Thursday, July 18, 2019

Scientistic-Atheist-Materialists Who Want To Assert Equality Are Up The Creek Of Amorality Without A Paddle

Looking for appropriate video for my post last night, I came across a Youtube by the semi-pro atheist-"skeptic" Rebecca Watson talking about her disappointment with some of the science guys who have had an association with the child rapist and elite sex trafficker to the super-rich and powerful, Jeffrey Epstein.   Specifically, she called out Lawrence Krauss who has so disgraced himself, especially in the period when he took the golden parachute from being an actual scientist to being a professional atheist.  I didn't get very far into Watson's not entirely unreasonable flaming of her fellow atheist-"skeptics" and others for being total and complete pigs, that is one thing on which I and Watson agree pretty much before she said something that was absurd in a revelatory way.  What she said was, contained in the first sentence of my comment.

"Krauss is a scientist so he knows what's right"? Geeesh, what a stupid thing to say. Science totally discounts morality in doing science, scientists are probably less likely to think in moral terms than those in other professions. Lots of them can and do think morally but it's not due to their science.

OK, it's been too hot to do much of the weeding I was hoping to get ahead of this week and too hot for any deep reading or thinking so I was bored and looking for a fight.*  It also pisses me off that people who can say such stupidly romantic things about science in such abysmal ignorance get enough attention so they can make a sort-of career out of spouting it.   And this morning I find one of her fans did answer it in a pretty stupid way.

Robert Dillahubris 2 hours ago
"scientists are probably less likely to think in moral terms than those in other professions." Geeesh, what a stupid thing to say. And she said "he knows what's right" in terms of logic, not in terms of morality. Try to keep on top of it. 

Pretty typical of ideological atheists, to which I answered.

Science has always, by formal agreement among scientists NOT INCLUDED QUESTIONS OF MORALITY IN THEIR SCIENTIFIC WORK. Anyone who doesn't know that holds some idiotic romantic view of what scientists do without knowing anything about what they actually do do. This has led, especially within those fields most dubiously included in what gets called science, which rub up against questions of morality, for the scientists involved to come up with some kind of clearly immoral declarations such as the one the Rutgers biologist Robert Trivers made about the crimes of Epstein, “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous". If you aren't familiar with the so-called social scientists and even some in the legitimate field of evolutionary biology to declare that rape is "natural" (and so according to their thinking "good) and not such a big deal, you don't know what you're talking about and neither does Rebecca Watson, apparently. It led Richard Dawkins to declare that some level of pedophile abuse was no big deal. Logic can't get you to questions of right and wrong, something that has been known through rigorous logical application for just about as long as logical analysis started to be studied in rigorous terms. I am never shocked, anymore, to find out that ideological atheists are so plug ignorant of the culture of mathematics, logic and science.

I am sure just about any reputable theologian would have a rather good understanding of that but I'm increasingly unsurprised to find that many scientists and, ever much more so, their pop culture fan gals and guys are even more ignorant of that plain and simple fact, that you can't turn logic to the purpose of deciding questions of moral judgement.  The most excellent practitioner of logic, of mathematics, of science who chooses to be immoral or, as I believe is far more common and so a serious problem, amoral are only more dangerous for their mastery of those areas of human culture which, by agreement, are shielded from questions of moral consideration.  

But this leads me to consider the problem for the atheists and "skeptics" of the kind I've touched on before when I mocked the scientistic-atheist-materialists  who, for themselves, claim the mantle of "Free Thought" when it is their very ideological side which has made the most sustained attack on the possibility of free thought, free will, - of anything free of deterministic, material causation - being possible. 

It's clear that Rebecca Watson, as a woman who likes the idea of equality but whose career is founded in exactly that scientistic-materialistic-atheism is rather up the creek of amorality without a paddle.  For anyone who had a realistic or even a mildly superficial knowledge of the history of the literature of science, as it deals with matters of sexual, gender, racial, ethnic, class equality would see that scientists - who are still among the most male, most white, most economically advantaged - have not been slow to assert that all of those issues and identities are unequal by hard fact of science, ignoring the scientific weakness or irrationality of their claimed "data" supporting their contentions, using every trick in their bag of those to dupe the public into believing, fully, in their sexist, racist, class-advantaged claims.   

While there are many scientists who do not do that, the formal literature of biology, of the so-called behavioral sciences are full to the top of the assertion that biologically determined inequality is a hard fact of life.  As I have made an in depth study of the literature of modern biology as concerns exactly those claims of inequality, that assertion has been a majority point of view since the imposition of natural selection and genetic determinism on the study of evolution and its asserted implications for human life and societies today.   And a lot of scientists, even those whose own field of expertise renders their understanding of biology and behavior about as callow and superficial as the typical listener to of TV on those topics, fully buy onto that program of sexist, racist, class-divisive assertion in science BECAUSE THEY LIKE THAT THOSE THINGS ADVANTAGE THEM AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND COLLEAGUES.  

Probably, by the way, even more dangerous is the popular level science reporting such as you can read in the so-called legitimate press or hear on NPR in the deepest level of superficiality that such "public understanding of science" is likely to be imbibed by most voters.  

I can't claim that I have any respect for the people who obtain college credentials, who work in fields in which they write things for other people to read, who bloviate on such things online on on TV or radio talk shows while being in such total ignorance of these issues.   I think if the "Skepchicks" (Watson's name for herself, so don't call me out on it) and the PZ Myers who might find that they either want to assert equality for themselves or through some vestigial remains of having grown up in the better part of Jewish monotheistic culture, feeling it's right, are deluding themselves if they think science and logic are going to replace the moral absolute that comes with the assertion that people have God given rights on an equal basis, they are not only wrong, they are willfully stupid.

*  Too hot to sleep, too, which is why I've been up at three this morning and writing this.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Who Was That Bearded Man? A Possible Correction

Feeling uneasy with speculating that the photo of a guy who looks a hell of a lot like pictures of PZ Myers chatting over bottles of beverage with Jeffrey Epstein was The Sage of The UofMinn Morris,

 PZMyersByJerryRauser  vs

 Note that it would seem from the picture of Epstein that this was taken a few years back when, no doubt, like so many of us, Myers was less gray.   Epstein looks noticeably older in recently taken photographs, the photo on the left, definitely PZ Myers, is taken from his "Free Thought" blog.

I went to find out if Myers had anything to say about it.  I found that last November he denied ever having met Epstein.

I never met Jeffrey Epstein, fortunately. My sole link was through Lawrence Krauss, who memorably took me aside way back in 2010 to urge me to ignore the “rumors” going around about Epstein, who was a donor to his Origins program at ASU. He particularly warned me against that scurrilous gossiper, Rebecca Watson, who has since been revealed as a wise prophetess. I just figured this was what high-level people with the job of getting donations do to curry favor with donors, I didn’t actually know much about what Epstein had done. Of course, now I know (and I quickly learned then) that Epstein had pled guilty to soliciting sex from minors back in 2008, and it wasn’t so much “rumor” as “incontestable fact”, and that Watson wasn’t so much a prophetess as she was someone who had her eyes open. As she wrote in 2011:
Jeffrey Epstein is the infamous media mogul who was jailed in 2008 for paying underage prostitutes who said they were recruited by his aides. Some girls were allegedly flown in from Eastern Europe, their visas arranged by his bookkeeper. Epstein only served 13 months in prison thanks to a sweetheart plea agreement which is now being contested by attorneys representing two of the girls, who were 13 and 14 when they were allegedly paid for sex. Both girls are part of a larger group of victims who have won monetary settlements from Epstein in civil cases.
Krauss responded to that with several comments, still ardently defending Epstein, and this quote is particularly damning. .  . 

