Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Gordon Pengilly - Bailey's Way - Two Episodes

Ester Purves Smith, Tanis Bailey
David LeReaney, Sergeant Mann
Grant Linneberg,  Detective Donaldson. 

Cast: John Wright; Shawna Burnett; Andy Maton;
Chris Hunt.

Cast: Andy Curtis; Darryl Shuttleworth; 
Natasha Girgis; Mark Lawes; Rod Padmos

I notice the Youtubes of The Sensitive I posted last week have already been taken down, one of the hazards of posting Youtubes, any links, actually.  Sorry about that.


No one should ever say the name "Sebastian Gorka" without saying "Deport that Nazi."

How Much Do You Want To Bet This Guy Watches C.O.P.S. Or Some Other Cable Cop Show

How We Find Ourselves Living Through The Destruction Of American Democracy

I think it's fair to say that Russia is a country, the Russian People are a people under the anti-democratic control of organized criminals.  Like the United States under the control of organized criminals who are destroying democratic institutions here, there is some blame for that among Russians who were duped by the organized criminals, but there are large numbers, maybe even a majority of Russians who are innocent of guilt.

That's the reason that when I'm talking about the mafia state that controls Russian, which is in collusion with Donald Trump and many American billionaires, billionaires based in other countries, I don't fault Russia, I try to always remember to make the distinction that it's Putin and the criminal oligarchs who are doing all of these things.   I look at the biographies and histories of most of those people and find they were part of the previous oligarchic mafia that ruled the Soviet Union, looking into that, studying it, considering it has led me to my belief that the only realistic view of those anti-democratic systems is that they are all mafia states, their claimed ideologies and ideological motives about as meaningful to the organized criminal-dictatorial regimes as the alleged Catholicism of the Sicilian Mafia, the pseudo-Christianity of so many in the American equivalent of the Putin crime regime,  the "Americanism" of so many of the rest who have, for decades, undermined American democracy to the point where it is now in control of a man who is a puppet of Putin based on his acceptance of Russian oligarchic funding of his gross and grotesque love of the most vulgar of Las Vegas, NYC "good life".  The millions of dollars they gave to Trump and his corrupt family were the best investments that loan sharks have ever made on a loser, they got them direct access to control of the United States. 

I will give Putin this, he and his crime family have brilliantly taken advantage of every defect in the United States Constitution, every one we have allowed corrupt Supreme Courts to open up in it, going back into the 19th century to impose on us on behalf of robber barons and white supremacists.  But it wasn't only officially conservative figures who gave Putin what he used, the pseudo-liberals of the media, their hired legal hacks who invented "free speech" absolutism gave them and what is now their American allies, the corrupt billionaire oligarchs the means to corrupt millions and millions of Americans through the mass media.  Even before the foreign dictator Putin swayed an American presidential election, the Reagan administration admitted Rupert Murdoch, a foreign soft-porn king who had done so much to corrupt British politics through his media empire with the obvious intent that he do here what he did in Australia and Britain. 

The fact is, our system has been wide open to the same kind of billionaire manipulation and corruption of democracy for a lot longer than Putin has been alive.  That weakness which Putin and his mafia organization identified and exploited has long been exploited by the rich and powerful here, it has promoted every malignant thing in American politics through the media of the day.  When that media were newspapers and organizations and in-person speeches, it was enough to cause all kinds of evil,  when the electronic media, radio was invented, it was obvious that when the audience was hundreds of thousands and then millions listening on a network, the danger of lies and playing on peoples' worst weakness became much much greater .   

The legal system, lawyers, the courts, the Supreme Court pretended that the language of the First Amendment written in the 18th century was up to addressing the situation AND PROTECTING THE COUNTRY FROM THAT NEW DANGEROUS POTENTIAL OF THE UNIMPEDED MASS MEDIA IN THE CONTROL OF MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES.   They are one of the most useful of those tools that Putin used because those tools were always at the service of American millionaires and billionaires.   And, peoples' weakness being what it is, the excitement of titillating lies and the fast food of paranoia and envy, the regime of "free speech - free press" they erected in the 20th century was bound to serve the purpose of those with a motive and desire to sell them the worst ideas and encourage them to do the worst things.  

Some people wonder why I have gone on about these things so often.   All you have to do is look at the means that Putin used to gull Americans into voting for Trump, against their interest, against what is the best about us, he used the media, the most recent form of it. the least controlled form of it, the "social media."   He used free speech and free press to ratfuck our election to destroy democracy.  What he did was done by Rupert Murdoch through FOX, by Sinclair, through smaller networks and media corporations on behalf of the same Republicans who are preventing any effective restrictions on Donald Trump in office, on behalf of Donald Trump.  He controlled news cycles in even responsible media through exploiting their commercial necessity of focusing on the every Tweet of Trump, every titillating anti-Hillary line they introduced.  They understood the addictions of the American media a lot better than America's journalists do.  They are doing it under the legal rules the Supreme Court has given us, the system of permitting the media to lie with impunity and the Supreme Court using the excuses of "free speech and free press" to knock down every attempt that the Congress in the past and state legislatures have tried to prevent the very corruption of our political system through the dissemination of lies in political messages on TV, the radio, in print and now on the internet.   

We allowed the dangerously truncated words of the First Amendment to be interpreted in such a way that they destroy any real democracy, to turn it into an anti-democratic slogan which has worked entirely better for Republican-fascism which serves billionaire oligarchs here and, under Citizens United and other rulings, opened us up to the direct and skilled attack by the Putin mafia state.  That tool was given to him by the ACLU, such legal hacks as Joel Gura, various members of the Supreme Court of the United States, going back to the "free speech" rulings of Holmes and Brandeis.  That was given to him by members of the media who had a direct professional and financial interest in having the privilege of not fact checking what they said, of getting away with lying, if not for them then for their professional colleagues.  

That's how this happened. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

J.S. Bach - BWV 639 - Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ

Wolfgang Zerer, organ

Update:  BWV 600 - Gott durch deine Güte

Stupid Mail

No, I don't dismiss it because humor dates, I dismiss it because it's stupid and puerile and fails to be funny.   

If I didn't already know the answer I'd pose the obvious question,  "Are you 12?"

This Is Your Brain On Hg and Politicians Should Always Be Treated With The Same Rules They Set For Others

Listening to the clip of Rep. Paul Gosa, claiming that he could read Peter Strzok's mind because he's a dentist reminded me of the dentist who went to school with my mother and who ended his days in a state of dementia brought on by decades of sloppy handling of mercury in his office.  They said that when he died the guy who took over his practice had to have the office thoroughly scrubbed for mercury, there was so much of it around.  

Does he do all of the dentistry for the Republican caucus in the House or just those two committees?  If you want to consider the possibility, Charles Pierce did a rogues gallery of the goons on display during the hearing.  It's too long to copy and paste, but you can see it here

Anyone in the media who presents the Republican Party as anything except a collection of the totally corrupt, the totally loony, the congenitally stupid is part of the collusion with their billionaire owners.


I am particularly interested in how the growing scandal surrounding Jim Jordan's complicity in a years long gay sexual harassment ring at Ohio State is developing.  But that's not the word, it was more like a systematic practice, apparently known by anyone involved in the wrestling program Jim Jordan worked in that it was going on.  Considering what was said in the hearing yesterday, what they allowed Louis Gohmert to say, I'd say everything about that is fair game from now on.  Jim Jordan is as guilty as Roger Ailes was, maybe more so.  There had to be some motive in letting it go on for years.  Considering what Trey Gowdy has been doing over the past several years, I don't think any speculation should be held back.  I'm entirely in favor of politicians being treated by the same rules they use. 

