Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Night Radio Drama -- The Lodger

Warning:  This recording has cigarette commercials embedded in it.  If any of you take up smoking because of it,  I won't post any more with commercials.

Had to take an allergy pill and fell asleep and am running late. I'll probably post another play tomorrow. 

I've been looking for a clear recording of a funny play that Arch Oboler wrote for Peter Lorre but I haven't had much success.  If I can find it, I'll post it because it's nice to hear Lorre play against his typical creepy, sinister typecasting.  

 Well, here's one that is typically creepy.   And Agnes Moorehead is in it too, a long way from Bewitched.  It's too bad she got associated with that role because she was a really good actor, one of  Orson Welles' company, The Mercury Players and worked with him and Joseph Cotton in the movies. 

Peter Lorre,
Agnes Morehead,
Barbara Eiler,
Eric Snowden,
Rolfe Sedan
Conrad Binyon
Harry Morgan as the announcer - narrator.

Here's Moorehead's most famous radio performance

Lucille Fletcher - Sorry, Wrong Number 

Unfortunately I can't find out who else was involved in this performance - it was so popular that Moorehead performed it on radio seven times and other actors played the role, as well. It was parodied a number of times, too. 

Update:  Looking to see if I could find out who else was involved, I came across a source that says Orson Wells called this "the greatest single radio script ever written".

More On The New Republican Civility

Ted Nugent, Trump supporter, White House guest of Trump, before the other day when he decided that the shooting of Congressman Scalise had PR potential if played the right way, once said that President Barack Obama should "suck on my machine gun".  

Musician Ted Nugent is known for speaking his mind about the Second Amendment and hunting, but especially on politicians. He once said then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama should “suck my machine gun.” When President Obama was running for reelection in 2012, the rocker said during the National Rifle Association convention that, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” The statement attracted the attention of the Secret Service.

My guess is that he'll be back to that line by July. 

I'm Worried For The Actors and the Audience Members At This Point

The two nobodies, Laura Loomer and Jack Posobiec, the two who disrupted the Julius Cesar production in the park would seem to be right-wing losers who know that they can probably find people with too much money to give them some if they pull those kinds of stunts.  There is a full employment policy for fascists with a desire to get attention and, when they get into hot water, to whine and complain that they're being oppressed.   

I'm not that worked up over the incident though considering it's the likes of the Breitbart brownshirts who are whipping up rage over the production - as some have pointed out, the idiots don't understand the message of it is that even idealistic political violence is counterproductive -  I'm concerned for the safety of the actors and the audience members.   If there's someone who stands a chance of getting killed by a politically motivated nut case, the chances are good that it will be a Republican-fascist gun nut who does the killing. 

She's a repeat offender, I say throw the book at her.  Him, from what I've read he hasn't done as much to get himself attention, yet. 

Those Who Live By The Sword ....

The Republican-fascist disrupters of the Julius Caesar in the park in New York City reportedly yelled, "The blood of Steve Scalise is on your hands" as if the guy who was living in his van in Alexandria VA for the past two months took in the show.  

Scalise and his Republican colleagues are the ones who have done the bidding of Murder inc, the NRA and the gun industry that sponsors the political wing of gun nuttery.  The blood of 90 to 100 Americans any given day is on their hands, including the Republicans in Congress, in the Executive branch and on the Supreme Court.  If the various laws to reduce the availability of guns to the criminal, the insane, etc.  that Democrats put into law - in the past with Republican support -  had not been overturned with mostly Republicans doing the overturning, it's likely Scalise would not have been shot.  

As should never be forgotten, it was Donald Trump who offered to pay the legal bills of his supporters who were arrested for beating up his opponents, it was his supporters who screamed to do everything from imprisoning to killing Hillary Clinton, it was the Republican Party which started featuring politicians shooting at things, including targets representing people, including their opponents, which ran candidates who said things like, in the event of their losing the vote to go to "Second Amendment solutions", Rand Paul, a year ago saying the Second Amendment was for shooting at politicians, it is the Republicans who endorsed violence, over and over again, who responded to even the most appalling of mass murders by semi-automatic weapons OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN by making it easier for the insane to get such weapons and to claim that that was a staged event to promote gun control.... 

The blood of Steve Scalise is on the hands of his fellow Republicans, it is on his hands.  A politician who lives by the gun, who is elected by the gun, shouldn't be surprised that the guns he endorses might get turned on him.  It's their fault, not those of us who would have prevented the nut case from getting a gun to start with. 

Someone in the for-profit media won't feel free to point this out.  I just did. 

Hate Mail

If you think that "futile classicism",  archaic, cumbrous, and ineffective", "the canons of reputability under the law of conspicuous waste," etc.  were meant as supporting the virtue of "conventional spelling of the English language." that only proves one thing, that you never read the rest of the book it comes at the end of.  Here's a link, I should have given one yesterday.

The passage understood in terms of Veblen's theory of conspicuous consumption and the reputability of the useless as a means of proving those with such a refined sense have the wealth to waste their time on it, rather renders those "who are possessed of  a developed sense of the true and beautiful" ridiculous not virtuous.  Insisting that his observation that "its acquisition consumes much time and effort" is an endorsement of its place in a "blameless scholastic life" only proves you're not a very astute reader.  Diligence in acquiring a useless skill and the rewarding of that kind of senseless waste of time is central to his theory.

I think the reason there was an absurd fashion of the "H. L. Mencken said" variety instead of a "Thorstein Veblen said" one c. the 1980s, the "Reagan era" is that he was a more subtle, more dryly sarcastic and more of an intellectual mocker than Mencken and he wasn't as easily read on a mid-brow level. It, like Reagan being elected, was a sign of intellectual decay.

That's the kind of thing that comes with the stupid idea that using a 4th grade vocabulary and sentence structure instead of a more adult one is a virtue.   The other day I read an article by a scribbler who was dismayed to find out that when he put his prose through some computer analytical whats-it, that he wrote on an 8th grade level instead of the 4th grade level of his hero, Ernest Hemingway.   What does it tell you about the intellectual culture that thinks its a mark of shame to write for the 8th grade mind instead of the 4th grade mind?  Imagine if he'd written for high school seniors - the ones who learned to read to grade level, if such there still are in any numbers - he might have opened a vein instead of written a confession.  I wonder if he dumbed his confession down to his target audience.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with writing books for 4th graders, but writing that way for adults is insulting and the writing, generally, boring with ideas that are to be expected, unchallenging, bereft of content.  I've never been able to take Hemingway.  His writing has only moved me to close his books and look for something interesting, instead.

