Saturday, February 20, 2016

What It Costs

This one doesn't go for an hour and twenty minutes.  There is an interesting series of videos in which Walter Brueggemann, Bishop Thomas Breidenthal and the Reverend Jane Gerdsen answer questions at a bar in Cincinnati, they're all short but good.  This one in particular, answering the question How does the church help end the vicious cycle of violence and death?   Notice that there is a pause after the question and the first thing that Brueggemann says is that they don't know how to do that.  Things get more interesting from there. Gerdsen's point that trying to end violence often came with a huge cost to those who tried to do it.  The example of that in Breidenthal's story about modern martyrs in the Solomon Islands who died trying to do that is an event I'd never heard or read about. The number of modern martyrs in Christianity probably is far larger than those killed under various Roman imperial persecutions - the video posted here the other day in which Noam Chomsky talked about the housekeeper and her daughter who were murdered when U.S. trained and backed forces murdered six Jesuit intellectuals in El Salvador is just one in a large number of such cases.  

As with the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh North Carolina, according to the media and the common received wisdom, things like this aren't supposed to happen in such places as Cincinnati. The good news for those who see through the lyin' curtain of the media and the official line, there are deeply committed people in those places whose social and political vision is similar to that which fueled the civil rights victories of the last period of liberal success.   Promoting and helping them will do a lot more to make change than pretending they don't exist.  That's what the corporate media has done for the past thirty six or more years.   Disappearing those who work for progress happens here just as it did in Central America, only it's the free press that does it here.
Oh, last night?  That was just an experiment to find out if the athebots are still paying attention, they are.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Benny Golson - Killer Joe

Benny Golson, tenor sax

The comments say that it's Willie Pickens on piano, I don't know who the bass or drums are.  That is definitely the excellent sax player Chris Potter watching.

Update:  Whisper Not

Benny Golson sax
Fritz Pauer piano
Hans Strasser bass
Joris Dudli drums

Hate Mail

Big deal.  She's a hard core Britatheist, no lie is too big for her to tell about someone who's Irish and she knows her audience doesn't care if what she says is a lie.   Or her sponsor.  

I don't care.  

Update:  Oh, that was just an experiment.  It worked. 

Arthur Berger - Duo for Clarinet and Piano

Ray Jackendoff, clarinet
John McDonald, piano

I had known that my old friend Arthur Berger had done a version of his duo for Oboe and Clarinet for clarinet and piano, but I'd never heard it until now.   It's really a totally new piece.

More Hate Mail

Really, a Wikipedia article about "emergence"?   I'm supposed to find that refutes my post about Paulo Friere?  Wikipedia.  


Let me ask where in "emergence" theory does it state that someone with lots of money and a love of power has a hard and absolute moral obligation to respect rights theorized - somehow, by some pantomime of logic, "rights" which "emerge" from subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc?

THAT  belief, that  the reality of those moral obligations - and, let's not forget, rights - are as real as the physical entities that "emergence" presents as the only real, reality.   And any atheist-materialist can just say, that's bull shit and I refuse to accept it, as that hero of atheist ersatz moralism, Steve Weinberg* has.

There is nothing in materialism to make egalitarian democracy from.  All of the silly structures of every alleged substitute for religious morality, the vague assertions of the 18th century, the "mutualist" model, the Kropotkin patch job on the radical selfishness of natural selection, the inverted thinking of naive, antique, Hamiltonian-Dawkinsite - 1960s era "genetics" turning "altruism" into gene selfishness, etc. can be summarily and willfully washed away by the Weinbergian reductionist acid merely by saying, "I don't have to if I don't want to."

Politics that will result in egalitarian democracy don't just come out of nowhere.  If that "naturally emerges" out of the physical substrate I'd like to know how it can be so notably not universally achieved.  Without the religious belief that rights and moral obligations to respect rights are an equally held endowment of all of humanity - and I would add all sentient life to that - there will never be egalitarian democracy.  Anywhere atheist-materialist-reductionist faith becomes dominant will lose egalitarian democracy wherever it has been approximated.  Those are an absolute prerequisite for democracy, a clear and effective majority must hold them as an absolute belief for democracy to happen.

* ... There are competing things which are all good like happiness and truth.  For example, we sacrifice some happiness when we accept the truth that we're not going to have life after death.  Should we tell other people that they're not going to live after they die?   It probably will reduce their happiness on the other hand truth has a value of its own how do you balance truth and happiness there isn't any algorithm for balancing that.   I think you just have to accept that there is  no postulate that allows you to judge how much happiness you're willing to give up for how much truth. 

Even people who accept all this will say, all right we're not going to agree on what is the good but at least we can agree on the fundamental principle of morality that something like Rawls original condition [I think he meant "Original Position"]  that we should not treat other people worse than we treat ourselves. Rebecca [Goldstein] was saying something like this that everyone equally deserves whatever is good, happiness or whatever it is.  That's not the way I feel either.   And I think it's probably not the way most of you feel if you think about it because. I could probably increase the total amount of happiness by making my family live on rice and beans and live in a one room apartment and just barely keep enough money to keep us alive and healthy and send all of the rest of the money to poor parts of the world where it would do to me.  I'm not going to do that I'm not going to ....  and I well, I'm not confessing immorality.  I'm saying that my moral feelings tell me I should be loyal to my family.

Similarly when my university tries to recruit a bright young star in physics I suppose I could calculate,  well,  he could do more good for some other university and the greater good would imply we shouldn't go after him let some other university go after him. I don't care, I care about my university I'm loyal to my university similarly.  So there loyalty is a value it's not an absolute value I wouldn't cause, like Edward the Third,  I wouldn't cause the hundred years war to advance the interests of my family.  But it is one of these things where we have no algorithm for balancing loyalty against distributive justice.

And I think we have to live with that.  I think we have to live with the fact that although we can reason and try to uncover what our moral feelings are.   And if we get into that I think a very good example would be arguing about abortion ...  maybe I'll come back to that in the discussion.  

We can reason, the reasoning uncovers how we feel morally and perhaps allows us to identify areas of agreement so we can cooperate with each other and bring about what we want. 

