Friday, August 31, 2007

Ol' G.: Tamerlane

Tamerlane, or Timur the Lame, describes his par-tay at Delhi (just one of many):

""""""In a short space of time all the people in the [New Delhi] fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground....All these infidel Hindus were slain, their women and children, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. I proclaimed throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners should put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death.

One hundred thousand infidels, impious idolators, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasiruddin Umar, a counselor and man of learning, who, in all his life, had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives....on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and enemies of Islam at other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword. [18]""""

Ah those whacky Mohammedans.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

from "The Vindication of Nietzsche"

(by Aleister Crowley)

""""Is there any man who still shuts his eyes to the plain fact that homo sapiens is but a primate, cousin of the gorilla, with a brain over-developed to think abominations, and a larynx evolved to aid their execution, a creature whose prime pangs are hunger, lust, and hate, and his fundamental solaces rape, robbery, and murder? I laughed with open throat at the "atrocity" Press Campaigns in the Balkan War. "The half-civilized peoples of the Near East!" Is the present war any less prolific of such stories when the compatriots of Tolstoi, and Gorky, and Goethe, and Anatole France, and Shelley are at war? And are the stories true? True of false in detail, I knew them true in essence, and I knew also that the primmest old maid in Dorchester whose palsied hands dropped her knitting as she read of them was horrified because, although she did not know it, and could never be brought to know it, those atrocities were in her blood from everlasting. "There, but for the Grace of God, goes Charles Baxter" was the wisest remark that ever came from a fool's lips. And it is because we have persuaded ourselves bitterly and obstinately, against the deeper knowledge that is instinct in every organism, that these things cannot happen, that we have lost the manhood that could have prevented them. Some there are so priggishly purblind that fact itself, naked and bleeding at their thresholds, battering on the gates of their ears with the Ram of actuality, fails to force those waxed-up tympana. When the nations were already at each other's throats, when men had seen their brothers blown to atoms before their eyes, drilled through with nickel and lead, slashed and gashed with steel, ridden down beneath the hoofs of the horses1, we heard that President Wilson had offered to arbitrate! To arbitrate, when the diplomatic and economic pressure of a decade, and the consciousness of ineradicable race- hatred since time began, and clan tore clan with flint, had forced the Boar of Germany to turn at last upon the Borzoi and the Bulldog, to lash out with tusk and hoof at the invisible pack of hounds that closed upon him.

And we are still babbling of the Cause of Liberty, and the Banner of the Democracies, and the Truth, and the Righteousness, and the Justice, and the Equity, and the Humanity, and the Progress, when every man that is not stultified beyond the surgery of war by his own hypocracies, knows well that the battle is a battle of over-population, the haemorrage of a plethora, and that its terms are merely "My life or yours!" -- "The hammer or the anvil?"

The Chinese (till Europe infected them) murdered all but a few selected female infants, and consequently lived in peace and prosperity for two thousand years. Civilization and the arts flourished; famine has been rare, and floods and plague welcomed as a purge.2 Our squeamishness has forbidden us to take this elementary precaution, this restraint imposed on prosperity by wisdom; and where are our civilization, our prosperity, our liberty, our Progress? In fifty years will there remain so many monuments of what we were two months ago as Egypt has of its Pharaohs, Greece of its Republics, Rome of its Caesars? We have used bricks and iron for stone and brass, pulp for papyrus and palm-leaf, rhetoric for fact, pharisaism for publicansim, and our era will perish ere our own bones rot!3

We have pretended4 that there was no such thing as sex, no such thing as venereal disease, that our publicists were True Believers in Christianity, that our women were pure and our men brave; we have howled down every man who dared to hint the truth: we have sowed the wind of pious phrases, and we must reap the whirlwind of war.
It has been the same in every drawer of our cupboard -- and now the skeleton is out. Swinburne's prophecy has come true; we must amend him to read:

"They are past, and their places are taken,
The gods and the priests that are pure."

We have had a credit system which when analysed meant that we were all pretending to be rich, a social system in which we all pretended to be esquires at the least. We had Dukes who never led, Marquesses with no marches to ward, Knights who could barely sit on a donkey; we called our slattern slaveys lady helps, our prostitutes soiled doves, our grumbling mumbling fumbling politicians statesmen.
And it is gone like a ghost -- and an unclean spirit sure it was that haunted us.

And if I write for England, who will read?
As if, when moons of Ramazan recede,
Some fatuous angel-porter should deposit
His perfect wine within the privy closet!
"What do they know, who only England know?"
Only what England paints its face to show.
Love mummied and relabelled "chaste affection,"
And lust excused as "natural selection."
. . . . . . . .

........ ............. (CENSORED!)

"""I wish I could quote the whole poem;5 but it may need another six months before prudery has a final "seizure."6

It is this prudery which has fought Nietzsche. In its last ditch it is still pretending that Nietzsche, who hated the Germans, was a German. "The Anglo-Nietzschean War!" True it is, the Germans were the only people who had the common sense, the clear sight, the ability to face, grasp, and use the facts which Nietzsche thundered to the planet. Had England done so, she would have had two million men always under arms, and Germany must have surrendered without a blow, could never have dared even this desperate dash, this madness which comes of pushing sanity to the wall, and bidding it fight for its life. Nor could I write that the British army

has been
is being annihilated.
is about to be

Are we fighting to preserve peace, to hold the balance of power, to save civilization, to relieve the burden of armaments, to smash the tyranny of militarism, to sentinel liberty?
Then we should have had an army equal to Germany's, and our fleet should have destroyed hers while we were three to one. You must fight fire with fire. Shelley's "Laon and Cythna" and his "Masque of Anarchy," Tolstoi and the whole school of non-resistance, where are they now? The "big blonde beast" who visits women with a whip under his arm has not been impressed with the moral superiority of the conquered. He has robbed them and enslaved them and murdered them, he has ravished their women and tossed their children on his bayonets, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen. Thus spake Zarathustra.


