Saturday, June 11, 2016

Simpy Saturday

I know lots of young men in their 20s who watch Clint Eastwood movies on TV,  but, perhaps I just know more young people than you do in your cocoon of grizzled, groovy geerzerdom in the NYC area.   

And, as it was, I was expressing a desire to know how many of the cops who shoot black people are fans of his movies, especially his cop movies.   I wasn't stating something as a fact, though I suspect more than a few of them might be.  I also know more than a few cops, some of them members of my extended family and I know they watch cop movies and cop shows on TV. I don't, though, know any who have ever shot anyone.    

How you would so confidently know something I merely speculated about would be interesting.  What methodology did you use to come to your conclusions?   I'd ask what statistical methods you used but I suspect you can't form a ratio and get the right number on top.  

I do find it hilarious that you figure guys in their mid 30s through fifties are young'uns.  I know everyone now likes to believe that middle age extends into our age cohort but, let me break the news to you,  Simps, hardly anyone lives to be 140. 

Update:  Simps thinks it's unlikely that an Irish Catholic who is from a family of 10 would know lots of young men.   My 28 year old nephew and his friends, alone probably constitute more young men than Simps knows the names of.  And they watch Clint Eastwood movies.  I've stood in the room as they watched making snarky comments about them as they watched.  And he's only one of my nephews.  I've got many more, the youngest of whom is 18.  And that's not to mention my nieces husbands and boyfriends.  And I know young'uns who aren't blood kin.   I know that someone living in a geezer ghetto might not think it's possible but I live in the real world.  

And if that's true of that age cohort, I'm sure it is even more true of middle-aged cops, so many of whom are the ones shooting black people. 

I love these arguments, they are so revealing of the thinking of urban geezers living in geezer ghettos.  Duncan, let this be a lesson to you, you're fast joining "the olds".  Time doesn't stop for any of us. 

Update 2:  

Typical comment of a straight geezer.  You are so dated, Simps. And so transparently gay phobic. 

Update 3:  And now he rounds it out by accusing me of not knowing any straight people.  That would be because someone who has spent his entire life living in small towns and a couple of small cities, much of it quite rural would never encounter that tiny, rare percentage of the population who are straight.  

That was sarcasm, Simps.  You don't seem to be able to tell, just like you don't seem to get it when I'm pushing your buttons for the gratification of watching you give the entirely predictable response.  

I don't know why he assumes that, perhaps he thinks only straight guys watch Clint Eastwood movies or are cops.  Which only shows how insular he is in his great big life in his great big megalopolis.   There is no body of people more insular and parochial than old guys who spend almost all of their time with other old guys in their little worlds that they carve out for themselves.   I'd bring up the lily white casting of another of his favorites but I'm trying to keep this indulgence down to once or twice a week.  If that.  It's an entirely predictable response so it's not something you can maintain your interest in doing more often than that.   What it shows about conventional thinking is the only thing interesting about it and conventional thought isn't all that interesting,  Shaking it up is, a bit.

Last Update:  Yeah, Simps, you keep telling yourself and the minority of the Eschatots who are still paying attention to you. You are a twit's twit. 

Béla Bartók - String Quartet No. 3

Prima parte: Moderato
Seconda parte: Allegro
Recapitulazione della prima parte: Moderato
Coda: Allegro molto

The Hungarian Quartet c. 1960

Zoltán Székely, violin
Mihaly Kuttner, violin
Denes Koromzay, viola
Gabor Magyar. cello

I think those are the right members for the period when this was recorded.  The members changed over the years of its existence.

An Exchange From An "I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU ELIZABETH WARREN!" Thread at Mother Jones Mag

Summer Sailing  Anthony_McCarthy • 23 minutes ago
Hillary's direction will be to the right. Even her logo points to the right!

Anthony_McCarthy  Summer Sailing • in 2 minutes
"Even her logo points to the right"

How much like the call-in-radio Republicans who whined and complained when the personalized P in the early version of the PBS logo faced left, though to make it "face right" would mean that the P was backward. Much like your comment about the logo.

You mean Bernie Sanders' claim that he was doing a stunt run for president is a flop and he failed to "move the discussion to the left"? If he couldn't manage to do that why do you think he could a. win the election, b. manage to move politics to the left as president.

The Bernie or Busters are proving only one thing, that there is an allegedly leftist presence in the United States who have permanently and voluntarily moved themselves out of political relevance due to their insistence on not growing up or facing the fact that reality is real.

I think after the Bernie Sanders campaign, even a lot of his rational supporters are going to have to face the fact that we can't continue to manage a left while trying to work with such people because they will never grow up and don't want to and don't really care about reality. This is the third or arguably fourth such stunt candidate in the past half century who have gotten huge support from the allegedly leftist community and publishing industry only to have them risk putting another horrific Republican in office, previous ones are Nixon, Reagan, Bush II and now Trump.

The real left has to dump the Bernie or Busters because they are political poison.

And here's more from TBogg

A little over eight years ago, Naderite dead-enders were still refusing to admit that they had a hand in turning the keys to America over to undead thing Dick Cheney and his protege George W. Bush in 2000.  After threatening to go third party once again because that turned out so awesome, I wrote this under “Your Mumia sweatshirt won’t get you into heaven anymore“:

Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a great big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.

You don’t live there.

Grow the fuck up.

Well, we’re right back where we started again, aren’t we?

Yes we are.

If you don't read the link it's in the context of the Bernie Busters shouting out how much they hate Robert Reich, and he's been a huge Bernie Supporter.

Hate Bait

I have been accused of being a red-baiter because I said that if Bernie Sanders had the Democratic nomination that the Republican-fascists would use his former membership in the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party to sink his chances of winning in the first several days of his campaign.

That's not red-baiting, that's realism.   If I'd accused him of membership in some communist party or other, that would be red-baiting, that's not what I did.   When it's a fact of someone's political CV, pointing out the use that the Republicans would make of it, that's realism.

The fact is that even today, in 2016, membership as a mature adult in the Socialist Workers Party is a definitive political liability in most if not all of the United States.  You might not like that that is true, but that doesn't do a single thing to change the fact that it makes Bernie Sanders an all but guaranteed loser as a presidential candidate.

The fact is many of the people who joined Marxist parties, the Leninists, the Stalinists, the Maoists, even those who drearily kept at it after the revelations of Khrushchev in 1956 and, heaven help us, into the dismal, pathetic twilight of Soviet Marxism in the Brezhnev years (like being an SWP delegate in 1980) were supporting mass murderers, oppressors, enslavers, imperialists no less than supporters of Nazism and western imperialism.   Those who hid under the fig leaf of being "Trotskyists" only differed in that their guy didn't get to put his ability to murder and oppress into fullest practice as the dictator.   His intentions in office are likely to have been a part with his career inside the Soviet government.

Today, in 2016, it's well past the point where anyone should have any illusions about the nature of American communism and Marxism, it was nothing to look back on with any kind of romantic illusions.  It is fittingly a political liability for anyone who was part of it just as being part of white supremacy should be a political liability and, we can only hope, in this election the tide doing that will turn and racism will become the liability it always should have been.

That is if the free-speech puritans don't try to suppress the condemnation of it.


Also, someone got pissed off that I slammed one of those people in journalism who I detest the most, Nat Hentoff, as smarmy and self-fixated a character as has ever dribbled out columnage by the bucket full for decades.

That he has gone from promoting some of the most counterproductive lines of nonsense - nonsense which has benefited oligarchs in their attempt to buy the United States, lines of assertion that make up the arguments of such oligarchy sponsored Supreme Court hacks as Rehnquist, Scalia, Roberts and Kennedy, that he has gone from doing that at places like The Progressive magazine, The Village Voice and on chat shows and panels and the blah, blah, blahosphere to being a Cato Institute shill is about as clear evidence as ever was of the real nature of free speech absolutism.

I will go into the problem of free speech absolutism in a fuller sense later, just as I have in the past. For now, since the topic is politics, the big problem with it there is that it empowers lies and when that's done, it gives lies an advantage over the truth, especially when that truth is inconvenient to those with the most money and power.   The fetish of even-handedness, and "fairness to all points of view" that comes with the pose have been decisive in giving us some of the worst presidents and congresses in the history of the country.