I think in the end we have to live with not having a moral philosophy that really works in a decisive way.  I think we have to live the unexamined life.  I think this is part of the tragedy of the human condition just like we have no absolute way of determining that Mozart is better than Led Zeppelin we feel it but it's not something that we can argue,  we can rationally show.  We have to live with the fact that...  this came up yesterday.... when we discover the fundamental laws of physics from which all in some sense follows, that all other principles follow,  we won't know why they're true.  This is something that we have to accept, that the position of human beings is tragic and part of the tragedy,  that there  is no way of deciding moral issues on the basis of - well there is no way of deciding moral postulates which should govern our actions.  And in fact we don't have moral postulates that govern our actions when we behave morally. 

Hate Mail - Quick Unedited and In A Bad Mood

Actually, somewhere I have an answer I got from Noam Chomsky that answered a question I asked him, probably in the book I was reading at the time - whatever that was.  Maybe my family will find it when they disassemble my collection of books someday.   The day after it was announced that the Reagan Administration stooge, Violeta Chamorro, had won the election in Nicaragua, a result of the terror war that Reagan waged against the original and authentic Sandinista government, I asked Noam Chomsky how he managed to not be discouraged after his massively documented witness to the U.S. sponsored terror machine in Latin America.   He told me that, as a comfortably placed, American, he had no right to become discouraged.

I was not expecting an answer.    I was amazed that someone as busy as Chomsky was, someone who was so involved in writing and speaking and research would take the time to answer a question from someone he'd never seen before or heard, a nobody.


In other hate mail,  it is one of the few good results that have come out of the past fifteen years of neo-atheist propaganda, coercion and diatribe that a lot of people have taken a hard look at what the results of atheist-materialist orthodoxy have been.   I can tell you that in 2000 I had not the least idea of looking critically at atheist-materialist orthodoxy and asking the questions about it that I would any other ideology that had gained the stranglehold it has on academia, the media and the judicial establishment.   I had no idea that looking hard at what the atheists, themselves claimed and said in the past century would lead me from being a casual observer of that hegemony to being a total opponent of it.  Literally, every single instance of that materialist-atheist ideological assertion was obviously damaging to American style liberalism, either in the atheist ideologues acting as a useful and perfectly foolish foil for the reactionaries or, on the other hand, insisting on ideological ersatz scientifically "proven" ideas that not only undermined and hollowed out the moral foundation of that liberalism, but utterly destroyed it.   The long parade of lefties who went from atheist-materialist ideologies purportedly of the left to right wing reactionary politics is far longer than the one going the other way.  The recent case of Christopher Hitchens isn't the last and it is far from the first of those.

I will note that a prominent member of the younger generation of those would seem to be in a funk over his advancing middle age,  I'll do penance for that later.  It's no wonder in that his ideological framing of politics and life leads to nihilistic stasis and oblivion.  You can't build a successful liberal politics on nihilistic stasis, that is what took over from the last period of success under an explicitly Christian movement for civil rights.  I don't think there is anything logically or rationally shocking in that it is the line of legal theories promoted by atheists who call themselves "secularists", legal theories that were often pushed in the theoretical interests of Marxists or non-Marxist atheists which have proven so useful for the purpose.   The weapons that the Rehnquists, Roberts, Kennedys and Scalias have used to destroy the progress of the past century were handed to it by that supposed faction of the alleged left.

I am entirely convinced that there is a real and very basic reason that the progress of the 1960s gradually petered out.  A large part of that is the scandalous idiocy of the left defending and even promoting "fairness" to Marxists even as Marxists supported some of the most brutal dictatorships in the history of the world, governments which not only denied hundreds of millions of people the rights that their supporters in the West demanded for themselves, but even the most basic rights to personal safety and life.  The common consensus on that point in the despised plebs, the rejection of those notions, so heavily promoted in entertainment media and the alleged liberal media was far more rational than the assertions that the People should consider the possibility of reproducing that here.  That there was insufficient liberal opposition to Marxism that the issue was claimed by the opponents of civil liberties in the United States is the real tragedy of the McCarthy period.   The reaction to the excesses of the anti-Communists in that period led to further idiocy as it faded.

I don't think it's any coincidence that so many of the same figures involved in all of that were materialists.  I think it's a logical result of their ideological holdings which will produce the dishonesty that is the foundation of that March of Folly which the left has made so often in the wake of the 19th century.

In reviewing all of the stuff that the play-leftists said over the past century, of reading the alternatives to them, I have become far, far more egalitarian, far more radical than I ever was as a conventional, academically, officially leftish-media nurtured agnostic-socialist.   From where I stand now, I can see that a lot of them are far less radical than they ever thought they were, they've got a lot in common with the pre-neo-con Christopher Hitchens than they would ever want to imagine.

Jack Teagarden - Mis'ry and Blues

Jack Teagarden. vocals, trombone
Don Goldie, trumpet
Henry Cuesta,, clarinet
Don Ewell. piano
Stan Puls, bass
Barrett Deems, drums

Take the romance out of it and this is the story of my life.  At the best of times I come from a family of chronic insomniacs and as for the money..... better not ask. 

I'll try to post something later. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Brueggemann's Passing Reference to Paulo Freire And Why Atheism And The Harvards Of the World Are The Problem

In his lecture that was posted here the other day, Walter Brueggemann made a passing reference to the Brazilian teacher of the poor who developed some important ideas about teaching and the social and economic context in which that happens, Paulo Freire, whose most famous book is The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  There is an interesting Youtube of a discussion on Friere, a lot of it centered on why, while his ideas are influential in many places, he is little noted in university education programs in the United States.  Well, of course you know why but you can listen to the discussion to hear a longer discussion of that among Noam Chomsky, Howard Gardner, and Bruno della Chiesa.

While that discussion is worthwhile, noting, especially, how Chomsky and della Chiesa relate Freire's work with his explicitly Christian motivation as as related to the Liberation Theology which arose at the same time, I'm going to go a step beyond that.

