Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Magnificat in C minor - George Dyson


Score

I can't resist reposting it, I love this setting, it's so strong and simple.  Anglican as it might be.

Messiaen: Vingt Regards - I. Regard du Pére




Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano

I'm not going to post all of the twenty shewings as I have in past years but I'll post some of them.  This first one is the one of them that's most likely to start going through my mind at any given time of the year.  

I'd have liked to post those recorded by Messaien's wife Yvonne Loriod but the postings of those online aren't as clear as this one which is also excellent. 

Hate Male of the Senescent Kind

William Barr?  I don't think you can pull out the ol' "antisemtism" charges over my slamming Barr SINCE I DID IT IN THE CONTEXT OF HIS MEMBERSHIP IN THE NEO-INTEGRALIST FASCIST-"CATHOLIC" ESTABLISHMENT AT LEAST THREE TIMES WITHIN THE PAST SIX MONTHS.  Yesterday's post you attempt to twist to your use, the most recent one. 

We went through this when I had to point out that the infamous Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, Torquemada, was a member of a family of eminent conversos, who by converting became Catholics in such good standing that his uncle played pope-maker in not one but two conclaves.  

No, no.  Once they convert, they're not your problem anymore, once they convert, they become our problem from then on out.  Such are the rules, you convert, you become as Catholic as any cradle Catholic whose family have been Catholic from the time they started calling themselves one.  That's as true for scum like him as it is for St. Edith Stein, only one of a number of Catholics the Nazis murdered for being Jews. 

And it was his daddy, the scumbag who hired Jeffrey Epstein to teach at one of the most elite of elite prep schools - though he didn't have an undergraduate, never mind the typical graduate degree they want at such places, who converted.  I suspect Epstein was as good a blackmailer as he was a sexual degenerate, I wouldn't be surprised if he had the goods on the Barrs, perhaps one or both, père et fils, I can't imagine he didn't use what he knew to blackmail people when he could use that information to his own ends.  There had to be some reason that Barr sr. would discredit himself by hiring the unqualified young rapist,  I wouldn't be surprised if him possessing such information is what ended up in his alleged suicide as he was in a position to use what he knew to spring himself.  I think there's probably more reason to believe the rumor that Barr visited Epstein in jail secretly than there is in any of the clearly phony political "investigations" Barr is doing for Trump, I hold that when it comes to powerful government officials, especially in "law enforcement" you judge them by the same standards they use in their official acts/ 

I wish I could find out more about daddy Barr's conversion to see how well the reputation of those who converted him held up as the priest who was instrumental in converting a lot of the biggest scumbags in current fascist-neo-integralist "catholicism" crap like Gingrich, Brownback and Kudlow, turned out to be a sexual predator, himself, the Opus Dei predator-priest, C. John McCloskey, has unsurprisingly sunk into the degenerate scum that is the catholic far-right.

I'd have to say that Trump's timing with his redefinition of Judaism re stopping the criticism of the Israeli fascist system, you share that desire to shield them with Trump, apparently, wasn't anything I saw coming.  I suspect it had more to do with him finding out his poll numbers among American Jews are not good - he probably worries about losing Florida badly enough that the Republican-fascists in the judiciary can't hand it to him like they did Bush II.   I think it's just bizarre.   I'd love to have several million more Jews voting in our elections - something else you also call "antisemitism".  

No, William Barr is a degenerate liar-lawyer who is not the burden  of Jews, at least no more than it is anyone else who suffers under his hijacking of the Attorney General's office.  We're the ones who have to condemn that gangster in terms of Catholic moral teaching, as mentioned, as you may recall I slammed Notre Dame University for providing him with a platform, as did many other Catholics.  But I'm not accepting responsibility for Roseanne. 

A Seasonal Gift - A Scenario, Free of Charge

I think it's a sign of really being educated or, at least,  having a life of the mind that such a person will, at some time, try to write poetry or fiction and in almost all cases fail at coming up with something that even pleases them.  I will admit that I've got many notebooks which, often among notes on things I've read,  there are poems and short stories, a couple of short-novels, a one act play or so which I hope to destroy before my heirs find them and are appalled to discover that old uncle "A" was a failed and not very good writer.  

I think some of the ideas I've had aren't bad ones, or maybe it should be the scenarios aren't bad, it's the execution that's bad.  Reading the lesser novels of the greatest writers and the greatest of the lesser writers can make me feel less bad about that.   I'm just not a writer of fiction.  Anything I still write is entirely for my own consumption, when I bother to re-read it.  I do find I actually like writing when I can type it,  it's such an aid to thinking. 

One such scenario I thought of a few years back surrounds what it must have been like the first year or couple of years after Christianity came to those areas of Northern Europe where human sacrifice at the Yule and other times of the year had been practiced from time immemorial.  What a relief it must have been to those classes of people from whom such victims were taken and murdered that the pagan spectacle-murders of those poor dear old pagans - in modern romantic fictitious bull shit - and the religio-political order of paganism had done were over. 

The medieval period of Christianity had lots of terrible things happen, all of human history does, none so much as the modern, atheistical-political entities in which millions are sacrificed, not to a god but to an ideological cover-up for murderous thieves.  But one thing that happened, human sacrifice with religion as a motive ended.   

Just don't make any Christian preachers in it  sappy and sentimental.  No one Tom Hanks would be offered the role to. 

Update:  Denying The gods They Worship

Oh, come on, there are no real atheists if atheism is the belief that there is no god.

Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Jerry Coyne, natural selection is the god they worship and hold everyone must bow down before and recognize as supreme.  Daniel Dennett is the most insanely fanatical of them in that regard and that's probably because as a philospher instead of someone whose training as in the relatively trivial specialization that a career in science can be, his attention span has some staying power.

Sean Carroll, the ones who come out of a physics or pseudo-social-science background, it's  a combination of mass-energy and the probability mathematics that are used to tell stories about those in equations.  Larry Krauss with his "nothing" talk is typical of the more inastute expression of that, the late-great Hawking one of the most obvious of the true believers in probability as a creator-god. 

Also coming from the social-science side of things is the Marxist form of that in which the overarching faith in material monism just asserts that everything must have a physical explanation of things, something which the pseudo-sciences all have as their foundational claim to being sciences.   That faith, being the most attenuated form of it, makes the most absurd and outlandishly baseless and unevidenced claims of all of them.  Trotsky no less than Stalin and Lenin and Hoxha and Pol Pot.  No, failure to get the reigns of power, as in the case of the phony saint Trotsky isn't holiness, it's just a failure to get the upper hand. 

I've yet to encounter an atheist who didn't have an unacknowledged god under their claims of non-faith.  For most of them, the blog-rat variety, it's fashion and how they like to imagine they're seen by the other kewel-kids.   For some of them, either as aspiration or as their job, it's money.  That's what it is for Trump.  They're really no different except in the details. 

