Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Marie Ndiaye - Hilda

Hilda is French-Senegalese novelist Marie Ndiaye's first drama, dramatised for radio by Sarah Woods. It examines modern domestic day slavery through a wealthy woman, Mrs Lemarchaud who becomes obsessed with the new nanny she employs. There's a creepy , almost unlikely edge to this piece, reminiscent of the films of David Lynch, but with absurdity, ideas of control and class are brought into greater relief.

Mrs. Lemarchand the mistress of the house , develops a relationship with Hilda's husband, first to glean more information about Hilda and her life, and , then to exert her increasingly irrational power over both of them Mrs. Lemarchand's control over Frank is constant, even when he starts to fight back . Money and class power through.

It's unsettling highlighting the ramifications of class, power and control. Hilda is a stripped-down 3 hander, but it is full of ideas. It may be chilling and on the edge of the absurd, but there in lies its power.

Mrs Lemarchand Siân Phillips
Franck Nick Haverson
Corinne Rachel Austin
Producer Susan Roberts
Author Marie NDiaye

Adaptor Sarah Woods

It's been a while since I'd heard anything from Siân Phillips.   Guess that's what happens when you stop watching PBS.

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Image result for ICE arresting children

Friday, June 15, 2018

Nope, You Can't Blame Leviticus For The Child Concentration Camps That The Trump Regime Has Started

I ran across a comment a little while ago that, though it has its heart in the right place gets its facts just about entirely wrong.   The comment is:

The moron [Trump] and accomplices [Sessions, Kirstjen Nielsen, John Kelly (whose idea it seems to have been), etc.] seem to have dropped the Beatitudes from their 'bible', making Leviticus great again.

Well, Leviticus does contain some harsh laws, some of them meant for the priestly class that have been extended to anyone and some which have been entirely misrepresented for centuries.   But it doesn't say what the comment claims it did in regard to Trump's putting children into horrific, cold concentration camps.  It says:

When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.  The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus: 33-34

Leviticus also says:

You shall have one law for the alien and for the citizen: for I am the Lord your God. 


When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
19: 9-10

In the regulations in The Law saying to leave crops in the field for the poor and alien to glean, what farmers were required to leave were the major cash crops, grain, olives for oil and grapes for wine.  It wasn't a small thing they were told to share with the poor.  It wasn't a tithe of mint and cumin.  Nothing could be farther from the modern Western industrial-capitalist model of thought or behavior.

There are a large number of Old Testament texts commanding that the alien, the stranger, the sojourner, all be treated with justice.  The commands are as strong as the many other commands in Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament to treat mercifully and kindly and, most of all, justly with widows and orphans.  Children without parents with them, in other words. 

No, everything about this Trump-fascist deliberate cruelty overseen by the repulsive Sessions and Nielsen their ICE ICE "defense eschalon" is forbidden in the strongest terms in Leviticus, what it is is pure American racism and the natural modern Republican love of cruelty to poor, dark-skinned, powerless people.  Though there are Mammonists posing as Christians who have websites to try to deny that's what the Bible says, as it also points out and gives examples of,  Satan will distort scripture for evil purposes. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

When You Claim To Know The Reality of Everything You're Stuck With Making Everything Fit Into Your Claims

This final triumph of the monistic conception of nature . . .  
Ernst Haeckel

It's not a hard argument, there's nothing complex about it but it's obviously a harder argument than your typical college-credentialed atheist is able to deal with.  It's got several parts that you've got to know but they're not hard.  I mean, materialist-atheists came up with them so they can't be that hard.

1. Materialism, the theoretical basis of most atheism and all of scientism is a radically monist ideology.

  It claims that everything that is real is material and that nothing which is not material exists.

As science has, several times, shown that the old-fashioned articulations of materialism are basically wrong about the nature of the "material" universe, the ideology has been tweaked and renamed, things like "physicalism (which stupidly equates scientific laws created within human minds with the stuff of the physical universe rather than human explanations of what happens with that stuff) and the only somewhat less naive "naturalism" which is pretty much the same thing as "physicalism" but omits the mention of its reliance on human-created any of science.   It's been my experience that second-rate philosophers with a slight knowledge of science go for the "physicalist" label and scientists with little to no knowledge of philosophy but some of science prefer the "naturalist" brand.

The thing to remember is that no claim made by materialists can violate the strictly monistic claim that materialism is based in or their whole framing of reality is destroyed.

