Tuesday, March 20, 2018

An idealist of capitalism

Charles Gould and his wife are far more eloquent and compelling than any creation of Ayn Rand.

But of course Conrad puts her far in the shade in every way.

Nostromo, The Silver of the Mine, chapter 6, the last few pages.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Trump to call for death penalty for drug dealers, says MSNBC

Imitating Duterte, whose methods he has praised, the Duce probably only regrets he can't run death squads like those in the Philippines.

His White House has already repealed Obama regulations aimed at shrinking the vast over-supply of opioids that feeds the epidemic and that the drug companies prosper by.

A fine novel, in the end

A very perceptive and intelligent novel.

Though she is still, at least, a moral believer of the sort most assured of annoying Nietzsche.

The Mill on the Floss.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

About people in "shithole countries"

Some countries will never prosper, lacking too much in usable resources or opportunities.

So people try to leave them for better places.

And so there are economic migrants.

Just the sort Trump wants to keep out, the sort who comprised most of our immigrants to the US throughout our history.

Including my ancestors on both sides, my father's parents and aunts and uncles and my mother's parents' parents, all down from Canada looking for work and a better life.

As for Syrian refugees, see on Amazon We Walk Together, about Syrians walking from Budapest to Western Europe.

Against custom or the settled way

Hobbes is far from the only one to assimilate moral wrong to violations of custom like picking your nose in public, or setting the table with the silver uncommonly arranged - though he departs from this incipient naturalistic relarivism in providing his contract theory to found justice in a universalist manner, but not small morals.

Maggie's mother's spontaneous assimilation of morals to custom is not thus qualified.

The Mill on the Floss, The Final Rescue, Chapter 3.

This is quite different from assimilation of moral wrong with getting a calculation, translation, or fact wrong, to which others subscribe.

The worst choice possible

By her refusal of Stephen, Maggie has spared neither Philip nor Lucy.

But she has made herself and Stephen miserable and ruined herself in the eyes of everyone, though had she married Stephen, gone abroad for a honeymoon, and come back with a trousseau, all would have been forgiven and the new couple accepted.

And her obloquy takes her by surprise.

So writes Ms. Eliot.

The Mill on the Floss, The Final Rescue, Chapter 2.

"Human Flow"

Ai Weiwei

Saw it on Amazon.

The world needs to allow all these people to become permanent immigrants to the the better off countries, admitted in shares proportionate to the populations of the welcoming countries.

People should go where they will fit in best, but that's a secondary consideration to host countries taking their fair share..

It's just cruel not to

Trump be damned.

Way too few want to do it right

It's Gotham City, everywhere.

‘Testilying’ — a Stubborn Police Problem

Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility.

. . . .

“Behind closed doors, we call it testilying,” a New York City police officer, Pedro Serrano, said in a recent interview, echoing a word that officers coined at least 25 years ago. 

“You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.”

An investigation by The New York Times has found that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City police officer’s testimony was probably untrue. 

The Times identified these cases — many of which are sealed — through interviews with lawyers, police officers and current and former judges.

In these cases, officers have lied about the whereabouts of guns, putting them in suspects’ hands or waistbands when they were actually hidden out of sight. 

They have barged into apartments and conducted searches, only to testify otherwise later. 

Under oath, they have given firsthand accounts of crimes or arrests that they did not in fact witness. 

They have falsely claimed to have watched drug deals happen, only to later recant or be shown to have lied.

No detail, seemingly, is too minor to embellish.

. . . .

In many instances, the motive for lying was readily apparent: to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops. 

In other cases, the falsehoods appear aimed at convicting people — who may or may not have committed a crime — with trumped-up evidence.

In still others, the motive is not easy to discern. 

In October 2016, for example, a plainclothes Brooklyn officer gave a grand jury a first-person account of a gun arrest. 

Putting herself in the center of the action, the officer, Dornezia Agard, testified that as she approached a man to confront him for littering, he suddenly crouched behind a van, pulled from his waistband a dark object — later identified as a gun — and threw it on the ground.

“P.O. Agard testified that she heard a hard metal object hit the ground,” according to a letter the Brooklyn district attorney’s office wrote summarizing her testimony.

But prosecutors lost faith in her account in July 2017, after learning from other officers that she was not among the first officers on the scene. 

Remember what happened to Serpico for exposing police criminality?

Remember Ben Franklin?

"A republic, if you can keep it."

And Hamilton?

"Your people, sir, is a great beast."

We are fast approaching banana-republic status.

After that, who knows?

Hit my weight loss target