Friday, February 29, 2008

Aunty-Khrust attends a ......protestant warehouse

Mega-church pastor-slob Hagee gives his blessing to McCain:

""""""SAN ANTONIO — Senator John McCain got support on Wednesday from an important corner of evangelical Texas when the pastor of a San Antonio mega-church, Rev. John C. Hagee, endorsed Mr. McCain for president. Mr. Hagee, who argues that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive, biblically prophesized military strike against Iran that will lead to the second coming of Christ, praised Mr. McCain for his pro-Israel views.

"......hii vero velut inrationabilia pecora naturaliter in captionem et in perniciem in his quae ignorant blasphemantes in corruptione sua et peribunt..."(Jee-zuss did not know Angloish)

Mr. McCain, who has been on a steady search for support among conservative and evangelical leaders who have long distrusted him, said he was “very honored'’ by Mr. Hagee’s endorsement. Asked about Mr. Hagee’s extensive writings on Armageddon and about what one questioner said was Mr. Hagee’s belief that the anti-Christ will be the head of the European Union, Mr. McCain responded that “all I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee’s support.'’

Hagee, Hairlip-Baptist-in-command, calling the shots. McCain lost what little respect some of us had for him with this endorsement from this fat, dimwitted biblethumper fundie.

(vote for the secularist in the running, Senor NOTA: None-of-the-above)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Voltaire (Re Scottish Presbyterians)

"""A Church of England minister appears as another Cato in presence of a
juvenile, sprightly French graduate, who bawls for a whole morning
together in the divinity schools, and hums a song in chorus with ladies
in the evening; but this Cato is a very spark when before a Scotch
Presbyterian. The latter affects a serious gait, puts on a sour look,
wears a vastly broad-brimmed hat and a long cloak over a very short coat,
preaches through the nose, and gives the name of the whore of Babylon to
all churches where the ministers are so fortunate as to enjoy an annual
revenue of five or six thousand pounds, and where the people are weak
enough to suffer this, and to give them the titles of my lord, your
lordship, or your eminence.

These gentlemen, who have also some churches in England, introduced there
the mode of grave and severe exhortations. To them is owing the
sanctification of Sunday in the three kingdoms. People are there
forbidden to work or take any recreation on that day, in which the
severity is twice as great as that of the Romish Church. No operas,
plays, or concerts are allowed in London on Sundays, and even cards are
so expressly forbidden that none but persons of quality, and those we
call the genteel, play on that day; the rest of the nation go either to
church, to the tavern, or to see their mistresses."""""

Heh heh. C'est vraiment. Scottish presbyterians--the embodiment of zealous, xtian moralists. Jefferson, it might be recalled (no Presbyterian or Bapteet, and rather more irish than scots) kept a bust of Voltaire (the Marquis de Arouet) in his study at Monticello his entire life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obituary Mambo
(WF Buckley, Jr., dead)

Buckley, as eloquent an Ivy League rat as America ever produced, passed away a few minutes ago. Buckley once called the Beatles "so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of antimusic." True, mostly, that: nonetheless moptops and their fans never signed off on the Nixon-Kissinger politics via napalm (as did WFB, and his occasional guest and friend Robert Heinlein). Buena suerte.

The alcoholic, psychotic Commander-in-chief offered his deeep thoughts on WFB's death. Dubya claims Buckley "...influenced a lot of people, including me. He captured the imagination of a lot of people." Alas, Buckley's rahh-thur baroque prose (villains often are wits--e.g. Iago) obviously had little effect on Presidente GWB, whose speech resembles that of, say, a Dallas RV-salesman.

That said, much of the Buckley-bashing on the usual leftist-bitch sites seems a bit unwarranted, and sort of begs the question (as usual) of the existence of objective Justice with a capital J. Assuming some objective, platonic realm of Justice holds (or theological if you prefer), yass, WFB’s probably on his merry way to the Malebolge. Assuming that an objective, platonic realm of Justice does not hold, the discriminating consumer could appreciate WFB’s rather Humean wit, while taking issue with his bad taste in regards to the ‘Nam affair.

Buckley vs. The Noamster (those who are able to put aside the Academy Awards for a few minutes, or spring training, the ObamaClinton match, or Coulter's predictable love-fest for Buckley, might recall that Chomsky had some back-up for his opposition to US involvement in 'Nam--including the aged Bertrand Russell, and even JP Sartre. Zut. That was the responsible opposition, as opposed to the stoned, stupid opposition. That's not to say that everything the Noamster has said or done--especially over the last 10 years---was as admirable as his 'Nam stance. Buckley of course offers his smooth reptilian oratory: Edmund Burke meets Goebbels)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Burr-Hamilton Match.

(aka, origins of Scottish-American tyranny)

"Had I read Sterne more and Voltaire less, I should have known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me."[AaronBurr--]

IN early America, the two-party system consisted of Federalists, and their rakish opponents, the Democratic-republicans. The more Toryish of the Founders, such as Hamilton, Adams, and Marshall, aligned themselves with the Federalist party. Hamilton's Magnum Opus, the Federalist Papers (also with some commentary from Jay and Madison) provides a good overview of Federalist ideology. Jefferson's group led the Democratic-republicans; Madison, during Adam's administration, actually leaves the Federalists, and joins with Jefferson's faction.

While not caring for Hamilton's monarchist leanings, we here at Contingencies do hold the Federalism of Madison to be fairly sound politics in principle. Madison, like Hobbes (though Leviathan a bit more theoretical) worried himself over factions, as did all Federalists. IN Paper 10 Madison addresses his fears of faction, in quite moving and persuasive language:

AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a wellconstructed
Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its
tendency to break and control the violence of faction.

