Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Paul Artherton - Good Clothes


Good Clothes by Paul Artherton took 3rd prize in the 2018 PJ O'Connor Awards.

Set in 1970s Belfast, The Clark family live a life of peaceful co-existence with their neighbours. However the continuing polarisation of communities and ghettoisation of the city forces them to reconsider their life choices.

Dan Gordon was Charlie Clarke 
Kerri Quinn played Mary
Conor Mac Neill was Jim
Gavin Peden  was Joe
Orla Charlton played Heather
Eleanor Methven was Mrs. Simpson. 
The parts of the newsreaders and the removal men were played by Vincent Higgins and Michael Liebmann

Music was 'Brutality' by The Defects Sound supervision was by Mark Mc GrathProduced by Kevin Reynolds

A play set in a past that Brexit might bring back.  Not that the Brexiteers care.

I have to go out, I'll try to post a second feature later.

The Odd Idea That Someone Who Succeeds In Gaining Elective Office And Holding It Knows More Than Yackers And Scribblers

People who follow my blog, and there are some, will know that in the last year I've been following Sam Seder, Michael Brooks and the others in the Minority Report orbit this year.  I have some major disagreements with them, at times but agree with them about a lot of things, too.

One of the most important things I disagree with them on is their devotion to Bernie Sanders, seemingly on the basis of him being a socialist.  I can think of nothing more deluded in 2019, more than two years into the Trump regime, than anyone in middle age or older being a fan of another never-will-be-president lefty mounting, yet another futile, stupid Quixotic quest that will end as those always have, in enabling the actual hold on power of Republican-fascism.  After the history of the past two decades which they certainly know and going back through that entire, century long, insane, stupid, self-indulgence of the white-college-credentialed, generally middle-class to affluent left that disagreement is a definitive parting of the ways.  I can't believe that someone as smart as Michael Brooks or Sam Seder is willfully promoting the candidacy of Bernie Sanders in 2019, perhaps on the basis of the election of the one and only other self-defined socialist in the Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who, if she endorses Sanders at least has the excuse of youth for such a stupid decision. 

One thing that I think is increasingly obvious is that even really smart guys who spend their lives running their mouths or typing articles or blog posts and who have no experience in running for contested offices, winning such offices, holding them against real, well-financed opposition and having the hard experience of being an office holder, especially as a member of the Democratic minority during a Bush II or Trump regime, under such corrupt leadership as that under a Mitch McConnell or a Paul Ryan - might know less about how to do that than people who actually have succeed in doing that. 

The foremost example of that is when people like Seder or Brooks or - well name your lefty blogger or blog rat - slams Nancy Pelosi who has an unparalleled record of defeating Republican-fascism. Especially her realistic choices on such things as a futile campaign to impeach Trump.  ESPECIALLY as they, my fellow lefties,  hold up the totally ineffective, totally bumbling, far from honest and really not demonstrably bright Jeremy Corbyn in Britland at the same time.  I assume that's on the basis of Corbyn being on team Socialist as well as Bernie Sanders.   I suppose I would be classified as a socialist, though I'm really far to the left of that, but I would not think it wise to settle for supporting a bumbler on the basis of him having that label.  I prefer politicians who actually win and build governing majorities.  Corbyn is incapable of doing that.

When I hear them criticize the Democratic candidates for president, the ones who don't clearly deserve mockery and derision and calling out, like Gabbard,  their act gets really old, fast.   That's something they are doing just about every day to Democrats who fall short of the Majority Report purity test.  They do it to politicians who have a career in electoral politics that neither of them have - and Seder and Brooks are two of the best of such yackers and scribblers.  But they are critisizing the players in a game they can't get into, themselves. Even Seder and Brooks are not only on the bench, they're way, way off in the bleachers.  I have to ask my self if maybe a Cory Booker or a Kamala Harris or someone else who has successfully gained public office through election and held public office and, actually, did the job for years might know something more about how to do that than they do.

One of the most eye-opening things I ever did was participate in SUCCESSFUL elections of Democratic candidates and talking with them, the ones who actually gained and held office and  have experience.  Their actual experience has made them into rather hard-eyed realists about what is possible and what has all the signs of being pie-in-the-sky bull shit sold by those who will never, ever win office or hold it.  Quite often they have very good reasons for what they will try to do and what they decide is unattainable, even what some on the left might like the idealistic idea of but which they can see problems with in reality.

I don't have any problem with someone who points out that one or another of the Democrats who are running might have some issues that would lead you to not support them over another.  Even some of the Democrats I like have issues that would lead me to not support their candidacy for president.  THE FOREMOST REQUIREMENT ANYONE SHOULD HAVE OF ANY CANDIDATE IS THE POSSIBILITY THAT THEY WILL ACTUALLY WIN AND HOLD THE OFFICE.  Really, Bernie Sanders' age and the utter futility of the idea that he is going to be elected in 2020 makes their support of him over even a Beto O'Rourke the height of lunacy.   I have extreme doubts about Beto, he's too affluent, too young and callow with a surfeit of charisma and a deficit of specifics, AND his wife and family is too invested in the fraud of Charter Schools, his too frequently empty rhetoric.  I think I could come up with a better critique of Beto based on the similar use of PR babble that he shares, for example, with Ivanka Trump than I've heard on Majority Report.  But Beto has a better chance of being elected AND PLEASANTLY SURPRISING US than Bernie Sanders.   I doubt Bernie Sanders could have had his political career in any other state than Vermont, a colony of lefty, hippy, New York, which is hardly typical of even Northern New England.  I think Sanders' career is best seen as a fluke, not something to base your hopes for national office on.

I still like a lot of what Sam Seder and Michael Brooks say on their shows, but when they start in on this I know the way they're going, an all too recognizable avenue of regrets that the American left seems to always turn down imagining that this time it will lead anywhere else than where it always does.  That is the signal lunacy of the American left, especially the Marxist and quasi-Marxist left.  If they can't break that habit, it's time for the real left to totally get shut of them.   If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were to ask my advice, I'd tell her to avoid having anymore to do with them than she absolutely can't avoid.  She's got too much potential to go that route.

Friday, April 5, 2019

An Answer

If I could do it, I'd make it a law that the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and a host of other crypto-fascist Brit-shit would be excluded as undesirables from ever entering the United States and that their like that is already here would be deported back to England so they can be their problem instead of ours.  None so much as the Murdoch clan right down to the last pup. 

A Very Republican Cover-Up: This Is All The Evidence I Need That Jerry Nadler Should Get His Subpoena Served And An Hour After That Go To Court

I missed this till I just read this in Slate:

“Bill Barr, our attorney general, deserves the benefit of the doubt,” former FBI Director James Comey counseled in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. “Give him a chance to show us what he feels like he can’t show us. I have to imagine that … Mueller wrote the report with an eye toward it being public someday, so I can’t imagine a lot needs to be cut out of it. But let’s wait and see. The attorney general deserves that chance.”

James Comey should go get stuffed, he's got no credibility in this matter, he is a two-faced Republican hack whose conduct during the 2016 election, his obvious and clear sandbagging of Hillary Clinton, twice,  should be enough to discredit his judgement from now on.  His claim that his fellow Republican hack and a major figure in a major Republican cover-up, William Barr "deserves the benefit of the doubt" as late as Tuesday is proof that this whole thing has been all too cosy all along. 

