Saturday, September 30, 2017

Mary Lou Williams - Limehouse Blues

Sorry, I lent my copy of her biography to someone so I can't look up to see who was playing with her.  Can't find it online.

Boogie Mysterioso - Mary Lou William's Girl Stars 

Margie Hyams, vibes
Mary Lou Williams, piano
Mary Osborne, guitar
June Rotenberg, bass
Rose Gottesman, drums

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Limetown

Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock asks the question once more, "What happened to the people of Limetown?"

I don't post a lot of sci-fi or fantasy audio dramas although I'd guess those are the most popular genres of audio and radio drama.  It's not that I disapprove of it, it's just not my favorite thing.  I did try Limetown this week and it's pretty good.   It's a series in the form of a radio documentary instead of a single drama.   The commercials are real.  From what I gather it's already considered a modern classic. 

What Did You Mean About Utilitarians?

I meant that literally.    I only heard utilitarians, always professional, academic "ethicists" on NPR programs and, literally, every one of them talked about this group or that group, this type of person who on account of their age, disability status,  etc. it would be groovy to kill.   It's what that degraded, demented, degenerate schtick consists of.  Saying we should kill people so Terry Gross or someone else will have you on as some kind of moral expert.  It's a symptom of English language intellectual and cultural degeneracy, modernist amorality.  There's nothing liberal or progressive about it, it's the opposite of that. 

Weird Hate Mail - "you sound like Ronald Radosh"

I have never studied the Alger Hiss case and have nothing to say on it.  I don't comment on things I've never studied.  I have no investment in his innocence or guilt because I know nothing about it. 

I have read things by Ronald Radosh but I have never, to my knowledge, relied on anything he reported without verification.  I don't believe I ever even took any hints of where and what to research from him so your pulling him on me is entirely off the mark.  I doubt I would automatically trust someone who works where he does anymore than I would someone who works at The Nation, these days, though I might trust some of them, with verification. 

Your snark on my last name is childish and stupid.  My political inheritance has nothing to do with Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, I've spent my entire life on the left side of the Democratic party.   Since beginning to study how American liberalism lost its power - I would say was sandbagged by the pseudo-left as well as the Republican-fascists - I have become considerably more radical than I ever was as a conventional leftist.  There is nothing more radical than the Gospel, the Law and the Prophets, no atheist articulation of would-be liberal ethics, from the church for atheists of the Ethical Union - Humanist - Unitarian sphere to the utilitarians (who always seem to get around to the topic of who we should be murdering so they'll get interviewed on NPR) to the red fascists of Marxism and its allies to the total "the gangsters win in the end" of anarchism is even in the running.  As I've pointed out before, even the two most recent conservative Popes were social justice radicals as opposed to the would be high minded materialists of the would be left who are really, in the end, just a baby step or so away from the vulgar materialists of the nominal right (You do know Radosh's bio, don't you?).  I don't see the one as an alternative to the other, they are both opponents to oppose.   Maybe you don't understand that someone who isn't an academic whore doesn't have to make the trip from one academic teat on the left to another on the right because that's what academic whores do.  Same for journalist whores. 

So, to get back to most of what you accuse me of, no, I'm no one who would ever have anything to do with Radosh or anyone to do with something like the putrid Hudson Institute or anything like that. My anti-communism is from the left, the traditional American liberal tradition,  equality, democracy and moral obligation, not pseudo-scientific materialism.  

Ten Days Out This Is Your Government On Republican-Fascist Control

If Donald Trump's pathologically indifferent and cruelly parsimonious response to the catastrophe in Puerto Rico doesn't constitute a high crime or misdemeanor, the law is not only an ass it is a pathological entity that is a danger to the life of Americans and others.  

See also:  The time Trump made out like a bandit making 17 million out of hurricane damage to his resort. 

This is something that every Republican has to be made answerable to, including those on the Supreme Court. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Robin Eubanks and EB3 - Pentacourse

Drums, Bass [Keyboard], – Kenwood Dennard
Keyboards, Bass [Keyboard] – Orrin Evans
Trombone, Trombone [Electric], Loops, Percussion [Pads], Bass [Keyboard],

I love this group and wish they put out more recordings. 

Mojo Jojo 

Don't Have Time To Do It Justice...

If you haven't read RMJ's always worth while comments on my earlier piece, you should.

From The Long Detour: Fronts, Decay Amnesia, and a New Left

Still, despite the New Left's disdain for the Soviet Union, the American Communists had a perversely debilitating influence on the movement and on the identity politics that is its legacy.  The New Left's fundamental weakness - which it bequeathed to radical feminism, gay and lesbian liberation, and the separatist wing of the black power movement - flowed from its unwitting replication of popular frontism and the aversion to universal principles at its heart.  For the Communists this approach to politics was necessary.  The party operated through single-issue movements because it could not proclaim its underlying loyalties or principles.   While the party had come out from underground in the early '20s (actually, it was pushed into the open by orders from the International),  it never tested its principles by exposing them to public scrutiny, by running in elections and thereby providing the public with the means of choosing or rejecting them.

But the Party developed a theory that made a virtue of this necessity.  It deluded itself and its fellow-travelers into believing that a pre-ordained historical trajectory made popular exposure to its principles unnecessary.    A "strong and consistent fight for democratic rights under conditions of decaying capitalism must ultimately lead the American people to the choice of a socialist path," the party proclaimed at its ninth convention in 1936.  Or, as party leader Earl Browder said more mechanistically  "History marches toward socialism."   Thus Communists believed that even in an open democratic society such as the United States, a tiny political party could gain power in a time of crisis simply by being strategically placed in popular social movements.  The memory that the Russian party with only 17,000 members at the beginning of 1917, could pull off a revolution comforted them.  If the Russians took power by seizing the movement when the tsarist regime collapsed,  why couldn't they? 

