Archive for my ass

Joe “Douchebag Deadbeat Dad” Walsh’s Insanity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2012 by spinoza1111

There is an asshat on Capitol Hill
Who is a Deadbeat Dad and a Douchebag still
To a panel of holy men in sable robes of doom
Says he, let us now lock up the lady’s room
Birth control has naught to do with women! Chill.

Edward G. Nilges 24 Feb 2012. Moral rights have been asserted so shove it.

With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.
Naught to do with mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best he do it secretly, alone.
What one, my lord?
Her husband, knave: wouldst thou betray me?

Shakespeare, Richard III

Rep. Joe Walsh says “this [birth control] has nothing to do with women” to an all male panel?? WTF?

The Repub Right is making an issue out of the “religious freedom” of employers to restrict the policies they offer to exclude not only abortion but also contraception: since I can get rubbers off the shelf in the drugstore in Hong Kong in a variety of styles and sizes with a variety of lubricants and flavors…this smacks of utter insanity.

The problem here is that Joe “Deadbeat Dad” Walsh is insisting on a “religious freedom” to be *Ha’rem*, “Quaker”, “trembling” and “pure”, because the employer, who under the law provides coverage that includes coverage for birth control or abortion, doesn’t actually use the birth control or get the abortion. Nor does the employer pay for it. Instead, the insurance company as a corporation (which despite Citizens United is not a moral agent) pays or reimburses for the procedure or birth control.

Obama could have said, screw you, the payment is made by a corporation: corporations were set up as eaters of sins: they are able to stiff creditors while preserving the good name of even their major stockholders: so let them share the blame with the person that uses the rubber or gets the abortion, and the doctor in the latter case. Next question.

But he didn’t, unfortunately.

The only people responsible for the use of the birth control or the abortion are the patient and doctor. But politicians without intelligence thrive on moral panic, and transitivity (the second, third or nth hand presumed responsibility for an immoral act) means that the politician can always create a transitive moral panic. It’s much easier to do so than to say, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

The problem was noted by Max Weber, I believe. Capitalism links people whether they like it or not through the cash nexus whereas in the Middle Ages of the Christian west, the pious were isolated from taint by remoteness, barter and feudal obligations. They didn’t have “insurance” and didn’t handle money, engage in trade, or borrow or lend in most cases. Indeed, the Jews who lent money, and engaged in long distance trade with Islamic countries thought wicked, were feared and hated because of the taint of the Other they carried with them.

Which is why sects that make a real effort to isolate themselves from intercourse with nonmembers, the Mennonites of Kansas: the Amish of Pennsylvania: the ultra Orthodox Jews (who don’t conform to the somewhat stereotypical characterization above) formerly of Eastern Europe, now of the United States and Israel: and to a small extent even the Quakers: all date back, not to the middle ages but rather to early capitalist Europe.

They became “tremblers”, “those who fear God”, and purifiers because increased intercourse with non-believers made them realize that they could be unwittingly polluted through a transitive relationship with evil: the Trembler gives money to someone who uses it to commit a sin, and this makes him tremble.

He missed the part of the Dies Irae that asks cum vix justus sit securus, that it might not be possible to be “pure”…that Kierkegaard was right.

The transitive game can always be played: we can, especially if we’re “obsessive compulsive”, always feel guilty. Transitively, an American who so much as pays taxes can be responsible for far more evil than a single use of birth control or even an abortion, because his taxes can set cities on fire and kill babies. Unless you join a monastery there’s no escaping this and perhaps not even then.

The common sense view, though rarely stated, is intransitive. We pay our taxes, obey the law, and take responsibility for our families and friends. If a separate moral agent “intervenes” between us and an evil deed we don’t ordinarily blame ourselves for his or her wrong choice. At most, in intimate relations, we blame ourselves as “enablers”.

Therefore it’s a stretch and deeply dishonest for this clown Joe Walsh to claim that an employer should have the “religious freedom” to refuse to buy a policy that includes abortions and contraception. That employer is for one thing his own money laundry: businesses accept money that may be stolen all the time (all the time) and never concern themselves with ensuring that the customer has earned the money he pays. Yet in the transitive view, the business is enjoying the fruits of crime.

Of course, Joe Walsh doesn’t give a good goddamn about religious freedom. For starters, he is, in contravention of the First Amendment, trying to impose religious beliefs on others who might even believe that they have an ethical, or even religio-ethical, responsibility not to bring children into the world when they know they cannot support them. Walsh merely seeks to torpedo health insurance on behalf of the 1% who have it and see no reason why we should. The 99% need to be ha’rem and to tremble…before the real God(s) of today, money and power.

A saint gives money to a beggar without enquiring whether the beggar will spend the money wisely or only on “good” things. An asshat or a douchebag excuses himself from an eleemosynary act based on what is essentially a lower form of morality, or utter hypocrisy.