Abolishing Billionaires And Multi Millionaires Would Do More To Protect Democracy Than Just About Anything Else

Yesterday's outrageous show trial by two House committees under the control of thugs proves that government by the hirelings of even American billionaires will end up, inevitably, turning the Congress into a den of traitors.  Trey Gowdy,  Bob Goodlatte, the mentally defective Louis Gohmert, and the rest of the Republican thugs prove that while Trump is a fully owned asset of the Putin crime family, the Republicans in Congress are owned by Putin's American associates. 

I wonder if even with this display of  Putin collusion by the Republican caucus in the House will lead people to admit that our domestic billionaires have no sense of patriotic duty or a sense of obligation to the United States, the People of the United States, our allies who have shed their blood on our behalf, etc.   It's obvious that the billionaires who put a lot of these thugs in office,  Murdoch, the Kochs, the Mercers, Sheldon Adelson own the likes of Gowdy, Goodlatte  and Gohmert, not to mention Paul Ryan and Jim Jordan, when you see them in action you are seeing the will of those billionaires being put into effect by the government of the United States.

That American billionaires and those like Rupert Murdoch who came here to corrupt the United States happen to have legal citizenship doesn't make them any less dangerous to American democracy or even American security than billionaires who speak Russian or are part of the Chinese mafia establishment.  While a few, like Sheldon Adelson makes some kind of pose of dedication to Israel (from what I understand, lots of Israeli's don't welcome his malign influence there) or perhaps his fiefdom in whore houses and gambling dens in Macow and other Pacific venues, none of the billionaire patrons of the Republican Party seems to have any feeling of loyalty or obligation to American democracy. 

As I've been mentioning over the past few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that falling for the pretense that the great struggle for democracy has been against anti-democratic ideologies was a smoke screen.   All of them, the Nazis, the fascists, the communists were first, foremost and last gangsters who exercised power to steal stuff and land and enslave people.   That is how the Soviet Union turned seamlessly into what developed into the Putin crime family, the Maoist dictatorship into China's Victorian capitalism on steroids as communism, all in the hands of a class of billionaires largely formerly members of the communist establishment. 

The existence of billionaires is the greatest danger to democracy, certainly the greatest danger to egalitarian democracy.   While I'm sure you could identify billionaires who haven't been, some who seem to favor democracy over oligarchy, they are more than made up for by those who aren't only ready to sell us out to their fellow billionaires in other countries, they already own the Congress and the Executive and are about to have bought themselves the Supreme Court, too. 

And I'm not that impressed with the record of the most allegedly pro-democracy of billionaires.   George Soros has been making all kinds of noise and spending money for "civil society" for a long time and look at the results, no time since 1945 has there been a greater danger from fascism in Europe, North America and elsewhere.   The Hungarian fascist leader Viktor Orban, who is kicking Soros' Open Society group out of Hungary was someone Soros nurtured, financing his study in Britain.   I would like to know exactly how "Open Society" has worked to counter the promotion of fascism by the Putin and other billionaire organized criminals because I'd like to know just where it's alleged to have worked.  I don't have any confidence in his judgement and as he doesn't seem to be changing direction, I'm not confident in his actual intentions.

With the explosion in the number of billionaires, with the hoarding of such a huge majority of the wealth of the world into a tiny percentage of the world's population has come a decline in the material well-being of people which softens up people for the appeals of fascism and neo-Nazism, communists having pretty much given up any pretense of socialism in favor of ultra-capitalism, which turns out to also be a mafia style of economics.   I don't think anything but squeezing the hoarded wealth out of billionaires will do it.   Which won't be easy, among other things the civil liberties industry which has so many liberals hoodwinked will fight against economic justice and equality under law on the basis of "freedom".   As I've also pointed out many times, they have had a large role in producing this catastrophe in the United States. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Checking In On The Inquisition of Peter Strzok

The headlines that come up on Google inform me that those of The Federalist (fascist) say  that tower of moral integrity and supporter of Donald "I grab them by the pussy" Trump, Louis Gohmert said that because Strzok committed adultery that he's not credible.   

I'd love to see Gohmert under oath being asked about his marital fideltity.  

The Federalist (fascist) explicitly misrepresents what Strzok said, he said that he didn't say he as an FBI agent would "stop" Trump but when Trump did things like mock a Gold Star family he didn't think the American People would ever put someone like that in office.   And as Trump got in while losing the election, his wishes were right, though thwarted by the corrupt Constitutional system that allows that to happen. 

I fucking hate the Federalists (fascists).  

From The Guardian Through the Estimable Charles Pierce, Here Is what

Harvard Fellow, Pathological Liar, Hedge Hider, Sean Spiecer Says In His Upcoming (my lunch almost came up when I read it) Book 

“I don’t think we will ever again see a candidate like Donald Trump,” Spicer writes. “His high-wire act is one that few could ever follow. He is a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow. His verbal bluntness involves risks that few candidates would dare take. His ability to pivot from a seemingly career-ending moment to a furious assault on his opponents is a talent few politicians can muster.”

A Response - Just Off The Top Of My Head

The first people to set up a society on the basis of community of  goods in America, indeed in the whole world, were the so-called  Shakers.

Karl Marx

What the member of the rump remnant at Eschaton said, minus what was said about me, was " the American Christian religion and the corrupt capitalist patriarchy it was constructed to serve would lead to amoral depravity."

Considering how much atheists and "secularists" love to claim that the Founding Fathers who set up the Constitution were anything but Christians - something I actually wouldn't necessarily disagree with, if by Christian you mean fidelity to the Gospel, the Epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles - it's rather funny that they, when convenient, pretend they didn't say that.

Considering that Karl Marx said the Shakers were pretty much the first actual socialistic society, something which the old time Shakers would probably have agreed with, a Christian community which was based on the testimonies and prophesy of Ann Lee, which, from the very beginning had women leaders as well as male leaders, the comment is particularly stupid.

I am not sure where "Gummo" could have gotten such an ahistorical and stupid idea, though I suspect its genesis is probably from some European like Max Weber or some American idiot who read what he said and didn't bother to fact check, or the same third or fourth hand.   This paper about the history of Christian Socialism in America by John Spargo notes that when European socialists reported back home on the phenomenon of Christian socialism here,  European socialists were amazed because it was at variance with their theories and experience of European socialism.

I have noted before that the most successful socialist in the history of North America was the Baptist minister Tommy Douglas and that probably what might count as an even earlier experiment with something like socialism in the Western Hemisphere, and the longest lasting, to date might be the Jesuit Reduction in Paraguay.

Maybe I'll go into this more sometime but it's my experience that English speaking college educated snobs are influenced by old fashioned, polemical sources like Weber and those who built on their distortions without ever bothering to look at the primary material.   Spargo's paper notes that in Europe the rise of "modern socialism" is a by-product of Darwinism, something which even a casual reading of Darwin and especially writings by Ernst Haeckel, especially his book, Freie wissenschaft und freie lehre that Darwin endorsed, fully, would have noted what is obvious, that natural selection is entirely at odds with not only democracy but, especially any democratic socialism.   Any socialism that is built on Darwinism is an inevitable destruction of genuine socialism and is bound to turn into a horrific nightmare, as happened to the perhaps fatal damaging of the word "socialism".