Is not Earth purged? Is not the Pillar established in the Void? , ! Thou art arisen! Is there not an end of the anaemia of the Humanitarian, and the hysteria of the Suffragist, and the stark sunning lunacy of the Cubist-Futurist-Vorticist-Parallelipipedist-Feminist, and all the onanism of the Knut and the Flapper?
Will not man arise again, and hunt and fight and master his mate, and will not woman return to her cooking and her housewifery and the breeding of lusty children to her man? And if Nietzsche be the dawn-star, shall there be no son of man to be a Sun of men? Had we no prophet? Had we no poet, O all ye weary criticasters of the prostitute-prude Press? Was there not one to put into the mouth of his king-priest-magus, baffled by fate in the hour of the birth of Christianity, this prophecy of the Antichrist --7




Unlike his many demon-hick acolytes, Crowley (as in Crow-lee) could write a bit (no slouch as linguist, Al translated from French, Latin, some Greek, as far as I know--probably Hebrew and Germanic tongues as well). Crowley also played chess at grandmaster level, climbed in the Himalaya (and Hindu Kush--including a rather unpleasant attempt at K2), and dabbled in the sciences (his occultish shit remains interesting, if redolent with a few hints of charlatanry).

Crowley knew his literary and ideological masters well, and paid them their respects: Shelley, Nietzsche, Sir Richard Burton (not the thezpian), Swinburne, etc. Though Crowley's writing generally tends towards irony he appears rather anti-pacifist in this piece, penned apparently at the conclusion of WWI: a bit more Nietzschean than Shelleyan. Indeed Crowley granted Nietzsche saint status in his gnostic-freemason pantheon (then Crowley granted it to hisself as well).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

RealPolitik, ala Matt and Trey.

"Matt Stone sums it up, "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals.""

Right the F. on, man.

Monday, August 27, 2007

P.E.T.A., continued (Peoples Eating Tasty Animals).

"......the errors of the greatest philosophers usually have their point of departure in a false explanation of certain human actions and sensations; ...a false ethics is erected, religion and mythological monsters are then in turn called to buttress it, and the shadow of these dismal spirits in the end falls even across physics and the entire perception of the world."""""

(from Nietzsche's Human, All too Human)

Some phunn Veg-Bot abuse from "Meat Kicks Ass"

""""Vegan/Nazi: This type of vegetarian not only doesn't eat meat, but he or she will try to impose their beliefs onto you with propaganda on TV and radio stations. Vegetarians of this type are commonly afflicted with accute bitching syndrome, or ABS. This is a mental disease not unlike feminism. It causes the victim to bitch about people who choose to eat meat. All animal products are boycotted by this group of fascists.

Anti-Meat Vegetarian/Dumbass: This is the most common type of vegetarian. A vegetarian of this type will not eat any beef, poultry, or fish products (less cheese and milk because they're irrational). The ones that keep to themselves aren't a major problem, as they're usually stupid, close minded, and fragile because all of that "organic health food" bullshit has made them weak. On a side note, these types of vegetarians are very fun to tease. Occasionally, you'll find a vegetarian who has backed him or herself into mental corner, so afraid to hurt or kill something that they'll even try to avoid stepping on bugs-- because bugs are living things, and they have feelings too... right? Bwahaha. Worthless."""

Yes, MKA, the usual spineless granola and yogurt-sucking Veg-bot often confuses his dimwitted, new-age "ethics" with something like a political program. Of course ask one of these mystical idiots to actually provide a compelling argument for obligation or duty or "rights" and they start to melt (or are seized with ABS). That said, we here at Contingencies (vegetarians we are not: neither was RA Wilson, another meat-eating, gun-toting, drug-using Phreedom fighter, opposed to idiots of links oder rechts) do take issue with the corporate cattle and pork biz, yet that is more a far more complex matter regarding the efficient use of resources and energy, and even "consumerism" as a whole. But the usual McMoondoggie vegetarian twit isn't concerned with discussing the specific problems of the meat industry, or the cattle commodity-market, but in chanting her "Meat means murder, man" talent-nite anthem; she couldn't distinguish a commodity from her collection of Karma-dharma (yet McMoondoggie then allows his Romney-supporting, right-wing
xtian pals to post their drivel next to his mystic-liberal-lite spam. All part of the Neo-Irrationalist agenda).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dante for Kix (Contingencies re-run).

Dante, Europe's sort of official Tour Guide of Hell (Nietzsche cared not for him: calling him a hyena or something), placed the greek philosophers--and scientists, such as Archimedes---in Elysium. Elysium is not Hell, but similar to Purgatory, where it's sort of gloomy, but the light of Reason was always observable. Yet the pagans never escape from Elysium--so that is a bit different than the case for sinners in the traditional Purgatory, who have a shot at redemption after a few eons. Purgatory is really not a bad idea--remember that Professor that gave you a B when you definitely earned an A? Perhaps after 5000 years or so, when her spiritual errors are purged, she crawls out of her hole of excrement and is allowed admittance into the bottom rings of Heaven. Thus, the Dantean afterworld "code" (and based not only on Aquinas and the Vulgate, but Platonism) seems to suggest that humans--even skeptic or pagan idolators-- who live a fairly ethical and rational life are eventually rewarded, sort of like being admitted to the cosmic fraternity, and join the "elect"--Alpha Beta Epsilon, or whatever.