Because Communist leaders could neither be open nor honest about Soviet reality,  they also could not explore corporate capitalism's path of development and the ways in which it provided possibilities of a more humane and socially responsible future.  Indeed, to have the true religion required a private rejection of the more humane aspects of capitalist development - open, multiparty elections, politically independent trade unions, free speech and all the other civil rights and liberties that had been won in the United States by working people over a century and a half of struggles, and even the virtues of market economics.  Most of those things were nonexistent in the Soviet Union, and, therefore, absent from the true believers's concept of socialism  Indeed, insofar as the Communists had a vision of socialism it was closer to corporate capitalism's more undemocratic features; massive corporate and state bureaucracies,  a militarized state apparatus controlled by economic giants and run in the in their interest, a one-party state (although in American capitalism's case this is only a tendency in a legally structured two-party system).  

This way of thinking was never subjected to serious examination, either in or out of party ranks.  In any case, over time, the Popular Front because a custom that those immersed in communism's faux theorizing rationalized as principle.  Old-timers, as well as members who had joined largely because they saw the party as a sincere and effective fighter for its various popular causes, internalized this view.  Younger members knew little or nothing about the Soviet Union's true nature, nor did they believe the lies (or what they saw as lies) in the "bourgeois press" about the Soviet Union.  Even a leader as high up in the party ranks as John Gates, the post World War II editor of the Daily Worker, reported in his autobiography that he joined because of the party's defense of labor, civil rights and civil liberties and he never knew the true dimensions of Stalinism.... 

For anyone who doesn't know, James Weinstein was not only a dedicated socialist, a democratic socialist, he was as critical as anyone about the crimes of capitalism, even that of the relatively benign capitalism that arose after the struggle by people to gain their rights under it, using American democracy to do that.  He was a long time member of the atheist-materialist left who was a frequent ally of the real American left.

The superstition that because Marx pretended what he was doing was science when he wasn't, that his communism was an elucidation of material forces - the ridiculous and absurd boast of all materialist economic, political and sociological theory - any true believers in dialectical materialism would have been easily duped into believing in the scientific inevitability of its fantasies becoming reality.  As, in fact, Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. believed in the inevitability of similar predictions having their origin in Darwinism.  Both materialistic visions of the future accepted, I would say savored, epic violence as a part of the workings out of their two lines of materialist causation - materialism has little use, in the end, for life as a value or living beings as other than material resources.

The extent to which any ideology is materialistic in its foundation is the extent to which it is incompatible with egalitarian democracy, moral responsibility, human life or even, in the end, such virtues as the truth or even, in the vision of Holmes, reason, itself.

Anyone Who Believes Those Ideologies Deserve To Have A Chance To Win Again Are Either Depraved Or Stupid

Several times I've recommended that people read James Weinstein's book The Long Detour:  The History and Future of the American Left, not because I agree with everything Weinstein said nor because I think his typically atheist-left point of view led him to have a full or even entirely effective series of solutions to the problem but because what he does say he backs up quite well.   I think he and I would differ in that looking at the last century of Marxists with political power I have concluded that it is, in practice, an equivalent evil to Nazism and other similar forms of what has traditionally been called "right wing" anti-democratic ideology.  The day I finally realized that someone murdered by Marxists were as murdered as someone murdered by Nazism was one of the most troubling in my life because I had bought the "they're our sons of bitches" leftist line, though I had never really believed that Soviet "socialism" or, in fact, that in just about any other place was any socialism I wanted anything to do with and I never thought communism was anything anyone should think was a worthy goal.

And I think that the practical character of Marxism is a direct result of its inherent materialism.  In fact,  Marxism being among the most idealistic of ideological formulations of materialism, its uniform moral depravity in practice constitutes one of the strongest reasons that I have come to believe that such depravity is an inevitable result of the belief in materialism and the consequent degradation of life and, inevitably, human life and the moral obligation to treat people well.  Materialism, whether Darwinist or Marxist, treats the human population as a herd or masses to be managed, scientifically for optimum results.  And when that happens, as, in fact, it does under American Republican-fascist-capitalism  even under the guise of a quasi-religious guise, the results will benefit those doing the managing at the expense and lives of those managed.  All three of those ideologies share that same character.

I think it is one of the most astounding things about our current intellectual milieu that people figure that ideologies, political theories, political positions can be divorced not only from their effects but that those effects are separable from the ideas in theory and as they are carried out.  It's as if everyone figures all of that is some kind of political scientific story telling.  Maybe people in alleged academia and journalism are too much in the habit of reading and watching make believe instead of reality.

In fact, reading Weinsteins's book and looking up much of the documentation on the events and issues he discussed led me to believe that the materialist-atheist-scientistic "left" and their declarations, antics and positions, their current domination of what the media and academia consider the left were exactly what had discredited the American left, traditional American liberalism and driven it into the political wilderness.  The first realization in that area came with the fact that the highpoint of American liberalism in 1964 and 1965 was an achievement by the Christian left and the Christian middle, the Jewish left and middle, not the academic, atheist, materialist left against which those who made that progress through elections and through conventional democratic political action had to struggle.  The commie-baiting of traditional American liberals, even of such figures as The Reverend Martin Luther King jr. the perceived association and, in too many cases, actual association of liberals with Communists and other Marxists did as much to discredit and limit the effectiveness of American liberals as anything else.  