And, oh yeah, this douchebag is a deadbeat Dad who owes thousands in child support…slow burn…grr…

A dope like me works his ass off for thirty years in a field he hates (software engineering) but is good at with incompetent little douchebags for the most part who bore him out of his skull…to pay child support, and my younger kid thinks it’s cool not to contact me. Obviously I should have been like most deadbeat Dads and said “I won’t pay child support so my ex-wife can buy booze”.

News flash: money is fungible and it’s the little lady’s choice for which she will answer to God, not you.

Male morality is a curious thing indeed. It seems to be a constant effort to control reproduction and the body.


Mitt Romney’s Obscene Tax Return

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 27, 2012 by spinoza1111

This tax return makes me sick.

When I cleaned up my father’s house after he moved to assisted care, I found all his returns, neatly and compulsively filed, going back to 1946. Each one was painfully honest. He paid rates as high as 70% as a physician.

Mom would complain that “the air turns blue when your father does his taxes” since my Dad would curse and swear. Yet he paid his taxes at far higher rates than Romney. In cases of doubt he would deliberately err on the side of the government, perhaps because he was ethnically German-American.

That’s what his WWII generation did. His brother laughed at propaganda on the troopship to Europe in 1943, and my Dad voted Republican in hopes of tax relief, but he and his brother were natural Kantians: for them “duty” is precisely that which we do not want to do.

Romney gets a refund of almost two million dollars. His total W-2 withholding is 112.00. He directs the refund to go to paying the next year’s tax not, I would imagine, out of a desire to make the government a loan, but because his preparers find this the optimal strategy from his point of view…and a cool million or two is chump change in a year when you’ve made 22 million.

You don’t need the money to get the clutch replaced or to avoid fraudclosure. You don’t need it for a hospital bill.

While the Fed reduces interest rates to zero but no ordinary person can’t get credit, we have a mediaeval situation; for just as in the Middle Ages, capital was frozen specie, today banks and rich men hoard it…while condemning us for buying a laptop in a world where employers expect you to have one.

If Romney wants to be President he needs to follow the lead of Soros and Buffet.

Don’t give it to charity. For one thing, so many charities are so woman-friendly (usually for a good reason) that they will not support destitute single males. Increasingly they predefine desert.

Instead, call for the capital gains tax to end: call for higher taxes on the 1%. Stop the barbaric practice of taxing us expatriates on money earned overseas, one that is not followed by other developed countries.

The French revolution, like our own, started over unfairness of taxation. Necker could not balance Louis XVI’s books because the First and Second Estates (the nobility and clergy) refused to pay taxes. The Terror was the result.

Stop using coded racism. We’re all black folk today. A white man with no credit and no car is under almost the same suspicion when he walks in the rain to Motel 6. Racist talk died down a bit in the 1930s when people realized this.

The whole system works because people show up for work. But in today’s America, you can be fired “for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all”. Your worth is defined in ridiculous performance reviews where what you thought was good performance (finding a way to bill conference calls, connecting with students by marshaling their anger against Asian schools) can always be renarrated, at will, as not what’s needed.

But the desert of a Romney of capital gains and a 13.9% rate is never in play.

I used to live in a semi-well-sealed bubble. I got company laptops, I could expense hotel rooms, my Silicon Valley firm provided us with a hot tub. But in return I worked 16 hours a day and got paid for eight. And then the company wanted to hire junior college graduates to blindly make changes to parameters, not real programmers.

Job performance can always be questioned. Almost as soon as you’re too “inexperienced”, right around 30, in my former field, you’re over the hill. But capital gains and bonds, ah, they survive everything: wars, depressions, you name it. In fact, young men will go to war to preserve your gains: as Sean Penn says in the Thin Red Line, “this war is about property”. Like TS Eliot, I would like to be in heaven, and, with Mustapha Mond, lie “wrapt in a six percent Exchequer Bond”.

Perhaps we seriously need a President a guy like Harry Truman, who was seriously broke when selected by Missouri boss Tom Prendergast to be FDR’s Vice in 1944, and replace Henry Wallace…who troubled the Mustapha Monds of his day by being a socialist. Truman was broke because he was honest.

Or Lincoln, who passed the Bar through self-study.

There is no political democracy, writes John Rawls, unless there be a rough equality in the fair market value of a vote. But when bondholders and capital gainers vote and call their Congressman, they have real clout. I can write Senator Durbin of Illinois and get a form letter.

Romney’s tax return is obscene. And it IS a set-up. I destroyed my marriage, in part, by working absurd hours; but in consulting, your worth is defined by the worst things that are said about you when you lack “social skills” and would rather code great software … for companies like Standard Oil that didn’t deserve it. I was in the arena, my Dad was, and, in terms of the filthy bastards now running for the Republican nomination, even Richard Nixon was in the arena.

These guys own the goddamn arena so they don’t have to fight.