Wednesday after Advent 2 - Advent is a wake-up call away from such careless participation in the restless "festival of stuff."

God of summoning words, in your presence we are yet again aware of your calling that we be different in the word.  Grant us enough resolve to resist being narcotized by our society of indifference.  In his name.  Amen.

Psalm 38

Amos 8:1-14

Revelation 1:17-27

Matthew 23:1-12

Going through the motions in a mindless way is a durable temptation.  In a society of too many consumer goods, too many TV options, too much wearisome news, and the needless pursuit of commodities it is easy to give up on intentionality and simply go through the motions of what is expected at home, at work, in church.  In the oracle of Amos, the merchants, busy at exloitation, wait impatiently through the motions of Sabbath keeping.  In the Gospel reading, the opponents of Jesus are indicted for going through the motions of religious performance.  And in the address to the church as Ephesus in Revelation, the cooling of "first love" perhaps causes church life to be less than zealously engaged.

In each case the readings warn against such indifferent living.  Amos raises hard questions about economic exploitation.  Jesus calls is followers away from empty performance to serious, attentive obedience that takes the form of servanthood.  And Ephesus is called to "repent, and do the works you did at first."

Commercial Christmas is much going through the demanding motions of office parties, shopping, decorating, sending and receiving cards, wrapping gifts . . . enough to create deep fatigue.  Advent is a wake-up call away from such careless participation in the restless "festival of stuff."  An awakened "season of giving" may be marked by a new passion for economic justice, for sustained servanthood grounded in humbleness, and for listening to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. 

Walter Brueggemann:  Gift and Task

Snark Is Such A Limited Form Of Thought

Duncan Black shouldn't touch on even the comic-book, "white evangelical" view of that most troublesome book in the Second Testament canon, Revelations.  He, as almost every other member of the anti-Christian, college-credentialed population feels no obligation to know what he's talking about when he talks about things religious and he knows his audience, trained in the same anti-intellectual milieu he came up in, won't care that he misrepresents things.   I'd, myself, rather they'd left out that extremely complex book of allegory and symbolism that you can't possibly get the meaning of unless you find out what they mean.  
None of the books of the Second Testament are easy reading but that one may be the hardest to get. 

The only reason I'm even answering this snark is because some of the readings for Advent I'll be posting come from Revelations and as can be seen from Walter Brueggemann's commentary on them, they'are a lot more complex than the "fundamentalists" or the atheist people of fashion can deal with.  Their hatred of the amount of work to understand complex topics is something they share in common. 

Looking for ideological or religious motives in the American-fascist-right of which Trump is the current fake-fur-Fuhrer - Reagan was one, then Bush II - is a mistake, the only simple rule that always works with them is "follow the money". 

Hate Mail - Coincidence? HA!

I'm a "ph" Stephen, we're good people.  Those "v" Stevens?  HUMAN GARBAGE!  

Who can you believe if you don't believe Stephen Colbert?  

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday after Advent 2

God of liberating disruptions,  grant us wisdom to identify the certitudes by which we live, and the courage to notice your governance even beyond our treasured certitudes.  In his name.  Amen

Psalm 26 

Amos 7:10-17

Revelation 1:9-16 

Matthew 22:34-46 

It is comforting to have an explanatory system that accounts for everything; and we all have them.  Such a system may be a theological orthodoxy that delivers unfailing assurance.  Or such a system may be a moral code that confidently reduces everything to simple right and wrong with appropriate rewards and punishments.  Or such a system may be an economic orthodoxy, like free-market capitalism, that can reduce everything to production and consumption.  Any such system  comforts us and keeps us safe.

In the purview of Advent thinking, however, any such system - theological, moral or economic - is an illusion.  It is sure to be interrupted and exposed as inadequate and placed in jeopardy.  In Christian life,  Advent is the big interruption of all our explanatory illusions.

- In the Amos reading, the liturgic certitude of Bethel is interrupted by the prophet who speaks of justice.  The priest banishes the prophet, but his words do not go away. 

-  In the book of Revelation the interruption takes the form of "a loud voice." In what follows after our text, the voice will confront the several churches with gospel truth.

-  In the Gospel reading, one of the Pharisees put a trick question to Jesus, trying to contain him in their brand of Torah interpretation.  He, however, outflanks them with his enigma statement that eludes their decipherment. 

In Advent it is useful to identify the explanatory systems on which we rely and then to consider how they are being disrupted in disconcerting ways.  We would mostly like to stop such interruption;  but, of course, we cannot. 

Why It's Essential To Look Beneath The Facade of Identity To The Gangsterism It Is There To Hide

William Barr and his henchman, scumbucket John Durham lying through their teeth, even as contradicted by the IG report on the trumped up charges that the FBI investigation into Trump's criminality was a partisan-political thing is done in full confidence that the Murdoch media and Sinclare and the huge lie operation that a majority of the American "free-press" is will ensure there are no real consequences to them.  To an extent they also rely on the corruption of the legal profession, the thing that ensured that Trump's first Cohn, Roy, kept his law license until he was about to die of AIDS when he should have lost it decades earlier.  

The corruption of the American system runs deep and thick  and will be here long after Trump goes the way of all drugged-up, self-indulgent flesh.  And it is as foul as can be.

I will concentrate on the Rupert Murdoch part of that because it allows me to expand on what I said about the degeneracy of the John Paul II papacy yesterday.  Among other things in the degenerate history of that papacy is the fact that John Paul II knighted Rupert Murdoch, making him a Knight Commander of St Gregory, something which at the time was done under the blistering criticism of many Catholics, especially Catholic women who noted that Rupert Murdoch was, literally, a porn merchant, a smut peddler and, in somc cases it was recognized, a promoter of lies and crypto-fascism.   

It may not surprise you to learn that as he was so knighted in Los Angeles, it was the pedophile enabling Cardinal Roger Mahony who promoted the knighting of the benighted smut peddler, years before Mahony was exposed for his part in the pedophile scandal, one of its major enablers in the United States as measured in money his archdioces had to pay out to victims. 

The motive of the JPII era Vatican to display its own corruption was money,  Murdoch at the behest of his then wife, Anna, a Catholic of the mafia-wife variety, gave bundles of money to putative Catholic organizations and institutions.   That is despite the fact that she married Murdoch after his first divorce and has, apparently, remarried after they were divorced.  I don't know if Rupert retained his papal knighthood when that happened, I will note that many of the right-wing Catholics who are promoted by and who work in league with Murdoch's neo-fascist media empire are exactly the same ones who railed against Pope Francis when he indicated he might be open to allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion.   There being no bottom to the hypocrisy, the depravity and the degeneracy of the Catholic far-right. 