For now I'll accept that at his word.  I doubt Myers is stupid enough to deny something that can be documented,  Which leads me to wonder who the guy I mistook for him was.  Anyone know?    I will also note that even if, in the past, Myers may have run close to the same circles as Epstein that since "elevatorgate" he has broken with a lot of the same old, white, academically elite and increasingly right-wing men of the "skepticism"-atheism industry.  The little I pay attention to his blog, or Coyne's or any of them, these days, he's far from the worst offender on that count. 

If you want more on Steven Pinker's ass-covering and his critics, there's an interesting piece up at Inside Higher Ed on the topic.  

The part of it that I find most disturbing is how his bull-shit, pseudo-scientific credentials are being inserted into serious legal cases through Trump's TV lawyer implicated in the case, Alan Dershowitz, who I hope lives long enough to find himself disbarred for his misconduct if not indicted, though I'm neither holding my breath nor waiting up nights.  It is disgusting that someone like Pinker, by virtue of practicing pseudo-science as promoted by such elite institutions as MIT and Harvard is presented as a serious expert on such things as the meaning of laws, something he is entirely unqualified to do.  It is far more dangerous than his absurdly panglossian bull shit.  Jerry Coyne.  Lord help you if you're reduced to enlisting Jerry Coyne in your defense.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"No True Atheist" The Thunderbird Of Pop Atheist Whines

Hey, I didn't make up that list of atheists associated with Jeffrey Epstein, he and they chose to associate themselves together, I'm just noting that Epstein seemed to enjoy their company and they his, not to mention that money and the flights on the infamous Epstein jet.  I'm no more responsible for that than Trump and Clinton and Stephanopolis, Starr,  Acosta, etc. etc. etc. for forming other such lists.    Now one of the most interesting things is which of those associates are now lying about the nature and extent of their association, as mentioned at Slate, that's something a lot of them also have in common, lying.  

I could also make a list of people who figure "no true atheist would do what these atheists are documented as doing."   It's the same list who are the first to pull that bullshit "no true Scotsman" line that one of Epstein's good buddy atheists popularized among atheists.  

And here's another:
At least two grant recipients in academia are standing by Epstein, saying he remains a friend: Krauss and Robert Trivers, a Rutgers University biologist. Trivers said Epstein is a person of integrity who should be given credit for serving time in prison and for settling civil lawsuits brought by women who said they were abused.

“Did he get an easy deal? Did he buy himself a light sentence? Well, yes, probably, compared to what you or I would get, but he did get locked up,” Trivers said. He said he got about $40,000 from Epstein to study the relationship between knee symmetry and sprinting ability. 

Trivers also said he believes girls mature earlier than in the past. “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous,” he said.

Danilo Perez - Alfonsina y El Mar

Danilo Perez, piano
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Joe Lovano Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone

Bass: Santi Debriano
Drums: Jack DeJohnette

Just Sayin' Lots Of Prominent Atheists Sure Liked To Hang With Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein, Lawrence Krauss and Steven Pinker 

Reading this handy list  (no doubt a short list) of famous associates of the child rapist who was almost certainly providing underage girls ordered to have sex with rich and famous men, Jeffrey Epstein, I couldn't help but notice that that list and some of the other names in other places (Stephen Hawking!, for the love of Mike) were prominent in the old fad of new atheism or had spoken out for atheism and against religious belief.  

In addition to Stephen Hawking, Krauss and Pinker there is Alan Dershowitz*.  There is another picture at a link to Gawker from the Slate piece, which I was sure was Epstein with another of the more prominent new atheists, though I might be wrong about that being PZ Myers.

If someone can identify that bearded man as someone other than PZ, I will note that in a clarifying post.

Which led me to check out PZ Myers who, apparently along with Jerry Coyne, posted Pinker's ass covering letter denying that he t was a buddy of Epstein.  I include it only because it shows who other than Bill Clinton was flying around and paling around with Epstein.

But Epstein had insinuated himself with so many people I intersected with (Alan Dershowitz, Martin Nowak, John Brockman, Steve Kosslyn, Lawrence Krauss) and so many institutions he helped fund (Harvard’s Program in Evolutionary Dynamics, ASU’s Origins Project, even Harvard Hillel) that I often ended up at the same place with him. (Most of these gatherings were prior to the revelation of his sex crimes, such as the 2002 plane trip to TED with Dawkins, Dennett, the Brockmans, and others, but Krauss’s Origins Project Meeting came after he served his sentence.) Since I was often the most recognizable person in the room, someone would snap a picture; some of them resurfaced this past week, circulated by people who disagree with me on various topics and apparently believe that the photos are effective arguments.

Apparently Epstein liked to be with prominent atheists.   Unfortunately, it would seem that Epstein's "science blog" has been taken down but I'm betting it would make interesting reading, though the Gawker piece casts doubt on him being the author of it.

*    Here's the Dersh on the evil of religion, according to "The Friendly Atheist"
Organized religion is always having to say you’re sorry for misunderstanding God’s will in the past. That has been the history of organized religions.
We’re sorry for the Crusades.
We’re sorry for the Inquisition.
We’re sorry that we slaughtered babies and children in the name of Jesus. We’re sorry for the pogroms.
We were wrong then. God didn’t speak to us clearly then.
But he speaks to us clearly today!
Of course, a list of the sins of the atheists, in which each and every item on that list could be matched with a corresponding sin of atheists AND WHICH ATHEISM DOESN'T START OUT BY FORBIDDING but the Monotheistic and other religions do forbid could be complied.  The Crusaders certainly violated the teachings of Jesus in the gospel in the epistles "those who live by the sword will die by the sword," the Inquisition (though you stood a lot better chance at getting off on accusations under the inquisition than you did any court in an official atheist country).   

I wondering if Dershowitz could show us a list of babies and children "slaughtered in the name of Jesus" - if he could tell us exactly when that happened and who did it.  Can anyone come up with actual incidents that match this because if he does I can certainly show him where Jesus said not to do things like that, as I can where he said that corrupting children - certainly including by raping them - was about as serious a sin as he ever identified.  I will, for the moment, withhold any mention of another of the listed pals of Epstein, Woody Allen though I will point out that Richard Dawkins got in some hot water for pooh-poohing the seriousness of pedophile abuse a while back. Not to mention his problems when it comes to treating women with respect.