The choice made by such pseudo-liberal groups as decided it was our business to make sure everyone was being nice to Communists and Marxists and Nazis and fascists and white supremacists (American Nazis) and to make sure no one was being mean to them or depriving them of the chance to promote their poisoning of American democracy was never one that the real American left, traditional American liberalism should have ever been duped into going along with.  THERE WAS NEVER AND IS NOT NOW ANY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE TOTAL SUPPRESSION OF ADVOCACY OF AMERICAN NAZISM, OLD STYLE NAZISM, COMMUNISM OR MARXISM WOULD HAVE BEEN ANYTHING BUT GOOD.   Good for American democracy, good for the traditional American liberalism of equality, moral responsibility and freedom which is entirely at odds with everything about those anti-democratic, materialist, ideologies.   If those had been complete non-entities in American political discourse, if they had absolutely no followers in the United States, if a total ban on them had been possible and successful I can't conceive of anyone on the nominal left being stupid enough to believe things would not have been entirely better.  I can't think of anyone on any rational left who could possibly believe that if they or any other anti-egalitarian, anti-democratic ideology had never had any power or currency in the world that our history would not have almost certainly been better. 

During one of Ken Burns earlier PBS broadcast documentaries, the one on Prohibition, I caused outrage on a lefty blog by saying that the worst thing about prohibition was that it didn't work.   To the outrage I asked how the United States would be worse off if no one here drank alcohol, where no one had alcohol related car crashes, other accidents, alcohol related violence, alcohol related disease and disability or even days of work missed.   Of course, such a thing is not possible, it's too easy to make and transport alcohol and people do like drinking.  But the fact that you cannot effectively prohibit the production or ownership of alcohol is no reason to allow the present libertarian promotion of irresponsible and destructive use of alcohol or the absurdly easy access to it.   But alcohol can be used moderately and any of its destructive effects limited to the person who consumes it, provided they are kept from drunk driving or alcoholic violence.  The same isn't true of those ideologies, they are social phenomena, their effects are inherently social and political, their dangers are far more general and far more proven at a cost of tens, hundreds of millions of lives and the oppression of far more than a billion people.

I think that after the experience of the 20th century when it has been proven that words can kill, that ideas can kill, it is not only insane but idiotic to pretend that all ideologies, even those which advocated and still advocate the murders of entire races, ethnicities, religions, etc. are safely allowed their chance to succeed.


In complaints that I'd slandered the sacred memory of Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. someone claimed that my association of his Darwinism with his being prepared for a bloody, violent struggle, here, in the United States on the basis of ideas, the winner of which is certainly not guaranteed to be egalitarian democracy was a lie.  Well, it isn't, we have not only the testimony of Holmes' own judicial writing for that, we have the confirmation of that in his illustrious protege, secretary, confidant and friend,  Judge Francis Biddle, the chief judge at the Nuremberg trials.   I have pointed those out before.   In his dissent in the Gitlow case he said he was prepared to have dictatorship win out over democracy.

Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief and if believed it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth. The only difference between the expression of an opinion and an incitement in the narrower sense is the speaker's enthusiasm for the result. Eloquence may set fire to reason. But whatever may be thought of the redundant discourse before us it had no chance of starting a present conflagration. If in the long run the beliefs expressed in proletarian dictatorship are destined to be accepted by the dominant forces of the community, the only meaning of free speech is that they should be given their chance and have their way.

Of course, being a convinced Darwinist, which, despite what you've been taught inevitably includes his being a"Social Darwinist," he didn't believe that "proletarian dictatorship,"  Marxism, was going to be the ultimate winner in such a struggle, though he very well would have been prepared to see the kind of eugenic violence that was endemic to the Darwinism of his time win out with many entire races dead.  What is remarkable in that passage is that Holmes, the man of law, the fixture of academia was prepared to see such speech win out over reason.   He obviously believed that such inherently violent, anti-democratic ideologies had some moral right to possibly winning, even by winning out over reason, even if, as in Donald Trump's speech, it sets fire to reason and burns up everything from that to basic morality and decency. 

That his free speech Darwinism ruled his legal thinking and that of those influenced by it is proven by the passage by Francis Biddle, in the series of lectures he gave in 1960,  which I've given before.

All society rested on the death of men or on the prevention of the lives of a good many. So that when the Chief Justice assigned him the task of writing an opinion upholding the constitutionality of a Virginia law for sterilizing imbeciles he felt that he was getting near the first principle of real reform— although of course he didn't mean that the surgeon's knife was the ultimate symbol. 

... He was amused at some of the rhetorical changes in his opinion suggested by his associates, and purposely used "short and rather brutal words for an antithesis," that made them mad. In most cases the difficulty was rather with the writing than with the thinking. To put the case well and from time to time to hint at a vista was the job. . . . 

This approach is characteristic of Holmes, and constantly reflected in his opinions— to keep the law fluid and the doors of the mind open. For pedestrian lawyers it was often unsatisfactory— they wanted everything defined and settled and turned into everlasting precedents. 

Darwin's influence was strong on Holmes, and his theory of the survival of those who were fit to survive must have been constantly and passionately discussed in Dr. Holmes's house when Wendell was a growing lad and young man. On the Origin of Species had appeared when he was eighteen, and The Descent of Man in 1871, when he was thirty. Darwin led to Herbert Spencer, whom Holmes thought dull, with the ideals of a lower middle-class British Philistine, but who, with Darwin, he believed had done more than any other English writer to affect our whole way of thinking about the universe. All his life Holmes held to the survival of the strong, and did not disguise his view that the Sherman Act was a humbug, based on economic ignorance and incompetence, and that the Interstate Commerce Commission was not a fit body to be entrusted with rate making. However, as he said to Pollock, he was so skeptical about our knowledge of the goodness or badness of laws that he had no practical criticism except what the crowd wants. Personally he would bet that the crowd if it knew more wouldn't want what it does.