On Some Fashionable, Nauseating Nonsense

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 25, 2012 by spinoza1111


Tries too hard…

I find this article nauseating.

“CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM writes for Vanity Fair, GQ, Harper’s and many other magazines, and is currently working on a book, ‘The United States Must End,’ which advocates the dissolution of the US.”

This from someone whose income is made from national magazines and who uses that income to live apart from a wife who’s apparently French and junket with his alienated daughter in Utah…without getting fucking stuck in fucking Utah with no fucking money, and sending emails and Facebook messages out in despair because the motel phone won’t make long distance calls.

Who argues that the United States must be dissolved. Gee, does this asshole know what happened when the federation of Yugoslavia dissolved?

Who uses Facebook and the net to preserve his income, who submits articles electronically and promotes himself on the Internet. Has this guy any shame? Has he ever read Plato and pondered Plato’s hypocrisy concerning writing?

Who uses, irresponsibly and at second hand, Heidegger’s Jargon of Authenticity to laugh at us poor deluded and systematically isolated fools, with our unfashionable age, race, gender and bank balances, who use Facebook to relieve isolation, to connect, and bring down governments and their apologists of the chattering class.

Clearly, Facebook needs to be limited to the elite just as teaching slaves to read and write was a capital offense in de old Souf. How dare that Motel 6 long term resident have a Blackberry? Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? Clearly there needs to be a First Clawss access for which we shall pay, and a Colored Person access for everyone else.

The new game in town is to shame the black and the brown
How dare they use Facebook or a cellphone so as not to be alone?
They strut their stuff so shamelessly on Facebook
Creating a homeless man’s home a shantytown nook
Wherein they can say to the uncaring Other
Yo dig it I am a man and a brother.

Technology is so inauthentic, these people are not real
And from the Gods they steal the fire!
Time to throw your cellphone on the pyre
And to follow the authentic thug
And stop tracking up our rug.

Marshaling the Marching Morons: a Note on the Wikipedia Stunt

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 21, 2012 by spinoza1111

Jimbo Wales with false modesty is pretending again to be some sort of benefactor of humanity with his stupid and dangerous 19 January stunt: bringing wikipedia down, thereby endangering in an unknown and unpredictable fashion any automated system, anywhere in the world, that includes shells or scripts that assume it’s available, and access a dataset in text form that’s stored on wikipedia.

And from behind computer screens, world wide, the Techie Troglodytes cheer him on with an audible rattling of real chains.

Consider that the unemployed software engineer needs to get off his ass, and sit neither at home nor in Starbucks, and instead haul ass to interviews and live conferences to get a new job. That’s how I got a new job in 2000: I hauled ass to the VSLive conference and the Microsoft Author’s Conference. I worked as an unpaid volunteer at VSLive and took the bus to and from Seattle, to and from Chicago, to get to the Author’s conference.

In a remarkably similar way, #Occupy taught us that we the 99% will only get the attention of the people whom we called the pigs in the 1960s and are referred to today as the 1% by putting the human body on the line.

But, of course, a necessary part of the techie subconscious is a deep shame about and hatred of the human body. To the extent that before 1981, as I slowly became fatter and fatter, I was accounted a great tech: as soon as I started running, despite the fact that running improves learning and concentration, my reputation as a tech suffered.

While Facebook has been a part (but only a part) of true revolutions beginning with Tunisia, note that Facebook is about our ability as bodies to communicate in a capitalist system that in countless ways needs to keep us separate. All other tech ventures have net out to a decline in our ability to meaningfully control our lives.

However, the insiders at Apple, Google and the other ventures seek to enrich only themselves and in this venture, they have found it convenient since 1980 to tell a story of personal liberation through technology that’s completely at odds with the facts.

Stunts like “bringing wikipedia down” merely endanger thousands of systems world wide that include shells and scripts that link to wikipedia, and similar stunts like “bring Google down” magnify this danger.

The tech 1% including Wales are trying to delude the tech 99% by persuading them that by sitting on their fucking ass, eating junk food, and making trouble online will change a god damned thing. This is because conforming to SOPA and PIPA would actually be easy; these laws, which are job creators, apply to foreign sites and would be trumped in the USA by the First Amendment in an obvious way. Under the Constitution, a Chinese pirate has no First Amendment protection.

But despite the fact that such conformance would be easy, tech CEOs hate doing anything not directly related to the bottom line, such as designing a system to discover the origin of content which appears to match a copyrighted document…such a system can rely on IP addresses.

So they marshal marching morons.

A Facebook exchange with Chicago’s “Ethics” Honcho (?)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by spinoza1111

After the exchange reproduced below (somewhat edited) I realized that my main interlocutor was the lawyer who heads something called Chicago’s “Ethics” commission, which is probably located in the Oxymoron Building.