AS with many traditional conservatives, Madison fears the possibility that Democracy unleashed could result in rule by Vox Populi (if not Porcus Populi). Well and good. There is little talk about a popular vote in the Federalist papers; indeed Madison seems rather conservative in his praise of republican over democratic principles; that is not Republican as in "Reagan republican", but in European sense--e.g. Irish Republican Army: nonetheless, the Republicanism of Madison does seem closer in spirit to modern-day conservativism than to the secular republicanism that French revolutionaries dreamt of (if one wants to bandy categories about):

Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a
republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of
faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic,--is enjoyed by
the Union over the States composing it. Does the advantage consist
in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and
virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and
schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation
of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite
endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a
greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being
able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the
increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase
this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles
opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an
unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the
Union gives it the most palpable advantage.

Sounds good in principle: The Union shall be ruled by representatives characterized by enlightened views and virtuous sentiments, instead of by unruly factions and mobs (the Reign of Terror was a common topic at the time, and many feared that Jefferson himself had ties to the Jacobins). At the same time, one could, like Locke reacting to Hobbes' ideas of an all-powerful Sovereign, object. Lockean tradition holds that the democratic right to petition the govt. for grievances outweighs the potential good of republicanism (or for that matter, the great Platonic dream of an enlightened sovereign).

So which model more often leads to despotism? That is something the Federalists did not really establish: they do not demonstrate that it is more prudent to entrust decisions to a few virtuous representatives, than to the will of citizens, expressed in a popular vote: that is a political given, driven at least in part by a fear of rebellion (and the discriminating economic materialist might note Madison's concern over debtors and division of property). It's more of an inductive matter, which Madison does not really resolve.

Jefferson, himself no great empiricist, at least objects to that model in both practice and principle (while granting the possibility that democracy, especially led by the unenlightened and non-virtuous, could lead to mob rule, if not riots--TJ was not down with the sans-cullottes. (Burr, demo-repub., [yet not at all friendly with TJ}, settles his issue with Federalism in a rather more direct manner, by shooting General Hamilton in a code duello).


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"John Marshall Checkmated Thomas Jefferson"

(APPROVED by Bubbanius).

Legal hacks love the early American case of Marbury vs. Madison: In M. vs. M., John Marshall, the Tony Scalia of the American Revolution finally flexed his Federalist (aka Tory) muscles, and gave SCOTUS some real power. We are not attorneys, and not overly interested in the finer details of the case (it's rather murky), yet it offers as PoMo's term it, "richly suggestive" entailments or something.

"To give up, in the face of anomalies, Marbury v. Madison...would not cause the same epistemic wrench as giving up the proposition that 2 + 2 = 4 or that all men are mortal." (Richard Posner)

The Court, led by Marshall, good episscopalian, Rev. war hero, and businessman, more or less decided that the Court would be allowed to judge legislation: this is now termed Judicial Review. That sort of Judicial power was NOT clearly outlined in the Constitution, however. The Court ruled an earlier law (passed by Congress) which appeared to award the court the power to grant writs of “mandamus” (a type of appointment right--which Marbury was seeking) was mistaken: so in effect, Marshall, Federalist scumbag (sort of statist republican, if not monarchists), used this petty case to establish the power of the SCOTUS to judge legislation, and to decide whether ANY laws were unconstitutional.

Thus, years later, Judges now may cite M. vs. M when they want to overturn some legislation they don't care for, and say it's unconstitutional (even dimwits like Bubbanius might figure out the problems with that, after a few days, perhaps: a few years ago, the SCOTUS ruled the medicinal pot initatives voted in by thousands were all void (unconstitutional), and put MedPot back on controlled substances list, and have that right per Marbury (and other cases too)).

Yes, Contingencies Fans, Judicial Review could result in "good" in some cases, but the net effect of Marshall's decision (JM hardly some progressive) was to centralize power in the Judiciary, and to remove power from the legislative branch: it's an override, really. American Federalism, it should be noted, was not without intellectual force--but the important aspects stem from Madison (one could say the Constitution itself), rather than from Hamilton (or the judiciary and Marshall's schemes).

Naive liberals often quote M. vs M. as proof of rule by law over rule by men, but it’s really Rule by Judge, not rule by law. Jefferson later wrote some interesting responses to M vs. M (it wasn’t that big of a deal at the time—only later cited as precedent), and one should note his authentic Democratic spirit in his contra-judicial writings: TJ’s mind--not as provincial or sentimental as some might hold--- remains the secular core of the American experiment (yes, TJ was not without character flaws as well: Bon Soir Mlle. Hemmings!).


“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
—Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:277

"boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem". They would prefer Omni-jurisdictionem, and Marshall's Marbury decision went a long ways towards justifying the American judicial monarchy (ah wager Lysander Spooner wrote something on this as well). Marshall did not checkmate TJ: he checkmated democracy (or at least serious check). Posner might be on the money (though like most in judiciary he waffles, often).
Reverend Obama: Red?

The BS never ends. Obama had/has communist/marxist connections: that's fairly evident. That doesn't necessarily mean BO's a communist, but it IS relevant, except to cheesy wannabe-apparatchiks, like this scheissekopf.

Cliff Kincaid, writing for Accuracy in Media,presents a level-headed account of Obama's association with marxist-coalition politics:

"""""In his books, Obama admits attending "socialist conferences" and coming into contact with Marxist literature. But he ridicules the charge of being a "hard-core academic Marxist," which was made by his colorful and outspoken 2004 U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Alan Keyes.