I am convinced that that line of junk had two sources, the higher end publishing and media industries that wanted to make lots of money out of the lucrative trade in legalized porn, soft to harder and the Marxists who harbored fevered dreams of entering the mainstream of American politics, leading to revolution and their inevitable and dialectic determined rule in the United States.  There was no rational probability that, especially with the example of what Marxism meant in practice in the Soviet Union, its occupied states in Eastern Europe, China and elsewhere that it would be imposed here through the truth of it being told.

There has always been something massively ironic about the whining and complaining about violations of free speech, free press, free association, etc. made by American Communists, the Soviet sponsored ones or the Maoists, in that the systems and countries and dictators they looked to as models were entirely more ruthless violators of all of those rights than HUAC or red-channels ever dreamed of being.  As it turned out, bad as it could get at times in the United States, they had more freedom to advocate for some of the most massive violators of the Bill of Rights freedoms than the U.S. government ever attempted.  Even the awful eugenicist and arch conservative so often falsely presented as a liberal, Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. supported their right to advocate violent revolution from the bench of the Supreme Court, he thought that advocating the violent overthrow of the government was a higher right than a woman to her bodily integrity and her right to control her own fertility.

Well, guess which side won from the con job.   It turned out that when there was "more speech" the oligarchs used that "more speech" to sink the Marxists and not only them, but the real, equality, justice and economic justice left.  Though sinking Marxism might be seen as a service to the country it was not on behalf of democracy, that real alternative to the red-fascism that Marxism turns into in the real world, it was on behalf of market fascism in which the oligarchs own the market and so the country.  And porn was not only compatible with that, it was massively profitable and had the gratifying effect of training people to see other people and themselves as objects and commodities. Porn fits right into the explicitly vulgar, non-idealized, materialism of the right even more so than it does the pseudo-scientific materialism of Marxism.

Now, I wouldn't credit someone like Hentoff with having anything so developed as a sense of who his free speech absolutism was serving, for a hack writer like him it was merely a shtick, a vehicle of leftish puritan self-righteousness, something to gain esteem through as he posed as a significant figure on the left, something to scribble columnage about between his endless repetitions about that TV show he produced with Billie Holiday and Lester Young and you know.  The way he went on about that you'd think he put every note in her mouth.  Like virtually all columnists I don't think it was ever anymore than that to him and, since he was part of the media, it was a safe thing for him to write about because the publications that paid him made money off of  the sex industry as well.  The Village Voice certainly did.

And now that the Village Voice dumped him in his senectitude rectitude, he found his natural element as an intellectual prostitute at the Koch financed Cato Institute.   That speaks more eloquently as to his real character than any mere freely spoken words would.

Before They Can Bury Me

Overdid it in the garden last night, need more sleep.  Will post later.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bartók - String quartet n°2 - Végh Quartet: 1954

I. Moderato
II. Allegro molto capriccioso
III. Lento

Sándor Végh, violin
Sándor Zöldy, violin
Georges Janzer, viola
Paul Szabó, cello

Andrew Hill - Compulsion

Andrew Hill - piano
Freddie Hubbard - trumpet, flugelhorn
John Gilmore - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Cecil McBee - bass
Joe Chambers - drums
Renaud Simmons - conga, percussion
Nadi Qamar - percussion, African drums, thumb piano

Tell Me How Gary Johnson Isn't Like Herman Cain

I think this qualifies as a ten-foot poll that you don't want to come into contact with.

They'll Never Ever Produce A Single Law Or Policy That Makes Anyone's Life Better

On the Bernie or Busters, PUMA 2016, reaction to Elizabeth Warren's endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Play lefties should be issued with Che Guevara paper dolls and be allowed to go play Daddy and Mommy of the Revolution in their own corner and ignored.

Bernie Sanders will almost certainly leave the Busters to their play time and story telling, before or after the convention, just as Hillary Clinton asked the PUMAs to can it. 

Hate Update:  The HIGH POINT of Sanders' campaign was when he said that no one cared about Hillary Clinton's e-mails, it stands as his finest hour. And his own supporters didn't follow him on that, see what a leader he is?

You Owe It To Yourself To Listen or Relisten to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Speech Yesterday To The ACS Convention 2016

As Hillary Clinton said, Elizabeth Warren is eminently qualified for any position in public life. I can't decide whether or not I want her to stay in the Senate, be Vice President or a member of the Supreme Court.   Right now she has an even higher position, FIRST TRUTH TELLER, THE BULWARK STANDING AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN-FASCIST-STRONG-MAN TRUMPIAN TIDE. 

Here is here speech yesterday at the American Constitution Society

Read This And You Will See Why The Idea Of A President Trump Should Terrify You

Maybe it should be a rule, that if you want to understand something you listen to Barney Frank.  I hadn't read the article-interview by Jeffrey Goldberg, The Obama Doctrine, in the Atlantic Barney frank cited to speak of Barack Obama in such glowing terms,  So I read it, or, since it is so full of information, am rereading it for the second time.  It is, beyond doubt, the best article I've ever read on Barack Obama in the entire period since he first came to prominence.   And while I have serious misgivings about aspects of Barack Obama as president.* it does make me glad that we have someone who is a deep and serious thinker in that office, one who is not wedded to any DC insider point of view or the foreign-military policy and, especially, the DC think tank establishment.  That establishment, often in the employ of foreign powers whose narrow interests they promote, often the interests of some pretty awful dictatorial regimes, certainly not the welfare of even their own People or, more certainly, the welfare of The People of the United States.   I may, in days to come, go over some specific things in it.

I would certainly encourage everyone to read the first long section of the article which deals with one of the most controversial things Barack Obama did in foreign-military policy, ignoring his own "red line" on the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria, or so it seemed at the time and not launching the promised attacks.

Barack Obama taking the heat for reconsidering both the information on which he drew that line and having the character to take a personal hit to his own reputation in order to save the United States and, no doubt, many other people in Syria and elsewhere, standing up to the think tank establishment, the military, foreign governments and the American media establishment is a real profile in courage of the kind they don't give out medals for in establishment-celebrity studded events as covered by C-Span.

Here is where that long discussion of Barack Obama's decision to not launch the threatened attacks on Syria ends up.

John Kerry today expresses no patience for those who argue, as he himself once did, that Obama should have bombed Assad-regime sites in order to buttress America’s deterrent capability. “You’d still have the weapons there, and you’d probably be fighting isil” for control of the weapons, he said, referring to the Islamic State, the terror group also known as isis. “It just doesn’t make sense. But I can’t deny to you that this notion about the red line being crossed and [Obama’s] not doing anything gained a life of its own.”

Obama understands that the decision he made to step back from air strikes, and to allow the violation of a red line he himself had drawn to go unpunished, will be interrogated mercilessly by historians. But today that decision is a source of deep satisfaction for him.

“I’m very proud of this moment,” he told me. “The overwhelming weight of conventional wisdom and the machinery of our national-security apparatus had gone fairly far. The perception was that my credibility was at stake, that America’s credibility was at stake. And so for me to press the pause button at that moment, I knew, would cost me politically. And the fact that I was able to pull back from the immediate pressures and think through in my own mind what was in America’s interest, not only with respect to Syria but also with respect to our democracy, was as tough a decision as I’ve made—and I believe ultimately it was the right decision to make.”

This was the moment the president believes he finally broke with what he calls, derisively, the “Washington playbook.”

“Where am I controversial? When it comes to the use of military power,” he said. “That is the source of the controversy. There’s a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow. It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses. Where America is directly threatened, the playbook works. But the playbook can also be a trap that can lead to bad decisions. In the midst of an international challenge like Syria, you get judged harshly if you don’t follow the playbook, even if there are good reasons why it does not apply.”

Reading how he got there makes any reservations I had for voting him over John McCain or Mitt Romney instead of throwing my vote away on some facilely lefty spouting idiot who will never have to face those kinds of decisions, play-lefty candidates such as Jill Stein disappear.  All American presidents are going to do lots of things that are awful, many that will be outrageous.  Even as he is slammed by those who cling to the "Washington playbook" and the moronic media who merely dump into the "news stream" whatever those on their speed-dial tell them, he is also slammed for things such as his use of drones in Yemen.  It is a guarantee that an American president is going to use military intervention and technology, if Bernie Sanders were elected, he would.   So would Jill Stein if she were elected.