These gangsters all work hand in glove,  their identity cover-stories don't count as anything but PR lies.  I am left curious to know if Stephen Miller has ever had anything to do with Chabad, it would explain a lot about him.   I will note that William Barr, in so far as he is at all sincere about his use of catholic-fascist organizations, is an example of the same kind of thing.   

None of this has anything to do with sincere Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism, which is genuine, it's all a cover up for gangsterism just as the Mafia involvement with the Vatican Bank during the JPII years was.  

Update:  I had a few seconds and looking at one of the old archived news stories on this, it noted the awarding of the knighthood was with the approval of the Vatican Secretary of State, looking up who that was at the time I was not surprised to see it was Giovanni Battista Re, one of the more corrupt and fascistic Cardinals of the JPII, Benedict XVI regimes.  He, along with the equally awful Cardinal Sodano was instrumental in staffing the US Catholic Conference of Bishops with corrupt incompetents who still control it and those who still work hand-in-glove with the anti-Francis fascists as well as Republican-fascists in the United States. 

Too many were selected as bishops because they have been promoted by a powerful patron. For example, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo became a cardinal because he had Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re as his patron, as did Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Such patronage explains why DiNardo, whose incompetence in his dealings with Rome have been recently revealed, became a cardinal. The large number of mediocre bishops produced by the Re and Sodano networks will stalk the church for years.

Viganò, if you've forgotten, was the one who engineered the meeting of Pope Francis with the anti-LGBT county clerk in Kentucky and, Francis not being pleased at being so used, fired him.  Viganò has been working with the likes of Cardinal Raymond Burke to smear and attack Pope Francis ever since. 

Hate Mail

I have found, there is, actually, a not insignificant literature by Jews that condemns the racism of the Lubovitch gang, especially its mirror image of Nazism in the genetic bull shit of Yitzhak Ginsburgh, which has clearly been known to those who pay attention to the Nazi-equivalence on the Israeli far right and its support in at least English speaking countries that I've found that response in.  

I can tell you one group that is also paying attention to it are, not only the Arab opposition to Israel, but the American far right who make common cause with the Lubovitch gangsters.  

But I'm more interested in how such absurd claims dressed in the trappings of science as are made by Ginsburgh, no doubt impressing his dupes with his degree in mathematics.  I think it's clearly riding in on that most anti-religious of scientific theories, natural selection, a negation of huge swaths of The Law, the Prophets and the Gospel*, though, obviously bigots like those in the Lubovitich cult and its front groups don't much care about the Gospel.  

That theory, founded in the inherent inequality of the British class system, itself in opposition to the teachings of Moses and Jesus, will always, as I have warned, generate Nazi style political agitation that is intended to benefit gangsters like the kind who rule in Israel, seemingly now in perpetuity.  That the present leaders are crooks and gangsters doesn't matter to people who are under the thrall of gangsters, either the vulgar kind that is pushed in gutter journalism, the kind that seems to push out good journalism because you can make lies, slander, racism and gossip more entertaining than the truth, or the snooty kind that would be impressed with graduate degrees in topics they don't know anything about, themselves, but they would like people to think they do.  

I don't look at these issues much but every time I do I'm shocked that this gang of thugs and mirror-Nazis isn't exposed because their influence on the American government - tied into fears of their readiness to smear their critics with cries of "antisemitism" which will be amplified in the gutter media - gives them reign to exercise influence all out of proportion to their numbers. The results in both the United States and in Israel have been catastrophic.   

If I had the time I'd go over the role that the fanatical American-Israelis, many of the worst of them part of this mirror-Nazi movement, have had, including one of them murdering 29 innocent Muslims and being made into a god by the cult and the role it had in the assassination of the Prime Minister who may have been the last chance of Israel making peace with the Palestinians.  The fascists have ruled, more or less continually, ever since.   That's not a surprise, natural selection has that political intent and effect as Ernst Haeckel noted in the 1870s with the full endorsement of Charles Darwin.  It should be a lot less of a shock it is when you hear them sounding like Nazis with a few of the nouns switched around, it's what natural selection as applied to the human population always skirts when it doesn't go there.   I call it out in the United States,I call it out in Britain and in Europe and, on occasion, in Asia and,in the past, South Africa.  I'm certainly not going to ignore it in Israel. 

*  It wasn't until I was looking up the links to and reading yesterday's portion of Gift and Task that I realized the timing of the post and the contents of the readings.  

I also occurred to me, later, that those parts of the attempt by some Jewish groups to come up with an official definition of "antisemitism" the parts that would officially proclaim that those who compared the policies of Israel or Jews to Nazism to be "antisemites" would have the effect of shielding exactly this kind of mirror-Nazism from criticism, helping to hide it from those who could be cowed and gulled by that.  I don't know if that was the overt motive, to protect this kind of genetic-Nazi style bull shit from wider exposure but that is the obvious effect it would have.  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Monday after Advent 2

God beyond our explanations, give us imaginative freedom, that we may rest before the splendor of your power for life that relativises both our accomplishments and our anxieties.  In his name,  Amen. 

Psalm 25 

Amos 7:1-9 

Revelation 1:1-8

Matthew 22:23-33

The Sadducees are exemplars of "the arithmetic of this age."   They think they can figure it all out, explain everything and so control and manage their life in the world.  Jesus counters their domesticated reasoning by witnessing to the alternative reality, known in Scriptures, of the power of God that is not controlled or domesticated by our calculation.   The defining reality is the God attested by our Genesis ancestors who is the god of the living.   Thus God has the singular capacity and resolve to bring life out of death,  to call into existence things that do not exist. 

The soaring rhetoric of our reading in Revelation situates the power of God,  fleshed in Jesus, outside the scope of our capacity.  It does so by appeal to the old tradition of "coming with the clouds,'  that is, outside our explanatory systems.  The ultimate claim is that the Holy One, embodied in Jesus, is "the Alpha and the Omega,"  the beginning before our explanations, the completion after our management.  The rhetoric shows how impotent and irrelevant is the closed reality of people like the Sadducees who think they can manage the mystery and gift of life.

It is a sobering admission of Advent to recognize that we are not the alpha.  We are not the beginning point,  not self-made, not self-sufficient;  before us and behind us is the power for life that is pure gift to be received in trusting gratitude.  It is an equally sobering admission of Advent to recognize that we are not the omega.  We are not the point of it all.  We are not the best imaginable outcome,  the completion of creation.  It is no wonder that the crowd was astonished by Jesus' testimony to the resurrection!  

Republicans Would Put Jesus In A Baby Cage and Deport His Parents As They Didn't Bother To Make A Record Of It


I came to this story about one of the best manger scenes ever, Jesus Mary and Joseph in Trump baby cages, through RMJ/s blog.  This most faithful to the story and to The Gospels display was put up by the Claremont United Methodist Church in California.   The Rev. Karen Clark Ristine said:  

What if this family sought refuge in our country today? Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years. Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.

