Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Last Word On This For The Year

If countries have a "right to exist" then all of those awful countries I named have a "right to exist" the  Großdeutsches Reich would have to have had a "right to exist" and my parents as well as all of the other millions who fought to destroy it were committing an immoral act.  And if Simps doesn't want to admit what they did was right he can fuck himself into the flames of hell with his own head which he doesn't seem to have much of a need of, in any case.  And that goes for his tag team buddies, too. 

States can have legitimacy, based on the just consent of the governed, states cannot have rights.  The government, the ruler of a state doesn't have a right to hold an office, they have the privilege to serve as  public servants.  And it's too dangerous to even consider it a privilege, it should be considered a temporary obligation based on honorable performance of their chosen obligations.  We'd all be safer if that was the language that was used instead of the misapplication and misunderstanding of the language of "rights".  I will note, in a quick review of the concept of "states right to exist" the use of the term is pretty dodgy, vague and very popular with some pretty shady characters. 

Israel is just another country, it's not in any way a special entity.  It has been a country under the increasingly strong hold of fascism since about 1977, as the Jewish scholars in that open letter warning of just such a thing predicted in 1948.  They were right.  Something I came to see with the assassination of the last decent PM they had Yitzhak Rabin.  I will never, ever say that the Likud state has any right to exist anymore than I would say the Kim regime or the Saudi state has a right to exist.   I don't even hold that the United States holds such rights, The People hold rights and, as it says in the founding document of my country, the United States, 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government

Governments are artificial entites created by people, they are not created by God, people have the ability to lend legitimacy to a government of, by and for, THE PEOPLE, The People do not have the power to create rights.  That is clear in the argument because it notes that The People have the right to dissolve a state and form a new one.  

The People have the rights, the state does not.  There are problems with some of the text but that is something they got absolutely right.  

Update:  "Post-modernism" is another such term that is inapt.  Post-modernism is a development of the secular-scientistic modernism I'm talking about and it was, as well, anticipated in many respects by Nietzsche, who I despise but who understood as just about no one else did the consequences of buying the ideas of the enlightenment, which produce such darkness.   I'm talking about scrapping the things that led to those. 

Update 2:  Stupy tried to make a syllogistic argument, the results are hilarious.  I'd post it but I don't want to add to the level of ignorance and irrationality, the world is overburdened with those. 

How Are You Celebrating The New Year?

Thought I might put up a calendar.  But I'll wait till tomorrow morning.  I wouldn't want to jinx things by anticipating it.  I'd hate to wake up and find out it was still 2019. 

Maybe I'll go crazy and write the new year on my first ten checks.  By the time I've used them maybe I'll get used to writing it.  And you guys think I don't know how to have fun. 

I will not be staying up though I suspect the idiots around here will be setting off fireworks.  I will not be muttering "Imagine" though I might be muttering something saltier. 

If Democrats win the election with a half-decent candidate,  I'll celebrate on the day Trump is out and on the lam.  I hope to see him perp walked with a chorus line of his cronies and corrupt brats. 

End Of Year 2019 - Charles Pierce - You Should Stop Wondering - Your Suspicion Is Correct

This is the year now in which we decide for the foreseeable future what kind of government we want. But, while we’re making up our woolly minds about it, the world is rolling on. Australia literally is burning down. In Europe, the EU is falling apart and people are slapping on armbands again. The Middle East is what it’s been for 40 years—a hot, angry region in which we truly have no place and no idea what to do there. This is a really bad time for American democracy to be deciding whether it wants to go into the future merely as an extended exercise in performance art.

Optimism is not exactly something that’s just lying around on the floor, waiting to be picked up. It’s something we have to work for again. It’s a heavy lift, but a necessary one. All we have as we enter 2020 is, well, us. In 1979, I was just starting out in this racket and there was so much I didn’t know about anything. As 2019 ends, I have come to wonder if everything I’ve learned is wrong. An open question for the opening of the new year. Comfort and joy to you all from all of us.

Charles Pierce As 2019 Ends, I Have to Wonder Whether Everything I've Learned Is Wrong  Optimism is something we have to work for again.

I am sure I would risk offending if I were to say outright that modern thought is a failed project.  Still, clearly it partakes as much of error as the worst thinking that it has displaced.

Marilynne Robinson:  The Death of Adam:  Darwinism

The Robinson quote gives the estimable Mr. Pierce his answer.  It is also an example of what I said this morning about all of our most piously recited secular-civic faith which is as good an example of the failed project, modernism, as anything.  By "modernism" I'm, of course, not talking about music ("modernism" doesn't really work for music) or as much the visual arts, though any which use text might have some modernism in their content.  I'm talking about the scientific-secular world view which dominates everything and has for generations.  

I didn't realize the other day when I said that those who figured I wanted to return to some pre-"enlightenment" past believed that's what I meant, they were wrong.   The "enlightenement" is a highly flawed, deeply mistaken response to what came before it - all human intellectual movements are flawed and deeply mistaken responses, none of those in the past is worth trying to repeat, though there may be much to learn from them in a positive sense as well as in what not to retry.  