Holmes' judicial thinking was a direct result of his belief in Darwinian natural selection, no less for his anti-regulatory thinking than for his decision allowing the state to forcibly sterilize people against their will - something which the Nazis knew of and applied when they made eugenics the law of the Nazi state seven years after Holmes decision in that case.   It was the basis of his tragically influential and grotesquely irresponsible holding that even ideas that might and could be expected to violently overthrow egalitarian democratic government, imposing a violent and bloody dictatorship in its place, part of the Darwinian struggle for existence that he clearly not only anticipated as scientifically guaranteed but which he also, in his hatred of anything he considered "sentimental" (confirmed by those who knew him) including, apparently, survival of those he disdained as weak.

That is what you buy into when you take Holmesian "free speech absolutist" declarations as some kind of virtue.  It inevitably includes the very real idea that Nazism, various Marxisms that have already murdered tens of millions, oppressed more than a billion, will get another chance to turn "never again" into an empty and disposable slogan.

Anyone who thinks, with the history of Nazism, with the history of  white supremacy in the United States that those ideas "deserve" some kind of chance of succeeding is depraved if they have really thought about it. Holmes was depraved, we know that by his own words and those of his closest associates.   If others haven't really considered that their advocacy contains the very real, real life possibility of that history repeating itself, they are merely stupid.   It turns their pious "never again" into, a monumentally irresponsible "well maybe again".  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trump's Nine Russia Scandals

Eubie Blake, Andy Razaf - Memories of You

Shirley Horn – piano, vocals
Buck Hill - tenor saxophone
Charles Ables – double bass
Steve Williams - drums

Antônio Carlos Jobim  Gimbel V. de Moraes - How insensitive

Shirley Horn - piano and voice
Steve Williams -drums

Charles Ables -bass

Egalitarian Democracy Is Absolutely And Inevitably Dependent On Favoring Moral Truths Over Other Claims

I have been listening to the morning-after feed of the Rachel Maddow show instead of turning the radio on and was very sadly gratified to see that last night's main theme of the role that lying by the Russians in social media to subvert democracy was similar to what I've been writing about the last few days.  That, after her customary and occasionally irritating though quite often important build up she focused on the reporting of Caitlin Dickerson from the New York Times about the role of Russian ratfucking in the run up to the election, hyping and lying about a small story of a seven-year-old molesting a five-year-old into an incident in Idaho, working with Breitbart and other domestic venues of lying to promote bigotry and racism in order to promote American Nazism so as to have a real effect on the results of real politics in reality and not just in innocuous speech.  It is, of course, worth noting that the ability of that media to carry such intentional lying is largely due to the New York Times getting the Supreme Court to gut any kind of punishment of lying in the media fifty-three years ago.  What the Sulzbergers give, they take away many times more. 

Democracy, egalitarian democracy, the only kind of democracy worth anyone's bother or sacrifice or blood, lives on the truth, it is a product of people knowing the truth and the truth making them free, as it says in the Gospel.  Lies are poison to democracy just as they are poison to all good.  That is a result of the complete qualitative difference in the moral character of lies and the truth, of equality and privilege, of democracy and its opposites.  Evil is a real thing, if you doubt that look at the results of evil in real life and in YOUR life and the lives of those you care about.  That is if you're not too compromised by evil to care about other peoples' lives, as so many are.  Look at the results in real life in a country or community which practices egalitarian democracy and those which don't.  You're so much more likely to have a peaceful, good and long life under egalitarian democracy than in a place with those who are grotesquely privileged and those who are not, that anyone who doesn't understand the total superiority of egalitarian democracy is either someone who is evil and hopes to rig it for himself or herself or they are buying the lies told by those seekers of privilege and theft. 

All of the moral program of any American left that deserves to be considered one depends on holding those moral truths to be self evident, the American left, for decades now, has been largely in the hands of people who believe that morality is not absolute.  The most current atheist-materialist-pseudo-leftist articulation is that morality is only explainable as some pudding headed application of natural selection - when natural selection is always and inevitably based in not only radical inequality and, literally, blood thirsty struggle which will end up with people murdered, allowed to die in some Republican-fascist dream of starvation and deprivation or enslaved by their superiors who will use them and use them up.   It never made sense and, as I've pointed out, the inventor of natural selection and his endorsed scientific spokesmen, such as Ernst Haeckel, in books and statements he approved, said that natural selection is inevitably anti-democratic, anti-socialist and explicitly pro-aristocratic.  When you buy a neo-Darwinian articulation of the genesis of morals, that's what you're buying into, no matter how much you might try to square that with support for the Voting Rights Act.  

That is just one example of how the atheist-materialist-scientistic pseudo-left has damaged and defeated the real left which is based in the certain belief that such morality is not only true but that its truth is THE DECISIVE REALITY ON WHICH EGALITARIAN DEMOCRACY LIVES OR DIES.   On that morality our personal freedoms and a decent, sustainable life depends.  On that depends the difference between traditional American liberalism and the red-fascism of the atheist-materialist, scientistic pseud-left, the left which has fascism and Nazism as its most common alternative when Marxism is abandoned.   If you want an example of that, look at the former Marxist states, the former Soviet Union where the current crime oligarchs, took those well trodden baby steps to oligarchic fascism.   

The extent to which people confuse atheist-materialist-moral relativist academic and legal theory for "secularism" is the extent to which the term "secular" is a tool of undermining the moral basis of egalitarian democracy.   "Secularism" was always a bad choice of word for the separation between an egalitarian democratic government because it is a word so prone to being turned into claims that government isn't, properly, concerned with promoting specific moral truths.  While the multiplicity of religions and quasi-religions makes the non-denominational character of egalitarian democracy a necessary condition, democracy can't pretend that all moral positions are equal and that people have an equal right to promote all moral positions.  Moral claims that are anti-egalitarian or anti-democratic, such as those promoted by American Nazis, the Putin crime regime's foreign subversion, that of our domestic billionaire oligarchs, cannot be given equal chances of becoming dominant and succeeding or egalitarian democracy will die.  There are ideas that are so basically incompatible with egalitarian democracy and of such proven danger to it that they should be banned.  Any ideology which has had that effect in recent history, Nazism, fascism, Marxism,  etc. should, properly be identified and suppressed because they have the power to destroy egalitarian democracy and kill tens of millions.  The propaganda of billionaires and millionaires in control of the extraction industries, given full voice to lie in our media might end up killing us all.  