Virtuous pagans and skeptics, say Thomas Jefferson, Einstein or Bertrand Russell, thus could be conceivably admitted into some spiritual land of the blessed, regardless of their doubts of Scripture; whereas moronic violent believers (say Falwell) are not. A Newton, whose constants and equations, for the most part, still accurately map the mechanics of planetary motion, would be presumably ranked much higher than irrationalists and equivocators such as Derrida and the post-modernists, who may be hard-pressed to gain entrance into Purgatory. Or perhaps there are heavens and hells for everyone, of all religious or non-religious creeds, a sort of pantheistic play of forces, where in one realm, a Derrida or a William Burroughs is near some linguistic paradise, and in another they are being looked over by jackal-faced demons characteristic of the egyptian underworld (maybe instead the Darwinist posse holds (however mundane) and we're jus' sophisticated primates and future worm food (when yr dead, yr dead, as some old fop-filosophe said to me once: tho' Dante places Epicurus, sort of an ancient Darwinian materialist, in a rather unpleasant section in Inferno), and the afterworld meme-metaphor functions in some biological or genetic manner, not quite understood.....).

As an aside, I must say I find Dante's Inferno quite entertaining. I especially enjoy contemplating the lower levels, the Malebolge (something like "piss pocket" according to my bad italiano), where the Hypocrites and Betrayers are located, quite a bit lower than those guilty of mere sins of the flesh (whores and sodomites, etc.). Signior Dante obviously felt that those who had betrayed their country, their countrymen, and/or children were near the bottom of Hell. There seem to be quite a few corrupt Catholic clergymen and noblemen, assassins and murderers as well. The Prophet Mohammed is down there, as are numerous other heretics (including a legendary Ho, Thais), Ulysses (think Capn' Kirk) and his sarge Diomedes (Diomedes not quite Spock--more like, say, Schwarzenegger, tho' the other great warrior Achilles quite a few rings above 'em), as well as corrupt judges such as Caiaphas. In the icy center of the hell-lake Cocytus, Brutus, the rather stoical and methodical assassin of Julius Caesar, and his cohort Cassius (alas, quite a witty wise guy in Shakespeare's play) are being gnawed on by Lucifer, their heads out; Judas Iscariot of course is being swallowed eternally head-first by the massive Lucifer, who, in a mockery of the Trinity, has 3 mouths.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Colonise Or Be Colonised


"""""The simple truth that different cultures are irreconcilable, and one must dominate the others, means the now impotent cultures of Western Civilization will be overrun. How a particular culture dominates, or attempts to dominate, other cultures, naturally reflects the character of that culture. The fact that the Americans refrain from killing their enemies does not mean that their enemies will refrain from killing them, as America was recently reminded. On September 11, 2001, around 3,000 people were murdered in a barbarian raid upon the USA, when the fanatical followers of an Islamic sect deliberately crashed hi-jacked passenger planes into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

The Barbarians Are Coming—With A New Dark Age

The World Trade Centre attack is confirmation of Arnold Toynbee's claim that the decline of a civilization means the appearance of Barbarian war-bands. And it is clear that, in one way or another, it is only a matter of time before the increasing senility of the countries that make up the Western world, will see them succumb to invaders. The result will be the final extinction of Western Civilization, along with its wealth and power, and a return to the Dark Ages: a time when there is no human community anywhere that is sane."""

A bit harsh, but not so far from the truth, in terms of "Realpolitik." DNC-o-crats who think illegal immigration, globalism, and multiculturalism are all inherently PC or "good" things should perhaps spend a few years in Mexico City, or Johannesburg, or for that matter, some Compton 'jects. Toynbee in fact offers quite a few interesting, anti-marxist bon mots worth remembering (tho' to most yokel "liberals" (the usual tasteless loud-mouthed bitch from KOS-hack, etc.), anything that speaks of tradition or European civilization (""ah "bon mot"--dat's from those nasty phroggies"") has now become suspect). The yokel DNC-o-crat, which is to say, yahoo, like his redneck GOPer cuz, generally views with suspicion any idea (whether Toynbee or Trotsky) that was not a part of American pop-kultur of the last 25 years or so. American politics: pretty much dominated by calvinist dolts, links oder rechts.
James Ellroy

Fiction is a lie; novelists, great pretenders and conjurers, and the Lit. Biz functions essentially as a deception, another manifestation of liberal-consumer culture. A character, say in a sci-fi novel might allude to a scientific theory or data, etc. but that is not the raison d'etre of fictional narratives. The fictioneer's rhetoric might be eloquent or feature interesting metaphors, etc. but nonetheless literary narratives are not genuine descriptions of reality, though they are often mistaken for such.

Literary businessmen and women would seemingly replace accounts of WWI--of the blood sport of Verdun or the Somme-- with Ulysses or the Wasteland; William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (a popular work, but it will suffice for illustrative purposes) with any number of works of fiction; objective analyses of the Depression with Dreiser, etc.; the science of Einstein with science-fiction. The lit. biz has, over the last 50 years, indeed mostly succeeded in replacing fact with fiction, however trite that sounds. Most American lit. consumers are more interested in the Wasteland and Bloomsbury melodrama than in WWI or WWII battles or russian history or the Bolsheviks, and most Americans generally know far more about Shakespeare than they do about Tudorian history, and may quote scenes verbatim from Moby Dick and not recall one civil war engagement or major figure. And the lightweight "historicism" of a few Lit. snobs barely begins to address the effects of literary deception.

The authentic progressive--or even old-school Trotskyite--retains a certain ideological opposition to the realm of belle-lettres and to bureaucratic prose of all types. The play Hamlet functions about like the Bible or Koran does; but then so does Marx's writing or that of most liberal Panglosses du jour. One hates to refer to it as dogma, but there are people lower in the Malebolge than Karl Popper.