If Robert Mueller doesn't publicly call for the release of his report to Congress, I'm going to start figuring that the reported close friendship between, not only him and his fellow Republican William Barr but The Muellers and the Barrs means more to him than American democracy. 

This thing has all been way too cosy, way too predictable in so far as so many Republicans have staffed the FBI, the DoJ, and other such positions.  I'm not willing to wait much longer before I will conclude that none of them are to be trusted.  If Robert Mueller is holding back because of some absurd scruple of departmental tradition or habit, the time for that is long passed because Trump wasn't the first to do that,  Comey smashed it before the election, several times as have others within the FBI, reportedly that was especially true in the New York City office.   If Mueller wants to become part of that will soon be apparent.   I'm not going to trust him if this goes on more than another day.

Those Who Don't Regulate Through Democracy Will Be Regulated By The Results Of That Failure

The other day I pointed out that if Nazis and fascists and Marxists and other forms of gangster governments used the 18th century, Western libertarian conception of "free speech - free press" to gull a sufficient number so as to gain power and, once they had THEY would be the ones to limit "free speech - free press" and that they would do a lot more than just keep poeple from saying things and publishing things, THEY WOULD BE SLAUGHTERING PEOPLE IN THE WAY THOSE GANGSTER GOVERNMENTS ALWAYS DO.   

The 18th century concepts so dangerously truncated into minor 18th century poetry in the Bill of Rights, especially in the first two amendments, may have been tolerable when "the press" meant hand presses that print a page at a time, not more than a page or two a minute, handset by hand, it might have been of limited danger when, at most, the speech of anyone could be heard by, at most, a few hundred listeners.  It might have been tolerable among the propertied White Men who the Founders were really concerned for, themselves, and those of their class and those who they might do business with, the dangers that would come about from it were little to them, secure as they were in their positions.   

They, of course, had no intention of suffering the danger to themselves or their fortunes by extending those and other listed rights to Black People, to Native Americans, to Women (those Women appertaining to the aristocrats who hoodwinked the plebs into the Constitution to be protected, or not, by their choice) and certainly not the unpropertied poor, as Federalists sometimes are indiscreet enough to mention when the right legal issues arise.  They certainly reacted badly whenever unpropertied, white men of the laboring classes rebelled against the thieving by their betters, it was just such rebellions among the veterans of the Revolution that inspired the con of the Constitutional Convention, to start with. 

We don't live in that world, those 18th century conditions those 18th century  assumptions that their lofty words starting "Congress shall make no law . . . " were based in, the age of hand printing, unamplified voices, flint lock, single shot weapons, etc.  all that is gone and will not return, no, not even some movie, cable sy-fi apocalypse will return us there.  But the stupidity of modernism hasn't allowed us to understand that with the modern technologies, the modern ways of life that started in the century after the Constitution was written has made those founding assumptions not only unrealistic, when they forumlate the laws we live under in the current world, they are extremely dangerous, able to get scores and hundreds of thousands and millions killed.  

The Bush II invasion of Iraq was a product of amplified lies told under unregulated cable TV and hate-talk radio under the First Amendment by thugs and gangsters, some of them working with PR firms, foreign as well as domestic and the slaughter from that is still ongoing.  The pathetic "more speech" of even the massive demonstrations opposed to that invasion, in both the United States and Britain and elsewhere were entirely impotent to stop it.  Of course, in the United States the presence of George W. Bush in office was a result of the Brooks Bros. putsch mounted by the Federalist-fascist class, aided and abetted by the media and given the post-pustch blessing of the New York Times as it lied about the actual results of the study a consortium of news organizations did of the ballots in Florida.  

The Bush II invasion of Iraq was a product of the freedom to lie which was granted to the media by the Founders and by the oddly fundamentalist reading of the First Amendment by the reputedly liberal Warren Court and subsequent and increasingly fascistic courts dominated by Republican appointees.  

But that was what might be considered the fruit of a cultivated, domesticated species of Free Speech, flowing out of the publicity industry on behalf of the millionaire-billionaire class that the Founders belonged to and empowered, refereed by "justices" who were the product of the most elite of law schools.  When the quality mount an operation such as that one, they're really good at getting lots of people killed and we're so used to ignoring the actual facts and circumstances of it, trained to ignoring those facts, that what they do is considered not only acceptable, but respectable.  George H. W. Bush, the father and, some might say godfather of his son's Iraq adventure (supposedly in retaliation for Saddam Hussein's plot to assassinate Daddy Bush) is spoken of with a reverence that is putrid to those of us who never bought into those lies and who will not ignore the mountains of dead being added to even today as he may be roasting in hell. 

But there are the wild Free Speech species that are also the product of the Anglo-American Enlightenment, the beneficiaries of the 2nd Amendment style of gun ownership and formed by the discourse of the "more speech" that flourishes on the unregulated internet, which is producing one, two, many, many mass murders and there is beginning, just beginning to be a response to that by the semi-democratic governments.*    In Australia, in the wake of the horrific mass murders in two Mosques in Christchurch New Zealand there is a proposed new law that attempts to begin to hold the internet companies that the murderer used to live-stream his murders from which millions of people from the merely sick to the criminally insane copied and re-streamed the video-game footage of him actually murdering Women, Children, Men for the entertainment and inspiration of those who certainly approved and that subset of those who, no doubt, would be inspired to copy if not outdo him.  And, predictably, the internet companies are screaming about the infringement on "free speech - free press" in the attempt to stop that daisy chain of mass murder.  You can read about it here, in detail, this post is getting long so I'll go straight to one of the points I want to make about it.

“This law would prevent that and criminalise that and offer the government an ability to respond where an organisation like Facebook let something livestream and play for a long time on their platform.”

Note that this law doesn't even call on these enormously wealthy corporations to prevent such use of their platforms, merely to take it down in a timely fasion. 

The Digital Industry Group, which represents Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Verizon Media in Australia, has warned the bill was passed without meaningful consultation and threatens penalties against tech companies for content created by users.

Labor has promised to review the legislation if it is elected in May, adding to a list of national security laws it will have to revisit in government after supporting in opposition, including the encryption bill which it has promised to amend.

The group’s managing director, Sunita Bose, said members worked to take down abhorrent conduct “as quickly as possible”, but “with the vast volumes of content uploaded to the internet every second, this is a highly complex problem”.

“This ‘pass it now, change it later’ approach to legislation, such as we saw with the encryption law, creates immediate uncertainty for Australia’s technology industry,” she said.

“It threatens employees within any company that has user-generated content to be potentially jailed for the misuse of their services – even if they are unaware of it.

What the hell does Sunita Bose thinks happens when the next person inspired by the depravity those companies make money from streaming copies the Christchurch murderer?   A lot more than being "potentially jailed" their victims will be very finally and definitely shot to pieces, some of them so badly that their bodies couldn't be identified by sight.   