We fetishize something we call "freedom" and as in several of the other words I've noted problems with,  "freedom" is one of the most seriously in need of consideration.  There is nothing good about a libertarian, libertine, freedom such as we are governed by in the post-WWII period.

I find it incredible that we have the perfect example of a specimen of complete personal freedom such as the kind we imagine we hanker after in "democracy" in the post-war, modernist period in Donald Trump and that example of this kind of dystopian freedom isn't more fully understood after this many years of seeing him in action. 

He is a man who has done exactly what he has wanted to, using his daddy's gangster money and money they've conned and stolen from banks which - no doubt due to heavy government subsidy - have allowed him to go on a spree of borrowing, bankruptcy, borrowing from other, ever more shady lenders - living large, what is called in one of the most detestable of post-war ballads "The good-life."  Only not so much on having friends as people eager to benefit from association with him and who he uses before he discards them.  

I could go on and on and on describing how the 12-year-old boy brat good-life of Donald Trump and how the law, big business, the whole edifice of unillegalized theft and graft which is the crown of cirremt capitalist-liberalism (the mature form of that "enligthenment" 18th century secular horror that goes by the word "liberalism"  support him.  It's a decades, two-generations and counting quintessence of total libertarian  freedom as only rich, white, Americans can perfect it, though rich white and a few non-whites in the wider world of 2100 billionaires can provide other examples of the type. 

And most telling of all,  Donald Trump, the Donald Trump that millions of Americans voted for, is a 100% creation of the freest of free-presses in the freest of free-speech regimes in history, under the Warren Court, ACLU notion  of free speech-free press. 

That his major vehicle to the presidency was something called a REALITY SHOW, a "REALITY" which was a totally phony, scripted presentation of the gangster-businessman that he played in "real life" only as propped up by gangster lawyers and others and as supported by the national and, especially New York City media.  The phony "reality" scripted and planned to attract the most easily gulled eyes to sell advertising, using all of the deceptive methods of the PR and ad industry to do that. 

Yet people were shocked at how fast the post-truth nature of the Trump years have been made normal to those trained by TV viewing to accept such "reality."  

Modernism, many of its assumptions, from the most obviously scuzzy and sleazy to its loftiest sounding mistakes is unsustainable, it is certainly destructive of egalitarian democracy, economic justice and a livable environment.  

 That definition of "freedom" and, even more so "liberty" not to mention such other things as "relativity" are dangerously flawed 

So is the bizarre notion of "fairness" in which some of the worst desires of some of the worst of us are to be allowed and permitted and promoted and encouraged out of "fairness" not to mention the use of the term by the media in order to promote Trumpian lies, especially when called "balance".  Which is a method of the "press" the media lying for its own benefit.   

Those are what brought us here.

We are living the inversion of values that Nietzsche predicted would come with the triumph of materialist-atheist-scientism, which he welcomed.  And which is going to kill us all - as Mr. Pierce asks,  have you been watching Australia this month?  

It doesn't work and there is no going back.   What modernism replaced didn't work, we have no choice but to go on to a future learning the disaster we have wrought in the name of freedom and fairness.  Though those were only ever a cover up for the interests of the billionaire owners and the millionaire employees of the media.  They sounded better than what they were really up to. 

I'm not optimistic that we will change fast enough to avoid our own extinction and certainly not the extinction of myriads of other species.  But we have to try, we have an obligation to try.  

Trump is still there, so is Boris Johnson and Viktor Orban etc. Putin, the puppet master of the West under unlimited free speech-free press is still jerking us around as we still pretend it's the late 18th century.  Goddamned slave-owner-businessmen-banker founders. 

Absolutely Needed Before The Iowa Caucus - A Constitutional Amendment Banning People Over 75 As President

Joe Biden says he would consider a Republican for his running mate

And don't get me started on Bernie and Bloomberg.   It would also mean that Trump would have to resign if that went into effect and he gets in again.   You can throw in the Supreme Court, too.  It's absurd that those people with a foot in the grave get to make the impossible to fix judicially made law for the next three generations.   Or we could just get rid of government by judiciary.   

We Will Adapt Giving Up Our Most Treasured Slogans and Habits Or Democracy Is Done For

I have become increasingly alarmed at how the habits of Constitutional law and culture of the "First Amendment" kind have left us totally open to attack using lies, slander, libel and coordinated neo-Nazi-fascist-post-Marxist attacks.  Democracy cannot live with allowing the liberties to media, social media, individuals to do what computers and the internet and media consolidation has made possible.  We will either find a way to accommodate the right of the media to tell the truth to that new reality or the granted freedom to lie with impunity will destroy that right to tell the truth along with all of the other necessary components of egalitarian democracy.

This piece from Chris Hays show is especially alarming, showing how the neo-Nazi Gorka has hold of the mind of the mentally deficient media-created Trump, which controls our news media which doesn't change its habits to meet that reality. 