I think a language culture that doesn't reform the ridiculous anachronisms out of its spelling system is a sign of a culture that elevates the frivolous over the serious.  Veblen diagnosed the one that maintains the conventional spelling of the English language and its origins, spot on.  It's one which puts such decisions in a class advantaged establishment like the Brits have as part of their class system.   An American democracy, which cannot exist except on the basis of equality and equal access to ideas and expression, doesn't have the luxury of maintaining an underclass who are considered lesser because they are kept in a condition where they don't have the time to master a ridiculous spelling system or the wealth to hire a secretary so they can pretend they have.

There are languages where, I've read, they don't have spelling bees.  They don't have them because they reformed their standard spelling to be easy to master and it's not a remarkable thing when someone can spell a word they know how to pronounce with reasonable expectations of accuracy, That's not the case with Engish.

I expect that's breaking down because, with the internet, with messaging, with texting, young people are going to lose their inhibitions about writing, writing for communication, not as a means of displaying a minor skill or time spent learning a banal convention. I would guess that the average, not that bright 8th grader writes more in texts and messages than the even brighter 8th grader wrote fifty years ago.  I would guess that by the time the average texting teenager reaches 20 they've already written more words, expressed themselves, had a chance to learn to express themselves better than those in my generation who were champion spellers with what was taken as beautiful and dutifully learned palmer cursive.   What effect that will have on the future of writing, I don't know.  I think that it would help if they had writers who wrote up instead of down at them.  TV and the movies aren't any help at all.  Not in America.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Be not so bereft to believe 
A syllable spoken by Steve, 
For just the caesura
Has content that surer
The rest of it,  truth does it reave.

I'll confess, coming up with "reave" took an extra minute or so, so under seven but more than five minutes. 

Update:  I was thinking of doing something with Frekiesy and "skeazy" but I thought that association was too complimentary for the Brit. 

Update 2:  I suppose I should thank Freki, Stupy and Skepsi because those stooges were instrumental in me realizing that the pose of intellectual superiority among atheists was just a pose that, once you realize that, you don't have to pretend is true, anymore.   As the late Lenny Baker said in Last Stop Greenwich Village, "Behind that pose is just more pose."  
I just got messaged that Simps is still going on about spelling Kamala with an "e" over at Duncan's brain trust.  With two of the other big brains.  

Can you imagine going on about that for two days running?  At the "Brain Trust"?  And they really do call Duncan's Geritol and Prune Juice bar that.  

"Brain trust," huh.   If that's one of those the trustees went rusty. 

Update:  I'm informed that the name Kamala originates in the Sanskrit word for "lotus" and has a number of variants because it is transliterated.  Looking it up to fact check it, one of those is based on a related Arabic word and a Turkish one which is sometimes transliterated as "Kemala".  So the woman I knew who spelled it "Kamela" didn't "spell her name wrong".  

I wonder what dopey would do with some names with a seriously wide range of spellings.  Considering his name is "Steve" short for "Steven" with the variant spelling of "Stephen" or "Stephan" or "Stefan" or any number of others, as always with him, whatever you call him, he's still the same old ass. 

I should have gotten into the fact that the alleged author who he's never read but who he can't stop going on about, that Stratford guy, didn't spell his name twice the same way, apparently, spelling it differently on different pages of the same document.  In his defense, there's no evidence he ever could do more than that with a pen so it might have not been a question of spelling but drawing. 

Update 2:  Considering the raft of whiny complaints he's lodged, I should point out that his nicknames have variants, too, for example "Stupie", "Stupy", and if he's still doing the high school kewl thing "Stupi".  Same for "Dopey".  Simps, though, is stable, the word, not the guy, he's only consistently mendacious and ignorant. 

Billy Strayhorn's Take The A-Train - Charles Mingus Sextet Featuring Eric Dolphy

Charles Mingus - Bass
Eric Dolphy - Bass Clarinet
Clifford Jordan - Tenor Sax
Johnny Coles - Trumpet
Jaki Byard - Piano
Dannie Richmond - Drums

Eric Dolphy's solo is a miracle of musical genius.

The musical genius of Duke Ellington and his close collaborator and associate, Billy Strayhorn increasingly absorbed the attention of the next two generations of jazz musicians.  I don't remember if it was Charles Mingus who said that there was a choice to be made of whether to go in that direction or that of the genius of Charlie Parker.  It's a lot better than the choices that you got with rock. Maybe that's why jazz continued and continues to develop.

Bud Powell - Lullaby Of Birdland

Bud Powell, piano
Oscar Pettiford, bass
Roy Haynes, drums

Who could sleep?  Bud Powell was one of the greatest of the greatest.   My second oldest friends studied drums with Roy Haynes, I asked him once what he remembered about him, "He made a pass at my wife." was all he'd tell me.

Bouncing With Bud

Sonny Rollins, tenor sax \
Fats Navarro, trumpet
Bud Powell, piano
Tommy Potter, bass
Roy Haynes, drums

When Will They Ever Learn?

This is why I generally avoid watching The Young Turks videos:

Anthony McCarthy20 hours ago
Oh just fuck off, TYT.  You are morphing into a Republican asset.

 Christian Knuchel 
Christian Knuchel 9 hours ago
Are we talking about the same "one Trump story a day"-TYT?

 Anthony McCarthy 
Anthony McCarthy1 second ago
We're talking about the "let's insist on what we can't have and get Republicans into office" TYT.  Cenk and his buddies have dreams in the same lines as previous purists and they've played one of the biggest roles in putting Republican fascists into power during my lifetime.  The bright young things of my time made that asinine mistake and kept doing it and now another generation of bright young things are trying to do the same dumb shit we did.

I don't generally use the "F" bomb but I always remember what one of my carpenter relatives once told me, "If I didn't talk that way on the job they'd think I was talking a foreign language."  It is Youtube.

The stupidest thing the left ever did during my lifetime was oppose Hubert Humphrey in 1968, when we got Nixon who set things on the downward spiral the vortex of which, we are in, circling the drain.  Cenk Uygar and .Kyle Kulinski and their associates are young asses who will make the same mistakes we did.  They might be bright but they'are as stupid as a bag of bright rocks.

Kellyanne Does The Republican Self-Pity Party Thing

“If I was shot and killed tomorrow, half of Twitter would explode in applause and excitement — this is the world we live in now.”

Kellyanne Conway

Actually, if she were shot and killed the most immediate thing would be a stampede of Republican robo-blondes who would be rushing to see which one would replace her.  

It's rich for her, the woman whose presidential candidate encouraged his thuggish followers to beat people up in a party where mainstream candidates advocate "Second amendment solutions" when their candidates and issues don't win, who are the ones who disabled attempts to keep guns out of the hands of those prone to using them against other people, etc. to be whining like that.  