However, through Frank Marshall Davis, Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost like a son, with Davis, listening to his "poetry" and getting advice on his career path. But Obama, in his book, Dreams From My Father, refers to him repeatedly as just "Frank."

The reason is apparent: Davis was a known communist who belonged to a party subservient to the Soviet Union. In fact, the 1951 report of the Commission on Subversive Activities to the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii identified him as a CPUSA member. What's more, anti-communist congressional committees, including the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), accused Davis of involvement in several communist-front organizations.""""

So why don't people in Blogland--even Hillary supporters---make an issue of the Davis/Obama relationship? Because they are generally spineless cretins, or have been paid off.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Archbishop ibn Canterburied

Christopher Hitchens does some representin' in regards to one Rowan Williams, Anglican Archbishop, who recently affirmed his support for "sharia" in Merry Olde Engeland:

""""A BBC interview with Williams had him saying that the opening to sharia would "help maintain social cohesion." If that phrase is even intended to mean anything, it can only imply that a concession of this kind would lessen the propensity to violence among Muslims. But such abjectness is not the only definition of social cohesion that we have. By a nice coincidence, a London think tank called the Center for Social Cohesion issued a report just days before the leader of the world's Anglicans and Episcopalians capitulated to Islamic demands. Titled "Crimes of the Community: Honour-Based Violence in the UK," and written by James Brandon and Salam Hafez, it set out a shocking account of the rapid spread of theocratic crime. The main headings were murder and beating of women, genital mutilation, forced marriage, and vigilante methods employed against those who complained. It could well be—since we are becoming every day more familiar with the first three—that the fourth is the one that should concern us most.""""

Williams' capitulation to the code of the Imams should offend anyone who values the principles of the American Revolution. To the Tower, Master Williams!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bill O'Reilly vs. DailyKOS

"There is no God and Mary is His mother." (Santayana)

Like most FOX-News pundits, O'Reilly often appears superficial and a bit too fond of flag-waving. He's not Noam f-n Chomsky (thankfully). O'Reilly, however, does speak fairly well, at least for an anchorman, and avoids the Olbermann-like teary-eyed pleas of the faux-liberal, or the bimbo-speak of KouricCo. O'Reilly seems a bit sentimental on occasion---that proverbial "Irishness", maybe---he seems more Yeats than Joyce, howevah (Joyce btw was no leftist, and a bit closer in thinking to his pal Ezra Pound than most Lit-bots realize). O'Reilly does raise a few interesting points now and then, however generalized. He may be a fool, at times, but does not seem nearly as nazi-like as many hysteria-crats take him to be (who knows what sorts of lives celebs really lead. Katie Kouric might have crack stuffed up her posterior every weekend by her gangsta du jour).

DailyKOS regulars consider O'reilly, like any FOX-news person, persona non grata, a few steps away from Goebbels; the Kossacks go ballistic when a poster (usually a troll who is immediately banned) even mentions FOXnews. The Kossack's vindictive hatred of O'reilly of course overdoes it: it may indicate a type of catholic-bashing that one notes in various media (most blogcrats would hang with baptist-clowns (or jews and muslims), before catholics, even dem. ones). O'reilly's mostly correct that DailyKOS does rely on a type of petty hatred for any who oppose the site-ideology: merely to object implies that one is part of Them.

KOS has, arguably, created a certain "herd-mind" like resentment and bitterness among a large section of the left: KOS-speak itself has developed into a sort of colloquial blog-dialect, something like an amalgamation of bad Hunter S. Thompson columns, marxist-feminist rhetoric-lite, and gangsta rap. Schmutzig! Many blogger-morons (like this ignis fatuus and Bukharin-wannabe, Hunter) specialize in KOS-Speak; it functions as a sort of street-jargon for stoner-liberals who never quite made it through a Ralph Waldo Emerson essay, much less the Constitution. Nietzsche would most likely bark CHANDALA at the Kossack-union were he around to point and click his way across the Information Superhighway.

Yes, all fairly obvious. The central point however is this: DailyKOS serves as a sort of Rush Limbaugh show for the hipster left. KOS depends on the ugly tactics of the right, as much as a rant from Limbaugh or Coulter does, and generally comes off even less witty or entertaining than say Coulter: the unrelenting character attacks, the guilt by association, the ad hominems and other fallacies, generalizations, denials of Due Process really. Kossacks present little or no evidence of the crimes of the right (we grant there may be crimes--like some misrepresentation on the part of BushCo leading to the War Effort--but the KOS-herd mind prevents any sort of rational examination of facts). Indeed, the Kossack herd assists the cause of the right precisely because they have rejected rationality, and any calm assessment of political or economic issues.

bad day at blackrock

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A dimwit named Michael Chabon

Chabon on occasion attempts to pass himself off as writer of "literature" (or at least writes sophisticated cartoons); now, on that bastion of Tory Marxism, the Washington Post, Chabon offers up his reflections on ObamaCult. Those who don't care for Obama's campaign simply fear BO's Power (and his powerful message of....Hope and Change, presumably), according to that great political philosopher Chabon:

"""""The point of Obama's candidacy is that the damaged state of American democracy is not the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil industry, lobbyists, terrorists, illegal immigrants or Satan. The point is that this mess is our fault. We let in the serpents and liars, we exchanged shining ideals for a handful of nails and some two-by-fours, and we did it by resorting to the simplest, deepest-seated and readiest method we possess as human beings for trying to make sense of the world: through our fear. America has become a phobocracy.