If you're waiting for Dershowitz to ever, ever say he's sorry for his association and enabling of Jeffrey Epstein, helping him get out of a very likely life sentence so he could rape who knows how many more young girls, trafficking them to rich men, don't hold your breath, you need to breathe.  Being Dershowitz almost certainly means never having to say you're sorry before your next celebrity lawyering spot on TV.


Mercedes Sosa - Años

The nueva canción movement was, perhaps still is, one of the most significant artistic manifestations of the 20th century.  It might be the most significant one in terms of area of the world covered and the number of people it influenced.  And it is far, far more positive than modernism.  For one, it was an artistic movement dedicated to democracy and against gangster governments.   And its content, even when not overtly political is far deeper and more artistically profound than anything I'm aware of in popular music in English.   Even if I might have some reservations about the Marxism of some of its significant figure, it was generally an interpretation of Marxism that was anti-imperialist and for equality, if disappointing in dealing with the political exigencies of the time, most of those forced on the people in Latin America by the United States. 

Sueño con serpientes


Monday, July 15, 2019

Mercedes Sosa "Concierto Teatro Colón" (1986)

Almost ten years since she died, next October.  That was a sad day.  What a great artist. 

Exodus 1: 8-14 22 The Way Out Of The Rule Of Gangsters - Got too hot too early today so this is an early post

I was uncharitable to those who have bought into the "Microsoft is evil, Apple is good" PR that is the basis of the cult of the Mac industry.   I think they are largely the victims of the kind of anxious desire to be seen as virtuous, or good or, really, it gets down to being of more economic value and so if you present marketing in terms of good vs. evil as Apple certainly did, of being the heroine who will smash Big Brother when they were manufacturing their shiny, flashy, way overpriced products with quasi-slave labor under the giant figure of Mao or whichever successor gangster king was lording over China at the time.

Um, hum, I see.

One of my dear relatives, a sister-in-law, bought into that PR BS, a brilliant and good person who worked very hard in her professional life to make life better, the first in her family to go to university and get a PhD, who, I know, suffered the kind of anxiety I mention above, who wanted to do the right thing and, faced with the alternatives of the computer industry, unfortunately bought that false gospel.

Not that the PC industry is any more virtuous, it isn't.  This isn't a matter where virtue comes into it, it's a matter of profit making business.  There are no more virtuous choices I know of.   I'm not even sure my recent experiments with Linux and the charitable Raspberry Pi foundation could be justified, entirely, in making that claim for it.   Just as Google's motto "Don't be evil" hides the fact of things, so does any claim of virtue by any giant corporation does.  The vileness of the big players in the modern economy are, virtually all of them, totally amoral.  The "ethics" of business aren't to "don't be evil" they are to maximize profits for the owners.  That's the reason that Youtube will not really suppress neo-Nazi content as its algorithms steer people towards them* - if they really do that I will revise but I'm not expecting to need to - and they're only one such "artificially intelligence" driven machine of commerce.

Marxism, the great false hope of so many, turns out to be, in reality, just a similar thing with other PR claims.   After all, look where Macs and other computers and their components are made by quasi-slave labor.  Look at the results of Marxism in every country which has adopted that as its explanation for how they've been governed.  Look at how Russia couldn't manage to achieve democracy but quickly went from the corroded remnants of Marxism to overt gangster governance.  Other than some Youtubes made by Marxists pining for the good old bad old days under the Communist Party, no one else even in Putin led Russia wants to go back, why bother, they've got the latest in a series of gangster thug dictators in a string that didn't stop with the last official Czar but has continued in an unbroken line of them.


Today's Catholic liturgy begins the readings from the central core of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the Book of Exodus which starts like this (in my quick and rough dynamic translation):

A new king, who knew nothing of Jesus, came to power in the U.S.
He said to his subjects, "Look how numerous and powerful
the people of the children of Central America are growing, more so than we ourselves!

Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their immigration;
otherwise, in time of election they too may join the Democrats
to fight against us, and so take the country from us."

(Here the translation is more difficult because it involves U.S. colonial policy, the history of setting up gangsters to rule over them to force their labor growing bananas and other things and manufacturing instead of building granary cities, though those here unofficially certainly did that.  Migrant laborers picking our food is a more direct equivalent) 

The Republicans, then, dreaded the children of Central America
and reduced them to cruel treatment,
making life bitter for them with cruel treatment —the whole cruel fate of slaves.

Trump then commanded all his subjects,
"Take the children of the Central Americans, rip them from their mother's arms, from their fathers, from their tias and put them in concentration camps and if they die in disease and misery and squalor, meh!."

Exodus 1: 8-14 22 TCV

Listening to that passage from the very start of Exodus, early this morning,  awakened by the commentary and methods of Walter Brueggemann which makes the ancient texts ever new, ever illuminating, ever provocative,  I understood that the story wasn't just about things that happened thousands of years back, it's happening today, here, now and we are the Egyptians and Trump is Pharaoh - the gangster king of what, for now, is still the most powerful country in the world (or at least what the original authors knew of the world) and that is what the secularists junk in their so-called "enlightenment".   Trump's tweets about immigration, his campaign speeches to his racist base are exactly a translation of the claim of Pharaoh against the Children of Israel, the indifference of him and his base to the photo of a father and daughter drowned, to children tortured, sexually molested and left to die in Federal concentration camps is exactly equivalent to Pharaohs' order to drown the male babies of the Jews, in fact, it's crueler because it doesn't spare half of them as Pharaoh's order did.

Other translation are certainly possible, using other scenarios in which gangster governments oppress The People and dupe The People and divide and conquer The People and the conventional way of thinking doesn't free The People but only when they turn to God does that free them.  I have lost my faith this past twenty years watching the American left repeat the same stupid mistakes over and over and over again and I've come to realize it does that because it is based in a secularist materialist program that is not only ineffective, it is corrosive of the very thing that is necessary to get out of that rut.  Here is a way to get out of it.

*  Even with the best of good will (which they have yet to demonstrate) any algorithm based system that they might come up with will quickly be overcome by the intent of the neo-Nazis, fascists, Putinists, Xi-ist, etc. gang who hire the best and brightest to ratfuck everything.  It's an irony of the scientistic modern enlightenment which jettisons any idea of absolute morality that the "best and brightest" are often the ones who cast the most shadow over the world, doing their worst for money in support of gangster governance.   What's even more ironic is that it's the "freedom" of speech, of press, etc. who have played us right into their hands and still do, the best and brightest of them as can be seen on Rachel or Lawrence or on so many a lefty Youtube channel.   I'm trying to figure out the connections between RT and those lefty Youtube channels, especially those revolving around The Young Turks.  I'm beginning to think that just as we demand the tax records of Trump, we should demand they be entirely transparent as to their finances, personal as well as business, as if there's a difference when it's a Youtube channel.  That goes for the "Justice Democrats" who are tied in with them.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

I'm not getting enough work done in my garden.  Until the heat breaks I will not be posting before noon time Eastern Daylight Time in the United States.  Boston time.  I've got to get into the garden before it gets too hot to work.  Responding to trolls is suspended until at least September, more likely October.  

Update:  I'd have said "Meddybemps time" but thought Boston was probably a better known municipality.