This was interesting, because his language game was something I’d been familiar with in Lincoln Park and other fancy arrondissements, and in my ripostes I’d said so, before realizing who I was going up against.

The language game? Some Yuppies talk obsessively at el Jardine or 21 or other fashionable bistro about some horrific crime when I, das ist, silly me, had hoped, along with Wally Shawn, to find well-lit rooms where “in the room the women come and go/talking of Michelangelo”:

I shall not want Honour in Heaven
For I shall meet Sir Philip Sidney
And have talk with Coriolanus
And other heroes of that kidney.

I shall not want Capital in Heaven
For I shall meet Sir Alfred Mond:
We two shall lie together, lapt
In a five per cent Exchequer Bond.

I shall not want Society in Heaven,
Lucretia Borgia shall be my Bride;
Her anecdotes will be more amusing
Than Pipit’s experience could provide.

I shall not want Pipit in Heaven:
Madame Blavatsky will instruct me
In the Seven Sacred Trances;
Piccarda de Donati will conduct me…

(TS Eliot: A Cooking Egg)

Instead of discourse about Michelangelo, my experience was that it was more based on National Enquirer type stories, the point of which retailing or commenting on completely escapes me. People do so nonetheless in America, and as far as I can determine this is to make sure that others know that they would never do, nor countenance, such horrendous deeds…as if the reassurance doesn’t raise the possibility.

Now, in Chicago, there are judges, lawyers, district attorneys, public defenders, cops and doctors, and apart from the boys in blue, most of these people live in fashionable arrondissements. They call, below in the language game, for immediate execution of the gemoke or perp who dunnit before any trial, preferably “enhanced” with torture. This is considered au fait and maybe they teach it at the University of Chicago Divinity Skewl, where my guy pulled one of his degrees.

The problem is that men like my father, a neurosurgeon, may have saved the lives of pedophiles and other gemokes. The problem, as I show below, is that the next step is not torture and execution. Instead, in our legal system (which my buddy here studied I would imagine, since he’s a lawyer), a public defender is appointed to get the guy off…for example under the “M’Naghten rule” in which a man who does not know right or wrong (or did not at time of crime) cannot be convicted.

M’Naghten’s thought experiment would be any kind of “automatic” action that causes another’s death: in M’Naghten, as I understand it, a truly crazy person cannot be convicted, and is neither innocent nor guilty, since in the criminal law innocence and guilt can only be spoken of in relation to a person who can make a moral choice. I thought dey taught dat in law school.

Therefore, I find refined dinner conversation that turns to what the dominant males would like to do to Jeffrey Dahmer, whilst the females mewl approvingly, one of those points at which enlightenment dialectically turns into reverse. I’d rather talk about Shakespeare and I get to here in Hong Kong’s small but amusing English-language theater community. Graduate school at the University of Chicago seems to me from the outside to be an education in brutalization.

Here’s the edited transcript.

Ethics Honcho

Call me a wing-nut Republican, but if this man did what the front page of the NYT says he did, he deserves the death penalty, and I hope he gets it, and I hope we harvest his brain and send it to Columbia Presbyterian MC to see what sickening synapses are in it and what went wrong. This one is not “society’s fault.”

Woman Burned Alive in Brooklyn Elevator
Detectives and fire marshals were reviewing video surveillance footage of a woman being burned alive in the elevator of an apartment building.


Actually, it is, because the abuse of women and bullying is a tool of social control.

Ethics Honcho

This crime is truly heinous, and anyone who commits this crime is beyond redemption. This particular incident goes beyond mere abuse of women and bullying, though I fully agree with you about the societal phenomenon. I’m hypersensitive to it, raising two daughters.


Nobody is beyond redemption in my opinion.

Ethics Honcho

I would like to agree, but don’t. That’s ok.

Nice Lady #1

…even bleeding heart liberals such as myself think this guy ought to fry.

Ethics Honcho

But you won’t be allowed to say that the 2012 Democratic National Convention–you’ll be drummed out of the party (just like I would be drummed out of the Republican Party for arguing in favor of gay marriage).

Nice Lady #1

…liberals aren’t all that closed-minded, and I sure hope all conservatives aren’t either! I like to think that politics doesn’t make people stupid. 🙂

Ethics Honcho

It’s hard being moderate…

Nice Lady #1

I know. Good to know there are closet moderates around!
12 hours ago · 1

Guy who must watch a lot of movies

I think I remember from the movie “Escape from NY” as the criminal was walking down a hallway he had the option to walk to the right and self-destruct. We should simply add a third where a victim has the option, once found guilty, to push him into some death chamber. OKay, I feel better. Save society a lot of $$.

Nice Lady #2

Oh my God.

