Saturday, August 5, 2017

Late News,

I will try to post a drama tomorrow.  We had a big band of electrical storms go through the last few hours and I was off line. 

Apparently Simels not only believes he's Zod, he also believes he's Alan Dershowitz.  I really don't know if it's ethical to keep posting comments about someone who's gone from being merely a pathological liar to someone who through either senility or mental illness has literally gone that far around the bend.   Maybe that's what happens to anyone who spends a lot of time at Eschaton babbling with the other babblers. 

Will Dershowitz Apologize In The Way He Required Jesse Jackson To For A Far Less Serious Smear Against A City?

I have no problem believing that Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law prof.  celebrity lawyer, media celebrity is a racist.  In addition to his clear race bating of the entire District of Columbia, there is his slanderous attack on Congressman Keith Ellison and his mischaracterization of the Black Lives Matter movement.  

His attacks on Keith Ellison are based on Ellison's activities in association to various marches on Washington in 1991 when he was 28 years old, not on anything he did or said but on guilt by association.  Things that Keith Ellison rejected and answered.  I haven't heard the Dersh retract his lies told in that case  

You can compare that to his public absolution of Steve Bannon who he declared free of "personal antisemitism" when, within recent years and as a far older adult Bannon gave support and a media platform to white supremacists like Richard Spencer and other outrageous bigots as Pamela Geller.  

The hypocrisy of Alan Dershowitz and double standard are obvious facts  

The list of those Dershowitz has attacked as "anitsemites" on the basis of nothing but his ability to get cameras and microphones focused on him include President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Demond Tutu, and a list of Jews, Noam Chomsky, Normal Finklestein and pretty much all of J Street.  A much longer list can be provided.   It was only last year, after throwing around the accusation of antisemitism around like poison confetti for decades that Alan Dershowitz suddenly decided that you had to be very careful about that accusation - he made it when he decided to give his imprimatur to Bannon. 

So, no, I won't take back my statement that Alan Dershowitz made a racist attack on an entire city based on the racial makeup of that city.   When Jesse Jackson used a racial buzzword to identify  New York City he was massively attacked and shortly after that apologized.  As I recall Dershowitz put Jackson through a rigorous ordeal of repentance and penance that I think he should now have to undergo himself for his new career of race baiting.   If his racism is "personal" or merely tactical and, therefore, perhaps even more repulsive, I'm really not interested in figuring out.   Frankly, I don't believe a word the man says, anymore. 

Alan Dershowitz Uses Racial Stereotyping On Behalf of The Racist Trump

Torture advocate who sometimes takes a civil libertarian position, Alan Dershowitz, is yet again getting his name in the news by attaching himself to yet another high-profile criminal case on behalf of another total sleaze, Donald Trump.  And, unlike his celebrity advocacy for O. J. Simpson, this time he's using anti-Black stereotypes to do it.

He's in the news with an accusation that Robert Mueller has used Washington, DC grand juries instead of those elsewhere because of who lives in DC:

"The District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration, so I see the significance not so much that he impaneled the grand jury — you have to impanel the grand jury to get subpoena power — but where he impaneled it,"

Which is an overtly racist accusation that could be made, twisting the prejudiced assumptions about people who live in any particular jurisdiction to fit any purpose.  In this case Dershowitz is using the fact that outside of official Washington, the large majority of everyday people who live in Washington are black and that they are, largely, therefore not likely to be supporters of the racist Trump.  It is an overt claim that Black people cannot be trusted to put aside prejudices they may well not have as individuals on a grand jury to deliver impartial justice, a racist claim.  If someone said that about his own ethnic group, Dershowitz would probably be the first to howl in protest for the camera.  As the old saying says, it's probably dangerous to get between the Dersh and a camera. Only, I'll bet if it suited one of his high profile, celebrity defendants and would get him media attention, he'd probably make that accusation, himself.

Alan Dershowitz, media celebrity lawyer is someone I see as a sleaze who will twist and weave and dodge for reasons other than to serve either the truth or American democracy and I think that's what he's doing in this case in which he seems to want to be Trump's "liberal" supporter for God knows what reason but I suspect he'd do just about anything to get in the media.  Only, I would never classify Dershowitz as a liberal.   If given a choice in a contest of his integrity verses Robert Mueller, I would not hesitate to choose the Republican in this instance.

I think the best thing would be to just subject Dershowitz to the ignoring that he has so earned over the years.  That would be the best punishment.  But that won't be done, consistently and, you shouldn't ignore the racism intrinsic to his claim in this case because it is too widespread.

If what he said is taken seriously then it would entirely undermine not only the grand jury system but all trial by jury, as well.   You can make up any claims based in racial or ethnic or regional or religious stereotypes of the kind Dershowitz overtly did in this instance,  you can add in the kind of gender stereotypes that have been used to keep women out of jury pools as well.  Such have been used by lawyers on both sides to try to rig trials for their clients and it is a sleazy practice.  One which, when it suits him and the guy who hires him to hack for him, I'm sure he'd have no trouble taking the exact opposite stand he used to get his name in the media yesterday.

With this I have no hesitation to say that Alan Dershowitz is a total sleaze.  His integrity is non-existent.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Late Mail Call

Apparently Simels is so stupid he doesn't realize that the murders at the Auschwitz death camp and the events of Warsaw Ghetto were not done under Polish authority but were done by the Nazis in occupied Poland.  But, then, as the only book he's ever read about the Third Reich, or rather skimmed is Shirers Berlin Diary, he wouldn't know anything about that.

As I pointed out in my earlier post that is pretty much exactly the same thing that his fellow stupidian, Stephen Fry said, apparently as ignorant as Simps that Poland was occupied.  I guess since it wasn't mentioned in a Bogart movie Stupie wouldn't know about it and apparently none of his fellow bigots at Eschaton know it, either.  I am surprised, I knew things had sort of fallen off a cliff there c. 2007-2008 but I would have expected someone there would have known that.

For the record, here's part of what they have to say at the Holocaust Museum about who was murdered at Auschwitz

The best estimates of the number of victims at the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, including the killing center at Auschwitz-Birkenau, between 1940 and 1945 are: Jews (1,095,000 deported to Auschwitz, of whom 960,000 died); Poles (147,000 deported, of whom 74,000 died); Roma (23,000 deported, of whom 21,000 died); Soviet prisoners of war (15,000 deported and died); and other nationalities (25,000 deported, of whom 12,000 died).

It is estimated that the SS and police deported at least 1.3 million people to the Auschwitz complex between 1940 and 1945. Of these, the camp authorities murdered approximately 1.1 million.

And since the topic is the accusation that Poles were uniformly to blame for the crime of the Nazis, here's the entire short article on Polish Victims of the Nazi genocide campaigns.

The German occupation of Poland was exceptionally brutal. The Nazis considered Poles to be racially inferior. Following the military defeat of Poland by Germany in September 1939, the Germans launched a campaign of terror. German police units shot thousands of Polish civilians and required all Polish males to perform forced labor. The Nazis sought to destroy Polish culture by eliminating the Polish political, religious, and intellectual leadership. This was done in part because of German contempt for Polish culture and in part to prevent resistance against the occupation.

