Thursday, October 8, 2009

Re-Post

[I wrote this on September 13, 2006--PSR]

I watched NBC's latest episode of "To Catch a Predator" this evening. For those of you who may not be familiar with this recurring Dateline series, it is the televising of a sting operation, in which perverts are lured on the internet to drive to some house in the middle of nowhere to have sex, or so they are led to believe, with an underage teen. Once these perverts arrive at the house, expecting to have a night of decadent bliss with a fresh ingenue, Chris Hansen pops out and confronts them with the logs of their truly scuzzy chats and thereby makes them feel really, really ashamed and scared shitless about being exposed on national television (and their impending arrest). After they have confessed and expressed a minimum amount of remorse for their total depravity, Hansen tells them they are free to go. Well, no. They are free to leave the house, but once outside, they are tackled by a squad of badged thugs who always seem to be especially brutal for television cameras.

Now, Dateline advertises this series as a public service. After all, they are helping to lock up these monsters so they can't prey on the innocent young, and by televising the stings, Dateline is deterring perverts from shopping the internet for their victims. Well, not exactly. A good many of the scuzzballs caught in tonight's installment actually had seen past episodes of "To Catch a Predator" and trolled for teenage twat anyway. One must be capable of some reason to be deterred, but the total depravity of original sin kills our reason. We live in a Calvinist country after all, and Calvinism says we will sin no matter what. We're told all the time that abortion is legal because there is no way to deter abortion. Fine. Dateline has shown that pedophilia can't be deterred either. Let's legalize it then. Either that or we kill anyone who demonstrates pedophiliac tendencies.

Dateline is televising the stings of these twisted individuals simply because totally depraved sex sells. "To Catch a Predator" is in the tradition of Cecil B. DeMille's religious epics, which got away with going to town with all sorts of lurid depravity just as long as there were a few scenes of Charlton Heston's righteous indignation. So, we can have our perverse thrills at the thought of doing it doggiestyle with a curious, rebellious teen free of parental supervision as long as we agree with Chris Hansen that such thoughts are too disgusting even to be typed out on a keyboard (much less aired on National Television!).

Most of the men caught in these stings are pathetic losers who desperately want feelings of power. If they just wanted sex with young bodies, they would go after eighteen year olds (or sixteen year olds if they live in, say, Iowa; current age of consent laws are just stupid). But they go after underage teens because underage teens finally provide these powerless schmucks with a comfortable power differential. It's precisely why I like to play chess with people who call the knight "a horsey". These guys suck at fishing, and so they want to shoot fish in a barrel and steal candy from babies.

Part of the problem must be that capitalistic society has made everything into a competition, even affection. To be happily married with a loving family, one must make at least $50,000 a year, if not more, and one has to have power to reach that level. In other words, only the powerful deserve affection. And so the poor schmucks try to find affection from people who aren't yet cynics who know the price of everything and the value of nothing, and those people are the callow and exploitable underaged. But the powerful, too, become pedophiles because somewhere in the back of their minds they know that their wives just married them for the money and are, thus, simply respectable whores, and, so, the American Dream becomes just as morally repulsive as, say, doing it doggystyle with a thirteen-year-old, but with this difference: the thirteen-year-old won't nag.

No, I am not defending these perverts. I am saying that in this country we worship power just as much as the neo-cons and the Huntingtonites say the Muslim fascists do. They worship the power of the sword, and we worship the power of the Almighty Dollar, and our beatific visions are measured in profitable exploitations. Exploiting nature so that it will be more profitably efficient, perpetual wars to enrich the military industrial complex, the pornography industry because sterile sex must bear its fruit in lots and lots of cash, and killing human life at its very beginnings for spare parts. Is it any wonder, then, that some men in this already sick society would apply its depraved logic to the innocence of the young? The powerful exploit the less powerful for gain, and that's all what these perverts do.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

DocManJay

DocManJay is the screen name of one of the most popular bloggers on MySpace. That he is shows that the intellectual level of the surreal world that is MySpace is very low. My intelligent quotient excreted point after point as I read just one of his incoherent rants. My mind suffered diarrhea.

Even though I am thoroughly ashamed that I have exposed myself to such dreck, I cannot resist pointing out just one of this man's idiocies, even though doing so is as challenging as, say, beating Sarah Palin at Scrabble or, well, tic tac toe. DocManJay in the aforementioned entry on his weblog kvetches about us Bush Bashers undermining everything Bush did. Yeah, that's right. He says that our Bush Bashing undermined everything Bush did. Well, we are powerful motherfuckers, aren't we, then? We managed to stop Bush from waging illegal and unjust wars. We stopped him from torturing people and wiretapping this entire country. We stopped Bush from giving all our money to Haliburton, Bechtel, and the Banks. We stopped him from burying this country in mountains of debt.

We did all these things according to DocManJay, and he is demonizing us for having done so? He should be thanking us--if we really did undermine everything that Bush did. But we can only wish we had, and then only in our wildest wet dreams. If there was any administration that showed that Freedom of Speech and Participatory Democracy do not mean diddleysquat, it was the Bush Administration. All our protests, reasoned arguments, and moral outrage really had no effect. Iraq was transformed into a bloody wasteland, Afghanistan was given over to the murderous, pederast Warlords, torture thrived, the U.S. became East Germany, and the rich got richer and the poor poorer. We undermined nothing, and DocManJay is an idiot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

When I'm 64

The Atomic Age started 64 years ago today when we dropped the A-Bomb on Hiroshima--without any justification whatsoever. Well, we said that this deadly nuclear Holocaust was justified. But this was a lie we told ourselves so that we still could be naïve and innocent and believe that we are indeed The Shining City on a Hill, even if that Hill is one fucking putrid bloody landfill. I think it is needless to say that a lie, however pleasant and comforting, cannot justify the murder of hundreds of thousands of people. I hope, at least, that my fellow Catholics who are unfortunately proud of their American Patriotism (for example, Phyllis Schlafley) are nevertheless still sufficiently Catholic to know that a lie is evil, even when the supposedly greatest country in the fucking history of the fucking world tells one. I really hope so.

Anyway, the lie is this: Japan just would not surrender, and so we had only two choices: 1) invade Japan or 2) nuke a city or two. Since an invasion of an entire country would have been really, really savage, bloody, and far deadlier than the destruction of just one or two cities, dropping the bomb was indeed the comparatively humane thing to do, and we Americans always want to do the humane thing. Just ask the Cherokee or the Seminole or the Phillipine Muslims or, well, the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Right. Well, this is a lie because...oh, where do I start? We did not have only those two choices because Japan was trying to surrender all during the summer of 1945. True, they did not want to submit to an "unconditional surrender", whatever the fuck that meant. No surrender can be "unconditional" unless the vanguished agree to fulfill every single whim of the victors. What? We wanted the Japanese to lick our feet and suck our cocks or, if it struck our fancy, to be handcuffed and penetrated in every orifice? Did the Land of Wholesome Godliness, Motherhood, and Apple Pie nuke those two Japanese cities for the sake of BDSM? I hope my fellow Catholics who are too eager to salute the American Flag are, if not really Catholic, still sufficiently human to realize that unleashing the Atomic Scourge for the sake of a rapist's domination is so empty of any good or reason as to escape the bounds of language altogether.

Yes, it is true that even though the Japanese were suing for peace, they still insisted upon one very specific, definite condition. They wanted to be allowed to keep their Emperor. And we would not let them. Surely, that's because if they were allowed to keep their Emperor, the Japanese would be emboldened to start up another Empire, and then, before you knew it, they would be wanting to rape another Nanking, re-conquer Korea and the Phillippines, and plan another suicide surprise attack against us. After all, we Americans are such a nice, wholesome, kindly people, that we would not kill a quarter of a million people in one day unless there was a damn good reason to do so, eh? So, that must mean we sincerely believed that Hirohito was pure evil, and a Nuclear Holocaust, as heartwrenchingly tragic as it was, nevertheless was the necessary price to pay for finally ridding the world of that evil bloodthirsty, terrorist-inspiring, imperialist monster! After Japan's "unconditional surrender", General MacArthur allowed that incarnation of pure, unalloyed, unadulturated evil to keep his throne, and Japan has been our peaceful, acquiescent ally ever since. Oops!