I'd more guess that Twitter might erupt with her colleagues in the fascist media and members of her fascist party would call for passing more laws like the ones allowing even the certifiably insane to carry guns everywhere because it will get them the insanely violent gun nut vote and contributions.  There might be a minor eruption of people noting the irony of someone like her getting what they didn't care about scores of thousands of others, including innocent people, children, getting at the rate of 90-100 a day in the United States.  I can guarantee her I'd have to note that I wasn't going to shed tears for people who encouraged that status quo, people like her. 

The Real Heroes Aren't The Ones Who The Media Elevates

Had to point this out.

It’s not that people should be defined by their skin color, gender, or who they love. But in this case, these details are important enough to focus on for a moment.

Capitol Police special agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey are widely credited with saving Republican lawmakers and staff during the horrific shooting in Alexandria, Virginia that left Representative Steve Scalise in the hospital in critical condition.

Both Griner and Bailey were wounded.

Both Griner and Bailey are minorities.

Crystal Griner is a female minority, who just so happens to be married to a woman. Griner married Tiffany Dyar in 2015.

As ESPN’s LZ Granderson pointed out, Griner saved the life of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is opposed to same-sex marriage,

Crystal Griner risked her life to save @SteveScalise. She was comforted in the hospital by her wife. Scalise is against same sex marriage.

Scalise has also been close to white supremacists such as David Duke and has played the dirtiest kinds of racist politics of the type that is common in the Party of Lincoln as it turned to the Party of Jesse Helms.  

The bravery of these two people, Crystal Griner and David Bailey, saving the life of a racist, homophobic bigot whose slavish service to the gun industry caused not only his injury but theirs should be the real focus of attention. There are thousands of bigoted Republican hacks, there are far too few real heroes who risk their lives to save others, even their enemies.

It's Not A Good Sign Of The Times When Things Are Called What They're Not

It wasn't a brawl and it wasn't important enough in context to make me pursue the argument but I felt I had to contradict an atheist elsewhere who wanted to blame Christianity for the leader of the pedophilia ring allowed to masquerade as a church (due to our short-sighted founders and the minor 18th century prose of the Constitution) Lyle Jeffs who was arrested the other day.

I challenged the broad brush painter to show how you could intuit the Gospel of Jesus from the words and actions of the pedophiles who run the ring pretending to be a religion for the protection of their criminal ring of rapists of each others children.

That's a challenge that isn't made often enough, to match the words and acts of those who claim, not only religious but any identity as a definition of what they're about.  I mentioned in the short exchange that there was no way you could intuit the political philosophy of Abraham Lincoln from Donald Trump - or Jesus for that matter.   As to Trump's "Christianity" located in time for inclusion in his presidential campaign,  I read that he was so informed about it that he had to ask a pastor of "his" Presbyterian denomination if they were Christians.  As an adult.  Many decades after his confirmation into "his faith".

I often pointed out the ironies of George W. Bush, a man who assumed the presidency as a result of an election rigged in Florida, a state run by his brother, installed by partisan Republican "Justices" on the Supreme Court in an unprecedented act of bald political usurpation of the right of the voters to their ballots determining who was president,  lied the country into invading Iraq so as to allegedly install democracy through an invasion by a foreign country, opposed by what was almost certainly a majority of the country - if not then, not long into the disastrous occupation.  And as he and his Republican Party made a whole sale attack on our elections and the ability of people to cast a vote. An effort which has not only continued but which has increased in an effort to reinstall a de facto Jim Crow system extending far outside of where it was before it was overturned in 1965.

The use of labels which people attach a positive association with to do some really evil things is something that should be criticized and the hypocrisy of it, attacked.  It really does matter.  I know it became not only unfashionable but outré, certainly in matters religious, more, I think, a symptom of the diminution of  how seriously religion is held than anything else.  But also in matters of civil life, politics, the law, etc.  The American mass media has had a huge role in that, gaming the use of labels politically to the advantage of the class they serve.  It was certainly not in the interest of the Republicans in the 1980s and after to point out that the Fundamentalists like Falwell, Robertson, and others were phonies whose every action and whose words exposed them as frauds, more suited as ministers of the anti-Christ than as people who promoted the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus.  I think the role that that had in making "Christian" a dirty word is far greater than I've ever read discussed.  I think the new atheism was able to take advantage of the opportunity given to them by the spectacle of what a bunch of hypocrites such "Christians" were and are.

If Christians don't disavow the likes of Lyle Jeff and his cult of pedophiles it doesn't do anything to elevate the status of Christianity.  I think it's time that we stopped pretending that the First Amendment applies to anything but the government in its official actions, policies and laws.   I don't think there is anything good that is going to come out of taking that excuse to avoid the unpleasantness that will arise from the truth about that being told.  As in my argument on that point, not doing so gives an opportunity to those who want the real thing to go away.  They apply the word "Christian to"the kind of fraud that can pass off pedophile abuse as Christianity when Jesus said it was deserving of worse than having a millstone put around your neck and being drowned, of not having been born.  He didn't mince words on that count, neither should we.

Big Deal

The only woman I knew named Kamela spelled it with an "e".  If you think I'm going to be shamed by not having noticed that Senator Kamala Harris spells it with an "a" you're going to be disappointed, Simps.   I'm told that he posted about it at Duncan's or I wouldn't bother with it. 

I don't remember who it was who called Hilton Kramer the "tireless metermaid of the arts"  I think it was Vidal but the memory fades.  I guess Simps, as befits his lack of ambition will settle for being the tiresome metermaid of orthography.   Funny, I don't remember him noticing the not infrequent typos and lapses of Duncan Black.   I noticed them, I just figure that's life without an editor.  I don't hold it against someone who doesn't make a big deal of it when it's someone else who lapses from the artificial dictatorship of standard spelling and the mid-brow snobs who make something of it*.  I'd go over Simp's blog to find his lapses but that would mean I'd have to look at it and the lapses in thinking and fact would really be painful.  I'd certainly rather read many of the authors who, it has been rather snarkily noted, were indifferent to standard spelling in their manuscripts.  I've read academic paper writers sniffily look down their noses at Emily Dickinson for hers, for example, when it was her genius in her poetry that gave them the subject of their mid-brow level paper to start with. 

Mastering standard English spelling (which version, there are several) is a minor skill which a minority of English speakers accomplish.  It's mostly based in a knack for visual memory which I don't have, being more aurally oriented**.  As I said, recently, I've known several people who were champion spellers who were pretty stupid and ignorant people.  I don't see why it's supposed to be any more impressive than memorizing baseball statistics or why it would be considered more high class than the far greater sophistication involved in mastering the details of being a working farmer, plumber, or any number of blue collar jobs.   When your plumbing isn't working try calling in a orthographer and see where that gets you.   Though, I should mention, the champion speller in my class went to work for a chain of laundromats, I suspect he found any plumbing skills he had were of more use for him than to get way into the official word list in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  If he were still alive, I'd ask him. 