OK, In Short

A. It gets down to Duncan claiming that it's the fault of Jesus and the people who try to follow his teachings because Mike Pence who claims to follow his teachings but who, most obviously and flagrantly, does not is a lying, hypocritical asshole.  

B. This is an example of the typical chop-logic of the college-credentialed and others in which a. Jesus is to blame for people who don't do the good things he told them to do but who b. IS to blame for those who do bad things he told them not to do.  And, also c. he is also not to be credited for those who do do the good things he told them to do.   

I am unaware of any other figure in human culture for who this is the case to this extent among allegedly educated people.  

And people think Duncan's a great thinker - He's got a PhD from one of the Ivys, afterall.  Which shows you the status of people who do this, which might be the majority of allegedly college educated Americans, at this point.  Why, they're almost as numerous as people who claim to be Christians but who have no intention of following The Lord as they Praise The Lord and make money off of PTL.  Almost as numerous but not as numerous.  Which is why those people win elections, using the Duncan Blacks of the world to discredit Democrats and liberals. 

Update:  Hey, Duncan Black has been sponsoring lies and libel against me since at least 2012, he still does today.  I blame him for what he keeps on his website, including what the commentators say.  Not to mention when he posts something as stupid as the piece this answers.  If he doesn't like when I push back against that, holding him responsible for what he publishes, to again quote the great Elizabeth Warren, "Good."

Unsolicited Mail

Apparently the Eschaton Brain Trust* doesn't think that Hillel was a religious figure.  I'd go into details of Duncan and his rump community on the topic of Christianity but it's too stupid and it would require a link which I will not give him for previously stated reasons .

Please stop sending me this crap. I, as anyone else who doesn't frequent that site, don't care.  I, for the life of me, can't understand why Hecate bothers with it, she actually does things in real life, the rest of them are a collection of slackers and aging cranks with a few certifiably ill People mixed in.  CD, for one, should be in custodial care.

* They really do call themselves one.

Tesla As Video Gamer God

One of the comments at that Tesla fantasy fan site I remember, slammed Einstein, not by any mathematical arguments or arguments based in physics but because "if it wasn't for Tesla we'd be reading Einstein's theory by candle light".   Apparently the dim wit didn't realize that many cities had been wired for electricity by direct current before Tesla got them to switch to AC power.  And, apparently, by extension, that argument would mean that all of physics done by candle and, more likely as the 19th century drew to a close and moved into the 20th century, by lamp light, had to give way under the mighty Tesla - or, rather, the pop-informed cartoon of him that is what most people mean when they talk about Tesla online.  

I wonder if that would include the work of Maxwell and Faraday, without whom Tesla would still be playing with Leyden jars.  

For the record, I doubt the dimwit who made that comment could manage the equations in the first chapter of most physics texts of any value.  

I could write a piece tying this in with the quote from Hans Kung about the reality of things desired, or their unreality.  But I'm procrastinating, there are weeds to be weeded. 

Tesla was a great, if erratic, engineer who is a good example of how a genius in one field is a total boob if they bloviate and opinionate outside of their specialty.  Some scientists, some very great, indeed, are wise enough to avoid doing that.  Many aren't.  

Update On More Recent Hate:  The cult of Mac over PCs is emblematic of a. the cargo-cult that secular modernism is, b. the triumph of PR over knowledge and experience (those suckers going back to the "genius bar" over and over again to buy crap that is not only many times more  expensive but less durable or repairable have to count as some of our most credulous dopes, today) and c. the desire of so many of them to have an all powerful, Mr. Wizard daddy figure in their lives.   Steve Jobs was a con-man who was a piece of shit in real life and one of the all time crappy dads.  Grow up.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Is It Any Wonder It Makes Me Feel Like I'm Mocking The Retarded If I Answer His Comments?

Comparing Hans Kung to Tim Minchin reminds me of the time I came across an online forum where people were condemning Einstein and his theories of relativity on the sound basis that their great hero, or, rather, their imagination of him, Nikola Tesla was a firm opponent of them and not on them having the slightest understanding of either except what they'd gleaned of Tesla's legend from, first and foremost, sci-fi and other presentations of him in entertainment, second, on the basis of the most vapid of pop history and biography.  As it was an online forum dedicated to the legend of Tesla, they were strongly anti-Einstein.   Needless to say, most of them, as Tesla apparently couldn't, could not navigate the mathematics needed to understand Einstein.  But at least both of those men had actually produced something in life other than a boring, pseudo-Brechtian (more like George Carlinian) pseudo-cabaret act that owes more to the movie of that name than it does anything else and which is entirely unchallenging and cowardly in the way so much atheist critique of religion instead of where the real power that does evil is. 

It was a lot like the online spats between the devotees of Macs and PCs when those got down to a battle of the legend of Bill Gates and Mr. i-god, himself, Steve Jobs.  As I've mentioned somewhere, recently, and, no doubt, here before, that when Jobs was breathing his last and his devotees were decrying that he died as the evil Bill Gates lived, someone, alas, not I, said, "Yeah because providing you with your next shiny new toy is a so more worthy way to spend your time than curing malaria."   Wish I'd said that  I just mocked them for being a bunch of over-the-hill atheist slackers worshiping i-god. 

Tim Minchin is the kind of guy who would "edit" their own Wikipedia bio - which I believe he did.  Who else would go on and on at such length about him.  He is a boring, dime-a-dozen superficial slammer of religion who entertains idiots of whom there are at least a dozen for every dime.

Update:  If your village is out of idiots, check at Eschaton, they've got one they don't seem to need.

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Ray Bradbury - Bradbury 13

This week, another when I'm not posting to a single drama but to a collection of them, Bradbury 13.   

Haven't listened to much of this,I'm not a huge science fiction fan and some of them are more suspense thrillers -  but I know several of you are.  They have a strong "golden age" production quality to them with professional actors but they are more recent and have a higher fi sound to them.

". . . just wishful thinking" - Hate Mail

Because I've got work to do outside, because he said it better than I can, because I found someone had posted the passage online so I don't have to type it out,  as I'm finding the more I read him (try reading, it works sometimes) Hans Kung said it all, refuting one of the real big-boys of atheism, not the jr. high CSICOP popularizer village tap room loudmouth bullshitters you cite.

Does this mean however that a psychological explanation of this kind is all that is to be said about the very complex problem of the "hereafter" or "eternal life"? Does recognition of the fact that psychological (or other) factors play a significant part in belief in an eternal life ipso facto exclude the possibility that these factors may be oriented to a real object, to a reality independent of our consciousness? Certainly the fact cannot be positively excluded (and this must be said for Feuerbach against all too hastily "transcendentally" deducing theologians) that perhaps in reality there is no object corresponding  to man's different needs, wishes, instincts, including his striving for happiness (in Scholastic theology known as the desiderium naturale beatitudinis), and that in death I am absorbed into the eternal repose of nothingness. Who knows anything definite in this respect? But neither can the possibility be a priori excluded (and this must be pointed out against a self-confident atheism) that in fact there is something real (however it is defined) corresponding to all these needs, wishes, instincts and also to the striving for happiness, and that I shall be elevated into an absolutely final reality. Who could a prior maintain the opposite?