The real story is that the Soviet Union was about to enter the War against Japan on August 9th, and if Japan did not surrender before the Soviets started fighting, the U.S. was facing the prospect of having to share Japan with the Reds. The U.S. did not want its Empire trammeled on in the Pacific as it had been in Europe. Also, the U.S., of course, had the Atom Bomb and wanted to show off its new toy to the Soviets and thereby notify them who now was in charge of the sandbox. If getting Japan to surrender was the reason why we nuked Hiroshima, then we would not have bombed Nagasaki as well. The Japanese were more than willing to suck our cocks after only one demonstration of our willingness to commit instant genocide. We simply wanted to show our new enemies that we now had the power of the gods and that just like the pagan gods of yore, we would use that power simply for our own fucking amusement, human misery be damned!

We nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki simply because we could, and if my fellow Catholics who are American Patriots still claim to be proud of America's past, then I don't want them to be my fellow Catholics.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sarah Palin's Valedictory

In her farewell to the Alaskan Statehouse yesterday, Mrs. Palin said that she would like to remind all those in the media that it is for their freedoms United States soldiers are overseas fighting and dying and that, therefore, the media should honor their freedoms' protectors and stop "making things up!"

Four points need to be made:

1) The soldiers who are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan are hardly doing so for the freedom of the press as Mrs. Palin would have us believe. We have no freedom of the press to fight and die for. If we had real freedom of the press, then the American People would be allowed to see the real horrors of war every night on their televisions, reported by journalists not embedded with and, therefore, not beholden to the military. But that kind of reporting happened in Vietnam, and it turned people against the war, and so our government had to put an end to such "freedoms". That's why now all our war journalists might as well be marionettes.

2) If the media had stopped making things up like, say, the story that Saddam Hussein would soon be able to shoot all kinds of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons at us, our soldiers would not be fighting and dying in that "war for freedom" that Mrs. Palin so jingoistically adores. Moreover, if the media had not been so busy making things up about the Big Bad Baghdad Bogeyman and reported true things such as, say, that the Taliban were ready to hand us Osama bin Laden if we only gave them hard proof that he was indeed behind the 9/11 Attacks, then our soldiers might not now be fighting and dying for "freedom" in Afghanistan, either.

3) Our soldiers are not the ones paying the heaviest price for our "freedoms". The poor people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan are. Our "free" media should honor them by at least reporting truthfully and comprehensively about how many of them our "freedom fighters" are wounding, torturing, and murdering.

4) Even without Tina Fey Sarah Palin remains a stupid, clueless, fascist bitch.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hey, what about the Bisexuals?

If current marriage laws in all but five states (I think it is five, anyway) deny an entire class of people the "fundamental" right to marry whomever they wish, don't these laws in their most unenlightened insistence that marriage is between just two people shamelessly violate the basic human rights of the bisexual? I mean, how the hell is a bisexual supposed to actualize fully his or her (or both) sexual identity with just one spouse?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A reminder to certain readers of mine

One simply cannot be pro-life, declare that all human life is sacred and, therefore, should be respected, honored, and, above all, protected and at the same time support the murderous foreign policy of the United States Government, the premise of which is that it is noble and sweet to kill lots and lots of people for the sake of natural resources to fuel our gluttony.

Therefore, if you still support, say, the Iraqi War or the Afghan War but insist that you are pro-life, please, stop. You are doing the pro-life cause a disservice by robbing it of its original meaning and replacing it with something that cries out to God for vengeance.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just Curious: Is this offensive?

"Agriculture is now motorized food industry--in essence the same as the manufacturing of corpses in gas chambers and extermination camps, the same as blockading and starving of nations, the same as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs."

Historians of Philosophy will recognize the above quote as one of the Nazi Martin Heidegger's more infamous dicta, and yet it seems to me that what he says here is the point of departure for the current critique of the Food Industry. After all, the predicate of this critique is that the Food Industry treats nature like a whore to be raped, and how is that different in kind from treating human beings as material for lamp shades?

So, if the critique against the Food Industry has a point, does this mean a progression in Heidegger's rehabilitation, or do we want to say that people like Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and all advocates of a return to traditional (what is now called "organic") farming are really closet National Socialists?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Parmenidian Prayer by Friedrich Nietzsche

Below is my very, very favorite Nietzsche Quote. I know, I know. I am supposed to be a very devout Catholic and, therefore, I am not supposed to like Nietzsche. I also am supposed to practice custodia oculorum each and every time a lithe, luscious, and therefore tempting young woman crosses my path, but I do not. Philosophy starts in wonder and unfortunately I am too much of a philosopher to resist the wide-eyed wonder for which a beautiful young woman is the efficient, material, formal, and final cause. Yeah, I am a hypocrite. Perhaps. I am also Jesuit-educated and, therefore, can come up for an excuse for any sin just like an American Christian Republican but with this difference, my rationalizations are wittier and more elegant. I can always claim allegiance to the vigorous philosophical tradition that has always existed within Catholicism to justify my roving eye.

Yeah, but back to the Nietzsche Quote. It is a slap at Parmenides, the first systematic philosopher of Being, who was so obsessed with the eternity thereof that he philosophized Being out of our lives. Because he reasoned that Being must be eternal and unchanging, he thought he was forced to conclude that nothing transitory had Being and, thus, that everything around us was not a thing at all but simply an illusion, a lie. Parmenides was the first Protestant. The Protestants say nature is totally depraved and, thus, cannot be Godly in any way, and thus we must rely on faith alone in a God that can only be hidden, and Parmenides says that nature is too changeable to exist, and, therefore, we must conclude that we can never ever experience true Being. The former expresses philosophically what the latter says theologically, and so even though Nietzsche is that "God is Dead" Guy, and I as a Catholic am supposed to revile him as the Great Evil Atheist Bogeyman, I can still appreciate this zinger against Parmenides as a really great philosophical zinger against Protestantism and still remain an Orthodox Catholic:

"Merely a Certainty grant me, ye Gods, is the Prayer of Parmenides, and let there be over the sea of ignorance one small plank, just wide enough to lie on! Everything that becomes, that is voluptuous, damask, blossoming, deceiving, alluring and seductive, all that is full of life, all this you can have; only give me just one single, poor, empty certainty!"



--Die Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen, §11

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Questions to Ponder on this Fourth of July

How can freedom differ from license? And is the freedom to bomb innocent civilians at will, as the Messiah is continuing to do in Pakistan, cause for celebration? And is the very attempt to define freedom a hopelessly performative contradiction because freedom, if it is true freedom, has no limits? And if freedom has no limits, does that mean that wars fought on behalf of freedom must be perpetual and, thus, can have no "exit strategy"? So, if true freedom can be sustained only by perpetual war which means, of course, perpetual bloodshed, why is freedom worth celebrating? Should the Fourth of July, the Feast Day of Freedom, be instead The Day That Will Live On In Infamy?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Third Way of St. Thomas Aquinas

Suppose that the universe is not the result of a Supreme Intellect. This means that the universe is eternal and is all there is, and since it was not the result of a plan, nothing rules it, which is just another way of saying the "principle" of everything is blind chance. So, since blind chance prevails, anything is possible, including the absolute cessation of life, the universe, and everything. A possibility could not be such if it could not happen, and given the eternity of the universe, there are an eternity of chances for every single possibility to become an actuality, including the total disappearance of the universe into utter nothingness. And yet the universe is still here despite the eternity of chances. Therefore, the universe is not governed by blind chance but must be governed by a mind.