*  The almost always acute mind of Thorstein Veblen - the true master of subtle snark, well before the term was invented - nailed the reason that observing standard spelling came to hold the place of repute that is all out of proportion to its importance.  He identified it as being all about class standing, not about intellectual content.  In the penultimate paragraph of On The Theory of the Leisure Class, he said:

As felicitous an instance of futile classicism as can well be found, outside of the Far East, is the conventional spelling of the English language. A breach of the proprieties in spelling is extremely annoying and will discredit any writer in the eyes of all persons who are possessed of a developed sense of the true and beautiful. English orthography satisfies all the requirements of the canons of reputability under the law of conspicuous waste. It is archaic, cumbrous, and ineffective; its acquisition consumes much time and effort; failure to acquire it is easy of detection. Therefore it is the first and readiest test of reputability in learning, and conformity to its ritual is indispensable to a blameless scholastic life.

** I always, always spell my chords right.  The spelling of chords really does matter to coherence and sound in ways that merely standard spelling of English most certainly does not.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Billy Bauer - Lullabye of the Leaves

Billy Bauer, guitar
Andrew Ackers, piano
Milt Hinton, bass
Osie Johnson, drums

Maybe It's Because

Charles Pierce Says It

Charles Pierce, as so often, says it very well, citing the same, obvious examples that the Republicans in Congress and on the Supreme Courts have not learned from, except to make it easier for the insane, the criminal and the ideologically delusional to get hold of guns for the purpose of killing lots of Americans.

That was how the most influential members of our political elite chose to memorialize six people in Arizona and 26 people in Connecticut: by making sure people could buy more weapons. According to The New York Times, that peculiar memorial to the slain continues right up to the present moment.

"Had there not been a member of House leadership present, there would have been no police present, and it would have become the largest act of political terrorism in years, if not ever," Representative Tom Garrett of Virginia said, pointing to legislation he has introduced to make it easier for people to carry a gun in Washington. That bill "would allow the most law-abiding among us to defend themselves," he said.

A day has passed, and that's pretty much as long as it took before we started talking about anything but crazy people and guns, so I feel comfortable in writing that the reaction within our politics and within our political media to the events in Alexandria on Wednesday will prove more dangerous to the republic in the long run than the shooting itself. It also became fairly nauseating. We heard how Democratic and Republican senators were hugging each other. Each congressional tear was counted and catalogued. I mean, holy mother of god, three people were actually killed at a UPS center in San Francisco later on Wednesday morning, but that story got whisked into the dustbin in favor of existential mooing from the halls of Congress, as though the proliferations of instruments of mass killing is not existential threat enough.

Who needs ISIS and Al Qaeda and the Taliban when we've got the NRA and the Republican Party?

Hate Mail

There was a time I'd have assumed a physics teacher at a premier prep-school associated with a may-as-well be Ivy would know how to use a dictionary.  That was before I found out that a lot of people in the STEM subjects figure such things as the meanings of words is beneath their regard.  That was before too much familiarity with such guys bred contempt. Hey, he was one of the two PhD sci-guys who thought the fictitious play Inherit the Wind was historically factual.  

In other words, I don't care about his opinion.  It's not worth much. 

Jeff Sessions Serial Perjurer And The Republican Senators Who Permit Him To Lie

Jeff Sessions must have a shoe closet like that of the wife of the former dictator of the Philippines Imelda Marcos because those shoes just keep dropping.

An American lobbyist who has worked on behalf of Russian interests has contradicted a key part of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate testimony this week.

The Guardian reports that Richard Burt, who served as ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration and who has lobbied on behalf of a pipeline company that’s now controlled by Russian state-owned energy conglomerate Gazprom, has admitted to attending two dinners organized by Sessions last year during the height of the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Senator Sessions,” Burt told the Guardian.

This is notable, writes the Guardian, because “Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign.”

Additionally, Burt last year reportedly had input into a key foreign policy speech that Trump delivered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. — which was where intelligence officials suspect Sessions might have had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

News of Burt’s attendance at dinners organized by Sessions was first reported last October by Politico, although this report didn’t gain significant traction until this week when Sessions testified that he didn’t recall any contacts with lobbyists who worked on behalf of Russian interests last year.

The little scum bag is certainly guilty of perjury, first in his submissions to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning his time as a federal lawyer, then during his testimony when he voluntarily denied he had met with Russian officials during the campaign - perhaps when he is trying to evade artfully he does that kind of thing, thus the inartful evasion of earlier this week.   Now we know his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee contained perjury as well as the contempt of Congress that has been so much under discussion.  

Jeff Sessions has always been a moral atrocity throughout his public career, a flagrant neo-Confederate racist, a bigot, and so much more.  Now he is engaged in the Trump treason up to his baby doll eyes and repugnant smile.   Maybe he's used to disarming some people with that mug and his would-be folksy delivery but I hope the rest of the country is as sick and tired of it as I got about fifty years ago.

That little bastard deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.  It's unlikely to happen but he sure as hell deserves it as much as anyone whose prosecution he was likely involved in or approved.

Samantha Bee And Her Full Frontal Staff Should Get Awards For Just Last Night's Episode

Especially notice something they got but which I was too furious to notice, that lying, perjuring Jeff Sessions would answer Senator Kamela Harris' question when it was asked by Senator Jack Reed, a white man.  And we're supposed to think that he, McCain and Burr aren't targeting her for being a Black Woman? 

If I'd had someone to hit with one, I'd have thrown a heavy glass vase at the Men for Marrying Children.  

This is great.  I would love to hear the whole debate and expect it would make the Senators and House members, the presidential candidates "debaters" look like the bunch of lying clowns they usually are.

I'm sure there are presidential candidates who could take part in a real debate but if that gentleman in Rikers Island said he "got his head scraped into the floor" they'd be reduced to a pool of slime by a real debater.  It might be more dignified than being the pools of slime that get elected so often.

If "Kamela" doesn't become the most popular girls name, what with the two Kamelas who have lent honor to the name this week, it will be an injustice.

Why Didn't The Republicans In Congress And On The Supreme Court Care About These Victims Of Gun Violence?

These are the people whose murders NBC's guest, Alex Jones said was a staged hoax.  These are the people. among tens of thousands of others, whose murders by a mentally disturbed man with access to guns didn't matter to the Congressional Republicans, including Steve Scalise, as they overturned restrictions on gun sales to the insane. 

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
Ana Márquez-Greene, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Rachel D'Avino, 29, teacher's aide
Dawn Hochsprung, 47, principal
Anne Marie Murphy, 52, teacher's aide
Lauren Rousseau, 30, teacher
Mary Sherlach, 56, school psychologist
Victoria Leigh Soto, 27, teacher

I will not include the murderer and his gun-loving, enabling mother in the list of victims because they weren't victims.