The civil liberties establishment has largely been peopled with atheists, materialists, the devotees of scientism and other moral relativists, the extent to which such legal voices as the atheist, materialist, pathological Darwinist Oliver Wendell Holmes has influenced orthodox legal thought is, I have come to believe, increasingly, had a decisive and destructive effect on American egalitarian democracy.  I think that is another basic problem which has led us to the disaster we are in and which I don't see much of a chance of us getting out of.  Holmes, presented as some kind of hero of free speech advocacy foresaw the most real kind of Darwinian struggle to the literal death coming about through his judicial behavior, he really was a pathological figure in our history.   He also believed that such struggle, which he foresaw producing murders advantageous to those who survived would produce the best ideas.  Stop to consider the character of that belief and the minds of anyone who might believe that.  

I think if there are any people left after the disasters we are facing and they can conceive of establishing egalitarian democratic government, they will have to look very closely at the United States, understanding the mythological character of large parts of our current common received credo about American democracy and our history.   I think they will have to understand the disaster that moral relativity has been in enabling the worst of the privileged and the use of lies allowed by our legal system in making things worse, even as the worst of it was explained as being the very flourishing of "freedom" "liberty" "First Amendment" principle and the will of the "founders".  The real character of those founders, the real consequences of divorcing morality from government in the name of "secularism" or Darwinian science or scientific modernity and how that played the decisive role in destroying egalitarian democracy will be important to them.  I don't see much chance of such clear-eyed moral choice happening now because our devotion to those myths is ubiquitous and required. 

You will know the truth and the truth will make you free, that which you do to the least among you you do to God, that which you do not do to the least among you you do to God,  do unto others that which you could do unto you - that is The Law and the Prophets ( and not, coincidentally, the very definition of egalitarian democracy instead of oligarchic privilege) those are the moral bases of egalitarian democracy, of a decent life, of sustainable life.   Unless a government, a legal system and a society privileges those moral positions over their opposite or others that are corrosive and destructive of them things will go to hell.   That's what brought us to hell.  There is no great secret to that, you have to choose to believe it or you will get the results of denying it. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How the Pittsburgh Penguins Became Trump’s Political Pawns

But The Lord Will Not Answer You In That Day - The Causes Of Our Calamity Are No Secret They Are Obvious Only Our Rejecting Them Will Save Us

By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, providence punishes national sins by national calamities.  George Mason

The sins that brought us Nixon, then Reagan, then Bush I and Bush II and now Trump are rather obvious.  First and foremost of those was allowing the mass media to lie.  Through lies sold through the New York Times - which sought and got the permission to lie from the Supreme Court - the TV and radio networks, worst of all cabloid media and the idiocy of the 24-7 "news" entertainment cycle are what defeated Hillary Clinton, probably the most vetted and demonstrably honest and competent person to have ever run for the office of president and gotten the nomination of one of the two real parties.  In this election "social media" played what is being ever exposed as a larger role in promoting lies, building on the lies of New York Times reporters and columnists and Republican House committee chairmen and, of course, the most notorious of all venues of permitted lying, FOX, Sinclair, etc.

It is a sin to tell a lie.  And it is an enormous sin to tell enormous lies, but to our free press, lying is a virtue because it gets the owners and advertisers what they want.  The lies the media tell may be individually small, almost innocuous but the innocuous ones are the excuse for telling the bigger ones and the biggest ones of all.  That might be considered tedious and not sexy at all but, then, democracy is based on such unentertaining realities.  The part the expectation of continual entertainment by a TV trained audience that was educated to expect entertainment by their hours a day of getting it is less obvious.

And those lies have brought with them other license to the media to corrupt the country with enhancing the national disabilities of racism and inequality and exploitation for profit.   George Mason in that quote above was addressing the original sin of the Founding fathers, the permission and advantaging of those who profited from enslaving other people. 

Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant.  They bring the judgment of heaven on a country.  As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this.  By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, providence punishes national sins by national calamities.

He was talking about those who enslaved Black People, indentured servitude is seldom mentioned as part of that, though it was a serious enough sin that the Thirteenth Amendment, one of the few amendments to the Constitution that seriously reformed satanic evils embedded into the Constitution by such as Madison and Hamilton, addressed indentured servitude  In 2017 he could as easily be talking about Donald Trump, the man who became president on the power of a phony TV show that presented him as a CEO strongman who lorded over people acting out the part of sleazy, corrupt house slaves currying favor with the petty tyrant.  Such is the degraded state of a sufficient minority of the American public that such a putrid spectacle could last more than a season on TV, such, mixed with the corruption of our elections system, that embedded by the founders and enhanced by the majority of Republican-fascists on the Supreme court that they could eke out an election victory for Trump, clearly the least qualified, the most corrupt, the most dishonest habitual liar who has ever held the Constitutional office of the presidency.