One obvious objection to this argument leaps to mind: if the universe can chance to vanish, it can also chance to pop into existence. Fine, but if this, too, is possible, then something can come from nothing, and to hold this is to vitiate any principle of objective science. If things can just pop in and out of existence without any rhyme or reason, then it is clear that knowledge is impossible and reason is a laughingstock. In other words, if there is no ultimate mind behind the universe, then it is ultimately pointless to be as smart and intelligent as, say, Richard Dawkins thinks he is.

(Nota bene: The above is not intended as a proof for the existence of the personal Christian God. Philosophy cannot reach the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Ayn Rand fans are pathetic

If one wants to be selfish, one should not have to have another
telling him how.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Et tu, Iowa?

So, Iowa now has gay "marriage", eh? If such a wholesome piece of the nation's heartland has gay "marriage", the other states will fall like dominoes, and soon this will be the United States of San Francisco. That's the conventional wisdom, at least. Actually, this country was doomed to have gay "marriage" ever since the fateful Supreme Court Decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, nearly forty-five years ago. If it is perfectly legal to have deliberately sterile sexual intercourse, then one can have no legal objection to gay "marriage. It is that simple. The legalization of the condom and The Pill leads ineluctably to the acceptance of barren homosexual acts.

Now, what I want to know is this: With the legalization of gay "marriage", what will now be the legal definition of consummation? If Lesbian Couples do not use a strap-on at least once, will their "marriages" be considered null and void? Or will heterosexual couples now be able to consummate their marriages with buggery? Or simply with strategic licking? Or by holding hands at a production of My Fair Lady?

One could say, I guess, that consummation will be defined according to the nature of the couple's "love". Vaginal intercourse for heterosexuals, anal intercourse for gay men, and cunnilingus or, perhaps, fisting for Lesbians. But if that's the case, wouldn't that undermine the chief argument for gay "marriage", namely that the government has no business whatsoever defining something as intimate and private as Romantic Love?

It's really quite simple. If "love" can't be defined, then the consummation of "love" cannot be as well. It all depends upon the perspective of the lover and the beloved. For some phone sex is enough to consummate "love". For others cybersex. An erstwhile illegal immigrant* can say he really knew that his marriage was genuine the moment he got his Green Card, and who will be so arrogantly dogmatic as to say that the receipt of a Green Card cannot be a truly romantic experience? Yeah, for some that is simply gaming the system, but for others it is "love". No one has the right to tell others what "love" is between consenting adults. That's the law. Well, in Iowa, Connecticut, and that state I can't spell right now, at least.

*Yes, I know that some frown on the term "illegal immigrant", arguing that no human being is illegal. But the premise of this argument is false. "Immigrant" does not refer to the human being as such. It merely refers to the doer of an action, which can be legal or no. If it is impermissible to use "illegal immigrant", then it is also impermissible to call a physician or a plumber "unlicensed" because physicians and plumbers are humans, too, and it is outrageous to imply that one must be licensed in order to be human. I've been wanting to write this for months now, by the way. You sanctimonious PC Police with the poles up your holier-than-thou sphincters, come and get me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quick Thought

As I write this, there are now five wild turkeys strutting up and down my property.

I would like very much to piss off Peter Singer and Ingrid Newkirk.

Besides, after having run in place for thirty minutes, I am hungry.

I am reconsidering my pacifist stance against guns or, for that matter, crossbows, truncheons, bludgeons, or even the use of shovels as deadly force.

Like I said, I am hungry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jus ad Bellum

So, Mexico is now embroiled in a very, very bloody drug war. The drug lords are killing anyone who gets in their way. This war took the lives of 5,736 persons last year, and the death rate is only accelerating--1,000 during this past January alone. So, the Mexican Drug War has claimed far more lives than those that were lost on 9/11.

Now, 9/11, as everyone should know, was used to justify a war of retaliation, the Afghan War, and a war of prevention, the Iraq War. The rationale for the second war was this: Saddam Hussein has lots and lots of Weapons of Mass Distraction, and Saddam is an evil madman, Hitler on meth. There is no telling what he will do with his apocalyptic arsenal. He could open it up to all kinds of terrorists who want to visit even more 9/lls upon our poor, freedom-loving heads. We can't let another 9/11 happen. Therefore, we must destroy Saddam before he destroys us. Therefore, Shock and Awe. Therefore, fuck Iraq, and then we can sleep at night and continue to love freedom.

But Saddam did not attack us. He did not have those stockpiles of WMD, and he was not arming the terrorists threatening our oh so precious freedoms. But so what? Saddam was still a mad, evil monster who had used mustard gas on his own people and, even though he had no WMD left, he still knew how to make more and was planning to make more, because that's the nature of heinous dastardly villainous bastards like him. To prevent another 9/11 we had no choice but to take him out (and destroy Iraq and take its oil as well, but that's irrelevant; I don't know why, but the neo-cons say that it is).

Okay, so let's return now to the Mexican Drug War. Where are the Drug Lords and their goons getting the weapons that are now terrorizing the good people of Mexico? From Texas. They are getting their weapons from us because in our country it is easier for a murderous thug to acquire an arsenal than it is for a minor to buy a pack of smokes.

So, if it is fine and dandy for us to wage a preventive war against a country because a mad dictator just might give weapons to people who might attack us with them, then it is clear that Mexico has even more reason to attack and invade us. Whereas it was only paranoid imagination that Iraq would attack us or arm the terrorists who would attack us, it is not speculation at all to say we are arming the terrorists who are making Mexico a veritable bloodbath. It is a documented fact. If it is okay to ravage another country because of fear of what its mad dictator might do, then it is especially urgent to fight a country because of what its mad gun laws are actually doing.

Now, of course, Mexico won't attack us. They would get annihilated if they did, but in the light of our own theory of jihad, they would certainly die as righteous martyrs.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Carmen Catulli no. 51 (dedicated to dchan)

Equal to a God he seems to me,
Or, if it be not blasphemy,
He surpasses all the Gods, too,
For he gets to sit next to you.

And listens to your sweet, sweet laughter,
Which rips all the sense out of me
For nothing is left thereafter,
When I see you, I prattle mindlessly.

But the tongue withers into blight,
From my weak joints my rage drips down,
My ears are jangled with her sound,
As my eyes blacken in the night.

Catull, leisure makes you rave and burn,
Leisure, Catull, is your disease,
Leisure has ruined kings in their turn,
And has destroyed many blessèd cities.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Socialism and Capitalism

One of the tenets of Conservative Catholicism in these United States is the idea that the evils of abortion, contraception, and civil unions/gay "marriage" are intrinsic to socialism. That may be so, but why? If it is so, then it is because the socialist project, as we learn so clearly from Plato, is the replacement of the family by the state, and so the family must be wiped out in theory and in practice.

But these evils I would argue are also intrinsic to what Conservative Catholics have been duped by vile neo-con toads such as Michael Novak into defending as God's system, capitalism. The capitalist project, as we learn from Locke, is the unquenchable quest for joy in the amassing of wealth. This is what drives society, and so it must be a perpetual cycle. You can never have enough profit, you must always want more, because if you don't want more, you won't work for more, and then you will be overtaken by your competition and shunted back into the miserable proletariat (okay, fine, as we learn from Marx's interpretation of Locke).

(Oh, I must insert another inelegant parenthesis here to point out that it was precisely this mad competition for more that caused the current economic crisis. One bank wanted to get an edge on another bank by leveraging more, the other bank raised the stakes by leveraging even more, and so on and so forth until the rabid lunacy of banks leveraging 30-1 and then, presto, economic apocalypse that will force us to seek refuge with the Amish.)

Therefore, an ambition of constant Calliclean instability is the premise of capitalism, and, thus, the stability of the family must give way to it. Both socialism and capitalism must make war on the family because the telos of each is fundamentally at odds with that of the family.

So, what's my solution? I don't know. A return to medieval feudalism, perhaps?