The first thing in the first chapter of Freire's book deals with something you might think is unrelated to teaching people to read.  It is among the most brilliant things I've ever read on the beginning of the problem of inequality and oppression

While the problem of humanization has always, from an axiological point of view, been humankind's central problem, it now takes on the character of an inescapable concern.1 Concern for humanization leads at once to the recognition of dehumanization, not only as an ontological possibility but as an historical reality. And as an individual perceives the extent of dehumanization, he or she may ask if humanization is a viable possibility. Within history, in concrete, objective contexts, both humanization and dehumanization are possibilities for a person as an uncompleted being conscious of their incompletion. 

But while both humanization and dehumanization are real alternatives, only the first is the people's vocation. This vocation is constantly negated, yet it is affirmed by that very negation. It is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression, and the violence of the oppressors; it is affirmed by the yearning of the oppressed for freedom and justice, and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity. 

Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human. This distortion occurs within history; but it is not an historical vocation. Indeed, to admit of dehumanization as an historical vocation would lead either to cynicism or total despair. The struggle for humanization, for the emancipation of labor, for the overcoming of alienation, for the affirmation of men and women as persons would be meaningless. This struggle is possible only because dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.

Because it is a distortion of being more fully human, sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both.

This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any attempt to "soften" the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their "generosity," the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well. An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this "generosity," which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source.

While I'm sure there have been many people who have nodded their heads at this brilliant statement of the origin and consequences of inequality and injustice, I'm just as sure that many of those people will have not begun to consider that there is a more profound source of that dehumanization which is deeply embedded in the culture of Western academia.   There is nothing more profoundly dehumanizing than the view of people as objects, automatons controlled by physical causation, the "lumbering robots" at the service of their genes, objects denuded of the possibility of even so much as free will, never mind higher activities involving choice and non-determinative thought, and that is not to mention the most essential possession of equal rights and moral obligations.

But without any of those things which the current academic-scientific regime of "brain-only" neuro-science, cognative science, evolutionary psychology, and the rest of the soft scientific assertion of atheist-materialist hegemony deny, nothing which Friere said about the rejection of dehumanization can find even the beginnings of persuasive power.

It is possible for someone, even someone who rejects materialism to find value in some of the ideas of Marx, because their ideological framing won't require those to find a foundation in the materialism that a conventional Marxist would demand of them.  But it isn't possible to begin with materialism and to, by a consistent logical argument, come to the conclusions that Freire does or, in fact, many of those arrived at by conventional Marxists.   The better intentions of such would-be radicals aren't artifacts of materialism, they are vestigial remnants of non-materialist acculturation or thinking.

At one point in the discussion, a questioner from the audience points out that his fellow radical classmates in a private school - as I recall it was in El Salvador - mostly went on to do well by doing good for themselves, what is the primary focus of a university education.   There was some mention of Harvard in that context, though I wish there had been more said on the point, given that it's more than likely that our education policy will be in the hands of a Harvard grad or their equivalent at another elite university.  Not to mention the other members of our government.  We, really, are on the path to the same radical inequality that afflicts Latin America, whose affliction was administered from Washington by Harvard grads like John F. Kennedy and his administration (hear what Chomsky says about the American war against the Catholic Church in Latin American during the course of the discussion).  The very things which the Liberation Theologians, that grass roots, education activists such as Freire were fighting against included the Best and Brightest as produced at our most elite, allegedly liberal universities.  Their policies were directly responsible for much of the support that the local elites got in the tidal wave of fascism that flooded Latin America for the next three decades.

I think there is very likely a very strong inverse correlation between the reputable status of a university and the likelihood that even the dispensers of "generosity" that are graduated from them will really produce anything good.  We've got to look elsewhere for the people who will really produce real change.  There will be very rare exceptions but they will be very, very rare, indeed.   I'd like to be able to ask Chomsky, a former Harvard University Fellow, about that but he's probably got other things to do.
Bad morning after a bad night, will post after I get some sleep. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Benny Golson - Stablemates

Benny Golson, tenor sax
Lee Morgan, trumpet
Ray Bryant, piano
Percy Heath, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums.

Hate Mail - I really don't know how any of them were granted degrees.

One of the stupider people who troll this blog, a particularly silly little bint, has made some snarky, incoherent accusation about me in regard to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.  It didn't cohere so I really can't say more than that about it.  I would guess it has something to do with the lecture by Walter Brueggmann I posted last night having been given in a Baptist Church from North Carolina.  

Well, if the silly gal had bothered to listen to the lecture and heard the questions from the audience, something I would assume is beyond her attention span to have done, she might, might, notice that the people in the audience were not Jerry Falwell's kind of Baptists.  They are considerably to the left of her and her fellow idiot atheists who were snarking about what I posted.   Not to mention that Walter Brueggemann is a minister in the United Church of Christ, one of the most liberal institutions in the United States, religious OR SECULAR.  

Update:  You'd think that the fact that the pastor is a woman would have been a slight clue as to the kind of Baptists were sponsoring the lecture. 

American-Brit TV Promotes Ignorance

The pseudo-debates routine that has become routine in our presidential election seasons has a lot of down sides, superficiality not the least of them. Nothing but a real debate on a set question should be called a "debate," something which most of the candidates would never appear in as who was intellectually unprepared to wrestle with real issues in depth would become apparent.  Those Kennedy-Nixon debates might have served the purpose of forestalling the evil day when Richard Nixon became president but they helped set up the superficial use of politics as seen on TV which elected him eight years later.

And the superficial "debates" don't necessarily serve even a serious candidate who might get tripped up on having to give an impromptu answer to a question that isn't really important.  In an article for In These Times Branko Marcetic accurately takes to task Bernie Sanders' naming of Winston Churchill as someone he admired.

Asked by a Facebook user which foreign leader the candidates took inspiration from when it came to foreign policy, Sanders cited the former British Prime Minister.

“He was kind of a conservative guy in many respects,” said Sanders. “But nobody can deny that as a wartime leader he rallied the British people when they stood virtually alone against the Nazi juggernaut, and rallied them, and eventually won an extraordinary victory.”