And so will Donald Trump if he is elected.  Read Goldberg's article and consider the ignorance, the bullying bellicosity, the reality TV non-thinking, the thinking-with-his-gonads macho posturing of Donald Trump and what that would mean for the United States and the world.  Oh, yes, and don't forget to include Donald Trump's massive racism and ignorance of Muslims.   The same racism that got us involved in some of the worst military disasters in our history when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were handed the presidency by the Supreme Court and the American media.   The prospect of him being president is as terrifying as having Sarah Palin one of John McCain's heartbeats away from the presidency.

The Republicans and the American media have dumbed everything down to the point where a president as impetuously insane as any of the worst of the Julio-Claudian emperors has a real chance of being President of the United States.  We have already had George W. Bush, and, really, Dick Cheney to pave the way to that, a choice imposed by the Supreme Court and the media.  And they do so in opposition to a president of the character of Barack Obama, a president who they have undermined and attacked - not least of all on the basis of his race.   Yesterday I talked about the media machine that has attacked Hillary Clinton in relation to its attacks on the Kennedys, they have also amplified every lie, from his birth certificate to his academic record to alleged associations to Bill Ayers.   That media created Donald Trump and the forces that put him within reach of the White House.  If the country makes the disastrous choice of Donald Trump after Barack Obama, it will be the American media that has produced that catastrophic mistake.

It is the emblematic free-speech absolutist, Nat Hentoff's 91th birthday today, a man who might serve as a poster boy for the idiocy of both the establishment media and the pseudo-lefty media.   A man who is working under the Cato Institute these days,  writing stupid pieces such as one calling for Barack Obama's Nobel for Peace to be withdrawn.  Well, giving a peace prize to any American president or any other politician is going to generate ironies.  I'm not convinced that the Nobel committee which did that was doing Obama any favors by doing it.  But this article shows that if he had not deserved a Peace Prize for any other reason, Obama did for what he did in the hit to his reputation  he took for making a better decision in this matter.

I am also happy to vote for Hillary Clinton, who, though criticized in the course of the article has, I'm sure, learned a lot from this little discussed event. I would rather take a chance on someone who knows what happened, intimately, than someone who spent the same period chatting on cabloid talk-shows and working in "reality" TV.

Post Script:  As I'm re-reading this I'm hearing NPR interviewing Bob Dole on his endorsement of that reality TV star. He is giving his reason as his loyalty to the Republican Party.  And Bob Dole is held up by the DC media and establishment as the most credible of voices.  And he's endorsing Donald Trump. Yeah, I'm glad Bill Clinton won in 1996 and that Jimmy Carter won in 1976, as well. The Republican Party and its media wing - pretty much the entire electronic media - is the vehicle for imperial decadence in 2016.

*  Anyone who doesn't have misgivings about anyone who has been or will be President of the United States is being willfully blind or are too superficial or stupid to have an important opinion about them.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Béla Bartók - String Quartet No. 1 in A minor - Takács Quartet

Edward Dusinberre, violin
Károly Schranz, violin
Geraldine Walther, viola
András Fejér, cello

1. Lento
2. Poco a poco accelerando all'allegretto
3, Introduzione: Allegro vivace

I listened to several of them and decided to post all of the Bartok String Quartets.

Don't Call It "The Grand Bargain" Call It "The Real Deal" or Isn't This More Important Than What The Friggin' Unreadable and Unread Party Platform Is Going to Say?

Rereading that Slate interview with Barney Frank, I noticed this passage.

How do you feel about Obama’s presidency, looking back?

Well I’m on the whole supportive. I will tell you this, I am now ecstatic about his interview with Jeff Goldberg from the Atlantic. That is the most thoughtful presidential statement on a major issue I’ve seen in a very long time.

The one thing that disappoints me is on trade. I think he bought into the orthodoxy that says trade is good for everybody. What he should have said is, “here’s the deal I will support for trade, I want fast track, but only as part of a package which would raise the minimum wage and re-energize unions and restore the legal rights of unions, and do a massive construction program.” That was a fundamental error, and I don’t understand why he didn’t do that, and why he gives Republicans what they want without demanding things. Other than that I think he’s been very good.

Which reminded me of Barney Frank, ten years ago, in the face of Democrats winning back the House, proposed making a deal, that before business got SOME of what it wanted, liberals were going to have to get some of our agenda passed, FIRST.   He mentioned much of what he mentioned this year as well as universal healthcare.

I remember being both intrigued with Frank's proposal in 2006 as well as a little skeptical. I wrote a blog post about it.   Intrigued because, as long as we went first in getting what we wanted before giving them SOME of what they wanted, we might get more of what we wanted than we had been used to getting.  Skeptical, probably because we'd gotten so used to getting nothing and, as orthodox leftist puritans, discounting whatever we had already gotten.

The radio show, Open Source, had an interview with Barney Frank at the time, followed by a discussion between the host Christopher Lydon, the Berkeley economist Brad DeLong, Jeff Faux of the Economic Policy Institute and the Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker.   I just listened to it again, after ten years, and an fascinated by both that idea and the analysis of why the Bill Clinton administration hadn't gotten what it wanted to get done through making the huge error of letting them get NAFTA without, first, getting what they wanted and what we wanted.  Of course, in 2006 Barack Obama didn't even figure into the discussion, though there is the fascinating point made that the House elected in 2006 was, in fact, the most liberal congress since the days of FDR and that having that congress, which Bill Clinton didn't have, would make passing some kind of national health care possible in the future.  Which turned out to be true.   It makes you wonder what a similar hand given to Hillary Clinton, either in 2016 or 2020 might pass.

It could be that Hillary Clinton, having 20 years of experience to learn from, will be the one to make good on the promise that Bill Clinton couldn't.  I doubt she will have not learned anything, if there is one thing that is obvious it's that she's generally the smartest person in any room she happens to be in. Look at her grillings before Congressional committees if you want proof of that.

And if there is someone I'd take seriously on that possibility, it's Barney Frank whose real bargain is still an idea worth bringing into the discussion.  You won't get the ideological puritans of the Sanders camp and the lefty magazines supporting it because it isn't pure enough, you might get a majority of real people in the real world where real people live supporting it because they're the ones who will have the biggest stake in it.

Here is the archived program.

Public Service Announcement

I finally went to the clinic to ask about the lingering effects of the sunstroke I stupidly, idiotically, gave myself over the weekend.  They said that, yes, I'm still paying the price of that stupidity.  I still can expect to feel the effects of it for a while yet. 

I had never had sunstroke before, not in decades of gardening in the rocky soils of Maine hill country. From the description of the symptoms,  I could have died from it.  Really, died, last Saturday.   Seriously elevated temperature, cessation of perspiration, etc.  

Though it can happen at any age, being old is a risk factor and I'm old enough to fall into the high risk category.  And you can't just go on what you're feeling.  I just thought I was tired from hard work.   Believe me, I had no idea it was happening until my brother just happened to come by and expressed shock at my appearance.  He talked me into going inside and until I was cooled down a little instead of finishing what I was working on.  While sitting in front of a fan with cold water on me, I looked it up on medical websites, I had no idea that's what was happening.  You really want to be more aware of it than I was and protect yourself because if the sunstroke doesn't kill you the aftereffects really are awful.   If I'd died the vegetables wouldn't have done me any good. 

I'm also pretty amazed at how many people asked me if I was wearing sun screen, believing that's some kind of protection. It's irrelevant to the condition.  I was covered in it and I was wearing a broad brimmed sun hat that pretty well shaded my whole upper body.  It's the heat that'll kill you that way, sun screen won't do anything but keep you from being a sunburned corpse.  

Does The Left Ever Need New Journalists And Responsible Publishers

Joel Bleifuss the editor and publisher of In These Times is really big on Bernie Sanders "raising hell" at the Democratic Convention.   And he's really big on Bernie Sanders acting as vindictively against his critics as he wants to be, no matter how petty.   In one of the most outrageous of those instances, he gives an excuse for him going after Barney Frank because Frank has been a critic of Bernie Sanders.  The extent to which Bliefuss goes to make his case is quite ridiculous.