We're fucked.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Response to Shanna Carpenter

Because I am at home now, I cannot access facebook and, therefore, cannot respond to Miss Carpenter's latest volley in our rather acrimonious debate, at least not on facebook. I can respond here and I will do so in the hope Miss Carpenter will see the response when it is threaded through to my facebook site. This note is meant for Miss Carpenter and others who have happened to have follow our debate on facebook. Those who have not will, of course, not be able to contextualize the response below. My apologies to them.

My Response to Miss Carpenter:

Yes, I should have known that Brazil has much stricter laws against abortion than we do, and good for them. But my point still stands. The principle being upheld is that one may not do evil so that good may happen. This is the basis of morality. If you drop this principle, then you open the door to pragmatism, the premise of which ultimately is nothing but might makes right. I will concede that this particular case is an agonizingly hard one, of course, but even though it seems utterly heartless to say and makes me sound like Ian August Mosley, it still remains true that morality of hard cases makes for bad law. And it remains true that what you are arguing for is nothing less than the justification of the deliberate killing of an innocent human life, and that disgusts me as much as my position sickens you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Peter Sloterdijk on Social Networking Sites (e.g. facebook)

"The retreat from others, the permission to be alone, that is the great achievement of individualism. But the human being is a tribal creature as well. These Web Networks can happily unite both: One can be free of the annoying, obstreperous others, yet the entire tribe is always present."

Well, Herr Sloterdijk has obviously confounded "present" with "virtually present", which may or may not signify a genuine human presence. One can never know. The Internet is truly the world of Kantian Appearances. There is no way to have real knowledge of the thing itself behind the screens and terminals unless, of course, people meet "offline". But then, if that happens, Sloterdijk's "happy union" of liberal deracination with optional tribalism disappears. The other suddenly becomes real. The words and pixels become flesh, and the tribe then is a concrete obligation. If these social networking sites are the pinnacle of liberal individualism, as Peter Sloterdijk suggests, then liberal individualism is indeed a gnostic heresy. This is obvious, of course. The internet just makes the obvious glaring.

Social Networking Sites are Singles Bars where accidental commitments can at last be utterly screened out with certain, scientific precision, but doing so screens out the human being and leaves nothing but an illusion thereof in his stead.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Give me your best pitch

Convert me:

If you're an atheist, tell me why I should be as well, and why I must regard Sisyphus as happy. For those of you who didn't catch the allusion, Sisyphus was a man condemned by the gods to roll a great big rock up a hill, whence it would fall back again on its own weight, and Sisyphus would have to start all over again, and so on for eternity. Albert Camus, the colonialist atheist, took Sisyphus' fate to be the lot of modern, godless man. And the only truly philosophical question for modern, godless man is why he should not slit his wrists. Camus' answer is "The Myth of Sisyphus", believe it or not. Because there is no god, life has no meaning. Life is, thus, absurd. It is as pointless as Sisyphus' punishment, and yet Camus claims Sisyphus to be happy because, well, he chooses to be, I suppose. He manages to yank meaning out of sheer bitchery. How? Tell me this, and I might, just might consider converting to Atheism.

Of course, many Atheist would deny the premise of Camus' essay and assert that godlessness does not equate to absurdity. Well, I really do not know how one can defend this claim. If there is no God, then our world, our lives, everything around us is not the result of an intent. It is ultimately the result of chance, and any meaning we discover is really as fabricated as Atheists say the fairy tales about God are. But I could be wrong. If so, tell me, please.

If you are Wahabist Muslim, please, tell me why I should give up beer and gazing at young women in skimpy bikinis. Tell me why I should worship a very boring book. Tell me why the Koran was not just an excuse for Mohammed to fuck lots of women. And, while you're at it, what's my motivation for belief if I happen to prefer Blue-Eyed Virgins to Dark-Eyed Virgins?

If you are a Mormon, answer me this: may I exchange the planet I get as a reward for not smoking, not drinking, and liking the Osmonds for a library and several cartons of Camel Filters? I really don't want to rule a planet. I would probably make a botch of it, provoke a revolution, and be overthrown and beheaded. So, may I have a library without being a god? Like Nietzsche I'd rather be a scholar than a god.

If you are Wiccan, tell me what is the fun of being a witch without having the ability to turn someone into a newt or to render someone unable to utter anything expect Abba Songs?

If you're an episcopalian, answer me this: may I then believe in anything as long as I drink Gin & Tonic and think John Meacham is profound?

If you are Unitarian, tell me: may I still believe in the certainty of basic arithmetic or would that make me too much of a fundamentalist?

If you are a Sarah Palin groupie, would you please tell me how expensive your lobotomy was and if it hurt at all.

Oh, and if you are a Catholic who still thinks the Iraq War was a textbook example of a Just War--a war that has killed about a million Iraqis, displaced millions more, driven a hundred thousand women and girls into prostitution and sex slavery, has produced more starving children than even the brutal decade-long regime of economic sanctions did--tell me exactly why people like you do not give Catholicism a worse name than buggering priests or, well, vile, disgusting middle-aged leches like me?

If you are Protestant, would you please tell me why Luther was right and David Koresh was wrong or vice versa.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gay Porn Fluffer

I guess I should post something simply because I have not posted anything for days. That's because I'm in a bit of a funk. My one and only true love still will not requite my stubbornly, obstinately, and adamantly undying love for her. She will not even answer my e-mails. My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. Vae mihi!. On top of that my Greek sucks. Really sucks. I mistook what was clearly and unequivocally an aorist participle for a future participle and failed completely to recognize the second principle part of diaphero. Those are boners that a callow first-year Greek major makes. Geez. I feel more guilty about doing that than all my sordid sins of self-abuse. I am an incorrigible pagan, trying to be Catholic, after all.

Speaking of religion, I guess I should explain why, as I assert boldly on my MySpace profile, I would rather be a gay porn fluffer than a Protestant. Don't get me wrong. I agree with the Catholic Church that the homosexual orientation is, yes, intrinsically disordered and that homosexual acts are always gravely wrong (just like acts of self-abuse). And, yes, I believe gay "marriage" is an abomination which should not be allowed to have legal recognition. If you want to call me a "homophobe", knock yourself out.

Now, it should be noted that Protestantism, the various varieties of Arminianism excepted, denies humans of free will. In the Protestant scheme of things, we are robots. And yet when it comes to homosexuality, the great majority of Evangelicals will insist that this orientation is a choice and not a determined condition. Okay, well, if that's the case then, the Evangelical Protestants have excepted homosexuals from their deterministic theology, and so even though I would never want to be a gay porn fluffer, I have to say that it would sure beat being a divinely pre-set robot

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

so, wacko libertarians, what say you?

So, are there any libertarians around who still think privatizing the court system is a smashing idea? If so, then I really would like them to explain to me why this would not be the result. If you want freedom for all, you have to have justice for all, and justice cannot be administered by anything else than an institution accountable to the common good and nothing but. Justice becomes tyranny if it is answerable to the personal profit motive (what saner ages called greed) and would certainly deserve much more than sniggering ridicule on some mischievous adolescent's MySpace page. Its true desert is nothing less than outright mass rebellion.

Further evidence that radical libertarians should be--for the sake of the very thing they disdain, the common good--straitjacketed or, at the very least, made to register as if they were vile sex offenders and not allowed to rest their perverted little heads even in flophouses or under highway overpasses.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Latin Lesson at St. Louis University High School in St. Louis

"Mitte gladium in vaginam"--John 18:11

One day during Sophomore Latin class the then Jesuit Scholastic Mr. O'Liddy gave us a quiz with no extra credit. My High School was and is, to be sure, a Jesuit Institution and, therefore, supposedly Catholic. But it was and is first and foremost a Prep School, where the annual number of National Merit Scholars has always been much more important than the number of sacraments, more important than even the number of persons in the Holy Trinity (and, of course, far more important than the number of Commandments; it was, I repeat, a Jesuit institution). In other words, academic competitiveness was religion, and redemption was to be found in a respectable GPA which would in turn open the gates of paradise, an Ivy League University or, at least, a college that bribed U.S. News and World Report. We were indoctrinated always to devote ourselves to the pursuit of the academic edge, however small, however petty, however ridiculous. And, so, when Mr. O'Liddy did not offer extra credit on that day's quiz, we could only regard that as utter blasphemy and did what devout Preppies are supposed to do: we whined.