In his entirely putrid book, The Chance of Death And Other Essays In Evolution, Karl Pearson, mentioned in my morning post, he goes into how, despite what Haeckel said about that in the book which Charles Darwin endorsed, wholeheartedly, in his anti-democratic, top-down controlled, you might even say proto-Leninist-Stalinist view of socialism, the control necessary to impose what he believed would be a restored replacement for "natural inequality" was possible [See: Volume 1: Socialism and Natural Selection] whereas it would be impossible under democracy.  Pearson's was the socialism of the atheist, hostile to religion, certainly hostile to Christianity, Fabianism, which while nominally feminist was feminist only on behalf of those they deemed the best and the brightest.  A socialism in which, as Marilyn Robinson has pointed out,  the Fabians "those most sedulous of strainers of mercy" in their tracts and sociological study always couched the most stingy of "relief," reducing the poor to the most deprived and desperate margin of bare, perhaps less, subsistence into the greater goal,ensuring  their social utility, their exploitation by industry and other profit making ventures.  I've read Karl Pearson's scientific, Darwinist version of that and he explicitly calls for measures that ensure that lots of them would die in childbirth, both mothers and children on the basis of aiding that culling, what he calls "socialism".

As I said, I could go on but I've got chores to get to this morning and this is just what I can give you off the top of my head.

Stupid Mail - Why I Will Not Address Simplistic Stupidity

By chance, I happened across this talk by Susannah Heschel yesterday, the day after I was forced to the conclusion that a man I thought was pig-ignorant and stupid through his own laziness, as well as morally deficient was that way because he's just not smart and was obviously brought up not to value the truth. 

Believing what she said about the moral problems of respecting even the dignity of those who choose to not have any, themselves, I'm going to have to work out whether or not I can, in good conscience, address the stupidity of Simels.  I will, though, have no problem with addressing his lies about what I say.  

If you listen to the video, I should tell you that the two intros are longish and unclear but once Susannah Heschel starts to talk her voice is entirely clear.

Update:  Maybe "Gummo" should come here and say that and I'll respond.   I don't believe that coward ever came here to read what I said, never mind to challenge it.

When Simps says I get "pissy" I think it means I mopped the floor with him.

Hate Mail - It Wasn't Reading Religion That Convinced Me That Materialist-Atheism Inevitably Destroyed Morality, It Was Reading Atheists

I can't tell you when I first came to suspect that materialism and the atheism that ideology was constructed to serve would lead to amoral depravity.   I suspect it might have been while reading one American atheist psychologist or sociologist or "ethicist".  I can tell you what the final nail in that coffin was, it was the blog The Atheist Ethicist * in which one Alonzo Fyfe was and, I'm kind of surprised to find, is still trying to find some kind of artificial atheist substitution for morality in his own, apparently going-nowhere interpretation of that old, rather obviously stupid atheist attempt to do the same in 18th century British utilitarianism.   The rather glaring moral problems in the idea that morality is defined by "the greatest happiness to the greatest number" has been known for a very long time.   Among those are:

1. The idea that we could possibly determine "the greater happiness" never mind determining the number of people that would make happy, is pretty much absurd on its face.

2. The idea that we have the foresight to determine the ultimate or even future results of things that make people happy now which might turn sour and cause enormous unhappiness to even more people, perhaps all people, requires giving people, now, super-human powers that they obviously don't have.

3.  The idea that we can determine the ranking of causes of happiness and unhappiness on that kind of scale is absurd.   There have been proponents of utilitarianism who, when confronted with such ideas of whether or not murdering every last Jew in the world would lead to the happiness of all of the survivors,  have been forced on the power of their utilitarian creed, to float the idea that such a type of thing would have to be determined to be right.

I haven't seen anything in any articulation of utilitarianism that has gotten past any of the problems with it, I think the intellectual tergiversations that Fyfe has gone through for his "desire utilitarianism" and Peter Singer for his bizarre articulations of it which, while vastly popular among atheists seems to center on that most exciting thing about what has pervertedly been called "ethics" in university philosophy departments, drawing up lists of people it's not only OK to murder, but who should be murdered.  I certainly don't see any of the various species of utilitarianism going back to Bentham and John Stuart Mills which doesn't take the "question of evil" atheists throw up against God and greatly exacerbate it by advocating godly powers to make decisions like that among human beings.   No doubt led by university trained "ethicists".

A lot of very smart people, going back centuries, now, have tried to find an atheist, materialist, "scientific" replacement for morality, mostly the morality articulated by the Jewish-Christian scriptures and all I see is it getting worse and more depraved.   I think in Peter Singer we can attribute a lot of that increase in depravity to his and other such utilitarians and "ethicists" desire to pretend you can latch onto the repute of Darwin to give persuasive "scientific" force to their efforts.   But as I've spent scores of posts to documenting in the word of Darwin and his appointed followers, Darwinism is morally depraved, inevitably, because natural selection is about grading organisms, including human beings according to some notion of "fitness" and cutting them and their possible or real offspring from the future, through involuntary sterilization in the more "humane" versions of that but, ususally, getting to the murder of millions, tens of millions, and not putting out of consideration the murders of hundreds of millions of people.

Atheism has produced depravities in intellectual thought, into academic life, introduced such depravities into polite consideration that more than match anything you can throw out in the long history of Christianity or Judaism or even the "historical" books of the Old Testament.  Considering they're talking about murdering people, infants, others, I have never heard much in the way of proportionate or sufficiently strong atheist academic or even the NPR-Fresh Air level** criticism of a Peter Singer who are, after all,  calling for the murders of infants or such utilitarians who contemplate the moral rightness of murdering all of any ethnic group for the "ultimate happiness" of more people that would be murdered in such a utilitarian fantasy.  Consider the virtual non-existence of that among polite society, especially among those people who will point to the stories in Joshua or other books of the Old Testament identifying them as conclusive evidence of the depravity of all religion and its danger to the world, today.  Those killings in Canaan might or might not be a report of history, the moral nature of them have been debated repeatedly because they are at variance with the morality of the Commandments of Judaism and the Gospel of Jesus.   Get back to me when atheists spend anywhere near as much time debating the morality of Darwin's theory as even he contemplated it being applied to the human species, something the Nazis and eugenicists actually did do in living historical memory.  Consider that especially in light of the revival of eugenics talk which has gone from science and academia into the popular press, our politics and the courts.

I think it's gone on long enough so that we can be fairly certain that whenever materialist-atheist philosophers or "ethicists" are confronted with these questions, eventually they'll come around to drawing up a list of who we can or, eventually, should kill.

I don't think today's or atheists in the future will be any more clever than those of the past. Their prescriptions for lesser problems of morality than who should we murder are generally not much less problematic. 