Our legal and cultural habits have not really even accommodated themselves to the mid-20th century media, the Supreme Court and other precedents set then have already brought us to this crisis made even worse by the internet.  We will either change those habits and laws drastically to meet the dangers to democracy or democracy is finished.  And it can't be done while maintaining those free-speech-free-press absolutist postures because those are what got us here. 

Why I Am Now Reluctant To Make Common Cause With Atheists

The problem with the common use of "The Mortara Case" is that  people want to have it every which way except any honest way.   They want Egardo Mortara to be a Jew when he's a child too young to have his own thoughts but when he's an adult with no signs of mental illness and clear signs of intellectual acuity, he's a brain-washed Jew who can't be trusted to speak for himself about the one thing that he is the supreme authority of, his own life.   His own evaluation of his own life is to count as nothing as compared to people like a dishonest professional scribbler on the make and a playwright who wants to write a polemical play using the novel said scribbler wrote to do it.  

I'm prepared to see if Kushner has done an honest job of it but I think the facts of the case make a dramatic or a fictional piece about it the worst possible ways to deal with it.  It doesn't work as either.  For the Atlantic to ask the novelist to review the published translation of the memoir was grotesque for the reasons I stated.   A novel would make more dishonest use of  the people involved than the transgressions of the translator are alleged to have.  I have become ever more an opponent of using real history and real people as the stuff of novels and plays and scripts.   Real history has a hard enough time being honest about them.   I like Kushner's work the best when it can't, possibly be mistaken as history, he has proven you can use real people honestly when you make it unrealistic but it's when it's presented as ersatz reality that it quickly goes bad. 

My own take on it doesn't work neatly as narration or as a satisfying dramatic arch.  What Pius IX and his henchmen did was wrong - certainly a wrong that doesn't compare to what is honestly called "antisemitism" because the boy was well treated and given a first rate education and was taken in as a valued member of the then current structure of the Catholic church.  I of course think his parents were wronged, having their child taken from them with no good reason and for a very bad reason.  I hold all of those within my thinking about the case while, at the same time, holding that the person most in question, Egardo Mortara, when he left his thoughts on it, doesn't hold he was wronged.  He doesn't even seem to think his parents were wronged, though that's a good example of how even he doesn't get to speak for them in disagreement over himself.  Parents and children often have opposing views of their shared experiences.  

It's too complicated to work as fiction, admitted or not admitted.  If that fiction is presented as history, it's a lie.  Mixing in polemical use of it makes it a huge lie. 

As I pointed out if, in early life, he fell under the influence of atheists who alienated him from the religion of his parents, you'd hold his brain-washers up as heroes of free thought - though if he were converted to materialism, he almost certainly could not believe that free thought was possible and that everything that had happened to him, everything his abductors and "brain-washers" had done would have not been their free choice but would have been merely the results of their position on a line of material causation.  In which case assigning them guilt is irrational.   

What's funny is that there have been no greater enemies of the Jewish religious tradition than atheists, many of the most vicious attacks on Judaism have come from "secular Jews" who get on the atheism hobby horse.  The Mortara Case has been something such atheists have used to the max against their other great enemy, Catholicism.  And in that, they make the same kind of use of the real people involved.  What their beef is with someone alienating a Jewish kid from their religion has nothing to do with the beliefs of his parents and everything to do with the fact that the one who did it was probably the most mentally unstable Pope of the modern era, the symbol of a religion they hate even more than Judaism.  As I've pointed out the irony of that is that the majority of people in the world, today, who take the Jewish religious tradition the most seriously are, by an enormous percent, Christians, Catholics being the largest subset of that set.   In the post-Vatican II era, I think the Jewish tradition has been taken more seriously than it would have been since the period in which at least two of the earliest Popes would almost certainly have considered themselves Jews,  St. Peter and St. Evaristus who died around 107.  I'd be curious to know who the earliest Pope to call himself a "Christian" was, which was the first to call himself a "Catholic".   I would imagine that most of the earliest ones held that in Christ there was no gentile or Jew, as Paul taught. 

It's a different world after Vatican II, after the post-war examination of conscience that happened in many Christian churches, though not one that reactionaries on any side are happy with.  They all want to go backwards. 

I remember at your ol' stuping grounds, Eschaton, during one session of the resident atheists partaking of the 00's atheist fashion of slamming circumcision - clearly a thinly veiled attack on Jewish religion - I as a gay man pointed out that there were health benefits to the practice, citing the WHO papers that said it helped protect people against the spread of HIV and other STDs.  I also mentioned that as the practice was an intrinsic part of the Jewish religion,  banning the practice could very well be seen as a ban on the Jewish religion.  I believe I may have mentioned Islam in that regard, as well, though I understand that it's just a widespread custom and not a definitive practice for Muslims.  I remember having to tell one of the atheist-gals there who went on what a terrible, horrible thing it was - how she was supposed to know, I don't think I did more but wonder - that I'd been circumcised and it never impinged on my enjoyment of life.  Never discussed with my mother why she'd have made that choice, we didn't discuss such stuff in my family.  We are Irish.  And it would have been her decision, she being the health professional in the family.  I doubt she'd have had the discussion with my father, he would never have wanted to talk about it.  He was half-English. 