The converse of that is that they must deny or ignore the reality of anything which is not explainable in terms of matter-energy, space-time, even if it requires them to create, out of nothing but their own words, an infinity of universes for which there is no explanation and no empirical evidence.

Empiricism (see the definition below)  is an even more basic foundation of materialism, though, as with their totally unevidenced and all-too-human creation of multiverses,* they have to violate those foundations continually.

2. Since there is the reliance on both claims of empiricism and their monist materialism and, as my questions asked below prove, those can't be reconciled, their entire framing has to fail.  Atheist-materialists can't account for even the most basic experiences of our experienced reality on a materialistic basis.  Every single claim in that regard that doesn't answer those questions I asked has to fail the test of empirical knowledge and they can't do it. 

For our brains to construct their theorized structures to "be" ideas without the information that is the idea being already present in the brain to instruct it (or DNA or "neural circuits") to make the structure to be that idea would require that those physical structures in our heads would have to continually perform magic and it would have to work better than either Dumbledore or Voldemort or Snape or McGonagall managed to make magic happen in the Harry Potter books.   By the time you'd eaten breakfast your brain would have performed magic thousands of times.  You wouldn't be able to navigate to the bathroom or kitchen without that happening.  Every slight perception within and outside of your body to do that, every variation in it would have to be accounted for in structures inside your head.  Some scientist coming up with a picture of a model for how that happens that can't fit into virtual simultaneity and continuity of our everyday experience is promoting a failed model.

Materialist-atheist-scientism is an ideology that can only be true if it is false, though that argument requires a few more steps dealing with the inevitable debunking of human minds, which, as mentioned, is one of the more vigorously pursused goals of materialist-atheist-scientists including many of the biggest names in it such as Francis Crick.  And with that any reason to believe in any of the work of such scientists evaporates.  And with it the very category of truth as opposed to error or falsity evaporates into a banal and meaningless chemical reaction like water evaporating or iron oxidizing.  Materialism is the one ideology that can only be true if it is false because it corrodes the meaning of the idea of truth.

If you want to get a chuckle, you can read a couple of very conceited atheists trying to come up with something - or, more typically, trying to intimidate and trash talk their way out of coming up with something - in this one time some of them took up my challenge.  It's pretty hilarious to see how pathetically unable they were to get to the first step.  Modern atheism is as profoundly anti-intellectual as modern religious fundamentalism

*  If our species manages to survive long enough to have this period of science turn into ancient history, I predict that they will find it hillarious that atheists, in order to debunk the idea that an all-powerful God created this one universe, they granted the license to atheist cosmologists, even those as flaky as Hugh Everett to invent jillions and jillions and jillions of universes.  And not only him but every one of us, unintentionally as we do literally everything we do.  They so hate the idea that the ultimate intelligence designed the universe that they gave us the power to create universes without any thought going into it, at all.

It is remarkable that even one of their number, one of the current big heroes of atheism has said that one of the consequences of the multiverse fashion is that if you really believe it, it totally destroys the ability of physics to come to any kind of certain or "objective" knowledge about even what is taken as known physics, or, in fact anything

Inflation is naturally chaotic. Bubbles form in the expanding universe, each developing into a big or small bang, perhaps each with different values for what we usually call the constants of nature. The inhabitants (if any) of one bubble cannot observe other bubbles, so to them their bubble appears as the whole universe. The whole assembly of all these universes has come to be called the “multiverse.”

These bubbles may realize all the different solutions of the equations of string theory. If this is true, then the hope of finding a rational explanation for the precise values of quark masses and other constants of the standard model that we observe in our big bang is doomed, for their values would be an accident of the particular part of the multiverse in which we live. We would have to content ourselves with a crude anthropic explanation for some aspects of the universe we see: any beings like ourselves that are capable of studying the universe must be in a part of the universe in which the constants of nature allow the evolution of life and intelligence. Man may indeed be the measure of all things, though not quite in the sense intended by Protagoras.

Steven Weinberg:  Physics: What We Do and Don’t Know

I will remind you, though, that as physicists and cosmologists have been confronted by the increasing evidence that their highest of high science is inescapably caught up in the vissisitudes of the human minds that do science, their fellow atheists are debunking the significance of human minds that do all of science into nothing of any significance.