Which is the safe, PBS-BBC, vetted response to such a question, which those kept in TV style ignorance of just what a total aristocratic thug, racist and, yes, war criminal Winston Churchill was would find heartwarming.    You can find a short list of just some of his more criminal acts in the article linked to, there was much more, including being enthusiastic about genocide and a belief in Aryan supremacy.   Here is a sample of his thoughts as listed in The Guardian a while back.

I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between communism and nazism, I would choose communism. 
Speaking in the House of Commons, autumn 1937
I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.
Writing as president of the Air Council, 1919

It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representative of the Emperor-King.
Commenting on Gandhi's meeting with the Viceroy of India, 1931

(India is) a godless land of snobs and bores.
In a letter to his mother, 1896

I do not admit... that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia... by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race... has come in and taken its place.
Churchill to Palestine Royal Commission, 1937

(We must rally against) a poisoned Russia, an infected Russia of armed hordes not only smiting with bayonet and cannon, but accompanied and preceded by swarms of typhus-bearing vermin.
Quoted in the Boston Review, April/May 2001

"The choice was clearly open: crush them with vain and unstinted force, or try to give them what they want. These were the only alternatives and most people were unprepared for either. Here indeed was the Irish spectre - horrid and inexorcisable.
Writing in The World Crisis and the Aftermath, 1923-31

The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate... I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.
Churchill to Asquith, 1910

One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations."
From his Great Contemporaries, 1937

I don't hold it against Bernie Sanders that he gave the BBC-PBS answer to the question, though I hope he might find time to review the real Churchill instead of the heroic bust that most people believe in.  He's got more important things to think about.   I do blame the BBC and PBS for their role in maintaining a story-book, mythic view of history.   I don't, for a second, fear that he would emulate Churchill or appoint people who held views remotely like his.  It is troubling in the same way that calling Kissinger a great man is troubling.  

Hillary Clinton's statements in that "debate" about Henry Kissinger, our own war criminal, was also the safe, made-by-TV thing to say, the "News Hour" made for PBS documentary thing to say.  It was, perhaps worse since Kissinger is America's war criminal who has never been made to pay for his crimes against humanity.  A better question for them to answer is who is the kind of person they would think would be a good appointee as Secretary of State if they are elected. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Bible Is More Radical Than Just About Anyone in American Politics And the Media

Walter Brueggemann in a lecture at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC from Lent of last year from the left of Bernie Sanders. 

Hate Mail - "What do you expect, he's an Irish Catholic"

Well, what do you expect a Brit without an argument to pull out of their head?  I remember a friend of mine once told me, after seeing a really good production of Brian Friel's play "Philadelphia Here I Come"  that the great difference between Irish men and Brits was that repressed Brits aren't sexy but repressed Irish men are all the more sexy for being repressed. 

Not exactly related but here's a good story:

Update:  No, I'm not going to comment on that con-fud-eration of dunces till after Easter.  They're each one stupider than the one before them.

Our Towns or Your Skin and Your Teeth

I came across the old newspaper that this post started from and thought some might find it interesting. It was originally posted on another blog I used to write for, accounting for the difference in layout.   Given that the traditional time for town meeting is about this time and the pure and romantic garbage that the national media spread about "direct democracy" in New England and local government, it is still timely. 

Local government is generally pretty corrupt. Just like in “The Cradle Will Rock” everyone knows someone who can benefit from contracts being given out or lax enforcement* or some other official act of town government being tweaked or twisted to favor those with connections. The newspaper publisher, if the town is lucky to get news coverage of any kind, is part of the establishment so residents aren’t informed until that can’t be avoided. Since community service is no longer required of radio and TV stations they don’t even enter into the picture anymore. Residents are generally kept ignorant or presented with details in a town report that are hard to follow or sketchy and which come far too late for them to do much about it. Think of the often gaudy corruption of a big city government only spread out over a larger area. That is minus the media coverage.

What happens when the residents become aware of something shady in their town government can be interesting. My brother gave me a piece that was in the November 23rd, 2006 edition of the Norway (Maine) Advertiser Democrat in the column Not So Good Old Days. The un-attributed column mostly quotes from a letter written by Mrs. Cora M. W. Greenleaf, printed in the paper June 30, 1911.

The Case of Mrs Hefferin” concerned the semi-covert plans of the town council to sell the body of a well-beloved lady of the town. After a life of generosity and doing for others, Mrs. Lucy J. Hefferin fell on hard times in her advanced old age. In her last illness some neighbors took her in but needed help paying for expenses of nursing and other things. The town granted them two dollars a week until, poor Mrs. Hefferin being entirely dependent by that time, her nursing care required four dollars a week. When the woman died the town fathers, as they were most paternalistically called back then, got together and decided that someone good should come out of it. As the letter put it, towns in Maine could “legally sell the bodies of their pauper dead, through the efforts of the town where the above had a residence and dispose of the body to some institution for dissection”.

The townspeople caught wind when the town officials “entered on negotiations for a more profitable disposal of the body,” than a pauper’s grave. Mentioning another local case in which a medical student was shocked to find that he knew the cadaver he’d been assigned to dissect, his college had bought it from a neighboring town for $36, the writer goes right to the heart of the matter,

Now what was done with that money? Who got it? I’ve never known of any mention being made of it in any town report, is it a perquisite of the selectmen’s, one of the ‘pickings’ that go with the office?” 

A good question. I wonder if anyone answered it. Questions like that to town officials generally go unanswered, in my experience. It’s too hard to force an answer. They can count on that. From a lifetime of seeing how this kind of thing works, the reason for money’s absence from the town’s annual report probably was along the lines alluded to.

Mrs. Greenleaf, no doubt answering a point of the kind often made to change the subject in those fabled town meetings, asks why the town officials don’t benefit society by selling their own corpses and those of their loved ones if it’s such a good idea. I think I’d have liked her.

The romantic view of local government and small business is part of the mythology of conservatives. They are always gassing on about the virtues of both. Anyone with a passing knowledge of either knows it's just gas. There are virtuous town officials, I’ve known several, and there are honest small businessmen but generally it’s a pretty dismal matter of petty corruption and nonfeasance.