So, no, what I said at the end of my piece, yesterday, is not ridiculous.  It was the same observation that George Mason, the real father of the Bill of Rights made when he saw Madison and Hamilton and others setting up the permissions of slavery, the enhancement of slave power in the Constitution and the provisions making it almost impossible for a majority of voters prevailing in a attempt at national salvation through reforming the Constitution.  That was not possible when the states numbered Thirteen, it took the disastrous civil war, a product of the Constitution and the system that Constitution set up to get even the Civil War amendments, passed in the all too brief period when the slave power was all too temporarily suppressed.  It arose again with the corrupt deal that Rutherford Hayes made in 1876 to get the election through the Electoral College by agreeing to reempower the slave holders and a de facto continuation of slavery, the effects of which are still with us.  Though I don't believe in numerology the numerology of that fact, a century after the Declaration of Independence was adopted is striking.  A hundred years after that, in revulsion to the corruption of the Nixon presidency, Jimmy Carter, perhaps the most decent man to have held the presidency in our history was elected, all too briefly, before the media sandbagged him and installed Reagan and his floridly corrupt presidency which installed some of our worst Supreme Court members. 

This doesn't come from nowhere. It comes from no exotic and new evil, it comes from the same things warned about in the Bible, "You will know the TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU FREE".   And the warning of God through Samuel when the people demanded that he anoint a king for them,

These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots.  And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.  He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants.  He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants.  He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work.  He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves.  And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.

Which is wiser than anything you're likely to get from the hack poli-sci guy they put on cabloid TV or NPR this morning.   God was warning of the real life effects that  corrupt political choices would lead to.  Secular scholarship has not produced a clearer articulation of that

I think you have a choice.  You as an individual, "you" as the entire country.  You can either live within the bounds of morality or you can suffer the consequences of  living outside of them.   You can choose to allow the media to lie and deceive but then you can't have democracy.   Our elites, in elite law firms, in alleged civil liberties law firms and groups, on the allegedly liberal Warren court chose to empower liars in the very period when those lies were empowered by the modern mass media.  They did so pretending that the world was still the world of the 18th century printing press was still sufficient to protect us from that enhanced power of big media free to advance its own instead of the common interest.  And now the fans of such "civil liberty" whine and complain as a series of crooks and gangsters are elected by the people so lied to, a situation made only worse by the slave empowering features of our equally outmoded Constitution. 

I am only pointing out that there are obvious effects from obvious causes, that the permission of the billionaire boys club members to lie through the enormous megaphone of mass media has given us the obvious effect of Donald Trump as president and such things as the neo-Confederate Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General, Neil Gorsuch his fifth vote on the Supreme Court, put there by the neo-confederate Mitch McConnell's manipulation of the Constitutional government.  It would be possible to write a successful and valid history of the United States on the theme of struggle against the corrupt Constitution and the impediment and defeat of any temporary success in making progress in equality against it. . 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hristo Vitchev Quartet - It May Backfire

Hristo Vitchev - guitar
Weber Iago - piano
Dan Robbins - bass
Mike Shannon - drums

Update:  Hristo Vitchev and Weber Iago - Silent Memory

An Answer

Two words

Wallpaper music 

Update:  You say that as if there's something wrong with me using the set-up the idiot so stupidly provided me with against him.  Really, he's so stupid he couldn't see Wednesday coming from half a minute before midnight Tuesday. 

Trump is Destroying Puerto Rico

Walter Brueggemann on Idolatry

The Utter And Catastrophic Failure Of American Constitutional Democracy Was Set In Place From The Start The "Left" Didn't Do Much To Fix That

Listening to the interview that Chris Hayes did with Hillary Clinton, last night,  the depth of the crisis in American democracy and the place that the corrupt American media played in bringing that about was constantly on my mind.  Anyone who listened to Hillary Clinton, comparing the choice of a majority of voters chose but who the United States Constitution prevented from becoming president favoring  Donald Trump and doesn't see that the election of 2017 was as a disaster is either corrupt or they are an idiot. Such idiots pretend that the system can be made to work when it has worked, throughout the history of the United States to thwart egalitarian democracy and morality.   Unfortunately, such idiocy is endemic to pretty much the entire media, the legal system, academia and pretty much any of the institutions that might save us from catastrophe.  It is also endemic in large parts of other institutions, including many, though far from all of the churches which should be in the thick of asserting morality but which, in too many cases, are too polite and too cowed and too interested in their property to do what they are alleged to do.

After the 2004 election, following close on to the 2000 Supreme Court putsch which gave us what up to then was the worst administration of our history I wrote a number of times on the catastrophe that would result if the electoral system was not protected from corruption.  Not much was done and it was the corruptions then obvious and some which became more obvious in the past decade that brought us here.  The use of computers, especially those which don't rely on a hand marked ballot, the use of social media by the crime boss, Vladimir Putin - announcing an open invitation for all manner of billionaire criminals that our elections are open to such corruption, etc. none of those are likely to be fixed and in the unlikely event that legislation passes that fixes it, it will be challenged with Wall Street, computer billionaire oligarch money and the Republican-fascist majority on the Supreme Court will do what they have been doing, knocking those protections down in the name of "free speech".   Of course the official, quasi-lefty legal con jobs, such as the ACLU will enter on the side of such "free speech" even though we have now had decades of proof that such "free speech" enables the enemies of democracy and equality and morality. 

I feel like I live in a nation of zombies who don't see the disaster that is going on all around us, ruled by the most corrupt cynics whose manipulation of an effective margin of them is locked in by the very things that we have been suckered into supporting.  That some of those zombies believe themselves to be superior to the others might feel good to them but it is demonstrably not the case.