I make exceptions for a few Greats: Joseph Conrad. Steven Crane. Dostoyevsky (Crime and Pun. a Noir epic, in a sense). A few old-school French realists and Voltaire. Hermie Melville, tho was I believe quite f-n mad. EA Poe's manga amuses, but he was perhaps also mad. (Hawthorne was not mad, but maybe too sane and "kultured"). The Victorian shrews, and most Americuns of the last 50 years or so were mad. Joyce es muy loco, regardless of his clerical and priestly acumen (better a decent history of WWI than a wheelbarrow full of "Ulysses"--). The "Noir" school of writers may be mad, but there is a definite method--related to a detective-like deduction, perhaps-- to their madness (not to be perceived in say the madman's tale of Moby Dick); and EA Poe's best stories also are characterized by that sort of deductive power. Noir in fact has an impact quite more forceful than most traditional literature or the dayglo space-operas of science fiction (though there are a few definite sci-fi greats--PK Dick, JG Ballard, cyberpunks).

Similar to his noir daddy Hammett, James Ellroy may be one of the few authentic pulp visionaries (Tarentino not included in the Club Hammett), and his visions reveal LA for the insane, corrupt dystopia it is. Black Dahlia and LA Con are certainly works of art, comparable, to, say, Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49 (which has a few pulpish hints as well). With White Jazz, still a decent read, he may have got a bit carried away with the chaos and corruption, similiarly with the sort of Truman Capote meets Kafka writing of American Tabloid. I haven't read his most recent, Cold Six Thousand. He's still a bit of a macho cop lover--tho' willing to acknowledge that there are plenty of Dudley Smiths around (and still are).

Ellroy is a name in the Wood, as well: Ho-wood. Chandler was processed through the Ho-wood machine decades ago and is, at least from the consumer's POV, not far from Mickey Spillane pulp. Chandler was, after all, an Englishman, and Marlow is still a bit of a British gent. So it's a bit contrived, but then so was Sherlock Holmes. Hammett's Sam Spade, more worldly, cynical, runs closer to the street, but at the same time he seems sort of confused, ineffectual (that may be intended--Hammett's more of a relativist than Chandler) and not nearly as fleshed out as Marlow in Farewell My Lovely or the Long Goodbye. Ellroy, like Hammett, aims for a true-crime, photojournalist-like realism and while I admire that (yet sometimes I find the obscenity a bit gratuitous), I think Chandler was attempting to produce an FS Fitzgerald-like prose as well as noir: he was not only about a sort of photographic realism.

We wouldn't exactly refer to Marlow as phony but perhaps a bit metaphorical in conception; he's not the iconic Holmes of course (tho' with Marlow's chess-playing and so forth, there is still bit of the English detective to him), but he's not an alcoholic, ho-mongering member of the LAPD, as so many of Ellroy's heroes (and anti-heroes are). Chandler's writing and his Marlow-knights are perhaps a bit outdated, but Ellroy-pulp sometimes reads like it was pasted in from sheriff's reports if not True Detective. That's not to say I don't enjoy the pulp aspect: I do--especially Black Dahlia and LA Con. The recent bust of the coke-whiffing Burbank mayor who was shacking up with her Vineland Boys mobster- boytoy right off the pages of Ellroy.

Early Dash--Falcon-, pre-Red, pre-whatever that broad's name was--moves along nicely, but Ray Chandler still outplays him: perhaps that posh and jazzy side of Chandler irritates Our Guy Ellroy, but I think there is more Chandler than Dash in Ellroy manga, and that is part of the maximalist appeal--as in White Jazz--Chandler meets, well, the beats sorta. Later Red-Hammett--the Thin Man stuff--reads rather obscene. It's amusing but a bit unsavory.

As far as Ellroy's cop-rogues go, Jack Vincennes ranks pretty high--tho I think White Jazz as a whole could have used editing--

Ellroy supposedly disavowed Chandler as a forefather, however. Pourquoi? I perceive a distinct Chandler-like sensibility to Ellroy's LA fiction--maybe Chandler too conservative? Hammett wrote with a nice crisp style, but he was quite simplistic in ways. I think Chandler was a better writer in terms of prose, scenes, plotting etc. Posh. Chandler like Ellington to Hammett's Count Basie. Dash's politics also quite leftist if not outright red; Ellroy too a bit of a leftist perhaps--the expose of LAPD corruption (not fleshed out enough in the LA Con flick), the hatred for mafiosos, but riding with Dash and the marxists? Hard to believe.


And given Ellroy's proclaimed conservative inclinations, his fondness for Hammett is a bit odd, tho' hopefully had Hammett known the real history of Stalinism he would have renounced and denounced those jackals.

Jimmy E. got a bit lazy or something, however: pricey dames maybe, booze, who knows. And more macho too--the de rigeur noirish shift from idealist hater of corruption to a bit more cynical conservative: White Jazz could have been penned by some aging LAPD goon on a meth binge, ya know Studio City bungalow with a tasty Weekly gal (I wager "jade") making some gin and tonics, Stan Kenton cranked up in the back. Nonetheless we'll peruse C. 6000 in near future.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Snitch-Ron marches on.

"""A brief reminder on TCP""""

"""""A TCP connection between two hosts (which will be called respectively
"client" and "server" in the rest of the paper) can be identified by a tuple
[client-IP, server-IP, client-port, server-port]. While the server port is
well known, the client port is usually in the range 1024-5000, and
automatically assigned by the operating system. (Exemple: the connection
from some guy to freenode may be represented by [,, 1207, 6667]).

When communication occurs on a TCP connexion, the exchanged TCP packet
headers are containing these informations (actually, the IP header contains
the source/destination IP, and the TCP header contains the
source/destination port). Each TCP packet header also contains fields for a
sequence number (SEQ), and an acknowledgement number (ACK).