The whining about "pass it now, change it later" is more than matched by the "mount the platform, we won't change it no matter how many people it gets murdered" approach which is how not only "social media" but the free-press has followed when it was unregulated as to content starting in the post-war period.  The mass media, especially since the advent of unregulated cable in places like the United States, and unregulated internet media has proven that their executives and owners and most of their users find it totally acceptable when the most openly violent voices, Nazis, White Supremacists, loser Incel boys and anyone who can get hold of weapons, automatic, semi-automatic or otherwise are streamed to the world, found by those attracted to their messaging, inspired by them (passing by all that free-speech industry asserted "more speech" which their browsers wouldn't pick up and which hardly ever gets on cable stations and hate-talk radio) go out and murder scores and more of innocent people.  

And they are whining about the governments "lack of consultation" with the companies that make money off of this depravity.  It makes you wonder which of them consulted anyone on the possible use by mass murdering Nazis, fascists, white supremacists, psychopaths, etc. of their services before they sprang them on the world.  Only that's always different when it's a for-profit corporation instead of a mere democratically elected government. 

We have been driven mad by making something we call "freedom" an idol,  it is a symptom of the pathological potential of that idolatry that now it is the foremost enemies of equality and democracy who are those who are shouting "freedom of speech" and those making money off of their violence who shout "freedom of the press" the loudest.  They expose the danger that freedom free to violate the rights of not only individuals but entire races of people is not freedom, it is sociopathic depravity, such depravity is the common mindset among those elites in the law and in governments that find it totally acceptable for such "free speech, free press" to produce the effects they certainly have.   Their hirelings and allies in the pseudo-social-sciences and their claims of harmlessness disproved by their other work done on behalf of the very media and advertising companies which claims their ability to enhance the effect of what people hear and see in the media to get them to buy things.  

I can predict that something is going to give and as this goes on it is going to be the lie of "free speech-free press" absolutism as well as 2nd Amendment arming of psychotics, fascists, Nazis, etc. and ad infintem.   If nothing else, as soon as one of those gangster regimes really take root, they will silence and disarm their opponents,  As someone pointed out the phony Russian "gun rights" group that the Putin crime organization floated to sucker Americans was a Potemkin false front as the Putin regime had no intention of allowing free access to guns to their possible opponents, no more than they would allow them to really be effective in the media.   If Western style democracies don't accept their responsibilities to make those distinctions and to really, effectively crush the opponents of equality and democracy, that's what awaits us.  The same social media companies have no problem doing business with gangsters and dictators, the only freedom they care about is the freedom to make money. 

* I don't think it's at all an accident that the most common form of that which is found acceptable enough to not cut off its roots is mass killing and terror by racist, fascistic, men who are in line with the very concept of the slave patrols which were the actual inspiration for the 2nd Amendment, as the slave-owning majority of the Founders wanted to be able to violently keep the basis of their wealth under control by like-thinking working class men and aristocratic boys with a taste for organized violence. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Stupid Mail

I was going to write an answer but Teaneck's stupidest isn't worth the time.  Educated people read for comprehension, he reads for prevarication.  

Does Bernie Sanders Have Something To Hide?


I wouldn't be surprised if they turned out to be as boring as you claimed they would be when you were confronted on why, despite challenging your opponents to release theirs, you haven't released yours but the longer you delay, the more I'm wondering why.   The longer this goes on the less surprised I'll be if they turn out to be no where near as boring as you promised.   If you and your wife file separately, she should release hers, as well.   She is involved in your campaigns in a major way, after all.

It should be a matter of law that presidents and vice presidents and major figures in their administrations release their tax filings and other related papers.  Considering the power they're given it's insane that they aren't required to do that.  I would bet that not a single member of the Trump and most members of the Bush II regime would not have held their positions if that were a requirement.  I would require it of Supreme Court justices and nominees, as well.  

We have to root out the rot in American democracy, I don't know where the place to start is but making sure people who hold power aren't crooks is among the most necessary things to achieve that end.  

Science Denial - It's Not Just For Those You Love To Look Down On In The Underclass

There is no difference between someone who chooses to ignore or deny the science on vaccinating against preventable diseases or smoking or pollution and those who choose to ignore the science on various sexual practices and promiscuity which spread some of the very diseases vaccines are developed to avoid - and a myriad of known and unknown infections and diseases for which there is no vaccine - and the kind of science I cited yesterday on the health effects of drinking even what would be called normal levels of alcohol.   The epidemiological evidence, other evidence in that and other scientific reports and expert analyses shows that even moderate drinking significantly increases your chance of developing different cancers, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, etc.  which should come as no surprise because alcohol, itself, is a poison and there are known pathogens contained in many kinds of alcohol, some of which give different varieties their distinctive tastes.   

It's hilarious to me to see how the foremost supporters of science are among the first to deny what science shows when they don't like the results.  They've got a lot more in common with anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, the tobacco industry and others they despise and disdain and feel superior to.  Secular lefties are largely a fraud, in the end. 


And, yeah, I do rather despise the ACLU for its epic enablement of Republican-fascism, white supremacists, Nazis and fascists and, most of all the oligarchs who own the media.  Whatever supposed good they do they more than wipe out through their free speech and press absolutism.  I wonder if they'd never existed if we might not, actually, be a lot farther ahead in equality and democracy than we are, now.  I suspect we might be.  They have had a role in the promotion of alcohol and in setting us up for the epidemics originating in prescription drug addiction.   As in the way of lawyers and judges, the havoc their lofty principles produce in real life is something they just wash their hands of, saying that governments can solve it by putting more burdens on the education system* and through the struggle to put taxes on things like alcohol and through enhanced policing when the actual history of the things they advocate shows that those are never going to fix the problems their own briefs anticipate being the result of their "free speech-free press" advocacy.  The ACLU is a century old fraud and it's time someone from the real left called them on it.   

* Just how much do those asshole lawyers and judges figure teachers can fit into a school day?   It makes me wonder how many of them attended public schools or have their brats in them.  I'd love a comprehensive list of things judges and Justices have said is the responsibility of public educators, how many more things ACLU and other lawyers have airily proposed adding to the subject load of the school day.  

Take this passage of the ACLU press release I linked to yesterday:

ABC lawyers maintained that the rules were put in place to reduce illegal consumption of alcohol by students, but the court said there was no evidence that the advertising ban had any effect on underage drinking and that it was clear that there were other legitimate ways the state could reduce student drinking, including educational programs, increased taxation on alcohol, and counter-advertising.

Increased taxation is a good place to start in our confrontation with this willful unreality.  They propose that as a fix for the problems they create as if it's the easiest thing in the world for a state legislature to put an increased tax on alcohol - no doubt with the well financed opposition of the liquor industry and their paid-for allies in public office - and at a level that will really inhibit alcohol abuse.  Not to mention that you might get your state to do it but that is no guarantee that your neighboring state won't price alcohol lower in order to get cross border liquor run business.   That's one of the things that "tax free New Hampshire" is famous for in all three states that border it.  I remember reading about more than a few fatal car crash that was the result of a liquor run.

And that doesn't even get you to the supposed possibility of effectively countering the myriads of ACLU aided liquor ads and promotions, paid product placement, etc.  through the already overburdened schools.   Apparently the lawyers of the ACLU and the judges and justices imagine that you can magically expand the school day, the school year to encompass everything that they dream up to stuff into the curriculum and that students are going to magically take it in and it is going to have the desired effect to ameliorate the effects of their actions.   