As could be predicted, the anti-Christ, in the form of Republican-fascism, Trumpism, "white evangelical 'christianity'" etc. are freaking out over it, but they're in continual violation of the old "What would Jesus Do" thing in regard to the least among us, the widow, the orphan, the sick, the stranger among us, THE FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE PRISONER

That freak-out by the pseudo-Christians is to be expected.  Unfortunately, in the link from Rawstory which did a fairly decent piece about this, I made the mistake of seeing if the entirely predictable and viciously stupid atheist snark over it would also be there, with few exceptions, it was.   A few atheists got it, most of them were typical atheist assholes. As I have pointed out before, not all atheists are assholes, but a hell of a lot of them are.  

But that's not the point.  I looked to see if there was anywhere online I could send the Claremont Methodists a donation for the fund mentioned in the stories about this, alas, their website seems to be down.  I hope it's down with floods of support and not with threats and idiotic snark.  I hope I remember to look again when this has calmed down again.   Remind me. 

Hate Mail - When What You Want Isn't Really Equality

A long time ago, in his column in The Nation, the atheist, Marxist commentator and sometimes not that bad journalist Alexander Cockburn asked the kind of provocative question he often would ask.  Noting that someone in the New York based media had recently said, in public, for publication "fuck the Pope" to the approval of many and the condemnation of practically no one, Cockburn asked what would happen if someone in the same milieu had said "fuck the Lubovitcher Rebbe," the then still living, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the central figure of a fascistic, Kabbalistic cult with enormous influence in the United States, even more in Israel and elsewhere.  I admit that the sheer novelty of "fuck the Lubovitcher Rebbe" as opposed to the common as dirt "fuck the Pope" did kind of jar me.  I was vaguely aware of Schneerson's existence as the center of a Jewish cult that I'd read sometimes engaged in small local riots with a smaller "fundamentalist"* Jewish cult in which women shaved their heads and wore wigs but I didn't know much about it.   I figured people had a right to their own ideas, presented in the American media in rather innocuous terms. 

As I recall Cockburn's transgression did get a reaction, not the same one that saying "fuck the Pope" would get and decidedly not uniformly or mostly positive.  Though it was a good question.  I, by the way, have no problem with someone who was angry at John Paul II who would have been Pope when I read that saying "fuck the Pope" though it is a rather stupid thing to say when you could be pointing out some of the very many things that were truly bad about his long papacy, one of the worst in the modern period.  Pointing some of the worst of those out was to say far worse about him than dropping the common as dirt and so impotent, "f" bomb.   

The extent to which JPII may have played an important role in bringing down the Soviet stranglehold on many Eastern European countries and,so, the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship, was mitigated by his many other grotesque faults, such as his and his appointees (such as the putrid Bernard Law) support for fascism in the West.  I still expect that someday the documents identifying him as a CIA asset may surface.  

I don't believe he should have been canonized a saint.  I don't find his saintliness in evidence, though the grotesque cult of personality he mounted with its many vulgar and repulsive spectacles with him at the center (it's a mistake to elect a pope who spent time in the theater) may have hidden some of that from me.   I will note that though I thoroughly dislike much about him, as I have found out more about Pius XII, cutting through the smears of him, many of them flowing from Stalin and then Khrushchev's gangster regime through the Western "left", my opinion of him has risen. 

But as I read more about him in the intervening years, Schneerson was a pretty awful figure too, as is his cult, behind the well constructed PR facade.  His racism was florid and often expressed in what can be best understood as inverted Nazism or some of the worst excesses of Louis Farrakhan.   Like the Nazis, he held that Jews were a different species from non-Jews, and in the mirror image of Nazism,  that Jewish souls were superior and different than the souls of gentiles.  

As some of his critics have pointed out, what made him merely a huge asshole in the United States where his cult had some influence but was only one among many influential cults in largely gentile America.  In Israel where his fanatical cult holds more influence, his racism, often sanitized when his rants were translated,  was far less diluted and it had real life consequences for Palestinians.   And after his death and his failure to rise from the dead as, reportedly, some of his cult members expected, his racist and violent legacy lives on in his continuing cult.  Since I mentioned the worst mass murder in the history of Canada, done in the name of male supremacy, I can mention the mass murderer, Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Muslims in cold blood is venerated by that cult and one of its major figures, Yitzchak Ginsburgh, has lavished praise on the man and his mass murders on the basis of one of the things Schneerson taught, that gentiles are not really human and that it is permissible to murder them.   In some of his Nazi-like declarations, he even claimed that gentiles were there to serve Jews, sounding like the Nazi intentions of how they were going to enslave the slavic people they didn't murder. 

I'm all for calling a jerk a jerk no matter who they are and no matter what their identity is.  And I'm also in favor of not smearing people who don't praise and worship jerks with people who are total assholes entirely independent of the innocent.  The Lubavitcher cult isn't Judaism, it's a racist, violent despicable cult just as Opus Dei and the Legionaries of Christ are cults and what seems to have devolved into another cult of personality, the Catholic League.  I will note, as an aside,  the Catholic League that its logo is a sword against a shield, so no "those who live by the sword shall die by the sword," for them. NO ALLEGEDLY CHRISTIAN GROUP THAT WIELDS A SWORD OR HAS ONE AS ITS LOGO SHOULD BE TAKEN AS OTHER THAN PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN.   It was also, reportedly, modeled by its founder on the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League, two groups with a rather mixed, record, as well.   All of those groups together don't represent Catholics anymore than Scheerson or Ginsburgh do Jews. 

*  I don't think the word "fundamentalist" really works for anything except the American neo-confederate pseudo-Christian group and their cohort that self-consciously wrote and adopted The Fundamentals.  That group shares a lot of the racism, potential and actual violence and reactionary gangsterism as other groups mis-called "fundamentalist" but the temptation for the ignorant is to associate the claims and ideologies of such groups as, somehow, representative of authenticity within whatever religious group they claim to represent the authentic version of.  I know and have known Jews who tried to follow the commandments of Judaism and they're nothing like Schneerson's cult, a lot of them are opponents of the fascist political movement that flows from such sources and the Israeli fascism that it supports.   

I think "fascist cult" is a better term for them, or cutting to the real center of it, "gang mob".  I think a lot of the "orthodox" followers of a number of religious identities are actually covers for gangsters, the Catholic, the Jewish, a number of Protestant identities, Islamic, Orthodox Christian (mixing nationalism and religion will almost always produce gangster activity) Hindu, Buddhist (as will be in evidence as the Buddhist genocide against Muslims in Burma is defended at the UN this week) and atheist (Marxists, anarchists, etc).   Once you drop the identity bull shit and call gangster activity what it is, it's a lot easier to see how what we're supposed to consider and treat with such piety can produce the mafia or the Kushner family or Sheldon Adelson or Franklin Graham or Jerry Falwell jr. or the stuff that Tim Busch supports.  