To be more precise, could not the sense of dependence and the instinct of self-preservation have a very real ground, could could not our striving for happiness have a very real goal? And if—in my belief in eternal life, as in all knowing—I put, project into the object is purely the product of my imagination? A projection and no more than that? Could not perhaps some kind of transcendent object, some kind of hidden reality of God—however this may be defined—correspond to all the wishing, thinking and imagining involved in our belief?

"If the gods are products of wishful thinking, it does not follow that they are merely such: we cannot conclude from this either to their existence or to their nonexistence," explains the philosopher Eduard von Hartmann: "It is quite true that nothing exists merely because we wish it, but it is not true that something cannot exist if we wish it. Feuerbach's whole critique of religion and the whole proof of his atheism, however, rest on the single argument; that is, on a logical fallacy." This is more than an argument in formal logic. For I can also deduce psychologically my experience in the world, but this implies nothing against the existence of a world independent of me, as the reference point of my experiences; it provides no reasons for solipsism. And I can deduce psychologically my experience of God, but this implies nothing against the existence of a divine reality independent of me, as the reference point of all my needs and wishes; it is not a proof of atheism. In a word, something real can certainly correspond in reality to my psychological experience; a real God and a real eternal life—appearance and being—can certainly correspond to the wish for God and an eternal life. The conclusion is inescapable that, from this psychological viewpoint, Feuerbach's denial of eternal life remains a postulate. His atheism too is not above suspicion of being a projection.

Hans Kung:  Eternal Life?:  Life After Death As A Medical, Philosophical and Theological Problem. 

Unless Ayanna Pressley Publicly Rejects What AOC's Chief of Staff and She Have Said About Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Black Caucus - Being Repeated By The Play-Lefties Online - The CBC Were Right To Endorse Caupano Who Wouldn't Do Something So Stupidly Self-Defeating

I respect the members of the Congressional Black Caucus more than enough to take what they say about the Congressional Black Caucus and its members more seriously than the kind of white, youngish, brought up through the blogs "journalist" who wrote that piece.  I notice that she doesn't refute anything that was said by Representative Lacy Clay, who I suspect knows more about the situation of the members of the CBC and their prospects of success than she will ever know.  Apparently she didn't talk to Lacy Clay or anyone else but based her "journalistic" piece on tweets!   How new-new journalist of her.  I will deal with her at Splinter instead of Duncan Black who you sent me because he clipped the one thing that might have been accurate - or might not - in her piece and ignored the rest of it.  And I won't link to Duncan, anymore, for similar reasons to those stated last night and because, like the "Justice Democrats" he's a coward, slamming the best Democratic leader of the House in his lifetime and well back into mine instead of attacking Republicans in the Senate and House who are the real roadblock to taking down Trump.  If he were more energetic, not a lazy, affluent slacker, Black could serve as the poster boy of that idiocy.  Instead people like Sam Seder will have to do.  

So, no, I don't retract what I said.  The central criticism I made of AOC and, more so, her Chief of Staff and the group he co-founded, the "Justice Democrats" and other such groups is that they were attacking Democrats on the basis of the absurd unreality that they can get what they want NOW! or they're going to turn into the kind of asshole spoilers and splitters of what is a very varied and at many points fragile coalition WHICH IS THE ONLY ONE WE'VE GOT TO OPPOSE TRUMPIAN-REPUBLICAN FASCISM.   

The various entities which have been "lefts" in the history of lefty politics have always had this kind of a thing turn into a problem.  That is especially true when that "leftism" is forced by numbers to align itself with people who buy into secularism as an ideology. Once the traditional American liberalism which had some unifying basis in the social-justice at the core of Christianity, increasingly gave way to "enlightenment" secularism, it increasingly lacked that unifying core which was strong enough to lead to the sadly few instances when the American left did enormous things, the abolition of slavery, securing the right of Women to vote - though not yet to legal equality, no more than it has for People of Color. 

That's especially problematic for the left because what the left needs to do to promote equality and economic justice is much far more difficult, is is

a. only effectively done through religious conviction - the abolitionists, the suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, all had religious conviction as the propelling force that led to success, 

b. without religious belief lacks an effective force which effectively overcomes self-interest, indifference, lazy ennui and which gives people the discipline to engage in long, life long, and effective struggle.  The secular left's substitution for that, half-baked fantasies of things like "revolution" and excitingly violent "revolutionary" acts, inevitably becomes self defeating.

c. the American secular"left" has always shown itself to be far more interested in in-fighting internal turf battles than in getting anything done.  That's exactly what the "Justice Democrats" are doing in attacking the Congressional Black Caucus and Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats.  

I notice the "journalist" at Splinter doesn't refute what Lacy Clay said about that.  I assume she doesn't do that because she is smart enough to know she's got nutthin' or next to nutthin'  Instead she puts up a tweet which accuses the Congressional Black Caucus of having supported Mike Capuano - a member of the House Progressive Caucus with a solidly liberal voting record for his entire time in the House, who the Congressional Black Caucus knew was an ally of theirs in just about if not every case.   To criticize them for endorsing him over Ayanna Pressley for the nomination on the basis of race is juvenile and stupid. 

 I will note that when Pressley won the nomination, Mike Capuano was about as gracious a loser as I've ever seen, pledging his full support of her in the general election.  If, as I hope she will not, Pressley is making common cause with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's Chief of Staff in attacking members of the Congressional Black Caucus and AOC in accusing Nancy Pelosi making veiled accusations of racism, then the Congressional Black Caucus were right to endorse Capuano over her.  I hope and pray that Congresswoman Pressley will see that this is a situation that will do her and the Democrats and the fight for justice no good and will distance herself from it and point out to AOC that she and her Chief of Staff are doing exactly the wrong thing if getting something done is the goal instead of treating politics like an online fantasy sports league.

The "right" is, at its core, bound together by promoting the privilege of those who have the most to start with, the rich - who, under our corrupt "free press" have the most power - and affluent white men with whom so many other white voters who are also racist will side in so many cases.  Whiteness has been made into a privilege by custom and law and practice, and, increasingly by the majority on the Supreme Court. It's obvious in the white "evangelical" abandonment of their reading of Biblical morality to support the pagan Mammonism of Donald Trump that the right doesn't need Christianity of any real kind and exposes such "Christianity" as anti-Christianity, keeping some of the trappings but replacing its moral core with racism and the worship of money and quite able to put someone with Donald Trump's history and present in power.   As long as they can ratfuck our elections through broadcast lies and rigging electoral maps, they can keep that minority of white racists in control of the government and, so, the Supreme Court who will turn out to be their strongest tool in destroying democracy.   With the help of secular liberals who will do so on the basis of privileging lies and the liars who tell them fifty and more years after their "more speech" slogan failed to keep fascism at bay.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Someone Just Sent This To Me

Stupy says what?