Steve Scalise Rated A+ By The NRA And Reaping What You've Sown

I can remember saying it, I don't remember which mass shooting event it was that led me to say it, that the Supreme Court justices wouldn't stop ruling away regulations on guns until someone shot their way into the court and killed some of them.  I don't recall making the same observation about the Congress but, apparently, in the wake of someone actually shooting at and critically wounding one of their own, Republicans in the Congress are using the occasion to blame it on Democrats instead of wondering
if maybe their whoring after the NRA and paranoid gun nut vote might be the crop they've sown which is just coming to harvest stage.

My first reaction to the shooting was that it was a warning to Republicans in the government that they are as able to be gunned down as their former colleague Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was several years ago, along with six who died in the attack.  Since their names join the tens of others killed by guns in 2011, let me remind you who they were and their ages:

Christina-Taylor Green, 9
Phyllis Schneck, 79
Dorwan Stoddard, 76
Dorothy "Dot" Morris, 76
John Roll, 63
Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 30

Christina-Taylor Green was a student who had come to admire Congresswoman Gifford as part of a school project, Phyllis Schneck was a homemaker, Dorwan Stoddard, a retired construction worker and Dorothy Morris, a retired secretary, John Roll a federal judge and Gabriel Zimmerman the first Congressional aid killed in the line of duty. 

I wonder how many pages such a list of all of those warnings to the Republican Congress and Federal Judges from just 2011 would cover.  

And there have been so many others since then, notably the Sandy Hook Elementary School murder victims, young children and their teachers, which caused the Republicans in Congress to do NOTHING and for their media figures like the pathological liar Alex Jones  to claim didn't die and that their murders were a staged event.  If you don't recall, Alex Jones is going to be the feature guest on NBC in an interview with their prize catch from FOX Megan Kelly in an attempt to wrest the ratings from 60 Minutes.  I'd urge you to contact advertisers to pull their ads from her show, it's the only way you can have any effect on the amoral nihilists who run the media. 

There have been lessons for Republicans in a running body count numbering in the scores of thousands. 

Here is a bit of the most recent history and how we can expect this most recent lesson to the enablers of gun killing to take:

And this year, House Republicans voted to rescind an Obama administration rule that heightened scrutiny of mentally impaired people who seek to purchase a firearm. Critics of the rule, mostly Republicans, said it would strip law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights. Among those who voted to end the rule: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. He was among those injured during Wednesday’s shooting.

For Scalise, he’s often touted his opposition to stricter gun-control reforms and has a earned himself an A+ rating from the National Rifle Assn.

As McAuliffe and some liberals on social media called for stricter gun-control laws on Wednesday, Republicans pushed back.

“I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric," Rep. Chris Collins  (R-N.Y.) said on WBEN radio. "The rhetoric has been outrageous – the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters. Really, then, you know, some people react to things like that. They get angry as well. And then you fuel the fires."

He vowed to start carrying his handgun at public events.

I am finding it very hard  impossible to pretend that I feel sorry for House Minority Whip Steve Scalise when he, no doubt to get that A+ from the gun industry and raving psychopath lobby, helped make it easier for people like his attacker to get and use guns.  

I certainly am not going to pretend that someone getting what they are willing to watch tens of thousands of others get from their actions and inaction deserves my sympathy.  I don't know that he does but if he does, he's not getting it this morning.  He might if he goes back to the House and earns a failing grade from the NRA.   He might lose his seat but he might gain his soul. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Year Ago Senator Rand Paul Posted This

Jeff Sessions Said 'I Don't Recall' A Lot During Senate Hearing | The 11th Hour

And if you believe that's literally true every time he said it, you must be a Republican Senator.

On the Accusation That Bob Dylan Cribbed Spark Notes.

What can I say but ça ne m'intéresse pas.  

Though, considering what Spark Notes is, it could be a piece of performance art which, unlike so much of that stuff, has a purpose. 

Someone told me that since it's Spark Notes it's possible he delegated the quote checking to a younger person, that someone his age would have cribbed from Cliff Notes. 

It's a hoot how people can get worked up over the theft of words when people get slaughtered by the score, hundreds, thousands and millions without them much noticing .  Not to mention the world is burning. 

Republicans Are Trying To Make Femaleness The New Black

Let's state it plainly, there is something unseemly in two old, white, Republican men cutting off the one and only Black woman on the Senate Intelligence Committee for pressing other old white men who are clearly stonewalling the Senate Intelligence Committee claiming non-existent, non-legal reasons for stonewalling them.  Especially the highly placed lawyer-liars, Rod Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions. 

Richard Burr and John McCain seem to be working in concert to try to disrupt the questioning by Senator Kamela Harris, a woman with a fine record as a prosecutor before she became a Senator, who obviously knows that the only way to treat a serial liar like Jeff Sessions is to press them hard.  That they are doing so to protect the political appointees of the president and, ultimately the president of their own party is certainly relevant to judging what they're doing.

That they feel free do do so to a female Senator who has what it takes to go farther in politics, in the same way Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators obivously intend to target Senator Elizabeth Warren is beginning to look like a planned strategy of turning being a woman into what they turned Barack Obama being Black into, a way to damage their political standing by diminishing them, using negative stereotypes as necessary. 

I don't think there's any shaming the obviously shameless McConnell or the increasingly shameless John McCain, Richard Burr has liked to make a stand of honor so he might be susceptible to appeals to that rare commodity among Republicans.   The pretense that Jeff Sessions, permitted perjurer, unreconstructed racist and bigot has anything like honor has to end, now.   He is a proven liar and a witness hostile to the truth.  If the Republicans are going to let him get away with stonewalling there's no reason for Democrats or the heroic Independent Angus King to show up for the farce.   

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Richard Burr Had Better Compel These Stonewallers to Answer Or There Goes Checks And Balances

What is John McCain's problem with Senator Kamela Harris?  He's interrupted her questioning of stonewalling Republican hacks at at least two hearings,  as Senator Ron Wyden noted she was doing her job and she was the only one who was so interrupted as Jeff Sessions stonewalled the committee. 

I liked this comment:

remembering simpler times: HRC testifying for hours & not wondering if she'd developed cognitive impairments and or colluded w the russians

These hearings are establishing an extremely dangerous precedent, where administration figures and officials refuse to answer questions, not based on a claim of executive privilege or other legal basis but on just not wanting to answer them.  If anyone else did that, I believe it would be called "contempt of Congress" and the person doing it would be subject to prosecution.   

If the co-chairs of these hearings don't compel witnesses to answer questions when they have no legitimate reason to not answer them, they will have seriously eroded the balance of powers and checks on the president's power.  

John McCain should shut up and try to stop embarrassing himself. 

