larvatus: (rock)
The essential predicate for a charge of sexual assault of an adult is a lack of consent on part of the victim. Nothing in Charlotte Waters’ original complaint, which has been modestly removed from Reddit, but happily remains available via the Wayback Machine, even begins to allege that she had failed to consent to any sexual act, any photo opportunity, or any other aspect of her modeling encounter with Terry Richardson. Interestingly enough, as any journalist ought to know, actual malice as the essential predicate of liability for libel is defined as “knowledge that the information was false” or that it was published “with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not” (New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)). Thus in failing to align his accusation of Terry Richardson with the content of published allegations against the latter, Justin Jones acts with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not, and therefore willfully commits libel on behalf of The Daily Beast.
larvatus: (rock)
What are the five biggest lies?
    “The check is in the mail.”
    “I won’t come in your mouth.”
    “Some of my best friends are Jewish.”
    “Black is beautiful.”
    “I’m from your government, and I’m here to help you.”
— Blanche Knott (Ashton Applewhite), Truly Tasteless Jokes, 1983, p. 104



“I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.”
— William F. Buckley Jr., Yale alumnus, Rumbles Left and Right: A Book about Troublesome People and Ideas, 1963, p. 134
larvatus: (Default)
“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street. They’re still puzzled why is it that people are mad at the banks. Well, let’s see. You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it’s gone through in—in decades, and you guys caused the problem. And we’ve got 10% unemployment.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 12 December 2009
“I know both those guys [JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein]; they are very savvy businessmen. I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 9 February 2010


“What that means then is that as we try to resuscitate this notion that we’re all in this thing together, leave nobody behind, we do have to be innovative and thinking what are the delivery systems that are actually effective and meet people where they live. And my suggestion, I guess would be that the trick, and this is one of the few areas where I think there are technical issues that have to be dealt with as opposed to just political issues. I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure everybody’s got a shot.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 19 October 1998
“My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 11 October 2008
“I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5 percent of the folks who are doing very well—even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that—I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 9 February 2010
“So these investments—in things like education and research and health care—they haven’t been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another. This is not some socialist dream.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 10 April 2012


“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 15 February 1996
“Well, what I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting. But that doesn’t mean that that necessarily translates into a position on public policy or with respect to civil unions. What it does mean is that we have a set of traditions in place that, I think, need to be preserved, but I also think we have to make sure that gays and lesbians have the same set of basic rights that are in place. And I was glad to see, for example, that the president today apparently stated that he was in favor of civil unions. This may be a reversal of his position but I think it’s a healthy one. I think, on this, President Bush and I disagree, apparently, with Mr. Keyes on this, because I think that that kind of basic ethic of regard towards all people, regardless of sexual orientation, is a valuable thing.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 26 October 2004
“With respect to the issue of whether gays and lesbians should be able to get married, I’ve spoken about this recently. As I’ve said, my feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people, and this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about.
    At this point, what I’ve said is, is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have. And I think—and I think that’s the right thing to do. But I recognize that from their perspective it is not enough, and I think is something that we’re going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 22 December 2010
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
—Barack Hussein Obama, 9 May 2012
larvatus: (Default)
Fraudulent fucking is now a tort in Idaho.
So much for all being fair in love and war.


The prudent among us would henceforth discourage an understanding of fidelity on the part of their lovers.
DSK has it down pat. Not so Sarko.
larvatus: (Default)
In the course of promoting his pop psychology treatise, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement (Random House, 2011), David Brooks has been disseminating the claim that 94 or 95 percent of professors in America say that they are above average in teaching skills. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.) The browsing functionality of Amazon.com permits all interested parties to find and read the relevant pages 218 and 397 in his book, which credit page 73 of another specimen of the same genre, penned by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman, Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth, The Free Press, 2006. In its turn, endnote 8 on p. 286 in that book credits the statistics of professorial overconfidence to an article by Janet Metcalfe, “Cognitive optimism: self-deception or memory-based processing heuristics?”, published in Personality and Social Psychological Review, 2 (1988), pp. 100-110. The referenced article is available in its entirety from several online sources. (1, 2, 3.) Needless to say, it says nothing that remotely resembles the foregoing claim.