In a lot of places during the recent real estate mania the corruption has been awful. Even relatively small developers have financial resources that make countering their ability to get around rules almost impossible in most cases. I’ve always wished someone would study the per capita occurrence of corruption in the various levels of government, not in actual dollar amounts but in just the number of crimes. If anyone knows about a study like that, please let us know.

If you think that there isn’t a modern equivalent of the story from 1911 you are wrong. GeorgiaNew HampshireNew York City, now-a- days it is as likely to be local officials looking the other way when a crematorium or mortician goes bad. Is it any wonder that after writing “Our Town” Thornton Wilder might have felt it necessary to write “By the Skin of Our Teeth,” as a corrective?

What happened to poor Mrs. Hefferin’s body? The people in the town took out a subscription to pay for a funeral and a grave. It isn’t mentioned if any of the selectmen contributed.

* Lax enforcement of zoning and land use laws is epidemic in small towns and big ones. The zoning boards and other officials are often either business partners of local developers or attached in some other way. Similar things can often be said of other parts of local governments and school systems. The things that developers get away with under the law is nothing less than legalized theft. In discussing this with several people who are active in local affairs, none of us could come up with a town without something that looked shady going on.

Having sat through them for many years I’m sorry to have to report to you that, due to ignorance, non-participation and outright rigging, Town Meeting is another part of the romantic myth.

I Knew The Other Shoe Would Drop: On Randi's Totally Phony Completely Bogus "Million Dollar Challenge" 1.0

It's as predictable as anything that any criticism of the liar, fraud, con-artist, sleaze, James Randi will provoke one of his true believers to say, "No one has ever won the million dollar challenge."  Well, for people who aren't long time readers of this blog, I dealt with that stupid claim before, as well.  

See Updates Below
James "The Amazing"  Randi's original claim to fame was that he was a magician and an escape artist.  His entire professional competence is in deceiving people into thinking they know what is happening while he is doing something else.  His history has shown that his habits of deception aren't limited to his stage tricks and escape events.  He also has a long and documented history of lying.  His fans, allies and associates have a long and documented history of their own, they  habitually overlook, excuse and even cover up his lying on behalf of their shared ideological campaign.

As pointed out yesterday, even one of his allies in "Skepticism"/atheism,  Dennis Rawlins, has quoted him as bragging that his famous "Challenge" is rigged to always allow him an out.  Rawlins is one of the rarest of "Skeptics", one who has told the truth about some of "Skepticism".  I will state at the start that Randi's "Application" form is full of such outs.   At each and every stage James Randi and his "Educational" Foundation are in full control of every phase of the "Test" and they can end it at any time from refusing to consider an application right up to the danger of having to finally prove they've got the money.  And they reserve the "right" to change the rules in the middle of the game as well as a host of other means of them assuring no one could ever possibly force Randi to prove he's got the money to back up his phony challenge.  Anyone who looks at it is completely justified in suspecting deception and should be on the lookout for avenues of escape for "The Amazing" one.

Any honest analysis of James Randi's "Million Dollar" Challenge has to begin with considering its value to James Randi and the present use of the "Challenge"  by the "Skepticism" industry.   The entire value of  the famous "Randi Million Dollar Challenge", for them, is in being able to claim that no one has succeeded in winning it.  Which is how it is used by Randi and his ideological allies.   Just being able to say no one has won the money is the entire point of the thing for "Skepticism".  Despite that obvious fact, the application claims otherwise.  "The goal of this Challenge is a successful demonstration according to the agreed protocol."  And if you believe that I've got a bridge I can make disappear or, failing that, to sell you.   There is no honest possibility of anyone doubting a "successful demonstration" would obliterate two of the "Skepticism" industries' most valued assets, Randi's constructed persona and his phony challenge.   A successful "Challenge" and a requirement to pay out would, in fact destroy the popular credibility of  organized "Skepticism".  A win would be a far bigger disaster for "Skepticism" than the sTARBABY scandal.  That is a fact Randi's application form would seem to anticipate if through some catastrophe that someone won, Randi's got it covered,  "If the Prize is awarded, this would not mean that the JREF acknowledges the existence of the supernatural."

The unstated implication of that statement that "nobody has won Randi's million dollar Challenge" , is that people tried to win and failed, but that is far from clear.   Keep in mind that the "Skeptical" goal doesn't require an attempt, it can be fulfilled by keeping people from being given a real "test".   In fact the "APPLICATION FOR STATUS OF CLAIMANT**" from the James Randi "Educational" Foundation states that no one has made it past the "Preliminary Test" stage and so no actual "Formal Test" has been begun.

4. In all cases, the Applicant will be required to perform a Preliminary Test in a location where a properly authorized representative of the JREF can attend. This Preliminary Test is intended to determine if the Applicant is likely to perform as promised during the Formal Test, using the agreed-upon protocol. To date, no applicant has passed the Preliminary Test, and therefore no Formal Test has yet been conducted. At any time prior to the Formal Test, the JREF reserves the right to re-negotiate the protocol if issues are discovered that would prevent a fair and unbiased test. After an agreement is reached on the protocol, no part of the testing procedure may be changed in any way without an amended agreement, signed by all parties concerned

Any challenge that might risk being demonstrable can be kept out of consideration by having the application rejected.   That, as all aspects of the "Challenge" rest firmly in the entirely interested hands of James Randi and his "Educational" Foundation.

Another definitive "out" of the kind Randi boasted of having is the possibility that Randi's people can re-negotiate the agreed to protocol "At any time prior to the Formal Test"  That would effectively prevent any claims that put Randi in danger from being "Formally" tested.  Any "Preliminary Test" that looked like it could destroy Randi's brand could be short-circuited by these kinds of outs.

In order for Randi's and "Skeptics" claims of the Challenge to be honest a comprehensive list of people who have made it to the "Preliminary Test" stage would have to be issued and Randi and his "Educational" Foundation must allow anyone involved to be able to give a full and free account of what happened in both the "Test" and in the negotiations over them.  The rules under #8 would also need to be changed for the "Challenge" to be honest and transparent.