Since I started talking and writing about Obama I have come to see that this ruling fear, and nothing else, lies at the back of every objection or reservation people raise or harbor regarding the man and his candidacy.

Fear whispers to us that white voters have a nasty tendency to tell pollsters, friends and neighbors that they support an African American candidate, then go into the voting booth and let the fear known as racism pull the lever.""""

Pull that lever, citizen! What a load of scheisse. Chabon's half-baked leftist-moralism embodies the problems with the red mafia Obamacult. One could, indeed, assert the same point in regards to leftists: they fear McCain, and a strong US (and fear Hillary as well). So what? It’s a type of bogus politics via profiling (and a great generalization). Choosing a candidate does not, except for neurotics of various sorts, generally hinge on the fear-factor: more about risk aversion, and voting for the person who will advance one’s self-interests (that sort of pragmatic view irks the romantic leftist-visionary, who mistakes democracy for a type of spiritual movement). Chabon in fact shows off his own KGB-like skills in terming that risk-aversion "fear."

Chabon's essay demonstrates the absurdities of the hysteria-crats, the Kossack-herd, and ObamaCult members. Note the loaded language, implied and/or explicit value judgments, if not a nearly bolshevik rage. A “rat’s nest”, serpents, etc. You’d think he was discussing Munich 1925 or so.

Rage is what the left now feeds on. Rage also fueled Stalin’s NVDK, and the Maoists. Indeed, that sort of irrational, plebian rage (anti-Due Process as well) arguably creates a rightist, if not fascist backlash. At that point, one decides: you, Chandala-crat, may ride with Zhukov and the plebes. Ich bin mit Feldmarshall Jodl.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bubbanius, the Quantum Pen-salesman!

Ah theatre-girl, you're in for a surprise, right soon. Your rightist-salesman scab stupidity shall be known for what it is, Roid-rage. Ah, Bubba spouts forth some of his Nurse at Sunday-school ideology:

"""""Indeed, rape and pillage at will; but don’t get caught, as goes the first Existential Imperative. In fact, ruthless insect dominance is the only Truth; the Meat That Can Beat Is The Meat That Is Neat.

And the Sentimentalists will blather on about ‘looking in your child’s eyes, and no longer questioning Light’, and all that biochemical frippery. But they will soon understand the Power Of The Boot On The Neck — the MommyCrats prattle so, but their heads break so easily against the concrete.

The Pretty Words of the Moralist/Sentimentalists — hear how they extol the virtues of Nature, and ‘Beauty’ — but listen to the slobberings of the predator over its prey, and you’ll understand the true ‘nature’ of Nature. Domination of All is the the Path to Enlightenment — all else is pretension and vanity. Here are a thousand volumes describing the logic — it is virtually a manual, a machine-language level document, if you will, describing in detail why one should either Kill and/or Fuck Everything, or, as I do, recline gently and watch the sway of the Shadeless Lamp, and drink.’"""""""

— Bubba Blubamy, Graduate of Smeagol University.

What a ridiculous little knave. Where is your methodist code located on the Periodic Table, anyways, great Nurse Bubba? Bubbium.
Gary Hart joins the ObamaCult

"Fortuna caeca est"

Does anyone remember Gary Hart? A representative of, shall we say, the long-standing tradition of Jeffersonian hypocrisy, Gary Hart, or rather the wit and wisdom of Hart, now appears on the boards of Huffington Post, the West Coast's version of an online Pravda (featuring the lovely and talented Airheadianna). Hart, not surprisingly, recently decided to stump for Barack Obama, who he views as an agent of "transformation"; transformation a sort of upgrade of the usual Obama mantra of "change". Why change when you can transform!:

Through some miracle of timing, luck, and good fortune Barack Obama has seized the moment. His mantra of "change" has been largely co-opted by lesser figures. He is in fact an agent of transformation. He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians, and this makes him seem elusive to the conventional press and the traditional politicians. His instinct for the moment and the times is orders of magnitude more powerful than the experience claimed by others. Experience in the old ways is irrelevant experience.

In an age of great transformation, experience of the past is worthless because it is a barrier to the breakthrough gesture, the instant response in crisis, the instinctive bold decision in the face of totally new circumstances.

One might note the specific terms of Hart's vaguely New age rhetoric (or is it a sort of new-agey Christianity? possibly just as pernicious): "miracle," "good fortune," "transformation." It's difficult not to read this as connoting a type of spiritual awakening (though Obama may be more of a Guru than Reverend to Mr. Hart). According to Hart, Obama operates on a different plane than the traditional political joe (one assumes he means Hillary or McCain here); and this ability to transform and Do the Carpe Diem renders the experience question moot: "Experience in the old ways is irrelevant experience." Down with the old ways! (except the proverbial Liberal-Tory maxim, Carpe Diem)

Taking potshots at the old freak might be too easy. Really, we here at Contingencies do not view Mr. Hart as the embodiment of Evil (though that's not to say he, like the Kennedy mobsters, might not be: who knows what goes down in those Florida yachthouses when the the DNC/DLC attorneys par-tay). Hart, however, like many other ObamaCult members, has formed an "idee fixee" that only Obama is fit to represent American democracy as mob boss President.

(Raphael's "School of Athens" ("kindling," in Arabic))

There are many sound reasons to doubt that fitness: one being that BO has for months preached his platform from pulpits as much as he has from factories or farmland (or colleges). As has been noted on this site, Reverend Obama has, along with his usual biblethumping, praised Reagan and entrepreneurship, and at least suggested that the Constitution is not as critical as some might hold (i.e., some comments contra-secularism). He reportedly attends a church which promotes creationism.

