may be called "Norma Raeism," for lack of a better word.

The WSWS itself seems prone to Norma Raeism. WSWS has been fairly active in so-cal politics--though you wouldn't know that reading the HuffPo or daily celebrity snatch news. They were involved in the grocery worker strike of 2003-2004, and other labor issues. Unfortunately, the WSWS type of labor-leftists tend to be controlled by Norma Raes dedicated to union style politics and the holy concept of Seniority. The long-time unionist does not really approve of progressive leftists--even radical, bolshevik sorts. Her leftism is not that of the University, of the scientist or philosopher, but of truck drivers, meat workers, fruit and vegetable packers, agriculture workers, los Migros. For Norma Raes (or Normitas) La Huelga does not depend on what a Zizek or Chomsky has to say--she probably has never read a word of a german philosopher--, but on the union jefes, who are--I contend--more like De Leonists than bolsheviks or trotskyites (to toss around a bit of jargon)--though even in CA there are somewhat maoist unionists as well.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From the biography of L. Ron Hubbard

"....shows a man who was incapable of telling the truth: a pathological liar who hated and despised humanity; a sociopath caught between the conflicting desires to earn the admiration of humanity, and his desire to inflict great pain and misery upon those who ignored him and refused him his self-perceived due measure of honor and reverie (which was and is 99.999% of his fellow human beings).
As such, Mister Hubbard was constantly trying to purchase glory and recognition when he had the funds to make the attempt, or stole that recognition by lying and deceiving when money wasn't enough.

Mr. Hubbard was driven by greed and megalomania. He was a devout racist who wrote in praise of South African Apartheid; he was a crazed misogynist who insisted women were inferior intellectually--- later in life his venereal disease (caught from a whore while on leave from the Navy) instilled within him a fear and dread of womankind that expressed itself in insanity and impotency......"""""

L-Ron also counted Heinlein as his pal, and though some RAH fans deny it, Heinlein--a hawk on 'Nam, and Reagan supporter--remained fairly close to L-Ron, up until Hubbard's rather odd demise (CoS doctrine forbids drugs, yet the autopsy showed that L-Ron's bloated corpse was pumped full of barbituates). See also the fairly well-known story of L-Ron's association with Jack the Quack Parsons, rocket scientist, and one of the founders of Cal Tech and JPL (Mike Davis' City of Quartz describes it effectively). Both L-Ron and Parsons had an interest in the occult--that is, until Parsons blew himself up in his Pasadena garage.

The CoS remains a force, in entertainment, and online, unfortunately--as with this untalented nut, who has taken to writing a sort of stoner operetta featuring a Battlefield Earth-like "libretto" (with some great staging hints--"a million years passes"), and some bad garage band-like rock. Holu McXenu Batman, thorazine on the way. You know you're dealing with an Appliantologist type of crypto-nazi occultist when you're reading something with anthropomorphized stars and planets, and that old saxon "sky" (ascendit ad caelos, as the orison went---or descendit ad infernalis, in McNut's case). Let's not forget many mormons also support the CoS quack cult. Combine Hubbard and Moroni, and voila: All-American psychotic.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ezranomics, cont. (con musica)

"""The Puritans were Bible-crazy, but they did not bring the Hebrew Scriptures only. The culture of Adams and Jefferson is a Latin culture with a mixture of Greek. Otis wrote a Greek Grammar which he destroyed, or which was lost for the lack of a competent printer. During the prosperous colonial era the arts of silversmithing, furniture making, and architecture developed. The houses, although made of wood, were a Greek dream. Numbers of them burned down. From Germany came groups of religious sectarians. They brought with them the art of glassmaking, and organised, at least once a year, a Bach Festival. Monticello is full of refinement. The polygrapher longed for a complete civilization equal to that of an Italian Court, ceremonies omitted, of the Fourteenth Century. He got into debt.

Adams was frugal, and used the weather-boards of his attic study as a handy file for his correspondence. For at least a century New England took as an idea: “Low Living High Thinking”.