In May 1940, the German occupation authorities launched AB-Aktion, a plan to eliminate the Polish intelligentsia and leadership class. The aim was to kill Polish leaders with great speed, thus instilling fear in the general population and discouraging resistance. The Germans shot thousands of teachers, priests, and other intellectuals in mass killings in and around Warsaw, especially in the city's Pawiak prison. The Nazis sent thousands more to the newly built Auschwitz concentration camp, to Stutthof, and to other concentration camps in Germany where non-Jewish Poles constituted the majority of inmates until March 1942.

The Nazis conducted indiscriminate retaliatory measures against populations in areas where resistance was encountered. These policies included mass expulsions. In November 1942, the Germans expelled over 100,000 people from the Zamosc region; many were deported to the Auschwitz and Majdanek camps. Approximately 50,000 Polish children were taken from their families, transferred to the Reich, and subjected to "Germanization" policies.

Following the annexation of western Poland to Germany, Hitler ordered the "Germanization" of Polish territory. Nazi governors (such as Arthur Greiser in the Warthegau and Albert Forster in Danzig-West Prussia) expelled hundreds of thousands of Poles from their homes in the Generalgouvernement. More than 500,000 ethnic Germans were then settled in these areas.

A Polish government-in-exile, led by Wladyslaw Sikorski, was established in London. It was represented on Polish soil by the underground "Delegatura," whose primary function was to coordinate the activities of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa). The Polish resistance staged a violent mass uprising against the Germans in Warsaw in August 1944. The rebellion lasted two months but was eventually crushed by the Germans. More than 200,000 Poles were killed in the uprising.

Between 1939 and 1945, at least 1.5 million Polish citizens were deported to German territory for forced labor. Hundreds of thousands were also imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps.

It is estimated that the Germans killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians during World War II. In addition, the Germans murdered at least 3 million Jewish citizens of Poland.

I would love to ask Duncan Black if he's entirely happy with his blog being used to promote this kind of bigotry, but I suspect he'd be too busy playing to even notice it.  And people wonder why I've come to think the superannuated boy is a preppy asshole.

An Anti-Polish Bigot Is As Bad As Any Other Racist Or Bigot And They Flourish On The Atheist-Play-Left

I knew that the bigoted liar and idiot and all round jerk, Steve Simels wouldn't hold on his threat to ignore me for long, he's got a comment up at Duncan's Daycare For Drooling Dolts which shows, he's a. lying about what I said, b. claiming I said things I never said, c. knows nothing about Poland, d. demonstrating that he knows nothing about Polish political parties and who are members of them, e. take your pick, he pretty much knows nothing except the last thing he read mixed with a. b. c. and d, other expressions of his stupidity.

According to online sources, 96% of the Polish population identify as Catholics, something the U.S State Department confirms.

More than 96 percent of citizens are identified as Roman Catholic; however, Eastern Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and much smaller Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim congregations meet freely. 

I would go on to point out that, by far, the majority of Polish Catholics didn't vote for the crypto-fascist, nationalist party that governs it right now but it's really of secondary importance because any resistance, opposition and defeat of the current, fascistic, Polish government WILL HAVE TO BE OVERWHELMINGLY DONE BY PEOPLE WHO ARE CATHOLIC, MOST OF WHO, RIGHT NOW, ARE OPPOSED TO THE FASCISTS AND THEIR POLICIES.  That's what's important to know, that any improvement that gets rid of the fascists will be done, largely by Catholics and non-Catholics in the country will depend on a majority of that resistance being mounted by Catholics.

Simps, knowing next to nothing about Polish history and its current politics as, I would bet, more than 96% of his audience at Eschaton, doesn't really care about that but about supporting a narrative that holds that Poles during the Nazi period were uniformly anti-semites who supported the Nazi murders of Jews - he also not caring at all about other people in other groups slated for murder and murdered by the Nazis, the largest of those named groups, Poles and other Slavs.  I have pointed it out to him a number of times, so I know he knows it (though I doubt he, in his laziness, ever read the links I gave) that the official Israeli center for documenting and addressing the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, Yad Vashem, has pointed out that the numbers of Poles who hid and helped Jews escape from the Nazis is higher than in any other country, even as they were murdered along with their families for helping to hide Jews and aid them, even as they, themselves, were targeted with genocide by direct order from Hitler.  Simels position on that last point would seem to have more in common with David Irving's thinking about the murder of Jews than it does anything rational or documented.

Simps is just repeating a common line of anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-Polish invective of the kind that his fellow idiot, Stephen Fry got into hot water for telling in the stupidest possible way.  Only that lie can only be told in the stupidest possible way as the only people who would fall for it are those too stupid to verify that serious accusations are, in fact, true before accepting and repeating them.

As I've also pointed out several times, Simels isn't so good on the concept of time, in which things happen before and after each other, people who are alive at one period die and aren't there anymore and that things and ideas change.  There are certainly only a very few Poles who were adults during the period of the Nazi occupation and even fewer who had any role in collaborating with the Nazis - who were also under orders to suppress any kind of authority of any kind in Poland except that deemed sufficiently "Aryan."   I doubt that any real Polish nationalist would have collaborated with any invaders, either the Nazis or the Soviets, though some certainly did collaborate, probably about as many as did in other countries or fewer.  But the point is that, despite what the dyschronometric Simels thinks, people are only guilty of things they did, not that which were done by adults in their country sixty and seventy years ago, two or three generations before they were born or achieved the status of responsibility.   I mean, he's in his eighth decade and he doesn't even get that about his own life time.  He's got so much in common with Donald Trump in that discontinuous stream of only semi-conscious awareness that takes no responsibility for maintaining a coherent and reasonable appreciation of reality.

An anti-Polish bigot is as bad as any other racist or bigot and the flourish on the atheist-play-left, in all their florid ignorance, stupidity and baseness, but it's not unfashionable to be anti-Polish.   In that fact we see one of the stupidest things about the atheist-play-left, they don't care about reality and what it will take to defeat things such as fascism in the real world instead of theoretical fantasy.  They don't even understand that if you insult people, they're less likely to do what you claim you want them to do.  They don't get that about American politics with more than a half-century of the failure of insulting the overwhelming majority of Americans has gotten them, they're hardly likely to care about it in a country thousands of miles away.

Trump’s Threats Are Getting Out of Control

More On The Proposed Mathematical Third Realm of Reality

Wish I had time to transcribe some of what Roger Penrose said in that video William Lane Craig critiqued (both in agreement and, at times disagreement).   Until I can do that all I can do is give my interpretation of what was said.

Contrary to what some people, especially those who reject philosophy for their pop-scientism, think, you can discuss and test ideas without rejecting or accepting them and while doubting or rejecting the idea that you can know the ultimate status of the idea.

With that last point in mind, I think the argument Penrose made against the idea that mathematics is a human invention and a product of our minds because mathematics would have been valid during the ages of the dinosaurs isn't a very strong argument.   The physical nature of the world and universe would have been what it was then too, before any human being was around to articulate or express a perception of it in words but it was still the same universe.  However, I don't think Roger Penrose would entertain the idea that words and language are not human inventions and the area of a separate realm of reality which stands in mysterious relation to the physics he has studied and explained in numbers and equations.  Since the numbers and equations couldn't explain a single thing about the physical universe without the words that give the equations and numbers any explanatory power at all, and without which it is doubtful that human beings could know any mathematics at all, why doesn't that produce a fourth realm of reality, the kinds of articulations through which the human conceptions of both mathematics and physical reality are known to us, exist?