Apparently someone is so far into his senectitude that he doesn't remember I already posted a refutation to him on that. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Deal With It, Bunky, AOC Is A Catholic

I have said that I'm worried that the ever fickle secular left will turn on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as soon as she fails to fulfill their entirely unrealistic pipe-dreams that her very impressive but quite atypical win in a rather atypical congressional district means the great lefty millennium (which ever version of that the deluded play-lefty wants) is at hand.  There has already been anger at her refusal to take futile and stupid stands on things like Nancy Pelosi's leadership which are as counter-productively stupid as they are childish.  The large majority of seasoned Democratic office holders support Nancy Pelosi BECAUSE NANCY PELOSI IS THE BEST DEMOCRATIC LEADER IN THE HOUSE IN MORE THAN FIFTY YEARS, AND ARGUABLY THE FARTHEST LEFT IN THE HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY. 

But that's not enough for play lefties in the secular lefty bubble of NYC or San Francisco or in Madison or other college towns or scribblers for the lefty mags and podcasters who live in a lefty la-la-land and are quite atypical of the real left in the United States.

I had a feeling this would turn into a problem for AOC because I read this short but brilliant article she wrote for America: The Jesuit Review last June.  Heck, forget the link, risking a cease and desist I'm going to post the whole thing.

Christ came to me emblazoned on the upper arm of my beloved cousin Marc. The blue-black ink danced between the bullet scars and stretch marks that graced my cousin’s upper body. Atop this crown-of-thorns depiction was a tattooed banner with the phrase “Only God Can Judge Me.”

I have never known Marc as a criminal. I have only known him as the largest and funniest member of my family. As a child, I saw this tattooed arm over and over again. It appeared at family cookouts turning a lechón (roasted pig) in its fifth hour, it held me steady on Marc’s broad lap, and it was revealed during the wintertime, when our pipes would hiss until the relentless heat would force us all to roll our sleeves as far up as they would go.

I remember reading his tattoo each time I saw it, trying to understand what it meant: Only God Can Judge Me. Innocence, in its mercy, partly excuses us from having to fully reckon with the spiritual gifts of forgiveness, grace and redemption at the heart of the Catechism: I believe in the forgiveness of sins.

Marc—like several men in my family—had been caught in the webbed threads of poverty, geography and lack of opportunity during the fever pitch of 1990s mass incarceration. Baggy-pant boys like him fit the descriptions of “super-predators” and “thugs” that dominated our national discourse at the time. Marc served his time, and has been out of the system ever since—a miraculous feat, given that over 75 percent of released state prisoners in the United States are rearrested within five years. Today he is a union worker and a happily married father of three successful children.

The still imprisoned are not so lucky. By virtually every measure, the United States incarcerates more of its people than any other nation in the world. When we look at the fuller picture of who we imprison, for how long and why, it may not be a stretch to conclude that our criminal justice system could very well benefit from a rite of penance of its own. There is overwhelming evidence that mass incarceration evolved as an outgrowth of Jim Crow laws, which itself was a system rooted in the subjugation of former slaves. According to legal scholar Michelle Alexander, there are more African-Americans under correctional control today than were enslaved in 1850—that is, before the Civil War.

When it comes to Latinos, the numbers are more confusing. While 40 states track race in their arrest records, only 15 states in the nation track ethnicity. This means that most states have little to no data on Latinos in the criminal justice system. We must also look at what imprisonment entails. Criminal justice reform must take into consideration factors including increasingly punitive Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations and the black-box detainment of immigrants and separated families; the ethics of solitary confinement; parole and probation; protecting due process; and the effects of incarceration on motherhood and mental health.

Discussions of reforming our criminal justice system demand us to ask philosophical and moral questions. What should be the ultimate goal of sentencing and incarceration? Is it punishment? Rehabilitation? Forgiveness? For Catholics, these questions tie directly to the heart of our faith.

Solutions are already beginning to take shape, which include unraveling the War on Drugs, reconsidering mandatory minimum sentencing and embracing a growing private prison abolition movement that urges us to reconsider the levels at which the United States pursues mass incarceration. No matter where these proposals take us, we should pursue such conversations with an openness to change and an aim to rehabilitate our brothers and sisters wherever possible and wherever necessary. By nature, a society that forgives and rehabilitates its people is a society that forgives and transforms itself. That takes a radical kind of love, a secret of which is given in the Lord’s Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And let us not forget the guiding principle of “the least among us” found in Matthew: that we are compelled to care for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick and, yes—the imprisoned.

What a different view of what atheist-secularist lefties might champion as the "lumpenproletariat" who were seen by Marx and Engels as useless dross and by later Marxists and Maoists as a raw resource that could be harnessed by the right leaders - really not much different from how Hitler saw them.   If "Democratic Socialists" are to ever amount to anything except yet another counter-productive leftist cult, they will have to adopt the, frankly, Monotheistic view of such people as People who are more than "the masses" more than an exploitable resource or the social-political equivalent of trash.   That later point of view is entirely compatible with materialism of all kinds, Nazi through Marxist, which are all forms of gangster government.  The only alternative to that is egalitarian democracy and that is incompatible with materialism.   Democratic Socialism, if it rejects that materialistic view of People, is quite compatible with AOC's Catholicism.  It says so in The Jesuit Review, after all.

Update:   Like I said before, I stopped posting his comments because I was brought up not to mock the retarded and refuting him inevitably feels like that.  

An Answer To A Question

I stopped posting links and Youtubes from Sam Seder and Majority Report over his Bernie Bro. attacks on Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and other Democrats with a chance of beating Donald Trump,  I have since then discovered his relationship and Ring of Fire's relationship to the Putin propaganda organ, RT.   I've not looked at all of the inter-locking associations between Majority Report and The Young Turks etc. but I will not post to anything or anyone I know has some tie-in with Putin propaganda media.  I stopped linking to The Nation on the same basis, the owner and her husband regularly posting Putin friendly propaganda at that august old, sometimes good, propaganda outfit.  I've not looked into it but suspect it's just a continuation of them either habitually and reflexively (sometimes snobbishly) posting anti-American pro-Soviet propaganda or posting it on the basis of . . . well, something that isn't publicly revealed.  I don't trust anyone or anything with that history or present. 

I don't especially trust anyone in the media, much.  Not those who get paid to do it.  No more than I do any other area of life.  I'm not giving any with a tie-in with RT or Putin propaganda any benefit of the doubt.   I also don't trust Bernie Bros, enablers of Trumpian fascism as certainly as Nader's Nutters were.

AOC Will Wise Up Or She Will Quickly Become The Republicans Best Friend In Congress

You have to wonder if the other three Congresswomen who are lumped in together with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Representatives, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley,  might, sometimes, at least, wish they could assert their independence from her. 

Somewhere online, here or somewhere else, I remember wondering what price the Democratic Party might eventually end up paying for having Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's dynamism, charisma and other political assets.   Well, we're paying.  

My misgivings about AOC, from the start, were tied to her association with the Democratic Socialists of America, a group which has, in its four decades, apparently produced one and only one political success of its own, her, and that depended, entirely, on her running as a Democrat in a seat secured by the Democratic Party and local democrats decades before she was born.  