Unfortunately, relations between Sanders and the party elites again soured when Wasserman Schultz rejected Sanders’ petition to, among other things, replace Clinton partisan Barney Frank as the co-chair of the DNC’s Standing Rules Committee, the all-important body that decides how the convention will be conducted. For instance, will the names of the delegates and how they voted be tallied for the public record? 

Well, first, for Sanders who was too stuck-up to join the Democratic Party until he decided he deserved its nomination for president, at the age of 74, to call for the ousting of one of the most prominent and most liberal of our office holders - who has been an active Democrat his entire life - is pretty outrageous.  And it's outrageous raised to the fifth power for him to try to take over the Rules Committee as his surrogates and supporters are threatening it with Trumpian style disruption at the convention if he doesn't get his way.  Especially after what happened in Nevada.  Apparently such people are nostalgic for Chicago 1968, the year that gave us Nixon and the beginning of the end for the American left.   Bleifuss is an idiot or a spoiled brat if he thinks any responsible person would just cave in to that demand.  I really don't like Debbie Wasserman Schultz but I'd never give in to Sanders on that, either.

His argument gets even stupider.

Recall the 2012 convention, when it took three voice votes before the addled convention floor chair, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, decided the loudest cohort were those who endorsed the AIPAC-supported vision of an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A roll-call vote would have put the superdelegates, many of them elected office holders, on the record. 

Un, no I don't remember that and I was paying attention.  And I doubt anyone else does but the kind of incredibly petty and picayune kind of lefty who would hold a grudge over some meaningless procedure over some meaningless, sub-symbolic act at some meeting that never had a single result in real life, the kind of guy who cherishes that kind of event because they keep it ready to pull out when they've got nothin' to make an argument from.  Who in the world cares what the 2012 convention did about "an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel"?   But to use that as an argument for caving into Bernie Sanders score settling to mount a prelude to a food fight is about as stupid a thing as I've read this year.

Apparently, the great affront - or at least the excuse for one - that Sanders took is over a remark Frank made in a well-circulated interview with Slate.

Do you think she should release her Wall Street speeches?

- Yeah, but I don’t think anybody is really against her because she won’t. By the way, I think Sanders has been outrageously McCarthyite on that.


- Yes, I saw one commercial that said the big companies weren’t punished. Why? Well, maybe it’s because Hillary is getting speaking fees. So the secretary of state should have been indicting people? I mean, yes, McCarthyite in the sense that it’s guilt by association. He complains about what she did with regards to all this money stuff. Where’s the beef of that?


- What Sanders basically says is, “They’re trying to bribe you.” Well what do they get for money? He shows nothing.

Um.... a bit strong of a word to use, perhaps,  "McCarthyite"?  But, actually,  Barney Frank's point is valid.  If you're going to accuse someone of being corrupted, of having your acts in public office influenced by a payment YOU'VE GOT TO SHOW WHAT WAS GIVEN FOR THE MONEY.   Sanders hasn't done that and neither have his surrogates or anyone else.  So, yes, to make that accusation without doing that is reminiscent of the Senator from Wisconsin's MO.   It is, exactly, the kind of thing that has been part of the McCarthyite campaign of innuendo and outright and outrageous lies made against Hillary Clinton for decades.   Maybe, considering it's the former member delegate to the Socialist Workers Party (is that the only party he'd ever been a member of before last year?) who is practicing that tactic, what he did would be more appropriately called "Trotskyite" or, the equivalent, "Stalinist" because it was universally practiced among those guys, the use of innuendo instead of fact to attack an opponent.  The "far left" of which Sanders has been a part is really not much different from the far right in some basic practices.

The behavior of the lefty magazines this year is really amazingly irresponsible, as I will never stop to point out, with the memories of Bush II -Cheney regime fresh in our memory.  And not just this year, I've been reading this kind of stuff in the same magazines since before 1968.  And nothing, nothing at all has taught them to do any better than this.   As well as needing a new left, we need a rational and responsible lefty media and we are plum out of those.   Cenk Uygur ain't it.

Remember This When You Hear Them Talk Abouti Hillary Clinton Expecting A "Coronation"

Joe Sopel of the BBC in a rather silly piece about Rolling Thunder bikers over the Memorial Day weekend asked why Americans have the choice between two candidates with huge negative polling numbers.  A better question to ask is the non-question of how Hillary Clinton became so hated and despised.  It's a non-question because Hillary Clinton has been the focus of one of the longest hate campaigns, mounted by the Republican Party, billionaire and millionaire fascists,  hate-talk radio and cabloid media,.... even the psudo-liberal New York Times which has regularly carried the Hillary hatred of such envious nonentities as Maureen Dowd and fabricated stories from Matt Apuzzo, Michael Schmidt and encouraged by editors such as Matt Purdy.  

The great uncovered story of Hillary Clinton isn't that a lot of people bought the decades of lies and slanders and libels, it's that such an effort has been made, largely with the tacit permission of most of the free press.  The fact is that the New York Times, other publications, right and alleged left, all of the networks have been in on it at one time or anther.  The techniques used to go after the Kennedy family were focused on Hillary Clinton like they seldom were on Ted Kennedy, and with Hillary Clinton giving them far less to work with.  It's not that the sources of the lies, even those who fund the liars is unknown, it has been a blatant campaign of character assassination WITH THE APPROVAL AND EVEN PARTICIPATION OF THE GREAT AMERICAN MEDIA.

If Hillary Clinton becomes president there will have to be a huge amount of anger that enough people saw through that decades long effort and elected the most vetted candidate in the history of the United States, vetted by decades of the most expensive and elaborate campaign of character assassination in the history of the country.  I have to wonder if journalists don't feel some rage that so many people will vote for her without the permission of the so-called news media.

If she manages to have a successful administration she will have endured what will, no doubt, be a regime of attack that makes that mounted against the Kennedy's look like a joke.   Which would, actually, be good news about the American People, though nothing much to congratulate ourselves on.  Such narrow misses aren't something we can count on, and it might not happen this time.   That the media is in the hands of people who will, at the high end, publish lies about liberal politicians on behalf of what has devolved into a blatantly fascist party and the fascist billionaires who fund and own it is the other side of that.

And that's just what she's gotten from the right and the pseudo-liberal corporate media.

If Bernie Sanders, personally, hasn't gone the same route, his surrogates and supporters both among the crowds, the comment thread babblers, the bloggers and practically the entire lefty media, from Cenk Uygur to the magazines have sounded pretty much like Republican hate-talk radio on the topic of Hillary Clinton.   I haven't seen Sanders do anything substantial about getting them to reign it in, even now when it's clear she won the nomination.

I can't help but think a lot of  it comes from the fact that Hillary Clinton is a woman who stands a chance to hold one of the most powerful offices in the world.   Another story is that that upsets a lot of alleged lefties about as much as it does the Republican-fascists.   And I do accuse them of misogyny,  they have held Hillary Clinton up to a standard they have never held a male politician up to.  The real scandal is that it's clear that a woman who aspires to the presidency, at least when she is a Democrat must be infinitely more prepared, infinitely more tested than a man.  Bernie Sanders has never been held to the same standards as Hillary Clinton by any of the media, far right to allegedly far left.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Andrew Hill - The Day After

Andrew Hill, piano
Richard Davis - Eddie Kahn, bass
Roy Haynes, drums

Hate Mail - I Cherish The Qualities Of My Detractors And It Isn't Because They're Very High Qualities

I make no apologies for being a blogger who, in a given week will post Andrew Hill, Bela Bartok, Doris Day and The Headstones.   All of the things I post are things I like.   

I also make no apologies for being a blogger who posts Walter Bruggemann and Samantha Bee in the same week.   If you bothered to listen, you'd find out they're not far apart.  