Each of the two hosts involved in the connection computes a 32bits SEQ
number randomly at the establishment of the connection. This initial SEQ
number is called the ISN. Then, each time an host sends some packet with
N bytes of data, it adds N to the SEQ number.
The sender put his current SEQ in the SEQ field of each outgoing TCP packet.
The ACK field is filled with the next *expected* SEQ number from the other
host. Each host will maintain his own next sequence number (called
SND.NEXT), and next expected SEQ number from the other host (called

STFU, Snitch-Ron. No one gives a shit about your pathetic wannabe-hacker snitch-Speak. It was dated 15 years ago. You don't know encryption from egyptian, or protocols from pot farming.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Christopher Hitchens: or the Iraqi War Effort for Dummies
".......For anyone with eyes to see, there was only one other state that combined the latent and the blatant definitions of both "rogue" and "failed." This state--Saddam's ruined and tortured and collapsing Iraq--had also met all the conditions under which a country may be deemed to have sacrificed its own legal sovereignty. To recapitulate: It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United Nations, in this crisis, faced with regular insult to its own resolutions and its own character, had managed to set up a system of sanctions-based mutual corruption. In May 2003, had things gone on as they had been going, Saddam Hussein would have been due to fill Iraq's slot as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Meanwhile, every species of gangster from the hero of the Achille Lauro hijacking to Abu Musab al Zarqawi was finding hospitality under Saddam's crumbling roof.

One might have thought, therefore, that Bush and Blair's decision to put an end at last to this intolerable state of affairs would be hailed, not just as a belated vindication of long-ignored U.N. resolutions but as some corrective to the decade of shame and inaction that had just passed in Bosnia and Rwanda. But such is not the case. An apparent consensus exists, among millions of people in Europe and America, that the whole operation for the demilitarization of Iraq, and the salvage of its traumatized society, was at best a false pretense and at worst an unprovoked aggression....."

Hear, hear, Hitch. Most Dove-o-crats not only fail to acknowledge the brutalities of the Hussein/Baathist regime, they fail to acknowledge that their own bosses (ie. Hillarity, Di-Fi, Edwards, et al) in fact supported the war effort themselves. Agreeing in part with the Hitchens' sort of justification for the War Effort, however, does not imply one agrees to, say, the political and economic agenda of the Republican party, nor with BushCo's handling of the war (Hitchens might have addressed the tragic deaths of iraqi civilians a bit more in depth), or the "neo-cons." ("neo-con" now part of the DailyKOS-hack's neo-Doublespeak lexicon, sort of equivalent to what "petit-bourgeois jackal" was a few years ago. At least the marxists were a bit more honest than the new school of Byatch-o-crats).


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From Russell's Mysticism and Logic

"""""The possibility of this universal love and joy in all
that exists is of supreme importance for the conduct and
happiness of life, and gives inestimable value to the
mystic emotion, apart from any creeds which may be
built upon it. But if we are not to be led into false
beliefs, it is necessary to realise exactly what the mystic
emotion reveals. It reveals a possibility of human nature--
a possibility of a nobler, happier, freer life than any
that can be otherwise achieved. But it does not reveal
anything about the non-human, or about the nature of
the universe in general. Good and bad, and even the
higher good that mysticism finds everywhere, are the
reflections of our own emotions on other things, not part
of the substance of things as they are in themselves.
And therefore an impartial contemplation, freed from all
pre-occupation with Self, will not judge things good or
bad, although it is very easily combined with that feeling
of universal love which leads the mystic to say that the
whole world is good. """""

As Russell notes the Mystic (or his unsavory cousin, the occultist) in effect imposes his own narcissistic, "pre-occupation with Self" onto reality, and thus mistakes his own perceptions of Reality for the ding-an-sich: he continually fails to realize that "the reflections of our own emotions on other things [are not] part
of the substance of things as they are in themselves". The individual mind (i.e. the "mind" as a product of biochemical, neural processes in the brain) does not interpenetrate nature; McMoondoggie has no special, hidden connection to the granite or pines or other natural phenomena that he gazes at in wonder--indeed, as anyone who ever bothered to read Melville's Moby Dick realizes, any such nature mysticism would be far more horrorific and terrifying than the pastoral dreams of any Wordsworth-like New Agers, even ones who memorized their "Quantum physics for Bad Poets" 101 texts (we here at Contingencies generally prefer Russellian like skepticism to literary visions, but make exceptions for Melville--Mel. was spinning Road Songs 100 years before the Beats. Ishmael hisself resembles a Kantian skeptic to some degree). Queequeg's shark-demon pantheism, or Ahab's rage against the Whale, puts most Lovecraft pulp to shame (and Lovecraft's occultic stories--eloquent at times--- generally function as a type of sublimated racism--).

Nature mysticism is a rather typical affliction of lapsed-protestant do-gooders, or of aging college party boys (nazis of course were rather fond of nature mysticism as well, and occultism--"mysticism" then being a sort of pretense for, most likely, some Goering-like decadence). What's more the specific supernatural claims associated with mysticism are hogwash: the Amazing Randi (however quaint and rustic he seems, Randi debunks countless frauds) still offers 1 million dollars to any occultist or mystic or "psychic" who can demonstrate some paranormal event to a crowd of witnesses in an objective setting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ah yeahh : ol' Aurora borealis

Coward, n.

"One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs."

Ambrose Bierce

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shuttle Tees, from Orbit-Ron

Dewd--I am so with those guys. That hole in the belly of their ship! Yikes. I wager they are saying a few Ave Marias. Speaking of wagers, Pascal's Wager is one of the most famous--an early example of a decision matrix. Here it is in brief:

You live as though God exists.
If God exists, you go to heaven: your gain is infinite.
If God does not exist, you gain nothing & lose nothing.

You live as though God does not exist.
If God exists, you go to hell: your loss is infinite.
If God does not exist, you gain nothing & lose nothing.

Many Xtians, of course, don't have a problem with being greedy, self-serving opportunists, supporting US Total War Incorporated (or NASA), lying, breaking any number of supposed Scriptural principles. Pascal suggests that the blasphemer (even ones who march to Sunday School each week) in effect has the most to lose, IF God exists (in other words, the wager does NOT offer a proof of "God"--merely what will be the case given a traditional theological account. Though the use of "infinite" is rather questionable, as is the assumption that "God" does reward the "pious." ).