Guy who must watch a lot of movies

lol…okay, I’ll forgoe that third chamber…but maybe we can agree on that self destruct option…inform the murderer what they did and that they can make the world a better place without them, and save us the years of paying for their Harvard education priced incarceration…


People wonder why Republicans get elected. This is one of the reasons: even “liberals” can say, without in this, or in many other cases, knowing the full story, that the criminal law and its procedures should be suspended, merely so they, these putative liberals, can be spared having to really confront what it is to be a victim and what the violence in our society is about.

Republicans get elected because we so systematically short-circuit discussions such as why there are neighborhoods in which violence is so frequent, and why women walk in fear. It’s far easier to show that one’s a “good person” by saying “suspend criminal law, don’t give him a trial, don’t give him a life sentence, just do unto him what he did to her”.

The Republicans express who we are and what we’ve become. Dammit all to hell, I was told by a coworker after getting fired from a job in Chicago in 1981 that the reason I got fired was because I didn’t fuck the right executive women. I was fucking MARRIED with CHILDREN but this is what “liberal” men from Lincoln fucking Park say to each other. And the Republicans express this dark fucking heart of the fucking “American dream”.

We in fact need in a court of law to hear the perp’s full story because under the most conservative criminal law, the old M’Naghten rule, he may not have known right from wrong at the time of the crime. Charles Manson’s mother tried to sell him for a bottle of beer, for “that’s life” in Amerikkka, that’s what we “accept”, that what we “pray about”, that’s what we try to “deal with” in self-help, when we SHOULD be saying, clean up the neighborhoods, rebuild the schools, and teach men to be decent to women.

The late Susan Brownmiller was right. The rapist, in her analysis, does society’s dirty work, because the fear of rape and here violence makes women afraid to ask for equal pay for equal work and subservient. More generally, the fear of bullying keeps both men and women in line.

The street violence is an enabler of what happens in banks when the banks are given billions in the bailouts, and what happens in banks enables the violence in a Satanic cycle.

If I had a law degree and was a public defender, I would listen to the perp and get his full story in hopes of finding that he was criminally insane. This is called CIVILIZATION, people.

And a prison term costs a Harvard education? Boo fucking hoo. First of all, is your kid even gonna qualify for admission?

And secondly, CIVILIZATION includes expenditure for “wasteful” things such as education (which cannot be explained properly by “libertarians” such as Robert Nozick) and incarceration. As it happens, the death penalty is more expensive than incarceration.

If you make it cheap, then the blood of innocents is on your hands, because prior to Miranda and prior to modern anti-death penalty jurisprudence innocent people were executed all the time.

Weep for the woman. But weep also for the black males that were also doused with gasoline and lynched as recently as 1983 in “perfectly normal” ceremonies in the South and rural North, which were celebrated in postcards sent openly in the US mails. Weep for the queers that were victimized by the macho men who deliberately infected them with AIDs and then, after the act, told the sissy boy that they had AIDs. Weep for the Reuters newsmen killed by US troops alongside their children in May 2007.

Ethics Honcho

Edward, with all due respect, you’re overanalyzing this. This guy is a monster, who committed a monstrous crime. You, Susan Brownmiller and other feminist theorists to the contrary (not having read them, other than Carol Gilligan, I can’t say whether they’d agree with you), It’s not the fault of the Republicans, or the media, or liberal society, or his mama, or his papa (if he has one or knows who it is), or the banks, or the advertising agencies, or capitalism, or the dark side of the Amerikkan dream, or racism. Were your theories correct, there would be many more of these absolutely shocking crimes. No, we are not a society that wishes, secretly, to destroy women. Whether the fundamentalist Muslim is, I withold judgment, because the evidence is much more persuasive. But that it is Saudi, not Brooklyn. Men are taught that in madrassas, it is overtly condoned in society. Here, it’s street talk. But it’s not holy writ. Have we lost the ability to make moral judgments? to make ethical discernments? To absolve individuals of their responsibilities because Marx and Freud and their inheritors were right, and we are controlled by society-think? I think not. I reason not. I hope not. I am not a praying man, but I pray not, just the same.

This is, dare I saw it, evil. Yes, I use the “e word” here. I do weep for the black men who were lynched (I thought the most recent lynching was in Terre Haute IN in 1938, but maybe I’m wrong), and for the 3 civil rights workers (only one of them black) murdered in Nashoba County MS in 1964. Yes, our society has ills. And were I the PD assigned to this case, I would do my sworn legal duty to ensure that the prosecution, here the Kings County DA, does its work, and presents its case flawlessly. And if New York state has no death penalty (which is a shame, but that’s my p.o.v.) then I argue to the extent of my abilities that the punishment on this poor, put upon lad, whose mother and father and big brother and sister sodomized him and shot him up with drugs and prostituted him to feed their own drug habits, should be lenient, because this boy can be rehabilitated. Which is why I am not a PD. But if I’m the judge, I say, yep, that may be true, but this man still committed a crime that cannot be countenanced or explained, and he planned it to a precise degree.