Naw, atheism is inherently dishonest and irrational.  That's what comes of things inhereing to people by human choice instead of God's.   I'd never have thought so before the "new-atheism"  was a fad starting almost two decades ago. which forced me to really look into its claims and practices and intellectual product closely.  I started the new millenium figuring it was just an aggressive form of agnosticism that we on the left had to accommodate.  But it's really a lot worse than that and as I end this second decade of it, I think it's something the left has got to dump or it will never, ever succeed.  It, as an almost uniformly materialist, scientistic ideology,  is inherently in opposition to the traditional,  American egalitarian-democratic, economic-justice left and it always will be.  We dump it or it drags us ever downward.  

Monday, December 30, 2019

And A Horses Ass Shall Lead Them

If states have rights to exist:

The Kim regime in North Korea has a right to exist,

The House of Saud state has a right to exist,

The Confederate States of America had a right to exist,

The Großdeutsches Reich had a right to exist. And a future one would also have one.

"States rights" as articulated by the neo-Confederate racist scum of the United States must be entertained to be legitimate

and I will never, if I live to be see the decay of every last proton pretend they ever did. 

The concept of states having rights is ridiculous and the senile seniors of the Eschaton play-group are the biggest bunch of idiots asserting that they're geniuses on the play-left. 

And At The Closing . . . I'm Told I Have Super Powers, No, Really

Oooh, I never suspected I had that power to "grant the state of Israel the right to exist."  I'm sure it'll be a shock to Israelis, Palestinians, etc. to realize all this time I had that power to grant Israel the right to exist.   Remarkable that they've been waitin' on me all these years.  I'll bet they haven't been waiting up nights, though. 

States don't have rights, rights only inhere to living beings and the only One who can "grant" rights is God.  

You might think that's who you are, I know I'm not. I am not stupid enough or egotistical enough to believe that anything I would have to say in that area is of the least importance to anyone.  

That the OCD liar who has been trolling me all these years believes that someone has that power says everything about the size of his ego as it does the puniness of his mind.  

I might have to bring up the Mop Heads and the stupidest of songs, "Imagine" again.  

Imagine no John Lennon,  I know it's hard but try,  No insipid droning,  Silly words that lie, Imagine no possessions?  Right. John and Yoko? Dry? . . . 

Biggest phony in the last sixty years.  Remember that when they have some mediocre adenoidal adolescent loser chanting that as the dumb ball drops.  The only reason Americans sing that is that they don't teach them how to sing in school.  It's about the most piss poor excuse for a melody and words in the English language. 

Update:  Like I said, here's my answer.

Image result for annie hall what an asshole

Blah, blah.

So far he hasn't said anything. 

You know what's REALLY ironic, the very thing that Simps slams me as an antisemite for is the very same thing that has gotten Tony Kushner slammed the most, criticism of the Israeli government and the injustice done to Palestinians by Israel.  CUNY was the center of a big stink over it, as I recall. 

Another irony is that when Tony Kushner wrote his "six word memoir" it could have served as mine as well, "At least I never voted Republican."  Though if I wrote my own it would read, "Why'd you want to know that?"  I probably have more in common with Kushner than any straight guy. 

I can respect someone while I have huge disagreements with them, I'm a grown up.  I respect Kushner's work in so far as it is presented in a way that wouldn't be mistaken for historical fact by the ignorant on a scale of from college-credentialed to probably wouldn't watch a movie based on a Kushner script levels of unsophistication.  

As to threats, what are they going to do to me?   Not read me?  Because they already do that to me.   I don't care, let them not read at me to the best of their inability.  

More On The Hanukkah Party Stabber

Mental illness is a common enough thing that it is amazing so many people don't realize mentally ill people consume media as much as those not so deemed ill do.  It further astonishes me that they don't figure some mentally ill people would likely be MORE LIKELY TO INTERNALIZE AND ACT ON ENCOURAGEMENT TO VIOLENCE AS ENCOURAGED ON TV, IN MOVIES, ONLINE, ETC. THAN THOSE WHOSE ALLEGED SANITY IS DEEMED SUCH BECAUSE THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THEY AREN'T TO DO SUCH THINGS!  

Every TV show, every piece of cabloid crap, hate talk radio, thriller crap has a percentage of people in the audience that will be susceptible to taking it seriously just as every soap opera had people in its audience who believed the actors were the 2-dimensional characters they were portraying.   And sometimes it's with the encouragment of the actors and their PR.  I was as big a sucker for believing in the Tracey-Hepburn romance which was, we are now told, a constructed cover for their mutual bi-sexuality.  That they supposedly met in George Cukor's pool house where Tracey lived away from his family wasn't even enough of a clue before Scotty Bower spilled the beans.  But I digress only to prove how vulnerable all of us are to buying lies that they peddle. 