Anyone who suspects that materialist-atheist-scientism, now that it has reached this pinnacle of achievement, has turned out to be everything from basically wrong to of proven degeneracy would have much more than a leg to stand on.

If You Insist I'll Pose Those Questions Again - The Ultimate Decadence Of Atheist-Materialist-Scientism


1 : originating in or based on observation or experience empirical data

2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory an empirical basis for the theory

3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment empirical laws
Merriam Webster

Someone has apparently posted a link to the year long challenge to atheist-materialists I posted three years ago daring them to come up with the most basic explanation of how the popular "brain-only" model of our minds could possibly work.  The challenge was a short series of questions based on a popular atheist premise.

If, as materialists claim, our minds, our thoughts our ideas are the epiphenomena of  physical structures built by our brains and chemical and/or electrical action within those structures:

1.  How, even before such structures existed within anyone's brain could that brain know that it needed to build or make a new structure to BE a specific idea, a specific representation of an aspect of external reality?

Remember, according to the atheist-materialist "brain-only" doctrine, the actual idea to be made present in the brain wouldn't be there before such a structure to be that idea was built in the brain.

2.  How would it know what the right structure to be the physical cause of that idea should be before the idea was there to inform the brain how to build it?

3.  How would  it know how to make the right structure to be that idea and not a structure that would be a different, or "wrong" idea that wouldn't fit reality before the idea was in the brain to inform that process? 

4.  Since "trial and error" was one of the atheist-materialist resorts, how could you account for the experience of virtual instantaneous creation of ideas within any given scheme?  

"Trial and error" takes time and it faces the problem that if the wrong structure had been built, it would be the only "thing" representing the idea to be made that would be there in the brain.  How would it know it had erred or performed its construction job correctly?  Resorting to trial and error doesn't move you one step closer to an explanation.

Any answer to these questions would have to account for the actual experience we have of coming up with ideas we'd never had before IN REAL TIME, NOT IN THE UNREAL TIME OF THEORETICAL MUSING AND ABSTRACT MODEL MAKING THAT DOESN'T TAKE THE TIME ELEMENT INTO ACCOUNT.   Atheists' claim that they hold their ideas up to the exigencies of empiricism makes their resort of conveniently leaving out the experience of the nearly instantaneous time it takes to think a new thought especially disqualifying. 

You can make the same temporal demand of the other atheist stand-by, the incantation of "DNA" like a magic charm.   All DNA does is create chains of amino acids - which takes longer than our nearly instantaneous experience of thought - and that's not to include the absolute necessary step of protein folding to turn the amino acid chain into a form that will be biologically active, something, itself, fraught with difficulties.  Even a relatively rapid process of that takes minutes instead of seconds and its known action can't be the result of trial and error as that process would take longer for any protein sequence than the expected age of the universe.

And any claim that "because DNA" (one of the few attempts at an answer during the entire year I made the challenge) would face the same problem posed in the questions, how would "DNA" know how to do any of those things before the idea was present in the brain to instruct it how to do it or even that it needed to do it.

Any proposed solution to this, it would seem, insoluble problem for the most common faith holding of atheists concerning our minds has to meet their own basic claim of high fidelity to our own experience of thinking.  And no atheist scheme for that, no scheme of neuro-science or cognitive-science can even answer the first of these questions, how, under the "brain-only" doctrine would the brain even know it needed to make such a structure before the idea, itself was present in the brain to inform it that it needed to make such a structure.

It is the conceit of atheist materialism going back to the beginning that it passes the test of empirical knowledge, that it is based only in what can be observed and experienced.   Well, the extravagant claims they make and have suckered most people with, especially those who have been educated in materialist dogma through a distortion of science DON'T PASS THAT TEST BECAUSE THEIR DOGMA DOESN'T ACCOUNT FOR OUR EXPERIENCE OF THOUGHT.  The very minds that are the way in which empirical knowledge is had can't be made to fit into their dogma.

In thinking about this, this morning, I have come to conclude that materialism and the atheism that it depends on, when looked at rigorously is like those old images of a snake eating its own tail.  As Rowan Williams and Marilynne Robinson discussed in that conversation I posted Tuesday noted, there has been a mighty effort on the part of the intelligentsia to debunk and demote human minds over the past centuries, though they didn't mention it specifically, all of that has been done in service to materialist, really atheist ideology. 

