The crash will be big

The Market Ticker explains the fraudulent nature of the market rally:

So let me see if I get this right. 2.126 billion shares traded in four stocks [Citigroup, Fannie, Freddie, and Bank of America -VD]… These four stocks represented thirty seven percent of all shares traded today. Today 3,162 different stocks traded on the NYSE. These four represent 0.13% of the total, yet they comprised 37% of the volume.

And to top it all off, two of those corporations are confirmed to be insolvent. But, on the plus side, at least we know where that money the Federal Reserve doesn’t want audited is going….

UPDATE – And here’s a contrarian indicator: Investors Intelligence, which tracks the market views of about 130 independent investment newsletter editors, said 19.8% of the letters now are bearish on stocks, down from 23.1% the previous week and the fewest since the 19.6% reading of October 2007.

The mathematical likelihood of God

Blackblade calculates it… from his own perspective.

To each his own… and yet I have to ask if he honestly only places 10 percent weighting on historical and documentary evidence in contemplating other matters. If so, I can’t imagine he spends much time reading books and newspapers. Actually, I have another question. What is meant by the “Belief” factor? I’d also consider substituting “Direct Personal Experience/Observation” for “Lack of any directly observed interaction”.

This will be fun

Richard Dawkins makes the mistake of claiming he’s going to prove evolution is a fact:

Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust…. Evolution is an inescapable fact, and we should celebrate its astonishing power, simplicity and beauty. Evolution is within us, around us, between us, and its workings are embedded in the rocks of aeons past. Given that, in most cases, we don’t live long enough to watch evolution happening before our eyes, we shall revisit the metaphor of the detective coming upon the scene of a crime after the event and making inferences. The aids to inference that lead scientists to the fact of evolution are far more numerous, more convincing, more incontrovertible, than any eyewitness reports that have ever been used, in any court of law, in any century, to establish guilt in any crime. Proof beyond reasonable doubt? Reasonable doubt? That is the understatement of all time.

Richard Dawkins has barely begun making his initial claims and already he’s talking about bishops and fudging his case. Evolution is an inescapable fact… that is inferred after the fact. As I said, the ex-scientist has lost his fastball; I suspect he’s made a huge blunder in writing this book because the primary defense of modern evolutionary theory relies upon the ability of its adherents to hide behind its mutable nature. One cannot take down the constantly morphing tautologies due to their dynamic nature, but one will at least theoretically be able to take down Richard Dawkins’s best case for evolution due to its static nature, which for the purposes of public discourse will arguably be even more effective.

I can’t be certain on the basis of this excerpt alone, but I suspect that Dawkins may have also made a very amusing mistake in selecting the metaphor of the detective. If Dawkins is actually operating under the popular notion of detectives making inferences to lead them the responsible culprit, the metaphor is going to blow up in his face. Anyone who knows much about the way the police actually catch criminals understands what I mean by that.

And yes, I’m desperately hoping that the magical replication fairies from The Selfish Gene make another appearance.

There is no "marital rape"

The Bahamas consider a legal oxymoron:

“I think the bill is a very good thing because I believe that a husband can rape his wife. No is no. I don’t care if you’re married or if you’re not married. No is no, and once you force yourself on someone, whoever it is, it is rape. I agree with the bill 100 percent,” she said.

First, there is no such thing as marital rape. Once consent is formally given in public ceremony, it cannot be revoked; the form in which marital consent is revoked is well-established. It is called divorce. This isn’t a religious issue, although many on both sides will attempt to view it that way, it’s a simple matter of when consent is revocable and the specific form that revocation must take. I invite those who believe that consent may always be granted and revoked at will to consent to join the U.S. Army, then attempt to withdraw their consent. That should serve to clarify the matter for them; one hopes they will enjoy their extended holiday in Afghanistan. The attempt to create a legal concept of “marital rape” is no less than an attempt to destroy the basic concept of marriage. If the husband or the wife has no more claim to the spouse’s body than anyone else, then the marital vows are meaningless and the marriage is a charade. Once consent is withdrawn, the marriage has ended.

If a woman wishes to preserve her right to sexually reject a man at will, she has a perfectly viable means of doing so. Don’t get married. It’s really not that hard. But, once married, neither husband nor wife has the right to reject the other’s marital claims. This does not mean that it is wise for anyone to abuse one’s marital rights, as doing so on a regular basis will tend to lead to the legally correct abrogation of those rights. One is always free to respect the other’s wishes and refrain from exercising one’s rights in the same way that most Americans fail to exercise their right to bear arms most of the time. But failing to exercise one’s rights is not the same as failing to possess them.

Men contemplating marriage would be wise to sound out their prospective brides on this issue. If a woman believes in the concept of marital rape, absolutely do not marry her! It would make no sense whatsoever to marry a woman who believes that being married to her grants her husband no more sexual privilege than the next unemployed musician who happens to catch her eye. And if a woman who believes in the existence of marital rape pushes you for marriage, just assure her that while you respect the institution, you believe it is much more important to defend her unqualified right to say no.

That the “marital rape” concept is not only legally oxymoronic, but deeply undesirable for both sexes, is exemplified by its implications for sex that by definition precludes consent. Let’s face it, any man or woman who believes in the criminalization of wake-me-up sex is not an individual with whom any decently hedonistic being would want to be saddled for a lifetime.