The entertainment industry is grotesquely irresponsible because it is given complete immunity from having to be answerable because, you know, "First amendment". 

That the Hanukkah party stabber is, as well, another in a long line of those who are on the streets of New York (and around the country)  thanks to Nelson Rockefeller wanting to dump the mentally ill on the streets and 1960s Ken Kesey crap that romanticized mental illness does nothing to weaken my point.  

He got the idea to do it from somewhere, most mentally ill people are far more likely to be victims of violence, much of it done by those who aren't deemed mentally ill, than to commit violence. There was something that incited him to feel he should kill people.  That wasn't a given of him being mentally ill.  The mentally ill people I knew and know best are safer than harmless and extremely vulnerable, more likely to be victims of violence, not homicidal.   Most of them are quite good people. 


You don't understand exactly what it is to compare people to animals in a commercial breeding operation as Darwinists were so much at ease with doing, no doubt the original ones based in the habits they gained as members of the favored class of the British class system, no doubt their American analogs, in many cases, based in habits of thought retained from legal slavery, de facto-Jim Crow inequality and the slaughter of the native inhabitants of the Americas. 

Maybe the 19th early 20th century Maine Poet Holman F. Day can give you a clue as to what the country squire Darwin whose work made him a close observer of such animal breeding operations was advocating be done to human beings, children being an especially obsessive focus of the Darwinists' cold eyes. 

It's a jolly sort of season, is the spring — is the spring,
And there isn't any reason for not feeling like a king.
The sun has got flirtatious and he kisses Mistress Maine,
And she pouts her lips, a-saying, " Mister, can't you come again? "
The hens are all a-laying, the potatoes sprouting well,
And fodder spent so nicely that I'll have some hay to sell.
But when I get to feeling just as well as I can feel,
All to once it comes across me that I've got them calves to veal.

Oh! I can't go in the stanchion, look them mothers in the eye,
For I'm meditatin' murder; planning how their calves must die.
Every time them little shavers grab a teat, it wrings my heart,
— Hate to see 'em all so happy, for them cows and calves must part.
That's the reason I'm so mournful; that's the reason in the spring
I go feeling just like Nero or some other wicked thing,
For I have to slash and slaughter; have to set an iron heel
On the feelings of them mothers; I have got them calves to veal.

Spring is happy for the poet and the lover and the girl,
But the farmer has to do things that will make his harslet curl.
And the thing that hits me hardest is to stand the lonesome moos
Of that stanchion full of critters when they find they're going to lose
Little Spark-face, Little Brindle — when the time has come to part,
And the calves go off a-blatting in a butcher's rattling cart.
Though the cash the butcher pays me sort of smooths things up and salves
All the really rawest feeling when I sell them little calves,
Still I'm mournful in the springtime; knocks me off my even keel,
Seeing suffering around me when I have them calves to veal. 

No doubt the elite, college educated, modern, enlightenment era men of science would sniff or scoff at the educated bumpkin's sentiments.  

Several of the things I've read analyzing the murders of the Nazis noted they were especially interested in killing as many children as they could. I don't think that's unrelated to what happens in a farm breeding operation. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Double-Speak - Even The Best People Do It

Now, people who have read what I post here will know I like Tony Kushner and admire his abilities as a writer a thinker and a dramatist and consider him possibly the best living American playwright.  Though I have had my criticisms of him as well, flowing mostly from the fact that writing a play isn't writing non-fiction.  I am troubled by even his relatively modest alteration of history, such as in his script for "Lincoln" and I anticipate disagreeing with him if his script about the kidnapping of Egardo Mortara finally gets the Speilberg treatment*.

But this is about what I said earlier in response to the attacks on five people at a  Hanukkah party in what is obviously a hate crime.  I have no doubt about that, what other motive could there be?   

I said that hate talk leads to hate violence.  A person who commits hate violence, hate murder, has to feel they are justified or have a right to do what they did and that would have had to have been validated in hate speech, freely expressed, most likely through media, social if not broadcast or cabloid or online media.  If it were possible to plumb the experience of the man who attacked those people, I am 100% certain that such a message would have been given to him by someone else, another person directly. through pop music, through some movie or TV show or cable show or online something or other.   I think that's true of everyone who is not delusional and many who are who take the lives of people they don't know and some they do, something gave them the idea that they were entitled to kill. 

The nice and entirely predictable free-speechy objection to what I said is the ridiculous idea that speech so targeted for criticism will inevitably be claimed to be innocuous, that it has the odd feature of being innocent of promoting what its content contains.   

I have over and over again pointed out that such claims are very often made by writers of political persuasion pieces who, oddly, feel that their own writing can have such an effect in changing peoples minds and, often, their actions in such things as voting or expressing the same opinion the writer is trying to peddle.  And if the writer doesn't have that fervent hope about their own writing, their employing magazine or paper or radio or TV network of online venue of transmission of information will hope that those they sell advertising time will believe, fervently that their messaging will have the effect they claim it will to peddle ad time and space, that the words and images  in 20 second increments or fractions of an inch, with change the behavior of those who see it, hear it, are effected by it. 