When you drop the false-front, "gangster" would seem to almost always fully explain things. 

Update:  By now you know I wouldn't say something like that without having the backup for it.  

Among the religious settlers in the Occupied territories the Chabad Hassids constitute one of the most extreme groups.  Baruch Goldstein, the mass murderer of Palestinians, was one of them (Goldstein will be discussed in Chapter 6.)  Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, who wrote a chapter of a book in praise of Goldstein and what he did, is another member of their group.  Ginsburgh is the former head of the Yoseph Tomb Yeshiva, located on the outskirts of Nablus.  Rabbi Ginsburgh, who originally came to Israel from the United States and had good connection to the Lubovitcher community in the United States, has often expressed his views in English in American Jewish publications.  The following appeared in an April 26, 1996 Jewish Week (New York) article that contained an interview with Rabbi Ginsburgh:

--------

Regarded as one of the Lubovitcher sect's leading authorities on Jewish mysticism, the St. Louis born rabbi, who also has a graduate degree in mathematics, speaks freely of Jew's genetic-based, spiritual superiority over non-Jews.  It is a superiority that he asserts invests Jewish life with greater value in the eyes of the Torah.  "If you saw two people drowning,  a Jew and a non-Jew, the Torah says you sa e the Jewish life first,"  Rabbi Ginsburgh told the Jewish Week "If every simple cell in a Jewish body entails divinity,  is a part of God, then every strand of DNA is part of God.  Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA."  Later, Rabbi Ginsburgh asked rhetorically;  "If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent non-Jew passing by to save him?  The Torah would probably permit that.  Jewish life has an infinite value," he explained.  "There is something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish life than non-Jewish life."

------ 

Changing the words "Jewish" to "German" or "Aryan" and "non-Jewish" to "Jewish" turns the Ginsburgh position into the doctrine that made Auschwitz possible in the past.  To a considerable extent the German Nazi success depended upon that ideology and upon its implications not being widely known early.  Disregarding even on a limited scale the potential effects of messianic, Lubovitch and other ideologies could prove to be calamitous.


From: Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky

I will point out that Israel Shahak was a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and death camps who was an Israeli citizen and an eminent organic chemist as well as a long time campaigner for equality and democracy who was despised and attacked for speaking out for minority rights.   His writing has been largely disappeared from the American media in the typical way when someone mentions inconvenient truths. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Gary Burton - New Quartet - Sunday's Uncle



Gary Burton - vibraphone
Julian Lage - guitar
Scott Colley - bass
Antonio Sanchez - drums

Jazz grows.

Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orch - Sweet Lorraine



Update:  Love Me Or Leave Me



Update 2:  Ready For The River


Bix Beiderbeck and Frankie Trambauer Orchestra- Ostrich Walk


Hate Mail

What did I say, lying through  decontextualization, it's what he does, its one of the more common methods of lying these days.  One that depends on the non-reading habits of the post-literate, TV trained, college credentialed idiocracy of the late 20th-early 21st centuries.   They're not really different in moral character from the Republican side of the House committees or Kellyanne Conjob. 

Update:  That would be because the murderer of 14 women at the École Polytechnique, murdering them after he separated them from the men in the room with them, as he declared his hatred of feminists and women can be said to not have been targeting one single group of people.   The liar is depending on his audience of ignorant, incurious, idiotic Stater blog rats to not know that.  He uses people who were murdered for his own purposes, he is as vile as anyone else who does that.   Barbara Frum didn't have any excuse, she was a journalist who said what she did as she must have known the facts. She was a right wing liar. 

Hate Mail

OK, fumer.

Don't they just hate it the most when you diss the rock stars of their youth. 

Second Sunday of Advent - Unlike the trivia of commercial Christmas, serious Advent is a time to consider how being out of sync with God has become conventional and "normal" among us

God of faithfulness, before whom we stand exposed in our complacency and complicity, we thank you for this season in which we may make amendment of life.   Give us resolve that we may not waste the season.  In his name, Amen. 

Psalm 148 

Amos 6 

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

Luke 1:57-68 

We do well to ponder this newly arrived character, John, who creates a pause in the narrative before the birth of Jesus.  The work of interpretation is to be sure that John is not elided into Jesus so that the sharp and stern word of John is not overwhelmed by the graciousness embodied in Jesus.  John's work is very different; it is to "make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).  The preparatory work requires hard truth-telling that exhibits the ways in which the world, as presently practiced, is completely out of sync with  the purposes of God. 

We are led to ponder how it is that the world is out of sync in concrete ways with God's will for justice, righteousness, mercy and compassion that are continually thwarted by policy and by practice.  That thwarting of God's intent is evident in the systemic practice of greed, the readiness for violence against the vulnerable, and the complacent acceptance of economic injustice.  This out-of-sync quality is voiced by Amos with his double utterance of "woe" that anticipates trouble to come.  The sharp rhetoric of the epistle,  moreover, shares the urgency of facing up to the deep failure of present practice.  Unlike the trivia of commercial Christmas,  serious Advent is a time to consider how being out of sync with God has become conventional and "normal" among us.  It is also a time to consider the (inevitable?) outcome of such a way of life. Christmas comes abruptly in the wake of Advent;  we cannot slide from one to the other. 

Walter Brueggemann:  Gift and Task

David Frum Can Bite Me

As I'm typing this David Frum is on the CBC's Sunday Edition with, I believe, Gillian Findlay, talking about what a big mistake it is for Democrats to impeach Trump, predicting it will empower him when the Republican-fascists fail to remove him.   Among the totally annoying and baseless claims being made - the typical ones made in the American media about how everything Democrats do is inevitably bound to fail, it's what the media does - Frum claims that what the three honest law professors said to the House Judiciary Committee last week was too complex and confusing for the idiot American People. 

I'm so sick and tired of the conceited snobs of the media's condescending view of the great unwashed masses whose minds are so largely the product of what the goddamned media puts in them.   David Frum - as his dear old mum, the right wing CBC personality, Barbara Frum* - has been a part of the media his entire working career, as have most of the other media people who hold the general population in such conceited, condescending contempt.   If The People are ignorant, it's because they have failed to inform them.  If they are distracted, it is because the media companies they work for distract them, if they're connable, it is because the media companies - all of which are part of the advertising industry - have trained them to be conned, selling their time, their attention, their ears and eyes to con men of exactly the kind I wrote about below.  

There is no one in the media who condescends to The People who are not to blame if The People are dupes who are conned and who buy lies sold to them.  If I ever heard one of them say those things within reach, they'd feel my fist in their condescending mouth.  

*  The slag pooh-poohed the misogynist nature of the largest incident of mass murder in Canadian history, the École Polytechnique massacre, despite the murderer targeting women and proclaiming that he was killing them because he hated women.  