We have not given up our ideals as a society that is under the rule of law, though of course you can point to people who act otherwise and flout it. But this, here, is simple. If the guy did it, then I’m not so interested in his story, at least as a way to lessen his responsibility. We are not automatons. There is no subliminal message in our society to dress up as an exterminator and burn women in elevators alive after dousing them with lighter fluid. This man made his decision, society didn’t make it for him, and he needs to pay. Interestingly, Immanuel Kant believed in the death penalty; if we squander our freedom on evil, we deserve our penalty.

Stephen Sondheim had it right in his satiric lyrics from West Side Story:

West Side Story-Officer Krupke
The Jets mock the kinds of excuses authorities use to rationalize the existence …
See More


You are wrong. You are wrong. The fact is you’re neither the DA nor the public defender. The problem is that you, Mr. Steve Berlin, are wasting my time and yours by over-identifying with the public prosecutor. I am trying, and apparently failing, to show you that to do so is barbaric, because midway between the public prosecutor and the public defender in our society we must acknowledge that someone needs to sit down with the perp and try his damnedest to find out if he, the perp, does not know the difference between right and wrong.

This is because at a minimum, a civilized society does not kill innocent people and the criminally insane who under the M’Naghten rule do not know right from wrong are innocent people, period. Otherwise, we revert to what our ancestors did: kill animals who’d caused deaths and sacrifice human beings to the gods.

The M’Naghten rule is far older than anything from the 1960s and was a part of British jurisprudence since the 1830s.

Abraham realized that killing Isaac was not anything a God that Abraham could conceive, a being greater than Abraham, would countenance. Likewise, you will accomplish nothing by killing the perp. NOTHING. And I don’t give a hoot in hell how many incompetent psychiatrists you can pay to gibber about the “grieving process” and how it’s assisted by seeing the murderer die, because that is a Satanic lie. We get over what’s done to us when we forgive.

When these cases are discussed around the oh so very liberal dinner table or restaurant table in Lincoln Park or Manhattan, the conversation is as here dominated by loud males with issues of power and control and they never identify with the public defender nor even the ordinary cops, one of whose jobs happens to be caring for the perp until he can be brought to trial. The direct result is that innocent people are tortured (as is Bradley Manning as I write) and executed as was Troy Davis last summer.

The only reason for even exchanging these notes about this sordid crime (one as sordid as the murder of Reuters journalists and children from well-armored Apaches in Baghdad four years ago) is to know, in Tolstoy’s words, “what we then must do”.

Well, I’m with Kant and my late father, who as a neurosurgeon operated on criminals and gave them back their lives.

“What we then must do”, call it with that underused clerical and military word our Duty, here, is above all not get our fucking rocks off and show off for women by saying, with unique futility since neither of us is a DA nor a public defender, how we’d like to kill “da guy who did it”. Because Duty is that which sucks, and it sucks in this case not to give way to our desire to undo a killing with another killing.

By your logic, Israel can invade anyone it likes when it decides there is an existential threat.

By your logic, we invaded Iraq even though Osama hated Saddam.

This is the logic of the deodand, a primitive legal rule in which animals and plants were executed to atone for a crime when the criminal could not be executed.

The intention is to restore something but I say, if you use capital punishment you merely add to the dead. You do NOT undo the crime.

Ethics Honcho

I guess I’m a deodand then. And so I shall remain. It’s not mine to forgive. It’s the family the of the woman burned alive. If I wasted your time, Edward, well, whatever.

Nice Lady #2

You make a powerful point, “Ethics Honcho”. This crime is textbook evil because he planned it so precisely. That one fact is perhaps the most disturbing in a tremendously disturbing story. This one is really off the charts.


No, “Ethics Honcho” makes no point at all. If the perpetrator did not know the difference between right and wrong, the crime was not “textbook evil”, the evil was in a society which as it happens fails to care for people with mental disorders.

If the perpetrator did know the difference, then he committed an evil act and needs to be locked up at society’s expense (it is more expensive to use the death penalty).

I have enough to do in assaying my own potential for evil and not in taking others’ inventory. I have naught to do with the case, which I find sordid and disgusting, as I find, derivatively, the interest in such deeds by my oh so liberal and educated friends who’d be better off in my opinion discussing the Higher Things, but who in recent years have lost touch with the Higher Things in the pursuit of real estate.

I mean: give me a break. It was an evil deed if done by a man who knew right and wrong. To have to SAY this is stating the obvious when in fact we live in a society in which we perpetrate crimes when, for example, we work in banks or insurance companies.

Ethics Honcho

Edward, you make no point. Banking and insurance are evil, comparable to burning a woman alive in a premeditated act? Sorry dude. Call me whatever names you want. Glad you’re not a policy-maker. That our society is far from perfect is not a reason to “lock him up society’s expense, which is cheaper than the death penalty.”