And that's on top of what the courts, no doubt in most cases along the lines of ACLU briefs, have required public schools to do in such things as "mainstreaming" seriously and dangerously violent children, children who have the most disruptive of special needs requiring the hiring of additional staff,  acting as first responders when there are emergencies such as those armed by the Supreme Court, an issue where, finally, the ACLU feels it needs to two-step around its past advocacy AND EVEN SOME OF ITS PRESENT POSITIONS.   

Maybe someone should pay the band leader to play a song with a very appropriate title for this situation in which the ACLU and the courts continually propose heaping more and more onto public school teachers and students,  Somethings Got To Give.  I'd rather see it be this line of "free speech - free press - free guns" bull shit than the public schools and a decent life in the United States. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

"Why don't you try podcasting"

I have a very, very thick inland Maine accent.   On those few cases I've had to make long distance calls to places like Tennessee, Florida, Colorado, etc. I was unpleasantly surprised to find that they couldn't understand me.  I don't know why, I could understand them, perfectly well.  Maybe we're more cosmopolitan around here. 

It's better if my voice remains forever unheard.  

" You want to make it illegal for a working man to come home and relax with a drink . . . " hate mail from a reader

My family in my generation and in the one following mine have been plagued by alcoholism at a rate that our parent's generation didn't have.  My mother didn't drink at all and my father did very rarely in his later life, both of them had witnessed alcoholism in their parents generation and, so, didn't drink.  I have every confidence that the alcoholism in my generation is heavily influenced by the promotion of drinking in movies, TV shows, books, etc. the greatly increased marketing of alcohol, thanks in no small part to that same Supreme Court whose every action seems to be the most mixed of blessings, and on behalf of the "civil liberties" industry that gets money from those who benefit from their legal briefs, both in the alcohol industry, the advertising industry and other media that profit from things like product placement.

Having now buried two siblings who died of horrific and advanced alcoholism, the symptoms of which you would have to see to believe,  seeing members of the next generation who I fear will repeat that (not to mention the two who have become addicted to opiates) I have been reading a lot about alcoholism.  As I mentioned I recently have read and re-read (and am now really studying) the book by the Harold Johnson,  Firewater:  How Alcohol Is Killing My People (And Yours) a book published by the University of Regina press and which has both the blessings of an index and a healthy range of citations and suggestions for further reading.  It is a book that should be seriously read by a lot more people than it has been read by.

My focus has been on alcoholism which Harold Johnson has convinced me should not be considered in terms of a disease model as that model has not seemed to help.  I hadn't, until I read his book, even much considered the health consequences of normal levels of alcohol consumption, about the possible health effects of drinking alcohol when no one would consider calling the drinker an alcoholic or even a drunk (you can kill yourself and other people the first time you drink if you get drunk and get in an accident while driving a car or have some other accident).  There are, in fact, a large range of diseases that are associated with the toxic effects of alcohol.  Here is a short summary from a reviewed study by The National Institute of Health.

Evidence of a causal impact of average volume of alcohol consumption was found for the following major diseases: tuberculosis, mouth, nasopharynx, other pharynx and oropharynx cancer, oesophageal cancer, colon and rectum cancer, liver cancer, female breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, alcohol use disorders, unipolar depressive disorders, epilepsy, hypertensive heart disease, ischaemic heart disease (IHD), ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke, conduction disorders and other dysrhythmias, lower respiratory infections (pneumonia), cirrhosis of the liver, preterm birth complications and fetal alcohol syndrome. Dose-response relationships could be quantified for all disease categories except for depressive disorders, with the relative risk increasing with increased level of alcohol consumption for most diseases. Both average volume and drinking pattern were linked causally to IHD, fetal alcohol syndrome and unintentional and intentional injuries. For IHD, ischaemic stroke and diabetes mellitus beneficial effects were observed for patterns of light to moderate drinking without heavy drinking occasions (as defined by 60+ g pure alcohol per day). For several disease and injury categories, the effects were stronger on mortality compared to morbidity. There was insufficient evidence to establish whether quality of alcohol had a major impact on disease burden.

Overall, these findings indicate that alcohol impacts many disease outcomes causally, both chronic and acute, and injuries. In addition, a pattern of heavy episodic drinking increases risk for some disease and all injury outcomes. Future studies need to address a number of methodological issues, especially the differential role of average volume versus drinking pattern, in order to obtain more accurate risk estimates and to understand more clearly the nature of alcohol-disease relationships.

Think about this the next time you read or hear about a study (I agree with Mr. Johnson that it's reasonable to suspect issued by those in the pay of the alcohol industry) about the supposed health effect of moderate, what this study probably means by "average" alcohol consumption.   Even if the "disease burden" on the general population can be disappeared by the magic of statistical analysis, for those whose disease shows up in the studies, it's a major impact.

Most people don't become alcoholics when they drink, not even when they drink regularly, but you don't have to become an alcoholic for drinking to have a very real and very major health impact.  You don't even have to get tipsy and have an accident for that to be the case.

I am still going over the book and its related citations and will probably write a lot about this in the coming weeks and months, I just wanted to post this now.

Comparing Mountains Of Corpses And Handfuls Of Grain

While I was contemplating a response to a whiny bit of hate mail citing only one instance of Communist genocide, the planned starvation of Ukranians the Holodomor, a word so little known that I have to tell people what it means, looking at the various estimates of how many millions of people died, from a "low" of 3.3 million to a high of more than 10 million, also, as a result of that going to look at the estimated body count for the Marxist regimes of the 20th and 21st centuries, it occurred to me that there is something seriously demented about quibbling about the size of genocides measuring in the millions and tens and even scores of millions.   As if a genocide of "only" 3.3 million is a small thing as compared to one numbering twice that or if an estimate for the total number of dead under Marxism or Nazism or fascism or white supremacy that differs by this or that multiple of 10 or even 20 million, somehow, reduces the moral wrong of the "smaller" number if that is accurate.

Clearly the use of mountains of murdered people as a measure of the nature and, I will puke if I say it, "moral status" of the gangster regimes which murdered them surpasses the casual imagination of so many.  Like the Western supporters of Hitler during his genocidal reign, the supporters of Stalin (who made out somewhat better in their PR in history) and Mao and others, were not impressed by any of those numbers.  They don't seem to move them or even seem important for them to consider.  There are those who considered it a deserved fate for those they accused of backwardness or laziness, proving there's really no difference between those pseudo-lefty gangsters and their elite fans and the most appalling of aristocrats of 19th century Britain or 18th century, pre-revolutionary France.


Perhaps there is a different way to approach the moral status of them in something else that so many Marxists and their associated atheist lefties and Nazis, many fascists and white supremacists  have in common, their common hatred of the Mosaic tradition, The Law, the Prophets and, yes, The Gospels.

Under the city-boy dreamed up collectivization of the Soviet Union (as under the equally agriculture ignorant Mao 20 years later) there is a perfect example of the distinction between that materialist-scientific, rationistic regime and the despised Law of Moses, The Law of Three Spiklets (Закон о трёх колосках) under which anyone who so much as gleaned a handful of grain from an already harvested field would be held to be an enemy of the people, under which many, many scores of thousands of those starving in Ukraine and elsewhere were summarily shot or otherwise killed.