Tony Kushner provides an interesting contrast in how that double-speak is done in two articles he wrote, one on the repulsive Mayor Giuliani's political use of censorship of art.  

But censoring art, even indecent art, isn’t decent; it’s thuggish, it’s unconstitutional, undemocratic and deeply unwise. Censoring art doesn’t promote civic stability; censorship promotes only the illusion of civic stability, the illusion of homogeneity; and the health of the state is consequently imperiled, because a healthy state needs vigorous, lively, pluralistic debate, not enforced acquiescence to a bullying majority. And as for God…

Well, my God is very, very different from the God worshiped in any church or synagogue or mosque whose Will it is that art, or free thought or speech of any kind, ought to be forbidden. I can’t imagine that a God who gave us the power to create, the powers of curiosity, empathy, analytic thinking and deep compassion, who gave us open hearts and the power of love, at the same time commands us to avoid the ideas and the art these powers produce. I can’t imagine that God has so little faith in our faith,

Stirring words, I'd say grotesquely simplistic, largely empty words, flag waving of the first amendmenty kind, similar to what George M. Cohan said had saved many a bum show.  And I say that despising Rudy Giuliani then as much as I despise him now and as not a fan of much of the censorship that has succeeded, which is more generally successful when the content is relatively innocuous.  Birth of a Nation, the movie that revived the major American terrorist group, the Klan, was never censored successfully that I'm aware of.  Ulysses was, for a time. 

Of course the question has to be asked, does Kushner really believe that all "art, or free thought or speech, of any kind" MUST be allowed?  What if it has the effect of getting people killed, as those often do?  Why should the "freedom" of those who want to promote violence win out over the lives of those who are killed or maimed through the message that is freely promoted in that unrestricted "free speech".   Did Kushner really believe that?   That all speech must be protected?  How about The Turner Diaries that certainly inspired Timothy McVeigh and many other Americanazi style  killers?  Does the right of William L. Pierce to incite mass murder trump the rights of the lives of his readers' victims?  Why shouldn't their right to live be given a benefit of the doubt that Kushner, as a professional writer, demands be given to words on a page?   Does he really believe that all words are to be held not guilty or immune from questions of guilt?

I find it curious that he, at another time when there were no words to directly blame for a violent death when he attributed criminal guilt to two people I decidedly disliked and don't like today,  John Paul II and Trent Lott when he assigned them guilt for the death of Matthew Shephard   Did he even know that the two murderers of Matthew Shephard even knew who the Pope or Majority Leader of the Senate were?  I don't know but it wouldn't surprise me if your average homicidal queer bashing pick up a fag at a bar and kill him punks wouldn't have heard of either of them, never mind being able to paraphrase anything they said.  Here, from an article that mentions it. 

As Tony Kushner calmly explained in The Nation: "Trent Lott endorses murder, of course; his party endorses murder, his party endorses discrimination against homosexuals and in doing so it endorses the ritual slaughter of homosexuals." And the Senate majority leader had an accomplice. Kushner also calls the pope "a homicidal liar" who directly led Shepard's killers to commit the crime – by, for example, refusing to ordain openly gay priests. ("Let's follow the lead of the crazies who killed Matthew Shepard, and take the Pope at his word.") Despite the high-school-poetry phrasing ("And then, after we've drawn a few skin-prickling breaths of the aroma of torture and agony and madness, we shift a little in our comfortable chairs....") and the omission of any evidence at all that Shepard's killers were either Catholic or even vaguely aware of Trent Lott's existence, Kushner's argument is only about half-wrong. But this particular brand of misguided and oversimplified blame strikes us as just another example of that common condition in which the clear-eyed observer sees the manipulative intent behind the media item, while all the other poor, dumb bastards can't help but fall into the trap; everybody else is tragically susceptible to papist mind-control techniques and the pernicious voodoo of dangerous, unstoppable smoothies like Newt Gingrich.

In Kushner's turgid fantasy, Little Johnny is on his way to the mailbox with his check to Lambda when his eyes fall on a pamphlet fluttering in the gutter. The next thing he knows, he's lurking about the streets of West Hollywood with a baseball bat and a shaved head. He's helplessly struck homophobic by a bit of Q&A with some shithead who got himself elected to the Senate.

I don't quote  from the original article where Kushner made those accusations but an article from Wired which slammed Kushner for being an example of "the echo ][of right wing criticism of speech] from the other side [the one I generally share with him] of the canyon".

I would, actually, say that Kushner in the second instance went way, way too far because there were no guilty words and he chose two inaptly chosen and too easy targets (always a temptation when it's a professional artistic writer) but that he is right about the power of words to get people killed. 