I would invite you to look at the mental gyrations and gymnastics that Alonzo Fyfe has to go through in his seemingly futile articulation of his basis for morality and ask yourself how any such attempt is supposed to work among everyday people who will certainly never even hear the word "utilitarian" in the governance of their lives, how they are supposed to make those calculations of which goods are "greater" which will result in the greater happiness to "greater numbers" than the number of those who will be entirely unhappy with it.   Ask yourself how comfortable you would be having that being the basis of actions by Congress, the Senate, the Executive branch or the morally depraved Supreme Court, of them having that as the basis of their deliberations and decisions.  I ask you that, especially, considering the universe of concern of the Republican Party today, when they have rigged elections that put them in control even when they have fewer votes than their opponents.

Atheism doesn't work, materialism doesn't work except to produce depravity.  I think what we see in Putin's criminal state is what you can expect will be the eventual outcome of those, no morality at all.***

*  Thinking about it as I'm writing this,  I think for Fyfe, as for virtually all  of the atheist "ethicists" the "ethics" aren't their primary concern, it's the promotion of atheism.  I think that's a primary motive that is shared by a lot of people in academia, even in the sciences. I think that accounts for how some of them could say some of the most amorally depraved things and not bat can eyelash, because they are smart enough to know such depravity is a logical inevitability in their promotion of atheism and materialism.  There is no way to get by the fact that materialism inevitably demotes human beings to the status of objects which have no rights and no moral obligations.  Eventually, every atheist system of "morality" will be reduced to that status, it's inescapable based in that hard fact of what materialism is.

** I think they're too polite to really push it, they don't want to appear uncivil to those who advocate murder under the wing of academia and intellectual repute, or they don't want to be unfashionably concerned with such moral questions.  They might be considered unfashionably unscientific and "objective" if they called it what it is, obvious amoral depravity, the kind of morality that might be practiced by Eichmann, Putin, Trump or so many others. 

*** Since Putin's pose of support for the Russian Orthodox Church will be brought up, I think it's merely a matter of utility to him, as much a tool of suckering the greatest number of Russians to support him, eliminating the effective opposition of what should be a force of moral persuasion against keeping someone as evil as he is in office.  I would certainly have no problem with a deep criticism of the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church for its role in producing the amoral catastrophe of the Russian Mafia State, today.   However, in the case of the Patriarch of Moscow, he's in violation of the morality of Jesus, the Law, the Prophets, I defy any utilitarian to show the equations of what principle of utilitarianism Putin could be held to be in definitive violation of.

Update:  I will try to look it up later, but I believe it was the geneticist Karl Pearson who defined Darwinism in terms of  "death rate".   It is, actually, what it is, the belief that natural selection is a force of nature, like gravity or other basic laws of physics or chemistry, turns death into a creative force, determining the future of life, speciation, etc.   It turns death into a creator god, of sorts.  And, as you can see even from the earliest articulations by Darwin and his named, chosen disciples,  Francis Galton, Thomas Huxley, Ernst Haeckel, etc. they all anticipated the active use of death, even through intentional policy, as a means of "improving" the human species.  That's what all my blog posts mentioned above did, they proved that those men said those things.  What Karl Pearson contemplated as a result of his belief in that was as depraved as the musings of any Nazi physiologist or even physician.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Response - Pulling Your Head Out Of That Old 18th Century Ass

If I didn't read The Bible, if I didn't meditate on The Law and the Gospel, if I didn't listen to liturgy online most days I don't think I could cope with the horror of the world as it descends into Billionaire fascism and the ecological catastrophe they have brought us to.   And I don't think I'd be able to comprehend that there might be a way out of it.  I do that even as I look at the secular left and see it insisting on the same old things that have not only not worked but in a lot of cases aided the descent into fascism. I'm convinced that the secular left, the atheist left is inevitably a part of that because on the most basic level the intellectual materialism of that secular left is the same thing as the vulgar materialism of the pseudo-Christian right.   

That's what I've got, what the atheists have is that same old, same old junk that hasn't ever worked and the insistence that, somehow, by materialistic magic, I guess, it's somehow going to start doing now what it has failed to do, consistently, since the 18th century.  When it is applied, it has the opposite results of what it promises.  The Law, The Gospel, starting out by believing that God makes rights and moral obligations really works when those are applied.  

A debt jubilee as commanded in The Law would be nearly universally popular and it would make an excellent beginning in wiping out inequality.  You can only get rid of the billionaire masters by leveling them to the same level we are on.  

The Tender Mercies Of The White Collar Elite For The Other Members Of Their Class Will Be On Full Display In This As All Past Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearings

If you haven't watched the segment of Sam Seder's Majority Report last night, you should REMEMBER THE CHILDREN, as you do.  The title of the WaPo piece he were mocking,From "Kellyanne Conway to Stephen Miller, Trump’s advisers face taunts from hecklers around D.C." by Paul Schwartzman and Josh Dawsey.   If you haven't gotten Sam Seder's, Michael Brooks, et al's take on the story you should.  

The Trump regime is violating a court order that these thugs reunite the children they abducted and have been holding in baby concentration camps with their parents, the deadline on reuniting ALL 102 of the children under five they hold and they've not complied, even though these kidnapping blackmailers have both the children and their parents in custody. 

It doesn't look like they ever intended to comply with the court order that they do so, apparently they figure their bosses ability to ignore court orders covers them with a penumbra of impunity.  We have yet to see if they're correct, as Charles Pierce pointed out, they didn't comply with a clear order of a judge and yet none of the thugs are in jail.  

Federal San Diego Judge Dana Sabraw initially gave the government a July 10 deadline to reunite the 102 children under the age of 5 who were ripped from their undocumented parents because of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. Sabraw allowed the Trump administration an extension on that deadline Monday after Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian said she only expected about half of the kids to be reconnected with their parents. But, in a court filing Tuesday, Fabian revealed that a mere four of the 102 children under 5 had been reunified with their parents, adding she expected another 34 to be reunited by the end of the day. If accurate, that brings the total number of reunified kids to 38 — which amounts to just above one-third of all the children.

. . . Fabian maintained in the court papers the government is in “compliance with the Court’s order,” even though it blew Sabraw’s initial deadline and didn’t live up to its subsequent promises. The American Civil Liberties Union — which successfully argued last month the Trump administration must reunite the separated migrant families — called bull. “Plaintiffs recognize that Defendants cannot yet reunify the parents who are currently being held in criminal custody,” ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt wrote in a response filing. “But as to all other Class Members with children under five, the government is not in compliance with the clear deadline ordered by the Court."

And with that claim by attorney Fabian that they are in compliance, I don't have any hesitation to point out she is the one who became famous last Friday when she said she couldn't be working on the weekend because she was dog-sitting, one would imagine so her friends dog wouldn't have to spend the weekend in canine confinement while scores of babies and thousands of other kidnapped children were in jail.  Something some lawyers and those in the media, even those opposed to Trump's kidnapping and blackmail scheme, perhaps turning into trafficking in babies, have said she shouldn't be faulted over her priorities but with that claim in court, fuck with the comity of the white collar class for its own. 

Charles Pierce's question of why no one went to jail over this is an excellent one, in the world of the underclasses that most Americans live in people go to jail for violating not only a judge's order but an extension asked for and granted on the basis of promises of compliance. 

Charles Pierce made one error in his piece, at the very end he said,  "This is barely organized crime."  What it is is unconcealed organized crime which isn't called that because of that comity white collar people, judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and, obviously journalists give to people of their class. 

Americans have to call bull shit on that practice because it is a large part of how we got into this dangerous position in the first place.  And, believe me, it won't be the Ivy-may as well be Ivy class of highly paid professionals that will call it bull shit because that would be indelicate.