Usury spoiled the Republic. Usury has been defined as too high an interest on money. The word finance became fashionable in the bank-paper era. And it is to this that Jefferson alludes in the phrase: “No one has a natural right to be money-lender save him who has it to lend.” With the “financial” era the word usury disappeared from polite conversation.

There is no greater imbecility than to leave one’s own bank-account or one’s own sources of information in the hands of an enemy, or an irresponsible man.

The struggle between the people and the exploiters, in America, was waged around these forms of imbecility.

A handful of people, who lived on little and did not run into debit brought to, and preserved in America, a rather high, severe culture, and a civic sense nourished by the traditions of English legal liberty, that is, by a centuries-long conquest in which the traditions of North European tribes and Roman Law converge.""""

(Ezra Pound,
An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States).

To reiterate: """The polygrapher longed for a complete civilization equal to that of an Italian Court, ceremonies omitted, of the Fourteenth Century."" Jefferson the Polygrapher. Yo le gusta.

Domingo-dia de Dios muzak! Stomping at the Savoy. ah yass

Friday, July 10, 2009


Bill has some spine at least, unlike most WASP pieces of mierda.

O'Reilly criticized Jackson for "incredible selfishness -- spending hundreds of million dollars on himself while singing 'We Are the World,'" and said that it "should make any clear-thinking American nauseous."

Speaking to guest analyst Marc Lamont Hill, a black FOX commentator, O'Reilly also addressed race as an issue at the memorial service: "Why are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton making this a racial deal? Jackson bleached his own skin. And then chose white men to provide existence for his in vitro children. Give me a break with all this.

The two debated for quite some time on whether Jackson had helped in uniting black and White Americans. The debate, however, turned into a shouting match with O'Reilly proclaiming: "If he's such a black American icon, why did he have his kids with white men!?"

Word. Rational humans realize that Jackson's pop-hype's not worth discussing; he's about as much as a hero as say the Bee-gees were. Did you like lose sleep when Elvis or Sinatra died? (a bit before my time, but, like, connect the dots). At least Sinatra and his cronies produced some interesting and complex muzak on occasion. Would say Ralph Ellison have given his blessings to MJ, or joined in the insta-elegy? I rather doubt it (not that it matters overly much). Bienvenidos a Perdido, puto.


sabado-noche GIGANTE

Thursday, July 09, 2009


In a few decades, about everyone will have a Wallymart vest, except for the Uber-executive-celebrities in Wally-mart towers and gated enclaves, and maybe some red-rebels in a few third world nations (No se quiero El Wally!). The academic-left went through a Walmart-fetish phase a few years ago, so this topic may be boring to some; regardless of a few whines from marxist sorts or journalists, however, Walmartization does not appear to have abated much (though paraphrasing Iggy Pop, I don't have time to like check the demographics). Walmart marches on, regardless of war, economic collapse, revolutions, or water and environmental issues (building one of the super-stores--and it's the brokering, building and contracting that brings in the big shekels, not the mere day-to-day retail biz--requires more energy, water, and resources than many towns will use in a few years).

W-mart also functions psychologically, we suggest. As the Super-stores shut down the Ma and Pa shops as well as the mid-sized retail--best buy, circuit city (gone from eastside), pep boys, k-mart, various restaurants--the herd congeals, and becomes a sort of ersatz proletariat. Of course wally-bots (aka employees) are not allowed to unionize, per their employment contract, and usually are pink-slipped if they show any inclination towards collective bargaining.

The small town or 'burb sort of becomes a Walmart-feeder--the host to the Wally-parasite. One might say the Consumer does not consume the commodities offered by the store-machine, but that the store-machine--and waxing marxista for a few nanoseconds, the capitalist-owners, aka the Waltons, and their managers--consumes the towns and cities, urban areas, and finally entire regions, producing a class of 'Merican-bots, usually obese, addicted to fast-food, booze, various narcotics, firearms, bad movies, muzak, and cheap technology. Or something like that.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

From Orwell's Politics of the English Language:

"""Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account."""

Whoa. Orwell knew the score on liberal bloviation decades before the DailyKOS boutique or postmodernists arrived (tho' yes, the Limbaugh-right bloviates, tho' they tend to stick to monosyllables).