I wonder why someone as brilliant as he is can't get the discrepancy between the two stands and the total hypocrisy of a writer who writes with the purpose of changing minds, lives and actions then claiming that all words have rights above the lives of people that words intentionally get killed.  That's the rotely-recited, rigorously-enforced point of view, alleged-left and very real neo-Nazi right that makes absolutely no sense at all if you believe people have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

* I can't imagine how he would make a play on it that doesn't replace his and the popular view of the life of the very real boy who grew up into a very real, very well educated and capable man who had his own view of his kidnapping by Pope Pius IX who, as an adult, wrote his own memoir of it saying he did not think it had been a bad thing.  Does anyone have the right to second guess him, the greatest possible authority on his own life?   No matter how much you disagree with what Pius IX did?  I don't like what that nutcase Pope did but I don't have the right to put my view of Mortara's life before his own view of his own life.   If Kushner found a way to do both, or even to present both in a compelling dramatic way, presenting valid expressions of both at the same time, he would have cemented his reputation as a great writer in a way that I don't think anyone else has.  I have never seen a movie made about history that didn't contain lies. 

In a sort of footnote to the footnote, I'll point out that  the guy who wrote the NOVEL! that inspired his script about the kidnapping of Mortara, David Kertzer, in an Atlantic article critisized the first published translation of Mortara's own Spanish language account of it  (Mortara's education as the Popes' ward made him an impressive linguist).  When I read Kertzer's crtique, I couldn't help but notice that instead of dealing with what Mortara said, he described the, agreed, unacceptable liberties the translator took with it.    

Which leads me to believe that the original wasn't something the novelist really wanted to address or perhaps didn't find of interest.  He seems to be far more interested in just about anyone else who had anything to say about it.   He addressed the distortions of the conservative priest-translator, not what Mortara said in the original.  In one of the few places he deals with what Mortara said, it was to accuse him of lying!

If ironies didn't already abound in this, he's criticizing the translator for doing something he, as a novelist using Mortara's life story as material certainly would have done far more extensively.  And if the novelist did what the translator did, I can imagine a cinematic treatment of it will be even farther from the man's own words about his own experience. 

Some want to endlessly go over the story of the boy kidnapped in which the boy has no voice, I'm more interested in the story of how he, man and boy, is made use of by people entirely unconnected to him.   And I say that agreeing that what the Pope did was wrong. I don't have the ability to untie that knot but my own satisfaction in having the wrongness of what the Pope did told and condemned pales beside the right of the man to evaluate his own life. First I'd like a clean and accurate translation or the original of what the guy wrote or said about himself.   To not take that into account is vilely dishonest. 

Update:  I wouldn't be surprised if the killers of Matthew Shephard may have gotten the idea to kill him from movie or TV depictions of manly men, men defending their honor, cowboys, soldiers, deranged cops, etc.  And if not them then guys in their peer group or family who passed it on to them.  I'd think it's far less likely they'd have gotten it from listening to speeches given by Senators or reading Papal letters.  I'm surprised that a playwright who went on the movies wouldn't realize they have those powers as opposed to decidedly unentertaining media.   It's remarkable that entertainment, THE FRIGGIN' MOVIES which are all about attracting the most eyeballs for the most time, is the thing that they deny has that ability.   The longer you think about the free-speechy, first-amendementy line of B.S. the more obviously ridiculous it becomes.   But it's such a pithy line that it short-circuits thought.  That's what entertainment does. 

Update 2:  As I pointed out when I had an online brawl over this issue, if Mortara as a boy had been converted to atheism many of the very people who love to use the real man's life for their own polemical purposes, against his own, stated conclusions ABOUT HIMSELF,  would consider those who alienated him from the Jewish religion of his parents as heroes.   
Hate talk, hate social media, hate media give hate killers permission to kill and to try to kill.

There's nothing surprising or complicated about it.  

If the person is unstable anyway that permission is magnified. 

More hate talk, more hate media, more hate violence.  

"Why don't you post the comments you answer?"

I started this blog one day while I was the weekend blogger at Echidne of the Snakes where I was asked to fill in weekends.  Apparently Echidne who had read the things I posted at my first experimental blog "olvlzl" liked what I wrote enough to ask me.  She had several others who did as well, including the wonderful Suzie and the wonderful Phila who seem to have dropped out of blogging entirely, I have no idea where they are now but they, like the still writing Echidne, were very, very good.

Anyway, I wrote there the same kinds of things I write here and they got a strong reaction, quite often negative.  Now, I love to argue,  I always have loved it, I've learned a lot from arguing, both in how to defend my point of view and how to change it when the person I was arguing with either pointed out mistaken ideas I used or when they had better arguments.  I still like that, what's the use of bothering to read stuff if you're just going to stay the same person you were when you were 12?   Why go on living or, at least, pretending you have a life of the mind when your mind mummified in adolescence or puberty?   As an aside, it's rather remarkable how many pop atheists brag about just having that kind of a mummified mind. 