The day after, the late Barbara Frum, one of Canada's most respected journalists, refused to admit that the massacre was indeed an act of violence toward women. "Why do we diminish it by suggesting that it was an act against just one group?" Frum said Dec. 7, 1989 on CBC's The Journal.

Such is the respect for even the hardest of reality in the profession of journalism. In case you're wondering where David Frum gets it from.  I suppose, since she was born in the U. S. we deserve to get her son back here. 

The Failure Of English To Distinguish Between Different Things Helps Conmen Of The Republican-fascist Kind

Since my reading of Marilynne Robinson clarified it for me, I've mentioned that there are two very different meanings to the word "liberal," the differences in which produce entirely different results in terms of the common good.

As she pointed out, in terms of political economy, the original meaning of "liberal" is tied in to it use in the Geneva Bible and its commentary, the Bible most in use in New England and some other places in the formative period of the country.  That meaning was absolutely tied to providing the material and spiritual needs of the destitute, the poor, the ones Jesus and the Jewish scriptures commanded us to provide for.  That was the foundation of the American liberal tradition that produced the aspiration for egalitarian democracy.

The other meaning came later, in the 18th century "enlightenment" of Locke (the friend of the rich and propertied) and Voltaire (antisemite and racist that he was) and others which concentrated on lassiez-faire economics, allowing the propertied to enjoy their property without restrictions by the government. I'll point out in passing that such propertied people owned their property through the force of the government, itself, a basic defect in their theory.  Their possession of it is a matter of government regulation.  But they don't like to notice that. Such "liberalism"  wanted to free the rising middle-class and newly enriched and really had little to no regard for the destitute, the widow or orphan or stranger living among them - except in so far as they had money.  That is the liberalism of way too many of the slave-owning, banking and merchant Founders, who, if you read the accounts of the framing of the Constitution and its adoption and the early years of the country under it, had everything from mild opposition to strong opposition and general disdain for those who kept with the original meaning of liberalism.

I'll repeat that, every single thing about such propertied people holding their property, in many cases their ability to amass it and use it for their own ends instead of the general good is a result of the government making that possible as much as the "government regulation" they rail is a violation of their "freedom".  

Freedom is a word that is at least as varied in its meaning and not all freedom is good for the common good.   It certainly won't be news to any except the most unreflective and clueless that freedom can be dangerous to other other people, to society, to the biosphere and even to the people who exercise such freedom.  You'd think that people would realize that about the word though I suspect it will come as a surprise to have it pointed out.

Such "freedom" is the "freedom" that is invoked by Republican-fascists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, lazy slacker Incel losers, the jerk who insists on playing their music loud while everyone's trying to sleep, the creep who pollutes the air with their tobacco smoke or billowing smoke stacks, the coal and other extraction industries, . . . . pretty much all of the major beneficiaries of the late 18th century style of "enlightenment" laissez-faire liberalism in the Lockean tradition.   The kind of people the Federalist-fascist society serves.  

When I mentioned the other day the difference between the freedom to do whatever pleased you no matter the consequences and the freedom to determine how to live a moral life, I realized it was totally unsurprising that those two different forms of freedom have such different characters.  It's the difference between acting like a selfish piece of crap and like a generous person.  That difference has such consequences for those around such people that it is absurd that the law and judicial practice doesn't much distinguish between those two things - I suspect the lawyers and judges, mostly being from the economic elite or aspiring to join it, find it quite convenient to pretend not to be able to discern and articulate that difference, at least when it suits them and their class.  As I've pointed out, they pretend to not be able to discern or process the difference between blatant lies and the truth - unless it is in service of the disposition of money and property.  When it's a mere matter of promoting the most seriously destructive forms and degrees of inequality among mere human beings, of the destruction of he biosphere, they play stupid.  They're taught to by their elite educations, the more elite the university, the more likley they're taught to play stupid in that way.  

I think the difference among those liberalisms, of those different freedoms is so profound in their consequences and the use of single words for both of them that the interval of ignorance of those differences is, itself, extremely useful to con artists, crooks and fascists.  I think we need to come up with and force terminology that makes that distinction or enough people will be suckered by, especially, "freedom" talk that it will bring us to fascism.   We don't have much to fear of it bringing Marxist dictatorship - as if there's any real difference- but America is not only vulnerable to fascism, the kind that has ruled our country in the period of legal slavery and the long and lingering period of its de facto presence - what the Republicans on the Supreme Court are doing everything they can to bring back, Clarence Thomas one of the most enthusiastic in pushing things back - that that is the real danger.  

Marxists discrediting traditional American style liberals is a problem of liberalism but it's not as if there's any chance they will succeed.  We've had a century of seeing what Marxism becomes in reality.  While I doubt that's why Marx declared himself to not be a Marxist, it's clear that Marxism is always a disaster.  They're a tool of the fascists to destroy egalitarian democracy.  

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Bunny Berigan - Russian Lullaby


A Strange Loneliness



Gail Reese, vocal

I Can't Get Started With You



Jimmy Dorsey - Clarinet Polka - And a Question Answered



Jimmy Dorsey was Charlie Parker's favorite sax player.

I heard a different version on the Polka Party this morning while I was doing my Saturday morning house cleaning and it's been going through my head all day.

And, the answer is yes.

Such A Simple Point But He Can't Master It

What a stupid ass. I am a gay man, I would only have been drafted if I had lied about being gay and I have never lied about being gay, even when I was eighteen as the Vietnam war was going on.   I never faced the possibility of being drafted.   I opposed the war even though I was not in danger of being drafted.  I never criticized people for evading the Vietnam draft EXCEPT FOR THOSE WHO FAVORED THE WAR AS THEY EVADED THE DRAFT.   You know, like Trump and Cheney and George W. Bush and William Barr.     

My comment was about those who opposed the war only on the basis of them being drafted AND WHO STOPPED OPPOSING IT WHEN THAT DANGER ENDED.  It's not a particularly complicated point, though for the stupid even a simple distinction is too much of a stretch.  

I think the ass must have spent too much of the 60s stoned or drunk or stupid, he doesn't seem to remember it.  Or maybe he's just senile as I have long suspected.  Senescence, for some it starts very young and that was a long time ago, now.   

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Katie Hims - Cops and Robbers





A dry cleaner's assistant falls for a customer but as he crosses the road outside the shop he is knocked down by a car. As she gets to know him it transpires that perhaps this was not an accident. 

Cast:

Inspector - Philip Jackson 
Marion - Amanda Root 
Jonny - Nicholas Boulton 


Directed by Peter Kavanagh

I posted this one before but the link to it is dead.  It was long enough ago that I decided to post it again with a live link.  I've known so many people who made fools of themselves like this, only she learns better, in the end. 