Saturday, July 04, 2009


From Ezra Pound's An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States

"""History, as seen by a Monetary Economist, is a continuous struggle between producers and non-producers, and those who try to make a living by inserting a false system of book-keeping between tile producers and their just recompense. The Bank of England was based on the discovery that instead of loaning money, the Bank’s paper could be put out on loan. The Philadelphia financiers, not entirely severed from their friends in foreign countries, saw the possibility of speculation and the monopolizers of money tried their usual tricks on a thick-headed public.

“Financiers and Congressmen bought a great quantity of soldier’s pay certificates which had been issued during the war. The certificates were simply printing press money without anything of value behind them. Years had passed since their date of issue and, as their hope for redemption went down, their value went down, and down. In 1789 they could be bought for 10 or 15 cents to the dollar. Alexander Hamilton proposed that the Continental certificates be redeemed at par.”[1] And then the nation “assumed” the responsibility of paying them as proposed. These were the famous certificates of pay due to the Veterans. This constituted the “Scandal of the Assumption.”

England was trying diverse methods of usury and sanctions. The lack of caution on the part of the great property owners of the South, reduced them to indebtedness. Slavery became less profitable than the new industrial system, in which the owner did not have to take care of his employees.

Let us note that at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century the “Mercantile” concept still retained traces of decency. Adams judged it “hardly mercantile” to do business on borrowed capital. At that time individualism had its own probity, a modest but secure income was called an “independence”.

History taken as a lesson, and taking into account the difference between certainty and supposition, would be an exposition of the nature of events, rather than a chronicle of names.""""

(yo le gusta!).

""""The true history of the economy of the United States, as I see it, is to be found in the correspondence between Adams and Jefferson, in the writings of Van Buren, and in quotations from the intimate letters of the Fathers of the Republic. The elements remain the same: debts, altering the value of monetary units, and the attempts, and triumphs of usury, due to monopolies, or to a “Corner”.

In order to please those who love to gamble, the Exchange permits Mr. A to sell to Mr. B what Mr. A does not possess; on condition that Mr. A. succeeds in buying it and consigning it to Mr. B within a determined time.

The Americans have chosen this game instead of bull-fighting. And naturally, if a group of financiers succeeds in inducing simpletons to sell more than actually exists, or to sell more of it than can be obtained, the late-comers can be made to “pay through the nose”. In 1869, Gould, Fisk and others almost succeeded in monopolizing the available gold in New York. Roosevelt followed Jim Fisk.

The speculators boast about their courage or temerity, but this courage is a different kind of courage from that displayed at the Roulette, or other games of chance; for, by speculating on wheat and other commodities these gamblers are not just gambling among themselves, they are deciding on the prices the public must pay for its necessities."""

(Yo le gusta, tambien)

""""From the War of Secession up to now, the economic history of the United States has consisted in a series of exchange manoeuvers in New York and in Chicago; attempts to impose monopolies, corners, variations in the prices of the shares of new industries, and of the means of transportation. In the beginning they speculated on the value of land. An inflation in its value was stimulated without bothering about the difficulty, or the impossibility of transporting products from distant fields to the market. Then they speculated on the values of the railroads.

If it is in the interest of the common worker, producer, or citizen to have an equitable and fixed price, this is not at all in the interest of the speculator or broker. “Hell”, he says, “I don’t want a still market. I couldn’t make any money.”

Like a patient fisher, the broker waits for the rise or fall of even ¼ or 1/8 per cent, and there is his fifty or one hundred dollars.

He waits for a “break”. It may come once in a life time. This may be the starting point to a fortune. The great Morgan, during the Civil War, bought on credit a certain quantity of damaged rifles from the War Department in Washington, and sold them to a Military Command in Texas, and was paid by the latter before he had to pay the former. He made $75,000.00 profit. Later he was even sentenced, but that did not prevent his becoming the great Mahatma of Wall Street, and a world politico-economical power. Such is the material of which the economic and human history of the United states is made.""""

Bastante, por ahora
Custom Search

Blog Archive