Do a blog, because you have the right, but the boring pseudo-Marxist claptrap that you think passes for argument is convincing no one. Sorry about your liberal and educated friend who have given up the pursuit of “higher things in the pursuit of real estate.” Shame on them, I guess. Please stop the drivel. You’re entitled to think it, and write it, but enough. We get what you’re saying.

Two responses to the counter-jihad

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 26, 2011 by spinoza1111

After Breivik’s appalling act all I have is a voice to undo the folded lie, as WH Auden wrote in Sep 1 1939.

These two replies to the “counter-jihad” lunatic Elisabeth Sabaditch-Wolff probably won’t make it through moderation at her silly assed site.

Ooohh! Geert Wilders Cited Me!

Reply to “Geert Wilders mentions Elisabeth in his WSJ op-ed”, in which this pathetic loser boasts that Geert Wilders, the Dutch fanatic, mentions her in a WSJ op-ed:

Free speech is almost absolute, but not quite. There’s a reason why it is so often found with freedom of religion. You can’t have the one without the other: no free speech implies no freedom of religion for religion is a form of expression and speech, and no freedom of religion is a prohibition on a form of speech.

This is why one model of the USA’s First Amendment, itself a model for free speech guarantees world wide, was a town ordinance in colonial Baltimore. While Baltimore, unlike most of the colonies, permitted practice of all faiths including Roman Catholicism, it also prohibited aggressive attempts to convert people of other faiths and insulting and disrespect towards those people.

Baltimore’s city fathers anticipated something obvious one hundred years on to John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty: that not only is it “wrong” to exercise a freedom in such a manner that it diminishes the freedom of your neighbor, it makes no sense, since overall freedom is diminished by your actions.

“So act that your action can be recommended as a general moral law”: Kant’s maxim was an attempt to express moral instinct. People with common sense know that a looter does not have clear title to the HDTV he’s carrying down the street and can be relieved of this “property” under the law of the jungle, because the looter’s actions themselves if “recommended as a general moral law” remove the basis of private property.

Mill saw how to apply this to “freedom” including “freedom of speech”.

Your idiotic “counter-jihad” violates the freedom of religion of Muslims; it is an exercise of free speech that limits the freedom of speech of others and an assault on freedom. It creates a climate of threat to practicing Muslims. It scandalizes their children’s respect for their prophet and the symbols of their faith. It causes acts of vandalism and it has caused the largest mass murder carried out by an individual in history. The blood of Breivik’s victims is on your hands.

I’m not going to say that “with freedom comes responsibility” although that’s true. Pub bores, fat women, creeps, losers, the thugs of middle management and so forth have had anything like a super-ego and responsibility surgically removed by modern media and replaced with aspiration to consumer goods and various out of control addictions to food (of the sort that dietary proscriptions such as Halal, Kosher and the traditional meatless Friday of Catholicism can all help).

I will say that a child, struggling in freezing water, and begging for mercy, has no freedom because each atomic act of “freedom” that limits another’s freedom invites that other to reply in kind and lowers overall freedom.

For shame.

“I will not eat Halal food”

Reply to her absurd article about stalking out of a Halal restaurant braying “I will not eat Halal”:

“Halal” means simply that (1) the food is not of a prohibited category and (2) when it is meat it is prepared using a well-sharpened knife in a prescribed way. That’s all.

Which means that the Muslims operating the restaurant probably had a good chuckle, because logically what you said was “I will not eat food”. Most food is Halal.

The only way your assertion makes sense is that you will only eat positively non-Halal food. Do you dig on swine, lady? Do you drink blood? Must your animals be slaughtered slowly and painfully? Do you refuse to eat beef, lamb or chicken? All that pork and ham must be rather dull.

Note that if you are anti-Halal you can relieve the monotony of pork and ham with roadkill, because Muslims may not eat carrion.

And if I understand you correctly, you may not drink soda pop but must drink beer, wine, schnapps and other spirits morning, noon, and night. Coke is Halal, you will neither drink nor eat Halal, therefore party on, lady!

Must be a heck of a dinner table you set: Budweiser and Spam, and Bloody Marys and dogkill on Sunday. No vegetables and no dessert for you since they are Halal! No celery in that Bloody Mary and replace that V-8 with real blood!

News flash: Halal is a negative law meant to specify what Muslims may not eat, similar to Kosher and the Friday abstinence of traditional Catholicism. Part of its purpose is to teach self-control and self-restraint, something of which the grossly, obscenely fat Western body exhibits little. Part of its purpose is the assertion are we not men in the sight of God who can use our God-given free will to walk with dignity. We will not eat each other nor will we eat carrion.

The Muslims do not sprinkle Halal food with the blood of Christian children. Halal is a negative proscription.

Dig up on that dog and swine, lady!

Samson and Delilah by Rubens? An art appraisal adventure

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by spinoza1111

A friend on Facebook asked for comments about this painting of the story of Samson and Delilah, which is said to be by Rubens.