In contemporary Amerika, of course, any candidate running for public office at the state or national level must needs pander to the protestant herd (and BO, like HRC, and JM sides with protestants), yet Hart does not even bother himself to address Obama's theocratic leanings. Where are the comments of Hart the old quasi-Federalist in regards to Obama's nearly Huckabee-like pronouncements that "secularists should not expect religious people to leave their faith at the door", even in political matters? So much for the civic virtue, the Madisonian rationalism, and the rest of Hart's pop-Constitutionalist ideology: joining the ObamaCult means getting rid of all that historical baggage, and taking advantage of the moment! You must TRANSFORM, baby. Alter a few terms and HartSpeak seems akin to the messages of 70's mystic-hucksters selling uptight, or repressed consumers on the need to love or die.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Obama Cult

The LA Times, a safe haven for many west-coast muckrakers for decades, at least features the writings of one JoelStein. Stein, unlike most scribblers associated with Scoop, Inc., on occasion shows that he possesses enough spine to call a spade a spade, as with his recent column on Obama-fever:

""""What the Cult of Obama doesn't realize is that he's a politician. Not a brave one taking risky positions like Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, but a mainstream one. He has not been firing up the Senate with stirring Cross-of-Gold-type speeches to end the war. He's a politician so soft and safe, Oprah likes him. There's talk about his charisma and good looks, but I know a nerd when I see one. The dude is Urkel with a better tailor."""

Hah. Urkel, though, seems slightly more cerebral than does the Rev. BO. Fans of BO of course respond to the pop-celebrity-ness of BO. He's a TV-show icon (like his galpal OprahCo): and another "great communicator" in the MLK fashion. He represents, y'all. His popularity has little or nothing to do with his specific policies or ideas; rather, it has to do with creating a certain charismatic fervor, which is related to celebrity, and (as we have said for weeks) a sort of preacherly enthusiasm. ObamaCo: a big digitalized revival tent. Can ah, ah get a witness? Se-lah, bruthrrs and sisters.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A City of Churches (Donald Barthelme)

"Yes," Mr. Phillips said, "ours is a city of churches all right."

Cecelia nodded, following his pointing hand. Both sides of the street
were solidly lines with churches, standing shoulder to shoulder in a variety
of architectural styles. The Bethel Baptist stood next to the Holy Messiah
Free Baptist, Saint Paul's Episcopal next to Grace Evangelical Covenant. Then
came the First Christian Science, the Church of God, All Souls, Our Lady of
Victory, and the Church of the Holy Apostles. The spires and steeples of the
traditional buildings were jammed in next to the broad imaginative flights of
the "contemporary" designs.

"Everyone here takes great interest in church matters," Mr. Philips said.

Will I fit in, Cecelia wondered. She had come to Prester to open a branch
office of a car-rental concern.

"I'm not especially religious," she said to Mr. Philips, who was in the
real-estate business.

"Not now," he answered. "Not yet. But we have many fine young people
here. You'll get integrated into the community soon enough. The immediate
problem is where are you to live? Most people," he said, "live in the church
of their choice. All of our churches have many extra rooms. I have a few
belfry apartments that I can show you. What price range were you thinking of?"

They turned a corner and were confronted with more churches. They passed
Saint Luke's, the Church of the Epiphany, All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox, Saint
Clement's, Fountain Baptist, Union Congregational, Saint Anargyri's, Temple
Emanuel, the First Church of Christ Reformed. The mouths of all the churches
were gaping open. Inside, lights could be seen dimly.

"I can go up to a hundred and ten," Cecelia said. "Do you have any
buildings that are not churches?"

"None," said Mr. Philips. "Oh course, many of our fine church structures
also do double duty as something else." He indicated an handsome Georgian
facade. "That one," he said, "houses the United Methodist and the Board of
Education. The one next to it, which is the Antioch Pentecostal, has the

It was true. A red-and-white striped barber pole was attached
inconspicuously to the front of the Antioch Pentecostal.

"Do many people rent cars here?" Cecelia asked. "Or would they, if there
was a handy place to rent them?"

"Oh, I don't know," said Mr. Philips. "Renting a car implies that you
want to go somewhere. Most people are pretty content right here. We have a lot
of activities. I don't think I'd pick the car-rental business if i was just
starting out in Prester. But you'll do fin." He showed her a small, extremely
modern building with a severe brick, steele, and glass front. "That's Saint
Barnabas. Nice bunch of people over there. Wonderful spaghetti suppers."

Cecelia could see a number of hears looking out of the windows. But when
they saw that she was staring at them, the heads disappeared.

"Do you think it's healthy for so many churches to be gathered together
in one place?" she asked her guide. "It doesn't seem...balanced, if you know
what i mean."

"We are famous for our churches," Mr. Philips replied. "They are
harmless. Here we are now."


He opened a door and they began climbing many flights of dusty stairs.
At the end of the climb they entered a good-sized room, square, with windows
on all four sides. There was a bed, a table, and two chairs, lamps, a rug.
Four very large brass bells hung in the exact center of the room.

"What a view!" Mr. Philips exclaimed. "Come here and look."

"Do they actually ring these bells?" Cecelia asked.

"Three times a day," Mr. Philips said, smiling. "Morning, noon, and
night. Of course when they're rung you have to be pretty quick at getting out
of the way. You get hit in the head with one of these babies and that's all
she wrote."

"God Almighty," said Cecelia involuntarily. Then she said, "Nobody lives
in belfry apartments. That's why they're empty."

"You think so?" Mr. Philips said.

"You can only rent them to new people in town," she said accusingly.