What becomes of the conceit of materialist-atheist-scientism, of its claimed fidelity to the principles of empiricism when the very organ of that act, the minds that are the basis of all our experience, all of our observation, the very stuff of empiricism, is debunked and debased in service to their goal of proving that God doesn't exist? 

Atheist-materialist scientism is the most decadent and degenerate of ideologies that debases its own foundational claims, its own version of virtue.  The political and other ideologies based in it have to share at least that aspect of their foundation.  There are further debasements and decadent feature that can be tacked on but I think it is that foundational decadence that makes it even easier for the moral depravity and decadence of so many of those epiphenoma of atheist-materialist-scientism to infect and rot those out.  I do think that Nazism and Marxism are the prime examples in real life of that phenomenon, "enlightenment" capitalism, as well.  It's a wonder that the champions of empiricism never seem to want to notice that. 

Image result for snake eating its own tail

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Arnold Schoenberg - Transfigured Night for String Sextet, Op. 4

Audrey Wright and Alexi Kenney, violins
Wenting Kang and Alice Weber, violas
Emileigh Vandiver and Andrew Larson, celli

It's Better To Get Your Second Choice In An Election Than Have Your Last Choice In Office For Years

Maine voters again supported ranked choice voting at the polls.  We had adopted it by popular vote in the 2016 election but Republicans and the Republican leaning Maine media has been trying to prevent it going into effect.  The Maine Supreme Court said that there would have to be a Constitutional Amendment before it could be used in general elections for some seats - we've got a stupidly written State Constitution - and Republicans have been frantically working to undo the clear will of the majority, the same way that they got Paul LePage in office, twice.  They passed a law delaying its implementation with an eye to defeating it.  But ranked-choice voting has survived a Maine Supreme Court challenge - with the condition about the friggin' state Constitution - and two election cycles in which Republicans and the political establishment lied about it. 
Every single person I know who supported ranked-choice voting in Maine included the installation of Paul LePage with 38% of the vote as governor as one of their reasons for supporting changing the winner takes all system in favor of ranked choice.  He was the clear last-choice of the majority of Maine Voters that someone like him could win shows that is a major defect of the current system.

We have had the clear last choice of a majority of the voters in office, to catastrophic results for the past eight years because the opposition couldn't agree on who their first choice was.  The system we've had has, on several occasions, given us really bad governors because of the divided opposition. I'd favored changing the law to make it harder for no-chance candidates to get on the ballot to prevent that but ranked-choice has a good chance of being a better way of preventing the last-choice of the majority becoming governor.  It took a Paul LePage to get people to make a real try at changing the system which puts people like him in office.

In the media coverage of the first time use of it, they're stressing that the results in the Democratic governors' race might take some time to find out as the votes for second and third choice have to be calculated.  They've largely opposed changing from the present system, probably because most of the Maine media favors Republicans and they always have.

The idea that it's better to have a putrid pre-Trumpian Trump like LePage in office for eight years so the media gets to announce the winner in hours is so stupid that the media should be ashamed of itself for pushing that line.

It was almost as stupid for the Maine Secretary of State, a Democrat, to complain that it would cost a little more to have a ranked-choice election.  Matt Dunlap made no secret of his opposition to ranked-choice and he gave several ridiculously inflated guesses as to how much it would cost.  That was a stupid claim because even his highest figure was pennies compared to the millions of dollars in Federal money that LePage cost the state for ideological and political reasons.   I certainly have a last choice for a Democratic Secretary of State now.

The media has the same fear as Republicans, that the majority of Maine voters will not go along with the lunatic, hater and crook wing of that party, the part of the Republican party that turns out for primaries and Republicans have a good chance of losing ranked-choice general elections.

Trump's Tongue Bath of Kim Jong Un Was A Result Of The UnAmerican Corruption The Republican Party Now Is

If the American People where not kept in abysmal ignorance of the world outside of the United States by the media and, in a very minor way, as a focus of the general education they might get in American schools, they would know what a catastrophic publicity stunt his past week has been for us and for the world.   Trump blowing up the Western Alliance on behalf of his patron, Vladimir Putin and his stream of businessman on the make honey given to Kim Jong Un as his family profits from emoluments granted by Kim's biggest prop, the Chinese oligarchs,  has been very good for two pretty awful dictatorships and a regime which is among if not the actual worst in the world should make any real American furious.  It is a complete betrayal of the supposed moral stands that the United States is based on, not to mention a complete and total moral atrocity by any legitimate standard.  