This Week In The Free Press

What with the PBS News Hour having on News Max's Chris Ruddy and the interview by Megan Kelly on what with her is, in all but name,  FOX-NBC of Alex Jones, it's clear that the major organs of the American news media are normalizing the views of the very far-right, what I believe is, in all but name, the fascist-Nazi right, bringing some of its worst spokesmen on what are presented as respectable, main-stream news operations. 

That is in additions to such things as the New York Times putting up op-eds telling us that we've got to cut Trump some slack and bringing on far-right climate change denying crack pots to their already far right enabling op ed staff. 

Those enlightenment savants who put their faith in the power of an unregulated press to protect freedom had no idea how bad it could get when that went from a guy who owned a printing press to mass media and its ability to propagandize millions.  Mix in their ridiculously clueless faith on the efficaciousness of honor among the affluent and educated, you've got all you need to know as to why we need to bring the Bill of Rights up to date in the worst way.  

I said "educated" but, for the most part, they're merely credentialed by the training grounds for the ruling elite.  Lots of them are as stupid as a bag of rocks, thus why they'll have on Ruddy and Jones. 

Just When Were Western Lives And Societies Governed By The Gospel?

RMJ has a really interesting post up based on an interview at VOX.  His post is very worth reading and goes into a lot more of the issues than I will here.   I just want to ask a few questions and make a few observations about this part of the exchange.

Sean Illing
One of the things I hear most from people about Nietzsche is that he was a “nihilist” or an advocate of nihilism. But the reverse is true. Nietzsche diagnosed nihilism; he didn’t celebrate it. He saw a crisis of culture brewing and tried to point the way forward.

Why was he so worried about nihilism?

Hugo Drochon
I completely share your point about Nietzsche not being a nihilist. He was responding to the specter of nihilism that was haunting Europe at the time. First, we have to remember that Nietzsche was the theorist of the "death of God." He said we used to live our lives according to a transcendent morality that everybody could agree on, but if nobody agrees on that anymore, then we have to confront, really confront, the challenge of relativism.

My first question is at what time did people or even Europeans "live our lives according to a transcendent morality that everyone could agree on"?   Since the article goes on to say that the God that "no one believed in" anymore is the "Christian God" and its focus is politics, when did European rulers and governments ever practice the morality that Jesus taught?

The idea that The Gospel, the Law and the Prophets provided the rules of Western politics in the period before Nietzsche is absurd on its face.  The idea that Christianity played more of a political role other than, at times, mitigating the typical brutality of the classical empires or barbarian kingdoms and fiefdoms - when clerics as politicians weren't engaged in obvious and brutal violations of the commandments of Jesus, themselves - argued by people who are supposed to have a knowledge of history and, what they're talking about, really, is insane.

In the interview it is asserted that Nietzsche was worried about the consequences of the rise of democracy in Europe and the potential for ideological wars that would come about in consequence of the abandonment of the an alleged Christian consensus assumes another widespread and ahistorical absurdity, even the wars allegedly motivated by Christianity - such as the Crusades, various suppressions of heresies and alleged heresies and among conflicting sects - are more plausibly explained by the political and, more so, economic interests in those who could wage wars.   Those wars, themselves, are a massive violation of the teachings of Jesus and not infrequently waged in ways that violated the earlier scriptures.

The horrific modern wars were waged over quite similar issues, though as economics had been biologized by the Malthusian-Darwinist theories, they were waged more brutally, in the absence of any possibly mitigating effects of Christian morality but with the products of scientifically designed and invented arms and strategies.  The horrors of the death camps under the Nazis are, I am ever more convinced, are more related to the economic, Malthusian death camps under the New Poor Law than they were to even the degraded Christianity of the "cruel and merciless Parson Malthus" as William Cobbett rightly called him.

I would agree that what mitigation an assertion of The Gospel of Jesus, the social justice of the Hebrew Prophets, the egalitarianism of the earliest movement of the followers of Jesus was has a real and important role in diminishing the near constant depravity of Western history - a depravity that is pretty much the common history of humanity.   The diminution and corruption of that under the reign of TV and radio political preacher men and their collaboration with Republican and other fascists has had a decisive, though secondary, role in the destruction of American democracy.  But it has a minor role as compared to the indoctrination into vulgar materialism through advertising and degraded entertainment and the more pretentious materialism and scientism of the educated population.

At the end of RMJ's post he advocates studying the plays attributed to Shakespeare (I can't bring myself to imply that guy wrote them) which I think is an excellent idea.  Though a deep reading of the Hebrew scriptures and the study of it by profound thinkers like Niebuhr, Brueggemann, Heschel, the various liberation theologians has meant even more to me.  We like to think we have made a decisive break with the past, that we are the beneficiaries of the latest revolution in human history but that's pretty much all a PR gimmick, sold by academics, journalists and other scribblers trying to get notice and attention and to have influence.  The big news is that once problems of translation are put behind you, what we're doing these days isn't that much different from what they were doing back when it was the kings of Israel and Judea, their elites, their priest class  who were violating The Law and provoking the outbreak of prophesy.   That has been the greatest shock of my life as a reader indoctrinated in modern thinking and as someone who started to try to figure out why liberalism has declined in the United States.

Whoever did the Google doodle this morning doesn't know the difference between a cricket and a grasshopper.   

City guys.  Huh!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Why It Is Wrong To Continue Posting His Comments

At first I suspected puerility, 
With lingering teenage scurrility,
But now it grows clearer,
As his thoughts grow blear'er, 
That, yeah, it was always semility. 

4 minutes, folks.  No benadryl so far this week. 

Trump Has Made Me Think Of The Beastly Baby For The First Time In Decades

Related image

I was pretty well through finding Edward Gorey amusing by the end of the Ford administration but Trump reminds me of The Beastly Baby.  

Donald Trump’s Odd Obsession with Hookers

Oh  my .......................................................

Trump's On The Road To Full Beloved Leader Status cabinet meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luckily, Chuck Schumer and his staff knew how to mock it.

If Pence and the rest of those who have the power to remove this dangerous nut job from the presidency don't so so within a week they should be tried for treason and shot. 

Update:  I watched it again.  For anyone with any sense of dignity and shame this would have been a degradation ceremony that any person of integrity would have refused to participate in.  By doing this they have shown the world that they are disgusting sycophants who no one should expect anything better of.  

More On The Law Being An Ass - Nazi Bomb Maker Let Out On Bond By Federal Judge Went Gun Shopping With Nazi Buddy Judge Notes His Concern

Another example of the idiocy embedded in the judiciary and the legal system by people pretending they can't see what's right there not only to be seen but flashing red with warning. 

Officials believe he also participated in neo-Nazi chat rooms where he threatened to kill people and blow up places.

Investigators found guns, ammunition and white supremacist propaganda in his bedroom, court records say. A framed photograph of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was on his dresser.