"I wouldn't do that," Mr. Philips said. "It would go against the spirit
of Christian fellowship."

"This town in a little creepy, you know that?"

"That may be, but it's not for you to say, is it? I mean, you're new
here. You should walk cautiously, for a while. If you don't want an upper
apartment, I have a basement over at Central Presbyterian. You'd have to
share it. There are two women in there now."

"I don't want to share," Cecelia said. "I want a place of my own."

"Why?" the real-estate man asked curiously. "For what purpose?"

"Purpose?" asked Cecelia. "There is no particular purpose. I just want-"

"That's not unusual here. Most people live with other people. Husbands
and wives. Sons with their mothers. People have roommates. That's the usual

"Still, I prefer a place of my own."

"It's very unusual."

"Do you have any such places? Besides bell towers, I mean?"

"I guess there are a few," Mr. Philips said, with clear reluctance. "I
can show you one or two, I suppose."

He paused for a moment.

"It's just that we have different values, maybe, from some of the
surrounding communities," he explained. "We've been written up a lot. We had
four minutes on the 'CBS Evening News' one time. Tree of four years ago. 'A
City of Churches,' it was called."

"Yes, a place of my own is essential," Cecelia said, "if I am to survive

"That's kind of a funny attitude to take," Mr. Philips said. "What
denomination are you?"

Cecelia was silent. The truth was, she wasn't anything.

" I said, what denomination are you?" Mr. Philips repeated.

"I can will my dreams," Cecelia said. "I can dream whatever I want. If I
want to dream that i'm having a good time, in Paris or some other city, all I
have to do is go to sleep and I will dream that dream. I can dream whatever I

"What do you dream, then, mostly?" Mr. Philips said, looking at her

"Mostly sexual things," she said. She was not afraid of him.

"Prester is not that kind of town," Mr. Philips said, looking away.


The doors of the churches were opening, on both sides of the street. Small
groups of people came out and stood there, in front of the churches, gazing at
Cecelia and Mr. Philips.

A young man stepped forward and shouted, "Everyone in this town already
has a car! There is no one in this town who doesn't have a car!"

"Is that true?" Cecelia asked Mr. Philips.

"Yes," he said. "It's true. No one would rent a car here. Not in a
hundred years."

Then I won't stay," she said. "I'll go somewhere else."

"You must stay," he said. "There is already a car-rental office for you.
In Mount Moriah Baptist, on the lobby floor. There is a counter and a
telephone and a rack of car keys. And a calendar."

"I won't stay," she said. "Not if there isn't any sound business reason
for staying."

"We want you," said Mr. Philips. "We want you standing behind the counter
of the car-rental agency, during regular business hours. It will make the town

"I won't," she said. "Not me."

"You must. It's essential."

"I'll dream," she said. "Things you won't like."

"We are discontented," said Mr. Philips. "Terrible, terribly
discontented. Something is wrong."

"I'll dream the Secret," she said. "You'll be sorry."

"We are like other towns, except that we are perfect," he said. "Our
discontent can only be held in check be perfection. We need a car rental girl.
Someone must stand behind that counter."

"I'll dream the life you are most afraid of," Cecelia threatened.

"You are ours," he said, gripping her arm. "Our car rental girl. Be nice.
There is nothing you can do."

"Wait and see," Cecelia said.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Politics of the sacrament

Psalm 23:4: Und ob ich schon wanderte im finstern Tal, fürchte ich kein Unglück; denn du bist bei mir, dein Stecken und dein Stab trösten mich.

Grant that the existence of a monotheistic "God" cannot be conclusively established via the assistance of that old broad Reason (as Luther himself granted, centuries before Kant sort of ditto'ed him). The only compelling evidence for the judeo-christian code then would seem to be the Old and New Testaments themselves (though conflicting evidence it is). Nowhere in the New Testament may one discover a clearly-stated injunction that Christians must participate in the Mass (as Luther pointed out rather forcefully as well): for that matter, there are no guidelines establishing a priestly caste, or many other sacraments (i.e. monastic orders) which the catholic church has insisted upon, for centuries. There was no Church, and no Mass, as it now exists probably until after Augustine (a great comedian, and not-so- holy as some catholics might think).

Luther, of course, was not a happy camper , and he more or less denounced the papal bureaucracy as anti-christ. A bit harsh, if not Prussian; the Reformation was an ugly baroque drama that needn't concern us overly much. (and we here at Contingencies are hardly suggesting that the protestants are always the good guys, or the rationalists). Yet the reformers' anti-sacramentalism should at least be pondered for a few nano-seconds, even in the here and now of the contemporary I-podopolis.

(We should object to the aged Luther's rants against the jews, however. Another interesting aspect of Lutheranism concerns Copernicus, and the rise of physical science, which the Church of Rome did everything to prevent. Lutheran mathematicians in fact eagerly acquired Copernicus' manuscript, studied it, and wrote in it. Brahe and Kepler were Lutherans. There was some opposition to Copernicus in Germany, but nothing like the catholic's opposition (evident in trial of Gallileo, etc.)

Humans are not awarded some spiritual notch for taking the Mass or going to confession regularly: that in fact is a type of strange dispensationalism that Luther rightly noted (as did the slightly more sinister figure of Calvin). Indeed the absurdity of the Mass (if not most sacraments) becomes apparent rather quickly.