Saturday after Advent 1

God of all mercy give us the capacity to situate ourselves in your goodness,  that we may resist every temptation to trade your goodness for other ways of security and well-being.  In his name, Amen.

Psalm 20 

Amos 5:18-27 

Jude 17-25

Matthew 22:15-22

The detractors from the distorters of faith are everywhere in these readings:

-  In the Amos text, they are those too comfortable in Zion,  with their eagerness for the coming day of reckoning when they think they will be affirmed. 

 - In the Gospel reading,  they are the Pharisees and Herodians who have no interest in serious interpretations of the tradition but only want to trick and trap Jesus.

-  In the epistle, they are "scoffers" who are propelled by interests and passions alien to faith.  They are indicted on three counts:  (1) They set up divisions, causing splits in the community.  (2) They are worldly, reasoning in pragmatic ways without allowing for the gracious slippage of grace that makes forgiveness and reconciliation possible.  (3) They are devoid of the spirit, unwilling and unable to be led beyond their own settled opinion. 

The epistle is eager that the "beloved," those seriously embedded in the gospel, should distinguish themselves from these troublemakers and practice disciplines tat will sustain their distinctiveness.  Four disciplines are commended;

-  "Build yourselves up" in a holy faith.  This includes attentiveness to apostolic teachings.

- "Pray in the Holy Spirit,"  a habit of yielding and a readiness to be led.

-  "Keep yourselves in the love of God,"  not seduced by quarrel or calculation.

-  Wait for "the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ,"  a bid for uncommon patience.

These disciplines will sustain with enough authority to convince and save others. 

Walter Brueggemann: Gift and Task

Why I Smiled When I Heard "OK Boomer"

The Altamont concert was such an irresponsible botch disorganized by some of the biggest names in rock who, after their stupidly, irresponsibly botched disorganization had the entirely predictable effect of devolving into a violent, deadly debacle, all tried to put the blame for it everywhere except on themselves.  I would like a listing of the people involved in bringing it about who took personal responsibility for it, I've never seen one, I've only seen ass-covering and putting the blame everywhere else.  

It's certain that the members of the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead and their management were in on coming up with the idea and, decidedly, not on carefully organizing it to avoid problems.  It would seem that the Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead might have had the absolutely and grotesquely irresponsible idea of getting the Hells Angels for security - they'd reportedly done it before - and paying them in beer.   That would be because we all know how $500 worth of beer, in 1969 dollars and prices would tend to calm a raucous situation full of drugged up, drunks, especially if the $500 worth of beer was inside the guys who were supposed to be keeping order.  I've read that they might have taken their cue from that other massive asshole of the time, Ken Kesey through his absurd romanticization of the Angels.   You know, the more I find out about the counter-culture celebrities of the 60s, the more I find out they were largely a bunch of massive assholes. 

I am rather enjoying the outraged reaction to the "OK, boomer" thing because if there is one thing my age cohort was, it was full of shit about itself.  The as seen on TV, in the media and pop-music "counter-culture" of the 60s was bull shit, the real counter culture was the Civil Rights movement and the part of the anti-war movement that wasn't just the "I don't want to get drafted" movement which is what it was for a lot of them.   Nixon's ending of the draft so he could continue the war was as brilliant as it was cynical.  I think he knew, in his foul heart, that a lot of the counter-culture types had more in common with him than they'd ever have wanted to believe.  Certainly Mick Jagger does, one of the reported reasons for the "free concert" was the criticism Mick and his then not so old Stones got for price gouging on their American tour.  As people were getting killed and stabbed, right in front of them, he and the stones did "Street Fighting Man".  He's been rakin' in the cash ever since. 

The 60s "counter culture" had several different faces, the hippy-psychedelic-flower-child one was self-indulgent and bound to go nowhere as the dolts were too drugged up and self-involved and style-based to do anything.  It was, essentially, a marketing thing.   The Marxist one was self-discrediting, as I've noted, they're the equivalent of neo-Nazis, they just liked their dictator-gangsters to be of a different sort with a somewhat different cover-story of what they were going to do with the money.  The one that would soon find its annoying and idiotic explanation in that most useless of long-on-the-friggin'-best-sellers-list Greening of America was as full of shit and maybe was even more full of itself.  

There was, as I said, a real counter-culture that was not based in any of those and was not so full of itself but that mostly consisted of hard work and wasn't associated with products and pop-culture bull shit.  It persists but it won't be featured much on TV or get concert movies made of it. 

As I mentioned, the mutual ass-covering scenarios that have been invented to explain how it happened are several and varied.  The Airplane centered scenario of how the disaster started has a couple of its members,   Kaukonen and one of the others, I can't remember off hand, saying they wanted the Stones to have their Woodstock kind of moment - which is bull shit, what they wanted was to hitch their wagon to a bigger act, 

If there is one thing that I wish had happend at Altamont it would be that Jefferson Airplane had sung that rock anthem of self-righteous idiocy,  Paul Kantner's Crown of Creation.  The clueless, egotistical, self-centered self-righteousness might have gotten it right, that the establishment was bad but what they were bad for the same reasons the commercial counter-culture was, it was vainglorious and materialistic.   There were no bigger materialists than the big name rockers.  Mick Jagger was a big fan of Maggie Thatcher just a few short years later.  

I do have a word of warning to the young people who are enjoying the "OK boomer" thing.   You want to watch out that you're not doing what the boomers did as you're making fun of us.  I might never have bought into the worst of 60s youth self-righteousness but I could have learned something from people I should have taken more seriously.  Just not the ones TV and pop-culture was telling me to listen to.   Pop culture is commercial shit about 98% of the time.  That goes for the "counter culture" stuff as sold, too. 

Update:  I probably could, if I spent a couple of days going through my boxes of long unused books, find the early second-wave feminist essays about how the 60s counter-culture was not a feminism friendly thing.  One of the essays I remember was about how when feminism came to the back-to-the-land, agriculture intending commune that the boys and not a few of the gals didn't like it one bit.  As I recall one of them quoted one of their communauts as saying "I don't want some pussy driving MY tractor." 

Second-wave feminism, especially the parts of it that avoided Marxist sidelining and involvement with other bull shit is an excellent example of non-pop-culture counter culture.  It was largely pop culture of what the flower-child marketing ploy turned into that became its most formidable foe.  And I have mentioned the ever worsening violence promoting misogyny of the central act at Altamont, The Stones in their "Black and Blue" album of a few years later.  I read Robin Morgan and Catherine Mackinnon now and, if you can wade through some of Morgan's more regrettable writing, it is as freshly radical today as so much of the 60s counter-culture stuff is as rotted as Miss Havisham's wedding cake. 