No More Unrealistic Leftist Idols After This

For anyone who doesn't think that one of the bigger losers in the Bernie Sanders campaign was the reputation of Bernie Sanders, this article on Politico is pretty devastating.   It paints him as the one making all of the worst decisions of the past several months, with input from Jane Sanders and Jeff Weaver.   Some of the low lights:

It was the Vermont senator who personally rewrote his campaign manager’s shorter statement after the chaos at the Nevada state party convention and blamed the political establishment for inciting the violence.

He was the one who made the choice to go after Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz after his wife read him a transcript of her blasting him on television.

He chose the knife fight over calling Clinton unqualified, which aides blame for pulling the bottom out of any hopes they had of winning in New York and their last real chance of turning a losing primary run around. 

And when Jimmy Kimmel’s producers asked Sanders’ campaign for a question to ask Donald Trump, Sanders himself wrote the one challenging the Republican nominee to a debate.

That last one is just incredible, it was such a bad idea that I'd figured it had been ad libbed by Kimmel and I figured he must have thought it was a dumb idea as soon as said it.  For a long time politician to have done that is just amazingly shocking.   And the rest are pretty shocking too.

No one of any maturity should hold such an elevated picture of any politician in their minds as many of us held up of Bernie Sanders, there are many things about even the most honorable career in politics that will be compromises with principles and even morals.   And it's a stupid politician who promotes that kind of view of himself because no one can sustain it.  Those who came close, people like John Lewis, Shirley Chisholm,  Paul Wellstone are rare and they generally don't make it as high as the Senate or an executive office.   Politicians are like policemen in that they are hired to do a lot of the dirty work that needs to get done and who, all too often, are either morally compromised to start with or they become so.   Bernie Sanders has traded in the super-hero business, having been elevated to that status by the lefty magazines and the few narrow cast and broader cast media celebrities of the left.  Well, I used to buy a lot of that right up until early this spring.  It's not Sanders fault, exactly, that a lot of us wanted him to be a lot better than we had any rational expectation of him being.  He's not to blame for us not looking closer at a man we wanted to be the PR Bernie Sanders.  It is his fault for falling far shorter of that image than he needed to in this nomination fight.
No more idols on the left, no more heroes on the basis of cover up, not after 2016.  The secular Puritans who are such a big part of the Bernie Sanders dead-enders would be the first to claim they don't do that kind of thing.   Well, Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and several cycles after that,  Ted Kennedy in 1980 (despite his known flaws, especially as compared with Jimmy Carter) Ralph Nader in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and now Bernie Sanders in 2016.   The secular left would seem to be a henotheistic religion, elevating one god-figure after another, for all of its atheism.

More political realism.  Less absurd hagiography.   If Sanders doesn't pull it all down and gets Trump elected, it may turn out that he is the biggest loser in his run for the nomination.  If his run results in Trump winning, the world will be the biggest loser.

End of Nomination Season Round Up With Suggestions For Avoiding The Same Old Mess Next Time

So, let's go over some of what we've learned from this nomination battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, now that it's clear that Hillary Clinton has won, at least that's clear to everyone but Bernie Sanders, his paid consultants who will delude him into thinking otherwise and those Bernie Sanders supporters who were never really Democrats and never intended to stay Democrats.

First, though, you have to go outside of the Democratic Party to observe something that Samantha Bee pointed out several weeks ago, Republicans who are merely evil and not insane are probably wishing they had the rules the Democrats did, with proportional allocation of delegates and super delegates to rescue their party from a fit of insanity among those who vote in their primaries and caucuses.  Donald Trump is a nightmare of a candidate, the past week has shown exactly how dangerous he is.  Barring some catastrophic event that removes him as their nominee sometime between now and the election, the mass defection of the racists and fascists who gave him the nomination or some gargantuan buying him off, the man who is trying to PUBLICLY INTIMIDATE A JUDGE who is overseeing a lawsuit of one of Trumps many shady business deals, one which literally robbed the poor, single mothers, etc, IS THE MAN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS STUCK WITH.

The Super Delegates were a patch job on a seriously broken system that produced terrible Republican presidents.  It produced Republican presidents by giving the Democratic Party weak candidates who couldn't win elections.  That seriously broken system is still with us.  It hasn't been fixed.   If it takes something as unpalatable as the super delegate system to protect the party from the media induced insanity that produces a candidate like Trump, it looks like a protection of democracy, not a violation of it.   Democracy can only exist within the ambient conditions found in any society at any given time.  As pointed out here yesterday, the same corporate media that created Trump has the power to incite a rate of insanity in the American People sufficient to produce fascism.   Our media has shown that it is entirely capable of producing a Trump, it hasn't shown that it is so much a willing to fight against one.

As Bernie Sanders is going to find out to his frustration, the super delegates in the Democratic Party are not going to go against the will of the majority of Democrats who voted in the nomination process to impose him on them.  They aren't going to abandon a rational and mainstream candidate who has the majority of the votes and pledged delegates, not because he thinks he's just wonderful, something even I used to think about him.

Within the Democratic Party, the candidacy of Bernie Sanders is a two-edged sword, on the one hand it showed that a large number of voters don't like the economic policies that produce terrible inequality, which send jobs to slave wage countries run by fascist elites and produce a falling level of life here.  They don't agree that free trade and loosely regulated financial and other institutions are good for the majority.  In short, they don't agree with much of the stuff that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have done in such matters and their dissatisfaction with the results of Democrats following corporate and oligarchic economic theories is a serious force to be taken seriously.   If Hillary Clinton is as smart as I think she is, she will not appoint people to such positions who will blithely continue such policies.  The Geithners and Summers branch of economics and finance won't be appointed to continue those policies if she wants to have the support of liberals in both the off-term election and in 2020.  

As important, she shouldn't go to the same old Ivy League trough to get an Attorney General, especially one who is thoroughly invested in the idea that there is something immoral about sending millionaires and even billionaires to jail for stealing their fortunes.   Eric Holder and the like should never be allowed to decide on whether or not to prosecute such crooks who are part of their milieu.  THERE SHOULD BE NO TOO BIG TO JAIL POLICY IN THE SO-CALLED JUSTICE DEPARTMENT EVER AGAIN.  Not under any Democratic president. 

I will grant that Bernie Sanders has, actually, proven that there are a large number of potential Democratic voters who are fed up with things such as those.  Which is just great, which is what his campaign should have been about.   If he had stuck to that he would leave this behind him with full honors and full credibility intact, more respected and respectable than he entered it.  

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders and his efforts to rig the system in his favor show up some terrible features of our nominations process, and not in the ways he would identify those.  There must be reform of the election system,  Within the Democratic Party there should be a rule adopted that bans vote suppressing caucuses.  Last night in North Dakota the results were decided by a  whopping total of 354 voters showing up to caucuses, if the numbers I read are accurate.  354.  And the fact is that in states that choose delegates by caucus had a minuscule turnout as compared to those which use a primary system.   And along with that, there should be no more of this ridiculous Nevada style multi-convention nonsense, the kind of crap that comes with caucuses.  The Bernie Sanders wing that is, actually, part of the Democratic Party should certainly not have any legitimate objection to a reform that would get rid of the most anti-democratic part of the nominations process.

And open primaries should be abolished.  There must be a rule and a policy that protects the party from non-Democrats who want to screw around with the Democratic Party's nomination system. Lots of those either voted in open primaries for him or they temporarily declared themselves Deocrats to do so, even as they openly declared their hostility to the party and their intention to not remain Democrats.  Open primaries, actual or de facto,  allow people with no commitment or loyalty to the Democratic Party or its goals to distort the process to produce a less acceptable candidate.   I will bet you that there are Republicans who regret such as those who helped give Donald Trump the nomination of their party.  Though, the Republican Party is so corrupt with every vice that is alleged to corrupt the Democratic Party that they've internalized the criminally insane within it.  Among Republicans in a position to make such decisions it's a choice between the rational criminals and the criminally insane who might lose an election, not for any higher ideals.