Prosecutors believe those reasons should keep Russell behind bars while he awaits trial on federal charges. A judge, however, disagreed and decided that Russell can be released on bond.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas McCoun III of a federal-district court in Tampa said he does not believe there's "clear and convincing evidence" that Russell is a threat to the community. Russell, 21, was charged last month with possession of unregistered destructive devices and unlawful storage of explosive material.... 

How much would you be willing to wager that this is the kind of lunatic guy who may just be slightly prone to fantasies of going out in a blaze of glory?  Taking as many people with him as he can manage. 

... Russell also told investigators that he used HTMD and the bomb-making devices when he was part of an engineering club at the University of South Florida in 2013, court records say. He said the explosive was used to boost homemade rockets and send balloons into the air for testing. But officials believe HTMD is too strong and volatile for those types of uses.

After he talked to detectives, Russell went to a gun store in Homestead, Fla., where he bought two hunting rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He was later arrested.

McCoun, the federal judge, said in the ruling that Russell's purchase of the rifles and ammunition is concerning, but he did not believe it was enough to deny his request for a bond. Russell, a member of the Florida National Guard, also does not have any arrests or criminal history, and relatives have agreed to allow him to stay with them as he waits for trial. There's also no evidence that Russell used or planned to use the explosive he created, the judge wrote.

Apparently Judge McCoun thinks the guy's a hobbyist.   I looked him up, this idiot nutcase in black robes was appointed in 1994, under Bill Clinton and reappointed in 2002 under George W. Bush.

I hope you noticed the Nazi has a photo of Timothy McVeigh, one time holder of the all time mass murder record in the United States till 9-11 on his dresser.  I wonder if he coulc see it from his bed. 

This is exactly the kind of stuff I was talking about this morning. 

And I think it's time to put up Jay Semko's Mouse In A Hole again.  Maybe it should stand as our de facto national anthem.

They Provide The Examples Proving My Point

A good example of the tactic discussed below is a whiny article up at the "Alliance Defending Freedom"  website bawling about the Southern Poverty Law Center and Judy Shepherd (the mother of Matthew Shepherd and a advocate of LGBT equality) calling it a hate group.

But the irony is that the incendiary labels that Ms. Shepard and SPLC toss about can result in yet more violence. A prime example is what happened to Family Research Council (FRC) soon after SPLC labeled it a hate group. Floyd Lee Corkins stormed FRC’s building intending to kill many innocent people, and after his arrest, he revealed that SPLC inspired his rampage. Similarly, the mob that attacked author and speaker Charles Murray at Middlebury College cited SPLC’s defamatory accusations against him in a threatening letter to the college. It thus appears that trumpeting baseless allegations of hate might not be the best way to eliminate it after all.

It's apparent that a lot of the reason that right-wing student groups sponsor hate speakers is to provoke a reaction which can then be whined about on the basis of a violation of freedom.  Notice that they are blaming the SPLC and Judy Shepherd for this when they are merely opposing the proponents of inequality.   They want to shut down people calling their advocacy of hate what it is. Or to imbed that kind of narrative in the media, something the right wing has generally had no problem doing.

The thinking about the relationship of equality to freedom and to the common good had better start taking hold among advocates of egalitarian democracy because this kind of gaming into account because the enemies of equality claiming violations of their freedoms, of taking advantage of the habit of uncritically considering any "freedom" as good is an effective tool.  Mix in feelings of resentment and claims of being wronged and you've got the ingredients for a later day beer hall putsch which, under our idiotic election laws and the free to lie corporate media, is what the Trump installation was.

I will note, off hand, that their "A" logo reminds me of nothing so much of the "A" logo many atheists use.  Ironic, that.

Also, I have no qualms about telling the truth, that William F. Buckly was a fascist as was his brother James, the "Buckley" in Buckley vs. Valeo, the most incredible redistribution of "freedom" in history.  That ruling, making money speech, effectively gave the rich a proportion of speech and, so, freedom of speech, especially through the media where you've got to buy it, and, so, left the rest of us with a smaller portion of speech.   By commodifying speech, monetarily, the court redistributed it proportionally.   With the full support and approval of the free-speech, free-press industry on behalf of fascists.   Clean-fingered, genteel fascists have been some of the most effective in our country, though their period seems to be giving way to the skin-head, uniformed and lynch mob stage of fascist devolution.  Those dopes always figure they can harness them.

What Does Freedom Mean When, Under Law, It Produces Fascism Or Trumpism?

I wasn't going to mention the Aussie geologist who wants to vandalize the Grand Canyon to prove young earth creationism but I noticed the sleazebag,  uh, lawyer who is bringing a lawsuit on his behalf claiming that the National Parks Service is trying to cover up his science is from an outfit called "Alliance Defending Freedom".    Freedom to vandalize national parks to do bogus science to support a story in Genesis that only means anything real if you don't take it literally, apparently. Though freedom to spread absurd conspiracy narratives is probably more literally true.  As with the phony Randi "Million Dollar Challenge" the real value of the thing is not in someone winning it, it is to have the propaganda value of the thing.

It is worth noticing that the geologist, Dr. Andrew A. Snelling is listed on his Wikipedia page as having "a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Sydney and has worked as a consulting geologist," so the claim that he isn't a scientist can't be made.  Though apparently in addition to the kind of rocks he wants to look at being available outside of the park so there is no reason to let him vandalize those in the park, it's noted that he has had no scientific affiliation or activity for 35 years.  That's a long time to have your oars out of the water.  But, as the rocks are available in other places where he doesn't need permission of the Parks Service to take samples, it's clear to me that it's a Randi type PR scam, nothing more.

But the thing that got me to look into this was the word "Freedom" in the name of the "Alliance Defending Freedom" because I've begun to notice how many far right groups, even neo-Nazi groups whose ideology has everything to do with destroying freedom sell themselves with the word.

The thing that first got me noticing that was looking at the Southern Poverty Law Center's listing of hate groups and noticed that at least ten fascist or Nazi groups used the words "Freedom" or "Free" in their names.  I suspect that when you look at right-wing groups that are dedicated to the opposite of equality and freedom, some of which don't make the SPLC's list of hate groups, the number will be far higher.  And their use of the words as slogans in their propaganda is both contradicted by their goals and it is ubiquitous.   And such use of "freedom" also plays a large part in their propaganda and legal promotions.

In the plague of Nazi and white supremacist rallies that are springing up around the country, fueled by the Trump regime and online hate networking, organizing and recruiting, claims of "freedom of speech" and "freedom of assembly" or, rather the claims of the violation of those when they inevitably provoke a reaction from people opposed to Nazism and white supremacy.   Granted in too many cases it is the not that all different idiots from their best friends in that effort, play lefties of a violent bent in black bloc anarchism and other such nihilistic folk seeking not much but thrills through violence and hate, themselves.  If there is one thing the real left needs to do it is to disavow and dump that burden.  