Does Maria, say a cleaning lady who attends Mass regularly (now with her Ash Wednesday stamp on her forehead from Padre X) somehow transcend all the non-mass taking protestants (or jews, muslims, secularists, pagans, etc.) in the neighborhood simply by reason of being blessed by Padre X? Kein. Maria and her familia don't out-rank Kant or Issac Newton or Voltaire (instantiate any great western thinker) either in some putative heavenly abode, merely by reason of weekly or daily sacrament ingestion; nor should Lucky Luciano's be alloted some handicap via the Eucharist. Yet that is what catholic doctrine holds. Regardless of the beautiful symbolism of the catholic tradition, the catholics' insistence on Mass might rank as one of Western history's great oddities, and nearly hinduistic in terms of content.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Le Marquis de Kennedy

At the beginning of WWII, Joseph Kennedy (pere to JFK, RFK, and Teddy K) argued strongly against the USA giving aid to Britain:

"Democracy is finished in England. It may be here,” stated Ambassador Kennedy, Boston Sunday Globe of November 10, 1940. In a one simple statement, Joe Kennedy ruined any future chances of becoming US president, metaphorically committing political suicide. While Blitzkrieg bombs fell daily on England, Nazi troops occupied Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, Ambassador Kennedy unambiguously and repeatedly stated his belief that the war was not about saving democracy from National Socialism (Nazism) or Fascism."""

the Wiki-school and other sites for further proof that Vati Kennedy was, at least throughout the 30s, and even into WWII, about as close to the nazis as say Chas. Lindberg, and certainly as anti-semitic as Lindberg. Joe Sr. went too far, but be damn sure he's spinning in his grave since TeddyBear Kennedy (and other Kennedy scabs, like Schwarznegger's Schlampe, Maria) have given their blessing to Reverend Obama (who btw has implicitly affirmed creationism, and denied Darwinian evolution and questioned secularism in numerous appearances, hand-shaking with fundamentalist preachers. Got that yet McBozo? And don't spam in Mssr. Tristero's writing when you don't know Crying of Lot 49 from the 49er's [see note]*). It might also be recalled that Joe Sr. supported JoeMcCarthy, even after his censure, and that Bobby boy worked for McCarthy and the House Un-American activities for quite some time.

Maria, Die Ueber-Frau

The Kennedy spectacle, indeed, remains one of the mysteries of the American mind-phuck: a sort of clan of Irish monarchists with mob ties succeed in presenting themselves as "liberals" while living in a manner comparable to the Bourbons of pre-revolutionary France. J'accuse! Put 'em in the tumbrils (and Jefferson would've agreed, probably).


Here's a useful criteria for RealPolitik: who would George Orwell support for Prez? First, Orwell was NOT a pacifist (unlike say his glib acolyte Pynchon). Nor was Orwell a Xtian (or religious in any conventional sense). He valued secularism, rationality, and modern science. He was opposed to tyranny on right or left, and to sentimental liberalism (i.e. US democrats). Orwell would therefore, probably support McCain, albeit with a bit of trepidation (and opposition to some of McCain's votes, and to the GOP economics--tho' McCain did vote against Bushco's tax slashes), or perhaps Ron Paul. Ron Paul of course scares the F. out of yogurt-sucking DNCocrat swine "gauchistes," but Dr. Paul hasn't exactly waved a swastika around. He denounces zionism, and is not nice, and not an accommodator, but not exactly Goering. Ed Abbey probably woulda voted for Doc Paul.

(Re: Tristero/Trystero/COL49. Those who actually have made it through Pynchon's complex maze in COL49 (and it's a shawty maze, compared to V or Gravity's Rainbow) know that Tristero is no liberal (or group of liberals). Who (or what) exactly is Tristero? We suggest sort of Wobbly anarchist-couriers--a Wobbly Pony Express if you will (READ it and find out)---rather rustic. Cactus Ed Abbey might be part of the imaginary brigade. Mssr. Tristero of Digby's joint would not likely be par-tay material).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Burroughs vs. the Church of L-Ron?? (No Secret Handshakes, continued).

We shiete you not:

"Although Burroughs writes that he finds some techniques from Scientology "highly valuable," he criticizes what he describes as "Mr. Hubbard's overtly fascist utterances" on American and international politics. He considers Hubbard to be out of sync with the radical youth movement of the period, and asks rhetorically, "which side are you on, Hubbard, which side are you on?"[1]"


This is interesting, but not completely surprising. Reading a bit about the founding of the COS and the mysterious L-Ron, one soon notes that L-Ron was not quite the do-gooder moralist that many modern Scientologists claim he was (or aspire to be). L-Ron, one time Navy man, dabbled in the occult back in the day, along with his pal Jack Parsons (who dat? He was a rocket scientist who more or less founded Cal Tech and JPL). Care to guess who they were inspired by? None other than old Uncle Aleister Crowley himself (this might be old news to some older El Lay locals--not to MSM). Parsons in fact corresponded with Uncle Al--that is, until Parsons blew himself up in his Pasadena mansion under rather odd circumstances (and --get this--L-Ron had run off with one of Parson's "scarlet ladies"). Much of this is detailed in Mike Davis' great history of LA, City of Quartz (and he's probably leftie enough for much of blogville).

Burroughs' interest in the church of L-Ron then does not seem so strange (we here at Contingencies are not avid Burroughs' fans, but that's old-time religion and Naked Lunch was a formative influence on many, including "Steely Dan"--the curious may google around for a clearer definition). L-Ron did appropriate some of Crowley's techniques (whatever those are--probably mostly derived from yoga and meditation, etc.), and that's probably what intrigued Big Bill B. Hubbard actually was not a complete rightist: he was a pal of Robert Heinlein (both failed engineers, and probably with some CIA connections), and L-Ron made a few slightly anti-war comments during 'Nam, and even hung out with some hippies on occasion, but was of course opposed to drugs--though his autopsy showed abundant quantities of muscle relaxants in his blood (L-Ron himself found dead, in somewhat "mysterious" circumstances, out in the boonies near San Luis Obisbo in 80s). All a big part of the Operation Mindphuck, unknown to most American thanatoids (Tom Cruise, member of the Bavarian Illuminati? Whoa).