You can contrast that to The Law of Moses which required that farmers NOT harvest their fields efficiently to allow the widow and orphan and, YES THE ALIEN, to glean so that they would be able to eat.

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.  

Leviticus 19: 9-10

And that was in what is widely despised as the harshest of the books of the Bible but in economics and equality and justice set a standard that nothing in secular radicalism can begin to match.

During the planned famine under that idol of so many heroes of the Western left, more than 2500 people were convicted of cannibalism, eating the bodies of the dead, it was so widespread that even the Soviet regime printed posters condeming the practice that the Soviet regime made inevitable through their policies, including, like the science-based, Enlightenment era Brits during the Irish potato famine, exported grain for profit as millions starved to death.  Both the Brits of that time and the Communist regimes and the Nazis all believed they were the sons of science and enlightenment.   The reason that all of them hated and still hate the moral requirements of the Mosaic Law and its gentile form in The Gospel.

Compared to Communism The Law of Moses, even its decidedly harshest features, is mild by comparison (there is no capital punishment for property crimes in the Mosaic Law) and there is no one apart from some really demented and isolated fanatics who propose putting those harshest measures into effect, now.  But you can't say that among polite company, not even in the context I've put it into here in polite company among the college credentialed class, certainly not on the free-speechy left.  I'll bet you that in most faculty parties, in most gatherings of lefties, it would be more acceptable to rehabilitate Stalin or Mao than Moses.

Félix Zurstrassen Quartet - oMoIoMo

Live at Dinant Jazz Festival 2018

Ben van Gelder - alto sax
Nelson Veras - guitar
Antoine Pierre - drums
Félix Zurstrassen - guitar bass / composition

I'm posting this now because the wind's picking up and I'll bet we lose power later today.


Yeah, you can probably tell I'm having eye-trouble today, the editing is going to be a bit rough.   You can sometimes tell I've hit the "publish" instead of the "save" button right next to it before my final edit.  I can't see even the low-vision cursor some days.  I don't always catch it myself if I get a phone call while I'm writing.  Sorry.  

No, I'm Not Hesitant To Cite And Quote Catherine Mackinnon

No one who has raged at my thinking on the subject has ever been able to point out an actual instead of a pretend down-side to attempting to totally suppress Nazism and fascism or, for that matter, Stalinisim or Maoism in the United States on the basis of their devotion to destroying the lives and rights of entire groups of people and the enslavement of everyone under a dictatorship. 

The underlying idea is that if the advocacy to do the things that such ideologues desire is suppressed we will (perhaps under the most idiotic misconception of "fairness" ever to have been dreamt up) have to suppress those who promote equality, democracy, equal rights, economic justice, etc. This is only proof of the idiocy of people who parrot the stupid idea that there is any problem in distinguishing between a Nazi and an egalitarian, a person who advocates the murder of members of minority groups and those who advocate their equal right to a decent life, It is the claim THAT JUDGES AND JUSTICES CAN'T MAKE SUCH GLARINGLY OBVIOUS DISTINCTIONS AS IF THEY DON'T MAKE FAR LESS OBVIOUS AND COME TO FAR MORE DIFFICULT DECISIONS AS THEIR DAILY WORK, DISTINCTIONS WHICH WE HIRE AND TRUST THEM TO MAKE AND WHICH WE ARE SUPPOSED TO REVERE THEM FOR MAKING.  

It's almost as if, as we go through the decorous ceremony of entrusting the Supreme Court to act honestly about such things, we really don't trust them to do it, which is probably the only realistic thing to do in the matter considering how the courts have been staffed with Federalist fascists, a result in real life of the regime of "free speech" we have lived under since 1964.

Democracy owes some basic rights to people who hold such ideas, we shouldn't kill them for holding their ideas, we are in little danger of that happening.  But allowing them a chance to dupe lots of people and putting their ideologies, fatal to democracy in power is not among those things that democracy owes them.  Refusing to make that distinction is a choice to bring about conditions that kill many hundreds and thousands of people, every year,  at times, when such people gain political power, hundreds of thousands and tens of millions do die as a result. 

It is a preening, affected act of self-centered idiocy among the affluent and comfortable on the one hand and of the entirely unrealistic and often entirely fat-headed on the other that there is some virtue in letting them have "their fair chance" to be heard and try to convince people.  It is even stupider to pretend that "it can't happen here" because not only can it happen anywhere. It has, in fact, happened here.   In the United States Black People, Native Americans, members of other ethnic groups who have been violently and brutally oppressed, enslaved and exploited and, in fact, murdered in large numbers by white supremacists have a history and personal experience of the kind of thing that affluent, college-credentialed, White, pseudo-liberals advocate letting them have a chance to not only do, again, but to do so with the automatic weapons and other things which their colleagues on the all too real Republican-fascist right have enthusiastically permitted them to amass, as Donald Trump so chillingly reminded us a couple of weeks ago. 

The only thing that would happen if all of those dictatorial, oppressive ideologies were totally suppressed would be that there would be not a single bad thing that would come of it.  As it is under the regime of "free speech" absolutism,  it's the promotion of their opposite, real equality, real democracy, legitimate freedoms, legitimate rights that are under fire in the United States, in Britain, in so many other countries where neo-Nazis and fascists and white supremacists are resurgent, financed by billionaires domestic and foreign (Putin, for sure, the latest Chinese dictator, coming up fast) and all over the media. 

And that doesn't even mention the reign of terror that Women in the United States and in virtually every other country live under by habits and attitudes so ingrained in our cultures that the last time I looked an estimated average of 3-4 women a day are murdered in the United States due to their gender and it's an unremarkable, everyday thing as is the resultant terror so many Women don't even notice living under. 

English speaking liberals in the United States and Britain, to some lesser in places like Canada which adopted some measures against the spreading of hate speech,  have been the most massive suckers, largely suckered through the fashions created in law faculties at elite schools and in the lawyers and judges and, especially, the Supreme Court and High Court "justices" who pushed those advantages for the enemies of egalitarian democracy.   The media certainly encouraged that as being free to spread any lie, any audience attractingly violent and sensational and wild rumor, turning indigenous racism and bigotry and sexism and queer-hating into a means of gaining market share and making fortunes, trying to harness it to corrupt democracy to their and their owners' profit in the style that Putin merely copied and, with the help of tech billionaire fascists here, modernized and weaponized more effectively.   That wasn't only done through "social media" but in everything from the cabloid and broadcast sewers up to and including the actual "press" on paper. 

Sucking it up were the suckers of liberalism who have seen more than a half a century of regress into, first Nixon, then Reagan, then Bush I and Bush II and now Trump even as free-speech became freer as lies were protected speech, growing ever more outrageously evil than it was in the callow, stupid days of 1964 when all of that descent started in earnest for the general population.  What White affluent people are now horrified to experience, the destruction of egalitarian democracy, the destruction of decency and even a sense of the true and false is something that Black People experienced when Jim Crow was in effect and in the days when slavery was overt and under law instead of de facto.  It is the reality that Native Americans have experienced for the entire period of their destruction.  All of that happened under the Constitution with the full intention and blessing of the idols of Federalism, The Founders.  That is the thing that had to be overcome to even temporarily advance equality and democracy and equal rights.   American liberals, especially those of the secular variety seem to be stupid about that in direct proportion to the level of their educational credentials.  You might be forgiven for wondering if being suckered into not seeing that is a part of that credentialing process.  None are so stupid as the professional writers and communicators and those credentialed in the law.   Though I think it's far more a matter of pretending to not see things because they profit from going along with the ruse.