Bernie Sanders says he will stay in the race until the convention, though he's laying off paid staff.  If he doesn't include Tad Devine in the lay-offs, it shows that he's too green to be doing this.   I suspect that he will still play a role as a spoiler inside the party, at this point he'll have to convince me that he isn't intent on doing that.  Of all the things I've learned in the past year, it is that Bernie Sanders is a lot less than his PR image led me to believe in the past.  And that he has some seriously disturbing writings and a few shady items in his past that I'd never heard of before.  Just as all white knights promoted by the lefty media, he's merely human and a pretty much untested one, at that.  He had a minor, but important role in the Senate but who was quite unsuited to be president or even to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate.  At this point, his continued presence as a candidate can only serve to cause problems for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party and to further diminish himself and his role in politics.  Within a week his continued presence will do both.  Count on it.  Some way has to be found to protect the nomination process from something like this happening, again.

Getting rid of the caucuses is the first and maybe even the sufficient means of doing that, though you won't prevent the New Hampshire primary from playing its unique role in elevating weak or even bad candidates to prominence by getting rid of the caucuses.  New Hampshire has a bad track record of promoting weak candidates, especially when those come from neighboring states.  It is ridiculous that California,  the largest state with one of the most diverse and characteristic populations of Democrats should come dead last when one as small and atypically white as New Hampshire comes first.   That might work for Republicans, it certainly hasn't been a reliably wise choice for Democrats.  If Hillary Clinton is a strong enough president that 2020 would be the year to do it, break the stranglehold that Iowa and New Hampshire have on first in the nation status.  Refuse to seat their delegations if they won't cooperate.  The Democratic Party doesn't owe Bill Gardner, the Secretary of State in New Hampshire, his vain conceit of keeping New Hampshire in the position it has had way too long.   The whole calendar needs to be rearranged and tightened.  I would favor a rotating system of which states come first, emphasizing those which are more representative of the Democratic base. New Hampshire and Iowa should come last next time, they've had way too much attention for too may election cycles as it is.

I don't expect any of this to happen, but it should.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bartók - String quartet n°5 - Juilliard I 1949

Robert Mann - Robert Koff, violins
Raphael Hillyer, viola
Arthur Winograd, cello

I believe that Robert Mann is still with us from what I can gather online, the rest have, I believe, gone on.

I love all six of the Bartok Quartets but this is my favorite. This is a particularly intense performance by the first configuration of the Julliard Quartet.   The second movement is particularly wonderful.


Simps has a boy-crush on Clint.  Oh, wait, I've spoiled your lunch with that image, haven't I. Sorry.  

Update:  G. B. Shaw was a Fabian asshole who advocated what the Nazis did decades before the Nazis did it and his fellow Fabians didn't see much wrong with it.   Really, mass murders in gas chambers.   I find that I can't find him amusing anymore because I read too much of what he had to say.   Thornton Wilder was funnier. 

Update 2:  Well, for a guy who thought "Shakespeare in Love" was a bio pic, it's no surprise to find out he thinks Shaw wrote My Fair Lady.  Um, Simps, Lerner and Loewe?   And here you think you're Mr. Broadway.  I'll bet you don't even know they changed the ending to make it more box office friendly.

Update 3:  So obvious that even the Telegraph got it:

In his lifetime, Shaw had resolutely rejected any attempt to turn Pygmalion into a musical. In 1921 he learned that Franz Lehár was basing an operetta on the play, and fired off a salvo warning the composer not to infringe his copyright. Shaw insisted that Pygmalion possessed its own verbal music, but he must also have been wary of the conventions of musical comedy which would demand a romantic union at the conclusion.

This was precisely the scenario that was eventually used in My Fair Lady. Eliza returns to find Higgins in his study, disconsolately listening to her voice on his recording machine. ‘If he could but let himself’, the stage directions read, ‘he would run to her.’ Instead, he leans back and says softly, ‘Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?’

This is a crowd-pleasing travesty of the original, which defies the story’s own internal logic. Higgins has produced a woman with a soul to call her own. Initially, he deprived Eliza of her independence as a flower seller, and in effect enslaved her. But by the end, Eliza has the power to exist without Higgins. Why should we wish her to stay with him, as his perpetual slipper-carrier? Eliza, as Shaw never ceased trying to explain, should be well shot of him.

I rather like Pauline Kael's comment that the movie was, "Rotting on the screen".  

As it is, Shaw, himself, probably predicting the eventual bastardization of his story by musical comedy wrote about what happened to the characters, Eliza, Freddy, Higgins, and, most interestingly, Freddy's sister Clara.  But I'll let Simps NOT read that.  

I wrote a post about it way back when I was writing for Echidne's blog.  But that was back before I read many of Shaw's Fabian writings advocating things like mass extermination of those he figured weren't worthy of life, pretty much like the Nazis only with a slightly different list.  Of course they agreed on the disabled being offed, the pseudo-left is really not that much different from the all too real far right. 

Update 4:  Oh, and what a shocker, Simps figures he's more of an authority on Shaw than Shaw was.  I think he must have read something about it in the Village Voice or something.  

OK, he's bored me now.  Back in the box with him. 

Andrew Hill - Verona Rag

Samantha Bee, The Most Important Voice In American News 2016, Points Out Why The Media And Republicans Will Support Trump Fascism

Update:  I didn't know where to put this but:

Earl Cletus • 21 hours ago
I think Trump is helping to fund Bernie and maybe he'll pick him for the Veep slot?

Anthony_McCarthy  Earl Cletus • in 2 minutes
I wouldn't be surprised if the first were true, the second, not in a jillion years would the Republicans put even a mild socialist a heartbeat away from the presidency, especially while Trump is 70 and looks like the mortician's makup person did the job on acid.

TV Has Informed The American Tumble Into Trumpery Not Christianity Not Even Conservative Evangelical Religion

The Washington Post published a number of charts that make my point.

Here's now many MINUTES. not hours, but minutes the average American spends in "religious activities, including going to church.


Here's how many HOURS they spend watching TV per day


In their graphs, the only other activity measured in hours is sleeping.   They don't even bother to give a chart for how much time Americans spend in reading.  My guess would be that if they distinguished between reading fiction, most of it crap fiction, and reading good reporting or scholarship per day the minutes spent informing themselves instead of entertaining themselves would be about the same as they are for religion.

There is a mystification among the media babblers about how evangelicals can vote for a man of such flagrant immorality, a multi-married, multi-mistressed, gambling tycoon and all around total sleaze, as Donald Trump.  The fact is that people who declare themselves as the kinds of evangelicals who are so interested in other poeples' sex lives are as much devoted to the idol of the screen as anyone.   It is clear that for many of them, what they see on TV is far more influential on their voting and thinking than what's in the Bible.   It's not as if Ted Cruz, the alleged hero of the Evangelicals wasn't a TV era phony as much as Trump is.  If they were serious about The Bible they'd vote for someone who championed feeding the hungry, doing justice to the widow and orphan and loving the alien as one of their own community.   Their "christianity" is the as seen on TV variety just as their notions of justice are more informed by horse and cop operas than it is The Bible.

Update;  RMJ has an excellent post up with a long, revealing  passage from Dickens about American exceptionalism.  He relates it to Bernie Sanders in a way I hadn't considered before.   There is a faith in leftist exceptionalism which is as delusional as American exceptionalism which explains how leftists are both amazed when people don't just agree with them - the self-appointed always correct side - and how they can't believe it when people, over and over and over again, don't agree with them. Or as they see it, fail to agree with them.

Children aged 2-11 watch over 24 hours of TV per week, while adults aged 35-49 watch more than 33 hours, according to data from Nielsen that suggests TV time increases the older we get. The average American watches more than five hours of live television every day.

Daily News

How many do they spend in school or church?

No, I was just bored yesterday.  I knew as soon as I dissed an official, critically consecrated, financially canonized movie God like His Clintness that it would set off the Eschatots.   There is nothing they are such huge suckers for as entertainment figures who are officially deemed to be great artistes and not to be held vulnerable to moral and intellectual scrutiny.

If the NY media had deemed Leni Riefenstahl a great artiste in the way it has Clint it would be verboten to mention those little facts about her promoting Hitler and Nazism just as it's forbidden to note that the large bulk of Clint Eastwood's movies are propaganda for the incoherent, contradictions that have assembled into this years' Trumpian strong-man fascism, paving the way and straightening the road to it for decades.  He wasn't the only one, there were so many others doing that in the American entertainment industry, making the ideas and, more importantly, appetites for its component parts, first acceptable, then mandatory that it would be impossible to come up with a comprehensive list.