But the United States has that in common with North Korea, there is a virtual ban on accurate information on foreign affairs in the American media, I think there is a promotion of the general feeling that what happens in the world outside the United States is, somehow, unpatriotic or an unimportant eccentricity.  Some of that is the habit that comes with empire, lots of it is beneficial to some of our worse parts of the ruling class, our own oligarchs, certainly, their servants in office and their flacks in the media, as well. 

Trump has proven in the past week that he is the servant of Putin, definitely and whoever will enrich his family.  The Saudis the United Arab Emirates  certainly have benefited from that base corruption and, among others, Qatar has suffered under that corruption by Trump's extended family.  His comment about hotel opportunities available to Kim Jong Un was the poison cherry on the top of this past week's sales job.  Anyone who didn't think Trump's imagined hotels in his mind had his name in gold-leaf on top of them is too stupid to care about.  

The past week, especially the tongue bath that Trump gave the North Korean dictator and his obviously off the cuff gift to him of announcing the cancellation of joint military exercises with South Korea have made one thing certain, all of the alleged serious adults of the Republican Party have thrown aside all of their previous principles as their president does things that they would have made major campaign issues against any Democrat who had done any one of dozens of things they endorse when this Republican baby-man president does worse.  

This is the corruption of the Republican Party and the media that has supported them for decades, the same media that created Trump, the same media that spent a quarter of a century demonizing Hillary Clinton.   The same media that has kept the American People in the dark about the rest of the world to the extent that a large number of them, especially Republicans, are totally ignorant as to why what Trump did is a total disaster for the world and the United States.    

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Rowan Williams & Marilynne Robinson | 2018 Theology Conference | 4/6/2018

It would be hard to pick out which things were said that are worth commenting on because there are so many.

You can compare the very quality of the discussion with the pseudo-intellectualism that reigns in secularism.   I'm tempted to post a Q&A with Jordan Peterson to show how really phony that is but I'll lead with the best. 

I'm busy, it's election day here, so I'll be away for most of the day.

Republicans On The Supreme Court Are Imposing An Enhanced 3/5ths Rule

The Supreme Court ruling announced yesterday, allowing the Republicans currently running Ohio to purge the voter rolls of mostly voters they suspect might vote for Democrats is a series of overtly partisan votes in the Supreme Court, the current Republican majority plainly making a series of rulings which they hope will allow Republicans to steal power by blocking or inhibiting or intimidating people from voting who belong to groups that mostly vote for Democrats.

In doing so they are repeating the old slave-owner game of claiming the right of representation for people in their states in terms of population size but, in preventing many of those people counted as residents in their state from voting, it transfers the actual power to their group.  In the 18th and early 19th century, that was done in slave-holding states through the infamous 3/5ths rule that counted slaves as 3/5ths of a person for the purpose of congressional representation, giving that power to their enslavers.  

The old claim that that system was abolished by the Civil War and the amendments to the Constitution, especially the 14th Amendment but that was a lie.  With the end of Reconstruction, brought with the corrupt deal by which Rutherford Hayes became president with the support of Southern former slave owners, the system of Jim Crow was instituted, Black People, freed slaves were prevented from voting but now, with the fiction of their having equal rights, they were counted as 5/5ths for congressional representation with, again, all of that power going into the hands of the people who kept them in de facto slavery and who abridged their civil rights in contradiction to the amendment.  And the Supreme Court, almost always a force for such evil, allowed that to happen up into the 1950s and 60s when for a brief period, they didn't allow it.   But now, since the Republicans have held the majority on the Supreme Court, more and more, they are going back to the enhanced system of the theft of power which the Jim Crow period brought.  They are doing so because the Republican Party is now the party of neo-Jim Crow when it's not the party of overt racist-fascist ascendancy.   

This has all been theorized and worked out by elite law-school faculty, at some of the most renowned universities in the country.  Harvard and Yale, to name only two.  It is part of a plan by fascist law societies, the "Federalists" and others to re-institute American style apartheid and a general benefit to the oligarchic rich who have suckered poor whites for about as long as there have been poor whites on North America.   It has been joined in by the media, including the alleged liberal media which is why it has been so easy to do.  