I doubt that we can ever tease out the basic nature of any of this without reference to our own minds because our minds are always and in the most subtle and profound and determinative way an intrinsic part of our understand of everything.  Even if you reject an idealist conception of reality, that mind is the primary causative aspect of reality, for all human purposes of articulating anything about the universe, you can't possibly NOT admit that everything we know of the universe which we talk about or can measure, all of the relationships, both verbally and numerically expressible by us, are created as intellectual "things" by our minds.   A more profound question than the status of mathematics while dinosaurs but not people were around is to ask is how an infant without language, without numbers, gains an ability to, as a human being, address the world in an effective way.  Penrose sort of dealt with that in terms of his mathematical realm, which he admitted had no causal power in physical reality, could be knowable to a young child.  I think that if mathematics is a human construct, the product of human minds and mental capacity, then what he finds so mysterious is far more plausible.

I have no way of knowing which ideas are right in this or if any of them are.  If an idealist conception of this makes things seem more "elegant" or an explanation of numbers, mathematical relationships or anything else as a product of human minds is more "parsimonious" doesn't necessarily make it more correct than Penroses "trialist" model.  "Elegance" and "parsimony" (as in what has been reduced to a pretty empty slogan "Occam's razor") might be more pleasing to human understanding but that isn't necessarily getting us closer to what we also imagine being "objective reality".  Even that last categorization is a product of our mind and might be accurate or it might be as much of a delusion as those things the atheist-materialist loves to classify as illegitimate "subjective illusion".

There is one thing that I think is quite obvious, that anyone who attempts to limit reality to what is contained in materialist, "physicalist" or "naturalist" dogma is willfully ignoring that even their own ideology has to extend past what they claim is contained in it to be an articulable or to gull people into believing in it.  The current materialism of popular atheism, a facile, superficial ideology that extends up through academic culture and is quite popular with some very famous and even, at times, accomplished scientists, is based on an ignorance of the complexity of these issues and a refusal to admit that they are basic to any claims of what is real or what exists and aren't left behind at any stage of the discussion and that you don't make any progress at all without accepting the role that our minds, including the ones articulating materialist-scientistic dogma, inevitably play in coloring and shaping and creating the ideas we form and manipulate in the argument.   You can't pretend that because you come up with numbers and equations and claims about the nature of subatomic particles and the entire physical universe that you've surpassed the fact that you've done all of that with your mind and based entirely on your own, particular and not objective perceptions, measurements and analyses.  Well, you can get away with that among other superficial people but it doesn't impress anyone who refuses to ignore those things or compel assent or agreement because you claim to be doing it with "objective" scientific assertions.

Update:  Someone sent me the right link to the part of the interview Robert Kuhn did with Roger Penrose that motivated this.

I would point out that sometimes Penrose seems to contradict himself, such as at c. 10:05 when he claims that mathematics is "controlling the universe".   If mathematics has no casual relation to his proposed physical reality, how can he support the contention that it controls the universe?   Though as he says a little while later, these matters are mysterious.  His point that there are enormous parts of verified, confirmed, tested mathematical truth for which there seems to be no physical connection.

I do think in another part  the interview, his discussion of the folly of imagining that our minds are a computable thing, that it could be expressed in mechanical computation might be the most important part of the discussion.   I agree with a lot of what he says as part of his "c" alternative, the one he holds that pretty much rejects the computer model, the vulgar conception of Alan Turnings' claims but I suspect that his "d" that says science can't deal with consciousness because it surpasses of the realm of both science and math is very likely true.  But, for my purpose, if Roger Penrose dismisses that popular notion and, worse, a widely held computer model of the human mind as one of the "brain only" alternatives popular today, then I don't think there is anything wrong with us rejecting it.  I think his observation about the limits of math and science in relation to that, at least today, are politically important.  Anything that discredits the claim of physical determinism of minds is vitally important for democracy, anything that places human beings outside of the realm of physical objects is as important for egalitarian legal treatment of people and in asserting metaphysical moral obligations which are essential for everything from egalitarian democracy down to the very basis of civil society, decent behavior.

There is a lot more to be said about that.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

James Scott - Ragtime Oriole - Grace and Beauty

Scott Kirby, piano

On Stephen Miller


Now, This Is A Musical I'd Watch - Kris Kobach's Racist Music Man

On Obama's Inner Circle Encouraging Duval Patrick To Run

I've been asked by someone offline what I think of the story that Barack Obama's inner circle is encouraging the former governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick to mount a run for president in 2020.   I have great respect for Deval Patrick and like him but I have come to think it's not a good idea for someone who has not been working in Washington as a member of the government to be President.   Jimmy Carter, the last president who I can say I respect without immediately hedging and Bill Clinton were both people of enormous intelligence and ability but they didn't know the territory and their administrations suffered from that.  Being governor of a state is hardly the same thing as being president.  Both of them brought people with them who probably shouldn't have been given such prominent positions in a presidential administration because they didn't now the territory and some of who were played by those who do.  Some of them seemed dazzled or worse, Janet Reno, for example.  

If Deval Patrick had gained several terms in the House and distinguished himself there or in the Senate or in a cabinet post he might be the kind of person I would consider supporting but he hasn't.  And he is a Harvard product.  I will only vote for another Ivy League or Ivy-equivalent product if forced to.   I am serious about the dangers of people educated into the Ivy League way of thinking for the United States, I think it's time to cut that old school tie that is strangling us, the elite thought that is part of the education and acculturation of those institutions.  He also graduated from The Milton Academy as an A Better Chance, student.  That Duval Patrick has come from a very humble beginning might be enough for him to have resisted that way of thinking but that, alone, is no guarantee of rejecting it and being able to make it clear to those around him that he has rejected the prep-Ivy League networking trap. 

We need a candidate who will not get played by people familiar with Washington and who won't be overly impressed with the DC area establishment.  We need someone who combines Jimmy Carter's morality and decency with Lyndon Johnson's tough and, yes, ruthless pursuit of things like his Great Society Programs, someone who is wise enough to not get suckered into a foreign entanglement as Johnson was by the "Harvard boys".  

Are Mathematical Objects Real?

There has been a really bizarre idea, or, really, more of an attitude that has developed on the left that if you disagree with someone about something that is important, or even something that is relatively unimportant, that you're not supposed to have any respect for them.  Such a attitude is as stupid as it is snobbish.  There are people who have removed themselves from consideration as a decent person but there are people who certainly haven't totally left the realm of those you can learn from even when you disagree with them..

On matters of religion, I have some profound disagreements with William Lane Craig, though there are some areas of agreement, too.  Some of our disagreements are on very important issues but he is absolutely brilliant, especially in those areas of philosophy which he has specialized in.  Even when we might not see exactly eye-to-eye on those things, what he says on them is worth listening to and thinking about.  That's the reason I have listened to a number of his debates, his lectures and his interviews, especially on such issues as the interview he posted yesterday in which he went over an interview the eminent mathematical physicist, Roger Penrose gave to Robert Kuhn, on Closer To Truth.   I am going to listen to the Penrose interview a few more times and might say something about that later.   But I think Craig's critique of what Penrose says, especially on such things as mind-body dualism and what Penrose calls his "trialism" and the issues involved in materialist monism, mind-body dualism and Penroses introduction of mathematical objects and properties as a third realm of reality are worth listening to several times as well.