Being repeatedly opposed to the ideology of materialism for so long, something which those who troll me have mocked, I was surprised none of them took the opportunity to use Mackinnon's use of the word against me.  Maybe because they aren't great readers. 

When she said things such as:  "Where feminism is based on material reality, liberalism is based on some ideal realm in the head," "Material reality is turned into ideas about reality." I understand what she means, it's one of those instances where a word has more than one meaning.  I might say "lived reality" or "real life" or "actual reality".   Which points out the difference between the the lofty abstractions of "free speech" absolutists and the all too real results in real life.  What happens when, under the regime of "free speech"  when FOX spouts hate speech and promotes jealous, envious paranoia 24-7-365 for decades, what happend when Lou Dobbs promoted anti-Latino hate on CNN every night, when the New York Times promoted the quarter of a century of hatred of Hillary Clinton and peddled phony "scandals" which turned out to be lies. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Oranges, Oranges, Oranges of the Mueller Report

Trump is dangerously nuts, it's drugs or it's mental illness or it's senility, I don't much care which.  He is seriously demented. 

Clifford Brown - Joy Spring

Clifford Brown (Trumpet)
Harold Land (Tenor Saxophone)
George Morrow (Bass)
Richie Powell (Piano)
Max Roach (Drums)

Andrew Hill - Not So

Andrew Hill - piano
Richard Davis - bass
Eddie Khan - bass
Roy Haynes - drums

Beyond The Monty Python Appearance: I'm Not Saying Jacob Rees-Mogg Is Another Neville Chamberlain, Chamberlain Didn't Really Understand The Murderous Potential of Nazism

To those who were puzzled by why I said what I did about the putrid, if-only-he-were-a-pantomime- figure Brit crypto-fascist, possible Tory Prime Minister King Maker, Jacob Rees-Mogg, he's getting cute and cosy with German neo-Nazis.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended his decision to tweet a video of a speech by a senior member of Germany’s far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), saying he did not endorse the party’s views but the opinions expressed had “real importance”.

The Conservative backbencher and leading Brexiter faced strong criticism from some Labour MPs after tweeting a YouTube video of a speech by Alice Weidel, the leader of the AfD’s 91 deputies in the Bundestag, the German parliament.

Rees-Mogg added the message: “The AfD leader asks: ‘Is it any wonder the British see bad faith behind every manoeuvre from Brussels?’”

While the AfD began as an anti-euro campaign force, it has shifted its focus to immigration and Islam. Last year, an AfD poster for elections in Bavaria showed light-skinned teenagers running down a corridor with the slogan: “Islam-free schools”.

The Labour MP David Lammy said Rees-Mogg was “promoting Germany’s overtly racist party”.

He tweeted: “Our country’s proudest moment was defeating the far right. Now we are supposed to sit back while xenophobes, nativists, nationalists and isolationists do their best to tear Europe apart again. We must not let them win.”

His Labour colleague Stella Creasy tweeted: “We have to deal with the AfD on the Council of Europe. One of their reps claims that ‘Muslims in Europe are seeking to kill all Germans’. So forgive us @Jacob_Rees_Mogg if don’t use them as you do as a metric for decent opinions by which we should be influenced.”

Asked about the criticism during a phone-in on LBC radio, Rees-Mogg said he was not endorsing the party.

“No, no, I’m not supporting the AfD,” he said. “But this is a speech made in the Bundestag of real importance because it shows a German view of Brexit and it’s saying to the Germans: ‘Look, you’re paying for this, you’re going to pay more for this’, and Angela Merkel has tied herself up in knots with the French to the disadvantage of the Germans.

“And I think it’s important people know this is a strand of German political thinking. I don’t think retweeting is an endorsement of things that other people stand for. It’s just pointing out that there’s something interesting that is worth watching.”

He's also a stuffed toff who has made common cause with American fascist, Steve Bannon and once said that you should wear the label "racist" like a medal, he has also been a hypocrite as he played both sides of the fence with Britain's own domestic overt fascists and has defended Britain's own history of using concentration camps during the Boer War. 

Rees-Mogg is reported to have met with Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's former advisor and founding member of Breitbart News, in December 2017 to discuss the advancement of the conservative movement in the UK.

In the past, Bannon has praised the far right movement in Europe and has called Tommy Robinson the 'backbone of Britain.' He is also a known associate on Nigel Farage.

Not everyone admonished Rees-Mogg for his ties to Bannon but condemnation for the Tory was vast and unforgiving, with some bringing up his recent defence of concentration camps in the Boer War.

This isn't a BBC for-export-to the Yanks comedy, this guy is a real life danger to lives and democracy disguised in a comedy costume.

He's Still Whining After All These Posts - The Last Word I'm Posting On This Topic For Now

I really don't want to go over this again but those comedians who stayed pretty close to one thing pretty well all petered out long before they died.  In addition to Milton Berle, it's striking that the great Marx Brothers didn't make a movie after the decidedly inferior "Love Happy" in 1949 (I seem to recall Groucho said the only reason they made it was to bail Chico out of his gambling debts),  Mae West didn't do much other than repeat her earlier work from even earlier for a number of years,  before her long, sad, increasingly creepy final years.  W. C. Fields' career was fading before, like Ernie Kovacs, he died in an untimely way.  That sad clip I posted from Berele's last hurrah on network TV, a friggin' bowling show, was especially sad as the far superior Ritz Brothers were featured on it, showing how far they'd fallen.

Even a good comic shtick gets old and once people have seen it, it stops being comedy and becomes, after an interval, nostalgia. at best.  More typically it becomes annoying.  Most comedy shticks aren't that good to start with.

The comedians who last tend to be comic actors who do a number of things well, Lily Tomlin is probably the best current example of that.   You could point to her long time writer and collaborator Jane Wagner though Tomlin is also a brilliant improviser, if I had time I would look for her TV interview as what seems to have been a character. a multi-millionaire backer, she sprang on the interviewer when she was publicizing Search For Intelligent Life.  You can watch old clips of the Carol Burnett show. her work and that of her regular cast,  without the kind of embarrassment you feel from watching so many others from that era and before.  I can't comment on their subsequent careers but the work they did then stands up pretty well.

Having mentioned Ernie Kovacs, I wonder if he would have developed more if he had lived, though I think his humor wouldn't have made the transition into the later 60s and beyond very well.   Of the Marx Brothers only Groucho did much after the act broke up and he didn't do all that much, though he remained quite good for a long time.  And Milton Berle was no Marx brother.    I asked an old friend, old enough to have had one of the earliest TVs marketed after WWII if she thought Milton Berle was ever funny, she said, no, she never found him funny.  She adored Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, from time to time she watches old VCRs of Your Show of Shows.   She's 95.  Caesar went a lot farther than his start on Berle's show.

Milton Berle was, though, superior to Lenny Bruce, though that's not a high bar to cross.  Lenny Bruce was never funny.

Comedy is like eggs, you really don't want to eat them reheated.  Canning them for later sale is a bad idea.