8. By accepting this Challenge, the Applicant waives any and all claims against James Randi, the JREF, the JREF’s employees, officers, directors, and any other person. This waiver includes, but is not limited to,injury, accident, and damage of any kind, including damage and/or loss of a physical, emotional,financial, and/or professional nature.
Notwithstanding anything else in this paragraph, should the Claimant pass the Formal Test, the Claimant does not waive any claims against the JREF that might be necessary to enforce payment of the prize.

There is absolutely nothing transparent about Randi's requirements, they are designed to prevent people from seeing an honest, transparent test of claims. Rule 8 gives Randi and his "Educational" Foundation the right to lie, misrepresent, distort and slander while without risking being sued, apparently, any challenger or even an impartial observer is not exempted from legal action. The only right they don't surrender is one that will never happen, Randi having to pay up when they've won.   I can't imagine any reasonably intelligent person, never mind a serious scientist, agreeing to that.  It is a complete violation of ethics to allow someone that contractual right.  It entirely destroys any claims to credibility that Randi's Challenge has claimed for it.

For a challenge that is parroted by "Skeptics" and sold as the gold standard of reliable assessment  the requirements of the participation of impartial observers and judges seems to be strangely missing.  At each and every phase all of that is done by Randi's people, none of whom can possibly be considered as impartial, all of whom have an interest in maintaining the real value of Randi's "Challenge" for his brand name and the "Skepticism" industry.

In these post I'm not interested in anything except the effect of Randi's PR campaign on rigorously conducted, controlled and analyzed science, which has quite different goals, methods and requirements than his publicity stunt.  The rules are written to violate the requirements of science in many ways and to prevent real, serious experiments that have produced positive results from being considered.

The real science that the peer-reviewed literature dealing with parapsychology has produced would seem to be as excluded from  entering into Randi's "Challenge" as the publicity stunt cannot be rationally considered to be scientific.  This makes the use of Randi's phony challenge to debunk peer-reviewed science entirely dishonest. 

Any skeptical review of Randi's "Challenge" would have to conclude that it is set up to prevent anyone being "tested" or any serious evidence entering into consideration.  The Challenge, as presented by Randi is a fraud.  As I said before, it was a challenge which was never intended to be met because any successful demonstration requiring Randi to pay up would destroy his reputation and the reputation of the "Skepticism" industry that has attached itself to his PR operation.  The "Challenge" itself is a distraction from any serious, scientific research into parapsychological phenomena.   It depends on people looking at Randi's gawdy geek show, which, to say the most, is easy to watch.  You can't say the same thing about reading a scientific paper, dealing with the methodological and mathematical substance of it.  That's hard, far too hard for the rank and file, the "Skeptics",  Randi's fan base.  I may deal with some of the scientists who are in on the Randi con later.  The reason that their ideology requires lying is obvious to anyone who has looked at the actual science.   As soon as someone honestly looks at the real, published science done demonstrating telepathy or other taboo phenomena, as soon as you understand the data,  ideological "Skepticism" falls apart.

UPDATE:  Just about every time I look at Randi's "APPLICATION FOR STATUS OF CLAIMANT" new outs and avenues of deception become obvious.  There is this:

The JREF may consult with experts, including statisticians, magicians,and others with specialized knowledge relevant to the claim. James Randi may or may not be present at these tests, but he will not interact with the materials used nor interfere with the protocol once a test is underway.

Notice that it is only Randi who "will not interact with the materials used nor interfere with the protocol once a test is underway".  Since some of Randi's most infamous scams and deceptions relied on hired fronts to act for him, some of whom were also professional magicians, anyone who knew about that should consider this a contract to get scammed by them.   Professional magicians with a financial or other interest are no more reliably honest than anyone else.  I've always been puzzled as to why a magician with a known bias would be considered reliable when they're known to have the skills to sabotage experiments.  Considering how even test subjects with no known skills of that kind are routinely accused of that style of deception, it's ridiculous to not suspect professional magicians with a known bias of doing what they have made a profession of doing.

The "Application" is a contract so full of avenues for cheating by Randi and his "Educational" Foundation that I can't imagine anyone familiar with him would even apply.

UPDATE 2.0  An e-mail (why don't you people ever use my comment system?) informs me that there is what is supposed to be a previous version of the "Application for Status of Claimant"  archived on Wayback.  It begins " This became effective on Sunday, April 1st, 2007, replacing the previous version of the Application; the nature of the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge in regard to those to who may now apply, has now changed substantially."  Which would indicate that the numbering of the current challenge is suspicious as noted in the first footnote below. I don't see any version number on this "Application" but it's clearly not the first one.  This is important because previous critics of the phony "challenge" would have been addressing previous requirements either on the "Application" or insisted on by Randi and his company.   In a quick read of it the 2007 rules are, indeed, deceptive and open to some of the same avenues of fraudulence I noted, possibly others I haven't noticed yet.   I would say that, if anything, the "Application" up at the JR"E"F this week looks less transparent and above board than this previous version.  This is funny because of the damage control campaign launched by D.J. Grothe, Randi's heir apparent at the JR"E"F claiming that they wanted to make the "Million Dollar Challenge" more transparent.

Related to that is the database of "applicants" up at the JR"E"F.   As I noted above,  the value of the "Challenge" to Randi, his employees, acolytes and "Skepticism" in general is to be able to claim that no one has won the challenge and that purpose is served by preventing any "Formal Test" from happening.  That purpose is served by 1. preventing serious scientists from subjecting their research to an unscientific "test", 2. rejecting applications that could seriously challenge the value of the "Challenge" for all of the above, 3. scotching the agreed to procedures during the "Preliminary Test" phase by insisting on "re-negotiation" as in the "Application" rule #4 above ..... It is necessary for the JR"E"F to list those who have made it to the "Preliminary Test" phase and to allow a full and open account of all of those on both sides.

Grothe doesn't seem to be  interested in a transparent test any more than the old fraud he works for does.   The "Challenge" is a fraud and a con set up to never really produce a test.  Its habitual use by the "Skeptics" against scientific research is one of the more serious instances of common intellectual dishonesty among the self-appointed "rational class".   The Randi Challenge couldn't test real science of the kind that the scientific study of parapsychology has produced, it is a geek show and as much of a lie and a con job as the sTARBABY cover-up was.  "Skepticism" is a profit making industry based on lies and fraud.