In light of the hackneyed and rote recital of the old argument against mind-body dualism, that an immaterial mind couldn't have any way to interact with a physical body (which is wrong*) it is interesting to think of why so many materialists who reject that possibility have no problem with such a proposed mathematical realm of reality having an even less explainable connection to materialism.  It seems to me that a materialist having to explain everything in terms of the crudest and most basic of defined properties of material objects and forces is at a total loss to explain both the possibility of other entities having other properties and, in the case of minds, abilities, that aren't so limited, which aren't definable in terms of physical properties and laws.

Penrose seems to have no problem with understanding that problem in terms of the interaction of mathematics and the material realm, which he takes as separate realms but he doesn't seem to understand that minds, which he implies are real, may have abilities that make the obvious understanding of his mathematical realm unsurprising.

I don't agree with everything that William Lane Craig says in this video and our interests in the issue don't exactly match, his is obviously primarily as a support of theism (which is interesting and perhaps persuasive, though I'm reticent to go there) mine is obviously political, as well.  But his analysis and criticism and agreement with Roger Penrose is worth considering.   I'll be considering both of these recordings for a long time to come.

*  I've been through that before,  if there is a non-material mental realm then the entities in that realm would not be rationally expected to have the same limits as that of unconscious matter because if those minds had the same limits they would not be different than physical objects.  And our experience of the mind is not explainable by physical or material laws.  Including our understanding and perception of and consciousness of any external reality.

Mind-body dualism was never, actually, refuted, it was merely made unfashionable.  As Craig points out someone as sophisticated in terms of material understanding implicitly accepts the validity of dualism which he wants to extend to a third realm of reality.  I'm not sure, from what I've heard, that Penrose is entirely comfortable with that implication of his statements, though he is certainly aware of the inadequacy of the materialist, brain-only dogma that has a hegemonistic hold on the culture of academia.

Update:  I just noticed that I linked to the wrong thing, above, here is what I'd meant to link to.

I started watching the video in the series where Kuhn talks to a younger William Lane Craig, I have to admit I was distracted by the vase on a piano in the background.  If there's one thing that drives me nuts it's seeing people putting any liquid near a piano, knowing what water can do to, for example, a well working keyboard.  Pianos aren't furniture. I'd dope slap anyone who put a vase of flowers or a glass of water or a drink on one.

Update 2:  Nope, that wasn't the right link either.  I can't find it, now.  You'll just have to listen to it as WLC has it on the Youtube.
Note:  I was fiddling around with some comment filters the other day and believe some comments disappeared someplace and I can't find them.  I don't know what those were.  If your comment was not posted or commented on, that's the reason.  The ones which were just stupid and insulting and content free, those disappear because I send them to the Spam file. 

Update:  One of the comments I did find complained that I'd said Jeff Sessions was a racist, citing a right wing (it looked neo-Nazi to me) website that had a piece of crap up about how when he was nominated to a federal judgeship in 1986, young Jefferson Beauregard Sessions jr. got his self-admittedly segregationist father to claim in a local rag that though he favored "separation of the races" his son didn't.   As if a racist father claiming his little boy isn't a racist when sonny boy is up for a job in a time an overt racist wouldn't get it is credible.  Lil' Jefferson Beauregard was 40 at the time, what is it with these Republican right wingers in trouble running to daddy like they were 14?    Back then the Senate wouldn't have put an overt racist like Jeff Sessions in such a position, under the current Republican leadership, even the "moderates" like Susan Collins would.  Jeff Sessions entire career is a neo-Confederate monument to white supremacy and racism.  That's why he's been put in as Attorney General in a white supremacist regime.  I strongly suspect we will find the same is true of Neil Gorsuch.  

Laura Ingraham Affirmative Action Beneficiary And Lying Hypocritical Skank And the Affirmative Action That Is Never Called That Or Attacked

It's no news that the member in bad standing of the hate-talk Peroxide Aryan Sisterhood - aka, right-wing robo-blondes -  Laura Ingraham is a liar and a hypocrite but her saying:

I love the fact that the Justice Department, by the way, is going to be investigating what affirmative action has done to universities. In other words, shafting people who are not of the appropriate color, or background, or ethnicity, and I love that. Good for Sessions. I'd hit all these liberal -- the Holy Grail of liberalism is abortion, and drugs, and affirmative action, and the culture wars they're trying to push on our kids, all these new views of gender. I'd smash back on all of that.

is especially hypocritical in her case because of her history.  The skank is a graduate of the previously all-male Dartmouth College where she got her degree, so, right off, a beneficiary of the affirmative action of the all-male bastion going co-ed, no doubt depriving probably more academically deserving men of admittance to that minor Ivy League venue of training the minor members of the elite.  There she was part of Jeff Hart's little group of Hartler Junger (one of the few gals in it) and a member of the ultra-rich sugar daddy financed, and criminal Dartmouth Review.

Laura Ingraham is a member of the largest group which Affirmative Action was practiced and promoted on behalf of, certainly the group which benefitted the most from it, WHITE WOMEN.   Any time you hear a WHITE WOMAN attack affirmative action in the media, especially a right-wing media skank like Laura Ingraham you know you are in the presence of hypocrisy.   When she was born a womans place in journalism was in the entertainment sections, reporting on fashion, reporting on home making, getting nowhere nearer to important news than Hollywood and show biz gossip, maybe writing book reviews if she were more intellectual.  In broadcast journalism, there was pretty much a quota of about one per network, if that.   The only one I can recall was Nancy Dickerson who got to do a little maybe 3 minute news brief after the afternoon soaps or between them.  Men seldom saw her or heard her voice.  If one of my sisters didn't watch a soap I'd probably not remember her.

By the way, I used the word "skank" because I knew it would be controversial and because it fits Laura Ingraham and the rest of the Peroxide Aryan Sisterhood as well as many male beneficiaries of Affirmative Action who, as they were done with it, advanced themselves in right-wing media and politics by attacking the very program they used to get THEMSELVES ahead.  Clarence Thomas is such a skank, the black faced enemies of Black People who seem to benefit from an affirmative action program program in fascist media, but only for purposes of attacking things like Affirmative action are also skanks.  There seems to be an affirmative action program in the media to get as many of those liars and hypocrites on camera and on air as necessary whenever the subject is ending and correcting discrimination.  I doubt many of them get as high up as a blonde, Ivy Leaguer like Ingraham, that kind of counter-affirmative action only goes so far when race is mixed in.

Whenever Affirmative Action is the topic, it should never, ever be allowed to go unsaid that the largest and most benefitted group of beneficiaries of it have been White Women, especially when those women are affluent and conservative.   It should also never be forgotten that there are classes of white men who have benefitted from affirmative action.   At times regional and religious and ethnic groups have benefitted from Affirmative Action programs, at times rural white men have been beneficiaries, having those aspects of their personhood taken into account.  The family status of white men has certainly been an aspect of one of the oldest and longest practiced forms of affirmative action, legacy admissions and legacy hires.  THERE IS CERTAINLY NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT SUCH IDIOTS AS GEORGE W. BUSH, JARED KUSHNER, MANY WHITE MALE GRADUATES OF THE IVY LEAGUE CLASS OF UNIVERSITIES HAVE EARNED THEIR PLACES BY THEIR INTELLECTUAL AND ACADEMIC ABILITIES.  IN THE CASE OF JARED KUSHNER, I RECENTLY READ THAT THE SOME OF THE FACULTY OF HIS PREP SCHOOL WERE ANGRY THAT HE GOT INTO HARVARD ON THE POWER OF DADDY'S MONEY WHEN SOME OF THEIR STUDENTS WHO WERE ACADEMICALLY FAR MORE QUALIFIED WHO HAD APPLIED WERE NOT ADMITTED.  CERTAINLY THE SAME IS TRUE OF EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO HAS BENEFITTED THROUGH LEGACY ADMISSIONS.  