If you want an excellent example of that, go over the past confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justices, keeping emetics on hand as, especially considering their behavior on the Supreme Court, listening to their lies and those told on their behalf will make you sick.

I would especially point out that of Samuel Alito, in which Professor Ronald Sullivan pointed out how Alito, as a member of a lower court, had pooh-poohed the strip search of a 10-year-old girl on the basis that her rights and dignity were nothing, while, in another case, he expressed the most articulate indignation and outrage when the wife of a wealthy veterinarian, an affluent adult, was strip searched.  The child was not a suspect in a crime, the wealthy adult was.  You can find that testimony beginning on page 734 of the transcript.  Something that Republican and some Democratic Senators apparently had no problem with as they voted to confirm him, something many members of Alito's court, his law school chums and other lawyers associated with him weren't bothered by, either, as they testified what a wonderful person, what a wonderful judge he was, some of them supposedly liberals.   I listened to the whole thing and their praise turned my stomach, as did their empty, obviously lying assertions that he could be counted on to produce justice on the basis of the evidence and not his personal ideology and to serve the inequality which was the brand he represented and still represents on the Supreme Court. 

When the disgusting, disgraceful Alan Dershowitz introduced us to the word "testilying," the practice of lying while giving testimony, he was talking about cops who lie under oath to get a conviction.  But that practice is never called that when it's done by white-collar liars of the kind who lied for Samuel Alito, lies because every single person who said he would be impartial were lying, they knew they were lying, all of the Senators and all of the journalists . . . everyone in the room knew they were lying and the consequences of their pretense is that the country is on the cusp of overt fascism.  And Alan Dershowitz is supporting that even as he lies about his political and ethical position.  

The white collar world is largely based on lying of that kind, especially that of the law and, even more so, journalism.  And those lies are told on behalf of the bald class interest of affluent elite professionals for each other and on behalf of their patrons who are the real elite.  And yet they have to wonder why the plebs are distrustful, suspicious and cynical.  I remember the 2008 campaign from the blue collar class which I live in and, by income, am a member of, people wanted to believe Barack Obama was going to produce all manner of justice, they really wanted to believe he would.  And, in response to that, he appointed Eric Holder as Attorney General, the man who let off the richest of the gangsters who had tanked the economy through massive theft and cheating and bilking, destroying lives.  He let them off entirely.   That as much as racism led to the disasterous election of 2010.  If they had put the gangsters in jail, they'd have been working class heroes, which I think they would not have wanted to be, preferring the honors of their own class. 

If you want to pretend we don't already know that Brett Kavanaugh will lie during his confirmation hearings, he's already gotten away with it during previous confirmation hearings with impunity, why would he possibly imagine there will be any cost for him doing so, now?   Dick Durban, to his credit, is pointing this out. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Sorrow And The Pity - The Terrible Treatment of Trump's Inner Circle By Those Mean, Vicious Opponents of Facism

What a bunch of crybabies. 

Hell's Bells, How Stupid Can You Get And Still Be In The "Brain Trust"?

Queens is the easternmost and largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City, geographically adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the western end of Long Island.

From the website of the State of New York, which, by the way, makes the same disputed claim that Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, something which according to what I read, is far from universally agreed to, outside of New York, apparently.

But the reason I posted the comment is to show that Queens being a subset of New York City isn't a matter of dispute, it's a matter of fact.  Which leads me to the reason I'm posting this.  It's from this comment made minutes ago by one of the members in . . standing, shall we say of the "Eschaton Brain Trust" (as they say).

"Atheism is an ephiphenomenon[sic] of arrogance mixed with a really crappy preparation in logical thinking"

Says the guy who doesn't understand how the boro of Queens can be more diverse than New York City as a whole.

It's another scorcher of a day here, Trump and such pieces of shit as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are going to put the fascist who will give him a carte blanche to sell the country to the Putin Crime Regime on the Supreme Court, etc. Why don't you give me a good laugh and explain to me how Queens can be more diverse than the New York City it is a part of. Go ahead, use algebra to do it. Explain how you get there.  Use a Venn diagram.   Maybe your fellow "Brain Trusters" can give you a boost.   Duncan should be able to do it, he's got a PhD in Economics from Brown, you know, Economics, the science where they can make things appear and disappear at the drop of a derivative.

Musing On A Memory - Stupid Mail

Back in the day when popular science TV shows were doing shows about prions and prion diseases - it took a bunch of Brits coming down with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy to get it in the ol' Western pop-sci zeitgeist - I got into a brawl at the baby blue blog with a Britatheist transplant who had taken a particular dislike to me.  I always wondered if it was the name . . . But enough of that.

The argument was centered on what prions were, proteins that are folded in a manner that causes them, once introduced into organisms, to cause horrific pathological conditions, such as mad cow illness, staggers in sheep, various horrific and fatal human brain pathologies based on the ability of prions, once introduced into cellular chemistry, to replicate inside their host.  While certainly not alive, in themselves, this replication apparently excited the abiogenetic fantasizing of atheists that they might fit the stylishly interesting phenomenon into their desire to explain how non-living molecules generated the first organism.

Part of that was the widespread and naive belief that DNA is "self-replicating" when that figure of aspirational atheist idolatry does no such thing, it is the complex cellular chemistry that does all of that and which allows DNA to "do"anything.   Without that complex biological-chemistry DNA is as dead as a prion lingering in the clay, not waiting for a host because molecules don't anticipate.  That is unless you're going to get really silly in a way that one school of antheism seems to be going as all of the traditional desires to turn random chance and probability into a creator god seem to be disintegrating, the "panpsychists".

Considering that prions are proteins, I speculated that their origin was far more likely to have been IN ORGANISMS THAT PRODUCED them than some unknown abiogentic chemical reaction. I have to wonder what the probabilities that non-biological processes produced such proteins, which just, then, happened to become active in organisms, in which they seem to rather take over and destroy, would have been but I doubt any such vast improbabilities can be meaningfully derived. 

I didn't know at the time and still don't if they know what the origin of prions is,* though I doubt something like that, molecules that can replicate using the cellular chemistry of living organisms to do it, could have had any other origin except within the cells of organisms.  At any rate, the Britatheist didn't take well to my skepticism over her theory that prions were a likely candidate for a non-biological, undesigned, random-chance origin of life based on what was known about them at the time.

I generally find that when you look very hard at such ideas and claims of atheists there are at the very least enormous problems which they seem to want to skate past, if not definitive debunking of them.  Atheists aren't much better at coming up with such things than the old-line, hard-core creationists are at trying to get past physics and the such.   There is an atheist equivalent to "young-Earth creationism" centered on the deification of probability and random chance, and, unlike YEC, it resides right in what is officially deputed to be science.  It's certainly ubiquitous in atheists, both at the popular, the slightly more elevated blog-snobs and even in the highest reaches of university based science departments.

I've long wondered if a guy in my town died of prion disease, he had the symptoms and I heard a rumor that he had "spongey" tumors in his brain.  That was way back before mad-cow disease was in the news.  I doubt the doctors knew anything about Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.  I know he was a really primitive huntin'nfishin' kind of guy who reportedly ate squirrels  I wouldn't be surprised if he ate the brains.   Carnivorism, it just might destroy us all.  The Britatheist loved to go on about eating meat.  As Brits so often will.   Though, to be fair, as I recall, it was an American Republican, Nixons Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz who first talked the Brit meat industry into pretending that it was safe for them to grind up cows to feed to cows.   Butz also had a huge role in fueling the obesity epidemic in the United States.  Maybe it's Republican fascism that will kill us all, you know, greed and lying.  Which, by the way, the Bible warned about more than three thousand years ago.