That kind of stuff has been pioneered by such clean-fingered right wingers and opponents of equality as David Horowitz and used by such media haters as the skanky Ann Coulter.

The concept of freedom as antagonistic to equality was something I first heard from the genteel fascist, William F. Buckley, a fascist who PBS carried for years and who could push some pretty awful stuff and still be considered a gentleman.   Though, in the past twenty years of looking more critically at the use of words with such universally positive denotations I've noticed that, in fact, the opponents of equality have always called the attempt to establish equal justice a violation of their freedoms and rights.  It was one of the most frequent claims of slave holders and dictatorial husbands and fathers that their rights and freedoms were violated when the rights of those held in slavery and women were advocated for.

Freedom can be a very dangerous slogan, especially when it is not specified where it ends as it destroys the rights and freedoms of other people and the common good.  All of those things exist in tension with each other, and the freedoms and rights of people do, too.  And that dynamic of tension includes the common good, all of which must be there and which must be preserved in order for there to be democracy and a decent life for all.   In American culture, the one which has the most potential to do the most damage, right now, is the uncritical assertion and permission of freedom.

That kind of sloganeering use of "freedom" by Nazis will fool lots of people, lots of them in the media and lots of them with college degrees.  It is exactly that ploy which has been behind the enablement and permission of Nazis, white supremacists, etc. by the genteel lawyers of the ACLU. Which is why the laws of the United States are willfully stupid when it comes to making the most obvious distinctions between the freedom to speak for the advocacy of equal justice, equal rights, economic justice and a decent life and the freedom to try to gain power to destroy equal justice, to destroy equal rights, to impose gangster economics that rob people and which turns life into a homicidal blood bath under a regime of terror.  The gaudy flowering of liberties in the Weimar Republic with its raucous theater romanticized in post-war theatrical crap about it went into Nazism pretty fast when the Nazis exercised their freedoms under its regime of freedoms.   The plan behind the Nazis use of lying and deception was laid out specifically by Hitler in Mein Kampf

The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another.

I would say that that is exactly how Trump became president, by finding the psychological form that will arrest attention and appeal to the hearts of masses.  What I would point out is that in the United States, under the judicial and legal regime that insists on pretending that there isn't everything in the world that is different between the advocacy of equal rights and the advocacy of the freedom to destroy democracy because justice must be blind to such difference, the legal system has willfully adopted the pose of being just as like the "crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another" that Hitler took as being his ideal audience of willing idiots.   And doing so using the slogans of "freedom" as contained in the tragically undetailed and unspecific Bill of Rights.  The vagaries of the Bill as composed in mediocre 18th century poetry comprise a loop hole that was big enough to allow slavery and extermination policies and Jim Crow and the subjugation of women in our past, there is every reason to suspect it can produce worse now.   Especially when our judges and lawyers are so willing to play the fool.  When it is considered the very definition of judicious, legal thinking to ignore those glaring realities and their complete and entire realness.   That is when they aren't actual fascists of the Federalist variety, themselves, looking to destroy equality, democracy and a decent life for the benefit of inequality and privilege.  Such privileged people have seldom if ever actually had any limits placed on their freedom.  But that will get me back into the difference between real liberalism and "enlightenment" liberalism as expressed in the savants of the late 18th century.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My thanks to my young relative who turned me on to the Canadian sitcom Letterkenny.  I'd tell you where I'm watching it but I'm afraid whoever takes down the bootleg sites will find out how I'm watching it. 

If you haven't seen it, it's hilarious, taking into account the about 5% filthy and offensive.  It's remarkable how much the hicks in Canada sound like the hicks in Maine.  It saves me from hanging out with the ones down the road. 

Update:  You can watch Letterkenny Problems on Youtube.  It will give you some idea of what it's like. That 5% above is the filthy part of it that's offensive, there's another 10% that's just dirty. 

I could say that they sound almost exactly like about a quarter of the people I know except they're a lot faster.  That's what a script can do for you. 

Through The Miracle of You Tube, More About The Bob and Ray Trio

Billy Bauer (guitar), Andrew Ackers (piano), Milt Hinton (bass), Osie Johnson (drums)

Whenever I can, I look up musicians in bands to see if there's any example of their solo or other work available for listening.  Apparently the one of the Bob and Ray trio who had the most extensive career as a working musician was the guitar player, Billy Bauer.  As can be seen from who played on this album, he worked with some very fine musicians and a lot of really good musicians did a lot of studio and radio work.

Here's the piano player of the trio, Sanford Gold, playing the same song played by the trio in the Bob and Ray show I posted earlier.  It's from his only solo album.

He had an interesting career as a player and all round musician, including as a Jazz teacher, someone who Bill Evans thought enough of that he encouraged people to study with him (according to the notes on this Youtube).  I have seen his method book, A Modern Approach to Keyboard Harmony and Piano Techniques recommended.

The organist, Paul Taubman seems to have mostly worked on radio and TV.  He was the organist who provided the music for the long time soap opera, The Edge of Night.  There is also a recording of I'm In The Mood For Love from an LP which, let's just say, I won't be posting.   Here is a clip with his playing in the background of the Bob and Ray TV show (I think it works a lot better on radio, try listening with your eyes closed) which makes fun of another article of faith, the validity of opinion polls*.

* Honestly, someone as smart as Kevin Drum seems to have replaced revealed religion with a faith in the efficacy of anything you can put into percentages and, especially, if you can plug in the numbers and make a graph of it.  His recent posts on the sciency superstition of IQ have been a real disappointment to me.  I like Kevin but he's a total sucker for science mimicking bull shit.

Until they can come up with a way to guarantee that the people they survey are giving an honest or informed or durable answer to them, it's about as reliable as reading a gutted chicken's entrails.

Just Bob and Ray

I suppose in the interest of full disclosure I should mention it's not "just Bob and Ray" there is also their trio, whose names I don't know*.   And there is the announcer.  

Also, in recognition of my fellow residents,   I should also note that today's post is of Maine interest. 

And another item of interest is their baseball skit which makes fun of the way Ronald Reagan's national career got started, in which he faked coverage of Chicago Cubs games he never saw based on telegraphed accounts of them.  He was a phony from the start of it, the media are good at creating a false semblance of reality that can dupe millions.  Something American liberals still haven't figured out has real political consequences damaging to democracy as we're into our second horrific media figure presidency.   Of course, Bob and Ray weren't making fun of Ronald Reagan's political career.   That would begin a few years later when Reagan did the same against national health care on behalf of the AMA for pay, and the rest was history.  They were just making fun of how their medium could dupe people.  Something the ACLU doesn't take seriously. 

*  I just found their names online,  they were Paul Taubman on the Hammond Organ, Sanford Gold on piano and Bill Bauer on guitar.