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Todd Goodman - Sonata for Solo Bass Trombone

Chuck Jacks, trombone

This is the world premier of this unusual and really interesting sonata.  The recording is twenty years old and though the spoken introduction is not very clear the playing is much clearer.   The player commissioned or requested the composition of the sonata.   Here is the description of it from the eminent trombonist,  Douglas Yeo's website.

Bass trombone unaccompanied. This is a fine, three movement work for solo bass trombone. The three movements ("Thundercracke," "Quite," and "Derby") are highly evocative and pose good but reasonable challenges on the performer. Valve trills, multiphonics, nimble technique, fast tonguing and soft, legato playing in the pedal register are all required but well rewarded. The "Sonata" was commissioned by R. Charles Jacks.

Todd Goodman is an interesting composer whose music I'm just beginning to become familiar with.

Dusan Bogdanovic - Sonata Fantasia - A Summer Rerun

Ewa Jablczynska & Dariusz Kupinski,

I just felt like hearing a bit of Bogdanovic that's as hot as the weather here.

Hate Mail - "your obsession with porn"

Apparently one of the day care inmates at Duncan Black's blog didn't like my comment that if all porn were to disappear from the internet and the media that the world would be a better place for it.

I can say that among the things that is known to come with porn are the people used by porn being infected with incurable and currently treatable sexually transmitted diseases, so if porn were not made that obvious means of exposing the many people involved in porn - some willingly, some not - to sexually transmitted diseases would not happen.

The abuse, degradation and humiliation of people that is intrinsic to porn - especially as those who produce it decide they have to ratchet it up and provide ever more extreme attractions to their audience - would likely diminish.   Many womens rights groups have pointed out that boys and men who are exposed to porn have made demands on girls and women and subjected them to the kind of abusive treatment that is depicted, increasingly, in porn.

The extreme, internalized hatred of gay men that is an increasing feature of gay porn, especially that of the "alpha male" type which is a fairly recent development.  The attraction of dividing gay men into a dominator class and a class that they dominate with abuse and hatred that rivals that of straight porn, the increasing prevalence of the promotion of rape and sado-masochistic and incest themed porn, not to mention the increasing use of simulated and actual pedophilia as themes in gay porn, all of that would disappear.   It's been my observation that all of that has increased, enormously, as porn moved from magazines and grainy, cheaply made movies to the internet.  Especially the obvious posting of photographs, gifs and videos of the actual and obvious rape of minor children, both boys and girls.

It is not a surprise to me that the generally white, generally affluent, college-educated, generally not at risk, mostly straight audience of such a blog would not care about the people who are abused, psychologically damaged, infected, maimed and  killed by pornography because they are probably not in danger of having one of themselves or their loved ones (if such people exist) be used by the porn industry.   They probably imagine that no one they know will be the victim of abuse at the hands of a man or boy who has learned what they know about sex largely from internet porn.  They probably can't imagine that, by far, and by degree, the worst anti-gay messaging and encouragement to hatred and violence of gay men, and possibly other people in the LGBT community is contained in porn which does have obvious and overwhelming influence in how people act, how they think.

The lie that porn has no effect on the behavior of people is utterly transparent as its main use is to induce sexual arousal by appealing to what people will find appealing, to enhance their masturbation or their sexual behavior with other people.  That is in addition to the affect it is intended to have in causing people to buy it and choose to watch it.  The lie that porn and its content has no effect on peoples behavior is an utter and transparent lie which has been told successfully by pseudo-scientists, sometimes in the employ of the porn industry and the media and lawyers in the employ of the porn industry and the media.  A transparent lie which has been bought by the affluent, white, overwhelmingly male judges and Supreme Court justices who have enabled the expansion of porn in the modern era.

I would like a list of what terrible things would happen if porn were to suddenly and totally disappear from the world.  One that more than matches the partial list above of what has happened now that it has been not only made but permitted with legal impunity.   I'd like to be told how its sacrosanct position in the pseudo-liberal pantheon of secular holy objects, how its promotion and defense as a twisted virtue,  was attained.

The "It Was A Joke" Defense Is A Lie

Last night, Chris Hayes did a short segment about the many times the Trump courtiers have excused the terrible things he's said by claiming that "it was a joke," perhaps the most recent of those being by the current liar as Press Sec. Sarah Huckabee Sanders claiming that Trump's encouragement of police brutality while addressing a group of cops was "a joke".   He also noted that the Trump stable of designated liars have said the same thing when he advocated "Second Amendment" solutions if Hillary Clinton was elected and appointed federal judges, suggesting assassination of either her or the judges she would appoint - something not unknown in Republican politics in this era.  In that case it was the scummy Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan who lied on Trump's behalf.   He also noted that when he attacked the Gold Star parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son died in action, it was the man who Trump would appoint as Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross* who, like Trump appears to never have served in the military, who made the excuse that he was "joking" when he did what would have, before Trump, been unthinkable for a major American politician to have done.

When he was called on asking Russia to break the law and hack Hillary Clinton's e-mail on behalf of his campaign, CALLING FOR A REGIME OF ORGANIZED CRIMINALS TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS, WHICH WE KNOW THEY DID FOR HIM, it was Trump who passed it off as "sarcasm".  Later they had another of his stable of designated liars, Sean Spicer claiming a blanket immunity from decency or even legal propriety on behalf of Donald Trump using the "joking" privilege.   

There needs to be a rule that holds that a presidential candidate, anyone holding high office who says things like Donald Trump has doesn't get the chance to claim that they were "just joking".   Barack Obama, probably the best at making jokes of any president in our history, never in my memory had to make that defense of something he said, he certainly never said anything as legally problematic as calling for a foreign crime boss to meddle in our elections or encouraging his supporters to consider the possibility of politics by assassination or police misconduct or as repulsively disgusting as attacking Gold Star parents as Trump did.   That "just joking" stuff is disgusting enough in private life (I've had it pulled on me a number of times, just Sunday, in fact) but no president, House member or Senator or Cabinet level official should ever get to use it, certainly not as Trump and his stable of designated liars has.   

By the way, in Trump's world everyone would seem to be a designated liar, but some of them have it as a job description. 

*  That's Wilbur Ross, a Yale - Harvard product.  His time in the Bill Clinton administration is just another piece of evidence that the rule of the Ivy Leaguers has some deeply ambiguous features that are definitely not in the interest of the overwhelming majority of the American People. 

"Moderate" Republicans Now Own The Neo-Jim Crow, Neo-Confederate Attorney Generalship of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions

The primitive but genteelly presented racism of Jeff Sessions has turned into an overt war against equality in the now so-called Justice Department, in its support for overt neo-Jim Crow and other neo-Confederate policies aimed at both allowing major and legal racial and ethnic discrimination and to suppress the voting and civic rights of, especially, Black people, Latinos and others.   

This is an ongoing project of the Republican, now Republican-fascist party, of which Jeff Sessions is a member and which has the support of even allegedly "moderate" Republicans of the kind who supported and voted for his, an overt racist of long standing, in the post of Attorney General.