The crowing about that one success reminded me of the crowing of Greens in Maine and, remarkably, around the country when they produced their apogee of political success, their one and only candidate who managed to be elected to a state legislature,  John Eder, who subsequently lost that seat in Portland, Maine,  one of the Greenest cities in the United States and who has been heard of almost not at all since then.*  The socialists and others on the play-left seemed to think her election was the start of the great new Socialist millennium on the strength of her winning as a Democrat in a safe Democratic seat - something which Nancy Pelosi pointed out that she had in common with her as she tried to explain things to her a while back.  

I was impressed with AOC's intelligence and energy and social-media chops as well as much else about her but I had early misgivings that she might believe or come to believe the hype the play-left was mounting around her.  I hoped that she would see through it to the fact that she was one vote in the House of Representatives and that any possible success she would have in actually doing something depended on the votes of Democrats who were not from safe seats, who represented people who were not enthusiastic for every part of the Democratic Socialists or the "Justice Democrats" or her largely affluent, white, mostly urban fan base's agenda.  That is if the shifting, at times contradicting emotional piques and enthusiasms of so many of that fandom can be called an agenda.  

This past few weeks, I don't think she's grown in realism while in office.  Or at least not enough to avoid the kind of thing she has generated as a problem for Democrats.  Look who is using the fight she and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti picked with Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats,  I mean, I read a lot of what  I've read about it in the frequently friggin' Republican tool box, The Hill.   
I agree with what Representative Lacy Clay said in slamming AOC and Chakrabarti and the "Justice Democrats" about the absurd accusation that Nancy Pelosi was singling out four Women of Color for criticism - Lacy Clay could probably teach AOC more about real racism and confronting and fighting it than she'll ever learn in her district.  

“What a weak argument, because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me,” Clay said. “I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares.

. . . “It shows you how weak their argument is when they have to resort and direct racist accusations toward Speaker Pelosi … it’s very disappointing to me,” Clay said.

Still, I like AOC and think she has a lot of potential.  But she only has that potential the extent to which she understands that her district, her fan base are a small fraction of even the Democratic Party, any of those not being Democrats NOT likely to help in passing any bill she wants to see made law.  In fact, given their behavior since their very limited success, her fan base is clearly going to hurt the chances of anything she wants to do.  That is assuming that splitting the Democratic Party and the Democratic Caucus of the House AND EVEN THE PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS isn't part of her agenda.  Though it certainly seems to be part of the "Justice Democrat's" agenda, as it has so much of the play-left composed mostly of white, affluent play-lefties. 

The Missouri Democrat also described Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti and the progressive group Justice Democrats as “juvenile” and “ignorant.”

The Justice Democrats have endorsed a progressive primary challenger against Clay and other centrist Democrats. Chakrabarti last week sent out a tweet comparing centrist Democrats to "new Southern Democrats" that "certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s."

“It shows you how ignorant and little history [Chakrabarti] knows, how ignorant he is to American history. How dare he,” Clay said.

“They’re missing the fact that we have a very thin margin of a majority that we’re operating under and apparently it doesn’t matter to Justice Democrats, they just want to get skins. They want to score points for whatever reason. But I find it juvenile, their tactics, I find their ignorance to be beyond belief about American history and about who are really segregationists. And so how dare they try to play the race card at this point, it shows you the weakness of their arguments.”

The energetic youth of AOC,  of her chief of staff, of so many of her most ardent fans is not an unalloyed virtue, no more than long experience is necessarily so, but to ignore the wisdom that comes with experinece is one of the stupidest things the young habitually do.  But the backfiring failure of these kinds of antics are exactly what the ever-Green idiocy of the play-left, even very old play-lefties never, ever seem to learn anything from.  Believe me, I remember the as full-of-themselves lefties from the time I was AOC's age, lots of them are now problematic fan-boys and gals of AOC and those led into unreality by her Chief of Staff.    

I think that safe in their bubble of tech-world, safe-district, affluence supported leftiness it takes a really exceptional person to see past it.   That AOC is now beholden to such idiocy, having been a participant in it as a Democratic Socialist, a "Justice Democrat" and a Bernie Sanders supporter is probably the thing that will make or break her career as a political doer instead of an empty symbol.   If she doesn't dump her Chief of Staff, to start with, I think she'll turn out to be a flash in the pan.  She could probably remain in Congress as such an ineffective flash-in-the-pan but Democrats are already talking about mounting a primary challenge to her in 2020.  There is no gurantee that even her district is entirely OK with what she's done in Congress.**  Which gets us back to where we started, with the other three Congresswomen lumped in with her.  They need to wonder if they want to be a part of that problem for the one and only party through which they'll ever actually do something while in Congress.  I have a suspicion that Ayanna Pressley, for one, will probably show faster that she understands the situation and is prepared to do something different, she has a lot less to overcome in the play-lefties of her base.  I don't know the other two or their districts so I don't know.

That the "Justice Democrats" have also picked a fight with the Congressional Black Caucus, seeking to unseat many of their members with decades worth of practical experience or replacing people who have proven they can win their districts for unproven, untested, in many cases likely unelectable "Justice Democrats" shows how really, really dangerous they are.  It's no wonder Nancy Pelosi, the most able and capable Democratic leader in decades has to speak down to them. 

* I believe that Eder still has the distinction of being the Green who attained election to the highest office in that fraudulent parties history.  Eder ran AS A DEMOCRAT! for the Maine 12th legislative district  in 2018 but lost the nomination spectacularly to Victoria Foley who went on to win the seat, spectacularly.   The goddamned quisling Jill Stein and the Greens need to be crushed, exposing the reason she was at that infamous RT dinner with Michael Flynn and Vladimir Putin is essential.  

**  Given the history of the play-left in Democratic politics,  if I were in her district, I'd get AOC AND EVERY OTHER DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN on record as pledging their support to whoever wins the nomination of the Democratic Party members.  Given her origin in the Bernie Sanders campaign, where her Chief of Staff also came from, given the Democratic Socialists' past endorsement of Ralph Nader against the Democratic nominee, it's especially necessary to force their public commitment to supporting Democratic candidates and not running against them, risking becoming the spoilers that play-lefties have been.  I would say that the left AOC is from has had their most significant political impact in acting as spoiler-enablers of Republican-fascism.

Could Judges Clean Up The Scandal Of The Legal System By Suppressing Lies Told By Lawyers And Judges?

In illustration of what I said yesterday about the role that the habitual corruptions embedded in the legal profession and judicial apparatus which derives from it are in serious need of reform, lawyers who lie, especially in a. legal filings, b. in lobbying the public through TV and radio and less effective media should be punished and should be barred from working as lawyers or appointed as judges.  