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Friday, August 10, 2007

"The only fascist science fiction writer in America": RA Heinlein

(The Politics of Sci-fi, Redux)

From Libertarian Forum, 1969 or so:

"""""According to a February issue of National Review magazine, Robert Heinlein is one of 270 signers of a jingoist petition circulated in the U. S. Author's Guild by the facile William Buckley and his spiritual cohort Frank S. Meyer. The petition, a belated retort to an earlier anti-Vietnam war roster of authors (which was eminently successful), calls for "the vigorous prosecution of the Vietnam war to an honorable conclusion." Deep contemplation is not necessary to comprehend the statist, authoritarian implications of such New Right weasel words and the concomitant beliefs of men who would endorse it.""""""

Apparently even a few Libertarians thought Heinlein a bit too whacked and rightist (to the real Precious-Bodily-Fluids sort of Hawk, Nixon was "soft"). Heinlein appears to be the favorite scribbler and ideological guru of New Worlds. Excepting JC, of course, and perhaps Hog HulkRon(one of the loudest of DU Blog-Martyrs: loudness being inversely proportional to like rationality.......). Perhaps HulkRon--homophobe, congenital liar, white trash protestant, misogynist, and lover of all things Heroic and Heinleinian---might leave his WWF Today alone for a few days and read up on his ideological guru's pal Bill Buckley (At least Buckley wielded some nice Ivy League prose: more than pulpmeister RAHeinlein, or poor Hulk-Ron, another Caliban who fancies hisself Shakespeare, could say).


Dem's the Facts (and there's more to come for the Corpse Cocka-roacha).

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wit (warning: non-PC, and guaran-teeeeeeeed to irritate dyslexic scientologists from Texas)

"""Fascists do bad things just to be bad. “I’m the baddest dude in Baghdad,” Saddam Hussein was saying,“the baddest cat in the Middle East. I’m way bad.” This was way stupid. But fascists are stupid. Consider Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. He didn’t have any. How stupid does that make Saddam? All he had to do was say to UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix, “Look where you want. Look beneath the couch cushions. Look under my bed. Look in the special spider hole I’m keeping for emergencies.” And Saddam Hussein could have gone on dictatoring away until Donald Rumsfeld is elected head of the World Council of Churches.

Instead, we blew the place to bits. And a mess was left behind. But it’s a mess without a military to fight aggres­sive wars; a mess without the facilities to develop dangerous weapons; a mess that cannot systematically kill, torture, and oppress millions of its citizens. It’s a mess with a message— don’t mess with us.""

(PJ O'Rourke). Anyone who partied with HS Thompson on occasion, and hates communists can't be all bad.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

When you start seeing strings of hypothetical questions ("Geez Wally, what would ol' Ben Franklin do about the dreadful poverty?"), that's a good sign some maudlin suburbanite liberal has been short on the tithing plate, or reading some Screepture, or perhaps trying to hustle his more successful pal at Tandy Corp, or is it his fellow LDS Elder-Bot.

""""""It was precisely Marx who had first discovered the great law of motion of history, the law according to which all historical struggles, whether they proceed in the political, religious, philosophical or some other ideological domain, are in fact only the more or less clear expression of struggles of social classes, and that the existence and thereby the collisions, too, between these classes are in turn conditioned by the degree of development of their economic position, by the mode of their production and of their exchange determined by it. This law, which has the same significance for history as the law of the transformation of energy has for natural science - this law gave him here, too, the key to an understanding of the history of the Second French Republic.[42] He put his law to the test on these historical events, and even after thirty-three years we must still say that it has stood the test brilliantly.""""" (Engels, Intro. to 18th Brumaire
KSRobinson:"the feel of the future."

(the politics of sci-fi, cont.)

(from interview with KSR):

LJ: "Do possibilities that are addressed in SF fiction subconsciously influence and shape the way in which our reality evolves? If we can imagine it, will it inadvertently strengthen the possibility of becoming real?"

KSRobinson: "Or on purpose. Shelley said, "Anything that can be conceived can be executed." I'm not sure that is true, but certainly SF serves as a kind of modeling or climate forecasting; its scenarios tend to have a group similarity, or a majority report, that invokes a certain kind of future which everyone then assumes will come true in some form or other. SF has been doing well enough with the general tenor of its predictions to make people confident that it is doing pretty well at capturing the feel of the future, in some senses. Ironically, this may account for the decrease of interest in SF lately (if there is one, as often reported)—people don't want to know. The future is scary, and people think it can only get worse, so they read something else. No one likes dystopias as a steady diet. This was one of the worst aspects of cyberpunk; to the extent it succeeded (particularly in its implication that this dire future would be fun and that canny people could get by surfing the badness) the vision of a better future tended to fail. Dystopias need to be warnings, not invitations to cope, and give up on change."

Well stated, Mr. Robinson. But quite a few questionable assertions are contained therein (as questionable as the eloquent futility of that early sci-fi scribe Shelley (of course Shelleyan verse like a blowtorch compared to the little candles of, like, about any American writer ever). Futurism is not in itself good, and the visions of much utopian sci-fi obviously often do not "pan out". Additionally, dystopias are not simply pessimism, but more like warnings. Brave New World and 1984 are warnings, and there are more than a few humans who do live sort of Winston Smith-like lives, whether in so-called democracies or some communist regime. KSR seems a bit over-optimistic; like many writers of speculative fiction, his visions of some efficient, orderly utopian future often come at the expense of overlooking the Kafka-like nightmares of the past. Wm. Gibson at least has no such delusions: Count Zero in a sense effectively illustrated a not-so-fun "dire future" where a few "canny people could get by surfing the badness." Funny those canny people that Gibson portrays (like Bobby Newmark in CZ) don't at all resemble the typically overly-sensitive, hysterical PC types (or Osiris forbid, mormons or biblethumpers) found on most "liberal" blogs....ave DysLit.