That this is a manifestation of racism is obvious because the Republican focus in attacks on things such as affirmative action never, ever mentions that the largest group for which affirmative action has had the most benefit are white women.   That that group has never been the face of affirmative action while they are the foremost beneficiaries of it shows that the opponents of it are only opposed to it when the people it benefits are not white.  White women are not the only groups which have been overt beneficiaries of affirmative action but they are NEVER the focus of those who attack the policy. 

The Republicans who supported putting Jeff Sessions, who lied both in his written submissions to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of his nomination hearings and during his sworn testimony to the committee, own him.  They own the policies that anyone with any familiarity with his history of racism, no matter how much they might want to distance themselves from them.  They voted to put someone in the office of Attorney General who was certain to take the course that he has in supporting voter suppression, not voting rights, who is starting a campaign to prevent Black, Latino and other students from going to college.  This is the desegregation of universities and colleges in reverse, pressuring even those universities and colleges which want to integrate students from minority groups into their institutions by intimidating them.   This is an abuse of power by a racist to promote his personal hatred of minority people, most of all, Black people. 

Jeff Sessions is on line to be among the worst Attorney Generals in the history of the office, one who likely colluded with representatives of the Putin crime regime to benefit one of the worst candidates for president in the history of the presidency.   He was never qualified to administer justice, he was certain to deliver injustice on behalf of the privileged, both in class and race.   I hope to see him investigated for high crimes and when found guilty sent to prison, at the very least I hope to see him be exposed for the racist sleaze he has always been, no matter what affection his fellow Senators may have held him in.  Their little club loyalties and mutual admiration aren't why they were sent there, they should be forced to remember that.   It might prevent another such abominable appointment being approved by them. 

Take The Con Artists Out of Christianity - Luck, Coincidence or Something Spookier, I Don't Know

but last night while doing my look at comedy for relief from too much news, I watched what the Seth Myers channel posted AFTER I wrote what I did yesterday morning.

I will warn you that listening to Trump pretending to be religious is painful as are the numb nuns the vulgar materialist and sex abuser used as a prop during a speech.  But listening to his "spiritual adviser" the pseudo-Christian Paula White is really painful.   She is exactly the kind of person who I was talking about yesterday, who claims to preach Christianity while actually promoting a horrific materialist-pagan - in my opinion obviously Satanic - fraud which has made her mega rich.  If this kind of thing is what the Constitutional "separation of church and state" the hands off of religion provisions can lead to, those need to be tuned so as to exclude such obvious frauds and phonies from the protection that prevents the suppression and criminalization of their rackets.   I know that in the polite world of polite Christianity and the secular religion of Founders Fetishism such things are not supposed to be said but, really, look at her, listen to her con job, the exact opposite of the ministry of Jesus, the Gospel of Jesus, the practice of the early church as set down in Acts and the Epistles.   She is no more Christian than any other successful con artist.  Such things should not enjoy constitutional protection.

It is so disgusting, so damaging to the reputation of Christianity and religion that I think it is worth, by many times, the risks that might come with a constitution which allowed the suppression of this kind of thing, the removal of the name religion from it.  If it would endanger the commercial properties of the richer churches and the means by which those have been gained, at least the Christian churches should never have been involved with those to start with.   Christianity started and has always been supposed to be a church of the poor.   Jesus said if you had money to give it away to people who wouldn't pay it back, to sell all you own and give the money to the poor.  The extent to which we fail to do that is to fail to follow the Gospel.  At the very least those who are supposed to be the experts in following the Gospel should make that attempt.

If you are worried that some judge, somewhere, some future Attorney General could use it to go after legitimate religious institutions, that is a risk which is theoretical, this attack on the reputation of Christianity, this tool of its enemies, including the con artists, is here and now.  Giving it legal cover because the "founders" were too short-sighted, too dim or too inclined to pretend to write poetry to be specific has not worked in this instance.  Enough people are damaged by such con jobs that it is certainly a duty to try to do something about it.  As the story points out,  a number of them have been investigated for crimes, already.  But obviously the legal ability to stop this isn't sufficient.

I will say, specifically, Paula White's pseudo-Christian Pentecostalism is an example of what happens when you have a religious movement that has insufficient structure to prevent such an obvious phony opportunist from setting up shop under the name of their denomination.   In the case of "Pentecostalism" it has gotten totally out of hand and I would say that large parts of the movement are, really, a Satanic materialistic sham and con job and have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus except as a closed set of pages for a con artist to wave around as a prop.  Like the two that Trump was sworn in on.  As Samantha Bee also said, that was two more books than he ever read in his life, something the estimable Seth Myers points out, too.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"... they said....."

Why is Trump Reminding Us of the Pee Pee Tape?

On The Claim I Said Only Christians Could Be Real Liberals

I don't believe I ever said you couldn't be a real liberal without being a religious believer.  Though I said something close to that.  And by a "real liberal"  I mean a liberal in the sense of the word which described the American liberal tradition, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, visiting the prisoner, providing economic and legal justice to the orphan, the widow, the stranger living among us, creating and funding the best possible institutions that would do that with the power of government and non-governmentally, universal education, public universities,  things like the GI Bill, etc.  What Jonathan Edwards, of all people, you might think, described as "providing liberally" for the destitute among us.

I don't believe I ever said you HAD to be a religious believer to be that kind of a liberal.  I certainly never said you had to be a Christian to be that kind of a liberal.  What I said is that you couldn't be that kind of liberal on a reliably sustainable basis without having a real and solid belief in the metaphysical properties of people and other living beings which holds that they are endowed with rights by the simple fact of their character as living beings.  In the most basic political manifestation of those inherent properties that define people as not being material objects but more than that, you have to believe something like the formulation in the beginning of the Declaration of Independence,  that all people

... are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

If you don't really, truly AND EFFECTIVELY,  believe that, at the very least, your liberalism will never be grounded in anything that is durable and which is not liable to be abandoned for that favorite force of the British "Enlightenment", and the line of economic nonsense that comprises the neoclassical school of Friedman, self interest over the common good or due justice in any particular case.

The substitution of  the various forms of Marxism as a materialist replacement of a firm belief in the metaphysical endowment of rights and moral obligations to observe those rights was one of the most disastrous and murderous experiments ever given to a philosophical idea in history.  Marxist dialectal materialism forced itself into power, gave that idea a try and proved, in every case, that it was a horrific disaster.*

The alleged alternatives to Marxism, artificially and opportunistically charted on a false chart of political and economic philosophies,  fascism, Nazism, market economics and even, I have come to believe, what goes by the imprecise name of "secular" capitalist economics and government, the vulgar materialism of consumerism have been and are a continuing disaster.   I think the history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries have proved that materialistic philosophies, even when they pretend to serve as a substitute will always and inevitably end up with the opposite of what traditional American liberalism holds to be truths, the kind of which Jefferson gave a brief and far from complete list in that quote above.

If other systems of belief can give rise to a reliable and secure form of those truths, I don't know.  I suspect that Judaism and Islam could, certainly in the current American context there are Jews and Muslims who are better on those than many people who profess Christianity.   If other religions could, I don't know.  I suspect that Buddhism might be able to and some strains of Hinduism - though not those which hold to the beliefs that gave rise to the infamous caste system.*   It's possible that there are numerous religious traditions that could give rise to a government or politics that assert those truths.  I doubt that any society where a majority of people held those attributes of people were not an endowment of their Creator or in some other way metaphysically and equally instilled in us could sustain egalitarian democracy for long.