And, so, Mr. O'Liddy relented to this petulant Inquisition of roiling hormones. He went to the chalkboard and drew a sword and then, right next to it, drew its sheath. The sword, it should be noted, was pointing right at the ready and willing opening of the sheath. "Okay," he said drily, "give me the Latin word for this thing here," and he pointed to the sheath. The whining stopped. Prep school orthodoxy returned. We took the quiz.

A few minutes later Mr. O'Liddy told us time was up and requested that I collect the quizzes. As I was collecting the quizzes, our Magister asked if any one got the extra credit. Blank stares. Then he asked me specifically because I was the Latin Geek. I was good at Latin, I must say (in contradistinction to now; my Latin really sucks now), one can be good at Latin and not be an annoying public nerd about it (I have always had a problem restraining my public nerdity). Anyway, I did not know, either, what the Latin word for sword sheath was.

Mr. O'Liddy sighed. He turned to the chalkboard, said with another sigh, "You guys have no imagination," and proceeded to write in great big huge capital letters:
V-A-G-I-N-A

Needless to say, the class of not so wise foolish fifteen-year-olds released lots and lots of sublimation. The Freudian symbolism of Mr. O'Liddy's drawing now was, of course, achingly obvious, even though none of us had even read Freud. True, none of us got the extra credit, but at that moment we had visions other than that of collegiate success in our heads, of course. Worries about academic redemption gave way to more primary concerns, and the raucous laughter continued unabated.

And then Donna walked in, the Assistant Principle's Secretary. At my All Boys' High School she was the only young woman we got to see during the day. Well, not the only one. There was a teacher of Algebra who was fairly young. She was also fairly ugly. She looked like a rake with a nose and hair. Donna was the only young woman we saw whom we actually wanted to see, and when she walked in, the class quite predictably asked about her sword sheath. Some even were bold enough to request seeing it. The future priest was chagrined at what he had unleashed, and when Donna left, he scolded us for our oh so ungentlemanly "catcalls". Some of us did blush. I know I did (No, really I did). Most did not care, and Mr. O'Liddy, having learned that hormone-based pedagogy was very dangerous indeed, proceeded to give us an especially unexciting lecture on the Ablative Absolute.

So, this story illustrates both the joys and the dangers of an All Boys' Prep School. There was no way Mr. O'Liddy could have given that sort of Extra Credit at a co-educational institution. He would have been immediately dismissed, if he had. But even at a Boys' Club like St. Louis University High School, he should have hung a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door for Donna's sake.

Mr. O'Liddy later told me this gem: "I like Sophomores, and I like Latin, but the two do not go together at all."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Der Spiegel, the Pope, and Genocide

Recently Der Spiegel, Germany's weekly dose of sanctimony, did a cover story on the Pope's lifting of the SSPX excommunications. As everyone should know by now, one of the Bishops affected was none other than that Holocaust-denying lunatic Richard Williamson. Der Spiegel was outraged. Holocaust denial, if it is not the sin against the Holy Spirit, then it is certainly the sin against the Spirit of the Times, and, of course, that Spirit trumps the other these days. To revoke the excommunication of a Holocaust denier sends a message that such an obvious monster is fit for civilized society, and that just undermines the very meaning of civilization. The Pope should know this. That he apparently does not means that he is clueless, out of touch, too caught up in his theological Ivory Tower to be bothered by obvious reality or fabricated scandals, which for Der Spiegel is one and the same.

Let me be very clear. I've thought Williamson was deranged ever since I learned about him, and I wish I never did learn about him. Unfortunately one cannot avoid knowing something about the SSPX if one is drawn to the Latin Mass Movement, and I was. Because I like Latin. And there are many who attend Latin Mass for just that simple of a reason. And then there are many others who attend Latin Mass because they think the Mass in the vernacular is Satanic and that the Pope is an android controlled by the Masons, the Bilderbergers, and the Trilateral Commission. These are the wackjobs who take the likes of a Williamson seriously. They made me bitterly regret my fondness for Gregorian Chant.

Now, as I have stated previously in this space, I think it is better to try to get the wackjobs back into the Church where they can be told to shut up than to be left out in the secular world to be loud and obnoxious. The Catholic Church still has the Inquisition. It goes under a different name, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but it is still the Inquisition, and it does a somewhat better job of shutting people up than do the conniption fits of Der Spiegel.

One of the reasons why it does a somewhat better job is that it actually believes in something, and Der Spiegel believes in nothing. Its hatchet job on the Pope actually had the temerity to blast Ratzinger for, among other things, having denounced relativism! Everyone knows that relativism is reality, everyone, that is, except the clueless Pope (who must have canceled his subscription to Der Spiegel). Fine. Relativism holds that every claim is nothing more than an opinion. The claim that the Holocaust happened is an opinion and so is the claim that it did not. So, how does Der Spiegel justify its outrage? Simply by its wide circulation, I guess.

In a world where relativism is reality, only force can determine the truth. That's why everyone goes in a tizzy when there is news about a Holocaust denier; the Holocaust Industry has lots of clout. Please, don't misunderstand my point. I think denying the Holocaust is as loony as denying, say, basic arithmetic. It's obvious that the Holocaust happened, and anyone who says otherwise is irrational.

But why does Holocaust Denial get all the attention, eh? Why is it so evil and heinous and unspeakable to deny the Holocaust when to this day Turkey puts people into jail for saying that that country massacred more than a million Armenians in 1915? Turkey to this day denies an obvious historical fact, and yet Turkey is a member of the putatively civilized society of NATO. A resolution in the U.S. Congress to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide failed to pass out of concern for the feelings of our good friend and ally, genocidal Turkey. So, why can no one get away with denying the Holocaust but Turkey is allowed to deny the Armenian Genocide when both horrors are established historical facts? Simple. The Armenian Lobby is not nearly as strong as the Holocaust Lobby. Force determines truth.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A brief thought on Platonism and the PNP project

The Platonic claim on behalf of the soul is that it is the seat of knowledge. Okay, so what of the PNP Project ('PNP' stands for Philosophy, Neuroscience, Psychology, but it actually means the prostitution of philosophy on the couch of corporate money) which seeks to show that the mind is simply the body, that indeed the human being is simply his body und Nichts außerdem, and, thus, that terms like 'mind' and 'soul' are nothing but phantasms? A Platonist would say that if a scientist seeks to show that he has no soul, then he is therefore seeking to show that he has no seat of knowledge. Ergo, the scientist is attempting to show that he cannot be a scientist. In other words, from a Platonic perspective, the PNP Project is inherently contradictory and can only be regarded as absurd. Too bad there aren't many Platonist Chairs in Philosophy Departments nowadays.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Some Obvious Thoughts on the Suspension of Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps has been suspended from professional swimming for three months for having taken a bong hit. The Fascist Swimming commission wanted thereby to send a message: Stoners are immoral canker sores that give professional sports a bad (worse, actually) name, and their naughty, naughty behaviour that shocks the conscience of the Innocent Unstoned American Soul will not be tolerated! Well, at least, not for the next three months.

And Kellogg's dropped Phelps as a spokesman. Stupid business decision, actually. Kellogg's passed up a golden opportunity to corner the stoners' munchies market. The company could have aired ads showing Phelps, sprawled out on a tie-dyed couch, reaching clumsily for a box of Wheaties amidst a litter of bongs, joint butts, and roach clips. Kellogg's stock would have soared. But, alas, it's not to be. American Business does not profit from immoral behaviour, as long as it is not the exploitation of child labour, insider trading, union busting, arson, loan-sharking, overthrowing democratically elected governments and replacing them with murderous, Milton Friedman worshipping dictators, raiding pension funds, and, of course, outright theft.