I did, though, find most of the arguments I had with people online weren't those kinds of growth experiences, they were totally futile.   I began this blog to post one of the things that got negative reaction with the idea that I was getting tired of that but then let it go for a while. 

My time at Echidne's ended one weekend when I wrote something based in my experience as a gay man who came of age in the 60s and whose experience as a gay man has encompassed all of those decades of changes that came after that.  You can read it early in my archive, here.  It was not well received and I got tons of viciously negative responses and, unusually, inaccurate and negative reactions at a couple of major websites, Salon being one of them.  I found that the "journalists" who did that weren't interested in correcting their misrepresentations which surprised me a lot less than it once would have.   I'd gotten vicious comments before, one when I wrote about a niece who had died as a result of her mental illness, to put it mildly, a lot of the people who commented on that were total assholes who I wished the worse to.  But the comments on the last one were on a whole different order of it. 

By the second day of it I was fed up enough that I terminated my participation as a writer in other peoples' blogs though I remained on good terms with Echidne who is a wonderful writer., someone I can't understand hasn't been picked up for paid journalism.  She writes English better than most native English speakers and she is one of those rare writers who actually researches what she writes about.  Maybe that's it, most journos are lite on the citations when not totally free of them, heavy on the urban myths and click bait. 

When I quit the guesting I decided from then on I would handle negative comments on my terms, using what I felt like using and ignoring the rest.  I have never posted all of the comments that I've gotten here and over the years the percentage of those I chose to use, on my own terms, has lessened.   I don't get all that many useful comments - I have no idea why but choose to believe it's a sign of agreement - and am less and less interested in wasting my time, the negative comments being generally predictable and stupid.  

I have used a number of comments that I knew were being cross posted at Duncan Blacks's play-lefty blog but have realized the buffalo-butts who mostly comprise its blog community never read anything, no matter how many citations of evidence you present to back it up.  I'll still present citations and evidence and reasoned arguments but I'm doing that entirely on my terms from now on, too.  I also knew that they were mostly a self-congratulating and ever more isolated little clique that the general world ignored.  They are safely allowed to stew in their prejudice. 

As to your question about the name of this place, I am a thought criminal, as I was told over and over again at other blogs over the years, so I went with that name.  

Look Who Else Are Big Fat Fans Of Ol' Chuck - Last (?) Hate Mail Of The Year

Notice: I will warn anyone that if they do the google searches I recommend, they should have very good malware protection and should probably get rid of any cookies or other junk that some of the sites will put on your computer.  Fascists and Nazis have a huge representation among the hacker computer-sci guys and they do use it a lot more skillfully than the left does.   Computer sci probably has a larger percentage of those than most so-called sciences because it's mostly about money. 

Google "vdare darwin" and you'll find a lot of hits on neo-Nazish pieces written by Americanazis who will agree with you that what I've said about Darwin is terrible, only they'd be complaining that I've represented him accurately and disagree with his inherent racism and promotion of inequality.  You are so unread and ignorant and TV addled that you mistakenly believe he agrees with you.  Well, read him as I've been advising you to for the last eleven years and if you don't lie about him in the typical post-WWII Darwinist way, you'll see that Darwin was on the vdare side of things. 

Anyone who is familiar with current white supremacy in the Trump regime will recognize many of the names of Darwin's fans there, John Derbyshire, others are more obscure, like Cornelius J. Troost, who, from what I gather, was a one-time environmental sci guy at universities who fell in love with evo-psy and caught vdare from it. 

They love them some Darwin because Darwinism is all about social and economic inequality - crowning the rich with biological superiority - and racial inequality - crowning Northern-Western Europeans (or however they want to define "Whiteness") with supremacy.  Darwin certainly gave them the material to support their contentions. 

But, of course, you won't make that search and read those hits anymore than you did it when several years back I recommended you do a search of another of Darwin's biggest, fattest fans for the same reason, googling "William L. Pierce Darwin" or using the name of the atheist (tax dodge) religion he founded "cosmotheism darwin".   Of course, that's to be expected, if you read the pieces I wrote about the Darwinism contained in the book that Hitler was reading as he ranted out Mein Kampf to be taken down as dictation by Rudolf Hess, Haaretz calld Pierce's most well known book The Turner Diaries, "the most popular anti-Semitic text since ‘Mein Kampf,"  And Jews are only one of the groups both Nazis targeted for genocide under their shared belief in natural selection.  

Darwin had to be lied about to pretend he was an egalitarian but what he really said will always be there and be useful to white supremacists, neo-Confederates, Tories, fascists, neo-Nazis, etc. as if there's a significant difference among them. 

Update:  Are you kidding, read all of Simp's comments?  Post them? The past seven years has been like being directly targeted by a Donald Trump Twitter feed, it's like being targeted by Trimps.   And he's had Duncan Black's help, far as I'm concerned Black is like his Grover Dill.  Anyone who blames me for having that pathological creep being OCD over me would blame someone for being the target of a stalker they'd never encouraged.  

Update 2:  Here's my answer. 

  " . . .  violating free speech . . . " 

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