The longer I live, the longer I read history and even more so The Bible, I have come to see that nothing is new under the sun, we're still involved in the same struggles as were described in Exodus, in the Abolitionist period, in the struggle against Jim Crow and the great Civil Rights struggles of the 20th century.   And the exact same goals and tactics we are up against are in place, only a bit of the terminology and the sophistication of messaging in line with the 20th century science of effective deception and lying pioneered by psychologists working for the advertising industry make their job easier.   That's what we're up against.  The first thing to do is to admit the reality of what they're doing.  

In my state, yesterday, every member of my family and, I suspect, most people got calls from some phony women's group lying to us about today's vote to keep rank-choice voting, something some of us hope and pray will mean we never get another  totally awful governor like the shame of Maine, Paul LePage getting in with 38% of the vote.  His win was due in no small part to the idiocy of making putting people with no chance to win on the ballot ridiculously easy.  But rank-choice voting was a better idea than trying to limit ballot access as a means of correcting the evil of letting someone who was the first choice of a minority of voters be elected while he was the clear last choice of far more voters.  It is something Republicans in Maine have fought tooth and nail to prevent because they know that the goons that Republicans will put up, people like Paul LePage have far less of a chance to become governor or to win other elections if people can choose a more acceptable second choice.   

Republicans in 2018 have to lie to win elections, that is how they put Trump in office.  That alone tells you how putrid the system we have now, especially the part put into place by the Republican partisans on the Supreme Court.  It is our most corrupt branch of government, it is more corrupt than either of the elected branches.  I would not favor an elected judiciary but the way to get rid of them is to impeach those who violate conflict of interest and to end the corrupt way in which they are chosen.  Getting Republicans out of office is the first step in that.  No one who wants clean government of by and for The People has any excuse to vote for Republicans, they haven't had any excuse for decades now. 

The Republican Party is following the same strategy of dominance that the slave-owners of the 18th and 19th century followed, updated for present conditions.  They are the true neo-confederate party.   If they aren't defeated through politics I would be surprised if it doesn't lead to a blood bath bigger than the Civil War was.

Update:  And you can add, And nothing will really change if we don't get rid of those slavery-oligarch empowering features of the Constitution, those written into it by the "founders" and things like corporate-person-hood installed by the anti-Democratic branch, the Supreme Court.  I'm of the opinion that removing Supreme Court members for such stuff will prove to be an essential protection because they seem to have a rather bad habit of inventing such shit out of "originalism" even when the original records of congressional debates prove their "originalism" is really oligarchic empowering legislating from the bench. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Atanas Ourkouzounov - 11 Preludes-Etudes

Atenas Ourkouzounov, guitar

I don't think I posted these with the music before.  I love being able to see the music while listening, I notice more of the music that way.

Ourkouzounov is one of a group of composers of what is a huge leap in the literature of the classical guitar.  Though quite a bit younger I'd put him in the same group with Leo Brouwer and Dusan Bogdanovic.   I love these pieces.

Infallible? Should A News Guy Who Gets Paid Well Into Six Figures Be More Informed Than This?

As I am typing this, that massive jerk Steve Inskeep on National Public Radio is proving he doesn't know what he's talking about.   The story is Pope Francis not only apologizing for what he said about the pedophile abuse of children and sexual sins of members of the clergy and hierarchy but he is doing something to change what was done.   That does make Pope Francis a different and far greater pope than either of his immediate predecessors, why his papacy is the greatest since that of St John XXIII.

What Inskeep gets wrong is what just about everyone does, he claimed that the doctrine of papal infallibility is a claim that whatever the Pope says is infallible.  Not only is that not what the doctrine claimed, it is nothing like what it claimed.  There have been exactly two times that the controversial doctrine has been claimed, in 1854 when Pius IX pronounced the Immaculate Conception of Mary and in 1950 when Pius XII pronounced the Assumption of Mary bodily into heaven.  And, as some have pointed out, those were widespread beliefs among Catholics long before they were pronounced "infallibly".   I know lots of Catholics who don't believe in papal infallibility, some who have publicly stated their skepticism of it have been major and important Catholic theologians, such as Hans Kung, many scholars have cited many authoritative papal declarations and pronouncements that even those who hold with Papal infallibility would never claim were true, including saints who were canonized who are now known to have never existed.