That's how evil even one lousy fucking bong hit is, Kiddies! So, just say no!

But you know what is the most farcical about all this? Michael Phelps apologized! He should not have apologized. He should have pointed out what every one who has ever toked knows, namely that Marijuana is not dangerous, that it won't make you kill anyone or put you in the thrall of some Demonic Cult that practices human sacrifice, etc. If faced with the choice of being driven home by a drunk or a stoner, you would probably be wise to sleep in the park, but if you have to make the choice, chances are that the stoner will get you to your bed safe and sound while the drunk will likely get you on a slab.

We have laws against Marijuana simply because 3M in the 1930s wanted the competition from Hemp Paper squelched and because it is the Mexicans' drug of choice, and this xenophobic country has a history of demonizing all non-WASPS. The laws remain on the books because without them, Police Officers would have one fewer excuse to beat the shit out of blacks and have one less source of extra income.

Laws against Marijuana are simply STUPID, and Michael Phelps, were he not a pathetic coward, should have said so. He should have also said that it is no virtue to obey a law, the stupidity of which is so obvious that even Police Officers don't even bother enforcing it (except, of course, when they need an excuse to beat an impecunious minority up--see above)! Michael Phelps may swim like a fish, but he is obviously not one; even fish have tougher spines than his.

So, Phelps has been suspended for a bong hit, and the moral order of this country has been restored. Our former president lied us into war, gave the greenlight to torture, suspended habeas corpus, tried--in an Eric Honecker moment--to get neighbor to spy on neighbor, and put this entire country under a 1984-like surveillance. Sounds like outrageous,immoral behaviour to me. Yet, never once was he "suspended", and chances are quite good (thanks to his successor's pusillanimity) that he will never be prosecuted for his many and obvious abuses of power. And instead of American Business keeping its distance from his sorry, demonic ass, publishing companies will be bidding for his subliterate memoirs.

America's ethical priorities are truly fucked, and this country is supposed to be the Shining City on the Hill?

Sure, man, I'll believe that. Just let me toke up.

Oh, and by the way, if you look to an athlete for guidance in virtue, you are an idiot.

The National Prayer Breakfast


Before the President launched into his formal remarks, he praised Bush's poodle, a.k.a. Tony Blair for his leadership. That's like praising the Italian Army for its bravery (by the way, here's a brief Italian Soldier Joke: Ad for an Italian Rifle: only dropped once). Blair was nothing more than a tool, first for Thatcherism and then for, of course, the neo-con brand of American Imperialism. English Prime Ministers of yore were at least manly (and, yes, Thatcher was really a man) enough to stand for their own bloody Imperialism. Blair was not a leader; he was the Yankee's catamite. (This particular weblog's spell check incidentally does not recognize "catamite"; whether this is a good thing, I really do not know.)

So, Mr. Obama talked about about what binds all the great religions and philosophies of the world. It is none other than the Golden Rule. Love thy neighbor as thy self, as Jesus Christ put it. If we just all understood this, then religious strife and rancorous division would cease, and we would all be one big happy, harmonious family. Understanding is, as the President put it, a healing power and spreading it around the world will vanquish the forces of destructive zealotry.

Is that why Mr. Obama continues to bomb the bejeebers out of Western Pakistan?

It is just another myth of the Enlightenment that understanding will bring peace. Germany in the 1930s was perhaps the most educated country in the history of the planet. The Germans with their scientists, their universities, and, of course, their philosophers understood quite a lot. That did not prevent Hitler's rise to power.

Regarding religious matters, one can easily argue that rather than overcoming antagonisms, understanding actually exacerbates and magnifies them. I have met only a few devout Muslims, but they all seemed to me quite pleasant. One was even quite fetching (well, what she allowed me to see, at any rate). But then I tried to understand what they devoutly believe. I read the Koran, and the Koran says explicitly that my belief in the Incarnation of God is a monstrous heresy. Well, fuck you, too, and so much for the healing power of understanding.

But the President is suggesting that these theological differences pale when one considers that in matters of morality, all religions and philosophies are the same. Any devout Christian would certainly object to the notion that the chief aim of Faith is for all of us to live in moral harmony with one another here on earth. Such a notion is nothing short of Pelagian Blasphemy. Human beings cannot of their own strength make earth into heaven, and, in fact, earth is not supposed to be made into heaven. The glory of the world will pass into dust. The Christian believes not because of any ethical code. The Christian believes because he wants something more than this earthly life can ever provide even with Barack Obama as President. He wants eternal bliss.

Nevertheless, let us say arguendo that the essence and purpose of Religion is the Golden Rule. Where the deuce does that get us? I certainly do not want a Masochist loving me as he loves himself. The Golden Rule begs the question of anthropology, of "What is the Human Being", and as long as that question remains unanswered, the Golden Rule is nothing more than subjectivist drivel. Mr. Obama can say, for instance, that this Rule forbids the killing of innocent humans, but his personal, subjective beliefs exclude babies in the womb and the peasants of Western Pakistan from this category, and so he can bomb away and be an infanticidal maniac without any compunction and still be a sweet talker about the Golden Rule.

Mr. Obama's prayer was as meaningless as that jingle about buying the world a Coke and keeping it company. Of course, that jingle sold a lot of Coke, and Obama's sonorous but superficial eloquence has obviously been good for what Noam Chomsky has aptly called Brand Obama. It makes people feel good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A concise definition of neo-con

Many people have for months, if not years, asked me for a concise definition of "neo-con". I have come up with several, none of which have proved entirely satisfactory. I have variously defined "neo-con" as a worshipper of Leo Strauß, a former Trostkyite who has abandoned Trostky's economics but not his universalism, a closet atheistic cynic who wants the unwashed masses to be religious so that they will not steal from the rich and will think it their pious duty to die in the latter's wars, etc.

While all these definitions do have some truth to them, I have come up with yet another one that I think really captures the neo-con essence, and it is a definition that I think would even have the Papal Imprimatur

Neo-con: English for jihadi.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Anthropology 101, a somewhat loose and tendentious translation of a snippet from Alcibiades I

Socrates: Come then, in what manner would the ideal form of the self be discovered? Perhaps, then, we can discover whatever it is we ourselves are, but now we are ignorant of it and thus unable to do so.

Alcibiades: You speak orthodoxy.

Socrates: Hold your horses, by Zeus! With whom are you having a dialectic? Is it anybody else but me?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: And is it therefore the case that I am having a dialectic with you?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: Is Socrates then the dialectician?

Alcibiades: Sure thing.

Socrates: And Alcibiades the passive, pathetic, oafish listener?

Alcibiades: Yup.

Socrates: And does Socrates make his dialectic with words?

Alcibiades: Oh, indeed he does! Lots of 'em.

Socrates: And do you call making a dialectic and using words the same?

Alcibiades: Sure.

Socrates: Are not the user and the things which he uses different?

Alcibiades: How do you mean?

Socrates: As, say, the cobbler cuts with a straight edge and a round edge and other tools.

Alcibiades: Okay.

Socrates: So, is it not the case that both the cutter and the user are one category, and the things which the cutter uses another?

Alcibiades: How would that not be the case?

Socrates: And so in this way the things which a harpist uses to harp would also be different from the harpist himself?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: Accordingly I asked you just now whether the user always appears to be different from the things which he uses.

Alcibiades: It appears so.

Socrates: What, then, are we going to say about the cobbler? That he uses only his tools or his hands as well?

Alcibiades: He uses his hands as well.

Socrates: And so he uses those things as well?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: And would you say that the user really uses his eyes as well when cobbling?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: Did we not agree that the user and the things used are different?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: Then are the cobbler and the harpist different from the hands and eyes that they employ?