I don't believe for a single second that atheist religious substitutes of "Humanism" or utilitarianism or, heaven help us, the "ethicists" who are always coming up with ways to justify infanticide and other means for getting rather stupid academics media time, will ever do anything but give excuses for moral depravity.

The attack on religion, gaining momentum in the post-war period and the pseudo-scientific attack on the mind and consciousness through asserting those are a mere epiphenomenon of material causation, the broadcast of the promotion of and seduction into the mindlessness of vulgar materialism and consumerism have had the greatest hand in producing the decline into Trumpery.  Though I would say that the TV and movie and, now, internet seduction into self-aggrandizing consumerism has been the strongest force doing that.  It has certainly hollowed out the religion of many who profess a Christianity at complete odds with the Gospel, the Prophets and the Law, the support of many such people for the neo-pagan materialism of  Donald Trump has produced a disaster which rivals that of the imperial Roman Empire, whose religion was remarkably like the "Christianity" of the Trump supporters.

In the United States not only a revival of traditional American liberalism but of anything that aspires to egalitarian democracy depends on the revival of the kind of Christianity that is the cultural heritage of a large number of Americans who will not give that up.   I think there needs to be a rigorous internal criticism of Christianity more profound than the atheist attack on it BECAUSE IT TAKES THE TEACHINGS OF THE JEWISH TRADITION AS BEING A PROFOUND EXPRESSION OF REALITY.   I don't think Christianity should have ever stopped calling itself, on an individual or on a denominational and intra-denominational level on lapses and violations of the teachings of Jesus, the Prophets, the Law.  Not over what Walter Brueggemann has called the "pelvic theology" that is obsessed with sex (though there are aspects of that which must be addressed when they result in unwanted pregnancy, injury, infection, injustice and denial of the personhood of someone), but over the central teachings of Jesus, etc. which informed all of the successful reform efforts in the history of the United States up to and including today's LGBT rights agitation.   I don't see any prospect for anything but addressing those in terms of Christianity working.   The "secular" really atheist, attempts to address those only seem to enable their fellow materialists of the most vulgar kind considered to be on the "right".  I would include the Trumpian "Christians" among such people.

Given the importance that a decent, egalitarian, democratic United States is in the interest of everyone in the world, given the only way that is going to come about, I think it is in the interest of everyone who isn't some form of fascist, those call fascists or the red-fascism of Marxism, the billionaire oligarch class and others who favor the most vulgar of materialism or other assorted psychopaths and malignant sorts, that the kind of Christianity is revived in the United States.  It certainly won't be easy but the atheists, oh, yeah, "secularists" have had their chance over the past fifty years and they have made a total botch of it.  We don't have fifty more years to let them try to get it right. What worked to end slavery, give women the franchise, etc. has a proven record.  They don't.

*  Materialist anarchism is also properly identified with violence and terrorism and pointlessness, as seen in everything from the dogma of "propaganda of the deed" as advocated by Emma Goldman to the thrill seeking cult of thugs in Black Bloc anarchism which is doing its best to discredit the current left.   "Leftists" of that type have such a habit of indulging a childish love of thrills and violence which is obviously more important to them than anything else.   Such "anarchists" would immediately turn into Nazi style fascists in the absence of civil authority.

**  As seen in Britain and some other countries, more or less rigid caste systems are able to arise even when people profess Christianity but refuse to follow the radical egalitarianism of the Law, the Prophets and the Gospel.   No one who violates the basic principles of the religion they profess can, in any way, be considered as a refutation of the principles.  No more than Donald Trump, George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan, Jeff Sessions, Jesse Helms, Rahm Emanuel could refute those truths which Jefferson listed in the Declaration of Independence or the principles that Abraham Lincoln asserted.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Down Goes the Mooch!

Max Morath - Rags - Golden Hours - Polyragmic

Tony Caramia, piano

Cynthia Schwan, piano

Max Morath was one of the earliest of the ragtime revivalists, he also wrote some of the most interesting rags after the classical period, after the death of Scott Joplin.

George Walker - Lilacs





Albert Lee, tenor
Sinfonia da Camera
Ian Hobson, conductor

Text:  From When Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloomed Stanzas 1, 2, 3, and 13

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.

In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle—and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break.

Sing on, sing on you gray-brown bird,
Sing from the swamps, the recesses, pour your chant from the bushes,
Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.

Sing on dearest brother, warble your reedy song,
Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.

O liquid and free and tender!
O wild and loose to my soul—O wondrous singer!
You only I hear—yet the star holds me, (but will soon depart,)
Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me.

This work was composed on commission from the Boston Symphony in memory of the great tenor Roland Hayes, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Composition in 1996.  It's certainly one of the most significant pieces composed in the last quarter century.  George Walker has noted that he was asked for a piece lasting a certain length of time so it wasn't possible to set the entire poem, I wish he'd done so since these four stanzas were set so well.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Alex Jones

I guarantee if you watch this you will be turned off by dad bod* the rest of your life (sorry Simps).  Remember, this is a guy who Donald Trump listens to as well as millions of others.

* That short lived fad invented to make sloppy rich white male celebs feel good is over, isn't it?

Republicans Are Letting the Worst And Cruelest Write Their Next Try To Kill Americans

With the incredibly bad idea of Lindsay Graham working with the most depraved faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives to come up with a plan to kill the healthcare of Americans through that old favorite of Republican tactics, kicking it back to the states, it's time to resume the pressure on "moderates" to not play along.  Graham has chosen to work with the psychotics for whom the horrific House bill, something so bad that even Trump distanced himself from it, noting it was "mean, mean, mean" wasn't cruel enough for some of them.

Kicking healthcare to the states is certain to increase the number of those without insurance and who would not be able to get insurance because of things like preexisting conditions. Of course, poverty is the most common of the preexisting conditions that has kept people from getting health insurance all along.   Doing anything to make health care harder to get for them is a choice to actually kill them. 

I would ask both Susan Collin and Lisa Murkowski and any other Senator who might be talked out of supporting the idea if they really want to own what the legislatures in their states would do to healthcare.  In Maine, Republicans in the state Legislature and Senate have, along with the stinking cruel Paul LePage, refused to expand Medicaid, leaving many, perhaps most poor people in the state in pretty much the same state that they were in before the ACA and the Roberts court allowed states to kill the poor in that way.   Do they really want to own that or whatever other possible depravities Lindsay and the lunatic right might come up with?

The only way to prevent Republicans doing this is to end their domination in the Congress.  This and a host of other betrayals of the American People are the order of the day in Washington.  With the ever expanding knowledge of the Trump regime treason with the Putin oligarchs, it's clear that Republicans don't even intend to protect the country from domination by a foreign dictator worse than King George III was.  They're he was just a moderately bad king, Putin is a savvy and ruthless gangster.  

With this attempt to put the House "freedom caucus" in charge of writing a roadmap to healthcare repeal,  Lindsay Graham has come out of the closet as THAT KIND of Republican.   And so has anyone else who signs on to this terrible idea.  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Scott Joplin - The Ragtime Dance

Joshua Rifkin, piano

Joe Rinaudo, American Fotoplayer

Put Your Body And That Of Your Nearest And Dearest Where Your Mouth Is

In light of last night's comments, I'm, again, going to point out the key hypocrisy in the pseudo-liberal, pseudo-left pose on the alleged harmlessness of pornography because the volunteer guinea pig of pseudo-lefty idiocy who comes here made it clear that they idiots who claim that porn is OK and good, and groovy and great don't really believe that, themselves.