But really even the cool cyber-noir of Gibson doesn't deal with contemporary political and economic problems. Futurists, whether u. or dys., take potshots at grand targets, and generally miss. Authentic political discussions generally reduce to reiterations of the Keynes vs. Karl Marx bout (or is it just dealing with the implications of David Ricardo's economic ideas). To redistribute, or not to redistribute! To entitle or not to entitle! Visions aren't arguments, KSR.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Frege for Phun.

"(Frege) invented axiomatic predicate logic, in large part thanks to his invention of quantified variables, which eventually became ubiquitous in mathematics and logic, and solved the problem of multiple generality. Though previous logic had dealt with the logical constants and, or, if...then..., not, and some and all, iterations of these operations were little understood; even the distinction between a pair of sentences like "every boy loves some girl" and "some girl is loved by every boy" could not be represented. It is sometimes noted that Aristotle's logic would not be able to represent even the most elementary inferences in Euclid's geometry, but Frege's "conceptual notation" could represent inferences involving indefinitely complex mathematical statements. Hence the analysis of logical concepts and the machinery of formalization that is essential to Bertrand Russell's theory of descriptions and Principia Mathematica (with Alfred North Whitehead), and to Gödel's incompleteness theorems, and to Alfred Tarski's theory of truth, is ultimately due to Frege."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hume Day, everyday!

"""In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remark'd, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surpriz'd to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it shou'd be observ'd and explain'd; and at the same time that a reason should be given; for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. "" (Hume, from the Treatise of Human Nature).

Hume holds that values and virtues, however beneficial to society, are not
"necessary"; they are conventions, based on an individual's subjective desires and "passions". Value statements are not statements about perceivable facts (tho' there might be a debate with that) , nor are they "axiomatic" as say the pythagorean theorem is, or for that matter propositional logic ala Modus Ponens (tho' value "warrants" could be established in a sense as a premise: "you ought not to rob banks if you want to avoid prison; if you can get with it, and want the cash, then rob them") . Is there a way around this view without recourse to theology or appeals to pathos?--- i.e. some argument for objective morality---that an "ought" statement ("you ought not to rob banks, or invade countries") is actually not just a matter of prudence, or taste, pleasure, but somehow rational or logically necessary? . Many secularists, Darwinists, and atheists routinely rely on some sense of shared values or objective morality, without being able to justify those values rationally. Of course anyone who has been through a few blogger ethics BS sessions (or who recalls them--not always fondly) knows that the Hume fact/value distinction is a biggy, and in fact damn near impossible to overcome (which is to say, Hume made a 2nd order insight about "ethics" (whatever that is, ultimately); not merely about ethical relativism or "why be moral", but about the language of "values" itself: modal auxillaries such as "ought" or "should" are sort of semantic singularities. Alas, moralists of left and right do not know that, or they forget it when they log onto ye olde

Monday, August 06, 2007

Zizek on Immigration (La Izquierda Auténtica)

""""One should be attentive here to how even those elements which appear as pure Rightist racism are effectively a displaced version of workers' protests: of course there is racism in demanding the end of immigration of foreign workers which pose a threat to our employment; however, one should bear in mind the simple fact that the influx of immigrant workers from the post-Communist countries is not the consequence of some multiculturalist tolerance - it effectively IS part of the strategy of the capital to held in check the workers' demands - this is why, in the US, Bush did more for the legalization of the status of Mexican illegal emigrants than the Democrats caught in the trade union pressures. So, ironically, the Rightist racist populism is today the best argument that the "class struggle," far from being "obsolete," goes on - the lesson the Left should learn from it is that one should not commit the error symmetrical to that of the populist racist mystification/displacement of the hatred onto foreigners, and to "throw the baby out with the dirty water," i.e., to merely oppose populist anti-immigrant racism on behalf of multiculturalist openness, obliterating its displaced class content - benevolent as it wants to be, the mere insistence on multiculturalist openness is the most perfidious form of anti-workers class struggle..."

from "Only Atheists can believe"

"they think they are holding God by His testicles....."

Muy bien. As even the Fabians realized, the Marxist critique should never be dismissed lightly (alas Zizek pone mucho Lacan en su Marxismo). Zizek also has the spine to denounce the American monarchists (including "liberal" ones), the financiers, the speculators (or wannabe-speculators), the IT barons and the perennial bourgeois swampflowers.
¿Dónde están Las Placas??

(The Cult of Mormonism, cont.)

“These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters on the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction and much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found a curious instrument which the ancients called "Urim and Thummim," which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate.”
- Joseph Smith, March, 1842 letter to the editor of the Chicago Democrat"

The staff of Contingencies offers a hearty WHOA to the memory of Joe Smith, discover of Las Placas. Where are they now, tho' LDS-bots? Nadie sabe. Maybe Mitt-Man (someone that f-n lame must work for the DNC-o-crats) will share the secrets of Las Placas with the heathens.

Alas, HS Thompson no longer occupies this mortal plane of existence: were Doc Gonzo around he'd give Mitt-Man the public flogging he deserves.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Multo buono!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Literary pseudo-objects (oder, Onkel Bertie's Buch-Brennen)

"Similarly, to maintain that Hamlet, for example, exists in his own world, namely, in the world of Shakespeare's imagination, just as truly as (say) Napoleon existed in the ordinary world, is to say something deliberately confusing, or else confused to a degree which is scarcely credible. There is only one world, the 'real' world: Shakespeare's imagination is part of it, and the thoughts that he had in writing Hamlet are real. So are the thoughts that we have in reading the play. But it is of the very essence of fiction that only the thoughts, feelings, etc., in Shakespeare and his readers are real, and that there is not, in addition to them, an objective Hamlet. When you have taken account of all the feelings roused by Napoleon in writers and readers of history, you have not touched the actual man; but in the case of Hamlet you have come to the end of him. If no one thought about Hamlet, there would be nothing left of him; if no one had thought about Napoleon, he would have soon seen to it that some one did. The sense of reality is vital in logic, and whoever juggles with it by pretending that Hamlet has another kind of reality is doing a disservice to thought. A robust sense of reality is very necessary in framing a correct analysis of propositions about unicorns, golden mountains, round squares, and other pseudo-objects"