I will note that there is far less of the gay liberation stuff from the same period that has aged as well.  I think the best content in that is yet to come.  It will not be selfish and self-indulgent and it will be informed by accurate and non-ideological history. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Pete Buttigieg Isn't Ready For The Big Time And He Looks More And More Like He Won't Ever Be

I am asked as a gay man what I think about Pete Buttigieg's non-disclosure agreement with his former employer, McKinsey & Co a shady and, it's increasingly becoming apparent, sleazy consulting firm.  Well, I think if a candidate for public office won't be totally open about his work history, he has no business asking for the public trust.  

There should be a law that anyone asking for election to federal office cannot use private non-disclosure agreements to hide parts of their past.  Private businesses are not entitled to have their private business overtake The Peoples' right to know who they're voting for. 

I haven't been a huge fan of Buttigieg's candidacy, saying from the start of it that he's far too young and inexperienced to be president and that I think he's running because in Indiana there is no path to higher office for him.  I had thought of going through a very good critique of him at the National Catholic ReporterMayor Pete brings his youth and old, tired ideas to the Democratic race, but other things came about. It's interesting to look back on it because Michael Sean Winters raised that issue in it before I saw it anywhere else. 

The fact that he is gay has given the mayor a veneer of progressivism. It is only a veneer. When will an interviewer ask him to explain what led him to work at the McKinsey & Company consulting firm, which is as deep into the establishment as one might go? What lessons did he draw from his time there? His verbiage strikes me as precisely the kind of consultant-driven p

ablum that consultants produce. But, more importantly, what about the economy and society did he learn while there? Inquiring minds want to know.

And if time working at McKinsey doesn't also make you a member of the establishment, pray tell, what does? Oh yes, a Rhodes scholarship.

The weirdest part of his candidacy, however, is that while he trumpets his youth, and traffics in the Kennedyesque idea that it is time for a new generation of Americans to take up the torch of leadership, his ideas are very old-fashioned. On his campaign website, the first item on his list for combatting poverty is expanding the earned income tax credit. The EITC has definitely been a great boon in the fight against poverty, but it was first enacted in 1975. His section on climate change lacks anything particularly innovative. And he suggests that because he served in the military, that counts as a foreign policy credential. My uncle Frank fought in the Battle of the Bulge but I would not have wanted him to be secretary of state.

I had already had grave doubts about Buttigieg over his comments in New Hampshire criticizing Democrats for not being concerned about the budget deficits, the last thing I'm going to support is a Democrat who dishonestly adopts Republican talking points which are a lie. I suspect someone told him that such talk would go over big with a New Hampshire crowd but apparently someone didn't bother to tell him that New Hampshire Democrats are not New Hampshire Republicans.  

Winters also talks about the emptiness of the "bringing America together" rhetoric:

It is also time for Americans on the left to get over the myth that some politician is going to come along and miraculously unite the country. Obama promised to do it, and didn't. Bill Clinton promised to do it, and didn't. Jimmy Carter promised to do it, and didn't. It may be what voters tell pollsters they want, but it only sets us all up for disappointment and, ultimately, disaffection from politics itself, which is why it is dangerous.

If there is one thing I don't want it's another Obama or Bill Clinton making nice with Republicans and disappointing the Democratic base.  I would certainly like to get all of those running on record on a number of loyalty issues LOYALTY TO THE DEMOCRATIC VOTERS WHOSE NOMINATION VOTES THEY ARE ASKING FOR.  If Pete Buttigieg doesn't understand that Republicans are never going to work with a Democratic President, he has disqualified himself from being the nominee of the party.  

Oddly, though I think he's clearly much smarter than Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg is reminding me of him more and more the longer this goes on.  I figured out a long time ago that Biden wasn't made of presidential timber, during his plagarism scandal.  I doubt the Mayor would do that stupid thing but he's doing a lot of the rest of why I don't want Biden to be the nominee.  Even odder, the oldest guy in the race - who I also think has no business running, Bernie Sanders, has fresher ideas than the youngest.  

Sean Michael Winters gives more reasons that this guy shouldn't get the Democratic nomination.  This is just a quick piece.  

Someone Tells Me That The Altamont Debacle Was 50 Years Ago Today

All I can say is what a bunch of monumentally stupid and irresponsible assholes everyone involved in bringing that about were.  The Stones, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, etc.  

I mean THE HELLS ANGELS AS THE SECURITY TEAM? PAID IN BEER? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? 

Rock sucks.  

It's Clear From The Reaction To What I'm Doing, Esperanto Is A Thought Crime

But the more they pressed them
Sed ju pli oni premis ilin,
sed yoo plee ON-ee PRE-mees EEL-een

the more they multiplied and florished
des pli ili multiĝis kaj kreskis;
des plee EEL-ee  mool-TEE-jees keye KRES-kees

and the Children of Israel were made fearful (to them).
kaj la Izraelidoj fariĝis teruraĵo.
keye la eez-ra-el-EED-oy fa-REE-gees ter-oor-AZJ-yo

And the Egyptians worked the Children of Israel cruelly.
Kaj la Egiptoj laborigis la Izraelidojn kruele.
keye la eg-EEP-toy la-bor-EEG-is la iz-ra-el-EED-oyn kroo-EL-e

And they embittered for them life,
Kaj ili maldolĉigis al ili la vivon
keye EEL-ee mal-dol-CHEE-gees al EEL-i la VEEV-on

with hard labor over clay and bricks,
per malfacila laboro super argilo kaj brikoj,
per mal-fats-EEL-a la-BOR-o SOO-per ar-GEE-lo keye BREEK-oy

and through all kinds of work on the field,
kaj per ĉia laboro sur la kampo,
keye per CHEE-a la-BOR-o sur la KAM-po

through all kinds of jobs,
per ĉiaj laboroj,
per CHEE-ay la-BOR-oy

that they cruelly put on them
kiujn ili kruele metis sur ilin.
KEE-oon EE-le kroo-EL-e ME-tees sur EEL-een.

A few grammar points,  there is no indefinite article in Esperanto, no word for "a" or "an" or "some" (as an indefinite article) it just does without it.

Nouns in their plain singular form all end in -o, plurals are formed by adding a "j", -oj pronounced "oy" as in "toy".

Adjectives end in "a" plurals formed in "aj" in agreement with the nouns or pronouns they modify.

The direct object of a verb adds an "n" to the noun ending, -on, ojn.

But it's not my intention to give you grammar, you can get that from the Zabreb Method lessons.

Though I have become extremely skeptical of the traditional grammar-based learning of languages for "natural" languages, having become convinced that language acquisition methods work entirely better than the way I was brought up,  the regularity of Esperanto might make it the exception to that.  With that in mind, here is the venerable The Esperanto Teacher by Helen Fryer both text and librevox (I haven't listened to all of them so I can't vouch for their quality).

The hardest part of this is typing out the pronunciation. If any Esperantists are out there, let me know when I make a mistake in that.