In discussing the latest news about Jeffrey Epstein's arrest and the attempts of his lawyers to get the child rapist out of jail, two lawyers, Lawrence O'Donnell and Mimi Rocah discussed one of Epstein's big-deal lawyer, Reid Weingarten blatantly lying TO THE JUDGE about even the very law under which Epstein has finally been arrested, claiming that what he is accused of doing (what he is certainly confirmed as admitting doing by the illegal Florida plea agreement) wasn't covered by the law he's accused of breaking.   If there is any doubt that Reid Weingarten was lying in a filing to the court on that point, O'Donnell read the law which lists what is covered, a number of which are exactly what Epstein is accused of doing to dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of children. 

What I found especially telling in the discussion between O'Donnell and Rocah - who used to be an Assistant U. S. Attorney working in the Southern New York District -  was that they more or less said that the expectation of success of such defense attorney lies was seriously hampered by the chance assignment of the judge in this case having previously spoken out against the injustice of allowing the super-rich to get out of jail because they have resources that poor People don't have.  Such equal justice under the law should not be a matter of mere chance, though it certainly is.   If, by chance, a judge who was one of the many, many judges who are predisposed to give such privileges to the rich, that would certainly not be the case and many such judges are certainly ready to hide behind the kind of lies that Weingarten told in his filing.  I doubt that high-priced lawyers with that much experience lie just for the pleasure they get from lying at those per-hour fees, they do it because they know that with many judges and "justices" such lies give them outs for doing the most unjust things.  I can imagine such successful lying might become a habit if it works enough, it certainly has turned into a habitual expectation when dealing with "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW," as the lie over the facade of the Supreme Court building puts it.

Similar lies are behind the outrageous sweet-heart deal that Alex Acosta, as a Republican-appointed Federal Attorney in one of the states which are cesspools of corruption, Florida came to in private with Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers, including, certainly, the TV-Harvard lawyer implicated in Epstein's crimes, Alan Dershowitz.  

The blatant injustice of the legal system leads directly to things like the disrepute that lawyers and judges and the law, itself, are held in are, in so many cases, fueled by the permission they give each other and themselves to lie through their teeth.   That is obvious in even the relatively virtuous truth telling that O'Donnell and Rocah engage in when they excuse the lies of Weingarten as being "good" defense lawyering.   What is good about it is clearly not good for the truth or justice, it is certainly not good for equal justice under the law because expensive, high-power lawyers held in high esteem are so much more likely to lie to get rich criminals off, Alan Dershowitz has made his claim to fame on such TV lawyering on behalf of Trump and a series of wife murderers and, now, child rapists - don't forget the provision in his agreement with Acosta that, bizarrely, exonerates any possible co-rapists associated with Epstein. 

There is every rational reason to abolish such free lying by lawyers, certainly in the filings they make with courts - if judges could punish them for that, I don't know - and which they tell to the public on behalf of their guilty, corrupt clients.  That kind of lying is routine for those with the money to buy it, FOX is full to the top and overflowing with such lying, several of their more prominent lawyer-celebrities have made a career of pushing such lying to the public to ever lower depths, some of them having worked as Republican appointees and having associations with elite universities.  

The law in the United States, the judicial system, is held in entirely higher regard than it deserves.   A good part of that is the phony aura of quasi-religious awe it is presented in by the allegedly superior media - NPR, Nina Totenberg, I'm talking about you.   But as long as this kind of blatant lying is a a typical, casually expected part of it, the legal-judicial system is one of the major venues of corruption of American democracy.  Something should be done about that.  If judges were forced to stop accepting the lies of high-price and other lawyers, if law associations and the professional establishment of the law didn't allow it, there would be a hell of a lot less injustice around than there is.

Technical Difficulties - Please Stand By or at least try again later

Something weird is going on with Blogger this morning.  I'm trying to fix the piece I wrote, which seem to be reproducing itself on the page, so far one page worth turning into 14 pages.  Strange. 

I'll try to post later.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci, & Brian Blade


Danilo Pérez, piano

John Patitucci,  bass

Brian Blade, drums

Republicans Don't Deserve A Presumption Of Innocence, I Don't Intend To Give Them One

William Barr, Alex Acosta, the Republican-fascists on the Supreme Court and other courts don't provide rule of law and equal justice under the law, they have no right to expect us to give them a status of assumptions of innocence they deny to others.  In case you need to be reminded, that includes babies and children being held in abusive, negligent and criminal conditions by the Trump regime they all serve.  

I'm not a friggin' court of law, I get to decide what standards I think their crimes of inequality and injustice warrant treating them with outside of a trial, and, by extension, how to think about William Barr's dead father.  I think the most plausible speculation is that Epstein blackmailed him as I believe he blackmails other powerful men who he provides young girls to rape, I believe that is the most plausible explanation of how he got his job at the Dalton School, I'll bet there are people still around who know the details of that and they're covering up because that's what the people who run in those circles do,  they are some of the worst slime around.

I can only think of a limited number of reasons Donald Barr would have hired the clearly unqualified Jeffrey Epstein to teach at the Dalton school, of those that Epstein knew stuff about Donald Barr that led to him giving him a job he wasn't qualified for and which we now know was right up his line of raping underage girls, there is every reason to suspect that he was probably up to that or something similar then, I would expect that Donald Barr, if the speculation about blackmail is right, was vulnerable in that area as well.  

Given the standards of his conduct, if William Barr doesn't like those kinds of speculations being made about his late father, I'll revise when he revises his conduct in public office and out.  

These people don't have any right to The Peoples' presumption of innocence, no Republicans do as they enable an support Trumpian depravity and criminality.  If that makes pseudo-liberals and pseudo-lefties upset, they can go sulk somewhere else.  If it makes Republicans unhappy, to quote Elizabeth Warren in another context, "Good."

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

They'll Note The Peril We Are In From Broadcast Lies But Refuse To Admit The One Thing That Needs To Be Done To Remove That Peril

Just last night on Chris Hayes' show on MSNBC, he had on David Corn talking about Michael Flynn going back on his plea agreement to lie to investigators even as the judge in one of the cases he's involved in gave that as a condition for him getting more lenient sentencing.  Over and over and over again David Corn cited the lies of FOX and Breitbart and Daily Caller and other fascist media as being more than a clear and present danger to American democracy and the rule of law.  Never once did I hear either of those journalists, one from The Nation, the other from Mother Jones magazine come anywhere close to the obvious conclusion that those lies are dangerous enough so the government of, by and for, The People and, even more so THE PEOPLE had a compelling interest in suppressing those lies and punishing the liars who endanger the very democracy, the very rule of laws and not of gangster strongmen by their broadcast lies.

As I noted in my earlier piece today, the culture of journalism is allergic to the idea that lies like the one that brought Trump to power and keeps him there should not be protected, that there is no right to lie, especially in the mass media.   That habit of thought, clearly, holds the privileges of the press, the media in higher value than egalitarian democracy, the right of The People to accurate information sufficient for them to know the truth, the truth that makes freedom a possibility,  government by an informed public and a legitimate government of duly adopted and approved laws by a government that represents The People and their interests over the privileges of oligarchs and gangsters.  

I would like to be able to name a professional journalist who sees the problem with the required POV of their profession on these matters but I can't think of a single one who does, though I could name hundreds, at this point, who decry the influence of the lies that the media creates and spreads and the danger they bring.