Alcibiades: It seems so.

Socrates: Does not the human being thus use all of his body?

Alcibiades: Sure.

Socrates: But the user and the things used are two different categories?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: Then the human being is different from his own body?

Alcibiades: Apparently.

Socrates: So, what the hell is the human being?

Alcibiades: I cannot say.

Socrates: But you can say that he is the user of his body, n'est-ce pas?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: Ergo, is it not truly the case that the thing doing the exploitation is nothing else than the soul?

Alcibiades: Nothing else.

Socrates: Is it not, therefore, controlling?

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: And I suppose that no one would think of this otherwise.

Alcibiades: Of what?

Socrates: That indeed the human being must be some one of three things.

Alcibiades: And what would those things be?

Socrates: Either the soul, the body, or a synthesis of the two.

Alcibiades: Sure thing.

Socrates: But did we not clearly agree that the human being is certainly the ruler of his body?

Alcibiades: We did agree.

Socrates: Well, then, does the body itself rule itself?

Alcibiades: In no way.

Socrates: For we did say that the body is ruled.

Alcibiades: Yes.

Socrates: This would, then, clearly not be the thing we are seeking, eh?

Alcibiades: Apparently not.

Socrates: But then, perhaps, a synthesis of body and soul rules the body, and it is this that truly is the human being?

Alcibiades: Certainly, maybe.

Socrates: Indeed this is the least probable of all. For presumably there is no way, if one component of the synthesis is not ruling, that the synthesis as a whole can rule.

Alcibiades: Damn straight.

Socrates: And so, since neither the body nor a synthesis of body and soul is the human being, I suppose that leaves us with no other conclusion than either this thing is nothing or if it is indeed something, then the human being can have no other foundation than the soul.

Alcibiades: Quod erat demonstrandum

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This is driving me nuts

Yet again have I heard yet another newscaster say that the Illinois Senate may vote to impeach the governor as early as tomorrow. More proof that anchors need only be easy on the eyes and have passable diction.

They certainly do not have to know any history--even history of, say, the preceding few weeks--, need not have passed a grade school civics class, or know the English Language. For if they were required to know these things, they would know that Governor Blagojevich has already been impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives, that the House impeaches and the Senate convicts, and that "impeach" simply means "to accuse" or "to charge".

An impeachment is simply a charge against a public official, and it is the duty of the House to vote to charge a public official with high crimes and misdemeanors. It is the duty of the Senate to consider whether these charges are true and accordingly vote for conviction or acquittal.

This ain't rocket science. You are supposed to learn this in grade school. Newscasters are just talking mannequins.

Sarah Palin was a news anchor, by the way.

Luther's Bondage of the Will

In the chapter before the conclusion of On the Bondage of the Will, Luther belches out this rather shocking paragraph:

"Only observe, therefore, the simplicity of the words By the law is the knowledge of sin; and yet, these alone are of force sufficient to confound and overthrow Free-will altogether. For if it be true, that of itself, it knows not what is sin, and what is evil, as the apostle saith here, and Rom. vii. 7-8, I should not have known that concupiscence was sin, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet, how can it ever know what is righteousness and good? And if it know not what righteousness is, how can it endeavour to attain unto it? We know not the sin in which we were born, in which we live, in which we move and exist (emphasis mine), and which lives, moves, and reigns in us; how then should we know that righteousness which is without us, and which reigns in heaven? These works bring that miserable thing Free-will to nothing nothing at all!"
Buried in a relative clause is Luther's astonishing claim that sin is the thing in which we live, move, and exist. It is at first blush hard to tell whether Luther here is simply guilty of a rhetorical excess or is really claiming that the ontological make-up of man is utterly and completely evil. If the latter, then the obvious question is how do we reconcile this claim with St. Paul's claim of precisely the opposite in Acts 17:28? Also, if man's very ontology is rooted in sin, then what of the Imago Dei, in which the book of Genesis tells us God created man and woman? According to Luther the Imago peccati has wholly supplanted it.

I claim that this is not a rhetorical excess. In his zeal to pulverize Erasmus and all his claims on behalf of Free Will, Luther is forced to deny man as a rational creature. Even if he makes the slightest acknowledgement of man's ability to reason, he has given Erasmus that tiny bit of free will that he had been arguing for all along. It is after all man's ability to reason that allows him to make free choices. To deny free will, therefore, Dr. Luther must deny reason. To deny this he must invert St. Paul's claim at Athens and thereby deny that man still retains any image of God in which God originally created him. Hence, Luther's assertion that man's ontology is not just wounded but entirely depraved is not, I argue, simply overheated polemic but the unavoidable consequence of his argument.

It is rather ironic that many Protestants will now object to Darwinian Theory because of the perception that this theory denies God's special creation of man. The founder of Protestantism staked his entire dispute with Rome on an argument that made this special creation of man by God null and void! By denying free will and by extension reason, Lutheran anthropology makes man at best no better than a brute who can only act on his basest instincts. Darwin says merely that we are descended from brutes. Protestantism says we are brutes.

Martin Luther was a madman.

Richard Williamson, reconciled and silenced--finally!

I have been asked to divulge my thoughts about the recent reconciliation of the Pope with four renegade Bishops, one of whom is a Holocaust Denier, Bishop Richard Williamson, The Leftist Media have none too subtly suggested that this confirms what they have known all along, namely that the Pope is a Nazi and the Catholic Church is viciously anti-Semitic.

The Pope is not a Nazi. The Catholic Church is not anti-Semitic. The Church has been trying to reconcile with these four bishops for the better part of two decades. Why? For two very big reasons. These four bishops were leading hundreds of thousands of devout Catholics into schism. The Catholic Church is more concerned about their spiritual well-being than she is for the status of those self-important, mitred dissidents. The second reason was to shut the lunatic Williamson up, and this very thing happened just a few hours ago. The ringleader of the Four, to be sure, gave a pathetic non-apology apology for Williamson's lunacies, but the important thing is that Bernard Fellay told that fucking whacko to shut the fuck up.

This would not have happened had the reconciliation not occurred. Williamson has been making insane pronouncements for too many years, and never has Fellay censured him. No, Fellay had to be prodded by the Pope to do what needed to be done more than a decade ago. Williamson has said among other things that watching the Sound of Music will destroy the foundations of the family, that women should not attend university, and that women who wear trousers are putting their souls at risk of eternal hellfire. This man is certifiable, but what's really nuts is that many people were taking this maniac seriously. To too many Catholics Williamson was the voice of tradition just like Osama bin Laden is for many Muslims. I am, as my readers should know, a Catholic Traditionalist and did not like it all that a madman like Williamson was giving Catholic Tradition a very bad and ugly name. I desperately wanted someone to silence him, but as long as he was in schism, he could not be silenced because we no longer have Catholic States enforcing the Inquisition. You have to be in the Church to be silenced by the Church nowadays, and that is why the Pope reconciled with these Four Bishops. Would the permanently Sanctimonious Left have preferred Williamson to have remained in Schism, thereby remaining free to let hundreds of thousands of his followers to think that Holocaust Denial is part of Catholic Tradition? I do not think so.

Of course, Williamson may yet renege on the deal with Rome and go back into Schism. If he does, I hope the German authorities do charge him with Holocaust Denial and that he rots in a German Prison.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What is Libertarianism?

What exactly is Libertarianism? I want to get as precise a definition of the concept as I can before I bash the hell out of it. And not because I want a new bone of contention between my Stalker in Transition and myself. I must admit that I relished our rancorous arguments. After all, I have not been laid in seventeen years and have to get my yahs yahs out somehow.

But all those brainwashed worshippers of Israel, otherwise known as Evangelicals, provide more than enough outlet for my pent-up sexual energy. And they are funny, too, in a pathetic, grotesque sort of way. I say, "Israel is a terrorist state for bombing schools and killing women and children," and then they say, "You are anti-Semitic; does it bother you that Jesus was a Jew?" And then comes the real, scary whopper: "If Jesus were alive today, He would be the leader of the Likud Party, calling for the Final Solution in Gaza." And I say, "If you are real Christians, I want to be pagan." And that just confirms for them that they were right all along: Catholics really are unregenerate, hellbound pagans.