Update: Tracing the notion of Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average” yields a reference to P. Cross, “Not can but will college teachers be improved?”, New Directions for Higher Education, 17, 1977, pp. 1–15, said to describe a study at the three branches of the University of Nebraska, where in responding to questionnaires that asked professors to rate their teaching abilities, 94% of the faculty considered themselves above average in teaching ability and 68% placed their teaching abilities in the top 25%. This likely source of Brooks’ statistic is not nearly as expansive as the countrywide claim that he erroneously credited to Metcalfe. It would be preposterous to claim that a certain percentage of professors in three branches of a single university in Nebraska, a state whose economy depends on delusional overconfidence, can stand proxy for the same proportion of their profession throughout America.
larvatus: (Default)
Christopher Hitchens’ parallel between Turkish Prime Minister’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threat to cleanse his nation of 100,000 Armenian aliens whom it “tolerates”, and the Turkish “campaign of race extermination” that America’s then-ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau reported to the U.S. Secretary of State on 16 July 1915, has swiftly elicited the stock Turkish criticism of Morgenthau’s memoir, notwithstanding Hitchens’ lack of reliance thereupon. One Emre Ozaltin writes:
Absolutely schocking [sic.] that Morgenthau’s book is cited as a source, its content would embarass [sic.] all but the most ardent racist.
    Read: “The Armenians, are known for their industry, their intelligence, and their decent and orderly lives. They are so superior to the Turks intellectually and morally” among many other such gems.
The same passage by Morgenthau was quoted by Turkish Times, “the oldest English-language Turkish-American periodical in USA”, in May 2003, and echoed by Bruce Fein, a “resident scholar at the Turkish Coalition of America”, on 4 June 2009. In each instance, the genocide apologist tempestuous Turkophile omitted the point of Morgenthau’s proclamation of Armenian superiority:


This chronic omission begs the question of the reasons behind the passing of much of the Turkish business and industry into Armenian hands. While this development may be as plausibly credited to some unfair business advantage of the Armenian diaspora over their Turkish hosts hampered by their religious strictures against usury and profiteering, as it is to its intellectual and moral superiority thereto, there needs be no malice in a claim of Armenian cultural tendencies towards commerce finding fertile grounds in Muslim lands, even if it is conjoined with speculative comparison of intellect and morality.

Long before T.E. Lawrence enjoyed his buggery by Turkish guards in Deraa, Western physicians observed that the statistics of anal syphilitic chancres in the Turkish capital were “too horrible for belief”. While it may no longer be fashionable to decry “the practise of unnatural vice” or censure the promulgation of unmentionable maladies, it would be hard to conjure intellectually sound grounds for foreclosing inquiry into the extent to which the doctrines of religious deception (taqiyya) and dissimulation (kitmān) that are commonly identified with Iranian culture and Shī‘a Islam, might be habitually practiced by Turkish Sunnis as part of their gainsaying of the Armenian holocaust.

But the most important component of intellectual and moral fitness is the capacity for dispassionate and disinterested contemplation of issues and committed engagement in fair and open discussion on all matters of contention and disagreement. In this regard, every Islamic culture bears the burden of a permanent state of war against its infidel neighbors.
Thus the jihād may be regarded as Islam’s instrument or carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muḥammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief in God. The Prophet Muḥammad is reported to have declared “some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ.” [Abū Dā’ūd, Sunan (Cairo, 1935), Vol. III, p. 4.] Until that moment is reached the jihād, in one form or another, will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dār al-ḥarb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dār al-Islām is permanently under jihād obligation until the dār al-ḥarb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community which prefers to remain non-Islamic—in the status of a tolerated religious community accepting certain disabilities—must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dār al-Islām or be bound as clients to the Muslim community.
—Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1955, p. 64
This belligerence stands as the main obstacle in the way of integrating Turkey with Western society. And as long as it so remains, the discussion of intellectual and moral superiority of the Armenians over the Turks can disclaim all racist prejudice, finding an adequate rationale in historical records and religious doctrines.
larvatus: (Default)
Discourses and aphorisms on truth and lies, in an anaesthetic sense, with a sound disclaimer.
larvatus: (Default)
“Nous sommes si accoutumés à nous déguiser aux autres qu’enfin nous nous déguisons à nous-mêmes.”
“We are so used to disguising ourselves from others that we end up by disguising ourselves from ourselves.”
— François de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes, 119
Read more... )
“τὸ γὰρ ἐξαπατᾶσθαι αὐτὸν ὑφ' αὑτοῦ πάντων χαλεπώτατον: ὅταν γὰρ μηδὲ σμικρὸν ἀποστατῇ ἀλλ' ἀεὶ παρῇ ὁ ἐξαπατήσων, πῶς οὐ δεινόν.”
“For the worst of all deceptions is self-deception. How can it help being terrible, when the deceiver is always present and never stirs from the spot?”
— Plato, Cratylus 428c

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