One of the most striking things I read in the past two decades pointed out how few hours of actual, waking time is contained in a normal life span and that we get exactly as many hours to do whatever we're going to do and no more.  Americans, since the introduction of Television, spend most of that time devoted to gaining information with entertainment media - Hollywood TV shows and movies are what is responsible for what we, as a country, are, not the far more minimal influence of such institutions as the churches, the schools, even the universities which have largely gone along with the Hollywood regime as they have been forced to dumb down and deal with the TV educated population.  There is no way for those institutions that get the blame to compete with the ease and designed attention absorption of facile, Hollywood style entertainment.  The "news" relieved by the actor, Ronald Reagan, of even the minimal responsibilities imposed on it by former regulations, is now infotanement, though that trend preceded Reagan throwing out the Fairness Doctrine and public service requirements.  TV was what paved the way for Reagan, just as it is paving the way for Trump, both are the creation of the entertainment industry.

American democracy was entertained to death, which was inevitable when "free speech" and "free press" was held to mean that the media had no social responsibilities, no responsibility to accurately inform voters, no responsibility to not lie to and propagandize them on behalf of the financial interests of those off camera and on, the owners and their buddies who bought ad time.  Its focus on audience share, as a means of maximizing profit lead it to use methods of attracting the most eyes through the most seductive of means, the lowest common denominator, the most facile appeal to the worst in our appetites.  Sex, violence, hate, especially hate - Orwell got that pretty comprehensively right and what he didn't, Aldous Huxley did.

Walter Brueggemann has pointed out that in the United States the only institutions that oppose the imperial-consumer-corporate fascist system are those churches which do, in fact, stand against what our domestic fascists' value.  Which is both a reason that they are under attack and disappeared from the American media except for the assertion of their impending death.  And that is why it is so wrong-headed for people on the left to attribute to them the corruptions that they would not have the power to impose, to start with.  Even those religious entities that are part of the American Roman style imperial system are of far less influence than entertainment in influencing how people think and act, apart from a few tiny sects who enforce a ban on TV and movies and even those carry the risk that some of their members might read The Law, the prophets and the Gospels and take what they read there seriously.

The alleged left is no less influenced by media crap than the right, which is one of the reasons that real liberalism is pretty much dead, there is no preferential option for the poor in corporate American entertainment, you've got to go to religion to get that and, by and large, the alleged-left has gotten anti-religion sold to them.  Most of what liberals retain in that is merely tribal sentiment because it was what former generations of lefties motivated by*.  Besides, that kind of religion is no more attractive to most people than rigorous academic study.   Less so because it might interfere with their fun and it makes requirements of them.  The gospel of Clint carries only vicarious obligations while promising sex and violence as compensations.  That's the difference between fantasy and reality.  The virtues bound up in fantasy have only imaginary costs, which make them so much more appealing.

I could go on and on with this but I'll just end with wondering how many of the Sanders fans would really react if their taxes went up to pay for his proposed programs.  I mean even if they went up five percent. My guess is they'd suddenly discover that their fantasy came with costs in real life and they would rather not pay.  I doubt that much of what they imbibed from their major sources of information in the American media ever prepared them to make actual sacrifices in real life instead of imagining that other people are going to pay those bills.  Marilynne Robinson in talking about the great Mid-Western public universities of the past noted that they were seen as a public good provided through taxation and a source of benefit to future generations.  But those far less affluent farmers and laboring people knew that someone had to pay for them.  It's no wonder that they were some of the first institutions attacked by the corporatists, turning a university education into a luxury for the rich.

* It's necessary,  though, to distinguish between those who saw the destitute and poor as a primary focus of preference and those, mostly Marxists, who saw them as a means to the end of their own power.  The denomination of poor people as "the masses" was a give away that they were never seen by such people as more than a force to be harnessed for the purposes of those who see them as their betters.  Such "leftists" are really not much different from the corporate fascists, which explains the nature of the governments ruled by such people.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Stupy Stales Has Never Seen A Point He Couldn't Misrepresent

To deny the role that His Clintness played in making strong-man fascism a virtue among a number of people in the United States is stupid.   He didn't do that single-handed but he is one of the bigger figures in Hollywood who sold fascist thinking to a huge audience through many movies.  To deny his role in that is as stupid as denying his place in Republican-fascist politics, his racist, incredibly disrespectful and false ranting at a chair representing Barck Obama at the last Republican convention, the one that laid the groundwork for this year's election would make as much sense.

Stupy does that, over and over again, he fixes on one part of an argument, distorts it to serve his own purpose, which is never to address the argument, and he tells a bunch of other people with little regard for the truth about it.  They, then, extend that lie. JR will almost certainly lie about it, it's what she does. 

Such is the reason that Duncan's den of dolts is in free fall.  So much potential, so wasted.   

Update:  And now it's pointed out that Stuptic Tank participated too.  

Doris Day could sing a song well, I've never been a fan of her movies.   I fully understand why she retired from acting.  That's something too complicated for the "brain trust".  I've got to say, I'm beginning to associate that term with some kind of mental disability. 

Andrew Hill - Body and Soul

Andrew Hill mostly recorded his own compositions but his first album was mostly standards.  Here he is playing one of the most standard of standards in 1959.

Andrew Hill, piano
Malachi Favors, bass
James Slaughter, drums

Update:  So In Love

Hate Mail - Reductive Ructions and Hollywood Hollerin'

Apparently the word "generally" is too difficult a concept for the big brainiacs of the baby blue brain trust.  Keep those comments coming in, kew-el kids, there's nothing so encouraging to me as the quality of my detractors. 

Commercial movies, the sacred cow of the mid-brow intelligentsia.  Entertained to brain-death. 

Update:  "not knowing what you're talking about" translated from Kew-eleese means, "not saying what they say in the New Yorker and Village voice".   To which I say ******* (raspberry).  

Blaspheming His Clintness: More On Why Trump Can Get Away With Being A Racist, Sexist, Vulgar Scum Bucket Liar

The UDC, Usual Deleted Commentator, has objected to my blaspheming HIS New York-Hollywood media canonized Clintness,  naming a list of his less culturally influential movies to exonerate the pioneering and far more culturally potent influence of his role in Hollywood fascist chic.   The soft side of Clint, the chick-flick Clint, "THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, UNFORGIVEN , BRONCO BILLY, JERSEY BOYS and BIRD".  um hum, and those are supposed to exonerate him from his career in Republicanfascist politics, counting back from his racist, senior moment at the last Republican convention through the Dirty Harry epics in police brutality and fascism, the paranoid, violence of the High Plains Drifter movies and such great pieces of the genera as Hang Em' High,  And that's not even beginning to bring up the heroic rapist-clearly while vagina phobic roles in such movies as The Beguiled.  

Clint Eastwood is a fitting poster boy for the incoherent, irrational and peculiarly American mix of fantasy horse opera libertarianism with strong-man fascism, summary-justice police violence with rugged-conformist-individualist maverick, and a dozen other strands of the pathological neo-fascist irrationality.  All made whole through the make believe of movies, sex appeal through assertion, psycho-pathology, worship of power and, over all of the rest, that quintessential movie virtue, violence.   American movies generally do only two things, violence and violent sex.  

I really, really wish it were possible to know how many of the cops who have been shooting black people at such an alarming rate are Clint Eastwood fans, Dirty Harry in their own avenging minds.  Not to mention the fans of other fascist-chic media who are hoping to cash in on the same people who are addicted to his violent, fascist chic movies.   Funny, I haven't noticed a huge outpouring of new fans for hard be-bop or post-bop jazz from his Bird movie.   I haven't noticed much in the way of elevation of black jazz musicians coming from that pic.  

Trump is a creation of the same entertainment industry that provided us with Ronald Reagan and which has turned the popular culture of the United States to fascist chic with a steady stream of violent macho movies since the brief and mostly culturally impotent entities like the TV show M*A*S*H. Hollywood traffics in a stream of fantasy in which ideas don't have to cohere, stories don't have to match reality and lies are as good as the truth if they'll get you what you want and they have the cinematic-business virtue of not having to conform to real life.  That, bunky, is why Trump gets away with lying, just as Bush II, Bush I, Reagan and Nixon did.   I haven't thought it through as to how the reality denial of Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore fit in but they are part of the same thing. 