I light up a fag, take a long drag, and enjoy the afterglow of once again demonstrating the utter absurdity of American Evangelical Christianity: Evangelicals defied the authority of Rome only to become Israel's useful idiots.

But I digress. As I was saying I don't want to bash the hell out of Libertarianism because I want to antagonize my Stalker. No, I want to bash Libertarianism because it should be bashed. Libertarianism, as I understand it, is the doctrine that individual liberty should be at a maximum and government coercion should be at a minimum and pursuant to this goal, government must confine itself to simply protecting the people against force and fraud.

Okay, but how the deuce do you define "force" and "fraud". That's the big question. If, for instance, you define force as outright violence and fraud as an outright lie, then government's duty is simply to provide a police force, a court system, national defense, and that's it. But if you define force as, say, including all the blind and cruel whimsies of the market's Invisible Hand and fraud as anything that is deceitful or misleading, then government obviously has a very big role in regulating commerce, providing a social safety net, and seeing to it that the claims that the pharmaceutical companies make on behalf of all their drugs are on the up and up.

Of course, on this enlarged definition of "force and fraud", you get what the classic Libertarian most dreads, the Nanny State. This is precisely the problem of Libertarianism, though: it's premises are so vague as to allow precisely what it claims to oppose with every last whine from the Cato Institute. But I could be very wrong, of course, and that is why I am asking my Libertarian Readers to supply me with a much more precise definition of their plans for a utopia of individual liberty, and then I can bash the hell out of that, too.

By the way, shouldn't a Libertarian be opposed to the very idea of a definition? After all, a definition in order to function as such must be limiting and communal and, hence, is utterly incompatible with individual liberty. Sounds like the Road to Serfdom and godless Communism to me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Olbermann's odd blindspot

Alarmed at recent suggestions by Mr. Obama and his minions that the next administration would not prosecute Bush and his lackeys for the obvious war crime of torture, Keith Olbermann in his Special Comment last night urged the New President not to give the Bushies a free pass on this particular atrocity. Doing so will only give future administrations, be they Republican or Democrat, a green light to indulge in worse misdeeds. Well, I am glad to see that Mr. Olbermann included the Obama Adminstration in this dire warning, albeit indirectly. After months of his show being an infomercial for the Obama Campaign, it is a relief to see that Mr. Olbermann has sobered up a bit from all that Kool-Aid. And if he can do it, perhaps there is hope for all the other Obamamaniacs out there.

But, alas, Mr. Olbermann has sobered up only a bit. He still seems to think along with the rest of mainstream media that because this country's New President can actually utter complete sentences, he must be amenable to reason. Surely a professed student of political history as Mr. Olbermann should know better. Politics is not about reason. It is about power. Obama's campaign slogan was utterly blatant about this point. "Yes, we can!" is nothing other than an expression of raw, unadulterated, unchecked power.

If Obama prosecutes the Bushies for having used their power to commit atrocities, he will have to acknowledge constraints on his power, and then he would have to change his slogan to "No, we can't." If Bush can't abuse Power, Obama can't either. Therefore, he would have to renege on his promise to bomb Pakistan. He would have to appoint another Director of Intelligence, someone who, unlike Dennis Blair, did not reward Indonesian Generals for having massacred Catholics in East Timor. He would have to appoint a Secretary of State who has not promised to rubberstamp Israel's genocidal policies, etc., etc.

And why, Mr. Olbermann, did you focus on merely the crime of torture? Yes, I am outraged that the Bush Administration has commited torture in your name and mine and, thereby, has brought your country and mine into disgrace. But that's not the only thing that has disgraced this great land of ours, Mr. Olbermann. That's not even Bush's greatest crime. As evil as torture is, lying us into an unjust war that has killed millions of innocents, made refugees out of millions more, and driven countless women and girls into prostitution and slavery is far more evil. You, Mr. Olbermann, have made it your crusade to damn Bush in Special Comment after Special Comment for having lied this country into war. You have made it your cause to do everything in your power to see to it that the Anti-Christ Bush did not lie us into another war with Iran, and yet in your latest Special Comment you made no mention of Bush's Greatest Crime at all.

By your argument, if Obama does not prosecute Bush for torture, Obama will thereby encourage future administrations to torture. Are we to conclude by your omission of Bush's lying us into war, you want Obama and other administrations to continue to lie us into war? Silence, after all, gives consent, and, I repeat, about Bush's Greatest Crime, the Big Lie that you have bitched about for half a decade now, you were oddly and deafeningly silent.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Modest Proposal

Let's move all the Jews currently living in the Levant to Utah. This will kill two birds with one stone. We will have solved the Palestinian problem once and for all, and once the Israeli Jews settle in Utah, they can begin doing to the Mormons what they are now doing to the Palestinians, and then the Mormons will be too busy bitching about being occupied, their homes bulldozed, being economically besieged and denied humanitarian aid, etc., to ring our doorbells anymore. They also won't be able to campaign against gay "marriage". The Mormon problem will be solved.

Of course, I am flatly opposed gay "marriage" as readers of this weblog should know, but Mormons' supporting the sanctity of
marriage gives me the heebie jeebies.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Father Richard John Neuhaus, 1936-2009

Editor of the right-wing ecumenical journal First Things. Once a Lutheran Pastor, he caused a bit of a stir by converting to Roman Catholicism. In November of 1996, he caused an even greater stir when his journal suggested none too subtly that legalized abortion had so corrupted the American regime as to render it illegitimate in the eyes of the faithful Christian. After 2001, even though abortion remained legal in the American Regime, Fr. Neuhaus thought without any hint of irony that this American Regime, the very legitimacy of which his own journal had relentlessly questioned just five short years ago, had the moral authority and the duty to spread Democracy to the rest of the world and proceeded to cheerlead Bush's bloody global vigilantism. He was baptized a Lutheran, became Catholic, became notorious for endorsing civil disobedience for the sake of resisting the America's "Culture of Death", and then died an obsequious lackey of America's murderous imperialism. I could write more, but de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stuff that keeps me up at night

Well, I just heard "asswipe" uttered by a character on a Network Television Show. I heard it distinctly. None of it was bleeped out. This means, of course, that the FCC as the protector of the ears of the virtuous has deemed "asswipe" to be acceptable for the random channel surfer too poor to afford premium cable or at least less offensive than the words one can hear only on channels like HBO such as "shit" and "fuck". I can understand why "fuck" is anathema maranatha. The word makes what should be an act of love into an act of violent hatred. "Fuck", therefore, constitutes nothing less than linguistic rape. If it is possible for a word to be intrinsically offensive, then surely "fuck" is that word. If that word ever becomes socially acceptable, then civil society will no longer be hanging by a mere thread (as it is now), it will be completely gone. So, "asswipe" is not nearly as offensive as "fuck". Fine. Why is it more offensive than "shit"? If truth be told, I'd much rather be a piece of shit than the stuff that has to wipe it up.

A quick note to my readers

I apologize for not having written much of late. I have been in a bit of a funk. The Blagojevich Scandal has really got me down, actually. I now tell people that I am from Arkansas. I'd rather have people think I slept with my first cousin than suppose I ever voted for the most wicked, corrupt man since, well, the previous Illinois Governor.

Even though my once childlike faith in my Chicago masters has now been brutally popped, I still can look at Washington D.C. for textbook examples of virtue and fortitude. I can truly say, for instance, that I am proud that both parties in our nation's Capitol are full square behind Israel's decision to bomb the shit out of a bunch of poor, starving people in Gaza and then roll over what's left of them with tanks. Surely no one has to be bribed to support that self-evidently noble cause.