UPDATE 3.0  I suspect that the 2007 version of the "Application for Status of Claimant" , might have been made in reaction to a series about the fraudulence of the "Million Dollar Challenge" by Michael Prescott in 2006.   I don't have the version of it that he addressed but, as I said, the present day "Application" is even more dodgy than the 2007 one.  Prescott's series is worth reading for its continuing relevance to the fraud that the Randi operation is.  Greg Taylor at The Daily Grail has also written extensively and well about the "Challenge",  addressing it during that period,  and Steve Volk has in the most recent period.

I don't know what to make of it, but Riley G. Matthews jr posted an exchange he says he had with Randi over a challenge that Randi invited before he scotched it, making and failing to make good on an offer of $3,000 for Matthews to drop it.   I have no way of knowing its authenticity but, then, I have no way of checking what the James Randi "Educational" Foundation claims about its role in the "Challenge" either.  I can say that as of the present, I don't have any reason to suspect Matthews isn't more honest than I do know Randi to not be.

* The first paragraph of the document says,  "This Application is Version 2.0, dated March 9, 2011, supersedes and replaces any previous version of the Application, and is the only version currently accepted."  I have, so far, been unable to find out how many previous versions of the "application" there may have been or how those have been worded.  2.0 might be taken to indicate this is the second of any such "application" but, as with the numbering of versions of computer software, the decimal makes that assumption unwarranted.  I'd like to know how any previous versions of the challenge were numbered and would like to have the exact wording of those.  I've seen two different figures for previously offered "prizes" so I'm assuming there were at least two previous versions of the rules.  In order to know why any theoretical applicant might have not applied or to have not fulfilled the test, it is necessary to know what Randi and his posse were demanding of them.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Reading Francis Bacon In The Waiting Room

Having recently chosen to annoy some of my more stupid trolls by bringing up The Authorship Question, I decided that I'd read far too little of Francis Bacon's writing and have made a start at filling in that gap in my education.  I've got lots of time spent in waiting rooms, these days.  

I hope to read the major works that are available online and then to go back and re-read "THE PLAYS AND POEMS" even as I am continuing to fill in the ones of those I never read.   I am not that interested in cryptography to have a plan on looking at that line of research, I'm not really that interested in it - though Bacon certainly was.   I'm more interested in finding out if the philosphical writing of Bacon might make some of the plays make more sense than they do.  The "bad plays" don't seem to have been experimental or part of an apprenticeship, they might have missed some mark - no one always gets it right - but there might be more to them than a superficial reading of them might bring.  

Even the first few pages of reading Francis Bacon show he was, as Ben Jonson, Alexander Pope and so many others said, an incredibly expansive thinker, deeper than almost anyone else I've read and astonishingly widely learned.  Just the preface of the Novum Organum is full to the last detail of insights that anticipate many of our problems, today.   Here is a passage later in the book I found especially interesting.

XXXIX. Four species of idols beset the human mind, to which (for distinction’s sake) we have assigned names, calling the first Idols of the Tribe, the second Idols of the Den, the third Idols of the Market, the fourth Idols of the Theatre.

XL. The formation of notions and axioms on the foundation of true induction is the only fitting remedy by which we can ward off and expel these idols. It is, however, of great service to point them out; for the doctrine of idols bears the same relation to the interpretation of nature as that of the confutation of sophisms does to common logic.

XLI. The idols of the tribe are inherent in human nature and the very tribe or race of man; for man’s sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things; on the contrary, all the perceptions both of the senses and the mind bear reference to man and not to the universe, and the human mind resembles those uneven mirrors which impart their own properties to different objects, from which rays are emitted and distort and disfigure them.

XLII. The idols of the den are those of each individual; for everybody (in addition to the errors common to the race of man) has his own individual den or cavern, which intercepts and corrupts the light of nature, either from his own peculiar and singular disposition, or from his education and intercourse with others, or from his reading, and the authority acquired by those whom he reverences and admires, or from the different impressions produced on the mind, as it happens to be preoccupied and predisposed, or equable and tranquil, and the like; so that the spirit of man (according to its several dispositions), is variable, confused, and as it were actuated by chance; and Heraclitus said well that men search for knowledge in lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.

XLIII. There are also idols formed by the reciprocal intercourse and society of man with man, which we call idols of the market, from the commerce and association of men with each other; for men converse by means of language, but words are formed at the will of the generality, and there arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind. Nor can the definitions and explanations with which learned men are wont to guard and protect themselves in some instances afford a complete remedy—words still manifestly force the understanding, throw everything into confusion, and lead mankind into vain and innumerable controversies and fallacies.

XLIV. Lastly, there are idols which have crept into men’s minds from the various dogmas of peculiar systems of philosophy, and also from the perverted rules of demonstration, and these we denominate idols of the theatre: for we regard all the systems of philosophy hitherto received or imagined, as so many plays brought out and performed, creating fictitious and theatrical worlds. Nor do we speak only of the present systems, or of the philosophy and sects of the ancients, since numerous other plays of a similar nature can be still composed and made to agree with each other, the causes of the most opposite errors being generally the same. Nor, again, do we allude merely to general systems, but also to many elements and axioms of sciences which have become inveterate by tradition, implicit credence, and neglect. We must, however, discuss each species of idols more fully and distinctly in order to guard the human understanding against them.

"many elements and axioms of sciences which have become inveterate by tradition, implicit credence, and neglect"   He could be talking about both the common received wisdom of the right and of the alleged left in that, the credulous beliefs of the officially ignorant and the allegedly educated, the junk that has been propagated by the supposed enlightened organs of media, PBS and the BBC and their costume and commentary style of presenting history and even science.  

The "Idols of the Tribe" couldn't possibly be more relevant to contemporary physics, which seems to founder on the widespread refusal to acknowledge that what we can know of the universe is intrinsically and, inevitably, bound by the fact that it is human minds which are trying to find that out and, though Bacon may not have fully realized it, centuries before science concluded so, that we can't escape those vicissitudes of our existence.  