Jeesh, Inskeep, get it right, you ass.  I'm tempted to roll my eyes up and say "Protestants!"  though there are plenty of Catholics who make exactly the same mistake.   It was a lousy idea to make the claim, it's even stupider to keep it on the books.  I'd say the Pope should call an new council and come up with some way to either get rid of the claim or to come up with Vaticaneese to make it, in effect, null and void.  Or they should at least come out with a definitive and simple statement of what was claimed.  I looked up the alleged explanation in John Paul II's Catechism and it is so badly stated that it leads even farther from understanding.

890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council.418 When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed,"419 and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith."420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.421

Geesh!  no wonder people are confused!   I think it's written to try to soften the claim because the people who wrote that and approved it don't really believe it, themselves.  As I said, I know a lot of Catholics who don't.  Though that doesn't let an alleged journalist like Inskeep off the hook.  I wonder how many people who were listening to them believe they knew what they were talking about when they got that point exactly wrong. I'm not asking for Inskeep to be infallible, just informed.  That should be what makes a journalist qualified for his extremely well-paid job.   And I just told you that for free.

Not With A Bang But With A Swagger - The Bang Comes Next - How Bad Will The Republican Money Bags Let Trump Get?

As I have every confidence he will, Trump gets sandbagged by the North Koreans and he makes any piece of crap deal with them to get a favorable news cycle, or, worse, if he blows up the entire region if not the world, the question is how much of a disaster does he have to make before the money bags wing of the Republican Party decides that they reached the limits of harnessing the racist wing of the Republican Party and they can't allow them to have their way? 

The question will be their profits, nothing to do with morality, nothing to do with the artificial substitute for morality that what goes as patriotism is, that's how they have let someone who is a puppet of a Russian gang mob get away with things so far.  He produced their tax-bill bonanza but now his instructions from Putin blowing up the G-7 and the Western Alliance might start costing them money.   And that's on top of his making China the undisputed big power in the Pacific through his and his regimes racist determination to repeal the presidency of Barack Obama, something which they've also allowed him to do. 

My question is how far the ones who are only in it for the money, the ones who exercise real power in Republican politics, the ones who run the media, or fund it, will allow the racists and ideological fascists to go?  That was the same question in Germany in the early 1930s, there the money interests lost control of the situation because they couldn't run the Nazis like they'd planned to.  The same thing could certainly happen here and there are some really bad signs that that is exactly where it is going, though I think cable and hate-talk radio market share has more to do with that than any kind of more sophisticated planning. 

They've gone way too far already, as oligarchies will, that's how empires are generally brought down.  Only now, with the products of science and technology, the collapse might well be under mushroom clouds. 

The advance of science, technology, communications, methods of effective propaganda, the kind of targeting that Cambridge Analytica did for the Mercers, the kind of rigging that Richard Viguerie did decades ago,  etc. make every single defect in our Constitution into a deadly dangerous opportunity to create catastrophe.   I am afraid that the corruption of the money men of the Republican Party, including those who were horrified when the Trumpian fascists got control in 2016 but who were quick to mend fences will not have the morality or wisdom or self-discipline to stop it.   That's what I think we are seeing right before our eyes.   A system that worked the way ours was advertised to would have thrown him out by now, indicted, convicted, banned from power.   One that really worked would have imprisoned the guilty.   Instead he's about to plan his big PR event and the American media is ready to cheer him on no matter what kind of catastrophe he produces - did you see the august NYT yesterday? 

How bad will the Republican moneybags let it get?   How bad will we get?  When will we overcome the insane dependence on the Constitution when it has proved not only unable to correct the Trumpian disaster as it's building but it has enabled it after installing it?   I'm coming to the point where I think people who cite the Constitution as if it were going to save us are as much a part of the problem as the goddamned New York Times has been in creating this disaster.   The time to respect those old norms and to cite those old habitual platitudes as a plan to get out of this is over and done with.  Getting out of this is going to be hard and dirty and dangerous.   Face it or face the consequences.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Rule #1 If Reading Eschaton - Stupid Hate Mail

Rule #1: If you  will read Eschaton,  everything Simps says is a lie or a distortion in support of a lie.  That is if it isn't a repetition of something he's repeating from someone else. 

I never said Raymond Chandler would have written better if he came to terms with his latent gayness,  though it might have helped.  He'd have needed to cut the racism and sexism, and at least half of the gaudy similes and metaphors, the absurd accounts of Philip Marlowe drinking and getting hit.  The tough-guy cynicism, what people take to be Marlowe's heroic character.  Those are pure comic book unreality.  