I don't know or expect that Hillary Clinton would agree with me on this,  I don't know if she would appreciate me writing about the depth of the catastrophe we are not on the verge of entering but are in the midst of and the part that the First Amendment - as read by current "free speech" advocacy, the "free press" the "rule of law" and the other alleged ornaments of the Constitution have played in that.  I have written recently that I've been looking at the words of James Madison and others and how the very institutions and Constitutional provisions they explicitly put in place to protect and defend slavery are the very ones which the Supreme Court, other courts, legal scholarship and "civil liberties" advocates have used to bring us to the place where our elections are vulnerable to being ratfucked by Vladimir Putin, the Kochs, the Mercers and other enemies of the American People using the media to propagandize the vulnerable, using computers to analyze and target the Electoral College, state and local voter systems which should, by law and common sense, NOT BE OPEN TO THE INTERNET OR TO ROBOTIC MANIPULATION 

Playing 18th century reenactment should be kept for the people whose concept of history includes fancy dress and recreation, it should be entirely out of our legal system and the decisions of a modern democracies highest court.   Pretending that modern, mass media, the internet, computers and sophisticated and criminal use of all of those to thwart egalitarian democracy is the business of the products of our elite law schools and those of them who become members of courts but democracy cannot stand with the status quo or even any of the alternatives popularly presented do defend us against that corruption.  The idiocy of the past, professional reformers is proven by the history of things getting steadily worse for the entire history that such groups as Common Cause, The ACLU,  etc. have been in existence.  That style and kind of advocacy has failed as abjectly as the intellectual bases of them have been proven mistaken or, in many cases, just plain stupid and even some of their most eminent figures have made nice with the enemies of democracy.   That has failed, its failure is proven over and over again as things get steadily worse.  The same can be said for the media of the alleged left - the Nation magazine under the control of Katrina Vanden Heuvel, who bought her position with her inherited wealth, deserves to be considered the emblem of that entirely predictable failure.

I would caution the people of Germany, of Canada, of other places where they don't have our ridiculous cult of the 18th century slaveholder founders that they should take the United States as an example of what happens to a democracy under the modern style of attack which our congenitally corrupt and entirely outmoded constitution even under an official cult of "freedom of speech".  Any "freedom of speech" which doesn't distinguish between the the truth and the danger of lies is, from now on, going to contain the disease of its own, inevitable destruction.  When you add to that the cult of materialist scientism which denies the reality of morals, the destruction will only be the faster and for the worse.   And that materialist corruption can happen even as people make a pretense of religious belief, I listened to the footage of Trumps Nuremberg-Alabama rally, too.  If the worst happens and we survive a nuclear exchange brought on by the 2017 election, it will likely be too late to make democracy work.

I think this is the most pessimistic thing I've ever written, but I'm sincerely more pessimistic than I've ever been.  I think it's quite possible that only divine intervention will save us, now.  My advice is to pray and resist and understand.

Monday, September 25, 2017

We Will Not Stand for Trump

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Simps Tries To Kick Up A Fuss

  1. And speaking of Mae West, Sparkles, did you know that Salvador Dali did an amazing portrait of her?

    Of course, I have no doubt that Dali is one of those genius artists that you inexplicably feel superior to.


    1. Oh, Simps, you really think I didn't know about that picture? Maybe if he'd done one of you it would be a trompe l'oeil of a public toilet. Actually, someone should do one or Trump like that, they could call it Trump L'oo. 
    Update:  I'm asked what Frank Zappa said about pop music critics, like Simps.

Rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read. 

Simps and the people who take what he says seriously would fit right into that complex.

Update 2:  Stupy, I don't mind toying with you on issues like Dali or Cocteau but I'm not going to post you on important posts, anymore.  You are trivial and a distraction. 

Update 3:  Derbes is a very minor example of what happens when someone specializes in the STEM subjects without having much respect for other areas of knowledge, they can be as stupid as someone who specializes in fashion or pop music on anything that falls outside of their area of expertise.  Sometimes they're not even that good at understanding their area of expertise.   I can, currently, name three people who still post comments at Eschaton who aren't idiots, there might be one or two others, no more than that. 

Bela Bartok 27 Choruses for Womens or Childrens Voices - Book 2

4.  Letter to Those At Home

5.  Play Song

6. Courting 

7. Hawk 

Schola Hungarica 
László Dobszay, director 

Sunday Night Radio Drama - Nero Wolfe Double Feature

I was too busy yesterday to post a radio play and I'm still busy so I don't have time to look up the particular actors and others involved in these two plays.  But I do have a list of everyone involved in this, best radio series of the Nero Wolfe stories.   So I'll post that.

Based on novellas and short stories by Rex Stout
Adapted and Produced by Ron Hartman
Music by Don Gillis
Starring Mavor Moore as NERO WOLFE
and Don Francks as ARCHIE GOODWIN
with Cec Linder as Inspector Cramer
Frank Perry as Fritz
Alfie Scopp as Saul

Guest appearances by Lally Cadeau, Jack Creely, Neil Munro, Eric Peterson, Fiona Reid, Jayne Eastwood, August Schellenberg, Maria Loma, Jackie Burroughs, Brian George, Arch McDonnell, Barbara Hamilton, Terry Tweed, Lynne Griffin, Sandy Webster, Martha Gibson, Charmion King, Budd Knapp, Ailine Seaton, Mary Peery, Patricia Hamilton, Meana E. Meana, Helen Hughs

Other than the regrettably short-lived series produced for TV starring the late, great Maury Chaykin and the great and still with us Timothy Hutton, none of the others I've seen comes close.  

Lincoln's Declaration of Equality Is What We Need To Defeat American Nazism

This thing that has got FOX and so the captive mind of Donald J. Trump in such a lather, Black football players kneeling during the rote and meaningless playing of the Star Spangled Banner is full or irony.  The repeating question at the end of the verses:

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 

is apparently answered, "Hell, no", by Trump and the white supremacists at FOX.  Not because the piece of cloth isn't waved, but that this country is no longer "the land of the free and the home of the brave.  The craven, cowardice of for-show patriotism has always been one of its most ubiquitous features.   If I hadn't declared an attempt to cleanse my writing of the "i-word" it might be useful to note that Trump was a draft-dodger during a war he supported and very few of the media assholes who are moving this ever served anything other than themselves.