Here are my comments before and after I looked up references on the Web.

Comments on Facebook Made Before Research

It is probably an early Rubens for in it is preserved the exactitude of earlier Flemish Painting. The highlighting “too” precise, the paint laid on with smaller brushes, the oils used stiffer and more resinuous. My guess is that here Rubens painted a grisaille underpainting to model lights and shades. Looks backward to Van Eyck and not forward to Van Dyck.

May be a forgery since Rubens not known to have started with an old Flemish style. Doesn’t have the feel of a true Rubens such as his celebrations now in the Louvre of Marie de Medici’s useless life (as PJ O’Rourke, the American conservative humorist, called it).

“Rubenesque” nymphs celebrate Marie de Medici’s Useless Life: note looser and more “painterly” style, obvious indication of a brownish ground as opposed to a gesso ground, more fat less muscle, etc.

Samson and Deliliah is not Rubenesque save in the treatment of Samson’s arm. The back fails completely. It doesn’t show Rubens’ knowledge of anatomy: there is a mysterious bulge instead of a shoulder blade and the back ripples pointlessly down to this clown’s useless ass.

But, the barber and the serving maid are more Rubenesque in the sense of genre which however was widely popular in Flemish and northern painting from the late Middle ages and in the Low Countries and Spain in the 17th century. Rubens like Veronese sometimes used a proto-genre style to paint “low” characters.

Do not bid high on this painting.

Comments on Facebook Made After Research

Aha, after writing the above, I found that there is indeed some doubt about this being a Rubens: it might be a Honthorst!

See I had NOT known of this link when I wrote the above.

You see, after the turn of the 17th century, “northern” painting consists in art history of two schools: Dutch and Flemish. But the Flanders school disappeared later in the 17th century because “Flanders” was incorporated into France. It later (much later) was disgorged and became Belgium as of 1830.

Whereas there was not a lot of “Dutch” painting proper prior to 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia which ended BOTH the Thirty and the Eighty years’s war, the latter being the Dutch war for independence.

Many ordinary and run of the mill Dutch painters preserved the precision of Jan van Eyck of the 15th century whereas the “southern northern” school of northern art was more influenced as was Rubens by the looser techniques of the Venetians of the early 16th century.

Van Eyck started with a white gesso ground and did a precise grisaille (black and white) underpainting in oil and or tempera and used perhaps one or two glazes of brilliant and translucent oil paint. Whereas the Venetians started with a brownish prepared canvas and then used what Titian called “svelatura, trente o quarante” (glazes, thirty or forty) to intensify, deepen and highlight the dramatic effect.

The Eighty Years war and Dutch voyages of exploration, and early capitalism, caused the Dutch bourgeois to rise and by the late 17th century they constituted the primary market for art as opposed to the aristocrats further south. The Dutch bourgeois (rather like modern Chinese collectors) wanted “value for their money” in brilliant trompe l’oeil effects reminiscent of van Eyck.

Whereas aristocrats were somewhat more appreciative of the entrepreneur artist who wanted his painting to be seen simultaneously as an image and a painting with his own signature, inimitable (and higher priced) style. For the Venetians of the late 16th and early 17th century this was the proto-painterly, looser style of Tiziano Vecelli (Titian), Veronese and Tintoret (Tintoretto) which looks forward to Spanish painting of the 17th century, Goya and the Impressionists.

For private French collectors of the 17th century this was the obscurity and complexity of Poussin’s iconography.

Rubens, we know, followed as did van Dyck the “southern” and Venetian style (southern only relative to Holland). This was of necessity since during their lifetimes, primarily in the first half of the 17th century, Holland while prospering hadn’t evolved a full market in art: van Dyck in fact threw his fortune in with the Stuarts in Great Britain and is well known for his paintings of Charles I and his useless relations.

Bourgeois ignorant about art but who want to invest their swag prefer polish and finish because they are tone deaf to Higher Things: I note that the newly rich of China seem, in Hong Kong galleries, to want even in the case of abstraction the appearance of elegance and labour: even the sides and sometimes the rear of paintings are finished.

Which is why the “northern, van Eyck” style made me suspicious that this was a Rubens and my suspicions are confirmed since there are doubts about the provenance.

The art market today, like most other monkeyshines of the super goddamn rich, takes money away from starving children of Somalia and wastes it on fraud, and this may be an example (a friend recently said wait a minute, if we can relieve their famines with massive aid, how come we cannot feed them and give them land and seed BEFORE the famine, a simple question that needs to be asked).

Fraud gets easier and easier as more and more collectors are more and more ignorant of art technique and the political history of Europe. It creates careers for fraudsters, forgerers and other riff raff (whom an intelligent art appraiser friend calls “the art swine”) and opportunities for honest consultants who can see that the emperor has no clothes.