Friday, February 01, 2008

Reverend Hillary and the protestant left

"Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." (Johnson)

During the reign of Bill Clinton,
Murray ROTHBARD, of the VonMises school penned some nearly interesting essays on "left millennialism": the Von Misesians may have been wrong-headed on some things (the Keynesians of FDR's time were not as demonic as some libertarians claim), but their secularism and skepticism towards statism of all sorts is deserving of some respect. According to Rothbard, Clintonocracy represented a sort of christian socialism, the aim of which concerned not merely political or economic efficiency, but a type of religious state. Taking on the techno-oligarchies may not be the worst thing a politician could do (really, the Clintons have been content to appease corporations), but the success of authentic anti-trust efforts should not depend on religious zeal.

The liberal reformers' enthusiasm generally assumes the forms of their faith, usually of the calvinist variety (someone might term that "populism" of a sort--while remembering that populism and biblethumping works for conservative yokels like Huckabee as well as it does for Dame Hillary). We here at Contingencies would include Rev. Obama--who campaigned in churches all of Fall '07 (40 Days of Faith and Phamily, y'all), and has questioned the separation clause of 1st Amendment---- along with The Right Reverend Hillary in that category of "leftist millennialists". (Other writers, even fairly liberal figures such as Bertrand Russell, noted this puritanical tendency in leftist and marxist reformers. Marxist or multiculturalist dogma substitutes in quite nicely for methodist tracts).

And here's.........Murray:

"""""Which brings us to our beloved First Couple. I have already mentioned that Slick Willie, in addressing a black Gospel church in Maryland on behalf of God's alleged commandment to pass his crime bill, revealingly told the assembled congregation that the goal of his "ministry" is to bring about "the Kingdom of God on earth." That should have sounded the fire alarm throughout the nation. Unfortunately, to an American public possessing little knowledge of history or theology, Clinton's remarkable statement went unreported.

But, as we all know, it is Hillary, not Slick Willie, who [was] the hard-core ideologue in the White House. Hillary's theological agenda was perceptively unveiled recently by the knowledgeable, if admiring and liberal, Kenneth L. Woodward, religion editor of Newsweek. (Kenneth L. Woodward, "Soulful Matters," Newsweek (Oct. 31, 1994) pp. 23–25) In a lengthy exclusive interview with Hillary, Woodward reports that our Lady Macbeth simply considers herself "an old-fashioned Methodist."

Hillary's pronouncement is not as absurd as it might first seem. Hillary Rodham was born in northern Illinois Yankee country, in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Her grandparents told stories about their Methodism in early-nineteenth-century England, not many generations removed from the founding of Methodism by John Wesley. Hillary's family were pious Methodists, and Hillary herself was inducted into the Social Gospel by the Rev. Donald Jones, the then youth minister at her Park Ridge First United Methodist Church. I am sure that we are all gratified to learn how Hillary got her start in the cause of "social reform"; as Woodward fondly puts it, the Rev. Jones "developed his privileged suburban students' social consciences by taking them to visit migrant workers' children."

The most important passage in Woodward's article is his explanation of the importance of Methodism within the American Protestant spectrum: "More than other Protestants, Methodists are still imbued with the turn-of-the-century social gospel, which holds that Christians have been commissioned to build the Kingdom of God on earth."


Now obviously, and of course, a lot of this is Hillary's drive to "reinvent" herself, that is, to create a duplicitous false image, to make herself less threatening to the angry American public. And surely the late-nineteenth-century Social Gospelers would be horrified at the current multi-gendered, condomaniacal Clintonian left, to say nothing of the rapid revolving of poor John Wesley in his eighteenth-century English grave. But there is definitely a direct line of descent from the Methodist Social Gospelers of the nineteenth century to St. Hillary and the monstrous Clintonian left. Mix into "old-fashioned Methodism" liberal doses of Marxism, the New Left, the pagan pantheist New Age, and the multicultural and sexual revolutions, stir briskly, and you get the current ruling horror that we all face, and are trying to roll back out of our lives. We face, in short, regardless of what hairdo or persona she affects next week, the evil Witch in the White House.""""

* * *

Hallelujah! Kudos for the Lady Macbeth riff too, Mssr. Rothbard (Lady Macbeth might serve as a template for many American political mollies, really--it works for Hillary or DiDi Feinstein or Annie "The Mormon She-wolf" Romney). Rothbard may have gone a bit overboard here, but he was not so far from the mark in terming the Clinton agenda a sort of marxist-methodism (with corporate support, as well. Rev. Obama also gets some help from good American muslims). One notes that marxist-methodist tendency in many contemporary whiny-ass democratic scum leftist scribblers, say, in the PC sanitorium of DailyKOS.

Indeed, one might argue that Hegelianism (sort of the basis for statist tyranny, whether Xtian rightist or secular-marxist) affirms a certain antinomian approach to political theory: Hegel it should be recalled often praised Martin Luther (and Machiavelli for that matter), and Luther's essential objection against Catholicism hinged on an insistence on "sola fide." Catholic tradition (yes, chockful of hypocrisy and superstition), at least understands the danger posed by the doctrine of "sola fide" (common to protestant-robots of all sorts): the absurdity of salvation by "faith" alone.
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