Update:  I looked, Butz was a product of Purdue University, an agricultural economist.  I'd be curious to know how much science Butz had to take to get that degree.   John Purdue specifically specified that the public university he endowed was to be a college of science, technology and agriculture.  The one person I know who had a degree from there told me it was really big on sci-tech nurdism and had a distinct antipathy to the humanities.  I can't remember but I believe he told me that it was forbidden to have a music department by Purdue.  Maybe I'll get around to looking that up.  I can't ask him, he died.   He figured it was from the stuff he used in the electron microscopy lab to fix samples.

* Or perhaps are, if we don't know the origin.   Perhaps prions arise in more than one way.   The desire to explain far, far more complex phenomena by one silver-bullet of a "force" seems to be rampant in biology when the attempt to find that one thing is fraught with problems.  Natural selection being the quintessential example of that presumptuous claim.

Monday, July 9, 2018

So Many Books, So Much Book, So Little Time

This morning I began reading the Swiss theologian Hans Küng's book Does God Exist?  An Answer For Today translated from the German by Edward Quinn.  I haven't finished the second chapter yet but I am going to report that the book as a work of logical and persuasive argument so surpasses The God Delusion and anything else I've ever read which seeks to disprove the existence of God that I'm already going to recommend it.

As a work of scholarship it entirely surpasses that foremost catechism of atheism for today by Dawkins, there is no question as to which book is a more responsible and measured work of scholarship.  Nor is there any question which of the two academics is the more legitimate scholar and advocate for their position.  The index, alone, proves that as Küng's references to major atheist thinkers are more extensive, his addressing of their thoughts deeper than that of Richard Dawkins.

You don't have to take my word for that, in one of the more serious reviews of The God Delusion the geneticist (and student of ultra-atheist ultra-crank Jerry Coyne) H. Allen Orr noted:

The result is The God Delusion, a book that never squarely faces its opponents. You will find no serious examination of Christian or Jewish theology in Dawkins’s book (does he know Augustine rejected biblical literalism in the early fifth century?), no attempt to follow philosophical debates about the nature of religious propositions (are they like ordinary claims about everyday matters?), no effort to appreciate the complex history of interaction between the Church and science (does he know the Church had an important part in the rise of non-Aristotelian science?), and no attempt to understand even the simplest of religious attitudes (does Dawkins really believe, as he says, that Christians should be thrilled to learn they’re terminally ill?).

Instead, Dawkins has written a book that’s distinctly, even defiantly, middlebrow. Dawkins’s intellectual universe appears populated by the likes of Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Carl Sagan, the science popularizer,3 both of whom he cites repeatedly. This is a different group from thinkers like William James and Ludwig Wittgenstein—both of whom lived after Darwin, both of whom struggled with the question of belief, and both of whom had more to say about religion than Adams and Sagan. Dawkins spends much time on what can only be described as intellectual banalities: “Did Jesus have a human father, or was his mother a virgin at the time of his birth? Whether or not there is enough surviving evidence to decide it, this is still a strictly scientific question.”4

The vacuum created by Dawkins’s failure to engage religious thought must be filled by something, and in The God Delusion, it gets filled by extraneous quotation, letters from correspondents, and, most of all, anecdote after anecdote. Dawkins’s discussion of religion’s power to console, for example, is interrupted by the story of the Abbott of Ampleforth’s joy at learning of a friend’s impending death; speculation about why countries, such as the Netherlands, that allow euthanasia are so rare (presumably because of religious prejudice); a nurse who told Dawkins that believers fear death more than nonbelievers do; and the number of days of remission from Purgatory that Pope Pius X allowed cardinals and bishops (two hundred, and fifty, respectively). All this and more in four pages. Gone, it seems, is the Dawkins of The Selfish Gene, a writer who could lead readers through dauntingly difficult arguments and who used anecdotes to illustrate those arguments, not to substitute for them.

I think, having read the unfiltered thoughts of atheists from the supposed cream of the crop to the blog and comment thread dregs over the past two decades, that one thing is clear from reading even this far into Does God Exist? that the best atheist answer for today is trivial pop-culture clap-trap based more in post literacy, TV and media based stupidity and the desire of people to not have religion point out that you shouldn't always have just what you want because sometimes that hurts others.   The best religious answers to that, which I've gained from reading contemporary theology, something I hadn't much done before I was in my sixties, is entirely more intellectually responsible and honest.   If there is one major regret I have in my adulthood, it's the time I wasted reading atheist stuff on this subject.  Küng addresses some of what I've read, Bertrand Russell, A. J. Ayer, Nietzsche, Freud, Haeckel, all three of the Huxleys, etc. most of which, in so far as it concerns the question of God never reached any point I have found to be of lasting persuasive power.

As I've said here before, I have come to the conclusion that the conceptions of belief and knowledge I got as the common cultural habit of thought, which seem to be ubiquitous among the people I encounter are entirely wrong.  You don't come to be convinced of something by some involuntary act of persuasion, you choose to believe it, in the end.  You might not even be aware of making the choice but even the act of logical persuasion even when those are based in empirical evidence depends on your willingness to suspend disbelief, even when you would choose not to or your willingness to accept something without any evidence.  It is the conceit of the secular, educated class that they "know" because of "evidence" but that can't be true because there is no such thing as comprehensive understanding of evidence, you can't even evaluate what you see and hear without some act of choosing how you understand it.  For people my age with failing eyesight, it's something we are reminded of at least several times a week as our perceptions are fooled.  Even those with 20 20 visions have to interpret what they see and they are at times wrong.

I think in the end belief is a choice, I think in our consumer age, our age when the immediate gratification of desires, even those which spread disease, cause unintended and unwanted pregnancies, which injure and destroy other people and creatures and destroy entire environments and the entire biosphere are expressed in the language of rights, the rejection of religion has entirely more to do with the desire to not be burdened by moral considerations, I think that is why intellectuals first started coming up with cover stories for that, I still think a lot of it had to do with university profs and others who wanted to sleep with their students and others who might reject them on the basis of religious belief.  Most of them seem to have been old goats in that regard.  The cover stories of the sins of religion, the largely trumped up or grossly exaggerated sins of religion, which in the atheist doctrine of that covers the innocent as much as the guilty, are a smoke screen.  I have seldom heard them talk about the role that universities, science faculties, economists, money have in all of that evil, whether involving religion or secular governments.   I have seldom heard them talk about the role that atheism has played in the massive genocides and horrific denial of even the most basic of human rights in officially atheist countries with a programmatic attempt to wipe out religious belief.  More than that I have heard excuses made FOR EVEN THE WORST MASS MURDERERS IN HISTORY on the basis of the virtue of their economics.

I have certainly never heard much in the way of atheist rejection of money on the basis that it has played, the love of money being the root of all evil.  Especially if by "money" you include what Paul enumerated as "sins of the flesh", most of which had little if anything to do with sex.