Of course, given the controversy that I find so entertaining, I'll notice whatever he has to say about theater (in a more restricted sense than Bacon discussed it here) and poetry and anything that might touch on themes and passages in The Plays and Poems.  I have a strong feeling that reading those Baconically (as it were) might be more rewarding than they would be reading them in reference to the fiction and fables that constitute the supposed substance of the the Stratford Idol's school of analysis provides.  Not that I know of anyone who actually bothers to do that, even the champions of the phonied up effigy and the masked cartoon with two left arms in the Folio.  The one that Ben Jonson, while helping Francis Bacon prepare his life's work for publication, so ambiguously and rather sarcastically commented on.   And now let's see if they got this far in reading this provocation. 

In The Dangers of Official Impunity The Deep And Likely Fatal Flaws In The Constitution Are Obvious

The Senate Republicans who are instantly rewriting some of the most basic of constitutional law in order to keep the twice-elected President Obama from appointing the successor to Antonin Scalia should be impeached.  Of course, they won't be, the same document that couldn't be clearer about President Obama's responsibility in naming someone to fill the vacancy and their responsibility to confirm or reject his choice also makes it a practical impossibility to punish them for breaking their oath of office for baldly partisan reasons, depending on the widespread racism of their parties members and the racism of the media which is their mouthpiece.  

Such instant and extra-constitutional revision as Senators, McConnell, Grassley, Ayotte, etc. are engaged in is the reality of "origialism" such as it was throughout the entire history of that aristocratic fraud on the American People.   Scalia and his fellow thugs have never let the text, the legislative history or anything else stop them when they wanted to make it up to their own benefit. 

Such bald partisanship has been on full display in the Supreme Court during Scalia's membership, in its most obvious and raw form in the choice of the five Republican appointees who installed George W. Bush, something for which there was no recourse and for which none of those thugs were ever so much as made to answer for.  The media certainly never made any of them answer for them, Sandra Day O'Connor, who was widely quoted as being dismayed by the announcement that Al Gore had won Florida on election night because she wanted to retire and she didn't want a Democrat to name her successor has never had to answer for her signing on to the unprecedented and baldly partisan installation of the loser of the election.

There is a story that when the greatest logician of the 20th century, Kurt Gödel, was being sworn in as a citizen of the United States, his friends, including Albert Einstein were dismayed to hear that he'd discovered a flaw in the Constitution that could be used to turn the United States into a dictatorship.  Through a combination of good luck in the judge handling Gödel's swearing in was a friend of Einstein and careful handling, the great logician never explained his discovery, which seems to be lost.  I'm surprised, considering how much of the guarantees of such basic features as checks and balances depend on that fragile and rare holding of the powerful and wealthy, honor, the self-interest and corruption of the press which is imagined by Jeffersonian romantics to expose evil, that Gödel could only find one way.   If you want an example of the latter, listen to the hagiographic bull shit issuing from the allegedly liberal and objective media organ, NPR this morning.  If you want an example of the former, consider that even as Scalia was issuing decisions that there is no right for innocent people to not be executed in excruciating pain,  Ruth Bader Ginsburg considered him her "best buddy".

Depending on the "honor" of the powerful and wealthy, depending on the honor and honesty of the media, the 18th century Constitution has potential to be a minefield of opportunities to impose despotism on the country.   The staffing of courts with the good old boys and girls of the Ivy League class universities, those who have enjoyed the privileges and benefits of exactly the affluent top through that educational and professional history make it all the more likely that this is the way it's going to go.  For whatever virtues Ruth Bader Ginsburg may have, that she was able to be chums with a man who wrote the decisions and dissents that Scalia did makes me wonder how she thought of the people who died, who were deprived of their rights by her good chum.  I don't think I'd have been able to sustain a friendship with someone who did that to real people in real life while enjoying the privileges of office as he did it.   But, then, I only went to public, land-grant universities.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Republican Racism On Full Display For Everyone To See In Denying President Obama's Responsibility To Nominate Scalia's Replacement

Considering the various stands Antonin Scalia took while he was on the Supreme Court of the United States, that there was no right of an innocent person to NOT BE EXECUTED for a crime he or she didn't commit, that gruesome, horrific pain is a mere nothing in the orderly operation of the judicial murder process which is capital punishment, that there is no right to vote or to have votes count, stands against the most basic rights of women to the ownership of their bodies, his votes to return black people and members of other minority groups to lesser status than that enjoyed by the wealthy white men who his entire career served and a whole range of other objectively evil stands he took, knowing that he had lifetime tenure in a position of power from which he could enjoy hurting people, destroying their rights and lives, quite literally, I don't regret saying about him what I did yesterday. He was an evil man who relished doing evil, masking it in the pretty, formal language of the law.  

And that is the kind of man who Senators such as Chuck Grassley and the rest of the racist-Republican Party think is a fitting member of the Supreme Court.   That is the kind of person they have chosen to put on the court when someone other than a Black Democrat has nominated them. 

The Republicans will prevent President Barack Obama from naming the replacement for Scalia on the Court even though the Constitution they are sworn to uphold couldn't be clearer on it being his choice as the twice-elected President of the United States to name members of the Court, a privilege of office that no Republican I can remember ever saying didn't belong to a Republican who was President, not the criminal, Nixon or Reagan who nominated men who were clearly not suited to the position or, in the case of Robert Bork whose political philosophy and performance in previously held offices proved he had no business being nominated to the highest court in a democracy.  

Republicans wouldn't ever try to pull this on a white man who had a year left in his term as the overwhelmingly twice-elected President.   

This is the white ersatz whipped cream topping on their white layer cake of turning the first Black President into a 3/5th president if not less.   Racism was their strategy in 2008, it was their immediately implemented campaign against him even before he took office, even as he bent over in every possible way to placate them.  The Republican Party is the foremost institution of racism in the United States, it must be fought on those terms, a coalition of members of all minorities have to understand that we are at war with them, we and the majority of The People of all identities who are not the rich, white men who they serve.