Update:  I'm tired of the TV retarded troll from Teaneck, he can go neck himself and his buddies. 

Pious, Scrupulous, Sanctimonious First Amendment Stupid Mail

We're being ruled by a baby-man fascist idiot and his crime family, a criminally stupid gangster who not only has his mind formed by what he watches on FOX, the ass-end of unreality TV, he is a creation of the media, mostly TV of the reality-show "reality" kind but, also, the Entertainment Tonight, type and, also, the most corrupt form of celebrity worship starting in the NYC print world, including the New York Times (I wonder if you did a study if you'd find the Daily News had been harder on him than the Great Gray Skank) and you expect me to go easy on the friggin' media?  The friggin' "free press"?   Hollywood?  

As I said yesterday, bite me. 

Also:  Two Comments 

Salty Gaming
11 hours ago
If we take free speech from anyone you may lose yours in the future.

Anthony McCarthy
11 hours ago
@Salty Gaming Well, if your precious fascists and Nazis succeed in conning a majority we're guaranteed to lose it so it makes sense to try to take it away from them, first.  You guys are fools.

There is no rational reason to let liars and the opponents of equal rights propagandize to take away the equal rights of the groups they target.   People who want to let Nazis, fascists, Stalinists, Maoists, etc. promote their ideas are betting the lives of their would be victims for a pay off of these idiotic pseudo-liberals feeling good about themselves.   That it's Nazis and fascists who have taken up the slogans of free speech absolutism that idiots developed in the idiotic idea that Marxists were going to be the beneficiaries (yeah, I'm looking at you, ACLU c. 1930-the collapse of the Soviet Union) proves my point.   I would guarantee you that in 2019 easily 9 out of 10 uses of "freedom of speech" is in favor of corporate fascists and white supremacists.   The largely white, largely affluent play-lefties who recite those terms are idiots who enable fascists and, yes, Nazis, (I'm looking at you, ACLU after Skokie).  

As Catherine Mackinnon pointed out, pretending that there is already an equality that not only isn't there but is very far from present is a boon for those who profit from and, so, promote inequality.  That was a brilliant insight that radical feminism discerned long before I figured it out. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Brexit Theater

I'm a total and complete opponent of capital punishment but every single time I hear Jacob Rees-Mogg talk I feel like volunteering to be the one who chops off his head. 

"Oh Paris, Paris, to love her is a solemn duty"

No, I Don't "Hate New York" I'm just not as impressed with it as he figures everyone is required to be.  For him that means I hate it.  That two-year-old mindset is ubiquitous among such guys. 

I'm not all that impressed with any city, anywhere.  I figure any congregation of human beings is going to concentrate what's wrong with them in one place.  Including infantile ego-centrism and an addition to self-interested lying.  

I can't remember where I heard that Paris quote, it rhymed, using the French pronunciation. 

Why For Now I'm Believing The Worst

The estimable and genuinely Honorable Jerrold Nadler has written an op-ed, published in the New York Times setting out, simply and with clear brilliance why he and the House must demand that William Barr hand over the complete, unredacted Muller Report and its underlying basis in evidence to the House Judiciary Committee and other, relevant committees of The Peoples' House.

William Barr is a proponent of the overtly fascistic theory of the "unitary executive," a theory of unlimited presidential power thought up in oligarchic think tanks, Ivy League law faculties and other breeding grounds of Republican-fascism.  Of course, like Brett Kavanaugh's legal thought on presidential culpability, it is all different depending on the party of the president - watch for the Supreme Court to see how far that double-standard goes.   If Barr is able to suppress the evidence for this most criminal of presidential regimes, it is the end of American democracy.

I don't know how far the House can go in pressuring the Department of Justice or the courts as they try to cover-up for Trump and his crime family but they should do everything they can to thwart them.  Any possible means necessary taken.   Jerrold Nadler has also said that along with his committee voting to give him the authority to subpoena the Report and its evidential basis, they will be issuing subpoenas to a host of Trump crime family figures, Don McGahn, Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, Reince Pribus.  I hope they call in all of them to potentially perjure themselves before they call in Robert Mueller, as they must if they are going to really find out what he found out.  I strongly suspect that he was under subtle pressure by Rod Rosenstein even before Barr or the known liar and con-man Whitaker were brought in to thwart any real investigation.  You can add Trump's serial attempts to stop the investigation into this as a reason for We, The People to still believe there was collusion between Trump and Putin.   I might believe that Barr's interpretation of things is accurate IF and only if, after they have collected their own evidence, the House committee is satisfied with Robert Mueller's assurances on that point.  Absent that, absent Nadler having the full report and evidence, I'm suspecting the worst, Barr's conduct requires that.

Why Russiagate Should Not Be Allowed To Die

Pizza-gate is a neo-fascist conspiracy theory peddled to those made mentally ill by watching FOX and other media,  which is not only based in nothing but is made physically impossible BECAUSE THE PIZZA PARLOR BASEMENT IT IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN BASED IN DOESN'T EXIST and it is obviously absurd.  

Russia-gate is a logical conclusion based on what sane people heard Trump say, in the hearing of millions while on the campaign trail, what his son, son-in-law, other members of his family and his campaign AND ADMINISTRATION are not only proven to have done but which some of them have admitted to doing and a huge range of evidence that is before the public.

I don't know if Mueller admitted that he merely didn't find a level of evidence above what Trump, Trump jr. Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, Roger Stone, etc. etc. etc. have already provided to us, The People as to their own guilt in coordination with Putin and his crime family, evidence which Mueller knows but which he doesn't want to bring to court or if he's claiming that evidence doesn't matter.  We don't know because William Barr has barred the door to reading the Mueller Report and obviously is bent on suppressing it.  We have every right to believe that is because Mueller found stuff far worse than we know about already. 

I say we keep Russia-gate up and running as public discourse based on all of that evidence AND because just about every baseless, probably Putin regime commissioned "scandal" that is before the demented public is still out there and still being pushed in the media.  

If they can keep Pizza-gate going, we should keep Russia-gate going.  Want to bet which one will be proven to have been right? 

The Role Of City Guy Snobbery In Figuring The Rubes Will Keep Buying Their Stale Wares

Continuing to be harassed over the entirely unimportant issue of Milton Berle's post-sell-by date career I came across a piece written by a NYC native that claimed that Berle's rise and fall was due to him talking fast and inserting Yiddish words in his shtick.  It claimed that when televisions were first marketed only city folk bought them and when the rubes in rural areas started watching they were too stupid to understand Berle and the allegedly foreign sounding Yiddish words weirded them out. The understood idea being that city folk are smarter than country folk.* Since he had more than a decade-long nationally-broadcast radio career before he started in TV, the success of which is what gave him his chance on TV (which the article also talked about), those claims are all too typical New Yorker snob double-speak.  Berle was like so many others in show biz, someone who rose rapidly.  Since he was a joker he sold his jokes.  Nothing gets stale faster than a used joke or a used routine, once Berle had sold his inventory, the public had heard them and moved on to the next guy. Berle in the 1990s (I remember turning him off during that decade in Due South) wasn't much different from Berle in 1950.

I would like to go into the similarities on view in the recent bullshit from Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi who cherish the idea that the American People, at large, are too stupid to understand the clear collusion between the Trump family and campaign and the Putin regime oligarchs who were so successful in manipulating our elections.  That both of those assholes are alleged to be journalists, the profession that has done so much to make more Americans more stupid, they can collectively bite the rest of us. 