The claim that porn is innocuous and good and some kind of visual of theatrical ert, etc.  That producing, directing, selling, making a fortune off of porn is swell and good and the emblematic flower of the First Amendment instead of an exploitation and endangerment of the people photographed and filmed for that purpose is seen when they are pressed to assert that if their loved ones, their spouse, their parents, their grandparents, their siblings THEIR CHILDREN took up acting in porn that it would be perfectly OK with them.  I started asking that question of phony lefties a number of years ago and have only found two who were willing to lie, asserting that it would be OK with them.  And they were lying.  Steve Simels was one of the two and his complaint that I asked that question in regard to his girl friend was over the line just proves that he really doesn't see porn the way he claims he does WHEN IT ISN'T SOMEONE UNATTACHED TO HIM WHOSE LIFE AND BODY IS PUT ON THE LINE.  When it's someone he cares about (assuming such a person exists) or who he is having sex with, it wouldn't be OK with him if a male porn actor who had had sex with other porn actors, women or, perhaps both sexes, had sex with the person he was having sex with.  When someone puts that question in his face he's definitely NOT OK with that, though it's fine with him if someone he doesn't know is used that way.

Really, the phony-liberal, phony-lefty attitude towards prorn, that it is anything other than a degrading, objectifying, immoral use of other peoples' bodies as raw material, prostitution and, not rarely, sex slavery sold to voyeurs, that it is good and a flowering of the First Amendment, is not at all unlike the war monger view of war, that it's OK and great as long as it is the life and body of someone they don't care about which is destroyed, not infrequently for no motive higher than the profit derived from war.  

Any liberal who claims porn is anything but what it really is is a total fraud, the phony left which has held that line since the 1950s if not before is a left that really can't be believed or trusted on anything because they have no more integrity than found in the Republicans in the Congress or the Trump regime.  Yet such "liberals" and "lefties" largely populate the writing staffs of most lefty magazines and who make up the staffs of most allegedly liberal media.  It's no wonder that such people have destroyed liberalism as an effective force in the United States and elsewhere.   I think they should all be asked to declare if they'd be OK with their spouse or sex partner or their parents, siblings AND CHILDREN being the ones having sex at the directors instruction in front of the camera, if they'd be OK with having the porn industry at their children's career day at high school or college.  If they really, truly believe what they claim to, they'd have to say it was OK with their loved ones being used by the porn industry and going on record as saying that.  If they wouldn't they should really stop pretending their position is true because it's obvious it's only true when it's not someone they care about being fucked and infected for profit.

Update:  Putting It Simply For The Simple Minded

If people who claim that pornography is a. innocuous, b. beneficial, c. good, d. not in any way immoral really believe what they claim to then

they would have no problem with someone asking them if they're OK with their nearest and dearest taking up being penetrated for the camera by the kind of men who do that in the world of porn.

If they really are OK with porn, as they assert, they must think it's OK for the porn industry to recruit its raw material at high school jobs days, college work fairs, and in other ways.  In fact, they might need to claim that the people involved in such an industry have what they'd assert is a "right" to do that.

If they really believe what they did they'd have no problem with exposing their children or other children of any age to pornography, they would have no problem with their spouse or child inviting pornogaphers to their family home where they might encourage people to consider appearing in porn.
That the, generally, upper class and upper-middle class media people who push the lie that porn is OK would never, ever agree to those things, it proves their pose is, in fact, exactly the same kind of thing as the war monger cohort asserting that wars are great AS LONG AS THEIR NEAREST AND DEAREST GET A DEFERMENT FOR BONE SPURS OR ASS BLISTERS OR BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO COLLEGE.

I don't think there is any issue that so obviously exposes the fraudulence of large parts of the pseudo-liberalism that has reigned since the 1960s.  I doubt Joel Gora or the other champions of "free speech,"  who have made money from the media that has benefitted from such "free speech" would ever be OK with these kinds of things.

Update:  I wonder if Duncan Black cares enough to regret that his blog attracts so many really stupid, superficial people, that the intelligent people who used to go there, apart from less than a handful who go there ever less, apparently, fled from it years ago.

I picture him as playing with model trains a lot, these days.  Or maybe just fantasizing about them. Setting them up might be something like work.

In other words, I don't care what they say.  They don't read, they don't think, they don't test the ideas they adopt, they are stupid. 

Don't Mistake The Narrow Victory Against The Republican War On Americans For Winning The War They Don't See It As Having Ended Their Attempts

The Republicans are still trying to kill the healthcare of Americans, this time the ever sleazy Lindsay Graham is in consultation with the worst caucus of the House, the tea party, neo-fascist "Freedom Caucus" to see if they can come up with a scheme to block grant it back to the states where it will be killed off state by state.  It's an old Republican strategy, one derived from the arguments of the slave holders before the civil war that slavery should be decided on a state by state basis, it has been used for all manner of depravity ever since.  Here's a description of what's going on, since they haven't come up with the text:

The group is trying to write legislation that could get 50 Republican votes, according to multiple administration and Capitol Hill sources. The proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would block grant federal health care funding to the states and keep much of Obamacare’s tax regime. White House officials also met with House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) to brainstorm how to make the idea palatable to conservatives, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.

The White House-health care huddle came just hours before Trump savaged Senate Republicans in a series of Saturday tweets for failing to repeal Obamacare. If the Senate doesn't pass a bill soon, Trump warned, he may halt Obamacare payments subsidizing health plans for low-income individuals — an idea adamantly opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Yeah, like those guys are going to come up with something that won't be a disaster that will crash and burn killing people and destroying the lives of many others.  Remember, the people working with Graham ARE THE ONES WHO THOUGHT THE HOUSE BILL KEPT TOO MANY PEOPLE ALIVE.  

Lindsay Graham is one in the line of the worst South Carolina politicians going back to the early years of the country.  His popularity with the national media, who certainly know what a hypocrite he is pretty much shows what they like in a politician.

If they do something like that it's time for states with Democratic legislatures and governors to try to get together and come up with state single-payer insurance for all.   If they could do it without involvement with insurance companies, that would be ideal.   If they could provide insurance to all of their residents in the same way Canadian healthcare was supposed to work, in which you only had to present a card to get treatment, it would be enormously popular and no one who endangered it would ever be elected, again.   That could be the problem of doing it on a state level because it would attract people to those states, the reason that it really has to be done on a national level.  The examples of Vermont and Massachusetts before the ACA passed need to be studied to see what could be found out from their experimentation. I think if enough states could do it they would force change to single payer on a national level.

If Trump tries what he threatened, and there is every reason to believe he might or might not, it is on the Republicans in Congress to do something about it.  I doubt that the leadership they've got would do anything but they might be forced to with enough backlash from people in their states.  If they do that it's time for the two Republican women in the Senate, those few in the house who acted most responsibly when it came to the Kill the Americans bills,  to consider their membership in such a party as would do all of that.  Do they really want to be part of that because it is their party and the leaders they supported putting in charge of the House and Senate who have done this.  Ultimately they share responsibility in whatever happens because of that.