Does God Exist?  Is a long book, far longer than Dawkins' and far more of a challenge.  I don't think I'm going to type it out, though if I find some good arguments relevant to something I'm certain I'll dip into it.  It is a book which seeks to persuade and to give people a reason to choose to believe.  I can't say if I'd read it when I was mired in agnosticism if it would have been the decisive push to choose but I think it probably would have been.  As it was, I had to see the  intellectual and moral depravity, the basic dishonesty of atheism in the new-atheist period to go back and admit that the old, more intellectual atheists were all wet, too.

Oh, I should, in what I guess is fairness, point out that Küng is almost, if not  entirely deficient in making recourse to movie, TV, pop-culture and sci-fi, allusions and claims, which I would guess most of the atheists I encounter would see as a fatal flaw.  He doesn't cite Douglas Adams or quote from the Hitchhiker's Guide, he doesn't cite Carl Sagan's Parade Magazine columnage.

The Well Manicured, Well Washed, Robed Architects Of Our Injustice Should Be Publicly Shamed

"racially foreign, racially degenerate, racially incurable or seriously defective juveniles" should be sent to juvenile centres or correctional education centres and segregated from those who are "German and racially valuable. Roland Freisler: The racial-biological means of instituting the reform of juvenile criminal law"

I wish I had saved the article and the link because I can't find it now, but I remember during the Obama administration reading how an Immigration Court Judge, as I recall one educated at an elite law school, defended his court on the basis that he could make a four-year-old girl who couldn't speak English understand her legal situation when she wasn't being represented by an attorney, an adult attorney before he deported her.

That's still going on, as even 1-year-olds are appearing in court because our lofty Federal Courts have not deemed that they don't get anything like due process in such Kafkaesque judicial hearings in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Oh, unlike that pre-school aged girl mentioned above, at least this baby had legal representation.  To call it Kafkaesque is an injustice, his insanely prosecuted guy was an adult, not a baby.

PHOENIX — The 1-year-old boy in a green button-up shirt drank milk from a bottle, played with a small purple ball that lit up when it hit the ground and occasionally asked for “agua.”

Then it was the child’s turn for his court appearance before a Phoenix immigration judge, who could hardly contain his unease with the situation during the portion of the hearing where he asks immigrant defendants whether they understand the proceedings.

“I’m embarrassed to ask it, because I don’t know who you would explain it to, unless you think that a 1-year-old could learn immigration law,” Judge John W. Richardson told the lawyer representing the 1-year-old boy.

The boy is one of hundreds of children who need to be reunited with their parents after being separated at the border, many of them split from mothers and fathers as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy.” The separations have become an embarrassment to the administration as stories of crying children separated from mothers and kept apart for weeks on end dominated the news in recent weeks.

How any adult with a law degree and robes could tolerate being part of such a sham of justice is something apparently you have to be a lawyer and a judge to experience.  If it were me, I'd rather tell them publicly where they could stuff their robe and go do honest work like chasing ambulances.   They don't seem to make an awful lot of noise about the total injustice they administer, I'd guess that they wouldn't keep their jobs, long, if they did.   Perhaps now that Trump has built on the abysmal record of the Obama administration and acted like Nazis c. 1937 in this, something will happen to abolish such practices, though I don't doubt that the Republicans in Congress and on Federal and the Supreme Court would let it go much farther than this.  Donald Trump has declared such children to be "vermin" a pollution of the nation, which is Hitleresque language and from what I understand his support among Republicans is firm if not increasing.   It is a fascist party, anyone who you could depend on acting as an inhibition of Trump's fascistic tendencies has already left the party.  And I do include Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Flake and, certainly, Bob Corker in the list of those who have not and who I don't expect to break with Trumpian fascism in fact as they install the last nail in the coffin of democracy on the Supreme Court.   I don't doubt Republicans would put the English speaking modern equivalent of the infamous Roland Freisler on the bench.  If not this year, maybe in a few.

For anyone who think's that's overblown, you should read this Trump tweet from June 18.

The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!

Trump praised neo-Nazis in Germany on their racist politics and the pressure they're putting on even conventional politicians.  That's on top of him calling our domestic Nazis "good people".

As Ed Kilgore pointed out, Trump often goes to the language of genocidalists when talking about immigrants.  Need I remind you, Trump came out advocating doing away with even the sham, pose of due-process in place a couple of weeks back. Something that has been repeated in his Tweets sucked up by his cult, no doubt some of them figure they should feel free to act on it.  And, as I won't stop reminding you, the Roberts Court has armed them with semi-automatic weapons.

I really, genuinely expect we will see killings, or, rather, more of them.  It not only can happen here, it is, right before our eyes. 

Remember all of this when you hear Susan Collins' giving her reasons for putting a fascist on the Supreme Court.  If the others I listed above will even make a show of explanation is yet to be seen.  I don't doubt they'll vote yes.  Anyone of any decency left that Part with the elevation of Trump.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Number 9, number 9, number 9 . . . Simp's idea of music worth listening to 100 times and music not worth really listening to once - You Got It, Stupid Mail

I can't do a post on it every time Simps displays his mental incapacity at Duncan's, I'd never have time to write about anything else. 

Anyone who couldn't listen a hundred times to any of Beethoven's major works and even many of the less great ones (he didn't much do minor works) without them going stale has to count as a rather stupid vulgarian.  Simps put himself in that category, not me.  That he could say something like that without push-back at Duncan's is telling.  Of course no one but a stupid vulgarian would consider listening to one recording of one work 100 times in succession though Gunther Schuller certainly listened to many recordings of the same works over and over to conduct his great study of the habits of conductors I'm sure he didn't do them all at once.

Off hand,  I would guess I have about a half dozen discs of that work and I'm certain I've listened to every one of them enough times to more than add up to a hundred times.  And that's not including live performances I've attended and hearing it on the radio.  Off hand I'd say by the time David Zinman did his fascinating recordings of Beethoven's Symphonies, I'd heard all of them 100 times, including the less played ones.  His account of the 9th was astonishing in many ways.   I recall that I found new things in the Zinman set and found it entirely engaging.  Only an idiot and vulgarian could get bored with Beethoven.

Considering how many times that Simps has listened to absolute crap pop songs he considers great art, I think it's obvious that he lacks the attention span to listen to a major work of symphonic length.  I'll bet he's listened to Sgt. Pepper hundreds of times and that he really would rather listen to that than anything that requires attention and thought and careful listening.  I'll bet he's gassed on about something in the mopheads oeuvre or Mick and his old Stones' catalog at Duncan's more than a hundred times, makes you wonder why none of them has taken the gas pipe. 

Update:  That fucking liar, I have never in my life said anything bad about Zero Mostel - Dopey is going on and on about Springtime for Hitler, apparently - I have mentioned him exactly twice on this blog, once I said that I loved the parts of The Producers with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, the other one I mentioned that Willy Wonka was Wilder's best performance in a movie that Zero Mostel wasn't in.   You know, Stupy, you can do a word search to find out what I said about someone.  But why tell the truth when a lie is as good as the truth at Duncans?

Steve Simels has a lot in common with Donald Trump, Peter King, Alan Dershowitz, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sean Spicer,  and a list of habitual liars that's too long to type out.

Stupid Mail

It was one thing Benjamin Franklin said well,  "He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals."   

But he may sucker in some dim and desperate dolly to hook up with him.   