The friggin' Bridges of friggin' Madison County?  You really want to go there?  

Andrew Hill - Tired Trade


Andrew Hill — piano 
Joe Henderson — saxophone 
Richard Davis — bass 
Roy Haynes — drums

I have a friend who grew up with Roy Haynes, they had the same teacher.  Closest I've gotten to one of the greats from that great period of jazz giants being so numerous that you'll never become familiar with them all.  I don't know if he's still performing, he was up to a few years ago,  but he's got to be in his 90s, my friend is.  I won't pass on the gossip.  

I just corrected a major editing error in the piece below.  I should take the opportunity to say that I'm having a lot more trouble with my eyes this year than usual and such editing problems will probably increase.  If it's the allergy season or something more long term, can't tell you.   I do think that my days of online reading and writing may be numbered.  Maybe it's time to brush off those Braille skills I had when I was a kid. Lots of dust on them.  

Answer To A Question By Kevin Drum

Kevin Drum asked how you handle someone like Donald Trump who, when presented with the outrageous things he said, actual quotes, lies about having said what he is documented to have said. He noted that Jake Tapper tried and failed to get Donald Trump to own up to having advocated that Japan have nuclear weapons because North Korea has nuclear weapons.   Tapper quoted the section of an interview Trump did with Chris Wallace in which he said that in therms about which there is no possible question that he said it.  Only to have trump deny he said it.  Instead of pressing him on the issue Tapper "moved on".  If it was because he was afraid of one of Trump's tantrums or him getting attacked by Trump on the campaign trail or if it was just that he had to fit more in before the next pod of commercials was scheduled, the fact is that he let the lie stand.

I think that the way you handle Trump would, at the most basic level, require a total change in how the media, itself manages the difference between lying and telling the truth.  They could start by not promoting lies told by powerful and rich an connected and glamorous people.  But that would require that they do something voluntarily which, if they cared about that, they'd do anyway.  There is nothing more obvious from the half century of giving the media a license to lie than the fact that they won't stop lying unless there is a real, financial or existential consequence to their lying.  They could choose to stop lying at any time, they could choose to stop repeating and promoting lies at any time.  The fact is they choose not to stop that and now they are having to deal with the consequences of having stuffed the collective mind of America with lies and playing fast and loose with the truth and have created a cultural indifference to that, they find that they are confronted with their own product, Donald Trump.

How you could do that is the beginning of my answer to Drum's question.

By repeatedly saying that not only is he a liar but that he is a pathological liar who wants to be president of the United States with the ability to use the American military and other parts of the government to do what he wants to. That they are too chicken to do that in today's media tells you everything you need to know about how degenerate our media is. And everything you need to know about how it has created a country in which a frightening number of people can't distinguish the truth from blatant lies or who even care about it.

Really, the Trump phenomenon didn't come out of nowhere, it was cultivated by the media which, now, can't handle him - if by "handling" you mean get him to admit that he's a liar with the damning proof right there to be quoted to him or shown to him on video.

The idea that the truth was relative and largely what you wanted it to be has been promoted to the American public by the media, lying on behalf of Republicans. That theory of lying, that it was no big deal if it would get you what you want is a consequence of choosing ideologies that assert that to make up the allowable range of serious, academic and cultural thinking. Cynical pursuit of self-interest is at the heart of it and cynical self-interest is the prime directive of the American media.

It's no accident that two of the biggest figures in Republicanfascism are media products with little to nothing about them, Reagan and Trump. If Trump hadn't been on TV playing the role of a New York City bully and kingpin of corporate piracy he'd never have gotten as far as he has. That the media has sold him, a quintessential New York City bully and braggart fascist strong man to a large part of the New York City hating population shows that they can sell any piece of crap to a population raised on Clint Eastwood movies, horse and cop operas.

What people consume as information forms how they think about it, pretending that that didn't matter is a line of lies that has been sold to us by the free-speech, free-press industry for the past century. Well, it turns out that what people are fed as information does matter, it is decisive in whether or not people can cast an informed and moral vote on the basis of information and achieve self-government and something like democracy. If they're fed lies with the best strategies of psychological manipulation available, we get the likes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and, now, Donald Trump. Really, lefties who sold those lines about "more speech" instead of preventing the media from lying for its own profits are as much to blame as anyone, many of them worked in the media, as well, so they were promoting their own self-interest as they said that. Well, where's the "more speech" that protected us from the George W. Bush regime? The Koch-FOX produced Tea Party? How did that "more speech" prevent things from degenerating to the point where it is a real possibility that we could get a Trump or Cruz presidency?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Andrew Hill - Tough Love

The Green Party Is A Cynical Con Job

I could have been harder on the Green Party troll I gave the following answer to,  I pretended I didn't suspect that the Greens are getting support from the Republican-fascists, perhaps some of them getting paid to run spoiler candidates, just as they were revealed to have done in the Pennsylvania Senate race a decade ago.   I wouldn't be surprised if some of the other high-profile Green candidates weren't financed by Republicans to try to win elections by splitting the opposition.  That is a role of parties of the allege left here and in some other places.

The Green Party is an enduring fraud and con job on the left largely on the strength of its promotion by magazines of the left and a few media sources.  It should have been obvious after the first ten years that it was going nowhere and it was already serving a counter-productive role in liberal politics.   Yet we're still promoting the delusional belief that voting for Greens isn't the same thing as voting for a Republican.  

Not voting for the best you can get and getting the worst you can is the real life result when your dream candidate couldn't possibly win the election.   That is the real reality, the famous remark by Eugene Debs about "voting for what you don't wnat"  would prove to be seriously flawed idea several years later as the Socialist Party he was promoting with it was destroyed from the left.  The John Reed faction apparently didn't think that the Debs-Berger faction, which was actually winning elections and holding local office, weren't what they wanted so they elected to destroy Debs' party. The reason I keep dealing with this, having to repeat the history exposing their con job is because the lefty magazines, webzines and social media are still selling the same old moldy lies that the Green Party is a real party worth voting for.  It isn't.  The Green Party is a fraud and not worthy of anybody's vote.

By the way, I suspect that some of the money people stupidly give to the Green Party goes to paid trolling, I suspect Aeardyaark is a paid troll who changes names frequently.  When I checked his/her Disqus account there were about 100 comments they had made, a pretty sure sign of something like that.

Aeardvaark  peterjohn936 • 15 hours ago

You can't compare the prospect of a third party candidate, in this election, with prior ones. Now, both candidates from the major parties are historically disliked by the majority of the electorate. A Green Party ticket would have a real chance against those two, in these unique circumstances.

Anthony_McCarthy  Aeardvaark • 37 minutes ago

The Green Party doesn't run presidential candidates for them to win, they run presidential candidates with the pretense they can win in order to get enough votes for the party name to appear on future ballots so they can still pretend to be a party to get donations from people who are comfortable enough and contented enough to not care if we have another Republican horror as president.

After thirty years it's time to call the Green Party what it is, a con job to keep the people who make money at the top making money.

Tell everyone, after those three decades, how many Greens hold public office. Last time I looked it was about seventy in the entire country, all of them on the local level, some of them in local non-partisan elections, some appointed to obscure boards where you can be pretty sure they only got on because they were the only ones who volunteered to go on them. And that total is about half of what they had at the height of their achievement when they had about 142 such local office holders. The highest office yet achieved by a Green is the single legislative seat they had in Maine held by John Eder, from Portland, Maine and he lost that seat exactly a decade ago.

And that is the party that is striving mightily to enable the election of Donald Trump just as they did George W. Bush, the previous high water mark in degenerate right wing politics in this country. There is every reason to suspect that Trump might outdo him as the same cryptofascists who ran George W. would run Trump only worse. Even the worst of the Republican Party in 2000 didn't have the FOX - Koch invented Tea Party faction running it. Well that's what we'll get if the Greens have their way this time.

It is time to get rid of the Greens, it is the most cynical con job on the left, it deserves to go the way of all third party con jobs,  just end it.