(from Russell, Bertrand. Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. London: Allen and Unwin, 1919)

Lord Russell raises an important point here, however bo-ring that point may seem to most literary hepcats. Are there aesthetic truths (say the "truth" of Hamlet) in the way there are say truths of natural sciences or history, or truths arrived at in calculus or formal logic? The traditional "epistemological" divide splits analytical truth (pertaining to mathematics and formal logic–deductive) from synthetic truth (inductive knowledge based on inference and observation: biology, chemistry, physics, as well as social sciences). Leibniz, one of the founders of integral calc. along with Newton, made this distinction: and Russell was quite aware of Leibnizian thought. Where does literary/aesthetic "knowledge" (not to say theology/mysticism) fall on this divide then? Not easily placed, but most would say it is closer to induction or "qualitative" psychology, than to deduction, or quantitative/analytical reasoning.

Yorick Inc.

The play Hamlet offers no facts; it is not history, tho' it may contain a few historical allusions (rather difficult to confirm as well). The play Hamlet thus might be interpreted as sort of an eloquent Prevarication (we here at Contingencies are not complete Philistines and would allow the Bard's strange works to be kept in libraries the world over--not sure about other, lesser Lit-Liars, however). Similarly, a few pages of authentic WWI history--say, regarding the burger-stands of Verdun or the Somme-- in effect reduces Joyce's Dantean vision of Ulysses to near nothingness (stalinism, fascism, Hiroshima, 'Nam continue that reduction). A fortiori, the latest fictional potboiler, whether Updike, or the latest sales-pitch fromUrsula La Hen, should not be mistaken for some accurate represenation of, for lack of a better term, bio-economic Reality. IN some sense then Russell reaffirms a rather classical and skeptical view of aesthetic claims: in the Republic Plato (speaking through the Russell-like Socrates) bans the lyric poet from the ideal state.

Guaran-teeeed to scare the F. out of biblethumpin' protestant-salesmen and fraudulent whoresons,everywhere.....

Thursday, August 02, 2007


How's this for a quote, Reagan-Ron:. Yr a lying sack of hick protestant shit. I wager even old Nixonian Heinlein would agree. You don't know what a valid argument is; phuck you don't know what a coherent paragraph is, ; i doubt you know what supply and demand is. Occult-Ron: you're finished, dreck. Call your attorney Drugonius. Finito.

(Politics of Sci-fi. cont.)

"""""""The new wavers outraged the flag wavers, the science fiction old guard, which favored a right-wing militaristic politic featuring empire-sized conflicts on the galactic scale, and assumed a conservative, country-club attitude in cultural andpyschological matters. The heroes of Robert Heinlein, for example, are bluff, whiskey-drinking, macho American grads. But the characters of Cyberpunk science fiction are low down. The concept was formally introduced in William Gibson's 1984 punk novel, NEUROMANCER. Although this first novel swept theTriple Crown of science fiction--the Hugo, the Nebula, and thePhilip K. Dick awards--it is not really science fiction. It could be called "science faction" in that it occurs not in another galaxy in the far future, but 20 years from now, in a BLADE RUNNER world just a notch beyond our silicon present.""""

Who dat? The Doctor--Dr. Leary that izz. Yes. Dr. Leary, there is a great difference between the noirish scenes of a "cyberpunk" writer such as Gibson , and the Battlestar Galactica scripts of Heinlein & Co. What's more, I doubt Billy G. ever worked for the CIA.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

RIP Ingmar Bergmann

Authentic angst: Unlike, say, the potboilers of RA Schweinlein.

Spaeter, IB.
"The only fascist science fiction writer in America": RA Heinlein

(The Politics of Sci-fi, continued)

From Libertarian Forum, 1969 or so:

"""""According to a February issue of National Review magazine, Robert Heinlein is one of 270 signers of a jingoist petition circulated in the U. S. Author's Guild by the facile William Buckley and his spiritual cohort Frank S. Meyer. The petition, a belated retort to an earlier anti-Vietnam war roster of authors (which was eminently successful), calls for "the vigorous prosecution of the Vietnam war to an honorable conclusion." Deep contemplation is not necessary to comprehend the statist, authoritarian implications of such New Right weasel words and the concomitant beliefs of men who would endorse it.""""""

Apparently even a few Libertarians thought Heinlein a bit too whacked and rightist (to the real Precious-Bodily-Fluids sort of Hawk, Nixon was "soft"). Heinlein appears to be the favorite scribbler and ideological guru of New Worlds. Excepting JC, of course, and perhaps the Deep Thoughts of Hog HulkRon, the Galactic Rassler (one of the loudest of DU Blog-Martyrs: loudness being inversely proportional to like rationality.......). Perhaps HulkRon--homophobe, congenital liar, white trash protestant, misogynist, and lover of all things Heroic and Heinleinian---might leave his WWF Today alone for a few days and read up on his ideological guru's pal Bill Buckley (At least Buckley wielded some nice Ivy League prose: more than pulpmeister RAHeinlein, or poor Hulk-Ron, another Caliban who fancies hisself Shakespeare, could say).

Buh bye Hulk

In 1969, Abbie H. (yeah he had some issues), student of Marcuse--and Marx--- would most likely have put a bullet in Hulk-Ron's head for even buying one of Colonel Heinlein's potboilers: jus' saying. And of course Abbie would have called a girly-mann psychotic who idolizes Heinlein the great closet-case Himmler that he izz. Or just "stupid phuck."


Maybe Preacher HulkRon recalls a bit of Screepture: Suffer Fools gladly.
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