More Bible Radicalism, Radical Equal Justice

Here is another recent speech given by Walter Brueggemann that I listened to while catching up on some house work.  I'll warn you that the introduction is overlong, but what is said in the speech makes holding out for it worthwhile.

A point which he made at about 27:50 struck me.

And then they went on to Mount Sinai and, as I said to some of you this morning, there they got the Ten Commandments, and I didn't make anything of it this morning but the 10th Commandment, is Thou shall not covet, thou shall not act like Pharaoh.  And the tenth . . . it's just a little snippet of a Commandment but it uses the word "neighbor" three times.  You shall not covet thy neighbor's wife, you shall not covet thy neighbor's field, you shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor, neighbor, neighbor, neighbor, neighbor . . . So I think that the Bible is the introduction of the notion of neighbor into the political economy.   Or to say it another way, Neighbor is the great gift of Judaism to our world. Because in Pharaoh's Egypt there were no neighbors.  There were only extractors and debt slaves.  And until the pattern of extractor is broken up, there cannot be any neighbors.

You can contrast that with the infamous statement of modern market-based political theory by Margaret Thatcher

And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no governments can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.

Of course, Thatcher and her party held power long enough so we know that there was no "then, also" time when they looked after "our neighbours".   It's a fact of experience that the rich will never find that time has arrived, as can be seen in how their first duty, to "look after ourselves" inevitably turns into how to amass billions and billions of dollars which no person living the most decadent of lives could use up in a thousand lifetimes and they still won't foresee a time when they will get to "our neighbors".   That's obvious in how Thatcher's idea is used by people writing in such organs of conventional thought like the Financial Times, like Samuel Brittan, extending it into a truism of the establishment - for the record, Brittan's brother Leon was Home Secretary under Thatcher.   I believe both were knighted under the  British Class system so admired by America's elite.   When their greedy "first duty" extends as far as their families, what you get is essentially the moral world of organized crime families, as can be seen, perhaps in the Brittan family members just mentioned, certainly in the Bush family, the Trump family, in other wealthy families and in some not so wealthy ones where the circle of that duty closes on the narrowest of groups. 

The passage I typed out in Brueggemann's speech is in a wider context of contrasting his often elucidated theme contrasting the worldly Pharonic system with The Law and the part that Joseph played in the narrative of that at the end of Genesis when he becomes Pharaoh's food czar.  It all began with Pharaoh's dream about the fat cattle being eaten by the lean cattle, the same with ears of wheat and Joseph's interpretation of the dream.   Marilynne Robinson made the same point using the same metaphor of Pharaoh's anxious dream about the intellectual culture of Britain in her book Mother Country, in which even the alleged social welfare system is based on a similar vision of the poor as a continual danger, that they will eat up the rich and so must be kept in check. What has passed as British radicalism in the 19th and early 20th century was often extremely cruel and exacting attempts to figure out how to manage the British poor, to reduce them as far as possible without, perhaps, killing them.  Though many a Fabian was quite explicit in their readiness to do that, too, even by massive gas chambers.

That is the basis of modern American conservatism, as well.  One of Samuel Brittan's teachers was the putrid American Milton Friedman. as sold here on PBS as Reagan was ascending to the presidency. 

The myth of rugged individualism, as promoted in movies and TV shows has always been a lie, there has never been anyone who has become rich on their own, no one can possibly amass a fortune without taking some of it from someone else and corrupting the law and the courts to make that theft legal.  The most radical of the ideas contained in Brueggemann's speech is one he takes from David Graeber's book, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, that the only solution to the ever worse and already unacceptably grotesque injustice and inequality here and around the world is a debt jubilee in which all debts, certainly those imposed on the unaffluent, have to be wiped off the slate.  Or, rather, an idea Brueggemann points out Graeber was forced to find in the Mosaic Law, where it has laid in plain sight since the Torah was first written down.

I think that's the case.  I think, short of that,  there will never be enough ability of us to overcome the political and, even worse, judicial power that those who keep the world in debt slavery on top.  We are going to have to do it by radical and simple means.  It would, of course, make the paper and law wealth of many of our billionaires disappear, overnight, not to mention the ever invented ever more larcenous and extractive "financial instruments" based on manipulating debt that have made so many others billionaires.   Those are things that should have been abolished by law as a matter of honesty, not to mention justice.   I think any serious proposal to do that will meet the most massive fear campaign in the prostituted free press to sucker people into fearing the freedom from debt that will so obviously revolutionize and equalize things.   They will use their "free speech-free press" to sucker the large majority of The People into being afraid of freedom, to go back to Pharaoh's slavery, as happened among the Children of Israel.   The Bible really is the most remarkable set of writings I've ever encountered.

KNOWING the Truth Will Make You Free But Not Unless Enough People Know It And Make It Real In Life

The Gospel is radical, The Law is radical.  They are wiser than secularism. 

It couldn't possibly be more obvious that when in 1964 the Supreme Court said lies told by the mass media was protected speech that they were setting things up to destroy equality and freedom, yet that has been adopted as the conventional ideology of secular and way too many religious liberals on the basis of idolatry of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the extra-Constitutional assertion of Supreme Court supremacy to make such declarations. 

The facts of the past fifty-four years of American politics and society couldn't make the truth of the converse of that text from the Gospel of John as true as the words of Jesus, if knowing the truth will make you free, buying lies will enslave you.   Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and now Trump, and the court dominated by the servants of the wealthy that they appointed and who now are engaged in suppressing the votes of the majority in order to continue Republican fascist rule, all of it sold by the mass media, up to and including the alleged liberal media.

In the world of secular musing just the fact that some scholar, somewhere, in some impotent little publication might print the truth without being arrested is enough.  But that's not true at all.

Jesus said YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, and knowing the truth is what will make you free, not having some tenured but obscure prof.  publishing it in some journal or some little read writer scribbling it in some little read magazine.  It has to be known, that knowledge has to be made real in real life for it to work to produce freedom.  Even just knowing something without acting on it will be still-born knowledge, having no life, having no results in real life.

Secularism has, for the past century, developing out of the doctrine that came from the rather putrid mind of Oliver Wendell Holmes*, had some flaky notion that the truth if whispered in obscurity will automatically prove powerful enough to overcome lies shouted through the many megaphones of corporate mass media and packaged in ways that make it far more attractive than the plain truth generally is.   There is an entire industry of psychologists, sociologists, experienced ad-men who advise on how to sell lies by packaging them attractively and in a way that preys on peoples' strongest weakness.   The truth can't be so easily packaged, in many instances, the truth is a hard sell just by the nature of it.

The claims of the free speech-free press absolutists are so baldly wrong, proven to be wrong by the methods the same media use to peddle lies about commercial products that anyone who has fallen for that stuff is rightly considered to be willfully stupid.  Anyone who claims to believe the Gospel, The Law, the Prophets who goes along with that secular convention is not only volunteering to be a sucker, they are in a state of sin. 

*  I'll repeat again that the farther you look into the actual thinking of Holmes the more obvious it is that he didn't really believe that freedom was important, his thought was engaged in the most brutal of Darwinist fantasies in which the weak perish and the strong crush them, something he believed in as a  scientific reality.  He was a really horrible person and even his most mistakenly believed to be enlightened ideas serve his brutal and cruel character.  His myth, first mounted by himself, is an example of PR winning out over the truth.