As he was, Raymond Chandler had obvious sexual issues that led him to be a drunken lout.  Not to mention the obvious mommy issues. 

Most people know Chandler through movies made of his books, his writing was a range of quality from good to shit.  It is kind of an indictment of the allegedly educated class that they took what were, essentially, adolescent male fantasies - commercially cranked out kiddies' books - as great literature.   It was easy, in the way of tough-guy fiction, especially the kind that got turned into cookie-cutter noir movies.  But he was an entirely inferior writer compared to Dorothy B. Hughes.  

Update:  You really think that's going to bother me, don't you.   If, as you claim, only two people read what I write it's still two more than read what Duncan doesn't write. And more than two people read what I write.    

We Won't Perfect The Constitution As Long As The Dead Hand Of The Founders Manipulates Our Imagination

I don't remember which day it was last week but sometime recently Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Leader in the Senate was, rightly, talking about the Republicans allowing Donald Trump to have a royal impunity from the law, allowing his crimes and those of his courtiers to go uninvestigated as Republicans in the Congress enable and collude with their cover up of those crimes and who enable the commission of the continuing crime spree which is Republican politics in the Trump regime.

That's certainly true.   I've got nothing against those claims.   What got me continually pissed off is that he made recourse to one of the worst arguments against that,  what the friggin' "founders" intended by way of a government of laws not of "reality" TV stars and fascist talk shows. 

It is the essential insanity that keeps the Federalist Society fascists in operation, that is the cry of libertarian crypto-fascism, of idiots like the teenage Ted Cruz who turn into the poisonous fungus he's turned out to be and up to and pretty much the entire fascist support that produced Trump that, somehow, the slave owners and corrupt Northern mercantile and banking interests who wrote the 1787 Constitution should dictate to us how we should live today.   It is why the many slavery-enabling features of that Constitution have been allowed to remain there and to be used to thwart the will of the majority, why Republican-fascists hold more seats in Congress and state legislatures than the number of votes they get should allow them to, how Trump became president after he lost the election.

The most excellent historian Paul Finkleman wrote an excellent article which enumerates the many, many ways that slavery was written into the Constitution, in those parts which were allegedly overturned in the Civil War amendments* but also in many, many other provisions which are exactly the ones which corrupt Supreme Court members and the many merely gullible ones have used to allow the conditions that produced Reagan, Bush I and II and now Donald Trump.   And which allowed Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to act out of Constitutional principle while acting against the interests of the very people who put them in office.  It's an article which should be read by everyone because it is the distillation of the insights of the great abolitionists whose work is of continuing and complete relevance to fighting contemporary fascism in the United States and finally removing those things that have enabled it all along.

Having praised him, though, I am obligated to say that I disagree with Finkleman's concluding remarks in the article about the perfecting of the Constitution through the Civil War and the amending of it because I think the subsequent history of the use of those aspects of the Constitution after the Civil war and up till today have continued to prevent democracy and to install corporate, oligarchic rule.

We are, because of Constitutional idolatry, of the founders fetish, a nation of bad laws that put bad people into office and which thwarts democracy producing the  danger of Trumpism and Republican-fascism.  The idea that things changed because overt slavery was overturned is an illusion that almost all of the entire history of the thwarting of democracy through the citation of the remaining Constitution proves.

The founders fetish is as irrational as any deification of kings or emperors or any other mortals.  And that deification relies on lying about the moral character of the writers of the Constitution, who were, when looked at without deleting the evil in their lives, a pretty bad lot.  The article points out how it wasn't until 1840, when James Madison's notes during the various conventions that brought the Revolution and then the Constitution, the various writings of him, Alexander Hamilton, etc. were published,  it was a shocking eye-opener to the abolitionists because it showed that they intentionally, with open and full intent of their own self-profit and that of their fellow oligarchs, made the Constitution a "Covenant with Death."  And those parts of it which have produced the regimes of Bush II and Trump within sixteen years of each other, prove it still is one and will be until those are removed and their legacy expunged from American law.

*  The idea that de facto slavery ended with the adoption of the amendments overturning it is an illusion.  It continued throughout the Jim Crow period and, in some ways, still exists.   It is the obvious aspiration to continue aspects of it in the work of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Trumps Attorney General and in the Republican-fascists on the Supreme Court.  There might be piddling wages paid to the slaves but other aspects of bondage are fully in place, especially within the prisons.