The hypocrisy of the American Nazis isn't any great shock, it is something embedded as deep in the country as Jefferson's writing of the Declaration of Independence while denying equality and personhood the the people he held as slaves and raped as slaves.   The hypocrisy isn't a shock, Americans have been habituated to that ever since the reality of the slave-holding, slavery-enabling founders were made secular gods and lied about,  calling it what it is might be.

Anyone who isn't an ignorant idiot, who knows anything about that song and the author of the lyrics, Francis Scott Key, would know that the song, itself, drips with hypocrisy.  No, it doesn't drip, it is soaked like a dirty sponge full of that it and spreading it wherever it is wiped.   Key was a product of an old Maryland slaveholding aristocratic family.  A firm racist and believer in white supremacy, when he managed to become the District Attorney of Washington DC under the particularly vile system of spoils under the equally racist and white supremacist, Andrew Jackson, he sought to suppress the free speech of abolitionists, favoring the "property rights" of slave holders to enslave people, denying them every freedom in life over that of the right of speech for abolitionists.   In one of the most spectacular cases of his time, based on what was clearly an illegal search of Dr. Ruben Crandall's home by two thuggish marshalls who moonlighted as slave catchers.  They found he had abolitionist literature.   The author of the Star Spangled Banner, the "land of the free and the home of the brave, sought to have Dr. Crandall hanged for sedition for merely possessing abolitionist pamphlets.  Thankfully he lost the case but not before trying to sway the jury with, what for the scion of the slaveholding, not infrequently slave-raping aristocracy must have been one of the chief hypocrisies, the accusation that abolitionists wanted to have sex with black women,

Are you willing, gentlemen, to abandon your country, to permit it to be taken from you, and occupied by the abolitionist, according to whose taste it is to associate and amalgamate with the negro? Or, gentlemen, on the other hand, are there laws in this community to defend you from the immediate abolitionist, who would open upon you the floodgates of such extensive wickedness and mischief?

It was the same accusation that Stephen Douglas made in debating Abraham Lincoln, a truncated version of Lincolns response is sometimes used to minimize the radical justice in Lincoln's answer:

Now, you’ve heard the Judge make illusion to those who advocate voting and eating and marrying and sleeping with negroes. Whether he meant me specifically I do not know.  If he did, I can only say that just because I do not want a colored woman for a slave, I do not necessarily want her for a wife. I do not need to have her for either.  I can just leave her alone. In some respects, she is certainly not my equal, any more than I am the Judge’s equal in some respects*. But in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands without asking leave of somebody else, she is my equal and the equal of all others.

Which, for my money,  is worth more than every single word in the Bill of Rights put together.  The same Bill of Rights under which slavery existed, Jim Crow existed, lynch law reigned and the rise of American Nazism has taken place even at the absolute height of the First Amendment cult.  The difference between a Francis Scott Key and an Abraham Lincoln wasn't primarily based on the Bill of Rights, it was on equality and economic justice, something which the aristocratic founders managed to leave out of the Constitution and which, ever since, reformers and abolitionists and suffragists have had to struggle, ever since.

Since the beginning of the United States there has been a struggle between those two views, what continues in Donald Trump and FOX's race-baiting over the football players protesting the killing of black people by police and the like of armed thugs such as George Zimmerman, the habit of jurors acquitting the murderers of Black people and racism, in general.   It is what this struggle is really based in, not on "free speech" though the hypocrisy of Trump and FOX and American Nazism have certainly found their version of the "first amendment" useful when they wanted it.  It is no coincidence, at all, that the same people who do this are the ones who want to take away the health care of tens of millions of Americans so they can give huge tax breaks to billionaires who, also, fund their political careers.  It's the First Amendment as defined by Republicans and such pseud-liberal groups as the ACLU who have set up that latest hypocrisy, using "freedom" as a tool of the aristocratic class so as to thwart equality and economic justice out of "principle".  The whole thing is rotten and will be until the source of the rot is gotten rid of, once and for all.   And among the things that have to be overcome is the founders fetish, the current orthodoxy of the "First Amendment" cult, and the continuing presence of the very same slave-power that Lincoln was up against, that Dr. Crandall was up against, the white supremacy and aristocratic entitlement embedded in the Constitution that Black People and other people of color have been up against since the start and which is no less operative, today.

The "land of the free" as imagined by the aristocratic Key might have extended, in principle, to non-aristocratic white men.  I would argue that the subsequent history of the United States, both official legal history and the long struggle for economic justice shows that any freedom they're likely to grasp from the aristocrats is far better secured by equality among the non-aristocrats than it is likely to be gotten from the aristocrats as a matter of self-interest of some daffy notion of partial permission.  We, like Lincoln's Black Woman who he held up as his equal, won't ever get that from something that favors a slave-holding aristocracy or one consisting of Wall Street and Tech company billionaires. They've got the ACLU, the Supreme Court and the media in their corner.  We only have ourselves.

*  That phrase, in which he notes that he, probably the greatest of all the people who would become president up to his time, was not Stephen Douglas's equal, "in some respects" was an astonishingly radical thing for a white man to say at that time.  He was asserting the equality of a Black Woman to him in his inequality, "in some respects"  to a man who was certainly his inferior, both in intellect and in character.  I have been thinking for the past several hours and can't recall anything of such radical content said about any of the "founders" or any of the other icons of American idolatry.  You can find its like all over the abolitionist and suffragist literature,  but to have Abraham Lincoln say it is why he, not the "founders" deserves credit as the founder of any United States worth keeping.