Given that the only reason for the corporate entity "the press" to be given freedom was so they would give us the accurate information we would need to prevent tyranny, domestic of foreign, those who are part of the campaign to minimize the danger of Putin or anyone else succeeding in what their servants on the Supreme Court have allowed domestic billionaires and millionaires to do, for them to insult the very people who have been cheated by "the press" they can collectively bite us, again.   I could say a lot more about this.

*  Given who New York City regularly elects to govern it and some of its long time congressional members, their superior intelligence is not a reliable thing, at all.

Update:  Well, offhand, I'm not so impressed with Bloomberg, Giuliani, Koch, Lindsay as mayors or the likes of Peter King as a long-time House member from that most stuck up of cities.   

Neutrality Enforces a Non-neutral Status Quo, Consent Means That Whatever You Are Forced To Do Is Attributed To Your Free Will: A Serious Response To Stupid Mail

Since you also included Catherine Mackinnon in your diatribes against Andrea Dworkin, I went looking to refresh myself on her thinking.  I found a fascinating essay from 1990 that, if I'd read it then, would have probably saved me at least fifteen years of delay in thinking about so many of the things in the orthodoxy of secular-liberalism that have produced a total disaster in the last half century.  

The following two paragraphs from "Liberalism And The Death of Feminism" are deeply insightful as to how some of the foremost idols of current culture are far from guaranteeing equality and, in fact, support inequality and privilege and a full range of values of the genuine liberal American tradition, the liberalism of the Suffrage movement, the abolition movement, I would argue, as well, the labor movement.  

These things are far from easy, there are no bright lines and the use of words to mean not only different things but things whose difference is revealed in producing an oppressive difference, something which you would have to be a dishonest wielder of casuistical language to pretend was not the outcome in reality. 

What is the difference between the women's movement we had and the one we have now, if it can be called a movement? I think the difference is liberalism. Where feminism was collective, liberalism is individualistic. We have been reduced to that. Where feminism is socially based and critical, liberalism is naturalistic, attributing the product of women's oppression to women's natural sexuality, making it "ours." Where feminism criticizes the ways in which women have been socially determined in an attempt to change that determination, liberalism is voluntaristic, meaning it acts like we have choices that we do not have. Where feminism is based on material reality, liberalism is based on some ideal realm in the head. And where feminism is relentlessly political, about power and powerlessness, the best that can be mustered by this nouveau movement is a watered-down form of moralism: this is good, this is bad, no analysis of power or powerlessness at all. In other words, members of groups, like women, who have no choice but to live life as members of groups are taken as if they are unique individuals. Their social characteristics are then reduced to natural characteristics. Preclusion of choices becomes expression of free will. Material reality is turned into ideas about reality. And concrete positions of power and powerlessness are transformed into mere relative value judgments about which reasonable people can form different but equally valid preferences. Women's experience of abuse becomes a "point of view."

The way this gets itself up in law is as gender neutrality, consent, privacy, and speech. Gender neutrality means that you cannot take gender into account, you cannot recognize, as we once knew we had to, that neutrality enforces a non-neutral status quo. Consent means that whatever you are forced to do is attributed to your free will. Privacy protects the sphere of women's intimate oppression. Speech protects sexual violence against women and sexual use of women because they are male forms of self-expression. Under the First Amendment, only those who already have speech have protected speech. Women are more likely to be men's speech. No one who does not already have these rights guaranteed them socially gets them legally.

This kind of thing which, in 1990 Mackinnon discerned in terms of how such presumed civic virtues were used against women including by pseudo-"feminists" like those who supported pornography and pimps by claiming that the women involved in porn did so in an abstract, non-existent real world which coerced their involvement, at best, permitted their sexual enslavement, not at all uncommonly.  The myth that the sex industry was creating "sex work" is a lie that affluent people who have no reason to expect that anyone in their family will "go into that line of work" tell each other.   It has aided the explosion of sexual enslavement of impoverished and underclass women, children and men.  The same ideas in the form of "rational choice" are useful to the oligarchs in their decades long program of destroying  workers rights ("right to work") and the exploitation of overt forms of slavery in other countries.  Affluent, secular-liberals even those who are supposedly supportive of equal rights either weaken the struggle for equality or leave it entirely over such secular ersatz virtues. 

The subsequent events of the last 29 years have shown how prescient these ideas are.  "Free speech" which is supposedly the great gurantee of "it not happening here" of becoming a rallying cry of neo-Nazis, fascists, white supremacists, racists,  "choice" in so many ways becoming a slogan to cover a myriad of abuses from employers by making claims of "agency" and so may liberalish, though really libertarian notions that would only work if you presupposed an equality that isn't there and, if those using those slogans have their way, never will be, those very words used to deny the existence of inequality.   The very ideas which should only ever have been seen as tools for the promotion of equality, elevated into standing as autonomous idols unconnected with that goal are even more useful to prevent equality.  

Mackinnon's observation of how  how things presented as "social characteristics are then reduced to natural characteristics" is the same phenomenon that Marilynne Robinson noted in which entirely artificial entities were treated as atavistic phenomena.   I would say that habit is one of the byproducts of the casual scientism that is a result of modernism.  I don't know if Mackinnon would endorse my conclusion but I think this is what happens when you create abstract, material gods as a replacement for God, something which even the most hostile to religion do, continually. 

A lot of the things that Mackinnon discussed in that essay, applied to different problems that are the concerns of a real American liberalism that takes the lives and rights of real people as more important than academic and legalistic abstractions can enlighten so many seemingly incomprehensible puzzles.   When you lose your fear of looking hard and critically at the idols of post-war liberalism, especially noticing when words can mean different and opposite things and, divorced from their legitimate higher goal, these necessities of equality and democracy and a decent life for all used to attack all of those. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

No One Ever Seems To Worry That They Degrade Non-Commercial Art As They Laud Commercial Shit

Hey, if someone chooses to go into producing crap that makes money and they don't produce anything higher than that, that's the choice they made.  I'm not required to pretend they made a different choice.  Lots of artists not only didn't make that choice, they weren't able to produce commercial crap or have the chance to.  It dishonors them to make believe shit is any better than it is, academia, so full of people who can't do either, pretending that pop culture is the equivalent of high culture only proves they're full of shit when they do it.   

Commercial shit tends to have a limited shelf life.  That's the nature of commercial shit.  

Stupid Mail

Apparently he's so used to cross-posting the pathetic attempts at slamming me here and elsewhere that the idiot doesn't remember posting it here since I stopped posting his lies.   I think the rise in dementia among people in the developed world comes as the end-stage of the mental debility that too much TV induces.  If you don't use it, you, indeed,  lose it.  Though I think he lost it about the time that "Mr. TV," Milton Berle lost his last regular TV gig.  His mind has obviously been on the same level as Jackpot Bowling since c. 1961.   

Update:  If Milton Berle ever did anything funny, I didn't see it.  I did see one dramatic TV performance he did that wasn't bad, he played a troubled elderly father, I don't remember much about it but remembered thinking he went the wrong way in his career choices.  Well, if art instead of making money was the goal.